Blood Sports Should Be Banned

Last updated: December 21, 2016

Should blood sports be banned?

Blood Sports Should Be Banned
Yes because...

The test for whether beings should enjoy moral significance is their capacity to feel pain. Animals...

The test for whether beings should enjoy moral significance is their capacity to feel pain. Animals react in a way consistent with our understanding of what it is to be in pain - they scream and avoid the source of that pain. Research also shows that the pain sensing structures of animals’ nervous systems are similar to our own. A distinction cannot be made between animals and humans on grounds of intelligence since we don’t consider the new-born, senile or mentally impaired to be non-human. Therefore, both humans and animals should enjoy equal moral consideration. Any attempt to distinguish between animals and people is ‘speciesism’. To say that animals deserve less consideration simply because they are animals is analogous to claiming that women deserve inferior treatment by virtue of their sex. 'The question is not, Can animals reason? Nor, Can they talk? But can they suffer' (Vicki Hearn, What’s Wrong with Animal Rights?)
No because...
Common sense tells us that there is a difference between animals and humans. In the presence of the senile or disabled we feel sorry for them because they lack the faculties that humans normally possess. We feel no such pity for animals because they lack faculties that they can never have. For example, animals cannot construct hypothetical scenarios, don’t have values and are not consciously aware. The value of animals is not only instrumental but also because they contribute to the beauty of the natural world and furthermore because of the symbiotic relationship between animals and human communities. People are the most developed of all the species and as such are in the best position to consider the interests of all of nature.

Blood Sports Should Be Banned
Yes because...

Blood sports are cruel since the suffering caused can be unnecessary and prolonged, especially in th...

Blood sports are cruel since the suffering caused can be unnecessary and prolonged, especially in the case of hunting with dogs, where death comes only after an exhausting chase and may involve the animal being ripped apart by the hounds. Even when the animals are ultimately shot, they are seldom despatched by an expert, trained marksman, so they may not be killed immediately, but wounded and left to die very slowly from their injuries.
No because...
Hunting is an integral part of effective wildlife management and makes a positive contribution to the countryside in general. Only those animals that are edible or pests are hunted - and they would have to be killed anyway regardless of whether it was for sport or not. Hunting with dogs is not especially cruel as it is natural to many animals to be chased, and the adrenaline they experience limits their suffering. Hounds may rip a fox apart, but this only occurs after its death, which is usually very quick.In America, taxes collected from hunters are used to fund conservation work and monitor the number of animals that need to be killed each season. Evidence from America shows a strong positive correlation between increases in hunting and the numbers of game species, largely because hunting provides an incentive to protect land rather than manage it purely in the interests of agriculture.

Blood Sports Should Be Banned
Yes because...

Another moral objection is that people take pleasure in the process of often-pointless killing. Man...

Another moral objection is that people take pleasure in the process of often-pointless killing. Man has moved well beyond his natural state of being a hunter-gatherer and needing to hunt for food. There is something perverse about breeding animals, or managing the land to encourage them, just so they can be shot. Bear- and badger-baiting and cock-fighting have been banned already and it the abolition of other blood sports is well overdue.
No because...
Hunters are not bloodthirsty individuals- they derive their enjoyment from the thrill of the chase or practicing their marksmanship. The key difference between blood sports today and practices that have already been banned, is that badgers, bear and chickens are not vermin whose numbers need to be controlled. If animals have to be killed anyway, why does it make any difference that people enjoy hunting them?

Blood Sports Should Be Banned
Yes because...

Wanting to ban blood sports is not the same as rejecting the need for the culling of animals. In Br...

Wanting to ban blood sports is not the same as rejecting the need for the culling of animals. In Britain, the Burns Committee concluded that investing money in better nutrition for ewes rather than in killing foxes would save more livestock. Technology provides more humane ways of killing, (e.g. trapping and lamping), whilst also allowing devotees to test their skills against clay pigeons or in drag hunts.
No because...
Many of the supposed alternatives to hunting with dogs are impractical. For example, it is illegal to use guns in proximity to public roads and footpaths. It may not be possible to reach traps in time to prevent animals injuring themselves trying to escape. Traps are also indiscriminate as to what they catch. Shooting or hunting with hounds ensures a kind of natural selection with the weakest or sickest animals killed while the fittest survive, thus maintaining a healthy population. Death at the hands of hound or hunter is much quicker than a lingering death due to starvation or disease.

Blood Sports Should Be Banned
Yes because...

An argument that highlights the economic costs of banning blood sports is analogous to arguing for t...

An argument that highlights the economic costs of banning blood sports is analogous to arguing for the continuation of slavery because slave traders might lose their livelihoods. Investigations in Britain have cast doubt on the extent of problems that a ban would cause. Overall, however, the essential point is that it is morally wrong to kill animals for pleasure and no amount of economic benefits can make that right.
No because...
Many rural communities would be devastated by a ban on hunting. Figures from the US estimate that some 1,000,000 jobs depend on hunting, (which contributes $30 billion each year to the economy). In Britain figures from the Field Sports Society estimate, that hunting is worth £175 million to the economy with some 11,000 jobs depending on the hunting industry. Whilst these numbers might seem relatively small as a percentage of the workforce, the jobs are concentrated in a small number of areas across the country. The majority of those who seek a ban live in cities where their only experience with animals has been with animated or domesticated creatures. This encourages anthropomorphic attitudes that cloud judgements on rural issues and animal welfare. While opinion polls might be against hunting, any change in the law would be the result of a tyranny of an ignorant majority.


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