Letter: Hunt angers country people too

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Sir: To answer some of Duff Hart-Davis's comments: firstly, it is a fact that several thousand hounds are already slaughtered every year to make way for the new intake. A hound's life is about six to seven years.

Secondly, I have yet to hear any plausible reason why hunts cannot turn to drag-hunting. Why is this simplistic? Because John Berkeley "would not be happy to see them go drag-hunting" is scarcely an answer. There is as much art in controlling hounds on a drag-hunt as any I have seen practised by a huntsman to date.

Thirdly, only about 7 per cent of horses are used for hunting, so even if hunts were to close down few saddlers or farriers would be unemployed, but with drag hunting no one needs lose their employment, except perhaps those terrier men who are paid to dig out the fox gone to ground.

Lastly, I see no reason, given the great financial support that drag- hunting could create, why all the other country pursuits listed by Mr Hart-Davis could not continue. Is slaughtering its inhabitants for fun really the only way to look after our countryside?

JULIE ROXBURGH

Leatherhead, Surrey

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