Letter: A hound's life

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Elizabeth Howe (letter, 14 July) attempts to make us believe the welfare of the hounds is of prime concern to the hunters and little concern to abolitionists.

At the end of every hunting season the pack is routinely culled, and the older hounds are shot. To make up the number, young hounds are then entered into the pack, and these are trained to kill foxes during the period of cubbing, from August until November. Young dogs that do not take to hunting will also be culled.

If the hunters cared a jot for their hounds, this year they would not cubhunt. If they do, with a hunting ban imminent, they will be deliberately training hounds to be fox-killers. They should immediately stop all hunting of live quarry, and retrain their packs to hunt the drag. There will then be a future for the hounds and the kennel staff when this ban comes into force.

Elizabeth Howe's claim that "hunt servants would find it impossible to massacre their charges" is incredible. Who does she think shoots the poor hounds who fail to make the grade? Why, it's those sensitive chaps, the huntservants, that's who.