February 2004

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(*)- added since last update


29.2.04

WATERLOO CUP
Scotland on Sunday 29.2.04 Hare-brained tourist hunt - SO WHICH one would you rather be? The slavering dog with the rather fetching neck-warmer or the fleet-footed hare showing the canine a clean pair of heels? This is country sport as still practised in England and a striking image from the annual Waterloo Cup hare-coursing event, which took place near Liverpool last week, despite the continuing protests of animal rights groups... (story)
Times 28.2.04 Dogged resistance - The 157th and possibly last Waterloo Cup, the premier event of hare coursing, attracted 64 competing greyhounds from Britain and Ireland, plus thousands of supporters and hundreds of animal welfare campaigners... (story)
Daily Record 28.2.04 THE HARE AND THE PURPOSE - NEWSPAPER reports have celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright saying that she has not heard one rational reason why hare coursing should not happen. This avid supporter of blood sports mustbe shown that the vast majority of the British public are appalled by such vile cruelty.... Mary Wilson,Glasgow
I AM utterly disgusted, as I am sure many people in Scotland are today, at the poor hare about to be ripped to bits in the name of sport... Charlie Stewart,Aberfoyle (letters)
Irish Examiner 27.2.04 The full Monty too much for rivals! By Gerry McCarthy - KILKENNY and Tipperary, the keenest of rivals on the hurling fields, yesterday combined to win the Waterloo Cup with the Cork bred Why You Monty… (story)
Horse & Hound 27.2.04 Record crowds at Waterloo Cup - Isobel Walsh - Organisers of the most prestigious event in the coursing calendar were delighted by the number of supporters which rallied at Altcar this week - This year’s Waterloo Cup has been heralded a “great success” by organisers and spectators alike. Record crowds braved the cold weather to see an Irish dog take the cup. Why You Monty, trained by Michael O’Donovan, won six courses across the three-day meeting to take home the most prestigious prize of the British coursing calendar.... (story)
Times 27.2.04 Hares and hounds - Is hare coursing a tradition to be cherished — or a barbaric sport that should be consigned to history?
THE arrogance of Clarissa Dickson Wright and her chums serves only to underline the complete lack of justification for their “sport”... Rosalind J. John, Stroud, Gloucestershire
No excuses - HARE COURSING is to sport and leisure what paedophilia is to love and romance. The only difference is that hare coursing is done in public.... Harry Owen, Southport, Merseyside
Going underground - THOUSANDS of law-abiding people currently course hares and they should be allowed to do so unmolested by ignorant urbanites with nothing better to do than try to change countryside sports.... Mike Troy, mike@troyfrench.co.uk
Sadistic voyeurism - HARE COURSING is another excuse by people, who claim to be friends of the countryside, to indulge in sadistic voyeurism at the expense of innocent creatures who are unable to defend themselves, and to make a few pounds on wagers into the bargain.... Andy Hay, andy_hay@tiscali.co.uk
Natural cruelty - I HEARTILY oppose a ban on hare coursing. Most of ushave been brought up in the Walt Disney school of animal behaviour which teaches that all furry animals think like humans beings... Mike Ross Browne, Canterbury
Something for everyone - I HAVE treated a number of mammals that have been victims of canine attacks. Most of these have been fox, deer and hare, and their injuries were most likely caused by hunting hounds... Tony Nevin, Gloucester
Managing wildlife - THE loss of suitable habitat where wildlife can feed and breed is considered to be the single biggest threat to biodiversity in the UK. Yet on estates and farms where organised hare coursing takes place, landowners and managers have a vested interest in the maintenance of habitat sympathetic to hares, much of which has been lost in recent years because of changes in farming practices.... David Stocker, Lancaster
Talking numbers - HUNTING and coursing is totally irrelevant to most British people, who neither know nor care what goes on. Those who remain at either pole of the argument are accurately represented by the attendance numbers quoted in the article (report, February 25). One hundred and fifty opponents who cared passionately enough about the cause attended to protest, and 7,000 supporters who cared passionately enough about the cause attended to support... Adam Greenwood, London E14
The important issues ALL HUNTING with dogs purely for enjoyment is wrong.... P. M. Jonas, Upminister, Essex
National heritage - I CONSIDER that hare coursing is part of my Anglo-Saxon culture and heritage... Stephen Thompson, Preston (letters)
Southport Visiter 27.2.04 Is it murder or sport? By Tony Barrett, Southport Visiter - LIVERPOOL hotelier William Lynn once came up with a good idea. Trying to think of an event which would bring tourists into his home town and provide good countryside entertainment, he created the Grand National. Unfortunately, his other enduring creation was the Waterloo Cup…. Watching the Waterloo Cup is the closest thing you can get to the "sports" of yesteryear, when combat between humans or animals was not deemed satisfactory until blood was drawn… (story)
Southport Visiter 27.2.04 'Peace' protests By Nicola Kenyon, Southport Visiter PROTESTS outside town centre hotels passed without any serious incidents and no arrests were made during this week's Waterloo Cup…. (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 27.2.04 Cup on its way out By Deborah James Daily Post Staff - FORMER sports minister Tony Banks last night said he is confident what he described as the "disgusting" Waterloo Cup has seen its final competition…. The former opposition whip, Minister for Sport between 1997 and 1999, told the Daily Post he expects a "full and total" ban on hare coursing to be approved by the end of this parliament…. Colin Pickthall, Labour MP for West Lancashire, said… "I think we'll see a ban in the next 12 months. We are looking to see the bill introduced in the next two months"… (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 27.2.04 HOW can any decent human being seriously consider hare coursing to be a sport? It is nothing more than out-dated barbarism…. Vicky Ross, Crosby
I WOULD never dream of going to Altcar to watch the hare coursing. But I would go to watch a hare courser given a 50 yard start on two cheetahs. Harry Lloyd, Clubmoor (letters)
Exeter Express & Echo 27.2.04 HARE COURSING HIGHLIGHT IN ALLIANCE'S CALENDAR The highlight of the Countryside Alliance calendar took place this week. For a three-day event near Liverpool, our magical brown hares are taken from the countryside and kept captive for release and there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop it…. Rosina Dalziel, Lamerton, Tavistock (letter)
Guardian 26.2.04 Hare coursing meets its Waterloo - Helen Carter and Gwladys Fouche - The animal rights campaigner was on top form, shouting: "You're just like Ian Brady, you filthy perverted killers. I hope you die of a painful death... You probably all read the Sun." Other were less subtle: "Scum, scum, scum" or "Your dad's a cabbage" were some of the insults lobbed by the opposite camp, a group of children gathered behind a fence with more than 100 police in attendance.... Every year, the event attracts 10,000 fans over three days. The Countryside Alliance claimed there were 7,000 of them there on its first day on Tuesday, the majority wearing the customary tweeds and camouflage clothes... (story)
Ormskirk Advertiser 26.2.04 Chaos as march halts rural traffic - PROTESTORS created traffic chaos hours before the start of the UK's largest hare coursing event. Shielded by motorcycle police, more than 300 activists arrived on Tuesday morning to march two miles from Formby station to Great Altcar prior to the start of the Waterloo Cup…. (story)
Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News 26.2.04 Singer's Waterloo war - PERFORMER Melanie C has slammed this week's Waterloo Cup hare-coursing event in Merseyside as 'horrific'. The pop singer, who was brought up in Ireland Street and attended Fairfield High School, in Widnes, has joined forces with the pressure group Campaigning to Protect Hunted Animals (CPHA) to voice her opposition to the annual hare-coursing event in Great Altcar…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 26.2.04 Coursing simply animal torture - IT hardly comes as a surprise to learn that Clarissa Dickson Wright and Vinnie Jones are relishing the prospect of yet another spectacle of animal abuse at this year’s Waterloo Cup in Liverpool (News, February 20). Hare-coursing is a barbaric activity… Yvonne Taylor, Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (story)
Telegraph 25.2.04 150 in hare coursing protest ...Around 150 campaigners, who want to see hare coursing banned by the Government, traded insults with members of the 7,000-strong crowd during an hour-long protest at the event at Great Altcar, Lancs.... (story)
Times 25.2.04 Coursing festival cuts to the chase in hunt debate BY RUSSELL JENKINS - THE 157th Waterloo Cup, the premier event in the hare coursing calandar, got under way yesterday with a bad tempered stand-off between animal rights protesters and field sports supporters. About 150 animal rights campaigners exchanged insults with the 7,000-strong crowd in an hour-long protest at the UK’s largest hare course event.... (story)
Glasgow Herald 25.2.04 Protesters in clash with hare coursing supporters - BILLY BRIGGS - ANIMAL rights campaigners had a stand-off with supporters of hare coursing yesterday as the UK's largest annual event of the sport began... (story)
Western Daily Press 25.2.04 INSULTS FLY IN PROTESTS OVER HARE COURSING Animal rights campaigners yesterday staged a demonstration at the UK's largest hare coursing event, with a stand-off between protesters and supporters... (story)
Daily Post 25.2.04 The insults fly as seven Waterloo Cup hares die By Deborah James Daily Post Staff - THE 157th Waterloo Cup got under way yesterday despite protests and miserable weather... (story)
Liverpool Echo 25.2.04 End this brutality - HOW much longer? After seven years of Labour government, we still have to endure the brutality of the Waterloo Cup hare coursing.... Mrs Garnette Bowler, Wirral Green party, Prenton (letter)
BBC News Online 24.2.04 Hare-coursers gather for UK event - More than 10,000 people are expected to attend a hare-coursing event in Lancashire on Tuesday. Ahead of the UK's largest coursing event, animal rights groups released a what they said was a "shocking" video..... (story)
BBC News Online 24.2.04 Stand-off at hare coursing event - The 157th Waterloo Cup has begun with a stand-off between animal rights protesters and supporters of the event. Around 150 protesters exchanged insults with the crowd in an hour-long protest at the UK's largest hare course event… (story)
UTV 24.2.04 Animal rights campaigners protest By:Press Association - The controversial Waterloo Cup, which is in its 157th year, got underway with a stand off between the protesters and supporters of the event. Around 150 campaigners, who want to see hare coursing banned by the Government, traded insults with the crowd in an hour-long protest at the event in west Lancashire… Around 7,000 people attended the first day of the three day event, in Great Altcar, which will see 64 greyhounds from all over Britain and Ireland competing…. (story)
Bury Times 24.2.04 Hare coursing to pull the crowds THOUSANDS of spectators and protesters are expected at the UK's largest hare coursing event in Lancashire on Tuesday. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the three-day event, in which Actor Vinnie Jones and television cook Clarissa Dickson Wright have greyhounds taking part. But animal rights campaigners have criticised them for supporting the 157th Waterloo Cup, on the Altcar estate near Formby…. (story in archive)
Ananova 24.2.04 Threatened TV chef has Special Branch hotline - Special Branch has set up a hotline to Clarissa Dickson-Wright to help protect her from animal rights campaigners. The TV chef says her BBC2 series Clarissa And The Countryman and her backing of a major hare coursing event has made her a target. "I get hate mail from activists who make Hitler's right-hand men look like Noddy,"… The former Two Fat Ladies presenter, 56, has a greyhound entered in the UK's largest coursing event, the Waterloo Cup in Altcar, Lancashire….(story)
Manchester Evening News 24.2.04 Hare-course protesters trade insults - THE 157th Waterloo Cup - Britain's biggest hare-coursing event - has got under way in west Lancashire with a stand off between animal rights protesters and supporters. About 150 protesters traded insults with the crowd for about an hour…
Should hare coursing be allowed to continue?
No, it is cruel. Rachel, Chorlton
I'm amazed hare coursing hasn't been banned… chris slater, hadfield, Derbyshire (story)
Liverpool Echo 24.2.04 Traffic hit in Altcar demo By Nick Murton, Liverpool Echo - BLOOD sport protesters caused traffic hold-ups hours before the start of the controversial Waterloo Cup today. Shielded by motorcycle police, more than 300 activists braved the miserable weather to march against the hare coursing event on the Altcar Estate… Tony Moore, chairman of Fight Against Animal Cruelty In Europe, told the ECHO he expected heated confrontations. But he added he was confident this would be the last Waterloo Cup… "If it weren't for the police I think a lot of them would try to get to us - they have tried in the past…" (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 24.2.04 Video shows hare torn apart by dogs By Deborah James, Daily Post - ANIMAL welfare campaigners have released what they claim are "shocking" images of hare coursing in an attempt to have the sport banned… At a press conference in Liverpool's Tate gallery at the Albert Dock yesterday, John Rolls, RSPCA director of animal welfare promotion, said: "The Government must now deliver on its promises and ban hare coursing -along with all forms of hunting with dogs - during this parliamentary session."… (story)
Lancashire Evening Post 24.2.04 Thousands flock to Waterloo Cup - Thousands of protesters and supporters from all over the country descended on Lancashire today for one of the biggest hunting events of the year. The Waterloo Cup, in Altcar, near Southport has caused controversy for years and this time was no exception… (story)
Liverpool Echo 23.2.04 Clash fears over demo - HUNDREDS of protesters from across Britain are set to clash with hare coursers tomorrow at what could be the final Waterloo Cup... Tony Moore, chairman of Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe, will lead 300 people on a peaceful protest march tomorrow morning.... (story)
BBC News Online 23.2.04 Anti-hare coursing video released - Animal rights groups have released what they say is "shocking" video of hare coursing, on the eve of the UK's largest event. About 10,000 people are expected to attend the three-day Waterloo Cup in Altcar, Lancashire, starting on Tuesday... The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) hopes the footage will persuade people to back a ban. The video, which has also been backed by the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports, shows two hunting dogs chasing down a hare before pulling it in opposite directions while it is still alive.... (story)
ITV.com 23.2.04 'Shocking' footage to be released in support of hunting ban - Animal rights protestors are to release what they say is 'shocking' video footage of harecoursing on the eve of the Waterloo Cup at Altcar in Lancashire... (story)
Scotsman 23.2.04 Animal Rights Video 'Shows Hare Torn in Half' By Emma Gunby, PA News - Animal rights campaigners released today what they claim are “shocking” images of hare coursing in an attempt to have the sport banned.... The campaign against the Waterloo Cup is backed by former Spice Girl Mel C, vet Emma Milne, from the BBC’s Vets in Practice programme, and West Lancashire MP Colin Pickthall.... (story)
Pink Football 23.2.04 Vinnie’s blood sport row - Ex footballer Vinnie Jones, recently more famous as a tough guy on the big screen, is in trouble with anti animal cruelty campaigners for taking part in a hare coursing event in Lancashire.... (story)
Telegraph 21.2.04 Gone to the dogs - Vinnie Jones isn't letting Hertfordshire Constabulary's mean-spirited decision to revoke his shotgun licence - revealed by Spy last month - keep him out of the field. Next week, the close-cropped footballer-turned-actor will travel to Altcar to watch one of his greyhounds compete in the Waterloo Cup, hare coursing's blue riband event.... (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 20.2.04 Clarissa gets on course for dog race day - TELEVISION cook Clarissa Dickson Wright has entered a greyhound in the UK’s last major hare coursing event, it was revealed today…. (story)
Daily Post 20.2.04 Vinnie Jones enters dog in Waterloo Cup By Deborah James Daily Post Staff - ANIMAL rights activists last night branded actor Vinnie Jones and television chef Clarissa Dickson Wright irresponsible after it was revealed they have each entered a greyhound in the controversial Waterloo Cup… Last night Gregg Metcalfe, spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports said: "We are extremely disappointed that anybody in the public eye would want to be associated with this barbaric event…." (story)
Western Mail 20.2.04 Vinnie hares into coursing row - ACTOR Vinnie Jones has entered a greyhound in the UK's last major hare-coursing event. The former Welsh football international has a runner in the controversial 157th Waterloo Cup which takes place next week… (story)
Manchester Evening News 20.2.04 And that’s ‘entertainment’? DESPITE New Labour’s manifesto pledge, and MPs repeatedly voting overwhelmingly in favour of a ban on hunting and tormenting wild animals with dogs for sport, shamefully, yet again, the biggest hare coursing event of the year, the Waterloo Cup, takes place at Great Altcar next Tuesday and Wednesday… It’s high time New Labour fulfilled its commitment and finally banned this outdated cruelty. Edwina Fysh, Timperley (letter)
Liverpool Echo 19.2.04 Vinnie Jones dog at Waterloo Cup - FOOTBALL hardman Vinnie Jones will have a runner in the controversial 157th Waterloo Cup. Other celebrities who have entered dogs include TV chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright, one of the Two Fat Ladies… A demonstration organised by Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe is being organised on the new Causeway at 10am… (story)
Ananova 19.2.04 Vinnie runs into animals rights protest - Vinnie Jones has entered a greyhound in the UK's last major hare-coursing event. The former footballer has a runner in the controversial 157th Waterloo Cup which takes place next week. Charles Blanning, secretary of the National Coursing Club, confirmed that Jones was one of the owners listed for the event along with TV chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright. He said: "There are 64 runners in the event and Mr Jones and Ms Dickson-Wright are among the owners."… Tony Moore, chairman of the Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe, said: "This arena bloodsport should have been thrown into the dustbin of history years ago…" (story)
Ormskirk Advertiser 19.2.04 Protest planned - ANTI-bloodsport campaigners from the League Against Cruel Sports and other animal welfare groups in the North West are confident that this years' Waterloo Cup, the biggest hare coursing event of the year, will be one of the last…. (story)
Liverpool Echo 12.2.04 Ban coursing - ONCE again, it is time for that barbaric killing called "sport" to rear its ugly head. I am, of course, referring to hare coursing, which will be taking place on February 24…. The government should ban hunting with dogs completely and stop these barbaric acts from taking place on all animals in the name of sport. Barbara Stringfellow, Norris Green (letter)

Luton on Sunday 29.2.04 Clamping down on hare coursing- POLICE are getting tough on hare coursers.... Officers working on the project, codenamed Operation Aspic, are urging farmers and the public to report anyone they suspect is involved with hare coursing.... Richard Beechner, of the National Farmers Union regional Leighton Buzzard Office, said: "We welcome all the resources that the police can put into this problem that has been escalating in recent months...." (story)

Sunday Telegraph 29.2.04 Phytopharm hits back at animal rights group By Richard Fletcher and Sylvia Pfeifer - Phytopharm will this week become the first publicly listed biotechnology company to seek an injunction against Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac), the animal rights group. In recent weeks activists from Shac have targeted Phytopharm, a drug discovery company that hopes to develop a cure for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease based on traditional plant remedies.... (story)

Observer 29.2.04 Ten weeks to live ...and they're the lucky organic ones. In the time it takes to read this sentence, thousands of chickens will have been electrocuted, beheaded, disembowelled, stripped of their feathers and bagged for the supermarket. By the time you've read this special report, by Anthony Browne, you'll never want to eat one again... Research by Chloe Diski (story)

28.2.04

Times 28.2.04 Fox on the run - ROBIN LANE FOX - Several weeks remain of the season for hunting foxes. I am not too worried because in the past few months I have chased almost everything which moves. I have galloped after zebras and ostriches in Kenya; I have chased fox cubs in the Cotswolds and I have rounded up undergraduates in Oxford. Actually, it has all been a preparation for the really big hunt, a charge at a line of elephants, courtesy of Hollywood.... perhaps only Oliver Stone could have found a Health and Safety officer whose passionate pastime is fox-hunting. At home, he keeps four horses in the Brocklesby hunt in Yorkshire, and so his ideas of unacceptable risk on a horse-blanket were realistic.... (story)

Lancashire Evening Post 27.2.04 Harrying the harrier? A row has erupted over new plans to protect an endangered bird of prey. The hen harrier is the symbol of Lancashire's Forest of Bowland... Now a radical initiative named Operation Artemis is being put in place by police to protect the persecuted raptors... Countryside Alliance regional spokesman Tom Fell said: "The Alliance is completely opposed to any illegal persecution of hen harriers and fully supports the efforts of rural police forces in tackling wildlife crime. "However, this campaign targets one species, the hen harrier and one group of people, moorland managers, when there is no evidence to back the claims that are being made..."
Times 25.2.04 Witch-hunt fear over fight to save hen harrier BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - A POLICE operation to save the hen harrier from extinction has angered rural campaigners who believe that a witch-hunt is being mounted against them. Under Operation Artemis police forces will treat the persecution of this threatened species as one of the most serious wildlife crimes in the country. Penalties could include jail sentences of up to six months and fines of up to £5,000.... The move against keepers, however, has angered the Countryside Alliance which suggested yesterday that the action by police and the Government was part of a wider witch-hunt against rural workers.... (story)

27.2.04

Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 27.2.04 ECHOES OF JOHN PEEL - THE Cumberland Farmers' Foxhounds had their first meet at Brackenbank Lodge, near Lazonby. More than 150 foot followers and 25 riders supported the event which was held by invitation of Hillary and Stewart Burton… (story may only be on website for a week)
Cumberland News 27.2.04 WHY SUCH GLEE OVER KILLING SPREE? IT made me feel sick to read the article ‘Hunt pack goes where only foxes have gone before’… CINDY COLLINS,Warwick Road, Carlisle
HOW lovely it must have been for Hilary Burton to be on land not used for a long time and to chase foxes… She should go back to London…. ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN,Aglionby, Carlisle (letters)
Cumberland News 20.2.04 HUNT PACK GOES WHERE ONLY FOXES HAVE GONE BEFORE By Stephen Meredith - HUNDREDS of foxhunters, including dozens of children, who became the first to hunt across a huge swathe of untouched land in Cumbria, hope to make the event a regular fixture. On Saturday, the Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds descended on an area of around 7,000 acres near Lazonby which has never been hunted with hounds before…. (story)
Cumberland News 13.2.04 HUNDREDS HEAD FOR FIRST EVER LAZONBY HUNT - TOMORROW is one of the biggest days in the Cumbrian hunting calendar, with hundreds expected to turn out to hunt a huge swathe of land for the first time ever. The Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds will descend on an area of around 7,000 acres near Lazonby which has never been hunted with hounds before. The historic meet has been made possible by Hilary Burton, who moved from London to Bracken Bank Lodge, her husband Stuart’s family home, a year ago… (story)

Manchester Evening News 27.2.04 Time wasted? - DO the zealous animal right protesters, who stand outside leading stores, ever achieve anything?... I have watched similar protests against fox hunting, with hundreds of thousands of protesters marching in London. Yet Parliament still refuses to ban it, with a law that keeps getting shelved…. Their intentions are genuine, but are they wasting their time? Les Holt, Prestwich (letter)

Northern Times 27.2.04 Goldies, grouse and gamekeepers - all vanishing breeds ….I am normally an optimist but on this issue, the countryside generally, I am a pessimist. We have the most urban government in history, and an opposition that is not much better. Just consider two simple scenarios: the irrational attack on the hunting of foxes, and the blind eye turned to the mass torture of sea fish killed slowly by drowning in air. Now I accept that a degree of immeasurable cruelty is unavoidable in the netting of fish, but would that the "antis" in fox hunting reflect on the minimal pain in hunting… (story)

Sevenoaks Chronicle 27.2.04 BADGER-BAITERS SNARED BY POLICE BY PAUL DEVLIN - Four men were taken into custody after vigilant villagers reported a gang was badger-baiting in the local countryside. Officers from North Kent Police were called to Dalton's Road, Crockenhill, on Sunday afternoon and discovered the men, who have not been identified, close to a set with spades and four dogs…. (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 27.2.04 Badger group wants meeting by Julia Causton - SUPPORT is growing among some farmers for a badger-gassing and removal policy similar to one carried out in the Thornbury area from 1975 to 1981, which saw a dramatic fall in cases of bovine TB. But animal rights groups are heavily fighting any such action. Tony Dean, of Gloucestershire Badger Group, said he welcomed a meeting of all parties to discuss the problem…. (story in archive)

Western Morning News 27.2.04 Blaming badgers - IN response to your article "Bovine TB row heat rises" (February 23), I am amazed that farmers are still insisting on blaming badgers rather than examining their own failings in animal husbandry. There is not a shred of evidence (despite over 30 years of searching for it) that badgers spread bTB to cattle…. Jo Robertson, Bridgwater (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.2.04 IT'S NFU STUPIDITY - Sir - So the National Farmers' Union wants badger families to be killed by gassing them in their setts. How stupid can they get? Wildlife-friendly farmers must be appalled by the union that's supposed to represent them… Colin Davies Keynsham Bristol (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 27.2.04 DON'T BLAME THE BADGERS - We agree that bovine TB is a very complex problem and that something should be done (Post, February 19). However, it is not as simple as killing badgers… M J Evans, Field officer Swansea area, Glamorgan Badger Group. (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 27.2.04 Animal test risks From Michael Edwards - Garden Walk, Cambridge - LESS than two months into 2004, I have read reports of medical drugs causing horrific reactions as side effects.... All these drugs have passed animal tests - otherwise they would not be permitted. This proves the animal tests are ineffective in preventing drug danger... (letter)

BBC News Online 27.2.04 Scientists doubt animal research - Many animal experiments may be of little benefit to treating human disease, according to experts. Much of the research is poorly conducted and not thoroughly evaluated, say scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. They are now urging a systematic review of all existing animal research before new experiments are carried out…. (story)
Guardian 27.2.04 Animal tests 'poorly conducted' - James Meikle - Much animal research is wasted because it is poorly conducted and not properly evaluated, doctors argue in today's British Medical Journal… (story)
Telegraph 27.2.04 Experiments on animals should end, say doctors By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - Doctors are calling for a moratorium on animal experiments until their contribution to health is properly evaluated. Prof Ian Roberts, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and other members of the "Reviewing Animal Trials Systematically Group" say there is "little evidence" that the research has contributed to treating human disease, adding that justification rests on "anecdotal evidence or unsupported claims". The report was attacked by the Coalition for Medical Progress, an umbrella group of university scientists, research charities, patient groups, pharmaceutical companies and biotech firms to explain the need for animal research in biomedical studies. Philip Connolly, the coalition director, said: "This paper misleads in implying there is little evidence to support research using animals."… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.2.04 NO POINT IN ANIMAL TESTS - Animal experiments into human treatments are wasted because they are badly conducted and not properly evaluated, researchers said today…. (story)

Chester Chronicle 27.2.04 Time is short to stop trade - TIME is running out to stop an EU law authorising the trade of live ponies to European dinner plates under horrific travelling conditions. The deadline to stop EU plans for live British horse export is this Sunday and Paul Teasdale, the chief field officer for the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) in Cheshire, urges anyone who has a thought for the well-being of equines to sign the ILPH petition before it is too late…. (story)

Shropshire Star 27.2.04 Jobs go as centre shuts - Nearly 20 jobs were being lost in Mid Wales today as the RSPCA's Brecon call centre closes its doors. The centre was threatened with closure last year, along with the one at Shropshire's flagship headquarters near Shrewsbury, as part of a restructuring of the charity… (story)

Clevedon Mercury 27.2.04 LITTLE ROSE FIGHTS TO SAVE HORSES - A long Ashton schoolgirl has started a petition to support a campaign to protect horses and ponies. Nine-year-old Rosie Kernohan has been collecting signatures for the campaign, which is being run by the International League For The Protection Of Horses… (letter)

Wiltshire Times 27.2.04 Pigeon cull is not the answer - We are expressing utmost concern about the lack of communication with The Pigeon Campaign to sort out the problem Trowbridge has with pigeons… John Rees and family
When are Trowbridge Council going to come to their senses and adopt the pigeon control methods advised by the Pigeon Advisory Service… M Lillington, Priory Road, Hastings. (letters in archive)

Barnsley Chronicle 27.2.04 Politically correct gallery 'ludicrous' - MARK TUTILL, Summer Lane,Wombwell - I write in reference to the decision by the trustees to remove the animal paintings from the council funded Cooper Art Gallery. It appears that not even Barnsley is safe from the ludicrous and unwanted decisions of the politically correct elite… (letter in archive)

26.2.04

Scunthorpe Telegraph 26.2.04 CALL FOR BAN ON HARE COURSING - The Rspca has called on the Government to ban a bloodsport, which sees people travelling across the country to take part in meets within North Lincolnshire. Animal rights campaigners have criticised hare coursing - which is only illegal if it takes place on private land, without the owner's permission - saying it is 'horrific, sick and cruel'…. Local animal sanctuaries have also seen the problems hare coursing can bring. Richard Barnett, manager of the JayGee Animal Sanctuary near Broughton, said just last Sunday a gang of hare coursers had travelled to North Lincolnshire from the north east of England…. John Rolls, the RSPCA's director of animal welfare and promotion, said the dogs were not to blame for the sport - it was the owners who encouraged the 'cruel sport'. He said it was now time for the Government to ban hare coursing…. (story)

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 26.2.04 Hunt is called off after rider dies - LUDLOW Hunt's meet was halted at the weekend when one of the riders collapsed, fell from his horse, and died, it is thought, from a heart attack… A doctor, two nurses and another hunt member experienced in first aid were taking part in the hunt, and went to his aid…. (story in archive)

Derbyshire Times 26.2.04 PROTESTERS CLASH IN KIDS' FOX HUNT - Angry saboteurs clashed with fox hunters at the weekend during a meet organised especially for children… Fourteen saboteurs were arrested by police for various public order offences, but were later released without charge. The incident happened at Birley Cottage Farm, Cutthorpe, during a meet of the Barlow Foxhounds… (story)
BBC News Online 23.2.04 Hunt saboteurs arrested - Fourteen hunt saboteurs were arrested over the weekend at a meet of the Barlow Foxhounds in North Derbyshire. The group were arrested for public order and breach of the peace offences.... They were later released without charge (story)

Irish Independent 26.2.04 TD slates 'cruel' hare coursing - IRELAND'S "cultural cruelty" including hare coursing, the hunting of domesticated tame deer, puppy farming and fur farming of Arctic foxes, was condemned in the Dail by Independent TD Tony Gregory who questioned the Minister for Sport about the issues… (story)

North Devon Journal 26.2.04 FARMER BLAMES HUNTING BAN FOR STAG'S DEATH The hunting debate was thrust firmly back into the spotlight after an Exmoor farmer found a deer shot by poachers. Joe Floyd, 40, of Wilsham Farm, Brendon, issued a warning to the National Trust after he discovered a dead stag lying in the East Lyn River…. He said deer were becoming easy pickings for poachers as they were getting too tame and added: "I blame the National Trust who should rethink their ban on hunting. "We farm next door to them where hunting is banned. If deer were hunted they would be wilder, but on National Trust land they are easy shooting…" (story)
Western Daily Press 25.2.04 CRUEL TRUTH OF STAG 'DEFENCE' - I wouldn't trust hunt supporter Joe Floyd further than I could throw him. How lucky for him that he found the cruelly killed stag, so he could promote his ridiculous pro hunt arguments... Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Morning News 17.2.04 Value of red deer - IT was with great sadness I read Mark Clough's report about the magnificent prized stag that was killed near Brendon… While I admire farmer Joe Floyd and his fellow Exmoor landowners' commitment to allow deer, and this particular stag, to run their land, perhaps admitting that cutting off the stag's head to keep as a souvenir could encourage other small-minded poachers to kill even more deer. Surely farmer Floyd realises that Exmoor's red deer are far more important to the Westcountry than just animals that are tolerated for those who choose to hunt them…. Chris Davis, Hong Kong (letter)
Times 14.2.04 Prized Exmoor stag shot dead 'by trophy hunters' BY SIMON DE BRUXELLES - ONE of the finest stags on Exmoor has been found shot dead after being protected by local farmers for years because of its magnificent antlers. The red deer was shot through the chest but managed to stagger more than a mile bleeding profusely before collapsing and dying on the banks of the East Lyn river at Brendon near Lynton in Devon... Mr Floyd added: “This will happen to lots more red deer on Exmoor if they ban hunting. A good head like that can go for anything up to £1,000. I’ve cut the head off and I will keep it.” (story)
Western Morning News 13.2.04 DESPAIR AS POACHER KILLS TOP EXMOOR STAG - A prized stag that has been protected by farmers on Exmoor for years has been killed by a trophy-hunting poacher. Yesterday, the farmer who found the stag said red deer on Exmoor - the symbol of the National Park - would all become much more vulnerable to poaching if hunting was banned… (story)

Western Morning News 26.2.04 Stopping cruelty - IN response to the article "RSCPA investigation" (WMN, February 16), our anti-hunting stance is entirely consistent with our charitable status; this has been acknowledged by the Charity Commission on many previous occasions… Given the RSPCA's raison d'??tre is to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to animals, our opposition to hunting should need no further explanation. John Rolls, RSPCA Director of Animal Welfare Promotion West Sussex (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 26.2.04 CULL IS FOR THE WIDER GOOD - I WRITE in response to Andrew Tyler, Director of Animal Aid (News & Star, February 16.) Are we going to be to be dictated to over how we manage our wonderful Cumbrian countryside?... Experienced people who have a deep respect for the fauna and flora of Cumbria, using humane and safe methods, control grey squirrels. Why? For the overall well being of our countryside…. STEVE WOODHALL, British Association for Shooting & Conservation, Regional Officer, Northern Region, Milnthorpe (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 16.2.04 YOUR newspaper has been full of stories about “a plague of grey squirrels” and the alleged devastating impact they are having on the dwindling population of reds…. Animal Aid is writing to the Ramblers’ Association, to other tourist promotion bodies and to all leading animal welfare bodies calling for them to boycott Cumbria until this senseless slaughter stops. ANDREW TYLER, Director, Animal Aid (letter)

Highland News 26.2.04 Death traps on estate Cawdor officials deny setting illegal snares - ADMINISTRATORS of the Cawdor Estate have denied setting illegal gin traps uncovered by members of the League Against Cruel Sports. They say they are working with the local police to discover who was responsible for setting them. They have condemned the league for leaving the traps in place for days after making the alleged find…. A spokesman said: "Traps such as these are very dangerous, as well as illegal, and anyone who knows Cawdor Estate's well-publicised commitment to public access will reject these allegations…. "We are also very concerned that those who claim to have found these devices apparently left them set and ready to spring for two days before leading police to the site. "It would have been a simple matter to spring the traps by means of a stick, rendering them harmless until the police could get there, without tampering with evidence the police will need."… (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 26.2.04 ACTIVISTS ARE SUSPECTED OVER SNARES AT CAWDOR - MOIRA KERR - The Scottish Countryside Alliance has expressed concern over the circumstances which led to animal welfare activists claiming that they had found five illegal gin traps on a Highland sporting estate... Police say there is nothing to suggest any impropriety on the part of Cawdor Estate, which is helping them investigate how the dangerous traps came to be located there. Tony Andrews, chief executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, yesterday claimed that the people who found the traps were seasoned animal rights campaigners with the league with convictions for anti-hunting and animal rights activities. The league told the Press and Journal last night that Simon and Jane Wilde, who had been involved in the discovery, have a history of exposing bad practice, adding "so they are absolutely despised by the countryside alliance."... Mr Andrews went on to question how the league's findings had come at such an opportune moment... "Cawdor Estate is obviously concerned that an individual set these traps on their land, as all of their gamekeepers were away at the time so would not have found them for some time."... He claimed the couple, from Sussex, would have little knowledge of the estate and it seemed odd that they would know the location of these traps and were able to take the police to them.... (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 25.2.04 POLICE PROBE AS OUTLAWED TRAPS FOUND ON ESTATE - MOIRA KERR - A Police inquiry has been launched after illegal gin traps were found on a large sporting estate in the Highlands. Northern Constabulary yesterday stressed that its investigations were not centred on anyone at Cawdor Estate, the scene of the find, where a spokesman said the estate had no knowledge of how the traps got there... The inquiry was launched after representatives of the League Against Cruel Sports reported finding five gin traps, which have been banned for many years.... (story)

Scotsman 26.2.04 Anger at MSPs' refusal to ban animal snaring - JOHN ROSS - ANIMAL rights campaigners yesterday said they were disappointed and frustrated by MSPs who decided against a ban on snaring. The Scottish Parliament’s environment and rural development committee voted down a bid by Dr Eleanor Scott, a Green MSP, for a total ban on snares to be inserted in the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill…. (story)
BBC News Online 25.2.04 MSPs reject ban on animal snares - Scotland's deputy environment minister has promised to consider new controls on the use of snares. Allan Wilson was speaking after MSPs had rejected a total ban on the snaring of foxes and rabbits…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 26.2.04 COWS INFECTING THE WILDLIFE - I Refer to the article in The Citizen of February 18 and the culling of badgers. The fact that some badgers are infected with bovine TB makes it obvious that they have been infected by cattle!... JEFF MORGAN, Park Drive, Quedgeley (letter)

Southern Daily Echo 26.2.04 RESEARCH LAB BLOW by Clare Kennedy - A CONTROVERSIAL animal testing laboratory has been banned from carrying out research at a farm it owns in Upham. Wickham Laboratories bosses had applied for permission to change the use of Torbay Farm in Sciviers Lane so that tests on mice and other animals could be done there…. However the city council's legal department yesterday refused Mr Cartmell's application for a certificate of lawfulness submitted on behalf of Wickham Laboratories…. Helen Nelson of Gosport and Fareham Animal Rights said: "We are absolutely delighted…. (story in archive)

Guardian 26.2.04 Centre to cut down on animal research - David Adam, science correspondent - A plan for a national centre to research and develop alternatives to using animals in medical experiments are to be unveiled by the government. The science minister, Lord Sainsbury, said last night that proposals for a centre to develop non-animal testing would be announced "within a few days"… Wendy Higgins, of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, said: "We fear that a national centre for the 'three Rs' risks being hijacked by an agenda focused more on refinement and reduction than on replacement." (story)
Guardian 26.2.04 The hunt for another way - Animal testing is so controversial Cambridge was forced to scrap a brain disease lab. Can we develop medicines without vivisection? David Adam investigates… (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 26.2.04 Try real science - I DESPAIRED when I read that monkeys are going to be bred at Porton Down for medical experiments. Vivisection is a shameful relic of the 19th century and has about as much relevance to 21st century scientific research as the use of leeches…. I agree with Philip Beaven that animal experiments are unreliable … Andrew Day, Highworth (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 19.2.04 Proposed monkey breeding centre provokes anger - ANIMAL rights activists in Swindon have reacted with anger at plans to open a new breeding centre for monkeys at Porton Down…. animal rights campaigner Philip Beaven, of Upper Stratton, predicted activists would try to shut down the centre. Mr Beaven, who has attended several demonstrations against animal testing at Porton Down in the past, said there were about 20 activists in the Swindon area who would be protesting against the facility… (story in archive)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 26.2.04 Test dogs feel pain as well - Whenever there is a scandal about a pet owner cruelly treating their animal, there is always a huge sympathetic outcry from the public. So why then, when alleged cruelty is exposed towards the animals in Huntingdon Life Sciences, do people appear not to want to know?... Maxine Kaye, Westwood, Peterborough (letter)

Dartford Messenger 26.2.04 New battle over live animal exports by Caroline Chick - ANIMAL rights campaigners are preparing for a major showdown with a freight company profiting from live animal exports. Shipping company Dart Line Ltd, has come under fierce criticism from campaigners after a trial shipment of live sheep left Dartford Port last week bound for a European slaughterhouse… Kerry Burgess, campaigns director for Compassion in World Farming Limited, said the company's decision had generated a massive public outcry. She said: "Since the news was revealed we have been inundated with calls from supporters."… (story)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 26.2.04 Insect worth more than celebrity - I FULLY support P C Golders' comments in his letter of February 13 on cruelty to the insect population…. G M PICKLES, Highercroft Road, Lower Darwen (letter in archive)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 25.2.04 'Celebrity' antics were disgusting I SHARE, with many other folk, the opinions of P C Golder (LET, February 13), as a matter of anguish and fact about 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.'... Animals and other creatures are not created for entertainment or so-called sport -- bullfights, fox hunts etc. and pellet guns. J A MARSDEN, Scarborough Road, Blackburn. (letter in archive)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 25.2.04 Bushtucker trials totally needless HOW I agree with the views of P C Golder, Darwen (LET, February 13) that live insects and small animals suffer distress in 'I'm a Celebrity get me out of here.'... SHEILA BRENNAN(Mrs), Bombay Street, Blackburn (letter in archive)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 13.2.04 No excuse for creatures suffering - AS a lepidopterist (butterfly collector) I am frequently asked why I collect and study insects when I could be causing them distress. I am therefore amazed at the popularity of the show 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.' Viewers have witnessed torture during the latest 'bushtucker trials.' I am not referring to the contestants but to the unwilling animal participants whose suffering generates hilarity amongst the broadcasters and camp members…. P C GOLDER, Grimshaw Street, Darwen. (letter in archive)

25.2.04

Cumberland News & Star 25.2.04 PRINCE JOINS PACK FOR A DAY’S HUNT By Alice Ross - PRINCE Charles enjoyed a day out with a Cumbrian fell pack yesterday on a private visit to the county. The prince spent a day with the Blencathra Foxhounds and stayed with Joe and Hazel Relph at their Yew Tree Farm guest house in Rosthwaite, near Keswick, for the third time.... (story)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 25.2.04 Wildlife should be respected - In response to your correspondent Deana Jones, I can confirm that I do not have a diseased mind! In fact, I agree with Ms Jones that our wildlife should be respected and that is why I hunt.... Michael Keen, Himbleton, Droitwich Spa (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 15.1.04 Respect wildlife - Surely only a diseased mind would take pleasure in the torture and killing of an animal. I find it very disturbing to think that human beings are defending what they call their right to hunt and kill our wildlife for pleasure and business…. Deana Jones, Belbroughton (letter in archive)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 25.2.04 Can't accept animal pain - In his letter (The Evening Telegraph, February 23), Thomas Bromley of SIMR quotes Stephen Hawking as asking 'Why it is worse to use animals to save lives than to eat them, which the majority of the population are happy to do?' The answer is simple. The first, with vivisection the intended 'use', involves deliberately causing suffering to animals. The second need not ' and where it does it is also unacceptable, illegal and the majority of the population would not be happy with it..... S CLARKE by e-mail (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 23.2.04 'Testing helped save my mum' - In response to Gail Record (Letters, February 19) the other side was seen when I visited an animal laboratory ' just not the side that our opponents would want you to see, which is that welfare of laboratory animals is very important to those who conduct such work. The fact that animal extremists often feel the need to resort to violence shows how desperate and transparent their arguments are.... Thomas Bromley, Executive Secretary, Seriously Ill for Medical Research (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 19.2.04 'Other side wasn't seen' - I WRITE with reference to Thomas Bromley's comments… Well, Mr Bromley, I loved science, and when I wasn't in hospital and in school it was my best subject. Science still fascinates me now, as it did when I was a child. Through studies I have formed an opinion vivisection holds back medical progress…. GAIL RECORD, Peterborough (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 18.2.04 'Activists are not ordinary' - GAIL Record (Letters, February 11) describes animal rights activists as 'ordinary people'. In my experience, ordinary people do not turn up at private homes late at night, hammering on doors, shouting through megaphones, simply because they do not approve of the line of work which the occupant has chosen… neither do ordinary people pour paint stripper on to, or set fire to, cars in driveways, daub houses in red paint, send obscene letters, bombard innocent people with phone calls, and other such uncivilised activities…. V CUSTER, Peterborough (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 13.2.04 Technicians 'also ordinary' - IN response to Gail Record's 'Protesters are just ordinary people' (Letters, February 11), in complete contrast to the emotional propaganda of the anti-vivisectionists, so are the scientists and animal technicians I met when I visited an animal laboratory very recently…. my view is that the decision not to build a primate laboratory isn't a victory for patients with Parkinsons' disease or human health… THOMAS BROMLEY - SIMR executive secretary (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 11.2.04 'Protesters are ordinary people' - I READ with some amusement Brian Cass's comments about Securicor security… He described protesters as 'a few ladies with placards and a bit of noise'… As a 4ft 7ins disabled protester with one lung and an enlarged and damaged heart, as well as scoliosis (curvature of the spine), who has campaigned against HLS for five years, and been personally labelled as a terrorist, thief, cripple, arsonist and a bunny hugger by people involved in the vivisection industry, I find his remarks quite welcoming, as nearly all protesters are ordinary people quietly leafleting and organising demonstrations…. GAIL RECORD, Werrington, Peterborough (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.2.04 CONDEMN THE ARCHERS OVER CALLS FOR CULLING OF BADGERS - The Western Daily Press (February 19) states that the Archers radio programme is pushing propaganda, blaming badgers for TB. Can I ask any Archers fans who don't agree with killing wildlife for the sake of profits for dubious industry to complain to the programme's makers and producers? Can I also ask people to stop drinking cow's milk; there is great cruelty in its production, with cows forced into yearly pregnancies to make them lactate... Name and address supplied (letter)

24.2.04

Western Morning News 24.2.04 CHIEF CONSTABLE FEARS FOR HUNT BAN POLICING - SAM MARSDEN - The Westcountry's top police officer has voiced concerns about the impact that a hunting ban would have on her force. Maria Wallis, Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, told the WMN she was worried that the Hunting Bill currently going through Parliament could, if enacted, strain police resources and damage officers' relations with rural communities…. Alison Hawes, South West regional director of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said a hunt ban could turn a "law-abiding, peaceful group of people" into criminals… But Peter Anderson, South West spokesman for the anti-hunting League Against Cruel Sports, argued that in practice "very few" people would break any ban…. (story)

Daily Record 24.2.04 SCOTLAND FIRST: FOXHUNTING - Henry Mcleish - FOX-hunting dominated Parliament at a time when our people wanted to see us tackling things that directly affected them… I agree with the sentiment that hounds killing foxes is uncivilised but fox-hunting is not extensive here and is well down the list of the public's priorities…. It was simply more ammunition for the critics who sought to portray the Scottish Parliament as an irrelevance (story)

Worcester Evening News 24.2.04 Who's he trying to kid? N TAYLOR'S exchange of letters with John Rolls of the RSPCA has caused me to completely re-evaluate the Evening News' most opinionated correspondent… PAUL H GRIFFITHS, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 18.2.04 Setting the record straight - IN response to John Rolls' letter last month, please allow me to make one thing clear. I did not "outrageously" and "erroneously" claim that the RSPCA gave money to the Labour Party. What I wrote was "didn't the RSPCA bung a million into Labour's electoral coffers for just such a purpose?"… While Mr Rolls has told us the RSPCA wasn't involved, he doesn't deny a million was paid into Labour's 1997 election fund. N TAYLOR, Worcester (letter)
Worcester Evening News 21.1.04 The RSPCA has never given cash to Labour - LET'S get this clear - the RSPCA has never contributed any amount to the "electoral coffers" of Labour or any other political party, as outrageously and erroneously claimed by N Taylor in his letter… Our opposition to hunting, on the basis it is a cruel and unnecessary sport, is wholly in keeping with our aims to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to animals… JOHN ROLLS, RSPCA Director of Animal Welfare Promotion, Horsham, West Sussex. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 13.1.04 Astonishing range of opinion - I WAS saddened by P J Mayne's letter headlined "You never publish letters supporting foxhunting or Tories"… I would respectfully suggest that P J Mayne re-examines the "evidence." As regards foxhunting, what would be the point in "supporting foxhunting?" Those opposed to hunting cannot be persuaded by logical argument…. N TAYLOR, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 3.1.04 You never publish letters supporting foxhunting or Tories - IT is quite obvious that the Evening News is not interested in an open forum of correspondence in the letters page... I have noticed that you never publish anything that is pro-Conservative or pro- foxhunting. No other newspaper in the UK has such a jaundiced editor.... P J MAYNE, Hanley Castle, near Upton-upon-Severn.

Western Mail 24.2.04 How to enjoy shooting down a pigeon pest . . . Copies of the BASC Woodpigeon Shooting Code of Practice is available from BASC Wales, 01686-688861 or wales@basc.org.uk (story)

Western Daily Press 24.2.04 'FREE' VENISON FOR STARVING PEASANTS I honestly did not know whether to laugh or cry… Famously, a great Queen of France asked about the starving poor and food, and suggested "Let them eat cake!" Now Mr Bradshaw, our Exeter MP, says that he is "planning to encourage the public to eat more wild venison" that will be shot by his growing army of crack-shot culling-persons…. Tom Jones, Plymouth (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.2.04 SO GLAD I LEFT FARMING Once again the farmers are calling for the badgers to be culled… May I suggest that farmers should look at their own husbandry first…. Many farmers are known to dispose of new-born calves by knocking them in the head and throwing them into the slurry lagoons to decompose… When I was a young girl, most of the calves were sent to market when they were a few days old for veal but these days no one wants them and veal is almost unheard of. So please, before you blame the badgers, take a look at your own wrong doings… S. R. GRIMES, Sharpness, Berkeley (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.2.04 DISSERVICE OVER ANIMAL CLAIMS Outgoing Nfu president Ben Gill does himself and the farmers he claims to represent a gross disservice with his mish-mash of misinformation presented as a "scientific perspective"…. In 1982 the then Minister of Agriculture, Peter Walker, stopped all gassing of badgers after research at Porton Down found that badgers in setts died an agonisingly slow death that way…. The anti-badger lobby are trying to create panic by suggesting that badger numbers have escalated from 300,000 in the mid-1990s to as much as 800,000 today… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.2.04 WHERE'S PROOF OVER BADGERS? I Write to you in defence of the badger, to get this unnecessary killing stopped for good. I've heard of no proof being made public knowledge that badgers are the prime carriers of TB… And while they're at it, stop the foxhunting too. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Telegraph 24.2.04 Judges alerted to animal activists' internet threat By Chris Boffey and Christopher Hope - Two senior judges have been warned by police to increase their personal security after animal rights activists published their names and addresses, and those of close relatives, on the internet. Special Branch officers are consulting the Department for Constitutional Affairs to try to safeguard Mrs Justice Hallett and Mr Justice Owen, who have sat on high-profile animal rights cases... The offending website, which boasted that the judges were "not immortal - they do not live in fireproof houses", was closed down by the internet service provider Yahoo yesterday, but not before it had registered thousands of hits from internet users (story)
Telegraph 24.2.04 Animal wrongs - Scientists and support staff involved in essential medical experiments on animals have for many years suffered abuse, intimidation and violence at the hands of people who style themselves as animal rights activists, but who in truth are low-level terrorists. Emboldened by the failure of the Government and various police forces to show sufficient will in defending this scientific research, these animal rights terrorists have now broadened their campaign to target judges who have granted injunctions to defend the scientists from illegal harassment.... Scientists involved in finding cures for terrible diseases have the right to expect they will be properly defended by a government which professes to value their work. (story)
The Lawyer 23.2.04 Animal rights extremists target senior judges - Special Branch officers have launched an investigation into a campaign of harassment by animal activists against two senior High Court judges. The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is using a website to appeal to members to target the judges – who The Lawyer has chosen not to identify – as well as their mothers and mothers-in-law. Home addresses and phone numbers are also provided. The judges are being targeted after granting interim injunction orders stopping the activists from targeting certain companies.... (story)
Telegraph 23.2.04 Animal activists target judges By Christopher Hope, Business Correspondent - Animal rights campaigners have begun to target the mothers and mothers-in-law of judges who have banned them from harassing companies linked to the life-sciences industry.... The campaigners have set up a website giving the home addresses and telephone numbers of Mrs Justice Hallett and her mother. The site later gives the home address of the 54-year-old judge's mother-in-law.... The site boasts: "They're not immortal. They don't live in fireproof houses." But Greg Avery, a spokesman for Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, said the animal rights movement was not interested in judges' personal details. He said: "Somebody involved in the industry has set this up. I don't believe that it is anything to do with the animal-rights movement.".... (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 24.2.04 Boffins can get it wrong - REGARDING the letters for and against animal testing, the World Health Organisation decided that the human race was so important as to warrant the suffering of defenceless, dumb animals…. I have a great deal of sympathy for people suffering from serious illnesses. My daughter was very sick, and was given only a 10 percent chance of survival. And yes, at the time I would have accepted any treatment offered her, whether animal tested or not. But the choice should be there for us to choose…. SYLVIA PARTRIDGE. Eye, Nr Peterborough (letter)

Western Morning News 24.2.04 Ignore EU directive - WITH regard to the recent concern over the export of live horses, mostly destined for the European meat trade, a little logical thinking shows a simple solution. That is for the EU directive requiring passports for horses to be ignored in a similar manner to EU directives in most other countries… Dave Parker Lanner Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 24.2.04 LOBBY MPS ABOUT EQUINE EXPORTS BAN - I have always supported animal welfare issues wherever possible and strongly support the stance of the Western Morning News in seeking change to EU legislation to stop the trade in live equine exports resuming… Mrs I C Jennings, Bodmin (letter)

Scotsman 24.2.04 Fur flies as designers court controversy - Anna Smyth - Fur is undoubtedly the most controversial element of the world of fashion. At once it is heralded as the ultimate in luxury and elegance, an essential item for the dignified lady’s wardrobe, and scorned as the most appalling display of pointless animal cruelty… The British Fur Trade Association recently published a report that claimed that fur sales in 2003 were up 35 per cent on the previous year…. Nicky Brooks, director of Respect for Animals, is sceptical about BFTA’s statistics…. (story)

CIWF FOIE GRAS LETTER
Western Daily Press 24.2.04 WRETCHED TREATMENT TOO CRUEL FOR WORDS Mrs E Howe Yeovil Somerset (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 16.2.04 Obscene and indulgent practice - L. TWOMEY (Mrs), Belfast 14. (letter)
Post & Times 6.2.04 SHUN SALES OF FOIE GRAS - Gail Sayers High Close House High Up Road Leek (letter)
Evesham Journal 29.1.04 The folly of foie gras - MRS RITA HALL, Berryfields Road, Hampton, Evesham (letter in archive)
Leicester Mercury 26.1.04 YOU CAN HELP TAKE CRUELTY OFF MENUS - Mrs Ella Meah, Countesthorpe (letter)
Northern Echo 22.1.04 ANIMAL WELFARE - Patricia Ramsay, East Cowton. (letter in archive)
Keighley News 16.1.04 I wish to highlight the growing trend of restaurants, caterers and top chefs promoting the consumption of foie gras…. K RATLIDGE, Moor Lane, Eastburn (letter in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 14.1.04 CRUELTY OF FOIE GRAS - GEOFF POWELL Teignbridge (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 9.1.04 MAKING OF P??TE DE FOIS GRAS INVOLVES SUFFERING - Joyce Barkla, Majorfield Road, Topsham (letter)
Wiltshire Times 8.1.04 Stamp a out cruel practice - R LEVENTON, Brondesbury Road, Kilburn (letter in archive)
Croydon Guardian 30.12.03 End the trend in animal cruelty to make ‘delicacy’ - P Fenn Barnfield Road, Sanderstead (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 26.12.03 CRUELTY ON THE MENU D. Spencer, Dovedale Crescent, Belper (letter)
Northern Echo 22.12.03 FOIE GRAS - P Lightfoot, Northumberland. (letter in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 20.12.03 QUESTION THE PATE - I wish to highlight the growing trend of restaurants, caterers and top chefs promoting the consumption of "foie-gras". This so-called "delicacy" is stepped in animal suffering and exploitation…. Organisations such as Compassion in World Farming can supply literature to support their letters. Foie-gras is an obscene and indulgent food form that inflicts unnecessary suffering. MICHAEL N CORKERY Seymour Drive Torquay (letter)

23.2.04

IFAW WATERLOO CUP LETTER
Exeter Express & Echo 23.2.04 WE SHOULDN'T TOLERATE CHASING OF HARES FOR FUN - Josey Sharrad, International Fund For Animal Welfare (letter)
Shropshire Star 23.2.04 Time for a ban over hare hunts - Britain's largest hare coursing event, the Waterloo Cup, takes place next week at Altcar near Liverpool.... We eagerly await the re-introduction of the Government's Hunting Bill that will ban the cruelty of hare coursing, along with all other forms of hunting with dogs... Josey Sharrad, International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW) (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.2.04 REBUILDING A NEW WORLD From the beginning of time, man has hunted and persecuted wildlife for food and pleasure… This planet is overcrowded not by wildlife, but by man. A pandemic disease, capable of wiping out 80 per cent of the world population would allow the planet to recover. The remaining 20 per cent could then rebuild a new world. R Brown Ston Easton Radstock (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.2.04 CHANGE OF HEART AT THE HUNT - How nice it was to read Florence Jackson's letter, Hunt Greetings... A few years ago I met someone who has since become a close friend, but at the time was very much against hunting. Gradually, with no pressure from anyone, his attitude changed and he is now a firm supporter. I asked him why he had changed his mind, and his answer was that he had "come to see for himself", and found that it was the opposite of what the antis had led him to believe... Chris Weir Bridgwater Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 10.2.04 HUNT GREETINGS - My husband and I, and our collie dog, were walking on a steep, wooded path in the Quantocks when the hunt came into view… The hounds surrounded us, tails wagging and very friendly. The hunt passed us, waving a greeting. It remains one of many memorable times we have seen the hunt. Florence Jackson Address supplied (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 23.2.04 HUNTERS MUST KNOW 'SPORT' IS UNACCEPTABLE - After the appalling incident on February 15, when the Beaufort hounds ran amok in a farmyard, chasing cats and panicking pregnant cows and calves, surely it is time for the fox-hunting devotees to recognise that their idea of "great sport" is no longer socially or ethically acceptable... MISS KATHERINE WATCOX, Bramhall, Cheshire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 23.2.04 URBAN FOXES ARE UNLIKELY TO RISK ATTACKING A CAT - Regarding the alleged attacks by urban foxes on cats, Echo, February 18, in my 30 years of experience with foxes, including the operation of a fox deterrence service in London and the South East for the last six years, serious conflict between foxes and cats is rare.... John Bryant, Humane Urban Wildlife Deterrence, Plumstead, London (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 18.2.04 PET OWNER'S FOX WARNING - Exeter animal lovers are being urged to be on their guard against foxes attacking their pets. The warning comes from Wonford mum Nicola Ryder after her cat was left bleeding and limping after apparently being attacked by a fox in Ludwell Valley Park…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 23.2.04 Animals to be at centre of debate - ANIMAL experimentation will be the subject of a debate tomorrow at the Cambridge Union. Professor Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, will come faceto- face with Kathy Archibald, the director of Europeans for Medical Advancement.... (story)

Cambridge Evening News 21.2.04 Wheelchair terrorist From Gail Record, Werrington, Peterborough - I READ with some amusement Brian Cass's comments about Securicor security, which is severing ties with Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS).... As a 4ft 7in disabled protester with one lung and an enlarged and damaged heart, as well as scoliosis (curvature of the spine), who has campaigned against HLS for five years, and been personally labelled as a terrorist, thief, cripple, arsonist and a bunny hugger by people involved in the vivisection industry, I find his remarks quite welcoming, as nearly all protesters are ordinary people quietly leafleting and organising demonstrations... (letter)

Western Morning News 23.2.04 HORSE EXPORTS FIGHT TAKEN TO EURO MPS - LINDSEY KENNEDY - Pressure from Westcountry campaigners is to be brought to bear on Euro MPs in a last ditch bid to stop British horses and ponies being exported abroad for slaughter. A leading equine welfare charity is now urging Western Morning News readers to crank up the pressure on MEPs to vote for an opt-out clause and protect ponies like the Dartmoor and Exmoor. The plea came from the International League for the Protection of Horses ahead of the EU debate on live exports in March. (story)

Chester & District Standard 23.2.04 NEW ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP IN RABBIT FUR PROTEST - NEW animal rights group ´Voice for Animals - Chester´ has launched its first campaign this week outside a city shop selling ornaments made of rabbit fur.... Lucinda Pullen, 24, co-founder of the group, explained that members wrote to Nauticalia but have not had a response from the company... (story)
Chester Evening Leader 18.2.04 SHIPS’ CAT FIGURE SPARKS PROTEST - A SHOP in Chester has been targeted by animal rights activists for selling products made with real rabbit. Five members of the newly-formed Voice For Animals Chester set up outside Nauticalia, Bridge Street Row, on Monday, for a peaceful protest at the goods being sold inside… Lucinda Pullen, 24, founder of the group, said: “We sent them a letter asking them to stop selling the items or we would turn up and campaign until they do…." (story)

22.2.04

Eastern Daily Press 22.2.04 Hunt protestors attempt to disrupt meet - CELIA WIGG - About 20 anti-hunt protestors tried to disrupt the Dunston Harriers meet at Snetterton on Saturday morning... A Norfolk police spokesman said: “We got a report from the hunt to say they were concerned for their safety, and public safety. We sent a unit along to assess the situation. We observed throughout as far as possible and had use of a helicopter for a while to monitor things...." (story)

Observer 22.2.04 Secret lab notes reveal dog cruelty - Mark Townsend - Beagles have been gassed until they passed out in secret tests to monitor the effects of a chemical which was banned more than 15 years ago. Confidential documents reveal how the bodies of dogs would convulse violently during recent experiments at the controversial Huntingdon Life Sciences laboratory.... The laboratory, which is protected by a 10ft security fence, is the target of an intense closure campaign by the animal rights organisation SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty).... (story)

Sunday Times 22.2.04 Vegan invasion - Allan Brown in his ill-informed attack on vegans (Ecosse, last week) stated that while the nation coped with bombs and the threat of Nazi invasion, vegans worried about the availability of rice cakes, seaweed fritters and unpasteurised milk.... There are vegans worldwide and the value of the diet is increasingly being recognised. Christine Porteous Dundee (letter)

21.2.04

Telegraph 21.2.04 Country Life closes doors to Rod Liddle - That most unlikely of journalistic partnerships - between Left-leaning, anti-hunting former Today editor Rod Liddle and Country Life - has come to an end.... Liddle is philosophical about his sacking when Spy calls. "I don't know how Country Life readers are going to do without me," he says. "I suppose they'll have to go back to strangling foxes and claiming huge subsidies from the British taxpayer." (story)

Worcester Evening News 21.2.04 None of these polls found support for ban - FOR the benefit of K Hemming (You Say, Thursday, February 12) the record should be set straight regarding the organisation Vets for Hunting and an opinion poll carried out among the veterinary profession.... Totally separate to Vets for Hunting is the opinion poll carried at random by NOP amongst veterinary practitioners.... None of these polls found any support among the public for a hunt ban... JON BURGESS, Malvern (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 21.2.04 We don't kill animals, protest shop insists ANIMAL rights campaigners have vowed to continue protesting outside a Worcester city centre shop that sells fur - despite upsetting the store's staff with heated verbal exchanges. Employees from the High Street store, Madeleine Ann, claim the abuse they have suffered has been terrifying.... "One of the girls had some flowers delivered from her husband and she was told by a protester that they would look good on her grave and hoped that she would die a terrible death,"... Catherine Harwood, who was one of the protesters outside the shop during the most recent demonstration on Valentine's Day, defended their action and claimed the shop's workers also make derogatory comments.... (story in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 20.2.04 BEING VEGETARIAN IS A HEALTHIER OPTION I Was sorry to hear about Dr Atkins' death. However, I was not sorry that his obesity was the focus of so much media coverage.... Firstly, the Atkins diet is nutritionally dangerous.. Meat causes serious environmental damage, not to mention continued animal suffering through factory farming.... So, if you want to get healthier, help the planet and all its inhabitants (not just the human variety), go vegetarian. Jane Easton, by e-mail (letter)

20.2.04

VWH CHILDREN'S MEET
Swindon Evening Advertiser 20.2.04 Adults encourage the child hunters by Andy Tate - ABOUT 70 children aged three upwards have been out hunting foxes. The controversial Vale of White Horse children's hunt set off from Eastrop Farm near Highworth shortly after 11am yesterday. A handful of police officers turned up to keep the peace but in the absence of protesters their role was confined to helping hunters cross the road.... The hunt, which was out for about four hours, did not catch a fox. Countryside Alliance spokeswoman for the Swindon area, Bryher Golding-Barrett, said: "I was really pleased to see so many children. There's an awful lot of support." The Rev Bert Jones, of the League Against Cruel Sports in Swindon, said: "People can get exercise without killing foxes..." (story in archive)
BBC News Online 19.2.04 Hunt goes ahead - Children as young as four will be taking part in a fox hunt in Wiltshire on Thursday. It sets off from Eastrop Farm, near Highworth, and plans to cover miles of the countryside... (story)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 17.2.04 Four-year-olds to join the hunt by Andy Tate HUNTERS are preparing to take children as young as four out on horseback to kill foxes this week. About 20 youngsters are expected to attend a children's hunt on Thursday near Highworth. The hunt has been condemned by animal rights campaigners as barbaric. But the parents of children taking part say that it is just a bit of fun…. The Rev Bert Jones, of the League Against Cruel Sports in Swindon, who lives in Wroughton said: "It's absolutely barbaric…." Mary Ratcliffe, of Swindon Animal Concern, who lives in Old Town, said that he was horrified by the idea of children going hunting… (story in archive)

Mid Wales Journal 20.2.04 Council chairman denies hunt 'stunt' - The chairman of Powys County Council has defended his decision to hold a controversial fox hunt at the authority’s headquarters…. Staff were told late on Friday afternoon that the hunt, involving three packs from The Irfon and Towy, Teme Valley and Radnor and Hereford hunts, would start from county hall…. Howard Wright, of the Transport and General Workers Union, said Mr Van-Rees was abusing his position to make a political stance about hunting… (story)
BBC News Online 16.2.04 Fox-hunt anger at county hall - An union organiser has criticised a council chairman for organising a fox-hunt at the authority's headquarters…. Howard Wright, of the Transport and General Workers Union, said Mr Van-Rees was abusing his position to make a political stance about hunting… Staff were told late on Friday afternoon that the hunt involving three packs from The Irfon and Towy, Teme Valley and Radnor and Hereford hunts would start from county hall. "If we had known about this we would have organised an official protest at county hall," said Mr Wright… (story)
Shropshire Star 16.2.04 Demonstrators in hunt protest - Hunt protesters were due to gather outside Powys County Council's headquarters to demonstrate against a meeting being held today. Council chairman Colonel Timothy Van-Rees has called a meeting of three hunting groups to highlight the benefits of the sport and contrast them with the views of the Government which wants to ban it. The hunts taking part today were the Radnor and West Hereford, Irfon and Tywi and Teme Valley hunts…. (story)

RSPCA FACES CHARITY STATUS INVESTIGATION
Horse & Hound 20.2.04 RSPCA face charity status probe - The Charity Commission has pledged to look into a complaint about the RSPCA’s charitable purpose, political activities and campaigning over the issue of hunting. A letter from pro-hunting Tory peer Lord Willoughby de Broke and conservationist, former MEP and author Stanley Johnson to chief commissioner John Stoker raises two clear points. The letter asks whether promoting a ban on hunting is a charitable aim, and whether the campaign is being conducted in a way that flouts rules on political campaigning…. (story)
Western Morning News 16.2.04 RSPCA INVESTIGATION - An investigation is under way into claims that the RSPCA's anti-hunting campaign is in breach of strict rules on the political activities of charities…. (story)
Times 13.2.04 RSPCA accused of breaching campaign rules on hunting BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE Charity Commission is investigating a complaint that the RSPCA’s anti-hunting campaign flouts the strict rules on political activity by charities. The concern has been raised by Lord Willoughby de Broke, a keen huntsman, and Sir Stanley Johnson, a conservationist and former MEP who now runs a United Nations programme to save great apes. They claim that even if the commission decides the RSPCA is acting within its political rules, its anti-hunt campaign cannot be shown to further the RSPCA’s charitable purpose nor fulfil any of the legal criteria for charitable activity…. (story)
Guardian 13.2.04 Pro-hunt activists launch new attack on RSPCA - Tash Shifrin - The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is facing renewed attacks from the pro-hunting lobby over its anti-hunting campaign. Pro-hunt campaigners have written to the Charity Commission claiming that the charity's anti-hunting campaign breaks the rules on political campaigning, the Times reported today… (story)

Herts & Essex Observer 20.2.04 Anger at coursing - Fed-up farmers and residents met with police last night to air their frustrations over the growing problem of illegal hare coursing in Lindsell. Over the past few weekends, police have received reports of men with dogs hunting on the farmland around the village, but angry landowners who have confronted the hare coursers claim they are turning "nasty"… (story may only be on website for a week)

Western Daily Press 20.2.04 VACCINE ANSWER TO TB IN CATTLE I'm not sure what Chris Rundle has in mind regarding the bovine TB issue. We have had almost every variation including gassing badgers in their setts. Does Chris Rundle want the mass slaughter of a "protected" species and a change in the law?... Pamela Dean Whiteshill Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 20.2.04 PLEASE LEAVE BADGERS ALONE - My Friend who farms in the Cotswolds watched some badgers with pleasure during one of their evening visits. Three generations had farmed in the area - no TB! Instead of blaming the badgers, is it possible the TB germs could be caused by the blood and gore transported straight from the abattoirs in tankers, marked "hazardous waste" and pumped over farmland?... B. SMITH, Westbury on Severn (letter)

Cheshire Chronicle 20.2.04 Disgust as EU law opens the door for a sick trade By Maria Malatesta, Chester Chronicle - A THRIVING trade in sending horses and ponies from Cheshire to the dinner plates of Europe is about to take a sickening twist. Horse lovers in the county are being urged to join a campaign to block a new EU law which will allow the animals - including former pets - to be transported live many hundreds of miles to meet their fate on the continent… Equestrians across Cheshire are supporting the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) to prevent British horses, ponies and donkeys from facing journeys to European abattoirs…. (story)
Cheshire Chronicle 20.2.04 Live horse trade fury By Maria Maltesta, Chester Chronicle - There is a thriving trade in Cheshire selling horses, ponies and donkeys to end up as meat on European dinner tables. In this special report, MARIA MALATESTA looks at a new European law which would bring even greater trauma to these animals' final days of life… (story)

Western Morning News 20.2.04 SIGNS OF EU SUPPORT FOR HORSE TRADE BAN - The drive to secure a British ban on live exports of horses, ponies and donkeys took a major step forward yesterday with signs of support from the European Commission. South West Tory MEP Neil Parish is hopeful that his lobbying for a British ban on live exports could be successful. Mr Parish has persuaded Dutch MEP Albert Maat, who is putting forward legislation on the transport of animals within the European Union, to include an amendment which would maintain Britain's "minimum values" legislation… (story)

Wiltshire Times 20.2.04 Pigeon cull plan may be back on - A PIGEON cull could be back on the agenda after council officers said they were against turning elderly feeders into martyrs by prosecuting them…. Town councillors are livid with the response and are considering what legal action they could take to force the district council to fulfil its "statutory duty". Environmental health officers have ruled the pigeon menace poses no threat to public health while baiting methods are controlling the rat population… (story in archive)

Hunts Post 20.2.04 Trader says police chief 'capitulated' Report by IAN MacKELLAR - A HIGH street trader in Huntingdon has lodged a complaint against Cambridgeshire's Chief Constable, Tom Lloyd, and his deputy, Alan Given, for allowing animal rights protesters to demonstrate in the town centre on December 6 last year. Michael Harrow, a director of The Parsley Pot, managed by Sandie Harrow, complains that police failed to consult High Street retailers until three days before the event, that the Deputy Chief Constable erred in allowing the protest at the time it happened and where it was permitted and that Mr Lloyd "capitulated to intimidation".... He complains that those who decided to allow the protest were "so divorced from the consequences of their actions that they cannot appreciate the serious disruption that the march caused in the middle of a pre-Christmas Saturday afternoon"... (story)
Hunts Post 7.1.04 Protest over protest - A HUNTINGDON businessman has called the decision to allow the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) march to pass through the town centre "perverse" and accused Cambridgeshire police of being intimidated by protesters. Michael Harrow, a Huntingdon High Street retailer for the past 25 years, produced a petition signed by 76 retailers, against the route of the demonstration that took place on Saturday December 6. He has written to Cambridgeshire Police, Huntingdonshire District Council and Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly to complain against the decision not to re-route the march which affected trade in the run-up to Christmas… (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 20.2.04 Animal testing 'not scientific' - Over the past year, several cases where parents have been wrongly accused of child abuse have hit the headlines… it has been discovered that a drug, which killed 136 people, also caused children to turn pale and have breathing problems… These side effects and their disastrous consequences are bound to happen when a policy of animal testing is allowed to prevail…. EDWARD GRAHAM, Garden Walk, Cambridge (letter)

Manchester Evening News 20.2.04 Don’t do it! - IT was with dismay that I saw a Heaton Park fun day advertised in the M.E.N. For a second year, Annie the elephant is billed as an attraction. Please, please, parents, don’t pay to take your children to see this appalling use and abuse of such an majestic animal…. Mrs P Heydon, Northenden (letter)

19.2.04

Horse & Hound 19.2.04 Calls for Exmoor deer investigation - Isobel Walsh - The British Deer Society and the Countryside Alliance have renewed calls for an investigation into the management of deer at Baronsdown in Exmoor after an employee of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) was allegedly filmed shooting deer from the window of a Land Rover.... (story)
LACS SECRET DEER CULL
Western Morning News 17.2.04 NEED TO CONTROL DEER What a good fundraising letter from Douglas Batchelor (WMN, January 27) for his new charity Working for Wildlife made to appeal to those bunny-huggers out there. The hard fact is that to not control deer numbers is cruel as it leads to disease and suffering and damage to habitat…. Mr Batchelor condemns the culling of deer by shooting, so how come he has sanctioned so much deer culling on his sanctuary this winter? So many rifle shots have been heard by neighbouring farmers to the sanctuary and I have taped deer being shot and dragged away to the middle of the sanctuary. Gordon Pearce, Dulverton (letter)
Telegraph 17.2.04 Oh deer, oh deer, oh deer - A fortnight ago, the BBC announced - in a state of post-Hutton panic - that it would no longer go for "exclusive" stories…. On Sunday, John Craven's popular Countryfile programme broadcast a report on deer management… The report included an interview with Douglas Batchelor, chief-executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, who claimed that such culls are unnecessary. Batchelor made much of the "fact" that the league doesn't shoot deer on its own Somerset estate, Barnstown. Countryfile had been handed video evidence that revealed Batchelor's claims to be untrue before they interviewed him. But, following the new "anti-exclusive" line, producers chose to ignore it…. A formal complaint was yesterday sent by the BASC to the BBC's acting director general Mark Byford. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 15.2.04 Animal welfare body accused of hypocrisy over deer culling By Daniel Foggo - The League Against Cruel Sports, the pressure group which campaigns against animal cruelty, has been accused of using "illegal" methods to carry out culls of its own deer after a member of staff was filmed shooting them from the window of a Land Rover. Graham Floyd was videoed repeatedly firing a rifle at red deer at the league's controversial Baronsdown sanctuary... The league has consistently claimed that it does not carry out "management culls" of its 250-strong herd... Gordon Pearce, who was employed as a stalker for the league for 30 years.... filmed 11 apparently sick animals being killed by Mr Floyd since last October. The most recent was shot last Friday... According to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Mr Floyd's actions could be against the law... Shooting them from the Land Rover, which Mr Floyd is shown doing, would also appear to be in contravention of the Act which states that "any person [who] discharges any firearm from any mechanically propelled vehicle at any deer shall be guilty of an offence".... (story)

SOUTH WOLD BOXING DAY MEET
Horncastle News 19.2.04 30,000 will go to jail to preserve our countryside … The three letters calling us murderous sadists are also welcome. They are better than prejudiced apathy. The South Wold Hunt on Boxing Day moved off from the meet at Louth Cattle Market at 11am. We counted over 40 mounted, more children on ponies, all looking very smart and acknowledging the large crowd that had turned out to see them, many more followed in cars…. At least 30,000 of us will go to prison to preserve our countryside, wildlife and rural culture, to save sporting dogs, horses, hounds and wildlife habitat. HENRY H FOSTER Horncastle Road,Woodhall Spa (letter)
Horncastle News 29.1.04 Hunt protests will carry on - Just to point out that protesters were present at the meet (South Wold Hunt - Boxing Day). It was my first protest but it certainly will not be my last… OLIVE GRAYSON Chauntry Road, Alford
‘Poor turnout’ for the hunt - I have just read a copy of your paper’s account of the Boxing Day meet of the South Wold Hunt. As I, and some members of my family, attended this event, I am wondering if I was at the same location as your journalists?... It would be nice if just for once you would tell the other side of the story about the life-saving activities of the hunt sabs rather than glorify the murderous intentions of the hunt members…. S TILLSON Saleby, Alford. (letters)
Horncastle News 22.1.04 Hunt report was biased AND wrong - I have just read the article in the Horncastle News page 10 Wed January 14th 2004 entitled ‘Outstanding support for the hunt over Christmas’…. I personally attended this event and saw about 24 mounted riders and about 80 people, not ‘60 mounted and over 700 on foot as reported in your article’… J HOLLIDAY, Horncastle (letter)
Louth Leader 30.12.03 A HUNTING WE WENT - ON A BRIGHT, brisk Boxing Day, not a single protester was present in a large Louth cattle market crowd to watch The South Wold Hunt gallop away. Although the 59 riders - following a pack of barking hounds - were not successful, it was the biggest supported Christmas meet this decade. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 19.2.04 Head's rage at bird shoot day - A HEADTEACHER has criticised parents who allowed children to miss a day’s school to help out at a pheasant shoot…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.04 Pheasant shoot truancy criticised - A Suffolk head teacher has criticised parents who allowed their children to miss a day's school to help at a pheasant shoot. Dave Shorten, head of Stradbroke High School, spoke out in a newsletter to parents of the school's 350 pupils… (story)

LACS GREYHOUND RACING PROTESTS 14.2.04
Kentish Gazette 19.2.04 Bookies 'have responsibility to dogs' - PROTESTORS from the League Against Cruel Sports made their point outside a betting shop in Canterbury on Saturday morning. The six activists notified William Hill, in Dover Street, in advance with a protest letter, before handing out leaflets for about two hours in front of a large banner outside the shop.... Alexandre Egre, 22, the protest co-ordinator, said not enough money was being given back to look after retired dogs, despite huge profits being made.... (story)
Scotland on Sunday 15.2.04 Protest over welfare of greyhounds - DOG lovers have taken to the streets to ask greyhound racing fans to boycott William Hill until the bookmaker increases its contribution to the animals’ welfare. Members of the League Against Cruel Sports organised yesterday’s protest in London and other UK cities in an effort to persuade the company to give 1p for every £1 bet on the dogs... (story)
BBC News Online 14.2.04 Animal rights demo - Animal welfare campaigners have staged a protest outside a betting shop to campaign for a better life for retired greyhounds. Members of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) were campaigning outside a betting shop in Canterbury.... (story)

Western Daily Press 19.2.04 TB 'LURKS IN THE SOIL' NOT JUST BADGERS - Farmers' certainty that, despite 20 years' failure, simple badger killing will cure all their TB problems has blocked any further thought. Why, if their assumptions are supported, has Defra never released any badger postmortem figures?... The TB bacillus has been found in the guts of shrews, moles and even squirrels. How could it get there if not from the ground? It can survive for years in the dank and damp underground so farmers ploughing fields in which infected cattle have grazed may be storing up trouble, rather than cleaning the land…. E Overend Frome Somerset (story)

Warwick Courier 19.2.04 GAS SUPPLY STOPPED TO GUINEA PIG FACTORY FARM - Animal rights campaigners stormed the Calor Gas plant in Leamington and forced the company to stop supplying fuel to a guinea pig testing farm… One employee suffered a suspected broken wrist in the melee as he blocked the doorway…. Spokesperson Amanda Richards said: "We are not aware of anyone being injured, otherwise arrests or cautions would surely have been made. The police seemed fine with the whole demonstration…. (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 17.2.04 Protesters storm office By Sarah Portlock - Animal rights protesters stormed a busy Warwickshire company's offices yesterday making their point loud and clear. The 12 protesters, with blaring airhorns and blowing whistles, forced their way into the Calor Gas headquarters, in Athena Drive, Tachbrook Park, Leamington…. One Calor Gas employee was taken to Warwick Hospital after getting his hand trapped in a door, during the melee. The protesters were members of Save Newport Guinea Pigs, a group dedicated to closing down a Staffordshire guinea pig farm… Andrew Ford, a Calor Gas spokesman… confirmed Calor Gas had ended its contract with the guinea pig farm, a decision made before the protest…. Police said the protest ended peacefully and no arrests were made (story)

Western Daily Press 19.2.04 SWAN SENTENCE WAS TOO LENIENT - So Michael Barnett wrung the neck of a swan and then slammed its body on to concrete… It beggars belief that Geoffrey Harrison, Exeter magistrates' chairman, allowed him the lenient sentence of only three months…. Jane Somerset Cannington Somerset (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 19.2.04 I DO think grey squirrels should be culled as they give the parapox disease to the reds and will take over from them. TINA DALZELLTown Cross, Threlkeld
MY husband Gus and I think that the cull of grey squirrels is absolutely appalling. Nature takes care of itself in these matters. ADELE PROUD Skinburness Village (letters)

ANIMAL AID "CELEBRITY" LETTER
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 19.2.04 Animal abuse is not entertaining - CLAUDIA TARRY, Campaigner, Animal Aid, Tonbridge. (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 14.2.04 ANIMALS ARE SUFFERING IN CELEBRITIES' CRUEL STUNTS - Claudia Tarry Campaigner Animal Aid (letter)
Northern Echo 13.2.04 THANK goodness I'm A Celebrity... is over…. - Claudia Tarry, Animal Aid, Tonbridge. (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Post 13.2.04 Animal abuse that passes for entertainment From: Claudia Tarry, campaigner, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge. (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 12.2.04 CELEBRITY TV PROGRAMME SHOULD NOT USE ANIMALS - Claudia Tarry, Animal Aid, Tonbridge (letter)
Dundee Courier 12.2.04 Animal abuse does not make entertaining TV - Claudia Tarry, Animal Aid. 1 Bradford Street, Tonbridge. (letter)
Berwickshire News 12.2.04 ‘Celebrity’ a test of endurance for the animals involved too - Thank goodness I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! is over. No more animals will suffer in the hideous endurance tests known as (Bush tucker trials)…. The contestants may have been terrified by their close encounters with jungle creatures but the animals would have feared for their lives, too… The RSPCA has already voiced concern and Animal Aid is urging viewers who found the programme offensive or upsetting to complain to the producers… CLAUDIA TARRY, Campaigner, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge TN9 1AW. (letter)

Irish Examiner 19.2.04 Animal production systems unnatural - SOMETHING is profoundly wrong with the manner in which animals are now intensively produced…. Gerry Boland, Animals in Crisis, Keadue, Co Roscommon (letter)

Western Morning News 19.2.04 No live exports - IT is appalling that the Government does not support a ban on the export of any live animals, which are being exported for slaughter on the continent…. P Clayton, Saltash (letter)

18.2.04

Cumberland News & Star 18.2.04 LOOK CLOSER AT THIS COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE - IN reply to the arrant nonsense about fox hunting spouted by Tom Fell (News & Star, February 4), I would like to challenge his answers in turn: 1. The Countryside Alliance currently is little more than a replica of its direct ancestor, the British Field Sports Society, but with a more user-friendly name…. As anyone who has attempted to monitor a hunt knows, hunting is very far from “open”. Monitors are routinely abused and intimidated and physically prevented from getting film of kills…. The CA membership is overwhelmingly Conservative. Hunting is not a class issue, but nevertheless it is only still legal because it has been historically defended by rich and powerful vested interests – notably large landowners…. ALAN KIRBY POWA (Protect Our Wild Animals)Hayle, Cornwall (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 18.2.04 GIVE MPS A FREE VOTE ON HUNTING - Post mortem examinations of foxes savaged to death by hounds has quite put paid to the myth of "one quick rip in the neck" - in one RSPCA inspector's words, "Basically, this animal took minutes to die."… 21 organised demonstrations were staged at this year's Boxing Day Meets, including the Spooners and West Dartmoor meetings in a 60 per cent moorland country… Surely Dartmoor has enough potential as a wildlife habitat, eco-tourism and sustainable agriculture prospects, and National Park with such heritage sites as Buckfast Abbey and not to need this archaic abuse of wild animals KATHERINE WATSON Brammall, Stockport, Cheshire (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 18.2.04 RISE IN ABUSE BY CRUEL GAMBLERS Dozens of dogs are being beaten and abandoned because interest in an illegal form of hare coursing is growing in Lincolnshire…. The Lincolnshire-based Jerry Green Foundation Trust has kennels near the Humber in north Lincolnshire and at Boston which take in around 40 dogs injured by hare coursers each year…. (story)

BBC News Online 18.2.04 Firm defends live animal exports - A company's plans to introduce live animal exports from Dartford have led to threats of protests from animal rights campaigners.... Angie Petro, Kent Action Against Live Exports spokeswoman, said she was "absolutely horrified". The protester, who has already been arrested four times during demonstrations, said: "It's needs be as needs must..." (story)

Gloucester Citizen 18.2.04 FURY AT CALL FOR BADGER GASSING - Badgers could be gassed to death in Gloucestershire in an attempt to stop the spread of bovine TB…. But any moves to gas badgers in Gloucestershire would be opposed by animal rights' groups who say badgers are not to blame… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 18.2.04 CALL FOR BADGER GASSING STIRS ANIMAL RIGHTS ANGER Angry animal rights groups have condemned moves to gas badgers in the county… Richard England, from the group Animal Aid said: "This is outrageous. We will have to try to stop this. It is just not on. Gassing is a horrible way to die." Paul Richardson, from the Cirencester Animal Rights Group, said: "It is absolutely disgraceful. We don't agree with gassing and we will do everything we legally can to oppose it…." But Andrew Cozens, a National Farmers' Union member, with a dairy farm at Eastington, near Stonehouse, said: "We are not against badgers. We want to see healthy wildlife and cattle…" (story)
Gloucester Citizen 18.2.04 'IT'S KILLING FOR KILLING'S SAKE' Tony Dean, chairman of the Gloucestershire Badger Group, would be one of the first people to argue that the evidence against badgers as the main carriers of bovine TB remains inconclusive…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 18.2.04 'GUTTED TO HEAR COW NEWS' - Roland Blackwell's beef farm is closed for business. No animals can come on to the farm and none can leave after two cows tested positive for bovine TB a fortnight ago…. (story)

Petersfield Post 18.2.04 'Mistaken identity' pensioners targeted AN elderly couple from Petersfield were subjected to a terrifying graffiti attack in a frightening case of mistaken identity. Animal rights protesters scrawled obscenities including 'Puppy Killer Scum' in black paint all over the front of their house, the walls and along the driveway. But the two pensioners, who have lived in the quiet residential street in Petersfield for more than 40 years, have never been associated with any animal-testing companies and do not know anyone who is… (story)

ADVOCATES FOR ANIMALS "CELEBRITY" LETTER
Edinburgh Evening News 18.2.04 A worthy cause - WHILE I sympathise with Ross Minett’s impassioned plea (Letters, February 14) against the mistreatment of animals in ITV’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! it could be argued that, in this case, the ends justified the means…. given the millions of pounds raised for charity by the programme, on a purely utilitarian basis, the human and animal suffering that will undoubtedly be alleviated by the wise use of this money, heavily outweighs the suffering of a few grubs… Donald P Lamont, Buckstone Road, Edinburgh (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 14.2.04 Why should animals pay the price of mindless celebrity television? - Ross Minett Director, Advocates for Animals (letter)
Telegraph 10.2.04 Welcome to the jungle - Many people have been disturbed by the mistreatment of animals in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here … Ross Minett, Director, Advocates for Animals, Edinburgh (letter)
Glasgow Herald 10.2.04 Get cruelty to animals out of I'm a Celebrity - Ross Minett, director, Advocates for Animals, 10 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh. (letter)

17.2.04

Horse & Hound 17.2.04 Hunt supporters run the marathon - The Countryside Alliance is fielding a five-strong team at this year’s Flora London Marathon. Tackling the 26-mile course on Sunday 18 April, the team will be hoping to top last year’s fundraising total of £42,000 to further the alliance’s vital campaigning work in 2004…. Sam Butler, who chairs the Campaign for Hunting, is running the marathon for the third time. Josh Stratton, a Wiltshire farmer and Master and Huntsman of the Wiltshire and Infantry Beagles, who has hunted since the age of 14, will join him. Will Spencer is a surveyor working for Strutt and Parker, and lives on his family's farm in Northamptonshire. He has hunted since the age of four with the Pytchley Foxhounds, where his father has been master for the past 14 years. Charlie Watts has been hunting the Cattistock Foxhounds in Dorset for the past 15 seasons; he devotes his life to looking after the hounds and hunting, as well as having a passion for racing. Last but not least is David Fitch-Peyton, who runs a large stud farm in Saudi Arabia… (story)

Crediton, Culm Valley & Tiverton Gazettes 17.2.04 FOOT AND MOUTH FARMERS LAUNCH OWN GAME PLANT - A self-contained game processing plant will be set up at a farm near Dulverton as the owners bid to recover from the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak. Marjorie Turner, of Highercombe Farm, was granted planning permission to install the plant last week…. In an application to Exmoor National Park Authority's planning committee Mrs Turner stated that with the strong possibility of a ban on hunting with dogs, it was likely there would be an increased supply of deer shot by landowners… (story)

Western Morning News 17.2.04 HAS BLAIR COUNTED COST OF HUNT BAN? The wmn (December 29) refers to police funding problems influencing the council tax rises of last year and projected for this year… It would be interesting to know what the cost to the taxpayer in government time and money has been since Blair on TV unleashed the dogs of war against hunting… I see no animal rights activists picketing city council offices in protest about the long, slow deaths meted out to unwanted feral rats…. Edmund Shillabeer, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 17.2.04 Time mis-spent …If this perfidious urban administration devoted nearly as much time, money and energy trying to understand the complexities of the countryside as it has with pursuing ways to implement the controversial Hunting Bill it would have improved its demented mind as well as the lot of the indigenous country dweller to the extent that once more the countryside would become a vibrant and major contributor to the economy of the country rather than an extension of Hyde Park or a desolate wasteland. W T Sweet, Mawgan, Helston (letter)

Western Morning News 17.2.04 A SPIN TOO FAR - Two thousand five hundred pensioners will die of cold this year, i.e. of poverty. Meanwhile, all Ian Harris can think of to do with £2m is to try to show that something whose purpose is cruelty, isn't cruel. Hunting was designed with care, setting specially-bred, fairly slow dogs on an agile quarry, with the result that one animal can be seen trying to escape for hours…. Suing us for calling a spade a spade (literally) will be spin too far. R Dalziel, Tavistock (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 17.2.04 Sport and the Queen - I couldn't help laughing when I read the last sentence of Peter Bryant's letter in Thursday's Evening Telegraph, when he says, 'Her Majesty the Queen...is unlikely to support a 'cruel' sport.' Do I take it that Mr Bryant does not consider fox-hunting and grouse-shooting to be cruel?... FRAN WATTS, Peterborough (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 12.2.04 'Pigeon races are not cruel' - Your correspondent Mr W Richardson suggests that pigeon racing is a cruel sport because the birds are 'forced to fly ... huge distances to try to reach their young in the nest' (Letters, February 4)…. How can that be cruel ' letting the birds do what they do naturally?... Moreover, Her Majesty the Queen, herself with a loft at Sandringham, is unlikely to support a 'cruel' sport - Peter Bryant, Royal Pigeon Racing Association, The Reddings, near Cheltenham (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 4.2.04 Pigeon racing 'is cruel sport' - I read with some amusement the letters about foxhunting. Now I am against it. Not because I believe it is particularly cruel, but because of the arrogance of a lot of the hunting fraternity…. If I were still farming (and it is many years since I was) I wouldn't want them on my land because of the mess they make. On the subject of cruel sports, how many people have thought about pigeon racing? The birds are forced to fly sometimes huge distances to try to reach their young in the nest. They often die of ex- haustion on the way… W J Richardson Southwick, near Peterborough (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 17.2.04 HUNT SUPPORTER ADMITS THAT THE SPORT IS CRUEL - It really is most appropriate that I find myself penning this letter to the Echo on St Valentine's Day as, following nearly three years of feuding over the hunting with hounds issue, Mr G Paddon has finally come round to my way of thinking and we appear to be in agreement. Not only has Mr Paddon admitted that hunting is cruel but, for good measure, he has repeated his assertion (made first in Points of view, January 24) that more cruelty and suffering would take place if hunting were to be replaced with organised fox shoots… Dr John Pamment, Clyst Heath, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 6.2.04 SHOOTING WOULD CAUSE MORE SUFFERING TO FOXES - In reply to Dr John Pamment… What I did say was that if a ban was introduced to stop fox-hunting with hounds, more cruelty and suffering would take hunting's place with organised fox shoots. Mr G Paddon Pathfinder Village Tedburn St Mary (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 31.1.04 AT LAST, A SUPPORTER OF HUNTING ADMITS IT'S CRUEL - I did rather wonder how long it would before Mr G Paddon presented us with another example of his own brand of hunt nonsense. The answer was found in Points of view, January 24... For as long as I can remember, since I returned to Exeter three years ago, Mr Paddon has been banging on in these pages about hunting and what he believes is the right to kill foxes for sport.... Dr John Pamment, Clyst Heath, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 17.2.04 CELEBRITY CHEF LEASES SHOOTING RIGHTS - Poacher-turned-gamekeeper and celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has leased the shooting rights to one of the most beautiful parts of the Westcountry. The 33-year-old, considered to be one of the great chefs of his generation, has taken over the lease of Clovelly in North Devon…. (letter)

ANIMAL AID SHOOTING LETTER
Western Morning News 17.2.04 ATTACK ON SUCCESSFUL SHOOTING INDUSTRY - Nigel Davenport, Director Campaign for Shooting Kennington Rd London (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 16.2.04 EXTREME GROUPS WANT TO STOP SPORTS - Nigel Davenport, Campaign for Shooting director, 367 Kennington Road, London. (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 12.2.04 DON'T DEPRIVE SHOOTERS OF THEIR LEGITIMATE SPORT - Nigel Davenport, Campaign for Shooting, Kennington Road, London (letter)
Western Daily Press 12.2.04 ANIMAL AID AND RURAL TAX RELIEF - Andrew Tyler Director Animal Aid (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 10.2.04 SHOOTING CRITIC FULL OF PREJUDICE - If Andrew Tyler ("Tax those rich game shooters", The Citizen, February 4) has his way the British shooting industry won't be worth a penny and 5,000 gamekeepers will be seeking new employment in a rural economy already hard pressed by agricultural recession. Extreme animal rights groups like his do not seek tax income or redistribution but an end to country sports and legitimate wildlife management…. Mr Tyler's letter is drenched in prejudice not for shooting, but for people who shoot. He is not, however, even honest enough to admit its true purpose instead preferring attacks on an industry which is a rare success story in a beleaguered rural economy…. NIGEL DAVENPORT, Director, Campaign for Shooting, Kennington Road, London (letter)
Western Morning News 10.2.04 Pheasant revenue - Andrew Tyler, Animal Aid, Tonbridge (letter)
Kent/Sussex Courier 6.2.04 PHEASANT TAX IS THE ANSWER - Andrew Tyler, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 5.2.04 TAX THE RICH AND SAVE THE POOR Andrew Tyler, Animal Aid director. (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 4.2.04 TAX THOSE RICH GAME SHOOTERS ANDREW TYLER Director, Animal Aid (letter)
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 4.2.04 Why not tax game shooters? Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1AW (letter in archive)
Exeter Express & Echo 3.2.04 SHOOTERS GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER OVER TAX - Relief is nearby for beleaguered council tax payers in rural communities. Pheasant rearing is a rateable activity that seeks to exploit the rating-free status of agriculture. Last year, Animal Aid brought more than £1.5 million of pheasant rearing property into rating…. The British game shooting industry is worth £625 million annually. Come on Gordon Brown, tax the rich and give to the poor! Andrew Tyler Animal Aid Tonbridge, Kent (story)

Western Mail 17.2.04 Why a gundog is a hunter's best friend - Feb 17 2004 - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - Man's best friend? Possibly, but for someone who shoots live quarry, a gundog is essential - THE British Association for Shooting and Conservation strongly recommends that anyone who goes shooting should be accompanied by a trained and competent gundog… (story)

Western Mail 17.2.04 Massacre at the chicken coop - Some lessons are harder to learn than others. Liz Shankland is picking up the pieces after the worst fox attack so far… Last week I told you that a fox had finally - after three years - found a way of getting to the hens, leaving a trail of six dead bodies behind him. Well, he's been back, and this time he did a proper job. Gerry came back from feeding them and rang me at work to say there was absolutely nothing left; this time everything had been slaughtered, and in the most horrific way. "It was like something from the film, Saving Private Ryan," Gerry said. "There were bodies and limbs everywhere."… (story)

Western Morning News 17.2.04 ANIMAL EXPERIMENT RESULTS MUST NOT BE APPLIED TO THE HUMAN SPECIES - It was interesting to read your report (WMN, January 27) on Lucy the woolly monkey, who gave birth because "the contraceptive did not last the two years it was meant to, it lasted seven months." So - animal tests are not even reliable in animals, never mind humans. There's your proof… At least the monkeys, like Lucy, remain safely in their sanctuary. However, remember that even if veterinary treatment can go wrong, that extrapolating the results of animal experiments to humans is even more risky. Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Western Daily Press 17.2.04 ANIMAL TESTS ARE A CAUSE FOR HUGE CONCERN - The press has been full of stories about the creation of transgenic animals using GM sperm… My guess would be… that this is yet another example of scientists' blatant disregard for animals' lives in experiments that are unlikely to have a practical application… we must broaden the use of non-animal research methods which deliver far greater relevancy to human beings. Nicky Gordon Science Officer British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 17.2.04 CIRCUS: WE'RE NOT CRUEL BY GUY WOODFORD - A Travelling circus performing in Notts over the next three weeks has defended its record on animal welfare. Staff at The Great British Circus spoke out after pressure group The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) called for the public to boycott shows at the Japanese Water Gardens in Stapleford…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 17.2.04 END THIS SUFFERING Recently, we have heard that chickens are being slaughtered in Asia to combat the deadly avian flu virus. There is evidence that links the unnatural practice of intensive animal-farming with human disease… The best way to end animal suffering is not to eat them. Mrs Jean Bird. Harborough Animal Concern. (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 17.2.04 MUSICIAN IS FOUND DEAD BY TV WRITER - A City musician and fund-raiser has been found dead in his home at the age of 46. Tim Justice, who was best known for his series of fund-raising concerts at Colston Hall, was working for writer and animal rights activist Carla Lane in West Sussex at the time of his death. Ms Lane found him in his cottage on her estate on Friday after becoming concerned for his welfare. It is understood he may have taken his own life…. (story)

16.2.04

Western Daily Press 16.2.04 FARMYARD ANIMALS FLEE HUNT …. The Beaufort Hunt said sorry to farmer John Mastrangelo, of Horton in South Gloucestershire, who called the police after hounds "caused chaos" in his farmyard and panicked pregnant cows. Mr Mastrangelo said his family, which has farmed land on the Cotswolds for 60 years, banned the hunt in 1978… (story)

Times 16.2.04 Hunting Bills and animal welfare - Peter Hain’s assertion that the Hunting Bill was abandoned in “a dire and unconstitutional declaration of war by Tory peers” (interview, January 31) takes “spin” to a new level. If anyone “abandoned” the Hunting Bill, it was the Government. The Government controls the agenda, not backbench or opposition peers, and after only two days in committee (the Commons had over 77 hours), the government whips refused to allocate any more time... BERNARD DONOUGHUE (Minister for Farming and Food, 1997-99), ANN MALLALIEU (President, Countryside Alliance), House of Lords.
On Friday, February 6, government minister Alun Michael helped to “talk out” the Wild Mammals (Protection) (Amendment) Bill, introduced by Lembit Opik MP. This Bill would have protected all wild mammals from all undue suffering in all circumstances and was backed by many pro and anti-hunting MPs from all parties.... Do the hunt banners — including the RSPCA (report, February 13) and the League Against Cruel Sports — believe their arguments would fail in court? Yours faithfully MARK FISHER, PETER LUFF (Conservative), ROGER WILLIAMS (Liberal Democrat), House of Commons. (letters)

Western Daily Press 16.2.04 CAN WE STILL TRUST BLAIR? Thank you for the article Middle Way hunt Bill rejected By MPs. When this new bill was first mentioned I wondered why there was any need for it; I still do. We have a very good one, which has gone through all the various stages. The drawback, as usual, has been the House of Lords, which wouldn't even debate the Bill… Pamela Dean Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Shropshire Star 16.2.04 Examples of hunting cruelty not distorted - Our propaganda against fox hunting has been never distorted Mr Webster. 1. It has revealed nothing but the truth. 2. It has merely emphasised the revulsion we feel when reading that the Hunt shoot their hounds at a very early age, once their speed is impaired… Also your misconceived idea of bias towards Mr Dowsett (Boxing Day anti-hunting demonstration) is nothing more than a figment of your imagination or exaggeration… Name and address supplied (letter)
Shropshire Star 16.2.04 Complete ban must come on this cruel sport - Patrick Webster's letter "Losing the argument on hunting" (February 5) goes to some length to denigrate the good work undertaken by Roy Dowsett of the League Against Cruel Sports. That the anti-hunters were in small numbers compared to pro-supporters is not surprising in Newport on Boxing Day…. P Taffs, Telford (letter)
Shropshire Star 16.2.04 Letter in support of Alliance off the mark - The letter by Patrick Webster printed on February 5, 2004, in support of the "so called" Countryside Alliance just proves that Mr Webster completely missed the point. The letter by Patrick Webster printed on February 5, 2004, in support of the "so called" Countryside Alliance just proves that Mr Webster completely missed the point… (letter)
Shropshire Star 5.2.04 Losing the argument on hunting - The claim by Roy Dowsett of the so-called League Against Cruel Sports that the Shropshire Star adopts a pro-hunting stance is nothing short of breathtaking… in August 2002 when the Shropshire Star ran a week-long feature, The Future of Foxhunting, he was given a whole page of editorial to express his views…. What he is really admitting is that after years of putting up with distorted anti propaganda, the hunting community, through the Countryside Alliance, is now putting its case before the British public and is winning the argument. Patrick Webster, Newport (letter)
Shropshire Star 29.1.04 Concerns over this coverage - I am the Shropshire Co-ordinator for the League Against Cruel Sports and, as a reader of the Shropshire Star for many years, I have been acutely aware of the pro-hunt stance of this newspaper. It seems that on every conceivable occasion the reports written by your journalists show a marked bias in favour of this bloody and cruel activity…. Roy Dowsett, London, Group Co-ordinator (letter)

Shropshire Star 16.2.04 Not all in favour of pursuing this killing - I feel obliged to write to register my acute disappointment and disgust at the ever-increasing bias that your newspaper is showing in favour of the pro-hunting lobby…. There must be someone out there who would like the forum of your newspaper to express the views of the anti-hunt silent majority. Terry Shore, Muxton, Telford (letter)

Western Morning News 16.2.04 DEER CULL PLAN 'UNNECESSARY AND MISGUIDED' - PAUL ANDREWS - Animal wildlife campaigners yesterday labelled government plans to cull tens of thousands of wild deer "misguided and unnecessary". Nature Conservation Minister Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter, says he is planning to extend shooting seasons, recruit more stalkers and encourage the public to eat more wild venison in a bid to combat the spiralling deer population… But Working for Wildlife, a charity established by the League Against Cruel Sports, which runs several deer sanctuaries in the Westcountry, claims studies have shown that deer regulate their own numbers and there is no need for culling…. (story)
Western Morning News 16.2.04 CHARITY APPALLED BY DISASTROUS PLANS TO CULL 500,000 DEER Government plans to cull up to half a million wild deer were yesterday branded "disastrous" by wildlife campaigners… the charity Working for Wildlife, which runs nearly 30 deer sanctuaries in southern England, insists the animals should regulate themselves…. Dr Jochen Langbein, secretary of the Quantock Deer Management Group, is against a blanket cull. He says there should be regional wildlife authorities to manage animal populations and target problem areas… (story)
BBC News Online 15.2.04 National deer cull 'disastrous' - A wildlife charity has attacked the government's plans to cull up to half a million wild deer as "disastrous". Nature Conservation Minister Ben Bradshaw says deer numbers in England and Wales are out of control and causing damage to trees and crops.... But Working for Wildlife says the animals should regulate themselves. About a quarter of a million deer are already culled each year, but numbers are still rising.... (story)

Scotsman 16.2.04 Deer cull plan gets bullet from critics - CLAIRE SMITH - THE sight of herds of red deer roaming across the open hills has long been one of the finest spectacles in the Scottish countryside. But claims have been made that an aggressive new approach to managing the red deer population go too far… Jamie McGrigor, the Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, and spokesman on tourism, culture and sport, warned against a heavy cull north of the Border, saying that it was already being taken too far… (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 16.2.04 MP in plea over animal slaughter By Tony Harney - MP Colin Challen (Morley, Middleton and Rothwell) is pressing for and end to what he believes is inhumane religious slaughter of animals. He is seeking a meeting with the minister responsible for animal welfare, Ben Bradshaw, to press the case for more humane practices to be employed in animal slaughter in religious contexts and has received the support of 73 MPs for his Early Day Motion… (story)

Somerset County Gazette 16.2.04 Lessons of bird flu - EMILY MCIVOR Candidate for the European elections South West Green Party, 3 Summerland HONITON Devon EX14 8HF (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 30.1.04 FACTORY FARMING ENCOURAGES DISEASE The alarmingly quick spread of the bird influenza across Asia highlights two important issues… the factory farming of poultry will further encourage the spread of disease… Greens have long campaigned for proper safeguards in farming practice and want an end to factory far ming…. Emily McIvor Candidate for the European elections South West Green Party Honiton Devon (letter)

15.2.04

Sunday Times 15.2.04 Labour in new hunting ban bid EBEN BLACK, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - MINISTERS are about to clash with the House of Lords again over foxhunting, government sources have disclosed. They plan to introduce a bill proposing a total ban... The new bill is to be introduced within a few weeks and is expected to be received enthusiastically by MPs. It will then be put before the Lords, but only after the next stage of government reforms to the upper house has been completed and the remaining 92 hereditary peers have been excluded. The government believes that this could be before the end of March and the bill would become law later this year... (story)

Sunday Telegraph 15.2.04 Free the animals, smash up the lab and chain-whip policemen - this is the latest video game for children By Richard McComb and Renee Mickleburgh - A computer game in which players as young as seven are asked to destroy an animal testing laboratory is to go on sale despite being criticised as "irresponsible" by police and MPs. Whiplash, which is made by Eidos, the British software company that created the Lara Croft computer games, depicts animals being abused in a laboratory... Eidos, which supplies stores including Toys R Us, HMV and Virgin Megastores, describes the game as featuring "a shackled animal duo on a mission to escape and sabotage an evil animal product-testing corporation". It says that the purpose is to raise "positive awareness" about animal testing among children... (story)

Sunday Times 15.2.04 Vivisection - THE reign of terror experienced by the staff, clients and suppliers of Huntingdon Life Sciences and the real threat to the UK pharmaceutical industry (Rise of suburban terrorist has British scientists on the run, News, last week) can be attributed to two factors. The first is the spineless conduct of big financial institutions which seem happy to see pharmaceutical research follow their call centres out of this country, and the other is our current government.... Nick Roberts, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
PROMISES: Your article concentrates on the actions of a few violent opponents of vivisection... Before the 1997 election we were promised a Royal Commission to look into the issue of vivisection but there is no sign the government is remotely interested in keeping any of its pre-election promises on animal welfare... Marie Herbert, Brightlingsea, Essex (letters)
Sunday Times 8.2.04 Rise of suburban terrorist has British scientists on the run - The success of animal rights activists in halting a new Cambridge laboratory has led to increasing threats of violence, write Jack Grimston and Gareth Walsh - FOR the drug company executive, life in his comfortable village in the home counties turned sour one morning last summer when he was in bed with flu... When the man went downstairs he saw what looked like a minor, if mindless, act of vandalism. The car had been disfigured by paint-stripper. But the attack turned out to be just the beginning of a long campaign against the man by animal rights extremists who have targeted hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people.... One of his fellow directors has had it worse. His 15-year-old daughter was attacked by suspected Animal Liberation Front (ALF) activists on her way home... Core activists include Greg Avery, 37, a former tailor from Woking, Surrey. His wife Natasha Dallemagne, 35, also plays a prominent role in the group, as does his former wife Heather James, 36.... The government is trying to respond to concerns over the violence but its actions are viewed by many as too weak. Animal rights issues are particularly delicate as they have a broad base of support within the Labour membership. Before it was elected, the party was given £1m by the Political Animal Lobby to encourage a ban on fox-hunting.... Meanwhile, victims of the current harassment campaigns say they are getting little help from the government.... “Five companies had to pay a £250,000 legal bill last year just to bring an injunction to stop them being attacked. We have to fit our own security and my bomb-proof windows at home even attracted a tax bill as a benefit in kind. I’ll send the next bill to Tony Blair.” (story)

14.2.04

Exeter Express & Echo 14.2.04 MPS COWER LIKE HOUNDS WHEN WHIPS ARE ABOUT - When the ban on hunting with dogs is enacted, I trust Whips in the House of Commons will also come to an end.... The Hunting Bill must be enacted without further delay. John Phelps Argyll Road Exeter (letter)

Worcester Evening News 14.2.04 Anglers in a flap over birds - A "BLACK plague" of cormorants is preying on fish stocks in Worcestershire lakes and rivers. The gluttonous sea birds are not only eating coarse fish but also injuring many others and effectively condemning them to death.... The Countryside Alliance Campaign for Angling is urging anglers to call for a realistic programme of cormorant management before the situation gets out of control. "This Black Plague can also carry the ligula tapeworm from fish population to fish population," said director Charles Jardine...(story in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 14.2.04 KING OF THE JUNGLE - It's a fair cop, gov, I"m a human being/A member of the race that's all-knowing, all-seeing!... Raping the planet, laying other species to waste/Oh, the blind, stupid arrogance of the human race... The whole point of being human is to use our brain... To rise above the petty, the basic and the animal/And justify our title of the King of the mammals! MICHAEL HUDSON Chard Street New Basford (poem)

13.2.04

Highbury & Islington Express 13.2.04 ‘I’m backing Sharon’ – MP Chris - CHRIS Smith MP is backing a former animal rights campaigner in the race to succeed him as the Labour party candidate for Islington South. Mr Smith, who is standing down at the next election, has thrown his weight behind Sharon Macdonald (pictured left) from Birnam Road… (story)

Rotherham Advertiser 13.2.04 The hounds of Sandbeck - THE distinctive sound of bloodhounds on the scent will echo around the Maltby countryside this weekend. Horses, hounds and a brave human runner will take to the fields at Sandbeck Park for the latest meet of the Four Shires Bloodhounds…. (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 13.2.04 Reservoir dogs - It was good to see that a young reader (D&S letters, Jan 16) is concerned about our environment. It is a pity that the older generation of the local hunt do not share her feelings for wildlife and public. I travel to Cod Beck reservoir quite often to walk my two dogs and recently was shocked when confronted by a hunt in full swing with dogs running all over the place amidst the narrow walkways in the wood…. T SPENCER, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton (letter in archive)

Kent/Sussex Courier 13.2.04 TERRIER CLAIM WAS THE TRUTH - Correspondent Simon Wild accuses me (Courier, January 9) of lying to readers. He claims that I lied when I wrote that ??At no stage is the fox set upon by terriers?? in a foxhunt. In fact, terriers are never sent down into holes for the purpose of attacking foxes or ??setting upon?? them in any way. They are sent down with radio transmitters attached to their collars so that the fox can be located and then destroyed but only if required to do so by the farmer… If a fox attacks a terrier, as appears to have happened in the article to which Mr Wild refers, that is not the fault of the hunt staff member or the terrier… MP McNally, High Street, Tunbridge Wells (letter)
Kent/Sussex/East Grinstead Courier 2.1.04 HUNTING DEBATE - Simon Wild asks me various questions and I am only too pleased to answer. I thought, incidentally, that I detected a trace of sarcasm in his letter (Courier, December 19), but perhaps that is an ungenerous thought on my part at this festive time of year.... Finally, Mr Wild is right that foxhunters "are not motivated solely by a public service of pest control". Foxhunters go hunting because they enjoy it.... the pleasure of riding across open countryside, seeing their friends and the thrills and uncertainties of hunting.... Mike McNally, High Street, Tunbridge Wells (letter)
Kent/Sussex/East Grinstead Courier 2.1.04 NOT AS CRUEL AS THEY WOULD LET YOU BELIEVE - Like most sentimentalists Simon Wild finds it difficult to keep animals and animal welfare in perspective (Courier, December 19).... Dominic Webber, Chapman's Town, Heathfield (letter)
Kent/Sussex Courier 26.12.03 AS NATURAL AS ENJOYING MEAT - Like most sentimentalists, Simon Wild finds it difficult to keep animals and animal welfare in perspective... Hunt supporters enjoy following the hunt and watching hounds work. We are not simplypest controllers as he rightly suggests, but what we do is not cruel.It isas natural to enjoy hunting as it is to enjoy the taste of meat.... Come and join us at a hunt and you will see for yourselves that we are not as cruel as Simon Wild would have you believe. Dominic Webber Chapman??s Town Heathfield (letter)

Darlington & Stockton Times 13.2.04 Missing birds - Question: Where were all the birds from the Nosterfield Nature Reserve two weekends ago? Answer: They were either shot dead or terrorised on the Saturday morning during a half-hour wildfowl shoot organised at dawn by one of the trustees of the reserve. Yet again, the trustees have seen fit to use the reserve for their own, private "sporting" pleasure…. Let's all hope that the dead swan seen on the nature reserve last weekend did not meet its fate during that morning's "sport". M YATES, Nosterfield, Bedale. (letter in archive)

Wimbledon News 13.2.04 Fishing line ‘is killing birds’ By Jo Bowring - Wild birds are being killed by discarded fishing tackle left around the lake on Cannon Hill Common, according to Merton Friends of the Earth. Last week, co-ordinator Auriel Glanville said she spotted a dead bird dangling from a tree, apparently caught by fishing line. She also claims she found fishing lines and floats littering the surrounding trees…. (story)

South London Press 13.2.03 I'm foxed by comments - IF COUNCILLOR Dominic Thorncroft had conducted a little research into the history of foxes in London ("Stop these vermin", South London Press, January 30), he would have learnt that culls of urban foxes were abandoned decades ago because they proved counterproductive and enormously expensive for taxpayers…. I believe Southwark council's adoption of London Wildlife Trust's policy of deterrence is not only humane, but is also demonstrably more cost-effective than killing. John Bryant, Humane Urban Wildlife Deterrence, Tormount Road, Plumstead (letter)
South London Press 30.1.04 'Stop these vermin ...' PET owners in Southwark are calling on their council to declare war on the urban fox. Residents have said the increasingly tame foxes are stalking their neighbourhoods, attacking cats and foraging through bins. They say numbers are on the rise and now the borough council needs to bring in a culling programme…. (story)

Sevenoaks Chronicle 13.2.04 ANIMAL PROTESTS 'NOT TOLERATED' BY COURT REPORTER - A Gang of six animal rights protesters have all been convicted of intimidating people they believed were connected with an animal testing laboratory. The group, aged from 31 to 59, were sentenced together at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court last week… At the sentencing, held last Wednesday (February 4), Kevin White, 31, of Sullians Road, Redditch, was given two years community rehabilitation and Rylma Elaine White, 59, of the same address, received 18 months community rehabilitation. Robert Lewis, 56, of Herbert Street, Pontardewe, was given 12 months community rehabilitation. Gavin Mathew Medhall, 40, of Sellwood Road, Croydon; Paul Baker, 44, of Merlin Close, Wallington; and Debbie Vincent, 40, of Gladstone Road, Nottingham, were all given 120-hour community punishment orders. Three of the group, the Whites and Vincent, were also ordered to pay £450 costs…. (story)
KM-fm 5.2.04 Animal protestors found guilty - SIX animal activists have been found guilty at Sevenoaks court of public order offences after intimidating people they believed were connected with Huntingdon Life Sciences…. (story)

Irish Examiner 13.2.04 Name and shame callous puppy farmers - MALNOURISHED, mange-ridden and ulcerated — I refer to Neans McSweeney’s report on puppy farming cruelty (Irish Examiner, February 7). What stands out with this report is the absence and exclusion of the mention of the perpetrators. These callous, greedy people that are capable of such torture to defenceless animals should be named and shamed, alongside income tax evaders and criminal extortionists… Kevin Jordan, Village View, Clashmore, Co Waterford (letter)

Sutton Guardian 13.2.04 'Ban circuses with animals' By Steve Wrelton - The circus came to town a little earlier than expected this week as animal rights protesters descended upon Sutton's Civic Offices. Dressed as clowns, members of Sutton and Croydon Animal Aid presented a petition of several hundred signatures to council officials, calling for a complete ban on all animal circuses in the borough…. Alex Forrest, spokesman, said: "We want to see a ban on circuses which use animals for human entertainment…." (story)

12.2.04

Gloucestershire Echo 12.2.04 AUCTION RAISES OVER £20,000 - Hunt supporters raised more than £20,000 with an auction in Shipton Oliffe, near Cheltenham. More than 300 people attended the fundraising event organised by the Cotswold Hunt at the Frogmill Hotel…. The event was to raise money for the Countryside Alliance's campaign for hunting (story)

Western Daily Press 12.2.04 'OVER-SEXED' HUNT DOSSIER In the article, Showdown Of Hunt Enemies, you included a dossier of incidents claimed by the Countryside Alliance to have been perpetrated by antihunt campaigners… I log hunt-related incidents from across the country and believe that the dossier is a travesty, with allegations presented as statements of f act… I would very much like to see the CA try to provide evidence to back up its dossier, rather than its interpretation or imagination, because its first allegation is totally refuted by the hunt saboteurs who claim it is false and defamatory…. Peter Bunce Haddenham Buckinghamshire (letter)

Shropshire Star 12.2.04 Huntsmen or simply some city slickers? - What planet does W H Butler live on? I am referring to his/her letter in the Shropshire Star (January 20) regarding the so-called dedication of hunters protecting the animals they kill…. If you are referring to the Bushmen of Africa, or the Aborigines of Australia then, yes, they do hunt and they do conserve… Wealthy Americans and Europeans pay big bucks to hunt trophy animals in Canada, USA, Europe (including Britain), Africa, New Zealand, Australia, etc. They don't give a toss about any conservation programmes and have a limited knowledge about the quarry they hunt… Sandra Jones, Ruyton-XI-Towns (letter)
Shropshire Star 3.2.04 Claims on hunting are barely credible - Without a doubt WM Butler's letter, Shropshire Star January 21, is nothing more than a stupid attempt to support the hunt…. Is he also unaware of the letter from AC Milne who revealed the fact that hounds reaching the age of six or seven are automatically shot by the hunt, as age impairs their speed?... Name and address supplied (letter)
Shropshire Star 3.2.04 Falling into same trap over fox hunt row - The letter from Christine Edwards (Hunting for the "thrill of the kill") is yet another example of the poverty of arguments against hunting. I don't doubt the sincerity of this lady, but she has obviously fallen into the usual trap of believing that all who follow hounds must do so with the perverted intention of seeing animals killed. How wrong she is!... B R Lewis, Shrewsbury (letter)
Shropshire Star 29.1.04 Hunting for 'thrill of the kill' - Never before have I been tempted to write to your newspaper, but on this occasion, I have to. I would like to nominate Mr WH Butler's letter, on hunting as the biggest load of nonsensical drivel ever printed by you or any other newspaper I've ever read. Does this person, from another planet, really believe that animals all over the world are on protected species lists, because those that hunt and murder them, are, in fact conserving them?... don't try to justify your crimes against wildlife, accept that you and people like you, some how, gain a perverted pleasure from watching an animal, that you claim to love, die at your hands… Christine Edwards , Shrewsbury (letter)
Shropshire Star 20.1.04 Dedicated hunters' protection of animals In Europe, Africa and America the most effective conservationists have often been the most dedicated hunters. It is difficult for non hunters to accept this reality. They will not believe or understand that serious hunters etc truly love and protect the creatures they kill. In fact most hunters and conservationists share a love of nature not understood by the majority of anti-hunters…. W H Butler, Shrewsbury (letter)

Cornwall Packet 12.2.04 Could police stop the hunt? - AS the police are showing so much concern for the safety of the public at Camborne's Trevithick Day, can we now hope that the same rules will apply when the hunting fraternity ride unescorted into town to parade their bloodthirsty so-called sport and then charge across the countryside… I have on many occasions called at the police station and logged a complaint, but this has never been acted upon… B Laity, Wheal Rose, Porthleven (letter in archive)

Berwickshire News 12.2.04 DEAD BIRDS OF PREY FOUND ON BORDERS ESTATE - POLICE and wildlife officers have found nine dead birds of prey on a sporting estate in the Scottish Borders…. (story)
Telegraph 9.2.04 Dead rare birds found on estate - Nine dead rare birds have been discovered on a sporting estate in the Borders, campaigners said yesterday. The bodies of five barn owls, two buzzards, a tawny owl and a kestrel were found in a search carried out by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Scotland, Lothian and Borders Police, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Scottish Executive's environment and rural affairs team... (story)
icScotland 9.2.04 Haul of dead birds found on estate - A haul of dead rare birds has been discovered on a sporting estate in the Borders, campaigners have said... (story)
Scotsman 9.2.04 Rare birds of prey found dead on country estate - JAMES REYNOLDS - NINE dead birds of prey, including several threatened species, have been uncovered at a sporting estate in the Borders after a raid by police and conservation organisations. The bodies of five barn owls, two buzzards, one tawny owl and one kestrel were discovered on estate premises after a search by RSPB Scotland, Lothian and Borders Police, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and officers from the Executive’s environment and rural affairs department.... The Duke of Buccleuch, who in the past has attacked the RSPB for exaggerating the poisoning problem, said: "I was shocked by the report and hope the perpetrator is swiftly brought to justice..." (story)

Worcester Evening News 12.2.04 Mass slaughter at top country estate illegal - AN undercover investigation has revealed birds of prey are being illegally killed at a Worcestershire shooting estate, say wildlife conservationists. The League Against Cruel Sports claims gamekeepers employed by Huddington Estate, near Worcester - one of the Midlands top pheasant shooting grounds - are slaughtering hundreds of wild animals…. (story in archive)

Belfast Telegraph 12.2.04 The killing grounds ... By Brendan McDaid - INVESTIGATORS have uncovered a macabre badger-baiting ring, driven by underground criminals betting thousands of pounds on ritual cage slayings, the Belfast Telegraph can today reveal… The Telegraph yesterday shadowed a joint PSNI/ USPCA swoop on a Co Derry farm which was conducted after a tip-off that the horrific practice was taking place there… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 12.2.04 Police quiz badger bait suspect - A 29-YEAR-OLD man is facing prosecution over the badger-baiting scenes that shocked Northern Ireland, it can be revealed today. Police and the USPCA launched a manhunt this week after an individual was secretly videoed holding a badger while it was being savaged by a terrier… (story)
Belfast Telegraph 11.2.04 Badger baiter identified By David Gordon - THE net was today tightening on the prime suspect in the Co Down badger baiting investigation… USPCA chief executive Stephen Philpott today said: "We now know who this man is and we are calling on him to give himself up to police."… (story)
Belfast Telegraph 10.2.04 USPCA seeks help in badger horror By David Gordon - THE USPCA today issued a fresh appeal for information on the prime suspect in a sickening badger cruelty case. As the Belfast Telegraph revealed yesterday, the charity has obtained disturbing footage of a badger being viciously attacked by a terrier…. (story)
Belfast Telegraph 9.2.04 Badger baiting caught on video By David Gordon - POLICE and the USPCA today issued an urgent appeal for information after a shocking badger baiting incident in Co Down. The animal welfare charity was preparing to release disturbing video footage shot yesterday in an area of countryside between Portaferry and Kircubbin… (story)

Canary Wharf Weekly 12.2.04 BANKERS NAMED ON ANIMAL RIGHTS SITE - State St staff and loved ones targeted by group - Allison Martin - ANIMAL rights campaigners are inciting personal attacks against staff at State Street. A group called No Justice, Just Us published personal details of the Wharf bank's staff on the internet because of alleged links with animal research laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS)…. In a chilling message to supporters, it says: "Make the b*stards pay. You will find after the list is a selection of tips and tricks for smashing the monsters who must pay for murdering the animals at HLS,"…. Robin Webb, press officer for the Animal Liberation Front, said the website had most likely been closed down by the FBI or a similar authority… SHAC claims not to be involved with No Justice, Just Us… (story)

Leicester Mercury 12.2.04 LET'S PITY THE POOR ANIMALS - I must protest in the strongest possible terms at the ill treatment of Australian wildlife. How demeaning for snakes, lizards, maggots and the like to be subjected to this awful public debasement. What is the RSPCA going to do about it?... What have these defenceless creatures done to be suddenly confronted by two characters called "Ant and Dec" and a cast of strange people?... John Roworth, Countesthorpe (letter)

Wharfedale Observer 12.2.04 I write in support of Sue Maybury's letter (Vegan diet, January 8)…. We now know how to prevent many of the diseases that plague our society, yet the eating habits of most of us have not adjusted to reflect this new understanding… Barbara Bullock, 2 St. James' Road, Ilkley (letter in archive)
Wharfedale Observer 8.1.04 Vegan diet - We all know as we age, our skeletons become more brittle and liable to fracture, especially females…. Research studies going back more than 20 years of millions of Chinese peasants who consumed predominantly vegan diets showed that even though they consumed no dairy produce at all, the incidence of hip fractures was a sixth that of the affluent dairy and meat-eating Western populations… SUE MAYBURY, The Mistal, Eastfield Lane, Burley-in-Wharfedale (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 12.2.04 Lack of shelter NO creature, except those under the control of man, has to endure winters without shelter. All wild animals and birds shelter under ground, in hedges, trees, etc. Only domestic animals are trapped in fields without access to shelter from driving rain, cold and wind…. It is beyond my comprehension how a so-called civilised society can allow this to continue and how farmers can continue to deny these animals any shelter. M Graham, Torquay (letter)

11.2.04

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 11.2.04 Hunt polls vindicated - Arecent correspondent, Janet Cummings (January 14) queried the Countryside Alliance's claim that 59 per cent of the public are not in favour of a hunting ban… In December 2002 a poll was commissioned from the respected NOP organisation. Members of the public were given three options that were the same options (self-regulation, hunting under licence, and an outright ban) on which MP's were asked to vote when there was a free vote in the Commons. I don't think you could put a more appropriate set of questions to the public, since this is what their elected representatives were asked to vote upon. The result is supported by six other polls carried out by NOP, YOUGOV and ICM since March 2002, none of which show a majority for a ban on hunting… As for Janet Cummings' reference to what happens out hunting, she has obviously never been!... Mr D Beasley, Meadow Road, Catshill, Bromsgrove (letter in archive)
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 14.1.04 Statistics and damn lies? At the fox hunt meet on Boxing day in Droitwich Spa, animal rights campaigners questioned the posters saying "59 per cent agree with hunting", as we strongly suspect that the survey was carried out among 1,000 members of the Countryside Alliance… Horses suffer awful injuries in jumping hedges and fences and those killed are often fed to the hounds. It is a barbaric pastime! Janet Cummings Rugby (letter in archive)

Glasgow Herald 11.2.04 Abuse of animals - ALL your correspondents (February 10) on the question of abuse and misuse of animals raise legitimate points of debate with the exception of one who seeks to trivialise the issue…. a caged-hen farmer of my acquaintance tells me that his hens "lie down and die" at the rate of around 50 per week, and who can blame them as we might well be tempted to do the same if incarcerated in a cage the size of ourselves for most of our lives?... perhaps we can move on from killing living creatures for fun and breeding them barbarously for a quick buck… Alan Clayton, Westfield, Letters Way, Strathlachlan, Argyll. (letter)
Glasgow Herald 10.2.04 - Alan Clayton attempts to draw parallels between pigs going to market in Vietnam and pheasant shooting in Argyll. I admire his inventiveness, but not his understanding of game bird management. He refers to the "fast-breeding of pheasants", something that over 150 years of dedicated gamekeepering has never achieved…. Mr Clayton's description of what happens on a pheasant shoot bears little resemblance to reality. I just hope that he knows more about farming practices in Vietnam. Dr Colin B Shedden, director Scotland, British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Trochry, Dunkeld.
OUR transporters of livestock must jump through countless physical and paper hoops to gain permission to transport animals; elsewhere it would seem the animals are the contortionists… Intensively-reared pheasants, when released, seek to disperse over the countryside. They seek food, are used to the close proximity of mankind, indeed recognise the benefits, and so are often found near sheep or cattle troughs or wander into livestock buildings, from who knows where, or with whom they last dined, to share a meal, and no doubt leave a calling card, with their highly traceable, regulated and inspected host livestock…. Tom Gray, West Park, Braco, Perthshire. (letters)
Glasgow Herald 9.2.04 To protect pigs and fast-bred pheasants - I WAS appalled, utterly appalled, at the picture of a Vietnamese farmer taking his pigs to a market… There are, of course, many other areas of abuse and here in Argyll, for example, as in much of Scotland there is a developing "sport" that involves the fast-breeding of pheasants in captivity then releasing them in droves while totally disoriented for individuals to have live target-practice with… The Scottish Parliament has really scratched the surface in legislating in the area of animal "sports" and in farming practices. Alan Clayton, Westfield, Letters Way, Strathlachlan. (letter)

Newcastle Journal 11.2.04 Lucy fishing for a female angle By Dave Black, The Journal - Lucy Bowden is casting a line into cyberspace in an effort to overthrow the traditional male dominance of her sport. A-level student Lucy has been a devotee of fly fishing for almost seven years, but she has never met another teenage female enthusiast…. Now Lucy is planning to launch her own website in an attempt to reel in other teenage girls in the UK who she is convinced must share her passion… (story)

HLS COMPLAINS TO DPP OF LACK OF ACTION AGAINST VIOLENT PROTESTERS
Hunts Post 11.2.04 HLS threatens civil action - MEDICAL research company, Huntingdon Life Sciences may start private prosecutions against animal rights protesters the company said this week…. (story)
BBC News Online 9.2.04 Legal threat to animal activists - A Cambridgeshire laboratory could use private prosecutions to prevent animal activists from allegedly targeting its staff, suppliers and customers. Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) has complained to the Director of Public Prosecutions about a lack of action against "violent" protesters…. Animal rights campaigners said they did not know who was behind the violence and they supported legitimate, peaceful protests… (story)
Cambridge Evening News 9.2.04 HLS aims to target animal protesters - HUNTINGDON Life Sciences is preparing private prosecutions against animal rights protesters it says are harming its business. The company wrote to Ken Macdonald, director of public prosecutions, last week complaining about the lack of action against demonstrators who are driving away customers and suppliers… HLS, in Woolley Road, Alconbury, says it has evidence against campaign group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac), but no action is being taken…. Natasha Avery, of Shac, said the move smacked of desperation…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 8.2.04 We'll see animal militants in court, says Huntingdon By Andrew Alderson, Chief Reporter - Huntingdon Life Sciences is preparing private prosecutions against militant animal rights protesters because it is not getting enough protection from the law. Andrew Baker, the head of Europe's largest contract testing laboratory, wrote to Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, last week complaining at the lack of action against violent demonstrators who are harming his business by driving away suppliers and customers.... Shac was formed by Greg Avery, his former wife Heather James and his current wife Natasha Avery: all committed animal rights activists who maintain that they are not linked with the illegal activities of the Animal Liberation Front. The trio, however, have served one-year jail terms for conspiracy to incite public nuisance... (story)

Cambridge Evening News 11.2.04 No, protesters aren't cruel From Doreen Bennett Haslingfield Road, Harlton - WHO is cruel (Letters, February 3)? My husband was diagnosed as having dementia four years ago and since then I have been his main carer…. What gives humans the right to inflict such pain and suffering? No, Mr and Mrs Elliott, it is not the protesters who are cruel, but those who believe that living animals can be used by humans in this way…. (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 3.2.04 Activists are cruel From Audrey and Courtenay Elliott, Church Road, Hauxton - HOW can animal rights activists be so cruel? Yes, cruel. We write, respectively, as a sufferer from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and as a carer. The future prospects for many such as us are grim unless research workers find improved treatments, and perhaps cures, for these and similar horrible diseases of the brain and nervous system…. You should ask yourselves if your priorities are right in stopping or delaying construction of the proposed primate research laboratory here in Cambridge which could lead to improved treatments, and possibly cures, for those humans who suffer such lifelong torment…. Please call off your campaign. >(letter)

Cambridge Evening News 11.2.04 It's big business From Mrs S P Watson, Harding Way, Histon - RE THE letter from Mrs Ardley, Swavesey ("Lab news is bad", Letters, February 2):… Either she is incredibly naive or deliberately burying her head in the sand. We all saw on TV the video taken undercover at HLS of the two men enjoying being cruel to the beagles…. (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 2.2.04 Lab news is bad From (Mrs) Margaret Ardley, Swavesey - IT WAS with sadness and frustration that I read the front page article headed "Monkey Lab is Axed" (News, January 27). My husband, like many others in our region, has been battling against Parkinson's disease for almost 12 years and my mother has dementia…. Should we not be guided by experts in medical science rather than by activists? (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 11.2.04 Their responsibility From Christopher O'Cornell - Russell Court, Cambridge - THE failure of Cambridge University to build its monkey lab is in a great part its own fault. It failed to convince the Government inspector that it was in the national interest. Perhaps if all the scientists, including Prof Colin Blackmoor, who complains that the lab is not now going ahead, had given evidence to the inquiry the outcome might have been different for the university…. (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 11.2.04 Not extremists From Margaret Wright, Lead Green- Party Euro candidate for the Eastern Region, Corona Road, Cambridge - THE decision by Cambridge University to stop its plans for a primate research facility is welcomed by Eastern Region Green Party. But we would question why coverage of the debate surrounding primate research always seems to include references to those opposing animal experiments as "extremists"…. Cambridge University has cancelled its primate research centre not because the public is against it, or because it is morally repreensible, but because of money; hardly a surprise in the multibillion dollar vivisection industry. (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 11.2.04 Security firm's decision to pull out 'worrying' - IN response to your report on Securicor walking out on Huntingdon Life Sciences, this is appalling for two reasons. Firstly, that a major security firm can run for cover after a couple of noisy protests is very worrying… The message is, if you want to help somebody escape, turn up at a regional office with a placard and maybe Securicor will pack up and go home…. The second is that businesses are being bullied, invaded and besieged by what amounts to a paltry few dozen hooligans… It is about time that the silent majority, animal lovers (like myself) included, stood up and voiced clear support for this laboratory, its suppliers and customers. G HEINMAN, Cambridge (letter)

10.2.04

Torquay Herald Express 10.2.04 HUNT TRAINING PAYS FOR WEIR - The biggest cheer of the day at the Mid Devon point to point at Blackforest Lodge, Kenton, on Sunday went up for Dartmoor master Michael Weir, whose Ballyknock Rose won the second division of the maiden under Vanessa Shaw. All Weir's horses are hunted thoroughly by hunt staff and this mare is no exception… (story)

Western Morning News 10.2.04 Protect city children …Those people who have failed to grasp the ecology of the countryside, many adverse to country traditions such as the League Against Country Sports and their sympathisers, who see children confronted by the reality of country life, as being traumatised, horrified and sickened would ban hunting, shooting and fishing to the detriment of the quarry species…. Surely their concerns and attentions should be directed at the children in the towns and cities and their exposure to the unprecedented increase in murder, rape, muggings, armed robbery and other violent crime, often involving children, which latest figures suggest has risen another 14 per cent in the past year? WT Sweet Mawgan, Helston letter)

Western Mail 10.2.04 Wild fowling part of our coastal tradition - Steve Dube, The Western Mail … True wild fowling is the pursuit of certain species of duck, geese and some waders below the high-tide mark. It has been part of our coastal tradition for centuries…. for more information on wild fowling in Wales and a copy of the BASC Wild Fowling Permit Scheme booklet, contact Glynn Cook, BASC Wales… (story)

Western Morning News 10.2.04 PHEASANT SHOOTING BEARS NO RESEMBLANCE TO TRUE HUNT - I was pleased to read Sir John Rawlins' letter (WMN, February 3) suggesting hunting with hounds was a lot less cruel than pheasant shooting. I agree, so I welcome the Exe Valley Staghounds through my woodland. However I complain about having to host hundreds of pheasants from a neighbouring commercial shoot…. Theo Hopkins, Lifton West Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 10.2.04 ANGLERS HAVE DEEP RESPECT FOR QUARRY - Sir John Rawlins is wrong when he says "in terms of deliberately inflicted cruelty, fishing is unarguably at the top of the league table" WMN, February 3)…. The real difference is that fish are cold-blooded creatures which do not have the mental capacity or nervous system to suffer pain in the way we understand it, whereas foxes, deer, hares and other mammals pursued by the hunt undoubtedly do. Graham Broach, Stonehouse Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 3.2.04 MPS ARE HYPOCRITES OVER HUNTING DEBATE Ust how genuine are the Labour MPs who inveigh against fox-hunting on the grounds of cruelty?... In terms of deliberately inflicted cruelty, fishing is unarguably at the top of the league table, followed by shooting. So why don't the Labour MPs call for banning these? We all know why and the MPs qualify as transparent hypocrites. The real reason is one of social divisiveness…. Sir John Rawlins, Holne, Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 10.2.04 DOING NOTHING OVER TB IS NOT AN OPTION Our heart goes out to Tony Yewdall, his family and, of course, his herdsman over the loss of a quarter of his Guernsey herd because of TB…. Those who feel that the lives of badgers are more important than the lives of cattle and the upset caused to the farmers should think again. This awful disease most be got under control and the Government's "let's do nothing" as advocated by Ben Bradshaw is just not acceptable… Michael Ashton, Torrington (letter)
Western Morning News 7.2.04 BADGERS BLAMED FOR BOVINE TB OUTBREAK - PETER HALL - A farmer who has been told that a quarter of his valuable Guernsey milking herd must be slaughtered because they have caught bovine TB has blamed the lack of a badger cull. If action to destroy infected badgers is not carried out very soon, many Westcountry dairy farmers will go out of business, he warned. Tony Yewdall correct heard yesterday that 48 cows and heifers in his 200-strong pedigree Guernsey herd at West Webbery, near Bideford, will have to be slaughtered as they had reacted to a routine TB test. They will be slaughtered next week, even though they are all pregnant... Dr Pam Mynott, secretary of the National Federation of Badger Groups, agreed with Defra. She said: "We have every sympathy with farmers who are losing cattle, but culling badgers will not help...." (story)

Western Morning News 10.2.04 Fight goes on - ON the subect of the export of live horses for the European meat market, I was one of those who went door to door collecting signatures to outlaw the export of live horses and donkeys to Europe, and am furious that the so-called Minister for the Horse, Alun Michael, has apparently disregarded the wishes of so many of the British public… Pauline Eldred, Redruth (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 10.2.04 Direct action by groups has brought results - I WAS disappointed to read that Swindon Greenpeace may fold unless it gets new supporters. As a member of Swindon Animal Concern I know all too well the apathy shown by most Swindonians to environmental and animal welfare issues… We have had a brilliant example this week of how plans for a primate testing laboratory have been dropped by Cambridge University due in the main to protests from animal rights activists. Direct actions works. PHILIP BEAVEN, Merton Avenue (letter in archive)

9.2.04

Times 9.2.04 The State should beware of hounding honest men - WILLIAM REES-MOGG ... The A37 was built as a turnpike road in the 1750s... A week ago, one of the speed cameras on this stretch of road was blown up at Emborough. This is the twelfth of these cameras to be destroyed in the past nine months.... In the same way, the hunting community has been prepared to accept reasonable regulation, and certainly accept rules against cruelty. But hunting people do not recognise the right of a parliamentary majority of any party to stop them following their own sport in the traditional way. For Labour Members of Parliament, the issue is one of cruelty to animals; for the hunting community, it is one of liberty..... (story)

MIDDLE WAY BILL
Horse & Hound 9.2.04 Wild animal welfare Bill halted - Isobel Walsh - A Bill designed to prevent wild mammals from experiencing undue suffering in any circumstances was brought to a standstill in the House of Commons on Friday by anti-hunting MPs. Lembit Öpik, MP for Montgomeryshire and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group was using his Private Members ballot Bill to introduce the Wild Mammals (Protection) (Amendment) Bill in the Commons…. Although the Bill has been promoted as being about general cruelty to animals rather than about hunting, the debate never really got beyond the hunting question…. He said: "This was a test of sincerity for MPs and a significant number of anti-hunting MPs did state that they supported my Bill. Unfortunately, others have placed their feelings about hunting, and the people who do it, above a genuine animal welfare measure."… (story)
Western Daily Press 9.2.04 'MIDDLE WAY' HUNT BILL REJECTED BY MPS - A Bill which could have banned hunting has itself been killed in parliament by anti-hunt Labour MPs, it was revealed last night. The Middle Way Group's proposal would have outlawed all "undue suffering" of wild animals - which its supporters said would have judged the hunting issue on purely animal welfare grounds. But the bill was sunk by anti-hunt Labour MPs, who said the Middle Way Group were hunt supporters, and the proposal was a way of continuing hunting "by the back door"….(story)
Lincolnshire Echo 7.2.04 SETBACK FOR HUNTING BILL A Bill proposing that the courts decide whether fox hunting should continue has been knocked back by the Commons.... Master of Lincolnshire's Burton Hunt, John Lockwood, said: "I would question the logic in blocking this Bill - I'm in favour of it." (story)
Scotsman 6.2.04 Hunt Compromise Bill Blocked By Sam Sheringham and Vivienne Morgan, Political Staff, PA News - A backbench Bill, which supporters believe could resolve the deadlock over fox hunting, was blocked in the Commons today…. The Bill’s sponsor Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik (Montgomeryshire) said his proposals compared favourably with the Government’s Hunting Bill – which would outlaw hunting with dogs – – which ran out of time in the Lords last year…. An almost identical Bill, introduced by Labour’s Lord Donoughue, cleared its first hurdle in the Lords last month. (story)
Worcester Evening News 6.2.04 Tory MP Luff set to back controversial hunting bill - THE LONG-running row over hunting will be reignited today when Tory MP Peter Luff backs a controversial Bill which would save the pursuit from the axe. The Mid Worcestershire MP's colleague on the "Middle Way" Group, Lembit Opik, will try to push through the Wild Mammals (Protection) (Amendment) Bill. But the legislation is expected to meet ferocious opposition from anti-hunt Labour MPs - who will attempt to kill it before it completes its second reading…. (story in archive)

Scotsman 9.2.04 Life atop an uneasy alliance is harder by a rocky country mile - Fordyce Maxwell - SOMETIMES it can’t be much fun being director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance…. Yet Tony Andrews soldiers on, deprecating his own "plummy" voice, insisting he’s a genuine countryman, but no toff, and that the Scottish alliance with its claimed 10,000 membership still has the potential to be the honest broker for the countryside and the rural economy… (story)

Western Daily Press 9.2.04 FOX HUNTERS IN CONFUSION - The mental contortions that defenders of fox hunters have to endure, for the sake of their revolting sport, provide ground for satirists and gleeful mirth for the rest of us. The transformation of joint hunt master of the Heythrop Hunt, Tonya Wood, within four days, from stating on January 26 that "we never entered Chadlington village" through a grovelling apology on BBC on January 28 to her claim on January 30 that "there are a lot of mangy foxes close to the villages around there and we have been asked to sort that out" - is impressive, and confusing… as one of the hunt monitors recording on video the incident in Chadlington on January 24, it seemed to me that the hunt official (on foot) appeared very relaxed and nonchalant as he unhurriedly attempted to gather the hounds together. Bea Bradley Watlington Oxfordshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.1.04 SHOWDOWN OF HUNT ENEMIES - Little Beth Picter, with a feeding tube taped to her nose, watched the horses and hounds at a charity meet that raised hundreds of pounds for the hospital where she will eventually have open-heart surgery. Onthe other side of the Cotswolds, villagers screamed at a whipper-in as a pack of hounds ran amok in their gardens….In the north Cotswolds, Penny Little videotapes the prestigious Heythrop Hunt up to five times a week for POWA. She reported the moment last week some hounds "ran amok" in Broadwell, Gloucestershire, and captured a similar incident in Chadlington, near Chipping Norton, on Saturday… Tonia Wood, joint master of the Heythrop Hunt… said: "Penny Little follows us five days a week and this is the first time she has managed to capture our hounds in anyone's garden…" Back at the Beaufort Hunt meet, no complaints are heard as Beth Picter says goodbye to her favourite hounds… The Countryside Alliance last night released their own dossier of incidents they claim have been perpetrated by anti-hunt campaigners (story)

Irish Examiner 9.2.04 Drag coursing the better of two evils - RECENTLY, the Minister for Arts, Sports & Tourism, John O’Donoghue, informed an Irish animal welfare organisation that his officials raised the issue of introducing drag coursing with the Irish Coursing Club, but were told that “coursing greyhounds would not follow a drag” and that “drag coursing would be unpopular“. The Association of Hunt Saboteurs call upon Mr O'Donoghue to take on board that the vast majority of Irish people (80% when last independently surveyed), want a total ban on the use of live hares for coursing… John Tierney, Campaigns director, Association of Hunt Saboteurs, PO Box 4734, Dublin 1 (letter)

OXFORD UNIVERSITY RESEARCH CENTRE
Oxford Mail 9.2.04 MP calls for anti-protest fund - Oxfordshire MP Dr Evan Harris is pressing the Government to protect Oxford University against the cost of animal rights campaigns and demonstrations. The Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon was responding to threats from the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) to try to scupper the university's plans for a primate research neurology building…. (story in archive)
Oxford Mail 7.2.04 University defends animal tests centre - An animal rights group says a new centre to house animals for research at Oxford University could become a target for protests.... Protesters recently prevented Cambridge University from building a research laboratory and the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) says it is considering an Oxford campaign. NAVS campaigns director Tim Phillips said: "This is very disappointing..." A spokesman for the university said yesterday: "Animals are used in research only when it is essential to do so because no effective alternatives exist. The university is committed to ensuring that every opportunity is taken for the reduction, refinement and replacement of animal use..." (story in archive)
Telegraph 6.2.04 Scientists fear animal activists will target Oxford lab By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - Oxford scientists fear they will become the latest target of extremists because the university is building a new animal research facility.... The prominence given to the project has dismayed Oxford scientists. One professor, who did not want to be named, said: "The potential for disruption is huge...." (story)
Guardian 6.2.04 Oxford goes ahead with animal house - Polly Curtis - Oxford University has confirmed that it is to build a brand new facility for housing animals for use in scientific research… Dan Lyons, director of the animal rights groups Uncaged Campaigns, said: "It is always very disappointing to hear of new animal facilities being built; it is a sign that the animal use community is impervious to public concern."… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 9.2.04 IS MEDICAL RESEARCH ON ANIMALS JUSTIFIED? - I READ with interest the mixed views of the people you talked to in Your View, (News & Star January 29) Is is right to do medical research on animals?. It isn’t a question of is it right, but, is it needed? The Humane Research Trust funds non-animal research in hospitals and universities… MARGARET CRELLIN, Nethertown, Egremont (letter)

Times 9.2.04 Snuggling up to fur is back in fashion BY STEFANIE MARSH - Demand for mink, fox, chinchilla and rabbit has risen to a 15-year high as the desire to flaunt wealth rises and fear of criticism by animal lovers falls… Dawn Carr, the UK spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said that a lack of proper labelling and the sale of authentic-looking fake fur meant that many consumers unwittingly bought real fur…. (story)

Glasgow Herald 9.2.04 SNH has got itself into a mess on hedgehogs - GEORGE Anderson of Scottish Natural Heritage may be right that "there are significant animal welfare problems associated with moving hedgehogs to the mainland, both for Uist animals and mainland hedgehogs" (February 3). If so, it must be one of the few times SNH has been swayed by this consideration…. There isn't much hope of getting protected status for hedgehogs, but I hope their supporters will not give up the fight on behalf of an animal, which, through no fault of its own, finds itself in the wrong category and the wrong place at the wrong time… Kirsty Macleod, The Old Inn, Letterfinlay, Spean Bridge. (letter)

8.2.04

Wales on Sunday 8.2.04 Snares ban demand after find at shoot - Greg Lewis, Wales on Sunday - A WELSH country pheasant shoot has been slammed by animal rights groups for using hundreds of snares to kill off wildlife.... The local MP has described photographs taken by investigators as "very disturbing" and the RSPCA is "gravely concerned". It hopes the footage, collected by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) and the National Anti-Snaring Campaign (NASC), will help speed up a ban on snares.... The RSPCA and the British Association of Shooting & Conservation agree snaring on the land seems contrary to BASC guidelines which are accepted as the standard for gamekeeping. However, Llangibby Castle gamekeeper Roy Jones said: "I am doing nothing that is illegal...." (story)

Sunday Telegraph 8.2.04 Absolutely barking - Ross Minett, Director, Advocates for Animals, Edinburgh - Your profile of the Kennel Club (Opinion, Feb 1) rightly pointed out that routine intensive selective breeding has resulted in many pedigree dog breeds being predisposed to genetic abnormalities... (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 4.2.04 Mongrel dogs a healthier choice - SO "every breed of dog imaginable" was competing in the Caledonian Canine Society Open Dog Show… Virtually every pedigree breed has some genetic defect that is detrimental to their physical or psychological welfare. Many are, in reality, unhealthy genetic "freaks"… Advocates for Animals believes that it is ethically wrong to indulge in selective breeding to create an animal which is destined to suffer ill health during its life and doubtless meet an early death…. Ross Minett, director, Advocates for Animals (letter)

Observer 8.2.04 The 'rights' stuff - For Richard Ingrams's information (Diary, last week), probably 100 per cent of campaigners against vivisection are vegetarian and most of these vegan. The expression 'animal rights' has therefore much meaning for us... Marian Hussenbux, Wirral (letter)
Observer 1.2.04 Judge dread - Richard Ingrams - Beastly bias - 'Wherever there is animal worship,' said G.K. Chesterton, 'there is human sacrifice.'... In our own neck of the woods, the fanatical animal rights campaigners have managed now to stop the building of a new laboratory in Cambridge because monkeys would be used in research into brain disease... All this in the cause of what are called animal rights, though when millions of animals are slaughtered and eaten every day, it is hard to see that the expression has any meaning. (story)

Scotland on Sunday 8.2.04 Vegetarian Jesus claim alarms US - BEN MCCONVILLE IN NEW YORK - JESUS would be a vegetarian if he was alive today and be appalled at our treatment of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses, according to a controversial new Christian doctrine sweeping the United States. Bruce Friedrich, the movement’s figurehead, was rated fifth in Details magazine’s 2003 list of the 50 most influential people under the age of 38... But Friedrich’s popularity has become the focus of concern after being accused of promoting domestic terrorism in the US by backing the earth and animal liberation fronts. (story)

Sunday Times 8.2.04 Mercedes takes a hiding BY RAY HUTTON OF THE SUNDAY TIMES Animal rights activists have turned their attention to car makers who they claim use excessive amounts of leather. Peta, the US-based group that has long campaigned against the fur trade, is directing its attack at DaimlerChrysler, calling for a boycott of its cars and releasing publicity material suggesting Mercedes-Benz means Mercilessly-Bad. The campaigners complain that the more expensive Mercedes models are not available without leather upholstery... (story)

7.2.04

Times 7.2.04 Fox on the run - ROBIN LANE FOX - WHEN the recent cold weather rolled in, foxhunting took off all over Britain. At last hounds ran flat out and so it was with high excitement that I set off this week for a return fixture in the historic heartland of the sport, Leicestershire. In November, my hunt had entertained the famous Belvoir hounds to a truly dreadful day in soaking rain. They asked us back to one of their best meets in weather which threatened to blow us off the hill… (story)

BBC News Online 7.2.04 Shoots 'threaten duck population' - There are fears that the duck population in and around the Boldon Flats wetland reserve on South Tyneside has fallen by up to 40% because of nightly shoots on land next door. Hunters have been in the area with the permission of the local farmer, but local residents have called for the shooting to stop...(story)

BNP TARGETS RURAL AREAS
Times 7.2.04 BNP rural ambitions buoyed by Suffolk poll BY GABRIEL ROZENBERG - THE British National Party claimed yesterday it was winning the rural vote after gaining twice as many votes as Labour in a Suffolk by-election.... (story)
Telegraph 7.2.04 BNP man beaten after celebrities' campaign By David Millward - The far-Right British National Party failed to win a seat on a rural council after a campaign by celebrity residents helped to produce an unusually high turn-out.... Our report "BNP campaign angers celebrity country set" (Feb 5) suggested that sponsors of Mr Goodchild included members of the Countryside Alliance. We accept the alliance's assurance that none of the sponsors in question is on its list of members. (story)
Eastern Daily Press 6.2.04 BNP ‘will try for rural seats’ - MIKE SHERBURN - The British National Party's (BNP) battle to get elected in a rural Suffolk seat is likely to be the first of many. A campaign to keep the party from gaining control of Yoxford ward, near Framlingham, won through, with the seat going to the Liberal Democrats.... (story)
Times 5.2.04 BNP a possible force in rural areas? - Sir, Libby Purves (Comment, February 3) risks doing a disservice to rural Britain. There is no evidence that racist politics, whether promoted by the British National Party or others, has any significant support in rural areas... Rural voters have never yet “smiled back” at the BNP, and they are not about to start now. Yours, etc, SIMON HART, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, 367 Kennington Road, SE11 4PT. (letter)
Telegraph 5.2.04 BNP's country outing angers electorate - For a man hoping to change the political landscape, Paul Goodchild was curiously invisible yesterday. There was no sign of him campaigning in rural Suffolk as a rare candidate to stand for the far-Right British National Party in a countryside constituency…. Mr Goodchild, who is married with a daughter and works in the pharmaceutical industry, highlights countryside rather than race issues in his campaign literature…. In newspaper interviews, Mr Goodchild, claimed that there were other BNP members in the district, but he declined to say how many. However it is understood that his sponsors include members of the Countryside Alliance…. (story)
Times 3.2.04 A BNP wolf stalks rural Britain, scenting victory - LIBBY PURVES …Extremist parties, after all, are not going to bother to conquer Market Blandings or Piddlington Parva. Oh yes, they are. The ultra-right-wing, anti-immigration, protectionist and little-Englander British National Party is here, campaigning with vigour… However, it has lately got itself a new costume. The urban wolf has bought a shepherdess’s smock and bonnet, learnt a few folk-songs and settled into bed in the most rural of spots…. Many who vote BNP out of sheer irritation will be horrified when the wolf shows his teeth. But the BNP will have gained another shred of credibility, and — almost as bad — the sneering urbanites of new Labour will have another excuse to brand countryside campaigners as fascists. Neither is a good result. Only voters can prevent it. (story)

Irish Examiner 7.2.04 Cats and dogs also used for fur and skins - THE Irish Council Against Blood Sports congratulates the Irish MEPs who helped make history by signing a written declaration calling for an end to the sale of cat and dog fur.... Philip Kiernan, Irish Council Against Blood Sports, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath (letter)

6.2.04

Newark Advertiser 6.2.04 Harrying the hare By SHARON HODKIN - Hunt enthusiasts have been out in force around the district over the past few days as part of a hare-hunting week. On Tuesday the Per Ardua Beagles, who hunt around the Bingham area, saw 20-30 hares in a morning hunt around Car Colston. During the afternoon the Per Ardua Beagles invited 30 representatives from the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire Beagles to hunt in the Aslockton area…. (story may only be on website for a week)

Isle of Wight County Press 6.2.04 JP AIRLIFTED AFTER HUNT FALL By Suzanne Pert - AN UNCONSCIOUS horse rider was airlifted off a hillside after suffering serious head injuries in a fall at Bowcombe Down. Fellow riders with the IW Hunt kept magistrate Nicola Mobbs warm as she lay on the inaccessible hillside… (story)

Chester Chronicle 6.2.04 WHAT an astonishing attempt by fox-hunting supporter DG Sandlin to defend packs of hounds' habit of straying on to 100mph railway lines and main roads… The claim that fox-hunting is a pest-control measure was shown to be bogus by a scientific study conducted while hunting was banned for ten months in 2000-2001 during foot and mouth and a huntsman interviewed on TV admitted: 'I don't hunt foxes to control them and neither does any hunting person... we hunt them for sport… CHRISTOPHER CLAYTON Christleton (letter)
Chester Chronicle 30.1.04 D G SANDLIN'S letter in defence of fox hunting really takes the biscuit. The fox is blamed for hounds invading property; so sue the fox if you are bitten by beagles, or your pet is killed, or there is a train/car crash.... Mr Sandlin; get into the real world - your sadistic pastime belongs in history along with bear and badger baiting, otter hunting, cock and dog fighting.... W D NOCK Shrewsbury Road, Birkenhead
IN NATURE most animals are hunted by another animal. If foxhounds were turned loose they would hunt deer, hares and foxes. It's nature's way... An old or ill fox is dispatched. This leads to healthy, manageable numbers. There is no better way. RUTH TILSTON Eskdalemuir, Langholm, Dumfriesshire.
MR SANDLIN really does bring a refreshing new dimension to the hunting issue - unless you support hunting that is... How on earth can he compare a wild animal killing its prey for food to survive, with tame, well fed hounds, ripping a fox to pieces for fun in front of an audience of imbeciles?... ALEX WOODS Long Looms, Great Barrow, Nr Chester
CHESHIRE hunter David Sandlin in Points of View January 23 claims hunt saboteurs 'frequently try to lure hounds on to railway lines ... in the hope of getting some killed no doubt'... Given the very serious nature of his allegation, which goes far beyond the usual anti-pro hunt claims, he must produce evidence to back up his distasteful claim or apologise.... G METCALFE North West League Against Cruel Sports, PO Box 359, Chorley PR6 8WA (letters)

Western Morning News 6.2.04 Ignore EU rules - WE keep being told that hunting is cruel, but at least the hunted animal has a chance to escape. What about the horses and ponies shipped abroad alive in terrifying conditions… Mrs Ida King, Holbeton Devon (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.2.04 NO ROOM FOR THE TORTURERS - I applaud Alun Parson for his stand against the despicable bully-boy behaviour of the pro-hunt supporters who delight in torturing and inflicting pain on wild animals for no other purpose than for pleasure… Roy Brown Ston Easton Radstock Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.2.04 IT'S UNLIKELY THAT TOWNIES WOULD DUMP ILL FOX CUBS - I would ask Mr Kingdom and readers to consider my alternative explanation as to why five unhealthy foxes have been found to be on farmland, his assumption being that they were dumped from the North Devon link road by uninformed, but caring, townies to give them a better life. In defence of the townies, may I say it takes a lot of dedication and expertise to catch a fox still able to run, either manged or starving…. These caring people would also know that fox-hunting is still legal…. Janet Hall Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 6.2.04 OSCAR WILDE WAS RIGHT WHEN DESCRIBING HUNTING - May i contribute a few words (unfortunately not mine) to the hunting debate. It was Oscar Wilde who said: "The English country gentleman galloping after a fox - the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable."… Jean Ford, St David's Place, Red Cow Village, Exeter (letter)

Isle of Wight County Press 6.2.04 PROTECTION EXCLUDES FOX AND HARE From Sue McHale, Flat 4, Sutherland Lodge, East Hill Road, Ryde - I WAS at the beautiful Woodland burial site at Springwood, Newchurch, on the first anniversary of my husband's death. The following day I joined a silent protest beside the cemetery, as the IW Fox Hunt was meeting close to the funeral office at the nursery opposite…. (letter)

Shropshire Star 6.2.04 Anglers are not the same as shooters - I take exception at being lumped together with the shooters and foxhunters. As a fishermen of many years I don't have anything in common with hunters or shooters. The sole aim of the hunters is to kill a living creature by the most barbaric means possible. The shooters are less barbaric but the aim is the same - to blast the life out of some poor bird or animal… Phil Hammer, Welshampton, Ellesmere (letter)

Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 6.2.04 Deer stalkers fly into a forest furore - THE Deer Commission for Scotland has come under fire for using a flying squad of marksmen to cull deer on an estate described as the jewel in the Cairngorms crown. Seven contract stalkers were flown in by helicopter to carry out the cull under emergency powers last Thursday and Friday to protect the regenerating native Caledonian Pine Forest on Glenfeshie Estate… Glenfeshie Estate factor Thomas MacDonnell said that the matter was now in the hands of their solicitors but declined to comment further. The estate only received official warning of the cull on the first day of the shoot. Mr Gregor Rimell, Cairngorms National Park representative for the area covering the estate, said:… "I don't know why a helicopter was needed and why the cull was carried out in deep snow. The factor and his wife are both young, local people with lots of experience of the land and the surrounding estates. "I would have thought it was not beyond the wit of the Deer Commission of Scotland to work with them rather than acting in such a heavy-handed manner. "This has just been an antagonistic exercise and a gross misuse of public money…" (story)

South Wales Evening Post 7.2.04 MINK UNMASKED AS KIPPER RIPPER NUISANCE - BEN EVANS - The Killay Kipper Ripper has finally been unmasked . . . as a family of mink. But there are now fears that the number of mink could double if the creatures are not caught before they start breeding. Animal expert Dan Forman has been investigating the deaths of hundreds of fish in ponds across south west Swansea during the past few months.... (story)

Times 6.2.04 Debate @ The Times: Testing the waters - As Cambridge is denied new primate research labs, what do you make of animal testing?
THE decision to axe Cambridge University’s Primate Research Centre must be properly discussed by scientists from both sides of the argument.... Why are we not being told the truth surrounding the centre?... Shelly Willetts, Vivisection spokesperson, Green Party
Fight for the right ... Nobody has asked me for my opinion, nor that of the vast number of other people who feel a deep sense of shame about what we do to our fellow-creatures. Jo Nortcliff, Bristol
Fund research - AS SOMEONE who watched my grandfather deteriorate as Alzheimer’s took him slowly away from us, I am thrilled that the Cambridge laboratory has been shelved... Dawn Carr, London SE1
Necessary evil - IT IS proven that animals are required in order to make some meaningful and necessary advancements in medical science. As an animal lover, I am extremely torn by the prospect of animals suffering so that I and others may live. That said, when driven to make the choice, I make it in favour of medical science... B. F. Orme, address supplied
Compassionate care - IT CAN never be right to gain at the expense of another. Human progress does not lie in finding a cure for cancer by killing 10,000 animals; it lies in realising that the cure for cancer is not worth the life of a single animal.... Kate FitzGibbon, Findhorn by Forres, Morayshire (letters)

Harborough Mail 6.2.04 Animal cruelty on an epic scale - LAST weekend Harborough Animal Concern held a protest against the dreadful conditions that occur in the factory farming of pigs. We had a great response from the people of Market Harborough. Many people just do not know how widespread and unbelievably cruel factory farming is…. Jean Bird, Kibworth Beauchamp. (letter)

Halesowen News 6.2.04 RSPCA closure is a real blow for animal lovers - I have recently received a Halesowen News. To my great surprise I was amazed to learn of the pending closure of the RSPCA Clinic in Grangers Lane, Cradley Heath…. I agree with Mrs Eileen Whitehouse's comments… Mrs Mary K Maxted, Stafford (letter in archive)
Halesowen News 9.1.04 Animal lovers lose centre - An ill-fated animal hospital in Cradley Heath has finally closed its doors despite pleas from animal lovers to keep it open. Eileen Whitehouse, aged 74, was one of the founder members of the RSPCA branch in Grainger's Lane, fundraising for its launch more than 30 years ago…. Mrs Whitehouse believes the closure was not due to falling profits and says the centre had always paid its way… (story in archive)

Blackpool Citizen 6.2.04 Cowards who won't address the genuine arguments - I AM not being drawn into a slanging match with the defenders of horse-drawn landaus on Blackpool Prom…. a writer says "London has been all right for the Queen's carriage horses and the police horses. No-one's harassing them!" I don't see what logic there is in that comparison!... I would like to ask the `defenders" to have the courage to use their names and addresses as we do, and not to call us in abusive terms such as `bigots, offensive do-gooders' and `nosey bigots'. Edith Grainge, Sevenoaks Drive, Thornton Cleveleys (letter in archive)
Blackpool Citizen 6.2.04 Is this how these landau horses are treated after a life's work? - WELL, now we know from the vitriolic personal attack on me by `Details supplied via e-mail' that the majority of retired landau horses do end up at auction, not sanctuaries… their owners, their love for their horses ends and retirement means they are sent to auction and an uncertain fate! J Harwood, Moor Park Avenue, Bispham (letter in archive)
Blackpool Citizen 6.2.04 Not a true reflection This particular horse was only six years old and had plenty of working years left in it, therefore it had not reached the end of its usefulness, so can't be seen as an example of what happens to spent landau horses… they could end up in pet food, or on a horrific live export journey to Europe or further. Or even worse still in a vivisection laboratory -- is that what they call caring? M Gavin, Ashfield Road, Bispham, Blackpool (letter in archive)

5.2.04

Mid Wales Journal 5.2.04 Hunt returns in line with tradition - village of Garth. Despite last weekend's torrential rain, members of the Towey hunt returned to the same spot, which has in more recent years become a focal point in the village as a restaurant pub and farm shop. Garth Mill's proprietors Dave and Debbie Lang have photographs recording what they believe to have been the last meet of the Towey hunt at Garth since the early 1960s…. (story)

Somerset Standard 5.2.04 DEBATE ON FOX HUNTING - Frome: Fox hunting is the next hot topic up for discussion at the Free House debate. On Sunday February 29 at 8pm Alison Hawes, the South West regional director of Countryside Alliance, and Alvin Horsfall, Liberal Democrat town councillor, will lead a discussion... (story)

Western Morning News 5.2.04 HUNT BAN WAS A 'BETRAYAL' Martin Hesp (WMN, January 17) reported in his article that many hunt supporters were furious with the National Trust for banning staghunting, knowing that Sir Richard Acland wished it to continue…. It would seem, therefore, to be ironic that the trust is now so keen to celebrate the 60th anniversary if this gift. Tom Yandle Dulverton (letter)
Western Morning News 31.1.04 Respecting wishes - FOR Mr Hewitt to suggest that the National Trust's action in banning staghunting on the Holnicote Estate was in line with Sir Richard Acland's wishes is untrue. Sir Richard made it perfectly clear that he wished staghunting to continue on the Estate as long as it was legal.... Jo Collins Friends of the National Trust Crowcombe Taunton (letter)

Bolton Evening News 5.2.04 Use betting levy on horse welfare - PENELOPE Dickinson (Letters, January 22) says the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) should oppose the live export of horses that might occur if the Government ended its funding of horseracing via the betting levy. The LACS already does… Ms Dickinson should contact me at the address below. Penelope Dickinson also claims huntsmen show "tact and compassion". Does this include the ex-local hunt master who was banned from keeping horses or dogs for the rest of his life for causing unnecessary suffering to a number of horses?... Kate Stratton North West League Against Cruel Sports PO Box 359 Chorley (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 30.1.04 Compassion torn apart - I APPLAUD Penelope Dickinson (Letters, January 22), and all other equine lovers who want to fight the Government over plans to reintroduce the live export of horses… She welcomes the support, lack of compassion of the local huntsman when it is time to relocate the cherished pet to that great big paddock in the sky. What a pity the local huntsman doesn't apply the same lack of compassion to the animals he tears apart… (Name and address supplied) (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 22.1.04 Rein in this animal cruelty - SO the League Against Cruel Sports is once again voicing its opinion on hunting and, rightly or wrongly, hunting is in the news. But who decides what is cruel, and who decides the level of cruelty that is acceptable?... SO the League Against Cruel Sports is once again voicing its opinion on hunting and, rightly or wrongly, hunting is in the news. But who decides what is cruel, and who decides the level of cruelty that is acceptable? Perhaps the League Against Cruel Sports should turn its attention on supporting the International League Against Cruelty to Horses, and fight the re-introduction of live export. Penelope Dickinson Edgworth Bolton (letter in archive)

Scotsman 5.2.04 Promoting slaughter - Those enjoying the BBC’s Big Cat Diary may have been shocked by the revelation that a Scottish firm, Hendry Ramsay & Waters, of Perth, is promoting the trophy hunting of lions…. LYNNE MITCHELL, Lower Mains, Dollar, Clackmannanshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.2.04 ANIMALS ARE SCAPEGOATS In response to the proposed deer cull by Defra, it's typical of the department, whose answer to any alleged problem concerning wildlife is to kill animals - look at the bovine TB issue, with the senseless slaughter of badgers… A Williams Bath Animal Rights Group (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 5.2.04 Anglers were not to blame for swan tragedy - RE the sad story of the death of a swan in the Aire and Calder canal at Thwaite Mills… There was a follow-up story the following evening… There then followed a sentence which was completely misleading – "Swans often swallow small lead weights used by anglers" – thereby implying that anglers were to blame for the bird's death and at the same time providing yet more ammunition to the anti-angling lobby. My members and I bitterly resent this unfounded slur on anglers…. JG PARK, general secretary, Leeds & District Amalgamated Society of Anglers, Stoney Rock Lane, Beckett Street, Leeds (letter)

Yorkshire Post 5.2.04 From: GC Bantin, address supplied - IT HAS just been announced that the University of Cambridge neurological research centre is not to go ahead because of the cost of protecting it from animal rights extremists and their terrorism-like activities…. Animal-rights extremists' criminal activities have put a serious block on the development of medicines to cure these awful diseases… (letter)

Ilkley Gazette 5.2.04 Animal tests - MICHAEL EDWARDS, 32, East Parade, Harrogate (letter in archive)
North East Evening Gazette 21.1.04 Cause and effect - The argument seems to be that if Covance did not test medicines on animals, we would be unsure of their safety… Tests show that three-quarters of side effects predicted by animal tests never occur in humans…. MICHAEL EDWARDS, Harrogate (letter)

WSPA AVIAN FLU LETTER
Western Morning News 5.2.04 Bird flu reminder - Leah Garces Head of Campaigns World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) London (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 24.1.04 CONCERN OVER OUR FOOD ANIMALS - The recent outbreak of avian flu in Vietnam has led to the death of more than one million chickens, with outbreaks also occurring in Korea and Japan and possibly Taiwan. This outbreak serves as a reminder of the wide-ranging negative implications that industrial animal farming has on our health and food safety.... Leah Garces, Head of Campaigns World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) (letter)

Scotsman 5.2.04 Food for thought - John Bell’s suggestion (Letters 3 February) that we should strive to be self-sufficient in beef production is indefensible….. We can produce food more efficiently by reducing animal protein production and relying instead on equally nutritious plant proteins…. JAMES BOYLE Eastwoodmains Road Clarkston, Glasgow (letter)

Cornish Guardian 5.2.04 TRANSPORTING LIVE ANIMALS The letter on January 15 headed, Educate Europe on animal transport, should have read "The transport of live animals is an EU regulation which we should ignore regardless of the cost to this country."… Iris Binstead, Polruan-by-Fowey (letter)

Rugby Advertiser 5.2.04 This seems like selective editing to me - I HAVE been following the saga regarding Mr. Fisher and Ms. Cummings over the past few weeks. While I am not completely in agreement with the way Mr. Fisher has expressed himself, I, and many others I have talked to, agree with his sentiments. Almost every other week there is a letter from Ms. Cummings, asking us to save something or other, stop eating this or doing that… The real issue is that of selective editing, the fact that there seems to be no support in the letters page for Mr. Fisher seems odd… Stephen Ragg, Vernon Avenue, Hillmorton
Editor’s footnote - It is true that I am likely to give more space to something that will promote compassion for life. But actually in this regard, it is not the case. Janet Cummings is a regular correspondent and most of the time there is little or no material from people who think the opposite…. (letter)
Rugby Advertiser 8.1.04 For goodness sake, shut up woman! - I HAVE finally had enough. I don’t know what sway Janet Cummings has over the Editor but she regularly gets column inches submitting the most ludicrously dippy blatherings. In the last year she has tried to convince us that pigeons alone won World War II, that greyhounds don’t like running and are more populous in canals than trolleys and that she knows the agony a fish endures when a hook goes through its mouth… So please, woman, SHUT UP! Live your life how you want to but please stop forcing your views on the rest of us. If you don’t I’ll be forced to report you to the RSPCA for cruel behaviour , I am after all, an animal too. David Fisher, The Kent, Hillmorton.(letter)

Rugby Advertiser 5.2.04 And now, over to Miss Cummings - I READ with some concern your recent article headed ‘pigeon plan puts councillors in a flap’, Rugby Advertiser, January 29, stating that some councillors on the Borough’s Environment Panel were dubious of spending £18,000 plus £6,000 per annum for building and maintaining dovecotes in the town centre… We will not tolerate any cruelty to the pigeons eg. (for example) the introduction of birds of prey or pest control company intervention, etc…. Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby (letter)

4.2.04

Times 4.2.04 People by Andrew Pierce - Countryside Alliance flushed out of Royal Courts of Justice - THE Countryside Alliance has been banned from holding a £250,000 black-tie dinner in the Great Hall of the Royal Courts of Justice because fox hunting is deemed to be too controversial.... Ian Lucas, the Labour MP for Wrexham, tabled a series of parliamentary questions accusing the alliance of breaching the rules preventing non-charitable campaign groups using the Royal Courts of Justice. The alliance, which is taking legal action to recover the costs of switching venues for the dinner on March 11, points out that while it is banned from the precincts of the Royal Courts, the US Navy, Shell, the firefighters’ union and the Royal Bank of Scotland have all held events in the Grade I listed Great Hall.... (story)

Torquay Herald Express 4.2.04 THESE rural hunting louts seem to be able to rampage with impunity creating havoc in their wake… If I lived in a hunt area I would keep a garden fork easy to hand. I wound not hesitate to use it against any savage unleashed dog running through my property. C ANDREWS Sherwell Valley Road, Torquay (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 4.2.04 CONTROL OF FOXES IS BEST LEFT TO THE HUNTSMEN - John Phelps, Points of view, January 27, is quite right to say that fox numbers are determined by the availability of food, habitat and territory. What Mr Phelps does not do is to examine what this means in practical terms… If 231,000 foxes are killed by various means each year, they cannot exactly be thin on the ground, can they Mr Phelps?... On the figures quoted by Mr Phelps, hunting accounts for 11.5 per cent of all foxes deliberately killed each year… Game Conservancy figures suggest between 25 and 75 per cent, depending upon the area - a significant contribution, I think. Jonathan Marshall, Handy Cross, Lydeard St Lawrence, Taunton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 4.2.04 HUNTS DON'T SET A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR CHILDREN Full marks to the dog owner who, Points of view, January 27, pointed out that anti-season drugs used for pet bitches may work quiet well for vixens and that there are better ways of controlling foxes than subjecting them to the ordeal of harassment and savage killing by hounds… the Cheshire foxhounds have invaded the A51, causing traffic chaos and prompting numerous complaints to the police… Cheshire Forest hounds have run out of control on the A54 near Kelsall… Is this any example to set the children the Master of the East Devon Foxhounds recently expressed the hope of involving "in the future of hunting"?... Katherine Watson, Rushton Drive, Bramhall, Cheshire (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 4.2.04 Oscar was right about foxhunting - MARY Ratcliffe's recent letter gave an impressive condemning list of fox hunting…. The hunt once the exclusive sport of the landed gentry has in recent decades seen a change. Probably sensing "the wind of change" has democratically, or prudently, allowed elements of the common folk within its ranks… George Humphreys, Purton (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 12.1.04 Questions to blood sport supporters - What gives anyone amongst us the right to blatantly disregard a law of the land, simply because we do not agree with it?... Many books and magazines reveal disturbing accounts of bullying, intimidation and actual bodily harm frequently perpetrated towards your fellow human beings who bravely dare to actively oppose your sport... What do you tell your children when they are ceremoniously initiated by being daubed on the face by blood from the tail of a slaughtered fox?... MARY RATCLIFFE, Croft Road (letter in archive)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 4.2.04 Hare coursing now under fire - With reference to the letter by Diana Jones about hunting with dogs. It seems that people spend a lot of money and trouble hunting down a few foxes with dogs, when motorists do a far better job of controlling fox numbers… I am surprised that hare coursing is legal in the modern age… Mark Garton, Mayfield Close, Catshill, Bromsgrove (letter in archive)

Boston Standard 4.2.04 ILLEGAL HARE COURSING IS ON THE RISE. . . ILLEGAL hare coursing in the Boston area has rocketed to record levels and is wreaking havoc in rural communities. Speaking at a Wigtoft Parish Council meeting on Monday night Wildlife Liaison Officer Pc Nigel Lound of Lincolnshire Police said physical threats against farmers who objected to illegal coursing on their land were commonplace…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 4.2.04 HUMANS ARE TROUBLE I Had to laugh at Mr Walledge's description of the fox (Viewpoint, January 14) where he blames our furry friends for just about all the ills of the world…. Mr W obviously can not bear to share his universe with any other creature, but maybe he ought to realise that the pint-sized fox does not cause all the trouble on this planet. That honour should be given to the human race. L Storey, Grimsby. (Full address supplied) (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 31.1.04 PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW BETTER BEHAVIOUR It was interesting reading Brian Walledge's letter… The fox knows no different, the scum or vermin who walk the streets should. M Stewart, Woad Lane, Great Coates (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 14.1.04 DEFINITION OF VERMIN This is a response to "Why should we regard foxes as vermin, when they are highly successful omnivores?"… This involves interfering with pedal bins, leaving waste matter including faeces and urine, causing destruction to lawns and flower beds, chewing clothing, copulating, fighting, screaming and wailing through the night…. my wife was woken up by a fox trying to get in the bedroom window…. Brian Walledge, Manley Gardens, Cleethorpes (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 7.1.04 FOXES NOT VERMIN - With reference TO your article 'Foul acts dirtying the streets', (December 31). Perhaps the writer, Lisa Parry, would like to inform us as to why we should regard foxes as vermin… I think she'll find the problems stem from humans and not wildlife. Chris Cooke, (Address supplied) (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 7.1.04 VERMIN RUNNING FREE Not only does the council choose to ignore the increasing problem of free running vermin in the public sector but it also repeatedly fails to honour its contractural obligations for the collection and removal of refuse, thereby encouraging the vermin, ie foxes to proliferate…. Brian Walledge, Manley Gardens, Cleethorpes. (letter)

UIST HEDGEHOG CULL RESTARTED
Telegraph 4.2.04 Cull of hedgehogs in Western Isles is extended By Auslan Cramb - The controversial cull of hedgehogs in the Western Isles will continue next year in an attempt to protect rare wading birds from the egg-eating mammals. Despite widespread criticism of its cull last spring, which prompted several rescue operations, Scottish Natural Heritage decided yesterday that it had no option but to press ahead with the project over the next three years.... (story)
ICScotland 4.2.04 Hedgehog relocation plans shelved - A wildlife charity which was planning to move hedgehogs from the Western Isles to the mainland as an alternative to a cull has shelved the project over a funding row, it emerged today. The People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) had been gearing up for the trial relocation project... Scottish Natural Heritage... said its board made the decision that funding the PTES study was a wrongful use of taxpayers' money. (story)
BBC News Online 24.1.04 Hedgehog campaign rekindled - Animal lovers are drawing up battle plans to resist a further cull of hedgehogs in the Outer Hebrides. Uist Hedgehog Rescue (UHR) is meeting in Birmingham on Friday to see how it can fight a second Scottish Natural Heritage-led cull on the island.... (story)

SECURICOR QUITS HLS
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 4.2.04 PROTESTS: Activists force Securicor to cut links with Huntingdon Life Sciences… Members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) have been protesting outside Securicor headquarters in London. SHAC's Caroline Bailey said: "This is a victory for SHAC. Any firm which does business with HLS can expect to be targeted by us…." (story)
Cambridge Evening News 2.2.04 HLS raps Securicor for contract decision - HUNTINGDON Life Sciences has accused Securicor of capitulating by pulling out of guarding the firm's premises after it was targeted by animal rights activists. Securicor has told HLS it will not renew its contract, which runs out at the end of March. But a spokesman for HLS said: "It seems slightly ironic when their staff have been taking all this flak for years that they have a few demonstrations at their head office and they capitulate.".... Greg Avery, from protest group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) which has been campaigning against HLS, said they were only partially pleased with the move and would continue to campaign against Securicor until it left HLS.... (story)
Telegraph 31.1.04 Securicor to quit animal testing lab By Rosie Murray-West - Securicor, the worldwide security group, has ended its contract to protect animal testing business Huntingdon Life Sciences. The company, which has guarded the gates at HLS for three or four years, has seen its regional offices and management become the target of animal rights activists in recent weeks.... (story)
Telegraph 31.1.04 Carnival of the animal rights capitulation .... Securicor thus joins the ignoble Roll of Dishonour under Deloitte & Touche, Royal Bank of Scotland, Charles Schwab and many more, businesses that have crumbled before the weirdos who reckon animals are more important than people. Unlike the other quitters, Securicor is supposed to provide security, not to seek it.... (story)

Leicester Mercury 4.2.04 PROGRESS WITHOUT ANIMAL TESTING - The announcement by Cambridge University that it is to scrap plans for a new primate laboratory is great news for the progress of medical research…. Sue Chambers, Leicester and Loughborough Animal Concern (letter)

Dundee Courier 4.2.04 Discredited methodology - As an advocate for animals, I respond to B. Borland’s mind-numbingly predictable accusations (January 30), which bear all the hallmarks of the ill- informed, relating to the animal rights protesters whose influence caused Cambridge University to abandon its new laboratory for primate research… The use of animals as a model for human disease is a thoroughly discredited research methodology. Its practitioners perpetuate a cruel deception on the public…. Derek S. Paton. 58 Johnston Avenue, Dundee (letter)
Dundee Courier 30.1.04 Would animal rights protesters switch places? - Thirty-two million pounds has been spent on the new Cambridge University Laboratory for Primate Research—and it now stands empty as a result of animal rights protesters’ activities. Research into Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s chorea and strokes will now be delayed. What about human rights?... B. Borland. Beechwood, Kinfauns. (story)

Bath Chronicle 4.2.04 PITY THE PIGEONS The people in Trowbridge who are complaining abut the pigeons making a mess, should consider the vandals in the town who damage cars etc…. J MCNEILL, Corsham (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 4.2.04 CRUEL FARMERS - I agree wholeheartedly with L Lloyd about the cruelty to the livestock on Dartmoor. I live in a village on Dartmoor where I can see at close hand how these animals suffer… I can't understand how the RSPCA allows this to go on under their noses; it's about time they got to grips with these so-called farmers. E ABBOTT-CREBER, Lee Moor (letter)

3.2.04

Western Morning News 3.2.04 FEAR OF FOXES AS HOUNDS 'SPEAK' Vets for hunting expect us to believe their prey suffers minimal fear (WMN, November 17)…. Hunting is contrived from start to finish. It was never intended to be humane…. R Dalziel, Tavistock (letter)

Western Morning News 3.2.04 Playing at being God THERE has been much correspondence in your letters pages recently regarding both the proposed ban on fox hunting and the subject of live exports of horses. While I wholly support a ban on both I often wonder how many of those who say they are against either or both those issues sit down each evening and tuck into their meat and two veg without giving a thought to the trip to the abattoir and the certain death that awaits all those animals deemed by the public at large as fair game…. (letter)

Western Morning News 3.2.04 Double standards methinks. I cannot see how one can be selective in just supporting the ban on fox hunting and live exports because it is moral, civilised and fashionable, yet give no heed to the subject of the cruelty to animals in general that is the food chain…. Mike Steedon, Dartmouth Devon (letter)

Western Mail 3.2.04 Truth about shooting is rarely heard Steve Dube, The Western Mail - PHEASANT shooting has come under the spotlight recently, thanks mainly to an over-enthusiastic teacher at a school in Norfolk, who took exception to a Royal shooting party…. I'm Glynn Cook, BASC director for Wales, and I will be bringing you a new weekly column on shooting and its role in the countryside… (story)

Western Mail 3.2.04 Threat to racing spurs prize draw - A JOINT fundraising initiative between the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA), Point-to-Point Secretaries' Association and the Countryside Alliance has been launched to help safeguard the future of point-to-pointing…. Former champion point-to- point jockey and chairman of the MFHA, Lord Daresbury said, "Point-to-point racing is a hugely exciting sport and is an important training ground for young horses and jockeys. "Many of today's top professionals cut their teeth point-to-pointing and hunting. It is vital that we safeguard this wonderful sport"… (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 3.2.04 Catch up with greyhound facts I REFER to Amanda Wells’ letter (News, January 30). Firstly, she states 24,000 greyhounds are needed in the UK at any one time to race, I believe. The correct figure is 9800… Thirdly, she states 80 per cent of all racing greyhounds effectively disappear at the end of their racing careers. Wrong - 80 per cent are happily retired…. Jill Bentley, Morrison Street, Edinburgh (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 3.2.04 Sporting chance for greyhounds - I REFER to the article "Race to house hounds starts" (News, January 27) regarding the claims of the Retired Greyhound Trust…. The RGT itself only rehomes about 1200 greyhounds throughout the UK. With only three paid members of staff, volunteers do most of this work…. The only way that we can effectively end this mass slaughter of greyhounds by an industry geared by the money it makes, is to end the "sport" of greyhound racing. Amanda Wells Greyhound Action Scotland Brown Street, Haddington (letter)

Epping Forest Guardian 3.2.04 Fox facts competition By Alison Kershaw - A COMPETITION to design and write a leaflet on the red fox has been launched by Epping Forest Council's animal welfare team. The contest is open to anyone aged between five and 15 who lives or attends school or a youth group in the district…. A council spokesman said: "We chose the red fox this year because we get a lot of enquiries about them from residents, especially when they see them when they're poorly…" (story)

BBC News Online 3.2.04 Fears over badger baiting - Police are investigating reports that a gang of badger baiters are operating in County Durham… The Durham Badgers Group, which monitors the badgers' habitat, have reported both incidents to the police… The Group's project officer, Peter Robinson said: "They have been dug - the main chambers have been dug into and quite possibly badgers taken."… (story)
Northern Echo 2.2.04 Police fear badger baiting gangs are plundering setts by John Dean - POLICE are investigating reports that a gang of badger baiters is targeting setts in part of the North-East. Durham County Badger Group called in the police after discovering evidence of two attacks in Wear Valley, County Durham... (story in archive)

Birmingham Post 3.2.04 MP's fury at animal rights attack By Jonathan Walker, Birmingham Post - Animal rights protesters who attacked a home linked to a guinea pig breeding centre have been dubbed “terrorists” by a Midland MP. Michael Fabricant (Con Lichfield) called on the security services to deal with threats such as activists who have targeted David Hall & Partners, which breeds the animals for medical research, at Newchurch, near Lichfield, Staffordshire…. (story)

Dundee Courier 3.2.04 Reallocate research resources - The welcome news that Cambridge University has decided to drop their plans for a controversial primate research lab augurs well for humans and animals alike. The awe-inspiring contributions of non-animal modalities to medical science are where funding should be concentrated. The potential of preventing or reducing many of our most feared diseases through changes in diet and lifestyle stressed… Sheila Edwards. PO Box 15825, Dubai. (letter)

Western Morning News 3.2.04 ANIMAL RESEARCH HAS HELPED - I'm sure car crash victims, cancer sufferers, and asthmatics, to name but a few, will be much heartened by P Dyer's advice (WMN, January 13) to eat properly, use soap and go to the gym. For those of us in the real world, the medical benefits that animal experiments have helped bring about are undeniable…. Philip Connolly, Director, Coalition for Medical Progress London (letter)
Western Morning News 13.1.04 DRUGS USED IN ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS CAN BE FATAL - I am amazed at the ceaseless propaganda of Tom Bromley - to brainwash people into believing that poisoning and chopping up animals is necessary for good health…. P Dyer, Cannington (letter)

Telegraph 3.2.04 Animal behaviour - The RSPCA is disturbed by the appalling use of animals in I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here, simply to shock and entertain an audience.... John Rolls, Director of Animal Welfare Promotions, RSPCA (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 3.2.04 Celebs show so cruel to the animals - I am writing to express my disgust at the "bush tucker trial" featured during the ITV programme I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, which showed systematic cruelty to several species of animal…. Samantha Wiggin, Long Street, Wheaton Aston. (letter)

Western Morning News 3.2.04 Vote to leave Europe - I WAS astonished to read Carla Lane encouraging people not to vote in the next General Election. The only way we can stop bad legislation is to oust politicians who see fit to support these things… Joan Tiddy, Ilsington Newton Abbot
I WOULD like to register my support for your campaign to ban the cruel live export of our equines…. Claire Fitzgerald, Tavistock (letters)

Glasgow Evening Times 3.2.04 Poultry fears - THE recent outbreak of bird flu in Asia should act as a warning against the inherent dangers of factory farming…. ELISE McGARRY Croftfoot (letter)

Manchester Evening News 3.2.04 A blind eye - FOR decades we have turned a blind eye to or accepted the obscene cruelty inherent in modern food production… If a few million of us were to die from bird flu, it might bring us to our senses, but I doubt it, as the greedy demand for cheap food outweighs all concerns for the environment, cruelty and the eventual cost to ourselves. Resigned To It, Burnage (letter)

2.2.04

Suffolk Free Press 2.2.04 WOMAN 'RAN FOR HER LIFE' FROM HOUNDS - A terrified woman has told how she had to run for her life after a pack of foxhounds invaded her garden. The pack of around six hounds had strayed from a hunt in Little Waldingfield on Saturday afternoon. Shirley Hobson, of The Street, Little Waldingfield, spotted the dogs at the bottom of her garden when they suddenly started heading towards her…. One of the masters of the Essex and Suffolk Fox Hounds James Buckle said that he wasn't aware that the hounds had strayed into Mrs Hobson's garden. Mr Buckle said: "I am very sorry if they caused any distress. The foxhounds wouldn't have caused any harm to her or her dogs. They would probably have licked her… (story)

Shropshire Star 2.2.04 Hunt job for son of Roxy Music star Ferry - The son of rock star Bryan Ferry, arrested two years ago by armed police outside the Prime Minister's house for attempting to stage a pro-hunt demonstration, has been appointed the new joint master of the South Shropshire Hunt.... Currently a member of the Middleton Hunt, in Yorkshire, he hit the headlines in August 2002 when he tried to demonstrate outside Mr Blair's constituency home.... (story)

Western Morning News 2.2.04 Video propaganda - YOUR correspondent F Cleaves (WMN, January 20) believes the refusal of TV companies to show the latest propaganda video put out by the anti-hunting lobby "must surely show how sickening it is". Not so, Mr Cleaves. The antis made the same claim after one of their previous efforts was given an "18" certificate but the British Board of Film Classification was quick to point out the "18" certificate was due solely to the large amount of bad language on the film… Jonathan Marshall, Lydeard St Lawrence Taunton (letter)
Western Morning News 20.1.04 LET'S SHOW FILM OF THE BARBARITY OF HUNTING The letter from Bill Cunnington (WMN, Nov 18) sums up the reality of the barbaric practice of hunting with dogs. He says that hours of video film taken showing the deplorable cruelty involved has now been placed in the House of Commons library. Steps should now immediately be taken to obtain this film to be made into an educational documentary to be made available from all video shops in order for member of the public to see for themselves the savagery inflicted on the defenceless animals in the name of sport by the hunting brigade… F Cleaves, Par (letter)
Western Morning News 18.11.03 DEPLORABLE CRUELTY TO FOXES - Having been seriously compromised by stag hunters while holidaying with my wife in the Westcountry, I would be obliged if you would print the following letter…. Do the people who massed at venues across the country at the behest of the Countryside Alliance to sign a declaration of civil disobedience know what goes on in the countryside? The campaign is to save hunting with dogs of fox, deer, hare and mink from a ban. I have several hours of video film, taken by dedicated hunt monitors, that shows deplorable cruelty to fox, deer, hare and hound, and hunt havoc all perpetuated in the name of sport. The reason the general public has not seen these barbaric films is because TV companies have repeatedly refused to use them because it is against their code of ethics, even after 9pm…. The film has been placed in the House of Commons library - Bill Cunnington, Melton Mowbray (letter)

Manchester Evening News 2.2.04 IT comes as no surprise to learn that a member of a species downtrodden by successive monarchs has been clubbed to death by the present incumbent. Normally they are blasted from the sky by prince consorts, dukes and other assorted toffs... Teacher, Stockport (letter)

Dundee Evening Telegraph 2.2.04 Appalled by Queen - I WAS appalled and disgusted at a photograph in a national newspaper showing the Queen bashing a pheasant’s head with her walking stick... Disgusted Citizen. (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 2.2.04 'Right decision over animal lab' - I BELIEVE the right decision was taken not to go ahead with the Primate Research Facility in Cambridge. In this country millions of animals are killed in the name of science and research…. Many people do not realise their is an alternative to animal research. One such organisation which is pioneering research is the Dr Hadwen Trust…. Cllr ADRIAN MINERS, Peterborough (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 2.2.04 'Research hampers finding disease cures' - I AM a professionally qualified lab animal technician, and have worked with monkeys in brain research… In my experience, animal experiments are done to publish papers, not to produce medical evidence. The increasingly evident discrepancies between the human and primate brain makes monkey-based conclusions inapplicable to man, and the incisive technology now available makes human-based clinical research immeasurably superior to monkey research… Name and address supplied (letter)

Guardian 2.2.04 Testing times for research
Mark Matfield characterises Cambridge University's decision to drop plans for a primate research centre as a victory for violence and thuggery over valuable medical research (A terrible day for patients, January 28). What a misrepresentation - the campaign against the centre has been peaceful, lawful and fought on scientific, as well as ethical, grounds.... Claudia Tarry, Animal Aid
What qualifies Wendy Higgins, campaigns director for the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, to declare that experimenting on animals is a less valuable way of researching diseases than non-animal research techniques... Leo Kearse, London
It is inaccurate to believe that if we don't build the Cambridge lab to experiment on live monkeys we won't find cures for human diseases... A Wills, Ruislip, Middx
There are hundreds of non-animal methods of research which are far more reliable than outdated animal models.... Jo Robertson, Taunton, Somerset
Scientists keep referring to "the brain" as if the brains of all species are the same, when they are not.... Gillian Douglas Russell, Aberdeen
I take it that all those animal rights activists, so keen to deny to others possible benefits deriving from research involving testing using animals, will in future, always refuse any medication so derived.... Reg Cleaver, Sheffield (letters)

Torquay Herald Express 2.2.04 DON'T RELY ON ANIMAL TESTING - "REPRESENTATIVES of the patients' group SIMR must be deaf, dumb and blinkered to suggest one should be grateful for such a sorry state of affairs appertaining to veterinary-based medical research"... JACQUELINE SHORTLAND, Central Road, Plymouth (letter)

Telegraph 2.2.04 New licensing law threatens to kill off the circus - The Big Top faces a rise in costs and could be priced out of business. Benedict Brogan and Nicole Martin report - The Big Top, clowns, performing dogs and those daring young men on the flying trapeze could disappear next year because of new regulations that will make it impossible for travelling circuses to stay in business... (story)

Telegraph 2.2.04 Animal cruelty - I was disturbed by the scenes showing Jenny Bond on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! trapped in a pit with rats and was amazed that you gave space to Jordan "appearing to be terrified"... What of the fear experienced by the animals subjected to an enclosed alien environment full of predators and the screaming voice of a well-paid model?... Alan Abraham, Fordingbridge, Hants (letter)

The Sentinel 2.2.04 ANGRY ABOUT ANIMAL TESTING - i would like to draw your attention to the issue of animals being used for testing cosmetics and beauty products. Every day scientists are using animals to put their products on them. I think this should be stopped as many animals are being hurt or killed.... RIO ELLIS Aged 10, of Longton (letter)
The Sentinel 2.2.04 HUGE FINES FOR CRUEL TESTERS It has come to my attention that more animal testing is going on. I think that more companies should write on their products to say whether they have tested the item on animals as this is very cruel.... DANIELLE J MINOR Aged 11, of Longton (letter)
The Sentinel 2.2.04 ANIMALS SHOULD BE OUR FRIENDS - i am writing about the problem of animal testing. I think it is a crime and should not be done.... KATIE LOUISE BALL Aged 11, of Longton (letter)

Dover Mercury 2.2.04 Tragic animal rights protestor remembered - ANIMAL rights protestors braved lashing rain and high winds at the weekend to join an annual rally on Dover seafront. The campaigners travelled to the port from across the country to remember their colleague Jill Phipps, who died nine years ago in Coventry during a demonstration.... (story)
BBC News Online 31.1.04 Animal rights protest - The death of an animal rights protester who died while trying to stop a livestock lorry has been remembered in Dover... Angie Petro, of Kent Action Against Live Exports, said even people who did not know her wanted to honour her memory (story)
Hawkinge Gazette 31.1.04 ANIMAL RIGHTS RALLY REMEMBERS JILL - Dozens of animal rights campaigners held a rally in Dover today (31 January) in memory of activist Jill Phipps... (story)

Western Morning News 2.2.04 'IMMORAL AND HEINOUS TRADE' I cannot agree more with your campaign to stop this immoral and utterly heinous trade in live horses... Dr Fiona G Kemp, Conservative Party Truro & St Austell
Hypocritical - ON seeing the WMN of January 23 I was alarmed and horrified that Alun Michael could be such a hypocrite as to ban foxhunting on the grounds of cruelty and then condone live transport for horses, sheep etc.... Eve Lighton, Altarnun, Cornwall
Unnecessary HOW can the Government permit the export of live horses, which is so unnecessary and so cruel?... Joan M Partridge, South Brent, Devon
Stop and listen .... I will not support any political party that allows live exports of equines destined for food slaughter.... Mrs Heather White, Boyton, near Launceston Cornwall (letters)

Cumberland News & Star 2.2.04 TRAINED ON THE RIGHT TARGET - DOES D Hill of Stanwix really think that the possible suffering of one or two grey squirrels is reason enough to stop a cull which would save Cumbria’s entire red squirrel population from extinction?... Namby-pamby townies who prefer no action to be taken should stick to the pavements and leave the countryside to those who know something about it. A ROSS, Dalston (letter)
Cumberland News 30.1.04 CULLING IS NO ANSWER TO SQUIRREL CRISIS - I DO not approve of any kind of culling of grey squirrels even if it is intended to save the lives of red squirrels…. I feel the same about the shooting of Ruddy Ducks to prevent them from interbreeding with Spanish White-headed ducks… D HILLStanwix, Carlisle (letter)

Irish Examiner 2.2.04 Enforce animal welfare standards abroad - THE pictures from Thailand of the slaughter of millions of chickens being burnt or buried alive in sacks gives a shocking view of globalisation and free trade.... JS Glendinning, Dromderrig, Kinsale, Co Cork (letter)

Runcorn World 2.2.04 Give PM an art attack - THE RSPCA is calling on young artists to put their creative talents to the test and design an Easter card that could inspire politicians to ban cruel battery cages.... The RSPCA is asking youngsters aged 16 or under to design an Easter card with a simple but strong slogan of not more than 10 words based on these themes... (story in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 28.1.04 YOUNG ARTISTS TO COMBAT CAGE USE - Keen young artists in Gloucestershire are being urged by the RSPCA to help inspire politicians to ban battery cages…. The RSPCA is asking youngsters aged 16 or under to design an Easter card with a simple but strong slogan of not more than 10 words.The card could help convince the Government and MPs that all battery cages should be banned once and for all… (story)

Bath Chronicle 2.2.04 PREVENT APPROACHING DISASTER BY CUTTING OUT MEAT - Once again, the world finds itself in the grip of a new health scare. The recent outbreak of avian flu has undeniably been fanned by the cancer of intensive farming … the best way to end animal suffering is not to eat them and it is the only sure way to defuse this ticking time bomb. End factory farming - before it ends us…. JUSTIN KERSWELL, Viva! campaigner, Bristol (letter)

1.2.04

Bedfordshire on Sunday 1.2.04 Culling fields - FAMILIES enjoying a Sunday stroll in the park looked on in horror as ferrets were let loose to slaughter rabbits... The town council sanctioned the use of the hunting animals to catch the rabbits which have been causing havoc in the park... A spokesman for the RSPCA confirmed that the most effective and humane way to kill the rabbits was to gas them but also stated that the area would have to be closed off while the gas was put down the warrens. (story)

Sunday Times 1.2.04 Vengeance of the animal lovers - The threat of animal rights protests stopped plans for a new laboratory in Cambridge last week. Jason Smith, who joined one protest group, found it was the front for people who only wanted violent action... When Avery and Natasha came out of jail, we discussed using more sophisticated spying techniques and I was sent on a privately run electronic surveillance course, where I learnt how to tap telephones, install surveillance equipment and how computers can be bugged. All expenses were paid for by Shac.... I now believe it makes a point of keeping potentially incriminating evidence on volunteers in order to divert attention from the ringleaders. The organisation left me with a feeling that it was less interested in the welfare of animals than its own aggrandisement.... I genuinely felt that what I was doing might have helped to stop some of the cruelty inflicted upon our friends, the animals, and it’s ironic that by blowing my cover the people who stopped me from doing so was Shac. I was always prepared for the consequences of my actions, but not for Shac’s gutless treachery. (story)

Observer 1.2.04 Animal activists face jail as tough new law backs labs - Robin McKie and Mark Townsend - Sweeping new powers against animal rights activists are being prepared by Home Secretary David Blunkett. New legislation would make it an imprisonable offence to intimidate scientists involved in animal research, and prevent large groups gathering outside laboratories. A national police unit dedicated to tackling animal terrorism could be set up... Tactics used by activists include throwing rape alarms on the roofs of the homes of lab staff, planting burning crosses in gardens, sending bomb threats to schools of employees' children, pouring acid on cars, smashing homes and daubing on walls claims that staff are rapists and paedophiles.... (story)

Scotland on Sunday 1.2.04 Avian flu - Ross Minett Advocates for Animals (letter)
Scotsman 28.1.04 'Factory farm' danger - The latest human health scare, avian flu, is again being linked to the intensive farming of animals…. Intensive animal farming is detrimental to animal welfare, the environment and, as is increasingly being realised, human health. ROSS MINETT Director, Advocates for Animals Queensferry Street Edinburgh (letter)