WHISPERING SMITH: Whispering? Sometimes I feel like shouting...

Photo courtesy of National Fox Welfare Society
Photo courtesy of National Fox Welfare Society

Prime Minister Theresa May has done the right thing at last and dropped the promised move to facilitate the repeal of the Hunting Act.

She is now, quite rightly, in step with 85 per cent of the population who find the hunting and killing of wild animals with a pack of dogs an appalling spectacle this country of ours does not need.

Now it is the turn of the royals, hopefully led by everyone’s favourite royal Prince Harry, to step up to the podium and renounce all blood ‘sports’ – a contradiction in terms if ever there was one.

The royals should lead by example, bin their stirrup cups, hang up their bespoke Purdy shotguns and show those who enjoy the slaughtering of animals and birds simply for pleasure that it is not acceptable in these days when so much of our wildlife, especially our raptors, are under threat.

Fox and stag hunting and the pointless shooting of thousands of grouse and pheasants for some weird moment of pleasure is just not on.

It may be difficult for them to do, as it must have been for Mrs May, but it is the right thing to do and that is what counts – their opinion and leadership would be welcomed and respected in our, hopefully, caring society.

Fox hunting like the driven grouse shoot should be confined to the bin of our bloody history and the lid securely locked down.

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I CANNOT say that 2017, for me at any rate, ended well or on a positive high note, what with our politicians at each other’s throats daily over Brexit, Donald Trump looking to pick a fight with the rest of the world, global warming and the confirmation that the seas and probably all that live therein are likely filled with plastic.

Ringo Starr getting a knighthood, and the finish of the Detectorists, one of the best shows ever on television, just about put the tin hat on it! A happier new year...