Survey on Cubbing

9 in 10 people have never heard of 'cubbing'...

A new poll reveals that nearly nine in ten people have never heard of ‘cubbing’. But when the practice of hunting fox cubs was explained to them, an overwhelming majority were against it.

More than two-thirds against cubbing

A new poll carried out on behalf of Protect the Wild asked respondents whether they’d heard of ‘cubbing’. Cubbing is the hunting industry’s practice of training young hounds by hunting fox cubs, and it begins in August.

The poll, carried out by Survation, asked 1006 people: Have you heard of the term “cubbing”? And the results show that 134 respondents, or just 12%, had heard of it. That means an overwhelming 88% of people taking part hadn’t heard of cubbing. And of those that had heard of cubbing, only 41% of people recognised that it is the “practice of hunting fox cubs with young foxhounds”.

These figures show that there is little public awareness of one of hunting’s cruellest practices. But further data from the Survation poll show that raising its public profile is crucial.

fox cubs playing near den in springtime

Its final question asked all 1006 participants:

“Cub hunting, or cubbing, is the practice of hunting fox cubs with young foxhounds. Some people say that it is a necessary practice for training foxhounds that will eventually be used for sport or controlling fox populations. Others say that the practice of cubbing is cruel, and population control can be better done in other ways. Which statement best reflects your views?”

And given this explanation, 69% said they opposed cubbing. On the other hand, just 6% said they supported cubbing.

Rightfully horrified by cubbing

Cubbing comprises the first part of the hunting season. It runs between August and October. The period allows hunts not only to train hounds by killing fox cubs but also to see which hounds are suitable for full hunting. Hunts will also kill unfit hounds.

The image of young hounds killing fox cubs is grim by any measure. Even the hunting industry recognised it is problematic, renaming this part of the season ‘autumn hunting’. And this name change occurred even before the hunting ban came into effect.

Protect the Wild’s poll reveals that, when explained plainly, an overwhelming majority of the public is rightfully horrified by cubbing. But the poll also shows that awareness of cubbing in the general public isn’t as widespread as it needs to be.