The government is currently considering relaxing the ban on fox hunting in England and Wales in response to reports that fox populations are growing out of control. In particular there are concerns about the numbers of urban foxes which are increasingly proving a problem in our towns and cities.
It is proposed that a limited number of hunts be allowed in urban areas and this has prompted protests from several groups. Retailers have been very vocally opposed to the idea, fearing that the possibility of a posse of be-jodhpured horsefolk tearing down the high street, hot on the heels of a pack of slavering dogs, might be detrimental to trade. Motoring organisations are similarly concerned, claiming that there will be an inevitable impact on road users. And local authorities have expressed similar reservations, pointing out that even if damage to roadways and services is kept to a minimum, there were still be a sizeable volume of horseshit to deal with and as yet there has been no discussion about who would be responsible.
The pro-hunting lobby has, nevertheless, dismissed these objections. "These animals are a menace," said spokesman Willem Van Dyke. "They spread disease, they destroy property and they must be kept under control. And, frankly, if dressing up in silly costumes, tooting horns and whooping excitedly as we hunt them down is not the most practical, efficient, modern, cost-effective and sensible way of controlling vermin in the twenty-first century, then I'm a Dutchman."
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