OLD habits clearly die hard, and many amongst the vociferous hunt lobby are still bullying and threatening.

A tactic they have relied on for years, and one which perhaps characterises the sort of people who find it exciting and entertaining to put a defenceless animal into a situation of terror and intense stress, which worsens to a agony as exhaustion sets in, and culminates in a hideous death by disembowelling.

To find pleasure in any aspect of an activity which has this horror at its heart is beyond comprehension to most of us.

So long, long overdue, comes an Act of Parliament which makes their loathsome sport illegal. Threats follow of civil disobedience and lawbreaking otherwise known as anarchy, and should be utterly condemned by all right-thinking people.

Those of us who have campaigned for many years to see a hunting ban have had to accept that we may be putting our own safety in jeopardy. Ihave had hate mail including pictures of dead foxes, a nine-stanza curse supposed to result in my death, and pieces of dead magpies. I have had to install security cameras at home. There have been worse threats. Violence is a thread which runs through hunting, and it is wrong for any section of the community to encourage people in their threats of future lawbreaking.

Some police c laim this new law will be dificult, even impossible, to enforce. They are wrong, as we in the anti-hunt movement intend to explain to them, and they are wrong to flatter hunters' sense of self-importance which is in fact an encouragement to law break. The Tories' Home Secretary Michael Howard turned hunt sabbing into a criminal activity by creating a new offence called aggravated trespass. At that time, I do not recall police claiming that they would not be able to send officers out to chase hunt saboteurs.

The police will enforce this law. Hunters will be prosecuted if they commit a criminal act. Civilisation will go forward, away from the brutalities of the past.

Penny Little Protect Our Wild Animals (Address supplied)

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