February 2003

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(*)- added since last update


Westmorland Gazette 28.2.03 Bumper hunt - THE TRADITIONAL Troutbeck hunt attracted record crowds as the annual event led by Coniston Foxhounds pulled in around 600 spectators on Saturday… (story)

WATERLOO CUP
Daily Echo 28.2.03 War of words over Waterloo Cup kills By Deborah James Daily Post Staff - A BITTER war of words erupted last night between the RSPCA and organisers of the Waterloo Cup which finished at Great Altcar yesterday… the RSPCA claimed the number of hares killed at this year's event was one in every 3.6 slips (races) - the highest ratio since the charity started keeping records. Organisers of the National Coursing Club retaliated by accusing the RSPCA of concocting the statistics to justify opposition to the annual three-day event… Liz Mort, spokeswoman for the National Coursing Club said the RSPCA's statistics were pure fantasy. She said: "These statistics are all wrong, there were a total of 109 slips and under 20 hares were caught…" Kevin Hegerty was outraged at the charge that RSPCA officers had lied… (story)
Yorkshire Post 28.2.03 Hare-coursing fans remain defiant - The most prestigious hare-coursing event of the season was yesterday won by Heneritta a three-year-old greyhound bitch, trained by Joe Walsh of Ireland, which beat Goodbye Joe on the third day of the 156th Waterloo Cup at Altcar, Lancs... (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 27.2.03 RSPCA to record kills as Waterloo event closes By Deborah James Daily Post Staff TODAY sees the finale of the controversial Waterloo Cup hare coursing at Great Altcar… Undercover RSPCA inspectors are planning once again toto note the number of hares killed, and police will maintain a heavy presence…Liam Slattery, spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports, said he was saddened that the tournament was not banned years ago… But Liz Mort, spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance dismissed claims that the sport is all about the kill, claiming instead it is the "supreme test of the greyhound."… (story)
Liverpool Echo 27.2.03 WHAT a shame Paul McCartney, a man of immense power, wealth and respect throughout the world, should choose to use his privileged position to show his concerns for the cruelty of hare coursing in Altcar (ECHO Feb 4). Yes cruelty to animals is deplorable but get your priorities sorted Paul !... Mark Riordan, Garston (letter)
Liverpool Echo 27.2.03 Green with anger - ONCE again, the unedifying spectacle of the Waterloo Cup is upon us… The Green Party has an unequivocal policy on this issue. We are opposed to hunting with dogs and support a total ban on it… Marian Hussenbux (Spokeswoman, Wirral Green Party), Wirral
Healthy hares - I'D like to ask readers with an open mind to consider the following; at the cost of the few hares that are unfortunate enough to be killed at the Waterloo Cup (around a dozen over three days last year), we have an estate which has one of the most populous and healthy hare populations in the north west…. Michael Clough, Wigan (letters)
Cumberland News & Star 27.2.03 Hare-coursers do not deserve to be heard - ON Tuesday, February 25 an audience watched wild hares being 'coursed' and screaming in terror at Altcar. I refuse to conform to abusive people's agenda of 'we have an argument and deserve to be listened to.' They don't… ROSE DALZIEL, Ousby, Penrith (letter)
Manchester Evening News 27.2.03 Barbarbic 'sport' must be outlawed SADLY, the biggest hare coursing event of the year, the Waterloo Cup, is taking place yet again this week at Great Altcar, near Liverpool. on February 25… E Fysh, Timperley (letter)
Manchester Evening News 27.2.03 MICHAEL Clough misses the point. Animals are cruel to each other, but should we imitate animal's cruelty by setting dogs on to sentient animals?... Michael Alderson, Stockport (letter)
Manchester Evening News 27.2.03 I DON'T care how Michael Clough (Postbag, Feb 21) tries to dress it up - hare coursing, like fox hunting is cruel and barbaric…. Miss Greta Sunderland, Cheadle (letter)
Mirror 27.2.03 THIS HARE-BRAINED CRUELTY MUST STOP - I READ your article on hare coursing this week and felt very sad that it is still going on…. Clare Bennett, Hull
NEVER mind the tradition of the Waterloo Cup. Hare coursing has no place in a civilised society... J Kelley, Waterloo, Liverpool
THE picture of a hare being mauled and torn apart by dogs was hideous and sickening… John Preston, Durham (letters)
Western Daily Press 26.2.03 THEY'RE OFF! PROTESTERS AIM TO END THE CHASE About 150 anti-hunt protesters traded angry insults with spectators at the Waterloo Cup yesterday. The traditional hare-coursing event, founded in 1836, could be the last of its kind if the Government's Hunting Bill becomes law next year… Animal welfare campaigner Tony Moore, whose late wife Vicki was gored by a bull she was trying to save in Spain, said: "They can shout and swear and threaten us all they like but the end is inevitable for these people…" (story)
Mirror 26.2.03 HARE COURSING COME TO A BLOODY END - JAN DISLEY on death of a barbaric 'sport' - OUT in the field the chase is on as the terrified hare darts this way and that before finally being cornered by two wild-eyed, galloping greyhounds… Around 200 protesters arrive under police escort at the grounds in Great Altcar, near Southport. They march bearing placards - whistling and shouting abuse at the crowds of cup-goers. "Killers! Sickos! Scum! Filthy Scum! F****** ferrets!"… TV "Fat Lady" chef Clarissa Dickson Wright is at the event for the sixth year running. She first came when the cup was under threat in the mid-1990s and "fell in love" with the sport… (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 26.2.03 Face to face in hate at Altcar by David Charters, Daily Post - On the opening day of what might be the final staging of the showpiece event in the British countryside's coursing calendar. David Charters joins enthusiasts and Animal Rights Campaigners alike for The Waterloo Cup . . . Before the 'sport' began, however, there was a parade of 64 foxhounds, staghounds, beagles, terrier, mink hounds, hare hounds and lurchers, all walked by their owners in a show of defiance against the Hunting Bill…. THE FAN FORMER Irish TD (MP) Liam Burke has travelled from Cork to watch every Waterloo Cup for the last 20 years… THE FIRST-TIME PROTESTER TEACHING assistant Marie Norris was among 150 anti-coursing protesters… THE ENTRANT PORTUGUESE cork farmer Jose Romao drove to Merseyside from his home in the Enstremol region to enter his dog 'Spittal Glory'…. THE UNDERCOVER OBSERVER PETE was one of three undercover RSPCA observers… THE JUDGE ANDREA Barr is one of only fourteen registered hare coursing judges… (story)
Northwich Chronicle 26.2.03 'Crude act of cruelty' - Faye Adams, Northwich Chronicle - AN ANIMAL rights protester has slated a 'barbaric' hare-coursing event. Hazel Cook has joined other demonstrators at this year's controversial three-day Waterloo Cup event in Altcar, near Formby, which started yesterday (Tuesday)…. As an animal lover, Hazel has also protested against foxhunting and has become involved with various organisations, including the RSPCA and Cheshire Animal Welfare, which takes in rescued animals… (story)
Guardian 26.2.03 The last chase? Coursing faces its Waterloo - Helen Carter - The message from the anti-hunt demonstrator was not subtle. "Look at the state of you ... You are all the same, you are all ugly. You haven't got one brain cell between you."... The Waterloo Cup supporters, who call it the Grand National of coursing, seemed bemused as they ate sandwiches and sipped vodka and cans of beer. Some trained binoculars on the protesters, while others continued to watch the coursing.... (story)
Independent 26.2.03 Hare coursers gather for what might be final Waterloo Cup By Ian Herbert North of England Correspondent - For those who had come to roar the greyhounds on to a kill, the Bank was the place to stand at what may be hare coursing's last Waterloo Cup.... The Countryside Alliance, which claims only one hare in eight is killed, saidthe hares had a good chance of escaping the hounds. But the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) insisted the death rate was nearer to one in five and revealed that one of its undercover investigators had witnessed event organisers shipping in at least 70 hares for combat on Monday night.... (story)
Telegraph 26.2.03 Hare coursing supporters enjoy Waterloo spirit By Neil Tweedie -It was, according to the history books, an enterprising hotelier called William Lynn who gave birth to the Waterloo Cup. The title commemorates the name of his establishment in Liverpool rather than Wellington's great victory. The question yesterday during the 156th meeting of Britain's premier annual hare-coursing event was who was playing the part of Napoleon… (story)
Times 26.2.03 Hare-coursing crowds reject minister's plea BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - About 6,000 people turned out yesterday to support hare-coursing for the Waterloo Cup, at Altcar, near Southport, the most important event in the sport’s calendar. The crowd was in defiant mood and refused to accept a government proposal to ban the activity. In a show of solidarity, the Countryside Alliance also organised a parade of hunting dogs... (story)
Yorkshire Post 26.2.03 TV vet and MP condemn 'barbaric' hare coursing - A Tv vet and an MP yesterday used the opening day of the country's biggest hare-coursing event to renew their backing for the anti-hunting campaign. The Waterloo Cup, which is held in Altcar, Lancashire, is spread over three days... Former Vets in Practice star Emma Milne yesterday said she was sickened by coverage of hare coursing and called it "barbaric"... Colin Pickthall, MP for West Lancashire, a long-time supporter of the Anti-Hunting Campaign, said the vast majority of people in his constituency were against hare coursing... (story)
Liverpool Echo 26.2.03 Off course - I AGREE with Sir Paul McCartney that hare coursing is a barbaric activity which should not have survived into the 21st Century. For nearly 20 years I have taken part in the demonstration at Altcar and have witnessed hares being ripped apart to the cheers of a drunken mob… Karen White, address supplied (letter)
BBC News Online Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 13:55 GMT 'Disobedience' threat by hunt lobby - Crowds were gathering on Tuesday for what could be the last outing of one of the UK's oldest hare coursing events… Those attending the three-day event at Altcar, near Formby, were told the government faces "civil disobedience" if the law is passed… (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 25.2.03 Hunt fan defends his role by Ian Manley - A hunting enthusiast has defended his involvement in the controversial Waterloo Cup hare-coursing event… Paul Hill, 39, a self-employed electrician of Baildon, who was working as a flanker at the three-day event expected to draw 20,000 spectators, said hare coursing was no crueller than fishing… Mr Hill said that about 80 per cent of hares evade capture, and those caught receive a swift humane end from an official `dispatcher' who takes the prey from the dogs. But Heather Holmes, the RSPCA's Yorkshire spokesman, said the sport should be banned… (story in archive)
Ananova 25.2.03 Hare coursing event begins in defiant mood The biggest event of the hare coursing season has begun in defiant mood as organisers faced the prospect of the sport being banned. The Waterloo Cup takes place over three days in Altcar, Lancashire… cook Clarissa Dickson Wright attended the event for the sixth time… She disclosed that she receives regular death threats over her views on hunting and that she is considering staging an exhibition of the correspondence…. (letter)
Liverpool Daily Post 25.2.03 Cup fans plan defiant parade By Deborah James Daily Post Staff - AN AIR of defiance is set to prevail as the 167th Waterloo Cup gets under way this morning. Animal rights activists and pro-hunt campaigners will come face-to-face in two high-profile demonstrations at what is regarded as hare coursing's most prestigious and controversial event… Police are expecting around 100 animal rights protesters as they stage a demonstration outside the gates at 10.30am. But the pro-hunt lobby will respond with a defiant parade of hounds to be led around the ground with their owners at noon…. Yesterday the Daily Post revealed undercover RSPCA observers had released a secret dossier claiming they could prove a fifth of all hares coursed are killed… But the event's organiser David Midwood described the findings as 'nonsense'… (story)
BBC News Online 25.2.03 Hare coursing cup faces ban One of the oldest hare coursing events in the UK is facing extinction. The Waterloo Cup was getting underway on Tuesday for what would be the last time if a ban on hunting is made law. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the three day event at Altcar, near Formby.... (story)
Mirror 24.2.03 END OF COURSE FINALLY IN SIGHT By Ruki Sayid - THE small, brown creature sits up on its hind legs and sniffs the fresh spring air. Its ears twitch nervously and suddenly it darts across the grass, its eyes wide with anxiety, its heart pounding in fear... But last night, one former courser told the Daily Mirror that this is just the tip of the iceberg. He said that just as repulsive as the sport itself is the process of rounding up hares from other parts of the country, specially for the event.... (story)
Mirror 24.2.03 OUR COUNTRY'S WILDLIFE: LET IT BE - On the eve of the Waterloo Cup, SIR PAUL McCARTNEY calls for an end to bloodsports... The coursers would have us believe that they take no pleasure from the killing of the hare and that coursing is all about the skill of the dogs.... Many of us have been praying that hare coursing wouldn't survive into the 21st Century.... (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 24.2.03 The dossier of death by Deborah James, Daily Post Staff - UNDERCOVER inspectors last night revealed a secret dossier laying bare what they claim is the full extent of animal cruelty at the Waterloo Cup. The RSPCA produced the evidence compiled over five years at the hare coursing tournament held in Merseyside and West Lancashire on the eve of what is expected to be the event's last-ever opening ceremony tomorrow . Observers posed as spectators and say their findings prove at least one fifth of all hares coursed are killed…. (story)
Liverpool Daily Echo 24.2.03 McCartney joins Cup debate - On the eve of the controversial Waterloo Cup, the ECHO asks: Should such a sport be banned? 'YES' ...Sir Paul McCartney… 'NO' ....Sir Mark Prescott… (story)

Daily Echo 28.2.03 Charles shows he's still backing hunting By Ron Quenby Daily Post Correspondent - PRINCE Charles has publicly signalled his continuing support for fox hunting by riding out with a hunt in Cheshire -and taking tea in a village pub dressed in his riding gear. The Prince of Wales rode with the Wynnstay Hunt, one of Britain's oldest dating back to the eighteenth century… (story)

Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 28.2.03 HUNTERS REJECT NEW ATTACK - SUPPORTERS of the Lake District's fell foxhounds have strongly refuted allegations of misconduct in a report by the League Against Cruel Sports… Ullswater Foxhounds' joint master John Lowthian said: "The people from the League Against Cruel Sports came here claiming to be making a film for US television and we allowed them access because we have nothing to hide." (story may be in archive)

Glasgow Herald 28.2.03 Dickson Wright receives death threats for pro-hunting stance - PAUL WILLIS - CLARISSA Dickson Wright, the outspoken TV cook, yesterday revealed she receives up to 15 death threats every week from animal rights extremists. The Two Fat Ladies star has had a detective assigned to her and has even resorted to having her post screened on the advice of police... (story in archive)
Edinburgh Evening News 27.2.03 '15 death threats a week' for TV chef BY BRIAN FERGUSON - TELEVISION cook Clarissa Dickson Wright today revealed she gets up to 15 death threats a week from hardline animal rights activists. The celebrity chef has her postbag screened on the advice of police and seeks regular advice from a Lothian and Borders detective. The star of Two Fat Ladies and Clarissa and the Countryman is being targeted because of her pro-hunt views… (story)

ERIC ASHBY
Guardian 28.2.03 Rose Dalziel writes: Eric Ashby (obituary, February 18) was a great hero of the movement to abolish hunting; he spoke and wrote against the savage cruelty to his favourite animal wherever possible... It is a tragedy that he did not live to see a ban on the "sport" he so hated... (letter)
Guardian 18.2.03 Obituary - Eric Ashby - Wildlife film-maker authentically portraying New Forest animals - Barry Paine ... In 1982 he was caught up for a time in an unpleasant conflict with his local hunt, which was prompted by the unexplained killing of deer in his garden. Then, much later, incursions by hounds on to his land caused the badgers he was filming for the BBC to desert the sett. The film had to be cancelled and Ashby won a case against the hunt, which retaliated by effectively fencing off Badger Cottage "to keep their hounds off his land".... (obituary)
Telegraph 13.2.03 Eric Ashby - Eric Ashby, who has died aged 85, was a wildlife photographer and film-maker noted for the integrity of his technique… In 1982 Ashby became embroiled in what was to become a protracted conflict with his local hunt, the New Forest Buck Hounds, after a deer was killed in his garden…. Ashby tried to have the joint masters of the hunt jailed, after one of the hounds strayed on to a badger sett on his land. He failed, and was ordered to pay costs… (obituary)
Dorset Daily Echo 11.2.03 Friend pays tribute to wildlife campaigner - A LEADING wildlife expert… has died at the age of 85. Author and photographer Eric Ashby established himself as one of Britain's outstanding early wildlife film... But it was his legal battles with the hunting fraternity which won him the most acclaim and he won a historic injunction in June, 1987, when he had the New Forest Foxhounds banned from the land around his home at Linwood, near Ringwood…. Fellow wildlife campaigner Ken James of the New Forest Animal Protection Group described him as "one of the true pioneers of wildlife photography."… (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 11.2.03 Farewell to foxes' friend ….Author and photographer Eric Ashby established himself as one of Britain's outstanding early wildlife film-makers and was the first to film badgers underground. During his legal battles with the hunting fraternity he won a historic injunction in June 1987, when he had the New Forest Foxhounds banned from the land around his home at Linwood, near Ringwood… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 28.2.03 GRAY'S ACTION WAS AN ABUSE OF INVITE TO VISIT SANCTUARY - Your article on James Gray's visit to the League Against Cruel Sports deer sanctuary office was misleading. Despite having been advised that he would be conducted around the sanctuary by League staff, and that hunters were unwelcome, he brought with him the son of the chairman of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds and a deerstalker…When his plans were thwarted, he threw a temper tantrum and stormed off with his pro-deer-killing colleagues…. Douglas Batchelor Chief executive League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Western Morning News 15.2.03 DEER SANCTUARY VISIT BY MP - Shadow Minister for the Countryside, James Gray, visited the League Against Cruel Sports deer sanctuary at Baronsdown on Exmoor yesterday… "I am happy to examine both sides of the hunting argument and this trip enabled me to do just that…" (story)
Somerset County Gazette 14.2.03 Pro-hunt MP to visit sanctuary - THE League Against Cruel Sports has invited pro-hunt Tory MP James Gray to visit its Exmoor wildlife sanctuary after he criticised the health of deer at the Baronsdown site near Dulverton. Mr Gray, who represents North Wiltshire and rides with the Avon Vale Hunt and the Royal Artillery Foxhounds, is expected to be shown around the sanctuary today (Friday, February 14) by its manager Paul Tillsley… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 28.2.03 HUNTERS DON'T PLAY BY RULES - Chris Rundle has some of his facts wrong in his article on the threat of our red deer herd on the Quantock Hills. The Quantock Staghounds meet on a regular timetable in the Quantock hills. I see and hear them when I am out with my dogs. Yes, they are not allowed to hunt on the Forestry Commission land or on National Trust land, but they do. They are allowed to pass on the bridleways and sometimes they even put hounds on the League Against Cruel Sports' land… Lots of people won't walk there on hunt days - some because they can't bear to see deer chased until they drop…. Lesley Daveridge Haford Combe Holford Somerset (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 28.2.03 No place for barbaric hunt - Hunting with hounds is totally outdated and unnecessary… Please write to your MP and urge him or her to vote on the coming Hunting Bill for a total ban - R ASHCROFT, Langham Road, Blackburn. (letter in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 28.2.03 'BADGERS VICTIMS OF FARM FOLKLORE' - Farmers have been blasted for using 'folklore' to demand a badger cull. Agriculture minister Elliot Morley claimed there was no scientific evidence backing claims that a mass slaughter of badgers would help stop the spread of tuberculosis in cattle… Dr Elaine King, chief executive of the National Federation of Badger Groups said the Government realised much of the spread of bovine TB came from the movement of cattle around the country… (story)

Guernsey Press 28.2.03 By Jan and Henry Farnworth on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 04:07 pm: IT WAS with disgust that we read the advertisement highlighting 'Cuddly toys made from dead dogs' (Guernsey Press, 15 February). Are there no depths to which people can sink to make money? After reading the content of the article, probably not.... Thank you Guernsey Animal Aid for informing us of these atrocities... (letter)

Isle of Wight County Press 28.2.03 MONKEY SANCTUARY DISMAY - From Mr and Mrs D. Arnold, 1A St John's Road, Newport: IT IS with great dismay that we read that the application for the monkey sanctuary has been allowed on appeal against IW Council's refusal to give permission. After years of campaigning for better conditions at the old Robin Hill, which kept monkeys and other species in inadequate cages and compounds in very poor conditions, are we now to see the same situation arise in due course?... (letter in archive)

Bath Chronicle 28.2.03 WAGING WAR ON PIGEONS The battle against the flying foes of Trowbridge is hotting up but there is still little sign of an end to the misery caused by the town's pigeon population…. Now the town council has been joined by Picas, a charitable pigeon advisory service with a wide range of expertise on the subject…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 27.2.03 PRINCE TO MAKE RETURN VISIT TO VILLAGE PUB - THE Prince of Wales is to visit Cumbria on March 12, during which he will pay a return visit to the Oddfellows Arms pub in Caldbeck, it was announced today… In recent years, The Prince has come to Cumbria on private visits, and enjoyed days on the fells hunting with the Skiddaw with the Blencathra foxhounds… (story)

Berwickshire News 27.2.03 EVENTS PLANNED FOR UNIQUE HORSE FESTIVAL - THE programme for the UK-unique Borders horse festival has been given a historical flavour and a warm welcome …. The event takes place from May 19 and this year includes daily guided rideouts with a historic theme such as the Mary Queen of Scots ride to Fulton Castle (May 19) as well as have-a-go activities such as carriage driving (May 17) or "hunt the clean boot" with the Berwickshire Blood Hounds (May 23)…. (story in archive)

WORCESTERSHIRE BOXING DAY MEET
Worcester Evening News 27.2.03 Horses for courses...MY thanks go to A Reece (You Say, February 19) for confirming the anti-hunt protest at Droitwich on Boxing Day was carried out so only highly schooled horses could safely pass the yelling crowd. All the ponies and horses there were well able to deal with normal traffic but they are not like police horses which are trained to deal with the `'vigorous protest'' A Reece tactfully described… JON BURGESS, Malvern (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 19.2.03 Protest and stay silent? - THE tone of the most recent pro-hunt letter from Jon Burgess is puzzling.... If horses and ponies attending the Droitwich meet were not well schooled enough to ignore protesters, then surely the solution was not bring such animals to a meet where it was known vigorous protest was likely... Hunts are not the total paragons of law-abiding virtue he would wish us tobelieve. A REECE, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 14.2.03 No contest - REGARDING the letter from Peter Presland of the Countryside Alliance, words fail me that anyone could make such comments. When a fox catches a rabbit he does it by himself. When the hounds catch a fox they do it with the "help" of lunatics on horseback. HELEN SMART, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 12.2.03 Actions of protesters - ANITA Knittel's recollection (You Say, January 24) of last year's Boxing Day meet at Droitwich is very different to mine. She may deny it, but the actions of the anti-hunt protesters definitely did cause the horses to shy and kick. Naturally this put the riders, hounds, horses and particularly children with ponies in danger…. JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 8.2.03 Fox debate - A KNITTEL (You Say, January 29) omits to say that the fox was dead before being given to hounds. The fox was silent because it had been shot dead by a licensed humane killer…. R J ROGERS, Bringsty (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 8.2.03 Changes position - IT is interesting to note that Anita Knittel has changed her position on hunting recently. Having previously been totally against, she now seems to be half way to accepting it. In her letter (You Say, January 29) Anita Knittel was in favour of arable farmers having foxes on their land to hunt and kill rabbits that eat their crops…. J WOOD, Rushwick, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 6.2.03 Double standards - ANITA Knittel claims that foxes can be a good friend to farmers because they "keep the rabbit population down… Perhaps she would care to explain to your readers the difference between a farmer relying on foxes to control pest rabbits and the same farmer relying on hounds to control pest foxes… PETER PRESLAND, West Midlands Regional Chairman, Countryside Alliance (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 29.1.03 Fox can be a friend to farmers - I BEVAN (You Say, Monday January 13) claims riders, horses and ponies were intimidated at the Boxing Day Hunt Meet. It was, in fact a peaceful protest as the police present, I'm sure would be happy to verify…. contemplate the following direct quote from a Shropshire dairy farmer who's so sickened by hunting that she has become a member of the League Against Cruel Sports. Last year, the farmer video-taped a hunt digging out a young fox from an earth… A KNITTEL, Worcester (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 4.2.03 Man streaked at Boxing Day hunt - A STREAKER who walked naked through a Worcestershire town in a protest against fox hunting has been ordered to do 60 hours community service. David Bullock and another man, Robert Banks, stripped off and shouted "give the fox some loving"… Dawn Cooper, defending, said Bullock and his co-defendant had very strong views regarding fox hunting…. Bullock, of Mayflower Road, Droitwich, admitted indecent exposure at an earlier hearing. Magistrates gave him a 60-hour community punishment order and ordered him to pay £35 towards prosecution costs…. (story in archive)
Worcester Evening News 8.1.03 Cheeky anti-hunt protest ends in court punishment AN anti-hunt protester who showed a bit of bare-faced cheek when he "streaked" before the start of the Worcestershire Hunt's Boxing Day meet has been given a community punishment order. Robert Banks, aged 30, was ordered to complete 40 hours community punishment by Worcester Magistrates for indecently exposing himself in Droitwich…. A comprehensive pre-sentence report is currently being compiled upon 25-year-old David Bullock, who also admitted the offence of indecent exposure. Bullock, also of Teme Crescent, is due back in front of magistrates on Thursday, February 6…. (story in archive)
Worcester Evening News 4.1.03 A good send-off for hunt, hopefully for the last time - AS Animal Rights Campaigners, we were in Droitwich on Boxing Day to give the foxhunters a "good" send off - hopefully for the last time…. JANET CUMMINGS, Rugby, Warwickshire. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 27.12.02 THE BARE-FACED CHEEK! ANTI-hunt protesters showed bare-faced cheek when they streaked through Droitwich before the start of the Worcestershire Hunt's Boxing Day meet… The two naked campaigners, one with the words "ban it" daubed on his back, were escorted away by police and are due to appear before Worcester Magistrates charged with indecent exposure later this month…. Clare Rowson, from the Countryside Alliance, said that the level of support hunters received at the hunts in Droitwich, Hagley and Croome was higher than ever…. (story in archive)
Birmingham Post 27.12.02 Hunters vow to return - By Shahid Naqvi, Birmingham Post … Members of the Worcestershire Hunt spoke out at their traditional Boxing Day meet in Droitwich amid protest from animal rights activists, which included a streak by two men… Protesters formed a gathering of about 100 men, women and children that hurled abuse at members of the 60-strong Worcestershire Hunt riding to their meeting point in the car park of the Raven Hotel in Droitwich…. (story)

Evesham Journal 27.2.03 The scene that made my blood run cold In last week's letters, Maggie Taylor asks me what I will do if there is an outright ban on hunting with dogs. First of all I will celebrate… I would just add that I have never driven a vehicle without wearing a seat belt or while holding a camera or 'CB' so I hope that Ms Taylor's musings on these points weren't directed at me… Mrs Gill Purser, Clapton-on-the-Hill, Cheltenham (letter in archive)
Evesham Journal 20.2.03 You will miss us when we're gone! - MRS Purser wrote about Sam Butler and the incident at Shipston on Stour school as scary. Friday, February 7 out with the Heythrope. I don't think there is anything more stupid and scary than to be followed around with vehicles with drivers driving with no seat belts on, with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand holding a video camera or speaking on a CB…. MAGGIE TAYLOR, Moreton in Marsh. (letter in archive)
Evesham Journal 6.2.03 An act of mercy was one of brutality - If we caught sight of an injured animal and someone said "I know, let's set a pack of dogs onto it" most of us would be absolutely horrified… And yet, in the report of a fox being killed by hounds in front of school children (Journal, 30/1/2003), a master of the Warwickshire hunt, Sam Butler, is reported as not only keen to tell us that he was party to the hounding of an already injured animal… Gill Purser (Mrs), Clapton-on-the-Hill, Cheltenham. (letter in archive)
Stratford Herald 24.1.03 Fox killed in front of children - FORTY Shipston High School pupils witnessed the killing of a fox by hounds on their sports ground yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon - but don't appear to have been unduly upset by it, according to the Warwickshire Hunt… Headteacher Paul Billing said later: "Our concerns were that there were no children involved, but if children had been out using the facilities it could have been a far more serious situation."… Mr Billing added that he was expecting a written apology from Mr Smith-Ryland for the incident. Hunt official Robin Smith-Ryland told the Herald that immediately after the incident he went to see Mr Billing to apologise for the trespass incident…. (story may only be on website for a week)

Mirror 27.2.03 I WAS appalled that Val Fletcher and her boyfriend were bragging about the 11ft 7in oar fish she caught (Daily Mirror, February 21). What is there to brag about? That she dragged an unwilling creature out of its natural habitat and killed it in order for her to look good?... V Cowley, Warrington, Cheshire (letter)

Hereford Times 27.2.03 Animal group to rescue as badgers are accused - ALL it takes is a `no'. If enough people say so then the culling of badgers in the county could stop and hundreds of thousands of pounds can be spent on more relevant research into bovine tuberculosis (bTB). As Hereford Badger Group (HBG) puts this argument - quite literally - in the field what appears an easy appeal to hearts is increasingly changing minds… These are the same people whose taxes are paying for the cull, with no apparent accountability as to how many badgers are dying and why says HBG's Andrew Field… (story in archive)

Guardian 27.2.03 Badger culls -Elliot Morley's appearance before the environment select committee heralded the best news for badgers since the cull to control bovine TB began in 1974 … Dr Elaine King Chief executive, National Federation of Badger Groups (letter)

Lewisham News Shopper 27.2.03 Research but spare animals - MANY people may not be aware when they donate to certain charities, they are also funding animal experiments. It is possible to support medical research without animal experiments. The National Anti-Vivisection Society has produced a small pocket guide to inform people which charities fund animal experiments… Jan Yarker, Birch Tree Avenue, West Wickham (letter)

ADIDAS KANGAROO SKIN FOOTBALL BOOTS CAMPAIGN
Nottingham Evening Post 27.2.03 KANGAROOS NOT FAIR GAME - Football is thought of as "the beautiful game" and the top players are idolised. But how many fans stop to consider the slaughter and cruelty involved in the production of the expensive football boots worn by players? This year, seven million kangaroos will be killed to supply the leather… JAMES T. WESTLAND Cheverton Court Cranmer Street (letter)
Scotsman 11.2.03 Spring-heeled boots - WHAT’S that, Skippy? They want to use your hide to make football boots? Surely the footballers of the world will never stand for it. The latest high-profile animal rights campaign has singled out the sports company Adidas for its practice of using kangaroo skin to fashion football boots… (story)
Oxford Mail 10.2.03 Animal protest kicks off - Protesters in Oxford took part in a national campaign against the killing of kangaroos to make football boots. Animal rights group Viva! wants people to boycott Adidas products…. David Scott organised the protest on February 8 outside a sports shops in Oxford… (story in archive)
BBC News Online 7.2.03 Protest over kangaroo killings - Animal rights protesters are to take part in a demonstration in Sheffield city centre against the slaughter of kangaroos in Australia… They claim that three million skins are exported from Australia every year to make football boots and trainers…. Official figures report that five-and-a-half million kangaroos were killed in Australia during 2001. Sheffield Animal Rights Group spokesman Mike Maas said: "That's the official figure - and it's gigantic… (story)
Ananova 5.2.03 Footballers urged to boycott boots in kangaroo protest - Footballers are being urged to boycott Adidas boots by protesters campaigning against the company's use of kangaroo skin…. Adidas has 70% of the market for professional boots and protesters from Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (VIVA) claim it is the "driving force" behind the kangaroo killing industry in Australia… Joining a protest outside the Adidas Centre in Stockport, Greater Manchester, campaigner Alistair Currie said: "Nike make a 100% synthetic boot for the world's number one footballer, Ronaldo. If it's good enough for Ronaldo it's good enough for anybody…." (story)

Western Mail 27.2.03 Vegetarian urges overhaul of subsidies - A NATIONAL Assembly member who is a vegetarian yesterday called for an overhaul of subsidies to en-courage farmers to switch from animal to crop farming. Lorraine Barrett (Labour, Cardiff South and Penarth) said subsidies should be based on the size of farms rather than on animal numbers… (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 26.2.03 Animal display inspires visitors By Simon Dudman - An exhibition looking at the relationship between people and animals has been having an inspiring effect on visitors. The Us and Them exhibition, running every day until September at The Herbert Art Gallery, explores the controversy surrounding blood sports... Steve Lane, keeper of natural history at the museum, said people had been leaving the exhibition "fired up" to do something positive to help the plight of mistreated or endangered animals…. (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 26.2.03 OF HUNTERS - AND WAR …Coming away from the pub car park was a group of fox-hunters with their pack of dogs. What a wonderful sight… I am certain I read something in the newspaper recently about fox-hunting but, as we are about to go to war, killing many innocent human beings who have done nothing to us, I couldn't waste my time trying to remember what it was. N. A. Fairey, Cowers Lane. (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 26.2.03 SIR - In a recent letter Trevor W Berry asks if the fox is a menace? NO. Is it a cuddly friend? YES (I have two pet foxes)…. I assume that Mr Berry is referring to the barbaric pursuit called fox hunting… Derek Wright, Westbury Street, Bradford 4. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 1.2.03 There appears to be a generous amount of talk about the urban fox. Is it a menace? Is it our cuddly friend? Is it worth the livelihood of hundreds of people? Is it a danger to the public?... I think that the pro-fox fanatics are far more dangerous than all the foxes in Christendom! Trevor Williams Berry, Bredon Avenue, Wrose (letter in archive)

Independent 26.2.03 Gamekeepers want to kill birds of prey By Paul Kelbie Scotland Correspondent - Gamekeepers on some of Scotland's top sporting estates are demanding a licence to kill protected birds of prey which they claim are devastating game stocks and threatening their livelihoods... (story)

Times 26.2.03 Royal role on badgers - Sir, Prince Charles was voted Farm Personality of the Year 2002 for his support and influence on behalf of the industry during the foot-and-mouth crisis. Perhaps his sister the Princess Royal deserves similar recognition for her intervention over the issue of badgers and bovine TB CHARLES TWEEDIE, Lower Upton, Little Hereford, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 4BB. (letter)

Scotsman 26.2.03 Morley steps into badger cull row - FORDYCE MAXWELL RURAL AFFAIRS EDITOR - THE argument about whether badgers spread TB in cattle moved up a gear this week when Elliot Morley, animal welfare minister, said there was "not a shred of evidence" on which to base a badger cull. He also played down claims that the disease is out of control in England where 2,676 herds in the south-west - more than 10 per cent of the total - are now under TB-reactor restrictions…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 26.2.03 TIME TO SNUB PSEUDO-SCIENCE - The 30-year-old controversy has hotted up recently, with the Parliamentary look again at the problem in the DEFRA Select Committee, and the Princess Royal's new outburst at Gatcombe…. 50 years progress has been thrown away through the ineptitude of MAFF/DEFRA and the Bourne ISG… Scrapping the pointless Krebs/Bourne trial - not due to report until 2007 - would release £30-35 million infinitely better spent on urgent cattle testing. I hope farmers will boycott any further co-operation with the pseudo-science flummery. M HANCOX Nouncells Cross Stroud (letter)

Lakeland Echo 26.2.03 Monkey suffering is not 'moderate' - READERS will be horrified to learn that a recent Government report has declared acceptable a licensing system that categorises as "moderate suffering", experiments where monkeys have the tops of their skull sawn off and part of their brain sucked out. The report comes in response to a horrifying 10 month undercover investigation by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) into monkey brain research at Cambridge University… The Government's behaviour over the BUAV's Cambridge investigation provides further proof, if further proof were needed, that it has no concern whatsoever with the suffering of laboratory animals and no concern either with the truth. Wendy Higgins Campaigns director British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) 16a Crane Grove London N7 8NN. (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 26.2.03 WE ARE WHAT WE WEAR …Animals are cruelly experimented on and tortured. Some people may think this is all for a good cause, such as providing information to develop vital cures for fatal illnesses. This could be true, and would be, apart from the fact that there are much better, cheaper and more reliable animalfriendly ways… K Shearer (aged 13), Backwell. (letter)

Shropshire Star 26.2.03 Would the 'veggies' pay for animals? - The letters from Claudia Tarry (Viva) and Jill Byron (farmer) are very interesting, but I assume they will never agree about much… Jill Byron asks if "veggies" drank milk and eat butter and cheese, I know many who do…. Finally, do any "veggie vivas" eat yoghurt? Shame on you, don't you know it's alive. Barry Jasper, Ludlow (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 28.1.03 Would we survive without animals? - In reply to the letter from Claudia Tarry, (Viva! campaigner, January 23) telling me that as a "farmer's wife", and a "meat eater", my view will differ greatly from these "veggies"…. yes I do eat meat… It does not mean that I don't care about animals. If it did mean that, I would not have contacted Viva! in the first place. Foolishly, I thought they might just care enough to try to stop the chemical testing which Europe proposes to do on 20 million animals…. the organisation for whom she campaigns, told me they were only interested in factory farming and do not get involved with other aspects of animal welfare (their words, not mine)… Jill Byron, Bishop's Castle (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 23.1.03 Our group is horrified by testing - I must respond to Jill Byron's letter, printed on January 8, which seriously misrepresented the organisation for which I work, Viva! (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals)… We believe the best way of stopping cruelty to animals is to stop eating them. I am as horrified as Ms Byron by the EU's plans to retest chemicals on animals…. We held a series of marches in London, Brighton, Exeter, Oxford, Manchester, Ipswich and Stratford… Claudia Tarry, Campaigner (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 25.2.03 WHY ALTER HIS OPINION? One example of the selective journalism of establishment media was on February 12, when two newspapers reported that Patrick Bateson, part-author of the report which demonstrated that deer suffer unnaturally from being hunted with hounds, has now changed his mind… has Bateson had more pressure put on him? After all, he received death threats and libellous criticism after his original report. David Thomas Hisomley Nr Westbury Wiltshire (letter)

Western Morning News 25.2.03 BLAIR LEGISLATES AGAINST HIS OPPONENTS The hysterical battle cry of the Blair Government is "ban it"! Ban: Farmers and smallholders, hunting, islands, bent bananas, homekill slaughtermen, live music, countryside marches, petrol protests, Hyde Park protests, trees in playgrounds and even invalid scooters! They want to legislate out of existence anyone or anything that opposes them…. Tess Nash, Helston (letter)

Western Morning News 25.2.03 No answers - DESPITE repeated requests by many as to exactly how many hounds are routinely killed each year when they are deemed to be no further use - usually at the age of six or seven - and by what method, no information is forthcoming…. F Cleaves, Par (letter)

FOX BITES BABY
Lewisham News Shopper 25.2.03 Fox-hater’s family gets letter threats By Toby Nation - A DESPERATE dad who had a fox shot after it allegedly bit his baby is pleading with an animal rights activist to leave his family alone. Peter Day, 45, is living in fear after receiving a letter saying he was going to have his windows smashed and car firebombed…. Mr Day hit the headlines last summer when he said his 10-month-old son Louis had been attacked by a fox which came into the family home in Shakespeare Road, Temple Hill. He called in pest control specialist Bruce Lindsay-Smith, who was also sent a letter, to trap and shoot the fox. Following the incident, he was confronted by people who said he had made the story up and the baby had been bitten by a dog. He even walked into his local boozer and saw a picture of himself stuck on the dartboard with "f****** liar" scrawled on it…. (letter)
Lewisham News Shopper 9.8.02 Trauma of fox visit lives on... I MUST write in support of Peter Day, the Temple Hill resident whose baby son was bitten by a fox. He has just been through a major trauma of seeing his 14-week-old child attacked by a fox. Now he is being branded a liar by Mark Johnson and Trevor Williams who cast aspersions a fox could do this and say a dog was really to blame... neither Mr Johnson nor Mr Williams believes a fox would ever enter a house. Well I can assure them they do as one entered my kitchen through the back door last year… PAUL HEDGES, Tower Road, Dartford (letter)
Lewisham News Shopper 6.8.02 Fox fan says it’s unfair - I saw the photo of that man shooting that poor fox. I thought it was totally inappropriate… I am a fan of foxes and would protect them if they were in unnecessary danger. Anyway, how do we know the fox bit the baby? No-one even knows that for sure. With all due regard to the baby, it was not savaged… I am strongly against fox hunting… Stephen Lee (Age 12), Heath Lane, Dartford (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 11.7.02 Fox reality not awe-inspiring - I REFER to Advocates for Animals spokesperson Yvonne Taylor’s letter (July 6)… It is distasteful to note that Ms Taylor makes no comment in her letter on the well-being of the baby that was subjected to the attack. I think such an omission says a lot about Ms Taylor’s and the self-appointed group Advocates for Animals’ views on the rights of the human being even when it is an innocent and defenceless baby. Judy Mills Easter Road, Edinburgh (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 11.7.02 MOVING HOME - In reply to M. J. White (Opinion, July 6), the reason that wildlife is moving in around homes is because we are destroying their habitat… Foxes are not to blame - it is up to everybody to look at danger and safety in and around their own homes. B. Flood, Barden Drive, Allestree. (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 10.7.02 Serial killer cats - WE have heard plenty about fox-hunting of late and relatively little of the domestic moggie. Both kill for sport, pleasure and, in the case of foxes, necessity… Foxes belong in the natural scene: cats have been artificially introduced and give their owners the "feelgood" factor. But does that excuse the feline's unquenchable desire to kill for sport? In principle I'm against foxhunting, but there is a watertight case for rooting out the rogue fox… JOHN WARMINGHAM, Wetheral, Carlisle (letter)
Scotsman 9.7.02 Fox population - I was not surprised to read about the attack by a fox on a 14-week-old baby in Kent… As the urban fox population increases, incidents will also in-crease. Foxes are classified as vermin, yet local authorities turn a blind eye to the problem… WILLIAM O’DONNELL, Kings Park Avenue, Rutherglen, Glasgow (letter)
The Herald (Glasgow) 9.7.02 Urban foxes are far from being harmless - ROSS Minett, campaigns director of Advocates for Animals, states that "urban foxes do not pose any real safety risks to humans" … He further states: "The hapless urban fox is a much-maligned, persecuted creature." He describes the attack on the baby as out of character. This is typical of the rhetoric from the animal rights fraternity. Total sympathy for the fox and no comments on the baby's injuries or the trauma suffered by the parents… William O'Donnell, 406 Kings Park Avenue, Rutherglen. (letter may be in archive)
Independent 8.7.02 You'd better get used to living with the urban fox - Man, his only natural enemy, is now more likely to offer him a saucer of Whiskas than shoot him - Terence Blacker … The combined effect of gloopy suburbanites treating foxes as pets and the lengthy suspension of hunting during the foot-and-mouth outbreak has caused a serious fox epidemic, in towns and the country… The braver local councils will have to recognise that, if the brown rat is regarded as a pest and a health hazard to humans, then so should the fox… All the same, despite his useful work in the kitten-killing area, our tolerance of the delinquency of Old Charley has probably gone quite far enough. (story)
Independent on Sunday 7.7.02 Mange joins traffic as the urban fox's biggest killer By David Randall - Britain's urban fox population has been severely reduced by outbreaks of a devastating disease, and is now much lower than was previously thought, experts said yesterday. The disease, sarcoptic mange, reduced Bristol's fox population by more than 90 per cent in the late 1990s, and has since spread across the south of England and Midlands… The news of the outbreak comes a few days after a fox was reported to have bitten a baby while she slept in her Kent home. Trevor Williams, of the Fox Project, who was consulted by the doctor treating the child, is convinced the animal was concussed… Other experts are sceptical about a fox being responsible. They say that an oft-quoted previous incident of a fox biting a baby turned out to have been made by a family who had fed a family of foxes and then, when they followed them into their home, demanded that the local council take action. According to Mr Williams, when none was forthcoming, the attack was reported but it turned out to be a cat bite… (story)
Times 6.7.02 Urban foxes in brush with civilisation BY VALERIE ELLIOTT Our correspondent reports on a clash between humans and a wily visitor with a skill for life on the streets... Trevor Williams, who runs the Fox Project in Kent, has studied foxes for 30 years. He rescues them and advises councils on how to deal with them. He said: “I think this fox was concussed and was not behaving normally. I have seen it before. That is the only explanation I have as to why the fox lay down in the house even though the family was screaming at it...." (story)
Times 6.7.02 Reynard, the asylum-seeker ...Now is the summer of the urban fox. Our Countryside Editor reports that the fox population of the United Kingdom has peaked at 600,000, the highest since statistics were invented. The vulpine census-takers assert that 13 per cent of these, that is 78,000 give a brush or two, are living in towns and cities... The fox is indeed a dirty and dangerous country cousin. Its excrement causes blindness. Its night feeding prowl around the rubbish dumps creates viler, more wanton, and more widespead mess even than two-legged urban litter louts outside McDonald’s. When hungry (always) or old, it is a danger to soft city cats, lapdogs and infants... As urban man proceeds to ban foxhunting in the country, Nature is sending the foxes to town in order to teach him an old lesson. (leader)
Edinburgh Evening News 6.7.02 Appreciate our urban wildlife - I CAN’T help but pity your journalist Sandra Dick ("Brush with danger", July 3). She appears to inhabit a world in which squirrels are sabre-toothed villains and foxes are evil ginger mammals with "razor-sharp teeth" that "chew up and spit out small dogs"... For a fox to even consider entering a house suggests that the animal was either extremely sick or suffering shock after a road accident... Yvonne Taylor, Advocates for Animals Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 6.7.02 FOX ATTACK - In January, the Evening Telegraph published several letters about urban foxes and I contributed with an advisory letter in which I described how I had witnessed a pack of foxes harassing a cat to its death... This letter resulted in several letters which were very personal from the "fox lovers" who disputed every detail of what happened that night. So I now invite them to put pen to paper regarding the very unfortunate incident in Dartford in which a fox attacked a baby in its home... M. J. White, Stenson Road, Derby.
Glasgow Herald 5.7.02 Not so hapless - THANKS to Ross Minett of Advocates for his timely defence of the urban fox (Letters, July 4). But I do wish he hadn't referred to our pungent friend as "hapless"… Given a level playing-field, on which they are not assaulted by upper-class yobboes on horseback with packs of brainwashed dogs, foxes can look after themselves very well… As a loyal supporter of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, I suppose I have to go along with proposals to extirpate the dastardly hedgehogs of Uist who are scoffing waders' eggs… Angus Calder, 15 Spittal Street, Edinburgh (letter may be in archive)
The Herald (Glasgow) 4.7.02 Urban foxes - THERE has been much media hysteria surrounding the alleged attack on a baby by an urban fox earlier this week. This much-maligned and persecuted creature has for centuries been the object of man's desire to cruelly hunt and kill in the name of sport. To portray these shy animals as man-eating savage monsters with "an appetite for human flesh" is unconvincing and ridiculous… At long last we are to see an end to the cruel persecution of foxes in the Scottish countryside by hunters. Let's not allow bloodthirsty individuals to now persecute the hapless urban fox Ross Minett, campaigns director, Advocates for Animals, 10 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter may be in archive)
Edinburgh News 3.7.02 Brush with danger - Sandra Dick - … Pablo is friendly, fun, cuddly and an extremely popular modern cartoon character that is loved by children, as were Basil Brush and Disney’s cartoon fox Robin Hood before him. Not at all like the sly urban fox that arrived at Louis Day’s house. The 14-week-old baby was slumbering peacefully on the sofa beside mum Sue when a fox wandered into their home. It climbed up on to the couch, caught sight of baby Louis, then sank its razor-sharp teeth into his fragile young skull…. Ironically, the Kent incident comes just as the debate over foxhunting using hounds is reopened, with campaigners launching a legal challenge to the Scottish Parliament’s decision to ban the bloodsport…. Animal welfare organisation the SSPCA is quick to stress that there is no evidence to suggest that the Kent incident was anything other than a one-off… "We don’t know for sure, but the indications are that this may have been a fox which was at one point hand-reared," says Doreen Graham, the organisation’s spokeswoman…. (story)
Western Daily Press 3.7.02 DON'T BE FOXED BY BEASTLY CLAIMS - Sir - While I do feel sorry for the little child that was harmed by a fox that entered the family's home and seized the baby by the head, I can't help thinking that it will give blood sports fans more ammunition. This sort of behaviour by a fox is totally unheard of, and wildlife experts are now saying that the fox must be mentally deranged… What a pity the poor deranged fox didn't enter the home of a hunt supporter and give them a taste of their own medicine! (letter)
Scotsman 2.7.02 Fox attacks baby in house - Duncan Brodie - A FATHER told yesterday how a fox attacked his baby son at their home. Peter Day, 44, from Dartford, Kent, said the animal walked into his home and bit 14-week-old Louis… Klare Kennett, a spokeswoman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, advised people to use their commonsense and always supervise children when they are around animals - but she stressed that foxes were not a safety risk… Trevor Williams, the director of the animal rescue charity the Fox Project, based in Tunbridge, Kent, has 30 years’ experience working with foxes, but said this was the first case of its kind he had heard of… (story)
Yorkshire Post 2.7.02 Father tells of horror as fox attacked baby - "I want it caught and I want it destroyed. It's coming into the house now and it is a risk. My partner Susan will not even open a window or door downstairs and there is a problem with foxes in this area." …quotes from Klare Kennett, RSPCA; Trevor Williams, Fox Project (story)
Guardian 2.7.02 Urban fox bites baby in home - Colin Blackstock (story)
Independent 2.7.02 Baby attacked by fox as mother lay asleep By Emily Pennink (story)
Mirror 2.7.02 Sleeping baby is attacked by fox - TOT SAVAGED INSIDE HOUSE - By Ian Miller (story)
Sun 2.7.02 Fox savages baby on sofa By NEIL SYSON …“I ran into the front room and the fox was sitting there looking at me. Louis was covered in blood and had been totally twisted round. “The fox had dragged him by his head. “I grabbed Louis in my arms and chased the fox out - but it sat by the door staring at me.”… Graham Cornick, of Hydestile Wildlife Hospital in Godalming, Surrey, said: “Foxes are not aggressive creatures.” (story)
Telegraph 2.7.02 Fox bit our baby, say couple By David Sapsted … There were, however, reports of a baby being attacked in Croydon, Surrey, in 1996 though the stories were never verified…. (story)
Ananova 1.7.02 Baby attacked by fox as he lay dozing on sofa with mother - A fox has attacked a baby as the child lay sleeping beside his mother on a sitting room sofa in Dartford. Fourteen-week-old Louis Day was left covered in blood as the animal grabbed his head. His parents Sue Eastwood and Peter Day believe the animal was trying to drag the baby outside to eat him…(story)
Evening Standard 1.7.02 Fox attacks sleeping baby by Ed Harris - A fox has attacked a baby as it lay sleeping beside its mother on a sofa in their sitting room. Louis Day, who is only 14 weeks old, was left covered with blood and crying with pain as the fox grabbed his head after creeping in through the open french window of the family's home in Kent…. Residents of Temple Hill, an estate close to Dartford town centre, have asked the local authority and the RSPCA to help them tackle the problem, but say they have been met with little interest. "They seem more interested in the foxes and tell us we can't hurt them. But people are worried - what will happen next?" Mrs Eastwood said. (story)
BBC News Online 1.7.02 Baby 'attacked by fox' - A couple say their baby boy was left injured after a fox crept into their house while they slept… Louis' mother Sue Eastwood was with him when the attack happened. She said: "I'd fallen asleep, Louis was already asleep. "The next thing he was screaming and I woke up and I was screaming. I've seen all this blood coming down his face and the fox is just sitting there staring at us."… But Trevor Williams, director of the Fox Project based in nearby Tunbridge, said this was the first case of its kind that he had heard of. He said: "I'm absolutely convinced we are looking at a concussed or brain damaged animal to act in this way… I would not consider this an attack at all. That indicates something vicious and wild and ferocious." (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 25.2.03 Dog track runs into strays row - EXCLUSIVE - BY NEIL HUDSON - PLANS to build an £8m greyhound racetrack in Dewsbury could lead to hundreds of stray dogs roaming the town, an animal welfare worker has claimed. Susan Dawson, who works as a volunteer for Tia Greyhound Rescue, based in Sowerby Bridge, claims the planned stadium next to the Dewsbury Rams stadium on Owl Lane, Shaw Cross, would leave hundreds of unwanted dogs a year being kicked out and forced to fend for themselves on the streets…. (story)

Northern Echo 25.2.03 'Badgers not to blame for spread of TB' BADGER campaigners have hit back at claims that the animals are to blame for the spread of tuberculosis to cattle… Valerie Whitby, vice-chairwoman of Durham County Badger Group, said yesterday there was no suggestion that the Government was planning a cull of badgers outside specific trial areas… (story in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 24.2.03 THE BRAVE FEW - The hunters sit astride their mounts with stirrup cup in hand They drink a toast unto the Queen, this brave heroic band.... The hounds are sent in for the kill, the fox screams out in pain, Its body torn to pieces and the hounds attack again.... MR LESLIE TEATLE Coronation Road Bestwood Village (letter)

Shropshire Star 24.2.03 The loss of a home: a minute problem? Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael recently attended a rural housing conference where he was asked how he would address the issue of the loss of tied houses by hunt employees if they lost their jobs as the result of a hunting ban. His reply was that the problem was so minute as not to merit his attention!... Last weekend saw a massive demonstration against war with Iraq. Will the Government pay any more attention to this than it did to the huge Liberty and Livelihood March last autumn?... I hope and pray that the peace march will finally teach our Government to listen to public opinion, but I wouldn't bet on it. B R Lewis, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 24.2.03 TAKING ACTION AGAINST ABUSE Sir - In answer to the letter from Don Tinsey about the cruely of pet owners, it appears he is completely ignorant of the aims and activities of animal rights campaigners. Their priority is to fight, in any way possible, animal abuse and exploitation in any shape or form, be it pet trade, blood-sport, vivisection or livestock farming.... P Richardson Woodmancote Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 24.2.03 NO EXCUSE FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY Don Tinsey is right when he says that many birds, rodents and exotic companion animals are kept in vile conditions, but that does not excuse the abuse of battery hens or other farm animals... Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.2.03 PET OWNERS CAN BE CRUEL - With reference to the article Vegans Rattle Poultry Cages, I take issue with the comments by Alistair Currie that in this 21st century "no animal should have to live in a space only inches bigger than its own body". Why doesn't he go knocking on doors and find out what people have cooped up in their houses, gardens, sheds, pens?... These animal rights campaigners need to get their priorities right and not keep hassling the farmers. Don Tinsey Cranham Gloucestershire (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 24.2.03 Man sparks gun scare at Harvey Nicks - A MAN sparked a gun alert at Harvey Nichols when he walked into the upmarket department store with a rifle and ammunition... Police quizzed the man but took no further action as he was legally entitled to carry the gun. It is understood that he was on his way to a country estate for a hunting weekend when the gun scare happened on Saturday at 11am.... (story)

Gloucester Citizen 24.2.03 RESTRICTIONS ON SHOOTING WOULD CAUSE DAMAGE - I Am writing in response to your article regarding clay pigeon and game shooting, featured on February 11, 2003. I agree with Mr Evans in what he said about game shooting and clay pigeon shooting. I too have lived in the countryside all my life and feel sure that any ban or restrictions on our country sports would do nothing more than damage the countryside.... Rash decisions made by a suit in an office somewhere can lead to whole livelihoods being affected. Look at the tremendous turn out for the Countryside March last year. That many people can't be in the wrong!... TIM JAMES Vice President Gloucester Clay Shooting Club Tewkesbury Road Gloucester (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 14.2.03 SHOT BIRDS' BETTER FATE - As A lad in the '60s, I lived on the side of May Hill. Just a short walk through the woods was a large country estate owned by the Ackers family… As indicated by Emma Pickles in her article on Tuesday, February 11, beaters were employed to hack at the bushes with long sticks to lift the birds…. It is true to say that the birds had been reared for this fate; their existence was, however, totally free-range… Compare the fate of the pheasant to the very succulent chicken that I enjoyed last Sunday… I make no apologies for the graphic descriptions contained herein, nor do I support fox hunting or any other "sport" that does not result in food for the table… DAVE WAKEFIELD Adelaide Gardens Stonehouse(letter)
Gloucester Citizen 11.2.03 WHERE CAN WE GO SHOOTING? - Many Cotswold estates ??? and Hartpury College ??? offer people in Gloucestershire the chance to go on licensed pheasant shoots… (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 24.2.03 ANIMAL RIGHTS: Anger at falcon plan for pigeons - BIRD lovers and animal rights campaigners have criticised a plan to use falcons to control the growing number of pigeons in the city's Cathedral Square…. But today John Johnson, a former city councillor and animal rights activist, said: "It's not a quick kill. Hawks can take pigeons and eat them alive, which will not be a pleasant sight for anyone who sees it. "Falconry is a blood sport and I am staggered that, in this day and age, the city council will sanction it."… (story in archive)

Richmond & Twickenham Times 24.2.03 Foxes forced into town - Sir,-I have read some more letters for and against the urban fox. It is true that foxes were once clean and undiseased, but as man has built on their home, they have been forced to move into towns… Tom Hill (aged 9), by email (letter)

Richmond & Twickenham Times 24.2.03 Should park deer be culled? - Sir- must thank your correspondent E.W.Brown (letters Feb 14th) for enlightening me. Yes, these deer are obviously more fortunate than farm animals but then you see I had no idea that Richmond Park was actually a farm!... Speaking personally I've been vegetarian for 34 years write constantly to MP's about the treatment of farm and laboratory animals and also spoke live on Sky news during the foot and mouth massacre - sorry CULL!-.Mrs S.D Nikolic. Trafalgar Road, Wimbledon
Sir,-Regarding the culling of deer in Richmond Park (letters February 14th), I always thought that the purpose of culling was to keep the deer population to a sustainable level… If the deer that are culled are sold as venison that's all right by me, venison is the world's most delicious meat (I start drooling like Homer Simpson at the thought of it), and what else can you do with a bunch of dead deer?... Louise O'Connor, Vancouver Road, Ham. (letters)
Richmond & Twickenham 13.2.03 More than 30 deer killed by cars in three years - I am so much in agreement with Mrs S D Nikolic of Wimbledon who writes of her sadness at the culling of the deer in Richmond Park… I share Mrs Nikolic's sadness - I too look at these wonderful animals quietly grazing in the sun and muse that it is probably their last day…. -Sylvia Heath, Esmond Road, Chiswick. (letter)

Cambridge News 24.2.03 Animal lab data ignored From Pat Griffin, Joan Court, Sue Hughes and 13 other supporters, X-CAPE (Cambridge Against Primate Experiments) Sturton Street Cambridge - WELL, surprise, surprise! So the Home Office found no case to answer regarding the irrefutable evidence by The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection regarding the appalling suffering inflicted on primates by Cambridge University.... (letter)

Luton on Sunday 23.2.03 Fox hunting – ancient tradition or licensed butchery? A PACK of snarling dogs, teeth bared, run an exhausted fox to ground and rip at its body, literally tearing it limb from limb until it dies in agony. A red-coated huntsman lifts the bloodied entrails aloft as the grinning riders look on. Ancient and honourable British tradition helping rid the countryside of a cold-blooded vermin that itself kills without mercy? Or licensed sadistic butchery that belongs in the nation's past along with bear-baiting and public executions?... one group of men and women have no doubt that fox hunting is vicious, evil, cruel and unnecessary... Hunt saboteurs... reporter Alex Simmons secured a remarkable interview with the 'hunt sabs'... The people I met, two men, two women, are members of the Chiltern Hunt Sabs – their area covers a swathe of Bedfordshire although their prime target is the Aylesbury Vale Hunt.... Later, another sab, 'Tiny' – who helps disrupt the Oakley Hunt – telephoned us to add his comments.... (story)

Independent on Sunday 23.2.03 A lovely day in the country (unless you're a hare) - Eye witness - By Cole Moreton - What could be nicer than a day in the country, watching an ancient sport?... This is the Barbican Cup, a knock-out competition for 16 dogs held on private land near Little Massingham in Norfolk. Catherine Bettinson, chair of the East of England Coursing Club, knows what is going wrong... Here, at a proper licensed meeting run under the strict rules of the National Coursing Club, it is usual to express disappointment when the quarry dies... Stop licensed coursing, say its followers, and landowners such as Mary will no longer encourage hares on their fields. They will shoot them instead, to prevent illegal hunting. "If it is banned my livelihood will disappear," says Kim. "And so will the brown hare.... (story)

Sunday Telegraph 23.2.03 Clay pigeon fans find themselves in the line of fire By Elizabeth Day ...John Harradine, of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, said: "The report makes it easy for anyone with a grievance against shooting to have an abatement notice slapped on a clay ground with a minimum of justification. It leaves the field open for malicious and mischievous complaints."... (story)

Scotland on Sunday 23.2.03 Moor managers blamed for slaughter of birds of prey - JEREMY WATSON - PROTECTED birds of prey such as golden eagles are being illegally slaughtered by grouse moor managers in Scotland, according to government scientists.... The study was carried out by scientists working for the government’s countryside agency, Scottish Natural Heritage.... (story)

Scotsman 22.2.03 More foxes killed since hunting ban introduced - WILLIAM CHISHOLM - THE number of foxes being killed by Scottish hunts has increased significantly since hunting with dogs was banned last year, The Scotsman has learned... Foxes are flushed from cover before being killed with a bullet from a marksman’s rifle. The Duke of Buccleuch’s Hunt, the country’s premier pack, has accounted for 80 foxes since it began working with guns under the new regulations. Trevor Adams, a huntsman with the Buccleuch, said that figure is about one-third higher than the average numbers killed in a traditional hunting season when the sport was legal.... The Dumfriesshire Hunt is the only pack in Scotland to disband as a result of the ban on hunting with dogs. All other Scottish hunts remain active... (story)

Newcastle Journal 22.2.03 Prince joins fun at ball By Dave Black, The Journal - Prince William set tongues wagging in a cluster of rural communities in Northumberland by making an unexpected appearance on the local social scene. Revellers at the annual Tynedale Hunt ball did a double-take when they spotted the 20-year-old Royal enjoying himself in their midst with a large group of friends last weekend…. Earlier in the day he had joined the Newcastle and District Beagles at Haydon… (story)

Western Daily Press 22.2.03 FARMERS WILL OPPOSE CHANGE All of us who enjoy seeing wild animals in natural surroundings are indebted to you for your two articles drawing attention to the threat to the Quantock red deer herd should hunting be banned. However, it is wrong for Chris Rundle to allow his personal feelings about hunting to distort the facts.... There are over 200 people on the Quantocks entitled to shoot the deer and the killing that will take place will not be out of revenge but from the well known argument of "if they are doing it, why shouldn't I do it?"... Denys White, Taunton, Somerset (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 22.2.03 SIR - Re Jenny Sampson's letter about foxes (February 13). She says they get rid of rabbits and rats. As a farmer's son I ask her if she has ever gone into a field and seen lambs with their throats sprung open and left for dead by a fox... S Marjerrison, York Street, Bingley (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 22.2.03 LAB DISPLAYS FOR SCIENCE WEEK - Loughborough Pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca is inviting teachers to visit in National Science Week, to promote understanding of animal experiments. It will mount a tour of facilities to show teachers the care and welfare of animals involved in product testing.... (story)

Western Morning News 22.2.03 REAL FUR TOY TRADE Cats and dogs butchered for their coats... Westcountry animal lovers have been urged to take a firm stance against a "horrendous trade" which threatens to become widespread on UK markets. Campaigners who will demonstrate in Plymouth City Centre today warned hundreds of retailers and customers that cheap animal figures sold in British shops could be made from real cats and dogs, skinned alive in China.... (story)
Western Morning News 22.2.03 EVIL TRADE THAT USES CAT FUR AND DOG HAIR - A toy found on sale in a Westcountry store could be the product of a cruel Chinese trade in cat fur and dog hair... Last night, campaigner Sarah O’Leary, from Plymouth, said: “There is strong evidence of animals transported in small wire cages before being stabbed, beaten and throttled to death for their pelts. Some are still alive while their pelts are being removed. This is a horrendous activity which must be banned immediately.".... Dog breeder Diane Irwin from Kingsteignton, South Devon, said she was “horrified” at the revelations... Sean Gifford, of PETA, explained: “The fur trade is a violent, bloody industry..." (story)
Western Morning News 22.2.03 WHY WE MUST END THIS BUTCHERY - Animal lover Diane Irwin has condemned the Government for allowing an "evil" trade in cat fur and dog hair to continue in Britain. The dog breeder from Kingsteignton, South Devon, has decided to join the campaigners after she heard that over two million cats and dogs are butchered for their pelts in China every year.... The campaign to stop the slaughter of cats and dogs in China is being spearheaded by Sandra Edwards from Aberdeen, who is enlisting the help of all animal lovers in the Westcountry... (story)
Western Morning News 22.2.03 CAMPAIGNERS FIGHT TO END DEATHS - The Rspca and the Humane Society of the United States have joined forces to highlight the brutal slaughter of up to two million cats and dogs in Asia each year as part of the global pelt trade.... (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 22.2.03 DRIVE TO HALT HORSE HORROR I Have just read about a sickening trade that makes me ashamed of the human race. Detailed are the conditions in which 87,000 horses a year are sent by road from Poland to Italy where they are slaughtered for human consumption.... To find out more, contact Viva at 12 Queen Street, Brighton BN1 3FD... JOANNE CLIFF Moor Lane, Aubourn. (letter)

SCOTTISH ANTI HUNT LAW PROSECUTION
Guardian 21.2.03 Teenagers accused of flouting hunt ban - Kirsty Scott - Two teenagers have been charged with breaching Scotland's fox hunting ban in the first case of its kind in the UK... Yesterday a SCA spokesman, Allan Murray, questioned whether the youths would be prosecuted under the new law. He said the allegations against them could be construed as committing crimes against wildlife and not hunting... (story)
Telegraph 21.2.03 Teenagers on hunting charge - Two teenagers have been charged with committing the first breach of the law banning foxhunting…. (story)
Times 21.2.03 Teenagers face first anti-hunt charges - BY GILLIAN HARRIS, SCOTLAND CORRESPONDENT - TWO teenagers who allegedly used dogs to kill foxes were charged yesterday in the first case to be brought under Scotland’s anti-hunting legislation....
Pro-hunting campaigners have made a series of legal challenges under the Human Rights Act, but so far the Court of Session in Edinburgh has refused to overturn the new laws... The Court of Session is considering a petition by two men to allow a second judicial review of the Act. One of the men, Jeremy Whaley, said: “I will carry on hunting until such time as this legal process is exhausted because I have a duty to keep the foxhounds alive.” (story)
Scotsman 21.2.03 Two men charged under new foxhunting legislation - WILLIAM CHISHOLM - TWO men who are alleged to have used terriers and lurchers to flush out and then kill a fox on a Borders farm are believed to be the first people to be charged under controversial Scottish legislation which bans hunting with dogs... (story)
Daily Record 21.2.03 PAIR FACE FOX HUNT CHARGES - Arrests after animal deaths - Michael Christie - TWO teenagers have become the first people charged with breaking Scotland's new anti-hunt laws… Miranda White, of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "It proves that despite some concerns people had, the law is working in Scotland…." The Scottish Countryside Alliance campaigned against the legislation, saying it would devastate the livelihoods of rural communities. But director Allan Murray condemned the teenagers. He said: "It seems to me these boys have been committing crimes against wildlife, not hunting…" (story)
BBC News Online 20.2.03 Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 06:46 GMT Two charged under hunt law - Two teenagers in the Borders are being reported to the Procurator Fiscal in connection with alleged breaches of new laws in Scotland curbing the hunting of foxes.... (story)
Ananova 20.2.03 Teenagers questioned over fox-hunting Two teenagers have been questioned in connection with what is thought to be the first alleged breach of Scotland's anti-hunting laws…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 20.2.03 Two youths face charges after probe into hunting -TWO teenagers in the Borders are being reported to the Procurator Fiscal in connection with alleged breaches of new laws in Scotland curbing fox-hunting…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 21.2.03 THE FOXES MUST BE LAUGHING - The Only argument against the ban on hunting that holds water is 'freedom of choice'… as far as the Holderness Hunt is concerned they decide where they hunt, regardless of a farmer's 'freedom of choice' not to have them on his land. Recently we saw the hunt on land near High Hunsley from which they have been banned for at least 15 years… Richard Mowforth, Park View, High Hunsley, Cottingham (letter)

Stourbridge News 21.2.03 Hunting is plain wrong - There are two things, which really annoy me about the great foxhunting debate. One is the immense hypocrisy displayed by the participants. If they would only admit they do it because its exciting and they enjoy it, they would at least being honest. Anglers, grouse shooters and hare coursers, don't. I believe, attempt to hide behind conservation issues… Susan Clarke,Pedmore (letter in archive)

Burton Mail 21.2.03 'No change to protest policing' - by TOM BRADSHAW - STAFFORDSHIRE police say there will be "no change" in the way it covers animal rights demonstrations at a controversial guinea pig farm near Burton – despite the force being found liable of breaching a protestor’s human rights there. The police chief in charge of operations at Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch has stood by the officer who violated 61-year-old Brenda Hearnden’s right to freedom of expression... The top cop’s comments have come after Stafford County Court awarded £25 damages to great grandmother Ms Hearnden. As reported in Wednesday’s Mail, the court ruled that police infringed her rights when they ordered her to leave a protest on October 4 – or face arrest.... (story)
Burton Mail 19.2.03 Police 'bullies' get demo fine A 61-YEAR-OLD animal rights protestor has successfully sued Staffordshire police for breaching her human rights during a demonstration near Burton. Great grandmother Brenda Hearnden was awarded £25 in damages by Stafford County Court yesterday after a "bullying" and "persecuting" police officer infringed her right to freedom of expression outside Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch… Mr Rushton told the court he issued the threat of arrest after hearing the words "paedophile" and "scum" shouted through a megaphone… Ms Hearnden, who runs an animal sanctuary, told the court: "I just want to be able to go where I want, whether that be Darley Oaks or elsewhere, and be able to protest peacefully.".. Animal rights protestor Janet Tomlinson, of Shobnall Close, Burton, told the court that Pc Rushton was a bully… Ms Hearnden, of Lincoln Drive, Cannock, told the Mail: "I’m over the moon. It never was the amount that mattered, but the principle…" (story)

Argus 21.2.03 Student's fur demo upstages stars by Linda Harrison - An anti-fur protester stole the limelight from Elizabeth Jagger by leaping on to the catwalk during a fashion show. Ida Bermingham, of Kingston, near Lewes, interrupted the celebrity-packed show at London Fashion Week by holding a banner reading "Fur Kills"… Ida, who is studying for an MA in environment and politics at King's College, London, said: "Designers who still use fur are heartless and shameless….." Ida, who is a vegan, said she got involved in animal rights after protesting over live exports at Shoreham when she was 13…. (story in archive)

BBC News Online 21.2.03 Donkey baiting 'banned' - An animal rights campaigner from Merseyside is claiming victory in his fight to get donkey-baiting banned at a festival in Spain. Tony Moore, and his late wife Vicki, had campaigned against the event during the Peropalo fiesta, in which a donkey is jostled, beaten and force-fed alcohol… (story)

Southport Visiter 21.2.03 Thanks for help - MAY I thank the many people who have helped Freshfields Animal Rescue Shelter during the past year… VICKY HALL Southport Fundraising Group, Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre (letter)

Telegraph 20.2.03 Sense of humanity - The last two London marches, the countryside march and the anti-war march, had a great deal in common. The countryside march was in part to prevent any action against hunters and leave them free to continue killing foxes. The main aim of the anti-war march was to prevent any military action against Saddam and his slaughterers and leave them free to continue killing and torturing tens of thousands of Kurds and Iraqis.... Kamal Mirawdeli, Wallington, Surrey (letter)

Western Morning News 20.2.03 Disaster looms - THE various leading members of the League Against Cruel Sports who write frequently to the WMN, make no mention, make no suggestion, of whom they expect to carry on those good works now freely and happily carried out by the hunt. Quite apart from the controlling of vermin, who will now ??? free of charge ??? collect and dispose of fallen stock? I have not (and I fancy I will not) hear a word of help from any animal welfare organisation…. Roy Williams Callington (letter)

Lennox Herald 20.2.03 FOXES RIPPED TO PIECES IN SICK SPORT - Thugs capture animals and set vicious pets on them - Special report by WILLIAM COCHRANE …The cruel yobs play their brutal bloodsport on a quiet cycle path near Renton. Nearby residents often hear the agonising final squeals of the tortured animals from their living rooms. But most are too scared to tell the authorities — in case the culprits set their vicious dogs on them… The man has told the SSPCA and West Dunbartonshire Council. But both authorities say there is not much they can do. He said: “The SSPCA say that the only possible option for them is to go undercover and catch these people red-handed. But that could be hit and miss as they would need to be there at the right time…" (story)

St Helens Star 20.2.03 Emma's fears for race dogs …BEN the greyhound has had a traumatic existence. Rescued from a life of scavenging and certain death on the streets of the town centre, his good health today is a testament to his kind-hearted rescuer Emma Burke… Emma… has a keen interest in the welfare of racing greyhounds in particular after discovering the way some are treated after their racing days are over. Welfare group Greyhound Action claim that at least 20,000 dogs are disposed of each year by the racing industry either because they fail to make the grade as racers or because they can no longer race…. (story in archive)

Argus 20.2.03 No home for the badgers - Ministers have failed to find a new home for a family of badgers that have been burrowing under people's homes…. The department has also been accused of ignoring proposals put forward by the National Federation of Badger Groups (NFBG)…. Trevor Weeks, of the Saltdean Badger Campaign, said: "As far as we are concerned, the setting up of a forum has been a complete waste of time…. (story in archive)

Northern Echo 20.2.03 Farmers back cull of badgers - FARMERS last night backed a badger cull in a bid to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in cattle…. Ken Wood, chairman of the Stokesley and District Badger Protection Society, said there would be an outcry if badgers were culled without proof of their role in the spread of the disease (story in archive)

Western Morning News 20.2.03 BADGER CULL NOT WAY TO TACKLE TB M Hancox Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Morning News 18.2.03 Scrap trials - SADLY, since Defra and Bourne, in effect, abandoned the essential cattle annual tests and movement bans in the last two years, TB has spread amongst cattle far and wide… As I've advised the NFU, it would be a great help if farmers refuse to cooperate with the trial any longer. Scrapping the farce now would release about £30 million better spent on cattle testing. Martin Hancox Stroud (letter)

Guardian 20.2.03 Auditors under fire over animal right - Angelique Chrisafis - Senior managers of the accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche are having their mobile phones jammed and face protests outside their homes by animal rights activists after an insider leaked their details to campaigners against Huntingdon Life Sciences... Last week a mole at Deloitte passed the contact details of 135 senior managers and their secretaries to Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac).... Shac's coordinator, Greg Avery, said: "This is the best information we have ever had from inside a company - the first time anyone has leaked the whole top tier of directors and their secretaries..." (story)
Times 20.2.03 Audit firm staff details leaked to lab activists BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - AT LEAST 135 staff at the accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche are being offered special protection after a secretary passed their personal details to animal welfare activists. The alarm was raised yesterday after Greg Avery, who campaigns to close the drug-testing firm Huntingdon Life Sciences, for which Deloitte & Touche is auditor, said that there was a mole in the accountancy firm. It would be the target of protests until it ended its association with the laboratory, he said.... (story)

Cambridge News 20.2.03 Experiments will increase From Christopher Cornell, Russell Court, Cambridge - IN VIEW of the recent appointment of Professor Barry Everitt as the new Master of Downing College… I would give notice to the animal aid groups, of which I am not a member, that this will mean more, not fewer, experiments on monkeys’ brains, of which the professor makes no mention in his interview… The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection should realise that no government will ever find the university guilty of cruelty to its animals, however strong the BUAV case might be… (letter)

Cambridge News 20.2.03 UK helped in nightmare - From Joan Court, Founder, Animals, People and the Environment, Sturton Street, Cambridge - MANY Cambridge citizens consider the prospect of war with Iraq monstrous… In the book Plague Wars by Mangold and Goldberg (1999) the authors describe how in 1988 Iraq developed a small biological weapons research faculty in Al-Muthane and Saiman Park. By 1998 inhalation and blast experiments were carried out on large animals, beagle dogs from Germany, rhesus monkeys, sheep etc from the UK… (letter)

Guardian 20.2.03 Fur flies - Protest on the catwalk - Charlie Porter, deputy fashion editor - For the first few outfits at least, it looked last night as if Julien Macdonald had gone all demure.... People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) obviously had a source inside the Julien Macdonald camp, because the three protesters who ran on to the catwalk knew the precise time in the running order when the first fur coat would appear… there are some who argue that catwalk invasions do the designer more good than the humiliation the protesters want to inflict. Images of the show will now have a wider circulation than if the protest hadn't happened…. There were some in the audience who even believed it was a hoax organised by Macdonald, but last night Peta confirmed responsibility for the action…. (story)
Times 20.2.03 Macdonald creates a stir even before the fur BY LISA ARMSTRONG, FASHION EDITOR - IF THE terrible day ever comes when Julien Macdonald finds himself out of a job as a fashion designer, he could always reinvent himself as the Max Clifford of the labelliterate classes.... It could have been a terrible anticlimax, but fortunately a few stalwarts from Peta (People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals) were on hand to keep energy levels high. Crashing their way past the bodyguards, they stormed on to the catwalk with their banners just as the first fruits of some very unethical treatment of animals was making its way towards the cameras.... (story)
Evening Standard 20.2.03 Fur protesters storm catwalk By Laura Craik Fashion Editor, Evening Standard - Despite a ludicrous number of security guards manning the entrance to the venue, Camden's Roundhouse, four protesters from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals) last night managed to invade the catwalk at Julien MacDonald's star-studded show…. (story)
Western Mail 20.2.03 Fur flies as Julien crowned prince of fashion …"Great publicity" was how Julien described the unplanned intervention by three animal rights protest-ors during the start of his show…. (story)
Ananova 20.2.03 Celebrities turn out for Julien Macdonald … A woman protesting against the fur trade managed to get up on stage at one point during the show, waving a banner proclaiming "Fur Kills". (story)

Bath Chronicle 20.2.03 CRUELTY TO CATS I am writing about an article about products made in China. We were appalled to read that these cats are skinned alive to make them. My ten-year-old granddaughter was terribly upset as she has some of these things… MRS L CROSS, Newton Road, Twerton, Bath (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.2.03 EATING HORSES IS BARBARIC PRACTICE - refer to Chris Rundle's article on eating horse meat… For those who do not know, Poland exports hundreds of horses for the meat trade and the conditions these horses have to endure in transit are horrific…. M Denston Highbridge Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.2.03 HUNTING KEEPS STAGS AS ASSETS Sir - I wish to respond to Chris Rundle's provocative comment of February 1. There is absolutely no doubt that staghunting has ensured that large healthy herds of wild red deer are free to roam across both Exmoor and the Quantocks. The damage that they cause would not be tolerated if hunting with hounds is abolished. As a non-hunting farmer, I have no hesitation in saying that, without staghunting, I will not tolerate as many deer on my land as I do at present…. W H G Warmington Chairman Quantock Deer Management and Conservation Group Taunton Somerset (letter)

Skegness Standard 19.2.03 Fox-hunters are cruel and evil - I’m writing to inform you of the situation on fox hunting…. The only real reason people fox-hunt is because it’s a sport and because it’s traditional and because the people that do it are cruel and evil…. EMMA HORTON Aged 10 Chapel St Leonards (letter)

Cumberland News 19.2.03 FOX BATTERED AND BURNED TO DEATH - RSPCA inspectors have launched an investigation to find the people responsible for the savage slaughter of a fox… The animal had been beaten to a pulp, stuffed in a bag and burned alive before its charred remains were discovered by a member of the public near Borrowdale Road… Chris Towler, the RSPCA inspector dealing with the incident, said: "We can rule out that the fox may have been involved in a road traffic accident because its claws were all still intact… We are looking at a serious investigation. Whatever people's views on hunting are, this is very bad and we must remind people that these animals are protected by legislation."… (story)

BBC News Online Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 17:23 GMT - Tube bans animal welfare poster - London Underground has refused to display an advert for an animal welfare charity. The poster, for Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), featured scantily-clad models huddled together on one side of a poster and chickens packed in a farm on the other... (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 18.2.03 ACTIVISTS WILL HUNT DOWN ANGLERS NEXT - Every week I read with interest the letters page and the 'anti' brigade's lack of understanding of the Hunting Bill in its present form and the repercussions to all other field sports. As the Hunting Bill stands at the moment, it is a threat to more than hunting with dogs - it will seriously impact on angling… Kay Chapman, East Midlands' regional director, Countryside Alliance (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 18.2.03 ALLIANCE GAINING SUPPORT - I Know that you receive a great deal of correspondence on the subject of hunting, but I would appreciate the opportunity to point out to people just what a charade is the Parliamentary process that is going on at the moment. There is no doubt that the Countryside Alliance has had a dramatic effect in gaining support both in the press and among the electorate… In committee, all the moral and technical arguments have been won by those who are defending our rights to continue this entirely beneficial activity. And yet the Government simply says "shan't" in a petulant and childish way. David Davidson, Osgathorpe, Leicestershire. (letter)

Lewisham News Shopper 18.2.03 Foxes invading gardens - I LIVE in a cul-de-sac, just a road away from St Mary Cray station. At present the contractors are cutting down all the trees along the railway lines. This is causing me and lots of other people trouble, because the foxes which used to live around these trees are now invading our gardens…. I called the RSPCA and Bromley Environment Agency only to be told there was nothing I could do to get rid of them. Their only suggestion was to use a chemical but, while I was using one recently, I looked around to find my cats as well as a fox not deterred at all by the substance…. Mrs P A Park Chequers Close St Pauls Cray (letter)

Scotsman 18.2.03 Countryside Party - Your report (10 February) on mi-nority parties, omitted the Countryside Party, formed last May to offer the disenfranchised the op-portunity to use their vote for the good of the countryside... JIM CRAWFORD Leader, Countryside Party Culloden Moor Inverness-shire (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 18.2.03 Beware of keeping pet reptiles - PETER Heathcote of the Reptile Trust stated that reptiles make good pets (EA February 10.) But the RSPCA and other leading animal welfare groups advise people not to keep exotic pets… While people selfishly keep reptiles for their own amusement these animals will continue to suffer and the problem of pet-linked disease in humans will continue. M HARRISON Beaulieu Close Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)

Daily Record 18.2.03 Pet project - I WAS shocked when I read about family pets and other animals being shot with lethal dum-dum pellets. People who commit these atrocities are very sick, evil and, most of all, cowards…. Mary McCulloch, Newmains, Lanarkshire. (letter)

Argus 17.2.03 Saving the elephants by Deborah Tucknott - A Brighton animator is drawing on people's love affair with Dumbo, the cartoon elephant, for a new project. Millie Young spent months in Thailand researching the real-life animals for a new animated film, which she hopes will be broadcast worldwide…. Millie, 35, of Freshfield Road, began research for her film after winning a £1,500 award from Meridian Television for her film about fox hunting, titled Tally Bloody Ho…. (story in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 17.2.03 HUNTING AREA IS A FOX'S PREFERED DEN - Hugh Welsford's poem (Open Lines, February 11) is highly amusing, if a bit short on originality. His implication is that he and we should all jump at the chance of being shot at, gassed, poisoned or blown up, which seem to be his preferred solutions…. Michael Jones, via e-mail (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 11.2.03 FOX-HUNTING According to M Hendy of Brislington (Open Lines, February 1), fox-hunting is not an elitist sport. Fox-hunting is not a sport at all. It is animal-lynching…. Give yourselves a grand treat Go to Longleat, And let the lions Chase you. Hugh Welsford, Portishead (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 1.2.03 FOX HUNTING IS NOT AN ELITIST SPORT - Foxes in boxes! How cruel. At least when they are being chased they are living free and have an extraordinary chance of surviving…. To put my critic's mind at rest, I have never sat on a horse, let alone ridden with hounds… It is a preconception that those who hunt are the rich and famous… M Hendy, Brislington (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 22.1.03 HI-TECH WAY OF CONTROLLING FOXES - The Countryside Alliance promised they would stop foxhunting if a more efficient means of controlling them is found. How can the real 21st century hitech experts catch 90-plus foxes, unharmed, in one week (Post, September? They would use a fox speaker to imitate the sound of a distressed rabbit, luring foxes towards a live cage trap via guiding fox nets…. This would make M Hendy and others who continue to chase foxes on horseback totally redundant and obsolete! F Murray, Bedminster Down (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 14.1.03 NOT ALL TRADITIONS ARE FAVOURABLE - What a pretty picture painted by M Hendy ( Open Lines , January 7). One could almost imagine it was a scene of rural, merry England when the gentry on beautiful horses and little children on pretty prancing ponies are all eager to join in the chase and be in on the killing of whichever creature is sniffed out…. Do you remember the "blooding" of the children at their first kill, does that still happen?... To kill for food is one thing, but I cannot understand the mentality of someone who wants to go out and kill an animal, only to justify this by saying it is traditional. Mrs Elaine Chappell, Henbury (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 13.1.03 LEAVE THE FOXES ALONE, PLEASE What's with Mary Hendy? Hardly a month goes by without one of her pro-fox hunting letters appearing, warning of the dangers of foxes roaming free in the countryside and of the perils of banning the upper classes from chasing foxes with dogs… What's she going to do with herself after fox hunting is banned? How will she get through the month without being able to witness the destruction of a living creature? I Harvey, Nevil Road, Bishopston. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 7.1.03 LEAVE BASIL BRUSH ALONE, HUNTERS What a cheap, naive view to call the television revival of Basil Brush a ploy to brain-wash the gullible ("Basil Brush: Part of an anti-hunt plot?", Mary Hendy, Open Lines, December 31)… Hunting with dogs must be classed as evil. How can the brutal murder of defenceless animals be classed as anything else? How can it be justified?... J Limb, Bristol. (letter)
Bristol Evening Telegraph 31.12.02 BASIL BRUSH: PART OF ANTI-HUNT PLOT? Is it mere coincidence that Basil Brush now graces our TV screens? Or is it a ploy to brain-wash the gullible? Foxes are animals that follow their natural instinct, as do all creatures who eat or are eaten or kill and are killed…. Hunting is an integral part of the country way of life and those who take part in this activity do so for their love of the countryside… Mary Hendy, Brislington. (letter)

Eastern Daily Press 17.2.03 Arrests over hare coursing - Several people were arrested during a police crackdown on hare coursing in Norfolk yesterday. The west of the county was targeted during the operation, aimed at disrupting illegal meetings… (story)

North West Evening Mail 17.2.03 ANGER AT RSPCA COMMENTS - CUMBRIAN Countryside Alliance has slammed the RSPCA for attacking game shooting. RSPCA director general Jackie Ballard has explicitly pledged that the organisation will campaign for an end to the practice…. Tom Fell, Cumbrian director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "These comments have raised fears about the future of shooting amongst not only our own participants but also the half a million people who regularly shoot across the country."… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 16.2.03 On the march for world peace, my kids' future - and an eyeful of totty - Some went for sex, others for chocolate, but we all hate war, writes Harry Enfield … You can't beat a protest march. I love a good walk whether it's through London with 999,999 others to oppose a war or following a hunt with a handful of friends deep in the Cornish countryside. I joined the Countryside March in September last year because I hate everyone banning things. If it is cruel to hunt foxes, let's sort out the problem when we stop killing people. I have never hunted - and I have never played golf - but I don't want to ban either of them…. (story)

Telegraph 15.2.03 Thrills, spills and foxhounds - A book of hunting disasters amuses Julian Barnard - On hunting days Mary Staib's non-riding husband does not answer the phone. Fed up with explaining that she has "gone hunting", he prefers to ignore all calls. Mrs Staib, a latecomer to the chase, has fallen hook, line and sinker for the sport and, in a three-year act of devotion, has collated an anthology of modern-day hunting tales from nearly all the country's hound packs…. 'Gone Hunting' is published by Ragged Bears Publishing (01963 34300), at £25 plus £5 p & p. £1 per copy sold by mail order goes to the Countryside Alliance. The first 10 callers will get a free copy. (story)

Telegraph 15.2.03 Reasons to be fearful - Like many Londoners, Sinclair McKay is afraid of the countryside. Is there any hope for him?... the truth is that, like a great many Londoners, I am frightened of the country…. As a number of Londoners would agree, New Labour's stance on rural affairs is wrong and harmful. Hunting is one of those things country folk inexplicably enjoy, and sophisticated urbanites such as myself have no business stopping them. But, like many townies, I cannot bring myself to take pleasure from any aspect of country life. How can people live like that? Those tiny supermarkets with their sparsely stocked shelves; that mud, getting everywhere; the vile smells; slippery stiles and creepy orange baler twine; sheep with hideously dirty bottoms; the non-stop exposure to terrible weather; and being stuck in a tiny community with those people…. (story)

Bolton Evening News 15.2.03 It has to be a complete ban - LABOUR were elected in 1997 on a Labour party manifesto that promised that there would be a free vote on hunting with dogs…. It is clear to me that the moral and practical case for a ban on hunting with dogs has been made, that the arguments have been won and that the only proper option left for Parliament is to get on with implementing a ban. Jeanne Young Bolton (letter in archive)

Darlington & Stockton Times 15.2.03 Don't get involved with politics, RSPCA told - A LOCAL gamekeeper has expressed his disappointment with the RSPCA, suggesting that as a registered charity it should not involve itself in politics. Lindsay Waddell, who works in upper Teesdale, spoke out after Jackie Ballard, the charity's director general, was quoted by the Countryside Alliance as describing game shooting as "horrible and nasty" and saying "we will get round to try and end this."…. Richard Dodd, the Alliance's North-East regional director, said their suspicions, raised when Ms Ballard was appointed, were coming true. She had lost her seat in parliament for her stance on hunting, but was continuing her attack on country pursuits under the guise of the RSPCA… (story in archive)

Oxford Mail 15.2.03 Law-abiding citizens - In reply to Penny Little (Oxford Mail, February 4), I have been keen on shooting for 27 years… I condemn the idiot who sent her hate mail, but I also think that she is wrong to say that field sportsmen are low life. We are not. We are some of the most law-abiding citizens around. You have to be to hold a gun licence. The low life are the ones who wear balaclavas and terrorise field sportsmen and fishermen with baseball bats… DAVID WISE Great Milton (letter in archive)
Oxford Mail 4.2.03 Hate mail sent to activist - An animal rights campaigner has received hate mail after writing to the Oxford Mail letters page condemning blood sports. Animal rescuer Penny Little said she felt contempt and disgust for the person who sent feathers from a dead pheasant and a threatening letter to her through the post. The hate mail arrived just days after her letter attacking the practice of shooting pheasants appeared in the Mail... (story in archive)

Guernsey Press 15.2.03 By Gemma Jerome on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 10:46 am: I AM writing in response to the article entitled Fish-in-pain claim is right off the scale (Guernsey Press, 13 February). I felt I had to write in because, as a vegetarian, I have heard this article many times and always refuted it... I AM writing in response to the article entitled Fish-in-pain claim is right off the scale (Guernsey Press, 13 February). I felt I had to write in because, as a vegetarian, I have heard this article many times and always refuted it... (letter)

Western Mail 15.2.03 Animal cruelty `reported more than domestic violence - Jane Kirby, The Western Mail - The National Newspaper Of Wales - PEOPLE would be more likely to report an act of cruelty against a dog than they would somebody being violent to their partner, according to new research…. If they saw a dog being mistreated, 78% said they would call the RSPCA or police but only 53% said they would intervene or call the police if they saw somebody being kicked or mistreated by their partner… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 14.2.03 WE DIDN'T STARVE OUR HOUNDS, SAYS HUNT - ONE OF Cumbria's famous fell hunting packs, the Melbreak Foxhounds, today hit back at allegations that it neglected its hounds. The League Against Cruel Sports claims to have video evidence showing that several of the Melbreak's foxhounds were "nothing but skin and bone". It passed a dossier to the RSPCA, whose officers visited the Melbreak's kennels at Lorton, near Cockermouth, yesterday and found nothing untoward…. (story)
West Cumberland Times & Star (7.2.03) HUNT - WE MAY SUE FOR LIBEL - THE Melbreak Hunt has dismissed as lies claims that it kept emaciated hounds which it then hid from RSPCA inspectors. And joint master John Jackson said the hunt is to seek legal advice about possible libel action against its accusers. The League Against Cruel Sports this week alleged that the Melbreak had dogs which were nothing but skin and bone…. Mr Jackson told the Times & Star: "The claims that we kept emaciated dogs are lies. "It is also a lie to say we removed emaciated dogs before the RSPCA came. "We didn't even know they were coming. The RSPCA inspected the 44 hounds we keep in the kennels and said they were in extremely good condition and were clearly well cared for."… (story)

Stratford Herald 14.2.03 Hunting incident: driver questioned - A DRIVER has been questioned by police after a Warwickshire Hunt follower was knocked off his motorcycle near Long Compton on Saturday… (story may only be on website for a week)

Scotsman 14.2.03 Bill needs time to 'bed in' - FORDYCE MAXWELL RURAL AFFAIRS EDITOR ….A CONFERENCE intended to push politicians towards a sustainable rural economy has been organised by the Scottish Countryside Alliance for Edinburgh on 8 April…. Tony Andrews, chief executive of the SCA, said: "We’re not a one-issue hunting organisation. We promote the interests of the countryside as a whole… (story)

Wiltshire Times 14.2.03 Worry over `middle way' on hunting - IN reply to the two letters on foxhunting (last week's Wiltshire Times), I must state that I have no axe to grind regarding this debate and have no opinion one way or the other… My advice on foxhunting is simple: either ban it outright or leave it alone. COLIN H CALLOW, Hyde Road, Trowbridge.
R NICHOLSON'S letter (Wiltshire Times, February 7) saying what a splendid newspaper it is, then insulting the readers' intelligence by implying like the Dibbleybe's and BBC that all the people on the march (September 22, 2002) supported cruel sports… It is obvious who will make our wildlife suffer more when cruel sports are illegal the same types who are killing off the deer in Somerset now. DAVID THOMAS, Hisomley, Nr Westbury (letters)
Wiltshire Times 7.2.03 Two views on hunting - SEE several letters published in your splendid newspaper stating why, in their opinion, fox hunting should be banned. I see little in support of hunting. There is a danger letters from people like Paul Divall (December 6) and David Thomas (January 10) may be taken as the opinions of the majority, this is not the case as the march in London on September 22, 2002 proved… Think a bit about the dreadful alternatives before you bash fox hunting as a means of fox control, and consider the potential unemployment, horse and hound destruction, erosion of rural life, rural sport and the countryside in general, before you give your support to any law to ban fox hunting. RICHARD L NICHOLSON MBE, Westbury Road, North Bradley, Trowbridge.
THE comments made by J Todd (letters Wiltshire Times January 10) regarding foxes demonstrate my point about misinformation. First, it is not an issue of numbers but the persecution, unnecessary suffering and wanton cruelty inflicted on our wildlife…. DAVID THOMAS, Hisomley, Nr Westbury. (letters)
Wiltshire Times 10.1.03 Hunting for answers - CRUEL pastimes like fox hunting would have been illegal decades ago, had it not been for a misinformed public…. DAVID THOMAS, Hillview, Hisomley, Nr Westbury.
THERE were two contrasting and interesting letters in the Wiltshire Times on December 20 from L Powell and Bob Dazeby, the regional manager of RSPCA. In view of the numbers involved, I do not understand why Bob Dazeby and his employers devote their energies and their many millions of pounds on the quasi political question of a few thousand foxes who are often a damaging pest to farmers and who, after a free life, meet a quick and certain death…. J E TODD, Rode, Nr Frome, Somerset. (letters)

Chester Chronicle 14.2.03 I FIND it hard to believe that I see letters from anti-hunt campaigners quoting dubious opinion poll results in a newspaper that has conducted its own opinion polls… So could you please re-print the results of your latest poll…. ROBERT EDGE
The results of our Great Hunting Debate poll, published on November 8, 2002, were: Self-regulation by the hunting community - 305 votes. Outright ban on fox hunting and hare coursing - 255 votes. Government licensing of hunting -18 votes (letter)

Worcester Evening News 14.2.03 I hope these hunters have some insurance - HAVING read Rob Turner's account of the abuse he suffered at the hands of foxhunters on a main road, something occurred to me. I hope that these hunters who block public highways and cause mayhem have some form of Public Liability insurance… SIMON TAYLOR, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 3.2.03 Incensed by antics of hunting fraternity …but what happened on Saturday, January 25, incensed me. My daughter and I were driving back from a football game at Broadway. We got to Drakes Broughton on the A44 about 12.15pm, when the traffic was halted by women in the road holding their hands up…. I was amazed to find that the reason for this impromptu road block was a hunt…. I must own up at this point. I'm anti-hunting on principle, but only in the armchair sense… I was certainly not rude or abusive, I merely asked could these people not find a better way of spending a Saturday morning than this, and followed with a few "shame on you". I expected a few humble apologies for my delay… What I actually received was scowls and haughty looks… I expect to be able to use the public roads, express my opinion at their actions (with manners) and not feel in danger, without rude and abusive behaviour being aimed at me. ROB TURNER, Ombersley Road, Worcester (letter in archive)

Cumberland News 14.2.03 Get facts right on hunting report - IN HIS interpretation of the Burns Report, David Parker commits some factual errors of his own, which need to be addressed (The Cumberland News, February 7)… Nowhere was it stated in the report that '... hunting with hounds made significant contributions to the rural economy...'. Mr Parker's assertion that '... hunting with hounds ... definitely assisted in fox control', is unproven… Mr Parker fails to pick up on are the grave concerns voiced in chapter 9 about issues of trespass, disruption and disturbance caused by hunts… DR K DAVIS, Cockermouth (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 14.2.03 Bird-scaring campaign 'inappropriate' BY DAVID GREEN - A WILDLIFE group is to press a Government department to withdraw backing for a fishing club's "inappropriate" bird-scaring campaign. Tempers have been running high at Loom Pit Lake, Levington, where a colony of cormorants has been blamed for depletion of fishstocks… Suffolk Fly Fishers, the club which leases the lake from the landowner, Trinity College, Cambridge, failed in a bid to obtain a special licence to shoot the birds. However, it was given advice by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that a campaign of bird-caring would be lawful… Suffolk Wildlife Trust officials have been monitoring the scaring tactics being used and are worried that thousands of other birds as well as the cormorants are being disturbed. Now the trust wants Defra to intervene… (story)

Scotsman 14.2.03 Models' anti-fur statement gets a cool reception - IT SHOULD have been a simple re-enactment of the famous campaign which saw a bevy of supermodels "go naked rather than wear fur". But yesterday, People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), didn’t bargain on Glasgow’s reputation… "Get ’em aff," shouted an over-excited teenager… To add insult to injury, a shell-suited youth ran off with the models’ dressing gowns… The models, Katy Black, 20, Leanne McGill, 20, and twin brothers, Marc and Alastair Blackham, 23, agreed that making their point was worth risking hypothermia…. (story)
Daily Record 14.2.03 HEARTFELT PROTEST - Four brave models were left shivering yesterday after cheeky thieves stole their clothes as they stripped off for animal rights… (letter)
Ananova 13.2.03 Fur protesters model love hearts - Four models have braved the cold weather to stage a naked animal rights protest in Glasgow. Wearing only carefully-placed love hearts, they posed on a king-sized bed to promote an anti-fur campaign. The models were hired by animal welfare charity Peta - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals… (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 14.2.03 Dangerous thinking on fur - I must protest at some of the references made in the article by Deanna Delamotta entitled "Fur coat bargains, if you dare to wear." On what evidence does she make the claim that "like most British women she would shy away from wearing one while out shopping"? Many British women (a lot of whom are genuine animal lovers) do just that… Her attitude has nothing whatever to do with animal welfare… C R Easthope, Coppice Road, Wolverhampton (letter)

Edinburgh News 14.2.03 Tough to bear - I WOULD like to wholeheartedly agree with the letter from Ross Minett from Advocates for Animals (February 10) aboud Mercedes the polar bear. I used to work at the zoo and my husband and I decided to take a trip there last Saturday. All in all it was rather pleasant, although I had forgotten how sad it made me to see the animals so depressed. This, however, was nothing compared to the polar bear… Mrs Caroline Roberts Broughton Road, Edinburgh (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 10.2.03 Cage not so ice - PLEASE excuse me if I don’t get too excited about polar bear Mercedes’ good fortune at having sheets of ice as the "ideal toy for play-time"… Polar bears naturally spend much of their life roaming large distances and hunting, making them highly unsuitable animals for keeping captive in a zoo. Ross Minett, campaigns director, Advocates for Animals, Edinburgh (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 14.2.03 Humane use of animals is necessary - Jennifer Bookbinder (YEP, Feb 6) is presumably healthy and can therefore afford to be against the use of animals in medical research. But what about the millions of us whose lives depend upon prescription medicines?... THOMAS BROMLEY, SIMR executive secretary (letter)
Yorkshire Evening Post 6.2.03 Cruel fate - You featured a small article 'Tests backed' (YEP, January 28) in which you stated that the Government had given its support to animal experiments…. I wonder, had they seen for themselves the animals' fear, pain and utter helplessness at the hands of man, would they still feel the same? JENNIFER BOOKBINDER Cottingley Gardens, Leeds. (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 14.2.03 YOU CAN HELP DOGS LIKE THIS - I read with interest the letter "I cried over dog case"… Don't feel too sorry for the Royal Society for the PREVENTION of Cruelty to animals. Local people know of another case where cats and other small animals are kept in awful conditions but the RSPCA have yet to take action. They will probably wait until the animals all look like that poor greyhound. Still, the RSPCA have an almost-new 20million HQ. Think how many inspectors and animals that would have funded…. MRS HAZEL FEATHERSTONE, Suncroft, Crosby, Maryport (letter)

Rugby Advertiser 13.2.03 CIRCUS GETS SET FOR ANIMAL PROTESTORS - ANIMAL rights campaigners are set to descend on Brandon tonight (Thursday) in protest of animals being used in the circus. Nancy Phipps, mother of Jill Phipps, who was killed under the wheels of a lorry while protesting against live exports at Baginton Airport, will be among the protesters. Visitors to The Great British Circus at Coventry Speedway will see tigers, zebras, camels, dogs and horses being used as part of the acts… Rugby animal rights campaigner Janet Cummings will be at the demonstration… Carol Macmanus is in charge of the zebras and horses at the Great British Circus… "Our animals are fit, healthy, well fed and well exercised."… (story in archive)

Western Gazette 13.2.03 CASTLE PARK PACKED AS HUNT RIDES OUT AGAIN - Hunting enthusiasts put on a show of defiance at the weekend by holding a symbolic meet at an ancient castle. Members of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt met at Sherborne Castle for the first time in 35 years. The event, organised in an attempt to generate public support for the sport in the face of a possible ban, saw more than 100 riders gather along with around 1,000 spectators…. (story)

Daily Post 13.2.03 Alliance calls off demo as hunting activist is axed from TV panel By Eryl Crump Daily Post Staff - COUNTRYSIDE activists have called off a demonstration in North Wales after a pro-hunting campaigner was dropped from a TV programme. Robin Page, a leading pro-hunting campaigner, was scheduled to appear on BBC's Question Time which is being recorded in Caernarfon tonight… But last night the BBC confirmed that he would not be appearing… Eryri Hunt master Richard Williams said: "It is logical that the BBC took Robin off the panel in view of what happened last time."… (story)

Ellesmore Port Pioneer 13.2.03 Pro-hunt pair cleared of injuring saboteur - TWO hunt supporters have been cleared of taking part in an alleged gang attack on a hunt saboteur… Defendants John Paul Lyth, 37, of Ellesmere Port, and David Moorcroft, 46, both denied being involved in the incident last February…. The incident happened during a meeting of the Cheshire Forest Hunt near Northwich last February, when fighting broke out between hunt saboteurs and hunt marshals… Mr Welsh had denied defence claims that the saboteurs had rocked a van containing hunt marshalls and banged on the side, or that a side door had been opened and a teenager dragged out of the vehicle and attacked. (story)
Daily Post 12.2.03 Two men cleared of hunt attack - TWO hunt supporters have been cleared of taking part in a gang attack on a hunt saboteur who had his leg broken when a boulder was deliberately dropped on it. John Paul Lyth, 37, and David Moorcroft, 46, denied being involved in the incident in Cheshire in February last year. Yesterday, after victim Matthew Welsh had completed giving his evidence, the prosecution offered no evidence against the two defendants on a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent… The incident happened during a meeting of the Cheshire Forest Hunt near Northwich in February of last year, when fighting broke out between hunt saboteurs and hunt marshals… (story)

Western Morning News HISTORY'S LESSONS SHOW DEER HUNTING MUST BE ALLOWED - 18:00 - 13 February 2003 The facts do add up on deer. Based on the figures provided by Paul Tillsley (Letters, February 6) for the League Against Cruel Sports the facts are: The area covered by the West Country stag hunts is not more than a 100th of the area of England and Wales. This indicates a deer population of two-and-a-half times greater in the hunting country than the average for England and Wales… Evidence from the past indicates that the wild red deer on Exmoor will be decimated or wiped out if hunting is banned… While I am not a stag hunter I believe it cannot be denied that the facts do support the need to continue hunting for the survival of healthy wild red deer on Exmoor. JIM HAWKINS, Taddiport, West Buckland (letter)

Morpeth Herald 13.2.03 WHEN WAS THE LAST NEW YEAR FOX CAUGHT? - Maybe Coun Andy Avery, or anyone from the Labour group, would like to tell us all when last the Morpeth Hunt caught a fox on New Year’s Day. To complain about the Mayor attending what is a long-standing, entertaining and colourful local event only serves to make them look small minded…. DAVE POPE, Morpethnet(letter)

Isle of Wight County Press 13.2.03 WARNING AFTER BADGER DEATHS By Jon Moreno THE IW Badger Group is asking drivers to show more care after four badgers were reported killed at the weekend - a fourfold increase on the winter monthly average… Ken Ward, chairman of the group, said badgers had been out as early as 7pm… (story in archive)

St Helens Star 13.2.03 Cormorant cull on mere so sad I WAS saddened and disappointed to learn that Pilkingtons have once again sanctioned the shooting of wildlife at Eccleston Mere…. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Pilkingtons had put up notices to protect the wildlife instead of joining in with the kill? It seems nothing can be left in peace. What sad gun-wielding times these are. A petition is well underway and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us so far. To register your 'signature' and comments please e-mail MereWildlife@hotmail.com MRS Appleton, Eccleston (full address supplied). (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 13.2.03 This is not fair life for animals - One of my first concerns is the general mistreating and abusing of animals… Another issue is cosmetic testing on animals. This is not a fair way of testing out new products, surely there must be a more humane and kinder way of carrying out these experiments?... Charlotte Evans Oswestry (letter in archive)

Telegraph 12.2.03 Peterborough Edited by Charlie Methven - Week case - The latest series of Clarissa Dickson-Wright's television show Clarissa and the Countryman prompted a bizarre selection of complaints from the public. An episode where CD-W cooked lobster on the beach at Tresco attracted 14 letters about "terrible scenes of foxes being torn apart"… "There is the usual co-ordinated effort by animal rights groups to get their members to complain. Sadly, they haven't actually watched the shows, and have therefore been sending their letters of complaint on the wrong week. They're even stupider than I previously thought." (story)

Telegraph 12.2.03 The interview in full - Charles Moore talks to Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace … Q: When you were in Wales as an Archbishop, you were very conscious of the difficulties of rural communities. You may regard this as a side issue but it has become a big one. What do you think of fox hunting?
A: It is not something on which I have strong passions, and I think that the problem is that there are questions of the sheer misunderstanding of rural life and the rural economy that are around in a lot of the broadsheet discussions on this, and not just the broadsheet discussions, which need to be brought out into the open…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 12.2.03 Tribute to councillor by Peter East - A COUNCILLOR found dead at his home near Marchwood last month has been described by his MP as someone who could always be relied on to keep his word. But in his tribute at the funeral at Lyndhurst Parish Church of New Forest District Council and Marchwood Parish Council member Nick Smith, Julian Lewis said the community could not have done more to help him… On behalf of the council's officers and staff, district chief executive Dave Yates also referred to his immense enthusiasm and commented: "His style was to ride over fences and not to sit on them." In addition to his relatives and friends, representatives from the Hampshire and New Forest councils, New Forest Foxhounds, the Planning Inspectorate and other organisations were among over 200 mourners (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 27.1.03 COUNCILLOR IS FOUND HANGED - by Peter East - THE New Forest hunting fraternity and staff at New Forest District Council have been stunned today by the death of a leading pro-hunt campaigner and district councillor. Nick Smith, 39, was found hanged at his Langley Lodge home in a remote part of the Longdown Estate near Marchwood by an estate worker on Saturday morning… Council leader Mel Kendal described Councillor Smith as "a much-valued colleague and friend"… (story in archive)

Eastern Daily Press 12.2.03 Remarks cause alarm for shoot supporters - The RSPCA last night insisted it had no plans to push for a ban on game shooting despite claims by country-side campaigners that the organisa-tion wanted the pursuit outlawed. The Countryside Alliance (CA) has seized on comments by the RSPCA's director general, Jackie Ballard, dur-ing a televised visit to a shoot as evidence of a significant shift in policy… William Heal, East and South-East regional director for the British Association for Shooting and Conser-vation (BASC), said the reported comments of Ms Ballard were "very concerning"…. (story)

SPANISH COURSING GREYHOUNDS
Western Daily Press 12.2.03 THERE'S CRUELTY CLOSER TO HOME - It is encouraging that the Western Daily Press has inspired many readers to appeal to the Spanish embassy against the horrendous torture traditionally carried out, when greyhounds are hung alive from trees at the end of each coursing season in Spain. But the British public should be made aware that the source of much abuse of greyhounds is in their own country… Dogs used for coursing, often by very unscrupulous owners, are regularly abandoned, injured and starving.Those lucky enough to be rescued can be difficult to home due to their dubious background and fear of people…. B Ward Warminster Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 12.2.03 AGONY OF THESE TRAGIC DOGS - F Reed Taunton Somerset (letter)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 11.2.03 A Staffordshire MP is backing a campaign to stop unwanted working dogs being hanged in Spain. Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has teamed up with fellow Tory Andrew Rossindell to table a Commons motion calling for an end to the practice which has attracted cross-party support, with over 50 MPs signing it… (story)
Western Daily Press 11.2.03 BOYCOTT WILL HELP TO PUT PRESSURE ON SPAIN (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.2.03 A JUST CAUSE - J Howarth Warminster Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.2.03 TOUGHER LAWS ARE NEEDED - Claire Hudson Frome Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.2.03 CRUELTY IS WORLDWIDE - Sadly, the suffering and slaughter of dogs caused by the greyhound racing industry isn't just limited to the UK and Spain, but occurs in many other countries where commercial greyhound racing takes place… Greyhound Action International has been formed to fight and protect greyhounds throughout the world… The Labour Animal Welfare Society has called for financial levies to be imposed on the greyhound industry to provide funds for the dogs to retire in their fading years… Janet Hall Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.2.03 PRESS TAKES A STAND - JP Webber Wells Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.2.03 WHO IS THE MORE GUILTY? - Sir - In Spain, they kill dogs and bulls. In England, we mug and murder old-age pensioners for a bag of shopping or for a few pound coins. We also torture and kill little children. Which country is barbaric? Garry Wells Hardington Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 6.2.03 TOUGHER NEW LAWS Mr and Mrs Beard Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.2.03 STOP DREADFUL TORTURE NOW … I was appalled and sickened by the picture of this beautiful, sensitive creature who had given nothing but loyalty to its so-called "master"… Jane Murrell Lydbrook Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.2.03 WHY AREN'T THERE LAWS? Mr and Mrs Wynne Watchet Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.2.03 SICKENED BY BARBARISM - Mrs J Grayshon address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.2.03 PERPETRATORS ARE THUGS Beryl Anstee Shaftesbury Dorset (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.2.03 HAUNTED BY VILE PICTURE Denise Jacobs Weston-super-Mare Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.2.03 THESE DOGS DESERVE LOVE Mr V Sandy Taunton Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.2.03 FORGOTTEN BULL-FIGHTING? Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.2.03 SHAME ON THE SPANISH! Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.2.03 I WILL MAKE TOURISTS AWARE Margaret Shapland Banwell Weston-super-Mare Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.2.03 I WON'T INVEST IN PROPERTY - I am very sure that I'm not the only one that the Western Daily Press article affected so strongly. The poor greyhound hanging from the tree made me weep and is an image that will stay with me for a very long time…. The Spanish embassy must do everything in its power to stop this. You should: a) Ban hare coursing with dogs… Wendy Asplin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.2.03 STOP THIS NOW! - Mrs V Andrews Glastonbury Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.2.03 WE'VE AXED OUR HOLIDAY - Name supplied Warminster Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.2.03 THIS IS PROOF WE WERE RIGHT TO BOYCOTT THIS CRUEL COUNTRY - We are shocked and saddened to read of the horrific fate of young greyhounds in Spain when no longer needed… Dr P H Calder OBE and Mary Calder, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.2.03 DON'T BUY SPANISH FOOD … My family and I were horrified at the story of unwanted greyhound dogs being disposed of in such an inhumane manner… R Constable Abson Wick Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.1.03 IT'S TIME FOR TOUGH NEW LAWS - Thank you for bringing to the notice of the public the barbaric cruelty suffered by greyhounds in Spain at the hands of those who discard them after just a year of their miserable lives… John Thompson Weston-super-Mare Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.1.03 DOGS DESERVE OUR RESPECT - Rosemary Morgan Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.1.03 A BARBARIC IMPRESSION - F A and B J Mayman Walton St Mary Clevedon Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.1.03 A CIVILISED COUNTRY? - Bridget Baker Wellington Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.1.03 CRUELTY THAT IS UNFORGIVABLE - I am writing about the evil, barbaric cruelty your country inflicts on greyhounds… Hare coursing has got to be banned for a start… P Hounsell Frome Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.1.03 BAN THEM FROM KEEPING ANIMALS - A Tuck Yeovil Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.1.03 CONDEMNED BY THE RSPCA - Carlincott Bath (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.1.03 KILLED FOR PLEASURE - There are no words to describe the depth of my feelings as to the perverse and evil treatment of hare coursing greyhounds in Spain… Stratton St Margaret Swindon Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 12.2.03 BOVINE TB 'GETTING WORSE' - Ministers are failing to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis, farmers' leaders told MPs investigating the problem. The National Farmers Union yesterday said it had warned that Government policy was allowing the disease to gain a foothold in new areas… The National Federation of Badger Groups warned: "The rise in TB incidence is rather like the spread of FMD in slow motion." It claimed the "incompetence" of Defra, the "intransigence" of the NFU and lack of political will was making the problem worse… (story)

Telegraph 12.2.03 Monkey research cleared by report By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - A Home Office investigation of monkey research at Cambridge University has concluded that it is well managed and revealed no evidence that the true amount of suffering had been concealed, as claimed by animal rights activists…. The BUAV said it was "utterly appalled and deeply angered by the complete dismissal of overwhelming evidence of animal suffering." (story)

Northern Echo 12.2.03 PIG FARMING - NEIL Herron (HAS, Feb 6) fulminates about a regulation about to be introduced by the EC to partly mitigate the sufferings of pigs in intensive pork production units. That he can write at such length about these poor creatures without uttering one word of compassion for them or protest at their treatment tells us all we need to know about him and his contact with reality…. - T Kelly, Crook (letter in archive)

Redditch Advertiser 12.2.03 Reptile show starts cold-blooded row - AN animal welfare group is preparing its fight to stop a controversial reptile show being held in Redditch… Animal Aid's senior campaign officer Elaine Toland said: "Our main problem is from an animal welfare point of view…." Herpetological Society secretary Alan Wilkie said: "We are the only country in the EU where there are problems relating to these shows. They are not illegal. There has been no change in the law relating to the Pet Animals Act and these shows do not fall within its guidelines. They are private members' meetings not open to the public." (story in archive)

Western Mail 11.2.03 Hunting ban `is a rural disaster' - Carl Yapp - THE YEAR-OLD ban on fox hunting in Scotland has been a disaster for the countryside, it was claimed last night. Legislation north of the border introduced a year ago this week has cost jobs, lost tourism business and has become a legal minefield for farmers.... NFU spokesman James Withers said, "It's been a year of confusion for farmers and landowners in Scotland regarding pest control… " The Countryside Alliance's director in Scotland, Alan Murray, said the 150-year-old Dumfries Hunt had disbanded in the past 12 months, while the other 10 mounted packs north of the border had been forced to make 50% cuts… (story)
Border Telegraph 11.2.03 Growing fox numbers concern farmers - FARMERS have had enough of foxing around in the Borders. It has been revealed that the ban on fox hunting has resulted in a massive increase in their existence on farmland in the region… Mr Mundell added: “The hunters are doing all they can under the new legislation, but the numbers appear to be growing. “We recently lost a tup to foxes. They hadn’t actually killed it, but there were about seven foxes surrounding it when we found it and it was in quite a mess and was in quite a bit of distress.”… Mr Pate was neither for or against hunting with hounds, but said the Scottish Executive outlaw on fox hunting could eventually “destroy his livelihood.”… “These lambs are alive when the foxes start to feed off them. They really are being murderered.”…. (story)
Telegraph 8.2.03 Scottish fudge - New laws north of the border demean fox-hunting for hunters and give no benefit to the hunted. In fact, says Justin Cartwright, far from being protected, more foxes than ever are dying… I have a date with the Duke of Buccleuch's Hunt, although apparently it should now be called the Duke of Buccleuch's Fox Hounds, because under the legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament, fox-hunting is only legal if it is done for pest-control purposes…. This form of hunting, it is said, is producing lines of fox corpses and foxes dying, wounded, in agony. This may be part propaganda, but it must follow that shooting at fleeing foxes is likely to result in injuries. It also, says Peter Neilson, kills as many as 50 per cent more foxes…. (story)

Western Mail 11.2.03 TB: `No expansion of badger cull' - Elin-Angharad Davies Rspca Cymru - TB in cattle has been rising since 1990 and thousands of animals are slaughtered every year because of the disease.... The RSPCA has not opposed the badger culling trial but we are strongly opposed to any suggestion that badger culling take place outside the trial areas.... (story)

Western Morning News 11.2.03 A lost cause? THANK you very much for all you have tried to do to save the dolphins…. No one can or will stop the horrific slaughter. It is a sad reflection on our so-called democratic societies, both here and in Europe, that this obscene cruelty is allowed to continue… Mary Davies Harrowbarrow Callington (letter)

Telegraph 10.2.03 Peterborough Edited by Charlie Methven - Troubled RSPCA hit by further resignation …"Chris Flood, who was one of the council's 15 national members, stood down last week," I'm told. "Among other things, he's convinced that his motion of no confidence in the RSPCA chairman [Richard Ryder] was fixed to be heard on Saturday because they knew that Chris couldn't attend that day." Speaking to Peterborough yesterday, Flood also claimed that new chief executive Jackie Ballard wasn't up to the job and that the RSPCA was running up significant financial losses… (story)

Irish Independent 10.2.03 Making our choices - Sir I feel obligated to respond to Mary Kenny's article titled "Hot under the collar, fur better fur worse" in the Weekend magazine. I was shocked and disappointed by the ignorance espoused in this article on the wearing of fur… Finally, does Ms Kenny honestly believe that the hunted are excited by the hunt? Can she please try to visualise the absolute terror she or her child would feel being chased and dismembered by a pack of dogs? Brendan Cunnane, Renmore, Galway (letter)
Irish Independent 3.2.03 We must stop cruelty to animals - Sir I am writing in response to the disgusting and insulting article written by Mary Kenny in the Weekend magazine. From this article it is clear that Mary Kenny openly supports animal abuse, so there's little point appealing to her morals… If this woman researched the horrific conditions within mink farms, then she would be under no illusion as to where the real bullying and intimidation takes place… She next attacks people who oppose hunting by calling them "lunatics"… The anti-blood-sport people do not agree that foxes should be killed by other means rather than hunting, and it shows great ignorance on her part to assume that people opposed to the torture and killing of fellow sentient creatures should wish a fox to be trapped, gassed or shot… John McMullan, Tuam, Co Galway (letter)

Daily Record 10.2.03 ANGLING IS `NOT CRUEL' - BRITAIN'S two million anglers claim they have been vindicated by a study proving fish feel no pain. Fishing has been under attack from animal rights activists…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 9.2.03 Anglers are finally off the hook: fish feel no pain By Rajeev Syal - Anglers, rest easy. Fish cannot feel pain. Or so the largest study into piscine neurology has concluded. An academic study comparing the nervous systems and responses of fish and mammals has found that their brains are not sufficiently developed to allow them to sense pain or fear. The findings represent a significant victory for anglers, whose sport has been under attack from animal rights activists buoyed by their success in securing a partial ban on foxhunting…. (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 8.2.03 Hunt reflects on its history as battle wears on - THE HURWORTH Hunt celebrated its bicentenary on Tuesday by recreating a famous scene painted in 1846 by the banks of the River Tees…. (story in archive)
Northern Echo 5.2.03 Image of the past recreated and then its tally ho again - Chris Lloyd joins the Hurworth Hunt as it celebrated a milestone with the re-enactment of a 19th Century scene captured on canvas… The day began with a warming stirrup cup at Neasham Abbey, the place where 200 years ago the Hunt was formed. On the bank of the Tees, they assembled beneath an old tree to re-enact a picture painted by John Ferneley, in 1846… (story in archive)

Worcester Evening News 8.2.03 Foster's a one-issue politician - I REFER to R H Hawker's letter (You Say, January 30). I think he will find that Mike Foster is a one-issue Parliamentarian, who is not really interested in other issues concerning his constituents other than the subject of hunting. It is of no concern to him that there is a crisis within Worcester's National Health Trust and the Worcester Royal Hospital…. JUDITH WHITE, Drakes Broughton, Near Pershore, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 30.1.03 Since when has he been such an expert? - I SEE on the front page of the Evening News (Wednesday, January 22) that Michael Foster MP is voicing his opinion about banning hunting yet again. He maintains shooting at night as the best way to keep fox numbers in check. Since when has Michael Foster suddenly become an expert in the use of firearms? And will he be supporting the many applications for new gun licences that are bound to result from a ban on hunting with hounds?... R H HAWKER, Malvern Wells, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 22.1.03 Action by Foster - HUNTING in Worcestershire could be a step nearer extinction after a move by MP Mike Foster to alter the Government's Hunting Bill. The amendment, put forward by Worcester's Labour MP, would ban hunting with dogs as a recreation. It would only be allowed for pest control - and if there was no less cruel alternative… (story in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 8.2.03 CONCENTRATE ON REAL ISSUES - In answer to Tim Mickleburgh's reply to my questioning of New Labour's achievements. Well, he pointed out five of them ??? not a lot ??? and two of those were the politics of envy, i.e. hunting with hounds, and the ridding of hereditary peers… P M Robinson, Pinfold Lane, Stallingborough. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 31.1.03 LABOUR PARTY PLUS POINTS - Pm Robinson (Viewpoint, January 17) challenges any reader to tell him "what this Government has done right". Well I am no fan of Tony Blair, having left the Labour Party because of his leadership…. who knows, by the time we next go to the polls, we might have seen the last of hunting with hounds in this part of the country! Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 8.2.03 WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY Madam, So the Crown Prosecution Services has put a stop to the case against Robin Page, the countryside campaigner who was accused of stirring up racial hatred (Echo, January 23). This case was a waste of public money which must rank alongside sending a delinquent on an African safari… JRR Platt, Withington (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 8.2.03 RSPCA IN APPEAL OVER GIN TRAPS - The Rspca is appealing for information after two foxes were found in the Failand area within 12 months of each other with gin traps caught on their legs. The latest incident happened a week ago when a farmer spotted a fox caught with one of his legs caught in a trap dragging it along the floor. He tried to capture the animal but was unable to and instead tracked the animal down and put it out of its misery…. (story)

Birmingham Evening Mail 8.2.03 RSPCA in crisis plea - By Jane Tyler, Evening Mail - Brummies may be flush with cash as the city experiences a boom - but they're not spending it on unwanted pets. The city's biggest rescue shelter, which looks after more than 3,000 animals a year, has seen a sharp drop in public donations. To ensure it can still care and feed for the 3,000 animals it takes in every year, the RSPCA Barnes Hill home has had to cash in some of its shares and investments… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 7.2.03 'HUNTING BAN BY STEALTH' - Pro-hunting campaigners claim the Government is trying to ban the sport by stealth…. Simon Hart, Director of the Countryside Alliance's Campaign for Hunting, commented: "It is outrageous that organisations who have long argued against hunting with dogs could end up receiving thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money to carry on their campaign…" (story)

Northern Echo 7.2.03 Joint master leaves hunt ….Hilary Mintoft stepped down at the Farndale Hunt's annual meeting held at The Feversham Arms, Church House, Farndale, on the North York Moors, after three years, because of family commitments. The remaining joint master, George Atkinson, who has been leading the hunt for 11 years, becomes acting master…. (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 7.2.03 TALLY HO! IT'S OFF TO JOLLY OLD SCHOOL WE GO (WITH OUR PONIES AND PETS AS WELL) …But Elms Preparatory School is bucking the national trend by offering pupils the chance to put the computer games aside and sample an old-fashioned rural upbringing… The extra-curricular activities have always included traditional country pursuits such as shooting and hunting. Pupils can use their own ponies or the school's to join local hunts and the Ledbury meets at the school once a year… (story)

Chester Chronicle 7.2.03 RED Tag's 55 years in country sports have given him an eccentric view of the hunting issue (Points of View, January 31, 'If hunting goes, so does the countryside'). Most people who live in the countryside aren't interested in defending the supposed right of huntsmen to kill animals for fun… As Red Tag says, it's about 'healthy exercise, an escape from stress, a great social life.' These are poor attempts to defend cruelty for fun, which will soon go the same way as bullbaiting and cock-fighting. CHRISTOPHER CLAYTON Brown Heath Road, Waverton (letter)
Chester Chronicle 7.2.03 THANK you for printing my letter… However, you misprinted a vital statistic, namely the numbers taking part in the march in London… The true number as shown in my letter was over 407,000, not 40,000 as printed. RED TAG Chester (letter)
Chester Chronicle 31.1.03 OVER 40,000 people marched in London last year on September 22, brilliantly organised by the Countryside Alliance for Liberty and Livelihood. The catalyst was fox-hunting, but many who attended did so in defence of a country way of life and its sports…. In my view the fox population increased during the foot and mouth epidemic - as witnessed by the many fox casualties on the roads. I use the A483 and the A55 when travelling to my fishing and shooting and last autumn and winter corpses were more frequent than before… If fox-hunting is banned the 'antis' will certainly turn on what is left. They will use similar emotive arguments to destroy these old and valuable pastimes … RED TAG Chester (Name and address supplied) (letter)

Chester Chronicle 7.2.03 CHRISTINE Russell and Andrew Miller's Labour MP colleague Kate Hoey has written an article in this month's Field magazine saying that coarse fishing is doomed… 'I have always warned that zealots who want to ban hunting will waste no time, if they are successful, in turning their campaign to ban other sports they consider to be equally cruel. Anti-fishing protests are already take place.' PETER MOORE DUTTON Tushingham Hall, Tushingham (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.2.03 THIS METHOD OUTFOXES THIEF - reply to Hannah Crinks, it is possible to keep out a determined fox, but you do need a secure hen house and run, which consists of a good shed with bolts top and bottom, a padlock and mesh over the glass windows… Hannah Crinks's statement that the fox just kills for pleasure has no foundation. How on earth can she know what the fox is feeling? Mrs J Rowe Upper Arncott Bicester Oxfordshire (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 7.2.03 TWO SIDES OF THE FENCE AT HUNT - I Was delivering an injured blackbird to a rescue centre recently. The centre is run by a family devoted to wildlife rescue and staffed entirely by volunteers. As I was entering the centre, I saw the hunt…. One can only imagine the terror the fox must have felt… How ironic that on one side of the fence are people dedicating their lives to wildlife welfare, working long hours for little reward, and on the other are those who rip our wildlife apart. Anna Madams St Mark's Road Tunbridge Wells (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 7.2.03 CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER EXAMPLES - I have lived in Tunbridge Wells all my life, but I find it sad that the only picture of a lynx you could show our children was of one that was dead… Two hares arrived at my father-in-law's farm in Hartfield, East Sussex last spring after a gap of 10 years, only to be torn apart by the hunt. What message are we giving to our children? Disrespect for animals leads to disrespect for human beings. Let's teach by setting an example. Malcolm Geer Parsonage Close Tunbridge Wells (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.2.03 ANGERED BY HUNTER'S REPLY - The rather hysterical response to my letter by Mr Weston reveals quite a lot about the writer... He forgets that the antics of the hunting fraternity outside Parliament were well documented by TV and national newspapers… Does he deny also that the long-suffering British public has been promised civil disobedience by his pals in the Countryside Alliance, that Labour MPs have been intimidated, that large sections of the M11, M4 and A1M have been blocked by these morons?... Jean Turner Plympton Plymouth Devon (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.1.03 THE FULL FACTS ABOUT COUNTRYSIDE DEMO ….Jean Turner (Western Daily Press, January 17) says that we have all seen the true nature of the hunt lobby in disgraceful scenes outside Parliament. The lady was obviously not there - I was. I saw no policemen or women attacked, there was not a single firecracker thrown at a horse, and roads were blocked by police not the protesters… a lady who was patting a police horse near me was told by the mounted lady officer to "f... off and stop patting my horse"…. Jean Turner should look again from the comfort of her urban armchair at the news coverage of the demonstration. She will see only attacks on the protesters and no firecrackers, but then, I think she already knows that. Nick Weston Wrington Somerset (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 13.1.03 DON'T BLAME HUNTERS FOR TROUBLE IN WESTMINSTER - Joan Turner, Points of view, December 31, objects to what she called 'disgraceful conduct' at the recent pro-hunting demonstration outside Parliament… Her complaints are unjustified and confirm her attitude towards hunt supporters. No blame or shame should be attached to any hunt supporter, they were definitely not responsible for the disorder… Mr G Paddon Pathfinder Village Tedburn St Mary (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 7.1.03 SHOCKING BEHAVIOUR - The disgraceful scenes in Parliament Square during the hunting debate recently shows us only too clearly the true nature of the hunting fraternity. Roads were blocked, police were assaulted and firecrackers thrown at police horses…. JEAN TURNER Dean Road, Plympton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 31.12.02 PROTESTERS IN SUPPORT OF HUNTING WERE A DISGRACE - The disgraceful scenes in Parliament Square during the hunting debate earlier this month show us only too clearly the true nature of the hunting fraternity. Roads were blocked, police were assaulted and fire-crackers thrown at police horses… Jean Turner Dean Road, Plympton, Plymouth (letter)

Hexham Courant 7.2.03 HMS TYNEDALE - IT IS well to remember that HMS Tynedale (Courant, January 10) was a Hunt Class destroyer named after the Tynedale Hunt… Hitler banned hunting Name and address supplied (letter)

WENDY HIGGINS BUAV COSMETICS TESTING LETTER
Exeter Express & Echo 7.2.03 ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS VITAL FOR HELPING SERIOUSLY ILL - In response to Wendy Higgins of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, Points of view, January 27, readers should be aware that her organisation campaigns against the use of animals in medical research regardless of the consequences for seriously ill patients… Thomas Bromley SIMR executive secretary (letter)
Lakeland Echo 7.2.03 Animal testing ban is finally agreed Wendy Higgins Campaigns Director British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection 16a Crane Grove London N7 8NN (letter)
Bath Chronicle 4.2.03 ANIMAL USE - In response to Wendy Higgins of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (Bath Chronicle, January 28) readers should be aware that her organisation campaigns against the use of animals in medical research regardless of the consequences for seriously ill patients … THOMAS BROMLEY, SIMR executive Secretary (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 3.2.03 LET'S HAVE SOME ACTION TO PROTECT THE ANIMALS - I Totally agree with the points raised in the letter about the House of Lords Select Committee Report on Animal Experiments, Points of view, January 27…. Mrs Frances Wicks Alphington Road Exeter (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 31.1.03 SIMR WORK - In response to Wendy Higgins of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection "Blair misses chance to curb experiments on animals" (Post, Open Lines, January 25) readers should be aware that her organisation campaigns against the use of animals in medical research regardless of the consequences for seriously ill patients who need this vital research to continue…. The Government is right to stand up to animal extremist groups who use emotional propaganda to con a gullible public who quite rightly care about animals but let their hearts rule their heads… For further information please write to SIMR, PO Box 504, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2LU, or visit www. simr. org. uk - Thomas Bromley, SIMR Executive Secretary. (letter)
Sevenoaks Chronicle 31.1.03 REPORT IS IGNORED - Wendy Higgins Campaigns Director, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) (letter)
Lakeland Echo 28.1.03 Animal testing ban is finally agreed Wendy Higgins Campaigns Director British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection 16a Crane Grove London N7 8NN (letter)
Western Morning News 28.1.03 Response is poor - Wendy Higgins British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), London (letter)
Bath Chronicle 27.1.03 GOVERNMENT HOLDS BACK ON ANIMAL CRUELTY REFORM - WENDY HIGGINS Campaigns director British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) Crane Grove London (letter)
Western Daily Press 27.1.03 GIVE US ACTION, NOT JUST SPIN Wendy Higgins Campaigns Director British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 25.1.03 SOAPBOX: BLAIR MISSES CHANCE TO CURB EXPERIMENTS ON ANIMALS Wendy Higgins, campaigns director, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), 16a Crane Grove, London N7 (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 22.1.03 ONE STEP AWAY FROM BANNING ANIMAL TESTING - Wendy Higgins, Campaigns Director, BUAV. (letter)
Lakeland Echo 20.1.03 Animal testing ban is finally agreed - Wendy Higgins Campaigns Director British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection 16a Crane Grove London N7 8NN (letter)
Bath Chronicle 20.1.03 YEARS MORE PAIN FOR THE ANIMALS - WENDY HIGGINS Campaigns director British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection Crane Grove London (letter)
Ulster Herald 19.12.02 Go cruelty-free this Christmas! Wendy Higgins Campaigns Director (letter in archive)
Fermanagh Herald 18.12.02 Go Cruelty-free this Christmas! Don't be fooled by recent news that Europe has voted to ban cosmetics animal testing… Wendy Higgins, Campaigns Director (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 12.12.02 Help free laboratory animals from pain - Wendy Higgins, Campaigns Director, BUAV, 16a Crane Grove, London, N7 8NN (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Times 6.12.02 Help stop cruelty this Christmas - WENDY HIGGINS, Campaigns Director (letter in archive)
Sunderland Echo 5.12.02 Suffering continues - Campaigns Director, BUAV, 16a Crane Grove, London N7 8NN (letter)
Bath Chronicle 2.12.02 ANIMAL CRUELTY HAS NOT ENDED - WENDY HIGGINS Campaigns director BUAV 16a Crane Grove London N7 8NN (letter)
Lancaster Citizen 21.11.02 Death knell for testing - After a staggering 13-year struggle by MEPs and animal campaigners such as the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) to end cosmetics animal testing… In the meantime, if readers want to boycott animal testers now, contact the BUAV for a pocket-sized Little Book of Cruelty Free… Wendy Higgins, Campaigns Director, BUAV, BUAV 16a Crane Grove, London N7 8NN. (letter in archive)
Lakeland Echo 20.11.02 EU cosmetics testing ban not enough to protect lab animals - After a staggering 13 year struggle by MEPs and animal campaigners such as the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) to end cosmetics animal testing, an EU Conciliation Committee vote on Nov 7th between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers has finally sounded the death knell for EU cosmetics animal testing. But be warned, it's not all good news!...Wendy Higgins Campaigns Director BUAV 16a Crane Grove London N7 8NN. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 16.11.02 ANIMAL TEST BAN WON'T STOP CRUELTY - After a 13-year struggle by MEPs and animal campaigners, a committee of the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers has finally sounded the death knell for EU cosmetics animal testing. But be warned, it's not all good news…. Wendy Higgins, campaigns director, BUAV, 16a Crane Grove, London N7 8NN.(letter)

Argus 7.2.03 Parks are in urgent need of supervision - David Hammond (Letters, February 1) suggests the employment of a park keeper or community warden for Preston Park, Brighton. In the streets, one sees indulgent parents smiling as children harass birdlife and I do not trust parents either to be present or to stop the abuse of frogs and toads in Preston Park.... -Valerie Paynter, Clarendon Road, Hove (letter)
Argus 1.2.03 Leave well alone - I ask readers to help me prevent the frogs, toads and newts in the Rotunda Pond, by the Rotunda Cafe in Preston Park, Brighton, being cruelly treated by children… This is a very serious animal welfare issue at a time when the frog and toad populations are on the decrease and some newts have become endangered species. -David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks (letter in archive)

Cotswold Journal 6.2.03 Hunts join for keeper - JOHN Jones, head keeper of Batsford Estate, Moreton, retired this week after nearly 40 years service. To mark his contribution to the countryside over 37 years, the Heythrop and North Cotswold hunts held a joint meet at Batsford on Monday, attended by 300 people, and Mr Jones was presented with a silver fox statue by Heythrop's joint master Liz Wills… (story in archive)

North West Evening Mail 6.2.03 HUNTING IS SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY - Jenny Holden has a great deal to learn about fell foxhunting (Evening Mail, Jan 26.) We don't ride out to hunt on horseback, we walk with a pair of kip boots, a stick and usually waterproof clothing or we follow hounds by car on the roads, maintaining contact with one another using Citizen Band radios… The hunt provides a service to the farming community to protect stock in an area where other methods of control are dangerous, inoperable or cruel. I draw your attention to the following statement made by Jack Straw, home secretary, 1997: "We all have to be careful before we use our power to prohibit actions that were previously lawful and involved no criminal intent. Simple disapproval can never be a ground alone for prohibition." DAVID SHAW Rusland Crescent, Ulverston (letter)
North West Evening Mail 4.2.03 HUNTING WITH HOUNDS IS EFFECTIVE CONTROL - REFERRING to a letter (Letters, Jan 25) in which Miss Holden recognises the need to control foxes by trained marksmen with guns, shooting foxes with guns does not always ensure a good, quick kill. While out with our local pack of foxhounds two years ago I saw them catch a fox that had some days earlier been shot and wounded. It had one leg missing and another one shattered…. I believe that fox hunting with hounds is a humane and effective method of fox control that should be left alone. MARK BOWMAN Beech Bank, Ulverston (letter)
North West Evening Mail 4.2.03 SHOOTING IS NOT THE RIGHT WAY - I have worked among sheep most of my life and I have never known hounds to make sheep abort lambs. Farmers have more trouble with walker with pet dogs… During the foot-and- mouth epidemic we saw on television how the marksmen were trying to shoot a ewe at 40 yards, a cruel and outrageous scene, so how can they hit a fox at 50-100 yards? MR S POSTLETHWAITE Sunderland Terrace Ulverston (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 6.2.03 BETTER WAYS TO DEAL WITH FOXES - Regarding the Hunting Bill now being discussed in Parliament, I have for many years fought against hunting with dogs…. Let us be rid of this cruel activity once and for all - Stella Thompson, Cemetery Road, Winterton. (letter)

Ananova 6.2.03 Anger over donkey bomb attack - Animal rights campaigners have complained to Yasser Arafat after a donkey was blown up in a bomb attack in the West Bank. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has sent a letter to the Palestinian leader to protest at last month's blast near Jerusalem… "We have received many calls and letters from people shocked at the bombing," Peta president Ingrid Newkirk wrote… Ms Newkirk says she has not asked Mr Arafat to try to stop suicide bombings that kill people… (story)

Lancashire Evening Post 6.2.03 Vets slam treatment of animals at seaside zoo - Independent vets today slammed conditions at Southport Zoo and called for the animals to be rehomed. The Evening Post has received leaked reports by two wildlife experts who visited the zoo at the request of the Captive Animals Protection Society. Europe's leading primate sanctuary also blasted conditions two chimpanzees are kept in and asked for them to be handed over immediately… Two vets, Simon Adams, who works internationally, and Samantha Scott, a lecturer at Glasgow University, secretly visited Southport Zoo in the autumn… Jim and Alison Cronin, who own Monkey World in Dorset, visited the zoo to see the conditions for themselves…. (story)

North West Evening Mail 5.2.03 FARMERS ADVISED TO STICK WITH IT - CELEBRATED countrywoman and Fat Lady Clarissa Dickson-Wright has said that hope for Cumbria's farmers might be just around the corner. Speaking about her latest television series Clarissa and the Countryman - partly filmed in Cumbria - she said that a war-like climate could prevent imports getting through and give Cumbrian farmers an opportunity to supply the nation… The country-loving pair explore a range of Cumbrian rural pursuits during the programme, including shrimping at Flookburgh and a tour of Holker gardens, as well as visiting the North Lonsdale puppy show, and filming a local fell pack… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 3.2.03 ONE FAT LADY SPEAKS OUT ON WAR WITH IRAQ, FOX-HUNTING, FOOT AND MOUTH, AND THE PRESS …Clarissa, speaking to the News & Star about her latest television series Clarissa and the Countryman - partly filmed in Cumbria - said that a war-like climate could prevent imports getting through and give Cumbrian farmers an opportunity to supply the nation…. The country-loving pair explore a range of Cumbrian rural pursuits during the programme, including shrimping at Flookburgh and a tour of Holker gardens, as well as visiting the North Lonsdale puppy show, watching the lighting of September's Countryside Alliance beacons and filming a local fell pack… (story)

Worcester Evening News 5.2.03 Shirley the price is worth it? - WHY do we have so many letters on hunting and the EU? There are lots of other topics to write about, such as Shirley Bassey's hairstyles and the price of cucumbers… GEORGE COWLEY, Windermere Drive, Warndon (letter in archive)

Ledbury Reporter 5.2.03 Bishop attacks work for the countryside - THE Bishop of Hereford has fired a broadside at the Government for ignoring the countryside. John Oliver told the Oxford Union conference that, despite appearing to make the right noises, little was being done by the Prime Minister and his ministers… He criticised the supermarkets for screwing farmers into selling stock and crops at unfair and unrealistic prices. He accused the animal rights lobby of not appreciating animal husbandry as practised in the countryside, stealing headlines that implied all farming was cruel. The debate was won by a two-to-one majority. (story in archive)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 5.2.03 SPECIAL REPORT: The thrill of the kill - why illegal coursers are a plague - THEY turn up in their dozens with bundles of bank notes stuffed in their back pockets, and their lurcher dogs straining on their leashes… they are illegal hare coursers who bet thousands of pounds on their dogs being the first to kill the hare. And it is one "bloodsport" which doesn't have the backing of the countryside…. Chief Constable Tom Lloyd said the law needed to be changed either through a Government Hunting Bill or some other way… (story in archive)

Horncastle News 5.2.03 PRAISE FOR CONSERVATIONISTS AS BADGER WATCH IS HAILED A SUCCESS - KEEN-EYED conservationists are helping Lincolnshire Police cut badger baiting and other wildlife crime in the county. Rural Intelligence Officer, PC Nigel Lound (pictured left), formerly based at Horncastle, appealed through the News and his police website, for people to join a Badger Watch group and was overwhelmed by the response…. (story in archive)

Western Morning News 4.2.03 ABANDON THIS BILL THAT FLIES IN THE FACE OF REASON - In the face of endlessly repeated mantras about the cruelty of hunting with hounds stands the expressed opinion of 300 rural vets submitted to the Burns Inquiry. "The veterinary opinion concludes that, far from being cruel, hunting represents the most natural and humane method of controlling the populations of the four wild animal quarry species, fox, deer, hare and mink in the countryside..." The result is likely to be unsound laws which will be held in contempt. It is not yet too late to abandon the Bill which flies in the face of reason. J Ward-Hayne Modbury (letter)

Western Morning News 4.2.03 Days are numbered - ALISON Hawes in her letter (WMN, January 28) claims "dwindling support for a ban" on hunting since 1998, yet she has seen with her own eyes, when given a choice, the vast majority of people want a full ban on hunting. On August 24 last year, she stood at Lemon Quay, Truro in a trailer stall… Myself and others stood opposite them with their petitions to ban hunting. The hunters, even with their smart stall and the presence of some dogs, still failed to draw in the public… Stephen Lancaster, Boscastle (letter)

Eastern Daily Press 4.2.03 Deer cull put off amid protests - EDWARD FOSS - Deer living in a Norfolk wood appeared to have been handed a stay of execution yesterday after plans for a two-day cull were postponed. But bosses at Forest Enterprise… said last night they would still be going into Bacton Woods to shoot deer, albeit at a later date…. The news prompted outrage from animal rights campaigners, who began to gather near the woods before dawn yesterday… a spokesman for Norfolk Anti Bloodsports said: "A battle has been won, but not necessarily the war." Among the protesters was Deborah Stevens, who said she believed there were much better options available than simply shooting the deer… (story)

Western Morning News 4.2.03 VITAL ROLE IN CONSERVATION - I Am writing in response to the letter from David Spratt (WMN, January 28). Dave is a well known anti-zoo activist and, as usual, seems to have missed the point both of the article and of zoos… Effective conservation is carried out by conservationists, scientists and people who are passionate about wildlife. Zoo people are very much a part of that process… Philip Knowling, Paignton Zoo (letter)
Western Morning News 28.1.03 ZOO INDUSTRY IS FUTILE IN PRESERVATION - I Read with amusement your story "Rare rhino is on the move" (WMN, January 16). Can you ask Paignton Zoo to tell us how many of the animals it holds - let alone rhinos - have been returned to the wild?... Zoo conservation is a con, designed to keep this industry in business…. David Spratt, The Captive Animals' Protection Society Preston (letter)

BBC News Online Monday, 3 February, 2003, 17:48 GMT Inquiry into alleged hunt assault - Police are continuing to investigate an alleged assault on a motorist at a hunt in mid Wales. Four members and supporters of the Sennybridge Hunt were arrested after a man allegedly suffered facial injuries. The hunt was setting off from Defynnog, in Powys, on Saturday, when an incident broke out between a car driver and people involved in the hunt on the main road of the village… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 3.2.03 ACT OF A COWARD - SHOULD we tolerate such cowardly behaviour as the laying out of a dead fox at Elaine Milbourn's door?... Last Saturday, when driving down Brocklebank near Caldbeck, I saw a man wearing a red waistcoat whip a hound from one side of the road to the other where the poor creature tried to hide under a parked car...I would like to add I am neither for nor against hunting, but acts such as these leave a bitter taste in my mouth. JOHN MAWSON Friar Row, Caldbeck (letter)

Birmingham Post 3.2.03 Kids to get gun lessons By Sarah Probert, Birmingham Post - All children should have supervised access to firearms if rising levels of gun crime are to be curbed, the leader of a national rural pressure group has claimed. Richard Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said children's only experiences of guns came from gory Hollywood blockbusters and video games. Mr Burge said youngsters needed to be educated about the dangers of the weapons and one of the methods that could be used would be supervised access. But the idea was dismissed by senior police officers while Birmingham MP Steve McCabe, who is campaigning for a ban on imitation firearms, described it as "grossly irresponsible"…. But supporting Mr Burge's comments, Jeffrey Olstead, of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, said: "There is no point saying guns are nasty and you shouldn't talk about them in the same way that people have said drugs are nasty and you shouldn't talk about them…." (story)

Sunday Times 2.2.03 EC threat to sue Exec over Capercaillie - THE European commission is threatening to take legal action against the Scottish executive over its failure to protect the capercaillie, one of Britain’s most endangered birds, writes Mark Macaskill… Scientists blame the dramatic decline on snares and the erection of hundreds of miles of fencing to protect forestry from deer, which the birds often fly into, breaking their necks…. (story)

Sunday Sun 2.2.03 Ed's in shock as nag is shot - An RSPCA vet put down an injured horse while its unsuspecting owner sat in his home just yards away, it has been claimed. Retired Eddie Armstrong said he only found out that his six-year-old gelding Tropic Breeze had been shot dead when a neighbour called to alert him…. It is believed to have injured its leg in October last year after being startled by motorbike riders. Eddie said he then began treating the horse with an old-fashioned poultice to make the swelling on its leg go down. But just days after the horse was injured, RSPCA officials were alerted and had the animal put down because it was in pain with a broken knee… (story)

Western Daily Press 1.2.03 ROGUE STAG CULL THREATENS FUTURE OF RED DEER HERD - Conservationists claimed last night the existence of the fragile red deer herd on the Quantock Hills is being threatened by rogue stag culls. The discovery of five carcasses in one field in the space of a month has triggered fears of unscrupulous landowners allowing indiscriminate shooting of deer on their land. Although the culling of stags is not illegal, it is against advice issued by the Quantock Deer Management Conservation Group (QDMCG) last year… (story)

Western Daily Press 1.2.03 DEER THREATEN ECO-WOODLAND - Wild deer are threatening to destroy an ancient woodland which attracts researchers from all over the world, it was revealed last night. Conservationists are now considering fencing off all 45 hectares of the steeply sloping Lady Park Wood to protect it from the native fallow deer… (story)

Western Mail 1.2.03 Badger group hits out at sett damage sentence …Clwyd Badger Group says it was very disappointed that farmer Trevor Davies, 72, received only a two-year conditional discharge and £100 costs… Tony Cummings, from Llanarmon-yn-Ial, the badger group area co-ordinator involved in the case, said that of the farmers he knew, more than 80% of them were natural, wildlife preservationists, decent people who respected wildlife. But the sentence handed out by Flint-shire magistrates would send out the wrong signals… (story)
Western Mail 31.1.03 Badger group disappointed as farmer escapes punishment for destroying sett to protect cattle - Elwyn Roberts, The Western Mail - The National Newspaper Of Wales - A FARMER who filled in two badger holes and poured oil around them was yesterday given a conditional discharge. Trevor Davies, 72, of Coed-y-Bryn, Lixwm, near Holywell, had lived happily with a growing and active badger sett on a bank at the side of the field, but when they encroached into the field he thought the huge holes would become a danger for his cows, Flintshire magistrates heard… Prosecutor Gareth Parry said the sett had been recorded by members of the Clwyd Badger Group since June 2000 and it was monitored informally by local people and group members…. Mr Parry said his client recalled the badgers moving onto the bank along side his field 40 years earlier, but last year for the first time ever they encroached from the bank to the field, creating holes six feet deep, which would clearly be a danger to his cattle… "The suggestion that he was not a respecter of wildlife has hurt him. He was devastated when he found six months later that he was being prosecuted after he had fully co-operated and given up land for new fencing to be built," Mr Parry said. (story)
Daily Post 31.1.03 Farmer put oil on badger setts to protect cattle - FARMER Trevor Davies filled in two badger holes on his North Wales farm and poured oil around them - because he believed that the setts presented a danger to his cattle… He admitted two charges of damaging and obstructing a badger sett and was given a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay pros-ecution costs of £100… A spokeswoman for the Clwyd Badger Group said that she was disappointed with the result of the court case… (story)