SIR – I read with some amusement your report on December 27 of the large crowds who turned out to support the annual countryside event of hunting.

It is very pleasing to see how many people support this event now that it no longer involves the cruel and barbaric killing of foxes or other wild mammals. Long may it continue.

These days, thanks to the 2005 Hunting Act, it is no longer a cruel and barbaric blood sport but an innocent day out, riding to hounds and following a false scent. How much more civilised it is to see people enjoying themselves without the need or the desire to chase, terrorise and eventually kill any wild mammal, especially foxes, by allowing the hounds to tear these creatures to pieces all in the name of sport.

It is also interesting to note that all the claims made by the pro-bloodsport groups – that if this hunting ban was introduced there would be countless hounds and horses put down, that many livelihoods would disappear, that grooms and stable hands would be jobless and so on – have proved to be false.