April 2008

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30.4.08

Petersfield Post 30.4.08 Supporters' help secures hunt's future - A huntsman said he was "overwhelmed" by the response of supporters that have stepped forward to save his ailing hunt. Jeremy Whaley, master and huntsman of the Froxfield-based South Downs Bloodhounds, thought his career was over after the season finished at the end of March… But no sooner had Mr Whaley spread the news that the hunt was to fold than supporters began to offer their help…. The hunting season resumes in late August and September but the hounds can be seen at Froxfield Fete on June 29…. (story)
Midhurst & Petworth Observer 21.4.08 Backers from Midhurst ride to rescue of bloodhound pack - A flood of offers has turned the tide for a pack of bloodhounds which was due to be disbanded. Within four hours of a dire warning from Jeremy Whaley, master of the South Downs Bloodhounds Hunt, that it was on the brink of closing down and its 26 hounds were up for sale, there was a huge response from its supporters. Mr Whaley said: "I received offers of support and financial help to keep the hounds going, and it has changed the situation completely. We are definitely safe for another season…. (story)

Berwickshire News 30.4.08 Dog breeders find way round tail docking law By Janice Gillie - TAIL docking has been illegal in Scotland since the introduction of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 but an East Lothian dog breeder claims that people are just crossing over the border into England where the procedure can still be carried out if proof is provided that the dog is likely to be used as a working dog… Mr Brander claims that Scottish breeders could be losing around £2 million in lost sales as people wanting working dogs, such as spaniels, pointers and terriers are crossing into England to buy the puppies, whose tails can be docked legally…. (story)

Express 30.4.08 FILLING UP? THAT’LL BE £84 PLEASE By Louise Barnett Consumer Editor - MOTORISTS will be forced to pay an average £84 to fill up their cars when fuel hits a predicted £1.50 per litre… Countryside Alliance communications head Jill Grieve warned: “The hardworking workforce in the countryside, the elderly and the isolated are being increasingly marooned, unable to go out, because fuel prices are too high… (story)
Express 29.4.08 BIG DIESEL AND PETROL RIP-OFF By Louise Barnett Consumer Editor - BRITISH motorists are being ripped off by “profiteering” oil companies – and the Government…. Jill Grieve of the Countryside Alliance said: “The Government is increasing rural poverty while profiting by an extra £123million a month from the VAT on fuel.”… (story)
Express 26.4.08 PETROL: WE'RE RUNNING OUT By Louise Barnett Consumer Editor - PETROL stations began running dry yesterday after the Government tried to reassure drivers about supplies – and instead started a panic. Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks admitted he could not guarantee fuel would be available on every forecourt… The Lib Dems accused him of talking the country into a crisis. And the Countryside Alliance said he had inflamed an already intolerable situation, with drivers in rural areas at risk of being stranded… (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 30.4.08 CALL TO RID CEMETERY OF BADGERS - Widow Yvonne Organ is hoping the badgers which devastated her husband's grave can be evicted from the cemetery.Last year the 71-year-old spoke to the Echo about her distress at the animals damaging the graves of her baby daughter Janie and husband Derek, who died 10 years ago, aged 65…. (story)

Western Daily Press 30.4.08 THE VOICE OF REASON - What a splendid letter from C F Lewis, "Halt spread of bovine TB" (Your Say, April 26). He has hit the nail fairly and squarely on the head.Of course, animals which live in such close proximity will pass diseases from one to another, and go on to spread it to other species which, in turn, spread it back again… Richard Osborne Swindon (letter)
Western Daily Press 26.4.08 HALT SPREAD OF BOVINE TB - The fundamental causes of bovine TB are the same as for TB in humans - overcrowding and living in unhygienic conditions…. C F Lewis Devizes Wiltshire (letter)

LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS JUDICIAL REVIEW JUDGEMENT OVERTURNED
Telegraph 30.4.08 R (CAMPAIGN TO END ALL ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS) v HOME SECRETARY - Court of Appeal (Civil Division) - May, Dyson and Moses LJJ - April 23, 2008 - The appellant secretary of state appealed against a decision ([2007] EWHC 1964 (Admin)) that a chief inspector of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate appointed by him to perform an investigation had misconstrued statutory guidance and reached a perverse conclusion. The respondent union (B) cross-appealed from the judge’s dismissal of another part of its case… (story)
Channel 4 News 23.4.08 Research animals ruling overturned - A ruling that the Government was failing in its legal duty to ensure the suffering of animals used in laboratory experiments was kept to a minimum has been overturned. Three judges at the Court of Appeal said a High Court judge's finding that a Government adviser was "clearly wrong" in a conclusion over the level of pain experienced by marmosets could not stand. But the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), which originally brought the case after an undercover investigation at Cambridge University, said its main argument over the way the Home Office classifies the seriousness of experiments on animals had been upheld…. (story)
Independent 28.7.07 Victory for animal rights group against testing By Mike Taylor - An anti-vivisection campaign group won a partial victory yesterday in its High Court claim that the Government was failing in its legal duty to ensure animal suffering was kept to a minimum in UK laboratories. A judge held that the Home Office was acting unlawfully in licensing invasive brain experiments on marmosets at Cambridge University on the basis that "moderate" rather than "substantial" suffering was likely to be caused.... (story)
Mirror 28.7.07 Monkey test win - Anti-vivisection campaigners yesterday won High Court backing to stop laboratory brain experiments on marmosets... (story)
Times 28.7.07 Mice blind us to reality - Junk medicine: experiments on animals - The number of scientific experiments conducted on animals has declined considerably over the past 30 years. The trend, however, has been reversed recently. The total has risen in each of the past five years and new data released by the Home Office this week show that the 2006 figure exceeded three million for the first time since 1991. This has angered even the more considered elements of the animal rights lobby.... (story)
Guardian 28.7.07 Government downplayed animal suffering in experiments - James Randerson, science correspondent - The government has downplayed the suffering experienced by some animals used in experiments by incorrectly applying the law categorising the severity of laboratory procedures, according to a high court judge.... (story)
Belfast Telegraph 28.7.07 Victory for animal rights group against testing By Mike Taylor - An anti-vivisection campaign group won a partial victory yesterday in its High Court claim that the Government was failing in its legal duty to ensure animal suffering was kept to a minimum in UK laboratories.... (story)
BBC News Online 27.7.07 Review ordered on lab test labels - The licences given to scientists that allow them to carry out experiments on animals are being mislabelled, according to a High Court ruling. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (Buav) claimed that the licences underplayed the severity of suffering that the animals experienced. The High Court found for Buav on this ground, but rejected three other claims brought by the campaign group... (story)
Times 27.7.07 Ministers must review severity of animal tests - Mark Henderson, Science Editor of The Times - The Government will have to reexamine the way it classifies the severity of animal experiments, after the High Court declared its procedures inadequate today. A judge ruled that the Home Office acted unlawfully in licensing brain experiments on marmosets at the University of Cambridge on the understanding that these would cause moderate and not subtantial suffering, following a judicial review brought by an animal rights group... (story)
Guardian 27.7.07 Animal experiment ruling 'unlawful' - An anti-vivisection campaign group has won a partial victory in its High Court claim that the Government is failing in its legal duty to ensure animal suffering is kept to a minimum in UK laboratories. A judge held that the Home Office was acting unlawfully in licensing invasive brain experiments on marmosets at Cambridge University on the basis that "moderate" rather than "substantial" suffering was likely to be caused... The judge rejected other claims by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), including an allegation that the staffing and monitoring arrangements for animals at the Cambridge research laboratories were inadequate.... (story)
Cambridge Evening News 25.7.07 Public 'misled over animal test suffering' - OPPONENTS of animal testing are challenging the Government in the High Court by using video and documentary evidence collected in a 10- month undercover operation at a Cambridge University laboratory. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), led by their chief executive Michelle Thew, is seeking a declaration that there has been a failure to ensure animal suffering in Home Office-licensed laboratories is kept to a minimum... (story)
Channel 4 24.7.07 Lab 'did not curb animal suffering' - Research monkeys are at the centre of a High Court battle which could affect the future of animal experiments in the UK. Known by names including Pinocchio, Tweety, Minnie and Beast, it was alleged there had been a failure to take adequate measures to minimise their suffering. Richard Drabble QC, appearing for the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, accused the Government of failing to enforce adequate controls at Cambridge research laboratories.... (story)
Channel 4 24.7.07 Court wrangle over animal testing - The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) is taking the Government to the High Court over the fate of laboratory animals. The group is seeking a declaration that there has been a failure to ensure animal suffering in Home Office-licensed laboratories is kept to a minimum.... (story)
Guardian 24.7.07 Law failing animals used in medical research, says scientist who advised on guidelines - Ian Sample, science correspondent - Government legislation aimed at minimising the use and suffering of animals in medical research was branded a failure yesterday by the scientist father of cabinet minister Ed Balls. Michael Balls, emeritus professor at Nottingham University, called for an urgent review of the way animal experiments are licensed, and criticised the government for granting scientists permission to conduct animal research even when the benefits were in doubt. Prof Balls spoke out as the Home Office released its latest figures on the numbers of animals used in medical tests and a day before it faces a judicial review in the high court... (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 24.7.07 Court fight over animal testing - THE British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection was taking the Government to the High Court today over the fate of laboratory animals... (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 24.7.07 PROF SPEAKS OUT ON ANIMAL TESTS - Claims the Government misled the public over animal tests have been backed by an eminent scientist at the University of Nottingham, who is the father of cabinet minister Ed Balls....(story)
Express 23.7.07 GOVERNMENT ACCUSED ON ANIMAL TESTS - Claims that the Government misled the public over animal experiments are backed by the eminent scientist father of cabinet minister Ed Balls, it has emerged. Zoologist Professor Michael Balls, an Emeritus Professor at the University of Nottingham, advised the Government when the current legislation governing animal testing was drawn up. He is chairman of the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (Frame), an animal welfare charity. Prof Balls spoke out on Monday as the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) announced it was taking the Government to the High Court in London on Tuesday over the fate of laboratory animals.... (story)
BBC News Online 23.7.07 Court review for animal testing - The UK government is being taken to court over its duty to cut suffering to lab animals, as figures show another rise in animal tests... (story)
Cambridge Evening News 23.7.07 Group uses Uni film in animal test protest - CAMPAIGNERS against medical tests on animals are using an undercover investigation at Cambridge University to support their case. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection will argue in a judicial review in the High Court today that the Home Office ignores its legal duty to keep animal suffering to a minimum... (story)

Plymouth Evening Herald 30.4.08 CRUEL DELICACY - It was great to read in the national press that Prince Charles has followed many nations and companies in stopping the use of foie gras in his royal residences and in his business life too… How sad, then, to see that in some established and aspiring Plymouth restaurants and cafes this product is still on the menu…. JAMIE MACPHERSON, Plymouth (letter)

Wigan Evening Post 30.4.08 Finding a Happier hunting ground - I see the French are to send more troops to Afghanistan. The Americans say this will allow them to send more US troops to reinforce the Canadians in the south. It seems that the Canadians were threatening to pull their troops out altogether if they did not get more help. Was that because they were missing out on the disgusting annual massacre of many thousands of baby seals?... Jeff McCann, via email (letter)

Southern Daily Echo 30.4.08 Council’s a ‘Good Egg’ on animal welfare - EGGS from caged hens have been given the thumbs down by Hampshire's council chiefs. The county council was one of 15 UK organisations including Cadbury's and The National Trust named as Good Eggs' in an awards ceremony held by animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 30.4.08 RSPCA WARNING OVER SQUIRREL CULL PROPOSAL - Recent Tv footage of red squirrels in Welsh woods on wildlife expert Iolo Williams's Natur Cymru programme highlighted the plight of this lovable native creature. However, a group seeking to conserve the animals is calling for the less popular and more numerous grey squirrels to be culled in an area where reds have been sighted. Over the past five years, the Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project has been working to find out as much as possible about the rodents in coniferous forests in Carmarthenshire, Powys and Ceredigion… The project, working with Carmarthenshire, Powys and Ceredigion councils, the Forestry Commission, Countryside Council for Wales, the Wildlife Trust, and private forest managers, is trying to influence the management of the forests and ensure that in these forests, grey squirrels are eradicated…. A spokesman for the RSPCA warned the partnership to think carefully about any culling of grey squirrels… (story)

29.4.08

Market Rasen Mail 29.4.08 Huntsman Jim jumps out of the saddle after 41 record-breaking years - A RECORD 41 years in charge of the Burton Hounds ends tomorrow, Thursday, when Jim Lang jumps out of the saddle to be replaced by his one-time apprentice Neil Burton. Jim’s time with the Burton has set a historical record for any hunt in the country… Having ridden out years of political turmoil and then the hunting ban that outlaws a foxes death by hounds but allows riding to hounds to continue, Jim still sees a future for the sport - particularly with participation rising in response to government intervention (story)

IVOR ANNETTS' THANKYOU LETTER
Mid Devon Gazette 29.4.08 THANKS FOR ALL THE HUNT INFO - IVOR ANNETTS League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.4.08 LAW-ABIDING HUNTS PRAISED FOR THEIR CO-OPERATIVE STANCE - Ivor Annetts, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 17.4.08 LEAGUE APPRECIATES HUNTS INFORMATION - As the 2007/8 hunting season draws to a close, I would like to thank all of those members of hunts, and others closely associated with hunts, who have provided the League Against Cruel Sports with dates, times and places of hunt meets during the last eight months… As a result of this assistance our monitors have frequently been able to be in the right place at the right time… Ivor Annetts, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)

ILLEGAL ANIMAL POISONINGS INCREASE
Scotsman 29.4.08 Illegal animal poisonings at highest level for ten years By Jenny Haworth Environment Correspondent - THE number of illegal poisonings of animals, including rare birds of prey, has hit its highest level for a decade. New Scottish Government figures reveal that at least 190 animals were poisoned last year – 50 were birds of prey…. (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 29.4.08 Pesticide poisonings ‘at 10-year high’ By Cameron Brooks - The number of animals and birds poisoned by the illegal use of pesticides across Scotland is at a 10-year high, according to new figures. The Scottish Agricultural Science Agency (SASA) revealed yesterday there were 190 incidents, including 50 that related to birds of prey, in 2007, compared with 144 in 1997… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 29.4.08 LET'S END CONFUSION ON CULLING OF BADGERS - Having been on the old badgers and TB panel, I'm saddened at the confused debate concerning badger culls. Everyone seems to have forgotten some basic facts, as quoted from Blood's Veterinary Medicine 1989…. M Hancox, Nouncells Cross. Stroud (letter)

Scotsman 29.4.08 'Unethical' squirrel cull - I was interested to read that grey squirrels caught in traps set by organisations attempting to slow their inevitable spread (your report, 26 April) are to be "humanely put down"…. We believe it is fundamentally unethical to kill members of one species of squirrel in a vain attempt to help another species of squirrel… ROSS MINETT Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)

28.4.08

Horse & Hound 28.4.08 HH huntsman to cycle length of Britain for Air Ambulance - Caroline Bankes - The huntsman of the Hampshire Hunt is to cycle the length of the UK to raise money for Air Ambulance. Will Hudson is swapping his ratcatcher for a lycra all in one as he gets in training to cycle from Lands End to John O'Groats to raise funds for the Hampshire and I.O.W Air Ambulance and the HH…. (story)

Norwich Evening News 28.4.08 Countryside comes to the city - The countryside came to the city this weekend as thousands of people took part in the East Anglia Game and Country Fair…. (story)

Telegraph 28.4.08 Protected mountain hares die in illegal snares By Brian Unwin - Thousands of protected mountain hares have been killed illegally with snares in Scotland, claim wildlife campaigners. A report commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) said that of 24,529 hares killed on Scottish estates in 2006-2007 almost 80 per cent were shot but more than 5,000 were snared. Conservation group Advocates for Animals, which campaigns for a ban on snaring, claims that no more than 190 should have been snared during that period… (story)
BBC News Online 22.4.08 Research finds rise in hare kills - More Scottish mountain hares have been shot or snared on estates than 11 years ago, according to a government commissioned study. The increase was shown at locations in Scotland previously surveyed in 1995/96. In 2006/07, 24,529 were taken - most in an effort to control the spread of disease-carrying sheep ticks. Campaign group Advocates for Animals claimed a large number of hares were snared without a licence to do so….(story)

South Wales Evening Post 28.4.08 MINK MAUL WOMAN'S POND FISH - Mink are thought to be on the loose in Swansea, mauling and eating fish from garden ponds. One fish owner who did not want to be named, from Bishopston, Gower, said she had seen her pond fish numbers decline from 43 to 11 over just two nights, despite having a protective cage over the water…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 28.4.08 HOW WE CAN HALT BOVINE TB - Our family and many friends and colleagues have been angered by the short-sighted and costly proposed badger cull that will cost taxpayers millions needlessly… Richard Angove, Parish Road, Cwmgwrach, Neath. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 28.4.08 NOTTINGHAM MAN CHASES WHALERS - Until he was 18 Dan Bebawi "really didn't care that much" about animal welfare issues. But then he made a decision to turn vegan, and ten years later he is prepared to put his life in danger for the sake of animals. The 28-year-old likens his work with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to his day job as a youth worker in Nottingham. "I don't really like bullying of any kind really, and I see the way that animals get treated as a form of bullying," he said….. (story)

Independent 28.4.08 Tesco criticised for battery eggs By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent - Tesco has been condemned by animal rights campaigners for continuing to sell eggs from battery chickens. The animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) awarded Britain's biggest retailer a "Rotten Egg" in the 2008 Good Egg Awards, which are designed to encourage responsible sourcing by businesses. Sainsbury's, the Co-op and Waitrose have banned sales of eggs from battery chickens… (story)

Guardian 28.4.08 Giving to donkeys is no disgrace - Your correspondents consider it "depressing" and "a national disgrace" that the public gives more to a donkey sanctuary than it does to charities supporting female victims of domestic abuse (Letters, April 25). Even leaving aside issues of moral relativism, I find these sentiments distasteful… Your correspondents might also like to consider that the RSPCA receives no funding from central government and yet is given the remit, responsibility and powers to police animal welfare on behalf of us all… B Phillips, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
As a worker for Women's Aid, one of the leading domestic abuse charities, I am well aware of the need for support services for women and children experiencing domestic abuse…. Personally, I would rather fund a donkey sanctuary than a disastrous and possibly illegal war on Iraq…. Kathy Norrie, Stirling Womens Aid
There needn't be a conflict between helping animals and helping people. The Dr Hadwen Trust, for example, is a medical charity developing alternatives to animal research that not only save thousands of animals' lives but also benefit human health by offering a more reliable, species-specific approach to combating human disease… Sharon Howe, Sidmouth, Devon
Perhaps it is time for a more creative and pragmatic approach. A small donkey sanctuary attached to say a refuge for abused women and children would have many benefits… Karen Huckvale, Exeter
Consider the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the research arm of the game shooting world. With 40 full-time scientific staff and massive funding, it must be the only charity in the world specifically dedicated to killing animals. Theo Hopkins, Lifton, Devon (letters)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.4.08 HAVE A RETHINK ON VEGAN FOOD - If you think vegan food is bland and boring, then think again. The Happy Cow, Exeter's one and only vegan cafe, opened in February, the brainchild of Rolanda Ware, of Kings Heath, a vegan herself.A keen cook and animal welfare campaigner, Rolanda said she saw a need for such a a place in the city… (story)

27.4.08

Northern Echo 27.4.08 Cop arrested for interfering with badger sett - A POLICE officer was arrested for allegedly interfering with a badger sett at the same time his force was targeting the cruel sport of badger baiting. The man has since quit the force and is still being investigated by his former colleagues… (story)

Sunday Times 27.4.08 Morrissey condemns Edinburgh zoo's Budongo Trail - MARK MACASKILL - MORRISSEY, the pop singer and animal rights activist, has called for a boycott of the world's largest chimpanzee enclosure, which is due to open at Edinburgh Zoo next month. The former frontman of the Smiths has claimed that keeping primates in captivity is cruel and has urged parents to take their children to their local abattoir instead “for a lesson that no kid would ever forget”… In 2006, Morrissey said terror tactics were justified against those who conducted animal experiments because they had brought it upon themselves. He also singled out proudly carnivorous television chefs Jamie Oliver and Clarissa Dickson Wright as enemies of the animal rights movement… (story)

Independent on Sunday 27.4.08 How do you like your eggs? Read our undercover investigation into Britain's battery farming - The birds that spend their lives standing on wire mesh without enough space to turn around. Yet three out of five eggs we eat come from farms like these. Martin Hickman reports - Undercover investigators have filmed the ugly reality of egg production at a battery chicken farm supplying the biggest egg producer in the UK. Viewed from the air, Holsworthy Beacon Farm takes its place in an idyllic rural scene. But in its sheds, chickens are crammed five to a cage, stacked in rows from floor to ceiling. Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), which visited the farm in conjunction with The Independent on Sunday, found hens unable to spread their wings fully, nest, or exhibit other natural behaviour… (story)

26.4.08

Carlisle News & Star 26.4.08 Partridges saved ...by shooters - CUMBRIA’S wild grey partridge population is set to soar with the creation of a new county conservation group. About 60 farmers and landowners have met to talk about preserving the most rapidly declining farmland bird. Interest in the meeting far exceeded the expectations of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), which has already set up similar groups across the country…. (story)
Westmorland Gazette 5.4.08 Partridge recovery group launched By Paul Duncan - FARMERS and landowners in Cumbria and Lancashire are being urged to join a new group dedicated to the recovery of one of the UK's most threatened farmland birds Numbers of grey partridges have declined by 87 per cent over the last 40 years according to the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. In an attempt to address the situation, the trust is launching the Cumbria and Lancashire Grey Partridge Group at the village hall, Warwick on Eden, on April 24…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 2.4.08 Save the partridge - CUMBRIAN farmers are being urged to help save the endangered wild grey partridge. The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust is asking landowners in Cumbria and Lancashire to join a nationwide effort to conserve the rapidly declining species of native farmland bird. The trust is launching the Cumbria and Lancashire Grey Partridge Recovery Group in a bid to boost grey partridge numbers in the region... (story)

Norwich Evening News 26.4.08 Big-hearted anglers push the boat out - ROY WEBSTER - The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is better off by £1,000, thanks to the efforts of North Walsham's former international angler Jim Randell and his wife Barbara… The senseless and growing clamour from some angling circles and irresponsible commentators in the angling media to introduce an otter cull, could have far reaching and serious repercussions. So far the general public have largely supported anglers for they view the sport as Isaac Walton's gentle art. In addition anglers were further applauded when the majority refused to join the Countryside Alliance during the long drawn out debate on fox hunting… Fox hunting was banned because more than 70 per cent of the British people thought it was a cruel field sport. Otter hunting was prohibited long before that, also by the demand of the caring public who did not wish for one of their most treasured and engaging mammals to be threatened by extinction… (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 26.4.08 BADGERS TO GO AT GRAVEYARD - A Mother and son have won their battle to get a set of destructive badgers evicted from a graveyard.The badgers have been wrecking graves at St Lawrence Church in Swindon Village, tunnelling beneath headstones and plots. Widow Shirley Webb was shocked to discover holes up to 4ft deep surrounding her late husband's grave…. After a month of talks with the church, nearby landowners and conservationists, permission for a licence to remove the badgers looks set to be granted…. (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 19.4.08 BURROWING BROCK SETT FOR EVICTION - Badgers look set to be evicted from a graveyard.They have been wreaking havoc at St Lawrence Church in Swindon Village, tunnelling beneath headstones and plots, leaving memorials lopsided and holes in the turf. Widow Shirley Webb can no longer bring herself to visit her husband Jeff's grave, which is now surrounded by holes, some up to 4ft deep… Now, a month after the badgers began their disruption, the Webbs, along with the vicar the Rev David Eady and Gloucestershire Badger Group, are hoping they can get a licence to move the animals, which are a protected species… Badger group chairman Tony Dean said a badger family of between three and six had been living on the other side of the church wall for years… (story)

West Sussex County Times 26.4.08 Animal rights protesters descend on Horsham - ABOUT 300 animal rights protesters marched through Horsham on Saturday afternoon. There was a very strong police presence in the town as protesters marched from Horsham Park through neigbouring roads to pharmaceutical company Novartis. It is understood that the protest passed off peacefully with no reports of trouble… (story)
West Sussex County Times 25.4.08 Animal rights march - road closures announced - POLICE may close Horsham's Parsonage Road for an hour during an animal rights march tomorrow (Saturday April 26)… (story)
West Sussex County Times 16.4.08 Police plan for major animal rights demo - POLICE have moved to reassure Horsham residents and businesses in the build-up to a major animal rights demonstration planned for the town. Sussex Police has held talks with march organisers to encourage them to work with officers to ensure a peaceful and lawful protest. … The march through Horsham will start at 12.30pm on Saturday April 26…. (story)

Guardian 26.4.08 Donkeys in clover - but charity leaders call for a rethink - One animal sanctuary in Devon received £20m in 2006, more than several well-known charities supporting abused women - Lee Glendinning - In lush fields of dandelions above the sea in Devon, a white donkey stretches out luxuriously in the sun… Interest in the Devon Donkey Sanctuary was piqued this week by a report from the New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) showing that it received more in one year than several well-known charities working to combat violence against women did between them…. (story)

Guardian 26.4.08 'Once I went to the sanctuary, I became completely hooked' - Di Satterthwaite of Birchington in Kent has donated to the donkey sanctuary for more than 20 years… (story)

Glasgow Herald 26.4.08 Breeding animals is inefficient use of land - Alf Young (Comment, The Herald, April 25) rightly calls into question "the old certainties"…. Now food riots are spreading across the globe. Yet barely half of the world grain harvest goes to feed people. More than one-third goes to feed the burgeoning world herd of farmed animals… By choosing to eat a balanced, exciting plant-based diet, we can stop artificially breeding farmed animals. That will free up large quantities of food, so we can stop importing staple foods from abroad… Amanda Baker, Acock's Green, Birmingham (letter)

Ocean FM 26.4.08 Animal rights group welcomes petition against fur trade - Animal rights group Aliberation have today welcomed a move by The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade in Ireland to hand in a petition with 5,000 signatures to Minister for Agriculture, Mary Coughlan…. Spokesperson for the group Edmund Long, says many people are still surprised to learn there are fur-farms within the county (story)

25.4.08

Northern Echo 25.4.08 Birds of prey - YOU highlighted the campaign by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to protect birds of prey which are being illegally persecuted… What is undoubtedly true is that gamekeepers are still being prosecuted for the killing of birds of prey on grouse moor… It should be the grouse moor owners who are fined for encouraging the actions of their employees. Eric Gendle, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough (letter)

Cambridgeshire Times 25.4.08 WHITTLESEY: Four men admit hare coursing on private farmland - FOUR men who were caught hare coursing in Whittlesey have been ordered to pay fines and court costs totalling almost £2,800. The four men, three of whom are from Shropshire with the fourth unable to be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to hare coursing at Peterborough Magistrates' Court yesterday (Thursday, April 24)…. Steven White, 39, from Bilsden, Shropshire, was fined £750 and ordered to pay court costs of £75. Jonathon Smith, 20, from Bilsden, Shropshire, was fined £600 and ordered to pay court costs of £75. Kevin Hall, 30, from Bilsden, Shropshire, was fined £750 and ordered to pay court costs of £75. A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, was fined £375 and ordered to pay court costs of £75… (story)

Thurrock Gazette 25.4.08 Volunteers needed to protect the badger By Sacha Wells - THE Essex Badger Protection Group is looking for volunteers. The group, which was founded in Thurrock, is affiliated to The Badger Trust and has been in existence since the 1980s…. Chairman of the group, Frank Last said: "Spring is the time when badger cubs start to emerge from their underground setts and by July they will be able to forage for themselves… (story)

News Shopper 25.4.08 Cartoon activists - BUGS Bunny and Scooby Doo have been out and about to help raise the profile of alternatives to animal testing. The cartoon characters joined activists from animal welfare group Passive Pressure in Bromley High Street. Organiser Jan Yarker, 61, said: "Deliberately causing animals harm is wrong, so I have always been ethically opposed to animal testing… (story)

ANIMAL AID WORLD DAY FOR LAB ANIMALS LETTER
Driffield Post 25.4.08 Make your voice heard (letter)
Tamworth Herald 24.4.08 STAND UP AGAINST VIVESECTION Kate Fowler-Reeves, Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid (letter)
North Devon Journal 24.4.08 SPEAK OUT IN SUPPORT OF ANIMALS KATE FOWLER-REEVES, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1AW (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.4.08 RAISE YOUR VOICES AGAINST VIVISECTION - Compassionate people around the world will tomorrow speak out on behalf of the victims of vivisection. World Day for Laboratory Animals is a time to reflect upon the suffering of millions of mice, cats, monkeys, fish, rats, dogs, birds, rabbits, pigs, horses and many other species… Kate Fowler-Reeves, Head of campaigns, Animal Aid (letter)

Scotsman 25.4.08 Protecting species - It is hardly surprising that Iain Stephen of London Zoo believes zoos have an important part to play in stopping the extinction of amphibians (your report, 22 April). What is perhaps more illuminating is our 2007 report that showed that 13 of the most prestigious and "progressive" UK zoos… were keeping only 11 threatened species of amphibian between them… Born Free Foundation, Foundry Lane, Horsham, West Sussex (letter)

Oxford Times 25.4.08 Feathers fly over caged birds By Reg Little - FEATHERS were flying at Modern Art Oxford this week over its new exhibit, featuring a pair of peacocks in a gilded cage…. some visitors complained about birds being caged for the sake of art. And they accused MAO of making the two peacocks suffer in a misguided bid to stretch the boundaries of art… (story)

Argus 25.4.08 Learning to love our gull neighbours - Along with Tim McKenzie, from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, we at Inner-City Wildlife Concern believe that herring gulls are a colourful and special part of our coast… Gloria Wheatcroft, co-ordinator, Inner-City Wildlife Concern, Brighton and Hove area (story)

Bolton News 25.4.08 Spikey honoured for animal work - BOLTON comedian Dave Spikey is being honoured by the RSPCA for his work with animals. The star of Phoenix Nights will be presented with the James Newton Memorial trophy at a ceremony next week. The annual trophy is given in memory of a former RSPCA chairman for acts of compassion towards animals…. (story)

24.4.08

Western Gazette 24.4.08 TRIBUTES PAID TO A 'TRUE COUNTRYMAN' - Tributes have been paid to "a perfect gentleman and countryman", found dead in his car last week. The body of James Gilbert Palmer, aged 38, of Midelney, near Drayton, was discovered on Black Bridge in Muchelney where, according to friends, he spent a lot of time in his childhood… Julian Temperley of Somerset Cider Brandy said: "James was hugely loved by a very wide range of people from all different walks of life … "He rode with the Seavington and Taunton Vale hunts, and was renowned for his skill in handling even the most difficult horses and dogs with quiet patience and understanding," said Mrs Willey… (story)

Argus 24.4.08 Children and guns - I am writing in response to your headline: "Gun-totin' kids with a licence" (The Argus, April 19). I find the hypocrisy of Sussex Police absolutely staggering… David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks (letter)
Argus 23.4.08 Gun safety rules - In response to the article "Children, 9, handed gun licences" (The Argus, April 19) I would like to point out there is no relationship between the world of illegal gun crime, as made prominent by inner city shootings, and the legal and responsible sporting use of guns…. BASC believes that any decision about a young person's suitability to own a gun and to apply for a shotgun certificate should be left to their parents and the police… Helen Shuker, press officer, The British Association for Shooting and Conservation Northern Echo 24.4.08 Moorland vision - THE Moorland Association applauds the North York Moors National Park Authority for adopting the vision of the Moorland Working Group comprising those at the sharp end of managing this wonderful landscape….It is a delicate balancing act successfully to encourage people to visit and enjoy this unique area with all its wonderful wildlife and plants, while allowing the land management that created and sustains it to continue unhindered: primarily management for red grouse shooting and sheep farming… Simon Bostock, Chairman, Moorland Association, Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire (letter)

Ilkley Gazette 24.4.08 Duty to protect our moorland - Every inch of our small island is managed in some way and finding the balance between different land uses such as recreation, farming, wildlife, landscape and the cost of looking after it all, is the key. Bradford MBC has had 11 years to reconsider the best balance for Ilkley Moor and grouse moor management has come out on top… Shooting to protect seems to be a paradox, but it is a well proven scientific fact in terms of both moorland bird life and vegetation. Adrian Thornton-Berry - Moorland Association Representative for Yorkshire
Shooting threat - It's a great shame that a sensible decision 11 years ago to remove the shooting licence for Ilkley Moor has been overturned following the move to put the lease out to tender. You may wonder what concern this is of someone who doesn't live in Yorkshire, but as someone who lives on the edge of a shooting estate in Scotland, I know only too well the threat commercial shooting poses not only to local people, but also to wild and domestic animals…. I hope Ilkley's residents are prepared for the noise, disruption and danger which come with allowing shooting in an area such as Ilkley Moor Louise Robertson - Scotland Campaigner, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)

Tivyside Advertiser 24.4.08 Badgers found dead in Crymych - THE RSPCA is appealing for information after four dead badgers were found in a field near Crymych… (story)
Western Mail 23.4.08 Investigation into badger cull - THE RSPCA is investigating whether some farmers have taken a proposed cull of badgers into their own hands after four animals were found dead in a field… Tests were yesterday being conducted to find out whether the animals had been poisoned or gassed as there were no visible wounds on their bodies, the RSPCA said… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 23.4.08 ANIMAL WELFARE OFFICERS INVESTIGATE BADGER DEATHS - The Rspca was today investigating whether some people had taken a proposed cull of badgers into their own hands after four animals were found dead in a field.A member of the public discovered the dead badgers near Crymych, in Pembrokeshire… Gemma Black, an RSPCA inspector, said it was possible some people had decided to take matters into their own hands ahead of the cull, which has been strongly opposed by the charity… (story)
Western Telegraph 23.4.08 Dead badgers 'early cull' fears - The RSPCA is appealing for information after four dead badgers were found in a field near Crymych. A member of the public alerted the RSPCA to this incident on April 18th…. (story)
BBC News Online 22.4.08 Badger deaths are investigated - The RSPCA is investigating whether some farmers have taken a proposed cull of badgers into their own hands. Four animals were found dead in a field near Crymych, in Pembrokeshire on 18 April. Tests are being carried out on their bodies as there were no visible wounds on the badgers, the charity said… (story)

RSPCA BADGER CULL LETTER
South Wales Evening Post 24.4.08 BADGER CULL IS A NONSENSE - RSPCA Cymru (letter)
Western Mail 23.4.08 Cull makes no sense - The RSPCA is echoing the anger and dismay of top scientists provoked by the Minister for Rural Affairs’ outrageous and misinformed decision to opt for a badger cull to reduce bovine TB (bTB) in cattle… To voice your protest against a senseless badger cull, and add your voice to those of the UK’s eminent scientists and animal welfare experts, please contact your AM or write to Elin Jones, Minister for Rural Affairs… JOHN HANCOCK, RSPCA Regional Manager for Wales (letter)

Oxford Times 24.4.08 Activists target plumbers By Matt Wilkinson - Animal rights activists have targeted a plumbers' firm in a dispute over Oxford University's animal testing laboratory. The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claimed responsibility for spraying "Drop Oxford Uni" on shutters at Steve Rusk Plumbers, Wootton Road Industrial Estate, on an American website…. (story)

Scotsman 24.4.08 Help stop the suffering - Today is World Day for Laboratory Animals, an opportunity to highlight the fact that every year millions of animals worldwide are legally cut, burned, electrocuted, blinded, starved, suffocated, gassed, shot, poisoned or psychologically stressed in the name of "science"…. ROSS MINETT Advocates for Animals Queensferry Street Edinburgh (letter)

Tamworth Herald 24.4.08 CAGED ANIMALS DENIED THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM - I Am saddened to see that a circus still needs to use animals to pull a crowd…I would like any cat, dog, horse or any animal owner to think before they visit a circus, as any domesticated animal can have the freedom to be instinctively wild, but also have the benefit of going home to sleep in front of a warm fire, graze in a lush paddock or to gnaw on a bone bought by its owner. These caged animals have been denied the right to any life or freedom at all, they are only there for some human to earn money…. David Seeney (Via email) (story)

York Press 24.4.08 Bird welfare - COMPASSION In World Farming (CIWF), a leading farm animal welfare organisation, would like to thank the guests of Sarah and John Jackson's garden party at Flaxton, near York, for their kind donations…. Mary Horgan, Compassion In World Farming, River Court, Mill Lane, Godalming, Surrey (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 24.4.08 Get your squirrel facts right - I READ with interest your article ‘MP Calls For Inquiry To Save Red Squirrels’ (News & Star, April 19), in which David MacLean MP shows a poor understanding of the facts regarding the interaction of red and grey squirrels… There is no justification at all for this desire to trap and kill greys. Everything that has been said against them is propaganda by nativeness- obsessed conservationists… NEIL MACMILLAN, Meikle Boturich, nr Balloch, Dunbartonshire (story)

Walsall Advertiser 24.4.08 COUNCIL REFUSES ANIMAL CIRCUS A PITCH TO PERFORM - GEORGE MAKIN - Circus proprietors say a decision by councillors to refuse to rent land to a circus with performing animals amounts to an illegal ban. But the local authority denies it bans circuses despite highlighting animal welfare in a statement refusing an application to use the arboretum.The decision to not let the Bobby Roberts circus use the town centre park was taken last week by the borough's cabinet on advice of officers…. The decision has been attacked by the Circus Proprietors Association of Great Britain which said it amounts to a ban on animal circuses… (story)

23.4.08

Western Morning News 23.4.08 HUNT SHOW PROMISES 'BIGGER AND BETTER' - The Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt show promises to be even bigger and better this year, as they re-introduce side- saddle classes and spectacular main ring performances…. The show will also see a parade of hounds at midday, where children are welcome to enter the ring to stroke the hounds… (story)

BBC News Online 23.4.08 Warning over damage to crow traps - Interfering with legally set cage traps in the countryside is an offence and people will be charged, Tayside police have warned. It follows a case on an estate in Angus where the door was pulled off a cage and the crow inside released…. A person controlling carrion crows can legally shoot them, use cage traps or destroy their nests and eggs to stop them preying on other animals … Ross Minett, from Advocates for Animals, said: "Unfortunately different animal species are valued and therefore treated differently in our society…. (story)

BBC News Online 23.4.08 Police cracking down on poachers By Danny Savage - Police say the stereotype of poachers taking "one for the pot" is not true anymore. Now the National Wildlife Crime Unit is targeting the poachers to address what is seen as a growing problem…. (story)

Worcester News 23.4.08 Take action over cruelty of racing - If our local MP Mike Foster is so concerned about cruelty to animals, why doesn't he do something about horse racing? There must be many people who find the abuse of these beautiful animals, for the sake of the greed of man, very offensive…. MRS L ROBERTS, Worcester. (letter)

Croydon Advertiser 23.4.08 FOXES WREAK HAVOC IN SELSDON - A family of foxes are running riot in Selsdon and driving residents round the bend. The vixen and her two cubs have dug up gardens, attacked local dogs and kept people awake with their loud screeching…. Resident Anne Giles, 55, has contacted wildlife groups, Croydon Council and vermin control experts, but no one can help… "If they weren't in our gardens they would be lovely, but they attack my dog, bare their teeth and make a lot of noise, it can be quite frightening."… Wildlife consultant John Bryant is now helping the residents try to remove the foxes, but says he is facing a big challenge… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 23.4.08 Dump your animal tested products - APRIL sees the arrival once again of Laboratory Animal Week across the globe (April 19-26), when those concerned about the use of animals in laboratory tests will be taking action to help end the suffering. Everyone can help. This year, we are asking everyone to participate in a Compassionate Spring Clean… Everyone can help, by throwing out their animal-tested products, and only buying cruelty-free… JAN CREAMER, chief executive, National Anti-Vivisection Society. (letter)

Essex Echo 23.4.08 Circus protest - CAMPAIGNERS plan to picket Bobby Robert's Super Circus because of its use of animals. Southend Animal Aid will hold a daily protest outside the circus, held opposite the Anne Boleyn pub in Southend Road, Rochford…. (story)

22.4.08

Western Morning News 22.4.08 HUNTING 'COULD SAVE BIRDLIFE' - PAUL GREAVES - Hunting foxes and other wildlife predators can help ground-nesting birds to thrive, a new study shows. An eight-year study of moorland by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust has shown that controlling foxes, weasels, stoats and crows could be the best way of saving some bird species…. (story)

Glasgow Herald 22.4.08 Sorry story of 5000 snared mountain hares - Further to your report about the snaring of mountain hares (Police to probe claims of snaring at Cawdor estate, April 21), new figures show that the incidents on this estate are only the tip of a very large iceberg as thousands of mountain hares have been snared in breach of a licensing regime designed to protect the species from indiscriminate traps… The only sure way to eradicate the suffering and end the threat to non-target animals is to ban snaring altogether. Libby Anderson, Political Director, Advocates for Animals, 10 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)
Scotsman 22.4.08 Snare figures don't add up - Figures confirm thousands of mountain hares have been snared in breach of a licensing regime designed to protect the species from indiscriminate traps. A report by Scottish Natural Heritage shows that, of a total of 24,529 hares taken across 90 estates in 2006-7, 79 per cent had been shot, while 21 per cent – a staggering 5,078 animals – had been snared… The only sure way to eradicate the suffering is to ban snaring altogether. LIBBY ANDERSON, Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)

Western Mail 22.4.08 Breast cancer sufferers are hooked on Casting for Recovery by Steve Dube, Western Mail - Fourteen ladies (and Molly the spaniel mascot) enjoyed a weekend fly fishing retreat at Caer Beris Manor Hotel, Builth Wells, at the first Casting for Recovery event in Wales. The outdoor programme offers breast cancer sufferers fly fishing at retreats around the UK and Ireland…. Any woman who has experienced breast cancer is eligible to apply to attend a weekend retreat (with medical clearance from their doctor) and all accommodation, meals, counselling, and professional instruction are provided free with financial backing from the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Western Mail 22.4.08 Paddlers petition for right to roam on rivers by Steve Dube, Western Mail - CANOEISTS are petitioning the National Assembly to draw up a framework to cover all 350 rivers and 200 lakes of Wales. Nearly 10,000 people have signed up to a call for legislation that would echo the Scottish Land Reform Act, which gives open access to all waterways, echoing the right to roam on land…. (story)

Western Mail 22.4.08 Badger group launches legal bid to halt cull by Steve Dube, Western Mail - AN animal welfare group is to challenge plans for a trial cull of badgers in Wales. The Badger Trust says it has instructed solicitors to seek a judicial review of the Welsh Assembly Government’s decision to slaughter badgers as part of a programme of wide-ranging measures to eradicate bovine tuberculosis. Trust vice-chairman Jack Reedy said papers had been filed with the High Court, but refused to answer any questions… (story)
Western Mail 17.4.08 Badger Trust seeks judicial review of cull decision - Steve Dube, Western Mail - A CONSERVATION group yesterday announced it was seeking a judicial review of the Welsh Assembly Government’s badger cull decision. The Badger Trust has instructed solicitors to take action over WAG’s plan to slaughter badgers – as well as cattle – in a programme of wide-ranging measures to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (bTB)…. (story)

Western Mail 22.4.08 Facts of bovine TB - I have every sympathy with the argument presented by Jonathan T Clark in respect of bovine TB… However, no facts were laid out to support the theory that a badger cull would be effective in combating the disease or even that badgers are solely to blame for the spread of the disease in cattle… PAT LAMBETH (MRS) Independent Candidate, Pontllanfraith (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 22.4.08 BADGERING ON ABOUT TB ISSUE - I Find the Assembly's anti-science approach to the proposed badger cull deeply worrying and disturbing…. Modern livestock farming places an intolerable burden on all farmed animals. It is drastic improvements in animal welfare, not killing badgers, that will impact upon high levels of TB…. J Russell, Windmill Terrace, St Thomas, Swansea (letter)

Oxford Times 22.4.08 Student fined for throwing egg By Matt Wilkinson - A MAN has been fined for hurling an egg at animal rights protesters… (story)
Oxford Mail 22.4.08 Man fined for 'egg attack' By Matt Wilkinson - A man has been fined for hurling an egg at animal rights protesters. More than 400 protesters marched from at Oxpens through Oxford to South Parks Road on Saturday. A 20-year-old Oxford University student was arrested by police and given an £80 fixed penalty notice for throwing an egg…. (story)

Western Morning News 22.4.08 NFU CONCERN FOR HEDGEHOGS IS JUST SPIN - Last year the WMN published my letter, "Hogwash on hedgehogs", after the National Farmers' Union suggested a badger cull would be good for hedgehogs, which were being predated by badgers…. My letter suggested the NFU had no genuine interest in hedgehogs and that this was spin to support a bovine TB badger cull… The NFU should not insult serious conservation groups and an informed public by setting "evil Mr Brock" against "oh-so-sweet Mrs Tiggywinkle". We are just not that stupid, thank you - Theo Hopkins, Lifton (letter)

St Albans Observer 22.4.08 Circus denies animal cruelty By Alexandra Barham - A LEAFLET distributed in St Albans by mystery animal rights activists is full of wicked lies, a circus about to hit the district has insisted. Zippo Circus will be entertaining the St Albans with balancing acts, tight rope walkers and other magnificent stunts this month…. The campaigners say they are members of national charity The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS). The leaflet reads: "This is one of the few circuses in the country where animals are routinely forced to perform unnatural tricks... They are badly mistreated and routinely beaten in order to perform tricks… (story)

South Wales Argus 22.4.08 Turn veggie for the environment - Sir Paul - Turning vegetarian is the biggest change anyone could make in their lifestyle to help the environment, Sir Paul McCartney said today… (story)

WSPA GLOBAL ANIMAL WELFARE CAMPAIGN
Nottingham Evening Post 22.4.08 MP IN ANIMAL WELFARE MOVE - Broxtowe Mp Nick Palmer is urging Notts residents to back a campaign for a global animal welfare agreement . The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is lobbying the UN to give animals abroad the level of protection that they have in the UK…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 17.4.08 MP backs animal care bid - A CUMBRIAN MP is supporting a groundbreaking bid to which could improve the lives of animals worldwide. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is lobbying the United Nations to adopt a global agreement of animal welfare. If successful, animals abroad would be given the same protection as those in the UK – a move backed by the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, of which Carlisle MP Eric Martlew is chairman… a target=main href="http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/1.88471">(story)

21.4.08

Western Daily Press 21.4.08 HUNTS AND HUNT-NOTS - I found the Press' feature "Telling tales of country life" very interesting. I take issue with the hunting ban, though. You mention it was a toffs versus ruling class debate. Sadly, a "touch your forelock to the squire" mentality still exists…. They can still have the "horse and hounds" bit. Sadly, that is no enough. They are wrong, not the MPs. Pamela Dean, Stroud (letter)

Dunmow Broadcast 21.4.08 Red tape prevents fire crew rescuing dog - A JACK Russell dog trapped in a hole along the Flitch Way in Rayne couldn't be helped by fire crews on Saturday due to environmental protection laws. The brown and white small dog was trapped down a hole in Rayne on Saturday afternoon, but Braintree's fire crews were unable to intervene because it was discovered that the whole was in the entrance to a badger set. Under protection laws issued by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs crews are not allowed to take any action that would affect the set… Luckily Misty the dog resurfaced on Sunday night… (story)

20.4.08

Sunday Times 20.4.08 Police probe alleged wildlife crime at Cawdor - MARK MACASKILL - POLICE have been asked to investigate wildlife crime allegations at the Highland estate made famous by Shakespeare's Macbeth and now frequented by stars including Eric Clapton and the Beckhams. Animal rights campaigners said the remains of more than a dozen mountain hares, which are protected under EU law, were found last week on the Cawdor estate, near Inverness. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) alleges the animals were found in traps laid close to a special area of conservation known as Carn nan Tri-Tighearnan…. (story)

Scotland on Sunday 20.4.08 Animal activists accuse ministers of snaring deal By Eddie Barnes - ANIMAL rights campaigners have accused ministers of stitching together a back-room deal with Scotland's shooting lobby to allow the controversial practice of snaring to continue…. Advocates for Animals is now claiming shooting estates and farmers were handed "disproportionate influence" by Russell in the run-up to the decision. E-mails between the Scottish Government and the shooting and farming lobby, obtained by the pressure group, show how they were informed two weeks before Russell's statement that he would reject calls for a ban. By contrast, when he met Advocates for Animals ahead of the announcement he said he was "considering all the options"…. Among those who had lobbied him to resist a ban were the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (Scotland), NFU Scotland and the Scottish Countryside Alliance…. (story)

19.4.08

Yorkshire Post 19.4.08 From: John Garnett, Moorcock Lane, Darley, Harrogate - I CONFESS to enjoy the odd day grouse shooting. I can fully understand the moral argument for not shooting but I am still surprised at the ignorance of Louise Robertson (Yorkshire Post, April 15). I particularly enjoyed the comment, "And think of the noise from the endless shooting of guns". A syndicate would be very fortunate to have sufficient surplus of grouse to shoot more than a few days a year… (letter)
Yorkshire Post 18.4.08 Bring back grouse shooting, but remember other wildlife From: Gordon Hatton, Long Street, Topcliffe, Thirsk. I WAS interested to read the arguments for and against the re-introduction of grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor (Yorkshire Post, April 15). Having read the article, I find myself slightly in favour of grouse shooting as the points made by Phil Pugh seem rather more convincing than those made by Louise Robertson…
From: Adrian Thornton-Berry, Moorland Association representative for Yorkshire. I CONGRATULATE the paper on seeking both sides of the argument of the re-introduction of red grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor. One point that went unanswered, however, was the accusation by the League Against Cruel Sports that grouse moor managers, through "techniques such as burning and gripping... can release carbon into the atmosphere". Firstly, no one is gripping moors in this day and age… Secondly, well managed moorland for grouse shooting has been proven to actually lock up carbon rather than releasing it according to the Carbon Accounting for Land Managers' (CALM) tool…. (letters)
Yorkshire Post 15.4.08 The great grouse debate... is shooting a sport or just slaughter on the moor? - Grouse shooting looks set to return to Ilkley Moor after 11 years, but is the decision by Bradford Council to invite tenders from syndicates for a 10-year lease a cause for celebration or a backward step towards animal cruelty? We asked those for and against to put their case. THE CASE IN FAVOUR: Phil Pugh, British Association of Shooting and Conservation's regional director for the North of England… THE CASE AGAINST: Louise Robertson, League Against Cruel Sports… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 19.4.08 BADGER CULL IS 'CRUEL' - An eco-friendly council candidate has branded an Assembly plan to cull badgers as "cruel, unnecessary and scientifically unsound".Peter Jones, Green Party candidate for Killay South, has condemned the Assembly Government's proposed cull of badgers in Wales…. (story)

The Sentinel 19.4.08 CELEBRITY COUPLE AT FOREFRONT OF CHARITY - Tv Presenter Wendy Turner-Webster is an animal rights campaigner and patron of charity Viva.Wendy, who was born in Norton with older sister Anthea, is well-known as the face of BBC1's Pet Rescue. Before a career on television, Wendy worked in commercial radio, writing and producing commercial scripts and fronting on-air features…. (story)

18.4.08

Belfast Telegraph 18.4.08 Why Cowen is wrong on coursing - As a campaigner against live animal baiting, I will not be celebrating Minister Brian Cowen's accession to high office. He is one of the country's most ardent and influential supporters of live hare coursing. And he will soon be directing our future as a nation…. JOHN FITZGERALD, Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports (letter)

Country Life 18.4.08 CA attacks RSPCA over squirrel cull - Alan Boyles - The Countryside Alliance (CA) says the RSPCA's opposition to a grey squirrel cull reveals a flawed logic. Rob Atkinson, head of wildlife science at the RSPCA, said: 'It's ethically dubious killing one species for the sake of another…,Simon Hart, chief executive of the CA, says this reveals an alarming ignorance of wildlife management. He says population management, whether eradicating mink to save water voles or culling deer to protect habitats, is a vital conservation tool… (story)

Helensburgh Advertiser 18.4.08 Cardross campaigner calls for an end to country's top race By Rachel Lamb - An animal rights campaigner has called for the Grand National to be axed after three horses died on the famous racetrack last week. Cardross man John Robins, a representative of Animal Concern Advice Line, branded the world famous steeplechase — which takes place at Aintree, near Liverpool — inhumane and urged Merseyside Police to stop it going ahead next year… (story)

Oxford Mail 18.4.08 Stop whipping - I am concerned about the use of the whip, which is used by jockeys to speed horses…. Surely, with the power of your newspaper, you should be helping to stamp out this violence? I believe you should be ashamed of yourself for glorifying the use of the whip in racing so openly. BILL GOODWIN Pebble Hill Radley (letter)

17.4.08

Western Gazette 17.4.08 WOMAN FEARS DEAD FOX IS INTIMIDATION - A Hunt monitor from West Coker said she will not be intimidated after finding a dead fox on the bonnet of her car. Helen Weeks, who lives at West Coker Hill, made the gruesome discovery of the bloodied corpse outside her house on Sunday morning.Shocked and distressed, Mrs Weeks said she was convinced it was an attempt at intimidation by pro-hunt campaigners. But after 15 years of fighting for justice for foxes, she said she would not be giving up now… (story)
Western Daily Press 14.4.08 HUNTERS' SICK STUNT IS MEANT TO SCARE ME OFF BY NICHOLA JONES - An animal rights campaigner has accused pro-hunt supporters of intimidation tactics after a dead fox was dumped on the roof of her car this weekend. Hunt monitor Helen Weeks, from West Coker, near Yeovil, was left shaken and distressed when she and husband Paul discovered the creature's bloody corpse outside her house yesterday morning… In a chilling twist, the fox disappeared minutes after Mr and Mrs Weeks had made the grim discovery and filmed the macabre scene for evidence to give to the police - suggesting the culprits had been hiding nearby, waiting for the couple to find the body…. (story)

Ilkley Gazette 17.4.08 Resumption of grouse shooting - I was both shocked and appalled by the news that grouse shooting is going to be allowed on Ilkley Moor…. G Winn Middleton,Ilkley
Gunshots on moor - I, too, am appalled that grouse shooting can be allowed to be carried out and on such a public area as Ilkley Moor…. Sue Huggins Regular visitor to Ilkley and its Moor
Managing moor - I am delighted that Bradford Council is taking bold action to reintroduce gamekeepers on Ilkley Moor…. Andrew Wade Burley Woodhead (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 12.4.08 Shooting plans for moor are ‘barbaric’By Michael Black - A plan to re-introduce grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor has been attacked as barbaric' by animal welfare campaigners…. Animal Aid campaigner Fiona Pereira said…. Chairman of West Yorkshire Animals in Need, Ilkley man Oliver Townsend… (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 11.4.08 Say no to return of cruel "sport" - I was born and raised in Shipley and was shocked to read that shooting might return to Ilkley Moor….. Judi Hewitt, Hadley Crescent, Rhyl, Denbighshire, North Wales
I was sad to read that Bradford Council is drawing up plans to allow the shooting of grouse on Ilkley Moor. This means they support people who kill birds for fun in the name of sport… J Cosway, Hill Foot, Shipley
It's a great shame that a sensible decision 11 years ago to remove the shooting license for Ilkley Moor has been overturned following the move to put the lease out to tender… as someone who lives on the edge of a shooting estate in Scotland, I know only too well the threat commercial shooting poses not only to local people, but also to wild and domestic animals…. Louise Robertson, Scotland Campaigner, League Against Cruel Sports, Union Street, London (letters)

Times 17.4.08 Malta bird-hunters become prey as volunteers try to stop slaughter - DAVID CHARTER IN BRUSSELS AND AUSTIN SAMMUT IN VALLETTA - Hunters who are willing to defy an international ban and shoot thousands of birds as they migrate from Africa to mainland Europe are being confronted by furious bird lovers in Malta… According to International Animal Rescue Malta, last year gunmen claimed thousands of finches, quail and turtle doves as well as kestrels, hobbies, honey buzzards, owls, marsh harriers and a rare lesser spotted eagle… Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said: “From our perspective, Malta has been contravening European law ever since they acceded to the EU… (story)

Cornishman 17.4.08 CULLING BADGERS IS NOT THE WAY FORWARD - Roger driver West Cornwall Badger Group Newmill - Richard Angove (Farming, April 10) reports that the 'NFU welcomes Welsh assembly TB announcement' that includes a 'pilot cull of badgers'.Why support more experiments? DEFRA has already conducted extensive 'trials' in England… Unlike the proposed Welsh 'pilot', the DEFRA Randomised Badger Culling Trials were a properly conducted scientific process that concluded "that badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the future control of cattle TB in Britain."… (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 17.4.08 BOVINE TB DEBATE REACHES NEW LOW - The great badgers and bovine TB debate has after 37 years now achieved a new low in Alice in Wonderland virtual reality.Tragically, the EFRA committee, which includes David Drew, reported in February backing yet another badger cull, and last Tuesday, the Welsh Assembly has agreed to a cull, which may well give Uncle Benn the green light for yet more slaughter in England… M Hancox, Stroud (letter)

South Wales Echo 17.4.08 Blame the farming industry, not badgers, for TB - THE plan to kill badgers to supposedly stop the spread of tuberculosis in cattle is a cruel and misguided attempt to place the blame somewhere other than where it belongs – with the meat and dairy industries… Defra’s recent survey found that 95% of British people oppose a badger cull, and our plan is more scientifically sound than killing the region’s native species, who belong there, while the cattle don’t. Alexia Weeks, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (letter)

The Forester 17.4.08 FIRST BADGER CULL TOOK PLACE IN 1975 - I Feel compelled to correct inaccurate comments made by Christine Martyn in her Farming Matters column… it was not until 1971 that a MAFF (now Defra) vet picked up, and carried out a post mortem examination of a road casualty badger and discovered it was infected with bovine TB. The first culling of badgers did not take place until 1975! The fact that the NFU were celebrating this virtual elimination of bTB in 1958 as stated by Mrs Martyn, was as a result of very stringent cattle controls, and had nothing whatsoever to do with badgers… Steve ClarkChairman, Gwent Badger Group (letter)

The Forester 17.4.08 MISTAKEN CLAIMS ON BOVINE TUBERCULOSIS - Christine Martyn quite rightly tells your readers, that blaming badgers for the spread of bovine TB, is a contentious issue… There is absolutely no evidence to prove that badgers infect any animals other than their own kind… If badgers are to be condemned and convicted, will someone please offer firm evidence other just citing environmental association. Albert Weager Coalway (letter)

West Briton 17.4.08 BADGER SETT FEAR FAILS TO HALT RELIEF ROAD TESTS - A wildlife lover's attempt to have test drilling stopped near badger setts in Truro failed when operators said they had the necessary paperwork. Maggie Francis, from Devoran and a member of Badger Group South West, went down to the railway line below County Hall last week where a team was carrying out tests on the route of a planned £34 million relief road.She wanted to stop them from continuing as not only were there badger setts in the vicinity, especially on the side of the railway embankment, but it was also the breeding season…. However, Maggie, accompanied by West Briton environmental writer Colin Gregory, failed to stop the drilling continuing…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.4.08 ETHICAL M - I Was wondering if your readers had noticed that Marks & Spencer are now approved by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV)… We now buy household products, which includes soaps, cleaning fluids and even cosmetics, from Marks & Spencer. Mike Barrett Churchdown Gloucester (story)

Tamworth Herald 17.4.08 BOYCOTT CIRCUS, SAY ANIMAL ACTIVISTS - LINDSEY SMITH - A Pressure group which opposes the use of animals in entertainment is calling on people to boycott a circus which is due to perform in the Kingsbury area this week. The Captive Animals Protective Society (CAPS) is asking locals to oppose the Great British Circus, which was expected to stage daily performances on land opposite the village of Lea Marston. Paul Thomas, spokesman for CAPS, contacted the Herald and said: "It's time to end the outdated practice of forcing animals to perform for our amusement…. (story)

Liverpool Echo 17.4.08 No apology given - IT was very distressing to read the article ‘Rescue Us, Says Animal Shelter’ (ECHO, April 8) Many people, including myself, have reason to be very grateful to the dedicated staff at Freshfields. The raid on their premises was totally unnecessary and nothing was found… Mary Morris, Burscough (letter)

Lancashire Telegraph 17.4.08 Bullfighting shows a lack of dignity - THE letters (LT, April 12) from Mrs L Jackson informed us regarding the horror and cruelty of bullfighting and to be encouraged by the European Parliament and EU members is incomprehensible. I wholeheartedly condemn this barbaric bloodsport…. MRS SHEILA BRENNAN, Bombay Street, Blackburn (letter)

16.4.08

Halifax Courier 16.4.08 Nights Reynard came to call... WE are forever reading letters in Your say about cruelty to foxes – nothing about the cruelty of foxes to other animals. The anti-hunters get the Gov-ernment to ban fox hunting – the same Government that sends our lads out to kill or be killed… I as a seven-year-old, along with my family had a visit from Reynard who, without any, mercy, bit off the heads of six of our prize show rabbits…. D V Riley, Small Lees Road, Ripponden (letter)

Midweek Herald 16.4.08 Hunt upset couple on weekend stroll - Whilst out for a pleasant walk down the road by the river near Cloakham with my partner over the weekend, I was alarmed to see the hunting fraternity with their hounds chasing and killing rabbits - totally inhumane and barbaric was the spectacle… D Simpson, Axminster (letter)

Galway Independent 16.4.08 Why do pro-hunters not put name to letters? - As a final right to reply to the pro-hunters who wrote to this paper, I have only this to say. I had the backbone to put my name and address on my anti-hunting letter. I wonder why the pro-hunters did not do likewise?... Alison Herbert, Ballybrit Heights, Galway (letter)
Galway Independent 16.4.08 Brave hunters can't put names to letters - What brave hunters both letter writers from last week's Galway Independent are! They feel so strongly about the subject that they decide not to have their names published!... Muriel Hayden, Graigabbey, Athenry, Co. Galway (letter)
Galway Independent 2.4.08 Anti-blood lobbyists would better spend their time preventing human death - Again, it was with great disappointment that your paper chose to include two letters hammering the anti-blood sports doctrine down all our throats, without publishing any alternative opinion… The anti-blood lobby would try to apply human emotions on nature, when human emotions just don't exist… We are the guardians of our environment. We will ultimately fight to maintain our connection to it. Anti-blood lobbyists would spend their time better by writing to the HSE to prevent human death and leave the countryside to the people who know most about it. Yours, Name withheld (letter)
Galway Independent 2.4.08 Hunting groups have raised money for charity, what have anti-hunting done? - I am writing in response to the two letters published in your paper of Wednesday 17 March last, which followed the debate in NUI, Galway 'That this house would ban hunting'. Both letters were misleading and misrepresented the debate. An anti-hunting activist attempted early on to disrupt proceedings and after several interruptions was on the point of being ejected from the hall before anyone from the pro hunting side had even spoken…. Even when hunts raise money for charity and in the last 12 years our hunt alone has raised over €300,000 for various local charities, we are criticised by letters to newspapers and the charities who benefit from our efforts receive calls and letters telling them that they should not accept our 'dirty' money. I wonder how much money any of the anti hunting groups have raised to help others… Yours faithfully, Name and address with the Editor (letter)
Galway Independent 26.3.08 Hunting debate ignites passion and sensitivity on both sides - I feel compelled to respond to the letters on Wednesday 12 March by Muriel Hayden and A. Herbert in relation to the hunting debate held in NUI, Galway on Wednesday 5 March. Firstly, both letters stated that my Ph.D. research was based solely on UK figures… my research is entirely based on the economic and habitat conservation impacts of hunting in the Republic of Ireland and that there was no mention of any figures from the UK in this regard… neither I, nor any other government or non-government organisation dealing with wildlife issues in this country knows the exact population of foxes in Ireland….. David Scallan, Headford Road, Galway (letter)
Galway Independent 12.3.08 Only thing to be learned from hunting debate is that hunters are bullies - I attended a debate 'That this house would ban hunting' on Wednesday 5 March in NUI, Galway.... One of the main points made by the pro-hunters was that they were doing the country a favour by controlling the numbers of foxes. However one PhD student stated that he does not know how many foxes are actually in Ireland... The pro-hunting audience continuously heckled, jeered, interrupted and booed at every anti-hunt speaker... Muriel Hayden, Graigabbey, Athenry, Co Galway (letter)
Galway Independent 12.3.08 Until we stop harming other living beings, we are still savages - When is a debate not a debate? When one side of the debate seeks to bully and intimidate the other side into submission. This was certainly the case at last week's NUIG Inter-Societies Debating Forum when many of those supporting the motion for the debate 'That This House Would Ban Hunting' were laughed at and ridiculed by the opposing faction… A Herbert, Ballybrit, Galway (letter)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 16.4.08 Gun licences for children as young as EIGHT - Children as young as eight have been granted shotgun licences in Northamptonshire, raising serious safety concerns. Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed a total of 65 firearms or shotgun licences were given to children under the age of 18 in the county over the past two years… Zanna Maison, of Mothers Against Guns, said: "I'm shocked and disgusted that police are giving out certificates… Jill Marshall Andrews, of the Gun Control Network, said: "We should be trying to make guns less available to the young, not more." (letter)

BBC News Online 16.4.08 Bird poisoning clampdown 'needed' - More needs to be done to prevent the poisoning of birds of prey in Scotland, police and prosecution inspectors said. It said some parts of the country, such as Grampian and Tayside, had been working to clamp down on the illegal activity on lucrative grouse moors…. The joint publication of the report, by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Inspectorate of Prosecution, also urged ministers to put a new national plan in place to combat the problem…. (story)

Northern Echo 16.4.08 Hen harriers - YOUR story, "Sightings urged in study of rare bird of prey" (Echo, Apr 11), about hen harriers, should be put into context. Although hen harrier numbers are low in England, they are probably higher today than at any time in living memory…The challenge is how to host an increase in hen harriers without destroying the jobs of the gamekeepers who look after the moors and thereby preserve the chief nesting habitat of some of our best-loved birds, including curlew and golden plover… A Mitchell, on behalf of the National Gamekeepers' Organisation, Barnard Castle, County Durham. (story)

Whitehaven News 16.4.08 ‘Sack chairman or I’ll ban your trails’ By Alan Irving - A FARMER at Cold Fell near Ennerdale has banned hound trailing on land over which he has grazing rights. The ban imposed by George Bradley, of Low Cock How, Kinniside, will stop trails at Cleator Moor Sports in July and others in the district unless his wrangle with the Whitehaven Area HTA can be resolved. He has called for the resignation of the area committee’s long-serving chairman, Tommy Newall. “If Mr Newall steps down I will lift the ban,” said George Bradley…. (story)

WELSH BADGER CULL
Daily Post 16.4.08 AMs vote for badger cull by Tom Bodden, Daily Post - PLANS for a pilot cull of badgers in a hotspot for bovine TB in Wales were overwhelmingly backed by AMs yesterday… But in a free vote AMs supported the cull, with 12 votes against and two abstentions… (story)
Western Mail 15.4.08 No badger cull site named yet by Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE site of the first ever cull of badgers in Wales will probably not be known until the autumn. A Welsh Assembly Government spokeswoman said the announcement last week by Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones of a cull of badgers in a pilot area signalled the start of work on various elements of a comprehensive package of measures to eradicate bovine tuberculosis in Wales…. (story)
Western Mail 15.4.08 More action needed for bovine tuberculosis by Steve Dube, Western Mail - After being virtually eliminated in Britain in the 1950s, bovine tuberculosis has turned into an epidemic since resurfacing in the late 1970s… (story)
Western Mail 15.4.08 Minister hoping badger cull doesn't cost votes by Steve Dube, Western Mail - RURAL Affairs Minister Elin Jones has certainly “grasped the nettle” over bovine tuberculosis in ordering a cull of badgers. She must be hoping now that she doesn’t get stung too badly by the electorate… Killing cattle has not solved the problem, and the badger’s role can only be tested by a tightly-controlled pilot cull, however savage that might seem. Elin Jones is brave enough to grasp the nettle (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 15.4.08 FRESH CALL FOR MASS CULL OF TB BADGERS - Landowners in the South West are pressing the Government to take a more vigorous approach to eradicating bovine tuberculosis…. (story)
Gloucestershire Gazette 14.4.08 Animal protection groups defend the badger against a cull By Liza-Jane Gillespie - BADGER protection groups have said a cull on the animal is not the solution to stopping the spread of bovine tuberculosis… Simon Hacker, spokesman for Stop War on Badgers, an animal welfare group based in Wotton-under-Edge, said: "Widespread and sanctioned killing of badgers, as opposed to the underhand killing that's already going on, will achieve a big fat zero, save placating farming's hardcore reactionaries." Tony Dean, from the Gloucestershire Badger Group, said: "If they do go ahead with a cull it will be in the face of all science, strong science that proves culls don't work…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 13.4.08 Farmers renew calls for badger cull as bovine TB risk rises - As bovine TB reaches crisis point, anguished farmers are lining up to demand a badger cull… "There'll only be a cull over my dead body," says Tony Dean, chairman of the Gloucestershire Badger Trust and, at 75, one of the country's most experienced badger-watchers…. "There will be mass protest, farmers' markets will be boycotted. It won't be pleasant." (story)
Sunday Times 13.4.08 Pity the man who has to give the badger execution order - On one side the nation’s farmers; on the other, Jilly Cooper and David Attenborough. As Roland White finds, badger culling is not black and white… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 12.4.08 CONTROVERSIAL CULL IS 'WASTE OF TIME' - A Swansea animal charity has hit out at the Assembly Government for ordering a cull of badgers in a bid to stamp out bovine tuberculosis.A link between bovine TB in cattle and the disease in wildlife has been confirmed by an Assembly report… But staff and volunteers at the Llys Nini Animal Centre in Penllergaer have rubbished the findings, calling it "a colossal mistake", and adding that culling badgers would not reduce the spread of the disease. John Avizienius, deputy head of farm animal science at the RSPCA, said: "This decision flies in the face of sound scientific judgement… (story)
Evening Leader 12.4.08 Protests as badgers face a cull to halt spread of TB By Kate Forrester - AN ANNOUNCEMENT that badgers will be culled in Wales to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis has sparked widespread controversy across Flintshire… A spokesman for Clwyd Badger Group said: "We are absolutely devastated that this decision has been taken…. (story)
Wrexham Leader 11.4.08 Protests as badgers face a cull to halt spread of TB By Kate Forrester - AN ANNOUNCEMENT that badgers will be culled in Wales to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis has sparked widespread controversy across Flintshire… the announcement has been welcomed by the Farmers' Union of Wales…. A spokesman for Clwyd Badger Group said: "We are absolutely devastated that this decision has been taken…. (story)
Times 10.4.08 Badgers - the untouchables - It's only legislation from decades ago that makes half a million badgers a protected species - ROSS CLARK - I have an evolutionary theory that occurred to me while, minding my own business, I was attacked by a demented swan. It is this: the greater the number of laws preventing a beast from harm, the more nastily and bloody-mindedly it will behave…. none has mastered this equation better than the badger. Earlier this week the Welsh Assembly announced that it was to license a limited badger cull in a desperate attempt to control the spread of bovine TB, which killed 21,000 cattle in Wales last year. To judge by the reaction from animal welfare groups, one might conclude the Assembly had approved the slaughter of the first-born…. (story)
Daily Post 10.4.08 Leave badger culling to us, minister warns farmers by Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - TARGETED badger culls in Wales will not be a licence for farmers to take matters into their own hands, rural affairs minister Elin Jones has warned… In Wales NFU Cymru praised Elin Jones for “grasping the nettle”. Union president Dai Davies said: “This is a classic example of the need to endure short term pain for long-term gain… Badger supporter John Brander, from Brentwood, Essex, yesterday contacted Farm & Country to say he was cancelling plans to holiday in Wales this summer in protest (story)
Denbighshire Free Press 10.4.08 Badger cull 'will not stop TB spread' - CULLING badgers will not stop the spread of bovine TB and could even make the problem worse, according to wildlife experts…. Gwent Badger Group chairman Steve Clarke said that this would do little to solve a problem as he believes cattle are equally responsible for spreading…. Gwent Wildlife Trust chief executive Julian Branscombe said that culling would merely spread the disease…. (story)
South Wales Evening Post 9.4.08 ASSEMBLY SET TO IMPLEMENT £27M TB CULL - The Assembly Government is planning to spend £27 million in an attempt to wipe out tuberculosis in cattle.Conservationists have urged ministers to reject the idea, while farming unions say it is the only way to get to grips with a disease that is rife in parts of rural Wales… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 8.4.08 BADGER CULL IN TB HOTSPOT - A badger cull pilot zone will be set up in a bovine TB hotspot to help combat the spread of the disease in Wales, it was announced today. The Assembly Government said it had not made a final decision about where the cull will be carried out or what method will be used… (story)
Telegraph 9.4.08 First badger cull for 20 years to tackle TB By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - The first systematic cull of badgers in Britain for two decades has been announced as part of a new strategy to wipe out tuberculosis in cattle. The "milestone" decision to kill badgers and other wildlife that act as a reservoir for the disease was announced by Elin Jones, the Welsh rural affairs minister at the Welsh Assembly, after the country's chief vet declared the disease "out of control"…. But Trevor Lawson, for Badger Trust Cymru, said: "This cynical culling proposal is sacrificial politics at its worst… (story)
Guardian 9.4.08 Wales prepares for badger cull - James Meikle - Ministers in Wales yesterday prepared the way for targeted culls of badgers in areas where cattle are at high risk of TB, putting ministers in England under renewed pressure to decide quickly on whether similar measures should go ahead…(story)
Times 9.4.08 Badgers must die to halt bovine TB - VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - The popular portrayal of the badger as a stern but shy mainstay of British wildlife was revised dramatically yesterday by orders for the first cull of the animal in a quarter of a century… The RSPCA also condemned the decision and said it flew in the face of sound scientific judgment. Rob Atkinson, its head of wildlife science, said: “We are not a bunch of badger-huggers. Our opposition to a badger cull is based on solid science, not sentiment.”….(story)
Yorkshire Post 9.4.08 Badger culling scheme to be piloted in bovine TB hotspot - Badgers will be killed in a pilot project to reduce tuberculosis in cattle. Farmers welcomed a controversial decision by the Welsh Assembly Government to approve a cull in a bovine TB hotspot…. (story)
South Wales Argus 8.4.08 BREAKING NEWS...Badger cull go-ahead - A badger cull pilot zone will be set up in a bovine TB hotspot to help combat the spread of the disease in Wales, it was announced this afternoon…. (story)
South Wales Argus 9.4.08 South Wales Argus 9.4.08 ARGUS COMMENT: Badger cull is appalling - THE National Assembly has made a huge mistake in bowing to pressure from the farming lobby by setting up a badger cull. Even though the proposed cull would be limited to one pilot area we are disgusted by the short sightedness and sheer inhumanity of it… This is an awful decision and we hope there will be a massive public backlash which will, hopefully, persuade the cabinet in Cardiff Bay to change its mind (story)
Western Daily Press 9.4.08 BADGERS TO BE CULLED IN HUGE AREA OF WALES BY JANET HUGHES - Welsh politicians have agreed to wipe out badgers within a large area to find out if a widespread cull will eradicate TB in cattle.The Welsh Assembly took the controversial decision yesterday after vets told them the spread of bovine TB is out of control and the current policy could cost taxpayers £30 million a year by 2012… Farming leaders welcomed the news but it angered animal rights groups and the RSPCA, whose deputy head of farm animal science, John Avizienius, said: "This decision flies in the face of sound scientific judgment…(story)
South Wales Evening Post 9.4.08 BADGER CULL TO COMBAT TB SPREAD - A Badger cull pilot zone is to be set up in a bovine TB hotspot to help combat the spread of the disease.The Assembly Government said it had not made a final decision about where the cull will be carried out or what method will be used…. Farmers' Union of Wales badger expert, Evan R Thomas, of Carmarthen, said: "I support the culling of badgers…. Steve Clarke, from Badger Trust Cymru, said a 10-year study concluded that culling badgers would make no meaningful contribution in controlling TB among cattle… (story)
Western Morning News 9.4.08 BADGER CULL 'SENSIBLE WAY FORWARD' - MATT CHORLEY LONDON EDITOR - Westcountry farmers last night pleaded with ministers to make a decision on eradicating TB in cattle after Welsh politicians ordered a cull of badgers to tackle the disease over the border. The Welsh Assembly Government said a badger cull pilot zone would be set up in a bovine TB "hot spot" to help combat the spread of the disease in Wales…. (story)
Daily Post 9.4.08 Pilot scheme to cull badgers in Wales - BADGERS will be culled as part of a £27m plan to eradicate bovine TB in Wales. Rural affairs minister Elin Jones yesterday announced a targeted cull of badgers in a hotspot area as an initial pilot scheme…. (story)
Western Mail 9.4.08 A badger cull is the way to eradicate ‘out of control’ bTB, declares Minister by Steve Dube, Western Mail - BADGERS are to be slaughtered in Wales as part of an attempt to eradicate bovine tuberculosis. The move is part of a package of measures announced by Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones yesterday in a three-year £27m programme to beat a disease that led to the slaughter of nearly 8,000 cattle last year at a cost of £15.2m in compensation payments to farmers… Badger Trust spokesman Trevor Lawson called it “a sacrificial cull”, not a scientific on… (story)
BBC News Online 8.4.08 Minister plans pilot badger cull - A "targeted cull" of badgers has been announced as part of a plans in Wales to eradicate tuberculosis in cattle. The location of the area and details of the cull have yet to be decided. The Welsh Assembly Government's plan includes a one-off test of all cattle and a review of the compensation system, rural affairs minister Elin Jones announced… NFU Cymru and the Farmers' Union of Wales have welcomed the plans unveiled by Ms Jones to take a proactive approach to controlling bovine TB in Wales… Trevor Lawson for Badger Trust Cymru said the assembly government had "cherry-picked the scientific evidence which suits the powerful farming lobby in Wales"…. (story)

Cambrian News 16.4.08 Badger culling plan makes me ashamed to be Welsh - Madam, My friends and I are horrified and disgusted with the decision of the Welsh Assembly to cull badgers… If the culling goes ahead I will be ashamed of being Welsh. Yours etc, Jean Wynne, 16 Skinner Street, Aberystwyth (letter in archive)

Brentwood Gazette 16.4.08 BONES 'LEFT IN BUCKETS' IN CEMETERY SCANDAL - KATHY CANHAM - Human remains have been dug up in Brentwood's largest cemetery - and not one relative has been informed. Council chiefs have admitted they have not informed families whose loved ones' graves have been disturbed by badgers. Worse still, that their bones still remain in storage. The situation at the Brentwood Borough Council owned cemetery in London Road, Brentwood, has only come to light after a witness reported his concerns to the Gazette….The activity of badgers was discovered last year when the council took immediate steps to prevent further damage to any of the graves. But the badgers' status as a protected species means that any methods of control are strictly governed by Defra and work has had to stop…"There was a complete skull, complete jaw bone, parts of a skull and ribs. They had all been collected up into a couple of buckets…. (story)
Brentwood Gazette 16.4.08 SECRET IS A GRAVE ERROR - Rest in peace. These are not just words. It's what should happen to our loved ones when we bury them - at the very least for our living memory.So this week's front page about graves being dug up by badgers and the bones being collected in buckets is truly shocking…. Firstly, why have the families not been informed beforehand? They should not be reading about it for the first time through the pages of the Gazette… Isn't this a ridiculous example of animal rights over human rights? Badgers may be seen as cuddly and cute. But if I saw one of them digging up my grandmother's bones, the decision would be easy. If this is happening in cemeteries across Essex, as has been suggested, then the law needs to be examined - and quickly… Too often in this society, animal rights are put before human rights because the animal concerned appeals to the hearts of the public. If these were rats, would we be so forgiving? (story)

Independent 16.4.08 Orcas are only one threat to seals - In his article about orcas catching seals in Scottish waters (14 April) Michael McCarthy is probably right to say that this natural predation is contributing to the dramatic decline is seal numbers over recent years… it would be very foolish to accept that this is nature taking its course when there is still a great deal of human interference which threatens the whole marine ecosystem. Thousands of seals are legally shot by fishery and fish farming interests every year….. John F Robins, Save Our Seals Fund Dumbarton (letter)

Scotsman 16.4.08 Seal persecution must end - While the contribution of killer whales to the alarming decline of populations of harbour seals around the northern coasts of Scotland remains to be shown (your report, 15 April), it is estimated that fish-farm companies and fishermen shoot and drown thousands of seals every year…. ROSS MINETT Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)

Independent 16.4.08 Minister ignorant of slaughter methods - Lord Rooker shows an ignorance of slaughter methods in general and in particular of Shechita, the Jewish religious humane method of animal slaughter, which is disappointing for the minister responsible for farming and animal welfare… It is quite irresponsible for a government minister to make such a statement without a full grasp of the facts. Shimon Cohen, Shechita UK, London NW1 (letter)
Independent 7.4.08 Halal and kosher meat should not be slipped in to food chain, says minister By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent - Halal and kosher meat should be labelled when it is put on sale so the public can decide whether they want to buy food from animals that have bled to death, the Food and Farming minister says. Lord Rooker said all meat from animals killed by slitting their throats should be marked, allowing customers to decide whether the suffering troubled their consciences. "I object to the method of slaughter," he said…. (story)

SHEEP SHEARING BANNED FROM KENT COUNTY SHOW
Times 16.4.08 Sheep shearing and woolly minds - Sheep shearing is now banned at the Kent County Show. Don't they understand a sheep's life? PAUL HEINEY - Animal “lovers” have complained, and the organisers of the Kent County Show have caved in. There will be no more public sheep shearing competitions at this annual event “in case the sheep are cut”…. In my farming days, I spent more time with sheep than most of the woolly-minded grumblers at these shearing events… I was once advised by an old man of the hills that “sheep have only one ambition in life and that is to die”…. If you were to plant a single landmine in the Wembley turf, and release one sheep, within five minutes it would have blown itself to pieces….. Without a heavy fleece a sheep will regain its feet; without sodden wool the flies will seek food elsewhere. It is wrong to brand the shearer as some kind of assailant. A day under supervision at a county show ground is probably one of the most secure days in a sheep's life, and now the poor things are to be deprived of that… (story)
Western Daily Press 16.4.08 FLEECING COUNTRY OF TRADITION - Animal rights do-gooders are doubtless drinking a toast in organic carrot juice this week after their latest success - forcing sheep-shearing off the programme at a major agricultural show… Sheep, after all, have to be shorn. They tend, quite naturally, to wriggle while being divested of their fleece. Some nicking is, therefore, almost inevitable. Perhaps the campaigners would like to suggest another method of getting the wool off. Nail scissors? Hair-remover?... (story)
Western Morning News 16.4.08 IT'S JUST SHEAR IGNORANCE... F a typical sheep reaches a road junction and is given the choice of, in one direction, peace, health, happiness and contentment or, in the other, danger, misery, suffering and a slow, agonising death, he or she will invariably pick the latter. That's the way they are. If a 50-acre field holds just one atom of poison, they'll find it. If there's one tiny sharp object, they'll bash into it and if there's the faintest whiff of a disease on a different continent, they'll catch it… So it comes as no surprise to hear that Kent County Show has called off its sheep-shearing competitions after complaints from the public that animals are traumatised and injured during the event. The competition, in July, is included in a circuit which sees shearers from New Zealand, Australia and all over the UK taking time off from the summer's clip to earn a little kudos in their back-breaking profession. But the fact that now and again one of them nicks the odd sheep is obviously too much for the sensitive folk in the South-East. While this does explain why so many welfare activists have beards - the sight of blood while cutting themselves shaving would mean an intensive course of counselling and cognitive Hopi ear waxing - it mostly shows, again, a great lack of knowledge when it comes to keeping livestock…. Funnily enough, after years of watching competition shearing, I can't remember a single serious injury to a sheep but when the gang used to arrive to clip the flock at home, we managed to get through 30 gallons of purple spray and once the task was finished, there were enough bits of sheep on the shed floor to glue together an entire animal. The ones at Kent would have got off rather lightly (story)
Telegraph 12.4.08 Shearing contest ended 'in case sheep are cut' - A sheep shearing competition that has been the centre of county life for years has been scrapped over concerns that the clippers may harm the sheep. Animal welfare activists complained that the animals were being hurt by the electric clippers that nip them during the shearing. The competition at Kent County Show each July attracts shearers from Australia and New Zealand, who seek to become the fastest to shear an animal. The Kent County Agricultural Society, which organises the event, said the contest was scrapped after members of the public complained about how the animals were treated… (story)
Guardian series 12.4.08 Sheep-shearing show facing cut? Sheep-shearing could be off the bill at A Country Affair if a ruling in Kent is applied nationwide. The popular animal event is one of the big attractions for A Country Affair, a country show that takes place in Morden, Clapham and Hampton Court. But animal rights protesters have put the spectacle in jeopardy after getting a similar event scrapped at a show in Kent… (story)
Kent Messenger 11.4.08 Shearing contest cancelled - but what do ewe think? by Trisha Fermor - A popular sheep-shearing competition has been scrapped at the Kent County Show, partly due to visitors concerns about the animals' welfare. Show organisers say they must pull the Romney Shears event - held at the show for the past six years - primarily for financial reasons, but admit that past visitors have raised concerns about sheep being nicked by clippers during the shearing…. (story)
Daily Mail 12.4.08 Shearing banned at county show because animal welfare activists say clippers harm the sheep - For years, enthusiasts have flocked to see a county's traditional sheepshearing competition. They are enthralled by the skill and dexterity of operators in removing fleeces in as little as two minutes. But now the event has been scrapped ... because anti-cruelty activists claim the ewes and rams could be hurt by the electric clippers that are used… The annual contest was one of the most popular parts of the three- day Kent County Show held in Detling, near Maidstone, each July… The RSPCA said it backs scrapping the Kent contest… (story)

Western Morning News 16.4.08 FARMERS HIT BACK AT 'EAT LESS MEAT' DRIVE - ALICE WRIGHT - Farmers have hit back at the increasingly fashionable view that livestock farming is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The NFU has issued a warning that using climate change as an argument to discourage people from eating milk and meat products could be environmentally counter-productive. The union said the counter-attack was prompted by proposals being discussed by Camden Council in London to "choice edit" menus in its staff canteens by removing meat and dairy products, and by guidelines issued by the food and farming pressure group Sustain, which encourage others to do likewise…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.4.08 CALL TO EXPOSE SUCH SICK ANIMAL CRUELTY - Will you please use the medium of your excellent newspaper to catch the thugs who were responsible for the poor snake's ghastly torture and death, Snake 'still alive' when set on fire in horrific attack, Echo, April 4…. B Beer, Exwick, Exeter (letter)

15.4.08

Western Morning News 15.4.08 HUNTING'S NEGLIGIBLE EFFECT ON VERMIN - Martin Bell appears to think, extrapolating from his own very limited experience, that fox hunts provide a valuable service to those who keep chickens, whether commercially or domestically (letter, April 1). If better informed, he would find that the hunt is irrelevant to both, because fox hunts killed for sport only about 14,000 of the more than 400,000 foxes which die each year… Peter Bunce, Haddenham, Buciknghamshire (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 15.4.08 Menace of airguns should be targeted - AIRGUNS must be banned. The sick attack on Stanley the cat (News, April 11) reflects the urgency of the situation…. The Government's previous excuses for failing to ban the airgun is to protect those who need recourse to an airgun for legitimate purposes. But who are these people and for what purposes? Then follows the usual government blah, blah about stringent restrictions and vigilant follow-ups by inspectors etc. Well, we who campaign against the horrors of the vivisection labs know just how worthless the Government spin really is. In a so-called democracy the Government rarely rise above a stereotyped response… John Cowen, Stewart Terrace, Edinburgh (story)

Portsmouth News 15.4.08 Foxes and rats making meal of terns - AN ENDANGERED bird species is tottering on the brink of extinction locally because foxes and rats have developed a taste for them. Foxes have been seen walking miles out to sea at low tide to feed on the little terns. And rats, which usually feed on human food remains, can't get enough of the birds' eggs. It means that the little tern is in danger of being totally wiped out in Langstone Harbour…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 15.4.08 BADGER KILL WILL NOT PREVENT TB - Once again we hear the cry for more badger killing by our farmers.We have had mass killing of badgers in England since the 1970s which has failed to stop the spread of TB in cattle. All the science shows that 80 per cent spread of TB is caused by cow-to-cow contact…. Tony Dean, Gloucestershire Badger Group (letter)

Dundee Courier 15.4.08 Battery hen nonsense - A recent article by farming editor, Ewan Pate, quoted Moira Henderson, who was winding down her battery hen business in light of impending regulation, as saying that caged birds were more ‘contented’ than their free range counterparts. What nonsense. I wonder whether Mrs Henderson would be more contented living in solitary confinement in Barlinnie instead of on her farm?... Gordon Downie. 1 Main Street, Kingseat (letter)

Scotsman 15.4.08 'Vegetarian' inaccuracy - I am writing in response to your report of 10 April which states: "Perhaps surprisingly for someone with such exotic tastes, she is a vegetarian… 'Fortunately, I eat fish, and the herring in Estonia was really good.'"… we were the first to coin the word "vegetarian" and define a vegetarian as a person who eats no meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea. SU TAYLOR, The Vegetarian Society, Dunham Road, Altrincham, Cheshire (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 15.4.08 Animal rights too - China is without doubt the cruellest country on earth. Apart from what the Government of China does to its own people, what the people do to animals is unbelievable… Leslie Dobson, Stonecroft, Bradford (letter)

14.4.08

Telegraph 14.4.08 Communities declining at 'fastest rate ever' By Christopher Hope, Home Affairs Correspondent - The hastening decline of community life in the countryside is highlighted today in a new Government report. Nearly half of all neighbourhoods have lost key amenities such as surgeries, post offices, shops and schools in the past four years, figures from Oxford University show…. Jill Grieve, the head of communications at the Countryside Alliance, said: "The alliance has always been consistent on the issue of rural deprivation and access to services - unfortunately, so has the Government…. (story)
Daelnet 14.4.08 Village deprivation is worsening – official - THOUSANDS of villages in England are suffering from growing economic and social deprivation, a situation which we at Daelnet have commented on many times over the years. But the difference now is this admission comes from an official Government report… The Countryside Alliance has already joined the debate, saying that ministers have constantly ignored warnings about “the level of deprivation and the appalling decline in services.” (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 14.4.08 Bird defence - I DON’T think Clr Colin Stout is right to kill pigeons (Examiner April 12). I don’t think it’s right because it’s cruel to animals. Dogs mess in parks, would he gas them?... KATIE OLIVIA DULLING (age 9), Huddersfield (letter)

Western Morning News 14.4.08 FOIE GRAS PROTEST - Protesters concerned with the welfare of animals gathered on Friday at the start of Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink.Members of Exeter Friends For Animals were asked to leave the event after staging a demonstration against the use of foie gras… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 12.4.08 PROTESTERS COOK UP STORM AT FOOD FESTIVAL - Protesters gathered yesterday as the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink kicked off. Exeter Friends for Animals were asked to leave the event after staging a demonstration against the use of Foie Gras, the liver of duck or goose that has been specially fattened by force feeding… Martin Fox, of Exeter Friends for Animals, said: "We've asked Michael Caines to drop Foie Gras for more than a year now…. (story)

Western Morning News 14.4.08 WILL CHINA PAY THE PRICE? - Hitler's delight over staging the Olympics in Berlin in 1936 turned to fury when the black athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals. Will the Chinese leaders now be wondering whether bringing the Games to Beijing may backfire?... The Chinese record over human rights - and animal welfare - is very bad.Only last year I encouraged a group of animal lovers here in the South West and from further afield to write to the Chinese Embassy in London. Our well-reasoned letters complaining about the cruel treatment of animals in China did not receive a single reply from the embassy…. Michael Williams St Teath, Bodmin (story)

13.4.08

HAMPSHIRE HUNT SUPPORTERS CLEARED
Horse & Hound 13.4.08 Hampshire Hunt supporters cleared of stealing monitors cameras - Three hunt supporters have been found not guilty of stealing camcorders from two hunt "saboteurs". During a four-week trial at Winchester Crown Court that ended last Thursday (3 April), Peter Bogris, 30, of Petersfield, George Juer, 26, of Alton and Wayne Spencer, 40, of Billingshurst were accused of attacking "hunt monitors" Iris Luppa and Stella Hardy at a meet of the Hampshire Hunt (HH) on 24 February… HH senior master Simon Harrap told H&H: "We are absolutely delighted with the news… (story)
Hampshire Chronicle 3.4.08 Hunt trio cleared of robbery - THREE hunt supporters have been cleared of robbing two "saboteurs" of their camcorders at a meet near Alresford. A four-week trial at Winchester Crown Court, which ended today (April 3), saw Peter Bogris, 30, of Petersfield, George Juer, 26, of Alton, and Wayne Spencer, 40, Billingshurst, West Sussex, all accused of robbery and affray. They were said to have attacked "hunt monitors" Iris Luppa and Stella Hardy, both from the Reading area, at a meet of the Hampshire Hunt on February 24 last year…. Labelling the alleged victims as "hunt saboteurs", the defence on behalf of Mr Bogris and Mr Juer said that the pair were on the path at the time and that an argument erupted over Miss Hardy filming children, but said the women fabricated what happened….(story)

Mail on Sunday 13.4.08 Horse racing: Why this so-called Sport of Kings makes me sick to my stomach - I am at Aintree for my first Grand National, the spectacle millions of people around the world are watching, the ultimate showcase of British racing, and I am wading through a sea of empty plastic beer bottles… By close of play one horse would be dead, many more injured, and I would, literally, be made sick to my stomach at the spectacle of this so-called Sport of Kings. I had arrived at the course with Dene Stansall of Animal Aid, a perfectly respectable registered campaigning organisation that has lobbied for many years for racing to be made more humane…. At the previous day's meet… Dene and his 14-year-old daughter, Scarlett, had their arms twisted behind their backs and were marched off the course. Scarlett was bruised and badly shaken, and is currently instigating legal action…. The biggest misconception I have found among the public is that "the horses love it". That is why they continue to race, even when they have lost their jockey. But that is patently nonsense. Horses are herd animals, and will run to keep up with the herd when frightened…. (story)

Wales on Sunday 13.4.08 I am writing on behalf of the European affiliate of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), which is the largest animal rights organisation in the world, to urge a halt to plans for a targeted badger cull in Wales…. Ingrid E Newkirk Managing director, Peta (story)

12.4.08

Western Daily Press 12.4.08 TIRED OF THESE HUNT INSULTS ….I have no doubt at all that there are the odd one or two hunt supporters with their brains missing - but maybe they've had their wheel- nuts loosened.No amount of insult and innuendo will change the fact that foxes are vermin, and they take livestock and poultry without compunction…. (letter)

Scotsman 12.4.08 Rogue gamekeeper - It is entirely predictable that the League Against Cruel Sports would seek to capitalise on the prosecution of a self-styled gamekeeper in connection with badly-set snares and the consequent death of badgers (Letters, 10 April)…. this individual is neither a member of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association nor a professional gamekeeper…. ALEX HOGG, Chairman, Scottish Gamekeepers Association, Arran Road, Perth (letter)
Scotsman 10.4.08 Policy ensnared in blood - It is extremely sad that less than two months after a government announcement to retain the use of snares in Scotland as a land management tool, we are to read reports of badgers being killed in badly laid snares… While I'm not for a second suggesting all gamekeepers are criminals, I am merely pointing out that not all of them are the "guardians of the countryside" as we are led to believe (Letters, 8 April). LOUISE ROBERTSON, League Against Cruel Sports, Dunfermline, Fife (letter)
BBC News Online 8.4.08 Man arrested over badger deaths - A gamekeeper has been arrested following the deaths of six badgers in Dumfries and Galloway. Police and wildlife welfare officers raided a farm near Moffat after a tip-off that snares were being laid and the protected animals being killed. As a result a 57-year-old man - who also works as a land manager - faces charges under the Protection of Badgers Act and the Wildlife Protection Act…. (story)

Scotsman 8.4.08 Gamekeeper arrested over badger deaths By Robert Fairburn - A GAMEKEEPER has been arrested in connection with the deaths of six badgers following a joint operation involving police and wildlife welfare officers… (story)

South Wales Argus 12.4.08 Gamekeeper wins 'Oscar" - A TRAINEE gamekeeper from Gwent scooped a prestigious award for his exceptional work. Anthony Farr, 49, from Monmouth, was given the rare City and Guilds Medal for Excellence for his work on the Coleg Gwent Level two NVQ Gamekeeping and Wildlife management course…. (story)

DR HADWEN WORLD DAY FOR LAB ANIMALS LETTER
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 12.4.08 End animal experiments - Wendy Higgins, Communications director (letter)
The Shields Gazette 10.4.08 Future of medical research - WITH World Day for Laboratory Animals coming up on April 24, I think it is only right that we should reflect on the millions of dogs, cats, rabbits, mice and monkeys enduring laboratory experiments around the world… Wendy Higgins, Communications Director, Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research. (letter)

Northern Echo 12.4.08 Pig farm given clean bill of health following inspection By Joe Willis - A PIG farm at the centre of neglect allegations from undercover animals rights activists has been given a clean bill of health. .. Viva investigators said they found pigs with no bedding and more than ten dead animals when they inspected Westfield Farm, in Eryholme, near Darlington, last month… Bpex, which condemned activists for compromising biosecurity with their secret filming, said inspectors found no breaches of regulations at the farm. However, Defra confirmed it would make follow-up visits to the farm to ensure bosses were meeting regulations on material for the pigs to root in… (story)

11.4.08

Telegraph 11.4.08 Bryan Ferry: 'I don't want to be controversial' - Bryan Ferry is our unflappable king of cool, so stylish it's said he should be hanging in the Tate. Then last year he was accused - wrongly - of praising the Third Reich. 'It was very scary, and very ugly,' he tells Nigel Farndale. Portrait by Spencer Murphy…. Certainly, there is a contrariness to him, an understated wilfulness. His eldest son, Otis, seems to have inherited it. He was the one who broke into the House of Commons to protest against Labour's ban on hunting. 'People usually come up to me and say your son is a hero, give him a hug for me. People like a rebel, I suppose. The hunting ban was mean-spirited. And futile. Because it has made hunting cool.'… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 11.4.08 WHY I'VE QUIT LABOUR PARTY - So our cowardly politicians have caved in to the farmers and their unions, and agreed to a cruel and needless cull of badgers.My membership card to the Labour Party has been posted back to my AM… Rob Hughes, Gowerton, Swansea (letter)

South Wales Echo 11.4.08 Badgers subject to war crimes - WHILE in previous generations, for the noblest, chivalrous and best of reasons, we as human beings have waged war against each other, sadly we as a so-called nation of animal lovers are about to embark on a foolish, unnecessary campaign against badgers… Martin ReesCountisbury Avenue, Llanrumney, Cardiff (letter)

Western Mail 11.4.08 Badgered by unions …With Peter Hardy MP and fellow MPs securing the passage of the Badgers Act through the House of Commons in1973, establishing the legal protection of badgers, this is wiped out by Elin Jones and her committee caving in to farming unions at the WAG… PJ CROTTY, Stranrear Road, Pennar, Pembroke Dock (letter)

Independent 11.4.08 Your report on the global grain shortage ("Starving Haitains riot as food prices soar", 10 April ) is a sign of a catastrophe facing the world…. The FAO fails to mention the two major causes of the impending crisis: land being used to produce biofuel, and food grains being diverted to feed animals raised for meat… but it is the billions of farm animals that are contributing more to global warming than all the world's transport put together. Nitin Mehta, Croydon, Surrey (letter)

FOIE GRAS – HAMILTONS v SELFRIDGES
Telegraph 11.4.08 Duchess Hamilton takes fight to Selfridges on foie gras By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent - The Duke and Duchess Hamilton activists stepped up their war of words with Selfridges yesterday over the sale of foie gras. The wife of Scotland's premier peer has called on the company to remove the "immoral" product from its shelves immediately. Paul Kelly, chief executive of Selfridges, has told the aristocratic couple that it is attempting to source a "welfare-friendly" foie gras. But the duchess rejected this yesterday … (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 10.4.08 Duchess steps up bid to end foie gras sales - BLUE-blooded animal rights campaigners the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton today stepped up their war with Selfridges over the sale of foie gras. The couple, who live in their 14th century home at Lennoxlove, East Lothian, wrote to the company urging it to stop selling the luxury, made from the fattened livers of ducks and geese…. (story)
Sunday Times 6.4.08 The Duke and Duchess of Hamilton tell why they have become Britain’s most unlikely animal activists - ADRIAN TURPIN - Noblesse oblige, the saying goes. Nobility has obligations. But seldom does it fulfil its duties in the manner of Kay, Duchess of Hamilton…. So when the duchess announced last week that she and her husband would no longer shop at Selfridges because the store sells foie gras, it was bound to raise the odd eyebrow… By the 1980s he had stopped all grouse shooting on his land…. These days the duke rarely eats meat, unless he is a guest somewhere, when he considers clearing his plate a matter of courtesy. “The only thing I eat with an eye is fish,” Kay adds… As chairwoman of the charity Advocates for Animals, the duchess is keen to emphasise that she is concerned with animal welfare rather than animal rights, believing that the latter cause has been tainted by the violent protests of groups such as the Animal Liberation Front. She is no fan of the Countryside Alliance either… (story)
Telegraph 3.4.08 Foie gras spurs Duke to boycott Selfridges By Graham Tibbetts - One of the country's most aristocratic families has announced it will boycott Selfridges while it continues to sell foie gras. The Duchess of Hamilton, the wife of the Duke of Hamilton, Scotland's premier peer, wrote to the store and described the force-feeding of ducks and geese that produces the delicacy as a "grotesque abuse of animals…. (story)
Independent 2.4.08 Vegetarian aristocrats and their campaign against the cruelty of Selfridges' foie gras By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent - A campaigning vegetarian duke and duchess are leading an aristocratic revolt against the department store Selfridges from within the walls of a 14th-century ancestral home in Scotland. The Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, who maintain their position as the head of the peerage in Scotland from their 460-acre estate, Lennoxlove, near Edinburgh, have announced they will boycott the chain in protest at its continued sale of foie gras.... (story)

South Wales Echo 11.4.08 Animals to enjoy extra aid by Gerry Holt, South Wales Echo - THE Animal Welfare Network for Wales today welcomed £900,000 funding from the Welsh Assembly Government for pet welfare…. Chairwoman Claire Lawson said: “Animal welfare has often suffered from a lack of funding.” (story)

York Press 11.4.08 Sickening cruelty - I was sickened by the report of the person who shot an airgun pellet into the stomach of Toffee the cat… Heather Causnett. Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York. (letter)

Harborough Mail 11.4.08 No sympathy for anyone benefiting from factory farming practices - IN response to the letter of Anthony Goodger (March 6) with regard to the plight of the UK pig farmers… If this is the best they can do to their pigs, the sooner pig farming is finished with the better. I have not the slightest sympathy for anyone who fills their pockets with such a cruel practice. Gwen Farrow, Marlborough Way, Harborough (letter)

BBC News Online 11.4.08 Animals party eyes City Hall seat - While others focus on crime and transport, Jasmijn de Boo aims to be the first London Assembly member elected on an animal rights ticket…. Ms de Boo, 32, is the first person to stand in a UK election for the Animals Count party and hopes to pick up votes from disillusioned animal lovers…. (story)

10.4.08

Western Daily Press 10.4.08 HUNTING HAS GONE FOR EVER - One of the things I've learned with the fox-hunting issue is that the pro-hunt people have a vision of a ban being reversed, which is why hunts in some cases use fox urine when laying a trail…. Hunting of live prey has gone, we hope, for good. Pamela Dean, Stroud (letter)

Western Morning News 10.4.08 Thirty-five years ago I helped campaign to turn ten acres of abandoned scrubbing-up railway land - the Gunnersbury Triangle - into inner London's first "urban wildlife reserve… The kids would ask the warden why nasty Mr Fox didn't eat nice Mrs Chicken. The warden would then patiently show them the chicken wire - four feet high and two feet into the ground… If any smallholder in the Westcountry has trouble with foxes, could these urban seven-year-olds, living on the tenth storey of concrete council tower blocks, help? Theo Hopkins, Lifton (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 10.4.08 Impact of predators - Further to your story (March 28) on ravens attacking newborn lambs in Strathspey, and an RSPB Scotland spokesman’s quoted comment that he would find it “very hard to believe” that so many lambs could be killed by these predators, I challenge the RSPB to publish any evidence which allows the organisation to imply that the farmer is lying about his losses…. An absence of proper science and ill-informed comments such as those from the RSPB contribute to the public losing out on what could be a much richer mix of the moorland species. Alex Hogg, chairman, Scottish Gamekeepers Association, Arran Business Centre, Arran Road, Perth (letter)

Mirror 10.4.08 RALLY LIT WITH TORCH OF IRONY - Brian Reade - How fabulous was the Olympic Games flamewrestling event?... There was Kate Hoey arguing that Beijing advocates torture and murder. This is a woman who chairs the Countryside Alliance, which defends the torture and murder of animals… (story)

Sheffield Star 10.4.08 Top prize for animal rights campaigner By Tony Belshaw - SHEFFIELD animal rights campaigner Dr Dan Lyons has won a top prize for his academic work against animal experiments. Dr Lyons, aged 35, of Whitwell Lane, Stocksbridge, has won the national Political Studies Association's prize for the best thesis on Government and Public Administration…. (story)

Formby Times 10.4.08 Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre under threat as it plunges into debt by Gillian Stratton, Formby Times - AN ANIMAL rescue centre is on the brink of closure after donations dropped to an all-time low. Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre in Ince Blundell has plunged into a debt of £80,000 and staff fear the sanctuary will be forced to close… The East Lane sanctuary was one of many animal rescue centres raided by police last May. No arrests were made or charges brought and all computers and paperwork seized have since been returned. But trustee Marge Albert says donations and legacies are down by 50 per cent since then…. (story)

Western Mail 10.4.08 Cull not the answer - The Welsh Assembly Government has done it again. Just as it jumped to the incorrect conclusion that dedicated cropping for biofuels would protect the world from global warming, now it recommends a badger cull to end cattle tuberculosis…. Dr JOHN ETHERINGTON, Llanhowell, Pembrokeshire
Butchering badgers - Will the Badger Butcher Elin Jones do the decent thing and tell us, prior to the local government elections, in which constituency the wholesale slaughter of our wildlife is to commence, or must every voter in Wales assume that to return a Labour or Plaid Cymru councillor at these elections will result in this atrocity taking place in their locality ? Ian McNicholas, Ebbw Vale (letters)

Western Daily Press 10.4.08 GIVE MORE PUBLICITY TO THIS CRUEL AND UNNECESSARY CULL - At last, publicity has been started to inform us of the disgusting horrific behaviour of the Canadian Government in allowing the culling of the seals. What kind of people are these Canadians to allow this sort of practice?... Mrs M E Bradshaw, Stroud, Gloucestershire (letter)

Walsall Advertiser 10.4.08 ELEPHANT CIRCUS TO BE BANNED FROM PITCHING BIG TOP - GEORGE MAKIN - A circus which caused controversy because it has a performing elephant looks likely to be denied a licence to appear in Walsall. An application by Bobby Roberts' Circus to use Walsall Arboretum for a number of shows is being recommended for refusal by Walsall Council's leisure officers… (story)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 8.4.08 Circus may be banned after outcry on animals - A circus with performing animals is likely to be barred from the borough after animal rights protesters picketed Walsall Arboretum during its last visit. Bobby Roberts Super Circus has asked for permission to pitch its big top in the park next year but the request has failed to win favour and is set to be turned down…. (story)

Essex Chronicle 10.4.08 ROLL UP, ROLL UP, THE CIRCUS IS IN TOWN - The circus is coming to town this week as it pitches up in Writtle near Chelmsford.The news has met with opposition from animal charities as the circus has horses and elephants… (story)
Essex Chronicle 10.4.08 PROTESTERS CALLING FOR BAN ON CIRCUS - MATTHEW WARD - Campaigners are calling for a boycott of a circus which is bringing the country's last travelling elephant to Chelmsford. The Bobby Roberts Super Circus comes to Writtle Green where it hopes to entertain thousands over four days with its performing horses, ponies and dogs.But it is has drawn criticism for continuing to use animals…. RSPCA inspector Jody Gordon visited the circus last month in Huntingdon. He said: "The animals are in good health but there are concerns, particularly about how the elephant is kept. She is chained up for a lot of the time in a cage… (story)

Wiltshire Times 10.4.08 Thank you - I WOULD like to thank the people of Bradford on Avon for raising £77.10 during my street collection on Saturday April 5 in aid of Compassion in World Farming… DR ROGER CHALLONER GREEN, Wingfield (letter)

9.4.08

AVONDHU ACCUSED OF CRUELTY
Horse & Hound 9.4.08 Avondhu hunt to appeal Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association decision - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - THE Avondhu Foxhounds are appealing the decision of the Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association (IMFHA) to take disciplinary action against them… (story)
Nenagh Guardian 5.4.08 Ormond Foxhounds under investigation - The Ormond Foxhounds in North Tipperary is at the centre of an investigation into complaints of cruelty to a fox, it was reported last week.The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has called for a Garda investigation into the alleged incidents which occurred in North Cork earlier this month… The Irish Times on Friday last reported that the Irish Master of Foxhounds Association has launched an investigation into activities of the Avondhue Hunt in Cork which was joined on the day by the Ormond Foxhounds and a hunt group from England… (story)
Horse & Hound 1.4.08 Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association suspends two hunts - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - THE Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association (IMFHA) has suspended the Avondhu Foxhounds of Co Cork and the Ormond, of Co Tipperary after allegations of maltreatment of a fox. Hunting bosses met at the weekend to discuss the alleged behaviour of members of the Avondhu Foxhounds during a joint meet with the Coniston, a Fell pack visiting from Cumbria, and the Ormond at Fermoy on 8 March... Brian Munn, spokesman for the IMFHA, told H&H:.... "We were informed by a member of the hunt that other members of the hunt did something they disapproved of," said Mr Munn. He would not elaborate further on the allegations, except to say that he believes only the Avondhu was involved in the alleged cruelty... Stephen Lambert, director of the MFHA in the UK said although the Coniston was not involved in the alleged misbehaviour his organisation and the IMFHA would draw up a protocol to cover the behaviour of packs while visiting abroad..... (story)
Irish Examiner 26.3.08 Club probe over animal cruelty By Sean O’Riordan - A HUNT club in Co Cork has been suspended by the sport’s governing body after allegations of animal cruelty. The Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association said the allegations against the north Cork based Avondhu Foxhounds were made by senior people within the hunting community and not animal rights groups.... (story)

Telegraph 9.4.08 This year, your countryside needs you By Clive Aslet - This could be the year that the balance of the world changes. Whereas the bulk of the global population used to live in rural areas, very soon more than 50 per cent of the human race will dwell in towns….Unlike the French, where every townsperson has an uncle or cousin on a farm, we have lost our tribal memory of the countryside. It now seems that a fifth of children grow up without ever visiting it…. the countryside has come to be associated in the public mind with woe: animal plagues, failing services, closing pubs, second homes, all the darker pronouncements of the Countryside Alliance….. I suspect the bottom has been reached, and the countryside is now bobbing upwards…. (story)

GRAND NATIONAL
Times 9.4.08 Television coverage of McKelvey leaves legacy of hope - Television viewers took a mainly sympathetic view of the unfortunate death of Peter Bowen's Grand National contender - LYDIA HISLOP; STRAIGHT TALK - Racing received a rare gulp of oxygen from mainstream television when BBC1's The One Show shadowed the preparation of McKelvey for this year's Grand National. No wonder the sport's wider reaction to that horse's death at Aintree last Saturday was to fear the wrong gas had been administered. But did it wholly backfire?.... Bowen has been flooded with emails via his own website, all of them sympathetic. The British Horseracing Authority has received just one on the subject, highly negative in tone….Animal Aid want racing banned. They denied this on Radio 5 Live last week, but have admitted it previously. Their annual National-focused campaign has altered little in ten years, yet the race has been greatly modernised in that time. Indeed it seems they care little for detail: initially they claimed McKelvey had not run this season and had died from a fall…(story)
Independent 7.4.08 Tragic comeback for 2007 National runner-up By Cahal Milmo - The return of McKelvey to the Grand National a year after vets advised he might never race again was supposed to be one of those stories of equine triumph over adversity for which the steeplechase is known. Instead, the horse – unable to stand after throwing his jockey then colliding with a railing – had to be put down… Animal rights campaigners suggested McKelvey – whose recovery from a ruptured tendon sustained in the final moments of the 2007 Grand National had been chronicled by a BBC film crew – was not suited to the gruelling 4.5 mile course after racing just twice so far this season. But racing sources emphasised the care and attention lavished on the horse by its trainer, Peter Bowen, and revealed that the injury which led to the eight-year-old being destroyed was "completely unconnected" with last year's tendon injury… (story)
Independent 7.4.08 Bowen 'distraught' over McKelvey claims By Sue Montgomery - The connections of the Grand National's one fatality, McKelvey, are distraught by implications by animal rights activists that his death was due to their negligence… "He ran into a post," said a spokesperson for Peter Bowen's stable. "It could have happened at any course. It had nothing to do with the fences and certainly nothing to do with his previous injury. He was fit and well."… (story)
Independent on Sunday 6.4.08 McKelvey is 174th horse to die in a race in just one year By Andrew Johnson - Millions of racing fans who followed the recovery of Grand National favourite McKelvey on television after his near fatal injury in the race last year were left devastated after the horse died in yesterday's gruelling race…. The animal rights groups Animal Aid had warned before the race that McKelvey was at particular risk in the steeplechase. Spokesman Andrew Tyler said McKelvey, who damaged a tendon while coming second in last year's race, could not have possibly recovered from such an injury sufficiently, and would not be fit enough after a year without racing… (story)
Guardian 5.4.08 Activists decry 'sickening' horse deaths - Tony Paley - Two horses were killed in the Topham Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree yesterday as animal rights activists renewed their calls for all horseracing to be banned…. Andrew Tyler, the director of the animal rights group Animal Aid, said yesterday that "watching the Topham was a deeply upsetting experience, with horses crashing to the ground throughout the long and gruelling race"…. (story)
Midweek Visiter 2.4.08 Southport's Tony Moore to lead animal rights protest at Aintree Racecourse - A PEACEFUL protest is set for this week’s Grand National meeting in Aintree, as campaigners rally against what they say is cruelty to horses. The demonstration is being spearheaded by Southport group Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE) and will take place between noon and 2pm tomorrow opposite the main entrance to the racecourse. This is the third year the group has protested at the National and will be supported by members from the North West Hunt Saboteurs and Animal Aid, under a police presence… (story)
Express 2.4.08 AINTREE IN THE EYE OF A STORM By Rolf Johnson The Scout - ANIMAL AID will be demonstrating at the John Smith’s Grand National meeting, which starts tomorrow.... Animal Aid is not to be trifled with. Hunting’s head is already on its mantelpiece. Last week they had a dress rehearsal at Sedgefield, where 11 horses have been killed in 17 days racing this season... (story)
Guardian 1.4.08 New, improved National leaves protestors trailing - While protestors try to stop racing with a repetitive message, their main target, the Grand National, has moved on - Greg Wood - It may well have escaped your notice, but this is Horse Racing Awareness Week, and anyone who spends much time in betting shops may think that it is not a day too soon..... . HRAW is an annual exercise by the animal rights group Animal Aid, which is designed, according to their press release, to remind punters that "when people bet, they are funding a ruthless, lethal industry." Its focus, inevitably, is Saturday's "perversely difficult" Grand National... The AA press release is practically identical to one sent out last year, and every year before that. The National, by contrast, is a completely different race to that of 20, or even 10, years ago.... the best Cheltenham Festival in recent memory seems likely to be followed by the best Aintree. Animal Aid can protest all they like. It does not seem to make a jot of difference.... (story)
Times 29.3.08 Horse racing facing crucial debate over use of the whip - With the Grand National meeting at Aintree next week - the sport is painfully aware that old wounds are about to be reopened - ALAN LEE - Jump racing is richer, healthier and more popular than ever... The racing community inclines to insularity. For years it has clung doggedly to established practices and conventions, some of which pass no scrutiny by modern society. At present, the most vexatious is the jockeys' use - and misuse - of the whip... (story)
Wigan Evening Post/Observer/Reporter 28.3.08 Protest planned for 'cruel' Grand National - Animal rights activists are planning to demonstrate against the 161st Grand National at Aintree in Liverpool. A spokesman for Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe said the group had joined forces with Animal Aid and would be protesting outside the venue's main entrance on Thursday afternoon.... (story)
Ormskirk Advertiser 26.3.08 Protest plan for National - ANIMAL rights campaigners are planning to protest at next week’s Grand National race meeting. They will head to Aintree Racecourse to demonstrate against what they claim is cruelty to the horses. A joint demonstration by Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE) and Animal Aid will take place at midday on the opening day of the Grand National meeting next Thursday (April 3) to stage a protest opposite the main entrance to the racecourse.... (story)

Western Daily Press 9.4.08 TRAGIC HOUNDS THE TRACK REJECTS - Lord David Lipsey, chairman of the British Greyhound Racing Board, is keen to assert that "when their racing career is over, most greyhounds will live out a happy retirement" (Your Say, March 29). What he omits to mention is the plight of those dogs which don't have racing careers, because they are judged as unsuitable for racing…. This is why, as an international greyhound protection organisation, we are calling on the public not to attend or bet on greyhound racing, so that this death industry fades away through lack of financial support. Tony Peters, UK co-ordinator, Greyhound Action, Kidderminster (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.4.08 GREYHOUND RACING INDUSTRY HAS GOT BLOOD ON ITS HANDS - Further to the letter from Lord Lipsey (Western Daily Press March 29), I would like to respond, in particular to the euphemism of greyhounds being returned to their native Ireland - this translates to being returned to certain death and not to frolicking in green paddocks. It is a nice, easy way for the greyhound industry in the UK to make their put-to- sleep figures look better. Ireland has a horrendous reputation on animal welfare, particularly companion animal welfare… Victoria Lyon, Glenamaddy, Co Galway, Ireland (letter)
Western Daily Press 4.4.08 SAD FATE OF THEUNWANTED DOGS - Lord Lipsey's letter, "Greyhounds looked after" (Your Say, March 29), merely serves to confirm that the British Greyhound Racing Board (BGRB) is a spin machine for the greyhound racing industry… By contrast, independent welfare groups such as Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE) and Sighthound Welfare Trust have nothing to gain. The comments do not "propagate fiction", as Lord Lipsey claims, but reflect the reality of the despicable industry he is desperately attempting to defend…. Danny Hassell, Sighthound Welfare Trust (letter)
Western Daily Press 29.3.08 GREYHOUNDS LOOKED AFTER - Liz Webster's article "Can you give us a dog's life?"(Western Daily Press, March 25) highlighted the commendable work of Greyhound Rescue West of England that rehomes retired racing greyhounds.However, it is a great shame that the article was also used to propagate fiction about what happens to greyhounds when they retire from racing.... If Jan Lake really has evidence that "trainers cut the ears off and dump the dogs", then I trust she has provided it to the relevant authorities as this would likely constitute a serious offence under the Animal Welfare Act.... Lord David LipseyChairmanBritish Greyhound Racing Board (letter)

Bolton News 9.4.08 Don't support a greyhound track - I was shocked to discover that Bolton Council are contemplating allowing the building of a greyhound racing stadium. As a member of a greyhound rescue charity I feel it is my duty to raise your awareness of the problems caused by this industry… Jason Dix (story)

Macclesfield Express 9.4.08 Father brings peace to circus following demo - Karen Britton - A PREACHER turned peacemaker as conflict raged between two factions at a family circus in Poynton. Father Peter Sharrocks, priest at St Peter’s RC Church in neighbouring Hazel Grove, blessed the new Big Top as part of a 200-year tradition and brought a little harmony to troubled waters. Previously, performers from Circus Mondao and animal rights protesters had clashed on the temporary site on Barlowfold Farm on London Road North in Poynton…. But John Barker, of Stockport Animal Defenders, had plenty to say. "We were verbally abused and intimidated during our peaceful protest. We called the police for protection." Landowner Dorothy Mills said: "It was me that called the police….(story)

Matlock Mercury 9.4.08 Circus faces call for town boycott - Animal rights campaigners have called on families to snub a circus featuring exotic performing animals when it visits the Dales. Circus Mondao, one of only three British circuses with non-domesticated animals, will be at Bakewell Showground from April 23-27. But the Captive Animals' Protection Society is calling for people to boycott the show…. (story)

Western Daily Press 9.4.08 OLYMPIC WASTE - The story of the state of the poor moon bears finally rescued from the bile farms last week has gutted even those of us who work tirelessly to help them in the UK. In all the fuss about the totally unnecessary Olympics, the millions spent, and the egos boosted, this obscene waste of money could have been so much better spent in feeding the starving people of the world. It could also have ensured that Animals Asia Foundation receives the support it so badly needs…. Jane Somerset, Somerset (letter)

8.4.08

Western Morning News 8.4.08 VIXEN IS LIKELY TO BE IN DEN WITH HER CUBS - I am intrigued by Martin Bell saying that his local hunt "used to visit farms where foxes were killing poultry and despatch them with half a dozen apprentice hounds"….I'm sure he will know that there is likely to be a vixen underground at that den with her cubs at this time of year. They will be relying on the dog fox to bring them food and it is most likely the dog fox that Mr Bell and his labrador have seen. So I don't think Mr Bell has given us the whole picture when he describes the hunt and their "service" of killing foxes at this time of year…. Gill Purser, Cheltenham (letter)
Western Morning News 1.4.08 ROMANTIC VERSION OF BRER FOX - Pursuing wild animals in fancy dress on horseback is weird, and organising a social life around it more so.... paying a licensed shooter to sit up all night waiting for a clear shot costs many times the value of our chickens and that's where the Four Burrow Hunt used to come in.... The police and the Crown Prosecution Service know they can't enforce the hunting ban without the co-operation of the rural population, which they were never going to get. It's legal to kill rabbits with Jack Russell terriers but a criminal offence to kill foxes with hounds; the former because it's a traditional northern working class pursuit and the latter because it's a toff hobby. This class war law is an unenforceable ass. Martin Bell, Port Isaac (letter)

NATIONAL SHOOTING WEEK
Western Mail 8.4.08 Week’s aim is to give all a good shot by Simon Hart, Western Mail - NATIONAL Shooting Week returns from May 3 to 11, providing a perfect opportunity for those who are new to shooting to give it a try at events across Britain. National Shooting Week is a Government-backed initiative organised by the Countryside Alliance on behalf of the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC), the umbrella body for shooting sports. Now in its second year, the week-long campaign aims to introduce as many new people to the sport as possible…. Simon Hart is chief executive of the Countryside Alliance (story)
Morpeth Herald 3.4.08 Shooting chance at Bywell - SHOOTING schools and clubs across the UK will open their doors to the public during National Shooting Week from May 3-11. About 200 public open days are being organised so people can try shooting for the very first time in this special Olympic year…. National Shooting Week is a Government-backed initiative and organised by the Countryside Alliance on behalf of the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC), the umbrella body for shooting sports… (story)

Independent 8.4.08 Grand National a blood sport - The hype is over and the Grand National has been put back in its stable for another year. Unfortunately, three horses were killed at the Aintree course… This isn't horse racing, it's a blood sport… Charles Gate, Halifax, West Yorkshire (letter)

Bolton News 8.4.08 Experiments are not necessary - The trend for healthier eating has led to an increase of more than 300 per cent in the number of painful, laboratory experiments conducted on animals for food additives, sweeteners and health supplements in 2006…. Early Day Motion (EDM) 4, calls on the UK Government to stop granting licences for horrendous experiments for additives and other foodstuffs… A Cartmell Little Lever Green Party Spokesperson (letter)

7.4.08

Western Morning News 7.4.08 WHY WASN'T FOX ON THE RUN? - I wonder, are we being fed more spin on the "foxes kill chickens" sapience? Your story "Fed-up fox too bloated to leave hen house" (March 28) does raise doubts in my mind…. I could as easily pretend this photo was a fox captured by hunt kennel men, ready for release half an hour before huntsmen ride out, to ensure a good chase… Jack Henderson Dawlish (letter)
Western Morning News 28.3.08 FED-UP FOX TOO BLOATED TO LEAVE HEN HOUSE - This is the moment a greedy fox became so fat after feasting on chickens that he got stuck - in the birds' coop.Farmer Terri Strick, 55, discovered the fat fox one morning as she opened her hen house to collect eggs… (story)

Independent 7.4.08 Bird massacre - Stavros Dimas, the EU's Environment Commissioner, is about to propose trade sanctions against Canada in response to the annual seal cull (26 March). It would be even more interesting to learn what action he is going to take against those southern European nations – mostly EU members – who annually massacre millions of birds on their migration north from Africa…. KEITH LIEVESLEY, Ufford, Nr Stamford, Lincolnshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.4.08 JUST WHEN WILL CHINA EVER LEARN? BY BARRY LEIGHTON - Less than three years after China promised the Western Daily Press it would end the plight of the Moon Bears, the animals' suffering is continuing, prompting a charity to once again call on Chinese officials to take action ahead of the 2008 Olympics.Animal rescuers were shocked and appalled at the condition of 28 Moon Bears they had just saved from China's barbaric bile farms. Three of the bears died of atrocious injuries…. AAF founder Jill Robinson said: "All were in impossibly small cages, all skeletal, wounded in various ways, and terrified of what would happen in this next stage of their lives…. (story)

6.4.08

Wales on Sunday 6.4.08 MANY people across the world have watched with horror the footage of the Canadian commercial seal hunt, as hunters race against time to brutally kill more than 275,000 young pups on the ice floes…. ROBBIE MARSLAND, International Fund for Animal Welfare (letter)

5.4.08

Telegraph 5.4.08 Country diary By Robin Page …. I received a springtime shock the other day. Every year I go to the annual dinner of the Cambridgeshire Hunt: it marks the end of its season. The shock was caused by the after-dinner speaker, Peter Kendall, President of the National Farmers' Union. His speech was sensible and interesting. It is the first time I've ever heard anything sensible come out of the NFU. I was so shocked that I had to go home and have a lie-down….. (story)

Western Mail 5.4.08 Think of the horses - LORRAINE PARKER, Whitchurch Road, Gabalfa, Cardiff (letter)
South Wales Echo 4.4.08 Think before a bet on National - SATURDAY is Grand National Day. How many people who have a flutter or take part in an office sweepstake are aware of how many horses are seriously injured and killed each year in this “sport”?... I’m not asking the public not to bet, or to boycott the National, but I am asking them to think before doing so. Lorraine Parker, Whitchurch Road, Gabalfa, Cardiff (letter)

Bolton News 5.4.08 Greyhound track is not welcome - I am contacting you to add my protest against the plans to bring a new greyhound track to Bolton. The whole of greyhound racing is cruel and the dogs live a miserable exsistence…. Mrs Alison Yates Egerton Bolton (letter)

4.4.08

ANIMAL AID GRAND NATIONAL LETTERS
4.4.08 HARMLESS FLUTTER COULD BE COSTLY - May I strongly urge anyone considering betting on the Grand National this Saturday to seriously think again… This "sport" is only kept alive through betting income and course attendance fees. Please don't back the cruelty - for you it's only a harmless flutter, but horses could pay with their lives. For more information, and to view Animal Aid's powerful 90-second film, visit the Animal Aid website… Fortescue Road, Sidmouth (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 2.4.08 GRIM TOLL OF HORSE RACING - Behind horse racing's glamorous facade lies a catalogue of suffering and death.According to the national campaign group Animal Aid, more than 400 horses are raced to death every year... The punishing Grand National is Britain's longest horse race - covering a distance of four miles and 856 yards.... This "sport" is only kept alive through betting income and course attendance fees. Please don't back the cruelty - for you it's only a harmless flutter, but horses could pay with their lives... M Shehan, Northway, Bishopston (letter)

OPERATION ACHILLES CHARGES
Staines Guardian 4.4.08 Animal activist faces extremism charge - A Sunbury woman was among seven people who appeared in court accused of animal rights activism involving the controversial Huntingdon Life Sciences laboratory. Janet Lawrence, 53, of Bowater Gardens, was charged with animal rights extremism after an operation involving five police forces. The three men and four women faced charges of conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences… District Judge Philip Gilliband ordered the transfer of the cases to Winchester Crown Court, where a preliminary hearing is expected to be held on Friday, April 4…. (story)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 22.3.08 Six face HLS blackmail charges - SIX people have been charged with conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences as part of an operation to disrupt animal rights extremism. The charges are the latest development in Operation Achilles – a police operation involving Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Thames Valley and Hampshire police forces.... Sixteen have been charged with conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences, two have been charged with blackmail and malicious communications, three have been charged with burglary and handling in relation to a stolen dog, and one has been charged with theft from his employee in relation to documents he is alleged to have passed to Shac.... (story)
Staines Guardian 20.3.08 Woman charged with animal rights conspiracy - A Sunbury woman has been charged in connection with animal rights extremism. Janet Lawrence, 53, faces a charge of conspiracy to blackmail laboratory operator Huntingdon Life Sciences along with five others.... (story)
BBC News Online 19.3.08 Six charged over animal extremism - Six people have been charged in connection with animal rights extremism, after an operation involving police from five forces.... Those charged were Thomas Harris, 24, Nicola Tapping, 26, and 51-year-old Sarah Whitehead - all from Littlehampton. Jason Mullan, 29 and Nicole Vosper, 20, from Newquay were also charged, with Janet Lawrence, 53, from Sunbury on Thames, Surrey. (story)
Southern Daily Echo 19.3.08 Six charged over animal rights extremism By Clare Kennedy Police have today charged a further six people during the latest stage of an ongoing operation to disrupt animal rights extremism across the UK. They include Thomas Harris, 24, and Nicola Tapping, 26, both of Alver Road, Gosport, who are both charged with conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences. They will appear before Aldershot Magistrates' Court next Thursday.... (story)

Hastings Observer 4.4.08 Animal prison - I AM sure I am not alone in feeling uneasy at the imprisonment of animals at the Blue Reef Aquarium? I feel that keeping any animal just for the public to gawp at is wrong… M. TILBROOK, Priory Road (letter)

Western Daily Press 4.4.08 CULL CLAIMS DO NOT STAND UP - Having been on the old badger TB panel, I was very saddened to see Anthony Gibson's letter (Your Say, March 27). His two main claims for a badger cull are quite simply wrong…. M Hancox, Stroud (letter)

RTE 4.4.08 Ape's escape saddens animal rights group - The Alliance for Animal Rights (AFAR) has said it is saddened to hear an orangutan tried to escape from its enclosure at Dublin Zoo earlier this week…. (story)

3.4.08

Lancashire Evening Post 3.4.08 Act has delivered for animal welfare - F B Latham (Letters, March 6) claims the Hunting Act has failed to deliver. In fact it has made it illegal to inflict cruelty on an animal in the name of sport. Last month a MORI poll showed that 73% of people in the UK support the Act… Barry Hugill, League Against Cruel Sports, via email (letter)
Lancashire Evening Post 6.3.08 Scrap ineffective Hunting Act - The third anniversary of the Hunting Act has just passed and, in that time just three hunts have been convicted of any offence. That is the sum total of offences committed by more than 300 hunts hunting every day... The tiny number of convictions hides the malicious number of allegations received by the police, the time spent investigating them, the hours of police time spent observing hunts, the confusion in the courts and the difficulties for all those trying to hunt within such a bad law... F B Latham, via email (story)

Western Gazette 3.4.08 CHICKEN CAMPAIGN - Fowl Deeds: Animal welfare campaigners Eloise Shavelar, left in costume, Daniel Day, Carol Yesson, Zoe Willets, Laura Jarvis and Lloyd Croswell raise awareness of the welfare of chickens during their protest outside Tesco in North Street, Langport. The members of Compassion in World Farming urged Tesco to stop selling eggs from caged hens and improve conditions for chickens reared for meat…. (story)
Western Gazette 27.3.08 ANIMAL WELFARE PROTEST AT SUPERMARKET - Animal welfare campaigners will be protesting at a Langport supermarket today.Members of the Compassion in World Farming group will be stationed outside the Tesco Metro store in North Street at 10am... Campaigns Officer for the group Eloise Shavelar said: "Tesco competitors Sainsbury's and the Co-op are taking the welfare of chickens seriously by pledging to improve their standards for chickens and to stop selling eggs from caged hens. Yet, Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket is still refusing to budge..... (story)

Rutland Times 3.4.08 Badger plight ….You reported that Anglian Water may have to divert their main away from a badgers' set, as the badger is a protected species, and it is illegal to destroy a set if badgers are in residence. But hang on. Is this the same badger that the Government is proposing to cull to prevent the spread of Bovine TB? So on one hand they are protected, and on the other hand, they are killed… Paul Lindfield, Stanground, Peterborough (letter)

The Comet 4.4.08 Not fair on circus animals - The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) is asking the people of Hertfordshire to boycott the Bobby Roberts Circus which is currently in Hitchin… PAUL THOMAS, P O Box 4186, Manchester (letter)

The Comet 3.4.08 Circus elephant sparks animal rights protests - group hits out at charge for pictures - ANIMAL rights supporters are planning a protest outside a circus which is home to the last circus elephant in the UK. The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) will be outside Bobby Roberts' Super Circus tomorrow (Friday) at 6.45pm and is also asking people to boycott the show, which set up camp in Butts Close, Hitchin, on Monday and runs until this Sunday…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 3.4.08 BISTRO OWNER SWALLOWS HIS PRIDE AND TAKES FOIE GRAS OFF THE MENU - Animal rights activists have persuaded a French restaurant to take foie gras off its menu. But the owner of the Beaujolais says he will still serve the delicacy if a customer requests it. Members of the Bath Activist Network (BAN) gathered outside the restaurant in Chapel Row to protest against the duck liver pate at the weekend…. (story)
Bath Chronicle 1.4.08 FOIE GRAS PROTESTERS SCORE ANOTHER VICTORY - Animal rights activists have persuaded a French restaurant to take the controversial delicacy foie gras off its menu. But the owner of the Beaujolais bistro says he will still serve the dish if a customer requests it. Members of the Bath Activist Network (BAN) gathered outside the restaurant in Chapel Row to protest against the duck liver pate at the weekend. Although owner Jean Pierre Auge has taken the product off the official menu, he says the decision was made purely to get rid of the protesters.... Protester Megan Lebasci said: "We saw the dish on their website eight days ago so that is why we are here today... (story)

Argus 3.4.08 Animal rescue service in funding plea - Animal rescuers have made a public appeal for donations to help them survive the busy spring and summer season. The East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) needs £70,000 a year to respond to emergency call outs and pay vets' bills… (story)

2.4.08

Aberdeen Press & Journal 2.4.08 Opposing views on gamekeepers - I refer to Andy Ritchie’s letter (the Press and Journal, March 26) and his description of gamekeepers as “the true guardians of wildlife”. Not quite the sentiments expressed by my late father. As a Banffshire farmer, his opinion of gamekeepers, with one or two exceptions, was that they were “irresponsible thugs with no respect for animal life except those birds and animals bred for sport”.... Guardians of wildlife? I think not, Mr Ritchie. Mrs M.H. Pirie, Devanha Gardens South, Aberdeen. (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 28.3.08 Guardians of wildlife - I can't see gamekeepers as “true guardians of what little wildlife we now have left", as described by Andy Ritchie (Letters, March 26). Gamekeepers are employed to keep populations of introduced game birds, such as pheasants, at artificially high levels so that their clients can have a better chance of blasting them out of the sky with a shotgun.... Ronald Anderson, Schoolhouse, Catterline, Stonehaven (letter)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 26.3.08 ‘Gamekeepers are the true guardians’ read with utter amazement your piece (the Press and Journal, March 21) headed “Police raid estate over bird poisonings". More than 50 officers, including “dozens" of police officers, participated in this dawn raid. It appears that gamekeepers are now in the same league as serious criminals, i.e. major drug dealers and terrorists. The criminals here are the people who seem hell bent on having our countryside full of predatory species of wildlife. With buzzards, sparrowhawks and the like already out of control, the devastation of the rest of our wildlife is clear... Andy Ritchie, The Moorie, St Cyrus. (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 2.4.08 Battle to save Post Offices - The proposed closure of four post offices in the Stafford area has been condemned by local customers who are aiming to fight the decision… Meanwhile the Countryside Alliance is telling communities “it’s not over yet – fight for your branch.” Midlands regional director Clare Rowson commented: “This is sad news and will come as a shock to all those sub-post masters on the list, but the fight certainly doesn’t end here… (story)

Skegness Standard 2.4.08 Eco town for Strubby? By Stephanie Harrison - TWO former airfields close to Louth have been identified as possible locations for an eco town – an idea already raising concerns for the Countryside Alliance... Speaking for the Countryside Alliance, Alice Barnard said the organisation was not objecting to new developments in rural areas but had concerns about the impact the town may have.... (story)

Sutton Guardian 2.4.08 Pets injured by urban foxes By Lisa Williams - Sutton's foxes have surpassed their reputation for cunning and bin-ravaging to be labelled a threat to the survival of the borough's pets. Cheam vets practice Frean and Smythe contacted the Sutton Guardian after noticing a sharp increase in admissions for pets who had been brutally attacked by foxes.... (story)

Leicester Mercury 2.4.08 A TALK FOR ANIMAL LOVERS - Animal lovers are being invited to attend a meeting on the work of animal rescuers. Roy Marriott, of Animals in Need, a Northampton-based charity, will be speaking at a meeting hosted by Leicestershire Vegans and Vegetarians tomorrow. Sue Daniels, from the local vegetarians group, said: "Animals In Need is a voluntary organisation dedicated to rescuing sick, injured, trapped and distressed wild and domestic animals.... (story)

Leicester Mercury 2.4.08 KASABIAN BACK CALL TO BAN SEAL HUNTING BY GEMMA PEPLOW - Local heroes Kasabian have shown they are rockers with hearts after signing a petition calling for a ban on seal hunting..... Band members Tom Meighan, Chris Edwards and Serge Pizzorno have teamed up with peta2 - the youth arm of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) - to spread the word about the "cruel" fur trade.... Peta spokeswoman Violet Owens said: "We've joined forces with Kasabian to draw attention to the fact that more than 275,000 baby harp seals will be bludgeoned to death in Canada this year so they can be made into fur coats, collars, cuffs and trinkets... (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 2.4.08 CIRCUS DIVIDE - My partner and I have have just returned from taking my three-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son to the circus. I had to write in support of the circus, both the human acts and the animals provided great family entertainment... as an animal lover myself I was delighted but not surprised to the see how wonderful the animals looked, from their gleaming coats to their full tummies and the cleanliness of the whole circus and the care, love and nurturing given by all those that work with them and alongside them, they are extremely healthy creature... Kate Moore, Lawson Avenue, Grimsby
CIRCUS ringmaster Martin Lacey assures us that his circus animals "receive the best possible care"... Of course children love to see animals, and he exploits this for his business, but children only see the superficial glitz and not the ugly reality of circus animal life... Dr D Wedlake (address supplied).
A BIG thank you to all our supporters who braved the bad weather and the efforts of the demonstrators to dissuade them from supporting the Great British Circus, thus making our visit once more a great success and me and my staff so welcome.... Martin Lacey, Great British Circus, Laceby Road, Grimsby (letters)

1.4.08

Leicester Mercury 1.4.08 MERCURY MAILBOX: PROUD TO UPHOLD RURAL TRADITIONS - After being in attendance for bottle kicking for the past five years, I just wish to express my delight at seeing the same size crowd at the event this year... I want to express my pleasure at seeing that people still care about our traditions and my dismay at the attempts to inhibit them by those who cannot see what the countryside has to offer. Farmers, hunters and the people who interact with rural Britain keep the natural order of rural life - so support them! Sam Scott, Uppingham. (letter)

SEDGEFIELD RACECOURSE INVESTIGATION
Horse & Hound 1.4.08 Horse deaths at Sedgefield Racecourse being investigated by the British Horseracing Authority - Amy Mathieson, H&H news writer - THE British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is investigating why so many horses have died at Sedgefield racecourse in the last year.... (story)
Sunday Sun 30.3.08 Horse deaths probe at Sedgefield course by Sarah Robertson, Sunday Sun - TOP horseracing officials are launching an investigation into a North track to find out why so many animals have died there. It follows a report published last week that 11 horses had to be put down at Sedgefield, in County Durham, in the last 12 months... (story)
Northern Echo 30.3.08 Investigation announced over horse deaths By Chris Fay - HORSERACING officials are launching an investigation to find out why so many horses have died at a North-East racecourse. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is looking at Sedgefield Racecourse where 12 horses have died in the last year making it the country's most lethal track... (story)

Argus 1.4.08 French elephants - I congratulate Jenny Wilkins on her action drawing attention to the desperate plight of the animals in the circus that visits Dieppe every year. I have a home in Dieppe and am often there when the circus arrives. I am afraid my demonstrations have never been more courageous than shouting at the circus vans when they arrive. I am also saddened by the annual reptile exhibition... Frances Lindsay-Hills, chairman, Sussex, Brighton and East Grinstead RSPCA North Gardens, Brighton (letter)