Foxhunting in the UK

Educating the Veterinary Students of Tomorrow

Foxhunting in the UK is an extremely controversial issue and continues to be an ongoing debate; sides clash about whether the laws should be changed. Foxhunting with dogs is illegal as of September 2004 (By a majority of 356 to 166 MP’s (BBC, 2017)) with the exception being that you can use a maximum of 2 dogs to flush foxes out of hiding if the fox is causing damage to your property or the environment. However, it is still legal to trap foxes in both traps and snares (GOV.UK, 2017).

There are variety of opinions on this topic with many individuals of the opinion foxes are both vermin and predators while some present the fox as a sentient being, performing its natural carnivorous role as a wild animal. An important distinction, is that a group on horseback going on an organised hunt is very different to a farmer going out to hunt foxes because they are killing his livestock. Despite the law being in place there have been several accounts of the law being broken (which in reality, is probably much higher as many illegal acts go unreported). 

There are cruelty free alternatives to foxhunting. One example of this is “Drag hunting” or “draghunting” which is a form of equestrian sport, where mounted riders hunt the trail of an artificially laid scent with hounds.  As the scent is artificially laid, the route can be tailored to suit the riding abilities of the field. As it does not involve the hunting of live animals, drag hunting remained legal in England after the passing of the Hunting Act of 2004.

Law breaking reports:


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