Sir - Isobel Thorpe makes several accusations about hunting hounds being unnecessarily put down (Worcester News 19th January).

She claims up to 7302 are shot each year. As hound numbers only total around 15000 this mean half are being killed off every year if we believe her.

Basic maths show her figures simply don't stack up. The number of hounds disposed of is growing day by day according to the local anti-hunting brigade. If this trend continue there won't be any left soon!

Ms Thorpe makes her claims based on some "research" by Alan Kirkby, interestingly he is an "associate" of the animal rights company Protect Our Wild Animals Ltd. Mr Kirby's calculation do not appear to have been peer reviewed so are questionable at best.

Any serious debate needs clear cut independent evidence rather than just hearsay.

Ms Thorpe asked about the future for foxhounds. Some go to mink hound packs. Others go to foot packs or farmers gun packs operating where they flush foxes from cover to be shot.

These packs although constrained by the Hunting Act still attempt to carry out essential pest control along our rivers and to protect livestock in upland country.

Ms Thorpe obviously disagrees with hunting, even under the Act of 2004. However we don't know her views on why the RSPCA puts down such huge numbers of healthy pets every year.

Jon Burgess