Letter: Countryside myth

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The Independent Online
DISTURBED and perplexed by the number of people joining the Countryside March, opponents of hunting are desperately accusing the hunters of hijacking legitimate rural concerns. This is profoundly untrue.

I don't hunt, but I am clear about my own motives for making the long journey from Northumberland to London. Hunting is the cultural tradition of a decent minority group, and the Bill to ban it symbolises the populist bigotry of this government, with its rampant "bannitis".

Many people in rural areas may indeed tell pollsters that they personally dislike hunting. Yet I suspect that, if asked, they would go on to say that they do not wish to impose their views on others. This tolerance of country traditions may be the real difference between rural and urban attitudes to hunting, and it has a broader significance. The fundamental issue is personal freedom.

ALASDAIR MITCHELL

Stocksfield, Northumberland

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