April 2002

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(*)- added since last update

Telegraph 30.4.02 League to seek ban on shooting - THE League Against Cruel Sports is proposing to amend its constitution to commit itself explicitly to campaigning to ban shooting… (story)

Scotsman 30.4.02 Fracas - Andrew Hamilton (Letters, 23 April) asks why Lord Watson promoted a ban on fox-hunting and yet considers the fracas within the Scottish Prempier League to be a matter for sportsmen… The difference is that, to the best of my knowledge, we never have football matches in Scotland where wild animals are chased to exhaustion and torn apart with utter savagery and brutality… Leslie John Thomson EDINBURGH (letter)
Scotsman 24.4.02 ... Lord Watson... has said: Football governance is a matter for the football authorities, not politicians". Why, then, did he spend so much time promoting a law to ban fox-hunting? Andrew Hamilton EDINBURGH (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 30.4.02 ONE KILLER FOX AND SIX TRAINEES - IN the article on foxes blamed for the death of lambs (News & Star, April 19) the RSPCA said that it was likely that one rogue fox was doing all the damage. That may well be the case, but at this time of year that one fox will be feeding three to six new rogue foxes…So the Government should open its eyes and leave the huntsman and his hounds to get on with the job… STEVEN JOHNSON, Cambridge Road, Hensingham, Whitehaven (letter)
Cumberland News 19.4.02 FOXES BLAMED FOR LAMB DEATHS - A BLENNERHASSET farmer has claimed that foxes are to blame for the death of six of his lambs in just four days. Timmy Bowe, of Mechi Farm, found six of his lambs dead in one week and says he felt "sickened" when he found three of them without their heads... Mr Bowe said foxes are to blame and believes the number of foxes has increased since hunting was banned due to the foot and mouth outbreak last year... But the RSPCA disputes the claims that the fox population is growing. Spokeswoman Lisa Dewhurst said: "We do not believe the ban has affected the numbers at all.... She said the fact that three of the lambs had only lost their heads was untypical of foxes, which normally bite the animal's stomach or nape of the neck and then take away the body. "Foxes kill for food," said Miss Dewhurst.... (story)

Gloucestershire Echo/Gloucester Citizen 30.4.02 WAIT AND SEE ON HUNT MOVES - RE: "Bill could see pets destroyed" (Letters, The Citizen, April 20): The chance of a pet being included in the anti-hunt Bill to me seems a remote one… PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Stroud (letter)
Gloucestershire Echo/Gloucester Citizen 20.4.02 BILL COULD SEE PETS DESTROYED ... It means not just banning fox hunting and deer hunting, it means if you are out with your pet dogs off their leads and they see a rabbit, fox or hare or any wild animal and they chase and kill it, that will be classed as hunting with dogs. If caught, the owners will probably have their dog or dogs taken away, probably to be destroyed and the owners will be fined, I believe, around £1,000... ANNE HILL, Innsworth Lane, Glos (letter)

Western Morning News 30.4.02 HOW ABOUT A BAN ON KEEPING FELINE KILLERS? - In an article in the March 2002 Birdwatching magazine, figures from the Mammal Society estimate that 275 million small mammals, 55 million birds and ten million amphibians and reptiles are killed by the nine million cats in Britain every year… I also wonder whether New Labour who are calling for a free vote on hunting would permit a free vote on whether or not cats should be banned, or indeed if it would be a vote winner? David Hopkins, Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 30.4.02 NATURAL INSTINCTS OF CATS - I would like to respond to the letters attacking cats… Meat eaters in this country alone are responsible for the deaths of two million animals every working day… How many animals and birds are shot and hunted for so-called "sport", farmed and killed for their fur, imprisoned in zoos for people to gape at or spend their lives in laboratories where they are forced to endure horrendous experiments?... Joan Jones, Chudleigh Knighton, Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 5.4.02 WHY NO CAMPAIGN AGAINST KILLER CATS? ... the Mammal Society estimates that 275 million small mammals, 55 million birds and 10 million amphibians and reptiles are killed by the nine million cats in Britain every year... I also wonder whether New Labour which is calling for a free vote on hunting would permit a free vote on whether or not cats should be banned, or indeed if it would be a vote winner? David Hopkins, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 30.4.02 ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNERS ALSO CARE FOR MOTHER EARTH - Mrs M Truell's letter "Food for thought for the anti-hunt protesters" (WMN, April 2) shows the usual prejudice and ignorance that I have now come to expect from the pro-hunt lobby… Many hunt saboteurs also campaign against vivisection and all other forms of animal abuse…. Speaking as a vegan, I cannot understand how people can kill animals, birds and fish and then claim to "love" the countryside and its inhabitants. Mrs G M Ryan, Pool, Redruth
Alternative occupation - IN WM Views (April 23), W W Scott says our MPs should put more effort into sorting out the problems of the health service… Graham Ward asks:…what are they going to do instead?" Perhaps they could join the NHS. I know a surgeon who is a Master of Foxhounds. John Phelps, Exeter (letters)

Gloucestershire Echo 30.4.02 BADGER CULL STARTS AGAIN - Badger culling will start again tomorrow in Gloucestershire. The aim is to discover whether the animals are linked to the spread of tuberculosis in cattle…. (story)

Western Morning News 30.4.02 RISE IN CATTLE TB 'HORRENDOUS' - JASON GROVES - New Government figures yesterday showed that the number of cattle testing positive for bovine TB in the first three months of this year rose by more than 75 per cent, compared to 2000, which was the last full year before testing was disrupted by foot and mouth… But many farmers believe the continued spread of the disease at a time when cattle movements were curtailed points to the involvement of wildlife, and particularly badgers. The new data last night led to renewed calls for a targeted cull of badgers in the worst affected areas of the Westcountry…. (story)

Cambridge News 30.4.02 Pets are not only victims …I can't help thinking of the millions of cats daily "tortured" in laboratories unheard and unseen….I wonder what happens to the minds of our scientists who do this every working day? … From Sue Melbourne , Spurgeons Avenue, Waterbeach (letter may be in archive)

Argus 30.4.02 Animal tragic - The report of the court case concerning reptiles left in the dark (April 24) shows exactly what happens to exotic animals when they fall into the wrong hands… -Gloria Wheatcroft, The Drive, Hove (letter in archive)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Western Daily Press 29.4.02 'LADY GODIVA' PROVES A MODEL HUNT SUPPORTER - Topless hunt campaigner Camilla Jackson has been offered modelling jobs after riding Lady Godiva-style in support of the bloodsport… Her father Alastair said: "She has had all sorts of offers but she says definitely not. She has done her bit for the campaign."… (story)
Western Morning News 29.4.02 TOPLESS RIDE IN NAME OF HUNT - Hunt supporter Camilla Jackson braved the miserable London rain to re-enact Lady Godiva's famous topless ride… The crowd chanted for Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael to come out and discuss the issue with them, although Defra later confirmed that he was not in the building… quotes from Paul Hancock, joint master of the Fourburrow Hunt, Janet Ellis (story)
The Sun 27.4.02 Sexy Camilla rides bare to back hunting By THOMAS WHITAKER - A SEXY blonde rides virtually naked through the centre of London yesterday — to protest at Government moves to ban foxhunting.... Thousands of farmers roared “Tally-ho!” and honked horns as she performed her Lady Godiva stunt outside the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Smith Square. They left letters urging Minister Alun Michael to hold public consultation on the ban... (story) (photo) (photo) (photo)
Telegraph 27.4.02 Rider shows hunting has nothing to hide By Andy McSmith, Chief Political Correspondent - A COUNTRYSIDE Alliance supporter rode topless on horseback through Westminster yesterday in protest at the threat to ban hunting with dogs. Millie Jackson, 23, was among thousands of protesters who crowded into Smith Square, Westminster, where the Department of Environment and Rural Affairs has its headquarters... The protesters delivered letters to Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, who set yesterday as the deadline for those wanting to take part in a consultation process on hunting with dogs to make themselves known... (story) (photo)
Daily Record 27.4.02 CAMILLA'S STRIP FOR HUNTSMEN A 23-YEAR-OLD blonde stripped off while sitting on a horse in Westminster yesterday in protest at the threat to foxhunting ... (story)
Yorkshire Post 26.4.02 Protester strips off to make pro-hunt point - A 23-year-old blonde stripped off while sitting astride a horse in the middle of Westminster yesterday in protest at the threat to foxhunting. Thousands of farmers, landowners and members of the hunting community roared their approval as Camilla Jackson, from Dorset, took off her coat to reveal she was wearing nothing more than pink panties and a pair of boots… (story)
Ananova 26.4.02 Horseback hunting protester strips to panties at Westminster - A 23-year-old protester has stripped off while sitting astride a horse in the middle of Westminster to highlight the threat to foxhunting. Thousands of farmers, landowners and members of the hunting community, roared their approval as Camilla Jackson took off her coat to reveal she was wearing nothing more than pink panties and a pair of boots.... About three thousand people took part in the march, part of the Countryside Alliance Summer of Discontent, past the Houses of Parliament which snaked down the embankment and into Smith Square... (story)
Evening Standard 26.4.02 Protester tears off a strip ... The strip was part of a demonstration outside the Smith Square headquarters of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.... (story)

Ananova 29.4.02 Wildlife campaigners welcome hunt-mergers Animal welfare campaigners are welcoming the closure and mergers of several hunts - as the political row over hunting is set to be rekindled at Westminster. The League Against Cruel Sports says since 1965, the number of hunts had fallen from 353 to 311 (12%) while the number of drag and bloodhound hunts, has risen from 8 to 30... (story)

Times 29.4.02 ... Farmers in Scotland reported that a record number of Spring lambs were being killed by foxes this year. They blame this on the temporary ban on foxhunting during the foot-and-mouth outbreak… (story)
Scotland on Sunday 28.4.02 Hunt ban fears grow as foxes run amok - NICOLA PAY - THE temporary ban on hunting during the foot and mouth crisis has led to a massive increase in the number of foxes killing livestock, according to worried farmers. They fear this could be a taste of what is to come in the wake of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002 which comes into effect in August.... "To lose five lambs to foxes in one year is acceptable. To have lost at least 20 already is disastrous," said Jim Pate.... His farm, Mossilee, on the outskirts of Galashiels, is overlooked by a 100-acre conifer forest. The hunt would visit the area on average twice every year. The dogs made killings, but also flushed the foxes out of their woodland hide-aways and dispersed them into other areas... "The Scottish Executive have made a decision about something they know very little about, and they haven’t thought properly about the consequences." (story)

Western Daily Press 29.4.02 WE MUST HALT THIS ANACHRONISM - Christine Weir's letter displayed the usual fact-twisting and desperate protestations typical of an argument in its losing stages….(letter)
Western Daily Press 23.4.02 IT'S NOT THE KILL, IT'S THE CHASE - Enid Smith made a number of factual errors in her letter on hunting… People enjoy eating lamb, but no one suggests anyone enjoys killing sheep… Dr Christopher Maycock Crediton Devon (letter)
Western Daily Press 22.4.02 LIVELIHOOD FIRST, ANIMALS SECOND - Adrian Yalland, in his article on April 12, could be correct, but that does not mean banning shooters would ever be government policy… Farmers will control foxes by shooting as they do now.The League Against Cruel Sports spokesman made his views known on radio and TV regarding shooting and fishing… Pamela Dean Whiteshil Stroud Gloucestershire (story)
Western Daily Press 22.4.02 A SOCIETY THAT'S BASED ON CRUELTY - Chris Weir, on April 16, dismisses every opinion poll ever conducted in this country on the subject of hunting all of which have all shown a clear majority in favour of abolition… Mr Weir then trots out the hunt supporters' latest ploy. This is to suggest that there are "so many more important issues" which politicians should be addressing… The pro-hunt lobby never seem to complain about the numerous other instances of parliamentary time being wasted… P Jefferies Kingswood Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.4.02 EVERYONE MUST BE ASKED - In reply to Enid J Smith, my argument is that unless every person is asked their views on hunting it is not possible to say a majority wishes for a ban. In my experience the majority feels it is not a major issue, does not affect them, and that the Government has better things to do with its time... She states that while hunting stags stopped because of foot-and-mouth the number of stags declined... They declined because there was more poaching - and who was asked to humanely destroy the wounded stags? The hunt... Christine Weir Stretcholt Bridgwater Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.4.02 TEACH CHILDREN TO RESPECT ALL LIFE - I fail to see how Chris Weir deduces that the majority of people do not care whether hunting continues... I wish the Government would get its act together and ban the hunting of animals for fun, whether it be with dogs, weapons, or fishing lines... Enid J Smith Chapel Allerton Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 16.4.02 IS IT TRULY THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE? - Liam Slattery of the League Against Cruel Sports claimed on April 13 that banning hunting is the people's wish and that two out of three people support this. Which people? He never asked me…If the league is so concerned about cruelty I suggest it looks at the front page of the WDP on Saturday and the picture of the elderly lady beaten for the price of a bag of fish and chips.Efforts to prevent this would be much more worthwhile. Chris Weir Bridgwater Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 16.4.02 WE SHOULD LOOK AFTER THE ANIMALS, NOT ABUSE THEM - The comment by Adrian Yalland on April 12 does hold some truth, as well as a lot of bunkum!..I doubt if any fish finds it fun to be hauled out of the water by a sharp hook…no shoot kills every bird immediately…I don't like the word 'pet'…I am against horse racing…we would love to see everyone go veggie…Jennifer Pothecary Salisbury Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.4.02 SAME OLD ARGUMENT - Once again the Countryside Alliance, through the article by Adrian Yalland, trots out the tired old it-will-be-your-turnnext argument... I have been active in the Labour Party for a number of years and I don't know of anyone who would support a ban on shooting or fishing, let alone compulsory veganisation. Indeed, I know of people who oppose foxhunting, but shoot... Chris Lynch Corsham Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.4.02 BAN ON HUNTING IS THE PEOPLE'S WISH - So is shooting the next target for the animal rights movement? Liam Slattery of The League Against Cruel Sports responds to yesterday's article by Adrian Yalland of the Countryside Alliance… Of those people who have gone shooting, 3.2 million people have opted for the cruelty-free option of clay pigeon shooting - over twice the number who have taken part in game shoots... Hunting with hounds will soon be banned, despite the efforts of a small and noisy minority… The pro-hunting lobby are unwilling to face this, and continue to dress up their case through stunts such as this week's marches to regional DEFRA offices. Their support is waning and they are unsure of how they can continue to misrepresent the views of those who live in the countryside…(letter)

Shropshire Star 29.4.02 Let's stick to facts over hunting - The two pro-hunt letters printed on your letters page on April 22 once again illustrate that either the writers don't know anything about hunting, or they are deliberately trying to mislead your readers on this issue… If they are such a dreadful pest, then why has the practice of breeding foxes by hunts been carried out for at least 250 years?...P Bolton, Craven Arms (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 22.4.02 Hunting with dogs is humane method - Open letter to Peter Bradley MP for the Wrekin: I am a farmer and my entire income is generated from agriculture… I am passionate about conservation and animal welfare, both domesticated and wild, and I do not hunt, shoot or fish… I encourage the hunt to enter our land. I accept it is the least efficient method of control, but it is the most humane… So be humane and allow hunting with hounds to continue. Neil Dobson Wall Farm, Kynnersley (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 22.4.02 Dumping town foxes is cruellest fate In reply to the letter "Living in Hope" - Star Mail 4/4/02… This person states when referring to fox numbers "nature has its own way of culling." Having worked in the countryside for many years and followed the breeding patterns of foxes, this is not true. Foxes are prolific breeders. I have never followed the hunt… I also see it reported that farmers in Kent have been out at night shooting foxes, killing around 140 a month, one farmer said "many of these were urban and in poor condition, as they had been fed by fox lovers in towns and had no idea how to hunt for food"… D G Morris, Farm Grove, Newport (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 29.4.02 Muzzling pack to maintain traditions - Pro-hunting? Anti-hunting? Have you ever seen a live fox, screaming in agony as it is torn limb from limb by a pack of excited blood crazed foxhounds?... But too many of this country's traditions have been destroyed or eroded by successive governments to lose yet another… So keep the hunt - but muzzle the hounds!... Jim Wood, Holmer Lake (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 29.4.02 Fox hunts ban will be costly - This is a poem I wrote to reflect my thoughts on fox hunting ….Horses and hounds would have to be shot, And a old country tradition would be forgot… Amy-Clare Mason, Age 13, Bridgnorth (letter in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 29.4.02 Stop cruelty - I AGREE entirely with R W Selway who said that angling is cruel to fish… (Mrs) FRANCES BARTLETT, Wick House, Liden (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 19.4.02 Angling is cruel to fish - WHILST I wholeheartedly agree with Nicola Brewer (EA April 12) that hunting should be banned I feel that it is time that our parliamentarians and the anti-blood sport campaigners got their order of priority right... I abhor hunting and feel strongly that it should be banned but in order to produce a fair and just law our politicians should include in their bill not only hunting with hounds but any sport, angling included, which inflicts cruelty on any creature great or small. R W SELWAY, Burden Close, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 12.4.02 Watching is as bad as killing - Now we know why MP James Gray wants hunting to continue not to benefit the countryside but so he can carry on taking part in this cruel sport... I didn't know about the statement by a former head of the League Against Cruel Sports because I had just turned 13 in October 1992 and didn't know about the cruelty fox hunting involves. But I know the League Against Cruel Sports fully supports a ban, because I was with them on Boxing Day along with 50 protesters to confront the Avon Vale Hunt at Lacock.... It won't be long before fox hunting is banned and the sick fun is stopped. (Miss) NICOLA BREWER, Reids Piece, Purton (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 9.4.02 Instant death - Mr N Brewer (Letters, April 2) accuses James Gray MP of knowing very little about fox hunting... I have followed hunts on foot and in vehicles since the late 1920s and have witnessed a number of kills. I can assure Mr Brewer that the kill was immediate in every case.... G J REYNOLDS, Hill View Park, Oare, Marlborough (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 2.4.02 MP knows little about hunting - This is a letter in response to James Gray's (North Wiltshire MP) comments in the Advertiser on Wednesday, March 27... I think James Gray needs to do a little more research, then maybe he will see there is no sensible compromise. The only way is an outright ban so this cruelty does not continue. N Brewer, Reids Piece, Purton (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 27.3.02 To hunt, or not to hunt ... Today MPs from opposing camps North Wiltshire Tory James Gray and South Swindon Labour member Julia Drown argue their cases. (story in archive)

East Anglian Daily Times 29.4.02 Research firm angry after staff targeted BY SARAH CHAMBERS - A RESEARCH firm hit out at animal rights protesters last night after it emerged they had staged demonstrations outside the homes of individual employees after a major weekend march… But some Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty supporters later went on to protest outside homes believed to be owned by HLS employees – a move described as "outrageous" by the company… quotes from Joseph Dawson, SHAC, Stephen Booth of Lancaster …Police said one person arrested had been charged with public order and criminal damage offences and bailed to appear at Bury St Edmunds magistrates on May 7 (story)
Eastern Daily Press 29.4.02 Protesters tear down fence - Twenty animal-rights activists tore down fencing and tried to force their way into a Huntingdon Life Sciences' laboratory in a national protest against animal testing… Three people were arrested and one man was charged with criminal damage and bailed to appear before magistrates on May 7. The other two were released pending further investigations…. quote from SHAC spokesman Dawn Gifford (story)
Ipswich Evening Star 28.4.02 Demonstration at Occold - arrests made - PROTESTERS tried to pull down fences and force their way in to buildings at a demonstration outside Huntingdon Life Sciences premises. More than 200 protesters went to the premises near Occold after a peaceful rally in Diss, Norfolk. But more than 20 ignored the police conditions, which allowed them to hold a peaceful demonstration, and tried to get in to the buildings on Saturday…. (story)
Observer 28.4.02 Animal rights march - Around 500 animal rights campaigners staged a protest march at Diss, Norfolk, yesterday in the latest part of a campaign to shut down Huntingdon Life Sciences (story)
Scotland on Sunday 28.4.02 Hundreds protest against animal testing - AROUND 500 animal rights campaigners yesterday staged a protest march... (story)
Ananova 28.4.02 Three held during animal rights demo - Three people have been arrested during a mass protest by animal rights campaigners... Around 500 people gathered in Diss, Norfolk, to call for the closure of Huntingdon Live Sciences... Around 200 protesters later gathered at a HLS plant at Occold... The three were arrested on suspicion of public order offences after attempts were made to tear down a fence at the Occold site (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.4.02 BADGER CULLING TRIALS SET TO RESTART BY JOANNA BARR - Controversial badger culling trials are set to restart in Devon for the first time in more than a year…. Ian Johnson, from the NFU in Exeter, said there was already good evidence that badgers, which can contract bovine TB, were spreading it to cattle

FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Sunday Herald 28.4.02 Rise of the right: Rural France shows two fingers to professional politicians - View from deep France, by Will Peakin in Provence ... In several districts of the Gers, a sometime holiday destination of Tony Blair, the party of the Chasse, pche, nature et traditions achieved between 15% and 21% of the vote, beating Jospin and Jacques Chirac. Led by Jean Saint-Josse, 58, from a village near Pau, its followers were angered by Jospin's decision to enforce a long-standing EU directive protecting migratory waterfowl and other birds. The dispute opened a gulf between the traditional left-voting, rural working class and the middle-class, ecological, urban left. Many of Saint-Josse's votes would previously have gone to the far left.... (story)
Scotsman 19.4.02 Rural candidate out to draw some blood - Tim Cornwell In Toulouse - SEVERAL thousand French hunters descended on the southern city of Toulouse last night to give a rousing send-off to the one candidate who has injected a real measure of passion into the bloodless French presidential election. Jean Saint-Josse, founder and presidential candidate of Chasse Pêche Nature Traditions (CPTN), returned close to home for his last rally, with his single-minded platform devoted to the right of rural France to live life as it should be lived - particularly when it comes to la chasse... (story)
Independent 16.4.02 France's militant hunters hijack presidential campaign By John Lichfield in Caen - Militant French hunters have broken up a series of Green electoral meetings in recent days, hijacking the presidential campaign to pursue what they see as a private war for the soul of rural France. The violence – mostly in Calvados, Normandy – has been condemned publicly by the hunters' leader, Jean Saint-Josse, a former far-right politician who launched his own party devoted to "hunting, fishing, nature and rural traditions" two years ago.... His critics say he has shown little interest in home-grown ecological threats, such as fertiliserspolluting water-ways and the destruction of hedges and coppices to create vast cereal fields. (story)
Telegraph 15.4.02 Blunt-speaking Basque hunter aims to bag a million French votes By Harry de Quetteville in Langres - WIDESPREAD discontent in the French countryside is expected to give a pugnacious Basque hunter more than a million votes in the presidential election next weekend.... M Saint-Josse is a savvy campaigner. In a decade he has transformed a bunch of disaffected gun lovers into the mainstream Hunting, Fishing, Nature and Traditions (CPNT) party.... he would not welcome defectors from Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front. "A third of our voters are Left-wing, a third are Right-wing, and a third wouldn't vote at all if it wasn't for us."...(story)
Guardian 15.4.02 Hunting hero snaps at heels of Communists - French voters reject revolution and move towards tradition - Jon Henley in Paris ... In one of the more extreme signs of French voters' disenchantment with traditional party politics, Robert Hue, despairing doyen of a movement that as late as the 1970s could still count on 25% of the national vote, might well be pipped by Jean Saint-Josse, bucolic boss of the three-year-old Hunting, Fishing, Nature and Traditions party.... Mr Saint-Josse, who spends a month every year slaughtering migrating pigeons, wants a vast development programme for rural France and demands that Paris formally challenge the EU's hunting directives....(story)

Bedfordshire on Sunday 28.4.02 Animal activists get ratty with Unilever - UNILEVER has been slammed by the director of a leading anti–vivisection charity for its animal testing... The National Anti–Vivisection Society (NAVS) has released the details ahead of World Lab Animal Week, which starts today. Their 'Dossier of Suffering 2002' contains a list of experiments being carried out across the UK and the world and they have also revealed details of experiments which have taken place at Unilever Research in Sharnbrook.... (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Western Mail 27.4.02 Protesters baying at door of Assembly - Toby Mason Welsh Affairs Editor, The Western Mail - THE National Assembly found itself under siege yesterday from pro-hunting campaigners and their hounds... The pack of hounds caused chaos at lunchtime yesterday when they ran amok outside the building, and even urinated over the sign... David Thomas, from the Association of Welsh Packs, said, "This is just a warning shot.... (story)

South Wales Evening Post 27.4.02 ALL ANIMALS FEEL PAIN, ALL CRUELTY IS BARBARIC The attempt by L M Evans (Postbox, April 18) to fuel a debate regarding the merits of cruelty (or the lack of it), as she views it, between fox-hunting and live exports, leaves a lot to be desired... Let all of us who have a conscience and a sense of morality, support any and every endeavour to end the unnecessary suffering of all animals.(letter)

Darlington & Stockton Times 26.4.02 Hunt raises cash to aid Yorkshire farmers THE West of Yore Hunt has donated £325 to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society's Farmers in Need Appeal following it's highly successful cross-country ride in March… (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Daily Post 26.4.02 Hunters trap quarry By Andrew Forgrave Rural Affairs Editor - NORTH Wales hunt supporters sent a shocking message of defiance to Tony Blair last night after a tense stand-off in Caernarfon. Minister Alun Michael was left bewildered and angry when his taxi was surrounded by 150 egg-throwing protesters... outside the Barcud TV studios to take part in last night's BBC Question Time programme... Gareth Williams, secretary of Snowdon Valley Hunt, said: "He was sat in the front seat and looked very shocked.... (story)

Cumberland News 26.4.02 - Pro-hunt lobby is fighting lost cause - IT SEEMS that the hunting lobby is now accepting the inevitability of a total ban on their grisly and gruesome pastime when they talk of their September march as 'the final battle' (The Cumberland News, April 19)... JUDY BELFORD, Field View, Port Carlisle (letter may be in archive)

Bucks Free Press 26.4.02 Opinion polls and bloodsports - LINDSAY Hill, PR officer of the Union of Country Sports Workers (BFP letters April 19) suggests that the recently announced six month consultation period followed by a Bill to ban hunting has "a lot to do with appeasing restive backbenchers."... I have sent to the Free Press a print-out of the contents of a website www.foxhunters.info which lists media polls all over the country.... The website is password protected so is only available to pro-hunters usually.... Peter Bunce, Church End, Haddenham (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 26.4.02 BARBARIC SPORT - Hare-coursing is certainly barbaric... My son, who was eight at the time, said he would give up his school trip to France if it would stop this so-called sport (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.4.02 HUNTERS CANNOT BE ABOVE THE LAW - I write regarding Bill Pullen's letter... My simple reaction to this is to ask: Is the hunting fraternity so arrogant as to think itself above the law?... (letter)

ThisIsDevon (Torquay Herald Express, Plymouth Evening Herald, North Devon Journal, Western Morning News, Exeter Express & Echo) 26.4.02 DANGER TO US FROM ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS - ACCORDING to Adrian Sanders, MP, even the drug company representatives werastounded as he was to hear junior health minister Hazel Blears MP state that animals used for vivisection in Britain are lucky because they are protected by welfare legislation... Proof of the deadly consequences of animal experimentation is shown by the figures for deaths and serious side effects from prescribed medicines in the USA annually - over 100,000 and 2,000,000 respectively!... LEN SHORT Torquay (letter)

WORLD LABORATORY ANIMALS WEEK
Leicester Mercury 26.4.02 EXPERIMENTS THAT SHOULD BE REPLACED - This week is Laboratory Animals Week. These experiments by now should have been replaced by humane medical research based on human connections.... C Seal, Leicester. (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 24.4.02 Barbaric lab tests - Sir, - I'm writing because it's Laboratory Animal week this week. It's a week to remember the many thousand plus animals that have suffered and died... TINA CANHAM, Palmerston Road, Ipswich (letter)
Barnet & Potters Bar Citizen 23.4.02 Chance to do something about experimentation on animals - I would like to remind your readers that April 20-26 is World Lab Animal Week... Members of the public who meet NAVS members in the street will be given the opportunity this weekend to view the work done by the Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research... E J Carpenter, Grasvenor Avenue, Barnet (letter in archive)

Highbury & Islington Express 26.4.02 Eating ants is not cruel says restaurant boss - Animal rights fears dismissed as 'nonsense' By Stephen Lucas - THE OWNER of quirky food outlet, Edible, has hit back at claims from animal rights groups that serving up scorpions, ants and crocodile pie is cruel. Todd Dalton, 26, is launching the restaurant in Exmouth Market on Monday... "I'm an animal lover and I do animal conservation work. I don't agree with animals being hunted in the wild. There's no difference between eating a chicken and eating a crocodile, as long as they're cared for and reared humanely..." People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), however, were unconvinced and condemned the shop which also sells piranha and chips and rattlesnake spring rolls.... (story)

Wiltshire Times 26.4.02 In defence of the birds who helped - WHY does everyone seem to hate pigeons? These birds are all God's creatures and have as much right to occupy this world as humans... MRS KATHLEEN DAVEY, Dorney Close, Westbury (letter in archive)

Kidderminster Shuttle 25.4.02 Drag hunting can be a middle way ... Chris Rodgers (Letters, April 11) knows full well, as he admits, that the overwhelming majority of people in Britain are opposed to hunting. The fact that the Countryside Alliance can so word opinion poll questions to make it appear that those people who oppose blood sports are in the minority, is typical of that organisation... It is a great pity hunt supporters cannot see a "middle way" in switching to drag hunting... DIXON SHEPPARD, Briar Way, Stourport (letter in archive)
Kidderminster Shuttle 11.4.02 Animal v human rights - A YEAR ago to the day since the biggest demonstration that London would have ever seen - had it not been for the foot and mouth epidemic - MPs devoted an entire day to the very same issue that ignited that march... In response to Nigel Knowles (Letters, March 28), there is nothing democratic about a prejudiced majority imposing their ideological views on a minority... We now look to Parliament to settle this issue once and for all and in such a way that reconciles both animal welfare and human rights. A total ban will achieve neither. CHRIS ROGERS, Stourport Full address supplied (letter in archive)
Kidderminster Shuttle 28.3.02 Hunting vote delight - MAY I say how delighted I am at the recent vote in the House of Commons to end hunting foxes, hares, deer etc with dogs?.. NIGEL KNOWLES, Labour district and town councillor, Welch Gate, Bewdley (letter in archive)

Buckingham Advertiser 25.4.02 YOU recently published a letter from Hilary Stotesbury (Advertiser & Review, Your Voice, April 5), suggesting that our countryside should be ‘run for the public benefit’.... those involved in agriculture in the past have maintained the woodland, hedgerows and meadows for their livelihood and their recreational country sports.... What hope do we have of maintaining our countryside for future generations if such ignorance is allowed to push out our ancient knowledge and traditions? Mrs P M Young, Slapton. (letter)
Buckingham Advertiser 18.4.02 'FANCY A SWAP?' I was interested to read Hilary Stotesbury’s letter (Advertiser & Review, Your Voice, April 5). It’s difficult to know who she disapproves of most? Is it the subsidy-grabbing farmers who scratch a living from their north Buckinghamshire acreages or the impoverished hunt servants and gamekeepers who subsist on ‘the handful of jobs associated with blood sports’?... hands up all those Buckingham and Winslow service industry workers who would swap their situations for the high workload and low income of a typical North Buckinghamshire farmer... Paul W Wheeler, Silverstone Road, Stowe (letter)
Buckingham Advertiser 4.4.02 COUNTRYSIDE COMMENTS ... The bulk of the people who live and work in the countryside are employed in service industries... Just 7% of the people who live and work in rural areas are engaged in agriculture, and a much smaller percentage are engaged in the blood-sport industry.... The economy of the countryside depends not on a handful of jobs associated with blood sports but on the 400 million tourist day visits that are made to the countryside each year... Killing wild animals for sport is bad for the countryside, bad for the rural economy and unacceptable to the public.... Hilary Stotesbury, Robin Close, Buckingham. (letter)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
York Evening Press 25.4.02 After the hunters... I AGREE with George Brichieri about the hunters tramping through our city (April 16), but I am not as pessimistic when he says the lack of a counter demo is an indication of them winning the argument... The anti-hunting majority is still holding up reasonably well... I sense that a large part of that majority is "soft"... I count myself in that category even though my views on the subject of hunting with hounds are perhaps stronger than most.... There can be no compromise on cruelty. John Buckle, Nunthorpe Grove, South Bank, York. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 20.4.02 I had to laugh - WHY was Mrs S E Farmer of Doncaster surprised to find a lack of anti-hunt demonstrators in York last week (Letters, April 16)? Does she not realise that most of us were actually at work earning the money that, in our tax contributions, will go to pay for the police escort she, and her cohorts had the privilege to be accompanied by?... C.E. Harrison, Tadcaster Road, York.
...I SAW the protest march of the Countryside Alliance… There were far more people than on the Keep York City football demonstration and they were better behaved than the average York cyclist. Mike Usherwood, Mendip Close, Huntington, York. (letters in archive)
York Evening Press 16.4.02 End this old cruelty - IT was very depressing to see so many people marching through York city centre in support of fox hunting (April 12)…. I sat for a half hour in the car park holding a sign saying "Ban Fox Hunts" as the marchers dispersed, where I was laughed at and called "ignorant". (I had previously tried to obstruct the path of the horses but the police didn't seem to like this.) … does anyone fancy organising some sort of demonstration showing that the people of Britain do actually believe that fox hunting is archaic and cruel? George Brichieri, York. (letter in archive)
...I WAS surprised to read, in your coverage of the Countryside Alliance March, that York residents opposed to hunting held up protest banners along the route. They must have been very small banners because I marched all the way round with my family and none of us saw anything of the sort. Lots of people and drivers waved and called out their support, we heard just one chap shouting against us and I think he was only larking about… Mrs SE Farmer, Doncaster. (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Post 13.4.02 'Summer of discontent' in Hunt protest - HUNT supporters took to the streets in York yesterday as part of a nationwide protest over Government plans to kill their sport. More than 1,200 of them including farmers, gamekeepers and riders in hunting pink warned that their action was the start of a "summer of discontent"... Countryside Alliance spokesman Nick Procter said the York protest had been organised inside a week... Mr Michael said:... "To plan protests outside the building when you have a seat at the table does seem rather odd. Opponents of hunting have the same right to be heard and my role is to ensure that all views are taken into account." (story)
York Evening Press 12.4.02 Pro-hunt lobby on march by Janet Hewison - PRO-hunt supporters who swamped the streets of York today said that pride, tradition, and most of all employment are all at stake if the Government bans hunting in its present form. About 1,200 people, hundreds of working dogs including 18 packs of hounds, and several horses from across Yorkshire joined the march, one of several held countrywide.... quotes from Bob Hyde, former master of York and Ainsty South hunt, Richard Tonks a professional terrierman for Middleton Hunt, near Malton, for ten years, after working as a miner for 21 years, David Randall, Badsworth huntsman, Andrew Brown, from Saltersgate Farmers' Hunt, Kenneth Hall, of Ryther, from Old Yorkshire Coursing Club (story in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 25.4.02 Hunting is not trivial - In reply to (Miss) B L MacMullen's letter Monday, April 8... if it is true that banning hunting with hounds is a trivial pursuit why does it attract so much attention, and high attendances in debate, in order to block it, by those who say that the debate is a waste of time! As a Vegan I don't regard any life of any species as trivial... DENIS HARRISON, Beaulieu Close, Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)

Glasgow Herald 25.4.02 Rural guardians or green dictators? - Forget landlords and fox hunting. The real battle for Scotland's countryside is being fought between conservation groups and local people, reports BILLY BRIGGS... With the recent focus on fox hunting and land reform overshadowing other rural issues, a real rift has been developing between the people who live in Scotland's remote areas and those who are charged by government to protect wildlife, natural habitat and Scotland's biodiversity.... Barra islanders say their views have been ignored and misrepresented by SNH, and their way of life will change dramatically if the Sound of Barra is designated a special area of conservation... There have even been allegations that SNH, described by Donald Manford, a Barra councillor, as an "environmental dictatorship", suppressed vital scientific evidence to the Scottish Executive to justify the designation and meet EU directives... (story in archive)

Edinburgh Evening News 25.4.02 Gone to the dogs - WHILE there are many animal-friendly owners, breeders, trainers and greyhound racing fans, I feel public attention must be drawn to the darker side of this sport in light of the plans to reopen Wallyford Stadium (News, April 20)... The Scottish Parliament has set a high standard with the recent legislation regarding fox hunting... I would therefore welcome legislation and further regulation of this sport in order that these dogs can be properly treated throughout and after their racing careers... Davie Rutherford Wardieburn Terrace, Edinburgh (letter)

FOIE GRAS CAMPAIGN
Leicester Mercury 25.4.02 'CRUEL PRACTICE' - I ask readers to be aware of the shockingly cruel practice in the production of pate de fois gras... S Tolson, Cosby. (letter)
(letter)

Lewisham News Shopper 25.4.02 Meat is murder - I was angry to read Joy Andrews' letter (News Shopper, April 10). Instead of being so patronising towards young mothers giving their children meat on Good Friday and not making a small "sacrifice" for Christ, would she not consider the huge "sacrifice" made by the animals who end up on her plate the other 364 days of the year?... J Parker, Bird Tree Avenue, West Wickham (letter)

Congleton Guardian 25.4.02 Badger cull plea - WORRIED farmer Jess Bostock is calling for a selective cull of badgers to help defeat a disease which has struck down his cattle... (story in archive)
North West Evening Mail 25.4.02 BADGERS BLAMED FOR BOVINE TB - BADGERS should be culled to prevent tens of thousands of cattle falling victim to bovine tuberculosis, according to the National Farmers' Union... West Cumbria Badger Group chairwoman Vicki Emley said: "There is no proved link at all. Someone has suggested long ago that badgers may be responsible for passing TB but I think they are being used as a scapegoat... Better husbandry for cattle is the answer, not culling badgers." (story)

Western Morning News 25.4.02 BADGER CULL IS A 'MUST' TO END TB - PAUL ANDREWS - As the nation's agricultural industry attempts to rebuild after the devastating effects of the foot and mouth epidemic, farmers are now faced with a renewed fear of the spread of bovine tuberculosis... Alan Pomeroy, 54, has run Wedfield Farm in West Putford, Devon, for the past 34 years... "The previous policy meant that when cattle was found to be infected with the virus, badgers would be removed from the area. Every time this happened the virus would disappear - it is as simple as that..." (story)
Denbighshire Free Press 25.4.02 BROCK BUSTER - Call for badger cull after TB outbreak - Brynle Williams, who helped spearhead a series of fuel protests which brought Britain to a near standstill, believes there is a link between badgers and the spreading of TB and wants ministers to curb their numbers claiming the countryside was 'overrun' by them... (story in archive)

GloucestershireEcho/Gloucester Citizen 25.4.02 GULLS TROUBLE IS COMPLEX MATTER - I WRITE in response to Stuart Wilson's letter (April 17) entitled "Let's sort out the gull problems". Yes, Gloucester has problems with gulls, and this is why I have been asked to advise... My visit to Gloucester was specifically to assess suitable counting points for the forthcoming survey. It will be the first ever survey of breeding gulls in the city because, as yet, there are no accurate figures... Let's take a calm and considered view. I hope you will agree that this is the correct way forward. PETER ROCK, Address supplied (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 19.4.02 WILL 'GULL TSAR' HAVE ANSWERS? - I WAS intrigued to read in The Citizen, Monday, April 15, that Gloucester has seemingly acquired a "Gull Tsar", namely Peter Rock... Mr Rock went on at great length to explain what could not be done, but not once did this "widely recognised" European gull expert mention any way the problem could be solved... HUGH HARRISON, Columbia Close, Gloucester (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 17.4.02 LET'S SORT OUT GULL PROBLEMS - MAY I welcome Peter Rock to the city of Gloucester to look into the gull problem... Mr Rock has been asked to look at the problem in a pragmatic way, with no emotional view, but before he has even done his research he has in a single article ruled out a cull, then suggested a method already proven ineffective... Scarborough didn't shoot birds, thank God, but used narcotic bait... he proceeds to ramble on... saying if the birds were killed then he is sure it would please everybody, yet his earlier statement says he is against a cull due to so-called public outcry... I am making a personal commitment towards representing people in this city in the coming city council elections, now it's time to hear the people who live here... STUART WILSON, Address supplied (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 17.4.02 GET PLANTING TO ATTRACT WILDLIFE - I GO to Gloucester often. I'm not "put off by gulls".... PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Stroud (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 15.4.02 NO MASS KILLING, SAYS GULL EXPERT - A MASS cull of seagulls has been ruled out forever by Gloucester City Council's new "Gull Tsar." Peter Rock, widely recognised as one Europe's leading gull experts, says the city council would never be able to get a licence from DEFRA to introduce a culling policy…. "We are a nation of animal lovers," he said. "There has to be an alternative to a mass culling of the gulls…." (story)

Ulster Gazette 25.4.02 Cruel cock-fighting being staged in City by STEPHEN RICHARDSON - A CRUEL and bloody cock-fight was staged in the heart of Armagh City, the Ulster Gazette can reveal... The cock-fight was reported to the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (USPCA), some time later, and it brought strong comdemnation from their Chief Executive, Mr Stephen Philpott... (story in archive)

Lynn News 24.4.02 Pro-countryside vicar retires - THE Rev William Sayer, 65, who for many years rode round his parishes on horseback, has retired after 18 years as the rector of the parish of St Nicholas, at Wells, together with Holkham, Wighton and Warham… "I'm an ardent supporter of the Countryside Alliance. It is a nonsense to say that if they abolish hunting with dogs they won't go on to abolish shooting, fishing and racing. Banning hunting is only the tip of the iceberg…" (story in archive)

Times 24.4.02 'Distortion' of rural issues From the Chief Executive of the Countryside - Matthew Parris (Comment, April 20) is quite wrong to imply that we are doing nothing about the big rural issues. Of course the political attack on hunting features largely on our website, but this merely reflects the perversely distorted current “rural” priorities of Westminster, not ours… RICHARD BURGE, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, 367 Kennington Road, SE11 4PT. April 22 (letter)
Times 20.4.02 The countryside lobby is taking us for a ride - matthew parris - Why is cross-country not a “field sport”? Why are rock climbing, mountaineering, rambling, scrambling, cycling, walking, paragliding, caving, canoeing, orienteering, bird watching, narrow boating, not “country pursuits”?... What, in short, is the Countryside Alliance doing to the idea of country, and why are we letting it get away with it? Do not write me off as some kind of a urban leftie hunt-saboteur… I consistently supported and voted for the right to hunt foxes with hounds — and would do so again, without hesitation… I cannot accept the claims of an increasingly single-issue organisation, which campaigns on behalf of a group for the vast majority of whom hunting is a hobby and not a livelihood, to represent an interest that is incomparably wider and deeper than the leisure activity on which it concentrates… (story)

Guardian 24.4.02 Time out - Steve Rider (Letters, April 17) is disingenuous in attacking animal rights activists for pressing for legislation to ban hunting with hounds at the expense of a new law to regulate consumer lending... Ian-Paul Ashworth, Sheffield (letter)
Guardian 17.4.02 The government has put off legislation to bring this country into line with the rest of Europe and give a measure of protection to people excluded from the banking system. The reason given is lack of parliamentary time. If this is so, how come there was enough time to force through the hunting with hounds bill?... Steve Rider London (letter)

Scotsman 24.4.02 Legislators need lesson in real rural priorities - Allan Murray director, Countryside Alliance Scotland ... Fordyce Maxwell made the point that the issue of fox-hunting had become an obsession which had hijacked the countryside debate and relegated other, more relevant, issues to obscurity. To a large extent he is right and that this "obsession", by the government, the Scottish Executive and the media had given the public the impression that the abolition of hunting would mean the end of rural life as we know it. ... But legislation affecting rural areas has been hijacked by people unwilling to see beyond their own prejudices. The Scottish parliament’s decision to ignore its own expert committee was the most striking example of that on the Watson bill... (letter)
Scotsman 12.4.02 Hunting obsession has hijacked the countryside debate - Fordyce Maxwell - THE Countryside Alliance, still intent on flogging a dead horse in England and Wales if that is not too insensitive a metaphor, plans a "summer of discontent" to protest about the threatened future of fox-hunting in those countries... It is valid to say that both Westminster and Holyrood should never have started their witch-hunts to ban fox-hunts, but it is also valid to say that hunting interests have hi-jacked the Countryside Alliance... some of us listened to Countryside Alliance spokesmen during the 2001 election campaign when their booklet The Real Rural Agenda was one of the most sensible publications around... But in both Scotland and England more progress might have been made if the Executive, government and, let’s admit it, the media, had not become obsessed with fox-hunting and the mistaken belief that ending it means the end of rural life... (story)

Scarborough Evening News 24.4.02 VOTERS FOXED ON HUNT BAN - I WRITE in regard to Barbara Hodgkins' letter regarding fox hunting. It would appear the negative publicity or propaganda spread by paper and television by those after easy votes has worked... The hunt, which for hundreds of years has been a part of country life and social gatherings, is one of the fairest ways of controlling the fox. It could get away. Gassing, trapping, poisoning, shooting and baiting are obviously the options that anti-hunt protesters would prefer. K Wilson, The Nabbs, Malton (letter)

Northwich Guardian 24.4.02 Be thankful you have an alternative - WITH regard to your recent article on hunting. I am sorry for anyone who loses their job... If hunting with dogs is banned, hunts do have the option of drag hunting, where hounds follow a scent and not a live animal... E ROBINSON, Former Northwich resident (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 24.4.02 Surely not wrong to regret cruelty? Would, I wonder, Farmer Jim of North Shropshire (April 17) suggest that the end of dog and cock fighting, badger and bull baiting, are only matters of 'emotive rhetoric and emotional twaddle'?... How else can we condemn other countries for their disregard for animals if we do not set an example in our own? Compassionate Pete, South Shropshire (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 17.4.02 Enough rhetoric about fox hunting - I grow increasingly tired of the emotive rhetoric connected with the fox-hunting debate…. I have read the phase "torn to bits" used on several occasions… I know from personal experience that my single terrier does just that. Second, another, who attempted to add credence to the control-by-shooting philosophy, referred to farmers being excellent shots, having the capability to hit a bird in flight… I remain unconvinced that this debate has anything to do with animal welfare whatsoever. It a class thing, it's a political thing, it's an urban perception, perpetuated by politicians who wish to draw the public's attention away from the failures of a government who can't run the health service, can't run the railways and can't tell the truth either… The hunts are of course equally guilty of rhetoric, in the war of words; but I personally would not have them anywhere near my property. They damage land and fences, and they are hopelessly inefficient at pest control. Farmer Jim North Shropshire (letter in archive)

ThisIsDevon ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Plymouth Evening Herald, Torquay Herald Express, Western Morning News, North Devon Journal) 24.4.02 HUNTING LOBBY WOULD DO WELL TO SEEK ALTERNATIVE - Tim Faulkner's tongue-in-cheek comments, Points of view, April 16, add nothing to the debate on hunting... all that we are promised from the hunting lobby over the course of the next six months is yet more toys thrown out of the pram... Dr John Pamment, Clyst Heath, Exeter (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 24.4.02 VIVISECTION IS SIMPLY USELESS - I am afraid to inform Peter Burne (letters page, April 20, 2002) that I do not "put glass in baby food"... He seems to forget that the violent individuals are the money-obsessed scientists who take sick pleasure in daily electrocuting, cutting up, burning and mutilating live and sensitive animals... MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 24.4.02 PROTESTERS USE INTIMIDATION - Not knowing "Anti animal experiments. I cannot accuse him of anything, except woolly thinking. However, I can accuse his fellow travellers of putting glass in baby food, intimidating banks to withdraw support for biological companies, intimidate researchers to the point of them needing police protection... PETER BURNE Stoke-on-Trent (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 27.3.02 ANIMAL TORTURE IS WORTHLESS - Sir - Many will say it's a pity I have nothing else to be distressed about, but I was so upset at the photograph of Laika being prepared to go into space in the name of progress... I am likening this to all the millions of animal experiments and torture endured by animals in the name of research for drugs, cosmetics, smoking etc, which are now proving worthless... ANTI ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.4.02 ANGER AT BADGER CULL CALLS ... the National Federation of Badger Groups says the rise in bovine TB can be firmly attributed to last year's foot-and-mouth disease restrictions, not badgers. Chief executive Dr Elaine King said: "When cattle were cooped up for long periods, low levels of the disease were 'amplified' in herds.... (story)
Western Morning News 24.4.02 TB OUTBREAK BRINGS FRESH CALLS FOR CULL - The rapid spread of bovine tuberculosis in the Westcountry has led to renewed calls for a cull of badgers, a protected wild animal which is widely believed to spread the virus... Farming organisations had launched an "aggressive campaign," said Dr Elaine King, chief executive of the National Federation of Badger Groups... (story)

Western Daily Press 24.4.02 WHY BADGER CULL WON'T PUT A STOP TO CATTLE TB ... Badgers may contribute to the TB problem, although like us, but unlike cattle, most of those which test positive are resistant rather than infectious... TB has been found in four species of wild deer, capable of infecting other deer and cattle, though nobody knows to what extent... killing all the badgers and all the deer across the country, even if it were possible, would still not prevent the spread of TB in cattle. Miss E D Overend Leighton (letter)

Hunts Post 24.3.02 Animal rights demo planned - ANIMAL rights campaigners were planning a demonstration tonight (Wednesday) outside Interfauna at Abbots Ripton. where animals are bred for supply to Huntingdon Life Sciences for research... (SHAC) (story)

Western Daily Press 24.4.02 REAL MINDLESS CRUELTY IN SPAIN - As there is such an outcry against foxhunting in this country, I assume that no one will visit or take a holiday in Spain... To boost the economy of the land of the bullfight would be hypocritical in the extreme... P Taylor Hullavington Wiltshire (letter)

Argus 24.4.02 Who knows Rena? - I wonder if anyone knows anything about Rena Collins?.. She was very devoted to animal welfare... We worked together in the Sixties and, later, I often saw her feeding the birds in the Steine. -Dawn Kingsford, Brighton (letter in archive)

Irish Examiner 24.4.02 Animal group to make animal welfare an election issue - FARM animal welfare is to be made a general election issue by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). Ireland's leading farm animal welfare organisation announced yesterday that it has sent a manifesto to all parties and candidates. It identifies the main welfare concerns as live animal exports, intensive rearing of pigs and poultry, fur farming, and genetic engineering of farm animals…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 24.4.02 FARMER MAY HAVE TO SHOOT RUNAWAY DEER - The owner of 170 runaway red deer calves said last night he may have to face the prospect of shooting them to prevent them causing damage to farmland... Mr Green, who values the deer calves at between £20,000 and £25,000, said he had no reason to believe that animal rights activists were involved... (story)
Scotsman 23.4.02 Activists blamed for release of red deer - FRANK URQUHART - ANIMAL rights activists were last night blamed for releasing 170 red deer calves from a farm. The calves, all ten months old, escaped from a field at Easterton Farm, Fogwatt, near Elgin, Morayshire, after a large entrance gate was wedged open… (story)
Glasgow Herald 23.4.02 Farmer blames activists as deer are freed - DAVID ROSS - DEER are posing a hazard to traffic on Highland roads after they were deliberately set free from a farm, in an act which the farmer is blaming on animal rights activists… (story in archive)
Daily Record 23.4.02 FARM VANDALS WILL COST ME DEER (story)
Ananova 22.4.02 Escaped deer warning for motorists - A farmer is battling to round-up around 170 deer which are believed to have been deliberately released…Mr Green, 45, who has run the site at the village of Fogwatt to produce venison for the past four years, said he was concerned for the safety of drivers if they should hit one of the animals… (story)

Bucks Free Press 24.4.02 Bucks Euro MP calls for end to fur trade - THE trade in cat and dog furs, which are thought to be responsible for the deaths of up to two million animals worldwide every year, should be banned says Buckinghamshire Euro MP Chris Huhne....(story in archive)

ICSurreyOnline (probably Surrey Mirror) 24.4.02 Police treat farm fires as arson - Two fires at farm outbuildings less than three miles apart in Oxted and Godstone on the same evening are both being treated as suspicious... A woman passer-by who was on the road told him she had seen two youths jumping over the fence and walking off down Tilburstow Hill Road... The first was around 5'4" and slim. He was wearing white trainers, blue jeans, a cream anorak style jacket with 'animal' written between the shoulder blades and a beige baseball cap. The second was around 5ft with short dark hair. He was wearing white trainers, blue tracksuit bottoms with a white stripe down the side and a dark blue fleece... (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Telegraph 23.4.02 Hunts show anger at Blair By Nicole Martin and P J Bonthrone ….Members of the Union of Country Sports Workers travelled to London in horseboxes and lorries, bringing Parliament Square in Westminster to a near standstill as campaigners protested against the hunting Bill outside the Houses of Parliament…The start of the union's "summer of discontent" was echoed in Thrapston, Northants, where about 300 members of the Countryside Alliance staged a mock funeral for hunting….
A Church of England report being sent to the Prime Minister contains criticism of curbs on hunting and voices fears for the future of jobs in field sports…. (story)
Northampton Chronicle & Echo 23.4.02 Minister ambushed by rural protestors - GOVERNMENT minister Alun Michael was ambushed by countryside campaigners with a horse-drawn hearse to signal the death of rural Northamptonshire…. The demonstration also included a mock coffin carried by four men from the Woodland Pytchley Hunt to symbolise farmers who have committed suicide because of the pressures of work… Mr Michael, the Minister of State for Rural Affairs, promised to read the letters before he went into the East Northamptonshire Rural Vision conference in Thrapston. But after being harangued by the demonstrators, Mr Michael added: “These are the people looking for dialogue. I’m very disappointed by the behaviour of people here.”… (story) (photo)
Ananova 22.4.02 Rural affairs minister greeted by pro-hunting 'funeral' demo …Rural affairs minister Alun Michael was met by around 300 members of the Countryside Alliance when he arrived for a conference at council offices in Thrapston, Northamptonshire…Countryside Alliance spokesman Mick Casey said: "People were dressed up in funeral attire and there was a horse drawn hearse and burly huntsmen to make the point that we think a hunting ban will be the death of the countryside under Labour. "Alun Michael looked very rattled. He doesn't like being shouted and jeered at…" (story)

Worcester Evening News 23.4.02 Country sports play vital role - ANITA Knittel continues her attack on Robert Brierley… , her own MP, Michael Foster, lost such a debate with Mr Brierley in front of some rather sceptical sixth form students who changed their views after Mr Brierley gave them a full explanation of the importance of hunting… (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 9.4.02 Hunting - RECENT comments from Robert Brierley and other correspondents prove how little the apologists for bloodsports understand about the animals they choose to persecute…. A KNITTEL, Worcester (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 9.4.02 Hunting - RECENT comments from Robert Brierley and other correspondents prove how little the apologists for bloodsports understand about the animals they choose to persecute…. A KNITTEL, Worcester (letter in archive)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 23.4.02 Lords give a licence to kill …What was the point of me writing to my MP, if the House of Lords overrides public opinion and has hunting under licence… A licence is nothing less than a green light to torture and murder defenceless animals for kicks. MRS SHEILA BRENNAN, Bombay Street, Blackburn. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 23.4.02 DEER AND FOXHUNTING ARE SO VERY DIFFERENT …I am in support of foxhunting with dogs, as a means of controlling the numbers of a creature that is in itself a hunter…Hunting the deer with dogs seems to be an inefficient way of dealing with the problem and appeals to the worst in human nature with its greater degree of violence and gratuitous cruelty… To have a blanket ban on hunting with dogs is therefore wrong, risking the livelihood and economy of the countryside and affecting the whole British way of life and its traditions… Graham Ward, Topsham Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 23.4.02 EVIDENCE IS NECESSARY TO SUPPORT A TOTAL BAN …Lord Burns in his report on hunting noted that both sides of the hunting debate tended to give opinions, not evidence. His own report, however, failed provide the evidence, certainly not the overwhelming evidence necessary for a total ban. On being asked if he thought hunting was cruel he replied: "The short answer is no"….Dr Christopher Maycock, Crediton
Compensation - A PROMINENT feature of the hunting debate is the lack of any provision for the considerable number of people who will lose their livelihood, and in some cases their home… Eric Lipscomb, Launceston(letters)

Western Morning News 23.4.02 Fox acquitted - THE letter from A Smythe (WMN, April 15), was most welcome… he states that hunts cause more losses in sheep and cattle than other predators confirms most people's views that hunting must be stopped. Jack Vincent, Goonhavern, Truro (letter)
Western Morning News 15.4.02 Total ban - HUNTING is cruel from the first moment until the last… I write as a mixed livestock farmer with over 50 years of experience. Who wants that mob running over your winter corn, scaring your sheep and cattle causing them to abort… A Smythe, Goonhavern, Truro (letter)

Western Morning News 23.4.02 DO WE CARE HOW RATS ARE KILLED? - Our MPs and MSPs waxed eloquently and passionately on the cruelty of foxhunting yet seem ready to acknowledge that the number of foxes in the wild must be controlled…Is it not strange that the fox is singled out for such compassion? Does anybody care how a rat is put to death?... Our MPs worry about a few foxes while sick humans lie for hours on trolleys in hospital corridors waiting to see a doctor, countless thousands are denied treatment in the forseeable future and in some areas it is even difficult to arrange an appointment with a local GP. W W Scott, North Berwick East Lothian (letter)

Western Morning News 23.4.02 RUNNING TO THE LAW IS NOT THE ANSWER - I HATE hunting but I must admit that there is a place in the countryside for the services of the hunt kennels. During the last four years quite a few of my animals...be they horses, sheep or cows (who are pets) have had to be put down because of old age. The kennelman from my local hunt came and did the job for me… I also cannot understand the hysteria of all the jobs that will be lost. What is wrong with drag hunting? Everything and everybody that is needed for a fox hunt is needed for a drag hunt… I have such mixed feelings about it all… in the end it all comes down to the fact that having a pack of howling dogs chasing one animal and then ripping it to shreds in the name of pest control is wrong. Lyn Sawkins, Holsworthy, Devon (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 23.4.02 'TOWNIES HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE' - I wish townies would stay out of country matters. They blethered on about animal production until everybody ignored them, now it's fox hunting. They haven't a clue. Country matters should be left to country people…. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 23.4.02 HORRIFIED BY BARBARIC 'SPORT' - I am recently back from a short holiday in Malta… as a keen bird watcher I was horrified to see for myself evidence of the indiscriminate shooting of migratory birds for "sport"…. The Rev. Canon Tim Girling, Leicester. (letter)

Edinburgh News 23.4.02 Stadium is bad news for dogs - FOLLOWING your article "Dogs to have their day as £5m stadium gets go-ahead" (News, April 20), I am stunned to learn the problems that inevitably go with the racing industry are coming to this area… Although I have no doubt that there are many caring owners out there, some healthy greyhounds are destroyed by being shot, drowned or abandoned if they do not make the grade to race… Amanda Wells, Brown Street, Haddington (letter)

Scotsman 23.4.02 Badger cull ‘is needed now’ to combat TB - Fordyce Maxwell - THE NFU in England and Wales and the National Beef Association yesterday renewed demands for a badger cull to prevent the spread of TB among cattle… George Richardson, chairman of the National Beef Association’s TB committee, rejected the claim by conservationists that cattle are the sole repository of TB and urged the authorities to include diseased badger colonies in its culling programme… (story)
Northampton Chronicle & Echo 23.4.02 Badgers fear in big TB alert - THERE is a risk badgers could become extinct in Northamptonshire through efforts to halt tuberculosis spreading to cattle, according to a county animal welfare group… A leading member of the National Farmers’ Union called for a cull of badgers to halt an outbreak of TB in Wales… But Steve Jackson, from Daventry-based Brockwatch, said badger populations could be wiped out if farmers started targeting them… (story)
Newcastle Journal 23.4.02 Call for badger cull to halt new farm risk - Culls of badgers should be carried out in bovine TB hotspots to prevent tens of thousands of cattle falling victim to the disease, a leading member of the National Farmers Union said yesterday… Elliot Morley, the minister responsible for animal health, said the statement, made by a Welsh vet, was misleading and that TB in cattle was confined to a small percentage of the UK national herd… (story)
Western Mail 23.4.02 Badger culls called for by NFU man (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 24.4.02 CHICKEN FARMS GET ALL-CLEAR FROM ANIMAL WELFARE GROUP ... Campaigners have been invited to meet bosses of Grampian Country Food Group to discuss concerns about the welfare of intensively farmed chickens. The invitation was made to charity Advocates for Animals, which claimed chickens were being kept in unacceptable conditions at some of the firm's factory farms.... Undercover investigators visited three farms chosen at random - Raw Camps, Almondale, and Hillside in West Lothian. They have released photographs and video footage, said to have been taken at the farms, which showed a pile of dead broiler chickens, bred intensively for meat, lying alongside live birds, chickens with red-raw balding patches and crippled birds... "Invitations have been extended to welfare groups, for example Compassion in World Farming, Farm Animal Welfare Council, RSPCA, SSPCA and other minority welfare groups. "These groups have viewed our farming systems and are aware of, and acknowledged, our focus on animal welfare practices."... (letter)

Worcester Evening News 22.4.02 I realised the error of my ways - I WAS pleased to see Mr Carvill making a stand against the foxhunters… I spent more than 30 years in the hunting fraternity, as a hunt manager, and realised the error of my ways around 10 years ago… G TOOHEY, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 1.4.02 City man offers to play `fox' for hunts ... Jeremy Carvill has written to hunts offering to run ahead of the horses and hounds leaving a scented trail by dragging a piece of straw on a string laced with aniseed.... Mr Carvill, of Malvern Road, St John's, said this would stop foxes being harmed and would not cause the end of an English tradition. He also wants to highlight animal cruelty... He has written to the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt to offer his services but Nicky Driver, community liaison officer for the hunt said he was "barking up the wrong tree."... (story)

Worcester Evening News 22.4.02 Natures way - JEAN M Turner wrote a pretty good letter (You Say, April 13) regarding the ban on fox hunting. I see no cruelty in this sport…. M BURCHER, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 13.4.02 There are many examples of cruelty - WHILE Tony Blair's taking six months to find the courage to rubberstamp the ban on hunting with dogs voted in by his MPs, I believe he should include all cruelty to animals that exists in this country... As a result of a ban, they will have to be culled by other barbaric means... JEAN M TURNER, Worcester. (letter in archive)

ThisIsDevon 22.4.02 THE CARNIVAL OF KILLING IS MORALLY INDEFENSIBLE - I refer to Mr G Bull's letter in support of hunting on the basis that some animals and birds would vote for it and that a lamb would consider a fox to be a terrorist… the ethical issue is clear - people who derive amusement and pleasure by killing and causing distress to an animal, and making a carnival of it, are morally indefensible. Lyndsey Fairbrother, Shillingford St George, Exeter (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Western Morning News, Plymouth Evening Herald, North Devon Journal, Torquay Herald Express) 11.4.02 CITY FOLK SHOULD HAVE NO SAY ON THE COUNTRYSIDE - After giving it much thought, I now have no qualms whatsoever about fox hunting. Restricting fox hunting will not prevent cruelty, merely transfer it to other animals… Terrorists must not be encouraged to create havoc. I know if I were a lamb I'd consider the fox a terrorist… Mr G Bull, Bishop's Lydeard, Somerset (letter)

ThisIsDevon 22.4.02 WHY NOT CONDEMN OTHER CRUELTIES IN SOCIETY? I THOUGHT Dr John Pamment had gone to ground but it seems no such luck, Points of view, April 11… I have been following Eggesford Hunt for about 30 years, so I am quite aware of hunting procedures, including digging out…We all live in a democratic society which gives us all freedom of speech and freedom of choice within the law - and hunting is lawful. G G Paddon, Pathfinder Village, Tedburn St Mary (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Plymouth Evening Herald, Torquay Herald Express, Western Morning News, North Devon Journal) 11.4.02 MORE PEOPLE SHOULD GO HUNTING TO SEE DIG-OUTS - Nick Trevethan, Points of view April 6, vigorously attacks anti-hunt sympathiser Denise Rands' letter, Points of view, April 2, for being disjointed.... For Mr Trevethan's benefit, I have been present at several 'dig-outs' of foxes after the hounds have chased them to earth and the hunt has then moved on to look for another fox... Dr John Pamment, Clyst Heath, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 22.4.02 NEGATIVE IMPACT OF A BAN ON HUNTING - Those who so eagerly seek to outlaw hunting have failed utterly to face up to the consequences should their obsession succeed… Leave the countryside to deal with its own affairs in the way it has for centuries. Blair's wine-bar culture has no place here. Geoffrey M Stowell, Yelverton
I SEE that the hunting arguments are still rumbling on… If the hunting fraternity did not nurture foxes during the breeding season, to suit their own ends, the number of foxes would adjust to the amount of natural food available… As for deer foraging on farmland, I'm sure that a solar powered, motion detecting device could be found to protect any fields visited by these animals. Jack Vincent, Goonhavern Truro (letters)

Western Morning News 22.4.02 NOWHERE TO HIDE Like the wild animals they hunt, the Countryside Alliance has nowhere to go or hide. In utter defeat and humiliation, they resort to desperate measures by cancelling their event on May 15, when Margaret Beckett had been invited to give a keynote speech…R Brown Ston Easton Near Radstock Somerset (letter)
Sunday Telegraph 14.4.02 Beckett is barred from conference over hunting ban By Daniel Foggo - THE Countryside Alliance has withdrawn an invitation to Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary, to give a keynote speech at its annual meeting next month. The organisers fear that a groundswell of ill-feeling towards her could have caused the event to "get out of hand" and they have, consequently, also postponed the conference... Mr Andrewes said: "I would have been chairing the conference and I was not looking forward to it. Mrs Beckett's presence would have strained the natural good nature of countrymen to the limit. We probably could have controlled it but it would not have been easy."... (story)

Western Daily Press 22.4.02 GREATER MENACE THAN THE FOX - It is of little wonder that hounds are involved in incidents on motorways and railways. The League Against Cruel Sports holds a dossier of these events and no doubt the public would be horrified at the vast toll… E A Smith Ashton Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.4.02 TOWNIES THAT DESTROY THE WAYS OF THE COUNTRY I was pleased to read Mr Watt's letter on April 8 confirming my observations about 'Cuddly Fox'. I would like to inform a follow-up writer, who insinuated that I wrote stories heard in pubs and went out shooting everything that moved, that we Country Bumpkins (now 80 years old) really care for our countryside and keep the predators controlled… (letter)

Edinburgh News 22.4.02 Let’s make farmers bleat - Helen Martin - THE more we hear about modern farming methods, the more time it takes me to shop, poring over labels looking for tell-tale phrases such as "free range organic" or, better still, "wild"… new research shows British farm standards can’t be trusted, do not denote any real animal welfare and have more to do with farmers trying a marketing wheeze than displaying any concern for animals… If all those who could afford it rejected cheap, cruel foods in favour of those produced through humane farming, farmers would feel the point even more sharply in that area that makes them squeal louder than a piglet having its throat cut ... their pockets. (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 22.4.02 Animal concern - I AM sure I am not the only person who was pleased to read in Monday's Adver that Mr Rupert Burr of Rove Farm will no longer be able to tout young animals around the town centre and schools. I have had concerns about the welfare of these animals in the past… PHILIP BEAVEN, Merton Avenue, Swindon (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 15.4.02 Red tape could force community farm to shut - FARM owner Rupert Burr, who has brought joy to children for years by taking his animals to school fetes and shows, claims Government red tape could force him to give up… he was told by the Department for Farming and Rural Affairs that this is no longer possible because he would be breaking new rules… Mr Burr claimed Defra's ruling is hypocritical: "With one breath it is telling us that, as farmers, we should be coming closer to our customers, and with the next they are preventing us from doing it."… (story)

Scotland on Sunday 21.4.02 Campaigners aim to make docking of dogs’ tails illegal - FRANK HURLEY - ANIMAL rights activists are to launch a campaign to outlaw the docking of dogs’ tails in Scotland. Flushed with success following the ban on foxhunting, they believe they can rally enough support among MSPs and the public to make the centuries-old practice illegal... SSPCA spokeswoman, Doreen Graham, said: "We think the time is right for this cruel and barbaric practice to be outlawed... John Robbins, of Animal Concern, attacked vets who continued to carry out tail-docking... (story)

Newcastle Journal 20.4.02 Cost concern as farm burials end - Livestock farmers in Northumberland and Durham, already suffering financial hardship after the foot-and-mouth epidemic, face more costs. Under the European Animal By-Products regulation, farmers will no longer be able to bury animals on the farm... a hunting ban would remove another solution. "Historically hunt kennels have performed a valuable service," said Antony Haslam, regional director for the Country Land and Business Association (CLA)... (story)

UCSW LETTER
Gloucestershire Echo/Gloucester Citizen 20.4.02 NOTHING TO DO WITH RURAL LIFE - LINDSAY HILL (MRS), PR Officer, Union of Country Sports Workers (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.4.02 CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS - According to DEFRA Minister Alun Michael, hunting is far from the important issue for rural people. If that is the case - and wouldn't we all be pleased if it were - why has the Government just announced a further six-month consultation, to be followed by a Bill?... Lindsay Hill PR officer Union of Country Sports Workers Shropshire (letter)
Clitheroe Advertiser & Times 19.4.02 ... Not a single UK land use organisation supports yet another time- consuming battle on this issue. What we have consistently called for is help following foot and mouth and positive initiatives from government on a range of problem areas... LINDSAY HILL, Union of Country Sports Workers, Shropshire. (letter)
Bucks Free Press 19.4.02 Waiting for hunting ban ... The motives behind this latest move seems to have nothing to do with improving life in the country, but a lot to do with appeasing restive backbenchers.... Lindsay Hill (Mrs), PR Officer, Union of Country Sports Workers, PO Box 129, Banbury (letter in archive)
Cumberland News 19.4.02 ... The Government and Mr Michael cannot have it both ways.... LINDSAY HILL , Press Officer, Union of Country Sports Workers (letter may be in archive)
Keighley News 19.4.02 SIR - According to DEFRA Minister Alun Michael `Hunting is far from being the important issue for rural people.'... Lindsay Hill, PR Officer UCSW, The Kennels, Bishop's Castle, Shropshire (letter in archive)
Morpeth Herald 19.4.02 HUNTING BATTLE QUERIED - LINDSAY HILL, PR Officer, Union of Country Sports Workers (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.4.02 I'M WITH YOU EVERY STEP - Well done E C Eacott, I am with you every step of the way regarding cruelty to foxes... I myself witnessed the catching of a fox at the bottom of my garden and it was held up for the hounds to rip to pieces... I am 88 and not so active, but would still have a go if the occasion arose. L Edmonds Salisbury Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.4.02 TRAUMA AS I TRIED TO SAVE A HUNTED FOX FROM TERROR - I was working at The Pond House, Dauntsey Park, Chippenham, Wiltshire on a day the hunt was out for the fun and excitement of chasing a poor and defenceless fox... I so wanted to help this animal - I therefore placed my vehicle in the path of the dogs to try to slow them down... I was actually brought up in the country where my father was a farm worker who was paid to shoot foxes at night. This is the most humane way of controlling foxes... E C Eacott Melksham Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.4.02 WHY MUCH TIGHTER CONTROL IS WANTED ON AIR GUNS - It is not only our wildlife, pets and farm animals that suffer from the fact that there are so many air guns around, which is why doctors called for the Government to tighten controls on the seven million air guns in circulation... Those who like killing or maiming our wildlife are not affected and airguns are sold and treated like toys.... David Thomas, Hisomley Westbury (letter)

Yorkshire Post 20.4.02 The dangers where foxes lurk ... Foxes are great opportunists. We have a ewe which lambed triplets last month. The fox got one immediately and, three weeks later, possibly due to the ewe being slightly lame, it came back and took one of the really strong surviving twins... T Umpleby, Northallerton (letter)
Yorkshire Post 10.4.02 Views on 'true picture' of fox supported From: M Cook, Hall Bank Drive, Bingley.- Congratulations to the Yorkshire Post for publishing a letter giving a true picture of the fox ("Foxes stalk capital without a care", April 4)... I, too, cannot see what pleasure people find in hunting with dogs, but am realistic enough to accept the need for culling.
From: Ken Holmes, Cliffe Common, Selby. Sir, – All politicians and animal rights activists hoping to ban hunting should be tied to a fox's brush for a 24-hour period during lambing time and ground laying bird nesting season to really find out the cunning, vicious, evil antics of their so-called furry friends. (letters)
Yorkshire Post 8.4.02 Babies not at risk from foxes - F M Fieldhouse's notion (Letters, April 4) that "babies and meat are one to a fox" is the most ludicrous assertion... wake up FM Fieldman: foxes are not baby killers or disease carriers... (letter)
Yorkshire Post 4.4.02 Foxes stalk the capital without a care - Sir, – My son, who lives in London, opened the door of his flat just as a supercilious fox was sauntering by. It calmly glanced at him and continued quite unconcerned, turning into his off-street parking where it attacked the plastic refuse bag kept there, retrieving a chicken carcass, and made off with it... there are the pitiful notices festooning many lamp-posts asking for news of pet cats, now lost. A fox, who recently killed and ate a peacock leaving only the legs and tall feathers, certainly won't hesitate at a cat or a baby... Wake up London: these creatures are killers and disease carriers, but I can't see a local "Hammersmith Hunt" ridding the city of these dangerous pests... From: F M Fieldhouse, Dale Rise, Burniston, North Yorkshire. (letter)

Telegraph 20.4.02 Rural America declares war on 'green fascists' By Oliver Poole - THE crowd cheered as the flames took hold of the 15ft-high green swastika. With the Stars and Stripes waving above their heads, they celebrated as the structure they had erected as a symbol of the hated environmental campaigners burned.... It is a battle that drew around 1,000 people to a field outside the town of Kalispell yesterday morning for the latest demonstration against what they call eco-fascism.... Every morning in Kalispell, John Stokes hosts a three-hour talk show on local radio station Z-600 that fans the flames of smouldering resentment that local people feel towards the "green Nazis".... (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 20.4.02 MISSING POINT OVER CULL - DOES your correspondent Josephine White (Viewpoint, April 10) really believe that "screeching, placard-wielding mobs", as she calls them, would have made any difference to the culling of farm animals during the foot and mouth outbreak?... does it make any difference that the animals lost their lives because of foot and mouth, when the majority were destined to forfeit their lives for the dinner table? The point missed here is that the animals were going to die one way or another, the blessing being they were spared the indignities of markets, the horrors of UK slaughterhouses and barbaric journeys to the continent.... Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 10.4.02 ANIMAL RIGHTS - In response to Ms J Holiday's Writer Who Doesn't Read (Viewpoint, March 18). I take two papers daily, one evening and two Sunday newspapers each week, and reaffirm my honest assertion that I noted no protest from animal rights groups concerning the unnecessary (note the absence of commas) slaughter of cattle and sheep during the foot and mouth outbreak... Where were the eco-warriors, the liberal lefties and all the other social commentators who so regularly invade our TVs, radios and newspapers when the subject of fox hunting is discussed? They were nowhere in sight. Why? Because the decimation of farming along with its perceived elitism, suited their nihilistic agendas!.. Josephine White, Grimsby Road, Cleethorpes. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 18.3.02 WRITER WHO DOESN'T READ - I WRITE in response to your correspondent Josephine White (Viewpoint, March 8) who complains that she has not heard any protest from animal rights groups about the "unnecessary" slaughter of millions of healthy sheep and cattle during the foot and mouth crisis... All animal rights groups and also the Vegetarian and Vegan Societies have loudly and unequivocally condemned all the animal suffering caused by the crisis. There have been many letters and articles printed on this issue... Ms J Holiday, Hemingby, Horcastle (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 12.3.02 VEGETARIANS ALWAYS CARE - I WISH to congratulate correspondent Josephine White (Silly comparison, Viewpoint, March 8), who seemed so concerned for the plight of the millions of slaughtered farm animals who were victims of the foot and mouth outbreak. However, to suggest that she "heard not one single protest" from animal welfare groups is just incredible… Please contact me if you wish to receive information on the work of either the Vegetarian Society (UK) Ltd or the Vegan Society. John Bateman, (East Lincolnshire Vegetarian Group) (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 20.4.02 HOPPING MAD OVER CRUELTY ... Members of the Northern Animal Rights Alliance waved placards and handed out leaflets on the steps of the Carlisle branch of Marsh UK. The two-strong demonstration at Portland Square on Thursday was part of a nationwide protest against the company's alleged involvement with Huntingdon Life Sciences....Animal rights campaigner Diane Sanderson donned the bunny costume after travelling from Newcastle... Louise Stevenson, of Workington, said: "We are here to call on Marsh UK to sever links with Huntingdon Life Sciences... (story)

Portsmouth News 20.4.02 MP BOLSTERS PROTEST AGAINST ANIMAL LAB MOVE ... Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock said he was horrified Wickham Laboratories still existed and he fully supported demonstrators' lawful efforts to shut them down. Two people were arrested yesterday as activists scaled the walls of the Winchester Road premises during an early-morning protest.... During the protest Helen Nelson, 78, and her daughter climbed onto a wall and Carol Evans, 45, chained herself to a metal bar outside the razor-wired compound.... (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 20.4.02 Roof-top demo at animal lab ... Protesters staged a roof-top demonstration at Wickham Laboratories that has, in the past, been a target for animal rights activists... Along with a roof-top demonstration by two members of the group brandishing a banner,
(Portsmouth News 19.4.02 Protesters scale animal lab walls - to expand into the countryside. Police swooped on Wickham, near Fareham, after campaigners arrived at 7.30am... 78-year-old Helen Nelson, from the Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport Animal Rights Group and another demonstrator scaled the lab's two-storey Winchester Road building to hang a banner... (story in archive) (photo)another protester chained himself to railings inside the building.... (story in archive)

Edinburgh News 20.4.02 City charity head named UN ‘peace messenger’ - THE head of an Edinburgh-based animal charity has been made a "Messenger of Peace" by the United Nations. Dr Jane Goodall, president of Advocates for Animals, follows in the footsteps of boxer Muhammad Ali, film star Michael Douglas, and opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.... (story)
Scotsman 19.4.02 UN selects Scots campaigner for key role - Jeanette Oldham ... Dr Jane Goodall, president of Advocates for Animals – Scotland’s leading animal protection organisation – is to become a UN Messenger of Peace.... (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Newark Advertiser 19.4.02 Countryside set takes to streets By DAN CHURCHER - Countryside supporters took to the city streets on Friday in a bid to safeguard the right to hunt with hounds. About 1,000 people from across the East Midlands met at Nottingham for the march, one of several held nationwide. The protesters included members of the South Notts and the Grove and Rufford hunts and the Per Ardua Beagles... Before they left, at 11am, there was a speech by the chairman of the East Midlands branch of the Countryside Alliance, Mr Michael Clayton. Efforts by a lone saboteur to drown out Mr Clayton's speech with a fog horn were silenced by police… (story may only be on website for a week)
Lincolnshire Echo 13.4.02 FOX HUNT SUPPORTERS ON MARCH - Hunt supporters from Lincolnshire were among more than 1,500 people who took to the streets of Nottingham to demonstrate against banning the blood sport... East Midlands Countryside Alliance chairman Michael Clayton said: "We were delighted with the turnout. It was a peaceful and orderly march... More than 15,000 pro-hunting supporters took part in 13 regional protests across Britain. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 10.4.02 HUNTS TO MARCH ON MINISTRY …Representatives of Lincolnshire's four hunts will be part of a group picketing the Defra offices in Nottingham… Margaret Morris, joint master of the Blankney Hunt, said: "It's important that we make this stand to show the strength of feeling among countryside people… Countryside Alliance regional director Kay Chapman said it was a way of asking Defra to pass a simple message to headquarters… (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Malvern Gazette 19.4.02 Hunt fans join march - Huntsmen, farmers, farriers and vets from across Worcestershire and Herefordshire, joined a march last Friday in protest against a ban on hunting. The march, which attracted around 450 people, was one of 13 organised countrywide by the Countryside Alliance... quotes from Clare Rowson, regional director for Countryside Alliance West Midlands, Ledbury huntsman John Holliday... The letter to Alun Michael was presented by Bob Brierley, spokesman for the Worcestershire Hunt... (story in archive)
Worcester Evening News 11.4.02 Hunt marchers to hand message over - HUNT supporters will march in Worcester tomorrow in protest against a ban on the bloodsport. Around 300 people representing the 25 hunts in Worcestershire, as well as other country sports, will march to the regional office of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in Whittington.... quote from Clare Rowson, West Midlands' regional director with the Countryside Alliance (story in archive)

Argus 19.4.02 Waste of resources ... each Saturday since mid- December, 60-100 officers police the South Down and Eridge Fox Hunt (and upwards of another 60 officers on the other fox hunts in Sussex), all to protect them from, at most, six anti-hunt demonstrators.... -Mark Sprake, Queens Road, Brighton (letter in archive) NB this name is false

Swindon Evening Advertiser 19.4.02 Way of life under threat - I respond to that letter (EA April 11) from your other regular letter contributor Peter Bates.... It is ludicrous for anyone to actually believe that if hunting is banned, that not a single wild animal will be saved or treated more humanely... This is now a matter of civil liberties nothing more, nothing less. Furthermore, only half the British public want to see hunting banned. Not the majority as so often mentioned by opponents... NIGEL GALLIMORE, The American Riviera, Central Pacific, Southern California, USA (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 11.4.02 - THE issue of fox hunting has been mentioned quite a lot lately in your letters page. Let's not forget that it isn't just foxes which are killed for sport.... Hare coursing... mink hunting... There are already over a dozen drag hunts up and running successfully. I can't understand, to save my life, why anyone would wish to hunt and kill a living, breathing creature for fun. PETER BATES, Belsay, Swindon (letter in archive)

The Citizen (Blackpool) 19.4.02 We want ban on hunting - I RESPOND to the letter by N.G. Charnley (Letters, March 28) re hunting. Is he for real or just a wind-up to the many animal welfare supporters whom he knows read The Citizen?... K.M. Musker, Longacre Place, Lytham. (letter in archive)

Kent/Sussex Courier 19.4.02 FOXED BY QUESTIONS ...What about showing sympathy for the farm animals, including lambs, that are killed by foxes? What about the diseases carried by foxes? What will happen if foxes are left to breed completely unchecked? All these questions need to be answered.... Name and address withheld (letter)

Worcester Evening Advertiser 19.4.02 Hunt echoes natural behaviour - THOSE who feel that hunting is only a cruel end for sweet, cuddly foxes should look again.... Foxhunting is a cull, and a successful one, that maintains the natural balance. Those who wish to make this illegal should look to nature and realise that the hunt is a part of the chain now, replacing the part lost by man's ignorance and superstition. SUSAN BRADLEY, Gravesend, Kent. (letter in archive)

Cumberland News 19.4.02 Ministers wouldn't lie - would they? SO the economy is booming: it must be, because our leaders tell us that it is. They wouldn't lie, would they?... Consider, too, the great anti-hunting so-called debate which has little or nothing to do with conservation, but much to do with outdated class prejudice. After commissioning, at some expense, the Burns Report, they largely ignored it because it didn't provide the answers they wanted... RICHARD MAWDSLEY, Bassenthwaite (letter may be in archive)

Sussex Express 19.4.02 - I FIND it refreshing that Beryl Wilkins (letters, April 12) comes up with an alternative to hunting with dogs. So many people who seek to ban this, and other things, offer no alternative... The reason why there are no statistics available for the foot and mouth period is that many of them are collected by the hunts themselves, especially those for the brown hare... I regard one of the last statements in the Burns report to be the most important when he says he has serious concerns that alternative means of controlling foxes may well ‘compromise the welfare of the fox’ far more than hunting does. Warren Marshall, Bailey Pitts, Uckfield
Sussex Express 12.4.02 - CHRIS Bird of Buxted ( Letters, last week) expressed a feeling that I’m sure is shared by most of us about the privileges we can all enjoy on our beautiful downland... I understand there have been no statistics to show an increase in the fox population during the period when hunting was banned due to the foot and mouth epidemic... Burns Inquiry produced evidence that leaves no doubt of the cruelty involved... Beryl Wilkins, Dale Road, Lewes (letter)
Sussex Express 5.4.02 I HAVE just returned from a long walk on the South Downs... Then movement in the valley below caught my eye. It was the Southdown and Eridge Foxhounds... I can only conclude that those class-hunting MPs will not come and see for themselves because they are frightened that they will prove the ignorance that the hunters accuse them of is a reality... Long may I meet the Southdown and Eridge enjoying the freedom and liberty that so many have made the supreme sacrifice for. Chris Bird, Buxted. (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.4.02 HUNTING SHAPES GREEN AND PLEASANT LANDSCAPE - Does your recent correspondent have any evidence to support her claims or is she just repeating the same old untruths and myths perpetuated by the antihunting lobby who, having no evidence, resort to insults, misinformation and exaggeration?... To those who have studied this complex issue it is clear that calls for a ban on hunting have little to do with "animal welfare" and all to do with bigotry, class hatred and hypocrisy. R Eynard Chippenham Wiltshire (story)

Western Daily Press 19.4.02 MY VISITS FROM GARDEN WILDLIFE ... For the last 27 years I have fed foxes every night in my back garden and have many photos and films of them.... J Mitchell Grittenham Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

GRAND NATIONAL
Lewisham News Shopper 19.4.02 A minute's silence for horses shot dead at race meetings - Yet again the three day Aintree meeting, culminating in the Grand National, saw the deaths of more horses... This year there was a minutes silence for the Queen mother. Perhaps those who wish to be involved in this "sport" should have a minutes silence for all those horses who never get to enjoy a peaceful retirement but are shot behind green screens at Aintree each year... David Mawson, RSPCA Council Member (letter in archive)
Liverpool Daily Post 18.4.02 ... the BBC and most racing correspondents on national newspapers devoted barely give a sentence to these equine victims of the Grand National. Animal Aid... will be launching a formal complaint against the BBC. J. Keane and Yvonne Allison (letter)
York Evening Press 16.4.02 IN response to Sarah Shaw's letter on the Grand National (Letters, April 9), I would first like to correct her casual claim that "most racehorses end up in tins of pet food", strongly implying that those involved with the sport do not care for their horses…. We agree with animal welfare organisations that horses have the right to a decent and fulfilling life, both during their racing careers and afterwards…. financial gain, the chief attraction is the chance to work with horses and it is a deep love for horses that binds the sport together. John Maxse, Public Relations Director, The Jockey Club, Portman Square, London. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 15.4.02 End this cruel race …This Grand National should be banished to the dark ages where it belongs. Kath Bramley, Crossfield Crescent, Fulford, York. (letter in archive)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Western Morning News, Plymouth Evening Herald, North Devon Journal, Torquay Herald Express) 15.4.02 GRAND NATIONAL CRUELLY CLAIMED LIVES OF HORSES - I would like to remind all those who chose to have a 'harmless flutter' on the Grand National of the grotesque reality of this event… each and every one of us has the power to stop this cruelty - simply by not betting on it… Sharon Howe, Lymebourne Avenue, Sidmouth (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 12.4.02 HORSE PLIGHT - In response to the letter sent by John Richards (Opinion, April 10) regarding the Grand National, I think that the general public is ambivalent to the plight of the horse in racing... I own a nine-year-old ex-race horse and I am having to educate her into behaving in an acceptable manner... Jo Yeoman, by e-mail (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 12.4.02 HANDS OFF ALL OF OUR HOBBIES - In reference to the letter Don't back te Grand National (Postbox, April 4) I was utterly surprised and shocked. First it was fox hunting with horses and dogs and now this. What next? I suppose it will be fishing hooks in fish's mouths.... Mrs S M Marston Marstons Green Talbot Road Neath (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 11.4.02 NATIONAL IS NOT SPORT - Prior to Saturday, the names Last Fling and Manx Magic did not mean anything to me... They were the names of the two horses that were put down after competing in the Grand National... Jockeys choose to race. They are well aware of the risks involved. The horses have no choice. They are the innocent victims. D Spencer, Dovedale Crescent, Belper. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 10.4.02 DO NOT IGNORE THE PAIN - I am not a racing enthusiast but, like millions of other people on Saturday afternoon, I sat down to watch the Grand National... The sight of the horse with the broken neck was surely distressing for all involved, as was the fact that another horse had to be destroyed, two out of 40. Surely this is no less barbaric than fox hunting, so why do we accept one and not the other?... John Richards, letter by e-mail. (letter)
York Evening Press 9.4.02 National is so cruel - I COMPLETELY agree with Mr Robertshaw about the Grand National being cruel… Sarah Shaw, Gordon Street, York. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 4.4.02 Is the Grand National cruel? Yes says animal rights campaigner Alan Robertshaw of York Animal Aid... No says Brandsby trainer Peter Beaumont, whose horse Niki Dee will be running in the big race at Aintree on Saturday... (story in archive)
Edinburgh News 9.4.02 Nothing grand about the National - SATURDAY’S events at Aintree brought shame on Britain as a self-proclaimed "nation of animal lovers"… Yvonne Taylor, Advocates for Animals Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)
Liverpool Daily Post 8.4.02 FOUR horses died as a result of falls at Aintree racecourse.... Around 300 people gathered outside the racecourse to demonstrate against the race, many from AnimalAid, the country's largest animal rights' group. Director Andrew Tiler said: "Ours is a message of compassion and justice." (story)
Scotland on Sunday 7.4.02 Casualties a real hurdle for a novice trying to enjoy a grand day out ... Animal Aid - who had distributed a chain e-mail, urging massed action with the message: "If you can’t bear to watch the horrors of the race unfold from your living room, be there on the day to make a stand against it" - the turnout was ultimately less of a concern to the organisers than an embarrassment to the protesters, who showed their fondness and respect for their equine buddies by banging drums, blowing horns and generally scaring the living daylights out of the police horses nearby.... (story)
Scotland on Sunday 7.4.02 It's nags to riches forthe brilliant Bindaree - Martin Hannan at Aintree - As the vast crowd observed a minute’s silence for the Queen Mother, the animal rights’ lobby earned themselves no friends by banging their drums and blowing their whistles outside the ground... (story)
Independent 6.4.02 Animal rights activists planning protest at Grand National By Richard Edmondson - The largest demonstration by animal rights activists against the Grand National will be staged today as the horses run against a background of unprecedented security measures. As part of a horseracing awareness week, Animal Aid will co-ordinate what it believes will be the biggest peaceful protest seen at Aintree... (story)
Irish Independent 6.4.02 Grand National ring of steel for animal rights rally - Richard Edmondson in Liverpool (story)
Cumberland News & Star 6.4.02 IS THE GRAND NATIONAL CRUEL TO HORSES? - vox pop (5 responses, all "no") (story)
Torquay Herald Express 6.4.02 JULIE JOINS NATIONAL PROTEST - A PAIGNTON housewife has taken to the streets to protest about today's Grand National horse racing spectacle. Julie Taylor, 40, from Paignton, joined in the Animal Aid campaign yesterday. She was in Fleet Street with a panto horse to highlight the so-called plight of race horses... (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 5.4.02 NOTHING 'GRAND' IN CRUEL RACE - I write in full support of D. Spencer who in her letter on March 25 highlighted the cruelty involved at the Grand National... As a nation of "animal lovers", do we really see the death of horses "live" on television entertaining?.. S. D. Riley, May Street, Derby. (letter)
Ananova 5.4.02 Animal welfare group wants bets on which Grand National horses will die - An animal welfare group wants people to run sweepstakes on which horses will fall or die during the Grand National. The League Against Cruel Sports is asking those taking part to give them the proceeds... (story)
Ananova 5.4.02 Two horses put down at Aintree ... Animal Aid hit out at what they described as the "needless loss of two more magnificent animals". The pressure group will be staging a large-scale demonstration before Saturday's Martell Grand National with protesters travelling from around the country.... (story)
Bolton Evening News 5.4.02 Think before you place your bet - AINTREE races are a national disgrace. Every year horses are raced to death in Britain.... Alwynne Cartmell, Halliwell Rd, Bolton (letter in archive)
Daily Record 3.4.02 CRUELTY PROTEST TARGETS NATIONAL - ANIMAL rights campaigners from Scotland will mount a protest at Saturday's Grand National. They will join hundreds of other animal lovers from across Britain in Aintree, Liverpool, and call for the race to be banned... Yesterday, co-ordinator Mandy Cairns, of Fife Animal Welfare Network, said the Scottish protesters were ready to make their feelings known...(story)
Western Daily Press 3.4.02 Britain's greatest horse race, the Grand National, was under threat from terrorist attack last night. Police and Special Branch officers were yesterday constructing a ring of steel around the Aintree track, amid fears it could be targeted by extremists. The event faces a doublepronged threat from dissident Irish republicans and Muslim fundamentalists…. Police must also cope with the first-ever large-scale demonstration at Aintree, which is part of Animal Aid's campaign against the Grand National. The group says protesters will travel to Merseyside from all over the country… (story)
Scotsman 3.4.02 This cruel race is far from Grand - Yvonne Taylor ... Virtually every year, the three-day meet results in horses breaking their necks, backs, legs or suffering heart attacks.... SOME are shot within weeks of their money-earning days being over. Others are used in equestrian pastimes such as show-jumping. Many are slaughtered and end up as pet food or on continental dinner plates... As a nation, we rightly condemn other countries for wantonly cruel activities such as bull-fighting. Yet millions of us are encouraged to relish the spectacle of horses being raced to their deaths in the name of entertainment... Yvonne Taylor is a campaigner for Advocates for Animals (story)
Northern Echo 3.4.02 Flogging a dead horse to get issue across - Campaigners staged a protest in a town centre yesterday. Dressed as a jockey and a racehorse, the protestors hoped to highlight the harsh conditions and fate they claim racehorses suffer... The action was part of the national charity Animal Aid's Horse Racing Awareness Week, organised to coincide with the run-up to the Grand National this Saturday. A spokeswoman for the North-East Animal Rights Coalition said: "Every year, horses meet their death during the three-day Aintree meet. There is nothing sporting or glamorous about the sight of animals breaking their necks, backs and legs..." (story)

Argus 19.4.02 Mercy journey in doubt by Karen Hoy - ...Kate Green returned to a woodland car park after walking her dog to discover thieves had thrown rocks through almost every window of her pet rescue car, which was bought with donations... Grandmother Kate, from Coldean, Brighton, runs the European Animal Welfare group, which brings back animals from a Spanish animal refuge to Britain for rehoming... (story in archive)

Bury Times 19.4.02 End this cruelty - SPRING is traditionally the start of the tourist season and, for many, a holiday is never complete without a visit to see a zoo. Sadly, in Indonesia, famed for its ancient culture, you will find an equally ancient attitude prevails towards zoo animals... I urge readers to write to the Indonesian Embassy at 38, Grosvenor Square, London WIX, demanding an immediate end to all animal shows in Indonesia's zoos... SARA LEE, Bury Old Road, Whitefield. (letter in archive)

CIWF LIVE EXPORT LETTER
Haringey Independent 19.4.02 Painful truth - WHILE we were all deeply saddened by the suffering caused by the foot and mouth disease outbreak, there was some relief in knowing that the trade in live animals for slaughter was halted. Today when I was in Muswell Hill distributing leaflets about animal welfare, I realised how few people realised this sad trade is about to start again.... AILSA PAIN, Hampstead Way, New Southgate. (letter in archive)
Bury Times 12.4.02 We must learn cruelty lessons - MRS MARION TAYLOR, Southgate Road, Bury. (letter in archive)
Halesowen News 11.4.02 Never go back to this - I am writing about the cruel live animal export trade - animals in overcrowded trucks often without food or water.... G Humphries, Rowley Regis (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 3.4.02 No to live exports - Janetta Lambert, Boroughbridge Road, York.
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Torquay Herald Express, Plymouth Evening Herald, North Devon Journal, Western Morning News) 29.3.02 BAN LIVE EXPORTS - JANET MORELEY Lymington Road Torquay (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Western Morning News, North Devon Journal, Torquay Herald Express, Plymouth Evening Herald) 25.3.02 DON'T LET THIS YEAR BE WORSE FOR FARM ANIMALS Vivienne Adams, Heavitree Road, Exeter (letter)
Sunderland Echo 25.3.02 End this cruelty - Marion Sewell, Summerhill, Sunderland (letter)
Aberdeen Press & Journal/Evening Express 23.3.02 LIVE-ANIMAL EXPORTS - Marigold Bowman and others, Aberdeen Compassion in World Farming Support Group, 21 Forbesfield Road, Aberdeen. (letter)
Bolton Evening News 22.3.02 Barbaric trade - WITH reference to the letters in the Bolton Evening News on Tuesday, March 12, I fully agree with the letter written by Anne Crumblehulme of St John's Road, Lostock, on the barbaric trade in live animals... G Drinkwater, Lever Park Avenue, Horwich, Bolton (letter in archive)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 22.3.02 STOPE THESE LIVE EXPORTS - A COMPASSIONATE BRITISH MEAT EATER (letter)
Ilkley Gazette 21.3.02 Cruel animal exports have resumed - Heather Parry 17 Westwood Rise, Ilkley. Audrey Hargreaves, 6 North Street, Addingham. Maeve Thwaites, 28 Moor Lane, Addingham. Elaine Ackroyd, 74 Moor Lane, Addingham. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 20.3.02 SIR - We are very concerned that now the foot and mouth epidemic is over, the cruel live animal export trade is being resumed... You can telephone them on 01730 264208, log on to the web-site at www.ciwf.co.uk or come along to Ilkley on March 23 to visit their stall in the town centre. Mrs Heather Parry, Westwood Rise, Ilkley; Mrs Audrey Hargreaves, North Street, Addingham; Mrs Maeve Thwaites, Moor Lane, Addingham; Elaine Ackroyd, Moor Lane, Addingham; M Steadmmond-Hunter, Moorfield Avenue, Menston; B Stedmond, Viewlands Rise, Menston; and G Blue, Viewlands Moor, Menston. (letter in archive)
ThisIsDevon 18.3.02 (Exeter Express & Echo, North Devon Journal, Plymouth Evening Herald, Torquay Herald Express, Western Morning News) 18.3.02 TRADE IN MISERY - ANGELA CORKERY Daccombe Newton Abbot (letter)
Yorkshire Post 16.3.02 No return to export hell From: JM Eckart, York Place, Harrogate (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 15.3.02 WE MUST STOP THIS VILE TRADE - S. J. RILEY Derby Road Beeston (letter)
Malvern Gazette 15.3.02 Hills sanctuary - IN your article about the Malvern Hills Conservators flock of sheep (Malvern Gazette & Ledbury Reporter, March 1) I notice no mention was made to the final outcome for the lambs… If the cruel live export trade is resumed they may then be sent in severely over crowded trucks for journeys lasting up to 40 hours… PAULINE BURGESS, Richmond Road, Malvern Link. (letter in archive)
Derby Evening Telegraph 14.3.02 STOP LIVE EXPORTS - Elaine Jacklin, Breedon Street, Long Eaton. (letter)
Northern Echo 14.3.02 ANIMAL WELFARE - NE Hannant, Gilesgate, Durham (letter in archive)
Harborough Mail 14.3.02 Cruelty ahead in wake of foot-and-mouth? - C Seal, Hinckley Road, Leicester.(letter)
Nottingham Evening News 13.3.02 STOP THESE CRUEL EXPORTS ... My husband and I urge sheep farmers not to go back to live exports ...MR & MRS W. BRUNSDEN Valley Road Sherwood (letter)
Shropshire Star 13.3.02 Suffering of animals to resume - Helen Porter, Bwlchyffridd, Newtown (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 12.3.02 Barbaric trade in live animals - Anne Crumblehulme, (member CIWF), St John's Road, Lostock, Bolton (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 12.3.02 Farming needs to move on - L Staves, Rowton, Aston-on-Clun (letter in archive)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Western Morning News, Plymouth Evening Herald, Torquay Herald Express, North Devon Journal) 11.3.02 TIME TO BAN LIVE EXPORTS - JUNE E McCRACKEN Goodrington Road Paignton (letter)
ThisIsGloucestershire (Western Daily Press, Gloucestershire Echo, Gloucester Citizen) 9.3.02 CRUEL EXPORTS WILL START AGAIN - GILL THIRLWELL, Bloomfield Road, Gloucester (letter)
Leicester Mercury 9.3.02 EXPORT 'ON THE HOOK, NOT ON THE HOOF' - Mrs Jean Bird, Harborough Animal Concern. (letter)
York Evening Press 9.3.02 No to live exports - David Boultwood, Alma Court, York. (letter in archive)
West Cumberland Times & Star 8.3.02 CRUEL LIVE ANIMAL EXPORT TRADE - PATRICIA COX, Randle How, Eskdale Green (letter may be in archive)
Newark Advertiser 8.3.02 Crisis legacy - JANET NUNN, Newark (Full address supplied.) (letter may be in archive)
Banbury Guardian 7.3.02 CHANCE TO END SUFFERING - Jenny Newton, Manor Road, Grimscote (letter)
Market Rasen Mail 7.3.02 A real danger that live exports will resume - J. M. Holliday, Hemingby Way, Horncastle. (letter)
Argus 7.3.02 No return to animal exports - M Sharpe, Wilbury Road, Hove (letter)
Manchester Evening News 7.3.02 Cruel trade - Mrs M Swain, Warrington (letter may be in archive)
Berwick Advertiser 7.3.02 End of the epidemic brings real danger - HAZEL AYLETT, Stone Martin, Haugh Head, Wooler. (letter)
Worcester Evening News 6.3.02 Live animals trade must come to end - STEPHEN SCRIMSHAW, Hamilton Road, Evesham, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)
ThisIsBath (Bath Chronicle, Western Gazette, Western Daily Press) 6.3.02 BAN LIVE EXPORTS - MARY BROWN Bishops Hull (letter)
Cambridge News 5.3.02 End this suffering - THE end of the foot-and-mouth epidemic brings one big, awful, real danger: the return of the cruel live animals export trade…Compassion in World Farming (CIFW) investigations have revealed that animals suffer terribly during long journeys to southern Europe… From Mrs Jan Billton, Pine Grove Park, Swavesey (letter in archive)
North West Evening Mail 5.3.02 STOP THIS CRUEL LIVE ANIMAL EXPORT TRADE - MRS S EVANS, Dartmouth Street, Walney (letter)
Bath Chronicle 5.3.02 ANIMALS MUST BE KILLED BEFORE THEY LEAVE BRITAIN - BRIDGET BOLWIG Penn Lea Court, Bath (letter)
Craven Herald 28.2.02 Cruel trade - SIR - The welcome end of the foot and mouth epidemic brings with it one real danger: the resumption of the cruel live animal export trade… Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) investigations have revealed that animals suffer terribly during the long journeys to southern Europe… G Hamilton, Burnroyd Avenue, Cross Hills. (letter in archive)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Bury Free Press 18.4.02 PRO-HUNTERS ANGER OVER PLANNED MARCH - CAMPAIGNERS against the Government's proposed ban on hunting expressed anger and disappointment after they were prevented from marching into Bury St Edmunds town centre. An estimated 2,000 people turned up for a rally held at Hardwick House, in Bury, on Friday all strongly opposed to a ban on hunting, which is due to be discussed by the Government in the next few months. Many with banners carrying logos such as 'Your Countryside Our Freedom,' walked to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs offices in the town to hand over a letter voicing their concerns over the effects a change in the law would have on their lives… But many huntsmen, farmers, and other member of rural communities were upset that the police had stopped them taking their protest through the town centre… quotes from Liz Mort, eastern regional director for the Countryside Alliance (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Reading Chronicle 18.4.02 Hunt ban protesters hound DEFRA By James Osborne ... Around 100 people - many brandishing placards daubed with the slogan 'Your countryside, our freedom'- picketed the Coley Park offices of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) last Friday... they brought their horses, gun dogs, ferrets and even a hawk... there were cheers from the crowd, many from Thames Valley and Hampshire hunts, when a strongly worded letter for minister Alun Michael was delivered to a DEFRA representative... quotes from Bradley Hall, terrier man for the Mortimer-based Garth and South Berks Hunt, Countryside Alliance spokesman Tracy Bramley... DEFRA regional manager Nick Beard, who met the protesters, said: "The protest was very well ordered and I will make sure this letter gets to the minister." (story)
Reading Evening Post 16.4.02 Protesters swoop to defend hunting - Alec Hall with his Harris hawk - ABOUT 100 hunt and field sport supporters complete with horses and hounds held a demonstration at Government offices in Reading on Friday. Members of the Countryside Alliance and the Hampshire and the Garth and South Berkshire hunts delivered a letter to the offices of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) (story)

Evesham Journal 18.4.02 Surely laws of dog ownership apply? ... Allowing dogs out in public with the express purpose of killing with them must surely make them "dangerous" and in need of muzzles? Finally, I have never seen a hunt with any "pooper scoopers",... Gary Jones, ,Evesham Rd., Cleeve Prior, Evesham. (letter in archive)

Dumfries & Galloway News 18.4.02 Definite place for hounds in controlling foxes - Six days into lambing this year and my worst fears have been realised, we have already lost four lambs to foxes... Until last year we were able to invite a pack of hounds up from Cumbria to help control the foxes... There is no doubt in my mind that there is a very definite place for controlling foxes with hounds. They will locate foxes in dense undergrowth and forestry areas where a man with a rifle would be totally ineffective... I dread to think what the remainder of this lambing and those in the future hold in store, perhaps Lord Watson could offer some advice? He could also advise me what to do with the tragic ewes, now bulging painfully with milk which despite their best maternal efforts, lost their lambs in what must have been a few confusing, terrifying and traumatic minutes? Peter Murray, Usher Cally Estate Office, Gatehouse of Fleet (letter may be in archive)

Northumberland Gazette 18.4.02 It seems trivial in comparison ... ÊI also have to put up with an MP who apparently thinks hare coursing is a civilised activity... Miss D Elsey, 4 The Avenue, Swarland. (letter)

Northumberland Gazette 18.4.02 The do gooders will inherit the earth - MAY I comment on the apparent war of words between Mrs R Walker, April 4 and one of GodÕs own in the shape of H A Jordan of this planet earth... I recalled many years ago, a factual programme on how helal meat is produced... But the so called animal rights brigade turn a blind eye. Why? Because they say it is political... ÊI have put this to these flat earthers on a few occasions, and their eyes glaze over, and the half inch value in their ear closes and they stand there as if in a trance... L Whitfield, 17, Fullers Walk, Alnwick. (letter)
Northumberland Gazette 14.3.02 Ban hunting because it is cruel SIR, AO FARMER was given column space in the Gazette March 7) to bleat (or should that by bay?) on about how disgraceful of the Government to make time to debate the Fox Hunting Bill when there are more important issues to be sorted out... Hazel A Jordan, Blue House, Elsdon (letter)

Reading Chronicle 18.4.02 Fishy suggestion to combat delinquency - READING West MP Martin Salter wants fishing introduced as a school subject to provide a new angle on fighting juvenile crime… (story)

Ellesmore Port Pioneer 18.4.02 Veggies at back of queue By Lindsay Weaver, Ellesmere Port Pioneer - A SURVEY of hundreds of British schools by Animal Aid has revealed that more than a quarter do not cater properly for vegetarian pupils. The results have been published in a Vegetarian Food School Report, to mark the start of Veggie Month, Animal Aid's nation-wide celebration of meat-free living during March... (story)

Guardian 18.4.02 Farming 'failing animal welfare standards' - Felicity Lawrence, consumer affairs correspondent ... Compassion in World Farming has conducted an investigation into the standards of welfare allowed by the British "farm assured" schemes and found that some animals were being reared in "dreadful conditions". Joyce D'Silva, the director, said the red tractor was launched with the promise to be kind to animals but seems "to be deliberately misleading the public about welfare".... (story)
Edinburgh News 18.4.02 Lumley in tractor protest - ACTRESS Joanna Lumley was today driving a tractor through London in protest at farm animal welfare standards. She is backing new research by Compassion in World Farming Trust... (story)

ThisIsGloucestershire (probably Gloucester Citizen) 18.4.02 BADGERS HAVE NOT BEEN EXONERATED - Does Dr Elaine King really believe that badgers regulate their numbers according to the food supply? After all, if the starving human communities of the world are unable to control their numbers, how does Dr King expect badgers to?... If cattle with TB have to be culled to stop the spread of disease, then so should badgers. Anne Godwin North Wraxall Chippenham (letter)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Burton Mail 17.4.02 Minister met by lobbyists - COUNTRYSIDE protesters have staged a pro-hunting demonstration during a visit by a Government minister to Burton. Over 30 lobbyists congregated at the entrance to the town's Bass Museum yesterday to greet Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael as he arrived for a tourism conference… Mr Michael engaged in a heated debate with the protesters on the museum steps as they demanded to know whether the bill to ban fox hunting would be passed… quotes from Simon Taylor, who rides with the Meynell and South Staffordshire hunt (story in archive)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Carmarthen Journal 17.4.02 BID TO BLOCK HUNT BAN Dozens of protesters staged a mini-rally in Carmarthen in a bid to block a ban on hunting... They were there to hand over an open letter calling on Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael to halt any ban. The move was part of a nationwide campaign at government offices. In the letter, David Thomas of the Federation of Welsh Packs said that fears and concerns in communities were being overlooked... (story)
Western Mail 12.4.02 Supporters join hunt campaign ... At the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) offices at Carmarthen and Caernarfon, delegates from all the leading rural and country sports organisations will hand in an open letter addressed to the Minister for Rural Affairs, Alun Michael.... quote from David Thomas from the Federation of Welsh Packs (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 17.4.02 Demo to save fox hunting by Tamash Lal - MOUNTED hunt supporters surrounded by hounds picketed Government offices in Gloucester to signal the start of their so-called 'summer of discontent'. Around 200 placard-waving supporters from 12 hunts across the South-West dressed in colourful hunting attire for the protest at the regional office of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. During Friday's demonstration, a letter was handed in for Alun Michael MP, minister for rural affairs, warning him of the level of anger felt in the countryside over the Government's plans to ban hunting… quotes from Captain Ian Farquhar, a joint master with the Beaufort Hunt, Julian Barnfield, a joint master with the Andoversford-based Cotswold Hunt (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 13.4.02 PROTESTS AT START OF A SUMMEROF DISCONTENT ... In Gloucester members of the Beaufort and Berkeley hunts took horses, hounds and other working dogs to the regional Defra HQ... building up the pressure on Alun Michael during the six-month consultation period on hunting with dogs. We would not accept legislation against hunting that was unworkable." (story)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 12.4.02 Supporters put their case ... A delegation from all Wiltshire and Gloucestershire hunts is scheduled to call at the regional Department of Farming and Rural Affairs' offices in Gloucester at 11am today...(story)

Border Telegraph 17.4.02 ‘Killer’ foxes blamed for loss of lambs By Claire Elliot - BORDERS farmers have gone on midnight watch as rogue killers stalk the region. Jim Pate, of Mossilee Farm in Galashiels, told the “Border Telegraph” last night that he was losing lambs by the day as a result of the “soaring number of foxes.” Mr Pate, who has already shot four in the past fortnight, has blamed the cancellation of last year’s hunting season due to foot-and-mouth restrictions on the rise in number of foxes. He confessed that he was neither for or against hunting with hounds, but now feared that if the Scottish Executive outlawed the blood sport, that foxes would destroy his livelihood… (story)

Scotsman 17.4.02 Pro-hunting peer in bid to abolish parliament - A HEREDITARY peer at Westminster was bidding to scrap the Scottish Parliament just over 24 hours after Robin Cook hailed it a success. Cross-bencher and hunting supporter Lord Palmer introduced a bill calling for a new referendum on devolution… Lord Palmer, the secretary of the Royal Caledonian Hunt and chairman of the Country Sports Defence Trust, is furious at the MSPs’ decision to ban hunting with hounds north of the Border… (story)

Epsom Post 17.4.02 Revival on no kill hunt - A ban on fox hunting could mean the revival of The Surrey Downs Horse Club, a 70 year old mock hunt whose members chased across country in exactly the same style - but without hounds or killing... former supporters of the Surrey Downs have got together recently to enjoy pursuits on horseback over the farmlands on the fringe of the borough. These were organised by Mrs Judith Crawford of Headley Heath Riders' Association, Anthea Chambers of Wildwoods Riding Centre, Bartle Woodhall of Highlands Farm and John Shelton of Chace Farm. Said Mrs Crawford: "These were so succesful more are planned for next season. Hunting without killing most certainly lives on!..." (story)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 17.4.02 Better class of protester - THE police want their own way. The teachers want more pay. And the foxhunters aren't happy bunnies. We do get a better class of protester "holding the country to ransom" these days…. MAX NOTTINGHAM, St Faith's Street, Lincoln. (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Evening Post 23.3.03 Holding us to ransom - THE police want their own way. The teachers want more pay. And the foxhunters are unhappy bunnies. We do get a better class of protester "holding the country to ransom" these days. Government has never been easy. But with the aforementioned it could become almost impossible. MAX NOTTINGHAM, St Faith's Street, Lincoln (letter)

Leicester Mercury 17.4.02 NOT SERIAL WILDLIFE KILLERS - I refer to Andrea Smith's article: "Motorists may be a greater control of foxes", (First Person, April 10). On what basis is her opinion founded?... this is yet a further attack on motorists who are, in the main, a law abiding majority and not serial killers of sundry wildlife. David H Green, Oadby. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 15.4.02 MISINFORMED ON HUNTING - Like so many people columnist Andrea Smith has been badly misinformed on hunting and it is a shame she does not ring her local hunt kennels and find out from them what happens… She asks why artificial earths are built? They are rare, but are there to encourage foxes to use areas safe to hunt…Caroline Lowes, Stamford. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 11.4.02 AN 'ARROGANT' DISMISSAL - I find the manner in which David Davidson (Postbag, April 3) dismissed Andrea Smith as a townie arrogant. Just because she doesn't share his views on fox hunting hardly proves she lives in a town or the heart of the country... G A Wright, Leicester. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 3.4.02 LYNCH-PIN OF OUR RURAL COMMUNITY - Andrea Smith (First Person, Mar 27)) certainly sounds like a townie to me, or she would understand better the role that hunting plays in the countryside, and the attitude towards their quarry of those who hunt… The fox is going to be culled one way or another and hunting is widely believed (especially by the Burns Report) to be the least cruel way… Remember that more people want hunting to be preserved than voted for this Labour Government! David Davidson, Osgathorpe. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 27.3.02 THE MYTH THAT HUNTING IS A PEST CONTROL METHOD - FREELANCE WRITER ANDREA SMITH WITH HER VIEW OF RECENT EVENTS ... How they can pretend that hunting makes any difference to fox numbers is beyond me: They only kill half a dozen a season... The most damning piece of evidence against this myth of pest control is the existence of artificial earths.... there can be no justification for putting personal pleasure before the suffering of animals. (story)

Horncastle News 17.4.02 Unspeakable acts of horror - EDITOR - I was concerned in this day and age to read a letter from one of your readers stating fox hunting ‘is jolly good fun’... L. G. CALLOW, Horncastle (letter)
Horncastle News 3.4.02 Hunting: It´s ´jolly good fun´…I came to rural life as someone with no strong feelings either way regarding hunting….It seems to me the Government is willing to do almost anything to improve its popularity and hunting is being used as just one more tool to ´court´ the electorate. Hunting is part of our heritage, it fulfills a necessary pest control service and yes, it´s also jolly good fun - is that a crime? .. Our hard pressed police force surely have a more important role than chasing country folk around rural Britain. DIANE CONWAY, Roughton, Woodhall Spa (letter)

Louth Leader 17.4.02 A conspiracy to turn us all into vegans? - EDITOR – I feel I must reply to Mr Newbourne’s letter ‘Hunters are a bunch of cowardly sadists’... I do not have an opinion on the ethics of hunting with hounds, but as an angler I do have an interest in whether hunting is banned or not... At the top of PETRA’s agenda in this country is to get hunting banned altogether with no compromise. Next on the list is fishing... PETRA’s final aim is to turn us all into hardcore vegans... I have the right to eat meat, fish and eggs if I wish. You have the right not to. Jason Adlam, Hawthorne Avenue, Louth. (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 17.4.02 REMEMBER LAB ANIMALS - Please remember lab animals during World Lab Week, which runs from April 20 to 26... please contact NAVS, 261 Goldhawk Road, London, W12 9PE. Or you can contact the society on 020 8846 9777 or e-mail info.@navs.org.uk (letter)

Western Daily Press 17.4.02 RETURN TO NATURAL FARMING METHODS ... I was taught land management by old-fashioned country people years ago, but left when I realised the way modern farming and working the land was going - with its modern chemical poisons and animal welfare.... M Haines Northhome Road Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

BRUCE THE POLICE DOG
Argus 17.4.02 Tragic end for canine hero - We are disgusted about the recent case of the Alsatian police dog that was destroyed... -J Payne, West Sussex Wildlife Protection, Littlehampton (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Bad description - Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Yeo was wrong to describe police dog Bruce as "a piece of equipment" (April 11). Dogs are living creatures and it is a privilege to own one... -Frances Lindsay-Hills, Chairman, Mid-Sussex and Brighton RSPCA (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 More respect ... We must respect animals as living creatures. Treating them as mere objects demeans us as humans... -Coun Rik Child, Green Party, St Peter's ward (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Inhumane ... Maybe we should humanely euthanise any defective police officer who "does what he/she is not trained to do"... -Mark Bycroft, Queens Road, Brighton (letter in archive) NB this name is false
Argus 17.4.02 Wrong choice ... The sad individual who gave the order to put this dog down should be put but down himself... -Robert Morton, Downbank Avenue, Bexleyheath, Kent (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Never forget ... This will never be forgotten.... -Sylvia Peters, Wembley Avenue, Lancing (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Poetic praise - I was so incensed by the murder of a police Alsatian, I have written this poem for him... -Miles Wootton, Carden Avenue, Patcham, Brighton (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Shameful - Shame on you, Mr Yeo, for your very poor decision about Bruce... -J Gent, Stork Close, Aylesbury (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Out of order - As usual, Sussex Police chiefs got it wrong... -S Green, Harvard Close, Lewes (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Unbelievable ... I have totally lost respect for the police - as, I am sure, have others. -Robin Durant, Copse Hill, Brighton
Argus 17.4.02 Sickened - I am sickened that senior Sussex Police officers can treat a living animal in such a cavalier and ignorant manner... -Ian Slater, Mill Rise, Brighton (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 What's the cost - I was incensed at Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Yeo's decision to have Bruce destroyed, like a piece of equipment. The man obviously has no feelings for animals... -Carole Belton, carolebelton@ukonline.co.uk (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Reconsider ... This is just another nail in the coffin of the people's respect for the police. -Helen Blandford, Hadlow Way, Lancing (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Double standards Let us cast our minds back to the days of the live exports demonstrations at Shoreham Port. Police officers were violently pushing people from behind (including myself) with no provocation whatsoever... Have these police officers been executed in the same way as tragic police dog Bruce? -Kate Green, Woburn Place, Brighton (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Resign now ... Whatever crime Bruce committed, Mr Yeo's was worse and he should immediately do the honourable thing and resign if the police want to regain the respect of the public. -Dean Martin, Hollingbury Place, Brighton (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Poor perception ... Don't fool yourself Mr Yeo, your decision was in no way in the interest of the vast majority of the public you are highly paid to protect.... -Barry Lister, Denton Drive, Brighton (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 Commiserations - I can barely contain my anger. I am outraged this beautiful and much-loved family pet who also happened to do an extremely dangerous but worthwhile job has been destroyed in indecent and unbelievable haste... My husband, a security guard working night shifts, has to deal with "children" (I use the word advisedly) of this kind every night and is familiar with the sort of behaviour they exhibit. - Judy Wilson, JudyWilsonhome@aol.com (letter in archive)
Argus 17.4.02 How can young people respect police? ... I have now lost all respect for an authority that is meant to protect and serve the public, not ignore and horrify them with such inhumanity. -Jo Hardy (age 14), Crescent Drive South, Woodingdean, Brighton (letter in archive)
Argus 13.4.02 Ill equipped ... The bullish stance of Mr Yeo on this issue gives credence to suspicions by hunt saboteurs and live-export protesters that many police officers are less than even-handed when called upon to deal with matters of animal welfare. -Peter Allen, Chute Avenue, High Salvington, Worthing (letter in archive)
Argus 12.4.02 Bruce protest at police station - Demonstrators outside Brighton police station today protested at the killing of police dog Bruce. A dozen women, children and one dog gathered... including Susan Baumgardt, from Hove, Ann Baskerville, from Petworth, Marianna Macari, aged eight, from Hove (story in archive)

Western Morning News 16.4.02 GOVERNMENT ADDS RED HERRINGS TO HUNTING DEBATE - I am sure that the editorial was correct and the hunt ban row is only just beginning (WMN, March 23)… My understanding of the so-called middle way was for hunts to be licensed. Many practices such as digging out and cubbing would be banned and, possibly, a chase limited by time… In my view this is far more humane than shooting, gassing, poisoning or trapping… I do not believe there is any case to be made for the continuance of hare coursing which should be banned as soon as possible… Although I do not believe that hunting enjoys the support of anything like the proportion of people your recent poll suggests, I do not believe that it is the predominant issue in the overwhelming majority of the public's mind. MPs must remember this. David Short, Exminster (letter)

Western Morning News 16.4.02 SICK OF THE HYPOCRISY OF ILL-INFORMED WRITERS - I am passionate about hunting because I love horses and hounds. I am absolutely sick of the hypocrisy demonstrated in the constant, and of all the ill-formed letters of those opposed to it… A ban on hunting will not benefit anybody and will result in the extermination of foxhounds and numerous beagles, lurchers and terriers who will all be redundant. Not a single fox will be saved, for farmers simply will not tolerate them… C Eke, Holsworthy (letter)

Western Morning News 16.4.02 BALANCE OF ARGUMENT IS AGAINST THE FOX - After giving it much thought from both sides, I now have no qualms whatsoever about foxhunting… Please Mr Blair, the above thoughts are truthful, be a man, admit you are wrong this time and leave things exactly as they are for the sake of Old England and its countryside. G Bull, Bishops Lydeard Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 16.4.02 END THIS RIDICULOUS PASTIME - It is with great amusement that I have listened to the hunting brigade waffling on about the debate on hunting overshadowing more important issues… not once, for instance, do I recall that during the 18-year reign of the Tory Party did they show any concern about the closure of hundreds of hospital wards… Night after night we have to see on our television screens the cruel, contorted faces of huntsmen and their cronies - no kind, caring faces among this lot… F Cleaves, Par
Lacking in knowledge - WITH certain exceptions, the debate on the future of hunting in the House of Commons was not characterised by knowledge of the subject. Would politicians be prepared to stake the future of any other activity on uninformed or biased denigration?.. Hunting people go about their sport quietly. They act responsibly in nurturing the environment that is the key feature of their sport. Elizabeth M Sparrow, Paul, Penzance (letters)

Western Daily Press 16.4.02 SHAGGY DOG TALES OF FOXES - It appears that as long ago as 1885 the Duke of Beaufort was not happy that his tenant farmers were trying to dupe him with their fabricated stories of fox predation, in the hope of securing compensation… He wrote: "As regards foxes killing lambs. There is a great deal of nonsense talked and misconception about it…I have had claims for calves and cows killed by foxes, but they are too ridiculous to require any remarks from me." J Hall Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Leicester Mercury 16.4.02 HYPERCRITICAL! - Apparently, it's just fine to purchase meat that has been slaughtered under horrific conditions, as long as it's cheap… motorists who maim and kill more foxes and badgers in one month than the hunt kills in a season, it's fine because that's us and not them. I am disgusted at the naive and stupid attitude of the correspondence I see in the papers… calls for action on the behalf of the whole population and would mean having to put money where your self righteous hypocritical mouths are. Not likely! Name and address supplied. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 16.4.02 PROLONGED REBELLION PHASE - Much has been made in the press recently about former hunt saboteurs actually becoming fox hunters themselves in later life… Many middle class people go through a prolonged phase of juvenile rebellion. During this time they derive great excitement from befriending the sort of people their parents wouldn't approve of… However, the passage of time soon brings most of these interlopers back into their ancestral fold. They get tired of funny working class pals and yearn to be surrounded by their own kind once more. Liam O'Driscoll, Leicester (letter)
Leicester Mercury 16.4.02 PUZZLING CONVERSION - Whilst in Leicester recently I happened upon the story (Mercury March 19) of former hunt saboteur Mark Halford who now hunts with the Quorn Hunt. As a former hunt saboteur myself when living in the Midlands I recall Mark very well as a vigorous and erudite campaigner against hunting…Dr John Pamment, Exeter. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 19.3.02 Mark Halford used to be a hunt saboteur. Now he rides with the Quorn Hunt. He talks to Lee Marlow about his change... At 15, he was a typical, aimless and easily-led teenager. Persuaded by friends, he attended a meeting of the Atherstone hunt to protest and disrupt. He loved animals and hated the thought that a privileged few on horseback could chase and kill an innocent fox.... He's been arrested, jailed and pictured on the front page of a newspaper wielding a stick. Many of his colleagues, he says, had a wider, political agenda. "Looking back, those people were more concerned about class warfare than animal welfare,'... Mark is gay and says he received a much warmer welcome from his new friends in the hunt than his old comrades. He is now organising gay days with the Countryside Alliance... Paul Adams, of the East Midlands Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: "It appears that Mark Halford is an attention-seeking social climber''... Mark says he has been verbally and physically abused by former friends. "They talk about rights and liberties but many of these people are just hooligans and terrorists,''... (story)

Northern Echo 16.4.02 FOX HUNTING I WOULD never have thought that this great nation would put a fox before the life of a human… This is the same Mr Blair who was once in CND and who now will gladly send British soldiers to war at the drop of a hat and President Bush's say so. - K Heslop, Stanley, Crook. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 8.3.02 GIVE A CHILD A GUN? IT CAN MAKE SENSE - West - as long as they are supervised by a responsible adult. Now 50 MPs are backing a motion to prohibit children under 14 from having a shotgun licence - but Adrian Yalland, spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, thinks they're targeting the wrong people… We know from our own experience that teaching children to shoot in a safe and controlled environment introduces them to a really enjoyable sport, gives them self-discipline and self-respect - but most importantly, teaches them the dangers associated with irresponsible gun use… politicians insisted that the gun was the problem - remove the problem and gun crime would fall. Why, then, has gun crime risen so much since Dunblane?... (story)

York Evening Press 16.4.02 ...IN response to Mr Lawrence's vitriolic comments about anglers (Letters, April 9), angling cannot be compared to those who use animals to chase a quarry until it is completely exhausted, before letting the said animals tear the poor victim to pieces, but we do `angle', as he says, because we enjoy it…. Perhaps Mr Lawrence would prefer to see our total absence from the environment and our watercourses running as open sewers? R Hutchinson, General secretary, York & District Amalgamation of Anglers, St Clements Club, Count de Burgh Terrace, York. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 16.4.02 KEEPING CAMPAIGN ALIVE - In answer to the letter ("Real cruelty", WMN, March 28) about vivisection versus angling and hunting…Animal rights organisations have published many reasons why animal experiments are useless… I've also had cancer and diabetes wished on me - well better me, than that unscientific and cruel vivisection continues. So I am glad that there is a campaign by all who really care World Lab Animal Week (April 20-26). Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Argus 16.4.02 Culture grub - William Fraser (Letters, April 8) pointed out that "fruitarians are generally those who have evolved through vegetarianism and veganism to a stage where they not only practise harmlessness to all animal life but also abstain from vegetable produce which involves the destruction of a plant and in turn insect life"… Scientists at Nasa have found a way to "culture" meat and fish, which could put an end to the slaughter of animals for human consumption…-David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks (letter in archive)
Argus 8.4.02 Pedantic loss ... I presume Wendy Taylor (Letters, April 4) is a fruitarian... the positive action of all non-violent animal rights activists should be encouraged. Society shall not be changed by pedantry. -William Fraser, Summerheath Road, Hailsham (letter in archive)
Argus 4.4.02 On animal welfare - How I agree with Dr John Mew about the selectiveness of animal rights activists (Letters, April 1)... Surely if you genuinely care for the welfare of animals, it should be of all animals, not just the cute, cuddly ones or those with snob value. -Mrs Wendy Taylor, Wendy.taylor67@ntlworld.com (letter in archive)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Newcastle Evening Chronicle 15.4.02 North hunt ban anger - Thousands of North East countryside campaigners will descend on London for a march to protest at a ban on hunting… Richard Dodd, of Belsay, the regional director of the Alliance, claimed 1,000 jobs would be lost by a ban…. (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 15.4.02 As a hunt supporter I was interested and intrigued to read the recent letters from Sid Brown and others regarding hunting with dogs… Daily in slaughterhouses around the UK thousands of sheep are killed by the knife… If these recent anti-hunt correspondents had any concerns for animal welfare then surely one would expect to see more humane methods of slaughter high on their list of priorities, not just hunting with dogs, but somehow it never is…. Peter D O'Malley, Heaton Drive, Baildon (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 15.4.02 SURELY, WE CAN'T ALL BE STUPID - Concerning your letter of April 13, Not The Full Picture, Mary… It's interesting that he mentions the Nazis at the end of the letter - did he know that they also banned hunting? Excellent companions for those anti-hunting fanatics who see the world from a Disneyesque viewpoint (he wasn't a very nice bloke either). Adrian Tierney-Jones Winsford, Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.4.02 NOT THE FULL PICTURE, MARY - It's time someone took Mary Tapping to task over her appallingly blinkered views. The picture accompanying her article which she claims is a hunt saboteur hitting a horse proves nothing.We have only her word that it is a hunt saboteur. It looks to me more like the hunt member on the left of the picture hitting the hooded figure in the middle on the face with a stick... Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 4.4.02 MPS WHO DIDN'T REALLY WANT THE FACTS - May I congratulate your equestrian columnist Mary Tapping on her fine article on foxhunting. In it she made numerous relevant points, none more so, I felt, than the story of the West MP, who arranged to spend a day out with the hunt. When the big day arrived, he turned up so late that the hunt had already gone... After around ten minutes he then proclaimed he had seen nothing to change his mind and then called it a day... R Bird Acton Turville Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 15.4.02 GAME BIRDS HAVE A NATURAL LIFE - In reply to to the recent letter by a West Somerset resident, I have always been led to believe that nursing vixens do not leave a scent… Also, K Mitchelmore considers that shooting game birds is obscene…these birds live a free and natural life…Incidentally, I am a vegetarian. (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.4.02 MASSACRE OF GAME BIRDS - Man is an omnivorous animal and is therefore designed to hunt for food. Therefore, hunting is natural. What is unnatural and indefensible is the practice of digging out for slaughter those animals that have eluded the hunt and should be entitled to sanctuary. What I do consider obscene, although nobody seems to object to them, is shooting parties out for the massacre of game birds… K Mitchelmore Trowbridge (letter)

Western Daily Press 15.4.02 YOU KNOW CRUELTY WHEN YOU SEE IT …I wonder if anyone else read between the lines of your correspondent A Kirk on April 11, who asks for an end to the hunting debate and then launches into it?...And to G J Cleaver, I would say it doesn't matter where you come from, you know when you see cruelty… I believe that the cruelty and blood lust that you will see at any hunt you care to name, stems from a throwback to our more savage age… Alun Person Ston Easton, Somerset (letter)

ThisIsDevon (probably Torquay Herald Express) 15.4.02 TURN FOX HUNTING INTO BIG ATTRACTION …There are many people from around the world who would willingly pay to experience the thrill of riding a good horse through the English countryside. This could be all packaged into a specialist type holiday, staying in a country hotel, being introduced to all the riding techniques, shown how the hounds are trained and the highlight of the holiday, dressing up in hunting pink and sampling the stirrup cup before riding off behind the hounds on a drag hunt… There are many areas of the British way of life that could be adapted to the leisure industry. R D MANN Woodleigh Road Newton Abbot (letter)

ThisIsDevon (probably Plymouth Evening Herald or Exeter Express & Echo) 15.4.02 HUNTING BRIGADE: SPOILT BRATS? - Now it's 'backs to the wall' time for the hunting brigade…who but the worst kind of bully could get his kicks out of hounding an animal to a brutal death… JEAN TURNER, Plympton (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Plymouth Evening Herald, Torquay Herald Express, Western Morning News, North Devon Journal) 11.4.02 EXPECT BULLY-BOY TACTICS - NOW it's "backs to the wall" time for the hunting brigade. We are seeing this arrogant bunch, who think they are above the law, in their true colours... Ann Widdecombe has already been the target of a hunting mob in Wales.... Hunting is a dirty, cruel business, ethically and morally wrong, and it has to go. JEAN TURNER Dean Road, Plympton (letter)

Worcester Evening News 15.4.02 Protesters exposed this animal cruelty - THE owner of the clothes shop which has attracted the attentions of the anti-fur protesters repeats the same old arguments in her defence without addressing the central issue of cruelty (Protest over fur clothing, Evening News, March 27)…No civilised society should tolerate such unnecessary suffering and the protesters are to be congratulated for bringing this cruelty to the attention of the public… MARK GLOVER, Director, Respect for animals. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 26.3.02 Campaigners picket a city fashion shop - ANIMAL rights campaigners staged a demonstration outside Worcester fashion shop Madeleine Ann to protest over its sale of fur clothing... "A couple of people from the group had been into the shop and were told that they were re-stocking with next season's fur," said one of the protesters, who wanted to be known only as Becky... (story in archive)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 15.4.02 Fur belongs on animals …Beauty is seeing live animals with fur on then, not insensitive models who care nothing about the cruel methods used to obtain fur skins…MRS SHEILA BRENNAN, Bombay Street, Blackburn (letter in archive)

Scotsman 15.4.02 Shocking conditions - I could not agree more with Les Ward’s comments (Letters, 11 April) on the shocking conditions on intensive pig farms. I think many readers will alsohave been horrified that, until Advocates for Animals’ expose, Ormiston Farm was certified by Quality Meat Scotland’s "farm assurance" scheme… LYNNE MITCHELL, Lower Mains, Dollar, Clackmannanshire (letter)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Telegraph 13.4.02 Huntsmen start 'summer of discontent' - By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent - PRO-HUNT campaigners launched a nationwide "summer of discontent" campaign yesterday, delivering an open letter to the rural affairs minister and holding rallies at Government offices across Britain.... Campaigners yesterday targeted at least 14 regional Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs offices from Carlisle to Exeter. Mr Michael, who was not at Smith Square to receive the letter, warned them that "hunting is far from being the important issue for rural people". (story)
Western Daily Press 13.4.02 6,000 MARCH IN PRO-HUNT PROTEST - TIANIA STEVENS - More than 6,000 pro-hunting campaigners in the Westcountry raised the stakes yesterday in the battle to save their traditional rural sport. The protesters marched side by side from the Westpoint showground near Exeter to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) office at Clyst St Mary... A protest letter to Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael was handed in at the Defra office in Devon by Amie Pascoe, 22, of the rural campaign group the Younger Generation of the South West... (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 13.4.02 HUNT SUPPORTERS UNITE IN PROTEST AGAINST THE BID TO BAN THEIR SPORT By JOHN FLETCHER - THOUSANDS of banner-waving hunt supporters joined a protest in Exeter to voice their opposition to the bid to ban their sport... the marchers were joined by members of more than 12 hunts, pony groups, kennels and riding clubs from Devon, Dorset, Somerset ... Ron Smith, from North Devon, played the bagpipes to spur on the marchers... The Axe Vale Hunt was out in force, along with supporters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, Tiverton Staghounds, the Dartmoor Hunt, Weston and Banwell Harriers, Dorset's Park Beagles and Torrington Farmers' Hunt.... quotes from Michael Moore, joint master of the East Devon Hunt, Diana Scott, joint master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds (story)
Newcastle Journal 13.4.02 Hunt supporters launch 'summer of discontent' protest - Hunting supporters have raised the stakes in the battle to keep their sport... (story)
Western Mail 13.4.02 Countryside Alliance leader pledges protest at Labour Party conference - HUNTING supporters yesterday raised the stakes in the battle to keep their sport. A protest letter warning Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael against the Government introducing legislation hostile to hunting was handed in at the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs headquarters by Countryside Alliance chief executive Richard Burge.... possibility of a second one at the Labour Party conference in the autumn. "We are still getting the logistics right on the marches but I can't see any circumstances now that they (the government) are going to give us the confidence not to have that march, it is going to happen. "The reason the Labour Party are getting the protest is because it's their backbenchers who are causing most of the problem.... (story)
Gloucester Citizen 13.4.02 THE countryside marched into the city when hunting supporters fired the opening salvo in a battle to save their sport.... Yesterday police and stewards lined the road as about 100 people of all ages, gender and professions marched peacefully and quietly up to the doors of the building.... quotes from Richard Roberts, whipper-in of the Berkeley Hunt, Julian Barnfield, huntsman for the Cotswold Hunt, Bobby McEwen, a vet in Marlborough, Alex Connors runs a business that sells hunting boots in Chippenham (story)

Leicester Mercury 13.4.02 FOXES CONTROL OWN NUMBERS Foxes control their own numbers according to the food available. Mr Cox asked if it was any wonder that ground nesting birds, voles and other small mammals are on the brink of extinction.... G A Wright, Leicester. (letter)

Worcester Evening News 13.4.02 These cruel children could be the killers of the future - I AM writing in response to the headline "Frog Attack", which described a gang of thugs fishing out frogs from a school wildlife pond before stamping on them... There's statistical evidence being collated, at present, which strongly indicates a correllation between people convicted of murder and earlier lives in which they exhibited tendencies towards premeditated animal cruelty.... DAVID M HAMMOND, Hanley Swan. (letter in archive)

LORD CARTER'S PIG FARM
Western Daily Press 13.4.02 LABOUR-LINK FARMS CLEARED OF CRUELTY - Veterinary inspections of two farms with links to a Labour farming spokesman found no evidence of pigs being mistreated, the Government said yesterday.... (story)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 22.3.02 Chief whip denies any cruelty on pig farm - LORD Carter, the Government's chief whip in the House of Lords and agricultural advisor to Tony Blair, has denied that pigs on an Everleigh farm owned by a company in which he was a director until 1997, were cruelly treated and kept in illegal conditions... (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 19.3.02 TORIES DEMAND PIG INQUIRY - The Conservatives yesterday called for an official inquiry into allegations that a Government farming spokesman was associated with a Wiltshire farm which mistreated pigs... (story)
Independent 18.3.02 Pigs 'in distress' at farm linked to peer By Ben Russell Political Correspondent - The Conservatives called yesterday for an inquiry into allegations of poor conditions at pig farms linked to a government agriculture spokesman... (story)
Telegraph 18.3.02 Call for inquiry into 'cruelty' at peer's farm By Richard Savill and Sarah Womack - CONSERVATIVES called last night for an inquiry into allegations that "illegal and cruel" treatment of pigs took place on a farm linked to Lord Carter, the Government's Chief Whip and spokesman on food and farming in the House of Lords... (story)
Yorkshire Post 18.3.02 'Farm cruelty' inquiry call ... Sky News yesterday claimed that pigs at Oldlands Farm, in Wiltshire, and Shoddesden Farm, in Hampshire, had been forced to live in cramped stalls, some of them without access to drinking water. Some had died as a result, the report claimed... Joyce D'Silva, director of Compassion in World Farming, urged the Prime Minister to launch an inquiry. (story)
Sunday Times 17.3.02 Labour peer accused over farm cruelty - GERARD TUBB, JONATHAN LEAKE AND NICHOLAS RUFFORD ... Lord Carter, the government's chief whip in the House of Lords, is part-owner of a Wiltshire farm in which hundreds of animals were allegedly crammed illegally into tiny pens where they had no room to turn around or lie down... Five workers who helped to look after the farm say animal welfare laws were routinely broken. They allege pigs were kept in "sow stalls" for weeks at a time where they were so tightly penned they were unable to turn around. Sow stalls were outlawed from January 1999 because they were considered inhumane. The workers say, however, that they remained in use until the farm was closed and put up for sale last December... Speaking through his lawyers Carter said: "The animals were not kept in illegal conditions." He blamed the allegations on "disgruntled" former employees who had lost their jobs when the farm was closed... (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Telegraph 12.4.02 Hunting campaign launched - A NATIONAL "summer of discontent" will be launched today by campaigners fighting to save hunting. It will begin in London with an open letter being handed in to the rural affairs minister, Alun Michael... (story)
Times 12.4.02 Hunt lobby whips up support for summer of discontent By Melissa Kite, Political Correspondent ... The campaign will begin with rallies outside 15 regional offices of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Open letters will be handed in urging ministers to ensure that the six-month consultation on hunting is open and fair... The Countryside Alliance wants to mount two marches of more than 500,000 people to show the Government the will of rural communities to save foxhunting and the rage felt by country people whose livelihoods would be threatened by a ban on the sport... (story)
Ananova 12.4.02 Hunt campaigners launch bid to save sport - Pro-hunting campaigners are launching a nationwide "summer of discontent" in the battle to save their traditional rural sport... (story)
Scotsman 12.4.02 Hunt Campaigners Launch Bid to Save Sport By Amanda Brown, Environment Correspondent, PA News.... The presentation of the letter by a delegation from the Countryside Alliance and the Council of Hunting Associations was coinciding with similar presentations and rallies taking place at Defra offices in York, Carlisle, Nottingham, Chelmsford, Bury St Edmunds, Gloucester, Exeter, Carmarthen, Whittington, Reading, Reigate, Worcester, Stafford, Caernarvon, and Newcastle.... (story)
Ananova 12.4.02 Hunt supporters launch 'summer of discontent' protest - Hunting supporters have raised the stakes in the battle to keep their sport.... More than 100 farmers, gamekeepers, huntsmen and members of the Countryside Alliance were in Smith Square, Westminster to register their anger... (story)
BBC News Online Friday, 12 April, 2002, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK - 'Summer of discontent' launched ... Hunt supporters gathered in London's Smith Square to present an open letter to rural affairs minister Alun Michael at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)... Campaigners staged a string of protests across the country at other Defra offices... Defra offices in York, Carlisle, Nottingham, Chelmsford, Bury St Edmunds, Gloucester, Exeter, Carmarthen, Whittington, Reading, Reigate, Worcester, Stafford, Caernarvon, and Newcastle saw similar presentations and rallies... (story)
Yorkshire Post 12.4.02 Alliance avoiding 'invasion' - THE FIRST of the new moves from the Countryside Alliance against the possibility of banning hunting with dogs took place countrywide yesterday with marches at regional headquarters nationwide.... there is still a groundswell of opinion that the CA, formerly the British Field Sports Society, which rather got it said, had been pussy-footing on the issue. Lots of stalwart supporters of hunting still fear it may need an invasion of horseboxes into London on a workday to get the point over... (story)
Newcastle Journal 12.4.02 Hunt supporters to quiz minister on future ... The Countryside Alliance supporters will present an open letter on hunting to Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael at a meeting to be held at Twice Brewed, Northumberland... CA regional director Richard Dodd, said: "He's playing with people's lives for a bunch of mangy foxes. Banning hunting will put 8,000 people out of work nationally - including me, so we need to speak to him about that." (story)
Western Mail 12.4.02 Hunt supporters launch 'summer of discontent' protest ... More than 100 farmers, gamekeepers, huntsmen and members of the Countryside Alliance were in Smith Square, Westminster to register their anger.... (story)
Essex Evening Gazette 12.4.02 Chelmsford: Pro-hunting group campaigns - Supporters of hunting swung into action today in Chelmsford to launch a summer of campaigning to save the controversial sport. They have targeted the Chelmsford office of the Government's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Beeches Road... Representatives of East Anglia's 27 hunts, as well as other clubs who would be affected by a hunting ban, were due to converge for a rally and handing in of the letter at Chelmsford and Bury St Edmunds this morning.... quote from Liz Mort, of the Countryside Alliance (story in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 11.4.02 HUNT GOES ON MARCH TO SAVE SPORT - Devon hunt supporters were staging a protest march today to try to save their sport... The march was going from the Devon County Showground at Westpoint near Exeter, to the nearby regional headquarters of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It was being led by people on horseback and with hounds... (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 12.4.02 HUNTERS ON MARCH - Dozens of hunt supporters from Lincolnshire are taking part in a protest march against plans to ban hunting today... John Green, joint master of the Burton Hunt, said "...This is not a dispute with Defra staff. They have been most helpful since hunting resumed." (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 12.4.02 Hunters promise summer of discontent - By James Mortlock and Henry Austin - MORE than 1,500 countryside campaigners from across East Anglia have marched on two Government offices... The rallies in Bury St Edmunds and Chelmsford yesterday attracted representatives from dozens of hunts, hare coursing and lurcher clubs and scores of people who will be badly hit if fox hunting is outlawed.... quotes from Sean Hutchinson of the Suffolk Hunt, James Aldous, joint master of the Suffolk Hunt, Sheryl Bickers, master of the Essex Fox Hounds, Mathew Higgs, a member of the South Herts Beagles, Liz Mort of the Countryside Alliance (story)

Yorkshire Post 12.4.02 A strong alliance - HAVING denied his back-benchers the red-meat of full-blooded socialism, Tony Blair has been forced to feed them less satisfying gruel. Chief among the titbits thrown to the slavering Left have been the oft-threatened ban on hunting with dogs... To the urban and ultra-modern Prime Minister, the countryside is little more than a giant theme park for the amusement and entertainment of his fellow city dwellers. Both the old and the new guard in the Government view countryfolk with, at best, thinly disguised contempt... Not all countryfolk share the huntsman's enthusiasm for the chase, but the overwhelming majority have rightly seen the Government's assault on this ancient tradition as a mean-spirited declaration of class warfare on the rural population... The fight is far from over. Indeed, it is only beginning... (story)

Western Daily Press 12.4.02 LABOURING OVER THE COUNTRYSIDE - The row over banning hunting is a distraction from vital work to help people living in rural areas, Countryside Czar Ewen Cameron said yesterday... "I don't know whether Parliament will ban hunting or not, I can't comment on that, but in terms of the issue on my work, yes, it does affect it because it gets in the way, " he said... The pro-hunting Countryside Alliance will today start a summer of protest by holding demonstrations outside 12 Defra offices, including the one in Gloucester... (story)
Western Morning News 12.4.02 HUNTING DEBATE 'IS HAMPERING RURAL RECOVERY' - The political row over the future of hunting with dogs "gets in the way" of bringing in real improvements for people in rural areas like the Westcountry, the Government's chief adviser on the countryside said yesterday. Publishing a highly critical report on the Government's rural record, Countryside Agency chairman Ewen Cameron said the hunting issue was a distraction that made it more difficult to highlight the real problems facing people living in the countryside.... (story)

Hawick News 12.4.02 HUNT BAN - Fox hunting will become illegal on August 1, following an announcement from the Executive this week... (story in archive)

The Citizen (Blackpool) 12.4.02 Euros on way - OLD Maggie's been muzzled, fox hunting banned and in 12 months we'll be using euros. God's in his Heaven and all is well. Edwin M. Rimmer, Lawsons Road, Thornton. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 12.4.02 After hunting, what will be next target? - THIS newspaper made its views very clear on the subject of hunting with dogs during Worcester MP Michael Foster's failed Private Members Bill. Once again, the Evening News reiterated those views, leaving its readers in no doubt that hunting is cruel... While I disagree with what you write and dismiss it as completely non-factual, I do however stand up for your right to speak your mind and hold whatever view you happen to believe in... It's nearly time to bring out the muckspreaders and heavy agricultural machinery to let Tony Blair, Michael Foster and their cronies know that country people are sick and tired of being dictated to and will not tolerate this ludicrous proposed legislation. We live in Britain - not Zimbabwe. TIM PINNEY, Peopleton, Pershore. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 12.4.02 My views are entirely my own - MAY I correct Mr J Burgess. In his latest outburst, he once again implies that I belong to an animal rights organisation. I do not - my views are entirely my own... It's highly significant that the most ardent protesters against hunting in all its forms are those who previously participated in the so-called "sport" and have now seen the error of their ways. MRS MARION J LARGE, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Wandsworth Guardian/Comet 12.4.02 Hunting comments are just unbelievable - I read with dismay Julie Wood's comments (Letters, March 15) defending the sadistic habit of fox hunting. I will deal with the points as she has put them in her letter... please admit that you are a sadist trying desperately to defend your odious habit and let's see an end to this. Only then can we really start to concentrate on the many other issues that require addressing in society. DAVID BARRY, Evesham Way, Battersea (letter in archive)
Wandsworth Guardian 13.3.02 Still hunting for an alternative to ban - I grew up in a drag hunting area of rural Britain and I understand the importance of hunting with dogs in the rural community. I also understand what happens to foxes in areas where hunting does not take place. They are snared, gassed, poisoned etc. The alternative methods to hunting are far crueller... Please vote against the ban on hunting. This will allow the government to concentrate on issues that affect a far greater number of people, like health, education, transport. JULIE WOOD, Battersea (letter in archive)

Edinburgh News 12.4.02 Daft as brushes By ANGIE BROWN - BUMBLING do-gooders are killing urban foxes with kindness - by taking them from city streets and dumping them in the countryside... Mike Flynn, Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals superintendent, said street foxes were unable to survive in the countryside. "We receive about three or four allegations a year of foxes being left in farmers’ fields. "I was speaking to one reputable farmer who said he killed 16 in one night and they just stood there looking at him. He said he usually only kills five a year..." (story)

Western Daily Press 12.4.02 SEARCHING FOR FOX REPORTS IN CITY - The Bristol Fox Group at Bristol University seeks any reports of sightings of fox cubs and den sites, particularly in the north-west of the city... We aim to identify den sites in and around the area and to count cubs so that we can estimate numbers and gain an idea of how Bristol's foxes are doing since the outbreak of a disease called mange... Rachel J Ansell, Bristol Fox Group, School of Biological Sciences, Bristol University Woodland Road Bristol BS8 1UG (letter)

Hertfordshire Mercury 12.4.02 Foxes thrive in town says pest controller ... Geoff Wilcox, of Ace Pest Control in Ware, believes foxes are becoming better suited to urban life and are attracted by the ease of obtaining food... He explained that there was very little effective control of foxes, especially with fewer gamekeepers around, and that hunting "barely touches the surface". Trade body the British Pest Control Association believes there are more 'humane' ways control could be undertaken. It takes a neutral stance in the fox-hunting debate, but stresses that there are methods available for controlling foxes that are effective and humane when carried out by qualified technicians.... A regional RSPCA spokeswoman said foxes could cause local difficulties, but there was little evidence to support the view that the fox was a significant agricultural pest nationally.... Major Thomas Barclay, of the Puckeridge Hunt, said: "A rifle bullet can travel up to about five miles and at night you can't see what you are shooting at and bullets can go through houses. "With hunting you tend to catch the sick, lame and lazy foxes, but with any other method you can get beyond the controlling and get into extermination..." (story may be in archive)

Argus 12.4.02 Badger watch - The West Sussex Badger Protection Group was recently called out to a suspected baited badger at Cocking... -Jackie Payne, secretary, West Sussex Badger Protection Group, Sutton Close, Felpham (letter in archive)

Southern Reporter and Hawick News 12.4.02 BADGER GROUP REMAINS VIGILANT IN BATTLE AGAINST BAITING MENACE by Bob Burgess - FEARS have been expressed that badgers in the Borders are being dug-out to be used in bloodthirsty badger-baiting bouts... Former police officer and countryside expert Ian Hutchison, runs Scottish Badgers from his home in Angus. He warned: "We are becoming increasingly concerned over the incidence of badger-digging taking place in Scotland. Several setts have been found dug-out and this worrying trend indicates that in some parts of the country this foul practice is still taking place."... A Borders branch of Scottish Badgers is in the process of being established. More than 30 people attended a preliminary meeting and the group is expected to formally come into being early next month. Members are expected to attempt a badger census and seek evidence of baiting. (story in archive)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
ThisIsCornwall (Cornish Guardian, West Briton, Cornishman) 11.4.02 MP IN CLASH OVER HUNTING - MEMBERS of the pro and anti hunting lobbies clashed at Pool Market on Saturday at the launch of a new report by the League Against Cruel Sports. As both sides shouted at each other, the scene became so heated that police were needed to calm the atmosphere. Caught in the middle of the melee was local MP Candy Atherton, who has made clear that she is totally opposed to hunting.... Members of the Four Burrow, Cury and Western hunts, which all hunt over land in Ms Atherton's constituency, made their views clear to her.... Grace Mold, of the League Against Cruel Sports, said the vast majority of the population of Cornwall backed the campaign to ban hunting and hunt supporters were only a small minority.... (story)

Scotsman 11.4.02 Political digest - Tally No: FOX hunting will be banned in Scotland from 1 August this year - before the start of the new hunting season - ministers announced yesterday.... Hunt supporters, who have pledged to launch a legal challenge to the ban, denounced the move as a "betrayal of rural Scotland".... (story)
Daily Record 11.4.02 HUNT BAN IN PLACE FOR SUMMER - THE Scottish Executive yesterday announced that the ban on hunting with dogs will come into force before the next hunting season starts. But pro-hunt campaigners have promised to launch a legal challenge under European human rights rules... (story)

Cambridge News 11.4.02 Ban these moral views - From James Manning, Cambridge Road, Barton - THE Government has announced it intends to legislate on hunting. Such legislation should not include a ban on hunting... Apart from anything else, Government time should be spent on health, education and transport, rather than frittered away on minority interests (letter in archive)

ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Plymouth Evening Herald, Torquay Herald Express, North Devon Journal, Western Morning News) 11.4.02 PRINCELY GESTURE - THANK you to C J Coley (April 8) for taking the trouble to write a letter... Hunting with dogs is barbaric and cruel... They should be hunted down themselves and perhaps Prince Charles and Camilla could make a stand now and say no more hunting... JUNE RICHARDS Southfield Avenue Preston Paignton (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 8.4.02 FOUGHT FOR CRUELTY-FREE FUTURE - WOULD like to thank and compliment Brian Carter for his touching article in a recent Herald Express, on the brown hare and of the way it is being hunted by so-called "sportsmen"... And to all those who find pleasure in the outdated so-called "sport" of hunting with dogs, I say may the Lord in his Divine Wisdom make you too suffer... C J COLEY Marldon Road Shiphay, Torquay (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 11.4.02 INQUIRY BACKS FOX HUNTING - Christopher W Fox's letter (Mail, April 3) and the headline "Hunting can't be defended" I suggest says more about your newspaper and Mr Fox than it does about hunting... The inquiry found that hunting was no crueller than other methods of fox control and more humane than many alternatives... The truth is that hunting is perfectly in tune with the natural world - it is part of nature. It is a freedom for which we should all fight, not because we may be hunting supporters but because the premise that something should be banned simply because you or I disapprove of it is wrong. Tony Dunn, Commodore Croft, Hull (letter)

Halesowen News 11.4.02 Matter of conscience - I have delayed responding to your correspondent - J Rowlands of Halesowen, before now, because I wanted to wait until after both Houses had debated the future of hunting once more... The House of Commons has unanimously voted to ban hunting, since 1997, but the Lords overturned these decisions.... Many of my constituents will know that I have consistently voted for a ban on hunting and I have not changed my mind.... Sylvia Heal MP (story in archive)

Evesham Journal 11.4.02 Using freedoms to destroy democracy - THE baying of foxhounds is like wild natural music compared to the screeching of the anti-hunters... all this posturing has little to do with animals rights. If foxes looked like giant mangy rats with rabies there would be plenty of cries then to do something about such a dangerous and repulsive creature. No, what it is really all about is using the freedoms within a democracy to destroy it. LEWIS POTTER, Pershore Road, Evesham (letter in archive)

Evesham Journal 11.4.02 We must trust farmers - I am offended by the insinuation made by Amanda Peters in your letters' page on March 28, regarding the criminality of people associated with fox hunting... As I see it, the only reason for the obsessional determination of some individuals to see a complete ban, is purely class based and therefore bogus. Many thousands of `ordinary' people and children are involved.... That country sports are becoming so proscribed and emasculated by our invidious culture is an enormous shame and sadness to me. Caroline Groves, Campden. (letter in archive)
Evesham Journal 11.4.02 There is no middle way - ban hunting - MAY I say how much I agree with your correspondent Amanda Peters, in her letter of March 28... Before your hunting readers raise their hands in mock horror, may I remind them that over a quarter of all hunts have at least ten artificial earths on their ground, foxes are actually bred to be hunted.... JEAN TURNER, Dean Road, Plympton, Plymouth. (letter in archive)
Evesham Journal 28.3.02 Give hunting the quick nip in neck - I TOTALLY agree with the two pro hunt letter writers last week. Far too much time has been wasted on the hunting with dogs bill, we should have seen this abhorrent practice killed off years ago... the gentleman last week has obviously never met the hunters I have had the misfortune of running into... AMANDA PETERS, Orchard Avenue, Broadway. (letter in archive)
Evesham Journal 21.3.02 Parliament's time is being utterly wasted - Roger Bennett, Broadway, Worcs (letter in archive)
Evesham Journal 21.3.02 Burns report was right... Hunting on Horse back with hounds should and must be allowed to continue as an integral part of the rural way of life, community, and economy. Banning fox hunting is no way to pay back the tories for what they did to the miners as is so often heard in labour circles... John Beach, Ashton Under Hill, Worcs (letter in archive)

Ilkley Gazette 11.4.02 Seven years is long enough to achieve - SIR, - Audrey Hargreaves's reply to my criticisms of MP Ann Cryer's priorities makes much of the last Conservative Government's failures. Those failures, Mrs Hargreaves, are the reason why I voted for Ann Cryer in 1997... In referring to Mrs Cryer as a `dinosaur' I may have been less than gallant. If so I willingly recant. Perhaps it is not unreasonable to describe Mrs Cryer in a kindly way as a leading local organ-grinder on behalf of the Government. If this is so, I leave it to you, Ms Hargreaves, to define your relationship to the organ-grinder. I wouldn't dare. D Y Smith, Peartree House, Hebers Ghyll Drive, Ilkley. (letter in archive)
Ilkley Gazette 28.3.02 Priorities wrong - SIR, - Ann Cryer's response to `Halal and Hunting' raises questions about her priorities. Naturally I am grateful for the Government giving us a transport system envied by the world, a health service without equal, streets free of violent crime, an education system famed for the quality of its end product... Having achieved all this why should Ann and her chums not indulge in their class warrior instincts by bashing a handful of toffs in red coats? After all they could be wasting scarce Parliamentary time by debating trivialities like the threatened war with Iraq... But do carry on, Ann. Both you and your fellow dinosaurs bellowing at each other across the swamp of prejudice and banality which you are so clearly equipped to inhabit do add considerably to the gaiety of the nation. D Y Smith Peartree House, Hebers Ghyll Drive, Ilkley. (letter in archive)
Ilkley Gazette 21.3.02 MP replies - SIR, - I would like to respond to your nameless correspondent and his attempt to smear myself, my political judgment, and standing... The reason why I will vote for a ban on hunting with dogs is because I have never been able to understand killing for pleasure. The right to kill by the Halal method was given during the period in office of the Tory Party and your correspondent is correct that no MP of any party has ever produced a Bill to outlaw the practice, possibly in recognition of the now multi-ethnic nature of the UK. Ann Cryer MP, Bob Cryer House, 35 Devonshire Street, Keighley.(letter in archive)
Archaic practice .. I would like to comment on the letter last week entitled `Halal and hunting.'.. the evidence leads irrefutably to the conclusion that a society that bases its nutrition on the slaughterhouse is compromising its health, destroying its environment and bankrupting its soul... STUART PREATER, Valley Drive, Ben Rhydding (letter in archive)
Ilkley Gazette 14.3.02 Halal and hunting - MP Anne Cryer's strictures against hunting with dogs would carry more credibility were she to extend her support to seeking a ban on the infinitely more barbaric practice of Halal slaughter... I regret I am unable to allow my name and address to be published. Civilised debate is alien to some anti-field sports supporters whose preference for violence and intimidation is the defining characteristic of their selective intolerance. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter in archive)

Market Rasen Mail 11.4.02 Do they get a buzz? - How can anyone in their right minds deny fox hunting is cruel – except of course it suits the particular person who takes part in it.... The excuse only country people can understand this so called ‘sport’ is just a very poor excuse for continuing this barbarity, even the ‘townies’ can understand the sheer torture and agony of one poor fox and that is what hunting is all about... (letter)

Leicester Mercury 11.4.02 POISONING PROBE - Wildlife officers are investigating after the bodies of nine dead foxes were found... RSPCA inspectors are investigating whether the foxes were poisoned - an offence which carries up to six months in prison and a £5,000 fine... (story)

Guardian 11.4.02 EU scientists defend animal tests - James Meikle, health correspondent - Scientific advisers to the European Union have taken the offensive against the increasingly active protest movement against research using monkeys and apes. They say such experiments are vital in the battle against global diseases.... The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, which has led the opposition to such research in Europe for a decade, including trying to stop airlines flying in monkeys for laboratories, said: "The industry is running scared." Andrew Butler, UK representative of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said: "People react very strongly when they see primates being used for research..." quotes from James Bridges, of Surrey University, The Research Defence Society, Anthony Hardy, of the Central Scientific Laboratory, York, and Ian White, a consultant dermatologist at St Thomas' hospital, London (story)

ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Plymouth Evening Herald, Torquay Herald Express, Western Morning News, North Devon Journal) 11.4.02 CULLING GREYS TO SPARE THE REDS - JOHN Cowen's letter (April 5) cannot go unanswered. In the last 50 years the indigenous red squirrel has suffered an almost total loss of its natural habitat... D JAMES Newton Abbot (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Plymouth Evening Herald, Torquay Herald Express, Western Morning News, North Devon Journal) 5.4.02 GREY SQUIRRELS BEING EATEN UP - MANY animal lovers are dismayed at the relentless culling of the grey squirrel on the grounds of over population and so-called danger to the environment and the native red squirrel. The method of culling by clubbing, gassing and shooting are abhorrent to many animal lovers... JOHN COWEN Stewart Terrace Edinburgh (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 11.4.02 JUST HOPING FOR DEBATE ON GULLS - FOLLOWING G. French's letter (April 9) I am at least glad to see we are opening up a debate, which is my singular intention on the matter of gulls... Let's put this case into the public debate and see what the people of Gloucester want to see done. I would hope that G. French will join me in this democratic debate to clean up this once tidy city. STUART WILSON via e-mail (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 9.4.02 WHY THIS DESIRE TO KILL? - I READ the article in The Citizen (March 29), "Rock tsar helps council cure city's gull problem." Then that name popped up again, Stuart Wilson of Mortgage.com. I think we all understand by now that he does not like them. What I don't understand is why he has the compulsion to kill them. Why must we keep killing anything that gets in our way?... G. FRENCH, Victoria Street, Gloucester (letter)

Argus 11.4.02 Breaking the law? ... what about some of the police on duty at demos who also get out of hand, get steamed up and over the top, then lash out at anyone who gets in their way?... -M Frankel, Hove (letter in archive)

Halesowen News 11.4.02 Disgusted this practice is allowed in this country - I am absolutely disgusted Dudley Council has given permission for Halal slaughter of hens in Long Lane... If Muslims are unable to eat meat slaughtered to our standards they should become vegetarians.. K Brookes, Halesowen (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 11.4.02 DEER DETERRENT RISKS DISEASE - I was disturbed to read that an RSPCA inspector has advised the use of lion dung to deter deer from a garden (WMN, March 14). It was only three years ago that I learned of London Zoo's decision - contrary to the practice of some other zoos - that they would not sell compost made from zoo animal dung to the public. Their reasoning being that there can be no guarantee that such a product is microbiologically safe... David Spratt Scientific director The Captive Animals Protection Society Tavistock (letter)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Bristol Evening Post 10.4.02 HUNTS IN FIGHT FOR THEIR SURVIVAL - A delegation from the Beaufort and Berkeley hunts will launch a new campaign to save hunting when they lobby a Government office. Hunt supporters will take horses, hounds and other working dogs to the regional Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs HQ at the start of an effort by Britain's 300 hunts... "Our presence is to ask DEFRA regions to pass a simple message to headquarters. It seeks to remind the minister in charge of the hunting issue that all we want is a fair and just outcome...." (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 10.4.02 The first salvo in a so-called summer of discontent will be fired by county hunts on Friday. Representatives of Lincolnshire's four hunts will be part of a group picketing the Defra offices in Nottingham.... The first salvo in a so-called summer of discontent will be fired by county hunts on Friday. Representatives of Lincolnshire's four hunts will be part of a group picketing the Defra offices in Nottingham.... Countryside Alliance regional director Kay Chapman said it was a way of asking Defra to pass a simple message to headquarters.... (story)
Worcester Evening News 10.4.02 - Hunt supporters call on minister - PROTESTERS opposed to a ban on hunting are due to leave Knightwick on Friday morning to join a Countryside Alliance march in Worcester. They will be gathering at the Talbot Inn at 6.30am and walking to Whittington, before joining others on a march to the nearby Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs...quotes from Nicky Driver, Countryside Alliance spokesperson for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Clare Rowson, West Midlands regional director for Countryside Alliance (story)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 10.4.02 MARCH IN SUPPORT OF FOX HUNTING - A demonstration in support of fox hunting is to take to the streets. Representatives from as many as 10 hunts in Staffordshire and the surrounding areas will be taking part in the protest. The demonstrators - including a beagle pack and both mounted and foot followers - will march from the County Showground on the outskirts of Stafford tomorrow to the regional headquarters in Stafford of Defra, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs… (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT - ANN WIDDECOMBE
Carmarthen Journal 10.4.02 TOP TORY RUNS HUNT GAUNTLET ... Anne Widdecombe was greeted by riders on horseback and placard waving campaigners at Friday's meeting of the Conservative rural farming supporters.... The Maidestone MP, a vociferous opponent of hunting, was circled by protestors from the Tywi and Cothi Hunt, Paxton Farmers Hunt, Rhydycymerau Hunt, Brecon and Radnor Hunt, and Banwen Miners at the Pant-yr-Arthro Hotel, near Llansteffan... Parents and children carried placards, reading: 'Personal prejudice is no excuse to ban hunting, ' 'Keep Daddy's Job, ' and 'Prejudice and bigotry is bad policy.' The demonstration was arranged by the Countryside Alliance as part of the fight to block a ban on hunting.... (story)
Western Mail 6.4.02 Hunters rally in pursuit of Tory fox-hunting opponent - Steve DubÉ, The Western Mail - MOUNTED huntsmen and hunt followers greeted former Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe with the sound of the horn and the cry of the hound during her visit to Wales yesterday... She even strode over to Carmarthenshire Hunt Master Dai Jones, mounted in his pink hunting jacket on his horse Charlie, who has run in the Grand National.. Members of the Rhydcymerau, Towy and Cothi, Brecon and Radnor, Paxton, and Banwen Miners hunts and the more recently formed mink hounds were also among a crowd of 50 who milled around as Ms Widdecombe walked the final 40 yards into the hotel... Felix Aubel, prospective parliamentary candidate for Brecon and Radnor and a member of the Vale of Clettwr hunt near his home in Llanwnnen, Ceredigion, said that he would make a strong case for hunting in the meeting (story)
Ananova 5.4.02 Widdecombe clashes with hunt supporters - Ann Widdecombe has clashed with hunt supporters on a trip to Wales... It happened as she arrived for a meeting with party members in Llansteffan, near Carmarthen, in west Wales... Miss Widdecombe said some of the group were rude and aggressive but the others were just exercising their democratic rights... (story)

Western Daily Press 10.4.02 ANIMAL RIGHTS FAN FIGHTS BACK - I refer to the letter from Jonathan Steed headed, Like them or not these facts are real facts (WDP March 29)... Once again absurd accusations are made by the bloodsport fanatics such as Jonathan Steed, but no evidence to support their allegations. I ask yet again, where is the proof ?.. P Richardson Woodmancote Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 4.4.02 NO EVIDENCE OF OIL SPRAY - I am sure that had there been any truth in Jonathon Seed's accusations that last Boxing Day anti-hunt protestors sprayed citronella oil into the eyes of his hounds it would have been in the reports of the day, not brought up in the letters page three months later.... Name and address supplied (letter)

Denbighshire Free Press 10.4.02 I GO SHOOTING BUT THIS MARKSMAN BROKE RULES - I write in reply to Mr J Reed’s letter on hunting (Postbag, April 4).... Mr Reed’s argument about the benefits of the hunt to rural employment as well as pest control and the clearing of fallen stock, I fully support... I shoot with a lamp at night and also with the local Gun Pack, which would not be affected by government legislation. So any legislation will not interfere with my way of life... Mr Reed and other hunt supporters will no doubt in the autumn be asking me and others to travel to London to demonstrate... I myself have already been to London on three occasions and Cardiff once. Why should I take the time to travel to London again when Mr Reed attacks my interests as a member of the shooting community?... I hope that other members of the shooting community look at whether to support hunting when they attack our own way of life. I for one will not be travelling to London or anywhere else again. Name and address supplied (letter may be in archive)

Western Daily Press 10.4.02 SARCASM IS NOT NECESARY - In reply to P Richardson about pro-hunters, I can assure him that I have no desire to dupe anyone... My sheep are inspected regularly and, unlike him, only bleat when they have something intelligent to say... R Tanner Nesley Tetbury Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.4.02 RSPCAHAS NO HIDDEN AGENDA - Claims that the RSPCA is motivated by bigotry and class hatred is as offensive as it is ridiculous. The RSPCA is opposed to the hunting of any animal with dogs because it is cruel and unnecessary.... Jo Cunningham RSPCA (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.4.02 PEACEFUL, HAPPY DEMONSTRATIONS - Douglas Bachelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, accuses the Countryside Alliance of plotting a campaign of civil disobedience... Let me assure him on behalf of all of us - from 8 to 80 years old - who will take part in the marches and other activities, that they most certainly will be peaceful... R.Eynard Chippenham (letter)

Knutsford Guardian 10.4.02 Why are we hounding these people? - I WOULD like to tell you about a group of people I know who are being relentlessly persecuted. These people are hard working and self-reliant. It would go against the grain for these people to sponge off the State.... They pay their taxes and ask for nothing in return... The biggest perpetrator of this persecution is our urban-minded Labour Government. What have these honest hardworking, law-abiding people done to warrant such attention? They chase and kill a few foxes... GEORGE MATHER, Wilson Crescent, Lostock Gralam (letter in archive)

Argus 10.4.02 Mrs Taylor's comparison between rabbits, slugs, snails and microscopic creatures unwittingly roaming on to farmers' fields to eat and factory-farmed animals is very strange (Letters, April 4). People should realise many "animal rights" campaigners are caring, thoughtful individuals who fight every day for the rights of non-speaking animals not to be farmed, caged, experimented on, hunted, abused, tortured and disrespected.... For those who would like to be more pro-active, there is a rally against factory farming at The Level in Brighton on Saturday. -Karin Watts, 46 Norway Street, Portslade (letter in archive)

Scotsman 9.4.02 Harmless contest - Has Callum Campbell (Letters, 5 April) ever stopped to wonder why his was a loan voice when he mockingly suggested that the Boat Race on the Thames should be banned?... It is only when it sees animals being needlessly abused or killed for "sport" that the public will start writing to its elected representatives or to newspapers demanding that something be done to stop the cruelty.... LYNNE MITCHELL, Lower Mains, Dollar, Clackmannanshire (letter)
Scotsman Hunting debate - In response to Sarah Bruce’s letter (29 March), I am neither for nor against fox-hunting, and I am certainly not a pro-hunt lobbyist. But I am against hypocrisy and a world gone mad. She expresses her views strongly and wisely but, unfortunately, those willing to debate with reason and intellect are in the minority... CALLUM CAMPBELL, Grange Of Lindores, Fife (letter)
Scotsman 29.3.02 Protected species - Callum Campbell (Letters, 22 March) is wrong to claim that foxes should be regarded as vermin... SARAH BRUCE, The Causeway, Edinburgh (letter)
Scotsman 25.3.02 Cavalry ... I have yet to see one where the hunt is by a disproportionate number of predators, announcing their presence by a prey-startling din accompanied by the feckless cavalry, apparently armed only with a few plums and the desire for a good chase. Tom Gray BRACO, PERTHSHIRE (letter)
Scotsman 22.3.02 - Dr Gavin TD Greig (Letters, 16 March) fails to understand a simple analogy. Given that it is agreed by most in both camps of the hunting debate that foxes are vermin and their numbers need to be controlled, just how does he suggest we do this?... CALLUM CAMPBELL, Grange of Lindores, Fife (letter)
Scotsman 21.3.02 Battle Dr Gavin TD Greig’s response (Letters, 16 March) to Callum Campbell’s letter (14 March) has all the makings of an intellectual battle between two Fifers. It could be worth watching. Nick Aitken KINGUSSIE (letter)
Scotsman 16.3.02 ... he can’t spot a few fundamental differences between a boat and a fox! (Dr) Gavin TD Greig KINGSBARNS, FIFE (letter)
Scotsman 14.3.02 I think the Boat Race on the Thames should be banned, as it is cruel to boats.... CALLUM CAMPBELL, Grange of Lindores, Fife (letter)

ThisIsGloucestershire (Gloucester Echo/Gloucester Citizen) 10.4.02 MPS IMPOSING MORALS ON US S. BAKER of Hastings (April 4) asks why we should not campaign against all cruelty including hunting. The answer is that the Burns Inquiry into hunting, commissioned by the Government, found that hunting of foxes was not cruel and found no case for a ban... An enormous amount of valuable Parliamentary time has already been wasted on it, and for what? It seems to me that it is merely to assuage what are MPs' rather dubious moral scruples and to keep them "on-side" for Mr Blair's adventures with Mr Bush. BRIAN THORNTON, Priors Mesne, Aylburton, Lydney (letter)

Scotsman 11.4.02 A cynical sham - David Smith (Letters, 9 April) points to the harm the World Trade Organisation can do to human rights. I would add that this powerful, unaccountable body of faceless men has already had a baleful effect on animal welfare laws, and threatens to destroy the legal reforms that Compassion in World Farming and other societies have laboured to achieve... SHEELAGH GRAHAM, CWF Scotland, Milton Brae, Milton, Dumbarton (story)

Western Daily Press 10.4.02 BADGER CULL HASN'T WORKED - While Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has every right to express his view and Mr Chris Rundle to support him on the everlasting saga of badgers/bovine TB... Why don't they admit the badger cull has cost a fortune and doesn't work, then transfer the cash saved to a vaccine programme and higher compensation for the farmers? P Dean Whiteshill Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

ThisIsDevon ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Plymouth Evening Herald, Torquay Herald Express, Western Morning News, North Devon Journal) 10.4.02 TOLERATE SEAGULLS - WELL it's that time of year again, i.e. the seagull breeding season, whereby the gulls are more vocal than usual earlier in the mornings and will soon start scavenging through the rubbish bags to feed their young. Hoping not to see a repeat of last year's pages of complaint, could there not be a bit more tolerance and understanding shown to these birds?... K O'BRIEN North Furzeham Road Brixham (letter)

LORD KIMBALL’S HOUSEKEEPER
Telegraph 9.4.02 Hunt-supporting peer's payout will go to animal rights group By Nick Britten A TORY peer who loves hunting will unwittingly be giving money to an anti-field sports organisation after a tribunal ruled that he sacked his housekeeper unfairly. Lord Kimball, the vice-president of the Countryside Alliance, had agreed to pay Karen Fletcher £5,000 in compensation... She said she would give a large part of the money to anti-hunting lobbyists... (story)
Times 9.4.02 Sacking cash will go to fight hunting By Oliver Wright - A HOUSEKEEPER who was unfairly dismissed by a pro-hunting peer announced yesterday that she would give her compensation money to anti-bloodsport charities.... (story)
Leicester Mercury 31.1.02 'I DO NOT HUNT, BUT SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF THOSE WHO DO' - I was appalled to read the half page article by Jennifer Sym with the heading: "Animal welfare champion's joy"... We must therefore assume that the reporter considers someone who carried out criminal activity in order to disrupt a legal event (hunting) a "champion".... Ian Kilgour, Thurcaston. (letter)
Leicester Mercury16.1.02 ANIMAL WELFARE CHAMPION'S JOY BY JENNIFER SYM - Sacked housekeeper Karen Fletcher today spoke of her joy at winning an unfair dismissal claim against a Rutland peer. (story)
Western Daily Press 16.1.02 Anti-hunt woman in job victory - AN animal rights campaigner was yesterday told she had won her case for unfair dismissal from her job as housekeeper for a prohunting Peer. (story in Bristol Evening Post archive)
Ananova 15.1.02 'Animal rights woman unfairly sacked by pro-hunting peer' An animal rights campaigner has won her case for unfair dismissal from her job as housekeeper for a prominent pro-hunting lord. Lord Marcus Kimball said Karen Fletcher had failed to mention she had been charged with affray and actual bodily harm - which was later dropped - following an altercation with a motorist near the start of a hunt. Tribunal rejected claim of sex discrimination. (story)
Telegraph 1.12.01 Sacked housekeeper 'bullied by peer's wife' by Nick Britten - ... Karen Fletcher, 49, said she had a good relationship with Lord Kimball but was persecuted by his wife, who treated her "like a Victorian servant"...Last December Mrs Fletcher was involved in a row with a female motorist who turned out to be a neighbour of the Kimballs. Their cars had become trapped against each other, and when the other woman had tried to open her door Mrs Fletcher had pushed it shut. Police charged her with affray and assault after the incident left the other motorist with a cut leg. When Mrs Fletcher told Lord Kimball he sacked her... Later she was given a conditional discharge after being cleared of assault but convicted of affray (story)
Times 1.12.01 'Victorian regime' of Tory peer's wife by Oliver Wright - Lord Kimball said that his working relationship with Mrs Fletcher had been affected by their different beliefs. “She was a vegan. She gave away all her leather handbags. She was getting more and more involved in the animal rights movement,” Lord Kimball said. “I held down certain jobs that brought us into conflict.” (story)
Leicester Mercury 1.12.01 SACKING UNFAIR, SAYS PEER'S HOUSEKEEPER BY REBECCA JENKINS ... Following her arrest, Lord Kimball said he had feared for the safety of his wife and that was why he dismissed her. He said: "She had told me the incident was traffic-related when in fact it involved a vicious assault. "I was particularly anxious about leaving my wife alone with her. Whatever trust had previously existed between us had been destroyed." ... The tribunal was adjourned and a decision is due in February. (story) (photo)
Ananova 30.11.01 Animal rights woman claims pro-hunt Lord sacked her -Lord Kimball told the tribunal she had mentioned being arrested but said it was just a "traffic or parking" matter (story)
Edinburgh News 30.11.01 ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER CLAIMS UNFAIR SACKING/ANIMAL RIGHTS WOMAN: PRO-HUNT LORD SACKED ME - Karen Fletcher of Tugby, Leicestershire is claiming unfair dismissal from Lord Kimball, former chairman of BFSS after failing to mention she had been arrested for affray & ABH (later dropped) for “altercation” with a motorist at the start of a hunt “I am an animal rights protester, but I have never been arrested or involved in any violence..." he said that her standard of work had slipped as she had become more involved in animal rights, threw out all her leather possessions and become a vegan... (story available only from paper)

Worcester Evening News 9.4.02 Hunting - RECENT comments from Robert Brierley and other correspondents prove how little the apologists for bloodsports understand about the animals they choose to persecute…. A KNITTEL, Worcester (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 9.4.02 PRO-HUNT LOBBY MUST CHECK ALL THE FACTS - I think it's time that the real facts on hunting need to be printed, instead of all this misleading propaganda issued by hunt supporters. Myth: hunting is effective at controlling foxes. Wrong. In areas of high fox mortality vixens automatically become more fertile…. Dan Sidley, Cornwall Hunt Saboteurs Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 9.4.02 NO-ONE CARES MORE FOR THE COUNTRYSIDE THAN HUNTERS - Alan Kirby (WMN, March 19) would have us believe that all noble sentiment towards animals is the prerogative of anti-hunting campaigners and that hunting people are motivated entirely by cruelty… Whether one hunts or not is a matter for one's own conscience. It is not the proper subject of legislation. If matters of conscience are to become the subject of legislation what freedom is left to us ? Jonathan Higgins, Totnes
Western Morning News 19.3.02 ARGUMENT OF HUNTERS SHOWS ITS WEAKNESSES - Jonathan Higgins' blustering letter exemplifies the weakness of hunters' arguments... Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals (letter)

Western Morning News 9.4.02 RICHARD Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, has asked members to write to the press… I am surprised that Mr Burge does not appear to know that Lord Burns, in the introduction to the report of the inquiry, stated: "We were not asked to recommend whether hunting should be banned…" Please draw this matter to the attention of your readers as, in my opinion, the statement by the Countryside Alliance could be misleading - John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 9.4.02 IF TOLERANCE IS LACKING, KNOWLEDGE IS MISSING TOO - I have never been hunting nor do I wish to go. However, I am concerned that our government should attempt to impose legislation on this traditional practice in what is normally a tolerant free society… As a resident land agent on a local estate for 30 years and now in private practice having the administration of over 20,000 acres in North Devon and Exmoor, I am able to understand the benefits of hunting as I have seen them from the outside… Other methods of control, such as stalking, simply involve killing the animal and do not deal with the economic, environmental and social issues. H R Thomas, Chairman, Exmoor and District Deer Management Society Barnstaple (letter)

Western Morning News 9.4.02 WHAT DOES THIS CITY MP KNOW OF RURAL REALITY? - You may have seen on TV that city person Tony Banks, MP, making strident remarks related to doing away with the country pursuit of fox hunting…New Labour has an enormous amount to concentrate on, such as improving the NHS, transportation, roads, care of the elderly… A A Thompson, Penzance
Mr Pink's legacy …Sheila Moyle asks why the hunting fraternity refer to their riding clothes as "hunting pink". Mr Pink was the name of a professional tailor who specialised in these outfits… Mrs M Yates, Yelverton, Devon (letters)

Western Morning News 9.4.02 WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LEGAL LINE? …Mr Edmund Marriage of British Wildlife Management (WMN, March 12) says of foxhounds: "They are bred and trained to only follow the scent of a fox"…in March 1990 The Northants Chronicle reported the death of a Muntjac deer that was killed by foxhounds…incident witnessed by Cathy Jones of St Austell and her children (WMN, March 12) in St Clement Wood, Truro, when hounds, accompanying mounted riders, attacked a deer… There are laws in place that prohibit cock-fighting, badger-baiting, bear-baiting and dog-fighting, but some still take place clandestinely. Do the hunters suggest that these law-breakers too should be allowed to carry on their particular "sports" in the name of "freedom of choice and civil liberties"? If not, what is the difference? Doreen Cronin, Taunton (letter)

Western Morning News 9.4.02 …I was asked by a neighbour to help an old lady nearby who had fallen on the floor in the kitchen. This was not the first time. Last time she was on the floor all night. Tony Blair and his cronies say it is cruel to kill a fox, yet it seems as though it's all right to let people die in their homes when they are unable to look after themselves… Terry Hooper, Hatherleigh (story)

Western Morning News 9.4.02 NO HUNT MEANS NO DEER - Stag hunting must be the most emotive of the blood sports but the absolute need for it can be summed up in one short sentence: "If it weren't for stag hunting, there would be no deer"… C.M. Price, Barnstaple
Foxes will suffer more - ANYONE living in the country knows foxes must be controlled…Many a farmer now who would never normally shoot a fox will have a go, and many will suffer much more than being killed by hounds. Another way is wire snares… R T Hearn, Ottery St Mary (letters)

Shropshire Star 9.4.02 What will be next to go after hunting? I have followed the hunting debate for quite some time. Not because I hunt, but because like many I am increasingly concerned about the changes taking place in our countryside under this Labour Government… I find it totally unacceptable that many thousands of people's opinions in support of hunting vermin can be ignored by a small number of members of parliament abusing their powers to further their own personal opinion… Francis W D King, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 9.4.02 Hunting preferable to other methods - In response to "Disgusted" and Lisa Rickus, I would like to make a few comments. Firstly I would like to say I don't particularly support fox hunting as it is or people who indulge… I know that fox hunting is inhumane and there may be a better way of fox control, but at the end of the day foxes are not human and they live in a sometimes harsh environment. The threat of being hunted has always been there, and is the natural order of their cycle of life. A Carey, Leegomery (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 9.4.02 WHY SO LATE AFTER FOXES? Your photograph of the fox cubs left on the doorstep at the RSPCA branch in West Hatch on April 5, prompts me to ask how the fox hunting fraternity can justify continuing to hunt so late in the season?.. West Somerset Resident Name and address supplied (letter)

York Evening Press 9.4.02 Something fishy - REGARDING your item about angling (Sporting way to preserve wildlife habitats, April 3), for Barry Potter to be campaigning for healthy rivers on the grounds that pollution reduces the number of fish that can be caught, and then to cite such campaigns as evidence that anglers are "caring" and "love wildlife", is odd… Just as meat eaters had no right to get sentimental about Phoenix the calf, so anglers have no right to claim the moral high ground about wildlife. All those who use animals for `sport' forfeit that moral ground every time they pull a trigger, set a trap, or cast a line… Richard Lawrence, Wentworth College, University of York, Heslington, York. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 3.4.02 Sporting way to preserve wildlife habitats - Barry Potter fishing on Mayfield Grove Pond - The Government has pledged a virtual ban on hunting with dogs. But, argues local conservationist BARRY POTTER, country sports have a vital role to play in preservation of the countryside... Those who fish, shoot or hunt cease to be mere observers of nature and become a part of the process. They are therefore frequently the most effective conservationists because they understand that it is wildlife and its habitat as a whole that must be protected... (story in archive)

Western Morning News 9.4.02 PLEASE HELP TO STOP THIS BIRD SLAUGHTER - Some of your readers may already be aware of the situation, but I would like to bring to the attention of all the problem of the hunting of birds in the countries of Southern Europe… Some of these countries have laws against the shooting or trapping of birds at certain times of year but these are really just for show, with very little enforcement. In these countries, many thousands of birds are shot and trapped during migration from their wintering grounds in Africa to their breeding grounds in Northern Europe… My aim is to continue campaigning for an end to this terrible slaughter. I have the support of the major conservation groups and their literature on the subject and I would welcome any other support. The more I get, the quicker things will change for the better. Steve Herring (Biologist), 4 Easterntown, Holbeton, Devon PL8 1LF (letter)

Ipswich Evening Star 9.4.02 Animal charities benefit from calendar - A CHARITY calendar featuring local Hadleigh people in the guise of film stars has raised £395.16. The money raised was originally going to be given to Hadleigh Animal Rescue, but the charity has since folded so the money raised has been distributed to PETA Europe (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)... The calendar was conceived by Angela Thrower and Tiziana Stupia, of Hadleigh-based Misanthropy Records... (story)

Western Daily Press 8.4.02 NEW LAWS WILL NOT END SUFFERING - I have been involved in Hill Sheep Farming on Exmoor for 50 years. Like Mr Turner ( March 22) it was not unusual for me to find ewes partially eaten alive by foxes. I experienced this while working alongside an estate manager called Mr Batchelor.He is currently the director of the League Against Cruel Sports. He knows the reality of the situation and knows that a reduction in animal suffering will not be achieved by any legislation to ban hunting with hounds. D Watts Exford, Somerset (letter)

Argus 8.4.02 MP thanked for anti-hunt support by Sally Hall ... The Campaign to Protect Hunted Animals (CPHA) has applauded Ivor Caplin, Labour MP for Hove, for backing an outright ban on hunting with dogs... "I will continue to work with the CPHA to argue all forms of hunting have no place in a modern Britain." (story in archive)

Edinburgh Evening News 8.4.02 Clarissa rapped for stirring up pro-hunt views - CELEBRITY cook Clarissa Dickson Wright has been warned by watchdogs over a pro-hunting bias in her latest TV series. The BBC’s board of governors has ruled that her series Clarissa and the Countryman was not balanced and had failed to provide anti-hunt views.... (story)
Telegraph 6.4.02 Hunt rebuke by BBC governors By Tom Leonard, Media Editor - THE BBC has been censured by its own governors for failing to give sufficient airtime to anti-hunting views... The governors agreed with a supporter of the League Against Cruel Sports who had claimed that Clarissa and the Countryman failed to include anti-hunting arguments to balance pro-hunting views expressed in the series... The governors' decision contradicts the BBC's head of programme complaints, Fraser Steel, who rejected the complaint by Alma Evers, only for her to appeal to the governors... Simon Hart, director of the Campaign for Hunting, said: "The BBC has sent out a clear signal it is available for hijack by every pressure group in the country." (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Gloucestershire Echo 8.4.02 ANN ANGERS PRO-HUNT RALLY - ANN Widdecombe sparked a wave of protest when she appeared at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature... The protesters included members of the Andoversford-based Cotswold Hunt and the Countryside Alliance... >(story)

Lincolnshire Echo 8.4.02 PUT 'BLAME' ON MOTHER NATURE - People who feel that fox hunting is cruel and therefore unacceptable labour under the misapprehension that the wild fox is a distant relative of Basil Brush gone native, and attribute to him the same feelings and emotion which they themselves feel… In the future most foxes could be shot, many suffering wounds bringing a slow, painful death. Others will be caught in wire snares bringing death by slow strangulation. Still more will suffer a cruel, agonising death by poisoning… MR R. H. DAVIS Skellingthorpe. (letter)

ThisIsGloucestershire ThisIsGloucestershire (Western Daily Press, Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo) 8.4.02 WITHIN POWER TO SEEK A BAN - I WOULD like to comment on the weighing-up of hunting and live exports. Like many people, I've written to our MP, MAFF (now DEFRA) and the answer is always the same: "It is against the law to ban live exports.".. Regarding the hunting issue, it is within our power by way of Parliament to see a ban... PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Stroud (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.4.02 BLAIR SHOULD BEWARE BACKLASH - Tony Blair should be careful that the nemesis he proposes, by allowing Labour backbenchers to vent their prejudices supporting a bill to ban hunting... Hubris is no substitute for good government as Lady Thatcher found with the Poll Tax riots, especially when dealing with a normal peaceable minority. A Banks, Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.4.02 A QUESTION OF RIGHTS OR JUST HUMAN PREJUDICE? ... Mike Foster, who brought the original Private Members Bill, is a keen angler who tries to tell me that 'fish feel no pain'.... Tony Banks, who was vociferous in the House of Commons the other day, and who wrote to the Prime Minister personally, is also a keen angler... I wonder what would happen if the Government's bluff was called by a Private Members Bill calling for the abolition of angling and animal experiments - by a pro-hunting Member of Parliament? Alderton (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 8.4.02 Plea to MP - When the subject of hunting with dogs is resolved, or sooner, will Julia Drown campaign for the cessation of the way in which far greater animals are killed for the production of Halal meat? G R Bray, York Road, Swindon (letter in archive)

Northern Echo 8.4.02 FOX HUNTING - THE anti-hunt brigade (HAS, Mar 28) talks of cruelty and the environment. One even mentioned the loss of the old industries in the same breath as cruelty... What will follow the demise of hunting - shooting, then fishing? A Labour-imposed curfew perhaps, where we'll all sit at home making proggy mats. - J Ta gue, Bishop Auckland. (letter in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 8.4.02 COMPASSION SAYS END FOX HUNTING - Like Mr Woodhead (March 26) I too have spent my life in the countryside, but I would say that foxes are not controlled by hunting... Anyone with any compassion or morality should be opposed to it. MRS C. A. HARVEY Potterhanworth (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.3.02 GIVE A CHILD A GUN? IT CAN MAKE SENSE - West - as long as they are supervised by a responsible adult. Now 50 MPs are backing a motion to prohibit children under 14 from having a shotgun licence - but Adrian Yalland, spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, thinks they're targeting the wrong people… We know from our own experience that teaching children to shoot in a safe and controlled environment introduces them to a really enjoyable sport, gives them self-discipline and self-respect - but most importantly, teaches them the dangers associated with irresponsible gun use… politicians insisted that the gun was the problem - remove the problem and gun crime would fall. Why, then, has gun crime risen so much since Dunblane?... (story)

Belfast Telegraph 8.4.02 Pupils bid to end badger baiting - EXECUTIVE Ministers are to come under pressure to put the bite on badger baiting... a petition, sparked by disgusted school pupils who accidentally came across a blocked-up badger sett near Newtownards, is to be launched in the Assembly next week... They also brought in local Assemblyman Jim Shannon, who said: "There would appear to have been an increase in incidents, and not just here."... (story)

Western Daily Press 8.4.02 SUPPORT THAT'S HARD TO BEAR - I was sorry to see your paper supporting the incarceration of animals in zoos... Rog Franklin, Bridgwater (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 8.4.02 NOWHERE FOR ZOO ANIMALS TO GO ... Unfortunately, the belief that animals have more chance of survival in zoos is a myth.... LIZ TURNER, South Devon (letter)

Sunday Independent 7.4.02 Thrills of racing - Sir I was surprised to see racing given such a downer in the letter of the week recently. I don't like it when people come out once a year to castigate racing at Cheltenham and Aintree... Thousands of pounds changed hands at Cheltenham and most people who lost heavily on Istabraq applauded when Charlie Swan pulled the horse up and this sportsmanship and goodwill made the jockey emotional on his return to the enclosure... Brendan Lonergan, Tipperary. (letter)
Irish Independent 24.3.02 The dark side of horse racing - Your photograph on page 13 of sport last Sunday encapsulates the cruelty and horrors of National Hunt racing... How many more horses must die before racing cleans up its act?.. Gordon Lacey, Waterford (letter)

Ipswich Evening Star 8.4.02 Hunt supporters plan protest - CAMPAIGNERS from across East Anglia are to deliver a stark warning to the Government about any plans by politicians to ban hunting... quotes from Lawrie Payne, from the League Against Cruel Sports, Liz Mort, Countryside Alliance eastern region director (story)

Western Daily Press 6.4.02 CONFUSION ON ENFORCING LAW - Hunters' reaction can come as no surprise to a Government that will sit at the discussion table with a loaded pistol pointing at the heads of the countryside and at the same time adopts a pick-and-mix approach to urban law enforcement... It asks night-club owners to provide water, rest and medical facilities for those taking illegal drugs on their premises.. Hunters are entitled to consider which laws they might not comply with and expect the Government not to enforce... (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 6.4.02 No place for fox-hunting - So young Kim Yates thinks fox-hunting shouldn't be banned as she and her friends greatly enjoy it... Well, if the hunters were so upset about their poor dogs being killed, why, as Marie Worley says in her letter under Kim's, do they shoot the poor dogs at the age of six or seven, when they're too old to hunt any more?.. JOYCE CARROLL Blake Road West Bridgford (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 25.3.02 FOX-HUNTING CAN BE AN EXHILARATING ACTIVITY - I am writing to give my views on fox- hunting... I am now old enough to go out hunting alone with my friends and it's something I'd like to carry on as I get older as I greatly enjoy it. KIM YATES Gonalstone
Blood sport is barbaric - Hunting with dogs is not only cruel but it also causes a lot of disruption and disturbance... The hounds are commonly shot at the age of six or seven... MARIE WORLEY Beckhampton Road Bestwood Park
Leave the fox in peace ... I live in the country and my partner is from a farming family. All hunting activities are barbaric. We do not believe that the majority of country folk support cruelty. TERESA STECKO Church Walk Hose, Leics
Townies are the hunters - I understand the membership of most fox hunts throughout the country is as high as 90% of non-rural people, ie "townies"... An overall vote to ban fox-hunting by MPs on behalf of the electorate is, in effect, abolishing the activity for their own kind. Shooting and fishing will follow. WILLIAM HANDBURY Fernhill Farm Langar Road Colston Bassett
Uncovering the truth - ...I noticed a brick wall, about three feet high, built into this bank and asked him what it was for, and he said it was a fox earth. In my ignorance, I thought how kind it was to provide a safe place for the vixen to rear her cubs. I know better now. BARBARA WILSON Danethorpe Vale Sherwood (letters)

Morpeth Herald 5.4.02 ODE TO BRER FOX - It used to be that John Peel’s horn Would wake you from your lair But he who wants to see your end His name is Tony Blair... Where will they all be hiding Whilst others kill the hounds. N.F. BATEMAN, Low Espley Farm, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 3DQ (letter)

North West Evening Mail 5.4.02 FOX-HUNTS GRANTED £33,700 - CUMBRIAN foxhunts will share £33,700 from a national appeal to raise cash to help them through the foot-and-mouth crisis... (story)
Cumberland News & Star 4.4.02 FUND RAISES £35,000 FOR CUMBRIAN HUNTS - CUMBRIAN hunts will share nearly £35,000 from a national appeal in the wake of the foot and mouth crisis... Linda Porter, secretary of the central committee of fell packs, launched an appeal a year ago to help the groups survive the consequences of foot and mouth. Donations flooded in from as far afield as Kenya, the US, Germany and Canada... The nine fell hunts - which hunt foxes on foot, not horseback - are the Blencathra, Lunesdale, Coniston, Melbreak, Ullswater, Eskdale and Ennerdale, North Pennine and Wensleydale.... (story)

Liverpool Echo 5.4.02 IN REPLY to Mr and Mrs Molyneux of Ormskirk (ECHO Letters March 29), I have compassion for the heartache caused by the Alder Hey Organ Scandal - but I also have compassion for defenceless animals. They wrote that people should be able to participate in these cruel hunting activities... Hares are chased, caught by two whippets and torn apart. The people who take part in this cruel practice are sadists... Victoria Beattie, Moreton (letter)

Cambridge News 5.4.02 Foxes would be worse off - NO-ONE should clap their hands if hunting with dogs is banned... Only the other week, a lame fox had to be shot only to find it had been castrated.... From S P Wilson, High Street, Little Wilbraham (letter may be in archive)

Cambridge News 5.4.02 I'm proud of my beliefs - FOLLOWING my anti-hunt letter of March 26, a well-spoken gentleman phoned me the same evening refusing to give his name or number... he launched into a tirade against those who opposed his views... From Mike Michalak Swaffham Road, Burwell (letter may be in archive)
Cambridge News 26.3.02 Catalogue of butchery From Mike and Ingrid Michalak- NOW is the time to rid the countryside once and for all of fox hunting... (letter in archive)

Wiltshire Times 5.4.02 Points to note on issue of hunting with dogs - The Government's desire to resolve the issue of hunting with dogs is welcome, but it must be aware that any form of ban will not be the solution... At no point does the Burns Report conclude that hunting is "cruel"... Why would shooting a fox flushed out by dogs cause less suffering than the same dogs providing the kill? John Rushton, Address supplied.
RE the Government's stance on hunting with dogs be careful of what you want you may get it!... quote from Pastor Martin Niemoeller, Germany,1945. - Romy Wyeth, Chitterne Road, Codford, Warminster. (letters in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 5.4.02 LIVESTOCK KILLS USUALLY DONE BY DOGS, NOT FOXES - Uncontrolled foxes will be dangerous - Without control, the fox population will increase, at the very least by three times every year... Short of ready food, they will attack children's pets and may even attack very young children in prams... I am neither for nor against fox hunting but I do see hunting as the more humane... J R HOLT, Whitropefoot Farm, Hawick (letter may be in archive) (letter)

Western Morning News 5.4.02 Rural threat ... I, and very many others, are already fed-up with the preoccupation of the press and seemingly the Countryside Alliance with hunting. Most of us would die in support of the right to hunt etc but it is the whole countryside which is threatened.... If there is to be another march, disenchanted and anxious people from all parts of country life must be represented. It we're going to have some fireworks let's make a real bang... Loudie Constantine, Moretonhampstead (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 5.4.02 ARCHAIC ACTIVITIES - I read the letter Priorities Are All So Wrong with amazement... As for hunters being law-abiding people, I would point out that so were the people who forced children up hot, suffocating chimneys and down wet, dark mines, as were slave traders and those who worked domestic staff for 15/16 hours a day for little more than their keep.... Lynne Wellings, Grove Cottages, Riby (letter)

Argus 5.4.02 The Tories like to state as a core value the freedom of the individual but only when it suits them. I'm sorry to say they are not consistent. William Hague, a stout defender of fox hunting, says it is because they can be picked on... So why does Mr Hague vote time after time for the retainment of Section 28?... -Malcolm Martindale, Swanborough Drive, Brighton (letter)

Argus 5.4.02 Unconvincing ... The Conservatives have always been interested in protecting the rights of minorities such as fox hunters and hereditary peers.... We weren't fooled in the days of Queen Thatcher and we're not fooled now. -Michael Fisher, Kings Road, Brighton (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 5.4.02 HUNTING VOTE 'MOB RULE' IS JUST DEMOCRACY - It is amazing that Douglas Hogg MP should refer to the vote in the Commons to ban fox hunting with dogs as "Mob Rule" (March 22)... When I was part of a delegation presenting a petition at Parliament he refused to see his constituents or accept the petition... RALPH W. ATTOE Washingborough (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 22.3.02 FOX-HUNTING BAN A 'MOB RULE VICTORY' - The Government has been accused of "going back to square one" after it announced that a further six months will be spent deciding whether to ban hunting.... Tory Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Douglas Hogg warned Mr Michael that any move to ban hunting would be seen as a victory for "mob rule". He said: "In a democracy, majorities, even elected majorities, can be quite as tyrannical as individual dictators..." (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 4.3.02 MPS GET ANTI-HUNT PLEA - A PETITION signed by more than 4,000 people could be considered as part of the hunting debate. Washingborough and Branston District Labour Club organised the petition last year against hunting with dogs, and went to London to present it to Parliament... "We worked very hard on this petition and this shows in the number of people who have signed it," said petition organiser Ralph Attoe.... (story)

Sussex Express 5.4.02 ACTION OVER HARE COARSERS - POLICE will crack down on gangs of poachers hare-coursing on private land in Seaford and Newhaven.... (story in archive)
The Citizen (Blackpool) 5.4.02 Tory chief wants zoo probe by Nikki Masters - A BLACKPOOL councillor has lodged an official complaint against zoo bosses after a row about an animal rights group turned sour. Tory leader Peter Callow has called for an investigation after Blackpool Zoo staff made what he described as "an attack" on animal rights group CAPS and told him "half-truths" about the contents of a parcel sent to the zoo from America in 1999... (story in archive)
The Citizen (Blackpool) 19.3.02 Sounding like an empty vessel R McCARTHY is still ranting on about helping the aged instead of wild animals... zoos are life imprisonment for the animals... M Gavin, Blackpool. (letter in archive)
The Citizen (Lytham) 1.3.02 Zoos educate the young and old - I RESPOND to the mischievous "ladies" who answered my call to assist the aged and infirm rather than wild animals in today's world (Citizen, Jan 31)… A R McCarthy, Marton. (letter in archive)
The Citizen (Blackpool) 25.2.02 Arrrogant suggestion - THE anonymous zoo spokesperson (Letters, Jan 31) who claims to have visited wild animal habitats in four continents is a very odd individual indeed if he/she prefers the zoo rather than what our Almighty creator provided… Mary Gavin, Ashfield Road, Bispham, Blackpool. (letter in archive)
The Citizen 13.2.02 Letters in response to A. McCarthy (Letters, January 31) who criticised animal rights activists:
We care about humans and animals too ...I object to the sweeping assumptions made by A. McCarthy re "so-called animal rights campaigners". I am one, and I am also a registered nurse who has done much work looking after elderly and terminally ill people... Kathy Musker BSc RGN Dip HS, Longacre Place, Lytham.
Everyone has right to reply ...I am a 58-year-old animal rights/welfare campaigner...Animals have no voice -- they need us to speak out for them... Mrs J Harwood, Moor Park Ave, Bispham. (letters in archive)
The Citizen, Blackpool 25.1.02 letters complaining about "Anthrax hoax at zoo" article:
Zoo's comments deeply offensive - AS a campaigner for animal rights I would like to reply to the article on the "Anthrax hoax" at Blackpool Zoo, about which I am deeply offended... Louise McGettigan, South Street, Lytham.
Name group responsible for scare - AS a local animal rights campaigner who does not hide behind anonymity, I challenge Tony Williams of Blackpool Zoo to name the group he claims are responsible... S Briggs, Gorse Road, Blackpool. (letters in archive)
The Citizen, Blackpool 18.1.02 Why blame animal rights? - letter re: hoax anthrax package sent to Blackpool Zoo from M Gavin, Ashfield Road, Bispham, Blackpool. (letter)
The Citizen, Blackpool 11.1.02 Zoo staff shaken by 'anthrax' hoax by Rachel Sills - HOAXERS who sent a package containing death threats and white powder to Blackpool Zoo have still not been traced... police were quite sure it was a hoax and he believed that animal rights groups were probably responsible... (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Telegraph 4.4.02 Hunts 'to sue Government if ban infringes human rights' By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - THE Countryside Alliance said punitive damages may be sought from the Government if a hunting ban is imposed only for it to fall foul of the European human rights law... From next week, delegations from hunting communities will visit regional offices of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to press for the Government's compromise solution on hunting to be fair and tolerant... Mr Burge said that the Alliance would be challenging the ban on hunting passed by the Scottish Parliament well in advance of the next hunting season in the late summer... Mr Burge promised the London demonstration would be legitimate, law abiding and "there would be no civil disobedience"... He said that any government which played on democracy and liberty on the world stage would have to consider "how would that play if their own citizens are demonstrating on the streets." (story)
Times 4.4.02 Hunt campaigners plan mass rallies By Valerie Elliott, Countryside Editor - THE Countryside Alliance signalled yesterday that it is prepared to mount two marches of more than 500,000 people to demonstrate the will of rural communities to save foxhunting... A “summer of discontent” will kick off on April 12 outside regional offices of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Letters are to be handed in at every office urging an open six-month consultation on the issue... Mr Burge declared: “Hunting has now become the perverse obsession of inadequate Labour backbenchers whose careers have failed.” He later said his attack was aimed at leading anti-hunt MPs. He described Tony Banks, the former Sports Minister, as “a ritual obsessive”, and said of Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Labour MP, “he is showing all the sad signs of a man growing old achieving virtually nothing in politics”. (story)
Yorkshire Post 4.4.02 Countryside Alliance vows 'summer of discontent' in fight to save hunts - The Countryside Alliance yesterday pledged a summer of discontent campaign to save hunting.... Countryside Alliance chief executive Richard Burge said yesterday: "Hunting has now become a touchstone for people in the countryside who are feeling very disenfranchised. We want to see a number of things from Government and we are going to make sure they are aware of the depth of concern in rural people over the next few months."... (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 4.4.02 CAMPAIGN TO SAVE HUNTING - The Countryside Alliance today pledged a summer of discontent campaign to save hunting... (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 4.4.02 SUPPORT FOR HUNT MARCH ... Members of the Blankney Hunt, which operates south of Lincoln, say they will join the demonstration when it takes place... (story)
Eastern Daily Press 4.4.02 Pro-hunt lobby ready to march - JO GREEN - Thousands of East Anglian pro-hunt supporters are expected on the streets of London later this year at a second mass rally organised by the Countryside Alliance... Liz Mort, spokesman for the CA's Eastern Region, said rural communities in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex were preparing to take part... (story)
Western Morning News 4.4.02 OUR RIGHTS ARE AT STAKE IN BATTLE OVER HUNTING - The Countryside Alliance is promising a summer of discontent in its struggle to prevent the Government banning hunting with hounds. MAL TREHARNE ... Next week at 11 o'clock on the 12th we shall be at DEFRA offices at Clyst St Mary, Exeter. From then on we will be everywhere that the politicians go, we will campaign and march locally and nationally and our message to the Prime Minister is simple: Please remember that our campaigning will last as long as you and your Government show hostility towards us - our support for a caring Government, however, could last even longer. (story)

Leamington Spa Courier 4.4.02 PRO-FOX HUNTERS IN THE MAJORITY - Readers of the Courier and Weekly News have again voted with a huge majority not to ban hunting. Our web poll was extended into this week because of demand, and postal votes were also accepted - but the figures have barely changed, with 83 per cent in total voting to keep hunting as it is, compared with 84 per cent last week…. (story)

Cambridge News 4.4.02 Group remembers anti-hunt protester - A SMALL but noisy group of protesters gathered outside the kennels of the Cambridgeshire Hunt in Caxton last night. They were there to mark the ninth anniversary of the death of Tom Worby, a 15-year-old anti-hunt protester... (story in archive)

Scotsman 4.4.02 Hunt Supporters Invited to Bid for Memento By Leigh Arnold, PA News- Auctioneers Bonhams today invited supporters of foxhunting to bid for a Royal Doulton coffee set featuring hunt scenes when it comes up for sale next month... The coffee set, which was expected to fetch up to £300 at auction on May 10, was presented to an Edinburgh doctor over 40 years ago by an Indian princess... A spokeswoman for Bonhams said: "... fox hunters might appreciate a charming memento of a dying sport..." (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald/Chippenham News 4.4.02 In praise of hunt - WHAT a privilege on Saturday March 23, while driving through Ramsbury, to come across the Vine and Craven Hunt... The village had turned out in force to embrace the scene, cameras clicking, to encapsulate this precious way of life which is in great danger, a country life of tolerance, a way of life which Blair nor Banks will ever understand, and which they wish to destroy... MARGARET ROSE, Axford, Marlborough (letter in archive)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald/Chippenham News 4.4.02 Girls out-foxed - At the beginning of last week mum gave us an early Easter present of four point of lay Black Rock hens... On Thursday we enjoyed a busy last day of the Avon Vale Hunt's season, during which we killed one fox. On Good Friday, as if in revenge, we discovered that an intruder had dug under the wire of our "Colditz" and removed all four... Please do not ban hunting Mr Blair. Victoria (12) and Charlotte (10) Adderley address supplied (letter in archive)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 4.4.02
SIR - Re the issue of hunting with dogs, I can't see a ban going through because most of those in the House of Lords support or indeed indulge in such as fox hunting. Not only should hunting with dogs be banned but the rearing of mink for the fur trade... Colin McLean, Kensington Street, Girlington.
...As regards the hounds' "inhuman helpers" and their work, they must do like others and find something more suitable, more useful to do... D Burnett, Great Horton Road, Great Horton. (letters in archive)

Worcester Evening News 4.4.02 Preaching and practice THERE appear to be three types of animal rights protesters. There are those who are against what they perceive to be all types of animal cruelty, with whom I may not always agree, but whose consistent views I respect. Then there are cherry pickers... Mike Foster, who wants to ban foxhunting but maintains angling's all right because "I do it and fish feel no pain", is a prime example... BILL PULLEN, Alderton, Tewkesbury (letter in archive)

ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Western Morning News, Torquay Herald Express, Plymouth Evening Herald, North Devon Journal) 4.4.02 STOP HUNTING FOXES AND CHASE CRIMINALS INSTEAD - On balance fox hunting should probably be stopped. In its place however, I would like to see the Yorkshire Ripper and four or five thousand others like him individually let loose on Dartmoor and other isolated places. Let's hunt this lot down and kill them... Chic Church, Church Road, St Thomas, Exeter (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 4.4.02 YOU COULD JOIN EXPORTS ACTION - IN response to Mrs Jane Wakefield... The majority of the anti-hunt campaigners spend a lot of their time campaigning against live exports... If you are really interested in ending live export, Mrs Wakefield, please contact Animal Aid... MRS MAUREEN PLIMMER, Armingford Crescent, Melbourn, Royston, Herts (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 4.4.02 CAMPAIGNING OVER ALL CRUELTY ... I would inform Mrs Wakefield that there has been an ongoing campaign against the export of live animals for many years... We do not just pick on hunting... As to the old chestnut about townies telling country folk what to do, when I lived in Devon, surrounded by hunting areas, we had as much support from the local people for a hunt ban as we have had in so-called townie areas. S.BAKER, Priory Road, Hastings (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 28.3.02 BIGGER PROBLEM NEEDS ATTENTION .. Regardless of whether one agrees or not with hunting, surely it is wrong for an urban majority to dictate how a rural minority lives its life?... tens of thousands of sheep, cattle, pigs and horses are daily transported in dreadful conditions across hundreds of miles. If only the so-called animal lovers would turn their efforts to this. Mrs JANE G. M. WAKEFIELD, Hempsted Lane, Gloucester (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 4.4.02 SHAME OF TIME TAKEN ON HUNT - YET again a delay on the hunting issue. What was the March 18 debate in Parliament for? Surely they said: "We want a ban."... PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill (letter)

Shropshire Star 4.4.02 A horrible ending for little foxes ... If more evidence of cruelty attached to this sport is required, I suggest everyone should read the book 'Brother of the Ox' - the autobiography of a farm worker... Members of the House of Lords, who voted for continuance are, as I am, in the old age bracket.... Name and address supplied (letter may be in archive)

Shropshire Star 4.4.02 Shooting should be done by experts - Having read the anti hunting letters... felt I must correct their misconceptions about shooting... Professional fox shooting groups are efficient at killing cleanly... it is best to have dogs to drive the foxes onto the guns... The problem that Mrs Meredith was referring to is the single or part-time shooter.... 'Disgusted' claims 'the majority of our farmers are excellent shots, and drop a bird in full flight'. I'm sorry but he/she has been watching too many films... Albie Fox, Ex-competitive marksman, Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury (letter may be in archive)

Hull Daily Mail 4.4.02 FOX HUNTING IS NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE ... I spent my early years believing this sport to be cruel. However, I never criticise anything I have not witnessed. Having seen it practised, I can assure Mr Treacher that there are people from all walks of life fox hunting, including postmen, factory workers, bus drivers and even "normal" people like football supporters. The days were this was a sport for the gentry are long gone... Fox hunting is not a political issue - if you do not agree with it, don't do it. Put your effort into pushing Tony Blair into doing something constructive, like sorting out pensions, NHS and education. Brian Greaves (letter)

Evesham Journal 4.4.02 Fox hunting is either right or it's wrong - Regarding MP Peter Luff's Hunting `Middle Way'... You either agree or disagree with bloodsports. Who will police this method, surely not the poor LACS monitors who have been beaten up, and intimidated just for watching?.. AMANDA PETERS, Orchard Avenue, Broadway. (letter in archive)

Evesham Journal 4.4.02 Hunting should be banned at first vote - I agree with Roger Bennett that the amount of time spent by Parliament on the hunting ban is a disgrace - hunting should have been banned at the first vote... Mrs Sally Mander,Withy Trees Road, South Littleton, Evesham. (letter in archive)

Dumfries & Galloway News 4.4.02 The horses have fun, too - Sir — Musings of a Hound — I’ve heard it said “We’ll all be dead”. I can’t believe it, and so far nobody has explained to me why this should be... they will no doubt organise hunting in heaven and in hell. There we’ll regain our great distinction where MPs have no jurisdiction. Mrs K H McCulloch, Ardwall, Gatehouse of Fleet (letter in archive)

Keighley News 4.4.02 With reference to Mrs Cryer's letter, I would like to make one thing quite clear. I swear no allegiance to any political party and it is my opinion that the only person who went to parliament with good intentions was Guy Fawkes... What beggars belief is the House of Commons was packed to bursting point while MPs were debating the world-shaking problem associated with hunting a rural pest. But when a debate was called the day after, regarding the deployment of a British fighting force in Afghanistan only seventy or so MPs bothered to turn up and not one of them was a member of the cabinet... Patrick Boreham, Moorside Avenue, Eastburn (letter in archive)
Keighley News 22.3.02 SIR - May I answer three letters in your paper, which sought to discredit not only myself but also my late husband Bob Cryer MP... My support for Stephen Byers was for a hard working, capable Minister whose only mistake was his misplaced loyalty to a member of staff... Can I make it as clear as possible to my constituents: No deal was done linking this support with a re-introduction of the Bill to outlaw hunting with dogs... ANN CRYER MP for Keighley & Ilkley. (letter in archive)

Northumberland Gazette 4.4.02 Hunting, a pawn in political duplicity AN open letter from Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance - The events of the past few days have brought hunting back to the forefront of politics as a pawn in a repugnant game of political duplicity... Our demand is modest but if it falls on deaf ears, our rage will be felt. The sole object of this exercise is to secure a legitimate and viable future for hunting as part and parcel of our living countryside. No other outcome is acceptable, we will not rest until it is achieved, and we will do whatever it takes to secure that legitimacy and to win overwhelming public support for the ordinary, decent, and responsible people of the countryside Richard Burge, Old Town Hall, 367 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT. (story)

Congleton Guardian 4.4.02 Hunting - how can MP support such barbarism? ... How can this barbarism ever by promoted as a pastime or sport in a civilised country? Mrs S Dyke, 64 Audley Road, Alsager (letter in archive)

Hereford Times 4.4.02 Listening was well worth it - Madam, So strongly do I support hunting I sat in the House of Lords public gallery from 11.15 to 4.30 on March 19 to listen to their Lordships debate the matter... I strongly recommend the value of actually listening to the hunting debate. I ask no one to support my hunting. I simply wish to continue with my life in my way. DUNCAN BRIDGE, Urishay Barn, Michaelchurch Escley (letter in archive)

Hereford Times 4.4.02 A few historic delights .... Tally Ho old bean, let's tear the vixen limb from limb and watch her cubs die of starvation - super sport what? Boom, boom! Mr B Brush, Hope-under-Dinmore (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 4.4.02 FEATURE WAS GREAT NEWS - Well done to Simon Burch and the Evening Telegraph for the excellent feature on free range eggs... It is of grave concern that we have to wait another 10 years, thanks to the EU, before the majority of hens have freedom from their cruel existence.... Doreen Hatton, Beeley Close, Allestree. (letter)
Northern Echo 4.4.02 ANIMAL WELFARE - Patricia Ramsay, Northallerton. (letter in archive)
Hereford Times 4.4.02 This cruel trade starts again MRS E. ADDIS, Poplar Road, Clehonger, Hereford (letter in archive)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Guardian 3.4.02 'Summer of discontent' by Countryside Alliance - Lucy Ward, political correspondent - Pro-hunting campaigners will today promise "a major mobilisation of protest" in town and country, encouraged by a poll indicating less than half of all adults want a complete hunting ban... The League Against Cruel Sports yesterday attacked the alliance for its "threats of civil disobedience in the face of the government's consultation on hunting". (story)
Telegraph 3.4.02 Nation is evenly split on hunting, says new poll By Andy McSmith, Chief Political Correspondent - FOR every voter who wants foxhunting banned there is another who believes that the Government should either find a compromise solution or drop the anti-hunting legislation altogether, according to a new opinion poll. The figures will be announced today at the start of months of protests at the threat to foxhunting and other sports. Just under half of those polled - 48 per cent - said the Government should ban hunting with dogs, while 23 per cent called on it to find a compromise, and 25 per cent thought the legislation should be dropped altogether... (story)
Independent 3.4.02 Countryside Alliance promises 'summer of discontent' over proposed hunt ban By Nigel Morris, Political Correspondent ... The Alliance released an NOP poll last night that said 48 per cent of the public supported an outright ban, 25 per cent wanted the Government to drop the issue and 23 per cent backed a compromise between the two sides....(story)
Ananova 3.4.02 Hunt supporters meet over 'summer of discontent' - Hunt supporters are unveiling more details of a campaign to save the traditional rural sport... The Countryside Alliance has already announced that it plans to stage a march through London, attended by as many as half a million supporters... (story)
York Evening Press 3.4.02 Hunting fans plan major summer campaign by Liz Todd - HUNTING supporters were today set to unveil a campaign for a "summer of discontent" to protest against Government plans to outlaw hunting with dogs… quote from Adrian Yalland, of the Alliance (story in archive)
Newcastle Journal 3.4.02 Pro-hunting group promises 'summer of discontent' - The Countryside Alliance has pledged a summer of discontent campaign to save hunting. It will start next Friday when groups of people from rural communities visit 12 government offices around the country to deliver letters intended for rural affairs minister Alun Michael… (story)
Newcastle Journal 3.4.02 Hunt supporters meet over 'summer of discontent' - Hunt supporters are unveiling more details of a campaign to save the traditional rural sport… An Alliance spokesman said: "We had to cancel last year's march because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak but we had pledges of support from around 500,000 people, so we expect the same this time."(story)
Lincolnshire Echo 3.4.02 ANTI-HUNTING LAWS PROTEST PLAN - Thousands of fox-hunting supporters from Lincolnshire are expected to march through London this summer… The alliance's South Lincolnshire chairman Simon Turner said there was plenty of support in the county…Joint master of the Burton Hunt, John Green, said there is a huge groundswell of support in favour of action…

Worcester Evening News 3.4.02 Thousands to join hunt march - THOUSANDS of defiant Worcestershire hunt supporters look set to step up their campaign to save their sport by joining a 500,000-strong march in London this summer. Nicky Driver, spokeswoman for march organisers the Countryside Alliance, said coachloads of protesters would descend on the capital for the demonstration... (story)

Times 3.4.02 Burns 'should rule on hunting' By Valerie Elliott, Countryside Editor - PEERS and MPs who are trying to negotiate a deal to save foxhunting in England and Wales are demanding a committee of inquiry to negotiate a compromise. They have written to Margaret Beckett, Rural Affairs Secretary, asking her to invite Lord Burns, who headed the Government’s hunting inquiry, to act as arbiter on controversial issues such as cruelty. They believe that he is the only person who can judge the circumstances in which hunting with dogs should be accepted for pest control, which the Government is considering for limited areas... (story)

Northern Echo 3.4.02 Hear All Sides: Hunting - I AGREE with Jim Ross (HAS, Mar 28) regarding his views on fox hunting… I am an animal lover. I subscribe to stop cruelty, but I do think this proposed ban on fox hunting is 70 per cent them and us…. Let the people who suffer from the fox decide, not the class-hatred mob. - F Wealands, Darlington.
I DEPLORE fox hunting, but equally the fact that it has become such an obsession of animal rights' campaigners. Does fox hunting, however obnoxious, involve the deaths of millions of innocent creatures after their prolonged subjection to intense cruelty? No, it does not… Tony Kelly, Crook.
…the people who lost their livelihoods could pursue careers in the NHS, where nurses are in short supply… it might just have the consequence of bringing out the more caring, humane element of these people's personalities which they probably never even realised they had the fortune to possess. - JA Hustwith, Thirsk (letters in archive)

Shropshire Star 3.4.02 No need for hunts …Well, if the fox population is out of control, can one of you please explain to me why hunts have to breed foxes to hunt? Why are they often caught prior to hunt meets and released in front of baying hounds?... E Waddington, Belle Vue, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 3.4.02 'Sport' barbaric - THE barbaric sport of hare-coursing continues despite Labour's promise to ban all forms of killing animals with dogs for entertainment…. SHEILA BRENNAN (Mrs), Bombay Street, Blackburn (letter in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 3.4.02 Hague's the best - THEY say you can't keep a good man down and with last week's brilliant performance in the foxhunting debate in the House of Commons, the former Tory party leader William Hague really took the biscuit. He was magnificent and outshone all the other politicians who spoke in that memorable debate… JA PALLISTER, Penrit (letter may be in archive)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 3.4.02 Hunt hi-jinx - Although Ann Bradley trotted out the usual claptrap in attempting to justify foxhunting… she highlighted the fundamental reason for the practice in that she considered it an enjoyable experience… B. James, Burntwood. (letter may be in archive)

Knutsford Guardian 3.4.02 Hunt masters have all been honourable men - THE Cheshire Hounds date back to 1763. Thus it is well established as part of the fabric of Cheshire country life…. As a hunt supporter for 50 years, the foxes I have seen killed all died instantly. No animal could possibly live if it was ripped apart…. All these and every other issue concerning hunting were investigated by a Government-sponsored committee led by Lord Burns during 1999-2000. Their findings and recommendation were that there should be no change. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter in archive)

Horncastle News 3.4.02 Fox would rather ´take a chance with hounds´ - EDITOR - Although I do not follow the hounds as such, I think it is wrong to ban an old hunting tradition this country has had for the last two or three hundred years…. Shooting is literally a ´hit and miss´ affair, because if the fox is not killed outright, and is only slightly wounded by lead pellets, it will die a slow and agonising death by gangrene…. , Mr Fox would much rather take his chance in front of a pack of hounds, and if in good health he would have a fairly good chance of ´living to fight another day´…. it amazes me that we pay a lot of money in taxes to politicians to waste days discussing this matter. Will they be wringing their hands in as much anguish if our soldiers start getting killed in Afghanistan?.. J H KEMP Alexandra Road, Woodhall Spa (letter)

Leicester Mercury 3.4.02 COULD BE SETTLED - Opinion (Mercury, Mar 20) stated that although fox hunting is an important issue the Government has more important things to deal with. While this may well be true, if the Government was able to do what it set out to do as promised before it was ever elected, this matter would have been settled long ago… G A Wright, Leicester. (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 3.4.02 - Judging by the latest crop of pro-blood sport letters in the Evening Post, the movement is scraping the bottom of the barrel in its increasingly desperate attempts to justify the unjustifiable… However, the truth is that, far from providing the spurious "service" of keeping fox numbers down, many hunts actually encourage foxes to breed by providing artificial earths. Left unmolested, foxes naturally regulate their own population by breeding to replace those of their number that perish and skipping a breeding season when an optimum population exists… JOHN TRUSCOTT Kent Road, Mapperley (letter)

ThisIsBath (Bath Chronicle, Western Daily Press, Western Gazette) 3.4.02 WHAT ABOUT URBAN FOX? - Nobody could fail to be impressed by the passionate speech made by Tony Banks in the House… Anybody who has seen a mangie fox knows that they die in agony. This is cruelty in it's extreme. The countryside has maintained a healthy fox population for the past 300 years. So Mr Banks, what are you going to do with the "urban fox"? (letter)

ThisIsBath (Bath Chronicle, Western Daily Press, Western Gazette) 3.4.02 HUNTING BAN POSER I would like to know where Tony Blair is hoping to raise the ten million pounds of VAT revenue that the Exchequer will lose with a hunting ban. I fear NHS waiting lists can only get longer. (letter)
ThisIsGloucestershire (Western Daily Press, Gloucester Echo, Gloucester Citizen) 23.3.02 EXCHEQUER FACES £10M HUNT LOSSES - Sebastian Guinness The Gramercy Park Hotel New York (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 23.3.02 - Sebastian Guinness, The Gramercy Park Hotel, New York. (letter)
Ilkley Gazette 21.3.02 Blair foxed? - SIR, - I would like to know where Tony Blair is hoping to raise the ten million pounds of VAT revenue that the Exchequer will lose with a hunting ban. SEBASTIAN GUINNESS, The Gramercy Park Hotel, New York. (letter in archive)
Bucks Free Press 18.3.02 I think a hunting ban will worsen NHS waiting lists - I WOULD like to know where Tony Blair is hoping to raise the ten million pounds of VAT revenue that the Exchequer will lose with a hunting ban... Sebastian Guinness, The Gramercy Pk Hotel, New York (letter in archive)

ThisIsBath (Bath Chronicle, Western Daily Press, Western Gazette) 3.4.02 STOP SITTING ON THE FENCE - I was pleased to learn that David Heath, Liberal Democrat MP for Somerton and Frome, voted for the Middle Way in the recent vote on the future of hunting…By abstaining on the crucial issue of whether or not hunting should be banned is a coward's way out. Stand up and be counted. (letter)
ThisIsGloucestershire (Western Daily Press, Gloucester Echo, Gloucester Citizen) 23.3.02 MPSHOULD ADMIT HIS HUNTING BIAS - I was pleased to learn that David Heath, Liberal Democrat MP for Somerton and Frome, voted for the middle way in the recent vote on the future of hunting... He abstained from voting for an outright ban... Abstaining on the crucial issue of whether or not hunting should be banned is a coward's way out.He should stand up and be counted. Charles Hansard Wincanton (letter)

Forres Gazette 3.4.02 Wrong site for a killing ground - It is no longer the killing season for geese and ducks. Nevertheless, I write this letter on behalf of the wildlife of Findhorn and from the perspective of the more tender-hearted among us, after reading an article in the "Gazette" concerning shooting rights for the "wild fowlers." Firstly, why are they called "wild fowlers" - it sounds almost benign -how about "foul killers"…. Yours etc, ANNESE WORTH, Cromarty Court, Findhorn. (letter may be in archive)

Argus 3.4.02 Help find a rat a home …Kate Fowler is looking for people to take one or more of the rodents as pets after they were born a week ago… Miss Fowler turned her house in Pyecombe into a rescue centre for animals five years ago and keeps up to 120 rats… (story in archive)

ThisIsGloucestershire (Western Daily Press, Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo) 3.4.02 LET'S CARE FOR BEAUTIFUL BIRDS - WELL, I see they are back, the dirty, noisy, arrogant creatures people love to hate, so I though I would write before the whingers start…So please, this year, let's all try to remember that they are God's creatures too and have a right to be here, and be grateful we are here to see and hear these beautiful birds. M. JOYNER, Hopewell Street, Gloucester, and Pigeon Watch (letter)

Barnsley Chronicle 3.4.02 Beastly action - I'M glad the farmers are happy at the reopening of Penistone market. I wish the cattle were happy too! It's an archaic business… is this really necessary to humane food production?... LIZ PARKHURST, The Crescent, Hood Green (letter may be in archive)

Western Mail 2.4.02 Threat to hound ministers in public over hunting - THE Countryside Alliance will tomorrow unveil its campaign of "law-abiding rural protest" in defence of hunting. Following an open letter issued last week by Alliance chief executive Richard Burge, the prohunting group will give details of a summer-long campaign which will include major demonstrations... (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 2.4.02 Police hunt for answers to cross-Border fox parties - LOTHIAN and Borders Police is to debate how it should respond if English hunts cross the Border into Scotland, where hunting is now banned. The force said a full analysis of the new law against hunting with dogs will look at all its implications, including possible protests and disturbances caused by pro-hunt groups.... (story)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 2.4.02 Hunt leader denies badger sett damage ...The New Forest Hounds (NFH) have hit back at allegations made by the New Forest Animal Protection Group (NFAPG) after a kill near Ringwood. Animal Protection Group (NFAPG) after a kill near Ringwood. Campaigners claim a fox dived down a sett at Newlands Plantation and "suffered four hours of terror" before being dug out and shot... quote from Ken James, chairman of NFAPG and vice-chairman of the New Forest Badger Group.... But NFH spokesman Nick Smith said: "It definitely wasn't a badger sett. There's no record of it being badger sett and there was no evidence of any badgers."... (story in archive)

Northern Echo 2.4.02 Horse events to fund heart defibrillator ... The Witton Castle Charity Horse Trials and the Zetland and Old Raby Hunt Point-to-Point race are raising money for a defibrillator that will be installed in the Cornmill Shopping Centre in Darlington town centre....(story)

Grimsby Telegraph 2.4.02 HUNTING DEBATE IS A SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS - IT'S not the fox that first comes to mind - my mind, that is - in the row about hunting, but those pink-suited huntsmen… I have a powerful and quite recent memory of one jolly rider trotting through a local village, brandishing his crop to scatter the hoi polloi and roaring at anyone still daring to loiter "out of my way, peasant!"… The great hunting debate which supposedly ground to a halt last month is one of the most important issues ever to concern the British countryside…. It is bad politics and appalling legislation… (story)

Worcester Evening News 2.4.02 This just shows where the MPs' priorities lie - THE recent emergency Parliamentary debate regarding the deployment of 45 Commando Royal Marines to Afghanistan attracted less then 20 Labour MPs... only hours before, these missing Labour backbenchers had filled the House in their hundreds to vote on their favourite subject - the abolition of hunting... J WOOD, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Driffield Times 2.4.02 GET OFF HIGH HORSE OVER HUNTING BAN - Steve Rudd of The Mount, Driffield writes . . . I personally rate the life of a fox way over any rider's potentially tainted pride... attempt to understand that there is more to life than unnecessary deaths within the fox community. (letter may be in archive)

Western Morning News 2.4.02 Even those with no direct interest in the hunting debate would do well to heed the implications of John Phelps' letter (WMN, February 12), written in response to a letter of mine calling for rational argument and tolerance in the hunting debate... Mr Phelps writes that there is no reason for further debate. Quite what gives him the right to guillotine the process at this stage, I do not know... I can only restate the need for rational argument and tolerance both inside and outside parliament. Jonathan Higgins, Totnes (letter)
Western Morning News 2.4.02 BAN WOULD REDUCE DEER POPULATION - Over the last couple of years I have been following the hunting debate with interest for although I do not hunt I am extremely interested in animal welfare. The report published today by the Quantock Deer Management and Conservation Group makes interesting reading as it shows that adult red deer populations on the Quantock Hills have dropped since the National Trust and the Forestry Commission disallowed hunting on its land from 159 in 1999 to 121 this year... Surely the way forward is to allow hunting to continue under the auspices of the Independent Supervisory Authority for Hunting.... C A Davys, Plymouth
Informed viewpoint - MAY I call on your readers to help me launch a campaign to ban football? I have never played the game and know nothing about it. However, I am annoyed by the sight of people running about in brightly-coloured shirts... I am also concerned about the cruelty to police while controlling these supporters... when they would much rather be out hunting. J Master, Ivybridge (letters)
Western Morning News 2.4.02 TERRIERS AND FERRETS WILL NOT BE OUTLAWED - "hunting ban threat to control of rabbits" is an absurd heading for the front page letter by Geoff James (Western Morning Views, March 26)... The proposed English legislation will be carefully drafted to create an offence of hunting with hounds for sport, but there is no intention to restrict the activities of Mr James, his dog, or his ferret. John Phelps, Exeter
Fox benefits - I AM concerned that if hunting is banned farmers would no longer tolerate the nuisance and loss of livestock caused by the fox.... Please, before it is too late, think what is at stake. W G Lyne, Bodmin (letters)
Western Morning News 2.4.02 BEAGLES ALLOW US TO CONTROL FOXES BY GUN - As the chairman of the Camel Valley Beagles I have written to Parliament about hunting but have never had any response to my questions... As a group of men we all surround a particular valley and each man has a gun. The huntsman enters one end with the beagles... Then the fox or foxes are then humanely killed... Mark Parkyn, Wadebridge
Jobs outweigh foxes ... I believe that putting substantial numbers of rural workers on the dole, and losing a colourful tradition, outweigh the demise of a small number of foxes... M Hunter, South Zeal (letters)

ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Western Morning News, Plymouth Evening Herald, North Devon Journal, Torquay Herald Express) 2.4.02 NATURE CAN BE VIOLENT BUT IT CANNOT BE CRUEL - As a countryman I have some sympathy with H Lewis' point that nature may well be violent, but cannot be cruel, Points of view, March 26…. The hunting of foxes or rats with dogs does not seem to be a necessary requirement for personal morality… much the same arguments about ignorant outsiders, jobs, livelihood, and the local economy, were used by the slave trade 150-odd years ago, when they faced abolition… Ivan Hall, Lapford (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Western Morning News, Torquay Herald Express, Plymouth Evening Herald, North Devon Journal) 26.3.02 LET'S HAVE A REFERENDUM ON THE COUNTRY QUESTION - I strongly object to Denise Rands' insinuation that I am a cruel person, Points of view, March 19... Finally, she says the majority in Britain are against hunting. Really? Straw polls are totally unreliable. Politicians in the House of Commons do not represent the majority opinion... H Lewis, South Molton (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 2.4.02 HUNTING SHOULDN'T BE SACRIFICIAL RITUAL - One of the arguments that those in favour fox hunting like to use is the question of what will happen to the hounds and the people whose livelihoods rely on hunting.... the fact remains that making a sport out of killing live creatures is cruel and inhumane.... The Holderness Hunt, which meets twice weekly between September and March, has 600 subscribers... Presumably these hunters would somehow ensure that Mr Howarth and co were looked after if hunting were banned... Fox hunting - along with the House of Lords and the Royal Family - is one of the last vestiges of feudal England... (story/letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 2.4.02 HUMANS GUILTY FOR GETTING PLEASURE FROM THE FOX KILL ... Why then do they have a lull in the season to allow the foxes to breed? Is it simply to ensure that there are cubs to be dragged out of their earths and thrown to the young hounds to teach them how to kill... Civilised human beings will ensure that hunting is finally banned, as it has been in Scotland. There is simply no excuse to continue this barbaric apology for sport. SHEILA J. STATHERS Toton (letter)

ThisIsDevon 2.4.02 How sad to read, Points of view, March 25, that A Evans is still peddling the now discredited and antiquated argument that opponents of hunting are motivated largely by envy and class hatred... Dr John Pammen, Clyst Heath, Exeter (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 2.4.02 No middle way - I am disappointed that many of our MPs did not vote for a complete ban on hunting with dogs, whether it be stags, foxes or hares... M. SCOTT, Glengormley, Co Antrim (letter)

Western Daily Press 2.4.02 DON'T MIX FOXES UP WITH WOLVES - I see from your letter page that the bloodsport addicts are hysterically pumping out all their timeworn and obsolete propaganda and lies... (letter)

Lancashire Evening Post 2.4.02 £90m to end this barbaric slaughter - The Government has pledged its commitment to stamp out illegal hare coursing... In an open letter to Fylde MP Michael Jack, Animal Welfare Minister Elliot Morley told how the Home Office will pump £90m into fighting crime in sparsely populated rural areas... (story)

Western Morning News 2.4.02 BADGERS SHOULD NOT BE BLAMED FOR TB IN CATTLE - At no stage has the National Federation of Badger Groups accepted that badgers should be culled where cattle have bovine TB - I could not disagree more strongly with your correspondent, A Godwin... (letter)

Shropshire Star 2.4.02 Fury over ignorance of farmers - I am becoming increasingly exasperated at comments made by spokespeople from the National Farmers Union and the Farmers Union of Wales with regards to vaccination issues... we now have the issue of tuberculosis... there are yet again the same ignorant statements in the press from the farming unions, citing badgers as the cause... Janet Hughes, Churchstoke, Montgomery (letter in archive)

ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Torquay Herald Express, Plymouth Evening Herald, Western Morning News, North Devon Journal) 2.4.02 DARTMOOR PONIES ARE SENT ABROAD VIA IRELAND ... The writer claimed Dartmoor ponies are no longer exported from this country - they are, in terrible conditions, via Ireland.... Readers need to know these facts, as most people are living under the impression that this dreadful trade had been ended... Mrs P M Gilbert, Longdown, Exeter (letter)

York Evening Press 2.4.02 Animal protesters target fun park by Liz Todd - ANIMAL rights activists spent a day picketing outside Flamingo Land to protest about the theme park's zoo. Demonstrators from the Society for the Total Abolition of Vivisection and Exploitation (STAVE), based themselves outside the main entrance with banners and placards... Sue Stone, from the Scarborough-based group, said: "We are here to protest at animals being kept for entertainment..." Fellow demonstrator Louise Stevenson said: "We want visitors to go and have a look at the animals and see what conditions they are being kept in..." (story in archive)

Guardian 1.4.02 Hunt compromise on offer, says minister - A compromise on hunting is still on offer and consultation would be genuine, the countryside minister, Alun Michael, has told the Guardian... However, he is likely to reject a call this weekend from the Countryside Alliance and a cross-party group of peers, including Lord Donoughue, Labour and pro-hunting, for a joint committee of both houses to examine the issue... (story)

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
Newcastle Journal 1.4.02 Hunt backers pledge a summer of protest - A summer of discontent is being promised by the Countryside Alliance as they battle against moves to ban foxhunting. Government Ministers and Labour MPs are being warned that visits to rural areas of the North-East will be met by protests... quotes from Richard Dodd of Belsay, Northumberland, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, Alliance chief executive Richard Burge (story)

Western Daily Press 1.4.02 DON'T HOUND HUNTS TO THE GRAVE - Once again, Parliament is set to debate the tired old issue of hunting rather than doing something useful with its time - such as putting in place measures to get rural Britain back on its feet.... The reality is that, for every reason Parliament can think of for banning hunting, I can point to 300,000 reasons why they shouldn't.... The arguments of our opponents such as Kevin Hill's comment (The Cruel Truth About Hunting, Western Daily Press, March 26) make no sense and are frankly unfair, unjust and should not be translated into law.... hunting is such a non-issue for over 95 per cent of the population... (story)

Worcester Evening News 1.4.02 Concern over the county's farmers and hunt's future - SIGNIFICANTLY, the morale of Worcestershire farmers was at a very low ebb exactly half-a-century ago as they looked back on a "horrible" 12 months. Their depression was aired at the AGM of the county branch of the National Farmers Union and was fully reported by the Journal... The Croome Hunt was in gloomy mood, too, at this time 50 years ago. The Journal reported the anxiety of officials over the future of the hunt in view of poor support.... Costs of about £2,500 a year were exceeding income (story)

Argus 1.4.02 Snobby rights - As someone who has never hunted foxes, could I raise a slightly different aspect of this issue?.. We may not want a beautiful animal such as a fox to be hurt yet we poison rats, cockroaches and headlice with barely a second thought... Perhaps the underlying reason for singling out hunting is because snobby people on expensive horses appear to enjoy it... Is it not equally snobby to protect only the animals one likes? -Dr John Mew, Brighton (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 1.4.02 Barbaric sport must be banned - Well done Mrs Meredith. Without a doubt huntsmen were raising their glass after your contribution to the Shropshire Star.... Without any doubt we are dealing with a vicious, barbaric, sport that should have been abolished years ago. In fact to call it a sport is an insult to the word. Disgusted (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 1.4.02 Hunting with dogs is inhumane - Reference: the Shropshire Star article "Plea to Blair on fox decision" showing Doreen Meredith, pictured with one of her foxes... I totally agree a trap is not the answer but at least if they were shot they wouldn't feel anything.... Lisa Rickus, Leegomery (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 1.4.02 WE MUST NOT GIVE HUNTS A LICENCE TO KILL - I was disgusted to hear the Government might license fox-hunting, instead of a total ban, with the licence being granted subject to the fox suffering no cruelty.... A total ban is the only solution. GAVIN GILLESPIE Turner Drive Giltbrook
Managing to keep the wild dogs at bay It's not the best sort of existence being a fox, and life at the moment is far from easy. It was only two weeks ago that the wife and I were able to give the brush off to what seemed like a thousand rabid dogs hell bent on splitting the wife and myself apart... We are both very surprised that such important people have spent so much of their time being so concerned about our well being... Oh, I've got it now - it's Afghanistan. Yes, it's so nice that your MPs care more for us than anything else... FOXY (KEN E. SALMONS) Hanslope Crescent Bilborough
Ripping foxes apart is purely for sport - I lived at Braunstone on the fringes of Leicester and I often went into the village to see the hunting meets on a Saturday morning as both the Quorn and the Cottesmore started there. To my horror, I saw the foxes (bred for the purpose I would think) brought and released on a Friday evening.... S. B. HAYNES Glaisdale Drive West Wollaton (letters)

Western Daily Press 1.4.02 BIGOTRY AND CLASS HATRED - The RSPCA asks us to sign its letter to Mr Blair, (advertisement in the national press, March 20) telling him that we would like to see fox hunting banned... perhaps the RSPCA could explain why, for example, rabbits, who may continue to be hunted with dogs, do not feel the same pain that hares are alleged to feel, why rats, who again may continue to be hunted with dogs, do not feel the same pain that mink are alleged to feel ?... R Eynard Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.4.02 THEY'RE A BREED OF THEIR OWN - I thought that the comment piece in your paper the other day on hunting was splendid. I was very unhappily married to a hunting man for too many years and I'm sorry to say that as a result of his arrogance and sheer cruelty, suffered from depression... Name and address supplied (letter)

Worcester Evening News 1.4.02 Pets will be devoured - I WONDER if all the anti-hunt people realise that as foxes multiply owing to not being hunted, they will need more room to search for food... there will be a lot of domestic pets vanishing after being eaten by these pests. A K HILL, Fernhill Heath, Worcester. (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.4.02 DESTROYERS OF THE NATURAL WORLD... With regard to all the arguments for and against hunting, I wonder whether you might be interested in a poem written by me 18 months ago which refers to all types of destruction of nature. What right have we to maim and kill our animal friends that roam at will?... What right have we to rape the field and pluck the flowers that pastures yield?... We have no right to take the life of beast, or tree by gun and knife But rather now our aim must be to save wild life for posterity - Kathleen C White, aged 82 Westbury Wiltshire (letter)

Northern Echo 1.4.02 Campaign aims to save hare from hunters ... Conservationists from Hartlepool Borough Council and the police have joined forces to try to increase the brown hare population in countryside areas bordering the town through the Spare the Hare campaign... "Several members of the public, including some regular walkers, rang in after hearing about the campaign and confirmed a serious decline in brown hare numbers. All blamed a surge in both legal and illegal hunting."... (story)

Argus 1.4.02 Better world - How sad that when compassionate Lucy Fensom set out for Israel on her mission to rescue donkeys from the abominations inflicted upon them in that part of the world, some people said she should be helping humans instead of animals... -Peter Allen, Chute Avenue, Worthing (letter)