Tesco's fox hunting fancy dress for children costume sparks outrage

The costume.
The costume.

Tesco has removed a fox hunting fancy dress costume for children from sale after protesters complained it promoted the cruel bloodsport to youngsters.

Complaints were made after the outfit, described as a 'red fox hunter jacket', for children aged seven and older appeared for sale on the supermarket's website.

A young boy was pictured modelling the clothes, available for £10.41, along with a description which read: "This costume includes a long sleeved red tailcoat style jacket with a single black button at the front.

"Fantastic for World Book Day, school shows or just dressing up fun."

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But Tesco removed from sale yesterday after anti-hunt campaigners expressed their fury over the move.

Lee Moon, a spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: "This appears to be remarkably poor judgement form Tesco.

"Fox hunting is an illegal, archaic pastime that's abhorred by the majority of the population.

"Why Tesco would think it's an appropriate fancy dress costume for children is quite beyond us."

A number of outraged shoppers also vented their fury on the supermarket's Facebook page.

One said: "Are you really trying to encourage them to take up a highly cruel animal bloodsport? I would like this complaint to be forwarded to your head office."

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Fox hunting with dogs has been illegal in the UK since a law was passed in 2004 by the Labour government. Anyone who breaks the law can be fined up to £5, 000.

Hunts are allowed to go ahead in some circumstances, for example if hunters follow a scent instead of a live fox. Huntsmen are also allowed to shoot a fox instead of letting a dog kill it.

The red hunting jacket is traditionally worn by hunt staff or longstanding hunters who have been awarded a 'hunt button' in recognition of their experience, skill and helpfulness in the field.

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Tesco reportedly said the costume had been placed on the site by a third party vendor.

A spokesman for the supermarket added: "We've listened to customers and have immediately removed this product from sale."