Hunting supporters should tighten up their security settings on social media networks such as Facebook to protect themselves from antis who trawl the web looking for people to direct a torrent of abuse at.

That’s according to the Countryside Alliance’s Executive Chairman, who published details of a particularly unsettling attack on their website.

Sir Barney White-Spunner said: “One highly offensive anti-hunting site that has come to the Countryside Alliance’s attention is ScumWatch, a Facebook group where the public posts pictures of people engaged in country pursuits and encourage personal comments. And some of these comments have been exceedingly offensive.”

The advice urgers Facebook users to correct their privacy settings so photos and posts can only be seen by friends. “It’s also a good idea to make sure your email address and phone number cannot be seen by the general public,” he advised.

The Countryside Alliance is encouraging supporters to report the Hunting Accidents page to Facebook.

“We have closed both pages down once,” Sir Barney said. “We believe these pages have no place on the internet and hope that if we show solidarity Facebook will have to take them down permanently.”