Should Hunting Be Banned?

There is a lot of hunting goes on in the community here where I live. Should hunting be banned because it’s a big evening and weekend pastime in Andalucia. But unfortunately so is the use of leg traps, as far as I am aware the use of traps is illegal now, especially of the type illustrated below.


My house is about a mile down an unmade road which runs alongside a disused irrigation canal surrounded by fields. So you can imagine the wildlife is plentiful . It ranges from the humble field mouse to birds, snakes, rabbits and foxes.


My favourite are the egrets that land and feed in ,my field. They wander around right up by my horse in and out between her feet. I have been expecting her to lash out with her feet , but she seems to take no notice of them what so ever. Some of the braver ones actually sit on her back and will follow her into her stable from time to time.


Anyway, I am digressing here, back to the topic in hand. Hunting as I said is a big thing here. A few of the local bars/ventas keep a calendar on display with the open and closed seasons for the species it is legal to hunt for clearly shown.


I know that the hunters around here do eat what they kill. Obviously hunting has always gone on in country areas. It was a way for poorer families to provide food for the table at little or no cost. I am not an advocate of hunting and I should have thought that in this day and age of minimum wage etc, the need to hunt to provide food was long gone.


Leghold Trap


As for the use of traps of the type shown above, (a small homemade one, but none the less lethal) there is no excuse and is barbaric to say the least, plus illegal. They are mainly used here for trapping small birds that land to feed on the ground on grubs and insects.


When I am up and about early enough I will often walk one of the dogs along the canal bank looking for any that have been set. If I find any I will remove them, sometimes managing to be able to release any small bird that has been caught in it but luckily not too badly injured. Most times it is too late for that.


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One of my neighbour’s cats was caught in one recently and had probably been there most of the night. By the time it was found, it had almost severed through its own leg in an effort to get itself free. This resulted in a trip the local vet’s surgery, and amputation, costing my neighbour around 200€ as she had no insurance on the animal, it being one of the 10 feral cats that she has paid out for them to be spayed or neutered. This cat is now called Stumpy.


3 Legged Cat

This is STUMPY.


Since starting this article I have managed to source the relevant EEC REGULATION on the subject. This is why when I find these barbaric traps set out along the canal bank I remove and destroy them. There have been no complaints about it to my knowledge. But then, who do the owners of these things complain to? How can they complain to the Guarda Civil that their ILLEGAL traps are being removed?


COUNCIL REGULATION (EEC) No 3254/91 of 4 November 1991 prohibiting the use of leghold traps in the Community and the introduction into the Community of pelts and manufactured goods of certain wild animal species originating in countries which catch them by means of leghold traps or trapping methods which do not meet international humane trapping standards.


It seems that no matter how much legislation is in place if a person is determined to carry on using these traps then they will. Unless they are caught in the act and are dealt with by the authorities it will carry on. If caught there can be quite a hefty fine and or a term of imprisonment. Until caught my method of removal and destroying seems the only way to deal with it.

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