December 2008

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31.12.08

Craven Herald 31.12.08 - Thousands turn out for traditional hunt - A record crowd turned out for the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt Boxing Day meet in Gargrave. Hunt officials, who normally predict around 3,000 people at the traditional annual meet, believe this year’s numbers exceeded 4,000, with more than 100 riders taking part in the hunt itself…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 31.12.08 Riders and followers turn out for “imitation hunts” By David Jeffels - HUNT meets attracted large crowds on Boxing Day with officials reporting some of the biggest turnouts for years. Harry Stephenson, master of the York and Ainsty, said that at Easingwold Market Place there had been “thousands” of spectators many of them visitors on coach trips… There were also big crowds at Blakey Topping, high on the North York Moors, where the Farndale held its meet and another large crowd is expected for the New Year’s Day meet at the Eskdale Hotel, Castleton. The Saltersgate, too, had a large number of foot-followers at its meet at the Fox and Rabbit Inn, Lockton, as did the Sinnington, which brought Kirkbymoorside Market Place to a standstill with 50 riders and hordes of residents and visitors… Bilsdale met at Cowesby Hall, near Thirsk, where, said master Nigel Clack, there had been “a huge turnout” with 75 mounted followers and 250 others on foot… The Middleton Hunt’s meet at Old Malton was hit by the tragedy of a horse having to be put down following an accident…. (story)

Southern Reporter 31.12.08 When the wags are out in force - Trevor Adams, master of the Buccleuch Hunt, and its foxhounds are pictured during a traditional festive season meet this week, at Muirhouselaw near Maxton… (story)

DAVID HALL
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 31.12.08 Tributes paid after Beaufort huntsman dies By Joe Ware - The hunting community is mourning the loss of farmer David Hall, 73, who broke his neck after a fall while out riding with the Duke of Beaufort Hunt… (story)
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 30.12.08 Beaufort Hunt member killed near Westonbirt after fall from horse By Tina Robins - THE hunting community is mourning the death of a member of the Beaufort Hunt who died on Saturday(DEC27) after being thrown from his horse near Westonbirt. Dairy farmer David Hall, 73, who had been a member since he was eight, broke his neck when his horse put in a stop before a fence… (story)
Telegraph 30.12.08 Farmer dies on Princes' hunt - David Hall, 73, suffered what has been described as a "freak accident" when he fell from his horse and broke his neck at Westonbirt - just a mile from the Prince of Wales' Highgrove Estate near Tetbury, Gloucestershire. Immediately after the tragedy the hunt was called off and the hounds were returned to the kennels as a mark of respect for Mr Hall, who was enjoying his 65th season with the Duke of Beaufort Hunt based at nearby Badminton… (story)
BBC News Online 30.12.08 Tribute paid to hunt fall victim - Members of the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt have paid tribute to farmer David Hall who died after being thrown from his horse during a meet…. (story)
Horse & Hound 30.12.08 Man died after fall with Beaufort hunt - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - A 73-year-old man died after a fall out hunting with the Duke of Beaufort's on Saturday (27 December). Farmer David Hall, of Badminton, who had hunted with the Beaufort for 65 years, was thrown when his horse stopped at a fence…. Joint-master Captain Ian Farquhar said: "We have lost a very popular and respected local farmer and a stalwart of the hunting community. He will be deeply missed… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 30.12.08 Hunting community in mourning - The hunting community is in mourning after a much-loved member of the Duke of Beaufort Hunt was killed when he was thrown from his horse and broke his neck…. Mr Maidment, who had known Mr Hall for 20 years, added: "My view of David was that he was a great hunter, farmer and country man. He was one of those people who would do anything for you if he could…. (story)
Western Daily Press 29.12.08 Beaufort Hunt stalwart is killed in freak accident - The hunting community is in mourning after a much-loved member of the Duke of Beaufort Hunt was killed when he was thrown from his horse and broke his neck. Farmer David Hall, 73, came off his horse in what has been described as a "freak accident" at Westonbirt, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire around 1pm on December 27. Immediately after the tragedy the hunt was called off and the hounds were returned to the kennels as a mark of respect for Mr Hall, who was enjoying his 65th season with the famous Duke of Beaufort Hunt…. (story)

Kent Courier 31.12.08 2,000 descend on Penshurst for Boxing Day hunt - AROUND 2,000 people turned out for the annual Boxing Day hunt at Penshurst this year. Members of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunt were joined by riders from as far as Haywards Heath and the Isle of Grain who followed the cavalcade of fox hounds which set out from the centre of the village… (story)

Mid Cheshire Chronicle 31.12.08 Hunters’ delight at support by Michael Green - HUNT supporters claim their activity is just as popular as ever with many hoping the Hunting Act 2004 will one day be repealed. The Cheshire Forest Hunt gathered at The Duke of Portland pub at Lach Dennis, on Boxing Day where there were about 40 riders with some 300 supporters… Followers of the Sir Watkin Williams Wynn’s Hounds, The Wynnstay Hunt, were delighted to see several hundred spectators turn out to witness the traditional Boxing Day meet at Malpas…. Richard Thomas, joint master of the Cheshire Hunt, was among about 60 riders – many wearing the traditional red jackets – out hunting near Tarporley on Boxing Day with hundreds lining the High Street to witness the spectacle… (story)

Somerset County Gazette 31.12.08 Boxing Day 'hunt' hailed a success By Lloyd Vaughan - HUNDREDS of people braved the cold in Minehead on Boxing Day to witness a tradition dating back more than 100 years. Huntsmen from Minehead Harriers and their hounds congregated outside The Beach Hotel in The Avenue for the annual Boxing Day meet – nearly four years after the hunting ban was introduced…. (story)

North Devon Journal 31.12.08 Tetcott and Torrington Boxing Day hunts - THOUSANDS of people gathered in Torrington and Holsworthy for the annual Boxing Day hunts. More than 40 mounted riders from the Tetcott Hunt gathered in Holsworthy Square joined by hundreds on foot for a trail hunt. A similar amount on horseback from Torrington Farmers' Hunt gathered in the Cavalier town, where some thousand people crowded the streets… The Torrington club presented a cheque for £1,200 to the Devon Air Ambulance they raised from a charity auction on Boxing Day (story)

Chard & Ilminster News 31.12.08 Boxing Day hunt draws the crowds - THE traditional Boxing Day hunts proved to be successful with hundreds of people lining the streets to greet huntsmen and hounds. Fore Street in Chard was packed with people as the Cotley Harriers began its annual festive hunt and it was a similar scene in the centre of Crewkerne for the Seavington Hunt. … Graham Forsyth, of the League Against Cruel Sports, was in Chard to act as a monitor to ensure huntsmen stayed within the law. “I still find it very strange that in the mists of an economic recession people will turn out and support this sport,” he said. (story)

The Sentinel 31.12.08 Over the hill and far away (PICTURES) - HUNTSMEN and their hounds were out in force for the Boxing Day hunt. Around 200 supporters turned out to back the riders who made their way from Dale Farm at Rue Hill, Cauldon Lowe. Around 15 riders took part in the three-hour event…. Pictures from the hunts in Woore and the Staffordshire Moorlands (story)

Torquay Herald Express 31.12.08 Are they above the law? I HEAR that several hunts have taken place all over the country despite the hunting ban, so do I take it that anybody anywhere can go out and break the law, or is it just these rather stupid people, who find pleasure in taking dogs out to kill poor defenceless animals, think they are above the law and can do just as they please?... JUNE RICHARDS, Southfield Avenue, Paignton (letter)

Scotsman 31.12.08 Protecting raptors - It is good to see the RSPB calling for the same legal improvements for raptors (your report, 27 December) which Animal Concern has been seeking for more than a decade. Landowners must be made legally responsible for the actions of their employees and penalties have to be increased and enforced… JOHN F ROBINS, Animal Concern, PO Box 5178, Dumbarton
Those who poison raptors must be hit where it hurts – in this case publicity and fines for the landowners concerned… WILLIAM SPEIRS, Buccleuch Street, Innerleithen (letters)

Malton & Pickering Mercury 31.12.08 Five men held over poaching - FIVE people have been arrested in connection with several poaching incidents. In one incident, Sgt Danny Spence chased a four-wheel drive Isuzu Trooper spotted in the Broughton Rise area of Malton on Christmas Eve…. (story)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 31.12.08 Uckfield animal charity celebrates bear rescue success - AN ANIMAL welfare charity from Uckfield has rescued the 500th dancing bear from the streets of India since the organisation was established. The news has been described by International Animal Rescue as a "major milestone" in the campaign to free all the dancing bears in the country and provide them with a safe haven…. Alan Knight, chief executive of IAR, said: "We are well on the way to ending the trade in dancing bears in India altogether."… (story)

Jersey Evening Post 31.12.08 Know the story of foie gras From Alexandra Egré, La Première, Neville Holt, Le Rond Collas, St Martin. ON dining out at several restaurants on the Island recently, I was both saddened and utterly appalled to find foie gras featuring on so many menus…. (story)

ANIMAL AID "SCROOGE" LETTER
Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 31.12.08 Animal gifts add to poverty - Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid (letter)
Barking & Dagenham Post 8.12.08 Animal Christmas appeal - Andrew Tyler, director, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1AW (letter)
Lancashire Telegraph 8.12.08 Animal donations not the best idea - Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid, Kent (letter)
Coventry Observer 3.12.08 SEVERAL aid charities are once again making their, by now traditional, Christmas pitch for donations to buy farmed animals for some of the world's poorest communities. At first sight, it's an uplifting idea but the reality is that such animal gifts add to rather than diminish poverty. That's because animal farming is a wasteful way of deploying limited agricultural resources… Inevitably, Animal Aid is keenly concerned about the welfare of the animals themselves. Where impoverished people cannot afford to feed and care for their animals, those animals endure extreme suffering and die - an outcome that does nothing to relieve the poverty of their owners… Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid (letter)

30.12.08

Driffield Times/Post 2.1.09 Hundreds turn out for annual Driffield Boxing Day hunt - COMMENT ON THIS STORY - SCORES of hunt supporters descended on Driffield on Boxing Day to uphold an unwavering tradition. Crowds gathered at the Driffield Showground, Kelleythorpe to watch the Middleton (East) Hunt which proved to be as popular as ever nearly four years on from the introduction of the hunting ban… (story)
Scarborough News 27.12.08 Boxing Day hunts - Hunts across the county were out in force yesterday… The Middleton Hunt gathered in Malton's Market Place and the Derwent Hunt met at The Manor at Brompton where dozens of spectators mingled with the huntsmen and women… (story)

Burton Mail 30.12.08 Hunt attracts 1,000-plus by SAMERA KHATOON - MORE than 1,000 hunting enthusiasts have gathered for an annual Boxing Day event. Members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt gathered at Blithfield Hall, near Abbots Bromley, at 10.45am on Boxing Day for the largest meet that they have hosted… (story)

Western Mail 30.12.08 Hunts out despite ban by Steve Dube, Western Mail - IT WAS described, depending on your point of view, as the death of the rural economy or an end to a barbarity unacceptable in a civilised world. But more than three years after hunting with hounds was apparently banned, the hunts were out on Boxing Day as if it had never happened…. This always was a mish-mash of a law promoted by the urban majority against the better judgment of the government of the day. It satisfied no-one, and the anti-hunt lobby is now the least satisfied of all. The only question is whether it will be repealed under a future Conservative government, replaced by a more proscriptive measure by a future Labour administration, or simply left alone, an ass of a law on an issue that’s too hot to handle (story)

Birmingham Mail 30.12.08 Consign fox hunt law to waste bin By Karren Brady - IT’S good to see that a time of international economic peril, the great British nation can still spare the effort to squabble about fox hunting…. There was never a chance that the 2004 Act would work. It has a fatal flaw the anti-hunt campaigners did not appear to spot at the time. That failing comes under the heading of “intent” which I know from experience whistles up more angry disputes than any other word in the football lexicon… I’d rather our energies were spent on making our cities work than messing about with a country tradition that, personally, I believe to be cruel to foxes but not to anything else, until a fat lady falls off her horse… (story)

Your Thanet 30.12.08 Fox hunt opponents say law is not strong enough - The fox hunting ban is being flouted and the law must be strengthened, an animal welfare campaigner from Kent has urged. John Bryant, who volunteers as a hunt monitor around the county, is a member of the campaign group Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA)…. (story)

Daily Post 30.12.08 Fox poisoning threat to pets by David Powell, Daily Post - FAMILY pets and protected bird species are being put at risk by a wave of illegal poisonings of foxes and rabbits by farmers and landowners…. The force’s dedicated wildlife officer Sergeant Rob Taylor is cracking down on a rise in the reckless use of highly dangerous poison to lace rabbit carcasses as a way to kill foxes and predatory birds, since the foxhunting with dogs ban came into force… (story)
Daily Post 30.12.08 Farming can do without yet another health scandal by Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - SIGNS of carbofuran poisoning are all too obvious in their wildlife victims: legs cocked back against bodies, talons or paws knotted into fists. Affected animals die a lingering, convulsive death. Not a nice way to go. According to Sgt Rob Taylor, cases of carbofuran poisoning are on the rise in North Wales… Most farmers insist fox numbers have risen since the 2005 ban on hunting with dogs… The Countryside Alliance claims to have growing public support for a repeal of the ban. True or not, one thing is certain: the haphazard poisoning of wildlife, foxes or not, will quickly dispel any public goodwill that does exist… (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 30.12.08 Police track down poachers in chase across fields - POLICE successfully hunted down a number of poachers during the Christmas holiday.The most dramatic incident happened on Christmas Eve when Sgt Daniel Spence spotted a 4x4 Isuzu Trooper while on patrol in the Broughton Rise area of Malton. When the occupants saw the police they made off over three fields in their vehicle. … (story)

ANIMAL AID SHOOTING LETTER
Clitheroe Advertiser & Times 30.12.08 Sorry, but your facts are wrong - CONTRARY to the opinion of animal rights activists (letters, December 18th), shooting is a force for good in the countryside. It is supported by the Government and many well respected countryside and conservation bodies…. HELEN SHUKER, Press Officer, The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 OHL (letter)
Clitheroe Advertiser & Times 18.12.08 Ring us for a free information pack - A.J. BRADLEY, Thorn Street, Clitheroe (letter)
Essex Echo 5.12.08 Bred to be shot from the sky - Every year in Britain, around 40 million pheasants and partridges are mass produced so they can be shot down by wealthy “guns”…. Priscilla Littwade, Roberts Road, Laindon (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 24.9.08 Not civilised to kill birds for fun - Mark Miley, Stanley Street, Derby. (story)
Sheffield Star 23.9.08 Dire outlook for animals - Name and address supplied (letter
Lancashire Evening Post 19.9.08 Join campaign to end bird shootings - Andrew Tyler, via email (letter)
Bromsgrove Standard 19.9.08 No place in a civilised society - Andrew Tyler, Animal Aid (letter)
Harborough Mail 18.9.08 Make a point on 'killing for fun' practice - Paul Mace, Northampton Road, Harborough. (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 18.9.08 Letter from Andrew Tyler - ANDREW TYLER Animal Aid Bradford Street Tonbridge (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.9.08 The fight against bird shooting - Andrew Tyler Animal Aid Tonbridge (letter)
Kidderminster Shuttle 17.9.08 Anti-Shooting Week - ANDREW TYLER, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge TN9 1AW (letter)
York Press 16.9.08 End this brutality - September 22 marks the start of Animal Aid’s first National Anti-Shooting Week. Every year in Britain, about 40 million pheasants and partridges are bred so that they can be shot down by wealthy “guns”. This bloody and brutal end to their lives is the final insult as from birth they are kept in cages, sheds and pens in which disease and death are a daily occurrence…. Chris Flanagan, Alma Terrace, Fulford Road, York. (letter)

Northern Echo 30.12.08 Hen harriers - ONCE again you report (Echo, Dec 22) that hen harriers are undergoing “illegal and systematic persecution” and “disruption” on grouse moors…. Should not the moor owners suffer substantial fines, rather than the gamekeepers who must obey the edicts of the owner to maximise grouse numbers, or risk losing their jobs? Eric Gendle, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough (story)

Independent 30.12.08 Forgotten toll of horse-racing - Chris McGrath's interview with top jockey Ruby Walsh (23 December) graphically illustrated the risk of injury for professional riders. He failed, however, to mention that around 420 horses are raced to death every year… Fiona Pereira, Campaigner, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent (story)

South Wales Evening Post 30.12.08 Badger baiting fear for city sett - THERE are fears badger baiting may be returning to Swansea. A member of the Glamorgan Badger Group says he believes he disturbed men preparing to dig out a badger sett in the north of the county…. Rob Hughes warned people not to approach anyone they believed to be disturbing a badger sett, but rather to report sightings to the police… (story)

29.12.08

Wiltshire Times 29.12.08 Thousands attend village hunt By Katie Adams - THOUSANDS made their way to Lacock to witness the spectacle of horses, riders, hounds, and an eagle owl called Olga in the village on Boxing Day. The Avon Vale Hunt met at 11am and before riders took off over the fields the hunt made a presentation to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance in the form of a cheque for £2,000… (story)
Wiltshire Times 25.12.08 Thousands to decend on village for Boxing Day hunt By Katie Adams - THOUSANDS of people are expected to attend the Avon Vale boxing day hunt meet in Lacock this year… (story)

Rutland Times 29.12.08 'Overwhelming' turnout for Cottesmore Hunt - More than 2,000 people showed up for the Cottesmore Hunt which took place on Boxing Day… (story)

Sussex Express 29.12.08 GALLERY: Boxing Day Hunt - PEOPLE lined Lewes High Street six deep from the White Hart to Shelley's Hotel for the Southdown and Eridge Hunt's Boxing Day meet - the biggest day in the hunting calendar… (story)
Rye & Battle Observer 26.12.08 Crowds line streets for annual hunt - About 50 people have taken part in the Southdown and Eridge Boxing Day Hunt in Sussex, the Countryside Alliance said. More than 800 people lined the streets to witness the hunt as it set off from Lewes and spokeswoman claimed no protesters had disrupted the event... (story)
Argus 26.12.08 No protests at Boxing Day hunt in Lewes - Hundreds of supporters turned out to cheer their local hunt at its traditional Boxing Day meet in Lewes. There were no signs of protesters as the South Downs and Eridge Hunt gathered outside the White Hart Hotel today…. (story)

Kent Messenger 29.12.08 Kent Messenger 29.12.08 Hunting Act repeal 'inevitable' say supporters by Gerry Warren - Hunt supporters claim that a repeal of the Hunting Act is now inevitable. Countryside Alliance member and spokesman for the East Kent Hunt, Nick Onslow, was speaking after hundreds of people attended the Boxing Day meet in Elham… (story)

Cornish Guardian 29.12.08 Big crowd turns out for Boxing Day hunt - A LARGE crowd turned out to support North Cornwall Hunt's traditional Boxing Day meet in Camelford…. (story)

Essex Chronicle 29.12.08 No protesters at hunt event - MORE than a thousand supporters gathered at Galleywood Common for the traditional Boxing Day hunt, and for the first time in years no saboteurs turned up to protest. The 10 mile square event, which began beside the Horse and Groom pub in Galleywood, was again organised by the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt… (story)

Central Somerset Gazette 29.12.08 Boxing Day tradition - The Mendip Farmers Hunt gathered on Priddy Green on Boxing Day in the traditional fashion, led by hunt master Richard Standing…. For pictures on the Weston and Banwell Harriers Boxing Day Hunt turn over to page 8 (story)

Bucks Herald 29.12.08 Countryside enthusiasts answer the bugle horn's call in the Vale By Richard Hartley-Parkinson - BOXING day hunts in the Vale proved to be more popular than ever before over the Christmas period…. Miles Hewitt, a secretary for the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt, said: "It was very successful again this year with 116 people out mounted and about 2,500 people there from the general public…. (story)

Scotsman 29.12.08 Whatever their game, uncertainty is all farmers can count on in 2009 By Dan Buglass - …IDETECTED an increasing divide between town and country, similar to what is happening here in Scotland. The most obvious manifestation of this was an estimated 300,000 people turning out on Boxing Day to support meets of foxhounds in England. The law in Scotland, which banned hunting, is generally agreed to be one of the most flawed items of legislation passed by Holyrood, but the corresponding statute in England appears even worse… . I used to enjoy shooting, but lately have become more ambivalent on this topic. My concern relates to the rearing of vast numbers of pheasants which are released from their pens to be later blasted at by parties who pay considerable sums of money for this so-called pleasure. To me this is not sport as I like to call it… (story)

Independent 29.12.08 More and more futile laws - I see from the papers that some 300,000 people broke the law over Christmas and took part in fox-hunting… We have a government which is increasingly making laws that don't stick. How can we have faith in a governing system which, instead of properly policing laws that have stood the test of time, goes on and on making new and often poorly thought-through legislation. Tim Lawson, Cheam, Surrey (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.12.08 Hounds that run amok - It is wrong to say the Hunting Act of 2004 is in disarray…. If the hunt doesn't know how to train its charges to a different scent it should contact people who are experts in their field who train scent dogs professionally… Name and address supplied (letter)

Horse & Hound 29.12.08 Court date for Clarissa Dickson Wright and Sir Mark Prescott - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - TV cook Clarissa Dickson Wright and racehorse trainer Sir Mark Prescott will appear at Scarborough Magistrates Court in August to face charges of hunting with dogs and attending a hare coursing event…. (story)
Scarborough Evening News 23.12.08 Clarissa given hare-coursing trial date By Paul Derrick - A TRIAL date has been fixed for celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright and racehorse trainer Sir Mark Prescott, who face charges relating to alleged involvement in a hare coursing event…. The private prosecution was brought by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The case will be heard on August 24…. Five other people are also being prosecuted for similar offences by the Crown Prosecution Service. They are Miles Henry Easterby, 79, of Great Habton in Malton, Andrew Lund-Watkinson, 58, of Newton-on-Rawcliffe near Pick-ering, John Shaw, 55, of Welburn in Kirkbymoorside, Jacqueline Ann Teal, 43, of Scarborough Road in Norton and Elizabeth Margaret Gibson, 45, of Appleton-le-Street in Malton. Their case will be heard on July 27…. (story)

Scotsman 29.12.08 Birds and hypocrisy - With regard to your report "Scandal as raptor killers beat justice" (28 December) I find the RSPB's position extremely hypocritical. The society makes a great play about raptors being killed but encourages the shooting industry by having shooting tenants on its reserves…. ANGUS MacMILLAN, Meikle Boturich, near Balloch, Dunbartonshire (letter)

Yorkshire Post 29.12.08 Hen harrier propaganda - From: Alasdair Mitchell, The National Gamekeepers' Organsiation, Bishop Auckland. CONTRARY to Natural England's propaganda about hen harriers (Yorkshire Post, December 22), these birds are not rare or endangered. Instead, their UK population has risen by 30 per cent over the past 15 years… (story)

Northern Echo 29.12.08 When you’re hooked... Sir Ian Botham, cricketer, fundraiser, and, when he has spare time, fisherman, talks to Owen Amos about his passion, why it isn’t cruel, and why parents could do worse than give their children a rod and some bait. (story)

Scottish Herald 29.12.08 Pressure on ministers to ban seal-shooting - A Green MSP has demanded an emergency ban on the shooting of common seals to try to halt an "alarming" drop in their population. Robin Harper wants ministers to ban the practice and bolster seal protection in line with the forthcoming Marine Bill he plans to introduce in the Scottish Parliament…. (story)

Watford Observer 29.12.08 Vegan hopeful wins competition By Paola Dellafiora - A wannabe vegan from Watford has won a national competition to help kick-start her efforts. Vegetarian Julia Ireland, 25, of Cassiobury Park Avenue, won a hamper full of vegan goodies after entering Animal Aid’s competition…. (story)

South Wales Echo 29.12.08 Killing badgers won’t stop TB - THE Scottish Government has just granted outline planning permission for the development of a golf course and resort development by Trump International on the Aberdeenshire coast… There is also a requirement for a management plan to protect badgers. I believe there is a significant cattle farming industry in Scotland. Yet their government seeks to protect badgers, whereas ours is going to slaughter them… Paul SeligmanFairways Crescent, Cardiff (story)

28.12.08

Knutsford Guardian 28.12.08 Youngsters are being trained to hunt at Over Peover-based kennels - DOZENS of youngsters are being trained to hunt. Richard de Prez, joint master of the Cheshire Forest Hunt, said the group was becoming increasingly popular with children. “There are a lot of new young people,” he said. “Certainly they have brought in a lot of their friends who have joined recently.”… (story)

Lancashire Telegraph 28.12.08 Tally ho - the Holcombe Hunt sets off again - HORSES and hounds charged off on the annual Boxing Day hunt. Hundreds of spectators turned out at Rivington Hall Barn in the sun to watch the start of the Holcombe hunt…. (story)
Bolton News 27.12.08 Great day for hunt By Amanda Smith - HORSES and hounds charged off on the annual Boxing Day hunt. Hundreds of spectators turned out at Rivington Hall Barn in the sun to watch the start of the Holcombe Hunt…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 28.12.08 Record number out for Boxing Day hunt - A record 300,000 people turned out to support Boxing Day hunts as hopes grow for the law banning the blood sport to be overturned this year By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - Hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales four years ago and in Scotland seven years ago. But on the most important day of the year for hunting, more than 300 hunts were out across the country… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 28.12.08 Foxhunting: Hounded out but riding high - The law may forbid the killing of fox by hound, but Boxing Day meets have never been so popular. David Harrison discovers a new breed of hunting enthusiasts at a festive chase By David Harrison - The Duke of Portland pub in rural Cheshire was doing a roaring trade. More than 300 supporters who had gathered to follow the Cheshire Forest Hunt were enjoying mince pies and a stirrup cup of mulled wine, port or best bitter in the early-morning Boxing Day sunshine…. (story)

Sunday Times 28.12.08 Briefing: Hunting; hunters scent blood - Record numbers turned out on Boxing Day to follow many revived hunts, despite the law that came into effect in 2005. Where does this leave the ban? - Holly Watt - Last week the government’s ban on hunting, which came into force in 2005, seemed increasingly in disrepute as hundreds of hunts around Britain met on Boxing Day… (story)

Sunday Times 28.12.08 Free speech for a tyrant – how very Channel 4 - Rod Liddle - Taking us for a ride again - Tally-ho! There is no finer sight on a Boxing Day morning than right-wing people on horseback not hunting foxes. A record number of these people turned out to not hunt foxes this year, apparently. Some availed themselves of loopholes in the law that allow you to kick a fox to death, or punch it repeatedly on the snout or indeed put it up against a wall and shoot it… (story)

Sunday Times 28.12.08 All passion misspent: when teen rebels go to extremes - Daisy Goodwin - I wonder how many parents of idealistic children shuddered over their mince pies when they heard the story of 20-year-old Gerrah Selby, the attractive middle-class girl who fell in with Greg Avery, evangelical leader of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). .. Selby is now awaiting sentence for blackmail and, whatever you think of the ALF and its methods, it seems a terrible waste of a life that had just begun… I have a 17-year-old daughter who has been a vegan since the age of 12 in a family of carnivores, a child who likes to turn the water off to save the planet while you are brushing your teeth. Her idea of a good Saturday afternoon is not browsing the rails of Top-shop but protesting against the building of Siena airport…. She would rather starve than eat at McDonald’s and while she doesn't believe in God she knows that Jeremy Clarkson is the devil incarnate…. (story)

HARRODS FUR PROTEST
Mail on Sunday 28.12.08 Katherine Jenkins faces screaming fur protesters at Harrods - Katherine Jenkins faces screaming fur protesters at Harrods… (story)
Wales on Sunday 28.12.08 Katherine Jenkins booed by anti-fur campaigners by Ben Glaze, Wales On Sunday - KATHERINE Jenkins faced a torrent of abuse yesterday as she arrived to launch Harrods’ world-famous sale…. (story)
South Wales Evening Post 27.12.08 Katherine Jenkins booed by animal rights campaigners as she opens Harrods sale - CLASSICAL music star Katherine Jenkins ignored boos from animal rights campaigners today as she joined thousands of bargain-hunters at Harrods' winter sale. Anti-fur protesters screamed "shame on Katherine" as the Neath-born mezzo soprano arrived at the historic Knightsbridge store by horse-drawn carriage. But the shouts were soon drowned out as shoppers – who had been waiting since midnight – fought their way in…. Campaigner John Wilson, from the Coalition to Abolish Fur Trade, said: "We are gathered here today because of our disgust at Ms Jenkins who professes to be against animal cruelty and the fur trade… (story)
BBC News Online 27.12.08 Boos as singer opens Harrods sale - Anti-fur campaigners booed opera singer Katherine Jenkins as she arrived at Harrods to open its winter sale…. Campaigner John Wilson, from the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, said: "We are gathered here today because of our disgust at Ms Jenkins who professes to be against animal cruelty and the fur trade."… She told reporters: "Personally I do not eat meat or wear fur, but people are entitled to their opinions."… (story)
Western Mail 27.12.08 Katherine booed at Harrods' sale opening - KATHERINE Jenkins arrived at Harrods to a chorus of boos today as dozens of anti-fur campaigners protested against the Welsh singer’s decision to open the store’s winter sale…. (story)

27.12.08

Carlisle News & Star 27.12.08 Hundreds of hunt followers turn out for Boxing Day events By Pamela McGowan - Hunt followers came out in their hundreds yesterday to support the county’s traditional Boxing Day meetings amid fresh debate over the controversial fox hunting ban… Many of those who gathered at the Royal Oak in Welton for Cumberland Farmers Foxhound Hunt yesterday spoke of their optimism that the ban would soon be repealed… (story)

Shropshire Star 27.12.08 Crowds line streets for hunts - Huge crowds lined the streets in towns and villages across Shropshire and Mid Wales for the traditional Boxing Day hunts – with a number of events experiencing the biggest turnout in years…. Mrs Griffiths, who has supported Ludlow Hunt for more than five decades, said: “The support that we get is fantastic…. Crowds gathered for other hunt meetings in the county, including the Albrighton Hunt which met at St Mary’s Street in Newport with people lining the streets to wave the huntsmen off. Supporters also turned out in force for the North Shropshire Hunt which left from the Bear Hotel at Hodnet, and the David Davies Hunt at Llanidloes. Record numbers took part in the Tanatside event, watched by between 2,000 and 3,000 spectators as they travelled into Welshpool town centre…. (story)

Guardian 27.12.08 As riders and saboteurs gather for Boxing Day, both sides ask: what hunting ban? - John Vidal, environment editor - It could have been 1908. The Surrey Union hunt, all scarlets and dark blues in the crisp winter frost, was meeting for its traditional Boxing Day hunt at the Punchbowl Inn at Oakwoodhill… "It's deja vu," said Jo, one of the saboteurs. "We only come here to monitor the hunt and make sure it's legal, but we are endlessly harassed and photographed ourselves… (story)

Telegraph 27.12.08 Record number out for Boxing Day hunt - A record 300,000 people turned out to support Boxing Day hunts as hopes grow for the law banning the blood sport to be overturned this year. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - Hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales four years ago and in Scotland seven years ago…. (story)

Express 27.12.08 300,000 OUTFOX THE HUNT BAN By Nick Fagge - Over 300,000 turned out for Boxing Day hunts yesterday fuelling fresh calls for the controversial ban to be over-turned…. (story)

Sun 27.12.08 Tally-ho-ho-ho - A FOX-HUNTER dressed as Santa leads the way as more than 300,000 people turn out at traditional Boxing Day meets. Organisers in Ludlow, Shropshire, claimed the number of supporters proved growing public backing to repeal the Hunting Act which banned using hounds to chase foxes… (story)

Mirror 27.12.08 With Britain fighting recession, Cameron decides his policy priority is fox hunting By Jason Beattie Deputy Political Editor - Hunters gather for a meet yesterday - as David Cameron plans to make legalising the bloodsport his goal for 2009. The pro-hunting Tory leader has set up a party committee to campaign to overturn the current ban…. Among more than 300 Boxing Day hunt meets in the UK and Ireland yesterday were the Vale in Lacock, Wilts, featuring Tory MP James Gray, and the South Union hunt in Carrigaline, Co Cork (story)

Times 27.12.08 Hunt supporters scent a shift in mood - WILL PAVIA - Beneath crisp blue skies, huge numbers of people turned out to support hunts across Britain, campaigners said yesterday… On the fourth Boxing Day hunt since the ban was imposed in Parliament, about 6,000 people attended one gathering in Chipping Norton, near Oxford. Tim Bonner, of the Countryside Alliance, said: “The master of the hunt there reported that this was the largest crowd he had seen in 35 years.” Gerald Sumner, huntsman of the Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt, said: “We had a couple of thousand people on Cholesbury Common…. Mr Bonner, who attended the Quorn Hunt, near Loughbrough, in Leicestershire, said a crowd of 4,000 spectators had turned out to watch 120 riders set off across the fields…. (story)

Times 27.12.08 Hunting thrives, but red coats are a casualty - Valerie Elliott: Analysis - The huntsman’s red coat – a totemic image of hunting for more than 200 years – is one of the main casualties of the sport since the hunting ban came into force four years ago. Many hunts have decided to abandon their scarlet (known as pink) jackets in favour of tweed or dark coats in an attempt to be less conspicuous and avoid scrutiny. The Wynnstay Hunt in Cheshire, for example, showed off their new green tweed hunting coats when riding out this week… (story)

Glasgow Herald 27.12.08 300,000 turnout claimed at Boxing Day hunts - ALISON CHIESA - Fox hunters yesterday claimed more than 300,000 turned up at their traditional Boxing Day hunts across the country - and claimed it was evidence of growing public support… photo: FOXING DAY: The Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire hunt in Houston, one of 300 events estimated to have taken place across the UK yesterday (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.12.08 Devon hunts maintain tradition - HUNTSMEN, their supporters and even tourists turned out in droves to support Woodbury's Boxing Day tradition. The East Devon Hunt meet took place yesterday at Woodbury Castle, on Woodbury Common, with around 60 horses… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo (Western Morning News) 27.12.08 'We'll hunt within the law' - WESTCOUNTRY huntsmen and women and their supporters turned out in their thousands across the region yesterday for the traditional Boxing Day hunts…. In Chagford, Dartmoor, hundreds of supporters of the Mid Devon Hunt turned out in the crisp morning air to see off the riders and the hounds…. The East Devon Hunt met yesterday at Woodbury Castle, on Woodbury Common, with about 60 horsemen and women…. Dozens of people turned out as the West Somerset Vale hunt gathered in Nether Stowey, on the edge of the Quantock Hills, bringing the centre of the village to a standstill at The Cross as supporters cheered the hunters on their way. The massive turnout at Cornwall's Western Hunt was testament to its growing popularity in the face of the hunting ban, according to huntsmen… (story)

Manchester Evening News 27.12.08 Hundreds turn out for hunts - Paul Britton - HUNDREDS of spectators gathered to watch the Holcombe Hunt. Huge crowds flocked to Rivington Hall Barn, near Bolton, as horses and hounds charged off on the annual Boxing Day hunt. The sound of hunting horns pierced the air as more than 50 riders set off to follow a 12-mile, pre-laid scent trail. Scenes were repeated at the Cheshire Hunt in Tarporley and Nantwich…. (story)

Cambridge News 27.12.08 Big turnout for hunt - A thousand supporters turned out for Cambridgeshire's traditional Boxing Day hunt. The Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace Hunt rode out for the third Boxing Day since the blood sport was banned… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 27.12.08 Hundreds turn out to support the hunt - Norfolk's hunting set claim strong support has helped them outfox MPs and stay in the saddle despite efforts to ban bloodsports…. One of the largest in East Anglia was the West Norfolk Foxhounds meet at Fakenham Racecourse, where hundreds of supporters gathered in the sunshine to see riders and hounds set off…. Warming tots of stirrup cup, Christmas cake and mince pies were handed out to supporters when the Dunston Harriers met at Wymondham… There was also applause in Bungay, as the Waveney Harriers met in the town centre for a stirrup cup outside the King's Head, before setting off in pursuit of a false trail… (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 27.12.08 Crowds turn out in support of hunts - THOUSANDS of people from across the region turned out in force in support of the traditional Boxing Day hunts…. At Hadleigh, near Ipswich, hundreds of spectators gathered in the field opposite Tinkers Lane to watch the Essex and Suffolk Hunt ride out…. The Essex Farmers' And Union Hunt also held its regular meet at Galleywood Common next to the Horse and Groom pub… There were also crowds to welcome the Waveney Harriers hunt, who met in Bungay for the traditional meet…. (story)

Liverpool Daily Post 27.12.08 A-hunting we still go as tradition beats ban by Ben Schofield - SCORES of riders donned red coats and set off across the countryside yesterday as part of the traditional Boxing Day hunts. More than 50 riders took part in the Cheshire Forest Boxing Day Hunt, monitored by anti-fox hunting activists…. Jan Young, who runs the North West League Against Cruel Sports, confirmed the Cheshire Forest Hunt was monitored by her members… “We just mingle with everybody, listen to what’s being said, follow the hunt around and be like normal followers.”… (story)

Portsmouth News 27.12.08 Tally ho! Hunt enthusiasts get up head of steam - THOUSANDS of people turned out to watch the traditional Hursley Hambledon Hunt. The Boxing Day hunt has been a regular feature in the hunt calendar for more than 200 years and its popularity amongst the spectators shows no signs of stopping…. (story)

Birmingham Post 27.12.08 Riders turn out in force for Midlands pro-hunting meets by Alison Dayani - THE cry of Tally Ho! echoed strongly across the Midlands as thousands of pro-hunt supporters turned out for Boxing Day meets… At Hagley Hall, in Hagley, more than 100 riders on horseback and nearly 1,500 following on foot attended a meet hosted by Lord Cobham…. (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 27.12.08 Boxing Day fox hunts by Neil Atkinson - FOX hunters claimed more than 300,000 people turned up at their traditional Boxing Day hunts, saying this was evidence of growing public support… In Huddersfield about 70 members of the Rockwood Hunt rode out from The George in Upper Denby, keeping alive a tradition dating back well over as century…. (story)

Carlisle News & Star 27.12.08 Hunting still a key rural issue - Whether hunters gathering for Boxing Day meets was a show of traditional pomp or defiance, one thing is for sure – this controversial bloodsport seems forever set to stain politics… At the same time hunts claim they are still hunting within the law and are attracting record support. If this is true, it begs the question why they want a repeal of the Hunting Act. But then Peter Wybergh, master of the Cumberland Farmers Foxhound Hunt, did say: “The truth is that everyone here would still rather be hunting foxes than trail hunting.”… (story)

Northern Echo 27.12.08 Saddling up for a Boxing Day tradition By Rachel Wearmouth - HUNTERS and their hounds took to the countryside for the traditional Boxing Day meet…. About 70 riders met for mulled wine at the Queen’s Head, in Lanchester, County Durham, before trail-hunting in the surrounding area with 33 hounds. Alan Chapman, master of the hunt, said: “We had a very good turnout in Lanchester and a very good turnout from locals as well, and we’ve had a lovely day out…. In Northallerton, North Yorkshire, 400 people watched the Hurworth Hunt gather in the High Street, outside the Golden Lion pub… About 70 riders with the South Durham Hunt set out from The Talbot Inn in Bishopton, near Darlington, yesterday…. (story)

Irish Independent 27.12.08 Controversial hunts pass off peacefully By Stephen O'Farrell - THE controversial St Stephen's Day hunts passed off peacefully yesterday as protesters stayed away from the major runs around the country… Ward Union Hunt committee member Declan Brooks said the day had been a success: "It was a pleasant day and nothing unusual about it…. In Killarney, the Malton Cup for best rider in the Kingdom Hunt was awarded to Helen Barrett from Scartaglin… (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 27.12.08 Hunters claim support growing By Pat Hurst and Hugh Macknight - Fox hunters said more than 300,000 people turned up for the traditional Boxing Day outings – claiming it was evidence of growing public support for their sport…. The biggest single gathering was an estimated 6,000 people for the Heythrop Hunt at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire… (story)

Dorset Echo 27.12.08 Dorset hunts gather for Boxing Day - WITH a cry of ‘Tally Ho’ riders in their hunting pinks set off with their hounds at Boxing Day meets in Dorset… The South Dorset Hunt set off from the Blue Vinney pub in Puddletown while members of the Portman Hunt assembled outside The Crown at Blandford… (story)

Northampton Evening Telegraph 27.12.08 Thousands turn out to see annual Boxing Day hunt By Will Ockendon - The centre of Brigstock was filled with people, hounds and horses as they gathered in preparation for the start of the 134-year-old Woodland Pytchley Hunt yesterday…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 27.12.08 'Houndreds' turn out for Boxing Day hunts - HUNDREDS turned out to see the spectacle of the Boxing Day hunts in Brocklesby and Louth…. Led by the Earl of Yarborough, the hunt in Brocklesby has been taking place on his family's estate for more than 400 years… In Louth, South Wold hunt master Nick Ashcroft said: "This is the 151st year we have had the Boxing Day hunt…. (story)

Scottish Sunday Herald 27.12.08 Alan Taylor's diary - ON Boxing Day tens of thousands of people forsook the sales and attended hunts in the hope of seeing a wee fox torn to shreds by rabid dogs, with lethal teeth, trained to kill for fun. The Countryside Alliance - the hunt lobby - counts among its members Bryan Ferry's loutish son Otis, who is currently in the clink awaiting trial for being a bad boy. Not all hunt followers are like Otis: some are much worse…. (story)

MICHAEL SLATER
The Sentinel 27.12.08 Hunt remembers tragic rider (PICTURES) - MORE than a thousand supporters at an annual hunt honoured the memory of a rider who took part for more than a decade before a tragic accident. Michael Slater, from Pipe Gate near Woore, died on February 2 after he fell from his horse during a legal hunt at Norton-in-Hales…. Farmers, business owners and the public met in Woore yesterday for the first North Staffordshire Hunt since his death. All proceeds went to the County Air Ambulance which airlifted Mr Slater to hospital… (story)
The Sentinel 29.11.08 Hunt rider's fall was 'devastating' - AN EXPERIENCED horse rider died of a heart attack four days after falling from his mount during a hunt, an inquest heard. Michael Slater was taking part in a trail hunt on his 15-year-old horse Solomon when they took a wire fence but landed unsteadily… (story)
Horse & Hound 27.2.08 North Staffordshire Hunt donates £7,500 to Air Ambulance - Abigail Butcher, H&H news editor - The North Staffordshire Hunt has donated £7,500 to the County Air Ambulance. The hunt's commitment the Air Ambulance service — funded entirely on donations — is in part due to the recent death of Mike Slater... (story)
The Sentinel 20.2.08 HORSERIDER'S FUNERAL IS CELEBRATION OF LIFE - PHIL CORRIGAN - A village was brought to a standstill as friends and family paid their last respects to a popular and well-loved riding enthusiast. Hundreds turned out in Woore yesterday for the funeral of Mike Slater, who died earlier in the month following a hunting accident... Mr Slater had been involved in another serious riding accident in 2003, but subsequently made a full recovery. He and his friends in the North Staffordshire Hunt went on to take part in numerous fund-raising activities for the County Air Ambulance. Donations received at the funeral will be split between the charity and the North Staffordshire Hunt... (story)
Shropshire Star 20.2.08 Village in tribute to huntsman - Hundreds of mourners packed out a village church to say goodbye to a Shropshire man who died after a horse riding accident. Crowds gathered at St Leonard’s Church in Woore yesterday, lining the churchyard and road alongside it, for the funeral of Mike Slater, 49, of Aston, near Market Drayton... (story)
Horse & Hound 13.2.08 Hounds from the North Staffordshire hunt to attend funeral of Mike Slater - Abigail Butcher, H&H news editor - Horses and hounds will appear at the funeral of North Staffordshire hunt regular Mike Slater. Mike, 49, died last week from injuries sustained in a hunting fall near Market Drayton, Shropshire, on Saturday, 2 February. His funeral will take place at St Leonard's in Woore, Staffordshire, at 11am on Tuesday, 19 February and is expected to draw a large number of people... (story)
Horse & Hound 8.2.08 Man dies after fall while out with the North Staffordshire hunt - Abigail Butcher, H&H news editor - Mike Slater, 49, has died from injuries sustained in a hunting fall last weekend. He was airlifted to hospital last Saturday, 2 February, after sustaining spinal injuries when falling from his horse. At the time, Mr Slater was following the North Staffordshire hunt, of which he was a member... (story)
Shropshire Star 8.2.08 Horse fall man, 48, dies - A man has died following a horse riding accident in Shropshire. Mike Slater, from Aston, near Market Drayton, was airlifted to hospital after he came off his horse during a hunt on Saturday. The 48-year-old later died from further complications. He had been on a legal trail with the North Staffordshire Hunt, of which he was a member... (story)
The Sentinel 8.2.08 TRIBUTES PAID TO TRAGIC HORSE RIDER - PHIL CORRIGAN - Friends and family have paid tribute to a riding enthusiast who died after a hunting accident. Mike Slater died after falling from his horse at Norton-in-Hales, in North Shropshire, on Saturday morning, while he was taking part in a legal trail hunt. The 49-year-old suffered a serious spinal injury in the fall, and was airlifted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.... (story)
The Sentinel 8.2.08 HORSE RIDER DIES AFTER FALL - A Riding enthusiast has died after falling from his horse.Mike Slater died four days after the fall in Norton-in-Hales, North Shropshire, on Saturday morning.... (story)
BBC News Online 7.2.08 Rider, 49, dies after hunt fall - A Shropshire man who fell from his horse while out on a hunt has died in hospital four days after the accident. Mike Slater, 49, was airlifted to hospital with a spinal injury after the accident in Norton in Hales, Market Drayton, on Saturday. He was riding on a legal trail hunt with the North Staffordshire Hunt, his family and friends said in a statement.... (story)

Daily Record 27.12.08 Royal Family spend Boxing Day oh pheasant shoot - THE Royal Family went on a traditional Boxing Day shoot - out of sight of photographers. Several Royals, believed to be led by Prince Philip, blasted pheasants on Sandringham estate in Norfolk…. Animal Aid boss Andrew Tyler said: "It seems the Royals have got the message."…. (story)

Independent 27.12.08 Zoos do not help to conserve pandas - Gordon Brown may be giving his backing to Edinburgh Zoo displaying giant pandas, but it certainly will not save this endangered species from extinction… Craig Redmond, Campaigns Director The Captive Animals' Protection Society Manchester (letter)

26.12.08

Hereford Times 26.12.08 Crowds turn out for Herefordshire fox hunts By Ian Morris - THOUSANDS have gathered in Herefordshire’s market towns and villages to support the Boxing Day hunts. On a sunny winter’s morning a crowd of around 500 met outside the Tump Inn in Wormelow to cheer on the South Herefordshire Hunt…. (story)

Hexham Courant 2.1.09 Hundreds flock to Boxing Day hunt spectacle - HUNDREDS of people headed for Corbridge on Friday for the annual Boxing Day gathering of members of the Tynedale Hunt…. (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.08 Thousands attend Boxing Day hunts - The traditional Boxing Day hunts have been taking place across Kent, Sussex and Surrey…. At the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, huntsman Mark Bycroft said the support was for "something that should never have been banned"…. At the Southdown and Eridge Hunt, which took place in Lewes, East Sussex, the hunts' Master spoke of hunting being a representation of "community, and sense of pride in heritage and everything that makes this country great"…. (story)

Times 26.12.08 Tories get ready for a repeal of foxhunting ban - VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - A tribunal to deal with any wrongdoing by huntsmen and women would be set up if the law that prohibits hunting with hounds were repealed under a Conservative government. It would have the power to fine, suspend and even ban people from taking part if they were found to have broken the rules or brought hunting into disrepute… The plan, which is still being finalised, has been drawn up by a “repeal committee” of hunting chiefs and parliamentarians, chaired by the Conservative MP Edward Garnier, QC…. (story)

Express 26.12.08 HUNT SUPPORTERS HAIL BOXING DAY CROWDS By Julia White for express.co.uk - FOX hunters today claimed more than 300,000 turned up at their traditional Boxing Day hunts - saying it is evidence of growing public support…. (story)

Express 26.12.08 BOXING DAY HUNTING BATTLE RAGES - The battle lines will be drawn as hunters and anti-hunt campaigners converge in the countryside across Britain for the traditional Boxing Day meets…. (story)

Independent 26.12.08 Hunters outfox their opponents - More than 300 hunts, including stag hunts and 194 fox hunts with packs of dogs, will be riding to hounds today, four years after the Act that banned the hunting of wild mammals with dogs came into force… (story)

Independent 26.12.08 The big question: Has the hunting ban really changed anything, or should the law be redrawn? Why are we asking this now? Today, to the cry of "Tally Ho!" and a blast of the horn, more than a quarter of a million people will ride out on the biggest day in the hunting calendar… Isn't all this supposed to have been banned? People on both sides of the argument certainly used to think so… (story)

Yorkshire Post 26.12.08 Harry Stephenson: The only victims of hunt ban are the foxes - BOXING Day "meets" happen all over the country, with approximately 300 taking place on this special day…. Since the ban introduced by this Labour government in 2004, membership of all hunts has increased, and no hunts have folded. Two new hunts have even been started up…. The sad thing is that the one to suffer the worst due to the ban is the fox himself. Hunting a fox with hounds was by far the most humane way of managing the fox population…. Harry Stephenson is joint master of the York and Ainsty South Hunt. (story)

Bolton News 26.12.08 Boxing Day hunt ready for the off - A HUNT is being held at Rivington today. The traditional Holcombe Hunt is held every Boxing Day and attracts hundreds of people… (story)
Bolton News 26.12.08 Tally ho - the Holcombe Hunt sets off again - HORSES and hounds charged off on the annual Boxing Day hunt. Hundreds of spectators turned out at Rivington Hall Barn in the sun to watch the start of the Holcombe hunt. The riders, wearing traditional red coats, galloped past the crowd before setting off… (story)

York Press 26.12.08 The hunts ride out - HUNTS are gathering across the county today for the traditional Boxing Day meeting… The Middleton Hunt will be having its traditional meet at Malton Market Place at 11am before moving on to Old Malton. It also holds a meet at the same time at Driffield Showground. The Saltersgate Farmers’ Hunt will be at the Fox & Rabbit pub at Lockton, near Pickering, at 10.45am while the Derwent Hunt will meet at the Manor House, Brompton at 11am…. (story)

Sky 26.12.08 Hundreds Of Boxing Day Hunts On - Hundreds of Boxing Day hunts are taking place across the country, nearly four years after the hunting ban came into effect…. Meanwhile, more than 7,700 people have backed a new petition to support the repeal of the Hunting Act, according to the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Rye & Battle Observer 26.12.08 East Sussex Hunt sets off from Battle - MORE than 1,000 people were expected in Battle today for the traditional Boxing Day gathering of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 26.12.08 Boxing Day Hunts ride out - The battle lines will be drawn today as hunters and anti-hunt campaigners converge in the countryside across Britain for the traditional Boxing Day meets. The Berkeley Hunt was due to meet in Thornbury today and the Beaufort Hunt was meeting in Didmarton. The Ledbury Hunt was also due to ride out this morning…. (story)

Shropshire Star 26.12.08 Hunt supporters out in force - Hundreds of hunt supporters revived some of the UK’s oldest traditions and turned out in force today for outings across Shropshire and Mid Wales… However, Ann Carding, huntmaster of the North Shropshire Hunt, which left from the Bear Hotel at Hodnet at 11am, said she did not anticipate any problems… The Albrighton Hunt met at St Mary’s Street in Newport with riders due to head out at 11am. It was followed by a parade by the Newport Carriage Driving Group. Hunts were also taking place in Mid Wales today including The Tanantside Hunt, meeting in Welshpool town centre, and the David Davies Hunt at Llanidloes…. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 26.12.08 Campaigners call for end to hunting ban - CRAIG ROBINSON - COUNTRYSIDE campaigners have renewed their calls for the hunting ban to be overturned - as police admitted the legislation was difficult to enforce… James Buckle, one of the masters of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt, said since the law had been introduced more and more people were turning out to support the meetings….. Pc Mark Bryant, who is in charge of all hunt-related work at Suffolk Constabulary, admitted the law had caused confusion… (story)

26.12.08 Record crowds support local hunt - About 6,000 people attended the Boxing Day hunt in Oxfordshire - the biggest number for 35 years, according to the Couuntryside Alliance. The hunt meets at Heythrop in Chipping Norton in the county….. (story)

Daily Mail 26.12.08 Record 300,000 take part in traditional Boxing Day hunts making a mockery of the ban By Andrew Levy - Record numbers turned out for the Boxing Day hunts yesterday - adding fresh fuel to criticisms of the 'ban' introduced under Labour…. (photos of Ashford Valley, Fernie, Albrighton Woodland, Bicester, Avon Vale) (story)

Oxford Mail 26.12.08 Hunt meet attracts crowds - The historic Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase attracted a record number of spectators at its traditional Boxing Day meet today… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 26.12.08 More than 1000 turn out for New Forest hunt - Calls increased for a review of the hunting ban today as more than 1,000 supporters flocked to the start of the New Forest Hounds Hunt today. Eighty traditionally-clad riders met at the Balmer Lawn Hotel, near Brockenhurst,before the huntsman's horn sounded the start… (story)

Worcester News 26.12.08 Crowds turn out to support traditional Christmas hunts - HUNT supporters turned out in force to cheer off the riders and hounds for the annual countryside events in Worcestershire. The Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt gathered for its trail hunt outside the King’s Head pub in Upton-upon-Severn on Christmas Eve. In Droitwitch, huntsmen and women gathered at the town’s Raven Hotel, near Victoria Square today…. Before leaving, Worcestershire Hunt joint master David Palmer, said: “I think it is going to be a great day, there is a fair crowd of people here… (story)

Teletext 26.12.08 Fox hunters have claimed more than 300,000 turned up at their traditional Boxing Day hunts - saying it is evidence of growing public support… (story)

Press Association (via Google) 26.12.08 Fox hunters claim growing support - Fox hunters have claimed more than 300,000 turned up at their traditional Boxing Day hunts - saying it is evidence of growing public support… The biggest single gathering on Boxing Day was an estimated 6,000 people turning up for the Heythrop Hunt, which meet at the Fox Inn, Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire - just one of the 320 individual hunt's across the UK… (story)

AFP (via Google) 26.12.08 Thousands attend traditional Christmas hunts - About 300,000 people gathered at hunts across the country on Friday, an advocacy group said, for a traditional Christmas event that has long pitted pro- and anti-hunt campaigners against each other… (story)

Morpeth Herald 26.12.08 Big crowd for Morpeth Hunt Boxing Day Meet – VIDEO - THERE was a big turn-out for the Boxing Day Meet of the Morpeth Hunt…. (story)

Western Mail 26.12.08 Boxing Day hunt battle rages - The battle lines will be drawn today as hunters and anti-hunt campaigners converge in the countryside across Britain for the traditional Boxing Day meets…. (story)

South Wales Argus 26.12.08 2,000 support Bassaleg hunt - AROUND 2,000 people turned out to support the traditional Boxing Day hunt by the Tredegar Farmers' Hunt in Bassaleg today…. (story)

Western Daily Press 26.12.08 Boxing Day hunt are big draw - Bumper crowds turned out for Boxing Day hunts across the West amid claims by delighted countryside campaigners that the events were more popular than ever…. Big meets included Beaufort and Berkley in Gloucestershire, Lacock in Wiltshire and Crewkerne in Somerse… Support in Somerset was strong as red-coated riders from Seavington Hunt, led by John Macey, trotted out in their finery through Crewkerne Market Place. An estimated 7,000 people packed the High Street in the National Trust village of Lacock in Wiltshire to cheer on the Avon Vale Hunt, where the riders included North Wiltshire MP James Gray…. Another of the West's biggest meets took place at Worcester Lodge on the Badminton Estate where an estimated 5,000 gathered to see applaud about 200 riders from the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt… Among the crowd was Jim Barrington, a former director of the League Against Cruel Sports who is now a consultant for the group The Middle Way which is looking to find a solution to the complex laws surrounding hunting… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 26.12.08 Fox hunters claim growing support - Fox hunters have claimed more than 300,000 turned up at their traditional Boxing Day hunts - saying it is evidence of growing public support… The biggest single gathering on Boxing Day was an estimated 6,000 people turning up for the Heythrop Hunt, which meet at the Fox Inn, Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire - just one of the 320 individual hunt's across the UK… (story)

Times 26.12.08 It’s a Knockout - Genetically modified rats represent an important advance for medical research. According to the Chinese calendar 2008 has been the year of the rat. The work of a Chinese scientist means it may now be followed by a more significant landmark: the year of the knockout rat…. This will not go down well with animal rights activists, even among the law-abiding sort who abhor the actions of extremists. Scientists must be prepared for such protests, and ready to explain why their research is important… (story)

Scotsman 26.12.08 Man is part of nature - Hardly a day passes without some conservation organisation condemning an animal or plant as being a non-native "alien" and baying for its extermination. As one who opposes the current campaign of hatred being directed against grey squirrels, resulting in the slaughter of tens of thousands of these friendly and amusing animals throughout the UK, what basis do conservationists have for claiming an animal is non-native….. ANGUS MACMILLAN, Meikle Boturich, near Balloch, Dunbartonshire (story)

25.12.08

Telegraph 25.12.08 Has the hunt outfoxed the law? Boxing Day meets continue to flourish and questions are being asked whether the hunting ban will ever work, writes Clive Aslet - This will be a grand day for traditional England – Boxing Day always is. Folk will turn out in force to watch the merry spectacle of the local hunt, as it mills around on the village green or beside the ha-ha of a country house… But the number of prosecutions – seven to date, only three of which were brought by the Crown – hardly seems to correspond to the scale of which the law is being stretched, if not flouted. There have been a mere two convictions, and then on recondite points of interpretation. Not surprisingly, the Crown Prosecution Service is tearing the hair out of its wigs. In the week before Christmas, they applied to the High Court for clarification on what you might have thought were two fairly basic matters…. (story)

Teletext 25.12.08 Hunters to hold 300 meets - Battle lines will be drawn when hunters and anti-hunt campaigners converge in countryside across Britain at the traditional Boxing Day meets. About 300 "trail" hunts, including 194 fox hunts with packs of hounds, will be held in England, Wales and Scotland…. (story)

24.12.08

Hull Daily Mail 24.12.08 Anti-hunt campaigners target meets - ANTI-hunt campaigners are appealing for evidence of illegal hunting in East Yorkshire over the festive season. Observers from the League Against Cruel Sports will be monitoring the Holderness and Middleton hunts at their showcase Boxing Day meets… Farmer Chris Richardson, joint master of the 250-year-old Holderness Hunt, said support for hunting with hounds was probably greater now than before the ban… Major Tim Easby, master of the Middleton Hunt, said everybody was welcome to join the thousands of supporters at Driffield Showground on Boxing Day… (story)

Carlisle News & Star 24.12.08 Ban hasn’t ruined the country’s hunts – MP By Pamela McGowan - Carlisle MP Eric Martlew has dismissed calls for the ban on hunting with dogs to be lifted, using the upcoming Boxing Day hunt as an example of how it can still go ahead without suffering…. But, as the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds at Welton prepare for their Boxing Day hunt, Mr Martlew wants supporters to draw a line under the issue and accept the ban… (story)

Hampshire Chronicle 24.12.08 Rare bird of prey poisoned - A NATIONAL wildlife charity has condemned the killing of a rare bird of prey in Hampshire. A Red Kite was found dead on the border of the Winchester district and Test Valley - and lab tests showed the bird had been poisoned. The RSPB described the killing of the bird, one of only 2,400 in the UK, as “totally unacceptable”…. (story)

Malton Mercury 24.12.08 Conservation award delight - THE Castle Howard Estate is the first winner of the Yorkshire Grey Partridge Group Trophy in recognition of its conservation work with the farmland bird. The award, sponsored by Savills, was presented at the group’s meeting, which is organised by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust and held at Askham Bryan College… (story)

Guardian 24.12.08 The right to use animals - Fighting the criminal fringe is not enough – people need to be informed that animal research is ethical and necessary - Ed Owen - The rights of those whose lives rely on advances in medical treatments have been considerably strengthened by the latest conviction of extremists prepared to use tactics of terror and intimidation against those associated with animal research. Yet tackling the criminal fringe is not, in itself, enough to protect the vital work going on to cure disease and reduce human suffering. That will only be secured over the long term with a determined effort to educate and inform the wider public of the essential merits of using animals to aid medical research… (story)

Mirror 24.12.08 Animal rights campaigners furious when restaurant served up reindeer - Animal rights campaigners were furious yesterday as a restaurant served up reindeer. Scandinavian restaurant Northern Lights in Brighton has Santa's best friend on the menu at £8.90 a dish. Denise Friend of Brighton Animal Action said: "What sort of person would eat reindeer, especially at this time of year?"… (story)
Argus 23.12.08 Brighton restaurant has reindeer on menu - A restaurant has provoked anger from animal rights campaigners for serving reindeer as part of its Christmas menu. The delicacy has been put on the menu at Northern Lights in Little East Street, Brighton. The Scandinavian restaurant, which opened in the summer, is serving sauteed reindeer to its customers for £8.90 a dish… Denise Friend, of Brighton Animal Action, said: “I just don’t understand what sort of person would eat reindeer… Justin Kerswell, campaigns manager for vegetarian group Viva!, said: “We are very concerned about the exploitation of wild animals for meat…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 24.12.08 No excuse for killing bears - In response to the claims that the Ministry of Defence’s bearskin caps are sourced from ‘culled’ black bears, readers should know that there is no official Canadian government cull of black bears and neither the MoD nor the British Fur Trade Association have offered a shred of evidence that the fur is sourced from an alleged Innuit cull. These furs are supplied by commercial hunters who shoot bears, assassination style, at baited barrels…. Alexia Weeks, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, London (story)

Worcester News 24.12.08 Was the horse OK? - – I’m pleased Sophie Clark, who had the mishap with her horse and cart on her wedding day, is OK… But what I would like to know is is the horse all right… JOHN SHEARON, Worcester. (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 19.12.08 Bear facts on animal culling - In response to the criticism of the bear fur hats worn by the Guards regiments, the British Fur Trade Association (BFTA) would like to correct some statements made in your article (Belfast Telegraph, December 15). First of all, we would like to make you aware that black bears are not killed to provide fur for ceremonial caps. The bear fur is a by-product of a necessary cull…. Nicole Dennis, British Fur Trade Association (letter)

23.12.08

Worcester News 23.12.08 It’s a hunting we will go By Sara Pawsey - IT’S that time of the year when difficult decisions have to be made. Do you drag yourself away from the roast turkey, mince pies and television on Christmas afternoon to prepare your horse for hunting on Boxing Day? Or do you settle for another bowl of sherry trifle and promise yourself you’ll get up an hour earlier in the morning and do the job then? Either way, Boxing Day is traditionally hunting’s big day of the year and everyone wants to look their smartest. Although one thing is for certain… It’s a scene that will be repeated in thousands of households across the land, because hunting is attracting more followers than ever before… (story)

Worcester News 23.12.08 It’s all systems go for annual hunt - THE traditional Boxing Day hunt will once again meet in Droitwich this year. Huntsmen and women, horses and hounds will gather outside the town’s Raven Hotel, near Victoria Square, on Friday. The announcement that the town will once again feature the annual Worcestershire Hunt event has coincided with the Countryside Alliance praising the historic event… (story)
Droitwich Spa Advertiser 20.12.08 In the saddle for Boxing Day hunt - THE traditional Boxing Day hunt will once again meet in Droitwich Spa this year…. The announcement that the town will once again feature the annual Worcestershire Hunt event has coincided with the Countryside Alliance praising the historic event…. (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 23.12.08 Hunters' breathalyser fears - SHOOTING enthusiasts have been offered advice over fears they could be given breathalyser tests. Concerns have been raised by reports police in some areas of the country may be targeting shooting enthusiasts even if they are only passengers in cars. In one reported incident police breathalysed a passenger on the grounds he might be committing an offence if found to be over the legal alcohol limit in charge of shotguns… (story)

Scotsman 23.12.08 Zoo no place for pandas - Gordon Brown may be giving his backing to Edinburgh Zoo displaying giant pandas, but it certainly will not save this endangered species from extinction… CRAIG REDMOND, Captive Animals' Protection Society, Manchester (letter)

Essex County Standard 23.12.08 Colchester: Easy ways to a vegan Christmas By Claire Owen - With Christmas almost here, many of us will have already got the ingredients together for that big festive feast… For the many vegans in Colchester, their shopping baskets would have been filled with very different foods altogether. But according to Annette White from North-East Essex Vegans, cutting out all animal produce doesn't have to lead to just a boring nut roast on Christmas Day… (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 23.12.09 Already dead - So M&S’s taste experts reckon that the Langthornes’ rose veal is “to die for” (Buffalo farm wins national award for home-bred veal, D&S Dec 19). The calves already have died for it. PATRICIA TRICKER Vegan Society Trustee, Arrathorne, Bedale (letter)

22.12.08

Western Daily Press 22.12.08 Rural people know better - In response to the letter by D Thomas (Your Say, December 13) in which he ridicules Roger Evans' story of the dumping of urban foxes into the countryside as a rural myth, I believe it was an unjust slur on both Mr Evans and rural people's intelligence. Mr Thomas's myth claim would appear to be based on no one having been caught, but neither have hundreds of night countryside fly-tippers, or is their dumped rubbish also a rural myth?... Mr Thomas also says that shooting foxes is better than hunting but, as an anti-hunt supporter, he conveniently omitted to mention that a survey two years ago revealed that up to 60 per cent of wild foxes are not killed instantly, some of which then have to suffer in agony for weeks…. Ray Bird Gloucestershire (letter)

Swindon Advertiser 22.12.08 Letter from Chris Gale … One would hope that civilization has moved on since 50 years before the birth of Christ. However, the hunting fraternity will this Boxing Day parade through the streets and pledge to keep their so called traditions in place. The parallels between the baying mob in the Roman Colosseum and the hunting fraternity are striking…. What is also disturbing is the way that this vicious grouping are able to continue to break the law with impunity, riding roughshod over the democratic will of the people… CHRIS GALE Dover Street Chippenham (letter)

Independent 22.12.08 Pandora: How to get on with people – kill other species By Henry Deedes - Eric Clapton has explained his unlikely passion for country sports. Over the past few years, Clapton, pictured, has not only given regular support to the Countryside Alliance but is also the co-owner of the Mayfair shop Cordings – the favoured outfitter of the huntin', shootin' and fishin' brigade… (story)

GAMEKEEPERS ACCUSED OF KILLING HEN HARRIERS
Independent 21.12.08 Gamekeepers 'kill off' last of hen harriers By Michael McCarthy and Ian Johnston - Hen harriers are being driven to extinction in England by illegal persecution on grouse moors, according to the Government's wildlife watchdog. The long-winged, long-tailed birds of prey are among the country's rarest species. Natural England says moorland owners and shooting managers are threatening the survival of the birds by illegally removing their eggs and burning their nests…. Edward Bromet, chairman of the Moorland Association, which represents grouse moor owners in England and Wales, said his organisation would not support anyone who persecutes the birds… (story)
Guardian 22.12.08 Persecution threat to hen harrier survival - Alexandra Topping - The illegal persecution of hen harriers is pushing the bird of prey to the brink of extinction, the government's protection body has warned. There are now critically low numbers of breeding pairs in suitable breeding habitats, according to a report by Natural England… (story)
Yorkshire Post 22.12.08 Hen harriers on the brink of extinction 'due to persecution on grouse moors' - Continued illegal persecution of hen harriers is pushing the bird of prey to the brink of extinction in England, says the Government's conservation body… (story)
BBC News Online 22.12.08 'Illegal threat' to hen harriers - Hen harriers are nearing extinction in England owing to illegal persecution in areas managed for rearing game birds, Natural England has said… A spokesman for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) said it condemned any illegal killing of protected species… (story)

Bath Chronicle 22.12.08 Campaigners step up foie gras protest - Animal rights protesters are planning weekly protests outside restaurants in Bath that continue to serve foie gras. Members of the Bath Activist Network (BAN) plan to demonstrate outside Bistro Number 5 in Great Pulteney Street and the Pinch restaurant in Margarets Buildings every Friday night…. Owner Christophe LeCroix said he had been forced to take the dish off the menu because of disruption to his customers. "Due to the aggressive protests we can no longer offer our customers freedom of choice, which is very sad. I have taken it off for now to avoid trouble but I will put it back on in January," said Mr LeCroix…. Matt Banning, spokesman for BAN, defended the group's actions… (story)

21.12.08

GOVERNMENT ABANDONS RABBIT CONTROL
Western Daily Press 21.12.08 Anger over Defra's decision to stop enforcing rabbit control - They are the children's book naughty-but-cuddly heroes, pinching from the big bad farmer to feed their growing brood… But now the Government, in the form of an obscure change to an equally obscure agricultural rule, appears to have come down on the side of rabbits, and struck what is being described as yet another blow to the honest farmer… Tim Bonner labelled the row "Rabbitgate", and reassured members of the Countryside Alliance his organisation would be lobbying ministers over the change…. (story)
Western Morning News 25.11.08 Government in rabbit population row - THE Government has been accused of putting the needs of wildlife before agriculture after pulling out of a deal to control the rabbit population. For 60 years, Natural England has intervened in disputes between farmers when rabbits destroy crops in neighbouring fields. Now, the agency, which has a remit to look after wildlife and the economic prosperity of the countryside, has told farmers it no longer wants to get involved. Instead it advises farmers to settle disputes in the civil courts…. (story)
Telegraph 24.11.08 'Bunny hugging' Government scraps rabbit control measures By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - For the last 60 years farmers have been able to apply to Natural England for an order compelling neighbouring landowners to kill rabbits if the animals get out of control. However the Government agency in charge of protecting the countryside has scrapped the policy, saying there are not as many rabbits as there were previously…. But Tim Bonner, spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, said thousands of farmers and landowners use the policy as a threat in order to keep rabbits off land… (story)

20.12.08
href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/">Telegraph 20.12.08 Rebellion over Government's rules on pets - Pet lovers and welfare organisations are rebelling against "ridiculous" government guidelines which tell them how to look after animals By Jasper Copping - The recommendations – including "cat-proofing" windows and balconies to prevent falls, having at least one litter tray per cat, and guaranteeing that dogs wear collars and identity tags in public places – were announced in November. Now, angry animal experts and pet owners believe that the rules risk criminalising responsible animal lovers…. (story)

19.12.08

Beverley Guardian 19.12.08 Hunt tradition all set - HUNTSMEN will uphold a long-standing tradition when they meet on Beverley Westwood for the traditional Boxing Day hunt on Friday December 26. The Holderness Hunt will meet near the racecourse at around 10.45am… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.12.08 Close encounter of the bird kind got me thinking - I CAN'T help feeling there must be something wrong with someone who enjoys killing things. But the shooting of pheasants and other birds is big business in Mid Devon and elsewhere, with millions reared for this purpose… Reading more about the pheasant shooting industry, and the awful conditions in which many birds are reared, I was glad to learn that tighter rules are on the horizon… (story)

18.12.08

Harborough Mail 18.12.08 Boxing Day hunt turnout - HUNDREDS of riders and supporters are expected to turn out for the Fernie Hunt's traditional meet on Boxing Day…. (story)

16.12.08

Western Morning News 16.12.08 MPs ignore calls to act on hunts - ANTI-HUNT campaigners appear to be at loggerheads over the future of the Hunting Act, ahead of a crunch High Court verdict which could decide the way the law applies in the future. A split has emerged between those demanding the law is rewritten and other animal rights groups who say the existing law just needs to be enforced more stringently by the police. A campaign in Westminster to persuade the Government to toughen up the Act has attracted the support of less than one in 20 MPs… Meanwhile, a judgment is expected soon on the appeal of Exmoor huntsman Tony Wright, the first huntsman to be prosecuted under the Hunting Act… (story)
ThisIsSomerset 14.12.08 MP calls for tough changes to hunting ban - Fewer than one in 20 MPs have signed a Commons motion demanding tough changes to the ban on hunting. On the eve of a crucial court test case involving West huntsman Tony Wright, which will determine what happens to other prosecutions, an MP is canvassing support to changing the law. John McDonnell, one of the architects of the 2005 Hunting Act, has tabled a Commons Early Day Motion…. But, so far, just 28 other MPs have added their names… (story)

Western Daily Press 28.11.08 We got the hunt ban wrong - Pressure is mounting on the Government to amend the ban on hunting after one of the Act's architects appeared to admit it simply was not working. Hunt campaigners have seized upon the comments of John McDonnell, a high profile anti-hunt Labour MP, who said of the 2005 Hunting Act: "It took a long time. There was a lot of discussion. We thought we got it right, but we clearly haven't in this instance."… Mr McDonnell made the comments during an interview on Radio 4. He was instrumental in getting the Hunting Bill through Parliament…. (story)

Horse & Hound 16.12.08 Countryside Alliance launches Hunting Act repeal website - Martha Terry, H&H news desk - The Countryside Alliance has launched a website to encourage people to register their support for the repeal of the Hunting Act… Visit www.repeal.org.uk (story)
Farmers Guardian 15.12.08 Countryside Alliance launches new website to repeal Hunting Act By William Surman - THE Countryside Alliance has set up an online petition to repeal the Hunting Act. Hunt supporters are being urged to register their backing to scrap the 2004 Act that banned hunting with dogs… “The political tide is changing and the repeal of the Hunting Act is becoming increasingly likely. The repeal website – www.repeal.org.uk - will register the support and comments of the people who oppose this unjust law.”… (story)

Hillingdon Times 16.12.08 Pets Corner in Hillingdon is again vandalised and animals are killed - RABBITS, chickens and guinea pigs at a Hillingdon animal sanctuary have again fell victim to hungry foxes following a break-in this weekend. Pets Corner, in Petworth Gardens was vandalised overnight on Saturday, December 13…. It is then thought foxes were able to get in and feast on the vulnerable animals, who are cared for by 71-year-old Stan Atkins… (story)

15.12.08

Independent 15.12.08 Dom Joly: Dragging the countryside for strong scent of a transvestite - There is not a huge amount of sport to do down here in the Cotswolds… I have started to look towards more traditional country pursuits like fox-hunting. The thing is that I'm a bit confused with the whole affair.... In the interests of journalism and the filling of this column, I visited my local pub and drank copiously with locals in an attempt to find out what the hunt officially hunted now…. Apparently, the hunt is now chasing transvestites across the countryside. They call it a "drag hunt" and it is seemingly completely legal… (story)

Bolton News 15.12.08 Dangers to deer - I WRITE regarding the deer in Leesa Warwick’s photograph (November 25) I think it was totally irresponsible to publish the photograph giving the district where it was taken, due to the number of idiots in the hunting fraternity who would consider it fun to go killing those deer… M J Halligan, Paderborn Walk, Bolton (story)

The Sentinel 15.12.08 Lady Bamford in row over organic pheasants claim - MULTI-MILLIONAIRE businesswoman Lady Carole Bamford has been criticised by advertising watchdogs after falsely claiming thousands of her pheasants were organic… shot pheasants cannot be legally sold as organic because they are often reared in cages before being released into the wild and hunted down…. Animal Aid shooting consultant Kit Davidson said: "No matter how much you pay for them, shot pheasants start their journey to your table as factory farmed birds, shot for fun and picked up by a dog from the mud…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 15.12.08 Princes ‘set bad example’ by shooting pheasants - ANIMAL welfare campaigners yesterday criticised Prince William after he was pictured on a pheasant shoot with his girlfriend Kate Middleton and his brother Harry. The League Against Cruel Sports said the royal brothers – who are both serving with the armed forces – were “setting a bad example”… (story)
Sunday People 14.12.08 HAIR TO THE THRONE - Kate joins bearded prince BRISTLING WILLIAM ON PHEASANT SHOOT By Dean Rousewell Royal Correspondent - Prince William was seen sporting a beard for the first time while on a pheasant shoot with girlfriend Kate Middleton yesterday…. Critics bristled at gun-toting Kate, 26, joining the shooting party, hosted by William and brother Prince Harry, 24. Andrew Tyler, director of charity Animal Aid, said: "She does not have a tradition of shooting in her family yet she is now senselessly taking the lives of birds." Barry Hugill, for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "It looks like it's compulsory to take up a gun and slaughter wild animals if you are to be accepted into the House of Windsor."… (story)
Mail on Sunday 14.12.08 Kate aims high as she joins bearded Wills, Harry and mystery blonde on royal shoot By Martin Delgado - A muddy field in Norfolk may not be the most romantic of venues. But Prince William and Kate Middleton were clearly enjoying each other’s company as they went on a pheasant shoot at Sandringham yesterday… Andrew Tyler, director of the Animal Aid charity, said: ‘It’s depressing that Kate should be drawn into the Royal habit of killing for fun…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.12.08 Geese not upset by foie gras process - I HAVE lived in France for the last six years. Previously I lived in Chudleigh. One of the few things I miss about England is Michael Caines's cooking. Mr Caines is one of Devon's greatest assets. I wonder how many of the people who signed the anti-foie gras petition have ever eaten foie gras let alone seen the process whereby geese are fed. I have — indeed, I have filmed it — and would like to say there is no evidence the birds are stressed…. Mike Bettsworth Le Roule, 16460, St Sulpice de Ruffec, France (story)

Wigan Observer 15.12.08 Simples ideas for an eco Christmas - More than ever we need to think about having a green and compassionate Christmas this year. There are so many tips to having a fun time without hurting the environment or the animals that live within it. Please take time to consider the few ideas below. Only buy cosmetics and toiletries and household products that haven't been tested on animals… Jenny Ward, North-West Animal Protection, via email (letter)

14.12.08

Observer 14.12.08 Bird lovers split over plan to bring back glorious killer of the skies - The sea eagle, extinct in Britain, could soar again over Norfolk. But some fear the impact on livestock, reports John Vidal - The sea eagle is a glorious sight as it soars and swoops, but plans to reintroduce one of the world's largest birds of prey to Norfolk are dividing bird lovers and running into opposition from landowners, who fear that wildlife could be devastated by its return… This is about tourism, PR and money - not conservation - and it could destroy Norfolk's spectacular tern colonies,' said Robin Page… . 'This is a top predator. Our members are very concerned about the impact on livestock ranging from free-range pigs to poultry,' said Nicola Currie, regional director for the Country Land and Business Association… (story)

ANIMAL AID CHRISTMAS LETTER
Sunday Sun 14.12.08 How to take cruelty out of Christmas - ASHLEY OWEN, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 10.12.08 IN this festive season full of celebration, parties, laughter and merriment, Animal Aid is asking people to spare a thought for the millions of animals for whom Christmas is a time of fear, exploitation, suffering and death… ASHLEY OWEN Animal Aid Bradford Street Tonbridge Kent (letter)
Coventry Observer 10.12.08 IN THIS festive season full of celebration, parties, laughter and merriment, Animal Aid is asking people to spare a thought for the millions of animals for whom Christmas is a time of fear, exploitation, suffering and death. Each year millions of turkeys are slaughtered for Christmas dinner, along with ducks, chickens, pigs, cows and lambs. Prettily packaged cosmetics and toiletries can make lovely gifts, but were probably cruelly tested on animals. Puppies, kittens and hamsters are given away as presents, but later neglected or dumped by their new ‘owners’ when the novelty has worn off. Rabbits and foxes have their fur stripped from them to be turned into clothing and accessories. But there is another way!... Ashley Owen, Animal Aid (letter)

Independent on Sunday 14.12.08 Kevin Rawlings asks for a menu for a good Christmas dinner for two (Letters, 7 December). May I suggest chestnut and cranberry en croûte, or a recipe from our website… Richard Mountford, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

Independent on Sunday 14.12.08 Bearskin caps are no laughing matter, says Gervais By Jonathan Owen - The comedian Ricky Gervais has asked the Prime Minister to prod the Ministry of Defence with a stick over over the bearskin hats worn by the Guards regiments. The comedian says the MoD is dragging its feet over replacing the fur used to make the hats…. (story)

Sunday Times 14.12.08 A Life in the Day: Sylvia VanAtta, dog rescuer - Canine catastrophes are all in a day’s work for this pet-protector in rural Wales… Interview by Ria Higgins. Portrait by Gareth Phillips (story)

Thurrock Gazette 14.12.08 Borough MP wins animal welfare award - BOROUGH MP Angela Smith has won the prestigious ePolitix Charity Champion Awards for her animal welfare work, recognising her as "The parliamentarian who has done the most to address issues concerning the protection and welfare of animals." The award was presented by actress Jenny Seagrove at a ceremony hosted by Esther Rantzen. Mrs Smith was nominated by the Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS), a charity campaigning against the use of animals in circuses and other forms of entertainment, of which she is a patron…. (story)

13.12.08

Scotsman 13.12.08 Killings make no sense - Further to your report on the preservation of red squirrels (9 December), may I clarify that "saving Scotland's red squirrels" would be more accurately described as "killing Scotland's grey squirrels"…. Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)

Southern Daily Echo 13.12.08 Choose a cruelty-free Christmas meal - CHRISTMAS is supposed to be a time of peace and goodwill to men. While I am sure most people have a sense of goodwill towards each other, it is hardly a time of peace throughout the world and certainly not a good time for animals…. H NELSON, Rowner, Gosport (letter)

12.12.08

Scottish Herald 12.12.08 Angling ‘worth £150m to Scottish economy’ - GORDON MACK, Angling Correspondent - Sea angling may bring the Scottish economy £150m a year, nearly as much as golf and far ahead of freshwater angling, according to the preliminary results of a major research study commissioned by the government and delivered to Holyrood this week….(story)

The Sentinel 12.12.08 Government can't risk a badger cull - AFTER spending the last 12 months huffing and puffing and threatening to take the Government on with a judicial review over the proposed badger cull, the NFU has abandoned plans to pursue a High Court judgement…. I have argued for many years with my friends on the top table of the union that there was never going to be a likelihood of a badger cull, and I suppose to be honest to them the cost of court action taking on a government could be a far too expensive an exercise to win… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 12.12.08 MP should research bovine TB issue - I'M shocked that Daniel Kawczynski, the Conservative chairman of the all-party Parliamentary Group for Dairy Farming, has apparently not even bothered to research this issue properly… If he had, he would have found that Rosie Woodroffe's internationally peer-reviewed study of autumn, 2007, shows clearly that if you concentrate on cattle measures and leave badgers alone , the TB infection rate in badgers actually goes down massively within one generation. But if you cull badgers, it goes up…. Penelope Sanders, Wales (letter)

Guardian 12.12.08 Stress and lack of exercise are killing elephants, zoos warned - Ian Sample, science correspondent - Animal welfare officers yesterday urged zoos to phase out keeping elephants, after two damning reports found the animals suffer serious health problems and die much younger in captivity… In one study, researchers led by Ros Clubb, a wildlife scientific officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, analysed records of 786 Asian and African female elephants kept in European zoos between 1960 and 2005. They then compared the lifespans of the captive animals with Asian elephants used by a logging company in Burma, and African elephants living in the Amboseli national park in Kenya. Asian elephants born in captivity typically lived for 18.9 years, while those used as working animals in Burma survived for 41.7 years. African elephants also fared worse, living for 16.9 years in captivity and 35.9 years in the wild… (story)
Independent 12.12.08 Elephants kept in zoos die younger than in the wild By Steve Connor, Science Editor - Zoos that see themselves as "arks" for endangered species have been dealt a blow by research that shows their elephants die younger than those in the wild. And elephants born in captivity – as opposed to being caught in the wild for zoos – have the shortest lifespans of all… (story)
Times 12.12.08 Life of ease spells an early death for zoo elephants - Being too well fed and leading a life of ease may spell an early death for elephants in captivity, a study for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals suggests. Female African elephants in the wild live for an average of 56 years, but it has now been found that those brought up in zoos have a lifespan of just 16.9 years. For Asian elephants, lifespans are 41.7 years in the wild and 18.9 in captivity. The findings challenge the understanding that animals kept in zoos live longer because they do not have a daily struggle to find sustenance… (story)
Telegraph 12.12.08 Elephants in zoos live less than half as long as wild ones, shows study By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent - Scientists, who included British researchers from the RSPCA and Zoological Society of London, examined data on more than 4,500 African and Asian elephants. Those housed in European zoos had life spans up to three times shorter than animals from an African wildlife park or working in the logging industry in Burma…. For African elephants, animals in the middle of the survival range had an average life span of 16.9 years in zoos compared with 56 years for those dying from natural causes in Kenya's Amboseli National Park. The average figures for Asian elephants were 18.9 years for animals born in zoos and 41.7 years for those in the Burmese logging industry…. (story)

Northern Echo 12.12.08 Veggie restaurant voted best in Britain - A TEESSIDE restaurant has proved that non-meateaters can enjoy top class cuisine by scooping a prestigious accolade by the Vegetarian Society. The Waiting Room in Eaglescliffe near Stockton was jointly named this year’s Best Independent Restaurant in the UK… Caroline Chisholm, Head of Communications at the Vegetarian Society said, "Traditionally, the North is often seen as offering poor choice for vegetarians, so we're delighted to see that it now boasts two of the best veggie restaurants in the UK… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 12.12.08 Animal Aid hosts festive fair - SHOPPERS were able to buy a variety of gifts in the city safe in the knowledge that they were helping to prevent cruelty. The South West Christmas Without Cruelty Fair was held at the Corn Exchange in Market Street…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 28.11.08 Festive fair will give cruelty the chop as it comes back to city - A MAJOR Christmas fair will be held next week for all those planning to go green for the festive season. The South West Christmas Without Cruelty Fair proved a major success last year and is returning to the Corn Exchange in Market Street on Saturday, December 6. Organised by Animal Aid, it offers a unique chance to buy Christmas gifts in one day, knowing that purchases do not cause harm to animals, humans or the environment…. According to organiser Mark Gold, there will be lots on offer for anybody interested in cruelty-free living or concerned about animal protection, green issues and human rights… (story)

11.12.08

Horse & Hound 11.12.08 Valuable beagles stolen from Ireland's oldest beagle club - Anthony Garvey, H&H newsdesk - Seven valuable beagles were stolen on Saturday 29 November from Ireland's oldest foot beagle club, Riverstown in County Cork. Five bitches and two dogs, aged from two to five years, were taken from kennels in Riverstown… Club spokesman Noel Lambe believes the beagles, valued at around €400 each, were "stolen to order". He explained: "The thieves seemed to know exactly which hounds to take and which ones to leave behind. The bitches were probably stolen for breeding, while the dogs could be sold on for hunting."… (story)

Oxford Times 11.12.08 Rising costs of lab - P. J. Stewart asks that we be told `how much the Animal Lab has cost…. Security has cost £4.5m to date; security costs will continue, including policing the transport of animals to and from the new building… I might highlight the cost to goodwill of re-committing to animal-based research instead of investing in the development of new non-animal-based research techniques… Katherine Morris, Fellow in Philosophy, Mansfield College, Oxford (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 11.12.08 Campaigners urge boycott of foie-gras - ANIMAL rights campaigners held a demonstration in Exeter to encourage restaurants to remove foie-gras from their menu. Protestors in Cathedral Yard asked shoppers to sign a petition against outlets selling foie-gras, which is produced by force-feeding ducks or geese. Sharon Howe, of Exeter Friends for Animals, said: "There is nothing humane about inducing disease in a bird by forcing a pipe down its throat and making it consume such an abnormal quantity of food that its liver expands many times its normal size…. (letter)

10.12.08

ThisIsSomerset 10.12.08 Hunt returns to village again - HISTORY was made in Tregony at the weekend when the Four Burrow Hunt met at the Kings Arms for the first time in living memory. Watched by dozens of residents who lined the village streets, around 40 to 50 riders and 80 hounds took part in a trail hunt which led across open country in the direction of Caerhays… (story)

Garstang Courier 10.12.08 Police raids in Wyre hare coursing probe - POLICE have raided two properties as part of an investigation into illegal hare coursing in Wyre. One 22-year-old man has been arrested and another man was being questioned in relation to alleged offences at Eagland Hill last month, during which a hare was brutally killed by two dogs. And wildlife officers and RSPCA officials have revealed that illegal hunting with dogs, including fox hunting, hare coursing and badger baiting, is rife in the Garstang area… (story)
Garstang Courier 9.12.08 Animal raids: man released - A 22-year-old man arrested in animal raids in the district on Monday has been released without charge. POLICE raided two addresses in Lancaster and Heysham on Monday as a result of a joint investigation by Lancashire Constabulary and the RSPCA… (story)

North Wales Pioneer 10.12.08 No evidence to back cull, say protestors By David Waddington - ANIMAL rights activists have been campaigning against badger culling in Betws y Coed. Members of North Wales Animal Rights were joined by the Clwyd Badger Group on Sunday to put a stop to a proposed culling of badgers which a scientific paper by the Welsh Assembly Government suggest help spread bovine TB. Judi Hewitt, founder of the North Wales Animal Rights, said: "We now have 2,223 signatures and hope to increase this significantly before Christmas…. (story)
Daily Post 4.12.08 Badger protest by Andrew Forgrave - ANIMAL activists were in Betws y coed to gather more signatures against the Assembly Government's proposed badger cull. Representatives from various groups, including North Wales Animals Rights and Clwyd Badger Group, have now gathered 2,223 signatures… (story)

Sun 10.12.08 The fab boar By JOHN KAY Chief Reporter and GORDON SMART - EIGHBOURS of Sir Paul McCartney are pig sick because he refuses to cull wild boar on his estate. They say dozens of the animals, which weigh up to 900lbs, are “wreaking havoc”. Macca, 66, a vegetarian and animal rights campaigner, will not co-operate with locals who want to control numbers at his 1,500-acre estate in Peasmarsh, East Sussex… “Locals are up in arms because he won’t allow them to be shot. They are breeding like rabbits and his estate is completely over-run.”… (story)
Telegraph 10.12.08 Sir Paul McCartney refuses to cull wild boar on his estate - Sir Paul McCartney has refused to cull wild boar on his estate which has upset neighbours, it has been reported. By Urmee Khan - Dozens of the wild boar, which weigh up to 900lbs, are "wreaking havoc", it has been claimed. Sir Paul, 66, a vegetarian and animal rights campaigner, has not bowed to pressure from locals who want to control numbers at his 1,500-acre estate in Peasmarsh, East Sussex… Neighbours say crops, trees and gardens in the area are suffering because of the boar…. (story)

Daily Mail 10.12.08 What a hoot! RSPCA officers spend two hours trying to rescue plastic owl By Andrew Levy - Perhaps it was the startled look on its face. Or maybe the fact it was frozen with fear. But when an RSPCA officer was called out to investigate an owl that had been perched on a telegraph pole for days, she was so concerned she called the fire brigade. It was only as a crew were about to deploy their aerial platform ladder to pluck the poor bird to safety that residents realised what was happening and rushed over to tell them it was a plastic decoy… (story)

9.12.08

LACS LETTER
Bristol Evening News 9.12.08 Soapbox: We need more police officers - RACHEL Jay makes a plea for better policing for illegal fox-hunting ("Police must enforce law", Open Lines, November 13). Taking a firm stand to uphold this law requires prioritising limited resources in police manpower – sorry, "officer" power – towards an activity comparatively insignificant against other more pressing needs such as law and order on the streets, knife crime and checking up on unsafe and untaxed vehicles…. Bernard J Seward, Bristol (letter)
Western Morning News 26.11.08 Hunt offenders - Rachel Jay, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 24.11.08 Act against lawbreakers - THIS year’s hunting season is now in full swing and, sadly, while the majority of those who take part are following the law we are already receiving reports of illegal hunting activities taking place…. I urge your readers to lobby their police authority to ensure that steps are taken by local forces to stamp out illegal hunting and prevent a bloodthirsty and irresponsible minority from continuing to break the law. Rachel Jay, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)

Western Morning News 9.12.08 Robust hunting Act - IT is a great shame that in a modern society we require legislation to protect our wildlife from those who still enjoy the primitive act of chasing and killing an animal for sport. But sadly we do – which is why the Hunting Act came into being. Despite reports to the contrary, the legislation has proved itself to be robust – there have been 29 successful prosecutions since its inception, and more cases are pending… Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive League Against Cruel Sports (letter)

Eastern Daily Press 9.12.08 Norfolk landowner denies coursing charge - CHRIS HILL - A prominent landowner was accused of allowing illegal blood sports on her Norfolk estate at the opening of a landmark trial yesterday. Mary Birkbeck, 77, denies permitting her land at Little Massingham to be used for hare coursing - an outlawed country pursuit in which greyhounds compete to chase and “turn” their quarry. She appeared alongside two other defendants at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court - Les Anderson, 80, of Lodge Road, Feltwell, and Robert Fryer, 41, from Tring in Hertfordshire…. the charges against Fryer - accused of participating as the “slipper” who unleashes the dogs - were dismissed after district judge Philip Browning ruled the evidence against him to be inadmissible. The case is the first of its kind to be brought by the RSPCA after coursing meetings, once a mainstay of the rural calendar, were banned with the introduction of the Hunting Act in 2005… But Stephen Welford, defending, said Birkbeck and Anderson believed the event to be a legal “field trial”… “The defendants say it was field trials and they faxed rules to the police in an attempt to seek police sanction for their actions… Sgt Christopher Flanagan, of Hunstanton police, told the court he had given Anderson permission to hold the event after confirming with a wildlife-crime officer that the faxed regulations complied with the new laws…. (story)
Lynn News 8.8.08 Hare coursing - HARE-COURSING charges against a woman and a man from West Norfolk were adjourned for a month by Lynn magistrates on Wednesday. Mary Birkbeck, of Little Massingham House, is accused of permitting land at Little Massingham to be used for hare coursing on November 12, 2007, and January 8, 2008, two offences of knowingly facilitating hare coursing and two of attending a hare coursing event… (story)

Lancaster Guardian 9.12.08 Police arrest after animal raids - POLICE raided two addresses in Lancaster and Heysham on Monday as a result of a joint investigation by Lancashire Constabulary and the RSPCA. The investigation began into offences of hunting wild mammals with dogs after several people came forward and reported incidents of suspected hare coursing in the area…. (story)

Blackpool Gazette 9.12.08 End trade for puppy farms - I agree with Dr and Mrs K Lloyd "A Time of Danger to New Pets" (The Gazette, November 29). Puppy farming is a very cruel and lucrative trade which involves poor breeding practices, unlike those of Kennel Club registered breeders…. Miss C Hopkins, West Drive, Cleveleys (letter)

News Shopper 9.12.08 For ducks’ sake, let’s stop abuse - THE production of foie gras, mostly in France, is so cruel it is illegal to produce it in the UK. Sadly, however, EU free trade rules means we import thousands of tonnes each year, particularly in the run-up to Christmas as it is marketed as a luxury and delicacy…. CHRIS POPE Address supplied (letter)

8.12.08

Bromsgrove Advertiser 8.12.08 Carols to celebrate the countryside - A SPECIAL Carols for our Countryside event is being held in Ombersley this week. It's being staged by the Countryside Alliance on Wednesday, December 10, at St Andrew's Church… (story)
Worcester News 7.12.08 Celebrating beauty of countryside at service - A SINGING celebration of the countryside will take place on Wednesday. The Countryside Alliance Carols for our Countryside service will take place at St Andrews Church, Ombersley. Audrey Steel, Worcestershire county chairman for the CA said: “A carol service to celebrate the riches of our countryside at Christmas is a wonderful opportunity… (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 8.12.08 Animal-world thugs - I write with reference to the letter from Trevor Williams-Berry, ‘Thugs aren’t animals’ - While I do not want to detract from the serious issues that he refers to, I do believe that he has to realise that as well as homo sapiens having a small element of thugs or savages, the animal kingdom also does. A fox in a hen coop will not just kill for its immediate needs, it will kill and maim indiscriminately…. Michael Masleczko, Claremont Road, Wrose, Shipley (letter)

7.12.08

Observer 7.12.08 Blood Sport - Martin Hemming - Blood Sport: Hunting in Britain since 1066 - Emma Griffin - Neither a Peta polemic nor a Horse & Hound apology, Griffin's brilliant study just about falls on the side of the 2004 Hunting Act, a remarkable achievement, she says, after 1,000 years of hypocritical elites guarding their right to the spoils of the hunt… (story)
Independent 28.11.08 Blood Sport, By Emma Griffin Reviewed by Christopher Hirst - This intelligent and objective account tells the story of hunting in Britain from the Norman conquest, when par force hunting (a band of hunters pursuing a single animal across private land) replaced the snares and dogs of the Saxons, to the 2004 Hunting Bill… (story)

6.12.08

Aberdeen Press & Journal 6.12.08 Balance at heart of trust policies - Having read the correspondence from R.D.V. Kite (Press and Journal, December 5) and J. Reid (Press and Journal, December 2), both authors make very valid points regarding the need for sound wildlife management and looking at the whole picture when dealing with one or many species…. this is something which the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust holds at the heart of its policies. In a country where there are no ecosystems unaffected by man, a useful precept is that good game conservation is good nature conservation… Katrina J. Candy, Media & Education (Scotland), Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Couston, Newtyle (letter)

5.12.08

ThisIsSomerset 5.12.08 Hunt's help for injured trainer - PORTMAN Hunt supporters turned out in force on Saturday for their Tollard Royal meet – at which a cheque for £4,080 was presented to the Southern Spinal Injuries Unit. The money will fund specialist equipment to help racehorse trainer Robert Alner, paralysed in a car accident last November, and others… (story)

Oxford Times 5.12.08 Three arrested at 1am on suspicion of hare coursing at Swyncombe - Police arrested three men on suspicion of hare coursing in Swyncombe at about 1am today. The arrests come after the neighbourhood policing team vowed to tackle rural crimes in the area…. (story)

Littlehampton Gazette 5.12.08 Feeding foxes – a selfish disregard for neighbours - BIZARRELY, fox supporters appear to have no idea how urban foxes actually behave! If they did, it's hard to imagine how any sane person would be in favour. I spend a lot of time and money looking after my garden, but now it is invaded, damaged and polluted nightly, partly thanks to a well-known television presenter telling people to feed foxes…. The consequences for me: every day I have to clear from the garden, patio or porch, of up to six piles of faeces, often vile diarrhoea, requiring disinfectant to clean up. Then there is the foul-smelling territory marking scent sprayed everywhere; regular repairs after grass/plants are killed by urine or holes which are dug… Name and address supplied, Rustington (letter)

Birmingham Mail 5.12.08 Tribute to Shirley animal rights campaigner by Catherine Lillington, Birmingham Mail - A MIDLAND woman who devoted her life to campaigning for animal rights will be remembered at a fundraising event tomorrow. Ursula Bates set up Solihull Animal Aid in 1992, spoke in hundreds of schools and protested against live veal exports at Baginton airport near Coventry, alongside her friend Jill Phipps, who was killed there in 1995. Liz Armour used to meet the 71-year-old at animal charity fairs and decided to organise one in her honour…. (story)

Independent 5.12.08 Meat makes global warming worse - Martin Haworth of the NFU, unsurprisingly, opposes vegetarianism as a measure to fight climate change (letter, 2 December), just as he has called for biofuel expansion. He omits to mention that rising demand for animal protein worldwide is a major cause of tropical deforestation… Jim Roland, London NW11
Martin Haworth suggests that if people ate less meat the uplands would be abandoned, leading to environmental problems. Surely the uplands would revert to forest, as they were before they were devastated by felling and grazing… John Pedersen, Totnes, Devon (story)

Independent 5.12.08 Revealed: the cruelty of UK's pork suppliers By Martin Hickman, Consumer affairs correspondent - Pigs so crazed by cramped and filthy conditions that they resort to gnawing at each other are being supplied by farmers to British shops, a European study by a respected animal charity shows. Investigators from Compassion in World Farming found 80 per cent of farms across five European countries engaging in illegal practices such as barren pens and routine tail-docking… (story)

Telegraph 5.12.08 National Trust row over goat cull on Snowdonia A row has broken out between an animal charity and the National Trust over the cull of wild goats. It's been claimed nearly 200 of the animals have been killed at Nantgwynant, near Beddgelert in Snowdonia…. Animal Aid accused the Trust of rejecting the more humane method of fencing off areas of land as being too costly. Spokeswoman Kate Fowler-Reeves said : "Goats are accused of damage to the land and to shrubs which may actually be caused by other animals - including humans…. (story)

Essex Echo 5.12.08 Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Perhaps some people could spare a thought for millions of turkeys who would really love a green Christmas…. Most will have been kept in cramped, disgusting conditions, never having seen the light of day, and Christmas for them will be blood red…. Sheila Hurbert, Claybrick Avenue, Hockley (letter)

Evening Leader 5.12.08 Follow college's lead – take foie gras off menu - I was very pleased to hear that Yale College had removed foie gras from its Christmas menu, as a result of complaints received from members of the public. I have written to other venues in Wrexham to ask them also to stop serving foie gras. I have yet to receive a response. I would urge them and any other restaurants or businesses selling or serving foie gras to follow Yale College's lead… Genny Bove, Moss, Wrexham (letter)

4.12.08

Western Daily Press 4.12.08 Hunting law will not be ended, but strengthened - My response to the hunters' desperate spinning of the absolutely predictable calls to strengthen the Hunting Act is to ask them to please be quiet, as the grown-ups are talking…. Democracy will continue to attend to the requirements of the law and the demands of the majority, as is absolutely right. The Hunting Act will certainly be strengthened in small and logical ways, and it will be done sooner rather than later… Penny Little Great Haseley Oxfordshire (letter)

Hexham Courant 4.12.08 Alliance - SO the new Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hexham is a member of the Countryside Alliance, is he? That would seem a very good reason not to vote for him. CAROL ENDERBY, Stocksfield (letter)

Bath Chronicle 4.12.08 Hunting law forces me to kill deer - I would like to respond to Chris Gale's recent Chronicle letter concerning so-called 'contempt' from hunt supporters. I wish to explain why I have nothing but contempt for the Hunting Act. I use my five dogs to flush out deer from my woodland and have been informed by Defra that my activities are now banned by the Hunting Act because I use three too many dogs and refuse to shoot the deer. I have no gun and am completely opposed to having to kill the deer I flush out… GILES BRADSHAW Rose Ash, Devon (letter)
Bath Chronicle 6.11.08 'Contempt' from hunt supporters? - In the old American South, runaway slaves were medically diagnosed as suffering from 'drapetomania' – the pathological desire for freedom… The Countryside Alliance peddles an almost equally Orwellian parody of the abuse of language and for no less self-serving ends. That hunts throughout our region and beyond are monitored by brave and decent members of the public, and are increasingly coming under scrutiny by the police, is quite understandable and to be very much welcomed… CHRIS GALE Dover St Chippenham (letter)

Leicester Mercury 4.12.08 Foxes defended - Although I am very sorry about Anne Duff's grandchildren's rabbit (Mailbox, November 29), I must take issue with her attitude to foxes. The fox was acting on its hunger instinct. The rural fox is having to come into urban areas due to humans taking all its habitat. I am afraid all pet owners must make sure that their animals outside are secure…. Susan Crayfourd, Leicester (letter)

Sevenoaks Chronicle 4.12.08 No skill required - I FULLY sympathise with Peggy and Pat Bryan (Unsporting sport, Letters, November 13). On my journeys around the Kent lanes, I often come across these people shooting tame pheasants…. I would like to point out that it is not only men, but also women, who take pleasure in killing these lovely birds…. Brian Bulmer, Sevenoaks Road, Pratts Bottom (letter)
Kent/Sussex Courier 13.11.08 Unsporting sport - LIVING in a very isolated spot, every year we have to listen to, and witness, hundreds of pheasants, mallards and anything else that might be in target range, being shot at and not always killed. Some are left badly injured… The fox hunt still goes on, even though it is banned, and to hear the screaming of a fox being pulled apart by a pack of hounds is truly dreadful… Please help to ban the dreadful way these creatures are reared in captivity and the cruelty that is bestowed on them until they die. Peggy and Pat Bryan, Crouch (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 4.12.08 Badger cull challenge dropped - ANIMAL protection groups in Gloucestershire have welcomed a National Farmers' Union decision to drop plans for a judicial review which would allow a badger cull. But farmers in the county hope another way will be found to allow them to go ahead with the scheme, which they believe will stop the spread of tuberculosis to cattle… Tony Dean, chairman of Gloucestershire Badger Group, welcomed the decision…. (story)

South Wales Ech 4.12.08 No justification for badger cull - IN connection with the intended cull of badgers in Wales, I thought it worth pointing out that TB is not endemic in badgers, but it is in cattle… The spread of TB in cattle can be laid comfortably at the door of ineptitude, laziness, stupidity and the compensation culture on the part of farmers, vets and the pen-pushers at Defra. What we do need a cull of is interfering civil servants who have no veterinary knowledge, and farmers unwilling to take responsibility for the health of their cattle…. Peter Sunman, Boleyn Walk, Cardiff (letter)

Isle of Wight County Press 4.12.08 Turkey theft probed - POLICE are hunting for 100 turkeys which may have been taken by animal rights activists from a Godshill farm. Sue Brownrigg, who runs Brownrigg Poultry with her husband, Paul, and sons, John and Richard, believes the September raid may not have just been a straight theft… A police spokesman said: “A 31-year-old Island man was arrested on suspicion of theft and bailed until December 11, pending further inquiries. A 60-year-old Island woman was arrested on suspicion of theft, and later released, with no further action… (story)

3.12.08

Western Daily Press 3.12.08 Support this bid to strengthen Hunt Act - Hunts claim that the idea of trail hunting is for it to "look, sound and smell" the same as fox-hunting, and this is where the problem lies. It would be reckless in the extreme for hunters to lay a scent through thick hedges, ditches, dense gorse, small woods, and even through reed beds, and yet these are the very places where hunt monitors see hounds being taken, time and again… Therefore, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) would like to ask readers, who are sickened by the flouting of the law which was meant to protect animals from being hounded to death, to please write to their MPs and urge them to sign John McDonnell's Early Day Motion… Helen Weeks Protect Our Wild Animals Somerset (letter)

Whitehaven News 3.12.08 Restaurant welcomes Sir Johnny - TV’s Countryman, Sir Johnny Scott and his wife Lady Mary were guests of honour at Bigrigg’s Blacksmith Restaurant on Friday night. The restaurant played host to the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC) Northern Regions’ Centenary game dinner… (story)

Sheffield Star 3.12.08 Shooting at Damflask is cruel and dangerous - it should be banned - I BEGAN my usual Saturday morning walk at Damflask with my two dogs… After about ten to fifteen minutes the shooting started. As I walked along, always feeling nervous when I hear the gunfire which is so close, I saw in front of me a pheasant trying to fly up onto the wall… I find it disturbing enough that people are allowed to go out with guns shooting innocent creatures… However, the men were not using gun dogs to retrieve the birds they had shot…. There are only two places for guns. One is a shooting range and the other, sticking it where the sun don't shine which is exactly what I would have liked to have done if I had come across the person/persons firing at will…. Julie Slingsby, School Lane, Stannington (story)

Driffield Times/Post 3.12.08 Enterprise pays off for Annette - A NAFFERTON businesswoman has been out to impress the judges after her shop was shortlisted for a prestigious regional enterprise award. The village’s Nether Lane Country shop on Nethergate is among the final three businesses set to battle it out for the Countryside Alliance’s Best Rural Enterprise award for Yorkshire…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 3.12.08 Outfoxed by a new townie on the block - ROBERT E FULLER is one of the country’s leading wildlife artists. He regularly travels the globe collecting reference material for his paintings. In this month’s column, Robert, who lives in Thixendale, near Malton, focuses on a wild carnivore becoming a ‘townie’. THERE are more than 20 species of fox in the world, but our fox, the red fox is the most widespread and familiar…. (story)

Telegraph 3.12.08 Ikea accused of animal cruelty for selling reindeer meat - Ikea, the furniture retailer, has been accused of condoning animal cruelty by selling reindeer meat. By Murray Wardrop - Campaigners claim that modern methods of hunting cause the animals mental and physical stress, and that the chain should remove reindeer products from its shelves. Around 70 per cent of Swedish reindeer slaughtered are calves, which means they die without seeing snow, claims the animal welfare group Viva!... (story)
Independent 3.12.08 Ikea under fire for selling reindeer meat By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent - Ikea has been accused of condoning cruelty to animals by selling salami made from Santa's four-legged sleigh-pullers, reindeer… Viva!, a vegetarian campaign group based in Bristol, said: "We are calling on the company to withdraw sales of the meat, due to the cruel exploitation these wild animals suffer at the hands of hunters."… (story)
Bristol Evening Post 3.12.08 Row over Ikea reindeer meat - Furniture giant Ikea has been criticised by an animal welfare charity for selling reindeer meat. Viva! is calling on the company to withdraw its reindeer salami and slices from their Swedish stores because they say the animals suffer cruel exploitation at the hands of hunters…. (story)

Bolton News 3.12.08 Halal slaughter is much more humane - I AM writing with reference to a reader’s letter regarding halal meat. The reader claimed that the halal meat process was, and I quote, “shameful, barbaric and unnecessary”. In response, I would like to defend both the kosher and halal meat process as being significantly more humane than the commonplace abattoir method… Miss Khan Bolton (letter)

2.12.08

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 2.12.08 Huntswoman airlifted after fall By Joe Ware - A woman in her 30s was airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol after falling from her horse on Saturday. She riding with the Beaufort Hunt at Didmarton… (story)

Tribune 2.12.08 Hunters begin another season of recklessness - Penny Little argues that legislation needs tightening if foxhunters and others are not to continue to flout the law which banned their bloodthirsty pursuits… (story)

York Press 2.12.08 Fresh trap set for poachers in Ryedale By Jennifer Bell - POACHERS who visit Ryedale in the hope of easy pickings are to be targeted in a clampdown by police. The Poacherwatch operation will see police step up activity throughout the Ryedale area and encourage extra vigilance from farmers and other land owners… (story)

Telegraph 2.12.08 Concerns about coastal path as Marine Bill proposed - Farmers and landowners have pledged to fight for compensation if a new coastal path crosses their land. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - The Marine Bill, to be included in the Queen's Speech, will give people the right to roam around the English coastline. The 2,500-mile route will go through privately owned beaches, golf courses and farms, but ministers have said landowners will have no right of appeal or compensation. The Country Land and Business Association said it was unjust…. The Countryside Alliance will also be fighting the £50 million coastal route… (story)

Independent 2.12.08 Podium: Animals should run free – not sit in cages for our entertainment By Peter Tatchell - Wildlife programmes have made us much more aware of the natural world. This has prompted public revulsion against the squalid, imprisoning conditions in the world's zoos. Increasingly, people find it unacceptable to see lions and tigers pacing up and down tiny concrete cages… Peter Tatchell is a patron of the Captive Animals Protection Society. He was speaking at Animal Aid's Christmas Fayre on Sunday (story)

Independent 2.12.08 Bar on meat won't save the planet - The livestock industry has an important contribution to make in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but Sir Paul McCartney's idea of becoming vegetarian to save the planet (29 November) will not solve the problem and would lead to other environmental problems. The livestock and dairy sectors take their environmental responsibilities seriously… Martin Haworth, Director of PolicyNational Farmers Union, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire (story)

Leicester Mercury 2.12.08 Food's no joke - It seems that Ted Humphreys has misunderstood the point of my letter… And please remember some people don't have beans. Why? Because we are currently feeding 70 per cent of the world's soya bean harvest to farmed animals, when all those beans would feed many, many more people if eaten directly. VH Sheppard, Leicester. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 22.11.08 Stick to beans - V H Sheppard (Mailbox, November 13), how ungrateful you are! You have chosen the occasion of your friend's birthday party to criticise your hosts' choice of restaurant and menu… You should have stayed at home and opened a tin of beans! Ted Humphreys, Countesthorpe (letter)
Leicester Mercury 13.11.08 Meat obsession food for thought - Both my husband and I are vegan but were not concerned as the group was dining at one of the many wonderful curry houses in Leicester…. When the meals arrived, all of them (apart from ours) where laden with meat from animals that included lambs and chickens. Putting aside the number of animals sacrificed for a birthday celebration and all the suffering that those animals had entailed, I felt overwhelming disappointment that our obsession (of the developed world) with consuming animal products has caused us to transform, almost beyond all recognition, the traditional foods of one of the most vegetarian continents on the planet… VH Sheppard, Leicester (letter)

Bolton News 2.12.08 Don’t mince your words over killing - I REFER to “Grey squirrels will need to be culled”… Let’s not pretend, and use the word “culled”. The slaughter of squirrels is killing. Live and let live. A Cartmell Bolton (letter)

Doncaster Free Press 2.12.08 Cruel to breed pigs like this? - I HAVE recently become aware of a shocking example of the cruelty of factory farming - the pig farrowing crate…. Timothy Alan White, Nutwell Lane, Armthorpe (letter)

1.12.08

Swindon Advertiser 1.12.08 Letter from Katherine Watson - IT is a great credit to police in the Marlborough and Pewsey areas that several illegal hare coursing gangs have been tackled with warnings, cautions and arrests, but what about underhand fox hunting?... (Miss) KATHERINE WATSON Rushton Drive Bramhall Stockport Cheshire (letter)