PETER Janes in his letter on November 21 is wrong to say Lord Burns concluded that a complete ban was not the best to control foxes.

Burns was not asked to recommend whether hunting should be banned. Nor was he asked to consider moral or ethical issues. The committee was asked to inquire into the practical aspects and possible impact of such a ban.

Even if you believe that wild animals need to be controlled, which of course is debatable, Burns concluded that hunting "makes only a minor contribution to the management of the fox population," and that "a ban on hare hunting and coursing would have a negligible effect". That " hunting does not have any significant effect on the mink population" nor according to Burns: " is it right to justify hunting by reference to the welfare implications of illegal methods of control".

However, whether or not there had been a Burns inquiry, any thinking, decent, caring person would agree that hunting remains unspeakably cruel, barbaric, immoral and completely unnecessary and conducted only for perverse entertainment of a few.

All properly conducted scientific polls show hunting is cruel and there is overwhelming support for a ban, recently corroborated by the delivery of one million new signatures to Downing Street.

After decades of campaigning for a ban, we have won the arguments and because the Bill is based on evidence and principle, have won the hearts and minds of not only the people but also unprecedented support of MPs.

If democracy is to mean anything, the Government should get on and ban this appalling behaviour. Readers, please write to Tony Blair, 10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA, to help make sure he bans hunting during this parliament.

Judy Gilbert (Bucks League Against Cruel Sports)

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