THE Hunting Act is coming into force on February 18, and the League Against Cruel Sports and its supporters are delighted that finally the cruel sports of hunting with dogs and hare coursing will be banned.

We welcome the fact that many hunts have declared they will convert to drag hunting (following a scent instead of chasing a fox), as we have urged them to do so for years.

However, we are concerned at what will happen when the hounds have not been retrained to follow a new scent.

It is clear that our supporters and our wide network of monitors will still have much work to do.

We are in talks with local police forces to inform them of a range of clear signs of illegal hunting, which they can look out for.

For example if a hunt is supposed to be drag hunting and the hounds are running through crops, a railway line or any area where it is unlikely that an artificial scent would have been laid, then it is obvious that hounds are hunting a live quarry. Further information can be found on our website

Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports