16 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 20


SIR,—Since the outbreak of war there has been much dis- cussion in the Press as to whether fox-hunting should be restricted, or even abolished, in the interests of poultry- farming and our food supply.

The National Society for the Abolition of Cruel Sports was founded on the conviction' that the hunting and coursing of highly sentient creatures for sport is repugnant to all who believe in impartial justice to animals. Further, the Society desires to obtain for wild animals the legal protection from cruelty already given to domestic animals and to many kinds of birds. It advocates the State control of British wild life. At this time, when so much stress is laid on the agricultural advantages of the proposed cessation of hunting, it -might be well to remind those directly concerned in the matter that the

movement in favour of the abolition of blood sports has primarily an ethical, not an economic, basis. The fact that the nation is now at war in no way lessens the importance of the moral aspect of killing for sport, and the opponents of hunting, who have for long insisted that there can be no justification for this senseless persecution of wild creatures, have no reason to change their view that all forms of blood sports should go the way of bull-, bear- and badger-baiting, which were abolished over a century ago on grounds of cruelty.

It is our hope that the calamity of war will not hinder that growing respect for wild life which has been so marked a feature of the present century.—Yours faithfully, at 253 Cowley Road, Oxford.