SIR – Helen Smart (Letters, November 17) launched an attacked on hunting that superbly exhibited a total lack of knowledge regarding animal welfare, conservation and hunting itself. Add to this a little name-calling and we have animal rights at its best.

Ms Smart needs reminding that traditional fox hunting was selective, with hounds likely to catch the old and sick, which saved so much suffering. The ‘fox torn to shreds alive’ claim is a myth. It was killed in one or two seconds by the first couple of hounds, in the same way terriers are still legally permitted to kill rats. Ms Smart stated that during stag hunting deer were “torn to pieces.” This is false. What actually happened was a suitable stag, selected as part of a herd management plan, would be driven from cover by the hounds. When brought to bay it was shot by a marksman. Since the ban all the deer flushed out must be shot by law.

The Hunting Act is causing cruelty and harming conservation. Repeal is the only way.

Jon Burgess