HUNTING in Lancashire is not such a pretty spectacle behind the scenes.

Oh, what a pretty picture the hunting fraternity painted for us all on Boxing Day!

Horses, riders and supporters done up to the nines, partaking of liberal amounts of bonhomie, in liquid and verbal form, patting each other on the back for the sterling work they have done in avoiding the law.

Why, they surely could have just fallen out of an old-fashioned Christmas card!

But, wait a minute, where were all those noisy quad bikes that are so much the norm of modern-day hunting? No mention of the roads blocked by the cars of supporters who don't move even when asked.

Where was that special breed of local louts with terriers? Where were the foul-mouthed followers, the faces of the children blooded for the fun' of being at their first kill? The real face of hunting is not the pretty picture it would have us believe.

Show the face of an exhausted fox, its eyes staring, tongue hanging out, breath rasping, body quivering, not knowing where to turn to get away from persecutors.

Show the face of the bloodthirsty mob who will joyfully chase this animal, oblivious to its suffering.

One horse and rider from the Holcombe Hunt even ended up in a reservoir.

That is the true face of hunting - not very pretty at all.

PAUL TIMPSON, spokesperson for the North West Hunt Saboteurs Association.