EVEN though they have lost their battle for public opinion, and the days of their sport are numbered, hunters still try to find "evidence" to cloak the barbarity of hunting with dogs.

Attempting to bring some legitimacy to their horrific pastime, the hunters rely on the professional opinion of the "Vets for Hunting" organisation which claims that this horrific pastime actually benefits the animals being ripped apart for the sake of entertainment.

Among others, Dr L H Thomas and Professor W R Allen of Vets for Hunting, profess to have "irrefutable arguments" which show that, "far from being cruel, hunting is the natural and most humane method of controlling the four quarry species in the countryside".

Yet before trumpeting the fact that, "over 530 of our veterinary colleagues now support the irrefutable arguments that substantiate this professional opinion", Vets for Hunting would have done well to work out just how many of the veterinary profession their organisation represents. In short, 530 of the 20,700 vets on the UK is roughly equivalent to two-and-a-half per cent.

Despite their claims that hunting has the endorsement of the veterinary community, it is clear that Vets for Hunting only promotes the views of a tiny minority of whom it would be highly revealing to learn how many count members of the hunting community as fee-paying clients.

Mr D Batchelor Chief executive League Against Cruel Sports London