Unfortunately John Fitzgerald (April 4) seems to have little knowledge of the countryside and simply alludes to sentimental prose rather than facts about hunting and snaring.
Although there is an aspect of cruelty to these practices we must remember that nature is cruel and without hunting and snaring we could not control fox numbers.
Because of how the countryside has changed some species such as foxes and crows thrive, unfortunately much to the detriment of many other species.
If we don’t control foxes then there will be no ground nesting birds such as ducks, lapwings, pheasant, curlews or mammals such as hares and their leverets. Belfast City Council may not be conversant with countryside management, there aren’t many chickens or lambs being eaten by foxes in Belfast so they could be forgiven for for an oversight such as this but gentlemen such as Mr Fitzgerald should be informed before they put pen to paper.
I believe that if the animal welfare groups such as the thugs from League Against Cruel Sports would put their money and effort into buying valuable wildlife habitats and managing it for biodiversity then at least they would have a useful purpose rather than spending millions of donated pounds to achieve nothing.
There’s a simple choice to make, a countryside without fox control and no wildlife or a managed countryside with the species and biodiversity which is Northern Ireland’s heritage, let the public decide which they want without malicious propaganda about fieldsports.
Personally I’d rather have my mallards, terns, lapwings, pheasants, water rails, curlews and hares!
It’s interesting to note that some of the best places to observe wildlife is in estates managed for shooting because that’s where the best biodiversity is, despite the bad publicity and misinformation of some ‘animal rights’ groups.
Six Mile Water Trust