ICABS has complained to RTE over its “Hector Goes Hunting” programme which presented hunt propaganda as fact and denied anti-hunting campaigners an opportunity to highlight the ugly reality of chasing and killing wildlife with packs of dogs.
There was a complete lack of balance in the 28th January programme which RTE had shockingly billed as revolving around Hector in “the really rather beautiful world of hunting and shooting”.
The foxhunters were allowed free rein to put forward their case which Hector accepted completely. When assured by a hunter that “it’s highly unlikely that a healthy fox ever gets caught by the hounds”, Hector responded by saying “I didn’t know that and I don’t think the normal people out there know that”. He later repeated this claim as a fact saying that “on most days the hunt goes out, they don’t [kill a fox]”
The reality is that the aim of hunting is to chase and kill foxes and those caught are torn apart by the pack of hounds. The hunters claim that hounds only attack sick and injured foxes (as if that somehow makes the horrific attack less terrible) but the truth is that hunters target the “healthy foxes” that can be pushed for up to three hours and so provide them with a long chase. When these exhausted foxes can run no more, they are mauled and disembowelled by the hounds.
In the case of beagling (in which the Irish Hare is hunted) similar claims were made on the programme, i.e. that no hares are killed. In one scene, Hector goes along with what the hunters are saying about the hounds merely following the scent and agreeing that “they never catch the hare, do they?”. The facts are that, like in foxhunting, hares are indeed caught by the hounds are when they are caught, they are literally torn apart.
Also, what was not mentioned at all during Hector’s programme was the use of the so-called terriermen, integral to the hunt, who are on hand to dig down to the fox when it takes refuge by going to ground. The terriers are used to flush out the fox, resulting in horrible injuries to both fox and terrier.
ICABS is disappointed that RTE allowed this biased programme to be broadcast and denied anti-hunting campaigners a voice to counter the claims made by hunters. Instead, viewers were presented with a propaganda-filled version of hunting, far removed from the blood-soaked reality.
A fox running for its life during the “Hector Goes Hunting” programme on RTE.
What viewers are saying
- “Tonight on the box we had an incredibly awful program on hunting. A deliberately misleading fox hunt for the cameras which was laughable.”
- “All set up for Hector to put his spin on it”
- “Very one-sided. The programme makers should have approached the anti-hunt campaigners and presented a balanced view. There is another side that wasn’t shown. Hector was led up the garden path. It misled the general public.”
- “Proud of yourself there Hector, are you??? Well let me tell you something you are a bloody disgrace and should be banned from RTE and Radio for life, Did it make you feel good terrorising animals, is your life so empty that you have to go making a right ass of yourself on television, grow up and show some respect.”
- “It is not funny to chase and terrorize animals nor is it a sport…in sport both sides know they are in a game! It is sad that you have to sink to this level to get an audience…shame on you and RTE!!!!”
- “Oh dear oh dear.. Hector, I am sickened…what more can I say? Sickened”
- “Hi Hector I use to like and respect you. After watching your show last night and seeing you laughing and joking with people that find it entertaining to chase and kill wild animals for fun. Shocking horrific and disgraceful. You should be ashamed.”
- “Thought your show last night on hunting in Wicklow was a disgrace. I turned it. Chasing animals and fowl around with a gun and a smile on your face, shame on you hector and shame on RTE.”
Lodge a complaint with RTE about describing the world of hunting as “really rather beautiful” and presenting a biased, propaganda-filled programme about bloodsports.
Tel: 01 208 3111
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