On occasion, hunters have used animals to aid in taking down a target. Dogs tend to be utilised in this regard. They are specially bred and trained to flush out, track and/or retrieve game.
Sometimes these creatures are used as the weapon for dispatching target animals. Hounds and terriers are the most common breeds for carrying out this task. Humans have also trained birds of prey to hunt smaller animals.
This is known as falconry and has been practised by various cultures for centuries. Wild animals are hunted in their own natural habitat. The trained birds can attack smaller prey such as rabbits and squirrels.
In the United Kingdom, there is controversy over the use of hunting animals. Some critics regard the practice as cruel and unethical. There is also debate over whether training domestic animals to kill is safe. This is especially concerning, given that in recent years there have been several reports of fatal attacks by dogs in Britain.
In 2004, a fox hunting ban was put into place. However, annually numerous irresponsible hunters continue to use dogs for this purpose illegally. Fox hunting is still prevalent, and it seems that only harsher penalties for offenders will make a difference.