LETTER: Most people do not care one way or the other

I am very sorry to hear that Mrs Boultwood suffered at the traditional Boxing Day meet of the Southdown and Eridge Hunt in Lewes on Boxing Day.

I have observed both the pro- and anti-hunting factions over many years and have seen too much violence used by both sides and all to no avail. Mrs Boultwood goes on to make the common mistake of claiming that there is evidence of hunts breaking the law.

If that is the case, fine, bring it forward and prosecute those responsible. I won’t hold my breath! On the same theme Beryl Wilkins makes several mistakes. The Burns report, commissioned by the Labour Party, did not find ‘unacceptable stress’ or ‘exhaustion’ in hunted quarry.

The report states that the average time that a fox is chased before it is either caught or is lost, ie, gets away, is ten minutes. Hardly time for the supreme athlete, that the fox is, to become exhausted. The misconception that the vast majority of the population are against hunting with dogs is not true.

The truth is, and neither side of the argument like it, the vast majority simply do not care one way or the other but do care that so much valuable parliamentary time was taken up on something of such national insignificance.

Hunting is a highly complex activity with many and varied being the reasons why people wanted to do it. However the killing of an animal did not come into it for the average foot or mounted follower as they were very unlikely to witness it. Only the people at the very front would arrive in time to see a kill as hounds can out run horses and can jump over wire, etc, and get well ahead.

Even so it is most likely to only be a huntsman or one of his helpers who arrived after hounds killed their quarry. Indeed those with anti-hunt views would be amazed to know how many people there are who were hunting before the act came in who had never witnessed a kill.

Finally, going back to Boxing Day, the big anomaly for me is the handful of anti-hunting people present who claimed to be standing up for animal welfare were the ones with no animals whereas the hundreds who the anti-hunters claimed were animal haters had gleaming, well turned out, well fed and enthusiastic horses, hounds and dogs!

Warren Marshall

Wood brook Cottage