Fox hunting, which targets the European red fox, is just one of four types of hunts that take place in Britain. The others are stag hunting, which targets red deer, hare hunting (sometimes called beagling) that targets brown hares, and mink hunting. They all use a pack of dogs to find the scent of an animal, chase it and kill it.
Scientific evidence has shown that hunting with hounds is cruel. Animals targeted in hunting suffer physical and mental stress, whether they are eventually killed or not. That’s why PAL played a key role in ending the cruelty. It provided financial backing to the British Labour Party which contested the 1997 general elections with an animal-friendly manifesto that read: “We will ensure greater protection for wildlife. We have advocated new measures to promote animal welfare including a free vote in Parliament on whether hunting with hounds should be banned.”
The Labour Party was elected and introduced the Hunting Act of 2004, which made hunting wild mammals with a pack of dogs illegal in England and Wales.
A Battle won … for now
PAL is ever vigilant, constantly monitoring the views of all British MPs on the issue of hunting with hounds. The organisation also works with other non-governmental organisations to ensure that the Hunting Act is enforced and that practices like “trail hunting” − that imitate real hunts using artificial scents − are not used as a cover to terrorise and kill foxes, deer, hares or minks.