IT'S a year now since the implementation of the Hunting Act 2004 and an appropriate time to take stock.

Backed by opinion polls showing an overwhelming majority in favour of an end to the gratuitous cruelty of traditional hare-coursing, stag hunting and fox hunting, Parliament responded to public opinion and banned hunting.

A year on and it has become increasingly clear that the black propaganda of the hunting lobby warning of a collapse of the rural economy and the slaughter of hounds and horses was scaremongering.

They claimed that 35,000 jobs would be destroyed. I doubt a single job has been lost.

Many hunts have accepted that they must abide by the law and have switched to drag and trail hunting.

This has meant that many, many people who love seeing horses and riders in action, but were repelled by the bloody aspect of the sport, now feel that they can support hunts that stay within the law, and are turning out to see cruelty-free hunting out in the countryside.

Unfortunately there are those who believe they are above the law.

There are credible reports that some hunts are behaving illegally.

The League Against Cruel Sports has passed on to the police dossiers on those extremists who are quite prepared to commit criminal acts.

We have no doubt that firm action against them will ensure that others realise the sense of abiding by the law.

We would welcome the comments, support and information from the public who have seen the anti-huntintg campaign gather pace in recent years.

Douglas Batchelor, Chief executive League Against Cruel Sports, Sparling House, Union Street, London SE1