MORE than 70 per cent of Redditch Advertiser readers say they are AGAINST the fox hunting ban being repealed - calling it "barbaric".

A poll by this newspaper has found significant opposition to scraping the existing law after Theresa May revealed it faces being re-visited after the General Election.

The Prime Minister says she is in favour of hunting, and wants MPs to be handed a free vote to axe the 2004 law if she stays in Downing Street.

The poll revealed how 72 per cent backed the ban, with 28 per cent wanting it legalised.

Leaked emails from Tory peer Lord Mancroft revealed how pro-fox hunting campaigners are plotting to use a huge Conservative majority to push for a repeal of the law.

In his emails, seen by the Daily Mirror, Lord Mancroft wrote: "A majority of 50 or more would give us a real opportunity for repeal of the Hunting Act.

"This is by far the best opportunity we have had since the ban, and is probably the best we are likely to get in the foreseeable future."

Mrs May was then questioned about it during a visit to Leeds last week, where she told reporters she was in favour of allowing the blood sport, saying parliament should have a say.

"Personally, I've always been in favour of fox hunting and we maintain our commitment - we had a commitment previously - as a Conservative Party to allow a free vote and that would allow parliament to take a decision on this," she said.

Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner said the act had "failed", adding that he would wait and see what was contained in the Conservative manifesto.

The Hunting Act 2004, passed in November of that year after a free vote in the Commons, makes fox hunting unlawful in England and Wales.

But certain modified forms of hunting foxes with hounds are still within the law, and 'shooting foxes as vermin' also remains lawful, making the act hard to enforce.

The Government decided to postpone a Commons vote on relaxing elements of the act back in 2015, fearing defeat after the 56-strong SNP revealed it was siding with Labour.