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Fox hunting

Belongs to subject Fox hunting

In Australia, the term also refers to the hunting of foxes with firearms, similar to deer hunting. In much of the world, hunting in general is understood to relate to any game animals or weapons (e.g., deer hunting with bow and arrow); in Britain and Ireland, "hunting" without qualification implies fox hunting (or other forms of hunting with hounds—beagling, drag hunting, hunting the clean boot, mink hunting, or stag hunting), as described here. Many Greek- and Roman- influenced countries have long traditions of hunting with hounds. Hunting with Agassaei hounds was popular in Celtic Britain, even before the Romans arrived, introducing the Castorian and Fulpine hound breeds which they used to hunt. The first use of packs specifically trained to hunt foxes was in the late 1600s, with the oldest fox hunt being, probably, the Bilsdale in Yorkshire. Also around this time, numbers of European red foxes were introduced into the Eastern seaboard of North America for hunting. In Australia, the European red fox was introduced solely for the purpose of fox hunting in 1855. Fox hunting with hounds is mainly practised in the east of Australia. Traditional fox hunting remains lawful in Northern Ireland. In America, fox hunting is also called "fox chasing", as it is the practice of many hunts not to actually kill the fox (the red fox is not regarded as a significant pest). Some hunts may go without catching a fox for several seasons, despite chasing two or more foxes in a single day's hunting. Although there are 32 packs for the hunting of foxes in France, hunting tends to take place mainly on a small scale and on foot, with mounted hunts tending to hunt red or roe deer, or wild boar. In Portugal fox hunting is permitted (Decree-Law no. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the normal prey animal of a fox hunt in the US and Europe. The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), a distant relative of the European red fox, is also hunted in North America. During the British Raj, British sportsmen in India would hunt jackals on horseback with hounds as a substitute for the fox hunting of their native England. There is also one pack of beagles in Virginia that hunt fox. English Foxhounds are also used for hunting mink. Hunts may also use terriers to flush or kill foxes that are hiding underground, as they are small enough to pursue the fox through narrow earth passages. Bloodhounds are also used to hunt a human runner in the sport of Hunting the Clean Boot.

In some hunts the master is also the huntsman. Terrier man— Carries out fox control. Often voluntary terrier men will follow the hunt as well. Mounted hunt followers typically wear traditional hunting attire. A prominent feature of hunts operating during the formal hunt season (usually November to March in the northern hemisphere) is hunt members wearing 'colours'. Some hunts, including most harrier and beagle packs, wear green rather than red jackets, and some hunts wear other colours such as mustard. This sometimes means one can then wear scarlet if male, or the hunt collar if female (colour varies from hunt to hunt) and buttons with the hunt crest on them. Anti-hunting activists who choose to take action in opposing fox hunting can do so through lawful means, such as campaigning for fox hunting legislation and monitoring hunts for cruelty. Opponents of fox hunting claim that the activity is not necessary for fox control, arguing that the fox is not a pest species despite its classification and that hunting does not and cannot make a real difference to fox populations. They compare the number of foxes killed in the hunt to the many more killed on the roads. It was found this ban on hunting had no measurable impact on fox numbers in randomly selected areas. Prior to the fox hunting ban in the UK, hounds contributed to the deaths of 6.3% of the 400,000 foxes killed annually. Anti-hunting campaigners cite the widespread existence of artificial earths and the historic practice by hunts of introducing foxes, as indicating that hunts do not believe foxes to be pests. They further argue that, while hunting with hounds may cause suffering, controlling fox numbers by other means is even more cruel. Some hunt monitors also choose to trespass whilst they observe the hunts in progress. Anti-hunting campaigners long urged hunts to retain their tradition and equestrian sport by drag hunting, following an artificial scent. Examples of notable works which involve characters' becoming involved with a hunt or being hunted are listed below.

Downton Abbey also includes multiple episodes throughout the series including fox hunts. So Good" features a fox hunt where the fox who has been saved by Ruth Ann is replaced by Ed Chigliak (Darren E. Burrows). The Film Mary Poppins (film) includes an animated fox hunt.

Several musical artists have made references to fox hunting:

More recently Dizzee Rascal used the concept of a fox-hunt for his "Sirens" music video, showing a stylised urban hunt.

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