Letter: Fox and hounds

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your article correctly stated that the Advertising Standards Authority had criticised parts of our advertising, but failed to mention that it had rejected key complaints from anti-hunt groups in the same adjudication (report, 11 August). In two significant findings, the ASA agreed that it is acceptable for the Countryside Alliance to state that it is committed to animal welfare, and to affirm that its membership includes tens of thousands of workers in agriculture.

It is remarkable that the RSPCA has sought to draw attention to the ruling, as it simply serves to remind the public of the far stronger criticism that that organisation itself faced from the ASA in its November 1998 report, one of the issues raised in this latest adjudication.

The Countryside Alliance is more than happy for its claims to be examined by the ASA for factual accuracy and to correct them where they can be improved. By contrast the RSPCA, which has claimed it is "in a better position to judge what is cruelty than the members of the ASA", shows less regard for the advertising watchdog and would seem committed to continuing with misleading propaganda.

PAUL LATHAM

Senior Press Officer

Countryside Alliance

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