Savagery of shooting party

Last week I had the misfortune to witness a shooting party of men, all in their 70s out shooting what I thought were game birds. I was surprised by the fact that although I only watched them for 10 minutes, one of the party shot a pheasant, a magpie and a

Last week I had the misfortune to witness a shooting party of men, all in their 70s out shooting what I thought were game birds. I was surprised by the fact that although I only watched them for 10 minutes, one of the party shot a pheasant, a magpie and a seagull! One can only assume that the old man who shot the seagull had poor eyesight and that if this was so, should he indeed be in the possession of a shotgun and discharging it no more than 100 yards from private houses.

As a retired schoolteacher and having worked in inner city schools, I could imagine the hue and cry if the seagull was shot be a youth in a park in central London. It seems strange to me, that it is only young people who are served ASBOs for anti social behaviour. Surely a man firing a shotgun, who is either incapable of, or who simply does not care what he kills, and cannot differentiate between a seagull and a pheasant is a greater menace to society than many youths.

There is another issue here, whereby violence today is all too readily manifested in television and video games and accentuated by people killing birds or any other small animals in the name of sport. This is no more sport than what was seen in the Coliseum in Rome and certainly not a good example to anyone trying to teach the youth of today a basis on good living and tolerance. One can only guess that if these birds could shoot back at these old men, there would be precious few country sportsmen as they are bereft of morals and see life as one big opportunity to kill things. Not a message for today's youth, mankind and wildlife should learn to live side by side and it is our children's right to see such wonderful birds as pheasants, magpies and seagulls soaring in the sky and adding a true quality of life.

A COLLINS, Hitchin


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