SIR – Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but Jon Burgess, in his latest letter about fox hunting on January 9, made some extraordinary claims which I feel I cannot ignore.
First off he says that the time wasted over hunting cost MP Michael Foster his seat at the last election.
I would rather think that the majority of those who did not vote for him were more concerned about the disastrous mess the Labour government was making of this country.
Mr Burgess goes on to say that MP Richard Martin, who helped form the RSPCA, was pro-hunting.
That may well be the case, although I cannot find it documented. History tells us that in 1822 Mr Martin’s concern was focused on the ill-treatment of domesticated animals.
As public opinion gradually embraced a more humane attitude towards the welfare of all animals, it was with subsequent legislation that the protection of wild animals came into force, through the campaigns of the RSPCA and other animal welfare organisations.
Mr Burgess also claims “The Hunting Act (2004) has not saved one fox and has actually caused cruelty.”
How on earth does he know this? Acts of cruelty are against the law, so if he is aware of such goings-on then he should report it.
Mr Burgess comments on the prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt which was found red-handed breaking the law. The RSPCA is a law enforcement agency and always has been.
It was the first to be established in the UK, preceding the formation of the police force by two years.
Prosecuting perpetrators of animal cruelty is part of what it does, especially when the police or Crown Prosecution Service appear to be reluctant.
It is unfortunate that a large amount of the charity’s money was needed to bring about this successful prosecution, but the sole cause of such expense is absolutely clear – the arrogance of the bloodyminded Heythrop Hunt, considering itself to be above the law.