Sir, – This weekend marks the start of the hunting season, and what could possibly be the last opening whilst the Hunting Act is in force.

The reality is the Hunting Act is a bad law that has failed.

There have been just three successful prosecutions against hunts in the five years the Act has been in force, despite the thousands of hours of “monitoring”

by the League Against Cruel Sports and their associate organisations. Opinion polls conducted by independent organisations have consistently shown that less than three in ten people think that the Hunting Act is working.

The ban on hunting was driven by class politics and prejudice, not animal welfare or wildlife management, which is why the law is completely unworkable.

Repeal would be a public benefit; the Hunting Act has wasted thousands of hours of police time – police officers have been forced to spend hours investigating spurious allegations made by animal rights activists when they should have been tackling real crime. The courts have spent weeks wrestling with the law. One judge said that the Hunting Act “is far from simple to interpret or apply”.

Millions of pounds worth of taxpayers’ money has been spent bringing in, enforcing and discussing the law. I am sure the general, non-hunting public will agree that the money wasted on enforcing a dreadful piece of legislation would be better off spent targeting majority issues, such as education, schooling, policing and the NHS.

This could be the last season under the ban. David Cameron has consistently repeated the commitment to a free vote on a Government bill in Government time to repeal the Hunting Act. This was a manifesto commitment in 2005 and the Conservatives have confirmed it will be in the next manifesto.

Increasing numbers of Labour and Lib Dem MPs accept the Hunting Act has failed.

Whatever your views on hunting, it is vital that badly drafted laws do not remain on the Statute Book.

TIM BONNER Head of Media, The Countryside Alliance, London