HOW uplifting to see that many people do take the time to express their disgust at any kind of cruelty to animals and in this instance, my letter talks about the beautiful fox. I have a tremendous love for foxes and wolves and in my search for greater information, found that Bristol University had carried out a study on this animal. There are one or two facts which quite surprised me.
Firstly, foxes are most definitely not vermin, they are related to the dog family – wolves too – so we can say with absolute certainty that this myth is totally without knowledgeable foundation. Secondly, I think if you were to ask most people how long a fox managed to survive in the wild, they would probably say a few years – however, this most certainly is not the case.
The average length of life for a fox is one year – but it has the ability to live for 14 years if surrounded by those who care.
I have not read all your letters relating to this subject but it is a much heard thought that many accuse the fox of killing mercilessly. I would say the sparrowhawk and other birds of prey kill for survival. I feed the smaller birds – however, I have to realise that this is part of life, the way wildlife survives and I place the feeding bays hopefully somewhere where they can’t easily be seen.
These beautiful creatures inhabit this planet and what do we do as human beings? We, in so many ways, turn their lives upside down and do we benefit?
Absolutely not. We have one experience of life on this earth and surely our wildlife, our trees and beautiful scenery is something we should treasure and certainly not destroy.
It’s a tradition, we often hear said. Well my answer would be so is bear baiting, cock fighting – there are a great number of traditions we have in this country, some very good and well worth recognising and treasuring but any tradition that brings terror and cruelty to any animal or human being should be immediately seen for what it is.
I don’t live with my head in the clouds. I am a total realist and it is very hard to come to terms with the behaviour of certain sectors of our society.
The one great positive with all of this, though, is that the English love animals and if everyone knew what went on with regards to some of these traditions, they would be very upset and angry.
PENELOPE WATT SMYTHE, Winchcombe.