The German Jagdterrier Club (DJT, Heideblick-Walddrehna) uses nationwide sling systems to train and test hounds. The editors spoke to Helge Rübartsch, chair of the DJT Legal Advisory Board, on the topic of fox hunting.
Question: Is it true that your club also trains at Zell?
Helge Robarch: The word training does not fit. Hound training is not a sport to be trained. Dogs are predisposed to follow the “smell trail” of a fox and then bark at it. DJT Club members use or also use the facility on Zeil am Main. This is not powered by DJT Club, so I can’t provide any specific information about the system.
How do you and your club feel about allegations of animal cruelty in sleeping facilities, which affect foxes here?
Robarch: This accusation is unfounded. Contact between a dog and a fox is excluded. The fox knows from his training that nothing will happen to him. The situation in the den is less stressful and dangerous for a fox than when a competing fox, raccoon dog, or raccoon visits its den in the wild. Foxes are only used on a few dates a year, otherwise they live in intensive rearing with enough exercise, different floors and places to hide. Nor are they held “in underground cages”, contrary to false claims. They receive veterinary care, are clipped, vaccinated, and cared for. Schlieffen foxes are usually twice as old as their foxes, which struggle to survive in nature. They are bred regularly in captivity, not wild hunting.
By the way, animal protection is not “divisible”. Schlieffen enclosure ground dog training also protects hounds during construction chase. The goal is for the dog to bark at the fox and urge him to leave the burrow, not for the fox and the dog to bite him. The dog learns what is called to stand and bark in the Schliefenanlage. When the slider opens behind the fox after a few minutes, the fox himself decides when and whether to leave the so-called kettle. Nothing happens to the fox at any time. Trained foxes are used in the Schlieffen process.
Do you see any alternatives to sling systems when it comes to training hounds to hunt for construction purposes?
Robarch: The obvious answer: No! Contrary to what is published by non-beginners, the so-called lending during construction work is not possible. A loan means that a young, inexperienced dog learns from an experienced dog and adopts its behaviour. It may work for a foreman in the field, but it is impossible in construction. Two dogs burrow into each other’s hole unnecessarily. If there is a dog in front of the fox and another behind it, the fox will not be able to escape and leave the burrow. Then it comes to the unwanted biting between a dog and a fox. It would be against animal welfare.
“Burch hunting is the most effective, gentle, and selective fox hunt.”
Helge Robarc, Chair of the Legal Advisory Board at DJT
Can fox hunting be replaced by other forms of hunting?
Robarch: No burrow hunt is the most efficient, gentle and selective fox hunt. When hunting, do not wait for the fox as you would when hiding from hiding, but look for it in a targeted manner. Hunting burrows during fox mating season is more effective because there are then many foxes in the burrow and there is no risk of killing the mother animals needed for breeding. In addition to hunting for construction work, the skin in the winter is also important, but various methods of hunting are necessary for the effective management of predators. Because the fox has no natural enemies except the eagle owl, which is rare, and the golden eagle, which is much rarer and is not found outside the mountains.
Do you think it is necessary to hunt foxes?
Robarch: definitely yes! To reduce scabies and vinegar, which can also be transmitted to dogs, and to protect ground nests and rabbits – which are on the Red List – and shades. The fox tapeworm is also a parasite that is dangerous to humans and is transmitted by the fox. Finally, the fox is also useful in terms of its fur, and given the overpopulation of this ancestor, there is nothing to be said against taking it as part of legal hunting.