Letter: Hunting debate hit by class wars

I enjoy reading the Star’s letters page for the diversity and topicality of the issues covered. It’s good to hear a variety of opinions but I was saddened to notice that the anti-hunt chorus is back in good voice and still singing from the same tatty song-sheet.

I enjoy reading the Star’s letters page for the diversity and topicality of the issues covered. It’s good to hear a variety of opinions but I was saddened to notice that the anti-hunt chorus is back in good voice and still singing from the same tatty song-sheet.

Nick Adkin (Letters, February 28) regales us with a description of ‘pink’ coated, blood-lusting toffs chasing terrified foxes across the countryside for the pleasure of seeing them killed.

Now hold on, Nick, even when I used to hunt, pre-ban, people didn’t chase foxes, hounds did. If they caught one, it was done so quickly and efficiently that few of the followers even noticed the fact. Allowing that the mounted followers are one of the hunt’s main sources of income, I never heard anyone demanding their money back.

They were there for the pleasure of riding across country, being out in the open air and, for many, the joy of watching hounds work.

Few hunting people are upper-class and most have to work hard and look after their own horses in order to follow hounds.

Why does not the ‘stigma’ of wealth apply to millionaire footballers, even when they occasionally get too big for their boots?

The anti-hunters seem not to care at all about other types of fox control which can lead to wounding and a slow death.

A veneer of concern for wildlife helps conceal the real agenda which is one of sheer hatred for the people who go out hunting.

At least that has managed to survive and adapt to the 21st century, more than can be said for the old-time class warriors.

B Lewis


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Comments for: "Letter: Hunting debate hit by class wars "

H. St. John Peasbody

The problem is simple: people of whatever class and regardless of their wealth, riding around the countryside on horseback with a pack of dogs and chasing a wild animal until the dogs catch it and kill it by tearing it to pieces. And all in the name of "sport".

I'll stick to football, cricket, rugby, snooker, tennis etc.

Great Britain has moved on from blood sports, thankfully.


"Few hunting people are upper-class and most have to work hard and look after their own horses in order to follow hounds".

Is that a fact B. Lewis?

Take the cost of buying a suitable horse, the weekly bill for keeping it, any vets fees that may pop up, the cost of a trailer, a suitable vehicle to pull it, running costs for said vehicle, and I don't think you'll see many welders, farm workers etc. etc, pulling up in Range Rovers to chase a fox, and I don't think you'll see many horses being pulled along by 15 year old Fiestas either.

So, your interpretation of upper class must be very different to the rest of us, perhaps by upper class you mean people who have 3 or 4 Range Rovers at their disposal, not just the one. Having been brought up in the country, I can also ascertain that very many of these horsey people are also to be found at the local pheasant shoots, banging away all day just for the pleasure of killing something.

All in all I reckon Mr. Wilde had it right, you lot call it sport, I call it self gratification.


There are people from all classes go hunting, some are well off but others are from working class background, most peoples background isn't brought up when out but I know window cleaners, factory workers, cleaners who all hunt.

Would these come into your "upper class" bracket? If so what is working class ? There are people out there of a classes who smoke 40 a day and enjoy a couple of pints on the way home in an evening this casts at least £100 a week, which is about what it costs to keep a horse and hunt through the winter!

If you have rats you call pest control and arrange to have the rats poisoned. They die a slow and painful death. A farmer would probably set terriers on the rats, they then die a quick and painful death, or get away.

While its rats hardly anyone cares, but substitute rat for fox and suddenly a load of people get all up in arms about bloodsports and toffs. Talk about prejudice.

eva land

Hunting has always been associated with moneyed classes because that's how it started though initially it was reserved for the gentry but those who had made money other than by inheritance soon became equally enthused by the sense of power and possession(albeit briefly) of open land.

The lower classes had to vent their blood lust on cock fighting, badger baiting and more so today, dog fights, illegal of course.

Anything to do with horses remains costly, more so than game shooting for example, so the image prevails.

It is no good trying to justify fox hunting as serving any other purpose than being a blood sport as the fox population is self regulating, 60% being seen off with the mange.

To refer to anyone who perceives animal cruelty as 'the anti-hunt lobby' is just a method of denying the fact that the majority of people in this counrty do not feel that this kind of entertainment is acceptable today.


The idea that horse ownership is limited to the rich is laughable - locally there are many people in council (and ex-council) houses who seem to have access to a paddock and a pony or two. Most of the care is a matter of hard work, and many of the bnecessaries can be earned in exchange for helping with other peoples horses. A second hand trailer is only a few hundred quid - so for most people a horse is simply an alternative to a two week summer holiday in Turkey, which seems to be within the reach of most familes, even those on benefits - so hunting is surely within the reach of anyone in work. Our window-cleaner used to ride with the hunt, and I don't think he was particularly posh


Owning a horse costs much more than a two week holiday. You have to be well off to own a horse. But it's not the wealth of those hunting that upsets people, it's the fact they find pleasure in hunting a living creature, causing pain and suffering when it's caught.


Isnt hunting also dagerous to the horses?

If you just like riding your horse around the country, why do you insist on including the murder of defenceless animals?

And I just cannot accept that this is a sport... After all I have never heard of the fox winning... Cock fighting is more of a sport, and thankfully that is also banned.

You lot are barbarians, and no matter how you dress it up, this bloodlust has no place in our society. I for one dont care one iota if you are landed gentry or on the dole: people who get kicks out of killing animals are not right in the head.


Having neevr hunted, i find the fact that some people enjoy chasing vermin across fields rather less unpleasant than the rabid intolerance of those who oppose it.

Even if I were anti-hunting (and I am just entirely 'not bothered') I think most reasonable people should question whether they really want to ally themselves with the animal liberation terrorists


Ithink the letter writer has proved his point .

bob dobbs

All the letter writer has proved is that his 'sport' is no longer acceptable.

Wrap it up in class issues if you like (I could easily afford to waste money on silly pink coats and horses) but there is no place for this barbaric pastime in 2012 and beyond.

The sooner the 'pro-hunt lobby' realise that, the better.


Totally agree with you. In the barbaric sport of hunting foxes with hounds, animal cruelty stretches across all 'classes' both now and pre-ban.


Yet again, nearly everyone commenting agrees that fox hunting is cruel. Nothing to do with class, it's just cruel. I couldn't trust anyone who finds pleasure in hurting any animal.


Fox hunting is not 'sport'. A sport involves willing participants, which fox-hunting does not. Those who are pro-hunting like to call it a sport, as they seem to think that it makes it legitimate.

When most people are involved in a sport, either as a spectator or a participant, they usually have some passion for the activity that motivates them. People have reasons to follow football teams (some because of their heritage, some to rebel against their heritage, others for glory, others for the gallows-humour of supporting a lowly team) but generally, those involved in sport in any way will have at least an element of passion.

Look at the efforts to save the old Telford United. Look at where we are now, in fact, and what an acheivement by a committed group of supporters.

If the pro-hunt lobby are as passionate as the letter-writer claims, then surely one of them would have happily volunteered to be the 'fox' in a hunt.

The day I see a pro-hunt type prepared to be chased on horseback through the countryside that Mr Lewis refers to (sounds very 'quick and efficient'), only to be killed by some hounds, will be the day I will take fox-hunting seriously as a sport and give it the legitimacy I would attribute to any sport.

Fox hunting involves a level of cruelty that would be correctly considered disgusting in any other walk of life. If Mr Lewis feels this way then I don't understand his issue with the ban on hunting the live foxes. The ride still goes on, in the open air, and the hounds still do the tracking. The only thing that has actually changed is the needless brutality of killing an animal for fun.


You obviously no nothing about hunting, otherwise you would have heard of bloodhounds !


Not upper class yer right 35 years and nothing changes, keep your england pastures green


Rid the countryside of this plague and increase British exports - sell the hounds to Korea, the horses to France and give the hunters to Syria.


People who terrify and kill an animal for fun are cruel obviously and very peculiar if not psychopathic. If they dress up in order to do it, they bring an element of fetish to the proceedings.

When considering class, and this is admittedly a generalisation, what sort of people do you associate the expression, 'cruel, peculiar people, often with a fetish' to be about ?

Katherine de Gama

My experience if growing up in Gloucestershire were hunting was endemic was that you have toffs and rabble and nothing in between. As for stories of people in council houses having horses (Ha! - not that I have any snobbery)the purchase price of an animal is nothing compaired to the vet bills. I hope people understand that. Hunting is barbaric. There is nothing more to say.

me biscuit tin is empty

Oh dear Katherine sorry hun i live in a council/social house and own two horses well they belong to the children i have friends who are tenants private who own ponies and yep some home owner friends too.

This is all very stereo typical , all depend on what you spend your money on .

I would also add my father inlaw is retired and god forbid a tenant at one time he owned three .

Vet bills are average and most are not for serious ailments , farrier costs, supplement feed, grass keep, stable etc all very modest trailer hire or some one in the clubs will help out as i say depends what you spend your hard earned cash on .

Many spend 2-3 k on the family holiday , £150 pm on a new car, Most of us with horses spend it on them.

Granted go to the average horse sale you can pick up ponies, horses at a reasonable cost because people cant afford to keep them any more, well thats what they tell their children as they then pile them in to a new car .



We must also consider that a few are more that happy to live in council provided accomodation even in though they earn in excess of £100K per annum. But that's another thread.


"A veneer of concern for wildlife helps conceal the real agenda which is one of sheer hatred for the people who go out hunting."

A very astute observation in the vast majority of cases. You only have to look at the homelessness which blights our society and wonder why these fallen human beings excite less sympathy than a fox. This for me, is why the Parliamentary time that was taken up by the Hunting Act debate was such a disgrace.

The only thing I've ever seen hunted with dogs were mink which had been released into the wild by animal rights activists and which had completely silenced several miles of river. Frankly, I don't the anti hunt brigade have anything better to do with their lives than vent their frustations and prejudices on others, and nor do they appreciate their good fortune. They will never change though, nor be persuaded to look in the mirror. They are Right and anyone with a different view must be a heretic.

eva land

Resorting yet again to referring to anyone with a low opinion of a so called blood sport as the anti-hunting lobby is pathetic.

I oppose some of the new changes to the NHS does that make me anti- NHS?

A lot of traditions are carried on in this country in a more modified form for the sake of tourism so dressing up and a bit of decent horsemanship is not a problem and who cares who is doing it.

Making out that controlling foxes is needed or that this is an efficient way to do it is a mantra that no one is conned by anymore.

Why don't you just admit that you like the thrill of defeating a dog like wild animal with the use of other trained dogs and bouncing up and down on your saddle whilst doing it over other peoples land.

me biscuit tin is empty

Utter rubbish.


It's you who is talking rubbish.

Why dont you back to torturing some poor defenceless animal to death for kicks.

eva land

If your brain is having trouble formulating a considered reply then I suggest you get some jammie dodgers in or are you more of a hobnob?


Rather immature.

atcham jack

1 am not against fox hunting now the sport has been cleaned up and hunts stick to the new rules. i was always against cub hunting and earth stopping, preventing an exhausted fox from going to ground.

the law now says a hunt may hunt with 2 hounds and a huntsmman with a gun plus other huntsmen.

if i thought the rules were not being kept, i could easily be persuaded to ban the sport

me biscuit tin is empty

Well actually shropshire have more association homes than council homes in 2012 , and i think the government clearly stated that 35% of tenants earn through "WORK" 6OK OR OVER but that is possibly in most cases two people working.

What needs to be remembered these are affordable homes, private rents are over inflated they should be brought back down or capped you cant penalize people for bettering themselves the answer will be and i am sure it will happen in the next five years "association tenants" will be given the right to buy.

eva land

The council homes that Shrewsbury previously provided for young couples and those on generally low, local incomes are now called Theatre Severn.

A difficult to like building from any vantage point that now serves the relatively few who can afford to use it.

That's what our councillors hurredly spent an extraordinarily, very, large proportion of the money gained from selling off our council homes on, before we went unitary.

The over inflated private rents you refer to MBTIE, belong to those who are also bettering themselves or are substitute pensions so it depends upon which side of the coin you are looking at.

People like Michael Heseltine being feted for business acumen is a complete joke. His father gave him £1000 when he was 21 and he bought a London Hotel with it. From then on he just rode the property market, fuelled by the selling off of council homes and creating a property inflation that anyone with financial assets, couldn't fail to make more money from.

me biscuit tin is empty

Theatre 7 eve is ALWAYS full and ALL functions etc well attended.

Questionable whether private rents are funding individuals pensions or bettering themselves its just "greed" love because they can.


If T7 is doing so well how come we are still subsidising it?

Marmite Pretzl

Class War...its the only war worth waging!. Can't wait til' tomorrow so we can swell the ranks after George's budget!. There's more misery to come, mark my words.

I wish they'd repeat The Goodies to cheer us all up.

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