Fox throwing is a cruel German sport, fortunately completely forgotten

Fox throwing is a cruel German sport, fortunately completely forgotten

Categories: Animals | Sport

In the modern world, there are many strange sports that cause surprise or laughter. Fortunately, entertainment in which innocent animals suffer is rapidly losing popularity and is strictly prohibited in many countries. But a couple of centuries ago, no one thought about the suffering caused to living beings, so there were many amusements associated with the torture and murder of animals and birds. Fox throwing is one of the most absurd and violent sports, once very popular in Germany.

Fox throwing is a cruel German sport, fortunately completely forgotten

In the 1719 book "Der vollkommene deutsche Jäger" ("The Ideal German Hunter"), you can see a strange illustration. Actually, the publication is devoted to various methods of hunting and weapons, but this engraving is somewhat out of the general series. It shows a field where there are ladies and gentlemen lined up in pairs and holding long canvases by the ends.

Fox throwing is a cruel German sport, fortunately completely forgotten

In addition to people, there are foxes on the field, but the strangest thing is that these animals also fly in the air above the field. The strange action is watched from behind the fence by the audience. There are such images in other books devoted to hunting and entertainment. What you see is called Fuchsprellen in German, or "fox throwing". This is an old and very cruel sport, which is described in the book "Hunting weapons from the Middle Ages to the 20th century".

Fox throwing is a cruel German sport, fortunately completely forgotten

The participants of the game enter the playground in pairs, holding narrow nets of ropes or strips of cloth. The organizers of the competition release animals from the cages, most often foxes, and the task of the paired teams is to lie in wait when the animal passes over their net and at this moment sharply raise it up.

Fox throwing is a cruel German sport, fortunately completely forgotten

At the same time, the light animal flies into the air, as if launched from a slingshot, and the fans and judges carefully watch which pair made the most throws and threw the unfortunate animals higher than everyone else. The description of the action says that the playground " was covered with sawdust or sand, so that the animals could not die too quickly." To make the game more dynamic, special people walk around the field, pushing the animals with whips.

Fox throwing is a cruel German sport, fortunately completely forgotten

Despite this precaution, most of the animals suffered a painful death during the match, as they had to fall dozens of times from a great height to the ground. Witnesses of the terrible fun wrote that some experienced players managed to throw the fox up to 7-8 meters. Sometimes, if there were not enough foxes, any other small mammals were used.

Fox throwing is a cruel German sport, fortunately completely forgotten

History has preserved information about one game of Fuchsprellen, during which "687 foxes, 533 hares, 34 badgers and 21 wild cats" were killed. It is quite clear that there were many more animals maimed during the cruel fun. It is known that players were also injured – the predators, driven to desperation by fear and pain, often bit their tormentors, but these trifles could not stop gambling throwers.

Fox throwing is a cruel German sport, fortunately completely forgotten

These violent games originated in the Middle Ages and were held until the end of the 18th century. It is difficult to imagine that at the time when Kant and Mozart were creating, companies of people gathered somewhere to throw foxes and dogs into the sky like savages. Nevertheless, history dispassionately states this fact.

Keywords: Animals | Sports | Germany | Cruelty | Tradition | Foxes | Hunters

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