Sir,

As Boxing Day approaches, the League Against Cruel Sports is calling upon hunts up and down the land to have a cruelty-free Christmas. Northern Ireland is still the only region of the UK where hunting with dogs is still legal and the League fears that this year more animals will suffer in the name of 'Sport'. There is nothing sporting about the unequal balance between foxes, which often have their dens filled in so they have no where to run to, and packs of riders and hounds that chase them until they are exhausted then rip them apart.

There is a cruelty free option, fox hunts can be converted to drag hunts where riders can still enjoy their pageantry, stirrup cup, and galloping across the countryside. The League and its supporters have nothing against tradition or red coats, but we have everything against recklessly abusing animals for ‘sport’.

Hunting has no place in a civilized society, we should be protecting or wildlife not terrorising it. The League and its supporters will continue to defend British wildlife from those who seek to recklessly abuse it.

So get your red coats on, enjoy the crisp country air, but reject animal cruelty.

Fionna Smyth
Northern Ireland Campaigner
League Against Cruel Sports