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FOX HUNTING: A Controversial British Tradition

Wilfredo Fernandes

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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 normally ride on horses, and include the huntsman, his whippers-in -the huntman's assistants- and the hunt followers. The hunt followers are controlled by a ‘Field Master’.

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

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