BEAR bating, bull fighting, hare coursing, cock fighting, dog fighting all and other bloodthirsty traditional sports are, quite rightly, against British law and abhorrent to most.

Yet when otherwise morally level headed citizens are given the spectacle of a minority group dressed in red (not the best of camouflage when you claim to be hunting) giving themselves the psychological height advantage by involving one of nature’s truly magnificent animals and a pack of, otherwise family pets, especially trained to tear one of it’s own kind to death. Claiming tradition makes it a family day out!

I know illegal bloodthirsty animal sports are still practised and I’m sure if a police raid on such an event found young children being encouraged by their parents to attend them the local child welfare department would soon be involved. So what’s the difference?

The now illegal bloodthirsty sports originated from working class communities while, by virtue of cost, the horse, an acceptable costume and a pack of dogs, hunting use to be the preserve of the land owners.

Maybe some still have the genes that require tugging the forelock.

Peter Walters