Michael Heavey raises the question of prosecution for hunt trespass on private property (Oxford Mail, August 31).

Here are a few instances and the hunters' excuses.

In 2006, hounds belonging to the Tynedale Hunt rampaged through gardens.

A hunt spokesman stated that the smell of a fox had diverted the hounds from a laid scent.

Hounds invaded gardens in Taunton shortly after a terrified fox had dashed through, just as children were taking part in a Halloween trail.

The huntmaster's comment: "We were hunting in the area and unfortunately, the hounds were trail hunting, picked up the scent of the fox and took off after it."

In 2007, children, cats and dogs were terrified after hounds crossed the River Stour and raced through gardens, the fox finally being killed in a garden.

A spokesman for the hunt said: "We were hunting legally using an artificial scent", but the hounds "unfortunately picked up a fox scent and crossed the river".

The Tiverton Staghounds killed a magistrate's terrier on her property - "ripping it to pieces".

The judge dismissed the case, commenting: "Dogs will be dogs."

Apparently, unless the hunt is informed in writing, with a detailed map of the property, that they are not welcome on private land, any case will be dismissed.

However, to put the issue in perspective, a Gloucestershire man was fined and ordered to keep his spaniel under control after it escaped from the garden and attacked a dog in the street.

Embarrassment? No, Mr Heavey, that is not a concept familiar to the hunts.

BEA BRADLEY, Cuxham Road, Watlington