Which is cruellest?

Louise Robertson and Ross Minett (Letters, 21 April) conveniently ignore certain facts about the use of snares.

They ignore the animal suffering and economic damage inflicted by foxes on sheep and lambs at this time of year.

Only this week we found a ewe in a lambing field, a fox still eating a back leg, when disturbed by our first dawn inspection. The ewe was still alive and had to be put out of her misery.

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By comparison, when we snare the offending fox it will be restrained in a snare for no more than a few hours before being humanely despatched. Thanks to the Scottish Government's intention to make "safety stops", as recommended by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, a legal requirement on snares (all responsible operators already use them) there will be no risk of strangulation or significant pain.

Cruelty has been defined as "unnecessary suffering". I suggest Ms Robertson and Mr Minett think again if reducing cruelty is their genuine aim.

IAN McCALL

Proprietor, Henderston Farms

Newtyle, Perthshire