BEA BRALDEY (Letters, January 22) is probably correct in her assumption that Jesus would have hated cruelty to animals, although the church has always supported such cruelty by allowing hunting on its land.

The Hunting Act now urgently needs to be updated in view of the fact that it is being routinely flouted by those who believe they are above the law.

So-called ‘trail hunting’ should now be banned, since it is being used as an alibi by hunts, while the use of fox urine is also a clear incitement for hounds to pursue foxes.

Even in the unlikely event that hunts are engaged in legal trail hunting, the annual slaughter of thousands of hounds is as big an outrage as the killing of wildlife itself.

Hounds regularly receive a bullet in the head when they are about six-years-old and can no longer keep up with the pack. Hopefully, the compulsory microchipping of dogs will soon enable access to data confirming the fate of these animals and the numbers involved, so that the RSPCA can take legal action.

Incidentally, I understand that the hunts have received assurances from the Dogs Trust that they will be provided with free microchipping.

Clearly this impoverished minority needs all the financial help it can get.

Linkside Avenue, Oxford