If Mr Scruton were to see a group of urchins chasing a stray animal to a state of exhaustion and then killing it just for fun he would probably be appalled. Yet they, like he, would be causing an animal to suffer simply for their personal gratification. Hunting gains no moral dignity, or justification, from being dressed up and called a "country pursuit".
And it is hypocrisy to pretend that hunting with dogs ensures the quarry an easy death. The chase is particularly cruel in the case of deer which, in any case, are a big enough target for a skilled marksman to make a quick, clean kill whenever culling is necessary.
Harpenden, HertsReuse content