` August 2013

August 2013

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31.8.13

Western Daily Press 31.8.13 Gunning for the shooting party - Shooting organisations like the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and the Countryside Alliance have been steadily improving the image of game meat like pheasant and partridge in recent years to make it more appealing to the general shopper… (story)

Telegraph 31.8.13 Between the badger and the barrel of a gun - As a West Country cull gets under way to protect Britain’s cattle from the spread of bovine TB, Joe Shute joins protesters sworn to put a stop to the killing …“Somerset is a killing county,” says the guide leading our patrol, referring to the deer and fox-hunting parties that have long roamed through these woods. Welcome to the wild west… One villager stands at her front door clapping as we pass. From inside the pub, others glare suspiciously…. (story)

Telegraph 31.8.13 If you love wildlife, you have to control cuddly Mr Brock - One way or another, TB has brought about a catastrophe for which a solution must be found By Christopher Booker - It might seem provocative to suggest that Joanna Lumley, Felicity Kendal, Dame Judi Dench and various BBC presenters are happy to see tens of thousands of badgers dying long and painful deaths from a horrible disease, and are equally happy to see hedgehogs and ground-nesting birds disappearing from large tracts of Britain’s countryside. But these are some of the consequences of that explosion that has taken place in our badger population since the 1980s and 1990s… (story)

Western Daily Press 31.8.13 Posters name 'badger killers' By jeff wells - A anti-badger cull protester has "named and shamed" a neighbour for shooting the animals as the Government's policy to cull the creatures splits rural communities. Meg Sunningdale, 66, has put posters around her village of Withycombe in Somerset accusing a man of being one of the marksmen hired to shoot badgers…. (story)
”Western Morning News 31.8.13 Woman 'names and shames' cull marksman - An anti-badger cull protester has "named and shamed" a neighbour for shooting the animals as the Government policy to cull badgers splits rural communities across the country. Meg Sunningdale, 66, has put posters around her village of Withycombe in Somerset accusing a man of being one of the marksmen hired to shoot badgers…. (story)
Telegraph 30.8.13 Cull splits village as pensioner 'names and shames' badger-shooting neighbour - A pensioner has "named and shamed" a neighbour for shooting badgers as the Government policy to cull the animals splits rural communities across the country. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - Meg Sunningdale, 66, has put posters around her village of Withycombe in Somerset accusing a man of being one of the marksmen hired to shoot badgers… (story)

Metro 31.8.13 RSPCA campaigns to get Brian May badger song to number one after it enters charts - Brian May’s anti-cull song Save The Badger, Badger, Badger is on well on its way to being a chart hit, and is being backed by the RSPCA… (story)
Mirror 30.8.13 Save The Badger: Brian May and Brian Blessed protest song zooming up the singles chart - It has reached the top 40 in the iTunes download chart and is the most popular track in the top 10 rock chart. Queen’s Brian May could be heading for an unlikely hit with his protest song inspired by the badger cull…. (story)

Western Daily Press 31.8.13 Farmers' campaign to reverse cull boycott -Reading in the local press about the comments made and complaints laid against RSPCA chief Gavin Grant from farmers like Michael Ashton and of course the NFU, we can see that a large-scale propaganda campaign is under way to counteract any drop in sales of beef and dairy produces as the badger cull gets under way… Graham Forsyth Chard, Somerset
Make use of badgers following this cull - I have always been interested in words, and like many others I suspect, I was dismayed to hear of the start of the badger cull in West Somerset… I would be lot happier to think that having exterminated them the dead badgers could be put to some use, winter coats maybe, or even better, in my role as a professional chef, badger stew… Linda Piggott-Vijeh Combe St Nicholas, Somerset (letters)

30.8.13

Westmorland Gazette 30.8.13 Four Cumbrian men cautioned over illegal hunting - FOUR Cumbrian men have been cautioned by police after admitting breaching hunting legislation. Peter Coward, 69, of Bardsea, Andrew Mitchel, 63, of Little Urswick, Edward Benson, 61, of Kirkby-In-Furness and Philip Harvey, 32, of Barrow, were each served official cautions by Cumbria Police, said a press statement from the League Against Cruel Sports. The offenders, who were officially working for the Duddon Valley Fox Control Society, admitted to hunting foxes with a dog on March 17 at Broughton Moor… (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 31.8.13 Hunt penalty was insufficient -THE GOVERNMENT passed a law forbidding hunting of foxes, yet the Middleton Hunt have recently chased a fox and allowed their dogs to rip it apart whilst alive. The huntsmen were fined from £100/£200 and that was it. They should have been jailed for defying the law… J Shedlow, Fir Tree Vale, Moortown (letter)

Western Morning News 30.8.13 Criticism of management of shooting estates could damage game meat sales - The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is urging Marks & Spencer to consider where the grouse they sell comes from. Philip Bowern wonders what it might mean for other game meat sales in the Westcountry. Shooting organisations like the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and the Countryside Alliance have been steadily improving the image of game meat like pheasant and partridge in recent years to make it more appealing to the general shopper…. (story)

BBC Radio 1 30.8.13 Campaigners challenge countryside mobile coverage plan By Jonathan Blake - Campaigners have criticised the government's strategy to improve mobile phone coverage in rural areas. Last month details were given about which so-called "not spots" would benefit from the £150m Mobile Infrastructure Plan. The Countryside Alliance has said that it thinks the approach is "not good enough"…. (story)

Western Morning News 30.8.13 RSPCA pledges farmers in South West badger cull will not be 'named and shamed' - Farmers involved in the two pilot badger culls in the South West will not now be named and shamed by the RSPCA, following an investigation by the Charity Commission…. (story)
Farmers Weekly 29.8.13 Badger cull: Charity Commission clarifies RSPCA ruling - Philip Case - The RSPCA has been forced to clarify its stance on farmers participating in the badger cull following a complaint to the Charity Commission. The NFU complained to the charity watchdog after RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant (pictured) suggested the "spotlight of attention" would be turned on farmers taking part in the cull… After examining the case for the past six months, the Charity Commission issued a concluding statement on Thursday (29 August). There were "no outstanding regulatory concerns" but the case had raised important issues, said the commission statement. "The issue of most concern to us was whether the RSPCA intended to identify farmers involved in the badger cull due to the clear risk that naming farmers may lead to intimidation or threats by others. "We asked for a categorical statement of the charity’s position and in response the RSPCA has stated categorically on behalf of their trustees, chief executive and staff that it does not and will not advocate the naming of farms involved in the cull… (story)

Mail 30.8.13 On the badger war front line: Gunmen armed with peanuts. Saboteurs who know nothing about the animals they claim to love - By DAVID JONES - At her insistence, we met not on some quiet lane at dead of night, but on a midweek afternoon in the most anonymous place imaginable: the car park of a Budgens supermarket. Emerging from her black Peugeot with carrier bags, she looked — as intended — like any other woman doing her midweek shopping…. For Lynne is the co-ordinator of a cell of like-minded fanatics hell-bent on preventing thousands of badgers being culled in Somerset and Gloucestershire…. (story)

BBC News Online 30.8.13 Somerset cull protesters set up new Camp Badger - Badger cull protesters in Somerset have set up a new camp in the county after being told to leave their original site by the landowner. Campaigners have all vacated the temporary Camp Badger site near Watchet where they had been since Saturday. Jay Tiernan, from Stop the Cull, told the BBC there was "no issue" with the new camp, which he says is located on the edge of the cull zone. However, he would not confirm the exact location of the new base…. (story)

Northern Echo 30.8.13 Badgers - THIS is a black week for British wildlife, badgers in particular… Marjorie Embling, Crook (letter)

29.8.13

FIONA VIGAR
Bridport News 29.8.13 Ex-hunt master wasn't wearing safety hat at time of fall By Samantha Harman - A HORSERIDER wasn’t wearing a proper safety helmet when she fell and received a fatal injury, an inquest was told. Fiona Vigar, former joint master of the Cattistock Hunt, died after an accident in Loders on January 24 this year…. (story)
Telegraph 23.8.13 Huntswoman killed after falling from horse wearing flimsy helmet offering no protection - A prominent huntswoman was killed after she fell from her horse after deciding to wear a flimsy helmet offering no safety protection, an inquest heard By Melanie Hall, and agencies - Despite suffering serious head injuries in a previous fall, 43-year-old Fiona Vigar was wearing a flimsy riding helmet at the time of the accident that killed her… (story)
Horse & Hound 15.2.13 Farewell to... Cattistock field master Fiona Vigar - Fiona Vigar has died in hospital, following a hunting fall last month. Mrs Vigar, 43, described as a “mainstay of the hunt” by Cattistock joint-master and huntsman Will Bryer, passed away on Sunday (10 February)… (story)
Mail 13.2.13 Hunt master, 43, dies in hospital three weeks after being thrown from her horse and hitting her head on the ground By STEVE ROBSON - The field master of a fox hunt has died three weeks after falling from her horse while riding with a pack of hounds. Fiona Vigar, 43, who was a former joint master of the Cattistock Hunt in Dorset, came off her horse while riding through a village and suffered a serious head injury. Locals rushed to her aide and she was airlifted to hospital in Bristol but never regained consciousness and passed away on Sunday evening… (story)
Horse & Hound 7.2.13 Cattistock field master critically ill after fall on road - Cattistock field master Fiona Vigar remains critically ill following a hunting fall on 24 January… (story)

Western Daily Press 29.8.13 Broadband – a big call for businesses … The Government is committed to providing superfast broadband to at least 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017… earlier this month a survey by the Countryside Alliance found that four out of five adults – 80 per cent – believed investment in superfast broadband would have a bigger impact on the UK economy than other infrastructure projects like HS2 or a third runway at Heathrow… (story)

Nottingham Post 29.8.13 Ferg Slade: Charities can't always spend their money how you want - THERE has been much criticism of the RSPCA recently and its pursuit of private prosecutions of those who are cruel to animals. Some commentators have said that the RSPCA should remember its place as rescuing cats, dogs and other domestic animals and stop being so "political". Nonsense. Blatant, sabre rattling, blood pressure pushing nonsense…. (story)

Tewkesbury Admag 29.8.13 We're ready to fight for the badgers By Freya Leng - CAMPAIGNERS are gearing up to fight a six-week badger cull which got under way in Gloucestershire this week. Activists from campaign group Stop the Cull have already gathered in the county to form a ‘wounded badger patrol’…. (story)

Argus 29.8.13 Sussex badger lovers: "We would go out in the line of fire" By Ben James - Animal rights campaigners have warned badger marksmen to expect a “hostile reception” if they arrive in Sussex…. Sue Baumgardt, from Brighton Animal Action, described the theory as “nonsense”. She said: “I think this is just government trying to appease the farmers – it goes against all evidence… Ms Baumgardt said: “They surely can’t go ahead with this, it will be too dangerous. People will go out in the line of fire – that’s how strongly they feel about the matter…. (story)

Bolton News 29.8.13 Group fury at badger cull plans - BADGER cull plans have been branded “shameful” and a “tragedy for England” by the Lancashire Badger Group (LBG)… “The science has, and the scientists continue to tell us, that badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to bovine TB,” said Jo Bates-Keegan, the group’s chairman….(story)

Weston & Somerset Mercury 29.8.13 The badger cull starts across Somerset countryside - Becky Parker, Reporter - A HIGH Court judge has ordered restrictions on how campaigners against Somerset’s badger cull can protest, as official shooting begins… (story)

Coventry Telegraph 29.8.13 There'll be no badger cull on our land, says Warwickshire Wildlife Trust - As the first shots of the badger cull are reported, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has vowed to play no part in the death of the creatures… (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 29.8.13 Sussex nature group bans badger killing on its land - THE Sussex Wildlife Trust has confirmed there will be no badger cull on its land. The nature conservationists announced the plots it will not allow badgers to be killed on plots it owns across the county…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 29.8.13 Rumours rife that Gloucestershire badger cull to start next week By DAN CHARLES - RUMOURS are rife that the badger cull will start in Gloucestershire next week… (story)

Western Daily Express 29.8.13 Simon King : badger cull is unethical in the extreme - Killing thousands of badgers across Southern England in an attempt to control the spread of tuberculosis in cattle will do more harm than good, according to Simon King, president of the Wildlife Trusts… (story)

Western Daily Express 29.8.13 Stop the cull, says leading animal expert - t.rowe@bepp.co.uk - Renowned chimpanzee expert Dr Jane Goodall is the latest zoologist to plead for an end to the badger cull…. (story)
Western Morning News 28.8.13 VIDEO: Internationally-renown conservationist pleads for badger cull to stop By Peter Hall - Celebrity protesters against the two pilot badger culls in the South West have stepped up the rhetoric. BBC presenter Chris Packham has described the pilot culls as “shameful slaughter” and labelled their organisers “brutalist thugs, liars and frauds”. And veteran animal rights activist Dr Jane Goodall has issued a video calling for the shooting to stop… (story)

Western Morning News 29.8.13 Anti-cull group sent packing by landowner By Phil Goodwin - Anti-badger-cull protesters were forced to dismantle their Somerset headquarters after a landowner objected to political protest on his property. The owner of the derelict, seaside plot, near Watchet, where the group had set up camp, only discovered they were on his property when he turned on the news… He said: "I don't have any problem with people coming over and using my site for a picnic or the odd camping session. "I do have a problem with my land being used for this, a political protest I do not want to get involved in. "They cut through a lock and smashed their way on to my land – this is private property, they have no right to be here."… (story)
Western Morning News 29.8.13 'Camp Badger' protesters evicted just days into six-week stay - Campaigners at a protest camp set up against the badger cull are being evicted from the site… this morning, the landowner, who has not been named, arrived at the site to evict the protesters, according to a spokesman for Stop the Cull. Jay Tiernan said: “I wasn’t here at the start so I can’t comment on what agreement was made with the landowner. “He came down this morning and we came to an amicable arrangement to leave at 4pm… (story)

Western Morning News 29.8.13 Extra police drafted in as cull protesters 'intimidate farmers' By Peter Hall Farming Editor - Protesters against the cull have been accused of intimidating farmers in the cull areas – threatening a farmer's widow and causing the death of a cow by deliberately leaving a gate open…. (story)

Western Morning News 29.8.13 BBC presenter should mind his language on badger cull - Presenting a show on the BBC that attracts millions of viewers, a great many of them children, comes with responsibilities… Chris Packham, presenter of Springwatch and Autumnwatch is a hugely popular TV naturalist who knows how much clout he wields… So why does he think it okay to join the debate on the badger cull by describing it as a "shameful slaughter" carried out by "brutalist thugs, liars and frauds?" There is absolutely nothing wrong with his criticism of the cull, his questioning the science or even his description of the first night of culling as the "darkest night" for British wildlife in his lifetime. But it is quite wrong for him to attack the integrity of those who have approved this cull…. (story)

Western Morning News 29.8.13 Farmers want your money but don't care about your views By Graham Forsyth - Reading in the local press about the comments made and complaints laid against RSPCA chief Gavin Grant from farmers and the NFU we can see that a large scale propaganda campaign is underway to counteract any drop off in sales of beef and dairy produce as the badger cull gets underway. Money is no object for these people…. It seems even small animals vets are being targeted as the enemy, one assume because small animal vets do not have to take account of the big farming paymasters that a typical veterinary practice must… (story)

Evesham Journal 29.8.13 Wildlife champion rages at massed cull of badgers - A WILDLIFE centre in the Vale has given its support to people protecting badgers after the planned six-week cull started…. Writing in her blog this week, the founder of the centre, Caroline Gould, referred to TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham who said this week: “It is both sad and shameful that when night falls and the setts of southern England stir, their gentle folk will be needlessly slaughtered… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 29.8.13 Please ensure badger cull is humane - WITH regard to the latest move by the Government to allow these 'pilot' culls on badgers, I will not debate here the onus of proof that says this cull will stop or reduce TB in cattle, although, in my opinion, it should certainly, in some way, back that notion. My concern is how the 'humane' side of things are being managed… Gary Griffin, Warwick Road, Cleethorpes. (letter)

Independent 29.8.13 Power and money doom our badgers - This Government has commenced the badger cull, against all the scientific information, the independent trials, the Krebs report, internationally recognised scientists and even the many farmers who condemn the cull… Margaret Barnicle, Holmer Green, Buckinghamshire
I am extremely upset by the Government's decision to cull badgers to protect dairy herds from TB. Why destroy our beautiful native wildlife in this brutal way? Frances Perkins, Poole (letters)

Southern Daily Echo 29.8.13 Keep wild beasts out of the circus - THE NEWS that certain circus proprietors are to challenge the Government in the courts over its intention to ban big cats and elephants from circuses from 2015 is alarming to all those who have campaigned for many years for an end to using wild animals in circuses… SHEILA CLAYTON, Southampton. United Animal Charities. (letter)

28.8.13

Mail 28.8.13 'I reached out to hug my girlfriend and found a FOX in my bed': Shock as furry creature nuzzles boyfriend's neck under his duvet By HUGO GYE - A man who reached out to cuddle his girlfriend in bed was shocked to wake up and find he was holding a fox in his arms. Leon Smith, who works from his suburban home, was enjoying a lie-in after his partner got up and went to work without him knowing… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 28.8.13 Berkeley Hunt Agricultural Show Society 111th annual show - THE traditional Berkeley Show rang the changes with new attractions for the 10,000-strong crowd in its 111th year…. There were horticultural competitions, crafts, heavy horses and, of course, parades of hounds and beagles from the organisers, the Berkeley Hunt Agricultural Show Society. (story)

Western Morning News 28.8.13 RSPCA and MPs are losing our respect - With reference to the WMN questions last week on the RSPCA and on whether MPs should take part in demonstrations. The RSPCA has long been a highly respected organisation… Unfortunately this once wonderful organisation has been slowly infiltrated by those whose views are very much to the left of centre, particularly in the higher echelons and are now getting involved politics, especially where hunting and badger culling are concerned… by Paul Mercer, Tavistock (story)

Western Daily Press 28.8.13 Protected – but for whose benefit? A long-established and learned member of the conservation community, who also happens to work for an organisation that supports game shooting, was talking wildlife protection with me the other day…. "Should we ever," he told me he had asked his relative, "reverse the protected status of a species once it has fully recovered and no longer 'needs' the protection for its survival?" The answer was, he said, unequivocal – of course we should, if the once-threatened species is now becoming a threat itself to the balance of nature and to farming…. (story)

Bristol Post 28.8.13 Scientists agree they do feel pain - WE often hear that fish stocks are running out and that fish is becoming increasingly contaminated with pollution, thus posing a risk to human health, but little is ever said of the suffering of the fish themselves. Scientists now agree that, just like other animals, fish feel pain and suffer…. Ben Martin Animal Aid (story)

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE AWARDS 2013 (August coverage)
North West Evening Mail 28.8.13 NOMINATE A BUSINESS FOR RURAL OSCARS (story)
Northumberland Gazette 28.8.13 Time to vote for your top rural business (story)
Lancaster Guardian 25.8.13 Awards for rural successes - Nominations for the best rural enterprises are being sought for the Countryside Alliance Awards…. (story)
Somerset Standard 24.8.13 Promoting rural heritage - IT'S YOUR chance to help promote rural life through the prestigious Countryside Alliance Awards. This week the rural campaign group is launching its annual celebration of communities, produce, enterprise and rural heritage… (story)
Maidenhead Advertiser 23.8.13 Get your votes in for the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards - The 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards - an annual celebration of communities, produce, enterprise and rural heritage - are now open… (story)
Basingstoke Gazette 21.8.13 Celebrating best of rural businesses and projects - It’s time to enter top rural awardsThe 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards – an annual celebration of communities, produce, enterprise and rural heritage – are now open for entries… (story)
Burton Mail 20.8.13 MP in bid to get people to help out rural community awards Written by ROB SMYTH - The ninth annual Countryside Alliance Awards are now open to public nomination, and MP Andrew Bridgen is urging the local community to get nominating… (story)
Staffordshire Newsletter 17.8.13 Nominate for your favourite business for the Rural Oscars Written by Robin Scott - FOLK from Stafford, Stone and the surrounding areas can nominate their favourite rural businesses from today for the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards. The annual awards, known as the Rural Oscars, are in their ninth year and recognise the best of enterprise in the countryside and businesses that go the extra mile for their community or help to promote rural life… (story)

Huffington Post 28.8.13 Badger Cull Protesters Evicted From Camp - Campaigners at a protest camp set up against the badger cull are being evicted from the site. Camp Badger at Doniford Holt near Watchet in Somerset has been a base for protesters since Saturday. Twelve people camped overnight to protest over the cull and take part in patrols to protect badgers in the area. They initially claimed to have been given permission to use the site by the landowner. But this morning, the landowner, who has not been named, arrived at the site to evict the protesters, according to a spokesman for Stop the Cull… (story)

Western Morning News 28.8.13 'Camp Badger' protesters evicted just days into six-week stay - Campaigners at a protest camp set up against the badger cull are being evicted from the site. Camp Badger at Doniford Holt near Watchet in Somerset has been a base for protesters since Saturday… (story)

Express 28.8.13 A 'dark day' for Britain as badger cull begins - OPPONENTS of the controversial badger cull which began today have accused the Government of ignoring scientific evidence and public opinion for political gain. By: Owen Bennett … (story)

Western Daily Press 28.8.13 Angry opposition as badger cull begins - Controversial culling of badgers to tackle tuberculosis in cattle has finally got under way in the face of angry opposition… (story)

Western Daily Press 28.8.13 Fresh debate on case for eating badger - The question of whether people should eat badgers has been tabled again now that the pilot cull has got under way in the West Country. Broadcaster and food writer Clarissa Dickson Wright came under fire when she suggested that people should eat culled badgers, but the animals were the main course at special "badger feasts" within living memory… (story)

Western Morning News 28.8.13 'No scientific justification' – welfare groups - Animal welfare groups have reacted angrily to news that culling of badgers has begun, arguing there is no scientific justification or popular support for the policy… (story)

Western Daily Press 28.8.13 Chris Rundle: where beef is from - Naked truth of protest risk - I am writing this in the middle of a war zone. And you will have to forgive me if communications become difficult in the weeks ahead… a confrontation with Avon and Somerset's finest would well be the least of the badger-huggers' concerns. What they really, really don't want to do is to come face to face with outraged West Somerset farmers… John Hicks, who bravely monitored local stag hunts on behalf of the League Against Cruel Sports regularly turned up at my house bearing all the marks of his latest bruising encounter and his successor Kevin Hill's career as a human punchbag only came to an end when two of his assailants were dealt with firmly by the courts…. (story)

Cambridge News 28.8.13 Cambridge experts debate whether badger cull will cure bovine TB Written by ELEANOR DICKINSON - This week thousands of farmers will take to their fields armed with cages and shotguns as the controversial badger cull finally commences…James Wood, a professor of equine and farm animal science at Cambridge University, said: “Control of infection from badgers is only going to have any impact where it spread from badgers…Wildlife crusader Robin Page told the News last month of his concerns about the increasing number of badgers…Sophie Kennerley, from Animal Rights Cambridge, said: “We are heavily against the culling of wildlife and in this instance are outraged by the going ahead of the badger cull as it is barbaric, scientifically flawed and so widely objected to by the British public… (story)

Mail 28.8.13 I adore badgers but we have to cull them - if only to save our hedgehogs By ROBIN PAGE - Of all the characters in The Wind In The Willows — Kenneth Grahame’s wonderful story with a glorious cast of animals from woodland, field and riverbank — Mr Badger is my favourite…. And yet despite my admiration and the fact that I pride myself, above all, as a wildlife conservationist, I believe a badger cull is essential to the preservation of our countryside. … (story)

Western Morning News 28.8.13 WMN opinion: Sad to conclude, but there is no alternative to a cull - With the badger cull under way, the arguments about whether culling in TB hotspot zones can be carried out humanely and efficiently should be suspended at least until some useful data has been gathered. That won’t happen… Vaccination of badgers is still a very long way off and impractical given the scale of the problem, the areas that need to be covered and the sheer number of badgers. Vaccination would also be ineffective against badgers that already carry the disease…. (story)

Western Daily Press 28.8.13 Badgers will die. It is the only way - With the badger cull under way, the arguments about whether culling in TB hotspot zones can be carried out humanely and efficiently should be suspended at least until some useful data has been gathered. That won't happen… (story)

Western Daily Press 28.8.13 Defra vehemently deny accusations of dogs being used in badger cull - The Government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have been accused of using dogs in last night's badger cull. On social media website Twitter Mike McEwen said to Defra: "Tell me why dogs were being used last night in your 'humane' cull. Be careful there are reputable witnesses."… (story)

Western Daily Press 28.8.13 Fears that Dorset may be next in line for badger culling - Dorset Wildlife Trust fears a badger cull may still take place this year in the county… (story)

Derby Telegraph 28.8.13 Reminder that badgers are protected in county - DERBYSHIRE'S deputy police and crime commissioner is reminding people that badgers remain a protected species in the county…. The deputy commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa, said: "Whatever is happening elsewhere, the deliberate killing of a badger is a crime in Derbyshire…. (story)

Mail 28.8.13 Anti-badger cull group claim they torched £16m police firing range which burned to the ground - Anarchist groups opposed to the badger cull have claimed responsibility for a fire which gutted a £16million police firing range. Radicals from two groups - the Angry Foxes Cell and ACAB (All Coppers Are B******s) - say they started the fire to coincide with the start of the cull…. A statement by the ‘Angry Foxes Cell in collaboration with ACAB’ said: 'It put smiles on our faces to realise how easy it was to enter their gun club and leave a f*** you signature right in the belly of the beast, with a curious fox as our only witness…. The message posted on Bristol-based activist news website Bristol indymedia said the attack coincided with the planned badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire… (story)
Bristol Post 28.8.13 Anarchist group: We carried out police centre arson attack - A Bristol-based website has printed a claim from anarchists claiming they were behind the fire which took hold of the police firearms training centre in Portishead on Tuesday, causing widespread damage and traffic chaos…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 28.8.13 Badger cull set to start in Gloucestershire - The badger cull has continued in Somerset, while shooting in Gloucestershire is expected to start next week. This comes as more celebrities add their voices to the campaign against the cull… (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 28.8.13 Badger cull marksmen hold fire in Gloucestershire By Steven Impey - MARKSMEN have taken the first shots in the West Country badger cull, which is expected to spill over into Gloucestershire this week…. (story)

Western Morning News 28.8.13 Protesters: We'll stay at cull site for 6 weeks = Campaigners occupying a site near the badger cull zone insisted last night they will be a powerful force against the cull. Western Morning News writer Martin Hesp found that the nation's media out-numbered anti-cull protesters at 'Camp Badger' yesterday… (story)

Western Morning News 28.8.13 We're here to remind people about the cull, not to attack farms - The nation's media out-numbered badger-cull protesters at so-called Camp Badger yesterday as TV crews, technicians and reporters gathered to speak to a small but passionate handful of animal-rights enthusiasts who've set up house and home on the West Somerset coast… (story)

Western Morning News 28.8.13 Cull opponents set up Camp Badger as 25-year plan to beat TB begins - A defiant Government wants South West farms free of tuberculosis in cattle within 25 years after a long-awaited badger cull got under way…(story)

Western Morning News 28.8.13 Defra and Natural England issue manual on how to safely kill badgers - Driving down a bumpy woodland track in a pick-up truck, the rifleman and his 'spotter' are heading for a pre-arranged area where they can park up, in clear sight of a badger sett perhaps 50 metres away with a high earth bank behind… (story)

Leicester Mercury 28.8.13 'Help us vaccinate badgers in Leicestershire' By Peter Warzynski - A conservation group is aiming to raise £30,000 to vaccinate the leicestershire's badger population against bovine tuberculosis. The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust said it wants to help badgers and cattle by carrying out a county-wide programme to crack down on the disease…. (story)

Guardian 28.8.13 Badgers? They're killable as well as cute - Controversy over the badger cull underscores Britain's hypocrisy and anthropomorphic confusion over animals - Melissa Kite - During the last bovine tuberculosis crisis in May 2004, without realising what was to hit me, I blithely wrote an article about the need to cull badgers… But I am defending the pilot cull beginning this week because an important principle is at stake. As that strange creature, the English anthropomorph, comes blinking into the light to defend badgers, I am ready and willing, in the name of man's right to order the natural world, to try to shoot the poor thing down… (story)

Birmingham Mail 28.8.13 Ribbon campaign launched against the badger cull - Staffordshire protester selling ribbons to oppose the planned mass killing of badgers - A leading Midlands’ wildlife campaigner is selling anti-badger cull ribbons in a bid to stop the slaughter. Faye Burton, head of the Rural Policing Liason Group, will use cash raised from the black and white ribbons, carrying the words ‘Stop The Cull’, to fund bovine TB vaccinations for the threatened animals… (story)

Dorset Echo 28.8.13 Badger cull begins in Gloucestershire and Somerset By Joanna Davis - FARMERS and protesters in Dorset are on standby as badger culls begin in Somerset and Gloucestershire…. (story)

27.8.13

Independent 27.8.13 Mystic hunt - “Setting off with a rifle to kill a deer is an intense communion with nature and landscape,” writes Bruce Anderson… What self-deluding claptrap! “I get a kick out of killing living things with firearms,” is presumably the sentiment he was trying to get across. Peter Griggs, London SW16 (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 27.8.13 Have a heart for greyhounds - WE have recently had National Greyhound Remembrance Weekend, a special time held every year when greyhound campaigners across the UK hold events to remember all the thousands of racing dogs that have tragically suffered and died since 1926 when greyhound racing began in the UK… If you care enough then please sign this online petition against commercial greyhound racing… HELEN STEVENS Co-ordinator South Devon Greyhound Action PO Box 129, Plymouth (letter)

BBC News Online 27.8.13 Badger cull begins in Somerset in attempt to tackle TB - A badger cull is under way in England despite protests, the National Farmers' Union has confirmed….. But one activist from Forthampton, near Tewkesbury, who would only give her name as Lynne, said the cull was "utterly unacceptable" and described it as the "extermination of the badger on British soil"…. (story)

Telegraph 27.8.13 'Wounded badger patrol' cull protest camp set up - Protesters staged a candlelit vigil and a "wounded badger patrol" as they set up a long-term camp in the cull zone and vowed to stop farmers shooting the animals…. Carla Kidd, 39, an organic gardener from Cornwall, said the so called "patrols" will not trespass onto private land…. (story)

Telegraph 27.8.13 Badger cull gets under way despite protests - The first pilot badger culls are now under way as part of efforts to stop the animals spreading bovine tuberculosis, the National Farmers’ Union said today. By Sam Marsden, and Louise Gray - Some 5,000 badgers are expected to be shot by farmers over six weeks in two 100 square mile areas in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset…. (story)

Mail 27.8.13 Badger cull activists target farmers with campaign of intimidation... and cause death of a cow after setting herd loose By Ryan Kisiel -Animal rights activists fighting the badger cull were yesterday accused of causing a cow’s death. A farmer says extremists set his herd loose, leaving one animal to wander on to a busy road where it was knocked over by a van… One 70-year-old widow, who lives near Minehead, Somerset, has received threatening phone calls late at night despite not running a farm since her husband died… (story)

Mail 27.8.13 First badger gun cull begins as militant hunt saboteurs vow to infiltrate groups planning peaceful protests By HUGO GYE, RYAN KISIEL and EMILY DAVIES - The culling of badgers in the countryside to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis has begun, the National Farmers' Union said this morning. Militant hunt saboteurs have vowed to disrupt the cull by infiltrating animal rights groups planning peaceful protests…. (story)

Guardian 27.8.13 Badger cull: activists on night vigil yet to see dead animals - As marksmen begin their hunt in pilot areas, protesters step up their watch with groups looking out for wounded badgers - John Vidal - "Mister Fox," the pseudonym of a well-spoken anti-cull activist in his 40s, can barely speak after three nights' stumbling by torchlight along the footpaths of Somerset in search of badgers – dead or alive. He has seen neither hunter or animal…. (story)

Guardian 27.8.13 Chris Packham: like Owen Paterson, I had pet badgers. But their real place was in the wild - The environment minister tries to defend his badger cull, but we both know from experience that these animals have an important role to play in Britain's countryside - (story)

Guardian 27.8.13 Badger cull: key questions answered - Find out whether the shooting dead of badgers will stop bovine TB spreading or how effective the policy will be in the long-term - Adam Vaughan…. (story)

Guardian 27.8.13 Badger cull: do you sympathise with the saboteurs? - Activists who have in the past sabotaged fox hunts are reportedly planning to visit badger culling sites in the coming weeks… Do you sympathise with their actions? (story)

Gloucester Citizen 27.8.13 Badger cull: Wildlife and animal welfare groups condemn start of operations to tackle TB - Opponents accuse the Government of going against scientific evidence in pushing ahead with pilot culls of badgers - EMILY BEAMENT - Wildlife and animal welfare groups have reacted angrily to news that culling of badgers to tackle tuberculosis in cattle has begun…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 27.8.13 RSPCA expects flood of calls over badly shot badgers during cull - The RSPCA today said it was 'deeply saddened' a trial cull of badgers has started in Somerset and is due to begin in Gloucestershire…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 27.8.13 Badger cull begins as police begin operation to keep peace - THE first badger cull operations are under way in Somerset and police have launched Operation Themis to help keep the peace during Gloucestershire’s pilot scheme…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 27.8.13 Badger cull - views for and against - With the badger cull in Gloucestershire expected to begin this week, the Echo presents the arguments. Charles Mann, chairman of the NFU in Gloucestershire… Rob Darvill, Gloucestershire vet Action has to be taken now to stop the impact of this disease spreading further. In 2012… Liz Gaffer, of Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting… (story)

Western Morning News 27.8.13 Arrest as anti-badger cull activists set up camps - Animal rights activists and hunt saboteurs have started setting up protest camps in Somerset. Police are reported to be braced for clashes between farmers and campaigners who have already launched patrols and set up camps… (story)

Bath Chronicle 27.8.13 I was pressurised into voting for badger cull, admits Bath MP Don Foster - City MP Don Foster has admitted he was pressurised into voting in favour of this week’s controversial badger cull… (story)

Cheddar Valley Gazette 27.8.13 The badger cull starts and supporters and critics clash words By IanMat - THE pilot cull of badgers in parts of Somerset has begun, firing up already intense division over the issue between those for and against shooting badgers. Critics like the Humane Society International have called it "a dark day for Britain as science and ethics have been sacrificed at the altar of political expediency". But others like the NFU have said the culls are "absolutely necessary" to prevent the culling of cattle that contract Bovine TB… (story)

Express & Echo 27.8.13 Exeter badger cull protesters gain support - Members of Exeter Friends For Animals (EFFA) campaigning against the badger cull claim "an overwhelming majority” of the public is on their side… EFFA spokesperson Sharon Howe said today… (story)

Stroud News & Journal 27.8.13 Stroud Labour Party voices dismay at start of badger cull - STROUD Labour Party has voiced its dismay at start of the badger cull. District councillor Paul Denney (Lab, Cam) said: "We knew that the Government was pushing this through but to wake up this morning to the news that the cull had started was devastating…. (story)

Plymouth Herald 27.8.13 Badger cull protester arrested at Defra site - A MAN, reported to be an anti-badger cull protester, has been arrested at a site belonging to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)…. (story)
Western Daily Press 27.8.13 Man held by police at Defra laboratory site - A man was arrested at a laboratory used by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Stroud on the eve of the controversial badger cull. The man, understood to be protesting against the cull, was detained by police at around noon yesterday on suspicion of aggravated trespass at the Government's former badger gassing staff base on the old Aston Down airfield in Minchinhampton… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.8.13 Vet's badger cull plea to MPs By Tina_Rowe - Mark Jones, a qualified veterinary surgeon and executive director of Humane Society International/UK has today sent a letter to MPs whose constituencies are: “high risk” areas for an extension of the badger cull. In it he warns that a decision on rolling-out the cull currently being carried out in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire looks like to be taken early next year, and he calls on MPs to do all they can to abandon a cull which he says will not solve farmers problems in the fight against bovine TB… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.8.13 TALKING POINT: Why are badgers being culled? The issues surrounding badger cull - The culling of badgers has started in the face of fierce opposition. Here we look at the issues surrounding the badger cull:… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.8.13 Animal welfare groups angry at news that badger cull has begun - Animal welfare and wildlife groups have reacted angrily to news that culling of badgers to tackle tuberculosis in cattle has begun… Simon Nash, chief executive of Somerset Wildlife Trust, said: “We are very conscious of the hardship that bTB causes our farming community. However science clearly shows that a badger cull is not the solution to bTB and, in fact, the shooting of badgers could make the problem worse here in Somerset…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.8.13 Anti-cull protesters insist they will be powerful force against badger cull - Campaigners insist they will be a powerful force against the badger cull. Twelve protesters camped through the night at Camp Badger at Doniford Holt near Watchet in Somerset, following a candlelit vigil in Minehead last night…. Carla Kidd, from Cornwall, said: “We are here to try to stop this – it is our one opportunity to do so. “If we don’t, the cull will spread nationwide in areas including Cornwall, where I am from… Marie Denston added: “We want to stop this slaughter… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.8.13 Humane Society will continue to oppose badger cull - As the government's Somerset and Gloucestershire badger cull begins, the Humane Society International/UK have said they will continue to opposed the cull… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.8.13 Minister Owen Paterson claims badger culls could wipe out TB in 25 years - The controversial badger culls that are being trialled in Somerset and Gloucestershire could result in bovine tuberculosis (TB) being wiped out in England in 25 years, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has claimed…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.8.13 Wildlife expert fears badger cull monitoring is unreliable By TINA ROWE - A professional wildlife filmmaker who opposes the badger cull says that far too few carcasses are to be monitored for those examining them to be certain that the cull has been humane. Amanda Barrett was shocked to be told that only 120 of the 5,000 badgers to die in the West Somerset and West Gloucestershire culls will be examined after their deaths… (story)

Western Morning News 27.8.13 'We are not here to attack farms' say badger cull protesters - As a clifftop in Somerset becomes home to a group of people opposing the badger cull, they tell nearby resident Martin Hesp they are not there to take direct action, but to act as a focal point … The nation’s media out-numbered badger-cull protesters at so-called Camp Badger yesterday as TV crews, technicians and reporters gathered to speak to a small but passionate handful of animal-rights enthusiasts who’ve set up house and home on the West Somerset coast…. (story)
Western Morning News 27.8.13 - Campaigners insist they will be a powerful force against the badger cull. Western Morning News writer Martin Hesp found that the nation’s media out-numbered badger-cull protesters at so-called ‘Camp Badger’ today… (story)

Western Morning News 27.8.13 Pilot badger culls begin as activists set up camps and hold candlelit vigil - The first pilot badger control operations have begun in west Somerset and west Gloucestershire, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said today…. Last night Somerset Badger Patrol held a vigil event in Minehead against the cull. A statement on its Facebook page after the event said: “Over 200 people tonight at the procession, thank you all so much for coming... We fight on, knowing that we are right helps.”… (story)

Bolton News 27.8.13 Please help end animals’ suffering - SEPTEMBER 1 is International Primate Day, established by Animal Defenders International, to highlight the threats to and abuses of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom — the apes and monkeys…. Please contact ADI for ways you can help… Jan Creamer, Chief Exec Animal Defenders Int (story)

26.8.13

Independent 26.8.13 Why David Cameron should take to the hills - BRUCE ANDERSON - There was a season every year when I wondered whether I was mad. That thought might come on me when prone in a peat-hag, the ground water soaking upwards to converge in my marrow with the rain pelting down… . Of all the field-sports, stalking ought to be the least controversial; there is no possible case against it. There are more than 600,000 red deer in Scotland: a higher figure than ever before. They destroy young trees and trample the eggs of ground-nesting birds. Numbers have to be controlled, and indeed reduced…. David Cameron – no mystic he – used to enjoy stalking, and was good at it. A few years ago, he decided to give it up for the duration… A few days ago, however, the Prime Minister came out fighting, explaining why all environmentalists should cheer on deerstalkers… (story)

Farming Lifee 26.8.13 Birr Castle Game Fair bigger and better than ever - The international acts are booked, the competitions have the biggest ever prize fund, and there’s more exhibitors and quality trade stands coming to provide the biggest and best game fair ever seen at Birr…. (story)

Western Morning News 26.8.13 Arrest as anti-badger cull activists set up camps - Animal rights activists and hunt saboteurs have started setting up protest camps in Somerset. Police are reported to be braced for clashes between farmers and campaigners who have already launched patrols and set up camps… Meanwhile, a man reported to be an anti-badger protester has been arrested at a site belonging to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in the other cull area… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 26.8.13 'Badger cull protester' arrested at Aston Down - Police confirmed this afternoon that a man had been arrested on suspicion of 'aggravated trespass' at Aston Down on Monday afternoon…. ITV are reporting that it was Stop The Cull protester Jay Tiernan who was arrested by a police helicopter and three police cars for allegedly trying to break into the site… (story)
Independent 26.8.13 Man arrested as campaigners prepare to disrupt badger cull - CHRIS STEVENSON - A man believed to be an anti-badger cull protester was arrested at a site belonging to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on Monday, as campaigners began gearing up for “direct action”…. Campaign group Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs claimed that the man arrested was Jay Tiernan, a spokesman for both the Stop the Cull protest group and the Coalition of Badger Action Groups… (story)
Telegraph 26.8.13 Badger cull: protester arrested trying to storm Department of Environment site - A badger cull protester has been arrested as farmers prepare to start shooting the animals across Somerset and Gloucestershire By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - The cull of 5,000 badgers over six weeks is expected to start later in two 100 square mile pilot areas in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset… An anti-badger cull protester, thought to be Jay Tiernan, was arrested after allegedly trying to break-in to a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs site in Gloucestershire... (story)

Guardian 26.8.13 Badger cull: protesters claim success in opening battles - Opponents say they have sabotaged traps, bait and sett areas ahead of official cull by groups hired to shoot animals - John Vidal - Hunt saboteurs and wildlife groups claim to have won the first skirmishes in the impending battle over the planned badger cull by disrupting traps and digging up bait laid by gamekeepers and farmers as well as disturbing the ground near setts so that the animals will be scared to come out…. The activist said that many hunt saboteurs who had been active before the 2004 ban on hunting were now preparing to visit the sites. "We have a core of 25 people [in both areas] going out every day to disrupt the cull in advance. When it kicks off there will be hundreds more… (story)

Western Morning News 26.8.13 Protesters' last-ditch bid to stop badger cull - Anti-badger cull protesters are pinning their hopes on health and safety rules to thwart the marksmen, who are due to start shooting in the early hours of tomorrow. According to online comments from groups opposed to the pilot culls – approved in West Somerset and Gloucestershire – putting people into the cull zones will make it difficult for the marksmen to safely carry out the cull…. (story)

Mail 26.8.13 Shooters to begin culling thousands of badgers TODAY as anti-cull protesters prepare to storm killing sites to disrupt marksmen By PAUL BENTLEY and MARTIN ROBINSON - Marksmen will begin culling thousands of badgers today amid a huge police operation to prevent disruption from protesters who plan to overrun killing sites. Officers are braced for violent clashes between farmers and animal rights campaigners who will launch patrols this morning… (story)

Mirror 26.8.13 Badger cull: Animal rights protesters vow to stand between marksmen's guns and badgers - Campaigners Stop the Cull urged their supporters to act as the last line of defence to stop marksmen carrying out the shooting. Animals rights protesters are taking to the woods in a last-ditch attempt to stop the controversial badger cull…. (story)

Guardian 26.8.13 In pursuing the badger cull, the government is being anti-science - The cull will be bad for farmers, taxpayers and wildlife, and most of all it flies in the face of scientific evidence - Mary Creagh - The Tory-led government's controversial badger cull is set to begin on Monday night… The government should stop, listen to the scientific evidence and abandon the cull. Bovine TB is a terrible disease that must be stopped. This cull is not the way to do it. (story)

BBC News Online 26.8.13 Police deployed in Gloucestershire over Badger cull 'concerns' - Police officers have been sent to parts of Gloucestershire to "provide reassurance" after speculation that a pilot badger cull could soon begin… Elsewhere, Jay Tiernan - a spokesman for the Stop the Cull group - has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass at the Defra-run Aston Down Wildlife Unit… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 26.8.13 Gloucestershire badger cull - both sides of the argument - WITH the badger cull in Gloucestershire set to start any time now, we look at both sides of the argument. AS far as the Government is concerned, allowing trained marksmen to shoot badgers is a must if the battle against the spread of TB in cattle is to be won… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 26.8.13 Police ready as badger cull set to begin - Protesters, activists and police are on standby as badger cull is set to begin tonight. Farmers fear militant protesters will descend on the county and Somerset, where more than 5,000 badgers are due to be shot over two months…. (story)

Western Daily Press 26.8.13 Anti protesters gather ahead of badger cull - Campaigners against a badger cull say they are gearing up to protest against the “inhumane” measure, expected to start this week. Activists from campaign group Stop the Cull have already gathered in Gloucestershire, where one of the first pilot schemes will take place, to form a “wounded badger patrol”… (story)

Bristol Post 26.8.13 Animal lovers? I don't think so - I TOTALLY agree with Karen Theyer's comments regarding the mindless slaughter of badgers, a very apt description indeed… Clive Heath (letter)
Bristol Post 21.8.13 David Cameron is not listening - I live in South Gloucestershire and I am really opposed to the badger cull…. Karen Theyer (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.8.13 Proposed slaughter is purely political - In response to the letter by Michael Ashton (Daily Press August 23) concerning badgers and bovine TB, if he so concerned about healthy badgers then why is he happy to see healthy ones shot in this pointless cull…. Andrew Williams West Country Badger Patrol Group (letter)

Oxford Mail 26.8.13 Archbishop wrong to give up RSPCA rule - MY WIFE and I are outraged by Justin Welby’s abandonment of the role of vice-patron of the RSPCA. Former Archbishops of Canterbury have courageously supported this magnificent organisation which has done so much to fight cruelty to defenceless animals which is sadly prevalent throughout the world…. Graham Butler, Banbury Road, Bicester (letter)

25.8.13

Observer 25.8.13 That's enough blathering, Brian - Barbara Ellen - It truly grieves me when prominent animal rights activists are hysterical, clueless and embarrassing. Queen guitarist Brian May, is a prime example. His recent behaviour suggests that the most useful thing he could do for animal welfare is to shut up… The worst thing is that, as a vegetarian, I agree with his stance against animal cruelty and I respect the passion that fuels it…. People such as him might imagine that they are a thorn in the side of the Countryside Alliance, but in truth they are a godsend. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 25.8.13 No wonder the Prime Minister loves deer stalking... William Langley discovers what’s behind David Cameron's summer holiday passion - The important thing is to tell yourself that they are out there somewhere. That the big, heathery, half-lit, squelchy stretch of Scottish moor isn’t quite as deserted as it looks at 5am, when you first hit it for a spot of deer stalking… Stalking isn’t for the rich or the toffee-nosed. It doesn’t require beaters and Fortnum’s hampers or hand-inscribed Purdy shotguns. The kind of people Chris Dalton takes out are mostly anonymous hard-working types who believe that crawling over moors in the sleet and fog offers not only something for the soul but something for life in general. The kind of people, in fact, that the Prime Minister ought to consider his own… William went stalking with South Ayrshire Stalking… (story)

Scotland on Sunday 25.8.13 Charity firmly against snares - “NEW study shines light on hen harrier” (News, 4 August) discussed a new Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust report into diversionary feeding of hen harriers… May I clarify that the final paragraph of the article, suggesting that the control of generalist predators by gamekeepers could become more acceptable, was a quotation from the research itself and not from OneKind…. Libby Anderson, ?policy director, OneKind (letter)

Sunday Telegraph 25.8.13 Protesters vow to use health and safety to stop badger cull - Scores of protesters are expected to descend on Somerset and Gloucestershire tonight to use health and safety laws to stop the badger cull. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - The cull of 5,000 badgers over six weeks is expected to start tomorrow in two 100 square mile pilot areas in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset… However protesters have vowed to stop the cull simply by making themselves present in areas where shooting is going on, so that marksmen are unable to continue under health and safety laws.. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 25.8.13 Badger cull: Police fear violence over controversial scheme to combat 'terrible disease' - Hundreds of police will be deployed on Monday in a major security effort as a cull of badgers begins. By Patrick Sawer - Farmers and police fear an influx of animal rights militants to Gloucester and Somerset, where more than 5,000 badgers are due to be shot over the next eight weeks… Jay Tiernan, a spokesman for Stop the Cull who was named in the injunction, along with fellow activists Dave Peel and Debbie Vincent, said: “We certainly do want to reduce the numbers of farmers involved. We will use every available piece of legislation we can to make their lives a misery.”… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 25.8.13 Badger cull: 'We have to get this terrible disease under control’ - David Barton and his family should this year have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of his grandfather taking over their 260-acre cattle and arable farm in the Cotswolds. By Patrick Sawer - But instead they have been overwhelmed by the spreading bovine TB crisis and the misery it has brought to farming families like theirs. In the past two years, Mr Barton has been forced to see a quarter of his beef herd slaughtered after they fell victim to bovine tuberculosis (TB), spread by the badgers whose setts pockmark his and his neighbours’ fields…. (story)

Western Daily Press 25.8.13 Badger cull protest patrols turn to health and safety to stop marksmen - Badger cull protesters are planning to take to the roads and woods in Somerset and Gloucestershire tonight, in a last-ditch effort aimed at using health-and-safety concerns to stop the cull…. Jay Tiernan, of Stop the Cull, said protesters have already identified setts “in danger”… (story)

24.8.13

Western Daily Press 24.8.13 RSPCA's purpose is to protect animals - In response to the article by Jamie Foster (Daily Press August 19) about the RSPCA and the West Country Game Fair, many gamekeepers kill stoats and weasels to protect pheasants so they can be blasted out of the sky. The Countryside Alliance wants cruel bloodsports to be legal again… Andrew Williams West Country Badger Patrol Group (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.8.13 Animal charity is not so squeaky clean - After reading Brian May's rant (Western Daily Press August 21), I felt I had to reply and put a few facts right about the RSPCA. It is not as squeaky clean as it would like everyone to believe. It culls hundreds if not thousands of dogs every year… A late friend of mine bequeathed a large sum of money to the RSPCA, hoping it would look after his dogs after his death.The RSPCA declined to take them… J Keirle, Chilton Polden, Somerset (letter)

BRIAN MAY ATTACKS RSPCA CRITICS
Guardian 24.8.13 Brian May hits out at 'propaganda' war against RSPCA on eve of badger cull Mark Townsend, home affairs editor - Rock star Brian May, a vice-president of the RSPCA, has accused the government of being involved in a campaign to discredit animal welfare organisations as part of an increasingly rancorous war of words ahead of this week's badger cull… (story)
Western Morning News 23.8.13 May says cull is 'return to Dark Ages' - The figurehead of a campaign to oppose a cull on badgers has said if one went ahead it could lead to a return to the Dark Age practice of burning supposed witches at the stake… (story)
Western Morning News 23.8.13 WMN opinion: Shameful and unjustified attack on farming families - There are, most reasonable people accept, some perfectly sensible arguments that can be marshalled against the pilot cull of badgers to control bovine TB… But when Brian May, agitator in chief of the anti-cull lobby, starts warning that introducing a cull of badgers will usher back the medieval practice of burning witches at the stake, all rights he has to be taken seriously in that debate disappear out of the window. And when, further, he launches outrageous attacks on those who have raised legitimate questions about the policies on prosecutions pursued by the RSPCA, comparing them to the defenders of paedophiles, then any credibility he may have had is completely shot to pieces…. Bovine TB is a crisis for the whole countryside, Dr May. Understand that, or keep out of the debate (story)
Western Daily Press 23.8.13 Celebrities rally to RSPCA as country sports lobby calls for boycott By TristanCork - High-profile supporters of the RSPCA have come out fighting for the charity after country sports enthusiasts called for people to stop donating, as the row over prosecuting illegal fox hunting intensified. TV wildlife expert Chris Packham, a vice-president of the society, admitted that the charity was “being stretched” by “new arenas” like campaigning against the badger cull and taking on prosecuting fox hunts, but that this should mean that supporters of its battle against animal cruelty should “support it even more”… (story)
Telegraph 21.8.13 Criticising the RSPCA is like wanting paedophiles to escape justice, Brian May claims - Attacking the RSPCA for bringing animal cruelty prosecutions is like arguing that paedophiles should not be put on trial, the Queen guitarist Brian May has suggested By Rosa Silverman - The musician and animal rights campaigner claimed that the only difference between critics of the charity and child abusers was that in RSPCA cases “the creatures involved are non-human.”… (story)
Metro 22.8.13 Criticising RSPCA over cruelty cases like wanting paedophiles to escape justice, says Queen guitarist Brian May - Criticising the RSPCA for pursuing cruelty cases is like wanting paedophiles to escape justice, Queen guitarist Brian May has said…. (story)
Western Daily Press 21.8.13 TALKING POINT: Queen member Dr Brian May argues in defence of RSPCA - An appallingly violent act is unfolding in front of our eyes. It is nothing less than a vicious, calculated attempt to discredit the RSPCA and destroy its powers to prevent cruelty to animals. This vile attack is being mounted by the Countryside Alliance, elements of the National Farmers' Union, elements of the Press and media and elements of the very Government of this country. It must not be allowed to succeed…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 24.8.13 Badger cull protest in Lincoln - A protest against badger culling is due to march through Lincoln today… protesters from Vegan Lincs and Lincoln Animal Friends hope today’s demonstrations in the city will help stop the cull. Linda Wardale, group coordinator for Vegan Lincs, is helping organise the protest… (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 24.8.13 VIDEO: Noisy protest against badger culls marches through Lincoln - A noisy protest group marched through Lincoln demonstrating against proposed badger culls… the protest group was formed from around 20 people. Demonstrators from Vegan Lincs and Lincoln Animal Friends joined members of the public and other activists…. (story)

Western Morning News 24.8.13 Somerset Badger Patrol - 'peace-loving people' with a message - A group calling itself Somerset Badger Patrol which has been organising nocturnal vigils in the west of the county in the last few weeks says it plans to increase its activities as the likely start date for the cull draws nearer. "We've got patrols going out tonight and every other night during the cull – and we will start going out nightly," said Michelle Gunn, who set up the group with two other women… Ms Gunn said she and her two colleagues were Somerset residents and that they'd set up the badger patrols to "protect our county and show there is a big support network out there"…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 24.8.13 Military tactics being used by protestors to stop Gloucestershire badger cull - Protesters descending on Gloucester ahead of the proposed badger cull claim they will make shooting the animals “impossible” by using military-style tactics. An injunction against intimidation and harassment was issued this week but Jay Tiernan, who speaks on behalf of the Stop the Cull group, said around 100 people will be patrolling the cull zones in Gloucestershire and Somerset every night… (story)
Telegraph 23.8.13 Badger cull: protesters threaten 'military-style' tactics - Protesters are threatening to make the badger cull “impossible” by using military-style tactics to stop farmers trapping and shooting the animals. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - Despite an injunction against intimidation and harassment, Jay Tiernan, who speaks on behalf of the Stop the Cull group, said around 100 people will be patrolling the cull zones in Gloucestershire and Somerset every night…. (story)

23.8.13

Yorkshire Post 23.8.13 Three cleared of hunting fox with dogs in garden - The Hunting Act has been described as difficult to interpret and prosecute after three members of Yorkshire’s Holderness Hunt were cleared of illegal hunting. Charges were brought against master of foxhounds Charles Clark, former huntsman David Elliot and amateur whip Philip Walker after complaints of hunting in the village of Aike, near Driffield, on January 21, last year…. District Judge Daniel Curtis said the legislation was not easy and it was a classic example of the difficulties the Crown have in prosecuting such cases…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 23.8.13 On the trail of most glorious of game birds - After a few disappointing years due to bad weather, the grouse shooting fraternity are having a better season. Sheena Hastings follows the red grouse from moorland to plate. THOSE who are passionate about the sport say grouse shooting offers a unique challenge, and the anticipation and excitement around shooting on the first day of the season is like nothing else. They come to the UK from all points of the globe to indulge their hobby during a four-month red grouse season that begins with the so-called ‘Glorious Twelfth’ of August…. (story)

Guardian 23.8.13 M&S grouse meat could come from illegal source, say conservationists - Karl Mathiesen - Conservationists say grouse meat on sale in Marks & Spencer stores could come from estates where birds of prey are illegally shot to maximise the food supply… The environmentalist and former conservation director at the RSPB, Mark Avery, has called for a boycott of the company until it demonstrates its supply chain is ethical and secure…(story)

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY REFUSES ROLE OF VICE PATRON OF RSPCA
Church Times 23.8.13 Welby ‘wrong’ to turn down RSPCA - THE Archbishop of Canterbury has been criticised by a fellow bishop and a theologian for turning down the honorary position of vice-patron of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)… The director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, said that the refusal was "incomprehensible and regrettable"…. (story)
Telegraph 19.8.13 Welby too busy to be RSPCA patron? But they don't do anything, says Vice-President Bill Oddie - Bill Oddie, the outspoken environmentalist and broadcaster, has turned his fire on the Archbishop of Canterbury, dismissing his explanation that he is too busy to be Vice-Patron of the RSPCA as “absolute nonsense”. By John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor - Mr Oddie, who is himself a Vice-President of the animal welfare charity, ridiculed the idea that it would involve a significant time commitment – claiming that those with honorary positions in it did not "do anything”…. He said the churches had a “dreadful record” on animal welfare, and also accused the Vatican of not doing enough to prevent cruelty to animals… (story)
Mail 19.8.13 The hunting archbishop and 'snub to RSPCA': Revelation Justin Welby once went pheasant shooting emerges day after he turned down honorary post By CHRIS BROOKE … It has emerged that Justin Welby once went pheasant shooting. And, rather unfortunately, the revelation came the day after he turned down the role of RSPCA vice-patron… Lambeth Palace has admitted Dr Welby ‘went on a live pheasant shoot on one occasion in the mid-1980s’, when he worked as an oil company executive…. (story)
Canterbury Times 19.8.13 Archbishop turns down vice patron role for RSPCA - THE Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has turned down the role of RSPCA vice-patron on the same day it emerged he once went pheasant shooting… (story)
Western Morning News 19.8.13 Archbishop turns down RSPCA offer - The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA…. (story)
Telegraph 17.8.13 Archbishop Justin Welby snubs RSPCA after refusing lead role - The Archbishop of Canterbury has broken long-standing tradition by rejecting a role at the top of the RSPCA in a move which will end decades of Church leadership of the charity. By Alice Philipson - The decision by the Most Rev Justin Welby to decline the role of vice-patron will be seen by many as a snub to an organisation which faces accusations it has lost its way…. Lambeth Palace told The Times: “….the Archbishop has enormous admiration for the RSPCA and hopes to see its work thrive long into the future.”… The RSPCA said: “We have been informed by the Archbishop’s office that, due to the very large number of invitations he receives to support charities, he is not able to take on the position of vice-patron of the RSPCA. We respect that decision…” (story)
Independent 17.8.13 Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby turns down RSPCA role - JENNIFER COCKERELL - The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA. The Most Rev Justin Welby declined the invitation from the animal charity as he has "reluctantly decided to restrict his patronage", a spokeswoman for Lambeth Palace said… (story)
Mail 17.8.13 Archbishop of Canterbury refuses to become patron of RSPCA after charity faces accusations it has lost its way By JENNIFER SMITH - The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA. The Most Rev Justin Welby declined the invitation from the animal charity as he has 'reluctantly decided to restrict his patronage', a spokesman for Lambeth Palace said…. (story)
ITV 17.8.13 Archbishop's rejection comes as big blow to RSPCA - The RSPCA has been accused of becoming too politicised in its pursuit of animal welfare causes.Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive - The Archbishop of Canterbury's decision to turn down the role of vice-patron of the RSPCA will set back an organisation that has endured some negative recent press… (story)
Northern Echo 17.8.13 Archbishop of Canterbury turns down RSPCA post By Matt Westcott - THE Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA…. (story)
Express 16.8.13 Archbishop turns down RSPCA role - The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA…. (story)
Belfast Telegraph 16.8.13 Archbishop turns down RSPCA role - The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to be a patron of the RSPCA…. (story)

Swindon Advertiser 23.8.13 Hunting is sinful - THE RSPCA is being attacked by rich and powerful people, the Countryside Alliance, newspapers and politicians, because the RSPCA has successfully prosecuted huntsmen who are breaking the law. Into this situation steps the Archbishop of Canterbury, who now gives up his support of the RSPCA and it is revealed he has been on pheasant shoots… REV HW JONES Summer House Road Wroughton (letter)

Civil Society 23.8.13 Charity coalition warns charities could be 'collateral damage' in lobbying bill -Vibeka Mair … A coalition of 24 charities, led by NCVO, have written to Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith, warning that proposals in the lobbying and transparency bill will curtail charities from speaking out on issues affecting the people and causes they support… The umbrella body says the government is at risk of inadvertently making charities and community groups “collateral damage” in its efforts to regulate election campaigning. The letter is supported by charities including the Royal British Legion, Countryside Alliance, RNIB, Oxfam and Help the Hospices. … (story)

Somerset County Gazette 23.8.13 Anti-badger cull candlelight procession planned for bank holiday By Kirsty James - SOMERSET Badger Patrol will be leading a 'Candlelight Procession' in Minehead on Monday (August 26) amid rumours the badger cull is due to begin… Adrian Coward, chairman of Somerset Badger Group (SBG), said: “The result of the NFU injunction award does not in any way prevent us from holding this event and there is no unlawful aspect of the way we operate… (story)
Western Morning News 23.8.13 NFU wins ruling against protesters - An injunction has been granted to restrict people protesting against the badger cull in the Westcountry… (story)
Mail 23.8.13 Animal rights activists banned from farmland as badger cull begins after landowners complain of 'sustained campaign of intimidation' By NICK MCDERMOTT - Animal rights activists have been banned from harassing farmers just days before the start of a controversial badger cull. Landowners were granted an injunction after complaining of ‘sustained campaign of intimidation’, including nuisance calls, abusive letters and an arson attack – though it remains to be seen how effectively it will be enforced by police… (story)
Somerset County Gazette 23.8.13 High court injunction to restrict anti-badger cull protests By Hannah Green - A HIGH court judge has granted an injunction restricting the activities of certain anti-badger cull protesters…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 23.8.13 Injunction granted over badger cull protestors By LAURA CHURCHILL - THE National Farmers' Union has secured an injunction against badger cull protesters with rumours rife the shooting will start on Monday… (story)

Burton Mail 23.8.13 'Back to square one' as farm still at risk from TB Written by HELEN KREFT - A FARM near Burton has now back to square one after another test revealed its cattle has been hit by bovine Tuberculosis (bTB). Louis and Gillian Bothwell’s Lower Lynbrook Farm, in Newchurch, Hoar Cross, saw its entire herd wiped out in March by the deadly disease thought to be bought on by badgers and now faces a second slaughter adding to their financial burden… Mrs Bothwell said that while the badger population should be controlled, she did not believe in ‘free shooting’ and said each farm should be investigated on a ‘farm by farm basis’. She said: “I don’t think that free shooting is the right way forward. They should be looking at it on a farm by farm basis and then they should be isolated, investigated and setts should be tested. “No farms want to see badgers wiped out, it is about controlling the wildlife in the most humane way.” (story)

Western Morning News 23.8.13 Relentless creep of bovine TB hits last farm in disease blackspot - The last remaining TB-free herd in a blighted part of the Westcountry has tested positive for disease the first time. Farmer Richard Foss received the grim news that his farm, at Start Point in the picturesque South Hams, has fallen victim to the relentless creep of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). Mr Foss is convinced that badgers have infected his herd, which is closed to outside animals apart from stud bulls, which are routinely tested…. (story)

Northern Echo 23.8.13 Bullfighting - ALTHOUGH I have a lot of time for cultural tradition, I do believe that bullfighting is a barbaric and horrific sport, in short an abomination…. Aled Jones, Bridlington. (letter)

The Sentinel 23.8.13 Thanks for your aid donations - ANIMAL Aid would like to thank the people of Hanley for their generosity in raising £79.45 at a street collection on Saturday, August 17…. VICKY GERRARD Animal Aid Collection Co-ordinator (letter)

Carmarthen Journal 23.8.13 Market offers vegan delights - A VEGAN street market takes place in Carmarthen at the end of the month. At the clock tower market square between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, August 31, there will be a wide range of vegan goods…. (story)

22.8.13

MIDDLETON CONVICTED OF HUNTING FOX
Horse & Hound 22.8.13 Middleton hunt members fined - Four members of the Middleton have pleaded guilty to an offence under the Hunting Act, but two further charges have been dropped against each man… (story)
York Press 17.8.13 Middleton hunt members fined after video footage showed illegal fox hunting By Dan Bean - VIDEO footage has emerged showing members of a North Yorkshire hunt taking part in illegal fox hunting. The four men, who are members of the Middleton Hunt, based nearMalton, were caught on camera taking part in the incident…. (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 16.8.13 Middleton hunt members fined over illegal fox hunting - FOUR members of the Middleton Hunt have admitted illegal fox hunting, and three have been handed fines of up to £300…. (story)
Mirror 16.8.13 Middleton Hunt: Pictures and video of horrific moment hounds savage fox during illegal hunt - These pictures show the horrific moment a pack of hounds ripped a fox to pieces as huntsmen watched. The terrified animal is seen hiding in a tower of hay bales for 25 minutes as hunt staff use terriers and sticks to force it out… (story)
Telegraph 15.8.13 Footage captures a pack of hounds ripping a fox to shreds - Footage of a baying pack of hounds ripping a fox to shreds has emerged after four men were found guilty of participating in a banned hunt. - The video shows a fox taking refuge under massive bales of hay for 25 minutes before hunt staff use terriers, sticks and hounds to force it into the open where the dogs bring it down and tear it apart…. (story)
Mail 15.8.13 Grisly footage shows blood-thirsty hounds tear fox apart after huntsmen force it from hay bale with sticks during illegal hunt … This harrowing video has been released after four members of the Middleton Hunt, based in North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to hunting with hounds…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 15.8.13 Caught on camera: Hunt members convicted of illegal fox-hunting By Danny Longhorn - FOUR men have been convicted of illegally hunting a fox in East Yorkshire. Huntsman Tom Holt, whipper-in Shaun Marles, terrierman Lee Martin and amateur terrierman Brian Cuthbertson, all of Malton, pleaded guilty to hunting a wild mammal with a dog… (story)
Express 15.8.13 Horrific footage shows moment hunt members watch as hounds tear fox apart - FOOTAGE has emerged showing members of a hunt standing by as hounds rip a fox to shreds.By: Benjamin Russell … (story)
Pocklington Post 14.8.13 Middleton hounds quartet admit illegal hunting - Four members of the Middleton Foxhounds, a registered fox hunt based at Malton, pleaded guilty in respect of the illegal hunting of a fox in December 2012, Following footage obtained by the League Against Cruel Sports during a hunt meet at Full Sutton, huntsman Tom Holt, of Leavening, whipper-in Shaun Marles, of Titley, Kington, terrierman Lee Martin, of Birdsall, and amateur terrierman Brian Cuthbertson, of Norton, all pleaded guilty in absence in respect of Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004 – the offence of Hunting a Wild Mammal with a Dog. The four appeared before magistrates in York. Holt was fined £200 plus £20 surcharge and £85 costs, a total £305; Marles was fined £100 plus £20 surcharge and £85 costs, £205 in total; Martin was fined £100 plus £20 surcharge and £85 costs, £205 in total; and Cuthbertson was granted a conditional discharge for 12 months, with £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs, £100 in total… (story)

North Devon Journal 22.8.13 VIDEO & PHOTOS: Thousands turn out at Holsworthy and Stratton Show 2013 - Thousands of people have turned out at one of the busiest Holsworthy and Stratton Show’s organisers can remember…. VIDEO Parade of the hounds in the arena at the show… (story)

Mail 22.8.13 'It's like the Wild West': Anger of villagers as French poachers target UK countryside to shoot pigeons - By AMANDA WILLIAMS - French poachers are turning the English countryside 'into the Wild West' by shooting 'anything that moves' according to residents of a Kent village. People in Tilmastone, Kent, say their European neighbours are crossing the border and turning their area into a scene out of a 'Wild West blockbuster'… And a teenage rider was thrown from her horse after it got spooked by sudden loud firing last Wednesday…. (story)
Kent Messenger 22.8.13 Horse rider, 18, falls from saddle as French pigeon shooters fire shots in Tilmanstone by Sue Briggs - French gunmen who travel to Kent to shoot pigeons are being blamed for a teenager falling from her horse when the animal bolted…. (story)

Scotsman 22.8.13 Targeting deer - Ben Williamson’s letter (21 ?August) shows how little People for the Ethical Treatment of ?Animals understands of the Scottish countryside and wildlife management… Tim Baynes Scottish Land & Estates Eskmills Business Park Musselburgh
Writing from the windblown and heather-strewn moor of ?London, Ben Williamson has, possibly inadvertently, thought up a brand new Olympic competition. I have never felt the slightest inclination to crawl about in the glaur for hours on end, or to smear my offspring in recently deceased stag corpuscle, all for the sake of a long soak in a bath of dubious provenance but even I know that the Prime Minister, with or without a bad back, would be lucky indeed to kill a deer after stalking by “blasting it with a shotgun”. That would require not only ultra-ninja skills but such complete decrepitude on the part of the deer that its role – described with magnificent anthropomorphism by Mr Williamson as some sort of paterfamilias – would be so seriously compromised as to merit euthanasia… MAGNUS K MOODIE Boswall Terrace Edinburgh (letters)

Scotsman 22.8.13 Unsustainable fish - Dr Martin Jaffa (Letters, 19 ?August) accuses Don Staniford of running a “one-man crusade” against salmon farming. Dr Jaffa goes on to use figures for the amount of fish fed to pet cats to somehow justify the amount of wild fish fed to farmed salmon. Don Staniford was just a lad in short trousers when I and many, many other people started campaigning against the floating factory fish farms which blight Scottish waters. If Martin Jaffa thinks opposition to salmon farming is a “one-man crusade” his arithmetic isn’t very good…. John F Robins Save Our Seals Fund Dumbarton (letter)

Mail 22.8.13 Stop giving money to 'politically motivated' RSPCA, says Clarissa Dickson Wright as she accuses charity of 'losing its way' By LUKE SALKELD - Animal lovers should stop giving money to the ‘politically motivated’ RSPCA, television chef Clarissa Dickson Wright said last night…. (story)
Western Daily Press 22.8.13 Countryside cook calls for boycott of RSPCA - Broadcaster and food writer Clarissa Dickson Wright has called for people to stop donating to the RSPCA over its "threatening policies"… (story)
Telegraph 21.8.13 Stop donating to the RSPCA, says Clarissa Dickson Wright - Clarissa Dickson Wright, the outspoken cook and countryside campaigner, has called for people to stop donating to the RSPCA until they give up their political agenda. By Hayley Dixon - The charity has “lost its way” and now “leaves a bitter taste in the mouth” as it pursues prosecution against people they suspect of animal cruelty, the star of Two Fat Ladies said… (story)

Telegraph 22.8.13 Is RSPCA 'Badgerline' a waste of time? - The RSPCA has been criticised for wasting money setting up a “badgerline” for the public to call during the badger cull despite the fact there are unlikely to be injured animals. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - The charity will put callers concerned about the cull or who come across injured badgers straight through to specially trained experts on the new “badgerline”. But farmers insist that only trained marksmen will be allowed to shoot badgers with high velocity rifles in controlled conditions and there is unlikely to be any injuries. Countryside groups pointed out that the RSPCA back the culling of deer and foxes and questioned the use of donations to set up the “badgerline”… (story)

HIGH COURT INJUNCTION AGAINST BADGER CULL PROTESTERS
Guardian 22.8.13 High court judge delivers order protecting badger cull farmers - Order bans protesters entering private land without permission, but activists say it will not stop them protesting in other ways - A high court judge has made an order aimed at stopping farmers involved in badger culls being harassed and abused. Mr Justice Turner granted an injunction at a high court hearing in London on Thursday after lawyers representing the National Farmers' Union (NFU) said farmers had been targeted…. (story)
Independent 22.8.13 Activists barred from badger protest - TOM BAWDEN - A High Court judge granted an injunction today that will allow people to protest peacefully against the controversial badger cull within the trial culling zones, but bar a handful of named hardcore activists from the area… It requested that named individuals – such as Jay Tiernan of Stop The Cull and Dave Peel of Squat The Cull – be barred from the zones, along with “person’s unknown”, a category the NFU defined in its injunction application as “any person protesting against the cul… (story)
BBC News Online 22.8.13 Badger cull zone injunction is granted in High Court - The National Farmers' Union (NFU) applied for the injunction, claiming some farmers have been intimidated and harassed and therefore need protection. The High Court ruling means no protest will be allowed to take place within 100m of the homes, and within 25m of businesses, of anyone involved… (story)

Telegraph 22.8.13 Protest planned for badger cull areas - Hundreds of animal rights activists are set to descend on Somerset and Gloucestershire for a series of “colourful” protests against the start of the badger cull. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent … wildlife groups are already planning to convene in the quiet rural areas for protests. Animal rights “monitors” are preparing to film farmers at work and patrol the area looking for injured badgers… Anne Brummer of Save Me, the organisation set up by Dr May to stop the cull, said that hundreds of protesters from around the country will be planning to protest legally…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 22.8.13 Badger cull latest: police statement - POLICE insist their operation in response to the proposed badger cull for Gloucestershire has not yet been launched, despite speculation the cull is due to get under way…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 22.8.13 Protestors to descend on county as badger shooting 'to start on Monday' - BADGER culling could start in Gloucestershire on Monday, it has been claimed. Pilot culls planned for west Gloucestershire and Somerset may start on August 26 as the National Farmers Union tries to ban protesters from the cull areas… (story)

Western Daily Press 22.8.13 Farming practices put birds in danger - I read with interest the letters in the Western Daily Press over the last few weeks as regards the green plover population, the peewit and the lapwing. It is well documented that the destruction of meadow and marshland plus drainage of land did not help the lapwing…. I say to these people who are using the badger as the scapegoat again, look at your own backyard first and your farming practices of today before blaming someone or something else. M J Haines Cirencester, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.8.13 Cruel experiment: figures in dispute - I reply to the letter, "Culling badgers is sad but necessary" (Western Daily Press, August 10) from Colin Rowland, chairman of Devon NFU. I have no doubt Mr Rowland could take letter readers to a badger sett more than 100 metres long, I have seen them myself, but I dispute the 100 or more badger numbers stated… Janet Hall Cirencester, Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Morning News 13.8.13 We like to see badgers but there are too many - I was very interested to see the hedgehog voted the most popular wild animal, but obviously saddened by its 3-5% decline. Cattle registrations this spring are also down 8%. May I suggest Western Morning News readers look up on Google ‘Diet of the Badger’ and you will see what the badger eats. In Ireland where they have reduced the badger population, hedgehogs have doubled in numbers…. by Colin Rowland, Chairman Devon NFU (story)
Western Daily Press 13.8.13 Looking at peewit and skylark numbers - Janet Hall is so wrong in her letter of August 9 regarding the habits of peewits. I remember as a schoolgirl swathe turning hay with a horse and I can assure Ms Hall that peewits did nest en masse… , if two to three breeding pairs per 20 acres is the present situation, may I respectively ask her to suggest what she thinks has lead to such drastic reduction in both peewit and skylark numbers. May I quietly whisper "could it be badgers?"… Chris Wise By email (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 22.8.13 More boar to be culled in the Forest of Dean - MORE boar than ever before will be culled from next month in a bid to control numbers…. The figure was agreed at a meeting on Monday night between the commission and the UK Wild Boar Trust, which opposes the cull, and which says the target before the meeting was 270. Scott Passmore, founder of the group, said: "We are thankful to the Forestry Commission for agreeing to halve their initial figure for the amount of boar to be culled… (story)

Cornishman 22.8.13 Shoppers caught on the hop as bunnies hail animal testing victory - THE Bodyshop at the Penzance Wharfside centre last week welcomed staff from the company's head office who were making a whistlestop tour of the country dressed as bunnies. The tour was celebrating (and making people aware of) the end to animal testing for cosmetic products in Europe….. (story)

North Devon Journal 22.8.13 Amazed by his reaction - IN response to the letter from David Tubby regarding seagull killing, I am amazed that he seems to find this type of behaviour understandable… As for the child perhaps having been attacked by a seagull, I do not feel this is an excuse for beating a seagull to death….. SALLY-ANN KINGHAM, Landkey (letter)
North Devon Journal 22.8.13 We are the ones at fault -GIVEN the recent antagonism towards gulls expressed in your columns, it is perhaps not surprising that one was recently beaten to death in full view of the public on a local beach, or that a gull I rescued the other week by the Link Road near Barnstaple had been hit and left by a motorist to suffer with a broken leg in a temperature of 30C… PETER HAMES, Northam (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.8.13 Thank you for helping animals - ANIMAL Aid would like to thank the people of Exeter for their generosity in raising £103.98 at a street collection on Saturday, August 10…. Frances Wicks Alphington Road, St Thomas, Exeter (letter)

21.8.13

Hexham Courant 21.8.13 Slaley’s soaring show goes from By ROSALIND SAUL - AS the eagle soared low over the pens of unsuspecting sheep, some feared we could have quite an incident on our hands. Luckily for the tups and ewes, organisers of Slaley Show had their welfare in mind and booked some very well trained birds of prey to entertain the crowds…. As well as The Flying Eagles show, keeping people entertained throughout the day were acrobatics on horses, friendly alpacas, Irish dancers, Punch & Judy, Stanhope Brass Band, the foxhounds from the Braes of Derwent Hunt, together with plenty of craft stalls and food…. (story)

Independent 21.8.13 So you like deer stalking, Cameron? Hunted animals feel no less pain than Larry, the Downing Street cat - MIMI BEKHECHI - The PM is in a unique position to demonstrate understanding of animals' intelligence, but he ignores this so he can treat other species as living targets… (story)

Scotsman 21.8.13 Cruel fun - The Prime Minister’s “protruding disc” suggests that he understands pain, at least his own pain, and one wishes his compassion and value for his own life and well-being extended to the deer he mercilessly shoots for a bit of fun… Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) All Saints Street London (story)

Western Morning News 21.8.13 Rural phone signal campaign strikes a chord with countryside dwellers - A campaign which urges rural dwellers to turn detective on their mobile phone company has got off to a flying start. The Countryside Alliance launched their bid to gather evidence on the strength of mobile phone signals in rural areas earlier this summer. Now, nearly 100,000 samples of mobile phone reception are pouring in each day as part of the project to map rural mobile phone signals… (story)
Lancashire Telegraph 21.8.13 Rural mobile phone signals in East Lancashire to be mapped using phone app - RURAL people in East Lancashire have been urged to help map rural mobile phone signals by downloading a smart phone application. Nearly 100,000 samples of mobile phone reception are being collected every day by the Countryside Alliance since it released the RootMetrics ‘app’ in June… (story)

BADGER CULL START AND NFU INJUNCTION
Guardian 21.8.13 Badger cull start date set - Controversial badger culls in England, aimed at curbing TB in cattle, expected to begin on 26 August - Damian Carrington - England's controversial badger culls are set to begin on the night of 26 August, the Guardian has learned. The start of the shooting of badgers, aimed at curbing tuberculosis (TB) in cattle, will come after an injunction sought by the National Farmers' Union to ban certain protesters from farmland is heard in the high court. The intended start date was given to the Guardian by sources within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and elsewhere…. (story)
Independent 21.8.13 Farmers Union applies for injunction that aims to stop badger cull protests - If granted by the High Court, it would prevent any protest against the pilot scheme - Tom Bawden - Attempts by the National Farmers Union (NFU) to ban protests against the controversial badger cull within the trial culling zones were condemned as undemocratic by opponents of the scheme today. The badger cull is set to begin in Gloucestershire or Somerset on Monday night and the NFU has applied for an injunction that will be heard in the High Court tomorrow and would ban protests in the area…. (story)
Western Daily Press 21.8.13 Defra refuse to confirm start date of badger culls - The badger cull start date has been rumoured to start on Monday, August 26 - the forthcoming bank holiday - but The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have not confirmed this…. (story)
Western Daily Press 21.8.13 National Farmers Union try to stop anti-cull protesters from entering cull areas - It emerged last night that the National Farmers' Union will tomorrow seek an injunction in the High Court to prevent anti-badger cull protesters from entering land where the cull will take place… (story)
Smallholder 21.8.13 NFU seeks badger cull injunction - The National Farmers’ Union is to seek an injunction in the High Court to prevent anti-badger cull protesters from entering land where the cull will take place. Anti-cull protestors believe the shooting will start on Monday (August 26.) If granted, the injunction will apply to protestors accessing land owned by Somerset and Gloucestershire farmers taking part in the cull… (story)

BODGER AND BADGER CULL VIDEO
Independent 21.8.13 Video: Bodger and Badger return to campaign against badger cull - Andy Cunningham, AKA Bodger, says at first the cull 'just seemed too barbaric to be true' - Children's TV favourite of the nineties, Bodger and Badger, has returned for a special video railing against the controversial badger cull. The show's creator Andy Cunningham, who plays Simon Bodger, has made the video in conjunction with the charity Care for the Wild…. (story)
Western Daily Press 20.8.13 Bodger and Badger return with badger cull protest - Children’s television show Bodger And Badger is to return for a one-off special in opposition to the badger cull in the South West… Now show creator Andy Cunningham has made a YouTube version of the show where Badger unwittingly gets involved in the Somerset badger cull. It has been filmed in conjunction with wildlife charity Care For The Wild…. (story)
Western Morning News 20.8.13 Television's Bodger and Badger speak out on cull By WMNDavidWells - Children’s television show Bodger And Badger is to return for a one-off special in opposition to the badger cull in the South West… (story)

Huffington Post 21.8.13 'End Marmite Neglect' Ad Escapes Investigation After 504 Complaints By Asa Bennett - Marmite's controversial new 'End Marmite Neglect' Advert won't be investigated due to its "light-hearted" tone, despite getting over 500 complaints for it seeming to mimick an animal cruelty documentary…. The complaints led to Marmite owner Unilever donating £18,000 to the RSPCA… (story)

Leamington Observer 21.8.13 Warwick Mayor impresses animal rights group PETA By Laura Kearns - MAYOR of Warwick Bob Dhillon is setting a positive example to the rest of the country, say animal rights group PETA. The organisation has called for Mayors to say no to fur on their ceremonial robes - but Warwick is ahead of the new campaign as they replaced their gowns with fake fur three years ago… (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 21.8.13 Protest as Peter Jolly's Circus rolls into Darlington By Joanna Morris - ANIMAL RIGHTS protestors were on hand to greet a circus that rolled into town last night (Tuesday, August 20). The peaceful gathering was held to protest the use of live animals in Peter Jolly’s Circus, which arrived in Darlington yesterday… Val Govan - from Barton, North Yorkshire – said: “I was horrified to see the lions and tigers. There was no mention of the lions on the advert… (story)

Western Morning News 21.8.13 Drumming up interest in popular art of protesting - Have you noticed that a protest isn't a protest these days unless it's led by a band of great hairy Earth Mothers thwacking drums? Whether the gripe is Tory cuts, the badger cull or a simple runway extension, they'll be there, faces painted, tie-dye skirts a-swirling, thumping away for all they're worth… (story)

20.8.13

York Press 20.8.13 ‘Disgusted’ by hunters - AM I the only one to be disgusted by the behaviour of the Middleton Hunt members involved in the recent court case… Jenny Horner, Hornsey Garth, Wigginton, York (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.8.13 No stalking for Cameron as bad back flares - David Cameron has undergone hospital treatment after complaining about a "phenomenally bad back"…. During a family holiday on the Scottish island of Jura, the Prime Minister, who enjoys deer stalking, said his back pain meant he avoided the hunting activity, which requires crawling on the ground…. (story)
Western Morning News 20.8.13 Back pain stops Cameron hunting - David Cameron could require a painkilling injection after revealing he has been suffering from a "phenomenally bad back". During a family holiday on the Scottish island of Jura, the Prime Minister said a scan showed he had a protruding disc. Mr Cameron, who enjoys deer stalking, said his back pain meant he avoided the hunting activity… (story)

RSPCA ACCESSES POLICE FILES
Boston Standard 20.8.13 Police issue statement about information shared with the RSPCA - Lincolnshire Police has issued a statement to clarify its position on sharing information with the RSPCA…. Chief Insp Specialist Operations, Stewart Brinn, said: “There has recently been an article published in the Daily Telegraph which insinuates that police forces routinely share large amounts of information about individuals with the RSPCA…. “The ISA between Lincolnshire Police and the RSPCA dates back to 2009 and contrary to the example shown in the Telegraph DOES NOT allow for any sharing of information relating to names, addresses, firearms information or any other data which may be held other than conviction, caution or incident history relating to animal welfare concerns…. (story)
The Register 19.8.13 Does the RSPCA have your gun licence or car registration? NOBODY knows - When are cops not subject to FOI? When they're animal cops By Andrew Orlowski - No checks are carried out on what the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) does with confidential records it receives from police databases, including information on people's vehicles and gun licences, the Register has learned… No other private organisation enjoys similar privileges of being able to request access to the Police National Computer (PNC)…. (story)
Bedfordshire on Sunday 18.8.13 RSPCA has access to crime data from Bedfordshire cops by RUPERT MARQUAND AND BEN MERCER - THE RSPCA has access to criminal records in an agreement with Bedfordshire Police. The deal allows the animal charity to look at any details of incidents, offences and assaults relating to animal welfare, it was revealed this week. Campaigners have said this should not be allowed because the RSPCA is a private organisation… (story)
Carlisle News & Star 15.8.13 ANGER AT RSPCA’S ACCESS TO CUMBRIA POLICE RECORDS By David Hemming - Campaigners have called for a “special agreement” allowing animal charity staff access to sensitive police records to be scrapped. The Countryside Alliance says an information sharing arrangement between the RSPCA and Cumbria police could pose “significant risks” to anyone involved. But police and the charity both insist the link-up is an effective way of tackling animal-related crime…. (story)
Telegraph 10.8.13 RSPCA inspectors given access to 'unprecedented' personal information by one in four police forces - The RSPCA can access an "unprecedented" level of detail about people including their medical histories, parents’ details and home addresses going back years under a series of deals agreed with a quarter of police forces. By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent - The Telegraph can disclose that police forces have agreed to give RSPCA inspectors access to the information under a under a series of confidential agreements with 10 police forces across England and Wales. Campaigners said that there was “no legal basis for sharing this information” because the RSPCA is not an official prosecution authority and is only able to bring private prosecutions over instances of animal cruelty. Others said it laid bare “an unprecedented relationship, giving a private organisation access to incredibly sensitive information that wouldn't be routinely shared with foreign police forces or available at border controls”…. (story)
Mail 5.8.13 RSPCA accesses sensitive police files 124 times a month: Concerns raised over deal that allows charity to use documents in prosecutions it brings - By CHRIS GREENWOOD - The RSPCA is using a sensitive police database nearly 1,500 times a year under a deal giving it privileged access to criminal records. The animal welfare charity is using the Police National Computer (PNC) an average of 124 times every month in relation to prosecutions it brings. The scale of its activity raised concerns yesterday as the records are usually regarded as so sensitive that employers – even in the public sector and involved in working with children – do not have access to them…. (story)
Sunday Express 4.8.13 'Militant' RSPCA shown secret police crime files - THE RSPCA last night revealed a huge rise in successful convictions for animal cruelty but campaigners fear the charity is “becoming increasingly militant” in the way it uses secret police files to check suspects’ backgrounds By: Stuart Winter …The police provided the RSPCA, the country’s largest private prosecutor, with background information on the suspects before they took them to court, which the charity claims is an essential part of the justice ¬process. However, campaigners have complained at the way it is obtaining highly ¬confidential information held on the Police National Computer… (story)
The Register 30.7.13 Exposed: RSPCA drills into cops' databases, harvests private info - Animal charity gets its paws on police data - and nobody appears to be watching By Andrew Orlowski and Ken Tindell - Exclusive British animal welfare charity the RSPCA enjoys unique access to confidential information on the Police National Computer (PNC) - the extent of which has not been disclosed before. Civilians who claim to work for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals can access criminal records and carry out vehicle checks by making requests to the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO), which charges the charity for the information…. The anti-cruelty organisation agrees to only request information about people it is actively investigating; to treat the data as restricted; and to handle it according to government guidelines – i.e. deleting it when it is no longer needed… The RSPCA has not been audited by ACRO to establish whether it's following these obligations. For its part, the RSPCA does not need to disclose what information it uses or how, nor what auditing and training procedures it uses, since it is not a "public authority" under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act… (story)

RSPCA BADGER CULL CAMPAIGN INVESTIGATED BY CHARITY COMMISSION
Western Daily Press 20.8.13 RSPCA investigation after NFU complaint - The RSPCA is to be investigated over allegations that its lobbying on the badger cull has been "aggressive and threatening." The Charity Commission confirmed that it is looking into whether the organisation's activities have breached their charitable status…. (story)
Western Morning News 19.8.13 Animal charity under investigation over badger cull campaign - The RSPCA is to be investigated over allegations that its lobbying on the badger cull has been “aggressive and threatening.” The Charity Commission confirmed that it is looking into whether the organisation’s activities have breached their charitable status. NFU President Peter Kendall said it had made a formal complaint about the RSPCA’s conduct, which has included urging consumers to boycott milk from areas where there is a cull and threatening to strip a welfare accreditation from farmers supporting it… (story)
Express 19.8.13 'Aggressive and threatening' RSPCA anti-badger cull campaign investigated - THE RSPCA has come under scrutiny from the Charity Commission after its anti-badger cull campaign was accused of being aggressive. By: Benjamin Russell …Speaking to the Times, a spokesperson from the Charity Commission said: “Concerns have been raised with us about the charity’s campaigning activities in relation to the badger cull and live animal exports. We are currently assessing these concerns… (story)

Western Morning News 20.8.13 The future is up in the cloud – answering our computing needs - Superfast broadband is a key to unlocking growth and job creation, argues Adam Chambers… earlier his month a survey by the Countryside Alliance found that four out of five adults – 80% – believed investment in superfast broadband would have a bigger impact on the UK economy than other infrastructure projects like HS2 or a third runway at Heathrow… (story)

Farmers Guardian 20.8.13 Defra issues injunction against badger protest group By Alistair Driver - DEFRA has issued an injunction t to prevent an anti-badger cull website publishing personal details of Ministers, Government officials, NFU staff and farmers. The website, run by a group campaigning against the cull, published the full addresses and phone numbers of the entire Defra Ministerial team, as well as details of Defra, Natural England and NFU staff and representatives…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 20.8.13 Labour calls for clarity on Gloucestershire badger cull By Ben_Falconer - Labour politicians are calling for more transparency over badger culling in Gloucestershire. Stroud Labour Party called for clarity on the proposed badger cull pilot due to start in Gloucestershire this month…. (story)

Western Daily Press 20.8.13 Final salvo fired in bovine TB debate - This will be my last letter on the subject of badgers and bovine tuberculosis… A recent letter from Dave Browning talked about dirty farmers and poor hygiene within dairy units. He must be looking in the wrong areas…. I say to your correspondent Graham Forsyth, I don't care how long you have lived in the countryside, you are off the mark with your letter on June 3. You do not know what you are talking about… Fred Worth, Somerton, Somerset (story)

York Press 20.8.13 Zoos ‘are part of the problem’ - WITH reference to your piece “At risk creatures saved by the zoos” (Agust 14). A few comments are necessary in order to restore some semblance of balance…. Many animals in zoos go insane from boredom and stress as a result of their incarceration…. Zoo breeding programmes do nothing to improve the quality and quantity of truly wild stock. H O Griffiths, Main Street, Aislaby, Pickering (letter)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald (archive) 20.8.13 Let’s not be cruel - I WAS horrified to read in the Advertiser on Saturday about the cat whose leg was amputated after someone had shot the poor thing with an airgun. How can anyone be so cruel?.. Mrs P DIXON Highworth (story)

19.8.13

Western Daily Press 19.8.13 Some people want to turn back the clock - It never fails to amaze me, the amount of coverage that the tiny minority that actually hunt live quarry gets if anyone who dares to challenge their blood sport…. Anyone who has any dealings with the blood sports lobby knows that the police will attempt to "time out" any cases that are raised against local hunts. The police simply do not want to get involved with any hunting activity as the political fallout for the chief constable and the police crime commissioner could be quite destructive for them…. Graham Forsyth Chard, Somerset (letter)

CLA GAME FAIR
Western Daily Press 19.8.13 Debate shows what's wrong with RSPCA (story)
Western Morning News 17.8.13 It is wrong to put animal rights agenda above animal welfare - On July 19, along with over 150,000 other people, I attended the CLA Game Fair. I attend the Game Fair as a lawyer who specialises in country pursuits and who spends a lot of my working life representing clients sent to me by the Countryside Alliance… The Country Life Debate alone would have been worth sending a camera crew for. Gavin Grant, the chief executive of the RSPCA, was the guest of honour…. we were all waiting to find out how Gavin would react. He could have been funny and charming and self-deprecating. He could have tried to win the assembled throng over and give an insight into an alternative point of view. Gavin did not choose to do this. He began speaking as a man possessed, seemingly determined to let the audience know he despised those who had attended the debate… My favourite moment, however, came when Gavin said that he didn't mind people killing animals to eat. "After all," he said, "coarse fishermen eat everything they catch." The tent fell about and Ian Coghill tried to gently let him know he was mistaken, at which point he shouted at the chairman of the debate: "Control your panel." It was truly hilarious and I am still enjoying receiving the recipes for fried tench that people have been sending me… Jamie Foster is a rural law specialist with Clarke Willmott (story)
Western Morning News 22.7.13 Westcountry shows just how game it is for the rural life - If proof were needed of the South West's importance as a centre for country sports it was there in spades at the weekend – with scores of Westcountry businesses and thousands of visitors from our region at the CLA Game Fair…. (story)
Western Morning News 22.7.13 Countryfile's Adam at the Game Fair - Countryfile presenter Adam Henson spoke of his sense of responsibility to the farming community since becoming an unofficial spokesman for agriculture through his Adam's Farm section in the Sunday night BBC show. Mr Henson, who farms on the Cotswolds, said he was a regular visitor to the Game Fair and enjoyed shooting and fishing, both of which played an important part in rural life…. (story)
Sunday Express 21.7.13 RSPCA offers an olive branch to country set over fox hunting ban - The RSPCA wants to set up its own “fox hunt” to drive cruel and illegal blood sports from the countryside. By: Stuart Winter - Having come under fire for its high-profile prosecutions under hunting-with-dogs laws, the ¬society is looking at joining forces with the country set. It wants to set up a hunting association that has all the pageantry and traditions of fox hunting but without the death and gore. The independent “trial and drag hunt” association would be able to ride with hounds across the countryside following laid down scents but keeping within the law… (story)
Western Daily Press 20.7.13 Did we hear that correctly? London listens to the countryside? - It's often a topic of conversation on market day, over the farm gate or even over a pint in the evening. "Those people up London, they just don't understand."… There's no bigger countryside gathering than the Game Fair and yesterday the subject of London's distance and indifference to the issues that matter on the other side of the M25 was top of the agenda. Defra secretary Owen Paterson told an audience that Britain had a London-centric and urban-centric system of politics that worked against the countryside. And he broadly accepted that the countryside had become marginalised in party politics…. (story)
Western Morning News 20.7.13 'Countryside suffering from urban-centric government' - Defra secretary Owen Paterson told an audience at the CLA Game Fair yesterday that Britain had a London-centric and urban-centric system of politics that worked against the countryside… (story)
Farming UK 17.7.13 Paterson to join CLA Game Fair debates - Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will take part in a programme of countryside debates at the CLA Game Fair, from 19 July – 21 July, at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire…. (story)
Country Life 5.7.13 COUNTRY LIFE'S BIG DEBATE AT THE GAME FAIR 2013 - Country Life's Big Debate at this year's Game Fair at Ragley Hall has the title Nature: Should we interfere? The Game Fair prides itself on its debates; they are a talking point every year, and for 2013 Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, is set to follow suit…. (story)
Western Morning News 24.6.13 Gearing up for the Game Fair and the chance to have a go at country sports - Country lovers, from gardeners to game shooters, horse lovers to food fans, will soon be making tracks to the biggest show of its kind in Europe. Philip Bowern previews the CLA Game Fair…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 19.8.13 From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn, North Yorkshire. I COULDN’T agree more with the letter from Bernard Robinson (Yorkshire Post, August 14), a gamekeeper of long-standing. He complains about the RSPB and the RSPCA interrupting his daily schedule and telling him how to do his job. This man has probably more knowledge in his little finger about how the fauna in the countryside live and survive than all the college boys of the aforesaid charities have in the whole of their bodies… (story)

Dorset Echo 19.8.13 Thousands sign petition to stop badger cull By Diana Henderson - AN ONLINE petition opposing the badger cull has broken the record for the largest number of people ever to sign a government e-petition. Team Badger’s petition has received 263,000 signatures pledging support against government policy of killing badgers in a bid to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis in cattle… (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 15.8.13 Badger cull e-petition breaks records says Dorset Wildlife Trust - IT has been announced by Team Badger that the badger cull e-petition, which has been signed and promoted by Dorset Wildlife Trust and other organisations, has broken the record for the largest numbers of signatories to sign a H.M Government e-petition… (story)

Cambridge News 19.8.13 Animal rights protesters hit the streets of Cambridge for 'Sick 2 Death Campaign' Written by ELEANOR DICKINSON - Angry animal rights protesters took to the streets of Cambridge in protest to the use of animals in scientific research. As part of the “Sick 2 Death Campaign”, members of Animal Rights Cambridge (ARC) staged the protest in the city on Monday to highlight the use of mice in laboratories, both in Cambridge and nationally… Campaigner Joan Court said: “We are appalled to know that these cruel experiments are happening in Cambridge laboratories… (story)

18.8.13

Observer 18.8.13 My battle with the urban fox - They chewed a sofa, slept in the bed and dug up the garden. Was there any way to outfox them? - Peter Beaumont - My battle with foxes began two years ago…. The first intimation of a problem was an incursion through the cat flap while we were away for a weekend's rock climbing. The fox that moved in chewed off the corner of the sofa before defecating on it; it knocked down bikes and surfboards, slept in the bed after burying a shoe under a pillow as a toy and chewed through the power cables of the washing machine and fridge, suggesting a cub that was teething.Later, when the washing machine cable had been replaced, but the conservatory was under two inches of water, it transpired that it had gnawed holes in the waste water pipe as well… (story)

17.8.13

Western Daily Press 17.8.13 Bumper crowd to see best of the countryside at Dunster Show - It is the show that distils the essence of Exmoor, and yesterday it attracted a bumper crowd. Every August, Dunster Show pulls in hard-working farmers from far and wide keen to exhibit prime beasts against the backdrop of Dunster Castle… The best of the moor and beyond was on show in this prime sheep and cattle-rearing region, along with 500 equestrian entries, inevitable in an area which is not just home to Exmoor ponies, but a place where hunts thrive and the horse is still the most practical mode of transport… Hundreds of trade stands, demonstrations by craftsmen and parades of hounds, and pony club games made this a country show that both moves with the times and carries a flavour of the traditional shows of days gone by…. (story)

BBC News Online 17.8.13 A Point of View: Why it can be good to give in to your enemies - In a democracy, leaders and the opposition must accept each other's legitimacy, says Roger Scruton. Last week I examined some of the institutions that form part of democracy as we in the West understand it. But I have yet to consider the fundamental point, which is that in a democracy we consent to be governed by people we dislike…. I experienced a version of my father's habitual rage when the government of Tony Blair decided, in the face of massive opposition from ordinary people living in the countryside, to ban our traditional forms of hunting…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.8.13 RSPCA should fight for animal rights - The Countryside Alliance's repeated accusations that the RSPCA has a "political animal rights agenda" are pathetic. I remain a member of the RSPCA because despite what I view as its animal rights shortcomings it remains the nation's animal welfare champion and without it the criminals who torture and abuse animals would never be brought to justice… So, is the RSPCA a "political animal rights society"? I wish! John Bryant Tonbridge. Kent (story)

Yorkshire Post 17.8.13 Tourism body sets its sights on huge potential of country sports - A NEW tourism body marketing Yorkshire as one of the country’s top destinations for country sports has been launched in a bid to capitalise on its “massive” potential. Country Sports Yorkshire is bringing activities ranging from fly-fishing to shooting under the same banner for the first time to tap into a market worth £480m to Yorkshire’s economy every year… (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 17.8.13 Fight for hen’s rights comes home to roost - Holmfirth campaigner Clare Druce publishes book By Robert Sutcliffe - Back in the 1970s Women’s Lib was a well-worn if not hackneyed phrase. While feminists have largely won that war, the battle for Chickens’ Lib is rather less well-known. But it is a fascinating tale nonetheless. And now the story of the fight for chicken rights, highlighting the often appalling way in which hens were treated in the UK’s factory farms, is set to be told by campaigner Clare Druce. Mrs Druce, of Holmfirth, and her mother Violet Spalding have spent years highlighting what they claim are the intolerable and cruel conditions on these farms… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 17.8.13 Any idiot can breed dogs - HOW shocking to read of the starvation of a Chihuahua dog. One of the smallest breed of dog… Good luck to Kim Hepple of Pet Respect in her petition to get sentences made longer for animal abusers. Patricia Burman, Rydale Grove, Hull. (story)

16.8.13

Western Daily Press 16.8.13 RSPCA is fulfilling its remit with trials - I read from your headline story ("RSPCA chief says charity is not political", August 13) that the Countryside Alliance is accusing the police and the RSPCA of having a political bias. Given that there have been a number of prosecutions under the Hunting Act, none of which have seem to have been undertaken by the police, I find this a startling piece of spin well worthy of the Tory propaganda machine… Alan Bond Watchet, Somerset (letter)

Northern Echo 16.8.13 Country life - THERE have been two articles of interest to the countryman recently: failure in breeding hen harriers and the Glorious Twelfth… James Scott-Harden of the Moorland Association rightly says that keepered moorland provides an improved habitat for several species of `s… Scotland has had some success in making the landowner responsible for acts of any form of persecution on his land. So why do we not begin by following this example?... Brian G Howarth, Consett (letter)

Kidderminster Shuttle 16.8.13 Protect our fish - ANIMAL protection campaigners took to the streets of Malvern calling for better protection for fish and other marine life. On Saturday, members of the Worcestershire Vegans and Veggies held an information stall in Great Malvern as part of the national Day of Action for Fish… (story)

BBC News Online 16.8.13 Dorset Badger cull imminent, Dorset Wildlife Trust chief executive says - A wildlife official in Dorset has said there is a "great likelihood" of an imminent badger cull in the county. The controlled shooting of 5,000 badgers is due to take place in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset in an attempt to control Bovine TB in cattle. But Dorset Wildlife Trust chief executive Simon Cripps said there may be a shortage of participants, meaning a cull in Dorset, a reserve pilot area…. (story)

Nottingham Post 16.8.13 MP calls for badger cull to be cancelled - NOTTINGHAM North MP Graham Allen has signed the Badger Trust's petition calling for a halt to the planned badger cull… (story)

Kent Messenger 16.8.13 Hundreds of animals killed as a result of animal experiments at the University of Kent by Lowri Stafford - Hundreds of animals have been killed as a result of laboratory testing at the University of Kent, which has been branded cruel and outdated by an animal rights charity… Animal Aid campaigner Claudia Tarry said the experiments caused unnecessary suffering, because many of the therapies that work on mice failed when administered to human patients…. (story)

Essex Chronicle 16.8.13 Animal activists return for pet shop protest By Bronya Smolen - ANIMAL rights activists are continuing to target a Chelmsford pet shop by picketing the entrance and scaring away customers. The Essex Animal Defenders, who are against puppy-farming and the pet shop trade, gathered again outside Aquapets in Moulsham Street last week – the eighth time since they began their campaign in May… (story)

Blackpool Gazette 16.8.13 Come to the circus - you’ll have a really wild time - Now here’s something you don’t see every day. Zebra - rather like civil servants - tend to be thin on the ground at Norcross. Here it’s a customary sight at least once a year. That’s the zebra. Arguably cutbacks have made civil servants a more endangered species locally… Circus Mondao is one of the few touring circuses to still feature wild animals…. It’s an argument which doesn’t wash with animal rights campaigners, such as the Captive Animal Society and Animal Defenders International…. Ringmaster Petra reckons otherwise. The Oxford Oriel College mathematician who ran away to join the circus because she wanted to “work with animals” adds: “Circuses are being scapegoated. Do people protest at pet dogs kept in all day except for a bit of exercise in the garden?... (story)

Western Daily Press 16.8.13 Diets and lifestyles have to change now - Graham Forsyth Chard, Somerset (letter)
Western Morning News 15.8.13 Diets and lifestyles have to change now -One result of the debate over the badger cull is the fact that people are looking more closely at what they eat. This year alone we have had the horse meat scandal and the continuing wish for many in the farming sector to proceed at all costs with the badger cull… I still follow a vegetarian diet, but feel weak that I have so far failed to move over completely to the vegan diet, but I am sure it’s only a matter of time… by Graham Forsyth, Chard (story)

15.8.13

Northumberland Gazette 15.8.13 Glanton Show celebrated its 90th birthday this year. There was fun for all the family at the Saturday, August 10, event. Attractions included the West Percy foxhounds, a falconry display and the ever-popular terrier racing… (story)

ANIMAL AID GLORIOUS 12TH LETTER
Leicester Mercury 15.8.13 Grouse moors managed to protect environment - In its recent letter ("I don't see anything glorious about grouse shoot", Mailbox, August 10) Animal Aid has been wilfully ignorant in its criticism of grouse moor owners and their contribution to the conservation of the UK's uplands…. Robert Benson, chairman, The Moorland Associaton, Penrith. (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 14.8.13 Protecting moorland - SIR – In their recent letter (T&A, August 10), Animal Aid have been wilfully ignorant in their criticism of grouse moor owners and their contribution to the conservation of the UK’s uplands. With its acidic peat soil, heather moorland has little agricultural value, and, left unmanaged, would revert to bracken and scrub…. Robert Benson, chairman, The Moorland Association Celleron House, Tirrill, Penrith, Cumbria (letter)
Leicester Mercury 9.8.13 I don't see anything glorious about grouse shoot - Fiona Pereira, Campaigner, Animal Aid, Tonbridge (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 8.8.13 Actions not ‘glorious’ - The wealthy and well connected will mark the August 12, known as the ‘Glorious Twelfth, by gunning down grouse… The moors are subject to extreme land ‘management’, including burning, which encourages the growth of young heather shoots, on which the grouse feed. However, these practices have damaging environmental consequences… Fiona Pereira, campaigner, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Tonbridge (letter)

CELEBS CALL FOR END TO BADGER CULL
Gloucester Citizen/Echo 15.8.13 Stars call to halt Gloucestershire badger cull snubbed by government By RobinJenkins - A PLEA by celebrities to halt the badger cull in Gloucestershire has met with short shrift from the government and the NFU in the county… more than 100 people, including celebrities such as Sir Roger Moore, Dame Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley, Brian Blessed, Martin Shaw, Anthony Head and Virginia McKenna have now signed a statement calling on the Government to stop the cull…. Charles Mann, chairman of the National Farmers' Union in Gloucestershire, repeated his view that the cull was necessary and vaccination would not work well enough at the moment… (story)
Dorset Echo 15.8.13 We will brock you - Queen star badgers PM about cull - LANDOWNINGrock star Brian May has joined forces with fellow campaigners for a letter to David Cameron demanding a U-turn on the badger cull…. (story)
Western Morning News 15.8.13 Celebrities back calls to halt badger culls - More celebrities have backed campaigners opposing a badger cull to curb tuberculosis in cows that is endemic in the South West. Actors Sir Roger Moore, Dame Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley, Brian Blessed, Martin Shaw, Anthony Head and Virginia McKenna have signed a statement calling on the Government to halt its plans…. (story)
Cheddar Valley Gazette 15.8.13 VIDEO: Brian Blessed, Bond & co versus David Cameron and badger cull - BOND, his boss M, Avenger Joanne Lumley, Judge John Deed, 'Prime Minister' Anthony Head and Prince Vultan aka Brian Blessed are among the celebs ganging up against the badger cull… (story)

Stroud News & Journal 15.8.13 To cull or not to cull? Badger debate explained By Hayley Mortimer, Reporter - The pilot badger cull due to start this summer in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset is one of the most controversial rural issues of recent years… The SNJ asked anti-cull campaigner Jeanne Berry and the National Farmers' Union to give their sides of the argument… (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 15.8.13 Think of animals - British chicken farmers are claiming a boost in sales in the wake of the horse meat scandal. This consumer behaviour highlights the inconsistency of British sentimentality: love for some animals, indifference for others… If you are upset at the thought of eating one type of animal, please spare a thought for the others. A horse is a chicken is a pig is a fish… Claudia Tarry, campaigner, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge TN9 1AW (letter)

14.8.13

Look Local 14.8.13 Labour MP Angels Smith joins League Against Cruel Sports - THE League Against Cruel Sports has announced the appointment of Angela Smith, Labour MP for Penistone & Stocksbridge as a Vice President of the animal welfare charity…. (story)
Sheffield Telegraph 9.8.13 S Yiorks MP Angela Smith given new role - South Yorkshire MP Angela Smith has been appointed vice president of animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 14.8.13 Thornton-le-Dale Show hailed an enormous success By David Jeffels and Karen Darley - ORGANISERS of Thornton-le-Dale’s 94th annual show hailed it an enormous success… There were many attractions in the main ring including falconry displays, Atkinson’s Action Horses, Jamie Squibb, World of Magic, children’s sports, a lurcher and terrier show, tug-of-war, the Derwent Hunt parade of hounds… (story)

Click Lancashire 14.8.13 Animal rights group call for justice after falcon shooting by Ian Mitchelmore - Animal rights campaigners are calling for a shotgun owner to be brought to justice after a peregrine falcon was shot… Fiona Pereira of Animal Aid said: "It seems to follow that if people are to be allowed shotguns to kill animals, then it will not only be the unfortunate target animals who are wounded and killed, but also those who are supposed to be protected under law…. (story)

Hexham Courant 14.8.13 Ready for the glorious day By BRIAN TILLEY - WEALTHY sportsmen from around the world will descend on Tynedale on Monday for the Glorious Twelfth…. (story)

Shropshire Star 14.8.13 Disgust at badger cull - It’s detestable that David Cameron and Shropshire MP Owen Paterson are hell bent in their support of the badger cull…. Lorraine Parker, Much Wenlock (story)

Portsmouth News 14.8.13 Protest over tests - A DEMONSTRATION is to be held in Gosport over animal testing at Wickham laboratories. The Stop Wickham Animal Testing group holds a national demonstration every year… The protest starts at midday at Christ Church Hall in Stoke Road, on Saturday, September 7. (story)

Leicester Mercury 14.8.13 Writer repeated animal test myths - I was sad to read Jonathan Barker's letter about animal testing ("Experiments on animals outrage", Mailbox, August 9) because it sought to perpetuate several myths I once hoped the advent of the internet would quash… Anybody who feels this work to be not worthwhile really needs to think again because there is nothing ethical about resisting animal testing. Simon Hope, Leicester. (story)
Leicester Mercury 9.8.13 Experiments on animals outrage - Every year more than three million animals are experimented on in British laboratories… To imprison animals and deliberately inflict suffering in the name of science is unacceptable… Jonathan Barker, Leicester. (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 14.8.13 Animals don't deserve a zoo life sentence - WE were very sorry to hear of the tapir attack on a mother and daughter at Dublin Zoo…. Money would be better spent on programmes to protect wildlife populations in their natural habitats. That is the ultimate salvation for endangered species – not a life sentence in a zoo. BEN WILLIAMSON People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (letter)

13.8.13

South Wales Evening Post 13.8.13 It's Sherlock hounds as hunt joins crime fight By Jason Evans - OWNERS of hounds from a traditional hunt group have pledged to help hunt down criminals. Members of Banwen Miners Hunt have become the latest recruits to the Paws on Patrol initiative, which encourages dog owners to act as the eyes and ears of the community while they are out walking their pooches… (story)

Oxford Mail 13.8.13 Hunt monitor wants action over ‘whip assault by rider’ By Ben Wilkinson, Crime Reporter - A WOMAN whipped by a horse rider in a “nasty” assault has asked witnesses to help make sure her attacker does not go “unpunished”. Penny Little claims shewas knockedforward after being hit around the head by a man on a horse while monitoring a hunt in Clanfield earlier this year. But police have told the wildlife campaigner they only have until August 20 to find andprosecute the man…. Mrs Little said she was one of five people monitoring more than 40 members of the Old Berks Hunt when she was assaulted… (story)

Western Daily Press 13.8.13 RSPCA chief accused of creating 'political police force' by hunt supporters By Tristan Cork - The West-based chief of the RSPCA has angrily hit back at hunt supporters who have accused him of creating a 'political police force'…. Gavin Grant, the chief executive of the RSPCA, said it is 'nonsense' to suggest the society is targeting organised hunts for political reasons, and played down the use of the police database, for which it pays £35 each time it accesses a single piece of information… (story)

Western Daily Press 13.8.13 Spare a thought for hares which are shot - Rodney Hale West Sandford, Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 13.8.13 Hares need protection just like the badger - South-West Action For Hares (SWAFH) fully supports the campaign against the badger cull. Our logo has been added to the Team Badger website. But the figure of 100,000 mainly healthy badgers due to be shot during the next nine years, shocking though it is, needs to be seen in perspective. Around 390,000 hares are shot in Britain annually… Because there is no shooting close season to protect nursing mothers at least 37,000 orphaned leverets die of starvation annually… by Rodney Hale MSc, Crediton a target=main href="http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/WMN-Letters-Hares-need-protection-just-like/story-19650759-detail/story.html">(letter)

Daily Mail 13.8.13 Not just any wild red grouse: Marks and Spencer to become first high street shop to sell game bird from Yorkshire and Northumberland moors By Sean Poulter - Grouse has come to the high street for the first time as Marks & Spencer is selling whole, fresh, oven ready red grouse from moors in Yorkshire and Northumberland…. (story)

Scotsman 13.8.13 Cull the culling - In his letter, “Predator control key to balanced wildlife” (12 August), Alastair Harper suggests culling anything which prey on them is the way to stem the decline in wading birds. He says foxes, corvids, gulls and “selected avian raptors” are “breeding out of control”. The opposite is the case… John F Robins Animal Concern Advice Line Dumbarton (letter)
Scotsman 11.8.13 Predator control key to balanced wildlife - Alistair Munro’s article (10 August) on the sharp decline of Scotland’s wading bird numbers comes not a moment too soon. While it seems impossible to curb current agricultural expansion, forestation and urban sprawl, all of which lead to the loss of wildlife habitat, the obvious expedient is to reduce the increase in those predatory species – notably foxes, the corvidae and selected avian raptors and gulls – now breeding out of control…. Alastair Harper Lathalmond by Dunfermline (letter)
Scotsman 10.8.13 Call to halt decline in wading bird population by ALISTAIR MUNRO - GAMEKEEPERS are calling on action to halt a stark decline in Scotland’s threatened wading bird populations. Keepers on Scotland’s moors fear the evocative call of the curlew could disappear if the Scottish government does not follow its lead on controlling predators, such as crows and foxes…. (story)

PSNI DEER POACHING INITIATIVE
Ulster Herald 13.8.13 Police crackdown on deer poaching - AN initiative to tackle the issue of deer poaching is currently running in the Cookstown area. Following concerns from members of the public, local PSNI officers have worked with partner agencies to address the issues. Representatives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), including the Wildlife Liaison Officer, firearms branch and local police have joined forces with Countryside Alliance Ireland (CAI) and a large number of other agencies to combat illegal and on-going deer poaching issues… (story)
Farming Life 12.8.13 ‘Operation Wild Deer’ launched - Countryside Alliance Ireland recently attended the launch of ‘Operation Wild Deer’, a PSNI driven initiative to tackle the problem of deer poaching in Northern Ireland… (story)
Mid Ulster Mail 7.8.13 Operation Wild Deer targets poachers - A MAJOR initiative to combat deer poaching has been launched at Davagh Forest Park. Members of a number of organisations committed to the prevention of wildlife crime attended as part of the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime… (story)
Belfast Telegraph 6.8.13 Increase in poaching forces deer to become creatures of the night BY LINDA STEWART - Deer in some of Northern Ireland's forests are turning nocturnal, apparently in a bid to avoid poachers, experts believe…. The PSNI has joined forces with Countryside Alliance Ireland (CAI), British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), Scottish Association for Country Sports (SACS), the British Deer Society (BDS), Environmental Health in Cookstown Council, Northern IrelandEnvironment Agency, Forest Service Northern Ireland and Crimestoppers… (story)

Leicester Mercury 13.8.13 Horse deaths hit dark milestone - Animal Aid's online database of horse deaths on British racecourses (www.horsedeathwatch.com) reached a dark milestone in July when we recorded the 1,000 fatality since its launch in March 2007…. Animal Aid has called on racing's regulator, the British Horseracing Authority, to publish full details of all race horse deaths. Dene Stansall, horse racing consultant, Animal Aid (story)

Wells Journal 13.8.13 PM stokes badger culling controversy By Ben O' Brien - David Cameron has stirred up the debate over government’s controversial badger culling plans, stating that action takes ‘courage’ and is ‘simply the right thing to do’. The Prime Minister, talking on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme, stressed that ’if we don’t do anything then we are going to be spending over the next ten years another £1b’ on preventing bovine tuberculosis - a claim the Humane Society International has described as ‘simply untrue’…. (story)

Western Morning News 13.8.13 Bovine TB could spread across country 'within the decade' - Tuberculosis in cattle will spread from the South West to Greater Manchester, Merseyside and West Yorkshire within a decade if left unchecked, the Government has said…. (story)

Western Morning News 13.8.13 Ministers accused of not properly assessing suffering of badgers By Scott Harrison - Only a small proportion of badger shootings in the pilot cull will be monitored to make sure it is humane, it has been revealed…. (story)
Ecologist 12.8.13 Badgers: The truth behind the cull - Dominic Dyer - Of 5,500 badgers to be shot during the pilot culls, only 120 will be independently monitored for humaneness, DEFRA has admitted. And just 4 Natural England officials will oversee the killing in Gloucestershire and Somerset. All this should raise further alarm bells about the nature of the cull, says Care For The Wild's Dominic Dyer… (story)
Western Morning News 12.8.13 Dominic Dyer: Badger cull will be damaging for David Cameron - David Cameron came to Devon last week with support for the badger cull. Dominic Dyer of Care for the Wild International thinks he's wrong. David Cameron came out fighting for the farming industry on his visit to the North Devon Show last week, but the badger cull policy threatens lasting damage to the reputation of the government and farmers in the South West, not least when it comes to animal welfare…. (story)

Surrey Mirror 13.8.13 Badger death cull ‘flawed’ - JUNE 1 was officially the first day of summer, but for West Country badgers this was an extremely grim day as it signalled the start of the ill-conceived and futile slaughter of over 5,000 badgers as part of a scientifically-flawed plan to achieve a modest reduction in the levels of TB in cattle… Raymond Ings Chairman of East Surrey Badger Protection Society Godstone Road Caterham (story)

Western Daily Press 13.8.13 Stop using hedgehogs in badger argument - In response to the article by Derek Mead and Colin Rowland (Western Daily Press letters, August 10) concerning badgers and hedgehogs – they both come out with the same old nonsense and propaganda about badger numbers and the amount of hedgehogs they eat to try and justify the shooting of badgers… Andrew Williams West Country Badger Patrol Group (letter)

Independent 13.8.13 Bill Oddie calls Government 'ignorant and arrogant' over wildlife issues in Britain - Naturalist Bill Oddie has lambasted the Government for being "ignorant and arrogant" and says that being axed from Springwatch put him in hospital for a year. The Goodies star, 72, said Britain's wildlife was suffering "one dip after another" and that the Government was partly to blame…. Oddie spent much of 2009 in hospital after, he says, he was dropped from popular BBC wildlife show Springwatch, which he presented alongside Kate Humble… (story)
Western Morning News 13.8.13 Bill Oddie attacks 'arrogant' Government - Naturalist Bill Oddie has lambasted the Government for being “ignorant and arrogant” and says that being axed from Springwatch put him in hospital for a year… Oddie, who is highlighting the plight of the puffin in BBC1 series Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival, said: “There’s no point in pretending we’re entering a golden age where there’s this amazing sort of comeback for all these species.”… a target=main href="http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Oddie-attacks-arrogant-Government/story-19650881-detail/story.html">(story)

Scotsman 13.8.13 Morality of eggs - You published a report and photo of the smashing of 200,000 eggs by irate French farmers to highlight their protest at the high cost of producing eggs… The following day, by chance, the animal charity Viva! released undercover footage of an egg factory’s practice of macerating (grinding up alive) live chicks… the daily misery and horror of the whole grisly egg production process should be on the conscience of us all. James Robertson Canongate Edinburgh (letter)

York Press 13.8.13 Worried about the owls - AS a strong conservationist of all animals and birds, I feel some concern for the plight of the owls that are seen on display in and around the city centre and now on show in the gardens of Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate. … These captive bred owls show all the signs of an unhappy environment and little to do with owl conservation, but more of a mini-sideshow that belongs to the past… DA Heald, Huntington Road, York. (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.8.13 Should dolphins be in UK captivity? My name is Rachel Rodgers and I am a master's student from Newcastle University. I am currently researching into how the British public feel about dolphins being held in captivity… Their opinions could influence future work by Defra to revise guidelines… Rachel Rodgers BSc (Hons) By email (letter)

12.8.13

Blackmore Vale Magazine 12.8.13 Hunts raise £38,000 for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance - A SPECTACULAR summer raffle organised by three local hunts has raised £38,000 for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale, Portman and South Dorset Hunts raised the money through a raffle and donations made at a drinks party in June. This was one of the highest amounts raised by a single fundraising event…. (story)

Tamworth Herald 12.8.13 Crowds flock to attend the 80th Canwell Show By Tracy Robbins - CROWDS flocked to celebrate all things country at the 80th Canwell Show at the weekend…. Unfortunately due to unforseen circumstances the Meynall Hunt Hounds were unable to attend the show but were replaced by Thomas Longton, one of the country’s top sheepdog trainers… (story)

Scotsman 12.8.13 Glorious Twelfth: Sun shines on shooting season by JULIA HORTON - Scotland could be in line for one of the best grouse shooting seasons in years, gamekeepers are predicting. The season gets under way today, the Glorious Twelfth, and experts believe the recent heatwave has helped game birds recover from a series of icy winters and wet summers… (story)

Western Morning News 12.8.13 Glorious Twelfth dawns - good for shooting and good for heather moors - The most committed – and wealthiest – game shooters from the Westcountry will be heading north from today for grouse shooting. Philip Bowern reports on the word from the moors… (story)

Mail 12.8.13 A Glorious Twelfth that will live up to its name! Grouse-shooting season set to be one of the best because of warm weather By ANNA EDWARDS - After two years of bad weather blighting the annual event, the recent hot weather means the Glorious Twelfth will truly live up to its name this year…. (story)

Huffington Post 12.8.13 Glorious Twelfth 'Vital For Economy' As Animal Rights Groups Criticise Grouse-Shooting - The red grouse-shooting season gets under way with the Glorious Twelfth on Monday, with supporters saying it is vital for the economy. But animal welfare campaigners said their claims were "a joke"…. (story)

STV 12.8.13 Gamekeepers gearing up for glorious grouse shooting season - Gamekeepers are predicting Scotland's grouse moors could be in line for one of the best shooting seasons in years. Monday's 'Glorious Twelfth' marked the start of this year's season and experts say recent warm weather has helped revive the game bird population…. (story)

Telegraph 12.8.13 Glorious 12th: how to set up your own shoot - Establishing a shoot restores country estates to their former glory, says Jake Wallis Simons. 'The main attraction isn’t shooting the birds,” says James Robinson, captain of the Hundred Acre Shoot in Sussex, as his dogs lollop around his feet…. (story)

ONEKIND GLORIOUS 12TH LETTER
Southern Daily Echo 12.8.13 Nothing is Glorious about grouse shoots - JOHN BRADY, CEO, OneKind. (letter)
Independent 9.8.13 Next Monday is probably the most inaptly named day in the Scottish calendar, with shooters taking to the grouse moors to celebrate the Glorious Twelfth… John Brady CEO, OneKind Edinburgh (letter)
Guardian 9.8.13 Nothing glorious about the twelfth - This Monday is probably the most inaptly named day in the Scottish calendar, with shooters taking to the grouse moors to celebrate the Glorious Twelfth. Frankly, there is nothing less glorious than individuals, many of whom are untrained and inexperienced, invading the countryside to kill or injure wildlife which is managed solely for this purpose… John Brady CEO, OneKind (letter)

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE BROADBAND SURVEY
Lancashire Telegraph 12.8.13 Broadband boost to East Lancashire economy - PLANS to improve broadband across Lancashire would be a ‘boost to the economy’ according to a rural group…. (story)
Western Morning News 10.8.13 Rural broadband 'stuck on B-road not technological superhighway' - Broadband plans need to be far more ambitious, a Westcountry business leader has warned, as a new report on broadband speed reveals the ever-increasing digital divide between town and city…The Countryside Alliance, which has been campaigning for mobile phone reception to be improved in rural areas, says the continuing divide was "very bad news" for homes and businesses… (story)
Bury Times 9.8.13 Priority call for better broadband connection - Improving broadband provision would help to boost the economy more than other new technologies, a survey has found. A poll by the Countryside Alliance found that four in five people surveyed said that rolling out high speed broadband would improve the economy, which increased to 85 per cent of people in rural areas…. (story)
Lancashire Telegraph 9.8.13 Priority call for better broadband connection - Improving broadband provision would help to boost the economy more than other new technologies, a survey has found. A poll by the Countryside Alliance found that four in five people surveyed said that rolling out high speed broadband would improve the economy, which increased to 85 per cent of people in rural areas…. (story)
Cambrian News 7.8.13 Concern that county will miss out on fuel scheme - FEARS have been raised that Ceredigion will miss out on a fuel discount scheme for rural areas after the county was left off a list of consultation areas… As the county with the second highest fuel costs in the UK according to the Countryside Alliance, Ceredigion was one of the areas expected to benefit from any such scheme… (story)
Cable.co.uk 7.8.13 Poll sees Brits call for better broadband across the country by Hannah Langston - Giving everyone access to speedy broadband could give Britain a real economic boost, a poll has suggested. Improving access to high-speed broadband across the whole of the UK would give the economy a boost, according to a poll carried out on behalf of the Countryside Alliance… (story)
Farmers Weekly 6.8.13 Better broadband 'could kickstart economy' - Johann Tasker - Four out of five adults agreed that rolling out high-speed broadband across the whole of the UK would have a positive impact on the economy, rising to 85% among rural dwellers… The survey was carried out by pollsters ComRes on behalf of the Countryside Alliance…. (story)
York Press 6.8.13 Broadband boost for North Yorkshire businesses By Dan Bean - THE rollout of superfast broadband throughout rural North Yorkshire and the Selby district could help to boost the economy, according to a poll. Results from a survey carried out for the Countryside Alliance were released as details of a meeting to help to support businesses in the Selby district and improve internet availability were announced…. Next week, Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, will host a free session for local businesses interested in finding out how to best use the internet and gain up to £700 in grants from the Superfast North Yorkshire programme… (story)
USwitch 6.8.13 Brits think improved broadband coverage will boost the economy - Poll shows Brits think broadband coverage should be prioritised. By Ewan Taylor-Gibson - British consumers believe improved broadband provision would give the economy a bigger boost than other key technological innovations, a study suggests. Research conducted by ComRes on behalf of the Countryside Alliance revealed 80 per cent of adults think nationwide super-fast broadband would support the UK economy… (story)

The Week 12.8.13 Will badger cull damage Cameron's reputation? - OPPONENTS of the impending badger cull have warned David Cameron it will lose him votes across Middle England….The Prime Minister has said he has the "political courage" to deliver the cull – but Dominic Dyer, a policy adviser at Care for the Wild International, today warned that this resolve threatens lasting damage to the reputation of the government… (story)

PETA PANDA LETTER
Northern Echo 12.8.13 Panda - Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). (letter)
Scotsman 10.8.13 Pandas’ plight - THE expected birth of a baby panda at Edinburgh Zoo should focus attention on the plight of captive animals…. BEN WILLIAMSON People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) London (letter)

11.8.13

Sunday Telegraph 11.8.13 'Do I look like a militant animal activist to you?' - The RSPCA chief Gavin Grant defends his charity’s heavy-handed tactics – and his huge salary - By Cole Moreton - "This is not all about politics,” says Gavin Grant crossly. “It’s not all about PR. It’s all about that…” And he points to a photograph, put up on a wall at the headquarters of the RSPCA, of a wounded black dog. The dog has had a swastika carved into its head with a knife…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 11.8.13 Best grouse season is on the cards - The best grouse shooting season in years is on the cards after bad weather blighted the last two, moorland managers have said. By Hayley Dixon and agencies - In recent years, sub-zero temperatures and heavy rain affected bird populations, but the warmth and sunshine may have reversed the fortunes of the industry, worth almost £100 million to the UK. The red grouse season gets under way with the Glorious Twelfth on Monday, and the better weather this year means that grouse breeding in England has been more successful, the Moorland Association said… (story)

Independent on Sunday 11.8.13 Ahead of the game: Patient, obsessive, able to trail a fox for 76 hours...welcome to the life of the modern gamekeeper - Peter Popham - Tomorrow, the Glorious Twelfth, signals the start of the hunting season – but time on the glen is a year-round occupation for gamekeeper Mark Brown, who gave photographer Will Clarkson an insight into a life of constant vigilance. .. (story)

Scotland on Sunday 11.8.13 Captive breeding of capercaillie - I THOUGHT I’d time-warped back to 1 April when I read your article “Capercaillie crisis sparks radical plan” (News, 28 July). Any credibility the Scottish Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (SGWCT) had was totally lost when their director of upland research, Dr David Baines, seriously suggested catching wild pine martins and keeping them captive from March to August to let capercaillies breed without predation… If sport shooters really want to repair the damage they have caused and help re-establish populations of both these creatures there are several more realistic options to be considered… John F Robins, ?For Animal Concern Advice Line (letter)

Sunday Times 11.8.13 RSPCA past of judge who shut horse sanctuary - Kevin Dowling - A JUDGE who previously worked extensively for the RSPCA has forced the closure of a sanctuary for sick and injured horses that has been used by the police. The owner, Susan Henderson, is appealing against the judgment after she was banned from working with animals for 10 years, given an eight-week suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay the charity £7,000 costs. Her solicitor described the sentence as “savage” and criticised the judge for not declaring that he had worked for the RSPCA until last October… (story)

10.8.13

Northern Echo 10.8.13 Grouse shoots predict good season ahead of Glorious Twelfth By Joe Willis, Regional Chief Reporter - GROUSE shoots are predicting a good season as they prepare for the Glorious Twelfth this Monday. The late spring meant birds nested later than usual but game managers remain hopeful that numbers will be plentiful on the region’s moors. British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BACS) said that following the late cold snap in 2013, conditions have been largely good for breeding grouse… (story)

ITV 10.8.13 Campaigners march through London - Campaigners from the south east have been supporting a march in London against the practice of live animal exports. The group Compassion in World Farming planned a peaceful march against the live export of farm animals, to highlight what it calls "a hidden trade"…. (story)
Kent Messenger 10.8.13 Animal rights protestors march through London by Graham Tutthill - Protestors held a march in London on Saturday, organised by Compassion in World Farming, against the live export of farm animals… (story)

Argus 10.8.13 Never mind test-tube burgers - switch to being a vegan - I’m puzzled as to why someone would eat a test-tube burger when they could live healthily on a vegan diet…. Emma Richards, Halland Road, Brighton (letter)

9.8.13

ROSS HARRIERS TRIAL
Horse & Hound 9.8.13 Huntsman cleared of racial abuse in Appeal Court - Master and huntsman of the Ross Harriers, Lee Peters, has won an appeal against a conviction of racial abuse and threatening behaviour…. (story)
Hereford Times 2.8.13 Ross-on-Wye hunt master wins appeal over racist abuse charge - A HUNTSMAN has spoken of his relief after he was cleared of hurling racial abuse at an anti-hunt demonstrator. David Lee Peters, master of the Ross Harriers Hunt, had been found guilty of using a racist term during a hunt at the Pennyfarthing Inn at Aston Crews in January last year… But a panel of judges overturned the verdict at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday after concluding that there were inconsistencies in the story, which meant there was reasonable doubt…. (story)
Hereford Times 20.12.12 Herefordshire huntsman who racially abused protester appeals against conviction - A HUNTSMAN found guilty of racially abusing a protester at a meet near Ross-on-Wye has lodged an appeal against his convictions. David Lee Peters, master of the Ross Harriers Hunt, denied racially aggravated harassment during a trial at Hereford Magistrates Court last month… (story)
Hereford Times 16.11.12 Ross Harriers hunt master found guilty of racially abusing hunt protester … (story)
Ledbury Reporter 16.11.12 Ross Harriers hunt master found guilty of racially abusing hunt protester - A HUNTSMAN has been found guilty of racially abusing a protestor at a hunt near Ross-on-Wye. David Lee Peters, who is the master of the Ross Harriers Hunt, called a black woman “a wog” during a meet in Aston Crews in January…. (story)
Mirror Reporter 16.11.12 Fined £3,000: Hunt master found guilty of hurling racist abuse at black protester …Ross Harriers hunt chief David Lee Peters, 33, launched the tirade at Hiba Hassan as she sat with a group of saboteurs in a 4x4 vehicle… (story)
Mail 15.11.12 Racist hunt master who called black saboteur a f****** w** is fined £3,000 By PAUL MILLIGAN - A hunt master who hurled a volley of racist abuse at a black anti-blood sports protester and branded her a f****** w** was fined nearly £3,000. David Lee Peters, 33, launched a foul-mouthed tirade at a group of saboteurs who gathered in 4x4 vehicles to voice their protests at a meet in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on January 7… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 15.11.12 Hunt master guilty of racial abuse - A HUNT master has been found guilty of hurling racist abuse at an anti-blood sports protester. David Lee Peters, 33, hurled insults at saboteurs who gathered in 4x4 vehicles to voice their protests at a meet in Ross-on-Wye on January 7… Yesterday Peters was found guilty of racially aggravated harassment and fined £700, ordered to pay £200 compensation, £2,000 prosecution costs, and a £15 victim surcharge. (story)
BBC News Online 15.11.12 Ross Harriers hunt master guilty of racially abusing protester - A hunt master has been found guilty at Hereford Magistrates' Court of racially abusing and threatening a protester. David Lee Peters, from Coughton, Ross-on-Wye, was fined £720, and ordered to pay his victim £200 compensation…. (story)
Mirror 15.11.12 'Racist slur' claim: Master of the hunt hurled abuse at black protester, court hears - A court heard he screamed the vile insult at the anti-bloodsports protester as she sat in a Land Rover - A hunt master hurled racist abuse at a black protester, branding her a “f****** w**” a court heard yesterday…. (story)
Small World News 15.11.12 Hunt master ‘called black protester a f****** w**’ during violent confrontation with saboteurs - A hunt master hurled racist abuse at a black anti-blood sports protester and branded her a f*****g w**, a court heard. David Peters, 33, hurled insults at a group of ‘saboteurs’ who gathered in 4×4 vehicles to voice their protests at a meet in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on January 7…. (story)
Mail 14.11.12 Hunt master 'racially abused black anti-blood sports protester by calling her a f****** w**' By LARISA BROWN - A hunt master hurled racist abuse at a black anti-blood sports protester, calling her a 'f****** w**', a court heard. David Lee Peters, 33, hurled insults at a group of ‘saboteurs’ who gathered in 4x4 vehicles to voice their protests at a meet in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on January 7. The married father-of-one - who is the master of the Ross Harriers hunt - went on to abuse protester Hiba Hassan and call her a f****** w** as he rode past on horseback, JPs were told…. Giving evidence Ms Hassan told the court she was on her first hunt protest and was left 'upset' by the insult…. Witness Robert Muncey told the court he was tending to his garden when the incident occurred…. 'He yelled out the following to the riders behind him: "Oh look, they’ve got a f*****g w** in here"…. (story)
Ross Gazette 14.11.12 ‘Racist’ huntsman trial begins - The trial of the Master of Ross Harriers, David Lee Peters, 33, of Coughton, Ross-on-Wye, began at Hereford Magistrates Court on Monday, November 12th. … (story)
Mail 14.1.12 Hunt master 'hurled race abuse' at anti-blood sports protestors By Luke Salkeld - A hunt master has been arrested on suspicion of racially abusing an anti-blood sports protester. Lee Peters, 33, is said to have shouted obscenities at protesters, and is accused of loudly referring to a black woman as ‘a ****ing w**’…. Mr Peters is master of the Ross Harriers hunt in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, where around a dozen protesters gathered in 4x4 vehicles at last Saturday’s meet… (story)
Ross Gazette 12.1.12 Racist comment – arrest at hunt - A man was arrested on Saturday morning, January 7th, after police officers were called to an incident at a meet of the Ross Harriers at the Penny Farthing, Aston Crews. West Mercia Police confirmed that a man was arrested for a racially aggravated offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act. He has been released on police bail pending further enquiries…. (story)

Stroud News & Journal website 9.8.13 Chepstow Show set to draw crowds - CHEPSTOW Show is back tomorrow with a new venue and, organisers hope, a change of fortune with the weather…. Among the main ring events will be a display by the Forest of Dean driving trials group, a parade of foxhounds by the Curre and Llangibby Hunt, and a grand parade of prize winning livestock…. (story)

Stroud News & Journal website 9.8.13 Cream of the crop at Brecon Show - Brecon County Show has a long tradition of attracting exhibitors from all over the country with a high standard of animals on display, and this year's event was no exception… The Brecon & Talybont Hunt also had a parade of hounds in the main ring, proving popular with the younger visitors to the show. >(story)

ITV 9.8.13 Shooting season 'creates 42,500 days of work a year' - The grouse shooting industry is worth £67million to the English economy. Owners of heather moorland say without income from the shooting season, over 1500 jobs would be lost…. (story)

BBC News Online 9.8.13 Hen harriers 'face extinction' in England, says RSPB - Hen harriers are close to extinction in England after the country's only two nesting pairs failed to breed, conservationists have said. The RSPB said it was the first time the species had not produced a chick in England since the 1960s… The charity accused private shooting estates of trying to "remove this bird since it recolonised". The Countryside Alliance said the RPSB was wrong to blame grouse moors and hen harriers were not facing extinction…. (story)

Guardian 9.8.13 Hen harrier near extinction (Report, 9 August)? What a surprise. While the elite get fun out of killing grouse, hen harriers and many other species better not mess with this "sport". A large number of native birds and mammals who interfere with grouse shooting are trapped, poisoned or snared… Sara Starkey Tonbridge, Kent
The RSPB report that hen harriers are on the brink of extinction is extremely misleading as to the causes of poor breeding rates of these birds, and no more than a publicity exercise at the start of the shooting season. It unfairly points the finger at gamekeepers and grouse shoots, despite the fact that, in England, there has been no confirmed incident of illegal persecution against hen harriers and no one has ever been convicted of an act of illegal persecution against the species… Adrian Blackmore Head of the shooting campaign, Countryside Alliance (letters)

Independent 9.8.13 Could Prince George grow up to renounce killing of wild animals for fun? As long as there has been a royal family, its members have slaughtered wildlife for sport…. John Bryant Wildlife Consultant, Protect Our Wild Animals Tonbridge. Kent (letter)

Broadband Choice 9.8.13 Gloucestershire residents urge government not to forget rural areas for broadband - Some rural areas are in danger of being left behind as a result of broadband plans, the government has been warned.... Elberton is one village that missed out on Broadband Delivery UK funding, but it had been thought that it would be covered by BT's commercial rollout, the Gloucester Gazette reports... (story)
Gloucestershire Gazette 9.8.13 Broadband plight in Elberton will lead village to 'fall behind' economically By Marion Sauvebois - MISSING out on the region's "broadband boost" would lead villages such as Elberton and its rural businesses to fall too far behind, a situation they cannot afford in an already struggling economy. The Countryside Alliance is urging government not to forsake the thousands living in Internet black spots, who have currently no hope to see their coverage improved, in the name not simply of fairness but of growth…. (story)

Irish Examiner 9.8.13 Families warned after fox kills and eats three dogs - A rogue fox has killed and eaten three dogs in a housing estate in recent weeks prompting authorities to warn homeowners of the risk of a child being attacked. By Pat Flynn - Two of the dogs were attacked in their owners’ yards in Ennis, Co Clare, while a third was dragged to a wooded area where it was eaten. County dog warden and ISPCA animal welfare officer, Frankie Coote, has set up a trap in an effort to catch the animal which has been frequenting the Tobartaoscáin area of the town… (story)

Guardian 9.8.13 According to the Fox Project (G2, 5 August) many of these handsome animals fall foul of road accidents, mange and malnutrition and can expect to live for only two years. The public has hopefully a more tolerant attitude and will support similar caring organisations, such as the National Fox Welfare Society. Brian White & Lesley Buell London (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 9.8.13 Badger cull campaigners fail to disrupt TB meeting in Gloucester - CAMPAIGNERS failed to disrupt a badger cull meeting, thanks to a police presence. Natural England, which is licensing the pilot culls in Gloucestershire, hosted the meeting on Tuesday night at an undisclosed location in Gloucester…

(story)
Gloucestershire Echo 8.8.13 Protesters fail to disrupt badger cull meeting By Dan Charles - CAMPAIGNERS failed to disrupt a badger cull meeting thanks to a police presence. Natural England, which is licensing the planned pilot culls in Gloucestershire, hosted the meeting at an undisclosed location in Gloucester… (story)

Independent 9.8.13 The Prince and the panda - One can’t help comparing the possible birth of a baby panda (“Edinburgh Zoo staff hopeful giant panda Tian Tian may be pregnant”, 9 August) with another recent history-making arrival. While Prince George and Baby Panda can both claim to be good for tourism, their respective futures could not be more different…. Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) London N1 (letter)

8.8.13

North West Evening Mail 8.8.13 ‘Perfect conditions’ as 7,000 visitors head for Cartmel showground - COMMUNITY support for the popular Cartmel Show was stronger than ever at the 130th event yesterday… Mr White’s stepfather Alex Sharphouse, who opened his working vintage Old Hall Farm to visitors this year, enthralled the crowds with his heavy horse demonstration in the main ring, closely followed by a parade of the Vale of Lune Hare and Hounds… (story)

Telegraph 8.8.13 Row erupts between wildlife groups and gamekeepers - A row has erupted between wildlife conservation groups ahead of the Glorious Twelfth after research found grouse shoots help protect endangered birds of prey. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - A study spanning more than two decades disclosed that moorland management by gamekeepers led to a sharp rise in the number of hen harriers. However, as estates prepare for the start of the grouse shooting season on Monday, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds blamed gamekeepers for a recent decline of the species…
Comment - Edmund Marriage - The RSPB's political lobbying calls for their own track record on moorland management to be put under the spotlight. Fortunately we have a good example of the consequences of RSPB management at their reserve at Carn Gafalit in Mid Wales following their acquisition of the SSSI product of generations of good grazing management... Everybody loses and this pattern of neglect is typical of all RSPB reserves (story)

Lancashire Telegraph 8.8.13 Start of grouse season ‘shot in arm for East Lancs wildlife’ By Jon Robinson, Reporter - THE new grouse shooting season will help protect endangered wildlife and conserve thousands of acres of moors, enthusiasts say. Grouse hunters are gearing up for the official start of the new season ‘The Glorious’ August 12…. (story)

Western Morning News 8.8.13 Prime Minister claims badger cull go-ahead shows "courage" By GDemianyk - Culling badgers is the right thing to do to avoid "appalling consequences" for farmers, cattle and badgers, David Cameron said today…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 8.8.13 Gloucestershire vet's emotional letter becomes Facebook sensation - A Gloucestershire vet's impassioned letter about the emotional impact of slaughtering cattle has become a Facebook sensation. David Garvill of Benson and Babb vets in Cirencester opened his heart to his peers when he wrote the letter to the Veterinary Times on July 29… (story)

Kilburn Times 8.8.13 Willesden woman ‘force-fed’ in PETA protest at Fortnum & Mason - Lorraine King, News editor - Nichola Rogers from Ilex Road, took part in the publicity stunt by PETA outside Fortnum & Mason yesterday against its sale of foie gras. The organisation are urging the high-end food store to stop selling the controversial French product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened… (story)
Meat Trades Journal 8.8.13 PETA re-enacts foie gras process outside Fortnum By Nicholas Robinson - A woman has been ‘force-fed’ corn as part of a protest against foie gras outside Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly, London. The protest has been organised by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as part of a series of protests against the company selling foie gras, which PETA calls “torture in a tin”…. (story)

Independent 8.8.13 A fantastic new way to make meat - I read with amazement of... a Dutch scientist, who was able to produce five ounces of beef in a laboratory for £250,000. This is scientific genius. It reminded me of another brilliant invention that an organic farmer once told me about, which sounded deserving of a Nobel prize… The technique is called Welsh hill farming. And some people have been doing it for centuries… This invention is 100,000 times cheaper than Google’s meat. Spread the word. Perhaps this could go “viral “ Leon Pein, Barnet, Herts
How timely that Britain’s largest “fatberg” has been discovered in a sewer in London the day after the Quarter-Million Pounder was demonstrated nearby. Do I sense a connection?... After all, neither of the two contains what perceptive humans would recognise as meat. Phil Wood, Westhoughton, Greater Manchester
Why create test-tube burgers when we can live healthily on a vegan diet?... Mark Richards, Brighton
Squeamish about lab-grown meat? Oh, so eating the decaying flesh of sentient beings is pleasant, then, is it? Sue Harris, Magor, Monmouthshire (letters)

Yorkshire Post 8.8.13 Cruelty on menu From: Jennifer Bookbinder, Cottingley Gardens, Leeds. I WAS horrified to read in Life & Style (Yorkshire Post, July 31) that the Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival is featuring frogs’ legs for consumption… (story)

7.8.13

York Press 7.8.13 Saltersgate Farmers Hunt show ‘the best ever’ By Karen Darley - THE annual Saltersgate Farmers Hunt Country Show has been declared ‘the best ever’…. (story)

Telegraph 7.8.13 RSPCA accused of using criminal prosecutions to increase revenue - The RSPCA is facing calls to give up its role as a criminal prosecutor following claims that it is using court cases as a means of increasing its revenue. By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter - In the past two years the number of convictions the RSPCA has secured has almost doubled, despite no increase in calls to its cruelty telephone hotline. Over the same period, donations to the RSPCA have increased by more than 10 per cent, and the salaries of its top executives have rocketed… (story)
BBC News Online 7.8.13 Vet claims RSPCA called him 'arch-enemy' - A veterinary expert from Norfolk is claiming he was the victim of an RSPCA smear campaign after he gave evidence against the charity in court. Colin Vogel, from Fakenham, made the allegation in a BBC Radio 4 Face the Facts programme after seeing emails and documents about him from the charity… (story) (recording)

Gloucestershire Echo 7.8.13 Badger campaign do not give up hope of derailing Gloucestershire cull - BADGER campaigners in the county who hoped the cull would be abandoned this week, are not giving up hope of derailing it. Some are even urging fellow anti-cull campaigners to telephone farmers directly, but politely, in a bid to persuade them to drop out of the cull zone… (story)

Farmers Weekly 7.8.13 David Cameron to back British farmers at show - Johann Tasker - David Cameron is expected to make a speech backing Britain’s farmers when he visits the North Devon Show. The prime minister is due to visit the show, which takes place at Barton Farm, Umberleigh, on Wednesday (7 August). Mr Cameron will be keen to show that the government has the best intentions when it comes to agriculture and the wider countryside, its rural businesses and communities. The visit comes at a time of growing concern about the government's policies - including CAP reform, bovine TB and slow broadband speeds…. (story)

Kidderminster Shuttle 6.8.13 Unhappy with ‘cruel’ foie gras on the menu - IT was interesting to read the article about the annual A Taste of Worcestershire Food and Jazz Festival (The Shuttle, August 1). However, one thing which doesn’t leave a very pleasant taste in the mouth is the fact that the Festival venue, Brockencote Hall in Chaddesley Corbett, has on its menu one of the most cruelly-produced items of food in the world. I'm referring to foie gras… RONALD LEE Communications Officer Wyre Forest Vegans & Veggies PO Box 127, Kidderminster (letter)

6.8.13

Western Morning News 6.8.13 Game shooting enters a new season, but has the sport been given a bad reputation? - Next week sees the start of the game shooting season with August 12 marking the first day on the grouse moors… Philip Bowern wonders if – a year after the Olympics and significant success for Team GB – the image of shooting sports has been improved? Shooting organisations could hardly believe their good fortune when the good-looking, likeable and media-friendly Peter Wilson pulled off the performance of his life in the double-trap shooting competition to win gold for Great Britain… Recently, as a small 'thank you' from the UK's biggest shooting membership organisation, the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, he was awarded honorary life membership… (story)

Banffshire Journal 6.8.13 Plans for 5p petrol price cut in Banffshire - MOTORISTS in Banffshire could soon see lower prices for fuel at the pumps after the Treasury announced plans to extend a 5p-a-litre discount…. The Countryside Alliance has welcomed the move who have said it has long argued that higher fuel prices in rural areas hit motorists unfairly, not least because poor public transport makes driving a necessity… (story)

Western Daily Press 6.8.13 Cull will drive out tourists and badgers - In reference to today's article 'Badger cull crucial' by Janet Hughes: I was raised in farming country and lived on a farm for ten years; I know exactly how devastating it is when farms are hit by disease… The whole plan is based on a flawed understanding of how badgers behave and equally flawed predictions of how practical it will be to eradicate animals from one place without creating space for others from elsewhere to move in… While the safety issues remain, we'll be taking our leisure spending to no-cull counties this summer. Pamela Coll (Mrs) Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.8.13 No one has gassed badgers for a pastime - I wish to object in the strongest possible terms to the headline "Gassing badgers is a sadistic pastime" that appeared over a letter from Andrew Williams in the Daily Press on Saturday. No one has ever gassed badgers or any other wildlife for a pastime and the letter from Mr Williams did not say or imply that this was the case… John Tuck Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 3.8.13 Gassing badgers is a sadistic pastime - In response to the letter by Johnny Alston about badgers, it is humans who are destroying the countryside, not the wildlife that kills for food…. Andrew Williams West Country Badger Patrol Group (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.8.13 Destructive effect of badgers on the attack - I thank Andrew Williams for replying to my letter where I pointed out how evil badgers can be, as in my childhood I witnessed five badgers destroying fields full of peewits' nests… Mr Williams is very fond of calling everyone else a hypocrite, but in fact he is the biggest hypocrite as he says he is very passionate about the countryside and yet he supports the evil badgers, mink and magpies, etc, which are destroying it…. Johnny Alston Chippenham, Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.8.13 Bloodsports brigade and badger baiters - In response to the article by badger hater Ian Liddell-Grainger (Daily Press August 3). The most vicious and unpleasant inhabitants of the countryside are the bloodsports brigade and badger baiters. Andrew Williams West Country Badger Patrol Group (letter)

Western Morning News 6.8.13 Infected farms need to have a deep clean - WMN July 18. we get the article “Farming family hit by another herd breakdown”; where we leant that the farmer has lost 34 animals since April of last year. He has been buying replacements and breeding to restock, but why? The farm and the environment is infected with bTB and needs to undertake a ‘deep clean’…. We are also starting to see the same lines that were trotted out for retaining fox hunting, by demonising the badger and inventing stories regarding ‘packs of badgers’ attacking chickens for fun and will our children be next!... by Graham Forsyth,Chard (letter)

Guernsey Press & Star 6.8.13 Animal activists and farmers clash over tethering proposals - TETHERING animals should be banned not regulated, an animal welfare campaigner has said. But dairy farmer Richard Valpied has argued that proposed rules for a new licensing regime for cattle, which could be extended to horses and goats, were unrealistic… Promoting Animal Welfare founder Sue Vidamour said the proposals were a step in the right direction… (story)

Sunderland Echo 6.8.13 VIDEO: Lab burger taste test - COOKING doesn’t get much weirder than this, to borrow a well-known phrase from Masterchef. The round, pink mass sizzling in the frying pan looked like any other burger, and probably one from the cheaper end of the market. But this five ounce patty, costing the juicy sum of £250,000, was far from ordinary. It was the first beef burger to be successfully grown from scratch in a laboratory from cow stem cells, and some believe it could usher in a food revolution…. Compassion in World Farming chief executive Philip Lymbery said: “This burger could prevent the future suffering of millions of farm animals; stopping the pollution factory farming causes to our landscapes…. (story)
Daily Record 6.8.13 World's first lab-grown beef burger put to the taste test - but wasn’t an experience to relish - While foodies grumbled that the £250,000 ¬“Frankenburger” was not juicy enough, ¬scientists insisted the cultured meat grown from cow stems cells could be on supermarket shelves a decade from now… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 6.8.13 'I sympathise with girl and dog that bit her' - A reader's letter by S Broom, of Ings Road Estate, Hull. I realise my comments will be misconstrued and animal-haters and people in general will castigate me for defending the (deceased) dog Buster, which bit little Paige Barenskie, but comment I will… I am not underplaying Paige's fear and pain, and her probable lifelong fear of dogs now. Nor am I accusing anybody of anything, but Buster could have bitten for a multitude of reasons… (letter)

PETA ARTIFICIAL MEAT LETTER
Sheffield Star 6.8.13 How meat will be eaten with impunity - Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (letter)
Independent on Sunday 4.8.13 In vitro technology will spell the end of lorries full of cows and chickens, abattoirs and factory farming… Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 2.8.13 Lab-grown meat taste of future - TODAY, putting meat on the table causes enormous suffering to animals and environmental damage. Yet, one day, you'll be able to eat meat with ethical impunity. In vitro technology will spell the end of lorries full of cows and chickens, abattoirs and factory farming…. Lab-grown meat will provide people addicted from childhood to the saturated fat in flesh with the "methadone" for their habit. BEN WILLIAMSON People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (letter)

5.8.13

Western Morning News 5.8.13 PICTURES: Moment runaway horse throws its rider on toddler in pram - A helpless tot came within inches of tragedy after a runaway horse which bolted at a hunt meeting miraculously just missed trampling it as it lay on the ground. The dramatic scene was captured on camera as the giant animal threw its rider at the Minehead Harriers event at Dunster Castle, Somerset…. (story)
Mail 5.8.13 Horror at the country fair: The terrifying moment runaway horse threw its rider and almost landed on sleeping toddler in her buggy By HARRIET ARKELL - A sleeping toddler was hurled out of her pushchair and narrowly missed being crushed by a runaway horse at a family country fair… The near-tragedy occurred at the Dunster Country Fair in Somerset when an overexcited animal charged into the crowd which included children and pensioners in deckchairs… (story)

Western Daily Press 5.8.13 Deer number falling foul of Hunting Act - August 1 is the start of the stag hunting season and on that day this year the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) issued a stark warning that adult stags on the Quantock hills risk being wiped out…. The league has recently spent huge amounts of money waging what they refer to as a "countryside war" against the Quantock Staghounds and other hunts. This has involved extensive covert surveillance of the Quantock Staghounds. However it has failed to achieve a further prosecution… Dire warnings were made before the ban about the effect it would have on our red deer and these may well be coming true. Surely it is time for those who oppose hunting to admit that the law is not working well and it's time to review it. Giles Bradshaw Rose Ash, Devon (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.8.13 This activity should be reported to police - As we move into the warm heady days of summer and on into the autumn, I would ask your reader to keep a watch out for a rather barbaric and illegal activity that could be taking place in your area at this time of year as criminals with dogs and hunting horns terrorise and kill young wild animals for fun… If you see activity that resembles the descriptions above, please report it to the police at once and ask for an incident number and also contact either the RSPCA or to the League Against Cruel Sports Wildlife CrimeWatch on 01483 361 108. Graham Forsyth Chard, Somerset (letter)

Guardian 5.8.13 Bumper year for British grouse forecast for Glorious 12th shoot - Grouse moors in Scotland and northern England report a surge in bird numbers this year after several very poor seasons due to outbreaks of disease-carrying parasites and unsuitable weather - Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent - The moors of Scotland and northern England will resound to the sharp crack of shotguns, the growl of Range Rover engines and the yelp of gun dogs again this week. Grouse shooting begins officially with the Glorious Twelfth and the industry is expecting a bumper year…. (story)

Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 5.8.13 Judiciary failing to deter wildlife abusers? - Two weeks ago wildlife crime officer PC Helen Felton asserted that the prosecution and sentencing of a man who admitted killing buzzards sent the message that wildlife crime will not be tolerated in Cumbria. With great respect to her efforts in bringing his sickening crime to court, the message sent by District Judge Gerald Chalk’s sentence was precisely the opposite. A suspended sentence and an order to pay £165 was in reality no punishment at all… PHILLIP WOOD Carleton Road, Penrith (letter)

Hexham Courant 5.8.13 5P PETROL DISCOUNT ON THE WAY? - TYNEDALE’S hard-pressed rural motorists could be in line for a much needed helping hand from the Government…. The Countryside Alliance has welcomed the move, saying higher fuel prices in rural areas hit motorists unfairly, not least because a poor public transport service makes driving a necessity. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 5.8.13 Badger cull in Gloucestershire under threat, campaigners claim - Badger campaigners claim the cull in Gloucestershire is in serious jeopardy. A statement from anti-cull group Team Badger last night said the county's cull zone has fallen below 70 per cent… NFU’s chairman in Gloucestershire Charles Mann said it was absolutely incorrect. He said: “There’s categorically no truth in this. It’s rumour-mongering at its worst.”… (story)
Western Daily Press 5.8.13 NFU and Defra rubbish claims badger cull in Gloucestershire in jeopardy By TristanCork - Defra and the National Farmers' Union have dismissed as rumour-mongering claims by badger campaigners that the cull in Gloucestershire is at risk. A statement from anti-cull group Team Badger last night said the county's cull zone has fallen below 70 per cent…(story)

Western Daily Press 5.8.13 Dairy boycott is easy, just a little expensive - It was just the thing to expect, one of our local MPs, Ian Liddell-Granger decrying the result of the vote against the badger cull and then, with no firm figures, blaming badgers for wiping out the hedgehog population. I was glad to see that the vast majority of people were against the cull… In a previous letter I stated that when the cull starts I would boycott the English beef and dairy industry, this is quite easy just a little more expensive. N Vizor Malmesbury, Wiltshire (letter)

Derby Telegraph 5.8.13 All animals suffer when condemned to circus life - JUST a few weeks ago everything seemed to be pointing to a ban on wild animals in circuses being within reach. Now that has now been put under threat… The Captive Animals Protection Society is keeping up action by providing materials and demonstrations to show that the circus is no place for any animal… Dawn Spencer Dovedale Crescent Belper (letter)

4.8.13

Guardian/Observer 4.8.13 On patrol with the fox ambulance - It's breeding season for British foxes, but sadly their average lifespan is just two years. Our writer jumps in the fox ambulance, AKA a Citroën C5, to rescue foxes in distress - Paula Cocozza - The smell takes a second to hit the lungs…. What is that? "Fox!" says Sandra Reddy with a dirty laugh… This is the home of Fox Project, a charity dedicated to the red fox… The Fox Project and its ambulance service were the brainchild of Trevor Williams... In the 70s he was a hunt saboteur... (story)

Mail 4.8.13 The 1,000 racehorses killed in just six years: Rights campaigners call on punters to be more aware of suffering inflicted on animals By JAYA NARAIN - The love of horseracing is ingrained in the culture and history of Britain unlike almost anywhere else in the world. But the toll of horses who die or are destroyed on racecourses each year is leading to a wave of public disgust. … Dene Stansall, Animal Aid‘s horseracing consultant, said: ‘If horses are to die so that someone can enjoy a bet, punters should be aware of a basic truth... (story)
Guardian 3.8.13 As horse deaths mount, campaigners ask: what price a day at the races - Cheltenham heads list of courses where most animals die, and jump racing carries most risk - Jamie Doward - A thousand horses have died on Britain's racecourses since 2007, according to records kept by an animal rights organisation. Animal Aid's "Death Watch" list reached the 1,000 mark late last month when a seven-year-old gelding, Hired Hand, was destroyed at Bangor-on-Dee, Clwyd, after being injured in a race…. (story)

3.8.13

Western Daily Press 3.8.13 Call to stop Quantock deer hunt as numbers hit 17-year low By Tina Rowe - The League Against Cruel Sports is calling for a moratorium on stag hunting on the Quantock Hills as an annual count of red deer on the hills found only nine adult males…. The league believes hunting continues for sport alone, and will result in the loss of all adult males from the area once the Quantock Staghounds, the pack local to the area, begins hunting, which it can do from the start of August…(story)

Telegraph 3.8.13 Lush: campaigning cosmetics firm that rose from a single shop in Poole to a global empire - It is famed for its bath bombs and the strong scent of soap wafting from its High Street stores, but the cosmetics chain Lush is also one of the country’s biggest bankrollers of direct action groups. Each year it gives away £1 million to protest groups such as Frack Off, Plane Stupid and the Hunt Saboteurs Association, as well as giving its staff time off to attend demonstrations. The firm, based in Poole, Dorset, was founded in 1994 by Mark Constantine and his wife Mo, who were both awarded OBEs for services to the beauty industry in the 2011 New Year Honours. .. (story)

Spectator 3.8.13 Bats vs people - They are a protected species – we’re not - Melissa Kite - Imagine: it’s Sunday morning, and the warden of a medieval village church arrives to get the place ready for communion only to find the altar covered in bat droppings… Putting aside the issue of foxes, which we must park or I will get seriously diverted, the wildlife lobby gives the impression of becoming increasingly strident. In particular, there appears to be a neurotic obsession with the three Bs, by which I mean bats, bees and badgers. It sometimes feels, for example, as if the wildlife brigade would prefer that all cattle perished of TB rather than farmers harm one hair on the head of a badger, and that fields full of crops can shrivel and die so long as insecticide isn’t used that might kill bees… Mr Baldy, who will continue the campaign at Westminster in the autumn, says: ‘I blame Beatrix Potter, frankly. It is the anthropomorphisation of Peter Rabbit.’ And Bertie Bat, as he likes to be known (story)

Spectator 3.8.13 Why soon we’ll all be vegetarian - Sooner than you think, all our burgers may be grown in a lab - Michael Hanlon - I know some lovely vegetarians but could never imagine joining their ranks. Something about a life fuelled entirely by plants fills me with dread. The veggie’s world is a pale planet, an insipid facsimile of the real thing…. On Monday the Dutch scientist Mark Post is coming to London to cook, or have celeb-chef cooked for him (the details are all top secret) a burger made from meat grown in a vat… Up to now, vegetarianism has, like the Roundheads, been right but repulsive. Now, thanks to technology, it could be right and tasty as well. And if not, well, there is always cheese. (story)

2.8.13

Western Morning News 2.8.13 Pictures: Sunshine showcase for Honiton Agricultural Show By Steve Grant … The Honiton Show always plays host to the West of England Hound Show, when hunting packs from across the region, and further afield, compete on the flagstones. This year, though, numbers were depleted because of kennel cough outbreaks – with only packs where hounds had been inoculated, such as the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, taking part…. (story)

Western Morning News 2.8.13 Government told: 'You've failed rural communities' - Countryside communities are paying a "rural penalty" for Government policies which focus resources on towns and cities, a powerful group of MPs warn…. The Countryside Alliance has called on Eric Pickles and his Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to "urgently rethink" plans to hand urban councils 50% more than their rural counterparts up until 2020…. (story)

Stroud News & Journal 2.8.13 Volunteers wanted for badger patrols - VOLUNTEERS are needed to walk public footpaths during the planned badger cull this summer to look for injured animals. The Wounded Badger Patrols, organised by campaign group Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS) will cover most of the cull zone in west Gloucestershire… (story)

Western Morning News 2.8.13 Bovine TB a case of mistaken identity - Sad to see weekly letters for Culls by M Ashton, J Tuck, H Capel, and weekly letters against culls from A Williams, G Forsyth, M Haines which unfortunately shed little light on the problem of persistent TB, a 40-year-old tragedy compounded by the failure of vets and “scientific” experts to grasp the two basic sources of bovine TB… by M Hancox, Stroud (letter)

Plymouth Herald 2.8.13 It's humans who are the problem – not the seagulls - IN RESPONSE to the people who have written in complaining about our seagulls, I'd suggest we are the problem, not the gulls…. STUART MUNNERY Via email (letter)

Independent 2.8.13 Pete Dorey epitomises our depressing failure to coexist with nature’s other animals because they pose a slight inconvenience to us… Kevin Mutimer, London SE6 (letter)

Burton Mail 2.8.13 Meat demand 'falling' in Foston's sausage war claim Written by HELEN KREFT - A CAMPAIGN group protesting at controversial plans for a pig farm in Foston has said there is no demand for the meat. Animal charity, Viva!, said applicants, Midland Pig Producers (MPP), should abandon plans for a giant pig farm on land adjacent to Foston prison and make vegan bangers instead, claiming latest Government agricultural figures show British pig meat consumption is falling fast… (story)

1.8.13

Bolton News 1.8.13 No shooting for George - WHAT a cruel word we live in. What a promise to give to a new grandson! I read with horror that Prince Charles wants to give shooting lessons to Prince George… D Collins Bolton (letter)

Smallholder 1.8.13 Countryside Alliance welcomes fuel rebate extension plans - The Countryside Alliance has welcomed news that the Government is to seek permission from the European Commission to extend the island fuel rebate scheme… (story)

Guardian 1.8.13 Once, the Tories understood rural Britain. Not any more - The anti-fracking protest in Balcombe is just the tip of the iceberg. All over Britain, a new countryside rebellion is brewing - John Harris Sight unseen, you would hardly have expected an explosion of rage in the West Sussex village of Balcombe… All over the country, an old story is back with a vengeance: the power of corporations and government colliding with much more human imperatives… Make no mistake: just as New Labour's London-centric prejudices fed the revolt led by the Countryside Alliance, so another rebellion is brewing, stoked by the Mail and Telegraph – and spread much wider than the hoo-hah over foxhunting, from the UK's rural wilds to the outer edges of the suburbs. Given that the left is even more metropolitan than the right, as it grows louder, supposed progressives will doubtless come out with their standard sneers, bemoaning nimbyism and condemning anyone with small "c" conservative instincts as a hopeless throwback…. (story)

Western Morning News 1.8.13 Licensed to kill? Not a single badger has been shot two months into cull - Two months into the licensing window for two pilot culls of badgers to tackle bovine TB, there’s no confirmation yet that any animals have been killed. Andy Greenwood reports on the frustrations of farmers and the continued anger of opponents… (story)

Western Daily Press 1.8.13 Clarity will help bovine TB debate - I write in reply to the Western Daily Press opinion column on July 18, headlined "Petitioners have strong support but weak argument" and the letters from J Tuck, S Freke and anyone else who tries their hardest to ridicule my points of view. I would like to ask this simple question: provide some accurate figures for farm livestock slaughter numbers… M J Haines Cirencester, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.8.13 - Taxpayer penalised by madcap project - In reply to Nigel Cole (Western Daily Press, July 22), I never claimed to be a countryside guru, I was answering Chris Rundle's point claiming people who live in or near the country would bin the Badger newsletter… A Hemtage Bridgwater, Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 22.7.13 No respect for these countryside voices - I write concerning a letter from A Heritage published in the Western Daily Press on June 18. Please can someone save us from these self opinionated countryside gurus? With A Heritage joining the likes of Forsyth, Weeks and Williams, it is just too much… I apologise to the readers who may find this letter flippant but some letters like the one from A Heritage do not earn much respect. Nigel Cole Kingston Seymour, North Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.8.13 Badger figures no basis for slaughter - I reply to the letter headlined "Badger figures can only be best guess", from SD Freke… If letter writers wish to use rubbish like this to further their indiscriminate shooting of 70 per cent of our free running badgers that is their choice. But I ask again, how can they shoot 70 per cent when they haven't the faintest idea how many there are? 70 per cent of what? Janet Hall Cirencester, Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 8.7.13 I am so glad for the skills of marksmen - I reply to the letter "Shooting is a proven method of control" (Daily Press June 26) by SD Freke. May I thank Mr Freke for assuring me that the badger-killing marksmen will be capable of placing their shots into a 4in circle at 100 metres because I will be with those of us out there when we know the shooting has started… Janet Hall Cirencester, Gloucestershire (letter)

Somerset County Gazette 1.8.13 Try vegan! Taunton's free 2013 Vegan Fair opens Saturday - THERE are many reasons to go vegan and more animal-free alternatives than ever for those wavering on making the leap. This Saturday, August 3, Taunton’s Vegan Fair comes to town, inviting residents to sample what a vegan lifestyle has to offer free of charge… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.8.13 Exeter Lord Mayor's robes to go fur-less - Two ancient Exeter ceremonial robes are set to be replaced – without real fur. It follows an appeal from animal rights campaigners, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) outlining what it said was the cruelty involved in fur production… (story)