One of the fine traditions which endures in this country is the Boxing Day meet of foxhounds. Many church wardens, parishoners and not a few clergy continue to support this least cruel of all methods of controlling the vermin fox who has no natural predator and therefore support the repeal of the ban which prevents it. I recall only last spring when seven lambs were killed by the fox in the field in front of our house. He waited for the ewe to lamb the second of twins so that she being preoccupied with the second birth was unable to protect the first born who was dragged away and eaten alive during the second birth. This continued for a number of days. I have also seen the preferred culling method of the labour government who to it's shame supports the shooting and by extension therefore the maiming of foxes, rather than hunting them dead. This as every true countryman knows is a foul way of trying to control them. With foxhunting before the ban the fox was either caught and died instantly (no he is not alive when destroyed by hounds, the leading hound kills it first with a swift bite to the neck) or gets clean away which was the norm. The number of foxes that are wounded by taking shot and then who crawl away to die a cruel death of gangrene over days and weeks is a disgrace also, not to mention the thosands that are trapped, poisoned and hit on the roads by motorists. The animal 'rights' groups who have forced the unworkable ban which is currently in place are perhaps mainly of good intent but many driven by a lack of understanding of man's relationship to animals and some by an idea that the are 'toff bashing'. They should see the huge social array of followers who include many labour supporters; doctors, nurses, policemen, vets, teachers, mechanics, builders, farm workers, children, grandmothers to name but a few . Most anti hunters are quite happy to eat meat as long as it comes in cellophane wrappers without a thought to the hundreds of thousands of animals killed for the table who were walking and breathing happily one minute and slaughtered with blood and guts everywhere the next. The above photo is of a churchwarden in one of our parishes with the Bishop of Monmouth. This was NOT a meeting of the hunt but a celebration in the summer out of season by parishoners of the centenery of the death of the local squire and benefactor of the church whose name was given to the local Curre Hunt. But it makes a nice seasonal photo all the same don't you think!