I think that everybody has acknowledged that, in controlling foxes, hunting is hardly used as a method at all. To say that other ways of killing foxes, such as shooting, are crueller is to accuse all those people who work in the countryside of being more cruel than they need to be. In all the time that I have lived in and represented the countryside, I have seen no evidence that those people have that view.
I once visited an RSPCA hospital in Norfolk. I spoke to the vets working there, and asked them how many times they had had to treat a fox that had been brought in with a shooting injury. The answer from a vet who had worked there for many years was, Not once. When I asked him why, he said,You can take it from me that when the fox is shot in the countryside by somebody trained, it is dead.