THE letter by Thomas and Allen of "Vets for Hunting" on October 24 will be regarded by many others in the profession with disappointment.

Of 20,748 currently on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' register, only 530 less than three per cent have signed to say they believe hunting justifiable entirely on welfare grounds.

Hunting only accounts for 2.5 per cent of foxes killed and they can sustain annual losses of up to 70 per cent so hunting with hounds will have little, if any, effect on numbers.

It would be better to allow natural selection to be the truly natural way of controlling their numbers.

There is anecdotal evidence from the hunters themselves that foxes have died after escaping the chase from over-exhaustion, hypothermia and systems failure.

Fox hunting is neither effective nor natural at controlling fox numbers.

It is merely a bloodsport.

John Campbell BVSc MRCVS Cardiff