SIR – We believe that the repeal of the Hunting Act would be barbaric and a backward step for a civilised society.

Hunting with dogs was consigned to the history books because the majority of the public found it abhorrent. Those calling for repeal of this law are effectively calling for a return to cruelty.

We will vigorously defend the law with all available resources, the backing of our one million-plus supporters and the vast majority of the public.

We are calling on people to contact their MPs asking them to vote to protect the Hunting Act. The public has consistently opposed the cruel and unnecessary chasing and killing of foxes, deer, hare and mink by dogs, and does not want any return to killing for fun.

John Rolls, RSPCA director of animal welfare promotion, Douglas Batchelor, chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports, and Robbie Marsland, UK director, IFAW