Letter: Hunt angers country people too

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The Independent Online
Sir: Duff Hart-Davis (article, 12 April) accurately describes the contribution made by local hunts to their rural locality.

Like many others I love to watch the huntsman working his hounds as much as I love to watch a shepherd working his collie. It has a magic that nothing else can match.

Our local hunt also provides social events, including a popular farmers' supper which provides a focus for our community as nothing else does. Hunts provide a service to a community whose livelihood is becoming increasingly beleaguered and solitary. If we lose our hunt what will take its place? Take hunting away and the countryside will lose yet more of its distinctiveness and colour and character.

While the fox is a part of the ecological fabric of our countryside it also needs to be controlled. We not only see the benefits of control on our lambs but in the increased numbers of ground-nesting birds. The hunt provides sufficient control to maintain the diversity (including foxes) of farmland wildlife in our locality. This is opposed to the dreaded use of a high-powered rifle (not to mention the snare), used at night with a spot-light from the back of a pick-up, which indiscriminately shoots all foxes seen, and not all of them are shot dead.

DENISE WALTON

Foulden, Berwickshire

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