In his letter to the January 25 edition of the Chronicle, Mr Melton disagrees with my description of the fox as a 'beautiful creature' and tells how his uncle used to shoot them when they raided his hen house.

In similar circumstances, I would have done the same thing, though I might not like it. What I cannot stomach however is a bunch of people on horseback with a pack of hounds, pursuing for pleasure a fox until its heart and lungs are bursting with fear and exertion and then watching as it is ripped apart while still alive. 

And make no mistake, this is what happens for as a boy I was unfortunate enough to see a kill and it was not a pretty spectacle. 

The late great Thomas Hardy once said: “The prevalence of those sports that consist in the pleasure of watching a fellow creature weaker and less favoured than ourselves in its struggles to escape the death agony we mean to inflict by treacherous contrivance seems to me one of the many convincing proofs that we have not yet emerged from barbarism.”

Obviously, I could not have put it better myself. 

Mike Sherwood,
Wrights Close,
South Wonston

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