IN an edition dominated by the Countryside Alliance’s campaign to legitimise hunting wild mammals with packs of dogs Country Week ran a rural affairs article about the commendable work of Jean Thorpe to rehabilitate the wildlife of Ryedale (The Yorkshire Post, February 14). Rather ironic.
When I was a volunteer ranger I regularly encountered both the casual killers, and the committed saviours of wild animals. The former were irredeemably arrogant, and indignant that anyone should dare to be seen to curb their “country pursuits”. The latter characteristically humble and caring and, with one exception, female.
The exception was a local farmer; a wise man, wise in the ways of nature. He did not seek to “improve” his grassland, and did not mow his meadow until ground nesting birds like skylarks had raised their young. And he fed orphaned fox cubs.
The hunts often claim to be conservationists because they do not hunt during the close season, when their quarry is breeding. But it is a specious argument, because they conserve only to kill: “honour the fox and then hunt him” is the huntsman’s traditional refrain.
In contrast, that local farmer was motivated not by self interest but simple compassion for a distressed wild animal.
From: Mrs MR Bamford, Clayton West, Huddersfield.
WITH reference to the hunting ban, as far as we are concerned it doesn’t seem to have had an effect whatsoever.
The Rockwood Harriers, the local hunt here, turn out twice a week to run riot and cause havoc. They have been asked many times not to come onto our land but they do not or will not heed our request.
Only recently, one of the huntsmen was in our field checking out the territory. I had to go into our fields once again and ask him to leave. As for the people who say hunting is a way of life, I say “get a life”.
From: John Micklethwaite, Penistone, South Yorkshire.
WITH reference to your article on hunting (The Yorkshire Post, February 14), just how many of these participants are able to cut their tax liabilities by claiming the livestock and accoutrements, vehicles, trailers, manpower etc as expenditure to lessen tax demands, therefore depriving the country of much needed revenue?
To equate the fact that only a small number of these people are prosecuted each year with the suggestion of repealing the law is totally ludicrous. Because only a few get caught, it does not mean that there are not many breaking the law. Therefore compare motorists, speeding or using hand-held mobile phones while driving. Only a small percentage of the culprits are caught but it doesn’t mean that the others aren’t guilty, does it?
Immigration impacts NHS
From: D Wood, Howden.
MR Riley (The Yorkshire Post, February 14) is ill-informed and incorrect in the assertions he makes about Nigel Farage and Ukip in his letter.
While cuts to the NHS budget have not helped, the major cause of the NHS overload is without doubt the uncontrolled influx of three to four million immigrants over the last 10 years.
He obviously hasn’t tried getting a doctor’s appointment or visiting a hospital recently. This influx has had the same effect on all of our infrastructure and services, like housing, schools and transport.
To accuse Nigel Farage and the four million people who voted for Ukip last May of being racist because they have the courage to voice concern over this huge explosion in immigration, Mr Riley is being very naive or just very malicious.
From: Mervyn Jackson, Belper, Derbyshire.
IMMIGRATION is only a small part of the Ukip manifesto but it is significant and attracts media attention for obvious reasons. The Government has broken earlier promises and is committed to building new homes on green belt and green field sites all around the country. If there isn’t sufficient housing for the present population, it makes no sense to add to this with more immigration.
Of course, if Ray Riley would like a few thousand affordable homes to go up in Hemsworth, so be it. I wonder if his neighbours are so accommodating?
Lent is a rare discipline
From: Rev David Marshall, Park Avenue, Liversedge.
I WENT into my local supermarket after Mass (Ash Wednesday) with the sacramental marking of ash upon my forehead.
One customer’s curiosity got the better of him. I promptly replied: “I’ve walked into a cross!” In actual fact we Christians are on a 40 day walk “to the Cross”.
There is no need for GP Taylor (The Yorkshire Post, February 18) to seek “alternatives”, easy options or even “re-branding”.
Lent is a discipline, a word no one likes in our society today.
But whether with faith or without one, it is good for the heart to have a clear out and to feel joy in giving to others from time to time.
From: Philip Smith, Beverley.
I AM giving up Lent for chocolate. Does that count?