Taking sides among bitter rivals in hunting law debate

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From: RC Dales, Church View, Brompton, Northallerton.

WITH reference to your article presenting the reasons for and against the revoking of the Act on Hunting with Dogs (Yorkshire Post, December 26), Tim Bonner gave his reasons why the Act should be repealed.

Lorraine Platt made the case for the Act to continue. A stranger to the subject would vote for Tim Bonner as he was more convincing. Ms Platt’s reasons were not – taking them one by one, their failings became evident. Perhaps it was too easy to be vaguely critical? Her labelling of support for the Act being repealed as “senseless” and “unsupportable” could more easily be turned against her.

As Tim Bonner reminds us, the Act was the product of a mainly Labour Party majority in Parliament, whose motives were “spiteful”, “class war”. The result certainly lacked wisdom and as the majority claimed by Ms Platt in the House were “townies”, they lacked knowledge of rural affairs and life in our countryside environment.

Unfortunately for rural affairs there is still a majority in the House of “townies” and Ms Platt is claiming this in support of the Act. The headline to her reasons referring to the old hunting practice as “killing animals for pleasure” summarised her case, but the killing of foxes is necessary as they are vermin, and it should be labelled “killing animals in a way which provides pleasure, the benefits of employment in rural areas, and the conservation of sheep and poultry stocks”.

What is apparent is that an answer to a national problem should be made by those with knowledge of the subject and a wisdom acquired by length and experience of life. It would seem that Ms Platt lacks both attributes.

Presumably, as Mr Bonner is a director within the Countryside Alliance, he will have sufficient knowledge of the subject, and the beliefs he expresses indicate a measure of wisdom, hence it is more likely that he would be supported.

However, the real problem is how to “educate” the majority of the public and politicians, on the reasons why the Act was bad legislation and why it is necessary for foxes to be severely culled.

The likes of Ms Platt must be careful not to “gang up” with “animal rights” organisations, who, for example, ignore scientific proof that fish cannot suffer the human sensation of pain when hooked. They turn a blind eye to the live fish which, after netting, have to struggle in an unnatural element without water until they die.

“Senseless”, one of Ms Platt’s words, comes to mind when it is recalled that the “animal rights” gangs “liberated” hundreds of alien mink from fur farms and now running wild and breeding, they are systematically slaughtering fish, birds and other native wildlife.

Ms Platt also tries to include in her reasons the practice of cub-hunting. She appears to be woefully ignorant.

The fox breeds so freely that culling is essential if we are not to be overrun by it, and that culling has to be extended to cubs when the culling of adults is inadequate.

She also tries to include the hunting of hares and stags in her arguments.