IF foxes could talk, I'm sure they wouldn't thank Tony Blair and the likes of Heather Causnett for all their furry friends and relatives that are now being part-shot, trapped, gassed and poisoned, many dying horrible, gangrenous deaths.

No goodbyes to Mr Blair from me - good riddance, and may Heather sleep easier in her bed.

Ken Holmes, Cliffe Common, Selby.

* IN a recent letter (Instinct to kill, May 10) I stated that animals do not feel pain as humans do.

I note that on May 12 you printed four letters that dispute what I alleged. One of the letters comes from a vet and two come from animal societies. It could be said that all three come from parties with a vested interest in promoting the animal/human pain myth.

The vet says that at a 1991 conference it was proposed that animals felt pain as we humans do. I wonder how many animals attended this conference, or was it just a human affair?

The fourth letter, from Heather Causnett, returns to the hunting side of the question. As hunting has been banned, I consider any discussion about it is now irrelevant. She does seem a little confused and some of her "facts" are quite simply wrong.

In my life I have seen many animals killed and injured. I have spoken to slaughtermen and people who are employed to kill surplus animals. In no case has anyone given credence to the idea that animals feel pain as humans do.

One slaughterman said that if he thought they did, he would give up the job tomorrow.

May I close by saying that I am not in favour of being cruel to animals. Indeed, the small birds that come into my garden may well be some of the best fed in the country.

But animals feeling pain as humans do - horse feathers.

Jeremy D Fox, Malton Avenue, York.