ONCE again we have an Agenda submission on fox hunting which carefully avoids the reality of the non-urban life ("Legislation needs tightening to put an end to fox hunting and cruelty", The Herald, November 4) and seeks to demonise a necessary culling of foxes.

The simple facts are that foxes are efficient and ruthless killers of wildlife and farm animals. A fox will not kill one chicken and leave the rest but will kill every living creature in a hen house. They will attack and kill lambs even at the very moment of their birth as at that moment the ewe is in no position to protect her offspring. They will wipe out ground nesting species if not controlled. It is easy to recognise land which is not managed as there is inevitably a serious dearth of wildlife.

Foxhunting with hounds is one method of controlling the destruction foxes cause and in every hunt a rifleman is there to kill the flushed fox. I would suggest that The League Against Cruel Sports failing to see the rifleman was a case of there are none so blind as those who will not see. In the attempt to alter the Hunting Act in England the SNP was only making a political statement which actually had nothing to do with hunting or indeed wildlife in general and to state otherwise is disingenuous. After more than a decade of the act in both England and its Scottish equivalent virtually every case which has been brought to court has failed.

However, let us make no mistake that the attacks on fox hunting are mired in hypocrisy. Is a fox worth more or less than a rabbit or a rat, which are exempted from the Hunting Act? Why does Harry Huyton and his organisation, OneKind, not spring to the defence of the more intelligent rat? Could it be that they simply wish to wage an outmoded class war and play on the fact that the average urban dweller seems to believe the Enid Blyton fantasy that foxes are loveable little bundles of fur which speak English and probably wear waistcoats? We should be in no doubt that anyone who lives in a rural environment is a hostage to fortune in the face of politicians and animal rights activists determined to further their prejudice.

David Stubley,

22 Templeton Crescent, Prestwick.

HARRY Huyton makes mention of the statement by SNP MSP Richard Lochhead in 2002, when the Scottish Parliament banned hunting with dogs. Mr Lochhead said that the Scottish Parliament was elected “to drag Scotland into the 21st century” and this legislation would ensure that we are a more “civilised country”. A year later the Parliament passed the right to roam legislation which secured our rights of access to Scotland’s land and water. Today Mr Lochhead is the Cabinet Secretary who is required to protect those rights for everyone and ensure that there is no erosion of what is one of our most cherished human rights.

I read however, with increasing alarm, the correspondence in this paper about the Loch Lomond National Park’s plans to extend camping by-laws to many lochsides in the park (Letters, October 30 & November 2). Indeed, in their submission to the Government about new land reform powers, the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority seems to want such prohibitions over all land adjacent to public roads in Scotland and to be able to issue on-the-spot fines to anyone who they think is contravening the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This means that Mr Lochhead and his colleagues were completely fooled in 2011 when the authority persuaded the SNP Government to allow camping by-laws along the east shore of Loch Lomond on the basis that this was the only location in Scotland where such draconian measures were needed.

My fears were increased from a recent visit to Yosemite National Park in the United States. There private land is surrounded by “No trespassing” notices and armed park rangers enforce a regulatory regime on public access which would be totally out of place in Scotland. Climbing Half-dome was out of the question unless I applied in advance through an online national lottery for one of a limited number of daily permits. Is this where we are heading in the Loch Lomond park? The present proposals for more camping by-laws look like the thin end of an ever-widening wedge.

Mr Lochhead should uphold traditional Scottish freedoms and not allow bureaucrats to whittle away at them.

Dave Gordon,

60 Bonhard Road, Scone, Perthshire.