deer hunting

Since 2004 deer hunting has been illegal however there are still three registered hunts that continue to chase and kill deer in Somerset and Devon.

What is deer hunting?

Also known as stag hunting, deer hunting is the pursuit and chase of red deer across several kilometres over several hours by a field of mounted riders and hounds.

The cruel pastime dates back to the late nineteenth century where several packs of staghounds hunted what’s known as “carted deer” across predominantly England and Ireland.

These deer were red deer which were keptin captivity for the sole purpose of being hunted and then recaptured alive.

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Deer hunts and the cruelty involved

A ground-breaking scientific studypublished in 1997 by Cambridge University animal behaviour expert Professor Patrick Bateson found that deer hunts can no longer claim their sport isn’t cruel.

“It's clear these [hunted] animals are completely depleted of resources - they are desperately affected by long chases. From the point of view of physiology, the results are absolutely unambiguous.”

The report says of the deer which escaped the hounds, about half suffer severe stress, take days to recover and would probably be left more vulnerable to infection and disease.

Professor Patrick Bateson
Cambridge University animal behaviour expert

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