December 2014

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31.12.14

West Cumberland Times & Star 31.12.14 Tally ho in Keswick and Lorton as hunts keep Boxing Day tradition - Spirits were high as hundreds of hunt supporters turned out for their traditional Boxing Day gathering. About 300 people joined joint masters Michael Thompson and Larry Slattery, of Blencathra Foxhounds, plus huntsman Barry Todhunter and the hounds, as they paraded from Keswick’s Market Square to the Mary Hewetson Cottage Hospital and the Pheasant Inn then out onto the lower slopes of Skiddaw…. (story)

Louth Leader 31.12.14 Hunt captures the crowds - The traditional Boxing Day Hunt pulled in the crowds on a chilly morning at the Cattle Market in Louth, but the cold didn’t stop the success of the event. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 26.12.14 GALLERY: South Wold Boxing Day Hunt at Louth By SRussellTG - Crowds turned out to meet the hounds at the traditional Boxing Day meet of the South Wold Hunt…. (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 26.12.14 GALLERY: South Wold Boxing Day hunt - The traditional South Wold Boxing Day hunt sets off from Louth Cattle Market. PICTURES: Duncan Young (story)

County Gazette 31.12.14 YOUR PHOTO: Dulverton Farmers Hunt Boxing Day meet - THIS photo was sent in by Becky Hartman. She is pictured with her daughter, Phoebe, five, astride the horses at the Dulverton Farmers Hunt Boxing Day meet…. (story)

Peterborough Telegraph 31.12.14 Big reception for Boxing Day hunt - About 1,000 people turned out to enjoy the colour and sounds of the historic Boxing Day hunt in Peterborough. The 270-year-old Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt saw almost 1,000 spectators turn out to see about 90 riders take part in the traditional event…. (story)

Irish Times 31.12.14 Foxhunting and legislation - I cannot get my head around John Fitzgerald’s problem with foxhunting (December 29th). If he considers hounds chasing a fox with the intent to kill as a barbaric activity, then how does he view the fox’s behaviour with regard to lambs and chickens?... ANNE STRAHAN, Ballynonty, Co Tipperary
John Fitzgerald hopes that “the next Dáil will have a majority of TDs opposed to hare coursing and foxhunting, and that the vice-like grip that the bloodsport lobby has had on our politicians will at last be broken”. I endorse such sentiments wholeheartedly… PAUL DELANEY, Dalkey, Co Dublin (letters)

Wessex Scene 31.12.14 Tories Will Revoke Fox Hunting Ban if Elected in 2015 - The Conservative party is to legalise fox hunting if they are elected into power next May. The 2004 Hunting Act, which came to force under the previous Labour Government could be repealed on the basis of a free vote of MPs in the House of Commons…. (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 31.12.14 £5bn plan to extend mobile phone cover not enough, says CLA by Mike Bridgen - A £5bn plan to deliver mobile phone coverage to 90 per cent of the country by 2017 does not go far enough, according to rural bodies. The Country Land and Business Association (CLA)… says the new commitment agreed by the four major mobile phone providers – O2, EE, Vodafone and Three – with Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, will leave swathes of the region without mobile phone connection… Sarah Lee, head of policy at the Countryside Alliance, welcomed the fact that the government was making it easier for new masts and other infrastructure to be built and for many Government buildings to be used for mobile infrastructure… (story)

30.12.14

Sussex Express 30.12.14 Slideshow: Streets packed for Boxing Day Hunt in Lewes - Crowds lined the streets of Lewes to watch the riders, horses and hounds of the Southdown and Eridge Hunt on Boxing Day… (story)
ITV 26.12.14 Boxing Day Hunt rides from Lewes - Ten years ago, the Hunting Act made it illegal to hunt foxes with hounds across England and Wales… David Johns reports, speaking to spectators, hunt protestor Marina Pepper and Jonathan, a huntsman. (Southdown & Eridge) (story)

Hereford Times 30.12.14 Crowds turn out across Herefordshire for hunts - TEN years on from the ban, and the county’s hunts are as proud as ever – if the Boxing Day meets are any measure. Scenes of the South Herefordshire Hunt making their way along Mill Street, Hereford, to gather at the Castle House Hotel, or the Radnor and West Herefordshire heading up Hergest Ridge were repeated with varying degrees of similarity around the county as respective hunts rode out… (story)

ThisIsTheWestCountry 30.12.14 Boxing Day Hunt in Chard - HUNDREDS of people gathered in Chard, for the traditional Boxing Day hunt meet despite the wet weather. Members of the Cotley Hunt met and paraded in Chard… (story)

ThisIsTheWestCountry 30.12.14 Minehead Harriers Boxing Day meet - MINEHEAD Harriers met at The Hobby Horse in Minehead for their traditional Boxing Day hunt…. (story)

ThisIsTheWestCountry 30.12.14 YOUR VIEWS: Boxing Day meets - TOP hats and tailcoats . . . we asked our social media users what they thought about Boxing Day hunt meets. Are they a tradition which should be kept alive or is it time they should be forgotten? On Facebook, Liza Marie Johnn, Hannah Exon-Lippitt, Becky Blackmore, Penny Crout and Nicky Gardner all agreed that the tradition should continue…. (story)

Western Morning News 30.12.14 Tory pledge on hunt ban repeal sparks big online debate - Conservative promises to bring forward a free vote on repealing the Hunting Act if they win a Commons majority at the next election have sparked an avalanche of comment on social media. As the story, reported by the Western Morning News on Saturday, gained wider coverage in the following days, opponents and supporters of hunting took to Twitter to register their disgust or their backing, for repeal….. The RSPCA has a major case currently pending in the Westcountry against Will Bryer, huntsman of Dorset’s Cattistock, who is due in court in the spring accused of illegal hunting on evidence provided by the League Against Cruel Sports… (story)

Scotsman 30.12.14 Boxing Day Hunt - You reported on 27 December: “The traditional Renfrewshire Boxing Day hunt gathered near Houston – but heavy fog forced the event to be cancelled.” Oh dear. How sad…. Barry Lees Denholm Street Greenock (letter)

BBC News Online 30.12.14 The ex-MPs who died in 2014 - part two …Lord Kimball, 18 October 1928 - 26 March 2014 - Son of the Conservative MP for Loughborough, Major Laurence Kimball, Marcus Kimball was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge… He became deputy president of the Countryside Alliance, president of the British Field Sports Society and a controversial member of the RSPCA, which twice made attempts to expel him over his support for coursing… (story)

Western Morning News 30.12.14 New intake of Tories oppose hunt vote - I must take exception to the letter published by Charlotte Cooper… She bangs on about the 27 Tory anti-hunt MPs way back in 1992 that supported a ban and then goes on to say that the figure is down to half that now! What utter rubbish, the Blue Fox group – made up of mainly new women Tory MPs,insisted the Tories should no longer be identified with the “hunting, shooting and fishing” fraternity… (letter)

York Press 30.12.14 Majority are against ‘barbaric’ hunting - REGARDING the report in The Press of December 26 about the Boxing Day hunts, an overwhelming majority of people still want to keep the ban on hunting foxes with dogs in place, despite claims of support by the hunt… David March, Tadcaster. (letter)

Southern Daily Echo 30.12.14 No pleasure in hunting animals - FOR the greater part of my long life, I spent living on the edge of the wonderful New Forest spending a lot of my spare time trying to help the various anti-hunting organisations. I am still amazed that so-called country lovers enjoy watching or taking part in the hunting of our wild animals…. EWEN HENTALL, Nursling. (letter)

29.12.14

Blackmore Vale Magazine 29.12.14 PHOTO GALLERY: Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt's Boxing Day (story)

Carmarthen Journal 29.12.14 GALLERY: Llandeilo's Boxing Day Hunt By GutoLlewelyn - Hundreds braved the rain to once again witness the beginning of the annual Boxing Day Hunt in Llandeilo. (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 29.12.14 Boxing Day Beaufort Hunt attracts thousands by Bethany Wash - THOUSANDS of supporters attended the Duke of Beaufort Hounds’ Boxing Day meet in Didmarton… (story)

North Devon Journal 29.12.14 Katie Hopkins sparks outrage after controversial fox hunting claims - FORMER Bideford resident Katie Hopkins has sparked outrage again after voicing her views on fox hunting via social media. The former apprentice star said fox hunting will become legalised and hit out at people against it by saying they are jealous of "toffs"…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 29.12.14 Katie Hopkins causes outrage after controversial fox hunting claims - Exeter motor-mouth Katie Hopkins has sparked outrage yet again after airing her controversial views on fox hunting…. (story)
Mirror 26.12.14 Katie Hopkins claims people opposing fox hunting is “just jealousy disguised as animal rights” By Claire Rutter - Katie Hopkins considers hunting to be a natural part of the countryside and insists that fox hunting will become legalised and has blasted those who oppose it by calling them jealous of "toffs"…. (story)

The Commentator 29.12.14 Labour's Hunting Act remains a complete farce - Hunters, after centuries of freely embracing the countryside with horse and hound, suddenly became the centre of abuse not just from militant animal rights groups, but uninformed Westminster know-it-alls comprising MPs from virtually all of Labour, the Lib-Dems and, sadly, a few Conservatives. Let's scrap it - Mo Metcalf-Fisher (story)

Huffington Post 29.12.14 Media Take Note - Boxing Day Hunts: Tradition Is No Excuse for Cruelty - It's that time of year again, bellies full, another re-run of Only Fools and Horses on the telly and the annual media scramble around picturesque chocolate box villages up and down the country to report on the 'traditional' Boxing Day hunts, to marvel in the spectre of the noble red coats on their trusty steeds, at the well-groomed packs of hounds and crowds of good country folk celebrating an age old British tradition…. traditions involving cruelty are outdated. Yes, pro-hunters, it is actually cruel to chase a fox with hounds. Fact…. It's time for the government, the 'blue' media, and country and city folk alike to wake up and make a change for good. Trail hunting provides a false alibi, the Hunting Act works and it is successful, but enforcement is the key… (story)

Telegraph 29.12.14 Letters: The Conservatives should leave hunting off next year’s election manifesto - As a passionate Conservative supporter, I read with interest your article on the proposed repeal of the Hunting Act 2004 by a Conservative government…. The Tory party will risk losing votes by including any mention of hunting in the manifesto… Christopher W Robson Richmond, North Yorkshire
When hunting with hounds was legal, I used to attend the Boxing Day meet in Newbury Market Place, hoping that the hunt members would have a jolly good day out but that the fox would get away…. Roy Bailey Hungerford, Berkshire
The media reports that a quarter of a million people turned out to support Boxing Day hunts. Providing that these are drag hunts and no animals are killed as a result, then I have no issue with people engaging in this activity…. Julian Ware-Lane Leigh-on-Sea, Essex
In the 17th century the Puritans disliked bear baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators. I believe the motivation of today’s hunting opponents is largely the same. Silas Krendel London NW3
Running about with tinsel wrapped round your head, jumping 6ft fences and no prospect of a pint at the end of it all: surely the horses deserve a vote next year, too. Richard Wright Newbury, Berkshire (letters)

Independent 29.12.14 The hunting lobby’s Boxing Day charades (“The tradition that refuses to die”, 27 December) are a useful reminder to the rest of us that an election victory for David Cameron would mean the re-legalisation of this cruelty to wild animals, conducted for the sake of kicks and snobbery. Christopher Clayton Waverton, Cheshire (letter)

York Press 29.12.14 Foxes or people? I’d choose the foxes - IN Wandsworth, south London, people are employing snipers to shoot foxes. If you kill a fox or move it from its area, another fox will move in. Also, if you try to control the foxes by culling, they will respond by producing more young…. Mr D Fillingham, The Crossway, York. (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 29.12.14 MP needs to help circus animals - T&A readers may be interested to know that Philip Davies MP is one of a group of three (Tory) MPs that have consistently and shamelessly blocked attempts to abolish wild animals (lions, tigers, camels, zebras etc. ) from being allowed to perform in circuses…. Christopher Hindle, Osterley Grove, Bradford (letter)

Bournemouth Echo 29.12.14 Christchurch's Chris Chope only MP to block special animal rights bill - ON behalf of the animal welfare charity FOUR PAWS, I would like to express our huge disappointment and frustration following the decision of Conservative MP Christopher Chope (MP for Christchurch) to block the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill, which would ban the outdated and cruel use of wild animals such as lions, tigers, camels and in circuses in England… JULIE SANDERS, Country Manager, Four Paws UK (letter)

28.12.14

Eastern Daily Press 28.12.14 Poll: Do you agree with the Hunting Act? Should it be repealed? - Annabelle Dickson - Ten years ago the Hunting Act had been passed and hunts in the region were setting off before the ban came into force the following February. With a general election looming, political editor Annabelle Dickson asks what impact the ban has had, and if things are likely to change after next May’s election…. (story)

Sunday Express 28.12.14 Top Tories warned that attempting to repeal the hunting ban could be toxic - TORY top brass are being warned of an electoral backlash if they make a manifesto pledge for a free vote on overturning the fox hunting ban. By Stuart Winter …Officially, the party says manifesto pledges are still being decided but Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, known as the Blue Foxes, are warning Prime Minister David Cameron that any attempt to overturn the law will harm his chances at the polls next spring… (story)

Scotsman 28.12.14 Jobs at risk from ‘excessive deer culling’ by TOM PETERKIN - GAMEKEEPERS are warning that over-enthusiastic deer culls are putting rural jobs at risk and threatening the traditional Scottish sport of deer stalking. The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) believes that culls carried out by conservation bodies such as the John Muir Trust are to blame for a shortage of deer on the hills…. (story)

Northumberland Gazette 28.12.14 Alliance welcomes deal on coverage - A £5billion investment in the UK’s mobile-phone coverage will mean a big boost to rural reception, says the Countryside Alliance… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 28.12.14 Badgers charm the public, but farmers must count the cost - Both sides of the culling debate are as strident as ever with no solution in sight, writes William Langley - Around the culling of badgers swirls a peculiarly British fog of sentiment, science, strife and stubbornness which shows little sign of clearing… (story)

27.12.14

Mail 27.12.14 Hounded by the RSPCA: When protesters reported a wealthy hunt to Britain's top animal charity it smelt blood. Now it's going for the kill... in a court case using YOUR donations By SIMON TRUMP AND OLGA CRAIG - Just before 11am on a crisp March morning, 30 men and women from one of England’s most fashionable hunts gathered near Dorchester. Resplendent in their distinctive ‘True Blue’ livery, Dorset’s Cattistock Hunt members passed around the stirrup cup…On that damp morning of March 11, huntsman Will Bryer decided to take the hunt through picturesque Hardy country on to land west of Weymouth, above the famous Jurassic Coast, where – in keeping with hunting laws – a scented trail had been laid earlier for the hounds to follow… The Mail on Sunday reported in October that the RSPCA had spent £22.5 million on prosecutions in two years, and today we can reveal that the charity has been forced to take out an overdraft facility with its bank, Coutts, for the first time in its 190-year history…. His solicitor, Jamie Foster, insists Mr Bryer is innocent. ‘He will vigorously contest what appears to be an extremely weak case,’ he says. ‘I am very surprised it has made it this far.’ The prosecution’s case will hinge on footage filmed as the hunt passed the picturesque village of Langton Herring. Taken with a hand-held camera by Kevin Hill, from the IFAW, it was subsequently passed to the RSPCA rather than to the police or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). It is said to depict Mr Bryer allowing two hounds to chase a fox, allegedly in breach of the Hunting Act 2004… (story)

Folkestone Herald 27.12.14 Elham fox hunt goes ahead despite small protest By Simon_Finlay - THE Elham Valley hunt went ahead yesterday with supporters dwarfing the tiny number of protesters who turned out to oppose the traditional Chriustmas event… (East Kent Hunt with West Street) (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 27.12.14 Crowds show support for traditional Lincolnshire hunts - HUNDREDS of people turned out to support the area's traditional Boxing Day hunts. Crowds gathered at Louth Cattle Market to see hounds, horses and riders set off on the historic South Wold Hunt. Meanwhile, around 60 riders took part in the annual Brocklesby Hunt on the point-to-point course on Lord Yarborough's estate… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 27.12.14 PHOTO GALLERY: The traditional Brocklesby Hunt on Boxing day… (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 27.12.14 Nigel Farage shows his support for fox hunting at Chiddingstone Castle - UKIP leader Nigel Farage turned out for the annual fox hunt at Chiddingstone Castle yesterday to show his support for the banned blood-sport. The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunt met at the castle for the Boxing Day event where according to witnesses around 1,000 hunters and 40 protesters from the Hunt Saboteur’s Alliance turned out… (story)

York Press 27.12.14 Crowds gather at big hunt meetings - THE traditional Boxing Day hunt meetings took place yesterday, recreating a sight that has been seen across the county for centuries. Dozens of horses and riders turned out with the Middleton Hunt, who met at 11am to parade their hounds in both Malton and Driffield…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 27.12.14 Northumberland hunt supporters turn out for Boxing Day meet By Ruth Lognonne - Northumberland hunts ride out for traditional Boxing Day meet despite hunting with dogs being banned for almost 10 years… Families made a beeline for the picturesque 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…. Elsewhere across the region, the Border Hunt met at Girsonfield Stud, in Otterburn, Northumberland…. 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)

Gloucester Citizen 27.12.14 Photo gallery: Berkeley and Duke of Beaufort Boxing Day Hunts (story)

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 27.12.14 Crowds out in Ludlow for Boxing Day hunt by Mark Bowen - CROWDS filled the streets of Ludlow to see off the traditional Boxing Day hunt… (story)

Oxford Mail 27.12.14 Boxing Day hunt draws crowds to Chipping Norton and the countryside - HUNDREDS turned out for the annual Boxing Day meet by Heythrop Hunt in Chipping Norton yesterday…. (story)
Oxford Mail 26.12.14 Thousands turn out for annual Heythrop Hunt by Alex Regan, Reporter - ABOUT 3,000 people turned out to watch the annual Boxing Day Heythrop Hunt this morning…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 27.12.14 Gallery: Supporters of Suffolk’s hunts turn out in their hundreds to watch events in Hadleigh and Hawstead on Boxing Day - Edmund Crosthwaite and Matt Reason - Hunt masters across Suffolk have said the support for their sports is still strong despite the hunting ban…. Master of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt James Buckle, speaking to the assembled crowd before the hunt began, thanked the staff who had put the event together… Christopher Minter, joint master of the Suffolk Hunt, claimed the practice was not understood by those living in towns and that all round the year, negativity was very uncommon in the county… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 27.12.14 Video and Photo Gallery: Thousands attend hunt meets across Norfolk and Suffolk… more than 1,000 were waiting at the Boxing Day meet, tweeds buttoned high against the cold, as Britain’s oldest pack of hounds came up the tree-lined drive to Raynham Hall. The West Norfolk Foxhounds can trace their history back to the 1530s, when Henry VIII was on the throne… The Waveney Harriers also enjoyed a good turnout for their meet at Earsham, led by master of the hunt John Ibbott… Hundreds gathered in the centre of Wymondham to see the Dunston Harriers assemble for their Boxing Day meet…. (story)

Mirror 27.12.14 'Out of touch' Nigel Farage backs Tory plans to repeal fox hunting ban By Patrick Hill - Nigel Farage came under fire tonight after backing Tory plans to repeal the fox-hunting ban. The UKIP leader, who visited the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt on Boxing Day, said: “If I were in the House of Commons and there was a vote on repeal tomorrow, would I vote for it? Yes – on libertarian grounds…. (story)

Metro 27.12.14 Repealing the fox hunting ban is a waste of time - Dan Wilson for Metro.co.uk - Tally-ho. Here we go again. The Conservative party are set to make a manifesto pledge to have a free vote in the House of Commons on lifting the ban on fox hunting with dogs. Didn’t we put this one to bed a decade ago? And in 2014, don’t our politicians have more to worry about than whether a rather small and often immensely well-off group of people, dressed in ludicrous garb, have the right to chase a fox on horseback accompanied by a pack of beagles?... (story)

Dundee Courier 27.12.14 Photo gallery: Fife Foxhounds’ Boxing Day meet - Fife Foxhounds held its traditional Boxing Day hunt at Balcaskie Estate … (story)

26.12.14

Telegraph 26.12.14 Fox hunting set on the scent of a change in the political air - As huge crowds turn out across the country to support Boxing Day hunts, rural voters are looking ahead to the 2015 election and the prospect of Labour’s ban being repealed By Flora Watkins - They started lining the verges leading to the Punchbowl Inn a good two hours before the meet began to get a good vantage point for this most British of festive traditions. By the time some 80 horses and riders, many decked out in tinsel and Santa hats, started assembling alongside the foxhounds and red-coated huntsman and masters of the Surrey Union hunt, around 1,000 foot followers had gathered around the pub in Okewood Hill…. Nigel Farage turned up at his local hunt, the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent’s meet yesterday, looking the part. And it’s why — as revealed in The Telegraph — the Tories are likely to go into the general election in May on a ticket to repeal the ban, in order to counter the Ukip threat, which could see Ed Miliband installed in Downing Street…. Photo: Huntsmen and women enjoy the traditional Boxing Day Crawley and Horsham hunt meet in Shipley, West Sussex (story)
TelegraphTelegraph 27.12.14 Boxing Day hunt meet 2014: in pictures (story)
Telegraph 26.12.14 Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson watches Boxing Day Hunt - Jeremy Clarkson is seen watching the Heythrop Hunt as it rides through Diddly Squat Farm By Lyndsey Telford (story)
Telegraph 26.12.14 Tories to legalise fox hunting if they win 2015 general election By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent - The Conservatives will try to lift the fox hunting ban if the party wins May’s general election. The party will offer a free vote in the next Parliament to legalise hunting if the party wins in May, The Telegraph can disclose. The news has emerged on Boxing Day, traditionally the biggest day of the hunting calendar when thousands of supporters turn out to watch their local hunts…. (story)
Telegraph 26.12.14 The Scots stand in the way of hunting - Today, hundreds of thousands of people will support their local hunts, while a majority of English and Welsh MPs want to repeal the Hunting Act By Sir Barney White-Spunner - Ten years ago, this newspaper was reporting the “last” Boxing Day meets. The Hunting Act had been passed in November 2004 and was due to come into force in February. Hunts clung on to the hope of legal action… Today, something extraordinary will happen – as it has on every Boxing Day since. Hundreds of hunts will meet in towns and villages up and down the country. Tens of thousands will follow hounds on horses and on foot, while hundreds of thousands will come to show their support. The Blencathra, John Peel’s hunt, will meet in Keswick Market Square; the Southwold at Louth Market; the Western at Madron near Penzance; the East Kent and West Street in Elham near Canterbury; and the Pembrokeshire in Castle Square, Haverfordwest… We care passionately about the countryside and conservation. We want hunting acknowledged in its proper place as part of the overall management of our wildlife. That is the challenge to the next parliament and to those drafting future wildlife legislation…. (story)
Telegraph 26.12.14 250,000 people turn out to support Boxing Day hunts By Emily Gosden - More than a quarter of a million people are believed to have turned out to support the traditional Boxing Day Hunt, amid renewed calls for the fox hunting ban to be lifted…. Prince Charles’s favourite hunt, the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, reported thousands more supporters than usual attending and in defiant mood, 10 years on since the ban was imposed… In Thornbury, south Glos., hundreds of people turned out to watch the pre-hunt parade by an estimated 50 riders or more from the Berkeley Hunt, the oldest pack of foxhounds in the country…. Photos: The hounds of the Heythrop Hunt in Chipping Norton town square in Oxfordshire… Two-year-old Ella Hayward-O'Neil takes part in the annual Boxing Day meet of the Vine and Craven Hunt in Lambourn… Members of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt ride to Chiddingstone Castle… (story)

Bournemouth Echo 26.12.14 Hundreds turn out for Boxing Day hunt - HUNDREDS of families were in the New Forest today to see the start of the centuries-old Boxing Day hunt. People came from across the county to see the New Forest Hounds begin their hunt in Brockenhurst…. (story)

Worcester News 26.12.14 Thousands turn out to see Boxing Day hunts in Worcestershire by Lydia Johnson, Reporter - Boxing Day hunts around Worcestershire. Around 2,000 people turned out in Pershore to watch the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt meet in Broad Street this morning, after the hunt also took part in a Christmas Eve meet in Upton while children got the chance to ride on horses and ponies when the Worcestershire Hunt met in Himbleton on Christmas Eve…. (story)

Bolton News 26.12.14 Holcombe hunt rides again by Vickie Scullard - HUNDREDS of spectators gathered at Rivington Hall Barn to watch the annual Holcombe Hunt…. (story)

North West Evening Mail 26.12.14 CROWDS TURN OUT TO SUPPORT BOXING DAY HUNT By Jo Davies - Around 300 people joined joint masters Michael Thompson and Larry Slattery of Cumbria’s Blencathra hunt. Welcoming the supporters huntsman Barry Todhunter and the hounds paraded from Keswick Market Square, to the Cottage Hospital and the Pheasant Inn before heading out onto the lower slopes of Skiddaw… (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.14 Boxing Day hunts: Ten years on since the Hunting Act - Up to 300 boxing day hunts are expected to take place across the UK today - 10 years after the Hunting Act was first passed… (video) (story)

Cambridge News 26.12.14 Masters of Cambridgeshire fox hunt say they won't stop campaigning until Hunting Act is repealed By Gareth McPherson - A master of a Boxing Day hunt in Cambridgeshire says they will not stop their fight against the fox-hunting ban until the law is repealed… The joint master of the Cambridgeshire Hunt with Enfield Chace, which was waved off by hundreds of supporters in Eltisley green yesterday morning, said anti-hunt protesters were following them in three vehicles. He said that meant police attended, which he called a “complete waste” of their resources…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 26.12.14 Hundreds turn out for traditional Vale of Lune hunt by ALLAN TUNNINGLEY - HUNDREDS of people converged on a Lunesdale hotel to enjoy the traditional spectacle of the annual Boxing Day hunt. Dozens of riders in hunting finery assembled with their mounts and foxhounds at the Longlands Hotel, Tewitfield, for the ever popular meet run by the Vale of Lune Harriers…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 26.12.14 Pictures: Banwen Boxing Day Hunt, Castle Hotel, Neath By adrianwhite (story)

Cornish Guardian 26.12.14 GALLERY: Camelford’s Boxing Day hunt - AROUND 40 riders braved the dismal weather in Camelford to take part in the long-running Boxing day hunt… (North Cornwall) (story)

West Briton 26.12.14 GALLERY: Boxing Day Four Burrow Hunt at Carn Brea By WBCaroline - APPROXIMATELY 50 people braved the elements to take part in the traditional Four Burrow Hunt at Carn Brea… (story)

West Briton 26.12.14 GALLERY: Rain does not dampen spirits of Cury’s Boxing Day Hunt By WBCaroline - Riders from across Cornwall travelled to Helston to take part in the Cury's Boxing Day… (story)

Leicester Mercury 26.12.14 Boxing Day hunts: Thousands gather for festive tradition - Two-year-old Rose Cassipi may only be small, but she is already riding tall in the saddle. The youngster, astride her trusty pony Lily, accompanied her mum Tracey Paskins and scores of others who gathered for the Atherstone Hunt Boxing Day Meet in the centre of Market Bosworth…. The county has six hunts – the Atherstone, Belvoir, Cottesmore, Fernie, Pytchley and Quorn. Thousands of people attended the Quorn Hunt meet at Prestwold Hall, near Loughborough, yesterday… (story)
Leicester Mercury 26.12.14 Picture Gallery : Quorn Hunt Boxing day meet at Prestwold Hall (1) (story)
Leicester Mercury 26.12.14 Picture Gallery : Quorn Hunt Boxing day meet at Prestwold Hall (2) (story)
Leicester Mercury 26.12.14 Picture Gallery : Fernie Hunt Boxing Day meet at Great Bowden (story)

Shropshire Star 26.12.14 Thousands out in Shropshire for Boxing Day hunts - Thousands of people gathered to see the traditional Boxing Day hunts get under way… Oliver Dale, joint master of the Ludlow Hunt said: "We see more than 1,000 people easily at the hunt come and support us and we are having between 70 and 100 out on the hunt itself. Meanwhile, thousands also flocked to Newport today to see the meet for the Albrighton and Woodlands Hunt…. Other hunts also took place in South Shropshire, North Shropshire and Tanatside in Welshpool…. (story)

Northern Echo 26.12.14 Fox hunts determined to carry on ten years after ban by Joe Willis - FOX hunts across the region rode out in force today (Friday, December 26) - despite hunting with dogs being banned for almost a decade…. Andrew Spalding, joint master of the Zetland Hunt, says hunts now have more public support than ever and still attract large fields of riders… Gary Watchman is joint master of the South Durham Hunt, which covers a large area from the Wear to the Tees, extending to Bishop Auckland in the west and the coast in the east… (story)

Western Mail 26.12.14 Boxing Day hunts spark debate on Hunting Bill ahead of May's General Election By Peter Collins - Thousands of people braved the pouring rain to turn out for the traditional Boxing Day hunts across the country… The main street in the historic market town of Cowbridge was lined with an several hundred people who braved persistent rain and a chilly wind to watch and applaud the start of the Glamorgan Hunt Boxing Day meet. There were similar gatherings in Tivyside, Pembrokeshire, Flint and Denbighshire, North Wales, and Cwrt Y Cadno in Carmarthenshire… (story)

Express 26.12.14 As thousands gather for Boxing Day hunts Conservatives 'pledge to repeal fox hunt ban' By DION DASSANAYAKE - David Cameron's party will reportedly scrap the Hunting Act 2004 if his party win the next General Election in May…. (story)
Express 26.12.14 Farage on Friday: Labour are trying to turn hunting issue into class warfare By NIGEL FARAGE, MEP - Labour's Jon Ashworth MP has written to me asking that UKIP clarifies its position on this, as he is clearly keen to make an electoral issue of Labour’s ban of 2004. He claims to have written me today asking for a yes/no answer on whether UKIP would seek to repeal the fox hunting ban. But the matter isn’t that clear cut. The decision on the matter should be made at a local level, by the British public… (story)

Mirror 26.12.14 10 years since hunting ban and tally-ho brigade are still prancing around By David Collins - Dressing up in silly costumes and parading around at this time of year is fine if you’re a kid – but this lot should know better. Ten years after the Labour government banned fox hunting with hounds, the horsey set got in the saddle yesterday as around 300 traditional Boxing Day meets were held… (story)

Sleaford Standard 26.12.14 VIDEO - Crowds come out for Boxing Day Hunt in Sleaford - Crowds came out to see the traditional annual Boxing Day Hunt meet in Sleaford today (Friday)…. (Blankney) (story)

South Wales Argus 26.12.14 Monmouthshire Boxing Day Hunt gathers crowds of 1,000 people by Carys Thomas - MORE than 1,000 people crowded the streets of Abergavenny today to see the start of the annual Monmouthshire Boxing Day Hunt…. (story)

Retford Times 26.12.14 PICTURES: Boxing Day Hunt - Crowds flocked to see the traditional start of the Grove and Rufford Hunt's Boxing Day run in Bawtry this morning…. (story)

Grantham Journal 26.12.14 VIDEO: Belvoir Hunt rides into Grantham for annual Boxing Day meet by Graham Newton - Crowds turned out in St Peter’s Hill this morning to see the Belvoir Hunt’s annual Boxing Day meet in Grantham… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.12.14 A decade on the ban, we ask what’s next for hunting in the region? - Ten years ago the Hunting Act had been passed and hunts in the region were setting off before the ban came into force the following February. With a general election looming, political editor Annabelle Dickson asks what impact the ban has had, and if things are likely to change after next May’s election… If the UK Independence Party does hold the balance of power, supporters of the activity should not be too optimistic about the prospects of overturning the ban…. Tim Bonner, from the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, blasted UKIP’s policy, saying it was “possibly the most idiotic policy on hunting that it is capable of imagining”…. View from a hunt – Charles Carter, master of West Norfolk Foxhounds - Charles Carter, master of West Norfolk Foxhounds, said: “Ten years after the act was passed there are still hundreds of thousands of people showing their support – following their local packs on this prestigious Boxing Day meet…. (story)

Western Morning News 26.12.14 WMN Opinion: Time to call a halt to conflict in the countryside - After the frenzied and stress-filled build-up to Christmas and the jollity of the big day, Boxing Day offered a day of rest. Or at least it should have done. And for many people in our region that ‘rest’ meant taking to a horse for a thrilling gallop across the countryside on a day’s exempt hunting, tramping across the fields and through the coverts shooting or beating, or simply taking to the hills in walking boots and waterproofs to hike off the turkey and plum pudding and drink in the great outdoors… And while not everyone wants to hunt or shoot, there is room – or ought to be – for people with wildly different ways to appreciate the countryside to be able to do so without coming into conflict with one another… The WMN has argued ever since the Act was passed – and in every year since – that it is bad law and does not deserve its place on the statute book…. (story)
Western Morning News 26.12.14 Countryside Alliance confident Tories will put free vote on hunt ban repeal in manifesto By WMNPBowern - Hunting will be an election issue next year after the Conservatives yesterday signalled they would again make a free vote on repealing the ban part of their manifesto… (story)
Western Morning News 26.12.14 'Resist pressure to repeal hunting ban' says Conservative group - A Conservative Party anti-hunting campaign group has today called on the Government to resist pressure to repeal the decade old act which bans the sport. On a day which is traditionally the busiest in the hunting calendar, Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, also known as Blue Fox, is demanding the leadership of their party guarantees that the new Conservative Manifesto will not include any pledges to undermine the 10 year old Hunting Act 2004…. (story)
Western Morning News 26.12.14 Hunting 'in good heart' as hundreds turn out for Boxing Day meets across the West By WMNPBowern - Hunts from across the Westcountry braved the rain and cold for the traditional Boxing Day meets yesterday, supported by hundreds of people who turned out to see them on their way. From the Western Hunt which met at Madron, near Lands End, to the East Devon which gathered in Honiton, the Westcountry was well represented on what has become a day of both celebration and defiance by the hunting community since the introduction of the ban, a decade ago. In South Devon the Modbury Harriers had one of the best Boxing Day turnouts for years… The Spooners and West Dartmoor hunt met at the Bedford Hotel in Tavistock before a field of around 50 galloped off… Capt Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Duke of Beaufort’s hunt in Gloucestershire said: "As is usual, 3,000 to 4,000 supporters, from every walk of life in this locality, welcomed the Beaufort hounds to Worcester Lodge, Didmarton today… (story)

The Commentator 26.12.14 Conservatives to lift the ban on fox hunting - The foxhunting ban could be lifted if the Conservatives win a majority next year, according to reports… (story)

Newcastle Chronicle 26.12.14 North East hunts vow to carry on their age-old tradition despite saboteur efforts By Ruth Lognonne - As hunts gather across the region today for the Boxing Day meets, hunting groups have said they face the prospect of private investigators hired to monitor their every move…. Angus Crozier, acting master of the Haydon Hunt, in Northumberland, said the hunt has been hit by saboteurs in recent weeks…. Joint Master Timothy Wyndham Basil Smalley, Huntsman Ian McKie and Kennel Huntsman Andrew Proe, of College Valley and North Northumberland Hunt, were all convicted of hunting a wild mammal with dogs. The trio were secretly filmed by two League Against Cruel Sports investigators as they led a meet in and around West Kyloe Farm near Lowick on Thursday, February 27…. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 26.12.14 As the annual Boxing Day hunts prepare to set off across Suffolk and Essex, UKIP MP Douglas Carswell calls for fox hunting ban to remain in place - Leave the ban on fox hunting alone, UK Independence Party MP Douglas Carswell has said. The Essex MP, who defected from the Conservatives earlier this year, said he believed there were much more pressing issues facing the area, also claiming it was not realistic that his own party’s policy to hold a referendum in each county on the issue would see the ban overturned in Essex… James Buckle, master of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt said: “Douglas Carswell has always been an incredible supporter of us, but the only way to get the hunting act repealed is to get a Conservative majority, so Douglas taking a Conservative seat is not very helpful.”… (story)

Yorkshire Post 26.12.14 Hope for hunt ban repeal if Scot MPs lose vote - HUNT CAMPAIGNERS are plotting to use English-only Commons votes to repeal a ban on hunting with foxes, The Yorkshire Post can reveal. As hunts gather across England today, the Countryside Alliance has confirmed it is hoped that four-and-a-half years of disappointment with the coalition Government can be changed if Scottish MPs are blocked from voting on English-only issues… (story)
Yorkshire Post 26.12.14 Charlotte Cooper: Ten years of hurt but hunts will be out in force - THE start of this year’s hunting season marked a date none of us involved in hunting can ever forget. On November 18, 2004, the Hunting Act was forced through Parliament to fulfil the promise Tony Blair had made prior to the 1999 election…. But wind forward 10 years and here we are again. Hounds are still bred, huntsmen still trained, hunters still bought, the staff of Horse & Hound have not been euthanised and it’s time to bring out the port and sausage rolls for the traditional seasonal spectacle of Boxing Day meets all across Yorkshire once again… (story)

Western Daily Press 26.12.14 Hunting Act must stay, Conservatives tell David Cameron ahead of general election manifesto - No repeal on a ban on hunting with dogs must be included in the Conservatives' general election manifesto, a grassroots campaign group has told the party leadership. As thousands of huntsmen, riders and observers - not to mention sabs - gather on Boxing Day, the group Conservatives Against Fox Hunting - also known as Blue Fox - demanded a guarantee from David Cameron that the manifesto will not include any pledges to undermine the 10 year old Hunting Act 2004…. (story)
Western Daily Press 26.12.14 Boxing Day hunt brings out tens of thousands from Ledbury to Lacock and Exmoor to Cotswolds By TristanCork - Tens of thousands of people turned out across the West Country today to watch the traditional Boxing Day hunts meet in the centre of towns and villages…. At Worcester Lodge, the picturesque gateway to the Badminton Estate on the Wiltshire-Gloucestershire border, the joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, Capt Ian Farquhar was able to see as many as 4,000 people gather to watch the hounds and horses… Further north in Herefordshire, the Ledbury hunt’s 150 members on horseback were surrounded by 5,000 supporters who packed into the town centre… At Lacock, the National Trust village in Wiltshire which so often is turned into a film-set for period dramas, the Avon Vale Hunt were cheered on by around 2,000 supporters…. (story)
Western Daily Press 26.12.14 PICTURES: Avonvale Hunt meet at Lacock for traditional Boxing Day hunt - Western Daily Press photographer Clare Green captured these images at Lacock in Wiltshire this morning. (story)
Western Daily Press 26.12.14 Could English votes rule mean Boxing Day hunt is the 'last under the ban'? By TristanCork - This year’s Boxing Day hunt could be the last under the ban on hunting – with pro-hunt campaigners planning a twin-pronged assault to overturn the ten-year-old legislation…. (story)

Huffington Post 26.12.14 Still Here, Still Hunting, 10 Years On - Tim Bonner Director of Campaigns at Countryside Alliance - This Boxing Day is the tenth since the Hunting Act was passed by Parliament. It came into force six months later. For hunting, and for many people in the countryside, this was the lowest moment, but hunting still thrives despite all the fears and the dire predictions. How is it that an activity that was outlawed after an epic and bitter political campaign has survived?... (story)
Huffington Post 26.12.14 Opposition to Legalising Hunting Remains at All Time High - Michael Stephenson League Against Cruel Sports Campaigns Director - Ten years ago the Hunting Act was passed, making it illegal to hunt foxes, deer and hares with a pack of dogs. That legislation is the most successful piece of wild animal welfare legislation in history with an average of one prosecution a week and a conviction rate of 65%. But the act is not only successful - it is extremely popular. The latest opinion polling from Ipsos MORI released this week shows that 80% of people in Britain think that fox hunting should remain illegal… (story)

Mail 26.12.14 Hunters will use 'English votes for English laws' to have ban repealed: Campaigners believe result of vote to scrap laws would be different if Scottish MPs could not take part By JASON GROVES FOR THE DAILY MAIL - Hunt supporters are plotting to use the drive to introduce English votes for English laws to push through a repeal of the foxhunting ban after the next election…. A strong showing by the SNP – whose MPs do not vote on English-only matters on principle – could have a similar effect…. (story)
Mail 26.12.14 Horses, hounds and crowds: Huntsmen parade through towns and villages for hundreds of traditional Boxing Day hunts today as thousands turn out to show support By STEPHANIE LINNING FOR MAILONLINE and JASON GROVES FOR THE DAILY MAIL… In Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, which lies in David Cameron's Witney constituency, riders of the Heythrop Hunt were greeted by hundreds of excited supporters in the town square… Around 50 huntsmen braved the cold to gather for the Zetland Hunt in North Yorkshire. Hundreds of people lined the streets of the village of Alborough St John… Elsewhere, in Ledbury, Herefordshire, the Ledbury Hunt welcomed some 150 mounted followers and 5,000 well-wishers as they set off on their annual meet… Photos: The Heythrop Hunt (left) ride through Chipping Norton, where David Cameron is MP. Right: A member of Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt… Ukip leader Nigel Farage attends a meet for the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt, left. Right: A young woman with the Zetland Hunt… A rider with the Heythrop Hunt looks distinguished in a top hat (right). Elsewhere, a huntsman with the Ledbury Hunt is pictured on horseback… A member of the Duke of Beaufort Boxing Day Hunt, based in Gloucestershire, looks elegant as she rides side-saddle for the annual event… Four-year-old Hattie Denham (left) and two-year-old Ella Heyward-O'Neil were pictured on horseback at the Vine and Craven Boxing Day Hunt… Dressed in distinctive yellow jackets, riders from the Berkeley Hunt gallop through Thornbury, South Gloucestershire with their hounds… (story)
Mail 26.12.14 Tally ho toddlers! The Boxing Day hunt riders get younger every year as sport attracts a new generation of supporters By David Wilkes for the Daily Mail - Sitting proudly atop their noble steeds, these are some of the baby-faced riders who saddled up for a spot of Boxing Day hunting. While some youngsters decorated their bridles with tinsel, two-year-old Ella Hayward-O’Neill seemed more interested in her sausage roll snack…. (Vine & Craven, Heythrop, Berkeley) (story)

Northumberland Gazette 26.12.14 Claims that hunts support reinforces need for repeal - Support for Boxing Day meets reinforces the need for a repeal of the Hunting Act, the Countryside Alliance has claimed… In the north Northumberland area, there are a number of hunts including West Percy, College Valley and North Northumberland, Border Hunt (which covers the west and into the Coquet Valley) and Morpeth, although most don’t publicise the details of when their hunts are taking place… (story)

Guardian 26.12.14 Labour challenges Cameron and Farage to rule out repeal of foxhunting ban - PM and Ukip leader, both of whom oppose hunting ban, asked to issue pledge amid last Boxing Day hunts before general election - Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent - David Cameron and Nigel Farage are to be issued with a joint challenge to declare that they will rule out any attempt to repeal the ban on foxhunting if they form a pact in the event of a hung parliament…. (story)
Guardian 26.12.14 Leave us ‘toffs’ to hunt legally in peace - Labour’s ban has nothing to do with animal welfare: it is class war directed at the thousands, like me, who will again be out in our red coats today - Melissa Kite - Ten years after hunting was banned, the people in red coats are gathering for their Boxing Day meets as enthusiastically as ever. Thousands from all walks of life will take part in a form of trail hunting in which the pre-laid scent of a fox is followed by the hounds…. Hunting is a niche sport in Britain. But I would argue that opposing hunting is an even more rarefied pursuit. That is because the hatred that consumes the antis has nothing to do with animal cruelty, which is minimal compared with the cruelty that is done to animals in the name of the mass production of cheap food… (story)
Guardian 26.12.14 Boxing Day hunt – in pictures (OSB&WK, Quorn, Heythrop, Beaufort) (story)

Independent 26.12.14 Anti-hunt Tories fear David Cameron will make manifesto pledge to weaken hunting act - JONATHAN OWEN - Dozens of Conservative MPs will rebel against any attempt by David Cameron to repeal the Hunting Act, amid fears that a pledge to weaken the ban on hunting with dogs may be included in the party’s general election manifesto… (story)
Independent 26.12.14 For foxes' sake: Don't let the bloody tradition of the Boxing Day hunt return - If some Tory MPs got their way then foxes being ripped apart for fun could soon become legal once again - MIMI BEKHECHI…. (story)

Farming Life 26.12.14 Children’s Drag Hunt proves a winner - Iveagh Pony Club in association with the County Down Hounds recently held a very successful Children’s Drag Hunt and raised over £1,500 for The Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children… (story)

Breaking News 26.12.14 Animal rights group to push for 'barbaric' fox hunting to be outlawed - Animal rights activists are calling for an outright ban on fox hunting. St Stephen's Day is traditionally a day when enthusiasts around the country engage in the sport. ARAN, an animal rights group, is calling on the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to stamp out what it calls a "barbaric" form of entertainment…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 26.12.14 Fox hunting must be consigned to pages of history - JOHN FITZGERALD By email(letter)
Irish Independent 24.12.14 Consigning hunts to the past - Tis the Season to be jolly - sadly not for the fox. This wild dog of the countryside gets such a raw deal at Christmas. Over the festive holiday, hunts will be out in force… John Fitzgerald Callan, Co Kilkenny Irish Independent (letter)

TOMMY WOODWARD CRITICISED FOR REMARKS ABOUT SUICIDE
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 26.12.14 No investigation into councillor's gun remark - RYEDALE district council members have called for the resignation of a fellow councillor after he made comments that the suicide of a former soldier was “the best use of a gun I can think of”. The comments, made by town and district councillor Tommy Woodward on the Hunt Saboteurs Association Facebook page, were raised at full council last Thursday. Councillor Luke Ives, chairman of the council, said the council had received “an unprecedented number of complaints”, but that there would be no investigation under the council’s code of conduct. He said: “The comments have caused a public outcry. The comments relate to conduct in a private capacity not as a councillor, but in my opinion the comments still have an adverse impact on the reputation of Ryedale District Council and its members.”… (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 17.12.14 ‘I’ll not step down over suicide gun comment’ says councillor Tommy Woodward by Karen Darley - A DISTRICT and town councillor has apologised for comments made about the suicide of a former soldier and gamekeeper, but has said he will not resign over the matter. Tommy Woodward, an animal rights campaigner, posted on the Hunt Saboteurs Association Facebook page that the death of Alan Ellis, from Bacup in Lancashire, was the “best use of a gun I can think of”… “Regarding the question of an apology, I have already apologised to the widow, family and friends of Mr Ellis, because I certainly never intended to upset a grieving family,”… (story)
Mail 14.12.14 Fury as councillor 'mocks suicide of ex soldier as 'the best use of a gun I can think of' By VALERIE ELLIOTT FOR MAIL ON SUNDAY - An anti-bloodsport campaigner and councillor has provoked fury by claiming that the suicide of a former soldier and game hunter was the ‘best use of a gun I can think of’. Thomas Woodward is facing calls to quit over the ‘outrageous’ remarks, which were posted on the Hunt Saboteurs Association’s Facebook page…. (story)
Scarborough News 12.12.14 Ryedale councillor faces calls to quit for “unacceptable” comments about death of game dealer by Andrew Pitt - A Ryedale councillor and anti-hunt protestor is facing calls to resign falling comments he made about the death of a former soldier and game dealer. Cllr Tommy Woodward, who is a member of Pickering Town and Ryedale District Council, has attracted criticisms for comments he made on a news report about the suicide of Allan Ellis, of Bacup, Lancashire. Commenting on Facebook, he said: “Best use of a gun I can think of,” before adding: “If you choose to own a gun and kill for pleasure, then it’s best you kill yourself.” is comments have sparked outrage on social media from hunt supportersand from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and Countryside Alliance… (story)
Shooting UK 12.12.14 BASC calls for councillor’s resignation over comments on shooter’s suicide - Lucy King - North Yorkshire local councillor who published insensitive online comments about the suicide of a popular shooter must resign, says BASC BASC has launched a campaign calling for the resignation of a Yorkshire local councillor after he posted insensitive and insulting comments online about the suicide of a popular and well-respected game butcher, shooter and family man… (story)

Worcester News 26.12.14 We must reduced animal consumption - including fish - I applaud Gary Kibblewhite for his concern about "the lack of humane slaughtering for fish caught at sea" ("Why are fish treated so inhumanely?", WN, December 17th)… I also believe we should do our utmost to end or reduce our consumption of meat, fish and other animal products, not just to prevent animal suffering but also for the sake of the environment, to help alleviate world hunger and to improve our own health. Peter Talbot Worcester (letter)
Worcester News 24.12.14 Just see how these animals are treated - I wasn't asking Gary Kibblewhite (Worcester News, December 17) to join Animal Aid. I first wanted him to view the website then he might see that the welfare standards of farm animals are nowhere near as high as he imagines…. I would ask Gary before he tucks into his rare steak and offal to just see how these animals are treated… Food animals get little respect in life or at their death. MAX BURGESS Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 6.12.14 Be a vegetarian to stop cruelty - Well done to Gary Kibblewhite (Worcester news, November 28) for telling us about the terrible cruelty in the fish industry…. As an animal rights campaigner for 30 years I can assure Gary that we try to help all animals including fish…. MAX BURGESS Malvern (letter)

25.12.14

Mid Devon Gazette 25.12.14 Boxing Day hunt meets across Devon set the scene to repeal the ban - THOUSANDS of hunt supporters are expected to make their once-a-year pilgrimage to enjoy the spectacle of their local Boxing Day hunt this year, as campaigners step up pressure for a repeal of the Hunting Act…. Boxing Day hunt meets - Dulverton Farmers Hunt – Dulverton High Street, Somerset; Dulverton West Fox Hounds – The Poltimore Arms, Yarde Down, South Molton; East Devon Hunt – Honiton Cattle Market, Devon; Exmoor Foxhounds – Old Station Inn, Blackmoor Gate, near Lynton, North Devon; Lamerton Hunt – The Arundell Arms Hotel, Lifton, Devon; Modbury Harriers – The Exeter Inn, Church Street, Modbury; South Devon Hunt – Haytor, Dartmoor; Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt – Bedford Square, Tavistock, Devon; Torrington Farmers Hunt, Torrington town square, North Devon; West Somerset Vale Hunt – Nether Stowey, Somerset… (story)

Worcester News 25.12.14 City's snares policy is a publicity stunt - eter Talbot (Worcester News 21st Nov) clearly doesn't see the irony of Worcester City Councillors banning a badger cull or the use of snares. The City does not control land involving such things so it was merely a publicity stunt, wasting rate payers money…. Jon Burgess Worcester (letter)

24.12.14

Newcastle Chronicle 24.12.14 Hundreds expected at Boxing Day hunt meets across the North East By Ruth Lognonne - Ten meets will take place across the North East this Friday — more than 10 years after the Hunting Act was passed by parliament… Hunts due to take place on Friday morning in Northumberland are the Border, which sets off from the Percy Arms Hotel, Otterburn; Haydon hunt, from the Anchor Inn, Haydon Bridge, Hexham; Morpeth hunt, from the Dyke Neuk Pub, Meldon, Morpeth; Percy hunt, from the Cook and Barker Inn, Newton-on-the-Moor; North Tyne from the Black Bull, Wark; and Tynedale from Corbridge Market Square. In County Durham the Braes of Derwent hunt is to take place from the Queen’s Head, Lanchester… (story)

Western Morning News 24.12.14 Boxing Day hunt meets set scene for a New Year campaign for repeal of the ban By WMNPBowern - Country sports are a big part of Christmas with hunting and shooting on Boxing Day all over the Westcountry. Philip Bowern and Athwenna Irons look ahead to the hunt meets… Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt – Castle Cary, Somerset Dulverton Farmers Hunt – Dulverton High Street, Somerset Dulverton West Fox Hounds – The Poltimore Arms, Yarde Down, South Molton East Cornwall Hunt – Jamaica Inn, Bolventor, Launceston East Devon Hunt – Honiton Cattle Market, Devon Exmoor Foxhounds – Old Station Inn, Blackmoor Gate, near Lynton, North Devon Four Burrow Hunt – Carn Brea, Redruth, Cornwall Lamerton Hunt – The Arundell Arms Hotel, Lifton, Devon Minehead Hunt – The Hobby Horse Inn, Minehead, Somerset Modbury Harriers – The Exeter Inn, Church Street, Modbury South Devon Hunt – Haytor, Dartmoor Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt – Bedford Square, Tavistock, Devon Torrington Farmers Hunt, Torrington town square, North Devon West Somerset Vale Hunt – Nether Stowey, Somerset (story)

Western Daily Press 24.12.14 Hunt followers to make a point on Boxing Day By Philip Bowern and Athwenna Irons - Thousands of hunt supporters are expected to make their once-a-year pilgrimage to enjoy the spectacle of their local Boxing Day hunt this year, as campaigners step up pressure for a repeal of the Hunting Act…. In the West Country a majority of hunts will be meeting at pubs and village squares on Boxing Day morning to give local people a chance to meet the hounds, show their backing for hunting and see off the field for a day of trail hunting… Vote OK, the political lobbying group which gives election support to candidates who pledge to vote to reverse the hunt ban is already gearing up for May's general election… (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 24.12.14 PHOTO GALLERY: Cattistock Hunt Christmas Eve Meet at Inpark By Mblazeby - Cattistock Hunt prepared for their annual Christmas Eve hunt at Inpark by decorating their horses with tinsel and antlers… (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 24.12.14 Hunt group wins backing of MEPs by Nicky Lyons - THE hunting community has welcomed the news that the sport will continue to be an important topic in Europe with the re-establishment of the Hunting Intergroup in the European Parliament…. A quarter of a million people are expected to turn out on Boxing Day to support hunts on their biggest day of the calendar for the traditional Boxing Day meet…. (story)
Horse & Hound 17.12.14 Hunting to remain key topic in Europe - The hunting community has welcomed the news that the sport will continue to be an important topic in Europe with the re-establishment of the ‘Hunting Intergroup’ in the European Parliament. The Parliamentary Intergroup on Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside is a group of MEPs from across the political spectrum who have an interest in the issues. As is normal, the Intergroup was dissolved before the 2014 European Elections, but with hard work from the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) — including the Countryside Alliance — it has now been reformed…. (story)

23.12.14

Leicester Mercury 23.12.14 Hundreds of spectators expected as Leicestershire and Rutland hunts meet on Boxing Day By Tom_Mack - Hundreds of people will be heading out into the countryside on Friday for the Boxing Day hunts. Four hunts will be meeting in Leicestershire and Rutland for the annual event this year. On Boxing Day the Fernie Hunt will be meetings in the centre of Great Bowden, Market Harborough, the Quorn Hunt will meet at Prestwold Hall, Prestwold Lane, Loughborough, the Atherstone Hunt will meet in the centre of Market Bosworth and the Cottesmore Hunt will meet in Cutts Close, Oakham…. (story)

Horse & Hound 23.12.14 Denman and Big Buck’s take to the hunting field together - Amy Mathieson - Former stable-mates Denman and Big Buck’s were reunited on the hunting field yesterday (Monday 22 December). The pair — who were formerly trained in Ditcheat by Paul Nicholls — were back in Somerset having a day with Blackmore and Sparkford Vale… (story)

Horse & Hound 23.12.14 Zara Phillips: ‘I use hunting to educate my younger horses’ - Madeleine Pitt - World Equestrian Games silver-medallist Zara Phillips is fortunate to be based in rolling Gloucestershire hills at Gatcombe Park …“I use hunting as a way of educating younger horses — getting them out, getting them jumping and getting them galloping,” she says.... (story)

Guardian 23.12.14 From the archive, 23 December 1978: Hunt enthusiasts in pursuit of the voter - Labour’s demand for blood sports to be banned has spurred advocates of foxhunting into action - Richard Norton-Taylor - Dedicated huntsmen this Christmas will be pursuing not only the uneatable fox. They will be after MPs in particular, and members of the public in general, in an attempt to convince doubters that their sport is honourable, enjoyable and, indeed, humane… (story)

Western Daily Press 23.12.14 Poaching will not be tolerated in Wiltshire say police - Three men have been reported under the Night Poaching Act after being found by police officers poaching without permission of the land owner. The incident took place at 1am on Saturday, December 20, in Royal Wootton Bassett… Wildlife and rural crime officer PC Marc Jackson said: “This is a good result for Wiltshire Police and shows that we take rural crime seriously…. (story)

Surrey Advertiser 23.12.14 See moving moment lost dog is reunited with her owner By Becca Taylor - A relieved dog owner was reunited with her pooch just in time for Christmas thanks to Hydestile animal rescue in Godalming. Graham Cornick and his team at the animal centre received a call on December 11, about a dog in Horsham… Laura Bell, who works for the League Against Cruel Sports, co-ordinated the safe capture of the dog and brought her over to Hydestile, after hearing about the dog from a family member… (story)

Worcester News 23.12.14 Worried about animal traps in the wrong hands - I was very concerned to read about the theft of traps from Pershore mole catcher Michael Pincher… Even correct use of traps causes death and possible suffering to moles, of course, but, thankfully, there is a Mole Advice Sheet available from Animal Aid at http://tinyurl.com/AnimalAid-Moles that gives information on non-lethal ways of dealing with mole activity… Ronald Lee Communications Officer Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies (story)

22.12.14

Western Morning News 22.12.14 Passionate defender of the hunting tradition fights for rural way of life By WMNPBowern - Solicitor Jamie Foster is the go-to lawyer for huntsmen accused of breaking the law and has enjoyed significant success for his clients. He tells Philip Bowern defending the rural community is more than just a job… (story)

Telegraph 22.12.14 Diary: The day a fallen angel left me seriously exposed in the middle of nowhere - A horrendous hunting spill made me realise I must attend a first aid course, and soon. By Marcus Armytage - Following an incident on Friday my New Year’s Resolution is to go on a first aid course. It is just so blindingly obvious if you are involved with horses. I was out for a day with the Ledbury Hunt at Tweenhills Stud, Hartpury… (story)

Dundee Courier 22.12.14 Search for puppies stolen from Perthshire gamekeeper spreads across the UK By Kirsty Topping - Investigations into the theft of puppies from a Highland Perthshire gamekeeper have stretched as far as Wales. Tayside police officers investigating the incident, in which six yellow labradors were taken from kennels at Killicrankie, have been liaising with Heddlu Dyfed Powys after an advert offering similar dogs free of charge appeared online. The puppies were almost five weeks old at the time of their theft, which occurred overnight on December 11/12, and three further puppies were found dead at the scene…. (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 22.12.14 Animal activist takes Labour nomination for Bexhill and Battle - ANIMAL activist Michelle Thew has been selected as the Labour Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for Bexhill and Battle…. (story)
Kent & Sussex Courier 10.4.14 Animal activist takes Labour nomination for Bexhill and Battle - ANIMAL activist Michelle Thew has been selected as the Labour Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for Bexhill and Battle. Ms Thew is the current chief executive of global charity Cruelty Free International and was selected by members of the party in the ward, which covers places including Ticehurst, Robertsbridge and Heathfield…. (story)

21.12.14

Horse & Hound 21.12.14 New badge released in support of hunting - Amy Mathieson - A new badge to show support for hunting has been designed by the Countryside Alliance to show that a decade on from the ban we’re “Still here, still hunting”. Henrietta Rutgers of the Alliance’s hunting campaign said: “This badge is a celebration of hunting and signifies the strength of this great tradition which continues to survive 10 years on from the introduction of the Hunting Act. All proceeds from the sale of this badge will go directly to the Hunting Campaign, which continues to fight for repeal of this unjust and unworkable law.”… (story)

Horse & Hound 21.12.14 12 ways hunting in Ireland differs from the UK - Polly Portwin - Nearly everyone that has looked through the adverts in the pages of H&H will have seen the words “Irish hunter” or “hunted in Ireland” — and may have had the opportunity of going across the Irish Sea to buy a horse either privately or at auction. But what about the actual hunting? Is it the same wherever you are in the world or does it vary from country to country? I made the the trip to find out… (story)

ANIMAL AID REINDEER LETTER
Scotland on Sunday 21.12.14 Reindeer are not for Christmas - Claudia Tarry, Animal Aid, Tonbridge (story)
Kent & Sussex Courier 17.12.14 Should real reindeer be used at Christmas? This Tonbridge woman says no - DECEMBER is a wonderful time of the year for children to feel the magic at Christmas. But one Tonbridge woman is concerned about the use of animals in parades, grottos and other festive activities, particularly reindeer, to create the magical illusion. Claudia Tarry, of Animal Aid in Bradford Street said: “It is worrying to see the increased use of real reindeer in Christmas parades, Santa’s grottos and other festive activities…. (story)
Belfast Telegraph 17.12.14 Exploitation of reindeer wrong - CLAUDIA TARRY Animal Aid (letter)
Bournemouth Echo 15.12.14 Reindeer can’t just be ‘props’ -IT IS worrying to see the increased use of real reindeer in Christmas parades, ‘Santa’s grottos’ and other festive activities. It is undoubtedly fun for young ones to see animals from films and storybooks in the flesh. However, uprooting reindeer from their natural habitat, bringing them to a life of captivity in the UK, transporting them up and down the country and subjecting them to the stress of being on public display causes reindeer significant health and welfare problems… Claudia Tarry, Campaigner, Animal Aid (letter)
Argus 13.12.14 Stop exploitation real reindeer - Claudia Tarry, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

20.12.14

Sussex Express 20.12.14 Change of tack for Boxing Day Hunt in Lewes - The spectacle of the Boxing Day Hunt will return to Lewes with a difference this year. A small group of around 20 riders will gather outside the White Hart on the High Street at 11am while the rest of the riders will form up in Brooks Road. Then at 11.20am they will join the rest of the group outside the White Hart and ride up the High Street towards the racecourse on the South Downs. It can be quite stressful for horses being in such close proximity to hundreds of people and organiser the South Downs and Eridge Hunt is hoping this will make the popular event for riders, spectators and horses… (story)

Telegraph 20.12.14 Sending a signal to the countryside? By Matt Warman, Head of Technology - It’s a frustration with which every mobile phone user is familiar: travel just a few miles outside a major city and signal disappears… This week, however, all the major mobile operators announced a deal with the government and the regulator Ofcom to increase coverage to 90 per cent of the UK’s landmass for simple voice and text calls, and to some 85 per cent for web access, by the end of 2017… The CLA, which represents rural land and business owners, also said that the announcement “will leave thousands of homes and businesses with the prospect of poor or no mobile phone coverage for years to come.” President Henry Robinson argued that national roaming could have provided better solutions for rural areas, but the Countryside Alliance said the reform of rules governing how and where masts can be built for new infrastructure was something it had long campaigned for… (story)

Western Daily Press 20.12.14 Badger cull offences dealt with by Avon and Somerset police listed including alleged theft of a racoon - Police have released details of incidents officers dealt with in and around the designated badger cull area in West Somerset earlier this year. Avon and Somerset police acted on 108 incident reports, of which 13 of the complaints were from protesters, in the six weeks to October 20. They included reports of violence, incidents involving fireworks, criminal damage to vehicles, obstructing a highway and interference with a badger sett… (story)
Western Morning News 20.12.14 Police release details of more than 100 badger cull incidents - Westcountry police received 108 incident reports during the badger cull in West Somerset, including 13 complaints from protesters, new figures show…. They include four reports of violence against a person - relating to firework incidents - six of criminal damage to vehicles, obstructing a highway, interfering with a badger sett and criminal damage to a camera and common assault. The majority of incident reports related to theft or damage to badger cage traps. The police said - 69 in total. Also reported were eight reports related to organised pheasants shoots - two of which were dual reports with badger cage damage - five complaints about violence against the person, six reports of criminal damage and two of malicious communications…. (story)

19.12.14

Horse & Hound 19.12.14 250,000 expected to support Boxing Day meets - Sophia Heath - A quarter of a million people are expected to turn out this time next week (26 December) to support hunts on their biggest day of the calendar — the Boxing Day meet. More than 300 meets will take place across the country next Friday — more than 10 years after the Hunting Act was passed by parliament…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 19.12.14 Iconic brown hares also protected by hunting act - RATIONAL and sensible MP Caroline Dinenage (pictured below), unlike others, has proved to be living in the 21st century by airing her support for the Hunting with Dogs Act. One of the animals benefiting from this legislation is our iconic, but appallingly persecuted brown hare… JOHN RIMINGTON, BSc, Technical Liaison Officer Hare Preservation Trust. (letter)

Irish Independent 19.12.14 Hare coursing disgraces Ireland - With dozens of animal baiting fixtures to be held over Christmas, a stark reminder of just how anomalous and out of date our animal cruelty laws are has been provided by the conviction of four men earlier this month for hare coursing in Cambridgeshire, England… By contrast, here in Ireland hare coursing is permitted by law and supported by some leading politicians… John Fitzgerald Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Bristol Post 19.12.14 Reader's letter: Lion Ark so inspiring – now let's ban animals in circuses in the UK - I ATTENDED a showing of the film Lion Ark at the Arnolfini recently. The film tells the true story of the efforts of members of the charity Animal Defenders International (ADI) to rescue 27 maltreated lions from illegal circuses in Bolivia. It is a heart-warming and triumph- ant tale, where all the animals end up safely in an animal sanctuary in the USA… All credit to Bristol City Council and all the other 200 plus councils who have banned animal circuses from their land. However, without a national law, such circuses can still set up on private land throughout the nation… Gil Osman Shirehampton (letter)

Bristol Post 19.12.14 Reader's letter: Think about having a compassionate Christmas - THE holiday season is a time for spreading peace, goodwill and compassion yet around the world turkeys, pigs, ducks, rabbits and other animals are exploited and killed so that people can eat them, wear them and buy products that were tested on them. It shouldn't be this way. Animal Aid's 'Compassionate Christmas Guide' shows that it is possible, in fact easy, to enjoy all the fun of the festivities in animal-friendly style…. Claudia Tarry Campaigns, Animal Aid (letter)

18.12.14

Hereford Times 18.12.14 Boxing Day Hunt by Gary Bills-Geddes - THOUSANDS of people are expected in Ledbury High Street on Boxing day for a great festive tradition, the meeting of the Ledbury Hunt…. (story)

Horse & Hound 18.12.14 Denman flying in his new career - Amy Mathieson - Denman is “loving his hunting” and settling in well to his new career, his rider Charlotte Alexander has told H&H. This season the 14-year-old has really got to grips with his new sport and is proving a popular sight on the hunting field, flying over hedges and ditches… (story)

Western Morning News 18.12.14 Badger cull: target exceeded in Somerset but just 45% killed in Gloucestershire By GDemianyk - The Government is to press ahead with culling badgers to tackle TB in cattle after a programme in Somerset has shown the policy can be “effective”. Some 341 animals were shot dead in the west of the county in the second year of a four-year “pilot”, well over the minimum target of 316. However, a second scheme in Gloucestershire saw 274 badgers removed, just 44.5% of the 615 target, though ministers blamed “extensive unlawful protest and intimidation” for marksmen falling short…. (story)
Guardian 18.12.14 Government admits badger cull could fail to reduce bovine TB - Controversial cull will continue despite government admitting for the first time that the Gloucestershire cull may prove unsuccessful due to low number of badgers killed… The Gloucestershire pilot failed dramatically, as predicted by the Guardian in October, killing fewer than half the minimum number required. In Somerset, the minimum target was met, but the target has been criticised as “rubbish” and “unbelievably easy” by a leading expert…. Professor Rosie Woodroffe… (story)

17.12.14

Farmers Weekly 17.12.14 Court trial begins for anti badger cull activist - James Brewster - A protester has appeared in court accused of flouting an injunction designed to protect farmers involved in the badger cull… In court on 15 December the NFU claimed that activist, Jay Tiernan of the Coalition of Badger Action Groups, had shown a “wilful and serious” disregard for the injunction order…(story)

Western Morning News 17.12.14 I was appalled to read on the internet that this uncaring Government along with the pro badger cull dairy farmers are considering culling badger cubs, as they consider them an easy target in the unscientific bovine TB policy… Andrew Williams West Country Badger Patrol Group, Corsham, Wiltshire (letter)

Surrey Mirror 17.12.14 Naked animal rights protestor from Earlswood wins acclaim - AN ANIMAL rights activist who has been prepared to strip off to help put her message across has won a national award. Natalie Spencer has been at the forefront of some of the most eye-catching protests in recent years. Last month the 20-year-old was among dozens of campaigners who took part in a naked protest in Trafalgar Square…. This and other publicity stunts have resulted in her winning a volunteer award from campaign group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)… (story)

16.12.14

Gloucestershire Gazettte 16.12.14 Hounds and horses in Chipping Sodbury by Bethany Wash - HOUNDS and horses filled the streets of Chipping Sodbury during the Duke of Beaufort Hounds’ annual Christmas meet. The Beaufort Hounds held their traditional season meet in the town centre on Wednesday, December 10 at 10.45am attracting a large crowd of townspeople who wished to meet the hounds… (story)

Wells Journal 16.12.14 Wells reader: ‘Accidentally’ chasing a fox - I WAS intrigued by the report and picture in the Journal a fortnight ago of the master of the Mendip Farmers Hunt leading a pack of hounds across a river by boat. Supposedly the hunt operates legally by following a “drag” or scent trail, so presumably the person leaving the trail has taken up swimming or else the trail would have used the nearby bridge. Perhaps the hounds were “accidentally” chasing a fox having picked up the natural scent of a fox when following the trail…. To continue on by leading the hounds across a river by boat demonstrates a clear intent as there was obviously no attempt to stop the pursuit at the river… Adrian R Coward West Horrington, Wells (story)

Kent Messenger 16.12.14 Dartford Golf Club pauses fox cull after thousands sign petition condemning the action - Golf club bosses have agreed to pause a cull of foxes on their land after thousands condemned the action online. A leaked email of minutes from a Dartford Golf Club meeting revealed their decision to let a marksmen slaughter fox families with a shotgun to “prepare our bunkers to a satisfactory standard”. However, Matthew Streets, general manager of the club, has now announced that “no further activity will now take place” until a policy review early next year…. (story)

15.12.14

Western Mail 15.12.14 11 dogs rescued from remote gorge near Machynlleth after being unable to climb back to the top By Alicia Melville-Smith - Aberdyfi search and rescue team haul animals to safety after they reached the bottom and couldn't climb back up… The dogs belong to a local hound pack who were on the hillside for a trailing exercise. They had scrambled into the gorge but having reached the bottom they could not climb back up…. (story)
Daily Post 15.12.14 Eleven dogs rescued from gorge in Aberdyfi By David Powell - Aberdyfi search and rescue team haul animals to safety - but mystery remains as to just how they got there… (story)
BBC News Online 15.12.14 11 dogs rescued at gorge near Aberystwyth - Eleven dogs from a hunt pack have been rescued after becoming trapped in a gorge near Aberystwyth… The hunt organisers called police to report that the dogs had become stuck on a cliff… (story)

Western Morning News 15.12.14 Stumped for what to buy a real country lover? Books are always a good choice - Books make a perfect present for Christmas and books for country lovers are always welcome. Philip Bowern previews what’s on the shelf for the rural sportsman or woman. People with hobbies and interests are apparently easy to buy for… The truth, however, as anyone with an abiding interest of almost any kind will tell you, is rather different… Quiller Publishing, based in Shrewsbury, specialises in country books and has a selection of new and established titles on offer this Christmas, some of which are available to WMN readers at a discount… (story)

Worcester News 15.12.14 What about cruelty to turkeys? - 'd like to thank Gary Kibblewhite ("Humane treatment of fish is needed", WN, November 28th) for drawing attention to the horrific suffering that fish undergo when caught by trawlers. Fish are sensitive, aware creatures who experience pain just as much as any other animals and it is appalling that they should be caught and killed in such a cruel way… Around 15 million turkeys are slaughtered throughout the year in the UK, with most of them having been reared in cramped conditions in large, windowless sheds… Ronald Lee Communications Officer Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies (letter)
Worcester News 6.12.14 Be a vegetarian to stop cruelty - Well done to Gary Kibblewhite (Worcester news, November 28) for telling us about the terrible cruelty in the fish industry. They really are the forgotten victims. However he seems to think that the Christmas turkey has a good life, I suggest he goes on the Animal Aid website to see how they are reared and slaughtered… MAX BURGESS Malvern (letter)

14.12.14

Independent 14.12.14 If Prince William wants to be a conservationist, then he must stop shooting - SIMON BARNES - He wants to do his bit for nature, but the bagging of grouse – which he enjoys – has reached damaging levels… The Prince has been in America talking about elephants and rhinos. It's reckoned that 35,000 elephants get poached every year for their ivory and 1,000 rhinos for their horn… Killing birds of prey is against the law. So it's not a good thing for a future king to be associated with. Grouse-shooting has plenty of rich, powerful, well-connected defenders who ignore the facts and say conservationists are being unreasonable… I'm not opposed to shooting. I'm opposed to breaking the law… (story)
Mirror 12.12.14 'Prince William HAS to stop being a hypocrite - especially when it comes to animal cruelty' - Prince William has attacked the Chinese for their animal cruelty, but has he got any right to criticise, asks Mirror columnist Brian Reade… Speaking at the World Bank on Monday, Prince William attacked them for their role in wildlife crime, accusing them of being major players in “one of the most insidious forms of corruption in the world” which is done to satisfy man’s “craving for trinkets.” Words that leave the future monarch wide open to accusations of hypocrisy (and I’m not merely talking about having a dad who parades more trinkets on his chest than the worst tin-pot dictator.)… this is someone who, in February, went with his brother to the Duke of Westminster’s 37,000-acre hunting estate in Spain to shoot wild boar and stag. On a previous visit to his godfather’s Spanish killing fields, the princes were said to have bagged 740 partridge in a day… (story)

Liverpool Echo 14.12.14 Giant BEAGLE created to support campaign against “immoral and unacceptable” animal experiments - An adorable giant Beagle made in Liverpool hopes to put an end to the “immoral and unacceptable” breeding of the dogs for live animal experimentation… Lovingly made by 41-year-old Gareth Price and his team, building mastermind Paul Adams and designer Gordon Webber, the group spent nearly six months working on the pooch for campaign group ‘Save the Harlan Beagles’. Gareth told the ECHO: “I’ve worked on a lot of different projects, but this one was particularly different. We learnt so much about the experiments on these dogs, and hopefully he can help make some difference….

(story)

13.12.14

RALLY FOR NATURE
Telegraph 13.12.14 Britain would be big enough for the hen harrier and the grouse if it weren't for politics - RSPB activists advance concealed agendas under the banner of uncontroverisal causes By Charles Moore - In Westminster on Tuesday, there was a Mass Rally for Nature. You cannot be blamed if you didn’t notice it, because the “mass” element was missing. Only 350 people took part. This might seem surprising. After all, the rally was backed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which claims more than a million members. Less than 0.04 per cent of its membership turned up. This compares unfavourably, for example, with the Countryside March in 2002 against the hunting ban, which was attended by more than 400,000 people – at that time the largest march ever held in Britain… The prime mover of the (non-)Mass Rally for Nature seems to have been Dr Mark Avery. He is an expert campaigner and Labour supporter who used to be the RSPB’s director of conservation… (story)
Western Morning News 10.12.14 Wildlife groups unite in Rally for Nature to lobby Parliament - The Westcountry is famed for its landscapes and natural environment, but sometimes the soft underbelly otherwise known as the countryside can be seen as a soft target for politicians chasing economic growth – which is why a diverse band of charities and other groups have decided to march in London. It is estimated that many hundreds of people from across the country will join the Rally for Nature to march to Parliament and challenge MPs from the major parties to make firm commitments for wildlife and the environment in their 2015 election manifestos… (story)
Birdwatch 9.12.14 Mass nature rally in Westminster - Hundreds of conservationists are rallying at the Houses of Parliament today to awaken politicians and try and get them to take nature seriously…. This event is a collaboration between the RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, the League Against Cruel Sports and nature conservationist and Birdwatch columnist, Dr Mark Avery, who wrote about the event in his column in our December issue. Rally For Nature is also supported by Butterfly Conservation, the Ramblers and the Mammal Society….. (story)
23Ecologist 9.12.14 Rallying for wildlife - we need a Nature and Wellbeing Act - Martin Harper / RSPB - MPs will be lobbied today by wildlife supporters desperately concerned at the declining state of Britain's nature, writes Martin Harper. Despite clear warnings that both 'protected' sites and threatened species are faring badly, politicians find it all too easy to look the other way. Hence the need for a Nature and Wellbeing Act.… (story)
Yorkshire Post 28.11.14 Are we guilty of taking the natural world for granted? - Amid fears Yorkshire’s natural resources are being under-valued, Sarah Freeman reports on the campaigners who are taking their fight to Westminster…. In a little over a week it will be the turn of environmentalists who are heading to the capital with the aim of pushing the natural world higher up the political agenda. The Rally for Nature is a collaboration between the RSPB, the country’s Wildlife Trusts, the League Against Cruel Sports and conservationist Dr Mark Avery and hopes to highlight the need to defend xisting laws which protect sites of special scientific interest. The event will also call for a greater emphasis on detecting wildlife crime and prosecuting those responsible and the introduction of a Nature and Wellbeing Act… (story)
Cheddar Valley Gazette 10.12.14 Nature 'needs Somerset people' By cfayfineran - A group of nature conservation, wildlife and animal welfare charities are calling on people in Somerset to visit the Houses of Parliament next week to help put nature firmly on the political agenda. On Tuesday, hundreds of people from across the country are joining the Rally for Nature…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 13.12.14 Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust launches its 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count - John Grant - A national initiative has been launched in East Anglia to record and study the farmland birds which rely on the biodiversity of Britain’s agricultural landscapes. Leading figures from the agriculture sector and representatives from several nature conservation groups gathered on an environmental “exemplar” farm to start the build-up to the Big Farmland Bird Count 2015. The count, the second to be organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), is scheduled to take place between February 7 and February 15 and the research charity is asking farmers, landowners, birdwatchers and gamekeepers to take part…. (story)

Worcester News 13.12.14 It's important that animals are protected from cruelty - Jon Burgess, who appears to oppose any effort to protect animals from cruelty, is incorrect when he states that Worcester City Council does not control land where snares might be set… He is wrong that it is Green Party policy to abolish angling, because that is not the case, although personally I would very much like to see it unlawful to stick hooks through the mouths of feeling creatures. To its credit, the party would abolish shooting for so-called "sport" and I'm wondering if the contribution to conservation that Mr Burgess attributes to the shooting community includes the killing of birds of prey by gamekeepers!... Peter Talbot Worcester (story)

Scotsman 13.12.14 Fury as marksman shoots for allotment rabbits by SHÂN ROSS - ANIMAL activists have criticised Edinburgh city council for employing an armed marksman to shoot rabbits overnight at an allotment site hemmed in by public footpaths and only yards from Fettes College…. Louise Robertson, campaigns officer at animal protection charity OneKind, said: “It’s outrageous that Edinburgh city council is killing rabbits in response to such a minor problem…. Rabbits can in fact benefit allotments with the natural fertiliser they produce…" (story)

12.12.14

DEVON & SOMERSET STAGHOUNDS CHARGES DROPPED
Mid Devon Gazette 12.12.14 Taxpayers pick up the bill for failed prosecution of huntsmen - THREE members of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds (DSSH) facing charges based on allegations made by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) have had full costs awarded from public funds after the prosecution collapsed… (story)
Western Morning News 10.12.14 Hunt members wrongly accused by League Against Cruel Sports win legal costs By WMNPBowern - Three members of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds (DSSH) who had charges brought against them based on allegations made by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) have had their full costs awarded from public funds by a District Judge…. At the costs hearing in Yeovil the DSSH's lawyer, Jamie Foster of Foster and Griffin, argued that LACS was responsible for the costs of the failed prosecution. He said LACS knew that the DSSH were taking part in a study of deer in the area, where LACS's own land, as the animal welfare group had been invited to participate in the study and its own stalker had taken part…. Tim Bonner, Director of Campaigns at the Countryside Alliance, said: "It is quite right that the three innocent men who were charged in this case should have their costs met but it is disgraceful that taxpayers should be picking up the bill…. (story)
Western Daily Press 25.11.14 Anti-hunt 'zealots' slammed for 'hopeless' case against Devon & Somerset Staghounds By TristanCork - Lawyers representing one of the West’s most prominent hunts has hit back at the ‘zealots’ who brought a ‘hopeless case’ against them for illegal hunting – which was dropped after the hunt claimed they were chasing deer for ‘research and observation purposes’…. (story)
Western Daily Press 25.11.14 VIDEO: Controversy as Devon & Somerset Staghounds conduct 'research' by chasing and killing stag By TristanCork - This is part of the video evidence presented by the League Against Cruel Sports to the police and Crown Prosecution Service. It shows the Devon and Somerset Staghounds riding out in October last year on Exmoor. The hunt was initially prosecuted for illegal hunting, but after 11 months and numerous court appearances, the huntsman and two joint-masters were cleared after the CPS dropped charges against them… (story)
Western Morning News 24.11.14 Why the League's case against three hunters was always doomed to failure - Solicitor Jamie Foster specialises in defending country sports cases. Here he explains the flawed case against three members of Devon and Somerset Staghounds, which recently collapsed…. These three men had been charged with hunting unlawfully following a massively expensive covert surveillance operation conducted by the League Against Cruel Sports. It is a case that highlights the extraordinary waste of court time and resources that are always involved in hunting cases…. (story)
Horse & Hound 19.11.14 Charges against Devon and Somerset Staghounds dropped - Amy Mathieson - Charges against a West Country hunt have been dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The charges related to alleged incidents of hunting with dogs against the huntsman and two joint-masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds… (story)
Western Daily Press 15.11.14 Charges against three Somerset huntsman is dropped at last stage before going to trial - The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that all charges against Devon and Somerset Staghounds' huntsman Donald Summersgill and joint-masters Rupert Andrews and David Greenwood have been dropped… (story)
Western Morning News 14.11.14 Charges against members of Devon and Somerset Staghounds are dropped By WMNPBowern - The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that all charges against Devon and Somerset Staghounds’ huntsman Donald Summersgill and joint-masters Rupert Andrews and David Greenwood have been dropped… Countryside Alliance director of campaigns Tim Bonner said: “This case has always been fundamentally flawed and the decision to bring charges was very difficult to understand. “Avon and Somerset CPS have brought three prosecutions based on LACS covert surveillance in the past two years and all three have now failed… (story)
BBC News Online 14.11.14 Devon and Somerset Staghounds illegal hunting charges dropped - No charges will be brought against three members of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds accused of illegally hunting stags. Huntsman Donald Summersgill and joint hunt masters Rupert Andrews and David Greenwood faced charges relating to alleged incidents of hunting with dogs. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said their cases were dropped after new evidence came to light. It dismissed the charges after consulting Avon and Somerset Police… (story)
Western Daily Press 10.9.14 Somerset stag hunters face trial as Cumbria case dropped By TristanCork - Three leading members of one of the West’s biggest hunts will stand trial next year on charges of breaking the ban on hunting. The two joint masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews, are charged with one count of illegally hunting a deer during a meet at Warren’s Farm in Simonsbath on Exmoor almost exactly a year ago, on September 14, 2013…. The Countryside Alliance has consistently called for the case to be dropped, and yesterday were calling for a review of the way the CPS is bringing prosecutions for illegal hunting, after a case in Cumbria collapsed. Edward Liddle, the huntsman with the Melbreak Hunt, had been charged with illegal hunting back in March, but earlier today the CPS dropped the charge… (story)
Western Gazette 18.6.14 Concerns raised over Somerset hunt case as Countryside Alliance goes to Attorney General - The Countryside Alliance is to write to the Crown Prosecution service to object to the way a case against a hunt is being pursued. A letter is to be sent to Dominic Grieve, the UK's chief law-maker, to complain that the CPS in Bristol is 'relying on a pressure group' in a court case which has seen three members of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds put in the dock charged with illegal hunting…. (story)
Shooting UK 18.6.14 Countryside Alliance challenges CPS over influence of antis - Laura Nineham - The Countryside Alliance is challenging the Crown Prosecution Service's decision to consult the League Against Cruel Sports before it decides whether to follow through with a prosecution… (story)
North Devon Journal 18.6.14 Countryside Alliance hits back over League Against Cruel Sports consultation by Crown Prosecution Service - AN anti-hunt group has been consulted over the prosecution of three hunt members, causing the Countryside Alliance to hit back. The group hit out at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after it revealed it planned to consult with the League Against Cruel Sports over whether to proceed with a prosecution of three hunt members… (story)
Western Morning News 16.6.14 Countryside Alliance questions role of anti-hunt campaign group in deciding if prosecution should proceed By WMNPBowern - The Countryside Alliance has hit out at the Crown Prosecution Service after it revealed it planned to consult with an anti-hunt group over whether to proceed with a prosecution of three hunt members. Tim Bonner, the Alliance’s director of campaigns, has called on the Attorney General Dominic Grieve to intervene after Avon and Somerset CPS wrote to the solicitor representing three members of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds telling him they would consult with the League Against Cruel Sports before deciding whether to continue with the prosecution…. (story)
Western Daily Press 14.6.14 Hunt officials accused of flouting ban - The court case against three officials of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, who face allegations of illegal stag hunting, was adjourned again yesterday when the three appeared before magistrates in Taunton. Joint masters David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews are charged with hunting a wild mammal with a dog, contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act, in relation to an alleged incident during a hunt meet at Warren's Farm, Simonsbath, on September 14, 2013… (story)
Western Gazette 13.6.14 Illegal hunting case adjourned to go before district judge in Yeovil - The case against three members of the Devon and Somerset staghounds, has been adjourned until July 29 when the case management hearing will be heard by a District Judge at Yeovil Magistrates’ Court… (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 28.4.14 Devon and Somerset Staghounds trio deny illegal stag hunting in court - THREE officials of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds denied allegations of illegal stag hunting when they appeared before Magistrates at Taunton on Friday… (story)
BBC News Online 25.4.14 Devon and Somerset Staghounds trio deny illegal hunting - Three members of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds have appeared in court charged with illegally hunting stags…. (story)
Western Daily Press 25.4.14 Devon and Somerset Staghounds trio deny illegal stag hunting in Taunton court - Three officials of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds denied allegations of illegal stag hunting when they appeared before Magistrates at Taunton today. Joint Masters David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews are charged with hunting a wild mammal with a dog, contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act, in relation to an alleged incident at a hunt meet at Warren’s Farm, Simonsbath, on September 14 2013. David Greenwood faces a second charge of hunting a wild mammal with a dog, contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act, along with Huntsman, Donald Summersgill ,in relation to a separate incident alleged to have taken place on October 24 2013… After pleas were taken the cases were adjourned until May 30 (story)
North Devon Journal 16.4.14 Devon and Somerset Staghounds masters court hearing postponed - A court hearing involving the joint masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds has been postponed until Friday, April 25 at 10am… (story)
Western Daily Press 9.4.14 Devon and Somerset Staghounds always 'hunt within the law' - The chairman of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds has said it always hunts within the law and members are: "perplexed" by decisions to prosecute the joint Master and Huntsman… (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 8.4.14 Joint master of Devon and Somerset Staghounds charged with second hunting offence - THE joint master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds has been charged with a second illegal hunting charge. David Greenwood is due to appear before Taunton Deane Magistrates Court on Friday, April 25 along with huntsman Donald Summersgill…. (story)
Western Daily Press 7.4.14 Devon & Somerset Staghounds charged with illegal hunting a second time By TristanCork - One of the West’s biggest hunts has been charged with breaking the ban on hunting for a second time and now faces the prospect of fighting two court battles simultaneously. The joint master of the Devon & Somerset Staghounds, David Greenwood, has been charged with breaching the ban in late October last year, and will appear before magistrates later this month…. (story)
Horse & Hound 16.3.14 Devon and Somerset masters in court -2 joint-masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds are to appear in court, charged with an offence under the Hunting Act. David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews will appear at Taunton Magistrates Court on 11 April to face an allegation of hunting a wild mammal with dogs… (story)
Western Morning News 4.3.14 Two are charged with illegal hunting after Staghounds meet - Two joint-masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds have each been charged with one offence under the Hunting Act. David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews are due to appear before Taunton Magistrates Court on April 11 to face an allegation of hunting a wild mammal with dogs. The case, which relies on evidence from the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), relates to an alleged incident following a meet at Warren’s Farm in Simonsbath on September 14, 2013… (story)
Western Daily Press 4.3.14 Devon & Somerset Staghounds charged with illegal hunting By TristanCork - Two of the West’s leading huntsmen have been charged by state prosecutors with illegal hunting following an incident in Somerset last year. David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews, the two joint-masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, will appear before magistrates in Taunton next month charged with a Section 1 Hunting Act offence, following an incident during a meet in Simonsbath, on Exmoor, on September 14 last year…. (story)
Cheddar Valley Gazette 4.3.14 Somerset and Devon Staghounds, David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews, charged with illegal hunting By cfayfineran - David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews, two of the West’s leading huntsmen have been charged by state prosecutors with illegal hunting. Following an incident in Somerset last year, the two joint-masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds will appear before magistrates in Taunton next month charged with a Section 1 Hunting Act offence… (story)
North Devon Journal 4.3.14 Barnstaple pair to appear in court after being charged with hunting offences By NDJFran - A pair of joint masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds from Barnstaple have been charged with hunting offences. David Greenwood and Rupert Andrews have been charged under the Section 1 Hunting Act and are due to appear before Taunton Magistrates Court on April 11. It relates to an alleged incident at a hunt meet at Warren’s Farm in Simonsbath on September 14, 2013. The pair are charged separately with hunting a wild mammal with a dog when that hunting was not of a class exempted by schedule 1 of the Hunting Act 2004, contrary to sections one and six. A report was made to Avon and Somerset Police by the League Against Cruel Sports following an investigation… (story)

Farming Life 12.12.14 Fine day out for Route Hunt at Ballymoney - On Saturday 6th December, Route Hunt members and visitors gathered in the courtyard at O’Harabrook Estate, Ballymoney for their weekly hunt…. (story)

Oxford Mail 12.12.14 Animals forced to move to build people’s homes - Badgers are losing their homes at an alarming rate. All around the country people are fighting developments which they feel are changing their communities forever… Take for example a small area of land on Webbs Way in the conservation area of Kidlington. Badgers had been living there happily in a well-established badger sett of 30-plus holes until the MD of Pye homes put in, and won, an application to build a home over the badger sett… Julia Hammett Oxfordshire Badger Group (letter)

Bournemouth Echo 12.12.14 Incredible cost of badger cull - It cost £5,215 to kill each badger during the 2013 culls, according to official government figures reported in the Daily Telegraph recently… Surely even those most in favour of this can now see that this policy makes no economic sense and that the only humane and long-term solution is a better testing and bio security regime, and badger vaccination. JANE ALTOUNYAN, Ashbourne Road, Bournemouth (letter)

Independent 12.12.14 Peta wants Nottingham to be renamed 'Not-Eating-Ham' for Christmas - ROISIN O'CONNOR - In another move that no one can explain, animal rights group Peta has sent a letter to a Nottingham councillor demanding that he change the name of the city to 'Not-Eating-Ham' for Christmas. Peta hopes that Nottingham residents will embrace the festive spirit by shunning the tradition of eating anything from pigs in waistcoats made of bacon to a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird; instead choosing from the many 'delicious' non-animal options for Christmas dinner….

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Nottingham Post 12.12.14 Will Nottingham be renamed 'Not-eating-ham' for Christmas? By Jemma Page - ANIMAL rights campaigners have asked Nottingham City Council to change the city’s name for Christmas – to Not-eating-ham. The unusual request comes from PETA who sent a letter to Councillor Jon Collins asking the council and Nottingham residents to ‘embrace the spirit of the season’ by choosing a meat-free option for Christmas Day dinner… (story)

11.12.14

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE BROADBAND TESTING PROGRAMME
Lynn News 11.12.14 West Norfolk web users urged to back campaign to resolve poor web links - People in West Norfolk are being encouraged to take part in a scheme that campaigners hope will identify more of the problems faced by residents using broadband connections in rural areas. The Countryside Alliance has teamed up with technology company Actual Experience to run a programme which they hope will help users find solutions to their problems…. (story)
Northumberland Gazette 6.12.14 Partnership aims to improve rural broadband - The Countryside Alliance is calling on residents in rural areas to help identify broadband problems… the Countryside Alliance has teamed up with technology company Actual Experience’s BbFix project to help broadband users find answers to their problems…. (story)
Shropshire Star 5.12.14 MP urges Shropshire residents to test local broadband service - Philip Dunne MP today urged people across South Shropshire to test their broadband service and help Ofcom identify areas requiring further investment. The Countryside Alliance presented an easy-to-use software tool to MPs in Parliament this week. It has teamed up for the BbFix project with the technology company Actual Experience, who were commissioned by Ofcom to provide evidence on addressing the quality of UK broadband… (story)

Portsmouth News 11.12.14 Candle-lit vigil held to oppose animal testing by Ben Fishwick - PROTESTERS objecting to animal testing held a candle-lit vigil on an international day of action. Members of Stop Wickham Animal Testing met outside Wickham Laboratories’ site in Barwell Lane, Gosport. Helen Nelson, 90, from the group said the use of animals was archaic and should have stopped years ago…. Photo: Jeannette McClunan, Tristan McClunan and Helen Nelson from Stop Wickham Animal Testing (story)

10.12.14

Warrington Guardian 10.12.14 Campaigners fear fox hunting could be made legal - A GROUP from Cheshire campaigning against cruelty to animals braved plummeting temperatures at the weekend to hand out 600 leaflets to shoppers in the town centre over the potential threat of the Hunting Act being repealed. FACCT fear if the Conservatives win the General Election in May they will try to make fox hunting legal again. Spokesman for the group, Dr Chris Clayton (pictured), a 52-year old industrial scientist, said “Hunting with packs of dogs is cruel, unnecessary and illegal…. (story)

Standard 10.12.14 Setting the record straight on birds - It is regrettable that the UK’s largest bird welfare charity does not seem to understand the law over killing wild birds to prevent serious damage or disease (December 3)… The RSPB spokesman quoted in your story is wrong when he says Mr Marchington has to prove that he has explored alternative forms of control before resorting to shooting these birds … James Legge, head of political affairs, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Evening Standard 2.12.14 Activists hit out at 'deranged' video guide for Londoners on how to kill parakeets - RACHEL BLUNDY - Animal rights activists have hit out at a "deranged" online video guide for Londoners on how to kill parakeets in their back gardens. A short film created by hunter James Marchington for the Fieldsports Channel shows him shooting ring-necked parakeets after creating a dummy bird to entice them…. A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds criticised the video's creators for glorifying hunting… A spokesman for animal rights charity PETA condemned the video today, saying it was 'deranged.'… (story)

9.12.14

Leicester Mercury 9.12.14 A sure way to put people off hunting- Colin Pitchfork's former primary school teacher (Mailbox, November 11) shows concern because she did not act on the information from his classmates that he was cruel to animals. Elizabeth Allison (Mailbox, November 14) wrote that she had heard of a hedgehog being kicked round a school playing field like a football…. G Wright Licester>(letter

Aberdeen Press & Journal 9.12.14 RSPB in courtroom wrangle - Scotland’s national bird charity is at the centre of a courtroom wrangle over the use of “covert surveillance” as evidence against a man alleged to have killed or injured birds of prey. A pre-trial hearing on the admissibility of RSPB Scotland’s secretly obtained footage took place in Aberdeen yesterday in advance of the trial of George Mutch./… (story)

Sheffield Star 9.12.14 Animal welfare campaigners can count on Israel’s support - I share the concern of Michael Maas for the plight of circus animals. I travelled to Cheshire to take part in a peaceful, good-humoured protest against the ill-treatment of Annie, an elderly circus elephant… Paul Hurt by email (story)

8.12.14

Western Morning News 8.12.14 MPs' support for hunting still strong - It’s clear that Mr Forsyth (In My Opinion, December 2) has bees in his bonnet on a number of issues judging by the volume of letters he writes to the Western Morning News. It would take too much time to pick apart the misinformation he generally employs in his arguments, however we do need to take issue with one statistic he dreamed up for his most recent missive. The suggestion that support for hunting and rural issues amongst MPs has fallen is way wide of the mark…. by Charlotte Cooper Head of media relations Countryside Alliance (letter)

Lancashire Evening Post 8.12.14 Walkers are true custodians - Those who kill for sport often defend their actions by saying they are true country folk, guardians even, of a landscape that townies don’t understand. Nothing could be further from the truth. I walk regularly up the Grizedale valley… The pheasant shooters drive down the valley in a convoy of 4x4s, and park halfway down where they’ve made themselves a nice little car park on what used to be grass. It’s now a quagmire which covers the track and the vehicles are sometimes left completely blocking what remains of the track. It’s a mud bath for a blood bath…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Telegraph 8.12.14 Londoners call in snipers to shoot dangerous urban foxes - By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor - Foxes are becoming such a pest for London homeowners that they have begun calling in snipers…. (story)

Western Morning News 8.12.14 Families facing crisis in finding affordable homes as targets widely missed By WMNlynbarton - Affordable housing exists in name only for thousands of people in the Westcountry, according to a campaign group which says targets are so widely missed they are tantamount to meaningless. A study compiled by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) examines housing allocation plans up to 2030 and draws out the number which, according to guidelines, should be made affordable for lower income families…. The Countryside Alliance said they had real concerns about a lack of affordable housing in rural areas like Devon and Cornwall…. (story)

BBC News Online 8.12.14 Australian foxes are pests not pets, NSW declares - Foxes have been officially declared a pest in New South Wales but there is concern people are taking them as pets… Foxes are estimated to be responsible for about A$227.5m (£121m) of damage to Australia's environment and economy…. (story)

Mail 8.12.14 Like a slice of Rudolph for Christmas lunch? Animal rights campaigners are furious at Lidl for stocking reindeer meat. But what does it taste like? By ZOE BRENNAN FOR THE DAILY MAIL - Normally, they are to be found pulling Santa’s sleigh over roof-tops to the delight of countless children. But this festive season, reindeer can be found in a much more mundane location — stacked in packs in the deli aisle of a budget High Street supermarket. For Lidl, whose dramatic price-discounting has lured shoppers away from its rivals, is selling smoked reindeer meat this year among its Christmas delicacies… Justin Kerswell, of the animal welfare and vegetarian group Viva!, is also concerned that wild predators of reindeer, such as wolves and bears, are shot to protect supplies for retailers…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 8.12.14 Call for CCTV in slaughterhouses - THE campaign for mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses received celebrity backing last week, with Ricky Gervais sharing links to an important campaign petition on the government's website…. KATE FOWLER Animal Aid (letter)

7.12.14

Southern Daily Echo0 7.12.14 Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has labelled the hunting ban a success and urged protestors to end their fight to reinstate the bloodsport by Rob Merrick - A HAMPSHIRE Conservative MP has declared the hunting ban “a success” and urged pro-hunters to abandon efforts to bring back the bloodsport. Caroline Dinenage, the Gosport MP, criticised opponents of the ban who trotted out the “same arguments”, a decade after it was introduced.. . (story)

ANIMAL AID COLD WEATHER LETTER
Derbyshire Times 7.12.14 No need to kill furry visitors - By Kate Fowler, Animal Aid. (letter)
Bournemouth Echo 27.11.14 Remember the animals - As cold weather approaches, we should be aware that wild animals may search for warmth and sustenance in our homes… Animal Aid would encourage people who do find a squirrel in their attic or a mouse in their kitchen not to panic and call in ‘pest’ controllers… Kate Fowler Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

6.12.14

Yorkshire Post 6.12.14 Sarah Lee: Service that goes where private mail firms won’t … In the UK we are very fortunate to have what’s known as the Universal Service Obligation (USO). This is an agreement enshrined in legislation that guarantees a six-day-a-week postal service to all parts of the UK for the same price… In many parts of the country – particularly rural areas – the Royal Mail can only defray the cost of delivering mail by using revenues generated from urban and suburban areas. And if these easy routes have already been bagged by the private firms, it makes business very difficult… Sarah Lee is head of policy at the Countryside Alliance. (story)

PETA DAIRY ADVERT
Nottingham Post 6.12.14 Post readers say Peta poster is 'indecent' - SEVEN out of 10 Post readers believe the poster that Peta put up near the Notts County football ground was "indecent"… (story)
BBC News Online 6.12.14 An animal rights group has been branded "misogynistic" for using a sexually suggestive image of a woman in an anti-dairy products advert…. A spokeswoman for the ASA said four people had complained because the billboard was sexual and placed near a football stadium where it was likely to be seen by children… (story)
Independent 4.12.14 Anti-dairy campaign billboard poster by Peta removed from public for being too sexual - A "cheeky" poster in a Peta campaign against the consumption of dairy has been pulled from display after only one day following complaints from a local football club. The billboard image shows a startled woman whose face has been drenched in a white liquid substance next to the words "Some bodily fluids are bad for you. Don't swallow. Ditch Dairy." The poster has been displayed at the junction of Meadow Lane and Iremonger Road in Nottingham and will be removed by tomorrow after Notts County Football Club lodged complaints as they said it is "not in keeping with [their] community and family-focused values."… (story)
Nottingham Post 4.12.14 Animal rights group PETA ordered to remove 'indecent' billboard in Nottingham - By Alexander Britton - Animal rights campaigners have been ordered to take down an “indecent” billboard poster after a request from Notts County Football Club - only one day after it was put up… People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are behind the poster and said it was “cheeky”, but passers-by disagreed…. (story)

5.12.14

Western Daily Press 5.12.14 The horn toots... we're off hunting - I was in two minds about going hunting last Saturday right up until the very last minute. In my head, you see, I am the sort of horsewoman who belts across the countryside with a hip flask full of sloe gin in one hand and a smile of gay abandon on her carefree face. In reality, however, I am nearly 50, not a terribly good rider and extremely prone to attacks of the nerves…. I should perhaps add in here, that we were trail hunting, all totally within the law, and not chasing foxes. Just in case anyone is sharpening their pen to complain… For three days afterwards, I could hardly walk and, when ridden again, Dusty was prancing on the spot like a Grand National racer. There is another meet this weekend. I think I'm going… (story)

Mail 5.12.14 Why becoming a vegetarian really IS just a phase: 84% go back to eating meat again - many within just three months By MADLEN DAVIES FOR MAILONLINE - Some people give up meat for health reasons, others because of their principles. But a new study has shown many can't resist a bacon sandwich for long, as the majority of people who turn vegetarian eventually go back to eating meat. New research found 84 per cent of vegetarians and vegans went back to eating meat. More than half (53 per cent) start eating meat again within a year, and almost a third (30 per cent) relapse within just three months… (story)

Nottingham Post 4.12.14 Alexander Britton: Crass poster is off-target - ADVERTS are pretty easy to ignore in this day and age…. But there are times when adverts are less easy to miss, and bizarrely it's one of the older forms of advertising that is harder to avoid... The humble billboard… Now, Peta are no strangers to controversy… the slogan "some bodily fluids are bad for you" and the depiction of what this newspaper tactfully described as "the aftermath of a sex act" appeared to provoke bemusement or disgust, rather than sympathy for more ethical treatment of animals… I think in this case, people just felt it was a bit crass… (story)

Isle of Thanet Gazette 4.12.14 Port protesters: 'Police cocking a snook' at IPCC By Tom Barnes - KENT Police will continue to enforce current restrictions on live animal export protests at the Port of Ramsgate, despite a police watchdog ruling the force was wrong to impose similar curbs in 2012… Mr Bell said: "It seems that the Chief Constable is cocking a snook at the IPCC decision… (story)

4.12.14

FISHING 4 SCHOOLS
Dorset Echo 4.12.14 Award in Fishing 4 Schools Project - Dylan Walsh, an 18-year-old pupil from Yewstock School in Sturminster Newton is celebrating after being recognised for his commitment to and enthusiasm for the Fishing 4 Schools Project. Dylan was amongst 28 young people from around the country who were invited to an awards ceremony at The House of Commons on Monday, October 27. He was presented with a certificate and medal by Kate Hoey, Countryside Alliance Chairman and Charles Jardine, Director of the Fishing 4 Schools programme… (story)
ThisIsWiltshire 15.11.14 Devizes youngsters catch award - Amy Silk, 13, and Lorna Bishop, 16, who attend Canon’s House children’s home in Devizes, were among 28 young fishing fans at the Fishing 4 Schools Champions Awards at the House of Commons recently. At the ceremony on October 27 both girls received a medal and certificate from Countryside Alliance chairman Kate Hoey MP and Fishing 4 Schools programme director Charles Jardine… (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 4.11.14 Field and Stream - national angling award for Dylan, 18 By Dadcock - Dylan Walsh, an 18-year-old pupil at Yewstock Community Special School in Sturminster Newton, travelled to the House of Commons last week to receive an award in recognition of his achievements in angling. The young fisherman was presented with a Fishing 4 Schools (F4S) Champion’s Award by Countryside Alliance chairman Kate Hoey MP and F4S director Charles Jardine…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 4.12.14 Badger cull protesters form sett patrol groups in Gloucestershire over fears of illegal trapping By Michael_Yong - Worries illegal baiting and trapping of badgers months after the cull has ended have prompted protesters to form new patrols… Paul Smith, from Hatherley, is a spokesman for one of the groups operating in Newent. Having spent nights walking the countryside with Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS) group during the cull, he now spends his time checking badger setts in the area…. (story)

Derby Telegraph 4.12.14 ETHICAL SHOPPING: Hundreds expected at St Peter's Church, Derby, on Saturday - HUNDREDS of people are expected to visit an ethical shopping event in Derby. The fourth annual Compassionate Derby event will take place on Saturday at St Peter's Church on St Peter's Street from 10.30am to 4.30pm. The organiser of the event, Natalie Rocca, said: "We have more than 50 stalls from a variety of ethical businesses, animal rescues and campaigning groups… (story)

3.12.14

Westmorland Gazette 3.12.14 Ullswater hunt meets at Lakeside venue for first time in 160 years by ALLAN TUNNINGLEY …. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 28.11.14 Ullswater hunt meets at lakeside venue for first time in 160 years - THE Lake District’s historic Sharrow Bay Hotel has revived a tradition dating back more than 160 years by hosting a lawn meet of the Ullswater Foxhounds… (story)

Horse & Hound 3.12.14 Were you out with the Cottesmore or the Towy & Cothi? [PICTURES] - Polly Portwin - From one of hunting’s most popular hunt countries in Leicestershire to a small pack inWales that hunts more often on foot than they do on a horse, the H&H hunting correspondents continue to visit hunts around the country to find out exactly what fun can be had. We find out who the characters are and how the hunt operates from week to week. Were you out with either the Cottesmore or the Towy & Cothi recently when our reporter and photographer came to visit? If so, why not take a look at some of the pictures below to see if you can see yourself or anyone you know…. (story)

STV 3.12.14 Pets targeted by airgun attacks almost 200 times in one year - Pets and wild animals were targeted in airgun attacks almost 200 times in just one year, an animal charity has revealed. Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Michael Flynn told MSPs the charity dealt with 178 incidents in which cats, dogs and other animals were targeted with the weapons in 2012… Jennifer Dunn, from the League Against Cruel Sports, said she believed figures are under-reporting the number of animals, particularly domestic cats, being targeted…. (story)

Telegraph 3.12.14 Police offer £10,000 reward to catch middle class anarchist - Bristol anarchist Huw Norfolk is believed to have set fire to a mobile phone mast and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a newspaper office By Victoria Ward - Police have placed a £10,000 bounty on the head of a middle class anarchist suspected of causing more than £100,000 worth of criminal damage. Huw Norfolk, 27, is the son of a poet and a nuclear energy advisor who have been questioned by police and are helping with the investigation. Their son, who is known as "Badger", has been on the run for three years and is suspected of carrying out an arson attack and causing criminal damage a newspaper office during the August 2011 riots…. (story)
Bristol 3.12.14 Police reveal they are investigating 100 anarchist attacks in the Bristol area 0 POLICE investigating the activities of anarchists groups in the Bristol area have revealed they are linking 100 vandal and arson attacks in and around the city. The news has come at the same time as emerged they are offering a £10,000 reward to help track down a suspected anarchist they are looking for in connection with a number of vandal attacks in the Bristol area. As reported in the Bristol Post shadowy anarchist and animal liberation groups have claimed responsibility for at least 60 attacks in and around the city… And the police have revealed they want to speak to Huw 'Badger' Norfolk in connection with two of the vandal attacks… (story)

2.12.14

Western Morning News 2.12.14 In my opinion: Has countryside lobby lost the support of Middle England? By Graham Forsyth, Chard - With the upsurge in minority pressure groups and the use of social media, all MPs and prospective candidates are under immense pressure to deal with the volume of campaign material now involved…. Now any political pundit or election strategist will tell you that Middle England is basically conservative with a small ‘c’ and see themselves as fair and honourable minded people and keen to help and support the right causes. This translates into being members of the National Trust, Wildlife Trusts, RSPCA and RSPB,… I am sure that Middle England does not want to see stags hunted or dolphins slaughtered and will not vote for those that do!... (story)

Western Morning News 2.12.14 Destructive foxes must be controlled - Recent correspondent Graham Forsyth shares a typical naive and blinkered view of the fox, one of the world’s commonest and widest-spread vermin. Last week, we suffered a sole fox incursion which destroyed three of our rare breed poultry and also of a peacock on a different day…. We did not see or hear anything on either occasion. I have a rifle and shotgun but to dispatch this vermin you have to see it. I should like a hunt to come here and track and rid us of this pestilence… Perhaps Mr Forsyth will come up here and sit for a week with a gun to provide the humane dispatch and respect he espouses… As for foxes keeping vermin levels low – they have made no impact into rat populations at all… I am far happier with owls and hawks keeping rodent populations down. I should happily push the button which eliminated the very last fox in the South West… Philip J Milton, Trimstone (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 2.12.14 Animal rights charity backs plans to break-up large sporting estates - Animal right campaigners have backed Scottish Government proposals to break up large sporting estates. The League Against Cruel Sports claims the scrapping of tax breaks will help stop game birds being “blasted out of the sky” and the persecution of other animals…. (story)
Northern Times 1.12.14 League against Cruel Sports supports government's proposed end to rates relief on sporting estates - The charity particularly welcomes the end to business rates relief for shooting estates, which will generate around £7 million a year and, more importantly, stop the special tax arrangement given to the blood sport. However, the League would also like to see more detail on the change that allows Scottish Ministers to intervene in certain circumstances… (story)

1.12.14

Western Morning News 1.12.14 Hunt saga is inseparable from the story of Tiverton - A History of The Tiverton Foxhounds by Jeremy Whitehorn is more than just a history of the hunt – it tells the story of a rural community through the ages. Here, the author sums up its aims. The book is an affectionate (but authorative) history of the hunt – started in about 1825 by a Mr Worth of Worth House, Tiverton… (story)

Irish Independent 1.12.14 Wily fox is a great human ally - The old saying that 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' should be applied to one of the most maligned creatures of the Irish countryside: the fox. At this time of year foxes are under relentless attack from both trigger-happy gunmen and tin-pot aristocrats on horseback…. John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Mail 1.12.14 Palace defends Prince Edward in shooting photograph where he appears to be aiming close to his son, 6, and insists perspective is 'misleading' By CLAIRE CARTER FOR MAILONLINE - Buckingham Palace has defended a photo which appeared to show Prince Edward aiming a shotgun over the head of his six-year-old son. In the image James, Viscount Severn, appears to be standing a few feet away and in front of his father as he takes aim at a pheasant on the Sandringham Estate. However the Palace said that the perspective of the photograph makes it look like Viscount Severn was standing almost directly in front of his father as he aimed his gun, when he was actually to his side and perfectly safe… (story)
Sunday Express 30.11.14 - PRINCE Edward was branded “totally reckless” and “grossly negligent” last night after being photographed aiming a gun close to his young son’s head. By CAMILLA TOMINEY - The extraordinary image shows the Earl of Wessex sighting the powerful double-barrelled shotgun just over six-year-old James, Viscount Severn, who is standing in front of him. The picture, taken yesterday on the Queen’s Sandringham estate, appears to show the 50-year-old royal breaking the cardinal rule of shooting, to never point a gun in an unsafe direction…. (story)