Sir – I have followed the debate on hunting in the Worcester News letters pages with interest and I wonder if I might make a comment.

Surely the issue at the heart of the hunting debate is animal cruelty?

Cruelty is generally legally defined as deliberately causing unnecessary suffering. Although there is a law against such cruelty – the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act – it only covers certain actions and exempts hunting.

Given that no one can sensibly argue that there is a right to be cruel, does it not make sense that this law is extended so that all such cruelty to wild mammals be made illegal however it is caused.

I should have no right to be cruel but, conversely, people should have no right to prevent me undertaking activities that are not cruel.

It’s interesting that anti-hunt organisations such as the League Against Cruel Sports actually oppose such a legislative approach that would have cruelty at its very core. This is because they are fully aware that they cannot show that all hunting is cruel.

Giles Bradshaw, Devon