February 2005 - hunting 22-28.2.05

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28.2.05

LACS CLAIMS VIDEO EVIDENCE SHOWS BREACHES OF BAN
Telegraph 28.2.05 Hunt organisers 'broke law' - Anti-hunt protesters are to make the first formal complaints about alleged breaches of the new Hunting Act. The League Against Cruel Sports claimed it had video evidence which showed that hunt organisers broke new rules about the chasing of animals on the first day of the ban…. (story)
Sunday Times 27.2.05 Foxhunt videos may spark charges - JONATHON CARR-BROWN - ANTI-hunting protesters are preparing to make six formal complaints to the police over what they claim are breaches of the new ban on the sport. Activists at the League Against Cruel Sports have been sifting through video footage taken by their members and sent in by the public for evidence of breaches of the Hunting Act, which took effect earlier this month….(story)
Western Morning News 26.2.05 HUNTING COMPLAINTS TO BE MADE - The League Against Cruel Sports is preparing to make six complaints to police after several suspected breaches of the Hunting Act last weekend. The league said its members had gathered video evidence and it also had accounts by eyewitnesses. It said it would pass on all evidence to relevant authorities…. Avon and Somerset Police yesterday confirmed that they had received a complaint that hounds from the Taunton Vale fox hunt had been seen pursuing a fox after the ban was implemented…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 28.2.05 Hunt vows to smash 'unjust political law' - A MASSIVE message of support for hunting was sent out as more than 200 people turned up for a meeting in Caxton. More food had to be laid on than ever at the annual Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace Hunt breakfast meeting, as supporters gathered in force to send a message of defiance to the Government…. Glynis Grizzell, a postmistress from Barnet, Hertfordshire, said she cried last weekend when she went out for the first time since the ban. "I'm not a rich person - most of the people that go out are working people," she said. Peter Kirkpatrick, a surgeon at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, who was persuaded to try hunting three years ago by a friend, said it had taken him three years to understand hunting…. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 28.2.05 Hunt parades through town centre By Craig Robinson - A HUNT has paraded through a town centre in a high-profile demonstration of its determination to overturn the ban on hunting. About 25 members of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt met at Higham, on the Essex-Suffolk border, on Saturday before riding into Hadleigh. They paraded along High Street and Market Place before riding back towards the kennels at Higham… (story)

FIRST ARRESTS UNDER HUNTING LEGISLATION
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 28.2.05 First arrests made under new Hunting Act by Steve Barton - POLICE officers in Malmesbury have become the first in the country to make a successful arrest against people hunting with hounds. Four men have been arrested in North Wiltshire on suspicion of breaking the newly introduced ban on hunting with dogs, the first in the country to fall foul of the controversial legislation. The men were arrested at 4am last Saturday in a field between Sherston and Hullavington, just 28 hours after the Hunting Act became law…. (story in archive)
Wales on Sunday 20.2.05 Welsh hunters arrested in England - THREE Welshmen were arrested yesterday under the new hunting legislation, police said…. The men, aged 31, 32 and 33 from South Wales and a 53-year-old from Ireland, were arrested on suspicion of hunting with dogs under Section 1 of the new Hunting Act… (story)
Irish Independent on Sunday 20.2.05 Irishman held under hunt law - A 53-year-old Irishman was among four men who were arrested yesterday under Britain's new hunting laws… (story)
Western Mail 19.2.05 Four held under new hunting laws - Four men were arrested today under the new hunting legislation, police said. The men were found at 4am between Hullavington and Sherston, Wiltshire, with four dogs and the carcass of a hare, police spokesman Dave Taylor said….(story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 First arrests under new hunt laws - Four men have been arrested by police in Wiltshire in what are believed to be the first arrests under the new hunting legislation. The men were found on an unclassified road near Malmesbury, with four dogs and the carcass of a hare…. (story)

Western Daily Press 28.2.05 MY TERRIFYING ORDEAL AT THE BATTLE OF BADMINTON - The West MP's assistant pelted with eggs and assaulted after being ambushed by pro-hunt supporters yesterday revealed the full extent of her injuries. Petite blonde Les, 36, who has withheld her full name for fear of repercussions, claims she suffered severe bruising on her left arm after being repeatedly punched. As the Western Daily Press reported, the attack took place when Dan Norris, the anti-hunt Labour MP for Wansdyke, visited Badminton on the day before the hunting ban came into force to participate in a live TV interview…. Delly Everard, regional officer, for the Countryside Alliance, said: "If she feels that she has a case she is more than welcome to go to the courts. Let's get some proper evidence…. Dan Norris's actions in Badminton were like a Man Utd supporter deliberately going into the Arsenal end and celebrating when Utd score" (story)

Worcester Evening News 28.2.05 Grace puts her point across on hunting ban - YOUNG rider Grace Thomas was a star for the day at a special children's Pony Club meet - the last but one chance to hunt legally before the ban against fox hunting was introduced. A record number of youngsters turned out, which was held at Cradley, near Malvern, determined to demonstrate their support for hunting. Grace, who is 10 years old, has hunted for most of her childhood. She was asked to appear on the BBC's Newsround television programme after commenting on the Bill when the decision to ban hunting was announced in November. She has even got her own web page on the subject… (story in archive)

Hereford Times 28.2.05 Thousands back the hunts - HUNT supporters turned out in force across Herefordshire to show that a ban would not send them to ground. Saturday saw a strong showing in defiance of a ban that became law the day before. The North Hereford Hunt drew around 1,000 to its rally at Aylestone Hill on the outskirts of Hereford… South Herefordshire Hunt had 116 riders following a decoy fox scent from King's Caple to Brockhampton… Ledbury Hunt leaders lambasted the ban and burnt a copy of the act that made it law before a crowd of around 500 at Hurst Farm, Welland…. (story in archive)

Hampshire Chronicle 28.2.05 We'll overturn this ban - THOUSANDS of supporters turned up at the Hampshire Hunt on Saturday to defy the new law outlawing foxhunting… Sergeant Shaun Stinson said there were five officers on duty at the meet, which had not shown any signs of being confrontational. But at the Hursley Hambledon meet at Owslebury, near Winchester, one anti-hunt supporter said the mood was different. Diane Cooper (50), one of five protesters at the Longwood Estate, where there were over 1,000 supporters, claimed hunt supporters drove towards she and partner, Graham, before swerving away… Meanwhile, there was also a strong show of support in the New Forest on Thursday, when a record turnout of 230 on horseback and 500 foot followers arrived at the Royal Oak pub at Fritham for the last legal hunt before the

Hull Daily Mail 28.2.05 HUNTING FOR SENIOR MP'S POLITICAL SCALP - A city MP is hailing the success of the ban on fox hunting - despite a website campaign to unseat him. Hull North MP Kevin McNamara has signed an Early Day Motion, or petition, welcoming the introduction of a ban on hunting with dogs…. He has been ranked joint third in a table of targeted MPs, as recorded on the votehunting.com website… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 28.2.05 'FROM ECO-WARRIORS TO FARMERS, I'VE UPSET MOST PEOPLE. BUT I BELIEVE IN TELLING THE TRUTH. IT'S NOT BEEN A BAD PRINCIPLE IN LIFE' - He Is a millionaire farmer and businessman, known for his forthright views and credited with inventing ready-made lasagne. Lord Haskins gives Allison Coggan a piece of his mind… With the countryside in the spotlight as the hunting ban takes effect, he is quick to criticise both sides… "I don't like hunting and wouldn't dream of hunting myself," he says. "But the Government shouldn't have wasted a lot of Parliamentary time getting a hunting ban through, as it will be very difficult to enforce. "On the other hand, the countryside lobby appears to be not very representative as it's all toffs and well-to-do people… (story)

Yorkshire Post 28.2.05 A DEBATE OVER CLASS PREJUDICE... NOT ANIMALS From Kate Greville, Batcliffe Mount, High Headingley, Leeds. I AM writing in answer to Bill Bridge's article "Hunting: freedom of choice is a key issue" (Yorkshire Post, February 18). I completely agree with the point made that the ban on hunting foxes with hounds cannot work…. This law is typical of laws written by legislators who don't know enough about their subject to block all the loopholes…
From: David S Boyes, Rodley Lane, Bramley, Leeds. BEFORE the fox hunting ban was introduced, I asked my MP why the Government would wish to ban this sport, when at the same time it continued to allow "ritual slaughter" by minority religions… I quickly had a reply from the Department of the Minister concerned, which advised that the Government position was that in this matter, "religious freedoms" took precedence over anything else…
From: Mrs Elizabeth Waterhouse, Weston Crescent, Otley. I WATCHED TV the other day where it showed jeering "countryside lovers" about to set their dogs on to hares at the Waterloo Cup. The "countryside event" culminated in two dead hares been further mutilated by the "countryside lovers", and their carcasses thrown at the anti-hunt protesters… (letters)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.2.05 POLICE HAVE UNENVIABLE JOB KEEPING ALL HAPPY - The new laws against fox hunting laws will not be uniformly enforced, so what? Your anonymous correspondent, Points of view, February 23, complains that police are not giving priority to enforcement of the new hunting law… The police never enforce all of the law all of the time - never have and never will. What's more, we wouldn't want them to. Apparently, what we really want is very heavy policing, but only as long as it is directed at those people and behaviours to which we take particular exception…. My sympathy is with the police. Oh, and the fox! David Godfrey, Magdalen Road, Exeter (letter)

Shropshire Star 28.2.05 Hunt law surprise - Hunts around the country met on Saturday…. the majority of the antis reacted to what occurred around the country on that day. It seems they need to be educated on the law they actually pushed for, they seemed surprised the fox actually died. Andrew Finch, Shrewsbury (letter)

Shropshire Star 28.2.05 Ban would be justified With regard to recent legislation banning fox hunting because of "cruelty", I think there is not one "cruel" fox hunter who would not gladly give his or her vote to a Government which promised a complete ban on the exporting of live animals - including horses for slaughter. Valentine Bruning, Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant (letter)

Leicester Mercury 28.2.05 WILL OUR MICE NOW HAVE A FIELD DAY? Although we are gundogs and not hounds, we have in the past been called upon to hunt down and deal with the occasional house mouse. Now hunting with dogs is illegal, what do we do - leave Mum screaming and standing on a chair?... The Tail Waggers, c/o Mrs A M Harrison, Saddington. (letter)

Western Mail 28.2.05 I fully agree with the comments made by Paul Flynn MP, in Madeleine Brindley's report (Western Mail, February 21), regarding the "sordid pleasure gained by killing a living creature". I am pleased that the barbaric sport of hunting with packs of hounds pursuing the fox all over the countryside driving it to the point of exhaustion and tearing it to pieces, has at long last been banned by Parliament…. LEONARD TAYLOR, Gladstone Drive, Hereford (letter)

Argus 28.2.05 Letter: Instead of hunting, the young can drink more - "Well, that's it", I said to my two nieces as we walked away from the thousands of people who had turned out on a bitterly cold February morning to give their support to the Southdown and Eridge Hunt on its first meet after the hunting ban came into force on February 17. "No more hunting as you know it," I added. Drag hunting will be much too fast for my youngest niece on her elderly pony. "But never mind," I continued, "Mr Blair and his cronies have got lots in store for you. When you are 18, you'll be able to go out with your friends into pubs and drink for 24 hours if you want to - don't worry if you get really drunk and fall over, or get into a fight and make a nuisance of yourself, the police will be there to pick you up…. -S Johnstone, Brighton (letter in archive)

Argus 28.2.05 Letter: Enforce the law - At last, with great difficulty and through the ballot box, the Government has brought in legislation to outlaw the travesty of fox hunting and bloodsports… However, the police seem to be adopting a softly-softly approach to the hunters' blatant defiance, saying they will continue to hunt. Who is behind this kid-gloves approach? Surely, a law is a law and should be obeyed and enforced?... -Elizabeth Taylor, Worthing (letter in archive)

Argus 28.2.05 Letter: Suffer the fox - The ban on hunting has raised another issue concerning animal welfare. Whereas, before the hunting ban, there was a slim chance of a healthy, reproductive fox escaping pursuit by the hounds and riders, it now merely has to be quickly flushed out and shot, offering a healthy fox no chance of survival, along with its offspring, in some cases…. -Robert De Mario, Hove (letter in archive)

Argus 28.2.05 Letter: A farmer's friend - Richard Tassell's letter (The Argus, February 23) reminds me that perhaps most town dwellers and some Countryside Alliance members who go hunting may not be aware foxes are the farmer's great friend… -Liz Walker, Brighton (letter in archive)

Northern Echo 28.2.05 HUNTING - IS Ruth Parker (HAS Feb 22) in the real world? The Government has listened to the vast majority of people and acted to stop the barbaric practice of allowing deer, foxes, hares and other animals to be terrorised and ripped apart by dogs in the name of sport…. Hugh Pender, Darlington. (letter in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 28.2.05 WILDE HAD IT JUST RIGHT ON HUNTING THE FOX …They hide behind the cloak that it has been a country pursuit for 300 years, no doubt they would have defended slavery centuries ago in the same arrogant manner. They argue of the economic cost to them, not true. 1 The economy of the countryside steadily decreases year upon year. 2 Up to 20,000 hounds are destroyed as a matter of course anyway, (usually before they are nine-years-old… Richard J Baker, Hutchinson Road, Cleethorpes (letter)

Bolton Evening News 28.2.05 Time to live and let live - LAST Friday morning I was unfortunate enough to have to listen to Brian Iddon's comment on radio regarding fox hunting. His comments just put the hunting ban in the perspective when he said "now hunting with dogs is banned, huntsmen and the like can still get on their horse and go down the pub and parade in fancy dress as before". That comment is what this ban is all about and a downright slur on law-abiding country folk that have lived and breathed country pursuits for centuries… Bill Partington, Daisy Hill Farm, Hindley (letter in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 28.2.05 LOOPHOLES IN HUNT BAN - There are too many loopholes in the ban on hunting. I'm sure that you will find that most people are for the ban. It is time to move forward into the 21st Century. Hunting was once essential for survival - it was never meant for recreation or sport…. M Charles, Hopkins Street, Swansea (letter)

27.2.05

Eastern Daily Press 27.2.05 Baron rules over Horseheath rivals - Never has the link between hunting and point-to-pointing been more starkly demonstrated than through Baron Bernard's victory at the Thurlow meeting on Saturday at Horseheath. Just a week after the foxhunting ban came into force, Baron Bernard, who has done little to prepare for racing save hunt for over 20 days with the East Essex Foxhounds, proved what a fantastic grounding that can be by winning the Restricted Race. Ridden and trained by Great Yeldham's Paul Chinery, Baron Bernard jumped his way to the front with almost a circuit to run and, showing a tremendous attitude, the 14-1 shot battled on gamely to beat Pampered Lad by four lengths. Chinery, 45, who was getting off the mark for the season, explained: "Baron Bernard is my father's hunter, and when he hunts him he goes all day and covers more ground than anyone else…" (letter)

Sunday Times 27.2.05 Jeremy Clarkson: Sticking one on the gum summit - Thanks to the weather and Mrs Queen’s problems with Charles and Camilla’s wedding plans, you probably didn’t notice that last week Britain played host to its first ever “gum summit”…. Well come on. With foxhunting dealt with and all the terrorists under house arrest, what else is there for them to do? Quite who will issue these fines I don’t know. Obviously the police no longer have the time since they’re all running around the countryside looking for wounded foxes, so it’s been suggested that the job is given to council employees like bin men and street sweepers. I’m not sure this is a good idea because if a fat man in a hi-vis jacket ordered me to cough up £75 for chewing gum, I might just set fire to his ears… (story)

Wales on Sunday 27.2.05 Tally-woe! - Marc Baker, Wales on Sunday - POLICE are investigating an alleged pub bust-up involving a head huntsman after a fox ban stripper-gram stunt backfired. Darren Foxley, huntsman with the Brecon & Talybont Hunt, is to be interviewed by police after a row with kiss-a-gram girl Allyson Capron. The 24-year-old stripper stunned party-goers at the Three Horseshoes pub in Groesffordd, Brecon, by turning up in a copper's outfit last Saturday to "arrest" Mr Foxley as a joke for breaking the new hunting law…. But on arriving, birthday boy Mr Foxley rejected Miss Capron's advances. Red-faced Mr Foxley, of Swansea, was at the party with his partner when he told Miss Capron to back off. The generous kiss-a-gram then offered to perform a lap-dance on another customer and while she was at the bar, Mr Foxley is said to have thrown some ice at her. In retaliation, Miss Capron threw a pint of lager over him…. (story)

Observer 27.2.05 Your delight should be disgust - Why do you say you are delighted the law against fox hunting is unenforceable (Leader, last week)? Surely the desire to kill for pleasure is morally indefensible…. Kate Colgrave, Milton Keynes
Surveys have shown repeatedly that the majority of British people have wanted to see this cruel sport banned for a long time, hence the parliamentary ban representing their wishes. There will always be a minority who are not happy with some forms of legislation, but please spare us emotive articles which try to portray these strangely-attired individuals and their barbaric medieval traditions as representative of the British public… Alison Lambert, Newcastle upon Tyne
I am shocked that you express delight that the law is clearly unenforceable and that hunting has so far proceeded undis turbed. I would have thought you would have been opposed to both unnecessary cruelty and to the deliberate flouting of a law that has the support of a large majority of the British people, and has been passed by a democratically elected government… Richard Mountford, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent
I was aghast to read of your 'delight' that the law to ban hunting with dogs is unenforceable. You reiterate the tired myth that hunting is a class and culture issue. It is nothing of the sort. It is about the fact that the vast majority of people, from all walks of life, find it abhorrent…. P M Fullerton, Aberdeen (letter)

Telegraph 27.2.05 You can't pin the ban on Blair - Your front-page headline says "So much for your hunt ban, Mr Blair" (News, February 20), but it is not the Prime Minister's ban. The responsibility lies squarely on the Labour backbench MPs, and upon the House of Lords…. Dennis L Bird, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex
Before moving to the country two years ago my knee-jerk reaction was that hunting is wrong, but it was not long before I began to understand the fundamental difference in the way animals are viewed in the farming community: they are generally either working, stock or vermin. The only hope for hunting is to educate the electorate to this fact…. Ross Herbert, Linley Green, Herefordshire
I live in a north Birmingham suburb. Rarely a week goes by when I do not see a fox. Please may we have a hunt down our road so that I can remember what a policeman looks like? Robert J Gould, Great Barr, Birmingham (letters)

Bedfordshire on Sunday 27.2.05 Hunt crimewatch - I fear that both the Oakley Hunt and the media have misinterpreted the hunting ban. The ban is not intended to prevent people from dressing up as Ronald McDonald and riding through our countryside. It is there to outlaw foxes being ripped to shreds by packs of half starved hounds… Ray Nard Huntwatch Criminal Investigation Team Rat catcher - If local hunt members are really so concerned about vermin control, let them put on their quaint costumes and come and chase rats in Bedford town centre… Dominic W Martin, Church End, Biddenham (letters)

Sunday Times 27.2.05 A-hunting we go - BATH has an urban fox population that lives in harmony with man. All over Britain many thousands of foxes probably co-exist with us in this way… Peter Cossins, Bath
FARCE: Ban or no ban, hunting will continue. It is pointless and impossible to enforce the new law with so many hunts around the country (News and Focus, last week). Are we going to see masses of policemen and women pointlessly chasing people around the countryside? Who is going to see to the murders, rapes, burglaries and assualts in the cities?... Dimitri Pesin, London NW4 ONE FOR THE ROAD: My local pub is called the Fox and Hounds. Should it now be renamed the Drag and Dog? Stan Labovitch Windsor, Berkshire (letters)

26.2.05

Ananova 26.2.05 Hunt supporters out in force - Hunt supporters across the country have been out in force again, trying to keep their sport alive despite the recent ban. More than 200 hunts were planned, but staying within the legal guidelines, a Countryside Alliance spokeswoman said…. (story)

Shropshire Star 26.2.05 Huntmaster is hounded out BY SIMON ALTON - A Shropshire huntmaster has become the county's first casualty of the Government's ban on hunting - leaving his hunt without a master for the first time in its 135-year history. Myles Salmon, master of the Wheatland Hunt based in Eardington, near Bridgnorth, says he has been forced out by the Government and he and his family are now leaving Shropshire. He said his forced resignation would be the first of many redundancies facing rural areas as the ban took effect. The Wheatland Hunt had decided to replace a full-time master with a series of unpaid acting masters in the future, Mr Salmon said…. (story)
Bridgnorth Journal 25.2.05 Hunt's master quits his job - Melvyn Morgan - THE Master of the Wheatland Hounds has voiced his “complete exasperation and bitterness” over the controversial hunting ban, as he gets set to quit his job later this year. Myles Salmon, aged 43, will not be renewing his contract on May 1 after 10 seasons in the post…. “It is purely the Government ban on hunting which means I am finishing,” he said. “I am completely exasperated and extremely bitter.” (story)

Western Daily Press 26.2.05 ON THE SCENT OF THE WEST HUNTS - Huntsmen across the West were warned they will be watched today, on the second Saturday since the hunt ban came into force. And the League Against Cruel Sports revealed last night its anti-hunt monitors were preparing to make six formal complaints to police following "several suspected breaches" of the Hunting Act last weekend…. (story)

Western Daily Press 26.2.05 BANNED PLAYED ON WITH A LITTLE US HELP - They came to visit the West Country from the Deep South of America - a dozen horse riders intent on finding out what "the ban" was all about. The ban in question is, of course, the new legislation which prohibits hunting with dogs and which became law in England last week. The group, from the Tennessee Valley Hunt, USA, worked their way up from Exmoor, in Devon, in time to follow the Avon Vale Foxhounds from Saturday's meet at Monks Park near Corsham, Wiltshire…. (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 26.2.05 The hunt goes on...for votes by David Andrew - THERE are still at least three months to go until the general election but Swindon has already started to show signs of election fever. And to underline the Labour message Anne Snelgrove, the candidate hoping to take over from Julia Drown, retiring MP for South Swindon, had a cunning plan. She hit the streets of Old Town with a talking fox called Freddie. The stunt was a riposte to news that the constituency is being targeted by foxhunters when the election is called. On Tuesday the Adver reported that riders from the Beaufort, Old Berkshire and Vale of White Horse hunts are preparing to campaign in South Swindon on behalf of Robert Buckland, the Conservative candidate…. (story in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 26.2.05 HUNT LOBBY TARGETS MPS - Fox-hunting supporters have vowed to unseat a number of anti-hunting Notts Labour MPs at the General Election - after they voted for a ban. A website has been set up dedicating to over-turning the fox-hunting ban by kicking out the Labour Government. Votehunting.com is attempting to recruit volunteers to campaign against anti-hunting MPs in vulnerable seats…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 26.2.05 Coursing leader heads to Ireland - HARE coursing leader Sir Mark Prescott, a top Newmarket racehorse trainer, pursued his sport in Southern Ireland to escape the effect of the ban on hunting with dogs… Sir Mark, who breeds greyhounds for coursing, said English dog owners had always taken part in coursing meets in Ireland, but more may travel there following the introduction of the Hunting Act. He said the ban would lead to the shooting of more than 10,000 hares on farmland. Up to 600 dogs would also be at risk of being put down as they were no longer needed…. The future of the National Coursing Club, with offices near Newmarket's Clocktower, will be decided later this year. Charles Blanning, secretary of the club, said: "As the Hunting Act stands, it makes competitive coursing explicitly illegal." He said the club would continue but "in the next two or three months" there would be consultation with the 23 member clubs about "what they see as a way forward"…. (story)

Telegraph 26.2.05 Forward not back: a backwards step By Sarah Sands - On a recent Sunday evening, I went to watch the ceremony of the keys at the Tower of London…. There was an outpouring of Britain back not forward last weekend, when hundreds of hunts rode out after the ban. Country people reported an unusually high turnout of children eager to see such elegiac pageantry. A wholly urban theatre director friend of mine said that he was pro-hunting not for the usual arguments about country livelihoods and arguable cruelty, but for the spectacle. During the winter months in quite a camouflage-coloured island, the hunt is a cheering splash of movement and colour…. The contempt for tradition expressed by John Prescott is more than class rage: it is Philistinism…(story)

North West Evening Mail 26.2.05 LAKES PROTEST MAN MUST PAY £500 - A WINDERMERE speed ban campaigner has been found guilty of speeding on Coniston Water while water-skiing. Tony Kemp, 44, of the Windermere Action Force, was clocked exceeding the 10mph limit while towing a 71-year old blind water ski champion in August last year…. He said: “It is like the foxhunting ban people which the Blair Government has introduced. People will carry on using the lakes after this." (story)

Hull Daily Mail 26.2.05 FAITH (BBC ONE, 9PM) - Forgive me if I don't shed any tears for the green welly brigade, who are gnashing their teeth and ranting on about "civil disobedience" because we civilised folk have taken away their right to hunt and tear apart animals for the fun of it. Not only that, but I hope, sincerely, that the police uphold the law and bang a few heads with the same enthusiasm they did in 1984 when the Government sent them in to deal with the striking miners, a group of people who the "huntin', shootin' and fishin' mob" derided with phrases like "the enemy within"…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 26.2.05 Stop attacks From Liz Mort, Countryside Alliance Regional Director Hadleigh Suffolk - THE Hunting Act 2004 has nothing to do with animal welfare and everything to do with political prejudice, as last weekend showed. Politicians have created a situation that has resulted in police officers being diverted from frontline policing activities and refocused on ensuring rural people are culling foxes within the law. The British people don't want this legislation, rural communities are opposed to it, and more importantly, the police don't want it…. Anti-hunting organisations and hunt saboteurs should now stop their malicious, prejudiced attacks on the hunting community, understand that hunts intend to act within the law until this ridiculous and badly-drafted legislation is overturned, and stop causing unnecessary trouble in rural areas. (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 26.2.05 Thrown off the scent... What does it say about you as a person if your enjoyment is terrorising animals and then watching them being torn to shreds? People who enjoy hunting are no better than those prosecuted by the RSPCA for badger baiting or drowning kittens…. R WHITE, South Bank
WHAT is the problem of those hooligans who gallavant across the countryside in pursuit of an innocent and near-harmless animal, ostensibly in the name of fox, stag and hare population management control, giving up their bloodsports? If I could, and did, give up that other bloodsport (freshwater game fishing/ angling) that I so very much enjoyed, after three decades - when I finally came to my senses that what I was doing was also indefensible - there is no reason why those aforementioned can't give up their relentless pursuits…. A P KIRK, Middlesbrough (letters)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 26.2.05 Cruel reply to hunt ban - Mike Williams, Gospel End Road, Sedgley. (letter)
Dudley News 25.2.05 What has the fox hunting ban really done? - I wonder if the so-called animal lovers really know what they have helped to create when the Hunting Bill becomes law on February 18. It will be a sad day for foxes after that date as they will become enemy number one on any sporting estate, as the damage they cause to game birds and other wildlife will no longer be tolerated…. Mike Williams, Sedgley (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 26.2.05 HUNTSMEN WILL WIN THE DAY - How nice to see the report and pictures of the joint meet of foxhounds at Darley Moor Airfield on Saturday (Evening Telegraph, February 21). It is sad the reason was the banning of live foxhunting…. This bad, unenforceable law will be rescinded sooner or later. F.W.Salt, Swadlincote, (letter)

Northern Echo 26.2.05 HUNTING - I HAVE never followed a hunt but disagree wholeheartedly with the "ban" so I attended last weekend's meeting of the Zetland Hunt to express my support. I was in awe of the numbers of people, and the strength of their passion…. Anti-hunting organisations and hunt saboteurs should now stop their attacks on the hunting community, understand that hunts intend to act within the law until this ridiculous and badly-drafted legislation is overturned, and stop causing unnecessary trouble in rural areas. - Richard Dodd, Countryside Alliance Regional Director. (letter in archive)

Independent 26.2.05 How readily do myths prosper in minds fronted by loud mouths. Bruce Anderson (Opinion, 21 February) recalls qualities of "gentleness, self-deprecation and tolerance" in the English people, now under assault from "metropolitan elites" who are breaking the country up. Does the man know no history? Anti-Irish riots in 1736; riots against Jewish political emancipation in 1752; against Catholics in 1780; sustained Tory parliamentary opposition to the abolition of both slavery and the slave trade in the early 19th century… Hunting is merely the latest delight of closed and cruel minds, against which metropolitan elites have successfully battled, an elite of Thomas Clarkson, Elizabeth Fry, Lord Shaftesbury, assorted naive backbenchers, and to enrage Anderson, that undervalued man, Harold Wilson, people with a meddling intolerance toward sadistic primitives… EDWARD PEARCE, Thormanby, North Yorkshire (letter)

Leicester Mercury 26.2.05 FALSE IMPRESSION - I was under the impression that Alun Michael had perpetrated his hunting bill to save wildlife. Instead, he says: "It's not about the number of foxes killed, it is a question of how they are killed"…. I am a beagler, and it seems beagles are only interested in hunting the trail of a dead hare - it would probably take two to provide an afternoon's activities. As we hunted 54 days this season, that would involve 108 dead hares, whereas this season, in 54 days, hounds accounted for 16. Mrs J M Brookhouse, Rothley. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 26.2.05 A NOBLE SERVICE - I am writing with regard to the hunting ban. I am only 14 years old, but I do feel very strongly against this ban. I live on a small holding and I have seen the destruction caused by foxes. I have had many chickens and have had many frights from what the foxes do to them…. People do not hunt because they enjoy killing the foxes, which are not innocent at all. The reason that people hunt is because it is a noble and old service provided for the farmers… Amber Clarke, Keyham. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 26.2.05 THIS GUESSING GAME IS QUITE A DRAG - Could you please print a better picture of the drag hunt….. I don't expect anyone as glamorous as Lily Savage or as famous as Dame Edna, but at least give us an inkling what the fashion is. P McCormac, Burbage (letter)

Leicester Mercury 26.2.05 GO FOR THE RATS - At last! Common sense prevails and ends "by law" fox hunting. It's only the lazy, so called "upper class" who are looking for something to do. Give them a shovel and pick and let them have experience of a good day's work, which would certainly kill a few off, instead of the humble fox, who was put on this earth by the good Lord…. M Hill, Leicester. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 26.2.05 A NEW VERSION OF FIELD SPORTS - How interesting to read some of the comments in the Leicester Mercury article "Hunts' show of strength" (February 21). Farmer Rad Thomas urged against voting for the Government in the forthcoming General Election. Did this same gentleman urge against voting for the Thatcher government when she was in the process of dismantling the mining industry and the miners' traditional way of life?... G A Wright, Leicester. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 26.2.05 IN FOR THE CHASE - I don't wish to add to the already mind-numbingly boring amount of publicity given to the fox-hunting fraternity whining about the ban disrupting their "sport", but I've heard no sane reason for not using alternatives… V Adams, Leicester. (letter)

Bath Chronicle 26.2.05 DOES HUNT WANT TO CREATE NO-GO AREAS? - I Was staggered by the events surrounding the physical attacks on Wansdyke MP Dan Norris by pro-foxhunting demonstrators…The most astonishing part of this sad episode is the way in which the Countryside Alliance and Beaufort Hunt responded afterwards. No regret, no condemnation, just a weak attempt to justify aggressive physical attacks… MRS J WYATT, Lilymead Avenue, Bristol (letter)

Bath Chronicle 26.2.05 HUNTSMEN LIKE PACK OF SNARLING HOUNDS - Shameful is the only way I can describe the way Dan Norris MP and his secretary were treated by some at Badminton, I have a lot of respect for Dan who is not one to sit on the fence when important issues need addressing. He works very hard for his constituency. I can only liken his treatment to the way a fox must feel when cornered by a pack of snarling hounds egged on by the huntsmen out for the kill and they call this sport… A CHEGWYN, Wellow Lane, Peasedown St John (letter)

Bath Chronicle 26.2.05 NOW WE HAVE SAVED THE HARES, LET'S DO THE SAME FOR PHEASANTS - KEITH DAVIS, Broad Street Place, Bath (letter)
Bath Chronicle 23.2.05 NOW WE HAVE SAVED HARES, LET'S DO SAME FOR PHEASANTS - No doubt a lot of us will have seen the nauseating pictures on the front of some of the national papers just recently, of the noble pursuit of hare-coursing…But still the likes of Jo Aldridge (Letters, February 16) are bogged down in denial, churning out entertaining gems of misinformation to justify the putative slaughter, a case in point being her assertion that hunting with hounds is the most humane way of controlling the fox population… The sooner the last 'view halloo' is heard and fades out of earshot, the better. Then perhaps we can broaden our horizons and look, say, towards the abolition of pheasant shooting as a next step on the road to genuine humanity. KEITH DAVIS, Broad Street Place, Bath (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 26.2.05 ABSOLUTE FREEDOM EQUALS ANARCHY - There is a great deal of rubbish being talked at the moment concerning government attacks on freedom. Every law that any government passes is a restriction on freedom in one way or another. If hunters should have the freedom to fox hunt, should they not also have the freedom to engage in dog-fighting, bull-fighting, or bear-baiting?... DAVE CATHY, Queensway, Torquay (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 26.2.05 PRO-HUNTING TORY SHOULD STEP DOWN - If Mr Inskip, the Tory candidate in Kingswood, refuses to condemn the violent behaviour of his friends in the Beaufort Fox Hunt towards MP Dan Norris, then he should stand down as a candidate for the General Election… John A Kenvin, Downend.
I FOR one will not be persuaded to vote for the Conservatives in Kingswood, if a fox-hunter knocks on my door asking for my vote (EP Jan 22)…. Pat Putterill, Downend
I AM writing in response to the ludicrous hunting ban that came into force recently…. I will continue to support hunting with the belief that sense will prevail…. R T Sturgis, by e-mail. (letters)

Nottingham Evening Post 26.2.05 HUNTERS ARE THE WORLD'S MOST OUT OF TOUCH PEOPLE - Hunting wild animals with dogs for fun is history, and about time too. Jane Best's concern for people thrown out of work as a consequence (Letters, February 23) is touching, but quite unfounded. These people can now get a proper job. The human race is extremely adaptable, and retraining is there for everyone if they want it. (Miners had to do it)… P. A. BELSHAW Monks Lane Gotham (letter)

Yorkshire Post 26.2.05 The beliefs of a true Dalesman From JD Clark, Burnsall, North Yorkshire. As a Yorkshireman I have a problem which has been accentuated by the hunting debate…. Of course, I do not deny that there are people who live in the country who oppose country sports, but I suspect many of them are those who object to cocks crowing, sheepdogs barking and cows, sheep and horses fouling our lanes. Some of them are weekenders, to the detriment of village life…. This legislation does not reflect well on those who govern us. It is unenforcable and deserves to die a death. Could politicians please concentrate on important matters and desist from persecuting law-abiding people?... (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 26.2.05 LACK OF CASH WILL SOUND DEATH KNELL FOR HUNTING …The 250 registered hunts in England and Wales each cost in the region of £100,000 a year to maintain…. A few supporters may defy the law, but most of them will not participate in an illegal sport. The number of spectators at fox and stag hunts will fall, resulting in a corresponding decrease in the income of hunts, making most of them no longer financially viable. That will be their end…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 26.2.05 CROWD WAS HAPPY TO SEE HUNT CHANGING ITS WAYS - When Michael Moore thanks Honiton for its reception of the hunt last Saturday, Points of view, February 24, I hope he realises that many of the crowd would have been League Against Cruel Sports supporters, joyous at the sight of so many former bloodsports practitioners now engaged upon the benign practice of trail hunting. Ivor Annetts, Mid Devon Support Group, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 26.2.05 TIME TO GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND FACE REALITY - Having read the Echo, February 21, I feel that perhaps the newspaper should be re-titled 'The Hunting Times'. To my mind there are a lot more newsworthy items in your newspaper that deserve a place on the front page than explanations and photographs of toffee-nosed upper class members of the hunting fraternity…. Name and address withheld on request (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 26.2.05 A POLITICAL CHASE - (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.2.05 LAWBREAKING UNLIKELY AMONG FRATERNITY BOSSES - The hunt ban will only be hard to enforce if there are people at the top of hunting who are deliberate lawbreakers. It is rich, influential establishment figures who run hunts, so it would be surprising if they indulged in wanton lawbreaking… Five years is a long time in politics. Anyway, why would anyone want to chase small animals for fun? The RSPCA will presumably take an interest in hunt ban enforcement. Max Nottingham, St Faith's Street, Lincoln (letter)

25.2.05

Cumberland News 25.2.05 ‘It’s a sad day – but we’re not finished yet’ “IT IS the end of the chapter – not the end of the book+Cumberland Foxhounds master Tim Brockbank’s words captured the defiant spirit of hunt supporters as they met for the first time since hunting with packs of hounds was outlawed…. Workington farrier Paul Johnston, who works for the Cumberland Foxhounds and Cumberland Farmers, hopes the legislation will be overturned….(story)

Mirror 25.2.05 'NICK THE HUNT LAW BREAKERS' - POLICE were yesterday told to arrest anyone who flouts the law and hunts with dogs this weekend. Last Saturday an estimated 250 hunts met and 91 foxes were killed in defiance of the new ban. Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith said it must be enforced like any law, even though an appeal has been lodged. He has now ordered prosecutors to start bringing cases…. (story)

BBC News Online 25.2.05 Minister runs pro-hunt gauntlet - Countryside minister Alun Michael had to run the gauntlet of pro-hunt supporters when he arrived at a conference in Cumbria on Friday…. On arrival, Mr Michael was greeted by about 40 demonstrators, protesting at the government ban…. However, Mr Michael said: "I've put in an enormous amount of time to listening to the views of everybody on the subject of hunting… It's most peculiar that they continue with this activity." (story)
Westmorland Gazette 25.2.05 DEFRA minister faces angry reception - SCORES of hunt supporters are expected to gather in Kendal today (Friday) to vent their anger towards Alun Michael, the Minister of State for Rural Affairs, who is due to deliver a keynote speech at a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs conference on rural issues being staged at the Castle Green Hotel…. (story)

News Post Leader 25.2.05 Protesters throw brick through MP's window - DEFIANT pro-hunters hit out at the Blyth Valley MP's backing of the hunting ban by smashing his constituency office window. A brick was thrown through the waiting room window of Ronnie Campbell's office in Renwick Road…. Mr Campbell believes the same people are responsible for a similar incident which co-incided with the controversial debate about hunting in Parliament last year…. (story)

Post & Times 25.2.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS HURL EGGS AT BROWN - Pro-hunt protesters hurled eggs at a car carrying Chancellor Gordon Brown during his visit to Leek. Mr Brown called in at Haregate Community Centre on Friday morning to chat to staff, parents and children at a SureStart meeting. As he left the community centre he was greeted by jeers and abuse… (story)
Post & Times 25.2.05 PROTEST AT BROWN VISIT SNUB - Members of the Moorlands Labour group say they feel let down because they were not told of Chancellor Gordon Brown's visit to Leek. The Chancellor dropped in on a SureStart meeting at Haregate Community Centre on Friday, with Staffordshire Moorlands MP Charlotte Atkins. As he left his car was pelted with eggs by pro-hunt protesters. Nobody from the Labour group was invited to meet Mr Brown, leaving members feeling snubbed…. (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 25.2.05 Bird corpses dumped on MP - A SACK full of dead chickens and pheasants was left on the doorstep of the Labour Party's office in Stroud on Friday morning just hours after the anti-hunting ban came into effect…. But Mr Drew's aides refused to let the incident ruffle their feathers… Police spokesman Marie Watton said while officers had received a report of the incident there was no 'fowl' play to investigate as no crime had been committed. "The caller said she suffered no alarm of distress so therefore there is no offence," said Ms Watton…. (story in archive)
Stroud News & Journal 23.2.05 Hunt fight taken to Labour's door by Sam Bond - A SACK full of dead chickens and pheasants was left on the doorstep of the Labour Party's office in Stroud on Friday morning just hours after the anti-hunting ban went through Parliament. Staff arriving at MP David Drew's Stroud office were confronted by the black bin liner crammed full of the dead chickens, pheasants and feathers and a brief note reading: "Three cheers for the fox! I forgot to shut these up, but then I'm only human."… "Someone who was too careless to take proper care of their chickens feels that dumping their bodies on our doorstep proves that hunting is a good idea," said the MP's assistant Sarah Madley. "Anyone who is too idle or too stupid to take proper care of their chickens and make sure they are locked up at night is not fit to be responsible for livestock…." (story in archive)

Post & Times 25.2.05 WE'LL KEEP UP THE TRADITION OF HUNTING - Huntsmen from the Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt joined other hunts from across Staffordshire on Saturday to hunt within the new laws. The Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt joined The Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, Dove Valley Mink Hounds and The Derbyshire, Nottingham and Staffordshire Beagles at Darley Moor near Ashbourne on Saturday. The hunts vowed to keep within the law and highlight the pitfalls of the new legislation…. (story)
Post & Times 25.2.05 LAW AND ORDER AN ELECTION ISSUE - Law and order should be one of the prime general election issues judging by all the threats which have already been made by many opposed to the new ban on hunting with dogs which came into effect last weekend…. Having heard one pro-hunt pundit threatening to hunt whatever the consequences because his 'human rights were being undermined,' which I thought was rubbish, it seems too many people seem to want to please themselves these days regardless of the law…. I have said it before, and I will say it again, I am not opposed to all the razzmatazz of the hunt, all those involved create a colourful sight, but the rights of wildlife must also be considered…. (story)

Rye & Battle Observer 25.2.05 Defiant hunt turn out in force - SATURDAY'S meeting of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt - the first following the ban on hunting with dogs - saw a record turnout. Some 170 riders were joined by 1,000 supporters on foot for the meet at Brightling Park… (story)

Malvern Gazette 25.2.05 Hunt rides out as hounds head home - LEDBURY Hunt was out and chasing a fox last Saturday. But before anyone dials 999, it should be pointed out that no hounds were involved. The meet at Hurst Farm, Welland, was very much a public relations exercise with supporters and the media in mind…. (story in archive)
Ledbury Reporter 25.2.05 Defiant hunt rides out as hounds head home LEDBURY Hunt was out and chasing a fox last Saturday. But before anyone dials 999, it should be pointed out that no hounds were involved… (story in archive)

Malvern Gazette 25.2.05 1,200 cheer in support - MORE than 1,200 people turned out to cheer on Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt at its first meet after the hunting ban… (story in archive)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 25.2.05 Policing hunting ban not a 'top priority' - Policing the new hunting ban is not at the top of the agenda for Warwickshire's top officer. Chief constable John Burbeck says fighting crime is far more important than policing the ban on fox hunting. Speaking during the first week of the ban, he said: "Protecting the lives of people in the county, whether it's on our roads or protecting them from serious violence, is clearly much more important."… On Saturday, the Warwickshire Hunt held a protest against the ban. About 200 hunt members were joined by between 3,000 and 4,000 hunt supporters at Upton House, near Kineton, for the mass protest…. (story)

Leamington Spa Courier 25.2.05 HUNT TO HOLD SECOND DEMO - The Warwickshire Hunt will hold a second demonstration against the 2004 Hunting with Hounds Act in Warwick tomorrow (Saturday). Hunters and foot followers will assemble at Sherbourne Park at 10.45am before riding across country to Warwick Racecourse… (story)

Melton Times 25.2.05 LAST RITES - IT was a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle, the likes of which Melton may never see again. The town centre came to a standstill on Saturday as thousands lined the streets to watch nearly 600 riders mark the ban on foxhunting. Small children on ponies rode side-by-side with distinguished hunters from the Quorn, Belvoir and Cottesmore hunts, who tipped their hats to a cheering crowd. The parade, which also included the Oakley Foot Beagles and about 2,800 foot followers, was intended as a thank you to Melton for more than 300 years of support for the hunts…. The appropriately named Vera Fox from Melton loudly booed the procession as it went past. She said: "I'm booing them because I hate the hunters…." Another hunt sometimes associated with the Melton area is the Fernie, based in Great Bowden near Market Harborough, which started life in 1856 on land formerly used by the Quorn… (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 25.2.05 Hunt supporters rally to cause - DEFIANT hunt supporters have shown no sign of giving up fighting the ban on hunting with hounds. On the first Saturday after the ban came into force more than 300 mounted followers and around 3,000 supporters on foot gathered for the Beaufort Hunt meet at Worcester Lodge, Badminton…. (story in archive)
Gloucestershire Gazette 25.2.05 Vow to enforce hunt ban - AN ANTI-HUNT group in South Gloucestershire has vowed to set up a Crimewatch-style campaign to ensure hunts comply with the new ban. The Cotswold Support Group for the Abolition of Hunting made the announcement after the ban on hunting with dogs came into force last Friday. Group co-founder Linda Graham said "The League Against Cruel Sports will lead the way with their recently launched Hunt Crime Watch scheme using monitors to gather evidence of illegal hunting for successful prosecutions."…. (story in archive)

Wear Valley Advertiser 25.2.05 Thrill of the chase lost in drag hunt - IT was a typically English picture postcard scene. Forty riders in smart blazers, traditional pinks and polished brass buttons taking the lead of an excitable pack of hounds. But as South Durham Hunt galloped across Tony Blair's pretty Sedgefield constituency, it was not a fox they were pursuing but one of their own…. But for the hundreds of followers who tracked the party in cars, the thrill of the chase was lost and with it, the hunting lobby say, will go a centuries-old way of life…. In anticipation of the ban, the hunt had trained a small pack of young hounds specifically for trail hunting… Elsewhere in the region, the Zetland Hunt descended on Aldbrough St John, near Richmond, to chase a man wearing a Tony Blair mask through the village. (story in archive)
Wear Valley Advertiser 25.2.05 Hunt supporters out in force in show of defiance against ban - THOUSANDS of supporters turned out at hunt meets across the region on Saturday in a show of defiance against the new hunting ban…. Mark Shotton, master of the South Durham Hunt, based in Prime Minister Tony Blair's Sedgefield constituency, said: "During a traditional hunt, if a fox gets into earth, it has won. The tables have now turned. We could set a drag up to that earth, dig out the fox, kill it and feed it to the hounds. This is what will happen."… (story in archive)

Consett & Stanley Advertiser 25.2.05 Hunt supporters turn out in defiance - THOUSANDS of supporters turned out at hunt meets across the region on Saturday in a show of defiance against the new hunting ban…. In Lanchester, more than 100 horses from the Braes of Derwent Hunt exercised the hounds through the village…. (story in archive)

Midhurst & Petworth Observer 25.2.05 Defiant crowd shows their support for hunt - A huge crowd, estimated at around 2,000 people, flocked to the Uppark estate at South Harting on Saturday to show their opposition to the hunting ban. The Petworth-based Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt held its 'meet of defiance' on the estate, joining packs across England and Wales in a show against the ban…. (story)

Herts & Essex Observer 25.2.05 HUNTS TEST LIMITS OF NEW LAW AS BAN BEGINS - HUNTS and their supporters gathered for a very public show of determination to continue hunting on Saturday – Puckeridge revealing afterwards it had killed a fox. At Essex’s meet at High Easter, hunters pursued a fake scent, laid by a man riding a quad bike shortly before the riders set off…(story)

Diss Express 25.2.05 Hunts meet in context of laws - Despite fears of clashes with protesters, hunts in south Norfolk met without incident on Saturday…. Vice-chairman of the Waveney Harriers, which hunts hares, Jeffrey Bowles told the Diss Express this week that the hunt had met as usual and had operated within the law… (story)

Harrogate Advertiser 25.2.05 Weekend meets continue to test new hunting law - "WE'LL still be out there until someone can make sense of this law," – that was the defiant call from huntsmen this week. As hunts across the country continue to test the ban on hunting with dogs, which came into force last week, Michael Thompson, Master of Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt, said supporters will do what they can to keep the tradition alive…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 25.2.05 MP: BAN BATTERY FARMING - DAVID BYERS PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT - A Labour MP who helped drive through a hunting ban wants the Government to take on factory farming next. Dr Nick Palmer, MP for Broxtowe, wants cruel treatment of calves, chickens and hens targeted. He also disapproves of fishing, or angling, for sport - but said that "in the real world," it was not prudent to ban it. But Dr Palmer's Conservative opponent at the next election, Bob Seely, criticised his views - claiming the Government "should not be getting involved" in people's pastimes. And Mr Seely - whose grandfather was Master of the South Notts Hunt - said that if the Conservatives got back into power, he would vote to re-instate hunting with dogs… (story)

Mid Wales Journal 25.2.05 The hunt goes on... Hundreds gathered in Beguildy at the weekend where the Teme Valley Hunt met on the day after the “ill-conceived” hunting ban was introduced…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 25.2.05 Hunters show defiance - MORE than 100 hunting supporters from across South Lakeland and Furness turned out at Cartmel Racecourse on Saturday morning in a show of defiant support for their way of life…. Alan Bolt, master of the North Lonsdale Foxhounds, welcomed the large number of people supporting the event and said it showed the strength of feeling on the issue…. (story)

Somerset County Gazette 25.2.05 Hunt `just walking the dogs' - JUST a day after the controversial law came into force banning hunting with dogs hundreds of people turned out in support of the Taunton hunt. Over 800 riders and followers supported the Taunton Vale Fox-hounds and Ilminster Beagles at a joint meet at Jordan's Farm, near Ilminster, last Saturday…. (story in archive)

Isle of Wight County Press 25.2.05 POLICE STUDY HUNT CCTV By Ross Findon - CCTV evidence of the IW Hunt passing through Newport town centre last Saturday is being studied by police to see if an offence has been committed. The hunt met in a show of defiance a day after the government's hunt ban became law and huntmaster Andrew Sallis felt it acted within the law and that the horses and hounds had been under control during the incident…. "If the council or the police had asked where we were going then we would have told them but no one did. I have never had a parking ticket in my life. I don't go out of my way to break the law…" Ch Insp Paul Clarke said he would be contacting the hunt to ask why police were not informed of its deviation from Shorwell into the heart of Newport…. (story)

Buxton Advertiser 25.2.05 Crowds still back hunters - High Peak Hunt members showed they were in a determined and positive mood on Saturday. Scores of hunters, horses and hounds paraded through Bakewell's streets with the support of many onlookers, after the ban came into force on Thursday…. (story)

Kent/Sussex Courier 25.2.05 WAYS FOUND TO SHOW ACT 'IS AN INJUSTICE' - The Dawn of a new form of hunting on Saturday started without a hitch, according to the organisers. The Ashford Valley Hunt met at Budd Farm, Wittersham, at 12noon. Chairman Richard Middleton later claimed that the day was a successful start for a new style of chase, with around 800 spectators said to have attended the event… (story)
Kent/Sussex Courier 25.2.05 CHASE GOES ON DESPITE THE HUNT BAN BY IAN READ - Fears of violence at the first meets after the hunting ban came into force proved unfounded as Saturday's gatherings in Sussex were trouble-free. Despite a smattering of ugly scenes in Crawley and east Kent, the meets of the Southdowns and Eridge Hunt and the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt passed by without incident… (story)

Hexham Courant 25.2.05 HUNTING FRATERNITY TURN OUT IN FORCE - MORE than 1,000 supporters and 100 riders attended the first Tynedale Hunt of the new era last weekend at Matfen. Members of the Tynedale Hunt met at the Black Bull in the village on Saturday to demonstrate their determination to maintain the structure of the hunt… (story)

West Cumberland Times & Star 25.2.05 Hunting’s final day - HELEN Spencer has supported the Blencathra hunt since she was born. She was carried to meets before she could walk and on Saturday she turned out to follow them as they walked the hounds on the day hunting was made illegal…. Huge numbers of supporters turned up to support the Melbreak Foxhounds when they met at Gatesgarth on Saturday…. (story)

Telegraph 25.2.05 Obey the law - it's all we have left By Alice Thomson … Last night, I was asked to speak against the motion: "This House would break the law to make a point" at the Oxford Union. Everyone warned me that I was arguing on the wrong side, even The Telegraph's distinguished lawyer, Arthur Wynn Davies… This Government is to blame. It has trampled all over our legal system. It has created - on average - three new criminal offences a day, many of which have often been appallingly thought-through. This week, Tony Blair makes it a criminal offence to own a Shetland pony unless it has its own passport…. It may sound heroic for those who hunt to say they are willing to break the law for the inalienable right to pursue a fox, but, if the master of the hunt breaks the law, why shouldn't the animal rights activists retaliate to make their point…. don't waste your life by being thrown into a cold cell, where your hounds or children will suffer from not seeing you and you will soon be forgotten….(story)

Telegraph 25.2.05 End column - A day out - Reports from the hunting battlefields of England and Wales are confusing enough. Most hunt members seem determined to carry on in the face of the infamous Act; some are experimenting with drag hunts, others exposing the Act's absurdities in various other ways. But the situation in the Stretchford area seems the most confusing of all. It is 10 years since the Sport, Tourism, Leisure and Amenity Committee of Nerdley Borough Council, under its fanatical chairman, Cllr Don Binliner, declared Nerdley a "foxhunting-free zone". … (story)

Independent 25.2.05 Coursing without killing - I note that none of the dogs in the pictures of hare coursing in your paper recently are muzzled. Here in Ireland muzzling was made compulsory a number of years ago. The result - hares are no longer killed, mass protests at meetings are a thing of the past, the sport continues…. MICHAEL SMITH, Dublin (story)

Jersey Evening Post 25.2.05 Bad news for foxes From Robert Trigg - SO the anti-hunting lobby has its pound of flesh. Some (but not all) forms of foxhunting are now illegal. I have never understood the logic of the anti-foxhunting cause; clearly the answer to that question is far more complicated that a simple regard for the welfare of the fox. This act will not save the life of one fox. In fact, as we have seen in Scotland, where they have had a ban for more than a year, quite the reverse… Le Coin du Haut, Rue Vegueur, St Ouen (letter may be in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 25.2.05 IS IT A 'CLASS' PROBLEM? - I Would like to know if the hunt saboteurs are really concerned with animal welfare. I could understand their point of view if they were all vegans, but I am sure they are not. I wonder if they realise that fishing is extremely cruel but I sure most of them eat fish…. Saboteurs appear to have a chip on their shoulder, or is it a "class" problem. S Lloyd-Davies, Station Road, Ystradgynlais (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.2.05 THREAT TO HIT MILITANT FARMERS IN THE POCKET - I would like to remind those members of the so-called Countryside Alliance, and the farming community who support their views on hunting, that they do not rely on hunting for their livelihood, but upon the produce they sell. If these people are going to flout the law or obstruct the highway with their horses, dogs, four-wheeled motorbikes and tractors, and physically abuse legitimately elected MPs, then I, for one, will not be buying from farmers' markets or farm shops… Peter Parks, Prince's Street North, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.2.05 ALLIANCE VOTING ADVICE IS AN ACT OF SELFISHNESS - How selfish of the Countryside Alliance to urge people to vote Conservative at the next general election, simply so that they can carry on the vile practice of fox, hare and stag-hunting… Mrs M Smith, Sidmouth (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.2.05 IS THERE NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT FOR THE TORIES? - The very people who berated the Government for wasting time enacting the Hunting Act, when there are much more important things that need to be done, are now urging me to vote Conservative so that it will be repealed. After admitting that they do not actually think there is anything more important for a Conservative government to do, who can ever believe a word they say? David Fanson, Beacon Lane, Whipton, Exeter (letter)

Somerset County Gazette 25.2.05 Shame of the hunt supporters - AM saddened by the ban on hunting. In a world where change is rampant, traditions give us something to hold on to. It is even sadder that some hunt supporters undermine respect for their cause by unreasonable, uncivilised and self-centred behaviour. Pelting an opponent with eggs is not the way to demonstrate the principle of free speech…. S.J. CHINN Overlands, Kilve (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 25.2.05 HATE TO WEAR THE FOX'S COAT - With all the commotion about the ban on fox hunting, poor Brer Fox doesn't seem to be any better off. He will either be shot, snared or gassed, and by law. Imagine the suffering!... G. BURSNALY, Address supplied (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 25.2.05 MP SHOULD CROSS CHAMBER - I Realise it was a 'free' vote regarding the hunt ban bill, and we are all entitled to our own opinion. However, I am puzzled by the Labour MP Kate Hoey. If she dislikes Labour policy, why doesn't she 'cross the chamber'…. PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill nr Stroud (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 25.2.05 WHICH IS THE REAL PEST, THE FOX OR THE HUNT? - The Burton Hunt was able to scare a fox out of its habitat using two dogs and then kill it (February 21). How brave! Yet what a tragedy hunters should have nothing better to do with their time! A service for farmers? Hogwash!... M. F. NIX Lincoln.
The will of the majority is being upheld. That is democracy. There was a time in history not so long ago when slavery was part and parcel of a "way of life" for many, but was clearly wrong and had to end… Now is the time for fox hunting to become a relic of the past…. DENNIS SUTHERLAND Newark Road, North Hykeham
I was bemused to hear actor Jeremy Irons on BBC radio saying the Government had acted illegally in introducing the anti-hunting Bill and I wonder what distorted legal loophole he was trying to exploit. The Bill went through the democratic process and as with all laws, we cannot choose the ones we wish to comply with…. SUZANNE THORPE Lincoln
To respond to A. R. Jackson and Mrs Audrey Tong, I am not obsessed with fox hunting. But since we simply would not allow cats or dogs to be treated in this inhumane way, it is an irrational hatred and a single species obsession which has led to the tyrannical killing of the fox…. Also, I am equally active in defending defenceless animals against the meat industry (and this does include fishing!), vivisection, and the fur industry… RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln. (letter)

Post & Times 25.2.05 HUNTING LAW FAILS THE DEFENCELESS ANIMALS - I am sick to death of pro-hunt protesters claiming their way of life has been destroyed by the hunting with hounds ban. As far as I can see, the ban does not go far enough. These barbarians are still allowed to meet up with their fellow murderers and 'exercise' their bloodthirsty hounds. Hunts across the country met over the weekend to hunt legally, yet foxes were still killed - how can this be an improvement?... Animal Lover Rudyard (letter)

Post & Times 25.2.05 HUNT BAN NOT WANTED - It was a sad day for this country on Friday when the hunting ban was finally forced through. To see the Government resort to forcing it through the House of Lords shows that it is not a law that people really want…. Countryman Name and address supplied (letter)

Post & Times 25.2.05 HUNT BAN WELCOME - Please allow me to put the record straight. Last week's paper quoted me as saying "on the scale of animal abuse hunting with hounds cannot be topped." What I actually said was "on the scale of animal abuse hunting with hounds cannot be top because of the far greater number of animals who suffer in factory farms and laboratories."…. Future generations will doubtless view hunting with hounds in the same way we think of bull and bear baiting - with shame it was ever tolerated, and relief it has been consigned to history. Cynthia Lubacz Leek (letter)

Cumberland News 25.2.05 If it isn’t racism, what is Cumbria’s problem? - AS A WHITE Cumbrian I have no experience of the overt or casual racism recounted by Simon Patel (Letters, February 18)…. But the utter complacency of many in our county is quite frankly astonishing. Particularly crass and disgusting is the attempt by the foxhunting lobby to commandeer the language of minority rights to portray themselves as persecuted victims in their own country, on a par with gay people or ethnic minorities. Foxhunters are no more a persecuted minority than burglars, sex offenders or any other group of people whose offensive practices a democratic society has decided to outlaw…. RICHARD PAULWigton
…. Before condemning those who want to go hunting, I think we should take a look at our own eating habits and customs. LOUISE HEATONDurranhill RoadCarlisle
For all innocent dog owners/walkers the following now applies: The Hunting Act has serious implications for all dog owners because you could be prosecuted for allowing your dog to hunt any wild mammal (except for rats and rabbits)…. W OZERSKY-BROWNSouth TerraceGreat Broughton
Politicians have created a situation that has resulted in police officers being diverted from frontline policing activities to ensure rural people are culling foxes within the law. To use the words of the head of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), this legislation “fills many of his fellow officers with dread”…. TOM FELLCountryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)

Keighley News 25.2.05 It seems some fox hunters intend to break the law in order to test the legislation. Perhaps they imagine that by remaining unarrested they will demonstrate that the law is a bad one because it is "unworkable." What nonsense! The law against murder is tested almost daily, and some murderers get away with it, but this does not mean there ought not to be such a law…. ROBERT SWINDELLS, Denholme Road, Oxenhope (letter in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 25.2.05 IT'S NOT LIFE, LIBERTY AND PURSUIT OF FOXES - I would like to congratulate the Telegraph on its reporting of the Brocklesby Hunt. f the issue of hunting wasn't quite so serious, I would find the remarks of Lord Yarborough (Master of the Brocklesby Hunt) amusing. Lord Yarborough quotes 'justice' and 'liberty'. Was this Lord democratically elected? Did the people of Lincolnshire have a say in his appointment?... Coun Allan Smith, De Lacy Way, Winterton (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 25.2.05 DOUBLE STANDARD RAISED, MY LORD - I read with disbelief the Telegraph article (February 21) headed 'Never give up call to big hunt' and the associated rantings of Lord Yarborough when addressing hunt supporters. To misuse the words 'tolerance', 'fairness', 'justice' and 'liberty' to support the macabre torture and murder of British wildlife such as the fox makes any decent person's stomach churn… Coun Steve Swift, Valley View Drive, Bottesford (letter)

Bucks Free Press 25.2.05 Am I wrong to oppose cruelty - AS a child my parents, teachers, clergy and my own instinct told me it was very wrong to be cruel to animals. I am old now but nothing has persuaded me to change those principles. So, with the law changing, will those who have some bloodlust and still support hunting with hounds explain to me why I am wrong and why I should join them?... Name and address supplied (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 25.2.05 MP'S ATTACKERS SHOULD BE ASHAMED - I Hope that the villagers who harassed MP Dan Norris last week are ashamed of themselves. They deserve to be. Here was a man who made the effort to hear their side of the argument. Because of one stupid person who stirred up resentment among the other villagers, Dan was run out of town like an American Wild West baddie…. M A Long, St George (story)

Swindon Evening Post 25.2.05 Hunting for Tories in Parks - I read in the Advertiser on February 22 that some hunt supporters are to come to the South Swindon constituency to call on front doors to try to persuade people to vote Conservative in the General Election…. Are you not aware that South Swindon covers a lot more of Swindon than the two areas mentioned? Besides, you could put a pig with a red rosette on up for election in the Parks and it would get voted in for Labour. Get real. R A PEET, Ironstone Close, Swindon (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 25.2.05 SNEAKING AND SPYING ON HUNTS - No matter how you feel about the hunting ban, whether for or against, isn't there something deeply distasteful about the League Against Cruel Sports training members of the public as "monitors" and encouraging people to use an anonymous tip off system if they think, in their view, that the hunt is breaking the law? Whatever are we coming to when British citizens take it upon themselves to sneak around, hoping to catch their fellow Britons out and then snitching on them to the police, or the LACS?... Diana M Harvey Dursley Gloucestershire (story)

Western Daily Press 25.2.05 NOW THEY KNOW HOW THE FOX FEELS - Isn't it about time the hunting fraternity grew up and stopped acting like children who have been told to put their toys away? The recent deliberate attack on Dan Norris only provided an insight into the mentality these people have in coming to terms with the wishes of the majority in a democratic country…. R S Blackmore Taunton Somerset (story)

Western Daily Press 25.2.05 A DOG, NOT VERMIN - With reference to Chris Weir's letter (Your Say, February 21), which refers to the fox as vermin… As I understand it from this definition, the fox is a wild dog. S Goold Address supplied (story)

Leicester Mercury 25.2.05 CIVILISATION WILL IMPROVE - With the hunting ban in effect and the antics of the Countryside Alliance all over the media, perhaps we should look at the human side of all this. Personally, I have always backed the ban to help humans rather than other animals. Civilisation improves as abuse of animals in the name of sport or amusement declines, as with bear baiting and now hunting with dogs… Coun Peter Valentine, Oadby (story)

Wiltshire Times 25.2.05 Victory for animals: call for pro-hunt lobby to give in gracefully - ON Friday Roger Scruton, a philosopher who apparently lives in Wiltshire, appeared on Newsnight, making what he thought was a mockery of the ban on hunting with hounds by pursuing mice with dogs… I find his so-called stand, pointless, trivial and childish. He should be ashamed…. P DIVALL, Trowbridge
MOST of us are thoroughly pleased with the prospect of fox hunting following bear baiting and other cruel sports into history… I am concerned that the animal-hunting minority, who have not sustained their selfish ways by democratic or legal means, may still try to put unfair pressure on the wider public. If, on the other hand, the hunters were to sportingly concede that they have lost the game and were to fully reorganise themselves as drag hunts, they might regain some respect. J BOWLEY, Warminster (letters in archive)

Wandsworth Borough News 25.2.05 Cruel hunting - The 2004 Hunting Act clearly states precisely what you can and can't do. The most difficult thing the police have to prove is intent. The Countryside Alliance has advised 40,000 of its members to sign a hunting pledge "they intend to break the law"… David Bezkorowajny, Chestnut Road Raynes Park (letter)

Hexham Courant 25.2.05 HUNT BAN - A MORE appropriate heading, relating to the ban on hunting, in the second section (Courant, February 18) “Ban ends 150 years of History”, should have read, “150 years of mindless cruelty”; and equally mindless behaviour... ROBERT ARCHBOLD, Hencotes, Hexham (letter)

24.2.05

Northumberland Gazette 24.2.05 Pack facescull as huntrole changes - THE death of hunting will lead inevitably to the death of hounds, according to the Percy Hunt. The Hunt currently has 64 Old English foxhounds, a fairly rare breed found more frequently, despite its name, in Ireland than in England…. Hunt chairman, Charles Bucknall, said they will try to maintain as many as possible and because of their blood lines they will keep a definite minimum of 30, but some will have to be put down… (story)

Leatherhead Advertiser 24.2.05 Comment: Leatherhead Advertiser - DEFIANT hunt supporters have demonstrated their determination to keep a tradition dating back centuries alive. More than 2,000 attended the meeting of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt in Woldingham on Saturday. It was the first meeting since the ban on hunting with hounds came into force - but hunt members have vowed it will not be the last…. So can this newly regulated pastime continue in a form that will keep everybody happy? There is a greater probability of hell freezing over first. (story)

Kentish Express 24.2.05 Pack takes different path - BEAGLERS reckoned to see three or four hares in the course of a hunt but kill just two a year in total. But for Wye Beagles Pack, on the first day of the hunting ban, the chosen path of meeting within the law was a walk on pavements and public footpaths and not across fields….(story)

Kent Messenger 24.2.05 Dead fox used in mock hunt - HUNDREDS of hunt supporters gathered at Doddington Place on Saturday to show their defiance of the ban on hunting with dogs the day after the ban came into force. Nearly 600 people, 70 on horseback, met for a mock hunt of the West Street Tickham Hunt where hounds followed the trail of a dead fox… (story)

Staffordshire Newsletter 24.2.05 Hunt battle is just beginning By Pat Lees - HUNT supporters could cripple the legal system by demanding to be prosecuted for every minor infringement of the Hunting Act. The threat is the latest weapon in their battle to see legislation banning hunting with dogs overturned…. "It is absolutely ridiculous, this law is unenforceable. My own dog has brought moles into the house, but that is illegal and I could insist on being prosecuted for it," said Peter Presland, spokesman for the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt…. (story)

BBC News Online 24.2.05 Hunt ban to be policed 'as usual' - The ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales will be enforced like any other law by police and prosecutors, according to the attorney general. Lord Goldsmith said enforcement would not be put on hold while a decision was made on whether the House of Lords will hear an appeal against the ban…. (story)

Accountancy Age 24.2.05 FDs split over fox hunt ban - Paul Grant, Accountancy Age - FDs fear ban on fox hunting will undermine the economic viability of rural communities. The government's decision to ban hunting with dogs, which came into force last week, will undermine the economic viability of rural communities, according to many of the nation's finance directors… (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 24.2.05 Final knell for college beagles - THE hunting ban has brought about the end of the Marlborough College Beagles, one of only four school hunting packs in the country. Eton, Stow and Radley were the other three public schools running their own beagle hunts and they, too, have been forced to end hunting hares by the Hunting Act…. Now members of the College Hunt are faced with the task of finding new homes for the pack of 46 dogs. Mr Osman said one of the problems in re-homing the hounds, which do not make good family pets because they are pack animals, was that every other beagles pack in the country was in the same situation….
Tears flowed at end of the Tedworth Hunt's last traditional meet on Thursday at Tidcombe House. The meet attracted one of the biggest turnouts ever with at least 150 riders and between 200 and 300 supporters, said the joint master, Rodney Ellis…. (story in archive)

Skelmersdale Advertiser 24.2.05 Bad Blood By Katy Chaytor, Skelmersdale Advertiser - PRO-HUNT supporters left the mutilated corpse of a fox on the doorstep of West Lancashire MP Colin Pickthall. Mr Pickthall was confronted with the grim discovery at his home on Sunday morning. A note was tied around the neck of the dead fox warning: "Not over till the last horn blows"… Even pro - hunt group the Countryside Alliance agreed with Mr Pickthall about the poor choice of tactics…. the Labour MP has buried the fox in his garden with a bush on top of it to ensure it is not dug up again by accident (story)
Daily Post 24.2.05 Dead fox left on MP's doorstep - AN ANTI-HUNTING MP found a dead fox dumped on his doorstep by pro-hunters determined to defy the Government ban on their sport. West Lancashire MP Colin Pickthall opened his front door to find the animal with a label tied around its neck, reading: "Not over 'til the last horn blows"…. (story)

Dorking Advertiser 24.2.05 Nearly 4,000 turn out to out-fox hunt ban By John Williams - NEARLY 4,000 people turned out to support the first hunt since the new law on hunting with hounds came into force on Friday. The last hunt carried out under the old law was held in Oakwood Hill last Thursday and the week-end's event, under the new law, took place in Munstead near Godalming… both the Surrey Union and Old Surrey hunts went ahead peacefully on Saturday and police subsequently announced that no arrests were made and there was no violence. Chairman of the Surrey Union Hunt, Ian Agnew, was staggered by the size of the crowd that greeted his hunt on Saturday… (story)
Esher News & Mail 24.2.05 THOUSANDS SUPPORT HUNT By TONY GREEN - THE first hunts in Surrey since the foxhunting ban came into force took place at the weekend, with thousands of people turning up to show support. Police say that Saturday’s meeting of the Surrey Union Hunt took place without incident and within the confines of the law…. The Surrey Union Hunt met on Saturday, with hounds following the scent of foxes’ carcasses rather than hunting a live animal. Lead huntsman Ian Shakespeare said: “We had something between 200 and 220 horses and the police estimated that 6,000 people were there…(story)

Malton & Pickering Mercury 24.2.05 Thousands turn out to support hunts after ban - THOUSANDS turned out on Saturday to support Ryedale's hunts the day after the law banning hunting with dogs came into force. Organisers of the Middleton Hunt said 140 riders took part in its event, with thousands of supporters turning out to see the hunt leave its kennels in Birdsall and follow on foot, while the Sinnington Hunt also had a strong turn-out, with up to 100 on horseback and 300 on foot…. A small number of anti-hunt demonstrators turned up to the gathering of the Middleton Hunt show their support for the ban. Sue Stone, of Scarborough, was one of the 10. She said: "I think the law is reasonable but when it was made they presumed the hunters would follow it, not find loopholes in it…." The group also travelled to the Staintondale Hunt, based near Scarborough, to make their stand…. (story)

Glamorgan Gem 24.2.05 Glamorgan Hunt out to walk the ‘bad law’ tight-rope - SUPPORTERS of the Glamorgan Hunt were out in force on Saturday (February 19), adamant that they did not ‘intend’ to break the new anti-hunting law, which came into force last week…. (story)

Ross on Wye Journal 24.2.05 Tory candidate's hunt vow - Ross-on-Wye’s Tory election hopeful has vowed to campaign for the reversal of the “illiberal” hunting ban if she is elected to Parliament. Tory candidate Virginia Taylor joined the South Herefordshire Hunt at Aramstone, near Kings Caple, on Saturday on their first day out since the ban came into force last Friday….(story)

Kidderminster Shuttle 24.2.05 Hunters calling season to a halt - HUNTERS in Kidderminster have decided to call a halt to their season after staging a show of defiance on Saturday. Around 500 supporters backed 50 riders with the Hurcott Lane-based Albrighton Woodland Hunt as they rode out from Stourton the day after a ban on hunting with hounds came into force. "We were there to make a point," said huntmaster, Peter Swann. "We used a couple of dead foxes to lay a trail and went out with the hounds…." (story in archive)

Denbighshire Free Press 24.2.05 KEEP EYE ON HUNT, SAYS CAMPAIGNER - Animal rights campaigner pleads for help in ensuring Hunting Act is followed. AN animal rights campaigner is calling on people to help ensure that the new Hunting Act is not broken. Judi Hewitt, of North Wales Animal Rights (formerly Denbighshire Animal Rights) wants people to help enforce the new law that came into force on Friday, February 18 – by donating recording equipment to gather evidence to convict offenders…. “The league is asking people to donate equipment such as video recorders, camcorder batteries and tapes, hand-held GPS, mobile phones, walkie talkies, compasses, binoculars, or small audio cassette recorders. These would be passed onto monitors who need them,” she added. (story)

Berwick Advertiser 24.2.05 Show of support for hunts as tradition is banned - HUNDREDS of riders and supporters turned out at the weekend for the first meets since the controversial ban on fox hunting with dogs was introduced. There were more than 100 riders Ñincluding many first timers Ñ along with an estimated 350 supporters on foot for the College Valley North Northumberland Hunt meet at Cuddystone… "We had support from a number of neighbouring packs, including the Buccleugh from across the border. There were even gamekeepers out on horseback who had never ridden before but just wanted to show their support - it really was quite extraordinary."… The turnout was even higher in Alnwick where more than 500 people gathered at the Pastures beneath the castle to see off a 150-horse contingent of the Percy Hunt… (story)

East Grinstead Courier 24.2.05 'MORE FOXES BEING KILLED SINCE NEW LAW' - More foxes were killed at the first hunt under the new law on Saturday than would usually have been the case before the ban came into force, a huntmaster has claimed. Graeme Worsley, joint master of Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent hunt, said in order to hunt within the new law, implemented on Friday, several foxes were shot by huntsmen before they set off on the drag hunt, so the hounds would not be able to chase and kill them…. (story)
East Grinstead Courier 24.2.05 HUNT BAN IN EFFECT - The first weekend since the law against fox hunting was introduced passed without any violence or arrests at the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunt…. (story)

Tamworth Herald 24.2.05 CARRY ON HUNTING! - TRACY ROBBINS - More than 4,000 supporters turned out when members of Atherstone Hunt met for the first time since the hunting ban came into effect last Friday…. (story)

Evesham Journal 24.2.05 Thousands meet new hunting law - supporters turned out in force at the first meets conducted under the shadow of the hunt ban. An estimated crowd of 3,000 at the North Cotswold's meet in Broadway on Saturday heard messages of defiance from hunt masters and Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff. Meanwhile, the Croome and West Warwickshire attracted about 1,000 people to its meet at Croome Court, near Defford, and up to 3,000 supporters saw Chipping Norton's Heythrop Hunt gallop off…. (story in archive)

Stratford upon Avon Journal 24.2.05 Thousands turn out to back county hunt - THOUSANDS of hunt followers turned up at the Warwickshire Hunt's first meet since hunting with hounds became illegal last week. Hunt organisers estimated that 4,000 supporters were out at Upton House near Banbury last Saturday to watch the 320 riders…. (story in archive)

Herts Advertiser 24.2.05 HUnts ride out despite ban - HUNTS were out in force in the area at the weekend despite last week's ban on hunting with hounds… Aldenham Harriers were at Kimpton and the Cambridge and Enfield Chace were at Hatfield House. The Puckeridge Hunt were further east near Bishop's Stortford…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 24.2.05 ON THE SCENT OF OUR LOCAL HISTORY … They are so much part and parcel of our national past and character that to witness their complete disappearance would be much too much of a blow. We have four hunts in Lincolnshire and all reek of our history. The Southwold - or sometimes the South Wold - has had that name since 1822 and the Rawnsleys of Well and the aptly-named Fox family of Girsby were long linked with it. In 1871, the Old Burton Hunt split its territory - its 'country' - to form the Burton with which the Monsons, Suttons and Foljambes were associated, and the Blankney with which the name Chaplin is forever connected. But the Brocklesby is (and not merely in Lincolnshire terms) one of the oldest packs in England, and although 1700 is given as a convenient round number for its establishment, it is probably older…. (story)

Cornishman 24.2.05 WESTERN HUNT RIDES OUT - In a show of unity repeated in towns and villages across the UK, the Western Hunt rode out on Saturday as the sun dawned on a countryside in which hunting with hounds is against the law… Also out at the weekend were the Lambo beagles, a foot hunt based near St Buryan. Around 200 supporters followed 10 and a half couples of beagles who will be hunting rabbits since the law to ban fox hunting took effect…. (story)
Cornishman 24.2.05 DEFIANT MOOD AT HUNT'S LAST STAND - It is an image that has been synonymous with the English countryside for generations, but last week hunting with hounds was consigned to the history books. In one last stand the Western Hunt rode out from Redhouse, near Lamorna, on Thursday, before the Hunting Act 2004 became law at midnight on Friday, February 18…. (story)

Cornish Guardian 24.2.05 'THIS IS NOT FAREWELL' - Hundreds of hunt supporters mounted a show of support for the North Cornwall Hunt on Davidstow Moor on Saturday morning. Its chairman John Alford, backed by more than 50 riders, told the crowd: "An outsider might think we are here to say farewell, but most certainly not…." (story)
Cornish Guardian 24.2.05 ROUSING CHEERS - He said: "It was a sad day. There were a few tears shed. But there was a rugged determination that the East Cornwall Hunt would continue and we would do all in our power to reverse the hunting ban. "We put a fox up. We had a chase for six miles. The fox had the better of the day."… (story)

West Briton 24.2.05 END OF AN ERA BUT DEFIANCE STILL VERY MUCH IN THE AIR - Defiant hunt leaders pledged this week to step up their fight against the ban on hunting with hounds. In the aftermath of a huge show of support at meets across Cornwall at the weekend, they said their followers remained determined to overturn the ban. "Bad law never stands the test of time," insisted James Stuart, vice-chairman of the Four Burrow Hunt after about 1,000 spectators gathered at the picturesque Cornish cove of Porth Luney beach in the shadow of Caerhays Castle, near St Austell…. Meanwhile, members of the Cury Hunt insisted they "will not give up" following a successful meet at the weekend…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 24.2.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS GATHER IN VILLAGE AS PROTEST OVER LAW GOES ON - Hundreds of members of one of the country's largest and most prominent hunts gathered yesterday lunchtime. The Badminton-based Beaufort Hunt has continued to protest against anti-hunt laws brought into action last Friday, and went ahead with its scheduled event at Marshfield…. (story)

Worcester Standard 24.2.05 County hunt passes without controversy - A WORCESTERSHIRE hunt meet at Croome Court passed without any problems according to hunt members, police and anti-hunt groups. The Croome Hunt took part in a four mile hound exercise, watched over by a minimal police presence, on Saturday in defiance of the hunting ban that took effect on Friday…. (story)

Caerphilly Campaign 24.2.05 Dawn of a new era - CAERPHILLY and District Hunt marked a new era in hunting on Saturday with up to 40 riders gathering at the White Cross Pub in Hendredenny. The meeting followed the legislation that came into force 24 hours earlier which banned the long-standing tradition of hunting with dogs… (story in archive)

Tivyside Advertiser 24.2.05 Huge support for hunt - Deborah Phillips of Fronlas wears her hunting badge with pride at Saturday's meeting of the Tivyside Hunt - the first one since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force…. (story in archive)

Western Gazette 24.2.05 THOUSANDS TURN OUT FOR POST-BAN HUNT - Thousands of hunt supporters turned out at meetings across Somerset on Saturday for the first day of hunting since the ban of hunting with dogs came into force. Of more than 20 hunting-related events, the largest gathering in the area took place at Wells Market Place where around 4,000 people gathered with the Mendip Farmer's Hunt…. The Seavington Hunt, consisting of more than 100 riders, set off from Winsham after an artificial scent at 11.30am… The Cattistock Hunt was addressed by hunt chairman Peter Southcombe who said: "I've been hunting for over 40 years - I never thought I would see this day." Anti-hunt protester Neil Buckoke, armed with a video camera, attended the South Dorset and Cattistock Hunt meets…. The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt saw around 1,000 supporters gather alongside more than 100 riders at Stalbridge Park…. (story)
Western Gazette 24.2.05 HUNT DENIES CLAIMS IT BROKE NEW LAW - Allegations of an illegal hunt and claims of an assault marred a day of defiance by supporters across the county on Saturday. Police are investigating a complaint from a landowner near Chard who reported seeing hounds before riders crossed private property without permission around the time the Taunton Vale Foxhounds were in the area. Taunton Vale Foxhounds joint master Alison Brown said: "We went on a hound exercise. Absolutely nothing illegal happened…. Around 4,000 people crammed into the Market Place in Wells to cheer on the Mendip Farmers Hunt…. Seavington Hunt, which met at Hey Farm in Winsham on Saturday, attracted 100 riders and more than 100 supporters… Around 1,000 people attended the meet of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt in Stalbridge Park. including Clive Allen, the prospective parliamentary Conservative candidate for Somerton and Frome…. (story)
Western Gazette 24.2.05 HUNT DENIES IT BROKE NEW LAW - Allegations of an illegal hunt near Chard are being investigated by police following Saturday's hunt. The allegation was made after a landowner reported seeing hounds before riders crossed private property without permission around the time the Taunton Vale Foxhounds were in the area… Seavington Hunt will continue to meet every Saturday until the season ends on the third weekend in March (story)
Western Gazette 24.2.05 HUNTSMEN TO RIDE ON SIDE OF THE LAW - Supporters and members of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt met for a show of solidarity on Saturday and vowed to carry on hunting - within the new law. Around 1,000 people attended the hunt meet in Stalbridge Park including Clive Allen, the prospective parliamentary Conservative candidate for Somerton and Frome….. (story)
Western Gazette 24.2.05 HUNTERS 'ASTONISHED' BY MASSIVE SUPPORT - Support for hunting in the Mendips has been hailed "astonishing" after the biggest crowd in Somerset flocked to Wells on Saturday. Around 4,000 people crammed into the Market Place in the city centre to cheer on the Mendip Farmers Hunt…(story)
Western Gazette 24.2.05 CAMPAIGNERS VOW TO GO ON FIGHTING HUNTING ACT - The Countryside Alliance has pledged to continue to fight for a repeal of the new law banning hunting with dogs. The Alliance, which describes its purpose as to campaign for the countryside, country sports and the rural way of life, had claimed that the 1949 Parliament Act, which MPs used to introduce the Hunting Act after House of Lords' opposition, was unlawful…..(story)

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 24.2.05 Hunt supporters turn out in defiance of ban by Simon Crump - THOUSANDS of north Cotswold foxhunt followers turned out to support the 170-year-old Heythrop Hunt as it held its final meeting before the killing of foxes with hounds became illegal… (story in archive)
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 24.2.05 Defiant over hunt ban - These photographs were taken before and after the national foxhunting ban became law last Friday. They suggest it was tally-ho as usual for foxhunts. The Duke of Beaufort, VWH and Heythrop foxhunts held their last legal hunts on Thursday and their first post-ban meetings on Saturday…. (story in archive)
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 24.2.05 Any Questions fires up Cirencester audience - THE ban on fox hunting led the debate during a fiery Any Questions in Cirencester last week. The popular BBC Radio Four show, which is hosted by former Cirencester student Jonathan Dimbleby, was staged at the town's Bingham Hall on Friday night…. (story in archive)

Haverhill Echo 24.2.05 Thousands turn out to support Thurlow hunters - More than 350 horses and riders descended on Tattersalls in Newmarket on Saturday in defiance of the new anti-hunting laws, which came into effect at midnight last Thursday. Members of Thurlow Hunt were there and it is estimated around 5,000 people turned out to support the hunt and there were around 20 protesters…. (story)

Matlock Mercury 24.2.05 Defiant stance to the new hunting law - LOCAL HUNTS turned out on the day after the Hunting Act came into force in a show of defiance that was not without tears. The High Peak Harriers paraded through Bakewell and the Barlow Hunt convened at Chatsworth House, last Saturday, to exercise their hounds within the limits of the new law and bid farewell to a way of life… (story)

Cambrian News 24.2.05 David Davies Hunt - OVER 150 people turned out to see the David Davies Hunt in Llandinam after the ban on hunting with dogs came into force last week. The hunt on Saturday was one of around 100 in Wales holding a first major meeting since the ban…. (story in archive)

Falmouth Packet 24.2.05 Hunt goes on within the law - THE Cury Hunt will survive the ban on hunting with hounds, according to officials heartened by a "tremendous" show of support at the first meet since the ban came into force…. (story in archive)

Chard & Ilminster News 24.2.05 Hunt rides into night for last time - COTLEY Harriers hunt master Edward Eames pledged to ride on into the night to try and catch the 'last legal fox' as riders met on Thursday - the day before the new ban came into force…. (story in archive)

Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 24.2.05 The last hunt? - A BAN against hunting with dogs and hare coursing has sent shockwaves throughout the county - and in Sedgemoor the story is no different…. (story in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 24.2.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS TRY TO UNSEAT MP - Foxhunting supporters may try to unseat North Lincolnshire MP Ian Cawsey at the next General Election - after he voted to ban their beloved sport. A new website has been set up which is dedicated to overturning the foxhunting ban by kicking out the Labour Government. Votehunting.com is attempting to recruit volunteers to go out and campaign against those anti-hunting MPs in vulnerable target seats, of which Mr Cawsey is one…. (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 24.2.05 A FOOTBALL CLASSIC: DERBY VS ARMY BY MAXWELL CRAVEN - The abolition of foxhunting last week and the difficulty experienced by the authorities in ensuring that the ban stuck, amid attempts to flush foxes towards guns and so forth, reminded me that the ending of popular and traditional pursuits has always been divisive and fraught with difficulty. Today, for instance, is the 159th anniversary of the last game of Derby Shrovetide football, a situation analogous to the banning of hunting and beset with even more difficulty for the authorities at the time. Then, as now, the forces of law and order did not always sympathise with or support the ban…. I just wonder how long the tangible and cultural legacies of hunting will outlast their true context - a good few centuries I expect. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 24.2.05 ANGER OVER LACK OF KNIVES ACTION - The parents of murdered schoolboy Luke Walmsley have accused the Government of caring more about saving foxes than protecting human lives. Paul and Jayne Walmsley (both 42) were among a group of families who claimed ministers had wasted valuable time, effort and energy introducing a ban on hunting with dogs when they should have been tackling the growing knife culture… Mrs Walmsley said she was "disgusted" by the Government's response since they launched their campaign in December…. "They pushed through a ban on hunting to save all these foxes, but my son is worth a million foxes and so is everybody else's child."… (story)

North Devon Journal 24.2.05 PETITION TO GO TO THE TOP - Right up to the eleventh hour, stoic hunt supporters were pulling out all the stops to halt the ban - but even a last ditch attempt by the CA to pull the plug on one of Parliament's most controversial decisions has fallen at the last fence…. Now they continue to push for a repeal - and have set up a 'Cyber Protest' on their website, which visitors can sign online at www.countryside-alliance.org (story)
North Devon Journal 24.2.05 SO WHAT'S CHANGED? - It seems to be a case of 'hunting is dead; long live hunting.' The hounds were out on Saturday and the usual number of foxes were killed - all, we are told, within the law. Now, I admit I'm a layman and I don't take sides on the great hunting debate, but what was all the fuss about?... It was never on the cards that foxes would be allowed to live undisturbed. They must be controlled because they can be a menace to farm stock. And if hunts can do the job cleanly and efficiently without cruelty then so be it….What puzzles me is, whatever you think of the pastime, that so much Government time was spent on banning it when there are so many more pressing problems in the countryside that could have been given the attention…(story)

Wells Journal 24.2.05 THOUSANDS WITNESS HUNT'S PROTEST RIDE - Some came to support, some came to object, others just came for the show. Around 4,000 people gathered in Wells on Saturday to watch Mendip Farmers' Hunt ride through the city in protest at the hunting ban. It was such a spectacle that it appeared not only on the national news bulletins, but was also shown on news programmes in Australia…. (story)

Somerset Guardian 24.2.05 WILDLIFE POLICE DEAL WITH BAN - Specialist wildlife crime police officers will be used to deal with the hunting ban. Avon and Somerset Constabulary say that public order offences linked to the activities of any groups or individuals over hunts will be treated separately by the police. But the Countryside Alliance and local hunts have pledged to keep within the law…. (story)
Somerset Guardian 24.2.05 HUNT VOWS TO MEET AS USUAL - If it was meant to be a state funeral for hunting in the Mendip countryside, it failed dismally. The atmosphere in Wells on Saturday, as the Mendip Farmers Hunt paraded before their first meet since the ban on hunting with dogs took effect, was defiant….(story)
Somerset Guardian 24.2.05 GROUP CONDEMNS MP FOR 'GLOATING' - Wansdyke MP Dan Norris has come face to face with hunt supporters in an ugly incident which saw him pelted with eggs and yoghurt…. Wansdyke MP Dan Norris has come face to face with hunt supporters in an ugly incident which saw him pelted with eggs and yoghurt…. (story)

Essex Chronicle 24.2.05 HUNT'S DEFIANT STAND BY PIERS MEYLER - More than 800 supporters of the Essex Hunt gathered in defiance at the High Easter point-to-point race track on Saturday after hunting with hounds became illegal. And a further 500 turned out to show their support at a meeting of the The Farmers and Union Hunt in West Hanningfield. Hunt master Mervyn Clarke said he was "staggered" by the numbers…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 24.2.05 PRO-HUNTING LOBBY TARGETS LABOUR MPS BY DAVID BYERS - Fox-hunting supporters have vowed to unseat Leicestershire Labour MPs at the next General Election - after they voted to ban the sport. A website has been set up dedicated to overturning the ban by voting out the Labour government. The website hopes to recruit volunteers to lobby against anti-hunting MPs in vulnerable seats… (story)

Western Daily Press 24.2.05 WEST HUNTS IN THE CLEAR WITH BAN CAMPAIGNERS - The leading anti-hunt group admitted last night it has failed to gather firm evidence of hunts in the West breaking the law since last Friday's ban came into force. After Saturday's large hunt meets, the League Against Cruel Sports announced it was investigating a "small number" of apparent breaches of the ban captured by its monitors, from which it expected prosecutions to follow. That number included some in the West, but last night the League confirmed there were no longer any active cases being pursued… (story)

Western Daily Press 24.2.05 BRIEFLY - The Mid Devon Foxhounds will be hoping for a bumper gate for their meeting at Blackforest Lodge on Saturday, February 26, which was rearranged when the hunting ban came in… (story)

Daily Post 24.2.05 Hound limit 'is crueller to foxes' - A NATIONAL wildlife expert yesterday demanded changes to the Hunting Act because of the effect on animals. Edmund Marriage, founder of British Wildlife Management, said he had already received alarming reports from the group's Welsh representative. He said the two-hound limit within the Hunting Act should be amended immediately as it "promotes cruelty"…. (story)

Daily Post 24.2.05 Scrap fallen stock scheme - THE ENTIRE fallen stock collection scheme should be scrapped, frustrated farmers have told Eifion Evans, of the Fallen Livestock Company…. THE ENTIRE fallen stock collection scheme should be scrapped, frustrated farmers have told Eifion Evans, of the Fallen Livestock Company. (story)

Northumberland Gazette 24.2.05 'Pillars of society' care only about their pleasure - THE television broadcaster called these fox hunters "pillars of society" in a statement which, in my opinion, is filled with doubt. Most of us with any interest or sensible thought, do realise fox hunting is nothing more than an enjoyable gallop. The fox gives them access to cross farmers' land with their consent. This hypocrisy by these so-called "pillars of society" care only about their pleasure and give little thought to the horrific end to the dumb animal. .. Stan Thompson, Denwick View, West Acres, Alnwick. (letter)

York Evening Press 24.2.05 Interfering ways - THE excellent turnout and support by the members of the York & Ainsty South Hunt and the public on Saturday, February 19 in Easingwold Market Place - and elsewhere throughout the country - must indicate to everyone, particularly Tony Blair and his discredited cronies, that the ban on foxhunting is an unpopular and unworkable law…. David Wright, Quorn House, Little Lane, Easingwold. (letter in archive)

Kidderminster Shuttle 24.2.05 Hunting is victim of an unjust law - JAYNE WILLETTS Clent (Full address supplied) (letter in archive)
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 23.2.05 Hunters sound warning at the end of an era - LAST Wednesday evening as dusk fell I got off my horse for the last time after conducting an activity that I have been taking part in for the last 40 years, ever since I was a small child…. I like thousands of others who have never had a political bone in their bodies will now engage in political activity before the election. Mr Blair - watch this space. Jayne Willetts, Clent (letter in archive)

Kidderminster Shuttle 24.2.05 Guilty of hypocrisy over cruelty - WHAT sort of world and what sort of government is it which says foxhunting is cruel and should be banned but animal testing is fine and companies can go on making millions out of animal testing. At a rough guess I would say about 90 per cent of consumers who are happy to say that foxhunting is cruel, actively line the pockets of people who barbarically and systematically, torture to death millions of animals purely for profit…. NAME & ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter in archive)

Whitehaven News 24.2.05 It would be interesting to know how the Government proposes to exert some sort of control over wild foxes, if and when the various hunts are no longer allowed to do so. Marjorie KENYON Wasdale Park, Seascale (letter)

Wells Journal 24.2.05 RESPECT ALL VIEWS - Onsaturday the local hunt processed through Wells. Fervid enthusiasts lined the streets.A few lonely opponents grimly persisted in their protest. Neither side would have comprehended the other… Not everyone is right - there is such a thing as right and wrong, and it has been wisely said that to grow is to change and to grow much is to change much. Roger Bird SS Joseph and Teresa, Wells (letter)

Western Morning News 24.2.05 - HOW delighted I was to hear that finally the barbaric act of fox hunting with dogs has been banned, which, I may say, is long overdue…. MARIE HINES, Willicombe Road, Paignton (letter)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 24.2.05 Thanks for supporting hunting with dogs ban - I would like to take this opportunity to thank your many readers for their support during the last few years, who, after reading my letters in the Chronicle & Echo, wrote and rang me, wrote to their Members of Parliament and signed petitions in favour of a ban against hunting with dogs…. Shirley Wills, Cotswold Avenue, Duston, Northampton (letter)

Western Gazette 24.2.05 PARADE OF DEFIANCE WAS UTTER DISGRACE - I Am a teacher by profession, and have always been been opposed to blood sports and any cruelty to animals. I am not a regular protester of the hunt, but felt on this occasion I had to show my solidarity with other protesters. On Saturday 19 February, I went with a few friends to Wells as we had heard that a local hunt was to parade with horses and dogs through the main street of the city, in an attempt to show their disdain for the law banning hunting with hounds…. I cannot believe that, if this parade of defiance was allowed by the police, then the riders and their cohorts should have been made to conform to proper behaviour in so public a place, it was a disgrace to the city of Wells and its citizens. Rachel Kehoe, address supplied. (letter)

Western Gazette 24.2.05 THEY'RE NOT GENTLE - AND NOT MEN - Now, I am confused, the letter from M. Bickerton, who says he takes no side in the hunting saga, then goes on to show how much he approves of hunting, however I digress. He says foxes kill for fun. Excuse me, isn't that what the hunt does?.... Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Gazette 24.2.05 FLUSHING OUT BY TWO DOGS ONLY - At long last hunting has been banned. It is now illegal to chase and kill foxes, deer, hares and mink. A huge thank you, to all involved in the fight against the cruelty of hunting a live quarry with a pack of dogs…. Helen Weeks, West Coker Hill, West Coker. (letter)

Western Gazette 24.2.05 WERE THEY LYING? - How splendid to see the hunts all setting off on drag hunts to demonstrate that nothing has changed following the ban. Of course we trust them to obey the law and take every precaution to avoid killing foxes, don't we?... Somehow I can't help feeling that either they were lying then, or they are lying now. Tony Eldridge, Discove Farm, Bruton. (letter)

Penarth Times 24.2.05 Hunt ban - HEADS of police forces and the Home Office have said they will not actively enforce the hunting ban…. Myself, and the majority of those who are appalled at the sheer barbarity inflicted upon dumb animals by the depraved persons in red frock coats, will expect nothing less of the police and the Home Office than complete equity in blind-eye turning. Marc Delaney Vincent Close Barry (letter in archive)
Glamorgan Gem 24.2.05 Hunts and the law of the land - HEADS of the police forces and the Home Office have said they will not actively enforce the hunting ban; that a blind eye is to be turned to a law of the land will raise more than a few concerned eyebrows. However, if the law against hunting is to be blessed with a blind eye, then I trust that a similar blind eye will be cast upon those citizens who technically step outside the law as they seek to stop the hunters from breaking the law against hunting… Marc Delaney, Barry (letter in archive)
South Wales Echo 23.2.05 POLICE forces and the Home Office have said they will not actively enforce the hunting ban. That a blind eye is to be turned to a law of the land will raise more than a few concerned eyebrows…. Marc Delaney, Vincent Close, Barry (story)

East Grinstead Courier 24.2.05 'SCARED OF BLAIR'S ACTIONS FOR BRITAIN' - It Would appear that my comments have been taken in a variety of ways. Firstly, I re-emphasise the utter abhorrence that we must all feel with regard to the holocaust, one of the darkest periods in the history of mankind. My point was that when Hitler banned the hunting of live quarry in 1934, this was merely the beginning of his actions. He had not at this stage commenced his extermination of Jews, gypsies and other ??undesirables??. Few were concerned about the hunting ban and that it would lead to what followed. My concern lies in the fear of what Tony Blair is dong to this country. He is creating a new criminal offence once every three days ?? that is over 1,000 since he was elected. Just how far are we prepared to let this go? Or will we end up with Blair??s Reich?.... Graeme Worsley, Effingham Lane, Copthorne (letter)
East Grinstead Courier 17.2.05 'DEEPLY INSULTING TO THE VICTIMS' - Were It not so deeply insulting to those who have endured genuine persecution, it would be risible that Graeme Worsley should compare himself, and others who enjoy hunting small mammals to the brink of exhaustion and watching them being torn limb from limb, to the victims of the holocaust, and to religious and ethnic minorities who suffer discrimination…. Helen Tucker, Carthorse Lane, Redditch (story)
East Grinstead Courier 17.2.05 INTERESTING INSIGHT INTO HUNTSMAN'S MIND - Your correspondent, Graeme Worsley (East Grinstead Courier, February 3), reveals an interesting, if not alarming insight into the workings of a hunt official??s mind…. Even more good news for Mr Worsley is that the pride of our democratic nation will be enhanced when the cruel activity of hunting wild mammals with dogs is outlawed…. Richard Tassell, Buckhurst Close, East Grinstead (story)
East Grinstead Courier 17.2.05 WHEN HAS 59% BEEN A MINORITY? - I CAN??T have been the only one to be sickened by Graeme Worsley??s likening of what has befallen him and his hunting friends with what happened to Jews, homosexuals and gypsies in nazi Germany (on the basis that they??re all persecuted minorities)… Dave Wetton, Castle View, Hadlow (story)
East Grinstead Courier 17.2.05 MAJORITY WISHES CAN NOT BE SWEPT ASIDE - It would be risible that Graeme Worsley should compare himself, and others who enjoy hunting small mammals to the brink of exhaustion and watching them being torn limb from limb, to the victims of the holocaust and religious and ethnic minorities, were it not so insulting to those who have endured genuine persecution…. (story)

Tamworth Herald 24.2.05 LET'S HOPE I SAW THE END OF HARE COURSING - I Spent Monday, February 14, at Great Altcar near Liverpool demonstrating against what will be, I hope, the last Waterloo Cup. This is the biggest hare coursing event in the country…. We owe it to the animals we have persecuted for so long to make sure hunting live quarry with dogs becomes a thing of the past. Diane Hughes, Elford, (via email). (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 24.2.05 HUNT BAN IS A SHOOTING BOOST - Hunting should have never been banned. It is a ridiculous law that has absolutely nothing to do with animal welfare. It has always been about politics and a class war from the start and the law proves it…. SIMON DANIELS The Junxion, Brayford, Lincoln (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 24.2.05 CITY STREETS WILL BE A FOX BREEDING GROUND - People say it is cruel to kill foxes and they are, of course, entitled to their view. I would, however, like to ask them this: If it is cruel to kill a fox with a specially trained hound, is it not also cruel to kill a fish by putting a hook in its mouth? Is it not cruel to slit the throats of pigs and cattle and leave them to bleed to death just so we can have a meal on the table? I could go on. I believe that the unjust hunting law will cause more problems in the future for the Government. Who will be the first to complain when the roads and streets of cities become a breeding ground for foxes?... DIMI DIMITRIOU Lincoln (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 24.2.05 HUNTING BELONGS IN DUSTBIN OF HISTORY - Don Shaw, local playwright and foxhunting apologist, has such a penchant for fiction that he seems to have lost touch with reality. His audacious reference to non existent opinion polls, showing half the population in support of foxhunting, was pretty amazing stuff (Opinion, February 19)…. Chris Williamson, Duffield Road, Derby.
Bad losers: I can't begin to tell you just how delighted I am, even though a "townie", that the "sport" of foxhunting has now been banned. There is nothing more despicable than the images in the press of hunt supporters bleating on about their loss - blah, blah, blah... Louisa Allcock, Derby. (letters)

Bath Chronicle 24.2.05 IS'T MP FREE TO GIVE HIS VIEWS ANYWHERE? - So the pro-hunting fraternity thinks it can limit an elected representative of the people's right to travel around the west country and prevent his free speech. What on earth gives these pro- hunters the right to dictate where a person can or cannot go and who can or cannot be interviewed on our local TV news - purely because they don't like that person's views?... MARY BOWERS, Hurn Lane, Keynsham (letter)

Bath Chronicle 24.2.05 WHAT BRIGHT SPARK INVITED DAN NORRIS TO THE VILLAGE? - CAMILLA HIPWOOD, Cirencester (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 23.2.05 MP SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED HOSTILE RECEPTION - Having been lucky enough to have been born, and still to live, near Badminton in Gloucestershire - the spiritual home of English fox-hunting - I was present at the very emotional final day of legal hunting last Thursday. I would like to know which bright spark invited Dan Norris, the anti-hunting Labour MP for Wansdyke, into the village late in the afternoon as hounds were due to come home to the kennels. What reaction was he expecting?... Some of the people driving him away from Badminton were employed by the Beaufort Hunt and within hours of possible redundancy and the loss of their homes. Others were young farmers and a few subscribers and their children awaiting the hounds' return…. Camilla Hipwood, Cirencester, Gloucestershire (letter)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 24.2.05 Sad day for democracy as MP gets egg on face - After watching the horrific pictures of the Labour MP for Wansdyke, Dan Norris, being pelted by eggs and marched out of the village of Badminton, (ITV1 West, Thursday, February 17) I think it's a very sad day for democracy here in Great Britain…. A Henly, Chippenham (letter in archive)

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 24.2.05 Hunting Bill has not secured future of democracy - Anti-Hunt campaigners will be congratulating themselves. They would seem to have won the day, by robust, objective and academic argument. However, before their enthusiasm for democracy, animal welfare and human compassion recedes, consider this conundrum. Defend, using the same objective and unbiased argument, the keeping of domestic pets…. The Hunting Bill has not secured the future of the fox, or the future of democracy itself Tony Reddock Leominster (letter in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 24.2.05 Brilliant ban - IT was brilliant news that the vile practice of hunting fox, deer, hare and mink with hounds is now outlawed …. PETER BATES Belsay Toothill Swindon (letter in archive)

Glamorgan Gem 24.2.05 ‘Hunting: More debate needed’ After witnessing another hunt – a day after the ban on killing foxes with hounds became law, I believe there should be further debate on the issue of fox hunting. What we see now is that the Hunts still continue: foxes get killed anyway – with the use of a shot gun – so the anti-hunt lobby has achieved little, except the waste of tax payers’ money, and important legislative time in the House of Commons and Lords. Karl-James Langford, Bonvilston (Liberal Party prospective parliamentary candidate, Vale of Glamorgan) (letter in archive)

Glamorgan Gem 24.2.05 URBAN Myths ABOUT THE fox - I am fed up with listening to the pathetic excuses used by the pro-hunting lobby that a ban on hunting would have a devastating effect on their way of life and all those industries associated with hunting. Rubbish. A ban on hunting would not have to mean the demise of those associated with this barbaric and grotesque pastime. The solution, to everyone’s satisfaction, would be to substitute the live fox for a live man running across the countryside. Namely, Drag Hunting!... Nicola Whelan Barry (letter in archive)

Cornish Guardian 24.2.05 YELLING YOBS IN ON THE KILL - Even if a quarter of a million hunt supporters gathered on Saturday to protest against government legislation one must remember this represents fewer than half of one per cent of the population. The other 99.5 per cent presumably don't care much either way…. Chris Rodda Boscastle (letter)

Worcester Evening News 24.2.05 Ninety-one foxes... and all killed within the law - FOR a group that was supposed to be wiped out at midnight on Thursday, February 17, there were an awful lot of us around on Saturday. I refer, of course, to the hunting ban which went off like a damp squib with thousands of people locally turning out to follow and support their local hunt…. TIM PINNEY, Peopleton, Pershore. (letter in archive)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 24.2.05 Ban all hunt killing - I AM very much against these so-called blood sports. I believe all the supporters who attend these meetings are there for the thrill of the kill and there should be a bill to ban entirely the act of killing…. J OSPREY, Marlborough Court, Ashurst, Skelmersdale (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 24.2.05 PAY-OFFS AHEAD? - I would be interested to learn what pay-offs will be made by the Labour Party to all hunt employees who will lose their jobs as a result of recent changes in the law. I hope they will be as fair as they appear to be being to one of their senior council employees in Leicester. D A W Sansome, Oadby (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.2.05 NORRIS WAS TOO LATE FOR DEBATE - Referring to your comment and the article in your paper on Saturday by Dan Norris MP concerning his visit to Badminton, it was totally insensitive and unnecessary for Mr Norris and the TV reporter to meet at Badminton - any responsible person would have seen that… No wonder we are very angry and are merely treating anti-hunting MPs with the contempt that they have shown to us. Sauce for the gander...Richard Thompson Chard Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.2.05 HUNTERS' BLOODLUST CONTINUES UNABATED - hat on Earth do the hunts think they will achieve by their latest antics? On the first day after the ban it is reported that they have been on a killing fest and the Countryside Alliance announces that it has killed 91 foxes on one day. Graphic footage was shown on TV of terriermen digging out and shooting a fox, after which the body is thrown to the hounds to be ripped to shreds… Gill Purser Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.2.05 WHY MAKE LAWS WE NEEDN'T KEEP - I have sent the e-mail below to Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary: How dare you, in your capacity as Home Secretary, have the gall to state that you "don't expect fox hunting to be high on the priorities of any particular police force"! I have been a Labour voter since 1964 and I have been waiting all these years to see an end to the despicable cruelty that is hunting. Now you make light of it and you seem to be giving out the message that citizens can pick and choose the laws they wish to obey or not to obey. You should be ashamed of yourself!... Julian Brown Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.2.05 ARE OUR ACTIONS CREATING OUR HUMAN SUFFERING? - The Hunting Bill has now been enacted, not before time. I am a lover of wildlife and nothing is more enjoyable than watching foxes at work and play. In fact, the whole of nature fills me with joy. Fox-hunting, bear-baiting and bullfights prove to me how cruel the human mind is, but let us look closely at other things that are lying behind the scenes of this cruel world. We poison rats, slugs and insects; day-old cock chicks are put down in their thousands…. Tony Parsons, Haymans Close, Cullompton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.2.05 HUNT THANKS HONITON FOR ITS MEMORABLE RECEPTION - Through your newspaper, I would like to thank all those residents of Honiton and the surrounding areas who gave the hunt such a resounding welcome last Saturday when we rode through the town. As we came in from the Heathpark end and saw the huge numbers waiting for us, it was really a tremendous sight, and as we rode up the High Street, the cheering and clapping was something many of us will never forget…. M H C Moore Joint Master, East Devon Hunt Ottery St Mary (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.2.05 COUNCIL SHOULD DETACH ITSELF FROM ILLEGAL ACTIVITY - A simple message for Devon County Council: we know that you support farmers, but hunting is now illegal. Accordingly, please prevent hunts getting together on any - and I mean any- county property, including roads. Devon County Council must not have any contracts with any enterprise connected with the illegal activity of hunting with hounds. T A Griffin Salmon Pool Lane, St Leonard's, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.2.05 MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES TO WORRY US THAN HUNTING - I would like to ask why there is so much publicity about hunting in the papers. Nearly everyday it dominates the headlines. It makes out that everyone in the South West is obsessed by hunting, but some of us have more important things to worry about…. Maisie Davies, Woodleigh Road, Newton Abbot (letter)

Yorkshire Post 24.2.05 From: Michael Booth, Bramhope, Leeds. IT has been reported that five police officers were injured at Liverpool during clashes between opposing football "supporters"…. Bearing in mind their trumpetings about the success of the Hunting Act, will the Government now ban football, and which do they regard the more serious, the chase and possible death of foxes, or the assault and possible death of the police and public?
Forgotten From: John Richardson, Scott Lane, Wetherby. WILL somebody please explain why so much fuss, time and column inches have been devoted to the control of vermin which is an indiscriminate killer, and yet we hear so little criticism of an unnecessary war which has cost the lives and limbs of so many of our brave boys and girls? (letters)

Somerset Guardian 24.2.05 UNACCEPTABLE HUNT VIOLENCE - So, the pro-hunting fraternity think they can limit an elected representative of the people's right to travel around the West County and prevent his free speech. What on earth gives these pro-hunters the right to dictate where a person can or cannot go and who can or cannot be interviewed on the TV news purely because they don't like that person's views?... MARY BOWERS Hurn Lane, Keynshan
THE LETTER from Meryn McLaren, February 10, praising straight-talking MP Dan Norris was very timely. It drew attention to the personal attacks made on Mr Norris by political rivals and the way in which he never responds in kind, instead rightly remaining calm and courteous throughout. Just days after the letter appeared Mr Norris was the subject of some shocking scenes as pro-hunters attacked him, hurling eggs and punching a female member of his staff…. DAVID SMITH Northmead Road Midsomer Norton (letter)

Warminster & Westbury Standard 24.2.05 JUSTIFICATION OF ATTACK ON MP WAS STAGGERING - I was staggered by the events surrounding the physical attacks on Wansdyke MP Dan Norris by pro-hunt demonstrators. Never one to to duck the controversy aroused by the hunting issue, Mr Norris had accepted an invitation to take part in a debate, but eggs were hurled at him by prohunt supporters. That was bad enough. The punching of his female assistant by the same people was quite appalling…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Central Somerset Gazette 24.2.05 THREE SNAGS IN THE NEW FOX HUNTING BAN - There are three main problems with the new law intended to stop fox hunting. Firstly, it looks like the majority (city dwellers) forcing their views on the traditions of a minority (country people) wrongly perceived as all hooray Henry toffs. Secondly, the law has holes you could ride a horse through, despite an inordinate amount of time spent on the issue in Parliament, and consequently will be difficult to enforce. Thirdly, Avon and Somerset Constabulary are demonstrating a distinct lack of enthusiasm for actively enforcing the new law…. Philip Welch (letter)

North Devon Journal 24.2.05 HUNT BAN IS LAW AND NO-ONE CAN BE ALLOWED TO BREAK IT - North Devon finds itself in the eye of an artificially created storm. If the media is to be believed, rural populations and police are at one in believing that the ban on hunting cannot and will not be enforced. Well, well! I was under the impression, misguided it would seem, that in our parliamentary democracy elected representatives made laws and arranged for a police force to be paid and equipped to enforce those laws…. H.V.F. WINSTONE, Bideford a target=main href="http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=141843&command=displayContent&sourceNode=141594&contentPK=11885860">(letter)

North Devon Journal 24.2.05 THIS IS NOT FOR CIVILISED PEOPLE - At last the days that I have been hoping and praying for have arrived. The ban on fox-hunting in force at last…. JACKIE SCUFFLE, Chichester Park, Woolacombe
FOR all that I know, Tony Dunn may be quite correct in his assertion that hunting with dogs is the most humane method of controlling the fox population. It is society's toleration of the atavistic rituals that accompany the massed hunt that taints us all…. HARRY SPARKS, Homer Close, Bratton Fleming (letters)

North Devon Journal 24.2.05 THIS TRADITION MUST BE SAVED - I remember when I first came to Combe Martin in 1948…. I say save the hunt, it is not cruel, it is the country tradition. They know what they are doing far more than the politicians. Please save the hunt. IRENE SOMERVILLE, Torrs Park Road, Ilfracombe. (letter)

23.2.05

Reading Chronicle 23.2.05 Defiant, the hunt goes on By Shaun Worth - DEFIANT Berkshire hunters rode out in a show of strength on the first weekend after anti-hunting measures came into force - and pledged to fight on until the new law is repealed. More than 2,000 supporters braved a fiercely cold morning at the Englefield estate near Theale to watch 212 riders from the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt make their first outing under the new statutes….(story)

Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 23.2.05 LAST HURRAH FOR HUNTING - THURSDAY, 17th February, 2005, was declared the 'worst day for the fox population' by Mike Taylforth, chairman of the Ullswater Foxhounds at the last official meet… (story probably only on website for a week)

Crawley Observer 23.2.05 CONTROVERSY HITS CRAWLEY HUNT - POLICE are probing claims a dead fox was fed to hounds and a van was forced off the road at the Crawley and Horsham hunt on Saturday. The hunt says nearly 150 riders took part in the day's sport after meeting at Dragons Green, near Shipley, and more than 1,000 foot followers turned out to show the increasing support for hunting. But it has been claimed that a fox was fed to hounds in front of the public, which a police spokesman branded as unacceptable and provocative. Journalists from the Tonight with Trevor McDonald programme were allegedly in the van which was forced off the road….(story)

Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 23.2.05 Hunt wants human hares - A NORTH Lancashire hunt is searching for a fearless fell runner to act as a substitute hare. The Vale of Lune Hunt has been hunting with its pack of harriers for 110 years…. A pack of around 20 bloodhounds have been loaned by a friend of the hunt until the end of the season and they may yet remain with the hunt for years to come, "No one really knows how long they will stay with us, it depends on the result of the General Election and whether the ban on hunting with dogs will continue," said Mr Welsh. Sadly, the speedy harriers cannot be used to chase the runner because of fears that they will follow their instinct and go after a hare leaving the hunt in breach of the law…. (story)

Taunton Times 23.2.05 POLICE LAUNCH HUNT PROBE - Police have launched an investigation into claims a fox hunting group took part in an illegal hunt at the weekend. Riders are alleged to have been spotted by a land owner on Saturday chasing a fox across a field near Ashill without permission…. They are also investigating a report of an alleged assault on an anti-hunt protester at a meet near Wells…. About 800 people joined Taunton Vale Foxhounds on Saturday to protest against the controversial Hunting Act which came into force on February 19… (story)

Worcester Evening News 23.2.05 Bodyguards for anti-hunt politicians - MPs are being offered bodyguards amid mounting concerns over reprisal attacks in light of the hunting ban. Several high profile ministers have so far taken up police advice for 24-hour protection because of fears of violence as Labour steps up its election campaign. One of the most outspoken MPs on the subject has been Worcester's Mike Foster. He refused to comment on whether he had taken up the offer of protection, but did say he thought the subject of hunting should now be laid to rest…. (story in archive)

Western Morning News 23.2.05 HUNT BAN MEETINGS KEPT UNDER WRAPS - The Government department responsible for bringing in the ban on hunting has refused to disclose details of meetings Government Minister Alun Michael had with lobbyists on both sides…. Tim Bonner, of the Countryside Alliance, said the nature of the discussions was of public interest…. "In our view it's quite clear that Alun Michael was colluding with the campaign. We have always assumed that this was a fairly obvious strategy to achieve a ban in all but name…" (story)

Bath Chronicle 23.2.05 ANTI-HUNT M BY DAVID MACAULAY - Westminster correspondent LABOUR MPs in the south west face will be hounded out of their seats by angry foxhunting supporters who are being mobilised as political activists. That is the stark warning from north Wiltshire MP James Gray, the Conservative party's rural affairs spokesman…. (story)

Western Daily Press 23.2.05 HOUNDS DID NOT CHASE A FOX - NO BAN WAS BROKEN - Senior master of the West hunt that has become the first to be accused of breaking the hunt ban launched a vehement defence last night. Alison Brown, a master of the Taunton Vale foxhunt, told the Western Daily Press she and her hunt did "absolutely nothing wrong" when they rode out for their first post-ban meet on Saturday…. The first task for the police was to confirm which hunt it was, a matter confused by the fact that three hunts operate in the area: the Taunton Vale foxhunt, the Taunton Vale Harriers and the Ilminster Beagles. On Saturday, the beagle pack and the foxhunters rode out together from nearby Ilminster, while the Harriers met some miles away…. AS of yesterday, the police had not contacted Mrs Brown, and she only learned of the allegations on Monday when the Western Daily Press contacted the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Redditch Advertiser/Alcester Chronicle 23.2.05 Change in law angers hunt's master - A "LIVID" Alcester hunt master has said country folk are gradually being ruined by "jealous" townsfolk who do not understand the countryside. Joint master of the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt, Pat Allen, said legislation brought in at the weekend to ban hunting with packs of dogs was an "absolute travesty" and an injustice to hardworking people…. (story in archive)

The Sentinel 23.2.05 BROWN EGGER CAUTIONED - Police have given a verbal caution to a hunt supporter after eggs were thrown at Chancellor Gordon Brown during a visit to Leek… (story)

Isle of Wight County Press 23.2.05 DEFIANT HUNT STEPS OUT AFTER BAN By Jon Moreno - THE scent of defeat did not deter hundreds of Island bloodsport enthusiasts backing a defiant stand against last week's landmark hunting ban. Although it was largely a day of celebration for anti-hunt protesters, the tranquil Shorwell countryside erupted on Saturday when the IW Hunt met two days after the ban became law to show its determination to exploit any loopholes in government legislation and keep its activities going. Hunt master Andrew Sallis pledged to act within the law, which came into effect on Thursday last week, but to challenge it strenuously… LACS member Flora Fulfs, of Brading, celebrated the ban and said, as a Christian, she could not stomach the barbarism of the hunt and cruelty to any animal…. (story)

Okehampton Times 23.2.05 Defiant hunts ride out by Rebecca Jewels - HUNDREDS of huntsmen and women set off in defiance from Postbridge on Saturday for a mass hunt meeting ? the day after the controversial law banning hunting with dogs came into effect. Members of the Dartmoor, Mid Devon, Spooner?s and West Dartmoor hunts, the North Dartmoor Beagles and the Devon and Cornwall Mink hounds gathered en masse at the East Dart Hotel to show their determination to keep the tradition alive… The recognition of the Hunting Act by all of the Dartmoor Hunts has been welcomed by Dartmoor National Park Authority. The five hunts ? Dartmoor, Lamerton, Mid Devon, South Devon and Spooner?s and West Dartmoor ? have advised the NPA that they have undertaken to hunt within the law, which means they intend to mirror their existing activities as far as the law will allow… (story)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 23.2.05 This was the last legal tally-ho! - HUNDREDS of hunt supporters turned out to mark the last legal Worcestershire Hunt in its traditional form. Huntsmen and about 400 people met last Thursday at Park Hall, Bradley Green, before the Hunting Act came into force the following day. Worcestershire Hunt spokesman, Bob Brearley, said: "It was sad we were not doing what we should in the proper manner."… (story in archive)

Crewe Chronicle 23.2.05 Hunting enters post-ban era By Ben Jervis, Crewe Chronicle - HUNDREDS of hunters from Cheshire rode out on Saturday in the first show of solidarity against the ban on hunting with dogs came into force on Friday. They were joined by record numbers of supporters who turned out to show their determination to continue with their sport. Anti-hunt organisations filmed the day's events to gather evidence of any illegal behaviour as both the Cheshire Hunt and Cheshire Forest Hunt held legal hunt meetings…. (story)

South Wales Guardian 23.2.05 Fox hunters out in force after ban by Emma Evans DROVES of Towy hunters were out in force last weekend, but did not defy the fox-hunting ban. Hunters stayed within the law despite objecting to the "stupid policy". Former master of the Towy and Cothi hunt Phillip Hancock said more than 60 riders turned out for the first day of the ban…. Prospective parliamentary Tory candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Suzy Davies and her family joined the Llandeilo Hunt. She is urging the Assembly to intervene and overturn the ban…. (story in archive)

Rhyl Journal 23.2.05 FLINT & DENBIGHSHIRE HUNTS GATHER By Catherine Murphy - A PROFESSIONAL huntsman says the hunting ban will not save the life of a single fox and has accused the government of taking away his livelihood. Jeremy Reed, 42, of Cefn, St Asaph has kept hounds for more than 24 years. For the past seven he has run his Kennels business at Cefn and supplies hounds for the Flint and Denbighshire Hunt, one of the oldest hunts in Wales dating back to 1830… He claims the ban has already cost him a member of staff who has been offered a permanent job; something Mr Reed is unable to do…. (story)

Ashbourne News Telegraph 23.2.05 Hunts gather for anti-ban protest by Liz Molloy - HUNT members and supporters gathered in their hundreds at Darley Moor on Saturday as part of the nationwide protest at the Hunting Bill, which came in effect last week. There were around 200 riders, together with well over 500 foot followers, who turned up for a joint meet of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, the Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt, the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire Beagles and the Dove Valley Mink Hounds…. (story)

Bucks Free Press 23.2.05 The hunt goes on By Paul Leat HUNT supporters gathered to show their defiance to the anti-hunting law which came into effect at midnight on Friday. Riders and hounds from the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt were joined by people with banners and badges displaying their opposition to the ban…. John Gardener, chairman of the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt, said: "There is a great turnout today of people from the town and country and there will be 300 meets up and down the country showing their support for hunting."… (story)

Bristol Evening Post 23.2.05 THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE - At Daybreak on Saturday morning I sneak down the winding driveway of Beelzebub Mansions before Mrs Beelzebub's bedside Goblin Teasmaid spurts into life. I'm off to show my support for the Beaufort Hunt on the day a whole swathe of previously law-abiding English society is to be criminalised…. Despite the veined nose, alcohol problem and arthritic knees, I have never hunted. I have more sense than to attempt to steer a ton of hairy stupidity across fields and fences with only two bits of string in my hands…. But I do support the right of those who wish to hunt to continue so to do. And that is because the law banning the pastime is nasty, stupid, vindictive and based more on class prejudice than common sense… Now I don't know if you've ever shot a fox (and it's unlikely if you're a NuLabour ciabatta-muncher with IKEA furniture and a subscription to the Guardian), but it isn't a pleasant experience - for either party. I know from reluctant experience that clean kills with a single barrel are rare. It can get very messy indeed…. now we are in the grip of a political and ideological cabal of control freaks. These people aren't merely content with governing the country; they demand the right to tell us how to live every aspect of our lives… Tens of thousands of ordinary citizens are threatened with the courts for enjoying a brisk ride across rolling countryside, but Mr Blah gets free rein to drop bombs on women and children in Fallujah. You really could not make this up. (story)

Leicester Mercury 23.2.05 THERE'S A MUCH MORE IMPORTANT DEBATE AHEAD - At last, the hunting debate has gone to ground, says Andrea Smith. She wants the EU to be put centre stage - I am tired of hearing about fox-hunting. Every newspaper I picked up and every news bulletin I watched over the weekend was filled with pictures of people in red jackets trying to put a brave face on their defeat. That is what this debate has been about for years - people… I am against hunting, but I have sympathy for the hunters… The snap of a hound's jaw may be traditional, but we don't live in the past. We evolve and so do our pastimes. Hunters should accept that now, or face extinction by a complete ban…. (story)

Northern Echo 23.2.05 Home truths for the hunters by Harry Mead - The ban on hunting with dogs looks like being a fiasco. The repeated insistence by the police that the new law has a low priority virtually sends a signal to hunts that they can do what they like and get away with it…. Most crucially, behind the ban lies more than a century of campaigning. If all that effort turns out to have been for nothing or very little, the reaction of those who have taken the campaign to the hunts, out in the fields on many a bitter or dank winter's morning, is not likely to be mild…. only flat-earthers can fail to see that hunting's day is done…. Here in the North-East, cheques waved by Wimpey and the like have brought the last Tally Ho to scores of fox coverts and countless acres of prime hunting country, squeezing, for example, the Cleveland Hunt ever closer to the point of non-viability. For a host of reasons, Britain's land is too important to be left to the landowners…. (story in archive)

Crawley News 23.2.05 'More foxes will be killed due to ban on hunting' - MORE than 2,000 people turned out to see hunters and hounds gather in a mass show of defiance two days after hunting with dogs was banned. Up to 212 riders joined the Felbridge-based Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt on Saturday to protest against the Hunting Act 2004 and take part in a "scent" trail followed by supporters and anti-hunt protesters. Hunt master Graeme Worsley, of Copthorne, said: "From one point of view it was brilliant. We had a lot of support from people who are really angry about what is happening and this awful piece of legislation… Mr Worsley accused hunt saboteurs of carrying hammers and spraying citronella along the trail to destroy the scent and put off the hounds. What possible reason could they have to disrupt us hunting a scent trail?" he said. "It's just a class war."… (story)

Petersfield Post 23.2.05 Crowds flock to support hunt - CROWDS of hunt supporters gathered for their first meeting since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force on Saturday. More than 100 riders took part in the weekend's Hursley Hambledon Hunt, which began at Longwood, near Owslebury, with around 1,000 people turning up to give their support…. (story)

Milton Keynes Citizen 23.2.05 Hundreds answer call of the wild on first day of hunting ban - HUNT supporters were out in force at the weekend in a show of strength against the Government's Hunting Act. The Grafton Hunt at Potterspury attracted big crowds in keeping with other hunts nationwide….(story)

Hunts Post 23.2.05 Hunt's promise: We'll obey the law Report by NATALIE BOWYER THE DISTINCTIVE red jackets, the sound of the hunt masters horn and the yelps of the hounds were all clearly evident on Saturday, the day after the controversial hunting ban came into force across England and Wales…. One of the many hunts taking place across Cambridgeshire on Saturday was the Granta Harriers hunt (established in 1997) which met on Worlick Farm in Ramsey. Around 100 people turned out to support the hunt, which usually attracts about 50 people twice a week…. (story)

Norwich Guardian 23.2.05 Hunters are defiant about legal ban - POLITICIANS who banned foxhunting were branded bigots on Saturday as huntsmen gathered in their first show of solidarity since their sport was outlawed. Joint master Peter Heaton's rousing speech was met with roars of approval from the hundreds who turned out to support the Cheshire Forest Hunt…. (story in archive)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 23.2.05 The hunt goes on JUST a day after the hunting ban came into effect around 1,500 hunt supporters defiantly descended on Hatfield. Almost 200 people paraded on horseback in front of Hatfield House as a meet of the Cambridge with Enfield Chace Hunt got under way…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 23.2.05 Crowds turn out as hunts stand united against ban by David Jeffels - HUNTS in the Ryedale area had their biggest turnouts in living memory on Saturday - just 24 hours after the new ban on hunting with dogs came into force. Police said there had been no incidents or evidence of many anti-hunt protesters at any of the meets in North Yorkshire…. The Saltersgate Hunt saw its biggest turn-out for years. Nearly 50 horses and hundreds of foot-followers joined joint master Andrew Brown at the Fox and Rabbit Inn on the Pickering to Whitby road…. The centuries-old Staintondale, which met at Barmoor Cottages, Scalby, also had a record turn out of more than 40 followers on horseback plus hundreds of other spectators. Frederick Fairburn, joint master of the Sinnington Hunt, which met at Lady Clarissa Collin's home at Pockley, said: "We had a really good day with at least 100 horses and about 1,000 people attending the meet…." George Atkinson, who has been hunting with the Farndale for some 60 years, said it had joined with the Sinnington and Ampleforth Beagles at the Pockley meet…. The future of the Farndale is also unknown, he said, because drag or trail hunting was not an option, due to the followers being on foot…. At the meet of the Bilsdale - the oldest hunt in Britain - Reynard turned the tables, explained master Harry Stephenson: "We found the fox was following us, not the other way round - it was amazing!"… At the Derwent Hunt, 80 mounted followers and more than 300 foot-followers arrived at the kennels in Snainton, making it the biggest gathering ever of the hunt… About 160 hunter horses, twice as many foot followers and scores of people turned out as the Middleton Hunt met at Birdsall, near Malton…. (story in archive)

Burton Mail 23.2.05 ONE-WOMAN QUEST TO AID RURAL FOXES by KATHERINE GIBSON - ANIMAL lover Victoria Holmes has launched a one-woman mission to dish up recycled Sunday roast bones to rural foxes in a bid to stop them becoming urban. Mrs Holmes, of Valley Rise, Swadlincote, is returning to her childhood roots in Overseal to scatter left-overs in the countryside…. A staunch anti-hunt campaigner, the 29-year-old mother-of-two also hopes her food will help counteract what she sees as the "barbaric" practice of fox hunting…. Mrs Holmes has named her new venture the Feed the Fox Foundation, and sees it as a public service to recycle people’s Sunday roast bones as opposed to them ending up in the rubbish…. (story)

Brentford Gazette 23.2.05 HUNDREDS DEFY HUNT BAN BY PIERS MEYLER AND DEANNE BLAYLOCK - Brentwood and Ongar MP Eric Pickles sent out a defiant message to an 800-strong band of supporters of the Essex Hunt as they gathered for the first time after hunting with hounds became illegal. At the weekend the Essex Hunt held a gathering at High Easter while the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt held an event at West Hanningfield to show the strength of feeling over the issue…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 23.2.05 HUNTS ARE IN THE PINK - Huntsmen across west Wales saddled up at the weekend to stretch the new Hunting Act to its limits…. "We went out with the hounds, within the law," said Lee Peters, huntsman of the Carmarthenshire Hunt which met in Bancyfelin… A spokeswoman for the Cwrt-y-Cadno Hunt, which met in Llydrych, Llansawel, said everything went well on Saturday… Liz Rooney, secretary of the Tivyside Hunt, was also pleased many people came out to support…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 23.2.05 'LET ASSEMBLY DECIDE' - Suzy Davies, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, has joined demands for Carwyn Jones to seek National Assembly powers over the issue of hunting with dogs…. Suzy, who attended Saturday's meeting of the Llandeilo hunt, with her family, said: "I didn't see any other local political representatives fighting against cruelty today. I'm talking about the real cruelty that the Labour party thought fit to throw livelihoods and freedoms to their backbench hounds in order to stop them baying against Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq…." (story)

Macclesfield Express 23.2.05 Supporters turn out to spur on the foxhunters - PEOVER was brought to a standstill by a convoy of Land Rovers, horses and hounds on the first day of the ban on hunting with dogs. The local hunt, the Cheshire Forest, took their hounds around farms and pubs owned by sympathetic landlords in the area, and were cheered by locals as they passed…. RICHARD May, Chairman of the Macclesfield branch of the Countryside Alliance, suspects anti-hunt saboteurs pushed down a stone wall and cut sheepwire on his land at Wild Boar Clough on Saturday night. (story)

Carlisle News & Star 23.2.05 Hunting’s back in fashion - HUNTING, it seems, has never had more support. On Saturday, the first day after the ban, thousands of urban people who have never been on horseback, streamed across the country to support the hunts in their biggest turn-out to date… (story)

Western Telegraph 23.2.05 A hunting we will go! by Debbie James - Fox hunts have vowed to continue to meet in the Pembrokeshire countryside but insist they will stay within the law. The Pembrokeshire and South Pembrokeshire Hunts had some of the biggest midweek turnouts in their history when they gathered on Thursday, just hours before the hunting ban came into force… (story in archive)

Wellington Weekly News 23.2.05 CAN POLICE BE TRUSTED TO ENFORCE HUNT BAN? - At last the law banning the hunting of animals by hounds has come into force - a law which all those who deplore cruelty feel should have been enforced long ago… A worrying point, however, is that the police, at least those interviewed in the media, do not seem to have any interest in enforcing the law. I suppose this is not very surprising when one takes into account the number of magistrates, judges and others in positions of power who are members of the hunt…. It was proved last weekend that "drag" hunts following a scent trail can still allow the tradition to continue, if that is what people want…. Peter and Linda Hine Wharf Cottages, Wellington (letter)

Times 23.2.05 Foxes may safely graze - I woke this Sunday morning to see three foxes playing on the lawn, clearly aware they are living in safer times…. PHIL OWEN, 7 Ashtree Close, Radyr, Cardiff CF16 8RX
Sir, I have just seen a fox sprint across the lawn in terror with a cat in close pursuit. Is this still legal? Yours faithfully, RUSSELL MORRIS, Shellwood, Forest Road, East Horsley, Surrey KT24 5BA (letters)

Bristol Evening Post 23.2.05 I MAY be wrong here, but why is it that every time I see television footage of a confrontation between anti-hunt campaigners and the bloodthirsty lawbreakers of the hunting "fraternity", the anti-hunt people seem to come off worse? The police appear to come down on the side of the lawbreakers…. Kim Browning, by e-mail. (letter)

Bath Chronicle 23.2.05 THE other day I saw a Jack Russell dog kill three mice in a grain store. I was astonished by the speed at which the dog killed the animals… As I understand it, the only legal means to kill mice like those I saw in the grain store will be to poison or trap them. I do not believe that these methods of killing are any less cruel than hunting with a dog… DIANA DEAL, Bradford Road, Winsley (letter)

Western Morning News 23.2.05 IT IS a sad fact that February 17, 2005, saw the last day of legal hunting with dogs, bringing to an end the countryside pursuit that had endured for hundreds of years as a way of life. However, your readers can be sure that hunts all over England and Wales will test the dog's breakfast of a vindictive law in every way possible… DAVID OWEN, Portland Avenue, Exmouth (letter)

Argus 23.2.05 Letter: Forget foxes For Sussex hunting people whose Saturday activity might be lacking some lustre just now and who don't know what to do with themselves, here is some good news. Across the nation, Sussex is being successful in a real sport this season. For fans of the Southdown and Erridge hunt, there is Lewes FC, a proud third in the Nationwide South. For supporters of the Chid and Lec, Bognor stand in an excellent above-mid-table position. For people in Crawley and Horsham, Crawley Town FC have a chance to be promoted to the League…. -Richard Tassell, East Grinstead (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 23.2.05 HUNTERS QUIZZED - Do those in favour of fox-hunting also support dog and cock fighting? Both still exist, although illegal… John Burrows, Humberstone (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 23.2.05 HUNTING AGE IS OVER - ACCEPT IT! - In response to A. R. Jackson (February 21), hunting with hounds is now illegal, and therefore it is against the law to carry out such barbaric activities. … Why is it that the huntsmen and women breed foxes for this barbaric sport, with sites of breeding units scattered across the county? And ask any reasonably minded farmer - the damage the hunt causes is phenomenal… MICHAEL COX Parthian Avenue, Wyberton, Boston (letter)

Oxford Mail 23.2.05 Tough questions - Why is it that no-one has mentioned the hunting debate in Emmerdale?... BEVERLEY OAKLEY, Bletchingdon (letter in archive)

Northern Echo 23.2.05 HUNTING - TWO episodes in your report (Echo, Feb 21) illustrate the real feelings of those who oppose the ban on hunting. Firstly, the York and Ainsty Hunt drag an effigy of Tony Blair (subtly labelled "Vermin") across Easingwold market place, pursued by hounds. This taps into a deep vein of arrogance and intolerance in the countryside extending back over centuries… Secondly, the Master of the South Durham Hunt suggests that the way forward is "to set a drag up... dig out the fox, kill it and feed it to the hounds". Forget about any arguments on pest control, history, tradition, and being "fair" to foxes. Hunting is about the adrenaline rush of killing animals for fun…. Can we please move on? - Robin Brooks, Barningham, North Yorks.
WHO says we protestors don't understand hunting? We know all too well it is a totally selfish sport and its followers completely lack the imagination for understanding a lesser being's suffering…. John Young, Crook. (letters in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 23.2.05 Will hunt laws be enforced? - THE question that I would like answered is, are the police going to enforce the new anti-hunting laws or not?... I am, after all, paying council tax which pays for police funding and I would like them to do so. A law is a law regardless of how rich or noble the perpetrator is…. I would like to add that I'm no staunch activist in this field, just a concerned person who has respect for the wellbeing of animals. M CARLTON, Prospect Place, Swindon (letter in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 23.2.05 We found police to halt strikers - So the ban for hunting the fox with dogs has finally become law… On Saturday, the hunt was out in full force and I believe some of them were scent-following… It is going to be a difficult situation for our police, especially as the huntsmen have so many sympathisers. But where were all the sympathisers in the 1980s when the miners were on strike?... we managed to find enough police then! DEREK BENFIELD, Hawkswood, Covingham Park, Swindon (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 23.2.05 HOWEVER THEY TRY TO HIDE IT, HUNTING IS ABOUT KILLING - Bbc News interviewed a hunt kennel man who smiled winsomely and cradled a young hound in his arms. He fooled no one when commenting "sadly, even more foxes will be killed because of the ban". If they find killing foxes "sad", why do they do it?... DIANE TORR Barnfield Wilford
A heartless, soulless law To the do-goody-goody. Imagine as a child taking the corn to feed the chickens and a basket to collect eggs, only to find Mr Fox had got there first, snapping off all the heads of the chickens…. How can this Government boast about the figure of fewer people looking for jobs when they are going to add to this number very soon? Do they realise how many jobs could go if a total ban on hunting with dogs really takes off?... JANE BEST Stanhope Way Bingham
The will of the majority? Now hunting with hounds is officially illegal, another nail is driven into the coffin of our country's heritage. Paddy Tipping, Notts Labour MP, says the majority support the ban and that's what matters. I wasn't aware there had been a referendum, but given that 86% of the population are urban dwellers, I'll take his word for it…. L. CAXTON Wollaton Vale Notts
Law is made to be kept - I have no interest at all in fox hunting and have no opinion about it. During my lifetime there have been many laws passed by Parliament with which I have disagreed. But the will of the people must be obeyed…. HAROLD FINCH Musters Road Bingham
Worse than just butchery So, Mr P. Gent (Letters, February 18) thinks there is no difference between fox hunting and the production of Halal meat. Whilst I support neither, I realise the slaughterers derive no pleasure from their methods whereas fox hunters do…. MALCOLM ELLIS Clumber Avenue Chilwell (letters)

Glasgow Evening Times 23.2.05 'Private' hunt alert - I KEEP hearing that the foxhunting ban will be difficult to enforce because the police can't follow the hunt on to private land, even if they know an illegal act is taking place. Does this also apply if they know other offences are being committed "on private land"?... D McCONNELLOQUE Rothesay (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 23.2.05 POLL REVEALS PUBLIC MOOD - I Was interested to read your poll which shows most people feel that hunting should not be banned. I am an artist and paint hunting scenes, point to point and so on. None of the local art galleries wants hunting pictures even though sales of hunting pictures have increased since the ban was proposed. It is clear from your poll that the Government, and indeed local art galleries, have misjudged the mood of the public. Maxine Jones, PO Box 336, Swansea (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 23.2.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS SEEM TO BE ENJOYING FREE REIN - Having seen some of the disgusting antics of the hunting crowd over the weekend, I am appalled and can only assume they are not interested in the slightest in animal welfare, only their own selfish ends. I also query the alleged impartiality of the police, who appeared to be sitting back and doing nothing… John Hill, Exeter Road, Scunthorpe (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 23.2.05 ALL MUST OBEY HOUND LAW EVEN IF THEY DISLIKE IT - The recent passing of an Act banning hunting with hounds has received a sigh of relief on one side and a cry of protest from the other. But more than the cry of protest, supporters of hunting have threatened to ignore the law and carry on, thus breaking the criminal law of the country. May I remind them that St Paul the Apostle writes: 'Everyone must obey the state authorities, because no authority exists without God's permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God…. The Reverend Myra Dillistone, Parkhouse Road, St Thomas, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 23.2.05 HUNT BAN IS TIMELY, AND WILL NEVER BE OVERTURNED - I am sure I speak for many other people, as well as myself, when I say how welcome the news is on the ban on hunting. This could not have come soon enough for me. This cruel and barbaric sport has gone on for too long now…. Ms Y Cottey, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 23.2.05 NEW LAW OUGHT TO BE POLICED LIKE ANY OTHER - So, the police don't see the hunting ban as a priority. We are told we'll be paying extra taxes for more officers, yet they can choose which crimes they can police. Can we choose the laws we wish to break?... Name and address withheld on request (letter)

Shropshire Star 23.2.05 Hunting Act will do nothing for animals - In the aftermath of the debate what we all suspected has been made clear - the Hunting Act had nothing to do with animal welfare. There is an arrogance with this Government. If you speak privately with politicians you will be struck by two things. Firstly their ignorance about hunting and secondly their lack of effort to understand the issues. They will tell you that it was all about who governs Britain. The principle of liberty is to them less important than their right to rule…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Shropshire Star 23.2.05 Blood lust too strong to kill traditions - Pro-Hunting? Anti-Hunting? I don't know… The lust for blood is within all of us and has been so since Christians were thrown to the lions and Gladiators fought to the death…. The law outlawing hunting can never, and will never be enforced. It will be quietly ignored and then forgotten like other ancient laws, such as banning washing being hung out on Sundays, which is still on the statute book…. Jim Wood, Holmer Lake (letter)

Western Mail 23.2.05 Hunt law should now be respected - I was interested to read your report about issues surrounding hunting with dogs, published last Saturday. For the sake of the record I do not know what it is like to "to escape from an angry crowd on the floor of a police car". That has never happened to me. However I do have experience of the contorted face of a protester on the windscreen of my car trying to rip the wipers off, and also of a mob unfastening a metal security barrier with the clear intent of putting it through the windscreen… It will take time for the passions to die down. But country sports without cruelty is good news for everyone. ALUN MICHAEL, MP for Cardiff South and Penarth (letter)

The Sentinel 23.2.05 THE REAL VERMIN ARE NOT FOXES - At last the momentous occasion has arrived for us to make that giant leap forward into the 21st century and leave behind those medieval atrocities of the dark days when blood sports were classed as entertainment. There will, of course, be those stalwarts of barbarism who will choose to make a mockery of the whole issue by continuing to flout the law. The criminal type who will continue to ride out across the countryside tally-hoing and believing that they have the God-given right to see a poor fox ripped to pieces for their pleasure… PETER RIDGWAY Bradwell (letter)

The Sentinel 23.2.05 LABOUR FAILED IN ITS PROMISES - I am concerned Labour has not fulfilled all its promises on animal welfare. Labour could have stopped those who love abusing animals ages ago by backing Mike Foster's Private Member's Bill in November 1997. Instead, it wasted parliamentary time by continually stalling a ban on hunting every time MPs voted overwhelmingly for a total ban (at least half a dozen times). Thankfully, the long-overdue ban comes into force this week… . A recent independent survey found 83 per cent of general practitioners would like the Government to facilitate an independent scientific evaluation of the use of animals as surrogate humans in drug safety testing and medical research. MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)

Bolton Evening News 23.2.05 Hunting is not child's play - THE recent article on the hunting ban left me speechless. A comment from the father of a boy who hunted was, "for a lad who has known nothing wrong with hunting all his life to suddenly be told he can't do it…" I really cannot imagine what sort of lad is proud of chasing a defenceless and terrified animal for miles until it is caught and savaged to death by hounds… (Name and address supplied) (letter in archive)

Manchester Evening News 23.2.05 Crocodile tears - HOW pathetic, weak and feeble those members of the hunting lobby looked on TV. They were shedding crocodile tears because they can no longer go out and hunt down an exhausted and terrified animal with a pack of starved dogs… Tally No More, Manchester (letter)

22.2.05

Lakeland Echo 22.2.05 Fell runners now make the pace for Vale of Lune Harriers - THE Vale of Lune Harriers have had their historic last hunt and are now chasing scented fell runners…. Clive Richard- son, master huntsman who bred the hounds, said: "I have bred every hound here today and when I take them back to the kennel it will be for the last time." However, the Vale of Lune Harriers will continue to hunt using a pack of the Three Counties Bloodhounds which follow a scent without killing the animal…. (letter)

Banbury Guardian 22.2.05 HUNT FANS TURN OUT FORCE - HUNT supporters in the Banbury area are expected to turn out in force this weekend in defiance of the new ban on hunting with dogs. A court challenge to the ban failed this week and it is due to come into force tomorrow. Sam Butler, leader of the Campaign for Hunting and joint master of the Warwickshire Hunt, has appealed for as many riders and foot-followers as possible to attend a meet at Upton House near Hornton on Saturday… The Heythrop Hunt expects more than 300 horses and riders wearing black armbands and hundreds more supporters on foot at Curdle Hill near Chadlington at 10.45am on Saturday…. The Grafton Hunt will also meet, with large numbers expected at Wakefield Lodge, near Potterspury. A huge photograph of the hunt will be taken and hounds will be exercised around the estate. The Bicester and Whaddon Chase will meet at the Red Lion, Stratton Audley, at 11am on Saturday (story)

Independent 22.2.05 Michael goes to ground over his secret hunting meetings By Guy Adams - Days after the Government's hunting ban came into force, the Rural Affairs minister, Alun Michael has blocked the release of information on his dealings with pro and anti-hunting lobbyists… Recently, in a bid to find out what really went on, Pandora asked Defra - under the new Freedom of Information Act - to disclose details of the meetings. And yesterday, my request was formally declined….Pointing out that Labour received a £1m donation from their opponents in 1997, the CA smells a rat. "I see no reasons other than suspicious ones why these talks should be covered up," says its chief executive, Simon Hart. Pandora agrees. Last night, I lodged a formal appeal against Defra's decision (story)

Times 22.2.05 First person - 'It's as if someone has taken all my books away' - JANE SHILLING - There are tears, top hats and a sense that something has changed when our correspondent goes hunting twice with the Ashford Valley — at its last legal meet, and after the ban…(story)

Horse & Hound 22.2.05 Under arrest: solicitors give conflicting advice - Conflicting advice about the best course of action if an individual is arrested under the Hunting Act is being issued as the hunting community comes to terms with life after the ban - People arrested for hunting after the ban comes into force should not follow Countryside Alliance advice to refuse the services of the duty solicitor, a pro-hunting lawyer has urged. Sarah Barnard, criminal partner at a Hampshire-based firm, who has worked as a duty solicitor for 15 years, warns that using a solicitor unfamiliar with police station work may not be in suspects' best interests….(story)

Guardian 22.2.05 Lords can thwart hunting appeal - Foxes put the law lords in a fix. Plus, how lawyers were secretly funded to help apartheid's targets - Marcel Berlins - The pro-hunting people have, as expected, announced that they will be taking last week's appeal court decision against them to the House of Lords. But I think I've discovered a wonderful obstacle to their intentions. That ruling by the appeal judges confirmed the validity of the Parliament Act 1949, under which the Hunting Act was passed. The 1949 act is designed to curb the legislative power of the second chamber. The validity of the act is what the law lords will be deciding if the case reaches them on appeal. But all the law lords are themselves peers, in the House of Lords. That means that, in their role as legislators, they would all have an interest - or be perceived as having an interest - in the result of the appeal before them. As is well established, a judge with an interest in a case ought not to hear it. Therefore all 12 law lords would have to disqualify themselves from sitting…. (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 22.2.05 FARMERS URGED TO STUDY HUNTING ACT - Landowners and farmers are being warned to take note of what the Hunting Act means to them. The Country Land and Business Association is issuing guidance to its members setting out exactly what farmers and landowners can or cannot do…. CLA South West director, John Mortimer, said: "Our advisers have taken many calls from concerned landowners wishing to support the continuance of the hunts without falling foul of this ill-conceived legislation. We urge our members to seek advice regarding their individual circumstances. Turning a blind eye to illegal hunting activity on your land may not be looked upon very kindly by the courts." (story)

Western Mail 22.2.05 'How dare they tell me how to live' - Steve Dube, Western Mail - WHEN Kerry Moffett and her seven-year-old daughter Edwina follow the hounds there is no blood lust in their eyes. "We're too busy trying to stay in the saddle," she says…. Kerry said the Glamorgan Hunt included two five-year-old girls on ponies on the last legal day of hunting on Thursday… (story)
Western Mail 22.2.05 Hunts easily evade the law - Steve Dube, Western Mail - COUNTRYSIDE Alliance Welsh director Adrian Simpson estimated that around 100 mounted and foot packs took to the fields and forests of Wales on Saturday in a show of defiance and a test of what they consider to be an unenforceable law…. (story)
Western Mail 22.2.05 Tories want hunting debate - The Conservatives today demanded a full debate in the Assembly on the hunting ban, which came into force last week. The party has also called on Environment Minister Carwyn Jones to investigate whether the Assembly has any powers to introduce any opt-outs to the bill… (story)

Western Mail 22.2.05 So what does the hunting ban mean for us? by Gareth Vaughan, FUW president - NOW that the hunting ban has come into force, what can we as farmers expect in the future? As far as we as working people are concerned, the threats to our animals still exist. Our new-born lambs still run the risk of falling prey to predators, especially foxes…. (story)
Western Daily Press 22.2.05 FEARS FOR LAMBS IN WAKE OF BAN - Up to 10 times more new born lambs could be killed by foxes as a result of the ban on hunting with dogs, hill farmers are claiming. The prediction is based on evidence collected when hunting was suspended during the 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic, and night-time attacks on flocks increased dramatically…. Derek Morgan, who chairs the Farmers' Union of Wales hill farming committee, said an increase in the number of savage deaths was the inevitable outcome of last week's ban…. (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 22.2.05 Hunts ride in to help the Tories by Mark Hookham & Gareth Bethell - DOZENS of hunting and shooting enthusiasts are planning to pound the streets of Swindon as part of a campaign to punish Labour at the polls. Riders from the Beaufort, Old Berkshire and Vale of White Horse hunts are preparing to campaign on behalf of Robert Buckland, Conservative parliamentary candidate for South Swindon in the forthcoming general election campaign…. (story in archive)
Bristol Evening Post 22.2.05 ANTI-HUNTING MPS' SEATS IN FIRING LINE - Pro-hunting and shooting supporters have launched a campaign to rob two anti-hunting MPs in the Bristol area of their seats at the forthcoming general election. Members of the Beaufort, Vale of White Horse and Old Berkshire hunts are targeting the Kingswood and Northavon constituencies to punish the current MPs for voting to ban hunting with hounds…. The campaign is being organised by Gloucestershire farmer Charles Mann, who is also targeting the marginal Labour seats of Swindon South and Stroud…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 22.2.05 MPs say hunt ban can't be enforced By Zoe Hughes Political Editor, The Journal - Ministers have come under fire following the introduction of the hunting ban over the weekend with warnings that the system will be unenforceable… Hexham MP Peter Atkinson and Berwick's Alan Beith both criticised the ban, saying the weekend's hunts had demonstrated that the law was almost impossible to police. Mr Atkinson attended two hunts in the region on Saturday where "more people than usual turned out to show their support"…. (story)

Milton Keynes Citizen 22.2.05 - Hunt vows to fight on despite ban - Hundereds gathered at Wakefield Lodge, Potterspury, on Saturday to give their support to the first Grafton Hunt since the ban was introduced…. (story)

South London Press 22.2.05 Hoey rides with the hunt - VAUXHALL Labour MP Kate Hoey has spoken out against the ban on fox hunting with hounds, calling members of her own party who supported it "prejudiced and bigoted". The defiant politician told a crowd of more than 3,000 hunt supporters the ban would have to be over-turned, before riding out with the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt in Gloucestershire on Saturday…. (story)

icSurrey 22.2.05 First hunt after ban passes peacefully By Sarah Cooper - EXTRA police officers were drafted in for the first hunt in East Surrey since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force, but there was little trouble. There was no violence and no arrests were made at the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunt, which took place on Saturday in Woldingham…. Chief Superintendent Jerry Kirkby, the officer in charge of the policing operation, said: "Emotions were very high and we are pleased that everyone acted within the law… There was clear evidence that the hunts operated within the new legislation. In addition, the hunt monitors conducted themselves in a responsible and supportive manner."… (story)

Bridgwater Mercury 22.2.05 The Last Hunt? - Hunting with dogs became illegal this week, as scores of hunters across Somerset took to the hills for their last hurrah…. (story in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.2.05 'NO ILLEGAL HUNTS' - Police have confirmed there were no illegal hunts in Devon at the weekend, following the implementation of the hunting with dogs ban. Devon and Cornwall police investigated two complaints of illegal hunting - one made in each county - but have confirmed both were unfounded…. (story)
Western Morning News 22.2.05 POLICE DISMISS TWO ILLEGAL HUNT CLAIMS - Two allegations of unlawful hunting taking place across the Westcountry over the weekend have proven unfounded, police have said. A third complaint in Somerset, however, is still being investigated by wildlife officers…. For one Devon huntsman, the ban on the sport has forced him to leave the country. Jason Marles, from Farringdon, near Exeter, is moving to America to continue his passion for hunting. The 23-year old kennel man has secured a top job in the state of Virginia as a first whipper-in for the Blue Ridge Hunt, and claimed he was unlikely to consider returning to Britain unless the Hunting Act was repealed…. He is currently whipper-in for the Glamorgan Foxhounds in Wales, and also hunts with the East Devon Hunt… (story)

Western Daily Press 22.2.05 WE ALREADY HAVE OUR SPIES IN THE CAMP - Animal rights groups war-ned last night that they have already infiltrated hunts and are gathering information for prosecutions. The warning was sounded by the League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which said their members have long been established as undercover investigators posing as hunt supporters…. (story)

Western Daily Press 22.2.05 JUSTICE TAKES ITS TIME FOR PARLIAMENT EIGHT - The trial of the so-called Parliament Eight hunt supporters who gatecrashed the floor of the Commons chamber during last September's hunting debate has been postponed again. The eight, who include four men from the West, will now go on trial in late May - three weeks after the expected General Election… (story)

Western Morning News 22.2.05 STUDENTS SET UP COUNTRYSIDE SOCIETY TO SUPPORT HUNTERS - A group of students from the University of Plymouth have started a countryside society with the aim of protesting against the Hunting Act. The Countryside Field Sports and Social Society was set up last week, and on Friday members staged a demonstration on campus in support of hunting…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 22.2.05 FOX KILLING COULD BE NATIONAL TEST CASE - East Yorks: The killing of a fox by hounds from an East Yorkshire hunt could become the national test case for the new law banning hunting with dogs. Officials from the League Against Cruel Sports are to investigate the incident at a Holderness Hunt meet just two days after the ban became law. Today they called for anyone with evidence, such as video footage, which could help prove it was an illegal fox hunt, to come forward… (story)

North Yorkshire Advertiser 22.2.05 Hunt supporters show their defiance - Thousands of hunt supporters gathered at eight meets across North Yorkshire on Saturday in a show of defiance against the new hunting ban…. About 500 people cheered and applauded as hounds and huntsmen from the Bedale Hunt rode into West Tanfield, near Masham… The Zetland also rode out from Aldbrough St John. (story in archive)

Darlington, Aycliffe & Sedgfield Advertiser 22.2.05 Pledge to test law on hunting - HUNDREDS of hunt supporters vowed to test the law on hunting - the day after a ban comes into force…. Hunts meeting will include the Zetland hunt, from Aldbrough St John, near Darlington, and South Durham hunt, which dates back to the seventeenth century and is based at Sedgefield…. (story in archive)

Suffolk Evening Star 22.2.05 Hunters carry on - HUNT supporters were in defiant mood as thousands turned out across the region in a bid to make a mockery of the Government's ban on hunting with hounds… James Buckle, joint master of the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds, said the hunt flushed out a fox to be shot at its meet at Stutton but said the new arrangements were "a fiasco"… James Aldous, senior joint-master of the Suffolk Hunt, which met at Euston, near Thetford, said: "There was a tremendous turnout, with around 1,000 people and 70 horses attending the event…." (story)

Uttoxeter Advertiser 22.2.05 Hunts unite for ban protest by AIMEE PARKER - HUNDREDS of hunting enthusiasts turned out on Saturday to show their defiance against a ban on the sport. More than 700 members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, the Staffordshire Moorlands and the DNS Beagles gathered at the Darley Moor Airfield near Ashbourne to protest at the Government’s decision to ban fox hunting…. (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 22.2.05 SAFETY FEARS FOR MP - Scunthorpe's Mp has been told to improve his home security because of rising concern over possible attacks in the wake of a ban on fox hunting. Elliot Morley, who is also the environment minister, has been given specialist advice from Special Branch officers amid fears he may be attacked by those campaigning against a hunting ban…. The news comes after it was revealed three other MPs - Alun Michael, minister for rural affairs, Ben Bradshaw, minister for nature conservation, and Peter Hain, leader of the Commons - had all accepted offers of 24-hour protection from police officers… Mr Morley said while he had not been personally attacked, he had been verbally abused at public engagements and had also seen his car blocked in by those against the hunting ban…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 22.2.05 'BATH MUST NOT BE LOST TO BINGE DRINKERS' - Crimes such as robbery and burglary will remain top priorities for police, despite tough financial times and changes to laws surrounding licensing and fox hunting, said the force's new chief constable. Three busy weeks into his new job, Colin Port faces a situation where the Government is tightening the purse-strings at the same time as it increases pressure on resources through the need to enforce the fox hunting ban and allowing 24-hour drinking…. After the first weekend of the hunting ban passed smoothly, Mr Port hoped this would be the shape of things to come. He urged hunters to operate with the law, but he said enforcing illegal hunts would not be a top priority….(story)

Horncastle News 22.2.05 Hunt master: The fight goes on - THE South Wold Hunt has pledged to continue the fight to overturn the ban on foxhunting after Saturday's meet in Horncastle. Master Nick Ashcroft told us that legal and political challenges to the ban would go on despite recent legal defeats. He said: "The ban will be challenged in the Lords and on human rights grounds in Europe…. (story)

Western Morning News 22.2.05 HUNTING FIGURINES ARE PUT UP FOR AUCTION - They are a perfect gift for hunt supporters across the Westcountry - and they could be yours to own next month. A collection of hunting memorabilia, with some items worth more than £1,000, is to go under the hammer at Bearne's Auctioneers and Valuers of Fine Art in Exeter on Tuesday, March 3…. (story)

South Wales Echo 22.2.05 Send out a message to fox-killers - DESPITE a law passed by elected MPs, many members of the fox-killing fraternity openly state their intention to ignore and break the law and thus commit crime. Why not sequestrate their assets? Seize the privately-owned land that permits this barbaric pursuit or freeze the bank accounts of the hunt leaders and anyone else that follows them?... David Jones, Yew Tree Court, Cardiff (letter)

Independent 22.2.05 W P Moore (Letters 19 February) assures us that the primary force behind the ban on foxhunting is neither prejudice nor animal welfare. "For many opponents of hunting with dogs, it has been a moral issue. It is just not acceptable in a modern society to allow a minority to indulge their taste for an activity which causes offence to so many." In politics, a desire to pass "moral" laws usually means finding an excuse to be oppressive to people who don't share your tastes…. It is no use for your correspondent to appeal to the degree of public support for the law either. The prime historic example of "moral" folly, Prohibition, was passed by impeccably democratic means. It was oppressive and a foolish burden on the state that took years to set right. MICHAEL CULE, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Bruce Anderson's article on hare coursing, (17 February), underestimates Beatrix Potter. She may have written books for children, but she never misrepresented the characteristics of real animals, either wild or domestic… Beatrix Potter may have put clothes on her animal characters, but she drew animals from life. The hunt ban would have been beyond her comprehension, and would, as a sheep farmer, have appalled her. SYLVIA SCARLETT , Staunton-in-the-Vale, Nottinghamshire (letters)

Northern Echo 22.2.05 HUNTING: I COMPLETED my first legal day's hunting on Sunday and what a sad day it was. I am a 26-year-old committed member of the South Durham Hunt in Tony Blair's constituency. If I could hunt down Tony Blair I would with great pleasure. The new law is a law against people like myself. It is an infringement of my human rights and a war against many country folk…. Ruth Parker, West Auckland. (letter in archive)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 22.2.05 Foxes deserve a kinder end - If fox hunting with dogs is legally banned, how come 91 foxes died a few days ago. The people who made this "law" and gladly proclaimed it, must have known that the people involved in what seems a barbaric activity, would find and abuse the loopholes…. DAVID REID, Norburn, North Bretton, Peterborough (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 22.2.05 ABSOLUTELY AMAZED - I Have just seen for the first time, thanks to television, the spectacle of hare coursing. I think it is revolting… John Williams, Gors Avenue, Swansea (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 22.2.05 HUNTERS SHOULD ACCEPT IT'S OVER - KATHERINE WATSON (MISS), Address supplied (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 15.2.05 HUNTERS SHOULD ACCEPT THAT IT'S ALL OVER NOW - Now that the High Court has upheld the ban on live animal hunting, is there any real point in the pro-hunting militants continuing to take a "gloves off" and "save hunting, join our war" attitude?... KATHERINE WATSON (MISS), Address supplied (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 22.2.05 WHY NO SWITCH TO DRAG HUNTS? - I Do find repellent the thought of an animal (however disliked) which is heavily outnumbered being torn to pieces. However what mystifies me, and I would be interested to hear the views of the pro-hunters, is why they do not change over to drag hunting?... NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 22.2.05 TRY CHASING THE BIRDS INSTEAD - I Note many people are still going to carry on hunting foxes and hares. Perhaps members of the hunt could take their place to be chased and killed and leave animals alone… E. PREADY, Longford Lane, Longlevens (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 22.2.05 TRUTH AT LAST ON HUNTING - I was surprised to read, in part of Simon Hart's speech to the Countryside Alliance (HE, February 14) that the hunts would be out in full regalia after the ban to show that "... it won't prevent perhaps the one thing Labour wanted it to do: us having a good time". How sad fellow human beings need to go out in numbers to chase, with hounds, and to watch foxes and hares being torn apart and stags brought down and killed in order to "have a good time"…. ANGELA CORKERY, Seymour Drive, Torquay (letter)

Leicester Mercury 22.2.05 CRIMINAL HUNT - While I have nothing against the anti-hunting lobby, might I say that I will be rather cross if any calls they make to the police to report hunting violations receive any other reply than: "Here is your crime number" and "good bye". Certainly, this is the reply that reports of rather weightier crimes receive….. Russ Ball, Leicester. (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 22.2.05 SHOCKED BY MP'S HOUNDING BY MOB - I Was shocked to see the news pictures on TV of Wansdyke MP Dan Norris being attacked and, dare I say it, hounded by hunt supporters… Presumably these people would, by the same token, argue that it was insensitive for black people to want to live in their homes at the time the Klu Klux Klan were active in the southern states of America and insensitive of Jews to expect to be allowed to carry on working in their jobs as teachers or doctors when the Nazis came to power…. Christopher Orlik, Councillor for Windmill Hill (letter)

Western Morning News 22.2.05 HUNTING HISTORY FROM THE 1870S - Much appreciation for your interesting articles on the various hunts in the Westcountry…. I have a map of Cornwall dated 1870 which shows the division of the county into three hunts - the Western, Four Burrow and Mr Leamons Hunt which extended from the Eastern banks of Fowey and Camel rivers up to Widemouth Bay and back through Werrington to Tavistock… It would be interesting if any of your readers knew more of the history of Mr Leamons' hunting days. Bridget Best, Liskeard Not so ordinary - HOW many times during the hunting debate has the Countryside Alliance said that it is not the landed gentry who hunt but ordinary working folk? Yes, I am sure that the working class huntspersons would be able to take a day off work or leave their employer three times a week…. M Robinson, Ivybridge
Inverted snobbery - Anne Gill (WMN, February 1) may say her anti-hunt views have nothing to do with class - so why mention her husband's occupations? Has she never heard of inverted snobbery? Her comments concerning Joan Calmady-Hamlyn are full of animosity…. S G Sandy, St Austell (letters)

Western Morning News 22.2.05 ALLIANCE THOUGHT IT RAN THE COUNTRY - In spite of the Countryside Alliance's cockiness in its claims that it would win the case in the High Court as to the validity of the use of the Parliament Act to enforce the ban on hunting with dogs, it was made a laughing stock when its case was thrown out of court. It has now lost its case in Parliament and in the High Court but still thinks that someone, somewhere will condone the torture of animals in the name of sport (and to provide a good time at the hunt ball!)…. Get the fire brigade out, I say, put the hoses on them - that should cool them down. F Cleaves, Par (letter)

Western Morning News 22.2.05 HYPOCRITIC LINE BY CHRIS RUNDLE - I found Chris Rundle's article last month riddled with hypocrisy; he's joined the RSPCA and single-issue Labour supporters, not to mention the Government. You cannot use the cruelty argument to justify opposition to fox-hunting, the economic and business argument to justify shooting and the "votes at the next election" argument to justify fishing!... Bill Pullen Alderton Gloucestershire (letter)