Wednesday 4 August 2010
Urban fox hunting video
The foxhunting debate is heading to the top of the news agenda once again - only this time it's urban foxes, and the 'hunters' are a gang of masked youths with cricket bats.
A group calling themselves the Urban Fox Hunters posted a video which appears to show a fox being drugged, chased, and battered to death.
Predictably, animal rights groups were outraged, and the video was pulled down from Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo and other hosting sites - but the internet is no place to try and put a cat (fox?) back in its bag. The group leader, 'Lone Horseman', continues to email copies of the video on request, and anyone can re-post the video faster than image-conscious sites can remove it.
Tabloids and the BBC picked up the story, and now we have fox-huggers offering a £1,000 reward for the identity of 'Lone Horseman'. The RSPCA investigations team are said to be studying the video "with a view to prosecution." More extreme groups are talking of taking the law into their own hands.
The saga is providing a fascinating insight into the British public's confused attitude to animals, something that 'Lone Horseman' seems determined to highlight with comments such as: "Let me ask you hippes one question.... a kid was stabbed round here a while back - no one batted an eyelid. Then we put down a filthy diseased pest and you all go effing balistic. Just look at yourselves!"
But is the whole thing an elaborate spoof? To me it has a distinct ring of Brass Eye about it. No doubt the truth will emerge in due course.