April 2004

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30.4.04

Cumberland News 30.4.04 IS IT any wonder we no longer have faith in or respect for MPs and other elected officials? I am referring of course to Carlisle MP Eric Martlew’s support for an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to spend more time trying to ban hunting…. NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD
What a waste of Parliamentary time. It’s a disgrace. J THOMPSON,Blue Bank Road,Dalston (letters)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 30.4.04 Tony Blair could have banned hunting by now - WHILE holding no brief for people who wish to hunt, I am quite resolute that any attempt to mislead the public as to why the Labour Government has not fulfilled an election pledge to ban hunting should be challenged… Your correspondent Andrew Day (EA, April 27) states quite unequivocally that the reason is that the unelected House of Lords has overturned the democratic vote of the House of Commons…. At no stage has the Hunting with Hounds Bill been voted on in the House of Lords as Tony Blair once claimed and as such it cannot be said the MPs' wishes have been overturned… If blame is to be attributed at least let's ensure it's attributed correctly. DES MORGAN Caraway Drive (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 30.4.04 PERTURBED BY MP'S POSTBAG - Candy Atherton's recent divulgence of the contents of her postbag in the local press left me very surprised and somewhat perturbed. Surprised that it was dominated by animal welfare, in particular the Hunting Bill, despite the fact that the campaign to ban the live export of equines has been so prominent and well supported, with over 60,000 signatures from Western Morning News readers alone being presented to the Prime Minister. Perturbed that despite the many ills foisted upon the country as a whole and Cornwall in particular by the Government, the constituents of Falmouth and Camborne are concerned primarily with the discredited Hunting Bill… W T Sweet Mawgan, Cornwall (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.4.04 STAGHOUNDS DID NOT KILL ANY CAT - I see that R Franklin stated that "the Quantock staghounds recently disembowelled a cat in front of two children". This statement is totally incorrect. At no time have the staghounds killed any cat or any other pet…. Alison Hawes Countryside Alliance (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.4.04 HOUNDING THE WORKING CLASS - I see Ian LiddellGrainger is asking for the law to be tightened up in respect of dogs, after one of his constituents was unfortunately bitten by a loose dog… When the Quantock staghounds recently disembowelled a cat - while its two little girl owners stood helplessly by - there was silence from hunt supporter Liddell-Grainger… Mr LiddellGrainger only seems to be interested in hounding dogs belonging to the working class… R Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Hexham Courant 30.4.04 BLACK GROUSE FIGHT THREAT OF EXTINCTION - THE enigmatic courtship display of the rare black grouse fascinated visitors on the Otterburn ranges this week, as the Game Conservancy Trust held an information day… Invited guests, including members of the Northumberland National Park Authority and the Ministry of Defence, met outside the Percy Arms in Otterburn at 5.30am on Tuesday to witness the increasingly rare lekking display…. (story)

GLENFESHIE RED DEER CULL
Aberdeen Press & Journal 30.4.04 MINISTER REFUSES TO ORDER HALT OF DEER CULL - TIM PAULING - Environment and Rural Development Minister Ross Finnie has refused to order the Deer Commission to suspend any further mass cull. Last month more than 100 stalkers staged a demonstration against the large-scale shooting of deer on the Glenfeshie Estate in Badenoch… In the Scottish Parliament yesterday, Fergus Ewing, SNP MSP for Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, called on the minister to direct the commission to suspend any further mass culling of deer…. (story)
Scotsman 27.4.04 Report into controversial deer cull due next month - JOHN ROSS - THE findings on a controversial cull which has caused a rift between gamekeepers and the Deer Commission for Scotland (DCS) are expected to be released by the Scottish Executive within a month… (story)
Scotsman 14.4.04 Managing our deer population - If, as Kirsty Macleod (Letters, 12 April) says, only the so-called real working people of Scotland should dictate the management of its native forests, then it would follow that we should take a wholly disinterested view of the destruction of the Brazilian, Indonesian or Madagascar forests.... The rights to land management that Ms Macleod appears to be upholding are those of the sporting estate, where most of the land is owned and managed by comparatively few, many based outside Scotland.... MARTIN ROBINSON Enochdhu Perthshire (letter)
Scotsman 12.4.04 Strange high-profile association with mass deer cull - I was a little surprised to note that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds had put its name to the joint letter from WWF Scotland, the Ramblers’ Association Scotland and the RSPB (7 April), which criticised the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association protest at the Glenfeshie Estate deer cull... it is a weird kind of world where the RSPB, among others, with its de-fence of the increasing use of mass culls, is beginning to make its favourite stereotype of the "kill ’em all" Victorian gamekeeper look like a paragon of animal loving humanity. WILLIAM ER BROWN Marykirk, Laurencekirk Kincardineshire
... The most extraordinary as-pect of these on-going battles between left-wing pressure groups and the real working people of the Scottish countryside is how - in this typical example - three English-registered charities, who are not answerable to any Scottish watchdog and whose members mainly live outside Scotland, nevertheless are able to throw their weight around in another country that is supposed to have control over its own land management.... KIRSTY MACLEOD Letterfinlay, Spean Bridge Inverness-shire (letters)
Scotsman 7.4.04 Action needed on deer numbers - No-one would wish to kill more than 500 deer in a few days unless it was really necessary. Amid all the manufactured rage of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, a few credits should be noted. Glenfeshie is an outstandingly important native pinewood, appallingly damaged by centuries of excessive deer browsing.... If stalkers and gamekeepers play their part as responsible stewards of this priceless terrain, taking account of its exceptional heritage value, they will get and deserve the respect of our organisations and, we believe, of the wider community. Their current posturing really does them and their bosses no credit. SIMON PEPPER (director, WWF Scotland); STUART HOUSDEN (director, RSPB Scotland); DAVE MORRIS (director, Ramblers’ Association Scotland). c/o The Square Aberfeldy, Perthshire (letter)
Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 8.4.04 Deer cull blast targets 'rural rent-a-mob' - BROADCASTER and Ramblers' Association Scotland president Cameron McNeish has described gamekeepers who protested over the on-going cull of deer on Glenfeshie Estate as a "rural rent-a-mob". The ramblers have called for new legislation to control deer populations, including transferring responsibility from the private to public sector…. (story)
Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 8.4.04 Protest prompts bid to manage deer numbers Gamekeepers condemn Glenfeshie slaughter - NEW joint arrangements to manage deer populations have been announced by the Scottish Executive in the wake of anger over out-of-season culling on Glenfeshie Estate. An agreement between the Deer Commission for Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Environment and Rural Affairs department of the Executive will see the four agencies working together to deal with potential damage to important environmental sites… (story)
Scotsman 5.4.04 Ramblers chief attacks gamekeepers over deer culling - JOHN ROSS - THE president of the Ramblers Association in Scotland has called for new legislation to control the country’s deer population. Cameron McNeish has spoken out following a major demonstration by gamekeepers last week protesting at a cull of red deer on the Glenfeshie Estate. He said responsibility for controlling deer numbers should be moved from the private to the public sector, and accused the gamekeepers of acting like a "rural rent-a-mob"…. "Scotland’s deer managers behave as though Queen Victoria is still on the throne and fine chaps in the House of Lords decide who runs rural Scotland. No other European country would permit such nonsense."… Tony Taylor, one of the keepers involved in Monday’s protest, said that Mr McNeish’s remarks were "ill-informed" (story)
Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 2.4.04 Deer cull jobs threat sparks estate protests - GAMEKEEPERS have staged a mass demonstration over what they claim is the unnecessary massacre of red deer on a Badenoch estate. Around 100 stalkers and gamekeepers from estates across Scotland descended on Glenfeshie on Monday as the latest out-of-season cull by the Deer Commission Scotland took place… (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 1.4.04 EXECUTIVE CALLS FOR URGENT REPORT INTO 'SLAUGHTER' OF DEER ON ESTATE - The Scottish Executive has called for an urgent report into the "slaughter" of hundreds of deer on a Highland estate. The Deputy Environment and Rural Development Minister, Allan Wilson, wants to know whether the Deer Commission (Scotland) followed best practice when it ordered deer to be culled on the Glenfeshie estate. Emotions have been running high after marksmen were called to the estate, near Kincraig, in Badenoch…. Members of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) discussed the crisis with Mr Wilson yesterday afternoon… (story)
Scotsman 1.4.04 Indiscriminate cull - With reference to your report on the Glenfeshie Estate (30 March), the status of deer has been reduced in recent years to little more than that of vermin, to be shot at any time and anywhere... It used to be a matter of pride to have good stags and bucks, and a healthy deer population living in harmony with the forest. To butcher animals indiscriminately out of season is not management.... JIMMY WILSON John Street, Dalbeattie Kirkcudbrightshire (letter)
Scotsman 31.3.04 Commission denies deer cull will cost stalkers' jobs - JOHN ROSS - GAMEKEEPERS who claim that a deer cull could harm their livelihood have been told the action should create more jobs, not fewer… Yesterday, the commission hit back at the claims, saying the estate had acted responsibly and within the law. It said similar action by keepers could prevent other estates taking action to control deer numbers…. Mr Reiter said: "This is not some rampant massacre of deer, but a controlled cull with definite and rational targets behind it." He said it was preferable to kill hinds while they were pregnant rather than after they had given birth, as a calf left alone could starve to death…. (story)
Times 31.3.04 Cull of pregnant hinds defended BY SHIRLEY ENGLISH - THE Deer Commission yesterday defended an out-of-season cull of hundreds of hinds and stags at Glenfeshie Estate in the Cairngorms after gamekeepers staged a protest. About 100 estate keepers and stalkers gathered at Inschreach… and accused the government agency of heavy-handed tactics in ordering a mass shooting of deer at a time when many hinds were heavily pregnant… Seven government marksmen were flown to Glenfeshie by the commission at the end of January when it used emergency powers to conduct a compulsory cull of deer… The agency then sat down with the estate to discuss its failure to achieve government deer cull targets. A plan was worked out to continue the culling out of season…. (story)
Scotsman 30.3.04 Gamekeepers protest against red deer cull - JOHN ROSS - GAMEKEEPERS from across Scotland last night staged a major demonstration on a Highland estate in protest at a controversial deer cull. More than 100 keepers from about 60 estates converged on the Glenfeshie Estate, in Strathspey, and called for a cull of red deer to be stopped. They claim the cull is excessive and being done out of season. It is also claimed that a severe reduction in deer numbers is affecting their livelihoods.... (story)
Glasgow Herald 30.3.04 Protest at deer ‘massacre’ on estate - DAVID ROSS, Highland Correspondent - SCORES of gamekeepers from sporting estates across Scotland yesterday staged an extraordinary protest against the "massacre" of hundreds of deer on Glenfeshie estate in the Cairngorms. They claimed the scale of the intervention by the Deer Commission would jeopardise the future of shoots, sporting estates and the jobs of gamekeepers, and likened the cull to the effects of the foot-and-mouth epidemic in 2001... Tony Taylor, a Ross-shire keeper whose brother is a Glenfeshie stalker, told the gathering: "We are here today to demonstrate to the government, to our representatives in the Scottish Gamekeepers Association and to the public at large our heartfelt feelings of revulsion and frustration . . . feelings entirely generated by the nine-week massacre at Glenfeshie. "The ongoing carnage we are witnessing goes against our way of life, our morals, our beliefs, and our professionalism and above all our respect for the deer. It is totally unacceptable and must be stopped now..... (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 30.3.04 GAMEKEEPERS STAGE PROTEST OVER RED DEER 'CARNAGE' - NICOLA STOW - Gamekeepers from throughout Scotland staged a massive protest yesterday over what they claim is an "unnecessary massacre" of red deer at a Highland estate. More than 100 stalkers and gamekeepers converged on Glenfeshie Estate near the village of Kincraig in Badenoch to object to the cull, which has been organised by the Deer Commission (Scotland)… (story)
Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 25.3.04 Welfare measures of the poorest provision - We have had answering correspondence from Mr Andrew Raven, chairman of the Deer Commission, via the Inverness offices of Mr David Stewart MP, following our recent concerns documented in the "Strathy" in the wake of the cull at Glenfeshie Estate…. No-one should start a large-scale deer cull in the afternoon; the morning is the time because it provides the maximum daylight for not only collecting carcasses but, more importantly, for the following of wounded animals. We wonder if the pregnant state of the deer was ever taken into consideration?... (letter)
Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 25.3.04 Present system of deer management is not effective - The editor is ending the correspondence on deer culling at Glenfeshie, but the cull continues. Young are being cut from their dead mothers' wombs and being weighed and their bodies taken away. To where? Do we presume that this is research?... It seems on occasions that the Deer Commission rules okay, and their liaison with other interested bodies is a bit beneath their dignity… GREGOR RIMELL Broomlea, Newtonmore. (letter)
Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 25.3.04 Why did DCS not wait until legal season resumes? As this is the last chance to air our views on the continuous despicable out-of-season slaughter of Scotland's red deer on Glenfeshie Estate, I would like to make a few final points… I do not know the present owner of the estate, but I have no doubt that he is a respectable gentleman, and in no way would he condone the slaughter of heavily pregnant deer on his land any more than locals… If they required to reduce deer numbers, be they imaginary or not, why did the DCS not wait and commence their slaughter when the legal season resumes in October? - Yours etc, D. MILTON 1 Dalnavert Cottages, Feshiebridge, Kingussie. (letter)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 11.3.04 ANGER VOICED OVER PLANS TO CULL RED DEER DUE TO DAMAGE - FERGUS MACNEILL - A Controversial plan for a red deer cull has shattered the peace of a Highland glen. The Deer Commission (Scotland) has come under fire from concerned locals after it emerged that the killing of deer is planned at Strathglass, located 25 miles west of Inverness. Locals have claimed that large wooden pens being constructed will be used to herd the deer together as part of the cull later this month… (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 30.4.04 HLS boss 'should fear a fanatic' - I read with interest your article on Friday April 23, 'Lab boss helps form group for victims'… I fund-raise and help many different animal charities and hold stalls all over East Anglia… I regularly get concerned members of the public speaking to me at stalls with disapproving points of view about HLS, including more harsh comments like 'the place wants bombing'… M SUTTON, Westwood, Peterborough (letter)

Western Morning News 30.4.04 WAY STILL OPEN FOR UK LIVE EXPORT BAN - A total ban on the live export of horses for slaughter could be introduced through amendments to the Government's proposed Animal Welfare Bill it emerged yesterday, as pressure mounted on ministers to block a resumption of the trade…. In an apparent softening of its position this week the Government appeared ready to seek an opt-out. But the collapse of the talks has left a question mark over the legality of the UK's existing rules…. (story)
Western Morning News 30.4.04 BATTLE GOES ON DESPITE EURO FAILURE - When Defra minister Ben Bradshaw finally agreed to back a clause which would allow Britain legal protection under EU law to its ban on exporting low value horses, ponies and donkeys for slaughter - minutes before going into talks with European agriculture ministers on Monday - it represented a victory for the WMN campaign against a resumption of the cruel trade…. (story)

Western Morning News 30.4.04 WHAT'S MORE CRUEL, HUNTING OR ANIMAL EXPORT? - Your wonderful, emotive poster and all the articles you have run should be sent to all MPs and members of the House of Lords… This Government seems obsessed with banning hunting. Perhaps it can occasionally be cruel, but other methods of control could cause more pain for a longer time…. So which is more cruel: Hunting or animals export?... E Badham, Brixham
Unbearable pictures I KEEP turning your pages hurriedly, because I cannot bear to even look at your photographs of cruelty. Some research has shown a connection between animal cruelty and cruelty to human being… Hillary Beard, Buckfast, Devon (letters)

VIVA! M&S DUCK LETTER
Dudley News 30.4.04 Duck farms shame - I have recently become aware of the shameful conditions on duck farms supplying Marks and Spencer at Merry Hill…. Kevin Webster, Dudley (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Post 17.4.04 Animal suffering From: David Charlesworth, Bradwell Avenue, Gilroyd, Barnsley. Recently, I was horrified to learn that an investigation into supermarkets and butchers uncovered shocking evidence of animal suffering... (letter)
Somerset County Gazette 16.4.04 M&S duck scandal KAY BAXTER North Curry, Taunton (story in archive)
Shropshire Star 14.4.04 Distress of poor ducks in dirty sheds - DJ Haughton, Bristol (letter)
Northern Scot 9.4.04 Suffering of ducks for the dinner table - 123 Edgar Road, Elgin (letter)
Somerset Guardian 8.4.04 DUCK SHOCK - EVELINE MILES, Durcott Farm, Camerton (letter)
Bath Chronicle 22.3.04 DON'T CONDONE DUCK CRUELTY - HAZEL AYLETT, Williamstowe, Combe Down, Bath (letter)
Reading Chronicle 18.3.04 The truth about duck meat - Ms N M WALKER, Alpine Street, Reading (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 17.3.04 DUCKS REARED IN CRUEL CONDITIONS …I do not profess to be a vegetarian, and am not an activist in any way, but I do love aquatic animals and feel all animals should be treated with the respect they deserve. R A EMMS, Walnut Road, Chelston, Torquay (letter)
Western Daily Press 16.3.04 STORE MUST HALT DUCKS' SUFFERING - P Stutt Coalpit Heath South Gloucestershire. (letter)
Darlington & Stockton Times 12.3.04 Doubtful duck - MARITA STAITE, Bargate, Richmond (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 11.3.04 Much abuse - I WAS horrified to see that a recent investigation into one of Marks & Spencer's major duck suppliers uncovered shocking scenes of animal suffering. The filmed report by animal group Viva! found ducks crammed into dirty sheds in their thousands… To fine out more you can contact Viva! 8 York Court, Wilder St, Bristol BS2 8QH… JEAN DOBB, Urchfont (letter in archive)

29.4.04

Bracknell News 29.4.04 No mandate for hunting ban - YOUR readers may be aware that the Government is under pressure from a number of its backbench MPs to reintroduce the bill to place a total ban on hunting with hounds… Chief constables, judges and magistrates across the country have voiced their serious concerns about the enforcement of such a ban… The Countryside Alliance, of whose Berkshire committee I am a member, will vigorously and publicly challenge any attempt to force this legislation through by dubious use of parliamentary procedures…. D R STRANGWAYES-BOOTH, Scotlands House, Warfield (lette)

Western Daily Press 29.4.04 MPS MUST HUNT DOWN REAL ISSUES - I believe that life is too short and too important to waste so much time, money and effort on trying to ban fox hunting. When will my local MP Diana Organ begin to address really important issues, such as immigration, the NHS, soaring crime rates. Have you tried to contact your local policeman lately? It is impossible to get hold of one…. Cathy Garlick Gorsley Gloucestershire (letter)

Ulster Herald 29.4.04 Desire to kill animals for sport is sick - It bears repeating that animal abuse can never be justified - end of argument… Those involved in the recreational killing of animals have a mental illness… Those involved in hunting of whatever description are at the centre of an ideological virus that has perverted the minds of many and renders unless the virtues of respect and compassion… John Tierney, Association of Hunt Saboteurs, Dublin (letter may be in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.4.04 CAN BLAIR BE TRUSTED TO HEED BACKBENCH CALL? - Ben Bradshaw MP, Points of view, April 23, fails to confirm that the Bill to ban hunting with dogs for sport will receive the Royal Assent…. why is this EDM necessary? Is it that Mr Kaufman cannot trust Tony Blair to obtain Royal Assent to the Hunting Bill without the Prime Minister being forced to do so by the backbench MPs?... John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.4.04 ANIMAL WELFARE IS MAJOR CONCERN OF GOVERNMENT - John Phelps, Points of view, April 12, is wrong to suggest the Government ignored animal welfare issues when deciding not to ban religious slaughter. A ban would simply have driven kosher and halal meat production to abattoirs abroad, with lower animal welfare standards than here in Britain…. Finally, on hunting with hounds, I am pleased that John Phelps now acknowledges it is likely to be banned soon… Ben Bradshaw, Animal Welfare Minister, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 12.4.04 I SHARE DISPLEASURE OVER ANIMAL WELFARE STANCE - Animal Aid, Points of view, April 5, said they were disappointed that the Government is to ignore the recommendation of the Farm Animal Welfare Council and allow religious slaughter to continue. I share their displeasure... Although a ban on the sport of hunting with dogs should be on the statue book within the next few months, I am by no means happy about trusting Labour on animal welfare issues. John Phelps Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.4.04 READY TO TALK - Each week in our local press, mention is made of surgeries by MPs. Anyone is free to make their views known and a set time is allowed. I'm sure the issue of a ban on hunting would have been included in the discussions. In other words, MPs know the score and continue to press for a hunting ban. I'm glad our MP is a person who cares about the treatment of Britain's wild animals… Pamela Dean Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

PROTESTS AGAINST BATMAN FILM
Ananova 29.4.04 Animal rights protest over Batman location - The makers of the new Batman film have been criticised for wanting to use an animal testing laboratory for one of their locations…. Members of the Mill Hill Anti-Vivisection Alliance are reportedly ready to disrupt any filming at the centre where animals are used to research diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis… (story)
ITV.com 29.4.04 Batman producers face protest threat (story)
Edgware & Mill Hill Times 21.4.04 Animal rights activists line up against Batman By Ian Lloyd ... superhero Batman is set to lock horns with an altogether different kind of opposition the Mill Hill Anti-Vivisection Alliance.... It was finally confirmed this week that director Christopher Nolan will be bringing a star-studded cast to the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Mill Hill to film part of the Hollywood blockbuster Batman Begins.... the Mill Hill Anti-Vivisection Alliance has claimed it is abhorrent for such a high-profile movie to be shot at the institute. Pam Kinnunen, who protests with the alliance at the NIMR every Wednesday, said: "It's extremely sad that this has to go ahead..." (story)
Edgware & Mill Hill Times 17.3.04 ‘No to Batman’ By Ian Lloyd - Animal rights protesters have threatened to disrupt the filming of the new Batman movie if director Christopher Nolan decides to shoot scenes at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Mill Hill… if he brings the caped crusader to Mill Hill, Mr Nolan will face an angry response from the Mill Hill Anti-Vivisection Alliance… Pamela Kinnunen, who protests with the Alliance outside the NIMR every Wednesday evening, said: "We think it would be absolutely hypocritical for Christopher Nolan to use this as a location for the film because of the millions of dollars being made out of it and the entertainment value, while these animals are suffering…. (story)

Times 29.4.04 Violence and vivisection - IN RESPONSE to your article on so-called "animal rights fanatics” (April 23), I think that I represent the great majority of animal rights supporters in decrying violence…. Jonathan Balcombe, York
Bullied but unbowed - THE police and courts have not been idle over this issue…. I myself sustained a fractured femur, lost a litre of blood and suffered permanent scarring and a limp after an unprovoked attack by a police officer…. Lynn Sawyer
Expose the extremists - MY PARTNER works for a healthcare company which has recently been targeted by an extremist animal rights group… I would like to see the names and addresses published of any animal rights protester convicted of criminal damage to someone else’s property. What gives them a right to anonymity that is not extended to their victims?... Name and address supplied
Fuelled by cruelty - YOUR question is the moral equivalent of an apartheid hardliner in 1975 asking what should be "done” about the ANC, or of a reactionary in 1913 asking what should be "done” about the suffragettes…. If stringent laws were introduced to control the vast, powerful and underregulated vivisection industry, then the extremists would be denied the oxygen that gives them life. Antony Crookston, Waterlooville, Hampshire
Unequal rights - WE CAN argue about the rights and wrongs of animal experimentation as much as we like, but to give those who engage in these activities special status denied to the average citizen who does not, surely amounts to little more than supporting animal cruelty…. Timothy Jones, Lewes, East Sussex
Humane protest - ACTIONS such as harassment, false allegations, sabotage and threatening behaviour are wholly wrong… I would prefer a society without animal experimentation or animal exploitation. But I know this will not be achieved by intimidation and violence. Nor will it be achieved by apathy. Brendan Quinn, Cannock, Staffordshire (letters)

Surrey Mirror 29.4.04 Generous support for animal day - FURTHER to your support of World Animal Lab Day on Saturday April 24, Tandridge's residents have helped raise £20 in the fight for the 100 million animals that suffer and die in experiments every year in the world's laboratories… Jan Creamer, chief executive, National Anti-Vivisection Society (letter)

Bucks Free Press 29.4.04 Celebrity slams pig roast festival as 'barbaric' By James Clements - PRINCES Risborough Festival has been labelled "barbaric" by one celebrity vegetarian. The astronomer and broadcaster Heather Couper, who lives in Loosley Row, attacked plans to have a pig roast at this year's town festival…. Town council chairman Gary Hall hit back and said he felt the public would like the event. He said: "I don't think it is barbaric at all… I have the sincerest respect for Heather, but I am a bit saddened that she has not got the same respect for the majority of meat eaters." (story)

Western Mail 29.4.04 Vegetarian diet - SIR - I was extremely irritated to read in "A Weighty Future?" (WM, April 27) your sports doctor's comments on the diet of the vegetarian Sian Morgan Iles… JANET PICKAVANCE, Cwmrhydyceirw, Abertawe (letter)

North Devon Journal 29.4.04 DISGUSTED AT CULLING OF SEALS - I am totally disgusted at the terrible slaughter of one million baby seals in Canada…. MATTHEW DE HAVILLAND, Woolacombe. (letter)

Dundee Evening Telegraph 29.4.04 Time to shame Canada - I DON’T understand why men make it their work to club and mutilate helpless baby seals in the name of conservation of fish stocks?... Evelyn Kelly, Fund-Raising Officer, Cats’ Protection, Foundry Lane, Dundee.
WHAT’S THE address of the Canadian Prime Minister? I would like to write complaining about the baby seal cull. — Elizabeth Barrie, Lawton Terrace, Dundee. (letters)

28.4.04

Nottingham Evening Post 28.4.04 HUNTING IS NOT A POLITICAL PRIORITY - Sherwood MP Paddy Tipping recently stated that he has become frustrated with the lack of movement on banning hunting… He obviously cares more about foxes than his own constituents. S. W. HUTCHINSON Bungalow Lane Bilsthorpe (letter)

The Sentinel 28.4.04 HUNTERS WON'T ACCEPT BAN I have supported and participated in country sports for most of my life. I care passionately about our unique rural fabric… Thus, it is with great dismay I read of more rumours in the media that the Government is again considering introducing another bill to ban hunting with dogs…. The Countryside Alliance and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, both of which I am a member, have vowed to never accept any ban on hunting. We who hunt will never accept a ban…. PHILIP KETTLE Countryside Alliance Member Norton Green (letter)

Western Morning News 28.4.04 Inaccessible MPs - AS if the country doesn't have enough problems to deal with. Now hysterical and largely urban Labour MPs are clamouring for yet more time wasting on a Bill to ban hunting…. Dr Christopher Maycock, Crediton (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.4.04 I HOPE HUNT BILL WILL GO THROUGH - I wonder if other readers were as nauseated as I was by the letter (Western Daily Press, April 17) from Diana Scott, joint master of the Devon and Somerset staghounds. Here is someone whose great thrill in life is to chase a wild animal mercilessly for hours on end until that animal is completely broken, physically and mentally…. The LACS has fought a long, hard fight against the cruelties of blood sports for many years…. Jean Turner Plympton Plymouth Devon (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.4.04 STAGHOUND'S ALL CLEAR - VET As Joint Master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, I read with interest your article with the misleading title Anti-Hunters Find Hound With Tumour - stating that a League Against Cruel Sports employee had seen a photograph of one of our hounds and had diagnosed a suspected cancerous mammary tumour.... Diana Scott, Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 10.4.04 BEST CARED-FOR HOUNDS IN LAND - As joint master of the Devon and Somerset staghounds, I read with interest your article, "Anti-hunters find hound with tumour", stating that a League Against Cruel Sports employee had seen a photo of one of our hounds and had diagnosed a suspected cancerous mammary tumour.... I took the hound to be examined by an independent, practising vet who confirmed that the pendulous skin mass in question was of cosmetic concern only, mammary tumours being extremely rare in the male.... Diana Scott (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.4.04 ANTI-HUNTERS FIND HOUND WITH TUMOUR - Anti-hunt campaigners yesterday called in the RSPCA to investigate the condition of a staghound that wandered in to a West deer sanctuary. They believe the dog has a mammary gland tumour that could be cancerous and has required medical treatment for some time. The hound was one of two picked up on land owned by the League Against Cruel Sports in the Quantocks in Somerset. League officials kept the pair in their office for a couple of hours before kennelhands from the Devon and Somerset Staghounds arrived to pick them up…
Meanwhile, an MP has said the discovery of a fox which had been shot in the head but survived for a week showed the alternatives to hunting with dogs were probably more cruel. The vixen was finally killed by the Llanbrynmair Foxhounds, from mid Wales, last week… (story)

Western Mail 28.4.04 Hunting issue must be resolved - Kirsty Buchanan's article (April 23) headed "Hunting not a major Issue says Michael" misrepresents what I said. The article says that I "appeared to question the level of public demand for such a ban" which is complete invention. I have never said nor implied any such thing… Hunting is not the main issue for most people, but it is an issue that must be resolved and as we have promised it will be resolved in this Parliament. ALUN MICHAEL Minister for Rural Affairs Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (letter)
Western Morning News 26.4.04 MINISTER URGED TO VOTE FOR HORSES AT EU SUMMIT -The secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is being urged to propose an amendment to EU law, that will allow the UK to ban the export of horses, ponies and donkeys, at a crucial meeting this afternoon. Margaret Beckett, who along with her junior colleague, Minister for the Horse, Alun Michael, has consistently refused to ask for a clause protecting British horses, will meet fellow agriculture ministers from EU countries for the Council of Ministers meeting in Luxembourg. One of the items for discussion and vote is a draft EU Regulation on the transport of animals… (story)

Jersey Evening Post 28.4.04 The natural predators are as much to blame From A Jolley. Champs Vert, Rue des Marais, St Mary. I FELT that I had to reply to the letter from Bob Burrow (JEP, 22 April). He commented that pheasants are a threat to the agile frog population… There are herons, and increasingly large numbers of egrets and the occasional bittern and grass snakes who love to eat frogs. Perhaps we should cull all these natural predators first before we blame the pheasant for the decline in this species… (letter may be in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 28.4.04 Will only proven shooters be given licences to kill these birds? From Jessica Le Hégarat, 5 Jubilee Cottage, L'Etacq, St Ouen. I READ the piece in the JEP about culling the pheasants, well we've had two cock birds and their females around our house for the last three or four years… If you give licences to cull these beautiful birds what will stop anyone with a gun from going out and shooting them for profit? It would be very hard to monitor this… (letter may be in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 28.4.04 The magpies cause more damage to crops on our côtil From Sammi Le Hégarat. I AM writing to the JEP because of the article I read in the paper on culling the pheasants… In our field the magpies actually do far more damage than the pheasants have ever done or ever will do. To summarise my letter I only have one thing to say, you should not cull these beautiful birds. (letter may be in archive)

SCA RURAL FUTURES CONFERENCE
Scotsman 28.4.04 Executive 'failing' anglers - FORDYCE MAXWELL - THE Scottish Executive’s "tunnel vision" concentration on fish farming is destroying the country’s wild salmon rivers, it was claimed yesterday. Orri Vigfusson, chairman of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund, said a recent independent report had shown that salmon and sea-trout angling was worth £70 million a year and about 2,000 jobs to Scotland. But he told a rural future conference in Perth it could be worth four times that if the Executive gave angling the support it now gives fish farming… (story)
Glasgow Herald 28.4.04 Paradise lost as anglers are lured abroad - ROB CRILLY, Environment Correspondent - WEALTHY anglers are turning their back on Scotland in favour of bigger catches in Iceland and Russia, according to one of the world's leading authorities on salmon conservation. Orri Vigfusson told a countryside conference in Perth yesterday that the twin threats of aquaculture in fish farms and netting at sea were damaging salmon stocks, and Scotland was no longer viewed as an "environmental paradise"…. The debate over preserving salmon stocks was reignited at the Rural Scotland 2004 conference organised by the Scottish Countryside Alliance…. (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 9.4.04 SALMON FUND CHIEF TO SPEAK AT PERTH - KEITH FINDLAY - A Leading conservationist will address a conference in Perth this month fresh from winning a major award from a US conservation group for his work. Orri Vigfusson, international chairman of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF), has been invited to speak at the People, Places, Prosperity: Rural Scotland 2004 Conference at Perth City Hall on April 27 by the Scottish Countryside Alliance.... (story)

FAMILY BANNED FROM PUB BECAUSE OF ANIMAL RIGHTS THREATS
Publican 28.4.04 Licensee quits over animal rights row - A licensee has quit his pub after refusing to give in to a hate campaign from animal rights campaigners. Keith Marklew, who runs the Red Lion in Newborough, Staffordshire, fell victim to attacks from protestors earlier this year, as reported by The Publican…. Mr Marklew refused to let the behaviour dictate who used his pub and continued to serve the Hall family, but as the situation worsened he was forced to move away… (story)
Burton Mail 22.4.04 One-man stand comes to an end by MARC BRYANT - A LICENSEE has called time on his one-man stand against a campaign of intimidation by animal rights' activists – after bosses went over his head and banned a family from his pub. Keith Marklew is set to leave The Red Lion pub, in Newborough, on Monday following a series of threats by animal rights campaigners…. Mr Marklew initially took a stand and said he refused to be intimidated by the "cowardly" anonymous callers. However, as revealed by the Mail last month, his employer, the Union Pub Company (UPC), went behind his back writing by to the Halls to request they no longer frequented the pub. Following showdown talks with the company… Mr Marklew failed to get the firm to retract the request, which he dubbed "absolutely disgusting… (story)
Publican 4.3.04 Animal liberationists target pubcos - Staff and licensees of two pub companies have been targeted by animal liberationists for allowing people from a breeding farm to drink in their pubs. Employees of Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries (W&DB) and Greene King are on the hit-list of animal rights campaigners who are angry that the family owners of David Hall and Associates, based at Darley Oaks Farm, in Newchurch, Staffordshire, use their pubs…. In the past month, both companies have written to the Hall family asking them not to use specific pubs… (story)
Burton Mail 2.3.04 Landlord's anger at guinea pig ban by DAVID POWLES - A LICENSEE today hit out at his bosses after they went behind his back to ban the owners of a controversial guinea pig farm from entering his pub. Keith Marklew, who runs The Red Lion in Duffield Lane, Newborough, has labelled the pub owner's behaviour "disgusting" after it told the family, who own the Darley Oaks Guinea Pig farm, in Newchurch, that they should no longer go there… "The regulars think this is a disgrace and have already started a petition. They said that they will boycott the pub unless the letter is retracted."… (story)
Birmingham Evening Mail 1.3.04 Pub ban on family - A farming family who have become the target of a vicious animal rights campaign have been barred from using the local pub. David Hall and Associates, who run Darley Oaks Farm, Newchurch, Staffordshire, have been asked not to go to the Red Lion in nearby Newborough, by the pub’s brewery, The Union Pub Company. It followed an online onslaught from the activists, who sent a barrage of emails and faxes via internet chat rooms…. No-one from the Union Pub Company could be contacted for comment but a spokesman for the Red Lion said: "We will be meeting with the brewery to find out what is going on. We haven’t barred them - it is the brewery which asked them not to come in - and we certainly have no problem with the Halls.”…. (story)
Burton Mail 19.2.04 Landlord stands up for his rights by DAVID POWLES - A PUB landlord today refused to give in to a 'cowardly' animal rights terrorists group who have threatened him because the owner of a controversial guinea pig farm drinks at his establishment…. Keith Marklew, licensee of The Red Lion pub, in Duffield Lane, Newborough, has become the latest target of protesters against the Darley Oaks Farm, in Newchurch – and more recently from the sinister Animal Liberation Front (ALF). During the last few weeks he has been subject to crank phone calls, abuse and threats after a member of the Hall family, which owns Darley Oaks, was spotted at the pub… Mr Marklew refused today to give in to the pressure, challenging the anonymous 'cowards' to make themselves known so that he can discuss the issue with them. … Campaigners have also targeted The Riverside Hotel in Branston after alleging on their website that the Halls were regular customers. However, managers at the hotel have bowed to the pressure and sent a letter to the family asking them to 'refrain' from using the establishment to 'protect your own safety and that of the Riverside Hotel’s customers and staff'… (story)

Salisbury Journal 28.4.04 Tests on animals criticised - ANIMAL rights campaigners have slammed Dstl Porton Down for carrying out cruel and unnecessary research on pigs. The National Anti-Vivisection Society says scientists at the secret MoD research base have been dripping the deadly chemical warfare agent, VX, on to the animals' skin…. (story in archive)

Portsmouth News 28.4.04 Nine arrested as police raid cockfight - NINE MEN were arrested when police and RSPCA inspectors raided a barn and discovered an illegal cockfighting ring… (story)
Argus 27.4.04 Nine bailed in cockfight inquiry - Nine men were arrested after police smashed an illegal cock-fighting ring in Sussex. A smallholding in Manhood, near Chichester, was raided by police and RSPCA inspectors on Sunday and 15 birds were seized… (story)

Northern Echo 28.4.04 RSPCA branch calls for help - ANIMAL welfare volunteers have warned their branch may have to close because of a lack of funds. South Durham and North Yorkshire RSPCA branch members care for abandoned and ill-treated cats. But secretary Vanessa Robinson said the group was having to turn animals away because of a funds shortage…. (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 28.4.04 STALL IN ANIMAL FERRYING - Plans to improve poor standards of transporting animals for slaughter in mainland Europe stalled yesterday. The UK was among several states seeking shorter journey times, more space and better ventilation in transit across Europe. But other countries, including Ireland, complained that time restrictions would seriously harm the meat industry…. (story)

Western Daily Press 28.4.04 SEAL SLAUGHTER PUTS HUMANITY TO SHAME - The terrifying holocaust of the seals on the ice floes of eastern Canada was graphically illustrated in your publication. It defies belief that the human species has become so abjectly cruel… M Ratcliffe Swindon (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 27.4.04 DUCK CULL MAY NOT BE A DUCK KILL . . . A council which discussed 'culling' Dulverton ducks to keep riverside lawns tidy, now claims culling does not necessarily mean killing. West Somerset District Council is working with Dulverton Town Council and the Exmoor National Park Authority to find a way of keeping Exmoor Lawns in a better state… (story)

27.4.04

Western Morning News 27.4.04 HUNT GROUP WARNING ON CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE- Rebel hunt supporters have been urged not to engage in "random law-breaking" if the Government goes ahead with a ban on hunting with dogs. The Hunting Declaration Group has told its 50,000 supporters that a campaign of "civil disobedience" will be launched next year if, as now looks likely, Tony Blair brings back the controversial Hunting Bill in the next few months…. the group's co-founder Roger Scruton said that the threat of civil disobedience could act as a serious deterrent to Mr Blair by demonstrating that the law would be unenforceable… (story)

The Sentinel 27.4.04 MPS ARE JUST HORSING AROUND …We now have a Government which is taking part in an illegal occupation of Iraq, which supports private hospitals and is excluding working class students from universities. And what do our Stoke MPs George Stevenson and Joan Walley think about it? We don't know because they are too busy trying to get a hunting ban debated in Parliament again!... DENNIS WATSON Audley (letter)

Shropshire Star 27.4.04 Hunt ban extra work for police - Reading this paper, April 20, I note that David Wright, Labour MP for Telford, states in an article that he and 216 MPs want hunting with dogs banned by Christmas… I wonder where all these extra police needed to cope with the situation will come from and the money needed to pay them… Name and address supplied (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 27.4.04 We keep to law From Coral Felix Stanley Road, Newmarket - IN REPLY to Philippa Hill (Letters, April 22), we are not lawless terrorists. Everywhere SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) go, the police go. If we were all lawless we would be arrested. However, they just stand back and watch us…. it is not how big a group of activist is, it is how they act that counts and, trust me, we will close HLS. (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 27.4.04 Lawless terrorists - From Philippa Hill St Eligius Street, Cambridge - IS THE News gutless? Why does it never criticise the lawless terrorists in our midst? Namely the small group of activists within Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) trying to force their minority views on us all? (letter)

Uttoxeter Advertiser 27.4.04 Animal rights demo sparks 11 arrests by MARC BRYANT (story)
Burton Mail 26.4.04 Animal rights demo at farm by MARC BRYANT - POLICE made 11 arrests during a protest by 200 animal rights campaigners at a controversial guinea pig farm near Burton…. Of the 11 arrests, nine were male and two female. Two have received police cautions and the others have been released on police bail pending further inquires…. (story)

Times 27.4.04 Animal rights and extremist acts - You correctly recognise that the unlawful actions taken against my company and others by a very small group of animal rights extremists represent a campaign of terror, wreaked by terrorists (leading article, April 23)…. ANDREW BAKER, Chairman, Huntingdon Life Sciences, PO Box 2, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE18 6ES.
The maximum sentence for general harassment is not three months’ imprisonment, as you suggest…. It is difficult enough to secure a conviction for harassment in the first place. On conviction it seems that defendants have a one-third chance of securing a conditional discharge. This puts the odds very much against the victims of extremist behaviour. Yours, etc, TIM LAWSON-CRUTTENDEN, (Co-author, Harassment Law in Practice, Blackstone, 1998), Lawson-Cruttenden & Co, 10-11 Gray’s Inn Square, WC1R 4JD. (letters)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.4.04 ANIMALS EXPERIMENTS ARE CRUEL AND WORTHLESS - Every day thousands of animals die in experiments - burned, blinded, mutilated, irradiated, force-fed chemicals and household products… This week is World Lab Animal Week and, last Saturday, anti-vivisectionists all over the world recognised an international day of commemoration for the suffering of laboratory animals. For further information please contact the NAVS… Frances Wicks, Alphington Road, St Thomas, Exeter (letter)

BBC News Online 27.4.04 Ten arrested over badger baiting- Ten people have been arrested by police in east Lancashire on suspicion of badger baiting. Five RSPCA staff and eight officers from Lancashire Police made the arrests in Bracewell, near Barnoldswick, at around 0430 BST on Sunday. The 10 men, three from Barnoldswick and seven from Wigan and Leigh, have all been released on police bail pending further enquiries… (story)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 27.4.04 10 arrested after wildlife operation - TEN people have been arrested on suspicion of causing suffering to animals and disturbing a badger sett. The arrests were made as part of in a joint police and RSPCA operation in Bracewell, near Gisburn, at 4.30am on Sunday… (story in archive)

Bath Chronicle 27.4.04 HORSE CRUELTY IS ALL SET TO RETURN - Because of the appalling conditions exposed by campaigners many years ago, Britain introduced measures to end the export of live horses to Europe for meat. These protections are now under threat, largely because our own Government, for reasons which are inexplicable, refuses to act to keep Britain out of the horse meat export trade…. For more information, contact Viva!... JOVIE HARFIELD, The Brow, Bath (story)

Western Daily Press 27.4.04 CHARITY STUNT INVADES BEARS' REFUGE - Examples of human stupidity and arrogance would fill many volumes but some media-led so-called charity stunts take the biscuit… In one recent case armed rangers had to accompany a runner to shoot any polar bears that may have got in the way…. David Thomas Westbury Wiltshire (story)

Guernsey Press & Star 27.4.04 SUPERMARKETS always claim that they take welfare seriously, as Marks & Spencer did in its reply to a letter about Viva's campaign to highlight the plight of factory-farming ducks (dated 3 April), but this is an industry in which ducks' needs count for nothing… SUE VIDAMOUR (letter)
Guernsey Press & Star 22.4.04 WITH Easter invoking images of chocolate eggs and fluffy ducklings, shops, supermarkets and restaurants are focusing more than ever on duck-based products… Information on this and other examples of the exploitation of animals is available by accessing the Viva website… M. F. WATT. (letter)
Guernsey Press & Star 3.4.04 We refute the suggestions of improper treatment of ducks and conditions in which they are reared as detailed in the Viva! letter you received. Marks & Spencer stipulates that duck farms from which it sources operate to the highest standards of animal welfare… George Hadley, press officer, Marks & Spencer (letter)
Guernsey Press & Star 3.4.04 I WAS horrified to see that a recent investigation into one of Marks & Spencer's major duck suppliers allegedly uncovered shocking scenes of animals suffering…. L. LAINE (letter)

26.4.04

Eastern Daily Press 26.4.04 Minsiters to push through hunting bill - CHRIS FISHER, EDP POLITICAL EDITOR - Ministers appeared determined last night to force through a new Bill to outlaw hunting by the end of the year. The Government made clear it would invoke the seldom-used Parliament Act to railroad the measures through the House of Lords - until now the sticking point to new legislation... There was heated reaction from the hunting community in East Anglia last night, both to the ban and to the way it could be implemented. Roger Bradbury, joint master of the North Norfolk Harriers, said hare hunting was a natural sport that had gone on since before the time of the Pharaohs.... Liz Mort, East Anglian spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance, said hunting provided a significant amount of rural income and had a positive effect on conservation across large swathes of countryside.... (story)

Western Daily Press 26.4.04 FOX HUNTING BAN IN PLACE THIS YEAR - A Bill to ban fox hunting will be forced through Parliament this year, former minister Tony Banks predicted yesterday… (story)
Daily Post 26.4.04 Hunting ban Bill 'near' - A BILL to ban fox hunting will be forced through Parliament by the end of the year, former sports minister Tony Banks predicted yesterday…. (story)
Ananova 25.4.04 Hunting bill 'will go through' A bill to ban fox hunting will be forced through Parliament by the end of the year, former sports minister Tony Banks has predicted... He told GMTV's Sunday Programme: "Unless they are lying through their teeth then I am content that we'll deal with this issue by the time Parliament finishes in October."... (story)
Star 25.4.04 Hunting bill 'will go through' (story)

CRAWLEY & HORSHAM RIDER CAUTIONED
Argus 26.4.04 Letter: Think again, John - John Atkins questions whether I am really pro-fox or just anti-hunt. The answer is both.... If Mr Atkins cares to look at www.crueltyexposed.co.uk, he will see a diary of our group's efforts opposing Sussex hunts. If he still holds a jaundiced view of us, then he is a liar because he was a hunt supporter all along. -Jaine Wild, West Sussex Wildlife Protection, Walsham Close, Felpham, Bognor Regis (letter)
Argus 26.4.04 Letter: She's civilised - I am writing in response to John Atkins' letter, "Is she really pro-fox or just anti-hunting?"... The primordial urges of those who indulge in the hunting of wild animals cannot be allowed to taint civilisation... The utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill's central principle on liberty, which forms a strong part of our unwritten constitution, is that "the only purpose for which power can be rightly exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." Their basic symbolic use of their quarry to intimidate Jaine and Simon Wilde ("Who are the hunted?", The Argus, September 4, 2002), manifestly demonstrates why it is necessary to prevent those who hunt continuing their acts of premeditated violence in the name of "country pursuits"... -David Hammond, Hassocks (letter)
Crawley News 21.4.04 Huntsman cautioned after whipping saboteur By Anna Giokas - A HUNTSMAN has been cautioned for hitting a hunt saboteur with his whip. Jaine Wild had gone to protest at a Crawley and Horsham hunt in Shipley where, she claims, huntsman Jamie Hawksfield hit her with his whip... Mr Hawksfield denies he hit Mrs Wild though he admits raising his whip. He said: "I shouldn't have done it. It was foolish of me, but I didn't hit her. It's a storm in a tea cup. I accepted the caution on my solicitor's advice, so I didn't have to spend the next year having to fight an allegation which isn't true," he said. (story)
Argus 21.4.04 Letter: Pro-fox or just anti-hunting? I am not a huntsman or any sort of hunt supporter but I am a thinking person and have lived in the country all my life. It strikes me Jaine Wild, from Bognor, is not really concerned about the welfare of red foxes but has some sort of persecution complex against the riding community... If Mrs Wild has a genuine liking for foxes, she should be actively petitioning car distributors for selling the most effective weapon for killing foxes - at the rate of over a million a year in the UK... So, come off it, Mrs Wild, you're not fooling anyone with your antics. You're just spoiling a good day's exercise for horse and dogs. -John Atkins, Hunters Way, Uckfield story)
Argus 19.4.04 Letter: One law for the hunters another for protesters - The violence that Jaine Wild experienced at the Crawley and Horsham Hunt from the county chairman of the Countryside Alliance, Jamie Hawksfield (The Argus, April 15) is quite typical of the violence that hunt protesters have to risk throughout the hunting season. So is the sentence meted out to him - a caution. As a peaceful protester against this hunt over many years, I too have been assaulted - and while standing next to a police officer.... Sue Baumgardt, Hove (letter)
Argus 15.4.04 Huntsman is guilty of whip attack - A huntsman has been cautioned for hitting an anti-hunt protester with his whip. Jamie Hawksfield was arrested yesterday for assaulting library assistant Jaine Wild at a meeting of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt close to Shipley, near Horsham, on February 27. Mr Hawksfield, county chairman of the Countryside Alliance, was taken to Crawley police station where he received the police caution… Mr Hawksfield, managing director of Equestrian Vision, a firm which produces equestrian videos, denied he had assaulted Mrs Wild…. "Nobody was hurt - she says I hit her and I say I didn't. There was a fracas and I was foolish enough to raise my whip. The reason I accepted a caution was so didn't spend the next year of my life having to fight an allegation which we are confident was totally inaccurate."… (story)

Shropshire Star 26.4.04 Priorities all wrong - There is much to put right in the country at the moment, but where is MP David Wright and the other signees of the Early Day Motion putting his priority? Banning hunting. It's unbelievable… Andy Allen, Sedgeford (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.4.04 BLOOD SPORTS OPPONENTS SET FOR DIRECT ACTION TOO - The Countryside Alliance has warned ministers to expect trouble from hundreds of thousands of rural and urban dwellers if the Hunting Bill is enacted. Their spokesman, Tim Bonner, is reported to have said: "There will be a very serious campaign of civil disobedience on this." Does Mr Bonner think the millions of people who are opposed to blood sports will sit back meekly and take no direct action against the hunts if the Bill is sabotaged by Tony Blair?... John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 26.4.04 Universities deny experiments claim By Kathryn Torney - QUEEN'S University and the University of Ulster have denied claims that they have carried out "unnecessary animal experiments". The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) accused the universities of inflicting 1,300 electric shocks to the hearts of sheep and pigs to investigate a device for restoring normal heart rhythm…. (story)

VICTIMS OF ANIMAL RIGHTS EXTREMISM LAUNCH
Burton Mail 26.4.04 Campaign victim in attack on Govt by DAVID POWLES A FORMER worker at a guinea pig farm who was subjected to a campaign of terror by animal rights acitivists has supported calls for better legislation to protect law abiding citizens from violence and intimidation. John Wright, of Winshill, was one of numerous employees and businesses who suffered at the hands of extremists because he worked as a delivery driver at the controversial Darley Oaks Farm, in Newchurch, which breeds guinea pigs for medical research... VARE aims to highlight the vicious tactics to which some protesters have turned... (story)
Guardian 23.4.04 Animal experimenters lobby MPs - David Adam, science correspondent - More than 100 research scientists who have been assaulted, intimidated and harassed because of their links with animal experiments met MPs at the Commons yesterday to demand measures to deal with "extremists". "The government and the police don't seem to be solving the problem," Mark Matfield, executive director of the Research Defence Society, said. "It's been going on for years and it's getting worse." The scientists have formed a lobbying group, Victims of Animal Rights Extremism… Brian Cass, managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences, said laws were needed to encompass the activities of anti-vivisection campaigners… (story)
Telegraph 23.4.04 Animal rights 'targets' launch support group By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - Victims of animal rights extremism yesterday lobbied MPs for legislation to curb the assaults, intimidation and harassment that they claim have increased this year. The campaign has included threats to the families of workers, bricks thrown through windows, graffiti on walls, staff accused of being paedophiles, tyres slashed, cars attacked with acid, and threats of being injected with the Aids virus… High Court civil injunctions have blocked most protests and intimidation. As a result, many companies believe, the activists are taking more direct, criminal action…. (story)
Independent 23.4.04 Intimidation puts life science industry in turmoil By Stephen Foley - Suppliers, advisers and contractors are giving up dealing with the life sciences industry at the rate of one a week because of increased intimidation from animal rights extremists…. A support group for victims was launched yesterday by Mark Matfield, of the Research Defence Society, and Brian Cass, managing director, of Huntingdon Life Sciences… About 100 victims of violence and intimidation went to Parliament with the new group, Victims of Animal Rights Extremism (Vare)… (story)
Times 23.4.04 Victims plead for curbs on animal rights extremists BY MARK HENDERSON, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT - LEGISLATION is needed to protect law-abiding citizens from violence and intimidation at the hands of animal welfare fanatics, a new support group for victims said yesterday. Vare, or Victims of Animal Rights Extremism, said that the Government and police were failing to protect employees, shareholders and suppliers of animal research laboratories from harassment, property damage and attacks…. (story)
Times 23.4.04 A daily terror from death threats, vandalism and bombed out cars - BY MARK HENDERSON - MEG, who works for a contract testing firm, was first targeted by extremists about five years ago, when she received threatening telephone calls demanding that she sell her shares in the company and resign from her job. "They progressed to death threats which got more and more aggressive, culminating in an explosion outside the house where our cars were firebombed,” she said…. (story)
Times 23.4.04 Human welfare - New laws are needed to target animal rights extremists - Their cars have been firebombed, their houses attacked and their lives threatened. Men and women working in animal research laboratories have received death threats on the phone and excrement in the post, been denounced to neighbours as child molesters and subjected to false accusations of rape…. The Government has deplored such criminal persecution, the police have denounced the perpetrators as dangerous and the animal rights movement has acquired a reputation as one of the most violent, aggressive and conspiratorial protest groups in the country. Yet beyond pious words of condemnation and calls for vigilance, officials have done almost nothing to tackle the hard core of extremists attempting to bomb and harass animal research into bankruptcy…. David Blunkett should turn his attention to an issue that has so far been dealt with only at a lower level. This terrorism must be stopped. (story)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 23.4.04 ANIMAL RIGHTS: Lab boss helps form group for victims - THE managing director of the controversial Huntingdon Life Sciences laboratories has co-founded a group to support victims of animal rights extremists. Brian Cass (56), who was beaten with baseball bats by militants in February 2001, is one of a small group of people who set up lobby group Victims of Animal Rights Extremism (VARE)…. (story)
New Scientist 22.4.04 Scientists demand law against animal rights extremism - People linked to animal experimentation who have suffered attacks and intimidation from animal rights extremists have banded together to lobby the UK government for changes in the law. The Victims of Animal Rights Extremism (VARE) group was launched at the British Parliament on Thursday. The 100-strong body of people who have suffered violence and harassment wants the government to crack down on the problem of extremism. "I think there's a tremendous and desperate need for an organisation like this to exist," says Mark Matfield, director of the Research Defence Society, who set up VARE…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 26.4.04 Trouble down the line for desperate badgers GARETH EDWARDS - A CLAN war is set to erupt in the heart of the Capital if proposals for a new tram route are given the go-ahead… The Edinburgh and Lothians Badger Group has submitted an objection to the parliament, saying that part of the current route, which involves heavy work in the Roseburn railway corridor, would be a disaster for the local badger population…. (story)

Western Daily Press 26.4.04 ALL ANIMALS HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE One of your contributors thinks squirrels should be killed. Someone else thinks seagulls should be shot…. Who do they think they are presuming they've a right to kill? Jane Somerset Cannington Somerset (letter)

The Sentinel 26.4.04 DEBATE ON SEAL SLAUGHTER - I AM not pleased that hunters have started to kill seals for their skin again…. LARA WALTON Smallthorne (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 26.4.04 NO SEAL OF APPROVAL - I DISAGREE strongly with the letter ‘Seal Trade Shames a Nation’ (News & Star, April 20) by Gus Proud of Skinburness…. Why doesn’t Gus Proud complain about certain religious groups in Britain and some Arab states on the manner in which they kill their cattle for human consumption?... ALEX SCOTT, Gilcrux, Aspatria (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 22.4.04 WHILE agreeing with Gus Proud’s letter I too wonder about the Canadians. Do they have estates which breed and hand-feed pheasants and other game birds so they are almost too fat to fly as they are driven towards the guns of fee-paying, so-called sports people? Do they dress in fancy colours and delight in the chasing and killing of stags and foxes?... The moral high ground is not easily taken. MIKE SHEPHERD, Naworth Drive, Lowry Hill, Carlisle (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 20.4.04 SEAL TRADE SHAMES A NATION … So as far as I am concerned, I would not want to live in Canada and it can join the ranks of Japan and other countries who slaughter for pleasure and profit in the name of necessity. GUS PROUD, Skinburness, Silloth (letter)

Liverpool Echo 29.4.04 Boycott call - YOUR article ("Protests as hunters begin culling 350,000 baby seals," ECHO, April 14) drew readers' attention to the cruel slaughter in Canada…. Until Canada stops clubbing helpless seals to death, Respect For Animals urges people to please boycott Canada as a tourist destination. Mark Glover, Director, Respect For Animals (letter)

24.4.04

Newcastle Journal 24.4.04 Agricultural showcase promises the best - Plans are well under way for the 2004 Great Yorkshire Show, one of the premier events on the British summer calendar. The organisers - the Yorkshire Agricultural Society - expect more than 120,000 visitors through the gates between Tuesday July 13 and Thursday July 15... There will be demonstrations of fly fishing, gun dog training and falconry in the natural amphitheatre overlooking the casting ponds. There will also be eagles, foxhounds, lurchers, terriers and ferrets. The Parade of Hounds, on the last day of the show, will focus on the future of hunting.... (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 24.4.04 Animal welfare ignored - I have read several letters in the Evening Post recently from Mr Flanagan, Mr Ford and R. J. Platts responding to a letter from Mr King (April 6)… It would seem that Labour lemmings have been instructed to respond to any criticism of the party or its representatives. I believe it is impossible for anyone concerned with the welfare of animals not to criticise this Government's wholehearted support of the blood sport industry (why, after six years of Labour Government, are foxes, deer and hares still being hunted and ripped to pieces by packs of hounds?) and the abuse of animals in general. Tony Blair spends our taxes to prop up the vile Huntingdon Life Sciences animal testing labs…. K. EASON (Mrs) Annesley Road, Hucknall (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 16.4.04 ACT OF KINDNESS RESTORED FAITH IN HUMAN NATURE - Correspondents like Mr King from Linby (April 6) shouldn't make things up about Labour policies and politicians… Labour "has no intention whatsoever of placing restrictions on the sports of angling and shooting"… It's a pity Mr King didn't read the Evening Post article on March 25 headlined "Hunting will be banned says MP" referring to Paddy Tipping. R. J. PLATTS Leen Valley Way Hucknall (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 6.4.04 IS MP PRO-HUNTING NOW? I don't remember Paddy Tipping MP standing at the last General Election on a pro blood sport ticket. Yet in a recent Evening Post article (MP's sights on tough gun laws) Mr Tipping says "I am pretty anti gun but admit they have legitimate uses in rural areas…" LEONARD KING Main Street, Linby (letter)

Western Mail 24.4.04 To imply that badgers are responsible for spreading TB in cattle is not a new phenomenon, since the White Plague has been around for thousands of years and the worst carriers are humans. The blaming of badgers and foxes as pests is unjust. Farmers and landowners are the worst pests, having culled the food-supplying hedgerows and trees and destroyed the environment to starve wildlife out of existence.... Their call to cull the badgers and hunt the foxes will be a short-term affair. With the ever-increasing imports of cheaper foods from abroad, there will be no need for farms and they too will have to be culled like the coal mines, shipbuilding and steelworks.... IDRIS MATHIAS, Ffordd-y-Cefn, Aberteifi, Ceredigion (letter)

Scotsman 24.4.04 University denies researchers' tests on sheep were cruel - CHRIS MCAULEY - GLASGOW University has "vigorously rejected" claims by animal rights campaigners that experiments carried out in the name of scientific research involved sheep being subjected to needless suffering and trauma.... Following the tests, all 24 animals were destroyed, according to the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS). Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the university claimed the purpose of the experiment was to eradicate ‘foot rot’ in sheep and was "wholly justifiable".... (story)
Daily Record 24.4.04 TEST 'LEFT SHEEP IN AGONY' A FLOCK of sheep suffered 'horrific' pain during secret experiments at a Scottish university, it was claimed yesterday. Furious animal rights campaigners are planning a mass protest in Glasgow after details emerged of a study into the effects of pain.... (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 24.4.04 PROTEST PENALTY 'STINKS' - Our legal system exhibited remarkably bad judgement when recently a 20-year-old first-time offender was picked out and fined heavily for being part of a demonstration where physical violence was not an issue... The fine was totally disproportionate to penalties given out for anti-social thuggery for instance, invariably committed for no good cause, where a "stern" warning is often regarded sufficient by our law enforcers.... Ian L. Rubery, Royals Farm, Hulland. (letter)

Oxford Mail 24.4.04 Farmers threatened - Illegal hare coursers are threatening farmers in the Bampton area, who claim police are failing to take any action.... (story in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 24.4.04 SEAL KILLING IS BARBARIC - I Would like to add my voice to that of Anne Phillips (Postbox, April 20) by condemning the barbaric clubbing to death of baby seals in Canada.... Yvonne M Holley, The Marina, Swansea (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 20.4.04 SEAL DEATHS ARE HORRIFIC - I Was horrified to see the recent culling of 350,000 baby seals…. Anne Phillips, Llys y Llyfreyg, Burry Port (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.4.04 GOD BLESS ALL THE ANIMALS - How I heartily agree with Elizabeth Woodham's letter (The Citizen, April 21). I can't sleep at night now because I keep thinking of those poor, poor seals. My nan has the same problem, as I imagine do many more caring people. Next, it will be the poor pigeons.... Also many thanks to people like Paul and Co (Cirencester Rescue Centre) and all at Gloucestershire Wildlife Rescue Centre. At least we know there are some people out there who care. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 21.4.04 WE FACE LOSING ALL OUR ANIMALS - I Was heartily sickened to see the cull of the seals, by clubbing them to death…. ELIZABETH WOODHAM, Brimpsfield (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.4.04 TREVOR IS A HERO FOR HELPING BEARS - I Felt I had to write to you as I read on the front page of The Citizen last Saturday, about the story on bear rescue bid by rugby hero Trevor Woodman.... I would like to say how a great bloke this man really is to have such a good and caring heart, as there are not many men around who care a damn about animals... JILL BROWN, Highfield Road, Ruardean (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 17.4.04 HE CARES ABOUT BEARS - World Cup winning rugby prop Trevor Woodman has thrown his weight behind a campaign to save India's 'dancing' bears. The Gloucester star has pledged to highlight the plight of the animals who are mutilated and forced to 'dance' for money. Trevor, 27, has put his name to the charity International Animal Rescue (IAR) which is working hard to save bears at a special sanctuary on the sub-continent... (story)
Gloucester Citizen 17.4.04 CRUEL FACTS BEHIND THE 'DANCING' - More than 1,000 'dancing' sloth bears are currently being used on the streets of India. BEARS used on the streets are captured as babies by poachers. Their mothers are often shot as they try to defend their cubs... (story)

23.4.04

Western Mail 23.4.04 Hunting not a major issue, says Michael - Kirsty Buchanan, The Western Mail - RURAL Affairs Minister Alun Michael has risked the wrath of his party by insisting the future of hunting is not a "major issue" for the public. The Cardiff South MP was bitterly criticised by backbenchers yesterday after he suggested the public had no appetite for a ban on hunting with hounds.... He said, "In some of the 'Big Conversations' I have taken part in rural areas this hasn't come up as a major issue at all. People have big issues to do with employment, with education, with jobs and the economy."... (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 23.4.04 Ban on hunting must be passed Julia - A LONG-AWAITED Bill to ban hunting should be re-introduced at Westminster and forced through the House of Lords, Swindon MP Julia Drown has insisted. She is among almost 200 Labour MPs who have now turned up the heat on Tony Blair to introduce legislation in the next few weeks. But the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance said the demand would bring ridicule on the Government…. (story in archive)

Guardian 23.4.04 Country diary - Ride like the wind - Veronica Heath - Whatever you think about field sports, point-to-points have a strong link with foxhunting and these amateur race meetings still draw hundreds of riders and spectators…. Last weekend I put on walking boots and took my stick and binoculars and spent the day at our Morpeth point-to-point… (story)

Western Mail 23.4.04 SIR - I am sure the recent media coverage of the Plas Machynlleth Hunt sickened a great many people. Unfortunately, there was no mention of the artificial earths these evil terrier men put back together, after the fox had been baited and executed… JUDI HEWITT, North Wales Area Contact, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)

Midhurst & Petworth Observer 23.4.04 Gamekeeper shot at by off-roader - A gamekeeper who warned an off-road driver not to go off tracks on downland at Graffham had a shotgun fired over his head, it has been revealed…. (story)

Hexham Courant 23.4.04 CONTRADICTORY - THE letter from John Miles (Courant April 16) is self contradictory…. How can he reconcile this claim, when he says that predators on game estates, are killed, in spite of the law? Or that the protection of predators are made by shallow thinking, man-made laws, at the expense of the in balance created in the ecology, as a result? BILL RICHARDSON, Rothbury (letter)
Hexham Courant 23.4.04 LET’S MOVE ON - YOUR correspondent John Miles (Courant, April 16) seems to think that a TV programme about wolves in Yellowstone National Park is relevant to the preservation of black grouse in Tynedale. But Tynedale is not Yellowstone…. The only real debate is how, not whether, we should manage the ecology of our semi-natural habitats. In this, we are all responsible. After all, anybody who keeps a bird table – or a cat – is "interfering” with nature. ALASDAIR MITCHELL, Northumberland (letter)
Hexham Courant 16.4.04 ALLOW BIRDS TO LIVE IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT - YOUR recent letters about predators and prey including domestic cats makes you wonder if nobody out there watches the wildlife programmes especially set in wild places. On any of these programmes you do not see people going out to kill one species to encourage others… The classic view of that shooting estates will provide black grouse makes you think that there are not any shooting estates out there because there are certainly not many black grouse regardless of killing every predator they can lay their hands on regardless of the law!... JOHN MILES,Castle Carrock, Cumbria (letter)

BBC News Online 23.4.04 Animal tests see steady decline - An analysis suggests science really is trying to reduce animal experiments. A comparison of almost 3,000 research papers published over 30 years in major biomedical journals found a 30% fall in the number of studies using animals…. (story)

Financial Times 23.4.04 UK to develop animal testing alternatives By David Firn - A centre to develop alternatives to animal testing is to be set up by the government in an attempt to address public concerns over vivisection and undermine support for militant animal rights activists…. Victims of animal rights extremism met MPs yesterday to press for tougher legislation. Brian Cass, managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences, said previous law changes had not given police and prosecutors sufficient powers. (story)

Sheffield Star 23.4.04 University in cruelty storm - SHEFFIELD University today defended its experiments on pigs after allegations of cruelty from anti-vivisectionists. The university was accused of the "unnecessary killing" and ill-treatment of pigs by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS)…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 23.4.04 SURGEON BACKS ANIMAL RIGHTS - American surgeon Dr Jerry Vlasak visited medics at Bristol Oncology Centre today to try and persuade them to stop using a controversial animal experiment company for their diagnostic tests. Dr Vlasak gave a talk on behalf of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty.... (story)

Daily Record 23.4.04 FATE NOT SEALED - ALOT of people have written about the obscene culling of seal pups in Canada. They should write to the new Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin… MrsA Smith,East Kilbride (letter)

Irish Examiner 23.4.04 Activists bare almost all in animal proposal rally By Ray Ryan, Agribusiness Correspondent - ANIMAL welfare campaigners bared almost all outside the Department of Agriculture and Food offices in Dublin yesterday, protesting new EU animal transport proposals… Speakers at the Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) protest said the proposed EU animal transport rules drawn up by the Irish EU presidency were unacceptable…. (story)
Irish Independent 23.4.04 'Naked truth' protest over new animal export rules - Breda Heffernan - A shivering trio of animal welfare campaigners dared to bare - nearly - all outside the Department of Agriculture in Dublin yesterday in a call for a ban on the live export of farm animals. Protecting their modesty with all-over body paint and some strategically-placed items of underwear, a trio of self-styled farm animals and supporters of animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming. John Carmody, Sinead O'Brien and Kate Browne, led a vocal band of protesters in criticising the Government's proposed new EU rules for the transport of animals…. (story)

22.4.04

(ThisIsSomerset) 22.4.04 RETIRED OFFICER RECALLS HUNTING TRAGEDIES ON THE RAIL TRACK - I Have been passed a cutting of a letter from Neal Buckoke entitled 'Hoping for a safe future'. I wish to clarify a few things. I speak as a retired British Transport Police Officer who used to regularly monitor various hunts in Dorset and The New Forest. When I was monitoring any hunts I always aimed to be impartial, as did most of my colleagues, but they are only human and personal opinion cannot be entirely hidden…. My relationship with The New Forest Animal protection group was, I believe, equal to that with the New Forest Hunt staff and I am quite proud of that…. With regard to the allegation that 'saboteurs' cause hounds to cross railway lines, I can say that on one day when I was on duty for the Cattistock Hunt…. As the train came into earshot I heard a discordant hunting horn being blown, from behind me! Obviously I do not know who blew it but it certainly was no one from the hunt… I can also comment on the disastrous event that resulted in several couples of the South Dorset pack being killed between Moreton and Wool. I was the officer on duty that day. I still wonder whether I could have done anything to stop the fox or the unattended hounds from crossing Redbridge road had I not moved just prior to the incident.... To further demonstrate my impartiality I can tell the Anti Hunt lobby of another, equally serious incident, which befell the New Forest Hunt… A fox accessed the railway by way of a gap under the fence and some hounds followed. Before they could be recalled some made contact with the electric line and were electrocuted… Malcolm Graham, full address supplied. (letter)

(ThisIsSomerset) 22.4.04 POLICY DAMAGE TO ENVIRONMENT - Michael Howard, like Tony Blair, bases his opinions more on philosophical or religious dogma than lived reality… With GM foods there is a so-called consultation with voters, then their informed verdict ignored. The true financial cost of intensive farming and legal persecution of an asset of farming, the fox, is ignored…. DAVID THOMAS, Hisomley, Nr Westbury (letter)

Bolton Evening News 22.4.04 MPs 'out of touch' on hunting ban - THREE Labour MPs who have called on the Government to renew its efforts to ban foxhunting have been branded "ridiculous and out of touch" by the Countryside Alliance. Bolton North-east MP Brian Iddon, Worsley MP Terry Lewis and David Crausby MP, for Bolton North-east, are among 31 Noerth-west MPs who have signed a Early Day motion demanding that more time is spent pushing through anti-hunting legislation… (story in archive)
Sussex Express 22.4.04 Alliance slams MPs - TEN south-east MPs, including Lewes Lib-Dem Norman Baker, who signed an Early Day Motion calling for more parliamentary time to be spent on hunting issues are out of touch, according to the Countryside Alliance. A poll in December found that 98 per cent of the public think there are more important issues for the Government to tackle than hunting… (story)

Shropshire Star 22.4.04 Hunt ban is hardly a priority - In case I am mistaken, Iraq is still a mess, the European Constitution is looming, the NHS needs attention and local crime is soaring. And what is David Wright, our Telford MP, doing about it? Well, nothing. He is too busy signing Early Day Motions, lobbying ministers and spouting off about the "desperate" need to ban fox hunting… Name and address supplied (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 22.4.04 Hunt ban should not be a priority - I really do despair of our MPs! We have an announced referendum on Europe coming up, we have problems in the NHS, the transport system, the education system, council taxes are through the roof and a large number of lads are in the firing line in Iraq. One would think that would be enough to get on with but, oh no, the esteemed MP for Swindon South, Ms Drown puts her name to an early day motion to ban hunting with hounds well of course that is just so vital in the scheme of thing isn't it…. Pat Bryant, Chippenham (letter in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 22.4.04 Less cruelty in world needed - So, A Curtis is a mindreader now and knows what the Rev Bert and P Beaven are thinking regarding ritual slaughter. Did he not read P Beaven's letter recently about a meat free world? Anyone would pick up he is against cruelty in the slaughter of animals…. For A Curtis's benefit I am against all people cruelty and all animal cruelty. Perhaps if more people were, our world wouldn't be in such a sorry state. (Mrs) S GILES, Bodiam Drive (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 21.4.04 Any slaughter is inhumane - A CURTIS in his letter in Thursday's Evening Advertiser takes me to task for not complaining about the barbarity of ritual killing. Let me assure him that I have… I view both hunting and ritual slaughter as equally disgusting but why stop at ritual slaughter? Normal slaughter is no more humane… P BEAVEN, Merton Avenue (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 15.4.04 Animal groups quiet on this issue - I NOTE that the government has decided not to enforce the pre-stunning of animals killed for habal and kosher meat. The government said it was "disinclined to legislate against strongly held beliefs." Well I can't argue with that, the entire fox hunting brigade could. We all know that those who lust after a ban on fox hunting are motivated precisely because they want to ride roughshod over the deeply held beliefs of an indigenous cultural minority…. A CURTIS, Wootton Bassett (letter in archive)

Yorkshire Post 22.4.04 Despair over fox hunting claims From: William Thompson, Park House Green, Harrogate - I RECENTLY came across two pieces of film which were recorded this hunting season. One showed hunt members operating and maintaining a network of artificial earths to keep a supply of foxes for the hunt. The second shows a pair of hounds fighting an obviously live fox.... Hunting has nothing at all to do with conservation and everything to do with man's baser instinct... (letter)

Herts Advertiser 22.4.04 Hard man Vinnie nets county role - MOVIE star and soccer hard man Vinnie Jones (pictured) is to be the next president of the Herts Agricultural Society. He was proposed and overwhelmingly approved as deputy president and will take over from Morton Neal, the 72-year-old current president, later this year… The son of gamekeeper Peter Jones, who now runs a kennels in Colney Heath, Vinnie is known for his love of shooting in particular…. (story)

Accountancy Age 22.4.04 Huntingdon protestors hunt down auditor By Paul Grant - Controversial biotechnology company Life Sciences Research last week won its race against time to file its accounts with the US financial regulator, but protestors are closing in on the identity of its mystery auditor…. SHAC is confident it can expose the auditors. 'We are investigating whether Hugh Scott is acting as a buffer for the real auditors…." (story)

Hunts Post 22.4.04 MP's family under attack - Report by IAN MACKELLAR - THE home of Huntingdon MP, Jonathan Djanogly, has been attacked and the MP fears his family has been targetted by animal rights protestors. A rock hurled through the kitchen window shattered glass while the MP's wife, Rebecca and their eight year old son were standing in the room…. The attack, on April 7, came just two weeks after Mr Djanogly launched a campaign against violent attacks by animal rights protestors on businesses working with Huntingdon Life Sciences…. Yesterday, Greg Avery, spokesman for SHAC, (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) condemned the attack. He said: "We don't condone anything like this…." (story)

Oxford Student 22.4.04 Animal activists move campaign to Oxford - Patrick Foster - Oxford University has become the target of a concerted campaign by animal rights activists, furious at the University's decision to construct a new 'research hotel'… SPEAK, a campaigning group originally set up to fight against the proposed animal testing laboratory at Cambridge, have announced that they will be targeting the University in a bid to force them to abandon the building. Robert Cogswell, a spokesman for the group, told The OxStu: "We are not violent, as the vivisection industry would have you believe. We are here to organise peaceful protest within a legal framework."… The OxStu has learned that several University staff members have been 'visited at home' by protesters, who claim not to resort to intimidation… (story)

Ilkley Gazette 22.4.04 Animal tests - Michael Edwards, 32 East Parade, Harrogate. (letter in archive)
Cambridge Evening News 19.4.04 Heed fears, HLS From Michael Edwards- Garden Walk, Cambridge … A UK medical journal has estimated that 70,000 people are seriously disabled or killed annually by medicines which passed animal tests…. Deaths in America from drug side effects equate to a Twin Towers attack every 11 days. People's fears are well grounded, and HLS should take heed. (letter)

Warrington Guardian 22.4.04 Animals don't belong in circuses - CAN I urge readers not to visit the Robert Brothers Circus that is doing the rounds at the moment. This circus still uses animals as part of its entertainment and circuses are not the place for animals…. V. COWLEY, Howley (letter in archive)

Daily Record 21.4.04 CRUEL KILLERS - I OBJECT to the term 'hunters' being applied to those clubbing their way through thousands of baby seals on the Canadian ice... L Lees, Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire
CRUEL KILLERS ... A solution would be to cull some Canadians who eat fish. S. Crane, Elgin (letters)

21.4.04

Telegraph 21.4.04 Hunting fans warn of civil disobedience By George Jones, Political Editor - Supporters of hunting yesterday threatened a campaign of civil disobedience if Labour MPs succeeded in a fresh attempt to force through a ban on hunting with dogs before the next general election... (story)
Independent 21.4.04 Bill to ban hunting called for by Labour backbenchers By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent - More than 200 Labour MPs yesterday demanded the reintroduction of legislation to ban fox hunting, stepping up pressure on the Government to outlaw the sport by the autumn. A total of 216 anti-hunt MPs signed a Commons motion calling on ministers to use the Parliament Act to force the legislation through if it is blocked by the House of Lords.... (story)
Western Morning News 21.4.04 WE'LL DISOBEY HUNT BAN, SAY SUPPORTERS Hunt supporters in the Westcountry have warned that a call by Labour backbenchers for the Government to push through a ban on hunting could lead to widespread civil disobedience…. Alison Hawes, South West regional director for the Countryside Alliance, said: "Obviously we hope a ban doesn't happen, but we are prepared if it does…" Peter Anderson, of the League Against Cruel Sports in the Westcountry, said: "The only way it will go away is if they go ahead with a ban. We would urge the Government to get on with it…." (story)
Western Daily Press 21.4.04 TROUBLE IF HUNTS BARRED - Countryside supporters threatened a campaign of civil disobedience yesterday as more than 200 Labour MPs signed a Commons motion urging the Government to ban foxhunting…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen/Gloucestershire Echo 21.4.04 MPS PRESS FOR TOTAL HUNT BAN - Gloucestershire's Labour MPs want the Government to cut to the chase on the contentious issue of fox hunting. Parmjit Dhanda (Gloucester), Diana Organ (Forest of Dean) and David Drew (Stroud) have all signed an early day motion (EDM) that has attracted the support of 216 MPs calling for a complete ban on hunting with dogs before the next General Election. It has also been signed by Nigel Jones, the Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 21.4.04 'DOUBLE STANDARDS' ON ANIMAL WELFARE - M. Cook's letter (Post, April 13) bravely exposed this Government's double standards on animal welfare. Whilst it has long been part of British culture and tradition to hunt foxes with hounds, it has never been part of British culture to slit the throats of animals, ensuring a slow and cruel death. Unsurprisingly, the situation today under this Labour Government has turned that completely on its head… JAMES HAWKER Woodlands Grove Hucknall (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 17.4.04 BAN ON RITUAL SLAUGHTER RISKS DRIVING IT ABROAD - M. Cook (Letters, April 13) writes to agree with my support for animal welfare but wonders how I "as a member of the Jewish community" can reconcile this with acceptance of ritual slaughter. First, I have to say, with regret, that I'm not a member of any religious community.... The question is whether it should be singled out for a special ban, given that it is just one part of the entire meat industry which we accept in this country, despite the obvious fact that conditions for animals reared for slaughter are often profoundly unpleasant.... NICK PALMER MP Labour, Broxtowe House of Commons London (letter)

Worcester Evening News 21.4.04 LACS and `shooting of deer' - R A Lane (You Say, Saturday, April 10) suggests that hounds from hunt kennels are mistreated. Yet the same letter claims hounds take part in the "prolonged chases". Either hounds are well-fed, cared for and capable of hunting or are half-starved, maltreated and incapable of hunting…. The League Against Cruel Sports are the ones now being questioned over animal welfare. Their sanctuary workers were recently allegedly filmed chasing deer and shooting them from a 4x4 truck… JON BURGESS, Malvern (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 10.4.04 Hunting for the fun of it - JON Burgess (You Say, Wednesday, March 24) disputes a claim by Marion Large that hounds are mistreated and counters with the fact that a great number of dogs are cruelly abandoned. Two wrongs do not make a right... R A LANE, Stonehall Common, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 1.4.04 Ban hunting - HOW many more times do readers have to inform Jon Burgess there is a massive majority against hunting?... MR K HEMMING, Worcester (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 24.3.04 The public supports foxhunting - MARION Large (You Say, Monday, March 8) made her usual derogatory remarks about hunting, none of which she can substantiate…. Mrs Large claims wild animals such as red deer regulate their own numbers. If this is true she might explain why - according to reports in two national newspapers - the League Against Cruel Sports culls red deer on their sanctuaries in Devon… It is a great shame the tens of thousands of dogs abandoned every year do not receive the same care from their owners that hounds do…. If Mrs Large visits kennels, I guarantee she will be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect. All her questions will be answered honestly and in full. In simple terms she has everything to gain and nothing to lose. JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 18.3.04 Hunting is a humane method of managing wildlife - IN response to your correspondent, Mrs Marion Large (You Say, Monday, March 8) I would like to set the record straight. It is evident that Mrs Large has never hunted. So she should therefore make herself aware of the facts…. If there was no hunting with dogs the quarry species would be dealt with in other ways which would ultimately mean more suffering not less…. MICHAEL KEEL, Himbleton, Droitwich (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 8.3.04 Hypocrisy of hunting fraternity ON Burgess is yet again on his conservation hobbyhorse. He says I disregard the fact and yet most wildlife experts say that animals will regulate themselves according to the environment. So intervention by people intent on killing them and then pontificating about conservation is hypocrisy… MRS M J LARGE, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 24.2.04 Foxes... the best pest control for farmers ONCE again, we have people trying to defend hunting with every argument they can think of… Mr Burgess says hunting is a "field sport". Now call me old-fashioned, but I was always led to believe that "sport" involves two consenting sides… Has he given any thought to the fact that foxes actually provide the best pest control for farmers by keeping rabbits, mice and other rodents under control? JAYNE MASON, Rushock, Droitwich (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 12.2.04 Disregards hunting facts - MRS M Large has again made sweeping statements about hunting without reference to the facts (You Say, Tuesday, February 3). Mrs Large just dismisses the contribution field sports make to conservation. With hunts collectively owning or managing more acres of woodland than the National Trust, she cannot disregard the facts any longer… Mrs Large says take up draghunting, while others believe it's cruel and wicked to even ride a horse let alone ask it to jump a fence… JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 3.2.04 How can grown men admit the pleasure of killing? - JON Burgess is back on his conservation ploy yet again… recent poll conducted by a national newspaper showed that most people were in favour of an outright ban…. Both Mr Burgess and D Smith were extolling the pleasures they derive from hunting. Perhaps they'd derive even more pleasure if they volunteered to be the quarry. Then they could experience the joys of being hunted at first hand!... MRS M J LARGE, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 23.1.04 Satisfaction derived by watching the cull - GENUINE hunters do not take pleasure from killing an animal (Diane Hillier, You Say, Tuesday, January 6). The huntsman takes satisfaction from his hounds uniquely, yet naturally culling their quarry - the hunted animal - efficiently…. Because the hunters are their custodians, there is also a healthy quarry population. DAVID F SMITH, Norton, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 23.1.04 Massive role foxhunting plays in conservation - THE letter from Diane Hillier (You Say, Tuesday, January 6) made a very welcome contribution to the hunting debate. She has clearly taken time to consider the arguments of both sides and formed an opinion based on fact and logic…. Diane Hillier is obviously left with questions about why people go hunting… Diane Hillier is welcome to visit a hunt kennels, follow hounds for a day and meet the people involved. I believe this would give her a far greater insight into the reality of hunting. JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 6.1.04 What's the pleasure in killing an animal? I HAVE read with interest the many letters discussing the subject of hunting.... However, what I cannot understand and what continues to elude my understanding is what possible pleasure there can be in killing an animal?... DIANE HILLIER Kempsey, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)

Hull Daily Mail 21.4.04 SEE A HUNT FIRST BEFORE REACHING A JUDGMENT I Write in response to I MacReidy's letter "Country people are to blame for fox cruelty"… Foxes do take lambs from the field; I have witnessed this many times as I grew up on a farm. They will also take piglets from sows and will get in any chicken pen no matter how supposedly fox-proof it is…. I would like to ask I MacReidy where he/she got his/her comment that tenant farmers would be hauled in front of the hunt committee for shooting a fox… Miss C Tucker, Shipton Crescent, Leconfield. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 17.4.04 IF WE MUST CULL FOXES, LET'S BE HUMANE - I Am writing again to point out that nowhere in my letter (Mail, April 5), in reply to I MacReidy's comments about fox-hunting, did I say fox hunting is necessary to stop the devastation they cause... I am against fox-hunting but I do not agree with hitting the cubs over the head with a spade, and as I said, there are more humane ways to cull them and to cut down the devastation that they cause and the damage caused by the hunts. Ms KL Overfield, Benedict Road, Hull. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 5.4.04 FOX HUNTING IS NECESSARY TO STOP DEVASTATION I Would like to reply to I MacReidy's letter regarding "Country folk to blame for fox cruelty" (Letters, March 22). I would like to know if I MacReidy has ever seen the damage a fox can do to one herd of sheep with lambs or what one can do in a chicken hut? They don't just kill one lamb…. I am not pro hunting but as for digging the cubs out and battering them over the head with a spade to control the fox population, that is more barbaric than the hunts… Ms K L Overfield, Benedict Road, Hull (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 1.4.04 CRUELTY TO ANIMALS IS UNACCEPTABLE - Re I MacReidy's letter on fox hunting (Mail, March 22), digging out cubs and the inhumane and gut-wrenching idea of "smashing their heads in" is cruelty at its peak and this cannot be made an alternative…. Hunting and similar culling cruelties are just the same as any type of animal abuse… Natalie Peachey, 26th Avenue, Hull. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 31.3.04 DON'T KNOCK HUNTING UNLESS YOU'VE TRIED IT YOURSELF - In Response to I MacReidy's letter (Mail, March 22) I can only think that they have been watching too much TV or reading books like Lady Chatterley's Lover to think that tenant farmers have to answer to the local gentry or hunting fraternity if they kill a fox other than with hounds…. Come out hunting before you start rubbishing it. Even hunters do things humanely and smashing foxes' heads with spades isn't one of them. Name and address supplied. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 22.3.04 COUNTRY PEOPLE ARE TO BLAME FOR FOX CRUELTY - In her last letter, Margaret Barrett of Berwick wanted us to feel sorry for farmers who cannot devise fox-proof hen houses. Now she tells us foxes eat lambs… A flock of sheep would never allow a marauding fox anywhere near a lamb… Charging around in fancy dress is the most expensive, the most stupid, the most destructive, the most ineffective method ever devised for culling animals…. I MacReidy, Dairycoates Avenue, Hull (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 25.2.04 ASK A FARMER WHY FOX HUNTING SHOULD REMAIN In Reply to Jeremy Wilcock regarding hunting (Mail, January 31). No, Mr Wilcock, the hunt does not kill for pleasure; ask any farmer who has lost lambs to a fox why he asks the hunt on to his land... As for drag hunting, this is totally reliant on farmers making their land available, and why should they when the foxes are not going to be culled? Margaret Barrett, Walterstead Cottage, Ladykirk, Berwick Upon Tweed. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 13.1.04 FOX HUNTING 'LEAST CRUEL WAY' TO CONTROL THE POPULATION - In An attempt to disprove one correspondent, Jeremy Wilcock himself peddled a series of untruths…Hunting with dogs has been proven by three independent and Government-sponsored scientific inquiries to be the most effective and - more importantly - the least cruel way of controlling the fox population… As for the rare occasions when the police do attend a hunt meeting, it is to control the excesses of saboteurs… (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 7.1.04 KOSHER KILLING NEEDS CHANGE - I Am replying to the letter from Peter Burnell (Mail, December 31). He should be directing his remarks regarding fox-hunting to an organisation called Countryside Alliance, as its supporters can lessen cruelty to foxes by bringing about fox-hunting's imminent abolition… David Tate, Westbourne Avenue, Hull. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 5.1.04 SIMPLY NO COMPARISON BETWEEN THEM Mr P Burnell is being somewhat disingenuous by attempting to draw a comparison between kosher butchery and fox-hunting.... Yes, the slow death of an animal intended for human consumption is deeply distressing... Do the slaughterers dress up and chase their prey with a pack of dogs until it is terrified and exhausted? Do they take pleasure in their task? Do they damage verges, kill family pets and obstruct the traffic? Do they need police protection?.... Jeremy Wilcock, Main Street, Kilnwick, Driffield. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 31.12.03 STOP KILLING LARGE ANIMALS BEFORE CRITICISING HUNTERS With regard to the article on hunting (Mail, December 24), may I respond to "What do you think?" My thoughts are thus: When, and only when, the animal rights, animal welfare and anti-cruelty to animals lobby join forces to stop the abject cruelty inflicted on large animals every week across the country by so-called religious bodies in the form of kosher killing, can the hunting of foxes with hounds be called cruel.... Peter Burnell, Pestarrest Pest Control Service, Main Street, Lissett. (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 21.4.04 All residents in this country should be made to obey laws - AFTER reading A Carter's challenge to me in his letter on April 15 concerning the ritual slaughter of animals, I attended the monthly meeting of the Wiltshire Branch of the League Against Cruel Sports in Chippenham when I asked each member about their attitude to the question of not pre-stunning of animals to be killed for halal and kosher meat. Every single person there was against the practice… REV BERT JONES Wroughton (letter in archive)

Dundee Courier 21.4.04 Ill-conceived proposal - The RSPB’s ill-conceived proposal to the Scottish Parliament for a total ban on shooting lead shot is the latest bird-brained idea from an organisation with a remit to protect birds. In reality RSPB presides over and encourages the decimation of our song bird population through raptor support... W. R. Hardy. Gun Trade Association and B.A.S.C. member. 153/155 East High Street, Forfar. (letter)

Petersfield Post 21.4.04 Badger sett bungle is conservation headache - CONSERVATIONISTS are to work with Petersfield Town Council following the accidental exposure of a badger sett on the Heath…. Mike Neeve, chairman of East Hampshire Badger Group, said the mammals, a protected species, are particularly vulnerable at the moment as they will be raising young cubs…. (story)

Western Morning News 21.4.04 Cruel to badgers too - THE law banning the killing of badgers, brought in originally to stop the cruel sport of badger baiting and thus preventing normal culling, has caused a huge increase in the badger population. The situation is now so bad that they are suffering terribly from illness and starvation…. Tess Nash, Mawgan, Helston (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.4.04 'LINK' BETWEEN BADGERS AND TB IN CATTLE STILL NOT PROVEN I've just read Chris Rundle's column Badger Lobby Backs Down. No doubt Mr Rundle has a lot of info from Maff, now Defra, and will know they still cannot prove the "link" between badgers and cattle…. Pamela Dean Whiteshill Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 21.4.04 SCIENCE GROUP ON BADGERS DESERVES SACK - M. HANCOX, Nouncells Cross, Stroud (letter)
Western Daily Press 21.4.04 STOP ANIMAL CULL FARCE Having been on the badgers and bovine TB panel, I rather enjoyed the spectacle of top professors descending from their ivory towers for a vitriolic row at the press release of the Godfray Report…. It is to be hoped farmers will refuse to co-operate with the cull farce any longer. M Hancox Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Irish Independent 21.4.04 Bullfighting is a sick sport - It was with dismay and disgust that I saw the picture of a bullfight you printed (April 19). Its graphic nature coupled with its tactless and crass headline ("Cool under pressure: Right on target") makes a sickening spectacle.... Dr Mary Farrell, Science Building, UCD, Dublin 4 (letter)

Western Morning News 21.4.04 Condemn seal cull - THE horrific seal cull in Canada should bring international condemnation of the Canadian Government - and indeed our own Government… Gladys Roberts, Illogan, Redruth (letter)

20.4.04

Scotsman 20.4.04 Labour MPs in New Bid to Ban Fox Hunting By Amanda Brown, Environment Correspondent, PA News - Countryside campaigners today threatened a campaign of civil disobedience as more than 200 Labour MPs signed a Commons motion urging the Government to ban fox hunting.... Tim Bonner, spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, accused the Government of being "vindictive and obsessive” over the issue. He told PA News: "There will be a very serious campaign of civil disobedience on this. We’ve already seen one old lady in Devon protesting about council tax rises and we have put 400,000 people on the streets of London.... (story)
Western Daily Press 20.4.04 PLEDGE TO END HUNTING - More than 200 Labour MPs will flex their muscles today and try to force Tony Blair to ban hunting with dogs by the end of next year. They claim to have been boosted by a legal opinion which suggests outlawing the sport would not go against human rights…. So today about 216 will sign a Commons Early Day Motion calling for the Government's Hunting Bill to be brought back as soon as possible. They also want Ministers to promise they will use the Parliament Act to force the measure through if it is again blocked by the House of Lords…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 20.4.04 HUNTING-BAN PLEA BY MPS BY TOM MACK - Two Leicestershire MPs are among 210 backbenchers demanding a complete ban on fox-hunting before the next General Election. Jim Marshall, the Leicester South MP and Loughborough MP Andy Reed have signed a motion calling for the Prime Minister Tony Blair to stick to his pledge to ban hunting… Joe Cowen, joint master of the Fernie Hunt, based near Great Bowden, in Market Harborough, said it would be unacceptable for the Commons to overrule the Lords on a sensitive case like hunting… Tor Owen, chairman of the Belvoir Hunt, said Labour MPs had to be more open-minded…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 20.4.04 LABOUR'S DRIVE TO BAN HUNTING (story)
Western Morning News 20.4.04 MPS PRESS BLAIR FOR ACTION ON HUNTING BILL - Anti-hunting MPs yesterday stepped up the pressure on Tony Blair to ban hunting with dogs - as a new legal opinion suggested that an outright ban might not breach European human rights laws…. (story)
BBC News Online 20.4.04 MPs regroup to call for hunt ban - Tony Blair is under pressure to ban hunting with dogs before the next election after a Commons motion was signed by more than 200 MPs… (story)
Western Mail 20.4.04 Hunts face new onslaught by MPs - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - LABOUR backbench MPs have revived their campaign to outlaw hunting with dogs. More than 200 have signed a parliamentary motion urging Prime Minister Tony Blair to reintroduce the Bill defeated last year in the House of Lords… The anti-hunt lobby was cheered by a lengthy legal opinion commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare… Carmarthenshire Hunt Master Dai Jones said the Joint Committee had been clear that the Government would be vulnerable to a legal challenge under the European Convention on Human Rights if it adopted the Bill…. Mr Jones said his kennels were receiving 100 carcasses each week from farmers left with no way of disposing of their fallen animals since the Government adopted new European legislation on the practice of on-farm burial without establishing an alternative system…. (story)

Shropshire Star 20.4.04 Reaction typical of anti-hunt supporter - When I read the reply to my letter regarding animal cruelty from K Leftman and headed, Motivated more by race hate, I must say that this is surely the typical reaction of an extremist and that I had rather expected this from an anti-hunt fanatic of his ilk… It is well known anti-hunt types resort to all manner of law-breaking to further their cause but to accuse me of hatred of certain cultures and religions and to insinuate that my concern for thousands, if not millions, of animals cruelly slaughtered, is racially motivated is hypocritical, to say the least…. Michael G Tudor, Shrewsbury (letter)
Shropshire Star 14.4.04 Motivated more by race hate? - Michael Tudor seems to think that I am more concerned about foxhunting than the pain endured by animals in ritual slaughter. As a compassionate person, I condemn and campaign against all forms of animal cruelty…. His comments make me wonder whether he holds a different agenda, motivated not by compassion for animals but by hatred of certain cultures and religions. Indeed many hunt supporters I have met over the years have displayed such opinions very vocally… K Leftman, Shropshire Animal Action (letter)
Shropshire Star 9.4.04 You think hunting is cruel? - I refer to the letter "Blair must deliver a total ban on hunting" (Star, April 1) in which K Leftman of Animal Action states that hunting is barbaric in all its forms and cites the recent controversy regarding the alleged dreadful cruelty secretly videoed by the League Against Cruel Sports at Machynlleth.... The government has rejected a recommendation by the Farm Animal Welfare Council which called on politicians to bin a legal exemption allowing Halal and Kosher meat to be produced in the UK without the animals being stunned before they are slaughtered.... Michael G Tudor Shrewsbury (letter)
Shropshire Star 1.4.04 Blair must deliver total ban on hunting - The recent articles referring to the League Against Cruel Sports' expose at the Plas Machynlleth Hunt is another example, should one be needed, that hunts are incapable of licensing themselves… Tony Blair must listen to this compassion and deliver what common sense demands: A total hunt ban now. K Leftman, Edgmond, Shropshire Animal Action (letter)

Yorkshire Post 20.4.04 Numbers game - From: JW Wilcock, Bridlington. So the hunt supporters now intend to pursue their usual arrogant tactics by targeting individual MPs (Yorkshire Post, April 5). This should come as no surprise since they intend to win at all costs... (letter)

COALITION FOR MEDICAL PROGRESS LETTER
Torquay Herald Express 20.4.04 FLAWS IN ANIMAL RESEARCH - Seriously Ill for Medical Research (SIMR) exists to allegedly further medical progress (via animal research) for its 'patient' members… why is it they stubbornly refuse to see the wood for the trees? How good a drug purports to be plays no part in the Licensing system. This state of affairs ensures that the final experiment is always and indisputably on man himself. Even then, what a drug promises is rarely what it delivers… JACQUELINE SHORTLAND Central Road West Hoe, Plymouth (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 2.4.04 HOW ANIMALS CAN HELP FIND CURES I would like to put P Dyer's mind at rest (Your View, March 30) about why animal tests are carried out. Scientists rarely expect to see an animal mimic a human disease precisely… Instead they look at maybe just one biochemical step in the disease… What was it John Reid said last week? Something about no-one under 65 needing to die from heart disease. I wonder how that came about? It's not all due to lifestyle. PHILIP CONNOLLY London (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 1.4.04 ANIMAL RESEARCH DOES NOT ADVANCE MEDICINE - Thomas Bromley (Your View, March 25) explains to readers that all modern prescription medicines have at some stage been tested on animals, a fact, which I am sure, most people are aware of… There are fundamental flaws with the pro-vivisectionists argument that results extrapolated from animal test can accurately recreate what happens in a human body…. The public have a stark choice, we can either chose to line the pay pockets of all those who have a vested interest in the vivisection industry such as the chemical and pharmaceutical giants and those unemotional so-called scientists who punch beagles in the faces (as exposed by Channel 4 inside Huntingdon life sciences) or we can chose medical research which really does advance medicine. JAMES FORDHAM Paignton (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 30.3.04 SPECIES DIFFERENCE INVALIDATES RESEARCH - Tom Bromley claims that P Dyer is very loud in attacking medical research, but remarkably quiet about how to replace animals to give people hope who are seriously ill. P Dyer was not attaching genuine medical research, only that research which uses animal in vain attempts to 'model man'!... Recently, a senior executive of Glaxo-Smith Kline (GSK) admitted that fewer than half of the patients prescribed expensive drugs actually derived any benefit from them… L SHORT, Torquay (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 25.3.04 ANIMAL TESTING VITAL TO MANY DRUGS In response to James Fordham (Your View, March 20) the fact is that all modern prescription medicines are developed and tested with the help of animal studies…. A recent survey by the Coalition for Medical Progress revealed that 90 per cent of British people believe the use of animals in medical research is justified so long as it is done without causing unnecessary suffering to the animals concerned… THOMAS BROMLEY, SIMR Executive Secretary, Bedfordshire (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 20.3.04 VESTED INTEREST DRIVING ANIMAL RESEARCH I find it astonishing that Thomas Bromley (Your View March 16) from the pro-vivisection group Seriously Ill for Medical Research (SIMR) is still pushing the theory that the outdated practice of vivisection is to be congratulated for its contributions to the many vital medical discoveries we have achieved both past and present. We must, however, remember he is protecting the vested interests of all those involved in the animal experiment industry…. JAMES FORDHAM, Kings Ash Road Paignton (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 16.3.04 VIVISECTION DEFENDED - P Dyer is very loud in attacking medical research (Your View, March 11) but remarkably quiet about what we should use instead of animals to give hope to people with serious illnesses…. THOMAS BROMLEY, SIMR Executive Secretary (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 11.3.04 POOR PROGRESS - In reply to Philip Connolly, of the Coalition for Medical Progress (March 6). May I suggest that "progress" in this age of technology is not old-fashioned animal experiments! If medical researchers still want to use live animals, they are way behind the times…. P DYER, Cannington, Somerset (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 6.3.04 TRUST IS WORTHY OF SUPPORT - Like Joan Neininger (Letters, February 28), I do not wish to support a cancer research charity (or any other charity) which uses animals in its research. However, the Dr Hadwen Trust funds non-animal research into major health problems… JANET ILLINGWORTH-COOPER, Spa Road, Gloucester (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 28.2.04 I WOULDN'T GIVE TO CANCER CAUSE - Also in my 70s, I heartily agree with Miss Audrey W. Hucknall's letter (February 21) abhorring vivisection… when folk say "But what if someone you loved had cancer?", my reply is that I lost my grandfather, father and nine-year-old son to cancer but still wouldn't give one penny to the present Cancer Research charity! JOAN NEININGER, Hartpury (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 21.2.04 I WANT TO SEE VIVISECTION END - I Refer to the letter from Martin Whiteside (February 9) regarding experiments on animals. I have always abhorred this abominably cruel practice and I too am delighted that Cambridge University has cancelled it new laboratory for experiments on primates... MISS AUDREY W. HUCKNALL, Clifford's Mesne, Newent (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 18.2.04 CAMBRIDGE EXPERIMENTS CAUSE MONKEYS TO SUFFER - It appears that Philip Connolly, of Coalition for Medical Progress, Points of view, February 9, needs an explanation as to why animal rights supporters are happy that Cambridge University has made the decision not to go ahead with the building of another research laboratory. How could one not be happy at this outcome? The experiments done there would have caused immense suffering… Frances Wicks, Alphington Road, Exeter (letter)
Gloucster Citizen 9.2.04 ANIMAL TESTING IS NO SOLUTION Philip Connolly (The Citizen, February 2) should not be surprised that people are jubilant that Cambridge University has cancelled its new laboratory for experiments on primates. Seventy six percent of the British public (BUAV poll) oppose painful animal experimentation…. MARTIN WHITESIDE, Green Party district councillor and Parliamentary candidate (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 7.2.04 LAB CLOSURE IS BAD FOR ANIMALS, TOO - Philip Connolly, Director, Coalition for Medical Progress, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1 9BB. (letter)
Times 6.2.04 Not so fast - Philip Connolly, Coalition for Medical Progress, London WC1 (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 6.2.04 Lab win is no victory From Philip Connolly, Director, Coalition for Medical Progress, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 2.2.04 Research will go on - From Philip Connolly, Director Coalition for Medical Progress (letter)
North East Evening Gazette 2.2.04 Joy is misplaced - PHILIP CONNOLLY, Director, Coalition for Medical Progress, London (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 2.2.04 ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS FLAW - Philip Connolly, director for Coalition for Medical Progress (Your View, January 20), claims that animal experiments provide confidence that a new treatment (drug etc) is "fit" to be tried in patients... according to the ex-director of HRC (now Huntingdon Life Sciences) Dr Ralf Heywood, the failure rate of animal tests for predicting adverse drug reactions (now the 4th biggest killer of people in the UK) in humans is up to 95 per cent... This testimony has never been refuted by any medical or scientific bodies. Mr Connolly please take note! LEN SHORT (for 'Animal Voices') Torbay (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 30.1.04 CAN someone explain to me why animal rights supporters are so happy at the news Cambridge University cannot afford to go ahead with its new laboratory?... PHILIP CONNOLLY Director, Coalition for Medical Progress London (letter)
Dundee Courier 30.1.04 No advantage for the animals - Can someone explain to me why animal rights supporters are so happy at the news Cambridge University cannot afford to go ahead with its new laboratory? As far as I am aware, no research projects will stop, they just won’t have a new building to move into… There will be no advantage for the animals, no advantage for the researchers and certainly no advantage for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s sufferers… If research is forced abroad there will be fewer safeguards on the welfare on the animals. So why are animal rights supporters jubilant? Philip Connolly, Director, Coalition for Medical Progress. Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London. (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 20.4.04 Cold killing - The large-scale slaughter of thousands of baby seals, whitecoats as they are known, has once again resumed on the Canadian ice floes… J SYMM, Horsforth, Leeds (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 20.4.04 End the barbarity - IT was truly heartbreaking to see the picture of a seal amongst bloody carcasses of a seal hunt… Mrs J Fleming, Carnethy Avenue, Penicuik, Midlothian (letter)

Yorkshire Post 20.4.04 Unbearable brutality of the Canadian seal cull From: Niamh Stowell, aged nine, Spen Road, West Park, Leeds. I was watching the news again last night and I saw a story about the Canadian seal cull. I could not believe my eyes, but that was partly because what I was seeing was blurred from my tears(letter)

19.4.04

Guardian 19.4.04 Anti-hunt MPs claim legal high ground in campaign - Nicholas Watt, political correspondent - A leading anti-hunting group will step up its campaign today by publishing a lengthy legal opinion that banning the ancient sport would not breach the European Convention on Human Rights.... In an attempt to undermine the Countryside Alliance, which is threatening to challenge the bill under the Human Rights Act, the International Fund for Animal Welfare instructed Cherie Booth's legal chambers, Matrix, to assess the ban. The opinion drafted by Rabinder Singh QC declares that the hunting bill would be compatible with the human rights convention, even without a compensation scheme.... (story)

Western Daily Press 19.4.04 NEW PUSH FOR BAN ON FOX HUNTING - Fox hunting faces a new threat today as Labour backbenchers start a renewed push for a ban. About 212 MPs have signed a parliamentary motion demanding that Tony Blair fulfils his pledge to end blood sports. It will be launched tomorrow when Ministers head back to Westminster following the Easter recess…. (story)

Bolton Evening News 19.4.04 MP renews call for fox hunt ban - A BOLTON MP is campaigning to get the outlawing of fox hunting back to the top of the Government's agenda. Dr Brian Iddon, MP for Bolton South East, has written to the Prime Minister Tony Blair calling for an early return for the Hunting Bill to the House of Commons… (story in archive)

Independent 19.4.04 The hounds are coming... and they're after Rich Cookson, who, covered in a variety of ghastly but dog-friendly scents, has offered himself up as prey for a day's drag-hunting in the New Forest. But does this non-fatal alternative to bloodsports still carry the same thrill of the chase?... This particular hunt, based just outside Hampshire's New Forest, normally covers about nine miles in a day, usually run in three stages… In his bowler hat, black jacket, cream jodhpurs and gleaming riding boots, Michael Thomas, 60, looks every bit the hunting gent. His family has hunted in the New Forest for five generations, and he has been riding since he was a boy…. Since the trials collapsed, Thomas and his supporters have managed to find some private land where they can meet to go drag-hunting. He's also secured some celebrity patrons - a strange alliance that includes Joanna Lumley, Sir Patrick Moore, Ann Widdecombe and Brian Sewell. These small (there are just five riders here today) and low-profile meets are, however, a far cry from what Thomas originally imagined… (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 19.4.04 HUNTING: YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND Some time ago I wrote to Paddy Tipping asking why he wished to make hunting a criminal offence. He replied: "I see little to commend the activity". Hardly sufficient reason, given that 400,000 people marched through London to demonstrate their commendation… Sadly, many Labour MPs are willing to exploit this situation for political gain. LAURENCE KAY Combs Lane Farnsfield (letter)

Leicester Mercury 19.4.04 HUNTING NOT ACCEPTABLE So Mr David Davidson, of Leicestershire and Rutland Countryside Alliance has a concern for animal welfare… The innocent hare, chased or harried until dead - what of its welfare Mr. Davidson?... What of the welfare of the hunting hounds? Is it three or four years of age when they are of no further use and killed off, Mr Davidson?... A F Wreathall, Queniborough (letter)
Leicester Mercury 19.4.04 HOW TO HELP CONSERVATION - David Davidson wrote of hunting as an issue of liberty and conservation. As I see it, hunting has very little to do with conservation. The only connection it has with liberty is the liberty it gives to the hunting fraternity to carry on with this sadistic pastime… G A Wright, Leicester. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 12.4.04 HUNTING - AN ISSUE OF LIBERTY AND CONSERVATION - Georgina Murmann (March 18), is correct in pointing out the contrast between sentiments about hunting in town and country. Following the Burns Report, volunteers toured the rural villages of north-west Leicestershire in 2000 and delivered and collected questionnaire cards to every household. The result showed less than five per cent of the 2,500 replies wanted hunting banned... David Davidson, Leicestershire and Rutland Countryside Alliance (letter)
Leicester Mercury 18.3.04 FIGHT FOR HUNTING - I can only think the paper asked the wrong people about hunting (Mercury, March 15). Townies don't care but this is a shire county with the best hunts in the world and we do care… Georgina Murmann, Ashby. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 18.3.04 YOU NEED TO TIDY UP YOUR ACT I am one of the 15 per cent unsure about the hunt. The hunt itself is not the problem. It's the usual self-opinionated rubbish that they come out with. If you drive around Gumley on or after hunt day, the mess and disturbance created is unbelievable. They park the horse boxes on verges, pull the horses out into the road and generally behave as if it's their God-given right to disrupt and cause a mess… N D Cooper, Leicester (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.4.04 THE RABBIT EXPLOSION- David Thomas Hisomley Westbury Wiltshire (letter)
Bath Chronicle 17.4.04 HAVING KILLED THE FOXES WE ARE OVERUN WITH RABBITS The Persecution and killing of foxes by fox -hating hunting supporters - a culture cultivated by the fox-hunting lobby and media cronies - causes immense problems. In my area, we lose crops and grazing and have to cope with holes dug by thousands of rabbits, creating the danger of horses and other livestock injuring themselves.... DAVID THOMAS, Hisomley, Westbury (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 19.4.04 COURSING: SOMEONE COULD DIE SOMEONE could be killed if illegal hare coursing continues, a Cambridgeshire farmer has warned. Latest figures show the practice is at record levels across the county and farmers who have confronted the illegal coursers have faced threats and violence… (story)

Cambridge Evening News 19.4.04 CITY STANDS STILL AS PROTEST HITS - THE centre of Cambridge was brought to a standstill by animal rights protesters on Saturday. Local protesters were joined by hundreds who travelled from as far away as Scotland, Wales and Germany and scores of police officers, from at least four different forces, flanked the protest on all sides…. Campaigner Joan Court, 85, from Sturton Street, Petersfield, joined the march, which was organised by protest group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC)…. (story)

Scotsman 19.4.04 Fury over call to cull Scotland's seals - ANDREW DENHOLM , POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - THE idea of culling seals on the coasts of Scotland was raised by a former Scottish Executive minister yesterday, leading to the reopening of divisions between environmental campaigners and fishermen. Alasdair Morrison, the Labour MSP for the Western Isles and the former deputy enterprise minister, said ministers should discuss the controversial move.... Advocates for Animals, which has fiercely opposed a seal ban in the past, said it was "appalled" when seals were blamed for the shortages of fish.... (story)

Western Daily Press 19.4.04 A BOYCOTT OF ALL CANADIAN PRODUCTS WILL HELP SEAL FIGHT Readers who are distressed or angered by the seal cull currently taking place in Canada, have a number of ways they can help try to stop it… You can boycott all Canadian products and tourist services, and you could mention this in your letter. Polite, constructive phone messages can be telephoned to the Embassy… A Heritage Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Shropshire Star 19.4.04 Brutality towards animals - Reports in the press of a massive cull of baby seals in Canada have caused shock to many of us. How can such a callous act of the mass killing of animals take place in the 21st century?... Steve Calf, Shropshire Animal Protection (letter)

18.4.04

Sunday Telegraph 18.4.04 Labour MPs demand hunt ban 'before next election' By Colin Brown, Political Editor - A ban on foxhunting before the general election will be demanded tomorrow by more than 200 Labour MPs. The MPs, led by Tony Banks, the former sports minister, have tabled a Commons motion urging the Prime Minister to fulfil commitments to settle the issue in this Parliament.... One anti-hunting Labour MP made no secret of the fact that the Government would use a ban on foxhunting to satisfy backbench demands for Mr Blair to listen more to their wishes. "We have had the rebellions over top-up fees and foundation hospitals, and now we want something back in return,".... (story)
Observer 18.4.04 MPs dig in for ban on hunting - Gaby Hinsliff, chief political correspondent - Labour backbenchers will mount a major push for a ban on hunting tomorrow following private promises from Ministers that they will finally sound the death knell for blood sports as early as next month. Around 212 MPs have already signed a parliamentary motion to be unveiled tomorrow when they return from their Easter recess, pointedly reminding Tony Blair of the promises he has repeatedly made to ban hunting.... A fresh attempt to ban hunting will prompt charges of the Government cynically dangling carrots in front of Labour backbenchers to repair damage caused by clashes over the war on Iraq, tuition fees and foundation hospitals. But if Blair does not act - seven years after first promising a free vote on banning hunting and despite nine Commons votes favouring a ban dating back to 1995 - the issue is in danger of descending into farce..... (story)

Sunday Herald 18.4.04 The Men Who Slaughter Seals - A cull of 350,000 seals provoked outcry from animal rights activists, but how do the people who carry out the killing justify it to themselves? Paul Gains talks to the men for whom the slaying of wildlife is a way of life... (story)

BBC News Online 18.4.04 Animal protest ended peacefully - A major animal rights demonstration in Cambridge passed off without incident. About 500 people took part in the demonstration... (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 17.4.04 Animal Rights Protest Passes off Peacefully By Brian Farmer, PA News - Police tonight said a major animal rights demonstration in Cambridge passed off without incident. Around 500 people took part in the demonstration but police said there were no arrests and praised protesters’ behaviour.... (story)
Anglia TV 17.4.04 One thousand turn up for protest - Animal rights campaigners took to the streets of Cambridge this afternoon to protest against animal testing. It was the latest in a series of marches against Huntingdon Life Sciences. Around 1,000 demonstators once again brought the city centre to a standstill.... (story)
Anglia TV 17.4.04 Animal rights demo Police are warning that an animal rights demonstration could cause causing major disruption in Cambridge this afternoon... (story)
BBC News Online 15.4.04 Animal protest to descend on city - Hundreds of animal rights protesters are expected to bring traffic in Cambridge to a standstill on Saturday as they march through the city. The event has been organised by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and will start at 1400 BST… (story)
Cambridge Evening News 14.4.04 GRIDLOCK FEAR OVER PROTEST - HUNDREDS of animal rights protesters are set to cause major disruption in Cambridge on Saturday. At least 1,000 people are expected to descend on the city for a march and speeches to mark World Day for Lab Animals.... Protest organisers from Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) have liaised with officers to plan the event, but a senior officer warned disruption was likely.... Greg Avery said the peaceful march would be well-attended. "We are expecting at least 1,000 protesters from over the UK - from the local area and as far away as Scotland," he said.... (story)

Sunday Mercury 18.4.04 Top chef says veggies are sad By Tom Wells, Sunday Mercury - Celeb chef Brian Turner has been blasted by vegetarian groups - after branding them "sad, confused and sick" for not eating meat… Last night Ursula Bates, Midland representative of vegetarian animal rights group, VIVA, said: "People like Brian Turner want to get their facts right…" (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 14.4.04 TV chef brands vegetarians 'confused' By Alan Weston And Holly De Sylva, Daily Post - CELEBRITY chef Brian Turner has branded vegetarians "confused" during a visit to Liverpool to judge a roast beef competition. Mr Turner, of TV's Ready Steady Cook, fame, is touring the country to find the most imaginative and creative ways of preparing and cooking roast beef, with a national final on St George's Day later this month. The venue for the Merseyside heat was award-winning city centre restaurant 60 Hope Street. And in an unashamedly beef-eating atmosphere, Mr Turner (pictured) gave short shrift to vegetarians - of whom there are around three million in the UK - saying they were "confused.".... (story)

17.4.04

Daily Record 17.4.04 WILLS SCARED LIFE OUT OF US WITH SHOTGUN BLASTS IN THE NIGHT - ANGRY cat-owner Jeshiera Art told last night how she found a gun-toting Prince William outside her home. She claimed she ran from the remote cottage to confront a shooting party and was stunned to see her pet cat caught in a spotlight as shots were fired.... Last night, she accused the prince, who was in a LandRover driven by royal gamekeeper Robbie Elliot, of blasting off his gun near her front door.... A palace spokeswoman said: 'The gamekeeper was conducting pest control. 'As soon as he realised he was disturbing a neighbour, he stopped. He is aware of the neighbour's concern about her missing cat. However,there is absolutely no evidence that a cat was killed.' (story)
Daily Record 17.4.04 FOLLIES OF GUN LOVING ROYALS - PRINCE William has been in trouble for shooting rabbits before. Animal rights campaigners were furious in 1993 when William, aged just 10, killed half a dozen rabbits with a single-barrel shotgun. Princess Diana,who was opposed to bloodsports, was furious Charles had allowed the young prince to fire agun at Balmoral... (story)
Aberdeen Evening Express 17.4.04 WILLIAM SCARED OFF MY MOGGIE A Deeside woman has claimed Prince William and his gamekeeper turned land near her home into a "war zone" and scared off her cat.... Artist Jeshiera Art, 34, says she confronted the party when she saw her pet cat Dream dazzled by a powerful lamp as shots were fired. The terrified ginger tom disappeared and has not been seen since.... (story)

Dundee Courier 17.4.04 Call for ban on lead shot - THE SCOTTISH Executive should take immediate steps to ban the use of lead shot by wildfowlers. The call for the ban was made by the RSPB at the end of the recent Waterbirds Around The World International Conference held in Edinburgh.... (story)

Western Morning News 17.4.04 INDIFFERENCE IS NOT ACCEPTABLE MINISTER - The WMN is campaigning for the British Government to introduce a ban preventing the export of live horses for slaughter. Here's a selection of the thousands of letters we have received showing your support
We are delighted that the European Parliament voted in Strasbourg for an amendment to a draft EU regulation on animal welfare in transport... Josephine M Chugg, Torpoint
No action, no votes - I HOPE the Government is aware that feelings are running extremely high in our district at the possibility of the live transport of horses being resumed, through lack of support by MPs.... Don Mussell, Calstock, Cornwall
Humane end please ... Slaughterhouses in Europe and elsewhere are barbaric places an the journeys to them cause untold suffering. Anne Mackay, Newton Abbot
Minister of the Horse? I AM adding my name, to the thousands, who oppose the live export of horses, ponies and donkeys.... U J Marshall, Ilsington
No live exports - I HEARTILY agree with all those who say there should be a ban on the export of all live animals for slaughter.... H B Pendray, Liskeard
Politicians must listen WHY won't the Government listen to the people? There should be a total ban on the export of live horses for slaughter, not only horses but all animals. Shirley Kingsford, Launceston
No compromises - I AM against all live exports and believe animals should be slaughtered in this country to our regulations... J Hocking, Hayle
Respect our horses - HORSES have been faithful friends and servants for thousands of years, other animals have provided us with food. The least we can do is make sure they do not suffer... Evelyn Hobbs, Bideford
End this barbarity - THANK you WMN for continuing to highlight the treatment of all animals destined for the food trade, and especially animals facing the prospect of live export. How can any human condone such barbarous treatment of animals?... Claire E Siddall, Newton Abbot (letters)

Western Daily Press 17.4.04 TIME TO END LIVE ANIMAL EXPORTS - Having written to MPs and Defra on the issue of banning live animal exports and been told - "Sorry, European law won't allow us to" - the news in Chris Rundle's column was good news. Exports could go. When I watched the TV footage of transportation of animals and saw the protests at ports, I felt ashamed this country could be part of this "trade".... Pamela Dean, Stroud, Gloucestershire (letter)

Yorkshire Post 17.4.04 PROTEST PLEA OVER CANADIAN SEAL CULL - From: Suzanne Hart, York Place Company Services Ltd, Leeds. Twenty-three years later, and the Canadian government consider that we will have forgotten the havoc and destruction of the seal cull which was permitted up to the early 1980s, as they introduce the current commercial cull..... (letter)

Northern Echo 17.4.04 SEAL CULL - I ASK animal lovers in the North-East to join me in a boycott of Canadian goods, especially fish products. Once again, the barbarians are killing thousands of seals whose only crime is eating fish... Personally, I hope they never have a good night's sleep again and end up rotting in Hell. - Sandra Hall, Peterlee. (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 17.4.04 HALAL MEAT PREPARATION 'UNDER THREAT' BY ROSEE BROWN - Muslim butchers are calling for a tightening-up of the definition of halal meat, amid fears that the ritual slaughter process could be banned.... (story)

16.4.04

Spectator 16.4.04 The last act of a desperate Prime Minister — to bring back the Hunting Bill - Peter Oborne - As Tony Blair mulled matters over last week at Government House, Bermuda, where he and his family spent Easter at a very reasonable £27 per night, the future must have looked ghastly... The vexatious trip to visit George Bush is by no means the greatest of Tony Blair’s troubles. This May and June now loom ahead like an obstacle course.... Some Labour strategists see tremendous advantages in this course of action. It would galvanise Labour activists and MPs, many of whom are obsessed with hunting... Very shortly before he died, Roy Jenkins told the Prime Minister that he ‘could not conceive a more illiberal act’ than banning fox-hunting. They were pretty well the last words he ever uttered to Tony Blair, and perhaps they still echo in his ears (story)

Westmorland Gazette 16.4.04 Prescott's Jag under egg attack By Justin Hawkins DEPUTY Prime Minister John Prescott faced a rough ride at the hands of pro-hunting protesters when he arrived in Kendal on Thursday night reports Justin Hawkins… Mr Prescott initially refused their calls to talk about the issue and his entourage swept past the demonstration. He entered the lobby unscathed but looking rattled. However, moments later he did agree to speak briefly to one of the demonstrators. Jimmy McNamara from Kendal said: "I had a word with him. I put across to him the fact that a lot of people not just in Cumbria but countrywide are opposed to the Government's views on banning hunting. He said that it was party policy and that they were going to stick to their guns and push for a Bill later this year."… CAN is a relatively new pro-hunting group - formed two years ago - which prefers which more "radical" tactics than the more established Countryside Alliance and has in the past plastered MPs' offices with pro-hunt posters and disrupted traffic with "go-slow" convoys… (story)
Cumberland News 16.4.04 PRO-HUNT PROTESTERS HURL BOILED EGG AT PRESCOTT By Julian Whittle - PRO-HUNTING protesters threw a hard-boiled egg at John Prescott when he visited Cumbria to speak on regional government last night. The missile hit the Deputy Prime Minister’s Jaguar as he arrived in Kendal, while 20 placard-waving demonstrators from the Countryside Action Network tried to block his way. There were no arrests…. Meanwhile, the Countryside Action Network, a militant group which has pledged to carry on hunting in defiance of any ban, says it will stage more demonstrations. Spokesman Peter Hole said the egg-throwing incident was "an expression of the anger that people feel”. He added: "There are no animal welfare reasons to ban hunting. It is pure class war.” (story)
Western Daily Press 16.4.04 PRO-HUNT MISSILE HITS PRESCOTT CAR A Hard-boiled egg was hurled at the Deputy Prime Minister's car by a pro-hunt campaigner yesterday. John Prescott was arriving at a hotel in Cumbria for a meeting about a proposed North West Regional Assembly… (story)
icSurreyonline 15.4.04 Pro-hunt attack on Prescott - A hard-boiled egg has been hurled at the Deputy Prime Minister's car by pro-hunt campaigners. John Prescott was arriving at a hotel in Cumbria for a meeting about a proposed North West Regional Assembly when the incident occurred…. (story)

Stourbridge News 16.4.04 Abandon cruel pastime - I feel your recent contributors in support of fox hunting were a little dishonest in some of their arguments…. The Liberty & Livelihood march in 2002 did get support from 400,000 people from the countryside…. Many have genuine grievances but joined the demo, to be heard, without necessarily backing hunting… I invite `Nix' and his/her fellow hunt advocates to abandon the cruel pastimes of the past, such as fox hunting, and spend their energies in ways that will genuinely improve the life of people in our countryside, such as by advocating better public transport for all…. Keith Perks, via email (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 1.4.04 Research will reveal the truth - I have followed the correspondence between Edward Davies and various pro-hunting apologists in your columns with keen interest. From these I can only assume that Nix, in particular, has never followed a hunt and has certainly never witnessed a kill… From bitter personal experience anti-hunt monitors carrying cameras are routinely threatened verbally and physically, and prevented from filming whenever possible…. (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 25.3.04 Hunting indefensible - I would remind the general secretary, Hunting for Tolerance (letter March 11) that not everyone taking part in countryside marches is there to support hunting… Jane Jones, Kingswinford (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 12.3.04 In defence of hunting - Edward Davies poses a number of questions about hunting (letters 27.2.04). Here are the answers:… The committed defenders of hunting outnumber its committed opponents by at least 100 to 1 (ie the largest ever anti-hunting demonstration mustered 3,500 back in 1999 whereas the Liberty & Livelihood march in 2002 mustered over 400,000)…. We have no objection to independent monitors, but bitter experience tells us that self-styled hunt monitors are always those most committed to a legislative ban and their readiness to manufacture incidents and maximise the resulting publicity is legendary. General Secretary, Hunting for Tolerance, York House, 22, Frederick Street, Birmingham B1 3EE (story in archive)
Stourbridge News 5.3.04 Speaking the unspeakable - Get off your high horse Nix. We townies (and I wasn't always a townie!) know all your lame excuses for killing wildlife… You are, to quote Oscar Wilde, `The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable'. Stick that into your research. Name and address supplied (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 27.2.04 Why not film all hunts? - Other than the badger and a few other rare species protected under conservation laws, many including foxes are not…. supporters of hunting, such as your recent correspondent Peter Swann, argue it's unreasonable that hunting should be judged so unfavourably, as cruelty is denied and if offenders were found to have contravened codes of conduct, they would face disciplinary action. If hunting isn't cruel, why then should so many members of the public and MP's want legislation to ban it?... Edward Davies, via email (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 19.2.04 Do some research - I agree that debate is healthy, however, I believe Edward Davis is still portraying the hunt as brutal and cruel… Mr Davies neglected to mention the main effect if hunting was banned; think of all the different elements that the hunt requires, all the equestrian supplies, all the stable hands, plus the countless other small and well established companies that receive a healthy annual trade from members of the hunt…. I believe that the subject has been grossly exaggerated by anti-hunt groups…. Nix, via email (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 19.2.04 Just admit it May I pick up on the present fox hunting debate from the letters page. First I should like to quote Nix. He writes: `In fact when a fox is caught only the Alfa dog is allowed to finish the job by a quick bite to the back of the neck'. Then last week Peter Swann writes saying: `Under no circumstances is the fox to be hunted again, but shot with a firearm from point blank range. It is against the rules to throw a live fox to the hounds.' Seems to me the right hand knows not what the left hand is doing down at the hunt kennels…. A Barker, Wollaston (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 12.2.04 Open and accountable I would like to respond to Mr Edward Davies, who has made some outrageous statements aimed at hunting with hounds. Under the rules laid down by hunting's governing body, the Masters of Foxhounds Association no fox is ever dug out unless the landowner specifically requests that foxes are accounted for…. It is also against the rules laid down to throw a live fox to the hounds… As the master of the local hunt the Albrighton Woodland, and the person ultimately responsible for the rules been enforced I can assure your readers that foxes are never thrown live to these hounds… Peter Swann, via email (letter)
Stourbridge News 5.2.04 Cruel practices cannot be ignored - I write to correct several points made by Nix, via email in which I consider them in error… A small terrier dog is sent into the refuge and if the fox doesn't bolt, a battle between fox and hound takes place…. if still alive, it may be shot, killed with a blow from a spade or if the hounds are still in the vicinity, they might be given the live fox as a reward…. Edward Davies, via email (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 29.1.04 Tragedy for our heritage - I was outraged by a letter in November 20's edition of the Stourbridge News. The letter by Edward Davies regarding hunting was written without any of the facts required to make such a statement…. If a group of people made the same comments about kosher and halal meat they would be branded racist and prejudiced. However, this is not the case with the hunt, in fact the hunt is perceived as being made up of cruel bloodthirsty toffs. If these "antis" ever met anyone associated with the hunt they would realise that they are just down to earth people who justifiably provide a service to the rural community… Do these antis wish to ban cars, after all the automobile kills more foxes than the hunt or any other method of control…. Nix, via email (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 20.11.03 Hunting: an outdated tradition - In a recent newspaper article Ms Kirkbride, the Conservative MP for Bromsgrove, was quoted making an emotional and misplaced appeal in favour of hunting…. This appeal was based upon the often-used argument that hunting is a rural tradition not understood by urban dwellers… What right has a sport, which enthusiasts claim as their tradition, to remain when it is soaked in the blood of amusement?... Edward Davies Stourbridge (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.4.04 FOXES ACT ON THEIR INSTINCTS - The claim that my view of foxes is naive or a deliberate misrepresentation puzzles me. True, I have never hunted or shot a fox, but I have lived in this country with farmers around me all my life. I think I know a fair bit about foxes… Pamela Dean Whiteshill Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Jersey Evening Post 16.4.04 This new animal law is designed to keep owners on the leash - From Maurice Le Cocq. 2 Sydenham Villas, Janvrin Road, St Helier - I AM disgusted and appalled to read that licences have been granted to cull pheasants - something that the bloodthirsty hunters in this Island have been requesting for a long time…. Pheasants are not indigenous, but it has been a joy to see them in the countryside and I cannot understand why man has to blast them out of the skies… (letter may be in archive)

Flintshire Chronicle 16.4.04 Children traumatised by fox cruelty - AN MP is investigating claims that members of the public, including children, have been traumatised by the sight of foxes dying in agony in wire snares within feet of a country lane. Alyn and Deeside Labour MP Mark Tami has stepped in to try to stop the practice after receiving complaints from shocked constituents. Among those pressing for action is Ken Thompson, of Bistre Avenue, Buckley, who contacted the MP after two of his friends saw foxes trapped in snares within eight feet of Old Hope Road, between Dobshill and Penymynydd…. (story)

Northern Echo 16.4.04 GRAND NATIONAL - IN SPITE of many people regarding the Grand National as cruel for the horses, I think this year's race was the best ever. No fatalities, and to see Ginger McCain triumph again after so many lean years since the retirement of Red Rum was most heartening… Douglas Punchard, Kirkbymoorside. (letter in archive)

Ledbury Reporter 16.4.04 Sequani demo today - AN animal rights protest is due to take place at Sequani in Ledbury today (Friday). The demonstration has been organised to take place from noon by the People Against Animal Cruelty (PACA)… (story in archive)

Chester Chronicle 16.4.04 It's Lady Go-diver as protest takes tumble - By Jessica Shaughnessy, Chester Chronicle - A CAMPAIGNER who rode naked on horse-back through Chester, in a Lady Godiva-style protest carried on despite falling off and breaking her foot. Wearing just a long blonde wig, Deborah Wales, who is protesting against the live export of horses, fell and broke her heel in two places. Even though she was in agony, she remounted and continued her tour around the city centre attracting the attention of shoppers and a police officer… (story)
Cheshire Chronicle 8.4.04 'Godiva' protest at plight of horses By Jessica Shaughnessy, Chester Chronicle - A CAMPAIGNER will ride naked on horseback through Chester in a Lady Godiva-style protest against the export of live horses. With just a long blonde wig covering her, Deborah Wales will take to the streets in a bid to help horses destined for European dinner plates…. (story)

Chester Chronicle 16.4.04 Time is running out to end export of live horses By Maria Malatesta, Chester Chronicle - ANIMAL-LOVERS fighting live horse export are over their first hurdle, but the next stage will finally seal the fate of Cheshire's horses bound for slaughter. The campaign to prevent EU plans to export live British horses, ponies and donkeys to European dinner plates received backing by European Parliament in Strasbourg last month - but it's not over yet…. (story)

Ananova 16.4.04 Celia joins seal protest - Former supermodel Celia Hammond joined a demonstration outside the Canadian High Commission in London to protest against the country's "barbaric" seal cull. Ms Hammond, a tireless animal welfare campaigner, said she was shocked by recent TV footage and eyewitness accounts of baby seals being shot or clubbed to death in Newfoundland…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 16.4.04 Stop this sick seal slaughter - Ross Minett, director Advocates for Animals Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)
Scotsman 16.4.04 Stop the slaughter - Many readers will have been disgusted to learn of the mass slaughter of seals in Canada… Advocates for Animals oppos-es the slaughter of seals in any country and urges the Canadian government to halt this action. ROSS MINETT Director, Advocates for Animals Queensferry Street Edinburgh (letter)

Daily Record 16.4.04 BARBARIC CULL IS A CRYING SHAME - I WAS shocked at the brutality of the seal pup culling. It was extremely cruel and I can't believe it is allowed to happen… Lisa Boyle, Age 10, Moodiesburn
I CRIED my eyes out at the sight of those little seal pups being clubbed to death. It makes me ashamed to be human… Ann-Louise Donald,Cumbernauld
THE seal cull in Canada is cruel and barbaric… D. Robertson, Glasgow (letters)

Leicester Mercury 16.4.04 CIRCUSES CONDEMNED - The circus is coming to town. The advertisers are telling us to book early to avoid long queues. Long queues for what? To watch beautiful animals perform degrading tricks and parade around in stupid costumes…. A Smith, Leicester. (letter)

Craven Herald 16.4.04 SIR - I am writing in response to Mrs Matthews letter on the lack of catering for vegetarians. As a vegetarian myself I experienced the difficulties which sometimes arise in finding a vegetarian option. However it is not always a problem as Mrs Matthews makes out… Hannah Wilson, Rook Street, Lothersdale (letter in archive)
Craven Herald 8.4.04 I enjoy your Dining Out column but wonder if more mention could be made of vegetarian options.... This year National Vegetarian Week is Monday to Sunday May 24-30. Perhaps during that week you could do a special vegetarian restaurant review. Mrs C Matthews Glenhurst Avenue, Keighley. (letter in archive)

CAPS ANTI ZOO PROTEST 12.4.04
The Citizen, Lytham St Annes 16.4.04 We're not top of the flops by Lori Hudson FYLDE animal rights protesters have hit back at claims by bosses at Blackpool Zoo that their Easter Monday protest was a flop. More than thirty demonstrators, aged 14 to 70, turned up to hand out leaflets calling for an end to the captivity of wild animals during the event on Monday, April 11. A zoo spokesman said: "Just a handful of regular protesters turned up at mid-day…. Blackpool Animal Rights spokeswoman, Mary Gavins said: "The zoo can claim that people are not interested in anything we have to say…. But there are also many people who know how unnatural and prison-like zoos are for animals…." (story in archive)
Craven Herald 16.4.04 Zoo protesters stage protest - THE Zoo Action group which is opposing the relocation of Southport Zoo to North Craven reported a successful protest on Easter Monday. The group, led by Barnoldswick couple Rod and Sara Hartley, collected around 1,500 signatures against plans by Doug and Carole Petrie to move their rare and exotic small animals to the Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre at Gigggleswick… (story in archive)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 15.4.04 Bosses hit back at zoo protesters - Bosses at Dudley Zoo have hit back at animal rights activists, claiming the attraction helps protect endangered species… Protesters from the Birmingham branch of Animal Protection lobbied holiday visitors to the zoo, claiming that it was one of the worst run in the country… Campaigner David Hughes said: "We feel zoos are cruel to animals by keeping them in small cages…." (story)
Telegraph 14.4.04 Zoo protester's loudhailer 'caused sea lion cruelty' By David Sapsted - An animal rights protest at a zoo created such a disturbance that one of the demonstrators is being investigated for causing cruelty to animals. Police are investigating claims that the Easter Monday demonstration at Colchester Zoo caused five young sea lions to become distressed because a woman insisted on yelling through a loudhailer near their enclosure... The Crown Prosecution Service will now decide if the unnamed woman - one of 15 protesters who gathered outside the zoo to mark the Captive Animals Protection Society's annual Zoo Awareness Day - should be prosecuted for cruelty to animals.... (story)
Bristol Evening Post 14.4.04 ZOO CRUCIAL FOR MANY ANIMALS - We will always defend people's right to protest, regardless of whether we agree with them... And we will also challenge protests which are unfair.So it is with the demonstrators who targeted Bristol Zoo... The animals at Bristol Zoo are wild in name only. Many have been bred in captivity, while others have adjusted to life in a zoo over the years.... If you follow the logic of the Captive Animals Protection Society then you would close all zoos and then face having to destroy most of the animals within them. For there would be nowhere else for them to go.... (story)
Bristol Evening Post 14.4.04 BRITISH ZOOS ARE LEADING THE WORLD - Zoos this week were the target of protesters who claim they are cruel, inhumane and should release their captive animals. Dr Bryan Carroll, deputy director of Bristol Zoo Gardens, says those demonstrating were not in full possession of the facts... (story)
Bristol Evening Post 13.4.04 ZOO DIRECTOR CLAIMS PROTEST 'MISGUIDED' BY OLIVIER VERGNAULT - Bristol Zoo's director today defended the zoo after a protest aimed at highlighting the plight of animals in captivity was staged outside the attraction. Half a dozen protesters assembled outside the zoo on Clifton Downs at lunchtime yesterday and told visitors that zoos were not suitable for wild animals.... It was the second protest by members of the Bristol Animal Rights Network over the Easter Weekend. Network member Mary Johnson said they wanted people to think about the issues of animals in captivity.... (story)
Essex Evening Gazette 14.4.04 Colchester: Zoo protestor reported - An animal rights protestor has been reported for causing unnecessary suffering to animals at Colchester Zoo. But Eve Topkovic spoke out after a fellow campaigner, who has not been named, was reported by police for using a hand-held PA system... (story in archive)
Western Morning News 13.4.04 ANIMAL PROTESTERS HOLD EASTER DEMOS - Animal rights campaigners protesting against zoos staged demonstrations across the Westcountry yesterday… Julie Taylor, a member of the South Devon Animal Rights group, led the protest at Dartmoor Wildlife Park… (story)
Plymouth Evening Herald 13.4.04 ANIMAL PROTEST AT WILDLIFE PARK - Anti-zoo protesters have held a vigil at Dartmoor Wildlife Park at Sparkwell. A dozen people (pictured right), including members of the South Devon Animal Rights group, put out signs and leafletted drivers entering the park. Leader Julie Taylor from Paignton said she was opposed to zoos generally and wanted to see the park closed down…. (story)
Blackpool Gazette 13.4.04 PROTESTORS JOIN BATTLE TO CLOSE NATION'S ZOOS - - PROTESTERS gathered at Blackpool Zoo as part of a national awareness day to campaign for the closure of zoos. Members of Blackpool Animal Rights Coalition staged a peaceful protest yesterday at the entrance of the zoo handing out leaflets to the public on Zoo Awareness Day. Veronica Smart has been a member of the coalition for six years and campaigns against animal cruelty…. (story)
BBC News Online 13.4.04 An animal rights protester who used a hand-held public address system outside Colchester Zoo was asked to stop - because she was causing unnecessary suffering to some of the animals…. (story)
BBC News Online 12.4.04 Protest at Bristol Zoo - Animal rights campaigners on Monday handed out leaflets outside Bristol Zoo as part of a national day of protest. Members of The Captive Animals Protection Society demonstrated at more than a dozen zoos... (story)
BBC News Online 12.4.04 Animal rights group target zoos - Animal rights campaigners are planning protests against zoos in the Midlands as part of a national demonstration. The Captive Animals Protection Society are demonstrating at 16 zoos on Monday... (story)
BBC News Online 12.4.04 Zoo picketed by protesters - Animal rights protesters picketed outside a Devon zoo. The demonstration at the Dartmoor Wildlife Park on Monday was part of a nationwide campaign against keeping animals in captivity... (story)
Luton News/Dunstable Gazette/Herald & Post 8.4.04 ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS PLAN WHIPSNADE DEMO - Monday date for zoo protest - Animal rights campaigners are preparing to stage a protest outside Whipsnade Wild Animal Park this Easter weekend... The demo is one of 15 protests at zoos across the country to mark National Zoo Aware-ness Day, organised by the Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS).... (story)
Bristol Evening Post 10.4.04 ANIMAL ACTIVISTS TO TARGET CITY ZOO Members of the Bristol Animal Rights Network will be protesting outside Bristol Zoo next week. The demonstration on Monday starts at noon and is one of 15 protests at zoos across the country to mark National Zoo Awareness Day... (story)

15.4.04

FLINT & DENBIGH FOX DEMO
Denbighshire Free Press 15.4.04 HUNT SUPPORTER HITS BACK - A HUNT supporter has hit back at claims by anti-hunt protesters that they were subjected to ‘taunts’ and ‘verbal obscenities’. Sharon Wilkes of Denbigh claims she, her husband and son were victims of cruel name calling by protesters during a brief shopping excursion… She added: "My husband is not thick. Yes, we did beep our horn but there was no need for them to call me a bitch and my husband thick. They have no right to do that…. The gentleman who had the fox on his truck is not even a follower of the Flint and Denbigh Hunt. Both my son and my husband are involved with the hunt. The people on the hunt are respectable and so well mannered.” (story)
Flintshire Chronicle 2.4.04 Dead fox used in gruesome taunt to anti-hunt brigade - Flintshire Chronicle - CAMPAIGNERS against hunting say they called the police after the body of a fox was used to taunt them in Denbigh on Saturday…. A spokeswoman for North Wales Police said that following a complaint about the body of a fox being hung from a van an officer spoke to the driver of the vehicle and "suitable advice was given". (story)
Denbighshire Free Press 1.4.04 FOX FURY - Sight of dead animal upsets protestors - Anti-hunt campaigners clashed with hunt supporters during a protest in Denbigh’s High Street at the weekend. The protestors claimed they were subjected to taunts and obscenities and had the dead body of a fox paraded in front of them as they brought their demonstration to an end on Saturday. Judi Hewitt, founder of the Denbighshire Animal Rights Group, said: "A few of us decided to take our message into the heart of Flint and Denbigh Hunt country – and were pleased by the amount of support we received from the public…" Picture: Anti-Hunt protestors making their point in Denbigh are, from left, Jean Bennington, Mike Bird, Judi Hewitt, Nia Cooke, Rebecca Chapman and Emma Thomas. (story)
Daily Post 1.4.04 Dead fox provocation disowned - HUNT supporters have distanced themselves from a stand-off in Denbigh in which a dead fox was brandished at anti-hunt protesters. Six women members of Denbighshire Animal Rights (DAR) were staging a peaceful demonstration outside the town's library on Saturday when three locals took exception. A dead fox was strung from a pick-up truck which was driven past the protesters in an act of "provocation". DAR spokeswoman Judi Hewitt said: "They drove past several times, shouting abuse. "One was even waving a fox's tail from the passenger side window. It was quite frightening."… (story)

Western Morning News 15.4.04 TOO MANY FEMALES CAUSE DEER WORRIES - The red deer population on the Quantock Hills is continuing to rise dramatically because of an "unnatural balance" between males and females, conservationists said yesterday…. Jochen Langbein, secretary of the Quantock Deer Management and Conservation Group, which carried out the survey, said: "The overall population is up on the Quantocks, from 819 to 881, and the vast majority of the increased numbers are females…" A spokesman for the Quantock Staghounds said: "We hunt just as many deer as we do stags, even with the difference in season. There are always large herds of females up here with the males moving around more…" (story)

Cornish Guardian 15.4.04 FARMER BANS HUNTING DOGS - A sheep farmer has banned a hunt from running across his land because he claims its beagle dogs were frightening his animals. David Evans of Trehausa Farm, Week St Mary, has lived at his home for three years and has a 50-acre holding upon which he farms around 250 ewes. He claims that five dogs that were running around his fields caused two lambing ewes to miscarry - but the hunt maintains that its dogs were behaving perfectly, and that one was actually injured by the farmer… Mr Evans said he eventually found out that the dogs had come from the North Dartmoor Beagles. After contacting them, he had found the organisers' attitudes about the incident irritating…. Joint Master of the North Dartmoor Beagles, Harvey Paulger, said he apologised to Mr Evans for the beagles that had strayed into one of his fields. Mr Paulger went on: "However, I categorically refute the implication that they chased his sheep… (story)

Impartial Reporter 15.4.04 Sick side of hunting - I would like to express my disappointment and revulsion at the article by Brian Donaldson trying to justify hunting. Let’s be clear on one thing. All the sweet words and grand claims cannot disguise the facts. Hunting animals is cruel! It is a "hobby” committed by people who have nothing better to do with their lives than chase a defenceless animal for hours on end and then rip it apart…. G. MAHAFFEY, Fintona. (letter)
Impartial Reporter 18.3.04 It’s not cruel, just the thrill of the chase - When people have been passionate about a hobby or pastime for more than half a century, it’s certainly in the blood. For William Vance, what started as nothing more than a hobby, has literally become a way of life. William, or Billy as he is probably better known to his friends, is the Joint Master of Fermanagh Harriers Hunt Club sharing that role in recent years with his son, Johnny…. (story)

Western Mail 15.4.04 With regard to the League Against Cruel Sports televised undercover news report, which showed the cruel demise of an agonised fox in the jaws of dogs… It beggars belief, that these misunderstood animals are still being tortured to death while Tony Blair and his uncaring Cabinet, shuffle their feet, trying to appease both sides of the hunting argument… JUDI HEWITT, North Wales Area Contact, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 15.4.04 Animal rights militia attacks businesses - ANIMAL rights activists have carried out violent attacks on two Northamptonshire firms connected to the controversial animal testing facility Huntingdon Life Sciences. Directors at a firm in Daventry even received menacing letters threatening violence against them and their families at their home addresses. This week windows at ACS Office Solutions in the Brackmills industrial estate were smashed…. the Animal Rights Militia (ARM) has claimed responsibility for the attacks…. (story)

Accountancy Age 15.4.04 Huntingdon parent escapes penalties - Controversial US biotech group Life Sciences Research avoided the prospect of severe penalties at the eleventh hour as its auditor won a race against time for official recognition… LSR's hunt for an audit solution follows a wave of protests last year at the UK and US offices of former auditor Deloitte… The confusion is all part of LSR's plan to throw Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty off the scent… (story)

Bristol Evening Post 15.4.04 JOIN GLOBAL DEBATE ON THE ETHICS OF EXPERIMENTING ON ANIMALS - April 24 is World Day For Laboratory Animals, a global event during which the public is asked to remember the millions of animals killed every year in painful research …. Andrew Tyler, director, Animal Aid (letter)

Western Morning News 15.4.04 Onus on Ministers - As I had always suspected, neither the EU Parliament nor the Commission had any particular interest in the live export of horses from UK and had no particular wish to prevent the UK Government from legislating on the subject… Given their attitude to the hunting question, I do not expect them to take a blind bit of notice of the opinions or wishes of concerned rural folk on this or any other issue… Jonathan Ward-Hayne, Modbury (letter)
Western Morning News 15.4.04 APPROVAL IS UNCERTAIN I fully support your campaign to outlaw the live export of horses for slaughter and have followed your readers' correspondence with interest…. Neil Parrish, one of the four Conservative MEPs for the South West, has not "cleared the way for the UK Government to ban the trade"… What he has done is introduce an amendment to the EU Export of Live Animals Directive which permits member states to ban the export of equines for slaughter "on moral grounds"…. Approval by the Council of Ministers is subject to "Qualified Majority Voting" and is by no means certain. Peter Wyatt, St Peter's Quay Totnes
Keep up pressure - My wife and myself would like to add our names to the campaign calling for an end to this horrible trade…. Peter and Christine Clemens, St Giles-the-Wood Devon
A look of despair on their faces … It is intolerable that these kind and trusting animals should be subjected to this treatment…. Lesley Harper, Plymouth
Callous trade - Of course there should be a ban on the exportation of live horses. There should also be a ban on exporting any live animal for slaughter…. Chenda Wooster, Liskeard (letters)

Cambridge Evening News 15.4.04 Lambs to slaughter From M J Michalak - Swaffham Road, Burwell - THE latest reports in the press stating that the vast majority of New Zealand lamb imported into this country is slaughtered by the halal method makes sad reading indeed…. (letter)

ANIMAL AID HALAL LETTER
Stourbridge News 15.4.04 Cruel not humane - Richard Mountford, Animal Aid (letter in archive)
Tamworth Herald 15.4.04 ANIMAL DECISION FURY - Richard Mountford, Animal Aid, via email (letter)
Western Morning News 10.4.04 Slaughter is cruel - I WAS disappointed to read that the Government is to ignore the recommendation of the Farm Animal Welfare Council and allow religious slaughter to continue... Why not benefit animals and your own health by going vegetarian?... Richard Mountford, Development Manager Animal Aid Kent (letter)

Impartial Reporter 15.4.04 Shocking treatment - Through your ‘letters’ page I wish to convey two points. Firstly I wish to emphatically condemn the treatment of the puppies highlighted on the UTV "Insight” programme… Secondly, I wish to categorically state that I, Amanda Hamilton, or my family have absolutely no connection to these puppy dealers. I would also urge people in the area not to supply directions mistakenly to our house and more importantly, especially not to the Hamiltons of Clabby Road… AMANDA HAMILTON 120 Clabby Road, Fivemiletown (letter)

14.4.04

Guardian 14.4.04 The write way to get noticed - If you want your MP's attention you need to use the personal touch - Tom Levitt, MP for High Peak - The campaign postcard is a political icon. Dozens come into my office each week. Most recently they have concerned transport policy, export of horses, HIV/Aids and cycle helmets. Those supporting trade justice, opposing hunting and concerned about climate change are perennials. I like campaign postcards…. The politician who receives 500 postcards on an issue will be more impressed than by a single petition with double the number of names… I have least respect for the bland photocopied letter, topped and tailed by hand… Campaigns on student fees, animal experiments and GM crops have fallen into this trap…. The best opinion letters of all come from the heart, portray an original viewpoint on a thorny issue and make the recipient think… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 14.4.04 NOT A TRIP FOR ANIMAL LOVERS - The Countryside Alliance certainly has a cheek to use your letters pages (April 8) to advertise their trek to the rose red city of Petra in Jordan. The journey is intended to raise funds for their activities in support of fox-hunting and other distasteful 'sports'.... For any animal lover Petra is worth a miss.... KEITH WALDON, Wheatway, Abbeydale (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 8.4.04 JOIN THE TREK TO HELP ALLIANCE - ALICIA BILLYEALD, Events Organiser, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Western Morning News 30.3.04 Support the countryside - I AM writing to invite your readers to join me on a trek through the deserts and wadis of Jordan to the "Rose Red City" of Petra to raise funds for the Countryside Alliance. The challenge, which takes place between October 7 and October 12, is a unique three-and-a-half day trek following ancient routes and finishing at Petra…. A registration fee of £250 is needed to join the challenge and we ask you to raise at least £2,000 in sponsorship. The tour costs £840 per person which includes flights, accommodation, transfers, meals and guides, and all money raised over and above this will go directly to the Countryside Alliance…. Alicia Billyeald, Events Organiser Countryside Alliance (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 14.4.04 How can they be animal lovers? - THE Grand National this year gave cause for concern with only 11 of the 39 horses setting off finishing, 12 fallen and seven horses having to be pulled up... The Holcombe Harriers point-to-point last month was cancelled due to severe weather, but Flint and Denbigh Hunt point-to-point went ahead last week at Eaton Hall, near Chester, with at least one horse killed after falling. Clearly one cannot accept the pro-hunting lobby's pleas of "we love our horses and hounds..." KATHERINE WATSON (Miss), Bramhall, Stockport (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 14.4.04 DEFRA a dead loss - WHY must Margaret Beckett and the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) interfere with so many tried and tested rural practices? For longer than most of us know, man has always buried what has died... I cannot see how leaving piles of dead animals to lie about farms and the countryside waiting to be collected by a system that no one appears to be able to operate is going to be any better than the tried and tested one of burying and using the knackerman.... David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Acomb, York (letter in archive)

Birmingham Post/Evening Mail 14.4.04 'Thousands face jail' over airgun ban fiasco Thousands of people who legally bought Birmingham-made Brocock airguns face prison because the Home Office has failed to adequately publicise changes to the law, say gun enthusiasts.... Mike Eveleigh, senior firearms officer with BASC, Britain's biggest shooting organisation, said: "The Home Office has failed to make people aware of this. BASC represents 120,000 members and we received one poster, one sticker and one leaflet for publicity purposes...." Home Office Minister Caroline Flint said the ban has been widely publicised and had been announced as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act.... (story)

ANIMAL AID GRAND NATIONAL LETTER
Horncastle News 14.4.04 Horses have the best in care - EDITOR - May I for the sake of sanity and commonsense, comment on the letter re: ‘The Cruel Grand National’, March 31.... We and our horses that race strive for the best animal aid and their sympathisers look for the worst but cannot find it. HENRY H FOSTER, Woodhall Spa (letter)
Horncastle News (31.3.04) Don’t have a flutter on the cruel Grand National - ANDREW TYLER Director, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1AW (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 31.3.04 SOAPBOX: RACEHORSES ARE EXTREMELY WELL CARED FOR - Having read the recent letter in Open Lines from Andrew Tyler of Animal Aid, I felt I must write and defend British horseracing against his misleading propag anda. I have been involved in horseracing all my life, initially as an assistant trainer to my father Richard Holder, and can honestly say without hesitation that the thoroughbred racehorse is the most pampered and well looked-after of all animals… we must not forget that racehorses are bred to race and the vast majority enjoy doing so…. Mark Holder, Clevedon (letter)
Skegness Standard 31.3.04 Boycott the cruel Grand National - ANDREW TYLER Director, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1AW (letter)
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 31.3.04 Horses are exploited - Andrew Tyler Director, Animal Aid The Old Chapel Bradford Street Tonbridge, Kent (letter in archive)
Cumberland News & Star 30.3.04 READERS may be considering a "harmless flutter” on the Grand National this Saturday…. ANDREW TYLER, Director, Animal Aid (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 30.3.04 NATIONAL ISN'T A HARMLESS FLUTTER - ANDREW TYLER Director, Animal Aid The Old Chapel Bradford Street Tonbridge Kent TN9 1AW (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 29.3.04 Boycott the Grand National - ANDREW TYLER, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent. (letter in archive)
Bristol Evening Post 29.3.04 NO SUCH THING AS A 'HARMLESS FLUTTER' IN RACING Readers may be considering a "harmless flutter" on the Grand National, which takes place on April 3. What many will not appreciate is the cynical exploitation of horses that lies behind the "sport of kings"… Some end up as pet food, are fed to hunting hounds or sold from owner to owner in a downward spiral of neglect…. March 27 to April 3 is Animal Aid's Horse Racing Awareness Week…. Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

Hunts Post 14.4.04 County bid for 'protest' grant - COUNTY police have applied to the Home Office for a grant worth nearly £1million - to help them deal with animal rights protests. Cambridgeshire Constabulary has jointly applied for the grant with the Police Authority… (story)

Western Morning News 14.4.04 WE MUST HAVE AN OPT-OUT - As a veterinary advisor to the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) I have been reflecting on the discussions that took place in the early months of 1995 in Brussels on the long distance transport of animals.... There is no doubt that we are at a watershed on the regulations for the transport of horses. I fervently hope that any compromise that is agreed later this month, by agriculture ministers, will do more than tinker at the margins of the welfare rules under which our animals are transported, and will permit the UK to prohibit the export of live horses for slaughter. (story)

Western Morning News 14.4.04 'REPEAL PROTECTION ACT TO SAVE BADGERS' - A call for the repeal of the Protection of Badgers Act, to save badgers from over-breeding and dying of disease and starvation, has been made by a Westcountry farmer who has studied them for most of his life. The whole balance of nature in the countryside has been upset by a proliferation of badgers, says Brian Hill, who predicted there would be problems nearly seven years ago.... (story)

13.4.04

Dorset Daily Echo 13.4.04 Hunt supporters ready to fight on against ban - HUNT leaders in the New Forest have vowed to fight on amid reports that the government is planning new moves to outlaw the bloodsport… Graham Ferris, spokesman for the New Forest Hounds, said hunting enthusiasts had no intention of giving up the bloodsport… Ken James of the New Forest Animal Protection Group, welcomed the news that the 30-year campaign to ban hunting could soon be over…. (story in archive)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 13.4.04 A day out in the country - LOVERS of countryside pursuits flocked in their thousands to the county on Sunday. For the first time the Gamekeeper & Countryman Fair was held at Kelmarsh Hall, off the A14. Among the attractions were a terrier roadshow, ferret racing, clay pigeon shooting and a display by Katy Cropper… >(story)

Western Mail 13.4.04 No room for error when it comes to gun handling - IN many aspects of our lives we can afford to, and sometimes are expected to, learn by our mistakes. However, there are certain areas in which there is no room for error and one of them is gun handling…. Glynn Cook is BASC director for Wales (story)

Banffshire Journal 14.4.04 Anglers land praise - THE success of Portsoy Angling Association's fish hatchery is a fine example of how country sportsmen can do more to give nature a helping hand than a whole regiment of socalled conservationists who never get their wellies muddy…. (story)

Oxford Mail 13.4.04 Animal rights fight to go on - Animal rights campaigners have vowed to continue their campaign against Oxford University's plans to build a laboratory for animal experiments. The calls followed a demonstration by about 50 people in the centre of Oxford on Saturday… One of the protesters, Sarah Castlemaine, 23, a student at Oxford, said: "The animals have no way of speaking so we are here to speak for them… Teacher John Hanlon, 42, who travelled from Northampton for the demonstration… A man has been charged with assaulting a police officer during Saturday's demonstration. Mark Hughes, of Hartley Road, Luton, will appear before Oxford magistrates on Monday (story in archive)
BBC News Online 10.4.04 Animal protest stopped by police - Protesters have been stopped by police from demonstrating at Oxford University over a planned animal research block... A local police chief said protesters had failed to ask for permission. The protest was organised by the animal rights group SPEAK, which opposes what it says are plans for a new animal research building on South Parks Road... (story)

Western Morning News 13.4.04 Out of touch - I reall do feel the Government has lost the plot, particularly with regard to rural affairs and horse issues in particular…. They may succeed in banning hunting but they will not stop the fox from being killed but it will be a far worse death whether by a botched shot, traps, poison or gas, not to mention the road deaths… We have just spent a fortune getting passports for all our horses so that they will be protected from going to slaughter but what is the point of that, if the export of live horses for slaughter is permitted… Mrs V Siddons, St Keverne, Helston (letter)

Birmingham Post/Evening Mail 13.4.04 MP opposes seal cull - Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has urged people in the region to oppose a cull of seals on ice floes off the east coast of Canada. The Conservative Animal Welfare Group has condemned the cull off Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, in which 300,000 animals are expected to be slaughtered… (story)

Western Mail 13.4.04 Peta's 'stop wearing fur' plea to pop star Beyonce - POP princess Beyonce Knowles has come under fire from animal rights activists who accuse her of causing suffering to animals by wearing fur. Campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) took out a full page advert in Billboard magazine, asking her to "do the decent, humane thing and stop wearing fur"... (story)

Argus 13.4.04 Charity boss is the Lion Queen by Karen Hoy - The head of a Sussex-based charity risked her life in a daring mission to save a pride of lions from being shot by tourist trophy hunters. Dr Barbara Maas and a team of colleagues from the charity Care For The Wild International (CFTWI) planned the operation to rescue the nine lions from a farm in South Africa where they had been bred for what is called canned hunting... (story)

12.4.04

Western Morning News 12.4.04 HUNT LOBBY HAS MP HIT LIST - Anti-hunt MPs are to be targeted by hunt supporters in a campaign to unseat them at the next election. A "hit list" has been drawn up of 50 MPs in marginal seats across the country who will face intense opposition if a hunt ban is passed at Westminster.... In the Westcountry, the Falmouth and Camborne Labour MP Candy Atherton and Lib-Dem Yeovil MP David Laws have been singled out for electoral attention.... David Latham, a former joint master of Cornwall's Four Burrow Hunt, said Ms Atherton would face a substantial campaign from hunt supporters.... (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 12.4.04 CAN'T TRUST LABOUR ON ANIMAL RIGHTS - Mark Glover, the Director of Respect for Animals, states that the Government has a "commitment" to ban hunting with dogs. It seems that his comment was in response to an article which appeared in the Evening Post on March 25, "Hunting will be banned, says MP". If Mark is correct, I am very surprised. Since it came to power nearly six years ago, this Labour Government has showed absolutely no commitment to ending the appalling cruelty to foxes and deer that hunting with dogs involves.... (story)

Southern Daily Echo 12.4.04 MP scents victory over ponies - AN MP is confident a law that prevents New Forest ponies ending up on dinner plates across Europe will not be scrapped. Desmond Swayne, pictured right, who represents New Forest West, is backing animal welfare activists in their battle to retain a restriction that prevents the live export of horses worth less than £500... (story in archive)

Western Morning News 12.4.04 A LOOK OF DESPAIR ON THEIR FACES ... The pictures we see in your newspaper are sickening and the look of utter bewilderment, shock and despair on their faces at the end of their horrendous, unimaginable journey says it all and they still have yet to face the terror of the slaughterhouse.... Lesley Harper, Plymouth
Callous trade - OF course there should be a ban on the exportation of live horses. There should also be a ban on exporting any live animal for slaughter... Chenda Wooster, Liskeard
Support for campaign to end this cruelty - OF course there should be a ban on live horses for slaughter - not in one or two years time, but now... Mrs Martin, Falmouth, Cornwall
To the point THERE should be a ban on the export for slaughter of all horses, ponies and other equines. L T Sargent Exeter
Ban this trade THERE should be a ban on the export for slaughter of all horses, ponies and other equines. M S Sargent Exeter
Car stickers - I ENDORSE the views expressed in Angela Garner's letter of April 2, 2004.... Deirdre Golden, Devon
Welfare protection ... Please exercise your considerable influence to force Mrs Beckett and her Minister for the Horse to apply for authority from the EU to enforce such a ban.... A W Slee, Landkey, Barnstaple (letters)

Southern Daily Echo 12.4.04 Karen sets her sights on animal charity - KAREN Kavde is preparing to pound the streets of London in a bid to provide help for animals across the globe. The art worker is looking forward to working up a sweat for the International Fund for Animal Welfare... (story in archive)

Edinburgh Evening News 12.4.04 Save the hogs - I TOO condemn hedgehog culls as being inhumane and unnecessary (News, April 2). Good on the Duchess of Hamilton and other animal campaigners... Mrs J Fleming, Carnethy Avenue, Penicuik (letter)

Manchester Evening News 12.4.04 City to host vegan festival - Robert Bottomley - MANCHESTER hosts its first vegan festival next month. The Vegan Society says it has chosen the city because more people are becoming vegans using restaurants and cafes such as the Eighth Day on Oxford Road and Earth Café, in the Northern Quarter.... (story)

BBC News Online 12.4.04 A Shropshire-based circus believes it may be being targeted by animal rights activists. Last week, Peter Jolly's circus was forced to find a new Easter holiday venue following objections in Wellington.... (story)

11.4.04

Observer 11.4.04 Sex and violence allegations split animal rights campaign - Jamie Doward reports on a vicious internal war in the animal rights movement, amid fury over the luxury lifestyle of a leading activist... To animal rights sympathisers, Shac - the most successful group of its kind in the world - has become a beacon of hope... At its forefront is Greg Avery, 37, a stocky ex-tailor turned animal rights activist... there is another side to Avery that might alarm the group's often elderly and well-intentioned supporters. There is Avery's prison sentence for assaulting a policeman; an allegation made in court that he threatened to kill an HLS employee; and an association with 'hard men' in the movement. Then there is the rent-free life in the Home Counties and the racy speculation about why Avery opts to live with both his current and former wives.... Such stories have started to circulate in recent weeks, amid claims that the animal rights movement is undergoing a turf war, with factions battling for the hearts and minds of sympathisers... (story)

10.4.04

Telegraph 10.4.04 Blair pressed to ban hunting before summer By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent - Tony Blair is being pressed to introduce a new anti-hunting Bill into the Commons before the European and local elections in June. Some Labour MPs believe that announcing plans to ban the sport would encourage party supporters to turn out and vote in what could be a difficult set of elections for the Prime Minister.... (story)

Western Morning News 10.4.04 PRIORITY IS HORSES - NOT A HUNT BAN - Horse lovers in the Westcountry yesterday made an impassioned plea to Minister for the Horse Alun Michael to put gaining a ban on live exports of horses, ponies and donkeys over a ban on hunting with dogs. Campaigners are dismayed to learn that while Mr Michael has given assurances to anti-hunting MPs that a ban on hunting will be pushed through by June - with the Parliament Act invoked to bypass opposition in the House of Lords - he has refused to ask for a ban on exporting equines at a crunch meeting of European agriculture ministers later this month.... Brian Kind, who runs the Mare and Foal Sanctuary in Chagford, on Dartmoor, said: "My message is 'pull your finger out, Alun Michael'. We don't take any view on the hunting, but I can't quite see the logic in it...." (story)
Western Morning News 10.4.04 WHAT ABOUT THE HORSE, MINISTER? - If "SENIOR sources" inside Government are to be believed, the Bill to ban hunting with dogs could be back before Parliament in the early summer and on the statute books by November... That's the same Alun Michael who, in his other guise as Minister for the Horse, cannot apparently be bothered to press for a British ban on live exports... Forget, for a moment, all the arguments about whether hunting is cruel and a ban justified. Whatever your view on that issue, there are appalling double standards at work here - and it stinks... (story)

Times 10.4.04 Fox on the run - ROBIN LANE FOX - Over Easter, my hunter, Anthony, will be kicking his shoes off and going out to grass. His season is ended and, like hundreds of other horses up and down Britain, he can now graze peacefully in a big grass field until early September... In his Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man, Siegfried Sassoon took stock at the end of the 1912-13 season. There was "one discordant element in life . . . those damned socialists who want to stop us hunting”. More than 90 years later they are still trying... (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 10.4.04 CLASH OVER MOVE TO BAN PUPILS FROM 'GUN DAY' - The convener of Moray Council yesterday defended a decision by education officials not to allow school pupils to attend an outdoor event featuring shooting and gun handling. Youngsters from Speyside High School, at Aberlour, had been invited by the Scottish Countryside Alliance to take part in a countryside day at a Highland estate later this month. But the invitation was turned down by senior officials in the council's educational services department when they learned that activities on the day would include handling and using shotguns and rifles. The decision has infuriated the alliance, whose chief executive, Tony Andrews, said shooting was a legitimate and legal activity.... (story)
Northern Scot 9.4.04 Gun sports ban triggers angry response - EDUCATION bosses have slapped a ban on school pupils attending an event where they would be encouraged to handle and fire shotguns. Officials from Moray Council's education department have pulled the plug on the trip because they do not want teenagers involved in firearms activities… The Scottish Countryside Alliance claims that the local authority is anti-gun sports and wants councillors to overturn the ruling made by officials… Moray Council convener Councillor Eddie Aldridge said he was not aware of the trip, but fully understood why pupils were not being allowed to attend… (story)

Western Morning News 10.4.04 GOVERNMENT MUST ACT ON EUROPEAN VOTE Having received the support of the European Parliament for your campaign to ban the live export of horses it must now be hoped that at last the British Government will take note and follow this up with the appropriate action to stop this dreadful trade... Charles and Jane Scott-Fox, Tiverton
Hearty support - WE are heartily in support of your campaign... Robin and Heather Gibling, Newton Abbot
Heed will of the people ... All forms of transportation of animals for Europe and beyond for the meat trade is barbaric, and causes immense suffering and misery.... Connie Hudson, Exeter (letters)

Western Morning News 10.4.04 AMENDMENT IS VITAL, MRS BECKETT - My husband and I would like to add our names to the list of those urging Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett to ask for the opt-out clause for Britain to stop the live export of horses from this country... R Humphreys, Bovey Tracey
Keep up the pressure ... To allow these live exports to start again would not only be a step back into the dark ages of cruelty but would do a huge disservice to those poor victims... Liz Linne, Truro
Stop looking for excuse ... It seems hard to believe that a government voted in by many people is always determined to go against their wishes when confronted with a controversial issue.... Irene Theobald, Helston
Will Government listen? OF COURSE live exports of horses should be banned - in fact live exports of any animal for slaughter for meat should be banned... J B Townsend, Ashburton
Such suffering is barbaric - I AM so glad that the WMN is highlighting the issue of live deportation of equine animals and giving people a chance of uniting in protest.... Jane Linton, Fowey
Disgraceful 'business' PLEASE stop this awful, disgraceful "business" - anyone who supports or profits from animal suffering needs exporting themselves and made to suffer the same agonies. Sarah Malcolm, Torquay
Introduce ban now - THE ban on export of live horses for slaughter should definitely be put into place immediately. June Pattemore, Sidmouth (letters)

Torquay Herald Express 10.4.04 DAY OF DUCKS DEMO AT M AND S BY ABI PARKES - Duck meat sold at Marks & Spencer has sparked protests at South Devon stores. Animal rights campaigners demonstrated outside the company's shops at the Willows in Torquay and in Newton Abbot. The national Day of the Ducks was organised by animal campaign group Viva!... South Devon Animal Rights member and Viva supporter James Fordham organised the Torquay protest... (story)
Torquay Herald Express 1.4.04 PROTEST AT DUCK FARMS' STATE BY ABI PARKES - Animal rights campaigners will be protesting in Torquay on Saturday over alleged conditions discovered on duck farms. They will be handing out leaflets and waving banners outside Marks and Spencer's Willows store on Saturday urging customers not to buy the retail chain's duck meat. The national day of action, codenamed Day of the Ducks, has been organised by animal campaign group Viva!... Viva! supporter and South Devon Animal Rights member James Fordham has organised the Torbay protest…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 10.4.04 SQUIRRELS NEED OUR HELP - THE problem regarding red squirrels, as with any other animal or bird which is becoming an endangered species, is because of the human element. If man did not mess about with nature, for example importing animals which are alien to this country and exporting animals that are alien to other countries, along with shooting, poisoning, trapping and killing wildlife which has gone on for centuries, there would be many more species on this earth than there are today.... GUS AND ADELE PROUD, Skinburness, Silloth (letter)

9.4.04

Mirror 9.4.04 FOX HUNTING BILL BY JUNE - PM moves on ban ahead of elections By Oonagh Blackman Deputy Political Editor - A BAN on fox hunting will be fast-tracked into Parliament by Tony Blair before the local elections in June, the Daily Mirror can reveal. A senior Cabinet source said: "It's in the grid and the PM is very keen to get the Bill in the Commons before June as it would be hugely popular with the Party." It would be a major boost to grassroots supporters as Labour gears up for elections on June 10. The Bill could be dealt with by the Commons in a day. But peers are likely to then reject it, forcing the Government to override them with the Parliament Act... (story)

Worcester Evening News 9.4.04 So is it all right for foxes to hunt rabbits? THERE were yet more contradictory remarks from Mrs Large on the subject of hunting (You Say, Saturday, April 3). I was astounded to read her claim that she would not go within a mile of a hunt. On Boxing Day, 2003, at the Worcestershire Hunt meet, she introduced herself and we exchanged seasons greetings and chatted for a short while. It seems extraordinary that Mrs Large wants farmers to encourage foxes to hunt rabbits on their land but is against farmers allowing hounds to control foxes when they become a pest... JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 3.4.04 Foxes keep down rabbits, rats and other vermin - IN response to Mr Kiel's letter, I would point out that I have never hunted as I have too much self-respect to ever demean myself by going within a mile of such a degrading, obscene event. It is a well-known fact that foxes keep down rabbits, rats and other vermin that are troublesome to farmers... MARION J LARGE (Mrs), Lower Wick, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 9.4.04 I'M WONDERING HOW MANY WRITS HAVE BEEN ISSUED - Three or four months ago, newspapers in the Westcountry gave considerable publicity to a huntsman at Tiverton who raised a war chest of £2m to sue anyone who said he was cruel. I am disappointed not to have read any more about this matter and wonder how many writs have been issued against those opposed to the sport... John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Irish Examiner 9.4.04 Lamb losses: it’s the foxhunter and not the fox - PLASTIC jackets for lambs have been publicised recently as a form of protection against the elements — and against foxes. In the list of major causes of lamb mortality, foxes do not feature.... In truth, foxes are not nearly as great a menace to livestock as the hunt clubs who hunt foxes with hounds... Contamination of pastures by hunt hounds has also caused sarcocystosis, an incurable brain disease of sheep, to spread widely among flocks.... Dick Power, Boherload House, Ballyneety, Co Limerick (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 9.4.04 ANIMAL RESCUE GROUP INVITES TOWN SCHOOLS TO ADOPT BABY FOXES - The Tonbridge Fox Project is marking its 13th birthday by offering schools in the town a chance to adopt one of its furry residents... Thirteen honorary adoptions were on offer and one has already been given to the Kent and Sussex Courier in recognition of its support for the organisation... According to Fox Project director Trevor Williams, people often ask if they can visit the foxes in their care.... (story)

BBC News Online 9.4.04 Animal activist is jailed - An animal rights activist has been sent to Durham Jail for 14 days for refusing to pay a court fine. John Gill, a former steel worker from Castleside, near Consett, had been fined nearly £300 by Tynedale Magistrates for damaging animal snares... (story)
Northern Echo 8.4.04 Snares campaigner in jail - A MAN who waged a war against the use of snares has been jailed for two weeks for not paying fines and compensation imposed for damaging them. John Gill, 55, of Front Street, Castleside, Consett, County Durham, had £298.50 to pay, but chose to serve time instead. He said that he was happy to serve time in prison if it meant that more people knew how cruel snares could be…. (story in archive)
Newcastle Evening Chronicle 8.4.04 Saboteur is jailed again By Owen Mcateer, The Evening Chronicle - Hunt saboteur John Gill (pictured) was back behind bars today after his latest courtroom protest. The veteran animal rights campaigner was locked up for 14 days after refusing to pay a fine for damaging traps…. Gill, 56, of Castleside, Consett, was found guilty in February of damaging animal traps on a Northumberland estate last August… (story)

Western Morning News 9.4.04 ACCUSATIONS AGAINST FARMER WITHDRAWN - The National Federation of Badger Groups was accused of "rank hypocrisy" last night after it "withdrew" controversial claims about the conduct of a Westcountry farmer, but refused to apologise to him. On Monday the NFBG made a series of claims about the conduct of North Devon farmer Tony Yewdall whose dairy herd was struck down by the worst outbreak of bovine TB seen in the region for years.... Yesterday, however, the group contacted media outlets across the country, advising them that the earlier press release had now been "withdrawn on compassionate grounds". But chief executive Elaine King insisted the group was standing by its original claims - and would not apologise.... (story)
Western Morning News 6.4.04 FARMER 'APPALLED' BY BADGER GROUP'S CLAIM - Westcountry's worst outbreaks of bovine TB. Tony Yewdall won the backing of farmers' organisations last month when he called for a targeted cull of badgers after 48 cows on his dairy farm at West Webbery, near Bideford, went down with the debilitating disease… Yesterday the National Federation of Badger Groups claimed that Mr Yewdall had not followed basic advice on animal husbandry issued in 1999 that could have prevented his farm being infected…. Mr Yewdall rejected the claims, saying he was "appalled" by Dr King's comments…. (story)

Wiltshire Times 9.4.04 Time to start badgering us - Malcolm Clark, Wiltshire Badger Group (letter in archive)
Witlshire Gazette & Herald 8.4.04 Plea for help - The Wiltshire Badger Group needs to collect information on all incidents involving badgers, deer, otters and foxes on the new Semington by-pass (A350)…. M Clark Devizes (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 6.4.04 WATCH OUT FOR WILDLIFE KILLS The Wiltshire Badger Group needs to collect information on all incidents involving badger, deer, otter and foxes on the new Semington bypass (A350)…. Malcolm Clark Wiltshire Badger Group Devizes (letter)

Western Morning News 9.4.04 DISGRACEFUL PRACTICE MUST NOT CONTINUE - Yes. There should be a ban on the export of live horses for slaughter. Not only horses, but all animals. Doreen Berriman St Ives, Cornwall
End sad practice - I totally agree with banning live exports of horses and all other animals... Valerie Cozens, Colyton
People's wish ... The Government should listen to the people of Britain who want live exports to be banned. Linda Crookes, Derek Crookes and C K Crookes Kingsbridge
Legalised atrocities I Feel very strongly that our government should make the necessary amendments to the EU regulations to prevent the live export of horses.... S L Blaxland, Trefforest, Pontypridd
Ministers out of touch ... How inhumane and out of touch can Mrs Beckett or Mr Michael become? Joan Dixon, Down Thomas, Plymouth
Stop further suffering - I feel strongly that our Government should make the necessary amendments to the EU regulations to prevent the live export of horses.... Jay and Christopher Bullett, Bude (letters)

GREAT BRITISH CIRCUS VISIT TO GRIMSBY
Grimsby Telegraph 9.4.04 A FAIR, UNBIASED REPORT FOR THE GREAT CIRCUS - Iwrite to thank you for your unbiased and fair reporting regarding the recent visit to north Lincolnshire of The Great British Circus, last month. We would also like to thank the good people of Grimsby and Cleethorpes for voting with your feet and supporting top class animal circus... Helyne Edmonds, The Great British Circus (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 5.4.04 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CIRCUS PROTESTERS - A special mention goes to the gentleman who returned repeatedly with a flask full of hot tea. I would also like to thank the staff of the nearby shops and the shoppers who brought us drinks and snacks to encourage and support our vigil. I would also like to correct a few misconceptions obviously held by some of the motorists who chose to shout abuse at us. We do have jobs; all but one of the people is working, ranging from company directors to veterinary nurse, juggler to computer programmer…. We are not part of any animal rights group; the protest was made up of local individuals who feel strongly enough to take action, several of us had not met each other before…. Sean Atkinson, Grimsby. (Full address supplied) (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 31.3.04 SAY NO TO ENCAGED ANIMALS - This letter may or may not give you cause for concern, but I feel very strongly about a situation that has arisen not too far from my home… Yes folks it's the circus…. I am also disgusted at the articles in The Telegraph. They seemed to take a very light-hearted approach to the situation of precious tigers being locked in a cage made to travel around the country, then being made to perform to who, yes the public… I would like to give thanks, however, to the protestors who have given up their precious time to stand in front of the circus. I am fully aware that they all have full-time jobs. Please support them in their loyal contribution to animal rights… Joy Hutson, St Nicholas Drive, Grimsby (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 22.3.04 NO APPLAUSE PLEASE FOR CIRCUS CRUELTY Does Martin Lacey of the Great British Circus (Telegraph, March 6) possess some magic formula for the training, exercising, housing and transportation of his animals… During 2002, ADI (Animal Defenders International) surveyed circuses in the UK to observe any changes in the industry and review animal welfare issues. Their latest findings reaffirm the case for a ban on animal circuses… Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 18.3.04 CIRCUS ANIMALS KEPT IN SUPERB CONDITION - In response to the protesters outside the Great British Circus and to at least one letter I have seen on these pages, may I first of all say that I, too, love animals…. what is natural for these animals which, for several generations have been born and cared for in captivity? How long do you suppose they would survive if they were to be released into the Bengal jungle?.... What I did see were magnificent animals in what appeared to be superb health and condition…. teaching tigers to do tricks, is surely no different to teaching dogs to sit or fetch… they looked contented and happy enough… Name and address supplied (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 18.3.04 ANIMAL CRUELTY FEARS - SEE FOR YOURSELF - I Took my daughter to see the circus and what a terrific treat for us… Anyone with any doubts really should go along and see for themselves. The ageing hippie activists you drive through on the way in, adds to the excitement of the event. Anonymous local businessman, (address supplied). (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 10.3.04 RINGSIDE SEATS - PHILLIP NORTON - Protesters failed to stop scores of families from enjoying the Great British Circus near Laceby last night. Almost 50 animal rights campaigners gathered around the entrance… inside the huge red and blue tent, ringmaster Martin Lacey warmly welcomed the audience and thanked them for their support. "Thank you for taking no notice of the people outside and for coming to see for yourselves," he said, to loud cheers…(story)
Grimsby Telegraph 10.3.04 - 'THE ANIMALS WE SAW WERE ALL WELL-TREATED' - After the show, Telegraph reporter Phillip Norton spoke to members of the audience about what they thought of the circus as they looked around the animal enclosure…. (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 10.3.04 'LIONS DO NOT BELONG BEHIND BARS' - Angry protesters made it plain what they thought about the Great British Circus before the action began in the big top… Mark Atkinson, one of the organisers, said: "I am very pleased with the turnout, but I am more concerned with the number of cars that have gone in…" Sean Atkinson (36), of Welholme Road, Grimsby, was backing his brother Mark…. Jean Hemsworth (72), of Grasby, agreed… Sisters Angela and Caroline Murray took part in the protest together… (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 9.3.04 ANGER AS LOCAL AUTHORITY REFUSES A SITE IN RESORT - PHILLIP NORTON - A Circus ringmaster has hit out at North East Lincolnshire Council after he was refused permission to pitch his big top in Cleethorpes. Martin Lacey, ringmaster and tiger trainer at the Great British Circus, is furious after having to find private land alongside the A46 near Laceby to ply his trade…. Protesters have already arranged a peaceful demonstration to take place outside the big top tonight. One of the organisers is juggler Mark Atkinson…. (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 9.3.04 ACTING UP OVER ANIMALS - The arrival in North East Lincolnshire of the Great British Circus has sparked a debate over the ethics of animal acts. A group of protesters, unhappy with the inclusion of animal acts, has already arranged for a peaceful demonstration to take place outside the big top on the opening night of the circus. But what do people on the streets in Grimsby think? Reporter Phillip Norton found out…. (story)

8.4.04

CROOME & WEST WARWICKSHIRE ACCUSED OF "CANNED HUNTING"
Stratford on Avon Journal 8.4.04 Earths `no deep secret' say hunt - HUNTERS in Warwickshire have hit back at claims they are using illegal methods to hunt foxes. At a press conference in Stratford on Tuesday, the League Against Cruel Sports claimed video footage taken from their infiltration of the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt in Aston Cantlow last month, showed methods akin to the controversial `canned' hunting of big game in Africa… (story in archive)
Evesham Journal 8.4.04 Hunt caught on film says it's `done nothing wrong' - THE Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt says it has nothing to hide after anti-hunting campaigners highlighted a series of artificial fox earths around Peopleton…. (story in archive)
Birmingham Post 7.4.04 Hunt claims killing was 'pest control' By Sarah Probert, The Birmingham Post - A hunt yesterday dismissed claims that it breached the sport’s rules by holding a fox captive in a specially-designed chamber before killing the animal. The Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt said footage recorded by the League Against Cruel Sports of a fox being cornered and shot at point blank range was part of its commitment to pest control…. (story)
Worcester Evening News 7.4.04 We've got footage of huntsmen's cruel game AN ANTI-hunt group claims it has unveiled video footage of county huntsmen "cruelly" killing a fox alleged to have been held captive… The League Against Cruel Sports says the covert footage is of activities carried out by the Croome and West Warwickshire Fox Hounds, which hunts in South West Worcestershire…. (story in archive)
BBC News Online 6.4.04 Hunt accused over shooting foxes - Huntsmen have been accused of breaching regulations by holding foxes captive before shooting them at point blank range. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) filmed the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt catching foxes in a chamber before killing them.... Labour MP for Nuneaton Bill Olner told a press conference in Stratford-on-Avon on Tuesday that the film had renewed his resolve to see fox-hunting banned.... (story)
Horse & Hound 6.4.04 "Barbaric" claims dismissed as propaganda - Isobel Walsh - Renewed claims by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) that hunting is a "cruel barbaric game" have been dismissed as irresponsible propaganda. The league claims that new video material provides "compelling visual evidence of a fox hunt repeatedly breaching core guidelines laid down by its regulatory body, the Master of Fox Hounds Association (MFHA)". Nicky Driver, the community and liaison officer for the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt, which was the focus of the league’s claims, was adamant that the hunt had behaved strictly in keeping with the MFHA’s codes of conduct. Ms Driver told HHO: "The footage shows that the hunt followed the rules to the letter. The terriermen were totally professional and fully licensed. Yes, a fox was killed, but it was a mangy fox that was shot at point blank range using a licensed firearm... (story)
Central TV 6.4.04 CRUELTY CAUGHT ON CAMERA - Shocking pictures have been released of huntsmen allegedly holding a fox captive before killing it. They were filmed by anti-hunt campaigners during a four-month undercover investigation. The hunt involved denies breaching the sport's rules.... Tory MP for Mid-Worcestershire Peter Luff, who addressed hunt members before their final meeting last month, was also captured on camera.... (story)
Scotsman 6.4.04 Hunt Accused of Flouting Regulations on Foxes By Owen Fairclough, PA News - A hunt today dismissed claims that it breached the sport’s rules by holding a fox captive in a specially-designed chamber before killing the animal. The Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt said footage recorded by the League Against Cruel Sports of a fox being cornered and shot at point blank range was part of its commitment to pest control…. Using secret cameras mounted yards from a series of artificial earths, officials recorded examples of "terriermen” using their dogs to locate foxes during hunts between last December and March. In one sequence, they dig out part of the chamber to improve access, while drain rods push the fox to one end before a terrierman shoots it…. Nicky Driver, the Croome and West Warwickshire’s community liaison officer, said the hunt had nothing to be ashamed of by the film…. (story)
Telegraph 6.4.04 Hunt accused of flouting regulations - A hunt has dismissed claims that it breached the sport's rules by holding a fox captive in a specially-designed chamber before killing the animal. The Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt said footage recorded by the League Against Cruel Sports of a fox being cornered and shot at point blank range was part of its commitment to pest control…. (story)
Sky News 6.4.04 'BARBARIC' FILM RELEASED - A hunt has dismissed claims that it breached the sport's rules by holding a fox captive in a specially-designed chamber before killing the animal. The Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt said footage recorded by the League Against Cruel Sports of a fox being cornered and shot at point blank range was part of its commitment to pest control…. (story)
Teletext 6.4.04 FOX HUNT DISMISSES CLAIMS A West Midlands hunt has dismissed claims that it breached the sport's rules by holding a fox captive before killing the animal. The Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt said footage recorded by the League Against Cruel Sports of the killing was part of its commitment to pest control… (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 6.4.04 'Barbaric' fox cruelty video unveiled - The League Against Cruel Sports is unveiling footage of West Midlands huntsmen killing a fox alleged to have been held captive. The anti-hunt group said its members had gathered film of several "barbaric" incidents during a four-month investigation into an unnamed hunt in the West Midlands region…. Tim Bonner, of the Countryside Alliance, which is fighting proposed Government legislation to ban hunting with dogs, said: "I think the League Against Cruel Sports will try to make the footage look as dramatic as possible and their allegations will probably be overblown…" (story)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 8.4.04 MAN UNFAIRLY SACKED BY HUNT MASTER'S WIFE - A HUNT master's wife who unfairly sacked her gardener of 15 years has been ordered to pay him £3,420 by an employment tribunal. Adrian Clarke was dismissed by Fiona Smith-Bingham after he picked up an arm injury and was unable to fulfil his gardener and handyman duties. The tribunal, in Leicester last Thursday, heard her husband Kim, master of the Cottesmore Hunt, dismissed Mr Clarke in November before the couple had seen a doctor's report confirming their former gardener's condition, contracted earlier in the year…. (story)
Melton Times 8.4.04 HUNT MASTER'S GARDENER WINS COMPENSATION - A HUNT master's wife who unfairly dismissed her gardener of 15 years has been ordered to pay him £3,420 by an employment tribunal. Adrian Clarke was sacked by Fiona Smith-Bingham in November after he picked up an arm injury earlier in the year and was unable to fulfil his gardener and handyman duties. The tribunal, in Leicester last Thursday, heard her husband Kim – the master of the Cottesmore Hunt – dismissed Mr Clarke before the couple had seen his doctor's report.... The Smith-Binghams sought advice from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service but said they were ill-informed.... (story)

Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 8.4.04 Savage killing of pregnant deer - ROSS MINETT Director, Advocates for Animals, 10, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh EH2 4PG. (letter)
Glasgow Herald 2.4.04 Deer massacre - Advocates for Animals finds the needless killing of any animal abhorrent. The cold, calculated and merciless killing of pregnant deer is a step too far – and to have carried out the slaughter in the closed season, a season designed to protect pregnant deer, unborn and dependant calves, is despicable… Ross Minett, director, Advocates for Animals, 10 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)

Evesham Journal 8.4.04 Teach children to respect the animals AGAIN animal cruelty has made the headlines. This is a serious problem, and unacceptable by most people, to know that animal cruelty is now increasing with air weapons. But as long as irresponsible youths are allowed to buy airguns and other destructive weapons this is not going to stop… LORETTA DUDFIELD, Windhaven, Murcot, Broadway (letter in archive)

Harrogate Advertiser 8.4.04 Attacks on bookmakers 'coordinated' - POLICE are appealing for witnesses after television wires were cut at three William Hill bookmakers. The vandalism, which took place in the early hours of Saturday morning, was part of a co-ordinated series of attacks on bookmakers across the district.... Police are looking into the possibility that animal rights campaigners may have been to blame for the attacks in an effort to stop William Hills showing the Grand National horse race on Saturday. However, a spokesperson for William Hill said that back-up power supplies were up and running by 11am on the day of the race.... (story)

Lancaster Citizen 8.4.04 Email protest case dropped by Lori Hudson - MAGISTRATES allowed an animal rights protester to walk free following allegations she launched an email harassment campaign against chemical company bosses. Linda Furness, 54, of Margate, Kent, appeared at Fleetwood Magistrates Court charged with harassing management at F2 Chemicals in Preston, on Monday, April 5… after appearing before magistrates, her case was acquitted due to the lapse of a six-month deadline between the date of the charge and the hearing. Mrs Furness, who was supported by demonstrators from the Fleetwood Animal Rights Alliance, said: "My protest was entirely reasonable, polite and I did not harass anyone…" (story in archive)
Blackpool Gazette 6.4.04 WHAT A FARCE, SAYS ANIMAL PROTESTORS - ANIMAL rights campaigners demonstrated outside a court as one of their members appeared in the dock accused of harassing directors of a chemical company… Campaigners held up large banners and posters at Fleetwood Magistrates' Court yesterday to support Linda Furness, 54, who… was accused of sending 16 e-mails to F2 Chemicals over a three-month period regarding testing on animals. But she walked free from court yesterday after magistrates dismissed the case…. because the six-month deadline had been exceeded since the charge was brought… Demonstrators from Fleetwood Animal Rights Alliance said they were protesting against the criminalisation of the right to protest against AG Fluoropolymers… Martin Watson said: "The police and the company are treating us as criminals without us having broken any laws." (story)

Huntingdon Post 8.4.04 HLS threats - seven charged - SEVEN people have been arrested on charges in connection with animal rights protests at medical research company Huntingdon Life Sciences, according to Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly. They are due to appear before Huntingdon Magistrates on April 14, he believes… Mr Djanogly has declined to meet representatives of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty - even if it was in a location like a police station - until the group renounced violence and took target names off its website… (story)

Canary Wharf Weekly 8.4.04 ACID ATTACKS ON BANK STAFF AT THEIR HOMES - lWorkers' cars targeted lInjunction against group - Allison Martin - ANIMAL activists have carried out acid attacks on the property of State Street staff. The One Canada Square bank has taken out an injunction against protestors in a bid to prevent further action… Protestors, believed to be from activist group the Animal Liberation Front, threw acid and paint stripper at cars belonging to the workers - who The Wharf can't name for legal reasons - in incidents outside their homes in January… (story)

Sussex Express 8.4.04 Lab test breeding centre to close - A FARM in Cross in Hand, used to breed small animals for laboratory experiments, is winding down its operation prior to closure. Owners and operators Harlan UK confirmed the decision after rumours had been circulating around the village… He insisted the closure was not sparked pressure from animal rights activists but refurbishing and maintaining security and 24 hour surveillance at smaller sites like Firgrove is not cost-effective. (story)

Lancaster Citizen 8.4.04 Do something for lab animals I AM writing to let people in Lancaster and Morecambe know it will be World Lab Animal Week from April 24 to 30 - with world lab animal day falling on Saturday, April 24…. I urge everyone to try to help these unfortunate animals by contacting the NAVS (National Anti-Vivisection Society)… Emily Catherine Chadwick, Morecambe (letter)

Western Morning News 9.4.04 'ACT NOW OR THIS CRUELTY WILL GO ON' - An influential equine welfare charity has warned that the Government must act quickly to prevent a cruel export trade in horses, ponies and donkeys starting up again from British shores. The International League for the Protection of Horses is continuing to urge the Government to insist on an exemption from European law to spare British horses, ponies and donkeys from being shipped to the Continent, when it meets European ministers at a crunch meeting later this month... Meanwhile in the Westcountry, supporters of the Western Morning News campaign are continuing to put pressure on the Government to act. Among them is charity worker Nancy Hooker, 36, from Penzance, who is displaying the WMN campaign poster in her car to help raise awareness of the issue. "About five years ago, I was involved with Compassion in World Farming and read a lot of accounts about horses being transported and the horrendous suffering they go through,".... (story)

Western Daily Press 8.4.04 LOBBY YOUR MP OVER CRUEL TRADE - I am writing in protest about the transportation of live animals abroad…. There was plenty of support to ban hunting. What kind of people live in this world that they allow poor, defenceless animals to suffer this way? Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Morning News 8.4.04 WE MUST SPEAK FOR THE POOR ANIMALS I feel I must write to you regarding live exports in horses, ponies and donkeys. It must be stopped… Patricia Clements, Lifton, Devon
Well done WMN - I AM writing to give my support to the campaign to ban the export of live horses for slaughter…. Mrs S Carter, Lifton, Devon
Barbaric situation I, MY family, relatives, friends and neighbours totally oppose the export of horses, ponies and donkeys - live… S E Gewnnap, Praze, Camborne
Friends of man I HAVE written to my MP on several occasions to say that the live export of horses, ponies and donkeys must never happen again…. Rose Hooper, Bovey Tracey
I'm left in tears I HAVE been appalled to learn of the terrible suffering endured by horses being exported…. A J King, Torrington, North Devon
Disgraceful abuse THERE is no doubt that the export of live horses should not be allowed… Mrs E G Lloyd, Spreyton, Devon
Grasp opportunity MARGARET Beckett, … My members beg the Government to accept the need for an opt-out clause for the UK thus banning the live export of equines for the meat trade from Britain… Charles A Lovell, South West Equine Protection, St Austell
This must stop now I WAS so pleased about the achievement to prevent live export, we must all stand up and stop this thing happening to horses and ponies… J Madge, Crockernwell, Exeter (letters)

Totally Jewish 8.4.04 Shechita Fight by Justin Cohen - The long-term future of shechita in Britain was called into question this week after ministers ruled that the practise was likely to cause animals severe pain. Tony Blair’s administration vowed last week to safeguard Jewish and Muslim methods of slaughter out of respect for the communities, despite its acceptance that there was an animal welfare argument for a ban…. Supporters and opponents of the practise have 12 weeks to lodge formal responses (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 8.4.04 BSE was spread by animal cannibalism - I would like to disagree with the views expressed by Dr Adel Abbas in the Advertiser on April 1. Recently, mealy-mouthed MP Ben Bradshaw denied the Government was failing to heed the increasing calls for the cruel practice of cutting animals' throats, to be banned, in order not to alienate Muslims at a sensitive time… What led to BSE was the feeding of other animals to a species that is herbivorous, turning them into cannibals. Then feeding them another animal that is essentially herbivorous humans!... D HARRISON Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)

Cornishman 8.4.04 PROTESTERS IN DAY OF ACTION OUTSIDE M - Thirteen members and supporters of Animal Manumission - a local group, including members from Penwith, which campaigns peacefully for an end to animal suffering - took part in a national day of action against Marks & Spencer on Saturday…. (story)

YORKSHIRE DALES FALCONRY & CONSERVATION CENTRE/SOUTHPORT ZOO
Craven Herald 8.4.04 I am writing on behalf of the Born Free Foundation, the international wildlife charity, in reference to the purchase of the Yorkshire Dales Falconry and Conservation Centre at Crow's Nest near Giggleswick by the former owner of Southport Zoo... I am surprised that this animal collection may be allowed to relocate to Crow's Nest and in particular to such a beautiful location.... I would be happy to provide more information and advice on whom to write to at the Council.... Daniel Turner, Zoo Check Co-ordinator. (letter in archive)
Craven Herald 12.3.04 Welcome addition - Why the objection to a small zoo being added to the Falconry Centre? If conditions at Southport are as bad as reported in a leaflet circulating in Settle, then surely removal to a new location and (hopefully) better conditions can be of benefit to the animals and birds…. Grace Willerton, Settle.
Horrendous - At the weekend I was visiting Settle when I came across campaigners asking people if they would sign a petition to stop the new zoo at Giggleswick. I can reinforce and substantiate all the evidence presented because I visited Southport Zoo last summer. It was horrendous… Julie Davies, Bellevue Terrace, Skipton (letters in archive)
Craven Herald 5.3.04 Zoo owners dismiss claims by animal rights activists - ZOO owners relocating from Southport to North Craven have refuted an animal welfare group's claims that they operate a cruel and badly run business. The Zoo Action Group has leafleted households in the Settle area campaigning against Southport Zoo owners Doug and Carole Petrie, who have bought the Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre at Giggleswick with a view to moving their small animals to the site…. (story in archive)
Southport Visiter 5.3.04 Protesters trace zoo owners to new base By Chris Owen, Southport Visiter THE owners of Southport Zoo are being hounded from their new home - before they have even moved in. Doug and Carole Petrie are leaving our resort after buying the Falconry Centre at Crows Nest, near Giggles-wick in North Yorkshire. But before they have even crossed the Pennines, animal welfare groups are circulating literature near the site urging people to boycott the sanctuary being named 'The York-shire Dales Falconry and Wildlife Conservation Centre'…. (story)

7.4.04

Nottingham Evening Post 7.4.04 MP PRESSES ON HUNTING A Notts MP vowing to push through a complete ban on hunting with dogs is keeping up the pressure on ministers. Paddy Tipping, Labour MP for Sherwood, last month revealed that a law to ban hunting would go before Parliament again in June… (story)

Accountancy Age 7.4.04 Mystery surrounds auditor of HLS By Paul Grant - The mystery surrounding the auditors of Huntingdon Life Sciences took another twist last week after it was revealed that the firm employed to undertake the audit has yet to register with the US accounting watchdog…. Natasha Avery, co-founder of SHAC, said that the group had someone in America looking into the situation…. (story)

RESPECT FOR ANIMALS SEAL CLUBBING LETTER
North East Evening Gazette 7.4.04 Seal slaughter NICKI BROOKS, Director, Respect for Animals (letter)
Worcester Evening News 1.4.04 Slaughter of the innocents - NICKI BROOKS, Nottingham. (letter in archive)
Bath Chronicle 1.4.04 BOYCOTT CANADA UNTIL THEY STOP SLAUGHTER - NICKI BROOKS Director, Respect for Animals, Nottingham (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 31.3.04 CANADIANS ARE CLUBBING TO DEATH BABY HARP SEALS - Nicki Brooks, Director, Respect for Animals (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 31.3.04 SHUN CANADA UNTIL HUNT ENDS - NICKI BROOKS, Director, Respect for Animals (letter)
Sunderland Echo 29.3.04 Boycott Canada to stop slaughter - Nicki Brooks, Director, Respect For Animals (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 29.3.04 CLUBBING TO DEATH OF SEALS MUST STOP - NICKI BROOKS Director Respect for Animals (letter)
Daily Record 29.3.04 SEAL POINT - RIGHT now, on the ice floes of Canada, thousands of baby seals are being cruelly clubbed and killed as many as 350,000 this year... Nicki Brooks,Respect For Animals,Nottingham (letter)

6.4.04

Shropshire Star 6.4.04 It's in the nature of a fox to kill So A Middleton of Bucknell thinks that because a fox kills a lamb it's OK for a hound to kill a fox?... Nobody trains a fox to kill, it is instinct…. V Lewis-Austin, Ludlow (letter)
Shropshire Star 1.4.04 Let's see lamb killed - What terrible pictures of hounds tearing a poor little fox apart (Star, March 24). I wonder if animal lovers like myself could please set up a video showing the fox tearing lovely little lambs apart…. If Mr Fox can tear a lamb apart exactly as he likes, why stop Mr Hound from killing a fox?... A Middleton, Bucknell (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.4.04 BADGER MADE A SCAPEGOAT- Since the 1940s I have talked with many knowledgeable people with lots of ideas about TB in cattle and badgers… People studying badgers had for many years post-monitored casualties and had accumulated through experienced vets 200 or more records with no visible signs of TB at all. Their very reasonable conclusion was that badgers do not suffer from TB and MAFF was looking for a scapegoat… Miss Eunice D Overend Frome Somerset (letter)

Oxford Mail 6.5.04 MP vows to stop horse for food sales - West Oxfordshire MP David Cameron has promised to ensure the Government keeps its promises to stop live horses being exported to Europe to be turned into food. He is deeply concerned that the introduction of horse passports - detailing the drugs the animals have taken - is the first step to allowing British horses to be eaten by the French or Italians.... (story in archive)

Western Morning News 6.4.04 VIEWS FORMED AFTER THOSE EARLY DAYS ON THE FARM … My grandparents' sons killed a pig and a sheep every week. I had to hold a big scalding pan to receive the entrails and the next day, take them in a hessian sack slung across Trixie's withers to a factory beyond Polbathic. I became inured to the cruelty and slaughter that go with farming and field sports; but in 1968 it all sickened me and I turned vegetarian. I hope that one day Britain will end the live export of food animals. If I vote in another General Election it will be for the candidate who is determined to end that evil trade, but I am sceptical of politicians. L T Sargent, Exeter (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 6.4.04 STOP HORSING AROUND, THIS IS A SERIOUS CRUELTY ISSUE See that like other newspapers you've printed a picture of James Gray in his jodphurs (Commons People, April 3) and made it funny while almost totally failing to highlight the issue involved... Please, please address this; a fantastic law of 70 years' standing is about to be overturned, which prevents horses being transported live to abbatoirs on the continent…. I think the Government will be amazingly hyppocritical to be so vociferously opposed to fox-hunting while allowing this longstanding protection for our horses to be reversed. I am not particularly pro fox-hunting, but if more horses come on to the market as a result of a ban there will be more at risk of export… JANE COX, Skellingthorpe. (letter)

UIST HEDGEHOG CULL
Scotsman 6.4.04 Hedgehog activists prepare to fight cull - FRANK URQUHART - THE battle lines were being drawn last night as animal rights activists and trappers arrived in the Western Isles for the second spring cull of hedgehogs. Trappers, hired by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and its partners, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Scottish Executive, have been sent to North Uist and Benbecula to wipe out the prickly predators in a bid to protect the internationally important populations of native wading birds. But a number of animal rights campaigners have also arrived on the Uists, determined to disrupt the cull and to rescue as many hedgehogs as they can during the eight-week operation… (story)
BBC News Online 5.4.04 Activists fight hedgehog killings - Efforts are resuming to cull hedgehogs in the Outer Hebrides - despite renewed anger from animal rights campaigners…. Uist Hedgehog Rescue protesters are planning to disrupt the cull. Advocates for Animals are offering islanders a £20 cash reward for hedgehogs brought to them, an increase of £15 on the previous offer…. (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 5.4.04 FOUR HEDGEHOGS SPARED AS UIST CULL GETS UNDER WAY - MURDO MACLEAN - Four hedgehogs on Uist have been spared being slaughtered by the Government as the widespread cull of the prickly animal starts today. The hedgehogs have been safely secured by a local woman on Benbecula, who will hand them in today but has declined the £80 bounty offered by the rescue consortium…. Various animal charities set up Uist Hedgehog Rescue to oversee a rescue campaign… Katy Bullen, of UHR, said: "The four hedgehogs will now be moved off the island…." (story)
Times 3.4.04 Activists rally round to save hedgehogs BY GILLIAN HARRIS - ANIMAL activists were preparing yesterday to try to save Hebridean hedgehogs from the annual cull in the Western Isles, which begins on Monday. Campaigners at a protest in Edinburgh, who included the Duchess of Hamilton, condemned the cull as inhumane... Advocates for Animals, which organised the protest, argued that the cull, which last year killed 66 animals, was a waste of taxpayers’ money.... (story)
Telegraph 3.4.04 Duchess says hedgehog cull is senseless as second phase begins - By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent - The Duchess of Hamilton, the wife of Scotland's premier peer, yesterday condemned as "senseless" the plan to carry out a cull of hedgehogs in order to save birds.... (story)
Daily Record 3.4.04 HEDGEHOG CULL PRICKLES ACTIVISTS - A Row has broken out between animal rights activists and organisers ahead of controversial hedgehog culls next week... One pressure group, Advocates for Animals, said that it had upped its reward for each hedgehog brought to it during the cull from £5 to £20, and added that the cull was "scientifically flawed". (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 2.4.04 Hedgehog cull protest - A PROTEST ahead of controversial island hedgehog culls was getting under way today. The Duchess of Hamilton was being joined by animal rights campaigners in Edinburgh to condemn the Western Isles programme, due to begin next Monday, as inhumane… (story)

BBC News Online 6.4.04 Imported lamb gets halal approval - New Zealand's method of slaughtering lamb could satisfy both religious practices and welfare concerns in Britain, says the Halal Food Authority... nearly all New Zealand lamb imported by Britain is stunned and then slaughtered observing halal principles.... Masood Khawaja, president of the Halal Food Authority, says it is not against halal practice to "immobilize" animals, provided they are not actually killed before their throats are cut.... (story)

5.4.04

Yorkshire Post 5.4.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS THREATEN LABOUR - MPs to be targeted if Blair acts on total ban - Brendan Carlin, Political Editor - Pro-hunt campaigners have vowed to target some of Labour's most vulnerable Yorkshire MPs at the next election if Tony Blair presses on with a total ban on fox-hunting… Constitutional Affairs Minister Chris Leslie, Parliamentary aides Lawrie Quinn and Ian Cawsey and backbencher John Grogan will be singled out if Mr Blair uses the Parliament Act to force through a complete ban before the next General Election. Their constituencies – Shipley, Scarborough and Whitby, Brigg and Goole, and Selby – would be flooded by angry pro-hunt protesters…. "They will not know what hit them," said Countryside Alliance member James Craven, who described himself as Yorkshire co-ordinator for the pro-hunting groups…. rules enshrining the primacy of the elected Chamber mean that the Government could at any stage over the next few months invoke the Parliament Act and force the complete ban into law – possibly with only one month's notice… Mr Craven, from North Yorkshire, who hunts with the Middleton Hunt, yesterday put down a marker that the Labour MPs could pay for such an act with their seats… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 5.4.04 NEW BID TO BAN HUNTING - Ministers will bow to a tide of criticism from backbench Labour MPs over the failure of moves to ban foxhunting and will introduce a new Bill early this summer. A group of vocal campaigners for the ban on hunting with dogs to be brought back to the Commons, which includes Forest of Dean MP Diana Organ, were given the assurance following meetings with Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael and Leader of the House Peter Hain…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 5.4.04 £42,000 CARD - Countryside Alliance Day at Exeter Racecourse tomorrow sees a card worth more than £42,000 - including two £10,000 added chases. And before the racing begins, from midday, there are displays of country pursuits including falconry and a parade of stallions in the paddock at 12.30pm… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 5.4.04 POINT-TO-POINT IS OFF AND RUNNING By Kat Ferguson - MORE than 150 sets of hooves thundered along the River Caldew yesterday as the Dalston point to point got underway…. Fears this could be the last ever point-to-point if hunting is outlawed in 12 months were overshadowed by an enthusiastic response from the spectators. Anne Wybergh, of the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds, said: "It was absolutely brilliant. We have had a good turn-out in each race and the going was spot on. You wouldn’t know there had been horses round the course.”… The Association of Point-to-Point Secretaries and the Countryside Alliance has launched a hard-hitting campaign at each event to safeguard these races, which they say not only give great enjoyment to spectators but also support the countryside…. (story)
Cumberland News 2.4.04 POINT-TO-POINT ‘UNDER THREAT FROM HUNT BILL’ By Elizabeth Kay - THREE- thousand spectators are due at an idyllic rural location in Cumbria this weekend to enjoy a day at the races – but it could be for the last time. Dalston’s point-to-point, which is held along a stretch of the River Caldew, may be under threat if hunting is outlawed over the next 12 months… The Association of Point-to-Point Secretaries and the Countryside Alliance have launched a joint campaign to safeguard the future of these races as they believe the sport could be under threat… Peter Wybergh, master of the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds, said: "None of our volunteers who build the course, nor the officials on the day, are under any illusion…. They simply would not turn up year after year if there was no hunting to be enjoyed as a result of their efforts…." (story)

Torquay Herald Express 5.4.04 NATURE RED IN TOOTH AND CLAW - I was saddened to read the letter from A.C Torquay (Herald Express March 27) decrying the poor magpie. Why oh why do these people who claim to be animal lovers appear to have no understanding whatsoever of nature?... The blood sports brigade spout the same hypocrisy over the imminent ban on hunting with hounds. Hunters weep crocodile tears over the supposed destruction of hundreds of hounds, yet revel in the torment and death of their wild quarry!... ANNIE KELLY Torquay (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 5.4.04 IT has just been announced that the 'Farm Welfare Council' has had its request for the banning of the barbaric Halal and Kosher religious slaughter turned down by our Government. Which just goes to prove that this Government's intention to ban hunting is a class war and has got nothing to do with animal cruelty…. NEIL KERNICK Orbec Avenue, Kingsteignton (letter)
Western Morning News 3.4.04 End slaughter IT has just been announced that the Farm Welfare Council has had its request for the banning of the barbaric Halal and Kosher religious slaughter turned down by our Government. This just goes to prove that this Government's intention to ban hunting is a class war and has got nothing to do with animal cruelty.... I have heard people say hunting foxes has no place in this the 21st century, if that is the case then religious slaughter definitely hasn't! Neil Kernick, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 5.4.04 POLICE: Top job for county cop in war on extremists - A POLICE officer from Cambridgeshire is to head a new national crime squad to tackle extremists. Superintendent Steve Pearl was formerly in charge of Cambridgeshire police's investigation into animal rights extremists who target research firm Huntingdon Life Sciences. Supt Pearl, who has been with the force for 25 years, said he was delighted to have been appointed to run the National Extremists Tactics Co-ordinating Unit…. (story)

Evening Standard 5.4.04 Millions more animal lab tests By Mark Prigg, Evening Standard Science Correspondent - A new row over animal testing broke out today after it was revealed that millions more laboratory tests will be carried out on dogs, rabbits and rodents. The Government is backing moves to adopt a Europe-wide standard test for potentially harmful chemicals such as detergents and shampoo. It will mean carrying out animal experiments on many substances that have already been tested and found to be safe…. (story)

Western Morning News 5.4.04 Live exports ban - IN the debate in Strasbourg last week, all three UKIP MEPs voted in support of the ban on the export of live horses from the UK to mainland Europe. It remains to be seen if Margaret Beckett has the courage to withstand pressure from the other Ministers on the EU Council in April… Graham Booth, MEP, SW UKIP (story)

Western Daily Press 5.4.04 FILTHY PONY MEAT TRADE - We attended a protest at Weobley in Herefordshire, regarding Mr RE Williams having been granted a licence to slaughter and export the dead meat of Exmoor and Welsh mountain ponies… We were then told by Mr Williams that it would only be healthy ponies to be slaughtered. This surely will lead to even more indiscriminate breeding, as there will obviously be money to be made…. Ms D Head Mr R Williams Ross-on-Wye Herefordshire (story)
Hereford Times 1.4.04 Butcher's target in horse protest - A HEREFORDSHIRE abattoir owner confronted animal rights campaigners who protested against his licence to slaughter horses for meat last Saturday. David Williams of R E Williams & Son challenged protesters who picketed his butcher's shop in Weobley. He said, although it was a peaceful demonstration, they intimidated his customers…. Mr Williams said the licence was originally initiated after a farmer requested a more humane end for his horses having heard of Mr Williams' excellent reputation in the abattoir business…. Although the campaigners involved in Saturday's demonstration were unavailable for comment, Alistair Currie from animal rights organisation, Viva, said: "Viva strongly supports the campaign to stop horses being slaughtered in Weobley - and everywhere else in the UK… (story in archive)
Leominster Journal 31.3.04 Butcher hit by horse protest By JUDITH BURKIN - Weobley butcher David Williams found himself at the centre of a national animal rights protest on Saturday although he has yet to act upon his licence to slaughter horses. Eight activists staged a peaceful protest outside R.E. Williams’ butchers shop to gather signatures from local people opposed to horses and ponies being brought into the village to be killed… Julie Roberts, of Coventry Animal Alliance, was part of the protest backed by Vegetarians International Voice for Animals. She said a lot of people were horrified about the proposed new use for the slaughterhouse…. (story)
Leominster Journal 25.3.04 Protest over horse abattoir - A peaceful protest against the slaughter of horses and ponies at an abattoir in Weobley is planned for Saturday morning. Butchers R.E.Williams have a licence to begin slaughtering the animals from the end of this month. The demonstration has been orchestrated by an animal rights coalition based in Coventry, and a spokesperson said many local people were expected to turn out… (story)

Northern Echo 5.4.04 Duck protest at stores - ANIMAL rights protesters staged demonstrations outside North-East city centre supermarkets this weekend. Members of animal welfare group Viva! targeted Marks & Spencer stores in Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle and South Shields…. Campaigner Diane Sanderson said: "We will be urging Easter shoppers to boycott duck meat…" (story in archive)

North East Evening Gazette 5.4.04 Groups welcome 'no ban' on meat - Religious groups have welcomed Government moves to protect meat slaughter methods… The Government is now carrying out a 12-week consultation on its response to the report… (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 5.4.04 Operation goose begins - An operation to remove geese from Stratford-upon-Avon’s riverside has finally started despite death threats from animal rights campaigners. Former mayor Cyril Bennis called off the plan last month after he received threats from activists threatening to "do him in” if he carried out the procedure… (story)
Stratford upon Avon Journal 1.4.04 Removal of geese from the riverside is well under way AN operation to remove domestic geese from Stratford's riverside finally got under way this week. Threats from animal rights campaigners, who branded the exercise "pointless and cruel", forced former mayor Cyril Bennis to call off the plan at the eleventh hour earlier this month…. (story in archive)
Stratford on Avon Journal 18.3.04 Geese wrangle ruffles feathers - AN operation to remove domestic geese from Stratford's riverside was called off at the eleventh hour yesterday because of the threat posed by animal rights campaigners. Former mayor Cyril Bennis had planned to round-up about 70 of the geese and take them to Wychbold Swan Sanctuary, near Dro-itwich, where they will be kept until they can be relocated… But animal rights campaigners have condemned the plans as a pointless and cruel exercise… Katherine Green, director of Pigeon Campaigns UK, said: "We will not stand aside and allow this operation to go ahead…" (story in archive)

Burton Mail 5.4.04 Woman's anger at fast food 'surprise' by NERMIN OOMER - A VEGETARIAN has hit out at a Burton fast food restaurant after she tucked into her meal and got a "sickening" surprise. Vegetarian Lavinia Harrison, 45, ordered a Quorn burger at one of Burton’s McDonald’s restaurants but after taking a bite realised she had actually been given a chicken burger…. Now Ms Harrison wants the company to make sure meat is stored separately from the vegetarian options… (story)

4.4.04

Sunday Herald 4.4.04 Grand National: Jim Delahunt - In The Saddle .... The Scottish Executive’s banning of fox-hunting with dogs has clearly hit point-to-point racing on this side of the border, but if you’ve never experienced this unique form of amateur steeplechasing, there’s still a couple of chances to attend meetings in Scotland this season. The Fife Hunt races at John Gilmour’s Balcormo Mains Farm near Leven on Saturday April 24, with the Lauderdale scheduled to stage their trad itional end-of-season fixture at Mosshouses Farm near Galashiels on May 2.... Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many of those who clamoured for foxhunting to be abolished were among the millions who enjoyed yesterday’s spectacle at Aintree, most of them, no doubt, blissfully ignorant that they’ve tried to destroy one of the pillars of a sport which has spawned one of the greatest sporting spectacles in the world. (story)

Observer 4.4.04 Rise in attacks on animal testing staff - Robin McKie, science editor - There has been a major upsurge in attacks by animal rights activists aimed at intimidating drug company staff and their families in the early months of this year. The terror campaign has included threats to the families of workers, bricks thrown through windows, graffiti sprayed on walls accusing staff of being paedophiles, tyres slashed and cars attacked with acid... Drug company chiefs are pressing the Government to pass stringent laws specifically designed to target animal activists. But the Home Office, which initially considered supporting such a law, told The Observer last week that it now believed many of amendments it had made to existing legislation were sufficient to tackle the problem. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 4.4.04 City fights back against Shac attack - The Square Mile is considering a £10m bounty to thwart 'investment terrorism', says Sylvia Pfeifer - morning stood out against the ranks of sober-suited businessmen and women who usually inhabit the Square Mile. Many of the protesters were members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac), the animal rights group which - more than any other single-issue group - has in recent years successfully managed to take its protests to the very heart of the City... The influential National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), whose members control 20 per cent of the shares on the London stock market, is planning a series of meetings with the Home Office, the Corporation of London and other City institutions to formulate a plan to try to prevent a repeat of the campaign of intimidation against Huntingdon... (story)
Canary Wharf Weekly 1.4.04 FIGHTING BACK AGAINST SHAC - Protesters targeted by reward - Allison Martin - ANIMAL rights campaigners who have targeted Wharf firms could have a £10million bounty on their heads. The City has hit back at activists including Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) which by-passed One Canada Square security last year to reach the offices of State Street…. However Greg Avery, one of the founders of SHAC, said: "The whole idea of offering a reward for information about us is nonsense. We are not doing anything wrong." (story)
Management Consultancy 22.3.03 City contemplates 'wild west' rewards for violent protesters By Brian Moher - The City is planning to strike back against groups behind campaigns such as that which led to Deloitte's resignation as auditors of Huntingdon Life Sciences…. The City is now considering 'wild west' rewards of up to £10m for the arrest and prosecution of such campaign leaders. Also under discussion are the development of informer networks, private funding for extra police or even a private protection force…. (story)

Telegraph 4.4.04 Shameful anti-badger prejudice - The longevity of bovine tuberculosis in soil has been known since 1965 and was not discovered by our chief executive, as your correspondent suggests (letter, Mar 21)..... As long ago as January 1998, in an article in Dairy Farmer, your correspondent admitted to receiving "a ministerial rap over the knuckles" when her own herd missed its compulsory TB test by a month. She had received "a similar request" in 1996. Until farming has cleaned up its own act, any suggestion that wildlife should be subject to pre-emptive persecution is a shameful prejudice. From: Steve Jackson, Chairman, National Federation of Badger Groups, London SW11... (letter)

3.4.04

Leicester Mercury 3.4.04 FARMS' CARCASS SCHEME DELAYED - A Government scheme set up to collect dead animals from farmland has been delayed. Under European regulations introduced last May, the traditional farming practice of burying dead cows and sheep on their land was outlawed.... Now Leicestershire's Cottesmore, Fernie, Quorn and Atherstone hunts have pledged their support to farmers and offered to take the fallen stock on their behalf. Joint master of the Fernie hunt Joe Cowen said: "There aren't many options available to farmers at the moment, so we were happy to help them out."...(story)

Western Daily Press 3.4.04 HUNTERS JUST DON'T CARE - On passing through the beautiful Cotswolds last Saturday, I was unfortunate enough to get caught up in a local hunt, presumably the Cotswold Hunt. Whilst waiting in the totally blocked up lanes to pass, which was impossible because both lanes were blocked by hunt supporters, I noticed with consternation that no-one was wearing a seat belt... Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 3.4.04 WHAT HAS FOX DONE TO THEM - I was disgusted with the pictures and story about the fox being hunted. Why is the beautiful little creature persecuted like this, what do they do that is so wrong? I asked a retired farmer, and he said: "Nothing, except kill a few chickens."... It's about time the beautiful fox was left in peace to live its short life how it wants... Mrs H S Perry, Mere, Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 3.4.04 HUNT EXCUSES DON'T ADD UP - There are two very relevant points D C Allen seems to have missed in his reply to S Cusden's letter, the first being that, if hunts did transfer to drag hunting, the distances and difficulties could be made as hard or as easy as they wished... If hunt supporters really believe the fox is a pest, why do the hunts purposely encourage them to breed? M J Haines, Cirencester, Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.4.04 FOX NOT PEST BUT FARMER'S FRIEND - In response to the letter from D C Allen regarding drag hunting, one local drag hunt does very well. The Berks and Bucks go out on Sundays with a healthy pack of hounds which have not been starved the day before and covered in scars and sores (as is the case with foxhounds on a foxhunt) and the horses will not suffer stress and heart attacks from strenuous chases… Name supplied Pewsey Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.3.04 DRAG HUNT PLEA In answer to D C Allen's letter on drag hunting.... I see no reason why farmers would want to prevent drag hunts over their land (unless they damaged it), as many farmers participate in hunts and enjoy them, as they would drag hunts.... Jeremy Cusden Gillingham Dorset (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.3.04 NO THREATS PLEASE - Whatever else may be said, field sports including hunting are legal activities and continue to be so until proscribed by law, if ever they are. In the meantime, those who oppose hunting in particular have no right whatsoever to enforce their dictates by coercion… Mr D Allen Burnham-on-Sea Somerset (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 2.4.04 ANIMAL RIGHTS AND VOTES GO TOGETHER - The Echo raised the question of whether animal rights should be a political issue (March 27). The answer is an unequivocal "yes".... Bullfighting, as a case in point, is rather an oxymoron. There is no true fight by any intelligent definition... There are parallels with foxhunting, hare coursing etc in our own land... Animal rights and politics are symbiotic. RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 3.4.04 RSPCA MISGUIDED OVER ITS ANGLING CAMPAIGN - The article Anglers to face checks, Echo, March 30, exposes the ludicrous, misguided and misleading thinking of the RSPCA.... Britain's 3.5 million anglers know that their sport is entirely legitimate and has massive benefits for river and still-water habitats. Anglers certainly do more for fish than the RSPCA ever has. Charles Jardine, Director, Campaign for Angling, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 30.3.04 ANGLERS TO FACE CHECKS BY TOM BACON - Anglers in Devon face checks by inspectors from the RSPCA - amid new scientific claims that fish can feel pain. The charity has confirmed it will now investigate complaints alleging cruelty, and is prepared to prosecute whenever appropriate… Katie Gery, from the South West RSPCA said: "The RSPCA is aware of a growing amount of literature and research supporting the idea that fish do feel pain, and our policy is to investigate every complaint we receive."… Mr Reed, from Countess Wear, said: "… The RSPCA seem determined to do to angling what they have already done to fox hunting - this is what every one of Britain's four million anglers feared might happen and now their fears are being realised." (letter)

Guardian 3.4.04 A National disgrace? - A race seen as the ultimate test for horse and rider by Brough Scott is simply conscripted equine labour, declares Andrew Tyler... Andrew Tyler is director of the national campaign group Animal Aid; Brough Scott is a broadcaster and journalist who rode (and fell at the 19th) in the 1965 Grand National and is chairman of the Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 3.4.04 ANIMALS, TOO, ARE CRUELLY MISTREATED I read Vernon Coaker MP's account (Post, March 22) of his visit to Auschwitz concentration/extermination camp and found myself sharing his questions about how these awful atrocities happened and what kind of people carried out the ill-treatment and murder of millions... Nowadays, animals are in many ways treated worse than at any other time in history. So-called "factory farming" is basically the abuse of our fellow creatures on a huge scale for nothing more than human greed and gluttony. PETE NEWMAN Church Street Carlton (letter)

GREAT BRITISH CIRCUS VISIT TO YORK
Northern Echo 3.4.04 ANIMAL CIRCUSES - THERE is a growing concern amongst the public about the welfare of animals used in performances such as circuses and the Captive Animals' Protection Society agrees with Lucy Crabtree (HAS, Mar 27) in her opposition to animal circuses... Craig Redmond, Campaigns Officer, The Captive Animals' Protection Society. (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 27.3.04 CIRCUS: I WISH to respond to the statements made by the woman who is allowing an animal circus on her land (Echo, Mar 23). Circuses are cruel. This is why local councils do not allow them on their land. Those who fight against animal abuse do so because they have spent their lives with animals and are therefore able to recognise their suffering... Lucy Crabtree, Darlington. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 25.3.04 We are peaceful - IN response to the article about the animal circus in York (March 22) I should first like to point out that the animal rights group York Animal Aid is a peaceful organisation. We will be demonstrating outside the Great British Circus (formerly known as Circus Harlequin) during the coming fortnight… It is never reported in the media when an animal rights campaigner's car is burned out, or when they are beaten up by angry hunt supporters or circus workers… Darren Shaw, York Animal Aid, Address supplied (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 22.3.04 Threatened animal circus site owner says the show must go on by Chris Greenwood - Special Branch officers are investigating a string of threatening phone calls to a York riding stable owner, after she agreed to host a controversial animal circus. Lorna Marchi said she would not be intimidated by animal rights "terrorists" who, she says, have plagued her with intimidating phone calls over the past week. She has leased part of her Wigginton Road stables to The Great British Circus, which will tomorrow begin a fortnight of shows featuring 30 animals, including big cats, camels, llamas and horses…. Mr Lacey claimed activists pretending to RSPCA workers have been removing promotional posters and leaflets for the circus from shop windows…. Craig Redmond, of the Captive Animals Protection Society, said representatives would attend the circus tomorrow to try to persuade York residents to boycott the show…. (story in archive)
York Evening Press 22.3.04 Dismay at circus - FOLLOWING my recent visit to the city, I was very shocked and disappointed to see that York would be hosting an animal circus… Mrs Sandra Hood, Paul's Way, Crossways, Dorchester (letter in archive)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 3.4.04 Euro MP's delight as ban stays on export of horses - EAST Lancashire Euro MP Chris Davies spoke of his 'delight' after a British ban on horse exports was upheld. The European Parliament has backed tougher measures on animal welfare and protection which will allow Britain to keep the current ban on the export of horses for slaughter... (story in archive)

Western Morning News 3.4.04 HORSE LOVERS MUST JOIN FIGHT ON ALL LIVE ANIMAL TRANSPORT - I have read letters in your newspaper lately regarding the exportation of live horses, presumably for the meat trade... I find it just a little bit surprising that the writers are becoming so concerned about this particular animal that they have troubled to write to your paper.... Would that the horse lovers add their voice to the other animal protection groups and try to get the whole live transportation of animals reduced to a minimum.... Mike Barrett, Churchdown, Gloucester (letter)

2.4.04

Nottingham Evening Post 2.4.04 BARBARIC ACTIVITY SEEN AS BRITISH NATIONAL EMBLEM - The Government is to be congratulated for its commitment, at long last, to bring about an end to the barbaric practice of hunting with dogs ('Hunting will be banned, says MP,' Post, March 25)…. MARK GLOVER Director, Respect for Animals (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 25.3.04 HUNTING WILL BE BANNED SAYS MP BY DAVID BYERS - Legislation to ban fox-hunting will be put before Parliament again in June, a Notts MP has claimed. Paddy Tipping, chairman of the powerful Commons environmental committee, claims he has been given the date by ministers. And the Sherwood MP says the Government will use all its powers to force the Bill through the House of Lords… But a DEFRA spokesman refused to confirm Mr Tipping's claims, saying only that "Parliament would be allowed to reach a conclusion on this issue". Anne Jepson of the South Notts Hunt said: "The majority of people don't want to see fox-hunting go. It's a bill that won't save a single fox." (story)

Banbury Guardian 2.4.04 BRINGING SHAME ON RURAL LIFE - The teenage girl looked impressed as the aristocratic woman on a fine black horse yelled at me "people like you shouldn’t be f****** allowed to live in the country."… To her, and the many other horse riders who allow their dogs to foul the modest lawn where my young children play, the countryside is for everyone – as long as ‘everyone’ only includes people who hunt, keep horses and feel that the rules of society are someone else’s problem…. Richard Gotch, Alkerton (letter)

Guardian 2.4.04 Country diary - Ground control - Colin Luckhurst - An ugly little item briefly reached the news agenda last week. The Scottish Wildlife Trust described it as a major crime, and the death by poisoning of more than a score of birds of prey, largely buzzards but including an owl and a goshawk, on an estate in Peebleshire certainly saddened me. This small Border county was our home for more than 10 years and I was always aware of the rigorous gamekeeping that protected the shooting interest... (story)

Southport Visiter 2.4.04 'National disgrace' - THE head of a Southport-based pressure group has called for the Grand National to be banned. Tony Moore, chairman of Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe, says that 29 horses have been killed at the three-day event since 1997 alone, and is urging local people to stop supporting it…. "In other countries races such as the Grand National are not allowed. In Germany the Grand National was taken off television due to protests by the viewers. They found it too disturbing to watch…" (story)

Independent 2.4.04 Activists claim victory as builders' firm halts deliveries to animal lab site By Cahal Milmo - Anti-vivisectionists claimed a victory yesterday in their campaign to halt the construction of a £18m animal testing laboratory when one of the country's largest building material suppliers halted deliveries. Travis Perkins said it would end deliveries to the site of the new Oxford University complex after it was contacted by an animal rights group which is trying to persuade the project's contractors to withdraw.... (story)
Oxford Mail 1.4.04 Builder 'refuses monkey lab job' - nti-vivisection campaigners claim they have persuaded a major building materials company to withdraw from Oxford University's project to build an animal research centre. Oxford campaign group Speak asked Travis Perkins to pull out of the £18m scheme to build a laboratory in South Parks Road for experiments on animals, including primates. Speak spokesman Robert Cogswell said: "They said 'We will no longer be delivering to the South Parks Road site'."… (story may be in archive)
Scotsman 1.4.04 Firm Stops Deliveries to Animal Lab Site By Katherine Haddon, PA News - One of Britain’s largest suppliers of building materials has halted deliveries to the site of a controversial new laboratory after pressure from animal rights activists. Travis Perkins said it had stopped delivering to the £18 million centre, which will bring all of Oxford University’s animal testing facilities under one roof, but refused to say why... Robert Cogswell, of animal rights group SPEAC (Stop Primate Experiments at Cambridge) said the group approached the company last week... (story)

Hertfordshire Mercury 2.4.04 Women make a stand for animal rights outside drugs company - An animal rights activist who claims drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) kills monkeys for research at its Stevenage base caused a stir during her latest protest. Outspoken Angela Farren will be spending one day a month outside GSK in Gunnels Wood Road, holding boards bearing messages like 'monkey prisoners murdered here'. Mrs Farren and fellow campaigners from Stevenage Animal Rights took up their position outside GSK on Sunday and will continue to for some months…. (story may only be on website for a week)

GOVERNMENT REJECTS BAN ON RELIGIOUS SLAUGHTER
BBC News Online 2.4.04 Animal welfare takes on religion - The government has rejected a call to ban the method used to kill animals for halal and kosher meat that is required by Muslims and Jews. While animal welfare activists claim the process is cruel, Jews and Muslims say the rules dictated by their ancient religious texts cannot be changed. BBC News Online talked to some of the interested parties in the ongoing debate. Last year the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) recommended that killing animals without stunning them first caused severe suffering.... Chairwoman Judy MacCarthy-Clark said their work had at least brought about some changes in the handling of animals prior to and during slaughter... (story)
Independent 2.4.04 Government backs down on religious slaughter ban By Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter - A confrontation between ministers and Muslim and Jewish communities was avoided yesterday when the Government backed down from legislating on the religious slaughter of animals... (story)
Times 2.4.04 Religions win battle on ritual slaughter BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, CONSUMER EDITOR - THE religious slaughter of meat for Muslim and Jewish communities in Britain will continue despite objections from animal welfare experts that it is inhumane and cruel, the Government announced yesterday. Ben Bradshaw, the Animal Welfare Minister, said that the decision was made out of respect for "the religious freedoms and fundamental beliefs of people in this country”.... (story)
Scotsman 2.4.04 Slaughter rules debate - FORDYCE MAXWELL RURAL AFFAIRS EDITOR - THE government has rejected a recommendation by the Farm Animal Welfare Council that religious slaughter of animals without prior stunning should be banned. Ben Bradshaw, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister with responsibility for animal welfare, said Defra supports most of the council’s 94 recommendations, published last summer, to improve conditions before and during slaughter. But he added: "The proposal on religious slaughter was obviously contentious for the Jewish and Muslim communities... We will not ban the production of halal or kosher meat." Such a ban, he said, would simply result in such meat being imported…. (story)
BBC News Online 1.4.04 Religious slaughter ban rejected - The government has ruled out a complete ban on the slaughtering of animals used by Muslims and Jews for halal and kosher meat. The Farm Animal Welfare Council has recommended outlawing the killing of animals without stunning them first, saying it caused severe suffering… Mr Bradshaw said the government shared FAWC's aim of improving the welfare of farm animals. We also accept that there are deeply held beliefs on both sides of aspects of this argument. We will not ban the production of halal or kosher meat…." (story)
Sun 1.4.04 No religious meat ban - A RECOMMENDATION to stun animals before carrying out their religious slaughter was rejected by the Government today. The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) said not stunning livestock before slaughter was "unacceptable" and urged ministers to make the practice illegal…. But the Government decided a ban would just "export the problem", and would mean that kosher and halal meat was imported instead…. (story)
BBC News Online 1.4.04 Ritual slaughter ban considered - The government will reveal on Thursday if it is to ban the method of killing animals used by Muslims and Jews for halal and kosher meat. The Farm Animal Welfare Council recommended last year that killing animals without stunning them first caused severe suffering... (story)

Western Morning News 2.4.04 MINISTERS MUST ACT ON HORSE BAN PLEAS It was with relief that I read Wednesday's headlines about the first breakthrough in the WMN campaign to prevent the reintroduction of transporting horses abroad for slaughter. The WMN, with the ILPH and other equine charities, have done a marvellous job in demonstrating the abhorrence the British feel at the thought of our horses enduring terrible treatment during a horrendous journey which ends in a cruel death…. Angela Garner, Devon (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 2.4.04 TEST FOR TB IS SO HIT AND MISS - I Have always wondered about how foolproof the test on cattle is for bovine TB…. PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill (letter)

Telegraph 2.4.04 Badgers 'need SAS skills' to use tunnel By Ben Fenton - Expensive efforts to make crossing a new bypass safer for badgers were condemned as useless yesterday by an expert who said the animals would need "SAS training" to use a £100,000 tunnel. Without access to a boat, a scaling ladder and a parachute, the A350 Semington bypass near Trowbridge, Wiltshire, remains an insuperable obstacle to badgers, according to Malcolm Clark, the chairman of the county's Badger Group.... (story)

1.4.04

Daily Post 1.4.04 Bittersweet day at point-to-point meet By Andrew Forgrave Daily Post - TRAGEDY marred an otherwise superb day's point-to-point racing at Eaton Hall when a riderless horse had to be destroyed after falling. Vets took the decision after Along The Lawn tumbled at the fourth fence at the Flint & Denbigh Hunt meeting near Chester…. An innovation this year was a Hunt Ride in which eight huntsmen - four each from the Wynnstay and the Flint & Denbigh - negotiated a circuit at Eaton dressed in traditional attire. Lucy Reed, wife of F&D Huntsman Jeremy Reed, said: "It was a throwback to the old style Members' Races when Hunt subscribers raced each other. It wasn't raced under Jockey Club rules - people said it reminded them how point-to-pointing used to be."… (story)

PLAS MACHYNLLETH SUSPENSION
Daily Post 1.4.04 Hunt film 'bias' fury By Andrew Forgrave Daily Post - FURIOUS huntsmen feel betrayed by media coverage of an apparent "exposé" by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS). The Plâs Machynlleth Foxhounds (PMFH) say broadcasters "significantly misportrayed" secretly filmed video footage which led to the group's suspension by the Federation of Welsh Packs (FWP) last week.It says the LACS footage, when edited for broadcasting, gave a misleading impression that hunt members threw a live fox to waiting hounds. The hunt has also accused broadcasters of refusing to retract the claims once it became clear the LACS video had been misrepresented… (story)
Horse & Hound 31.3.04 Welsh Foot Pack in the clear - Isobel Walsh - The Plas Machynlleth foxhounds are back in action after an inquiry by the Federation of Welsh Packs (FWP) into the League Against Cruel Sports' (LACS) "barbarity" claims, decided they were unfounded. League "investigators" infiltrated the Plas Machynlleth Foxhounds in February, and edited footage of foxhunting in upland Wales was released early last week.... At the inquiry, the committee concluded the claims to be unfounded. They underlined that the league had admitted, in a comment to HHO, that they had prolonged the suffering of the fox in question through their own intervention, preventing the quick ‘nip to the back of the neck’.... Earlier in the week, a league representative had been unable to point to evidence supporting LACS’ claims when representatives from the Countryside Alliance and the FWP viewed the unedited footage with a LACS official and a journalist (story)
Western Daily Press 30.3.04 HUNT BAN LIFTED IN CRUELTY ROW - A Welsh hunting pack suspended over allegations of barbaric practices was reinstated yesterday. An investigation by the Federation of Welsh Packs found that the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds had not broken any rules of hunting and that the allegations were unfounded…. (story)
BBC News Online 29.3.04 Hunt cruelty claim dismissed - The ban on a Powys hunting pack - criticised as "barbaric" by animal rights campaigners after an undercover investigation - has been lifted. The Federation of Welsh Packs, the body governing foxhunts in Wales, removed the suspension after studying video footage of the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds. It concluded no rules had been broken…. The league said the film showed evidence of "barbaric practices", including terriers attacking a trapped fox. The Federation of Welsh Packs said this was against rules but had been assured that the huntsman put the fox down before it was given to hounds… (story)
Shropshire Star 29.3.04 Hunt probe clears pack - A Mid Wales hunting pack suspended over allegations of "barbaric" practices has been reinstated after an inquiry revealed it had not broken any rules. The Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds was suspended last week following allegations made by the League Against Cruel Sports which released video footage of an undercover investigation of the hunt during the 2003-04 hunting season…. Nick Fenwick, Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds secretary, said the group was delighted with the result…. (story)
Scotsman 29.3.04 Hunt Reinstated after Investigation into 'Barbaric' Practices By Ed Carty, PA News - A Welsh hunting pack suspended over allegations of "barbaric” practices was reinstated today. An investigation by the Federation of Welsh Packs found that the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds had not broken any rules of hunting and that the allegations were unfounded… (story)
Torquay Herald Express 29.3.04 ONE of the leading hunt packs in Wales has been suspended by the Federation of Welsh packs. Why? For digging a screaming fox from its earth, allowing the terriers to savage it and then throwing it to the pack to be finished off… This is the true picture of hunting, no beautiful horses or red coats, just blood and guts… E WALLACE, Lustleigh (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 29.3.04 LINCOLN HAD RIGHT IDEA - Surprise, surprise. The Plas Machynlleth hunting pack has been suspended following allegations of barbarism (Post, March 23). The gullible and uncaring have accepted the pack of lies put out by the hunt fraternity for so long now… Mrs W Woodruffe, Cilmaengwyn Road, Ynysmeudwy, Pontardawe (letter)
Shropshire Star 27.3.04 Alliance to see full film of 'barbaric' hunt - The League Against Cruel Sports has defended an undercover investigation into a Mid Wales gun pack which it alleged was involved in "barbaric" practices. Staff at the LACS have allowed seven hours of unedited footage of its investigation into the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds to be viewed by members of the Countryside Alliance after concerns were raised that the video had been doctored.... (story)
Western Mail 26.3.04 Hunt film horror - I was absolutely appalled at the gratuitous cruelty shown by members of the Plas Machynlleth Foxhounds on the film shown on Monday's BBC Wales News…. OLGA CANNAN, Milton Combe, Yelverton, Devon (letter)
BBC News Online 25.3.04 Lamb deaths spiral after hunt ban - The suspension of a mid Wales hunt pack following claims of 'barbaric' practices has led to local farmers claiming the number of lambs killed by foxes has spiralled. Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds pack was suspended on Monday by the Federation of Welsh Packs after undercover filming by the League Against Cruel Sports alleged cruelty to fox…. But farmers in the Machynlleth area now claim the suspension has led to a rise in the slaughter of lambs by foxes , Local farmers pay a subscription to the hunt to kill foxes on their land during the lambing season which is currently in full flow… (story)
Shropshire Star 24.3.04 Appeal to hand over footage of fox death - A group of politicians today called for uncut footage showing the killing of a fox by a Mid Wales gun pack to be made public. The Middle Way Group of politicians has asked for the unedited version of the film showing the death, which was made by The League Against Cruel Sports following an investigation into the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds, to be made available for an independent review. Montgomeryshire MP and co-chair of the Middle Way Group Lembit Opik said the LACS had refused to make the footage public, which cast doubt over the allegations that the hunts practices are "barbaric"…. (story)
Horse & Hound 24.3.04 LACS footage sparks controversy … Edited footage of fox-hunting in upland Wales released by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) on Monday has provoked criticism of the league for releasing misleading evidence and hypocrisy…. In their investigations, LACS cites the incident involving two hounds and a fox as evidence which "explodes the myth that hounds kill foxes with a single nip to the back of the neck.”… David Jones, a committee member of the Federation of Welsh Packs explained: "The league guy interfered with it a lot. We timed it yesterday, and worked out that once the cameraman stops interfering, the fox is dead in a matter of seconds. Three or four seconds to be precise.” Anne Holmes of the LACS admitted that the league had undoubtedly compromised the welfare of the fox. She said: "Sadly, it is almost certainly the case that in this instance, by attempting to intervene, we prolonged the suffering of the fox.”…. (story)
Cambrian News 24.3.04 ‘Barbaric’ hunt faces enquiry - THE enquiry into the Plas Machynlleth Foxhounds will take place this Sunday, the Cambrian News can exclusively reveal. The hunting group, which has been established in the area for around three hundred years, were suspended on Monday by the Federation of Welsh Packs… The League released shocking footage obtained by investigators who infiltrated the Plas Machynlleth Foxhounds to secretly film hunting from November to February. Despite the film being released on Monday morning, the Chairman of the hunting group, Emyr Lewis, said they did not hear about it until later on in the day… "If anything, what that lad has done was more cruel. I remember him at one point, when two hounds had the fox, he was screaming and shouting at them to stop and leave the fox alone. By doing this, he prolonged that fox’s death and contributed to the cruelty himself. This hunt was a community way to stop foxes, but now these allegations will make life quite hard.” (story in archive)
Daily Post 24.3.04 I'll be out hunting to protect my lambs By Hywel Trewyn Daily Post - A FARMER who has lost new-born lambs to foxes last night vowed to carry on hunting…. Yesterday, Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds in Powys was accused of cruelty after the League Against Cruel Sports released a video appearing to show a fox being savaged by dogs, instead of being shot… Mr Jones, of Rhyd Onnen Isaf, Rhewl, a member of Llantysilio Foxhounds, criticised the League for putting pressure on hunts…. "I'm very angry about it." Mr Jones said the public outrage against the Plas Machynlleth Hunt is misguided because he believes the fox was already dead before it was given to the hounds…. Last night, Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Öpik… criticised the League Against Cruel Sports for refusing its request to release a copy of its un-edited footage for independent review…. (story)
Shropshire Star 24.3.04 Farmer says lambs dying after hunt ban - Mid Wales farmers are seeing more cases of their lambs being killed by foxes following the suspension of a Welsh gun pack, it was claimed today. The Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds pack was suspended yesterday after the League Against Cruel Sports released details of an undercover investigation, which it alleged revealed "barbaric" practices. But farmer Roy Rowlands, who has farmed in Machynlleth for the past 30 years, said he was losing lambs and money following the suspension because he had no other means of fox control…. Nick Fenwick, Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds secretary, said: "It's affected us more now than any other time of year because it's the middle of the lambing season. We have got 14 farms who are losing lambs to foxes and they need us to deal with the problem but we have been suspended." (story)
Daily Post 23.3.04 I don't know what the fuss is about By Hywel Trewyn Daily Post - MEMBERS of a Welsh foxhunt remained defiant last night following the release of a video showing a fox allegedly being savaged by their dogs. Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds, in Powys, was suspended by its governing body, the Federation of Welsh Packs, while an inquiry is held into allegations of "cruel and barbaric" practices… Members of the hunt were out again yesterday, unaware of the suspension, tracking foxes blamed for killing farm livestock. Hunt secretary Nick Fenwick, of Machynlleth, said last night: "We have nothing to hide. We haven't seen the film but today we were out hunting after a farmer had lost 20 lambs last week worth a total of around a £1,000."… (story)
Shropshire Star 23.3.04 Hunt blocked over 'awful' secret film - A Mid Wales hunting pack has been suspended following allegations that its practices are "barbaric". The action against the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds came after the League Against Cruel Sports released details of its undercover investigation into the hunt.... (story)
Western Mail 23.3.04 Welsh hunt suspended over 'barbaric' claims - Aled Blake, The Western Mail - A WELSH hunting pack has been suspended following allegations that its practices were "barbaric". Action was taken against the Plas Machynlleth gun pack after undercover investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports infiltrated the group during the 2003-04 hunting season.... David Thomas, of the Federation of Welsh Packs, said an inquiry will be held into the claims.... But Adrian Simpson, also from the Federation of Welsh Packs, speaking for the Plas Machynlleth pack hunt, called for the league to provide full unedited footage.... "The fox was shot before the carcass was given to the dogs, we are very suspicious of it all. We are suspicious the tape has been heavily edited. They will not hand it over and it then becomes difficult for us to comment or for the hunt to comment if we haven't got a copy." (story)
Daily Post 23.3.04 Scenes to disturb even pro-hunters - FOX hunting will continue to divide the nation for many years to come. But even people who support the need for culling are likely to be horrified by video footage released yesterday which appears to show a fox being torn apart by hounds... We can only hope the Federation of Welsh Packs inquiry will be thorough and its findings robust. (story)
Telegraph 23.3.04 'Barbaric' hunt pack inquiry - A hunting pack has been suspended after undercover investigators made allegations of "barbaric" practices. The governing Federation of Welsh Packs announced the move against the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds pending an inquiry... (story)
Western Mail 22.3.04 Inquiry into "barbaric" hunt pack - Gemma Collins - A Welsh hunting pack was suspended today following allegations that its practices are "barbaric". The action against the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds came after the League Against Cruel Sports released details of an undercover investigation it had undertaken into the hunt…. After the League's report, called Digging the Dirt, was released today, the Federation of Welsh Packs, the governing body designed to unite and represent organised hunting in Wales, announced it had suspended the pack pending an inquiry…. (story)
Sky News 22.3.04 SHAME OF 'CRUEL' FOX HUNT - Animal rights campaigners are set to "name and shame" a hunting group for its alleged "slow and painful" killing of foxes…. The League Against Cruel Sports said it hoped the video will remind people why they are campaigning to get a ban on hunting with dogs. (story)
BBC News Online 22.3.04 Cruelty claim suspends hunt - A hunting pack has been suspended after an undercover investigation into practices criticised as "barbaric". The Federation of Welsh Packs decided to take the action against the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds after some of its hunts were secretly filmed… Emyr Lewis, chairman of the gun pack - one of around 40 in Wales which hunts on foot - said he knew nothing of the allegations until he found out that the group had been suspended… (story)
Scotsman 22.3.04 "Barbaric" Allegations Against Hunting Pack By Gemma Collins, PA News A Welsh hunting pack was suspended today following allegations that its practices are "barbaric”. The action against the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds came after the League Against Cruel Sports released details of an undercover investigation it had undertaken into the hunt.... Cardiff North MP Julie Morgan, who was also at the launch of the investigation results, said: "I was shocked and sickened by that footage and I really feel that this is barbaric ..." (story)

Western Morning News 1.4.04 LET THE TRUTH COUNT IN COUNTRY DEBATE - It is unfortunate that those committing views to paper on rural issues like shooting do not research their subject matter sufficiently, to give a view representative of the truth… For example, not that I have been fox hunting but if anyone considers how any dog, a pack animal, dispatches its prey, invariably it is a swift bite in the right place. Sadly, it is the domestic cats, of which we own 8-9 million in this country, which enjoy cruel teasing and carnage…. All I am trying to do is balance the debate. Please continue to enjoy and benefit from your personal choices about animals, pets and livestock and help to defend sensible countryside management by destroying the falsehoods presented by those who have been brainwashed by the misguided and ignorant! Philip Milton, Braunton North Devon (letter)

Berwickshire News 1.4.04 Hunt ban but government want kennels to collect fallen stock! - In many cases hunts are the only option open to farmers to dispose of fallen stock yet all the DEFRA ministers have voted to ban hunting. If you phone up to get stock uplifted they will give you a hunt kennels contact number… We are willing to stand up and fight for what we believe in and hunting is freedom of choice, we should be allowed to choose. KEITH T ROBERTSON, Marygold Farm, Duns. (letter)

Somerset Standard 1.4.04 DISMAYED AT VET'S SUPPORT - On reading a recent advertisement for a Hunt Fun Ride, I found it absurd that a veterinary surgeon was in support of this very ruthless, unnecessary sport…. PAMELA PERKINS, North Parade, Frome (letter)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 1.4.04 Animal lover? - WhilE supporting James Gray's campaign on the plight of live export horses it should be remembered that our MP is an enthusiastic supporter and participant in fox hunting, a cruel and barbaric pastime that has no place in a civilised society… J PETERS, Chippenham (letter in archive)

Hunts Post 1.4.04 Fight against animal rights protestors continues - THREE further suppliers to medical research company Huntingdon Life Sciences have emerged as victims of animal rights terrorism since Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly launched his campaign to thwart them in The Hunts Post two weeks ago. One firm's premises had been badly vandalised and its insurer had refused to pay for the damage unless the company ceased trading with HLS. "That is quite outrageous," the MP said…. SHAC accused Mr Djanogly of "not being interested in sorting out any perceived problems and instead being interested only in scoring cheap points via the media". The MP confirmed he had refused to meet SHAC until the group renounced violence and took target names off its website…. (story)

STATE STREET CORPORATION INJUNCTIONS
Evesham Journal 1.4.04 Animal right protesters barred from company - A group of animal rights activists from Evesham have been sent a High Court order barring them from harassing or approaching the employees of a large investment corporation. Lawyers for the State Street Corporation went to court seeking a temporary injunction against four named individuals and three animal rights pressure groups - Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, the Animal Liberation Front and the Animal Rights Militia. The four individuals whose Evesham address was `care of Boat Lane' - Greg Avery, Natasha Avery, Heather James and Lynn Sawyer - did not attend the court hearing last Friday to oppose the injunction… (story in archive)
Gloucestershire Echo 30.3.04 FOUR ARE BARRED BY HIGH COURT - Animal rights activists from Evesham have been made the subject of a High Court injunction. Greg Avery, Natasha Avery, Heather James, and Lynn Sawyer, of Boat Lane, Evesham, have been told they cannot harass or approach employees of investment company State Street Corporation…. (story)
Worcester Evening News 29.3.04 We fight on, vow animal battlers - A GROUP of animal rights activists who have been accused of harassment has vowed to continue to fight for its cause. Greg and Natasha Avery, Heather James and Lynn Sawyer - all members of the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) - who give their address as Boat Lane, Evesham, have had temporary injunctions preventing them from entering the area surrounding the central London offices of The State Street Corporation…. Mr Avery denied they had any involvement in underhand tactics alleged in court. "There was talk of tyre-slashing and sending threatening letters, but that had nothing to do with us," he added… (story in archive)
Cambridge News 27.3.04 Court hits activists with ban A GROUP of animal rights activists have found themselves on the receiving end of a High Court order barring them from harassing or approaching the employees of a large investment corporation. Although the State Street Corporation has no involvement in animal experiments or pharmaceuticals, activists claim it is an investor in Yamanouchi Pharma, a Huntingdon Life Sciences customer.... The four individuals - Greg Avery, Natasha Avery, Heather James and Lynn Sawyer - did not attend yesterday's court hearing to oppose the injunction. All four come from the Evesham area of Worcestershire... (story)
BBC News Online 26.3.04 Animal activists banned by court Animal rights groups have been banned from approaching workers of a firm linked to a Cambridgeshire laboratory. The High Court has granted a temporary injunction against four individuals and three groups to stop them "harassing" workers of State Street Corporation.... The injunction was granted against Greg and Natasha Avery, Heather James, and Lynn Sawyer, all from Worcestershire, and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, the Animal Liberation Front, and the Animal Rights Militia... (story)

Burton Mail 1.4.04 Student fined for demonstration by TOM SLOAN - A STUDENT has become the latest protestor to be prosecuted in connection with demonstrations at a controversial farm…. William Maxwell, 20, of Oak Drive, Doveridge, was convicted of harassment after a two-day trial at Burton Magistrates’ Court. He was ordered by magistrates to pay a fine of £250 and £50 compensation to his victim. He was further told to pay £600 costs for his trial. Richard Johnson, prosecuting, told the court how Maxwell, a student at Bradford University, had shouted abuse down a megaphone at Christopher Hall, the owner of Darley Oaks Farm, in Newchurch, on four occasions last year…. As well as the fines, Maxwell was banned from going within one mile of the farm and an order was made to destroy his megaphone… (story)

Western Morning News 1.4.04 HINT OF U-TURN ON LIVE HORSE EXPORTS - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael last night hinted at a possible Government U-turn over the export of live horses for slaughter - as he came under intense pressure at Westminster to ban the "abhorrent" trade. Speaking at the end of a 90-minute Commons debate on the issue Mr Michael, who is also the "Minister for the Horse", said the Government would examine the practical details of this week's vote in the European Parliament that would allow the UK to ban live horse exports… Shadow Countryside Minister James Gray warned Mr Michael that he would go down in history as the "Minister for Horse Slaughter" if he failed to take up the solution proposed by the European Parliament… (story)
Western Morning News 1.4.04 BLAIR WARNED OF 'DEEP UNREST' IF BAN FUDGED - Award-winning writer Carla Lane has warned the Government it will face "deep unrest" if it fails to take up an available opt-out clause on live horse exports…. (story)
Western Morning News 1.4.04 EXPORT HISTORY: UK BAN IS OBSOLETE There is some confusion over the current level of protection in Britain against the trade of exporting live horses for slaughter. A ban was introduced in 1937 but became obsolete under the 1991 Animal Transportation Directive on the free movement of goods. This created a loophole in the law which horse exporters were keen to exploit. But when John Gummer was Agriculture Minister in 1991 he attempted to close the loophole by negotiating an "opt-out" to the new rules. It meant that rather than challenging the rules outright, horses worth less than £715 and ponies worth less than £220 could not be transported…. However, when the directive was updated in 1995, this opt-out system collapsed…. The removal of the UK opt-out finally came to light last July when Commissioner David Byrne published his EU White Paper on protecting animals during transportation… (story)

Bath Chronicle 1.4.04 POLITICIAN PROTESTS AGAINST LIVE EXPORT OF HORSES - Mp James Gray rode into Parliament yesterday to champion the rights of horses. The politician, whose North Wiltshire seat takes in Box, Corsham and Chippenham, exercised an ancient right, not used since 1920, to ride to the House of Commons to outline the Conservative case against the export of live horses. Mr Gray, who is his party's spokesman on rural affairs, is backing the current ban on the export of live horses to Europe for slaughter for human consumption…. But the MP was accused of "outrageous opportunism" by his Government opponent, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael…. (story)

Scotsman 1.4.04 Move to improve animal welfare laws - FORDYCE MAXWELL - PROPOSALS for tougher animal welfare rules, banning among other things docking of dogs’ tails, puppy imports, animal baiting or fighting, under-age pet buyers and the horse- shoeing practice known as "couping", have been published by the Scottish Executive. If approved after consultation, the legislation will impose an obligation of "proper care" on anyone owning, managing or keeping animals... (story)

Scotsman 1.4.04 Ethical eating - Those of us who are concerned about animal welfare but can’t quite bring ourselves to give up meat have something to celebrate this year. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the RSPCA’s Freedom Food labelling scheme. Set up in 1994, the Freedom Food charity aims to improve the lives of as many as possible of the 860 million animals that are farmed for food in Britain every year… Jonathan Trew (story)

Gloucester Citizen 1.4.04 HUMANS MUST SORT LIVES OUT I Was delighted to read the letter from Gary the gull and friends (The Citizen, March 29). I heartily agree. Let the human race get their act together… Long live the gulls. ELIZABETH WOODHAM Brimpsfield (letter)

Western Telegraph 1.4.04 Horror of the trade in dog and cat fur - TRADING standards officers in Pembrokeshire are to keep a close check to ensure there are no local links with a notorious dog and cat fur trade. For, people in the county may unwittingly be buying items made from animals farmed for their fur… A coat made from the fur of 42 Alsatian pups, a rug from four golden retrievers, and a blanket of cat fur were produced by Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson and Welsh MEP Jonathan Evans, leader of the British Conservative group in Europe, as three examples of animal farming… (story in archive)