Sir, – Your photograph (Barry Cronin, Front page, December 27th) projects the picture postcard image of foxhunting, the alluring pomp and pageantry of this traditional English pastime that England has banned.
What nifty blood red or shining black jackets the hunters wear as they set off on their festive pursuit of Reynard. And what lovely white breeches and well polished gleaming jodhpurs they wear. Not to mention all those impeccably behaved hounds scampering past cheery sightseers. Almost any one of the hunt images that surface in the newspapers at this time of year wouldn’t look out of place on a Christmas card.
Unfortunately they present a misleading picture of foxhunting. We never see a photograph of a fox at the end of a hunt, on the point of exhaustion, its lungs spent and the dogs closing for the kill. No pictures either of this much-maligned wild dog of the countryside having the skin ripped off its bones in a melee of orchastrated savagery.
Instead we have again the feel-good colour pieces and happy-clappy snapshots.
I accept photographers and journalists have to make a living, but no amount of whitewashing can alter the truth about this blood sport. I have witnessed the cruelty firsthand and I can assure your readers that the agonised death of a hunted fox by disembowelling is not a pretty picture. – Yours, etc,
(Campaign for the Abolition
of Cruel Sports),
Lower Coyne Street,
Callan, Co Kilkenny.