Here in Canada and the U.S., Boxing Day is known for massive sales and hunting for bargains but in the UK, the day is linked to hunting of foxes, hare and deer.
The League Against Cruel Sports says despite the seeming popularity of people in the United Kingdom to go hunting on Dec 26th, opposition for hunting for “sport” is at an all-time high.
The animal rights group asked polling group Ipsos MORI to conduct a poll and the results found that 84 per cent of the public are in support of keeping the ban on fox hunting. Of that number, 82 per cent live in rural areas.
The league says despite hunt supporters saying “hundreds and thousands” of people turn out to watch hunting. that claim is exaggerated. CEO of the league, Eduardo Gonçalves said in a statement:
The polling and projections highlight just how out of touch any move to repeal the hunting ban would be. Generally only dictators would dream of pushing through a policy against that level of public opposition so we hope our government will respect the will of the people.
“The Boxing Day hunts are portrayed as a glorious pageant taking place in front of a huge number of people who support them, but the truth is very different. The fact is 84% of the public do not want fox hunting made legal.
“Just because families might venture out on Boxing Day to see the hunt, stroke the dogs or watch the horses, doesn’t mean they support repealing a law to enable the hunt to chase and kill wild animals with their dogs for sport.
KEY POLL FINDINGS
- When asked if fox hunting should be made legal again, 84% said no.
- Opposition to legalising deer hunting (88%) and hare hunting and coursing (91%) was even stronger.
The league estimated that more than 200,000 illegal hunting incidents – averaging 16,000 per year – may have been committed by hunt members since the Hunting Act 2004 was enacted. That makes illegal hunting with dogs potentially the most common wildlife crime in the UK.
The animal welfare charity believe that since hunting with dogs was outlawed, most of the hunts in England and Wales have been hunting illegally by abusing hunting exemptions and using the false alibi of trail hunting.