March 12 Letters: Do MPs really need to waste more time on hunting debate?

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From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey.

Apparently, forcing itself onto the top of David Cameron’s urgent list of necessary legislation, he promises a vote on repealing the ban on hunting with dogs if the Conservatives win on May 7.

After all the thousands of hours of parliamentary time spent on introducing this legislation now yet more time is to be given over to questioning its validity. Have MPs nothing more important to do?

Forget the threat posed by Islamic State extremists; ignore the dire situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Nigeria; pretend the problems in Ukraine are solved and believe that, at home, no one is worried about energy costs, immigration, being able to afford a house or keep a job etc.

No, it is vital and of some urgency that the aforementioned legislation is repealed and MPs will be given a “free” vote on the subject. Yippee! Everyone’s dreams come true.

The Tory leader wrote: “There is definitely a rural way of life which a born­-and-­bred Londoner might struggle to understand. I have always been a strong supporter of country sports.”

Now, why is it always assumed that because people live in the countryside they support this barbaric ritual?

I have always lived in the countryside and abhor the ripping of a wild animal into pieces to entertain a minority.

It is claimed that the increasing huge numbers of spectators who attend hunts clearly show that the public support hunting and would welcome the repeal of the Hunting With Dogs Act.

Oh no it doesn’t, it shows exactly the opposite. Because the brutal killing of the fox is no longer on the agenda, more people turn out to see the event – is this too difficult to understand?

How can anyone, let alone the Prime Minister, claim that fox hunting is a sport?

I always regarded a sport as a contest between equal numbers; a contest where all parties had the same opportunities and skills to win or lose; where dangers were present to all.

Does the fox hunt satisfy these basic requirements?

All the people on horseback, with a couple of dozen hounds, terriers, hunt supporters – all after, wait for it, one wild animal ­– the fox. The odds must be at the very least 30/40 to 1.

Imagine the might of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all taking to the football pitch to play just one player from Leeds United­ – yet fox hunting is called a sport.

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