Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Thirteen States Sue Massachusetts; Claim Animal Rights Law Unconstitutional

Animal rights activists sponsored a ballot initiative in Massachusetts requiring farm animals to have space to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs, and turn around freely. Activists call “extreme confinement” and “lifelong immobilization” torture. Referred to as the “egg law,” the 2016 Massachusetts referendum won in a four-to-one landslide.

Thirteen states have sued Massachusetts, however, claiming the referendum is unconstitutional on grounds that it unlawfully “dictate[s] how other states choose to regulate business operations and manufacturing processes within their own borders," according to Attorney General Curtis Hill, of Indiana, one of the thirteen states.

At issue is a charge by the plaintiffs of "economic protectionism and extraterritorial regulation that violates the Commerce Clause" of the U.S. Constitution. The suit says residents of different states will be made to "submit to Massachusetts' laws" and forced to follow edicts not approved in those states.

According to the Constitution, only the federal government may regulate interstate commerce. The purpose of the Commerce Clause was to prevent states from engaging in economic wars against each other while the federal government remains helpless to intervene.

A challenge against a similar law in California has so far failed. This is a case worth watching says "for reasons of business practice, humane treatment of animals, and the interpretation of interstate commerce in a democratic republic.”

Posted December 15, 2017

Jed Forest Members Found Guilty in Scotland

Two members of the Jed Forest Foxhounds have been found guilty of breaching Scotland’s Protection of Wild Mammals Act. The conviction was the first under the act since its passage in 2002.

Johnny Riley and his father John Clive Richardson, MFH were fined £400 and £250 respectively for deliberately hunting a fox with dogs near Jedburgh last year. Riley and Richardson had both entered not guilty pleas, and plan to appeal the decision.

The prosecution relied on video evidence taken from nearly a half mile away. The images purport to show a terrier man digging out a fox, after which Richardson and Riley pursued it on horseback in contravention of Scotland’s Protection of Wild Mammals Act of 2002. Defense lawyer David McKie told the court the men had worked within the terms of the legislation by using hounds to flush out a fox from cover to waiting guns.

Scotland’s League Against Cruel Sports Director Robbie Marshall said the guilty verdict confirms that Scottish hunts are breaking the law, and the League looks forward to helping to strengthen the law. The Countryside Alliance was disappointed by the conviction, and claimed the men had been subjected to "trial by television."

Click to read the entire article published by the BBC.

Posted July 21, 2017

Two Virginia Farms Quarantined for EHV-1

Horses in Virginia have tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) at two farms in two counties within a two-week period in August. The most recent cases are at a private pleasure horse farm in King William County. Of the four horses showing clinical signs, two tested positive and both were euthanized.

Ten days earlier, horses were tested positive at a farm in Culpeper County. Both farms are under quarantine, and all exposed horse are being monitored twice daily for fever and other clinical signs.

The two infection sites are unrelated, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. No horses have been on or off either farm for a year. Dr. Charles Broaddus, State Veterinarian with VDACS, says there is no cause for alarm concerning the general horse population in Virginia.

“Equine Herpes Virus-1 is a virus that is present in the environment and found in most horses all over the world,” Broaddus said. "Horses are typically exposed to the virus at a young age with no serious side effects. A large percentage of horses carry the virus with no clinical signs for the remainder of their lives. Horses can spontaneously shed it in their nasal secretions. Rarely this causes exposed horses to develop the neurologic form of the disease.”

Click for more information from VDACS on EHV-1. Horse owners may also contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804-786-2483.

Posted August 26, 2017

Ben Hardaway: 1919–2017

hardaway.ben.small.elizabeth suttonBen Hardaway, founder and MFH for sixty-seven years of the Midland Foxhounds (GA), died this morning at age ninety-eight. Ben was arguably the most widely-known foxhunter and the most influential foxhound breeder in all of North American foxhunting history. He had a passion for hunting all manner of wild game from his childhood days until his last.

We publish this brief news bulletin just before FHL WEEK “goes to press.” We’ll follow with more about this extraordinary man and his contributions to the sport of foxhunting in a later issue. Our thoughts and sympathy are with the Hardaway family.

Posted October 19, 2017

Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds Dominates Hunt Night at Penn National

penn natlkimberton cookThe Kimberton Hunt (PA) had the honor of parading foxhounds on Hunt Night. / Al Cook photo

Foxhunters from Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds (PA) dominated Hunt Night at the Pennsylvania Horse Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on October 16, 2017. Cheshire riders won three classes and received ribbons in all five events on Monday night to claim the overall hunt championship title over the thirteen competing foxhunts. This was the eighth hunt championship won by Cheshire since the inception of Hunt Night. Riders from the Bull Run Hunt (VA) and the Green Spring Valley Hounds (MD) were also class winners.

One surprising contributor to Cheshire's Championship team was Olympic veteran Boyd Martin who competed in and won the Gentlemen's Hunter Under Saddle class with Right On Que, owned by Tanya Emslie of Unionville, Pennsylvania. Martin had just placed third in the Fair Hill International Three-Day Event CCI*** this past weekend and decided to drive up at the suggestion of one of his fellow Cheshire members.