Hunting is controversial to begin with, but when you add in other factors, like hunting with dogs, the already complex debate gets harder to dissect.
Those who oppose hunting with dogs say their stance is twofold. Not only do the techniques often result in dogs maliciously and cruelly maiming the hunted game, but the dogs themselves are said to face hardship. Hundreds of dogs are abandoned each year after they've passed an acceptable hunting age [source: The Hunting Dog].
Even when with their owners, hunting dogs might not be safe. Some prey is willing to fight back. Bears are formidable foes, as they outweigh dogs by a considerable amount. When a bear is on his game, a dog probably won't stand a chance.
Hunting dogs are also susceptible to many illnesses when they spend as much time in the woods as these dogs do. Health hazards include heatstroke, overexertion, ticks, Lyme disease, foxtail infection, poison ivy, snakebites, tongue injuries, Limber Tail Syndrome, exercise-induced collapse, bloating and hypoglycemia [source: The Hunting Dog].
And there's always the ever-popular ethical hunting concept. Does hunting with dogs give the hunter an unfair advantage? The opposition believes so -- without dogs, hunters might have a harder time tracking down their game or leading the prey into a clear shot.
Other countries (like Britain, where hounds are often used in controversial fox hunts) have already taken steps to outlaw hunting with dogs. The debate is not as prevalent here in the United States, but perhaps time will bring this issue into mainstream focus.
Go to the next page for more information on hunting with dogs.
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- Agarwal, Abhishek. "Hunting Dog Origins - Tracing the Evolution of the Hunting Dog." Ezine Articles.http://ezinearticles.com/?Hunting-Dog-Origins-Tracing-The-Evolution-Of-The-Hunting-Dog&id=1659496
- Braaf, Ellen R. "TALE of the Dog." BNET. April 2004. (Accessed 12/07/2008)http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4128/is_200404/ai_n9390752
- Dog-Names. "Hunting Dogs." (Accessed 12/07/2008).http://www.dog-names.org.uk/hunting-dogs.htm
- Humane Society. "It's a Dog's Life for Virginia Hunting Hounds." The Humane Society of the United States. (Accessed 12/07/2008).http://www.hsus.org/wildlife_abuse/news/virginia_hunting_hounds_102708.html
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- Webster, John. "Hunting With Dogs: Hearing on the Evidence." Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. September 2002. (Accessed 12/07/2008).http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/pdfs/hunting/hh_2b_webster.pdf
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