Although I hesitate to step on the well-trodden path of anti-fox hunting, your recently published letter from Stockport (Hunting cannot be expected to survive, January 31) cannot be ignored.

Whenever there has been a TV programme showing foxes as angelic, furry creatures with trusting eyes and relaxed features, one knows the anti-blood sports people will try and make the most of it.

Surely by now, how ever shuttered their brains are, they must realise that the fox is probably the most vicious killer, not for food but for fun, that we have in this country and with no natural predator they are enjoying both an explosion in population and an orgy of killing.

In our village there have been at least two instances over the years where hen runs have been cleared of living inhabitants by a fox and the dead and dying birds left for the owner to bury. I once met a fox in Savernake forest with two young rabbits in its mouth, no doubt taking them for their cubs to play with. Now we read that our overworked police force are being chastised because they feel their prime duty is to keep the peace on our streets and burglars out of our houses, rather than attempting to arrest people who, one has to admit, are really doing all who live in the countryside a service.

Only in Great Britain could such vast sums of money and so much Parlimentary time be spent to protect such an unpleasant creature. I wonder what it cost the tax payer to convict these 21 people.

Geoffrey Treherne, Axford, Marlborough