Put roast rabbit back on menu

PUBLISHED: 13:15 21 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:45 15 June 2010

READER M Newberry, of All Saints, near Axminster, recalls the days when roast rabbit was a popular dish and argues the case for its return to East Devon tables...

A reply to D Simpson (Letters, April 16.In the 1940s meat was scarce and rationed. A roasted rabbit was a mainstay. One of the joys of living in the country was rabbiting and, on our farm, a group would gather with assorted dogs - terriers, lurchers and mongrels - to hunt along the hedges. It was exciting, after a short hunt, to catch a rabbit. It would then be paunched (to non-country dwellers this means slitting the stomach from stem to stern with a pocket knife and discarding the 'innards' for the foxes and crows to eat). After that they were skinned at home. The skins were sold to a dealer for the making of gloves and hats, etc.Since myxomatosis and the surge of cheap chicken, they have lost favour. In recent years, numbers have rocketed and great damage is caused to hedgerows from burrows and the eating of crops.I miss those days of rabbit hunting. Now we are all expected to be bunny huggers and go to Tesco for an unrecognisable fillet wrapped in plastic.M NewberyAll SaintsAxminster

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