April 2013

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30.4.13

The Field 30.4.13 Are you funding the antis? By Tim Bonner - The rural community has serious financial clout. Make sure you are not inadvertantly backing the opposition and the antis… we should not be spending any of our hard-earned cash with those companies that openly support animal-rights organisations and the antis cause. Top of that list is the cosmetics firm Lush…. If you are in the market for a new hi-fi or flat-screen TV avoid high street and online retailer Richer Sounds like the plague. Owner Julian Richer has long supported the League Against Cruel Sports… Then there is the Co-operative Group… (story)

Telegraph 30.4.13 RSPCA's hunting convictions more than double in one year - Hunting convictions following prosecutions brought by the RSPCA have more than doubled in the past 12 months, new figures show. By Christopher Hope, and Andrew Hough - The RSPCA said the number of convictions under the Hunting Act 2004 have increased from eight in 2011 to 18 in 2012. Four of the convictions in 2012 were against members of David Cameron’s local hunt, the Heythrop. The Heythrop Hunt was the only "traditional red coat hunt" prosecution last year, the RSPCA said…. (story)

Mail 30.4.13 Rats and the City: Amateur urban hunters use dogs to track down and exterminate rodents in the Big Apple - Members of Ryders Alley Trencher-fed Society (RATS) have been meeting weekly for a decade to hunt rats… Four-legged hunters include border terriers, a wire-haired dachshund, Jack Russell terrier mix and Patterdale terrier… ‘It's about maintaining the breed type through actual work,’ says Richard Reynolds, a New Jersey-based business analyst and longtime dog breeder who might be considered the group's organizer -- if it would accept being called organized… PETA Spokesman Martin Mersereau calls the alley rat quests ‘a twisted blood sport masquerading as rodent control.’… (story)

Western Morning News 30.4.13 RSPCA deserves bouquets and brickbats for its work - Since its founding in 1824 the RSPCA has broadly been a force for good in British society. Few could have any arguments with its mission statement, which is to "prevent cruelty, promote kindness and alleviate suffering of all animals."… Unfortunately, however, the RSPCA and its relatively recently appointed chief executive, Gavin Grant, do not seem content to leave it there. Its involvement with the debate on badgers and bovine TB, for example, has not been based upon the principle of "preventing cruelty" but on taking a very specific and political stance on an issue of great sensitivity in the countryside. It has chosen to condemn, with great vehemence, farmers who are supporting a cull of badgers on their land as a way of bringing bovine TB under control. In doing so the RSPCA risks being seen alongside some very dubious proponents of extreme animal rights, who are not above issuing physical threats to anyone involved in the cull, as it comes ever nearer…. (story)

ANIMAL AID WORLD DAY FOR LABORATORY ANIMALS LETTER
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 30.4.13 Ban this testing I fully support everything Ashley Owen of Animal Aid says (Letters, April 23). I personally find any animal experimentation disgusting and believe animal testing is no better than animal torture… Jason Smith, UKIP Bradford chairman, Woodlands Avenue, Queensbury (story)
Belfast Telegraph 24.4.13 Animal Aid's claims 'wrong' - Ashley Owen of Animal Aid makes some overblown claims in his letter (Write Back, April 23). World Day for Animals in Laboratories is not recognised by the UN…. He claims that 3.5 million animals are "subjected to experiments", yet nearly half of these are the birth of a laboratory mouse. Only 2% of experiments involve substantial suffering. CHRIS MAGEE Understanding Animal Research (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 23.4.13 Animal testing is unacceptable - ASHLEY OWEN, Animal Aid (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 23.4.13 Think of poor animals - Tomorrow marks World Day for Animals in Laboratories – a day, recognised by the United Nations, to remember the millions of animals who are used and killed in animal experiments around the world…. Ashley Owen, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge (letter)

Yorkshire Post 30.4.13 A horrible end for noble beasts - From: Mary Wright, Fieldhead Paddock, Boston Spa. WITH all these news stories about horsemeat in burgers has anybody actually thought of what these poor horses have gone through before being slaughtered?... If any readers feel the same, please contact Compassion in World Farming, the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare who are all running various petitions to stop this from happening. (letter)

29.4.13

OXFORD WORLD DAY FOR LAB ANIMALS MARCH
Oxford Mail 29.4.13 Hundreds join animal rights march in city - CHANTS and jeers were heard across Oxford when hundreds of animal rights protesters took to the streets…. Insurance worker Paul Watkins travelled from Bournemouth to march dressed as a dog… Pharmacy worker Ellen Chambers, 60, of Caerwent, Wales, said: “We have wonderful techniques – we don’t need old-fashioned cruel experimentation.”… (story)
Cherwell 28.4.13 Animal rights protesters out in force - Frank Macpherson, Patrick Beardmore - On Saturday 2nd Week, the ‘World Day for Animals In Laboratories’ marched in silence down Cornmarket and onto the Life Sciences department in Parks Road. Between 400 and 1000 people took part in the protest, including members of the University. Support was shown for a protester who was jailed in 2010 for trying to bomb Universtiy sites… (story)
Oxford Mail 27.4.13 Animal rights protesters now in Oxford city centre By Freddie Whittaker - Hundreds of animal rights protesters have marched in protest against Oxford University's animal testing laboratory… Ellen Chambers, 60, from South Wales, said: "We don't need this old-fashioned experimentation any more."… (story)
Oxford Mail 27.4.13 Group marching on animal rights - Animal rights campaigners will march through the city centre today…. (story)
Oxford Times 26.4.13 Animal rights protest at lab - A NATIONAL rally for animal rights protesters is being staged in Oxford. Hundreds of campaigners from across the country are expected to descend on the city tomorrow and gather at Oxpens Meadow next to the ice rink on Oxpens Road… Steve Magee, from Oxford, a member of the organising committee for the event, said: “This will be a law-abiding peaceful protest in which we will ask Oxford University to abandon vivisection and seek alternative methods of research that do not use animals… (story)
Oxford Student 25.4.13 Animal rights of way in city centre By Ruth Maclean - Oxford colleges brace themselves for protest commemorating World Day for Animals in Laboratories… Protesters will descend upon Oxford from around the UK on Saturday, April 27th, to mark the World Day for Animals in Laboratories (WDAIL)…. (story)

Evening Standard 29.4.13 Nigel Farage: have you met the cretins we have in Westminster? Our candidates can’t be any worse than them - As uncivil war breaks out between UKIP and the Tories, Richard Godwin heads down to the bunker with a ‘driven’ Nigel Farage to discuss prostitution, pubs and near-death experiences …. And how about the East Sussex candidate, Anna-Marie Crampton, recently exposed as a Holocaust denier? “We didn’t know about that,” he says. “That’s not to say we hadn’t checked her out a little bit.”… “This is hardly unique to UKIP. Look, the Liberal Democrats expelled a chap 10 days ago who was a bomber! This lady had been an animal rights activist — we thought that was her thing.”… (story)

Marketing Week 29.4.13 Vegans have bigger sexual appetite claims PETA - Animal rights organisation PETA claims vegans have a bigger sexual appetite in its latest online video ad to promote veganism…. (story)

28.4.13

Observer 28.4.13 RSPCA comes under fire for badger cull protests - Charity defends its right to criticise badger policy and live animal exports - Jamie Doward - The RSPCA, the world's oldest and largest animal welfare organisation, is at the centre of an increasingly bitter row over how it conducts its campaigns. The Charity Commission has confirmed that it is assessing a complaint that the organisation's protests against live exports and badger culling have seen it stray too far into the realm of politics… It was also criticised for launching a private prosecution against the Heythrop hunt… (story)

Sunday Express 28.4.13 Cruel agony of snared pets - PETS are being mutilated in snares set to catch foxes and other pests, a report will reveal this week. By: Stuart Winter - Injuries to cats and dogs as well as protected animals such as otters and badgers are so rife that snaring must be made illegal, the League Against Cruel Sports is demanding…. (story)

Sunday Express 28.4.13 Zoos chop birds' wings in half to keep them captive - BRITAIN'S most prestigious wildfowl charity has been mutilating thousands of birds by unlawfully chopping off parts of their wings to prevent them flying away. By: Ted Jeory - An investigation has found that the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, which owns some of the country¹s most popular water reserves, has been amputating the wings of newly hatched chicks without any supervision by vets, as is required by law… The operation, known as pinioning, involves amputating the end of a young bird's wing with sharp scissors and has been taking place at the trust's world famous water reserves and at other zoos for decades… The investigation had been carried out by the Captive Animals Protection Society… (story)

Independent on Sunday 28.4.13 Although the human race daily subjects unimaginable numbers of animals to lives of suffering and fearful deaths, The IoS seems to treat animal welfare as if it were beneath the notice of serious people…. Julie Harrison, Hertford (story)

27.4.13

Horse & Hound 27.4.13 Petition against anti-hunting Facebook page - Hunt supporters’ relief at seeing the “I love hunting accidents” Facebook page removed was short-lived when the page resurfaced just a day after its demise…. “We made a concerted effort to bring the page down, enough was enough,” said Campaigning for Hunting’s David McNeill, a foot-follower with the West Somerset Beagles and Exmoor Foxhounds. “Sadly, it was only temporary, but let’s keep going and hope Facebook will listen.”… “It is very unpleasant, revelling in injuries and death of people taking part in field sports,” said the CA’s Charlotte Cooper. “The comments on the death of Fiona Vigar [Cattistock joint-master who died after a hunting accident this year] and other issues are inexcusable.”… (story)

Western Morning News 27.4.13 What to consider in search for a horsey home - When it comes to keeping horses, there is a multitude of ways to live the equestrian lifestyle. The good news is that from happy hackers through to international competitors, the Westcountry can provide the terrain and facilities to keep every level of rider… Hunting takes place throughout the Westcountry but if it is jumping big hedges that appeals, then the Taunton Vale and the Blackmore Vale are the most challenging areas…. (story)

Oxford Mail 27.4.13 Hydro-power will not sustain river fish levels - I READ with horror the Oxford Mail article “People power saves hydro-electric plans” (April 24). I cannot believe that these residents can think that their turbine is an environmentally friendly source of power. For the sake of supplying electricity to approximately 50 houses they will be slaughtering the local river fish population by subjecting it to the effects of a 24-hour-a-day fish mincing machine… NIGEL PLUNKETT, Delbush Avenue Sandhills Headington (letter)

Independent 27.4.13 That's one way to badger farmers: squatters join battle to halt cull - Activists plan to shadow shooting parties with vuvuzelas to scare badgers away - CHARLIE COOPER - Opponents of the badger cull have enlisted the help of members of the squatter and Traveller communities, threatening to occupy farm buildings and set up camps on private land where badgers will be shot. The threat, from a newly-formed protest group called Squat the Cull, has further escalated tension in the rural areas earmarked for trials of the Government’s controversial culling policy… “We think we have around 30 serious people willing to spend time on this and live on site with another 50 or so who can come for a day and will help resist eviction,” Dave Peel, a member of the group, told The Independent… Jay Tiernan, a leader of Stop the Cull, said activists associated with the group would act within the law but that it would “not condemn” harassment of farmers involved in the cull or damage to private property… (story)

Bath Chronicle 27.4.13 Campaigners hope to create a vision of change for Bath this weekend - LJGillespie - Campaigners for change have met in Bath this weekend to share ideas. The second Visions for Change event, organised by Bath People’s Assembly, was held in the city centre and included 25 pressure groups… (story)
Bath Chronicle 25.4.13 Loach will speak at activists' get-together - Film director Ken Loach will speak at a conference bringing together campaign groups in Bath on Saturday. Visions for Change 2013 will open its doors to the public between 11am and 3pm at the Friends Meeting House in York Street. There will be stalls reflecting the work of groups from Bath Against the Badger Cull to Oxfam as well as talks and short films…. The other groups represented include Greenpeace, Bath Against Cuts, Bath Amnesty, Energy Efficient Widcombe, 38 Degrees, Bath Anarchists, Occupy Bath, Bath Stop War Coalition, Bath Foodcycle, Frack Free Somerset, Bath Quakers, Bath Friends of Palestine, the Clevelands Pool Trust, Bath Green Drinks, Bath Oliver and the Avon Co-operative Development Agency (story)

Mancunian Matters 27.4.13 Have a CARE: New Manchester animal rights group offers different approach in bid to stamp out testing forever By Matt Simpson - A Manchester animal rights group are offering a different approach to raising public awareness on animal testing in a bid to put an end to it altogether. Formed seven weeks ago in response to growing concerns over the use of animals for scientific experimentation, Cease Animal Research Experiments (CARE) aims to educate the general public, rather than specific groups. Various other animal rights groups can be selective in the type of people they target for support, but CARE founder Vicky Fraser, 36, believes this is not the way forward…. Alex Irving, 56, Manchester-based founder of Save the Harlan Beagles – who have also staged protests at AstraZeneca – agreed with Vicky’s sentiment that things will not change overnight… Vicky and CARE are committed to peaceful protests in their attempts to change legislation, which is also something Mrs Irving believes is vital to their campaign… (story)

Isle of Thanet Gazette 27.4.13 Animal rights protester Gerard Bane cleared of breaching order at Ramsgate Port By Sam Inkersole - AN ANIMAL-RIGHTS protester has become the second person in two months to be cleared of breaching a police order during protests at Ramsgate port. Gerard Bane, 47, of Chapel Road, Ramsgate, appeared at Margate Magistrates Court on Monday charged with "knowingly failing to comply with a condition imposed by a senior police officer under section 14 of The Public Order Act 1986" in November 2011…. (story)

26.4.13

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 26.4.13 Holme Valley and Colne Valley Beagles to form new association by Robert Sutcliffe - TWO of Yorkshire’s most illustrious hunts, Holme Valley Beagles and Colne Valley Beagles, have merged. Although, senior joint master of Colne Valley, James Swanbury, was tight-lipped about the reasons saying they were “practical”, the Examiner understands that cost is a factor given the large amount of money involved in maintaining packs…. (story)

PORTMAN RIDER ACCUSED OF ASSAULT
Bournemouth Echo 26.4.13 Do you recognise woman sought after man was struck with riding crop? - POLICE have released this image of a woman they would like to speak to following an unprovoked assault on a man who was struck round the head with a riding crop. The incident occured when the 63-year-old man from Somerset was watching the Portman Hunt in the area of Crate Hill in Fifehead St. Quintin on Wednesday, December 19 last year… (story)
Sky News 26.4.13 Horse Whip Assault Woman Hunted By Police - A woman horse-rider, who whipped a man around the head with her riding crop as he watched a hunt, is being sought by police. The 63-year-old victim was at the Portman Hunt near Sturminster Newton in Dorset when he was struck by the rider in what police are describing as an "unprovoked attack"… (story)

Farmers Weekly 26.4.13 Battling for Broadband: one year on - It has been a year since Farmers Weekly ran the Battling for Broadband campaign. Robyn Vinter finds out whether the situation has improved… The Countryside Alliance, which says it is doing a lot of work on rural communication issues, agrees the roll-out so far has been "pretty poor"…. (story)

Coventry Telegraph 26.4.13 ON Saturday April 27, a national march and rally will be held in Oxpens Park, Oxford at 12noon marking World Day for Animals in Laboratories and the millions of animals who suffer and die in appalling experiments…. Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby. (story)

25.4.13

Horse & Hound 25.4.13 ‘Too many’ packs, says chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association - The number of foxhound packs in Britain must be reduced by around 50 if hunting is to prosper, says Stephen Lambert, chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA). In an H&H interview to mark his retirement from the role next year, Mr Lambert says there are “too many packs operating on a small, overcrowded island” and the current total of 186 in England, Wales and Scotland needs to be dramatically reduced… (story)

Tavistock 25.4.13 Great day out in store at the show - FOLLOWING the success of a great day’s racing at Cherrybrook Point to Point, Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt is now looking forward to its annual country show at Bickham Park, Roborough. The show takes place on Sunday, April 28, starting at 9.30am. The event is sign-posted off the A386 between Plymouth and Yelverton…. (story)

Western Morning News 25.4.13 Sheep dog trials and country show set for the off - Devon Country Fayre & English National Sheepdog Trials return to the grounds of Castle Hill Estate, Filleigh, near South Molton on July 19-21, with all profits going to North Devon Hospice. Organisers aim to make the fayre a focal point for those with a love of country sports, hobbies, crafts and leisure pursuits… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.4.13 Pipers Farm rules the By Phil Goodwin - WITH a sustainable ethos which goes way beyond organic, Pipers Farm has won a string of plaudits over its 25-year history…. Last month the farm added to its packed trophy cabinet with a highly-prestigious award at the 'rural Oscars' where it was named champion of the UK and Ireland for local food by the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

ThisIsCornwall 25.4.13 Environment minister Owen Paterson "bored with high-profile public entertainers" on badger cull - The Environment Minister has spoken out against "high-profile public entertainers" speaking out on the proposed badger cull. Cabinet minister Owen Paterson's comments came days after a fresh appeal from Queen guitarist Brian May against the proposed badger cull…. (story)

Wells Journal 25.4.13 Pilot badger culls are due to take place in Somerset and Gloucestershire - Pilot badger culls are due to take place in Somerset and Gloucestershire in June in an attempt to wipe out bovine TB…. Bryan Hill, who farms near Okehampton and represents the Badger Welfare Association claims a 99 per cent success rate in identifying diseased setts. He says he has helped farmers in 11 counties. Adrian Coward, chair of the Somerset Badger Group, said: "We have evidence that shows that vaccination is successful… (story)

Wells Journal 25.4.13 RSPCA urges people to sign the petition - The Government's ill-fated and potentially devastating cull of badgers in pilot areas in England is due to begin in less than two months. We need to act now to stop this slaughter and to help the cows and dairy farmers who face the threat of bovine TB… Gavin Grant RSPCA chief executive (letter)

Wells Journal 25.4.13 No place in society for culling badgers - In a few weeks mercenaries paid by the National Farmers' Union (NFU) will be attempting to humanely shoot thousands of healthy badgers across West Somerset and West Gloucestershire…. There is no place in a balanced and caring society for such policies. If you care and want to stop this then you must take action now; not when the bodies are piled high. Adrian Coward West Horrington (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.4.13 Don't donate to animal research - WORLD Day for Laboratory Animals, 24 April, is a UN-recognised date to highlight the fate of the millions of animals who suffer and die each year behind the walls of laboratories. Our local group, Exeter Friends For Animals, was among the many campaigners for change around the world to take to the streets this week to raise funds for safer and more humane alternatives to animal research…. Sharon Howe Fortescue Road, Sidmouth (letter)

Irish Times 25.4.13 Animal welfare activists protest against live cattle exports - More than 100 people protested outside the Department of Agriculture yesterday over the reopening of the live cattle trade to Libya, and vowed to step up their campaign in the coming weeks…. The Animal Rights Action Network (Aran) and Compassion in World Farming led yesterday’s protest outside Mr Coveney’s office. Aran campaigns director John Carmody said most Irish people would be horrified at the resumption of long-distance live cattle shipments… (story)

Plymouth Herald 25.4.13 Vegans to host film screening - A FILM exploring the connection between humans and animals will be showing at Plymouth University next week. Plymouth Vegans will be hosting a free airing of the film Peaceable Kingdom at 7.30pm on Monday in the Devonport lecture theatre in the Portland Square building on the main university campus… (story)

Vice 25.4.13 PETA Are Killing Thousands of Healthy Animals Every Year By Rachel Hardwick - PETA have done a pretty good job of crowbarring their animal rights message into the public consciousness… However, all that shock and awe has also conveniently managed to cover up a pretty awkward truth – that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals kill thousands of pets every year…. I contacted Nathan J Winograd, founder of the "no-kill advocacy" shelters that, over the past few years, have been emerging throughout the US and are saving thousands of animals’ lives… "There's actually a video of Ingrid Newkirk [PETA's president] herself admitting that they kill healthy animals when they can’t find homes for them,” Nathan told me…(story)
Mail 8.4.13 The heartbreaking image that shows the reality of PETA's animal homes: Garbage bags full of kittens killed by animal rights group - PETA claims to be the world's leading animal rights charity - but this shocking picture of garbage bags filled with dead cats has led to claims that the group is actually abusing animals rather than helping them. The photograph shows the interior of a dumpster outside a North Carolina supermarket, which reportedly contains a pile of garbage bags each filled with the dead cats. The picture is one of many photos that Nathan Winograd claims depict rampant animal abuse at the organization that took the felines in with the promise of finding them homes…. (story)

24.4.13

Western Morning News 24.4.13 Make cruelty illegal and sort out Hunting Act at a stroke By Giles Bradshaw - Your opinion piece "Temporary lull in battle over countryside's bad law" (April 22) claims that the Hunting Act is a 'bad law'. Many people involved in the hunting scene from both sides would agree. I am sure we would also all agree that the declaration that there is a 'countryside war' by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) is extremely regrettable…. (story)

Oxford Mail 24.4.13 Attacks on wildlife - DAVID Cameron’s henchman, Owen Paterson, has been dubbed ‘the Squirrel killing Minister for Wildlife’, after he boasted of slaughtering grey squirrels on his land… Cameron, Mr Paterson and the rest of this ‘Countryside Alliance’ cabinet, are now intent on massacring 70-per cent of our badger population… Cameron is also intent on overturning the Hunting Act, especially since the Heythrop Hunt, Mr Cameron’s local hunt, has been successfully prosecuted by the RSPCA for hunting illegally. M PRITCHARD (Mr) Linkside Avenue Oxford (letter)

Dundee Courier 24.4.13 Partridges on the increase - The sad decline in grey partridge numbers as lamented by Angus Whitson in his Saturday column, is a matter of serious concern for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust… However, our intensive research has shown that this trend can be reversed by sensitive, targeted land management. In a recent study published in Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, grey partridges were shown to have increased by 81% on farms and shooting estates that are participating in the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Partridge Count Scheme… Katrina J Candy.Head of PR & Education, The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. (letter)

Liverpool Echo 24.4.13 Stop badger cull - THE government has announced that the badger cull will go ahead… Please help, tell the government that they need to reconsider the cull, as it is not an effective method of controlling Bovine TB. James C. Maxwell, Old Swan (letter)

Huffington Post 24.4.13 Let's Honour World Day for Animals in Laboratories - By Making It One of the Last - Mimi Bekhechi - What a difference a year makes. Last year on this day,World Day for Animals in Laboratories, animal advocates were lamenting the possibility that the European Union would delay its monumental ban on the sale of animal-tested cosmetics indefinitely. But this year, we have reason to celebrate… We can win the fight against animal testing and eliminate the need to mark World Day for Animals in Laboratories ever again. (story)

Independent 24.4.13 It’s barking mad: the cruel tradition of vivisection should be relegated to the past By Victoria Martindale - In Battersea Park stands a statue of a little brown dog that marks the controversy over vivisection that has continued since the 19thcentury… Today is World Day for Animals in Laboratories… (story)

Herald 24.4.13 University targeted in lab cruelty row - A CAMPAIGN group calling for an end to animal research has highlighted a case at Glasgow University in which they claim at least 31 hamsters were subject to cruelty…. The National Anti- Vivisection Society (NAVS) said "animals were killed at different points"… On World Day for Laboratory Animals, NAVS is calling for more transparency in animal research…. (story)

South Wales Echo 24.4.13 A day to reflect on the millions of animals that suffer in name of science - Today is World Day for Laboratory Animals, a United Nations recognised day of international commemoration of the suffering and killing of millions of animals in laboratories around the world… The BUAV is calling on the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to revoke Imperial College’s Establishment Licence, stopping them from carrying out further animal research… Nigel George, Cardiff Animal Network CAN (letter)

Derby Telegraph 24.4.13 Join our campaign to end cruel testing on animals - TODAY is World Day for Laboratory Animals. Following the huge success of the end to animal testing for cosmetics in Europe, the National Anti-Vivisection Society is asking people to do two things. Firstly, make sure your household products are cruelty-free by visiting our website www.navs.org.uk. Also, take part in a Government scheme about freedom of information on animal experiments. Details are on the website… Jan Creamer Chief Executive National Anti-Vivisection Society (letter)

Mid Ulster Mail 24.4.13 Animal madness! By Gillian McDade - PEOPLE in Dungannon are being urged to boycott a travelling animal circus when it comes to town on Monday and Tuesday. Leading charitable organisations Animal Defenders International (ADI) and the Irish based Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) are asking residents not to visit Duffy’s Circus which has shows scheduled for Coalisland and Dungannon, but instead to support human only shows… (story)

Daventry Express 24.4.13 Animal charity urges public to boycott circus near Daventry - A national animal protection charity has called on the public not to go and see a circus using animals which opens today (Wednesday April 24) near Dodford. The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) says the Jolly’s Circus is one of just two remaining that continue to use wild animals in their shows… (story)

Malton & Pickering Mercury 24.4.13 Frogs’ legs are for the French! I was shocked to read that a fish and chip shop in Robin Hood’s Bay is selling frogs’ legs… This is a barbaric food, not needed here, it is cruel, just like catching sharks to cut off their fins for soup… Mrs P Dale Sproxton Helmsley (letter)

23.4.13

Western Mail 23.4.13 Welsh MPs should be banned on voting on fox-hunting and English schools, says UKIP leader By Paul Rowland - Welsh MPs must be stopped from voting on issues such as fox-hunting and education in England, Ukip leader Nigel Farage claimed today. Speaking on St George’s Day, Mr Farage told reporters in the Commons that the people of England now wanted a greater say over their lives…. (story)

22.4.13

WESTERN MORNING NEWS HUNTING FEATURE
Western Morning News 22.4.13 Hunting was taking place, court hears, but joint master is innocent - The charge of illegal hunting against Somerset huntsman George Milton was dismissed with no case to answer. The defendant emerged without a stain on his character but the case was not enitrely clear cut. Tina Rowe reports… The Crown Prosecution Service brought the case against George Milton, 54, Huntsman and Joint Master of Weston and Banwell Harriers… (story)
Western Morning News 22.4.13 Cleared... but huntsman still a victim of countryside 'war' - The League Against Cruel Sports has stepped up efforts to win some convictions for what is claims is illegal hunting still going on in the countryside. Specialist country sports and rural affairs lawyer Jamie Foster, a partner in Taunton-based Clarke Willmott, believes they are failing… (story)
Western Morning News 22.4.13 Eight years since the Hunting Act, but this battle between the still-thriving hunts and their opponents continues to rage By Philip Bowern - The act of Parliament banning hunting with dogs is now eight years old – but the controversy surrounding the subject and the vigour with which anti-hunt groups pursue hunts they believe are breaking the law shows little sign of dying down…. (story)
Western Morning News 22.4.13 In my opinion: Temporary lull in battle over countryside's bad law - It is hard to imagine there is a war in the countryside. Now that spring is here there has been a temporary ceasefire. Hunts all over the country have finished for the season. Horses and hounds will be rested until the autumn. Meanwhile the League against Cruel Sports will have few months to focus on its other campaigns, to prepare equipment and its monitors for re-engagement…. (story)

RSPCA DROP CHARGES AGAINST CHESHIRE FOREST SUPPORTERS
Knutsford Guardian 22.4.13 Badgers Act charges are dropped against Cheshire Forest Hunt members By James Wilson - CHARGES of interfering with a badger sett have been dropped against a Holmes Chapel man – and member of the Cheshire Forest hunt – as the trial was about to be heard in court… (story)
Horse & Hound 21.4.13 RSPCA drops private prosecution of two hunt supporters The RSPCA has dropped a private prosecution of two supporters of the Cheshire Forest hunt. Brian Nuttall, 79, from Holmes Chapel, and Justin Schofield, 42, from Crewe, were filmed covertly by anti-hunt activists near Croton on 3 March 2012…. (story)
Crewe Guardian 17.4.13 Badger baiting charges against Crewe man dropped - BADGER baiting charges against a Crewe resident – and member of the Cheshire Forest hunt – have been dropped as the trial was about to be heard in court. The RSPCA decided to drop a private prosecution of two supporters of the Cheshire Forest hunt at a hearing at Chester Magistrates Court on Thursday, April 11… (story)
Telegraph 13.4.13 RSPCA drop latest case against a hunt - this time involving 79-year-old - The RSPCA has been accused of wasting thousands of pounds of taxpayers money and ‘stealing’ an old man’s dog after its latest case involving a hunt collapsed. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - The charity accused 79-year-old Brian Nuttall and Justin Schofield, 42, of disturbing a badger sett while out with the Cheshire Forest Hunt. The terriers of both men were confiscated for ten months and a seven-year-old patterdale bitch named Topic owned by Mr Nuttall has not been returned. However the case has been dropped after the RSPCA offered “no evidence” at a hearing in Chester Magistrates' court… Yesterday a spokesman for the RSPCA said that if Mr Nuttal can prove that he owns the dog he can have it back…. (story)

Horse & Hound 22.4.13 Hunts rally against tough season - Hunting Office director Tim Easby has saluted masters and hunt staff for persevering through an “absolute swine of a season”. Autumn hunting was delayed due to the very wet ground and meet cards were further disrupted by the continued heavy rainfall, snow and freezing weather… Mr Easby also cited two “particularly spineless incidents” — in which the High Peak huntsman and a Badsworth and Bramham Moor supporter were seriously assaulted — as a return to “old-fashioned” violent behaviour by sabs… (story)

Banbury Guardian 22.4.13 The thrills and spills at the Heythrop Team Chase By Roseanne Edwards - An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed the thrills and spills of team chasing when the Heythrop Hunt hosted the final of the National Team Chase Championships 2013 in Little Compton on Sunday…. (story)

Western Daily Press 22.4.13 RSPB criticised for speaking at anti-shooting seminar - The RSPB defended itself against accusations it was “sullying its own reputation” by taking part in an event calling for shooting to be banned. The Royal Society’s head of investigations, Bob Elliot, has taken up an invitation to be the keynote speaker at a controversial seminar organised by the League Against Cruel Sports, entitled Gunning For Change, which the league is billing as an event to “expose” the game shooting industry…. The Countryside Alliance’s Dorset-based executive chairman said that the RSPB would be “seriously compromising its claim to be neutral” on the issue of game shooting if Mr Elliot took part in the conference, a claim he vigorously dismissed yesterday… (story)

Herald 22.4.13 The Scottish Government should act immediately to get rid of snaring - YOU report in a Briefing paragraph that a cat has been caught in an illegal snare near Buckie ("Cat found killed by illegal snare", The Herald, April 18)… Snaring is a stupid, cruel and ineffective way of controlling wildlife. It is banned in most European countries and the sooner Scotland bans it the better. George Leslie, SNP Against Snaring, North Glassock, Fenwick. (letter)

TAUNTON BADGER CULL RALLY
Dorset Echo 22.4.13 Queen guitarist Brian May to write song about cull -THE rock star owner of a nature reserve in Dorset is writing a protest song against the badger cull. Queen guitarist Brian May, who has land at Briantspuddle, is producing a track for the Team badger campaign against the slaughter… Mr May revealed the plans at a rally in Somerset as he warned that the Government was on the wrong path with the badger cull aimed at tackling tuberculosis in cattle… (story)
Western Daily Press 22.4.13 Brian May leads anti-badger cull rally in Taunton - Brian May warned supporters of the badger cull they are taking the “wrong path”, in a meeting in Somerset on the weekend, as he led a rally against plans to kill thousands of badgers, words he has spoken many times since the cull was announced…. (story)
Western Morning News 22.4.13 VIDEO: Rock star Brian May warns that badger cull is wrong By Adam Walmesley - Rock star and countryside campaigner Brian May has warned supporters of the badger cull they are taking the "wrong path" as he led a rally against plans to kill thousands of the wild animals in a bid to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis in cattle… (story)
The Breeze 21.4.13 Queen Guitarist In Somerset Protest - Brian May joins hundreds of people opposed to West Country badger cull. The meeting took place in Taunton this weekend, attended by around 200 people… (story)
Smallholder 19.4.13 Brian May to speak at anti-cull rally - Rock star and RSPCA supporter Dr Brian May is to speak at a public meeting this Saturday (April 22) to oppose plans to kill thousands of badgers in England… Speakers joining RSPCA vice-president Brian May, are RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant, League Against Cruel Sports Chief executive Joe Duckworth and Steve Jones, a retired dairy farmer and lead in ‘Not in this farms name’ campaign… (story)
Wells Journal 19.4.13 Brian May to join Taunton protest against badger cull plan - A coalition of charities and wildlife groups campaigning to stop the Government’s cull of badgers in England are stepping up their activity with a march and public meeting in Somerset as the cull date approaches. TeamBadger says that the Government is defying public opinion and the will of Parliament by pressing ahead with an unethical, unscientific and pointless cull of the iconic British species. The group is to hold a public meeting on Saturday, April 20, at 7pm at the Taunton Conference Centre, Somerset College… (story)
Western Morning News 19.4.13 Former Queen guitarist Brian May to speak at anti-badger cull meeting in Taunton - Former Queen band member and countryside campaigner Brian May will speak at a public meeting in Taunton tomorrow to oppose plans for a badger cull…. (story)

Guardian 22.4.13 Animal rights group fails to overturn ban on political advertising - European human rights court says banning advert by Animal Defenders International does not violate freedom of expression - Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent - An animal rights campaign group has failed to overturn the UK's ban on US-style political advertising on radio and television. By a narrow majority decision, judges at the European court of human rights in Strasbourg have ruled that preventing the broadcast of a commercial – showing a girl in chains in a chimpanzee's cage – did not violate freedom of expression. The case was brought by Animal Defenders International (ADI) who wanted to air an advert in 2005 entitled My Mate's a Primate. It was directed against the keeping and exhibition of primates in zoos and circuses and their use in television advertising… (story)
UK Fundraising 2.12.11 Campaign group to challenge ban on TV political advertising in European Court of Human Rights - The UK's ban on broadcasting TV advertisements by 'political' groups, which can include charities, is to be challenged by Animal Defenders International (ADI) at the European Court of Human Rights. The campaign group will argue that the UK's advertising laws do not comply with the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights… (story)

Henley Standard 22.4.13 Meet your local election candidates - CHALGROVE AND WATLINGTON - Sue Tibbles, Green … I continue to be involved with many local campaigns for peace, human rights, animal rights, the environment and local community initiatives… (story)

Irish Times 22.4.13 Irish circuses could become 'dumping ground' for animals - Dan Griffin - Ireland could become a “dumping ground” for wild animals as Westminster prepares legislation outlawing their use in circuses, animal rights organisations have warned…. While the legislation was welcomed by campaign groups, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The Captive Animals’ Protection Society have said English operations could now attempt to offload their animals on Irish circuses… (story)

The Sentinel 22.4.13 Animal cruelty is just shocking - WHILE I am still trying to get my head around that vile woman's actions of killing her Alsatian, up pops another appalling case of yet again… MR P ALLEN Leek (story)

Essex Chronicle 22.4.13 Athlete overcomes her 'gammy knee' to beat women's North Pole Marathon record - By Sophia Charalambous - A WOMAN with only one kneecap smashed the women's record for the North Pole Marathon by 44 minutes. Amateur athlete Fiona Oakes, 43, from Tillingham, battled through the bitter -28C temperatures and finished the race in four hours and 53 minutes… "I wanted to promote veganism in a positive light, so that is what I do whilst raising funds for the 400 animals at my animal sanctuary, the Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary in Asheldham…. (story)

Express 22.4.13 Blind orphan fox cub saved by animal lover following attack in wild By: Jaya Sisodia - The six-week-old cub was found under a tree by an animal lover after his family had been killed, believed shot, in Banbury, Oxfordshire. He was taken to Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary where staff nursed him back to health… (story)

21.4.13

Daily Record 21.4.13 Revealed: Scottish universities' science teams experiment on more than 200,000 animals a year - FREEDOM of information requests have revealed tests on 150,000 mice, 23,000 fish, 6000 rats and 1500 birds in one year at Glasgow and Edinburgh universities….Animal rights extremist Luke Steele used freedom of information laws to force researchers to provide the first breakdown of the number of rats, rabbits, pigs and sheep they used for the tests. Steele is the founder of the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA) and has been jailed for terrorising lab workers… (story)

20.4.13

Horse & Hound 20.4.13 More cases against hunts collapse - Another Hunting Act case brought by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) has collapsed, meaning the group has not seen a single successful prosecution in the past two seasons… A judge threw out the attempt by LACS to prosecute George Milton, joint-master and huntsman of the Weston and Banwell Harriers, saying “there was no case to answer”….. (story)
Western Daily Press 9.4.13 Huntmaster not guilty of illegal activity - Magistrates found a huntsman and joint master accused of illegal hunting had no case to answer yesterday but ruled that: “without a shadow of a doubt” there was evidence that hunting had taken place. The Crown Prosecution Service brought the case against George Milton, 54, Huntsman and Joint Master of Weston and Banwell Harriers…. But through his solicitor, Jamie Foster, he maintained that he was nowhere near the scene of the alleged hunting, but was riding his quad bike some distance away trying to call hounds together. The sole prosecution witness was a former schoolmate of Mr Milton’s. Both were pupils at Porlock Village School. Graham Floyd, also aged 54, is sanctuaries and investigating officer for the League Against Cruel Sports… (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 20.4.13 Vale Country Fair and Point to Point at Andoversford. - A SEASON of countryside events opens this weekend with the Vale Country Fair and point-to-point near Cheltenham. Now in its seventh year, the Andoversford event grows every year and new attractions for 2013 include an inter-hunt Foxhound Show… The first race of the point-to-point at the 19-fence Andoversford course starts at 2pm tomorrow, followed by six further races throughout the afternoon… a target=main href="http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Vale-Country-Fair-Point-Point-Andoversford/story-18754678-detail/story.html">(story)

Belfast Telegraph 20.4.13 Angry dog owners battle beach ban BY LINDA STEWART - A mass protest staged by dog owners arranged for this weekend has been given the go-ahead by the Parades Commission. Organiser Willie Gregg said he was contacted by the PSNI asking whether he had organised a certificate for the planned demonstration which opposes controversial plans to ban dogs from Portrush's West Beach… Countryside Alliance Ireland said the plans serve to anger and alienate diligent dog owners… >(story)

19.4.13

Western Morning News 19.4.13 Tetcott Hunt raises well with first outdoor fundraiser - "Wow, what a fun ride." "Fantastic fun ride." "My best fun ride ever." These were just a few of the many glowing comments from riders at the Tetcott Hunt's first outdoor fundraising event of the year, which raised over £500… (story)

Telegraph 19.4.13 - The Countryside Alliance is not interested in blocking privatisation of the Royal Mail (Leading article, April 8) but in ensuring that rural communities and businesses continue to have a level of service which meets their needs…. Barney White-Spunner, Executive chairman, Countryside Alliance (story)

Irish Examiner 19.4.13 Vegan solution - I refer to the situation where innocent sheep are reared by farmers as food for profit…. The only solution is for people to adopt a vegan lifestyle and for farmers to supply plant–based products instead of dead flesh to consumers. Bernie Wright Alliance for Animal Rights PO Box 4734 Dublin 1 (letter)

18.4.13

Horse & Hound 18.4.13 Riders don running shoes for good causes - Among the thousands of runners taking to the streets of the capital for the Virgin London Marathon this weekend (Sunday 21 April) will be stalwarts of the equestrian world and those fundraising for equine causes. They all need your support… Five runners will be fundraising for the Countryside Alliance — Charlie Warner, William Smyth-Osbourne, Megan Waller, Rollo Patrick and David Fitch-Peyton… (story)

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE ON RAT POISON BAN
Mail 18.4.13 Plague of rats in gardens and playgrounds could be caused by 'new health and safety poison rules going beyond EU guidance' By MARK DUELL - A plague of rats in gardens and playgrounds could be on the way thanks to new health and safety rules that go beyond European Union guidance, pest control experts claim…. The Country Land and Business Association and the Countryside Alliance claim the ban will make it tougher to control rats in parks and urban wasteland, and say the HSE is going further than it should… (story)
Telegraph 17.4.13 Rat poison ban could mean pest outbreak - New health and safety rules, that go beyond even EU guidance, risk causing a plague of rats in playgrounds and gardens, pest control experts have warned. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - The Health and Safety Executive want to restrict the use of so-called “second generation” rat poisons to within 5m of buildings…. The Country Land and Business Association and the Countryside Alliance point out that the ban will make control of rats in playgrounds, parks and urban wasteland difficult as well as areas of the countryside… (story)

ANIMAL AID BADGER CULL COSTS LETTER
Buckinghamshire Advertiser 18.4.13 Wildlife ‘just an inconvenience’ - KATE FOWLER Animal Aid (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 8.4.13 Badger cull costs - Isn’t it worrying that Defra held out so long before agreeing to pay the paltry £136,000 required to keep the National Wildlife Crime Unit open for another year, and yet it has already paid more than ten times that sum in preparation for the unpopular and unscientific badger cull?... Kate Fowler, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

Yorkshire Post 18.4.13 Harvey wrong on ‘wimps’ From: Mrs June Wolfe, Sutherland Road, Lightcliffe, Halifax. THANK goodness no horses were killed in the Grand National - boxers and racing drivers choose what they do, but horses have no choice. (letter)

Oxford Times 18.4.13 Killing of animals - As a member of BBOWT, it was very disappointing to read the article from Giles Strother (Weekend, April 4) advocating the ‘culling’ of deer. What is worse is his belief that the killing of animals is somehow in their best interests… Paul Hughes, Carterton (letter)

Derby Telegraph 18.4.13 Birds being mutilated by zoos for human pleasure - IN nature parks and zoos up and down the UK, thousands of baby birds are having the ends of their wings chopped off at just a few days old. The reason, simply so visitors can get close to them. The Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), with their latest undercover investigation into the keeping of birds in zoos, have exposed this barbaric practice. It is called "pinioning"… D Spencer Dovedale Crescent, Belper (letter)

17.4.13

Melton Times 17.4.13 Richard died in ‘tragic accident’ - AN inquest has heard how an elderly follower of the Belvoir Hunt tragically died in a cycling accident. Richard Winters (82), of Epping Drive, Melton, died because his head injuries, sustained in the accident, were made worse by the thinness of his skull…. (story)
Melton Times 26.12.12 Tributes pour in for Dick after bike tragedy - TRIBUTES have been paid to the last founding member of the Melton Mowbray Amateur Radio Society who died after a tragic cycling accident. Richard Winters (82), of Epping Drive, Melton, who was known as Dick, was well-known in the town not only as an amateur radio ham but also for 50 years’ service to Melton solicitors Oldham Marsh. He was also a keen follower of the Belvoir Hunt… (story)

Mail 17.4.13 Mother's terror as 'brazen' fox burst into her home as her one-year-old daughter played on the floor - A fox strayed into a house yesterday as a one-year-old baby girl played on the floor by herself. Deborah Ward, 41, from Norfolk, screamed as she scooped up her little girl Scarlett and ran out into the street as it careered round her home… (story)

Malton & Pickering Mercury 17.4.13 Majority of people are against badger cull - The Government has announced that the badger cull will go ahead and likely to start after June 1…. People power stopped the cull last year and we can do it again… A & D Nunns Newby Farm Court Scarborough (story)

CIRCUS “WILD ANIMAL” BAN
Express 17.4.13 Wild circus animals face total ban within two years - WILD animals are to be banned from circuses under Government plans unveiled yesterday… (story)
Mirror 17.4.13 Circuses to be banned from using wild animals after long campaign from animal rights groups (story)
Guardian 16.4.13 Circuses to be banned from using wild animals - Government publishes plans to ban use of wild animals in travelling circuses in England from 1 December 2015 … (story)
BBC News Online 16.4.13 Circuses to face wild animal ban - Circuses in England will be prohibited from using wild animals in their shows from the beginning of December 2015, the government has announced…. (story)
Independent 16.4.13 Government to ban use of wild animals in travelling circuses from 2015 The use of wild animals in travelling circuses will be outlawed in two years’ time under plans to be announced tomorrow by the Government…. (story)
Mail 16.4.13 Finally, MPs move to ban circuses from using exotic animals: Only horses, dogs and rabbits will be allowed By GERRI PEEV - Circuses will be banned from using wild animals under a proposed change in the law. Ministers will today unveil a draft bill that will ban using exotic beasts in big tops… (story)
Telegraph 16.4.13 Wild animals in circuses to be banned - Travelling circuses are to be banned from using wild animals in two years time, under plans being announced by the Government. By Claire Carter (story)

16.4.13

Ballymoney Times 16.4.13 Rural Oscar winners to receive letter - A letter of congratulations is to be forwarded by Ballymoney Borough Council to Cloughmills Community Action Team who have been recognised as Ireland champions in the Enterprise category of the Countryside Alliance Awards also known as the Rural Oscars…. (story)

Argus 16.4.13 Fox is just protecting its cubs - In response to the feature highlighting the views of John Speight of Howard Road, Brighton, whose chickens were killed recently by a mother fox (The Argus, April 9), this gives cause for concern… . This fox shouldn’t be killed for being a good mother. We must try to live alongside our wildlife, be aware of foxes in our area and live accordingly. Gloria Wheatcroft, The Drive, Hove (story)

Leicester Mercury 16.4.13 Dog fighting on web is shameful - I agree with everything J Smith said about breeds of dog which can be potentially dangerous…. enthusiasts of this illegal activity are not only posting videos of dog fights on YouTube but also instructional videos on how to be successful in this brutal "sport"…. These gruesome and disturbing videos should be banned and YouTube should be ashamed… Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone. (letter)

Shropshire Star 16.4.13 Letter: No care for sheep in cold weather I have heard farmers talking about how they found their sheep dead in the snow and how upset they were because of the money lost. Farmers, if you cared enough for your sheep and lambs why don’t you breed the lambs later in the season when the weather would be a lot better?... Susan Bulley, Madeley (story)

Bristol Post 16.4.13 Fur flies in ceremonial robes row - A COUNCIL is set to replace its 80-year-old ceremonial robes – after the new deputy mayor refused to wear them because they contain fur. Roz Willis, 59, says she cannot wear the gown on moral and ethical grounds because it is edged in real ermine…. (story)

Worcester News 16.4.13 It’s not a charity...you can check - Re the letter by Pauline Burgess ‘Eateries around here seem to like vegans’ (Worcester News, March 26). Can I inform her that there is no charity with the name Vegetarians International voice for animals. To save any further waste of newsprint Ms Burgess might check this with the Charity Commission…. However, I am glad to hear from Ms Burgess there are plenty of restaurants and cafes in this area that “welcome vegans”. A clear sign of understanding and tolerance for a small minority by the vast majority. Perhaps in a reciprocal arrangement vegan establishments might offer a few meat, fish or poultry dishes to attract a wider clientele. JON BURGESS Malvern (letter)

15.4.13

Guardian 15.4.13 If Peter Hetherington includes the Countryside Alliance in what he describes as a "self-appointed countryside lobby" who are against the building of new homes in rural towns and villages, "preferring soulless villages, set in aspic and largely devoid of life", he is very wrong… Barney White-Spunner, Countryside Alliance (letter)

Argus 15.4.13 Pigeons are no problem -John Butler wants readers of The Argus to view the pigeon as a “problem” (Letters, April 9). Of course he would. As a professional bird controller he has a vested interest in promoting such a view. It is baseless scaremongering… With such fussing about these entertaining and harmless birds, hysterical calls for a fox cull and the predictable whining about nesting gulls incoming, it appears that some people would like our towns to be devoid of all life apart from their own… Chris Natural, Tilbury Place, Brighton (letter)

Suffolk Free Press 15.4.13 Vegan wins North Pole Marathon - A vegan amateur athlete, from Essex, battled temperatures of -28C to win the women's race in the North Pole Marathon. Fiona Oakes, 43, from Asheldham, broke the course record for women by 44 minutes… She ran the northernmost marathon on earth to raise money for the Vegan Society and to support the 400 animals she personally cares for every day at her Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary… (story)

14.4.13

Sunday Telegraph 14.4.13 Rise in convictions of badger cruelty as RSPCA accused of using law to get to hunts - Badger cruelty prosecutions have almost doubled in five years, according to new figures, as the RSPCA is accused of using the law to target huntsmen. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - In 2007, 30 people were prosecuted in magistrates courts under the Protection of Badgers Act. But by 2011 that figure had risen to 58, the figures obtained through a parliamentary question reveal. Tim Bonner, Director of Campaigns at the Countryside Alliance, said the Badger Act is being used as a “back door” to get to hunts.... (story)

Spectator 14.4.13 Do racing correspondents really have an anti jump racing agenda? - Camilla Swift - This year’s Grand National meeting attracted an exceptional amount of press attention, much of it due to a number of changes which were introduced in a bid to make the race safer… In this week’s Spectator, Peter Oborne argues that too many racing correspondents have an anti-National Hunt agenda, and are ‘not quite what they seem’. Whilst pretending to report objectively on events, they are in fact promoting ‘the agendas of political parties and interest groups’…. (story)
Spectator 14.4.13 Will the Guardian and the Independent kill the Grand National? - Too many racing correspondents have an anti-hunt racing agenda - Peter Oborne - Over the past few years a new trend has emerged in British journalism. Our trade has become over-run with reporters or columnists who are not quite what they seem. They pretend to report objectively on events. In practice the true loyalty of these campaigning reporters or columnists is not just to their readers. Sometimes covertly, sometimes furtively, they also further the agendas of political parties and interest groups… (story)

13.4.13

Wells Journal 13.4.13 Badger cull repels us - I read your article attempting to quench the concerns about the effect of the badger cull on tourism in Somerset. I am afraid it has only made me more determined to cross Somerset off my travel itinerary this summer. We are travelling around wildlife friendly places in Britain but only those places where we are likely to come across a decent attitude to wildlife…. Mary Erasmus North Wales (story)

12.4.13

Farming Life 12.4.13 Good hunting on offer in County Clare - THE annual meet of renowned County Clare huntsmen and women of the Floyd family and the Armagh/Tyrone huntsmen took place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February 2013. A fine day’s sport was had on both days., writes Countryside Alliance … (story)

PR Week 12.4.13 PSA Communications forms Save Our Royal Mail coalition - Daniel Farey-Jones - PSA Communications has built a coalition around its client the Communications Workers Union for a Save Our Royal Mail campaign… Two months ago Royal Mail called in City PR agencies Brunswick and Tulchan Communications, to lead it through a privatisation process (PRWeek, 8 February). The launch partners for Save Our Royal Mail include the Countryside Alliance, the National Pensioners Convention and the Scottish Family Business Association… (story)

BBC News Online 12.4.13 Weston's deputy mayor refuses to wear fur-trimmed robe - The new deputy mayor of Weston-super-Mare has refused to wear her ceremonial robe as it is trimmed with real fur. Councillor Roz Willis, who is due to take up office next month, said she could not "ethically or morally" wear the 80-year-old garment…. (story)

11.4.13

Lincolnshire Echo 11.4.13 Olympians and royalty ready to reign at Belton - The world's eventing elite are preparing to descend on one of the county's beautiful country estates for the Belton International Horse Trials on April 12-14… Saturday is Countryside Day, with dog agility demonstrations and activities for children around the Park Arena. Saturday also sees the return of the hugely popular trail blazing Inter-Hunt Relay… (story)

Western Gazette 11.4.13 Campaigners angry over killing of hares - CAMPAIGNERS have reacted angrily to a new management plan for brown hares which they say does not protect them from being shot while they are breeding…. Care for the Wild, Humane Society International, the Hare Preservation Trust and Blue Hare criticised a new voluntary code of practice on managing hares for failing to include a closed season… The code, drawn up by the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) with other organisations at the request of Defra, says that hare shooting should not take place after the end of February except under exceptional circumstances, to avoid the breeding season (story)

Scotsman 11.4.13 Eagle watch - Regarding your story, “Killing of golden eagle leads to concern for species” (9 April), we all know who does the killing and why they do it. Let’s not beat about the bush. Landowners who have an interest in the extermination of eagles do not have to say anything to gamekeepers… K Wilson Middle Norton Edinburgh (letter)

Essex Chronicle 11.4.13 Anti-racing campaigners mount protest at Chelmsford Ladbrokes - Animal rights campaigners crowded the entrance to Chelmsford city centre's Ladbrokes… The three people from Essex Animal Defenders, who usually protest at circuses and fur shops, were handing-out leaflets protesting against horse racing. "We have those who have the hump with us and tell us to get a job," said campaigner Marcia Hagon, from Romford…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 11.4.13 Badger campaigners enlist county council candidates in bid to axe summer cull - SOME 2,500 badgers could be culled in Gloucestershire from this June. But a group of candidates for the upcoming county council elections have joined forces with the Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS) group to send a strong message against any culls…. (story)

Bristol Post 11.4.13 Horsemeat scare boost for festival - A FESTIVAL celebrating all things vegetarian has experienced unprecedented interest in the wake of the horse meat scandal. Organisers of VegfestUK, which comes to Bristol from May 24 to 26, say they have seen a surge in take up of stalls at the event which are nearly sold out… spokeswoman Jenny Liddle said: "People are turning to veggie options in droves… (story)

Evesham Journal 11.4.13 500 attend vegan fair - DESPITE the bitter weather, residents turned out in force for Evesham’s first Vegan Fair… Organised by Midlands Vegan Campaigns, there were healthy living guides, nutritional advice, cookery demonstrations and talks on nutrition and going vegan. Group founder Kevin White said he was really pleased with the turnout… (story)

Argus 11.4.13 Slaughterhouse CCTV - In response to Annie Hayes’s Soapbox view headlined “Take a stand to protect animals” (The Argus, April 4), I concur wholeheartedly with everything she articulates about the way we treat animals. We shouldn’t have animals killed for our consumption as we don’t need them to live a full, healthy life, especially as there are proven healthier alternatives to animal flesh… David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks (story)

10.4.13

Third Sector 10.4.13 Newspaper 'did not breach press code' in coverage of RSPCA By Sophie Hudson - Daily Telegraph articles by Charles Moore and Ruth Dudley Edwards did not fall foul of Editors' Code of Practice, says Press Complaints Commission - The RSPCA submitted a formal complaint to the PCC earlier this year after the newspaper wrote a number of stories about the charity in the wake of its successful private prosecution of members of the Heythrop Hunt in December…. The RSPCA said in a statement at the time of its complaint that the articles showed "clear support for the political agenda of the Countryside Alliance… But in its ruling the PCC said there was no breach of clause 1 of its Editors’ Code of Practice (story)
Third Sector 23.1.13 RSPCA complains to the Press Complaints Commission about The Daily Telegraph By Andy Ricketts - Chief executive Gavin Grant says the national newspaper has run factually inaccurate articles that smear the charity - The RSPCA is to submit a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about The Daily Telegraph newspaper’s "potentially defamatory" coverage of the charity…. The newspaper has written a large number of stories about the RSPCA since its successful private prosecution in December of members of the Heythrop Hunt… (story)

Malton & Pickering Mercury 10.4.13 Game and country fair date announced - The date has been set for the 2013 Pickering Game & Country Fair and UK Tractor Show. This year’s event at Pickering Showground will be held on the weekend of May 18 and 19… (story)

Western Morning News 10.4.13 New country show planned for Stoneleigh - A new country show will open its gates to visitors this summer at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, home of the old Royal Show. The Stoneleigh Country and Livestock Show will attract in excess of 8,000 members of the public… The main arena will be a hive of activity with an array of country-based activities from experts in falconry, gun dog handling and shepherding, as well as local hunts and pony clubs…. (story)

Derby Telegraph 10.4.13 'Larger than life' caretaker John Smith, who spent nearly 50 years at Hopwell Hall Special School for Boys, dies By Chris Jones - A FORMER school caretaker with a passion for shooting and crafting walking sticks has died at the age of 68 after developing Parkinson's disease. John Smith worked for 44 years at Hopwell Hall Special School for Boys, where he looked after farm animals, school buildings, woodland, grounds and lawns… (story)

ClickLiverpool 10.4.13 Channel 4 - Grand National 'extreme sport' adverts cause backlash by RACHAEL BENTHAM AND CHRIS BRAD - Channel 4 suffered a backlash for branding horse racing "The Original Extreme Sport" in controversial adverts for the Grand National. More than 50 complaints about the televised advert featuring horses hutling over picnic tables and smashing green houses have been received by the advertising watchdog… (letter)

Lancashire Telegraph 10.4.13 Letter: Hypocrisy still a distant second - IF you train and ask a horse to carry a jockey on its back, race and jump fences you are putting the horse at great risk. If, when like Little Josh, a fall results in the horse having to be put down, the connections will of course at a turn be both sad and hypocritical… Mr D Pratt Accrington (letter)

Yorkshire Post 10.4.13 ‘Puppy killers’ claim of Leeds animal rights protesters By Tony Gardner - Two animal rights activists painted abusive slogans on walls and damaged property at two Leeds firms in a bid to scare them into stopping trading with an animal research organisation. Catherine Parrish, 28, and Luke Beevers, 19, members of National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA), were handed suspended prison sentences yesterday after admitting their involvement in the damage. Leeds Crown Court heard the pair targeted SRCL and Sunlight in a bid to disrupt the work of Harlan Interfauna… They both pleaded guilty to two counts of interfering with a contractual relationship so as to harm an animal research organisation. Both were given 16-month prison sentences, suspended for two years, and 150 hours unpaid work…. (story)
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 10.4.13 Holmfirth teenager Luke Beevers convicted over animal rights protests - A TEENAGE animal rights campaigner sprayed slogans such as “puppy killers” on buildings, a court heard. Now Luke Beevers, 19, and a fellow protester have been given suspended jail terms over their campaign to persuade two firms to end contracts with an animal research centre. Beevers, 19, of New Mill Road, Brockholes, and Catherine Parrish had responded to a call on the National Anti Vivisection Alliance website for protests against companies dealing in with Harlan Interfauna… Beevers, and Parrish, 28, of Burley, Leeds, both admitted two charges of interfering with the contractual relationship so as to harm an animal research organisation. Both were given 16 months in prison suspended for two years with 150 hours unpaid work, a high level activity requirement and ordered to pay £500 compensation each… (story)

9.4.13

The Avondhu 9.4.13 Hunt trespass scandal - Dear Editor, Irish agriculture is reeling under the impact of events and activities that undermine its morale and viability…. Farmers have had some good news too: Recently two Kilkenny farmers, after years of being bullied by foxhunters, were awarded €30,500 in damages against a hunt official in Kilkenny Circuit Court… Can TDs and senators be so deaf or blind as not to realise the importance of banning this destructive and pointless cruelty to farmers?... It is rightly banned in the UK, a country that relies far less on agriculture than we do…. Philip P Lynch, ?chairman, Farmers Against Foxhunting and Trespass, Gleann an Ri, Mallardstown, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE ON POST OFFICE PRIVATISATION
Post and Parcel 9.4.13 Campaign demands service guarantees ahead of Royal Mail privatisation - A new campaign to “Save Our Royal Mail” was launched today by a group led by former Labour spin doctor Mario Dunn, raising concern about postal privatisation in the UK… The campaign has the backing of the rural lobby group Countryside Alliance and the National Pensioners Convention, a lobby group for the elderly… (story)
Mail 8.4.13 Price of a first class stamp 'could soar to £1 in just three years if Royal Mail is privatised' campaign group warns By AMANDA WILLIAMS - The price of a first class stamp could soar to £1 in just three years if Royal Mail is privatised, campaigners claim. Save Our Royal Mail - set up by charities and pensioner groups to fight the expected sell off - said the cost would increase because other companies would be able to challenge Royal Mail's VAT-free status under competition law… Save Our Royal Mail is backed by the Countryside Alliance and the National Pensioners Convention, among others… (story)
Telegraph 7.4.13 It is too late to preserve the old Royal Mail - A campaign to block the proposed privatisation of the Royal Mail is launched today amid concern that a sale will lead to a big rise in the price of stamps and will be especially problematic for people living in isolated areas. The Countryside Alliance is among the organisations urging the Government to think again about its plans for an institution that is justifiably considered one of the foundation stones of the modern British state… (story)

Scotsman 9.4.13 Lethal Aintree - The Grand National race organisers who are reporting “no deaths” in the weekend’s race conveniently fail to mention that the same course killed two horses just last week…. This cruelty will only end when the public realises that there is no such thing as a “harmless flutter” and stops funding the cruel and exploitative horse-racing industry. Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals All Saints Street London (letter)

Meat Trades Journal 9.4.13 Pledge to oppose badger cull farms By Line Elise Svanevik - Wildlife charity Care for the Wild is urging organic food companies to refuse the use of products from badger cull farms. MTJ sister magazine The Grocer reported that the charity has called on the Soil Association to refuse to certify organic products from badger cull farms… (story)

Birmingham Mail 9.4.13 Vegan diet attracting more people, according to Birmingham based society - In January and February 2012, 686 people signed up for the Vegan pledge worldwide, of which 276 were in the UK. The number of people pledging to try a vegan diet has increased in the first two months of 2013 when compared with the same period last year, according to figures from Birmingham-based The Vegan Society… (story)

Bexley Times 9.4.13 Animal rights group urges Zippos Circus boycott when it visits Sidcup - Robin Cottle, Reporter - Animal Defenders International have urged people to boycott Zippos Circus when it opens in Sidcup next Thursday (April 18)…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 9.4.13 Hypocrisy over lambs’ suffering - From: Elisabeth Baker, Broomhill Crescent, Leeds. THERE is a whiff of hypocrisy about many of those feeling sorry for the poor lambs stuck in or suffocated under snowdrifts. After all, at very few months old most of those lambs which have survived will be carted off to an abattoir to be killed… (letter)

8.4.13

Western Morning News 8.4.13 Sunshine and rat-catchers for final meet - Caerhays Castle and Porthluney Beach, on Cornwall's south coast, formed a perfect backdrop for the final meet of the season of the Four Burrow Hunt on Saturday… (story)

RACE FOR REPEAL
Horse & Hound 8.4.13 Sixty-year-old wins Ascot Race for Repeal - Victoria Marston - A 60-year-old jockey proved she still has the winning edge in yesterday’s (Sunday 7 April) Race for Repeal at Ascot. Joint-master of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh hunt and point-to-point trainer Di Grissell – the oldest jockey in the race by 10 years – rode to glory on Gary Moore’s South Cape… Di beat James Van Praagh, joint-master of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent, into second place in a photo finish…. (story)
Ludlow Advertiser 1.4.13 Tristram from Ludlow to take part in race at Ascot - A HUNTSMAN from Ludlow is taking to the saddle at one of the best-known racecourses in the country. Ludlow hunt whipper-in Tristram More Molyneux is among seven hunt supporters who will be taking part in the fourth annual Race for Repeal at Ascot… (story)
Horse & Hound 1.4.13 Hunt supporters Race for Repeal at Ascot - Victoria Marston - A VWH joint-master who last year broke her leg in eight places will be riding in the Countryside Alliance's "Race for Repeal" at Ascot this weekend. Countess Goess Saurau (pictured) has only been back in the saddle for a few weeks… Showing judge and joint-master of the Old Surrey and Burstow and West Kent James Van Praagh has already lost two and a half stone for the race… Event rider Nicola Wilson – a former European young rider team member, not to be confused with the Olympic medallist – will be racing for the Surrey Union. Di Grissell, master of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh, is one of the more experienced jockeys in the field… (story)

Horse & Hound 8.4.13 Hunt supporters bare all for charity calendar - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - When the idea of a Tynedale nude calendar was first mooted, the hunt’s photographer took some convincing. “I said no — it had been done to death,” said Verity Johnson. How wrong she was. Not only has the 2013 calendar sold out, but it has also appeared in The Field and The Sun. And now it has been picked up by men’s magazine Penthouse… (story)

ITV 8.4.13 Concern over Aintree safety - Campaigners say they're still concerned over safety following the deaths of two horses at Aintree. The League Against Cruel Sports is calling for organisers to bring the Grand National meeting to a halt…. (story)

Scotsman 8.4.13 Racing question - after the Grand National festival at Aintree, in which only two horses died, I watched a television question show… why does a racehorse have to be whipped and initially does not run until the jockey spurs it on, and why, if a horse has unseated the rider and is running freely as a herd animal, will it deny itself the pleasure that we are told it craves of jumping a life-threatening obstacle, and choose to run around the fence on flat ground…. Walter J Allan Colinton Mains Drive Edinburgh (letter)

PETA GRAND NATIONAL LETTER
Irish Examiner 8.4.13 Grand National shame - Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) All Saints St London (letter)
Northern Echo 8.4.13 National Disgrange - THE shamefully predictable, yet entirely avoidable, death of Battlefront during the first race over the Grand National fences at Aintree belies the worth of the recent changes made to the course…. The Grand National is nothing but a national disgrace that is only “grand” if you are not a horse or a caring human being. Ben Williamson, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). (letter)

Northern Echo 8.4.13 National Disgrange - THE Grand National course, which has undergone what has been described as major safety improvements, claimed another equine victim last week… If there is one thing you can bet on it’s that more horses will die if this race is allowed to continue. Alison Jermy, Darlington (letter)

Somerset County Gazette 8.4.13 Secret World stages badger cull protest walk By Matthew Colledge - EAST Huntspill animal charity Secret World organised a protest walk against the badger cull in West Somerset… (story)
BBC News Online 6.4.13 Campaigners in Bridgwater petition against badger cull - Campaigners against a badger cull in Somerset have staged a protest in Bridgwater, encouraging shoppers to sign an online petition against it… About 50 members of the Badger Night Walkers were handing out leaflets to the public asking them to sign a government e-petition… Badger Protection League (BPL) spokeswoman Pauline Kidner, who supports the Badger Night Walkers, said: "We have had people joining us throughout the day and have issued about 2,000 leaflets to members of the public…. (story)

Coventry Telegraph 8.4.13 IF Kevin Lynch’s call for a cull on wild animals is carried out, all the animals in the world will disappear. Surely there is a better solution? If it’s necessary to cull 75,000 wild animals, who provides the money to do this? Christine Waterer, Scarborough Way, Canley (letter)

7.4.13

Horse & Hound 7.4.13 Farewell to renowned huntsman Jack Dark - Jack Dark, Seavington huntsman 1956-83, died on 16 March at the age of 94…. (story)

Independent 7.4.13 Grand National: Not miserable now... Smiths’ victory stuns Aintree - Maverick former showjumper Harvey and trainer wife Sue stun Aintree with big-race winner as all 40 runners return safe and sound - Sue Montgomery … For Mania, the result was triumphant vindication of his faith in himself. The 23-year-old from Galashiels first sat on a Shetland pony at the age of three, but after his career as a jockey stuttered two years ago he left the sport to work as whipper-in or the Fife Hunt for six months. He was lured back by the job with the Smiths. “I enjoyed the hunting,” he said, “but it wasn’t the real thing…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 7.4.13 Grand National 2013: Aintree is a land where giant-killers roam after Aurora Encore's triumph …On Saturday night local jockey Ryan Mania – the first Scottish born rider to win the National since David Campbell in 1896 – celebrated his success by spending an hour at a little reception at his local rugby club in Galashields… Mania still helps out with the Lauderdale Hunt when he can and went into Hunt service on his six- month sabbatical from racing after becoming disillusioned two years ago…. (story)
Scotland on Sunday 7.4.13 Grand National: Ryan Mania change of mind pays off - FOR winning jockey Ryan Mania yesterday’s victory came just two years after he retired from the sport, then changed his mind…. “Two years ago I gave up for six months. I was riding for Howard Johnson, who was banned [for breaching the sport’s welfare rules], and the rides dried up. I was working for the Fife Hunt. I always thought I’d come back but not as quickly as I did… (story)
Observer 7.4.13 Ryan Mania celebrates first-race triumph in Aintree Grand National - Ryan Mania, who dreamed of becoming a rugby player as a child in the Scottish borders, won the Grand National at the first attempt on the 66-1 outsider, Auroras Encore. The race was notable for having just two fallers…. Mania spent six months away from racing as the whipper-in for a hunt during the winter of 2011 but returned when he found he missed the excitement of daily competition…. (story)

The Drum 7.4.13 Animal Rights activists protest outside Channel 4 HQ over advert that ‘ramps-up’ danger of the race - Campaigners for animal rights have gathered outside Channel 4’s London headquarters accusing the broadcaster of deliberately ramping up the danger of the Grand National steeplechase race through its recent advert…. (story)
Guardian 6.4.13 Grand National protesters accuse Channel 4 of exploiting deaths of horses - Animal rights campaigners gather at broadcaster's London headquarters to condemn advert that 'ramps-up' danger of race - Mark Townsend - Animal rights campaigners have staged a protest outside the headquarters of Channel 4, accusing the Grand National broadcaster of cynically exploiting the brutality of the world's most famous horse race. Around 80 campaigners gathered in central London to chant "shame on Channel 4" before reading out a list of the 23 horses that have died during the Grand National since 1989… One campaigner, Billie Hands, 53, a jewellery designer from London, said: "The race is presented as dangerous and exciting entertainment, but they don't discuss the deaths…. Veterinary surgeon Caroline Allen, 38, from London said that she had decided to protest because of wider concerns over equine welfare… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 7.4.13 Photo gallery: Badgers perform Harlem Shake in Norwich as part of protest - Dancing badgers invaded Norwich city centre yesterday lunchtime as part of a protest movement. Animal rights group Rights 4 Animals took to the Haymarket precinct, in front of the city’s Next and Primark stores, to perform internet dance craze the Harlem Shake… Claire Barker, 39, who lives near Aldborough in north Norfolk, had organised the event… (story)

6.4.13

South West Londoner 6.4.13 Campaigners raise questions about animal cruelty ahead of this weekend's Grand National By Emma Birkett - The death of animals in competitive sports is making headlines again with the arrival of the Grand National horse race… "Why should any animal be put in jeopardy for the sake of entertainment," said a spokeswoman for the animal welfare charity, League Against Cruel Sports… (story)

ITV 6.4.13 Animal welfare campaigners protest at Aintree - Animal welfare campaigners will gather outside Aintree racecourse, calling for the Grand National to be banned on the grounds of cruelty. The annual Anti-Grand National demonstration is organised by Merseyside-based Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE)… (story)

Guardian 6.4.13 The Grand National: sport or barbarity? Horse racing's big day on trial - The Grand National is an iconic event – but it also kills horses with alarming regularity. This year's meet has already seen two deaths, and fresh protests. So does the race have a future? - Stephen Moss … This year the arguments between the pro- and anti-National factions have been especially heated…. I speak to Dene Stansall, horse racing consultant to anti-racing lobby group Animal Aid… Stansall, who makes no bones about the fact that he would ultimately like to see all racing outlawed, says there will be a peaceful protest ahead of today's race (the Aintree authorities fear something more disruptive)… The RSPCA takes a different view. They have decided to work for change from within, and immediately before racing on Friday, I meet its equine consultant, David Muir, resplendent in a green tweed suit and still puffing from having walked the course… Muir takes the pragmatic view that racing isn't going to disappear, so the RSPCA needs to get involved to make it as safe as possible… (story)

Mirror 6.4.13 Leona Lewis's Grand National Twitter rant: "I can't stand this bulls**t" - She's not very happy that the race is being run today, and wants the organisers at Aintree to be "put down" Leona Lewis is a famous horse-lover - she's got her own pony in LA, and she's done several PETA campaigns… And Leona's also really, REALLY against the Grand National. How do we know? She went on a Twitter rant about it, saying rude words… The singer kicked off her rant by saying "F**k the Grand National" and continued: "How about we put down the little t**ts that running those poor horses into the ground. can't stand this bulls**t." Strong!... (story)

Liverpool Echo 6.4.13 Sun shines on Grand National day at Aintree racecourse (GALLERY) By Eleanor Barlow …About 50 animal rights demonstrators gathered outside the course to protest as race goers made their way into the races. Pat Smith, from Prescot, who was among the protestors, said: “I think the Grand National should be banned, the horses haven’t got a choice and we’re their voice.” (story)

Telegraph 6.4.13 Schoolgirl's petition to ban goldfish prizes at fairgrounds gathers support from MPs - Jack Straw MP has signed a schoolgirl's petition calling for fairgrounds to be banned from giving away goldfish as prizes. By Josie Ensor - Schoolgirls lobbying for the rights of goldfish have 9,000 names on a petition and support from four MPs…. Emily Hirst, 13, began the petition last year after winning a goldfish at Witton Park, Blackburn, Lancashire, and becoming horrified at the conditions they were kept in. With the help of fellow St Bede's pupils Emma Conway, Bethany Coward, and Laura Nickson, the group have managed to collect 9,000 signatures…. (story)

Sheffield Star 6.4.13 The heartbreaking story of poor Isaac - The horrific killing of the poor little dog Isaac must be one of the worst animal cruelty cases I have ever read about and one which has sickened all animal lovers like myself…. Susan Richardson (letter)

5.4.13

ThisIsKent 5.4.13 Tonbridge animal charity condemns latest Aintree tragedy By Matt Cavill - HORRIFIED animal welfare groups have condemned the latest casualty at Aintree, ahead of tomorrow's Grand National, calling for serious changes in the sport… Mr Andrew Tyler, director of Tonbridge based charity Animal Aid, was deeply saddened by what he noted as the latest in a catalogue of equine fatalities blighting the sport…. (story)
London 24 5.4.13 Grand National 2013: Horse deaths at Aintree fuel criticism from animal rights group - Animal welfare at the Grand National came under further scrutiny last night after a horse died on the first day of the meeting at Aintree… Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: “The Aintree authorities and the British Horse Racing Authority have been claiming that major new safety measures and efficiencies would eliminate much of the risk associated with racing on the Grand National course. But today’s Fox Hunters’ Chase, in which Battlefront lost his life, was stomach-wrenchingly chaotic from start to finish… (story)

New Statesman 5.4.13 The Grand National is, by design, an accident waiting to happen - It's 2013 - why are we still watching horses die on the race track? BY MIMI BEKHECHI … (story)

4.4.13

Essex Chronicle 4.4.13 Members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association make assault claims By Megan Tatum - PROTESTERS attempting to film a fox hunt claim they were attacked with sticks, kicked in the head, and had their camera equipment destroyed. James Kapteanoc, 54, a veteran member of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, says he and two others were subjected to an attack on March 16 as they tried to film activities by members of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt… (story)

Horse & Hound 4.4.13 Teams sought for new hunt relay competition - Hunt relays — usually a sideshow at country fairs — will be the sole focus of an event at Larkhill Racecourse, Wilts, on Sunday, 21 April. The Royal Artillery (RA) relay, which is in its second year, is different to other events in that each team competes at least twice… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 4.4.13 THE BIG DEBATE: Is the famous Grand National race at Aintree cruel to horses? - Two fatalities in the 2011 Grand National prompted a major review into safety. A further two more horse deaths in 2012 have now resulted in changes to the Aintree course for this year's race. This week's big debate asks if the Grand National is cruel to horses... YES - Rebecca Taylor, of the league against cruel sports… NO - Licensed racehorse trainer and Veterinarian James Given, who trains racehorses at Mount House Stables, Willoughton in Lincolnshire…. (story)

Liverpool Echo 4.4.13 Horse race horror - DENIS Kelly asks why Animal Aid does not publish data on horse deaths at other courses around the country (National safety first, ECHO, April 1). In fact, we do… Animal Aid will continue to bring to the public’s attention the horribly high death toll across Britain’s racecourses, so that people can make up their minds about whether they want to support an industry that treats horses as little more than expendable, money-making commodities. Fiona Pereira, campaigner Animal Aid (letter)

Derby Telegraph 4.4.13 End this cruel antibiotic excess given to animals - THE Government's Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has warned that serious action must be taken to prevent antibiotic resistance in bacteria becoming a "catastrophic" threat to health…. intensive regimes provide the perfect breeding grounds for numerous diseases and result in the administration of huge quantities of antibiotics to ensure animals survive long enough to make it to slaughter. Ben Martin Animal Aid Tonbridge (letter)

Wimbledon Guardian 4.4.13 Animal campaigners urge public to boycott Zippo Circus in Mitcham - A leading animal protection organisation has called on residents to “vote with their feet” and boycott Zippos Circus when it comes to Mitcham next week. Animal Defenders International (ADI) has made the passionate plea because it claims the animals are forced to travel round the country all year round and live in unsuitable and cruel conditions…. (story)

3.4.13

Western Morning News 3.4.13 Standing room only for Farage meeting By SIMON PARKER - Declaring himself "the turkey who voted for Christmas", UKIP leader Nigel Farage yesterday kicked off his two-week national campaign tour in Cornwall…. "The problem is we are now run by an equality rights agenda, the trendy agenda of 'Dave' and the Notting Hill set and the European Court of Human Rights," he said. "We need to get the state off our backs. Surely we are big enough and ugly enough to have a cigarette in a pub or to hunt foxes?"… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 3.4.13 Farmer and drummer David is set to run the London Marathon this month - STUD farm manager, David Fitch-Peyton is hanging up his wellies for his trainers as he trains to run the London Marathon. David, from Tetbury, is set to run in the landmark event on Sunday, April 21 to raise funds for the Countryside Alliance Foundation… (story)

Telegraph 3.4.13 Carla Lane wants 'cruel’ Grand National halted - Carla Lane, the creator of The Liver Birds and Bread, says the Grand National should be abolished. Although she doesn’t live much more than a few furlongs away, Carla Lane will assuredly not be cheering on the horses at the Grand Nationalat Aintree this weekend… (story)

Guardian 3.4.13 Do you think the Grand National is cruel? Eleven horses have died since 2000. But jockey Katie Walsh has ignited feelings by saying they are only animals and it would be a lot worse if it was jockeys who died. What do you think?.. (story)

Independent 3.4.13 The Grand National: Should it be banned, or simply made safer? Three experts express their views on whether horse racing is cruel or not - The race owes its unique status precisely to its proximity to the margin of acceptable risk - Chris McGrath, Racing Correspondent… Sometimes terrible incidents take place where there is neither culpability or carelessness by anyone involved - David P Muir, Equine Consultant to the RSPCA… It isn’t an ‘accident’ when horses somersault over Becher’s Brook or Valentine’s - Andrew Tyler, Director of Animal Aid… (story)

Northern Echo 3.4.13 Grand National - IN support of concerns expressed by Edward Halliday (HAS, Mar 19) about horse racing. I, too, am worried about the welfare of horses entered in this year’s Grand national…. Marjorie Embling, Crook. (letter)
Northern Echo 19.3.13 Racing cruelty - WITH the Grand National fast approaching, I feel I have to write to draw people’s attention to the alarming amount of horses that have to be destroyed at race meetings… Edward Halliday, Langley Moor. (letter)

Weston Mercury 3.4.13 Volunteers fight against badger culling - Bethan Evans, Reporter - VISITORS to the first annual open weekend at a Somerset wildlife centre joined staff and volunteers in their protest against the proposed badger cull scheduled to begin in June. Pauline Kidner, founder of East Huntspill’s Secret World, said… (story)

Scotsman 3.4.13 Highland Wildlife Park denies camel distress claim - BOSSES at a Scots safari have denied accusations by animal rights campaigners of exploiting a rare camel and causing it “distress” by making him chase off a Land Rover. Karanli, the only male Bacterian camel at the Highland Wildlife Park, has become protective of his two female companions during the mating season. So much so, any passing vehicle which drives through the open zoo now becomes “open competition” and he “displays his ownership” by chasing them away. Staff invited photographers to witness the “completely natural show of territorial activity”, but were condemned by the Captive Animals Protection Society (Caps)…. (story)

2.4.13

Derby Telegraph 2.4.13 Derby North MP backs campaign on Grand National - DERBY North MP Chris Williamson has backed a League Against Cruel Sports campaign for changes to improve the welfare of horses in the Grand National… (story)

Shropshire Star 2.4.13 Letter: Help save the horses - Once again the Grand National is due to take place with the prospect of more equine fatalities. And for what? So that people can go and have a fun day out and possibly win some money… Lisa Lloyd, Shrewsbury (letter)

ThisIsSouthWales 2.4.13 Badgers damage Dylan Thomas graveyard in Laugharne - BADGERS are causing considerable damage to a graveyard in Laugharne where Dylan Thomas is buried. Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart said the animals had left the ground around St Martin's Church looking like it had been ploughed… (story)

HUMAN BRANDING DEMONSTRATION
Bedford Times & Citizen 2.4.13 Student brands himself for animals’ plight - A student from Bedford took part in a grisly town centre protest to raise awareness of animal rights issues. On March 21, Aran Mathai, who lives in Barkers Lane, travelled to Leeds to take part in a 269life protest, which saw animal rights activists brand the numbers into their skin to raise awareness of cruel treatment of animals… (story)
Independent 21.3.13 Protesters branded in 'solidarity' with animals - Animal rights activists ignore police warnings they might be arrested for 'outraging decency' - Three animal rights protesters were branded with hot irons on the streets of Leeds in “solidarity” with animals in the livestock industry – despite a police warning that they might be arrested. The activists had the number “269” burned on to their arms during a small public demonstration on Wednesday… Today, protesters returned to Leeds in greater numbers but no one was branded. However, a 28-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, understood to be either a branding iron or blowtorch. The woman is believed to be one of the three protesters branded the previous day… Another protester, Aran Mathai, 23, from Bedford, told The Independent he allowed himself to be branded to draw attention to animals’ “pain and suffering caused by human greed”…. (story)
Yorkshire Evening Post 25.1.13 Leeds ‘human branding’ protest plans - By Paul Robinson - Animal rights activists will allow themselves to be branded with a hot iron during a protest in Leeds. The gruesome stunt is due to be held in the city in March as part of a controversial campaign called 269life… One of the volunteers due to submit themselves to the agony of the branding iron in Leeds is Aran Mathai, who is 22 and from Bedford… (story)
International Business Times 21.1.13 Animal Rights Activists to Brand Volunteers like Cattle Using Red Hot Iron [PHOTOS] By HANNAH OSBORNE - A vegan from Hampshire is preparing to brand three people with a red hot iron as part of a protest against animal cruelty. Becky Folkard, 34, plans to brand three volunteers - two anonymous women and 24-year-old Ben Hannah - with the number 269, which refers to the ear tag given to a calf before it is sold as veal or leather… (story)
Mirror 21.1.13 Burning issue: Volunteers will be branded with a red hot iron to highlight animal rights abuses - Vegan Becky Folkard will burn the number 269 on volunteers’ bare chests – leaving them in agony and scarred for life… (story)
Guardian 21.1.13 Is human branding an animal-rights stunt too far? - In an attempt to highlight the pain experienced by dairy cattle, protesters are allowing themselves to be branded with the number 269. But is it even legal?... Joseph Keating, the National Farmers Union's livestock adviser, was perplexed by the planned protest: "I've never seen hot branding done in this country. It has been outlawed for a generation. I've only seen it in old western films… (story)
Telegraph 20.1.13 Vegan violence is enough to turn me off a diet of lentils - The campaign of "human branding" by vegan extremists taps into a puritanical streak that goes back to the Roundheads By Cristina Odone - What would convince me to give up meat? Grocery bills that make me wince, and the threat of finding a stray horse hair in my burger have yet to persuade me to swap gammon for lentils… The manic organic vegans, however, think they’ve come up with a way to turn us all off animal flesh. Coming in March, to a location in London yet to be announced: human branding… (story)
Mail on Sunday 20.1.13 The woman bringing horror of 'human branding' to Britain: Vegan to mark volunteer with hot iron in protest against animal cruelty - Becky Folkard is a successful senior manager at a wealth management company…. But on March 21, in broad daylight on a London street, grammar school-educated Becky will take hold of a specially-designed branding iron, measuring four inches across and two inches wide, and made scalding hot by a blowtorch. Wearing a mask over her face and the over-sized apron of a slaughterhouse worker, she will then press the brand for several seconds into the bare chest of a man… The public branding will be a protest against animal cruelty in the dairy industry… (story)

Leicester Mercury 2.4.13 Tethering horses is shameful and cruel practice - I am in complete agreement with your correspondent, who condemned the practice of tethering horses… Linda J Bodicoat, Earl Shilton. (letters)

1.4.13

Guardian 1.4.13 Ted Nugent and Radiohead work on pro-hunting musical - US magazine Pool Flair reports that Thom Yorke worked with the shotgun-toting rocker on We're Going on a Bear Hunt… (story)

Pocket Gamer 1.4.13 Animal welfare charity PETA blasts Ridiculous Fishing by Rob Hearn - In a rare case of life imitating art, outspoken animal charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has condemned Vlambeer's hit fishing-themed casual game Ridiculous Fishing for its enthusiastic depiction of aquatic animal slaughter…. Ridiculous Fishing is available now for £1.99. We urge you to buy it. (story)

BBC RURAL COVERAGE CRITICISED
Western Daily Press 1.4.13 Martin Hesp: BBC gets lost in the countryside - The BBC’s coverage of rural issues is to be examined by the broadcaster’s own independent watchdog. Martin Hesp believes it’s about time too... (story)
Western Daily Press 29.3.13 Probe into BBC 'bias' on coverage of rural issues - An investigation is to be carried out by the BBC’s independent watchdog into the impartiality of its coverage of rural issues. There has been growing disquiet among farming leaders and countryside campaigners about some BBC reporting of key issues… A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said it was looking to contributing, admitting it had taken “swipes” at the BBC in the past…. (story)

Guardian 1.4.13 Aintree without Becher's like St Andrews without the Road Hole bunker - Racing should not be on defensive after the RSPCA's chief executive declared Becher's Brook is on brink of extinction - Greg Wood - My colleague Chris Cook reported a quote by Gavin Grant, the chief executive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, last week which felt like the opening shot in the battle for hearts and minds ahead of the Grand National at Aintree this Saturday… If the RSPCA disagrees, and believes that the National, or any of its obstacles, involves "cruelty to animals", perhaps the time has come for the Society to put down its yellow cards and attempt to prove it in court instead. If not, then comments like Grant's amount to little more than grandstanding, in search of column inches and funding… (story)

Leicester Mercury 1.4.13 Vaccines, not cull, can tackle bovine TB - The Government's ill-fated, and potentially devastating, cull of badgers, in pilot areas, is due to begin in less than three months. We need to act now to stop this slaughter… Gavin Grant, RSPCA chief executive. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 1.4.13 Animal rights group in zoo protest - Demonstrators handed out leaflets and waved placards as part of a protest outside Twycross Zoo. Organised by Leicester Animal Rights, the protest on Saturday marked the end of national Zoo Awareness Week, organised by the Captive Animals Protection Society… Kerry Sedgewick, 25, a support worker from Aylestone, Leicester, was one of about eight protesters who took part… (story)