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Hunters must be hobbled

Madam -- I must applaud Fiona O'Connell defending herself so effectively against the ignorance and arrogance of those who promote the killing of defenceless animals as "sport" or "traditional pastimes"! The Hunting Association of Ireland (HAI) should be hunted through the courts with charges of cruelty to animals. If a private citizen were found inflicting the same atrocities upon animals as those in the HAI do, he or she would be prosecuted. As Oscar Wilde put it: "The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable." The unspeakable in this context are those who hunt foxes.

Fox hunting is unnecessary, it is not effective and it is cruel. It not only affects the fox that is hunted, but it often leaves young foxes alone in their dens to die of starvation when parent foxes do not return. Foxes do not kill newborn lambs. Foxes only take already dead lambs. Only a few enjoy this blood sport. It would not harm the rural economy if hunting were banned.

It's time for all forms of cruelty to be abolished, it's time for the legislature to get some backbone and it's high time for foxhunters' high horses to be hobbled.

John Ward,

Walkinstown, Dublin 12

Tearing up the economic plan

Madam -- The two great pillars of economics are "produce more" and "work harder". These have been ripped from their foundations in the 21st century.

How is it sustainable to endeavour to produce more when too much is being produced already? Our problem is an inability to consume all that can be produced. Every supermarket, motor forecourt, DIY store and boutique is bulging with product.

The World Trade Organisation must revise its role to managing and limiting the power of modern production before we are buried under mountains of unwanted goods.

This power to produce demolishes the second pillar of economics. How is it possible for people to work harder while innovation diminishes work?

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Everything about economic activity has changed. The only thing that remains static is the stupidity of those who direct our economic future.

Padraic Neary,

Tubbercurry, Co Sligo

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