Introducing the League's new Youth Ambassador
Hi there! My name is Megan McCubbin and I am delighted to say that I am the new Youth Ambassador for the League Against Cruel Sports. I am truly honoured to join such a dedicated team and to help tackle some of the worst acts of wildlife cruelty in the UK. However, it is also a shame that such a position must exist in the modern day. I am a zoologist and wildlife TV presenter with a particular interest in animal welfare and the wildlife trade.
I can remember being in the New Forest when I was no more than ten years old and finding myself in the middle of a fox hunt. Over 50 people on horseback dressed in their unmistakeable red coats. They were blowing their horns trying to control the hounds who had caught the scent of a fox and were charging around the woodland desperately chasing after it. I can remember feeling overwhelmed, intimidated and fearful. There was something so unsettling about it… I can’t even begin to imagine the terror felt by the persecuted fox fleeing for its life.
In 2004, the Hunting Act prohibited fox hunting in England, Scotland and Wales but today the practice is still as common as it ever was. Under the cover of ‘trail hunting’ 299 hunts are still in operation throughout the countryside. The premise for this is that the hunt follows a pre-laid trail; however, when the hounds catch the scent of a live fox there is be no stopping them (even if the hunts wanted to). The idea of releasing hounds into the countryside to chase and tear apart wildlife is something which should only exist in history books. This blatant disregard for wildlife in the name of ‘tradition’ or ‘sport’ is an embarrassment and reveals a very ugly side to humanity.
I always squirm whenever someone refers to hunting or shooting as a ‘sport’. I’ve always believed that a sport is something where both sides have an equal chance of winning - they put in the work with practice, play by the rules and shake hands at the final whistle. However, when a gun or a pack of hounds is involved, the odds are no longer equal, and the wildlife is always bound to lose.
As human beings, we are very reluctant to change our behaviour and mindsets especially when that involves giving something up. It feels as though something is being taken away from us, but when it comes to laying down our guns, stopping the hunts and listening to the science, we are in fact gaining so much more than we are losing. We are safeguarding the future of our environment for both wildlife and ourselves. We are also acknowledging animal sentience and respecting those species we share our homes with. We are gaining a kinder, more compassionate world. Quite frankly there is no excuse anymore for outdated and cruel practices like fox hunting, badger baiting or hare coursing.
I will work tirelessly with the League to campaign for tighter legislations to better protect species from cruelty. It’s an issue so close to my heart and I am a firm believer that we must understand and love something first before we begin protecting it. The passion and determination at the League is unwavering and that’s why I’m truly honoured to be their new Youth Ambassador.