February 2006

Back to News Index


(*)- added since last update


28.2.06

Western Mail 28.2.06 I fail to understand how Judi Hewitt thinks the Countryside Alliance has "shot themselves in the foot" (Country & Farming, February 21). The whole point of sending bricks, phone books etc to the League Against Cruel Sports Freepost address was to achieve exactly what then happened - ie a huge bill for the League. The fact that the Post Office have said that the League will not have to pay the bill of £500,000 should worry to the public - guess who ends up paying the bill?... Annabelle Traherne, Cardiff (letter)

Leicester Mercury 28.2.06 GIVING VENT TO THEIR BLOODLUST - I am disgusted but not surprised that some people are still hunting foxes (Mercury, February 18), but the arrogance of Clare Bell is unbelievable…. Mrs M G Cook, Leicester. (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 28.2.06 HUNTING ACT ABOUT PEOPLE NOT ANIMALS - So the impact of the Hunting Act will take time. It is widely acknowledged that it is packed with flaws and was never about the animals but the people who follow the hunts. The popularity of hunting has increased since the Act, as was witnessed at the Boxing Day meet this year in Tiverton. What a crowd!... Everyone I spoke to was of the same opinion - what a stupid Act…. Our hunt is constantly being informed of injured deer but with just two hounds we find it very difficult to locate them and if we do find, it can be a long time before we safely dispatch them from their suffering. Before the Act, with a pack, the job was done quickly and efficiently…. Is it not interesting that three former League Against Cruel Sports main officers have all admitted that hunting is a better means of animal welfare…. Mr T Laman, Secretary of Tiverton Staghounds (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 28.2.06 NO REASON NOT TO ENFORCE LAW AGAINST HUNTING - I Was shocked, but not at all surprised, at the comments made by the master of the Berkeley Hunt, that the law against fox hunting is not working. It is not working because there is not sufficient willingness on the part of the authorities to enforce it. Maybe when the Chief Constable is supping cocktails with the master of the hunt he should remind him that the law is the will of the people, and it is the will of the majority that it be enforced… KEITH HANNEFORD, Parliament Street, Gloucester (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.2.06 HUNT ACT NOT STRICT ENOUGH - As a firm opponent of any form of animal cruelty, I actually agree with the letter written by Alison Hawes. Ms Hawes is quite correct in her underlying assertion that the Hunting Act does not go far enough. I would like to see ALL species of British wildlife become legally protected… The so-called Countryside Alliance should change its name…. It should become the Barbarians' Alliance. Julian Brown Nailsworth Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.2.06 A TAIL OF WORKING DOGS - Most people think tail-docking of working dogs should continue, according to a poll out today. And a senior vet believes "there is a welfare case for the docking of working dogs' tails"…. The poll, carried out by Orb for the Countryside Alliance, shows that only 39 per cent of people think the docking of working dogs should be banned… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 28.2.06 SNARES SHOULD BE OUTLAWED - I Understand several European countries have outlawed the use of snares, so why does this country continue to use them? The recent case of a badger caught in one makes you wonder what it went through… If we are a caring society, there should be an end to snares. PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.2.06 KEEP IT CLEAN. . . With reference to the article "Time to demand a farming revolution" (Farming Green, February 21), you have to question farming policy. It would seem cattle are in a bad way - is it any wonder we have a spread of bovine TB?... Pamela Dean Whiteshill Stroud (letter)

Independent 28.2.06 Thomas Sutcliffe: It's taken a 16-year-old to show us the way - So a new front in the war on terror has opened up. It is a modest one, it should be said - consisting of a stretch of Broad Street in Oxford and involving nothing more lethal than a pointedly-worded placard - but there's no question that 16-year-old Laurie Pycroft's decision, almost exactly a month ago, to scrawl a hasty slogan in support of Oxford's new biomedical research lab and raise it in contradiction to an animal rights protest, was a significant call to arms. Last Sunday, that first protest (Mr Pycroft, two friends and a budget of £1.98) had grown to several hundred people… But it would be shameful if only those directly involved step up behind him. One of the things that makes scientists and researchers vulnerable is their isolation as targets - but the truth is that we're nearly all legitimate targets if you follow the arguments of the wilder activists to their logical extreme…. If Pro-Test walk in London, I'll walk with them. (story)

Guardian 28.2.06 Public debate is the only way to end vivisection standoff - I admire and support the the courage shown by Professors Aziz and Stein in speaking out against animal rights extremists… My husband has suffered from Parkinson's disease for 12 years, during which time our family has witnessed the destruction that this degenerative disease has wreaked on his life…. I do not condone cruelty to animals per se, but if these extremists could see what effect diseases such as Parkinson's can have on the lives of all the family, perhaps they might understand the hope that we, and others in our situation, are given by the research that is carried out by people who dedicate their lives to finding a cure… Marilyn Ling, Ipswich
Saturday's Oxford demonstration in favour of animal research was yet another opportunity for vivisection proponents to shut off all intelligent assessment of their cruel and scientifically bogus activities… Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid
Your leader (February 27) on animal testing suggests that closing down such experiments would inevitably lead to more humans needlessly dying… No animal experiment is necessary, and not even a 16-year-old schoolboy can make it so. Dennis Stuart, Brighton, E Sussex
I was surprised to see you repeating the claim that animal testing is OK because 80% of the victims are rodents… Paul Roberts, London (letters)

27.2.06

TORIES PROMISE TO REPEAL BAN
Western Daily Press 27.2.06 TORIES VOW TO DITCH THE HUNTING BAN - The hunting ban would be repealed immediately by the Conservatives if the party won power at the next general election. Tory sources revealed three options had been drawn up to tackle the ban speedily if the party formed the next Government…. (story)
Western Morning News 24.2.06 TORIES CONSIDER FAST-TRACK REPEAL OF BAN - The Conservative Party is considering fast-tracking a repeal of the controversial hunting ban if it wins the next election. Senior Tories are weighing up the options to meet the party's commitment to giving MPs another free vote on the contentious issue, but are understood to favour a swift resolution…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.06 CONSERVATIVES FAVOUR SWIFT REPEAL OF HUNTING BAN - The Conservative Party is considering fast-tracking a repeal of the controversial hunting ban if it wins the next election. Senior Tories are weighing up options to meet the party's commitment to giving MPs another free vote on the contentious issue, but are understood to favour a swift resolution…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 19.2.06 Tories plan rapid repeal of hunting ban By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - The Conservatives have drawn up detailed plans for an immediate reversal of the hunting ban if they win power as a way of throwing "red meat" to the party faithful. Rumours that David Cameron was backing away from the issue were flatly denied by senior Tories, who revealed that three options have been prepared to tackle the ban speedily no matter how small a Tory majority might be…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.2.06 SCURRY UP FOLKS, FOR A TOP GALLOP - Billed as "An Unlikely Day at the Races", the South and West Wilts Hunt Scurry takes place on March 19 at Lower Leigh Farm, East Knoyle . In the tradition of the true, old-fashioned point-to-points, where horses galloped across country between landmarks, the scurry comprises five races of up to two and a half miles each. The result can be quite hair-raising as each tries to achieve the fastest time…. (story)

Independent 27.2.06 PANDORA by Guy Adams - One of Kate Hoey's many fierce critics has been the Daily Mirror's raffish political editor, Kevin Maguire. Strange, then, to see the off-message Labour MP applauded in Maguire's most recent column. "Straight, classy Kate proved she's got style," he wrote. "I'd raise a stirrup cup, if I had one."… (story)

Irish Examiner 27.2.06 Foot-hunting puts me off visiting Ireland - YOUR feature on foot-hunting and the description of this activity as being the hidden face of Ireland (Irish Examiner Arena, February 22) has put me off visiting your country. As for describing hounds' cries as music, well, to my musician's ear it is the sound of terror and death as the quarry screams in agony…. Jean Bennington, 24 Knowles Ave, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, Wales (letter)
Irish Examiner 27.2.06 - The thrill of the hunt - Thousands of people are going back to nature to master the basics of foot-hunting. Taking advantage of sunlight and shadow, foliage and terrain, Diarmuid O'Flynn put his best foot forward…. So, what were we doing here, the couple of hundred gathered at that same pub at 10.30 on a crisp, sunny Saturday with the hot toddy already in demand? We were going fox-hunting, but not a horse in sight. We are at a gathering of foot-harriers, with several clubs from the area and a guest club from Fedamore, Co Limerick, given the honour of providing the hounds for the day…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 27.2.06 Go-ahead for coursing meetings but no hares are allowed - As a coursing fan, it is pleasing to note that the Government have no immediate plans to ban coursing in Northern Ireland. But they have, in fact, done that very thing - at least for another year - by renewing their Special Protection Orders for the Irish hare which prohibits the netting or taking of hares…. It is typical Blairism, saying one thing but in fact doing the opposite by other means. LOVER OF THE LONG TAILS, Ballyclare, Co Antrim (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 27.2.06 Greater statutory protection needed for the Irish hare - Further to the letter on hare coursing from Club Member (Writeback, February 8), I would point out that while coursing deserves to be banned on welfare grounds alone, I believe that the conservation case is equally damning…. The majority of people engaged in farming or field sports report a general absence of hares in areas where they once thrived. The most recent 2005 hare survey actually showed a decline in hare numbers…. Greater statutory protection for the Irish hare will underpin a wider conservation strategy and make a significant contribution to the long-term recovery of the Irish hare. It will be welcomed by everyone with a genuine interest in the future of this unique animal. MIKE RENDLE, Irish Hare Initiative, Tyrone. (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 8.2.06 Coursing ensures a future for Irish hare - Everyone is entitled to their view regarding coursing but it was disappointing to see a Belfast Telegraph Viewpoint (February 4) based on a rather subjective and emotive stance which echoes the views of the League Against Cruel Sports but failed to take on board the merits of coursing, not only to the Irish economy but also in maintaining the best of traditions of field sports… All clubs have a vested interest in the well being of the endemic hare population and have worked closely with a broad range of statutory, scientific and voluntary organisations in delivering meaningful conservation action including the offer to set up effective habitats… COURSING CLUB MEMBER, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. a target=main href="http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/letters/story.jsp?story=678510">(letter)

Western Daily Press 27.2.06 BIRD FLU: IS THE GAME UP FOR THE SHOOTERS? - The shooting industry was last night told to abandon its plans to rear and release 35million gamebirds into the wild in time for the next season - as bird flu moved closer to British shores…. At the moment, shooting industry leaders say that process should continue, and Defra agrees - but animal welfare organisations have called on shooters to take "a year off" to avoid increasing the risk of a bird flu epidemic in Britain. And yesterday, The Western Daily's Press's undercover inquiry into Defra's handling of the expected bird flu crisis revealed confused, uncertain and unrealistic advice for gamekeepers wondering what to do to help prevent the disease in Britain's gamebirds. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) and Animal Aid have now written to every major landowner in Britain who has shooting on their land, asking them not to even begin stocking and rearing for the autumn season…. (story)

Scotsman 27.2.06 How shortening tails became the big story - FORDYCE MAXWELL - PLEAS that tail docking of dogs should not hi-jack thoughtful, progressive and potentially hard-hitting Scottish animal health and welfare legislation were always likely to fall on deaf ears. It happened again at last week's two-and-a-half-hour parliamentary debate on the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill, when tail docking got more mentions than any other topic…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 27.2.06 So dogs' tails (February 20) are docked 'as the breed demands'. Does this mean dogs are requesting it? ELIZABETH WEBB North Hykeham
Readers may wish to know of the Anti-Docking Alliance. Membership is free for anyone wishing to know about the practice of docking dogs' tails… PHYLLIS WAECHTER Julia Road, Washingborough (letters)

Daily Post 27.2.06 TB livestock test lottery revealed - A MAJOR investigation into enforcement of farm animal health, welfare and transport regulations revealed more than 65,000 breaches over 21 months… The Badger Trust used the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to assess how consistently farm animal health, welfare and transport rules are being enforced in English and Welsh counties where there is a persistent problem with bovine tuberculosis (TB)…. (story)
Western Daily Press 27.2.06 FARMS IN HEALTH RISK - A Major investigation into the enforcement of farm animal health, welfare and transport regulations has revealed more than 65,000 breaches over 21 months, animal welfare campaigners said today. The research by the Badger Trust also shows huge disparities in enforcement across counties in England and Wales…. The Trust said limited enforcement activity meant that infectious disease controls, such as the pre-movement testing of cattle for TB, may prove ineffective (story)

Western Daily Press 27.2.06 ON DEFRA EARS - The BCG vaccine has protected children from TB for many years, but cannot be used for cattle as it makes recipients test positive. A different vaccine which boosts the immune system avoids this and is at present undergoing trials against TB in humans but Defra seems not to be interested. Eunice Overend Frome Somerset (letter)

PRO-TEST DEMONSTRATION
Oxford Mail 27.2.06 Rivals claim demo victory - They came, they marched and they shouted. And about the only common ground between the 800 protesters from both sides of the animal testing divide was their confident claim they had won the day…. There were no arrests and no violence as angry words were exchanged across a police-enforced 50m gap when the groups converged on South Parks Road. About 600 demonstrators marched for Pro-Test, a new group formed to counter the animal activists. In the opposite corner there were about 200 campaigners for Speak's now monthly rally against the building of the £18m Oxford University testing facility… (story in archive)
BBC News Online 27.2.06 Student death threats are probed - Death threats against a Swindon student who organised a rally at the weekend in support of an animal testing laboratory are being investigated by police. Laurie Pycroft, 16, founded a movement called Pro-Test which is in favour of vivisection for medical research…. (story)
Guardian 27.2.06 The silent majority finds a voice – Leader - It was only a small rally, but it was a big step forward in the turbulent history of animal rights protests. An estimated 500 to 800 people were prepared to march on Saturday in Oxford on behalf of a new lobby, Pro-Test, in support of animal testing at the university's new £18m biomedical research centre… If a 16-year-old, at considerable risk to himself, is prepared to put his head above the parapet, then older people, who stand to gain enormously from such experiments, should follow his lead. (story)
Guardian 27.2.06 Opposing sides in animal testing row pledge to step up action - Robert Booth - Protesters for and against animal testing have predicted an escalating conflict after the two sides clashed during weekend demonstrations in Oxford. Both groups pledged to step up campaigns which have already resulted in death threats aimed at advocates of animal testing and panic buttons installed at the home of a leading provivisection protester… The Medical Research Council's chief executive, Colin Blakemore, described the Pro-Test demonstration as "immensely gratifying. For a long time, we have needed this kind of collective response. The people want this thuggery and nastiness off the streets of Oxford." (story)
Telegraph 27.2.06 Standing up for the men in lab coats By Jim White - On Saturday I did something I had not done in nearly 30 years: I went on a student demonstration. What memories it brought back: the grinning faces, the thrill of shared militancy, the bloke with a megaphone chanting "when do we wannit?"… One side of the road was filled with intelligence, rationality, education and common sense. On the other side was a bunch of crazy-eyed harridans who looked as though they had just returned from an audition for Macbeth. "Murderer!" frothed one at my son when he refused her leaflet. He is 17….. (story)
Independent 27.2.06 Leading article: Militants meet their match - Rival demonstrations in Oxford this weekend represent a turning point. For the best part of a decade, militant animal rights activists have had the field to themselves… On Saturday, a 16-year old student, Laurie Pycroft, who had marshalled support via the internet, and two Oxford professors led a counter-demonstration of townspeople, academics and students past the site of a controversial new research centre. They outnumbered the animal rights protesters three to one…. (story)
Sunday Times 26.2.06 Focus: A campaigning hero - RICHARD WOODS AND JONATHAN UNGOED-THOMAS - He may look like a teenage geek - but a schoolboy is inspiring the fightback against animal rights extremists - Laurie Pycroft wanted to see his friends last Thursday evening to prepare placards, slogans and speeches for a street demo about animal testing. But his mum said no: he had to stay in. Pycroft is just 16. Yesterday on the streets of Oxford, however, he had his say — mobilising a crowd of students and dons much older than himself. It was a remarkable feat. For this teenager had inspired a demonstration in favour of animal experiments — and against the violent animal rights lobby... (story)
Sunday Times 26.2.06 War on terror ignores mullahs of animal rights - JASPER GERRARD - Meat is murder, opines Morrissey. But the vengeance of the veggies, whom the former Smiths crooner supports, is pretty vicious, too. Once he just wanted to "hang the DJ”; now his new mates seem hell-bent on hanging the lab technician. So we should celebrate brave Oxonians marching yesterday to support a new medical research lab targeted by animal rights terrorists. About time. Just as we cowed to Islamic fundamentalism, we cow to animal fundamentalism….Morrissey struck a Brideshead Revisited pose in his Smiths days, clutching daffodils. But the thugs of Oxford are less Evelyn Waugh than Baader-Meinhof, leaving not flowers but bombs. These people are lower than animals (story)
Observer 26.2.06 Death threat for teenage animal test supporter - Anushka Asthana, Jamie Doward and Diane Taylor - Laurie Pycroft is a new breed of campaigner, a protester who protests against other protesters. Perhaps inevitably, his actions have antagonised the opposition. The 16-year-old, who started a pro-animal testing website which sparked an unprecedented demonstration yesterday in support of his cause, has already received death threats and hate mail. 'One said, "We're going to f-ing kill you",' Pycroft told The Observer… (story)
Observer 26.2.06 A brave teenager shows the way on animal testing – Leader - The success of yesterday's demonstration held in support of Oxford's animal research laboratory is to be warmly welcomed. If nothing else, it sends a clear message to the extremists who are attempting to block its construction through acts of intimidation and violence…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 26.2.06 Teenager leads fightback against anti-vivisectionists By David Harrison and Nina Goswami - He is 16 and works from a bedroom strewn with empty Coke cans and fried chicken boxes. But Laurie Pycroft, a school drop-out, is leading the fightback against animal rights extremists who are trying to halt construction of an £18 million research laboratory in Oxford…. More than 800 people, including dons and students from Oxford, London, Cambridge and Reading, and supporters from other European countries, joined the protest outside Balliol college, near the laboratory site….(story)
Sunday Telegraph 26.2.06 Protest match - The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is the al-Qaeda of the animal rights lobby. It is the umbrella group for people who think they are entitled to terrorise anyone who supports experiments on animals…. The courage of Laurie Pycroft and others prepared to take on the ALF bullies should shame banks such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Charles Schwab and the Dresdner Bank. They pulled their investments from companies such as Huntingdon Life Sciences the moment the ALF told them to. The only way to stop the ALF winning is to stand up robustly to its threats…. (story)
Independent on Sunday 26.2.06 Scientists rally behind teenage Pro-Tester - Oxford researchers targeted by animal rights extremists have come out fighting, thanks to a 16-year-old campaigner By Steve Bloomfield - Scientists carrying out animal testing for medical research were acclaimed as heroes yesterday as hundreds of demonstrators attended an unprecedented rally in support of a new biomedical research centre at Oxford University…. (story)
Sunday Herald 26.2.06 Oxford demo backs animal testing lab By Bridget Morris Hundreds of people took to the streets of Oxford yesterday, in the first demonstration in support of a controversial animal research lab after almost two years of opposition protests…. (story)
Scotland on Sunday 26.2.06 Marchers back animal research lab - CHRISTOPHER CLAIRE - HUNDREDS took to the streets of Oxford yesterday in a mass demonstration of support for a controversial animal research lab, after almost two years of opposition protests…. (story)
BBC News Online 25.2.06 Testing on animals is 'essential' - Medical research involving animals is "essential", a spokesman for a student group backing Oxford University's £18m biomedical research lab says. Ian Simpson, of PRO-test, due to march with staff in Oxford in support of the facility under construction, says he hopes students will not be targeted. Alistair Currie, of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, said using animals "belongs in the past"…. (story)
BBC News Online 25.2.06 Animal lab supporters go on march - Up to 600 people marched in support of animal testing at Oxford University's new £18m biomedical research centre…. Laurie Pycroft, the 16-year-old founder of the student movement Pro-Test, which sparked the campaign in favour of the new laboratory, said: "I felt that it was about time to speak out in support of scientific research."… (story)
BBC News Online 25.2.06 Head to head: Animal research lab - Oxford University students are taking to the streets of Oxford to protest in support of an £18m biomedical research lab which will conduct experiments on animals. Alistair Currie, campaigns manager for the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, and Iain Simpson, of Pro-Test, appeared on BBC News 24 to argue their points of view…. (story)
Sky 25.2.06 Rival Demos At Lab - Rival protests have taken place in Oxford over the building of a new animal testing laboratory. An estimated 700 students, dons and members of the public took to the streets in support of the university's planned £18m biomedical facility. Meanwhile, a smaller group of about 200 animal rights campaigners held their own demo…. (story)
ITV 25.2.06 Oxford swamped by 'Pro-test' demo - Hundreds of protesters have massed in Oxford defending a controversial animal research lab, a first in the testing debate. Students, dons and members of the public gathered outside Balliol College in the centre of the city for a march in support of the £18 million biomedical research laboratory…. (story)
Sun 25.2.06 March for animal testing By DAILE PEPPER - HUNDREDS of people marched through Oxford today in support of a medical lab that has been targeted by animal rights activists. It was the first major demonstration by backers of the planned research on illnesses including cancer, diabetes and heart disease… (story)
Scotsman 25.2.06 Marchers outnumber rights activists - Animal rights campaigners protesting outside a controversial lab were heavily outnumbered as hundreds rallied to its defence for the first time. Police estimated that about 700 people, who included students, dons and members the public marched through the streets of Oxford to the site of the £18 million animal testing building. The event was timed to coincide with a protest by the main animal rights group opposed to Oxford University's planned biomedical research unit, which attracted a further 200 to 300 people…. (story)
Guardian 25.2.06 Hundreds join pro-vivisection protest - Associated Press - Hundreds of people marched through Oxford today in support of a medical lab that has been targeted by animal rights activists. The march was the first major demonstration by backers of the planned research on illnesses including cancer, diabetes and heart disease…. Lillian Buckner, part of a small group of animal rights protesters near the lab construction site, said the suffering of animals used for medical research "is akin to what it was in the concentration camps…”(story)
Swindon Advertiser 25.2.06 Why I'm prepared to be a target for terror By Stephanie Tye - TEENAGER Laurie Pycroft is taking a stand against animal rights activists. The 16-year-old, from Swindon, said that he isn't afraid to become a target for terrorists who prevent scientists from making medical advances. Today Laurie, founder of PRO-TEST, a group in favour of building a new animal research facility at Oxford University took to the streets of Oxford with supporters of the cause in peaceful protest…. (story)
Guardian 25.2.06 Bedroom blogger, 16, takes on animal rights protesters - Backed by top scientists, teenager who dropped out of school leads Oxford lab tests fightback - Robert Booth - Oblivious to the bowl of day-old pasta resting among the exposed wires of his home-built computer, 16-year-old Laurie Pycroft, a floppy-haired sixth form dropout from Swindon, flicks between three screens to keep up with his emails, blog and website. Empty Coke cans, juice bottles and fried chicken boxes litter his bedroom floor. This is the unlikely nerve centre of a new pro-vivisection campaign which has attracted the backing of some of the most respected scientists in the country. In Oxford today, Pycroft's group, Pro-Test, will launch the fightback against the city's army of vocal and sometimes aggressive anti-vivisectionists…. (story)
Telegraph 25.2.06 I fear extremists' reaction, says animal test scientist By Rosie Murray-West - A leading scientific figure billed to speak at a pro-animal research rally in Oxford today has said he is worried about reprisals from anti-vivisectionists. Dr Simon Festing, of the Research Defence Society, said that since the Animal Liberation Front had already declared "virtual war" on Oxford he feared the worst… (story)
Telegraph 25.2.06 Why I will be marching in Oxford By Josie Appleton - Six years after I left Oxford, I will be going back to march in defence of animal research today, at a demo organised by the student-run group Pro-test…. (story)
Times 25.2.06 Rival protesters set for bitter clash over animal testing lab BY PATRICK FOSTER - OXFORD’s dreaming spires will be rudely awoken today when hundreds of chanting protesters take to the city streets. The construction of the university’s new centre for animal research and testing has become the focus of a bitter confrontation pitting animal rights campaigners against academics and students… Pro-Test was set up a month ago by Laurie Pycroft, a 16-year-old schoolboy, who said: "I became tired of the anti-vivisection groups being the only commonly represented side of the argument, so I decided to take action.” He said that since he formed the group he had received threats. On police advice his family now have a panic button at home…..(story)
Times 25.2.06 Rights and wrongs - Oxford students are right to side with science against animal extremists - Today’s march in Oxford marks the start of a courageous fightback by students and academics against the animal rights extremists who have held the city to ransom… The more extreme campaigners have no respect for the law, for science or for democracy. "You cannot stop us, we are free to attack you at will, whenever and wherever we choose,” threatened an extremist website after one arson attack in Oxford last year. Some students are so intimidated that they have said they dare not even join a peaceful march. Others will, it is to be hoped, take a different view. Today’s Oxford demonstrators are both courageous and correct. (story)
Scotsman 25.2.06 Rival groups plan animal lab demos - Controversy over an £18 million animal testing site is expected to attract rival protests. For the first time, Oxford students and dons will take to the city's streets on Saturday in support of the university's planned biomedical facility which has attracted long-running animal rights opposition…. (story)
BBC News Online 25.2.06 Warning before animal-test demo - Student accommodation could be targeted as a result of groups backing Oxford University's £18m biomedical research lab, an animal rights spokesman says…. Student group Pro-Test is due to march with staff in Oxford in support of the facility, currently under construction. The event coincides with animal rights group Speak's rally opposing the lab. Mr Webb said it was "unlikely" students themselves would be targeted as a result of Saturday's Pro-Test rally. … (story)
Channel 4 25.2.06 Oxford demo backs animal testing lab - Oxford University students and dons are taking to the streets in support of a controversial animal testing facility which has attracted long-running animal rights opposition… (story)
Oxford Mail 25.2.06 Academics come out in support of lab - Three academics will today join the fight against animal rights protesters targeting Oxford University. As the animal rights activists hold their second monthly protest against the building of the university's £18m research laboratory, the trio will speak at a counter-demonstration by the fledgling Pro-Test group…. Two of the scientists, Radcliffe Infirmary neurosurgeon professor Tipu Aziz and neurophysicist professor John Stein, have called on colleagues to stand up to the anti-laboratory campaigners. Oxford University politics lecturer James Panton will also address the crowd... Prof Aziz said: "I think it is important to speak out…. (story in archive)
Oxford Mail 24.2.06 `Don't shun city on protest day' - Shoppers are being encouraged not to stay away from Oxford tomorrow, despite fears that violence could erupt when animal rights activists and supporters of Oxford University's new research laboratory clash. Hundreds of students and staff backing the university's stand on animal research will be gathering in Broad Street at 11.30am, a move planned to coincide with the latest Stop the Lab protest in which animal rights activists will gather at locations around the city. The newly formed Pro-Test group will converge on Mansfield Road, where the research facility is being built. They will be addressed by senior scientists including the neurosurgeon Prof Tipu Aziz and Oxford West and Abingdon MP Evan Harris…. (story in archive)
Reuters 24.2.06 Scientists defy threats against animal research By Kate Holton and Michael Holden - Two eminent Oxford scientists took a publicly defiant stand against often violent animal rights extremists on Friday, saying the intimidation which stops vital medical research had to end. "You have to be really passionate about this to put your head above the parapet and not many do," said Professor John Stein, a neurophysiologist…. (story)
Guardian 24.2.06 Oxford prepares for first pro-vivisection protest - Katherine Demopoulos - Protesters for and against animal testing are mustering banners and arguments ahead of a first-ever pro-vivisection protest in Oxford tomorrow. The demonstration in favour of a new animal-testing lab at the university - organised by Pro-Test, a student body set up for the purpose - is the first of its kind, and came about because students and lecturers were fed up with the activities of animals rights protesters…. (story)
Guardian 24.2.06 Scientists to speak out for animal tests - Sandra Laville and Robert Booth - Two leading academics at Oxford University have decided to face down threats of violence from animal rights extremists and speak publicly in favour of the building of a controversial £18m research laboratory in the city. Although scientists are advised to remain silent for fear of attacks, Professor Tipu Aziz, a consultant neurosurgeon, and Professor John Stein, a neurophysiologist have told the Guardian they believe it is time to stand up to the radicals who have attempted to stop the project…. He and Prof Stein will address a march on Saturday, the first demonstration supporting the construction of the laboratory…. (story)
Times 24.2.06 Oxford scientists defy animal fanatics BY THAIR SHAIKH - TWO leading Oxford University academics have spoken publicly for the first time in favour of the building of a controversial new £18 million research laboratory in the city. Tipu Aziz and John Stein have defied threats from animal rights extremists in speaking up for the project that they say is vital for their work… He and Professor Stein, a neurophysiologist, will address a march on Saturday, the first demonstration supporting the construction of the laboratory… (story)
Times 24.2.06 I'm on the side of medical science and that entails animal experiments - NOTEBOOK BY MICK HUME - TO BE HONEST, I never expected to find myself in bed with Esther Rantzen. I now discover, however, that she is a patron of Patients’ Voice for Medical Advance (until recently known as Seriously Ill for Medical Research), a fine organisation that defends animal experimentation. Which puts us on the same side on one of the most divisive issues of the day…. One such divide is embodied by two protests around animal research due to take place in Oxford tomorrow. On one side will be the usual anti-vivisection demonstration against the building of Oxford University’s biomedical research laboratory. On the other side will be a demonstration in support of the lab and animal research. It has been called by a group called Pro-Test, set up by a 16-year-old from Swindon and now run by Oxford students, that stands for "science, reasoned debate, and above all, the welfare of mankind”…(story)
Oxford Student 23.2.06 Protestors face off on Oxford’s biggest day of demonstrations By Sophie Leedham - Oxford is preparing for a day of protest as both the first student march in favour of the South Parks animal lab and the monthly SPEAK demonstration will take place simultaneously this Saturday. The Pro-Test committee of nine students met last weekend to finalise details for Saturday’s march, while SPEAK activists are also planning to gather in Oxford, congregating in Cornmarket street as the Pro-Test group set off from neighbouring Broad Street… Robert Cogswell, a leading member of SPEAK, said, "I welcome any public debate. However if their protest is to be peaceful, then why have they chosen to hold it on the same day? It seems some members must be hoping for confrontation.” Cogswell said no such confrontation would come from his side of the debate, as he has advised all his supporters not to go near the Pro-Test campaigners. … (story)
BBC News Online 22.2.06 The pro-test protesters By Brendan O'Neill - Until now, animal rights protesters have made all the noise in a dispute over a new research lab in Oxford. But this weekend the city's famed academics are planning to hit back just as loudly, as pro-testing campaigners hit the streets…. Over the past two years there have been regular protests by anti-vivisection groups against Oxford University's plans to build an £18m biomedical research laboratory, at which there will be testing on animals… Now, however, some Oxford students and academics are launching a fight back in defence of animal research…."Medical research involving animals is essential to medical progress", says Iain Simpson, spokesman for the new student group Pro-Test…(story)
Guardian 22.2.06 Students protest against animal rights campaign - Donald MacLeod - Students and staff at Oxford University are to defy animal rights campaigners and demonstrate in support of a controversial £20m research facility. Organisers, PRO-Test, expect the rally on Saturday to attract between 200 and 500 people, including students from University College London and Imperial College London…. (story)
Telegraph 21.2.06 Showdown in Oxford as students face opponents of animal tests By Rosie Murray-West - More than a thousand Oxford University students are expected to take to the streets on Saturday in protest against anti-vivisectionists who are threatening the university. The march, organised by Pro-Test, a student group, clashes with a scheduled march by anti-vivisectionists and police have warned that there may be "some disruption"…. Evan Harris, the Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, along with several eminent scientists, including the university's consultant neuro-surgeon Professor Tipu Aziz, will address the protesters…. Robert Cogswell, founder of the Speak campaign against the Oxford laboratory, said that although its activists were lawful, the Pro-Test founders "want some sort of confrontation". "It is nonsense for them to talk about what they are doing being law abiding," he said. "We are law-abiding citizens, but I cannot answer for the Pro-Test group"…. (story)

Telegraph 27.2.06 Saved by vivisection - I find animal vivisection and experimentation unpleasant and unfortunate (News, February 25). But, if Frederick Banting and Charles Best had not experimented with the pancreases of dogs, discovering the hormone insulin in 1922, I and many thousands of insulin-dependent diabetics would now be dead… Sam Clapp, St Martin, Guernsey
I am incredulous: Josie Appleton apparently studied biology at Oxford, yet she believes animals are not conscious and have no aims or goals (News, February 25). Has she not read Darwin, who did not doubt that animals have feelings resembling our own?... S.D. Graham, Dunbarton (letters)

Western Daily Press 27.2.06 'BAN THIS MOST CRUEL HUNT IN THE WORLD' - Disgusted animal rights campaigners are demanding a boycott of Canadian goods over the mass slaughter of baby seals. The annual Canadian seal hunt in Newfoundland, the largest marine mammal cull anywhere in the world, is set to resume in a few weeks…. Spearheading the British campaign is Sally Banks, the widow of former Sports Minister Tony Banks, Lord Stratford, who died suddenly earlier this year…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.2.06 WHY VEGGIE DIET IS THE BEST OPTION - By a twist of fate, the annual Veggie Month organised by Animal Aid kicks off on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Here, nutritionist DR LAURA SCOTT argues that giving up meat is the best thing you can do - and it doesn't just have to be for 40 days… (story)

Bath Chronicle 27.2.06 FACTORY FARMING AIDS BIRD FLU - The focus on wild birds in the hysteria surrounding bird flu is a dangerous distraction from the true source of the disease - modern poultry farming…. The solution to bird flu and foot and mouth, poisoning and prions, superbugs and strokes, coronary heart disease and some cancers, is to go vegetarian. And Viva! will help anyone who wants to make the change…. TONI VERNELLI, Viva!, Wilder Street, Bristol (story)

26.2.06

Observer 26.2.06 Labour's fatuous war against the countryside has been an abject failure - Nick Cohen - Yesterday, about 300 hunts were roaming Britain. If you saw one, you may have wondered if parliament truly had banned hunting with dogs a year ago…. The anti-hunting law that aroused so much passion is now producing contempt and indifference… The difficulty was always that the anti-hunters weren't trying to protect foxes, but punish a particular type of hunter: the caricature Tory toff with a red coat and redder face… The MPs who forced through the ban are starting to resemble an old drunk pretending to be tough by flailing his fists in the air…..The current issue of Horse & Hound contains an interview with one Graham Sirl, who says he despises the League Against Cruel Sports and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for running a lavish campaign that has now produced 'absolutely zero… And it wouldn't be surprising if Graham Sirl wasn't a former chief officer of the League Against Cruel Sports. He's not alone in giving up on the cause he once championed. In the past decade, the league has lost two chief executives, two chairmen, one treasurer and one regional head… I cannot think of another protest group that has seen so many of its officers go over to the other side. It is as if senior staff of Greenpeace regularly joined the board of Texaco…. (story)

25.2.06

Salisbury Journal 25.2.06 New Forest hunt marks year of ban - HUNT enthusiasts in the New Forest marked the first anniversary of a ban on fox hunting by vowing that the "unjust" law would be overturned. The decision to outlaw hunting foxes with dogs has forced the New Forest hounds to switch to trail hunting, which involves the pursuit of an artificially laid scent…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 25.2.06 ARROGANCE OF PRO-HUNTING FOLK - What breathtaking arrogance from Clare Bell, secretary of the Cottesmore Hunt, and typical of the pro-hunting fraternity, when she states "the public do not need to know how we will kill foxes" (Mercury, February 18). Sorry Ms Bell, as a member of the public, I do want to know how you kill foxes; and, if you are operating within the law, what have you to hide?... Mrs A Bywater, Western Park (letter)

Swindon Advertiser 25.2.06 Ban halal call - WHILE I applaud Parliament for passing the law banning the hunting of animals by dogs I fail to see why they will not ban the barbaric slaughter of animals for food known as halal…. R W SELWAY. Stratton St Margaret, Swindon (letter)

Scotsman 25.2.06 The docked tail wags the dog - ALASTAIR ROBERTSON - I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S TRUE, although I suppose it must be because it is in Scottish Parliament briefing notes, but docking dogs' tails was an early 17th-century phenomenon introduced by English cattle drovers…. More likely, the first written account of tail docking, which had been going on for centuries, just happens to have been found in England… In Scotland, the most politically correct legislature in the universe apart from California, we are about to ban docking completely, or at least make it so difficult to find a vet prepared to do it that even the police are warning that dog owners are likely to head over the Border, where docking regulations will not be so tight. Don't even think about having your spaniel puppy's tail snipped in Scotland. The Thought Police will be abseiling out of Executive helicopters threatening to stone you to death with hardback copies of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill…. (story)

Western Daily Press 25.2.06 MISCONCEPTIONS OVER THIS SPORT - May I be allowed to correct a few misconceptions under the headline "Anger at gun day carnage" (February 13)?... it is far more healthy to be walking the fields in the company of a dog and good friends than pushing drugs or watching TV. M Oliver, Shepton Mallet, Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.2.06 CRUELTY CLAIM WAS BADLY MISDIRECTED - I am the owner of Snowstorm, the greyhound which reportedly screamed for 10 minutes without veterinary attendance following his accident on the track at Glastonbury Stadium on January 20… What happened on that night was a tragic occurrence, particularly to myself who lived with, exercised, fed and loved Jack…At no time was the dog screaming, nor was he left alone - of that I can personally assure you, I was there. I am personally affronted by the lies that are written by the so-called do-gooders who want racing banned - the anti-racing fraternity who feel the need to fabricate stories to further their aims to the detriment of others…. Sue Routledge, Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 24.2.06 DOG HAD RUN TWICE - In response to the letter "Dog death was a pure accident" (Your Say, February 21), the Glastonbury dog track has said that the dog that died had been entered into two races in one night…. I hope the track does close. Every year thousands of dogs are disposed of already. If racing was ended, greyhounds would not be bred to be so ruthlessly used as they are. Vicky Harris Redfield Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 24.2.06 IT'S JUST A BUSINESS - S Hodge is right to ask of greyhound racing: "What kind of business runs at a loss?" That is exactly what greyhound racing is, a business, and like all businesses, once the assets are under-performing they are disposed of. Thousands of greyhounds are killed each year in Britain when they are no longer deemed economically viable…. Marilyn Harrison Swindon Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 24.2.06 CRUELTY OF RACING - I find the attitude that a greyhound's death was purely an accident appalling. If it had already been involved in a previous race, it is no accident that it got entered for another! Good, or should I say fast, greyhounds may cost their owners thousands of pounds, but if they don't live up to expectations there is no mercy or compassion - they are out…. Wendy Hassell Dorchester Dorset (letter)
Western Daily Press 21.2.06 DOG DEATH WAS A PURE ACCIDENT - I was at the Glastonbury track the night the dog was killed. It was killed instantly and it was a pure accident. Racing dogs are expensive and owners I know take very good care of their animals…. If every track across the country closes, will thousands of these greyhounds be put to sleep? S Hodge Weston-super-Mare (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.2.06 MP IS LOBBIED OVER BADGER CULL Animal rights protesters handed in a 10,000-name petition in Exeter against plans to cull badgers to halt the spread of TB in cattle. About 30 protesters, some in badger costumes, headed to the city because it is the constituency of animal health minister Ben Bradshaw. Police deployed 10 officers at Mr Bradshaw's constituency office in Clifton Hill…. (story)
Western Morning News 25.2.06 BADGER CULL CAMPAIGNERS FAIL TO SEE MINISTER - Animal Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw came under fire from badger protection groups yesterday after they arrived in Exeter to present a petition opposing a badger cull - and found him absent. Members of the Coalition of Badger Groups were forced to hand the petition to a member of staff at his Clifton Hill constituency office instead…. St Austell-based Jilly Peachey, from the coalition, said: "We feel very very strongly about the proposed cull of badgers and so do an awful lot of people."… (story)

Western Daily Press 25.2.06 CULLING LINE IS TOO COMMON - I write with reference to the article by Chris Rundle slating the remarks of the RSPCA with regard to foxes (February 15). His opening statement with regard to thousands of badgers dying a distressing death from TB shows how little research he has done in preparing this item. This is an all-too-common remark from people trying to make out culling of badgers is a "kind" thing to do when in fact TB is not a problem to the badger which can often resolve the disease and become immune… Pauline Kidner, Charity founder of Secret World Wildlife Rescue, Somerset (letter)

Guardian 25.2.06 Canard and cheeps - These scientists just don't get it (Scientists speak out for animal tests, February 24). While it may or may not be true that animal experiments "have benefited mankind", the moral argument remains: it is wrong to inflict suffering on others for our own selfish advantage… SD Graham, Dumbarton (story)

Scotsman 25.2.06 Zoo growth plan enrages animal welfare groups - CLAIRE SMITH - ANIMAL welfare organisations have condemned Edinburgh Zoo's plans to add elephants and manatees to its collection and continue keeping polar bears…. Conservation groups including the RSPCA, the Born Free Foundation, Marine Connection, Animal Concern and the Orangutan Survival Foundation all expressed concern about the plans unveiled by the zoo…. (story)

24.2.06

Western Morning News 24.2.06 HOEY: HUNTING BAN WILL 'HAVE TO BE REPEALED' - A year after the ban on hunting came into force Countryside Alliance chairman Kate Hoey tells Rebecca Short why she believes the Hunting Act will be repealed. Labour mp Kate Hoey is confident that the ban on hunting can be overturned but says it is vital that hunt supporters keep turning out in force. "Morale is very high. We will continue to work within the law but in the longer term it will have to be repealed," she told Westcountry Horses. "How do you know you are breaking the law when it's full of so many inconsistencies?... Although she rode as a child. her first taste of hunting was on February 19 last year, when she went out with the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt. Miss Hoey, the MP for Vauxhall, grew up on a farm and has seen the havoc a fox can wreak… (story)

Western Morning News 24.2.06 SPIRIT AND SUPPORT FOR HUNTING AS GOOD AS EVER - It may be illegal to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs, but the cry of the hounds is still a familiar sound across the Westcountry…. Support for the pastime was stronger than ever at the Spooners and West Dartmoor meet at Heckwood, near Yelverton…. Support for the pastime was stronger than ever at the Spooners and West Dartmoor meet at Heckwood, near Yelverton…. The Modbury Harriers met in Ugborough, in Devon's South Hams, where they celebrated a turnout of supporters that was stronger than ever…. Cornwall's largest hunt, the Four Burrow, ventured out on the Roseland peninsula at St Just, with more than 50 riders and dozens of supporters…. Cornwall's largest hunt, the Four Burrow, ventured out on the Roseland peninsula at St Just, with more than 50 riders and dozens of supporters…. Julian Smeeth, chairman of the Tetcott Hunt, said he believed that membership of the hunt had increased since the ban was introduced, although the turn out had stayed roughly the same at meets… Phil Pyke, master of the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers, believes the "voice of common sense" will have its say, forcing the hunting ban to be overturned in the future… (story)

Stratford Herald 24.2.06 HUNT STILL GOING STRONG A YEAR AFTER BAN - THE ban on hunting with hounds has led to more foxes being shot, wounded and "accidentally” killed in Warwickshire than ever before, it was claimed this week. Warwickshire Hunt members who met at Alscot Park on Saturday—exactly one year since the Hunting Act came into force—vowed to continue their fight for the ban to be scrapped…. (story)

Ledbury Reporter 24.2.06 Anniversary of ban sees growth in hunt members - THE Ledbury Hunt says its membership has grown in the year since anti-hunting laws were introduced…. Spokesman Donald Haden said there had been no serious legal difficulties over the last 12 months… (story in archive)

Westmorland Gazette 24.2.06 Hunts keep within the law - A TOTAL of 45 complaints about alleged illegal fox hunting in Cumbria have been reported to the police since a law banning hunting with dogs came into force last year. However, Cumbria Police said that no prosecutions were "pending" in relation to violations of the ban on hunting with dogs which came into force on February 18, 2005…. (story)

Western Daily Press 24.2.06 A SLOW, CRUEL END FOR FOXES - year to the day from the introduction of the ban on fox-hunting in England and Wales, more people are hunting with hounds than ever, albeit now trail-hunting, and more foxes are being killed… Mr Blair has pushed through legislation based on bigotry and prejudice. It can never succeed and the sooner it is repealed and replaced by legislation which recognises the need to control fox numbers, and to permit it in the most humane method, the better for foxes and all. John Rushton Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

Leicester Mercury 24.2.06 DOWNSIDE TO THE BAN ON FOX HUNTING - I was interested by your article (Mercury, February 18) about the current state of foxes in Leicestershire. If David Taylor, MP, and others like him were truly honest they would admit what everyone else knows, which is that more wild mammals are suffering as a result of the Hunting with Dogs Act…. David Davidson, Osgathorpe (letter)

Northern Echo 24.2.06 HUNTING LAWS - WE'VE seen the collapse of pretence that some hunts are legally hunting. Since the ban, hunters have changed from being secretive to blatant. This is due to a lack of police response. Simon Hart of the Countryside Alliance recently admitted that hunts are regularly illegally hunting…. Write to the police, your MP and the Home Office to ensure the law is enforced and police resources are allocated to deal with organised bloodsports. - J Brownlow, Durham. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 24.2.06 DON'T GRANT GUN LICENCES TO THOSE WHO KILL FOR PLEASURE - I read with deep concern "Anger at gun day carnage" (Western Daily Press, February 13), describing how UK shooters are competing with each other in shooting as many species of creatures as possible in one day, during shoots which they call "species days". This abhorrent competitive slaughter of wildlife is not a new trend among gun enthusiasts… These shoots are not only a rejection of civilised behaviour, but they also spotlight the questionable issue of the individual granting of gun licences to such people…. Martin Quigley Hinton Hereford (letter)

ANIMAL AID BADGER CULL LETTER
News Shopper 24.2.06 Mourning needless killing of owl - Andrew Tyler, director, Animal Aid (letter)
Shropshire Star 24.2.06 Badgers not cause of disease in cattle - Kelly Slade, Campaigns Officer, Kent (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 18.2.06 BADGER IS BEING MADE SCAPEGOAT - Once again the farming industry is using one of our beautiful native species as a scapegoat for a self-inflicted problem… The real villain is the cattle industry. Modern production systems, where the animals are kept in crowded, dirty conditions, place an enormous stress on the animals - in particular the dairy cow, which is kept constantly pregnant and required to produce ever increasing quantities of milk…. The easiest and most effective action anyone can take against the cull is to stop eating dairy products and go vegan…. If you're not quite ready to go vegan then support a boycott of British dairy products, for so long as the dairy industry refuses to clean up its act and uses badgers as a scapegoat…. KELLY SLADE, Campaigns officer, Animal Aid (letter)

News Shopper 24.2.06 Culling of badgers is wrong - I was horrified to hear of Defra's plans to cull untold numbers of badgers. Nothing symbolises British wildlife better than Brock, our beloved badger…. Why is bloodshed the first tactic employed? Killing badgers is wrong in so many ways not least that native wildlife is a key tourist attraction… Kierti Vaidya, Apex Close, Beckenham (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 24.2.06 BADGER TRUST IN BID TO DIG OUT BAITERS - An Animal charity has revealed suspected badger baiting in the Crowborough area within the past year. The Badger Trust-Sussex claimed the horrific so-called sport, which was outlawed in the 19th century, was held on the outskirts of the town in February last year…. Treasurer for the Badger Trust-Sussex Jeff Hayden said he had the gruesome task of pulling a dead badger from its sett the morning after the cruel incident in Crowborough…. (story)

Argus 24.2.06 Letter: A cull kills more than just badgers - David Hammond highlights the need for wildlife police teams assigned to protect Britain's most protected mammal (Letter, February 22). I wonder how many readers appreciate that the badger's most dangerous enemy is currently our own Government?... If, like the members of Badger Trust Sussex, you care about and want to protect brock, please write immediately to your MP and to Defra, objecting to the cull…. -Pat Hayden, secretary, Badger Trust Sussex (letter in archive)
Argus 22.2.06 Letter: Glorifying badger baiting still legal - I am writing in response to the article entitled "Bid to stop attacks on badgers"… To abate these serious offences, there needs to be a wildlife police team assigned to protecting Britain's most protected mammal because, at present, most baiters taken before the courts are identified in the first instance by undercover animal protection groups… -David Hammond, Hassocks (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 24.2.06 Death sentence for badger population - THE local badger population could face mass extermination as the debate over TB in cattle enters its last crucial stage… Herefordshire Nature Trust this week issued a call to its supporters to lodge a protest against plans to opt for culling as permanent policy…. (story in archive)
Malvern Gazette 24.2.06 Eradication of TB is in badgers' interests - Eradicating TB is in the interest of badgers as much as cattle, according to a spokesman for the farming community. Philip Jenkins, of the Ledbury and Ross branch of the National Farmers' Union, said this is one of the worst effected areas in the country and cattle farmers locally not hit by TB are in the minority. (story in archive)

BBC News Online 24.2.06 Activists oppose badger cull move - South West environmental and wildlife groups are submitting written opposition to a Government consultation on tackling TB with a badger cull. The report represents the views from the South West Green Party and six regional wildlife groups…. The opposition is being supported by Exeter Friends for Animals, Protect Our Wild Animals, North Devon Animal Defense, the Coalition of Badger Action Groups, Animal Aid and North Devon Friends of the Earth… (story)

BBC News Online 24.2.06 'Animal testing? No thanks' - The story this week about supporters of a new pro-vivisection campaign group provoked a forceful reaction from those on both sides of the debate. Here, as part of the Magazine's readers' column, Joanne Oliver, who opposes animal testing, explains how she always has to think twice when visiting her local supermarket…. (story)

Royston Mercury 24.2.06 Activists in animal rights threat to JM - MILITANT animal rights activists are threatening to attack Johnson Matthey (JM) in Royston because of donations it has made to Oxford University. The prestigious university has angered the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) as it plans to build a medical research laboratory which will carry out animal testing…. (story)

RSPCA SQUIRREL CULL LETTER
Hexham Courant 24.2.06 Equal protection is not a viable option - I READ the thoughts of Mr Atkinson, from the RSPCA, (Courant Letters, February 10) with a degree of sadness and despair. He appears to be advocating the eventual demise of the red squirrel in this part of Northumberland… The welfare issue is simple. Do you wish the indigenous red squirrel to survive or not? COLIN EARNSHAW, Acomb (letter) Hexham Courant 24.2.06 Extinction - I AM sorry to see that the RSPCA has jumped into a conservation debate – saving the European red squirrel and our native woodlands and wildlife – without finding out the facts…. The last few of our native squirrels, that have lived continuously in the North of England since the end of the Ice Age, will be lost before any contraceptive is even in trials. We should not lightly let it go, painfully and with its bodies covered in weeping sores, into the black hole of extinction. DR FRANCES BELL, Penrith (letter)
Hexham Courant 10.2.06 A humane response to red squirrel crisis - ROB ATKINSON, Head of Wildlife, RSPCA, West Sussex (letter)
Surrey Comet 3.2.06 Cull is hasty - Rob Atkinson, Head of Wildlife, RSPCA, Horsham, West Sussex (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 3.2.06 SQUIRREL CONTROL NEEDN'T BE LETHAL - ROB ATKINSON, RSPCA (letter)
Sunderland Echo 28.1.06 Killing grey squirrels is so short-sighted - Rob Atkinson, Head of Wildlife, RSPCA, Horsham, West Sussex (letter)
Dunmow Broadcast 26.1.06 Postbag - Cull plans get brush off - Rob Atkinson, Head of Wildlife, RSPCA, Horsham, West Sussex (letter)
Independent 25.1.06 Grey squirrel cull may fail to help reds - Plans by the Government to cull grey squirrels are short-sighted because there is so much more to saving red squirrels than culling greys. The RSPCA is concerned about the welfare of both red and grey squirrels, and believes measures to protect rare species should be both realistic and humane to all affected animals…. We support a more measured approach. Eradicating long-established entire populations of greys, as well as being ethically questionable, would be very difficult and cause unnecessary suffering. The RSPCA will always support plans that achieve the best possible welfare outcomes for the species concerned. ROB ATKINSON, HEAD OF WILDLIFE RSPCA HORSHAM, WEST SUSSEX (letter)

Guardian 24.2.06 'We're stunt queens. We have to be' - The animal rights group Peta was back in the news last week after flour-bombing Paris Hilton during London fashion week. Gary Younge meets Ingrid Newkirk, the mastermind behind the charity's headline-grabbing - and often very messy - protests… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 24.2.06 THE REAL PESTS OF WORLD - In reply to Mrs Grasse, my neighbour who is of the opinion that seagulls are pests, I say to her the only pests in this world are us: man - for we are the cruel, greedily misguided pests…. Next time my neighbour tucks in to a plate of fish and chips, perhaps she will spare a thought for the humble seagull…. YVONNE CHALLEN, Green Park Road, Paignton (story)

Yorkshire Post 24.2.06 From: RM Dobson, Ash Street, Crosshills. I WRITE as an animal lover and one who sat as a magistrate for 15 years. Most people are appalled by instances of animal cruelty and the apparent lack of proper sentencing upon the wrong-doers…I firmly believe that any person convicted of animal cruelty should be banned from keeping animals for life, not just the two, three, five or 10 years as imposed by most magistrates' courts who should have more thought for the poor animals (letter)

BRENT CROSS CIRCUS PROTEST
Hampstead & Highgate Express 24.2.06 Our circus horses are treated well - There were just seven or eight demonstrators outside Zippos Circus at Brent Cross, which does not constitute a big demo in comparison say, with the pro hunting demos last year which attracted tens of thousands… many thousands of Barnet residents attended and enjoyed Zippos at Brent Cross, and the circus and its patrons are grateful to Brent Cross Shopping Centre for the opportunity to appear there. Martin Burton Zippos Circus Headquaters Enborne Newbury, Berks (story)
Hampstead & Highgate Express 17.2.06 Animal rights activists roll up for the circus - Katie Davies - A group of animal rights campaigners held a big demo outside the Big Top at Zippos Circus in Brent Cross on Saturday…. Protester Chrissie Davison-Tosh, 38, said: "We support human circuses. People have a choice to say yes or no, animals don't… Pam Kinnunen, 56, said: "We do not specifically target Zippos Circuses; we don't think animals should be in circuses at all…. (story)
BBC News Online 11.2.06 Protest over Big Top animal acts - Campaigners calling for an end to the use of animals in circus shows are to stage a demonstration in north London. The Captive Animals' Protection Society (Caps) want the public to boycott Zippo's Circus during its week-long stint at Brent Cross Shopping Centre…. (story)
Barnet & Potters Bar Times 9.2.06 Protesters call for circus boycott By Beena Nadeem - Animal rights campaigners hope to sway visitors from going to Zippo's Circus at Brent Cross shopping centre this weekend by hosting a protest outside the doors to the big top. Around 15 protestors will gather outside the tent on Saturday at 6pm the busiest time for the circus where they will be handing out educational leaflets', jeering and brandishing placards…. Paul Thomas, campaigns assistant for CAPS, said: "In the 21st Century, animals should not still be made to perform tricks for entertainment…” (story)

RESPECT SEAL CULL LETTER
North East Evening Gazette 24.2.06 Stop seal hunters - NICKI BROOKS, Director, Respect for Animals (story)
Ulster Herald 16.2.06 Canada's baby seals are sitting targets - Nicki Brooks, Director, Respect for Animals (letter may be in archive)
Manchester Evening News 10.2.06 Save the seals - Nicki Brooks, director, Respect for Animals, Nottingham (letter)
Derry Journal 10.2.06 Needless Slaughter - NIKKI BROOKS, Director, Respect for Animals (letter)
Bath Chronicle 10.2.06 WE CAN HELP HALT SEAL BLOODBATH - NICKI BROOKS, Director, Respect for Animals, Nottingham (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 10.2.06 HELP STOP THE SEAL SLAUGHTER - At the end of March, hundreds of thousands of baby seals are, once more, due to be clubbed or shot to death on the ice floes off Eastern Canada… In the meantime, Respect for Animals is urging everyone to avoid Canadian seafood products (it is often the same people who kill seals that catch the fish, shrimp etc) and to stay away from Canada as a tourist destination until the hunt is banned… NICKI BROOKS Respect for Animals Fighting the International Fur Trade PO Box 6500 Nottingham NG4 3GB (letter)

23.2.06

Western Morning News 23.2.06 HUNTSMAN RUNS MARATHON TO AID ALLIANCE - Huntsman Guy Morlock is getting ready to pit himself against the challenges of this year's Flora London marathon. Mr Morlock, master and huntsman of the Spooner's and West Dartmoor Foxhounds, is one of a team of five taking part in the event to raise money for the Countryside Alliance…. (story)
Western Morning News 6.1.06 MARATHON RUN FOR COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE - In just over 15 weeks' time Spooner's and West Dartmoor Master of Foxhounds Guy Morlock plans to be at the startline of this year's Flora London Marathon on April 23 with five others from across the country running for the Countryside Alliance (CA)… (story)

Western Gazette 23.2.06 NOT A HAPPY ANNIVERSARY FOR THE HUNTING ACT - Saturday was the anniversary of the Hunting Act coming into force. Hundreds of hunts around the country have been going out to hunt within the law since the law came into force. One year on the Hunting Act has been shown up as a deeply flawed and prejudiced piece of legislation, says Delly Everard, Wessex Director of the Countryside Alliance… (story)

Melton Times 23.2.06 HUNTS STILL IN GOOD SHAPE ONE YEAR ON - THERE has been more support for hunting and fewer foxes killed since the Hunting Act came into force exactly a year ago. Hunts around Melton say they will carry on within the new law despite its restrictions and the knock-on effects it has had in terms of job losses and pack sizes…. Quorn Hunt spokesman Rad Thomas said: "There has been a drop in employment as a result of the ban. Staff who were due to retire haven't been replaced and the number of horses needed has fallen so there has been a knock-on effect on the horse trade, too…." Cottesmore Hunt secretary Clare Bell said the size of the hunt had decreased from 100 to 90 riders in the past year, there were fewer mounted visitors and the pack had been cut by eight couples to 47. However, there had been a big increase in support from foot followers… Belvoir Hunt senior master Richard Morley said: "We've seen an increase in the number of people riding which is encouraging…" (story)

Cornish Guardian 23.2.06 YEAR AFTER BAN HUNTS ARE THRIVING - You'd struggle to find common ground between a Range-Rovered, be-Barboured member of a Cornish hunt and, say, The Sex Pistols, or a dope smoker, or the team behind Monty Python's Life of Brian. But common ground it would seem there is: The oh-so-dangerous allure of the forbidden…. Now hunts, barred by the law from hunting with hounds for a year, say membership and support is growing and horses, riders and hounds still dot the Cornish landscape as regularly as ever they did. The Tetcott, which hunts in North Cornwall, has even got enough support to refurbish its buildings. Making hunting with hounds illegal was never going to stop fox hunting…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 23.2.06 ENFORCE THE BAN - When it comes to the upper classes flouting the law, they can get away with it ("250 foxes killed", Mercury, February 18). If this were the working classes persisting in an activity that was illegal, the police would crack down… B Napier, Barrow Upon Soar. (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 23.2.06 SMOKING BAN - I hope more pubs will close now - HAVING gone from 80-a-day to nil 14 years ago this month and largely given up pubbing or clubbing, I can’t say that parliament’s decision, on a free vote after the government wimped out, to ban smoking in enclosed public places will affect me personally. However, if the claims by the booze trade that the ban will lead to many pub and club closures are more realistic than those of the Countryside Alliance that a ban on hunting with dogs (which some of the more arrogant upper crust thrill-seekers appear willing to ignore) would result in mass rural unemployment and the slaughter of countless hounds, it can only be a good thing for society…. MIKE BIRD, Main Road, Maryport (letter)

Bexley Express 23.2.06 Why animal lovers are turning against the fox - DEAR Bill Leman once again leaps to the defence of his beloved foxes! However, he really must accept that there are now far too many foxes in Britain… Doug Walters, Halfway Street, Sidcup (letter)
Bexley Express 16.2.06 We're driving foxes to desperation - I was upset to read last week's letter from Florence Helps criticising the kind and caring couple who rescued a poor, defenceless fox trying to escape the horrors of being trapped on a busy road…. Bill Leman, Bexley (letter)
Bexley Express 16.2.06 Let's show compassion to our animal friends - I have always found that people who have no compassion for animals have even less for their fellow man (Fox rescue safety fears, Letters, February 9). As for the fox being a filthy animal polluting this country, I was under the impression that title belonged to human beings…. Mrs H E Jarrett, Sheerness (letter)

BBC News Online 23.2.06 Tail docking ban backed by MSPs - Animal welfare reforms which will lead to a total ban on the docking of dogs' tails has been backed at Holyrood despite protests from campaigners. MSPs unanimously endorsed the general principles of the Animal Health and Welfare Bill. Protesters gathered outside Holyrood to call for working dogs to be made exempt from the tail docking ban…. Representatives from a number of organisations, including the Scottish Countryside Alliance, the Scottish Kennel Club and the Scottish Working Dogs Association were at the demonstrations…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 23.2.06 MP CALLS FOR WORKING DOGS TO BE EXEMPT FROM DOCKING - Plans for a complete ban on the docking of dogs' tails are being resisted by a Liberal Democrat MSP…. Ross, Skye and Inverness West MSP John Farquhar Munro has vowed to press for an exemption in the case of working dogs… (story)

Western Gazette 23.2.06 TAILS ARE DOCKED FOR GOOD REASON - Amanda Freeman, Hindon, full address supplied. (letter)
Western Gazette 16.2.06 TAILS ARE DOCKED FOR GOOD REASON - Good working spaniels hunt in thick brambles, gorse and dense undergrowth, close to the ground, wagging their tails incessantly as they work flushing the birds. English Setters cover a larger area of more open ground and, on scenting a bird, they "set"… These are two very different working dogs with different roles. The only working spaniel I have seen with a full tail ripped it raw on her first day's shooting…. Perhaps the RSPCA is preying on peoples' good nature and misguided concern for animals as a back door attack on shooting. Why otherwise would it demand we do not take sensible and practical action to prevent suffering to our dogs? Amanda Freeman, Hindon, full address supplied. (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 23.2.06 Role of gamekeepers - I write with reference to your story (the Press and Journal, February 18) on the subject of the former gamekeeper fined for aiming a gun at a protected bird. Reading the comments of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) it appears they seem to be hell-bent on declaring war on all gamekeepers…. Andy Ritchie, The Moorie, St Cyrus. (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.2.06 VIEWS ON EATING MEAT HYPOCRITICAL - Some 95 per cent of the population eats meat. This inevitably means that millions of animals die every week to feed us… The idea that I am a "bloodthirsty slaughterer" (Your Say, February 20) because I shoot and eat pheasants and ducks which have a free, natural and wild life, while everyone else is blameless because their intensively reared chicken comes plucked, processed and with a nappy to soak up its blood, is interesting… Tim Bonner Countryside Alliance London (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.2.06 THEY'RE STILL KILLING FIELDS - I read the article, "It's all fair game on species day" (Western Daily Press, February 13), with horror but not surprise, especially when you see the names of David Keynon from the BASC, Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance and Jonathan Young, editor of The Field, defending yet more slaughter of our wildlife… You're right, Mr Bonner, we don't understand it, nor do we want to, otherwise we would be just as bloodthirsty as the rest of the blood-sport frater nity… P Richardson South Cerney Cirencester (story)

Worcester Evening News 23.2.06 Surely tail docking is just barbaric? - I wrote to you on Saturday, February 4, with reference to the letter from Simon Clarke regarding the issue of tail docking. Again, today, I notice there is another letter in support of the practice of docking written by someone by the name of Clare Rowson. I say again, in reply to both of these letters, could someone please explain why certain breeds of dogs, such as labradors, retrievers, border collies (sheep dogs), and I am sure many other working breeds, do not have their tails docked?... M Billingham, Worcester (letter in archive)

Glasgow Evening Times 23.2.06 Vote over tail docking - THE Scottish Executive is going to vote to ban tail docking for working dogs despite the fact that some working dogs (mostly spaniels and terriers) can suffer severe and very distressing injuries to their tails while working. Will the MSPs in the Scottish Executive take responsibility for their action?... THOMAS PARKER Secretary, Scottish Working Dog Association Castlemilk (letter)

Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 23.2.06 Badger army marches on Parliament by Dan Sales - THREATS of arrest on Tuesday failed to kill the spirit of East Huntspill charity protestors who invaded London for a protest to block Government plans to slaughter thousands of animals. Secret World - in partnership with Care for the Wild International and Wildlife Aid - launched an initiative called the Black and White Campaign and massed outside Parliament, with celebrity backing from actress Jenny Seagrove…. (story in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 23.2.06 'LOBBY MPS ON BADGER CULL' - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is asking members of the public to help stop a mass cull of badgers by appealing to their MP… (story)

Bristol Evening Post 23.2.06 'BADGER CULL WILL NOT HALT SPREAD OF BOVINE TB' - Wildlife groups in the West are urging action to stop a mass extermination of badgers in order to control bovine TB. The network of Wildlife Trusts in the region are campaigning to prevent the Government ordering a cull which could wipe out the protected animals in some areas. They fear ministers will consider killing badgers on a vast scale in an attempt to control the disease, despite claims that it will not work…. (story)

Hereford Journal 23.2.06 Badger cull fears - Herefordshire Nature Trust is asking people to help them to stop a mass cull which could see badgers wiped out across Herefordshire…. Sarah Ayling, chief executive of Herefordshire Nature Trust, said Bovine TB was a big problem, but mass eradication was not the answer…. (story)

East Grinstead Courier 23.2.06 CONCERNS GROW OVER BADGER CULL - An East Grinstead couple are up in arms about the government's proposed cull of badgers, due to end on March 10. Jeff Hayden, treasurer of Badger Trust Sussex and director of Badger Trust, and his wife Pat, secretary of Badger Trust Sussex, are campaigning to protect the nocturnal mammals…. (story)

Western Daily Press 23.2.06 LOSING SYMBOL OF COUNTRYSIDE - It is thought the word "badge" comes from "badger" as it has a distinctive appearance…. You have only to read farming columns in the Western Daily Press to see how determined they are that culling will solve everything, while many experts' opinions are conveniently ignored…. Even if wiping out the badgers did work we will have lost the heart and symbol of the countryside, the badger…. Caroline Collett Avon Badger Group Bristol (letter)

Oxford Student 23.2.06 Personal details released as animal rights activists call for direct action - Last week animal rights activists released a call to action against staff members of the university, along with the personal details of 40 people linked with animal testing or the building of the animal lab on South Parks Road. Activists were told that they had ‘nothing to lose and everything to gain by hitting these targets hard’…. The distribution of the list breached the terms of the university’s injunction against protestors who theatened ‘protected persons’ in the university…. (story)

Birmingham Post 23.2.06 Wanted - The owner who burned dog - An anti-animal cruelty charity has offered a £1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who set alight and killed a Staffordshire bull terrier… PETA, which campaigns for the ethical treatment of animals, has offered the reward for information which will bring the dog's attacker - thought by RSPCA inspectors to be its owner - to justice…. (story)

Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 23.2.06 Animal lovers speak out By Sarah Cosgrove - CORONATION Street star Helen Worth, who plays Gail in the soap, met Leyton's MP at a parliamentary event. Harry Cohen met the actress, who supports animal charity Born Free, along with representatives of the RSPCA at a meeting of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, of which he is a member. A report produced by both charities explores the abuse and exploitation of wild animals in some circuses and calls for an end to such cruelty through the Animal Welfare Bill… (story)

Western Daily Press 23.2.06 ALL POSSIBLE WAS DONE FOR BEAR - Thank you for letting our readers know of the death of your first Moon Bear from cancer. All of us who contributed to their care and took an interest in your work share his loss with you, but can feel that you did everything possible to ease his pain…. J E Tily Stonehouse Gloucestershire (story)

22.2.06

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 22.2.06 FALSE IMPRISONMENT: Anti-hunt protester wins settlement - AN ANTI-HUNT protester has criticised Peterborough police after he received a £1,500 settlement from a chief constable, following a claim for false imprisonment. The police have not accepted liability. Niel Hansen (39) launched a law suit against Cambridgeshire Constabulary after he was arrested and held in custody at Thorpe Wood police station, Peterborough, for five hours in September 2002, while campaigning for a ban on fox hunting in the city's Bridge Street…. (story)

Crawley Observer 22.2.06 STILL FIGHTING THE BAN - IFIELD Wood was the venue for a special half-term children's hunt last week. A large group of huntsmen with over 20 hounds gathered in the early morning at Gotwich Farm on Thursday February 16 ready for what they say was a legal hunt… (story)

Helston Packet 22.2.06 `Cracking' time as hunt marks ban anniversary - Supporters of the Cury Hunt enjoyed a "cracking" day out on Saturday - exactly a year after the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales came into force. Some 50 riders gathered at Tucoyse Farm, near Constantine, for the annual farriers' meet - enjoying a hunt breakfast at the farm hosted by huntsman John Harris, before setting off across country for a successful afternoon of trail hunting… (story in archive)
Helston Packet 15.2.06 Support for hunting with dogs `stronger than ever' - A year after the ban on hunting with dogs was introduced, support for the Cury Hunt is "stronger than ever", it was claimed this week… one year on and the Cury Hunt is still going strong - a situation set to be celebrated at the annual farriers' meet near Constantine on Saturday…. he farriers' meet is being held at Tucoyse Farm, near Constantine, this Saturday, February 18. The hunt breakfast is at 10am, with the riders due to set off at around 11.30am…. (story in archive)

BLENCATHRA ACCUSED OF KILLING FOX
Westmorland Messenger 22.2.06 Hunt ‘kill’ leads to land ban call - ANTI-HUNT campaigners are calling for all Cumbrian fox hunts to be banned from National Trust land after a fox was killed last week on trust land. The Northwest Animal Welfare group allege that the Blencathra Foxhounds killed a fox on National Trust land at Newlands and that a hunt steward then tried to harass and intimidate a member of the public who filmed the fox being chased and killed… (story)
Whitehaven News 16.2.06 Anti-hunt group call for ban on Trust land - A YEAR on from the introduction of the fox hunting ban, anti-hunt campaigners are calling for all Cumbrian fox hunts to be banned from National Trust land after a fox was killed on Saturday on trust land. The hunt has said the fox suddenly appeared in the midst of a legal drag trail. The Northwest Animal Welfare group allege that the Blencathra Foxhounds killed a fox on National Trust land at Newlands and that a hunt steward then tried to harass and intimidate a member of the public who filmed the fox being chased and killed…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 14.2.06 Hunt admits fox was killed ‘by accident’ By Chris Story - FOXHOUNDS ripped a fox apart during a hunt meeting in Blencathra at the weekend – a year after the hunting ban came into force. Huntsmen say they were powerless to stop the dogs tearing into the animal, whose death they said was an accident. Anti-hunt campaigners have now called on the National Trust to ban hunts from their land. The incident was revealed by the Northwest Animal Welfare (NAW) yesterday…. Peter Stratton, of NAW, said: "An hour after telling police they were trail hunting the Blencathra’s huntsman, Barry Todhunter, was blowing his horn….” Adrian Francis, a Countryside Alliance campaigner and spokesman for the Cumberland Foxhounds, said hounds are still being exercised through trail hunting while staying within the realms of the law... (story)

Yorkshire Post 22.2.06 Hunts are working within this 'ridiculous Act' From: John Haigh, Countryside Alliance regional director, Thirsk. ANN Cryer has signed a parliamentary motion celebrating the first anniversary of the Hunting Act and calling on the police to rigorously enforce and make prosecutions under the Act. Hunts around Keighley are working within the exemptions contained within the Act… By signing a motion such as this, she is putting pressure on the police to divert resources from frontline policing activities and to go into the countryside with "rigorous vigilance" to get prosecutions under this unnecessary, unclear and unworkable legislation. This is, at best irresponsible, and at worst purely vindictive (letter)

Leicester Mercury 22.2.06 SURELY IT'S BETTER TO BE RID OF THESE FOXES - I have just read your front page story about 250 foxes being killed since the hunting ban came into force (Mercury, February 18). Is it not better to get rid of these sometimes filthy and diseased creatures, rather than have them roaming around our gardens fouling and screaming and even living under sheds?... Alan Pallett, Leicester (letter)

Leicester Mercury 22.2.06 JUST DESERTS - I hope these people guilty of animal cruelty come back in another life - as a fox! Sheila Griffiths, Melton (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.2.06 HONEST ODDIE - What a joy to watch such programmes on television with Bill Oddie on how animals and birds live and survive… When I see the fox-hunters of our country, I'm filled with horror to think this sort of behaviour is still going on even though a law has been passed to ban hunting… Norah Pound Wroughton Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.2.06 HUNT BAN WILL STAY - The hunt ban was a milestone in animal welfare and an indication of the changing nature of society, a society that no longer tolerates the chasing to exhaustion and disembowelling of our wildlife for so-called sport by a minority… Chris Gale Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

Scotsman 22.2.06 Ban on tail docking to cover working dogs - HAMISH MACDONELL - THE docking of dogs' tails in Scotland is to be completely banned under legislation now going through Holyrood. The Executive had said working dogs would be exempt from the ban on tail docking proposed in the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill. But yesterday ministers said that, after hearing scientific and veterinary evidence taken by a Holyrood committee, they now believed there was no case for allowing an exemption for working dogs… (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 22.2.06 TAIL-DOCKING: STOP THIS BAN - I was dismayed at the Government's U-turn on tail-docking. Last year they promised that the tail docking of working dogs would not be threatened by the Animal Welfare Bill. Now it seems they are going for a total ban… M. James, Ockbrook. (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 22.2.06 ANGLING: Do not stick your heads in the sand - AT the back end of last week one of the big national newspapers ran a poll "Should fishing be banned?" On the first anniversary of the fox-hunting ban, animal rights groups are arguing that fishing should also be outlawed. Do you agree? Thankfully, there was an almost unanimous NO vote, but you have to ask the question, why was it ever put forward in the first place? I have said many times that the anti-angling brigade have friends in high places and will continue their campaign to get angling banned….(story)

Times 22.2.06 RSPCA charity status - The RSPCA has launched, and is presumably funding, an advertising campaign designed to influence public opinion against the Government’s proposed cull of badgers. It asserts that the spread of tuberculosis in cows is cattle to cattle (possibly correct), and not badger to cattle (probably incorrect)…. The campaign is undoubtedly political, and would therefore appear to be inconsistent with the status, and outwith the proper purposes, of the RSPCA as a charitable body…. STANLEY BRODIE, QC, Blackstone House, Temple, London EC4 (story)

Argus 22.2.06 New target for anti-fur campaign - A Butcher-turned-vegan and his animal rights group have turned their attentions to another shop selling animal pelts. Mike Nunn, from Seaford, and the Brighton Animal Rights Campaign have been lobbying Profile Womenswear in Dukes Lane, Brighton…. (story in archive)

Cambrian News 22.2.06 Cows milk is for calves - In response to Dr Judith Bryans of The Dairy Council – human beings are the only species to drink milk after being weaned. Cows’ milk is for cows’ calves. Yours etc, Sheila Talbot Ty Clyd, Penlôn Talybont, Ceredigion (letter in archive)
Cambrian News 15.2.06 Cows milk a rich source of calcium - Madam, Contrary to the views expressed by Alan Thomas (‘Leafy vegetables a better source of calcium’, 2 February), cows’ milk is a rich source of calcium and it is present in a form which is easily absorbed in the body…. Yours etc, Dr Judith Bryans BSc PhD RNutr The Director The Dairy Council Henrietta House Covent Garden London. (letter in archive)
Cambrian News 2.2.06 leafy vegetables a better source of calcium - Last week's issue of the Cambrian News carries a report about the supply of free milk to schoolchildren and quotes a Mr Eifion Huws of the FUW…. . If Mr Huws is really concerned about the present and future health of our children may I suggest he tries to persuade the Government to divert some, at least, of the billions of pounds of subsidies received by the dairy industry each year to encouraging and supporting his members to grow organic fruit and vegetables…. Yours etc, Alan Thomas Ochrfod Llanddewi Brefi (letter in archive)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 22.2.06 Just asking for trouble - A GROUP today demanded an end to the use of poultry waste as fertiliser on farmland around Holmfirth, amid fears over bird flu. Animal rights campaigners say they have evidence of tons of poultry waste being dumped on fields around the Summer Wine area…."It is a practice which we accept has gone on for years, but we must question its use now," said Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler….(story)

21.2.06
p>Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 21.2.06 TALLY HO! THEY'RE ALIVE AND KICKING - Defiant riders from the Cotswold Hunt were out in force a year after the ban on hunting with hounds was introduced. More than 60 riders congregated at Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe for a day to keep the tradition alive by following a trail. The numbers were almost double last year, when morale was low and uncertainty high over the ban. Some 40 spectators looked on… (story)

WOMEN IN HUNTING
Mid Devon Gazette 21.2.06 CARRY ON HUNTING ... LUCY JOINS MASTERCLASS - Hunting may be more restricted after the ban last year, but several women in Dulverton say it hasn't stopped them from taking part - and taking on leading roles. Lucy Barlow, of the Dulverton West Hunt, is one of the newest female masters in Britain…. Felicita Busby, sole master of the Exmoor Foxhounds since 1993, says she believes there are more women involved in hunting than there has been in the past…. (story)
Western Morning News 13.2.06 WOMEN STEP UP TO TOP HUNTING ROLES (story)
Western Morning News 13.2.06 WOMEN TAKE A LEADING ROLE AS HUNTING THRIVES - Women are increasingly taking top posts in hunting as the sport continues to thrive, despite the Government's ban… Invited to the post of joint hunt master in May last year, 38-year-old Lucy Barlow, of the Dulverton West Hunt, is one of the newest woman masters in Britain… Felicita Busby, sole master of the Exmoor Foxhounds since 1993, says she believes there are more women involved in hunting than there has been in the past… Susie Maund, is a fellow woman master, who has led the pack of the Dulverton Farmers, for the last 13 seasons…. (story)
Observer 12.2.06 Ban leads more women to hunt - After male Masters left, record numbers of female leaders are taking the reins - Amelia Hill - The sun has not yet thawed the Exmoor fields but the hounds, baying in shrill frustration, know the hunt is about to begin…'I am the Master of the Dulverton West Hunt and I would like to welcome you all this morning,' says Lucy Barlow… This week is the first anniversary of the legal ban on hunting with hounds but instead of destroying the sport, as was expected, supporters say it has helped pull the old tradition into the 21st century by, among other things, attracting more women…. 'I couldn't bear the thought of the hunt collapsing,' said Jane Rosalie Butler Adams, who became joint Master at the Middleton hunt in North Yorkshire earlier this year…. 'Many men who hunt are simply not used to taking women seriously,' said Felicita Busby, sole Master of the Exmoor Hunt since 1993…. 'They call us the bitch pack,' said Susie Maund, joint Master of the Dulverton Farmers. 'So we call them the Old Dog Hounds. It's all affectionate fun really.'… (story)

COUNTRYSIDE COUNTS RACEDAY
Lynn News 21.2.06 Horseracing: New Perk peaks forfourth straight win - Winning at Fakenham is becoming a regular habit for the remarkable New Perk, trained locally at North Runcton by Matt Gingell. He made it four out of four since last October with a gutsy finish on Countryside Counts day at the track to land the Hunting Act – 'Still Unworkable Legislation' – Hurdle over three miles…. Following the presentations, hounds from the North Norfolk Harriers, the Bolebroke Beagles and the Eastern Counties Mink were paraded in front of the main stands…. (story)
Eastern Daily Press 17.2.06 Hunting in the pink - KATHRYN CROSS - It is exactly a year since the Government's controversial Hunting Act came into force. But is the ban working and what effect has it had on the hunts themselves? Kathryn Cross went to the Countryside Counts race day at Fakenham to find out… So over the past year have we begun to see the demise of the hunt, with the so-called blood-thirsty huntsmen and women dissatisfied by the more genteel chase involved in the drag hunt? Far from it. In fact hunting is very much in the pink…. An investigation was launched in January after the East Anglia Hunt Watch claimed the Waveney Harriers intentionally let the hounds chase hares on its Boxing Day hunt around the Bungay area…. 68-year-old Fred Farrow of the West Norfolk Foxhounds was given a great cheer as he mounted his ride Tap the Father… The winner was Dunston Harriers' Sophie Lee on Who Cares Wins with the youngest jockey 18-year-old Josh Cameron, who has been laying the trails for the North Norfolk Harriers this season, a close second on Golden Shred… Following the amateur race crowds gathered on the course in an act of solidarity to meet the hounds from three hunts, the North Norfolk Harriers, the Bolebroke Beagles and the Eastern Counties Mink Hounds and a loud cheer and applause greeted the sounding of the hunting horn…. (story)
Eastern Daily Press 16.2.06 Race day is protest against hunting ban - BEN KENDALL - A special race day - including the Hands Off Our Hunting Steeplechase - will provide an opportunity for a show against the ban on hunting with hounds. The annual Countryside Counts Raceday at Fakenham Racecourse tomorrow coincides with the anniversary of the introduction of the ban on hunting with hounds… Terrier racing will immediately follow the charity race and at 1.15pm, the North Norfolk Harriers, the Bolebroke Beagles and the Eastern Counties Mink Hounds will parade on the course in front of the grandstands. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 16.2.06 No obstacle to Dusky Lord completing his hat-trick - MARTIN KELLY - DUSKY LORD can complete his hat-trick with success in the Hunting Will Survive The Ban EBF National Hunt Novices Hurdle at Fakenham tomorrow… New Perk evidently thrives around Fakenham and after a recent hat-trick at the track, is fancied to take winning run to four in the Hunting Act - Still Unworkable Legislation - Handicap Hurdle…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 16.2.06 WOGAN’S SWITCHED ON - WOGAN can entertain the crowds and reward his loyal band of followers in the "Hunting Will Survive The Ban” EBF "National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle at Fakenham tomorrow…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 16.2.06 WOGAN WELL WORTH TUNING INTO AT FAKENHAM - Wogan can entertain the crowds and reward his loyal band of followers in the "Hunting Will Survive The Ban" EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle at Fakenham tomorrow…. (story)
Lynn News 14.2.06 Horse Racing: Race day is ban's first anniversary - Fakenham Racecourse is staging its seventh annual "Countryside Counts Raceday" on Friday at which country sports, but in particular hunting with hounds, are put firmly on the racing agenda… Terrier racing will immediately follow the charity race and at 1.15 pm, The North Norfolk Harriers, The Bolebroke Beagles and The Eastern Counties Mink Hounds will parade on the course…. (story)

Oxford Mail 21.2.06 Deserved ridicule - O woe is me, I appear to have offended Peter Unsworth (Oxford Mail, February 3), who has leapt to the defence of Patrick Martin, hound manager of the Bicester Hound Club, who presumably feels too wounded to defend himself….Meanwhile, I and those whom I can truly count as friends -- and, while not wishing to offend, I do not recall ever finding Mr Unsworth within that category -- will carry on recording breaches of the law until victory for the animals is won. Bea Bradley, Cuxham Road, Watlington (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 21.2.06 HE SHOULD ASSIST POLICE - On Sunday I heard on local radio the Master of the Berkeley Hunt say that the new hunting laws were not working, and that not one hare or fox had been saved because of it. In his opinion the law was not working and should be repealed… Surely if he knows that the law of the land is being broken, as a respected member of the locality he should be assisting the police to bring the perpetrators to book…. ROGER SMITH, via e-mail (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 21.2.06 WHAT DO THEY THINK OF LEADER? - I Read that David Cameron, who is I understand a bit of a hunting type, has no intention of repealing the 2004 Hunting Bill. May I ask: "Do the shire types who were so prominent in the Conservative campaign in the Gloucester 2005 General Election feel betrayed?"… TERRY HAINES, The Triangle, Gloucester (letter)

News Letter 21.2.06 Hunting With Dogs Has No Place In 21st Century - EXACTLY a year after the hunting ban was introduced in England and Wales, Northern Ireland is still the only region where the cruel sports of the hunting of hares, foxes and deer with dogs are still legal…. There is a cruelty-free alternative - drag hunting, which is exciting and dynamic - so it is simply a lack of imagination and a real bloodlust to allow this cruel practice to continue. Fionna Smyth, Northern Ireland campaigner, League Against Cruel Sports. (letter)

Scotsman 21.2.06 Total ban on tail docking planned - The docking of dogs' tails in Scotland is to be completely banned under legislation now going through Holyrood, ministers have said. Previously the Executive had said working dogs would be exempt from the ban on tail docking proposed in the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill. But the Executive said that after hearing scientific and veterinary evidence taken by a Holyrood committee, it now believed there was no case for allowing an exemption for working dogs…. (story)
Scotsman 21.2.06 Mixed reaction for dog docking plan - New proposals to outlaw the docking of dogs' tails in Scotland have been given a mixed reaction…. The move was welcomed by the campaign group Advocates for Animals and also by Mark Ruskell, a Green MSP and the deputy convener of the Environment and Rural Development Committee - which has been scrutinising the proposals. However both the Kennel Club and the Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA) said a total ban would lead to pain and suffering for many working dogs… (story)

Western Mail 21.2.06 Bird flu may miss us, say ministers - Steve Dube, Western Mail - GOVERNMENT ministers insisted yesterday that Britain could still escape the bird flu spreading across most of Europe…. Meanwhile Animal Aid called for an immediate ban on the import of French game bird eggs, chicks and poults… The British Association for Shooting and Conservation said any such move was premature…. (story)

Western Morning News 21.2.06 SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE SHOOTING INDUSTRY - An outbreak of bird flu in the UK could have serious implications for the shooting industry, experts are predicting. The Westcountry is one of the country's premier shooting areas. Shoot managers predict any spread of the disease to game animals could result in the death of this year's shooting season. Thousands of pheasant and partridge eggs and chicks are delivered from France to the Westcountry every year for the new breeding season…. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) is urging shoot managers to source birds for the next season from locally produced eggs… (story)

Western Morning News 21.2.06 CODE OF PRACTICE KEEPS WOUNDING TO A LOW LEVEL - The fact that other animal welfare referees apparently did not reject the research into fox shooting by the Middle Way Group has no bearing on BASC's own judgment of its worth - "Shooting finding was rejected" (WMN, January 24). It is also informed by independent statisticians… Despite claims by the Middle Way Group, it does not reliably quantify the wounding of foxes caused by shooting. That can be kept to a low level by following BASC's code of practice, as our own work and years of experience of our members has demonstrated. Dr John Harradine Director of Research British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Wrexham (letter)

Western Mail 21.2.06 Focus on bTB - Steve Dube, Western Mail - PROFESSOR John Bourne, chairman of the Independent Scientific Group, will present the interim findings of Defra's Random Culling Badger Trials at an open meeting in Gwent on Friday. The presentation at the University of Wales College, Newport, Caerleon, at 3pm, is at the invitation of the Gwent Badger Group, which is inviting both conservationists and farmers to take advantage of the only oppor- tunity to hear Professor Bourne and discuss the bTB issue at an open event in Wales…. (story)

Western Mail 21.2.06 RSPCA 'ignoring badgers' suffering and allowing disease to spread' - THE RSPCA has been accused of protecting diseased animals at the expense of healthy ones in its campaign to prevent a badger cull in the fight against bovine tuberculosis. The allegation was made by the Farmers' Union of Wales after the animal charity paid hundreds of thousands of pounds for full-page advertisements in London newspapers appealing for public support to stop badger culling in the fight against bovine TB…. (story)

Western Daily Press 21.2.06 JENNY FIGHTS TO STOP BADGER CULL - Actress Jenny Seagrove will join West campaigners today as they launch their fight to avoid a cull of badgers to stop the spread of TB. The Secret World animal rescue centre and charity in Somerset has enlisted a long list of celebrities to promote its Black and White campaign. Spearheaded by Secret World founder Pauline Kidner, it is calling on the public to inundate their local MP and the Department for Rural Affairs with letters voicing their opposition to such a cull…. (story)

Western Morning News 21.2.06 FARMERS CONDEMN TV STARS AGAINST BADGER CULL - Farming leaders have criticised a celebrity-backed campaign against calls for a badger cull to combat bovine TB. TV stars including Alan Titchmarsh and Chris Tarrant have put their names to the lobby, led by conservation groups, to object to a slaughter of badgers - widely believed to spread TB to cattle…. But last night, Ian Johnson, spokesman for the National Farmers' Union in the South West, said those who had signed up did not understand the issues… (story)

Western Morning News 21.2.06 Don't give farmers power - MICHAEL Ashton of Torrington asks us to believe his cows have caught TB from the surrounding badgers (WMN, February 1). He also asks us to believe that the cows and calves, whose premature deaths are an integral part of his business, are like pets to him. His paragraph about hunting I know from personal experience to be balderdash…. The thought of the killing of badgers being in the hands of angry and bereaved farmers is spine-chilling and should not be allowed. Frankie James, Ringwood (letter)

Telegraph 21.2.06 Terrorists in our midst - Last week, Tony Blair jutted out his chin and declared himself determined to hurl the full force of the law against anybody who dared to "glorify" terrorism…. But if Mr Blair really wishes to get tough on apologists for terrorism, he should direct the attention of the police and the prosecuting authorities to Bite Back, an American-based website. This is where members of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) anonymously boast, week after week, about the crimes that they have committed in the name of "animal rights" - arson, assault, vandalism and threats of murder…. (story)

Western Morning News 21.2.06 End experiments on animals - YET again Thomas Bromley avoids the serious and meaningful discussion regarding animal based "medical research" (WMN, January 3) with more of his family's medical history…. If scientists were truly altruistic why did they produce RU486, a poison to destroy babies in the womb?... Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

icSurrey (Surrey Mirror) 21.2.06 Sanctuary faces closure - THE future of a popular swan and bird rescue organisation is in doubt because the house and land from which it operates is being reclaimed by the National Trust. Outwood Swan Sanctuary, run with the help of volunteers, was started almost 30 years ago by Marj Unwin, who died before Christmas…. (story)
East Grinstead Courier 12.1.06 SWAN SANCTUARY FUTURE IN BALANCE BY JODY CLARK - The future of a wildlife sanctuary in Outwood hangs in the balance following the death of its owner. Marjorie Unwin, of Outwood Lane, who founded the Outwood swan sanctuary and Swan Lifeline based at Eton, died in the early hours of December 16 at home following a heart attack. Her death prompts a debate over the future of the centre, whose eight acre site is owned by the National Trust….(story)
Surrey Mirror 4.1.06 Villagers grieve for woman who set up swan sanctuary By Julian Alderton - A WOMAN who devoted her life to the care of injured swans and other bird life has died. Marjorie Unwin, 79, ran the Outwood Swan Sanctuary in Outwood and villagers were deeply saddened to learn of her passing on December 16. She had created the sanctuary in the grounds of her home in the village… (story)

2ND RAID ON WILD BOAR FARM
Mid Devon Gazette 21.2.06 WILD-BOAR FARMER IS ONCE MORE A TARGET - The wild-boar farmer whose business has been repeatedly targeted by animal rights activists is now seeking a safe haven for his few remaining breeding animals. In the latest attack, 45 wild boar recaptured after more than 100 were freed from Al Dedames' Woodland Wild Boar Farm near West Anstey in December were let loose again in the early hours of Monday, February 13…. (story)
Western Morning News 16.2.06 'SAFE HOUSE' BID FOR HERD OF WILD BOAR - A boar farmer whose business has been repeatedly targeted by animal rights extremists is planning to move his remaining herd to a "safe house" while he contemplates his next move. Activists claiming to be from the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) have claimed responsibility for three separate attacks on the boar farm in North Devon in the last six months…. (story)
Western Daily Press 16.2.06 WHY ACTIVISTS 'LIBERATED' BOAR - Animal Liberation Front activists yesterday admitted they "liberated" a herd of about 35 wild boar in their third raid on the farm. The creatures are now loose in countryside around the Woodland Wild Boar Farm at West Anstey in Devon - which was last attacked by the activists in December… (story)
BBC News Online 16.2.06 Wild boar herd on the run again - More than 30 wild boar are still on the loose in Devon after being released from a farm for the second time. About 45 animals were freed from Alan Dedames' Woodland Wild Boar Farm near South Molton on Monday. Ten have been recaptured, 35 remain at large… (story)
Western Morning News 15.2.06 ACTIVISTS RELEASE 45 WILD BOAR IN SECOND RAID ON FARM - A wild boar farm in North Devon has been raided by animal rights activists for the second time in two months. About 45 animals from Alan Dedames' 34-acre holding at East Anstey, near South Molton, were released on Monday morning. Ten have been recaptured but at least 35 remain at large. Animal rights activists, declaring themselves part of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), have claimed responsibility for the act…. (story)
Western Daily Press 15.2.06 BOAR FARM HIT BY STRIKE NO.2 - A Herd of wild boar recaptured after being freed from a West farm by animal rights campaigners were on the loose again yesterday - following another attack by activists. Over 100 sharp-tusked beasts ran riot in the village of West Anstey on Exmoor when campaigners cut down a fence surrounding their enclosure in December…. in the early hours of Monday vandals struck again - cutting down a 500-metre stretch of 5ft-high fence and re-releasing all the boar into the countryside…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 15.2.06 Animal activists set boar free - ANIMAL Liberation Front activists today said they "liberated" a herd of about 35 wild boar in its third raid on a farm. The creatures are now loose around the Woodland Wild Boar Farm at West Anstey, Devon. (story)

Stafford Post 21.2.06 Soham techniques snare badger fiend - Animal welfare campaigners have told how forensic techniques used in the Soham murder trials helped convict a man of badger baiting. Tony Billington, 37, of Eveswood Close, Bamber Bridge, Preston, was found guilty of snatching badgers from a sett at Greatwood Farm, Wetwood, in January last year…. Pat Wiltshire, who worked on the Soham case, helped match pollen from the fields to traces found on one of Billington's spades, while founder of the Staffordshire Rural Policing Unit, Faye Burton, identified badger hair left on tools…. (story)

20.2.06

Scunthorpe Telegraph 20.2.06 TRADITIONAL HUNT IS 'STILL GOING STRONG' CLAIM - A Year after a ban on hunting with dogs, the traditional hunt is still going strong in the region. And while officials at the Brocklesby Hunt claimed they were sticking rigidly to the law, they were unable to say how many foxes had been killed since the ban came into force…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 20.2.06 HUNTERS SAY MEETS AS POPULAR AS EVER - Around 200 people turned out to support the East Devon Hunt at the weekend - exactly a year after the Government's controversial hunting ban was introduced. More than 40 riders, some as young as two, braved the rain to meet at Sidbury Manor, Sidbury, on Saturday for the half-term children's hunt…. (story)

Western Morning News 20.2.06 A YEAR AFTER HUNT BAN AND TENSION STILL HIGH - One year after the hunt ban was imposed, feelings continue to run high between the huntsmen and those who monitor their behaviour. On Saturday, Louise Vennells accompanied animal welfare activists in their work around the region, and witnessed first hand the fraught relationship - As kevin Hill poised his video camera ready to film the harriers as they coursed out of the woodland, he suddenly found himself looking at the back end of a horse, in extreme close-up…. While most of the members of the Axe Vale Harriers were courteous during the meet near Beer, a minority were repeatedly obstructive…. (story)

Western Morning News 20.2.06 SUPPORT FOR WAY OF LIFE IS NOW 'STRONGER THAN EVER' - Less than a month ago, Andrew Nicholls was undergoing a major lung operation, but he refused to let that stop him riding out with the hunt on Saturday to mark a year since the ban…. Robin Nicholls, master of the Tetcott hunt and Andrew's brother, said: "Andrew was set on coming out for the first time since his operation. That's how determined people are to continue with our lifestyle."… Adrian Geering, committee member for the Mid Devon Hunt, said: "We were being treated like criminals even before the ban. Now, even though we are hunting within the law, our opponents still think of us as criminals." The Modbury Harriers met in Ugborough, in the South Hams, where they celebrated a hunt group that was stronger than ever…. Cornwall's largest hunt, the Four Burrow, ventured on to the Roseland peninsula at St Just, with more than 50 riders and dozens of supporters…. At their meet near Newton Ferrers in the South Hams, the Britannia Beagles reflected on their outlook a year ago…. Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers master Phil Pyke made a speech at the meet near Blackawton, near Dartmouth, to celebrate strong support…. South Tetcott Hunt chairman Geoffrey Pitts said: "There's recognition, even among MPs, that the ban was a huge mistake….” (story)

Western Morning News 20.2.06 PET LLAMA DIES AFTER HUNT'S DOGS ROAM VILLAGE - A pet llama from South Devon died after allegedly being worried by hounds on the loose from a local hunt… The owner and the hunt concerned, the Modbury Harriers, are said to have settled the matter between them, but local people are still concerned. Parish council vice-chairman Stephen Harding was incensed that the hounds should have been roaming free through the village…. (story)
BBC News Online 17.2.06 Pet llama dies after hounds scare - A pet llama from south Devon has died after being frightened by hounds from the local hunt….. The owner of the llama and the Harriers have agreed to settle the incident between themselves, but local people are upset… (story)

THE LAST TALLY-HO?
Glasgow Herald 20.2.06 The TV Week - ABIGAIL WILD - It was just as much of an uphill struggle seeing the bright side of The Last Tally Ho? (Sunday, Channel 4), which followed the Vale of White Horse Hunt, before and after a ban on hunting with dogs was imposed in England and Wales…. They were posh, obviously, and prejudices about poshness are usually justification enough for some people to dismiss the pro-hunting cause. But there was an indignity and arrogance in the way some of the hunters protested. Like a bunch of King Canute followers, they flattered the veterans of the hunt, and complained that this kind of thing shouldn't happen to people like them…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 15.2.06 POLICE VIEW FILM OF FOX CHASE - Members of a Gloucestershire hunt may be investigated by police after admitting breaking the law. The Vale of the White Horse Hunt made the claim on Sunday night in a BBC television documentary…. (story)
Glasgow Herald 13.2.06 The upper-class ‘sportsmen’ on the hunt for blood - IAN BELL - The Last Tally Ho?, BBC1, 10.15pm - Certain stories have been missing from the media since a partial ban on hunting with dogs was enacted, belatedly, in England and Wales. You may even remember the predictions: thousands of hounds to be put down; hundreds of horses en route to the knackers' yards; blacksmiths, saddle-makers and bucolics sent to live in ditches…. Plainly, I am ignorant of the cultural heritage at stake. Unlike the Countess Susie Goess-Saurau – you have to love those ancient English names – and the Vale of White Horse Hunt, I couldn't possibly know what I'm talking about. Why is drag-hunting less satisfying than seeing a fox eviscerated?... Can I hunt them, please, with big dugs and Howitzers? Can I bring my Uzi? Or can I merely say that a ban on fox-dicing does not even register in the top 20 of human rights abuses?... (story)
BBC News Online 12.2.06 Hunting with hounds and a duster - This week marks the first anniversary since hunting with hounds (already banned in Scotland) became illegal throughout Britain. But hunt activities continue and no-one has been prosecuted. BBC One's The Last Tally Ho? has followed a traditional hunt over the last 12 months…. Twelve months later, The VWH (Vale of the White Horse) Hunt on the borders of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire is still in business….(story)
Horse & Hound 10.2.06 Hunting Hits Television Screens - Anna Tyzack - As the anniversary of the hunting ban approaches, enthusiasts will be able to watch two BBC TV hunting specials… BBC 1 will be showing 'The Last Tally – Ho' on BBC 1 this Sunday, a documentary telling the inside story of a traditional Gloucetershire hunt and the effects the hunting ban has had on it. 'The Last Tally Ho' follows the men and women from The Vale of White Horse over the period of a year, from their last ever legal hunt to the opening meet of the first season to begin under the new law…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 20.2.06 DEER CULL COULD SEE 4,300 KILLED IN FIRST STAGE - AMELIA WHITTAKER - The first stage in Scotland's largest deer cull will end later this month. By the end of February, it is expected that 4,300 deer will have been killed within the 9,724-hectare area stretching across Aberdeenshire and Angus… (story)

Western Daily Press 20.2.06 THIS ATTITUDE IS FOXING ME - find myself at odds with the comments made by Chris Rundle on the subject of urban foxes (Western Daily Press, February 15). The urban fox has become common only in recent years, and the increase in numbers mirrors the wastefulness of society…. John Tuck Wootton Bassett Wiltshire (story)

Scotsman 20.2.06 Greyhounds' suffering - Readers who saw the Frontline Scotland investigation into the greyhound racing industry, on BBC1 last Wednesday, will have been horrified at the suffering this "sport" inflicts on the dogs it exploits…. ROSS MINETT, Director, Advocates for Animals Queensferry Street Edinburgh(story)

Western Daily Press 20.2.06 FANATIC OR HERO? THE LIFE OF AN ANIMAL ACTIVIST - The man once described as a terrorist, a ruthless fanatic and one of Britain's most notorious animal rights activists, is now a full-time carer living in Dorset. Chief Reporter RUTH WOOD spoke exclusively to Keith Mann…. Direct action, he claims, is the only way to stop experiments being carried out on three million animals a year in Britain, and to shut down farms where animals suffer…. Last year, he did a further six months in jail, for trying to expose Wickham Laboratories in Hampshire…. It was one prison sentence too many for Mann, who says he is no longer involved in "illegal direct action". "My partner, Paula, has had a brain haemorrhage and she's got ME, so I spend most of my time caring for her, " he said….(story)

Western Daily Press 20.2.06 THREAT TO 100 COMPANIES - Animal rights extremists have threatened attacks on nearly 100 companies that donated money to Oxford University. The Animal Liberation Front is planning a campaign against the homes of directors and employees unless they pledge never to give money to the prestigious university again…. (story)

Western Daily Press 20.2.06 SPECIES IN FIRING LINE - There were 2.8million scientific procedures carried out on animals in 2004…. (story)

Guardian 20.2.06 Firms funding Oxford will be attacked, say animal activists - Sandra Laville - Militant animal rights activists are threatening violent attacks on scores of companies which fund Oxford University unless they announce today they are to end their financial support. The Animal Liberation Front, through its mouthpiece Bite Back magazine, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, gave 100 firms, ranging from large companies such as IBM to charitable trusts such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and small groups such as the British Deer Society, a week to pull their funding as part of the campaign to stop the building of a medical research laboratory at the university…. (story)

Oxford Mail 20.2.06 Lab terror website run by American - A campaigner who runs a website promoting violent attacks on academics as part of the protest against Oxford University's animal laboratory has been tracked to America. Nicolas Atwood, a 33-year-old who lives in Florida, is behind the website which acts as the main forum for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF)….
Animal rights campaigners took part in an overnight vigil outside the lab construction site in South Parks Road in Oxford on Friday. Amanda Richards, a spokesman for protest group Speak, said 19 people gathered for the protest which ran from 9pm until 8am on Saturday morning…. (story in archive)

19.2.06

Wales on Sunday 19.2.06 Hunts mark a year of ban - Matt Withers, Wales on Sunday - HUNTS in Wales joined those across Britain yesterday to mark one year since the ban on hunting came into force…. Among those Welsh packs continuing to meet were the Afonwy Fox Hounds, the Dysynni Valley Hunt and Plynlimon, all in Mid Wales… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 19.2.06 Fox killer attacked boy with stun gun By Andrew Alderson and Catherine Humble - The pest control boss who claimed to have shot up to 28 foxes in a single night has a criminal record for violence. The disclosure that he and two assailants attacked a teenager with a 50,000-volt stun gun came as several experts cast doubt on claims by Bruce Lindsay-Smith. His critics suspect that he has exaggerated the number of foxes he actually shoots, and question the authenticity of photographs he has provided and the date they were taken…. (story)

Independent on Sunday 19.2.06 Hunting ban: Foxed - We loved the fox enough to ban hunting, but a year later the hounds are still in pursuit. And in the cities, marksmen are shooting to kill By Cole Moreton - The fox is our friend, a beautiful creature that needs protection. The fox is our enemy, a vicious pest that needs to be controlled. Whichever you believe, the fox is about to die. Bruce Lindsay-Smith stares through his infra-red nightscope at a vixen…. Animal rights campaigners are bombarding the office of Mr Lindsay-Smith's company, County Pest Control, with abusive and threatening phone calls….Before the ban, countryside campaigners claimed that townies just did not understand that foxes were vermin and did great damage. Thousands of jobs would be lost by stopping the hunts, said the Countryside Alliance, and foxes would run riot through the land. That has not happened and there is no mass unemployment, not least because the hunts have not really stopped… (story)

Watford Observer 19.2.06 Green party announces mayoral candidate - THE Green Party has officially announced its candidate for May's mayoral election. Steve Rackett, 41, became the town's first Green councillor when he was elected to represent Callowland Ward on Watford Borough Council in 2003…. A charity worker who has experience working for the NSPCC and the League Against Cruel Sports, Steve Rackett is the only declared candidate apart from the present mayor that lives within Watford borough's boundaries…. (story)

Sunday Times 19.2.06 Rural Scots are biggest polluters - CAMILLO FRACASSINI AND MELANIE CHRISTY - THEIR wellies may be green, but when it comes to environmental concerns they are anything but. The well-heeled residents of rural Aberdeenshire have been revealed as the least environmentally friendly people in Britain…. Tony Andrews, chief executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: "It is much easier to recycle in urban areas when you have the recycling bins at the end of your street. In rural areas these services are far less accessible.” (story)

Sunday Times 19.2.06 Unmasked: animal extremist waging war on Oxford - THE mastermind behind an animal rights campaign inciting violent attacks against Oxford University academics is revealed today as a 33-year-old former arts promoter based in Florida. From his detached home in West Palm Beach, Nicolas Atwood runs a website which last month urged violence on all staff and students at Oxford over plans for an animal research laboratory…. One key target for Atwood’s Bite Back group is Oxford’s planned £20m medical research laboratory where work re-started late last year…. Speak, an organisation which says it campaigns legally against the laboratory, will on Saturday face a counter-demonstration by Oxford students angry their university is being targeted. An organiser of the student event said: "I know people who are completely against using animals in any form of biomedical research but who are still going to turn up, in protest at the way in which the ALF have chosen to campaign.”… (story)

Independent on Sunday 19.2.06 Revealed: 100 companies targeted in new animal terror hit-list By Steve Bloomfield - Animal rights extremists have threatened attacks on nearly 100 companies which donated money to Oxford University. The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) gave them a deadline of a week before attacks start on the homes of directors and employees, unless they promise never to give money to the university again…. (story)

Independent on Sunday 19.2.06 Julien Macdonald: Defender of the fur - Animal rights activists bombard him with flour and try to sabotage his shows, but the man who has put fur back on the world's top catwalks is unrepentant. 'They won't stop me using it,' he tells Julia Stuart… (story)

18.2.06

Birmingham Post 18.2.06 Illegal hunts continue, say campaigners By Sarah Probert, Rural Affairs Reporter - Several West Midlands hunts have been hunting illegally since new legislation to ban the sport was brought in a year ago today, campaigners have claimed. The League Against Cruel Sports has written to Warwickshire and West Mercia Police forces to complain about the actions of several hunts in Warwickshire and Shropshire…. (story)

Reuters 18.2.06 One year on -- and foxhunters are celebrating By Kate Holton - Tens of thousands of hunters gathered across Britain on Saturday to gallop through fields and forests a year after the government imposed a ban on their age-old custom of killing foxes with packs of dog… Patrick Webster, chairman of the Albrighton Hunt in central England, told Reuters they had received strong support… (story)

Times 18.2.06 Nervous hunts fear more police scrutiny BY VALERIE ELLIOTT COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THOUSANDS of huntsmen and women will be out in force today in defiance of the year-old ban on their support. But there is nervousness after last week’s BBC documentary, The Last Tally Ho, when hunters admitted that foxes were still being killed by hounds in hunting "accidents”…. The alliance, however, continues to pour scorn on the hunt ban legislation. Meanwhile, the United Hunt, near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, is making history by employing a woman as professional huntsman, the first in the country for more than 30 years. Diana Rowson, 31, just 5ft 3in in her hunting boots, spent three years with the Midland Foxhounds in Georgia, but decided to return to England when she heard that hunting was under threat… (story)

BBC News Online 18.2.06 Calls to scrap 'derided' hunt ban - Hunt supporters are calling for the ban on hunting with foxes to be repealed as they prepare to mark one year since the law was brought in. The Countryside Alliance described the legislation as "derided, discredited and damaged beyond repair"…. (story)

Telegraph 18.2.06 100,000 join hunts for ban anniversary By Amy Iggulden - An estimated 350 hunts, involving more than 100,000 people, are expected to gather across Britain today, marking a year to the day since the hunting ban came into force. All 194 fox hunts in England, Scotland and Wales, and all 98 harrier, beagle, basset and staghound hunts will be out for "an ordinary day's hunting", according to the Countryside Alliance…. Graeme Worsley, the joint master of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, which is to meet today at the same spot as last year in Woldingham, Surrey, said: "We are certainly not going to be celebrating but we do feel proud that we are still here despite feeling fragile, and because we have actually increased in number.” (story)

Telegraph 18.2.06 Simon Heffer on Saturday By Simon Heffer - Like most patriotic people, and in the spirit of the times, my mind has been concentrated these past few days on the issue of single most importance to our society: what we can ban next….. Ironically, this flurry of proscriptive activity comes as we are celebrating the anniversary of the last thing Labour thought it could ban: foxhunting. What a huge success that has been. More foxes have been killed in the past year than ever, partly because gamekeepers who used to leave them for the hunt now make a point of shooting them…. (story)

Telegraph 18.2.06 They should ask the fellows who cut the hay The Newcastle University report into the rural economy, published yesterday, will make unsurprising reading to anyone trying to make a living on the land in Britain today. Its main point - that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is failing to protect the countryside or its economy - is devastating…. Labour demonstrated in its response to foot-and-mouth that it simply does not understand the countryside. Some of its actions since, such as the futile decision to ban foxhunting and the chronic examples of bigotry by John Prescott towards rural communities, suggest that some in the Government positively despise it…. (story)

Ananova 18.2.06 Hunts meet to mark ban anniversary - Hunts across the country will gather to mark a year since the ban on hunting came into force…. (story)

Sky News 18.2.06 'New Law Is Not Working' - Hunts across the country are gathering to mark the first anniversary of the hunting ban…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 18.2.06 HUNTS CARRY ON WITHIN THE LAW - Two fox hunts were today praised by anti- hunt campaigners and police for sticking to the letter of the law. It comes after the names of 33 hunts accused of repeatedly breaching the Hunting Act were sent to police chiefs by the League Against Cruel Sports. But the Holderness and Middleton fox hunts were not on the list of shame, which was delivered to chief constables in England and Wales yesterday…. Humberside Police have received only one complaint - which proved to be unfounded - and gave the two hunts a pat on the back for co-operating with them… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 18.2.06 HUNTING BAN - Under the Hunting Act 2004, it is illegal for a person to hunt a wild animal with dogs unless the activity is exempt, such as hunting rats… Two days after the Hunting Act became law, on February 18, 2005, a complaint was made against the Holderness Hunt that it had killed a fox, but no evidence of law- breaking was found…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 18.2.06 HUNTS CARRY ON WITHIN LAW - Dossiers of evidence against the 33 hunts have been submitted by the league despite the police and Crown Prosecution Service declining to bring any charges against hunts since the ban came in…. (story)

Western Morning News 18.2.06 SUPPORT FOR HUNTING SOARS - Westcountry hunts have seen a boom in popularity - despite the ban on hunting with hounds imposed a year ago…. David Ellis, joint secretary of the South Devon Hunt, said membership had increased by up to 25 per cent since the hunting ban came into force… John Champion, secretary of the Tiverton Hunt, said the past year had been a "learning curve" for the region's hunts…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.06 ALL SMILES IN THE HAPPY HUNTING GROUNDS - A year to the day after the hunting ban came into force, the region's hunts are still going strong. In fact, many are more popular and well-off than they were a year ago. Rebecca Short reports… John Champion, secretary of the Tiverton Hunt, said: "Ultimately, the outcome we all want is for the ban to be overturned….” Membership of the 226-year-old Four Burrow, Cornwall's largest hunt, has increased by five per cent in the last 12 months… Membership of the North Cornwall Hunt, already high, has risen by ten per cent over the last year and has retained a large and enthusiastic support in the countryside… Geoffrey Pitts, chairman of the South Tetcott Hunt, which hunts in West Devon and Cornwall, said membership had "held up well"…. The only man to stand before a court under the Hunting Act is Tony Wright, huntsman of the Exmoor Foxhounds… (story)

Western Morning News 18.2.06 BUILDINGS ARE BEING REFURBISHED - A hunt operating in North Cornwall and Devon has begun refurbishing its property thanks to the increased interest and income created by the furore around the hunting ban. The Tetcott Hunt, based near Holsworthy, North Devon, has so much more money in its funds, thanks to increased support, that it has been able work on buildings that it could not previously afford to do…. (story)

Western Morning News 18.2.06 THE CHASE GOES ON AS USUAL, BUT WITH JUST TWO HOUNDS - The ban on hunting with dogs became law a year ago today. So have the blast of the hunting horn and the baying hounds become sounds of the past? Martin Hesp was on Exmoor this week to find out… the Devon and Somerset Staghounds (D &S) still meet several times a week, despite the fact that hunting with dogs has been banned in the UK for the past year…. When I asked Maurice Scott if any hunt employees had been forced out of a job, he said: "The saddest thing was losing some of the hounds. We haven't lost any staff, but we have given seven-and-a-half couple of hounds to a hunt in France, and it was heartbreaking to see them go…. (story)

Western Daily Press 18.2.06 ONE YEAR ON, BOTH SIDES OF THE HUNT DEBATE AGREE... THE BATTLE'S NOT OVER YET - Yesterday, we reported the difficulties West police chiefs have in enforcing the ban on hunting. On the first anniversary of the new laws this weekend, Countryside Correspondent TRISTAN CORK assesses both sides' views on the way forward… Yesterday, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which employs two West-based hunt monitors, claimed more than 20,000 foxes were spared the 'pain and suffering' of being chased and killed by packs of hounds this year. IFAW's Gill Sanders said: "We are celebrating the successful campaign for a ban…. BUT for the likes of IFAW, the League Against Cruel Sports and the Hunt Saboteurs' Association, the police should be doing more to enforce the ban… Isobel Walsh, from the Countryside Alliance, said hunts' pledges to break the law were taken back when they read the small print…(story)

Western Daily Press/Bristol Evening Post 18.2.06 ACT'S ROUGH RIDE - Exactly a year after the controversial Hunting Bill was finally passed through Parliament, more people are now riding out with hounds than ever before. DOUGLAS BATCHELOR, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, claims that animal-lovers everywhere won a triumphant victory. SIMON HART, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, maintains that the law is deeply flawed and prejudiced, and will eventually be overturned…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 18.2.06 BAN CAUSING MORE STAG DEATHS – HUNT - A Devon hunt has admitted killing more stags in the first year of the hunting ban than in previous years. On the eve of today's first anniversary of the Hunting Act - which prevents people from hunting all mammals except rats and rabbits - a huntsman with Tiverton Staghounds told the Echo that changes in the hunting law introduced a year ago have increased the likelihood of more stags being shot…. Michael Moore, a master of the East Devon Hunt, said he would be joining members for a meet at Sidbury today… Hayden Macey, of Newton Abbot and a member of South Devon Animal Rights, said: "If the Tiverton Staghound members are now killing an average of 12 stags a month instead of four, then that makes a nonsense of previous claims that hunting with hounds was the most efficient method of pest control…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 18.2.06 Hunts to mark ban anniversary - HUNTS across the country were set to gather today to mark a year since the start of the hunting ban… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 18.2.06 THE HUNT IS ON - Huntsmen across the county claim their sport is alive and well despite the ban… Not one single dog has been put down, subscription numbers to Lincolnshire hunts have risen and kennels have not lost money. And foxes are still dying - two Lincolnshire hunts have admitted that they have legally or accidentally killed this season. Joint master of Burton Hunt John Green denied scare-mongering when the ban was introduced. "The only reason we have survived is through sheer determination to hold our resolve until this ridiculous ban is overturned," he said…. Blankney Hunt, which has also not put any hounds down, continues to hunt legally with a golden cross steppe eagle…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 18.2.06 Hunts deny they're breaking the law - HUNTS in the Cambridgeshire area have been accused of ignoring the ban by anti-blood sports campaigners…. But despite the campaign group's claims, Cambridgeshire Police said they had not received a single report of a breach of the Hunting Act since it was introduced. Robin Vestey, master of the Thurlow Hunt, said the accusations were a malicious attempt by anti-hunt campaigners to smear hunts which had evolved to stay within the law, and promised to carry on riding with hounds…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 18.2.06 BAN? WHAT BAN? BY TOM MACK AND CONRAD NYAMUTATA - More than 250 foxes have been killed in Leicestershire since the hunting ban came into force exactly a year ago, it emerged today. Some of them have been killed "accidentally" by hounds, said hunts…. The Fernie, Quorn, Belvoir and Atherstone hunts have turned to birds of prey to help the tradition survive, while the Cottesmore has begun trail hunting…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 18.2.06 WAS HUNTING BATTLE JUST A WASTE OF TIME? - The political campaign to ban fox hunting was an absurd waste of valuable parliamentary time that could well have been used to address issues of much greater importance to the welfare of the British people. But the law was introduced and Britain became a country where hunting was banned. However, judging by what is happening in this part of the country, we suspect there will be those who start to wonder if all the lobbying and arguing was actually worth it. … (story)

Western Mail 18.2.06 Hunting: what has changed in a year? - Steve Dube finds opinion divided by a gulf as wide as ever - One year on from the ban on hunting little appears to have changed. It may be illegal to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs, but the cry of the hounds is still a familiar sound…. Liz Davey, who has missed only five of the 23 meets with the Llangeinor Hunt this season, says the ban made her want to return…. Alliance chief executive Simon Hart, former Master of the South Pembrokeshire Hunt, who lives in Narberth, says the hunting community is showing resilience and resourcefulness and expects to see a flawed piece of legislation replaced one day with a sensible animal welfare-based solution… (story)

Daily Record 18.2.06 MEET THE TELLY CO. Exclusive 2002 Dumfriesshire hunt disbands 2006 Reform as 'pest control' firm By Annie Brown - HUNTERS are beating the ban on chasing foxes by calling themselves pest controllers. The 150-year-old Dumfriesshire Hunt disbanded when they were stopped from using the land they used to hunt around Lockerbie… rom May 1, the Dumfriesshire and Stewartry Fox Hounds will start offering their services to local farmers who claim to be troubled with foxes. The former Dumfriesshire members will be headed by Andrew Cook, ex- master of the South Shropshire Hunt…. Cook, who was last at the Portman Hunt in Dorset, will bring a dozen new hounds for the service…. (story)

Carlisle News & Star 18.2.06 Time to punish these hunters I HAVE always been totally opposed to fox hunting. I once saw a hunt first-hand in Herefordshire, where I worked. I saw hounds tear a live fox to pieces…. It seems there is one law for the rich and one for the poor. I can’t understand what is the point in the government imposing these bans and then allowing people to defy them… MRS STUART, Longtown, Carlisle (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 18.2.06 SCOTS MINISTERS SET TO IMPOSE TOTAL BAN ON DOCKING OF DOGS' TAILS - Ministers have abandoned plans to allow limited docking of dogs' tails and are to press for an outright ban. The Scottish Executive had intended to allow docking in cases such as gun dogs, which could risk injury to their tails in thick undergrowth. But the parliament's rural affairs committee suggested it would be difficult to enforce and could lead to a loophole under which dogs which were not working animals, but were from traditionally working breeds, would continue to have their tails docked. … The charity Advocates for Animals charity was delighted by the decision…. But the British Association for Shooting and Conservation said the lack-of-evidence argument was "not watertight"…. Tony Andrews, chief executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: "The docking of these animals is necessary to prevent tail damage… (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 18.2.06 FORMER GAMEKEEPER FINED FOR AIMING GUN AT PROTECTED BIRD - TOM KIRK - A former Deeside gamekeeper who took a shotgun on to a neighbouring estate and aimed it a hen harrier has been fined £500. Stonehaven Sheriff Court was told that Colin Marshall had "contemplated" killing the protected bird, but made no attempt to do so. The 22-year-old was filmed by members of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds training his shotgun, but not firing, on the Crannach Estate near Ballater… (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 18.2.06 Target gun crime more effectively - YET again some mindless idiots go on the rampage with an airgun (News, February 14). No doubt, yet again, we will have the general public, politicians and the media crying out for more legislation and banning of airguns. Yet again we, the responsible airgun users, would point out to all of the above who would be willing to jump up and down against use/ownership of airguns - it is not us who are at fault!... Airguns are not "lethal weapons"; they only become one when in the hands of an irresponsible person. Mr & Mrs Williamson, address supplied (letter)

Bolton Evening News 18.2.06 Police concern over badger baiting gangs - POLICE in Lancashire are concerned at the number of gangs involved in badger baiting. The activity, which is illegal, involves badgers being caught and then killed by terrier dogs…. (story in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 18.2.06 CULL WON'T WORK We attended the meeting on February 4 at Robinswood Hill. It was an open one, and the hall was full. A couple of things I'd like to mention. The comments by an actor from Lovejoy, who said how wrong it was to have a mass cull of any animal, and asked who gave "us" the right to do this…. PAMELA DEAN, Whiteshill (letter)

Western Daily Press 18.2.06 ALL OF US, ANIMALS INCLUDED, HAVE NATURE'S RIGHT TO A LIFE - In response to the letter from Thomas Bromley ("More important than animals", January 31), I would point out that it is his attitude, and that of others like him, that is the cause of the majority of abuse and suffering that our fellow beings have to endure every day in vivisection labs…As regards his visit to a lab and meeting technicians who have such high standards of animal welfare, he must have different coloured spectacles to me. I, too, have been in one, a well-known one, I certainly was not impressed by the act put on for my benefit… P Richardson, South Cerney, Cirencester (story)
Western Daily Press 31.1.06 MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANIMALS - Your correspondent R Brown's suggestion that we experiment on medical researchers (Your Say, January 23) not only demonstrates the extreme views of anti-vivisectionists, but also shows that there really isn't a sensible ethical alternative to using animals. I remember a friend of mine who was suffering from Parkinson's disease suggesting that animal extremists could replace animals… Thomas Bromley Dunstable Bedfordshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 23.1.06 MUST WE REPEAT ANIMAL TESTS? - The C4 documentary, Animals, (January 31) was horrifying in the extreme. But why does medical research need these experiments? Many are repeated for no apparent reason… All medical research laboratories must be closed. Instead, I suggest these medical research scientists should experiment on each other! R Brown Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 18.2.06 SOME NECK FROM CAMILLA - So the increasingly polarised Royal Family has yet again shown their total disregard for public opinion and their lack of any sensitivity and human compassion where animals are concerned. I refer to Camilla wearing a rabbit-fur scarf on a recent visit to Westonbirt Arboretum - of all the places to wear a dead animal round your neck… Julian Brown, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire (story)

17.2.06

West Cumberland Times & Star 17.2.06 Purpose of hunts is ‘to show the law is a donkey, not to break it’ - FOXHOUNDS ripped a fox apart during a Blencathra hunt meeting at the weekend – a year after the hunting ban came into force…. Blencathra secretary Bob Fell confirmed that a fox was killed on Saturday but claimed that it was an accident and did not fall foul of the law… Almost a year on from the introduction of the hunting ban, hunt supporters in Cumbria claim their groups are still going strong. John Vickers, hunt master of Melbreak Foxhounds at Loweswater, said: "We’re doing much better than we expected really…. Adrian Francis, a Countryside Alliance campaigner and spokesman for the Cumberland Foxhounds, said hounds were still being exercised through trail hunting while staying within the law…. (story)

Telegraph 17.2.06 'More people hunt and more foxes killed' since ban - By Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson - More people are hunting with hounds and more foxes are being killed than before the hunting ban came into force a year ago, Kate Hoey, the chairman of the Countryside Alliance, says today. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Miss Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall, admits that the law is regularly being broken, inadvertently, as hounds kill foxes…. (story)
Telegraph 17.2.06 Tally Hoey! Freedom means not running with the Labour pack - The day the ban came into force Kate Hoey went hunting with the Beaufort. A year on, she is thrilled that hunting is more popular than ever. She talks to Alice Thomson and Rachel Sylvester… This week she voted against ID cards, the Government's glorification of terrorism proposals and a full smoking ban. Last year she annoyed some in her party by becoming chairman of the Countryside Alliance, the organisation that has spearheaded the campaign to keep hunting going….. She seems so out of tune with New Labour. "The values I got elected on are the values I still believe in. Parties move back and forwards and at some stage the Labour party will be more in tune with me than it is at the moment. I'm a libertarian, I don't want the state to do anything that isn't being done for the benefit of people and not just controlling things." (story)
BBC News Online 17.2.06 'More foxes dead' since hunt ban - More foxes are being killed and more people are hunting with hounds than before the hunting ban, Countryside Alliance chairman Kate Hoey has said…. Ms Hoey told The Daily Telegraph: "Accidents happen. If you're going out legally following a scented fox trail and the hounds come across a real fox, they can kill it before it is possible to shoot it."… (story)

Telegraph 17.2.06 Lakeland hounds stay on the scent as followers pray for change of law By Nigel Bunyan - A year ago Barry Todhunter was in tears as he climbed his beloved Lakeland fells, convinced that his age-old way of life was coming to an end. Yesterday he was out again on the Skiddaw range above Keswick, minus his favourite red coat but smiling broadly as he returned to the sport he has always seen as his birthright. Traditional foxhunting may have been banned but 180 years after its foundation the Blencathra, the most celebrated, most romantic of the central fell packs, is very much back in action…. (story)

Telegraph 17.2.06 Fewer hounds, more followers By Amy Iggulden - Britain's 181 foxhound hunts say they are "holding things together", with three of the country's greatest making sacrifices that were smaller than predicted. Fernie Hunt - Days out with this Leicestershire hunt are shorter than a year ago and the average number of weekly riders has increased by between two and five per cent to 170… Cottesmore Hunt - The size of the hunt has decreased from 100 to 90 riders in the past year and there are fewer mounted visitors… Duke of Beaufort's - At least one full-time kennel job has been lost and a part-time position at the stables… (story)

Telegraph 17.2.06 Hunting in the pink - A year ago this Saturday, across England and Wales, bands of otherwise lawful people gathered together - on village greens, in the grounds of manor houses, at country crossroads - with the intention of going out to break the law…. The absurd tergiversations by which the Hunting Act came into statute mean that it is legal to hunt rabbits, but not foxes, mice or hares; it is legal to kill a fox with a gun, but not with hounds; or with hounds, so long as that was not the intention of the hunt…. As Barry Todhunter, huntsman of the Blencathra fell pack (and therefore the successor to John Peel himself), says in our pages today: "Everything is in place for when there is a change in the law." David Cameron has promised such a change: all Tory voters should hold him to the pledge. (story)

Guardian 17.2.06 Hunts accused of breaching ban - Owen Bowcott and James Meikle - The names of 33 hunts accused of repeatedly breaching the Hunting Act have been sent by the League Against Cruel Sports to chief constables in England and Wales. The decision by the animal welfare organisation to focus attention on alleged "repeat offenders" comes on the eve of the first anniversary of the ban on hunting with dogs. Among incidents complained about is one in the home counties shortly before Christmas, in which the league claims a fox was thrown alive to the hounds. It says it has witnesses but no film of the event… The league alleges there have been 346 credible allegations that the law has been broken, with "serial offenders" in areas covered by Devon and Cornwall, Avon and Somerset, Sussex and Northumbria police forces… (story)

East Anglian Daily 17.2.06 'Not enough' evidence of illegal hunts - ALLEGED offences of illegal hunting have gone unpunished in Suffolk because prosecutors have said there is not enough evidence to go to court, it has emerged….. Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter said he did not blame prosecutors because the law had been drawn up in such a way that it was difficult to prove hunters were actually breaking the legislation, which was introduced a year ago tomorrow… (story)

Western Morning News 17.2.06 HUNTING BAN ANNIVERSARY - Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the hunting ban, and hounds will meet as usual across the country. Alison Hawes, regional director for the Countryside Alliance said: "It will be business as usual."… (story)

Western Daily Press 17.2.06 HUNTING FOR SIGNS OF ANY REAL CHANGE - This week marks the first anniversary of the passing of one of the most contentious laws put together by our current Gover nment… Far more important laws have been passed and decisions taken, but few have caused as much lasting damage in the West Country The whole sorry saga cost the country a small fortune and left deep wounds in our region… Twelve months on and the financial collapse in the countryside has still not materialised and the hunts are going about their business in much the same war as they always have. In hindsight, it does make you wonder what all that fuss was really about (story)

Western Daily Press 17.2.06 BAN WAITS FOR ITS FIRST VICTIM - It was the biggest single issue in the West countryside for generations. But one year after the hunting ban, TRISTAN CORK assesses why there have been no prosecutions IT took seven years of planning, 700 hours of debate by MPs, and on the day it was passed, normally law-abiding folk rioted in Parliament Square…. Not a single mounted huntsman, hunt master, whipper-in or kennelman has been charged under this new law. The only man to stand before a court under the Hunting Act was Tony Wright, huntsman of the Exmoor Foxhounds, in a private prosecution by the League Against Cruel Sports - a case that is still to be played out before magistrates in Barnstaple…. (story)

Cumberland News 17.2.06 They said he’d be out of a job and put down. So what happened? They said he’d be out of a job and put down. So what happened?... Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the Hunting Act coming into force. But hunts are still meeting and foxes are still being killed by hounds. Some of these are accidents which hunts say they try to avoid. Other hunts have admitted to breaking the law. … None of the local hunts – Bewcastle, Blencathra, Cumberland Farmers, Cumberland Foxhounds, Eskdale and Ennerdale, Melbreak, and Ullswater – has closed and nor have any of the other 350 in England and Wales. Forty per cent of hunts say they have actually increased their membership… Peter Wybergh is the hunt master at Cumberland Farmers, based at Welton, near Caldbeck. He describes this as an "interim period” before what he hopes will be a repeal of the ban by European courts or a future Conservative government… (story)
Carlisle News & Star 17.2.06 STILL IN THE HUNT by Roger Lytollis - LAST Saturday the Blencathra hunt’s hounds chased a fox through countryside near Derwentwater. The hounds caught and killed their prey as a huntsman sounded a horn. It’s a traditional Cumbrian scene which has happened countless times over hundreds of years. But just a minute – hasn’t fox hunting been banned?... Peter Wybergh is the hunt master at Cumberland Farmers, based at Welton, near Caldbeck. He describes this time as an "interim period” before what he hopes will be a repeal of the ban by European courts or a future Conservative government… Elaine Milbourn, Cumbrian spokeswoman for the League Against Cruel Sports, says: "If the hunts continue to use fox scent the hounds are never going to go after anything else…. (story)

York Evening Press 17.2.06 Still in the hunt - A YEAR ago it was feared that centuries of tradition were coming to an end, when the Government's controversial Hunting Act came into force. But defiant hunts have continued to ride out in force in the months after the ban was imposed, saying they would continue to pursue the sport within the law… Sarah Morley, secretary of the Derwent Hunt, which rides out between Pickering and Scarborough, said a few more elderly hounds than usual had been destroyed since the implementation of the ban… Since the ban came into force, the York and Ainsty North hunt has been laying a drag scent and following that… (story in archive)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 17.2.06 Old dogs, new tricks - A YEAR ago tomorrow hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales, but the casual observer could be forgiven for wondering if anything has changed… The Pytchley hunt now meets twice a week instead of three times, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and has found a legal loophole that enables them to keep their full pack of dogs. It is not illegal for a pack of hounds to flush out a fox to a bird of prey, so the hunt is now accompanied by an eagle owl named "Tally-ho" whose job is to dispatch the fox once the hounds have found it…. The Grafton hunt used to meet five times a fortnight but now goes out twice a week instead. Hunt master Colin Richmond-Watson said they now went trail hunting to stay within the law but still keep the infrastructure of the hunt alive… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 17.2.06 JURY IS STILL OUT - Was it all worth it? The row over the introduction of the new hunting laws occupied more Parliamentary time than the Iraqi war. The law's been in a year. Hunts are continuing to operate by working within the law… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 17.2.06 HUNTERS WILL KEEP FIGHTING - Members said they were expecting a large number of riders and supporters. They also said the hunt would be within the law - it will follow an artificial scent-trail laid in advance and, in theory at least, no foxes will be killed. But Banwen Miners Hunt master Billy Hancock (inset) said the fight to scrap the ban would continue…. (story)
South Wales Evening Post 17.2.06 LAW IS HAILED A STEP FORWARD - Anti-fox hunting campaigners have hailed the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004 as a major step forward for animal welfare in Wales…. One of the groups that led the fight to get hunting with hounds banned was the League Against Cruel Sports… Chairman of the league, John Cooper, said: "The hunting ban is a massive leap forward to the creation of a decent and humane society…. But the chief executive of the league, Douglas Batchelor, said campaigners needed to remain vigilant to ensure that hunts operated within the law…. One of those doing the watching is league member Michael Sharratt, from Whitland, Carmarthenshire… (story)

Middlewich Guardian 17.2.06 Protesters in call for hunts to be policed - AN animal rights group is calling for the resignation of Cheshire's chief constable amid claims he has failed to enforce the Hunting Act… Peter Stratton, from Northwest Animal Welfare, said: "Mr Fahy, for whatever reason, has chosen not to enforce the Hunting Act, and as such should resign immediately to allow someone who is willing to enforce the law to take over… (story in archive)

Western Mail 17.2.06 No need to kill foxes - I would like to respond to Steve Dub 's article entitled 'Fox took 20 lambs out of 80'. I am sure that this was heartbreaking for the farmer but has he considered alternatives to killing foxes?... One farmer in Kent lost 35 lambs in one season but lost none the following year after introducing a llama. Surely this is a better way to stop lamb attacks. KIERTI VAIDYA, Apex Close, Beckenham, Kent (letter)

Western Mail 17.2.06 End of rural life - It is becoming ever more clear that the Animal Welfare Bill is another weapon to attack countryside pursuits of which very few MPs have any knowledge. This Bill will affect other unwary folk. We all know that the next target for the do-gooders is shooting (already admitted) but what of fishing?... IAIN SHELDON, Welsh Spokesman, Veritas Party, Cilcennin, Ceredigion (letter)

Lakeland Radio 17.2.06 Rural shops need to be used more - The Countryside Alliance in the area has praised the All Party Parliamentary Group on Small Shops for highlighting in its new report, that unless rural communities use their small shops, they will lose them... (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 17.2.06 BADGER SNARING IS INVESTIGATED - Animal welfare experts have been called in to investigate after a badger was found caught in a snare. The animal was discovered in the "free running" snare at Abenhall, near Mitcheldean, on Sunday…. RSCPA officers are investigating the incident, though, because they want to make sure that whoever laid it, most likely for a fox, checked it every 12 hours, as the law requires…. Tony Dean, chairman and field officer of Gloucestershire Badger Group, was told about the incident. "It was found alive there and had been struggling for some time," he said…. (story)

Argus 17.2.06 Bid to stop attacks on badgers by Andy Dickenson - Animal protection officers say they have unearthed fresh evidence of badger baiting in Sussex. Officers from the county branch of the Badger Trust said six incidents had been uncovered in the last year… Jeff Hayden, treasurer of the Sussex charity, said: "You would think this was going on 200 years ago and in Ireland or Yorkshire, but this is 2006 in Sussex… (story in archive)
Mid Sussex Times 14.2.06 EVIDENCE FUELS FEARS OF BADGER BAITING - BADGER protection officers fear illegal fox hunting or badger baiting, involving 'horrific' fights to the death, could be going on near Haywards Heath. Phill Taylor from Badger Trust – Sussex (formerly the Mid Sussex Badger Protection Group), said: "Badger setts have been deliberately interfered with in Cowfold and Cuckfield and damage to setts often involves the barbaric 'sport' of badger baiting despite it being made illegal in 1835…." His colleague Jeff Hayden added: "For £40,000 to change hands in bets in an evening is not unheard of."… Phill explained: "Badger setts are protected by law, but before the foxhunting legislation came into force in 2005, huntsmen were permitted to loosely block badger sett holes just prior to a hunt and to remove the debris afterwards. With the ban on hunting with dogs this concession was withdrawn. It may be that a drag hunt disturbs foxes, which then take shelter in a badger sett. The sett could then be illegally dug out and the foxes killed. It is highly likely that badgers will also be present in the sett and only a matter of time before one is dug out instead of a fox."… (story)

Western Daily Press 17.2.06 PUT ON PRESSURE FOR THIS VACCINE - We hear so much of how eager various bodies seem for a mass cull of badgers in order to protect cattle from bovine TB…. They have the power to do so, and would be backed by badger groups… Pamela Dean, Stroud, Gloucestershire (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 17.2.06 Circus posters shock - I am dismayed to see posters around Nottingham for 'The Great British Circus' featuring a lion and tiger on them. Surely in this day and age entertainment from performing animals is simply unacceptable and I am disgusted that Nottingham welcomes this circus… BETH HEWIS Boxley Drive Nottingham (story)

RSPCA BADGER CULL LETTER
Harrogate Advertiser 17.2.06 Thousands of badgers are set to pay a terrible price From: Alan Wolinski, RSPCA Regional Manager, Leeds. (letter)
Skegness Standard 15.2.06 Help us prevent this senseless slaughter - JOHN ATTER, RSPCA East Regional Manager (letter)
Hunts Post 15.2.06 Postbag: Help us stop this slaughter - JOHN ATTER, RSPCA East Regional Manager (letter)
Skegness Standard 8.2.06 Help us prevent this senseless slaughter - JOHN ATTER, RSPCA East Regional Manager (letter)
Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 7.2.06 Deal with facts, not emotion, over badger cull - Alan Wolinski (Herald, 28th January) might present a better case if he were less selective with his evidence. The Badger Protection Act was brought in, by a previous Conservative administration, to give police and magistrates real power to deal with the mindless thugs who consider badger baiting to be 'fun'. It was never designed to give blanket protection to badgers…. . RICHARD MAWDSLEY The Dash, Bassenthwaite (letter probably on site for a week)
Keighley News 3.2.06 The RSPCA is urging members of the public to help prevent the senseless slaughter of thousands of badgers… RSPCA Regional Management (letter in archive)
Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 31.1.06 Help prevent senseless slaughter of thousands of badgers - ALAN WOLINSKI (RSPCA regional manager) Leeds. (letter probably only on site for a week)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 28.1.06 STOP SLAUGHTER OF OUR BADGERS - John Atter, RSPCA East Regional Manager. (story)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 23.1.06 Act now to save badgers - THE RSPCA is urging members of the public to help prevent the senseless slaughter of thousands of badgers – which could start as soon as this summer… JOHN ATTER, Regional manager, RSPCA East (letter)

16.2.06

North Devon Journal 16.2.06 HUNT GROUP AIDS HOSPICE - A hunting group has raised more than £3,500 for the North Devon Hospice. Torrington Farmers Hunt has given a cheque for £3,679 to the hospice in memory of the group's point-to-point secretary Julie Symons, who died last summer and was cared for at the hospice…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express (or Western Morning News) 16.2.06 HUNT SUPPORT IS 'GOING STRONG' BY ALLAN TUDOR - A year after the law banned fox hunting with hounds, support for the packs in South Devon is stronger than ever it is being claimed. Hunt meets have about a quarter more support then before the ban and no hunting territory has been lost. Phil Pyke, joint master of the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers, which has kennels at Halwell between Totnes, and Kingsbridge, said: "The last year has been good. It seems more and more people are coming out with us and showing their support…." Police say they get many reports of illegal hunting, but so far in Devon there have been no prosecutions. A spokesman said:… "The report we get is often opinion and not evidence. Someone sees a rider in a red jacket or with hounds and assumes he is hunting. However it is not illegal to wear a red jacket or to be out with a number of hounds…." (story)

Bath Chronicle 16.2.06 YOUNG HORSE FANS JOIN THE BEAUFORT HUNT BY LUCY RUTHERFORD - Children as young as five gathered at West Littleton yesterday to ride out with the Beaufort Hunt. The event was organised during half term to give young enthusiasts the opportunity to get in the saddle. The Beaufort is one of the biggest hunts in the country, and meets at various locations throughout Gloucestershire and Wiltshire….(story)

Mansfield Chad 16.2.06 Olympian John outfoxes the rest of pack - A FORMER Olympic runner and his wife from Newstead Abbey Park are setting the pace as human 'foxes' for a bloodhound hunt. John Whetton (64) and wife Christine (52) are runners for the Readyfield Bloodhounds hunt — which chases people rather than animals and has become more popular since the ban on fox-hunting… (story)
BBC News Online 6.2.06 Hunt ban gives athlete run around - The recent ban on fox hunting has left one former Olympic athlete from Nottinghamshire busier then ever. John Whetton, a 1,500m finalist at the Tokyo and Mexico games is a volunteer runner for the Readyfield Bloodhounds hunt in the East Midlands…. (story)

ENGLISH ICONS
BBC News Online 16.2.06 Outfoxing the pointless polls By Sean Coughlan - A project to find the icons of English national identity has been seized on by pro-hunting campaigners, who are voting, en masse, for fox-hunting. Are there too many polls and surveys? When the Icons of England project was launched last month it had the ambition of finding the symbols that quintessentially represented the nation… But this online poll, funded by the Department for Culture, has found itself being pursued by pro-hunting enthusiasts - with "fox hunting" currently leading the pack of public nominations. And an accompanying message - "sticking two fingers at shedloads of badly drafted legislation" - gives a suggestion of how this vote on cultural icons is being interpreted…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 5.2.06 Hunting voted favourite 'icon' By Melissa Kite - Fox hunting has come top of a government poll of great British institutions. A competition run by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and entitled "Icons" had set out to find "England's most cherished cultural treasures"…. The clear winner of the contest, the results of which will be announced soon, was fox hunting with 91 per cent of the vote. Officials have privately cried foul, claiming that pro-hunting groups encouraged supporters to bombard the website…. (story)
Mirror 18.1.06 THE SABOTEURS - Pro-hunt groups hijack vote to reveal best icons of Englishness By Victoria Bone - PRO-HUNT groups are trying to rig a vote to make fox hunting an official symbol of Englishness. Supporters have swamped the Government's online poll to make sure it gets a place in the collection of cultural icons in April, alongside Stonehenge, the Spitfire and the humble cuppa… (story)
Leicester Mercury 18.1.06 FOX HUNTING TOPPING POLL AS GREATEST CULTURAL ICON BY ANDREW WHITAKER - Fox hunting is leading the chase in a poll to find England's greatest cultural icon. Voters say the sport, which was banned last year, was the thing they most associated with national identity…. Tor Owen, chairman of the Belvoir Hunt, said: "I have voted already and I have circulated the details of the poll among family and friends…." William Naylor, a supporter of the Fernie hunt, said: "I voted for hunting because I feel it has such a long history of Englishness and it has been going on in Leicestershire for 500 years…." Clare Bell, secretary of the Cottesmore Hunt, said: "I will be voting in this poll at the very next opportunity and I'm sure a lot of other people in Leicestershire will do the same…. (story)
Western Daily Press 18.1.06 A-HUNTING WE WILL VOTE - It may have been illegal for almost a year but fox hunting could soon be officially installed as an "icon" of Englishness in a Government poll. The traditional bloodsport leads the way in an online public vote to find institutions to add to a collection of top cultural symbols… (story)
Western Morning News 18.1.06 RED FACES AS HUNT TOPS ENGLISH ICONS POLL - There was anger in the Westcountry last night when it was suggested the Government may try to fix the result of its own poll which made foxhunting a top English "icon"… there were hints by officials last night that hunting might be "removed" from the officially approved final list of icons. Guy Morlock, master of the Spooners and West Dartmoor hunt, said: "This is all a bit light-hearted so it seems a bit unnecessary to have hunting whipped off the site if it does appear to be doing so well."… (story)
Times 17.1.06 Huntsmen in full cry to capture top English icon BY WILL PAVIA - Pink faces likely in Whitehall after campaign gives fox hunting a chance to run off with culture ‘prize - HUNTING with dogs could top a government poll to find England’s greatest cultural icon, despite being made illegal last February. Yesterday, the illegal sport had risen to first place in the online poll Icons: A Portrait of England, thanks to an e-mail campaign by a pro-foxhunting group. The two-year £1 million project has been commissioned by Culture Online, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to find the artefact that best represents the slippery soul of English culture….(story)
Horse & Hound 17.1.06 Hunting is top cultural icon - Anna Tyzack - Foxhunting could top a government poll to find England's greatest cultural icon, despite last February's ban. Yesterday, fox hunting had risen to first place in the online poll Icons: A Portrait of England, thanks to an e-mail campaign by a pro-foxhunting group Felix the Fox… An email from Felix the Fox to 1,000 Fight the Ban supporters, prompted hunt enthusiasts to cast their votes in the Icons Poll. The Countryside Alliance then sent notification of the poll to 40,000 subscribers to its newsletter. 'We only told our readers to visit the site, though I'm not surprised they nominated foxhunting,' said Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance….” (story)
24dash.com 17.1.06 Fox hunting leads the way in English Icons poll - Fox hunting could soon be officially installed as an "icon" of Englishness in a Government poll. The traditional bloodsport, which has been illegal for a year, leads the way in an online public vote to find institutions to add to a collection of top cultural symbols. Thanks to a campaign by pro-hunt groups, it presently has 92% backing its case to join Stonehenge, the Spitfire and the humble cuppa on the list…. (story)

Carlisle News & Star 16.2.06 HUNTING BAN - THE fox hunting ban is never going to work…. All the recent letters in the News & Star from the antis say that foxhunters must abide by the new law. Well they are. The bill to ban hunting with dogs is such a ridiculous piece of legislation that it still allows foxes to be killed accidentally during exercising, trail hunting or by flushing to guns, provided hunt staff try to call the hounds away…. Anti-hunters are now decrying the hunting fraternity for not accepting the law of the land. They have short memories. Some anti-hunters were pictured on TV, distracting hunts, locking gates on private land… ELWYN EVANS, Cleator Moor (letter)

Western Mail 16.2.06 Fox hunts continue - S4C's current affairs programme Y Byd ar Bedwar (February 14) outlined very graphically how absolutely absurd the laws on fox-hunting have become…. Mutual back-slapping may well take place amongst anti-hunt MPs in Westminster, as well as nudging and winking in the countryside, but the sad truth is that the obscenities of fox-hunting still blight our landscape. JOHN HARRIES, North Park, Cardigan, Ceredigion (letter)

Western Gazette 16.2.06 Hunt's apology sounds hollow - DEBORAH Carrington (Letters, 26 January) asks how the Cattistock Hunt can justify their out of control hounds wreaking havoc in her village… The truth is they cannot justify it. It is ridiculous for Joint Master Lucy Pinney to claim that the hounds are being retrained, when the so called "trail" hunts are using a scent made from fox urine… Helen Weeks, West Coker Hill, West Coker (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 16.2.06 ARE HUNTS STILL OPERATING IN LINE WITH LAW? - After the dangerous invasion of Elcombe village by Cotswold hounds on February 2, resulting in one resident asking her solicitor to begin legal action, can the foxhunting devotees honestly claim that they are "hunting within the law"?... Clearly this is a warning to other hunts such as the beagles in the Broadway area who on January 21 allowed the pack to overrun a public road, and the Berkeley Hunt who on January 27 had hounds seen chasing a fox (not just "fox scent") on the Slimbridge road… KATHERINE WATSON, Address supplied (letter)

SHOOTING TIMES PEST CONTROL ARTICLE
Times 16.2.06 Grousing about hawks - Kit Davidson (letter, Feb 14) believes that the abolition of shooting would allow Britain’s biodiversity "to thrive unmolested”. The facts do not support him. In the Joint Raptor Study, gamekeepering was suspended in 1992 at Langholm, Dumfriesshire, for five years… The hen harrier population initially expanded from two pairs to twenty pairs, predated the grouse and other moorland bird species significantly and then suffered a population decline to two pairs…. STEPHEN MULLINER, Haslemere, Surrey (story)
Times 14.2.06 Let wildlife thrive - The editor of Shooting Times claims that the abolition of shooting would have a profound effect on Britain’s biodiversity (letter, Feb 10). I agree. It would thrive unmolested. KIT DAVIDSON, Llanfyllin, Powys (letter)
Times 10.2.06 Don't knock Shooting Times - Sir, Shooting Times does not condone the persecution of protected species (reports, Feb 6) but does, however, advocate an unsentimental appraisal of wildlife management, as opposed to single-species protectionism, and has always provided a forum for rational debate…. CAMILLA CLARK, Editor, Shooting Times & Country Magazine, London SE1 (letter)
Western Morning News 7.2.06 OUTRAGE AT MAGAZINE'S LIST OF 'PRICEY PESTS' - Animal protection groups and a Westcountry Minister have voiced alarm at shooting enthusiasts publishing a list of Britain's "30 most-wanted" predators and pests. The controversial list includes golden eagles, peregrine falcons, ospreys and otters, as well as sawbill ducks, grey seals, brown rats and polecats…. Countryside Alliance spokesman Tim Bonner, a former Westcountry farmer and Conservative parliamentary candidate, said: "It would be almost impossible to read this article in a way to suggest you should go and break the law. But there are still people out there who are engaged in the stupid and pointless persecution of protected species… (story)
Western Daily Press 7.2.06 SHOOTING BIBLE AIMS ITS FIRE AT GOLDEN EAGLES - A Government Minister has criticised a magazine seen as the bible of the shooting industry for compiling a top 30 list of Britain's biggest pests - including a dozen endangered species. Among the animals listed in Shooting Times are the golden eagle and otter. Even the domestic cat is listed at number nine…. A host of wildlife groups, including the RSPB, RSPCA, Animal Aid, the League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, queued up to voice their concern. And Countryside Alliance spokesman Tim Bonner said: "There are still people who are engaged in stupid and pointless persecution of protected species. Shooting magazines need to be very careful that nothing we say encourages or justifies such behaviour, however inadvertently."… (story)
Times 6.2.06 Shooters put cats, eagles, otters on list of rural pests BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - ENDANGERED species such as eagles, ospreys and otters have been named with other protected wildlife on a list of the countryside’s "most wanted pests” published by shotgun enthusiasts. Shooting Times, the weekly bible of Britain’s million-strong shooting community, is facing condemnation after publishing the list of 30 animals and birds. The golden eagle, red kite, osprey, heron, peregrine falcon and buzzard stand accused with the hedgehog, otter, badger and the domestic cat of being "voracious predators” that affect the game shooting and fishing industries…. (story)
Times 6.2.06 List 'linked to death of eagle owl' - ONE animal charity believes that the Shooting Times article may be linked to the recently reported death, probably before Christmas, of an eagle owl in North Yorkshire after a shotgun wound. Even though eagle owls are not among the listed pests, Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, told The Times that the article reflected the shooting community’s "prevailing mindset”…. (story)

Western Daily Press 16.2.06 RETHINK NEEDED - I am disgusted with the attitude of the greyhound race organisers at the Glastonbury track. Have they no care or concern for the well-being of the dogs?... Rather than insulting the protesters, the organisers and operators of the stadium should be rethinking their actions very carefully. Theda Kane, Sandford, North Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.2.06 TRACK DISCOUNT IDEA IS DREADFUL - I read with bemusement of the plan to give £1 discount to dogtrack racegoers at Glastonbury, holding leaflets from the local protestors' association. What is this supposed to achieve?... Jacqueline Fry, Salisbury (letter)

Staffordshire Newsletter 16.2.06 Man guilty of badger sett raid - A LANCASHIRE man travelled to a remote field in Eccleshall to carry out a barbaric raid on a badger sett, a court has heard. Tony Billington, aged 37, of Eveswood Close, Bamber Bridge, was found guilty of snatching badgers from a sett at Greatwood Farm in Wetwood at Stafford Magistrates Court on Tuesday…. (story)

Western Daily Press 16.2.06 TB PROBLEM LIES CLOSER TO HOME - Defra and farmers are blaming badgers for TB in cattle. Maybe farmers should look in their own back yard for the cause. A few decades ago cattle were fed on hay, barley, straw, kale and some root crops. Now it is silage, silage and more silage which is full of effluent which in turn makes slurry…. To cull badgers will be all wrong if this does not stop TB. Let's have more research. David Pilton, Slade, Salisbury, Wiltshire (letter)

Oxford Student 16.2.06 JCRs fear animal rights motions By Jessica Goodman - JCR Presidents have expressed their reluctance to pass any animal rights-related motions in their JCR meetings, fearing they may mark out their college for attacks by militant animal rights protesters… The issue was sparked by a motion proposed in Trinity’s JCR meeting that suggested the JCR should condemn the actions of protesters…. Despite the JCR Committee suggesting that the motion be amended to, ‘This JCR would urge animal rights protesters to remain peaceful,’ the motion was overturned…. These new concerns come just days before the anti-animal rights demonstration, organised by new activist group Pro-Test, which is planned to coincide with the next SPEAK march on 25th February…. (story)

Oxford Student 16.2.06 Clear and convincing - Please vote against animal testing at Oxford! Alternatives must be found to using animals for class, test, drug testing, dissection vivisection… Suvine Grasmick (letter)

Swindon Advertiser 16.2.06 Protest is just so hate-filled - IF I may be permitted to reply to Phil Beaven's letter "No need for vivisection" SA, Sat, Feb 11. Workers at Oxford University's new biomedical laboratory do wear masks to hide identities, but not as Mr Beaven would have us believe because they're ashamed to show their faces, but because the Animal Liberation Front has announced that anyone associated with Oxford University, including students, is a legitimate target for attack…. While I can assure Mr Beaven that I am as prone to incandescent rage over animal cruelty as anyone else, normal people, whatever their misgivings, do not indulge in this hate-filled activity. J P HUNTER Shaw, Swindon (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 11.2.06 No need for vivisection - JOHN P Hunter, in the Advertiser, shows his ignorance of the Animal Rights movement. If he ever bothered to attend one of our rallies or marches he would see that we are a disparate group of people, men, women and children, bound only by our love of animals and our determination to do something about animal abuse. The only people who wear balaclavas at the moment are the workers at the Oxford Laboratory, as they are too ashamed to show their faces, and occasionally the police… P Beaven. Swindon Animal Concern. (letter)

Independent 16.2.06 Animal rights: When fur flies on the catwalk - The designer Julien Macdonald was pelted with flour at London Fashion Week yesterday by protesters. Oliver Duff and Jonathan Brown report on some fashionable furores … Members of Peta People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are promising further attacks on those leading lights of the industry who continue to support the promotion of lavish pelts on the catwalk…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 16.2.06 BAN THE BOILING ALIVE OF CRUSTACEANS, DUCHESS URGES MSPS - A Scottish aristocrat and animal rights campaigner has urged MSPs to ban lobsters and crabs being boiled alive. The Duchess of Hamilton wants crustaceans and animals such as octopus and squid protected under new animal welfare legislation going through the Scottish Parliament. Yesterday she wrote to every MSP on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals… (story)
icScotland 16.2.06 Duchess demands boiled lobster ban - A Duchess has urged MSPs to ban the boiling of lobsters, condemning the practice as "barbaric". The plea came from the Duchess of Hamilton who urged them to bring lobsters and crabs within the protection of animal welfare legislation now going through Holyrood… (story)

Dundee Courier 16.2.06 Animal bill is important - So G. M. Lindsay’s dog isn’t impressed by the Animal Health and Welfare Bill. Well that’s a pity but I’m sure it would be a lot less impressed if it had to exist in the miserable conditions in which some animals are kept… I find it very sad that G. M. Lindsay and his/her dog have such an ‘I’m all right Jack’ attitude. I suggest he/she open his/her eyes to the appalling cruelty towards animals which exists worldwide and give his/her support to those who are doing their best to prevent it. Sybil Berrecloth. 6 Duff Street, Dundee. (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 16.2.06 Shoot the pigeon - IAN SWANSON SCOTTISH POLITICAL EDITOR - PAPERS obtained by the Evening News have revealed a "dastardly" plot to call in marksmen to end the Scottish Parliament's pigeon problem… Holyrood bosses considered shooting the birds or bringing in falcons to kill them, despite claims they were against cruel methods…. In a letter in February last year, George Reid told Tory MSP Murdo Fraser the parliament's consultants did not recommend using birds of prey. Yet an internal memo dated February 19, 2003, said the architects were likely to recommend bird protection measures for the MSP block should be backed up by "appropriate use of falconry"… (story)

Carlisle News & Star 16.2.06 MP backs bid to stop slaughter of the seals - By Chris Story - ERIC Martlew is backing calls for a ban on the hunting of Canadian seals and importation of their furs to this country. The Carlisle MP spoke out during a debate in parliament to support a motion calling for an end to the hunting of seal pups for fur…. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 16.2.06 BAN 'CALLOUS' CANADIAN SEAL IMPORTS - MP - A Derbyshire MP has demanded the Government stops the import of products which come from the "massacre" of seals in Canada. Judy Mallaber, the Amber Valley Labour MP, held a half-hour debate in the Commons late on Tuesday night, in which she spoke out against the Canadian seal hunt…. (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 16.2.06 DOES ANYONE CARE ABOUT OUR ANIMALS? - What is happening in this country? Does anyone care? What has happened to a Government which was voted in after promising many animal reforms? I often hear some birds and animals classed as pests, others as a danger to our health, or a danger to other species, and culls being demanded by some farmers and landowners on badgers… After all, foxhunting with dogs is banned, but still goes on…. Mrs PA Jackson, Middle Lane, Amcotts (letter)

Warrington Guardian 16.2.06 Vegetarian shoes and biodiesel prove the Jacksons are friends of the Earth - ARE the Jacksons Warrington's most environmentally-friendly family? Dad Mike wears vegetarian shoes. Mum Helen works for a green charity. And children Rosie and Freddie talk about the biodiesel plant in the garden shed…. (story in archive)

Brentwood Gazette 16.2.06 MUM IS SEXY VEGGIE FINALIST - An Epping mum has proved the benefits of eating your greens after being chosen from hundreds of entrants across Europe as one of the 25 female finalists in the Sexiest Vegetarian Alive contest. Zofia Torun-Shaw, 32, is a lifelong vegetarian and devoted and compassionate animal lover…. "I was nominated by Alex Bourke on the Vegan Council, who produced a documentary I appeared in…" The Sexiest Vegetarian Alive contest is organised by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to raise awareness of the benefits of turning vegetarian… (story)
Citizen series 4.2.06 Zofia shows it’s sexy to be a veggy - A THOROUGHLY yummy mummy is in the running to be Europe's sexiest vegetarian after a pal put her in for a competition. Zofia Torun-Shaw, who had her first child eight months ago, is now up against the prettiest vegetarians from countries across Europe including Germany, Spain and France, to win the crown for England. Run by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA, the competition was launched to highlight the health benefits of a vegetarian diet…. (story)

15.2.06

Bournemouth Echo 16.2.06 Doggone! Hounds fetch over £484,000 - A PAINTING of New Forest Foxhounds commissioned by hunt master Henry Powell a century ago has made an astounding 843,250 US dollars - around £484,620 - at auction in New York…. (story in archive)
Bournemouth Echo 1.2.06 Foxhounds ready to raise a million by Bob Jolliffe - A PAINTING of New Forest Foxhounds by the renowned sporting and animal artist John Emms is set to raise between $800,000 (£451,000) and $1,200,000 (£676,500) at auction in New York…. (story in archive)

Cambrian News 15.2.06 Hunt organisers protest their innocence after investigation - ORGANISERS of one of Wales’ old-est hunts remain adamant this week that they stayed within the law after a current affairs TV programme alleged they pursued foxes with hounds. On the anniversary of the fox hunting ban, Y Byd ar Bedwar claimed in last night’s programme on S4C, that the 400 year-old Gogerd-dan Hunt used packs of hounds to hunt foxes…. Y Byd ar Bedwar claim that when they initially contacted the Gogerd-dan Hunt they were told that the hunt always remains within the law and never used more than two dogs at a time on shoots. But a week ago Y Byd Ar Bedwar filmed the Gogerddan Hunt going out on a shoot in Pontrhydfendigaid, with a pack of at least 15 hunting dogs…. (story)
Western Mail 14.2.06 Questions raised as hunt is caught on camera - Martin Shipton, Western Mail - A TELEVISION programme being screened tonight suggests one of Wales' oldest and best-known hunts could be breaking the law by continuing to pursue foxes with a pack of hounds. An investigation by S4C current affairs programme Y Byd Ar Bedwar raises serious questions about the activities of the 400-year-old Gogerddan Hunt in north Ceredigion… a week ago Y Byd Ar Bedwar filmed the Hunt going out on a shoot in Pontrhydfendigaid, near Tregaron, with a pack of at least 15 hunting dogs. The footage will be shown on tonight's programme. When Y Byd Ar Bedwar's journalists confronted the Master of the Gogerddan Hunt, Dai Owen, he denied they'd been hunting illegally…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 15.2.06 LESLEY WILL APPEAL AT HIGH COURT - Horsewoman Lesley Drage is set to mount a challenge against a High Court ruling on the hunting ban. She will go to the Court of Appeal on March 13 after her legal bid to overturn the Government's 2004 hunting ban was thrown out…. (story)

Northwich Chronicle 15.2.06 Animal group attacks police chief - ANTI-hunt campaigners are calling for the resignation of Cheshire's Chief Constable Peter Fahy, claiming he has failed to enforce the Hunting Act. A year after the new laws came into force, the North West Animal Welfare group claim that foxes and hares in Cheshire are still being chased and killed by hunts with 'totally impunity'… (story)

Ashbourne News Telegraph 15.2.06 Hunt community ‘sticking together’ - SHIRLEY farmer John Foster, president at this year’s Ashbourne Farmers’ Ball, said he was pleased that the hunting community was sticking together and was still part of the countryside. Mr Foster was speaking at the 71st farmers’ ball, held at the Quality Hotel, Ashbourne, where the Meynell and Moorlands hunts and local beagles were represented…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 15.2.06 Ulster's 'foxy' lady... The controversial, flawed and flouted legal ban on hunting across the water is a year old on Saturday. The anniversary will be marked by a public event in Belfast city centre staged by the League Against Cruel Sports, whose new local campaigner Fionna Smyth tells Jane Bell why the League is determined to extend the law to Northern Ireland… (story)

Telegraph 15.2.06 Deep in the country - In the first column of a new series, Clive Aslet says it is time for Britain to reconnect with its rural heartlands…Over the past decade or so, country people have seen the world in which they grew up, and which seemed to express many qualities that are deeply associated with these islands, systematically dismantled. It isn't just hunting, although the law banning it was so poor that the activity continues unabated… (story)

Western Daily Press 15.2.06 HAVING TO PUT UP WITH SCOURGE OF THE SUBURBS - Has the RSPCA finally lost the plot? Fresh from launching a campaign to oppose the badger cull, thus condemning thousands of badgers to a lingering and distressing death from TB, it has now emerged as a champion of that scourge of the suburbs, the urban fox. Spokesmen have condemned pest controller Bruce Lindsay-Smith, who recently shot 23 of the animals… Had Labour not banned hunting, of course, the remedy would have been simply to set up urban hunts. Thus we would have been able to enjoy the spectacle of the Clifton Foot Hounds drawing Berkeley Square before baying after their quarry in glorious pursuit down Park Street and tearing it to pieces on College Green…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 15.2.06 ANIMAL BILL SLAMMED - A political campaigner from Cilcennin, who has spoken out against the new Animal Welfare Bill, is now calling on people in rural communities to lobby their MPs. Retired farmer and Welsh spokesman for the Veritas Party, Iain Sheldon, says the Bill is an attack on countryside pursuits and will have serious implications for the economy of Ceredigion. Mr Sheldon says he has fresh concerns after hearing the Bill will link animal shows with animal fairs. He says the shows will have to pay for the same licenses as the fairs, which will be too expensive for many agricultural shows… (story)

Farmers Weekly 15.2.06 Winners inspire loyalty and praise - Thirteen regional businesses triumphed in the quest to find Britain's Best Rural Retailers. Hundreds of local retailers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were nominated for the awards, launched last autumn by the Countryside Alliance in conjunction with British Food Fortnight and Farmers Weekly….(story)

Western Morning News 15.2.06 MEETING TO DISCUSS THREAT TO SHOOTING - The possible threat to the future of sport shooting will be the subject of a meeting organised by the Countryside Alliance in Dorset later this month. With the hunting ban having been in place for a year, there are fears that shooting could be next in line for a ban…. The meeting is being held at 7.30pm on Monday, February 27, in the Thomas Hardy Hall at the Eldridge Pope Brewery in Dorchester. (story)

Western Daily Press 15.2.06 THEY JUST DON'T CARE ABOUT THE WELFARE OF GREYHOUNDS - I write with reference to your recent articles concerning Glastonbury Greyhound Stadium. That the manager of the stadium thinks it appropriate to offer a £1 entry fee discount for anyone producing a Greyhound Action leaflet exemplifies the callous, cynical nature of many people involved in the greyhound racing industry… Olga Ferguson Aberdeen (letter)

Western Daily Press 15.2.06 BADGERS ARE NOT THE REAL VILLAINS - Once again the farming industry is using one of our beautiful native species as a scapegoat for a self-inflicted problem… The real villain is the cattle industry. Modern production systems, where the animals are kept in crowded, dirty conditions, place an enormous stress upon the animals, in particular the dairy cow which is kept constantly pregnant and required to produce ever increasing quantities of milk… Kelly Slade Tonbridge Kent (letter)

Horncastle News 15.2.06 FIGHT TO SAVE BADGERS FROM SLAUGHTER - AN ANIMAL charity is tackling the Government head-on in a desperate fight to prevent the 'senseless slaughter' of thousands of badgers. The move to cull badgers is an effort to halt the spread of bovine TB in cattle. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was shocked by the proposals…. (story)

Cambrian News 15.2.06 Backing for RSPCA’s stand over badgers - Madam, I have been following the debate in your pages on the proposed badger cull and have to say I heartily applaud the stand the RSPCA are taking against this…. Peter D Marshall Forest Studios Ceinws Machynlleth Powys. (letter in archive)

Hunts Post 15.2.06 LET'S go and kill all the badgers in England and Scotland. Doesn't that sound absolutely fiendish?... You have only to take a walk in our countryside today to realise that British farmers have laid our countryside bare with their greedy farming methods…. The badger is one of the cleanest, most benign animals known. It is shy and over the last 30 years the best-known experts have been unable to show that TB spreads from badgers to cattle. ROYSTON DAVEY, Wood End, Bluntisham (letter)

News Wales 15.2.06 Welsh Monkey Rugby Team bid to ban primate testing - An anti-vivisection group known as the Welsh Rugby Monkey Team, including monkey versions of Gavin Henson, and Duncan and Adam Jones, will be training tomorrow… This event is one of many monkey-themed stunts at centres where primate research has been carried out. Each one aims to raise awareness of their plight and is part of the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection ) Next of Kin campaign. (story)

Manchester Evening News 15.2.06 Ban circuses - I FEEL Andrew Lewis (Postbag, February 8), is misinformed about circus animals and would change his views if he saw the deprivation they suffer and the violence used to train them… Anita Davies, Bolton (letter)
Manchester Evening News 8.2.06 Take a look at circus behind the scenes - SARA LEE of Whitefield writes about circus cruelty... There are always going to be people who do not like the idea of animals trained to entertain us…. There are also people who believe animals should not be kept in captivity at all by man – on farms, riding schools, in zoos or circuses…. Perhaps people like Sara Lee should actually visit a circus, go behind the scenes and I have a look round. Andrew Lewis, Scunthorpe (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 15.2.06 PROTESTERS TARGET CIRCUS - Supporters of the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS) and Nottingham Animal Rights waved banners trying to encourage people to boycott the shows, which feature tigers, lions and zebras. The Great British Circus is performing at the Japanese Water Gardens in Toton Lane, Stapleford, until February 26… (story)

Tivyside Advertiser 15.2.06 Veggie's horror as pet pigs slaughtered - WHEN committed vegetarian Nicole Bourcier sent her two pet pigs off to a new home she had their best interests at heart. But the next day the Preseli smallholder was horrified when she found out that her three-year-old sow, Babe, and a piglet called Floyd had been slaughtered and sold to a butcher…. Neighbouring farmer Pic Thomas, Clydau, offered to help her last week after he saw a `pigs for sale' sign outside her property at Llwyndrain… Mr Thomas says that Ms Bourcier knew what was happening… "I took the pigs for her and she changed her mind after I took them. I took them to the abattoir with all the paperwork in order and then they went to a butcher locally. Next day she changed her mind about it, that's all."… (story in archive)

Bath Chronicle 15.2.06 ANIMAL LOVER CHOSEN AS THE NEXT MAYOR - The next Mayor of Bath has pledged to teach children about the city's rich heritage and to campaign for animal welfare. Cllr Carol Paradise has been chosen to become the city's 779th mayor when Cllr Peter Metcalfe lays down the chain of office in May… (story)

Northern Echo 15.2.06 CIRCUSES - ANIMAL circuses don't belong in the 21st century…. Where's our compassion and respect for our fellow creatures? We're supposed to be the intelligent species and know the difference between right and wrong, yet so much suffering and violence prevails…. M Robson, Shildon (letter in archive)

BBC News Online 15.2.06 Hilton targeted in anti-fur demo - Hotel heiress Paris Hilton's sparkling debut at London Fashion Week was eclipsed when she was hit by flour bombs in a fur protest. The US socialite opened Julien Macdonald's show on the first night wearing diamonds valued at £2m. But animal rights campaigners from Peta showered flour over Hilton and the designer, who uses fur, as they made their way to his after-show party… "There is nothing remotely fashionable about the torture and death of animals killed for fur," said Peta Europe's Yvonne Taylor…. (story)

14.2.06

Derby Evening News 14.2.06 HUNTSMAN IS CLEARED - A huntsman who was accused of damaging a hunt saboteur's Land Rover with a whip has been found not guilty. Paul Larby denied causing criminal damage to a vehicle owned by hunt protester Roger Swane. Mr Swane claimed that Mr Larby had caused £632 damage on September 25, 2004. A court heard that, on the morning of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, Mr Larby was driving a van used to transport hounds when he saw Mr Swane's Land Rover…. Mr Swane claimed that Mr Larby then got out of the van and caused the damage to his Land Rover using a whip. District Judge Michelle Jeffries recorded a verdict of not guilty at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court…. (story)

Swindon Advertiser 14.2.06 Tomlinson goes to ground on hunting - CONSERVATIVE councillor Justin Tomlinson has refused to be drawn on whether he supports or opposes a ban on foxhunting, despite a BBC documentary showing he received support from a nearby hunt. The programme, The Last Tally Ho?, showed members of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt campaigning on Coun Tomlinson's behalf at last year's General Election…. Labour's campaign organiser, Jim Grant, said Coun Tomlinson should state his position on foxhunting, particularly after being chosen as the Tory candidate for north Swindon at the next General Election….” (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 14.2.06 700 MOURNERS SAY FAREWELL TO IVAN - More than 700 people travelled to Calverleigh on Thursday for the funeral of popular charity worker and agricultural contractor Ivan Webber. A huge marquee and video link was set up on the village green so those who could not fit into St Mary's Church could see and hear the service…. Mr Webber could often be found at point-to-point meetings and last year for the second time he won the Tiverton Staghounds Hunt Members cup with his horse Stepasideboy. A lone huntsman played Away Home on a hunting horn at Mr Webber's funeral to underline how important hunting was to him…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 14.2.06 POINT TO POINT FACTS - Point to Point racing is steeplechasing for amateurs. It is run under the sanction and regulations of the Jockey Club Each meeting is run at a local level by a hunt or recognised Point to Point Club. Hunting and Point to Pointing provide young horses with the ideal introduction to chasing. The season runs from January to June and there were 208 fixtures scheduled for this season… (story)

Western Morning News 14.2.06 HUNT RIDERS PUT THEIR MOUNTS IN JEOPARDY - I would like you to print this open letter directed at three horse riders. While near Swallowtree, between Spreyton and Hittisleigh I found myself with the riders of the Mid Devon Hunt. The riders were trying to canter past me on a single-lane road…. They only stopped when we made it very obvious that they were being filmed… Why the reckless behaviour? Why the panic on the part of the hunt? Did they have something to hide? Certainly whatever they were worried about was enough for them to risk the lives of their horses - and even themselves. Mrs Y Street, Okehampton (letter)

Western Morning News 14.2.06 Great boar hunt fiasco - WHAT a fiasco the great boar hunt turned out to be. No wonder the poor creatures vanished, frightened to death by the antics of the hunting mob - and what a mob! The ringleader, presumably the master, blowing his horn and jumping about like a demented flea; other hunt followers roaring around on quad bikes, foot followers crashing through the undergrowth. If this was a publicity stunt dreamt up by the hunt fraternity, it failed dismally. But then, their half-baked schemes always do…. Jean Turner, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 14.2.06 NOT ALL GAME SHOOTING IS ACCEPTABLE - Yesterday i entertained two guests, feeding them a pheasant casserole, modifying a recipe which I downloaded from the Game-to-eat link on the Countryside Alliance's website. The brace of plump birds was given to me by a farmer, my neighbour. He had shot them on his own land, where he puts down 100 or so pheasants… This is quite different to a previous commercial shoot of which I was a neighbour, which released 56,000 birds, shot daily bags of 400 and shot four days a week…. At such shoots, there is absolutely no connection between the target and the food, and the activity resembles a child's computer game where adults can zap a live animal rather than aliens. Many of these "guns" are too squeamish to take even a brace home…. shooting is open to a more recent view as to how people relate to animals. This is that sport shooting has to be useful (and profit is not seen as useful) and that it respects the animal that is killed. I, and many others, perhaps more in tune with the 21st century, see that respect only if the bird is eaten by a shooter or his friends. For the small shoot like my neighbour's, that respect is shown; at the big commercial shoots there is no respect, for the beast functions only as a target…. By the way, my casserole was delicious - Theo Hopkins, Lifton (letter)

BBC News Online 14.2.06 Fox 'suffered horribly' in snare - Animal protection officers have launched an investigation after a fox was found snared in Northumberland. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSCPA) reacted with anger after the animal was discovered caught by its neck near Cramlington… Society inspector Jaqui Miller, who was called out to the incident, said: "Snares are one of the most indiscriminate killers of wild and domestic animals. They have been traditionally used as a method of pest control, but in reality they inflict suffering at random on a wide variety of animals….” (story)

BBC News Online 14.2.06 Lab not guilty of animal cruelty - Animal cruelty allegations against an East Lothian lab have been thrown out following a Home Office investigation. Inveresk Research, which does tests for some of the world's biggest drugs companies, had been accused of breaching its animal testing licence. A report by animal rights group, Animal Defenders International, included images of dogs with masks over their noses and a monkey clamped down. However, the Home Office found the tests being carried out were licensed…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 14.2.06 Test lab 'not guilty of cruelty' - GARETH EDWARDS - A LABORATORY in the Lothians which was at the centre of an investigation into allegations of animal cruelty has been cleared of any wrongdoing. A report by animal rights group Animal Defenders International (ADI) last year sparked the Home Office investigation into whether Inveresk Research - which does tests for some of the world's biggest drugs companies - had breached its animal testing licence conditions by carrying out tests on dogs, rats and monkeys…. But the Home Office said today that the laboratory tests carried out on animals at the lab in Elphinstone, East Lothian, were licensed, and it had no further concerns about the tests…. (story)

Western Daily Press 14.2.06 SCANDAL OF NEW EURO ANIMAL TESTING PLAN - As a nation of animal lovers, readers of the Western Daily Press will be concerned to know that the European Union's current proposal could mean that millions of animals will die in Europe's largest-ever mass animal testing programme… The new proposal, known as REACH, is intended to access the safety of tens of thousands of chemicals, including those present in everyday objects such as paint and floor-cleaners…. We must not take a huge step backwards when we seemed to be making real progress. Jessica Low Swindon Wiltshire (letter)

Western Morning News 14.2.06 ANIMALS NOT NECESSARY TO MEDICAL RESEARCH - Of course the spokesman for "Patients' Voices" is entitled to air his opinion on the use of animals in medical research (December 3), but it was only his opinion since, as usual, he offered no evidence as to why he believes them to be necessary to medical progress. He also, states, wrongly that opposers of vivisection are all perfectly healthy. Since prescription drugs are finally tested on people there is no earthly reason why such opposers should not avail themselves of using them if they wish. That meaningless, unpredictable animal tests took place at all is just a sad fact…. Jacqueline Shortland, Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 14.2.06 QUESTION VALIDITY OF ANIMAL RESEARCH - Barbara Gardner ("Animals are the worst option" - December 13) is right to ask people to write to their MEPs to prevent the increase of toxicity testing on animals under REACH…. Europeans for Medical Progress's survey of 500 British GPs revealed that 82 per cent of doctors are "concerned that animal data can be misleading for humans"…. Shelly Willetts, Ethical Science Adviser Green Party (letter)
Western Morning News 24.1.06 FIND CURES WITHOUT ANIMAL TESTING - Tom Bromley is off once again, spouting on about how anti-vivisectionists should refuse animal-tested treatments, as he has done in many other newspapers around the country over the years for Seriously Ill for Medical Research ("Put patients' rights ahead of animals", January 3). It is interesting to note that on Seriously Ill for Medical Research's website, SIMR and Pfizer, the huge pharmaceutical company, announce the SIMR Andrew Blake Tribute Award 2004. Would Mr Bromley please enlighten the readers of this newspaper as to whether Pfizer or any other pharmaceutical company give any funding to SIMR or Patients' Voice?... Pamela Kinnunen, London (letter)
Western Morning News 24.1.06 ANIMAL RESEARCH DELAYS PROGRESS - T bromley (January 3) suggests that we carry cards refusing medicines tested on animals. This is impossible as it is a legal requirement…. Of course, if animal research was relevant to human health, sickness and disease would be declining; sadly the opposite is true, calling into question the validity of animal experiments. Marlene Thompson, Hucknall (letter)
Western Morning News 24.1.06 FUTURE HOPE LIES IN TESTS ON HUMANS - How disappointing that Thomas Bromley avoids discussing animal-based experiments in favour of throwing insults and making statements without foundation in real science…. Chris Iles, Ivybridge (letter)
Western Morning News 24.1.06 EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS RESULT FROM HUMAN TRIALS - Thomas Bromley is presumptuous in thinking "most anti-vivisectionists are perfectly healthy". Many were made sick as a result of taking animal-tested medicines, or from the chemical cocktail of environmental pollutants also marketed via animal tests, so wish to see an end to this archaic and unscientific methodology…. Sheila Edwards, Dubai
Tests not validated - I SHOULD like to reply to Thomas Bromley (January 3) who says most people opposing animal experiments are healthy. This is ridiculous. We are ordinary people and many are medical, scientific and veterinary graduates. We happen to have studied the subject of animal experiments and know that adverse reaction to animal-tested drugs is the fourth leading cause of death after heart disease, cancers and strokes…. Gillian D Russell, Aberdeen (letter)
Western Morning News 17.1.06 Thalidomide tests - AS someone who once worked in animal laboratories I support Barbara Gardiner (WMN, December 13) when she points out that thalidomide was tested on pregnant laboratory animals and failed to reproduce its awful human side-effects…. Dr Richard D Ryder, Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 3.1.06 PUT PATIENTS' RIGHTS AHEAD OF ANIMALS - In response to Barbara Gardner (December 13) we both know most anti-vivisectionists are perfectly healthy and can therefore afford to jump on an idealistic bandwagon. We never seem to hear of animal extremists refusing medical treatments and dying for their misguided beliefs, which is strange because they might earn just as much publicity for showing the courage of their convictions as they do for resorting to violence and threats against our dedicated medical researchers. Whenever anyone attacks medical research they may as well be attacking patients… Thomas Bromley, Dunstable (letter)
Western Morning News 13.12.05 ANIMALS ARE WORST OPTION TO TEST DRUG - I must respond to Anna Neemus' letter (WMN, November 23) in which she argues against my earlier request for readers to write to their MEPs to prevent the increase of toxicity testing on animals for manufactured chemicals under REACH… When I become ill one day, as Anna points out, I look forward to having the choice of being able to benefit from drugs that have not been unreliably tested on animals, but have been tested using the many other smarter and more reliable methods…. Barbara Gardner, Ivybridge (letter)
Western Morning News 23.11.05 Animal testing - IS Barbara Gardener old enough to remember all the babies born in the 1950s with abnormalities because the drug thalidomide was not tested on pregnant animals? It was assumed that because adults were not affected, they were safe, but that was not the case. There are no alternatives to animals because the use of cell cultures only tell what happens in cells, tissue only what happens in tissue, and organs, what happens in organs…. Anna Neemus, Holsworthy (letter)
Western Morning News 10.11.05 Forgotten animals - WE welcome the announcement of the Animal Welfare Bill which will legislate to protect companion animals, but let us not forget the millions of other animals that will not be protected because they live behind the closed doors of laboratories. Instead they are covered by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which gives researchers licence to inflict appalling suffering… Barbara Gardner, Ivybridge (letter)

The Shields Gazette 14.2.06 Applaud whale battle - IT was sad the whale that found its way into the River Thames last month died… The army of helpers who fought to save the life of the whale are to be commended for their efforts. This was a stark contrast to those who selfishly slaughter whales. N Wilson, College Road, Hebburn. (story)

Northern Echo 14.2.06 - LIVE EXPORTS: THE trade in live sheep exports which has been dormant for the last nine months has resumed again this week through the port of Dover…. If you are concerned about the suffering of these animals, further information can be found on Compassion in World Farming's (CIWF) website… P Ramsay, East Cowton, N Yorks. (letter in archive)

Edinburgh Evening News 14.2.06 HORROR VIDEO BACKS CALL FOR BOYCOTT ON CHINESE FUR TRADE - SCOTS are being asked to join a campaign to end the cruelty in the Chinese fur trade. International calls have been made for the Chinese government to end the trade in dog and cat fur and introduce animal welfare legislation to end practices such as the skinning of live animals. Advocates for Animals is calling on the Chinese Consul in Scotland to take action. The campaign group has been leafleting outside shops in Edinburgh selling fur, urging a boycott of all fur products… (story)

Western Morning News 14.2.06 IT'S TIME THE ELEPHANT PACKED HIS TRUNK - Parliament has been considering an amendment to end the use of animals in travelling circuses. For the first time MPs will have the opportunity to stop this archaic abuse of animals…. Jan Creamer, Chief Executive, ADI (letter)

ANIMAL AID SQUIRREL CULL LETTER
Western Morning News 14.2.06 GREY SQUIRREL MUSTN'T BE MADE A SCAPEGOAT - Andrew Tyler, Animal Aid (letter)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 10.2.06 Scapegoats of squirrels story - Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid, Tonbridge. (letter)
South Wales Echo 4.2.06 People are the woodland menace - Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge (story)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 3.2.06 Animals suffer for our mistakes - Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid. (letter)
Manchester Evening News 31.1.06 Save squirrels - Andrew Tyler, Animal Aid, Tonbridge (letter)
Western Daily Press 28.1.06 HUMAN ERROR, NOT SQUIRRELS TO BLAME FOR THIS SAD DECLINE - Government plans to cull grey squirrels are a vicious exercise in scapegoating. Greys are blamed for damaging woodland and for being largely responsible for the decline of the red squirrel. But it is people, not squirrels, who have consumed vast tracts of woodland and other wildlife-friendly landscapes…. We cannot endlessly refashion the natural landscape and expect animals to survive in the same proportions as in the past. They will not. Killing innocent wildlife in an attempt to purge our disappointment is no substitute for facing up to reality. Andrew Tyler Animal Aid Tonbridge Kent (letter)

Western Morning News 14.2.06 Honour whale helpers - WHEN the next Honours List is published it is to be hoped it will reward those good and brave people who helped try to save the whale stranded in the Thames… Joan Rendell, Launceston (letter)

Western Morning News 14.2.06 Badgers suffer too - I AM sorry to see that Helen Weeks has decided to give up butter as a protest against a badger cull. She says, correctly, that the badgers have legal protection, but unfortunately it is that protection that has caused the explosion of the badger population and overcrowded setts causing the spread of the awful disease, TB…. Michael Ashton, Torrington (letter)
Western Morning News 21.1.06 Badgers or butter? - THE plan to boycott British butter if the Westcountry mass cull of badgers by farmers goes ahead is far from silly (WMN, January 17). Lobbying and normal campaigning methods will not stop this cull, because for the last 30 years governments have killed thousands upon thousands of healthy badgers… if the Government and the NFU is set on ignoring science, it seems to me that the only hope in saving this innocent and highly popular wild animal, is to hit the farmers in their pockets by boycotting British butter. I, for one, have bought my last packet of British butter if this ignorant and cruel cull goes ahead. Helen Weeks, Somerset (letter)

13.2.06

Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 13.2.06 A-hunting we may go By Jenny Clarke - CRIES of "Tally Ho!" could ring through the streets of Walthamstow as residents suggest a fox hunt. Reports of a predatory fox, claimed to have killed one cat and seriously injured another, angered some members of the Walthamstow Village Residents Association (WVRA). In this month's newsletter, the group suggests bringing a hunt to the village. Their story proposes support from the mounted branch of the police, to help with the chase and control hunt saboteurs…. But a spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports, a national campaigns group, blasted the suggestion…. "We are against these proposals and feel that it is not a subject to be treated with levity." (story)

BBC News Online 13.2.06 Business as usual after hunt ban - Gareth Jones - A year ago there were was some concern about a fox hunting ban…. But would a townie like me notice much of a difference today?... Meriel Williams of the Llanwnnen Hunt in Ceredigion told me: "'We've maintained the structure. People are trying to carry on - 'business as usual', if you like"…. (story)

Guardian 13.2.06 Country strife - Life in the shires has changed out of all recognition since 1993, says the former editor of Country Life - Clive Aslet - The countryside needed a voice. My mission when I became editor of Country Life in 1993 was to give it one… As a countryman, my credentials were suspect, but I achieved a rebirth through learning to ride and eventually hunt. Hunting introduced me to a community of ordinary rural people whom I could not have met otherwise….(story)

Argus 13.2.06 Letter: Foxes are retiring to the city - Oh, it's tough being a fox nowadays, according to Chris Garrod (Letters, February 4), following the introduction of the Hunting Bill, pushed through by a group of "reds", apparently…. -A Smith, Brighton (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 13.2.06 ANGER AT GUN DAY CARNAGE - A Popular West blood sport that involves hunters shooting as many species as they can has been condemned by activists. Known as a 'Species Day', the activity is an extension of rough shooting and involves groups of about four people scouring hedgerows and fields, competing to shoot the most animals… (story)
Western Daily Press 13.2.06 IT'S ALL FAIR GAME ON SPECIES DAY - An increasingly popular blood sport among shooters of gunning down as many species of animal as possible in one day has been condemned by animal rights campaigners. On the shoots, which are called 'Species Days', hunters can come back with up to 20 different types of kill - including hares, rabbits, many varieties of bird and even brown trout. "It is absolutely morally repugnant, " said Kit Davidson, Game Shooting Consultant for Animal Aid…. David Kenyon, the West representative for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), said the sport was quite popular… (story)
Western Daily Press 13.2.06 'SPORT' THAT IS NOT GOOD FOR HUNTING - It seems there is a new fad in the world of hunting and shooting that is becoming increasingly popular. Small groups of men are venturing out on trips where the aim is to shoot as many different species as possible…. wherever you stand on the topic of hunting and shooting it is difficult to support or condone "Species Days" in any way whatsoever. To deliberately set out to kill as many different kinds of animals as possible sends out a terrible message to the general public…. (story)

Western Daily Press 13.2.06 DO BADGERS PREFER WEST? - I read with interest the recent article about the evil badger-baiters in the Western Daily Press. It is a very wicked way to treat any animal. We get trouble in this village with badgers tearing up lawns, but have to accept it, although it is very annoying…. Mrs K Thomas Devizes Wiltshire (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 13.2.06 SAVE THE SCAPEGOAT - There has always been a link between badgers and bovine TB as badgers (along with many other species of wildlife including deer) are thought to transmit the disease to cattle. Research has been carried out by the Government that has involved the killing of 12,000 badgers already and has cost taxpayers £34m. And what for? Inconclusive results!... Wildlife organisations nationwide have worked hard for many decades to rehabilitate, release and protect badgers. It seems awful that all that hard work and dedication could be undone. FIONA MCKENNA Byron Avenue, Lincoln (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 13.2.06 Shark protest bites in Capital - GARETH EDWARDS - ANIMAL rights activists have called for a boycott on a restaurant selling shark stir-fry in a bid to halt demand for the fish's meat. Khublai Khan's in Assembly Street, Leith, has come under fire for selling the shark meat as part of its Mongolian feast. Advocates for Animals wrote to the restaurant last year after it emerged that they had started serving zebra among their other exotic meats…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 13.2.06 Restaurant menu leaves bad taste in the mouth - IT is most disappointing that Saws restaurant has jumped on the "novelty" food bandwaggon by choosing to serve rattlesnakes… Ross Minett, director, Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)

Bury Free Press 13.2.06 Wayne's world of terror.. An animal welfare supporter has turned from cuddly canines to terror and torment for his debut novel. A dark tale of inner demons, murder and loneliness, Redemption marks Blo' Norton author Wayne Sharrocks' first delvings into the psychological thriller. Wayne, who previously worked in London for the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs' Home, has credited his move to countryside tranquility as the catalyst for his writing….. (story)

Western Daily Press 13.2.06 NO INTELLIGENT COMPASSION - The biggest problem with any society is the use of false analogy, not using the correct premise and suppressing, or ignoring, facts when reporting or debating issues. This is worse than the actual acts of cruelty, violence and exploitation of both human and non-human animals. Neither those who complained about Camilla wearing rabbit fur, the so-called Countryside Alliance, the country set or the trendy media obsessed with the rights of immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals, unmarried mothers and similar, speak for the well-informed, decent honest hard-working people….. D Thomas Hisomley Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.2.06 A FRUITFUL EXISTENCE - T E Mattocks (Western Daily Press, January 30) wonders if vegetables have rights. Clearly not legally, however some people eat only the fruit of plants ie nuts, berries and avocados. These people are called fruitarians and believe that nature intended humans to live on fruit and nuts leaving the plant itself alone to bear fruit again in the next season… Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

12.2.06

Sunday Life 12.2.06 Farmer fuming over fox frenzy - Pauline Reynolds - A fox which went on a killing spree, tearing to pieces 40 hens and ducks, left a gruesome scene of slaughter in Co Antrim last week Each of the birds was dismembered in the frenzied attack, which happened at a Co Antrim farmyard in the dead of night. And flock owner Louis Magill is calling on the Department of Agriculture to enforce strict controls over the number of foxes in the countryside…. "People just don't understand how cruel foxes can be. They are the most lethal animal in the countryside."… (story)

Sunday Times 12.2.06 Hunts admit they are flouting ban - DANIEL FOGGO - Packs of dogs still catching foxes - DOZENS of illegal foxhunts are taking place each week in defiance of the government’s ban on hunting with dogs, hunt supporters have admitted. On the eve of the first anniversary of the Hunting Act, The Sunday Times was last week allowed to accompany a hunt that used a full pack of 18 dogs to chase down four foxes, which were then killed…. In The Last Tally Ho? to be broadcast tonight on BBC1, officials and followers of the Vale of White Horse hunt in Gloucestershire describe how they circumvent the ban…. (story)

Sunday Times 12.2.06 Leading article: Bit of a fix for the fox - A year ago, when the ban on foxhunting came into force, it appeared that rural Britain was entering a new era. No longer would the hunting horn be heard or the yelping of hounds in excited search of their quarry…. . Tony Blair was in many ways an unwilling leader of the pack when it came to banning hunting. But under his government, and at a permanent and damaging cost to relations between town and country, the ban was rammed through… Every week, up and down the country, dozens of illegal hunts are taking place; foxes are being hunted with hounds and killed by them. Those who perpetrate this "crime” appear to do so with impunity…. Such a bad law has no right to survive and it would be better to get rid of it. (story)

Observer 12.2.06 Pendennis - Oliver Marre … Now the police are to be accused of their worst crime yet: cruelty to animals. Next month's Field magazine is due to reveal that, while they were attempting to keep an eye on some potential foxhunters, the boys in blue scared a community of badgers. 'A police helicopter covered our hunt the other day,' the magazine reports. 'Out on business over a badger sett. They might as well have sent a dive bomber.' …(story)

Scotland on Sunday 12.2.06 Shooting won't conserve wildlife - MAGNUS Linklater draws on the usual hackneyed justifications for exclusive, wealthy shooting (Linklater's Scotland, Spectrum, February 5). Chief amongst these is "conservation". This is the supreme apotheosis of the oxymoron… The steady successful prosecutions of gamekeepers for raptor persecution and the recent publication of a list of "Most Wanted Pests" in the Shooting Times betrays the true mind set of the shooting industry… Kit Davidson, Animal Aid, Tonbridge (letter)

11.2.06

Western Daily Press 11.2.06 HUNTS FACING PROSECUTION - Two West hunts could face prosecution under the Hunting With Dogs Act, with another three still being investigated, the Western Daily Press can reveal. Dorset Police have sent files on two incidents of alleged illegal hunting to the Crown Prosecution Service, while Avon and Somerset still have two allegations "under review" and the Gloucestershire force has begun investigations into another…. To mark the first anniversary of the hunting-with-dogs ban the Vale of the White Horse hunt is the subject of a fly-on-the-wall BBC documentary tomorrow evening. (story)

Telegraph 11.2.06 Urban fox hunt By Nicole Martin - Urban foxes have become such a nuisance that home owners are hiring pest controllers to shoot them in the middle of the night… The debate was reignited by Bruce Lindsay-Smith, a pest controller who has been killing foxes for 25 years…. But Martin Hemmington, the founder of the National Fox Welfare Society, said shooting was counterproductive…. Tim Bonner, of the Countryside Alliance, said: "We believe that wild mammal populations need to be managed whether they are squirrels, deer or urban foxes…. (story)
Times 11.2.06 Activists condemn urban fox cull - Animal-rights activists have condemned the shooting of urban foxes after it emerged that businesses and wealthy individuals were hiring pest control experts to kill dozens of the animals…. (story)

ANIMAL AID SHOOTING TIMES LETTER
Western Daily Press 11.2.06 RUTHLESS TYPES INTENT ON PROFIT - Andrew Tyler Animal Aid Tonbridge Kent (letter)
Northern Echo 11.2.06 SPORTING RIGHTS - Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent. (letter in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 10.2.06 NAUSEATING TO TARGET 'PESTS' - There recently came news that the first breeding eagle owl to live in Britain for hundreds of years has died after being shot. Her mate is reported to be distraught over her death. When such animals are killed, the culprit is invariably associated with pheasant, partridge or grouse shooting. Any predator interfering with the production of birds for "sport shooting" - by taking eggs, chicks or adult birds - runs the risk of extermination…. The prevailing mindset can be gauged from a recent edition of a leading shooting magazine, in which appeared a feature listing the "30 Most Wanted Pests" in Britain - animals who interfered with shooting or sport fishing…. ANDREW TYLER, Director, Animalaid (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.2.06 UNION 'WRONG FOR 25 YEARS' OVER BADGERS AND BOVINE TB - I write with disgust at the letter by John Hore regarding the culling of badgers. I have worked with these creatures for the past 15 years, being instrumental in the creation of a badger protocol for rehabilitation with a responsibility to the disease Bovine TB…. We have never said that badgers were not implicated in the Bovine TB problem but that culling, which causes movement of badgers makes the situation worse…. Pauline Kidner Secret World Wildlife Rescue Somerset (letter)

Northern Echo 11.2.06 SLAUGHTERHOUSE - THERE was a sad little story on one of the TV news channels about that great American tribe, the Hunting, Shooting and Fishing people. It would appear that down on a ranch in Texas, which is the home state of that great American warrior, George Bush, they have started to breed endangered big game animals for trophy shooting for a price…. It must be like going to work at the slaughterhouse, except you get to keep the head to put on the living room wall…. Peter Dolan, Newton Aycliffe (letter in archive)

Cambridge Evening News 11.2.06 Innocent pig lover hits back - AN animal-lover cleared of causing unnecessary suffering to her pig has criticised the RSPCA for prosecuting her. Deborah Koehorst was cleared of failing to provide Jemima, a massive black and white saddleback sow, with appropriate veterinary treatment. Ms Koehorst, of Bishops Road, Trumpington, said: "I was always brought up thinking the RSPCA was a wonderful thing. They obviously do some good but they have got too big for their boots. They are wasting public money and private donations on insane actions. It must be stopped."… (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 11.2.06 ACT NOW TO KEEP BAN ON THESE CRUEL PET MARKETS - I sometimes think Post readers must get tired of reading letters about the mistreatment and abuse of their fellow creatures…. I am writing this letter because I have just received a newsletter from the Animal Protection Agency. In 1983 the Conservative Government passed a law which banned the "commercial sale of pet animals in public places":… The APA newsletter describes how, unbelievably, the present Government plans to lift this 20-year ban!... ANDREW SAUNDERS Orchard Drive Calverton (letter )

10.2.06

Independent 10.2.06 The Third Leader: Lore and order - Charles Nevin - Tally-ho! My learned colleagues above me have consistently expressed the view that, given the parlous condition of Britain, Europe, the World and the Universe, rather too much fuss has been made about whether people on horses should be allowed to enjoy themselves chasing, with distinctly unfriendly intent, foxes… (story)

Shropshire Star 10.2.06 Urine use by hunts is disgusting - Fox urine not only attracts foxes but also encourages hounds to pick up the scent of a live fox, so its obvious so-called accidents are going to happen especially in areas previously fox-hunted…. Judi Hewitt, Rhyl (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.2.06 DOGGED RACETRACK'S CHEEKY REVENGE - Organisers of a controversial Somerset greyhound racetrack have hatched a scheme to try and turn the tables on the protestors who have dogged it since it opened. They are offering a £1 discount on the entry price for anyone who arrives at tonight's race with one of the thousands of leaflets that have been circulated by their opponents, the Avon and Somerset Greyhound Action Group (ASGAG)…. Gina Harris from the ASGAG has helped coordinate what promises to be a well-attended Valentine's themed protest. It is to carry the slogan "'have a heart for rescued greyhounds". Unimpressed with the organisers' plans, she said: "It's ridiculous and a strange approach to public relations. It won't stop us giving out leaflets…. (story)

Western Morning News 10.2.06 WHERE ENVY RULES OUR OPINIONS - What a strange country we live in. With all sorts of stories published on a frequent basis concerning the ill treatment of our old people and the young and infirm, one animal rights body (Peta) finds time to criticise the Duchess of Cornwall for wearing a rabbit fur collar at a tree planting ceremony. Something seems somewhat topsy turvy when little seems to be being done to redress the maltreatment of the very elderly and infirm, but wear a piece of rabbit fur and all hell breaks loose!... In a country overrun with rabbits one lady wearing a rabbit fur scarf shouldn't matter too much. Or is it more a matter of the anti-monarchist brigade taking every chance of having a go out of envy? Colin Richey Tiverton (story)

Manchester Evening News 10.2.06 Dogs being fed whale meat - WHALE meat is being turned into dog food, animal welfare campaigners warned today. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society said Japan's stockpile of whale meat has doubled in the last decade as a result of more and more animals being killed each year, and selling the meat as dog food is the latest attempt by the country to stimulate the market and shift the hundreds of tonnes of whale meat piling up in Japanese warehouses…. (story)
BBC News Online 10.2.06 Whale meat 'made into dog food' - Meat from whales caught under Japan's "research" programme is so abundant that it is being sold as pet food, according to a UK conservation group. Thousands of tonnes of whale meat has been stockpiled as more animals are killed each year, says the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS)…. (story)

News Shopper 10.2.06 Fighting for ducks - Readers may like to know that Viva is campaigning on the plight of waterless and diseased factory farmed ducks… I H Pyves, Rowan Road, Bexleyheath (letter)

9.2.06

Yorkshire Post 9.2.06 DRIVER SEES FOX RIPPED APART BY HOUNDS - Mark Branagan - POLICE and the RSPCA are investigating the second complaint in 10 days about foxes being attacked by hunting hounds in separate incidents in the North Yorkshire countryside. Officers will be taking a formal statement from a woman driving along the A171, who reported seeing a fox being "ripped apart" by hounds, five miles north of Cloughton, near Scarborough, at about 11.40am on Tuesday…. (story)

Northern Echo 9.2.06 Hunt support for Air Ambulance - HUNT supporters have given £2,000 to support the Great North Air Ambulance. The Braes of Derwent Hunt Supporters Club raised the money by putting on a panto before Christmas. Dick Whittington was produced by Liz Parker and performed at Blackfyne Community School…. (story in archive)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 9.2.06 Hunt kept to law, say police - Police say they found no evidence of illegal activity following a report by Corsham residents that the Avon Vale Hunt had cornered a fox in a field. David Bowen-Jones and his neighbour called out the police at around 1pm on Tuesday, claiming the hunt surrounded a fox and sent the hounds in after it. He said hounds also entered their gardens…. But Avon Vale master Jonathon Seed, speaking from the back of his horse while out hunting on Tuesday, said the accusation was nonsense…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 9.2.06 'SET THE HOUNDS ON ME - I LOVE IT' - Huntsmen who used to chase foxes across the Lincolnshire countryside have a new quarry - 64-year-old John Whetton… He regularly runs for his life at Oasby, Londonthorpe and Welby, which are between Sleaford and Grantham in the south of the county. "It started about 20 years ago," said the retired university lecturer…. The idea seems to be a hit with the public and animal welfare groups. Tony Peters, a 32-year-old office worker of Skellingthorpe Road, Lincoln, said he thought it was brilliant… In November last year, the Echo reported on Blankney Hunt using a golden cross steppe eagle to hunt foxes in Lincolnshire… BLANKNEY HUNT - Huntsman Robert Thorpe - "It's similar to drag exercises we do in fox-hunting. It's a good idea….” BURTON HUNT - Kennels manager Julie Barker - "We're all in favour of anything that keeps the countryside open to riders…” SOUTH WOLD HUNT - Kennel manager Nicholas Ashcroft "Until the ban is overturned, we must try out new things to keep the sport alive…” (story)

Essex Chronicle & Echo 9.2.06 GEORGE PEVERLEY – HUNTSMAN - George Peverley, a former huntsman of the Essex Farmers Hunt, who was well known in the Dengie, died in late January, aged 80, at Abergavenny, Wales…. George was a fine huntsman, always jovial and pleasant, and led the Boxing Day hunt through Maldon High Street for many years… (story)

Essex Chronicle & Echo 9.2.06 POINT-TO-POINT EXPLAINED - Point-to-point racing is steeplechasing for amateurs, run under the sanction and regulations of the Jockey Club while each meeting is organised at a local level by a Hunt or recognised Point-to-Point club… (story)

Leicester Mercury 9.2.06 SHEEP CARCASSES WERE STREWN OVER FARMLAND - BY NICK RENNIE - An award-winning farmer championed by celebrity chefs has been fined for dumping dead sheep on his land. Jan McCourt (46), left the carcasses of between 14 and 20 sheep strewn over fields near his farm in Northfield Farm, Cold Overton…. "When he was interviewed, he said the Cottesmore Hunt had stopped collecting his carcasses in March 2004. He said foxes had killed his sheep and as they had started the job they might as well have finished it."… (story)

Western Daily Press 9.2.06 STILL BREAKING HUNTING LAW - Three cheers for Chris Rundle's article (Gruesome Face Of Hunt Propaganda, Western Daily Press, February 1). He has bravely put into words the heartfelt feelings of the majority of people who live and love this beautiful heart of Somerset. Numerous cases of violation of the hunting ban have repeatedly been reported to the police…. R M Morris Minehead Somerset (letter)

WORKING DOGS LOBBY OF PARLIAMENT
Western Morning News 9.2.06 TAIL DOCKING PROTEST TAKEN TO PARLIAMENT - Westcountry shooting enthusiasts yesterday warned that the Government's Animal Welfare Bill could lead to a big increase in suffering for working dogs unless ministers move to head off plans for a total ban on tail docking. Around 50 shooting supporters took their dogs to Westminster yesterday to protest at the plans, which many see as a betrayal of the Government's pledge to avoid placing restrictions on the sport…. John Dryden, a shooting enthusiast from Taunton and regional director of the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, said a ban could have serious consequences for the shooting industry, which is big business in many rural areas…. (story)
Evesham Journal 2.2.06 Dog owners to protest over docking proposal - ONE hundred working dogs and their handlers will be lobbying parliament to protest at proposals to ban the docking of working dogs' tails under the Animal Welfare Bill… "Failure to exempt working dogs will cause unnecessary suffering and mean more dogs facing the amputation of injured tails later in life," said BASC spokesman Simon Clarke. (story in archive)
Western Mail 31.1.06 Owners protest at dog docking ban - HANDLERS of 100 docked working dogs from across the country plan to lobby Parliament next week to protest at proposals to ban the docking of working dogs' tails under the Animal Welfare Bill… The lobby is organised by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, which says early docking prevents the risk of serious injury to dogs used to retrieve game and to track injured deer and by dogs used to detect drugs, explosives and trapped disaster victims… (story)
Daily Post 26.1.06 Anger over plan to ban docking - SCORES of working dogs and their handlers will converge on London next month to vent their anger at proposals to ban tail-docking. Countryside groups and dog breed-ers are in uproar after the government back-tracked on pledges not to introduce the ban…. Country sports group BASC is now organising 100 docked working dogs and their handlers to lobby MPs on February 12 ahead of next month's vote on the Animal Welfare Bill…. (story)

Berwick Advertiser 9.2.06 Why does countryside signify killing for fun? - I live in a beautiful part of the country…. . Out of the blue, you hear gunshots , one , two, three, five, fifteen being fired off destroying all the peace and tranquillity. You know that innocent birds are being shot off simply for the fun of it…. Stop this outdated needless killing of birds. It is so upsetting to hear but it comes down to the callousness of those who think they are the law ! SUSAN THORKILDSEN, Cornhill on Tweed. (letter)

Western Gazette 9.2.06 RSPCA AND TAIL DOCKING - The Rspca is calling on MPs to vote for a total ban on both cosmetic and so-called "prophylactic" tail docking of dogs when the Animal Welfare Bill is next debated in the House of Commons…. (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 9.2.06 Call to ban tail docking - CUMBRIAN MPs are being urged to back a total ban on the tail docking of dogs…. The call has been backed by Carlisle MP Eric Martlew, who said: "Amputations are unnecessary, outdated, unethical and should be stopped.”… (story)

Argus 9.2.06 Letter: Why fishing is a brutal business - Under the headline "Show consideration to our animals" (Letters, February 2), Elizabeth Wakefield says "fishing is a blood sport" and she is absolutely right. The most common argument used to defend fishing is fish do not feel pain. This is untrue. Fish are vertebrates, with a brain, a central nervous system and pain receptors all over their bodies, including the lips… Fishing is a pastime which should be replaced with one which does not involve the hunting, wounding and killing of animals, the definition of a blood sport. -David Hammond, Hassocks (letter in archive)
Argus 2.2.06 Letter: It's a blood sport - So, rainbow trout have been released into Bewl Water and the keeper is worried the smaller ones will die? Uhhhh, reality check time - isn't that what he bred them for?... Fishing is a blood sport.-Elizabeth Wakefield, Hove (letter in archive)

ABBEY MOOR GREYHOUND STADIUM PROTEST ARRESTS
Central Somerset Gazette 9.2.06 TRAINER REPORTED AFTER MAKING THREATS TO DOG - A Somerset greyhound trainer has been reported to the RSPCA following a threat to shoot his dog in a Glastonbury car park. The man is alleged to have threatened to kill his dog outside Glastonbury's Abbey Moor stadium on December 27 last year, before the last greyhound racing meeting of 2005… The events of December 27, however, resulted in two animal rights campaigners being arrested and one trainer being banned from the stadium after leaving his dog with one of the protestors…. (story)
Western Gazette 9.2.06 RSPCA VOWS TO ACT AFTER CLAIMS OF DOG CRUELTY - The Rspca will investigate claims by animal rights campaigners over alleged cruelty to racing greyhounds in Glastonbury. Avon and Somerset Greyhound Action has reported a greyhound trainer after he allegedly threatened to shoot his dog at Abbey Moor stadium…. Gina Harris, spokesman for Avon and Somerset Greyhound Action, said: "It is disgraceful that this man has been allowed to continue racing his dogs at the Glastonbury dog track…” (story)
Western Daily Press 4.2.06 SHOT THREAT REPORTED - Campaigners against a West greyhound track have reported a trainer to the RSPCA after claiming he threatened to shoot one of his animals in front of them. They are furious that the organisers of the race nights at the Abbey Moor Stadium near Glastonbury have not banned the trainer…. (story)
Western Daily Press 30.12.05 PROMISE TO BAN GREYHOUND TRAINER - The organisers of a Somerset greyhound racing series yesterday pledged to ban a maverick trainer who allegedly dumped a dog on protesters this week. Derren Sealey said that he would ban the offending trainer from entering the Abbey Moor Stadium near Glastonbury if the claims were true and he could be identified…. (story)
Western Daily Press 29.12.05 JENNY THE GREYHOUND IS DUMPED AS DAY AT THE RACES TURNS UGLY - Furious animal welfare campaigners have been left holding the proverbial baby after a greyhound trainer dumped one of his animals on them following a protest at a Somerset racetrack. What was meant as a peaceful protest against the industry's treatment of its animals descended into a nasty confrontation with alleged clashes between the protesters and dog trainers at the last meeting of the year at the Abbey Moor Stadium, near Glastonbury… The confrontation unfolded outside the stadium that has been the target for a series of protests by the Avon and Somerset Greyhound Action group since it started staging races in October…. Police confirmed only two people were arrested as a result of the dramaatthestadium gates a female campaigner and her 15-year old son. She was arrested for swearing and paid a £80 fine after pleading guilty to a public order offence while her son, who had wrestled with police officers as he tried to help his mother, received a caution. YESTERDAY, Gina Harris, from Bristol, said she had lodged a formal allegation of assault with police…. Yesterday, Mr Sealey, who runs the greyhound races with Gavin Loney, said Tuesday's meeting almost had to be cancelled because of the criminal damage… "One of those trying to drive in says they blocked his way and when he tried to carry on, they kicked his car. He's quite a big chap and he got out and approached them and threw some of their signs in the river."… (story)
BBC News Online 28.12.05 Arrests after dog racing protest - Two animal rights campaigners were arrested after a protest outside a greyhound racing arena in Somerset. Police were called to the Abbey Moor stadium in Glastonbury on Tuesday after reports of attacks on a campaigner. Gina Harris, spokeswoman for Avon & Somerset Greyhound Action, said she had been hit by a dog trainer and protest boards were thrown in a nearby river…. (story)

North Devon Journal 9.2.06 FIONA'S BADGER BATTLE - An animal-rights campaigner donned a badger costume on Saturday to protest against a possible cull of the mammals. Fiona Cresswell, 20, from Braunton, was in Bideford High Street at noon on Saturday, trying to persuade shoppers the mass slaughter of badgers - to try to prevent the spread of tuberculosis to cattle - would be unnecessary and immoral. Ms Cresswell's actions were part of an ongoing campaign by the Coalition of Badger Action Groups, which is responding to a Defra public consultation launched in December…. (story)

Daily Post 9.2.06 Why killing badgers won't stop TB crisis By Ian Jones, Daily Post - THE RSPCA has welcomed the decision to resist calls for a badger cull in Wales. Greater scientific evidence needs to be garnered into claims that badgers should be killed to reduce the spread of bovine TB, say the National Assembly… (story)

OXFORD SECURITY ALERT
Oxford Mail 9.2.06 Dean: I fear ALF attack on colleges - An Oxford University dean has urged students to be prepared for attacks on colleges, following threats by animal rights extremists. As reported in the final edition of yesterday's Oxford Mail, Adrian Gregory, the Dean of Pembroke College, believes that attacks on colleges are likely, and has asked students to sign in all night-time guests with gate porters…. (story in archive)
Times 8.2.06 Oxford braced for attacks by animal rights extremists BY NICOLA WOOLCOCK - AN UNPRECEDENTED security crackdown is being mounted at Oxford University in the face of threats from animal rights extremists. Police have warned the university to tighten up its vetting checks on new staff, and college deans, who believe that attacks are inevitable, have ordered students to sign in night-time guests with gate porters…. (story)
Oxford Mail 8.2.06 Dean steps up security alert - An Oxford University dean has urged students to be prepared for attacks on colleges following threats by animal rights extremists. Adrian Gregory, the Dean of Pembroke College, believes that attacks on colleges are likely, and has asked students to sign in all night-time guests with gate porters…. (story in archive)

Scotsman 9.2.06 Animal rights people in US court - Six animal rights campaigners have gone on trial in the US accused of domestic terrorism and stalking over a bid to drive Britain's biggest testing centre out of business. The group, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac), admits it wants Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) shut down, but denies committing any crimes or encouraging anyone else to do so…. The defendants, Kevin Kjonaas, Lauren Gazzola, Jacob Conroy, Joshua Harper, Andrew Stepanian and Darius Fullmer, could face as much as 13 years in prison and fines of up to 750,000 dollars (£416,000) each if convicted in Trenton, New Jersey…. (story)

Times 9.2.06 Stop this circus cruelty - As the Animal Welfare Bill begins its third reading in the House of Commons, several MPs have declared their support for a ban on animal circuses…. Surely it is time to accept majority public opinion on this issue — according to ADI’s MORI poll last November, 65 per cent support a ban of animal circuses — and set performing animals free from their wretched lives of fear and coercion… ALEXEI SAYLE, JILLY COOPER, URI GELLER, HELEN CHAMBERLAIN, JULIA McKENZIE , LYNSEY DE PAUL, WENDY TURNER WEBSTER, MEG MATHEWS, IMELDA STAUNTON, MARK RADCLIFFE, London W12 (letter)

Glasgow Herald 9.2.06 More important than crab pain thresholds - Who would be an MSP in these quasi-intellectual, and politically-correct, times?... with the myriad problems facing Scotland today, the idea that our elected leaders should be spending time, energy and (our) money giving discussion time and parliamentary validity to the spurious pain thresholds of crabs seems a tad indulgent, to say the least. The thresholds of the electorate's patience – now there's an idea worth discussing. Gerry McCulloch, 47 Moffat Wynd, Saltcoats. (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 9.2.06 WILL A SQUIRREL CULL SUCCEED? - Many people watch and feed the grey squirrel in their local parks… I share the RSPCA's concern how the cull of the "greys" will take place, and will it work? PAMELA DEAN, Whiteshill, Stroud (letter)

Sunderland Echo 9.2.06 Action to put stop to baby seal slaughter - I WOULD like to bring the plight of baby seals to the attention of readers…. Send a donation to the Save a Seal Campaign, and the address for this is Humane Society International UK… K Surtees, Hylton Castle, Sunderland (story)

Bexley Express 9.2.06 Take action to help abused farm animals - Chris Pope, Erith (story)
News Shopper 7.2.06 Show care for all our animals - IT WAS refreshing to see the concerns people showed for the whale stranded in the Thames recently. What a contrast to the callous disregard shown for the millions of farm animals suffering the miseries and horrors of British factory farms and slaughterhouses…. Those readers with concerns for the sufferings of all animals may wish to obtain further information from Compassion in World Farming… Chris Pope, Nurstead Road, Erith (letter)

Look Local 9.2.06 MP jumps on the animal welfare bandwagon - Yet another MP jumping on the animal welfare bandwagon (Angela Smith MP ) in Look Local… I wonder if MP Angela Smith has supported a ban of the public use of fireworks that kill more animals each year that all Fox Hunts combined…. This new Animal welfare Bill has allowed MP`s and Animal Rights groups to hang their baubles on the Labour Christmas tree. Animal rights are not the same as animal welfare and until the Government put revenue and excess firework use in the bin, animals will still suffer. Andrew Meads Safewings Wildlife Conservation Projects Isham Northants NN14 1HP (story)

8.2.06

Wolverhampton Express & Star 8.2.06 Crazy choice of police arrests - The more we learn about the extremist Islamic demonstration in London, the worse it gets. We had already heard the preposterous claim that police did not intervene for fear of causing a riot. And yet last year no such considerations applied when police armed with steel truncheons laid into the Countryside Alliance demo…. (story)
Telegraph 7.2.06 This soft approach to militant Muslims is a gift to the far Right By Simon Heffer - Yesterday in Afghanistan the worldwide mob engaging in an engineered protest about the Danish cartoons claimed its first lives…. The Metropolitan Police certainly seems selective in its "softly, softly" approach to dealing with protests. Only 17 months ago, before the rule of the present Commissioner, some of its officers zealously cracked the heads of protesters from the notoriously dangerous group of psychopaths otherwise known as the pro-foxhunting lobby. The main offence perpetrated by these people appeared to be shouting, wearing tweeds in a public place, and waving placards saying that they didn't like Mr Blair or his Bill very much. Maybe Sir Ian, now he is in charge, would have his officers be as mild towards them as they were towards those who openly incited murder on Friday, and who took an infant out on the protest with them wearing a hat inscribed with the entirely reasonable statement "I love al-Qaida… (story)

Carmarthen Journal 8.2.06 FUNDRAISER - Carmarthen Hunt is holding a fundraising mouse racing night at the Quins Club, Morfa Lane, Carmarthen on Friday at 8pm. Proceeds will go towards Wales Air Ambulance. (story)

Leicester Mercury 8.2.06 NEW PRESIDENT PROMISES TO BOLSTER SHOW - The new president of an agricultural society has pledged to strengthen the society's showcase event. Squire Gerard de Lisle wants to bolster Leicestershire Show's agricultural profile as it moves to a new venue at Melton Mowbray Airfield this year. Squire de Lisle, 65, of Cold Newton, is a former High Sheriff of Leicestershire and Rutland, deputy Lord Lieutenant and chairman of Quorn Hunt…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 8.2.06 Study the situation from the hare's perspective - Despite evidence that the Irish hare population is under severe pressure in the Republic from both hunting activities and urbanisation, the politicians still see fit to allow coursing clubs to net these animals for baiting…. It seems incredible that in 2006 an Irish Government permits the most gentle and inoffensive creature in the countryside to be so cruelly abused… JOHN FITZGERALD, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.2.06 DEER NUMBERS WILL BE CONTROLLED - - Your recent article "Gruesome face of hunt propaganda" is wholly inaccurate in almost every point. Let's stick to the point in hand, the hunting of red deer. Those well-known organisations of 'gun-toting yokels', the Exmoor National Park Authority, The Exmoor Society, and the Exmoor And District Deer Management Society all warned that this was a likely outcome…. Tom Faggus Cutcombe Exmoor (letter)

Northwich Guardian 8.2.06 Join the hunt for a good reason to scoop the poop - WALKING up Marbury Lane, I saw a number of notices put up by Cheshire County Council warning dog owners of the severe penalties should their dogs be allowed to foul not just the footpaths but the countryside as a whole…. This set me thinking as I walked along. What about the hunts in Cheshire?... Perhaps the anti-hunting campaigners and protestors are approaching the problem the wrong way. Photographing poop through an officially appointed Pooper Snooper may be the answer to their prayers. They could bankrupt the hunt! BOB NAYLOR (letter in archive)

Carmarthen Journal 8.2.06 DOCKING BAN IS ILL- INFORMED - The Country Land and Business Association say the government has been poorly advised on their support of a full ban on docking the tails of dogs. Carmarthen-based Jonathan Andrews, South Wales director for the CLA, hit back after the announcement made by Ben Bradshaw, the animal welfare minister, during the committee stage of the Animal Welfare Bill…. (story)

Western Morning News 8.2.06 FARM PRODUCE 'COULD BE BOYCOTTED' - Plans for a cull of badgers could spark a public boycott of Westcountry farm produce, animal welfare campaigners warned last night. The Badger Trust said farmers calling for a cull to control bovine TB should consider the impact that it would have on "public perceptions" of the industry…. Spokesman Trevor Lawson said: "If farmers are exterminating badgers, what is the impact going to be on demand for Westcountry produce? Would tourists still want to come and eat clotted cream that was produced on the back of the extermination of badgers?"… (story)

FOREST OF DEAN BADGER BAITING TRIAL
Carmarthen Journal 8.2.06 BADGER BAITER JAILED - A Soldier from Carmarthenshire has been jailed for six months after being found guilty of badger baiting. Craig Trevelyan, 32, a sergeant with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, was found guilty of three charges under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 when he appeared before magistrates at Coleford, Gloucester…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 3.2.06 BADGER BAITING SOLDIER JAILED FOR SIX MONTHS - A Soldier was put behind bars for six months yesterday for badger baiting. Craig Trevelyan, 32, a sergeant with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, was found guilty of three charges under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 when he appeared before magistrates at Coleford. Trevelyan, of Caer Bryn Road, Pen y Groes, Carmarthenshire, denied the charges of willfully killing a badger, digging for a badger and interfering with a badger sett causing damage to it… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 25.1.06 ALLEGED BADGER KILLER IS IRAQ WAR VETERAN - The alleged badger-baiter standing trial in Gloucester is a serving soldier who has been on recent active service in Iraq. Craig Trevelyn - a sergeant with The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who has been on front-line combat duty in Baghdad - told city magistrates yesterday that he was not present at a sett near Lydney in the Forest of Dean when an adult badger was dug out by a gang of around six men, tormented by dogs and then shot dead by one of the men…. (story)
South Wales Evening Press 24.1.06 MAN ON TRIAL FOR CRUELTY TO BADGERS - An alleged badger-baiter from Llanelli was caught red-handed when police raided his home and found a stuffed badger taking pride of place in his hall, a court heard. Craig Trevelyan, aged 32, of Cae'r Bryn Road, Penygroes, revelled in his sick hobby of sending terriers down badgers' sets to flush them out for a fight, it was claimed… (story)
Carmarthen Journal 25.1.06 BADGER BAITING CHARGES - A gang of badger-baiters in camouflage clothing abandoned the bloody body of a badger and fled when police arrived. The gruesome scene was described in court where Craig Trevelyn, 42, of Caerbryn Road, Penygroes, pleaded not guilty to three charges under the Protection of Badgers Act. Prosecuting, Nick Sutton said there was no argument the brutal incident in the Forest of Dean had not happened. "The main issue here is one of identity," he said. "The defendant says he was not there but we contend there is overwhelming evidence that he was."… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 24.1.06 BADGER KILLING: MAN IN COURT - An alleged badger-baiter is photographed arriving at Gloucester Magistrates Court to stand trial on three charges of tormenting and killing one of the protected animals in a county field. Craig Trevelyn, 42, from Carmarthenshire, in Wales, has denied the offences, which took place in January last year near Lydney…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 24.1.06 COURT TOLD OF BADGER 'TORMENTED BY BAITERS' - A Gang of badger- baiters in camouflage clothing abandoned the bloody body of a badger and fled when police and RSPCA officers arrived. The gruesome scene was described at Gloucester Magistrates' Court, when 42-year-old Craig Trevelyn of Caer Bryn Road, Pen y Groes, Carmarthenshire pleaded not guilty to three charges under the Protection of Badgers Act…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 8.2.06 RSPCA UNDER FIRE - The Rspca has been accused of protecting diseased animals at the expense of healthy ones in its campaign to prevent a badger cull in the fight against the spread of bovine tuberculosis. The allegation is made by the Farmers' Union of Wales as the animal charity takes out full page advertisements costing hundreds of thousands of pounds in national newspapers appealing for public support to prevent badger culling… (story)

Cambrian Times 8.2.06 RSPCA badger advertisements campaign extremely misleading - Madam, As the President of the Farmers’ Union of Wales I should, in theory, send a text message to the RSPCA registering the opposition of our members to the "unnecessary killing of badgers”, as requested in the RSPCA’s current advertising campaign… Given that the RSPCA has to kill tens of thousands of animals every year because they cannot find homes for them or for medical reasons, many people may question how "unnecessary” it was for them to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on an advertising campaign against necessary disease control measures, when that money could have been used to keep alive those domestic animals that presumably have to be put down due to economic reasons…. Gareth Vaughan, President Farmers’ Union of Wales. (letter)

Independent 8.2.06 Animal rights extremists target Glaxo executives By Simon English - GlaxoSmithKline reacted with horror last night after two executives, including Sir Ian Prosser, became targets of a hate campaign by animal rights extremists. Letters sent to neighbours of the two have maliciously accused them of being rapists. The house of one was daubed with the words "paedo scum"… (story)
Sky News 7.2.06 Hate Campaign Exposed - Three drugs firm executives have been falsely branded sex offenders by animal rights extremists. Letters, purportedly sent by police, were delivered to the trio's neighbours describing them as convicted rapists. But an anonymous news release posted on a US-based website claimed the letters sent to 150 people were from the Animal Liberation Front…. (story)

Glasgow Herald 8.2.06 Something for MSPs to chew over: just what is an animal? - DOUGLAS FRASER - What is an animal? It is the kind of question any child could answer. But when is an animal not an animal? That question has left MSPs scratching their heads, as they struggle to frame anti-cruelty law. The process has left them horribly entangled in the legal tentacles of defining an octopus. Is it a sentient cephalopod, or something slightly rubbery that lurks in your salad while you're on holiday in Portugal? Members of Holyrood's environment and rural development committee reported yesterday that they like the executive's legislative plans for animal welfare, but insisted that Ross Finnie, the minister in charge of the bill, has to sharpen up his language… (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 8.2.06 FATE OF STAFF AND ANIMALS AT WELFARE CENTRE HANGS IN THE BALANCE - MIKE BOYLE - The fate of five staff and more than 80 animals at the SSPCA's Stirling welfare centre will be decided later this week as a consultation period on the unit's future comes to an end. A decision to close the centre was taken by the society's board of directors last summer, and since then discussions about the future of the staff and animals have been continuing…. (story)
Stirling Observer 8.2.06 ANIMAL CENTRE IS ON LAST LEGS - STIRLING’S SSPCA Animal Welfare Centre will shut within weeks unless a wealthy benefactor can be found to secure its future. Devastated staff at the centre say they have now been told that the centre will be wound down and closed completely by the end of the month…. (story)

JILL PHIPPS DEMONSTRATION
Dartford Times 8.2.06 200 at animal rights demo - PROTESTERS against the live animal exports staged a demo on Saturday on the 11th anniversary of the death of a fellow campaigner. Members from Dartford and Gravesend attended the Kent Against Live Exports (KALE) rally at Dover's Eastern Harbour. KALE chairman Ian Birchall said: "We have a lot of members in Dartford and Gravesend and many made the trip to Dover to remember Jill Phipps… (story)
Dover Mercury 8.2.06 Animal lovers mark death of tragic Jill by Natalie Ebden - MORE than 150 protestors against the live export of animals demonstrated at Dover docks at the weekend and also paused to recall a campaigner who died fighting for the cause. They gathered at the eastern harbour entrance where Kent Against Live Exports (KALE) hold their monthly demonstration. The rally coincided with an event to mark the death of protestor Jill Phipps… Protestor Jane Jackson said it was a chance to remember Jill and highlight the continuing fight against live exports…. (story)
Hawkinge Gazette 6.2.06 VANLOADS OF POLICE AT PEACEFUL RALLY - I was present and spoke at the peaceful rally and march on Dover seafront…. We were filmed from the minute we parked our car and throughout the speeches. Police were present in vanloads, despite their usual cry of "lack of resources"…. Kent police appear to do everything and anything in order to thwart live export protesters - a trade which is opposed by the vast majority in this country… SuzieB (letter)
Hawkinge Gazette 5.2.06 ARRESTS AT DOVER ANIMAL DEMO - A rally over live animal exports which coincided wth the death in Coventry 11 years ago, of protestor Jill Phipps saw police arrest three people for obstruction…. Among the speakers at the rally was Robert Mouland from Folkestone who gave an impassioned speech against the baby seal cull which is due to begin shortly in Russia…. (story)
BBC News Online 4.2.06 Rally over live export of animals - Protestors against the live export of animals are holding demonstrations in Worcestershire and Kent on Saturday. About 120 people gathered at the Eastern Harbour entrance in Dover where Kent Against Live Exports (KALE) held their monthly demonstration… Worcestershire protestor Pauline Burgess said she believes the demonstrations are an opportunity to call for a permanent end to the trade… (story)

Western Daily Press 8.2.06 HELP THE BEARS - I completely agree with Mrs Brenda Bridgeman (Your Say, January 30), about the barbaric treatment of the Moon Bears and other unfortunate animals… Raymond Williams Ross-on-Wye Herefordshire (letter)

Galway Independent 8.2.06 Don’t let Thames whale’s death be in vain - Recently we watched the plight of the Thames whale as volunteers tried to save it… At present the Japanese are killing up to 1,000 whales in the Antarctica which is a world-recognised sanctuary…. Margaret O Sullivan (PRO) Galway SPCA (story)

Argus 8.2.06 Letter: Native fur trapping is indefensible - Paul Milana certainly has a romantic view of Innuit and other native fur trapping when he presents it as a defence for using fur in his designs… This animal was probably reared on a mink farm - now considered cruel enough to be banned in this country…. -Sue Baumgardt, Hove (letter in archive)

7.2.06

Western Daily Press 7.2.06 DON'T CALL US CARD SHARPS - I write in response to an article (Western Daily Press, January 21) regarding Christmas cards sent to the League against Cruel Sports from thousands of hunt suppor ters. If the league set up a freepost address and invited people to send in donations and Christmas cards, they should not complain when people take up their offer!... The Royal Mail and taxpayers should not be bailing this organisation out. Will Day Wor melow Herefordshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.2.06 STAGHOUNDS DID AN EXCELLENT JOB - Chris Rundle (Farm Talk, February 1) is shroud-waving himself. Deer populations on Exmoor need managing as they cause significant damage to crops and trees. The three staghound packs in the West Country played an integral part in the management system for deer on Exmoor until the Hunting Act came into force in February 2005. This very efficient method of managing deer populations was removed by this Labour Government when it forced the Hunting Act on to the statute book…. Delly Everard Regional Director Countryside Alliance Marlborough (letter)

Western Morning News 7.2.06 INADEQUATE HUNTING LAW MUST BE CHANGED - David White is correct in pointing out some of the shortcomings in the Hunting Act in his letter "Twisting hunting law's meaning is not clever" (WMN, January 17). He is wrong, however, to say I am twisting the meaning of the law. Everything I have said about the law has come straight from Defra. I too did not realise I was hunting deer simply by flushing them out when walking my dogs in a wood. I too thought hunting had to involve dogs being used to chase an animal. I suspect that my previous idea of what hunting was is still shared by the vast majority of the British people…. I believe I am perfectly entitled to break a clearly inadequate law. I will carry on doing so and it seems nothing anyone can do can stop me. If this is undesirable it is the law, not my actions, that will have to change. Giles Bradshaw South Molton (letter)

Western Morning News 7.2.06 Fox coverts sustain wildlife - JOHN Phelps (WMN, January 10) asks why vendors advertise fox coverts as an asset. Perhaps he should confer with Theo Hopkins, who opined (January 9) that agents selling woodland always highlight badgers if they are there, as they increase the land's value. Well-managed fox coverts will sustain a plethora of wildlife besides the vermin fox, whereas the vermin badger, as a destructive animal, will offer no advantages in this respect… No one wants to see any species disappear, but they have to be managed, so why change something that has worked so well in the past? W T Sweet Mawgan, Helston (letter)
Western Morning News 10.1.06 WHY ENCOURAGE FOXES IF THEY ARE 'VERMIN'? - Your letters section (WMN, November 29) had a large colour photograph of a hunting scene with the caption reading: "Debate continues to rage on the relative merits of killing foxes by hunting or shooting". The best way to end this debate is to stop breeding foxes…. Could one of your correspondents kindly explain why vendors advertise fox coverts as an asset if foxes are vermin needing to be killed? John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 7.2.06 Do hunt no longer want spectators? TIM Laman, secretary of Tiverton Staghounds, is reported to have said (Gazette, January 31) that his hunt keeps within the law…. Now that the hunt has to act within the exemptions to the new law, they no longer seem to want spectators. Why is that? Ivor Annetts Tiverton
Editor: Some hunts do occasionally still send in the dates of their meets. (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 7.2.06 WE WELCOME FOX VISITORS - With reference to J. Howell's letter (Evening Telegraph, January 24), we do welcome foxes. We feed them each night…. Lenora Perry, Alderfen Close, Shelton Lock. (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 24.1.06 NO WELCOME FOR FILTHY VERMIN - I do not welcome foxes into my garden, for several very good reasons: my husband had blood poisoning, our old dog caught a serious disease and our neighbour's cat was attacked - all due to foxes. Furthermore, I walked out of my back door one day in the summer and straight into some fox mess on the doorstep - barefoot - ugh!... Shame on those people who feed them and encourage the filthy vermin to keep coming back. J. Howell, Littleover (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.2.06 THE CASE FOR TAIL DOCKING - I read the letter from the person from Radstock who was airing their so-called professional views on tail docking (Your Say, February 1). They intimated that there was no scientific proof that tails docking was necessary…. I did many years ago have a working springer spaniel with a full tail. I lost count the number of times that my legs were covered in blood from his lacerated tail…. I have never seen a docked spaniel yet that falls over when attempting to change direction. Steve Garner Taunton Somerset (letter)

BEST RURAL RETAILER AWARDS
Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 7.2.06 PENRITH STORE BEST IN REGION - Commitment to local food producers has earned national recognition for Cranstons Cumbrian Food Hall, Penrith…. The best rural retailer awards are part of a nationwide competition sponsored by the Countryside Alliance, aiming to find the best ambassadors for local producers and produce
Darlington & Stockton Times 3.2.06 Urban farm shop wins national award Urban farm shop wins national award - AN URBAN farm shop which opened just six months ago has been named the country's best rural retailer. Weeton's of Harrogate took the accolade in the Countryside Alliance's first annual competition and received the award at a reception at the House of Lords…. (story in archive)
Belfast Telegraph 30.1.06 Armagh farm shop catches judges' eye - Chapman's Farm Shop in Co Armagh was one of only two businesses in the United Kingdom to be highly commended by the judges in the Countryside Alliance's first annual UK-wide Best Rural Retailer competition. by Michael Drake (story)
Farmers Weekly 25.1.06 Yorkshire store wins Britain's Best Rural Retailer Award - Harrogate-based grocers Weeton’s has triumphed in the quest to find Britain’s Best Rural Retailer of the year. The store fought off fierce competition from 600 entries and 12 regional winners to win the national competition organised by the Countryside Alliance in conjunction with British Food Fortnight and Farmers Weekly… (story)
Telegraph 25.1.06 Town store that is full of country goodness By Paul Stokes, Charles Clover and Tom Peterkin - A futuristic urban food store has become the unlikely winner of the Countryside Alliance's Best Rural Retailer of the year award. When Weeton's opened in Harrogate only six months ago, shoppers were unsure what it was meant to be because of the variety of produce on show…. Joint highly commended was a shop which began with three brothers selling fresh food from a trolley on the side of the road. Chapman's Farm Fresh Fruit and Veg, outside Portadown, Co Armagh, has successfully taken on the supermarket chains by concentrating on local produce. Also highly commended was Pink Pig Organic Farm, which began trading from a trestle table at the end of the farm lane six years ago… One entry which did not win a prize but gained the admiration of the judges was Selgrave village shop, near Banbury, Oxfordshire. It has a part-time staff of 60 and is owned by the village through the parish council. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 28.12.05 Cranstons lording it to the awards - CRANSTONS bosses have been called to the House of Lords this month. The family firm has been named Best North West Rural Retailer, for its Cumbrian Food Hall in Penrith. Cranstons won the title in a national competition sponsored by the Countryside Alliance, in conjunction with British Food Fortnight and Farmers Weekly Magazine…. (story)
Birmingham Post 20.12.05 Winner Jan has X-factor - A farm shop in Rutland has been named the Midland winner of a competition to find the best rural retailer in the country. Northfield Farm at Cold Overton beat other regional hopefuls including Hopton Hogs of Hopton Cange-ford, Shropshire; Beckford Stores, of Beckford, Worcestershire and Stan's Super Store at St Martins, near Oswestry, Shropshire, to win the regional title. The competition was launched earlier this year by the Countryside Alliance… (story)
Belfast Telegraph 19.12.05 Retailers vie for top award - Michael Drake, countryfile - The Countryside Alliance's search for the UK's best rural retailer is nearing its end. Thirteen regional winners have been chosen from among 600 original nominations. An overall national winner will be announced at a reception in the House of in January… Countryside Alliance Ireland CEO Ronan Gorman said: "This competition is as much about the personalities behind the shopfronts as it is about the local produce on display…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 14.12.05 Cranstons in line for top award - A CUMBRIAN food retailer is heading to the House of Lords after impressing judges with its local produce. Cranstons Food Hall in Penrith came top in the North West heat in the best rural retailer contest, sponsored by the Countryside Alliance…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 12.12.05 Top farm shop produces prize - A FARM shop in East Lothian has been commended for its quality produce in a national contest for rural retailers. Knowes Farm Shop in East Linton was highly commended in the Countryside Alliance Best Rural Retailer competition…. (story)
Western Mail 9.12.05 Rural shops stem march of supermarkets - Gareth Morgan, Western Mail - LARGE portions of quality, passion and community spirit have been credited with winning two rural shops the "Best in Wales" title. In South Wales, a small farm shop which brings in good food from dozens of local producers has been chosen. And representing North Wales is an organic company which markets meat slaughtered only two miles away…. Adrian Simpson, Countryside Alliance regional director, a member of the judging panel, said, "Teifi and Jenny are absolutely passionate about every side of their business, from the working farm which they oversee, to the schools, pubs, hotels and restaurants that they supply….” (story)
Western Mail 25.11.05 Our food firms are pick of the crop By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post …. REGIONAL finalists in the Countryside Alliance's Best Rural Retailer competition were also selected. They are: House of Rhug, Rhug Estate, Corwen; Wrenbury Village Stores, Cheshire; Swans Farm Shop, Treuddyn, Mold; John Sigsworth, North Wales Buffalo, Halkyn…. (story)
Western Mail 23.11.05 Over 600 rural shops nominated for award's shortlist of just four - Gareth Morgan, Western Mail - SHOPS where the meat comes from local farms and the pastries are baked in the kitchen next door, have been selected to represent Wales in an award scheme, the Western Mail can reveal today. Four retailers leading the charge against globalisation and campaigning for fresh, locally-sourced food, have been selected on the shortlist for the Countryside Alliance's Best Rural Retailer competition…. (story)
Birmingham Post 22.11.05 Midland farm shops nominated - Four farm shops in the Midlands have been shortlisted in a competition to honour the best rural retailers. More than 100 regional retailers and 600 nationally entered the Countryside Alliance awards…. Clare Rowson, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "The enthusiasm of customers towards their local retailers is phenomenal…” (story)
Belfast Telegraph 17.10.05 Countryfile: Search for top rural retailer By Michael Drake - COULD the UK's top rural retailer come from Northern Ireland? A major competition, running in conjunction with Farmers Weekly magazine and British Food Fortnight, will find the best independent rural food retailer which flies the flag for quality local produce. The competition will close on October 25 and The Countryside Alliance is inviting nominations to find a winner…. (story)
Farmers Weekly 13.10.05 Britain’s Best Rural Retailer - Calling all rural retailers – are you the best in Britain? Farmers Weekly has joined forces with the Countryside Alliance and British Food Fortnight to find the nation’s Best Rural Retailer 2005. We want to celebrate a business that flies the flag for local quality produce and involves itself in the local community. … (story)
Bristol Evening Post 6.10.05 RURAL RETAILER AWARDS - Three weeks remain until nominations close for the Countryside Alliance's Best Rural Retailer competition. The competition is running in association with Farmers Weekly magazine and British Food Fortnight and asks the public to nominate their local independent shop if they believe it is an ambassador for local produce and benefits the local economy…. (story)
Western Mail 4.10.05 Search for best UK's rural retailer - THE COUNTRYSIDE Alliance is looking to name the country's best rural retailer. The Best Rural Retailer competition, run in conjunction with Farmers Weekly magazine and British Food Fortnight, will find the best independent shopkeeper promoting quality local produce… (story)
Cumberland News 30.9.05 Hunt for top rural retailer By Julie Armstrong - CUMBRIANS are set to give competitors from around the UK a real fight in the Countryside Alliance’s bid to find the country’s best rural retailer. The competition, run in conjunction with Farmers Weekly magazine and British Food Fortnight, will find the best independent rural food retailer which flies the flag for quality local produce… (story)
Western Mail 27.9.05 Local food 'is worth its weight in gold' - Adrian Simpson, Western Mail - Fresh approach needed if producers are to survive, says Adrian Simpson, South Wales director, Countryside Alliance… (story)
Daily Post 22.9.05 Shop contest - THE Countryside Alliance is launching a competition to find Britain's best food shop at the start of British Food Fortnight 2005… (story)
Western Mail 20.9.05 Competition to find best retailer - THE Countryside Alliance is to launch its Best Rural Retailer competition during British Food Fortnight. This new competition, run in association with Farmers Weekly magazine and British Food Fortnight, will find the best rural food retailer which flies the flag for quality local produce…. (story)
Reading Chronicle 13.9.05 Search for rural food store that's pick of the crop - THE Countryside Alliance is hunting in the Reading area again - but this time the quarry is the rural food retailer that best flies the flag for quality local produce. The search, which starts on September 24 during British Food Fortnight, is part of a competition run in conjunction with Farmers' Weekly magazine…. (story)

Western Morning News 7.2.06 WIDDECOMBE PLEA FOR BAN ON BADGER CULL - The growing row over plans for a cull of badgers in the Westcountry will take centre-stage at Westminster today, as animal welfare campaigners launch an "alternative" strategy for dealing with the spread of bovine TB. The Badger Trust will use a press conference at the Commons to put forward a package of "cattle-based" measures to control the disease… The new strategy, which is designed to put pressure on ministers to abandon plans for a badger cull, will be launched by the former Conservative Home Officer minister Ann Widdecombe…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 7.2.06 MAD HATTER COULDN'T HAVE DREAMT THIS UP - Having represented the National Federation of Badger Groups on the old Government badgers and bovine tuberculosis consultative panel, observing the current Defra consultation on a mass badger cull has taken on a completely surreal Alice in Wonderland quality…. The entire proposal for badger culls is a total nonsense based on "dodgy dossiers". They are not effective, cost-effective, practicable, legal or justifiable on ethical or scientific grounds. Even the Mad Hatter could not have dreamt up such pseudoscientific poppycock (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 6.2.06 STRICTER CATTLE TESTING REGIME IS THE ANSWER - From the early 1970s I have been involved in badger protection and have attended many discussions with MPs and others on the Bovine TB issue. Over the 25 to 30 years, thousands of badgers have been slaughtered - legally by Maff and Defra officials, and illegally by some farmers and landowners, blaming the badger for the spread of TB to cattle….TOMORROW: Former National Federation of Badger Groups' representative Martin Hancox's views on culling and Bovine TB. (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 4.2.06 'WE NEED THIS CULL BUT NOT BY USING SNARES' - We have first to remember that Bovine Tuberculosis affects species other than cattle. In the wildlife sector the main species affected is the badger followed by the deer to a much lesser extent. Other species such as dogs and cats have been known to contract Bovine TB but this is extremely rare. The badger has been shown to be the main carrier and transmitter of TB in the areas where cattle are present… MONDAY: Gloucestershire Badger Group's Tony Dean gives his view (story)

Gloucester Citizen 7.2.06 RSPCA HAD TO BEAR THE COST - Thank you for running the article in The Citizen on February 3 "Badger baiting soldier jailed for six months". However, there is one point we wish to correct. The trial cost the RSPCA £7,133, not the tax payers! LEE HOPGOOD Chief Inspector RSPCA (letter)

Western Morning News 7.2.06 PUBLIC MUST HAVE SAY ON BADGER CULL - The NFU - and the WMN - have suggested there is no need for a consultation period before a badger cull is instituted. Having read Defra's consultation document "Controlling the Spread of Bovine Tuberculosis in Cattle in High Incidence Areas in England: Badger Culling", it would be an assault on democracy if a cull was pushed through by the NFU without public involvement. … If farming is now to be expensively rescued from yet another animal health crisis, with no democratic consultation with the public or the wildlife conservation and animal welfare bodies they support, farming may finally lose the public's sympathy. Theo Hopkins, Lifton (story)

Aberdeen Evening Express 7.2.06 WILDLIFE RESEARCH CENTRE FACING A FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL - They fought for the site to be rebuilt after it was burned down by animal rights activists. But a leading researcher now fears "bureaucrats" will succeed where the fire-raisers failed, as scientists battle to save their world famous North-east research centre again. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) at Banchory has been threatened with closure, sparking anger among politicians and scientists…. (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 7.2.06 Friend's movie tribute to tragic Jill By Samantha Clarke - A FRIEND of a Coventry woman killed during an animal rights protest 11 years ago has made a documentary about her life. Jill's Film is the result of months of hard work by John Curtin who wanted to keep alive the memory of Jill Phipps…. (story)

Western Morning News 7.2.06 WHY DOLPHINS ARE THE ANGELS OF THE SEA - I read in the Western Morning News that 23 dolphins have been killed around our South West coast, and am again disgusted. The biggest sinners in this terrible waste of such beautiful creatures are the governments who allow this wholesale slaughter to go on. These friendly creatures are drowning in nets. Personally I believe we are killing angels … Kevin Pyne, Dartmouth (letter)

Worcester Evening News 7.2.06 Sauce for gander - SIR - I wonder how many of your readers were horrified at a goose being shot in the head? I also wonder how many of those readers eat pork and goose? I also wonder if they are horrified at the way millions of pigs and geese are treated…. J L REYNOLDS, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Western Mail 7.2.06 Bunny-huggers call me an assassin - Being a meat-eating smallholder who cares about animals means learning to cope with criticism - WHEN I was 12, I was so passionate about animals that I turned vegetarian. Three months later, I realised that I didn't really like vegetables that much that I wanted them for every meal, and that was that…. Since writing about my two pigs going off for slaughter last week, I've had the anticipated flurry of rabid emails from mad bunny- huggers accusing me of betrayal, greed, and of being a cold-hearted assassin pretending to love animals, but then condemning them to death… (story)

Daily Record 7.2.06 PUP HORROR - I WAS horrified to read about the drug dealers who cut open puppies, stuffed them with bags of heroin and put them through customs to traffic drugs…. Mark O,Neill, Glasgow (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 7.2.06 WHY MILK HAS THE WHITE STUFF FOR CHILDREN - I Felt compelled to write and address what I consider to be misinformed statements in "Health and ethics say don't foist milk on schoolchildren"… When cows are given antibiotics to treat illness, by law the milk they produce must be withheld from the bulk supply for a certain amount of time to ensure that their milk is free from antibiotics…. It is simply wrong to state "There are 20-60 cases of mastitis per 100 cows at any one time." There are not. If there were, then 20-60 per cent of milk produced would have to be thrown away each day, which is patently not the case. Mastitis milk is unsaleable… In a nation where many teenagers are not getting enough calcium and rates of osteoporosis are on the increase, it is ill-advised to suggest that milk should be removed from schools. CHARLES HOLTThe Farm Consultancy Group,Station Road, Waddington. (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 25.1.06 HEALTH AND ETHICS SAY DON'T FOIST MILK ON SCHOOLCHILDREN - I do not believe milk should be subsidised at school (January 6). Milk is not actually the wonder food we are all led to believe… Then there are the ethics of milk production. Dairy cows have terribly sad lives… RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln (letter)

Dundee Evening Telegraph 7.2.06 Whale rescue efforts applauded - I APPLAUD the efforts of those who tried in vain to save the whale in the Thames. It is a refreshing contrast to the cruelty normally reserved for these beautiful creatures by Norway and Japan…. D. Murray. (letter)

6.2.06

Carlisle News & Star 6.2.06 hunting - It’s not sport - TOM Glennen’s comments in reply to Elaine Milbourn about the fox hunting laws (Letters, January 25 , show that he is doing his fair share of "preaching” himself. I was born and bred in a village and, 74 years on, still live in a village and have always been against fox hunting or any other activity (because it is not sport) that involves cruelty…. HAZEL FEATHERSTONE, Crosby, Maryport (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.2.06 DO DOGS KNOW IF IT'S OK TO KILL? - I think it's time to challenge this fairytale of "trail" hunting. Why are we supposed to believe that foxhounds, trained to chase and kill foxes, will, with little or no expert training, not chase and kill foxes or deer?... If they have been professionally retrained, then why are they taking them to old hunting grounds where foxes are likely to be found and the hounds tempted to regress?... Mrs Y Street Okehampton Devon (letter)

Yorkshire Post 6.2.06 Underbelly of horse racing From: Aled Jones, Mount Crescent, Bridlington. STILL too little attention is given to the plight of Britain's racehorses. Taking figures from the official form book, the charity Animal Aid reports that around 370 horses entered into races each season die from their injuries; or are killed because they are considered of no further commercial value, even though they are young enough to continue racing…. (letter)

Oxford Mail 6.2.06 Priority for patients - Glyn Limmer (Oxford Mail, December 31) decides to rewrite medical history to suit his own extreme arguments. It is bad enough that anti-vivisectionists want to deny patients possible new treatments, but your correspondent even goes as far as claiming that animals do not benefit from animal research. Most veterinary medicines, used by vets when our pets are ill, were developed thanks to work involving animals…. Thomas Bromley, Dunstable (letter in archive)
Oxford Mail 31.12.05 Those who speak in favour of animal experiments erroneously assume that success in this research is to the benefit of vets as well as other professions… As one research paper I read said, animal experiments are all very well, but the real test is to test these new cures on humans. Tests on animals are almost irrelevant…. Glyn Limmer, Roosevelt Road, Long Hanborough (letter in archive)

Halifax Courier 6.2.06 NOW LET'S END WHALING FOR EVER - HOW wonderful that so much concern and compassion was evidenced by so many people in the attempt to save the whale stranded in the River Thames… Yet in some nations which still practise whaling inflict horrendous deaths on these sensitive animals for profit and so-called "scientific" purposes… (Miss) C. Smith Norfolk Place, Halifax. (story)

Plymouth Evening Herald 6.2.06 LET NATURE ALONE - The latest hue and cry is "Cull the squirrel; cull the badger." For goodness sake, leave nature alone… AVIS CROOK, Manadon (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.2.06 STOP SCANDAL OF CRUEL EXPORTING - Even now, sheep are being exported under welfare conditions that decent honest farmers would disown…. David Thomas Hisomley Wiltshire (letter)

5.2.06

Scotland on Sunday 5.2.06 Linklater's Scotland - MAGNUS LINKLATER - WILLIE leans down and tugs the ear of his bright-eyed cocker spaniel, Heather. "Aye, she's come along well this season…” Scenes like this have been familiar across the Scottish countryside over the past four months. In the course of its short season, from September (for partridges) to the last day of January, shooting has been the central activity for an army of gamekeepers, beaters, pickers-up, vets, dog-trainers, local butchers, hotel-owners and purveyors of guns, cartridges and country wear… Now, perhaps, the sport may be coming in from the cold. Recently, for the first time, Scottish Enterprise joined up with the national tourist board, VisitScotland, to promote it….(story)

Scotland on Sunday 5.2.06 Big fish back drive to get youth hooked on angling - JEREMY WATSON - THE battle for Scotland's riverbanks is about to cast off. Prince Charles' favourite charity, quiz show host Chris Tarrant and TV newsreader Fiona Armstrong are being lined up to support an ambitious plan to recruit more than 50,000 young fishermen and save angling from terminal decline. The £335,000 Scottish National Angling Programme will be launched later this year by countryside groups concerned the sport is at risk of dying out… (story)

BEWL WATER SABOTAGE
Independent on Sunday 5.2.06 Fishing Lines: The small fry escaped - find the villains By Keith Elliott - The email arrived just a few days after suspected animal liberationists released more than 50,000 rainbow trout from cages at Bewl Water, near Wadhurst, Sussex. Why they picked me, I don't know… The result is that Bewl, one of the few reservoirs that rears its own trout, may be forced to buy them - from an intensive fish-rearing farm. (story)
Kent/Sussex Courier 3.2.06 FREED FISH MAY FACE SLOW DEATH - Fifty-five thousand fish being reared at Bewl Water have been freed in a suspected overnight swoop by animal rights activists… (story)
Kent/Sussex Courier 3.2.06 RELEASED FISH ARE DESTINED FOR A SLOW DEATH - There can be little doubt that anti-fishing activists were responsible for releasing 50,000 trout, mainly rainbows but including a few browns, from the rearing cages at Bewl Water, at Lamberhurst, during darkness on January 24…. One would have thought that the misguided people who are opposed to various forms of animal husbandry involving mammals, birds and fish - whether the end-product is used as food, research or sport - would have learned from their many past disasters resulting from the illegal release of such things as mink, wild boar, parakeets and hunting hounds, among others… (story)
Politics.co.uk 31.1.06 Countryside Alliance: Animal rights activity harming rural life - The Countryside Alliance has hit out at an act of sabotage at Bewl Water in Kent last week, saying it "has all the hallmarks of animal rights activists."… Countryside Alliance angling spokesman Charles Jardine said: "This mindless act will have grave financial and sporting repercussions at Bewl and its surrounding area. In releasing these small fish those responsible are damaging the local economy through harming the angling interests of the area. Bewl attracts anglers not just from the local area but increasingly from throughout Europe….” (story)
Argus 30.1.06 Reservoir raid leaves fish to die by Andy Dickenson - More than 50,000 farmed fish have been released into a reservoir in an act of vandalism thought to be linked to animal activists. Managers at Bewl Water near Wadhurst believe thousands of rainbow trout worth £100,000 will die as a result of the sabotage… (story in archive)
BBC News Online 29.1.06 Animal rights fear as fish freed - Fifty thousand fish being reared to stock a reservoir for fishermen have been freed in what is feared could be an attack by animal rights activists. The rainbow trout should have been released gradually this year into Bewl Water on the Kent/Sussex border but many are now likely to die…. (story)
Guardian 28.1.06 Saboteurs suspected as 50,000 fish are released in reservoir - John Vidal, environment editor - Animal liberation saboteurs are believed to have released more than 50,000 small farmed fish into a reservoir in what may be an escalation of their campaign against caged animals. The young rainbow trout, which were being reared for angling in pens covered with nets, spilled into Bewl Water reservoir near Lamberhurst in Kent when nine out of 10 large cages were tampered with early yesterday morning…. Angling organisations yesterday said they feared that an animal liberation group had struck at a freshwater fish farm for the first time… (story)

Sunday Times 5.2.06 Fight us and you’ll lose, ALF - Threats by animal rights activists are backfiring at Oxford, says Grace Phillips - Animal rights activists have threatened violence against all staff and students at Oxford over the university’s plans for a £20m animal research laboratory… What’s ironic is that if the animal rights activists had thought it through, they would have seen students are their natural allies. We might have been willing to listen if they offered a calm and considered argument, but now all most of us feel is intimidated…. A poll in an Oxford student paper revealed that 85% of students now support animal testing. Some are going even further. An organisation called Pro-Test was set up a week or so ago by a 16-year-old boy who has already garnered a lot of public support…. Will Pro-Test capture the student imagination? I think it will. And I hope that others will look at www.Pro-Test.org.uk and come and join us in standing up to the bullies (story)

Sunday Times 5.2.06 Rights for pets? They already take enough liberties - Legislation will upset the power balance between animal and owner, argues Allan Brown - Pets don’t tend to bother about their rights, for the simple reason that they don’t know they have any. This arrangement always worked well: because pets have no responsibilities they can have no rights, as anyone who ever tried to get a cocker spaniel to take the bins out knows only too well…. The shoe was placed firmly on the other paw, though, when the executive last week announced its plan to enfranchise the cushion-dwellers of Scotland with the introduction of a five-point animal rights charter…. We might occasionally ache to leave them tied up on the central reservation of the nearest motorway, but it seems Scottish politicians are for life and not just for Christmas. (story)

Observer 5.2.06 Remember, never put Tiddles in the washing machine - Victoria Coren - The government is to publish an instruction manual which tells people how to care for their pets, including an 18-page document on cats. I'm trying to imagine the sort of person who is not capable of looking after a cat, but is capable of reading 18 pages. I'm also wondering how on earth they filled so much space. I would have thought that cat advice was pretty simple: 'Feed them. Give them a bit of space. Check for them in the wing mirror before reversing out of the garage.'… (story)

Independent on Sunday 5.2.06 Peter York On Ads: The bank that likes to spur on our inner horse - LLOYDS TSB - An American friend living in London once inherited 22 acres. I was impressed…. The English do think land is grand, because they've been remote from it for 150 years…. We have the Countryside Alliance, a single-issue lobby group cleverly wrapped in the flag of the countryside, but in great swathes of Europe the young are still deserting villages in their millions. You won't find them getting soppy or aspirational about the countryside…. (story)

Independent on Sunday 5.2.06 Beckham hangs up his boots (the ones made out of baby kangaroos) - England captain to kick out his favourite footwear in protest at manufacturer's 'cruel practices' By Tom Anderson - David Beckham had trouble with his metatarsals at the last World Cup…. Four years after signing a multi-million pound deal with adidas to wear Predator football boots made of kangaroo skin, the biggest star in the global game has ditched the model after learning of the gruesome process that goes into making his preferred footwear…. He made the decision after being sent a graphic video by animal rights groups, which showed how baby kangaroos were pulled from their mother's pouch and beaten to death during the annual kangaroo "harvest"… (story)

4.2.06

Belfast Telegraph 4.2.06 Cross-border row over hare coursing ban - Recent successes by Ulster hare coursers in the Republic have sparked debate about the sport. Michael McHugh reports - Bitter divisions have emerged over hare coursing following high-profile participation in the controversial sport in the Republic by Ulster-based dog breeders…. The Game Preservation Order for Northern Ireland will prevent hare coursing and follows similar legislation in 2003 and 2004…. Fionna Smyth from the League Against Cruel Sports in Northern Ireland has been lobbying against coursing and said: "The hare is an endangered species and there's an action plan in place to protect it. So it is perverse to see clubs from Northern Ireland going across the border to hunt these hares….” Ronan Gorman from the Countryside Alliance attended the meeting at Clonmel and is a strong proponent of the rural pursuit…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 4.2.06 Anti-hunt 'mudslinging' From: J Grice, The Close, Durkar, Wakefield. I have read the comment from Mike Hobday, head of Public Affairs for the League Against Cruel Sports (Yorkshire Post, January 31), and conclude it is the usual mudslinging claptrap… it sounds more like the Vikings had come up the Humber once again. But no. He is talking about a pack of hounds out drag- or trail-hunting…. The reason we get these inflammatory letters is the fact that the League needs a raison d'être to justify its existence. These people will turn truth on its head to get their way. I have nothing but contempt for them…. (letter)

Irish Independent 4.2.06 Barbarity of hare coursing - What could possibly have prompted you to dedicate page three of Tuesday's edition (January 31) to a half page photo of three Neanderthals, from my native Scotland, wearing dead animals on their heads and rejoicing in the barbarity of hare coursing?... KEN VASS, KENMARE, Co KERRY (letter)

Western Morning News 4.2.06 Hands off shooting - THEY'RE at it again! Not satisfied with the ban on hunting, the people of the "Anti Everything British" brigade have the notion that it is time to ban shooting and possibly angling - and then what? What's their problem - is it really a class issue with them? I think it must be…. They're against anyone who has a gun to shoot his dinner or a peaceful angler fishing for his supper, or someone on a horse chasing a horrible animal known as the fox, who has savagely attacked, for fun, animals, poultry and wild birds on his farm. M Peters, Plymouth (letter)

Western Daily Press 4.2.06 POINTLESS WASTE OF OUR RESOURCES - The Independent Scientific Group on cattle ISG has decided that Defra-targeted local culling doesn't go far enough and is calling for a massive killing operation. I believe that cattle probably spread TB to each other, and hunting may also play a role in spreading TB across farms… Roy Franklin, Bridgwater, Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 4.2.06 RSPCA'S STANCE ON BADGERS CRITICISED - The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been accused of a two-faced attitude to animal welfare in its latest advertising campaign…. The stance has angered the National Farmers Union, which says the charity is "turning a blind eye" to the tens of thousands of cattle in the Westcountry which have to be slaughtered every year because of the disease or face the "stress" of constant testing…. (story)

Oxford Mail 4.2.06 Highly disturbing - David Hadrill claims that animal experiments "benefit much of mankind" (Oxford Mail, January 21). Which particular experiments did he have in mind?... Mr Hadrill describes the animal rights' activists who battled with police in the recent anti-vivisection demonstration as 'yobs' and the 'lunatic fringe'. I would argue that it is the fanatical scientists who subject laboratory animals to every degree of cruelty in totally worthless experiments who are the real 'yobs' and 'lunatics'…. JIM CRAWFORD, Burton Place, Oxford (letter in archive)

Bolton Evening News 4.2.06 Bill should help to protect pets - THE best news to read in the paper and on the news in recent days has been the Animal Welfare Bill…. all of us who care should help the pet police to prosecute when this law comes into force, and not be afraid to report anyone who goes outside this law…. Mrs M Holt Cheriton Drive, Bolton (letter in archive)

Scotsman 4.2.06 Japan's whale slaughter - In response to the letter (27 January) on whaling from the consul general of Japan, Shuhei Takahashi, it is outrageous that Japan continues to hunt and slaughter whales in spite of an international ban on this cruel practice…. ROSS MINETT, Director, Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)

3.2.06

Guardian 3.2.06 Fox is the big winner as hunter chasing returns - One year after the ban, there is no visible sign of an impact on the amateur side of National Hunt racing - Greg Wood at Wincanton - It was doomed, some said, along with the hunts and the hounds, if a ban on fox-hunting ever made it into law. For a sport that was supposed to be on the brink of extinction, though, hunter-chasing appeared to be in surprisingly good health at Wincanton yesterday…. It is in the long term, though, that some believe the hunting ban will have its effect. "The case against the hunting ban is going through the European courts at the moment and that could take years," one long-time follower of point-to-pointing said yesterday…. (story)

FOX KILLED IN NORTHALLERTON AREA
Harrogate Advertiser 3.2.06 Witnesses say fox was killed by hounds - POLICE and the RSPCA are investigating after a fox was allegedly killed by hounds in the Northallerton area on Saturday…. (story)
Northern Echo 31.1.06 We did not kill fox, says hunt - HUNT masters said yesterday they had no involvement in the death of a fox at the weekend. A spokeswoman for the Hurworth Hunt, based at West Rounton, in North Yorkshire, confirmed they were in the area, but said they were only trail hunting and exercising their hounds…. The second witness, a woman, said she had run over a fox in her car in that area and had then seen the creature being set upon by the hounds…. (story in archive)
Yorkshire Post 30.1.06 POLICE CHECK CLAIMS FOX WAS KILLED BY PACK OF HOUNDS - Paul Jeeves - A POLICE investigation has been launched following reports that a fox was killed by a pack of hounds in North Yorkshire. Witnesses contacted police after spotting the fox being surrounded by the dogs at Winton Bank close to the A684 near Northallerton on Saturday shortly before 3pm. A motorist also contacted police after she had run over a fox in her car and told officers she saw the animal being set upon by hounds…. The Yorkshire Post contacted the secretaries of several North Yorkshire hunts yesterday who all said they knew nothing about the death of the fox…. (story)

Oxford Mail 3.2.06 Spoiled brats - Where would we be without pronouncements from hunters such as Patrick Martin, manager of the Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hound Club…While hunt followers tag every move of monitors, blocking in and vandalising our vehicles and aggressively preventing us from recording hunt activity, the presumption must be that there is much to hide… Bea Bradley, Cuxham Road, Watlington (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 3.2.06 MORE RESEARCH - The suggestion that badgers infect cattle with TB by contaminating the grass they eat has been found to be unlikely. Cattle were seen consistently to reject the contaminated parts and post-mortems showed predominantly lung - rather than gut - infection… Eunice Overend Somerset (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 3.2.06 Protesters are not so peaceful - PHILIP Beaven is disingenuous in complaining about police restrictions on the activities of animal rights protesters attempting to halt the construction of the new medical research laboratory at Oxford. The "peaceful" tactics so far employed by these fanatics have been to target medical research staff by terrorising them with threatening letters and vandalising their cars… John P Hunter Kerry Close Shaw, Swindon (story)

BBC News Online 3.2.06 Interview: Jackie Ballard By Jackie Storer - She may have thrown her hat into the ring in the last Liberal Democrat leadership battle, but Jackie Ballard says she is more than happy not to be taking part this time. The 53-year-old has left Westminster politics behind, after losing her seat at the 2001 election. She has been director general of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) for the past four years…. (story)

Scotsman 3.2.06 Cruelty to animals - As a cat owner, I welcome the Scottish Executive's proposed bill of rights for animals (your report, 31 January)…. I welcome the plans, but fear they will do little to tackle the problem. I would rather see state funding for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. That is the real way to end animal cruelty in Scotland. BRYAN McCORMACK, Culzean Place, Pennyburn, Kilwinning, Ayrshire
So domestic animals are to be given a charter of rights under the Animal Health and Welfare Bill. I presume that "domestic animals" includes goldfish… It seems hardly fair to give the domestic fish protection from suffering, injury and disease, without granting the same to its wild brethren, the trout and salmon… DAVID FIDDIMORE, Calton Road, Edinburgh (letters)

Scotsman 3.2.06 Export resumption raises veal fears - FORDYCE MAXWELL RURAL AFFAIRS EDITOR- ANIMAL rights groups are campaigning hard to prevent any resumption of a live calf trade with continental Europe when the beef export ban ends… Ross Minett, of Advocates for Animals, said it was an appalling prospect that calves only a few days old should suffer the trauma of long journeys, by sea and road, to be reared in conditions that have been banned in Britain… (story)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 3.2.06 - THERE has never before been a better chance before Parliament to end the misery of circus animals, but we (people like me and Animal Defenders International who collected undercover video footage) need everyone’s help… Please help those animals that spend their lives travelling and performing… LISA VAN DEN HEUVEL, Long Row, Oakham (letter)

2.2.06

Irish Independent 2.2.06 COURSING: Northern lights shine brightly - HAVING won with O'Flahertys Man and Yes Jimmy Ha, Northern Ireland owners made it three-in-a-row on the final day of the National Coursing Meeting at Powerstown Park yesterday with Bexhill Eoin…(story)

Essex Chronicle 2.2.06 JURY CLEARS MAN IN HUNT SKIRMISH - A Hunt saboteur suffered a broken wrist during a skirmish between protesters and the Essex Foxhounds Hunt at Thaxted, a jury heard. James Purser, one of the hunt's terrier men, denied causing actual bodily harm to Ian Russell and was cleared of the charge on Monday after maintaining that he was only acting in self-defence…. Stephanie Farrimond, prosecuting, said that foxhunting was now a banned sport but, at the time of the incident on December 11, 2004, it was a legal pursuit… Miss Farrimond said one of the huntsmen, on horseback, approached one of the protesters, Bevan Earey, and told him to clear off…. At this point, fellow protester Ian Russell went over to Mr Earey because he feared that he was going to be attacked. Miss Farrimond said that, at this stage, Mr Purser came down holding a stick or cudgel and squared up to Mr Russell…. (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 2.2.06 Hunt won’t face charges over garden fox chase - THE Avon Vale Hunt has been told it will not face any charges following an investigation by Devizes police. Ron and Pat Thomas had called the police after they saw a fox being chased by about 20 hounds through their garden by the hunt…Mr Seed was interviewed under caution at Devizes Borough Police Station seven days after the complaint was made. He said: "The police seemed to place a higher priority on investigating hunting than they do a house burglary. To get a police car there within ten minutes when there was no danger to property or people was quite an achievement…" (story)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 10.11.05 Avon hunt denies breaking the law - POLICE are investigating whether a hunt which took place near Devizes was illegal after a couple claimed hounds chased a fox throug their garden . Ron and Pat Thomas said they saw a fox being chased by about 20 hounds through their garden by the Avon Vale Hunt. But Jonathon Seed, master of the Avon Vale Hunt, has denied that illegal hunting had taken place and said the hunt called off the hounds as soon as it was realised they were chasing a fox. The incident happened last Thursday. Police in Devizes have taken a statement from Mr Thomas and taken photographs of animal prints in the couple's garden…. (story in archive)

THE HUNT
Daily Post 2.2.06 TV series boosts hunting support horse With Mike Roberts, Daily Post - IF EVER the anti-hunting brigade thought the battle was over and victory was theirs, a Welsh TV series is suggesting otherwise. The law has spoken and hunts are doing their best to stay legal during what they believe is a temporary blip in the continuance of a long -standing British tradition. Even so, problems are beginning to emerge and these have been manifestly portrayed by a brilliant four-part BBC2 Wales series called The Hunt. Telling it as it happens, complete with strong but passionate language, the documentary goes to West Wales and follows two hunts from Christmas 2004 to New Years Day 2006: the Tivyside in Pembrokeshire and the Llanwnnen and District Farmers'…. (story)
Daily Post 12.1.06 Hunting film discovers boom instead of last rites TV PROGRAMME makers who set out to record hunting's last rites, instead uncovered a booming rural pastime. Dai 4 Films, which followed two hunts in West Wales for more than a year, were expecting to chart the disappearance of a centuries-old sport after the ban on hunting with hounds. But freelance director Neil Davies said the Llanwnnen and Tivyside hunts had instead become focal points for rural disaffection…. (story)
Western Mail 10.1.06 'Banning hunts has made them focus of rural life' - Steve Dube, Western Mail - HUNTING with hounds may have been outlawed, but it is more popular than ever. Freelance television director Neil Davies of Dai 4 Films, who filmed the Llanwnen and Tivyside hunts for more than a year, says it seems to have become a focus for the strong feelings of isolation and neglect felt by many people in the countryside…. The Hunt starts tonight on BBC2W at 9pm and continues for the next three weeks. (story)

Western Mail 2.2.06 Are we a nation of animal lovers? - Yes - Gail Gwesyn-Pryce, of Mid Wales Dog Training in Powys and The Splash hydro swimming pool…. No - Mike Hobday, head of public affairs at the League Against Cruel Sports… In the belief that no mammal or bird should be killed for "sport", either by hunting with dogs or shooting, we believe - no, we know - that we represent the opinion of the vast majority of the British public… (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 2.2.06 CAMPAIGN TO CAUSE RUIN - Having received a letter today from the LACS (League Against Cruel Sports) I felt I must put pen to paper as a supporter of the ban on hunting. It seems the latest craze to cause the organisation's ruin is to send endless amounts of junk mail to the freepost address… I truly hope they fail in their attempt and decent, caring people win the day. S Maw, Earlsgate, Winterton. (letter)

Bucks Free Press 2.2.06 Foxes still killed - KATHERINE Watson in her letter last week is clearly a genuine drag hunter, taking part in the long-establised practice of following hounds which are pursuing an artificial scent across the countryside…. Contrast this to the so-called "trail hunting" that foxhunters are gleefully claiming to be engaged in since the Hunting Act came into force. Almost inarticulate in their enthusiasm to gloat that it has failed to stop them killing just as much as ever, they hardly know where to start in their claims of the multiple ways they are ridiculing the law… Not once have I heard of a genuine draghound pack rioting after a fox and tearing it to pieces. Foxhunters can bring draghunting itself into disrepute…. Penny Little, Great Haseley, Oxon (letter)

Western Daily Press 2.2.06 COMMENTS ARE NONSENSICAL - I am never really surprised at the ignorant and inane comments made by hunt supporters, but the recent comments in your paper from T E Mattocks took the biscuit. He asked: "How do we know what pain and anguish a living potato feels?" I must advise him that the sensation of pain comes from the central nervous system. A vegetable does not have one of these. Oh, and the trite comments made to a vegetarian hunt protester made no sense either…. R Davies Godminster Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.1.06 DO VEGETABLES HAVE RIGHTS? - For many years now it has been fashionable to worry about the welfare of animals. We read about the rights and wrongs of hunting, eating, slaughtering, husbanding and all else relating to animal welfare, but rarely do we consider the variety of other living things with which we adorn our plates and which we call vegetables…. I remember an occasion some years ago when I talked to a vegetarian hunt protester who had just walked across a meadow. I said to him: "Do you realise how many thousands of living plants and insects you have just crushed?" He could not give me an answer. I often wonder if he still remembers! T E Mattocks Taunton Somerset (letter)

Daily Post 2.2.06 Shooters spot on for research - A ground-breaking initiative run by shooting enthusiasts in North Wales has been praised for its conservation benefits. A unique collaboration between people who manage land for shooting and those trying to achieve local conservation targets, the Green Shoots programme has been set up by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). The project, run in north Wales by the farming and wildlife advisory group for Wales (FWAG Cymru) allows access to shooting land for survey and management work… (story)

Somerset County Gazette 2.2.06 Animal rights supporters take on shooting by Chris Alder - IT is being claimed that a League of Cruel Sports campaign to ban shooting would damage the rural economy in Somerset…. (story in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 2.2.06 CHARITIES HOPE THIS TAIL HAS A HAPPY ENDING - Vets and staff at the Bristol RSPCA Clinic and Bristol Dogs and Cats Home have added their support to the national campaign to ban tail-docking as part of the Animal Welfare Bill… (story)

Carlisle News & Star 2.2.06 Cash for city youth hostel By Chris Story - CARLISLE is in line for a new £1 million youth hostel that could be built at the city’s historic castle…. The YHA revealed their plans for Carlisle as they announced two other hostels in the county are to close…. A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: "If this move is restricting access to the countryside for young people who are less able to afford alternative accommodation, we would be very disappointed.”… (story)
BBC News Online 31.1.06 Thirty-two youth hostels to close - Nearly one in seven youth hostels in England and Wales will shut over the next three years to help fund a revamp of the remaining properties. The Youth Hostels Association said it will sell 32 of its least popular sites and cut around 70 jobs…. Tim Bonner, a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, added: "If this move is restricting access to the countryside for young people and people who are less able to afford alternative accommodation, we would be very disappointed."… (story)

BBC News Online 2.2.06 'Back off badgers', urges RSPCA - Animal welfare charity the RSPCA is launching an advertising campaign aimed at preventing a large-scale cull of badgers in England… (story)
Western Daily Press 2.2.06 RSPCA LAUNCHES BATTLE TO SAVE BADGERS - Animal welfare charity the RSPCA is launching a national advertising campaign with the aim of preventing a large-scale badger cull in England….(story)

Salisbury Journal 2.2.06 Show us proof that badgers are responsible - THOSE of us opposed to the slaughter of our native wildlife want to see thorough research, published factual conclusions and undeniable proof that badgers are responsible for bovine TB…. MO NORRINGTON, Blackdog Hill, Studley (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 2.2.06 PROOF NEEDED OF TB BEFORE CULL OF BADGERS - Three cheers for John Atter, the RSPCA East regional manager, who brought to our attention the issue of the Government wanting to cull tens of thousands of badgers by gassing, shooting and snaring… Mr Atter, the RSPCA, badgers and all creatures can count on my support. Paul Potter, Glanville Avenue, Scunthorpe. (letter)

Look Local 2.2.06 Badger culling: The facts - A year ago the Fox Hunting debate aroused great emotion, yet very little is said about the imminent threat by the Government to kill tens of thousands of badgers in the south and west of the UK in the name of bovine TB control. The cull has very weak scientific basis but is a concession to demands by the Farmers Union… G Shepherd (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 2.2.06 BID TO CURB MINK THREAT - A Mink control project in Sunart, Lochaber, is being launched to stem a huge drop in ground-nesting bird numbers…. (story)

Oxford Student 2.2.06 Students will be the next target By Jessica Goodman - Militant animal rights campaigners have declared Oxford students legitimate targets for attack, in the same week that student groups have begun to mobilise opposition to the activists. A posting on the internet forum, Bite Back, claiming to be from the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) said, "We must target professors, teachers, heads, students… and anyone that dares to deal in any part of the university in any way. There is no time for debate... this is make or break time and from now on, anything goes.”… The threat comes at a time when some students, increasingly angered by the constant threats to the university, are starting to organise opposition to the activists. A group called Pro-Test has set up a website to organise a counter-animal activist movement….(story)

Oxford Student 2.2.06 The animal rights debate opens up By The Oxford Student - In the first edition of last term’s Oxford Student, the Independent on Sunday’s assistant editor David Randall suggested, "Perhaps a free society gets the kind of protestors and campaigners it deserves.”… One of the most positive aspects to come from the developments that have occurred this week is the establishment of Pro-Test, a group that, in its own words, ‘aims to promote and support scientific research and debate including animal based research’. This should be viewed as a positive step by everyone, not because it is pro-animal testing (of course, individuals will have their own views on that), but because it shows our society is strong and healthy enough to be able to give rise to passionate, informed protesters on both sides of a very thorny issue… (story)

PRO-TEST LAUNCH
Guardian 2.2.06 In praise of ... student protest - Leader - To the long list of altruistic student campaigns down the years - against apartheid, in defence of free speech, anti-war (both Vietnam and Iraq) - and the more self-interested crusades against tuition fees or rent rises, now add another campaign. Oxford students have launched a new public interest cause that other university students should join: to defend animal-testing to advance medical science… (story)
Times 1.2.06 Students fight back for animal research BY PATRICK FOSTER AND NICOLA WOOLCOCK - STUDENTS at Oxford University angered by threats, disruption and demonstrations against the construction of a £20 million animal-testing facility are hitting back with pro- research protests…. One student group, calling itself Pro-Test, will hold its first demonstration this month to coincide with a rally organised by Speak, the national animal rights group campaigning against the laboratory…. (story)
Oxford Mail 1.2.06 Group to stage rally alongside protesters - Students at Oxford University are planning a demonstration to combat protests against the new £18m animal research laboratory. The group, which calls itself Pro-Test, will hold its first major rally on February 25, which will coincide with the latest monthly demonstration by animal rights group Speak… (story in archive)

Independent 2.2.06 Leading article: Stand firm, Oxford - The news that the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is stepping up its attacks on professors, teachers, students, supporters - indeed anyone who deals with Oxford University, regardless of whether they are engaged in animal research shows how much effort the Government will have to put into protecting Oxford's biomedical facility…. (story)
Independent 2.2.06 Oxford University: Attacks mount in animal battle - Anti-vivisection activists have stepped up their campaign to stop the building of a new laboratory at Oxford University. Nick Jackson talks to protesters and medical researchers about what's at stake…(story)

Oxford Mail 2.2.06 Shameful history - Ken Hill asks if anti-vivisectionist protesters would refuse a drug if they knew it had been tested on animals (Oxford Mail, January 3). No, but we would rather choose drugs which have not been tested on animals, just as we choose to buy non-animal-tested cosmetics, toiletries and household products. Nearly everything we use is tested on animals, even the water we drink. Should we die of thirst?... Pat Griffin, Linton, Cambridge (letter in archive)
Oxford Mail 3.1.06 Would they refuse - If, heaven forbid, an animal rights' protester was suffering from an incurable disease, and a cure was found by research using animals, would the protester refuse the treatment? Ken Hill, Trinity Road, Headington, Oxford (letter in archive)

Northern Echo 2.2.06 CANCER CURE : Re Colette McCormick's letter (Has Jan 21) regarding cancer. Where's the evidence that scientists are closer than ever to finding a cure?... Clearly the approach of the mainstream, scientific establishment to this problem, including a reliance on animal experiments isn't working…. - Name and address supplied. (letter in archive)

Lancashire Evening Post 2.2.06 Animal rights...or pc wrongs? - Cat owners may soon have to keep their pets indoors at night if new guidelines are adopted by the Government. A guide has been drafted up by officials stating cats should be kept indoors at night to protect them from wildlife…. (story)

Look Local 2.2.06 MP AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY - MP Angela Smith has called for stronger sentences for people who are cruel to animals…. The RSPCA have said they are "delighted” with the Bill, in particular with the duty of care and The League Against Cruel Sports "warmly welcomes” the Bill. By Graham Smyth (story)

CAMILLA WEARS FUR
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 2.2.06 Fur flies for Camilla - THE Duchess of Cornwall was this week accused of "setting a terrible example" by animal rights campaigners after she wore a rabbit fur scarf during a visit to Westonbirt Arboretum… "It's very surprising and shocking that she should choose to wear fur," PETA spokeswoman Anita Singh said…. (story)
Daily Mail 31.1.06 Camilla causes a fur furore - The Duchess of Cornwall was today accused of "setting a terrible example" by animal rights campaigners after she wore a rabbit fur scarf during a visit to a leading boarding school. Camilla, who was a keen huntswoman, wore the light brown, twisted-style neckwear as she toured Westonbirt School, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, in the biting wind. But the Duchess's choice of fashion wear was immediately condemned by protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)…. (story)
Sun 31.1.06 Cam's rabbit fur scarf row By JAMES CLENCH - CAMILLA came under attack from animal rights protesters after wearing a rabbit fur scarf on a visit to a school yesterday…. And she was immediately accused of "setting a terrible example” by protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Spokeswoman Anita Singh said: "It’s very surprising and shocking that she should choose to wear fur…." (story)
Western Daily Press 31.1.06 FUR ROYAL HIGHNESS - The Duchess of Cornwall defiantly wore animal fur on a visit in the West yesterday, after being hounded by animal rights activists…. And while Clarence House would not comment on the neckwear, it was seen as a defiant response to the bizarre campaign by animal rights group Peta. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has sent a man in a bear costume to protest at several of the couple's engagements, beginning with last week's visit in Bristol. The original demonstration - which continued yesterday - was against the Queen's guards wearing ceremonial hats made of bearskins - but last night Peta branded the Duchess as 'Queen Cruella' for donning the rabbit fur scarf….(story)

Scotsman 2.2.06 Cruelty in factory farms - Peter MacMahon manages to get a critical and almost cynical tone into his report on the Scottish Executive's proposed animal welfare legislation. This is a pity. The Executive should be congratulated, not sneered at for this sensible and progressive step forward. There is a further aspect of animal welfare which neither Westminster nor Holyrood have the courage to consider. This is the burgeoning barbarous cruelty to living creatures in the factory farming industry…. ALAN CLAYTON, Letters Way, Strachur, Argyll (story)

Shropshire Star 2.2.06 Horses face threat of meat export - Because of the appalling conditions exposed by campaigners many years ago, Britain introduced measures to end the export of live horses to Europe for meat. These protections are now under threat, largely because our own Government, for reasons which are inexplicable, refuses to act to keep Britain out of the horse meat export trade…. For more information, contact Viva!... NA Jones, Oswestry (letter)

Western Mail 2.2.06 Change is up to you - In recent times, we have witnessed many great examples of "man's inhumanity to man"… "Man's inhumanity to animals" has also been well demonstrated by Japan's equally unforgivable killing of our gentle and magnificent whales…. In order to discourage the Japanese from slaughtering these gentle giants of the ocean, hit them where it hurts most, in the pocket, by making sure your next car is not Japanese. NORMAN WATSON, Llwyn Onn, Gwaenysgor, Flintshire (letter)

The Sentinel 2.2.06 WENDY ROLLS UP FOR CIRCUS PROTEST - A Longsdon television presenter is leading a campaign to end the use of all animals in circuses. Wendy Turner-Webster, who is best known for presenting Channel 4's Pet Rescue, took part in a demonstration for a complete ban in Westminster on Friday… (story)
The Sentinel 23.1.06 WENDY FIGHTS FOR TOTAL BAN ON CIRCUS ANIMALS - DIANNE GIBBONS - Potteries-born television presenter Wendy Turner-Webster is leading a campaign to end the use of all animals in circuses. The animal lover and campaigner, who rose to fame on television's Pet Rescue, has added her voice to calls from the Born Free Foundation and RSPCA for what they call "Big Top exploitation" to be banned…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 2.2.06 ACTIVISTS FEAR CALVES WILL SUFFER - Animal-rights activists fear a cruel trade in calf exports might begin again. Members of Advocates for Animals are calling on the National Farmers Union of Scotland and the Scottish Executive to ensure exports do not resume when BSE-related restrictions are removed this spring…. (story)

1.2.06

East Anglian Daily Times 1.2.06 - Hundreds pay last respects to countryman - IT was the kind of day Tony Harvey would have loved to have been out hunting - cold but firm under foot and visibility as far as the eye could see. Instead it was the day the countryman was laid to rest in the churchyard of the village where he had lived all his life…. His coffin was transported to the church - at speed, according to his own instructions - on a flat wagon pulled by a beautiful Black Fresian horse and was carried into the church by members of the Easton Harriers to the traditional hunting tune, John Peel. In the churchyard the coffin was greeted by huntsman, Robert Moffatt, and two hounds from the Easton pack, Curlew and Quality…. (story)

Droitwich Spa Advertiser 1.2.06 Hunt rivals in war of words over meet - HUNT protesters and Worcestershire Hunt supporters have both claimed to have had members attacked at a foxhunt just outside Droitwich Spa. Members of the Hunt Saboteurs' Association say police were called to the scene after one attack in which a protestor was taken to hospital… Hunt master David Palmer, however, said a protester had attacked a member of the hunt with a jemmy. "We were engaged in legal activity and had laid a scent. Twenty-four or so protestors were shouting abuse and started to blow horns and attracted our dogs towards the road. One of our lads had to have eight stitches in his head after being hit with a jemmy. They come masked and armed and looking for trouble."… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 1.2.06 GRUESOME FACE OF HUNT PROPAGANDA - There's a lot of shroud-waving going in the ranks of the pro-hunt fraternity. A grisly picture of a deer with its jaw shot away is being touted around local newspapers with a plea for them to publish it as evidence of the consequences of the ban on stag-hunting. It is nothing of the sort, of course. It is the result of some gun-toting yokel breaking every rule in the shooting handbook by not achieving a clean kill. It is no more the fault of the Government, or the League Against Cruel Sports, than it is of Ford if someone drives one of its cars like a maniac and crashes…. (story)

Equestrian Today (Yorkshire Post) 1.2.06 Ellen proving a popular inspiration …. Thanks to heavy e-mail plugging by pro-hunt group Felix the Fox, foxhunting is leading the government-sponsored poll to find England's greatest cultural icon. Culture Minister David Lammy, who told the last Labour conference that foxhunters were victims of inbreeding, is helping to run the poll. Bit ironic then that the sport he most hates is topping it for a while. (story)

Western Morning News 1.2.06 BADGERS HAVE GIVEN TB TO MY CATTLE - When one gets home from shopping and finds your sons (in their 40s) upset, there is obviously something wrong. Yes we are the latest statistic for Ben Bradshaw - we have TB reactors in our pedigree Jersey herd of cows… We are surrounded by woodland that is full of badger setts. I do wonder if all these animal rights activists have ever stopped to think what they are achieving. The latest is "releasing" wild boars… When the hunts went out, they sometimes caught the odd fox. The wise ones used to outfox the hunt and go to the nearest hillock and watch the fun…. Now, it does not matter if they are wise, young or sick, they have to be shot if they are put up by hounds and so many more foxes are being killed than when there was proper hunting…. Michael Ashton, Torrington (letter)

Northwich Chronicle 1.2.06 Hunts must be policed - I AGREE with Mark Green from Moulton Parish Council (Community Life, January 11). Let's see something done about the hunt lawbreakes. I'd like to know just who they think they are, along with Stephen O'Brien and his cronies… ANTI HUNT, Winsford (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 1.2.06 FATAL RESULTS OF THE LONG CHASE - Replying to Jennie Stafford (Your Say, January 25), the estimate of 6,000 hares previously killed by hare-hunts is based upon about 100 packs of hounds hunting on average once or twice a week during the season. Estimates of kills per hunt were obtained from reports in Horse & Hound…. Hares which escaped may have suffered fatal stress enteritis or heart failure - typical outcomes of stress myopathy…. Rodney Hale Chairman British Brown Hare Preservation Society Crediton (letter)
Western Daily Press 25.1.06 HUNT DATA SHOWS THAT HARE POPULATION IS NOW GROWING - Rodney Hale's letter (Your Say, January 4) contains many inaccuracies. The Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles has been collecting data on hare numbers since 1983/84. This work has never been connected to the British Field Sports Society… Jennie Stafford Hare Conservation Officer Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 4.1.06 HUNTS' COUNT OF HARES INACCURATE - Jennie Stafford is incorrect in stating that hare hunting had the unique ability to expose and count the hare population (Western Daily Press, December 13). The British Field Sports Society's survey commencing winter 1983/84 was not properly structured to include the full range of hare densities throughout Britain. Hunting with hounds took place where hare numbers were sufficiently high and data collected by hunts over-estimated the number of hares nationally…. Rodney Hale Founder, British Brown Hare Preservation Society Crediton (letter)

Yorkshire Post 1.2.06 Selfless Hoey is popular choice From: John D Clark, Burnsall. C Horsman (Letters, January 26) has little understanding of the selfless work which Kate Hoey does as a Member of Parliament, as a supporter of grass-roots sports (particularly in schools), and, since her welcome appointment as chairman of the Countryside Alliance….(letter)

Western Daily Press 1.2.06 TAIL DOCKING IS UNNECESSARY AND CAUSES PAIN TO PUPPIES - I write to you in response to recent letters written in your column about the docking of tails on working dogs. As a veterinary nurse, I feel it necessary to express a different view on the procedure. Puppies of many breeds are having their tails routinely amputated at a few days old for non-therapeutic reasons;the removal of a healthy limb that has no disease present… If exemptions are introduced into the law then there will always be an opportunity for exploitations of a loophole and inevitably the law will fail to protect the animals that it is intended to protect. S Curtis Radstock (letter)

Argus 1.2.06 Randy foxes cause alarm - Ask any chicken farmer and he will tell you the fox is better known as a predator than a lover. But the amorous antics of Brighton and Hove's feral canines in recent weeks would make Basil Brush blanch. Sussex Police have been inundated with calls from worried residents who have reported hearing blood-curdling screams - most commonly thought to be of a young woman - in the early hours of the morning…(story in archive)

Manchester Evening News 1.2.06 My passion is to care for greyhounds - CAROLE FENWICK (My Passion, M.E.N., January 26) paints a rosy picture of greyhound racing, where all greyhounds retire to a loving home once they have finished their racing career. In reality, thousands are destroyed, tortured and abused every year… My passion is to stop the abuse of these beautiful, graceful dogs, and I urge people who love animals to boycott greyhound racing, and don’t bet on it. Sue Riley, Ashton-u-Lyne (letter)

ALF ATTACK ON HOME
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 1.2.06 DRUG BOSS TARGETED BY ACTIVIST - A Director at GlaxoSmithKline has been targeted by animal rights activists. Company secretary Simon Bicknell had threats daubed across his garage by the Animal Liberation Front…. (story)
Mirror 31.1.06 A.L.F. ATTACK - ANIMAL rights extremists have attacked the home of a senior boss of the UK's biggest drugs firm. They daubed abuse on the garage door of Simon Bick-nell, 46, company secretary of GlaxoSmithKline. His front door and house were also vandalised… (story)
Scotsman 31.1.06 Animal rights activists target GlaxoSmithKline - Animal rights activists have struck at a senior officer of the UK's biggest drugs firm… (story)
Telegraph 30.1.06 Animal fanatics attack drug firm director's home By Rosie Murray-West - A director at Britain's biggest pharmaceutical company has had his home defaced by animal rights activists, heightening scientists' fear that an increasingly violent campaign against drugs companies and academia is under way. Simon Bicknell, the company secretary at GlaxoSmithKline, had the words "Paedo scum drop HLS or go bang!" daubed across his garage….(story)
BBC News Online 30.1.06 Activists attack drugs firm boss - Animal rights activists have claimed responsibility for an attack on the London home of a senior manager with pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline. Large white letters were daubed across the garage door of solicitor Simon Bicknell's home on 19 January…. (story)

Glasgow Herald 1.2.06 Drugs firms want loophole closed - MARK SMITH - SCOTLAND must strengthen its laws against extremism from animal rights activists if it is "serious" about building a world-class economy based on cutting-edge science and technology, key figures in the bioscience sector warned yesterday… Philip Wright, the director for science and technology at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, yesterday said: "At the moment, the legislation covers English and Welsh activists who commit acts of extremism north and south of the border, as well as Scots extremists who commit extreme acts in England and Wales. But if Scots extremists attack Scots companies, the law does not apply, and we consider this to be a critical loophole…." (story)

VIVA! CHINESE NEW YEAR LETTER
Lincolnshire Echo 1.2.06 PUT SAVING DUCKS ON FESTIVE MENU - MR M. OUNSWORTH, Robert Tressell Walk, Lincoln (letter)
Salisbury Journal 30.1.06 Make duck New Year a happy one - G R COLBOURNE, Bartletts Common, Frogham, Fordingbridge (letter)
Worcester Evening News 24.1.06 Ducks who are born just to die - January 29 signals the start of Chinese new year, traditionally a time for luck and new beginnings. However, luck has sadly run out for the 18 million ducks that are slaughtered each year in the UK to supply both the restaurant and supermarket trade… For information on the campaign against duck factory farming, contact Viva! D SINCLAIR, Malvern (letter in archive)
Leicester Mercury 18.1.06 DUCK OUT OF LUCK - January 29 signals the start of the Chinese new year, traditionally a time for luck and new beginnings. However, luck has run out for the 18 million ducks slaughtered each year in the UK to supply restaurants and supermarkets…. Sue Daniels, Saddington. (letter)
Manchester Evening News 17.1.06 Ducks and drakes - LUCK has sadly run out for the 18m ducks that are slaughtered each year in the UK to supply both the restaurant and supermarket trades. Almost all are from factory farms, housed in cruel and wholly unnatural conditions…. Mildred Robinson, High Peak (letter)

Times 1.2.06 Charles grins and bears it as Peta starts ursine about - THREE months ago, you may recall, the Dr Doolittles of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) sent a man dressed as a bear to follow the Prince of Wales around on his tour of America, in protest over the bearskin hats worn by the Household Guard. Now the bear is back. "Yes,” agrees Anita, from Peta, and pauses awhile, while we stop laughing at her name. "The bear has had a very busy week. It’s still following the Prince. It’s been to Sheffield and Gloucestershire. On Thursday it goes to the Ritz… (story)

Telegraph 1.2.06 Fake fur? Pah! - On Monday the Duchess of Cornwall angered animal rights campaigners by wearing a rabbit-skin scarf… And the same evening, the glacial French actress Catherine Deneuve defended a woman's right to wear fur when she arrived at the MAC Cosmetics Grand Classics screening of Place Vendôme at the Electric Cinema, unapologetically sporting a long black mink coat. "… These people Peta - who go around throwing things at people - are ridiculous. I don't agree with people being told what they can and can't do. "And for me there are more important things in the world to get upset about." (story)

Daily Record 1.2.06 IN BAD TASTE - I FOUND your article "Fancy a bite of dog haggis?" very offensive. Many people in this country are working very hard to try to stamp out this evil trade in dog meat. Writer Andrew Morton's time would be better spent investigating it and the people who try to stop it…. Jenny Young, Whiteinch, Glasgow (letter)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 1.2.06 As you holiday, a home away from home for your dog ... By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner - YOU'RE going away on a well-deserved holiday - so why not give your dog a special holiday break as well? Bed and Biscuits home boarding service for dogs has just been launched in Huddersfield. Run by friends Vicki Walpole and Angela Stringer, Bed and Biscuits allows owners to leave their pets in an animal-loving home-from-home environment… A percentage of profits also goes to The Blue Cross Animal Charity and the Animal Aid organisation…. (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 1.2.06 The fight still goes on in Jill's memory - THE family and friends of a Coventry animal rights activist killed during a protest were today marking the 11th anniversary of her death. Mother-of-one Jill Phipps died under the wheels of a lorry carrying veal calves for export from Coventry Airport, Baginton…. (story)