It is the sport of the rich for only they can pursue the animal in a carnival of money. It cost a pretty penny to kill a fox.
We have gone to so many extremes to kill the vermin which destroys our food sources that entire industries have evolved. But in civilized England there is one vermin that has actually caused arguments for humane treatment to be argued in the House of Commons.
“After years of passionate debate, the House of Commons finally voted in 2004 to pass the Hunting Ban; the final count was 356 to 166. The ban made the use of dogs to kill prey illegal. Basically, riders could still follow hounds on horseback as hounds chased the fox, but when the fox is found, all but two dogs must be restrained. Those two dogs aren’t allowed to kill the fox, as before, but may flush it out so that the hunter kills it with a gun. So in the end, what’s so bad about fox hunting is not that the fox died, but that the fox was dying at the claws of dogs.”
Let us examine a fox hunt. There is pageantry. The amount of people involved is incredible. Here is a list of the leaders. The Master of the Foxhounds, Honorary Secretaries, Kennel man, Huntsman, Whip men, and a Terrior Man. Then you have those mounted on horseback, the horses they ride and dozens of hounds and of course they are pursuing a fox (usually red)
In most cases the fox loses. In fact in my research the fox has never won or the group has never admitted to it. The fox hunters have hounds, guns, and horses. The fox has an AK47, a tank, and the ability to go invisible. No, not really he is run into the ground, torn apart and the game is over.
Civilized of course. It is like golf, or croquet. There are some really neat rituals now supposedly out of use. I note one called Blooding. At the end when the fox is dead and torn to pieces the new hunters smear its blood on their foreheads. Then the tail is cut off and kept as a trophy. Kind of like a rabbits foot.
Does the fox deserve this fate? Well, it is a vermin killing chickens and sheep. So population control is needed. Do we not hunt wolves down in the Midwest from helicopters as a form of population control? Do we not have a television show where they hunt alligators and kill them for bounty in the swamps? Do we not have rattlesnake roundups? Do we not have in some countries Bull Fights? Cock Fights? I think you get my drift. We have and sometimes it borders on cruel and inhumane. Where the line gets fuzzy is in the beginning, the middle and the end. Do we not kill millions of turkey fowl during Thanksgiving. The President pardons two and we kill millions of them. Why pardon them? Have you been to a turkey farm? Can you kill a turkey? Some can and will and some will be horrified by the thought of it.