All About Animals: The Issues (Ages 11-14): Hunting

ake a look at the following fascinating facts about wild animals:

  • Red deer who are two years and over grow antlers and the size of their antlers depends on the food they eat. Deer who live in forests have larger antlers than those who live on moor land.
  • Hares look similar to rabbits but have larger ears, live above ground and can run at an amazing 55 kilometres per hour!
  • Foxes are nocturnal so the best time to see them is at dawn or dusk. Many only live for a year or two.
  • Mink are related to otters and stoats and are just as happy in the water as they are on land. They are great swimmers but also very good at climbing.

So what do deer, hares, foxes and minks have in common? They all live in the wild in Britain and, until February 2005, they were all hunted by people. Hunters used dogs to chase and kill animals. Some hunters rode horses; others walked. Some hunters shot animals after chasing them; others looked on as dogs caught the animals and killed them.

Hunters are campaigning to have hunting reinstated and some say they will continue to hunt, no matter what the law says.

A hunter might say…

  • “Foxes are pests, and we need to keep their numbers down. Hunting is not as cruel as shooting them, poisoning them or catching them in traps.”
  • “Hunting is traditional and natural. People have always done it!”
  • “When animals on farms die, hunters help farmers by removing the dead animals and feeding the animals to their dogs.”
  • “Now hunting has been banned, a lot of people could lose their jobs and a whole way of life could be gone forever.”

Someone who thinks hunting is wrong might say…

  • “Foxes are not pests – they are beautiful animals, and they have as much right to live as any other animal.”
  • “Just because people have hunted for a long time, doesn’t mean that it’s OK.”
  • “Hunters kill their older dogs because younger dogs hunt better. That’s really cruel!”
  • “Hunters could have fun ‘drag-hunting’ instead of killing real animals. In drag-hunting, dogs chase a rag that smells like an animal. No one gets hurt.”
  • “Now hunting is banned, life is better and safer for the people and animals who live in the countryside.”

Talk About: Topics to Chat About!
1. What do you think about hunting?
2. Do you think animals should be left alone or hunted?
3. What’s the difference between hunting and fishing?
4. Is it fair to kill an animal for fun?

You want more info? This is where to go:

The League Against Cruel Sports 01483 524 250
The Countryside Alliance 0207 840 9210