In reply to A Curtis’s ‘Anti-Hunt Hypocrisy’ letter (SA November 5) I would like to say that although I agree the activities of some anti-hunt protestors should be stopped, I cannot agree that hunting with dogs should be allowed. Country folk may regard themselves as guardians of our countryside, perhaps rightly so, and most farmers do play a wonderful and caring role.
However, that is not always the case when it comes to country pursuits. I note that Mr Curtis was a part-time gamekeeper.
I spent many years working on a country estate (although not connected with the hunting/shooting activity). During that time I saw many times the way gamekeepers treated our wildlife. Illegal gin traps set out to trap so called ‘vermin’.
Those I saw trapped included stoats, weasels and even hedgehogs, not all the kills were instant, one particular instance was a weasel who had clearly struggled for many hours trapped by one leg.
Gin traps were also placed on poles around pheasant rearing pens to catch birds of prey. Wire snares were used to trap foxes, causing death by slow strangulation, if the gamekeeper didn’t get to it first and broken chicken eggs were set out in abandoned duck nests, the yolks laced with poison.
This was all in the name of sport to enable the wealthy elite to shoot pheasants and ducks. If Mr Curtis doesn’t believe me I have photographic evidence. Although this was some years ago, I strongly suspect it is still going on.
Bernard Phillips Yiewsley Crescent Swindon