Is this the final Boxing Day hunt?
Sir, Friday is St. Stephen's Day, when by tradition the Church
recalls the death of the first Christian martyr. It is also the busiest
day of the year for hunting with hounds. Approximately 300 hunts will
take place on Friday. Without intervention, by this time next year
between 15,000 and 20,000 more foxes will have been killed by hunting.
As Christians we believe that how we treat the rest of creation is
every bit as much a question of morality as unemployment or
homelessness. We also remember the example of the 8th century French
bishop, St. Hubert, who was prompted by his Christian vocation to
renounce deerhunting as a sport.
We welcome the Boxing Day publication of A Christian Case
Against Hunting by the Christian Socialist Movement which
represents an important contribution to this ethical debate.
We recognise that the Government has many pressing issues to deal
with but we hope and pray that time will be found for legislation to
ensure that this will be the last Boxing Day when the savage and
terrifying death of an animal is treated as a sport.
†John Austin Baker
c/o Christian Socialist Movement
Sir, I was saddened to be asked by some of my fellow Christians to
add my name to a letter to you as publicly joining part of the movement
to stop foxhunting. I have not done so.
I should have thought that on any showing we have a prior duty to
prevent stress and suffering by domesticated rather than wild animals,
since wild species in the course of nature have been subject to
predation, while domestic species have not.
So I would pay more attention to the predominantly urban
abolitionists of foxhunting if they gave priority in their publicity to
the stress suffered by millions of hens in batteries rather than the
comparatively few foxes in the hunting field.
But then battery hens are shielded from the public gaze and what is
more they provide urban multitudes with cheap eggs and poultry while
foxed do not. And what about the countless turkeys consumed over
Letters to The Times dated 26 December 1997 .
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