Letter: Going to earth

Sir: Paul Latham of the Countryside Alliance (letter, 1 February) says artificial earths are not constructed for the purpose of breeding foxes. I shall allow his peers to persuade him otherwise.

The late Duke of Beaufort, a former president of Mr Latham's organisation, stated in 1980 that artificial earths are built "to provide somewhere for local foxes to have their cubs: in other words for breeding purposes". A H B Hart, Secretary of the Masters of Fox Hounds Association, said in 1987 that they are constructed to "provide suitable places for foxes to breed". Albert Spring, writing in Shooting Gazette in 1993, stated that they are "used primarily as breeding chambers".

Officials of the Countryside Alliance really must make more of an effort to remain "on message".

BEN STEWART

League Against Cruel Sports

London SE1

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