PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: letters@swindonadvertiser.co.uk. Write: Swindon Advertiser, Unit 1 and 2 Richmond House, Edison Park, Swindon, SN3 3RB. Phone: 01793 501806.

Anonymity is granted only at the discretion of the editor, who also reserves the right to edit letters.

Hunting still takes place

I am a hunt saboteur. I became a hunt saboteur because I didn’t feel it was right that after a law had been passed banning hunting, a section of society decided to ignore that law and carry on inhumanely slaughtering animals. They are allowed to get away with this because of a total lack of interest by the police and judiciary.

When the Hunting Act 2004 became law in 2005, hunting should have stopped. But sadly, this was not the case. Hunters, while trying to portray respectability, decided to break the law. Repeatedly, every week. Not the occasional “accident” but full-on defiance.

Furious at having their “sport” curtailed, hunters continue to chase and kill stags, foxes, hares and mink. Hunting has been allowed to continue, largely unaffected by the Hunting Act due to a lack of understanding and interest by the police, Crown Prosecution Service and judiciary.

Hunt saboteurs use non-violent direct action to disrupt hunts. We care about all animals, not just the fox (or other hunted animals), so would never do anything to harm hounds, horses or indeed human hunt supporters. Hunts frequently believe and have propagated all sorts of crazy stories about us over the years, claiming that we are funded by the KGB, that we spray acid in dogs’ faces, and string piano wires at head height to kill hunters. These stories are untrue. I am not a violent man, I have spent my life caring for people. In contrast, hunters often react with violence and aggression when sabs successfully disrupt a kill. I have been punched, kicked, spat on and beaten with sticks while sabbing.

There should be no need for hunt saboteurs to exist. Hunters act quite blatantly, it shouldn’t be hard for the police to act, but they don’t. Can you imagine the uproar if police officers stood and watched while someone was beaten by thugs in Swindon’s main street, or they stood and watched while shoplifters filled bags and walked away.

The fact is that hunting continues. There is hope, however. Hunt saboteur numbers have increased significantly in the past three years, partly due to the unpopular badger culls.

So, the situation a decade after the ban looks pretty similar to the situation a decade before it.

Hunts across the country continue to chase and rip apart animals, albeit illegally now, and hunt saboteurs are successfully stopping them.

Name and address supplied

Appalling situation

The current BBC television licence is costing each household In The UK £150.50 per year with over 75s of course being exempt from paying this fee.

The BBC has an obligation towards its license fee payers to provide value for money and they say they really do this very well.

I wonder how the BBC with so many people in the UK living on the poverty line and earning the minimum wage and a percentage of children living below the poverty line and pensioners wrapping themselves in duvets to save heating in this cold weather so they can pay the license fee, can justify the wages they are paying some of the celebrities that work for them?

We have sports presenter Gary Lineker on £1.75million (£145,300 a month) and then we have poor old Graham Norton, he’s really on his uppers on £899,000 a year (£74,916 a month).

This is appalling. The BBC should be made to follow maximum wage tables and the figures should be set by the government; it would be different if the BBC had money to pay these greedy stars from advertising but this money is coming from all of us and I for one really don’t know how these stars sleep at night. Shame on them and shame on the BBC for paying them these amounts.

Steve Blanchard, Coleview, Swindon

Letters to the Editor: What do you think?

Do you have an opinion on our reader letters? Get in touch.

Add your contribution now By uploading a contribution, for use online and in print, you accept our contributor terms. You will either own or have permission to use anything you provide.