Letter: Concepts of cruelty,class... and cookery

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From Mr John Bryant

Sir: Polly Toynbee argues that fox hunting should not be outlawed because it would "trespass on the rights of a small, if eccentric bunch of people". That argument also applied to the abolition of bear and bull baiting, dog fighting, badger baiting and many other forms of animal abuse.

Similarly, it is not good enough to defend fox hunting on the grounds that other abuses of animals are more cruel. The majority of the public, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and 30 Conservative MPs have been persuaded that the cruelty involved in hunting is unjustified - just as our predecessors were persuaded that the cruelty involved in dog fighting and bear baiting was unacceptable.

All legislation impinges on someone's activities - otherwise we would not need it. If the public and their parliamentary representatives decide that for the benefit of a civilised society a minority must have their activities curtailed, so be it. That is what democracy and Government is all about.

Yours faithfully,

John Bryant

Wildlife Officer

League Against

Cruel Sports

London, SE1

1 November