Bloody facts omitted

Thank you for identifying the author of your cover story as a foxhunter ["Hounded: What's so wrong with foxhunting?" November 14] (http://www.readthehook.com/92725/cover-story-hounded-whats-so-wrong-fox-...). This allows readers to add the appropriate measure of salt (about 500 million grains would be about right) needed to correct the staggering bias throughout the piece. For example:

1. Extracts from the Millbrook Hunt Diary (mentioned but not quoted by Evans):

*"good trip... Bassets declined to join TFB [a hound] in... the massacre of a cat early on..."

*"[Hounds] jumped a fox in Schirmer's and ate him up on the lawn. This followed by a yelling caretaker and a very upset landowner who could not comprehend how the hounds could 'savage' this beautiful fox... no reasoning with upset people."

*"Hounds jumped a crippled deer and I... cheered them and blew the horn. All of them ran this deer, and it was my own bloody fault... No obvious dangling limbs, but equally obviously moving poorly and about to be pulled down."

2. Hunt enthusiast Motley: "I consider us more fox chasers than fox-hunters. I think that in some strange way [the foxes] almost enjoy it."

A 1999 study by Cambridge University professor Patrick Bateson found that foxes suffer from often-fatal levels of stress when pursued by these "sportsmen" and their dogs. Veterinarian Peter Greene told the BBC, "These are not simple exercise-induced changes; they are totally different from anything measured in people or other mammals." When a mother or father fox is chased from the den by a pack of hounds, often to distances that thwart reunification, the kits are likely to die of starvation or predation.

An enjoyable outing indeed.

3. I doubt that Sally Clinton appreciated the "spiritual... tremendously exciting" aspect extolled by Rita Mae Brown. In January 1997, the Andrews Bridge Foxhounds (in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania) charged onto the farm where she lived. Her small dog, Sunday, was attacked while attempting to flee the pack. The dog died the next day from multiple puncture wounds and severe internal injuries. No member of the hunt ever came forward to apologize or take responsibility.

Amy Espie
Esmont
aespie@cstone.net