I NOTE that the whole issue of animal welfare is mired in hypocrisy ("Labour calls on SNP to oppose amendment to fox-hunting law", The Herald July 13).

I received an email requesting that I sign the petition referred to in the above article. It was of course topped by a picture of a fluffy fox cub staring appealingly at the camera. The attached exhortation to sign made no reference to the efficacy or otherwise of the existing terms of the act or the proposed amendment which would bring hunting with dogs regulations in line with those currently applicable in Scotland. The main thrust of the petition, as is the action of the Labour Party, is nothing more or less than perpetuating and anachronistic class war.

Whether animal rights campaigners like it or not, foxes need to be controlled to protect livestock. If they are not hunted with hounds then they will assuredly by shot as no farmer or gamekeeper will stand by and allow the slaughter of every chicken or pheasant as occurs if a fox gains entry into a hen house or pen. I wonder how animal rights campaigners would justify literally hundreds of chickens killed by the blood lust of one fox. How many who signed the petition realise that foxes regularly kill domestic cats? Again we see that certain animals are in some way more valuable than others to campaigners.

However this is fraught with problems for the SNP. If they acquiesce to the demands they are then seen as an urban-only party and if they abstain they will be slated by the fluffy bunny brigade. However in the midst of all this is the concept that Scottish MPs should not be allowed to vote on English-only matters. This is their first true test of whether they are willing to vote on the merits of an issue or on populist, uninformed attitudes. I would not hold my breath.

David Stubley,

22 Templeton Crescent, Prestwick.

The SNP is urged by the Labour Party to oppose the Tories attempt to overturn the ban on fox hunting in England which, on the face of it, is an honourable and humane position.

Sadly, Harriet Harman, the temporary leader of Labour, has also intimated that her party will not oppose some of the savage Tory welfare cuts imposed on the less fortunate people in our society. Hardly an honourable and humane position.

Which is more is more deserving of our support - foxes or people?

James Mills

29 Armour Square, Johnstone.