LA WEB DE READING COMPREHENSION PREFERIDA POR LOS HISPANOHABLANTES

To get information in Spanish place the arrow of your mouse on the highlighted words without clicking.
Para obtener información en español acerca la flecha de tu ratón a las palabras o frases resaltadas.

FOX HUNTING: A Controversial British Tradition

Wilfredo Fernandes

A necessary method of pest control
or a cruel tradition to be
abolished?
In a land of animal lovers, 
everybody has an opinion 
about
fox hunting.

Fox hunting seems a small matter to overseas visitors but for the British it is a national obsession. When Prince William chose to go hunting in 1999, it upset many who saw his mother, Princess Diana, as a champion against cruel sports. But to others William’s actions gave support to a part of British life in danger of being outlawed.

Fox hunting is the pursuit of a wild fox with a pack of hounds. The hunters -usually called the field- normally ride on horses, and include the huntsman, his whippers-in and the hunt followers. The hunt followers are controlled by a ‘Field Master’.

It is his job to make sure that the hunt followers, or ‘field’, are kept far enough away so that the hounds can do their job.

Riders wear traditional costume. Black boots, white or khaki jodhpurs, a white collarless shirt, a white stock and a coat. Only the huntsman and the hunt staff are allowed to wear red coats.

Everyone else must wear black. There is even an order to the number of buttons on the coat. Huntsmen and whippers-in have five buttons, field masters have four, and hunt followers have three.

There are normally 30 to 40 hounds in a hunting pack, traditionally counted as 15 to 20 ‘couples’. They are bred for speed, intelligence, and ‘nose’ – their ability to follow the scent of a fox. Nine years of age is considered old for a hound. When they can hunt no more, they are shot. Hounds do not make good pets.

Each hunt has its own special area called the hunt country. The hunt meets at an agreed place, often a country pub, and moves off to a draw, a particular woodland or place where foxes are likely to be found.

When the hounds smell a fox, they will chase it until they lose it or they catch it. If they catch it, the fox’s life is over in seconds. Critics of hunting say the chase is cruel, although most admit that the fox is not left to suffer. Supporters of hunting say that normally it is sick foxes that are caught, while the healthy ones escape.

Those who support hunting say that foxes kill chickens, wild birds, new-born lambs and piglets unnecessarily. Foxes, they say, can live well on a diet of small wild mammals, insects and worms. They estimate that up to 5% of lambs are lost to foxes. Some people also argue that if hunting is outlawed, landowners will rip out the woodland where foxes live, and so destroy the home of many other wild creatures.

However it seems that the end is near for hunting. While many country people support it, many townspeople think it is unnecessarily cruel and are against it. The majority of voters live in towns in Britain, and so do the people who make the laws. Soon, the 16,000 people who are employed in hunting will have to look for other jobs.

Source: New English Digest - Author: Wilfredo Fernandes

GLOSSARY

pest control: pest regulation (control de pestes)
abolished: eliminated (abolida, eliminada)
fox hunting: catching and killing foxes (cacería de zorros)
to hunt/hunted/hunted/hunting: catch and kill animals (cazar)
overseas:
abroad, in a foreign country (extranjeros)
upset:
perturbed, confused (desconcertó)
outlawed: declared illegal (ser declarada ilegal)
pursuit: chase (perseguir)
pack: a group of hunting animals (jauría)
hounds: dogs used for hunting (perros de caza)
huntsman: hunter (cazador)

whippers-in: the huntsman's assistants (ayudantes del cazador)
jodhpurs: riding trousers (pantalones de montar)
stock:
a sort of cravat or scarf (corbatón, chalina)
scent:
o
dor (olor)
shot:
killed by shooting a weapon (muertos de un tiro)
draw: a place where foxes can be found (área de zorros)
new-born: recently borne (recién nacidos)
piglets: young pigs (lechones)
rip out:
clean (desmalezar)

 

READING COMPREHENSION ACTIVITY 

TRY TO MATCH EACH DEFINITION ON THE LEFT WITH AN APPROPPRIATE ALTERNATIVE FROM THE MENU ON THE RIGHT. THEN CHECK HERE YOUR ANSWERS.   

1made or declared illegal

2.  the huntsman's assistants

3.  the person who controls the hunt followers

4.  the hunt followers

5.  a type of scarf

6.  a place where foxes can be found

7.  the hound's ability to follow the scent of a fox

Click here to listen to a mp3 summary of this article

MAS "ECOLOGIA - VIDA SILVESTRE"   FORO   INICIO