HUNTING in Cheshire is not such a pretty spectacle behind the scenes Oh, what a pretty picture the hunting fraternity painted for us all on Boxing Day! Horses, riders and supporters done up to the nines, partaking of liberal amounts of bonhomie, in liquid and verbal form, patting each other on the back for the sterling work they have done in avoiding the law.

Why, they surely could have just fallen out of an old-fashioned Christmas card!

But, wait a minute, where were all those noisy quad bikes that are so much the norm of modern-day hunting? No mention of the roads blocked by supporters' cars who don't move even when asked. Where was that special breed of local louts with his terriers? Where were the foul-mouthed followers, the faces of the children blooded for the 'fun' of being at their first kill?

The real face of hunting is not the pretty picture it would have us believe. Show the face of an exhausted fox its eyes staring, its tongue hanging out, its breath rasping, its body quivering, not knowing where to turn to get away from its persecutors. Show the face of the bloodthirsty mob who will joyfully chase this animal, oblivious to its suffering. That is the true face of hunting - not very pretty at all.

Paul Timpson spokesperson for the North West Hunt Saboteurs Association PO Box 239 Manchester M14 7XB 07960 038230 Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports