IT is certainly true, as I Robson (HAS, Nov 9) says, that those who engage in hare-coursing, badger-baiting and otter-hunting are sick. Indeed not just sick but despicably cruel and cowardly.

Why I don’t include fox-hunting among such barbarities is because, as I said, the fox always has a “sporting chance” and often eludes his pursuers. Also, the sport demands a considerable amount of skill, as well as acceptance of personal risk, from those who take part.

Also, there are good grounds for supposing that, while the general idea is obviously to kill a fox, the sport nevertheless benefits the fox population as a whole, and indeed much other wildlife too.

However, I agree that blood-sports in general are abhorrent.

I make an exception of fox-hunting for the reasons given.

Tony Kelly, Crook.