Letter: Why city folk do not understand hunting

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Sir: Having been brought up in a rural society in which fox-hunting was and is as natural as going to school, it is evident to me that this sport has become a political issue in this country for two reasons: the urbanisation of the UK and the class-structured society (Letters, 18, 19, 20 June).

Urbanisation has meant that many, if not most, people are generations removed from the land. They have been reared (and I do not mean to speak condescendingly but realistically) on a diet of cartoons where human stature and emotions have been attributed to animals. They never see or deal with real animals except maybe on a trip to the zoo, or looking over the hedge on a walk in the country. They do not understand animals in their natural settings let alone the joys of country sports and pastimes. Is this a basis for imposing their views on those who do?

The class structure of this society has meant that this sport has been associated with the super-rich upper classes in days gone by, and this image has lingered. Labour likes to have a crack at snobbery. There are snobs on the hunting field as in every walk of life. But please remember that many very ordinary people hunt and intend to continue. The dress is a functional and international costume which we like.

MARTHA MAHER

Winscombe Hill, Somerset

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