Must the Master of the Holcombe Harriers attempt to justify legalising “live animal hunting” with the old excuse of “legitimate pest control?”

In a radio debate on the issue at the end of 1992, a Master of Fox Hounds Association spokesman admitted that in practice the fox is not a pest and official figures show that predator attack makes an insignificant contribution to livestock losses.

Why, then, do these people want to revive the use of dogs to inflict violent death on wild animals for sport?

Their behaviour before the Hunting Act was passed definitely did not encourage sympathy for the pro-hunt cause. In the previous ten years, Holcombe Harriers hounds badly frightened a dog, hunted a hare in an area with a warning notice about sheep worrying, and chased a terrified hare across an ice-covered reservoir in the Rochdale/ Edenfield area.

Understandably, 80 per cent of the population want to keep the ban on live animal hunting, as do the majority of MPs, including Gordon Birtwistle and Simon Danczuk.

Repeal is self-evidently not in the public interest, and would do more harm than good in sheep farming country.

The nation’s leading animal welfare organisation requires the Hunting Act to stay in force and those who enjoy that kind of sport must accept that it is no longer tolerated in a civilised society.

Katherine Watson (Miss), Stockport.