April 2003

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30.4.03

Western Morning News 30.4.03 HORROR OF ANIMAL CRUELTY FACTS - LOUISE THOMAS - Hundreds of animals continue to suffer horrific neglect and cruelty at the hands of people in Devon and Cornwall, according to figures released today. Nearly 1,000 animals had to be rescued by RSCPA inspectors in the South West in 2002... at a hunt kennel in Cornwall, an RSPCA inspector found a dead beagle bitch, close to full-term pregnancy with eight puppies.... (story)

Gloucester Citizen 30.4.03 MAN IS FORCING OUT ALL WILDLIFE - While Safeway etc are "desperately disappointed" regarding the finding of badgers in Abbeydale, this happens to be where these animals live and they are a protected species… PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Stroud (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 30.4.03 EXPERIMENTS ON ANIMALS MEANINGLESS - If Thomas Bromley (SMIR Executive Sec.) believes that "people should come first" (letters April 26) then he should resign from his grandiose position and join DAARE (Disabled Against Animal Research and Exploitation), Nurses Anti-Vivisection or DLRM (Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine)… Once again, he is parroting the emotional blackmail of his drug company sponsors which only goes to show the moral and scientific bankruptcy of their arguments… LEN SHORT, Animal Voices, St James Road, Torquay (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.4.03 ORDEAL OF LAB MONKEYS - The organisation to which I belong, the British Union For The Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), is raising money to rescue and rehabilitate 50 wild-caught macaque monkeys which have been kept in appalling laboratory conditions in Asia… Ms Elizabeth Howe Yeovil Somerset (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 30.4.03 OPPOSE USE OF CIRCUS ANIMALS - Your anonymous correspondent criticises Animal Aid for objecting to the use of performing horses in the Lipizzaner Stallions circus (Letters, April 24). The Captive Animals' Protection Society supports Animal Aid's opposition to the use of animals in this way… CRAIG REDMOND Campaigns Officer Captive Animals' Protection Society Preston (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 24.4.03 LACKING HORSE SENSE - Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler shows his lack of equine knowledge when commenting on the Lipizzaner Stallions, Post, March 31… These animals are worth up to £10,000 each. Is show producer Gary Lashinsky going to mistreat the goose that lays the golden egg? No, of course not. What potty council is quite happy for a horse or pony to drag a heavy load around Nottinghamshire but objects to horses performing for entertainment?... Name and address supplied (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 31.3.03 ANIMAL RIGHTS ROW ON SHOWS BY STEVIE RODEN Animal rights campaigners are calling for boycotts of two Nottingham shows featuring horses... A stallion is set to be used in a five-night staging of the opera Carmen at the Royal Concert Hall next month... in May the world famous Lipizzaner Stallions are set to perform two shows involving more than a dozen horses at the National Ice Centre... The staging of the two events has been met with anger by animal rights group Animal Aid, which is calling on people to stay away from the shows. Director Andrew Tyler said: "I would urge people to boycott these events in Nottingham. These animals are subjected to a punishing training regime and we disagree with that..." (story)

Caithness Courier 30.4.03 Ham-fisted name change gets veggie little support- PEOPLE in Caithness have given the thumbs-down to a vegetarian-friendly move to change the name of the tiny north coast settlement of Ham… People for the Ethical Treat-ment of Animals initially put up $10,000 if Hamburg changed its name to Veggieburg as it was uncomfortable with the city’s link with hamburgers. After learning that there are three Hams in Scotland, PETA extended the offer to their citizens should they change to Veggie or some other name unlinked to farm animals…. Staff at the nearby Crossroads Primary School were all against the change. Head teacher Christine Suth-erland, though a vegetarian, was happy to see “Ham” continue… (story)
Glasgow Herald 29.4.03 Hamlets offered a meaty £7000 to go Veggie - CAMERON SIMPSON - THREE hamlets in Scotland which rejoice in the name of Ham have been offered €10,000 (£7150) each to change their name to Veggie by animal rights activists. The offer was made yesterday by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), which is unhappy about the unfriendly animal connotation of the name. Activists have also said they will pay the German port of Hamburg [[currency]]10,000 to change its name to Veggieburg because they do not like the city's association with hamburgers. … Klaus May, a city spokesman, said: "I cannot afford to waste my time with this. I don't even want to look at nonsense like this, but that doesn't mean we Hamburgers don't have a sense of humour."… (story in archive)
Daily Record 29.4.03 BURGER OFFER - Animal rights activists have offered the city of Hamburg 10,000 euros to change its name to Veggieburg…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 29.4.03 The German city - of Veggieburg? - THE German port of Hamburg has been offered £7000 to change its name to Veggieburg… (story)
Ananova 24.4.03 Animal rights group urges Hamburg name change - An animal rights group in the US has urged a town to change its name from Hamburg to Veggieburg. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals say they will supply local schools with £10,000 worth of non-meat burgers in return for the name change… (story)

29.4.03

Western Mail 29.4.03 Fury over hunt rates rebate - A DECISION to cut the rates paid by a hunt has provoked anger among opponents. The Glamorgan Hunt has received a 50% rebate on the rates it pays the Vale of Glam-organ council. The council leaders, who approved the move at a cabinet meeting last month, say the cut was reasonable given the work the hunt does to help local farm-ers dispose of animal carcasses. But opposition councillors criticised the decision… (story)

Daily Record 29.4.03 SCOTS ARE TIRED OF SELFISH POLITICIANS - IT'S suggested that a less than 50 per cent turnout at the polls would make any majority party not representative of the Scottish people… When the Fox Hunting Bill was rejected by committee, their findings were rejected since it was contrary to what was required by the politicians… William McGeary, Dumfries (letter)

Western Morning News 29.4.03 'ANTIS' ARE NOISY MINORITY - I have a theory that your readers' letters section is in fact a platform for the "antis", whether it be the current Iraqi situation, the hunting debate, wind turbines or blame the badger… There is however, the great, silent majority who are prepared to support the government they have democratically elected… Eric Higgs, Bodmin (letter)

Glasgow Herald 29.4.03 Conservation Bill - Further to the letter from the SNH chief executive, Ian Jardine (April 26), I have now read the proposed Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill and find myself agreeing with Ian Mitchell. Scotland's land managers and gamekeepers (or wildlife managers as they have increasingly become) have created and nurtured the very sites that are now to be affected by tighter controls on SSSIs. It is absurd to suggest that SNH - which cannot manage a hedgehog, let alone a grouse moor - is qualified to determine where land management orders are necessary… Geva Blackett, Clunie Cottage, Braemar (letter in archive)

GREYHOUND RACING - LOOMER ROAD STADIUM
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 29.4.03 GREYHOUNDS TO GO BACK TO THE RACES - TIM SMITH - Dog racing is set to return at a popular North Staffordshire track after it was axed following a blitz of obscene telephone calls.... But following numerous requests from dog owners, trainers and bookmakers, track owner Dave Tattum has vowed to try to reopen the venue by the end of next week... (story)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 29.4.03 RACING REJECTS HAVE A TOUGH LIFE - As greyhound racers celebrate the re-opening of the Loomer Road race track in Chesterton, Sandy Clay, who works as a fund-raiser for a greyhound charity, gives her private individual thoughts on the issue of greyhound racing and her fears about the impact the sport has upon the dogs. I Am very much against greyhound racing for all sorts of different reasons... I really don't think we have the need for a greyhound racing track in this area. The more that can be closed the better... (story)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 26.4.03 ACCUSATIONS SICKEN DOG TRAINERS In reference to a letter I read in your letters to the editor page on Tuesday, April 22, with the subject of Racing Greyhounds, I would like to refute the comments made by the person as totally slanderous with no facts, evidence or justification. I am a greyhound owner/trainer at the Loomer Road Stadium and also at the Ellesmere Port Stadium and have never seen a greyhound or any other animal being mistreated... STUART LOWE Tean (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 24.4.03 GEOFF'S FEARS FOR DOGS NO LONGER IN THE CHASE - TIM SMITH - Pilling's dogs are his pride and joy and he likes nothing better than watching them battle for glory on the racetrack… But dog racing at the Chesterton venue came to a sudden end this month after staff were bombarded with threatening telephone calls from an anonymous protester… Geoffrey, of Watkin Street, Fenton, fears that if the venue doesn't reopen soon, dozens of dogs may end up being put down by their owners who would have no other reason to keep them… Manager Dave Tattum says he was forced to stop dog racing because of obscene messages vowing to sabotage dog meetings and attack the track's staff…. (story)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 22.4.03 READERS SHOULD BE TOLD ABOUT CRUELTY - - I read with interest the article by Michael Baggaley and Tim Smith re: the local racing track. Firstly, I do not support the actions that the anonymous person has subjected to the stadium or its staff, this is totally unacceptable but, I believe that by publishing this story your readers who attend these type of dog racing tracks surely should also be made aware of the cruelty suffered by the dogs during and also after their racing days are over… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 17.4.03 THREATS STOP DOG RACING - MICHAEL BAGGALEY AND TIM SMITH - Greyhound racing at a popular North Staffordshire track has been axed after staff were bombarded with threatening telephone calls. An anti-racing protester has blitzed Loomer Road Stadium with obscene messages warning he will sabotage dog meetings and attack the track's staff… (story)

Western Morning News 29.4.03 CATTLE TESTING IS TOP TB PRIORITY - The 30-year-old controversy over badgers and TB has hotted up recently, with Parliament looking again at the problem in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, and The Princess Royal's outburst at Gatcombe… I hope farmers will boycott any further cooperation with the pseudoscience flummery. Martin Hancox Stroud, Gloucestershire (letter)

WORLD LABORATORY ANIMALS WEEK
Western Morning News 29.4.03 EVENT DREW ATTENTION TO PLIGHT OF ANIMALS - Last week was World Lab Animal Week when people all over the world drew attention to the suffering of laboratory animals. Established by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), the world's oldest and leading anti-vivisection organisation, World Lab Animal Day falls on April 24 every year… Jan Creamer, Chief Executive NAVS, London (letter)
Banbury Guardian 24.4.03 Caring for animals - I would like to draw the attention of your readers to April 19-25 as being World Lab Animal Week… Mrs S. Jackson, Twyford Grove, Twyford, Banbury (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 22.4.03 ANIMAL SUPPORTERS ARE HIGHLIGHTING CONCERNS - During this World Lab Animal Week, animal supporters in the UK will be collecting in the street, wearing their sashes, handing out stickers, badges and leaflets to highlight the ongoing suffering imposed on animals in laboratories… Wear a silver locket (available for £1 from the NAVS - www.navs.org.uk to show that you care… Mrs Frances Wicks, Alphington Road, Exeter (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 19.4.03 JOIN FIGHT TO STOP THE TORTURE - We are now in the 21st Century and every day thousands of animals still die in pointless experiments... World Laboratory Animal Day, founded by the National Anti-Vivisection Society, falls on April 24 every year and is recognised by the United Nations.... Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (letter)
Stourbridge News 17.4.03 Let's help stop the suffering - As Animals in Laboratories protest march approaches I would like to suggest for people who care to find out which charities test on animals, join Peta… P Cross, Kingswinford (letter in archive)
Banbury Guardian 17.4.03 Caring for animals - I would like to draw the attention of your readers to April 19-25 as being World Lab Animal Week... All information can be obtained from the Animal Defenders... Mrs S. Jackson, Twyford Grove, Twyford, Banbury (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 15.4.03 TIME TO HALT ANIMAL ABUSE - Could i through your column ask that readers remember that every year at least 100-150 million animals are used in experiments around the world… You can help end this suffering. World Lab Animals Week is from April 21-27… NAVS are opposed to all violence to humans or other animals, if you feel the same, then make contact and support them. C GREENWOOD Livermead Torquay (letter)

Western Morning News 29.4.03 Stop suffering - EVERY week in the EU there are approximately 2,500 live horses and donkeys destined for slaughter who are herded on to lorries to be transported to slaughter houses across the EU… I would suggest writing to local MEPs and MPs - you may have more success than I did writing to my MP about Halal slaughter. Neil Kernick, Kingsteignton Devon (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.4.03 ANIMAL FUR FARMING IS CRUEL AND UNNECESSARY - Was anyone else totally disgusted by the programme on BBC2 called The Furs Are Flying? For those fortunate people who did not see this programme, it was all about the boom in the fur trade over the last year or so… Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has fur campaigns that you can be a part of, visit its website for more information… Miss K Wicks, Alphington, Exeter (letter)

Liverpool Echo 29.4.03 Morons' swan song I AM writing in regards to your article on the swan… A well known phrase is "they behaved like animals". No, animals do not behave like this but uncontrollable 'humans' do…. Patricia Makin, Maghull (letter)

UIST HEDGEHOG CULL (February-April)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 29.4.03 Twilight mission of The Rescuers - More than 100 hedgehogs have been saved from a controversial cull on three remote Scottish islands. PETER RHODES was there to see the work in progress… Graham Haywood, a retired cabinet maker from Audley, Staffs, is 59 and says the two weeks he has spent as a rescuer on the island have been some of the best times of his life… (story)
Scotsman 29.4.03 Dogs sent in to sniff out elusive hedgehogs on islands - JOHN ROSS - THE hedgehog cull in the Western Isles was stepped up yesterday with the arrival of specialist sniffer dogs which are being used to locate the animals. The two dogs, which have been brought in from the mainland, will not catch the hedgehogs but will indicate to their handlers where they are… Uist Hedgehog Rescue, which is taking the rescued animals to the mainland, said the dogs, no matter how well trained, will cause more suffering to the hedgehogs…. (story)
Glasgow Herald 29.4.03 Hounds help in search for Uist hedgehogs - DAVID ROSS - DOGS were brought in yesterday to help the search for the 200 hedgehogs believed to be on the island of North Uist. George Anderson, Scottish Natural Heritage's spokesman, said the two pointer dogs and their handlers had been specially trained. "The dogs indicate to their handlers where the hedgehogs are. The dogs are not there to physically catch the hedgehogs. Their use, like every other aspect of this project, has been discussed with the SSPCA."… (story in archive)
BBC News Online Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK Dogs help hedgehog cull - A pack of dogs is being brought in to help speed up the culling of hedgehogs on the Western Isles. Government agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, say the four dogs - three pointers and a collie - will be used to locate the animals… (story)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 28.4.03 ANIMALS: Kath's off to save the hogs - A CITY woman has volunteered to drive hundreds of miles to help save thousands of hedgehogs from being culled. Kath Sharp (33), of Pear Tree Walk, Yaxley, near Peterborough, is set to make her way up to the island of North Uist, in the Outer Hebrides, next month… Mrs Sharp is a vegan and has been involved with animal charities in the past. Her husband Jason (31), daughter Lucy (10) and son Charlie (8) are vegetarians… (story)
Scotsman 26.4.03 Critic of cull calls for boycott of Scotland - MIKE MERRITT - TOURISM managers have reacted angrily to an internet campaign urging visitors to boycott Scotland because of the hedgehog cull in the Western Isles. An e-mail emanating from a Steve Rudd in England is telling tourists to go elsewhere and boycott all Scottish goods.... (story)
Scotsman 25.4.03 Hedgehog rescue - The International Fund for Animal Welfare has given an initial grant of £5,000 to help the mission to rescue hundreds of hedgehogs in the Western Isles… LIS KEY, Press officer, IFAW Albert Embankment London (letter)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 25.4.03 PLAY AIDS HEDGEHOG RESCUE - A FIFE-based theatre company has joined the campaign to save thousands of hedgehogs from a mass cull. The Baudrans Production Theatre Company is dedicating its opening night of BURNS (Your Bard, By the Way) to raise funds for the threatened animals in the Western Isles… The opening night will include an address by the Duchess of Hamilton prior to the performance… (story)
Wolverhampton Press & Star 25.4.03 Battle lines of the hedgehog hunters - The entire hedgehog population on three remote Scottish islands is under sentence of death. PETER RHODES is in the Tiggywinkle Killing Fields… The rescuers accuse the cullers of pig-headedness, or worse. "They have blood on their hands," says Ross Minnett, spokesman for Uist Hedgerow Rescue… (story)
Wolverhampton Press & Star 25.4.03 Milestone in fight to save the hedgehogs - From Peter Rhodes in the Outer Hebrides - Midland animal rescuers are hoping to catch their 100th hedgehog this weekend in a bid to foil a controversial cull on three remote Scottish Islands… (story)
Glasgow Herald 24.4.03 North Uist hedgehog cull falls short with a mere 26 - DAVID ROSS - SCOTTISH Natural Heritage still has only found and exterminated 26 of the 200 hedgehogs it calculates are on North Uist, and it admitted yesterday that it does not expect to find many more… Meanwhile Tina Swindle, a nurse from St Tiggywinkles animal hospital, who is currently working at the Uist Hedgehog Rescue in the north of Benbecula, said yesterday that about 80 hedgehogs had been "saved". (story may be in archive)
Dumfries & Galloway News 24.4.03 Uist hedgehogs find new homes - THE first hedgehogs to be rescued from the island of Uist have arrived in the Stewartry. Eighteen of 30 hedgehogs rescued last week arrived at Kirkcudbright Hedgehog Rescue on Thursday and were all released to new homes within 48 hours… (story may be in archive)
Cumberland News & Star 22.4.03 BLAME BEATRIX FOR ANIMAL MADNESS - WE ARE an animal-daft nation. I mean, you get folk walking a mile to avoid a Big Issue seller. Yet they travel hundreds of miles to remote Scottish islands to rescue hedgehogs… Now, because the hedgehogs are consuming the birds' eggs faster than they can lay them, a bunch of trendy animal lovers have launched a campaign to catch them and fly them to safety in new homes on the mainland such as Notting Hill where, one assumes, they will discover new bird populations to consume… (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 21.4.03 STILL TIME TO CARE FOR HEDGEHOGS - Saving hedgehogs has begun in the Hebrides, where Les Stocker - of St Tiggywinkles' Hedgehog Unit in Buckinghamshire - is heading the rescue of five thousand animals which Scottish Natural Heritage are now killing.... Elaine Drewery (letter)
Telegraph 19.4.03 Island hedgehogs in move to Notting Hill By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent - After the wind-blasted heath and salt spray of the Outer Hebrides, the leafy gardens of London could be something of a culture shock for the hedgehogs facing a cull in North Uist… Sue Rothwell, a wildlife worker on North Uist, who has already sent 40 hedgehogs to Strathclyde and Yorkshire, has put some hedgehogs aside for Sir Michael and thinks Notting Hill is an ideal location…. (story)
Scotsman 19.4.03 Uist hedgehogs take their first steps to freedom ... the first of the Uist hedgehogs were finally set free on the Scottish mainland last night.... Andy Christie, of the Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Centre, in Beith, Ayrshire, which is acting as a holding centre for the creatures, said that a small number of hedgehogs were yesterday distributed to some of the thousands of animal lovers who had offered to give the hedgehogs a home in their gardens... (story)
Independent 18.4.03 Animal rights activists save doomed hedgehogs By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor -In the most publicised rescue from the Western Isles since Flora McDonald took Bonnie Prince Charlie over the sea to Skye, Operation Hebridean Hedgehog began yesterday. More than 30 of the spiky little fellows were shipped to the mainland after animal welfare activists snatched them from under the noses of Scottish National Heritage... Yesterday, the first batch of saved hedgehogs was shipped to Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Centre at Beith, Ayrshire, from which they will be released into the wild, said Gay Christie, who runs the centre with her husband, Andy... (story)
Telegraph 18.4.03 Hedgehogs thrive at mainland centre By Auslan Cramb - More than 30 hedgehogs were recuperating at a wildlife rescue centre on mainland Scotland yesterday after being rescued from a planned cull in the Western Isles... Gay Christie, 56, who runs the Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Centre, in Beith, Ayrshire, with her husband Andy, said she was delighted to accept the animals…. (story)
Times 18.4.03 Hedgehogs find safety - The first of the hedgehogs rescued by animal lovers from a mass cull in the Outer Hebrides arrived on the mainland yesterday (Gillian Harris writes).... (story)
Scotsman 18.4.03 Rescue team airlifts hedgehogs to safety - TRACEY LAWSON ... In one of the most bizarre search-and-rescue missions ever seen, 31 hedgehogs were airlifted off Benbecula on a one-way ticket.... (story)
Yorkshire Post 18.4.03 Thousands offer a safe haven for island's hedgehogs - Thousands of hedgehog lovers have come forward to offer a safe haven for the prickly creatures saved from a mass cull.... (story)
Ross-shire Journal 17.4.03 Culling is unjustified- It is absolutely disgusting that Scottish Natural Heritage, with the backing of RSPB, are proceeding with the cull of the hedgehogs on South Uist, despite the presence of those willing to transport them to Hessilhead Wildlife Sanctuary and other venues willing to receive them…. John Cowen, 27 Stewart Terrace, Edinburgh (letter)
Glasgow Herald 17.4.03 First island hedgehogs rescued from cull are take to mainland - JAMES FREEMAN - THE first 50 hedgehogs to be rescued on Uist and Benbecula will arrive on the Scottish mainland today... (story in archive)
Edinburgh Evening News 17.4.03 Happy ending to a prickly problem - THE first hedgehogs to be rescued from a controversial culling programme were today settling in to their new homes... (story)
Telegraph 15.4.03 Hedgehogs offered mainland lifeline By Auslan Cramb - Animal charities trying to save hedgehogs about to be killed by lethal injection because of their taste for rare birds' eggs have accepted an offer that could reprieve thousands of the animals. Scottish Natural Heritage… has told hedgehog rescue organisations that it will stop next year's planned cull if they can provide scientific proof that the animals can thrive on the mainland… (story)
Scotland on Sunday 13.4.03 When even Mother Nature finds it hard to cope with man's interference - MAGNUS LINKLATER - I AM unmoved by the plight of Mrs Tiggywinkle. I remain dry-eyed as the men from Scottish Natural Heritage go about their extermination on North Uist.... Man created the mess in the first place. It is up to him to interfere again - this time to clear it up. (story)
Telegraph 11.4.03 Islanders help cull By Tom Peterkin - Two islanders have defied animal rights activists by handing over four hedgehogs to their executioners…. (story)
Glasgow Herald 11.4.03 Hedgehog toll rises to 11 in Uists cull - BILLY BRIGGS and LISETTE JOHNSTON - HEDGEHOG trappers said yesterday they had killed a total of 11 of the animals in the cull on the Uists.... (story in archive)
Flintshire Chronicle 11.4.03 Hedgehog rescuer's joy as offers of help pour in - A MAN who is preparing to travel to Scotland to rescue the threatened hedgehog population of a Hebridean island says he is amazed at the number of offers of help he received after his story appeared in the Chronicle. Tony Cummins, of Llanarmon yn Iâl, plans to travel to the isle of Uist on April 28 and spend a fortnight helping to save and relocate the animals which Scottish National Heritage (SNH) wants to cull because they are threatening wild birds on the island by eating their eggs… (story)
Cumberland News 11.4.03 GEORGE STANDS BY TO REHOUSE CULL HEDGEHOGS - TWO Cumbrian animal sanctuaries are to play a key role in rescuing cull-threatened hedgehogs from two Hebridean islands.... Now Knoxwood Wildlife Rescue Centre, near Wigton, and the Wetheral Shields Animal Refuge, near Carlisle, have offered to take in the hedgehogs. George Scott, from Knoxwood, said he was appalled at the cull... (story)
Guardian 10.4.03 Is it really necessary to kill all those hedgehogs? - Kirsty Scott - Afraid so. The Hebridean islands of South and North Uist and Benbecula are home to some of the most important populations of wading birds in the world... Thousands of rats and hundreds of mink have also been exterminated in recent years to protect birds on other Scottish islands - rather less fuss was made about their deaths. (story)
Independent 10.4.03 First four hedgehogs die in Scottish cull but campaigners rescue 31 By Kim Munro (story)
Scotsman 10.4.03 Hedgehog cull claims first four victims in North Uist - JOHN ROSS (story)
Telegraph 10.4.03 Undercover hedgehogs defy execution squads By Sally Pook (story)
Daily Post 10.4.03 Animal lover to save hedgehogs from cull - A NORTH Wales animal lover is heading off to the Hebrides to help save hundreds of hedgehogs. Tony Cummings, who runs a small animal sanctuary at his home at Llanarmon-yn-Ial, near Mold, is appalled Scottish Heritage has decided to press ahead with a cull of an estimated 5,000 hedgehogs despite world-wide protests… Tony, an area co-ordinator with the Clwyd Badger Group, said more sites to relocate hedgehogs would be welcomed Ð ideally with no badgers…. (story)
Scotsman 9.4.03 Still No Hedgehogs ... With an estimated 5,000 hedgehogs spread out over the Uists and Benbecula, it could be years before the little rascals are removed from their well-concealed positions. Long before then, animal rights protesters will have demanded that the whole area be put under UN administration. For SNH, this could all turn very prickly. (story)
Glasgow Herald 9.4.03 Islands cull on course and no need to panic - DAVID ROSS - THE hunt is on, but the hedgehogs of the Uists are proving more than a match for those trying to exterminate them... After months of defending its approach as the only way to protect the internationally important species of wading birds threatened by hedgehog predation in the Uists, SNH (now referred to locally as Still No Hedgehogs) yesterday confirmed it had caught none of the 200 thought to be in North Uist.... (story in archive)
Independent 8.4.03 Hedgehog cull starts amid outcry from rights groups By Arifa Akbar - Time has officially run out for the hedgehogs of North Uist. A massive cull to eliminate 5,000 of the predators got under way at 9pm last night despite anger from animal welfare groups... (story)
Independent 8.4.03 Hedgehogs galore! The fate of 5,000 hedgehogs on the Western Isles hangs in the balance. They're a menace to local birds and it seems that culling is the only answer. But animal-lovers are up in arms. Paul Kelbie reports on the race to rescue Mrs Tiggy-Winkle ... A coalition of animal-welfare groups, including the Mammal Society, the St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, the BHPS, International Animal Rescue and Advocates for Animals, threatened legal action and launched an appeal to rescue the hedgehogs... SNH have been training new recruits to hunt down the hedgehogs at night with torches, a process known as "lamping"…. another team of rescuers has now appeared on the scene. Sue Rothwell and her husband Tim Green, who have lived on the island for 11 years, used to run the Uist Animal Centre… "They finally fell out with us after we refused to let them use our place to put up any animal-rights activists who wanted to help in the rescue. We live on a hunting and fishing estate. We're country people who keep wild animals in what they might consider cages. We couldn't take the risk."… (story)
Telegraph 8.4.03 Use of dogs in hedgehog cull attacked By Mike Merritt - Rescuers trying to save 5,000 hedgehogs from being killed in the Outer Hebrides have criticised a government wildlife agency for using sniffer dogs in the cull…. (story)
Scotsman 8.4.03 Hedgehog cull a prickly issue for animal groups - JOHN ROSS (story)
Scotsman 8.4.03 Hedgehog war at the sharp end (story)
Yorkshire Post 8.4.03 Hedgehog cull anger (story)
Argus (Worthing) 8.4.03 Teenager's quest to save hedgehogs by Huw Borland …Christopher Black, 17, from Worthing, is the youngest of five volunteers trying to save thousands of hedgehogs in the Outer Hebrides…. This is the unnecessary killing of healthy animals and I'm dead against it…." (story in archive)
Bristol Evening Post 8.4.03 SAVE HEDGEHOGS FROM CULL APPEAL (story)
BBC News Online 7.4.03 Hedgehog cull due to begin - Ross Minett, of Advocates for Animals, said the activists would not physically try to stop those involved… However, Susan Rothwell of the Uist Animal Visitors Centre said she had a better chance of tracking down the animals and had already sent 40 to the mainland by car. She is running her own rescue operation after falling out with the other welfare groups, who accused her of involvement in blood sports because her partner uses dogs to control rabbits. Ms Rothwell said: "They needed an excuse to get out of the visitors centre because we refused to let them bring their army of volunteers to crash out…. (story)
BBC News Online 7.4.03 Hedgehog cull due to begin - A cull of 5,000 hedgehogs is due to begin on North Uist in the Western Isles of Scotland on Monday... But the Uist Hedgehog Rescue coalition plans to keep the rescued hedgehogs in an island collection point until mid-May, and then fly them to rescue and resettlement centres on the mainland.... "We have just got to get there first and out-collect them," said Francesca Cantanaro from Uist Hedgehog Rescue.... (story)
Guardian 7.4.03 Operation Tiggywinkle - Kirsty Scott - In a remote corner of the Hebrides a conflict that has pitted conservationists against animal lovers will reach its climax today with the start of the great Uist hedgehog cull.... (story)
Telegraph 7.4.03 Race hots up to save hedgehogs from cull By Tom Peterkin The race to save hundreds of hedgehogs in the Outer Hebrides from a mass cull was stepped up yesterday... Sue Rothwell, of the Uist Animal Centre, has already sent 40 hedgehogs to locations in the west of Scotland and West Yorkshire. A further 19 have been saved under a scheme introduced by the Uist Hedgehog Rescue organisation supported by Advocates for Animals and St Tiggywinkle Wildlife Hospital…. (story)
Scotsman 7.4.03 Animal rights groups battle to save hedgehogs from island cull - JOHN ROSS ... So far, only 19 animals have been rescued, almost half by locals ... However, most have been found in South Uist and Benbecula, which the cull will not reach for at least a year. As the lifespan of an adult hedgehog is about two years, they would have died before the cull reaches them, according to SNH... However, Ross Minett, a UHR spokesman, said: "Every hedgehog we get off the island this year is one that is not going to remain to reproduce, and it’s one that SNH will not be able to get their grubby mitts on to kill."... (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 5.4.03 I'LL RESCUE OUR PRICKLY PALS FROM ISLAND CULL - Animal-lover Angela Gabbott has vowed to help save the 5,000 threatened hedgehogs in the Outer Hebrides. Mrs Gabbott, 55, is making the 400-mile journey to the isle of Uist to help rescue the prickly beasts from a cull starting on Monday… "They're going to shoot little hedgehogs with a blooming great gun, it's appalling…" (story)
Glasgow Herald 2.4.03 Hedgehog rescuers in race against time - Activists have until Monday to save 5000 from cull - JAMES FREEMAN - THE rescue operation to save the cull-threatened hedgehog population on the Uists has only caught five animals since the weekend, it emerged yesterday. The Uist Hedgehog Rescue, the unofficial group of animal charity volunteers, are attempting to save the 5000 hedgehogs of Uist and Benbecula from extermination. But the hedgehog lovers only have until Monday when Scottish Natural Heritage carry out the first cull of the animals…. (story in archive)
Scotsman 1.4.03 Battle to save hedgehogs begins - VOLUNTEERS have begun the fight to save thousands of hedgehogs from a cull. About 15 animal lovers arrived on the Uists, in the Western Isles, over the weekend as the conservation charity Advocates For Animals stepped up its efforts to rescue the threatened mammals… (story)
Ananova 31.3.03 Animal group begins hedgehog rescue mission - Volunteers from across the UK are fighting to save thousands of hedgehogs from a mass cull. Around 15 animal lovers have arrived on the Uists, in the Scottish Western Isles, as conservation charity Advocates For Animals steps up its efforts to rescue the threatened mammals…. (story)
Sunday Herald 30.3.03 Hedgehog reprieve at kangaroo court? Last-gasp contraceptive bid could save animals at centre of Hebridean cull By Jenifer Johnston - As animal rights workers in the Outer Hebrides set out this weekend to rescue thousands of hedgehogs nine days ahead of a controversial cull, an unlikely third way has emerged ... thanks to kangaroos. Experts are hoping that an experimental contraceptive technique currently being tried on Australian bush kangaroos could be a long-term solution to the ever growing problem.... (story)
Scotland on Sunday 30.3.03 Hedgehog cull gets go-ahead despite rescue bid by activists - JEREMY WATSON - GOVERNMENT scientists have pledged they will press ahead with their controversial cull of an island’s hedgehog population this week despite a rescue plan put forward by animal rights activists... (story)
Times 29.3.03 First hedgehogs are rescued from the island's cull of 5,000 BY GILLIAN HARRIS, SCOTLAND CORRESPONDENT - UNDER cover of darkness the first consignment of 40 rescued hedgehogs has left the Outer Hebrides to begin a new life on the mainland, free from the threat of culling... Since the announcement of the cull, a national campaign, nicknamed Operation Tiggywinkle, has raised £75,000 to save the islands’ hedgehogs. Volunteers from St Tiggywinkles Animal Hospital in Buckinghamshire, the Edinburgh-based charity Advocates for Animals, and the British Hedgehogs Preservation Society have arrived in the Outer Hebrides this week for a rescue mission. But, while the visitors established their headquarters in a caravan on the shores of Loch Dun Mharchaidh on Benbecula and offered islanders £5 for each animal saved, Sue Rothwell has worked quietly on a low-key exodus for the first batch of saved animals… Only seven islanders turned up at a public meeting about hedgehogs last week. One islander said: “I’m not sure how successful this is going to be. I can’t see people going out looking for hedgehogs for a fiver. I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never even seen one.”… (story)
West Highland Free Press 28.3.03 Watching the various hedgehog-saving organisations squabbling among themselves (entertaining though it is) I think they're rather missing the point. Where are they going to put them?... Yours faithfully, Chris Tyler (letter may be in archive)
Edinburgh Evening News 27.3.03 Poor priorities - I REFER to the letter from Advocates for Animals’ Ross Minett (March 20)… he states in his letter that his organisation will spend money on hedgehogs whilst its interest in Third World famine is limited to campaigning for its end. Tommy Bathgate Viewforth Terrace, Edinburgh (letter)
Dumfries & Galloway News 27.3.03 Hedgehog rescue plan backed by Parliament - PLANS to rescue thousands of hedgehogs from the Western Isles before they are culled were this week backed by the Scottish Parliament… At the second hearing of this petition the committee stated that SNH seemed to be imposing “unreasonable restrictions” on UHR’s rescue plans… (story may be in archive)
Scotsman 25.3.03 Remembering when Dr John was a left-wing tripper - Simon Pia - Culled into question - IT’S A prickly problem for the Executive. An eleventh-hour appeal will be made to the Parliament today to prevent the hedgehog cull in the Outer Hebrides... "We have deep concerns over this £5 bounty," an SNH official told us. "Animals should not be used like lemonade bottles." Indeed. When was the last time you saw someone drinking out of a hedgehog? But Jack & Co should beware. They need every vote they can get at the moment, and the hedgehog vote is not one to be sniffed at. (story)
West Highland Free Press 21.3.03 Hedgehogs "Let Down By St Tiggywinkles" - The Hebridean hedgehogs and I have been badly let down by St Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital, Advocates for Animals, Edinburgh and the Uist Hedgehog Rescue group in general who withdrew their support when realisation hit them that the Uists were active sporting estates and that I keep terriers and feed meat-eating rescued raptors... I say enough public money has been wasted on meetings, flights, hire cars and expensive hotels for the people in these groups, who in the end achieved nothing..... Susan Rothwell, Bayhead, North Uist (letter may be in archive)
West Highland Free Press 21.3.03 "Misinformation" Over Rescue Of Uist Hedgehogs - It has come to our attention that a Ms Rothwell has been contacting the media regarding Uist Hedgehog Rescue and our plans to rescue the Uist hedgehogs. For some reason Ms Rothwell has been misinforming people that UHR is no longer planning to rescue these animals. This is complete rubbish. Following the discovery that Ms Rothwell is involved in promoting hunting with dogs, the organisations involved in UHR immediately disassociated ourselves from both her and the Uist Animal Centre... Ross Minett, Campaigns Director, Advocates for Animals (letter may be in archive)
Edinburgh Evening News 20.3.03 Help all creatures on our planet - I MUST respond to Beth Collins’ criticisms of Advocates for Animals’ campaign to save the Uist hedgehogs (Letters, March 17).... Perhaps Beth Collins should have found out more about Advocates’ work before criticising us for trying to save these animals "when millions . . . are starving to death throughout Africa". Had she done so, she would have learned about our involvement in projects like the Global Hunger Alliance... Ross Minett Campaigns, director Advocates for Animals (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 19.3.03 Charity not just for human beings - IN response to Beth Collins’ letter ("Hogging charity", March 17), the hedgehogs in question were introduced by human beings… Human beings then decided they would kill all the hedgehogs to sort the problem! If people decide to donate to charities such as Advocates for Animals, they expect their donations to be used for the purpose of protecting animals…. Katriona Vaughan Alnwickhill Grove, Edinburgh (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 17.3.03 Hogging charity - WITH reference to the "Nature of the beast" comment in Peter McMahon’s column, (News, March 11) I could not agree more with his observation on the warped priorities of organisations such as Advocates for Animals. It is indeed an appalling and shameful waste to spend £20,000 gathering up hedgehogs when millions of children and parents are starving to death throughout Africa… Beth Collins Morningside Road, Edinburgh (letter)
Sunday Herald 16.3.03 Hedgehog campaigners boycott sanctuary amid blood sport claims By Mike Merritt - Plans to use an animal rescue centre to house hedgehogs facing a cull in the Outer Hebrides have been scrapped amid allegations that the sanctuary is linked to blood sports... The blood sport links came to light after pictures of terriers with dead rabbits and a fox were displayed on a website operated by one of the centre's owners, Sue Rothwell, on behalf of the Plummer Terrier Club of Great Britain, of which she is director and registrar... Last week, one of the groups, the St Tiggywinkle's Wildlife Hospital, stopped two of its veterinary nurses from travelling to the centre.... (story)
Scotland on Sunday 16.3.03 Hedgehog rescuers attack Uist zoo - CHRISTOPHER CLAIRE - ANIMAL rights campaigners fighting to stop the cull of hedgehogs in the Outer Hebrides have abandoned their planned rescue centre after alleging it is involved in blood sports.... Les Ward, director of Advocates for Animals, said they were "shocked" to find out that the Uist centre used dogs to hunt. "We have told the centre of our decision and they have not taken it well. We had agreed a fee with them for its use, but obviously we will not be paying that now," he said.... (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 11.3.03 Labour leadership on a war footing BY PETER MacMAHON - Nature of the beast - HARDLY a week passes without a new example of the warped priorities of people who care more about animals than their fellow human beings.... This week Advocates for Animals offered the people of North Uist, in the Western Isles, £5 for every hedgehog they bring to them in advance of a cull of the spiny vermin. With the reported help of the Duchess of Hamilton, AA is spending £20,000 to fly - yes, fly - the hedgehogs to safety on the mainland.... I would humbly suggest that the £20,000 would be better spent elsewhere. Helping charities fighting poverty in the Third World, for instance. (story)
Scotsman 11.3.03 £5 to save a hedgehog - TRACEY LAWSON - AS offers go, it takes some beating: a fiver for every hedgehog you can catch. Training given. That is the deal being put to locals in North Uist, in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a cull of hedgehogs by Scottish Natural Heritage…. Ross Minett, the campaigns director for Animals for Advocates, said: "Local residents know the islands and know where the hedgehogs are, and we believe they are the best people to catch them…" (story)
Glasgow Herald 6.3.03 Split in hedgehog rescue campaign - Major player pulls out of operation to stop isles cull - JAMES FREEMAN …The Mammal Trust UK, a science-based organisation, said yesterday that it would not take part in the proposed unofficial mass rescue of animals from Uist and Benbecula… Les Ward, director of Advocates for Animals, said yesterday: "I would have hoped that the trust would have stayed on board and I am disappointed that they have not. They are out of it now, but we go on."… Caroline Herbert, of Long Buckley, near Northampton, said yesterday: "We are deeply annoyed with SNH…. " Ms Herbert, who works for Advocates for Animals, said: "We recognise there is a need to protect the wading birds, but we genuinely believe there is a humane solution…"
Independent 1.3.03 Animal activists plan to rescue hedgehogs By Paul Kelbie Animal rights activists may confront Scottish Natural Heritage to save thousands of hedgehogs due to be exterminated on Scottish islands. The determination of SNH to slaughter up to 300 of the animals on North Uist this spring has galvanised a coalition of the activists to consider an "emergency rescue".... (story)
West Highland Free Press 28.2.03 Hedgehog cull: Animal rights activists could turn the Uists into a battlefield - The Western Isles could be set to become a battleground for animal rights activists as they set their sights on wrecking the Uist hedgehog eradication programme. Scottish Natural Heritage, who are co-ordinating the scheme to clear hedgehogs from the Southern Isles, have already held talks with local police to alert them to the potential problem…. Contacted by the Free Press this week, the Edinburgh-based Advocates for Animals said they would be sending activists to the islands in a bid to catch the hedgehogs and relocate them elsewhere. Pressed on how far they were prepared to go, director Les Ward said they would "stay within the law"… (story may be in archive)

SALTY/ANDRE/HOUDINI THE SEAL
Scotsman 29.4.03 Slippery seal escapes yet again - AN ELUSIVE seal which has been at the centre of several rescue bids yesterday evaded capture again… (story)
Telegraph 24.4.03 Don't feed Salty the seal, children warned By Auslan Cramb - Wildlife experts who hope next week to rescue a seal that has infuriated anglers by feasting on salmon in Loch Lomond warned the public yesterday not to approach the animal after reports that he was being hand fed by children… (story)
Lennox Herald 24.4.03 Seal of disapproval for cruel fishermen By MARC McLEAN - ANGRY anglers have blasted fellow fishermen who want to kill the seal stranded in the River Leven… Now James Graham, of Clyde District Anglers’ Rights Campaign, has joined the fight to save the seal… (story may be in archive)
Scotsman 23.4.03 Salmon-hungry seal is granted a fishing permit - A COMBINATION of good fortune and light-fingered thieves have given a seal which has angered anglers in Loch Lomond a temporary reprieve… the special net which was being used to try to capture the 100kg mammal has been stolen from the back of a vehicle…. (story)
Times 22.4.03 Seal of approval for the fisherman they could not catch BY SHIRLEY ENGLISH - A GREY seal trapped in waters teeming with salmon south of Loch Lomond was yesterday awarded an official £150 fishing permit by the angling club that threatened to shoot him less than a week ago. Salty the seal, who is also known as André, enjoyed his first day of legal fishing since becoming trapped in a shallow stretch of the River Leven... (story)
Argus 22.4.03 Race against time to snare Houdini by Steve Rogers - Wildlife rescue experts are being given the slip by Houdini, the cunning grey seal of Loch Lomond... Rescuers from Sussex headed up to the River Leven, near Loch Lomond in Scotland, to capture the elusive creature but were thwarted…. Members of Uckfield-based British Divers Marine Life Rescue appealed to local people not to shoot Houdini… Chairman Alan Knight said: "He's got a stay of execution but is being remarkably elusive…" (story in archive)
Scotsman 22.4.03 Seal given permit to fish - JILL STARK - THE saga of Andre the elusive celebrity seal showed no sign of ending yesterday, when he was awarded his own fishing permit.... (story)
Scotsman 22.4.03 Andre the seal is given River Leven fishing permit - BILLY BRIGGS and HELEN PUTTICK - SCOTLAND'S celebrity seal, Andre, could be left to enjoy another week's fishing holiday in the River Leven, near Loch Lomond, where he has set up home.... (story in archive)
Guardian 21.4.03 Seal set on staying put - Kirsty Scott - André the seal refused to perform for a team of would-be rescuers yesterday, thwarting renewed attempts to move him from the river he has made his home... (story)
Telegraph 21.4.03 Houdini of the loch gives his rescuers the slip By Auslan Cramb, Scotland Correspondent - A grey seal which has spent the last year dining on sea trout and salmon in Loch Lomond became the target of a major rescue operation yesterday after anglers threatened to shoot it.... (story)
Scotsman 21.4.03 Slippery seal is hard to catch - FIONA STEWART - HOW many marine experts does it take to catch a seal? The answer would appear to be 30 - although it could get higher as divers struggle to capture one determined mammal from the River Leven at Balloch, West Dunbartonshire... (story)
Yorkshire Post 21.4.03 Hungry seal gives divers the slip - A SEAL that is exasperating fishermen by feasting on salmon in a river is continuing to outwit divers trying to catch and return him to a colony in the wild... (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 21.4.03 Andre puts seal on great escape - DIVERS were today gearing up to make a fresh attempt at capturing an elusive seal to return it to a colony in the wild.... (story)
BBC News Online Sunday, 20 April, 2003, 05:37 GMT 06:37 UK Bid to save Salty the seal - A huge operation to rescue a seal which anglers had threatened to shoot is to take place near Loch Lomond.... (story)
Guardian 18.4.03 Seal swims away from life in Fife - Gerard Seenan - The choice is clear for André, a seal who has spent more than a year in Loch Lomond: to be shot by an angler or find safety in Fife. Despite his limited options and the efforts of rescuers, André wants to stay put.... (story)
Scotsman 17.4.03 Andre's safety sealed by deal with angry anglers - GEORGE MAIR - A SEAL which faced the death sentence for eating too many fish yesterday won an indefinite stay of execution… The rescue co-ordinator, Gareth Norman, of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said that after 48 hours of trying to net Andre safely, the seal had evaded capture… Scottish SPCA inspector for Dunbartonshire, Nicki Scott, said anyone attempting to kill or harm the seal would be prosecuted. (story)
Daily Record 16.4.03 DON'T SHOOT SALTY THE SEAL - Karen Bale - FURIOUS animal welfare groups last night slammed a decision by anglers to kill a harmless seal. The fishermen arranged to have the animal - nicknamed Salty - shot at dawn today because they claim it is eating their fish… The Scottish SPCA's Doreen Graham said: "I would be shocked if the anglers shot the seal in the morning because the divers are willing to spend another day trying to rescue it…. Experts from British Divers Marine Life Rescue gathered in Balloch for the rescue mission…. (story)

Ormskirk Advertiser 30.4.03 RSPCA refused help for animals - claim - A RUFFORD woman claims the RSPCA refused to help her when she sought advice about two sick donkeys found on her land. Eileen Tope, who has land off Holly Lane, found the donkeys in her field last Thursday… "My first call was to the RSPCA," she said. "But the woman said 'We don't come out to them, we don't take responsibility for every abandoned animal.'… Mrs Tope added: "I have donated to the RSPCA for most of my life because I was led to believe the RSPCA led to the prevention of cruelty to animals. "I will not be donating again because who are they there for if they're not there for these animals?"… (story)

28.4.03

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 28.4.03 - I take offence at the letter from John Haigh (April 9) in which he claims hunting people, whatever their background, are no different to people who do not hunt… John Clements, Lodore Avenue, Bradford. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 9.4.03 - Can I be the only person who has noticed how extreme the language of anti-hunting correspondents has become now, especially L Dobson (March 18) in his or her letter responding to the halal debate - John Haigh, Regional Director, Yorkshire Countryside Alliance, Front Street, Thirsk (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 24.3.03 - I take on board P J Hunter's points in regards cruelty to animals… In the same way Mr Hunter chose to select one form of "ritual slaughter," i.e. halal meat, and not any other, e.g. Kosher practise, battery hens… I. Habib, West Park Road, Bradford 8 (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 20.3.03 SIR - As a fervent anti-bloodsport supporter it irks me to agree with Mr Mozejko (March 11) but he is quite right to mention the hypocrisy of some of my clan. By all means campaign against bloodsports, but they should also recognise other acts of barbarity towards animals…. The animals that are torn to shreds by the hunters dogs are probably in no more agony than the ritually slaughtered ones in the name of halal meat… P J Hunter, Herbert Street, Saltaire. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 18.3.03 SIR - Re Richard Mozejko's letter about animal cruelty (March 11). There is a world of difference between animals tortured and killed for the pleasure of sadists, and animals stunned (which the law requires) and killed for food…. L Dobson, Stonecroft, Bradford 2. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 11.3.03 Week after week this Letters page includes a letter from some individual who feels the need to let us all know how caring they are. They do this by attacking blood sports. One gets the impression that you can no longer travel quickly round Bradford because of the hordes of posh people in red jackets on horseback…. Richard Mozejko, Bradford Road, Keighley (letter)

Western Mail 28.4.03 Food, not junk, for our young - IT'S 8.45am and I'm collecting my morning papers from the local shop. Litter is strewn across pavements, children aged five to 16 are eating their idea of breakfast - crisps, chewing gum, sweets and fizzy pop… I'm not saying that "skin-ning bunnies" should now be a GCSE subject, but for goodness sake let our children wholly engage in the countryside and understand what it produces… Mark Hinge is political director of the Countryside Alliance in Wales. (story)

MAGPIES
Glasgow Herald 28.4.03 A change of opinion on trapping magpies - I have followed the "magpie killer" debate with considerable interest over recent weeks… At last year's Royal Highland Show the British Association for Shooting and Conservation had a display centred around commonly-used traps… RSPB Scotland, also present at the show, was apparently inundated with requests for information on the control of magpies. One of its staff, realising that they did not have any relevant information on this, sought our help. We supplied a large bundle of our codes… Dr Colin B Shedden, director, BASC Scotland, Trochry, Dunkeld. (letter may be in archive)
Telegraph 26.4.03 Housewife kills 100 magpies 'to save songbirds' By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent - A housewife who has trapped and killed more than 100 magpies in her back garden to protect songbirds could be acting illegally, wildlife groups claimed yesterday. Lesley Mackiggan, 61, who lives in an affluent Glasgow suburb, catches "pretty evil" birds in a trap and kills them by knocking their heads on the garden wall…. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said it planned to ask the Scottish Executive for clarification on the law governing the killing of magpies…. The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is also opposed to Mrs Mackiggan's campaign but does not believe she is acting illegally…. (story)
Glasgow Herald 25.4.03 Groups split over the magpie killer - MARTIN WILLIAMS - ANIMAL welfare groups were divided yesterday over whether a housewife, nicknamed the "magpie murderer", was acting legally in culling more than 100 birds in her back garden in an attempt to protect the local songbird population. RSPB Scotland, the bird conservation body, said it believed that Lesley Mackiggan, from Bearsden near Glasgow, was acting illegally because she cannot show her actions conserve wild birds… However, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) said that the mother-of-three will escape court action because she carried out the killings humanely…. (story in archive)
Lincolnshire Echo 21.4.03 RSPCA GIVES WARNING ON MAGPIE TRAPPING - An animal welfare charity has issued a stern warning to people in Lincolnshire that they could face prosecution if they trap and kill magpies. The RSPCA is concerned that the public may target magpies indiscriminately with Larsen traps in the mistaken belief the bird is responsible for a decline in the British songbird population... (story)
Glasgow Herald 14.4.03 A more humane solution for the magpie problem: feed them - MAY I suggest a more humane solution for the magpie haters? I suggest you try feeding the birds - ie, all your garden birds, including the magpies… Keep up the feeding all the year round and you will have less need to subject these lovely birds to a cruel and unnecessary death… Elizabeth Morrison, Clydeview, East Montrose Street, Helensburgh (letter in archive)
Glasgow Evening Times 11.4.03 Magpie murderer - I couldn't believe what I was reading about the magpie killer (Evening Times, April 7). As far as I'm concerned this woman should be taken back to her home and given her medication… SUZANNE MCLACHLAN, via e-mail (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.4.03 DON'T BLAME THE BADGERS - In response to the anonymous letter claiming there is no scientific proof that badgers transmit bovine tuberculosis on to cattle. It has been proved that they don't, as there have been outbreaks of Bovine TB in cattle where there are no badgers… A Williams West Country Badger Patrol Group PO Box 426 Bath (letter)

Times 28.4.03 Family’s anger as ‘vegetarian’ dies of CJD BY MICHAEL BRISTOW - A STUDENT who was brought up as a vegetarian and rarely ate meat has died of variant CJD, the human form of “mad cow” disease. Jorawar Gill, 20, died this month after suffering from vCJD for about two years. His family, who are Sikhs, think that he could have contracted it by eating gelatin… (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 28.4.03 'Mad cow' victim was a vegetarian - A talented student from north Warwickshire died from the human form of so-called mad cow disease despite being a vegetarian for most of his life…. (story)
Sunday Mercury 27.4.03 CJD kills vegetarian By Fionnuala Bourke - Jorawar Gill was brought up as a vegetarian - but died of the human form of mad cow disease…. (story)

27.4.03

Sunday Times 27.4.03 Crime hurts the countryside too - SO now we know the new priorities for rural policing, courtesy of Roland White’s article... “Rural crime,” the newly enlightened White informs us, “is bewildering in its complexity: badger-baiting, dogfighting, poaching, disturbing birds, stealing birds, poisoning birds, stealing birds’ eggs and illegal taxidermy”. Spotted the deliberate mistake? No mention of a single form of crime against people.... To suggest that our increasingly stretched rural police resources are, or should be, mainly preoccupied with animal or wildlife crime would be to paint a picture of a rural society which those who actually live there — or those who have to police it — would simply not recognise. Richard Burge Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, London SE11 (letter)

Observer 27.4.03 Tell the truth about organ experiments - Congratulations on your horrific exposé of the pig to baboon heart transplants, carried out for Imutran at Huntingdon Life Sciences... Susan Baumgardt, Hove, Sussex
The public is said to accept animal research if it has medical benefit, and as a charity the RSPCA does not campaign against it.... Maggy Jennings, Head of Research Animals, RSPCA, Horsham, W. Sussex
The use of animals in experiments in the UK is strictly regulated by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 which is considered to be the most rigorous piece of legislation of its type in the world…. Bob Ainsworth MP, Minister of State at the Home Office, London SW1 (letters)
Observer 20.4.03 Exposed: secrets of the animal organ lab - Scientists' success in Cambridgeshire could have saved thousands of lives. But they failed, animals suffered and the truth was covered up, reports Mark Townsend... (story)

26.4.03

Hull Daily Mail 26.4.03 MINISTER'S FISHY TALE TO ANGLERS - Sports minister, Richard Caborn, joined young anglers on Bridlington beach yesterday... to meet young competitors from all over Europe taking part in the World Junior Shore Angling Championships... He said: "Sea fishing and angling are great participation sports for young people.... When they get into the discipline of fishing and working with their peer group and older people, it's very good for them."... (story)

ZOO PROTESTS
Edinburgh Evening News 26.4.03 Zoo parks only breed suffering - DAVID WINDMILL, chief executive of Edinburgh Zoo, tries to justify the zoo’s existence on the grounds of conservation... Most animals in zoos aren’t endangered - they are simply exhibits to amuse the paying public. Is it any wonder that it is often claimed that zoos put the "con" into conservation.... Ross Minett, campaigns director Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh, Scotland (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 26.4.03 Don't condemn our wild creatures to life in prison - IT is quite true that animals should not be kept captive in zoos (News April 21). They are not meant to be caged up, which is cruel and unfair and they do look so sad.... Mrs J Fleming, Carnethy Avenue, Penicuik (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 24.4.03 Determined to make a roaring success of the job - Liam Rudden - IT was almost exactly a year ago today that David Windmill wandered through Edinburgh Zoo… many improvements were required if the 90-year-old attraction was to survive into its second century - improvements that, as the zoo’s newly appointed chief executive, he would have to oversee…. The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) targeted Edinburgh Zoo as part of a day of protest at zoos across the country… "The people are just being narrow- minded by seeing it in a single issue context. I think their protests probably address what zoos were in the past, rather than what they are now becoming," counters David… (story)
Scotsman 24.4.03 Healthy animals - I was bemused by your report (22 April) about the animal acti-vists at Glasgow Zoo. The Captive Animal Protection Society said 30 of their members were at the zoo. Bit I counted only five middle-aged women, who ad-mitted to having pets of their own… PAUL PATERSON Senior Section Keeper, Glasgow Zoo Berriedale Avenue Baillieston, Glasgow (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 22.4.03 Protest hits zoo - ANIMAL rights campaigners have staged a protest at Edinburgh Zoo. The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) held demonstrations at zoos across the UK… (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 22.4.03 Zoo campaigners demand freedom for Southport Two - ANIMAL welfare campaigners yesterday protested outside one of the region's zoos in a bid to Free the Southport Two… The protest was held by the Southport Zoo Action Group as part of a series of nationwide campaigns run by pressure group the Captive Animals' Protection Society. Sue Kent, a member of the action group, said: "This zoo is a remnant of the past, an ancient relic…" (story)
Glasgow Evening Times 22.4.03 Animal activists call zoo city's second Barlinnie - Amanda Eftheriades - PROTESTERS picketed the gates of Glasgow Zoo with placards which described it as being the city's "other Barlinnie". Clydeside Animal Action joined forces with the Captive Animal Protection Society to target the zoo as part of an annual event intended to highlight the plight of animals… Helen Robinson, of the Clydeside group said: "We shouldn't hold wild animals captive in the 21st century…" Most people visiting the zoo yesterday were not swayed by the protesters' arguments. John McGuire, 14, of Broomhouse, said: "I think it's a disgrace that these people are trying to ruin the enjoyment of others." … (story)
Western Daily Press 22.4.03 ZOO PROTESTERS' ANGER OVER 'SAD EYES AND EMPTY LIVES' - An animal welfare group yesterday held a day of protests at zoos across the country. Bristol Zoo Gardens was among the attractions targeted by the Captive Animals' Protection Society (Caps) in a bid to highlight what it claims are the "sad eyes and empty lives" of the many species kept in captivity… Steven Johnson, of the Bristol Animal Rights Network, who was among those demonstrating outside Bristol Zoo Gardens, said: "No zoo in this country can have the facilities to keep animals in their natural habitat." (story)
Glasgow Herald 22.4.03 Cruelty protests greet visitors to zoos - STEPHEN STEWART and ELEANOR COWIE - ANIMAL welfare campaigners braved the inclement bank holiday weather yesterday to hold a day of protest at zoos across the country. The Captive Animals' Protection Society (Caps) organised the demonstrations highlighting what it claims are the "sad eyes and empty lives" of the many species kept in captivity…. Not all of the visitors to the zoo backed the activists…. (story in archive)
Scotsman 22.4.03 Protesters picket Glasgow Zoo - JOHN INNES - GLASGOW Zoo has been targeted by animal rights protesters as part of a nationwide campaign to highlight the plight of captive animals. About 30 protesters from Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) picketed the zoo in the east of the city, yesterday, as visitors took advantage of the Easter holiday to visit the park... (story)
Ananova 21.4.03 Zoos targeted in day of protest - An animal welfare group is holding a day of protest at zoos across the country. The Captive Animals' Protection Society is due to hold the demonstrations to highlight what it claims are the "sad eyes and empty lives" of the many species kept in captivity…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 21.4.03 Capital zoo faces demo in day of protest - AN animal welfare group was today targeting Edinburgh Zoo as part of a day of protest at zoos across the country. The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) was due to hold the demonstrations to highlight what it claims are the "sad eyes and empty lives" of the many species kept in captivity.... (story)

Guardian 26.4.03 Adios to the toreadors, let's go shopping - Jonathan Glancey - Every year about 100 toros bravos are skewered to death in Barcelona's Placa de Toros Monumental. For most modern residents of the city, however, bullfighting is cruel, out of place and out of time. According to a survey by the Spanish association for the protection of animals and the World Society for the Protection of Animals, 59% of them have never been to a fight, while 63% would like to see the sport banned... (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 26.4.03 Help plea as RSPCA branch faces crisis By Emma Tate - The Walsall branch of the RSPCA has warned it could fold because of a lack of volunteers to help run the service. Only two people are regularly on hand to back up the 12 committee members in performing a variety of roles from street collections to fostering animals… (story)

25.4.03

SCOTTISH COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE "CONNECTING COMMUNITIES" CONFERENCE
West Highland Free Press 25.4.03 The truth about Noble's "pure Scots" background - It must have been quite a speech to earn Sir Iain Noble the epithet of sounding like "someone from the Nazi Party of the 1930s". And that from his hosts, the Scottish Countryside Alliance… (story may be in archive)
Telegraph 15.4.03 Laird denies racism over plea to keep English out By Auslan Cramb, Scotland Correspondent - A landowner on Skye who caused outrage when he said he did not want English or "foreigners" settling on the island denied yesterday that he was a racist… he wished the Scottish Executive "had tried to preserve Gaelic rather than insisting on banning hunting." (story)
Telegraph 15.4.03 Ignoble ambition …What a waste of hot air on one elderly eccentric, when a little research into Sir Iain's own background would have made the point much more effectively. Sir Iain may not have any English blood. But it turns out that his maternal grandfather was Johan Michelet of the Norwegian Diplomatic Service, while his grandmother, Amie Grogan, hailed from County Dublin… (story)
Scotsman 15.4.03 This notion of genetic purity is grotesque - ALLAN MASSIE (story)
Independent 14.4.03 Scottish landowner calls for 'racial purity' By Arifa Akbar - The Countryside Alliance last night distanced itself from comments by a Scottish landowner who spoke of a need to end immigration and preserve national purity at a conference organised by the group… (story)
Telegraph 14.4.03 Ban English from Skye, says laird By Tom Peterkin - should be prevented from settling on Skye to preserve the island's genetic purity. Sir Iain Noble, 67, founder of the Noble Grossart merchant bank and the owner of an estate on Skye, was speaking at a conference, hosted by the Scottish Countryside Alliance… Tony Andrews, the chief executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said he would not have let Sir Iain speak at the conference in Edinburgh last week if he had known what he was going to say… (story)
Times 14.4.03 Landowner calls for Scotland to be kept racially pure BY GILLIAN HARRIS, SCOTLAND CORRESPONDENT A LEADING banker and landowner called yesterday for an end to immigration to Scotland to stop the creation of ghettoes and to preserve the country’s genetic purity… Tony Andrews, chief executive of the alliance, disowned the comments and said that he would not have allowed Sir Iain to deliver his speech had he known its contents… (story)
Glasgow Herald 14.4.03 Landowner condemned for his 'offensive' black ghetto speech - VALERIE HANNAH - RACIAL equality leaders and politicians last night heaped condemnation on Sir Iain Noble, the Scottish landowner and businessman, after he told a conference that he did not want to see black people "setting up ghettos" in Scotland… Tony Andrews, chief executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said Sir Iain would not have been allowed to speak at the conference if his outspoken views had been known…. (story in archive)
Glasgow Herald 14.4.03 Sir Iain's ill-judged rant - Multi-culturalism is the key to Scotland's future - IT is difficult to know what possessed Sir Iain Noble to stand up at a conference meant to bring communities together and deliver a speech calcu-lated to tear civilised consensus apart… Sir Iain's comments have been condemned by the Scottish Countryside Alliance, which organised the conference, and others. The landowner has also apologised and said it was not his intention to cause offence. What he wanted, he insists, was to encourage debate. This is one odious debate Scotland did not need to have… (story in archive)
Sunday Herald 13.4.03 Fury as Sir Iain Noble admits: 'I'm a racialist' By Rob Edwards Environment Editor - Sir Iain Noble, the co-founder of the merchant bank Noble Grossart and the owner of an estate on the Isle of Skye, made the remarks in a speech he was invited to give by the Scottish Countryside Alliance. But the chief executive of the alliance, which campaigns in favour of blood sports, has now angrily disowned him, condemning his comments as offensive and reminiscent of the Nazis... Tony Andrews, the chief executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said that if he had known what Sir Iain was going to say, he would not have let him speak at the conference. He insisted he would not allow people with such views to be members of the alliance... (story)
Scotsman 9.4.03 Call for rural community to campaign under one banner - FORDYCE MAXWELL RURAL AFFAIRS EDITOR - THE attempt to get a big political message out from yesterday’s sustainable countryside conference in Edinburgh was that rural Scotland must speak with one voice to be heard. More prosaically, the message filtering out was that tourism, preferably fewer, bigger spenders rather than the "Costa del Sol" route, must be the way to go. Tony Andrews, chief executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, which organised the "Connecting Communities" conference gave the big message. He said that there was a chance for a vibrant, sustainable future for rural Scotland - which might be pitching it strong, but he did it well - if everyone worked together.... (story)
Sunday Times 6.4.03 Comment: Jenny Hjul: Animals first, farmers second as rural Scotland is cast aside ... the fact that rural matters are so high on the electorate’s agenda suggests that Scots, even metropolitan ones, are aware of a continuing crisis in the countryside despite the current government’s claim that it has addressed it... Land reform and the ban on hunting with dogs were both expressions of socialist wish-fulfilment, an attack on Scotland’s toffocracy with the blunt instrument of class hate. Both pieces of legislation displayed government disdain for the intricate workings of the rural economy, and both will have long-lasting repercussions (which will not be felt in built-up areas)…. If farmers have good reason to feel demoralised then so too do fishermen, whose livelihoods have been laid to waste since devolution…. Farmers have also begun to put their case with the Scottish Countryside Alliance. It will hold a conference on Tuesday in Edinburgh to explain why “successful, sustainable and vibrant rural communities are not only desirable, but essential to Scotland’s future”…. (story)
Scotsman 31.3.03 Friesen offers rural message of hope - FORDYCE MAXWELL - THE Scottish Countryside Alliance, under new management, will hold a conference in Edinburgh next week called "Connecting Communities"…. It has been criticised by some - no prizes for guessing - for not including fox-hunting, shooting or fishing on the agenda, alongside tourism, public services, transport and farming…. To point them in the right direction, a key speaker will be Jean Friesen, deputy premier of the Social Democrat administration in Manitoba Province in Canada…. (story)

Oxford Mail 25.4.03 Fox cub named for Amber - A young girl who asked people to give money to an Oxfordshire animal sanctuary instead of giving her birthday presents has had a fox cub named after her. Amber Styles, of Garsington, raised £200 for the Little Foxes sanctuary in Great Haseley, near Thame, by asking people to make donations to the sanctuary to mark her eighth birthday in October last year…. (story in archive)

Times 25.4.03 Japanese firms face animal protest violence BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - ANIMAL welfare extremists have intensified their campaign of violence against the employees of Japanese drug companies based in Britain. Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, which aims to force the closure of Huntingdon Life Sciences, a drug-testing company that uses animals in its experiments, has sent a message to its supporters urging them to “really put the pressure on”…. Diplomats at the Japanese Embassy raised their concerns with the Government after attacks on two directors of Daiichi Pharmaceuticals, one of 13 companies chosen as targets by the protest group. One director had his windows smashed and car damaged at his home in Sevenoaks, Kent, on Good Friday… Natasha Avery, of Stop Huntingdon Amimal Cruelty, said: “We know that Japanese companies are very concerned and will continue to focus on them until they remove support from HLS.” (story)
Times 25.4.03 Director tells of being a target and spells out fears BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - family and home. The executive, who wishes to remain anonymous, realised just a few weeks ago that he was a potential victim of animal rights extremists when he started receiving abusive e-mails at work and the company switchboard reported an increase in obscene calls from activists. Mail also arrived at the office containing animal excrement after Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac) decided to target Japanese companies… (story)

Western Daily Press 25.4.03 ONLY RAIN WILL SAVE BADGERS - The old badger is on hard times again. The dry weather is making it very difficult for them to find their natural food… I wish more could be done to help these creatures, instead of making them outcasts, with one excuse after another to get rid of them… J H Rowbrey Taunton Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.4.03 VETS' MERCY MISSION TO BAGHDAD - A team of vets is to enter Iraq to help rescue animals injured in the conflict to topple Saddam Hussein, it emerged yesterday… The relief effort is being co-ordinated by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), which is also working in Afghanistan, and the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA)… (story)

Argus 25.4.03 Mission to rescue dancing bears by Sam Thomson - A Sussex-based charity formed by two friends over a decade ago has been helping relieve the suffering of hundreds of animals across the globe. The group's founder, Alan Knight, says their latest work with Indian dancing bears has been the most rewarding - and heartbreaking - of all…. after one particularly harrowing trip in 1988, Mr Knight sat down with friend and fellow campaigner John Hicks to make plans for the future… Mr Knight said: "We were thinking of the name International Rescue, just like the Thunderbirds. Our job was going to be the similar, except with animals…." (story in archive)

24.4.03

Westmorland Gazette 24.4.03 Good Friday hunt may have been last - AN ESTIMATED 300 supporters turned out on Good Friday for the traditional Three Shires and Little Langdale fox hunt… Edmund Porter, master of the Eskdale and Ennerdale Hunt, said around 100 began the walk with 30 hounds in attendance, while many more used binoculars to view the action from surrounding hillsides…. (story)

Kentish Express 24.4.03 Let off the leash at hunt event - DOG lovers had a field day on Sunday when terriers and lurchers competed in races and shows. The Ashford Valley Hunt event, at Charing race course, takes place every year, raising money for the group and Countryside Alliance… (story)

Kentish Express 24.4.03 Racing star recalls life of hard knocks - RACING raconteur Lord Oaksey did much to lift the gloom for stalwart supporters stunned by the cancellation of Ashford Valley Hunt's traditional Easter point-to-point meeting… Despite extensive watering the turf had been declared too hard and dangerous for the steeplechasers to race the following day… (story)

Independent 24.4.03 National Trust is urged to bring in sweeping reforms By Jonathan Fielding and Andrew Clennell - The National Trust Trust will today consider proposals for major changes to the way it is governed… There was "deep suspicion" on the part of a significant number of the trust's members about the proxy voting system, under which the chairman tops up votes for members of the council according to a list approved by the trust. In June last year, the trust said it was examining different voting systems after criticisms that the retiring chairman, Charles Nunneley, used his powers to keep supporters of stag-hunting off the ruling council… (story)

Whitehaven News 24.4.03 FARMING IN DIALECT - THE Lakeland Dialect Society held its first meeting of 2003 at Braithwaite…. Committee member Bruce Wilson, from Swarthmoor near Ulverston, gave an illustrated talk on "Fell farming and sec like."… Mr Wilson was thanked by Mr Coulthard who said it was important to realise that fell farming and fox hunting go hand in hand, one supporting the other… (story)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 24.4.03 FOX HUNTING'S GROSSLY UNFAIR There are several reasons why, but I think that fox hunting should be banned. Firstly, it is not fair on the foxes. It is coming to a very vital part now because they are dying off because men are attempting to kill the fox population... Daniel Smith of Westbury Park (letter)

Taunton Times 24.4.03 HUNTING SHOULD BE BANNED - S.MORGAN Creech Heathfield (letter)

Herefordshire Times 24.4.03 The sad vanishing act of the mysterious hare - More than 700 record cards of wild plants and animals have now been returned to the Community Biodiversity Project so far… "Sadly, I expect far fewer record cards returned for our featured animal for March, the brown hare. Only 34 have been returned to date."… (story in archive)

Cambridge News 24.4.03 Ban this, ban that brigade From Walter Parsons, Willowside Way, Royston WHEN I read your reader Eileen Hopkins’s letter calling for a ban on horseracing on the grounds that it was a cruel sport, I was left wondering whether she was being serious, or was starting up her own brand of sick humour… The serious question that has to be asked of the “ban this, ban that” brigade is whether they in reality hate animals so much that the only way they can get rid of them comes from acts of pseudo-protectionism… (letter)
Cambridge News 16.4.03 Horseracing is cruel, yes - From Eileen Hopkins, Berry Croft, Willingham …yes it is cruel to race a horse to its death, and the jockey riding them should be fined heavily and sent to prison for cruelty to animals. Horseracing should all be banned; it is not sport, just cruelty to God’s creatures… All racing and hunting is very, very cruel to all animals. Come on, RSPCA, where are you and the Government to let this wickedness go on and on for ever (sport, no cruelty). (letter)

Independent 25.4.03 Animal rights activists 'liberate' battery hens By Michael McCarthy Environment Editor - More than 1,000 battery hens have been "liberated" in a raid on a chicken farm, animal rights activists claimed yesterday… The raid happened during the Easter weekend at Wallops Wood Farm in Droxford, Hampshire, when 16 balaclava-clad activists broke into farm buildings and removed the chickens… Robin Webb, a spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front, said the raid was "to highlight the cruelty of the battery system…" (story)
Scotsman 24.4.03 Chickens freed by rights group - KAREN MCVEIGH - THE militant animal rights group, the Animal Liberation Front, raided a battery hen farm and "liberated" more than 1,000 chickens before issuing threats that their next attack would be more extreme. Police launched an investigation into the incident yesterday, as members of the ALF claimed responsibility for the raid which caused damage worth hundreds of thousands of pounds at Wallops Wood Farm at Droxford, Hampshire… Sixteen members of the ALF, wearing balaclavas, stormed the farm building on Good Friday in an operation which had been planned for weeks. They cut through cages and doors and stole 1000 hens, carrying them off in two large horse boxes…. (story)
Southern Daily Echo 24.4.03 Activists celebrate chicken `liberation' - ANIMAL rights campaigners are claiming victory after they say they successfully set free 1,000 chickens from a Droxford farm. Members of the Animal Liberation Front have claimed responsibility for wrecking equipment and releasing the birds at Wallops Wood Farm. Robin Webb, spokesman for the group, said 16 of its members had raided the farm after carrying out weeks of surveillance undercover…. (story in archive)

Edinburgh Evening News 24.4.03 Protesters to target firm's Capital base - AN animal rights group was today due to stage a protest at an Edinburgh pharmaceutical company. Around ten protesters from Stop Quintiles Animal Group were expected to gather at Riccarton-based Quintiles Scotland… (story)

Chester Chronicle 25.4.03 A RECENT radio programme discussing the use of animals in medical research included the concept of the three Rs, coined in 1959 by two researchers. These are Replacement of the use of living animals, Reduction - using the minimum number of animals per experiment, and Refinement…In Britain a laboratory animal is killed every 12 seconds, in Europe one every three seconds, in Japan one every other second and, in the USA, one per second (The Ecologist, February 2003)… JACQUELINE SHORTLAND Plymouth (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 24.4.03 GET ADVICE ON PIGEONS - Madam - I refer to the letter from Mrs Abigail Eales, who commented on the plight of many pigeons caught in netting at the office building in St James' Square (Letters, April 8). Perhaps the people responsible will try a humane method of controlling pigeons by contacting the Pigeon Control Advisory Service… Mrs J Mate, Cheltenham (letter)
Gloucestershire Echo 8.4.03 DON'T TRAP POOR PIGEONS - Madam - I was sickened to see the plight of many pigeons caught in netting at the office building in St James' Square… Mrs Abigail Eales, Cheltenham (letter)

North Devon Journal 24.4.03 PETITION AGAINST BADGER CULLING - A petition containing 2,000 signatures has been presented to North Devon MP Nick Harvey protesting against badger culling. Members of North Devon Animal Defence met Mr Harvey at his Barnstaple office to hand over the petition… Sarah Chalkley of North Devon Animal Defence, said: "The badger has finally been declared innocent of any role in bovine TB after nearly 30 years of animal slaughter…" (story)
Western Morning News 18.4.03 PROTESTERS HAND OVER BADGER CULL PETITION - Campaigners yesterday presented a Westcountry MP with a 2,000-signature petition protesting against badger culling. Dressed in black and wearing badger masks, members of North Devon Animal Defence presented the forms to their local MP, Liberal Democrat Nick Harvey.... Sarah Chalkley, of North Devon Animal Defence, said: "The badger has finally been declared innocent of any role in bovine TB after nearly 30 years of annual slaughter..." (story)

Torquay Herald Express 24.4.03 KEEP FUR OUT OF THE SHOPS - As Mr Fordham rightly pointed out, despite the recent ban on fur farming, fur is still very much an issue in the UK ('Time to ban fur from the shops', April 10)…. RICHARD DE VILLE, Research and Campaigns Officer, Respect For Animals (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 10.4.03 TIME TO BAN FUR FROM THE SHOPS - Many people may feel that fur is no longer an issue in this country since fur farming was banned in the United Kingdom, however this is sadly not the case…. I urge all readers who are concerned by this issue to please boycott these fur products and take the time to voice the concerns to the following address: Commissioner David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, Rue de la Loi 200, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium. JAMES FORDHAM Kings Ash Road Paignton (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.4.03 BULLFIGHTING AD IS IN BAD TASTE - I Must register my objection to a coarse and tasteless advertisement currently appearing in The Citizen. I refer to that of EasyJet airlines apparently plugging bullfighting… MRS B. MERRETT, Branch Chairman Glos Mid RSPCA (letter)
Western Daily Press 21.4.03 GUILTY OF DOUBLE STANDAED OVER AD FOR SPAIN - After the recent publicity about the greyhound torture in Spain, and the numerous comments from your readers, I was astonished to see that the Western Daily Press had agreed to publish an advertisement on Wednesday April 16, with an offensive picture of bullfighting, advertising cheap air flights to that barbaric country.... Jane Somerset Somerset Co-Ordinator Petsearch UK Cannington Somerset (letter)

Bolton Evening News 24.4.03 Crisis for animal charity - A COLLECTION to raise funds for the Bolton branch of the RSPCA is threatened -- because no one has volunteered to help… Kathy Kay of the Bolton RSPCA said: "Unless we get more volunteers it will be impossible for us to collect on the days the RSPCA office is open…" (story in archive)

23.4.03

North Devon Gazette 23.4.03 Birds of prey a lifetime passion - Head Falconer David Rampling is looking forward to drawing in the crowds with his spectacular flying displays, in his second season in charge of the North Devon Bird of Prey Centre at The Milky Way Adventure Park, near Clovelly… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 23.4.03 Staff targeted by animal protesters - The homes of three employees of the Suffolk laboratories of drug testing firm Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) have been targeted by animal rights extremists. The staff, who work at Occold, near Eye, have had car tyres slashed and red paint poured over the vehicles and had threatening letters and telephone calls…. (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 22.4.03 Drug testing firm employees targeted BY DAVID GREEN - THE homes of three employees of the Suffolk laboratories of drug testing firm Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) have been targeted by animal rights extremists, it has been disclosed... HLS last week obtained a High Court injunction preventing animal rights protestors from targeting the homes of HLS employees... However, despite the legal move, demonstrators did turn up outside the company's premises over the Easter weekend... Heather James, SHAC spokesperson, said:... "People take it upon themselves to do these things and good luck to them,"... (story)

Cambridge News 23.4.03 SHOPPERS TALK OF POLICE 'OVERKILL' - Some shoppers thought that the number of police officers present was excessive for the number of protesters marching. One concerned resident of Cottenham said that it was quite difficult to see the marchers through the masses of police that lined the route… (story)
Cambridge News 21.4.03 Protesters march for laboratory animals By Lizzie Murphy - MORE than 1,000 animal rights activists descended on Cambridge city centre on Saturday afternoon. The annual demonstration, which took place on World Day for Laboratory Animals, was packed with protesters against Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS)…. (story)
Anglia TV 19.4.03 Around a thousand turn out for protest march ... The protest was organised by the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty organisation which protests again the research using animals done at Huntingdon Life Sciences. Around a thousand people are believed to have taken part in the rally... (story)
Anglia TV 19.4.03 Animal rights protest in Cambridge - Motorists are warned to expect delays in Cambridge as animal rights protesters take to the city centre streets this lunchtime.... (story)
Cambridge News 18.4.03 Steer clear of protest march, drivers urged ... Up to 1,000 people are expected on the march, organised by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) and police say the protest, combined with the Easter Bank Holiday crowds, could lead to severe congestion. Officers urged drivers to leave their cars at home and take public transport or to use the city's park and ride scheme…. (story)

Daily Record 23.4.03 Thoughtless words - IRVINE WELSH, left, says he writes scenes of animal cruelty to "wind up" pet owners. Does he not realise there are enough psychos in this country who get their kicks out of maiming and torturing animals without people like him glamourising their behaviour?... R. Blair, Ayr (letter)

22.4.03

Northampton Evening Telegraph 22.4.03 Couple worried by anti-hunt attack - “Violent scum” was written in paint stripper over Pam Reynolds’ car and ALF, the initials of the Animal Liberation Front, were smeared across the vehicle. Mrs Reynolds’ husband David, who is master of the Woodland Pytchley Hunt, said: “We are terribly concerned because the Animal Liberation Front is said to have planted bombs before… (story)

Inverness Courier 16.5.03 An expensive talking shop - Now at this time, with the Scottish Parliament election only two weeks away, are we, the public, once again prepared to accept the annual massive Council Tax for the Highland region for ever dwindling facilities… So far, their main achievement is to ban fox hunting and, on the down side, our fishing industry decimated to accommodate the expanding EC. Yours etc., D. Patience. (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen, Western Daily Press or Gloucestershire Echo 22.4.03 CHURCH CASH FOR FOX KILLING - Ar in Iraq has so monopolised news that in general the media has ignored less important matters. A case in point is the controversy over foxhunting. The debate seems to have been put on hold even though my observations suggest that hounds are now as hard worked as has ever been the case… (story)

Western Morning News 22.4.03 WHY I WOULD HATE TO SEE A HUNTING BAN - Unlike most of my urban colleagues, I would hate to see hunting abolished. In the 1960s I spent two or three seasons following the Devon and Somerset Staghounds at the request of the national newspaper for which I worked. I did so because it was assumed that I would find stories of brutality by a heartless and bloodthirsty hunting fraternity… But I was never able to do so, and as for the people who hunted, I was given every facility to see what happened and have never forgotten in particular the old-world courtesy of the Masters including Lt Col Murphy and Mrs Norah Cox… My party - Labour - have done enough damage to the countryside already through ignorance of the country way of life… Reg Scott, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 22.4.03 HUNTING TRULY BELONGS IN THE HISTORY BOOKS - In reply to J Ward Hayne wittering on about the repeated so-called "mantras" from those of us who oppose the cruelty of hunting with dogs… Then we have an agitated Alison Hawes on TV waffling on that the League Against Cruel Sports are desperate in their bid to get the Hunting Bill passed, in the face of fresh evidence of intimidation by pro-hunters of anyone who objects to their pastime. This was denied by Ben Sparrow, master of the Western Hunt… F Cleaves, Par, Cornwall (letter)
Western Morning News 11.3.03 What sport? SO, Mal Treharne thinks it outrageous that organisations which argued against hunting with dogs could receive thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money to carry on their campaign, but in the same breath thinks it perfectly alright for the Countryside Alliance to receive money to be used in the event of an appeal to a tribunal, should this clause be included in the Hunting Bill… F Cleaves, Par (letter)
Western Morning News 25.2.03 HUNTING IS NO BURDEN ON THE TAXPAYER - So, I amused F Cleaves of Par, (WMN, February 4) for daring to suggest that as the Government is proposing a compensation package to ease the problems suffered by communities if there is a ban on hunting, then someone else would have to forgo that money. Front page headlines in this newspaper on the same day reported that our average rates could rise to over a £1,000. And the reason? Apart from the continuing strain on our local services budgets, our councils are being cramped by the ratcheting down of central grant by Government. That is, of course, the same Government that is proposing to find money to ease the burden of a hunt ban… Mal Treharne Countryside Aliiance Taunton (letter)
Western Morning News 25.2.03 UNSOUND BASIS FOR ANTI-HUNT LEGISLATION It cost a great deal of time, effort and money to produce the Burns Report, so it is infuriating to see its findings being traduced by misrepresentation and selective quotation out of context. The anti-hunting propaganda machine does credit to Joseph Goebbels, whose precepts it follows so closely. The same lie constantly repeated becomes accepted as truth. The bigger the lie, the better the chance of it being swallowed by the maximum number of people…. Edmund Marriage and Jonathan Marshall, for instance. Facts about foxes' diet and the Burns Report are more use to the reader than irrelevant waffle from F Cleaves, who had clearly missed the point of Mal Treharne's letter and betrayed his class-war motivation in the last sentence… J Ward-Hayne, Modbury (letter)
Western Morning News 11.2.03 Wise spending - SO Mal Treharne (WMN, January 21) thinks that instead of the taxpayers' money being used to compensate those affected by a ban on hunting, it could be used more wisely… why should those involved in this particular activity be made a special case?... the Countryside Alliance could live up to the caring and responsible attitude it tries to present and look after its own using the considerable resources now used to keep hunting going. Catherine Caveney Liverton Newton Abbot (letter)
Western Morning News 11.2.03 TWO SIDES OF HUNTING DEBATE FIRMLY ENTRENCHED …. F Cleave's references to the "hunting brigade" always conjure up images to me of Dads' Army, with Mr Cleave, perhaps unwittingly, casting himself in the role of Warden Hodges … The ban in Scotland has shown what could happen, with gun packs now exterminating foxes. But we know all this. The real argument is whether the Warden Hodges of the world should be allowed. Tim Faulkner Mamhead (letter)
Western Morning News 4.2.03 CONCERNS OF HUNTING BRIGADE - One can only assume that with a ban on hunting with dogs getting closer, Mal Treharne is seeking future employment as a comedy script writer. Never have I read anything so funny as his statement that if the Government draw up funding packages to ease the "difficulties" of the hunting brigade when hunting is banned, that our granny's operation might be delayed, or our children's education would suffer… If he is as concerned about hospitals and schools, then the money saved by hunters on maintaining their "sport", should be channelled towards these issues…. F Cleaves, Par (letter)
Western Morning News 23.1.03 I SEE that Mal Treharne of the Countryside Alliance is now resorting to desperate tactics to gain support for the bloodsports lobby (WMN Letters, January 21). He is now attempting to convince us that our granny's operation could be delayed and our children's education could be affected when hunting is banned…. J Green, Port Isaac (letter)
Western Morning News 21.1.03 CAN WE REALLY AFFORD THIS HUNTING BAN? I'm surprised that we have not seen any reaction from schools, hospitals, police, and other services objecting to the suggestion that the Government will draw up funding packages to ease the difficulties of hunting communities should hunting be banned, as reported in Jason Groves' piece (WMN January 15)…. Did you know that hunting costs you and I, as taxpayers, nothing? The people that hunt pay for the hunting out of their net income, and after a hunting ban there will be a shortfall of Vat on hunt-generated purchases… I would be happier if the cost of a hunt ban was met by those people who call for it, then we would really see the strength of their convictions… Mal Treharne Countryside Alliance in the South West Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 22.4.03 THINK OF CONSEQUENCES OF LEAVING DEER 'UNMOLESTED' The fact that John Phelps has difficulty in understanding and digesting the content of Jonathan Higgins' accurate and factual letter, (WMN, March 26) proves that he is ignorant of the ways and ecology of the red deer in the Westcountry…. W T Sweet, Mawgan, Helston (letter)
Western Morning News 27.3.03 Deer hunters - ONCE again Jonathan Higgins (WMN, March 21) writes in defence of deer hunting. When stag hunting is banned there will be no need for further legislation to protect deer unless grievous and vexatious actions of blood sportsmen result in a massacre of wildlife. In these circumstances it may be appropriate to add deer to the schedule of protected animals in the Wildlife and Countryside Act… John Phelps Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 21.3.03 Deer conservation - JOHN Phelps supports legislation to ban hunting, and suggests in his letter about the care of red deer in the South West after hunting is banned that "in the event of deer becoming an endangered species, further legal measures could be taken to ensure their survival''.... Nothing can better illustrate the absurdity of proposed legislation to ban stag hunting than Mr Phelps' admission that yet more legislation might be needed after a ban to ensure the very survival of these deer herds at all. It would seem, then, that all parties now agree that a ban would place the future of the deer at risk... Jonathan Higgins, Totnes (letter)
Western Morning News 11.2.03 SYSTEM IS IN PLACE FOR PROTECTION OF WILD DEER - Who will care for the deer after hunting is banned? This question is asked by Jenny Craven (WM Views, January 14). To find the answer I suggest she visits the website of South West Deer Protection… There is no good reason why the entire annual cull cannot be carried out by licensed deer stalkers safely, legally, and humanely…. I am sure my wife is not the only person in the United Kingdom who refuses to go to the region because of the sport. I well remember taking her to a good hotel at Exford, but when she saw the stag head trophies in the restaurant she asked to leave. John Phelps Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 22.4.03 Whitehall's hysterical policy on firearms - MRS Lauren Moyse (You Say, Wednesday, April 9) buys into the naive and hysterical philosophy that guides the British government's policy on firearms…. The ban on handguns in this country has led to an increase, not a reduction, in gun crime… MATTHEW A CLARKE, Hallow (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 9.4.03 Our mixed messages about guns - WHAT mixed messages are we sending to our youngsters. I learnt on the news that West Midlands Police is holding a month-long gun amnesty… Yet every day I pass in Worcester a gun shop situated directly opposite the Worcester Royal Grammar School… MRS LAUREEN MOYSE, Ombersley, Worcester (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 22.4.03 POSITIVE TB TEST BROUGHT THE BADGER TRAPPERS April 25 1994 was to be another day of rounding up for a TB test… to the horror of myself and my neighbour six of the animals, five males and one female, failed the test… Badgers, badgers," shouted the vet… Badger trappers arrived and started trapping on September 28, five months after the first test. There are no badgers on this place and never have been any during the 70 years I've known it… Why did the ministry take five months before trapping the badgers? Did the peanuts in the traps attract more badgers than normally visit the area?... A G James, Newmill, Penzance (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.4.03 TRAGEDY OF TRAPPED ZOO ANIMALS Sir - I was absolutely heartbroken at the weekend watching the news coverage on the plight of the animals in Baghdad zoo caught up in the war situation…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 22.4.03 ANIMAL WELFARE SHOULD BE PARAMOUNT If The Utopian picture of ritual slaughter painted by Mr Nagler (Viewpoint, April 18) were true, I would eat kosher meat myself… A lot of people work extremely hard to put an end to, for instance, animals used to test consumer goods, hunting with dogs, the long distances live animals travel to slaughterhouses and the conditions they are faced with there… There is an old and true saying, 'Those who are not actively kind are cruel'. Think about it. Sue Cannon, High Street, Flixborough (letter)

Scotsman 22.4.03 Fish-eating myth - Send Claire Macdonald to the bottom of the class and give her 100 lines of "a vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or slaughter byproducts". This is the definition of a vegetarian by the Vegetarian Society.... (DR) JAMES TWEEDIE Upper Allan Street, Blairgowrie, Perthshire (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 22.4.03 CRUEL TRADE IN HORSES - I Would like to ask your readers' help to stamp out the transport of some 87,000 horses a year between Poland and Italy… Fortunately Viva! has opened a Warsaw office and is co-ordinating a national campaign to end horse exports for meat… I will shortly be joining the Army as an officer cadet so am not some cranky, naive vegetarian… Name and address supplied (letter)

Jersey Evening Post 22.4.03 The cruelty goes on - From A Bastin, Richelle, Norcott Road, St Saviour - SO the animal cruelty goes on, as certain shops are still stocking ornamental animals made from rabbit fur, many shaped as sleeping cats… (letter in archive)

21.4.03

Gloucestershire Echo 21.4.03 COMMON SENSE WOULD CLEAR UP TB - Madam - I refer to the article in which farmers called for a badger cull to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis (Echo, April 12). A book on farming by countryman LJ Manners, published in 1973, gives a vivid account of life in a Wiltshire village... My point is that, in 1951, Mr Manners and two other local farmers managed with logical reasoning, hygiene and careful management to eradicate TB from their dairy herds... Janet Hall, Cirencester (letter)

19.4.03

Western Daily Press 19.4.03 LESSONS IN HOW TO BEAT THE COUNTRYSIDE CROOKS - A Rural action plan was being put together yesterday to combat the growing scourge of countryside crime... Called the Wildlife Law Enforcement Seminar - a joint initiative between the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and Derbyshire police - the event is now in its eighth year.... (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 19.4.03 WHERE HAVE ALL THE BIRDS GONE? Oh, where have all the birds gone?... Then came the sportsman with his gun, Breeding game birds on his estate.... JOHN ISAACS (poem)

Guardian 19.4.03 We love each other - Roger & Fleur Musselle - Craig Taylor ... Fleur used to be a teacher; now she works with me. The other day, when we went out to rescue a mangy fox, she got it out of a narrow space in a shed so I could net it... Fleur If the fox is lying down, I'll distract it, or move it back towards Roger... (story)

Independent 19.4.03 Animal rights activist decrees that her body is barbecued and her skin turned into a purse By Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter ... Ingrid Newkirk... Ms Newkirk, founder and president of the radical group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), has decreed in her will that a portion of her body (she doesn't specify which) should be barbecued as a protest against "fleshfoods". She also wants her feet to be turned into ornaments to remind the world of the "depravity" of using animals in a such a fashion... Ms Newkirk has also laid down that part of her skin be turned into a leather product to show that human skin and animal skin are the same thing and that neither is a "fabric"... (story)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 19.4.03 Sanctuary gears up to patrol animal auctions - STAFF from Oswaldtwistle animal sanctuary Only Foals and Horses are getting ready to start attending horse and pony auction sales again... (story in archive)

18.4.03

Hexham Courant 18.4.03 HUNT FACED ANOTHER THREAT 25 YEARS AGO - A NORTH TYNE tradition going back centuries was coming to an end 25 years ago this week. The Northern Counties Otter Hounds, kennelled at Great Swinburne, faced disbandment because the hunt's traditional quarry was declared an endangered species... (story)

Harborough Mail 18.4.03 Invitation to point-to-point races - THE Woodland Pytchley Hunt would like to invite readers of the Harborough Mail to their annual Point-to-Point race meeting at Dingley on Easter Saturday. Point-to-Point racing is enjoying increasing popularity and this year there will be more than 200 fixtures across the country. Most of them are organised by local hunts and every horse that runs has been qualified in the hunting field.... Charles Reynolds, Clerk of the Course. (letter)

Western Daily Press 18.4.03 MORE ANIMALS KILLED ON ROAD - In response to the letter from K Watson, of Stockport, Cheshire, I would like to ask her whether or not she drives a car? It is estimated that four times the number of animals are killed on Britain's roads than are killed by hunting. Secondly, she mentioned the deer that was put down due to the activities of the Taunton Vale Hunt - would it have suffered less if these do-gooders had left it alone?... W Cooper Wedmore Somerset (letter)
Taunton Times 17.4.03 NO WISH TO HUNT ROE DEER - It is perfectly true that it is a challenge for all packs of hounds in the Somerset and Devon countryside to avoid hunting the considerable numbers of roe deer present whose scent is attractive to dogs. Many pet owners will also testify to this. However, in my experience, masters of hounds and their huntsmen go to great lengths to minimise the impact of hunting activity on the roe population that they have no wish to hunt…. Such accidents are extremely rare and should be viewed in the context of many thousands of hunting days that pass each year uneventfully. CHARLES JEWITT Cross Keys Close, Norton Fitzwarren (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.4.03 TIME RIGHT FOR HUNTING BAN - At the end of a hunting season in which violent incidents have proliferated, it is time for a total ban on the deliberate harassment of wild animals with dogs. The current hunting bill recognises that this is no longer a viable act…. A deer was taken to the RSPCA's West Hatch hospital after an attack by Taunton Vale foxhounds and found to be so severely injured that it had to be put down… K Watson Stockport Cheshire (letter)
Taunton Times 10.4.03 LACS REPORT STIRS UP HUNT DEBATE - An injured roe deer was taken to West Hatch animal centre and destroyed because of its injuries in a hunting season described by antihunt campaigners as "unparalleled for intimidation, violence and abuse". The League Against Cruel Sports has published a dossier, titled Thugs, Wreckers and Bullies, outlining incidents across the Westcountry. The report claims that on January 4 this year the deer was "severely savaged by Taunton Vale Foxhounds" and was later destroyed at the RSPCA hospital… The document also made links between animal abuse and violence towards people, a claim denied by hunt supporters. Alison Brown, joint master of Taunton Vale Foxhounds, said: "It is jumping to conclusions to make that link. Hunting is very much like nature."… (story)

South London Press 18.4.03 Our foxes must be protected - WE FIND it unbelievable that somebody is so reckless as to go 'lamping' (as it is known in the country) in Dulwich Park... It may come as a surprise to some, but a small number of fox hunts were still operating around the country on the weekend of April 5/6... Our small group was supporting the Northamptonshire Hunt Saboteurs group at the Woodland Pytchley Hunt... Derby Hunt Saboteurs (letter)
South London Press 8.4.03 Foxes blasted by gunmen - HIGH-POWERED shotguns are being used to kill foxes in an idyllic south London beauty spot… Angela Wilkes, from the Friends of Dulwich Park, said: "The bodies we have found have been just riddled with bullet holes, it's sickening really…." Trevor Williams, of The Fox Project, said: "We don't think these idiots are people trying to protect their property or pets, because why go out to the park to kill the foxes?..." (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 18.4.03 PIES NOT PAM FOR POTTERS On the day that we traditionally eschew meat in favour of fish, let us pause for a moment to consider the new advertising campaign targeting young men in Stoke-on-Trent in an effort to turn them vegetarian.... People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals believes the time is right to use the charms of fading model-cum-actress Pamela Anderson to target the carnivorous pride of the Potteries. Apparently, it is thought, billboard sized posters of the scantily clad Canadian vegetarian will persuade young males to put down their meat pies and follow a healthier, animal-free diet instead... (story)

Ananova 18.4.03 Religious leaders condemn vegetarian Jesus advert - Religious leaders in the US say a billboard that promotes vegetarianism by claiming "Jesus was the prince of peas" is historically inaccurate and sacrilegious. The billboard in Pensacola, Florida depicts Jesus with an orange slice in place of a halo and was erected by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to coincide with Passover and Easter…. (story)

17.4.03

Ross-shire Journal 17.4.03 Hunters are conservationists - I wish to correct a few points made in Terence Clayton’s letter in last week’s RJ. Firstly he states that pheasants, hares and rabbits are an endangered species… He also makes the statement that “killing for entertainment is sick”; hunting is not “entertainment”, it is more than that, it is a natural instinct and a way of life for those of us who are closer to nature and its realities than the sickos in Holyrood who ban hunting…. Yours etc. Name and address supplied (letter)
Ross-shire Journal 10.4.03 Killing our innocent animals for fun is sick - Recent research and observation reveal that wildlife in the UK is declining dramatically… Killing for entertainment is really sick… I call on farmers and landowners to stop taking blood money from people who will surely ultimately cause the demise of entire species of wildlife… Terence Clayton, Cairn-Leuchan, Abergeldie, Ballater (letter)

North West Evening Mail 17.4.03 ALLIANCE CONFIRMED HOUNDS ARE KILLED - TOM Fell of the Coun-tryside Alliance has the audacity to compare responsible dog owners with hunts and claims that hounds are only destroyed when they cease to have any quality of life (Even-ing Mail, April 14). What absolute rubbish… ELAINE M MILBOURN Millfield Torpenhow Wigton (letter)
North West Evening Mail 14.4.03 BAN ON HUNTING WOULD BE ILLOGICAL - Elaine Milbourn 's letter (Evening Mail, March 21) is typical of the blatant misinformation peddled by anti-hunt extremists in an ever more desperate attempt to justify their case…. The figure that Ms Milbourn has produced for the number of hounds put down is clearly ridiculous given that there are 18,000 hounds in the kennels of registered packs. Hounds are put down, but only when they cease to have any quality of life in the same way that any responsible dog owner would expect their dog to be treated… Tom Fell Regional director for Cumbria for the Countryside Alliance Grange (letter)
North West Evening Mail 9.4.03 FOXHOUNDS CAN RETIRE IN COMFORT - A QUICK look through the annual reports of the Melbreak Foxhounds will show that hounds can be retired "happily" and in "comfort", no matter what Alison Bolt may claim to the contrary (Letters, April 3)…. Killing by young hounds is not a natural instinct and they have to be taught to do so. Those that show reluctance do not survive… ELAINE M MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)
North West Evening Mail 3.4.03 FOXHOUNDS ARE NO USE AS FAMILY PETS - I believe that Elaine Milbourn (Letters, March 21) is already well-known in the north of the county for her views on those who hunt foxes. Now it seems that we in the south are to be subjected to then as well. I have been involved with hunting people for many years, and I have never met a huntsman or hunt follower who felt anything but respect and affection for the hounds, which are far from being the expendable commodities she refers to… There are approximately 18,000 hounds currently hunting in England and Wales, and the suggestion that hunts would destroy a third of them each year is, frankly, ridiculous…I am experienced in keeping hounds. I have the necessary kennel and run, but I would think long and hard before taking on a hound as a permanent fixture… Alison Bolt Downfield House, Leece (letter)
North West Evening Mail 21.3.03 FOXHOUNDS' DEATH IS JUST A PLOY - RECENT claims by the hunts that hounds will be destroyed if hunting is banned , is yet another ploy by the blood sports lobby to attempt to gain public support... As hunts already shoot between 5,000 and 6,000 hounds each year, including puppies (their figures), their hypocrisy is astounding... ELAINE M MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)
North West Evening Mail 17.3.03 HOUNDS COULD BE SLAUGHTERED - THOUSANDS of hounds could be slaughtered in Cumbria if a proposed ban on hunting is introduced, claim hunt supporters. There are several thousand hounds in Britain, including those running with Cumbria's Blencathra and Melbeck hunts. Conservative MPs are furious that rural affairs minister Alun Michael allowed the legislation to be toughened during the committee stage… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 12.3.03 MP'S ANGER AT 'HOUND SLAUGHTER' ACCUSATIONS - ANTI-hunting MP Eric Martlew this week rubbished accusations that the Government's Hunting Bill will lead to the slaughter of thousands of hounds in Cumbria… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 10.3.03 ANTI-HUNT BILL 'MEANS SLAUGHTER OF HOUNDS' - PRO-hunt supporters at Westminster claim the Government's Hunting Bill would lead to the slaughter of thousands of hounds in Cumbria. Tory MPs are furious that Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael allowed the legislation to be toughened during its committee stage… An Early Day Motion (EDM) urges all MPs or Peers thinking of supporting the Bill "to consider the implications, in terms of the number of hounds which may be slaughtered, were a ban to be introduced". Conservative MP John Greenway said there were several thousand hounds in Britain, including those running with Cumbria's Blencathra and Melbeck hunts, many of which would face an early death…. (story)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 17.4.03 FISHING AS BAD AS HUNTING - I have a very strong view about fishing, which I would like you to know. I am a sailor therefore I'm against fishing… Fishermen are causing the animal pain and sometimes they are murdering it. Fishing is a cruel sport, like fox hunting and should definitely be banned… David Moore, aged 11, of Stone (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 17.4.03 LICENSED HUNTING IS THE ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM - I'm writing to you on the debate of fox hunting. I live in the countryside and have seen the damage foxes can do. I do not want fox hunting banning because there will be many problems... If anyone is really bothered I suggest having licensed hunts and limiting the number of foxes a hunt can kill each month. For these reasons I support fox hunting and hope you do too. By Zoe Wilson, aged 10, of Sandbach (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 17.4.03 FOXES ARE JUST LIKE WE ARE - I Am writing to you about fox hunting, because over 300 foxes are killed a month in Britain alone. I don't think it is very fair on them. Firstly foxes are not very different to human beings... Even though foxes do eat animals like chickens, rabbits and lambs they are just trying to survive it is not their fault, it is just the way they are built. By Annabelle Archer, aged 10, and Emma Behan, aged 10, of Rode Heath (letter)

Berwickshire News 17.4.03 Regret death of cat, but actions justified - In response to an e-mail published in last week’s edition of your newspaper I feel the record must be put straight…. I have tried to explain the situation to the parents of the child concerned only to be met with personal insults, abusive language and gestures not only from them but from the child as well. Furthermore this was in front of my own family when the mother and daughter arrived on my doorstep. Fieldsports have been my life now for over 35 years and am only too aware of the damage that foxes and feral cats can cause to wild bird species… The comment that Toots was shot 100 yards from home is incorrect. The shot was taken some 500-600 yards from where I now understand he lived… Finally, to say I knew the animal was a pet is also incorrect and made a decision to shoot at the cat in a split second given that the cat in question had been viewed four or five times in the preceding 10 days on various parts of the Estate… The animal was alongside a plantation where pheasants are known to be laying. I therefore presumed that this cat was feral…. P BRANCH, Watchlaw Farm, Ford, Berwick-upon-Tweed (letter)

Leicester Mercury 17.4.03 PIGEON CULL: COUNCIL IS BLASTED OVER SHOT BIRDS BY TIM WALSH - Pigeons have been shot with rifles as part of a city council cull... Today it has announced it is to stop the controversial culling after protests... The Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PICAS) - a national charity promoting "non-lethal" bird control - refused to talk to the authority until it stopped killing the birds.... PICAS director Guy Merchant said: "The council's attitude is Neanderthal..." Phil Hudson, of the West End, is a co-founder of animal welfare group Leicester Animal Concern. He said: "It's about time the council moved into the 21st century and started taking care of its wildlife instead of just shooting it..." (story)

Gloucester Citizen 17.4.03 MISSED CHANCE OVER BADGERS ... I was among members of the public at the annual meeting of the Gloucestershire Badger Group at Robinswood Hill. And I know the invitation was also extended to local farmers. But they chose not to attend, which was a pity.... PAMELA DEAN, Stroud (letter)

Cambridge News 17.4.03 £24,000 payout by police - POLICE have paid out £24,000 in compensation to animal rights protesters. The six women and two men, most from the Liverpool area, were arrested in December, 1999, after a demo outside the Ramsey home of a Huntingdon Life Sciences worker. They brought a number of charges against Cambridgeshire police including false imprisonment and assault and battery… The out-of-court settlement means each will get £3,000 but a police spokesman said there was no admission of wrongdoing by their officers (story in archive)

Dover Mercury 17.4.03 Bid to limit journey times for farm animals - GREEN Party Euro-MP Caroline Lucas is demanding an immediate limit of eight hours for all journeys undertaken by farm animals destined for slaughter or "further fattening".... (story)

16.4.03

Gloucestershire Echo 16.4.03 BADGERS ARE NOT TO BLAME - I refer to the article in which farmers blamed an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis on contact with badgers (Echo, April 12). I have a great deal of sympathy for farmers…. No conclusive evidence was found to link badgers to TB in cattle… N Hockley, Cheltenham (letter)

Worcester Evening News 16.4.03 No farmer would hit lambs on head - THE letter headlined "Lamb horror" from Jo Allerton (Evening News, April 13) is either just one more piece of propaganda from the animal rights movement or a misunderstanding of farming practice…. British lambs are reared on good pasture by farmers who care. Before commenting further, I suggest Jo Allerton does two things - talk to a farmer or shepherd and ask to help bottle-feed a lamb… MRS H D WOOD, Rushwick, Worcester (letter in archive)

Waltham Forest Guardian 16.4.03 MP and Ab Fab star stand up for animals - ABSOLUTELY Fabulous star Joanna Lumley joined Leyton MP Harry Cohen in Westminster to campaign against the transportation of live animals across Europe last week… (story)
Southern Daily Echo 8.4.03 Fabulous support for live export campaign - EASTLEIGH MP David Chidgey is agreeing with actress Joanna Lumley that it would be absolutely fabulous to end the export of live animals. Mr Chidgey met the Ab Fab star in Parliament in support of Compassion in World Farming's (CWF) campaign for meat, not animals, to be exported…. (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 16.4.03 HOW ANIMAL LOVERS CAN GIVE HELPING HAND TO HEDGEHOGS - I would like to express my concern regarding an article you printed by the RSPCA on hedgehogs. The RSPCA's Tim Thomas said that it would be best to leave baby hedgehogs alone if you find them. Please do not do this! Hedgehogs are a nocturnal, shy and secretive species and if found out in the daytime, there is something wrong… S M Boyes Korkis The Wildlife Consultancy Horton Devizes Wiltshire (story)

15.4.03

Derby Evening Telegraph 15.4.03 TAMING OF FOX CUBS IS UNFAIR - Although I applaud Jackie Whittle, of Cats Protection, for her dedication in caring for a probably orphaned fox cub, I hope that she contacts the Derbyshire Fox Sanctuary (07941 591120) as soon as possible… Raising and taming a fox is also unfair because they lose their fear of their two worst enemies: dogs and man. A high proportion of the sanctuary's intake of mature foxes are those that were partially tamed and then mauled by domestic dogs… Roger, Derby Hunt Sabs (story)

Bristol Evening Post 15.4.03 CALL OF THE WILD - Like the Somerset Wildlife Trust, I would like to see beavers return to our rivers and streams… . However, I also wonder how long it would be before someone applied for a licence to hunt them again… Jon Walker Fishponds Bristol (letter)

Western Morning 15.4.03 PUNDITS ARE GAMBLING WITH THE LIVES OF RACING HORSES Kareena Grey, Torquay (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 10.4.03 HORSE RACING'S HIDDEN HORRORS - Another year and another magnificent horse lies dead as a result of the Grand National… I recently joined up with Animal Aid to share my research and expose the hidden horrors behind horse racing… People are literally gambling with these horses lives whenever they have a bet… KAREENA GREY Discover Racing Death Information Service Torquay (letter)

Bolton Evening News 15.4.03 Last atrocity in the short life of these animals - IN reply to Mr Ibrahim's letter, I would like to state that nowhere in my previous letter did I imply that any Muslim person is a hypocrite… If people really love animals and want to help stop all these barbaric practices, then they should look to their consciences and stop eating meat. Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment. Olga Gee Bury (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 14.4.03 Following the rules over this form of meat - I AM writing in reply to the letter sent by Olga Gee from Bury, in reference to Halaal meat…. I have witnessed in which way animals are stunned, by means of a single shot. This is no way an instant death, the animal is paralysed and will then suffer an agonisingly slow, painful death. Whereas, if the slaughtering is conducted in the method stated in the Holy Koran, Halaal Method, the animal would have its throat cut in a very efficient manner… Mr I Ibrahim Westcliffe Road Bolton (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 9.4.03 End the slaughter - RRE the spread of Halal slaughter. Has anyone asked the animals which have been humanely murdered if it hurt?... Lesley Anthony (a Bolton Evening News reader in Dubai) (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 8.4.03 They do suffer - REGARDING the article concerning the slaughter of Halal meat. The Muslims saying that the animals do not suffer when they have their throats cut is totally ridiculous. All living creatures feel pain and terror… Olga Gee, Bury (letter in archive)

Crediton, Tiverton, Culm Valley Gazettes 15.4.03 FARMER BLAMES BIRD DEATHS ON BADGERS Badgers have been blamed for killing lambs and pheasants on a farm at Cruwys Morchard. Farmer John Robinson, who has run Cotton Heath Farm with his wife Sue for almost 40 years, is convinced scenes of slaughter in recent weeks have been caused by badgers, not foxes… (story)

14.4.03

Glasgow Herald 14.4.03 Single rural issues in Highlands and Islands trigger an upsurge in parties - The likely impact of new groups is assessed by DAVID ROSS and DAMIEN HENDERSON - IN one crucial respect, the Highlands and Islands represent a microcosm of the issues facing Scotland in the forthcoming election. The region has more than its share of single-issue candidates, an emerging trend in this campaign… Am Partaidh Dhuthchail, or the Rural Party, the Countryside Party, and Protect Rural Scotland Party will all have a box on the ballot paper… (story in archive)

East Anglian Daily Times 14.4.03 Farmers warn over carcass burial laws FARMERS have warned of dire consequences when new laws regarding carcass disposal are introduced next month…. A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that details of a subsidised scheme for the disposal and collection of dead livestock would be sent to farmers, with a form inviting them to take part. He said: "There has always been provision for rendering, incineration, hunt kennels and knackers yards…" (story)

Western Mail 14.4.03 Home-grown truths for clueless townies - IT is an astonishing fact that almost 90% of urban dwellers are unaware that barley is used to make beer. And research published today also reveals that a fifth cannot make the connection between yoghurt and milk… Mark Hinge of the Countryside Alliance in Wales said the survey was a sad indictment of how the education system had broken down between urban and rural areas… (story)

Liverpool Echo Whipping rules - I WOULD like to respond to the letter 'Please spare those whips' (ECHO Letters, April 8) raising the matter of use of the whip in British racing. No issue has a higher priority for the Jockey Club than the safety and welfare of the horse… John Maxse,Public Relations Director,Jockey Club (letter)
Liverpool Echo 8.4.03 Please spare those whips - I HAVE always liked the Grand National and watched it. But lately I ambecoming more and more concerned by the sight of jockeys unmercifully whipping their horses… if the horse truly loves to race - as we are told - there can be no need for it… Margaret Kerbey,Garston (letter)

Daily Record 14.4.03 Cruel cull - I CAN'T understand why Scottish National Heritage are insisting on going ahead with the cull of hedgehogs… - W. Williams, Perth. (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.4.03 LEAVE HEDGEHOGS ALONE AND LET NATURE TAKE ITS COURSE - It was with some glee that I read in your paper how the hedgehogs of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides had evaded capture during the start of a massive and unfair cull… Let's leave the hedgehogs of North Uist alone. Mother Nature will control their numbers naturally - when their food supply dries up. G Stevens Fishponds Bristol (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 14.4.03 Barbaric landmark - Whitby's 'new' whale bones might be impressive by their size, but they just leave me cold. It only reminds me of the barbaric commercial whaling industry of days gone by… Peter Griffin, Cross Flatts Drive, Beeston (letter)

12.4.03

Scotsman 12.4.03 Focus is on defending rural life - ANDREW DENHOLM - REVERSING the decline of rural Scotland as a viable place in which to live and work is the key focus for the Countryside Party. Jim Crawford, the party leader, believes rural life is under serious threat, but claims that none of the mainstream parties is aware just how serious the issue has become. In a bid to reverse the decline in farming and rural services, the party is advocating financial support for farmers as well as protection for traditional country pursuits such as hunting... Defending hunting, Mr Crawford said: "You have got to have a social life and in rural areas it has revolved around country sports for generations."... (story)

Gloucester Citizen 12.4.03 HUNTING BILL FAR FROM SIDELINED - Contrary to popular belief the Hunting Bill has not infact been sidelined ("Cash Wasted", The Citizen, April 7). Indeed, this Bill has won considerable support during its committee stage. And it is in fact widely acknowledged as being "tough but fair" hunting bill.... Far too much time has been expended in debate over the years to allow it to drift on. But clearly people understand that, for the time being, the priority for Parliamentary debate has to be the action in Iraq. People on both sides of the argument have told me that they understand this point. But it seems that it has been lost on Henry Berkeley. ALUN MICHAEL Minister for Rural Affairs Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (story)
Gloucester Citizen 7.4.03 'CASH WASTED ON HUNT BILL' - The Government has been labelled a "laughing stock" after sidelining its own controversial Hunting Bill - which it spent millions in preparing... Ministers now have admitted what the hunting fraternity believed all along - that debating the Hunting Bill is a waste of time and Britain has bigger priorities.... All this has led leading Gloucestershire huntsman Henry Berkeley, master of the Berkeley Hunt, to deride the Government's attitude.... (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 12.4.03 FARMERS - WE WILL SLAUGHTER BADGERS - Farmers say they will slaughter badgers illegally to protect their cattle from disease. They say not enough has been done to halt the spread of bovine tuberculosis.... But the Gloucestershire Badger Group has warned it will report farmers who start killing badgers on their land. Chairman Tony Dean, chairman said: "Farmers don't want to wait for the results of scientific tests, they just want to get rid of badgers..." (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 12.4.03 Protest over circus animals - Animal rights campaigners who object to animals being used in the circus ring held a protest outside Zippo's Circus earlier this week. A small group of people from Coventry Animal Alliance gathered outside the circus in Hearsall Common, Earlsdon, Coventry handing out leaflets. They chose Zippo's because horses and birds are part of some of the acts.... (story)

11.4.03

Western Daily Press 11.4.03 DEER NUMBERS BOOM PUT DOWN TO FOOT-AND-MOUTH - Deer numbers on Exmoor are booming thanks to the hunting ban brought in after foot-and-mouth disease, say landowners. Figures from the February count by the Exmoor Deer Management Society (EDMS) found numbers had shot up to just below 3,100, an annual rise of ten per cent.... But despite the apparent positive effects of the temporary ban, the group, made up of Exmoor landowners, believes a proposed long-term ban will eventually see the herd all but destroyed.... (story)
Sunday Independent 10.4.03 Report: More deer on Exmoor by Matt Bamsey - THERE has been a large in increase in the number of deer on Exmoor, according to a Devon deer management group. The Exmoor Deer Management Society (EDMS) says that the ban on hunting and shooting, which was imposed during the foot-and-mouth epidemic, is the reason. The group says that deer numbers on Exmoor are up by almost ten per cent… But the group is worried that a hunting ban could lead to a decrease in numbers; perhaps as much as 90 per cent over ten years, as landowners begin shooting deer to control them…. (story in archive)

LACS/WHITTY CLAIMS AGAINST HUNT
Western Daily Press 11.4.03 SMEARS AND FALSE CLAIMS ANGER HUNT - As media relations manager for the Countryside Alliance, I attended this press conference about the Whitty family with two colleagues. We were not allowed into the conference, nor were we allowed to see a copy of the report.... The Whittys have made more than 60 allegations against hunting people. Some incidents have been reported to, and investigated by, the police but there is no evidence to suggest that hunt supporters are responsible. In fact, the police have not been able to substantiate any of the Whitty's allegations. In addition, the Whittys have made allegations to organisations such as the RSPCA and Trading Standards, but their complaints have never been substantiated.... Bryher Golding-Barrett Media relations manager Countryside Alliance (letter)
Western Daily Press 12.4.03 LIFE BLIGHTED BY COMPLAINTS - With reference to your article headlined Hounded Out, on April 3, I write as the agent for my father the landlord of the Whitty family... He has been subjected to years of complaints by this family which have blighted his twilight years. The absurdity of the claims is best illustrated by the picture highlighted on BBC News on April 2 as part of the alleged campaign of harassment, showing a lorry unloading road stone to repair the access lane to the Whitty's house. Subsequently, the Whittys have threatened my father with court action for failing to maintain the lane.... BRW Sparrow Penzance Cornwall (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.4.03 BLOODLUST AND BALDERDASH - My heart goes out to the Whitty family from Penzance for their ordeal at the hands of the countryside vandals… Jeff Byrne Clevedon (letter)
BBC News Online Thursday, 3 April, 2003, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK - Fresh allegations in hunting row ... On Wednesday, anti-hunt campaigners unveiled a report which they say shows fresh evidence of intimidation by pro-hunters. But the Countryside Alliance says the allegations are unfounded. The League against Cruel Sports' report, compiled over a 12-month period, highlighted the Whitty family from Penzance... Ben Sparrow, who is the family's landlord and Master of the Western Hunt rejected the allegations.... (story)
Western Daily Press 3.4.03 HOUNDED OUT: ANTI-HUNTING PAIR WHO ARE LIVING IN FEAR ….Ernest and Denise Whitty allege they have been subjected to a six-year hate campaign, during which bricks have been thrown through their windows, pets have been killed and dead animals dumped outside their doors… The case of the Whittys, from Globbens Paul in Penzance, was taken up by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) yesterday as it launched its latest campaign to ban hunting in the UK…. Ben Sparrow is master of the prestigious Weston Hunt, which rides through Cornwall… "They (the Whittys) have been making wild allegations against unnamed people,"… (story)

Argus 11.4.03 Deal humanely with 'problem' wildlife - How encouraging to see the positive response from residents of Frobisher Way, Goring, in calling on their local wildlife rescue group after a vixen had died in a nearby garden… -Roger Musselle, Roger's Wildlife Rescue, Downs Valley Road, Woodingdean (letter in archive)

Oxford Mail 11.4.03 Hotels break gun laws - An investigation by a 22-year-old Oxford catering student has revealed that hotels across England are breaking firearms laws. Katherine Haag was shocked to see a firearm handed into reception at a hotel in Buckinghamshire, where she was working on placement…. Miss Haag, of Ablett Close, Cowley, a skilled marksman who has represented Suffolk in county shooting competitions, was already familiar with firearms legislation…. (story in archive)

ANIMAL AID RUDDY DUCK LETTER
Bucks Free Press 11.4.03 Save those ruddy ducks Ajaye Curry, Campaigns officer, Animal Aid (letter)
Western Morning News 25.3.03 'IMPURE' DUCKS MUST BE PROTECTED FROM CULLING - Ajaye Curry Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid
Ilkley Gazette 20.3.03 Ducks threatened - Ajaye Curry Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid (letter in archive)
Western Gazette 20.3.03 OBSCENITY IN THE NAME OF PURITY Ajaye Curry, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid. (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 18.3.03 Good riddance to Ruddy Duck Having read the letter by Ajaye Curry (March 11) regarding the culling of ruddy ducks in Britain, I felt it necessary to reply to put this issue in context. The letter gives the impression that this is a UK problem being orchestrated by the RSPB, whereas in fact eradication measures are being undertaken Europe-wide…. Steve Covey White Edge Moor Liden Swindon (letter in archive)
Boston Standard 13.3.03 Don’t support the slaughter of ducks - Ajaye Curry, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 11.3.03 Protest now to save the ruddy duck - Ajaye Curry Campaigns Officer Animal Aid (letter in archive)
Bath Chronicle 10.3.03 DUCKS IN PERIL AJAYE CURRY Campaigns officer Animal Aid (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 7.3.03 DUCKS A RUDDY NUISANCE? AJAYE CURRY, Animal Aid Campaigns Officer (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.3.03 DUCK CULL IS A RUDDY OUTRAGE! - Many readers will know that thousands of ruddy ducks are to be shot under a Government order because some fly to Spain and mate with the white-headed duck, creating a genetically impure hybrid. Because of this, the ruddy duck is being blamed for the reduction of pure white-headed ducks, which are endangered due to humans hunting them to near-extinction…. However, thanks to public outcry, harnessed by Animal Aid's campaign, the Government has recently issued a statement in which it recognises the need to look at alternative methods of population control other than mass slaughter…. We urge all readers to withdraw support for the RSPB until it stops pressing for the birds' destruction… Ajaye Curry Campaigns Officer Animal Aid (letter)

Western Daily Press, Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 11.4.03 TERRIERS AND HOUNDS JOIN RACING DAYS - The Portman Hunt holds its annual point-to-point at Badbury Rings, near Wimborne, Dorset, tomorrow.... (story)

Western Daily Press 11.4.03 'TORMENTED, TRAPPED AND PETRIFIED, EVERY SECOND, 11 ANIMALS WILL DIE IN THE LAB IN PURSUIT OF SCIENCE' - Caged and tormented, with a look of abject fear in their eyes, these animals endure a hell few of us could imagine.... Later this month, the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) will stage World Lab Animal Week to highlight the suffering...(story)
Western Daily Press 11.4.03 NEEDLESS PAIN IN THE NAME OF RESEARCH - Tim Phillips is campaigns director for the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), a group dedicated to exposing the plight of the millions of animals tested in laboratories in the UK and abroad in the name of scientific research. He has worked for the organisation, dubbed Animal Defenders, for 17 years. Here he puts the case against the use of animals, from mice to monkeys, in the lab... (story)

Argus 11.4.03 Animal ban - The Argus (April 1) is right to suggest that members of the public concerned about the use of ponies by Giffords Circus in its traditional Thirties circus during the May festival should complain to Brighton and Hove City Council rather than the circus…. -David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks (letter in archive)
Argus 1.4.03 Protest over circus ponies by Sam Thomson - Animal rights activists are protesting against a circus booked for the Brighton Festival because of its use of trained ponies. Giffords Circus will be putting on nine shows as part of the festival in May… it is the use of trained horses that has disgusted mother-of-one Denise Friend, 46, of Hythe Road, Brighton, and members of the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS)…. Ms Friend said she and others would protest outside the show tent in Preston Park at every performance… (story in archive) (photo)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 11.4.03 Don't forget animals trapped in this war - M HARRISON (Swindon Animal Concern) Beaulieu Close Swindon (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 8.4.03 A PLEA FOR THE ANIMALS CAUGHT IN WAR - I have been reading both sides of the argument concerning the war in Iraq. Whatever people's views, it is clear that all are concerned about the suffering and loss of human life… World Society For The Protection Of Animals (WSPA) has specially trained rescue teams that help animals in times of crisis… when you are writing your cheque to Oxfam to help the people of Iraq, please write another cheque to WSPA to help the animals… M Harrison Swindon Animal Concern Toothill Swindon (letter)

10.4.03

Berwickshire News 10.4.03 NEW HUNT LOOKS FORWARD WITH CONFIDENCE - SUPPORT for Borders Bloodhounds has been mounting since huntsman Jeremy Whaley set up the pack after a recent split within the Berwickshire Hunt… Bloodhounds, which track humans rather than foxes, were incorporated into the Berwickshire Hunt in August last year when they were acquired by Mr Whaley, senior master… But, at last month's extraordinary general meeting, Berwickshire Hunt narrowly voted to accept two new masters who had offered to run it more cheaply without the bloodhounds… "There was a lot of frustration that the foxhounds weren't operating on a Saturday but I don't see foxhunting with guns as a sport. I don't enjoy killing foxes but with the gunpack that's all there is to it… I wish the Berwickshire Hunt well in trying to survive but I must now concentrate on ensuring the 13 couples of bloodhounds I own have a future."… (story in archive)

Amesbury Journal 10.4.03 Warning on birds given suspiciously late - I WAS interested to see a few weeks back that the Forestry Commission was warning visitors to the New Forest that ground-nesting birds were breeding. Birds had been building their nests for the previous six weeks… Could this delay be anything to do with the fact that, had it not been for kennel cough, the New Forest hounds would have been at liberty to tank about all over these nesting sites until March 31… FRANKIE HORAN New Forest Animal Protection Group, Ringwood (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 10.4.03 So cruel to otters - THE recent disgraceful incident on the banks of the River Derwent (April 1) indicates that the owner of this stretch of water is unconcerned about wildlife… All landowners should be responsible for the use of any trap along their riverbank. They should face stiff fines for misdemeanours… John and Anna Skelton, Trieda SNP 21, Banská Bystrica, Slovak Republic. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 8.4.03 License these traps - I WAS appalled to read your report that an otter had been found drowned in a trap (April 1)… D James, Huntington Road, York (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 1.4.03 Otter killed in trap horror - A YOUNG otter suffered an agonising death after it was caught in a trap on a North Yorkshire riverside… The otter had gone into the legal trap, used for catching vermin such as mink, and had set off the spring door, said PC Pannett…. (story in archive)

Times 10.4.03 Farmers threaten to kill badgers over TB BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - FARMERS’ leaders say their members are likely to break the law to kill badgers in areas where bovine tuberculosis is rife after MPs refused to support an emergency cull to control spread of the disease... A parliamentary committee told farmers that they should do more to protect their cattle from the disease by improving standards of care for the animals... The robust tone of the report, Badgers and Bovine TB, came as a surprise to the National Farmers’ Union.... (story)
Western Morning News 10.4.03 MPS URGE MORE ACTION TO TACKLE TB IN CATTLE - PETER HALL FARMING EDITOR - The Government should act to allay dairy farmers' growing fears about the spread of bovine tuberculosis in areas previously unaffected by the disease, says an all-party committee of MPs… The MPs said: "We urge the farming industry to come forward with proposals for improved husbandry methods. If it does, we recommend that the Government provide suitable financial support to help with their implementation."… The National Federation of Badger Groups said the MPs had endorsed its view that cattle movements were to blame for the disease's spread - not badgers…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 10.4.03 Commons committee decision to side-step cull issue disappoints NFU - The nfu said yesterday that it broadly supported the findings of the Efra Commons Committee report into badgers and bovine TB. However, it said farmers would be disappointed more attention had not been paid to controlling the disease in the short-term… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 10.4.03 ANIMAL RIGHTS PROMISE - Swansea Green Party activist Martyn Shrewsbury says his party would appoint an animal rights officer for Wales. "There is an urgent need to combat cruelty and animal abuse in a wide range of areas," he said… (story)

Independent 10.4.03 Legality of 'broiler' chicken farming challenged By Paul Peachey - Animal welfare campaigners are taking legal action to try to halt modern methods of chicken factory farming which, they say, cause suffering to millions of birds. Compassion in World Farming wants the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ban fast-growing broiler chickens... (story)

9.4.03

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 9.4.03 Hares need our protection - ONCE again, the Holcombe Hunt chose to continue breaking up hares well into the hares' breeding season… If you want to live in a country where it is illegal to inflict pain and suffering on wild animals, ask your MP to vote for a total ban on bloodsports. KATE STRATTON, League Against Cruel Sports (Lancashire support group), PO Box 359, Chorley (letter in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 9.4.03 Can kill Iraqis but not foxes - SO it is all right for Mr Blair not only to get a lot of Iraqis killed but a lot more wounded who will suffer for the rest of their days, but is not right to kill foxes who are a pest anyway and do not suffer… B SEDGLEY, Berwick Bassett, near Swindon (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 9.4.03 Blast at gun shops …It seems pointless to have a gun amnesty if shops continue to sell these sort of guns over the counter. D Brown, Huntington Road, York. (letter in archive)

East Anglian Daily Times 9.4.03 Fishing lake designated a special site - ENGLISH Nature is to go ahead with the designation of a fishing lake as a "protected" wildlife site of national importance – despite concerns from anglers... The move to designate Loom Pit Lake, between Trimley St Mary and Levington, as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) comes in the wake of a bitter row between members of the Suffolk Flyfishers Club and conservationists. The latter are keen for the cormorants – which comprise Suffolk's only known breeding colony – to be left in peace.... (story)
Ipswich Evening Star 26.3.03 Birds versus anglers battle continues - CORMORANTS have emerged victorious today in the battle with anglers over fish at a Suffolk Lake. At a meeting with Suffolk Fly Fishers, in Bury St Edmunds, English Nature decided to designate Loompit Lake as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI). Iain Blinkworth, vice chairman of the anglers, said: "We are absolutely dejected. It seems English Nature has made up its mind. " … (story)
Ipswich Evening Star 18.2.03 Anglers' barbaric attacks on birds BY RICHARD CORNWELL - INCENSED wildlife warden Mick Wright told today of the barbaric scare tactics at a Suffolk lake where two protected cormorants have been found dead… Loom Pit Lake at Trimley St Martin is the subject of a bitter row between bird-lovers and anglers over bird-scaring – with the wildlife enthusiasts determined not to let the fishermen off the hook…. (story)
Guardian 9.4.03 Death to the hedgehogs! - David Munk - I'm a vegetarian. I don't wear leather shoes, belts or coats. I usher wasps out of my flat rather than swat them with my copy of Bean-Eater Monthly.... But now I'm pretty certain the hedgehogs have got to die. Some bizarre malaise has afflicted a sector of our population - a malaise so frustrating that when I first heard it made me want to eat my radio... SNH has run into human problems of campaigning groups and knee-jerk do-gooders. A coalition of the silly has formed between charities and advocates of animal rights... Let's imagine these campaigners - and more importantly donors - explaining this all to a mother in Malawi.... So should we really worry about the hedgehog of the Western Isles? Well, I'm not worried. I know my priorities, and they should die. (story)
Scotsman 9.4.03 Hedgehogs avoid trappers and the spotlight - JOHN ROSS - MRS Tiggywinkle is playing hard to get... The hedgehogs, however, had other ideas. Sensibly enough, they decided that Monday night would be forage-free while there were people with big lamps going about.... (story)

Leicester Mercury 9.4.03 HOW THE IDEALISTIC CAN AVOID HARM TO ANIMALS - Julie Varney's letter "The alternative" (Postbag, March 22) shows how extreme the views of anti-vivisectionists are as she suggests that we should use seriously-ill people, instead of animals, for medical research… I would like to challenge your correspondent - and anyone else who would like all animal research abolished at the expense of seriously-ill patients - to practise what they preach by asking them to sign our Animal Research Abolition Card…. Thomas Bromley, SIMR executive secretary. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 22.3.03 THE ALTERNATIVE - Thomas Bromley (Postbag, Mar 17) says there is no alternative to animal testing. I have one, why don't those people who keep trying to justify the horrific torture of innocent animals volunteer themselves?... Julie Varney, Countesthorpe (letter)
Leicester Mercury 8.3.03 WELL PAST THEIR USE-BY DATE - Thomas Bromley (Letter Feb 18) stated that "no animal research means no new medicines" (Postbag, Feb 18). This, of course, is absolute rubbish. I'm afraid Mr Bromley has been brain-washed by the all too powerful pharmaceutical companies.... Mrs Janet Gee, Lubenham (letter)
Leicester Mercury 18.2.03 NO NEW MEDICINES - Despite what Clare Fordham claims in her letter: "Animal testing smokescreen" (Postbag, Feb 5) the use of animals in medical research has saved countless lives in aiding many medical breakthroughs not just for humans, but for animals as well… The fact is that no animal research means no new medicines. The choice is as simple as that. Thomas Bromley, Secretary, Seriously Ill for Medical Research, Dunstable. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 5.2.03 ANIMAL TESTING 'SMOKESCREEN' - In Lee Marlow's report (Mercury, Jan 10) concerning the animal breeding station at Harlan, near Belton, their spokesperson spoke of the necessity of using animals to find cures for various diseases and referred to "scientific breakthroughs"…. The sad truth about testing drugs on animals is that it is used, not as a safety net for humans, but as a smokescreen for the drug companies in case the medicine proves disastrous for human patients… Mrs Clare Fordham, Ashby de la Zouch (letter)
Leicester Mercury 27.1.03 CAN'T JUST LISTEN TO THOSE WHO SHOUT LOUDEST - Your report on the troubled issue of animals used in medical research sounded sinister. You appear to suggest that the truth depends on who you choose to hear. But it is important that we look at the evidence and facts. We can't just listen to those who shout the loudest…. The razor-wire you mention is an unfortunate fact of life. It provides protection for those involved in vital medical research from the animal rights extremists who think it is OK to use intimidation, abuse and violence to further their cause. Dr Simon Festing, Association of Medical Research Charities, London. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 10.1.03 A PRODUCT OF TROUBLED TIMES - Camp X-Ray for beagles - or a breeding ground for scientific breakthrough? Lee Marlow reports on animals rights and wrongs in Leicestershire. It looks, according to MP David Taylor, like an animal concentration camp, with its impenetrable perimeter, razor wire and swirling CCTV cameras. This is Harlan, in Belton, rural north west Leicestershire… A Mercury request for a guided tour is politely but firmly declined… A member of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) spent 10 months working undercover at the Belton site and compiled a dossier of alleged cruelty… Meanwhile, Harlan says that, despite the planning permission for an extension, it is not poised to expand. That will not mollify Phil Hudson, of Leicester Animal Concern, who wants the centre closed… Cathy Evans, of the Close Harlan campaign, said weekly demonstrations outside the Belton centre would continue… (story)

8.4.03

URBAN FOX DUMPING
Western Morning News 8.4.03 RSPCA WOULD NEVER DUMP MANGEY FOXES ANYWHERE - I am writing, rather wearily, to yet again address the allegations that the RSPCA dumps mangey urban foxes in the countryside… The RSPCA will only ever collect sick, injured or orphaned wildlife. We do not remove urban foxes just because people don't like them. Any sick or injured adult fox that we take in will be released back at the place where it was found… Jonathan Silk RSPCA South West Regional Manager, Exeter (letter)
Western Daily Press 8.4.03 FOXES ARE NOT ALWAYS TO BLAME - Sir - I found the article on the dumping of foxes in the countryside most interesting. Mr Clothier mentions two or three lambs lost a week. I doubt very much that this is due to foxes, being an ex-shepherd myself…. I also have good information from a gamekeeper of six fox cubs being released by a terrier man from his garden shed when he was being investigated for breeding foxes… M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 7.4.03 SOAPBOX: THE URBAN FOX - 11:00 - 07 April 2003. The allegation (Evening Post , April 1) that van-loads of urban foxes are being dumped in the countryside is nothing but a rural myth.One which emerges every time there is a move in parliament to ban fox hunting… John Bryant, Humane Urban Wildlife Deterrence, 23, Tormount Road, London SE18 1QD. (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.4.03 ARTIFICIAL ARGUMENTS - I find it hard to believe that pest control companies are to blame if town foxes are being released into the countryside. After all, they have no problem with their conscience killing of all other so-called pests. I say nice try to the pro-hunters, but hunts the length and breadth of UK must stop building and using artificial earths, designed only to breed foxes and keep the numbers high for the hunts… Janet Hall Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Sunday Times 6.4.03 OUTFOXED: The claim that there is an “epidemic” of urban fox dumping in the countryside is nothing but a rural myth, which emerges every time there is a move in parliament to ban foxhunting... I have offered a £500 reward for information leading to the identification of any such person or group. Nobody has ever claimed the reward... John Bryant, Humane Urban Wildlife Deterrence, London SE18 (letter)
Western Morning News 2.4.03 IS THIS AN 'URBAN' FOX? A fox pauses unconcerned while crossing a main road in the middle of the day. Is this sight evidence that "urban" foxes, used to hunting during the day, are being abandoned in the countryside?... (story)
Western Morning News 2.4.03 'DUMPED URBAN FOXES FACE AGONISING DEATH' - PAUL BERGER - Urban foxes are being released into the countryside, spreading disease and sometimes dying of starvation because squeamish city dwellers cannot bear to see them culled, a pro-hunt group has claimed. The Union of Country Sports Workers (UCSW) said that pest control firms and possibly the RSPCA release urban foxes into the countryside where they die of mange or starvation… Hugh Thomas, a former pest controller and gamekeeper… said he once had an influx of urban foxes which were easy to kill because none of them ran away… Les Sutton, an RSPCA inspector in Cornwall for more than 20 years, said he had never come across any animal he believed to have been an urban fox released into the countryside… (story)
Bristol Evening Post 2.4.03 THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE ….That's why the RSPCA is releasing urban foxes into the countryside. These animals have been living on the remnants of the Chicken Tikka Masala takeaway you leave in your wheely-bin for umpteen years. All of a sudden they're rounded up and deposited in a large field somewhere in South Gloucestershire.What do they do then? They haven't got a clue… (story)
Bristol Evening Post 1.4.03 FOXES DUMPED IN THE COUNTRYSIDE - Urban foxes from Bristol are being dumped in the countryside by the vanload, according to farmers and other rural workers… Bristol, which has a large urban fox population, is said to be "exporting" its animals as far afield as East Anglia… Lindsay Hill, a spokesman for the UCSW, said: "We have had lots of anecdotal evidence of people saying they have seen 40 foxes in the back of a van.We have launched this survey to get people to send in evidence."… (story)
Sunday Times 30.3.03 Urban foxes dumped to die in country - JACK GRIMSTON - SQUEAMISH city dwellers who are unwilling to see animals killed are being blamed for an alleged epidemic of “fox dumping” in the countryside... The Union of Country Sports Workers (UCSW), a pro-hunting union which represents gamekeepers and other rural employees, is conducting a survey to find out how widespread the problem of fox dumping has become. “We have had lots of anecdotal evidence of people saying they have seen 40 foxes in the back of a van,” said Lindsay Hill, a spokesman. “We have launched this survey to get people to send in evidence.” Evidence already in, says the UCSW, includes a statement from a member in East Anglia who intercepted a vanload of foxes which had been driven from Bristol to be dumped... “For years we have had a standing reward of £1,000 for anyone who can produce evidence of mass release of urban foxes in the countryside and it has never been claimed,” said Trevor Williams, director of the Fox Project, a sanctuary in Tonbridge, Kent. “These claims are a way for the hunting fraternity to increase support for hunting..." (story)

Western Morning News 8.4.03 SO HOW MANY FOXES DOES THE COUNTRY REALLY NEED? It may not have occurred to John Phelps that if you genuinely require an answer, you first must ask a sensible question (WMN, March 25). His query as to "how many foxes are needed" is so ridiculous that I am not surprised that he has had no answers… He has also failed to answer my own question, asked directly of Mr Phelps himself - why does he consider using dogs (or hounds) to pursue a hare to be cruel, while using them to pursue a rabbit is not? Jonathan Marshall Taunton (letters)
Western Morning News 11.3.03 IT'S FINE TO HUNT RABBITS - BUT NOT HARES - If ever there were any doubts that the anti-hunting brigade inhabit some sort of Alice in Wonderland world of alternative reality, John Phelps' letter (WMN, February 25) dispelled them completely. I was fascinated to learn that, in anti-hunting legislation, a rabbit is not a wild mammal (what on earth is it then?)… Please explain, Mr Phelps, why using dogs to pursue a hare is cruel while using them to pursue a rabbit is not… we could set ourselves up as the Quantock Rabbit Hounds and pursue (and kill) rabbits with no fear of contravening the law of the land. Where is the logic in that? Jonathan Marshall Lydeard St Lawrence, Taunton (letter)
Western Morning News 11.3.03 Good laugh I WOULD like to thank J Ward-Hayne for giving me a really good laugh when I read his "Take a lead", (WMN February 18). The trouble is that his fiction could so easily turn into fact with the present "Nanny Government". Mollie Herbert Colaton Raleigh (letter)
Western Morning News 25.2.03 What's a rabbit? JONATHAN Marshall (WMN, February 11) followed his local foxhounds on a Saturday and on Sunday, and while walking on the Quantocks, one of his spaniels coursed a rabbit… The Scottish Protection of Wild Mammals Act, in common with other Acts of Parliament, has a section dealing with the Meaning of Expressions. Section 7(1)(b) states that the expression "wild mammal" does not include a rabbit. I expect the English Act to give a similar definition…. John Phelps, Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 18.2.03 Take a lead - YOUR correspondent Jonathan Marshall should not count on his Sunday activity of walking his spaniel off the lead on the Quantocks remaining legal for much longer…. Loose dogs charging around the landscape are deeply offensive to the tidy bureaucratic mind of the prodnose tendency…. The excuse for this legislation will be that there is so much poisoned bait scattered around the countryside to kill foxes following a hunt ban that no dog will be safe off the lead… J Ward-Hayne Modbury (letter)
Western Morning News 11.2.03 Hunting benefits …Mr Phelps' latest production tells us that instead of the hunt we should control vermin like foxes by calling out the council "at a fraction of the cost". Mr Phelps, we don't pay for the hunt. No part of your council tax goes towards paying for farriery or tack…. If it was true that the hunts keep fox numbers up in order to have some to hunt, then surely Mr Phelps ought to be overjoyed that the rabbit population will continue to be controlled!... The only loser is Louise Piddington who will never be happy until the lion lies down with the lamb and a bowl of cornflakes and chooses to eat the cornflakes. M Hunter South Zeal, Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 11.2.03 I AM grateful to John Phelps for highlighting the word "pursuit" in his letter (WMN, January 31). Two weeks ago on Sunday I was walking on the Quantocks when one of my spaniels put up a rabbit which he coursed for a good 200 yards at top speed before the rabbit escaped and I called the dog off… On the previous day, I had been following my local foxhounds. I would be interested to hear how Mr Phelps justifies making my Saturday activity a criminal offence, whilst Sunday's incident would remain legal. Jonathan Marshall Lydeard St Lawrence, Taunton (letter)
Western Morning News 4.2.03 SO SHAMEFUL TO DRESS POLITICS AS PRINCIPLES - John Phelps (WMN, January 31) hopes to secure a ban on hunting with dogs on the grounds that to chase a wild animal is an act of cruelty… For the hunting debate to have any moral value, however, legislation must improve the welfare of our precious wildlife…. the Government has already decided in this debate that wildlife can be killed by promoting poisons, gas, traps, cages, and giving repeated assurances that shooting and fishing will not be restricted or regulated…. It is a matter of record that the Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals, which includes the League Against Cruel Sports, were censured in the House of Lords in March 2001 by clarifications of the Burns Report by Lord Soulsby… Edmund Marriage, British Wildlife Management, Cirencester (letter)

Western Morning News 8.4.03 Ban is inevitable IF J Ward-Hayne (WMN, March 25) thinks that the anti-hunt campaign is wasting time why does he bother to write numerous pro-hunting letters to the newspaper?... Kevin Caveney, Newton Abbot (letters)

Western Daily Press 8.4.03 A BADGER CULL IS NOT THE ANSWER - Farmers, whose thinking has remained in the 1970s, demanding a mass badger cull to sort out their TB problems are their own worst enemies. Haven't they noticed yet that it doesn't work?... Eunice P Overenes Address supplied (letter)

Sunderland Echo 8.4.03 No benefit - I AM pleased that Sunderland South MP Chris Mullin is speaking out against the "enriched battery cage"… A Wills, Ruislip, Middlesex (letter)

7.4.03

Western Daily Press 7.4.03 A Pioneering biodiversity action plan devised in the West is set to be rolled out nationwide to breathe new life into the countryside and protect it from destruction. The charity, Working For Wildlife, is set to be launched tomorrow to safeguard thousands of precious sites. Its blueprint is based on the success of the conservation heritage of the League Against Cruel Sports, which has worked to maintain the eco-balance of the West for many years… (story)

Western Daily Press or Bristol Evening Post 7.4.03 BLINKERED AUTHORITIES - aving read the comments on cruelty to horses and ponies, in particular Biscuit, it would appear that not only driving ponies wear blinkers, but also the police, South Gloucestershire Council and the RSPCA. Of course, the RSPCA takes off the blinkers when it comes to fox hunting… Name and address supplied (letter)

Leicester Mercury 7.4.03 NATIONAL IS THE GRAND ANNUAL TEST - It's a National conundrum that comes round every year - and there are still no easy answers.... the event is still criticised strongly from two diametrically opposed sides. There are those who claim it is cruel and those who claim it has gone soft.... If you ban the National, you ban National Hunt racing because the two are so closely linked. If you ban that, you also ban Flat racing because, although accidents are more rare, they happen at greater speed and carry greater potential dangers. Show-jumping would surely go as well, plus polo, greyhound racing and pigeon racing... < target=main href="http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=42626&command=displayContent&sourceNode=42317&contentPK=5035338">(story)

6.4.03

East Anglian Daily Times 6.4.03 Character of countryside By John Howard - THE very character of the countryside is irrevocably at risk from city newcomers who create almost all new jobs through businesses that have no roots in traditional rural life, the Countryside Alliance has warned. In response to the Countryside Agency's new report Rural Economies, it warned new jobs and businesses in the countryside must not replace a rural economy still centred on the land, but rather add to it. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 6.4.03 Have you got a licence for that exotic minnow? By Rajeev Syal - First it was foxes, now they are after the rosy red minnow. The Scottish Parliament, fresh from outlawing hunting with dogs, is to force fish-lovers to buy pet licences for exotic species in their garden ponds and aquaria.... Anyone who owns exotic fish without a licence will face fines of up to £2,500. Health and safety officials will also be given special powers to enter people's homes to confiscate and destroy unlicensed fish... (story)

5.4.03

Western Daily Press 5.4.03 YET ANOTHER DELAY It appears the Hunting Bill will be shelved again due to the war in Iraq.... In the meantime, our wild animals go on suffering. J H Rowbray, Taunton, Somerset (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 5.4.03 GAMEKEEPERS TAKE CONSERVATION CASE TO EU - LAURA GRANT - Members of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association have returned from a fact-finding mission to the European Parliament to discuss rural sustainability. The group travelled to Brussels to highlight the impact of decisions made by MEPs on wildlife and rural issues in Scotland.... (story)

Argus 5.4.03 Ex-butcher cooks up meat-free career by Linda Harrison - A butcher has swapped steak for soya beans to open a vegetarian restaurant after his exposure to the meat industry forced him to quit his carnivorous career. Keith Shearing, 39, is now a dedicated vegetarian and hopes to spread the word with his latest venture, the Gardenia restaurant in Brighton… Keith decided to become a vegetarian two years ago after meeting his partner Lauren Heston. Lauren had been a vegetarian for 25 years as well as an animal-rights supporter… (story in archive)

4.4.03

Lynn News 4.4.03 LITTER LOUTS LEAVE TONNES OF RUBBISH …Between 70 and 80 members of the Lynn and West Norfolk Wildfowlers' Association cleared the marshes of around three tonnes of rubbish including televisions and thousands of plastic drums and bottles… (story in archive)

Guardian 4.4.03 Spanish city hopes to make matadors hang up their hats - Giles Tremlett in Madrid …Citing a specially commissioned opinion poll which showed that 63% of the city's population wanted bullfighting to end, the campaigners said Barcelona should lead the way in showing Spaniards this was one tradition they could live without. Manuel Cases, of Spain's Animal Rights Defence Association… said the poll, co-financed by the World Society for the Protection of Animals, reflected a growing dislike in Barcelona and the north-east region of Catalonia for the tradition…. (story)

Argus 4.4.03 Meat and veg - I have to voice my disgust and distaste with regard to the article on the "artist" Simon Ward… If I was disturbed enough to wish to view the mangled and pathetic corpses of animals, all I would need to do would be walk the highways and byways of Sussex. I certainly do not want photographs of the same foisted as some insane excuse for art…. -A J Meads, Manor Way, Uckfield (letter in archive)
Argus 4.4.03 Shock stock - I can't believe so-called "artist" Simon Ward was named "best artist" by the Re:creation Awards panel…. As a life-long animal lover and campaigner for respect and kindness towards all animal species, I am appalled anyone could take the obviously tragic event of an animal's demise (through violence, no less) and try to make a name and money for himself…. -Erin M Brown, Bedford, Texas, US (letter in archive)

Argus 4.4.03 Swansong - First, it was the wanton destruction of herds of sheep and cattle in the foot-and-mouth disaster… The latest destruction order, on the swans at Shoreham Airport, could mean the killing of dozens of birds… -Mrs C Belton, Lindfield Close, Saltdean (letter in archive)

Redditch Advertiser 4.4.03 Redditch Animal Welfare Group - SINCE the start of the year members have taken part in demonstrations in Bromsgrove against Adidas for allegedly using Kangaroo skin to make football boots and have demonstrated outside two shops in Solihull which sell fur coats. The group also visits Dover docks to protest at the live export of sheep and lambs…. (story)

3.4.03

Northern Echo 3.4.03 Gentle country ride - A PRO-HUNT group in the North-East have invited anyone with a horse or pony to join them for a leisurely ride on Easter Sunday. Cleveland Hunt Supporters will start at Foxdale Farm opposite Guisborough Hall between 10am and noon… (story in archive)

Western Gazette 3.4.03 RUBBING SALT INTO WOUNDS - On 22 March the South Dorset Hunt meet was at Bovington Army Camp. The hunt hunted over the tank training grounds with permission of the Army. How can this be when the Army is at war. Challenger tanks are maintained at this camp and this war-mongering Government is lying about banning bloodsports... Neal Buckoke, Dorset Anti-Bloodsports and Animal Action, P.O. Box 1119, Dorchester (letter)

Northern Echo 3.4.03 Appeal after horror attacks on badgers - ONE badger has been found dead and another badly injured - one snared, the other possibly baited with dogs…. "We've no idea how the first one ended up in the middle of a housing estate," said Stokesley and District Badger Protection Group spokesman, Ken Wood… (story in archive)

Hull Daily Mail 3.4.03 DON'T APPLY ANIMAL TESTS TO HUMANS - Re: Letter from Professor Nancy Rothwell. Her letter suggests animal experiments are useful. There are well-documented studies proving the folly of applying results of animal testing to humans… Dr HP Livas (Mrs), Westbourne Avenue, Hull. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 28.2.03 THERE IS NO NEED TO TEST ANIMALS - I Can understand Dr Wright of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry being protective but his letter (Letters, February 17) paints a very unfair picture as much of what he says is untrue. More and more surgeons, doctors, nurses and paramedics are against animal testing because of the disasters that have happened due to tests which have no relevance to humans… S Broom, Apollo Walk, Ings Road Estate, Hull (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 24.2.03 THE NEED FOR ANIMAL TESTING - Mrs E Girling (Mail, Letters) claims there is irrefutable evidence that animal tests provide misleading results. This strongly contrasts with the recent report of the most extensive and intensive review of animal experiments ever undertaken.... Professor Nancy Rothwell, Chairman, Biosciences Federation Animal Science Group. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 17.2.03 PEOPLE ARE PRIORITY IN MEDICAL RESEARCH - It is quite untrue that, as animal "rights" activists would have us believe, animal research has no value in the understanding and treatment of disease ("The myths of animal testing", Mail Letters, January 27). Their view is at complete odds with mainstream medical and scientific opinion throughout the world… Dr Philip Wright, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, Whitehall, London (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 27.1.03 THE MYTHS OF ANIMAL TESTING - Through the years, society has convinced us that using animals for biomedical research is critical to our understanding and advancement of human medical knowledge. This is 100 per cent untrue… For details, write to EFMA (Europeans For Medical Advancement)… Mrs E Girling, Sigston Road, Beverley (letter)

Western Morning News 3.4.03 Macabre trade - I WOULD like to thank the WMN for bringing to our attention the appalling cruelty to dogs and cats from the Chinese fur trade…. Mrs G Tolworthy, Launceston (letter)

Doncaster Free Press (3.4.03) RSPCA FACES BUDGET SHORTFALL - ANIMAL charity the RSPCA suffered a budget shortfall of £57,000 to finance its work in the Doncaster area. The deficit was highlighted in the annual report of the society's Doncaster, Rotherham and District branch…. (story in archive)

2.4.03

Rochdale Observer (2.4.03) Angry farmer makes a splash - THE official reopening of Rochdale Canal was more eventful than expected, thanks to the wet'n'wild intervention of a disgruntled farmer… Mr Meacher was supposed to travel beneath the A627M crossroads with Edinburgh Way, before disembarking at a marquee beside Sandbrook Park at 1.15pm. But his carefully choreographed arrival was overshadowed when Castleton farmer Chris Jones donned a lifejacket and dived into the canal…. His actions also overshadowed a second protest being made by a group of fox-hunting enthusiasts, backed by the Countryside Alliance… (story)
Manchester Evening News 29.3.03 Farmer in £24m canal protest - AN MP's planned canal cruise was scuppered when a protesting farmer threw himself into the water. So Environment Minister Michael Meacher had to walk along the bank to officially open the £24m Rochdale Canal... Mr Jones is demanding British Waterways builds him a new access route from his Maden Fold Farm after his old one was blocked by the new 32-mile trans-Pennine canal... Around 20 members of the Countryside Alliance also turned out to protest at government proposals to ban hunting... (story)

Liverpool Daily Post 2.4.03 The mob closed in on the terrified animal, kicking, spitting and shouting . . . David Charters, Daily Post - HE IS the donkey with no name. But the sad look in his brown eyes and his wincing and trembling are well known to the organisers of a festival held in a remote Spanish village…. Well, there can be no doubt that the donkey suffered both at this year's festival. And Tony Moore and his partner Matilda Mench, who run the charity, Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE), have the evidence in video film and still photographs, published for the first time today…. (story)

1.4.03

Dorset Daily Echo 1.4.03 Celebs back drag hunting on website by Robin Thompkins HIGH-profile celebrities have lent their name to a website launched to promote drag hunting in the New Forest area. Although the season ended at the weekend and they are barred from hunting on the New Forest proper, Michael Thomas, master and chairman of the New Forest Drag Hunt, remains upbeat about the future of the bloodless sport… Among his celebrity supporters on the website www.nfdh.org.uk are actress Joanna Lumley, heavyweight Tory politician Ann Widdecombe and astronomer Patrick Moore - all opponents of live quarry hunting (story in archive)

Western Morning News 1.4.03 Puerile act - I TRUST that the hunting fraternity and the Countryside Alliance were quick to denounce and distance themselves from the chainsaw vandalisation of Paul and Linda McCartney's Somerset woods… Paul Fivian, Kingsbridge (letter)

Lancashire Evening Post 1.4.03 Hare today gone tomorrow? …Although March is now behind them, scholars at Myerscough College are not fooling around in their quest to stem the decline in wild hares. Students from the college, in Bilsborrow, near Preston, are taking part in a special survey to find out how many brown hares live on the West Pennine Moors…. (story in archive)

Yorkshire Post 1.3.03 In defence of a village's sitting ducks - From: Steve Parrott, Whitestone Drive, Huntington, York. Sir, – I read with utter disbelief how the vicar of Beaford gave orders to shoot the ducks on the pond at the vicarage (Yorkshire Post, February 22)....
From: Josie A Whitehead, Fairfield Road, Doncaster.Sir, – I was most saddened to read the Yorkshire Post report on the culling of ducks at Beaford... No longer will this vicar benefit from my contribution to his church funds. I am appalled.
From: Peter Sanderson, King Edward Street, Scunthorpe, N Lincolnshire. Sir, – What planet is the Rev Ray Yates on?... (letter)
Driffield Times 28.2.03 CHURCH DUCK CULL DISTRESSES VILLAGERS …The duck cull happened when two gunmen, commissioned by the St Leonard's Parochial Church Council, shot dead several birds at a pond in the Beeford church grounds. Now, Bridlington and District RSPCA workers have added their voices to villagers protests, saying the shooting of ducks in February may be illegal… (story in archive)
Yorkshire Post 26.2.03 Anger over vicar's duck cull - From: Mrs S Allan, St Andrew's Drive, Brighouse - After reading the article "Creatures small shot dead on holy orders" (Yorkshire Post, February 22) about the ducks on the pond on church grounds at Beeford, I was infuriated... (story)
Yorkshire Post 22.2.03 Creatures small shot dead on holy orders - A village vicar has ruffled feathers among parishioners and residents after employing gunmen to shoot ducks which for years have made the church pond their home... Villagers are furious at the seemingly barbaric actions.... In a statement through the Diocese of York, Father Ray Yates, who has been at the church for about four years, said: "The pond on church land at Beeford is being res-tored as a habitat for native animal and plant species as part of the East Riding Ponds Project, which intends to support local communities in restoring their village ponds..." (story)

Cambridge News 1.4.03 Vivisection is wrong From S Bowie, Oak Tree Avenue, Cambridge - WITH reference to Talking Point (News,March 20): No. Animal rights activists have not got it wrong… How can vivisection be right? It is cruel and totally unnecessary. People, as well as animals, suffer… (letter)

Ananova 1.4.03 PETA translation causes sniggers - Animal rights protesters caused embarrassed sniggers when they translated one of their slogans into Spanish. PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, translated the slogan "Dump Dairy" to get their message across to Spanish-speaking schoolchildren in the US. But the literal translation "Eche la leche" can also mean "Discharge sperm" in slang… PETA officials were surprised by the complaint. William Rivas-Rivas, the campaign's coordinator, said: "As a Spanish speaker I've never heard of that slang. Never once has anyone said anything about that."… (story)