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Don't be fooled, fox hunts are cruel and savage

IT is that time of year again when the print media tends to go soft on a barbaric bloodsport.

Photographs project the picture-postcard image of foxhunting, the alluring pomp and pageantry of this traditional 'pastime'.

What nifty blood red, or shining black, jackets the hunters wear as they set off on their pursuit.

And what lovely white breeches and well-polished, gleaming jodhpurs they wear. Not to mention all those impeccably behaved hounds scampering past cheery sightseers.

Any one of the hunt images that surface in the papers around this time of year wouldn't look out of place on a Christmas card.

Unfortunately, they present a misleading picture of foxhunting.

We never see a photograph of a fox at the end of a hunt; exhausted, its lungs spent and dogs closing for the kill.

No pictures, either, of this much-maligned wild dog of the countryside having the skin ripped off its bones in a melee of orchestrated savagery.

Instead, we have again the feelgood colour pieces and happy-clappy snapshots.

I accept that photographers and journalists have to make a living. But no amount of whitewashing can alter the truth about this bloodsport.

I have witnessed the cruelty at first-hand and I can assure your readers that the agonised death of a hunted fox by disembowelling is not a pretty picture.

JOHN FITZGERALD

Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports

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