THE Roman politician and writer Cicero wrote in year 50BC of the brutal events staged in the Colosseum in Rome,"the wild beast hunts, two a day for five days, are magnificent. There is no denying it. But what pleasure is there in seeing a puny human mangled by a powerful beast or a splendid animal killed with a hunting spear."

One would hope that civilization has moved on since 50 years before the birth of Christ.

However, the hunting fraternity will this Boxing Day parade through the streets and pledge to keep their so called traditions in place. The parallels between the baying mob in the Roman Colosseum and the hunting fraternity are striking. A celebration of ritualised animal abuse and violence which lays bare the worst aspects of human nature.

The spectacle of people revelling in the harrying and violent death of a small wild mammal, in what is grotesquely referred to as sport, is profoundly disturbing. What is also disturbing is the way that this vicious grouping are able to continue to break the law with impunity, riding roughshod over the democratic will of the people.

Parliament must act to tighten the law on hunting to ensure the serial law breakers who cast a dark shadow over our countryside are brought to justice and our wildlife can live in peace.


Dover Street