WITH lambing well underway on the hill farms of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, reports are beginning to come in of attacks on newborn animals by foxes which can no longer be hunted.
One such report comes from Jim Webster, Cumbria President of the Country Land and Business Association, who says it is "inevitable" that more livestock will be killed because of the ban on hunting with dogs. He reported:
"Last night I checked on a Swaledale ewe and her two lambs, who were very much alive and healthy. This morning I returned to check them to find that one of the lambs had its head bitten off during the night, undoubtedly by a fox.
"It has happened before, and will undoubtedly happen again, but this time it may continue as I can no longer call in the hunt to solve the problem.
"The powers that be have effectively left me with little alternative than to accept that in future I will be losing more stock to these predators, but I am far from happy about the situation.
"If anyone thought that a ban on hunting would prevent cruelty, I would ask them to visit my farm today, and I will be happy to show them the real evidence."