Sad little story in today's Western Mail about cruelty to foxes. An estate in Mid Wales has been accused of improperly using animal snares to catch foxes. (They are called 'whole body restraints in Ireland). What the kind-hearted folk who forced through the ban on foxhunting (with its immediate and certain death if the fox is caught) are now finding is that the much more cruel system of fox control through snaring is now increasing. It pains me to say so but the ban on foxhunting has led to an overall increase in animal cruelty - as any born-and-bred countryman knew it would.
There will now inevitably be a campaign to ban snaring - as I am told it is banned in parts of Europe. I am unsure about whether to support such a campaign because I haven't seen any evidence to tell me whether shooting, which would inevitably take its place, would be even more cruel. I still have the image in my mind of the cutest little fox cub, which played on my mother-in-law's lawn every morning a couple of years ago being shot and taking three days to die - probably of gangrene.
It really is rather sad when a campaign by the well intentioned actually causes an increase in the cruelty they want to reduce. Our poor little foxes have to pay the price.