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Wednesday, 14 November, 2001, 23:49 GMT
Fox hunting set to resume
hunt
A bill to ban hunting may mean the restart is temporary
Fox hunting with dogs is to resume in parts of England and Wales next month after being suspended since the start of the foot-and-mouth outbreak in February.

The government is due to announce the lifting of restrictions in disease-free counties on Thursday.

But they will remain in place in Devon, Cumbria, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and the Welsh borders.

Other field sports, including shooting, have already been allowed to restart.

The traditional start to the hunting season should have been marked on 3 November.

Fox
Farmers complain about the uncontrolled number of foxes on their land
Some farmers have complained about the uncontrolled number of foxes on their land.

Alistair Jackson, of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, told BBC News "most people in the countryside" would be "very pleased" that hunting would resume.

But he added that the association would "impose further restrictions on how hunting should be managed".

Douglas Batchelor, of the League Against Cruel Sports, told the BBC that "any resumption of hunting is an unreasonable risk to take."

"Foot-and-mouth disease is not completely eradicated," he said.

"We are only just over a month with no fresh cases."

The League Against Cruel Sports believes the restart will only be temporary.

It expects a bill to ban hunting to be brought forward in the current parliamentary session.

The last confirmed case of foot-and-mouth was more than a month ago, on 30 September at Appleby in Cumbria.

See also:

03 Nov 01 | UK
Fox hunters seek end to ban
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