News, Culture & Society

BBC’s Wildlife expert Chris Packham offers himself up as quarry to hunt club

BBC’s Wildlife expert Chris Packham, 57, offers HIMSELF up as a hunt’s first human quarry in a bid to stop foxes from ‘being torn to pieces’

  • Chris Packham, 57, an anti-fox hunt campaigner offered himself up as quarry 
  • The BBC Wildlife expert is bidding to stop the New Forest Hounds hunt group
  • Going to unusual lengths, he suggested himself as human quarry, to chase 
  • The 250-year-old hunt group declined his offer, saying it would be impractical

Wildlife expert Chris Packham today offered himself as a hunt’s first human quarry in a bid to stop foxes ‘being torn to pieces’.

The Springwatch presenter suggested he run through Hampshire’s New Forest pursued by hunting hounds and riders on horseback rather than them following a pre-laid scent.

Mr Packham urged his local hunt, the New Forest Hounds, to switch to drag hunting, which involves dog tracking either a human runner or chemical scent, claiming their ‘trail hunting’ can still end with foxes being killed.

Wildlife expert Chris Packham today offered himself as a hunt’s first human quarry in a bid to stop foxes ‘being torn to pieces’. The Springwatch presenter suggested he run through Hampshire’s New Forest pursued by hunting hounds and riders on horseback rather than them following a pre-laid scent

However, the 250-year-old hunt group declined his offer, saying it would be impractical for their dogs.

Labour outlawed hunting foxes with dogs in 2004, causing NFH and other hunts to turn to trail hunting in which hounds chase an artificial scent, but critics believe the sport can still result in hunts chasing a fox accidentally or deliberately.

Mr Packham, 57, visited the hunt at Linwood, near Ringwood, Hampshire, on New Year’s Day, to appeal to them to change and has now offered to be their first human quarry for the dogs to chase, if the group will switch to drag hunting.

He said: ‘Foxhunting is a highly emotive activity which has no place in the contemporary environment – and everyone knows that.

‘The law is constantly contravened. Foxes are being torn to pieces in people’s front gardens and pets are being chased.

‘We have to make peaceful, democratic progress in ending this practice.

‘It’s very difficult to monitor foxhunting and it’s also very difficult when things go wrong to get a successful prosecution.

‘Police are under-resourced and have many other things to deal with.

‘If hunts switched to drag hunting it would have a positive impact in public relations terms as well as having a positive impact on wildlife.

Mr Packham, 57, visited the hunt at Linwood, near Ringwood, Hampshire, on New Year's Day, to appeal to them to change and has now offered to be their first human quarry for the dogs to chase, if the group will switch to drag hunting

Mr Packham, 57, visited the hunt at Linwood, near Ringwood, Hampshire, on New Year’s Day, to appeal to them to change and has now offered to be their first human quarry for the dogs to chase, if the group will switch to drag hunting

‘I’m not saying it’s the whole answer but it would be a step in the right direction.

‘If the New Forest Hounds did that, I would be happy to be their first human quarry.’

Hunts in some parts of the UK have faced allegations the blood sport has continued under the guise of trail hunting.

Urging the public to campaign for further law changes to protect wild animals Mr Packham added: ‘Please join me in 2019 in a peaceful, democratic way to put an end to this horrible anachronism.

‘There’s no place for this savagery in 21st century Britain.’

A New Forest Hounds spokesman today said it would be ‘difficult’ to switch to drag hunting.

He said: ‘We thank Chris Packham for his offer of being hunted by the New Forest Hounds but we don’t think it would be practical.

‘We spent a lot of time and effort in getting our hounds to switch to trail hunting. We think it would be even more difficult, perhaps even impossible, to get them to switch to drag hunting. It would go against 250 years of breeding.’

Chris Pitt, deputy director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, added: ‘Wild animals, including foxes, hare and deer, are still being chased to exhaustion before being torn to pieces.

‘There is strong support for British wildlife being given robust protection from those who kill for sport.

‘How can we call ourselves a civilised nation when those who gain entertainment from attacking wildlife continue to go unpunished by the law?’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.