In Virginia, the land of Jefferson, respectable and upright citizens are fighting to preserve their right to hoard wild animals into a fenced enclosure and then enjoy the sight of dogs tearing them apart.

The practice in question is not just regular fox hunting, in which the foxes are at least able to flee through the woods as far as they can before being torn apart by dogs. The practice now up for consideration is the existence of "fox pens"—fenced enclosures of a hundred acres or more in which foxes are imprisoned so that brave hunters can have their dogs track them down for a fee. The mind reels at the honor and courage that these bold men of the woods must possess in order to drink Budweiser as their hound dogs chase wild animals who cannot run away.

Animal rights advocates are not fans of this practice, for some reason.

The New York Times reports that the state of Virginia has finally passed a law banning these fox pens, but—but!—the law allows for fox pens that already exist to continue operating for 40—40!—years. Still, the proud hunters of Virginia are unhappy:

"It's nothing that hasn't been going on since colonial times," Mr. Poarch said. "I just don't see why the people won't let us alone. Last time I heard, it was a free country."

NOTE: The above quote is about fox pens, not slavery. Confusion is understandable.

[Photo: AP]