Letter: Why we hunt

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The flurry of anti-hunting letters following David Aaronovitch's article "I bet angling would be banned if fish were furry" (12 November) ranged from the misguided to the facetious. The writers should instead be concentrating on the inquiry promised by Jack Straw. If it is properly constituted and truly independent, as the issue deserves, it should be warmly welcomed by them: it certainly would be by the supporters of all legal country activities and by hunt followers.

No one except seriously loony animals-rights people disputes the fact that foxes are cunning predators that have to be controlled. The anti- hunting "animal lovers" should be urging the Home Secretary to make sure that this inquiry assesses in detail the distress and cruelty involved in the alternative methods of killing foxes, which would be even more widely used than they are at present - poison, gassing, snaring, trapping and shooting. The pro-hunting people should be urging the inquiry to be as wide-ranging as possible; it must cover the effect of a ban on rural communities, jobs, small businesses, animal welfare, the ancient traditions that are an attractive part of our heritage, personal freedom and the rights of minorities.

How soon will pigeon shooting be under attack? It also controls pests and is enjoyed by many.

ALICE RENTON

Lewes, East Sussex

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