Foxhunting and legislation

 

Sir, – I cannot get my head around John Fitzgerald’s problem with foxhunting (December 29th).

If he considers hounds chasing a fox with the intent to kill as a barbaric activity, then how does he view the fox’s behaviour with regard to lambs and chickens? Both hounds and foxes are behaving in a manner that is natural to them.

I rather suspect that his real gripe is with the mounted followers who, in deference to the farmers whose land they cross, clean their horses and dress themselves appropriately to follow the chase.

If he feels that to be a spectator at such an event is barbaric, then I wonder what his views are on some of the wonderful nature programmes created by Sir David Attenborough that many of us watch on the television? Here again we are spectators, and often witness members of the large cat families hunting and killing other more vulnerable species.

But lastly, maybe John Fitzgerald gets all hot under the collar and writes to The Irish Times at this time every year because we call foxhunting a sport, rather than a way of life, or a pastime. – Yours, etc,

ANNE STRAHAN,

Ballynonty,

Co Tipperary.

Sir, – John Fitzgerald hopes that “the next Dáil will have a majority of TDs opposed to hare coursing and foxhunting, and that the vice-like grip that the bloodsport lobby has had on our politicians will at last be broken”.

I endorse such sentiments wholeheartedly. However, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if the majority of the present crop of TDs are actually against bloodsports; but given the nature of our electoral system, some vulnerable and pusillanimous TDs will always seek to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. – Yours, etc,

PAUL DELANEY,

Dalkey,

Co Dublin.