Alice Barnard, the new head of the Countryside Alliance, has been in the press recently repeating the hunters’ mantra that “the Hunting Act is not working”.

The translation of “not working” is that it is being constantly flouted and ruthlessly ridden roughshod over by the hunters, as any hunt monitor will tell you.

This, in the surreal reasoning of the hunters, means the law should therefore be removed altogether, which in fact would be a case of Parliament rewarding those who deliberately and relentlessly break the law of the land.

I would like to see persistent burglars or muggers trying that one out.

Because hunters are so obsessed with the corrupt thrill of killing, and so incensed that society could presume to try and stop them, they are determined that their defiance will result in the Act being replaced by a fatuous charade of self-regulation.

The ground is being prepared right now for just such a proposition, and anti-hunt MPs should be on their guard against this slimy little plan.

The Hunting Act must stay for the simple reason that it is thus available on the statute book for the strengthening required to actually curtail the hunters’ current lawbreaking.

Ms Barnard states that the Countryside Alliance is concerned with issues other than hunting, but anyone with a grain of sense knows that supporting bloodsports is their raison d’etre.

It is revealing that the handbook of the Heythrop Hunt (Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron’s local hunt, with whom he has in the past hunted foxes) states: “No-one will be welcome out hunting unless they are a member of the Countryside Alliance.”

Penny Little, Cobb Hall Cottage, Great Haseley