RIGHT across the English and Welsh countryside, each November sees the start of the fox-hunting season. This ritualised display of animal abuse horrifies those who love Britain's wild animals.

Hunting with dogs is a cruel sport and MPs have long recognised it as such. There can be no justification for people chasing wild animals to the point of exhaustion and then killing them with packs of dogs.

But this year, the situation is different. Apparently believing that MPs are about to pass a ban on hunting into law, a small minority of people are now threatening to break the new law when it comes into effect.

For years, the League Against Cruel Sports has been accusing hunts of arrogantly disregarding private property as their hounds follow the unpredictable route of their quarry. Now, these hunters are threatening to arrogantly disregard the criminal law as well.

Many people, of all views, feel very strongly about hunting. But the proper step, in a democratic society, is for local people to lobby their MP, as we have urged our local supporters to do over the years.

John Cooper Chairman, League Against Cruel Sports Union Street London