Sir: Julie Roxburgh claims (letter, 29 December) that hunt saboteurs would never harm an animal. This is not true. One only has to watch the Boxing Day footage of the Essex and Farmers' Union hunt to see a saboteur deliberately terrifying horses by threatening to hit them with a placard. I myself have seen a horse seized by the bridle in such a painful way that it reared up and fell on its rider. This is to say nothing of the many foxes I have seen killed as a direct result of hunt saboteurs running in to block their only avenue of escape and turning them back into the path of the hounds.
As for the Tredegar hounds (report, 27 December), I agree with Mrs Roxburgh so far as to believe that whoever fed them the poisoned meal did not intend to kill them. I would guess the meal contained enough drug to dope the entire pack with the intention of rendering it incapable of hunting on Boxing Day but, in the way of all dogs, the first hounds to find the food bolted the lot and received a lethal overdose.
In other words it was not malice, but stupidity and ignorance that killed them. Anyone who has watched hunt saboteurs in action will not be surprised.