December 2012

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31.12.12

Essex Chronicle 31.12.12 Crowd welcomes return of huntsmen to Galleywood - AFTER a two-year gap because of snow and ice, the biggest ever crowd of spectators turned out for Galleywood's traditional Boxing Day hunt. More than 1,000 people descended on the Common to watch 30 people on horseback and packs of dogs take part in the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt (EFUH)… (story)

Independent 31.12.12 Editorial: A hunt chasing the wrong fox - In the aftermath of the RSPCA's successful private prosecution of the Cotswolds' Heythrop Hunt – which saw an entire hunt charged, for the first time, and two prominent members also fined – the charity has come in for quite a drubbing. It is time, then, for a show of support… The simple fact is that the Heythrop Hunt has been breaking the law. No amount of smearing or sneering will change that. Full marks to the RSPCA (story)

West Sussex Gazette 31.12.12 Point to point course looks to future as others face possible closure - AMIDST predictions that a number of point to point courses in the South East are likely to close in the next five years, Jamie Hawksworth, chairman of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt’s point to point committee, firmly believes that the popular Parham track, near Storrington, has a secure future…. In 2012 the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt is welcomed back to Parham for the second fixture, for which the Countryside Alliance had stepped in to keep racing going during the last couple of years… (story)

SOUTHDOWN & ERIDGE BOXING DAY MEET
Argus 31.12.12 Arrest following attack on anti-hunt group By Ben Leo, reporter - A man has been arrested following an attack on an anti-foxhunting group as they monitored a Boxing Day meet. A member of the Hunt Saboteurs Association has alleged to police he had a brick thrown at the window of his car, had his iPad and keys stolen and was assaulted with sticks as he monitored the Southdown and Eridge Fox Hunt in Plumpton on Boxing Day. Sussex Police said a 23-year-old local man was arrested for criminal damage, assault and theft and bailed until January 30 while the investigation continued… (story)
Independent 27.12.12 Hunt saboteur 'beaten by gang' - CHARLIE COOPER - Police have arrested a 23-year-old man after a hunt saboteur was apparently beaten with sticks by a gang of men on quad bikes during a Boxing Day hunt. The Hunt Saboteurs Association blamed hunt supporters for the alleged attack in Plumpton, East Sussex, which left the victim with “severe injuries” to his hands. He had been monitoring the Southdown and Eridge Hunt from a parked Land Rover, the association said… (story)
Argus 27.12.12 Supporters line streets for hunt By Kimberly Middleton - Thousands of people lined the streets of Lewes to support the Boxing Day Hunt. Despite yesterday’s news that the ban on hunting with dogs is unlikely to be repealed next year, crowds cheered the scores of Southdown and Eridge Hunt riders who rode into the town… (story)
Sussex Express 27.12.12 Video: Boxing Day Hunt in Lewes - Lewes town centre was packed on Boxing Day for the traditional meet of the Southdown and Eridge Hunt. Thousands lined the streets to savour the colourful spectacle as some 90 riders trotted through, the hounds weaving among the prancing hooves…. (story)
Argus 26.12.12 Thousands support Boxing Day hunt - Thousands of people lined the streets of Lewes this morning for the Boxing Day hunt. Members of the Southdown and Eridge hunt thundered into the town to the applause of supporters…. (story)

RSPCA CRITICISED FOR DESTROYING HEALTHY ANIMALS
Express 31.12.12 RSPCA PUTS DOWN 53,000 ANIMALS IN JUST ONE YEAR By Michael Pickard - THE RPSCA put down more than 53,000 animals last year, nearly half the total it took in. The charity has admitted that thousands of them were healthy and were “euthanased” simply because homes could not be found for them… (story)
Yorkshire Post 31.12.12 RSPCA ‘had to put down thousands of healthy animals’ - More than 3,400 animals were put down last year for non-medical reasons, the RSPCA said. This figure was made up of 1,676 dogs and cats which were put to sleep for legal reasons, or because they might suffer for other reasons, and 1,767 wild animals, exotics or farm animals, the charity said…. The RSPCA denied claims by one of its former inspectors that it kills more healthy animals than necessary… (story)
Mail on Sunday 30.12.12 Revealed: RSPCA destroys HALF of the animals that it rescues - yet thousands are completely healthy By NICK CRAVEN and LYNNE WALLIS - The RSPCA destroys nearly half the animals it ‘rescues’ each year, with thousands being put down for non-medical reasons, shocking figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal. The animal-welfare charity destroyed 53,000 animals last year – 44 per cent of those it took in – leading critics to claim that the organisation spends too much time on prosecuting cases of neglect and cruelty and not enough on finding new homes for animals…. Former RSPCA inspector Dawn Aubrey-Ward, who worked for the organisation from 2008 to 2010, said she came across numerous examples of animals destroyed because there was no room for them in shelters…. Kent vet David Smith, who worked for the organisation for 12 years, said: ‘It seems to be all about prosecuting people now… The RSPCA has become a ‘politically motivated animal rights organisation’ and should be stripped of its Royal name, according to Sir Barney White-Spunner, head of the Countryside Alliance. He spoke out after the Heythrop, David Cameron’s local hunt in Oxfordshire, was convicted of illegally killing foxes after a private prosecution brought by the RSPCA… (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 31.12.12 Chocolate box hunting sham - ALAN KIRBY Protect Our Wild Animals (letter)
Western Mail 29.12.12 Growing evidence hunts break the law - Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals (story)
York Press 27.12.12 Hunt loopholes - Once again, reports of Boxing Day hunts treat us to chocolate box portrayals of gangs whose real intent and desire is to terrorise and slaughter wildlife for fun…. Thank goodness for the monitors and the RSPCA. Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals Hayle, Cornwall (letter)

Independent 31.12.12 Gamekeepers aim to conserve - Aidan Harrison (letters, 29 December) makes some good points about hunting, but I do not agree with his opinions on game shooting. Virtually no gamekeepers aim to wipe out predators on their estates. The aim is to control predators to reduce their impact on game birds… Shooting depends on good habitat, so shoots put a lot of effort into habitat management and creation. Reece Fowler, Middlesbrough (letter)

Shields Gazette 31.12.12 CCTV for slaughterhouses - ANIMAL Aid is campaigning for all UK slaughterhouses to be required to install CCTV, and a recent YouGov poll indicates that the majority of people agree… The Government must now act to ensure that all slaughterhouses comply. It’s the very least we can do to protect the animals from the shocking and widespread abuses we filmed. Kate Fowler, head of campaigns, Animal Aid (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 31.12.12 IT WAS with interest that I read the letter from your Val Taylor (Letters, December 7), It’s amazing really how Janet Cummings’ letters have hit sore spots with some, as her recent one has done…. Yes Val, it is depressing, in this country alone there are countless animal species suffering at the hands of man and because of man…. Don’t knock Janet Cummings because she is opening the eyes of the public to the hidden world of mass animal abuse…. Gill Mason, Dunchurch Road, Rugby (letter)

Harwich & Manningtree Standard 31.12.12 Mum's silent protest over communion snub at Dovercourt's Our Lady Queen of Heaven church By Helen Barnett - A MOTHER brandished placards displaying damning allegations outside a church because her son is not allowed to have his first Holy Communion in her chosen parish. Liza Moore, from the Manningtree area, has been told her seven-year-old son Harry can’t be confirmed at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic church in Fronk’s Road, Dovercourt… Liza, who is also an animal rights campaigner, claimed the restriction made by the church could be because she is vegan - an argument which is strongly denied by the church… (story)

30.12.12

Sunday Express 30.12.12 MOST MPS BACK HUNT BAN - ANY attempt to bring back fox hunting would be defeated by an alliance of Labour and Lib Dem MPs, writes ¬Stuart Winter. The Government is committed to a free vote on overturning the ban on hunting with hounds but Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has ruled out one being held in the near future… (story)

Independent on Sunday 30.12.12 Tracy Worcester: 'Mummy's got to save the planet' - An animal welfare activist and reluctant aristocrat on her mission to rescue pigs (and her own children) from corporate greed. Matthew Bell meets Tracy Worcester … (story)

29.12.12

Bedford Times & Citizen 30.12.12 Public show support for hunt - Hundreds of people turned out to watch the Oakley hunt set out on Boxing Day…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 29.12.12 Call for hunting ban repeal angers public - READERS have reacted angrily to claims from pro-hunting groups that people want to see Parliament repeal the hunting ban. Following the traditional Boxing Day Brocklesby Hunt, Lord Charles Yarborough said he believed people wanted the "sport" to return, adding many were concerned about an apparent rise in fox numbers since the ban came into force in 2005. However, his comments sparked a great deal of debate on www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk – with the majority condemning his views as outdated… (story)

Spectator 29.12.12 The hunt for Cameron - Why won’t our PM stand up for the hunting lobby? - Melissa Kite - On a perfect winter morning, I mount a dapple grey horse in an icy farmyard a few minutes from the Prime Minister’s country home and prepare to go hunting with the Chipping Norton set. David Cameron’s local hunt, the Heythrop, is meeting just round the corner from where the PM lives, in the Oxfordshire village of Dean, and the Cotswold elite are out in force… A close-knit group, they do not seem to be taking too kindly to an outsider in their midst…. Even the judge expressed amazement at the ‘quite staggering’ £326,000 which the RSPCA spent on the case. It is also surprising that the hunt received no favours or help in fighting what they describe as an injustice from their local MP, the Prime Minister. It could be seen as an admirable thing for Cameron to be so impartial. Or it could be seen as betrayal…. Whether or not the Chipping Norton set have the strength to fight any longer, I hope that Cameron has a change of mind and decides to keep the flame –burning (story)

Independent 29.12.12 The hunting ban has saved hardly a single fox - As a lifelong pastoral farmer with no interest in "country sports", I suggest the level to which the urban public is misled about the British countryside is made clear by your naive leading article on the fox-hunting ban… Those decent urban souls who think the ban has "saved" foxes could not be more mistaken. Even if the ban were lifted, many packs of hounds across Britain would struggle even to find a live fox. In fact, most landowners would now make the hunt unwelcome, not only because the hounds might disturb snares, but also because the game-shooting business brings in money from wealthy bankers… Aidan Harrison, Rothbury, Northumberland
Unlike hunting gentlemen, I turned out on Boxing Day to support my local morris dancers… Lots of clashing sticks and then a sword dance but nothing killed for fun. Dave Nicholson, Windsor
Recent reports imply that the Crown Prosecution Service is reluctant to, and does not, prosecute hunting offences. This is wrong. Where there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, and it is in the public interest, the CPS does prosecute such cases…. Peter Lewis Chief Executive, Crown Prosecution Service, London SE1 (letters)

Chorley Citizen 29.12.12 Plan for opening churches to communities welcomed in East Lancashire - PROPOSALS that churches should be shared and opened to communities have been welcomed in East Lancashire. Chairman of the Countryside Alliance Sir Barney White-Spunner said he was concerned that churches in villages and towns were falling into disrepair and not being used enough…. Bishop of Burnley John Goddard said he would commend any church that uses their building for a variety if purposes, and to serve the community… (story)

28.12.12

Louth Leader 28.12.12 Good turnout for the South Wold Hunt Boxing Day meet - A LARGER following of supporters than normal turned out to cheer the South Wold Hunt Boxing Day meet at Louth Cattle Market…. (story)

Hexham Courant 28.12.12 Tally ho! Boxing Day hunts - Hunt supporters turned out in force to uphold a centuries-old Boxing Day tradition in West Cumbria. About 100 people watched or took part in the Melbreak Foxhounds’ hunt on Wednesday… The Blencathra Hunt was also out on Boxing Day and dozens of people lined the streets as the party set off from the Queen’s Hotel, in Market Square, Keswick… (story)

Telegraph 28.12.12 The RSPCA's war on hunting is an attempt to shut down a whole way of life By Alexandra Swann - Boxing Day signals the busiest day in the hunting calendar. Most, if not all, of Britain’s 320 registered hunts ride out with crowds of followers on foot and an estimated 450,000 supporters gathering to see them off. This year was no exception. The Surrey Union hunt met at a rather delightful country pub in Ockley, near Dorking to a huge crowd of all ages and a great deal of mulled wine and spiced cider… (story)

Horse & Hound 28.12.12 West Street Tickham’s final Boxing Day meet - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - This year’s Boxing Day meet was a poignant one for the West Street Tickham, who are in their final season before disbanding and dividing the countrybetween neighbouring hunts. The West Street Tickham decided to amalgamate with the Ashford Valley and East Kent due to financial pressures and the lack of sufficient country during the shooting season…. “The Ashford Valley are changing their name to the Ashford Valley Tickham, which is lovely, and the East Kent are talking about becoming the ‘East Kent with West Street’, so the names don’t get lost.”… (story)

Cumberland News 28.12.12 Cumbria's hunting fraternity out in force for annual meets By Julian Whittle - SOFT ground caused by what could be the wettest year on record was no deterrent to the hunting fraternity, who turned out in force on Boxing Day. The Bewcastle, Blenc-athra, Cumberland and Ullswater Foxhounds all went drag hunting, as did the Cumberland Farmers’ who met at Welton… (story)

Wiltshire Times 28.12.12 Avon Vale Hunt led by new master - Thousands of supporters packed Lacock on Boxing Day for the Avon Vale Hunt, as the Government ruled out a free vote on repealing the hunting ban. The village was full as 65 riders departed at 11am, led by new hunt master Stuart Radbourne… (story)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 27.12.12 Avon Vale Hunt led by new master By Adam Care - Thousands of supporters packed Lacock on Boxing Day for the Avon Vale Hunt, as the Government ruled out a free vote on repealing the hunting ban. The village was full as 65 riders departed at 11am, led by new hunt master Stuart Radbourne. Joint hunt master Mike Smith said: “We had a brilliant day, and it was lovely to see so many people out. “I have been going for over 50 years, and I would think the turnout for the hunt was the most I have ever seen…

(story)

Grimsby Telegraph 28.12.12 Tally ho-ho-ho ... but the fox isn't laughing By Geoff Ford - THE great spectacle of the hunt was seen across our county on Boxing Day…. Many of the participants, led by our own Lord Yarborough, want the Hunting Act repealed. It staggers me that there are still people around today who want to see wild animals ripped to pieces by packs of dogs… (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 27.12.12 Boxing Day hunts: 'Fantastic' support for events, says Lord Yarborough - SUPPORT for hunting is growing all of the time, according Lord Yarborough. In true Boxing Day tradition, riders in the Brocklesby Hunt stormed across the Yarborough Estate in view of thrilled locals, farmers and former riders…. South Wold Hunt supporters also turned out in droves to the meet at Louth Cattle Market… (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 27.12.12 Brocklesby Hunt riders head out for Boxing Day tradition - RIDERS in the Brocklesby Hunt have stormed across the rolling green land of the Yarborough Estate. In true Boxing Day tradition, riders took part as thrilled locals, farmers and former riders watched on… (story)

Western Morning News 28.12.12 Minister promises a lighter hand on tiller at Defra and more rural support - Environment Secretary Owen Paterson this week revealed there would be no vote to lift the fox hunting ban next year. London Editor Graeme Demianyk spoke to him about a number of rural issues…. "I'm fully aware of the strong feelings on this issue. It is a commitment (a vote on repeal). The intention is to find time at the appropriate moment. But we are currently facing some very severe problems such as one of the largest deficits in Western Europe. That is currently taking priority."… (story)

Irish Times 28.12.12 Enclosed hare coursing - The festive season is always marred by an upsurge in the number of enclosed coursing events, with hundreds of these timid and defenceless creatures being forced to run for their lives…. JOHN FITZGERALD, Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny. (letter)

27.12.12

Droitwich Spa Advertiser 27.12.12 Hundreds gather in Droitwich for annual Boxing Day hunt meet - HUNDREDS of people lined the streets of Droitwich Spa to show their support at the annual Boxing Day hunt meet… There was a huge turnout, both on foot and mounted, for the Worcestershire Hunt meet outside the Raven Hotel in Droitwich…. Other hunt meets took place in Pershore on Boxing Day as well as in Upton-upon-Severn on Christmas Eve… (story)

Ledbury Reporter 28.12.12 Good turnout for Herefordshire's Boxing Day hunts - DESPITE a difficult few weeks for hunt enthusiasts, thousands turned out across Herefordshire to support the traditional Boxing Day meetings. From Bromyard to Bosbury, Leominster to Ledbury, followers attended on what is one of the busiest meetings of the year… But Graham Baker, chairman of the South Herefordshire Hunt, said the negative publicity had not stopped supporters turning out at Christmas… (story)

Uttoxeter Advertiser 27.12.12 Boxing Day hunt brings in the crowds BY JAMES BRINDLE - THE 800 people who gathered to watch a traditional Boxing Day hunt in a village near Uttoxeter are proof of the countryside’s support for fox hunting, it has been claimed. Richard Parrott, a joint master of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, said the current ban on hunting animals with dogs was a ‘pointless law’… (story)
Burton Mail 27.12.12 Calls to axe fox-hunting ban as crowds turn out - THE 800 people who gathered to watch a Boxing Day hunt in an East Staffordshire village are proof of the countryside’s support for fox hunting, it has been claimed. Richard Parrott, a joint master of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, said the current ban on hunting animals with dogs was a ‘pointless law’… (story)

Rye & Battle Observer 27.12.12 Hunt provides Boxing Day spectacle - HUNDREDS of people turned out to watch the spectacle of the Boxing Day Hunt gathering on the Abbey Green. Huntsmen and women on horseback, from the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt, wearing traditional ‘pinks’, processed down the High Street and gathered on the Abbey Green before setting off into the surroundingcountryside for a drag-hunt…. (story)

Grantham Journal 27.12.12 Traditional Belvoir Hunt gathering in Grantham - Families took a break from the festivities on Boxing Day to see the annual Belvoir Hunt meet in Grantham town centre. More than 40 horses and riders gathered in St Peter’s Hill to take part in the traditional event…. (story)
Grantham Journal 13.12.12 Belvoir Hunt prepares for Boxing Day meet in Grantham - Hounds and horses will gather in St Peter’s Hill in Grantham on Boxing Day for the annual Belvoir Hunt. Hundreds of people are expected to gather on the green in front of the Guildhall to see the spectacle of the Duke of Rutland’s hounds and the many riders on their horses… (story)

Bury Free Press 27.12.12 Boxing Day hunt in Hawstead as debate in Parliament rumbles on - The traditional Boxing Day Suffolk Hunt took place this week at Hawstead as a fresh row brews in Parliament… (story)

Daily Record 27.12.12 Boxing Day hunt draws spectators as annual Renfrewshire event approaches 80 years - HORSES and hounds raced through fields and over fences around Houston in Renfrewshire yesterday in a traditional Boxing Day hunt. A group of about 15 members of the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Hunt put their animals through their paces… (story)

Bolton News 27.12.12 Boxing Day hunt drama as woman is injured by horse - RIVINGTON Pike’s traditional Boxing Day hunt was marred with drama after one of the spectators had to be airlifted to hospital… The incident took place just moments before the Holcolmbe Hunt members and hounds were due to parade in front of hundreds of spectators… (story)

Oxford Mail 27.12.12 Heythrop Hunt rides despite prosecution By Damian Fantato - HUNTERS were in defiant mood yesterday as they met in Chipping Norton for the latest Heythrop Hunt. The hunt has been meeting for 177 years but the one held on Boxing Day was the first since it was prosecuted by the RSPCA…. (story)

Western Morning News 27.12.12 Thousands show support for the hunt - despite rain - High up on Dartmoor, in mist rain and gales, hundreds of supporters gathered for the traditional Boxing Day meet of the South Devon Hunt… With South Devon huntsman Ian Pearse unwell, first whip Simon French took over the reins for his first ever Boxing Day hunting with hounds… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 27.12.12 Banwen Miners' Hunt sets out in Neath in the Boxing Day event's 50th year By Paul Lewis - AROUND 70 riders saddled up for a Boxing Day tradition in Neath — the Banwen Miners' Hunt. Now in its 50th year, yesterday's hunt was given an enthusiastic send off from the crowd that gathered outside the Castle Hotel in Neath town centre…. (story)

The Sentinel 27.12.12 Villagers turn out for Boxing Day hunt - WOORE HORSE: More than 1,000 people turned out to watch a traditional Boxing Day hunt. Around 45 riders and scores of dogs from the North Staffordshire Hunt were put through their paces on legal trails through farmland and tracks at Woore…. (story)

Western Gazette 27.12.12 Photos: 2012 Boxing Day Seavington Hunt in Crewkerne (photos)

Gloucester Citizen/Echo 27.12.12 Beaufort Boxing Day Hunt (photos)
Gloucester Citizen/Echo 25.12.12 Change of location for Beaufort Hunt - The Beaufort Hunt tomorrow has been moved from its traditional site because of water logged parking conditions. The meet, which normally takes place at Worcester Lodge, Didmarton has been moved to The Kennels, Badminton…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 27.12.12 Early starts for Boxing Day riders in Leicestershire's Quorn and Fernie hunts By Tim Healy - While Christmas Day revellers were enjoying a much-needed lie-in, hundreds of others were up early to attend traditional hunts. Riders were out in force for the Quorn and Fernie meets yesterday…. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 27.12.12 Gallery/video: Hunt support ‘stronger than ever’ say riders in Suffolk and Essex By Emma Brennan - SUPPORT for hunting in Suffolk and Essex is at an all-time high, according to a local hunt master. Joint master of Essex & Suffolk Hunt Liz Reid, who led a group of around 50 riders who set off from Holbecks Park in Hadleigh yesterday morning on a traditional Boxing Day hunt, said in spite of the ban on hunting with dogs that was introduced in 2005, membership was burgeoning and the sport was becoming increasingly popular with young people…. (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 26.12.12 Hadleigh: Hundreds turn out to support the hunt - Emma Brennan - HUNDREDS of people turned out this morning to uphold the Boxing Day tradition of following the hunt. Crowds converged on Holbecks Park in Hadleigh from 10.30am to watch the Essex and Suffolk Hunt as it set off on its annual festive jaunt across 25 miles of the counties’ open countryside… (story)

Shropshire Star 27.12.12 Thousands out for Boxing Day hunts in Shropshire and Mid Wales - Thousands of people turned out across Shropshire and Mid Wales to take part in, or just cheer on, the county’s traditional Boxing Day hunts… The Albrighton Hunt met as usual at The Royal Victoria Hotel in St Mary’s Street, Newport, but this year’s event was tinged with sadness following the death of member Ray Shaw… The North Shropshire Hunt met at Albrighton Hall Hotel, near Shrewsbury, where hundreds of followers turned out… The South Shropshire Hunt gathered at the Red Lion in Longden Common, also near Shrewsbury. In the south, the Ludlow Hunt met at Ludlow Castle while over in Mid-Wales up to 50 horses were on show at the Tanataside Hunt… (story)
Shropshire Star 27.12.12 Albrighton Boxing Day Hunt in pictures and video - The Albrighton Boxing Day Hunt met as usual at The Royal Victoria Hotel in St Mary’s Street, Newport, but this year’s event was tinged with sadness following the death of member Ray Shaw… (story)
Shropshire Star 27.12.12 Ludlow Boxing Day Hunt in pictures - Pictures from the annual Boxing Day Ludlow Hunt, which met at Ludlow Castle. (story)
Shropshire Star 27.12.12 North Shropshire Boxing Day Hunt in pictures - The North Shropshire Hunt met at Albrighton Hall Hotel, near Shrewsbury, where hundreds of followers turned out… (story)

York Press 27.12.12 Hundreds turn out to see Middleton Hunt on Boxing Day By Mark Stead - HUNDREDS of people turned out to see one of North Yorkshire’s most picturesque Christmas countryside traditions – the Boxing Day hunt. About 40 riders gathered in Malton’s Market Place for the start of the Middleton Hunt. Another group set off from Driffield Showground. Other meets by the Farndale Hunt and the Pendle Forest And Craven Hunt, as well as a meet in Bedale, were due to take place yesterday…. (story)

Irish Independent 27.12.12 Hundreds answer call of the hounds for traditional hunts By Allison Bray - Dozens of horses, hounds and riders took part in The Kingdom Hunt as they made their way through the streets of Killarney during the annual hunt around east Kerry… In Co Tipperary, one of the youngest members of the Scarteen pony hunt club, Jonty Purcell, was smartly decked out in a tweed riding jacket for his club's annual hunt… (story)

Irish Times 27.12.12 Many ways to make merry over the festive season - MARK HILLIARD - Christmas and the equestrian world go hand-in-hoof, so to speak – not just at racecourses in Leopardstown and Limerick but at hunts around the country. “It’s a huge part of our Christmas and everyone’s Christmas in Meath,” Meath Hunt chairman Graham O’Reilly said… (story)

Telegraph 27.12.12 The RSPCA has lost the plot - Ruth Dudley Edwards - Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for the Environment, regrets that there’s no chance of repealing the hunting ban in this parliament… As I child, I hated hunting and hunters. As a young woman, I agreed with my fiancé that we would become rich in order to buy up key pieces of land to wreck hunts… What happened? I grew up, I read the arguments, I became better informed about rural life and I realised that most of those excited about banning fox-hunting were bigots, class warriors or too sentimental to look properly at the evidence… and that those involved in hunting tend to be keen conservationists… (story)

ITV 27.12.12 CPS denies claims over hunting prosecutions - The Crown Prosecution Service has denied reports alleging that it has not been prosecuting hunting offences, insisting that it does so when it is in the public interest… (story)

Mirror 27.12.12 Hunters are hunted: Campaigners claim three hunts still kill foxes with hounds despite ban – Furious animal rights campaigners last night vowed to flush out hunting groups who break the law and use dogs to kill foxes. The League Against Cruel Sports claim some are simply ignoring the ban and continuing the barbaric act of allowing hounds to savage the helpless animals… (story)

HUNTING ACT REPEAL NOT IMMINENT
Western Daily Press 27.12.12 Tally no! Minister rules out repeal of hunting ban - The tens of thousands of people attending traditional Boxing Day hunts in the West Country yesterday did so knowing afresh there was no realistic prospect of the hunting ban being lifted…. Later yesterday Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps defended the Government’s decision to shelve a promised vote on ending the hunting ban… Photo: The Seavington Hunt paying no heed to the local branch of Fox & Sons as they set off from in Crewkerne in Somerset (story)
Western Morning News 27.12.12 No vote to lift ban on hunting - Hopes of an imminent vote to overturn the hunting ban have been dashed by a senior cabinet minister…. (story)
Western Morning News 27.12.12 Delay on a hunt ban vote can only last for so long - Owen Paterson's concession on hunting – that there will be no free vote in the Commons on repealing the ban this year because there is no chance of success – will disappoint many in hunting circles… (story)
Derby Telegraph 27.12.12 Tory chairman defends stance on hunting ban - CONSERVATIVE Party chairman Grant Shapps has defended the Government's decision to put a promised vote on ending the hunting ban on a back burner – while pressing ahead with plans for gay marriage… (story)
Express 27.12.12 NO MOVE YEAR TO LIFT BAN ON FOX HUNTING, SAYS MINISTER By Mark Reynolds - THE ban on hunting with hounds is unlikely to be lifted any time soon, a Cabinet minister signalled yesterday…. (story)
Mail 27.12.12 We can't win 'pointless' vote to end hunting ban due to parliamentary opposition, say Tories By DANIEL MARTIN - The ban on hunting with dogs will not be overturned, Tory chairman Grant Shapps declared yesterday… (story)
Mail 26.12.12 (27.12.12) It is utterly mind-boggling for Cameron to break a vow to his core voters over gay marriage while pandering to a tiny minority By STEPHEN GLOVER - Here’s a puzzle. The Conservative Manifesto in 2010 promised a free vote on hunting in the Commons. It declared that the Act that banned hunting with dogs that had been passed by Labour was ‘unworkable’. The pledge probably encouraged some people to vote Tory. You will, however, search the pages of the same manifesto in vain for any reference to gay people being allowed to marry. The idea may have been in David Cameron’s mind at the time, but it was not set before the British people… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 27.12.12 Hunts ride out with no change to ban in sight - THERE is no imminent prospect of a parliamentary vote on repealing the hunting ban, a Cabinet minister has signalled… Around 300 Boxing Day hunts gathered yesterday, including the Beaufort Hunt and the high-profile Heythrop Hunt, where yesterday 6,000 people met along with scores of hounds…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 27.12.12 Hopes fade for early end to hunting ban - SENIOR Conservatives have defended the Government’s decision to put a promised vote on ending the hunting ban on the backburner while pressing ahead with plans for gay marriage… (story)
Financial Times 26.12.12 MP calls for government to act on hunting By Kiran Stacey, Political Correspondent - Ministers are under pressure not to drop a controversial pledge to allow MPs to vote on whether to repeal the hunting ban, after Owen Paterson, the environment secretary, admitted he did not have the support needed to win such a vote… Simon Hart, a Tory backbencher, told the Financial Times that “something must be done” to protect hunts before the next election if the party was to prevent a haemorrhage of its rural support…. (story)
BBC News Online 26.12.12 Hunting: Ban 'cannot be overturned' in free vote - The Conservatives do not have the parliamentary majority to overturn a ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales, the Tory Party chairman said. Grant Shapps said he agreed with Environment Secretary Owen Paterson that a free vote for MPs on lifting the ban would be defeated… (story)
Independent 26.12.12 Tories admit defeat in bid to repeal hunting ban as 250,000 turned out regardless on Boxing Day - Ministers say they won’t change the law in the near future - TOM PECK - In village squares, pub car parks and fields all over the country, they met this morning, with their horses, their hounds, their gleaming tunics and, in many cases, their breath already alive with whisky vapour…. In Chipping Norton, around 6,000 people gathered in the town centre to greet the horses and hounds of the Heythrop Hunt, which was recently the subject of a £327,000 private prosecution by the RSPCA… (story)
Independent 26.12.12 Editorial: How the uneatable became unbeatable - The nearly eight-year-old ban on hunting with dogs is starting to look like a classic case of the law of unintended consequences. A measure broached almost off the cuff by Tony Blair in opposition, cynically pursued by him in government as a sop to his left wing, and described by him later as a mistake, may indeed turn out to have ended a particular strand of country life…. With two Prime Ministers left looking rather foolish on the sidelines, the only winner – if there is one – is the fox. (story)
Guardian 26.12.12 Hunting with dogs ban unlikely to get free vote admit top Tories - Grant Shapps and Owen Paterson discount any parliamentary vote soon on repeal due to 'no chance' of winning a majority - James Meikle - Senior Conservatives appear to have dashed any hopes of a free vote on whether to repeal the law against hunting with dogs any time soon… As the Thurlow Hunt set off in Suffolk, its master, Robin Vestey, told the BBC that the present law was "not entirely clear". It was "a failed act and the sooner we sort it out the better"…. At the East Cornwall hunt meeting, the hunt master, Graham Higgins, said the law was "a can of worms" for the police … In Hadleigh, Essex, where hundreds were reported to have turned out to watch the Essex and Suffolk hunt, one supporter, Caroline Wilmot, told the East Anglian Daily Times: "I don't really think many people who come out to watch the Hadleigh hunt think about the whole political message or the ideas behind hunting… The Duke of Beaufort's hunt, publishing details of its programme of hunts in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, stressed "we intend to carry out only legal activities"…. (story)
Guardian 26.12.12 Hunting: should MPs vote on bringing it back? Around 300 traditional hunts are holding Boxing Day meets… Should MPs vote in this parliament? (story)
City Talk 26.12.12 Hunting Ban Repeal Vote 'Is Not Imminent' - There is no imminent prospect of a parliamentary vote on repealing the hunting ban, a Cabinet minister has signalled… (story)
Guardian 26.12.12 Minister rules out early repeal of hunting ban - As 300 hunts hold traditional Boxing Day meets, environment secretary appears to rule out putting issue to MPs next year - As 300 hunts hold traditional Boxing Day meets, environment secretary appears to rule out putting issue to MPs next year… (story)
ITV 26.12.12 Labour: No public support for ending hunting ban - Wakefield MP and Shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh has said there was no public support for ending the hunting ban, following comments from a Cabinet minister who signalled that there is no imminent prospect of a vote on repealing the ban… (story)
ITV 26.12.12 'No imminent vote' on hunting ban repeal - The Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, appears to have ruled out bringing a vote on the hunting ban before the Commons next year…. Photo: The Atherstone Hunt goes through Main Street, Market Bosworth, Leicestershire (story)
Telegraph 26.12.12 Hunting ban will not be repealed, Tories admit - David Cameron cannot repeal Labour’s ban on foxhunting, senior Conservatives have admitted. By James Kirkup and Robert Winnett - Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, told the Daily Telegraph there is no immediate prospect of winning a Commons vote on making hunting legal again. Supporters of hunting must do "more work" to win around sceptical MPs, he said. Backbench Tory supporters of hunting also accepted that there is no realistic chance of a vote in 2013 and perhaps even in 2014… (story)
BBC News Online 26.12.12 Hunting: Minister says ban repeal vote 'not imminent' - Moves to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales may not happen in 2013, a minister has said. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson appeared to rule out a vote next year. But he insisted it was still the government's intention to give MPs a free vote on lifting the ban…. (story)
Standard 26.12.12 No imminent vote on hunt ban repeal - There is no imminent prospect of a parliamentary vote on repealing the hunting ban, a Cabinet minister has signalled. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson appeared to rule out bringing the issue before the Commons next year. Mr Paterson, a keen supporter of country sports including hunting, told the Daily Telegraph: "There's only a point having a vote if you're going to win… (story)
ITV 26.12.12 Countryside Alliance: Hunting ban Act 'will be repealed' - The executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance Sir Barney White-Spunner, said he believed that the ban on hunting would eventually be lifted, although he accepted to was not an immediate priority for the government… (story)
Huffington Post 26.12.12 Fox Hunting: Owen Paterson, Environment Secretary, Says No Plans For Tory Repeal Of Ban - There is no imminent prospect of a parliamentary vote on repealing the hunting ban, a Cabinet minister has signalled. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson appeared to rule out bringing the issue before the Commons next year. Paterson, a keen supporter of country sports including hunting, told the Daily Telegraph: "There's only a point having a vote if you're going to win… (story)

Liverpool Echo 27.12.12 Joe Riley: RSPCA needs to revise its policy as 40,000 animals are abandoned each year - AMONG the big losers every Christmas are the poor, defenceless pets who are cast out – either as unwanted presents or because of the expense in keeping them… Annual running costs for the RSPCA have risen £9m, to £120m over the same period. The charity is burdened by 25,000 calls a week, leading to a plea by chief executive Gavin Grant for animal lovers “to open their hearts, homes and purses”. But first, he should open an account in common sense. Why on earth, in such pressing times, has the RSPCA just spent an incredible £330,000 prosecuting hunting with dogs charges against an Oxfordshire group… (story)

HEYTHROP PROSECUTION
Horse & Country 27.12.12 RSPCA accused of wasting funds in hunt case By Charlotte Ricca-Smith - The RSPCA has come under attack for wasting its funds, after prosecuting the Heythrop Hunt forintentionally hunting foxes with dogs… (story)
Western Morning News 24.12.12 Probe call over 'staggering' hunt case costs - Politicians have called for a watchdog investigation into whether the "staggering" £326,000 spent by the RSPCA on legal action against a fox hunt was a breach of the charity's obligations…. (story)
Third Sector 24.12.12 Cross-party group of politicians accuse RSPCA trustees of failing in their 'duty of prudence' By Ian Griggs - The Conservative MP Simon Hart is among those that have written to the Charity Commission asking it to investigate the charity for spending more than £320,000 on a private prosecution of a hunting group… (story)
Third Sector 24.12.12 RSPCA launches 'fighting fund' to pay for expensive private prosecutions By Ian Griggs - Chief executive Gavin Grant hopes the fund will neutralise future criticism over expensive cases after it spent more than £320,000 successfully prosecuting the Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire … (story)
Sunday Express 23.12.12 HUNT CASE COST £55K VAT By Stuart Winter - THE RSPCA bit back at claims it wasted money prosecuting David Cameron’s hunt by revealing last night that the Government made a fortune from the historic case. Animal welfare officials hit out that nearly £55,000 of vital funds went into Treasury coffers, dwarfing the punishments handed out to the hunt in the Prime Minister’s constituency. The Heythrop and two former huntsmen were fined a total of just £6,800 and ordered to pay £19,500 towards RSPCA costs after last week admitting illegal fox hunting… (story)
Witney Gazette 23.12.12 RSPCA defends hunt case cost - W OXON: The RSPCA has hit back at claims by MPs it broke charity rules by going ahead with a costly prosecution of the West Oxfordshire hunt… (story)
Huffington Post 22.12.12 Investigate RSPCA's 'Staggering' Legal Costs For Fox Hunting Trial, Says MPs - Politicians have called for a watchdog investigation into whether the "staggering" £326,000 spent by the RSPCA on legal action against a fox hunt was a breach of the charity's obligations. Tory MP Simon Hart, the former head of the Countryside Alliance, has written to the Charity Commission along with a small cross-party group of MPs and peers asking it to investigate…. (story)
MSN News 22.12.12 Probe call on fox hunt court costs - Politicians have called for a watchdog investigation into whether the "staggering" £326,000 spent by the RSPCA on legal action against a fox hunt was a breach of the charity's obligations. Tory MP Simon Hart, the former head of the Countryside Alliance, has written to the Charity Commission along with a small cross-party group of MPs and peers asking it to investigate… (story)
Telegraph 22.12.12 RSPCA trustees 'broke charity rules' over David Cameron hunt prosecution - Trustees of the RSPCA broke charity rules by sanctioning a £300,000 prosecution of David Cameron’s local hunt, according to a cross-party group of MPs and peers including Lord Heseltine, the former Cabinet minister. By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent - The politicians have reported the RSPCA to the Charity Commission for breaching a “duty of prudence” that governs their actions. The group, which includes Simon Hart, the Conservative MP, Kate Hoey, the Labour MP, Mark Williams, the Liberal Democrat MP, and Baroness Mallalieu, told the watchdog that they had “concerns about the motivation for bringing this prosecution”…. (story)
Telegraph 22.12.12 Felix says: keep hunting! - Alexandra Swann - Alexandra has been an outspoken member of Ukip after defecting from the Conservatives in March. She classes herself as an Anarcho-Libertarian and believes taxation to be legalised theft - I would quite like to buy District Judge Tim Pattinson a pint… (story)
Cotswold Journal 20.12.12 Landmark fox hunting fine sparts political row By Freya Leng - A POLITICAL row is brewing after Prime Minister David Cameron’s local hunt near Chipping Norton became the first to be convicted of illegally killing foxes…. (story)
Mail 20.12.12 The RSPCA and a cruel abuse of your generosity By QUENTIN LETTS - Officially, the ‘P’ in RSPCA stands for ‘prevention’. It is — is it not? — the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But might it not as easily be called the Royal Society for the Prosecution of Cruelty to Animals? Has one of Britain’s oldest and most-cherished charities become a branch office of the London legal profession, and a highly politicised one at that?... (story)
Farmers Guardian 20.12.12 RSPCA to listen to supporters over Ramsgate legal action By Alistair Driver - THE RSPCA has said it will gauge the response from its supporters before deciding whether to launch a further high profile, potentially costly legal battle over the decsion to allow live exports from Ramsgate port. The charity was heavily criticised this week after it emerged it spent £327,000 in the successful prosecution of Heythrop hunt, in Oxfordshire… (story)
Telegraph 19.12.12 Animal abusers beware: the RSPCA bites - Criticisms by a judge won’t stop the RSPCA throwing its money and weight around in court. But is the animal charity’s mission becoming ever more political? By Harry Wallop - 'The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable” was how Oscar Wilde described fox hunting. District Judge Tim Pattinson missed a trick in not using the phrase when he rounded on the RSPCA, the animal charity, for spending what he said was a “staggering” amount of money in prosecuting the Heythrop Hunt… (story)
Western Morning News 19.12.12 RSPCA face questions over cost of prosecuting PM's local hunt - The Heythrop case put the hunting debate back on the front pages. Tim Bonner gives his view… (story)
Guardian 19.12.12 We sued the Heythrop Hunt because it's our job to prevent cruelty to animals - The RSPCA has been accused of political motives in targeting David Cameron's local hunt. But we were compelled to act - Gavin Grant … (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 19.12.12 RSPCA defends cost of fox hunting case - The RSPCA prosecuted the Heythrop Hunt for illegal fox hunting in the Cotswolds. This week, Oxford magistrates found the hunt and two of its members guilty and fined them. The case proved controversial, with critics questioning whether the RSPCA was making best use of money donated to it by members of the public. Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the charity defended its actions against the Chipping Norton-based hunt and said people knew what they were doing when they decided to give money… (story)
Huffington Post 19.12.12 David Cameron: 'I Have Not Broken Law On Fox Hunting' By Ned Simons - David Cameron has insisted he has never illegally fox hunted, after members of his local hunt were convicted of hunting a wild fox with hounds…. (story)
Oxford Herald 19.12.12 RSPCA defends £250k cost of taking fox hunters to court - THE RSPCA has defended itself after criticism that prosecuting an Oxfordshire hunt was “political”… (story)
Morning Star 19.12.12 Cameron's hunt in the dock for fox killings by Peter Frost - Members of the Oxfordshire Heythrop Hunt have been convicted of hunting foxes illegally in a prosecution brought by the RSPCA. This is not just any bunch of Tory toffs on horses chasing a fox. It is David Cameron's and his notorious Chipping Norton set's very own local hunt… (story)
Mirror 19.12.12 "Jail illegal fox hunters": RSPCA calls for stricter laws to crack down on cruelty - RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant says he is appalled that the maximum sanction at the moment is just a £5,000 fine - The RSPCA is on a collision course with David Cameron after demanding that illegal fox hunting carry a minimum sentence of two years in jail… (story)
Oxford Mail 19.12.12 RSPCA defends £250k cost of taking fox hunters to court - THE RSPCA has defended itself after criticism that prosecuting an Oxfordshire hunt was “political”… (story)
Evening Standard 19.12.12 The jacket fits for Rusbridger - Well done, the Guardian. The newspaper most savagely opposed to fox hunting got it right while covering the story about the RSPCA prosecuting Julian Barnfield, of David Cameron’s local hunt, the Heythrop, for killing a fox with hounds. Yesterday’s Guardian front page showed Barnfield in a green coat, which is correct as staff of the Heythrop and the Beaufort wear green… (story)
Mail 19.12.12 Richard Kay - Huntsman goes a bit green over pretty in pink pictures - Fined £1,000 this week for illegally killing foxes, Heythrop Hunt stalwart Julian Barnfield, was amused to see pictures of himself in hunting pink, a colour he hasn’t worn for more than a decade. As the Heythrop’s popular kennel huntsman, Barnfield, 49, is required to wear green, because of the hunt’s links with the Duke of Beaufort whose staff livery is green…. (story)
Telegraph 18.12.12 RSPCA chief vows to keep on prosecuting hunters - The head of the RSPCA has blamed the Crown Prosecution Service for forcing it to mount expensive court cases against those who break the hunting ban - and said those caught hunting should go to jail. By John-Paul Ford Rojas and Richard Alleyne (story)
Oxford Mail 18.12.12 UPDATE: Heythrop found guilty of illegal fox hunting - MEMBERS of Oxfordshire’s Heythrop Hunt were yesterday convicted of illegal fox hunting in the first such prosecution ever mounted by the RSPCA… (story)
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 18.12.12 Oxfordshire-based Heythrop Hunt admits breaking fox hunting law - A HUNT that was caught on camera allowing its hounds to savage foxes has been found guilty of breaking the law…. (story)
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 18.12.12 Huntsman convicted of illegally killing foxes in the North Cotswolds speaks out - A RETIRED huntsman has blasted the RSPCA after being convicted of illegally hunting foxes with hounds. Julian Barnfield, 49, of Hunstmans House, Heythrop Hunt Kennels, Chipping Norton, appeared in court yesterday and admitted four counts of unlawfully hunting a wild mammal, namely a fox, with dogs…. (story)
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 18.12.12 RSPCA praised over Cotswolds fox hunting victory - THE RSPCA has defended its decision to prosecute a Cotswold hunt which admitted illegally hunting foxes yesterday… (story)
Horse & Hound 18.12.12 Judge 'staggered' by £326K RSPCA prosecution of hunt - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - A judge has questioned the "staggering" amount of money spent by the RSPCA on prosecuting the Heythrop…. (story)
BBC News Online 18.12.12 RSPCA 'staggered' by fox hunting case - The RSPCA has successfully prosecuted members of the Heythrop hunt - David Cameron's local hunt - for intentionally hunting a fox with dogs. The judge in the trial said it was "quite staggering" that the RSPCA had spent £330,000 bringing the action… (story)
Western Morning News 18.12.12 RSPCA declares war on hunts - The RSPCA yesterday warned it was "watching" hunts and would bring any that broke the law to justice – after successfully prosecuting the Prime Minister's local pack. Speaking after the animal charity's first corporate prosecution of a hunt for illegally pursuing a fox, RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant, indicated more legal actions could follow… (story)
Mail 18.12.12 How the RSPCA targeted Cameron's local hunt: Judge blasts 'staggering' £330,000 cost of prosecution By TOM KELLY - David Cameron’s local hunt yesterday became the first to be convicted of illegally killing foxes… However, a judge sitting at Oxford Magistrates’ Court questioned whether the ‘staggering’ £330,000 the RSPCA spent on bringing the case was money well spent…. (story)
Express 18.12.12 DAVID CAMERON’S LOCAL HUNT IS FINED AFTER HOUNDS ARE LET LOOSE ON FOXES - DAVID Cameron’s local hunt was yesterday convicted for repeatedly hunting foxes with hounds in a landmark case brought by the RSPCA… (story)
Belfast Telegraph 18.12.12 David Cameron's fox hunting pals hit by fine - David Cameron's favourite fox hunt has been fined for illegal hunting…. (story)
Mirror 18.12.12 Members of David Cameron's local hunt filmed as fox illegally savaged to death by their dogs - Footage of a hound with a blood-soaked dead fox in its mouth was played as two toffs pleaded guilty to unlawful hunting… (story)
Telegraph 17.12.12 David Cameron's hunt convicted as judge questions RSPCA's £330,000 prosecution costs - A judge has questioned the “quite staggering” amount of money the RSPCA spent pursuing the prosecution of a hunt, saying that the money may have been more “usefully employed”. By Richard Alleyne (story)
Mail 17.12.12 Prime Minister's local chase fined for hunting foxes with dogs after footage shows animal being dragged through muddy field By LARISA BROWN - Members of David Cameron’s local hunt were fined today after being convicted of illegal fox hunting in the first corporate prosecution ever mounted by the RSPCA. The Heythrop Hunt Limited, along with members Julian Barnfield and Richard Sumner, pleaded guilty to a total of 12 counts of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs on land in the Cotswolds…. Outside court, Barnfield accused the RSPCA of playing politics, saying: 'They could have picked on any other hunt but they picked on Heythrop because we are in David Cameron’s constitue… Sentencing both men and the hunt itself, District Judge Pattinson said today: 'Hunting foxes provokes extremely strong feelings on both sides of the argument … (story)
Metro 17.12.12 RSPCA spent ‘staggering’ £330,000 on fox hunting case - A judge has said he was staggered the RSPCA spent nearly £330,000 prosecuting David Cameron’s hunt. Tim Pattinson, a district judge, said it wasn’t his place to offer an opinion but that members of the public could ask if the animal charity could better spend its money…. (story)
Guardian 17.12.12 David Cameron's local hunt convicted after RSPCA prosecution - Prime minister has ridden with Heythrop Hunt, which admitted intentionally hunting a fox with dogs - Caroline Davies and agencies - Members of the David Cameron's local Oxfordshire hunt have been convicted of hunting foxes illegally in a prosecution brought by the RSPCA… (story)
Independent 17.12.12 David Cameron's local hunt fined £26,300 for illegal fox hunting - MICHAEL MCCARTHY - David Cameron’s favourite fox hunt, and David Cameron’s favourite huntsman, were both fined for illegal hunting today in a case which will embarrass the Prime Minister…. (story)
Telegraph 17.12.12 David Cameron's local hunt guilty of illegal fox-hunting - The Prime Minister's former local hunt was fined today after admitting illegal fox hunting with dogs. By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent - David Cameron, the MP for Witney, has previously ridden with the Heythrop Hunt, which today pleaded guilty to fox-hunting. The hunt pleaded guilty to four charges of "unlawfully hunting a wild fox with dogs" on land in the Cotswolds. Julian Barnsfield, 49, a former huntsman, and Richard Sumner, 68, a recently retired hunt master, also pleaded guilty to the same charges… (story)
Cotswold Journal 17.12.12 Heythrop Hunt fined for fox hunting - THE Heythrop hunt has been fined thousands of pounds after pleading guilty to four charges of intentionally hunting afox with dogs on land in the Cotswolds… (story)
Banbury Guardian 17.12.12 Heythrop Hunt prosecuted for using dogs - THE Heythrop Hunt has become the first traditional hunt to be successfully prosecuted of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs… (story)
BBC News Online 17.12.12 Heythrop Hunt members admit illegal fox hunting - Members of an Oxfordshire-based hunt which Prime Minister David Cameron has previously ridden with have admitted hunting foxes illegally. Richard Sumner and Julian Barnfield, of the Heythrop Hunt, pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates' Court to charges brought by the RSPCA… They pleaded guilty to four separate counts, on four separate occasions, of unlawfully hunting a wild fox with dogs. Heythrop Hunt Ltd also pleaded guilty to four counts of the same charge… (story)
ITV 17.12.12 RSPCA celebrates 'legal landmark' in fox hunting case – statement - The RSPCA celebrated the success of its first ever prosecution of a traditional hunt when the Heythrop Hunt today pleaded guilty to four charges of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs on several occasions… (story)
Oxford Mail 17.12.12 Oxfordshire fox hunters convicted in court By Mark Taylor - Members of Prime Minister David Cameron's local hunt have today been convicted of illegal fox hunting. The Heythrop Hunt, based in Chipping Norton, along with members Julian Barnfield and Richard Sumner, admitted four charges of illegally hunting foxes with dogs…. (story)
Horse & Hound 18.8.12 Case against Heythrop hunstman dropped - Charlotte White, deputy news editor - The RSPCA has dropped its private prosecution against Heythrop huntsman Julian Barnfield…. (story)
Oxford Mail 4.8.12 Heythrop Hunt will fight RSPCA's case - Heythrop Hunt and its members have denied illegally hunting foxes with dogs. They are being prosecuted by the RSPCA on a 45 count indictment in contravention of the Hunting Act 2004… (story)
Oxford Mail 2.6.12 'Illegal hunters' - Members of the Heythrop Hunt have been accused of illegal fox hunting…. (story)
Horse & Hound 25.5.12 RSPCA's actions questioned following charges against the Heythrop - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - An MEP is calling on the Charity Commission to investigate the “political activities” of the RSPCA — which he believes are in breach of its charitable status. Roger Helmer, who is the UKIP MEP for the East Midlands, made his comments after the RSPCA issued summonses on 52 Hunting Act charges against the Heythrop, which hunt in the Prime Minister’s constituency…. (story)
Horse & Hound 11.5.12 Anger as RSPCA targets the Heythrop as a whole - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - The RSPCA is being accused of pursuing a political agenda after launching an unprecedented prosecution against the Heythrop. The animal charity has long spent large sums campaigning against hunting, but now — in a case that is expected to cost over £1million — it has issued summons on 52 charges against four officers of the hunt. The Heythrop as a whole has also been summonsed to face 10 charges — the first time this has happened since the ban came into force in 2005… (story)
Mail on Sunday 6.5.12 RSPCA accused of political agenda over prosecution of Chipping Norton Set's hunt By Chris Hastings - David Cameron was embroiled in a fresh row over his local hunt yesterday after the RSPCA launched an unprecedented prosecution for unlawful foxhunting. The animal charity is already taking action against one member of the Heythrop hunt… But now it has laid fresh charges against the hunt and four of its members – provoking accusations that the charity’s actions are ‘politically motivated’. The four accused of unlawfully hunting a fox with dogs in contravention of the Hunting Act 2004 are Vanessa Lambert, 29, who is a Joint Master of the hunt, Richard Sumner, 67, Duncan Hume, 32, and 48-year-old Julian Barnfield, a professional huntsman… Critics have questioned how the charity can afford such a move – pro-hunt campaigners believe the case could cost up to £1?million in legal fees – at a time when it is planning to make staff redundant… (story)
BBC News Online 25.10.11 Heythrop Hunt man denies fox hunting with dogs charges - An Oxfordshire man has pleaded not guilty to hunting foxes with dogs. Julian Barnfield, 48, of Kennel Lane, Chipping Norton, was charged with two offences of unlawfully hunting a wild mammal with dogs… Mr Barnfield is part of the Chipping Norton-based Heythrop Hunt (story)
Horse & Hound 7.9.11 RSPCA to prosecute Heythrop huntsman - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - Heythrop huntsman Julian Barnfield is due to appear in Banbury Magistrates Court on 16 September, charged with two offences under the Hunting Act…. (story)
Oxford Mail 29.8.11 RSPCA prosecutes Heythrop Hunt member - A member of the Heythrop Hunt has been charged with two counts of hunting a fox with dogs. Julian Barnfield, 47, of Kennel Lane, Worcester Road, Chipping Norton, is due to appear before magistrates at Banbury on Friday, September 16, on charges brought by the RSPCA relating to alleged incidents in February and March this year… (story)
Mail on Sunday 28.8.11 Cameron's embarrassment as Chipping Norton Set's favourite huntsman faces court over illegal hunting By Chris Hastings - David Cameron was facing political embarrassment last night after a leading member of the local hunt he has ridden with was charged with illegal foxhunting.Julian Barnfield, 47, the professional huntsman with the Heythrop hunt, will appear before magistrates next month on two counts of unlawfully hunting a fox. The prosecution, which is being brought by the RSPCA, will reopen political divisions over hunting and increase pressure on Ministers to overturn the ban introduced by the Labour Government in 2004… Penny Little, an anti-hunt monitor who gathered the footage, said: ‘We are delighted that the RSPCA has decided to mount a prosecution…. (story)

Telegraph 27.12.12 The ban on hunting is leading to an increase in weak and diseased foxes - We are told that a majority of people are opposed to fox hunting… All too often I find old, diseased foxes eaten alive by mange. When fox hunting was allowed, these old and diseased foxes would have been put out of their misery… John Lewis, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
With every opinion poll showing between 60 and 80 per cent of the population against hunting foxes, deer and hares, and most MPs in agreement, there seems little point in yet another time-wasting vote in Parliament… Most people are not in favour of a minority going out on Boxing Day – or any other day – to chase and kill animals for fun… Geoff Perfitt, Penn, Buckinghamshire
You are wrong to condemn the RSPCA’s prosecution of unlawful hunting… Andrew Dyke London N21
– Roger Scruton (Comment, December 26) says that people hunt because an activity “so central to their lives can no more be stopped than their heartbeats”. As Muhammad Ali said to Ron Lyle: “That your best shot, sucker?” Professor Chris Barton Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Am I the only one who would prefer to see legislation to repeal the hunting law rather than the suggested legislation on gay marriage? Deirdre Lay Guildford, Surrey
If the RSPCA is indeed mounting a “crusade”, would it please include under “wildlife criminals” the cat that attacks the songbirds in my garden? Peter Fayers Coulsdon, Surrey (letters)

Daily Post 27.12.12 No rest for Rhug’s gamekeepers over Christmas - THE Boxing Day shoot is an institution for many shooting sportsmen and women. It’s the perfect chance to get back out in the fresh air, and blow off the excesses of the turkey and brandy butter. At Rhug, however, we don’t hold a shoot on December 26 – instead the keepering team enjoys the time off… (story)

Telegraph 27.12.12 Church of England should consider opening doors to Muslims and Hindus - The Church of England should consider opening its doors to congregations from other faiths including Muslims and Hindus, the head of the Countryside Alliance has said. By Steven Swinford - Sir Barney White-Spunner said he was concerned that churches in villages and towns were falling into disrepair and not being used enough. He said he was “hugely excited” about opening up churches to other Christian denominations and, in the longer term, other faiths… Sir Barney, a Roman Catholic, said: “Personally I think it would be hugely exciting, it would restore life and vigour to these incredibly important buildings… (story)
Telegraph 27.12.12 New uses for churches could revive villages - Telegraph View: A decline of collective worship has led to a loss of community in Britain - but if churches make themselves available for other uses, that could change. .. (story)

Scotsman 27.12.12 Letters: Bamboozled by the lack of logic in keeping pandas - While half a million people have been to gawk at Yang Guang and Tian Tian, our captive pandas, I wonder what the bears make of us. Given the choice, would they be in a far off alien land, sitting in cages eating “take away” bamboo with a mate not of their own choosing or roaming their own land eating fresh shoots and choosing a mate of their own liking?... John Allan, Kingsknowe Road North, Edinburgh >(story)

26.12.12

Lutterworth Mail 26.12.12 Fernie Hunt meets in Great Bowden - HUNDREDS gathered in Great Bowden today (Tuesday) for the traditional Boxing Day meet… (story)

Sleaford Standard 26.12.12 Blankney Hunt brings out the crowds for traditional Boxing Day meeting - The hounds, horses and riders of the Blankney Hunt met this morning (Boxing Day) for their annual meet, setting off from Sleaford Market Place… (story)

Peterborough Telegraph 26.12.12 Hundreds turn out for hunt meet By Mark Edwards - Hundreds of people turned out to see the Boxing Day meeting of the Fitzwilliam Hunt…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 26.12.12 Boxing Day hunt attracts crowds to Tewitfield, Carnforth By Daniel Orr - MORE than 300 people chose a traditional festive event over the lure of the Boxing Day sales as they supported the Vale of Lune hunt at Tewitfield… (story)

Shropshire Star 26.12.12 Hunt greeted with driving rain - After being pelted with accusations of animal cruelty for years from some campaigners, it was the driving wind and rain which proved the greatest obstacle for members of the East Cornwall Hunt on Boxing Day…. (story)

Cambridge News 26.12.12 Crowds turn out for Boxing Day hunt - About 1,000 supporters were in Eltisley for the traditional Boxing Day hunt. The crowds turned out as the Government said it had no immediate plans for a vote on overturning the hunting ban… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.12.12 Crowd gathers for Dunston Harriers Boxing Day hunt in Wymondham - Hundreds of people gathered around Wymondham’s Market Place today for the annual Boxing Day hunt. Around 20 riders and a pack of 15 hounds from the Dunston Harriers were greeted by a large crowd as they entered the town centre at about 11am this morning for the annual tradition… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.12.12 Hundreds gather to support the Boxing Day West Norfolk hunt - Sophie Wyllie - Hundreds of hunting enthusiasts showed support for the rural tradition is still strong at the West Norfolk hunt today (Wednesday)… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.12.12 Video: Bungay Boxing Day Hunt By RICHARD WOOD - Families of all ages joined together in Bungay town centre for a Boxing Day tradition. Hundreds lined the streets under the clear blue skies as they watched the start of the Waveney Harriers’ annual showpiece… (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.12 Fox hunts: Countryside Alliance v League Against Cruel Sports - A senior cabinet minister has said he doubts whether MPs will be given a chance next year to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales… William Burton, from the Countryside Alliance, was confident a vote would be held in Parliament while Dawn Varley, from the League Against Cruel Sports, said cruelty needed to be taken out of hunting… (story)

Mail 26.12.12 Tally GO! 300 Boxing Day hunts as government say there are no plans to vote on repealing the ban - By DANIEL MILLER - Around 300 boxing day hunts went ahead across Britain today as the government admitted they have no immediate plans for a vote on overturning the ban…. Photos: Members of the Quorn Hunt jump a fence during the traditional Boxing Day meet at Prestwold Hall near Loughborough; The hounds take a break at the Grafton Hunt which is held at Easton Neston near Towcester, Northants; Tradition: Crowds gather to watch the Mid Devon boxing Day hunt as it sets off from the Square in the town of Chagford; Support: Around 6,000 people gathered in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire to greet the horses and hounds of the Heythrop Hunt one of the most high-profile events in the country; New generation: Two-year-old Joshua Bagwell on his pony Custard joins the East Devon hunt; The Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt gather for their Boxing Day event in Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire; Huntsman: A member of the Boxing Day Beaufort Hunt meet at the hunt kennels in Badminton, Gloucstershire(story)

Gloucestershire Echo 26.12.12 Gloucestershire riders prepare for the Boxing Day Hunts - Riders and hounds will be out in force across Gloucestershire this morning for the traditional Boxing Day hunts. The Duke of Beaufort's Hunt will be one of four hunts taking place today… Meanwhile the Berkeley Hunt will be taking place at Thornbury High Street; the Cotswold Hunt will meet at The Frogmill Inn, Shipton Oliffe, Cheltenham and the VWH Hunt will start at The Mansion, Cirencester Park, Cirencester for its joint meet with the RAC Beagles… (story)

Northern Echo 26.12.12 Cabinet minister confirms there are no imminent plans for hunting ban repeal - By Ashley Barnard - HUNDREDS of people turned out to see traditional Boxing Day hunts today… In Northallerton, North Yorkshire, hundreds of supporters lined the High Street to see the Hurworth Hunt… Photo: The Zetland Hunt heads out in Aldbrough St John this morning (story)

ITV 26.12.12 Hunt master: 'More important' things than repealing ban - A joint master of Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt said there were more important bills for MPs to debate than the hunting ban…. (story)

Telegraph 26.12.12 Record number turn out at Boxing Day hunts after Tories admit defeat on ban - Record numbers of people turned out at Boxing Day hunts across the country today to show their support, according to countryside campaigners. Steven Swinford - Despite heavy rainfall the number of people attending some local hunts rose by a fifth after a cabinet minister admitted that David Cameron cannot repeal Labour's ban on foxhunting…. (story)
Telegraph 26.12.12 Boxing Day fox hunt 2012 (picture gallery) (story)

Telegraph 26.12.12 Former police officers monitoring Boxing Day fox hunts - Former police officers are being employed by animal rights campaigners to monitor fox hunts across the country today. Steven Swinford - The League Against Cruel Sports said it has spent more than £1million on professional investigators and former officers to police Boxing Day hunts…. (story)

Guardian 25.12.12 (26.12.12) Most Britons support fox hunting ban, survey finds - Poll before Boxing Day meets shows 76% are against moves to make fox hunting legal, rising to 81% for deer hunting - Martin Wainwright - Public opinion remains firmly against any attempt to lift the legal ban on fox and deer hunting, according to a survey timed to coincide with the year's biggest meets on Boxing Day. Polling by Ipsos Mori shows no sign of opinion shifting in spite of a prolonged campaign by the Countryside Alliance and England's 320 registered hunts… The hunts will include a particularly large gathering at Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, the base for 177 years of the Heythrop hunt… (story)
Mirror 26.12.12 Tally no: Three quarters of voters back legal ban on fox hunting, poll reveals - More than three-quarters of voters want David Cameron to keep the ban on hunting, a poll out today reveals. It shows 76% of people are against moves to legalise fox hunting again and 81% oppose deer hunting… The League Against Cruel Sports, RSPCA and International Fund for Animal Welfare paid for the poll…. (story)

Telegraph 25.12.12 (26.12.12) Tally ho! Let the hunt remind us who we are - Hound, horse and human come together today in an activity as vital as our heartbeats, says Roger Scruton. This morning hundreds of hunts across the Kingdom will be assembling for the Boxing Day meet. My family and I will appear in our polished uniforms on polished horses to stand ceremonially among our neighbours in Cirencester Park. With us will be a crowd of thousands who have come to enjoy the spectacle. For an hour, three species – hound, horse and human; carnivore, herbivore and omnivore – will stand peacefully side by side in a little patch of meadowland, radiating tranquillity. One of the local bands will be playing. The Royal Agricultural College Beagles will be there, along with people from every walk of life, who have come to gladden their eyes on the spectacle before going for lunch in the town… The fields that I see from my window do not, for me, end at my boundary but stretch beyond it, to the place where the hounds of the Vale of White Horse hunt must be called off from the territory of the Old Berkshire, where “ours” becomes “theirs”, and the riot of followers must turn back… (story)

Telegraph 25.12.12 (26.12.12) Unspeakable hounding of legitimate pursuits - Telegraph View: The RSPCA's efforts to make criminals of country people is deeply regrettable. Today is the busiest day in the fox-hunting year. Hundreds of hunts will meet in England and Wales and thousands of people will watch them. It is testimony to the resilience of fox hunting – so eloquently captured by Roger Scruton on this page – that it retains such a strong appeal in the countryside eight years after the Hunting Act sought to outlaw it… It was against this backdrop that the RSPCA decided to spend £330,000 in pursuit of an overtly political prosecution against the Heythrop hunt in Oxfordshire, which just happens to be the local hunt of David Cameron… (story)

Western Morning News 26.12.12 Boxing Day hunts: What chance of a repeal of fox and hare hunting ban? - The issue of the live hunting of foxes, hares and deer is never far away, with tens of thousands of Westcountry people seeking a repeal of the controversial Hunting Act. Western Morning News farming editor Peter Hall gives his view... There is a good chance you may venture out to witness a meet of your local hunt in a market square, outside a pub or in a farmyard today…. for the past several seasons foxhunting and hare hunting with hounds has been banned, probably the nastiest and most spiteful piece of legislation to have emanated from the New Labour regime… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 26.12.12 Hundreds expected for hunt in New Forest - Hundreds of enthusiasts are expected to turn out today to watch two Hampshire hunts stage their traditional Boxing Day meets. The New Forest Hounds are due to gather outside the Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst… Members of the HursleyHambledon Hunt are due to meet at the Bucks Head pub in Meonstoke… (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.12 How long will France hunt with hounds? - Hunting with dogs is banned in much of Europe, including the UK, but in France the tradition is alive and well. Hunters face no challenge from politicians or animal-rights activists - but how long will this last? As Hugues Lamy gets out of his car and into his boots in a forest clearing in Normandy, the heavens open…. Mr Lamy is one of a dozen members of the local hunt who have gathered at the Foret d'Eu… (story)
BBC News Online 26.12.12 'A city man can't understand our life' - Hunting live animals with dogs is banned in several European countries, including the UK, but in France, the tradition is alive and well… BBC News spent the day with a hunt in the Foret D'Eu in the Somme region. Hunt Master Mathieu Berge explains that while he accepts hunting is "cruel", he believes it is a part of country life that "a city man will never understand". (story)

Independent 25.12.12 (26.12.12) Gavin Grant: 'If David Cameron wants a vote on hunting let him have it. He will lose' - With 250,000 expected at Boxing Day hunts, the RSPCA’s outspoken new boss has a fight on his hands. He tells Charlie Cooper that he’s ready for it… (story)

Express 26.12.12 RSPCA CASE WAS NOT A WITCH HUNT By Ann Widdecombe - DURING the course of today hunts will be meeting all over the country, including the Heythrop, which has so rightly been brought to book after years of patient filming by hunt monitors. When I was an MP I showed a film, produced by those same monitors, which catalogued breaches of the law and intimidation against those filming them… The law is the law and until it is changed must be enforced (story)

Guardian 25.12.12 (26.12.12) Hunting the hunters shouldn't be the RSPCA's job - Short of turning up at court in a red coat and wielding a whip, district judge Tim Pattinson could not have made it more obvious that he thinks parliament was wrong to ban the setting of dogs on to wild animals for "sport"… John Bryant, Tonbridge, Kent
I am glad there is now a "blue fox" group of Conservatives – including more than 20 MPs – who, quite apart from questioning the morality of hunting animals for sport, realise that party plans to repeal the act lose more potential supporters than gain them… John Wainwright Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
The judge at the trial of the Heythrop hunt was simply being helpful to question the RSPCA's wisdom in bringing the prosecution. Given that independent research has proved that with hunting with hounds the fox is either killed outright or escapes, the RSPCA would be best advised to focus its resources on its otherwise excellent work in things like dogs in hot cars and general animal welfare… John Barstow, Pulborough, West Sussex
Why indeed did the RSPCA have to spend this money, when surely the CPS should have prosecuted the case? Could the answer possibly reflect a wish not to confront the Heythrop, with its Chipping Norton set (and royal) connections? Keith Stapylton, Bracknell, Berkshire
For wealthy Heythrop hunters whingeing that they've been picked on, a few thousand quid is a fee, not a fine, for disobeying a law they don't like…. Mark Lewinski, Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire
I applaud the RSPCA for taking the Heythrop hunt to court… Ann Newell, Thame, Oxfordshire (letters)

Independent 26.12.12 Boxing Day, and hunting row breaks out anew - It appears that Gavin Grant of the RSPCA is joining the political bandwagon… Hilary Mills, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
It is unfortunate that the RSPCA had to pay a large sum of money to bring a successful prosecution against the Heythrop hunt (report, 18 December) but it is even more unfortunate that members of an organisation with which the Prime Minister has been associated think they are above the law… John Wainwright, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
Boxing Day is one of the few days in the hunting calendar that you see the hunt, riders and hounds out on parade… But what you are witnessing is the public face of a cruel and barbaric activity vested in our brutal feudal past… Graham Forsyth, Chard, Somerset (letters)

South Wales Echo 26.12.12 Let’s protect our birds of prey - BIRDS of prey are special…. Sadly, there are still those among us who seem hell bent on destroying our magnificent birds of prey… Councillor Rob Curtis (letter)

25.12.12

Sussex Express 25.12.12 Appeal for support from the South Downs Badger Group - The South Downs Badger Group is appealing for support to combat increasing costs and declining membership…. Chairman of the group Graham Amy said: “Many of our elderly members have sadly passed on and there seems to be a lack of youngsters wanting to join conservation groups…. (story)

24.12.12

Mid Devon Gazette 24.12.12 Biggest day in hunt calendar - THE familiar sight of riders and horses from Tiverton Foxhounds setting off for their annual Boxing Day hunt will again be seen in Tiverton on Wednesday (December 26)…. In Somerset, Dulverton Farmers Hunt will be also be meeting on Boxing Day…. (story)

Western Daily Press 24.12.12 Swell of support for Boxing Day hunts as RSPCA is hounded - Tens of thousands of people will gather in market towns and village greens across the West on Boxing Day as hunting with hounds once again becomes the subject of a fierce political debate… . In Gloucestershire, hunts are meeting in Cirencester, Thornbury, Didmarton and Shipton Oliffe. In Herefordshire, there are meets in the centre of Hereford, Ledbury, Leominster and Bromyard, while in Wiltshire, the Avon Vale hunt, which is facing a prosecution for breaching the hunting ban in the new year, is meeting in the centre of Lacock. In Somerset, hunts are meeting at Castle Cary, Dulverton, Hardington Mandeville, Crewkerne and Ilminster…. (story)

Oxford Mail 24.12.12 Thousands are expected at Boxing Day hunts - DOZENS of riders and hounds will be out in Oxfordshire for traditional Boxing Day hunts. Despite fox hunting being banned seven years ago, Oxfordshire hunts say thousands will come out to support them. Following the ban the hunts have to stay within the law by following artificially-laid trails. Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hound Club will meet at 11am in the field opposite Winslow Hall, east of Bicester, at 11am… Kimblewick Hunt, previously the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt, which covers parts of Oxfordshire, is meeting at Cholsebury Common at 11.30am on Boxing Day… (story)

Northumberland Gazette 24.12.12 Thousands to show support for Boxing Day hunts - More than 250,000 people are expected to turn out to support more than 300 UK hunts taking place on Boxing Day according to the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 24.12.12 Thousands to hit the trail for Boxing Day hunts - Thousands of people are expected to attend traditional Boxing Day hunt meetings across the region… The Masters of Foxhounds Association have more than 200 meets listed across the country, including the annual Boxing Day hunt in Horwich, near Bolton. The Holcombe Hunt is due to meet at Rivington Barn, near Rivington, on Boxing Day for a noon start… The Cheshire Hunt, which regularly attracts up to 100 riders and more than 1,000 spectators is expected to be held on Boxing Day in Tarporley, Cheshire… The Pennine Hunt, covering parts of Longdendale, Stalybridge and Glossop, and the Cheshire Forest Hunt, which meets at the Duke of Portland pub in Northwich, will also meet. (story)

23.12.12

South Wales Argus 23.11.12 Traditional Boxing Day Hunts expected to attract 1,000 people - MORE than 1,000 people are expected to gather in Abergavenny and Newport for the traditional Boxing Day Hunts. In Abergavenny town centre hundreds are expected to see the start of the Monmouthshire Hunt… In Newport, hundreds are set to watch the Tredegar Farmers' Hunt which leaves from Bassaleg's Tredegar Arms… (story)

Independent on Sunday 23.12.12 Rural tension to reach new high on Boxing Day - Both pro and anti groups cry foul before biggest day in hunting calendar - SARAH MORRISON - Animosity between fox hunters and their opponents is more heated than at any time since the hunting ban was introduced in Britain eight years ago, both sides cautioned this weekend, just days before the biggest hunting day of the year. A quarter of a million people are expected to attend a Boxing Day hunt this Wednesday… The RSPCA's successful prosecution last week of the Oxfordshire-based Heythrop Hunt, with which the Prime Minister has ridden, for hunting a wild fox illegally further inflamed antipathy… Charlie Warde-Aldam, a former hunt master with Badsworth and Bramham Moor for almost three decades, knows this first-hand. He says he was attacked in October, while he was hosting a hunt meet with his 12-year-old daughter, by people he described as anti-hunting protesters. Eight people arrested on suspicion of assault have been bailed until next month, according to South Yorkshire police… Mr Tillsley was hit with a whip by David Bevan, from the West Somerset Vale Foxhounds… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 23.12.12 Jail fox hunters for five years, says RSPCA chief - The chief executive of the RSPCA issued a stern warning to Boxing Day hunts as he claimed those who set their hounds on foxes should go to jail for up to five years. By John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor - Gavin Grant signalled that the charity would be channelling efforts into an aggressive new push to prosecute those who flout the ban on hunting with dogs introduced by the last Labour Government… His comments, in an interview with The Sunday Times, came ahead of the biggest day in the hunting calendar, the annual Boxing Day meets… (story)

22.12.12

Western Morning News 22.12.12 As Boxing Day hunts loom what hope for a repeal of ban? - On Boxing Day there is a good chance you may venture out to witness a meet of your local hunt in a market square, outside a pub or in a farmyard… for the past several seasons foxhunting and hare hunting with hounds has been banned, probably the nastiest and most spiteful piece of legislation to have emanated from the New Labour regime…. (story)

Guardian/Observer 22.12.12 Cotswold hunters say guilty verdict won't stop record Boxing Day turnout - The prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt is unlikely to stop 250,000 turning out on what is traditionally the busiest day of the hunting calendar - Mark Townsend - Patrick Martin gestures towards 45 yapping fox hounds and breaks into a grin. "Look at them, they are my life. They are also probably one reason why hunting is more popular than ever. People have really stuck together over the issue. What happened at Heythrop won't change that."… Twelve miles west from Martin's kennels at Bicester, across undulating countryside, the Heythrop Hunt – local MP, one David Cameron – was last week found guilty of intentionally hunting foxes with dogs… (story)

Oxford Mail 22.12.12 Cotswold Wildlife Park 'a fitting memorial to its founder' - ANIMAL keepers and staff at the Cotswold Wildlife Park have paid tribute to the park’s founder who has died, and said his legacy will live on in the zoo he created. John Heyworth, who has died at the age of 87, set up the wildlife park, near Burford, more than 40 years ago… Mr Heyworth was also a former High Sheriff of Oxfordshire and had been a chairman of the Oxfordshire Country Landowners’ Association. He was also a keen rider, taking part in point-to-points in the 1950s and hunting with the Heythrop. He was also a successful cattle breeder…. (story)

Scotsman 22.12.12 Shooting & Fishing: There is always one with an out-of-control black lab By Alastair Robertson - With no sporting engagement the other Saturday I rang John, my cousin’s keeper, to see if he needed an extra beater or a picker up, in which case Crumpet and I would be happy to oblige… The paying guests were all ex-army officers who take a day’s shooting every year and then repair to someone’s house to get blotto… The day is one of great amusement for the beaters, mainly because as one sagely remarked; you’d think that people who had been in the army and got to play with guns and the like would now know how to use them. Not a bit of it. One or two can shoot, but the rest blaze away happily with little or no effect. There is always one with an out-of-control black lab… (story)

Dundee Courier 22.12.12 Stabilising grey partridge numbers - The RSPB has described the latest figures on turtle doves and grey partridges as a wildlife disaster… On farms and shooting estates in Scotland that are participating in the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s partridge count scheme, numbers have stabilised… Katrina Candy. Head of PR and Education (Scotland), Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. (letter)

Galloway Gazette 22.12.12 LETTER: Fighting to ban snares - The League Against Cruel Sports was disappointed to read the recent story on a Wigtownshire farmer who was convicted of setting an illegal snare (“Farmer is fined for snaring”, The Galloway Gazette, November 23)… The League believes any snare is cruel and unnecessary and supports a full ban on the use of snares… Jennifer Dunn, Public affairs manager for Scotland, League Against Cruel Sports. (letter)

BUAV CHRISTMAS PRESENT LETTER
Lutterworth Mail 28.12.12 Help animals this Christmas - Michelle Thew BUAV Chief Executive 16a Crane Grove London N7 8NN (letter)
Shields Gazette 21.12.12 A cruelty-free Christmas - THIS holiday season, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) is urging shoppers to show goodwill to all creatures by giving gifts that are not tested on animals… Fleur Dawes, media officer, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (letter)

VIVA! FOIE GRAS LETTER
Derby Telegraph 22.12.12 Boycott restaurants that sell barbaric 'delicacy' - Justin Kerswell Campaigns Manager Viva! Bristol (letter)
Nottingham Post 20.12.12 'Delicacy' that causes so much suffering - Justin Kerswell Viva! Bristol (letter)
Leicester Mercury 14.12.12 Making mockery of welfare laws - As Christmas comes around it is disappointing to see foie-gras creeping back onto a small minority of local festive menus… For more information, contact Viva!... Justin Kerswell, Campaigns Manager, Viva!, Bristol. (letter)
Pendle News 12.12.12 Cruelty behind this Christmas ‘delicacy’ - AS Christmas comes around it is disappointing to see foie-gras creeping back onto a small minority of local festive menus…. Of course, eating any animal causes suffering – the best way of stopping cruelty this Christmas is to go veggie. For more information on how to and for free cruelty-free Christmas recipes, contact Viva!... Justin KERSWELL Campaigns Manager Viva! 8 York Court Wilder Street Bristol BS2 8QH (letter)

Derby Telegraph 22.12.12 More important things to worry about than pate - AFTER reading the article about Chris Williamson in the Derby Telegraph ("Williamson joins protest against sale of foie gras", December 13) I am amazed that, with the hard times some people in our city are having to endure caused mainly by the lack of control of the financial institutions, the last Labour Government plus the lack of any understanding shown by the Coalition at the way people strive to stay solvent, the production of pate is the issue of today… Ron Fisher, Breadsall Hilltop (letter)

21.12.12

Western Morning News 21.12.12 Meet and be (not too) merry on Boxing Day - Wherever I am at Christmas I try always to attend the Boxing Day Meet…. Kieran O'Brien is a vet at EqWest Equine Veterinary Clinic, Tavistock… (story)

Cumberland News 21.12.12 FOLLOWERS READY FOR BOXING DAY HUNTS IN CUMBRIA By Nick Griffiths - Thousands are expected to follow the Boxing Day hunts in Cumbria as supporters turn out in force for one of the biggest days in the sport’s calendar. At least seven fell packs, three foxhound packs and three beagle packs are due to be out, with spectators expected to make for the countryside in their numbers to take in the traditional sights and sounds… Bob Fell, secretary of the Blencathra Foxhounds, said the sport was still as popular following the ban on hunting with hounds… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 21.12.12 Waste of money - SO, £330,000 of donors’ money was wasted by the RSPCA on prosecuting a bunch of Hooray Henrys dressed as Butlin entertainers riding big, stupid animals who used dogs to hunt vermin. The fact that the prosecution was successful is immaterial; they will receive not a penny more from me. ALAN KEBBELL, Southampton. (letter)

Isle of Wight County Press 21.12.12 From Graham Lee, Freshwater: IT'S great to see the IW Christmas song is doing well and in the CP headlines again… it is really nice to know there are a lot of people supporting the Badger Trust by buying the song… (letter)

Guardian 21.12.12 Should the RSPCA have pursued the man who ate a live goldfish? Was the animal-welfare charity heavy-handed in its pursuit of Louis Cole, who posted a video of himself taking a goldfish from its bowl, then chewing and swallowing it? You may remember Louis Cole, the man who eats strange things…. The RSPCA is the eighth-richest charity in the UK. It recently spent £330,000 prosecuting a fox hunt : it won, and the hunt had to pay a £4,000 fine and £15,000 of the RSPCA's costs. Its spokeswoman points out that the vast majority of the complaints it receives do not result in prosecutions, but the charity equally boasts that only 2% of its defendants have all their charges dismissed… If you accept that it's moral to eat another creature, then killing it is a necessary part of that process. I went on a pheasant shoot a few weeks ago and witnessed far more suffering than Cole inflicted on his goldfish… (story)

20.12.12

Horse & Hound 20.12.12 Denman’s diary: wishing you all a merry Christmas - Charlotte Alexander, open team chase competitor - What an amazing day I had on Denman last weekend. The penny’s definitely beginning to drop — he is getting so much more relaxed and settled each time he goes out hunting… See more pictures of Denman out hunting with the Duke of Beaufort’s… (story)

Telegraph 20.12.12 Revolt against RSPCA - The RSPCA should be ashamed of itself. In waging its vicious and politically motivated vendetta against the Heythrop Hunt… Miranda Lee, Gladestry, Radnorshire
I will not be donating to the RSPCA this year because I was appalled that they spent so much money pursuing a prosecution against the Heythrop Hunt… Juliet Winsor, Micheldever, Hampshire (letters)

Oxford Mail 20.12.12 Arrogance and cruelty - CONGRATULATIONS to the RSPCA on its historic victory in convicting the Heythrop Hunt and two of its members for breaking the Hunting Act… MARK PRITCHARD Linkside Avenue Oxford (letter)

Irish Independent 20.12.12 A place for the fox - While the presence of animals at the birth of Jesus may be a myth, I hope this Christmas tradition will continue. My favourite crib is the one at the Dominican Church in Limerick. This has an additional guest: a fox effigy, recalling a legend concerning the holy family. One of the three wise men is supposed to have given Jesus a fox cub as a gift…. It's just a legend, of course, but I have to say I prefer it to the grim reality of how the fox is treated in present-day Ireland… John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

19.12.12

Oxford Mail 19.12.12 Barbaric fox hunting - IT IS totally barbaric to hunt foxes with packs of hounds and the fines imposed on the Heythrop Hunt (December 17) should have been triple the £26,000 the judge handed out… ADRIAN TAYLOR Duncan Close Eynsham (story)

Carmarthen Journal 19.12.12 TB worries fuel farmer's fears for future of family businesses By Nick Parry - A CEREDIGION dairy farmer says he fears for the future of many family businesses due to bovine TB. Tony Hack has lost over 40 cattle to the disease…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 19.12.12 Research shows Bovine TB vaccine works on badgers in Gloucestershire - A VACCINE for bovine TB has shown to reduce the number of badgers who develop a severe version of the disease… (story)

Western Morning News 19.12.12 Government 'still backing pilot culls' - The Government is determined to carry out the pilot culls of badgers in the two South West TB hotspot areas next summer – provided the Coalition stays intact. That was the message delivered to farmers by NFU president Peter Kendall…. (story)

ANIMAL AID TURKEY LETTER
Uttoxeter Advertiser 19.12.12 Call for cruelty-free Christmas - Ben Martin, Campaigner, Animal Aid (letter)
Shields Gazette 18.12.12 A cruelty-free lunch - Ben Martin, Animal Aid. (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 17.12.12 Animal cruelty is no festive fun - In this season of goodwill to all, it's easy to forget to show goodwill to all animals, as well. So why not celebrate with a cruelty-free Christmas? Animal Aid has produced a free booklet that shows you how easy it is to celebrate the festive season without harming animals… BEN MARTIN Animal Aid (letter)

Southern Daily Echo 19.12.12 Seasonal suffering - ONCE again the festive season is upon us but we might be forgiven for forgetting that all this celebrating comes with a price. The message of peace and goodwill may extend to all men, but sadly this happy state of affairs does not include the animals…. HELEN NELSON, Gosport. (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 19.12.12 Spending too much time on advertising campaigns - I NOTE that the RSPCA has been having a lot of adverse letters written about them in Viewpoint lately. Let me relate my experience with the RSPCA as the co-ordinator of Grimsby and District Cat Tracing for approximately two years…. During this two-year period I never once was able to get through to the RSPCA, either locally or nationally…. I had several members of the public who were so frustrated with not being able to get through to the RSPCA when they had an animal problem, they informed me they were stopping their monthly direct debits to them… Ian T Cartwright, ex co-ordinator Grimsby and District Cat Tracing, Seacroft Road, Cleethorpes. (letter)

Falmouth Packet 19.12.12 Good to see MP trying to end live animal exports - I WOULD like to thank our MP Sarah Newton for her kindness and compassion in trying to end the vile trade in live animal exports from United Kingdom ports…. R G Hingston, Conway Road, Falmouth (letter)

Argus 19.12.12 Lessons to learn on wildlife - Over the past week, The Argus has published reports of man’s cruelty to both wildlife and pets… Harsher sentencing and education are the answer in my opinion…. Gloria Wheatcroft, The Drive, Hove (letter)

18.12.12

Sheffield Star 18.12.12 Shopkeeper hits back at Sheffield anti-fur campaigners - AN ANGRY shopkeeper has hit back at animal rights activists she claims have unfairly targeted her. Diane Green, owner of Big Dick’s Board Store on Infirmary Road, sells a number of products in her Sheffield shop made using animal fur. In the past three months, she has been bombarded with letters and social media messages from a small group of Sheffield protesters urging her not to stock fur…. One protester, James Deacon, said that his group dreams of a fur-free Sheffield and that they will not be happy until Big Dick’s gets rid of its remaining stock… (story)

Derby Telegraph 18.12.12 Thank you for generosity during street collection - I'D like to say a huge thank-you to the people of Burton. Volunteers took to the streets on November 17 to raise money for Compassion in World Farming… Lisa Willmot, Compassion in World Farming (letter)

Derby Telegraph 18.12.12 Peace and goodwill to all, including the birds and beasts By Victoria Martindale - GONE are the days when each member of the family took their turn to stir the Christmas pudding (clockwise), gathered to sing their hearts out around an open fire or sneak a bashful peck under the mistletoe… Last year, I was invited to Christmas dinner where we were treated to a magnificent stuffed pumpkin that took centre stage on the holly-decked table. Its glowing amber shell lit up the room and, oh the smell, it was simply divine. Whether anyone noticed the absence of a dead bird, I can't be sure… Just as I have discovered better tipples than egg nog, so, too, are there better ways to feast that don't involve taking a life. (story)

Coventry Telegraph 18.12.12 BRITAIN’S ‘ban’ on wild animal acts in circuses is a tale of betrayal. Six years ago the government said it would ban wild animals from circuses. Four years later the promise was repeated… The UK prides itself on being a world leader in animal welfare but has now fallen behind over 20 countries on this issue. Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby. (letter)

17.12.12

Ashbourne News Telegraph 17.12.12 Boxing Day hunt due to return again this year BY GARETH BUTTERFIELD - A POPULAR annual tradition will return to Ashbourne this year, as masters of the Four Shires Bloodhounds announced they intend to start their Boxing Day hunt in the town centre again. The bloodhounds will once again be starting off from the Market Place at 12 noon before heading out into the countryside to chase their human quarry across nearby fields… (story)

Western Morning News 17.12.12 Hunting the hills of Devon - tales from a bygone age - For most people today country sports are a break from the day-to-day grind of factory, shop floor or office. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, however, the gentry could afford to hunt, shoot and fish, day-in and day-out… The opening pages of Richard Lethbridge's book, Sir John Amory's Staghounds (Halsgrove £24.99) recounts a meeting in February 1896 at which concerns were expressed about the failure of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds to adequately hunt the Stoodleigh district near Tiverton… Over the next 159-pages author Mr Lethbridge – who was awarded the MBE for services to the Royal Mail – recounts the meticulously gathered reports from those first meets at the end of 1896, up to February 1913…. (story)

Montrose Review 17.12.12 Reduction in gun crime welcomed - THE SCOTTISH Countryside Alliance (SCA) has welcomed the major reduction in gun crime in Scotland, particularly involving air weapons. They believe existing measures to protect the public are working well… (story)
Herald 15.12.12 MacAskill plan to license air weapons in Scotland - THE estimated half a million air weapons in Scotland will have to be licensed under new Holyrood proposals. A consultation was launched yesterday to give people a chance to give their views on air guns to the Scottish Government… (story)
Scotsman 14.12.12 Airgun licence consultation begins - THE estimated half a million air weapons in Scotland will have to be licensed under new Holyrood proposals. A consultation was launched yesterday to give people a chance to give their views on air guns to the Scottish Government…. (story)
Scotsman 14.12.12 ‘Since the legislation, far fewer undesirable people coming in to buy an airgun’ By MARTYN MCLAUGHLIN - UNDER existing legislation, people aged 18 or over are able to purchase an airgun, but to do so they must visit a registered firearms dealer (RFD) in person with suitable identification…. A member of staff at one Scottish RFD told The Scotsman that the act had helped deter sales of the guns to those people who might not seek to use them responsibly… (story)

Hereford Times 17.12.12 Angela Greenwood of Orchard Close, Kington asks is cull against EU regulations? - I WOULD like to comment on the letter from C N Burkett expressing dismay at the delay of the badger cull (Readers’ Times, November 22). Farmers and landowners do not own the wildlife, it is not theirs to dispose of as they see fit…. (letter)
Hereford Times 17.12.12 Chris Bestall of Pleck Cottage, Monkland, Hereford says badger cull didn’t work 50 years ago - C N BURKETT’S disappointment at the Government’s decision to postpone the culling of badgers is a predictable response from the misinformed. He or she rightly sympathises with our farmers. However, to assume that a cull is the silver bullet farmers have been praying for, is naïve…. (letter)

16.12.12

Farming Life 16.12.12 Holestone Bloodhounds - THE Holestone Farmer Bloodhounds met on Saturday 1st December at McCrory’s Bar on a bright winter’s day for the hunt hosted by Ivan Turney, Sean Devlin, Kevin Devlin, Colin Thompson and Huw Gourley… (story)

15.12.12

Exeter Express & Echo 15.12.12 Hunters help rescue man clinging to tree in Exwick water caused by flooding - A group of three hunters helped save a man’s life this morning after he fell into a brook in Exwick. The hunters heard the man’s cries near St Andrews Road, Exeter and found him clinging to a tree in the water…. The male was taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia after being recovered by the fire service using an extension ladder… (story)

14.12.12

Melton Times 14.12.12 Are you game for a pate or pie? - ONE of the reasons Melton is the Rural Capital of Food is that we have an ample supply of what is known as ‘Game’, writes Christine Stocks…. (story)

13.12.12

ANIMAL AID GUN MAGAZINE LETTER
Derby Telegraph 13.12.12 Help us keep gun mags out of hands of children- Fiona Pereira Animal Aid The Old Chapel Bradford Street Tonbridge TN9 1AW (letter)
Sussex Express 13.12.12 Access for children to gun magazines too easy - Fiona Pereira Tonbridge (letter)
Mid Devon Gazette 11.12.12 Put gun mags on top shelf - FIONA PEREIRA Animal Aid Tonbridge (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 4.12.12 Gun mags must be kept away from children - In High Street newsagents and supermarkets, children have easy access to gun magazines that encourage killing animals for 'sport'. Animal Aid - along with 84% of the general public (according to the results of a recent NOP poll) - wants a ban on the sale of gun magazines to under-18s… FIONA PEREIRA, Animal Aid (letter)

Lancashire Telegraph 13.12.12 Letter: Persecuted bird’s survival struggle - THE demise of the hen harrier is primarily due to illegal persecution… MikePrice (via website). (letter)

Telegraph 13.12.12 Government faces £65,000 bill for security over badger cull that never happened - The government will have to return tens of thousands of pounds to police forces in the west country after constabularies planned security for controversial badger culls which were later postponed by MPs... Charles Mann, chairman of Gloucestershire NFU, said the blame for the wasted cash must be placed on the "aggressive activists" who threatened to prevent the culls by direct action…. (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 13.12.12 Police spending on badger cull labelled "outrageous" - POLICE spending £64,703 on a badger cull that never happened has been labelled "outrageous" by a key figure in the county…. Charles Mann, chairman of Gloucestershire NFU, said the blame must be placed with the aggressive activists who threatened to derail a potential cull by aggressive means… (story)

Loughborough Echo 13.12.12 Activists banned at Harlan Laboratories by Andy Rush, Loughborough Echo - ANIMAL rights activists have been barred from the Harlan labs in Belton as well as three other sites across the country due to an “oppressive” campaign of harassment against the company…. (story)

Guardian 13.12.12 Live animal exports going via previously unknown routes - Campaigners shocked to discover that live animal exporters are using alternative ports in Scotland and Northern Ireland - James Meikle - Farmers, lorry firms and shipping companies have been operating a hitherto unknown route for live exports of animals for slaughter or fattening abroad, as the controversy over the trade through Ramsgate intensifies. Cattle from farms in England and Scotland have been transported, unknown to welfare campaigners, via a Scottish port and Northern Ireland for export either to Ireland or to Spain… (story)

ANIMAL AID MILK INDUSTRY LETTER
Buckinghamshire Advertiser 13.12.12 Cows suffer to provide your milk - KATE FOWLER Head of Campaigns Animal Aid Bradford Street Tonbridge (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 12.12.12 Time to give up milk - The milk industry is in crisis, with costs squeezed all the way along the production line. Farmers complain of unfair prices and contracts, while continuing to receive significant subsidies financed by us, the taxpayer… Those who care about animals and do not wish to contribute to their suffering through the food they eat can order a free Guide To Going Veggie or Vegan from Animal Aid… Kate Fowler, Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

York Press 13.12.12 Sentence too soft - TO ME the sentence handed out to those responsible for ill-treating an elephant was not only insulting but contemptible… Robert D Greaves, Alder Way, New Earswick, York. (letter)

Argus 13.12.12 Anger at animal abuse - Nothing makes me more angry than people who inflict pain and suffering on defenceless animals…. Joan Archer, Rusper Road South, Tarring (letter)

Derby Telegraph 13.12.12 Chris Williamson joins protest against sale of foie gras - A DERBY MP joined high-profile politicians to protest against the sale of foie gras at Fortnum and Mason. Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North, brandished a replica of the metal pipes used to force-feed geese during foie gras production and held a sign which read: "It's Common-Sense: Stop Foie Gras Sales"…. (story)

Somerset Guardian 13.12.12 Town's first vegan fair - Glastonbury will host its first ever Vegan Fair at the Town Hall on Saturday, from 11am to 3pm… The fair is sponsored by Animal Aid and Viva!, and kindly supported by Earthfare (story)

12.12.12

Hexham Courant 12.12.12 Redesdale news - THE Border Hunt tells me that it will be meeting at the Percy Arms, Otterburn, on Boxing Day when Santa will hand out goodies to all the children…. (story)

Hucknall Dispatch 12.12.12 MP backs fight against cruel sports - BULWELL’s MP Graham Allen is continuing in his fight against cruel sports and has met a champion of the cause. The Nottingham North Labour politician met up with the chief executive of animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports, Joe Duckworth, this week… (story)

Carmarthen Journal 12.12.12 Illegal hunting still takes place - IN response to the anonymous letter ('We do hunt within law', Carmarthen Journal, November 21), the RSPCA does not regularly watch hunts as suggested. We investigate suspected illegal hunting activity, as we do any other complaint regarding the mistreatment of animals — after we have received concerns from members of the public…. Claire Lawson External affairs manager for RSPCA Cymru (letter)
Carmarthen Journal 21.11.12 We do hunt within law - HAVING read Keith Hogben's (RSPCA) comments (Carmarthen Journal, November 14) on "claims of rogue fox hunts", I feel compelled to write in return. I ride with my local hunt regularly, and since the Hunting Act 2004 we have always hunted within the law and lay a trail for the hounds to follow. What Mr Hogben has failed to mention is that our hunt is regularly watched by the RSPCA. This is comparable to me following a group wearing hoodies in case they at some point break the law…. Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Mail 15.11.12 Incidents of illegal fox cubbing reported to RSPCA officers - Rachael Misstear - Illegal hunting for juvenile foxes could be taking place in parts of rural Wales, the RSPCA has warned. Officers in West Wales have said several complaints have been made about cubbing – the hunting of young foxes to train foxhounds…. RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said hunting juvenile foxes could be more difficult to detect than adult hunting as it tends to happen very early in the morning. “One of the historical reasons behind ‘cubbing’ was to train fox hounds as juveniles are in theory easier to hunt than adults. In order to do this, the hounds were taken out at around 3am or 4am before the cubs have dispersed… (story)
Carmarthen Journal 14.11.12 RSPCA on alert after claims of rogue fox hunts By Ian Lewis - AN RSPCA inspector is urging the public to be aware of an illegal form of fox hunting he claims could be taking place in West Wales. Keith Hogben said he had recently received several complaints about cubbing — the hunting of young foxes to train foxhounds. Mr Hogben said: "I have had reports of it happening in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire and want to remind people that it is illegal."… The work being done by the RSPCA is being backed up by the animal welfare group West Wales Animal Aid. Chairman David Petersen, of St Clears, said he was concerned about cubbing across the UK…. (story)

North Devon Gazette & Advertiser 12.12.12 Wild boar ‘thriving’ on Exmoor - Andy Keeble - Local wildlife group says animals are ‘surviving and breeding’ following 2005 release by animal activits. WILDLIFE enthusiasts say the wild boar population is ‘thriving’ on Exmoor, nearly seven years after scores of animals were reintroduced to the area… Now, the newly-formed Devon and Somerset branch of Friends of the Boar say that the boar, once a native species in the British Isles, are now surviving and breeding in the wild once again. Spokesperson Dave Webb, from North Molton, said: “I have personally had reports from landowners who have seen and recorded wild boar sightings… (story)

Western Morning News 12.12.12 Parliament confirms badger cull still planned - Ministers have rejected calls for the Government to abandon its planned cull of badgers to tackle TB in cattle. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister Lord de Mauley yesterday confirmed the culling policy would be piloted initially in two areas next summer…. (story)
Western Morning News 12.12.12 Scepticism over Minister's badger pledge - It's always nice to hear a Minister delivering a positive message to farmers, but sometimes you have to examine what they are saying in detail. For example, Farming Minister David Heath told Somerset NFU's annual open meeting: "I promise you it is our very clear intention to do these trials next summer." Hold it up to the light and all he is doing in reality is promising his listeners the Government intends to do something – not that it will actually be done… (story)
Western Morning News 12.12.12 Cult of the badger: why should they be sacrosanct? That delightful and highly astute MP Sarah Wollaston dubbed badgers "celebrity animals" when she came to talk to farmers after Parliament had voted not to cull. Nothing must be done to hurt badgers, not matter how much harm they do. We cull both deer and foxes to control numbers. Pheasants and snipe and woodcock are shot for fun. But badgers must be allowed to cause mayhem throughout the countryside… (story)

Western Daily Press 12.12.12 Abandoned badger culls cost Government £1.15 million - The cost to the Government of the abandoned badger culls in the West was yesterday put at £1.15 million, as renewed demands to call off future culls were rejected in the House of Lords. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister Lord de Mauley confirmed that culling would be piloted initially in two areas next summer…. (story)
Western Daily Press 12.12.12 Anti-badger cull farmer: Improving cattle welfare will help fight bovine TB - An anti-badger cull campaigner has launched a service to help farmers up their bio-security and reduce bovine TB. Dairy farm worker Steve Jones has launched the new service to help rural workers improve cattle welfare and so reduce susceptibility to diseases such as bovine tuberculosis – an alternative to allowing badgers to be killed as part of the Government’s trial culling policy. But National Farmers’ Union bovine TB spokesman and dairy farmer Jan Rowe, from Whittington, near Cheltenham, said although good husbandry is important, it’s not a guarantee against infected stock… (story)
Western Daily Press 12.12.12 MP David Heath: Pilot badger cull schemes to fight TB will go ahead - Controversial pilot culls of badgers in two South West locations will go ahead next year, according to Farming Minister David Heath… (story)

BBC News Online 12.12.12 Ramsgate demo as MPs about to debate live exports - Protests have been held at Ramsgate against a shipment of animals leaving the port - a day before MPs debate the issue in the Commons… (story)

Guardian 12.12.12 Farming minister criticises protests against live animal exports - David Heath says animal welfare campaigners may prevent government inspectors implementing checks - James Meikle - The farming minister David Heath has said protests against live animal exports at Ramsgate in Kent may be getting in the way of animal welfare. He told the Guardian he was worried that government inspectors could not implement all checks because of the level of protests… (story)

Pet Business World 12.12.12 Reptile trade ‘cleared’ by BBC documentary by Tony Jones - Experts and traders are celebrating after what they see as a positive report by investigative journalists at the BBC. Reptile pet hobbyists and traders came under scrutiny from documentary film makers during a report for the BBC’s Inside Out programme. Following months of debates, interviews and filming, the programme focused its attention on reptile shows, with reporters and camera crew given free range to interview and film at the UK’s largest event in Doncaster after complaints from animal rights groups. The subsequent film showed the reptile hobby in a positive light and helped to dismiss many myths and misunderstandings about the reptile pet trade… (story)

Mail 12.12.12 Every little shell-ps: Vegetarian student is shocked after finding SNAIL in bag of frozen veg he bought from Tesco By MARTIN BAGOT - A vegetarian was left disgusted after finding a snail in a bag of frozen vegetables he bought from Tesco online. Sam Chauwner, 19, made the horrific discovery when he opened the pack of broccoli and cauliflower yesterday… Sam became a vegetarian four years ago and is now an animal rights activist… (story)

Thanet Gazette 12.12.12 RSPCA will take on High Court battle to end live animal exports from Ramsgate port - THE RSPCA has vowed to take on the legal fight against live animal exports from Ramsgate port after Thanet council threw in the towel. A High Court judge has indicated he will consider a fresh judicial review application from the animal charity in the New Year… (story)

Leicester Mercury 12.12.12 There's no excuse to wear real fur fashions in winter - As the winter chill sets in warm clothes are essential and sadly real fur is still being used… Only buy articles made with faux fur. Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (letter)

11.12.12

Horse & Hound 11.12.12 Pack of bloodhounds faces disbanding - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - A pack of bloodhounds may have to disband at the end of the season when the owners retire — unless sufficient help can be found to run the hunt. Roger Clark, who is a farrier, founded the East Anglian Bloodhounds in 1992, kennelling hounds at his farm on the Essex-Suffolk border. His wife Fiona joined the mastership in 2002. But Mr Clark, who is 65, says he and his wife would now like the time to “do other things”. “We’ve had overwhelming support calling for us not to retire, but it’s just the two of us [running the hunt],” he said… (story)

Shropshire Star 11.12.12 Gamebirds strip in tribute to man with an eye for ladies - A group of country loving girls has proved they are game for a good cause by stripping off to raise funds in memory of a dear friend… Calling themselves the Gamebirds, the girls, who all hail from from the south Shropshire and north Herefordshire border, have produced the calendar in memory of 21-year-old Rich Warr, who died last year after a road accident. Gamebirds Calendar 2013 was the brainchild of Gemma Thomas, Rich’s sister, supported by close friends and family. The ladies said they wanted to raise money for Midlands Air Ambulance while paying tribute to Rich… (story)
Ledbury Reporter 16.11.12 Game girls raising money with naked calendar By Lauren Rogers - A NAKED calendar celebrating a Herefordshire man’s lust for life is raising thousands of pounds for the Midlands Air Ambulance and making waves in the US. Friends and family of 21- year-old Rich Warr, who died in a car crash near Shobdon last August, created the GameBirds calendar to raise funds for the ambulance… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 11.12.12 New badger cull "will go ahead" in 2013 - Fresh calls for the Government to abandon a badger cull were rejected by ministers today. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister Lord de Mauley confirmed the culling policy would be piloted initially in two areas next summer… (story)

Western Morning News 11.12.12 NFU president comes to Cornwall to discuss bovine TB and culls - Farmers in the Westcountry are hoping to find out more about bovine TB restrictions and a pilot badger cull when Peter Kendall, president of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) visits Cornwall today… (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 11.12.12 The RSPCA is not raising profile through badger cull - THANK you John Twyford for voicing my own feelings opposing the comments by Neil Parish MP, who alleges that the RSPCA are only using the badger cull to raise its profile and bring in funds. This is a complete nonsense and absolutely outrageous… I for one, am extremely happy that my subscription to the RSPCA is helping it to fight unnecessary and mass slaughtering of badgers and will be increasing my subscription because of it. I am also extremely glad that the RSPCA are at last bringing prosecutions against some of the many illegal hunts… ELLEN ROACH Canal Hill Tiverton (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 11.12.12 Cruelty-free Christmas - This holiday season, the BUAV is urging shoppers to show goodwill to all animals by giving gifts that are not tested on animals…. Michelle Thew, BUAV chief executive, Crane Grove, London (letter)

Worcester News 11.12.12 Trade will be in meat, not live animals - Pauline Burgess (Worcester News, December 5) has perhaps misunderstood the export of beef to Russia. The trade will actually be as meat rather than live animals as this is better economically and from the point of animal welfare… JON BURGESS Malvern (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 11.12.12 The circus is suited to acrobats, not animals - I read with incredulity your report (November 24) about a circus owner who has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an elephant… Surely it is better for the spectator to be entertained by performing artists, as in the Cirque du Soleil, than endure the torment of wild animals? Paul Donnelly, Derby (letter)

10.12.12

Daily Record 10.12.12 Revealed: Toffs' foxhunting club paid worker £1.50 PER HOUR and forced him to slop out from caravan - A FOXHUNTING club run by some of Scotland’s top toffs have been exposed for paying a huntsman “slave wages” and forcing him to slop out. Mark Vincent, who worked for the elite Eglinton Hunt in Ayrshire for five years, was paid just £1.50 an hour and expected to work up to 80 hours a week… The 45-year-old was awarded £40,000 earlier this year after reporting the hunt to HMRC for paying him less than the minimum wage. But yesterday Mark broke his silence, demanding to know why there had been no criminal prosecution over the way he was treated…. (story)

Hereford Times 10.12.12 Anger after hunt hounds chase cat though family garden - POLICE were called after hounds from a Herefordshire hunt ran through a family garden and chased a pet cat. William Ricks, who lives at Hope Mansell, has called for hunts to stop “riding roughshod over local residents” after hounds from the Ross Harriers entered his private garden… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 10.12.12 Animals must be protected - WILL the idiots who hunt animals for sport never learn? (Have Your Say, November 27). Did they not have toys to play with when they were children?... Name & address supplied (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 27.11.12 A threat to more sports? - IT is uncivilised and dangerous to ban other people's sport…. Fox hunters have not given up, they are waiting for government to ask them back. If a sport can be banned because some MPs don't like it your sport could be next. Some are already calling for a ban on racing, starting with the Grand National. Gwilym Levell, Whittington Street, Tonna (letter)

KentNews 10.12.12 Masterchef star Gregg Wallace is game for the season - Joe Bill, Features Reporter - A SEASON of great Kentish tradition has kicked off in recent weeks, but it’s not the upcoming Christmas festivities which have got the county talking. It is game season in the culinary world with both chefs and diners turning to wild, natural and free-range meats for their winter dishes… Game-to-Eat is a campaign backed by the Countryside Alliance, and designed to highlight the benefits of game… (story)

Western Morning News 10.12.12 Heath 'promise' on controversial cull of badgers - Controversial pilot culls of badgers in two South West locations will go ahead next year, according to Farming Minister David Heath… (story)

Leicester Mercury 10.12.12 High Court injunction on animal rights protesters - Animal rights activists have been hit with a court order barring them from four sites – including one in Leicestershire – over an "oppressive" harassment campaign… (story)
Derby Telegraph 8.12.12 Lab wins battle to bar animal rights activists from breeding facility - ANIMAL rights activists have been hit with a court order barring them from the site of a Shardlow laboratory which breeds animals for medical research. At the High Court yesterday, a permanent injunction was granted against Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) and the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA), preventing them from entering Harlan Laboratories UK at Shardlow Business Park. The Shardlow site is one of four Harlan laboratories covered by the court order. The others are in Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire…. (story)

Irish Independent 10.12.12 Fur trade cruelty - Mary Kenny suggests we should feel "gratified" that while a quarter-of-a-million minks will continue to spend their entire lives confined to tiny cages where they are denied the opportunity to engage in natural behaviour… Yvonne McNulty-Taylor PETA, Society Building, 8 All Saints Street, London (letter)

9.12.12

Observer/Guardian 9.12.12 Sir Patrick Moore obituary - Dennis Barker - Sir Patrick Moore, who has died aged 89, had the air of a crusty, uncompromising bachelor and slightly dotty boffin… Moore was never a stereotype rightwinger or anything else, as his strong denunciation of hunting as an unnecessary cruelty ("but you can't argue with these filthy people") demonstrated… (story)

Sunday Herald 9.12.12 Banish 'gun porn' magazines to top shelf, says animal charity - Helen McArdle - SHOOTING and hunting magazines which carry graphic images of dead animals have been compared to pornography by animal rights activists, who are calling for a ban against selling them to under-18s. Charity Animal Aid is also campaigning for newsagents, supermarkets and other retailers to restrict their display to the top shelf, as they would for porn magazines… (story)

8.12.12

Irish Examiner 8.12.12 We have a confused attitude to animal welfare - We have a strange and confused attitude to animal welfare in this country. A man has recently been sentenced to four months detention for throwing a homeless man’s pet rabbit into the Liffey. I have no problem with that. But it comes in the middle of the coursing season, during which thousands of hares are captured in the wild and then forced to run from pairs of hyped-up greyhounds for "sport"…. John Fitzgerald Callan Co Kilkenny (letter)

Independent 8.12.12 Come fly with me: Britain's passion for birds of prey - It used to be the preserve of royalty and the rich, but falconry is suddenly, well, taking off. Now, a staggering 25,000 people engage in this all-consuming pastime – with even inner-city kids trading in their pit bulls for peregrines. Nicola Gill investigates (story)

Western Daily Press 8.12.12 Scapegoat in the making for next year's badger culling trials - It's always nice to hear a minister delivering a positive message to farmers, but sometimes you have to examine what they are saying in detail. For example, Farming Minister David Heath told Somerset NFU's annual meeting this week: "I promise you it is our very clear intention to do these trials next summer." Hold it up to the light and all he is doing in reality is promising his listeners the Government intends to do something – not that it will actually be done… (story)

Nottingham Post 8.12.12 End cruel trade in live animals shipped abroad - THE trade in live exports continues from the port of Ramsgate against the wishes of the port owners, Thanet District Council and the general public – this is not democracy…. ELAINE JACKLIN, Welbeck Road Long Eaton (story)

Wakefield Express 8.12.12 LETTERS - Ban circus annimal acts - I WOULD like to ask Mary Creagh MP to support our campaign to ban wild animal acts in travelling circuses…. Fiona Peacock Campaigns Assistant The Captive Animals’ ?Protection Society PO Box 4186 Manchester M60 3ZA (letter)

7.12.12

Ledbury Reporter 7.12.12 Caught on video - hunt hounds savage fox - LEDBURY Hunt has strongly denied claims it is deliberately flouting the law by hunting foxes with hounds, after graphic footage was posted on the internet by the Hunt Saboteurs Association. The footage, now being viewed by the RSPCA, shows a pack of hounds tearing into a fox in a private garden at Eldersfield, Gloucestershire, on November 23 – an incident tht happend after the hunt temporarily lost sight of the pack…. (story)

Ledbury Reporter 7.12.12 Hounds on trail of fawn - A CONCERNED West Malvern resident was shocked to see a pack of hounds on the trail of a fawn on Tuesday after discovering the animal in his garden. David Sample, of Lower Road, said a huntsman confirmed they were part of the North Ledbury Hunt but were trying to get the hounds off the trail of the deer… (story)

WELSH GOVERNMENT COMPLAINS ABOUT POBOL y CWM BADGER CULL STORY LINE
BBC News Online 7.12.12 Pobol y Cwm badger story complaint rejected by BBC - An episode of a TV soap opera which featured criticism of a Welsh government decision not to cull badgers was balanced, BBC Cymru Wales says…. (story)
Western Mail 4.12.12 Carwyn Jones personally authorised Pobol y Cwm badger cull complaint By Graham Henry, Senedd Correspondent - Carwyn Jones personally authorised a complaint sent to S4C and the BBC that attempted to stop a repeat of Pobol y Cwm that contained criticism of government policy on badgers. Speaking in First Minister’s Questions in the Senedd, Mr Jones said that an episode of the Welsh-language soap opera contained direct criticism of a government that had not been seen before in the history of soap operas in the UK… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 30.11.12 Complaint over S4C soap's badger story - THE Welsh Government has lodged an official complaint about an episode of Welsh soap Pobol y Cwm. It claimed the programme shown on Wednesday breached BBC and Ofcom guidelines with a story in which characters protested about the lack of a badger cull to curb TB in cattle…. (story)
BBC News Online 30.11.12 Farm union says ministers tried to 'gag' soap opera - A farming union wants the Welsh government to apologise for complaining about a TV soap containing criticism of its decision not to cull badgers. Ministers asked Welsh-language channel S4C to pull a repeat episode of Pobol y Cwm and to take it off the internet, but the channel rejected the appeal… (story)
Farmers Weekly 30.11.12 Badger cull dispute erupts over Pobol y Cwm - Philip Case - The Farmers' Union of Wales has demanded an apology from the Welsh government after it requested the BBC and S4C pull an episode of a soap opera that contained a controversial storyline on the badger cull. The episode of Pobol y Cwm, a popular Welsh language soap opera set in the Gwendraeth Valley, contained a contentious storyline in which characters speak out against the Welsh government's u-turn over the badger cull…. (story)
Daily Post 30.11.12 Welsh Government labelled ‘bullies’ in Pobol y Cwm badger cull row by Tom Bodden, DPW West - THE Welsh Government was accused last night of ‘acting like bullies’ by demanding an episode of Pobol y Cwm be pulled from the schedule on S4C. They lodged an official complaint over the soap, which they claimed breached BBC and Ofcom guidelines in a storyline about badger culling… (story)
Western Mail 29.11.12 Pobol Y Cwm episode featuring TB and badgers triggers political uproar By Graham Henry, WalesOnline - The Welsh Government has demanded S4C cancel a repeat of an episode of Welsh soap opera Pobol y Cwm scheduled for tonight - because of its portrayal of the government policy on badgers…. But the Liberal Democrats said it was “astonished” that the the government could get “het up” about a soap opera, and compared its actions to that of Thick of It spin doctor Malcolm Tucker. The Welsh Government has also come under fire from Plaid Cymru and the Tories. And S4C has refused to pull the repeat… The episode concerned continues a storyline featuring a couple running a farm worried that TB had returned to their farm. The episode features a character which goes on a local radio station, Cwm FM, to voice her frustrations with the badger policy… (story)

Lancashire Telegraph 7.12.12 Letter: How long before they're punished? - YOUR story (LT, November 30) about 50 pigeons being burned alive in an arson attack in Padiham is another chapter in cruelty to animals…. Austin R James, Brierfield (letter)

Liverpool Echo 7.12.12 Go cruelty free - THANK you for pointing out the cruelty to animals at Christmas Mrs Rowe of Wirral (Plump for alternative, ECHO letters December 3). I know intensively farming turkeys is very cruel but when is the government to stop this?... Geoff P. Cook, Bootle (letter)

Worcester News 7.12.12 Why lift this livestock export ban to Russia? - I was upset to read that Harriett Baldwin MP has been instrumental in getting a ban lifted so that livestock can now be exported to Russia. I have visited Mrs Baldwin’s surgery to voice my concerns about live animal exports… Harriett Baldwin should be ashamed of herself for condemning our cattle to long journeys abroad. Pauline Burgess Malvern (letter)

6.12.12

South Wales Evening Post 6.12.12 No demand for hunt return - IT is not 'sporting' to pursue the fox until its exhaustion. The League against Cruel Sports, which I support, had reassurances from the vast majority of MPs before the last election that they would not agree to the overturning of the present Hunting Act… David L Davies, New Road, Llanmorlais (letter)

Somerset Guardian 6.12.12 Hounds are mere tools - HELEN WEEKS Associate, Protect Our Wild Animals West Coker (letter)
Bath Chronicle 8.11.12 Will kids be told facts of hunting? - The Countryside Alliance has recently advised hunts to inveigle their way into schools to get their pro-hunting message across. It suggests encouraging them to 'adopt' a hound and arrange visits to hunt kennels and meets. So that children do not become too attached to their adoptees, I trust they will explain that hounds although beautiful, loyal dogs they are simply tools of the hunters' trade. Kids would surely be very upset to find that Bluebell or Bracken was one of the thousands shot every year, either for failing to learn how to chase and kill wildlife well, or – at six or seven – for just being too old… HELEN WEEKS Associate, Protect Our Wild Animals West Coker (letter)

North Devon Journal 6.12.12 Cattle farmers keeping quiet to avoid pro-badger attacks - FARMERS in North Devon are becoming so intimidated by the pro-badger lobby they dare no longer voice their anger at the disease to which their cattle are falling prey… (story)

Carmarthen Journal 6.12.12 1,000 back abattoir CCTV call - A PETITION signed by 1,066 people has been handed in to the Welsh Assembly calling for CCTV systems to be installed in all Welsh slaughterhouses. The petition was handed to Mid and West Wales Liberal Democrat AM William Powell, who chairs the Assembly's petitions committee. It was originated by Kate Fowler and supported by Animal Aid…. (photo) (story)

Falmouth Packet 6.12.12 Truro MP calls for ban on live animal exports - Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton has condemned the live export of animals from UK ports and has called on local residents to join the campaign for a ban… (story)

Northern Echo 6.12.12 Animal transport - AFTER reading Aled Jones’ letter (HAS, Nov 27) regarding the transportation of animals in the most cruel and appalling conditions, I am in total agreement with him…. I Pearson, Norton (letter)
Northern Echo 3.12.12 Animal Transport - IN reply to Aled Jones’ letter about animal transport (HAS, 27 Nov) and the letter of agreement from Matt Mowbray (HAS, 30 Nov) I think it should be pointed out that all transport of farm livestock is very strictly governed in the UK… William Scarr, Leyburn (letter)
Northern Echo 30.11.12 Animals - I TOTALLY agree with Aled Jones about the transport of live animals abroad for slaughter… Matt Mowbray, Chester-le-Street. (letter)
Yorkshire Post 30.11.12 Farming out compassion From: Aled Jones, Mount Crescent, Bridlington, HOW can David Cameron hope to better people’s lot when he can’t even curb the barbaric practices of meat farmers? Long distance transport is one of the greatest crimes of animal cruelty today… (letter)
Northern Echo 27.12.12 Meat - HOW can David Cameron hope to better people’s lot when he can’t even curb the barbaric practices of meat farmers?... Aled Jones, Bridlington (letter)

Argus 6.12.12 The kitten set on fire - It is hard to imagine a more cowardly act on a defenceless kitten than setting fire to it… David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks
I felt really sad when I read about the kitten Hetty, which died because evil monsters hurt her… Lesley Kite, Brighton (letters)

Warrington Guardian 6.12.12 Enjoy a cruelty free Christmas - AS Christmas approaches, I would like to raise awareness about animal cruelty. Most turkeys are intensively farmed and fattened up so quickly that often their legs cannot support them… Going vegan is easy, inexpensive, healthier and better for the planet. MRS ROWE Warrington (letter)

5.12.12

John O’Groat Journal & Caithness Courier 5.12.12 Mock hunt gallops to charity cash success - A CHARITY mock hunt on an east Caithness estate proved popular with 35 horses and riders taking part. The sun shone throughout the event staged in Berriedale-based Welbeck Estate with the junior and adult riders passing through some spectacular scenery… The mock hunt raised £700 for charity with the proceeds split between the Riding for the Disabled Association and the Scottish SPCA centre at Balmore (story)

Bolton News 5.12.12 Pheasants suffer shocking treatment - READERS may be shocked to learn that every year in Britain, about 50 million pheasants and partridges are mass-produced to serve as feathered targets for wealthy “guns”… For a free Anti-Shooting Action Pack, call Animal Aid… Mrs Alison Yates Union Street Egerton (letter)

Telegraph 5.12.12 How to feed the hungry this Christmas? Let them eat pheasant - Keen shot Chris Forrest wants the days of pheasant going to waste to be over By Adrian Tierney-Jones - It’s a common sight in the countryside at this time of year: a rapid flight of pheasants before the sharp crack of shotguns brings them crashing to earth… Thanks to Chris Forrest, a keen shot who lives in the South Hams area of South Devon, the region’s most straitened families will be tucking into a Christmas lunch of roast pheasant – food that has traditionally (and wrongly) been associated with the rich… (story)
Western Morning News 1.12.12 Pheasants from the West are donated to food banks to help feed families - Pheasant is a nutritious and delicious meat that doesn't deserve to be labelled posh nosh. And now a Devon field sports enthusiast has come up with the idea that some of the pheasants downed at local shoots could be donated to a food bank, which would then hand out the meat to people who cannot afford to feed their families…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 5.12.12 'Badger cull still needed to protect industry' By Nick Parry - MORE than 1,400 badgers have been vaccinated as part of a Welsh Government programme to eradicate TB from cattle in Wales. Environment Minister John Griffiths said the work was carried out between May and October in the Intensive Action Area… But some farmers say the cull is still needed to eradicate the problem… (story)

Yorkshire Post 5.12.12 Evil society From: Nino Hoblyn, North Street, Caistor, Lincs. YOUR recent article “Anger after cat loses eye in glue attack”(Yorkshire Post, November 27) made for one of the most sickening sights I have ever seen in my entire life. It goes to show that we are all now living in a society that has a massive underlying evil… (story)

4.12.12

Mid Devon Gazette 4.12.12 Cpt Amory 'blooded' infant son on the road to Bampton - THE history of hunting in Victorian days across north and Mid Devon has been captured in the third book by a postman-come-author. Richard Lethbridge MBE spent a year researching newspapers around the turn of the century and a series of articles have been transcribed in his latest title, Sir John Amory's Staghounds…. (story)

Irish Times 4.12.12 Farmers allege defamation by Kilkenny Hunt chairman over 'paedophile' slur - CONOR KANE - A court case about a dispute between farmers and the Kilkenny Hunt was marked by claims and counterclaims of abusive language… Chairman of the hunt Edward Norris, of Danesrath, Knocktopher, Co Kilkenny, told the defamation case yesterday that he said brothers Norman Daniels and Hubert Daniels of Rathielty, Rathmoyle, Co Kilkenny, were “acting like paedophiles” when he met them outside their land in November of 2004 but didn’t say they were paedophiles. The two Daniels brothers are suing Mr Norris for defamation, while Mr Norris has lodged a counterclaim for harassment…. (story)

Farming Life 4.12.12 Countryside Alliance attends DUP party conference - COUNTRYSIDE Alliance Ireland (CAI) attended the DUP party conference last weekend and received a very warm welcome from politicians and party members alike…. (story)

BBC News Online 4.12.12 Animal test ban favoured by a third in BBC poll - Almost one in three (31%) adults say the government should ban all medical research experiments on animals, according to a poll. The poll, on indications of public attitudes to animal testing, was commissioned for BBC Radio 5 Live…. (story)

Derby Telegraph 4.12.12 Where's the NHS compassion towards animals on its menu? By Victoria Martindale - ONE of the six values that lies at the heart of everything the NHS does is compassion: a commitment to humanity and kindness. Get ready to be shocked. The NHS serves most of its meals from animals reared in some of the worst welfare conditions allowed by law in this country, and Derby hospitals rank among the lowest… (story)

Argus 4.12.12 A reason to be vegan - It is wrong to condemn circus owner Bobby Roberts for causing unnecessary animal suffering, as covered in the news recently, when most of us inflict “unnecessary” suffering on animals. A vegan diet is much better for our health and the planet, yet most of us continue to consume meat, dairy and eggs… Sarah Smith, Halland Road, Brighton (story)

3.12.12

Dorset Echo 3.12.12 Point to point horse race to get even bigger - A CHARITY-SUPPORTING horse racing event which has grown to become a popular family day out in Dorset is set to be bigger and better for 2013, organisers say. The Jackson-Stops and Staff Countryside Alliance Point to Point is due to be held on Sunday, February 24 at Badbury Rings near Wimborne. The charity chosen as the recipient is the Dorchester-based Weldmar Hospicecare Trust… Gates and Shopping Village open 9am, Terrier Racing 10am, Hound Parade 10.30am. First Race 12 noon. Entry is £20 per car. Picnics welcome… (story)

BRIAN MAY CRITICISED FOR CULLING DEER
Gloucestershire Echo 3.12.12 May defends shooting of deer on his estate - CELEBRITY badger cull opponent Brian May has denied he is a hypocrite for allowing deer to be shot on his land…. (story)
Telegraph 1.12.12 Brian May: the deer cull on my land was not hypocritical but humane - Queen guitarist Brian May defends his decision to 'protect the herd' by allowing 23 animals to be shot - Last week, I was accused of being “utterly hypocritical” because my land management agent had licensed a gamekeeper to cull deer on my forest land in Dorset. The gamekeeper in question, no longer employed by us, boasted that he had killed 23 young animals purely “for sport”. The part about deer control is true – but the latter claim is shocking to me… I find his motivation despicable, and I will never let him on my land again…. (story)
Western Daily Press 28.11.12 Chris Rundle column: Brian May on back foot over cull - The sickening stench of hypocrisy hangs heavy in the air over Dorset this morning, and the miasma is particularly noticeable above the private estate of the badgers’ champion Brian May. You will be familiar with him as the celeb who has been denouncing the badger cull and the farmers planning to take part in it in equally vituperative terms. Yet such opprobrium, it seems, only applies to the business of culling badgers. Culling deer is somehow different, which is why he has been allowing deer to be shot on his 140-acre plot… (story)
Western Morning News 28.11.12 Brian May's hypocrisy over pilot badger culls - The sickening stench of hypocrisy hangs heavy in the air over Dorset this morning, and the miasma is particularly noticeable above the private estate of the badgers' champion Brian May… (story)
Western Morning News 28.11.12 Brian May has been culling Bambi... while campaigning to save old Mr Brock - The story about Brian May’s alleged hypocrisy over culling deer but protecting badgers underscores a general confusion about managing wildlife, Philip Bowern believes…. (story)
Farming UK 28.11.12 Welsh farmers incensed by Brian May deer cull 'hypocrisy' - FUW - The Farmers’ Union of Wales says it has been inundated by calls from farmers incensed by revelations that pop star Brian May was allowing deer to be culled on his country estate while simultaneously lobbying against a badger cull in Wales… (story)
Mail 26.11.12 Revealed: Brian May allowed hunter to kill 23 deer on his land... despite his role in high profile campaign to stop badger cull By KEITH GLADDIS - As the instantly recognisable guitarist of the rock band Queen, Brian May is used to being adored by millions. But as the figure head of the campaign to stop a mass cull of badgers the curly-haired musician believes he is finally starting to make enemies. Because Mr May has been accused of being 'utterly hypocritical' after it was revealed he allowed a hunter to shoot 23 'young, healthy' deer on his land…. (story)
Western Daily Press 26.11.12 Farmers insist Queen guitarist Brian May is 'hypocritical' over badger cull - Queen guitarist and badger saviour Brian May was forced to defend himself against accusations of hypocrisy yesterday, after he admitted that he allowed deer to be culled on his West estate… The RSPCA, of which Mr May is vice-president, said there was a difference between culling deer and culling badger… (story)
Farmers Guardian 26.11.12 Brian May accused of hypocrisy for allowing deer cull By Alistair Driver - BRIAN May, the figurehead of the campaign to halt the culling badgers, has been accused of hypocrisy after it emerged that he allowed deer to be culled on his estate. The former Queen guitarist has responded by accusing the pro-culling fraternity of trying to ‘discredit’ him and the RSPCA… Dr May suggested he had been set up, acknowledging that he has ‘put a lot of people’s backs up’ out that . “I sniff Countryside Alliance involvement - they would love to find ways to discredit me… (story)
Sun 26.11.12 Deer cull in Brian May’s grounds - QUEEN star and animal rights campaigner Brian May allowed deer to be shot on his estate, it emerged yesterday… (story)
Sunday Telegraph 25.11.12 Animal rights campaigner Brian May allowed deer to be culled on his estate - Brian May, the Queen guitarist and animal rights campaigner, has admitted that he allowed deer to be culled on his estate. By Josie Ensor - Mr May employed a deer stalker who killed 23 of the "mainly young, healthy animals" on his 139-acre plot of land in Dorset… He said he had inherited the tradition of deer culling when he bought the land and was advised to continue the practice as it would discourage poachers and "improve the health of the deer population". He stopped the culling last year, according to the Sunday Times… (story)

Leicester Mercury 3.12.12 Before the Government-sponsored murderers are let loose on badgers to try to stop TB, wouldn't it make sense to examine the animals to see if they have it?... Charles Tye, Loughborough. (letter)

ANIMAL AID LIVESTOCK CHARITY LETTER
Leicester Mercury 3.12.12 Animal charities do help in Africa - Generalisations are always dangerous and generalisations about farm animals in Africa can be dangerously misleading ("Go meat-free to help the poor," by Andrew Tyler, of Animal Aid, Mailbox, November 21). Livestock projects can indeed go wrong, but when they are properly planned and carried out they succeed in transforming life for the families who receive the animals…. Anthony Herbert, Leicestershire farmer and former trustee of Send A Cow. (letter)
Leicester Mercury21.11.12 - As Christmas approaches, campaigns urging people to donate to charities that provide live animals to impoverished communities in the poorest parts of the world are becoming more prevalent…. Andrew Tyler, Animal Aid, Tonbridge. (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 22.11.12 Choose meat-free diet -As Christmas approaches, promotional campaigns urging people to donate to charities that provide live animals to impoverished communities in the poorest parts of the world are becoming ever more prevalent… the reality is that such ‘gifts’ can actually increase poverty and cause environmental destruction…. A recent study by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research found that growing food for animals takes up more land and emits more greenhouse gases than producing crops for human consumption… Andrew Tyler, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge (letter)

2.12.12

Sunday Telegraph 2.12.12 Sir David Attenborough in anti-badger cull Christmas number one bid - Sir David Attenborough has been enlisted by the producers of a charity single in the battle for the Christmas number one. The wildlife documentary maker appears in the video for the song, The Present of Life, which is being launched by BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham and is part of a campaign against plans for a badger cull. The video features Packham on drums and weather forecaster Michael Fish on guitar. Rob da Bank, the Radio 1 DJ, also appear in the clip. The song is produced by eco-friendly clothing firm Rapanui…. (story)

Wiltshire Times 2.12.12 Animal group praises chicken stunt in Trowbridge - A TEENAGE campaigner, who dressed as a giant chicken and protested outside KFC in Trowbridge, has been given a Compassionate Teen Award from an animal welfare pressure group. Olly Tyler, 16, of Westwood, dressed in the £600 suit outside the eatery in October, to highlight poor conditions he believes factory hens have. KFC refuted the claims and said all its poultry was from welfare approved suppliers. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) discovered the vegetarian’s protest and decided his efforts deserved rewarding… (story)
Wiltshire Times 21.10.12 Chicken protester is given a battering - A teenage animal welfare activist protested outside KFC in Trowbridge for seven hours on Saturday, dressed as a giant chicken. Olly Tyler, 16, of West-wood, was protesting at what he believes are the poor conditions factory hens are kept in. He used the £600 custom-made suit to attract attention, holding a placard and handing out flyers. Olly, a volunteer for Oxfam, said: “It was good, but it was long; seven hours stood in the same place. “I had a lot of people beeping their horns and smiling, but I did get two chicken thighs thrown at me and a bottle of water, which wasn’t great…. (story)
Wiltshire Times 12.10.12 Campaigner's Trowbridge KFC protest over treatment of chickens - A teenager dressed in a giant chicken suit is protesting outside KFC in Trowbridge because of his concerns about intensive poultry farming methods. Olly Tyler, 16, of Westwood, feels that factory-farmed hens are poorly treated, so will dress up as one of the birds to stand outside the Spitfire Retail Park restaurant all weekend in protest…. (story)

1.12.12

South Wales Echo 1.12.12 I READ Dan O’Neill’s dog story (Echo, November 28) with great interest, but thought he should have mentioned that Wales produces at least 30,000 puppies/dogs per year, most of which find their way to England… Veronica Lambert, Founderwww.puppylovecampaigns.org (letter)