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Fox hunting must be consigned to pages of history

TIS the season to be jolly, as the song says, but not unfortunately, for the fox. It always troubles me that this wild dog of the countryside gets such a raw deal at Christmas.

Over the festive holidays, hunts will be out in force; gathering in village squares and other picturesque rustic settings to commence their helter-skelter pursuit of an animal that they reckon provides them with worthy sport. If only the fox saw it that way.

For all we know, maybe he does - at the beginning of the chase. But not, I imagine, at the end of the hunt, when the hounds close in for the kill.

By then, he is almost out of breath, panting and sweating, his lungs ready to give out and his body beyond the point of exhaustion.

Even when I don't see an actual hunt in action at this time of year, I do notice hunt scenes on hotel walls (murals or prints of old paintings) and on some Christmas cards and table mats.

I have no problem with these depictions, because that is where fox hunting belongs - consigned to the pages of history.


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