The Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) has issued a call for evidence about the welfare of hunted foxes.

In July, the WAWC announced that it would produce a Statement in response to public interest in possible changes to legislation governing the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England, Wales and Scotland.

The call for evidence asks specifically for references to published research about the effects of being flushed by two dogs or by a full pack, and whether there is any animal welfare-based case to change the law in any of the UK administrations.

WAWC Chair Dr Pete Goddard said:

“The WAWC is not aware of any new specific evidence on the welfare aspects of hunting foxes with dogs, since the report of the Burns Inquiry in June 2000, which concluded that hunting with dogs ‘seriously compromises the welfare’ of foxes, deer, hares and mink. There is not thought to be any new reliable evidence either on the effectiveness of hunting with dogs, especially different numbers of dogs, in controlling fox populations.

“We se it as an important part of our remit to ensure that animal welfare is fully discussed, rather than any justification for, or effectiveness of, hunting with dogs. 

“Our Statement will assist the policy process by ensuring that all relevant research is summarised and made known to decision-makers.  We encourage researchers, academics and other observers to send information to us for collation.”

The call for evidence is available at www.wawcommittee.org/get-involved …. And remains open until January 2016.

For more information please contact WAWC Secretary Libby Anderson

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T: 07967 839137