Hunt followers 'are not thugs'
ON a dark New Year's Eve, my spirits were initially lifted by the delivery of my regular copy of the Tiverton Gazette. Sadly I then found John Twyford up to his old tricks again, jumping on the rather crowded anti-hunting bandwagon Charity right to chase huntsmen all way to court, December 31.
Perhaps he had jetted off to Madeira and needed to fill his column with a controversial issue. John is allegedly planning a donation to the RSPCA to help them fund their recent hunt prosecution (in David Cameron's constituency!) at a cost of over £300,000. I can think of more deserving charities where my donation would not end up lining the pockets of wealthy city lawyers, even though I do not defend allegedly breaking hunting, or any other laws
Next I came across a rant in "Postbag" by Alan Kirby of "Protect our Wild Animals" fame. This was a classic class warrior diatribe against a "tiny, but highly vocal, rich and powerful hunting minority" and their "thuggish hunt followers" in defence of agricultural vermin (the fox).
Imagine my surprise to then discover your double page photo spread (pp 24/25) depicting the Boxing Day Hunt in Tiverton, where "hundreds of hunt supporters turned out in damp and chilly conditions to watch the pack set off from ...outside the Half Moon Pub".
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A shot of the Pannier Market did indeed reveal a big crowd. I had not realised that so many "thuggish hunt followers" lived in my home town! On the contrary, they closely resembled healthy country folk. I regained my composure after my paper had depicted both sides of the hunting controversy, and that our legal Tiverton Foxhounds retained their wide and support.
GORDON DAVIES Tiverton