Supervisors back hunting with dogs

Published 9:53 am Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Southampton County Supervisors adopted a resolution at their October board meeting to show support for hunting with dogs in Western Tidewater. It also opposes any actions on the part of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the General Assembly of Virginia that would do away with the practice.

“The problem is that as Virginia urbanizes and becomes more civilized, the pressure [to do away with dog hunting] is becoming more extreme and more heated,” county attorney Richard Railey said. “Dog hunting is important in Southampton County. It’s a family tradition. It’s the way we raise our children.”

Southampton County has a longstanding tradition of hunting with dogs, and Supervisor Dr. Alan Edwards said that it provides a significant economic benefit to the county and its residents.

“Dog hunting in Eastern Virginia is big business,” Jerusalem District Supervisor Dr. Alan Edwards said. “[People] spend a lot of money on dog food, dogs, gas and dog equipment, and it’s of big economic interest.”

This is not the first time in recent months that the supervisors have taken a stance on issues related to dog hunting, as they unanimously and vigorously opposed in January the legislation that called for amendments to the state’s laws regarding the feeding of game animals and the right-to-retrieve without permission from the landowner. Echoing the concerns of its constituents, the supervisors stated that both bills threatened the use of dogs for hunting and inhibited the ability to manage the deer population.