Scientist says maybe deer hunting isn't cruel after all

Last year the National Trust in
the United Kingdom prohibited Hunting on its land after a study by Patrick
Bateson, a professor of animal behavior, claimed hunting subjected Deer
to incredible level of stress and, therefore, was cruel. In mid-September
Bateson was forced to revise his views to conclude that hunting is not
necessarily cruel.

Bateson, for example, originally
reported that deer subjected to a hunt suffered extensive muscle damage
caused by severe stress. A study by Roger Harris of the Royal Veterinary
College disputed this claim along with a claim Bateson made that stress
from hunting caused red blood cells in the deer to break down.

Perhaps Bateson’s most stunning
claim was that the stress deer experienced from predation by human beings
was unlike any sort of stress deer would experience in a natural environment.
Harris’ study, however, found no evidence of this and concluded that the
stress deer experience during a hunt is not fundamentally different from
other forms of stress.

As a result of Harris’ study, Bateson
and other researchers signed a 9-point statement issuing specific modifications
of the findings of their original research, although Bateson said he still
feels hunting is “knowingly cruel.”


“Professor revises view on deer hunt cruelty,” Charles Clover, The
Daily Telegraph, September 15, 1998.

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