December 2015

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(*)- added since last update


31.12.15

Ipswich Star 31.12.15 It’s time supporters of hunts accept times have changed - Paul Geater - You always get hunting stories in newspapers and on television news reports at this time of the year... But this time there doesn’t seem to have been anywhere near as much bluster and bravado from hunt supporters as we have seen in previous years... It seems to me that many hunters have now accepted the rules have changed and they can still have a good time galloping across the countryside without it finishing with a fox being killed... (story)

Staffordshire Newsletter 31.12.15 Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt to host new year gathering tomorrow By Kerry.Ashdown - A SOUTH Staffordshire hunt is celebrating New Year's Day tomorrow with a meet in Uttoxeter. Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt will meet at the market place at 11am... (story)

LACS ACCUSES HUNT OF KEEPING CAPTIVE FOX
Western Daily Press 30.12.15 Hunts warned over secretive world of 'producing' foxes By TristanCork - Hunts across the West were warned they were being watched last night, as anti-hunt campaigners pledged to target the secretive world of hunt workers keeping, raising or feeding foxes. The warning came after claims of yet another case of an apparently wild fox being kept captive in a barn in the days before a hunt was due to meet locally... In the most recent case, LACS investigators said they received a tip-off earlier in December about a fox being kept in an outbuilding on the land of the Buckminster Estate on the Leicestershire-Lincolnshire border.... (story)
Grantham Journal 30.12.15 ‘Captive’ fox released from Stainby building by League Against Cruel Sports - Police have been informed of an incident in which a fox was allegedly kept captive in a brick building in Stainby, on land owned by Buckminster Estate, in the days prior to a meeting of the Belvoir Hunt nearby. The League Against Cruel Sports said it was tipped off about the fox and one of its members released it. Theincident was reported to police. A spokesman said: “Suspicions were raised when our team noted that the Belvoir Hunt, which meets within a mile of the building, were due to hold a hunt on Thursday, December 17... A hunt spokesman said: “The Belvoir Hunt has no knowledge or involvement in this matter. They absolutely reject any suggestion that this has anything whatsoever to do with any of its staff or members.”... (story)
Huffington Post 30.12.15 The Disappearing Fox - A New Year's Hunting Mystery? - Tom Quinn League Against Cruel Sports Director of Campaigns - The UK's hunts traditionally meet on New Year's Day, an event that attracts crowds... At the League Against Cruel Sports we have a team of investigators, who work hard to ensure that animals aren't being harmed or killed in the name of 'sport'. Earlier this month, they received a tip off - one or more foxes were being kept in an unused brick building on the land of a country estate in the East Midlands.... Our investigators went to the building and sure enough, there was a fox... On the day before the hunt was due to meet, a man arrived, checked in on the fox, then left. We had what we needed, so we moved in... Back at the building, on the morning of the hunt, the man reappeared. He was carrying an empty sack, and a pole with a net attached. Clearly he had come to collect the fox....(story)

Derby Telegraph 31.12.15 Fox hunting: Ex-Derby MP Chris Williamson offers an alternative to the blood sport -Former Derby North Labour MP Chris Williamson points out that most people would be against making fox hunting legal again – and suggests an alternative - BOXING Day marks the highlight in the fox-hunting calendar when its supporters try to put on a show for the public... there is evidence that some trail hunting is used to provide a false alibi for illegal hunting... The writing is on the wall for illegal fox hunters and drag hunting is the obvious humane alternative.... (story)

Cambridgeshire News 31.12.15 Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen’s hunt stance is welcomed By Julian Makey - Opposition to any weakening of the law against fox hunting from South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen has been welcomed by the League Against Cruel Sports. The MP is one of more than 50 from the Conservative Party who have said they would vote against a repeal of the ban on hunting.... (story)

Western Morning News 31.12.15 Another quiet year in the countryside - apart from all the arguments... By Philip Bowern - From rows over grouse shooting to clashes on the hunting field, 2015 has been a busy year for rural affairs Philip Bowern looks back on country issues.... . Hunting – the number one cause of anger among the animal rights lobby, despite more than a decade of the ban – is still subject to the Hunting Act with little sign, in the short term of David Cameron’s promised free vote on repeal. Prosecutions for illegal hunting petered out in November and none are currently pending. Grouse shooting, which some wildlife campaigners would like to go the same way as hunting, remains legal and, for the most part, in good health however... (story)

Western Morning News 31.12.15 Hunting for truth in hungry hounds' tale - The frenzied invasion of high-street stores by rampant consumerism contrasts with the traditional hunting meets, still enthusiastically supported. Many who attend or view the proceedings are probably mindful of the fallacious comments in the letter send by Graham Forsythe on December 24. concerning ‘bloodthirsty starved hounds’. It is simply not true... I would like to wish Mr Forsythe and all other contributors well for the New Year and thank your paper for allowing us to express our views. by Roger Mason Slew (letter)
Western Morning News 24.12.15 Screams of cruelty in our countryside - As someone in the South West who has been monitoring hunts since the hunting ban came into force it is rather sad that what Jordi Casamitjana stated in his IFAW report is so true. Just about every hunt goes out with a squadron of quad bike loaded with metal rods, picks, shovels, root cutters and of course terrier-men with their terriers in boxes!... by Graham Forsyth Chard (letter)

2015 COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE AWARDS (continued in January 2016)
Cambs Times 31.12.15 Sheena makes it to finals of ‘rural Oscars’ with her narrowboat tours that offer a fresh perspective on the Fens - A businesswoman who set up a narrow boats tour of the Fens from her home in March Riverside, Upwell, has made it to the national final of the Countryside Alliance Awards, known as the Rural Oscars. Sheena Hartley said: “I’m a finalist in the tourism enterprise category, and I’ve been invited to a reception at the House of Lords in London next April.... (story)
Northern Echo 25.12.15 Customers push buffalo farm shop towards Rural Oscar - A FAMILY-run farm which offers tours and meat products associated with the Wild West is set to compete against the country's elite local food retailers for a Rural Oscar. The owners of Langthorne's Buffalo Products, which is based on a 400-acre farm in Brompton, near Northallerton, will join finalists at the climax of the Countryside Alliance Awards at the House of Lords in April…. (story)
Smallholder 22.12.15 Cornwall businesses finalists in the 2015 Rural Oscars - St Tudy Community Shop and Post office and Padstow Farm Shop are among the finalists in the 2015 Countryside Alliance Awards (aka the Rural Oscars) which will be announced at the House of Lords in the Spring… (story)
Lynn News 17.12.15 Burnham Deepdale’s Dalegate Market shortlisted for national award - Dalegate Market in Burnham Deepdale has been shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious national Countryside Alliance Awards… (story)
Sussex Express 16.12.15 Firms recognised at ‘Rural Oscars’ - Drusillas Park and Harvey’s Brewery have been named finalists in the 2015 Countryside Alliance Awards…. (story)
Shropshire Star 14.12.15 Shropshire firms make 'Rural Oscars' shortlist - Businesses from Shropshire are among the finalists in the 2015 Countryside Alliance Awards. Shrewsbury Food Festival and Battlefield 1403 shop and café on the outskirts of Shrewsbury are among the finalists out of thousands nominated in this year’s awards… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 11.12.15 Haughley Post Office, John Hutton Butcher from Earl Soham and Ben’s restaurant in Bury St Edmunds among Countryside Alliance Awards finalists - Duncan Brodie - Three Suffolk businesses have been named among the finalists in the 2015 Countryside Alliance Awards, described by their organisers as the “Rural Oscars”. But Haughley Post Office, John Hutton Butcher from Earl Soham and restaurant Ben’s in Bury St Edmunds will have to wait to find out whether they have won until next spring, when the results are due to be announced in a ceremony at the House of Lords… (story)
ThisIsTheWestcountry 11.12.15 Burnham's Food and Drink Festival shortlisted for prestigious Countryside Alliance Awards - Congratulations are in order as the famous Burnham Food and Drink Festival has reached the final stage in the Countryside Alliance Awards…. (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 11.12.15 Family butchers and party house make last 20 of national rural business awards - TWO Mid Devon businesses are preparing for a trip to the House of Lords next spring after being named as finalists in the 2015 Countryside Alliance Awards, Veysey's Butchers of Cullompton and Loyton Lodge near Tiverton are the two small businesses which will be flying the flag for Devon competing against businesses from across the country in the contest billed as the Rural Oscars…. (story)
Evesham Observer 30.10.15 Get nominating for ‘rural Oscars’ Written byJoshua Godfrey - A RALLYING call has been made by Evesham’s MP to urge residents to nominate local businesses in the countryside’s answer to the Oscars. The annual Countryside Alliance Awards, also dubbed the ‘Rural Oscars,’ are now open for public nomination with the aim of supporting and promoting rural communities… Mr Huddleston said: “These awards are an excellent way to promote the local businessmen and women who are working hard to keep rural Britain thriving… (story)
Somerset County Gazetter 7.10.15 Taunton Deane's rural businesses need you - vote in the Countryside Alliance Awards - FOUR businesses in Taunton Deane have been nominated by Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow for the annual Countryside Alliance Awards…. (story)
Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 28.9.15 Philip Dunne encourages nominations for countryside awards - Adrian Kibbler - PHILIP Dunne, MP for the Ludlow Constituency, is encouraging local entries to the Countryside Alliance Awards, also known as the Rural Oscars…. (story)
Morpeth Herald 26.9.15 Award nominations open - An annual celebration of rural enterprise is under way once more as the Countryside Alliance Awards seek nominations…. (story)
Clitheroe Advertiser & Times 21.9.15 ‘Rural Oscars’ chance for businesses - Rural businesses which go the extra mile are being invited to put themselves forward for the Countryside Alliance Awards… (story)
Craven Herald 20.9.15 Nominations sought for 'Rural Oscars' - Lindsey Moore - THE 2015 Countryside Alliance Awards, the biggest annual celebration of communities, produce, enterprise and rural heritage, are now open to public nomination…. (story)
Garstang Courier 18.9.15 Time to put forward businesses for ‘Rural Oscars’ - Rural businesses across Garstang and Longridge which go the extra mile are being invited to put themselves forward for the Countryside Alliance Awards…. (story)
Horse & Hound 15.9.15 ‘Rural Oscars’ now open for nominations - Caroline Bankes - The 2015 Countryside Alliance Awards or “Rural Oscars” are now open for public nominations. The awards, which were set up to recognise and honour enterprising rural businesses, start regionally and end in a national championship held in Parliament in April 2016…. (story)

30.12.15

North Devon Journal 30.12.15 Crowds flock to Holsworthy to support the annual Tetcott Hunt - Hundreds of people packed into Holsworthy Square on Saturday in support of the Tetcott Hunt's traditional Boxing Day meet.... (story)
Western Morning News 29.12.15 Tetcott Hunt brings Christmas cheer to Holsworthy town centre - Hundreds of people, young and old alike, packed into Holsworthy Square on Saturday in support of the Tetcott Hunt’s traditional Boxing Day meet.... (story)

Hinckley Times 30.12.15 Atherstone Hunt rides out in Market Bosworth for Boxing Day meet BY RACHEL PARRISH - The hunt was without dogs but otherwise rode as usual across fields and farmland in the area - Riders, spectators and anti-hunt protestors converged in Market Bosworth for Atherstone Hunt’s annual Boxing Day meet. Huntsmen and women, as well as many younger riders, set off from the market square where hunt saboteurs had also gathered, chanting abuse... (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 30.12.15 Rain fails to put a dampener on Boxing Day hunt in Malton - Karen Darley - THE traditional Boxing Day hunt meetings took place on Saturday despite the heavy rain. 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)

West Briton 30.12.15 GALLERY: Cury Hunt's traditional Boxing Day meet at Helston - About 25 members of the Cury Hunt enjoyed their traditional Boxing Day ride at Helston... (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 30.12.15 READERS PICTURES: The Boxing Day Hunt - Aaron Sims - DID you go to a hunt meet on Boxing Day? If so we would like to see your pictures.... Gazette reader Steve Everest sent in some of his snaps from his day watching the Berkeley Hunt in Thornbury... (story)

Westmorland Gazette 30.12.15 Old tradition has new set of enthusiasts - SCORES of supporters turned out for the traditional Vale of Lune hunt at Tewitfield on Boxing Day. A large contingent of horses and riders gathered at The Longlands Hotel for the colourful spectacle.... (story)
North West Evening Mail 27.12.15 Cumbria Boxing Day hunt proves a hit with the crowds - A BOXING Day tradition was alive and well as hundreds ignored the driving rain to witness the spectacle of a horseback hunt. The Vale of Lune Harriers meeting at Longlands attracted a bumper crowd on Saturday, as spectators gathered to watch hounds follow a scent over a 15-mile course... (story)

Dartmouth Chronicle 30.12.15 Boxing Day hunts take place in Modbury and Kingsbridge - THE traditional Boxing Day hunt meets took place in Modbury and Kingsbridge this year. Around 40 people were following the Modbury Harriers on horseback and Church Street was full of foot followers and well-wishers.... (story)

The Times of Tunbridge Wells 30.12.15 UKIP leader defends appearance at fox hunt after critics claim ‘own goal’ - UKIP leader Nigel Farage has defended his decision to attend a Boxing Day Hunt in west Kent after it was described as a massive ‘own goal’ by one of his former party leaders... It was organised by the Old Surrey Burstow & West Kent Hunt which takes in hunts from Penshurst and Edenbridge. But the appearance at the meeting of Mr Farage, who lives near Westerham, drew criticism from the former chairman of UKIP Tunbridge Wells, Alun Elder-Brown, who had resigned from the party before Christmas after claiming it had ‘lost direction’.... (story)

Guardian 30.12.15 Whatever happened to animal rights? - Catherine Shoard - Are you on the turkey curry yet?... Old habits die harder than one might have anticipated. On Boxing Day 250,000 people (by the Countryside Alliance’s reckoning) turned out to support 300 hunts across the country... Some people do still speak out. Things got a bit grisly at a confrontation in Lewes town centre. Tracey Crouch, the sports minister, showed she was more commonsense Chatham (her constituency) than kowtowing Tory when she called, on Boxing Day, for foxhunting to be “consigned to history”.... (story)

Frome Standard 30.12.15 Letters: Sale of cheap food is biggest threat to farms - The biggest threat to farmers and growers are not the old red herring scapegoats, badgers and foxes etc, as the National Farmers Union and Countryside Alliance would have you believe, but the constant demand by the politically correct and some of the media and politics pundits for cheaper and cheaper food... Also note how the NFU and CA, supposing to be concerned with the welfare of country people, have not shown any concern about how CAP money to the tune of £110 million a year is given to the bullfighting industry... David Thomas, Hisomley, Dilton Marsh (letter)

Western Morning News 30.12.15 In My Opinion - Badger cull has to go ahead despite innocent victims By D W Clark, Brixton - Mr Dyer, why are you proud to stand up and fight for badgers? You didn’t say which badger, the sick ones or the healthy ones? The healthy ones should be trapped inspected and then released. If a badger is trapped and found to be infected, then put it down. Put it out of its misery. You can’t really tell at the outset of the disease (the beginning of disease). Cattle will find out though. So Mr Dyer, stop belly aching, and talk some sense... (story)

Leicester Mercury 30.12.15 Go vegan for January - Mercury Mailbox - While we choose between our favourite foods at Christmas, millions of people still go hungry. And the foods we choose do impact on those people. One reason people go hungry is because much arable land is used to grow feed for animals rather than food for people... Veganuary is the campaign that encourages and supports people to try vegan for 31 days each January.... Jane Land, co-founder, Veganuary. (letter)

29.12.15

(*) West Briton 29.12.15 PICTURES: The Boxing Day Four Burrow Hunt By wbchris - Images from The Boxing Day Four Burrow Hunt meeting at Carn Brea (story)

Eastbourne Herald 29.12.16 HELEN BURTON: Fox hunting tradition should stay in the past - After Christmas I was shocked to find out that 300 hunts around the country met to parade through town and villages, continuing the tradition of a ‘boxing day hunt’.... If you feel as I do there is currently a petition to strengthen the 2004 Hunting Act... (story)

Horse & Country 29.12.15 Thousands turn out for Boxing Day meets By Jenny Rudall - More than a decade after the Hunting Act came into force, a predicted 250,000 people turned out on Saturday 26 December for Boxing Day meets around the country.... (story)

Bury Free Press 29.12.15 Suffolk Hunt pulls in the crowds on Boxing Day - An annual Boxing Day tradition proved popular as hundreds of people descended on the Suffolk Hunt in Hawstead... (story)

Banbury Guardian 29.12.15 Big turnout for Warwickshire Hunt’s Boxing Day meeting - The sight of horses and hounds on Boxing Day has been a British tradition for many years and the scene at Upton House was no different. Hundreds of people young and old gathered at the National Trust venue to not only blow out the Christmas cobwebs but to welcome the Warwickshire Hunt as they rode through the countryside on the day.... (story)
Worcester News 26.12.15 Thousands gather for traditional hunt meetings - THERE was an impressive turn out for traditional Boxing Day hunts held across Worcestershire. Thousands turned out in Droitwich for the Worcestershire Hunt's annual meet... Thousands also saw off the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt... (story)

Doncaster Free Press 29.12.15 VIDEO: Bawtry hunt attracts hundreds of spectators - Lee Peace - The annual Boxing Day meet of the Grove and Rufford hunt drew huge crowds to Bawtry in support of the pack and its traditions... (story)

Lancashire Telegraph 29.12.15 Hundreds turn out to watch historic Holcombe Hunt despite torrential rain - THE historic Holcombe Hunt went ahead – with hundreds of people turning out despite the torrential rain.... (story)
Bolton News 27.12.15 Hundreds turn out for Holcombe Hunt despite floods and torrential rain - Andrew Bardsley - THE historic Holcombe Hunt went ahead — with hundreds of people turning out despite the torrential rain. Organisers said they were delighted with the turnout at the event at Rivington Hall Barn, with riders and visitors fighting their way through the floods to fulfill the Boxing Day tradition... (story)

COTTESMORE BOXING DAY MEET
Rutland & Stamford Mercury 29.12.15 Cottesmore Hunt holds Boxing Day meet in Oakham - The Cottesmore Hunt may have held its Boxing Day meet in a new location, but the support from the Oakham community was as strong as ever. Riders and dogs gathered in Catmose car park, outside the Rutland County Council offices. They were watched by a large crowd, keen to see the traditional meet and support the For Rutland - In Rutland charity, which collected at the event.... (story)
Leicester Mercury 11.12.15 Opinion: Phoney war of words over the Cottesmore Hunt's meet - They were banned. And then they weren't. The issue of whether members of the Cottesmore Hunt would be able to uphold their 80-year-old tradition of a Boxing Day meet in Oakham has been resolved. However, the matter was not concluded before there was some online heat surrounding the contentious pastime…. (story)
Horse & Hound 10.12.15 Cottesmore Hunt’s traditional Boxing Day meet saved - Lucy Elder - The Cottesmore Hunt’s traditional Boxing Day meet in Oakham has been saved. The hunt has been meeting in the town on 26 December for at least 100 years. However, at a meeting on 25 November Oakham Town Council denied the hunt permission to hold the meet in its usual location of Cutts Close. Rutland County Council has now stepped in and given the Cottesmore permission to meet in one of its car parks…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 10.12.15 Cottesmore Hunt now allowed to meet in Oakham on Boxing Day By atroughton - Huntsmen banned from meeting at their traditional Boxing Day spot have been given a new place meet in the same Rutland town. The Cottesmore Hunt has been meeting for nearly 80 years in Cutts Close, Oakham, but were refused permission to meet there this month by Oakham Town Council. The town council made the decision stating that the grass at the large green in Cutts Close, which can host up to 800 people, was left in a unacceptably chewed up state…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 10.12.15 Right move by town council - Mercury Mailbox - Congratulations to Oakham Town Council for evicting the Cottesmore Hunt from its park… Let's hope it disappears into the surrounding countryside, away from the gaze of people that loathe this so-called sport… Maureen Falkner, Walton. (letter)
Rutland Times 9.12.15 Rutland County Council steps in to save Boxing Day hunt meet - Alex Moore - Rutland County Council has offered to let the Cottesmore Hunt hold its Boxing Day meet in Catmose Car Park in Oakham. The decades-old tradition looked to be in jeopardy after Oakham Town Council refused the hunt’s request to hold the meet in the usual location of Cutts Close. But the county council has now stepped in to allow the hunt to continue raising money for good causes. Hunt secretary Clare Bell said: “We are delighted with the support of the council. They have been very good and we are thrilled to be able to maintain this tradition.”… (story)
Horse & Hound 27.11.15 ‘No’ to Cottesmore’s Boxing Day meet - Lucy Elder - The Cottesmore Hunt has been denied permission to hold its traditional Boxing Day meet in an Oakham park. Oakham Town Council made the decision at a planning and parks committee meeting on Wednesday (25 November)… Hunt secretary Clare Bell told H&H that they are meeting with town councillors to try and find a way forward.... (story)
Rutland Times 27.11.15 Video: Oakham Town Council votes against Cottesmore Hunt using Cutts Close for Boxing Day meet - Alex Moore - Decades of tradition could end this year after Oakham Town Council voted to reject the Cottesmore Hunt’s annual request to meet at Cutts Close on Boxing Day. The hunt has met in the park the day after Christmas for many years. But at a meeting on Wednesday (November 25), councillors rejected the hunt’s request to use Cutts Close for the traditional meeting. Coun Martin Brookes filmed the discussion, which can be see in the video below.... (story)
Leicester Mercury 27.11.15 Cottesmore Hunt gets banned from town, ending 80-year tradition By Tom_Mack - Huntsmen have been banned from meeting at their traditional Boxing Day spot because of the state they left it in last year. Each year on December 26 the Cottesmore Hunt gather in Cutts Close, Oakham, where the large green hosts up to 800 people as wells as horses and hounds.... Cottesmore hunt secretary Clare Bell said the council had made no complaints to the hunt about the state of the land last Christmas... She said she suspected the council was interested in having a circus on the land instead. She said: "It's my understanding that the council is renting the site out to a circus and that will make them more money."... (story)

Western Morning News 29.12.15 Government asked to re-open debate on control of foxes and animal welfare By WMNPBowern - After well supported Boxing Day meetings, surrounded by the usual bad-tempered arguments Philip Bowern wonders what the prospects are for lifting or relaxing the hunting ban in 2016...(story)

Morning Star 29.12.15 Unleash The Pounds - Luke James - TORY MP Simon Hart is facing calls to quit Parliament’s environment committee amid concerns that he is “abusing his position” by acting as a paid advocate for fox hunting. The Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire MP is a former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, which helped stage 300 hunts on Boxing Day. The Morning Star can reveal that he is now being paid £30,000 a year to act as a “high net-worth consultant” for Britain’s biggest pro-bloodsports group... The pay rise, which is disclosed in the latest register of members’ interests, comes after Mr Hart was made a member of Parliament’s environment, food and rural affairs committee. Former Labour MP and animal-rights campaigner Chris Williamson accused Mr Hart of “abusing his position” on the committee to promote the pro-hunting campaign... (story)

Yorkshire Post 29.12.15 Hunting with no bloodshed - AS Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance states (The Yorkshire Post, December 28) the hunts still gather, horses and dogs get a run out, riders enjoy a workout over fences and hedges etc, without the tearing foxes or anything to pieces.... Why, therefore, does Mr Bonner say the hunting ban is in “tatters” when the exact opposite still applies?... (letter)

Guardian 29.12.15 This flood was not only foretold – it was publicly subsidised - George Monbiot - The government pays grouse moor owners to drain their glorified outdoor chicken runs. Meanwhile it’s the proles downstream who get a soaking... We have no way of knowing whether these facts are related, and I cannot make a direct connection between the management of Walshaw Moor and the present flooding of Hebden Bridge. But there’s little doubt that the management of grouse moors tends to increase the risk of flooding.... (story)

Independent 29.12.15 Global threat from livestock - The article by Tom Bawden (24 December) on mass migration and human suffering due to global warming makes sobering reading. What is often overlooked is that the biggest cause of global warming is the methane gas produced by billions of farm animals raised for meat.... Nitin Mehta, Croydon, Surrey (letter)

Telegraph 29.12.15 Government must keep its manifesto pledge to repeal the Hunting Act - – Tracey Crouch, the Minister for Sport, said that Parliament has “better things to be concerned with” than the pledge to hold a vote on repealing the Hunting Act (report, December 26)... If the Government cannot find the time for its manifesto promises, what can it find time for? Rory Broomfield Director, The Freedom Association London EC4 (letter)

Telegraph 29.12.15 Hunting history - Charles Moore (“If only we could consign Ms Crouch to history”) might have added to his excellent piece that the British cavalry was trained on the hunting field. Tracey Crouch, the Minister for Sport, appears not to understand that the fox has to be controlled... Esmond Bulmer Bruton, Somerset (letter)

28.12.15

Telegraph 28.12.15 If only we could consign Tracey Crouch and her views on foxhunting to history - I am opposed to cruelty to animals – I shall not single out any species for comparison with Ms Crouch - This column’s award for the best parliamentary speech of 2015 goes to Rory Stewart... I particularly liked Mr Stewart’s message that we today are not necessarily more correct about everything than the past:... And then we have Tracey Crouch. She is the Minister for Sport, and is about to be the first ever Tory minister to take maternity leave. On Boxing Day,Ms Crouch put out a statement. “Foxhunting is a pursuit from the past,”... She is entitled to her views: the issue of hunting has always been a matter for a free, unwhipped vote in Parliament. But she must have been well aware that for such a statement to be put out on the chief day in the hunting calendar was a provocation... (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 28.12.15 Thousands gather in Lacock for the annual Boxing Day hunt - The traditional Boxing Day hunt at Lacock attracted over two thousand spectators as the Avon Vale Hunt assembled in the High Street - Hunt Master Stuart Radbourne took a toast in sherry outside the famous Red Lion public house... (story)

Carmarthen Journal 28.12.15 Llandeilo Boxing Day hunt - The annual Boxing Day hunt took place in Llandeilo. See photos from the event here (story)

Leicester Mercury 28.12.15 The Fernie Hunt meet at Welham and Great Bowden. Pictures by Mike Spencer (story)
Leicester Mercury 26.12.15 Hunts take part in Boxing Day meets across the county By Tom_Mack - All across the county thousands of people gathered for the annual Boxing Day hunts today. There were well over a thousand people at Great Bowden, near Market Harborough, this morning where the Fernie Hunt meets each Boxing Day... (story)
Leicester Mercury 26.12.15 The Fernie Hunt held its Boxing Day Meet on the green in the centre of Great Bowden... (story)

Croydon Advertiser 28.12.15 Croydon Council may work with animal rights group in recovering bodies of mutilated cats - MUTLIATED dead cats may have been disposed of by the council's waste contractors before an animal rights group leading the campaign against the "Croydon cat killer" can test the bodies... Volunteers from South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) want the council to co-operate in alerting them if animal has been found with injuries similar to those in the spate of killings – cats found with no head or tail, and other serious injuries. Boudicca Rising, co-chairman of SNARL, said: "We need the bodies for evidence and we want to work with the council on this.".... (story)

27.12.15

Sunday Telegraph 27.12.15 Hunting’s popularity exposes a foolish law - Telegraph View: When it comes to fox hunting, the law is an ass - Tens of thousands of people took part in yesterday’s hunts or turned out to support them. Not only were they enjoying a colourful Boxing Day tradition, but many also wanted to signal their opposition to the ban on foxhunting. For many in the countryside, the prohibition represents bad law imposed to satisfy urban prejudice... (story)

Sunday Telegraph 27.12.15 Fox-hunting is the greatest sport on God’s green earth - Boxing Day hunts are a highlight of the year for those who love the beauty of our countryside By James Delingpole - I spent Boxing Day out hunting. I came home caked in mud, legs like jelly and half-cut on a mixture of sloe gin, cherry brandy and Whisky Mac. And as usual I offered up two silent prayers of gratitude – the first for my having survived another suicidal day in the saddle; the second for my good grace in having discovered – albeit rather late in life – the greatest sport on God’s green earth... (story)

Yorkshire Post 27.12.15 Tim Bonner: Hunting ban still stain on democracy - ASK your local MP what issue appears more often than any other in their inbox and there is a fair bet that he or she will say hunting rather than the NHS or Syria or the EU. Strangely the further an MP’s constituency is from the countryside the more emails they are likely to receive on the subject. This phenomenon is even more bizarre because if you ask people what issues will affect their vote at a general election nearly nobody will say hunting.... (story)

Horse & Hound 27.12.15 Boxing Day meets as popular as ever - More than a quarter of a million people turned out to show their support for hunting at Boxing Day meets around the country yesterday (26 December), according to figures released by the Countryside Alliance... The Cottesmore Hunt’s annual meet that had been moved out of Oakham town centre due to health and safety concerns, proved to be “very well supported in the new venue of a large car park kindly provided by Rutland County Council.” One of the largest turnouts of the day was for the Heythrop Hunt’s annual meet in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, where more than 6,000 people attended to see hounds in the Square. The Glamorgan Hunt in south Wales saw people lining Cowbridge High Street as they left the meet to cheers and applause, scenes that were replicated across the country. Pictured above is the Southdown and Eridge Hunt that met in Lewes, East Sussex (photograph courtesy of www.arwphotography.co.uk). The Holcombe Harriers met in Anglezark, near Bolton, Lancs where over 100 people were mounted and in excess of 2,000 people supported on foot... (story)

South Wales Argus 27.12.15 A rousing day at Gwent's annual Boxing Day hunts - ONE of Gwent’s most popular Boxing Day traditions was in full swing on Saturday, as thousands turned out to enjoy the annual hunts... The Tredegar Farmer’s Boxing Day hunt gathered outside the Tredegar Arms in Bassaleg at 11am, before setting off on a cross-country route.... The Monmouthshire Hunt set off from outside The Angel Hotel in Cross Street, Abergavenny, at 11am before heading into the county’s countryside.... (story)

Portsmouth News 27.12.15 Hundreds gather to see riders taking part in Boxing Day hunt - Ellie Pilmoor - HUNDREDS of people gathered to watch the traditional Boxing Day hunt. Families looked on as the riders from The Hursley Hambledon Hunt met outside the Bucks Head pub in Meonstoke before setting off....(story)

Peterborough Telegraph 27.12.15 Big crowds turn out for traditional Boxing Day hunt meet - Mark Edwards - Hundreds of people gathered in Stilton to watch the traditional Boxing Day meet of the Fitzwilliam Hunt.... (story)

Folkestone Herald 27.12.15 VIDEO: hundreds turn out to watch East Kent hunt setting off By LFinlay - HUNDREDS of people descended on a village to watch as the traditional East Kent Hunt with West Street trail took place. The hounds met at 11am and the horses were swamped as crowds craned their heads to see the group set off. This video was taken by onlooker Alastair Murray... (story)

Derby Telegraph 27.12.15 Video: See footage from the Four Shires Boxing Day Hunt, in Ashbourne - MEMBERS and guests of the Four Shires Hunt gathered in the Market Place, Ashbourne, ahead of their annual ride... (story)
Derby Telegraph 26.12.15 PICTURES: Four Shires Boxing Day Hunt, Ashbourne - Members and guests of the Four Shires Hunt gathered in the Market Place, Ashbourne, ahead of their annual ride... (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 27.12.15 Boxing Day hunts were well supported but survey shows 83 per cent of people oppose them - By PWhitelam_LE - Hundreds of people turned out turned out to show their support traditional Boxing Day hunts in Lincolnshire. The Blankney, Burton, Belvoir and South Wold hunts were all out. Crowds gathered at Louth Cattle Market to see hounds, horses and riders set off on the South Wold Hunt, while a large crowd also attended the annual meet of the Brocklesby hounds held at the Point-to-Point course on the Earl of Yarborough's Brocklesby estate.... (story)

Stoke Sentinel 27.12.15 Gallery: Boxing Day North Staffordshire Hunt at Woore. By steve_bould (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 27.12.15 VIDEO: Tiverton Foxhounds Boxing Day Meet 2015 By Lewis Clarke - MORE than fifty horses led by the hounds trotted through the town centre as Tiverton Foxhounds held their annual Boxing Day meet. Hundreds gathered to see the spectacle on Saturday, December 26 at Tiverton Pannier Market with Fore Street lined with people to see them on their way. Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton Neil Parish MP told those who gathered that hunting is “good for all sorts of things in the countryside” and hoped to bring the repeal of the hunting act to a vote in 2016... (story)

Cornish Guardian 27.12.15 GALLERY: East Cornwall Hunt rides again for Boxing Day meet By ScottHarrison - HUNDREDS of hunt supporters and riders converged in Cornwall today for the annual Boxing Day hunt. Following a traditional toast, the East Cornwall Hunt set off from the Jamaica Inn at Bolventor, near Bodmin, for a hunt through cloud-covered Bodmin Moor skies... (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 27.12.15 Large crowds turn out for Boxing Day Hunts as new poll says 83% are against it – vote - LARGE crowds turned out to show their support for one of the biggest days in the hunting calendar. Hundreds of people turned out for 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, while a large crowd also attended the annual meet of the Brocklesby hounds held at the Point-to-Point course on the Earl of Yarborough's Brocklesby estate... (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 27.12.15 Boxing Day Hunt: Huge crowds turn out at Upper Denby - Huge crowds turned out to see a Boxing day hunt. They lined the streets of Upper Denby and surrounding villages to see the Rockwood Harriers stage their festive meet... (story)

Gloucester Citizen 27.12.15 Poll: Would you abolish the hunting ban? - Fox hunting is a "pursuit of the past" and should be "consigned to history," the sports minister has said. Tracey Crouch said parliament has "better things to be concerned with" than holding a vote on repealing the Hunting Act, which was passed by the Blair government in 2004... (story)

Western Daily Press 27.12.15 The 57 Tory MPs who will defy David Cameron and vote to keep the hunting ban By TristanCork - The prospect of the ban on hunting being repealed in 2016 – or indeed at all – looked more remote than ever after a small group of Conservative MPs who oppose fox hunting said they now number more than 50... (story)

Western Daily Press 27.12.15 Brian May: There is new dawn for fox hunting in England and Wales - This Boxing Day, hunts will gather to parade in villages across England and Wales for the traditional Boxing Day meet. But this year there will be a new atmosphere - a wind of change... The Countryside Alliance recently said that 80% of registered hunts have held on to their support since the introduction of the Hunting Act. We are now 11 years on from the Hunting Act 2004 and whilst the numbers of people who are against the cruel sport of fox hunting continue to grow, the increased interest in hunting is being driven by the public who are embracing the humane sports of drag and clean boot hunting, providing further proof that people enjoy riding in the countryside but do not want to see foxes attacked in such a slow and painful way... (story)

Western Morning News 27.12.15 Anti-hunt campaigner Brian May pledges to publish list of 'law-breaking hunts' By WMNPBowern - A bitter new battle over hunting is looming after leading animal rights campaigner Brian May promised to publish a list of hunts he claims are breaking the law. The pledge from the Queen guitarist and Save Me Trust founder comes after a series of failed prosecutions by anti-hunt organisations – including most recently the collapse of the case against the Devon-based Lamerton Hunt brought by the League Against Cruel Sports. The RSPCA... (story)

CA PREDICTS 250K TURNOUT FOR BOXING DAY
Western Morning News 27.12.15 Hunting: 250,000 turn out for Boxing Day hunts says Countryside Alliance By WMNDavidWells - About a quarter of a million people turned out to support Boxing Day hunts taking place around the UK, according to the Countryside Alliance.. The alliance said one of the biggest turnouts was at the meet of the Heythrop hunt in Oxfordshire, which attracted about 6,000 supporters to Chipping Norton square ... Peter Morritt, general secretary for the Quorn Hunt, in Leicestershire, said there were 200 riders and 3,000 people who came to support the hunt which has been going for more than 300 years ...(story)
Sunday Express 27.12.15 Boxing Day fox hunt supporters showed defiance against the Government - BOXING Day hunt supporters turned out in force yesterday in a show of defiance against the Government and protesters. By JAMES MURRAY - The Countryside Alliance said more than 250,000 people supported 300 meets on a big day in the hunting calendar... Some 6,000 supporters turned up at the Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire. Prime Minister David Cameron was once pictured there.... (story)
BT 26.12.15 250,000 people turn out for Boxing Day hunts, Countryside Alliance says - About a quarter of a million people turned out to support Boxing Day hunts taking place around the UK, according to the Countryside Alliance... The alliance said one of the biggest turnouts was at the meet of the Heythrop hunt in Oxfordshire... Peter Morritt, general secretary for the Quorn Hunt, in Leicestershire, said there were 200 riders and 3,000 people who came to support the hunt which has been going for more than 300 years....(story)
Littlehampton Gazette 26.12.15 250,000 people turn out for Boxing Day hunts, Countryside Alliance says (story)
Harborough Mail 26.12.15 250,000 people turn out for Boxing Day hunts, Countryside Alliance says (story)
North Devon Journal 26.12.15 More than 250,000 will turn out for hunts today By NDJFran - DESPITE more than a decade of the Hunting Act, around 250,000 people will turn out today for the Boxing Day meets of the 300 plus registered hunts in the UK... (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 26.12.15 Support for the hunt shows no signs of waning, says Countryside Alliance (story)
The Herald 26.12.15 250,000 people turn out for Boxing Day hunts (story)

SCOTTISH REVIEW OF HUNTING
Sunday Express 27.12.15 Boxing Day hunts ride out as Scots laws are examined By PAULA MURRAY - Senior judge Lord Bonomy will lead the examination on whether current legislation gives enough protection to foxes and other wild mammals... As the annual Renfrewshire Hunt got under way yesterday, Environment Minister Aileen McLeod insisted Scotland has led the way in addressing animal welfare concerns... (story)
Daily Record 26.12.15 Scottish ministers announce review into fox-hunting laws in bid to close legal loopholes BY LUCY CHRISTIE - SCOTTISH ministers have announced the start of a review of Scotland's fox hunting laws . Lord Bonomy has been given the role of ensuring current legislation protects foxes and other wild mammals while allowing for their control where needed... (story)
BBC News Online 26.12.15 Lord Bonomy to lead review of Scottish fox hunting legislation - A review is to be held into legislation dealing with hunting with dogs, the Scottish government has said. Senior judge Lord Bonomy will lead the review focusing on whether current laws give enough protection to foxes and other wild mammals... (story)
Dundee Courier 26.12.15 Fox hunting laws to be reviewed - Scottish ministers have announced the start of a review of Scotland's fox hunting laws. Lord Bonomy has been given the role of ensuring current legislation protects foxes and other wild mammals while allowing for their control where needed... (story)

26.12.15

Grantham Journal 26.12.15 VIDEO: Large crowd welcomes the Belvoir Hunt to Grantham on Boxing Day - Hundreds of people were in St Peter’s Hill to welcome the Belvoir Hunt on its annual Boxing Day visit to Grantham... (story)

Oxford Mail 26.12.15 Hundreds turn out for Heythrop Hunt - HUNDREDS of people gathered in Chipping Norton to catch a glimpse the Heythrop Hunt as it held its traditional Boxing Day meet... (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 26.12.15 Crowds gather to watch Boxing Day hunts set off from Hadleigh and Bury St Edmunds - Edmund Crosthwaite - Hundreds of people turned out to watch Boxing Day hunts set off across the Suffolk countryside today... Senior master of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt, James Buckle, said the turnout in the park today was “fantastic”.... Around 300 people turned out to watch members of the Suffolk Hunt as they prepared to head out on their annual Boxing Day ride across the west of the county... (story)

Western Morning News 26.12.15 PICTURES: Boxing Day meets 2015 - Traditional Boxing Day hunts are taking place across the South West today. Among those setting out into the countryside for the annual event are members of the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt... (story)
Plymouth Herald 26.12.15 GALLERY: Boxing Day hunt meets in Tavistock - THE traditional Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt Boxing Day meet took place in Tavistock today... (story)

Cheddar Valley Gazette 26.12.15 Axbridge Boxing Day Hunt 2015 (story)

Western Gazette 26.12.15 IN PICTURES: Crewkerne Hunt and Pram Race 2015 THE centre of Crewkerne was chock-a-block on Boxing Day as people gathered to welcome the hunt and enjoy the annual pram race - THE centre of Crewkerne was chock-a-block on Boxing Day as people gathered to welcome the hunt and enjoy the annual pram race... Members of the Seavington Hunt began to assemble in Market Square shortly before 11am, with around 40 to 50 men and women riding out... (story)

South Wales Evening Post 27.12.15 Hundreds turn out to see off Banwen Miners Hunt on Boxing Day - Hundreds of people turned out to see off the colorful Banwen Miners Hunt today....(story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 26.12.15 Boxing Day Brocklesby Hunt – pictures By simon_scun - See pictures from the annual Boxing Day Brocklesby Hunt. Pictures sent in by Chris Power and Emma Forman. (story)

Western Daily Press 26.12.15 Cecil the Lion shows public have no appetite for Boxing Day foxhunts say Tory MPs By Western Daily Press - Leaders of a Tory pressure group say the Government would be unwise to repeal the hunting ban because 2015 has seen the growth of worldwide revulsion at the hunting of wild animals for sport. Hunt supporters are expected to use their annual Boxing Day gatherings to renew their call for the hunting ban to be dropped. But Blue Fox say the global outcry about Cecil, a proud Lion shot in Africa by an American dentist and trophyhunter, and the row over the Government's plans n Westminster to introduce a Statutory Instrument, which they say would have driven a coach and horses through the Hunting Act 2004, show their case is gathering global support... (story)

North Devon Journal 26.12.15 Hunting has no place now - AS the traditional fox hunting season gets underway, it's time to clear up a few myths about foxes and fox hunting. It's been 10 years since hunting with dogs for sport was banned. It's a popular law among country dwellers and townsfolk alike, with eight out of 10 people keen for it to remain in place. It's also very successful, with the highest number and percentage of convictions of any wildlife animal welfare law in the UK and even better, has successfully reduced animal cruelty... A new report from Professor Stephen Harris from the University of Bristol shows that hunting does not reduce fox populations and killing foxes can in fact increase their numbers... TOM QUINN, Campaigns director, League Against Cruel Sports (story)

Independent 26.12.15 Please David Cameron, listen to the people's opinion on hunting - 83 per cent of the public agree that the fox hunting ban should not be repealed. Will the PM listen? Not a chance - Jamie Campbell - Let me take you briefly back to the year 1516. Thomas More, in hisUtopia, wrote: “The desire of bloodshed of beasts is a mark of a mind that is already corrupted with cruelty, or that at least, by too frequent returns of so brutal a pleasure, must degenerate into it.” I’ll just briefly reiterate, that was 1516. 499 years ago... (story)

Western Daily Press 26.12.15 Cecil the Lion shows public have no appetite for Boxing Day foxhunts say Tory MPs - Leaders of a Tory pressure group say the Government would be unwise to repeal the hunting ban because 2015 has seen the growth of worldwide revulsion at the hunting of wild animals for sport. Hunt supporters are expected to use their annual Boxing Day gatherings to renew their call for the hunting ban to be dropped. But Blue Fox say the global outcry about Cecil, a proud Lion shot in Africa by an American dentist and trophyhunter, and the row over the Government's plans n Westminster to introduce a Statutory Instrument, which they say would have driven a coach and horses through the Hunting Act 2004, show their case is gathering global support... (story)

Telegraph 26.12.15 Ministers consider new body to prove hunting helps animal welfare to win over anti-hunting MPs By Christopher Hope, Chief Political Correspondent - Ministers could appoint a new commission on hunting to prove it can help animal welfare and win over sceptical MPs ahead of a free vote on relaxing the ban. Pro-hunting MPs want to launch a hearts and minds campaign with some “peer reviewed research” to “demonstrate the measures we were proposing have an animal welfare benefit”... (story)

Southern Daily Echo 26.12.15 Hundreds turnout to see Boxing Day hunt at Boltons Bench - Ed Stilliard, Senior Reporter - Hundreds of people came out of to look see horses and hounds ride out across the Hampshire countryside for the Boxing Day hunt. Families put on their wellies and winter jackets to brave the strong winds at Bolton's Bench near Lyndhurst from where the New Forest Hounds set off. They had changed location from Balmer House Hotel in Brockenhurst to allow more room for people to see the event in safety... (story)
Bournemouth Echo 26.12.15 Hundreds at New Forest Boxing Day hunt - Hundreds of people came out of to look see horses and hounds ride out across the New Forest countryside for the Boxing Day hunt. Families put on their wellies and winter jackets to brave the strong winds at Bolton's Bench near Lyndhurst from where the New Forest Hounds set off.... (story)
Dorset Echo 23.12.15 New home for annual Boxing Day hunt in the New Forest due to rising popularity - Christopher Yandell - THE centuries-old Boxing Day hunt in the New Forest is so popular organisers have had to find a new venue. After years of staging the event in front of the Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst, the New Forest Hounds (NFH) have decided hold the meet on a large expanse of open ground near Lyndhurst. NFH spokesman Graham Ferris said the new location – Bolton’s Bench – would make it easier to manage the huge crowds…. (story)

Shropshire Star 26.12.15 IN PICTURES: Thousands line Shropshire streets to see Boxing Day hunt - Thousands of people lined the streets in Shropshire to see the traditional Boxing Day hunt get under way. Crowds gathered in St Mary’s Street, Newport, to see off the riders and hounds from the Albrighton and Woodland Hunt... (story)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 26.12.15 IN PICTURES and VIDEO: 1,000 turn out for Boxing Day hunt - More than 1,000 people turned out for the annual Boxing Day hunt at Hagley Park... The hunt at Hagley took place at exactly the same time as the hunt in Newport, which is also organised by the Albrighton and Woodland Hunt... (story)

Lowestoft Journal 26.12.15 Riders and hounds head out across county for Boxing Day hunts - Doug Faulkner and George Ryan - Thousands joined riders, horses and their hounds on a warm Boxing Day morning as they headed out across the countryside for the traditional hunt.. A large crowd watched the West Norfolk Fox Hounds get under way at Raynham Hall, West Raynham, near Fakenham, with many bringing their own dogs to enjoy a festive stroll. Charles Carter, master of the hunt, was leading the Boxing Day hunt for the final time in Norfolk ahead of a move to Yorkshire... Well over 1,000 spectators packed into Bungay town centre to watch as the Waveney Harriers made their way down Earsham Street before their Boxing Day meet.... The Dunston Harriers, which has its kennels at Wacton, near Long Stratton, had around 20 riders turnout for the ride with 500 of all ages at Wymondham Market Place to see them off.... (story)

Bristol Post 26.12.15 Poll: Hunting ban – keep or go? Bristol MP Kerry McCarthy warns against "sneaking" bill in By Michael_Yong - Shadow Environment Secretary and Bristol MP Kerry McCarthy has warned the Government against bringing hunting back on the parliamentary agenda.... One of the day's largest meet was at the Duke of Beaufort's hunt at Worcester Lodge, Didmarton in Gloucestershire...(story)

Northern Echo 26.12.15 Annual Boxing Day hunt called off due to weather - THE weather has put paid to an annual Boxing Day hunt. The South Durham Hunt, which was due to set off from the village of Great Stainton, County Durham, has been forced to cancel this year's event. The hunt turned out for a show, but decided not to ride out due to the state of the roads and fields.... (story)

Western Morning News 26.12.15 OPINION: Repealing the hunt ban is vital - no one should have to tolerate bad law - Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance says hunting is a non-issue for most - but a totemic class concern for a handful on the left - Talking to a Westcountry MP the other day we strayed onto the issue of email campaigns and the automatically generated correspondence that MPs receive from constituents. “It’s the same few hundred people whatever the subject”, she said, “but the strange thing is that the one issue that really gets them going isn’t the NHS, Syria or tax credits – it’s hunting”... (story)

Western Morning News 26.12.15 Opposition to hunting 'growing in West' By Tom Quinn - As hunts gather for their annual Boxing Day meet and the hunting ban enters its 11th year, public and MP opposition to this cruel ‘sport’ is now so high that any government attempt to repeal the Hunting Act would be doomed to failure....(story)

Yorkshire Post 26.12.15 YP Comment: Hunt is on for a rural champion - Fox hunting can create a false impression of countryside challenges - THE Boxing Day hunts, one of the great traditions of Christmas, will once again reopen the debate about the restrictions imposed by Tony Blair’s government after a decade of indecision... Yet, while the imposing sight of the hunts gathering in Yorkshire’s market towns will attract tens of thousands of spectators in what the Countryside Alliance will hail as a show of defiance, it is important that this does not offer a false impression of rural Britain. Though the hunts remain integral to the country way of life, a point which continues to be ignored by their vociferous opponents from the cities and suburbs, there is far more to the rural economy than just hunting... (story)

Yorkshire Post 26.12.15 More Tory MPs ‘refuse to run with the pack’- Today’s meets include the Bedale Hunt whose joint master Matt Ramsden said although the ban had been put in place to protect foxes, they had been dealt with in “less humane” ways since, including gassing, snaring and shooting with a high-powered rifle while using a lamp. “Whereas a fox 20 years ago would lived five years, it is lucky if it lives two years now,” he said. (Gamekeepers and farmers) feel they have to carry it out themselves and it is done in a pretty wholesale fashion.” Both opponents and supporters suggest it is highly unlikely...(story)

BBC News Online 26.12.15 Boxing Day hunts due to take place - It is estimated almost a quarter of a million people may attend Boxing Day hunts across the country, according to a pro-hunting group. The Countryside Alliance says the high turnout, more than a decade after hunting with dogs was effectively banned, is proof that the legislation is not working... (story)

Central Somerset Gazette 26.12.15 BOXING DAY HUNT: The Countryside Alliance and The League against Cruel Sports clash over hunting law - AS the Boxing Day hunts prepare to get under way at Priddy and Axbridge, both sides of the hunting debate spoke about the future of the hunt, and the laws that surround it. The Countryside Alliance says the Hunting Act is in tatters, and claimed the hunt itself is in 'good shape'. It estimated that 250,000 people and 300 hunts would turn out to show their support for hunting. But the League against Cruel Sports said opposition to hunting with dogs is at an all time high, and with people in rural areas turning against hunting in record numbers.... (story)

Stoke Sentinel 26.12.15 Big Issue: Is it time to take another look at the laws around fox-hunting? By Tom Burnett - OVER the last few days most people will have been indulging in at least a couple of 'traditional' festive activities.... Across the country hundreds of members of hunts will be riding across the countryside this Boxing Day, hounds beside them, chasing artificial scent where, up until 11 years ago, they would be pursuing live prey... Among those riding out today is Ann Hartley, from the North Staffs hunt, which this year will be starting its ride in Shropshire.... (story)

Mail 26.12.15 Thousands of huntsmen ride out as the traditional Boxing Day meets get underway amid controversy over efforts to overturn the foxhunting ban By SOPHIE JANE EVANS FOR MAILONLINE - Hundreds of thousands of people lined streets and market places across the country this morning as the traditional Boxing Day hunts got underway... This morning, UKIP leader Nigel Farage was among those who gathered at Chiddington Castle for Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt... One of the biggest turnouts, however, was at the meet of the Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire, which attracted around 6,000 people at Chipping Norton... Meanwhile, around 150 riders and 2,000 on foot turned out for the Llangeinor hunt's meet at the Fox and Hounds pub in Blackmill, South Wales... Thousands of others gathered for the Duke of Beaufort's hunt at Worcester Lodge in Didmarton, Gloucestershire... At the Holcombe Harriers' meet at Rivington Barn, in Anglezark near Bolton, more than 100 people were mounted and more than 2,000 on foot... (story)

Mirror 26.12.15 Nigel Farage joins crowd at Boxing Day hunt as debate rages over ban BY STEVE WHITE - The UKIP leader teamed his traditional wellies and outdoor jacket with loud yellow trousers when he turned up at the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent event... Supporters of fox hunting are pushing for a new vote on the ban, which was promised by the coalition government following the 2010 general election. Peter Morritt, general secretary for the Quorn Hunt, in Leicestershire, said there were 200 riders and 3,000 people who came to support the hunt which has been going for more than 300 years... (story)

Cambridge News 26.12.15 Hundreds support Boxing Day hunt in Cambridgeshire but critics say it is 'pursuit of the past' By RAYMOND BROWN - Hundreds of hunt supporters turned out for the traditional Boxing Day hunt in Cambridgeshire. Riders and hounds from the Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace Hunt at Eltisley Green and were greeted by hundreds of supporters in the village... (story)

Stratford Herald 26.12.15 VIDEO: Supporters out in their thousands for Boxing Day hunt By Mark Williamson - SERVERAL thousand people attended the traditional Boxing Day hunt in south Warwickshire today. The Warwickshire Hunt controversially gathered at Upton House on the Oxfordshire border where supporters watched about 100 horses and their riders meet at the National Trust property...(story)

Express 26.12.15 Brian May takes part in 'clean boot hunt' - IT's a sight that shows a new age in fox hunting is dawning. By STUART WINTER - The vehemently anti-blood sports campaigner Brian May takes to horseback to get the thrill of the chase but without any cruelty or killing.This dramatic picture was taken when the Queen legend witnessed a "clean boot hunt" in Wales, where bloodhounds pursue a running man rather than a terrified fox. It is published today on the traditional biggest gathering of fox hunt supporters, with up to 250,000 attending meets across the country.... After meeting the Three Counties Clean Boot Hunt in Carmarthenshire, Dr May, who set up both the Save Me Trust and Team Fox to contest attempts to dilute the current hunting legislation, said: "It's clear now that the ban on fox hunting is here to stay, and rightly so, of course.... (story)

Western Daily Press 26.12.15 PICTURED: Boxing Day hunts meet across the West By TristanCork - Tens of thousands of people turned out in towns and villages across the West to see the spectacle of the Boxing Day hunts... One of Wiltshire's biggest hunts, the Avon Vale, met in Lacock High Street amid a crowd of around two thousand people (story)

Metro 26.12.15 #KeepTheBan: People on Twitter don’t want fox hunting resurrected - Jen Mills for Metro.co.uk - Some people think fox hunting on Boxing Day is as traditional as having day-old turkey for dinner... Judging from the #KeepTheBan hashtag, a lot of people feel very strongly about it. Supporters of fox hunting are pushing for a new vote, as was promised by the coalition government following the 2010 general election.... (story)

Belfast Live 26.12.15 Animal rights campaigners use Boxing Day to renew calls for hunting with dogs to be banned in Northern Ireland BY MAURICE FITZMAURICE - Animal rights campaigners are using Boxing Day to renew calls for hunting with dogs to be banned in Northern Ireland... Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle MLA said his party has “long worked to eradicate animal cruelty”.... (story)

Kent Messenger 26.12.15 Boxing Day hunt: Saboteurs protest in Elham by Gerry Warren - Anti-fox hunting campaigners staged a protest in Elham village before the Boxing Day hunt set off. As many supporters gathered in the Square for their traditional Christmas meet, a group of saboteurs waving banners held a peaceful demonstration... The East Kent Hunt with West Street is often confronted by opposition from animal campaigners during the festive meet.... Nick Onslow, of the East Kent Hunt with West Street, described the Boxing Day meet as a “much-loved Christmas tradition”.... (story)

LACS OPINION POLL, SURVEY OF MPS, CA PREDICT 250K SUPPORTERS
.Huffington Post 26.12.15 Boxing Day Fox Hunt 2015: Hunts Gather For Annual Outing Amid Growing Opposition To Repeal Act By Eve Hartley - Fox hunting groups are currently gathering for the annual Boxing Day meet, amid growing parliamentary opposition from Conservative MPs to repeal the ban on hunting foxes with packs of hounds. Expected to attract around 250,000 riders and supporters, the outings are usually portrayed by the Countryside Alliance as a symbol of mass protest against the Hunting Act which came into force in 2005.... Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said fox hunting was a "pursuit from the past" and should be "consigned to history".... (story)
Telegraph 26.12.15 Tory minister condemns party's pledge for vote to bring back hunting with dogs - Sports minister Tracey Crouch says parliament has "better things to be concerned with" than fulfilling government's pledge to hold a vote on repealing Hunting Act By Patrick Sawer - A Government Minister has risked re-opening the divisive debate in the Conservative Party over fox hunting after condemning it as a "pursuit from the past" that should be "consigned to history". Tracey Crouch said parliament has "better things to be concerned with" than fulfilling her government's pledge to hold a vote on repealing the Hunting Act...(story)
Independent 26.12.15 Opposition to fox hunting hits all-time high with even most Tory voters opposed - Opposition to fox hunting has reached a new all-time high, according to the latest polling on the subject... Pollsters Ipsos MORI have asked the public the same question each year for around a decade and found very strong opposition each time... An analysis by the League Against Cruel Sports found that a growing minority of Tory MPs are against fox hunting, despite them having stood on a manifesto that could see the ban relaxed... (story)
Independent 26.12.15 Fox hunting: David Cameron's desire to reverse ban 'doomed in face of Tory opposition' - Around 70 Conservative MPs have indicated that they will vote against an attempt to repeal the Hunting Act - Jonathan Owen - David Cameron’s desire to overturn the fox hunting ban is doomed due to a record number of Conservative MPs who would reject such a move. Home Office minister James Brokenshire, and Caroline Dinenage, equalities minister, are among those who would rebel against any attempt to repeal the Hunting Act. They are joined by the likes of Robert Halfon, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, and Grant Shapps, the party’s former co-chairman... (story)
Guardian 26.12.15 Boxing Day foxhunts to go ahead as Tory support falls for weakening ban - Blue Fox anti-bloodsports lobby group claims nearly 60 Conservative MPs would vote against proposals to lift current limit... The League Against Cruel Sports welcomed the surge in support among Conservative MPs as proof that repeal efforts are doomed. New figures from Ipsos Mori demonstrate that public opposition to hunting is increasing. According to Lacs’s annual poll, 83% of respondents objected to making foxhunting with packs of hounds legal again. Opposition to legalising foxhunting has risen from 72% in 2008 to 83% this year...(story)
Western Morning News 26.12.15 Parliament has 'better things to be concerned with' than hunting ban, says minister By WMNKLangston - The sports minister has suggested parliament has “better things to be concerned with” than fulfilling the government’s pledge to hold a vote on repealing the Hunting Act. Tracey Crouch branded fox hunting a “pursuit from the past” that should be “consigned to history”. The comments emerged as Boxing Day hunts across the South West are due to get under way, and alongside a survey that suggests more than 80% of the public oppose legalising hunting with dogs again... (story)
Yorkshire Post 26.12.15 Opposition to hunting at ‘record level’ as more Tories join the fray - Any attempt to repeal the Hunting Act would be “doomed to failure” because of growing anti-hunt feeling among Conservative MPs and a toughening of attitude in the general public, opponents claim... (story)
BBC News Online 26.12.15 Fox hunting: Parliament has 'better things to do' than repeal Act - Parliament has "better things to be concerned with" than the government's pledge to hold a vote on repealing the Hunting Act, the sports minister says. Tracey Crouch said fox hunting was a "pursuit from the past" and should be "consigned to history".... A League Against Cruel Sports survey, conducted by Ipsos MORI, found 83% of 2,036 respondents thought the ban should remain in place - 84% in rural areas and 82% in urban areas... (story)
Westfield Times 26.12.15 Tory sports activities minister Tracey Crouch alerts fox hunt ban will keep - Tory sports minister signals fox hunt ban will stay: Tracey Crouch says pursuit should be ‘consigned to history’ as thousands turn out for Boxing Day meets... (story)
Mirror 26.12.15 Ban on hunting with dogs now supported by record high of 83% of people BY BEN GLAZE - The poll also shows that of those living in rural areas opposition to scrapping the Hunting Act has surged from 69% to 84% since 2012... (story)
Express 26.12.15 MP blasts fox hunting: 'Brits want the blood sport consigned to history' - SPORTS Minister Tracey Crouch has kicked fox hunting into the long grass by saying MPs have better things to do than over turn its legal ban. By STUART WINTER (story)
Kent & Sussex Courier 26.12.15 Support for fox hunting at all time low, report claims - A new report claims support for fox hunting is at an all-time low, as Sports Minister Tracey Crouch slammed it as a "pursuit from the past"... (story)
Irvine Times 26.12.15 Opposition to legalising fox hunting at all-time high, poll shows - A new report claims support for fox hunting is at an all-time low, as Sports Minister Tracey Crouch slammed it as a "pursuit from the past".... (story)
Mail 26.12.15 Tory sports minister signals fox hunt ban will stay: Tracey Crouch says pursuit should be 'consigned to history' as thousands turn out for Boxing Day meets DANIEL MARTIN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL - A repeal of the ban on fox hunting looks more unlikely than ever after the sports minister branded it a 'pursuit from the past' that should be 'consigned to history'... The Countryside Alliance expects almost 300 registered hunts to take place today, attended by around 250,000 supporters. 'It's clear the Hunting Act is in tatters,' said CA chief executive Tim Bonner... (story)

STV 26.12.15 Animal welfare charity hits out at fox hunting ban 'loopholes' - A law designed to protect wild mammals has done nothing to dent the popularity of Boxing Day fox-hunting in Scotland, according to an animal welfare charity. The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 contains so many "loopholes" it is not "worth the paper it is printed on", charity OneKind said... (story)

Hawick News 26.12.15 Support grows for hunting ban - Jim Milnes - As traditional Boxing Day hunts get underway, new polling in Scotland shows that the majority of Scots are opposed to the legalisation of fox hunting, while the Scottish Government intend to strengthen the Protection of Wild Mammals Act, to prevent hunting in the future... (story)
Scotsman 26.12.15 Most Scots want hunting ban to stay amid ‘loopholes’ claim - ANDREW WHITAKER - More than eight out of ten Scots want to retain the ban on fox hunting as ministers consider tightening the law on the sport amid concerns little has changed since it was outlawed more than a decade ago... (story)

25.12.15

International Business Times 25.12.15 Boxing Day Hunt: Thousands of spectators in the UK are expected to watch 'barbaric' bloodsport By Fiona Keating - More than a quarter of a million people are expected to turn out to support the traditional Boxing Day hunt, according to pro-hunting organisation the Countryside Alliance… The Boxing Day hunt in the New Forest has had to find a bigger venue this year. The New Forest Hounds (NFH) spokesman Graham Ferris said the new location – Bolton's Bench, near Lyndhurst – would make it easier to manage the large crowds anticipated…. The RSPCA has called the practice of using hounds to chase and kill live animals "barbaric"…. (story)

24.12.15

Belfast Telegraph 24.12.15 Fox legend is well worth believing Cribs come in all shapes and sizes and exude varying degrees of piety, or cheeriness, depending on which set of people, or what establishment, happens to be displaying this Christmas tradition. As a campaigner against bloodsports, my own favourite is the crib that appears every year at my local church: in addition to the usual cast of donkey, cow, and a few sheep, there's a fox... JOHN FITZGERALD By email (story)

Mail 24.12.15 Hounds and riders set off on traditional Christmas Eve hunt as 250,000 prepare to support the countryside pursuit on Boxing Day By MARK DUELL - Hounds and riders have set off on a traditional Christmas Eve hunt as 250,000 prepare to support the countryside pursuit on Boxing Day. Riders with the Beaufort Hunt were pictured today arriving at the Volunteer Inn for their hunt in the Wiltshire village of Great Somerford…. (story)

TIM BONNER/TRACEY CROUCH/BRIAN MAY ROW
Kent Messenger 24.12.15 Queen guitarist Brian May called Chatham and Aylesford MP, Tracey Crouch's 'sugar daddy' by Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance by Clare Freeman - Queen guitarist Brian May has been called Tracey Crouch's "sugar daddy" by the head of the Countryside Alliance in a row on Twitter. Tim Bonner, the chief executive of the organisation, made the comments on the social networking site after the guitarist called Miss Crouch's fellow minister Liz Truss, the environment secretary, a “heartless moneymaker”. The MP for Chatham and Aylesford has since called Mr Bonner a "troll" after he sent her a number of tweets about the fact she took £5,000 from May as a registered donation…. (story)
Telegraph 24.12.15 Foxhunting row breaks out as Brian May is accused of being minister's 'sugar daddy' - The comments have provoked a furious row after Tracy Crouch, who is strongly against foxhunting, accused the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance of “trolling By Laura Hughes, Political Correspondent - The anti-foxhunting campaigner Brian May has been called the Sport's minister's “sugar daddy”, by the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance. The comments have provoked a furious row after Tracy Crouch, who is strongly against foxhunting, accused Tim Bonner of “trolling” on social media… (story)

Guardian 23.12.15 Brian May accused of being minister's 'sugar daddy' in foxhunting row - A row has erupted between Tracey Crouch, the sports minister, and the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, after he described the anti-foxhunting campaigner Brian May as her “sugar daddy”. Crouch, a Conservative who is a strong opponent of foxhunting, accused Tim Bonner of “trolling”, after he sent her a number of tweets about the fact she took£5,000 from May as a registered donation…. (story)

Western Gazette 24.12.15 'Fox hunting has had its day' according to latest League Against Cruel Sports figures - OPPOSITION to fox hunting is at an all time high according to the latest figures released by an animal welfare charity. The latest annual poll by League Against Cruel Sports shows that opposition to the legalisation of "blood sports" and hunting with dogs is on the rise. Figures show that 83 per cent against the legalisation of fox hunting, 85 per cent against legalising deer hunting and 87 per cent against hare hunting and coursing… (story)

BBC News Online 24.12.15 Captive fox released from Buckminster Estate shed - An animal welfare charity said it released a captive fox from a private outbuilding, hours before the Belvoir Hunt was due to meet nearby. The League Against Cruel Sports said the find raised serious questions about the animal's treatment…. Darryl Cunnington, from the League Against Cruel Sports, said the fox was dehydrated and underweight when it was found … (story)

Oxford Mail 23.12.15 Hunting traditions do not excuse the barbaric act - WE WILL shortly see the imagery and propaganda from the pro-hunt campaign as they would have us believe support for hunting remains strong (yesterday’s Oxford Mail). As the pro-hunt lobby gathers for their annual Boxing Day meet let us remember this is nothing more than a smokescreen designed to hide the barbaric truth about hunting… ANDREW COLES Farmington Drive, Witney (letter)

23.12.15

KNOYDART DEER CULL
Scotsman 23.12.15 Gamekeepers angered by John Muir Trust deer cull - A ROW has erupted between gamekeepers and one of Scotland’s leading landowning charities over the treatment of deer on a remote Highland estate. The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) is calling on the Scottish Government to investigate claims that the John Muir Trust left the bodies of dozens of stags to rot on a Knoydart hillside….(story)
Telegraph 22.12.15 Wilderness charity accused of 'gratuitous slaughter' of red deer - John Muir Trust criticised by neighbouring estate owners after it culls 86 stags on remote property and leaves carcasses to rot on the hill By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent - A wilderness charity has been accused of damaging the economy of a remote Highland peninsula by killing dozens of stags and leaving them to rot on the hill in an area where stalking is virtually the only source of income. The John Muir Trust shot 86 stags this year on its remote estate on Knoydart in a move that is said to have infuriated some of its neighbours… (story)
Scotsman 22.12.15 Dozens of shot stags left to rot on Knoydart hillside - TOM PETERKIN - A row has erupted between gamekeepers and one of Scotland’s leading landowning charities over the treatment of deer on a remote Highland estate. The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) is calling on Scottish Government to investigate claims that the John Muir Trust left dozens of Stags to rot on a Knoydart hillside…. (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 23.12.15 No need for this cruelty to badgers: letter - I've always loved Dorset, home of Badger beer, but am starting to feel very uncomfortable about living where there is endemic hatred and cruelty inflicted on anything not perceived as useful to humans. For example, blocking up foxholes the night before a hunt so they have nowhere to go seems unsportsmanlike. Now the unjustifiable slaughter of badgers, to be rolled out countrywide next year at enormous expense to the taxpayer (in case anyone missed the Radio 4 Farming Programme at 5.45am on Sunday) suggests that we are sleepwalking into genocide… Carole Steven-Fountain, by email (story)

22.12.15

HUNT SUPPORT STRONG
Manchester Evening News 22.12.15 Traditional hunt meetings will ride out across region on Boxing Day BY PAUL BRITTON - The Countryside Alliance claims the current hunting law is 'in tatters' and 250,000 people will gather to watch the festive pomp and ceremony across the UK… Huge crowds are expected at Rivington Hall Barn, near Bolton , to watch the Holcombe Hunt, one of the oldest in the country…. The Cheshire Forest Hunt, which regularly attracts up to 100 riders and more than 1,000 spectators, leaves The Three Greyhounds Inn in Byley, Cheshire, at 11.30am. Elsewhere the Cheshire Drag Hunt, formed 12 months ago with the combination of the Cheshire Farmers and North East Cheshire Drag Hunt, leaves the Unicorn Inn in Dean Row, near Wilmslow, from 11.30am… (story)
Carlisle News & Star 22.12.15 FOX HUNTING LAW IN 'TATTERS' CLAIMS COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE - THE law banning fox hunting is in “tatters”, the Countryside Alliance has claimed, as research suggested four in five hunts nationally have either retained or gained new supporters since it came into force…. (story)
Oxford Mail 22.12.15 Support for hunting is “as strong as ever”, claims Countryside Alliance ahead of Heythrop Hunt - SUPPORT for hunting is “as strong as ever” ahead of the scheduled Heythrop Hunt, according to the Countryside Alliance. Hundreds of people turned out for the annual Boxing Day meet in Chipping Norton last year, with about 200 riders and 36 hounds. This year will be the 190th year of the Heythrop tradition and comes as the alliance – which promotes country sports – predicts around 250,000 people will attend traditional hunts on Boxing Day… (story)
Bicester Advertiser 22.12.15 Support for hunting is “as strong as ever”, claims Countryside Alliance ahead of Heythrop Hunt (story)
Western Daily Press 21.12.15 Countryside Alliance (CA): The law banning fox hunting is in 'tatters' - The law banning fox hunting is in "tatters", the Countryside Alliance (CA) has claimed, as research suggested four in five hunts have either retained or gained new supporters since it came into force… (story)
Wiltshire Times 21.12.15 Law banning fox hunting in 'tatters', says Countryside Alliance - THE law banning fox hunting is in "tatters", the Countryside Alliance (CA) has claimed, as research suggested four in five hunts have either retained or gained new supporters since it came into force…. (story)
Telegraph 21.12.15 Tally ho for foxhunting - One day this noble sport will be wrested from the coalition of anti-rural snobs and animal rights activists who banned it By Telegraph View - Since fox-hunting was banned, fox-hunting has flourished. This paradox is borne out by new research that shows that some 80 per cent of hunts have either held on to their supporters or recruited new ones since the Hunting Act came into effect more than a decade ago… (story)
Western Morning News 21.12.15 Support for hunting 'as strong as ever' By WMNAGreenwood - The law banning fox hunting is in “tatters”, the Countryside Alliance (CA) has claimed, as research suggested four in five hunts have either retained or gained new supporters since it came into force… (story)
PA (via BT) 21.12.15 Support for hunting 'as strong as ever' - Countryside Alliance - The law banning fox hunting is in "tatters", the Countryside Alliance (CA) has claimed, as research suggested four in five hunts have either retained or gained new supporters since it came into force…. (story)
Swindon Advertiser 21.12.15 Law banning fox hunting in 'tatters', says Countryside Alliance - THE law banning fox hunting is in "tatters", the Countryside Alliance (CA) has claimed, as research suggested four in five hunts have either retained or gained new supporters since it came into force…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 20.12.15 Hunting Act in 'tatters' as thousands prepare for Boxing Day meet - The Countryside Alliance says 80 per cent of registered hunts have held on to their supporters or recruited new ones since the ban By Lexi Finnigan - The Hunting Act is in "tatters" says the Countryside Alliance as record numbers prepare for the annual Boxing Day meets. A new survey by the pro-hunting organisation found more than a quarter of a million people are expected to turn out to support the traditional Boxing Day hunt… (story)

Stoke Sentinel 22.12.15 Big Issue: Crackdown on the 'horrific animal cruelty' of poaching By Tom Burnett - As poaching increases in the run-up to Christmas, Tom Burnett looks at how rife the problem is here inStaffordshire, and the steps police are taking to tackle it... The Countryside Alliance said they fully supported efforts to clamp down on poaching, and that Ministry of Justice statistics pointed to a majority of the 378 people prosecuted in the UK between 2005 and 2014 under the Hunting Act were poachers… (story)

Telegraph 22.12.15 People living in the countryside to be at the heart of Government policy making - People who live in the countryside will be put at the centre of Government policy making, with every department forced be forced to justify how their policies help the countryside. A new rural ambassador and a ministerial task force will work across Whitehall to ensure that departments are putting the countryside first, the Government said… A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance welcomed the changes, saying that ministers had “for far too long policy making has failed to acknowledge the unique nature of rural communities…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 22.12.15 Feed the world by going vegan - As we push our trolleys around a busy pre-Christmas supermarket, we are certain to hear Band Aid's charity song Do They Know It's Christmas… the foods we choose do impact on those people, as much arable land is used to grow feed for animals, rather than food for people…. Veganuary encourages people to try vegan for 31 days each January. On its website, you'll find plenty of information JANE LAND Veganuary (letter)

21.12.15

EAST ESSEX SUPPORTER ATTACKED BY SABS
Essex Chronicle 21.12.15 Hunt saboteurs accused of 'own-goal' over misleading social media photo from East Essex Hunt By Will Watkinson - THIS is the photo The Hunt Saboteurs Association said showed a woman being punched and kicked on the floor as she tried to save a fox from hunters. A social media post read: "Kicked & punched while protecting a fox which had gone to ground." But it later emerged the woman apparently being grappled and having kicks aimed at her was an East Essex hunt supporter. Essex Police are now investigating the fracas that took place in Blackmore End, Braintree, at around 11.50am on Saturday, December 5…. (story)
Essex Chronicle 10.12.15 Essex Police probe Foxhunt fight as woman supporter kicked on the floor in clash with saboteurs By WillWatkinson - Essex Police are investigating a foxhunting fracas after a hunt supporter was allegedly kicked on the floor in a clash with saboteurs. The clash between the opposing factions took place in Blackmore End, Braintree, at around 11.50am on Saturday, December 5. The Hunt Saboteurs Association had claimed originally that the woman supporter was protecting a fox from the hunters – but after publishing the picture on social media it emerged that she was actually a hunt member…. (story)
Huffington Post 9.12.15 Fox Hunt Confrontation In Essex Investigated By Police As Pictures Show Woman Being Kicked By Jack Sommers - Police are investigating what happened in a alleged fight between a fox hunting party and hunting saboteurs, after images were posted allegedly showing a woman being attacked. The Hunt Saboteurs Association tweeted three images that, they claimed, showed the woman being "kicked & punched while protecting a fox which had gone to ground", saying she was trying to sabotage the hunt. But it later emerged the woman was supporting the hunt and was not a saboteur… East Essex Hunt had not replied to requests for comment as this story went live… (story)

Huffington Post 21.12.15 Terrier Terror and the Horror of Underground Hunting - Tom Quinn - League Against Cruel Sports Director of Campaigns - My favourite dog is part-Schnauzer, part-Cairn terrier, and goes by the name of Stanley… Imagine if one day I took Stanley into the woods, found a fox hole, shoved Stanley down it and forced him into a fight with a trapped fox… The hunts will claim they do not hunt foxes any more, but simply follow a 'trail'. Then why did at least 13 of the individuals investigated over the last year have links to hunts?... (story)

20.12.15

Horse & Hound 20.12.15 Going hunting on Boxing Day? Here’s what you need to know - Polly Portwin - where to start? Horse & Hound offers some tips on how to go about it, including who to contact and how to prepare…. (story)

Metro 20.12.15 The people who throw themselves in front of hunts to save foxes - Dave Burke - In the summer the government was forced to throw out plans to relax UK hunting laws… some groups are actively following the hunts around and protecting animals if they think they’re going to be killed… This week a member of the Manchester Hunt Saboteurs group – one of the organisations which aims to disrupt hunts where they fear animals will be killed – told The Dodo: ‘Supporters of hunting defend it by claiming the animals they’re hunting are pests… He said on one occasion saboteurs used voice calls and sprayed a substance called citronella to cover a fox’s scent…. (story)
The Dodo 20.12.15 Meet The People Who Throw Themselves In Front Of Hunters By Sarah V Schweig - "This is private property," a man shouts into a nearby camera. A woman's voice can be heard as well, replying: "We're just trying to make sure a crime is not going to be committed."… This is just part of the job of a hunt saboteur, someone who has volunteered their time and risked their own safety to protect animals through nonviolent tactics…. (story)

Independent on Sunday 20.12.15 RSPCA defends itself after fixing tiny rodent's tooth - Samuel Osborne - The RSPCA has defended itself after being criticised for fixing the broken teeth of a tiny vole. The field vole, which weighed around an ounce, was admitted to Stapeley Grange Widllife Centre with broken incisor teeth… Tim Bonner, chairman of the Countryside Alliance, told the paper: “The RSPCA'S policy on euthanasia is increasingly random as it kills healthy domestic animals while carrying out surgery on wild animals that'll soon die anyway."... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 20.12.15 RSPCA under fire as vets fix a tiny rodent’s tooth under anaesthetic By Javier Espinoza - The RSPCA has come under fire after it vets fixed the broken teeth of a tiny rodent, which is likely to be eaten other wildlife anyway. The charity was quick to provide emergency dental treatment to a tiny field vole but this lead to many highlighting this was a pointless exercise because the rodent is likely to end up eaten once it is released into the wild... Tim Bonner, chairman of the Countryside Alliance, told the Mail on Sunday: “The RSPCA'S policy on euthanasia is increasingly random as it kills healthy domestic animals while carrying out surgery on wild animals thatll soon die anyway.... (story)

Huffington Post 20.12.15 Why We Need to See Turkeys Differently - Isobel Hutchinson - Animal farming and slaughter campaign manager at Animal Aid - At this time of year, we're used to being bombarded with adverts for turkey - the kind that's served up on a plate and made to look as far removed as possible from what was once a living creature.... During our latest investigation inside a turkey farm, we found animals just like Laura, Tessa and Millie packed into a dark, cramped shed.... (story)

Metro 20.12.15 Charity offers £2,000 reward to help find ‘machete-wielding’ serial cat killer of Croydon - Peta has put up a £2,000 reward to help catch the serial cat killer who is still at-large in South London.... Elisa Allen from Peta said: ‘Because animals cannot report incidents of abuse against them and can do little to fight back, they are the perfect “practice” victims for violent people.... Boudicca Rising, from South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) animal centre, is also raising money to get DNA tests done on the dead cats’ claws – in case they scratched the killer. (story)

19.12.15

Telegraph 19.12.15 Boxing Day 2015: What is it and why do we celebrate it? - Why the day after Christmas is called Boxing Day in the UK and other interesting facts related to December 26th By Cameron Macphail … Fox Hunting used to be a Boxing Day thing... Hunts were a Boxing Day tradition but the 2004 ban on foxhunting put an end to all that. Despite this, 10 years later 250,000 people still turned out to support hunting…. (story)

Mail 19.12.15 Dog owners brag on Facebook about illegal fights with foxes: Investigation uncovers more than 1,400 pictures of injured animals By COLIN FERNANDEZ FOR THE DAILY MAIL - Dog owners who pit their animals in fights with foxes and badgers are increasingly boasting about the practice on social media. An investigation uncovered more than 1,400 images of dogs whose owners boast they have been used in illegal fights pitted against the wild animals…. Mark Randell, Director of Operations at the League Against Cruel Sports, said ‘As a dog lover and someone who grew up in the countryside, I’m shocked whenever I see the horrific injuries inflicted on these poor dogs…. Fox hunters call in terrier men during a fox hunt when the fox has escaped into a hole or badger sett…. The League alleges the terrier men then send their dogs into the tunnel wearing an electronic locator collar… Underground hunting is illegal in England and Wales under the Hunting Act 2004. An exception is when it is carried out to protect game birds which will later be shot – but the person must carry with them written permission and intend to shoot the fox as soon as possible after it has been flushed from under the ground…. (story)

18.12.15

Western Morning News 18.12.15 Hunting in good heart as 250,000 spectators poised to turn out for Boxing Day meets By WMNPBowern - More than 80% of registered hunts in Britain have held onto their supporters or recruited more over the 11 years of the hunt ban, new research shows. A survey by the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance, released to tie in with the run up to the traditional Boxing Day and New Year meets, shows that despite the restrictions of the Hunting Act the country pursuit remains “in good shape.” The Alliance contrasts what it says is the health of hunting with the state of the anti-hunt movement, pointing out that despite the efforts of the animal rights lobby not a single registered hunt has been successfully prosecuted this year… (story)
Express 18.12.15 Boxing day hunt stirs up fresh conflict with campaigners - THE fur is already flying before the first tally-ho has been sounded for the biggest day on the fox hunting calendar. By STUART WINTER - Animal welfare campaigners and pro-hunters are at loggerheads in the countdown to the traditional Boxing Day turn out of hounds and riders. At the heart of the furore is the success or failings of the Hunting Act. While one side champions the way the law has brought 379 people to justice over the past decade, those who revile the legislation say it is in tatters… For the RSPCA, who have conducted a number of controversial private prosecutions against hunts - one, in particular, supported by the Prime Minister - the law is a vital piece animal welfare legislation… In contrast, the Countryside Alliance says around 250,000 people will turn out for the Boxing Day meets of the 300-plus registered UK hunts, and this year it says they "have much to celebrate"… (story)

Stroud Life 18.12.15 Suspected illegal immigrants lost in Arlingham 'looking for Brighton' - and mistaken for hunt sabs By Ben_Falconer - Dazed and confused suspected illegal immigrants called at a pub, 'looking for Brighton' and were mistaken for hunt saboteurs, villagers said. After around 18 or 19 men were seen jumping from a lorry in Arlingham near the Red Lion pub, police descended on the area with dogs and a helicopter and arrested 12 of them - they said they were from Iran or Iraq. Claire Smith from Berkeley Hunt said: "I was quite shocked – initially I saw three people in a hedge and I thought there hunt saboteurs'…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 18.12.15 Hunting law not enforced - Mercury Mailbox - Derek Hines (Mailbox, December 12) says that killing animals for halal meat is barbaric and this I totally agree with. He goes on to say we have stopped barbaric animal hunting for sport in this country. This is untrue. Fox hunting goes on, as it has in the past, with total disregard for the law…. Name and address supplied (letter)

HUSKISSON LETTER
Plymouth Herald 18.12.15 My book lifts the lid on hunting's cruelty - MJ HUSKISSON (letter)
Western Morning News 17.12.15 Spotlight on the cruelty of hunting - Boxing Day brings the annual invasion of hunting into urban communities, our papers and television screens… readers should know the measure of cruelty that such unfettered hunting would inflict on our wildlife. My recently re-published book, Outfoxed Take Two, that details my undercover work within hunting from 1981-83 gives an idea… by M J Huskisson Animal Welfare Information Service PO Box 8, Halesworth Suffolk IP19 0JL (story)

CHARITY COMMISSION CRITICES LACS, BADGER TRUST
Third Sector 18.12.15 Party political neutrality of 17 charities questioned during general election period by Stephen Cook - Charity Commission case report published yesterday says "most were not considered serious breaches" of guidance - The National Trust, the League against Cruel Sports, Whizz-Kidz and the International Fund for Animal Welfare were among 17 charities contacted by the Charity Commission because of concerns about their political neutrality in the nine months before this year’s general election… (story)
Third Sector 18.12.15 Badger Trust's election activities 'risked calling its political neutrality into question' by Stephen Cook - Charity Commission case report says it will continue to monitor the charity, which describes the complaint that led to the report as "politically motivated" - The Charity Commission is monitoring the Badger Trust to ensure that its trustees "protect their charity from the perception of party political bias or a lack of independence," a case report from the commission said yesterday…. (story)
Western Daily Press 18.12.15 Badger Trust boss 'proud' at breaking 'gagging' rules on political charities in badger cull row By TristanCork - The Badger Trust has been reprimanded by the Charities Commission over the way it broke charity rules on political campaigning over the controversial cull in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Dorset. But the national charity's chief executive remained defiant at having his knuckles rapped by the Government watchdog, and said he was 'glad he stood up for badgers'. The Commission said the Badger Trust had broken charity laws when it organised and promoted a march calling for the badger cull in three West counties to be halted, and called it 'Stop Cameron's Cull'…. (story)

Oxford Mail 18.12.15 Eco this and eco that will not save wildlife from us - AFTER visiting the Green Party’s annual fair at Oxford Town Hall last week, I came away even more disillusioned, since real green policies were mostly sidelined… We should bring an end to mass immigration and discourage people from having large families, rather than bestowing vast amounts of public money on those who breed irresponsibly – family allowances should be confined to one child only. It was good to see that the Badger Trust had a stall, especially since the present government is intent on wiping out our badgers over the next 25 years…. MARK PRITCHARD Linkside Avenue Oxford (letter)

Oxford Mail 18.12.15 Campaigners from animal cruelty group Peta head to Broad Street with veggie Christmas message - TWO vegan campaigners braved the winter weather in just lettuce bikinis to spread the message about animal cruelty. Daryna Milgevska, 22, and Jenny Miller, 28, were in Broad Street, Oxford, on Tuesday to campaign for pressure group Peta, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals…. (story)

Worcester News 18.12.15 'Why sheep farming causes flooding' - George Richardson (Dog attacks are the least of sheep’s worries, December 14) is right to be concerned about the suffering and slaughter of sheep, and I agree with him about the wisdom of adopting a vegan diet. However, Mr Richardson fails to mention another huge problem with sheep farming, which is that it causes considerable damage to the environment, harms food production and is a major contributor to flooding…. PETER TALBOT Worcester (letter)

17.12.15

Third Sector 17.12.15 The League Against Cruel Sports has recruited Eduardo Goncalves as chief executive…. (story)

Shooting UK 17.12.15 Shooters dismiss claims eating game lowers IQ - Mark Layton - Country groups dismiss as "guesswork" WWT and RSPV claims that consuming game shot with lead ammunition could be compromising the intelligence of thousands of children - Countryside organisations have hit back at claims that eating game meat can lower a child’s IQ level… BASC director of communications Christopher Graffius said: “These figures are extrapolations based on theoretical assumptions, which fail to take account of the way in which game is processed…. (story)

Guardian 17.12.15 Highland estates face stricter legal controls over grouse shoots - Highland estates could be forced to apply for licences to shoot grouse in a further crackdown by Scottish ministers on the illegal persecution of birds of prey. Aileen McLeod, the Scottish environment minister, said she had ordered a review into the stricter legal controls imposed on game estates in Europe as conservationists disclosed that at least 779 protected birds had been illegally killed over a 20-year period in Scotland…. (story)

Western Mail 17.12.15 Holes drilled into skulls and being pickled alive: animal rights group slams 'cruel' testing in Welsh labs BY TOM HOUGHTON - An animal protection group has slammed the “unacceptable levels of suffering” inflicted on animals in Welsh laboratories – which included having holes drilled in their skulls, acid injected in their brains, and being pickled alive. Cruelty Free International obtained Home Office figures which revealed more than 50,000 such experiments had been completed on animals, mainly mice, during 2014 as part of the study of complex health issues such as asthma, cancer and arthritis… (story)

Mail 17.12.15 Animal rights charity PETA sparks outrage with its Christmas campaign that compares a turkey dinner to eating a pet DOG By SIOFRA BRENNAN FOR MAILONLINE - A festive campaign by the animal welfare charity PETA has caused a stir by likening tucking into a turkey dinner on Christmas day to eating a pet dog. To support the advertising campaign, the organisation has also posted images of dogs on its blog with the slogan: 'If you wouldn't eat me, why eat a turkey?' It been widely praised by supporters, however there has been a social media backlash from those who argue the comparison is ridiculous… (story)

16.12.15

LACS PARTRIDGE REPORT
Western Morning News 16.12.15 Animal rights group's claims of cruelty at game bird farm rejected after government inspection By WMNPBowern - Allegations of cruelty at a Westcountry farm that rears game birds for shooting estates have been comprehensively rejected after an visit by a government animal welfare inspector. The League Against Cruel Sports trespassed at the Devon game farm last month and filmed red-legged partridges which are used as breeding birds and kept in raised laying units…But north Devon based Southern Partridges, the business at the centre of the allegations, had a visit from an inspector from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as a result of the allegations. She found no evidence to support the League’s claims… A spokesman at the farm said: “She said there was no evidence of cruelty or breaches of the code. The birds looked perfect and all was well.”… “The exposure of the nails on the top net restraining bar was entirely due to the person filming leaning over the pens and frightening the birds... causing the bar to be knocked off. The footage of our units does not show any holes in the walls as described… (story)
Ecologist 15.12.15 The plight of the partridge: confined, distressed, maimed - then shot for fun - Dr Toni Shephard - Forget pear trees. Today's partridges are unlikely to have seen much beyond the barren confines of their cages until they are released to be shot, writes Toni Shephard. A new investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports reveals that thousands of partridges will spend Christmas, like every other day, imprisoned on the farms that supply shooting estates…. (story)
Coventry Telegraph 15.12.15 Video: 'These birds live purely to die' - animal rights group go undercover at Warwickshire partridge breeding farm BY DANIEL SMITH - An animal rights group has released a video showing the conditions at partridge breeding farms around the country - including one in Warwickshire. League Against Cruel Sports went undercover last month at Heart of England Farms, in Claverdon, and two other of the UK's largest red-legged partridge breeding farms…. Dr Toni Shephard, the League Against Cruel Sports’ Head of Policy & Research, said: “The shooting industry tries to spread the myth that partridges are free range and natural, but our video investigations reveal they live in horrible conditions…. (story)
Warwick Courier 7.12.15 Video: Animal Aid tackles “dirty secret” of shooting industry - Animal Aid will show Warwick the shooting industry’s “dirty secret” on Thursday in hope of generating support to lobby MPs for welfare changes. The charity’s Battle Bus will screen undercover footage filmed across the UK which shows the “appalling” metal battery boxes that are used to keep partridges for breeding by the shooting industry… (story)

Herald 16.12.15 Docking dogs is a cruel practice - The informative comments of George Leslie (Letters, December 15) are to be welcomed… Perhaps once the pause-for-thought period of consultation occurs the Government will realise that public sympathy lies overwhelmingly with the distressed animals and not with the whims of the Scottish hunting/shooting fraternity. Allan C Steele, 22 Forres Avenue, Giffnock. (letter)

Northern Echo 16.12.15 Darlington penguin parade cancelled amid animal rights protest threats - Andy Walker - A CONTROVERSIAL penguin parade, which was scheduled to take place in Darlington town centre this weekend, has been cancelled amid threats of a demonstration by animal rights protestors. More than 120 people have joined a Facebook group to protest against plans for an event using live penguins in Darlington on Saturday (December 19). The penguin parade was an event organised Distinct Darlington, the town's Business Improvement District company…. The company said the 'increasingly aggressive nature' of protestors had led to the decision to cancel the parade…. (story)
Northern Echo 16.12.15 Animal rights charity's email to Darlington council leader Bill Dixon over penguin parade - An event featuring live penguins - which was due to be held in Darlington this weekend - has been cancelled following pressure from animal rights campaigners. Charity PETA wrote to Darlington Borough Council leader Bill Dixon, calling for the event to be axed. The full text of the email is reproduced below... Dear Councillor Dixon, I am writing on behalf of PETA UK – an affiliate of PETA US… Yours sincerely, Kirsty Henderson PETA Campaign Coordinator (letter)

15.12.15

IFAW TRAIL HUNTING REPORT
Western Morning News 15.12.15 Call to amend hunting act to outlaw trail hunting as 'cover' for chasing foxes By WMNPBowern - Anti-hunt campaigners are calling for an amendment to the Hunting Act to prevent trail hunting being used as a cover for chasing foxes…. But Tim Bonner, chief executive of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance, which campaigns to have the hunt ban lifted, rejected the report as an example of an under-pressure anti-hunt movement struggling to win back some credibility…. (story)
Sunday Mirror 13.12.15 Just 1% of hunts stick to legal guidelines, furious animal rights activists claim BY TOM PARRY - Animal welfare activists claim just one per cent of hunts they have monitored in the past decade stick to legal guidelines when laying down a scent for hounds to follow. Campaign group the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) compiled evidence from 443 ‘trail’ events monitored across the country run by 45 registered hunts. The charity’s Trail of Lies report is the first ever comprehensive survey of hunts since the ban and uses data from all hunt monitoring organisations in England and Wales, as well as official hunt publications and local newspaper reports… (story)

RSPCA WITHDRAWS FROM HUNT CASE PROSECUTIONS
Western Morning News 15.12.15 RSPCA steps back from prosecuting animal cruelty and hunting cases By Philip Bowern - The RSPCA is to step back from its role as prosecutor in alleged illegal hunting and animal cruelty cases. In line with the some of the recommendations contained in a report last year, the RSPCA will instead provide support to the Crown Prosecution Service and Trading Standards to take cases to court…. (story)
Western Daily Press 15.12.15 RSPCA steps back from controversial hunting cases (story)
Sunday Telegraph 13.12.15 RSPCA 'reserves right' to prosecute hunt cases despite controversy By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent - Fox hunters could still be prosecuted by the RSPCA despite a high-profile review which recommended passing the cases to the Crown Prosecution Service. It had been reported that the animal protection charity would no longer prosecute hunters or farmers accused of cruelty and would instead hand over evidence to the CPS or trading standards officers. However, an RSPCA spokeswoman confirmed the charity would “reserve the right to take back a prosecution” if the CPS and trading standards decline to go ahead…. (story)
Western Daily Press 13.12.15 RSPCA reserves right to prosecute fox hunting cases - The RSPCA will only launch prosecutions against fox-hunters in exceptional circumstances where the CPS fail to do so, it has emerged. It will also only prosecute farmers who have alleged to have been cruel to their animals if trading standards do not seek convictions, according to Sunday newspaper reports…. (story)
Mail on Sunday 13.12.15 At last! RSPCA chiefs drop legal vendetta against fox hunting and will now hand over evidence to the police By VALERIE ELLIOTT FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY - The RSPCA has dropped its controversial policy of carrying out private prosecutions against hunts and will instead hand over evidence to the authorities. The charity will also no longer mount private prosecutions in cases of alleged cruelty by farmers. In future it will give evidence to police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) or trading standards officers… (story)

The Herald 15.12.15 Docking dogs' tails is all about tradition and nothing else - As a member of the SNP for 50 years, and a practising veterinary surgeon for more than 50 years, I am appalled that Scottish Government is considering relaxing the ban on docking dogs tails without anaesthetic… As far as I can see it is all about tradition. Certain working dogs always had their tails docked; therefore they always should. If this is ever to be allowed let us ensure in law that no dog will have its tail amputated for recreational reasons until it is at least three month old and that the operation must always take place under general anaesthetic… George Leslie, North Glassock Farm, Fenwick (letter)

Plymouth Herald 15.12.15 Become vegan if upset by killing - I AM sure that most people felt immense empathy for the lamb stabbed by youths as reported in the Herald, Thursday, December 10… However, if the lamb had not been killed by them, she would have still met a violent death, not in a den in the woods, but in a slaughterhouse…. If you felt empathy for the lamb then you already believe in the values of veganism, you just need to start living by those values too. VALERIE FRY Plymstock (letter)

Independent 15.12.15 Lettuce is ‘three times worse than bacon' for emissions and vegetarian diets could be bad for environment - Adam Withnall - Eating a healthier diet rich in fruit and vegetables could actually be more harmful to the environment than consuming some meat, a US study has claimed. Lettuce is “over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eatingbacon”, according to researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University who analysed the impact per calorie of different foods in terms of energy cost, water use and emissions…. (story)

14.12.15

BRIAN MAY VISITS THREE COUNTIES BLOODHOUNDS
Horse & Country 14.12.15 Brian May attends drag hunt meet - Outspoken animal rights campaigner Brian May has attended a drag hunt in the hope of promoting it as an 'alternative' to fox hunting…. (story)
Western Daily Press 14.12.15 Brian May gets his 'clean boots' on to hunt By tina rowe - It is a sight that appears to contradict all that Queen guitarist Dr Brian May stands for: the opponent of fox hunting in the saddle following hounds in pursuit of a quarry – but this quarry was human. Yesterday, at the invitation of Hunt Master Byron John, Dr May joined a Three Counties Bloodhounds meeting in Wales to witness first-hand the legal side of recreational hunting. The bloodhounds follow a scent trail led by humans, known as 'drag' hunting or 'clean boot hunting'… (story)
New 14.12.15 Brian May joins 'cruelty-free' hunt - QUEEN guitarist BRIAN MAY joined a hunt in Wales on Sunday (13Dec15) to promote a modified form of the sport which avoids the killing of foxes… (story)
Contact Music 14.12.15 Brian May Joins 'Cruelty-free' Hunt By WENN - Queen Guitarist Brian May Joined A Hunt In Wales On Sunday (13dec15) To Promote A Modified Form Of The Sport Which Avoids The Killing Of Foxes…. (story)
Western Mail 13.12.15 Blood sports 'have no place in Britain', says Queen legend Brian May at Welsh hunt BY ADAM HALE - Rock legend and animal rights campaigner Brian May has said blood sports have “no place in Britain” as he called for the promotion of legal non-violent hunting…. (story)
Western Morning News 13.12.15 Queen guitarist and country sports opponent Brian May goes 'cruelty-free' ' hunting By WMNPBowern - Animal rights campaigner and rock star Brian May is going hunting – following a pack of bloodhounds he claims represents the ‘cruelty-free’ future of the sport. The Queen guitarist, who campaigns against country sports and the badger cull, is joining the Three Counties Bloodhounds meeting on Sunday December 13 to witness first-hand what he says is “the legal side of recreational hunting.” Byron John, Master of what is know as a clean boot hunt, is a former fox hunter, and former Master of the Carmarthenshire Hunt. He is now the Hunt Master of the Three Counties Bloodhounds which follow a human-laid scent…. (story)
South Wales Evening Post 13.12.15 Queen’s Brian May goes on a ‘clean boot’ hunt in Swansea - ROCK hero Brian May joined a 'clean boot' bloodhound hunt in Birchgrove to show support for the sport. Clean boot, or drag hunting, gives blood hounds a pre-set trail left by a human so no animals are harmed. The Queen guitarist, an animal rights activist and vice-president of the RSPCA, was invited to the event by hunt master Byron John…. (story)
Sunday Mirror 13.12.15 Queen guitarist Brian May BACKS HUNTING - but not the type you might think - Rock legend and animal rights campaigner Brian May has said blood sports have "no place in Britain" as he called for the promotion of legal non-violent hunting. The Queen guitarist said more must be done to educate people about the "brutality" of hunting animals for sport as he attended a cruelty-free hunt in West Wales. May was invited by hunt master Byron John to attend a "clean boot hunt" in Birchgrove, Swansea, where humans rather than animals are tracked down by a hunting pack…. (story)
Express 11.12.15 Badger-loving Brian May goes HUNTING ...but they'll be chasing a human and not a fox - ROCK legend Brian May is joining the "hunting set" today...The animal campaigner will be witnessing all the thrill of the chase but without any of the cruelty or bloodlust. By STUART WINTER - A former leading fox hunter has invited the Queen guitarist to join a "clean boot" bloodhound hunt in Wales later today to see how legal recreational hunts work… It was the advent of the 2004 Hunting Act, which prevents the chasing of foxes by more than two dogs, that saw hunt master Byron John take up legal hunting. He had been the Master of the Carmarthenshire Hunt but decided to take up the cruelty-free sport where blood hounds follow the scent of a human runner.. Among those taking part will be Byron's Joint Master of the Three Counties Bloodhounds, Kate Pickard, who hunted for many years with the Belvoir and Quorn Hunts in Leicestershire before relocating to South Wales. Kate has worked for various hunting yards including York, Melton Mowbray and Carmarthenshire, but she is now fully committed to the "clean boot" form. Rock legend Brian May is joining the "hunting set" today..(story)

Belfast Telegraph 14.12.15 Let's end sickening bloodlust for so-called furry 'friends' - JOHN FITZGERALD Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports (letter)
Irish Independent 11.12.15 Time to grant animals a Yuletide amnesty from hunting - 'Tis the season to be jolly, but not for the creatures of field and forest. They must endure the merciless assault on Ireland's wildlife heritage that sadly accompanies the countdown to Christmas…. Instead of stepping up this all-out national assault on wildlife right now, wouldn't it be more in keeping with the alleged spirit of peace and goodwill to grant our furry and feathered friends a Yuletide amnesty - a break from the targeting of these creatures without which the countryside would be a dull and barren place for all of us? John Fitzgerald, Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports, Kilkenny (story)

The Journal 14.12.15 Animal rights activists hold ‘turkey memorial’ outside Dublin butchers - AN ANIMAL RIGHTS group is holding a memorial to slaughtered Christmas turkeys outside a Dublin butchers today. The Animal Rights Action Network (Aran) said the event has been organised to remember the thousands of animals killed for the Irish market every festive season.. “Most animals, unless they’re a beloved family companion, don’t get funerals – especially not those killed for their flesh in the run up to Christmas,” John Carmody of Aran said… (story)

Leicester Mercury 14.12.15 The Vegan Cakery: No animals were farmed during the making of this feature... Christmas is a time for giving. And few people give more than Michelle Orme, the woman who's putting sweet charity into cake making. Sarah Staples meets her - Cake maker Michelle Orme runs a successful, award-winning business that doesn't make her a penny. And she couldn't be happier about it… The charities to which she gives her profits are mainly those dedicated to our four-legged friends: Animal Aid, the Racehorse Sanctuary, Romanian Animal Rescue, to name a few… (story)

Leicester Mercury 14.12.15 Turkey-free Christmas - Mercury Mailbox - People moved by Vodafone's Terry the Turkey advert should choose a cruelty-free Christmas. Although Terry's life was spared, millions of turkeys every year suffer miserable lives and terrifying slaughterhouse deaths…. Isobel Hutchinson, Animal Aid. (letter)

13.12.15

West Briton 13.12.15 LIFESTYLE: Vegan life is the latest trend in Cornwall By WBGayle - ONCE upon a time, vegan life was reserved for hardened hippies and animal welfare crusaders. Today the plant-based diet has become something of a trend promoted by health gurus and glamorous celebrities… On Saturday hundreds of people flocked to the Hall For Cornwall for the Cornwall Vegan Festival, formerly known as the Truro Vegan Free Food Fair (see page 30)…. (story)

12.12.15

Horse & Hound 12.12.15 10 injuries your horse might encounter out hunting — and how to treat them - Any sports horse can get hurt, but the unpredictable demands of the hunting field can result in unforeseen injury to horse, rider or both, says Agnes Stamp - Whether you’re hunting for the first time, or a seasoned hedgehopper, it is important to recognise where the dangers lie and how to avoid them, and if bad luck does strike, the best course of action…. (story)

Lynn News 12.12.15 Letters: Adrian Blackmore, December 11, 2015 - I refer to the article “Norfolk has highest rate of bird crime in the East” which is, in places, both misleading and inaccurate. While there may have been 28 incidents reported in the county in 2014, just four of those are shown in the RSPB’s birdcrime report to have been confirmed. This did not make Norfolk the worst county for bird crime either in the East, or elsewhere for that matter… (story)

11.12.15

LAMERTON PROSECUTION DROPPED
Western Morning News 11.12.15 LACS escapes costs order after hunting trial collapses By Athwenna Irons - The League Against Cruel Sports will not have to pay defence costs following the collapse of an illegal hunting trial last week. In a hearing on Wednesday at South and West Devon Magistrates’ Court in Newton Abbot, district judge Kevin Gray deemed the League would not have to pay the hunt’s court costs, which amounted to £72,355.42. The League will still have to pay their own costs, the amount of which was not revealed in court… (story)
Western Daily Press 10.12.15 Taxpayer to pick up bill for 'crazy, vindictive prosecution' of Lamerton hunt By TristanCork - The Countryside Alliance has called for the Government to end the ability of organisations like the League Against Cruel Sports from mounting 'vindictive' private prosecutions against hunts, after the collapse of the case left the taxpayer picking up a bill of more than £70,000. The legal fees of six foxhunters accused of illegally breaking the hunt ban will be paid by the taxpayer after a judge decided the animal rights group that accused them, and then dropped the case, had done nothing wrong…. (story)
Western Daily Press 10.12.15 'We won't be bullied' say League after judge rules on Lamerton hunt court case costs By TristanCork - The legal fees of six foxhunters accused of illegally breaking the hunt ban will be paid by the taxpayer after a judge decided the animal rights group that accused them, and then dropped the case, had done nothing wrong…. Now, the judge in the case said although the League dropped the case when the impartiality of its expert witness was questioned, the charity had not done any 'unnecessary or improper act or omission' which warranted them being made to pay the huntsmen's legal bills…. League director Tom Quinn said the charity's legal fees would be 'around a third' of what the six huntsmen spent – which would be around £24,000. "Pro-hunt supporters and the Countryside Alliance have done their best to blacken our name by accusing us of wrongly taking this prosecution, of somehow trying to mislead the court, and of wasting our supporters' money," said Mr Quinn. "This judgement shows they are wrong on all counts… (story)
Western Morning News 8.12.15 Comment: Rethink private prosecutions after 'hunting' case collapse By Jamie Foster - Last week a case against six members of the Lamerton Hunt in Devon collapsed in a manner so dramatic that it may have ramifications for all private prosecutions in the UK. The League Against Cruel Sports invested a huge amount of donated charitable funds to pursuing it themselves under the Hunting Act…. The League’s case depended entirely on expert witness evidence, due to the fact that no unlawful hunting was captured on film. The only way that a court could possibly find the defendants guilty was by accepting that an expert could analyse the film and determine that hunting was in fact taking place. It is essential in these cases that an expert is entirely independent and unbiased… The expert the League eventually found, after I wrote a legal submission asking the court to exclude the evidence of the original choice, was Professor Stephen Harris of Bristol University. He had previously given evidence in most of the contested cases involving fox hunting. During the trial he was cross examined by Peter Glenser, an expert on country matters, who was seeking to understand why Professor Harris had failed to reveal, as the law required, his long established connections with the League… Under cross examination it was revealed that Professor Harris had had a long-term close friendship with a witness, the League’s head of investigations, Paul Tillsley. When Peter asked why he had not included this information in his report he said that he had sought legal advice from the League’s solicitor, Rachel Newman, who is now their acting chief executive. He claimed she told him that as long as he hadn’t discussed the case with Mr Tillsley he didn’t need to disclose the fact that they were friends…. (story)
Western Morning News 6.12.16 Countryside Alliance calls for other animal cases to be reviewed after collapse of hunt prosecution By WMNPBowern - The collapse of the case against six members of a Westcountry fox hunt could call into question the safety of other cases where defendants have been convicted, the Countryside Alliance believes… (story)
Western Morning News 6.12.16 Countryside Alliance calls for other animal cases to be reviewed after collapse of hunt prosecution By WMNPBowern - The collapse of the case against six members of a Westcountry fox hunt could call into question the safety of other cases where defendants have been convicted, the Countryside Alliance believes… (story)
Mail 5.12.15 nimal rights charity accused of wasting £100,000 on failed prosecution against fox hunters after trial collapses over expert's link to the group …Six members of the Lamerton Hunt in Devon were accused of illegally hunting and killing a fox on Dartmoor in March 2014. The case was brought by the League Against Cruel Sports. But the trial collapsed when witness Professor Stephen Harris, a fox expert, was said to be a close friend of the charity’s head of operations, Paul Tillsley… (story)
Telegraph 4.12.15 Hunting convictions thrown into doubt after court case collapses By Camilla Turner - Hunting prosecutions have been thrown into doubt after an expert witness has been exposed as having close links to a prominent animal rights campaign group. Professor Stephen Harris, a leading authority on foxes and badgers, has had his credibility called into question after it emerged that he had failed to inform the court about his friendship with Paul Tillsley, the head of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sport and his other connections to the group. The disclosure, which this week caused the collapse of a court case, has been described as having “extensive ramifications” for cases bought under the Hunting Act…. (story)
Western Daily Press 4.12.15 'I was only open and honest' says fox expert professor after collapse of Lamerton hunting case By TristanCork - The West professor at the centre of the collapse of a major prosecution of illegal fox hunting has spoken out for the first time about the case, and the 'shameful' attempts to 'rubbish him'. Bristol University professor Stephen Harris, the world's leading expert on foxes, said it would be 'strange' for him not to 'interact' with the League Against Cruel Sports 'from time to time', and denied ever being told to hide his links to the animal welfare charity in the controversial court case this week in which he appeared as the expert witness for the prosecution… The Countryside Alliance said the collapse of the Lamerton case brought other cases into question which saw Prof Harris give evidence… "We shall be considering all hunting cases in which he was involved - particularly those of the Fernie hunt, Leicestershire, from 2011; the Crawley and Horsham , Sussex, in 2012 and the Meynell Hunt, Derbyshire, in 2012 – and shall ask the Criminal Cases Review Commission to consider whether those convictions are safe or if they should be overturned…. (story)
Western Daily Press 4.12.15 Countryside Alliance asks for old hunting convictions to be reviewed after collapse of Lamerton case By TristanCork - The Countryside Alliance is demanding previous hunting convictions which involved Bristol professor Stephen Harris be reviewed by the judiciary after the collapse of the Lamerton court case in Devon. Alliance executive chairman Tim Bonner said the collapse of the Lamerton case yesterday brought other cases into question which saw Prof Harris give evidence as an expert witness for the prosecution…. (story)
Plymouth Herald 4.12.15 Dartmoor hunt trial collapses after link between witness and league is revealed - THE only prosecution of an organised hunt has collapsed after the judge questioned links between a key witness and the lobby which brought the case. Six members of the Lamerton Hunt in Devon were accused of illegally hunting and killing a fox on Dartmoor in a private prosecution by the League Against Cruel Sports. Bristol University professor Stephen Harris - one of the world's leading experts on foxes - gave evidence for the prosecution on the second day two of the ten-day trial. But a day later district judge Kevin Gray questioned Professor Harris' alleged friendship with the League's West Somerset-based head of operations, Paul Tillsley… (story)
West Briton 4.12.15 Allegations of witness links have collapsed the only organised hunt prosecution By WBJeff - The only prosecution of an organised hunt has collapsed after the judge questioned links between a key witness and the lobby which brought the case… (story)
Western Morning News 3.12.15 Six hunt members cleared as animal rights group’s case collapses in court - Countryside campaigners have branded a trial against six huntsmen accused of illegal hunting as a ‘vindictive’ abuse of the criminal justice system, after the case against them collapsed when a key prosecution witness was found to have close links to the League Against Cruel Sports…. Key prosecution witness and expert Stephen Harris, professor of environmental sciences at Bristol University, had failed to disclose connections with the League’s head of operations Paul Tillsley…. Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner said: “This appalling case raises a series of fundamental questions about the abuse of the criminal justice system. He argued that the case was a “vindictive” private prosecution by the League which had spent more than £100,000 on a case that he said police had earlier judged “simply did not stand up”.. (story)
Western Morning News 3.12.15 Countryside campaigners’ outrage after ‘illegal hunting’ trial against Lamerton Hunt collapses - Countryside campaigners have branded a trial against six huntsmen accused of illegal hunting as a ‘vindictive’ abuse of the criminal justice system after the case against them collapsed when a key prosecution witness was found to have close links to the League Against Cruel Sports…. David Lewis, huntsman of the Lamerton hunt, speaking after the case was dismissed, said: “We were confident from the start that we had done nothing wrong and that all our hunting was legal, but our names and the allegations that LACS were making were all over the local papers. The whole thing seemed to go on forever and whilst we are happy it is now all over it was not a pleasant experience.”… (story)
Western Morning News 3.12.15 League Against Cruel Sports case against ‘illegal hunting’ by Lamerton Hunt collapses By WMNDavidWells - Six members of a Westcountry hunt accused of illegal hunting had the cases against them dismissed when a trial collapsed after a prosecution witness failed to disclose his close connections to the League Against Cruel Sports. The League has today withdrawn all charges against the six huntsmen after a close personal relationship between Professor Stephen Harris, professor of environmental sciences at Bristol University, who was giving evidence for the League in the trial, and the League’s head of operations Paul Tillsley, was disclosed to the court… (story)
Western Morning News 3.12.15 VIDEO: Lamerton Hunt video used in trial released online - This is the video which the League Against Cruel Sports alleged showed six huntsmen hunting with hounds – but the huntsmen were cleared after a case against them was dramatically dropped in court. The footage has now been released and made public online by the League following the collapse of the case against six members of the Lamerton Hunt in a private prosecution brought by the campaign group… (story)
Western Daily Press 3.12.15 Britain's only major hunt prosecution collapses after judge questions expert's links with LACS By TristanCork - The only prosecution of an organised hunt has collapsed after questions were raised about the links between a Bristol university professor and the animal rights charity which brought the prosecution. The League Against Cruel Sports dropped its own private prosecution of the Lamerton Hunt in Devon, three days into a ten-day trial, after the judge questioned the evidence given by their expert witness… (story)
Western Daily Press 3.12.15 VIDEO: Is this illegal hunting? League drops case after its expert was 'shamefully savaged' in court By TristanCork - The League Against Cruel Sports has released this video (below) of what it maintains is a West hunt pursuing and killing a fox cub, which formed a key part of a prosecution it dramatically dropped this morning…. (story)
Horse & Hound 3.12.15 Last outstanding Hunting Act case against registered hunt collapses - There are now no registered hunts with Hunting Act cases outstanding against them after the final case collapsed today (Thursday 3 December). A case against the Lamerton Hunt collapsed three days into a scheduled 10-day trial at Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court, when private prosecutors, the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), withdrew all evidence. Yesterday (Wednesday, 2 December) the court sought confirmation from absent LACS acting chief executive Rachel Newman, a qualified solicitor, that she had advised expert witness Professor Stephen Harris not to disclose a close personal relationship between himself and LACS head of operations Paul Tillsley…. (story)
Farming UK 3.12.15 Last Hunting Act case involving a registered hunt collapses - The last Hunting Act prosecution involving a registered hunt collapsed this morning, three days into a scheduled 10-day trial at Newton Abbot Magistrates' Court, when private prosecutors, the League Against Cruel Sports, withdrew all evidence. Yesterday (2 December) the court sought confirmation from absent LACS acting chief executive Rachel Newman, a qualified solicitor, that she had advised expert witness Professor Stephen Harris not to disclose a close personal relationship between himself and LACS head of operations Paul Tillsley… (story)
Western Morning News 1.12.15 Academic accused of failing to disclose connections in 'illegal hunting' trial - A leading academic giving evidence in the trial of six hunt members was accused of failing to disclose connections with the League Against Cruel Sports. Stephen Harris, professor of environmental sciences at Bristol University, was called as a prosecution witness in the case against Lamerton Hunt. He was challenged on the second day of the private prosecution, brought by the League by barrister Peter Glenser. Mr Glenser questioned Professor Harris’ friendship with the League’s head of investigations, Paul Tillsley and his financial links with the animal rights group… (story)
Western Morning News 30.11.15 Six go on trial accused of ‘illegal hunting’ with hounds By WMNDavidWells - Six members of a Westcountry hunt have gone on trial accused of illegal hunting. The private prosecution, brought by the League Against Cruel Sports, alleged the Lamerton Hunt, whose kennels are based at Lewdown near Okehampton, were hunting a fox with hounds, in breach of the 2004 Hunting Act on March 26 last year. All six deny the charges, which are being heard before District judge Kevin Gray at South and West Devon Magistrates’ Court, Newton Abbot… (story)
Western Morning News 13.10.14 Private legal action after police drop hunting case - An animal rights group is to take legal action against huntsmen after police decided not to act on video evidence allegedly showing illegal hunting activity. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) has launched a private prosecution against six members of the Lamerton Hunt, which operates in west Devon and Cornwall…. (story)
Western Daily Press 9.10.14 Campaign group takes high-profile hunt to court - One of the West Country's most famous hunts is being prosecuted for breaking the hunt ban in a private action brought by the League Against Cruel Sports. Six members of the Lamerton Hunt, which operates on the Devon and Cornwall border and on Dartmoor, will today be given summonses requiring them to appear before magistrates next month… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 11.12.15 Pictured: Gun-toting Northern Ireland children killing wild animals - sick images show kids as young as 7 posing with foxes shot in cruel and brutal hunts By Linda Stewart - Children as young as seven have been pictured using dogs to hunt and kill foxes in Northern Ireland. Shocking images have been released by campaigners who are calling for underground hunting to be banned. One of the images shows a child holding a dead fox in one hand and a gun in the other. The League Against Cruel Sports say enthusiasts involved in 'terrier work' - the practice of sending small dogs below ground to flush out foxes - are increasingly turning to social media to boast about their exploits…. (story)

Horse & Hound 11.12.15 11 dream Christmas gifts for any hunting enthusiast - Polly Portwin - Stuck for inspiration for a Christmas gift to buy a hunting enthusiast? We provide you with something for all tastes, from those with realistic expectations of what might be wrapped under the Christmas tree, to those where dreams have taken over…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 11.12.15 The Shooting Experience – 2 day course - On Day 1, you will be driven to Manor Farm Estate where you will be given a full gun safety briefing by the shooting instructors before enjoying a morning clay-pigeon shooting. After a light lunch you will participate a couple of game drives and have the opportunity to shoot pheasant and other wild game birds…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 11.12.15 Forest wild boar poison puddle report is 'scaremongering' - Wildlife wardens in the Forest of Dean say reports of anti freeze being added to puddles to poison to wild boar population are 'scaremongering'.. The report was made on the Forest of Dean Wild Boar Cull Hunt Saboteurs Facebook page last week…. (story)

PETA REINDEER CAMPAIGN
Horticulture Week 11.12.15 Animal rights group targets use of animals in garden centres by Matthew Appleby - Animal Aid is campaigning against the use of reindeer and penguins in Christmas attractions. The animal rights group said the number of wild animals used for such events is increasing so it has started its first dedicated campaign on the issue… (story)
Horticulture Week 11.12.15 Garsons explains reindeer policy by Matthew Appleby - Surrey garden centre and farm Garsons was criticised by an animal rights group for hosting reindeer but says PETA's "generalisations do not any way reflect the reality at Garsons"… (story)
Elmbridge Guardian 10.12.15 Animal welfare charity PETA blasts Esher farm shop Garsons for "unethical" use of live reindeer in festive display - Rachel Dickerson - An animal welfare charity has written to the director of an Esher garden centre and farm shop calling on him to end the “unethical and abusive” use of live reindeer in a festive Christmas display. Garson’s, in Winterdown Road, is currently putting up two reindeer in a specially-built enclosure with stables…. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals UK (Peta), have sent Garson’s director Alan Richardson a letter requesting the animals be removed from the event… (story)
Surrey Advertiser 9.12.15 Campaigners slam farm shop's use of live reindeer as 'unethical' BY CHARLOTTE TOBITT - An animal rights organisation has criticised an Esher garden centre and farm shop’s use of live reindeer in the run-up to Christmas as ‘unethical and entirely unsuitable’ despite the animals having a ‘generous area’ to roam in. Garsons in Winterdown Road is offering customers visits to see the reindeer until Christmas Eve as part of its festive activities. In a letter to managing director Alan Richardson, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said a busy centre filled with noisy shoppers, bright lights and excited children was an ‘entirely unsuitable’ environment for reindeer…. (story)
DIY Week 7.12.15 Animal rights charity targets Bents over reindeer 'cruelty' - Cheshire garden centre giant Bents Garden & Home has come under attack from an animal rights charity, which is accusing the business of cruelty to reindeer. In common with many garden centres, Bents, of Glazebury, near Warrington, regularly brings the animals in at Christmas to make appearances at festive events. However, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has now written to managing director Matthew Bent… (story)
Liverpool Echo 4.12.15 Animal rights campaigners object to real reindeers being used for Liverpool's Christmas festivities BY KATE SAMUELSON - PETA say animals should not be 'used as props' - Animal rights campaigners have slammed the decision to use real reindeer to greet Christmas shoppers to Liverpool city centre. The reindeer, who have come from the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland, will be in Liverpool’s Queen Square Car Park from 4-7pm on December 17. But PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) co-ordinator Kirsty Henderson told the ECHO: “I love Christmas as much as the next person but using reindeer as props to trot out and display has huge moral and ethical concerns.”… (story)
Western Mail 4.12.15 Animal rights group asks Celtic Manor to stop using reindeer in its Christmas events BY KALHAN ROSENBLATT - A hotel has been urged to remove reindeer from its Christmas festivities by an animal rights group. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has written a letter to the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport asking it to remove the reindeer involved in its Christmas Kingdom event. In the letter by Kirsty Henderson, PETA’s UK campaign coordinator, the animal activist group claims that a busy event, such as the resort’s Christmas Kingdom is unsuitable for reindeer…. (story)
Wigan Observer/Evening Post 3.12.15 Welfare concerns raised over reindeer events - A GARDEN centre has defended its decision to use reindeer for a fun festive event for children following a complaint by an animal rights organisation. Bents Garden and Home, in Glazebury, near Leigh, has received a letter from PETA, encouraging them to cancel plans to use live reindeer in any scheduled Christmas-themed events…. Matthew Bent, managing director of Bents, said: “We take animal welfare and our duty of care extremely seriously. We have been visited by reindeer at Christmas time for the past five years and work very closely with their breeders to ensure they are cared for at all times whilst at the centre… >(story)
Darlington & Stockton Times 27.11.15 Festive parades criticised by animal rights campaigners in Darlington - REINDEER and penguin parades in Darlington have been slammed as “unethical and abusive” by animal rights campaigners. A herd of Cairngorm reindeers are set to pull Santa’s sleigh along Tubwell Row this Sunday (November 26) to kick off Christmas at the Cornmill… Fiona Munro, an ex-Royal Mail employee from Darlington, said: “As a tax payer, I’m absolutely disgusted and I can’t believe the council are letting these parades happen… (story)
Tamworth Herald 24.11.15 Animal rights group petition against Tamworth SnowDome's Winter Wonderland event By Sam Jones - ONE of the tops guns at the Tamworth SnowDome has defended the venue's Winter Wonderland attraction after it came under fire from an animal rights group. The event, which launched for its 11th consecutive year on November 20, has been branded as 'compromising the wellbeing of animals' due to its use of live reindeer and other animals, such as rabbits, goats and donkeys… Lewis Foxhall, a member of the Derby Animal Rights group, said: "Despite reassurances that the animals are well cared for, it is inevitably that being carted around to unnatural environments will cause the animals stress… (story)

Worcester News 11.12.15 'Festive fare means suffering for animals' - write in response to your article about the “turducken”, the Christmas roast created by a Worcester butcher from the corpses of a turkey, a duck and a chicken (“Butcher’s three bird roast goes to charity”, Worcester News, December 2). Of course, it’s very praiseworthy to want to raise money for charity, but also sad that this should be done in a way that involves horrific suffering for animals…. RONALD LEE Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies (story)

10.12.15

Western Morning News 10.12.15 Hunting allegiance should be declared - I agree with Philip Bowern – it is important that any vested interest in hunting issues should be made public. This criteria is a must and should apply to all including judges, magistrates and police when called upon to pass judgement on such cases… by R M Morris Minehead (letter)

SCOTTISH TAIL DOCKING LAWS
Herald 10.12.15 Relaxation of laws on docking of dogs tails out for consultation, sparking anger amongst animal welfare groups - Gerry Braiden - SCOTTISH ministers are considering relaxing the ban on the docking of dog's tails following complaints the existing legislation is flawed and needs to be changed… John Robbins of the group Animal Concern said: "This is something we're totally opposed to… (story)
Herald 10.12.15 Ministers to seek views on tail docking ban exemption plans - The Scottish Government will consult early next year on whether certain working dogs should be exempted from a ban on tail docking. The practice was outlawed in 2007 but gamekeepers have called for the ban to be reversed for dogs such as spaniels and hunt point retrievers… (story)
BBC News Online 10.12.15 Government to consider law on docking of dog's tails - The Scottish government is considering relaxing the ban on the docking of dog's tails. The move follows complaints the existing legislation is flawed and needs to be changed…. (story)

BBC News Online 10.12.15 Rise in women taking up grouse shooting - There was a "major upturn" in the number of women grouse shooting this year, according to sporting estates. The latest grouse season saw more women joining shoots and also a rise in female-only shooting parties, it has been claimed…. (story)

9.12.15

South Wales Evening Post 9.12.15 Swansea's first vegan Christmas market brings tasty treats to the National Waterfront Museum By MarkRees - WHETHER you're a vegan yourself or are simply looking for some tasty, animal-free products for the festive season, Swansea's first completely vegan Christmas market at the National Waterfront Museum is the place to be this Saturday…. (story)

8.12.15

NewsLetter 8.12.15 Concern over impact of new European gun laws in Northern Ireland - Mark Rainey - Legislating in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, the European Commission has decreed that member states prohibit semi-automatic small calibre weapons “which resemble” those with a fully automatic capability. Once filtered down to become law in the UK, the directive will also affect de-activated collectors’ weapons and the purchase of guns and ammunition through the internet… (story)

Farming Life 8.12.15 NI Firearm Certificate fees are set to increase - The Police Service of Northern Ireland announced on 1 December 2015 that the cost for the grant of a firearm certificate is set to increase. The fee for a five year certificate, from 22 February 2016, will rise from £50 to £98. Countryside Alliance Ireland, along with the Gun Trade Guild NI and BASC NI, have been lobbying extensively on behalf of members and firearm certificate holders in Northern Ireland in respect of the fee increases… (story)

Farming Life 8.12.15 Casting for Recovery 2016 – Mount Falcon Retreat Now Open to Applications - The Casting for Recovery (CFR) retreat to be held at Mount Falcon in Ballina, County Mayo on 13 – 15 May 2016, is now open to applications. Casting for Recovery (a flagship project of The Countryside Alliance Foundation) exists to provide an opportunity for women whose lives have been profoundly affected by breast cancer to gather on an all-expenses paid retreat in a natural setting and learn the sport of fly fishing… (story)

ANIMAL AID FARMING GIFTS LETTER
Belfast Telegraph 8.12.15 Gifts of livestock can be unsuitable - TOD BRADBURY Animal Aid (letter)
Bournemouth Echo 4.12.15 Animal gifts don't help communities in need - MANY aid charities are, once again, pleading for funds to buy animals to be raised as ‘livestock’ in some of the most deprived nations on Earth…. However, sending animals to such communities does nothing to their plight. Animal farming is inherently inefficient and environmentally damaging… For details of organisations that fund and support such work, please contact Animal Aid - TOD BRADBURY - Campaigns Team, Animal Aid (letter)

7.12.15

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE OPENING MEET LETTER
Dartmouth Chronicle 7.12.15 No tough issues, just toffs’ topics - Paul Bishop, of Avonwick, South Brent, writes: In response to Tim Bonner’s letter on behalf of the Countryside Alliance, Gazette, November 20, I would like to say that there are a number of issues that would be important to country folk, but the only one we seem too hear about from the Countryside Alliance is fox hunting…. (letter)
Dartmouth Chronicle 27.11.15 We won’t retract the Hunting Act - Jane Petherick, of Parkside, Ivybridge, writes: In response to Tim Bonner’s letter about the hunting act, Chronicle, November 6, could he please remember that the ban on hunting became law after years of campaigning because the majority are opposed to ¬torturing wildlife... (letter)
Ivybridge & South Brent Gazette 23.11.15 Needless act is stunting hunting - Tim Bonner, chief executive, Countryside Alliance, writes: (letter)
Ivybridge & South Brent Gazette 23.11.15 Restoring hunt is an affront - Anne Williams, of Weston-fields, Totnes, writes: In reply to the letter from Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, Chronicle, November 10, I have to ask: is this man for real? May I inform him that this is the year 2015, when people are more aware than ever of animal rights? May I suggest that he visits Brian May’s web page for more information on animal cruelty and animal welfare, as he clearly needs some guidance on this subject?... (letter)
Andover Advertiser 20.11.15 Barbaric practice - REGARDING Tim Bonner’s (Chief executive of the Countryside Alliance) letter of November 13… I have been witness to hunting with hounds… I believe it to be a bloodthirsty, savage pastime, that only satisfies the blood lust of the participants. There is nothing ‘humane’ about it. Elle Waycom, Sarson Lane, Amport (letter)
Sleaford Standard 15.11.15 Countryside Alliance chief claims hunting with dogs humane - The countryside alliance this week vowed to continue in their efforts to see a repeal of the hunting act. In a letter to this newspaper, Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner claims evidence shows that using more dogs is ‘potentially more humane’ than current methods… (story)
Bourne Local 15.11.15 Countryside Alliance chief claims hunting with dogs humane (story)
Spalding Guardian/Lincs Free Press 15.11.15 Countryside Alliance chief claims hunting with dogs humane (story)
Peterborough Telegraph 15.11.15 Countryside Alliance chief claims hunting with dogs humane (story)
Bury Free Press 15.11.15 Countryside Alliance chief claims hunting with dogs humane (story)
Newmarket Journal 15.11.15 Countryside Alliance chief claims hunting with dogs humane (story)
North Devon Journal 12.11.15 Abiding by hunting law - TIM BONNER, Chief executive, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Oxford Times 12.11.15 Hunters in good spirits - Tim Bonner Chief executive, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Malton & Pickering Mercury 9.11.15 Hounds are important for managing land - Tim Bonner, chief executive, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 5.11.15 Animal hunts are cruel - IN HIS letter to the SA of October 31, Tim Bonner does his best to try to persuade the public of the need to continue with the hunting of foxes, deer and hares with large packs of hounds, closely followed of course by the hunting and shooting fraternity. Perhaps he could explain why such large packs of hounds are needed to chase a small animal then have it ripped to pieces and call this act the humane controlling of wild animals?... R ALBRIGHTON Tamworth Drive Swindon (letter)
Middlewich Guardian 4.11.15 No need for hunting ban - Tim Bonner Chief executive Countryside Alliance (story)
Sheffield Star 3.11.15 Hunting in pursuit of the inedible - Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance must think we are all idiots when he makes excuses for the pursuit of foxes, which he claims “have to be controlled”. He states that hunting provides a service to farmers. It does nothing for cattle farmers and all it does for arable farmers is remove their best allies in rabbit control at a cost of £200-£800 per year.... May I ask Tim Bonner why the proposed amendments to the Hunting Act were not voted upon if as he says the majority of MPs in government were in favour?... Graham (letter)
Western Morning News 2.11.15 Alliance's bid to justify indefensible - In one corner we have a leading expert of some 35 years on fox populations, Prof S, Harris D.Sc. PhD… Prof Harris is, contractually obligated to follow strict scientific methodology and to be wholly dispassionate in his research. And in the other corner we have Mr Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance’s Chief Executive, who, I think even he would admit, is not employed to sit on the fence with regard to the hunting arguments… So the Countryside Alliance’s philanthropic argument won’t wash and is just another feeble attempt at justifying the indefensible. by Colin White Exeter (letter)
Southern Daily Echo 2.11.15 Hunting Act will not be repealed as shooting for sport is wrong - Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance is whinging about the Hunting Act which he mistakenly thinks will be repealed… Jacqui Broadbridge Warsash (letter)
Grantham Journal 31.10.15 Hunting season starts within the law - Tim Bonner Chief executive, Countryside Alliance (letter`)
Sheffield Star 30.10.15 New hunting season starts - Tim Bonner Chief executive, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Southern Daily Echo 30.10.15 Hunting season an important service - Tim Bonner (letter)
Eastbourne Herald 30.10.15 Still fighting for Act’s repeal - Tim Bonner Chief Executive Countryside Alliance (letter)
Plymouth Herald 29.10.15 Time to release the hounds - November marks the start of the new hunting season for the 289 registered packs of hounds across Britain, which provide an important service for farmers and landowners by lawfully managing the population of foxes, hare and deer… We had hoped that the new season would have been marked by small amendments to the Hunting Act were to have come before Parliament in July. These would have varied the number of hounds allowed to be used by hunts when flushing mammals out to be shot…. So the hunting community starts the new season in good spirits determined to continue hunting, under the law, and fighting for repeal. TIM BONNER Countryside Alliance (letter)

Lancashire Evening Post 7.12.15 Hunting fears after fox found beheaded - A Lostock Hall resident fears the area could be home to fox hunters after one was found mutilated with its head cut off. The woman, who did not want to be named due to threats of violence, says she has found several dead foxes in the area over the past six months… (story)

Worcester News 7.12.15 Vegans and veggies urge people of Worcester to ditch the turkey this Christmas - James Connell - VEGANS and veggies dressed in animal costumes have been campaigning to get shoppers to ditch their Christmas turkey and have a 'veggie feast' instead. Members of Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies dressed in animal costumes on Saturday to distribute hundreds of leaflets to Worcester city centre shoppers, urging them to have a 'compassionate Christmas'… The group's communications officer Ronald Lee said: "We gave out leaflets from national animal protection group Animal Aid urging people to show compassion to animals during the festive season… photo: Pauline Burgess, Max Burgess and Roberta Balfour (story)

6.12.15

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 6.12.15 Hunting the huntsman: Reporter spends day with Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch - Exclusive by Jack Pitts - A GROUP of wildlife activists is on the frontline of what they say is a fight against ruthless fox hunters. Reporter Jack Pitts spent a day with Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch, finding out why they believe the blood sport is alive and well in the Cotswolds. Some of the names have been changed because of fears of reprisals…. A week later, on a sunny yet cold Wednesday morning, I found myself walking out to Denise‘s car wearing sturdy walking boots and cradling my press camera. Inside I met two more of Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch, Mick and Irina, who have been dedicated conservationists for decades…. The Beaufort Hunt post their meets on the internet each week; something the monitors say is “arrogance” no one will try and catch them, but what the hunters say is a reasonable thing to do because they are not doing anything illegal… “Have you seen a fox get killed?” I ask. “No,” admited Denise, who has produced a three part documentary about fox hunting called A Minority Pastime… (story)

Mail on Sunday 6.12.15 Bill Oddie says he feels 'deceived or betrayed' as he falls out with fellow wildlife campaigner and an 'irresistible' female badger enthusiast 34 years his junior By ISABEL HUNTER FOR MAILONLINE - Birdwatcher Bill Oddie has revealed his feelings in a email to fellow wildlife conservationist following a 'jealous' row over an 'irresistible' younger woman. Oddie, 74, wrote the 'Dear John' email to colleague and former chief executive of the League against Cruel Sports (LACS) Joe Duckworth, the day after he announced he was leaving his post…. Mr Oddie confirmed to The Sunday Times that he was referring to Lynn Hazel, a 40-year-old British wildlife sculptor who had joined both Mr Oddie and Mr Duckworth on a wounded badger patrol in Gloucestershire last October…. (story)

Sunday Herald 6.12.15 Topic of the week – The joy of veganism - It was good to see a positive article about veganism (Away with the dairy, Sunday Herald Life, November 22). Referring to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Russell Leadbetter writes: "Its approach can jolt people out of their apathy. It jolted me." Sadly, the main reason why so many people continue to eat animals without looking into just how much cruelty and suffering they are condoning is that they would rather not think about it and so apathy rules… Sandra Busell Edinburgh (story)

5.12.15

Horse & Hound 5.12.15 Horse & Hound‘s ultimate A-Z of hunting - Polly Portwin - With the hunting season in full swing, take a look at our A-Z of hunting from newcomers and Ireland to unseated riders and X-rays… (story)

Daily Record 5.12.15 SSPCA boss Stuart Earley is slated for using animal welfare donations to support horseracing industry BY MARK MCGIVERN - THE boss of Scotland’s biggest animal charity has been slated for using money from donations to support the horseracing industry. Stuart Earley, who has owned several flat and jumps racehorses, set up a sponsorship deal in which the SSPCA channel funds to the newly formed Thoroughbred Health Network. The SSPCA have been blasted for paying Earley £216,000 a year and giving other executives sky-high pay rises … Alexander’s daughter Lucy has spoken about her background in “hunting” before becoming a top jumps jockey. Last night, an SSPCA staff member said: “This man came to the SSPCA as an established member of the horseracing set. “I can’t believe how out of sync animal welfare is with National Hunt racing… John Robins, of the Animal Concern Advice Line charity, said he was furious to hear charity cash is being diverted to horseracing… (story)

4.12.15

Western Morning News 4.12.15 In My Opinion: Wildlife trust is showing a serious lack of judgment By Roger Weeks, Claton-in-Gordano - The State of Nature report highlights, what a lot of us already knew, that wildlife in general is in serious decline and a lot of it may not be able to recover without some seriously, dynamic and drastic action…. The advertised body in name and perception has to be the Wildlife Trusts, established throughout the UK, and each working independently of each other… Uppermost being that none of the staff or administration should actively promote or participate in activities that cause animal cruelty or un-necessary slaughter, such as the badger cull or the hunting of any animal. However, Somerset Wildlife Trust has just appointed two people with well-publicised support for one or both…. (story)

Irish Examiner 4.12.15 Cruelty of hare coursing ramped up at Christmas - Christmas is less than a month away and, as always at this time of year, Ireland’s hare population is being harassed to the nth degree by coursing clubs whose idea of fun is to set up these gentle creatures as bait for pairs of hyped-up greyhounds… John Fitzgerald Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Western Morning News 4.12.15 Game shooting and conservation group calls for 'restraint' as woodcock is put on danger list By WMNPBowern - New advice from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust urges those who shoot to show restraint with woodcock. Philip Bowern reports as the bird joins 67 in the UK now officially 'red listed'… (story)

3.12.15

Herald 3.12.15 Peregrine falcon numbers are on the rise - Bernard Zonfrillo (Letters, December 2) displays some misunderstanding in relation to the conservation of birds of prey and the legal protection they enjoy… . With restrictions on the use of the general licence, prosecutions of landowners under vicarious liability and a custodial sentence, it is ludicrous to suggest Police Scotland turns a blind eye to bird crime. With the exception of the kestrel, all of the UK’s birds of prey populations are on the increase with the majority at their highest ever levels. Jamie Stewart, Director, Scottish Countryside Alliance, 16 Young St, Edinburgh. (letter)
Herald 2.12.15 Shooting of peregrines still prevalent on grouse moors - David Stubley's expose on peregrine falcons is superficial and incorrect (Letters, November 27). Peregrines declined largely through ingesting prey that had fed on crops laced with the pesticide DDT… The resurgence of peregrines happened decades ago, only to find the shooters at work, killing them as often as they could manage. With paltry fines and “blind-eye” police supervision, shootings are still prevalent on grouse moors and elsewhere… Bernard Zonfrillo, 28 Brodie Road, Glasgow (letter)

HEREFORD BADGER CULL MARCH
Hereford Times 3.12.15 Anti-badger cull march was a great sight - WHAT a wonderful sight the anti-badger cull march was in Hereford city on November 21…. MAX BURGESS Malvern (letter)
Hereford Times 24.11.15 Badger cull protest march goes through city centre - SHOPPERS in Hereford on Saturday witnessed around 250 people marching through High Town in protest against badger culling. The Herefordshire Badger Group staged the march from Castle Green through High Town and The Old Market…. Hereford resident Sara Siloko, who is a member of the group, said: "Marchers came from all over the country to join the march, as well as many Herefordshire citizens… (story)
BBC News 21.11.15 Badger cull protestors hold march in Hereford - Protestors have been staging a march and debate in against a potential county-wide badger cull. Herefordshire Badger Group said it fears a cull to try to reduce the spread of tuberculosis (TB) in cattle maybe introduced next year…. (story)

2.12.15

Yorkshire Post 2.12.15 Real figures on bird crime - From: Adrian Blackmore, Countryside Alliance, Spring Mews, Tinworth Street, London. I REFER to the article “North Yorkshire still sees more crimes against birds of prey than any other county” (The Yorkshire Post, November 26) which is both misleading and inaccurate. While 36 incidents were reported in North Yorkshire in 2014, only five of those are shown in the RSPB’s Birdcrime report to have been confirmed, and North Yorkshire did not have the highest number of crimes recorded against birds of prey in 2014… (letter)

Keighley News 2.12.15 Feathered visitors descend on Oakbank School in Keighley - STUDENTS at a Keighley school got up close with birds of prey. Feathered visitors descended on Oakbank as part of a celebration marking World Falconry Day. Chris and Sandra Johnson, from SMJ Falconry, took along three birds – a Harris hawk, peregrine falcon and tropical screech owl… The project was part of Falconry for Schools, a Countryside Alliance Foundation scheme… (story)

Farming UK 2.12.15 Rural households struggle to receive good internet connection, report says - Ofcom’s Connection Nations 2015 report released this week which shows that 48% of premises in rural areas are unable to receive speeds above 10Megabits and that small and medium sized businesses are the most disadvantaged by lack of connectivity. CLA President Ross Murray said: “Today’s report by Ofcom high lights the challenges many homes and rural businesses face across the country of poor or nonexistent connection to the internet… The Countryside Alliance welcomes Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2015 report, but they say it is clear that rural areas are still lagging behind…. (story)

1.12.15

Yorkshire Post 1.12.15 Botham’s sporting life From: Keith Handley, Scotland Way, Horsforth, Leeds - GOOD article by Grant Woodward about Sir Ian Botham’s latest charity walk… I was pleased to see that the latest walk is supporting, amongst other things, rhino conservation. Just one thing however – how did he spend his 60th birthday? Shooting and killing wild animals on an estate near Ripon! (letter)