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Children and foxes
AS PRODUCER of the film A Minority Pastime, an investigation into hunting, narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart, I cannot help but respond to the letter of February 16 recommending that children should view hunting.
I got involved in the issue of hunting after a distressing experience at my home when foxhounds rampaged over private property chasing a deer, bringing violent chaos to a peaceful hamlet.
I began to collate information on hunt trespass incidents and was appalled at what I found – including a hunt ripping a fox to pieces in a school playground in front of all the children and many instances of children and adults viewing this horrific sight in private or public areas.
If anyone cares to see from themselves what happens to a fox chased to exhaustion and killed by a pack of hounds, there is film on YouTube from the recent RSPCA prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt. It is worrying that children are still being conditioned by hunts and hunting parents to accept this ghastly and unnecessary cruelty as normal. I also note that the correspondent does not make any reference to this activity now being illegal.
Denise Ward, Stroud, Gloucester.
• HOW heartily I agree with James Kerslake’s Letter of January 16.
Let the children see and know what hunting is all about. Take them cubbing, watch fox cubs mauled to death by hounds in training; perhaps get ‘bloodied’.
Take them on an uncontrollable rampage across private property and through people’s gardens. Perhaps rip a pet cat to pieces on the way. Never mind, children, we’ll get them another.
Let’s cause chaos on the roads; it’s such fun. If we’re really lucky we’ll get to see a small, exhausted, terrified little wild dog torn squealing apart.
Let the children study the ignorant and the arrogant in their beautiful pink jackets. Lest anyone be in any doubt, this is still going on, ban or no ban. I hope and trust they will reach the same conclusions as my own children and give these worthies the blast of disgust and wide berth they deserve.
David Daniells, Uppleby, Easingwold, York.
• I WAS shocked to read in The Press of February 14 that apparently it was the hunt that was a danger to children – not the fox – after a fox went into a school playground when a hunt passed nearby. This is especially strange coming soon after the fox attack on a London baby.
Every country person knows that foxhounds would not harm a hair on a child’s head (they are frequently let loose among children at country shows) and rather than shutting the children up indoors, the school should have brought every class outside and introduced them to the hounds, watched the riders jump a hedge or two, and perhaps taken the children on a cross-country walk following the hunt, enjoying the beautiful countryside and wildlife around them.
A country school should teach children that the countryside is beautiful, not something to be feared and avoided.
Zachary Morris-Dyer, Stanford in the Vale, Oxfordshire.