I NOTICE that hunting has, once again, become a popular subject for the Letters page.

I dislike killing anything without good reason and believe that every living thing is entitled to live out its life naturally.

Foxes are often described as vermin, why, I can’t understand, because I believe that they are mainly harmless and could well be doing some good.

The argument that they kill lambs does seem rather far-fetched because, I can’t see a fox standing up to a ewe for fear of injury. If a fox has eaten a lamb the likelihood is that it was already dead and, who has an authenticated picture of a fox actually attacking a lamb?

It’s well known that if you kill one fox another will quickly take its place, which is, of course, what the huntsman wants because to remove all foxes would spoil the fun.

Because there were no foxes in Australia, the so-called ruling classes there had to import them and it’s there that foxes did become a pest and a grave danger to other wildlife.

We had a number of foxes in this area, one of which could often be seen sitting with the local cats under the lamp post. I haven’t seen them of late and asked if anyone else had and was told that measures had been taken to get rid of them – we now have a plague of rats.

Another type of so called sport that I find indefensible is shooting birds. These are mostly Asian pheasant that are bred in captivity and then released into the countryside for shooting practice.

To ensure that the target birds survive, landowners employ gamekeepers to kill anything that might reduce their numbers. I can’t see any merit in this so called sport except that, I’m told, putting down feed for the pheasants actually provides food for the wildlife but, why not put down food without the shooting?

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