Con­sign it to the cesspit of his­tory

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Letters And Opinion - Rose­mary Sealey Black Grif­fin Lane, Can­ter­bury

Fox­hunt­ing? [Gazette, De­cem­ber 20] It’s one of our fine old tra­di­tions, just like burn­ing “witches”, “bait­ing” (i.e. tor­tur­ing) bears, hang­ing in pub­lic and flog­ging with the cat-o’nine tails. Like them, it should be con­signed to the cesspit of his­tory.

The so-called Coun­try­side Al­liance has the pre­sump­tion to award “ru­ral Os­cars” [Gazette, De­cem­ber 20 , page 6]. Os­cars? Any award con­ferred by this evil al­liance should be called “Sadists”, not “Os­cars”.

What other word can de­scribe peo­ple who want to chase an an­i­mal to ex­haus­tion, and then en­joy watch­ing it be­ing ripped limb from limb while still alive? I hope the Hawthorn Trench project will have the courage to turn down their “Sadist of the Year” award.

Tra­di­tional life in El­ham did not in­clude fox­hunt­ing: read “Har­vest of Messer­schmitts”, an ac­count of the life of or­di­nary El­ham folk through­out an ex­tra­or­di­nary year (1940).

Our coun­try­side is a pre­cious re­source, and de­serves to be rep­re­sented by a group with re­spect for the land­scape and the wildlife that lives there. I sug­gest “Coun­try­side Com­pas­sion”, to be led by some­one like Neil Ansell (who gave such a good talk at Water­stone’s last year). It is not just about foxes. The bru­tally cruel horserac­ing in­dus­try sends its un­wanted an­i­mals (those that can­not run fast enough) to Europe’s largest horse abat­toir in the Jura (east­ern France).

You can view a video of this hor­rific place on the French L214 web­site. Do “re­tired” fox­hunt­ing horses suf­fer the same fate? And what hap­pens to hounds too old and tired to out­run a fox?

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