No, we are not talking about the year 2022, but about the articial den hunting test for earthdogs in Germany. What happened? The animal rights organisation PETA sued in 2000 the operator of an earthdog training facility in Lemgo, Germany. On 22 December, the trial took place. The court ordered the defendant at the main hearing to develop an alternative for training dogs for hunting – without live foxes. Until then, the trial is suspended for six months. PETA will now use this decision to put further operators of such facilities under pressure. The imminent end of animal welfare-compliant training of den dogs in Germany?
It should be noted that training in Germany now already takes place without contact between dog and fox. So the mere fact that a fox sometimes gets into stress here was reason enough for the court to demand alternatives without the use of animals. Whoever thinks that he does not hunt foxes and therefore this does not concern him, is very much mistaken here: any kind of animal husbandry is under fire, because there is none that gets along without stressors for the animals kept.
Germany, the homeland of the Teckel, is now going down the same road as Poland a couple years back. Here, the ban of using any animals for hunting dog training had already bad consequences for hunting dog kennels, who now need to test their dogs in other countries. In the long term, we are using important tools for selection, and also need to put our dogs to risk sending them in dens without any proper training.
What you can do? Be an advocate for responsible hunting with dogs, educate people about hunting, reach out to your earthdog club and ask them to support the defendant, and most important: make sure each and every person you talk to about this topic understands that PETA will not stop until EVERY SINGLE PET AND EVERY SINGLE SPORT OR ACTIVITY WITH ANIMALS WILL BE BANNED! Yes, also horse riding, animal shows, sports as agility or obedience, sercive/police dogs, aquariums, zoos, or even owning a pet cat or dog.