Should Blood-Sports Be Banned?

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I say it's time that all deliberate cruel killing of animals for "sport" be banned by law. There is no excuse for causing immense pain and suffering to these creatures just for the sheer heck of it...for fun and games. 

Okay, I know animals are killed for meat...but there's a difference: the animals in that situation CAN be treated humanely right up to the moment they are killed instantly. I'm not saying that's an ideal situation. There are other objections to killing for meat but what concerns me in this posting is UNNECESSARY AND DELIBERATE CRUELTY TO ANIMALS FOR FUN.

In Spain, bulls are tortured to death...by being stabbed with lances and darts and then taunted by the "heroic" Matador who kills him with a sword. 

In Ireland, hares are captured and forced to act as bait for savage dogs at so-called coursing events. The animals are terrorised to amuse the spectators and many are mauled to death. Foxes are hunted with packs of hounds...chased to exhaustion and then ripped to pieces, again for "fun".

Some nations or states allow cockfighting, dogfighting, badger baiting...you name it. Anything you can think of that can inflict agonising pain and suffering on an animal is deemed "sport" by some set of people out there.

Is shooting a cruel sport? It certainly is when the shot bird or animal, as often happens, is not killed by the bullet or pellets but just injured and left to die of its injuries.

And there's the question of how blood sport fans behave towards other human beings. In his book Bad Hare Days, Irish animal protection campaigner and journalist John Fitzgerald highlights the violence and bullying to which opponents of organised cruelty to animals are subjected...they pay a high price for their compassion. In Ireland, campaigners have been severely assaulted, fired from their jobs for being against blood sports, and have suffered wrongful arrest at the hands of police who were leading members of hare coursing clubs. 

Fitzgerald...
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