SO the 2004 Hunting Act’s unintended consequences are yet again disrupting rural life (The Yorkshire Post, February 26 and 27).
The urban majority that forced through the blatantly anti-country legislation did so for primarily ideological reasons, a total lack of either understanding of non urban life and culture, ignoring the reasoned arguments put forward by the Countryside Alliance and the overwhelming majority of country folk of all backgrounds.
Hare coursing used to be a well managed, organised and controlled legal activity, in the main carried out on the invitation of landowners and conducted with a respect for the environment.
As a direct consequence of the 2004 Act, hare coursing now is a part of low level, nasty organised crime, damaging land, crops and the environment and regularly involving threats and actual violence to landowners.
This had increased the numbers of that criminal group coming into the country and realising the easy pickings available to them, with a consequential increase in the theft of vehicles, rustling for illegal meat sales and fly tipping.
At the same time, apart from the valiant efforts of the small numbers of those tasked with the job of dealing with rural crime, the latter is not seen as worthy of resources to the level that could ever be able to effectively deal with the issue. Should one be surprised? I think not.
The urban population has no understanding of rural issues, no sympathy with issues faced by farmers, sportsmen nor those living in the country, so they are hardly going to lose any sleep over rural crime and the resources to deal with them.
Don’t look to the mega-business corporations for a source of pressure – often based abroad or funded through the City, such issues are marginal to their profits, if not to their employees based on their vast agricultural holdings. Again a group firmly culturally urban.
Good luck to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society in it efforts to quantify the level of such related activity, but I would argue that it is too late. That is not being negative but realistic and the best way in the long term is to repeal the Hunting Act 2004.
We all make mistakes...
From: Janet McCulloch, Doncaster.
I REFER to the reaction to the publication of the photograph of Irish racehorse trainer Gordon Elliott and wonder how many of those who have instantly withdrawn their support have previously done something thoughtless and stupid on the spur of the moment.
Everyone makes mistakes and, thankfully, most of us are allowed to put them behind us and build the experience into making us better people.
Even criminals can be rehabilitated. Now, because of that photograph, there must be large numbers of skeletons rattling in many cupboards and some of those who have benefited from Gordon Elliott’s expertise over the years should consider that “there but for the grace of God go I”.
Although I grew up not far from Doncaster racecourse, and we children used to go up onto Rose Hill to watch the horses, I have no connection to racing otherwise.
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