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  Fox hunts begin on busiest day of the year
Updated 26 December 2001, 11.53
Prince Charles is a supporter of fox hunting
Prince Charles is a supporter of fox hunting

A number of fox hunts have begun around the country on the day which is normally the busiest of the year.

In Scotland nine hunts have begun on Boxing Day, perhaps for the final time, with Scottish MPs expected to try and ban hunting with dogs in 2002.

People protest to try and stop hunting

Lots of people think hunting foxes with dogs is cruel and have gone to some of the hunts to protest against them.

Boxing Day is a busy day for fox hunting
The people who take part say it isn't cruel, and add that lots of people in the countryside would lose their jobs if hunting was banned.

For many people taking part in hunts it is the first time they have been able to do so since a ban on fox hunting in foot and mouth areas was lifted less than a week ago.

Sir Paul McCartney also wants it banned

Hunting is still banned in areas that are thought still to be atrisk from the disease - including Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Northumberland.

One of the most famous people against hunting is Sir Paul McCartney and the former Beatle has sent a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair asking him to ban it.

But the government say a ban in the near future is unlikely, with a senior Labour party figure saying the government had more important things to do first.

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