Costs of Fox Hunting Ban

The sport of fox hunting is a well-established tradition and past time of many high-society members in the United Kingdom, and as such, there is a large base of occupations built around it. According to the Burns Report, it is estimated that somewhere between six thousand to eight thousand people are directly or indirectly dependent on the sport of fox hunting for their occupation. Approximately eight hundred of these jobs are the result of direct employment of the hunt. Up to three thousand jobs maybe dependent on the occupations that result from hunting related activities, such as horse and hounds care takers. The rest are likely involved in much more indirect forms of involvement, such as manufacturing of the tools and equipment used in the hunt. This is, however, just an estimate, and other sources have cited that the number of people employed may be as high as over twelve thousand. Many of these people would lose their job if the ban on fox hunting were to become stricter. However, it is estimated that, in a complete ban of fox hunting, as much as twenty percent of all resources (such as jobs, horses, hounds, etc.) could be re-established if an increase in drag hunting were to occur in compensation for the loss of the fox hunting sport.

One of the reasons in support of fox hunting is the claim that it is necessary to control fox populations to prevent the harm they cause to livestock and crops. A number of studies were performed to ascertain the rate of livestock mortality due to fox predation. One such study in 2002, using questionnaire responses from nearly five hundred respondents, suggests that fox predation only accounts for roughly nine percent of all lamb mortalities. This rate is significantly lower for other forms of livestock, such as hens and piglets, not exceeding five percent.

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