December 2013

Back to News Index

(*)- added since last update


Denbighshire Free Press 31.12.13 Calls for fox hunting ban to be relaxed - Kirstie Dolphin - FARMERS and hunt supporters have called for a relaxation of the hunting ban as it’s affecting livestock… Jeremy Reed, Master of the Flint and Denbigh Hunt, believes the ban on fox hunting should be altered… (story)

Eastbourne Herald 31.12.13 Big crowds turn out for Boxing Day hunt locally - Bumper crowds turned out for Boxing Day hunts across the country with local events also being well supported. Coakham Blood Hounds met at the Eight Bells at Jevington and members of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh staged their annual meet in Battle… (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 31.12.13 Traditional meet a big town draw - HUNDREDS of people turned out for the annual Boxing Day hunt meet in Tiverton… Led by master Kelvin Thomas, the Tiverton Foxhounds gathered at the Pannier Market at 11am…. (story)
North Devon Journal 27.12.13 PHOTOS: Hundreds turn out for Tiverton's annual Boxing Day hunt - HUNDREDS of people turned out for the annual Boxing Day hunt in Tiverton yesterday. Supporters cheered and clapped as more than 50 horses and riders travelled through the town centre with their hounds. Led by hunt master Kelvin Thomas, the Tiverton Foxhounds group gathered at the Pannier Market, outside the Half Moon pub at 11am… (story)
North Devon Journal 27.12.13 PHOTO GALLERY: Annual Boxing Day hunt in Tiverton (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 26.12.13 Hundreds turn out for sunny Boxing Day hunt - HUNDREDS of people turned out for the annual Boxing Day hunt in Tiverton this morning. Supporters cheered and clapped as more than 50 horses and riders travelled through the town centre with their hounds… Led by hunt master Kelvin Thomas, the Tiverton Foxhounds group gathered at the Pannier Market, outside the Half Moon pub at 11am… (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 24.12.13 Hunt should enjoy better weather - HUNDREDS of people are expected to turn out for the annual Boxing Day hunt in Tiverton on Thursday. The riders, from the Tiverton Foxhounds, and their pack will set off from their usual spot at market square outside the Half Moon pub at 11am… (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 31.12.13 MP clutching at hunt straws - PRO-HUNTING Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish wants the Hunting Act amended to allow a whole pack of hounds (up to 40) to flush out quarry to be shot…. But Parish clutches at straws by spinning the survey recently published to try to make it read favourably. The full polling data is on Orb International's website and not hard to interpret….. Many readers might wonder why Mr Parish, a livestock farmer and strongly pro badger-cull and hunting for "sport," is chairman of the Commons All Party Animal Welfare Group. ALAN KIRBY, M.SC, Protect Our Wild Animals (story)

Telegraph 31.12.13 Counstryside legislation fails to reflect the realities of rural life - Gavin Grant, the chief executive of the RSPCA, argues that the Countryside Alliance is out of touch with public opinion. But public opinion is out of touch with the realities of managing the countryside, both for farming and wildlife… Jeremy Chamberlayne Maisemore, Gloucestershire
The Burns Report contained no evidence that traditional fox-hunting was cruel... It is the RSPCA that is out of touch, wasting its supporters’ money and even more taxpayers’ money in bringing vindictive prosecutions against hunts… David A Rothery Silverstone, Northamptonshire
– Not everyone who lives in the countryside enjoys killing wildlife, and we resent being portrayed as such… Marguerite Bowyer West Huntspill, Somerset (letters)

Yorkshire Post 31.12.13 Hunt support dwindles From: Eric Beechey, Eastfield Lane, Kellington, Goole. TEN years ago, the Countryside Alliance claimed that one million spectators would turn out to support the hunts on Boxing Day. This year they claim that hunting is more popular than ever and that 250,000 spectators will turn out…
From: Mrs Edna Austin, Brough Street, Goole, East Yorkshire. I AM totally opposed to a return to hunting foxes or any other wild animal with dogs
From: Mr R Turner, Hollybank Avenue, Upper Cumberworth, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire I FULLY support the hunting ban. It is nothing but barbaric and vicious…
From: DS Boyes, Rodley Lane, Leeds. ALTHOUGH the furore over fox hunting on Boxing Day was not entirely unexpected, what many can’t understand about the anti-hunting lobby is why their efforts are not directed against the outrageous and barbaric treatment of many animals every day by ‘ritual slaughter’?... (letters)

Oxford Mail 31.12.13 Fur coat Queen is out of touch with animal cruelty - IT WAS very disappointing to see the Queen wearing a fur hat after attending church with her family on Christmas morning… SUSAN SMITH Banbury Road Oxford (letter)


Scunthorpe Telegraph 30.12.13 '20 hunt dogs run loose on A15 dual carriageway' By ShaunRingwood - AROUND 20 dogs, believed to be from a hunt, are understood to have strayed onto a busy dual carriageway near the M180, police have confirmed today…. Police say when they arrived there was no danger at the scene and no action was taken (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 30.12.13 Boxing Day hunts attract big crowds - FAMILIES filled High Street in Thornbury to see the annual Boxing Day meet of the Berkeley Hunt…. Captain Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Duke of Beaufort’s hunt, said around 3,000 people attended its meet at Worcester Lodge, Didmarton. The recently formed Severn Vale Beagles were also out, meeting at the Salutation pub in Ham, just up the road from the Berkeley Hunt kennels which they share with the foxhounds… (story)

Bury Free Press 30.12.13 Slideshow: Hundreds turn out for Boxing Day hunt tradition - An estimated 400 people turned out to watch a spectacle that has been part of English country life for centuries. Suffolk Hunt’s senior master Richard Ames said its traditional Boxing Day meet this year had more riders and spectators than ever before… (story)

The Herald 30.12.13 Hunting still a major concern - Your report of hunting in Scotland carried a picture of a fox hunt and details of a meeting beside a report of our poll indicating public support for a ban to remain in place… We suspect that many hunts are flouting the current law, which shows the increasing need for enforcement in this area…. Jennifer Dunn, Senior Public Affairs Officer for Scotland, The League Against Cruel Sports, New Sparling House, Holloway Hill, Godalming, Surrey. (letter)

Independent 30.12.13 Real hunt supporters are few in number - This year’s claim by the hunting fraternity of “a quarter of a million supporters at more than 250 Boxing Day hunts” averages out at 1,000 supporters per hunt, but just how viable is that figure?... I would admire the hunters if they were open in their defiance, but instead they sneak about in isolated corners, hunting foxes in the old way and intimidating monitors who get in their way… Dave Wetton, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

Northern Echo 30.12.13 Time to end the slaughter of birds of prey - I THINK there is a major problem, not just with hen harriers, but with the wild bird population in the UK… It is alleged that gamekeepers are responsible for setting traps and poison bait and that the recently re-introduced red kite, and the even rarer hen harriers, have been their victims… One wonders about the morals of those involved in this “sport” of shooting defenceless creatures. If I were to do the same, I would be prosecuted for trespass and poaching. John Vayro, Hartlepool. (letter)

Lancashire Evening Post 30.12.13 Game shoots not a danger - Seeing the recent letters concerning shooting, I think some explanation is needed. The countryside is not a public park. Woods and fields are just as much private land as a suburban back garden is. Shooting rights are economically valuable rights over land and must be owned or rented by those shooting… The “shooters” weren’t too close to “A Garstang Resident’s” walk; rather, “A Garstang Resident” was walking across someone else’s shoot. Finally, people who shoot can tell the difference between a walker and her dog on the one hand and a pheasant or partridge on the other, and take safety very seriously. Dr Richard Austen-Baker, Abbeystead (letter)

Argus 30.12.13 Brighton and Hove City Council pledge to oppose badger cull By Tim Ridgway, Local government reporter - Politicians have pledged to oppose the “slaughtering” of badgers in a widespread cull…. members on Brighton and Hove City Council have unanimously voted to oppose the move. It added it will look to work with farmers on local authority-owned land to come up with alternative methods to culling. Green councillor Liz Wakefield, who proposed the motion and wore a Save Our Badgers t-shirt in the council chamber, said: “The government said it had no way of assessing whether the cull methods used were humane… (story)

Surrey Advertiser 30.12.13 Councillors ignore petition to prevent badger culling in Surrey - Badgers are being blamed for the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) to cattle A motion to stop the government-backed culling of badgers on sites owned by Surrey County Council has been defeated, despite a 1,000-signature petition…. Will Forster, the Liberal Democrat councillor for Woking South, put forward the motion…. Cllr Forster was angry that his motion was defeated, citing the petition created by Walton resident Jim Sewell…. (story)

Telegraph 30.12.13 RSPCA in row over recommended euthanasia of disabled Bulgarian dog - Animal charity RSPCA faces row over vet's recommendation to put severely disabled, injured dog to sleep By Emily Gosden - The RSPCA has come under fire from a rival animal charity over the fate of a severely disabled, injured dog after an RSPCA vet recommended it be put to sleep. Action Aid for Animals, a Staffordshire-based charity that focuses on helping Eastern European strays, said the dog, named Bobi, was brought to the UK from Bulgaria on December 21. It claims the dog is capable of a good quality of life, despite having disabled hind legs, incontinence and pressure sores…. (story)
Mail 30.12.13 Battle to save Bobi: Animal lovers rallied to rescue this disabled dog from the gutters of Bulgaria... but now the RSPCA wants him put down By LUCY OSBORNE - He was rescued from starvation in the gutters when his plight touched the hearts of pet lovers. But after being brought to Britain from Bulgaria, former street dog Bobi now faces another battle for survival. For while one charity raised hundreds of pounds to rescue him and fund medical treatment, another – the RSPCA – has taken the three-year-old terrier away, saying he should be put down because he is too disabled. Supporters of the Canine Rescue and Action Aid for Animals charities , which has been trying to rehome Bobi in the UK, have accused the RSPCA of a ‘barbaric’ attitude… (story)


Sunday Telegraph 29.12.13 Country diary: why I support hunting - I’ve given up waiting for the Conservatives to act on their promises to repeal the Hunting Act By Robin Page - Tally-ho – Yoiks, You’re Under Arrest…. The reality is that the “hunting ban” may never be lifted as the British people become ever more urban and suburban, divorced from the realities of country life and rural living – and that includes hunting. At the same time, pseudo-“animal rights” dominate sections of the media, and have infiltrated parts of the BBC; and so “human rights” – the rights of those people who want to hunt – have been curtailed… (story)

Guardian/Observer 29.12.13 Barbara Ellen - Totally foxed by the hunt still blowing its horn - Interesting that Ukip's Nigel Farage joined hunting folk for the Boxing Day fox hunts… a recent Ipsos Mori poll (sponsored by the League Against Cruel Sports) revealed that 80% of people would vote in favour of retaining the ban anyway. The cynical interpretation would be that – regardless of the outcome of a public vote – a determined minority of fox hunters would carry on arrogantly hunting the animals in the old style… It's almost as if certain areas of the "countryside" have been allowed to behave like parts of a rogue state, obeying laws only when it suits them…. (story)


Louth Target 28.12.13 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)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 27.12.13 Crowds turn out for traditional Brocklesby Hunt on Boxing Day - HORSES, hounds and huntmasters' horns was the traditional recipe for Boxing Day hunt meetings in Lincolnshire. Brocklesby and the South Wold Hunt, at Louth, both had larger than usual crowds of supporters, with no protesters, as fine weather brought families together… (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 27.12.13 Video: Crowds turn out for traditional Brocklesby and South Wold Hunts on Boxing Day - HORSES, hounds and huntmasters' horns was the traditional recipe for Boxing Day hunt meetings in the area. Brocklesby and the South Wold Hunt, at Louth, both had larger than usual crowds of supporters, with no protesters, as fine weather brought families together…. (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 27.12.13 VIDEO: Boxing Day hunts meet at Brocklesby and South Wold in Louth (story)

Western Daily Press 28.12.13 Hunt monitors say masked man threw explosive device By TINA ROWE - An incident in which a masked man allegedly threw a bird-scaring device which exploded near a hunt monitor's car is being investigated by police. Hunt monitors Helen Weeks and Graham Forsyth have reported the incident, which they claim took place while they were monitoring the Dorset-based Cattistock Hunt on a public road near Yeovil on Boxing Day… Will Bryer, joint Master of the Cattistock Hunt, who did not witness the incident, said in a statement last night: "The Cattistock Hunt enjoys huge support throughout our rural community and is a central part of the lives of many of us…. This latest story is as spurious as those that have come before and it is a shame for all of us that these people waste so much police time and resources." (story)

Portsmouth News 28.12.13 Annual Hursley Hambledon Hunt proves popular with onlookers by Kimberley Barber - THOUSANDS of people went along to support fox hunts across the country on the most important day in the fox hunting calendar. This year the Hursley Hambledon Hunt, which meets at Meonstoke, attracted 40 riders and scores of onlookers… (story)

Daily Mail 28.12.13 Energy minister supported Boxing Day hunt while thousands faced the day without power By HAYLEY O'KEEFFE - Energy minister Greg Barker has been criticised for attending a Boxing Day hunt while thousands of families spent the day without power… Greg Barker, who himself has been affected by the power cuts, sparked anger from the Labour opposition by turning out to support his local hunt in Battle, East Sussex, on Boxing Day… (story)

Shropshire Star 28.12.13 Poll: Should foxhunting with hounds remain illegal? - After Shropshire hunts held their traditional festive meets, attracting thousands of spectators, we want to know where you stand on the law regarding foxhunting…. (story)


Yorkshire Post 27.12.13 no meeting of minds: Hunts draw crowds as supporters push for vote on ban - Boxing Day hunts across Yorkshire attracted a bumper turnout yesterday, despite a new poll suggesting the majority of the nation remains overwhelmingly in favour of keeping fox hunting illegal. Hundreds turned out in the glorious sunshine for the annual Holderness Hunt meet at Beverley Westwood… (story)

Bolton News 27.12.13 Tally ho to keeping up the hunt tradition - HUNDREDS of spectators gathered to watch this year’s traditional Boxing Day Holcombe Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn…. (story)

North Devon Journal 27.12.13 Supporters gather across Devon and Cornwall for Boxing Day hunt meets - Thousands of hunters and supporters gathered across the Westcountry as a new poll suggested that eight out of ten people want the practice banned… Thousands of hunters and supporters gathered across the Westcountry as a new poll suggested that eight out of ten people want the practice banned… Paul Hancock, joint master of the Four Burrows Hunt, which covers mid-Cornwall coast-to-coast, said it was rubbish to suggest 80 per cent of people were against hunting…. At the East Devon Hunt and dozens of supporters gathered at Honiton Cattle Market for the annual Boxing Day meet with around 30-40 riders taking part in the ride, including children as young as three…. (story)

The Herald 27.12.13 First hunt - The traditional meet set off from Houston, which has been the location for the opening meeting of the season since 1850… Picture: Nick Ponty, A HUNTSMAN prepares to lead the pack of hounds in the annual Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Boxing Day hunt (story)

Leicester Mercury 27.12.13 Boxing Day hunts spectacle enjoyed by thousands - Thousands of people enjoyed the traditional Boxing Day spectacle of huntsmen and hounds charging through the countryside yesterday. The Fernie, Quorn, Atherstone and Belvoir hunts all rode out on the biggest day of the hunt calendar… (story)

Stratford upon Avon Herald 27.12.13 Hunt supporters gather for Boxing Day meet By Mark Williamson - SEVERAL thousand people gathered at Upton House for the traditional Warwickshire Hunt Boxing Day meet… (story)

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 27.12.13 Thousands turn out for Boxing Day meets - UP TO 3,000 people turned up for the Beaufort Hunt’s Boxing Day meet at Didmarton. Joint master Capt Ian Farquhar said: “Once again we were delighted by the tremendous support from the thousands of people who turned out to show their support for the hounds and horses and to support the farmers who are the backbone of the countryside.”… One of the biggest turnouts was at the Heythrop in Oxfordshire, which attracted around 6,000 to Chipping Norton Square …(story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 27.12.13 Traditional Boxing Day hunts seen by hundreds - It was a traditional Boxing Day scene as hardy hunters set off on horseback from a scenic park – watched by hundreds of spectators. Around 400 people gathered to watch the Albrighton and Woodland Hunt, which started from the 350-acre Hagley Park, near Stourbridge, yesterday… One of the biggest turnouts was in Ludlow where spectators thronged the streets of the historic town to watch the Ludlow hunt make its way up to and into the grounds of the town’s castle. Over the border in Powys, the Tanatside Hunt met at the Royal Oak Hotel in Welshpool as it does every year…. (story)
Shropshire Star 27.12.13 Crowds flock to show support for Shropshire and Mid Wales hunts - Large crowds turned out to support hunts across Shropshire and Mid Wales. More than 2,000 people turned out in Newport for the Albrighton Hunt, one of a number that rode out across the region….“The Albrighton and Woodland hunt merged recently and is growing all the time, with 200-300 people registered to ride,” he said….. One of the biggest turnouts was in Ludlow where spectators thronged the streets of the historic town to watch the Ludlow hunt make its way up to and into the grounds of the town’s castle… Over the border in Powys, the Tanatside Hunt met at the Royal Oak Hotel in Welshpool as it does every year….. In Malpas , across the Cheshire border the Sir Watkin Williams Wynne Hunt rode into the centre of the village…(story)
Shropshire Star 26.12.13 Shropshire Boxing Day hunts attracting crowds of supporters - Thousands of people were today attending Boxing Day hunts across Shropshire…. The North Shropshire Hunt was meeting at the Albrighton Hall Hotel, near Shrewsbury, from 10am, while the South Shropshire Hunt was gathering at the Red Lion in Longden Common. The Tanatside Hunt in Mid Wales was meeting at The Royal Oak pub in Welshpool at 10.45am to leave at 11.15am. The Ludlow hunt was starting from Ludlow Castle at 11am and The Sir Watkin Williams Wynns Hunt was meeting at the cross at Malpas at 10.45am and was leaving at 11am. The Wheatland hunt was leaving from Morville, near Bridgnorth, opposite the Acton Arms from 11am. In Shropshire, The Albrighton & Woodland hunt, was meeting at both the Royal Victoria Hotel in Newport and Hagley Park, near Stourbridge, both starting at 11am… (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 27.12.13 Nearly 2,000 turn out for Boxing Day hunting – MaryHarris - It was a “glorious winter’s day” for the traditional Boxing Day meet at Chiddingstone Castle. Between 1,500 and 2,000 people turned out to see the spectacle of 17-and-a-half couple of hounds and a field of more than 70 riders… Three Pony Club branches are affiliated to the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt, so there were plenty of youngsters out for the day’s ride who were “very helpful” in jumping off their mounts and opening gates, joked senior master Jeff Pegrum… (story)
Mail 27.12.13 Tally ho, ho, ho! Farage's hunt for votes as thousands gather to watch traditional Boxing Day hunt as riders and hounds parade around the country By Daily Mail Reporter and Nick Enoch - Nigel Farage was back on the campaign trail yesterday when he met the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt…. (story)
Mirror 26.12.13 Nigel Farage shows his fox hunting support at Boxing Day chase - but 80% of Brits back the ban By Tom McTague - Tally Ho! UKIP leader Nigel Farage moves in for the kill – on the trail of rural Conservative turncoats yesterday. Greeting huntsmen of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt before a legal Boxing Day chase, Mr Farage’s Countryside Allowance lapel badges show his sympathy for lifting the 2005 ban on hounds tearing foxes to bits…. (story)

Hereford Times 27.12.13 Crowds turn out in force for traditional hunt meets By Christopher Plant - HUNDREDS braved the cold to line the streets of Ledbury on Boxing Day morning for the traditional hunt meeting. The crowds were out in force to witness 70 horses and a large number of fox hounds from the Ledbury Hunt team set off on their traditional hunt, now in its 170th year…. Elsewhere, on Christmas Eve, hundreds of spectators saw the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt get underway from Upton-upon-Severn… (story)

Sussex Express 27.12.13 Slideshow: Boxing Day hunt in Lewes pulls in the crowds - The Southdown and Eridge Hunt’s traditional meet in Lewes on Boxing Day attracted bumper crowds… (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 27.12.13 Massive support for Boxing Day hunt in Somerset and Dorset despite new poll By mmanning - HUNDREDS of people flocked to Castle Cary to see the annual Boxing Day meet of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt on a day when an estimated 250,000 people headed out to watch their local hunt ride out….(story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 27.12.13 PHOTOS: Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt Boxing Day meet in Castle Cary (story)

Western Morning News 27.12.13 Video & pictures: Hundreds turn out to support local hunts despite new poll By WMNlynbarton - As hunts across Devon and Cornwall enjoyed their biggest day in their year, a new poll has suggested that eight out of ten people in the UK believe the activity should remain illegal…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.12.13 Hunting's annual day in the sun - Tinsel gave a festive glint to horses and hunt followers when the Avon Vale Hunt held its traditional Boxing Day meet at the Red Lion in the picture postcard Wiltshire village of Lacock…. (story)
Western Daily Press 27.12.13 Pictures - Lacock Boxing day hunt By ClareGreen (story)

Western Gazette 27.12.13 Crowds enjoy Boxing Day hunts in Crewkerne and Castle Cary By rpeasland (story)

The Sentinel 27.12.13 Dozens turn out for Boxing Day hunt in Woore, North Staffordshire - TALLY HO! Dozens of hunt enthusiasts turned out for the traditional Boxing Day event. The North Staffordshire Hunt's ride in Woore saw more than 60 riders and packs of hounds meet in the village before crossing fields in the surrounding area… (story)

Oxford Mail 27.12.13 Big crowds for hunt's traditional Boxing Day meet in Chipping Norton - THOUSANDS of people packed Chipping Norton’s town square for the launch of the traditional Boxing Day ride of the Heythrop Hunt…. The Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase Hounds also met, east of Bicester. The Kimblewick Hunt, previously the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt, which covers parts of Oxfordshire, met at Cholsebury Common in Buckinghamshire (story)
Oxford Mail 26.12.13 Thousands gather for traditional Boxing Day Heythrop hunt in Chipping Norton By Freddie Whittaker - AROUND 6,000 people have gathered today for the traditional Boxing Day Heythrop hunt in Chipping Norton….The Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hound Club hunt was also due to take place east of Bicester today. The Kimblewick Hunt, previously the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt, which covers parts of Oxfordshire, was due to meet at Cholsebury Common at midday… (story)

Telegraph 27.12.13 RSPCA has become 'sinister and nasty', warns head of the Countryside Alliance - Gen Sir Barney White-Spunner urges members of the Countryside Alliance to stop donating to the “once great institution” and says charity is more interested in animal rights than promoting welfare By Matthew Holehouse - The RSPCA has turned into a “sinister and nasty” organisation, the head of the Countryside Alliance warns today. Gen Sir Barney White-Spunner urged his members to stop donating to the “once great institution”…. (story)

North Devon Journal 27.12.13 North Devon MP says disregard for hunting ban could encourage more rural law breaking By NDJSophie - PEOPLE in rural communities ignoring the hunting ban could lead to a disregard for other laws such as drink driving, a local MP has claimed….(story)
Telegraph 25.12.13 Hunting Act 'unenforceable' and encouraging anti-social behaviour says senior MP - Sir Nick Harvey believes the Hunting Act is unenforceable and is encouraging anti-social behaviour among disaffected youngsters By Peter Dominiczak, and James Kirkup…. (story)
Guardian 25.12.13 Fox-hunting law is an ass and flouted with impunity, says senior Lib Dem - Sir Nick Harvey calls on coalition to reconsider 'routinely ignored' law as season kicks off with up to 260 events across the country - Rowena Mason and Natalie Gil - A senior Liberal Democrat has called on the coalition to reconsider the fox-hunting law as it is being flouted with impunity and encourages young people in the countryside to think it is normal to break the law. Sir Nick Harvey, a former defence minister, described the fox-hunting law as "an ass" since it is routinely ignored in large parts of the country and there is no capability to police it…. . At least 100 riders and more than a thousand supporters are likely to take part in the Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase, while another 100 riders and 2,000 supporters will participate in the Surrey Union Hunt… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.12.13 Changing the hunting laws could make Tories electoral quarry - Playing politics is a tricky business. And playing politics on an issue as controversial and deeply divisive as hunting with dogs is playing with fire. But Prime Minister David Cameron knows that he desperately needs to win back support in the countryside… The Federation of Welsh Farmers' Packs say they have shown that using a full pack of hounds is a much more effective means of fox control than using just two, as permitted…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 27.12.13 Joe Duckworth: Cruelty and criminality behind hunt image - WHEN the House of Commons voted for the Hunting Act in 2004, it was a landmark moment for animal welfare… (story)
The Information Daily 26.12.13 Fox hunting ban: relegating a cruel sport to the history books By: Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports - When the House of Commons voted for the Hunting Act in 2004, it was a landmark moment for animal welfare…. (story)

The Sentinel 27.12.13 88 sign petition calling on Staffordshire County Council to not carry out badger culls - HUNDREDS of people are backing a campaign to prevent badger culling. A total of 88 people have signed a petition calling on Staffordshire County Council to prohibit culling on land owned by the authority… (letter)

Independent 27.12.13 Gannet chick-eating championships provoke anger from wildlife lovers - PAUL GALLAGHER - The first “world championship” for eating pickled baby gannets, known as “guga”, has sparked new calls for a total ban on the Hebridean tradition of hunting chicks by clubbing them with sticks. The inaugural world guga-eating contest takes place tonight at Ness Football Club on the Isle of Lewis. Its social club is staging the competition despite opposition from animal rights campaigners, who claim the hunting method is cruel…. The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has repeatedly called for the annual hunt to be banned… Libby Anderson, of the Scottish animal protection charity OneKind, said: “We have no objection to people having fun with food but not when it involves unnecessary animal suffering… (story)

Leicester Mercury 27.12.13 Farm animals deserve better - In response to Lizzie Topps's letter ("Stop pushing vegetarianism", Mailbox, November 29), Elizabeth Allison is expressing the vital importance of a vegan diet when hundreds and millions of farm animals produce methane, which accounts for 12 per cent of the world's dangerous greenhouse gases… Chris Seal, Leicester (letter)
Leicester Mercury 9.12.13 When did I push vegetarianism? - Lizzie Topps should get her facts right before accusing me of trying "to convert" people to a veggie lifestyle ("Stop pushing vegetarianism", Mailbox, November 29). I assume she was referring to my letter which informed people about the Leicester Vegan Fair which, by the way, was a great success… Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (letter)


Cheddar Valley Gazette 26.12.13 Mendip Farmer's Hunt By wolery (photos)

Peterborough Telegraph 26.12.13 Crowds turn out to see Boxing Day hunt meet by Mark Edwards - Hundreds of people turned out to see the traditional Boxing Day meet of the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt at Stilton near Peterborough…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 26.12.13 Boxing Day hunt in Neath goes ahead without protest By RachelSWEP - A Boxing Day hunt in Neath went off peacefully, despite calls for a relaxation in hunting restrictions. Now in its 51st year, the Banwen Miners’ Hunt was given an enthusiastic send off from outside the Castle Hotel in Neath town centre…. (story)
South Wales Evening Post 26.12.13 Banwen Miners Boxing Day Hunt from Castle Hotel Neath (story)

Cheddar Valley Gazette 26.12.13 Mendip Farmer's Hunt (story)

Western Daily Press 26.12.13 Boxing Day hunts across the West Country (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 26.12.13 Thousands turn up to support Beaufort Hunt in the Cotswolds - Support for the traditional Boxing Day meeting of the Beaufort Hunt was undiminished yesterday. There were more than 200 riders and horses and about 3,000 supporters gathered at Worcester Lodge on the Badminton estate for the meeting… (story)

Telegraph 26.12.13 Hunting's supporters rally with a warning for Cameron: Don't count on us next time - As the most British of pageants - the Boxing Day hunt - enjoys huge turnouts across the country this year, the Tories are ignoring anger over the hunting ban - By Rory Knight Bruce and Rupert Uloth - Dressed in smart red and black coats, atop horses and ponies sporting tinsel, 60 riders paraded through the streets of Tiverton, Devon, on Thursday before the start of the annual Boxing Day hunt…. More than 160 miles away, at the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt in West Sussex, emotions were also running high…. (story)
Daily Mail 26.12.13 Hold vote on hunting ban or we’ll desert you, Tories told: Supporters' threat to party as 250,000 join traditional Boxing Day events across the country By LARISA BROWN - Hunt supporters are threatening to withdraw backing from the Conservatives at the next election unless ministers act to ease the hunting ban… Membership of the Warwickshire Hunt has more than doubled since the ban to more than 1,000 members, with children as young as five attending regular meets… Photo: Lily-Anna Outram, seven, on horse Macaroni and her brother William Outram, 11, on horse Alfie pictured prior to the Barlow Hunt in Derbyshire… (story)

Daily Mail 26.12.13 Tally ho, ho, ho! Thousands gather to watch traditional Boxing Day hunt as riders and hounds parade around the country By NICK ENOCH - Around the country they gather - horse, hound and rider, and thousands of supporters. The traditional Boxing Day Hunt is the biggest day of the hunting calendar across the UK… Photos: Members of the The Essex Hunt turn out for the Traditional Boxing Day Hunt in Matching Green, Essex today, Huntsman with the Avon Vale Hunt toast supporters who have gathered for their traditional Boxing Day hunt, at Lacock, Wiltshire, Members of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt depart from Chiddingstone Castle for the annual Boxing Day hunt in Chiddingstone, Kent, The East Devon Hunt arrives for the traditional Boxing Day Meet in Honiton, Devon, Hundreds gather on the village of Aldborough St John in North Yorkshire this morning for the traditional Boxing Day Hunt as the Zetland Hunt meets and trail the surrounding farmland south of the River Tees led by Huntsman David Jukes and his hounds, The Heythrop Hunt rides out today for its Boxing Day meet in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, The Beaufort Boxing Day Hunt takes place near Didmarton, in the grounds of the spectacular Badminton Estate, Gloucestershire (story)

Daily Mail 26.12.13 Horses and hounds parade through Chard on Boxing Day hunt - The Boxing Day hunt in Chard commences with horses and hounds marching through the streets of Chard, Somerset. (video) (story)

Westmorland Gazette 26.12.13 Hunt supporters flock to Lune Valley's traditional Boxing Day meeting - HUNDREDS of supporters turned out today to wave off the traditional Boxing Day Vale of Lune hunt at Tewitfield… (story)

Newcastle Chronicle 26.12.13 Tynedale huntsmen take part in traditional Boxing Day meet - Hunt supporters on foot and on horseback turned out in force for the region’s traditional Boxing Day meets… Families made a beeline for the Market Square in Corbridge to welcome the Tynedale huntsmen, horses and hounds before they set off on a trail hunt, following a scent laid down by the hunt leaders… Elswhere across the region, the Braes of Derwent hunt met at the Queen’s Head, in Lanchester, County Durham… The Haydon Hunt is one of the oldest hunts in the region and has been meeting at the Anchor Hotel in Haydon Bridge for nearly two centuries….(story)

Worcester News 26.12.13 Traditional Boxing Day hunts gather across Worcestershire - YOUNG and old braved the cold yesterday for the traditional Boxing Day hunts. Hundreds turned out in Droitwich to see around 110 horses and 39 hounds gather at the Raven Hotel, in Victoria Square, at 11am for the Worcestershire Hunt’s annual meet… Hundreds of eager spectators also massed onto Broad Street, in Pershore, to catch a glimpse of the horses and ponies taking centre stage before setting off. Mr Ed Righton, field master of the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt, said: “This is one of the biggest hunts yet, it’s a great turn out…. (story)

York Press 26.12.13 Boxing Day hunts enjoy fine weather By Mike Laycock, Chief reporter - HUNTSMEN and women are enjoying fine weather as they mark Boxing Day in traditional style across North Yorkshire. Hundreds gathered in Malton’s Market Place this morning for the start of the Middleton Hunt,… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 26.12.13 80 per cent support hunting ban, poll finds - EIGHT out of ten people believe foxhunting should remain illegal, an animal welfare charity has claimed on the biggest day in the hunting calendar. Thousands of people are expected to attend around 250 traditional Boxing Day Meets across the country today, including in Hampshire, as supporters continue their push for a new vote on the ban. One of the biggest will take place when the New Forest Hounds stage their annual Boxing Day hunt, starting at the Balmer Lawn Hotel near Brockenhurst this morning… (story)

Hereford Times 26.12.13 Farrier Matt who suffered a severe brain injury hopes to ride in Boxing Day meet - A FARRIER who was in a coma for eight weeks after being kicked in the head by a horse is set to compete a remarkable fightback when he rides with a Boxing Day hunt today (Thursday). Matt Allen, from Weobley, was working at a farm in Whitney-on-Wye in February when the animal kicked out and struck him in his face… a chance message on social network site Facebook got Matt and his family in touch with newly formed charity Ride2Achieve (R2A), which is a member of Riding for the Disabled. R2A is based at Millside Stables in Credenhill and it is there that Matt has excelled so much so that he should be able to ride in the Radnor and West Herefordshire Hunt today…. (story)

Horse & Hound 26.12.13 Support for Boxing Day meets shows strength of support for hunting - A quarter of a million people are expected to turn out today (26 December) to support hunts on their biggest day of the calendar — the Boxing Day meet…. (story)

Guardian 26.12.13 Tory MPs attend Boxing Day fox hunts - Attendance at some events largest for years as hunting lobby increases pressure on government to relax restrictions - Matthew Weaver - Several Tory MPs, including three ministers, have demonstrated their support for easing the ban on foxhunting by attending traditional Boxing Day hunts in their constituencies….Green said crowds were large at Ashford Valley Hunt in Tenterden, Kent. Hancock said the turnout was huge for the Thurlow Hunt in his West Suffolk constituency. Barker said the hunt crowd in his Battle constituency in East Sussex was the largest he had seen for years… (story)
Guardian 26.12.13 The Boxing Day hunt - in pictures (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.13 Boxing Day hunt as ban row continues - Almost 10 years since the ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales, many Boxing Day hunts are taking place… Dan Johnson reports from North Yorkshire. (story)

Express 26.12.13 Thousands turn out for Boxing Day hunts amid calls for ban to be lifted - THOUSANDS have turned out for traditional Boxing Day hunts today amid calls for restrictions on the sport to be lifted By: Benjamin Russell - Around 250 meets are taking place today, with some pursuing an artificial scent and others hunting within the law under the 2004 Hunting Act… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 26.12.13 Dozens turn out for the Boxing Day hunt in East Devon as survey reveals eight in 10 people want ban to stay - As dozens of huntsmen and women with their hounds in tow set out across the East Devon countryside for today’s traditional Boxing Day hunt, leading animal welfare charities have released the results of a new survey revealing that 80 per cent of the British public want the ban on hunting to continue…. This morning, the East Devon Hunt and dozens of supporters gathered at Honiton Cattle Market for the annual Boxing Day meet. Around 30 – 40 riders took part in the ride… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.12.13 Crowds out in force for Boxing Day hunt in Bungay - Crowds crammed every vantage point in the centre of Bungay, phone cameras at the ready to catch the timeless parade of horses and hounds… Waveney Harriers have always had a loyal following in the town and the presence of so many young people in the crowd was surely a sign that this country tradition is as popular as ever…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.12.13 Thousands pack Wymondham town centre for Boxing Day hunt - Dominic Bareham, Senior Reporter - Thousands packed into Wymondham town centre on Boxing Day to support the annual hunt as debate continues to rage over the Hunting Act, which banned the hunting of wild mammals including foxes. Around a dozen riders from the Dunston Harriers gathered in the town’s Market Place to be greeted by warm applause from the crowd, which had braved the cold and overcast morning to lend its vocal support…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.12.13 Photo gallery: Hunting tradition is as popular as ever, say enthusiasts at West Norfolk Boxing Day meet - Kate Scotter - Hunting enthusiasts have said support for the tradition was stronger than ever as hundreds of people turned out for their Boxing Day meet… (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 26.12.13 Gallery/poll: Hundreds turn out to see Essex and Suffolk hunt gather in Hadleigh for annual Boxing Day meet - Edmund Crosthwaite - The Essex and Suffolk Hunt gathered on land not far from Hadleigh United Football Club where they were joined by hundreds of spectators… Capt Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Duke of Beaufort’s hunt at Worcester Lodge in Didmarton, Gloucestershire, said: “Once again we were delighted by the tremendous support from the thousands of people who turned out to show their support… Waveney Harriers also held a hunt in Bungay and crowds lining Earsham Street were three deep in what was described as one of the most impressive turnouts in years (story)

Northern Echo 26.12.13 Foxhunting debate rages on nationally as hunts held in region By Catherine Priestley, Chief Reporter - HUNDREDS of riders and supporters turned out for traditional Boxing Day hunts across the North-East and North Yorkshire today… Among those held in North Yorkshire were the Bedale Hunt, which set off from Bedale Hall Park, and the Zetland Hunt which met at Aldbrough St John, near Richmond. More than 80 riders gathered in Great Stainton, near Sedgefield, County Durham, for South Durham Hunt, along with 200 supporters on foot…. (story)

Fenland Citizen 26.12.13 Support for Boxing Day hunts shows strength of countryside vote - Around 250,000 people will turn out on Thursday 26 December for the biggest day of the hunting calendar - the Boxing Day meets of 250 plus UK hunts… (story)

Telegraph 26.12.13 Hundreds of thousands turn out for Boxing Day hunts - At least a quarter of a million people headed out to take part in and support Boxing Day hunts across the country despite claims 80 per cent of people are anti-foxhunting By Miranda Prynne, News Reporter - More than a quarter of a million people turned out to take part in and support Boxing Day hunts yesterday, despite an animal charity’s claims that 80 per cent of people oppose hunting with dogs for sport… (story)

Huntingdon News & Crier 26.12.13 Bumper crowds turn out for Cambridgeshire's Boxing Day hunt Written by RAYMOND BROWN - A bumper crowd turned out to support the traditional Boxing Day hunt in Cambridgeshire, organisers said. More than 30 riders and 36 hounds from the Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace Hunt at Eltisley Green were greeted by hundreds of supporters in the village… One of the biggest turnouts was at the Heythrop hunt in Oxfordshire, which attracted about 6,000 supporters to Chipping Norton Square (story)

West Briton 26.12.13 GALLERY: Camelford's Boxing Day hunt - More than 30 riders flocked to Camelford this morning to take part in the traditional Boxing Day hunt…. (story)

West Briton 26.12.13 GALLERY: Cury Hunt's Boxing Day meet in Helston… (story)

Stratford on Avon 26.12.13 Hunt supporters gather for Boxing Day meet By Mark Williamson - SEVERAL thousands people gathered at Upton House for the traditional Warwickshire Hunt Boxing Day meet…. (story)

South Argus 26.12.13 1,000 support Monmouthshire Hunt in Abergavenny on Boxing Day - ALMOST 1,000 people turned out to see the annual Abergavenny Boxing Day Hunt take place today…. (story)

South Wales Argus 26.12.13 Hundreds gather for Tredegar Farmer's' Boxing Day hunt - HUNDREDS of people gathered at the Tredegar Arms in Bassaleg today, for the annual Tredegar Farmer’s Boxing Day hunt…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 26.12.13 Crowds turn out for Boxing Day hunt - Huge crowds gathered at traditional Boxing Day hunt meetings across Greater Manchester and Cheshire. Riders, horses and dogs were pictured ahead of the Boxing Day meet of the Cheshire Drag Hunt in Wilmslow… Around 50 riders and 250 spectators were also at the Cheshire Forest Hunt’s traditional meet in Northwich…. Elsewhere the Holcombe Hunt met at Rivington in Horwich, Bolton. Horses and hounds were paraded ahead of a scent trail around the West Pennine moorland …Crowds also gathered to watch the Pennine Hunt, which covers parts… (story)

Sky 26.12.13 Fox Hunts Ride Out For Boxing Day Meets - Some 250 fox hunts met today as a new survey suggests 80% of the public want to keep hunting illegal… (story)

Yorkshire Post 26.12.13 Biggest day in hunting calendar is still a draw despite the ban - Thousands of people are set to gather in time-honoured tradition for a regular fixture in the countryside calendar this morning…. Jenny Tomlinson-Walsh, secretary of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Foxhounds, said their local hunt had actually become more popular since the ban… The Bilsdale Hunt in North Yorkshire is the oldest in the country, dating back to the 1600s. Susan Reynolds, the hunt’s secretary, said she was expecting around 25 to 30 participants… (story)

Western Mail 26.12.13 Ban on hunting with dogs should stay, finds poll - Survey released by the League Against Cruel Sports, the RSPCA and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) found 80% of the public surveyed think fox-hunting should not be made legal again…. Meets include the Tivyside, Pembrokeshire, the Flint and Denbighshire, North Wales and Cwrt Y Cadno in Carmarthenshire. (story)

Eagle Radio 26.12.13 Fox Hunts Ride Out For Boxing Day Meets - Thousands of supporters attended Boxing Day hunts across the UK today as a poll shows 80% of people remain opposed to hunting with dogs for sport…. (story)

Huffington Post 26.12.13 Hunting Ban Should Stay, Poll Finds (POLL) - Eight out of 10 people believe foxhunting should remain illegal, an animal welfare charity has claimed on the biggest day in the hunting calendar…(story)
Mirror 26.12.13 Thousands to attend Boxing Day hunts as poll shows 80% of people want fox hunting to STAY banned By Chris Richards - Today is the biggest day of the fox hunting calendar but opponents say it is "a sickeningly cruel blood sport" - Thousands of fox hunting supporters will attend Boxing Day meets across the UK today, as a new poll shows 80 per cent of people remain opposed to the tradition… (story)
ITV 26.12.13 '80 per cent' of Britons against legalising fox hunts - On the biggest day in the hunting calendar, an animal welfare charity has claimed eight out of 10 Britons are against legalising fox hunting…. Photo: Riders and horses at the Cheshire Hunt, which leaves from The Swan in Tarporley (story)
Evening Standard 26.12.13 Poll finds support for hunt ban - Eight out of ten people believe foxhunting should remain illegal, an animal welfare charity has claimed on the biggest day in the hunting calendar….(story)
Independent 26.12.13 Eight out of ten want to keep fox hunting ban - JONATHAN OWEN - Anti-hunt campaigners are challenging the Prime Minister David Cameron to carry out his pledge for a free vote over the hunting ban, with new polling revealing eight out of ten Britons are against the ban being lifted… (story)

The Information Daily 26.12.13 Fox hunting ban: breaking the basic tenets of libertarian politics By: Tim Bonner, director of campaigns for the Countryside Alliance - Today around 250,000 supporters of hunting, both mounted and on foot, will turn out for the Boxing Day meets of their local hunts… (story)

West Briton 26.12.13 Countryside Alliance calls for change to fox hunting laws - On a day when more than 250, 000 people will take part in a fox hunt, a countryside charity is calling for the government to change its laws on hunting. The Countryside Alliance is asking the government to address it’s 2010 coalition promise to reconsider the ban on fox hunting…. (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.13 Calls in Wales for hunting laws relaxation - Calls have been made to relax hunting restrictions and allow packs of dogs to flush out foxes on hill farms in Wales…. Simon Jones, huntsman with the South Pembrokeshire Foxhounds, which trail hunts twice a week since the ban on hunting with foxes was introduced in 2004, is also demanding a change… (story)

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE AWARDS 2013 (December coverage)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 26.12.13 Three food firms on shortlist for awards By Jill Crooks - Three local food businesses have been shortlisted as finalists in the south west regional final of the Countryside Alliance Awards. Poulshot Lodge Farm Shop is in the local food category, while Rowdey Cow cafe and ice cream parlour is in the start-up category and Country Butchers is in the butcher category. They are all up against three other finalists in their category… (story)
Morpeth Herald 25.12.13 Going for glory in gongs - FINALISTS have been announced in the region’s ‘rural Oscars’, and two local businesses are vying for honours… Blagdon Farm Shop has made it through in the best Butcher category and will battle it out with North Acomb Farm Shop, R Green and Son from Longframlington and William Peat Butchers and Deli in Barnard Castle to claim the title. Meanwhile, the Kitchen Garden at Meldon Park near Morpeth has made the shortlist of the Start-up category. It will compete against Zen Baker in Bellingham, Wyld Fire in Kielder and the Stone Cottage Bakery in Alnwick…. (story)
Brechin Advertiser 20.12.13 Bel’s Butcher up for another accolade - Edzell based butchers, Bel’s Butchers, has been revealed as a finalist for Scotland in the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards… (story)
Horncastle News 20.12.13 And the nominee for this year’s Oscars are... There could be an Oscar on its way to Woodhall Spa. R J Hirst has been named in the shortlist of best butchers for the East Of England Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars… (story)
Western Gazette 19.12.13 Business from Langport and Curry Rivel in regional final of the Countryside Alliance Awards 2013 By WG_SMorgan - TWO businesses from the Somerset Levels have made it to the regional final of a competition that has been dubbed the “rural Oscars”. The River Parrett Cafe in Langport and Rebecca Jane Events in Curry Rivel have been shortlisted in the Countryside Alliance Awards 2013…. (story)
Southern Reporter 19.12.13 National awards for local farmers - Berwickshire organic farm, Peelham, at Foulden, is one of four finalists in the local food category of the annual national ‘Rural Oscars’…. (story)
Sheffield Telegraph 19.12.13 Cream of the crop - Our Cow Molly is flying the flag for Sheffield in this year’s ‘rural oscars’, the Countryside Alliance Awards…. (story)
West Briton 19.12.13 Two Cornish businesses nominated for 'rural Oscars' - TWO Cornish businesses are up for awards at the South West's 'rural Oscars'…. Ponsonooth Village Stores, near Truro, and St Tudy Community Shop and Post Office, near Bodmin, have been nominated for the Village Shop/Post Office Category… (story)
County Gazette 18.12.13 Ilminster butchers' shortlisted for award - BONNERS of Ilminster has been shortlisted for best butcher in the South-West finals of the Countryside Alliance Awards… (story)
Northumberland Gazette 18.12.13 Range of businesses up for Rural Oscars - A number of rural businesses from north Northumberland are in the running for the chance to win a prestigious national award… In the local food category, two businesses from north Northumberland have got the nod – Sunnyhills Farm Shop in Belford and G&S Organics, Christmas Farm, Longframlington…. The village of Belford also managed a double nomination as Belford Community Shop takes its place in the village shop/post office category alongside Etal Post Office and Tea Room. Finally, in the start-up section, Alnwick’s Stone Cottage Bakery has been shortlisted…. (story)
Frome Standard 18.12.13 Rode Post Office up for Rural Oscar - DAVID and Elaine Walsh, owners of Rode Post Office and village shop, are finalists in the South West of England’s Rural Oscars…. (story)
Westmorland Gazette 17.12.13 Three local firms named finalists in the region's 'rural Oscars' By Allan Tunningley - THREE local businesses are vying for national glory after being named finalists in the regional ‘rural Oscars’. Burton-in-Lonsdale Village Shop, The Wheatsheaf at Brigsteer and Sillfield Farm, Gatebeck, have seen off thousands of competitors to be named some of the best in the North West – and are now hoping to be put through to the national heats of the prestigious Countryside Alliance Awards…. (story)
Midweek Herald 13.12.13 Village marks a special anniversary - Chris Carson - Dalwood’s pioneering community shop and post office is 12-years-old and still going strong - thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers - Villagers at Dalwood have been celebrating the 12th anniversary of a pioneering local initiative. After consulting residents and with support from East Devon District Council, Dalwood Community Shop was opened on December 5, 2001… The shop has twice been highly commended in the Countryside Alliance Awards – known as the rural Oscars…. (story)
Rye & Battle Observer 12.12.13 Village shop listed for Rural Oscars - THE Etchingham Community Shop has been revealed as one of the South East of England’s finalists in the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards… (story)
Chester Chronicle 12.12.13 Best in the business up for awards - Countryside Alliance Awards’ North West finalists announed and Cheshire is riding high… The Cholmondeley Arms in Malpas is the only pub among the five finalists of the Local Food category… Having only opened in 2010, the Ashton Hayes and Mouldsworth Community Shop has even more reason to celebrate, making the regional finalist shortlist in the village shop category…. Family business Burrows & Son, which has been supplying local meat to the village of Bunbury since 1924, was a regional finalist last year as well… (story)
Newcastle Journal 10.12.13 North East businesses battle it out for top rural awards By Helen Rae - Leading businesses in the North East are battling it out for a sought-after place in the final of a prestigious national competition. The Countryside Alliance Awards, dubbed the Rural Oscars, recognise quality of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through small hard-working businesses…. R Green & Son, of Longframlington, Northumberland, are one of the businesses short-listed for the best butcher category… (story)
West Briton 9.12.13 Two Cornish businesses up for "Oscars" - TWO Cornish businesses are up for awards at the South West’s Rural Oscars… Ponsonooth Village Stores near Truro has been nominated for the Village Shop/Post Office Category and St Tudy Community Shop and Post Office, near Bodmin, is also in the same category…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 9.12.13 CUMBRIAN FIRMS SHORTLISTED FOR COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE AWARDS - Six Cumbrian businesses have been named as finalists in this year’s Countryside Alliance Awards…. Of the thousands of entries received, the Cumbrian entrants who made it on to the finalists’ list include Hallsford Farm Produce at Haggbeck, near Carlisle, and the Birdoswald Cheese Dairy Farm Shop at Gilsland, near Brampton, which were both nominated in the food category Meanwhile Ravenbridge Stores at Kirkoswald, near Penrith, and the Nenthead Community Shop, Alston, were nominated in the best shop/post office category. (story)
Dorset Echo 9.12.13 Firms compete to win ‘rural Oscars’ in the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards - BUSINESSES in West Dorset are among the finalists vying for a regional ‘rural Oscar’… Dorset entrants include Bride Valley Farm Shop of Abbotsbury, Dorset Larder of Blandford, and Dike & Son of Stalbridge, while the county is also represented in the Start-up category with Black Cow Vodka of Seaborough. (story)
Western Morning News 6.12.13 Outstanding rural businesses nominated for 'Rural Oscars' - Some of the most outstanding rural businesses in the Westcountry have been shortlisted for the coveted “Rural Oscars”…. Up against competitors from Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire are, in the village shop category, Church Street Street Store and Cafe in Morchard Bishop, Posanooth Village Store and St Tudy Community Shop and Post Office. In the startup category, River Parrett Cafe and Rebecca Jane Events from Langport received nominations, while butchers Bonners of Ilminster and Partridge Farm Meats from Templeton were also selected…. (story)

Mirror 26.12.13 Queen slammed by animal rights groups after wearing fur for Christmas Day at Sandringham By Victoria Murphy , Andy Lines - The Queen came under fire for wearing a fur coat at Sandringham yesterday… The Director of Animal Aid Andrew Tyler said: “The Queen should not be wearing fur – it’s as simple as that… The charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched a campaign this Christmas to give homeless people unwanted fur coats… (story)


Telegraph 25.12.13 Happy hunting for the Facebook generation - Record numbers are set to turn out for Boxing Day meets this year, thanks to the growing use of social media By Flora Watkins - When Jenny Grace arrives at the Pytchley Hunt’s meet today, resplendent in smart black jacket, with polished and plaited horse, it will mark the fulfilment of a long-cherished childhood ambition… At the Surrey Union Hunt, Catherine Heilbron attributes the success of their recent newcomers’ day (100 people, up from 56 last year) directly to the hunt’s Facebook page….Back in the Midlands, the Pytchley’s smaller neighbour, the Woodland Pytchley, is also expecting a bigger turnout today. Again, it’s all down to Facebook, says Carol Lees, who maintains the hunt’s page…(story)
Horse & Hound 22.12.13 Facebook attracts new hunting recruits - Hunt are increasingly recruiting new supporters — and staying in touch with old ones — through the use of social media. The Surrey Union and the Woodland Pytchley say interest in their recent newcomers’ meets doubled, thanks to their respective Facebook pages… South of Edinburgh, the Lauderdale use their Facebook page (1,000+ “likes”) to advertise meets… (story)

West Norfolk 25.12.13 West Norfolk Foxhounds raise money for air ambulance crews who helped injured rider - Adam Lazzari - West Norfolk Foxhounds wished their hunt club chairman luck in his recovery from a bad fall and praised the work of the East Anglian Air Ambulance during their Christmas Eve hunt…., Mr Wood’s wife, Sue Wood, presented a cheque for £2,053.13 to Jenny Easton, an administrator for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. The money was raised by club members at several events, including a car boot sale… (story)

North Devon Journal 25.12.13 Hunters prepare for the Boxing Day meet and press for change in the law - There are few more evocative Christmas scenes than the hunt gathered outside a country pub for the stirrup cup on Boxing Day. As Philip Bowern reports, despite the hunt ban, the tradition goes from strength to strength… (story)
Western Morning News 24.12.13 Hunters prepare for the Boxing Day meet and press for change in the law By Philip Bowern, Countryside Editor - There are few more evocative Christmas scenes than the hunt gathered outside a country pub for the stirrup cup on Boxing Day. As Philip Bowern reports, despite the hunt ban, the tradition goes from strength to strength…The Cury Foxhounds have announced they will meet at Coinageall Street, Helston; the East Devon at Honiton Cattle Market; the Spooners and West Dartmoor at Bedford Square, Tavistock; and the Tetcott at the Kings Arms, Holsworthy. In Somerset the Mendip Farmers Hunt meets at the Green, Priddy, near Wells, and the Seavington in the Square at Crewkerne. All are expected to meet at 11am…(story)


Oxford Mail 24.12.13 Hunts expect to see big crowds on Boxing Day By Pete Hughes - TRADITIONAL Boxing Day hunts across Oxfordshire are once again expected to draw thousands of spectators… Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hound Club will meet at 11am in the field opposite Winslow Hall, east of Bicester… Honorary secretary for the Heythrop Hunt Greg Avis said members will once again meet in Chipping Norton’s Market Place, outside the Fox Hotel, at 10.45am on Boxing Day… (story)

Horse & Country 24.12.13 250,000 people to attend Boxing Day meets By Charlotte Ricca-Smith - As the biggest day of the hunting calendar approaches, 250,000 people are expected to attend the 250 meets on Boxing Day… (story)

Northern Echo 24.12.13 The persecution of birds of prey - ADRIAN BLACKMORE, of the Countryside Alliance (HAS, Dec 13), purports to show a decline in the number of instances of persecution involving birds of prey by interpreting statistics published by the RSPB… As Sir Winston Churchill famously remarked: “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.”… Why are hen harriers virtually absent from the wide acres of lush undulating moorland in England. If is not persecution Mr Blackmore, what is it? Name and address supplied. (letter)
Northern Echo 24.12.13 Hen Harriers - ADRIAN BLACKMORE, of The Countryside Alliance, praises a reduction in the cases of the illegal persecution of birds reported by the RSPB in 2012 (HAS, Dec 17). What does this represent, a genuine reduction in persecution or merely the more successful hiding of persecution by the culprits?... Eric Gendle, Middlesbrough. (letter)

Worcester News 24.12.13 Why I’m concerned about farm in the city - Regarding the article: Group sows seeds of ‘farm in the city’ (December 4) I read with some trepidation re: the Worcester Volunteer Centre, and their concept of setting up a city farm… with so many animals and rescue centres already struggling with the burden of taking in unwanted farmed and domestic animals, why would WVC be adding more to the mix? … I have often read news stories of animals in zoos, rescue centres and farms where intruders have mutilated, killed or otherwise harmed animals who were left unguarded and even in some cases where they were monitored by security… CATH HURWOOD Hereford (letter)
Worcester News 24.12.13 Non-animal farm is a better option - – Pauline Burgess’ suggestions about the city farm (Worcester News, December 13) sounds great. I would have the same concerns about the safety of the farm animals at night, as this has proved to be a problem in other areas of the country…. GERALDINE ENGEL Malvern (letter)


Horse & Hound 23.12.13 Made in Chelsea go hunting - The stars of pseudo-reality show Made in Chelsea had the opportunity to show off their equestrian credentials when they spent a day with the South Downs Bloodhounds. Cheska, Binky, Lucy, Louise and Spencer all took to horseback for an episode of the show…. (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 23.12.13 I'll chase sick huntsman - AS a study in callousness and naivety, the article on stag hunting by Becky Sheaves Experience the call of the wild with hunt, Gazette, December 10. took my breath away. I would like to pose Becky a few questions. Are there any other lame or ill animals she would chase for hours until, terrified and exhausted, they could no longer run?... P STANBROOK Tiverton (letter)

Western Morning News 23.12.13 NFU Director General on the future of badger culls in the South West By WMNPBowern - The director general of the National Farmers Union has told the Western Morning News it would be “madness” to launch county-wide badger culls in Devon and Cornwall next year in the battle against bovine TB. Writing exclusively for the newspaper and website, Andy Robertson says that in the wake of the pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire, which fell well short of their targets, it would be “grossly irresponsible” to try to mount much larger operations in 2014, as had originally been proposed… (story)


Western Daily Press 21.12.13 Putting the partridge back in the pear tree By PHILIP BOWERN - A leading conservation charity has unveiled a New Year action plan to save one of the most iconic birds of Christmas. The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), which promotes game shooting and the conservation benefits that go with it, warned that the "star" bird of the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is one of our most rapidly declining farmland birds… (story)

Western Daily Press 21.12.13 No secret badger cull report, says Defra after Care for the Wild claims - The Whitehall department overseeing the badger cull to tackle tuberculosis in cattle has denied producing a "secret" report into the troubled plan. Anti-badger cull campaign group Care for the Wild claims the existence of the report shows a decision on expanding the culls has already been taken, and should be made public…. (story)
Gloucestesrhire Echo 20.12.13 Badger cull protesters claim "secret" report to expand cull countrywide after pilot in Gloucestershire By Michael_Yong - Campaigners against the controversial badger cull have claimed a “secret report” was published by Whitehall to expand the cull. Anti-badger cull group Care for the Wild said the report shows Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and the National Farmers Union (NFU) have already agreed to roll out the cull to other parts of the country… (story)
Western Morning News 20.12.13 Defra denies "secret" badger cull report claim - The Whitehall department overseeing the badger cull to tackle tuberculosis in cattle has denied producing a “secret” report into the troubled plan. Anti-badger cull campaign group Care for the Wild claims the existence of the report shows a decision on expanding the culls has already been taken, and should be made public….(story)

West Sussex Gazette 21.12.13 FEATURE: Have yourself a veggie little Christmas - Reporter Jasmin martin discovers a hug array of meat-free dishes to delight the tastebuds this Christmas…. Growing up in a vegetarian household has meant that the traditional turkey has never accompanied my crispy spuds, crunchy carrots and controversial brussels sprouts - and never will… Hilary Humphrey who lives in Bostock Road, Horsham, with her husband… has been a vegetarian since 1982 when she was 12 after gaining an interest in animal welfare and hearing it could potentially benefit her health… (story)


Kent & Sussex Courier 20.12.13 Thousands expected to turn out for Boxing Day hunts - UP TO a quarter of a million people are expected to turn out on Boxing Day for the biggest day of the hunting calendar. There are some 250 plus UK hunts, including one at Chiddingstone Castle and the Southdown and Eridge hunt…. (story)

Telegraph 20.12.13 Why does the Coalition find it so difficult to listen to the country? Ministers have not left much time to keep promises about relaxing the fox hunting ban to the rural voters they now ignore By Charles Moore - Welsh hill farmers don’t have much to do with politics… But such is the strange state of our public affairs that a modest request from these farmers is setting the cat among the pigeons – or rather, the fox among the sheep – of the coalition Government. Since the hunting ban, these Welsh farmers have lost far more lambs to foxes than in the past… What the Welsh farmers are asking for is the version of the hunting ban that Labour introduced in Scotland, which allows a full pack of hounds to flush foxes out on to guns…. At the last general election, a countryside organisation called Vote OK mobilised enthusiastic campaign workers for candidates who said they would vote for the repeal of the hunting ban…. Party leaderships respond that they need to reach far beyond their members to win. Obviously that is true, but whom does a mass organisation convert by showing contempt for its own?... (story)

Western Daily Press 20.12.13 Country sports in the media: is our aim true? As another Boxing Day of country sports approaches, Philip Bowern wonders if the controversy surrounding hunting and shooting will ever go away… (story)
Western Morning News 19.12.13 Black marks for country sports – but fishing and farming are fine By Western Morning News - As another Boxing Day of country sports approaches, Philip Bowern wonders if the controversy surrounding hunting and shooting will ever go away - On Monday the Western Morning News reported the latest efforts by the animal rights lobby to intimidate those people who hunt and shoot…. But why are hunting – severely emasculated since the hunt ban of 2005 – and shooting, which is very widely practiced, so strongly targeted when fishing, the third element of the country sports ‘trinity’ is barely, if ever the subject of such attacks…. (story)

Telegraph 20.12.13 How to dress for the Boxing Day Hunt - The dress code for hunting is so precise that Lisa Armstrong asked for expert advice - whether you're riding, watching or dancing… So to answer those readers who asked for advice, I've enlisted two experts, Flora Watkins, news editor of Horse & Hound , and Philippa Holland, jeweller ( ) and organiser of this year's Dianas of the Chase ( ), the first side-saddle race for a century…. If You're Watching or Following - Flora Watkins: This year I'll be going to my local hunt, the Surrey Union's, Boxing Day meet on foot, as I'll be seven months pregnant. Warmth is as key as it is when I'm out hunting... (story)

Witney Gazette 20.12.13 Bill will undermine democratic debate - We write to you as constituents and as representatives from across the charity and voluntary sector in Witney. There is a lot on which, as individual organisations, we may not agree – but we are united in our concerns about the Bill involving transparency of lobbying, non-party campaigning and trade union administration that is currently in the House of Lords… Paul Langley, Witney and District Christian Aid Group, Robin Howard, Amnesty International, Chipping Norton, James Legge, Countryside Alliance, Maurizio Fantato, English Trust for European Education (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 20.12.13 Re: Your front page story on Cathy Scott’s court appearance (Telegraph, Dec 17.) It’s all those involved with the killing and suffering of our badgers who I would like to see in court, whether involved with activating the injunction or the actual unnecessary and cruel slaughter of our wonderful badgers… Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby (letter)


Louth Leader 19.12.13 Boxing Day hunt in Louth - The traditional Boxing Day hunt meeting is due to take place in Louth again this year. The South Wold Hunt will be meeting on Boxing Day at the Louth Cattle Market… (story)

Mirror 19.12.13 Bill Oddie blasts David Cameron for failing to protect wildlife and 'backing' the 'abhorred' badger cull By Mark Jefferies - The presenter and wildlife expert accused the Prime Minister of bowing to pressure from big business and farmers and valuing money over the environment… The 72-year-old presenter and wildlife expert accused Mr Cameron of wanting the ban on hunting “repealed”… (story)
Western Daily Press 19.12.13 Bill Oddie accuses David Cameron of putting money before wildlife - TV presenter and wildlife expert Bill Oddie has accused the Prime Minister of bowing to pressure from big business and farmers and valuing money over wildlife and the environment. Writing in the Birdwatch magazine, the 72-year-old bird watcher and conservationist has accused David Cameron and his ministers of wanting the ban on hunting "repealed" and for backing the "publically abhorred" badger cull… (story)

Leicester Mercury 19.12.13 On This Day: 50 Years Ago - Animal- lover John Prestidge, 21-year-old organiser of the newly-formed Hunt Saboteurs Association, said today that the association would operate in the East Midlands. He plans to form a Midlands branch of the association as quickly as possible to try to sabotage meetings of the Quorn, Belvoir, Fernie and other fox hunts… The League Against Cruel Sports is backing the hunt saboteurs and passing on information about methods of disrupting hunts…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 19.12.13 Cumbria birds of prey under threat By Ellis Butcher - CUMBRIA is one of the worst counties in England for birds of prey being persecuted, a new RSPB ‘birdcrime’ report has found… (story)

Shropshire Star 19.12.13 Gamekeeper fined for Shropshire bird of prey trap - A part-time gamekeeper has been ordered to pay more than £500 by a court – after admitting setting an illegal trap in Shropshire designed to harm birds of prey. Wayne Edward Priday, of Leintwardine, was caught after investigating officers from charity the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds visited a pheasant release pen in Elton, near Ludlow, in August… (story)

ITV 19.12.13 Norfolk: Gamekeeper denies killing protected wild birds - A gamekeeper has denied killing protected wild birds on a country estate in North Norfolk. Allen Lambert, who is 64 arrived at King's Lynn Magistrates this morning. He denied charges of killing wild birds and keeping chemicals to harm them… (story)
Peterborough Telegraph 16.12.13 Gamekeeper charged over wild birds - A gamekeeper on a Norfolk country estate has been charged with illegally killing wild birds - Allen Lambert, 64, who lives and works on the Stody Estate, has been charged with a string of offences including killing buzzards, a sparrowhawk and a tawny owl…. (story)

Huffington Post 19.12.13 Newcastle University Ends 'Cruel' Capture Of Wild Primates For Animal Experiments After Pressure - Lucy Sherriff - Newcastle University has announced it will be stopping its controversial capturing of wild primates for animal experiments, following public pressure…. According to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), the university conducted "especially invasive brain surgery" on the baboons…. Sarah Kite, BUAV director of special projects, said the organisation welcomed the move by the university…. (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 19.12.13 Parades can be cruel - Fiona Pereira, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge (letter)
Yorkshire Post 18.12.13 Grim time for animals From: Fiona Pereira, Animal Aid, Tonbridge. AS the Christmas season approaches, reindeer, donkeys and even camels are being transported up and down the country to be used as entertainment in parades, nativity plays, Santa’s grottos and other festive events… Animal Aid urges all readers to be kind this Christmas, and choose entertainment that does not involve the use of animals. (letter)


Water Power and Dam Construction 18.12.13 BHA names new CEO - Simon Hamlyn has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of the British Hydropower Association (BHA), taking over from David Williams, who is retiring after eight years in the position on 22 January 2014. Hamlyn will be joining the BHA from his position as the northern regional director of the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Western Daily Press 18.12.13 Badger gassing on horizon as cull company Gloscon pushes for action By Philip Bowern - Pressure is growing for the gassing of badgers to be adopted as a more effective way of reducing bovine TB in the wild and help cuts cases in the national herd. Jan Rowe, director of Gloscon, the company set up to run the pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire, is urging Defra to speed up research into gassing using carbon monoxide gas… (story)
Western Daily Press 18.12.13 Gassing badgers ineffective and inhumane says Badger Trust - Gassing badgers was outlawed 30 years ago and there is no justification to change that, says the Badger Trust in the wake of the failure of badger culls to hit their target…. Jack Reedy, spokesman for the Badger Trust which opposes the badger cull, said gassing was being “pushed up the agenda”… Somerset farmer Derek Mead backs the idea of gassing, targeting only TB infected setts, and has formed the Badger Welfare Association which he says is ready to undertake trials in Devon or Cornwall… (story)

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 18.12.13 Badger campaigners still fighting hard to ensure cull does not return - WHILE the controversial badger cull was called off at the end of November, protestors are still fighting hard to ensure the shooting and caging of badgers never starts up again…. Moreton-in-Marsh resident Jude Walker is part of GABS (Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting) and patrolled cull zones in a bid to disrupt the cull. She experienced first-hand the successes of the patrols while also witnessing the pain and suffering of the badgers… (story)

East Grinstead Courier 18.12.13 VIDEO: Amazing footage of badger outside sett - WILDLIFE photographer and film maker Liam Filtness has captured this amazing footage of a badger collecting food and bedding outside its sett on December 2. Liam, 16, of Giffards Close in East Grinstead spends hours patiently waiting for the perfect wildlife photos and video footage…. (story)

Drapers 18.12.13 Protesters to stage Oxford Street demo against angora clothing By Ben Cooper - Animal rights activists dressed as rabbits will stage a demonstration on Oxford Street tomorrow to protest against the sale of angora wool after a video exposing extreme cruelty in the production of the material went viral online…. Tomorrow’s protest has been called by PETA… (story)

Mail 18.12.13 Chrissie Hynde's daughter appears in court ahead of trial over anti-fracking protest arrest By Lucy Crossley - The daughter of musicians Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies appeared in court today after she was arrested during anti-fracking protests. Environmental activist Natalie Hynde was charged with trespassing on railway property at Balcombe in West Sussex on August 18…. (story)

Oxford Mail 18.12.13 Fur contains a toxic ‘soup’ of chemicals - SEVENTY two million animals – including two million dogs and cats – are killed for their fur every year in China alone… If anyone wears fur or is considering wearing fur-trimmed clothing, they must consider their own safety as the raw pelts are treated with a ‘soup’ of toxic chemicals to keep them from rotting. Fur wearers are at risk… JAMES MOOR Great Clarendon Street Oxford (letter)

Worcester News 18.12.13 Rise in people ending animal consumption - Contrary to what Jon Burgess claims in his recent letter (“Vegans’ argument is ‘veggie pie’ in the sky”, Worcester News, December 6), opinion polls have consistently shown an increase in the number of people ending or reducing their consumption of animal products and our own group has attracted great interest from people wishing to adopt a more humane diet…. RONALD LEE Communications Officer Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies (letter)
Worcester News 6.12.13 Vegans’ argument is ‘veggie pie’ in the sky - JON BURGESS Malvern - Ronald Lee (Worcester News, November 28) writes in support of organic farming and as press officer for Worcester vegans and veggies believes in total animal rights. Mr Lee claims vegans are rapidly increasing in this country but independent figures show their numbers actually remain stagnant at one third of one per cent… (letter)


Western Morning News 17.12.13 WMN OPINION: Cameron must revise hunt ban for right reason - Playing politics is a tricky business. And playing politics on an issue as controversial and deeply divisive as hunting with dogs is playing with fire. But David Cameron knows that he desperately needs to win back support in the countryside… But, Mr Cameron must be thinking as he worries about the looming 2015 General Election, would he make gains or risk losses if he approved changes to the Hunting Act?... (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 17.12.13 Hunt ban will never be lifted - RICHARD Reddaway Experience the call of the wild with hunt, Gazette, December 10, says that he hunts stags so that they don't "try to breed with their offspring". I am not aware that this bizarre justification is listed as an exemption under the terms of the Hunting Act… B LENNOX Gold Street Tiverton (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 17.12.13 Fright nights for Bedworth duo in the badger culling fields - Despite protests, the new year could see a badger cull in Warwickshire. MARY GRIFFINspeaks to two women standing between the badgers and the gunmen - On Friday nights they’d usually sit down to dinner with their families before snuggling up on the couch. But for 11 weeks mums Lydia Hocking and Jeni Jacques instead donned jumpers and jackets and set off on an hour-long drive to spend the night in a cold field…. (story)

Kent Online 17.12.13 Animal found by the River Dour was not an otter, it was a pole cat ferret according to Wildwood Trust by Victoria Chessum - Tests have revealed that a dead otter, discovered on the bank of the River Dour in Dover, was actually a polecat ferret… Peter Nix and his daughters, who live in the area, came across the otter in disguise on Sunday afternoon, where they found it limp and lifeless by the Charlton carpark stretch of the river… Animal rights activist James Roberts also believed it was an otter. He said: “The otter was located and recovered from the river by animal rescue patrols on Monday. “The Live Export patrol who recovered it believed it was a disease that took the life of the young female otter."… (story)


Telegraph 16.12.13 Foot-dragging over hunt ban relaxation could ‘squander’ support, Cameron warned - Conservative backbenchers have warned David Cameron that the party could ‘squander’ a chance to strengthen grass-roots support as polling shows easing the hunting ban could help win back swing voters By John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor - David Cameron risks “squandering” an opportunity to win back disgruntled Conservative voters unless he moves quickly to introduce a partial relaxation of the hunting ban, backbenchers claim. At a meeting attended by more than 40 MPs in Westminster last week, backbenchers accused party whips of being overcautious and dragging their feet over the proposal which farmers say would help them protect flocks without an acrimonious attempt to repeal the ban altogether… (story)
Western Morning News 16.12.13 Cameron urged to relax hunting ban to please disgruntled Tories - David Cameron has been urged to relax the hunting ban to help win back swing voters amid a new poll suggesting the move would shore up Tory support in the countryside. Westcountry MP Neil Parish is leading calls for a technical amendment to the Hunting Act to allow farmers to deploy a full pack of hounds, instead of just two, to flush foxes attacking their flocks… (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 16.12.13 Beaufort Hunt gets Christmas underway at Chipping Sodbury meet By Alexandra Womack - CROWDS lined Chipping Sodbury’s medieval High Street for the Beaufort Hunt’s traditional Christmas meet. Around 80 members of the hunt trotted into the town on Wednesday (December 11) for the annual meet… (story)

Western Daily Press 16.12.13 … Anti-Watch pages on Facebook - These website pages only fan the flames - Reading Tristan Cork's piece (Daily Press December 14), about the "online hunting debate" featuring Countryside Alliance chief executive Sir Barney White-Spunner, I must comment as one who has for many years monitored local hunts that the Countryside Alliance usually fans the flames in this debate. During the first season of the Hunting Act I did find both photographs of me and my vehicle, complete with registration number posted on pro-hunt web pages with comments such as "carry a four foot spirit level in your boot to beat up your anti-hunt scum who are pestering your hunt!... Graham Forsyth Chard, Somerset (letter)

Farming Life 16.12.13 Firearms Dealer Security Specification – an update - Countryside Alliance Ireland recently attended a PSNI Firearms Engagement meeting to outline concerns in relation to a number of pertinent firearms related issues… Countryside Alliance Ireland attended the launch of Operation Wild Deer in Enniskillen recently… With hunting season in full flow, what not treat yourself and your family to a bit of game over the Christmas period… (story)

Star 16.12.13 Charities slam game that rewards players for killing elephants, rhinos and zebras - A GAME that rewards players for killing virtual elephants, rhinos and zebras has been branded “disgusting” by leading animal charities. By Jaymi McCann, Exclusive - Deer Hunter 2014, one of the most downloaded mobile apps in the world, features several locations the user can go and hunt local animals…. A spokeswoman from the League Against Cruel Sports said: “We find this kind of app abhorrent… A spokesman for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation added: “It is just a video game”…. (story)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 16.12.13 Protesters carry flaming torches and don boiler suits in bid to free Potters Bar lab monkeys By Paul Christian, Chief reporter - Animal rights protesters marched outside a monkey testing lab in Potters Bar. Members of the Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) held flaming torches, waved placards and banners and donned red boiler suits at the National Institute for Biological Standards & Control (NIBSC), in Blanche Lane on Saturday…. (story)

Dorking Advertiser 16.12.13 Thousands raised for wildlife charity by Dorking travel company By Gemma Angell - A DORKING travel company has handed over a substantial cheque to a wildlife charity. On Thursday, actress and animals rights campaigner Virginia McKenna, founder of international wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation, visited the Deepdene Avenue headquarters of Kuoni to thank the staff for raising an impressive £6,000 for her organisation…. (story)


Western Morning News 15.12.13 Hunting war of words turns nasty on Facebook - Hunting campaigners have warned supporters to toughen up their online security after a new group started claiming to “out” people who go hunting. Dorset-based chief executive Sir Barney White-Spunner has expressed his outrage at a new ‘exceedingly offensive’ page called Scum Watch, which has been running for the past six weeks…. (story)
Western Daily Press 14.12.13 Online hunting debate reveals its ugly side By Tristan Cork - The war over hunting between antis and the hunters has long been fought on the internet, but now the Countryside Alliance is warning its own supporters to toughen up their security on Facebook after a new group started claiming to "out" people who go hunting…. The administrator of Scum Watch accused Mr White-Spunner of hypocrisy… (story)
Horse & Hound 13.12.13 Hunt followers urged to protect themselves from online abuse - Hunt followers are being urged to tighten their security settings on Facebook to protect themselves from online abuse. The Countryside Alliance (CA) put out the warning in reaction to the Scum Watch Facebook page, which posts photographs of people it believes are involved in hunting and other country pursuits…. (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 13.12.13 Countryside Alliance says stand up to Facebook bullies By mmanning - THE Countryside Alliance is urging people who take part in countryside pursuits to stand up to Facebook bullies. In a statement released today, the organisation's Dorset-based executive chairman Barney White-Spunner explained that groups were using social media to post vitriolic comments about innocent people. One site, Hunting Accidents, "celebrates the death and serious injury of hunters"…. (story)

Bracknell News 15.12.13 Hill wins BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year - TEENAGE clay pigeon Amber Hill capped a fantastic year by winning the BBC Young Sportsperson of the Year Award this evening. The 16-year-old from Binfield picked up the accolade in front of hundreds of Britain's top sports men and women at the glittering ceremony, televised live from Leeds… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 15.12.13 Southampton City Council urged to say no to badger cull - CIVIC bosses in Southampton are being urged to say “no” to any plans to cull badgers in Hampshire…. Supported by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT), Chris Fry from Sholing Valleys wants council chiefs to adopt a “no cull” stance…. (story)


Horse & Hound 14.12.13 Tributes paid to a much-loved joint-master - More than 700 people turned out to pay their respects to Mid Antrim Harriers joint-master Andy Hamilton on 2 December, who has died at the age of 52… (story)

Leicester Mercury 14.12.13 Myth hunted animals can escape unscathed - It is a myth that hunted animals can ever escape unscathed, due to the little-known effects of stress myopathy… John Rimington, technical liaison officer, Hare Preservation Trust. (letter)

Impartial Reporter 14.12.13 Operation against deer poaching extended into Fermanagh - A police operation against deer poaching has been extended to Fermanagh. Operation Wild Deer was launched in Cookstown but has been introduced here in response to public concern about the illegal killing of the animals…. Operation Wild Deer is backed by the police, Countryside Alliance Ireland, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Scottish Association for Country Sports, the British Deer Society, Fermanagh District Council, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Forest Service and Crimestoppers…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 14.12.13 Alternatives to culling of deer - The article in More magazine ("Oh deer, see what you could be having for your tea?", December 7) about the sale of venison from culled deer at Bradgate Park raised some interesting points. I agree with the comment that meat eaters "who object to us selling deer is slightly hypocritical"…. Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone. (letter)

Gloucestershire Gazette 14.12.13 Broadband fight goes to Westminster -A FIGHT to prevent rural areas in South Gloucestershire missing out on faster broadband speeds has been taken to Westminster. People living in villages near Thornbury and Yate went with their MP Steve Webb to the Houses of Parliament to lobby broadband minister Ed Vaizey over the problem of slow speeds that is affecting households and businesses… Many thousands of people around the country live in so-called internet blackspots and organisations such as the Countryside Alliance are pressing the Government not to forget them… (story)

Lancashire Telegraph 14.12.13 Lancashire Badger Group calls for protection from residents - A WILDLIFE group wants the public to help protect ‘persecuted’ badgers by reporting any suspicious activity. Lancashire Badger Group is writing to residents living in areas where badgers have been targeted and, as part of the Hotspot Letter campaign, wants wildlife lovers to keep watch as the baiting season gets under way this month…. (story)

Hendon/Finchley/Potters Bar Times 14.12.13 Anti Vivisection Coalition protest outside National Institute of Biological Science Control in Potters Bar By Jaber Mohamed - Protesters gathered outside a laboratory in Potters Bar to demonstrate against the “evil” experimentation on animal. More than 50 campaigners from the Anti Vivisection Coalition (AVC) gathered outside the National Institute of Biological Science Control (NIBSC), in Blanche Lane, this afternoon. Danny Flies, the chairman of the organisation, accused the government lab of performing needless and cruel experiments on monkeys… (story)
Welwyn & Hatfield Times 14.12.13 Police braced for animal rights protest at Potters Bar monkey-testing lab today By Paul Christian, Chief reporter - Officers are ready for an animal rights protest at a lab in Potters Bar. Around 100 members of the Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) are expected to descend on the National Institute for Biological Standards & Control (NIBSC), in Blanche Lane at noon today (Saturday)… (story)
Welwyn & Hatfield Times 11.12.13 Animal rights protest at South Mimms lab ‘will be symbol of hope’ for monkeys, says activist By Paul Christian, Chief reporter - An animal rights group has warned 100 boiler suit-clad activists will besiege a laboratory in South Mimms in protest at monkey testing next week. Members of the Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) will light torches and don boiler suits at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), in Blanche Lane, on December 14… Luke Steele, head of the protest group, said: “We have requested an amicable meeting to discuss an existing replacement test and have a retirement plan ready to present, however the lab have refused to discuss the issue.”… (story)

Argus 14.12.13 Stop the discrimination against animals - It is no surprise that an American court has ruled that chimps cannot have the same rights as humans. While we rightfully celebrate Nelson Mandela’s fight against discrimination, we still discriminate against animals who feel the same pain as we do…. Emma Richards, Halland Road, Brighton (letter)


Telegraph 13.12.13 First fox-hunting, now badger culling: the RSPCA has forgotten what it's for By Norman Tebbit - It is a long time ago that I ceased to give money to either the RSPCA or the RSPB. As they have morphed over the years from essentially locally based organisations, with a mission to look after sick animals and protect individual wild, tame, pet or working animals from abuse, into great national lobbying businesses with high-powered (and often highly paid) political public relations operators scrambling for the headlines, they seem to have lost their original purpose… (story)

Westmorland Gazette 13.12.13 Campaign launched to help the wild grey partridge - A CAMPAIGN to halt the decline of the wild grey partridge – once a familiar farmland bird – has been launched by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust… (story)

Western Daily Press 13.12.13 Bovine tuberculosis: don't abandon the farmers - It took political courage to launch the pilot cull of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire in an effort to reduce the incidence of bovine TB in domestic cattle…. Where Lord Krebs was right, however, was in highlighting how little Defra appeared to know, before the shooting started, about badger numbers in each pilot zone. If that is the case then while the cull has been an undoubted PR disaster it may not have been the catastrophe for controlling the disease some have almost gleefully suggested…. (story)

Western Daily Press 13.12.13 Pressure grows for vote to halt badger culling - Ministers are facing calls to let MPs vote on halting the expansion of controversial badger culling in the South West… (story)

Western Daily Press 13.12.13 TB cattle slaughter rates down by nearly 10 per cent on 2012 - As MPs debated the badger cull pilots in Westminster yesterday, Defra released its latest statistics on bovine TB in UK cattle herds. From the start of this year, under pressure from the European Commission, the Government has forced farmers to tighten down on biosecurity controls, cattle movements and TB testing. As a result, there has been a steady decline in the rates of TB in cattle compared to the same period in 2012… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 13.12.13 Reader's letter: Militant pro-badger activists should pay towards cull policing costs - Further to your article ‘Policing Gloucestershire badger cull likely to cost well over £1million’ (Citizen December 6), a couple of points need to be made by way of clarification and context… It may be a widely promulgated perception that the Government is footing the bill for the cull, but this is simply not true…. In any event, by mounting a remorseless campaign of intimidation, the militant anti-cull ‘activists’ were responsible for racking up costs and so they should, arguably, be asked individually or via their representative organisations to contribute towards the costs of policing their behaviour, which was aimed at disrupting a legitimate, legal and necessary Government-initiated activity Ian Johnson, Regional communications adviser, NFU South West (letter)

Oxford Mail 13.12.13 Slaughter shows no respect for wildlife - THE slaughter of our badgers by the Government has now been shown to be a palpable failure, as predicted by the overwhelming scientific consensus… MARK PRITCHARD Linkside Avenue Oxford (letter)


Darlington & Stockton Times 12.12.13 Charity brands some Yorkshire and County Durham upland areas 'no fly zones' for birds of prey By Stuart Minting - A LEADING conservation charity has described some areas of the Yorkshire and Durham Dales and the North York Moors as “no fly zones” for birds of prey. The RSPB said despite 2013 being the 60th year of legal protection for wild birds, latest figures showed little improvement in the amount of illegal persecution of birds of prey and that some areas in the North’s uplands had none of the birds… (story)

Portsmouth News 12.12.13 Broadband boost in rural areas welcomed by Kimberley Barber - A £10m fund to boost the speed of broadband in rural communities has been welcomed by the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Farmers Weekly 12.12.13 Eustice defends badger cull amid fiery debate - Philip Case - Farm minister and Tory MP George Eustice has defended the government’s badger cull policy amid claims from opposition MPs that the pilot culls have failed. Speaking during a fiery cross-party parliamentary debate at Westminster on Wednesday (11 December), Mr Eustice reminded MPs that no country in the world has successfully eradicated TB without tackling the disease in wildlife… Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North, a trustee of the League Against Cruel Sports, accused DEFRA secretary Owen Paterson of being “deluded” and “gung-ho” over his attitude to the badger cull… (story)
Western Gazette 11.12.13 Future of badger culls discussed by MPs today - THE future of the badger cull was discussed by MPs today in a Westminster Hall debate. Tabled by Chris Williamson, the Labour MP for Derby North, it follows the ending of two trial culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire, the latter abandoned early due to a failure to hit its target… (story)

Swindon Advertiser 12.12.13 No turkey for us - On the Menu page of the Advertiser of Friday, December 6 it said, “Turkey or not”. I know in my house and those of lots of vegetarians and vegans, it will definitely not be…. S Giles, Bodiam Drive, Swindon (letter)

Argus 12.12.13 Let's use Christmas to reduce our reliance on meat and dairy - Ben Martin of Animal Aid appeals to Argus readers to try meat-free alternatives to turkey and other meats this Christmas (Letters, December 6). I echo his appeal… if readers are unwilling or unable to refrain from eating meat, there are other simple ways to make animals lives better through the food they eat. Always buy free-range poultry, pork and grass-fed beef and lamb… David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks (letter)


Western Morning News 11.12.13 Country notebook - When they were much younger my whippets enjoyed chasing things, as whippets tend to do. Not cats, at least not cats when I was around as they knew they were 'off limits'. But squirrels, rabbits and, on a few notable occasions, a fox. This was, I hasten to add, 'pre-ban' and, in any case, there were never more than two whippets involved in the pursuit so it almost certainly would be categorised as exempt hunting. Also no foxes were ever harmed in the chase… (story)

Scotsman 11.12.13 Collar killer cats - I AM delighted that Sir David Attenborough has called for cat owners to fit collars and bells to their cats to warn vulnerable wildlife of impending danger… Domestic cats populate our countryside and particularly suburbia at an enormously high level, way above what would normally happen with a predator of that size. The problem is that they have not lost the hunting instinct, and can therefore impose huge pressure on wildlife… Mike Swan Head of Education, The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fordingbridge, Hampshire (letter)

Guardian 11.12.13 Radio review: A month in Ambridge - The Archers has upset some people by insinuating that farmers tend to be rather fond of guns. But things have been a bit downbeat lately, so perhaps a bit of a brouhaha is no bad thing - Nancy Banks-Smith - Much the jolliest arrival of the month – short of Santa Claus – was that of Lieutenant General (rtd) Sir Barney White-Spunner KCB CBE, full of beans and firing both barrels… (story)
Western Daily Press 7.12.13 Protest over dog-shooting Archers plot By TRISTAN CORK - Country sports campaigners are to write to the BBC in protest at the way one of the most shocking storylines on The Archers this year is being portrayed – a farmer shooting his brother's dog…. The Archers, which is set in a fictional version of Gloucestershire, is some listeners' 'only brush with the countryside', according to Dorset-based Countryside Alliance chairman, Sir Barney White-Spunner. "Therefore (it) has a responsibility to get it right when reflecting rural issues."… (story)
Telegraph 6.12.13 Countryside Alliance attacks The Archers' 'skewed' picture of rural Britain - Sir Barney White-Spunner says the BBC has a responsibility to 'get it right when reflecting rural issues' By Rosa Silverman … Sir Barney White-Spunner has attacked the BBC for an episode in which the character Ed Grundy shoots his brother Will’s dog, as it “seems to imply that Ed was within his rights as a farmer” to do so…. (story)

North Devon Journal 11.12.13 RSPCA’s anti-badger cull advert is banned following 119 complaints - An RSPCA advert suggesting that badgers in cull areas would be “exterminated” has been banned following 119 complaints…. The ASA said: “We therefore considered that consumers were likely to interpret the claim, along with the text ‘The UK government wants to shoot England’s badgers’, to mean that all badgers would be eradicated in the cull areas. “On that basis, we concluded the claim was likely to mislead.”… (story)
Third Sector 11.12.13 RSPCA 'badger cull' advert was misleading, advertising watchdog rules By Annette Rawstrone - The Advertising Standards Authority upholds one complaint against the poster and press advert by the animal welfare charity… (story)

Llanelli Star 11.12.13 Young animal lover roughs it in kennels to raise cash for Many Tears Animal Rescue Centre - A YOUNG animal lover is going to rough it in the kennels of a sanctuary to raise money for the 100 dogs in its care. Hannah Aitken faces a long, cold night when she bunks down with the dogs in a small cage at Many Tears in Cefneithin on Friday, January 27…. (story)

Lancashire Telegraph 11.12.13 Helen Flanagan in animal cruelty protest - FORMER soap star Helen Flanagan swapped the Coronation Street cobbles for those of Covent Garden for a protest against animal cruelty. The TV actress, who attended Westholme School in Blackburn, wore a red Santa costume without the traditional white trim to emphasise to shoppers in the high-end shopping district that they should enjoy a fur-free Christmas. Helen, who is best known for playing Rosie Webster in Coronation Street for 12 years before quitting last year, teamed up with campaign group Peta in holding up a sign which read ‘Keep it fur-free under the Xmas tree’… (story)


Mid Devon Gazette 10.12.13 Experiencing the call of the wild with hunt - THERE are only three packs of staghounds in the whole of England, and all of them are within a fairly small patch of the South West. Yet despite a lifelong love of horses and the happy days I have spent fox hunting, I know next to nothing about stag hunting – and, to be honest, I would not know how or where to find out more… (story)
Western Daily Press 7.12.13 Stag hunt is a part of life on the moors - Becky Sheaves received a friendly welcome at a meet of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds on Exmoor… (story)
Western Morning News 6.12.13 Enjoying the call of the wild and thrill of chase with staghounds on Exmoor - Becky Sheaves gets a friendly welcome at a meet of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds on Exmoor. There are only three packs of staghounds in the whole of England, and all of them are within a fairly small patch of the South West. Yet despite a lifelong love of horses and the happy days I have spent fox hunting, I know next to nothing about stag hunting – and, to be honest, I would not know how or where to find out more. Step forward, then, Richard Reddaway, a lifelong hunting aficionado and former farmer, who now combines his love of the countryside and all things equestrian with a bespoke business offering horsey days out. I decided to join him on a trip up on the wilds of Exmoor to discover more about this ancient and often misunderstood pastime… (story)

Halifax Courier 10.12.13 Groups demand Lobbying Bill changes - Supporters of a wide range of charities and campaign groups are descending on Parliament to urge MPs and peers to rewrite legislation which they fear will have a "chilling" effect on free speech at election time… James Legge, of the Countryside Alliance, said: "It is unacceptable for the Government to be rushing ahead with legislation it has acknowledged is vague and potentially wide open to wrong interpretations by promising to give a quango the power to decide what the law means. This uncertainly will hang over campaigns of all sizes and will see some decide they cannot take the risk of campaigning at all."… (story)

BBC News Online 10.12.13 Concerns over lab animal treatment at Imperial College - Changes are needed to improve the treatment of laboratory animals at one of the UK's leading animal research centres, a panel of experts has said. Their report follows allegations of animal suffering at Imperial College London, made in an undercover investigation by anti-vivisectionists… The BUAV said the report's conclusions were a "devastating indictment" against the college and the system that allowed it to happen…. (story)


Guardian 9.12.13 100 years ago: Fox hunting will no longer be tolerated under new land laws - Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 13 December 1913 - A. Nicholson - We have had another twenty-four hours of mild weather, and from dawn this morning occasional showers… A good deal is being said about the detriment to the farmer of fox hunting and foxes… If, however, as I feel certain must be the case, reform of the land laws will at once lead to the proper cultivation of the land, the fox and fox hunting must go. In the old days, when the chase seldom came across your farm in most countries not more than half a dozen of the followers were mounted… Now I have frequently seen three hundred riders following, careless and ignorant, probably, of the harm they are doing… (story)

North Devon Journal 9.12.13 44,000 properties to gain superfast broadband in Devon and Somerset - The next communities to benefit from the £94 million project to bring superfast broadband to Devon and Somerset have been announced… Sir Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance said: “We hope this fund will ensure the roll-out of broadband happens as swiftly as possible… (story)

Epworth Bells 9.12.13 Improvement in mobile phone coverage for Isle - The possibility of improved mobile phone coverage has been welcomed by rural stalwarts the Countryside Alliance for areas including parts of the Isle that suffer from a poor network…. (story)

Western Daily Press 9.12.13 Farmers tell of anti-cull 'intimidation' - Farmers at the centre of the Gloucestershire trial badger cull, which ended last weekend, blame the protesters for its failure. Dairy farmer James Griffiths, 47, told The Daily Telegraph on Saturday: "It's just anarchy out there." He told the newspaper that for the past 11 weeks, his 600-cattle dairy farm near Gloucester had been infiltrated by activists, some peaceful, some aggressive, and some downright frightening, particularly the balaclava-wearing saboteurs, who would swear, shout and let off rape alarms during the middle of the night… (story)
Western Daily Press 9.12.13 Don't let the cull 'activists' bring us down - Andy Foot , NFU South West livestock board chair and a Dorset beef farmer, on why the livestock sector must not give in to opponents of the badger cull… (story)

Maldon Gazette 9.12.13 Record-breaking vegan 'Superwoman' has '100 per cent' faith in her diet By Will Watkinson - AN EXTREME runner dubbed "Superwoman" has smashed two world records, and set a third, in her bid to become the fastest extreme marathon runner ever. Fiona Oakes, owner of Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary in Asheldham, has set the world record for completing a marathon on every continent over the shortest elapsed time, and in the quickest aggregate time. The 42-year-old is a vegan who runs to raise funds for her stables and to raise awareness of animal cruelty, and completes the events despite having lost a kneecap to a cancerous growth a the age of 14… (story)


Guardian 8.12.13 The guns finally fall silent after the violence of the pheasant shoot - Claxton, Norfolk: It was the 1847 invention of the breech-loading shotgun that unleashed this form of arithmetical ritual - Mark Cocker - I should have known when I saw the behaviour of the pheasants, banging repeatedly against the fence, until that small-brained frenzy coincided with a gap, when they rocketed up and away. The perpetual fusillade of guns from across the other side of the Yare sounded like the Somme… (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 8.12.13 Essex: Investigation after spate of attacks on badgers - Lauren Everitt - Renee Hockley-Byam, of North East Essex Badger Group, has spoken out after two badgers were found dead and three setts were illegally blocked in the past fortnight…. (story)


Leicester Mercury 7.12.13 Wigston poet Richard joins Queen star Brian May in fight to save badgers - A poet has joined forces with Queen guitarist Brian May to fight the Government's plans to cull the country's badgers. Richard Bonfield, 54, from Wigston, wrote the poem, The Badger, after being approached by actress and founder of the Born Free Foundation, Virginia McKenna… The wildlife campaigner then presented the piece to her friend, Brian, as an early Christmas present…. (story)

Telegraph 7.12.13 The badger cull that died a death - The West Country scheme to reduce the number of the creatures, responsible for the spread of bovine TB, quickly became a battleground By Harry Wallop and Radhika Sanghani - A “catastrophic, categoric and unequivocal failure” is how Huw Irranca-Davies describes the controversial badger-culling trial that came to a halt in West Gloucestershire last weekend.. “It’s just anarchy out there,” says James Griffiths, 47, shaking his head. For the past 11 weeks, his 600-cattle dairy farm near Gloucester has been infiltrated by activists, some peaceful, some aggressive, and some downright frightening, particularly the balaclava-wearing saboteurs (“sabs”), who would swear, shout and let off rape alarms during the middle of the night…. (story)


Leamington Spa Courier 6.12.13 Warwickshire Hunt admits foxes may be chased in error - A south Warwickshire landowner is furious after horses and hounds in the Warwickshire Hunt ventured on to his land. Nicholas Trigg, who owns several acres of land between Knightcote and Fenny Compton, says the hunters - who had travelled from Southam last Thursday (November 28) - disturbed a wildlife reserve and damaged some fences…. Mr Trigg, who wife called the police to report the trespass, said that he has not found any fox remains, but he is still concerned that the dogs were chasing foxes… (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 6.12.13 Prince Charles' favourite hunt is facing investigation - Police are investigating after Prince Charles' favourite hunt are accused of "rampaging" through a quiet Cotswold town - allegedly chasing a fox. Residents claim around 40 horses from the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt chased after a pack of hounds who sped through Tetbury… (story)
Mail 6.12.13 Did Royal hunt chase fox through village? Prince Charles's favourite hunt to be investigated by police - Prince Charles’s favourite hunt will be investigated by police for rampaging through a Cotswold town – allegedly chasing a fox… (story)
Telegraph 5.12.13 Royals' favourite hunt probed by police - A hunt which is popular with Princes Charles, William and Harry is being investigated over claims its hounds went after a live fox By Miranda Prynne, News Reporter - Prince Charles’ favourite hunt is being investigated by police over claims it charged through a sleepy Cotswold town chasing a fox…. Peter Martin, 51, claims he saw a fox run past his garden gate, chased by the hounds… Jamie Smith, owner of Bath Bridge Barbers, said: "As I was walking out to get our sign at the top of the street, I had to get out the way… But members of the hunt, which is popular with Princes Charles, William and Harry who were once regulars at the Boxing Day meeting, insist there was no fox… A spokeswoman for Beaufort Hunt admitted the hounds had run loose in the centre of the village because riders were held back by an "unexpected wire"…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 6.12.13 Is William Burton (Leicestershire spokesman for the Countryside Alliance) in La-La-Land? Another Countryside Alliance manoeuvre is to suggest to the perceived naive general public that they are wasting police time and public money by reporting suspected illegal hunting with dogs… Maureen Falkner, Leicester (letter)

Reading Chronicle 6.12.13 Countryside Alliance welcomes boost to rural broadband -A NATIONAL charity has welcomed a £10m boost to rural broadband. The Treasury announced plans to invest the extra cash in developing new ways to improve broadband speeds in the most remote rural areas yesterday (Thursday). Many remote parts of Berkshire suffer from slow internet speeds and the Countryside Alliance - which represents the interests of people living in remote areas - welcomed the announcement… (story)

Evening Standard 6.12.13 Campaigners call for Fortnum & Mason to be stripped of royal seal for selling foie gras - Animal welfare groups today called for Fortnum & Mason to be stripped of its Royal Warrant because it continues to sell foie gras. The Piccadilly department store has sold the delicacy “for centuries”, but 10 campaign groups including the RSPCA, Peta and the World Society for Protection of Animals say the process by which it is produced is barbaric… (story)


Stroud Life 5.12.13 Riders charity effort collects £6,500 - The ever popular Badminton Ride - a sponsored ride on the famous Badminton Estate, home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort and the international horse trials scored a great success this year… With an army of willing volunteer stewards and helpers from the Beaufort Hunt who are based at Badminton, the day went smoothly and was much enjoyed by all the participants who enjoyed a choice of 80 optional fences, beautiful countryside and the chance to say "I rode at Badminton this year"!... (story)

Mail 5.12.13 Hold your horses! Moment hunt master fell from his saddle into a ditch after his steed stopped suddenly By DAN BLOOM - These photos capture the moment a hunt master was hurled from his horse into a muddy ditch during a mock fox hunt. Mercifully Jersey's master of the hounds Mark Evans escaped unharmed from the fall - which was captured frame-by-frame by a local photographer…. Mr Evans, who has taken part in the Jersey Drag Hunt for almost 20 years, was thrown from his horse Bonnie when she pulled up at the last moment,… (story)

Southern Reporter 5.12.13 Gamekeepers say no change required to air rifle law - SPORT organisations Countryside Alliance (CA) and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) say a drop in gun crime shows there is no need to legislate on air rifles…. (story)

North Devon Journal 5.12.13 OPINION: Badger cull - Unpopular and cruel or restoring balance? - In this week's Opinion, anti-badger cull campaigner Barbara Garwood explains her frustration at a government pilot which she feels is cruel, unpopular and illegal… But South West National Farmers Union regional board chairman Minette Batters says those who claim to speak up for wildlife should be helping to make the case for a cull to restore balance for all species…. (story)

Cornishman 5.12.13 Eustice: cancelled cull 'was still worthwhile' - HAYLE MP and Farming Minister George Eustice has defended the Government's badger cull, despite a trial being called off amid jubilation from opponents…. (story)


Cornish Guardian 4.12.13 Badger action widely copied - A ST AUSTELL couple's quest to protect badgers from culling, by petitioning local authorities, is being replicated across the UK. George and Norma Kearton launched an online petition on Cornwall Council's website and it now has more than 1,000 signatures, triggering a debate by the authority's scrutiny committee…. (story)

Western Daily Press 4.12.13 Monty Don quits Twitter after abuse from badger cull protesters - Celebrity gardener Monty Don has quit Twitter after receiving abusive comments over his stance on defending the badger cull…. (story)

Shields Gazette 4.12.13 Animal rights activists try to halt camel parade - A PETITION signed by more than 1,000 people will be handed over in a last-ditch bid to stop camels being used in a festive parade. Animals rights activists are outraged that the animals are being used in the Christmas Wonderland Procession in South Shields on Friday evening. Supporters of the campaign group Cruelty-Free Christmas have been flooding South Tyneside Council’s phone lines and its Facebook events page with complaints…. (story)
Shields Gazette 27.11.13 Protestors get the hump over camel parade - ANIMAL rights activists are planning a protest at what they claim is a “barbaric” festive parade in the borough. Three camels, carrying the three wise men, will form part of the Christmas Wonderland Procession in South Shields on Friday, December… But the Christmas spirit is not being shared by the campaign group Cruelty-Free Christmas. Chairman Jonathon Proctor said: “We are very angry about this, because animals should not be used in displays. It is just barbaric… (story)

Western Daily Press 4.12.13 This year, try a vegetarian Christmas - One again we are approaching Christmas. It may be a joyous time for some, but not for all, especially for the birds and animals about to face the ultimate day of suffering for us to enjoy our Christmas lunch… Serena Saunders Swindon, Wilts (story)


Horse & Hound 3.12.13 Stolen hound puppies found - Sophia Heath - A couple of hound puppies, who were taken from their puppy walker’s farm at Ramsden Heath, near Chelmsford on 19 November, are back where they belong. The 14-week-old Essex Farmers and Union bitches, Vintage and Village, were discovered just 5min away from Debbie Friswell’s home… Ms Friswell thanked the extensive media coverage for the puppies return…. (story)
Essex Chronicle 27.11.13 Stolen: Village and Vintage the puppies snatched from barn By Piers Meyler - A police investigation is under way into the theft of two puppies from a barn in Ramsden Heath. Foxhound puppies Vintage and Village were just 14 weeks old when they were stolen from the building in Park Lane. They were stolen between 9pm on November 18 and 8am on November 19. The two sisters, who are owned by the Essex Farmers Union Hunt, had only been living with Debbie Friswell for nine days when they were snatched by intruders from her farm… (story)
Essex Echo 27.11.13 Callous thieves steal 14 week old puppies By Carri-Ann Taylor - POLICE are investigating the theft of two puppies from a barn in Ramsden Heath. The puppies were just 14 weeks old when they were stolen from the barn in Park Lane… (story)

Shooting Gazette 3.12.13 Atkin Grant & Lang Shooting Ground to host Shot for the Pot courses By Martin Puddifer - Atkin Grant & Lang Shooting Ground in Markyate, Hertfordshire, has joined forces with the Countryside Alliance’s Game-to-Eat campaign to offer short courses encouraging guns to learn more about how to prepare their quarry for the dinner table…. (story)

Western Morning News 3.12.13 Bad luck, bad planning or the protests – why did badger culls fall short? - When the Government announced it was abandoning the extended badger cull, hunt saboteurs were quick to claim the credit. Philip Bowern asks whether they really made the difference…. Privately some involved in the cull believe the police in Gloucestershire failed to do enough to support the teams going about their lawful business, implementing Government policy… (story)

Western Daily Press 3.12.13 Paterson promises more badger culling despite pilot's failure By Tristan Cork - The controversial badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire will carry on for another four years and has been hailed a 'success' by the Government, even though it failed to meet its target and may even have increased the risk of TB in cattle. That was the message from Environment minister Owen Paterson yesterday, who admitted that cullers only managed to kill 39 per cent of badgers in the West Gloucestershire cull… (story)

Shropshire Star 3.12.13 Poll: Should the badger cull come to Shropshire? - The Government’s controversial badger cull has been branded an “embarrassing failure” after pilots of the scheme in two counties failed to hit targets for numbers of animals killed…. (story)
Shropshire Star 3.12.13 Badger cull: The case for - Shropshire farmer Rob Alderson supports whatever measures are needed… (story)
Shropshire Star 3.12.13 Badger cull: The case against - Pip Davies speaks on behalf of Shropshire Against The Badger Cull…. (story)

Epping Forest Guardian 3.12.13 Campaign to ban badger cull By Zoie O'Brien - A campaign has been launched to ban the culling of badgers in Epping Forest. The Harlow Badger Group fear the current culling programme could be rolled into areas where bovine tuberculosis is not a problem. Member Helen Carr, 45, of Bumbles Green in Nazeing, said a group petition is now calling for the practice of shooting badgers to be banned on Epping Forest District Council-owned land to protect local sets…. (story)

Northern Echo 3.12.13 Professor rejects animal rights allegations of cruelty in African research centre By Barry Nelson, Health Editor - A NORTH-EAST scientist who is researching how stroke affects the human brain has defended his use of 'wild-caught' baboons for experiments in Africa. Professor Stuart Baker, who has discovered that a particular part of the human brain play a vital role in recovering from stroke, was responding to allegations from the animal rights organisation the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 3.12.13 Shame whale meat has passed through port - HOW terrible that despite an EU-wide ban on whaling products, an enquiry by the charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation has shown that at least one consignment of whale meat from Norway has passed through Southampton Container Port so far… MRS SHEILA CLAYTON, Hon. Organiser S.U.A.C., Southampton. (letter)


Stroud Life 2.12.13 Charity support from Beautford Hunt - HUNT supporters presented £1,000 to charity at their latest meet. The Duke of Beaufort, joint master of the hunt named after his family, officially handed the cheque to Heart UK after the sport at Badminton… (story)

Farming Life 2.12.13 Women call the shots in Northern Ireland - An event to mark International Women’s Day in Northern Ireland will be held on Saturday, 8th March 2014 at Foymore Lodge Country Pursuits Centre in Portadown, County Armagh. “Women Call the Shots” offers women an introduction to countryside activities including clay-target shooting, off-road driving, fly casting, air-rifle target shooting and archery. Organised by Countryside Alliance Ireland (CAI), the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC NI), the Gun Trade Guild NI and the organisers of the Northern Ireland Countryside Festival, the 
day will be led by Ulster Unionist Party MLA Jo-Anne Dobson… (story)

Guardian 2.12.13 Failed Gloucestershire badger cull may have increased TB risk for cattle - Expert says it is 'very likely' that the risk of tuberculosis in cattle has gone up after the cull failed to reach target - Damian Carrington - The failure of the controversial badger cull in Gloucestershire to come close to its target means it is "very likely" that the risk of tuberculosis in cattle has gone up, not down, according to a leading scientist…. "It's very likely that so far this cull will have increased the TB risk for cattle inside the Gloucestershire cull zone rather than reducing it," said Prof Rosie Woodroffe, a key member of the team that conducted an earlier, decade-long trial of badger culling…. (story)

Western Morning News 2.12.13 VIDEO: 'Badger Army' stages march to demand end of cull - A "Badger Army" was mobilised in Bristol on Saturday as protesters marched through the city to oppose the Government plans to roll out a cull of the protected creatures to more areas… (story)
Western Daily Press 30.11.13 Bristol's Badger Army march on city to protest against cull - THE 'Badger Army' descended on Bristol to march through the city to protest again the Government's badger cull. Around 300 people - some dressed as badgers and others waving placards - congregated on College Green for the rally and march into the city centre… (story)
ITV 30.11.13 Protest against badger culling held in Bristol - As badger culling ended today a demonstration was held to protest against any attempts to try it again…. We spoke to protester Amanda Barrett (story)
Western Daily Press 30.11.13 Bill Oddie: One battle down, the badger cull war is yet to be won - As thousands of protesters against the now-abandoned badger cull prepare to descend on Bristol today, naturalist Bill Oddie, who will be among them, speaks exclusively to the Western Daily Press… (story)
Western Gazette 30.11.13 Protest march on same day as trial badger cull suspended By WG_Yeovil - The badger cull in Gloucestershire was scrapped from noon today because marksmen are failing to meet their targets for the numbers of badgers being killed… Today the 'Badger Army' descended on Bristol to march through the city to protest again the Government's badger cull. Around 300 people - some dressed as badgers and others waving placards - congregated on College Green for the rally and march into the city centre… (story)
Bristol Post 29.11.13 TV's Bill Oddie to speak at anti-cull protest -TV naturalist and former Goodie Bill Oddie will be a guest speaker at a peaceful protest in Bristol against badger culling. He will be joined by Bristol East Labour MP Kerry McCarthy and Dominic Dyer from the wildlife charity Care for the Wild… (story)
Bristol Post 29.11.13 Join Saturday's march to protest against badger cull - AVON Wildlife Trust volunteers, staff and members are joining a peaceful march on Saturday, November 30 to protest against the badger cull. It is one of many peaceful protests that are taking place across the country…. (story)

Stroud Life 2.12.13 Cull protestors react to halt of badger slaughter - BADGER cull opponents in Stroud are looking towards increased vaccination of the wild animals after the government’s controversial slaughter programme was halted by Natural England. Slad resident Jeanne Berry, who'd been out at nights with the Wounded Badger Patrol, said the cull operators would have known a long time ago that they were falling below their target for badger shootings… (story)


Irish Journal 1.12.13 Family distraught after pet attacked and killed by pack of hunt hounds - Daragh Brophy - A FAMILY IN Ashford, Co Wicklow say they’ve been left shocked after their pet dog was attacked by a pack of hunting hounds yesterday afternoon. It happened at around 4pm when a hunt by the Bray Harriers club was taking place in the area. The family pet, a hypoallergenic dog named ‘Isabelle’ died from her injuries…. (story)