<i>IoS</i> letters, emails & online postings (30 August 2009)

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The Independent Online

To re-legalise hunting would be to revert from a society that declaredly believes in compassion, and tries to respect sentient life, to one prepared to set the feelings of humans and animals at nought ("How the Tories will bring back hunting", 23 August). And in the interests of what? Of the pleasure of a small, if socially prominent, minority in subjecting a living being to the terrors of the chase before seeing that it undergoes the agony of being ripped to bits.

How could the UK then speak out – as we have done so often – against inhumane farming methods in the European Union, or other abuses such as whaling, seal-culling, or dreadful fiestas that inflict miseries on animals?

We should remember what the British Evangelical tradition has to teach us: that kindness to animals and kindness to human beings are intimately connected, that those who fought slavery and child labour also fought cock-fighting and bear-baiting, and concerned themselves with developing people's delight in the varieties of animals around them.

Paul Binding

Bishop's Castle, Shropshire

Having been a hunt monitor for 15 years, it is clear to me that hunters never obey rules imposed on them. A useless, cardboard-cut-out panel to oversee hunting would have, as intended, zero effect on rampaging hunters. This is a classic piece of slippery, slithery, deceitful nonsense. The public will not be fooled, and I hope your article has woken them up to the true agenda of David Cameron and his party.

Penny Little

Great Haseley, Oxfordshire

Foxhounds have been bred to run more slowly than foxes, to make the chase last. If hunters wanted to minimise suffering, they would use greyhounds or lurchers, who would catch a fox in seconds. But, of course, that would spoil the fun.

Richard Mountford

Animal Aid

Tonbridge, Kent

I think most people in this country will take a dim view of David Cameron and his party if they allow themselves to be leaned on by the toffs and landed gentry that have been quietly bankrolling them in readiness for the next election. He's going to have to bite a hand that feeds him. The question is whether that hand is attached to a well-heeled contributor to the Conservative coffers or a voter? Tough one, David!

Steve Mackinder

Denver, Norfolk

The Tories' colours are revealed. A return to medieval barbarism in the name of entertainment. All decent-minded people must fight to stop these people from coming to power.

Chris Gale

Chippenham, Wiltshire

I always thought Marina Warner was a timid academic, as fastidious in her political views as she is in her scholarship. But last Sunday she revealed something surprising ("Martin Amis: Now we are 60"): she is, it seems, an ardent proponent of the US intervention in Iraq.

"I parted company with him," she writes, "because of his attitude to the Iraq war." So when she read my long piece against the intervention, published in The Guardian in March 2003 (and reprinted as "The Wrong War" in my book The Second Plane), Miss Warner was quietly thirsting for the smell of cordite. Or, more likely (we are none of us getting any younger), she has dazedly confused me with my dear friend Christopher Hitchens.

Martin Amis


So the FBI believes sending a dying man to Libya will comfort terrorists ("FBI director launches scathing attack on Kenny MacAskill", 23 August). How ironic that the previous day you reported an apology from Lieutenant William Calley, convicted of 22 murders in a massacre of 500 Vietnamese at My Lai in 1968. His life sentence was commuted to three years' house detention by President Nixon. Presumably this could not be interpreted as bringing comfort to war criminals?

Wade Mansell

Professor of law university of kent, Canterbury

Marcus Berkmann ("Bring on the cheats...", 23 August) states the obvious about cheating in sport. If just one premiership manager instructed his players not to appeal every decision the whole egregious sham might be compelled to take a look at itself. "Don't run to stand in front of the ball when the opposition have a free kick. Don't collapse in apparent agony when no one's touched you. Just save your breath for the game, lads." It's not going to happen.

Jim Vickers

Redcar, Cleveland

Mark Rowe ("When you reach the top of Norway, walk on", 23 August) should buy an atlas. Then he will see that: a) the most northerly point of Europe is in Franz Josef Land, Russia; b) the most northerly point in the UK is Muckle Flugga in the Shetlands; and c) the most westerly point of the UK is Rockall, or St Kilda if Rockall is not a full part of the UK.

Oliver Andrew

via email

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