Some people claim hunting is a legitimate playful sport, thus when the hunting season starts they eagerly go into the mountains with their guns ready to play their “sport”. Which is nothing but the meaningless persecution and murder of thousand of innocent animals shot dead by their shotguns.
Is this tradition and love for nature?
In Spain alone, hunters annually kill around 60,000 deer, 120,000 wild boars and 30,000 animals such as bighorn sheep, roe deer, chamois, Barbary sheep, ibex and wolf. They also put an end to the lives of a million hares, four million rabbits, 140,000 foxes, three million partridges, a million quails and five million pheasants, ducks and pigeons.
Behind these millions of stolen lives, there are millions of unique individuals with emotions and a desire to live. Millions of animals become innocent victims of a bloodthirsty practice that glorifies murder.
Even though there is a murder, regardless the method used, it is interesting to note that, despite of legal prohibitions in place, the clandestine use of leg hold traps, snares and poisons such as Strychnine, 4-amino-aspirin and Warfarin are still common practices. These brutal methods lead to the indiscriminate death of all type of animals after a long and painful agony.
Furthermore, it is worth mentioning other victims of hunting: hounds, ferrets or birds of prey that are used by hunters as mere tools.
In the case of dogs, there is a lucrative business of breeding and selling dogs to assist in the hunt. The vast majority of these dogs after being subjected to harsh training, will live in confined cages or will be chained permanently, they receive little food and inadequate care. Once the hunting season arrives, they will be transported in small overcrowded carriers where they will travel until they reach their destination.
When a dog gets old, his hunting performance decreases or in some cases the dog shows no hunting skill at all. At this point, they will be considered a burden, thereby being doomed to abandonment or death at the hands of their owners.
To end their lives, it is common to use barbaric procedures such as hanging, poisoning, beatings and starvation after being thrown into a pit or chained to a tree. Occasionally, these unfortunate animals are even burnt alive. It is estimated that around 50, 000 hounds annually die in Spain under these circumstances and many thousands more are still found living in harsh conditions, malnourished, mutilated and disfigured.
As for birds of prey, the hunting technique that makes use of them to catch prey is named “falconry”. These birds undergo a long process of “taming” and training so they learn to obey their trainer. Their lives are spent in captivity, always chained and caged waiting to be used as a hunting weapon.
Ferrets are used to hunt rabbits or hares due to their great ability to enter the burrows of these animals, attacking them and forcing them to get out. Once the rabbits are out they are at the mercy of the hunter who will slaughter them after catching them with a net. After the hunting finishes, ferrets will be returned to their tiny cages, where in most cases, they will spend their entire life waiting to be released on the next hunting day.
However, the devastating consequences of hunting do not stop there, it is estimated that 50,000 aquatic birds die every year from lead poisoning. The unsuspecting birds ingest lead pellets that originated form the cartridges used by the hunters.
Links of interest:
Wild boar hunting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=DQOIKCsDoSk
Wild boar hunting with bulldogs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=AhAkak_Ikog