Sir – Your correspondent Adrian Blackmore’s propaganda piece for the shooting industry (Letters, October 8) fails to point out a few key facts.

First, the tens of millions of non-native pheasants,whose lives clearly mean nothing to him, and are reared for the sole purpose of being shot out of the sky, far from being ‘free range’ are reared in the most appalling intensive farming conditions. Their lives are short and brutal.

Second, any other wildlife species that is seen as any kind of threat to the birds that make the shooting industry so much money, are killed in the most appalling ways, including snaring, trapping, poisoning and shooting.

This is done on an enormous scale and causes unimaginable suffering to many hundreds of thousands of the animals.

Finally, the conservation credentials of the industry are highly debatable, whether because of the mass influx of non-native birds into the environment, persecution of raptors and other species, or the huge amount of lead shot put into the environment.

The industry is not a ‘sport’ but an excuse for people to needlessly kill, and the idea that the countryside cannot find alternative ways for people to find employment, or for land to be used productively and in an environmentally sensitively way, is absurd.

Paul Hughes
Carterton