It is refreshing to see David Gibbons (Letters, December 29) defending the fox.

With the general election just a few short months away, we all know who is committed to bring back hunting with hounds. We all know too that it would not only be poor old Mr Fox who would suffer. Other creatures like deer would again face unnecessary cruelty from the “tally-ho brigade”.

Assuming the British electorate are genuine in their abhorrence of hunting with hounds, this one emotive issue will return a Labour Government with a thumping majority, banishing the Tories and their multimillion-pound war chest for some time.

I have written to a number of parliamentary candidates asking where they stand.

To date, I have received no reply from any Conservative candidate. I therefore assume the subject of hunting with hounds places fear among their ranks. They want the matter swept under the carpet and kept out of the debate. This must not be allowed to happen.

If the electorate are genuine in their passion to keep hunting with hounds a thing of the past, they will not allow any candidate to avoid the issue.

The outcome of the election and particularly this matter of conscience is going to be very interesting indeed. Are we a nation of animal lovers or are we to lose the current recognition we enjoy the world over? One vote, one issue. What is it to be?

Ken Strudwick, Hayley Road, Lancing