What’s a deserving punishment for those who hunt animals for sport? The League Against Cruel Sports calls for prison time as a consequence for those who participate in illegal blood sports.
Hunters should face prison time for participating in illegal blood sports, animal welfare campaigners say. The League Against Cruel Sports report marks the 10th anniversary of the Hunting Act, which banned fox hunting in the UK.
The League called for a strengthening of the legislation to close “loopholes.” It also called for a ban on the use of dogs below ground for hunting, whereby hounds drag foxes from their refuge during a ‘dig out.’
“This is arguably where the worst cruelty occurs in hunting, not only to wild mammals pursued underground with limited opportunity to escape (usually foxes and badgers), but also to the dogs sent below ground to find these animals and either flush them out or hold them at bay,” campaigners said.
The Hunting Act currently allows the use of up to two dogs to flush out a fox or other quarry for hunters to shoot. The charity warned that dogs often suffer painful injuries when they are forced below ground to find foxes.
A YouGov poll commissioned by the League in 2010 showed 78 percent of people believe it should be illegal to set a dog on a fox below ground, while 33 percent believe it is already illegal.
The charity also called for a new clause to prevent the killing of wild mammals during a trail hunt, which are frequently passed off as “unfortunate accidents.” The League proposes criminalizing this.
Many hunts, the League says, use following trails “simply as a cover for illegal hunting.”