December 2009

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(*)- added since last update


Horse & Hound 31.12.09 South Durham master of foxhounds to launch complaint against police - Abigail Butcher, H&H head of news - A master of foxhounds from Durham is to launch a complaint against police after being found not guilty of assaulting two saboteurs. South Durham joint-master Gary Watchman has accused police of victimisation after spending nearly a year fighting to clear his name over an incident about which saboteurs lied…. On 14 December, Bishop Auckland Magistrates Court found Mr Watchman not guilty after saboteurs Lynne Edwards and Hazel Greaves admitted lying that he had threatened them with a knife… (story)
Northern Echo 15.12.09 Gary Watchman cleared of assaulting two women By Rachel Wearmouth - A HUNT master has been cleared of assaulting two campaigners who were trying to film his activities from bushes. Gary Watchman, joint master of the South Durham Hunt, demanded that two camouflage-clad women “get off private land” when they attracted the attention of hounds in Sedgefield on February 28. Bishop Auckland Magistrates’ Court yesterday found the 44-year-old not guilty of hitting League Against Cruel Sports protestors Lyn Edwards and Hazel Greaves with a riding crop. They hid near the Castle Eden Walkway to film the hunt… (story)

Horse & Hound 31.12.09 Make your pro-hunting message clear - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - Riders can show their support for repeal of the Hunting Act with a new slogan stencil from the Countryside Alliance. The stencil reads "Hunting for Repeal"… (story)

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 31.12.09 Crowds gathered to see Ludlow Hunt parade through town - CROWDS gathered in their hundreds at Ludlow Castle for the colour and pageant of the traditional Boxing Day hunt – which could be the last held under the hunting ban. Up to 100 people on horseback and 80 hounds arrived for the hunt, with many times that number prepared to follow in cars and on foot…. The Conservative Party has said that if returned to power it will allow Government time for a Bill to make fox-hunting legal again, with a free vote for MPs. But Oliver Dale, master of the Ludlow Hunt, said nothing could be guaranteed…. (story)

Halstead Gazette 31.12.09 East Essex Hunt enjoy pre New Year meet By Nina Morgan - Up to 60 people turned out on horse back for a pre New Year East Essex Hunt meet. The hunt met at Dynes Hall, Great Maplestead, yesterday and enjoyed a glass of port before setting off at about 10.45am…. (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 31.12.09 Tally ho! – with hope - THOUSANDS of people turned out on Boxing Day to support meets. Among those defying the weather was the South Durham Hunt, which met at the Talbot Inn in Bishopton, near Sedgefield… The Hurworth Hunt met outside the Golden Lion Hotel, Northallerton, watched by a crowd of spectators… The Zetland Hunt met at Aldbrough St John…. (story)

Cumberland News 31.12.09 ONLY TWO BOXING DAY HUNTS SURVIVE THE WINTER WEATHER By Julian Whittle - SNOW and ice led to the cancellation of most of Cumbria’s Boxing Day hunt meetings. The Bewcastle, Eskdale and Ennerdale, and Melbreak Foxhounds all called off meets. And while the Blencathra assembled in Keswick, conditions were too severe to allow hounds on the fells. But two hunts managed to beat the big freeze. There was a good turnout at Welton for the Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds. And more than 60 people at Uldale where the Cumberland Foxhounds met, appropriately, outside the Snooty Fox pub… (story)

Northumberland Gazette 31.12.09 Hunt on wheels By HELENWOODSN - FOUR wheels rather than legs led the annual Boxing Day Hunt as icy conditions failed to ease. Taking place from the Cook and Barker pub in Newton on the Moor hunters this year took to quad bikes as icy conditions made the trail treacherous for horses…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 31.12.09 Boxing Day hunt is hit by freeze but parade goes ahead - ICY weather on Boxing Day did what Government legislation has so far failed to do and stopped the hunt. But although treacherous conditions kept many horses in their stables, Tiverton Foxhounds still gathered for their annual meet outside the Tiverton Pannier Market before parading through the town's streets…. (story)

Essex Chronicle 31.12.09 ESSEX: Fox hunters call on Tories to kill ban - FOX hunters are in a defiant mood as they look forward with a glimmer of hope that the ban on hunting will be overturned by Parliament. Douglas Hill, master of the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt, was in a buoyant mood at the traditional Boxing Day morning meet at the Horse and Groom pub in Galleywood… (story)

Gloucester Citizen/Echo 31.12.09 Young riders take part in Berkeley Hunt - Dozens of young riders braved driving rain at the annual Berkeley Hunt children's meet. Around 80 youngsters from as young as four to 16-years-old followed the hounds from Frampton Court in Frampton-on-Severn, near Stroud yesterday…. (story)

Argus 31.12.09 Save the fox from ‘tally-ho brigade’ - It is refreshing to see David Gibbons (Letters, December 29) defending the fox. With the general election just a few short months away, we all know who is committed to bring back hunting with hounds…. Assuming the British electorate are genuine in their abhorrence of hunting with hounds, this one emotive issue will return a Labour Government with a thumping majority, banishing the Tories and their multimillion-pound war chest for some time…. Ken Strudwick, Hayley Road, Lancing (story)
Argus 28.12.09 Massacre - So Stephen Lockwood of Chichester wants a return to fox hunting because his eight laying hens were “massacred”… Mr Lockwood says his hens were “torn to pieces” by foxes for sheer pleasure. This is not likely. It is not within the nature of the species to kill for fun. They do so for food… When the fox hunting fraternity were trying to justify their activities before the ban, one of their feeble arguments was they didn’t actually catch that many foxes… David Gibbons, Phyllis Avenue, Peacehaven (letter)

Burton Mail 31.12.09 Tories will lose my vote over hunt move from Jean Alger, Etwall - AS A CONSERVATIVE voter I am writing to express my disgust at David Cameron's plan to overturn the current ban on hunting… (letter)

The Sentinel 31.12.09 Hunt comments a disgrace - LOST VOTE: I read with disgust the comments of members of the North Staffordshire Hunt (The Sentinel, December 28), especially the one by John Mason who says: "Hunting is a tradition which is part of English heritage." So were ducking stools for witches, flogging and hanging….. SUE FRYER, Whitehill (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 31.12.09 Waiting to see if hunt obeys order - THE report on a meeting of the East Devon Hunt at Woodbury Castle, Echo, December 28, included a picture showing seven hounds, but the Dogs (Specified Maximum) Order 2009 (East Devon District Council) limits the number of dogs a person may take onto land to six. On December 14, I wrote to the chief executive of the council requesting him to confirm that the hunt would, in future, respect the Dog Control Order. I await his reply…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Romford Recorder 31.12.09 Going wild on MP's stance - THE claws were out as activists slammed Romford MP Andrew Rosindell for refusing to back a proposal banning wild animals in circuses. The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) claimed the Shadow Animal Welfare Minister was prejudiced by his links to the Great British Circus … (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 31.12.09 National animal rights gathering in city - GRASSROOTS animal rights campaigners are holding a national gathering in Nottingham. There will be a planning meeting on Sunday, January 10, at the Sumac Centre, in Gladstone Street, Forest Fields,…. (story)


Newbury Weekly News 30.12.09 Let the hunt begin By Clare Hardy, Reporter - Hundreds of supporters gather in Lambourn for the Boxing Day hunt - MEMBERS of the Vine and Craven Hunt and their supporters gathered in Lambourn for what they hoped would be their last Boxing Day meet under the hunting ban… (story)
Newbury Weekly News 24.12.09 Merry Christmas! - Merry Christmas to all our readers, advertisers and contributors from the team at… One of our reporters will attend the annual Vine & Craven Hunt on Boxing Day (providing she's not too full from Christmas lunch)…. (story)

North Devon Journal 30.12.09 Will 2010 see an end to the hunting ban? - HUNDREDS gathered across North Devon to watch the annual Boxing Day Hunts — which hunt supporters hope could be the last of their kind under the legislation which outlawed the sport… Tod Marshman, chairman of the Torrington Farmers' Hunt, said he believed 100% of the hunt's members would like to see the ban lifted…. Alan Briggs, of Bideford, is a member of the League Against Cruel Sports and admits the Act has "loose ends", but feels it has had an effect…. (story)

Uttoxeter Advertiser 30.12.09 Frost fails to halt hunt - HUNDREDS of fox hunting supporters have turned out for the annual Meynell and South Staffs Boxing Day hunt — which could be the last before the hunting ban is abolished….. (story)
Burton Mail 29.12.09 1,800 turn out to support annual hunt - HUNDREDS of foxhunting supporters have turned out for the annual Meynell and South Staffordshire Boxing Day hunt – which could be the last before the hunting ban is abolished… (story)

Driffield Times 30.12.09 Despite call off crowds gather to meet fox hounds on Boxing Day in Driffield. MIDDLETON Hunt (East) upheld the long running tradition of the Boxing Day meet despite snow and icy conditions preventing the horses from attending.Over 250 spectators descended on Driffield Showground, Kelleythorpe to witness what has become a traditional part of Christmas for many…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 30.12.09 Hunting for the political solution - IF hunting stalwarts Kate Hoey and her cronies believe the present Hunting Act isn't working, why then are they pressing for it to be repealed as a priority if hunting crony, David Cameron, God forbid, becomes our next Prime Minister (Yorkshire Post, December 26)? …. From: Norman Wall, Wallsend, Newcastle.
IN January 2006, I wrote to the Yorkshire Post to congratulate Labour MP Kate Hoey on becoming chair of the Countryside Alliance. Once again, I find myself congratulating her on her comments about the Hunting Bill. She is right…. From: Patricia Schofield, Park Lane, Blaxton, Doncaster. (letters)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 30.12.09 Shooting grouse - I READ Douglas Batchelor’s letter in the December 16 edition and, like much sensationalist tabloid rubbish, it doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story…. As for “wiping-out other species to protect grouse”, there are always trade-offs to be made in any form of land management. But the fact that nearly all grouse moors are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and the large majority are in ‘favourable condition’ (as assessed by the Government’s nature conservation agency Natural England) speaks for itself…. he can’t even get the correct date for the legal close of the grouse shooting season. The last day is December 10, not December 12 – getting such a basic fact wrong will undoubtedly make your readers consider how much else in the letter might be equally badly researched. Paul Jackson, Nunnington
I MUST respond to the letter of Douglas Batchelor, chief executive for the League Against Cruel Sports (December 16). You would think that Mr Batchelor would get his facts right before putting pen to paper. For his information, the grouse season starts on August 12 (Glorious 12th) and it finished on December 10, not the 12th. I suppose his inaccuracies enhance his letter… John Cole, Foston (letters)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 24.12.09 Wrong over grouse - David Rhodes is entirely correct in pointing out Douglas Batchelor’s mistake over the end of the grouse-shooting season (Letters, December 21). As with so many things, The League Against Cruel Sports is wrong in stating that the grouse shooting season ends on December 12. Grouse shooting finished on the 10th. Its opinions on the shooting of grouse are equally misguided… Simon Clarke, The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Marford Mill, Rossett (letter)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 17.12.09 Nothing glorious about shooting grouse - Douglas Batchelor, Chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 14.12.09 The 'real' Glorious Twelfth - Today marks an important day in the shooting calendar, and one which always passes without any recognition. December 12 is what most people would term the real ‘Glorious Twelfth”, for it is on this day that shooting grouse purely for the purposes of sport and entertainment officially finishes… So for once let us recognise the day when the shooting and killing stops for this is the real “Glorious Twelfth”. Douglas Batchelor, chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports, New Sparling House, Holloway Hill, Godalming, Surrey (letter)

Perthshire Advertiser 30.12.09 Fishing: Angling for Youth development to attend salmon opening at Kenmore - TRUSTEES, instructors and students of Angling for Youth Development will attend the Kenmore salmon opening on the River Tay on Friday, January 15… Angling for Youth Development is a multi-agency initiative, led by Perth and Kinross Council and the Police… As a result of their work with young people AFYD has helped the Scottish Countryside Alliance Educational Trust to prepare a proposal which has been adopted by all the Scottish angling governing bodies… (story)

Birmingham Mail 30.12.09 Animal Concern slams council over use of cruel sticky rat traps - The charity Animal Concern Advice Line, or ACAL, has written to council leader Mike Whitby urging him to stop the using boards to control pests in council buildings. Spokesman John Robins explained why the boards are inhumane… (story)


Halifax Courier 29.12.09 Huntsmen raise a glass to tradition By Ruth Mosalski - "WE'RE just keeping the tradition alive," was the message at this year's Boxing Day Hunt. James Swanbury, master and huntsman of Colne Valley Beagles, which has existed for more than 100 years, said there was a strong turnout for this year's hunt, which met at the Jack O' Mitre pub, New Hey Road, Scammonden…. (story)

Horse & Hound 29.12.09 Hunting website aims to raise money for Cumbria flood victims - Lottie Butler, H&H newsdesk - Hunting website The Masters Voice (TMV) is appealing for donations to the Flood Recovery Fund to raise money for those affected by the floods in the area… (story)

Kentish Gazette 29.12.09 Elham Boxing Day hunt attracts crowd of hundreds - Organisers of the East Kent Hunt at Elham are hoping that this year’s event on Boxing Day is the last one they will be forced to use an artificial scent…..(story)

Oxford Times 29.12.09 Supporters greet Heythrop Hunt - HUNT supporters came out in force for traditional Boxing Day meets in the county. One of the largest turn-outs was at Chipping Norton, where thousands of people came to watch the gathering of the Heythrop Hunt, outside The Fox Hotel, in Market Square…. (story)

Ledbury Reporter 29.12.09 Hunt braves weather to turn out - DESPITE severe weather over the Christmas period, more than 50 members of the Ledbury Hunt managed to make it into the town, along with the hounds and hunt staff, for the traditional Boxing Day meet outside the Feathers Hotel in the High Street…. (story)

Daily Mail 29.12.09 Richard Littlejohn - Viscount Veggie - The Tories would be wise not to rise to Labour's toff-baiting tactics. Veggie Benn is trying to goad them in to promising to scrap the fox-hunting ban. There's no need. The anti-hunting law is an unworkable farce, so why bother?... (story)

Irish Independent 29.12.09 THE warning by stag hunters that they may block Dublin city centre with their horses could serve a very useful purpose from an anti-hunting point of view. It would allow the wider public to appreciate how disruptive the hunters are… John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Guardian 29.12.09 Pheasant from field to fork - Tim Hayward strikes it doubly lucky by being invited to shoot pheasant on a biodynamic farm and being shown what to do with it by Henry Harris of Racine - When we started this project the idea was to find somewhere to take game from field to plate. I got amazingly lucky when Jody Scheckter offered to arrange for me to shoot pheasant at his biodynamic farm in Hampshire - a private shoot is almost literally a luxury without price - but I was even more fortunate when Henry Harris, chef at Racine, offered to come and show me how to cook what we shot… (story)

Western Mail 29.12.09 Badger plea ignored - I would be all for a separate government for Wales if this Welsh Assembly was not already being run mainly by greedy farmers. It makes my blood run cold just thinking about Wales answering to no- one but the kind of AMs we have at present…. An Assembly riddled with farmers will only serve to make them richer, while keeping the rest us knee-deep in debt. JUDI HEWITT, Wales Against Animal Cruelty,Rhyl (letter)


Liverpool Daily Post 28.12.09 Cheshire hunt set to try for third day after Boxing Day hunt hit by big freeze by Ben Rossington - CHESHIRE hunt fans were set to try for a third day today to have their traditional Boxing Day event. Saturday’s scheduled hunt was cancelled late on on Christmas Day because the frozen ground would have put the riders, horses and hounds in danger… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.12.09 Devon hunt tradition draws the crowds - IT is a Boxing Day tradition which continues to draw crowds despite the Hunting Act… The East Devon Hunt meet took place on Saturday at Woodbury Castle, on Woodbury Common… (story)

Leicester Mercury 28.12.09 Crowds enjoy Boxing Day festive hunt - Thousands of people turned out for what could be the last Boxing Day meet before the hunting ban is repealed. Freezing conditions underfoot meant the Cottesmore, Fernie and Quorn hunts were restricted to just a gathering while the Belvoir hunt, due to meet in Grantham, was called off… (story)

Worcester News 28.12.09 It's tally ho ho ho as crowds turn out for Christmas hunts By Lauren Rogers - THOUSANDS of people turned out to support traditional hunt meetings across Worcestershire. In Pershore, a huge crowd of spectators cheered as more than 40 huntsmen and women, wearing their distinctive red riding jackets, gathered for the annual Croome and West Warwickshire Boxing Day meet on Broad Street… In Droitwich, members of the Worcestershire Hunt met outside the Raven Hotel. They were forced to leave the horses behind because the icy ground was too dangerous, but were still on hand to meet the public with the foxhounds… (story)
Worcester News 28.12.09 COMMENT: Let’s hope sales herald good news …. Meanwhile, a quite different sort of Boxing Day pilgrimage was taking place around the county. The emphasis this time was distinctly rural. Thousands of people turned out to support traditional hunt meetings. The backing was especially impressive given that the rock-hard frozen ground made it too dangerous for many hunts to ride…. We can only hope that a new Parliament can devise a way to better reconcile the interests of those who support hunting and those who despise it. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 28.12.09 Thousands support Boxing Day hunts - HUNT supporters today remain defiant that the controversial ban on hunting will next year be overturned if the Conservatives win the general election…. Young and old eager to blow away some of the Christmas cobwebs flocked to the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds meet in Hadleigh, near Ipswich…. At the Thurlow Hunt, between 60 and 70 gathered on horseback and many more on foot… A similar number of riders turned out for the Suffolk Hunt, which set off from Hawstead Place, near Great Whelnetham… (story)

York Press 28.12.09 Middleton Hunt gathers for traditional Boxing Day meet, but riding across fields cancelled due to icy weather By Megi Rychlikova - HUNT supporters met on Boxing Day, but did not head out for the fields and open countryside. The ice and snow made it too dangerous for hounds and horses to engage in the traditional Christmas sporting occasion…. Joanna Hewitt, of the Middleton Hunt, said: “We did have a good time and we had our usual collection for the hunt staff.”… (story)

Western Morning News 28.12.09 Hunting battle begins again - THOUSANDS of people turned out for traditional hunt meetings across the Westcountry at the weekend as the Government indicated that its controversial ban could become a key election issue…. At the South Devon Hunt, chairman Valerie Graham said many felt the tide was turning…. The Exmoor Foxhounds met at Kentisbury in Devon, where 400 people gathered….(story)

Newark Advertiser 28.12.09 Support for hunt By Lucy Millard - Large crowds turned out on Boxing Day morning to support the South Notts Hunt meet on Car Colston village green with the permission of the Commonland Management Committee…. (story)

Beccles & Bungay Journal 28.12.09 Day of hunting well supported - THOUSANDS of hunt supporters were out in force at Boxing Day meets across the region - even though some were thwarted by snow and icy temperatures…. In Bungay, an estimated record crowd of 3,500 people lined the streets for the start of the Waveney Harriers' Boxing Day hunt…. In Fakenham, the West Norfolk Hunt were unable to hunt because of the icy conditions. But more than 200 people turned out to show their support and meet friends…. At Sennowe Park in Guist more than 150 people turned up to support the North Norfolk Harriers…. In Wymondham, hundreds lined the market place to see the Dunston Harriers on Saturday… (story)

Yeovil Express 28.12.09 Labour candidate backs Protect Our Wild Animals group By Steve Sowden - WOULD-BE Labour MP for Yeovil was showing his support for the anti-hunting group Protect Our Wild Animals in South Somerset on Boxing Day. Lee Skevington was in Chard ahead of the Cotley Hunt’s annual meeting where he joined in a peaceful protest with POWA in Fore Street…. (story)

Northern Echo 28.12.09 The Hurworth Hunt met at the Golden Lion Hotel, in Northallerton By Mark Foster - THOUSANDS of people turned out to support the region’s traditional Boxing Day meets – with debate raging about the possible repeal of the hunting ban. The Hurworth Hunt met at the Golden Lion Hotel, in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, much to the pleasure of locals who had gathered to watch the annual spectacle… Other hunts that turned out in the region included The Zetland, which met at Aldborough St John, North Yorkshire, and the South Durham, which met in Bishopton, near Sedgefield… Frank Houghton-Brown, joint master of the Tynedale Hunt, which met in Corbridge… (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 28.12.09 Hundreds turn out for Albrighton Hunt - The Albrighton hunt rides through the streets watched by a crowd of hundreds - Hundreds of people braved icy weather and snow to turn out for the biggest event in the hunting calendar in Shropshire. Around 1,500 enthusiasts were at the Boxing Day Albrighton hunt, which was this year held in Newport. Others on Saturday included the Wheatland hunt held near Bridgnorth… (story)

Carlisle News & Star 28.12.09 BOXING DAY HUNTS CANCELLED ACROSS CUMBRIA DUE TO WEATHER By Julian Whittle - SNOW and ice led to the cancellation of most of Cumbria’s Boxing Day hunt meetings. The Bewcastle, Eskdale and Ennerdale, and Melbreak Foxhounds all called off meets. And while the Blencathra assembled in Keswick, conditions were too severe to allow hounds on the fells. But two hunts managed to beat the big freeze. There was a good turnout at Welton for the Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds. And more than 60 people at Uldale where the Cumberland Foxhounds met, appropriately, outside the Snooty Fox pub… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 28.12.09 Brocklesby and South Wold Hunts hold meetings despite weather - HUNTSMEN and women braved icy conditions to put on meetings for supporters. While most hunts around the UK cancelled traditional Boxing Day gatherings because of the bad weather, both Brocklesby Hunt and South Wold Hunt held meetings… (story)

Bridgwater Mercury 28.12.09 Hunt parades through streets - WHILE the hounds gambolled through the streets of Nether Stowey, the horses marched with the huntsmen and women for the West Somerset Vale Hunt on Boxing Day… (story)

Tiverton People 28.12.09 Tiverton Foxhounds Meet Again on Boxing Day By Lewis_Clarke - HUNDREDS continued to gather and show their support for the Tiverton Foxhounds when they galloped through the town centre on Boxing Day… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 28.12.09 Good weather boosts the turnout for trouble-free hunt - HUNT supporters say their annual Boxing Day events passed without incident across South Devon. Hundreds turned out to support the meets of the South Devon Hunt on Dartmoor and the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers at Kingsbridge for what is traditionally the busiest day of the year for them…. (story)

The Sentinel 28.12.09 Hunt hopes for a reprieve - HUNTSMEN hope the ban on the centuries-old practice of using hounds to hunt foxes will be repealed in time for next Boxing Day. More than 1,500 people turned out for the North Staffordshire Hunt's traditional meet on Saturday, a key date in the hunting calendar… (story)

Telegraph 28.12.09 The fox as prey to political wrangling - Benn is to campaign against Conservative proposals for a free vote on repeal of the hunting ban (report, December 26). As Secretary of State at Defra, Mr Benn is said to base his policy on the pre-ban report produced by Lord Burns’s committee… Lord Burns has said subsequently that control by hunting with hounds “does not equate with cruelty”…. Mr Benn should think again before treading the path that has already led to the expenditure of 700 hours of parliamentary time on an issue that produced divisive yet ineffective legislation, leading to a waste of money and effort by the police and the courts. Colonel J.L. Parkes, Sherborne, Dorset (letter)

Western Morning News 28.12.09 School trips under threat - TEACHERS are too scared to take children on trips into the countryside amid fears of legal action if something goes wrong, research suggests. But a survey of councils in the Westcountry suggests just two compensation claims have been made in the last 10 years – and neither was successful… Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: "Statistically, the chances of accidents happening are low and we are working to explode the myths that the countryside is any more dangerous than anywhere else… (story)


Sunday Telegraph 27.12.09 Big turnout for Boxing Day hunts as ban battle looms - Hunt supporters have turned out in their thousands as Boxing Day meets took place for what could be the last time before the ban is overturned By Melissa Kite and Hope Merritt - Around 300 hunts braved icy conditions with the largest crowds of the season coming to show their support as the Tories' gear up to repeal the Hunting Act, which supporters say is an affront to civil liberties. The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, which met at Chiddingstone Castle in Kent, estimated that 2,000 people had turned out. Four hundred gathered to support the Exmoor Foxhounds at Kentisbury in Devon… Stephen Lambert, Chairman of the Council of Hunting Associations, said over 5,000 people had welcomed his local hunt, the Heythrop, in Chipping Norton… Jonathan Seed, Master of the Avon Vale Hunt, which met at Lacock, near Chippenham said: "We meet here every Boxing Day and the crowd is as big as I have ever known it… (story)

Independent on Sunday 27.12.09 Tally ho! Hunt supporters turn out in force - Tory plans for an open vote spur on Boxing Day hunters as Labour calls for renewed defence of foxes - By Charlotte Chambers - Boxing Day is traditionally the biggest meet in the hunters' calendar, and so it proved yesterday as 300,000 braved icy conditions around the country to attend 300 hunts…. In the market town of Corbridge, Northumberland, the joint master of the Tynedale Hunt, Frank Houghton-Brown, was fulminating as he set out yesterday. The target of his ire, the 2005 legislation, which outlawed hunting with hounds… (story)

Wales on Sunday 27.12.09 Hundreds come out to back hunting - HUNDREDS braved sub zero temperatures in Wales to support Boxing Day hunts, as campaigners called for a vote to scrap the Hunting Act… Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, was with the South Pembrokeshire Hunt and 1,000 supporters at the Cresselly Arms, Cresswell Quay…. (story)

Scotland on Sunday 27.12.09 Thousands cheer Boxing Day hunts - THOUSANDS braved sub-zero temperatures to support Boxing Day hunts yesterday as campaigners called for a vote to scrap the Hunting Act. Deep snow curtailed hunting in many areas, but in Corbridge, Northumberland, crowds cheered on the Tynedale Hunt… (story)

Sunday Mirror 27.12.09 David Cameron's friends and family call for fox-hunting ban to be overturned By Vincent Moss - David Cameron's closest friends and relatives yesterday spearheaded a campaign to overturn the ban on cruel fox-hunting. William Astor, stepfather of the Tory leader's wife Samantha, and his close friend and fellow MP Ed Vaizey called for hunting to be legalised immediately if the Tories win the next General Election. Viscount A s t o r, chairman of the Old Berkshire Hunt, and Wantage MP Mr Vaizey demanded the repeal of the ban at yesterday's Boxing Day hunt at Faringdon, near Mr Cameron's country home in Oxfordshire… (story)

Bridgwater Mercury 27.12.09 Boxing Day hunt in Nether Stowey - A BOXING Day tradition was kept up in Nether Stowey on the weekend when hunters and hounds took to the streets of the village. Crowds braved the chilly conditions to watch the festive hunt meeting, as riders in bright red jackets paraded on horseback, with their hounds close behind…. (West Somerset Vale) (story)

Norwich Evening News 27.12.09 Ice scuppers Norfolk hunt - ADAM GRETTON - Hundreds of people descended on Wymondham town centre at the weekend for the Boxing Day gathering of the Dunston Harriers…. Fifteen horses and riders and a pack of hounds entered the Market Place at about 11am to a round of applause, but that was as far as they got after organisers decided not to go any further because of the icy and slippery conditions…. (story)

Sunday Times 27.12.09 Cabinet split over Gordon Brown’s ‘class war’ - Jack Straw is the latest senior government figure to question the prime minister’s election strategy - Isabel Oakeshott - The “class war” strategy of Gordon Brown was in disarray last night after cabinet ministers distanced themselves from it. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Jack Straw, the justice secretary, dissociated himself from the prime minister’s attack on David Cameron’s Eton education, suggesting it was unfair to criticise individuals for something over which they had no control…. In another signal that Labour is pursuing a class-war strategy, Hilary Benn, the environment secretary, yesterday launched a campaign to highlight a Conservative pledge to review the ban on foxhunting… (story)

Sunday Times 27.12.09 Hunt supporters rally against ban - Daniel Foggo - Hundreds of thousands of foxhunting supporters turned out yesterday in a show of defiance over renewed attempts to reinforce the ban on the practice. Although frozen conditions led to the cancellation of many hunts, campaigners claimed the numbers at Boxing Day meets, which traditionally have the biggest turnout of the year, were high enough to show that support remained robust…. (story)

Sunday Times 27.12.09 Otis Ferry: What I think of anti-hunting ‘idiots’ - The professional huntsman and son of singer Bryan Ferry on leftie Britain, spending last Christmas in prison and Simon Cowell - Camilla Long - Even before we reach the sofa in the sitting room of his mother’s Kensington home, Otis Ferry, the 27-year-old pro-hunting firebrand and son of the Roxy Music singer Bryan, is in a state of barely bridled agitation. Agitation at the hunting ban. Agitation at Tony Blair. Agitation at lefties; at the way the whole country is going “lefter”. But mostly, he’s agitated at Simon Cowell…. He said, ‘It’s got to be banned.’ Well, Simon, it is already banned. Oh. Banned properly. Just the most bizarre thing you’ve ever heard. Unbelievable.” Unbelievable, because a few days shy of hunting’s biggest annual event — thousands turn out to watch Boxing Day meets — even the joint master of foxhounds for the South Shropshire hunt is amazed that hunting is still getting such airtime… (story)

News of the World 27.12.09 Tories face being outfoxed - By Ian Kirby - MORE than 250,000 hunt supporters turned out yesterday for what they hoped would be the last Boxing Day meetings under the blood sport ban - but were warned by opponents it will still be in place next Christmas…. (story)

Sunday Independent 27.12.09 Anti-hunt is a class war - I wonder why, in recent times, the issue of hunting with hounds has become such an emotive topic in this country. Perhaps it is linked to the rise of the anti-hunt lobby in Britain although I'm not sure why that should be replicated in Ireland…. It will not benefit Ireland to become as safe and bland as New Labour has rendered the British countryside… The anti-hunting agenda has gathered momentum in recent years. Their opinion is valid and debate is welcome. If only it were reasoned, balanced and mature. On this issue, it is not. It is driven by the sort of shrill, condescending, self righteous spleen that emotionally strangles debate, tolerance and diversity at birth. It is the sound of jackboots marching…. Brian Foley, Phibsborough, Dublin 7 (letter)


Telegraph 26.12.09 Regulator to be set up to monitor return to legalised hunting - A powerful regulator could be set up to monitor a return to legalised hunting within months of the Conservatives winning the general election. By Andrew Pierce - The move would ensure that hunting could only be conducted according to a tight set of rules which would be governed by a regulatory body which would have sweeping powers to ensure compliance. Hunts could effectively be wound up if they defy the regulator. Senior Tories hope the move would wrong foot opponents of hunting, reassure the vocal animal rights lobby, and reinforce their credentials as the party of the countryside… (story)

Horse & Hound 26.12.09 Boxing Day meet moved due to popularity - Martha Terry - South of England hunt supporters will be able to enjoy one Boxing Day meet this year in more comfort. The Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent hunt's annual meet at Penshurst, Kent, has become so popular the hunt has decided to move to nearby stately home Chiddingstone Castle on health and safety grounds…. (story)
Kent & Sussex Courier 16.11.09 Hunt quits village over health and safety fears - THE sight of horses and hounds gathering in Penshurst for the traditional Boxing Day hunt will be a thing of the past because of fears over safety. The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt has attracted large crowds during the 10 years it has met in the centre of the village. But it has been forced to relocate to Chiddingstone Castle because organisers warned the large numbers of people it attracted created a "health and safety issue"… (story)

Express 26.12.09 BOXING DAY HUNT: THOUSANDS BRAVE COLD TO SHOW THEIR SUPPORT By Julia White for - THOUSANDS braved sub zero temperatures to support Boxing Day hunts today, as campaigners called for a vote to scrap the Hunting Act. Deep snow meant Boxing Day hunting was curtailed in many areas but in Corbridge, Northumberland, crowds packed the village market place to cheer on the Tynedale Hunt…. Jonathan Seed, Master of the Avon Vale Hunt, which met at Lacock, near Chippenham, said: “We meet here every Boxing Day and the crowd today is as big as I have ever known it with at least 6,000 people at the meet…. (story)

Worcester News 26.12.09 Thousands support Boxing Day hunts - THOUSANDS of people turned out to support traditional hunt meetings across Worcestershire today. In Droitwich, spectators cheered as huntsmen and women, wearing the red riding jackets, gathered for their annual Boxing Day meet outside the Raven Hotel. Members of the Worcestershire Hunt were forced to leave the horses behind after deciding that the icy ground was too dangerous, but were still on hand to meet the public with the fox hounds… (story)

Western Mail 26.12.09 Supporters gather for Boxing Day hunts - Thousands braved sub zero temperatures to support Boxing Day hunts today, as campaigners called for a vote to scrap the Hunting Act. Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, was with the South Pembrokeshire Hunt and 1000 supporters at the Cresselly Arms, Cresswell Quay… Deep snow meant hunting was curtailed in many areas but in Corbridge, Northumberland, crowds packed the village market place to cheer on the Tynedale Hunt… Jonathan Seed, Master of the Avon Vale Hunt, which met at Lacock, near Chippenham, said: “We meet here every Boxing Day and the crowd today is as big as I have ever known… The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt met for the first time on Boxing Day at Chiddingstone Castle near Edenbridge in Kent…. The Exmoor Foxhounds met at Kentisbury in Devon where 400 people gathered. Exmoor huntsman Tony Wright was the first huntsman to be convicted under the Hunting Act, but was acquitted after a three year legal battle… (story)

Channel 4 26.12.09 Thousands support boxing day hunts - Thousands of people have turned out to support traditional boxing day hunts, as the environment secretary launched a new campaign to support the fox hunting ban. Benjamin Cohen reports… (story)

Malton Mercury 26.12.09 Boxing Day hunts - TRADITIONAL Boxing Day hunts took place across the county drawing spectators of all ages. Horsemen and women and their hounds met in Brompton, Glaisdale, Lockton and Malton. The Derwent Hunt met at The Manor at Brompton, where crowds gathered to watch the huntsmen and their dogs, and the Middleton Hunt gathered in Malton's market place… (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.09 Boxing Day hunt supporters meet - Hunting supporters at a traditional Boxing Day meet in Gloucestershire say they will continue to fight to overturn a ban on using dogs to hunt foxes. Ian Farquhar, master of the Beaufort Hunt, said the current law, brought in five years ago, was "unworkable"… (story)

South Wales Echo 26.12.09 Thousands at Boxing Day hunts - AROUND 3,000 people turned out today to support Gwent two main Boxing Day hunts, the Monmouthshire Hunt in Abergavenny, and the Tredegar Farmers’ Hunt at Bassaleg, Newport…. (story)

Mail 26.12.09 Labour declares class-war on hunting in time for the election as poll suggests the Tories will scrap the ban - Environment Secretary Hilary Benn kicked off a campaign to support the ban on fox-hunting today amid fears from supporters of the legislation that a Tory government would scrap it…. Photos: Jonathon Seed, Joint Master and Huntsman with the Avon Vale Hunt, toasts the crowd of hunt supporters as they gather for their traditional Boxing Day hunt in Lacock, Wiltshire; Members of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt gather for the traditional Boxing Day meet at the kennels at Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex; Huntsmen with the Avon Vale Hunt, chat to the crowd of hunt supporters as they gather this afternoon; Hounds from the Cheshire Hunt make their way home after the hunt's traditional annual Boxing Day meeting was cancelled due to firm ground (story)

Scotsman 26.12.09 Anti-hunt lobby invited to show their support for current ban - ENVIRONMENT Secretary Hilary Benn will underline the government's opposition to hunting when he launches a campaign today aimed at supporting the current ban… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.12.09 Boxing Day hunt supporters out in force - ANNABELLE DICKSON - Hunt supporters were out in force at Boxing Day meets across the region today as the Labour Party urged people to back the ban…. In Bungay, an estimated record crowd of 3,500 people lined the streets for the start of the Waveney Harriers' Boxing Day hunt. Spectators gave the 65 huntsmen and women a rousing reception as they moved off at 11.30am following a trail into Mettingham… In Fakenham, the West Norfolk Hunt were unable to go out because of the danger of the ice. But more than 200 people turned out to show their support and meet friends…. At Sennowe Park in Guist more than 150 people turned up to support the North Norfolk Harriers… And in Wymondham, hundreds lined the market place where the Dunston Harriers met today… (story)

Liverpool Daily Post 26.12.09 Thousands show support for hunting - Thousands have braved sub zero temperatures to support Boxing Day hunts, as campaigners called for a vote to scrap the Hunting Act….. Deep snow meant hunting was curtailed in many areas but in Corbridge, Northumberland, crowds packed the village market place to cheer on the Tynedale Hunt… (story)

Shropshire Star 26.12.09 Minister steps up hunting campaign - Environment Secretary Hilary Benn was kicking off a campaign to support the fox hunting ban today amid fears from supporters of the legislation that a Tory government would scrap it… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 26.12.09 ban backed as hunts take place across Hampshire - Environment Secretary Hilary Benn will today kick off a campaign to support the fox-hunting ban amid fears from supporters of the legislation that a Tory government would scrap it…. Both the New Foreat Hounds and the Hursley and Hambledon Hunt are staging their annual events today... (story)

Times 26.12.09 Minister's campaign to keep foxhunting ban - Robin Henry - Environment secretary Hilary Benn is launching a campaign to boost support for the foxhunting ban, after the Conservatives pledged to review it…. (story)

Telegraph 26.12.09 Tally-ho, Tories - Telegraph View: The Hunting Act is a bad law, and bad laws should not be on the Statute Book. Boxing Day is traditionally the biggest day in the hunting calendar, and hundreds of thousands of the sport's supporters will be attending meets up and down the land. It will, they fervently hope, be the last time they do so without the threat of being criminalised… The Hunting Act is a bad law, and bad laws should not be on the Statute Book….(story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.12.09 Special report: Is the ban on fox hunting working? BEN KENDALL - It is almost five years since the ban on fox hunting came into force. While some celebrated, others lamented the demise of a countryside tradition and predicted the collapse of rural communities. Crime correspondent BEN KENDALL investigates the enforcement of the act and the impact it has had on East Anglia…. According to the police all of the region's hunts - West Norfolk Fox Hounds, North Norfolk Harriers, Dunston Harriers and Waveney Harriers - have adapted so that they are able to continue their activities within the confines of the law… (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 26.12.09 Hunting ban is 'wasting police time' - ANTHONY BOND - TENS of thousands of pounds and hundreds of police man hours have been spent policing the hunting ban in Suffolk - but just two people have been arrested and charged for offences, it can be revealed today… Policing just the Essex & Suffolk Hunt, which is held about 20 Saturdays every year, involves seven police officers deployed for eight hours. This means that Suffolk's police officers spend about 1120 hours each year policing just this one hunt… However, Lawrie Payne, of the League Against Cruel Sports, said the law was working and pressure would be eased on police if people stuck to it…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 26.12.09 Calls for controversial Hunting Act to be repealed as Boxing Day meets take place By Alexandra Wood - AS thousands of hunt supporters turn out for traditional meets across Yorkshire today, fresh calls have been made for a repeal of the controversial Hunting Act… Today, the Labour MP and Countryside Alliance chairman Kate Hoey urges "genuine supporters of wildlife" to demand the immediate repeal of a law she says is "failing at every level"…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 26.12.09 Kate Hoey: Hunting long and hard for any sense in this flawed law - HUNTS will meet today in towns and villages across Yorkshire, as they have on Boxing Day for hundreds of years. The Hunting Act, which was meant to end this tradition, has failed. By next Christmas, it might even have been scrapped…. It is a huge regret to me, as a Labour MP, that in the last 12 years the Government could not have shown as much energy and commitment on rural affordable housing, local services and rural business as they did on hunting. Perhaps, if they had done so, the countryside would be a wealthier, healthier and happier place (story)

Politics 26.12.09 Boxing Day hunters look to 2010 By Alex Stevenson - Around 300 hunts taking place today will be hoping this year's Boxing Day meets are the last under the hunting ban. The Hunting Act 2004, one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in Tony Blair's premiership, could be repealed by this time next year if the Conservatives win power… (story)

Yorkshire Post Equestrian Today 26.12.09 THE York and Ainsty North hunt will be meeting at a new venue on New Year's Day. The meet will be in Staveley village, hosted by Cheryl and Daniel Parry at the Royal Oak…. (story)

Independent 26.12.09 Now Brown declares class war on hunting - New campaign highlights Cameron's pursuit of 'barbaric' sport - Exclusive: By Andrew Grice political editor - Labour will today launch a hard-hitting campaign against David Cameron's proposal to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs. The move will be seen as an extension of its "class war" against the Conservatives. Ministers will point to Mr Cameron's record of supporting fox-hunting and condemn his proposal to give MPs the chance to overturn the Hunting Act if he becomes Prime Minister. Writing in The Independent today, the Environment Secretary Hilary Benn says: "Quite why this is something that would be a priority for a Tory government, instead of the economy or tackling other concerns, is hard to explain to the public and [the Conservatives] have failed to do so."… One senior Labour source said: "We are not saying hunting will be the centrepiece of our election campaign. But it is an issue that concerns many people and it says something about the Conservatives… (story)
Independent 26.12.09 Hilary Benn: The public supports the ban. So what are the Tories playing at? - Today, as families gather to continue to celebrate Christmas, we should also celebrate the fifth Boxing Day without the sight of foxes being torn to pieces in our countryside. In years to come I think we will look back with horror at a time when hunting wild animals with dogs was viewed as respectable entertainment… (story)
Independent 26.12.09 Leading article: Not a class act - David Cameron may well be wishing he had never made a commitment to repeal the 2004 ban on fox-hunting. A bone thrown to the Tory right, a section of his party whose concerns he has often ignored, the pledge is in danger of coming back to haunt him… Gordon Brown senses that in spite of the debacle at last year's Nantwich and Crewe by-election, where Labour attempts to highlight the Tory candidate's social background backfired, class could still prove the Tories' Achilles heel – if it is handled the right way… (story)

Halesowen News 26.12.09 Sylvia urges people to back ban on fox hunting - HALESOWEN MP Sylvia Heal MP has helped launch a national campaign to support the ban on hunting wild animals with dogs. The ‘Back the Ban’ campaign was launched by Hilary Benn, Sylvia and a host of celebrities including Tony Robinson and Patrick Stewart… (story)

Mirror 26.12.09 Stars battle hunter Cam - Animal rights groups will today launch a campaign to stop "barbaric" Tories overturning the Hunting Act. The Back the Ban campaign coincides with the traditional Boxing Day hunts… (story)
Mirror 26.12.09 Benn in hunt attack on Tories - Environment Secretary Hilary Benn will kick off a campaign to support the fox-hunting ban amid fears from supporters of the legislation that a Tory government would scrap it… (story)

Sky News 26.12.09 Minister: Don't Let Tories Bring Back Hunting - Neal Walker, Sky News Online - A campaign to support the fox-hunting ban has been launched by the Environment Secretary amid fears that a Tory government would scrap it. In a sign of how concerned the anti-hunting lobby is about the future of the ban, Hilary Benn will spearhead an awareness-raising drive about the Conservatives' plans… (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.09 Minister Hiliary Benn fights to keep hunting ban - Environment Secretary Hilary Benn is launching a campaign to boost support for the fox hunting ban. Mr Benn is urging people to sign up on a website backing the ban… (story)

Telegraph 26.12.09 Hunting for Tory policy - Charles Moore’s piece based on a study of Baily’s Hunting Directory (Comment, December 22), was excellent. Hunting flourishes in much of the world without statutory interference, mainly in Ireland, the United States and New Zealand, as he pointed out… James Lewis, Wembley, Middlesex
While I hesitate to disagree with Charles Moore, some of my French hunting friends would question his assertion that, on the whole, hunting is a custom of the English-speaking peoples… R.?T.?T.Bramley, Gillingham, Norfolk (letters)
Telegraph 21.12.09 A treasure-trove of the glories of the hunt - Charles Moore reviews 'Baily's Hunting Directory' - Boxing Day is always hunting's red-letter day. Although not normally a day of real, good hunting, it is the moment of the year when hunts are on display to the public, at meets all over the country. I nearly wrote "fox-hunts", to distinguish them from beagles, mink-hounds, stag-hunting etc, but of course I mustn't use that phrase, because hunting live quarry (except with a maximum of two "dogs", as the Act inaccurately calls them) is illegal…. (story)

Telegraph 26.12.09 Boxing Day: a day for walking, talking and taking the long view - What started as an occasion for the rich to give to the poor has turned into the most special, classless and uplifting day of the year, says Horatio Clare …There are the hunts, too, of course; Boxing Day meets, which should be even more entertaining than usual this year, what with the police having switched their allegiance. On Boxing Day in Olde England of Yore, I shall tell my grandchildren, the constabulary would side with the genteel, horse-loving classes against pierced, pink-haired work-shy hunt saboteurs. But around the turn of the century these suddenly law-loving conscientious interventionists found themselves co-operating with the police in attempting to prevent illegal hunting by unreconstructed recidivists in fancy dress… (story)

Telegraph 26.12.09 Property: Spot on for country pursuits - The cry of tally-ho is still heard across the land and can be music to the ears of property owners and those looking to buy, says Anna Tyzack - The hunting ban has failed to put a dampener on Boxing Day meets. Last year, almost 300,000 turned up to support the hunt (and enjoy sausage rolls and whisky). At the Mid Devon meet in Chagford on Dartmoor, people line the streets to cheer the hunt as it passes through the town; Jennifer Saunders and Emma Hope are mounted followers… Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond support the Ledbury, while Liz Hurley hosted the VWH hunt at her manor house in the Cotswolds… according to Rupert Sturgis, of estate agency Knight Frank, properties in good hunting country command a significant premium… . "It's amazing how many people call up and say they must be in Beaufort country, rather than near a particular station or town…. In the heart of Lamerton country in Devon, Christopher and Tishy Godfrey are selling Hurlditch Manor… In Lauderdale country in Selkirkshire, Robert Claydon, joint master of the Buccleuch, is selling Ashiestiel, with fishing rights on the river Tweed (£1.75 million with Savills)…. The East Devon hunt meets on the lawn at Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter… In Lauderdale hunt country, Ashiestiel is an estate that was formerly home to Sir Walter Scott, with a nine-bedroom house and three cottages… (story)

Express 26.12.09 COUNCIL ANNOUNCES £100 FINE FOR OVERFILLING BINS COLLECTED MONTHLY By Donna Bow - HOUSEHOLDERS face £100 fines for overfilling bins that will not be collected for weeks over the Christmas period, it emerged yesterday… The Countryside Alliance, which has campaigned against fortnightly collections, said ¬fining people for having excess rubbish was “nonsense”… (story)


Daily Mail 25.12.09 Hunting supporters believe Tory election win will see end of ban By JAMES GROVES - As hunters gather today for one of the biggest events in the countryside calendar, they can scent victory in the air. Their hopes that a Conservative election win will see the end of Labour's ban on foxhunting have been boosted by a survey suggesting that a 'clear majority' of MPs in the next Parliament want the law scrapped. Of the 130 Tory candidates questioned in the poll, commissioned by the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, none said he would vote in favour of a ban and only seven said they would abstain…. (story)

Western Morning News 25.12.09 Boxing Day hunts to attract crowds - HUNT supporters will be hoping to shake off the excesses of Christmas with what many believe will be the last Boxing Day meet before the ban is repealed….The East Cornwall Hunt has cancelled its Christmas Eve meet because of the forecast. Joint Master and huntsman Graham Higgins said organisers did not want accidents, particularly just before Christmas. But he is hopeful the Boxing Day event will go ahead from the Jamaica Inn at 11am. "By then we have been told it will have thawed out," he said. Hugh Maund, treasurer of the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt, said around 400 people were expected to show up in Bank Square, Dulverton, at 11am on Boxing Day… The Tetcott Hunt is expecting to draw huge crowds to its meet in Holsworthy Square… (story)

Derby Telegraph 25.12.09 John loves being 'human quarry' at Christmas - RACING across frost-hardened fields and through dense undergrowth, heart pounding, with baying hounds at your heels would be most people's nightmare… But for human quarry John Rawlings, it's just great fun. Marathon runner John offered his services to the Four Shires Hunt seven years ago after seeing an advert for a runner… probably the meet he enjoys the most is the Boxing Day hunt at Ashbourne….(story)

Somerset County Gazette 25.12.09 Hunting opponents to protest over Boxing Day hunt By Steve Sowden - MEMBERS of the campaigning group, Protect Our Wild Animals, will be holding a peaceful protest in Chard Fore Street from 10.30am on tomorrow (Boxing Day) morning for about 30 minutes until the Cotley Hunt leaves the town centre…. Protect Our wild Animals spokesperson, Helen Weeks, said: We are taking this action to draw attention to the loopholes in the Hunting Act, which allow hunters to chase and kill foxes just as they did before the ban….. Campaigner Graham Forsyth added: “We will be urging voters not to vote Conservative in the coming General Election as their leader, David Cameron has pledged to make hunting with dogs legal again…. (story)


Hull & East Riding Mail 24.12.09 Boxing Day meet puts ban in focus - IT IS a spectacle which attracts thousands of people on Boxing Day. Members of the 250-year-old Holderness Hunt will ride out with their hounds on Beverley Westwood for the traditional festive meet this Saturday…. Calls for a big push to get the ban overturned will also be made the festive meet of the Middleton Hunt at Driffield Showground on Boxing Day…. (story)

Grantham Journal 24.12.09 UPDATED: The Boxing Day hunt is cancelled - Thursday, 2pm - THE annual Boxing Day hunt has been cancelled this year, as the hounds are suffering from kennel cough…. The hunt usually meets in St Peter's Hill at 11am on Boxing Day. (Belvoir) (story)

Ledbury Reporter 24.12.09 Hunt will meet regardless of the weather - THE red coats and imposing horses of the Ledbury Hunt will be assembling in the town centre on Saturday for the traditional Boxing Day meet… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 24.12.09 Boxing Day hunts still on - THE Boxing Day Hunt meetings will go ahead at Brocklesby and Louth… A spokeswoman for the Brocklesby Hunt said supporters will gather at the Point-to-Point course for 11am… Members of The South Wold Hunt will also gather on Boxing Day for a meeting at Louth Cattle market…. (story)

Liverpool Daily Post 24.12.09 Crowds expected for Cheshire Christmas hunts by Liam Murphy, Liverpool Daily Post - BOXING Day is expected to see Cheshire hunt fans out in large numbers on the biggest day in the hunting calendar – and many of those taking part hope it will be the last under the hunting ban. Hundreds of hunts are due to take place across England, Wales and Scotland, with Cheshire hosting two hunts – the Cheshire Hunt and the Cheshire Forest Hunt – again, one of the most popular areas… (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 24.12.09 Comment: Hunt spectacle still popular - THE methods and the end result may have changed, but there is no doubting that the traditions and rituals of the hunt, neutered though it may have been, still provide one of the most colourful spectacles the countryside can offer… Having said that, who can forget the bitter fighting over the future of hunting a few years ago, culminating in the 2004 Act which made the hunting of foxes with dogs illegal, and thus prevented animals being torn to pieces whenever a pack found their quarry?... Some may say there are more pressing issues to exercise the hearts and minds of next year’s victors, but there are also many – Britain’s hard-working farmers among them – who will welcome any return to the ways of old…. (story)

Wiltshire Gazette 24.12.09 Support for hunt in Lacock is 'high' - Avon Vale joint master Jonathon Seed says that support for the hunt, which is expecting thousands of spectators at its Boxing Day meet at Lacock, has never been stronger…. The hunt meets at the Red Lion Hotel in Lacock at 11am on Saturday. The High Street and East Street in Lacock will be closed…. (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 24.12.09 Parks’ position - It is gratifying to have drawn a response from the Dales (D&S letters, Dec 18) to my call, based on observations in the North York Moors, for national park action to save the much-harried hen harrier… Mr Walton drew attention to the expanding harrier population in New Zealand, where there is little organised gamebird shooting. A parallel in Britain is the dramatic growth in the buzzard population. But though now common in the Lake District, as well as in much conventional countryside, these remain quite rare in our two Yorkshire national parks. Both are strongholds of shooting. Is there a connection?.... HARRY MEAD Great Broughton, Stokesley. (letter)
Darlington & Stockton Times 18.12.09 Birds of prey - In response to Harry Mead’s observations (D&S letters, Dec 11) on the scarcity of the hen harrier, I would agree with his sentiments in hoping that this decline is not due to shooting interests. I wouldn’t hold my breath on this… M T WALTON Ronaldshay Drive, Richmond (letter)
Darlington & Stockton Times 11.12.09 Harrier hopes - In response to Nicholas Rhea’s note on the hard-pressed hen harrier (Countryman’s Diary, D&S, Dec 4)…. The moors are ideal terrain for the harrier, yet , as Peter Walker indicated, it is on the cusp of extinction. One trusts that the shooting interests have no hand in this…. HARRY MEAD Great Broughton, Stokesley (letter)
Darlington & Stockton Times 4.12.09 Future is bleak for hen harriers By Nicholas Rhea - I WAS sorting through some old files this week when I came across a note I had made about 30 years ago. It was the record of the sighting of a pair of Montagu’s harriers on the North York Moors above Cropton, not far from Pickering…. illegal killing of hen harriers on grouse moors has not been ruled out and it is hoped that organisations like Natural England, the RSPB and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation can work together to ensure their future. (letter)

Oxford Times 24.12.09 Ten arrested in police crackdown on hare coursing - TEN men have been arrested as part of a police operation targeting hare coursing. Police launched Operation Migrate in late October to coincide with the beginning of the hare coursing season. Officers stepped up patrols across the Vale of White Horse district and set up an early-warning ring of farmers, land-owners and police… (story)

Bolton News 24.12.09 Making Christmas a little bit kinder - THE charity Animal Concern Advice Line (ACL) has issued its annual appeal to encourage people to have a cruelty-free festive season. The group asks people who will not consider a veggie meal to at least opt for free range…. Shoppers are also being warned of an increased use of real fur trim on clothes and in the manufacture of toys for children and pets…. A Cartmell Bolton Green Party (letter)


Irish Independent 23.12.09 PROPOSED BAN TO BE STRONGLY OPPOSED - THE proposed banning of the Ward Union hunt by Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, will meet stiff resistance with protests set for the streets of Dublin and Dáil Eireann itself, according to local man Gavin Duffy of the Hunting Association. A massive rally in Trim Castle Hotel, organised by the Hunting Association of Ireland in support of the Ward Union Hunt, was attended by over 1,500 supporters… (story)

Guardian 23.12.09 Foxhunting lobby to reignite anti-ban campaign on Boxing Day - Labour and anti-blood sports campaigners rally to Back the Ban campaign as Countryside Alliance starts push for repeal - Martin Wainwright - Thousands of hunting enthusiasts will turn out on Boxing Day to launch an election push to repeal the controversial and much-dodged Hunting Act. Opponents will also be out in force, and a "Back the Ban" campaign will be launched on Boxing Day by the environment secretary, Hilary Benn, alongside celebrities including the actors Tony Robinson and Patrick Stewart… (story)

Ledbury Reporter 23.12.09 Traditional hunt gathering will take place - THE red coats and imposing horses of the Ledbury Hunt will be assembling in the town centre on Saturday for the traditional Boxing Day meet. The meet has been taking place since 1833, and the riders and hounds will gather in the town even if the weather is not suitable for hunting… (story)

Tarporley Hunt Club 23.12.09 Tarporley Hunt Cup causes a flurry of bids at auction - A PIECE of Cheshire hunting history made well over its sale estimate when it went under the hammer. The Tarporley Hunt Cup, an antique silver trophy, was expected to raise up to £1,800 when auctioned in Surrey – but it sold for £2,500. Fittingly it was bought by a member of the modern day Tarporley Hunt Club, now a dining club… (story)
Chester Chronicle 14.12.09 News: 150-year-old Tarporley Hunt Cup finally returns to village thanks to retired executive - A SILVER trophy has returned home more than 150 years after it was presented at a village race meeting in Tarporley. The 12-inch tall Tarporley Hunt Cup was won by James Platt on his racehorse Welsh Heiress in 1858. Now after being discovered in a house in Surrey it has been sold at auction for £2,500 to a purchaser on behalf of Tarporley Hunt Club founded in 1762… (story)
Horse & Hound 10.12.09 Cheshire hunting history makes £2,500 at auction - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - A piece of Cheshire hunting history made almost twice its sale estimate when it went under the hammer yesterday (9 December). The Tarporley Hunt Cup, an antique, silver trophy, was expected to raise up to £1,800 when auctioned at Ewbank Clarke Gammon Wellers saleroom in Send, Surrey, on Wednesday, but instead sold for £2,500. Fittingly it was bought by a member of the modern day Tarporley Hunt Club, now a dining club… The Tarporley Hunt Club's first members were nine young men who hunted at Tarporley in Cheshire at weekends. They were recognisable by their distinctive green and red hunting coats, worn today by staff of the Cheshire Hunt (story)
Chester Chronicle 14.11.09 Tarporley Memories: Tarporley Hunt Cup goes under the hammer - AUCTIONEERS have uncovered an antique silver trophy presented to the winner of the Tarporley Hunt Cup in 1858. The foot-high trophy, expected to sell for up to £1,800, was discovered in the Surrey home of a direct descendant of the winner. It is inscribed on one side with the words 'Tarporley Hunt 1858' and on the other with the victor's name, James Platt, and that of his racehorse, Welsh heiress… (story)

North Devon Gazette 23.12.09 Signs of a special friendship - - WILDLIFE rescuer Bethany Tyler-King of Hartland and rescued fox Milly not only have a special rapport, but also a special means of communication - sign language…. "She is a very switched-on fox and I will be teaching her other signed commands," said Bethany. "If people could see what I see they would think twice about hunting. Animals have feelings and fears, just like we do."… (story)

Burton Mail 23.12.09 Think about the animals from M. Redfern, Shobnall Close, Burton - IF THE Conservatives are elected at the next election David Cameron intends to reinstate hunting as a sport, being a keen hunter himself… I would urge anyone considering voting for the Tories at the next election to reconsider their choice and think about the risk this will pose to thousands of animals in the wild. (letter)

BBC News Online 23.12.09 Deer poaching incidents increase By Jeremy Cooke - The number of reported incidents of deer poaching has doubled in the past year, according to latest figures… But some, including Tom Blades from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, believe that the real figure could be much greater… (story)


Belfast Telegraph 22.12.09 Time to end barbaric hunts once and for all - In this Christian and supposedly civilised country, there will be widespread cruelty inflicted on wild animals over the Christmas holiday season. This reaches a peak on St Stephen's Day, which is a traditional time for hunts and hare coursing…No one group pleading 'tradition' and 'culture' for their barbaric practices should be allowed to inflict terror and death on wild animals for their own perverse pleasure. JOHN TIERNEY Campaigns director, Association of Hunt Saboteurs, Dublin (letter)

Argus 22.12.09 Horrific attack - While I have no wish to de-value the pleasure Val Staveley (Letters, December 21) receives from her visiting foxes, I wonder if she would have had similar feelings for these creatures had she been available to clear up the carnage of my beautiful eight laying hens that were massacred in my urban back garden last week… I say bring back the huntsmen to control these brutal pests. Stephen Lockwood, Meadow Way, Westergate, Chichester (letter)

Western Morning News 22.12.09 Wild boar threat to wildlife - Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 10:00 WILD boar, which have colonised pockets of the Westcountry, have been added to the list of non-native species posing a threat to Britain's indigenous animals. They are among a total of 63 non-native species described as "one of the greatest threats to wildlife worldwide". Since activists raided the Woodland Wild Boar Farm at West Anstey, South Molton, North Devon, in December 2005, wild boar have made habitats on Dartmoor… (story)

Birmingham Mail 22.12.09 Shoppers back circus animal ban by Gregg Evans, Birmingham Mail - BIRMINGHAM shoppers have backed moves to outlaw the use of wild animals in circuses…. Max Pemberton, aged 63 and from Erdington said: “Sometimes it can be cruel on animals so I’m fully behind it.” Marie Beglun, from Stechford, is also hoping to see a ban imposed…. (story)


Worcester News 21.12.09 Boxing Day hunt still very much a tradition By Mike Pryce - THERE has to be a general election by June 2010 and it would be idle to pretend that some sections of the country community haven’t got their tails up at the prospect. Ever since Labour swept to power in 1997 there has been a perception the countryside has been misunderstood by Government and even under attack from some of its more vocal proponents… It effectively banned hunting with dogs but left so many loopholes – either deliberately or naively – that not only a cart and horses, but a whole pack of hounds, plus mounted and foot followers, are regularly driven though it all over the UK several times a week… More than a dozen fox hunts, harrier, basset and beagle packs will be meeting throughout Worcestershire and Herefordshire, all at high profile locations and usually attracting thousands of spectators…. (story)

Malvern Gazette 21.12.09 Traditional Christmas Eve hunt - THE riders of the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt will be assembling in Upton on Thursday morning for their traditional Christmas Eve meet. Riders will be gathering outside the King’s Head at about 10.30am, and will be riding through the town before moving off…. (story)

Daily Post 21.12.09 Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami calling for support in upholding the Hunting Act - ALYN and Deeside MP Mark Tami is calling for support in upholding the Hunting Act. He is one of many throwing his weight behind the Back the Ban campaign which is being launched on Boxing Day…. (story)

Irish Independent 21.12.09 Time to kill off the stag hunt - RUDOLPH the red-nosed reindeer would be well advised to remain airborne if passing through the midlands over the next few days, or at least not to venture too close to terra firma…. For, in addition to it being the season to be jolly, it's also the time of year when deer in parts of Co Meath and north Co Dublin have to run in fear from humans who terrorise them for fun… John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Cambridge News 21.12.09 Man destroys perfection From Ian Smith - REGARDING your correspondents Mr Wilson and his critic Mike Michalak (Letters, December 7). I have in the past done some shooting, but sold my guns after I became a Christian - not wishing to kill any more of God's creatures. To pick up on Mr Wilson's point, some folk believe they have a Godgiven right to partake in bloodsports…. Philip Road, Bury St Edmunds (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 21.12.09 Letter: Who is cruellest - PAT Charman's letter "Stop this cruelty" ended with "Killing animals for fun has no place in a civilised society" and publicising an animal aid corporation. Strange when it had just admitted that "about half of the released birds die before they can be gunned down. They perish from exposure, starvation, disease..." B J MANN, Valley Road, Nottingham (letter)

Evening Standard 21.12.09 Ministers consider ban on animals in circuses - Circuses could be banned from using wild animals as a result of a consultation being launched by the Government today. Animal lovers, circus operators and other interested parties are being asked to comment on the options of a ban, new statutory regulation or self-regulation by circuses being considered by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn… (story)

Oxford Mail 21.12.09 Dubious claims GEMMA Davenport (Oxford Mail letters, December 11) might be interested in the following information: Claims that animal lovers put their passion on a higher level than the welfare of children imply that those who do not share the same passion for animals must therefore have a surplus of care and concern for child welfare…. cases of child abuse and killing have revealed the perpetrator’s horrific treatment of animals prior to the attacks on the child….. AN CHAMBERS, Woodlands Road, Headington, Oxford (letter)


Horse & Hound 20.12.09 Hunting is vital, says jockey Paul Carberry - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - Leading National Hunt jockey and amateur whipper-in of the Ward Union hunt Paul Carberry has appealed to Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Brian Cowen not to ban staghunting. Bluntly, he warned Mr Cowen: "Rural Ireland is fed up of the Green Party holding you and the country to ransom. If the Ward Union is banned, your rural members of parliament will pay at the next election."... (story)

Western Telegraph 20.12.09 Anti-cull group to stage badger 'great escape' - Christmas just wouldn't be the same without The Great Escape…. To highlight what it feels are "complete contradictions" over the badger cull, Pembrokeshire Against the Cull (PAC) will dress as the animals and 'escape' over the River Teifi and Preseli hills, out of the cull area…. (story)

Sunday Mercury 20.12.09 Worcester woman's horror at toy mouse made from dead cat - AN animal rights campaigner was angry to find that a toy mouse she brought for her pet cat was made of real cat fur. Pauline Burgess, 53, from Malvern, Worcestershire, has complained to local trading standards officers about the toy… (story)
Halesowen News 18.12.09 Pet owner’s horror at toy made with cat fur By James Connell - AN animal rights campaigner has reacted with horror after she was sold a toy for her cat made of real cat hair, which is illegal in this country. Pauline Burgess, aged 53, of Cotswold Road, Malvern, was disgusted to discover that toy mice she bought for her pet cat were made of real cat hair…. (story)


Financial Times 19.12.09 Hunting after the ban By Bob Sherwood - “If you break your neck, this will hold it together,” Robin Muir says as he ties a hunting stock around my neck. They are hardly words to calm the nerves as, self-consciously kitted out in breeches, boots, jacket and that stock (merely a strip of cotton), I swing my leg over a big chestnut horse and prepare for my first hunt. Muir, joint master of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt in West Sussex, has lent me his reliable hunter, Chester, with the briefest of instructions: “Just kick him on and you’ll be fine”…. (story)

Derby Telegraph 19.12.09 Hounds to trail man on the run - A PACK of bloodhounds and hunters on horseback are preparing for an annual manhunt across the Derbyshire countryside. The Four Shires Bloodhounds will meet at the Market Square, Ashbourne, on Boxing Day before setting off on the 20-mile chase… (story)

The Shields Gazette 19.12.09 MP urges support for fox-hunting ban - JARROW MP Stephen Hepburn is helping a campaign supporting the ban on hunting animals with dogs. The Back The Ban campaign is being launched on Boxing Day – the old centre of the fox hunting calendar – by Hilary Benn and a host of celebrities including Tony Robinson and Patrick Stewart… (story)


Telegraph 18.12.09 Hunting ban legal challenge fails after court says it 'doesn't breach human rights' By Andrew Hough - The Countryside Alliance, together with a campaigner, Brian Friend, took their case to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that the ban breached their basic human rights. They argued that it was in breach of their right to private and family life, the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association with others and right to protect property. Mr Friend, of Axminster, Devon, had also claimed a breach of his rights to protection from discrimination. But judges in Strasbourg dismissed their application for a hearing yesterday after concluding that the ban, which was introduced under the Hunting Act 2004, did not breach the European Convention on Human Rights…. (story)

Nelson Leader/Colne Times/Barnoldswick & Earby Times 18.12.09 Dodgy argument - ANYONE with a modicum of common sense must realise that in trying to understand the arguments around such an emotionally charged issue such as hunting, it is not best advised to pay attention exclusively to the views of those on one side of the argument – for, or indeed, against. Therefore it is sad, but not perhaps too surprising, to see Mr Pendle basing his discussion on the merits of the Hunting Act solely on a piece of agitprop from the Countryside Alliance… CHRIS RICHARDS Address supplied (letter)
Nelson Leader/Colne Times/Barnoldswick & Earby Times 8.12.09 Anti-hunting laws were attack on the upper clsses - WHAT has been the effect of the Hunting Act since it was passed in 2004? Judging by the response to the latest survey carried out by the Countryside Alliance, virtually none… Now before the anti-hunting fraternity get on their high horses and start shooting Mr Pendle down – puns sadly unavoidable – let him say he has no strong feelings on this subject one way or the other…. But he finds the words of Simon Hart, the Alliance's chief executive, ring true when he says "legislation based on prejudice, rather than evidence and principle, can only ever be temporary". For that is what the Act was, first and foremost – an attack on the upper classes… (story)

Lancashire Telegraph 18.12.09 Ritual killing of animals cruel - REGARDING the article (LT December 11) concerning KFC halal meat, the story states that the animals are stunned, before they are killed… I understand that Muslims do not stun the animals, they slit the animals’ throats alive so therefore they suffer in agony…. P MILLER, Colne. (letter)


Scarborough Evening News 17.12.09 Invitation to Farndale hunt By Martin Herron - THE Farndale hunt rides again on Boxing Day. The hunt meets at the Lion Inn, Blakey Ridge at 10.30am. Chairman George Winn-Darley said: “Everyone is invited to come along to see our hounds and celebrate another year of hunting… (story)

Irish Independent 17.12.09 Stag hunting was never our culture - Stag hunting fans claimed at their indoor rally earlier this week that their sport was fair and humane and an essential part of Irish tradition; and they asked why the only hunt in Ireland that didn't aim to kill its quarry was being singled out for abolition. I can't think of anything less sporting than setting a pack of hounds after a stag and forcing it to run for miles in terror and desperation…. John Fitzgerald, Kilkenny (letter)

Somerset Guardian 17.12.09 Hunting ban is based on bigotry - Graham Forsyth's novel theory of associating slavery with fox hunting will be of great interest and amusement to most historians who will no doubt wait eagerly for his further contribution to this field. However, his comments on MPs being controlled by pressure groups are very appropriate when it is alleged that the Parliamentary Labour Party, who introduced the hunting ban, enjoyed a large donation from an international animal rights pressure group…. The animal rights people were virtually given carte blanche to write their own bill – they cannot whine and call foul if they have got it wrong… C A CURRIE, Frome Old Road, Radstock (letter)
Somerset Guardian 10.12.09 Slave trade link to fox hunt insulting - Graham Forsyth's letter "Tory repeal of hunting ban would be a backwards step" (December 3) is completely absurd…. As for his statement that 70 per cent of the land area of the UK is in the hands of one per cent of the population, interestingly 70 per cent of the land area in the UK is divided into 300,000 farms, and these 300,000 farmers with their partners are one per cent of the population. The pattern of land ownership in this country actually helps guarantee a healthy and vibrant countryside. If the currently farmed land area were held equally by the 25 million households in this country then each house would stand in a plot of about 0.6 of a hectare… The average income per farm is about £20,000, which is less than the national average. GILES BRADSHAW, Whippenscott, Rose Ash (letter)
Somerset Guardian 3.12.09 Tory repeal of hunting ban would be a backwards step - The hunting debate still rages but all polls seem to have taken the view that is prevalent in the country, that hunting for sport is part of our history and now has no place in our modern society. You only have to cast your mind back to our feudal past and look at the parallels between hunting and slavery; even the vocabulary is the same with terms like Master, Whip, Land/Plantation Owner, Hunt Servants, Field Marshalls etc…. GRAHAM FORSYTH, Fairway Rise, Chard (letter)

Somerset Guardian 17.12.09 As Christmas approaches and hunts take centre stage, spare a thought for "your" and "my" wildlife. No doubt we will have the usual obligatory, media-friendly pictures of the pre-hunt stirrup cup ritual, done of course to fool the public into believing that this bloodsport has some sort of genteel respectability… If the day comes when Mr Cameron becomes Prime Minister, then this will be a very sad day for British wildlife. T JONES, Underhill Avenue, Bath (letter)

Selby Times 17.12.09 WELL done Rachel Stanhope (right) for having the courage to stand up to the pompous morons who think they're above the law and who are quite prepared literally to ride roughshod over everyone and anything in pursuit of their so-called 'sport' – Sanctuary fox hunt 'disgrace' (Selby Times, December 10… Gordon Longstaff, Burn (letter)
Selby News 11.12.09 Bramham and Badsworth Hunt apologises for chasing fox through Barlow Common Nature Reserve - RAMPAGING dogs caused chaos as they chased a fox across a popular beauty spot. Barlow Common Nature Reserve's Rachel Stanhope was "horrified" to witness baying hounds in pursuit towards the wildlife centre soon after leaving a group of animal-loving youngsters…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 17.12.09 Critical point for European animal experiments directive - Michelle Thew Chief Executive BUAV, London (letter)
Derby Telegraph 15.12.09 EU must act on animal research - THE revision of the European animal experiments directive is reaching a critical point. Animal experimentation attracts a great deal of public concern…. The latest proposals would allow the use of primates, cats and dogs – as well as other animals – for just about any purpose… There is still time for EU to bring itself back in line with public opinion and vote for modern, humane science and we urge it to do so. Michelle Thew, Chief executive, BUAV, Crane Grove, London (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 17.12.09 Meat-free days can help planet - I HAVE written to Coventry City and Rugby Borough councillors calling for their support for the meat-free Monday initiative… Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby (letter)

Western Morning News 17.12.09 Scots' seal slaughter - THE barbaric practice of slaughtering seals to produce salmon for our over-fed stomachs causes revulsion and horror to most civilised people. Below is a letter sent to Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond – perhaps concerned people would like add their protests by copying and sending it to him, and by boycotting Scottish salmon in our supermarkets… Eileen Noakes, Totnes (letter)

Tamworth Herald 17.12.09 Spare a thought for animals this Christmas time - 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. Turkeys are slaughtered for Christmas dinner, along with ducks, chickens, pigs, cows and lambs. Reindeer are taken from their natural habitat and paraded around the country for the amusement of punters… Ashley Owen, Animal Aid (letter)


Western Morning News 16.12.09 Helen gets more 'gutsy' after hunting exchange - I 'LL never be nervous of going hunting again!," exclaims Helen Addicott fresh from the 2009 Pony Club (PC) hunting exchange in Ireland. The 21-year-old from the Tetcott & South Tetcott PC was one of four successful applicants from the UK taking part in the 11 day trip, which saw members enjoy a wealth of hunting experience over Waterford, Tipperary Country, Meath, West Meath and Louth… She says hunting with The Island Hunt in the South was the most exhilarating….. (story)

Lancashire Evening Post 16.12.09 Police pay out over monkey photo - By Matthew Squires - A group of animal rights campaigners is to receive substantial payouts after taking legal action against Lancashire Police. The action, brought by five protesters, followed arrests made during demonstrations outside Vodafone shops in Preston and Blackpool in 2006. The protesters – Dr Keith Richardson, Dr Joanne Moodie, Dr Elisa Aaltola, Dean Cain and Krystyna Warzecha – were arrested for alleged public order offences because images on their placards of monkeys being experimented on were considered offensive…. (story)
Lancashire Evening Post 12.10.06 ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNERS IN COURT - Five animal rights campaigners have been accused of causing distress to members of the public by displaying a picture of a monkey with the top of its skull sawn off.... The defendants are Joanna Moodie, 28, of Pinfold Avenue, and Elisa Aaltola, 30, of Newsham Place, both Lancaster, Anna Antonini, 36, and Krystyna Warzecha, 44, both of Carshalton Road, Blackpool, and Terence Stringer, 67, of Coniston Avenue, Knott End.... (story)

Morecambe Visitor 16.12.09 Meat-free day helps rainforest - I WAS very disappointed to read in The Visitor (November 25) that Coun Joyce Taylor's proposal to introduce 'meat-free Mondays' has failed. It is an excellent idea because, apart from the obvious health benefits, there are huge environmental benefits… Pat Salkeld, Morecambe (letter)


Leicester Mercury 15.12.09 Leicester MP's plea to support hunt ban - A city MP has called on people in Leicester to sign a petition in support of the ban on fox-hunting. Sir Peter Soulsby, Labour MP for Leicester South, gave his support to the online petition and described the Conservative party's plan to revoke the ban as "nonsensical"…. (story)

Derby Telegraph 15.12.09 MP calls for people to 'back the ban' online - AMBER Valley MP Judy Mallaber has called on people in her constituency to sign a petition backing the ban on fox-hunting… (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 10.12.09 MP backs fox hunting ban - AMBER Valley MP Judy Mallaber has marked the fifth anniversary of the fox-hunting ban by joining Environment Secretary Hilary Benn to back a campaign to keep the blood sport outlawed… (story)

Swindon Advertiser 15.12.09 Letter from John Andrews - I WATCHED Countryfile on Sunday (BBC1) in which John Craven presented an investigation into wildlife crime. Horrific scenes of badger baiting, hare coursing, and deer hunting were shown… The programme reminded me of a poem I wrote in ‘69 that gives a glimpse of the terror hunted animals must experience before they are torn to pieces… JOHN ANDREWS, Shaftesbury Avenue, Swindon (letter)

Leicester Mercury 15.12.09 Cut out cruelty - People like Pauline Williams restore my faith in human compassion and love… As a campaigner against animal cruelty I am almost ashamed to belong to the human race which is capable of such despicable acts of barbarity… Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (letter)

BBC News Online 15.12.09 Animal welfare charity feud ends - Peace has been declared in a long-running feud between two animal welfare charities, it has been confirmed. The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had accused its counterpart in England and Wales of "dirty tricks" over fundraising… Scottish SPCA chief executive Stuart Earley said there had been issues between the two charities for generations, and he was "delighted" an agreement had finally been reached…. (story)


Leicester Mercury 14.12.09 A cruel 'sport' I'm afraid I have to disagree with most of what Mr David Hankey has to say about fox hunting (Mailbox, December 4). I'm certain if a vote were taken on this subject the vast majority would say stop it…. David Small, Oadby (letter)
Leicester Mercury 4.12.09 Vindictive law needs to go - I make no apology to Elizabeth Allinson (Mailbox, November 11) who feels we should all "move on" regarding the Hunting Act brought in by a Government hell-bent on changing traditions that have been part of our heritage for centuries. That simply isn't going to happen. This iniquitous and vindictive piece of legislation was more to do with class divisions and what Blair saw as populist politics than the preservation of the fox…. Personally, I have no particular interest in those who charge about the countryside with a greater risk of injuring themselves than actually catching a fox, but to bring in a pernicious law was an act of sheer folly and one that needs repealing at the earliest opportunity. David Hankey, Great Easton (letter)
Derby Telegraph 26.11.09 Don't bring back this cruel 'sport' - The CA is the heir of the British Field (read Blood) Sports Society. It is seen as a representative of rural dwellers and is often accepted as such by the media and even the Government. In reality, it represents and cares only about a narrow minority whose shared passion is killing wildlife for fun… Mr Bonner is right that the Hunting Act – long overdue and hugely popular – is not working.. It is highly alarming that the bloodsports lobby now seems to exercise a great influence over the Conservative Party… Alan Kirby, Haven Court, Hayle (letter)
Leicester Mercury 23.11.09 Hunting: It's now time to move on - David Hankey said that the Hunting Act is a "bad law" and should be repealed… Enough time and money has been spent on the hunting law and it is time Mr Hankey and others like him accepted it and moved on. Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (letter)
Derby Telegraph 20.11.09 Hunting laws are stopping cruelty - TIM Bonner of the blood-sport-supporting Countryside Alliance claims that the Hunting Act should be repealed because it is a bad law that has failed, with just three prosecutions of hunts in five years… Chris Edwards, FACCT (Fight Against Cameron Cruelty Threat), Chester (letter)
Leicester Mercury 18.11.09 The Act must be enforced - I see the Countryside Alliance has a new spokesperson – sadly espousing the same hackneyed rhetoric, the same dubious statistics (Mailbox, November 2) . Mr Bonner refers to his confusion over the 2004 Hunting Act. Can I suggest he reads it – it is not that complex…. I, for one, will not vote Conservative in the forthcoming General Election if the party supports a repeal of the Act. AF Wreathall, Queniborough (letter)
Leicester Mercury 13.11.09 Repeal this law! - I was staggered to read Karin Fall's defence of the Hunting Act (Mailbox, November 7), which could be repealed should the Conservatives be returned to power. And so it should be! Bad laws need to be repealed…. David Hankey, Great Easton (letter)
Bath Chronicle 13.11.09 The Tories just can't be trusted over hunting - Tim Bonner, who claims that the Hunting Act has failed and should be repealed (Chronicle Letters November 5), is a representative of the Countryside Alliance (CA). The CA is a child of the British Field (read 'blood') Sports Society. It masquerades as a representative of rural dwellers and, shamefully, is often accepted as such by the media and even the Government. In reality, it represents and cares only about a narrow, sectional minority whose passion is killing wildlife for fun…. ALAN KIRBY Details supplied
Yet more propagandist nonsense is being spouted from the dictatorial and desperate hunting lobby. Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance claims that the Hunting Act should be repealed… The Hunting Act was brought in to prevent unnecessary suffering to wild mammals by making hunting with dogs illegal and contrary to Mr Bonner's nonsense there were actually 14 prosecutions in the first two years of the Act and many more since. The act is working, but not to his liking. I wonder why… CHRIS EDWARDS FACCT (Fight Against Cameron Cruelty Threat), Chester (letters)
Leicester Mercury 12.11.09 Act is working - So the hunting season has started, according to Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance… If only three prosecutions have been successful, with many meetings having taken place, does that not indicate the majority are conducted according to the law. Therefore why repeal an Act which has achieved the intention of Parliament… Alan Loasby, Wigston (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 12.11.09 Law depends upon people obeying it - TIM Bonner of the Countryside Alliance, informs us that the hunting season is upon us, and there have been just three successful prosecutions in the five years the Hunting Act has been in force. This is seen as adding weight to the argument for the repeal of the Hunting Act. All it suggests to me, however, is that most hunts people have found no difficulty in operating within the law, whilst a mere handful have been found to be in breach of the law… Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 9.11.09 Police and CPS fail to uphold law of the land - THERE is something seriously wrong with the logic of Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance, Tories will allow time to overturn bad Act, Letters, October 31. The former blood sporting fraternity unanimously agrees that there has been an extraordinary increase in support for trail hunting since enactment of the Hunting Act 2004 banning them from hunting wild mammals with dogs for fun. Why, therefore, should they now wish to reintroduce chasing and killing animals for sport?... John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Leicester Mercury 7.11.09 Better bad law than no law - I agree with Tim Bonner (Mailbox, November 2) that the Hunting Act is a bad law and is very poorly drafted… However, just because it is a bad law does not mean that it should be repealed and not replaced…. What amazes me is that the Conservatives believe that this may be a vote catcher. They already have the votes of hunt supporters so this is simply pushing at an open door… Karin Fall, Oadby (letter)
Leicester Mercury 7.11.09 Most people find hunting abhorrent - I wish I could say I was surprised by the arrogance of the letter by Tim Bonner, of the Countryside Alliance, but in fact it was no surprise at all. His contention that the Hunting Act is a bad law ignores the fact that if it was not for people like him we would not need a law in the first place… Steve Turner, Evington (letter)
Leicester Mercury 7.11.09 Act needs to be tightened up - Recently on Radio Leicester, a member of staff from the Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital said there had been an increase in the number of injured foxes taken there for treatment…. It seems ironic that other people are hell-bent on killing them ("Bad law that must be repealed", Mailbox, November 2)….. Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (letter)
Derby Telegraph 7.11.09 Hunting Act: bad law that's failed - Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance. (letter)
Malton Gazette & Herald 13.11.09 Hunting law failure - Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Bath Chronicle 5.11.09 Last season with Hunting Act in force? TIM BONNER Countryside Alliance (letter)
Halifax Evening Courier 3.11.09 Last year under the hunting ban? - Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance (story)
Leicester Mercury 2.11.09 Bad law that must be repealed - Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Independent 2.11.09 Independent - Count me out - Let me clear up one misunderstanding for Tim Bonner (letters, 31 October). My long-standing opposition to hunting and coursing is not, and never has been, "driven by class politics and prejudice". I simply disapprove of human beings inflicting such gratuitous cruelty on wild animals. Stephen Roberts, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 2.11.09 Tories will allow time to overturn bad Act - Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Independent 31.10.09 Hunting Act has failed - This weekend marks the start of the hunting season, and what could be the last opening while the Hunting Act is in force. The reality is the Hunting Act is a bad law that has failed. There have been just three successful prosecutions against hunts in the five years the Act has been in force, despite the thousands of hours of "monitoring" by the League Against Cruel Sports and their associate organisations….. I am sure non-hunting people will agree that the money wasted on enforcing a dreadful piece of legislation would be better spent targeting majority issues, such as education, policing and the NHS. Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance, London SE11 (letter)
Darlington & Stockton Times 30.10.09 Act has failed - TIM BONNER Head of Media, The Countryside Alliance, London (letter)

Leicester Mercury 14.12.09 Hounds do more damage than foxes - C Davies (Mailbox November 26) tells us of the destruction foxes do. He/she says they attack domestic cats, hens and lambs. Farmers have to bring animals indoors. All the years I worked on farms we never had one lamb killed by a fox. … If C Davies thinks that people go hunting because of the damage the fox does he/she is living in cloud cuckoo land. They go because they get pleasure seeing a defenceless animal ripped to bits… G A Wright, Leicester (letter)
Leicester Mercury 26.11.09 Hunting defence - Regarding the letter (Mailbox, November 18) about the Hunting Act, does A F Wreathall know the destruction foxes do? They attack domestic cats, hens, lambs… With hounds foxes are flushed out and killed outright. And people feeding them doesn't keep the population down. C Davies, Leicester. (letter)

Northern Echo 14.12.09 Demand for talks after gamekeepers cleared By Neil Hunter - COUNTRYSIDE officials are demanding talks with police chiefs following the collapse of a trial of three gamekeepers accused of accosting suspected poachers. The case against North Yorkshire men Lewis Williams, 24, Douglas MacLean, 31, and Jeremy Wearmouth, 41, is estimated to have cost the taxpayer £100,000. The three men were found not guilty of assaulting and threatening two rabbit hunters from Manchester after a trial lasting three days at Teesside Crown Court… Following the verdicts, the National Gamekeepers Organisation criticised the prosecution, and demanded talks with the chief constable of North Yorkshire Police…. (story)
Northern Echo 9.12.09 Gamekeepers deny attacking rabbiting pals By Neil Hunter - TWO friends wrongly suspected of being poachers were assaulted and threatened by gamekeepers when they got lost on an authorised shooting trip, a court heard. Michael Collins and Luke Doyle travelled to the North Yorkshire Dales in February to hunt rabbits on land belonging to the father a university colleague. They told a jury at Teesside Crown Court yesterday they were left terrified after being accosted by Lewis Williams, Douglas Maclean and Jeremy Wearmouth… (story)

Oxford Mail 14.12.09 Stay vigilant Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive League Against Cruel Sports (story)
Sale Messenger 26.11.09 Hunting folk are not above the law - Douglas Batchelor Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports Surrey (letter)
Sunderland Echo 21.11.09 Illegal hunting - Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Filey Mercury 21.11.09 Help keep cruelty history - Douglas Batchelor Chief executive League Against Cruel Sports New Sparling House Holloway Hill Godalming Surrey (letter)
Daily Post 16.11.09 Don’t let cruelty return - THE hunting season has barely begun and already we have evidence of three separate incidents of what we believe to be illegal hunting. Hunters who think themselves above the law must be brought to book and we are urging the public to help us work with the police to ensure those who break the law are punished…. Any information regarding the time, dates and locations of hunt meets and published hunt cards are a great help to us… Douglas BatchelorChief Executive, League Against Cruel SportsGodalming (letter)

Mail 14.12.09 Fantastic Mr Urban Fox: The reason why our so-called pests are so at home in our cities By PROFESSOR STEPHEN HARRIS - Whisper it — but deep down, we city dwellers love our urban foxes…. . I’ve been studying urban foxes for more than 40 years and one of the more surprising discoveries I’ve made is that some 50 per cent of an urban fox’s diet comes courtesy of us humans… (story)

Oxford Times 14.12.09 11 held in hare coursing crackdown - Eleven people have been arrested in a police operation against hare coursing. The neighbourhood policing teams in Wantage, Faringdon and Hungerford are running an operation targeting anyone who is hare coursing and committing any related offences…. (story)

Kidderminster Shuttle 14.12.09 Stourport film-maker aiding farmers with latest project - A FILM-maker who was brought up on a farm in Stourport is hoping his latest project will give struggling farmers a boost. Nick Jones, 29, says an A-list actor is interested in taking the lead in The Banker’s Choice and a BAFTA-winning editor is set to be involved. He needs to raise £20,000 to make the film, about a second generation farmer on the verge of bankruptcy and his meeting with a young city bank manager. Profits from the film will go to the Countryside Alliance Foundation and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, which supports members of the farming community in need…. (story)

Cornish Guardian 14.12.09 Vigil outside cathedral by county animal rights group - A CORNWALL animal rights group staged a candle-lit vigil outside Truro Cathedral to highlight animal cruelty and encourage people to think twice before buying a Christmas turkey. Deborah Rylatt, of Newquay, a member of Cornwall's Saving Animals from Exploitation group, held the evening vigil in support of the International Animal Rights Day, organised by the UK organisation Uncaged… (story)

Halifax Evening Courier 14.12.09 The problem with animal gifts - Christian Aid, Oxfam and other aid agencies are once again tapping into public disquiet over the existence of plenty in the midst of hunger and asking you to make a Christmas gift of a farmed animal to an impoverished person in Africa or in another of the world's poorest regions. This is despite mounting evidence demonstrating that animal farming is environmentally destructive… Andrew Tyler, director, Animal Aid (letter)


ContactMusic 13.12.09 PINK STILL MAD OVER SNUB BY BRITISH PRINCE - Avid animal rights advocate PINK is still angry with PRINCE WILLIAM for failing to reply to her letter questioning his love of hunting - branding the future British monarch a "redneck"…. (story)

Irish Independent 13.12.09 Protect the hare - Watching RTE's Val Falvey TD on Sunday night reminded me that life does indeed imitate art, or slapstick comedy as in this instance. The advice given to Ardal O'Hanlon's fictional Dail deputy is typical of how the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael parties responded to Tony Gregory's 1993 Private Members Bill to ban hare coursing, a Bill obliquely alluded to in the programme… According to opinion polls, a substantial majority of Irish people now favour the abolition of this blood sport, so I hope that real life TDs will soon have an opportunity to vote on a Bill to protect the Irish hare. John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (story)

Sunday Mercury 13.12.09 No Yuletide tidings for the animals on your plate - THERE is no stink like the stench of hypocrisy. To those urchins who wrote last week of their lives of kindness and humility, caring and their Christian forgiveness, perhaps they should think again. No doubt they’ll give no thought to the poor animals that have been slaughtered in cold blood, after a short miserable life, reared in abysmal conditions, that they then put on their plates. At least I’ll not do that, a nut roast will suffice… PAUL HEMMING, Erdington (letter)


Gloucester Citizen/Echo 11.12.09 Hunting row divides Gloucester candidates - Gloucester MP Parmjit Dhanda has challenged his Conservative rival to stand up against fox hunting. However, Richard Graham, who will stand against Mr Dhanda in next year's election, says there are more important issues to worry about in Gloucester…. Mr Dhanda, who represents the Labour party, said: "I challenge my Tory opponent to stand up for the city and oppose plans to repeal fox-hunting. I know he is close to the Heythrop Hunt and they deliver his leaflets for him, but he should push their interests to one side and listen to the people of Gloucester instead."… (story)

Country Life 11.12.09 Hunting at last! - Octavia Pollock …. . After following on foot at my opening meet, great fun but not quite the same, I finally settled into the rhythm of a proper hunting weekend with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray. Settling down with a G&T the night before at Fitzhall, home of the Country Life Deputy Editor Rupert Uloth and the location of the meet, I felt London finally fade into the background….. (story)

Hexham Courant 11.12.09 Fox hunting - I WAS appalled and deeply ashamed that our area is named as the wildlife crime capital of England, where 737 cases of cruelty to animals have been recorded by Northumbria Police. Then to rub salt in the wounds you trumpeted that the Haydon Hunt was celebrating 200 years of cruelty with lots of revellers including children who had been persuaded to ‘bunk off’ school! (Courant, November 27)…. ALAN WRIGHT, Stocksfield (letter)

Portsmouth News 11.12.09 Protesters stage mock funeral for 'murdered' animals By Chris Broom - Police watched as demonstrators staged a mock funeral march to mark international animal rights day at a controversial animal testing laboratory… The members of Stop Wickham Animal Testing (SWAT) had written to police asking for permission to shut about 100yards of Winchester Road as they marched between Wickham Square and the labs, but were refused. Protester Jeanette McClunan said: 'I think they've taken away our human rights and our right to peaceful protest…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 11.12.09 Guide offers festive fun without cruelty - 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….. Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge (story)


Nottingham Evening Post 10.12.09 MP backs fox hunting ban - AMBER Valley MP Judy Mallaber has marked the fifth anniversary of the fox-hunting ban by joining Environment Secretary Hilary Benn to back a campaign to keep the blood sport outlawed… (story)

Horse & Hound 10.12.09 Missing horse found safe and well three days later - Amy Mathieson, H&H news writer - A horse that went missing following a day out with the Southdown Bloodhounds has been found safe and well, three days later. Lily, a 15.2hh bay roan with a large white blaze and white socks, went missing on Sunday (6 December)… (story)
Horse & Hound 8.12.09 Horse goes missing following a day out with bloodhounds in Hampshire - Amy Mathieson, H&H news writer - A worried owner is appealing for information about his daughter's horse after it disappeared following a day out with the bloodhounds in Hampshire on Sunday (6 December). , a 15.2hh bay roan with a large white blaze and white socks, went missing on Sunday after following the Southdown Bloodhouds… "Lily reared when she was being untacked and bolted. She was headed towards Colemore on Sunday at about 2.30pm and hasn't been seen since… (story)

Somerset Guardian 10.12.09 - W Cordy's description of the final episode of a fox hunt reminds me of the cruellest animal suffering I have witnessed. After a fox hunt of several miles, the fox escaped into a badger sett and two men with terrier dogs dug for the animal. On reaching the fox the two terrier dogs dragged it out, one of the men cut off its tail, then threw the fox to the hounds who soon devoured it…. H CORNELIUS, Lower Batch, Chew Magna (letter)

Irish Independent 10.12.09 Hear no evil SO the Irish Greyhound Board takes offence at the "unsubstantiated" claims of cruelty within greyhound racing in Ireland? (Letters, December 4). I suppose the greyhounds cut their own ears off to remove the tracking chips and dig their own mass graves?... David Sisk, Ard Keale, Mount Oval, Village, Rochestown, Cork (story)

Croydon Guardian 10.12.09 Jailed Croydon animal rights blackmailer wins protest appeal By Mike Didymus - A Croydon animal rights campaigner jailed for orchestrating a six-year reign of terror will be allowed to protest again after he is released, appeal judges ruled on Friday. Gavin Medd-Hall was labelled an "urban terrorist" by his trial judge after posting detailed information about targets on an anti-animal testing website, leading to a £12m campaign of damage by fanatics…. (story)
Cambridge News & Crier 7.12.09 Activist wins the right to protest - AN animal rights activist jailed for his part in a terror campaign against companies connected to Huntington Life Sciences (HLS) has had his lifetime ban on protesting overturned… Gavin Medd-Hall, 46, of Selwood Road, Croydon, compiled information on targets whose details were posted on the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) website… Medd-Hall was jailed for eight years at Winchester Crown Court on July 30 last year for conspiracy to blackmail. He was also handed an indefinite Asbo, as were three others… On Friday, all four challenged the Asbos before Lord Justice Elias, Mr Justice Griffith Williams and Judge Elgan Edwards… Lord Justice Elias upheld the cases against the other three but allowed the appeal of Medd-Hall, saying: "In his case it was not necessary to impose such an order. He doesn't fall into the same fanatical category as the others." (story)

Hull Daily Mail 10.12.09 Animal rights champ was 'one in a million' - FRIENDS of an animal rights campaigner who died after an accident at work have paid tribute to him. Ray Jessop, of St George's Road, west Hull, has been described by those who knew him as an "immense personality ..." (story)

Northwich Guardian 10.12.09 Keeping a hedgehog in your handbag is just cruel - ANIMAL lovers have hit back after the Guardian reported a craze for African pygmy hedgehogs in last week’s edition…. Janet Thornton, from North West Animal Welfare, in Warrington, said: “These hedgehogs are not fashion accessories… Nicky Brookes, an animal rights campaigner from Billinge Green, said: “Novelty pets soon lose their appeal and just who is going to able to take in the post-Christmas glut of little hedgehogs?.... (story)

Chester Chronicle 10.12.09 Animal right protesters target Chester city centre wine shop over sale of foie gras - ANIMAL rights protesters targeted a city centre wine shop today (Thursday, December 10). The group was campaigning against foie gras which is being sold by Nicholas wine merchants on Bridge Street, Chester… The group held placards and gave out Viva leaflets to passers-by to highlight their issues with foie gras (story)

Scotsman 10.12.09 Zoo trouble - IT is distressing to learn that measures to improve inadequate facilities at Edinburgh zoo have been "put on hold while the company tried to resolve financial issues"… CHRIS DRAPER, Born Free Foundation, Horsham, West Sussex (letter)

Daily Post 10.12.09 Stop the cull! by Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - OPPONENTS of next year’s planned badger cull in Wales directed their ire at North Wales AM and farmer Brynle Williams. Members of Wales Against Animal Cruelty, led by Rhyl activist Judi Hewitt, lobbied the AM outside Mold library but were unable to put their views directly to Mr Williams…. (story)
The Leader 9.12.09 Animal rights activists in Flintshire protest badger cull - ANIMAL rights activists took to the streets of Mold to protest against a proposed badger cull. Dozens of protesters gathered in Daniel Owen Square over an Assembly decision to kill badgers in an effort to prevent the spread of bovine TB. Protester Judi Hewitt said badgers could not be blamed for spreading the disease…. (story)


North Cotswold 9.12.09 £900 coat stolen at hunt ball - A £900 coat was stolen from the cloakroom in a marquee erected in a field at Condicote, near Stow, for the North Cotswold Hunt Ball… (story)

Metro 9.12.09 Mystery car brake cutter turns out to be suburban fox - The case was baffling and police feared they could be hunting a potential killer, but the culprit was a not-so-fantastic Mr Fox.Over eight months, someone had gone around cutting the brake cables on nine cars – three Mercedes, a BMW, three Fords, a Nissan and an Austin – in three suburban streets… Detectives examined the damaged vehicles… the breakthrough came when they went to Prof Stephen Harris, an expert in biological science in Bristol University, who identified the cuts and marks as being made by animals – probably foxes…. (story)

Portsmouth News 9.12.09 Fears raised over live animal exports through Portsmouth By Alex Forsyth - Live animals could be exported for slaughter through Portsmouth's port - with city leaders powerless to stop it. Portsmouth City Council had imposed a £5,000 fee on trucks carrying 10 or more animals in a bid to prevent the trade. But that has been cut to £2,345 after ferry company Celtic Link threatened legal action over the hefty fee, according to Lib Dem councillor Mike Hancock… Councillor Jason Fazackarley, in charge of community safety, warned there would be mass protests which could prove dangerous…. (story)

Oxford Mail 8.12.09 No more hot air - I WROTE regarding the Oxford Mail’s recent Issue column on eating meat. This week the world’s leaders are meeting in Copenhagen to discuss the impending doom that will be caused by global warming… No doubt world leaders will be tucking in to a five-course dinner which is highly unlikely to be vegetarian. This worries me as numerous organisations including the UN, have clearly stated that people will need to eat less meat if the world is to conquer climate change…. WILL WRIGHT Four Paws UK (letter)


Leicester Mercury 8.12.09 'Now or never' to overturn ban, hunt supporter warns - Senior pro-hunt campaigners have used the fifth anniversary of the fox-hunting ban being passed to say it is now or never in their campaign to make the pastime legal again…. Rad Thomas, spokesman for Quorn Hunt, said: "It has been a difficult five years for the hunting community but there has been a real determination to hold together the tradition and the infrastructure of hunting in the hope that one day this awful law would be repealed…. (story)

Western Morning News 8.12.09 Fair game? A YOUNG man kills a pigeon, intending to eat it. Shock, horror, arrested, charged, sentenced, made to pay costs. Toffs in fancy dress on horseback set out deliberately, and in contravention of the law, to chase a small animal, set dogs on it to tear it to pieces… J S Stuart, Exeter (letter)

Garforth Evening Post/Local Pages 8.12.09 Kippax man gets set for 100,000 steps charity challenge - Kippax man Bryan Higgins is to walk 100,000 footsteps for charity in 24 hours…. He said all funds raised will be split between Viva! (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals), The Roy Castle Cancer Foundation and Christian Aid … (story)

Western Telegraph 8.12.09 Pembrokeshire Against The Cull plant 800 trees in world record attempt - Pembrokeshire's anti badger cull protesters found a way to spread their message during Saturday's Tree O' Clock world record attempt. Pembrokeshire Against The Cull's 18 volunteers planted 800 native trees at a site in Felindre Farchog… (story)


Ryedale Gazette & Herald 7.12.09 Fox-hunting photo exhibtion at the Hare Inn, Scawton - AN exhibition documenting fox-hunting before, during and after the controversial ban is on the menu this week at a North Yorkshire gastro-pub. The award-winning Hare Inn, at Scawton, near Rievaulx Abbey, is to feature the work of local photographer Kirstie Handley. The 38-year-old photographer followed the Bilsdale Farmers and West Of Yore hunts to present the sport from a genuine and honest perspective….. (story)
Darlington & Stockton Times 3.12.09 Fox-hunting - before and after the ban - A CONTEMPORARY exhibition documenting fox-hunting before, during and after the controversial ban is on the menu at a North Yorkshire gastro-pub. The award-winning Hare Inn at Scawton, near Rievaulx Abbey, is to feature the work of local photographer Kirstie Handley…. (story)

Guardian 7.12.09 Rebekah Brooks to join the hunt - How might News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks spend Boxing Day? Eating the last of the Turkey, perhaps? Or Opening an extra present from Uncle Rupert? None of the above, according to her husband Charlie, who reveals in this month's GQ magazine that Brooks will be on a pro-hunting demo…. (story)

Irish Independent 7.12.09 Animal welfare activists put pressure on Gormley By Breda Heffernan - GREEN Party leader John Gormley will face a "PR disaster" if he reneges on promises to ban fur farming and stag hunting, according to animal welfare activists. Hundreds of activists gathered in Dublin yesterday to call for greater protection for animals ahead of the publication of a new Animal Health and Welfare Bill next year. As part of the revised Programme for Government, the Greens won a ban on stag hunting and the phasing out of fur farming. Activists said they hope both measures would be included in the new bill. However, John Carmody, spokesman for Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), said that until the practices are banned, his group will put pressure on the Government… (story)
Irish Examiner 6.12.09 Animal rights demonstrators demand tougher sanctions for cruelty - An army of animal lovers took to the capital’s streets today to call for tougher laws to protect their four-legged friends.Hundreds of campaigners gathered on O’Connell Street to fight for harsher penalties for harsher penalties for cruelty in the upcoming Animal Welfare Bill…. “The Irish Government simply doesn’t make animal protection issues a priority,” John Carmody of the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) said… (story)

Western Morning News 7.12.09 Hunting's a great activity - I KNOW some people get hot under the collar about hunting with hounds, even if they have never been. I go hunting at least once a week in the season and find it a great activity, rich in culture and art, language and skill… I went to state school and have just finished paying back my student loan after 10 years, so I'm pretty sure I'm not a toff. I have never ridden to hounds, but am one of the many foot followers… Long live the hunt! Pete Lacy Southampton (letter)

Fenland Citizen 9.12.09 I have found no dead birds after shoots - In reasoned response to Julian Kirk's progressively, approaching hysterical, letters to this newspaper on the subject of shooting for sport, I would say the following. Firstly if he thinks deer are a recent arrival in the Fens, then as someone who has been watching them locally for the past 25 years, I must question his eyesight and his powers of observation. With regard to gamebirds being left injured by sporting shooters, all I can say is that having spent the past five winters viz. the shooting season, working in orchards surrounded by a regular formal shoot, I have not once found a dead or injured pheasant or deer… STEVE CARPENTER, Burdett Rd, Wisbech (letter)
Fenland Citizen 2.12.09 I am still waiting for an answer- Following my letter a few weeks ago regarding the shooting of wildlife for sport, I have received many emails backing my views and one against… It is not only the birds these people are killing its deer. The Fens have only recently seen deer arrive. I have several here. what a wonderful sight they are too – but they are shot… What do they get out of shooting these creatures? I have not yet had what I would call a sensible answer. JULIAN KIRK, Meerdyke Farm, Harps Hall Road, Walton Highway (letter)
Fenland Citizen 18.11.09 Let's get facts on the table - Julian Kirk's emotive letter (Citizen, November 4) appears to blame farmers for the decline in pheasants and partridges… Oh dear, where to start. How about the fact the our endangered songbirds are seven times more likely to be found on land managed for game shooting than land which isn't… BILL WELLS, North Brink, Wisbech (letter)
Fenland Citizen 12.11.09 Shooting sports do bring benefits - Could I put forward a balanced opinion to the letter by Julian Kirk re 'shooting season has begun,' Firstly, I would like to point out I know Julian Kirk and his family and they are very honest and hardworking farmers and Julian has every right to express his opinion on shooting sports. I shoot and fish and have many friends and colleagues that do also, I am also a member of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and have in the last two years given over most of my land in wildlife habitat, creating ponds, building and erecting owl boxes and planting hedgerows and native trees… C READ, Wisbech (letter)
Fenland Citizen 12.11.09 More needed to curb hunting - Along with Julian Kirk - thousands of us struggle to understand how anyone experiences pleasure through the bloody killing of an innocent creature. After all, the shooting fraternity is a minority 'sport'… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)
Fenland Citizen 4.11.09 Shooting season begun - May I through your paper bring to the public's attention - if they were not already aware - the shooting season has started. Millions of game birds will be put to death in the name of sport…. Will someone please tell me what people get out of this sport?... I will endeavour to continue to do my part in trying to do all I can to save what little wildlife we have left…. JULIAN KIRK, Harps Hall Road, Walton Highway, Norfolk (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 7.12.09 Letter: In defence of pheasants - I COULDN'T agree more with the comments aired by Pat Charman (Letters, Stop this Cruelty) on the subject of shooting animals for so called sport. Unfortunately, living in the countryside we often hear the sound of gunshot and quite often see blood thirsty so-called men in pursuit of pheasants and other animals. Fortunately, some of the animals seek refuge and safety at our sanctuary and we welcome them in… Perhaps those who choose to pursue these so called barbaric sports could come and help to mend and pay for the maimed animals that they don't quite shoot outright and leave to suffer. BETH HEWIS, Hobsic Close, Brinsley Animal Rescue (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 8.11.09 Letter: Stop this cruelty - READERS may be shocked to learn that every year in Britain, more than 45 million pheasants and partridges are mass produced to serve as feathered targets for wealthy "guns". This bloody and brutal end to their lives is the final insult. From birth, they are confined in cages, sheds, and pens, in which disease and death are a daily feature…. Killing animals for fun has no place in a civilised society. For information, contact Animal Aid… PAT CHARMAN Eaton Street Mapperley (letter)

Argus 7.12.09 Rabbit gassing shame - I agree wholeheartedly with all the sentiments and views expressed by Sue Baumgardt in her letter about rabbits being gassed near Hollingbury Golf Course… Alison Plaumer, Brighton (letter)
Argus 1.12.09 Gassing shame - So the deed is done and rabbits at Waterhall Golf Course have been gassed. How sad – and disappointing… So the deed is done and rabbits at Waterhall Golf Course have been gassed. How sad – and disappointing... Sue Baumgardt, Stoneham Road, Hove (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 7.12.09 Slaughterhouse protest goes on - I was delighted to see notice boards along the roadside on the Rugby Road at Dunchurch calling for a ban on the proposed slaughterhouse to be sited along the A45 by Onley…. Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby. (letter)


Sunday Express 6.12.09 ANIMAL TESTING LABS NEED POLICING SAY CAMPAIGNERS By Ted Jeory, Whitehall Editor - THE Home Office has been urged to stop issuing blanket licences to animal testing labs where rabbits are being “needlessly” shackled in “medieval” stocks for up to eight hours per experiment… The row centres on pyrogenicity tests—experiments designed to see if products likely come into contact with the human bloodstream cause fevers—at four British laboratories. One of those is Wickham Laboratories in Hampshire, which is currently being investigated by the Government after allegations of malpractice during a range of procedures. …. Sarah Kite, BUAV’s special projects director, said because the Home Office simply hands out “blanket” licences to labs such as Wickham, officials were allowing needless tests to slip through the net. That means the Government is failing its legal duty to comply with the principles of the “three Rs”, to reduce, refine and replace animal experiments….(story)


Western Morning News 5.12.09 Poachers blamed for animal deaths - GANGS of professional poachers could be stealing animals to order in the Westcountry. Police said they suspected organised poachers were at work after the discovery of a notebook with orders for beef, poultry, lamb, pork, fish and venison was discovered during an investigation… (story)


Hexham Courant 4.12.09 Haydon Hunt is riding high after 200 years - TWO hundred years ago, a rather mad George III sat on the throne of England while, what has become one of Tynedale’s oldest sporting institutions, took to the field for the first time… Since 1971, The Haydon hounds have been kennelled at Settlingstones, near Newbrough, on the site of a former witherite mine. Nowadays, the hunt has taken a more modern approach in its appointment of 25-year-old master of the foxhounds, Charlie Shirley-Beavan…. Not without experience, Charlie has whipped in at well-known hunts such as the Tynedale, Cotswolds and South Shropshire… (story)
Hexham Courant 4.12.09 Glossary of hunt terms... 1. Speak: Hounds do not bark, they speak or are speaking when they are hunting a scent…. (story)

Tenby Observer 4.12.09 Hunt visit demonstration in Tenby - Demonstrators protested against the South Pembrokeshire Hunt when it rode into the centre of Tenby on Saturday. The opposers, some from local branches of the League Against Cruel Sports and Animal Aid, held banners up in Tudor Square explaining the hunt’s desire to repeal the legislation outlawing blood sports… Richard Tiller, local animal welfare campaigner, said he was “extremely pleased” with the protest, which he believed showed the strength of local feeling against any moves to repeal the Hunting Act…. Meanwhile, a resident of St. Florence, Karen Evans has written to the town council to say that she was “disturbed” that they had taken the decision to welcome the hunt back into Tenby… (story)

Powys County Times 4.12.09 John Prescott shocked at link to Mid Wales hunt - FORMER deputy prime minister John Prescott was shocked when he discovered one of his ancestors led a hunt through Montgomeryshire… In fact his ancestor, John Morgan, was the master of hounds for a fox hunt that ran through the heart of Montgomeryshire… (story)

Swindon Advertiser 4.12.09 Letter from Miss Katherine Watson IF the pro-hunt minority are genuinely keeping within the legal limit and at the same time sure of their case for repealing the Hunting Act why are they so hostile towards anyone monitoring their activities? - IF the pro-hunt minority are genuinely keeping within the legal limit and at the same time sure of their case for repealing the Hunting Act why are they so hostile towards anyone monitoring their activities?... (Miss) KATHERINE WATSON Rushton Drive Bramhall Stockport (letter)

Hexham Courant 4.12.09 Crackdown on poachers as police keep watch on farms - POACHERS and criminals who travel into Tynedale from surrounding areas are being warned the police are on their tail. Officers in the district are working closely with landowners and farmers to tackle those who come from outside the area to commit crime...(story)

Exeter Express & Echo 4.12.09 Alliance concerns at Post Office plans - Simon Hart, Chief executive Countryside Alliance (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 4.12.09 Letter from Simon Hart - THE Countryside Alliance welcomes the government’s plans for the future of our post office network. Their newly launched consultation outlines a way to put the network at the forefront of financial services in the UK. These plans will be especially welcome to those in rural communities worried about the future of their post office….. SIMON HART Chief Executive Countryside Alliance >(letter)

Swindon Advertiser 4.12.09 - Growing flesh is a wasteful process - FOR the past few years foreign-aid charities have been asking for money to send cows and other animals to Africa. It's not a good idea….. Instead of the wasteful process of growing flesh, which wastes anything from 50 to 90% of the food-value the animal eats (to keep itself alive and moving around) shouldn't donors' money go into water-supply and plant-cultivation to feed people direct?. Animal Aid is supporting an irrigation and tree-planting project in Kenya and recommends similar charities like Food For Life, Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, and HIPPO…. (story)


Evesham Journal 3.12.09 Hounds ran into garden - A COUPLE from near Broadway have accused the North Cotswold Hunt of letting their hounds “run riot” in their garden. Alex and Pam Peters were at their Little Buckland home at lunchtime on Saturday when they discovered about 10 hounds had come through a fence into their back garden (story)

New Statesman 3.12.09 Cameron gives the Tories some welly - Gaby Hinsliff - Cameron may be comfortable with his personal blend of retro and metro, but bridging such gaps within his party will be tougher…. Cameron needs both suburban marginals and shire safe seats to get a majority, which may be why the Tory front bench keeps contradicting itself over repealing the hunting ban…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 3.12.09 Why is fox hunting at the top of the Tories' agenda? - SO David Cameron would have us believe that the Conservative Party is the progressive party…. So why is fox hunting, as pointed out by Mr R. Pollard's excellent letter (November 25), and inheritance tax at the top of his party's agenda, 'if' they get back in power… Mr K. Bean Lincoln.
That Gillian Merron (November 25) continues to support the Hunting Act may come as a surprise to Ms Merron herself. I note that she failed to sign the recent Early Day Motion requesting the Act to be strengthened…. your correspondent's argument that the Hunting Act was anything to do with animal welfare is laughable. It has not saved the life of a single fox as it is still legal to kill foxes… Andrew Ogg Spalford. (letters)
Lincolnshire Echo 25.11.09 Tories must not drag us back to hunting dark age - FIVE years have passed since the Hunting Act was introduced and Lincoln should be proud that our MP Gillian Merron voted for, and continues to support, the fox hunting ban…. due to the appalling and ardent opposition by Conservatives in the Commons and Lords, the Act is not as absolute as it ought to be. Therefore, the ban is being flouted by many exploiting what they believe to be loopholes, or just with plain disregard for the law… The Conservatives must not be allowed to repeal the Hunting Act against the will of the majority of the population, as it would be an act of regression that would allow those who indulge in barbaric cruelty to continue to do so. Mr R. Pollard Lincoln. (letter)

Evesham Journal 3.12.09 Ban battery cages - THE shooting world should rid itself of battery cages, says the British Association for Shooting and Conservation. Christopher Graffius, BASC director of communications, said: “It is important that everyone takes the opportunity to be rid of unacceptably confined cages… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 3.12.09 Protest at Wickham Laboratory to mark International Animal Rights Day - A DEMONSTRATION will be held at a controversial Hampshire animal testing laboratory today. Animal rights campaigners will protest outsideWickham Laboratory as part of International Animal Rights Day. Members of Stop Wickham Animal Testing (SWAT) will wear black at the funeral-themed march at 3.15pm…. (story)

Western Telegraph 3.12.09 Pleading to reconsider badger cul - I have written to Elin Jones, the Rural Affairs Minister, concerning the proposed badger cull, only to have my letter passed onto the vets of the TB team….,(story)

Metro 3.12.09 Ed Miliband resists challenge to go vegan by animal rights group Peta - Animal rights group Peta has challenged Ed Miliband to show his commitment to preventing climate change by going vegan, but he is sticking with a meat diet. The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change is currently in Copenhagen ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference and Peta has turned up the heat on the MP by challenging him to focus on the environmental threat posed by meat production… (story)

Bath Chronicle 3.12.09 This awful road crash highlighted the misery of pig transport - The terrible incident on the A46 last Tuesday afternoon (November 24) when a container containing 100 pigs overturned will maybe make some people think about the horrendous way in which we treat "non-human animals"…. CHRIS GALE Dover Street Chippenham, Wiltshire
I write regarding the November 26 Chronicle article about the drama surrounding the crash of the container of 100 pigs. I would like to thank you for covering this story and for bringing this important issue to your readers… ANAI RHOADS Friends of Animals Details supplied (letters)


Cornishman 2.12.09 Hounds make their feast number - SOME 20 riders with hounds brightened up a cold and miserable Madron Feast Monday morning. The meeting of the Western Hunt was one of a series of events held to celebrate the village's feast week. A decent number of villagers came out to watch the spectacle… (story)

Western Mail 2.12.09 Get snares banned - Many of your readers will be appalled to find out that hanging is still legal in Britain! Wire snares are still legal and often consign their victims to an agonising death… Some of the worst offenders are gamekeepers at some of Britain’s leading country estates who are targeting wildlife, including rare and protected species in order to defend game bird stocks for the shooting season… COUNCILLOR ROB CURTIS, Merthyr Dyfan Road, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan (letter)


Driffield Post/Times 1.12.09 Police time wasted on Hunting Act in Yorkshire, claims Countryside Alliance - New figures from the Government confirm that hundreds of hours of police time and thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money have been wasted in Yorkshire on the Hunting Act. Justice Minister Claire Ward confirmed today in a Parliamentary Answer to a question from York MP Hugh Bayley that there were no prosecutions and no convictions in the area between the law coming into force in February 2005 and the end of 2007…. (story)

Telegraph 1.12.09 Falconry adventure days: Britain's got talons - On a falconry adventure day, Gary King finds that fearsome birds of prey are best kept at arm’s length By Gary King - "If you put your arm up like this and clench your fist you’re giving the bird something substantial to land on,” explains Andrew Blake…(story)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.12.09 A gift idea for family, friends and animals - CHRISTMAS is the perfect time to support good causes and what better than a charity gift for friends and family that helps both people and animals at the same time? The Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research charity offers a Christmas present idea that allows you to do just that. Buy one of our sponsorship certificates to support vital medical research using cutting-edge, modern non-animal techniques…. Sharon Howe, Fortescue Road, Sidmouth (letter)

Dundee Courier 1.12.09 Reindeer health issues - Andrew Tyler. Director, Animal Aid. The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)
Western Morning News 27.11.09 Leave reindeer in wild - Ashley Owen Animal Aid Kent (letter)
North Devon Journal 26.11.09 Say no to reindeer entertainment this Christmas - ASHLEY OWEN, Animal Aid, Kent (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 26.11.09 Make it a cruelty-free Christmas - Ashley Owen Animal Aid The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge (letter)
East London Advertiser 24.11.09 Don’t let Santa uproot reindeer from their natural habitat! - AS CHRISTMAS approaches, reindeer are being transported up and down the country to be used as entertainment in parades, Santa's grottos and other festive events… Ashley Owen, Animal Aid, he Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge Kent TN9 1AW 24.11.09 East London Advertiser(letter)