The Death - 167

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The kill
Eventually it becomes exhausted whereupon the dogs catch up, swarm over the fox and savage it to death. If a fox manages to find refuge in an open hole (termed 'unsporting' by hunters!) the huntsman calls for the 'terriermen' to enter their dogs into the hole in an attempt to either drive it out for further hunting or keep it under attack until it is dug out. The 'bolting' of foxes for further hunting was condemned as cruel by a Government enquiry in 1951 which recommended that the practice be abolished. (Ref: The Report of the Committee on Cruelty to Wild Animals, otherwise known as the Scott Henderson Report, named after the Chairman.) Hunting enthusiasts claim that the first dog to reach the fox gives it a 'nip to the back of the neck' which kills it instantly. This claim ignores the cruelty brought about by the deliberately prolonged chase. However, it is known that the 'neck-bite' is a method of killing more commonly used by large wild cats - some species of which hunt alone and require their prey to be immobilised by the breaking of the vertebrae. Canids (wolves, jackals, dogs etc,) that hunt in packs, tend to bring down their prey by a series of bites and tears to the quarry's sides and hind-quarters.


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