Negative impact of shooting
A letter was printed in the Wigan Evening Post from Adrian Blackmore, director of shooting at the Countryside Alliance (WEP Letters, September 30), which was full of propaganda for the shooting industry.
He says in Britain we should be proud of our shooting industry (it should not be called a sport as there is nothing sporting in killing live creatures for fun).
Contrary to what he would have you believe, game birds are anything but free range. They are artificially and intensively reared for release prior to the shooting season, and their habitat is artificially managed to ensure their survival simply to be shot.
Pheasants are fed from feeding stations maintained by gamekeepers and are as tame as hens.
Anyone going round country lanes will have seen fields full of young pheasants, hundreds of them, spilling out on to the roads and often getting run over.
This has a seriously negative impact on conservation due to the release of so many non-native birds.
Gamekeepers also snare, trap and poison anything that could be a predator to their birds.
These could be magpies, crows, squirrels, stoats, foxes and buzzards and any other protected bird of prey, including the rare hen harrier.
They also use snares which are indiscriminate and will trap badgers, foxes, deer, cats or dogs.
Thousands of tonnes of lead shot are discharged over rural Britain which is harmful to wildlife that prey on shot birds and can leave poisonous residue in the soil, lakes and rivers.
Millions of pounds of subsidies are paid to the shooting industry funded by the British taxpayer, leading economists to disprove Countryside Alliance claims that it contributes anything significant to the UK economy.
Name and address supplied
John Downing exercises freedom of speech to denigrate those I share the Christian faith with and, worse, those of other faiths usually in a minority (WEP Letters, November 21).
I care not what Mr Downing calls me, but I will leap to the defence others who are targets of his careless language and thought.
He labels my vocation as evil and its practice as faith mongering.
He accuses us ministers of failing to appease fanatics – a very unBritish trait.
He demonstrates his ignorance of those who, throughout history and up to the present day, fight for justice and peace, relief of suffering and offering prophetic words against remorseless material greed.
My experience of religion is enhanced by the hundreds of men and women I have met who, unnoticed, work tirelessly for their communities and beyond.
A great deal of work is being done right now by leaders of all faiths to further reconciliation and understanding between religions – all have much in common.
All religions have people within them whose conduct is a disgrace as they quibble over liturgical trivia, gender and sexuality issues, believing that somehow they are serving God.
Such folk abound, but, whatever they are, they are not evil!
Mr Downing’s words contribute nothing to the cohesion of society and peace in the world.
Rev Robin Paterson