SOMEHOW I cannot see local police chiefs being very impressed by the League Against Cruel Sports' busy-bodies harassing them by reporting hunts they hope are illegally Autumn hunting this season, as mentioned in a letter on August 5.

One would assume that, in the present situation of international terrorism finally touching our shores, the police force has "slightly" more pressing work to concern itself with other than how exactly a few foxes are being killed.

Frankly, the League should be ashamed of encouraging such time-wasting. ACPO spokesman Alastair McWhirter has already stated that forces "will not be using (anti hunt) vigilantes". Saboteurs have already shown their ignorance by spraying citronella over man-made lines and are unlikely to be able to distinguish legal from illegal hunting.

As far as welfare is concerned, a study by the Middle Way Group and published in "Animal Welfare," the journal of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, shows that the ban has already increased the suffering of foxes. It showed that up to 50 per cent of foxes shot with shotguns were wounded. In many cases, guns do not kill the fox, leading to large numbers of wounded animals.

Many end up dying over hours, days or even weeks. This study proves conclusively that the pro-ban groups were just plain wrong but cannot bring themselves to admit that the ban was motivated by hatred of hunters not any concern for the quarry's welfare. True country people are angered and sickened by the law.

Mr Batchelor's gloating over the court cases is a little premature. The challenges on the legitimacy of the Parliament Act and on Human Rights grounds have much further to go and a recently leaked document shows that privately, the government is much more worried about these cases than it will publicly admit.

Along with tens of thousands of others, I have paid my subscription as usual and will proudly be out hunting this season, helping to show up this wicked, illiberal law as the farce that it is.

Practically every hunt has survived the ban and I look forward to seeing this vindictive piece of legislation repealed or amended into a genuine animal welfare act at the earliest opportunity.

Miss Alison Latham, Bletchley