Letter: Ban this cruelty

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It is not surprising that Nigel Burke (letter, 19 January) attempts to play down public support for a ban on hunting with dogs. As opinion polls have shown time and time again, both public and parliamentary support for a ban remain consistently high because hunting is a cruel and unnecessary "sport".

It is a strange argument, however, to suggest that reducing or eliminating unnecessary suffering to animals is an infringement of civil liberties or is in some way "illiberal". Perhaps the best illustration of the absurdity of this argument is to consider just how things would be if such logic had been accepted by earlier governments.

Bull- and bear-baiting would never have been outlawed and people would be free to beat or starve their pets. In fact the law would not have developed to stop many of the worst abuses against animals or humans and practices such as child labour or slavery would still be legal in Britain.

CHARLOTTE MORRISSEY

Deadline 2000

Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals

Horsham, West Sussex

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