Killing comment!

SIR - As usual, you devote your middle page spread to a quaint feature on the East Devon Hunt’s ‘traditional’ New Year public relations exercise, with photos of young riders sitting pretty on their mounts.

But the reality of hunting is proved on page 12 of the same edition - ‘Anger at fox death horror’ - in which a Sidmouth woman describes her ‘nightmare’ battle to save a fox from a pack of hounds, almost certainly belonging to the Axe Vale Hunt.

Of course, the hunt claims its innocence. Sometimes a fox just jumps out in front of the hounds and nothing can be done to stop the killing, a spokesperson claimed, echoing the excuses made by hunts across the country when their dogs run amok and kill wildlife.

But surely, if they are out trail hunting, they should be capable of controlling their pack? And why, almost seven years after the Hunting Act, are hounds still trained to pick up the scent of a fox?

At best, the New Year and Boxing Day hunting parades which take place are homage to a cruel, barbaric and now illegal activity.

But, as your report makes all too clear, the killing of wildlife continues.

Mark Gold

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