KATHERINE Watson in her letter last week is clearly a genuine drag hunter, taking part in the long-establised practice of following hounds which are pursuing an artificial scent across the countryside.

This is an equestrian sport which involves no cruelty as it involves no live quarry.

Contrast this to the so-called "trail hunting" that foxhunters are gleefully claiming to be engaged in since the Hunting Act came into force.

Almost inarticulate in their enthusiasm to gloat that it has failed to stop them killing just as much as ever, they hardly know where to start in their claims of the multiple ways they are ridiculing the law.

Apart from their ludicrous claims that they now killing foxeswith birds of prey, and their delight that their terriermen are exploiting the so-called gamekeeper's exemption, they also boast how they drag a portion of a dead fox across the country as a scent, or use the appalling "fox water," obtained by killing a fox, boiling it in water and using the liquor.

One boggles at the mind of the average foxhunter to have even thought of such horrors, let alone put them into practice.

To describe this as reckless would be an understatement. Reports are now appearing of pets killed by hounds, hounds being killed on roads, and foxes being torn to bits in gardens before householders' horrified eyes.

Hunters smirk and claim yet another "accident."

Real draghunting never results in this kind of chaos, because the drag is laid away from roads, railways and gardens.

Not once have I heard of a genuine draghound pack rioting after a fox and tearing it to pieces.

Foxhunters can bring draghunting itself into disrepute.

If police and the Crown Prosecution Service allow hunts to blatantly ridicule the law then they have admitted publicly that their authority is just an illusion.

People will wonder why they are paying law enforcers if they fail to enforce a popular law to prevent barbarity and chaos in the countryside. MPs should urgently deal with the situation by tightening the law.

Penny Little, Great Haseley, Oxon