‘Terrier work’ is an historical and deeply significant rural practice in the United Kingdom, in which small or medium size terriers are employed to track, capture and kill foxes in the larger context of an organized foxhunt. Between 2007-2009, I spent time following a small group of ‘terrier men’ and their dogs around the East Midlands countryside as part of an ethnographic project on the use of dogs in rural (mainly fox) hunting cultures. A small faction of these terrier men living in England and Wales participate in a quasi-legal hunting subculture. In this paper, and drawing heavily upon animal standpoint theory (Best, 2013), I shift analytic focus in human-nonhuman animal studies away from human constructions/ uses/ meanings of animals in animal ‘blood sports’ (Gillett & Gilbert, 2013), and consider a fox hunting case study from the positions and subjectivities of the animals involved. This reading calls sociologists of sport and physical culture to reconsider how human-animal sports, analyzed from marginalized or silenced standpoints, direct attention to the interplay between power, instincts, and desires involved when species interactively meet.
Atkinson is with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.