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Fox-hunting and the Ban

Fox-hunting and the Ban
A huntsman from the Cheshire Forest Hunt doffs his riding hat to anti-hunt campaigners in the village of Lach Dennis, December 26, 2003 © TopFoto.co.uk

The old country pastime of fox-hunting met its legislative Waterloo in 2005, when an Act of Parliament came into effect that made it illegal in England and Wales, much to the exasperation and continued defiance of huntspeople throughout the country. Over the centuries, it had undoubtedly been an iconic aspect of country life, its traditions celebrated in prose and poetry, and its turns of phrase passing into general usage.

Its central character, the resourceful fox itself, has been represented in traditional folk tales down the ages as a wily and dangerously clever creature, capable of "outfoxing" his many opponents. In our own day, the fox has responded to the disappearance of much of its rural habitat by setting up camp in the towns.