An Act of Parliament promulgated on 30 October 1865 found no favour with would-be fox hunter J.S. Caverhill of Hawkeswood in Nelson.
Caverhill was annoyed with Section XIV of An Act to Provide for the Protection of Certain Animals in New Zealand as it prohibited the introduction, liberation or possession of foxes. Vultures were also banned but it was the exclusion of foxes which raised his ire. Dismissing concerns from farmers that foxes might kill their lambs, Caverhill opined that as long as there were plenty of rabbits on the loose the foxes would not be interested in farm animals.
He protested to government, claiming the “all British colonists desire to see received in our adopted country one of the most popular of British sports which tends to the production of courageous and sagacious horsemen … and which affords a healthy and invigorating pursuit to the male youth of the country in place of idleness and dissipation which too often prevails in the colony”. He received a favourable response with promises from Colonial Secretary William Stafford to repeal that part of the legislation.
Thankfully the plans came to nothing and foxes did not find their way into the New Zealand environment.
Shown here is the first page of the Act.
ACGO 8333 IA1/275 3518
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