Is Fox Hunting in the UK “Live Cultural Heritage”?

Posted on January 31, 2011


Just a few months after UNESCO awarded falconry* status as ‘live cultural heritage,’ hunting advocates are wondering if the principles can be extended.

A British politician and member of the European Parliament has stated that the United Nations should now protect fox and stag hunting because they are ‘woven into the fabric of rural life’. This has interesting implications because, in Britain, fox hunting is currently illegal. If it obtains UNESCO status, animal rights activists are worried it will serve as a “back door” to making the practice legal again, “bypass[ing] the democratic process.”

Read the full article at This is Somerset: Fight to protect the ‘culture’ of fox and stag hunting.

*Don’t know what falconry is?  Neither did I.  The National explains it:

[The falcon] is the most awe-inspiring of birds; soaring effortlessly on thermal currents above the desert sands, seeking out its prey with eyesight almost three times more acute than a human’s, diving to attack at speeds of up to 320kph – making it the fastest creature on earth.

For countless generations the falcon has been the Bedouin hunting companion of choice, as intrinsic a part of the cultural fabric as the pearl and the dhow; so much so that it was chosen as the national emblem of the UAE in 1973, not long after the nation was founded.

So, like hunting dogs, but with wings. Think Rutger Hauer in Ladyhawke.

For a lengthier explanation, see Wikipedia on falconry.