AS THE traditional fox hunting season gets underway, it’s time to clear up a few myths about foxes and fox hunting.

It’s been 10 years since hunting with dogs for sport was banned.

It’s a popular law amongst country dwellers and townsfolk alike, with eight out of 10 people keen for it to remain in place.

It’s also very successful, with the highest number and percentage of convictions of any wildlife animal welfare law in the UK and even better, has successfully reduced animal cruelty.

Yet still hunt supporters will cry foul play and tell you that fox hunting is necessary for wildlife management.

But a world expert on foxes reveals that hunting is an unnecessary and even counter-productive activity because foxes are not the pests that hunts like to claim.

A new report from Professor Stephen Harris, from the University of Bristol, shows that hunting does not reduce fox populations and killing foxes can in fact increase their numbers in a given area as more turn to up to compete for the vacant territory.

He also shows that fox predation does not have a significant impact on farmers.

In fact, farmers can benefit because of the number of rabbits taken by foxes.

But despite all the evidence that fox hunting is pointless and cruel – not to mention illegal – we believe some hunts are still defying the anti-hunting law and treating the spirit of the ban with disdain.

Can it be right that hunts kidnap fox cubs to ensure a plentiful supply of foxes for future hunts, as discovered during the league’s own investigations earlier this year?

How does building artificial dens and feeding foxes square with the hunting world’s claim that they hunt purely to control fox populations?

And why are hunt-employed terrier men sending their dogs underground after foxes, with bloody and often deadly results?

The government tried to weaken the Hunting Act earlier this year but gave up due to the public outcry at such a move.

Now is the time to ensure the law is respected and upheld.

If, like most other people in the country, you support the ban on fox hunting and want to see it properly enforced then write to your MP and let them know.

Animal cruelty like fox hunting has no place in modern Britain.

TOM QUINN, Campaigns director League Against Cruel Sports