Tesco has stopped selling a children’s fox hunter costume after receiving complaints from customers and anti-hunting campaigners.
The signature bright red tailcoat costing £10.41, which was listed by a third-party vendor on the Tesco Direct website, was taken down earlier this week.
“We’ve listened to customers and have immediately removed this product from sale,” said a Tesco spokesperson. Campaigners said fox-hunting was an “archaic pastime”.
“Why Tesco would think it’s an appropriate fancy dress costume for children is quite beyond us. We look forward to seeing their badger baiting or dog fighting outfit in the near future,” said Lee Moon of the Hunt Saboteurs Association.
Customers were also dismayed the supermarket was selling such a costume for children, calling it “despicable” and “abhorrent”. “How is a ‘fox hunter’ jacket ‘just dressing up fun’?!? You’re a disgrace,” said one person on Twitter.
“This is awful! How can you sell this… Children need educating on how to love and respect animals,” said another.
Part of ‘British life’
However the decision sparked backlash from countryside campaigners, who said it was “simply impossible to eradicate hunting from British life”.
“Tesco needs to think carefully about bowing to intimidation from animal rights activists,” said Tim Bonner, Chief Executive at the Countryside Alliance.
He added that children would be out hunting this weekend as many hunts came to the end of their season.
“They will not have bought their coats from Tesco, but they will be taking part in a thriving, legal pastime which is indelibly written into British culture and its countryside.”
Hunting foxes with a pack of dogs has been banned in England and Wales since 2005 (and in Scotland since 2002) but it is legal to use up to two dogs to chase the animals out of hiding if they are causing damage to properties or the environment. The fox must be shot quickly after it is found. Fox hunting has been a point of contention for the Tories recently. The party initially pledged to hold a vote on bringing back the pastime in its manifesto but Prime Minister Theresa May announced in January she had dropped these plans.
“My own view hasn’t changed but as Prime Minister my job isn’t just about what I think about something, it’s actually about looking at what the view of the country is. I think there was a clear message about that and that’s why I say there won’t be a vote on fox hunting in this parliament,” she told the Andrew Marr show.
This story originally appeared on inews.co.uk