UNILAD Releases New ‘Dark Side of Britain’ Documentary: ‘The Hunt’
UNILAD has released a new Originals documentary exploring whether current laws are actually preventing the barbaric hunting of foxes with hounds.
The first episode of the “Dark Side of Britain” series, titled “The Hunt”, follows a group of foxhunt saboteurs – including Kevin Newell, a wildlife professional and member of Grampian Hunt Sabs – for three days as they attempt to stop illegal hunts from taking place.
The Hunting Act prohibits the use of dogs to hunt foxes and other wild mammals. However, hundreds of hunts are flouting the legislation.
An exemption to the act allows hunters to use up to two hounds to flush out foxes in order to shoot them, and this makes it extremely easy for groups to hunt illegally with dogs by claiming they’re only flushing the foxes out to shoot.
Similarly, some hunts claim to be engaging in “trail hunting” – whereby they follow a trail laid using an animal scent (e.g. from urine) rather than the animals themselves. But this is nothing more than a post–hunting ban pretext to enable them to continue pursuing mammals with hounds.
The anti-hunting group League Against Cruel Sports revealed that it has received 550 reports of illegal hunts in the British countryside since the start of the season last autumn, and it claims that the reported instances are “just the tip of the iceberg”.
In an interview with a hunter – who asked to remain anonymous – in the documentary, the first question posed is “What are you guys gaining from this?” His reply? “A complete feeling of freedom.”
This “freedom” stands in stark contrast to the foxes’ lack of freedom, as we see in the footage of them being ripped apart by hounds – and as we hear in Kevin’s recollection of a particularly traumatic incident:
It still traumatises me today – it never leaves you. I remember seeing these two cubs run out of a woodland, and the mother ran behind them on this hill, and she turned to face the hounds, and as they come, she just curled down and they ripped her to pieces.
Although there are still a few bloodthirsty individuals who seek amusement and “freedom” through terrorising and killing animals, they’re a small and diminishing minority – 85 per cent of the British public is opposed to fox hunting.
“The Hunt” exposes the legislative loopholes and begs the question, is the Hunting Act working? While the ban is certainly an important piece of legislation, it’s clear that more could be done to protect wild mammals from hunters – and only strengthening the law, not stricter enforcement, will achieve this.