I’m heartbroken to learn that fox hunting with dogs continues to be rife across our beautiful county Gloucestershire despite being illegal since the Hunting Act 2004 was introduced.

Fox hunts now claim to be ‘trail’ hunting where they say they’re only following a pre-laid animal scent (and say they’re definitely not hunting foxes) but this myth has been well and truly blown out of the water.

It’s now widely acknowledged that ‘trail’ hunting is a sham, a smokescreen for continuing to chase and kill foxes with baying hounds.

Chief Superintendent Matt Longman, the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead on fox hunting – has described illegal fox hunting as still being ‘prolific” across the countryside.

ITV News and Channel 4 News have recently shown what the hunts get up to when they think nobody is watching.

And the hunts continue to maraud across the county, intimidating local communities and damaging the natural environment.

This has got to stop, more needs to be done to protect wildlife and the countryside from the hunts.

We need our local police to take action, our councils to ban the hunts from public land and our MPs to support strengthening the Hunting Act.

Nature belongs to us all, it must be protected and nurtured, and we should all be able to use the countryside without fear of coming across a hunt.

Magdalena Szaszorowska.