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No cruelty seen in the thrill of the chase

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Date published: 1/25/2013

No cruelty seen in the thrill of the chase

Regarding the comments by Marlene Condon concerning fox pens in Virginia and her statement concerning "living organisms that experience the same feelings of pain, fear, joy, and sadness as humans" ["The hunt: Stop the cruelty of fox penning," Jan. 13]: Her comments clearly communicate her animal-rights agenda.

If her beliefs were to become reality, all livestock farms would cease to exist. Indeed, we would stop riding horses. We would never use a heart valve from a pig to save a human life. No dad would ever take his son or daughter hunting or fishing. Backyard barbecues would disappear. Rodeos would be forbidden.

I currently own 12 beagles. I frequent the local fox pens at least five or six times a year. During my time in these pens, I have observed nothing that I would view as cruel or inhumane. In fact, I have noticed particularly how the foxes are well-fed and maintained. Given the number of foxes within a single pen, my dogs seldom chase a single fox for an extended period, but frequently switch from one fox to another.

Fox pens serve a good purpose in Virginia. As the whitetail deer population and human population have grown, fox pens have allowed those with hounds and beagles a place to enjoy the chase without having to worry about chasing deer, offending neighbors, having their dogs killed on highways, or having their dogs shot, poisoned, or injured by dog-haters.

Those who vehemently denounce fox pens would have the uninformed reader believe that foxes are closely confined within a very small space while dogs are turned loose upon them. They would further have us believe that dog owners stand by laughingly to enjoy the bloody carnage. That is an abominable falsehood.

Grayson Stanley

Ruther Glen