Sir: Thank you for the first words of clarity that I have seen written in this whole hunting debate.
Although I have hunted foxes, I don't have particularly strong feelings about fox-hunting per se. But I do fish and, just as you rightly say in your leading article ("Riding roughshod over fox-hunters", 3 March), I and my 6 million fellow fishermen and women will have plenty to say if anyone tries to stop us. That fishing is next on the list is not in doubt because the anti-hunting arguments, coherent and persuasive when compared to the ramblings of the "pro" lobby, apply equally well to all sports where an animal (or fish) is to be captured and killed (or even worse, released to be hunted again) for the pleasure of the sportsman.
The real issue is whether I have the right to hunt, fish or shoot wild animals in the name of sport. I believe that I do and will accept censure only from someone who has never killed a fly, trapped a mouse, or poisoned a rat in his life.
As you say, the anti-hunting consensus is far from complete. But it is now time for the pro-hunting interest groups to form and present coherent arguments to show that precious freedoms are under threat and to generate a real consensus in defence of those freedoms.
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