Going in for The Kill

Many Britons wonder what all the fuss is about. Why — with a disintegrating public-transport system, overburdened hospitals, failing schools and a countryside devastated by the ravages of foot-and-mouth disease — is fox hunting the one issue that really excites parliamentary passions?

Ever since Labour won power in 1997, its backbenchers have been baying for the blood of those red-coated, high-horsed huntsfolk and seeking to ban their centuries-old sport. The Conservatives have tried every counterattack, but Labour's huge majority has meant their arguments have been flicked aside. No matter that hunting attracts 1.3 million followers to meets every year, that...

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