SIR – I wonder if all those who turned out for the Boxing Day hunts across Worcestershire would have been so keen to do so if they had been aware of the fate of the hounds they were so keenly watching?
How often do we see such foxhounds being kept as companion animals, like labradors, spaniels, boxers and many other breeds of dog?
Hardly ever. And the reason for this is because, almost without exception, they are all put to death by the hunts before they are about seven years of age.
Many are killed as pups, if it is decided they are unsuitable for hunting, and the rest when they have outlived their usefulness to the hunt, because of age or injury.
This amounts to about 5,000 of these dogs being shot or killed by other methods in this country every year and is every bit as appalling as the suffering and slaughter caused to wildlife by hunting.
It is yet another reason why the current “ban” on hunting is woefully inadequate and why it should be strengthened so hunts are not allowed to operate at all.
Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies

Camp will increase migrants coming to UK
SIR – I read with horror today’s news: France is building another migrant camp outside Calais. I’m sure it’ll begin clean and tidy, with admirable intent. However, it shan’t be long before overcrowding, rats, disease and resentment take hold. 
However, my horror is not for the poor souls who will live here. My horror is directed at the French government. It is dumping its seemingly unsolvable problem on our doorstep.
In providing another waiting area for those who have ‘decided’ to live in Britain (after test-driving three or four countries already on their travels, as they certainly didn’t fly to Calais), France shows utter contempt for international law and for the UK, its ally and neighbour.
If any government (or the EU for that matter) truly cared to address this migrant crisis, the asylum/migrant camps would be built in countries like Syria, where applicants can be safely processed and assessed. Failing that, countries like France could set up these camps at point-of-entry, not ‘chosen’ point-of-exit. Not so today, in this time of lily-livers and pathetic politicians. 
By building a second camp near Calais, the French will make it easier for these illegal migrants to invade our shores. This facilitation is bordering on madness. It will only encourage yet more young men to terrify our lorry-drivers and make increasingly aggressive attempts to cross the Channel. Indeed, let’s thank God for the English Channel – Without it, we’d have a ‘Jungle’ in Kent. 

Dredging of rivers makes flooding worse
SIR – Worcester based UKIP MEP James Carver claims that recent flooding in the UK is down to the EU stopping the dredging of rivers. This argument was supported in a letter in the Worcester News by regular letter writer and Europhobe GB Dipper.
 The latter is happy to state that flooding is nothing to do with climate change, which UKIP and many of its supporters deny has anything to do with humans pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
 In both cases they are wrong. They are ignoring the evidence from flood management experts and climate change scientists, most likely for political point scoring.
 UKIP are the only political party in the UK that are so unscientific they continue to argue against the evidence presented by climate science. I hope that following the agreement reached at the climate summit in Paris at the end of last year that the minority who still cling to the idea of it all being a hoax can be ignored.
 As regards dredging, the evidence shows that the best way to reduce the flooding of urban areas is to slow the flow of water upstream. There are many ways of doing this, such as natural obstacles in rivers, changing agricultural practice, more trees, etc.
Dredging speeds up the flow, thus making flooding worse! With Liz Truss (Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) about to allow farmers to dredge without permission and promising to prevent flooding of farmers land, flooding further downstream is likely to become even more frequent.
So rather than getting angry with the EU, we should be criticising the government for doing everything the farming lobby asks for and using public money to make the flooding of where most people live even more likely. 
County Councillor for St Stephen (Green Party)

Warm winter weather confusing our birds 
SIR – I know it feels like “Spring is in the air” thanks to the warm climate of late, but not only have I noticed birds singing and carrying twigs for nothing, but this morning I found a pigeon’s egg, broken into two pieces lying on my lawn.
What next?
St Johns, Worcester

PS. Whilst writing this I noticed a blue tit entering a bird nesting box for at least a minute!

What has happened to disappearing ducks? 
SIR – Being a regular walker in Gheluvelt Park I am wondering where all the ducks have gone?
There have been none on the lake for over a week now – only one pair of swans.
What has happened?