January 2004

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31.1.04

Western Daily Press 31.1.04 BLASTED BIRDS I feel I must answer Jean Turner's letter about banning hunting. All countrymen know that a fox will kill many birds and eat only one. The other ways of controlling foxes, etc, are much more cruel, and less swift in many cases... I, for one, would not like to eat a bird that was "blasted to pieces". It would not make a very nice meal... Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 24.1.04 WHY WE MUST BAN HUNTING I heartily agree with your correspondent, E A Richardson, and can understand his bitterness that hunting is still legal.... The shooting of game birds at Sandringham, in full view of schoolchildren, was particularly horrific... A quarter of all hunts (at least) have more than 12 such earths (the Politics Of Hunting by R H Thomas)... D C Allen also states that foxes kill for fun. Wrong again! According to David Attenborough, who I imagine knows far more about animal psychology than your correspondent, this is complete bunkum... Jean Turner Plymton Plymouth Devon (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 31.1.04 BEAR-BAITING WAS ONCE A POPULAR ROYAL PASTIME - Mr W Lewis, Points of view January 23, disapproves of my pointing out that bear-baiting was within the law before it was banned.I made this comment in response to another writer who asked readers not to condemn the hunts as they obey the laws of the country. I did not say bear baiting was the same as hunting with dogs. However, both of these activities involve the torment of animals for sport.... John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.1.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS WOULD OPPOSE WILDLIFE CRUELTY Often I read letters equating bear-baiting with hunting. It is nothing of the kind and is an insult to the whole hunting community. The most recent was by John Phelps, Points of view January 12… W Lewis, Rackenford, near Tiverton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 12.1.04 BEAR BAITING AND COCK FIGHTING WERE ONCE LEGAL The letter by Mr G Paddon, Points of view, January 6, asks readers not to condemn the hunts as they obey the laws of the country. But he fails to recognise that bear baiting and cock fighting were also within the law before such cruelty was banned… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Times 31.1.04 Sentimental claptrap wins the argument - STEPHEN POLLARD - YOU PROBABLY THINK the most important news this week was the Hutton report. Or maybe the Commons vote on top-up fees. Perhaps even the downgrading of cannabis. Well, you’re wrong. The biggest story, by far, was the decision announced on Tuesday by Professor Tony Minson, pro-vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, to cancel plans for a laboratory which would have specialised in primate research. he costs involved in securing such a facility against the activities of the self-styled “animal rights activists” — let’s call them what they really are, which is “human-suffering proponents” — have become so enormous that Cambridge decided it could not go ahead with the project... Public life today is guided not by logic and reason but rather by emotion, fear and sentimentality. All logic and evidence point to the need for primate research. But that is irrelevant when faced with the non-arguments and threats of its opponents.... Stephen Pollard is a senior Fellow at the Centre for the New Europe. (letters)

Times 31.1.04 Medical research using animals
You suggest (leading article, January 28; see also letters, January 30) that the cancellation of the proposed primate experimentation centre in Cambridge is a victory for a handful of extremists over the scientific community. I disagree... there are many moderate people, including 131 MPs of all parties who signed a parliamentary motion I tabled last summer, as well as respected scientists, who have significant doubts both about the ethics and scientific value of using highly intelligent primates for this purpose... NORMAN BAKER (Liberal Democrat spokesman on animal welfare), House of Commons.
... Until researchers are willing to be cross-examined on radio and television on precisely what is being done to the animals in their care, and to have their laboratories receive unannounced visits from animal welfare organisations, many reasonable people will suspect that unspeakable things are being done to helpless animals. Yours faithfully, MARITZ VANDENBERG, 72 Minstead Gardens, SW15 4EW.
I spend day after day looking after patients with neurological conditions for which there is no cure. Today I have to tell them that plans to establish a biomedical research facility that could ultimately benefit them... have been shelved.... Could Tony Blair explain why the Government will give in to this form of terrorism on the home front, when it so vehemently fights terrorism abroad? Yours faithfully, TOM SOLOMON (Lecturer in Neurology), Department of Neurological Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L9 7LJ. (letters)

Western Morning News 31.1.04 Leave the EU - IT comes as no surprise to read in your excellent paper that the export of live horses will not be banned and that the slaughter of dolphins has begun again with the onset of the bass season... The only way to prevent the export of live horses and the slaughter of dolphins is for the Westminster Parliament to abrogate the Treaty of Rome and for us to leave the EU.... Jack Nicholls, UKIP Totnes (letter)

30.1.04

STOUR VALLEY BEAGLES KILLED
East Anglian Daily Times 30.1.04 Huntsman condemns dog killers - A HUNTSMAN whose two dogs were found shot and beaten to death has attacked the "calculated, deliberate cruelty" of the killers… Peter Ward, chairman of the Stour Valley Beagles Committee, said the local hunt was devastated by the deaths of Witchcraft, a five-year-old black and tan bitch, and Telltale, an eight-year-old tan and white bitch. Witchcraft appeared to have been shot in the head while Telltale had all four legs broken and appeared to have been stamped on… (story)
Essex Evening Gazette 28.1.04 Ramsey: RSPCA probe death of beagles - Police and RSPCA officers have launched an investigation after two dogs were shot and beaten to death and dumped in a hedgerow… RSPCA inspector Jim Farr today appealed for help to find those responsible for the beagles death. He believes they belonged to the Stour Valley Beagle Hounds at Ipswich, who reported three of their dogs missing on January 7. One was killed in a road accident near Wix the same day but the other two had not been found…. (story in archive)

Western Morning News 30.1.04 FARRIERS UNITE IN A SHOW OF SOLIDARITY TOWARDS HUNTING - The Annual Farriers Meet, hosted by the Cury Hunt, takes place on Saturday, February 7 at Tucoyse Farm near Constantine by kind permission of the Cury huntsman John Harris…. The Cury Hunt Supporters Club has organised a hunt breakfast starting at 10am followed by the meet at 11.30am…. (story)

ATTACK ON OSB&WK MASTER
East Grinstead Courier 30.1.04 MASTER INJURED AT HUNT PROTEST - A Huntsman from kennels based near East Grinstead says he and his family are living in fear after an attack by anti-hunt protesters during a meet on Saturday. But the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) strongly denied the allegations. The incident happened during a meeting of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunt at West Peckham in Kent… (story)
Sevenoaks Chronicle 30.1.04 WHO ATTACKED WHO AT HUNT? BY ROSS PURDIE - Accusations that a West Kent hunt master was dragged off his horse and attacked by protesters in front of his wife and children are being investigated by police. The Countryside Alliance claims Graeme Worsley was kicked repeatedly in the head by balaclava-clad saboteurs, after they pulled him and his horse to the ground during a meet in the Malling area on Saturday. But the Hunt Saboteurs Association has dismissed the accusations as a publicity stunt, arguing Mr Worsley fell from his saddle while trying to whip protesters with his crop… Nathan Brown, a spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: "They were trying to attack the protesters and Mr Worsley hurt himself after falling off his horse…." Hadlow protester Dave Wetton, who was present on Saturday, said: "This could be the last year of hunting and there is a feeling that violence targeted towards us could get worse." (story)
Crawley News 28.1.04 Hunt master claims saboteurs assaulted him - A HUNT master claims he was dragged from his horse and beaten by a gang of balaclava-clad protesters. Graeme Worsley, one of the masters of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, said he feared for his life after the alleged attack by three balaclava-clad protesters at West Peckham, near Tonbridge in Kent on Saturday afternoon… (story)
Telegraph 27.1.04 Children 'saw father attacked' during hunt By Graham Tibbetts - The joint master of a hunt described yesterday how he was allegedly pulled from his horse and repeatedly kicked in the head by saboteurs in front of his wife and children. Graeme Worsley was out with the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent.... "One went up to my children and said, 'In the middle of the night I am going to creep into your bedroom and rip the heads off your teddies'. They were in tears," said Mr Worsley, 38.... Nathan Brown, a spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, claimed Mr Worsley had fallen from his horse while attempting to whip a saboteur.... (story)
Horse & Hound 26.1.04 Police investigate hunting clash - Police are investigating claims that a master of the Old Surrey Burstow with West Kent Foxhounds was dragged from his horse by anti-hunt protesters while out hunting on Saturday (24 January).... The HSA has alleged that Mr Worsley "was trying to whip protesters when his horse reared up. He lost his balance and fell off. He then carried on to attack saboteurs joined by other members of the hunt." Graeme Worsley was quick to refute these allegations, and has challenged the HSA to produce the video evidence of the incident, which it claims to have in its possession... (story)
Kent Messenger 26.1.04 Saboteurs deny assaulting hunt master by Angela Zigler - POLICE are investigating claims that a member of a West Kent hunt was dragged from his horse and beaten by masked men. The Countryside Alliance claims 38-year-old Graeme Worsley, one of the Masters of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, was pulled from his horse by three people wearing balaclavas on Saturday at West Peckham, near Maidstone… (story)
BBC News Online 25.1.04 Fox hunter 'dragged from horse' - Claims a fox hunt master was dragged from his horse and assaulted by protesters in Kent are being investigated by police. The Countryside Alliance claims 38-year-old Graeme Worsley received hospital treatment after being assaulted by saboteurs. Police were called after reports of a horse being pulled over backwards during a meeting of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt.... (story)
Scotland on Sunday 25.1.04 Hunt Master 'Pulled from Horse by Saboteurs' By Simon Baker, PA News - Police were tonight investigating claims that a master of a fox hunt was dragged from his horse and assaulted by protesters... (story)
The Sentinel 25.1.04 SABOTEURS ACCUSED OF ASSAULT Police were last night investigating claims that a master of a fox hunt was dragged from his horse and assaulted by protesters. Officers were called after receiving reports of a "horse being pulled over backwards" during a meeting of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt... (story)

JOHN COOPER LETTER
Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 3.2.04 Smearing hunting - HAVING lost every argument in the long and fruitless campaign to persuade successive governments to implement an unjust ban on hunting with dogs, the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) chairman John Cooper has reverted to exaggeration, misinformation and 'creative' polling… TIM BONNER, head of media, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 29.1.04 HUNTING DEBATE HAS MOVED ON - Having lost every argument in the long and fruitless campaign to persuade successive Governments to implement an unjust ban on hunting with dogs, the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) Chairman, John Cooper, (Your View, January 21) has reverted to exaggeration, misinformation and 'creative' polling in a predictable attempt to smear hunting… It is those MPs, supported by LACS, who wrecked the regulatory solution proposed by the Government in the last Parliamentary session, and are now calling for yet more time and resources to be spent on hunting in this one, who have behaved in a completely irresponsible manner… BRYHER GOLDING-BARRETT, Countryside Alliance, South West (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 27.1.04 HUNTING HAS LITTLE EFFECT ON THE FOX POPULATION Mr g Paddon, How would anti-hunting group control foxes… I am not 'anti-hunt' but equally I am not pro-hunt either.… It is widely accepted that hunting accounts for only six per cent of the fox population and we can all recall that there was no explosion in the fox population when hunting was suspended during the foot-and-mouth outbreak…. Name and address withheld on request (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 27.1.04 FOX NUMBERS CONTROLLED BY AVAILABILITY OF FOOD - Mr g Paddon, Points of view January 24, wants to know what measures would be taken to control fox numbers when hunting is banned…. Although the Burns Report makes references to artificial earths, the hunts do not publish figures showing how many foxes they breed as a result of providing them with bed and breakfast. The number of foxes is determined, as with all mammals, by the availability of food, habitat and territory…. (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 24.1.04 HOW WOULD ANTI-HUNTING GROUP CONTROL FOXES? In reply to the League Against Cruel Sports chairman John Cooper, Points of view, January 16, perhaps he can advise us all on the measures he and his supporters would take to control fox numbers.... Leave hunting alone, before creating more death and suffering. Mr G Paddon Pathfinder Village Tedburn St Mary (letter)
Somerset County Gazette 23.1.04 Let's make hunts havoc history - JOHN COOPER Chairman, League Against Cruel Sports 83-87 Union Street, London. (letter in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 21.1.04 HUNTING BAN LONG OVERDUE - JOHN COOPER, Chairman, League Against Cruel Sports, Union Street, London (letter)
Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 20.1.04 Hunting must be banned - JOHN COOPER, Chairman, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Western Morning News 20.1.04 HUNTERS RIDING ROUGHSHOD OVER US John Cooper Chairman - League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 16.1.04 HUNTS SHOW DISREGARD FOR WISHES OF MAJORITY - It is a scandal that I have to read in the national, regional and local press, of yet more incidents in which those who hunt with dogs have quite literally ridden roughshod over the rights of the majority who want to see an end to hunting with dogs. Among the latest shocking cases drawn to my attention was a family's children left traumatised after seeing their pet cat torn to shreds by out-of-control hounds; and a horrifying incident in which frenzied hounds, which had injured themselves during the hunt, invaded a private garden, bit the owner and knocked him to the ground while trying to escape…. John Cooper, Chairman, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)

Chester Chronicle 30.1.04 AFTER THE appalling incident on January 10, when League against Cruel Sports campaigner Chris Owen was bitten by Chester Hunt hounds in the Clatton-Duddon area, and his children and dogs were frightened it is clearly time for the Prime Minister, elected partly on the promise to ban animal hunting, to call a halt to this uncivilised tradition.... There may have been no protesters (or so the hunt representatives claim) at the Cheshire Hunt Boxing Day Meet, but the League Against Cruel Sports staged 21 protests at other Boxing Day Meets including the Cheshire Forest meet this year... NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Chester Chronicle 30.1.04 YOUR correspondent from the League Against Cruel Sports Points of View January 9 is entitled to query the Countryside Alliance's poll finding regarding the British public's attitude to hunting. As you would imagine, the Countryside Alliance has been polling consistently on this issue. Our NOP poll of December 2002 showed that 59% of the public were in favour of either self-regulation or licensing.... It should be borne in mind that the Alliance has a membership of around 100,000, whilst the League Against Cruel Sports has fewer than a paltry 7,000, and whilst the CA can motivate 400,000 people to protest on the streets of London, no anti-hunting organisation has ever exceeded a turnout of more than a couple of thousand at an anti-hunting protest.... BARRY HENDERSON Countryside Alliance Regional Director, Llangynhafal, Ruthin (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 30.1.04 HUNTING HORROR - In a state of shock, I listened - and watched ITV news "lunchtime" (January 9) re the tearing to pieces of a pet cat by hounds from the West Somerset Vale Hunt… LOUISE PIDDINGTON, Welsford Avenue, Stoke, Plymouth (letter)

Worcester Evening News 30.1.04 Smoke and mirrors part of hunt ban bid - WITH smoke and mirrors, K Hemming attempted to undermine country sports (Evening News, Tuesday, January 20). Have they forgotten the Prime Minister now only wishes to only `'resolve'' the hunting issue rather than promising a ban?... The fact is most people recognise the case for a ban is founded on prejudice and intolerance. JON BURGESS, Worcester Road, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Gloucestershire Gazette 30.1.04 Pro-hunt figures dubious - I suggest Henry Berkeley (Gazette, January 2) stretches the imagination to its extremes… the Countryside Alliance have challenged our 76 per cent poll against hunting but the jury is still out and we doubt you will get the result you are hoping for. In essence, it is a time-wasting exercise by the Countryside Alliance, which allows them to make yet another misleading claim. Almost in the same breath I must add that your poll has also been challenged and that the anticipated result will uphold our view. J L Freeland, Leaze Close, Berkeley (letter in archive)

Somerset County Gazette 30.1.04 Royals out shooting? PRINCES William and Harry were reportedly spotted in the Wiveliscombe area yesterday (Thursday). The Somerset County Gazette was told the Prince of Wales' sons were out pheasant shooting on Exmoor but Royal officials were unable to confirm the sightings… (story in archive)

Daily Post 30.1.04 Illegal hunting on its way back By Sam Lister Daily Post Staff - WIRRAL'S ranger service is on alert amid fears that a gang of wildlife hunters is on the prowl. Van loads of men with packs of lurchers have been spotted at the former brickworks in Moreton. Witnesses watched them as they swept on to the land in Hoylake Road, where they were thought to have been badger baiting or fox hunting… (story)

Stirliing Observer 30.1.04 DEER FUTURE IS IN THE BALANCE - MAJESTIC deer have long been a symbol of Scotland’s culture and wildlife. But their presence also creates difficulties and monitoring their numbers is complex. Measures being established locally, however, have been praised for making inroads to tackle the issue… Green MSP Mark Ruskell said: “We need more studies into the impacts of deer overpopulation, not just the impact on biodiversity but the impact on traffic accidents, forestry, farming and recreation interests…" (story)

Independent 30.1.04 Firms honour animal testing chief By Stephen Foley - The UK's biotech industry delivered a defiant message in favour of animal testing last night by honouring Colin Blakemore, the head of the Medical Research Council who was passed over for an award in the New Year Honours list. Professor Blakemore was given an award for an "outstanding contribution to UK bioscience" by the BioIndustry Association - a calculated dig at the Government's refusal to grant the knighthood that usually goes with his job…. (story)

Times 30.1.04 Animals used in biomedical research
It is a matter of dismay that the proposed Centre for Brain Research in Cambridge will not proceed (reports, January 28)…. RICHARD MORRIS, (Professor of Neuroscience), College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, 1 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ.
I hope those who are responsible for the scrapping of the Primate Research Centre in Cambridge realise that they have initiated, and will witness, a dramatic decline in a glorious era of biomedical research in this country, with grave consequences for future generations of patients - P. L. LANTOS, (Emeritus Professor of Neuropathology, University of London). The Athenaeum, 107 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5ER. (letters)

Shropshire Star 30.1.04 Animals tortured for laundry brightness - I've always used one of the best known washing powders - but will never buy it again. Until recently I had no idea that painful and ugly tests are still being used on animals… Recently I became a supporter of BUAV (a non-aggressive campaigner for animal rights) and was sickened to learn of the unnecessary cruelty of tests carried out on living creatures simply the sake of appearance…. Christine Michael, Snailbeach, Minsterley (letter)

Telegraph 30.1.04 Top Crufts officials resign amid hate campaign By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent - The chairman of Crufts and his wife, the Best in Show judge, resigned from the Kennel Club yesterday after a hate campaign designed to tarnish their reputations. Peter and Joyce Mann stepped down after the canine press in this country and abroad received anonymous letters accusing Mrs Mann of being involved in "puppy farming" in the 1960s…. (story)
Herald 30.1.04 Hate campaign forces Crufts couple to quit - RAYMOND DUNCAN - THE chairman of Crufts and his wife have been forced out of the Kennel Club after a hate campaign which has undermined this year's championship show…. The couple, who have lived in Succoth Gardens, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, for many years, resigned from their posts after anonymous accusations that Mrs Mann was involved in "puppy farming" more than 30 years ago…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 30.1.04 Abuse forces Crufts chief to flee home - THE chairman of Crufts and his wife have been forced out to flee their home in Edinburgh after a hate campaign which threatens to mar this year’s show…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 30.1.04 BETTER NOT TO BUY FAST FOOD CHICKEN I Am struck by the lack of press coverage about the carnage that is resulting from the latest Avian flu scare. Who is to blame for the spread of this virus? Every person who buys chicken from any of the fast food outlets and prepared meals from many of the supermarkets is directly responsible…. JUDY HUNGERFORD, Greenland Mills, Bradford on Avon (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 30.1.04 WE HAVE LOST THE PLOT WHEN IT COMES TO NATURE Anybody reading this letter is presumably a human being, which means that they are a member of an animal species…. If nothing else, please learn to respect those creatures that are less greedy and arrogant than ourselves and also, if we have anything worth having in our human psyche, try tuning it into a bit of compassion as well. Sue Pearce, Westclyst, Pinhoe, Exeter (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 30.1.04 FISH FARM POLLUTION THREATENING WILDLIFE Fish is in the news again, with US scientists warning that salmon farmed in Scotland is among the most tainted with cancer-causing chemicals…. It is now glaringly obvious that only a complete change of direction will save us and the planet from terminal decline and that only a sustainable strict vegetarian diet with all it's health benefits, will remove us and the planet and all it's other inhabitants from the cycle of exploitation and destruction. Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (letter)

Streatham Journal 30.1.04 Ban circuses using animals - I would like to call on local authorities across London to put an end to the suffering of animals in circuses. To this end, I have asked the mayor if he would use his influence to ban circuses that use animals from publicly-owned land in London…. Noel Lynch Green Party, London Assembly (letter)

Ham & High Express 30.1.04 Police out in strength at arts centre opening - DESPITE assurances it would be “business as usual” at the revamped Camden Arts Centre, civic guests attending the gala opening on Wednesday were greeted by seven police officers. The Met’s presence at the centre in Arkwright Road, Hampstead, was to deter animal rights campaigners protesting against 27-year-old Francis Upritchard’s exhibit of “shrunken monkey heads constructed from secondhand fur coats”. But despite a media furore and bold threats from the Animal Liberation Front, no protest occurred and the officers stood down in the early afternoon.... (story)
Ham & High Express 23.1.04 ALF threat over real fur art exhibition - CAMDEN Arts Centre bosses have pledged it will be “business as usual” – despite receiving threats from animal campaigners over an artist-in-residence who uses real fur in her work. Francis Upritchard, 27, will exhibit “shrunken monkey heads constructed from secondhand fur coats” when the revamped centre in Arkwright Road, Hampstead, opens on January 31… The ALF spokesman told the Ham&High: “The use of any part of any creature for this type of thing is quite unacceptable… (story)

Wiltshire Times 30.1.04 Control birds humanely - I understand the full Trowbridge Council meeting recently handed back the decision to cull the pigeons in Trowbridge back to the committee chaired by Cllr James.... I suggest he gets in touch with PICAS (Pigeon Advisory and Control Service) who will give him their free advice on how to control the birds using scientifically proven methods.... D Cook, Creetown, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, Dumfries and Galloway. (letter in archive)

29.1.04

North Devon Journal 29.1.04 PARADOX IN PROTEST - It is cynically amusing that opposition to new developments, or even established practices, is often so paradoxical. No more so than in the countryside where the depth of inner thinking of militant and/or vociferous "antis" is often difficult to fathom… Then there is the anti-hunting faction. We have been treated to scenes of balaclava clad protestors wielding pick-axe handles, trespassing on private property and causing distress to hounds in the name of animal welfare. Does it help the fox, to vandalise the gravestone of John Peel in a peaceful Lakeland churchyard?... (story)

Belfast Telegraph 29.1.04 Hunted stag ran past drivers - CHAOS reigned on the A1 carriageway outside Dromore when motorists saw a stag fleeing a pack of hounds. Police have launched a full investigation into last week's incident, which resulted in the stag being chased through the streets of the Co Down town… (story)

Horncastle News 29.1.04 Sadists on horses with sad followers - As a former resident of Horncastle I was saddened to learn of the seemingly pro-hunting bias of your newspaper…. now some sort of hunt ban is inevitable maybe there will be something more pleasant to read about over the Christmas period than reports on gatherings of sadists on horseback with their sad followers - numbers inflated of course…. JOHN BATEMAN by e-mail (letter)

Stourbridge News 29.1.04 Holiday ban - Stourbridge MP Debra Shipley has condemned UK travel firms providing hunting holidays for tourists to slaughter endangered animals…. The campaign is supported by the League against Cruel Sports and the World Wildlife Fund… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 29.1.04 CULL ON DEER IS NOT ANSWER - I hate the idea of a mass cull of deer…. Hopefully, Defra will think again, and give some thought to the heading "Cull Cost Too Deer". Pamela Dean Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 29.1.04 Protesters 'a disgrace' - I attended the Careers 2004 event advertised in your paper with my two sons…. Unfortunately, while we were talking to one exhibitor, about half a dozen protesters ' people who thought it was the right forum to voice their views regarding this exhibitor ' interrupted us. During their protest, both my sons were pushed around, the exhibitor's stand had its literature thrown over the floor, and the staff manning the stand were subjected to both physical and verbal abuse and intimidation… Both my sons have said that they WILL be contacting Huntingdon Life Sciences, and they WILL be considering their career options with this company, despite the actions of these people…. I wonder if the legitimate, peaceful protesters condone the actions of these people? - 'Sad, Horrified And Concerned' (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 29.1.04 IS IT RIGHT TO DO MEDICAL RESEARCH ON ANIMALS? Definitely not…. Anne Wilson 29, of Vulcans Lane, Workington…. I won’t buy anything that has been tested on animals. Shelley Williamson, 31, of Scilly Banks, Whitehaven… They should find a way of testing that doesn’t use living things. Rebecca Crawford, 25, of Moor Row near Whitehaven… I think it’s awful. Alistair Downie, 39, of Morton, Carlisle… It’s better than testing on humans…. Justin Batey, 28, of Denton Holme, Carlisle. No, it’s cruelty.… Chris Jones, 18, of Harraby, Carlisle (story)

Scotsman 29.1.04 Research The news that Cambridge University is dropping its plans for a primate research laboratory bodes well for humans and animals…. Sheila Edwards, DUBAI (letter)

Scotsman 29.1.04 Animal-rights protesters may live to regret it - JENNY HJUL - I DO HOPE none of the animal-rights fanatics opposed to the Cambridge primate laboratory has an ageing parent who is stricken with Alzheimer’s, a condition sometimes said to run in families. It’s just that having succeeded in halting plans for the new brain-disease research centre they might feel a bit foolish when they reach infirmity themselves and discover they’re going the same way mum or dad did all those years ago…. The score so far: Nutters 1, Humans 0…. (story)

Dorset Daily Echo 29.1.04 Monkey experts slam `cruel' labs by Charis Mastris - CRUELTY to monkeys can be rife in experiment labs, according to Dorset animal rights campaigners who have welcomed a decision to shelve plans for a new lab in Cambridgeshire. Dr Alison Cronin and her husband Jim, who run the Monkey World sanctuary near Wool, were happy to hear that a new £32 million Cambridge University centre - where monkeys were to be tested for research into conditions like Alzheimer's - will no longer be built (story in archive)

Guardian 29.1.04 Is there an alternative to monkey research? - Alok Jha - According to many animal rights campaigners, there is no reason to use any animal for research purposes… Aside from the legal need to use monkeys for testing phamaceuticals, the issue of using alternatives looms large for researchers. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer yet… (story)

Dundee Courier 29.1.04 Animals should not suffer - So the proposed Cambridge University research centre on monkeys has been scuppered…. Animals should not be allowed to suffer to research the brains of the brainless. Human beings themselves, not animals, are responsible for their own ills…. Bob Beveridge. Old Town House, Falkland (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.1.04 AUSSIES IGNORING KILLING FIELDS ON DOORSTEP - Australia has just celebrated its National day but quietly ignores its responsibility for the largest massacre of wildlife on the planet. Australians are being encouraged to celebrate what's great about the country - which certainly isn't the barbaric massacre of their national symbol, the kang aroo… Viva! is calling for a boycott of Adidas products until they change their minds and stop profiting from the destruction of wildlife. Justin Kerswell Viva ! Bristol (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 29.1.04 Fur flies over figures made with real hair By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent - A NORTHERN Ireland MEP has appealed to Ulster people to stop buying cat and dog figures made with real animal hair. Jim Nicholson said the cute little furry cat and dog figurines available in gift shops across the UK "are not so cute when you find out that they are actually made from dog and cat fur." The Ulster Unionist is among 300 MEPs urging an EU wide ban on the "vile trade"… (story)

Irish Examiner 29.1.04 Spread of avian illness has its roots in farming - HAVING seen the disturbing and cruel footage of farm workers stuffing live birds into sacks for killing in Asia, I feel man will never learn…. No-one has to eat the flesh of other species to survive. This outbreak of avian influenza is just further proof that the only compassionate lifestyle is a vegan one… Bernie Wright, Alliance for Animal Rights, PO Box 4734, Dublin1. (letter)

Newsletter/Belfast News/Derry Journal 29.1.04 Chris P Carrot urges children to go veggie … With as many as one-third of children in Northern Ireland classified as overweight or obese, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) dispatched their mascot Chris P Carrot to Braniel Primary School in Belfast to promote a vegetarian diet… "Put a child in an orchard with a lamb and everyone knows that he or she will eat the fruit and play with the lamb, not the other way round," says Andrew Butler, PETA campaign co-ordinator and father of a vegan daughter…. (story)

News Shopper 29.1.04 Tougher sentences needed for cruelty - I HAVE been left absolutely incensed by the report, Dead of Neglect (News Shopper, January 21). Ann Pearson is one of many, unfortunately, who feel they have the right to abuse animals. However, I feel even more angry with those who are there to make judgments and hand out quite ineffectual punishments.... Mrs Rawlings, Seven Acres, Crockenhill (letter)

28.1.04

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 28.1.04 Excessive use of whips by jockeys - We are well into winter and we are enduring National Hunt racing again over the sticks with the usual crop of horses with broken legs, spines or ruptured innards…. Why was it necessary for the jockey on Monty's Pass to continue to use the whip when he was clear by six lengths after the last jump and was unlikely to be caught?... A J Milne, Witton Avenue, Droitwich Spa (letter in archive)

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRIMATE RESEARCH LAB CANCELLED
BBC News Online 28.1.04 Row rages as monkey lab shelved - Scientists are angry but animal rights campaigners jubilant after plans for a test centre using monkeys were axed…. (story)
Telegraph 28.1.04 Animal lab scrapped in face of protests By Chris Boffey - Cambridge University and the Government were yesterday accused of buckling under pressure from animal activists after scrapping plans for a medical research centre that would conduct live experiments on monkeys… (story)
Telegraph 28.1.04 Joy for the activists but research will continue By Roger Highfield - The decision to abandon the Cambridge monkey laboratory will be seen as a great victory by anti-vivisectionists… (story)
Telegraph 28.1.04 Animal wrongs - The decision by Cambridge University to abandon plans for a monkey laboratory in Girton is a propaganda coup for the opponents of vivisection. But it must not be allowed to curtail neurological research involving primates in this country… Legitimate scientific research aimed at relieving human suffering should not be held to ransom by a few determined, and sometimes violent, campaigners…. (story)
Times 28.1.04 Monkey lab is cancelled over terror fears BY MARK HENDERSON, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT - MEDICAL researchers are likely to leave Britain to work overseas after the threat of animal rights terrorism forced the abandonment of plans for a national brain research centre in Cambridge… "It is a very great concern," Vicky Cowell, of the charity Seriously Ill for Medical Research, said. "We have some of the world's top researchers who are being put in a position where they can't work in this country and may have to move abroad. They are basically being booted out."… Andrew Tyler, of Animal Aid, said: "It would have made Cambridge University the monkey torture capital of Europe." (story)
Times 28.1.04 Use of primates led to medical breakthroughs BY MARK HENDERSON - THE planned research centre was intended to provide the most advanced facilities for investigations of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, paralysis and autism…. (story)
Times 28.1.04 Cambridge decision will ease burden on police BY STEWART TENDLER, CRIME CORRESPONDENT - SENIOR police officers breathed a sigh of relief yesterday at Cambridge University’s decision to halt plans for the new primate research laboratory… (story)
Times 28.1.04 Sinister activists widen target to strike at will BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - PLACARDS and demonstrations are the public face of animal welfare protests but scores of men and women live in fear because of the more sinister actions of people opposed to drug testing or research involving animals… A loose-knit group, they operate in the name of the Animal Liberation Front, the Animal Rights Militia or Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty — the campaign to close Huntingdon Life Sciences (HSL), a contract research laboratory in Cambridgeshire…. Tim Lawson-Cruttenden, Yamanouchi’s lawyer, who has represented furriers, huntspeople and other Japanese companies against militants, is being advised on his safety by Special Branch. He said of the activists: “They really are very dangerous. There is no knowing where they will stop.” (story)
Times 28.1.04 Scientist on hit list wants tougher laws BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - A SENIOR director with a Japanese drug company was angry last night after hearing the decision to cancel the Cambridge research laboratory…. The executive, who wishes to remain anonymous, spends his life “watching his back” but thinks the Cambridge decision is disgraceful…. He said that his lawyers were not even able to serve injunctions on activists. “We seem to have got caught up in the Data Protection Act and police won’t give us the addresses we need. Something has to be sorted out.” (story)
Times 28.1.04 Scientific ransom - A victory for extremists is a setback for humanity - A collective failure of nerve has led a civilised institution to cave in to violence. Cambridge University’s decision to drop its plans to build a primate research centre was clearly driven by the threats from animal rights activists whose determined professionalism and ruthless tactics should put them in the same bracket as the other extremists who are rightly held in contempt for their inhumanity… (story)
Times 28.1.04 Cambridge makes a monkey of academic freedom BY ANTHONY O'HEAR - The author is Professor of Philosophy at Buckingham University (story)
Guardian 28.1.04 Research must go on - Leader - Medical researchers were denying yesterday that the cancellation of a state-of-the-art-centre for brain disorders in Cambridge was a victory for militant animal rights campaigners. But, alas, it was… Colin Blakemore, head of the medical research council, is right to point to the many medical breakthroughs which would not have been achieved without them. There are new hopes for victims of brain disorders, which is why Prof Blakemore is right to press on with other options. (story)
Guardian 28.1.04 A terrible day for patients - We cannot allow animal rights extremists to block vital research - Mark Matfield - Dr Mark Matfield is executive director of the Research Defence Society, which represents medical researchers who use laboratory animals (story)
Guardian 28.1.04 Primate research is vital to progress - Dr Trevor Jones - Dr Trevor Jones is director general of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (story)
Guardian 28.1.04 There are better ways - Wendy Higgins - Wendy Higgins is campaigns director at the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (story)
Guardian 28.1.04 Cambridge abandons plans for primate lab - Anti-vivisectionists claim victory as costs force university to scrap project - Alok Jha, science correspondent - Anti-vivisectionists declared victory yesterday as Cambridge University announced that it had shelved plans to build a controversial multi-million pound neuroscience laboratory. The university has denied any suggestion, however, that it had yielded to pressure from animal rights extremists, citing financial difficulties instead…. (story)
Independent 28.1.04 Cambridge scraps plan for primate experiment centre By Charles Arthur, Technology Editor - A scheme to build a research centre to experiment on primates has been abandoned by Cambridge University, because of rising security and building costs… (story)
Western Daily Press 28.1.04 MONKEY TEST LAB PLANS SCRAPPED (story)
Yorkshire Post 28.1.04 Cash shortage scuppers plans for 'vital' animal research lab - Mike Waites Health Correspondent - SCIENTISTS yesterday warned vital research into serious illnesses could be jeopardised after controversial plans were scrapped for a laboratory using monkeys for testing…. (story)
News Letter 28.1.04 Paradox Of Animal Rights And Wrongs - FEW issues arouse such diametrically opposed views as experimentation with live animals, and the passions aroused can be murderous… Animal rights activists are utterly wrong - from within their own logic - to use or to threaten violence: but, otherwise, they are right to keep us aware of what we are doing…. (letter)
BBC News Online 27.1.04 Primate research lab plans axed - Plans to build a controversial centre for experiments on monkeys have been shelved by Cambridge University. It decided security against attacks by animal rights groups would have made the laboratory too expensive to run... (story)
Independent 27.1.04 'Plans for primate research centre dropped' By Andrew Woodcock, PA News - Plans for a new primate research centre have been dropped by Cambridge University, partly because of the expected cost of protecting it from animal rights activists, it was reported today... (story)
Daily Express 27.1.04 Plan for animal test site 'dropped' - Plans for a new primate research centre have been dropped by Cambridge University, partly because of the expected cost of protecting it from animal rights activists… (story)
Guardian 27.1.04 Monkey business too costly for Cambridge - Cambridge University is rethinking its controversial plans for a government-backed primate research centre because of the expected cost of protecting it from animal rights activists…. (story)
ITV.com 27.1.04 University scraps animal research centre - Animal rights campaigners have welcomed Cambridge University's decision to scrap plans for a controversial medical research centre using monkeys… (story)
Evening Standard 27.1.04 Animal rights victory By Finian Davern, Evening Standard - Fears of violence by animal rights activists have stopped Cambridge University scientists experimenting on monkeys… (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 27.1.04 Animal activists hail labs U-turn - STUART REID - ANIMALS rights campaigners welcomed reports today that Cambridge University had abandoned plans to build a controversial medical research centre where monkeys would be used for testing…. (story)
BBC News Online 27.1.04 Row rages as monkey lab shelved - Scientists are angry but animal rights campaigners jubilant after plans for a test centre using monkeys were axed…. Mark Matfield, director of the Research Defence Society, said: "This is a serious blow for British medical research…." But television writer and animal rights campaigner Carla Lane spoke of her delight at the decision… (story)
Times 27.1.04 Q&A: the Cambridge monkey testing lab - Cambridge University has abandoned plans to build a new laboratory which would have conducted experiments on monkeys. Mark Henderson, left, Science Correspondent, reports on the battle between scientists and activists…. (story)
Cambridge News 27.1.04 MONKEY LAB PLAN SCRAPPED - CAMBRIDGE University has dropped its plans to create a multimillion pound primate research centre on the edge of the city… (story)

VIVA! TESCO PROTESTS 24.1.04
Rhyl, Prestatyn & Abergele Journal 28.1.04 PROTEST AGAINST TESCO PIG FARM - ANIMAL rights campaigners staged a protest at Abergele´s Tesco store in a bid to get the company to change its policy on pig factory farming… Denbighshire Animal Rights members from all over North Wales targeted five Tesco stores in the region. Local campaigner Jackie Major said: "I think people really believe that companies like Tesco are above this sort of thing…." Animal Rights spokesperson Judi Hewitt, of Rhyl, said: "We can only urge people to boycott Tesco meat products until the suffering stops on their suppliers´ farms…" (story in archive)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 26.1.04 ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP IN PROTEST - NICOLA STOW - Animal rights campaigners protested outside Tesco stores at the weekend over claims that piglets at a farm run by one of their major suppliers are kept in a state of extreme suffering…. Highland campaigner Rona McAlpine was "disgusted" at the findings of the Viva investigation at Cherry Tree Farm… (story)
Northern Echo 24.1.04 Welfare protestors target supermarket - ANIMAL welfare protestors are to appeal to shoppers at a supermarket chain today, as they call for an end to factory farming of pigs. Viva volunteers will be outside Tesco stores in Chester-le-Street, Durham, Consett and Gateshead... North-East Viva campaigner Diane Sanderson said: "We will have free information on hand for people interested in changing their diet to a cruelty-free one..." (story in archive)
Solihull News/Solihull Times 23.1.04 Animal welfare protest at Tesco - VIVA, the national animal welfare organisation, will be campaigning outside Tesco in Monkspath this weekend to protest against conditions at pig farms which supply the company with meat… Local campaigner Ursula Bates said: "I think people really believe that companies like Tesco are above this sort of thing. We're going out there to let their customers know they aren't."… (letter)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 28.1.04 Stadium bosses bar animal-act circuses - Animal rights campaigners are celebrating after Coventry Bees bosses called a halt to touring animal circuses using the club's Brandon stadium. Members of the Captive Animals Protection Society (Caps) said they were delighted after speedway director Avtar Sandhu put a stop to the events being hosted at Rugby Road… (story)

Liverpool Daily Post/Echo 28.1.04 ARE people taking advantage of animals?... People are killing animals for meat and clothes too much. However, this is really bad for humans… Amy Mizrahi, aged 11, West Derby. (letter)

Ananova 28.1.04 Government 'sympathetic' to dog and cat fur import ban - The Government says it is "sympathetic" to a ban on the import of domestic cat and dog fur despite the initial failure to find an accurate test… Mike O'Brien, Minister of State for Trade, announced six months ago the Government would support a ban in principle if hard evidence was produced on the extent of domestic cat and dog imports into the UK… (story)

27.1.04

Western Daily Press 27.1.04 ANTI-HUNT COUPLE'S WARNING SHOT - A BULLET IN THEIR POST - A West anti-hunting couple yesterday claimed a hate campaign against them had reached a chilling new level when they were sent a bullet and gunpowder in the post. Last year the Western Daily Press highlighted the plight of Ernest and Denise Whitty, from Globbens Paul, near Penzance, who said they had suffered six years of intimidation… The hunting fraternity and Countryside Alliance has repeatedly denied any connection with the incidents. But the couple, whose views are well known in the largely hunt-supporting local community, think otherwise… Ben Sparrow, Master of the Weston Hunt, which rides through Cornwall, and agent for his father, who is landlord of the Whitty's cottage, said: "I'd be very surprised if it was anything to do with hunting. Mr Whitty doesn't cause the hunt any bother so there would be no need for hunting to be worked up by him." (story)

Western Morning News 27.1.04 THEME PARK TO TAKE PLACE OF COUNTRYSIDE - Are we to believe then, according to Mr Ben Bradshaw's comments regarding deer, that he does not agree with his party's views on the banning of hunting…. In this regime animals are surplus to requirements. One wonders if the Labour Party would like to see an end to them altogether. They could shut down the countryside - and just have a huge theme park with plastic pop up animals. That would cure the problem of foot-and-mouth disease ever arising again…. Mrs C Taylor, Wigton Cumbria (letter)

Western Morning News 27.1.04 Wish of the majority - SO, Tony Blair is set to go ahead at last with the hunting ban. Interesting to now read the panicky comments from the hunting brigade who, until recently were smugly shouting about their belief that this Bill would never go ahead…. F Cleaves, Par, Cornwall (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.1.04 HIGH TIME WE HOUNDED OUT THE CRUEL HUNT CROWD - I was unhappily married to a hunting man for some years. Horses and hunting came first in his life. Because it was a Berkeley Estate pub and farm I lived in, I walked the puppy hounds…. One year I became very fond of a hound called Portland… because he was a slow hound, he was put down in his second year… Jennifer Workman Dursley Gloucestershire (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 27.1.04 FOXES ARE DECEIVED BY VIXENS - STUDY - Foxes in Bristol are making the stars of hit US TV show Sex and the City look tame. Using the latest genetics testing techniques, scientists from Bristol University have proved what country folk have known for generations - foxes are highly promiscuous… (story)

ANIMAL AID BLAKEMORE LETTER
Western Morning News 27.1.04 RESEARCH SCIENTISTS DISPLAY COURAGE - As my mother is alive today because of medical research involving the humane use of animals I cannot allow Derek Mountford of Animal Aid (WMN, January 14) to go unchallenged…. Whether we approve of it or not, it is a fact that some animals need to be used, when necessary, in medical research - until suitable alternative methods are found - in order to develop new drugs and therapies to help combat life-threatening conditions affecting both humans and animals…. Thomas Bromley, SIMR Executive Secretary (letter)
Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 8.1.04 Professor deserves an honour - IN reply to Richard Mountford's letter in Citizen last week, Prof Blakemore's chance of a New Year's Honour should not have been affected by the nature of his work because the Government actively and rightly supports animal research…. Personally I am proud to work in a laboratory to assist diagnosis and relieve suffering. Claire Scott, Lancaster. (letter)
Yorkshire Evening Post 7.1.04 Animals essential to medical science - Thomas Bromley, executive secretary, SIMR, Dunstable (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 7.1.04 Humane use of animals essential - AS my mother is alive today because of medical research involving the humane use of animals, I cannot allow Derek Mountford of Animal Aid (Lancashire Evening Telegraph, December 27) to go unchallenged. I think the work of Professor Colin Blakemore, a neuroscientist and Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council deserves to be honoured and recognised… THOMAS BROMLEY, SIMR Executive Secretary, PO Box 504, Dunstable, Beds. (letter in archive)
Bristol Evening Post 30.12.03 VIVISECTION DOES NOT BENEFIT US Richard Mountford, Development Manager, Animal Aid. (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 27.12.03 Experiments on animals must stop - PROFESSOR Colin Blakemore is concerned that he has been denied a New Year's Honour because of his controversial involvement in experimenting on animals (vivisection). Animal Aid would certainly argue against awards being given for vivisection, not only because it is cruel, but because it does not benefit human health... RICHARD MOUNTFORD, Development Manager, Animal Aid. (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Evening Post 29.12.03 Animal testing is not reliable - Richard Mountford, Development Manager, Animal Aid (letter)

Western Morning News 27.1.04 Helping wild birds - I READ with interest the article "New approach to give wildlife fighting chance". Having been directly involved in rehabilitation and re-release of wildlife for over 40 years, I strongly feel that to help injured wildlife and give it the best chance of success is to distance the contact of the RSPCA…. The RSPCA seem to want total control of every animal welfare issue and this is not the first time that they have criticised sanctuaries…. Andy Meads, Safewings Wildlife Conservation Projects Isham, Northants (letter)

26.1.04

Newcastle Journal 26.1.04 Chairman will fight for brighter future - Cumbria's new NFU county chairman, Alistair Mackintosh, will be fighting for a brighter future for young farmers in Cumbria during the next 12 months…. Outside NFU work, Alistair is a member of Ravenglass Parish Council, serves on the executive committee of his local hunt, is Cumbrian Farming and Rural Business Association chairman and is on the committee for Muncaster Country Fair…. (story)

CRAWLEY & HORSHAM PROTESTER INJURED
Argus 26.1.04 Unsporting life - I agree with the view that hunting is savagery in the name of tradition, hypocrisy in the name of conservation and killing in the name of sport. My family and I wish the brave anti-hunt protester Simon Wild a very speedy recovery.... -Liz Taylor, High Salvington, Worthing (letter)
Argus 19.1.04 Hunt saboteur injured in clash by Frankie Taggart - A hunt saboteur needed hospital treatment after apparently being trampled by a horse…. Anti-hunt activists claimed up to 50 riders went through a gate on the Shipley Road and one of the horses struck 45-year-old Simon Wild…. Chris Black, a spokesman for West Sussex Wildlife Protection (WSWP), of which Mr Wild is a member, said: "Simon was taken by ambulance to Worthing Hospital…. A spokesman for Sussex Police said a horse rider had been arrested and released on police bail with no charges. The spokesman added the force received regular complaints from WSWP and the latest claims would be dealt with "in the normal manner"… Saturday's incident was not the first time the Wilds - who say they are being targeted by the pro-hunt lobby - have claimed to be victims… (story)
BBC News Online 18.1.04 Protester hurt in hunt clash - A huntsman was arrested after an anti-hunt protester was hit by a horse in West Sussex. Simon Wild, 45, was injured when hunters and protesters clashed near Shipley, during the Horsham and Crawley Hunt... Mrs Wild claimed up to 50 horse riders went through a gate on the Shipley Road, and one of the horses struck her husband. "They galloped up and shouted 'mind your backs'," she said... (story)
Western Mail 17.1.04 Hunt protester 'run down by horse' - An anti-hunt protester has been seriously hurt when he was run down by a horse. Simon Wild was with a group of protesters at a Horsham and Crawley Hunt meeting near Buck's Farm, West Sussex, when the incident took place at around 4pm....(story)
Teletext 17.1.04 PROTESTER RUN DOWN BY HORSE - An anti-hunt protester suffered serious injuries to his head and leg when he was run down by a horse in West Sussex, police have said. Simon Wild, 45, was with protesters at a Horsham and Crawley Hunt meeting near Buck's Farm when the incident occurred.... (story)
Scotsman 17.1.04 Huntsman Arrested after Horse Hits Protester By James Tapsfield, PA News A huntsman was arrested today after a protester was hit by a horse, police said. It happened at around 4pm following a day of clashes between Horsham and Crawley Hunt and protesters near Shipley, West Sussex.... His wife, Jane, who was among the protesters, said... Mr Wild was thought to have suffered head injuries including a broken nose and tooth, and had seriously damaged his leg... A spokesman for Sussex Police said officers were present at the time and a horse rider was arrested. The injuries to Mr Wild, a member of the West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group, were not thought to be life threatening, he added.... (story)
ITV.com 17.1.04 Huntsman arrested after protestor is hurt - A man who had been taking part in a hunt in West Sussex has been arrested after a protester was hit by a horse. The incident followed clashes between the Horsham and Crawley Hunt and protesters near Shipley... (story)
Femail 17.1.04 Hunt protester 'run down by horse' - An anti-hunt protester has been seriously hurt when he was run down by a horse. Simon Wild was with a group of protesters at a Horsham and Crawley Hunt meeting near Buck's Farm, West Sussex, when the incident took place at around 4pm... (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 26.1.04 'A mystery for us townies' - ONCE again we learn of yet another incident involving savaging a family's pet to death, in the owner's garden…. Apart from the unforgivable intrusion into the family's privacy, and the terrible distress that such an abuse inflicted upon them, we were wondering how it is that huntsmen's hounds are so discerning when it comes to the killing of other animals…. JACKIE and TONY ROWE Old Fletton, Peterborough (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 26.1.04 'Ban will be a step forward' - GOD help us if hunting with dogs is one of 'our cultural freedoms' which has 'maintained our great nation for centuries' (Wally Keill, Letters, January 12). We should be ashamed of ourselves…. KATE DALZIEL Warmington, Peterborough (letter)

Worcester Evening News 26.1.04 The hunters have the remedy... don't do it! - AUDREY Steel's letter was typical of the arrogance of pro-hunters, very ready to point the finger at protesters…. Audrey Steel knows full well that there will always be considerable opposition to this barbaric sport, so why subject the horses to what they well know will happen?... MRS M J LARGE, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 21.1.04 Noise and insults from pro-hunters - I MUST question the views of Audrey Steel (You Say, Monday, January 12) on the anti-hunt gathering on Boxing Day. Of course, there was a lot of jeering from the antis and there would have been many insults thrown…. Did she actually listen to the noise and insults coming from the hunt supporters, who were vastly superior in numbers?... N CAFFERY, Droitwich. (letter in archive)

Manchester Evening News 26.1.04 Terrifying - JUST who do the hunting fraternity think they are (MEN, Jan 20)? A pack of hounds run amok in a private garden, and the huntmaster tries to justify it by saying the victim was known to have had foxes on his property…. Tally No! Gatley (letter)

Sun 26.1.04 Pheasant killer's all smiles - THE Queen flashes a beaming smile yesterday . . . in marked contrast to shocking photos showing her killing a pheasant... An estate worker said: “The Queen did the most humane thing by dispatching the bird as quickly as possible.” (story)
Daily Record 26.1.04 PHEASANT CLUBBING DEFENDED - THE Queen last night hit back at animal rights campaigners who blasted her for clubbing a pheasant to death... But John Bryant, spokesman for the campaign group Protect Our Wild Animals, said: ''It may be a mercy killing but euthanasia is not valid if you or your family caused the maiming in the first place.'' Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler said: ''The fact that this is one of her first appearances since her surgery demonstrates the Royal Family's horrible addiction to bird killing..." (story)

Cumberland News & Star 26.1.04 ‘DEFRA MISLEADING FARMERS OVER TB’ By Pam McClounie - THE National Federation of Badger Groups claims that Defra officials are misleading farmers over an outbreak of bovine TB in cattle… Dr Elaine King, chief executive of the badger group, confirmed that the Furness strain of bovine TB had only ever been found in Cumbria until now. She said: “This clearly indicates that cattle movement has transferred the bacteria to Cumbria because badgers do not migrate from Shropshire to Cumbria.”… (story)

Scotsman 26.1.04 A chat? With Chrissie Hynde? - Lucy Cavendish … What she does really care about, though, is animals. As a committed vegan and animal rights activist on behalf of Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), she has no truck with the stupidity, as she puts it, of the meat-eating masses…. (story)

24.1.04

Western Daily Press 24.1.04 CHASE TERROR - Have any of your readers ever been hunted? I have. As the only Protestant child in a Catholic children's home I was frequently hunted through the house and grounds and shoved into a cupboard under the stage.... So I know how it feels to be hunted for other people's enjoyment! Name and address supplied (letter)

Worcester Evening News 24.1.04 It isn't just the fox - JANET Cummings (You Say, Saturday, January10) writes how foxes are killed by hounds and of injuries to horses... Horses, essentially plains animals, are forced to jump and sustain serious injuries.... R A LANE, Stonehall Common, Worcester (letter in archive)

Belfast Telegraph 24.1.04 Illegal badger snares are used in hospital grounds - By Jonathan McCambridge - ULSTER'S record of cruelty to animals reached a new low today after it emerged that snares used to capture and torture innocent foxes and badgers were laid in the grounds of a hospital for the mentally ill. Kennel assistants from the Mid-Antrim Animal Sanctuary recently made the grim discovery following calls from concerned staff at Holywell Hospital who found the snares in woodland near the hospital... (story)

23.1.04

Western Daily Press 23.1.04 HOUNDS INVADE SANCTUARY An animal sanctuary owner yesterday called for an end to hunting after hounds terrorised her animals for a second time in four months. Caroline Cannon, who runs Rainbow Animal Sanctuary on the Wiltshire-Dorset border, said 15 foxhounds from the South and West Wiltshire Hunt ran wild across her land and she caught it on camera. She said that for more than five hours they terrified her eight elderly and frail ponies and her herd of more than 50 goats…. (letter)

Post & Times 23.1.04 PRINCE FOLLOWS CAMILLA HUNTING - Royalty joined a hunt recently. Following a report in the Post & Times that Camilla Parker-Bowles joined a Staffordshire hunt earlier this month, it was revealed that Prince Charles joined the Meynell Hunt just days before that, only the third time he had hunted this season…. (story)

Scotsman 23.1.04 One fat lady puts up the shutters - WILLIAM LYONS - CLARISSA Dickson Wright’s Cook’s Bookshop, an Edinburgh retail landmark and popular meeting-place for chefs, has closed as a result of her financial position after her recent bankruptcy… She has already survived a 12-year battle with alcoholism following the death of her mother, and last year laughed off receiving up to 15 death threats a day after becoming a figurehead for the pro-hunting lobby…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 23.1.04 KNOWLEDGE OF HUNTING FROM PAST EXPERIENCES - The opening paragraph of the letter by Michael Moore, master of the East Devon Hunt, claims that I have no idea of the realities of hunting… I have a beautiful Victorian silver baluster tankard… inscribed "Presented to John Phelps, March 29, 1867, by friends of the Wells Harriers". My great grandfather was master of this Somerset hunt which, I understand, many years ago became merged with the Weston and Banwell Harriers… Mr Moore, in his closing paragraph, says I would be better campaigning for the 40 million children in Africa. I find this remark especially offensive as I am an associate of the Institute of Bankers in South Africa and spent 25 years in five poor African countries doing exactly that - and continue to do so today…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 19.1.04 ANTI-HUNT CAMPAIGNERS DON'T KNOW THE REALITIES As usual, John Phelps is selective, misleading and plainly has no idea of the realities of hunting… If Mr Phelps considers that children who ride out hunting will be traumatised and lose their innocence, then they only have to watch the TV every day to see violence and killing on a much larger scale…Huntsmen only put down hounds when they can no longer do what they enjoy, just as any pet is put down when it is necessary. Most hounds hunt on well past their six years and, to suggest they are callously slaughtered, is an insult to huntsmen who have such a tremendous respect and affection for their hounds… Perhaps he and his friends would be better campaigning for the 40 million children in Africa who have been orphaned through the scourge of Aids… Michael Moore, Slade Close, Ottery St Mary (letter)

Manchester Evening News 23.1.04 More important issues than this - AS a horsewoman but not a huntswoman, I cannot understand the triviality of people bothering about hunting with hounds. I am often astounded by people’s ignorance on the subject. Do they not understand that the folk who hunt and shoot and fish are huge contributors to this country’s wealth?... anyone can try hunting. Your local hunt will welcome you graciously and it doesn’t cost as much as people think. Horsewoman, Sale (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.1.04 HISTORY TEACHES TOLERANCE 'VITAL' I was interested to read that Roy Franklin is a Jew. The Jewish people have been persecuted throughout history by those who cannot accept their beliefs and way of life and have been motivated sufficiently to commit terrible acts against them…. It is surprising to me, therefore, given the understanding of these issues that he must have, that Mr Franklin should be harbouring the same kind of intolerance and hatred for another group of people whose beliefs and way of life he cannot accept. I am of course referring to people who hunt foxes for sport... J G Cooper Address supplied (letter)

Sevenoaks Chronicle 23.1.04 SUPPORT DRAG HUNTING - I was standing opposite the Penshurst pub on Boxing Day when the foxhunters moved off. I counted no more than 40 of them and half of those were young girls. So, which corner were the extra 55 riders, claimed by the hunt and Mr Peachey (Chronicle, Jan 15), hiding behind? The hunt claimed six 'antis', but there were 15 of us, so why should we trust their figures?... Dave Wetton, Hadlow (letter)

Sevenoaks Chronicle 23.1.04 A number of recent letters have implied that people who wear wax jackets are inevitably hunt supporters. However, I know a number of people who often wear such jackets but who have advanced beyond that point on the evolutionary scale where killing animals is still seen as fun. Barry Cushway Sevenoaks (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.1.04 WE HAD TO CONFRONT REALITY - I totally agree with the article by Mark Daniel on the pheasant-shooting incident involving the Duke of Edinburgh… we saw Spitfires, Hurricanes and Me109s fall out of the sky and knew that in each was a man who would soon die. We had no time to be shocked and distressed, we just had to get on with life…. I suggest the "shocked and distressed" children are taken to see an abattoir at work, then perhaps they would make enough fuss to get the conditions altered to be more humane. Catherine Cracknell Four Lanes, Redruth (letter)

Argus 23.1.04 Well done - The Argus is to be congratulated for its in-depth article on the possible perils associated with some deodorants and anti-perspirants… this will be further proof that testing substances on laboratory animals can never guarantee their safety for use on humans. -Peter Allen, Worthing (letter)

Dundee Courier 23.1.04 More disease than ever - Mr Bromley (January 19) claims that “no animal research means no new medicine”, and asks “how scientists could replicate a beating heart, blood system, lungs, and central nervous system”…. If animal experiments were relevant to human illness after decades of experiments upon billions of animals, shouldn’t we be seeing an improvement in health?...(Mrs) M. A. Thompson. 74 Farleys Lane, Hucknall, Nottingham (letter)
Dundee Courier 19.1.04 Animal testing is last resort - Shelley Willetts (January 14) is very loud in attacking medical research, but is remarkably quiet when it boils down to telling us what we should use instead of animals to give hope to people with serious illnesses…. There is nothing moral about denying patients essential medical treatments that were developed through animal research… The fact is: no animal research means no new medicines, the choice is as simple as that. Patients’ rights should be put on the map and a balanced argument put forward for humane animal research…. Thomas Bromley. SIMR Executive Secretary, Dunstable, Bedfordshire.(letter)
Dundee Courier 14.1.04 Misleading scientists - Jim Eadie states in his letter (January 8) that he believes that animal experiments are vital for medical research—but then he would, wouldn’t he? He is the Director of the Association of the British Phamaceutical Industry… animal experiments seriously mislead scientists when they try to apply animal data to humans. Shelly Willetts, Director, Europeans For Medical Advancement. PO Box 38604, London. (letter)
Dundee Courier 10.1.04 Cannot justify any animal experiments - Mr Eadie of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (January 8) feebly and unconvincingly attempted to justify experiments on animals kept in stressful laboratory conditions... How would he feel if someone stuck him in a laboratory cage and subjected him to unnatural experiments?... Bob Beveridge. Old Town House, Falkland (letter)
Dundee Courier 8.1.04 Animal research needed for foreseeable future - Animal experiments are a vital component of medical research despite Dr Moore’s doubts (letters, January 5).... That is why the pharmaceutical industry through its trade body supports the key findings of the House of Lords select committee on animal research... Jim Eadie, Director, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. 9 Queen Street, Edinburgh. (letter)
Dundee Courier 5.1.04 Medicine divorcing itself from animal research? - It is generally assumed that the medical profession considers animal experiments to be a vital component of medical research. This assumption may no longer be valid... Lack of direct clinical applicability of animal experiments is a fundamental weakness and may be the main reason the medical profession has distanced itself from the debate... To date the medical profession has been the compliant partner in a less than ideal relationship with animal research and drug development. The fact that the profession has distanced itself from the debate on animal experiments may herald the serving of divorce papers. (Dr) Edward Moore. Hillhead Cottage, Inverfarigaig, Inverness. (letter)

TROWBRIDGE PIGEON CULL
Wiltshire Times 23.1.04 Protesters celebrate as pigeons are saved - PIGEONS in Trowbridge have been given a last-minute reprieve after town councillors voted to gun for the elderly feeders instead. While animal rights protesters celebrated a victory for the pigeon population, a storm was brewing between town councillors and West Wiltshire District Council over whether pensioners will be prosecuted for feeding the birds… Mary Johnson, 32, who was one of the protesters campaigning in Fore Street before Christmas, said: "The pigeons have got a reprieve for now. I don't believe there will be any prosecutions and this will be an issue in the future." Sam Jones, of Trowbridge, said: "Their resolution is a bit vague so they have kept their options open. I think it's a bit of a fudge they have not really resolved anything."… (story in archive)
Wiltshire Times 16.1.04 `Rude' email row over pigeon plans - DIE-HARD pigeon campaigners claim they have been deluged with rude and insulting e-mails from people supporting a cull in Trowbridge. Katherine Green, of Pigeon Campaign UK, said she had received many sarcastic e-mails from pro-cull supporters and town councillors in response to the continued protests… Ms Green, who has been drumming up support against the cull, said town councillor Bob Brice sent her a sarcastic response…. Cllr Brice admitted sending a sarcastic response to anti-cull supporters. He said: "They have bombarded us with e-mails and the language they have been using is awful…." (story in archive)
Wiltshire Times 9.1.04 Clean up `mess' - I AGREE that something must be done about the pigeons in Trowbridge. As for the animal activists who object to the cull, perhaps they should be asked to clean the mess on our buildings if they are so keen to preserve the pigeon population!... L POWELL Trowbridge
Wiltshire Times 9.1.04 Pigeon cull `cruel and inhumane' - ANIMAL liberation websites are urging bird lovers nationwide to bombard Trowbridge town councillors with e-mails and letters to protest against a pigeon cull…. Arkangel Animal Liberation Group and Liberation magazine have made Trowbridge headline news as the debate hots up just two weeks before a decision is due to be made…. (story in archive)
Wiltshire Times 2.1.04 `Be humane to the pigeons' author - A LEADING author on pigeons has joined the ranks of protesters campaigning against a cull in Trowbridge. Dr Jean Hansell, author of The Pigeon In History and Images Of The Dove, said Trowbridge should make an example of how to solve the problem using humane methods.... (story in archive)
Wiltshire Times 2.1.04 Clear up all the rubbish before tackling pigeons - WELL said Victor May. The pigeons do indeed have as much right as us to exist and in 20 years of shopping and visiting Trowbridge I have never seen them as being a problem... M THOMAS Bradford on Avon (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Times 26.12.03 Activists in fight to save pigeons - BATTLE lines have been drawn in the fight to stop a pigeon cull in Trowbridge as animal rights campaigners descended on the town for the first in a series of targeted protests... One expert said shock-tactic campaigners who regularly target animal testing laboratories, including Huntingdon Life Sciences in Cambridgeshire, could be drawn to Trowbridge if a cull is agreed. Mike Haines, 48, who travelled from Cirencester, said: "I don't agree with these methods but I understand their concern.... Mary Johnson, 32, from Bristol Animal Rights, said the idea behind demonstrations was to inform the public about the planned "massacre". Justin Broadwith, 42, a protester with Bath Animal Action, said: "Where is the need for a cull? We only counted 20 pigeons on the way in to the town centre.".... (story in archive)
Wiltshire Times 24.12.03 Leave the pigeons alone - The controversy about the pigeons has got out of control. To exterminate them is wrong. When I frequently go into Trowbridge they don't bother me. I think they have as much right there as I have... V May, Union Street (letter in archive)
Sunday Telegraph 21.12.03 Activists 'prepared to die' for pigeons - Militant pigeon-lovers are threatening to become "human shields" to save the birds from a shotgun cull.A pressure group is furious with Trowbridge town council... Pigeon Campaign UK says members will risk their lives by standing in front of marksmen (story)
BBC News Online 20.12.03 Pigeon problem demands action - Animal rights activists say they will protest against a possible cull of pigeons in Trowbridge… (story)
Bath Chronicle 17.12.03 POOR OLD RATS GET A VERY BAD PRESS - I Was outraged to read the article on the proposed cull of pigeons in Trowbridge (Saturday, December 13). I fully support the action by PICAS (Pigeon Campaigns UK) to "throw themselves in front of the guns" if a cull is attempted…. Such shameful species-ism is a stain on the good name of the Wiltshire citizen, who is normally wise to the devious ways of the spin-doctor…. Arise, men and women of Wiltshire, and support your local vermin, one and all. STEPHEN SUMMERS Woodlands Pickwick Corsham (letter)
Bath Chronicle 13.12.03 GROUP PLEDGE TO STAND IN FRONT OF LOADED BY ROWENA SPEIRS - A National animal rights organisation has joined the fight to stop a mass cull of pigeons in a Wiltshire town. Members of the group Pigeons Campaigns UK have vowed to hold demonstrations through the centre of Trowbridge and throw themselves in front of the guns if town councillors finally decide to bring in an exterminator…. (story)

Telegraph 23.1.04 Animal cruelty - How Gerard MacDonald (Letters, Jan 21) can claim to deplore cruelty to animals while remaining a salmon farmer is hard to swallow. Every farmed salmon is denied its most basic instinct: to migrate tens of thousands of miles…. Donald Rice, London W11 (letter)

22.1.04

Somerset Guardian 22.1.04 HUNT CAUTION So the Somerset police showed their impartiality by giving a caution to a hunt supporter for attacking an anti-hunt protester with what could be described as a lethal weapon - yet hunt saboteurs have been given heavy fines or even jailed for less… NEIL JAMES, Yew Street, Wolverhampton (letter)

Ulster Herald 22.1.04 Hunting is a traditional and noble sport - In response to John Fitzgerald's letters in your paper in reference to fox hunting, I would like to invite him to go out into the Tyrone countryside and seek the views of those farmers who encourage fox hunters to rid their land of the vermin… Has John Fitzgerald told those fictitious 'anti-fox hunting farmers' that if fox hunting were banned then his next step would be to ban them from working their livestock with their dogs, as they may harass their sheep and cattle? I doubt that he has, judging by the silly sentiments expressed in his correspondence… Nigel Quinn, Drumquin (letter in archive)

Hereford Times 22.1.04 Complete disregard for the village locals - In your Editorial "Family's anger after hounds run over smallholding - again" (Jan 1st 2004) we noted that Richard Sumner, joint master of the Heythrop Hunt made rather pathetic excuses as to why the hounds rampaged through our garden, putting my four cats at serious risk…. may I ask why then was Broadwell once again due to be a village under seige on Wednesday, 21st January, when the Heythop meet just a few hundred yards from our house and even nearer to where I keep my goats and poultry?... Patricia J Hemming, Broadwell, Moreton-in-Marsh (letter in archive)

Plymouth Evening Herald 22.1.04 FOX-HUNTING - The hunting fraternity would have us believe that hunting with hounds is the most humane means of fox control… Anyone who is truly connected to nature and the countryside could not inflict pain, suffering or death on our wildlife, bringing as it does such joy, and with whom we are so privileged to share this Earth. JACQUI MAIA RUKIN Henwood, Nr Liskeard (letter)

Ilkley Gazette 22.1.04 Waste of life - Michael Edwards, 32 East Parade, Harrogate. (letter in archive)
North East Evening Gazette 17.1.04 Our mouse trap - I wouldn't dispute that Covance have discovered a lot about medicine and curing disease, but I wonder how much of it benefits me... Until they abandon animal studies and focus on clinical study of human patients using the priceless technology available today, their claims to be concerned with human health are unconvincing. MICHAEL EDWARDS, Harrogate (letter)

Western Morning News 22.1.04 FREE TRADE AGAIN OUTRANKS CRUELTY - Defra Minister Alun Michael has provoked outrage by refusing to lobby the EU for a British ban on the export of live horses, ponies and donkeys. But the campaign for a watertight ban - supported by more than 65,000 WMN readers - goes on. Here is a selection of your letters on the issue…
I write again of my disgust at my Government's submission of the "minimum values" clause regarding horse, pony and donkey live transport…. S Finemore, Shaugh Prior, Plymouth
Shameful stance I think that the trade in live animal exports whether for meet or otherwise is inherently cruel. It should therefore be banned…. Celia Cooper Plymouth
Historical precedent - I read with concern the front page article (WMN Jan 1) where the Government, once again, conceded to the EU on matters with a British Government taking a different view… W R Bellers Newton Abbot Devon
Plain horrendous - Having travelled recently through Devon and Somerset (such lovely counties) I was horrified to read (WMN, January 2) of the plight of the possible export of live horses…. Mrs I Harbard Mosley Birmingham
Forget EU law … Let us as a country put humane treatment of our livestock first and accept nothing less. H E Jasper St Austell Cornwall
Stress is unavoidable …. all animals for slaughter should be sent on the hook. Alun Michael, why won't you listen to us instead of caving in to ministers abroad. Mary Kennedy Okehampton Devon
Diabolical trade … It is a diabolical trade which should be scrapped immediately. Mrs K Knowles Falmouth Cornwall
Little faith in MPs - On January 7 I wrote to you on behalf of my wife and myself to reiterate our commitment to support Carla Lane and like-minded people who wish to stop the barbaric export of live horses…. I have little faith in Margaret Beckett, Alun Michael and Ben Bradshaw having the necessary guts to stand up to the bully boys of the EU. J Quinn Truro Cornwall
Government reneging - I heartily agree with your campaign against export of live horses…. Audrey Salter Plymouth
Letting EU dictate - Why have we got a Minister in the Commons, who is supposed to be in charge of animal welfare?... D and O A Smith St Cleer Liskeard Cornwall
One way ticket It seems to me that the export of live equines and other animals to the Continent is a one-way ticket. They are not obliged to export live creatures to Britain. Sylvia Fryer Plymouth
Pantomime horse - The latest admission from DEFRA that this government will not pursue a policy for the continued exemption of live exports of equines from this country confirms Tony Blair's reluctance to show any opposition to any dictate from Brussels and a complete disregard for the opinions of the electorate… W T Sweet Mawgan Helston Cornwall
EU ignores animal rights The EU continues to ignore animal rights, the export just not of horses but sheep is abhorrent to those people who uphold the rights of animals… John Smith UKIP, Newlea, New St, Barrow, Cumbria
No civilised excuse There can be no civilised excuse for the Government to not stop the export trade in live horses, ponies and donkeys. Mike Nance Teignmouth
Ban for all live animals - I have never read such a load of flummery as was reported on the front page of the WMN January 1) flummery from our now ridiculous government, regarding the export of horses…. Tess Nash Venton Vean, Mawgan, Helston (letter)

ANIMAL AID GO VEGGIE LETTER
Ilkley Gazette 22.1.04 Go veggie - Ajaye Curry, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid (letter in archive)
Surrey Mirror 8.1.04 Why not pledge to go veggie? - Ajaye Curry, campaigns officer, Animal Aid (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 8.1.04 PLEDGE TO GO VEGGIE IN 2004 Ajaye Curry, campaigns officer, Animal Aid. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 7.1.04 GO VEGGIE FOR 2004 Ajaye Curry, campaigns officer (letter)
News Letter 6.1.04 Healthy Resolution for the New Year - Ajaye Curry, Campaigns Officer (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 5.1.04 Veggies save animals suffering - HAVING had a very merry Christmas, indulging in festive food and drink and general seasonal revelry, now comes the time to make New Year's resolutions. In 2004, why not pledge to go veggie? It's good for us and our fellow animals.... AJAYE CURRY, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent. (letter in archive)

21.1.04

South Wales Guardian 21.1.04 Hunt vows to defy MPs' ban by Huw Waghorn - PRO-HUNT campaigners in the Towy Valley have vowed to defy the law and continue hunting with dogs even if Parliament bans it. Members of the Llandeilo hunt who gathered for their annual Boxing Day hunt pledged to return again next year, regardless of whether MPs make fox hunting with dogs illegal. Joint master of the Llandeilo hunt, Elfan Bell, told the Guardian that people would be willing to openly break the law in a bid to highlight what they perceive to be an unjust law…. (story in archive)

WEST SOMERSET VALE KILL CAT
Bridgwater Times 21.1.04 HUNT UNDER FIRE AFTER CAT'S DEATH - Members of a Combwich family who said they were traumatised by the death of the family cat at the hands of a pack of foxhounds have spoken out against hunting. Jenny Kervell said: "We've never really bothered with the hunt, we weren't anti-hunt protesters. But now things have changed."… Master of the West Somerset Vale Hunt, Stephen Corrick has personally apologised to the couple. He said: "I very much regret the incident and feel Mr and Mrs Kervell have handled themselves and the whole affair in a very dignified manner…" (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 10.1.04 Horror as foxhounds savage cat - A FAMILY told today how they watched in horror as foxhounds savaged their pet cat in their garden. Jennifer Kervell and her daughters, seven and three, were in the kitchen preparing lunch when around 30 hounds from the West Somerset Vale Hunt came into the garden and tore apart their four-year-old cat Holly.... (story)
Western Daily Press 10.1.04 FAMILY SEES HOUNDS TEAR CAT TO PIECES - Mother Jenny Kervell told yesterday how she and her two young daughters watched in horror as their beloved pet cat was torn apart by foxhounds.... Family favourite Holly came to her violent end when West Somerset Vale Hunt foxhounds burst into Jenny's rural garden in Combwich near Bridgwater... (story)
Mirror 10.1.04 SISTERS SEE FOXHOUNDS KILL THEIR CAT By Richard Smith - TWO young sisters watched in horror as their cat was torn apart by a pack of eight foxhounds in their garden. Mum Jenny Kervell... was preparing lunch when she saw the dogs from the West Somerset Vale Hunt in her one-acre garden in Combwich near Bridgwater... Master of the Hunt Stephen Corrick, 54, said: "We are very sorry. We do take steps to make sure things like this don't happen. Sadly, the fox ran into Mrs Kervell's garden." (story)
Telegraph 10.1.04 Hounds kill family pet - A mother told yesterday how she and her two young daughters watched in horror as their cat was killed by foxhounds. Holly was attacked by a pack of 30 hounds from the West Somerset Vale Hunt (story)
Scotsman 9.1.04 Pet Cat Savaged by Fox Hounds By Sarah Cade and Helen Morgan, PA News - A family watched in horror as fox hounds savaged their pet cat in their garden, it emerged today. Jennifer Kervell and her daughters, seven and three, were in the kitchen preparing lunch when around 30 hounds from the West Somerset Vale Hunt came into the garden and tore apart their four-year-old cat called Holly.... (story)
BBC News Online 9.1.04 Hounds savage family pet - A family saw a pack of hounds savage their pet cat in their own garden. Jennifer Kervell and her two daughters were preparing lunch when about 30 hounds entered their garden and attacked the four-year-old cat, Holly…. The hunt involved has apologised and offered to buy a new pet for the family, or pay for vet's fees. One minute we were admiring the beautiful hounds then we suddenly realised they were sniffing around our garden for something…." Joint master of the West Somerset Vale Hunt, Robin Cursham said: "We are very sorry it happened. We have apologised to the owners of the cat and we have been back twice to see them…" (story)

Western Daily Press 21.1.04 NEIGHBOUR HITS HUNT PROTESTER - Tempers have been rising in a West village, after a hunt meet sparked violence and the arrest of a pensioner for assault and a police caution, it emerged last night. The tiny community of Ston Easton, Somerset, has been left divided amid allegations and counter-claims of harassment, abuse, threats, and violence -all centred on a clash between anti-hunt protester Alun Person and the local Mendip Farmers' Hunt… It resulted in one villager, retired Johnny Peppard, spending three hours in the cells at Yeovil police station after he admitted hitting Mr Person… Mr Peppard declined to comment, but a friend said: "Mr Peppard was only protecting his wife. This chap was shouting at them, circling them on his bike. He's been a problem ever since he came here."… (story)
Somerset Guardian 16.1.04 MAN HIT ON HEAD AS HUNT TURNS VIOLENT - A hunt protester has claimed he was hit on the head from behind by a hunt supporter as he conducted a peaceful protest earlier this month. The incident happened on New Year's Day as Mendip huntsmen passed through Ston Easton.... The man who was assaulted was 56-year-old radio communications engineer Alun Person, who lives in Ston Easton... An Avon and Somerset police spokesman said: "Apparently the offender struck the gentleman twice on the head with a stick, causing him discomfort." A 67-year-old man was arrested and has been given a formal caution by Shepton Mallet police officers. (story)

Horse & Hound 21.1.04 Questions raised over welfare group - Isobel Walsh - A working group set up by the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) to investigate the future welfare implications for dogs used for hunting if hunting is banned, has come under the spotlight as its motivations and ability to cast an impartial judgement are called into question…. The working group was set up in November 2003 in response to a letter from the Kennel Club, which voiced concerns to MPs that “the fate of dogs involved with hunting does not appear to have been considered”… The officers of the APGAW who approved the establishment of the group include MPs Tony Banks and Norman Baker, as well as APGAW chairman Ian Cawsey, all of whom voted in favour of a ban on hunting in June 2003…. (story)

Argus 21.1.04 Blame game - "I blame the Government" is always an easy thing to say. It is clear that Stuart Bower felt he had been badly let down by the Labour Party and needed to walk away but how can he believe Labour are no more than the Tories in disguise?... Yes, it has taken a long time to see hunting banned but the end for this cruel bloodsport is now in sight…. -Pete Gillman, Brighton (letter)
Argus 21.1.04 Britain mustn't get stuck in the 1980s - I respect the principled stance Stuart Bower took as a policeman who disagreed with Margaret Thatcher's handling of the miners' strike (Letters, January 16). I marched for the miners. I was there when the Smiths played at Ken Livingstone's closing of the GLC party… I have consistently voted Labour since 1979, save for 1992, when I abstained… No more time should be spent on stupid issues such as fox-hunting… -Dominic Webber, Heathfield (letter)
Argus 16.1.04 This Labour Party has betrayed us all ... I had the honour of being the constituency secretary for the Hove Labour Party. The historic 1997 election victory was a glorious moment for all party members. However, within two years I had walked away in disgust... As a party activist I gave my word that Labour could be trusted to keep its promise to end hunting with hounds.... -Stuart Bower, Upper Beeding (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 21.1.04 Challenges as hare-ban Minister widens the net - In 2002 the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) undertook a survey of clubs that showed almost universal support for a voluntary no-shooting policy for hares. Despite this, Environment Minister Angela Smith has chosen, without proper consultation, to introduce this week a Special Protection Order for Irish Hares… Despite this voluntary policy in relation to shooting, we support other field sportsmen who enjoy country sports featuring the hare, such as beagling and coursing… we believe that the Minister's intervention stems from personal prejudice, rather than science or fact. We have written to her Department to argue our case… ROGER POLLEN, Director, British Association for Shooting and Conservation Northern Ireland (letter)

Bridgwater Times 21.1.04 FIVE VEHICLES DAMAGED IN ATTACK AT GOAT FARM - Five vehicles parked at a Stogursey goat farm were damaged by paint remover in the early hours of Monday morning. Lesley and Alan Mowlem, of Water Farm, say the damage may have been caused by animal rights activists who mistakenly thought goats have been sold to a laboratory in Huntingdon. The farmers milk more than 450 goats and in the past a few were sold for research but this no longer happens… (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 21.1.04 £18,000 nest to curb pigeons By Annette Morgan - A row over the growing numbers of pigeons in Rugby which has rumbled on for two years could be solved with the introduction of an ancient method of curbing their population. Council bosses want to introduce two dovecotes - places where pigeons are encouraged to perch and nest - into Rugby town centre…. Campaigner Janet Cummings said she felt dovecotes were the only humane solution…. (story)

20.1.04

Sun 20.1.04 Death at hunt ball - A POSH foxhunt ball ended in tragedy when a reveller collapsed and died on the dancefloor…. Nick Cunningham, 32, keeled over at the annual Snowman’s Winter Ball. More than 400 members of the Vale of Aylesbury and Garth and South Berks Hunt were at the posh bash… Police say it is not suspicious but are trying to establish if he took drugs… (story)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 NOTHING CAN MAKE THIS ACCEPTABLE - A total of 2,500 pensioners will die of cold this year - that is, of poverty. All Ian Harris can think of doing with £2million is try to show that something whose purpose is cruelty, isn't cruel…. As Arminel Scott says, the sport "takes a fit, healthy and vibrant animal and systematically transforms it into a pitifully broken, exhausted one."… R Dalziel, Tavistock (letter)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 Protests in vain THE massive liberty and livelihood marches, rallies in Hyde Park, London and the many protests by the Countryside Alliance have sadly all been in vain. The dictatorial Government has not listened to logical reasoned argument and now it is time for far more drastic action…. R Hancox, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 HAS BLAIR GIVEN ANY THOUGHT TO THE BILL'S IMPACT? I am very surprised the Prime Minister has decided to bring back the controversial Hunting Bill to placate disgruntled Labour MPs. Has he given any serious thought to the unrest and loss of jobs that will be caused within the rural community should hunting be banned… F G Bowles, St Austell (letter)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 Why the delay? I SHARE the concern expressed by Dr Christopher Maycock (WMN, January10) about the amount of Parliamentary time spent on the Hunting Bill and agree with him that it really is time to bring this matter to a conclusion… John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 Duty to protect animals - DOES the tradition of "hunting in the blood" of a minority of devotees, like the two elderly Devon and Somerset Staghounds supporters interviewed this Boxing Day by a Western Morning News reporter, justify the cruelty of hind hunting at this time of year…. The Devon and Somerset Staghounds have an appalling record of brutality, including stags collapsing with exhaustion and inadequate shooting with a large bore shotgun, subjected to violent manhandling and frog-marching with hounds biting their hindquarters and deliberate drowning…. Miss Katherine Watson, Stockport Cheshire (letter)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 Ban imports - HUNTING is cruel - just as the League against Cruel Sports has said - I agree. No amount of threats will change it… Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 AFRICAN WILDLIFE AT MERCY OF POACHERS The emotive letter from Tanya Ritchie (WMN, December 30) indicates that she knows even less about Africa than she claims to know about hunting in Britain… In the past couple of years the wildlife of Zimbabwe has been decimated by Africans, not by anyone else. Part of the slaughter has been hunting for the pot, which is arguably excusable in a population starved by its incompetent and evil government for political ends…. Bringing it into the British hunting debate was a red herring of monstrous proportions, but sadly typical of the flawed reasoning of the anti-hunting faction. J Ward-Hayne Modbury South Devon (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.1.04 COUNTRY FOLK RESPECT LAND - Roy Franklin's letter, Hunt Down These Townies, really is unbelievable and offensive both to the hunting community… If Mr Franklin had bothered to find out the facts before he penned his vindictive rant, he would have found that the majority of the hunting community are animal-loving country people who have lived and worked in the country all their lives with great understanding and respect for the countryside and its wildlife… Bryher Barrett Countryside Alliance South West (letter)
Western Daily Press 10.1.04 TIME TO EXPOSE THIS FANATICAL NONSENSE In response to the letter from Mr Roy Franklin, of Bridgwater, I do not own a second home and I do not hunt, but I offer a hearty welcome to the West Country to all those who do. Long may they stay and enjoy our countryside, our sport, our houses and our cider..... From his previous letters, we know that Mr Franklin is a revolutionary vegetarian eco-warrior who would like to impose his totalitarian views upon the rest of us. Now he is attacking second home owners... will Mr Franklin please tell us exactly who are guilty of the equal crime of selling, and what kind of sticker they should be wearing? They couldn't perhaps be local people, just like Roy Franklin, could they? Surely not. Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.1.04 HUNT DOWN THESE TOWNIES - The item on second homes (Your Say, December 29) illustrates what many country people already know, ie, that people who work and live in the city and buy second homes in the country when they come down to hunt, cause problems both for local people, who cannot afford inflated house prices, and for the wildlife they kill while hunting... Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Dundee Courier 20.1.04 Passionate arguments on gun control - The motion this house would ban guns marked the halfway stage of the second round of The Courier/The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland Schools Junior Debating competition…. Arguing that “guns weren’t ideal but they were necessary” were Catherine Grainger and Annabelle Reid from St Leonards School, Paul Murphy and James McDonald from St John’s High School and Claire Field and Lindsay Forbes from Madras College…. This argument certainly held more sway with the house, and at the vote the motion fell… (story)

Bolton Evening News 20.1.04 Hare courser in court for trespass - A LITTLE Lever man has been convicted of trespass after being caught hare coursing on farmland in Lancashire. William Rogers, a PVC fitter, aged 40, of Hall Lane Caravan Site, Little Lever, pleaded guilty to trespassing on land at Grange Farm, Lower Lane, Freckleton, near Lytham St Annes, in pursuit of game on October 26…. (story in archive)

DEER CULL
Exeter Express & Echo 20.1.04 BRADSHAW PAVES WAY FOR DEER CULL - Nature Conservation Minister and Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw paved the way for a widespread deer cull last night when he announced a public consultation on future strategies for managing the animals whose numbers are spiralling out of control… (story)
Western Morning News 19.1.04 DEER CULLING DISCUSSED BY MINISTERS - Ministers will today announce plans on how to manage the country's growing population of deer after research found the animals are involved in over 30,000 traffic collisions each year…. Experts poured scorn on the idea, saying it is an example of the Government looking for a quick-fix answer to the problem. Other people have pointed out the irony of the Government's plan to ban hunting of deer at a time when there is more need than ever to control numbers. Some fear that if hunting is banned, it will lead to an explosion in deer populations…. (story)
Western Daily Press 19.1.04 DEER CULL ON HORIZON AS ROAD DEATHS RISE Britain's growing deer population claims up to 15 human lives a year through road accidents, causing damage worth £10.5million to vehicles, a Government report reveals this morning… Doreen Cronin who was secretary of the former Devon & Somerset Residents Association for Deer Protection, said yesterday: "The reported growth in numbers is a little bit surprising if it is suggested to apply to this area as well, what with the hunt and with the National Trust controlling by shooting…" Johnny Kingdom, Exmoor-based wildlife photographer and Western Daily Press columnist, said: "Culls are necessary but the animals must be considered too…." (story)
Western Morning News 7.1.04 DEER STALKING PLAN IS WRONG, CLAIM EXPERTS - The Government will be announcing a nationwide deer strategy later this month in which Nature Conservation Minister Ben Bradshaw will be calling for more trained stalkers to shoot deer. But some experts in the Westcountry are not convinced, as Martin Hesp reports… "It would appear, from what has been said by Mr Bradshaw, that the Government is looking for its usual quick-fix answer," says Peter Donnelly, a retired deer manager and one-time chairman of the British Deer Society's (BDS) national training committee…. (story)
Western Morning News 7.1.04 FEMALE CULL IS MANAGEMENT SOLUTION - Retired deer manager Peter Donnelly believes the key to controlling the wild deer population is in the culling of females between November and the end of February…. (story)
Western Morning News 7.1.04 SHOOTING VERSUS THE HUNT In a 1997 study by Dr Jochen Langbein, it was estimated that some 1,200 red deer were killed on Exmoor each year. "Of the 1,200, less than five per cent was actually taken by hunt," says Mr Donnelly. "That's miniscule - almost irrelevant. The most important aspect of the hunt is their contact with the resident farming community which plays host to all deer on Exmoor…. (story)
Times 3.1.04 Eat the deer before they eat our countryside BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - RAPIDLY increasing numbers of deer are threatening Britain’s ancient woodlands, wild flowers and animal habitats, according to Ben Bradshaw, the Nature Conservation Minister. Mr Bradshaw said the country was being overrun by deer. The estimated population of 1.5 million was already higher than at any time since the Ice Age and was set to double within ten years.... (story)

Cumberland News & Star 20.1.04 MAN’S BADGER KILL CHARGES - A MAN from Renwick, near Penrith, appeared before Eden magistrates yesterday charged with killing two badgers at Kirkoswald between May 10 and September 30 last year. John Threlkeld, 37, of Low Scales, pleaded not guilty to both offences… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 20.1.04 FIGURE-JUGGLING WITHOUT SENSE - The suspension of badger culling in the "reactive trial areas" (ie: in response to cattle herd TB breakdowns) announced in November came as a complete surprise… Clever statistics in the complete absence of a shred of common-sense proves precisely zero - but allows "DAFTA" to end the costly meaningless culls based on "scientific" nonsense. It would help if farmers stopped co-operating with the Krebs/Bourne trial. M. HANCOX Nouncells Cross Stroud (letter)

Essex Chronicle 20.1.04 Essex: Controversial cull on ruddy ducks begins - A controversial cull aimed at wiping out ruddy ducks has begun at two Essex reservoirs. Government marksmen have moved into Abberton Reservoir, Colchester, and Hanningfield Reservoir, Chelmsford, in a bid to bring the UK population down to below 200…. Essex Wildlife Trust director John Hall said the trust had decided not to allow access to its land, and called for more scientific research into the ruddy duck problem… (story in archive)

Cambridge Evening News 20.1.04 Animal activists launch new legal challenge - ANIMAL activists have heaped another legal challenge on the Government in protest against the Girton monkey lab. This time the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) has its sights set on the Home Secretary for breaking the law by "routinely underestimating the level of suffering laboratory animals endure in UK testing laboratories." The Judicial Review proceedings against David Blunkett are backed by a number of distinguished experts, with much of the evidence taken from secretly taped video footage, which the BUAV claims exposes monkey brain research at Cambridge University…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 20.1.04 Verdict ignored From Neil Scarr, District councillor for Fulbourn Independent) Haggis Gap, Fulbourn - THOMAS Bromley of Seriously Ill for Medical Research (Letters, January 6) probably imagines that his claim that few who oppose vivisection refuse treatment developed using animals will effectively end the debate in your columns… Opposition to vivisection and animal testing for the present and the future is not incompatible with using treaments developed in these ways in the past. We cannot reshape the past…. (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 20.1.04 From Paul Hayhoe, Colville Road, Cherry Hinton - SPACE will not permit me to dismember the letter from Mr Bromley ("Put humans first", Letters, January 6) but I would like to pick up on a few points…. Any normal person wants to see advances made in medicine; that includes animal rights people also. Cambridge University is living in the Dark Ages. (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 6.1.04 From Thomas Bromley, Executive Secretary SIMR PO Box 504 Dunstable - IN RESPONSE to EJ Zuiderwijk (Letters, December 23) I am glad that occasionally a sensible and balanced voice enters the debate over the use of animals in medical research. It is rare we hear of anyone who opposes such research actually refusing treatments developed using animals…. We are not anti-animal. We are just pro-research and sensible enough to put people first. Seriously Ill for Medical Research (SIMR) is a patients' group which supports the humane use of animals and genetic technology where necessary in medical research… (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 23.12.03 Research is worth it - Mr Russell Tofts (Letters, December 12) claims that animal experiments are useless because, according to him, science has not found a guaranteed cure for any disease over the past century. He is wrong. There is not a single person in the world today suffering from smallpox. It was cured by eradicating it through vaccination, developed using animal research. Apart from this obvious example, Mr Tofts tells me that my bicycle is a useless vehicle because it can't take me to the moon. It does take me to Cambridge though and in summer even to Amsterdam. That is quite useful to me.... I can't understand Mr Tofts' rejection of animal research while he is clearly happy to take medication based on such research for his potentially life-threatening asthma. Quite a contradiction, methinks. E J Zuiderwijk, Bar Hill (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 15.12.03 No cures found as yet - From Russell Tofts, Royston Road, Whittlesford - A LITTLE while ago I wrote a letter to the News in which I outlined my objections to the proposed Primate Research Laboratory at Girton. My letter, it seemed, struck such a raw nerve with some people. At least two of your readers replied, both of the opinion that I was speaking nonsense…. I should like to issue a challenge to your respondents to name any viral, genetic or environmental disease for which a guaranteed cure has been found…. I should like to make it clear that I have never been involved in violence of any kind, nor have I ever advocated resorting to violence, and I strongly resent the implication that I have. (letter)

Eastern Daily Press20.1.04 Dogs' home closure angers volunteers - CELIA WIGG - Volunteers who raise money for the RSPCA have criticised the decision to close the charity's dog rehoming centre near Diss. They have been told, by the RSPCA's Norwich and Mid-Norfolk branch, that the dogs are being moved to another boarding facility, north of the city, for financial reasons. However, the Diss volunteers claim it would be less costly to continue running the facility at the Heywood…. (story)

Reading Chronicle 20.1.04 Val joins in fight against ivory trade By James Ferguson - A CROWTHORNE woman has donated a precious family heirloom to help save elephants threatened by the illegal ivory trade. Dedicated environmentalist Val Linnington inherited a procession of carved ivory elephants from her grandmother, but now she has decided to give them to the International Fund for Animal Welfare…. (story)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 RSPCA CAMPAIGNS FOR CHANGES IN POLICY AND AN END TO SUFFERING - In her letter "We need a charity with teeth" (WMN, December 30) Tess Nash claims the RSPCA should have directed its resources during the foot and mouth crisis to contesting the Government's culling policy in court…. The RSPCA's position during the crisis was that some culling was justified on welfare grounds for infected livestock and those directly exposed to them because of the severity of the disease…. The RSPCA ploughed its resources - £1 million and thousands of man hours - into helping animals escape miserable conditions imposed by movement restrictions and in setting up a brokerage system to redistribute food and resources to where they were needed…. Dr Julia Wrathall, Head of Farm Animals Department, RSPCA (letter)
Western Morning News 30.12.03 WE NEED A CHARITY WITH TEETH - In her letter "Charity does a wonderful job fighting all cruelty" Lena Holgate of Newton Abbot takes issue with what I have said in previous letters. Although indeed a "charity", the RSPCA is a powerful organisation, quite able to have combated government policy during foot and mouth... She may be right in saying that the RSPCA "spent £1 million in helping the farming community during foot and mouth". In my opinion, however, it would have been much better spent, if it had concentrated that money on forcing the Government, through the courts, to cease its mindless cruelty to animals in the fields and farms... I am at a loss to know why she believes that I do not support Compassion in World Farming - she is quite, quite wrong! But since I, probably like many others, have never heard of KALE, she can hardly expect me to support it.... I do not, on the other hand, support unthinking fanatical groups who cause more delay to the righting of these wrongs than anyone else. Tess Nash, Mawgan, Helston (letter)
Western Morning News 21.10.03 CHARITY DOES A WONDERFUL JOB FIGHTING ALL CRUELTY Of course, the live export of horses is barbaric and should be banned forever…. our correspondent Tess Nash (September 27), who so unjustly criticises the RSPCA who do such a wonderful job in fighting cruelty, must remember that this is solely a charity and has no power whatsoever to change laws… Why does Ms Nash not support the marvellous work of Compassion in World Farming which has been fighting live exports for years? Or she could ring up KALE (Kent Against Live Exports) also fighting this terrible cruelty… Lena Holgate, Newton Abbot (letter)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 DON'T KOWTOW TO EUROPE ON EXPORTS I have been a strong supporter of a ban on the export of live equines for slaughter - further I have insisted that all live food animals should be included in the ban… Ban all live exports. Tess Nash Helston
Feeble response - I AM writing to say how dreadfully disappointed I am at the feeble response by Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael to the nationwide call for the total ban on the export of live British horses. Sandra Spencer, Torpoint, Cornwall (letters)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 STAND UP TO EU OR FORFEIT OUR VOTES - The Western Morning News leader column (January 6) said that we in the Westcountry (and no doubt much of Britain) will not easily forgive ministers for allowing the cruel horse export trade to continue. We will never forgive - or forget…. Adrian Cooper, Lostwithiel
Losing sovereignty SO, now we have it from the horse's mouth: "Ministers say it is impossible for the UK to have exemptions from EU rules." In the same report, you quote Charles Lovell of South West Equine Protection as saying: "Who will be brave enough to take the lead in reversing the process?" The process referred to is the gradual but fundamental loss of our sovereignty to the EU, and I must inform Mr Lovell that the UK Independence Party was formed ten years ago specifically to reverse this process… Lesley Lloyd, Exmouth
Run by Europe - NEW year, same old story - "Stop the export of live horses, ponies and donkeys." When we withdraw from the EU we will renegotiate our trade deals with Europe, then we can ban live export of animals…. Terry Hooper, Hatherleigh (letters)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 MAKE A STAND FOR THE VALUES WE CHERISH I am deeply saddened and disgusted at this Government's abortive attempt at maintaining the "minimum value" clause in the case of horses and ponies in the EU Commission's proposals to amend their directives for the protection of animals during transport…. Mr S Finemore, Shaugh Prior Plymouth
Objectionable trade - UNFORTUNATELY I missed the opportunity to sign your petition against the live export of horses, but I am writing in support of your article (WMN, January 12), to say that I am absolutely appalled that the government does not appear to be willing to do what is necessary to ensure that this objectionable trade is never re-started… V C Keyte, Stoke Sub Hamdon, Somerset
Crawl out of Dark Ages - MY wife and I would like register our disapproval of the proposed re-start to the export of live animals to Europe A G & J T Pottage, St Breward Bodmin (letters)

Western Morning News 20.1.04 WE HAVE SURRENDERED ALL LAW MAKING Your front page headline on New Year's Day "Live Horse Trade Stays" comes as no surprise. Quite simply, when we joined what was then the Common Market, we signed up to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and surrendered all law making with regard to agricultural matters to Brussels… Horse lovers will have the opportunity to express their disgust with EU animal welfare rules on June 10 by voting for UKIP in the European Elections. Peter Wyatt, Totnes
Minister's dereliction of duty - AS a stud owner I am horrified to hear that live export of horses and donkeys is to be allowed again…. Susan Freeth, Diptford Stud Totnes
Government should do more … No animals should be exported live. Sylvia Bartlett, Plymouth (letters)

19.1.04

Western Daily Press 19.1.04 HORSE KICKS TEEN ON HUNT … The 13-year-old girl was kicked in the chest after she fell from her horse while riding out with the Berkeley Hunt, near Hill… (story)

Basingstoke Gazette 19.1.04 Strong tradition of tolerance - I feel it was misleading to publish two anti-hunting letters under the title "hunt prompts views from animal lovers". There are millions of animal lovers in this country, including those who support hunting as the most humane way of controlling the fox population… If we lose respect for the other person's point of view, we shall live in a very bigoted society -Jim Richardson, Basingstoke Road, Ramsdell. (letter in archive)
Basingstoke Gazette 12.1.04 Hunt prompts views from animal-lovers - I went along to observe the Boxing Day hunt at Herriard. It was really interesting to see how good-natured and friendly the hounds seem to be.I have been involved with dog rescue for 20 years and I really don't believe that these dogs cannot be retrained to live in a domestic environment and will be destroyed when hunting is banned…. B Smith, Vyne Road, Sherborne St John.
How nice, yet again, to see the charming, yet surely deceitful, portrayal of hunting through the photograph in last Friday's Gazette…. Rosie Spencer, Cufaude Lane, Bramley (photo) (letters in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.1.04 WHY WON'T HUNTSMEN ADMIT THEY ENJOY KILLING? Two letters about hunting caught my eye in the Echo. Firstly (and most importantly) Dr John Pamment's letter… The fact that these loathsome types go hunting to spend a day in the countryside, to socialise and to carry on tradition is all very well but hardly a reason to kill a fox…. The second letter: Burns Inquiry failed to find evidence of cruelty, January 9, from Vets for Hunting brigade, contained nothing of interest or value… William Symonds, Whitestone, Exeter (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.1.04 UPPER HOUSE HOLDS THE HUNT BAN CARDS - According to the article by Mathew George on January 10, James Gray MP would have us believe that the Bill to prevent hunting with dogs and the proposal to charge fees to university students are somehow connected. Will he not accept that the only reason that the legislation to abolish hunting is not already on the statute books is down to his wretched cronies in the totally undemocratic Upper House… Referring again to the cat that met such a terrible end, did the person or persons that tendered the apology not think that wild animals suffer the same trauma as domestic pets and should they not offer the same apology to all creatures by ending this disgusting practice once and for all. J B Packer Hartcliffe Bristol (letter)

Yorkshire Post 19.1.04 Hunters should control their dogs From: WB Thompson, Park House Green, Harrogate - John Grice (Letters, January 10) claims that foxes are vermin as his dictionary says so. I have one which does not. I think I will stick to the official nomenclature… I keep my dogs under control; the hunt cannot (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 19.1.04 'MOST PEOPLE IN SUPPORT OF HUNTING' I Have never read such rubbish as the views expressed by Mr Fox (Letters, December 30) about foxes… At least the fox has a chance to escape the hounds and many times this is exactly what happens… Margaret Barrett, Ladykirk, Berwick-upon-Tweed. (letter)

SCHOOLCHILDREN FRIGHTENED BY SANDRINGHAM SHOOT
Times 19.1.04 We're falling into a Mickey Mouse trap if we don't teach kids the truth about animals - MICK HUME - When they describe some grim episode, people will sometimes say that it felt “like living in a horror film”. But there are worse places to live than that — such as a Disney movie, filled with righteous children and animals crusading against the evil grown-ups. The horror is that we might be building a real Disneyesque world for our children, where infantile, anthropomorphic, adult-baiting attitudes rule…. We can't have Norfolk schoolchildren thinking it’s normal to shoot wildlife in the countryside and playing cops and robbers in the playground, can we? Better knock that out of them quick (using non-violent therapies)… (story)
Sunday Telegraph 18.1.04 I say, let them eat pheasant By Robert Gore-Langton - Dead pheasants have been causing a frightful commotion at Sandringham. Anyone would think war had broken out, to judge from one local school's highly-coloured account of a shoot adjacent to its grounds... The remarkable thing about this story - which ended up as a substantial item on both the Today programme and Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show - was that it made the news at all. Some birds get shot in a perfectly safe fashion near a school deep in the countryside. Big deal. No bird actually fell on the school premises, just nearby; no child was ever in danger of being peppered; nothing remotely illegal happened.... The real crime in the school's eyes was that these rural children had been briefly exposed to rural reality. Dead birds are not in the curriculum. The shoot had polluted the children with a blasphemy against the new religion (first commandment: thou shalt not harm anything feathered or fluffy) fast spreading across Britain and supported by the increasingly sinister RSPCA and its budgie-hugging vegan cohorts.... Everywhere you will find a generation of youngsters who will happily machine-gun people on their PlayStations while chewing chicken nuggets, yet who find rural pursuits vaguely offensive... (story)
Sunday Mail 18.1.04 GUN TALK FOR SCHOOL KIDS - PRINCE Philip has invited a group of school children to his Norfolk estate to learn about pheasant shooting.... Philip wants the affected children to learn about the benefits shooting has on the countryside. (story)
Telegraph 18.1.04 So, Mrs Bryan, where do you stand on battery hens? By Anne Robinson - You can see how the rot about country sports sets in. "I am very upset and extremely cross about this morning when our wildlife was being shot down and before our very eyes! I saw the birds spiralling out of the sky, and being carried off in the mouths of dogs," wrote a complaining 10-year-old pupil from St George's Middle School... Distressed of the classroom continued: "Mrs Bryan loves birds and was disgusted at the sight."... let us examine Mrs Bryan's "disgust". And ask whether her repugnance extends to battery hens, whose distress is not in the manner of their dying, but in the cruel way they are forced to live.... I would be most interested in Mrs Bryan's views on angling, mousetraps, fly swatters, rat catchers and people who wring the necks of turkeys in time for Christmas.... (story)
Eastern Daily Press 16.1.04 Pupils lesson in rural shooting - EMMA LEE - Pupils who were left in tears by a royal pheasant shoot near their school are to be offered the chance to learn more about the sport…. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has been in contact with the Sandringham Estate and will be working with North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham to produce an educational programme for the school's pupils… (story)
Eastern Daily Press 14.1.04 Tears at royal shoot - LAURA DEVLIN, SUE SKINNER - Norfolk's royal estate issued an apology last night after a pheasant shoot close to a nearby school left pupils distressed and in tears. Children as young as eight watched as birds were blasted out of the sky in a field opposite St George's Middle School, Dersingham… (story)
Western Daily Press 14.1.04 THE PALACE'S PLAYTIME PHEASANT SHOOT THAT LEFT THE PUPILS IN TEARS - The Royal Family was embroiled in controversy last night after schoolchildren who witnessed pheasants being killed on one of the Queen's estates were left in tears. More than 200 youngsters became distressed when they saw a shooting party slaughter the birds at the Royal Sandringham estate in Norfolk on Friday… The school's headteacher, Carol De Witt, said the estate's apology has been accepted but there was still annoyance that the incident had happened at all… (letter)
Lynn News 13.1.04 ROYAL SHOOT UPSETS PUPILS - PUPILS at a school on the Royal Estate are so upset at witnessing shooters blasting pheasants from the sky during their morning break that they have written to the estate in protest. Around 230 children at St George's Middle School were in their playground on Friday morning when the shooters were in the field opposite…. Headteacher Carol DeWitt told the Lynn News: "I think the timing was totally wrong and also I had concerns for the children's safety because there were guns which were in close proximity and could cause danger…. The incident happened between 10am and 10.15am, and that afternoon Mrs DeWitt received a number of letters from the children expressing their disgust. The letters included phrases such as "we shouldn't have to watch the killing of wildlife while we are at school," "we feed wildlife not kill it," and one contained the phrase "birds spiralling to the ground."… A mother of two pupils contacted the Lynn News and said her children, aged 11 and eight, had been distraught by the pheasant shoot… "The other, almost more worrying side to this, is that some of the children thought it was great and had a real blood-lust about it, which is really quite disturbing," she said… (story)

Western Morning News 19.1.04 MEMBER OF SHOOTING PART BLASTS HIMSELF IN THE FOOT - A member of a shooting party was dramatically airlifted to hospital after he accidentally blasted himself in the foot…. (story)

Shropshire Star 19.1.04 Not being taken out for a ride - Has Pete Veloso (letters, January 14) ever ridden a horse, let alone piloted one at 30mph over fences ? I watched the incident in question as it happened. Two things struck me; firstly that the horse was having him on and secondly that there would be lots of complaints from people who probably had never sat on a half-a-ton of horseflesh… Andy Allen, Whitchurch (letter)
Shropshire Star 14.1.04 Champion jockey is a disgrace - What a disgraceful champion jockey Tony McCoy is - Shropshire Star story of Tuesday, January 6 - "McCoy faces a new probe". McCoy was said to have hit his mount, Deano's Beano, 50 times at the start of a race on New Year's Eve… Pete Veloso Shrewsbury (letter)

Argus 19.1.04 Fur protest at shops - Animal rights campaigners took to the streets with a 6ft white rabbit helping to spread their anti-fur message. Protesters from the Brighton-based group Fur Free… toured The Lanes asking shops to display "Fur Free Zone" stickers. The group's co-ordinator, who asked to be identified only as Maz, held up a boot made from brown and white cat fur… (story)

Argus 19.1.04 My favourite ape - Extinction could be just 20 years away for the orang-utan… We can all help in trying to keep these creatures living in the wild as they should be - not a rarity in zoos. -Gloria Wheatcroft, Hove (letter)

Argus 19.1.04 Prize pigeon - A word in defence of the pigeons called pests and vermin by most people. Pigeons are highly intelligent birds and usually quite attractive to look at… -Ron Wood, Brighton (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 19.1.04 No monopoly on brutal practices - FOLLOWING Robert Kilroy-Silk’s example, Clark Cross (Letters, January 13) is quick to judge and denounce what he calls "practices in the Arab world". He randomly cites "beheading" and "the ritual abuse of animals" as two such practices he finds offensive…. he will discover the horrendous abuse of animals that occurs in this country in the name of commercial factory farming…. Donald P Lamont Buckstone Road, Edinburgh (letter)

17.1.04

Yorkshire Post 17.1.04 word of advice on the true nature of vermin From: EW Beechey, Yorkshire representative, League Against Cruel Sports, Kellington, Goole. Reading letters written by John Grice never fail to amuse me, but his latest (Yorkshire Post, January 10) surpasses all that he has ever written before. By definition, he states that owls – yes, owls – are to be regarded as vermin.... May I suggest that John Grice would be better purchasing a new dictionary? (letter)
Yorkshire Post 10.1.04 Defining vermin From: John Grice, The Close, Durkar, Wakefield. Once again I have picked up my pen to reply to ignorance and bigotry on the hunting question. I have read two letters recently where the authors have insisted that foxes are not vermin.... I have three dictionaries here which state exactly the opposite. To quote one: "Vermin: mammals or birds injurious to game or crops ie foxes, rats, mice, owls etc."... (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 17.1.04 HUNTING IS CHOICE FOR INDIVIDUALS - I Wish to make a response concerning the letter on fox hunting (Mail, January 13). It is known to me that some individuals who serve in the capacity of parish councillors are against fox hunting as a sport.... Foxes are part of nature and will continue to kill harmful pests... The Government decides what is cruel in the final reckoning. David Tate, Westbourne Avenue, Hull. (letter)

Newcastle Journal 17.1.04 Develop a taste for game By Bill Weeks, The Journal ... to me local game, whether flesh or fowl, is a great gastronomic treat and certainly, due to the oversupply of pheasant, relatively cheap, even at the town butcher or game dealer... (story)

The Sentinel 17.1.04 OILY FISH CAN SPREAD DISEASE News that we should limit our intake of Scottish salmon (American study) comes as no surprise.... As a consequence of dumping sewage, heavy metals, pesticides and PCBs in waters, many flatfish are riddled with cancerous growths, ulcerations or skin diseases... MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 17.1.04 Claws out for cruel cat trapper - I WAS so sorry to read of the cat who was caught in an illegal trap (News, January 8). What I can’t understand is why anyone would want to impose such cruelty on any animal... Mrs J Fleming Carnethy Avenue Penicuik (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 17.1.04 Slaughter horror - Having read the report (T&A, January 13) about the court case involving the slaughterhouse at Sunside Farm, Denholme Gate, I felt compelled to write to you. I was horrified at abuses of animal welfare regulations in the treatment of sheep being slaughtered at the premises... Richard Walter, North Cliffe Drive, Thornton (letter in archive)

16.1.04

Scotsman 16.1.04 Hunt Compromise Bid Set to Fail By Trevor Mason, Parliamentary Editor, PA News - A backbench Bill, which supporters believe could resolve the deadlock over fox hunting, was backed in the Lords today. But despite receiving an unopposed second reading, the Wild Mammals Protection Amendment Bill looks set to fail due to Government opposition. The Bill’s sponsor Labour’s Lord Donoughue said it would amend the existing Wild Mammals Protection Act to include a general offence of intentionally causing “undue suffering”.... (story)

CHESHIRE FARM ATTACKS
Horse & Hound 16.1.04 Vandals target pro-hunt farms - Midge Todhunter - Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that hunt saboteurs are responsible for thousands of pounds worth of damage to hunt-friendly farms in Cheshire - Police in Cheshire are investigating a wave of criminal damage on hunt-friendly farms during the Christmas period. Some 17 livestock farms in the Cheshire Forest Foxhounds’ country were vandalised, resulting in damage worth thousands of pounds.... (story)
Chester Chronicle 9.1.04 Hunt saboteurs blamed for spate of attacks on farms By David Holmes, Chester Chronicle - TENSIONS are rising between anti-hunt and pro-hunt activists after more damage was caused at farms over the Christmas period. Members of Cheshire Forest Hunt are convinced attacks at 17 Cheshire farms where hunting takes place are the work of hunt saboteurs… Such incidents come against a background of increased friction. Last week, the anti-hunt lobby said two of their number had been assaulted and threatened at the Cheshire Forest's Boxing Day meet at Lach Dennis…. Farmer Richard Kinsey, of Peel Hall Farm, Ashton, whose wife, Julia, is also a joint master of the Cheshire Forest, suffered damage in November and again before Christmas Eve. He saw two men in the village at 8am on Christmas Eve whom he recognised as being involved in anti-hunt protests and is convinced hunt saboteurs are responsible… Jeremy Wilson, of the North West Hunt Saboteurs Association, is puzzled by the damage, saying if hunt saboteurs were behind the attacks they would probably shout about it to gain publicity. 'We would quite happily admit it,' he said, adding: 'I have no problem with disruption being caused either to the day's hunting or farms that support hunting, as long as it is not endangering animal or human life and it is not significant criminal damage.'… (story)
Cheshire Chronicle 21.11.03 Vandals hit fox-hunt farms - POLICE are investigating criminal damage at 12 Cheshire farms which fox-hunters believe have been perpetrated by saboteurs… Followers of the Cheshire Forest Hunt say gates were left open, fences cut and hunt jumps demolished, causing about £1,000 damage, just ahead of its meeting which still went ahead…. Hunt followers have described the incident as a 'co-ordinated attack'. They say livestock was put at risk as gates were opened with cattle left to stray onto roads and fencing was destroyed alongside the railway line. In one field the water supply was cut and the horses left without water… Paul Timpson of North West Hunt Saboteurs Association does not deny the vandalism took place but wonders whether hunters are attempting to 'blacken' the names of protesters… (story)

CHESHIRE FOREST BOXING DAY MEET
Cheshire Chronicle 16.1.04 IT'S hardly surprising that the Cheshire Forest Hunt has a bad reputation… I attended the large and peaceful League Against Cruel Sports demonstration against the Hunt at Lach Dennis on Boxing Day and observed one of its hounds wandering across the road among moving vehicles… just before Christmas 2002. I noticed among the Cheshire Forest Hunt supporters at Lach Dennis an intimidating and possibly organised phalanx of threatening cropped-haired youths in combat gear, reminiscent of TV pictures of BNP rallies in Burnley…. CHRISTOPHER CLAYTON Orchard Cottage Brown Heath Rd Christleton Chester
I AM astonished at the bare-faced cheek exhibited by the anti-hunt protestors at the Cheshire Forest Boxing Day meet…. What is truly astonishing is the dignified way in which hunting and its supporters have dealt with such provocation over the years. Indeed, I recall a bomb being sent to a Cheshire Hunt master some years ago…. DONALD SALMON Northwich (letters)
Chester Chronicle 9.1.04 THE Countryside Alliance claims to have achieved record success in staging Boxing Day meets this year… The Cheshire Forest Hunt meet at the Duke of Portland Inn, Lach Dennis, attracted 180 fox-hunting devotees. In fact, 150 of these were on foot and the number of vehicles was equal to the number of demonstrators…. This is a hunt with a bad reputation and in 1993-4, when the League Against Cruel Sports first monitored it, attending 25 meets, it observed more than 30 objectionable incidents… KATHERINE WATSON Stockport
DON'T let the facts get in the way of a good story!... Whatever. For the Countryside Alliance to state that 1,000 pro-hunt supporters and 60 riders were in attendance at Lach Dennis, Cheshire, for the Boxing Day meet, was a gross exaggeration. I was there demonstrating against the hunt, and estimated only 100 hunt supporters - and about 20 riders… JUDI HEWITT North Wales area contact, League Against Cruel Sports (letters)
Chester Chronicle 2.1.04 Hunt supporters accused of assault By David Holmes Chester Chronicle - ANTI-HUNT protesters are complaining to Cheshire Constabulary after claims that two demonstrators were targeted by pro-hunt supporters. The alleged incidents happened as members of the League Against Cruel Sports demonstrated against the Cheshire Forest Hunt at Lach Dennis, Northwich, on Boxing Day. Teacher Dr Jane Evans, who is originally from Cheshire but now lives in Leicester, alleged she was pushed over by a man. Another woman complained she was threatened by a female hunt supporter. Greg Metcalfe, spokesman for the North West League Against Cruel Sports, claimed both incidents were witnessed by police officers who failed to act...The Cheshire Fox Hounds, one of the oldest groups in the country, held its traditional Boxing Day meet at Little Budworth for 80 people on horseback with about 300 supporters... Followers of the Sir Watkin Willliams Wynn's Hounds, 'The Wynnstay Hunt', were given a warm welcome in Malpas on Boxing Day. Based at Bangor-on-Dee, the Wynnstay Hunt covers Cheshire, Flintshire and Shropshire. Joint master Steven Lloyd said there were between 50 and 60 huntsmen, plenty of spectators and no protesters... (story)
Northwich Chronicle 30.12.03 Assault claim by protester By Helen Cartwright, Northwich Chronicle - A HUNT protester claimed she was assaulted amid angry scenes at the traditional Boxing Day hunt in Northwich. The woman, a League Against Cruel Sports spokesperson, said she was pushed to the ground by a hunt supporter at the Cheshire Forest Hunt meet in Lach Dennis.... Spokesman Paul Timpson said the protest was one of the biggest in the country, and he added: 'We had 40 people demonstrating at the event and we were all very peaceful. But Dr Jane Evans, who is a spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports, was pushed to the ground by a hunt supporter and the matter has been reported to the police.'.... (story)

Irish Independent 16.1.04 Coursing club to contest ban A LEGAL challenge to a ban on hare coursing in Northern Ireland cleared the first hurdle in the High Court in Belfast yesterday. Dungannon and District Coursing Club was granted leave to apply for a judicial review of the decision by the North's Environment Minister Angela Smith…. (story)

Argus 16.1.04 Right to reply - In answer to Gemma Millwood's request for clarification (Letters, January 12), the Burns Report, published by the Government in 2000, says the following: "In the event of a ban on hunting, it seems probable that farmers and others would resort to other methods to kill foxes, deer, hares and perhaps mink.... In response to Becky Hawkes (Letters, January 14), I was careful to use the expression "properly-conducted terrier work" in my letter published on January 8.... The committee were not confident that using shotguns was preferable to hunting from a welfare perspective and said the use of snares was a particular cause for concern and trapping raised similar concerns and was not widely used in rural areas because it has limited success. I stand by my original letter of January 8. -Dominic Webber, county chairman, Countryside Alliance, East Sussex (letter)
Argus 14.1.04 Out-foxed - Like most supporters of fox hunting, Dominic Webber wants to have it both ways. He claims hunting with hounds is the most effective way of culling foxes yet the hunters seldom see a kill. I fail to see how both statements can be true... -Jez MacDonald, Brighton (letter)
Argus 14.1.04 Not natural - Dominic Webber is wrong to suggest those of us who are against hunting fail to keep animal welfare in perspective... As a regular protester against a local hunt, I have witnessed a pregnant vixen chased and killed. I have witnessed hounds running across the busy A24, with one hound being killed and others causing a danger to road users. I have been part of a group who found and filmed an artificial earth, used to encourage foxes into the area so the hunt can have plenty of "sport" in their area.... -Sue Baumgardt, Hove (letter)
Argus 14.1.04 Terriers killing our foxes isn't humane - The argument of Dominic Webber, county chairman of the Countryside Alliance, that "Hunting is less cruel than other methods" (Letters, January 8) is based on false assumptions that hunting is necessary and humane.... Given the RSPCA's raison d'être is to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to animals, we will continue to press the Government for the end of this barbaric practice by the end of this parliamentary session. -Becky Hawkes, RSPCA Press Office, Horsham (letter)
Argus 14.1.04 Confusing - Dominic Webber says many people continue to be confused about the issue of hunting with hounds... By forming an "alliance" to carry more weight, the Countryside Alliance has become a compendium of cruelty. -Simon Wild, West Sussex Wildlife Protection, Littlehampton (letter)
Argus 14.1.04 Barbaric - Dominic Webber does not understand that the majority of the British population loathes the killing of animals for sport - a barbaric action that belongs in the Dark Ages. Because I did not protest at the Boxing Day meet in Lewes does not mean that I support hunting... -James Greed, Brighton (letter)
Argus 14.1.04 Scavengers - According to Gemma Millwood (Letters, January 10) foxes control their numbers based on food availability. Perhaps this is the case in scientifically controlled conditions but I have doubts when dealing with foxes in the real country.... Around Littlehampton and Rustington one sees growing numbers of mangy, malnourished animals and no fox birth control is evident here.... -Mr J Jackson, Littlehampton (letter)
Argus 12.1.04 Barbaric - Dominic Webber of the Countryside Alliance appears to be clasping at straws in his attempt to demean the opponents of hunting (Letters, January 8).... It is an insult to call this a sport - it is barbaric cruelty and one can only question the twisted mind of someone getting their kicks from such a bloody-thirsty execution. -Gemma Millwood, Peacehaven (letter)
Argus 8.1.04 Hunting is less cruel than other methods - Your coverage of the Boxing Day meet of the Southdown and Eridge gave more coverage to the demonstrators' views than their numbers justified (The Argus, December 27). However, that may be understandable given how noisy and rude they were... It is true we go hunting because we enjoy it. We enjoy following the hunt and watching hounds work and we enjoy the experience for so many other reasons.... -Dominic Webber, East Sussex county chairman, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Argus 8.1.04 Wake up ... Who would you believe? The Argus, which reports 200 protesters were at the Boxing Day meet, or J Lear who incredibly suggests the police forced impartial spectators to join the anti-hunting ranks against their will?... -Nikki Carter, Hove (letter)
Argus 5.1.04 A vocal minority - I feel I must correct your report on the Boxing Day meet in Lewes. "Two-hundred demonstrators braved the cold," the article claimed. But not all of those on and around the Crown Court steps were protesters. I would say there were no more than 40... Many hunt supporters also gathered and the police were directing impartial spectators to that side of the road, which may have misled your reporter... -J Lear, Hailsham (letter)
Argus 29.12.03 Police keep peace at Boxing Day hunt by Linda Harrison - Huntsmen tipped their riding hats and smiled at animal rights protesters shouting abuse before their Boxing Day meet.... The group of about 200 demonstrators braved the cold to stand outside Lewes Crown Court and chant "scum, scum" as members of The South Down and Eridge Hunt rode into High Street at 11am.... On the opposite side of High Street, outside the White Hart Hotel, stood about 300 hunt supporters. They clapped and cheered as frightened-looking horses trotted into the centre of Lewes.... In all, about 1,000 people turned out to watch the spectacle. Protesters included Fay Marshall, who travelled from Worthing. The 69-year-old has been protesting against hunts all over Sussex for 19 years.... Helen Blandford, 64, also disagreed with killing animals for sport... Sue Baumgardt, of Hove, brandished a real fox hide splattered with red paint.... Terry Pearce, of Brighton, said: "I support country sports and so support the hunt. I'm country born and bred. Some of these protesters probably don't even know what a fox looks like... (story)

Shropshire Star 16.1.04 Hounds normally kept away - In his letter to the Star (January 1), John Fellows takes exception to a recent photo of hunt staff in urban surroundings, together with hounds, because the latter are off the leads…. The fact is that most packs of hounds sensibly avoid urban areas except for Boxing Day, when the meet provides a traditional Christmas spectacle… Even our Prime Minister claims to represent a "tolerant society", an attitude which unfortunately seems to confine itself to urban matters. B Lewis, Shrewsbury (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.1.04 UNELECTED LORDS SHOULD HAVE NO SAY ON HUNTING Many Echo readers must be infuriated by the House of Lords' frustrating, if temporary, enactment of the Hunting Bill to ban the sport of hunting with dogs…. The House of Lords has not been elected by the people. Why, therefore, is it able to interfere with the democratic legislative process?... John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

VETS FOR HUNTING LETTER
Exeter Express & Echo 16.1.04 THE BURNS REPORT DID FIND EVIDENCE OF CRUELTY - It is staggering to read the claim by Dr L H Thomas that the Burns inquiry failed to find evidence of cruelty… I would advise him to turn to Chapter 6, section 6.33 of the Burns Report in which it states: "Most scientists agree that deer are likely to suffer in the final stages of hunting"…. As for the "cosy world of the International Fund for Animal Welfare" that Dr Thomas believes in, IFAW's monitors are regularly out in the Westcountry, working to expose the reality of hunting with dogs. Just before Christmas, I accompanied them on a hind hunt. It is hard to see how a pregnant female deer with a calf at foot could suffer a more agonising fate than to be chased relentlessly across the country by a pack of dogs…. Lis Key International Fund for Animal Welfare Albert Embankment, London (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 14.1.04 ANIMAL CHARITY HAS VIDEO EVIDENCE OF HUNT CRUELTY - I can assist Dr LH Thomas, Points of view, January 9, in his quest for unpublished evidence to show that hunting is cruel. I am sure that veterinary surgeon Emma Milne, of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, whom he criticises, will be willing to let him have copies of videos produced by IFAW in collaboration with the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports… John Phelps Council member Protect Our Wild Animals Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 13.1.04 THERE WOULD BE LITTLE FUN IN CHASING SICKLY FOXES - Does Dr Thomas, of Vets for Hunting, Points of view, January 9, really expect us to believe huntsmen are interested in saving sick animals from a lingering death… Where would be the fun in that? David Fanson, Beacon Lane, Whipton, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 9.1.04 BURNS INQUIRY FAILED TO FIND EVIDENCE OF CRUELTY - Emma Milne, Points of view, December 18, declares that there is "overwhelming evidence to show that hunting is cruel". She must either have access to unpublished evidence denied to the rest of us or she has a vivid imagination…. Professor Patrick Bateson (now Sir Patrick), whom Ms Milne quotes, indicated that he has substantially changed his position since his technically flawed and inadequate study for the National Trust in 1997… we have had the report of the Middle Way Group that shows that up to 60 per cent of foxes may be wounded by shooting with shotguns…. Dr L H Thomas, Vets for Hunting, Chieveley, Berkshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 2.1.04 SHAMEFUL ARGUMENT FROM PRO-HUNT VETS - I very much agree with L H Thomas that it is the quality of the argument about hunting that counts.... Since LH Thomas is a veterinary pathologist, I must presume that he has read the post mortem results which were carried out on foxes which had been killed by hounds during the period of time that the Burns Report was in progress... Thank goodness for all those vets who haven't forgotten why they took up the profession, showing goodness and kindness to their fellow creatures. I thank them. To the others I say, shame on you. Richard England, Newent, Gloucestershire (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 1.1.04 WOULDN'T WISH TO TAKE MY PET TO A PRO-HUNT VET - Three cheers for David Fanson... I look forward to the day that we have a complete ban on all hunting, shooting and fishing. I have pets. Please God, if ever I have to get a vet into one of them I hope he isn't a hunt supporter. Janice Hellier, South Lawn Terrace, Heavitree, Exeter (letter)
Western Daily Press 29.12.03 VETS LOSE MY RESPECT FOR THIS STAND - For many years I admired and respected members of the veterinary profession, believing them to be caring, compassionate people pledged to alleviate the suffering of animals. These sentiments took a sharp nosedive during the demonstrations in Plymouth a few years ago against the export of veal calves... Now, to the great shame of the veterinary profession, we read of your correspondent Dr L H Thomas (Dec 18), albeit representing a tiny fraction of his fellow vets, actually telling us that far from hunting being cruel, in fact it benefits our wildlife!... Jean Turner, Plympton, Plymouth, Devon (letter)
Lakeland Echo 22.12.03 Vet claims hunting is inhumane - John Campbell. BVSc, MRCVS Cardiff (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.12.03 VET'S ANSWER TO HUNT BIGOTS Douglas Batchelor (Your Say, December 8) might be interested to know that Professor W R Allen, the Cambridge professor of equine reproduction, and myself, a veterinary research pathologist, now retired, started Vets For Hunting in late 1999. We wanted to inject some veterinary common sense into the hunting debate and to counteract the increasingly virulent and uninformed statements that have emanated from the anti-hunting lobby over the past two or three decades… What we do represent is a collective professional opinion that must be second to none in the current debate on hunting…. he might like to reflect on the forthright words of Richard Course, one of four former senior figures in the League Against Cruel Sports who have taken thetrouble to acquaint themselves with the facts of hunting and who now recognise that, far from being a "horrific pastime", hunting offers an essential welfare benefit to wildlife… Dr L H Thomas Chieveley Berkshire (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 18.12.03 KILLING ANIMALS FOR FUN SHOULD CONCERN ALL OF US The coldly, clinical letter from the learned spokesmen of Vets for Hunting, Points of view, December 13, is as great a condemnation of hunting for sport as one could hope for…. the fact that some people enjoy killing animals for fun should be of great concern to the veterinary profession as well as the rest of us. David Fanson Beacon Lane Whipton, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 18.12.03 A VET'S JOB IS TO ENSURE THE WELFARE OF ANIMALS As a vet, I believe it is fundamental to my job to ensure the welfare of the animals in my care… If there is a need to control problem animals then the killing should be humane…. I look forward to the day that fox, deer, hare and mink hunting is finally banned. Emma Milne, MRCVS c/o International Fund for Animal Welfare, London (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 16.12.03 WOLVES HAVE BIGGER PREY TO GO AFTER THAN FOXES … I have seen the letter from two pro-bloodsports veterinary surgeons, Dr Thomas and Professor Allen, Points of view, December 13, in response to an anti-hunt veterinary surgeon, Mr Campbell. As a professional wildlife consultant specialising in humane fox deterrence, perhaps I could point out that the two hunting vets are wrong to claim that "wolves have for millennia preyed on foxes"…. Apparently Vets for Hunting represents less than three per cent of UK vets, but I am appalled that there is even one veterinary surgeon who supports setting dogs onto wild animals for the entertainment of human beings…. John Bryant, Humane Urban Wildlife Deterrence, Tormount Road, London (letter)
Worcester Evening News 16.12.03 Minority of vets back hunts - DOUGLAS BATCHELOR, Chief Executive - League Against Cruel Sports. (letter in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 15.12.03 WHAT'S YOUR MEMBERSHIP? Douglas Batchelor (Your View, December 9) accuses 'Vets For Hunting'' of promoting the views of a tiny minority . Could Mr Batchelor please tell us the total membership of The League Against Cruel sports and the proportion this forms of the population as a whole? JONATHAN HIGGINS Hunters Moon Dartington, Totnes (letter)
Shropshire Star 15.12.03 Hunting row poorly debated - I cannot work out what Mr Batchelor's quarrel with the vets for hunting document is, other than it does not support his point of view… He seems to be dismissing it because it represents the views of a "tiny minority". I always understood what distinguished a democracy from tyranny was respect for, and protection of, minorities…. Or is it Mr Batchelor distrusts reports in general, like the one that found evidence of starving deer at the league's "sanctuary" at Baronsdown as reported in November? Name and address supplied (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 15.12.03 ONLY TINY MINORITY OF VETS SUPPORT HUNTING - Douglas Batchelor, chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports. (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 13.12.03 FOXES ARE NOT HUNTED TO THE POINT OF EXHAUSTION - Not only is it clear from the catalogue of erroneous statements made by vet John Campbell that he has little idea of what actually happens on the hunting field, but he has the arrogance to assume that a majority of the profession share his misinformed views... Myopathy has only been alleged in experimentally trapped foxes and the Canadian researcher, Dr Terry Kreeger, whose research was misquoted, has entirely refuted its occurrence in nature…. of the 15 post-mortem reports submitted to the Burns Inquiry, it was concluded that death in all 15 cases was almost instantaneous. A further three inadequately documented cases submitted by the League Against Cruel Sports, in which saboteurs presumably interfered with the hounds, were excluded from the assessment for being atypical…. Finally, it is immaterial to the hunted animal that hunting may be regarded as a sport. Dr L H Thomas and Professor W R Allen Vets for Hunting Chieveley, Newbury (letter)
Bucks Free Press 12.12.03 How many vets back hunting? Mr D Batchelor Chief executive League Against Cruel Sports London (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 9.12.03 MINORITY VIEW OF VETS - DOUGLAS BATCHELOR, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports, Union Street, London (letter)
Western Daily Press 8.12.03 VETS FOR HUNTING ARE THE MINORITY - D Batchelor Chief Executive League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Shropshire Star 8.12.03 Hunters cloak the barbarity - Mr Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Bucks Free Press 5.12.03 Less than three per cent agree - John Campbell BVSc MRCVS Cardiff (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 4.12.03 HUNTING FRATERNITY HAS LOST PUBLIC OPINION FIGHT - Even though hunters have lost their battle for public opinion, and the days of their sport are numbered, they are still trying to find 'evidence' to cloak the barbarity of hunting with dogs…. Among others, Dr L H Thomas and Professor W R Allen, of Vets for Hunting, Points of view, October 23, profess to have "irrefutable arguments"… Despite their claims that hunting has the endorsement of the veterinary community, it is clear that Vets for Hunting only promotes the views of a tiny minority… Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Western Morning News 2.12.03 PREDATORS CHASING PREDATORS IS UNNATURAL - John Campbell BVSc MRCVS, Cardiff (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 2.12.03 MANY VETS DISAPPOINTED WITH PRO-HUNTING LETTER - The letter by Thomas and Allen, of Vets for Hunting, Points of view, October 23, will be regarded by many in the profession with disappointment…. Hunting by predators of prey species is common, but that of predator by predator far less so, as in foxes by dogs, and prolonged chases are rare in nature…. Hunting only accounts for 2.5 per cent of foxes killed, so hunting with hounds has little, if any, effect on numbers. It would be better to allow natural selection to control their numbers. Fox hunting is merely a blood sport. John Campbell Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Cardiff (letter)
Darlington & Stockton Times 14.11.03 Just a minority - In response to your correspondents from Vets for Hunting (D&S, Oct 31), may I draw the attention of your readers to some facts. The 530 vets in favour of hunting are only a tiny percentage of the 14,000 or so vets in the UK.... N I FOSTER, Tockwith, York.
Great vets - Congratulations to the Vets for Hunting on a very realistic letter... CATHERINE SCROPE, South Thorpe, Wycliffe, Barnard Castle.
A suggestion for the hunting fraternity: enlist the help of the two vets who wrote in the D&S (Oct 31) that animals (who are sentient beings) do not feel pain and fear when they are hunted, concern, and torn to pieces; let them take the animals' place for just one hour.... MONA HUNT, Eastholme, Nosterfield. (letters in archive)
Bucks Free Press 14.11.03 Deplore the vets back in hunting - AS a wildlife carer I must protest in the strongest terms at the letter three weeks ago from Messrs Thomas and Allen of the group Vets for Hunting. It is deplorable and cynical for vets to exploit their professional position to support cruelty.... Penny Little Founder Little Foxes Wildlife Rescue Great Haseley Oxfordshire (letter)
Bucks Free Press 7.11.03 Pro-hunt vet in minority? I READ with utter horror, disbelief and disgust at a letter sent in by a "vet" stating that hunting wild animals was humane…. Name and address supplied (letter)
Shepton Mallett Journal 6.11.03 'UNSPEAKABLE CHASING THE UNEATABLE' Dr L H Thomas and Professor W R Allen (Vets express support of hunting, Letters to the Editor, October 30) offer their professional opinion that hunting is not cruel and indeed necessary. The only thing they failed to say was that the fox actually enjoys the chase… Hunting for food is natural - killing for pleasure is not… Janet Hamilton Evercreech (letter)
Shepton Mallett Journal 30.10.03 VETS EXPRESS SUPPORT OF HUNTING - Dr L H Thomas Professor W R Allen Chieveley Newbury Berks (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 30.10.03 LET'S LOOK AFTER OUR ANIMALS - I Read with horror the letter from Dr Thomas and Professor Allen stating hunting is the best way to look after animals' welfare. I don't know what planet they are from but I hope I never go there…. Ms K Atkins, Preston. (letter)
Lakeland Echo 27.10.03 Hunting is 'natural and humane' - Dr. L.H.Thomas Professor W.R.Allen Vets for Hunting Chieveley Newbury Berks (letter)
Cambridge News 27.10.03 Let's keep hunting - From Dr L H Thomas & Professor W R Allen, Vets for Hunting, Chieveley, Newbury, Berks (letter)
Bucks Free Press 24.10.03 It's humane to hunt animals - Dr.L.H.Thomas & Professor W.R.Allen Vets for Hunting Newbury Berks (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.10.03 WILD ANIMALS ADAPTED BY EVOLUTION TO BE HUNTED - The rspca and other so-called animal rights groups are once again claiming that hunting is cruel and unnecessary. On the contrary, far from being cruel, hunting is the natural and most humane method of controlling the four quarry species in the countryside, and is necessary for a number of reasons… The kill is almost instantaneous and, above all, certain…. Over 530 of our veterinary colleagues now support the irrefutable arguments that substantiate this professional opinion. Dr L H Thomas, Professor W R Allen, Vets for Hunting, Newbury (letter)

Western Daily Press 17.1.04 BAD PR FOR THE ROYAL ESTATE I was very sorry to hear about the pheasant shoot near a school by the Sandringham estate… I would have thought that these people would do their utmost to promote their sport. Instead they are turning more people against them. M Hollomon, Wookey Wells, Somerset (letter)

Argus 16.1.04 Commons protest for pot cafe owner by Frankie Taggart - Friends and supporters of a man behind a town's cannabis coffee shop are to protest at the Houses of Parliament against his jail sentence . Chris Baldwin, 53, will be 15 days into a six-month term for various offences related to the drug when the demonstration takes place on Wednesday.... Baldwin, a vegan of Carnegie Close, Worthing, announced at the weekend he had gone on hunger strike at High Down prison in Sutton, Surrey, because he was not convinced his food was free of animal products.... (story)
Argus 12.1.04 Cannabis protester on hunger strike - A jailed cannabis café owner has gone on hunger strike in protest at his prison diet. Chris Baldwin, 53, a vegan, is refusing to eat the diet provided at HMP High Down, in Sutton, Surrey, because he is not convinced the food is free of animal products.... (story)
Argus 12.1.04 Pro-cannabis trader jailed by Huw Borland - A disabled pro-cannabis campaigner has been jailed for six months after opening a Dutch-style coffee shop. Protesters wept and shouted: "You're sending a cripple to jail" when Chris Baldwin, 53, of Carnegie Close, Worthing, was imprisoned for his involvement in the notorious Quantum Leaf café in Rowlands Road, Worthing.... (story)

Western Daily Press 16.1.04 BADGERS HAVE RIGHT TO STAY …. I appreciate the value of Stonehenge. We have been there many times but feel it is wrong to remove the protection the badgers now have if English Heritage has its way. As a previous letter states, badgers have been here many years and have every right to stay. We have to learn to share. Pamela Dean Whiteshill Stroud (letter)

Independent 16.1.04 So, what would you march for? At noon tomorrow, tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on Trafalgar Square for a protest rally against the Council Tax... The Independent took to the streets to find out what it takes for Britons to pick up their placards and pound the pavement... Julie Brookman, 29, travel agent, Kent: "I would definitely march for animal rights. There is no reason for the cruel way they are treated. It's completely uncalled for." Francis Marden, 21, student, Kent"I love going on marches, I go on any I can, I'm not really bothered about what cause they are for. I go on anti-war marches, anti-globalisation marches, abolish-tuition-fees marches, but I also went on the Countryside Alliance march... (story)

15.1.04

Matlock Mercury 15.1.04 THE CONTROVERSIAL PASTIME OF HUNTING - FOX hunting is something you either love or hate, but how many people actually know anything about it? As a city girl who had not so much as contemplated jodhpurs, and faced with an invitation to find out more I couldn't turn down the opportunity…. The High Peak Harriers, like most hunts is run by members of staff who are funded through the hunt's subscriptions… It seems hunting, like most sports, is addictive for those heavily involved and I admit it was fascinating to watch…. People have since asked me if I have a stronger opinion on hunting now. But no, I'm going stay where it is comfortable, on the fence. By Lucy Ray (story) (photo)

Berwickshire News 15.1.04 HUNGER STRIKING FATHER LOOKS FORWARD TO SEEING HIS SON - MASTER of the Borders Bloodhounds Jeremy Whaley has returned home to Duns following his 19-day protest outside his estranged wife's home in Kent, writes DIANA WELSH…. (story)
Berwickshire News 8.1.04 FATHER CONTINUES HUNGER STRIKE OVER CHILD ACCESS … Jeremy Whaley, Master of the Borders Bloodhounds and former joint master of the Berwickshire Hunt with his estranged wife Lucy, left for her home in Kent before Christmas and has so far been unsuccessful in seeing his five year old son who is believed to have been away on holiday with his mother…. (story)
Berwickshire News 23.12.03 Hunt master in protest over access to son - A BERWICKSHIRE father has vowed to spend Christmas on the doorstep of his estranged wife's home in protest over access to his son. Jeremy Whaley, Master of the Borders Bloodhounds, left for his wife Lucy's home in Kent at the weekend.... (story)

Tavistock Times 15.1.04 Hunters have no ?lust for blood? - UNFORTUNATELY Mr David Spratt reveals that usual lack of understanding of foxhunting which is suffered by so many of those who oppose this traditional countryside activity (Letters, January 9)…. David Wright, Holewell Farm, Walkhampton
WITH reference to David Spratt?s letter on hunting, could he explain the following: If hunting is ?torturing and killing? wildlife in a ?barbaric? fashion, why are hunters not, as would be only right and proper, prosecuted by the RSPCA on a regular basis?... Mike Woolley, Tavistock (letters in archive)
Tavistock Times 8.1.04 Hoping for a hunt ban - T saddens me greatly that I can be walking the streets of Tavistock with people who look perfectly normal and civilised, but who are prepared to support and take part in the torturing and killing of our wildlife through the barbaric pastime of hunting… David Spratt, Address supplied (letter in archive)

Ulster Herald 15.1.04 Hare hunting ban in the North is good news - A fatal stab wound has pierced the black heart of Irish bloodsports. In January 2004, a ban on all forms of hare hunting comes into effect in Northern Ireland…. John Tierney, Association of Hunt Saboteurs (letter in archive)

Manchester Evening News 15.1.04 Same old cruel world... NEW Year celebrations have a hollow ring when we all know that humanity will go on exactly the same. Cruelty to animals and people, crime and greed will all continue unabated… Some say hunting is “rural against urban”, but the history of opposition to hunting is nearly as long as the history of hunting… Albert Langslow, Salford (letter)

POWA LETTER
Leicester Mercury 15.1.04 OUTFOXING THE FOX - Understandably, Mrs P Wainwright ("Our deadly visitor", Postbag, January 8) inferred that the fox is a "wild animal who kills in excess of his needs". However, the excess in need is created by us humans housing edible creatures, whether it be bird or animal…. David Noakes, Enderby (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 14.1.04 CALL FOR HUNTING BILL Alan Kirby, Press Officer, Protect Our Wild Animals [POWA] (letter)
Leicester Mercury 8.1.04 OUR DEADLY VISITOR I reply to Mr Alan Kirkby (Postbag, December 29) on the so-called cruel sport of hunting. Last summer, the poor fox entered our village. On the night he paid us a visit, he ripped open my husband's pigeon loft and massacred 40 prize birds… Mrs P Wainwright, Normanton-le-Heath (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 8.1.04 ALAN Kirby wrote to you from Cornwall (News & Star, December 29) asking people to join him in pressing for the ban on hunting to be passed quickly into law. This issue, he says, “is now about trust in democracy.” Trust in democracy has been fading fast in this country. Democracy itself is moribund…. K BEASTALL, Kirkbampton, Carlisle (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 31.12.03 DEMAND HUNTING BILL TO BE RETURNED Alan Kirby, Press Officer for Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA). (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 29.12.03 OUTLAWING the cruel ’sport’ of hunting wild animals with dogs has long enjoyed high levels of public support... ALAN KIRBY, Protect Our Wild Animals, Hayle, Cornwall (letter)
Leicester Mercury 29.12.03 HUNTING ISSUE NOW ABOUT TRUST IN DEMOCRACY - Alan Kirby, press officer for Protect Our Wild Animals (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 27.12.03 No more delays, ban cruel sports - ALAN KIRBY (Press Officer), Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA). (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Times 24.12.03 Bring back Hunting Bill - Outlawing the cruel `sport' of hunting wild animals with dogs has long enjoyed high levels of public support... A Kirby, Press Officer, Protect Our Wild Animals (letter in archive)

Argus 15.1.04 Cut costs - You reported the conviction and sentencing of a woman for the theft of a bottle of beer from the Hilton Brighton Metropole following a trial at Lewes Crown Court... I suspect, when this matter came before magistrates at an earlier date, the defendant exercised her right to elect trial at the Crown Court in order to obtain the maximum publicity for her animal rights "cause". Surely it is time to put an end to this abuse of the system which causes the court lists to be clogged and important cases to be delayed?.... -Peter Bailey, Brighton (letter)
Evesham Journal 8.1.04 In court over a bottle of lager - AN ANIMAL rights activist from Evesham who barricaded herself in a hotel room has been found guilty of stealing a bottle of lager during her sit-in protest. Lynn Sawyer, 36, took a Budweiser after entering a room at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel during a pesticide conference in November 2002…. Mr Recorder Charles MacDonald gave Sawyer a three year conditional discharge. Speaking after the case, Sawyer said: "I think it's a bit sad. There are probably many people who have been victims of serious crimes, such as burglary, and the police have done nothing." (story in archive)
Argus 7.1.04 Activist guilty of stealing beer - An animal rights activist who barricaded herself in a hotel room has been found guilty of stealing a bottle of lager during her sit-in protest. Lynn Sawyer, 36, took the Budweiser after entering a room at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel during a pesticide conference in November 2002.... Yesterday, Sawyer received a conditional discharge at Lewes Crown Court.... She was found not guilty of a second charge of obtaining property by deception. (story)
Argus 6.1.04 Activist denies stealing drink - An animal rights activist who barricaded herself into a hotel room has gone on trial for drinking a bottle of beer during her sit-in protest. Lynn Sawyer, 36, tricked her way into the room at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel in Brighton, which had been rented for the event by Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS).... Security guards forced their way into the hospitality suite to find Sawyer on the floor with a bottle of Budweiser.... Sawyer, a midwife from Boatt Lane in Evesham, Worcestershire, faces two charges of theft and obtaining property by deception. She was one of about 1,000 demonstrators who gathered at the hotel on November 18, 2002, while the hotel was hosting the British Crop Protection Council (BCPC) conference.... (story)
Argus 19.11.02 Protesters storm top hotel by Karen Hoy - An animal rights campaigner barricaded herself into a hotel room in protest against a company taking part in a pesticide conference. Lynn Sawyer piled furniture against the door of room five of the Kent Suite at the Hilton Metropole Hotel on Brighton seafront yesterday, while delegates of the British Crop Protection Council conference were taking a lunch break. Ms Sawyer, a midwife from Worcester, had travelled to Brighton to join a group of campaigners from Sussex and other parts of Britain who were campaigning against vivisection laboratory Huntington Life Science (HLS), which had a stand at the conference…. Joseph Dawson from London, said: "We are warning the conference delegates that if they work with Huntington, we will demonstrate against them too." Police arrested two people. One was arrested on suspicion of burglary, the other for burglary and theft of passes and for allegedly drinking three bottles of beer… (story)

Whitehaven News 15.1.04 Badgers and TB? I was quite annoyed to read in The Whitehaven News (January 8) about the badger culling. Who says that TB comes from badgers? Could it be that chemicals in the ground or what they eat are to blame?... G SLOAN, Fell Dyke, Lamplugh (letter)

Bridlington Free Press 15.1.04 I REFER to the letter in last week's Free Press regarding the £1m legacy to the RSPCA… That legacy was intended for the Bridlington branch and, despite the committee, volunteers and others providing the RSPCA head office with enough supportive information to sink a battleship to prove that the legacy was intended for Bridlington, it will still not hand over as much as a penny…. To all animal lovers out there, if you have left money in your will to the RSPCA and you want your local branch to receive it, please make sure you have included the word 'Bridlington', otherwise your bequest will go to head office. Sheila Jowett, Bemrose Grove, Bridlington. (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 15.1.04 REWARD THESE ANIMAL CARERS - Following on from the honours list issue, I would like to see people who work for animal causes given some recognition… PAMELA DEAN Field Road Whiteshill Stroud (letter)

WSPA SALMON FARMING LETTER
Bath Chronicle 15.1.04 SALMON ARE THE NEW BATTERY HENS PHILIP LYMBERY Director of communications World Society for the Protection of Animals Albert Embankment London (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.1.04 SALMON PACKED IN CAGES A BIT LIKE SARDINES - The reports of high levels of toxic contaminants in farmed salmon should also serve to highlight the serious animal welfare issues involved in the intensive farming of fish…. Philip Lymbery Director of Communications World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) Albert Embankment London (letter)

Ilkley Gazette 15.1.04 A fur point SIR, - Mrs Parry is right to be concerned about shops in Ilkley selling rabbit fur coats… Much of the rabbit fur in the UK comes from China - a country with an appalling record on animal welfare…. Respect for Animal urges Ilkley Gazette readers to boycott all real fur products…. RICHARD DE VILLE Research and Campaigns Officer, Respect For Animals, P.O. BOX 6500 Nottingham, NG4 3GB (letter in archive)

Wiltshire Gazette15.1.05 More guilty - I WOULD like to refer to M. Davidson's letter (Gazette & Herald, January 8) regarding animal suffering. The Hillside Animal Sanctuary carry out undercover investigations not only at pig farms but also turkey, chicken and duck farms…. MRS B MORRIS Chippenham (letter in archive)

14.1.04

Exeter Express & Echo 14.1.04 IT WAS BRILLIANT TO RIDE OUT WITH THE HUNTSMEN I was one of many children out hunting with the East Devon Hunt at Rockbeare Manor. The children's meet is brilliant… When I grow up, I want to be a huntsman and work the hounds… Jack Harris, aged 11, Address withheld on request (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.1.04 HOUNDS ARE A GRAVE DANGER - What a nightmare experience for the family who saw hounds tear their cat to pieces - to see your own cat killed in this way is hor rible. It must be almost unbearable. My heart goes out to Mrs Kervell and her children…. I have had hounds from the Cattistock Hunt in my garden on several occasions…. Helen Weeks West Coker Somerset (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 14.1.04 HAS LABOUR LOST HUNT COURAGE? … Before the 1997 election I lobbied the main parties on the issue and was sent a leaflet 'Labour Britain - new life for animals'…. The 2001 Labour manifesto and Queen's speech promised a free vote on hunting then followed another stalling move - a Royal commission…. On July 9 2003 the third reading of the Amended Hunting Bill received a vote in favour of 317 to 145 against… In this period an estimated 420,000 wild animals have been killed just for the entertainment of a group of thugs. ROBERT A GAGIE, All Hallows Road Paignton (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 14.1.04 HUNT BAN HAS TO BE RESOLVED … The Beaufort Hunt may have had a big unopposed turnout at its Boxing Day meet but not many other meets on that day went ahead without demonstrations… In fact, every hunt maintains artificial earths, from Sussex to the Lake District… This year, demonstrations were staged at 21 Boxing Day meets, at the very least, including Avon Vale and Vale of Aylesbury…. KATHERINE WATEON, Bramhall, Cheshire (letter)

Western Morning News 14.1.04 Wrong tactic - I TOTALLY understand and sympathise with Carla Lane's anger over the live export of horses ("Carla in call for election boycott", WMN, January 5) but calling on people not to vote as a protest is completely the wrong tactic…. Further defections from voting will merely add to the "silent majority", the support of which can be and will be claimed by everyone from the BNP to the pro-hunting lobby. Far better to call for people to vote Green at every opportunity… Paul Edwards, Exeter Green Party (letter)

Ashbourne News Telegraph 14.1.04 Deer hunters fall foul of Irish law - A HUNTING trip to Ireland has proved an expensive outing for two shooting enthusiasts after they were caught killing protected species…. (story)
Uttoxeter Advertiser 13.1.04 Hunters shoot protected deer by AIMEE PARKER - A HUNTING trip to Ireland has proved costly for two shooting enthusiasts after they were caught killing a protected species of deer. Simon Everett, 43, from West Hill in Uttoxeter, and Nicholas Pancisi, 44, from Stubbs Farm, Stubbs Lane in Ashbourne, have each been fined 800 euros – approximately £550 – after they were arrested for shooting wild Red deer… Everett, a freelance photographer, has been left outraged by the case. He told The Advertiser that he and Pancisi had been given written permission by the farmer to hunt deer on his land after the animals caused "a significant amount of damage" to his plantation (story)
Burton Mail 9.1.04 Costly end to hunting trip by MARC BRYANT - A HUNTING trip to Ireland has proved an expensive outing for two shooting enthusiasts after they were caught killing protected species. Not only were they arrested and fined a total of 1,600 euros – £1,113 – for shooting wild Red deer, a protected species, but their two hunting rifles, worth £2,500 each, were also confiscated by order of the court…. The District Court in Killarney, County Kerry, was told that Simon Everett, 43, of Hilldene, Westhill, Uttoxeter, and Nicholas Pancisi, 44, of Stubbs Farm, Stubbs Lane, Stanton, near Ashbourne, had been arrested in the area in possession of the butchered carcasses of a hind and her young calf…. "They carried all the appropriate licences except for a licence to shoot deer," he said. "In England they would not have required such a licence and they had failed to apply for it in this case purely through ignorance of the Irish law."… (story)

Northern Echo 14.1.04 Foxes problem raised - ALLOTMENT holders in Great Ayton are experiencing an increasing number of problems with foxes attacking livestock, according to the parish councillors responsible for managing the plots… Coun Bell raised the issue at Great Ayton Parish Council after he heard a rumour that the RSPCA had been releasing foxes from urban area into the countryside. The council clerk wrote to the organisation asking if this was the case. In its reply it categorically denied this was one of its policies…. (story in archive)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 14.1.04 Police crackdown on illegal coursing - POLICE in Northamptonshire have declared war on illegal hare coursing following a surge of complaints from landowners and farmers in the county…. (story)

Western Daily Press 14.1.04 BADGERS ARE NOT THE WORST FOR VANDALISM - In response to the article about badgers digging into ancient monuments and proposing to cull the creatures. I think it is outrageous of English Heritage to moan about badgers after the destruction of so many ancient monuments by humans, through housing development and road-building…. Badgers have been persecuted enough by sick badger baiters and MAFF, now Defra, without having more problems created by people with a narrow and blinkered vision. A Williams Co-ordinator West Country Badger Patrol Group Bath (letter)

13.1.04

Worcester Evening News 13.1.04 RSPCA criticised over no-show at Boxing Day fox hunting meeting - THE RSPCA was "very irresponsible" for turning down an invitation to attend a fox hunting meeting, according to the chairman of the Countryside Alliance in Worcestershire. Audrey Steel said it contacted the animal charity and offered to pay for an inspector to come to the Boxing Day Hunt last month in Droitwich because in previous years animals have suffered from the anti-hunt protesters, including missiles being thrown at the horses. But the RSPCA turned the offer down…. Jackie Ballard, the RSPCA's director general, said the request from Mrs Steel was considered but the meet was regarded as a public order matter concerning the control of crowds… (story in archive)

Western Morning News 13.1.04 Fleeing the hunt - IT is not my intention to castigate or denigrate, but from my own recollections of stag hunting I would beg to differ from your correspondent Jane Lucas's description of the chase…. Many times I have seen hinds run in circles. I have also seen a large deer on the day following the hunt lying alone in woodland and it did not move as I approached, it just lifted its head and looked at me. Slowly it got to its feet and walked slowly away. The matted condition of its coat confirmed to me that it had escaped the hunt on the previous day. Arthur C Watts South Molton (letter)
Western Morning News 6.1.04 VIOLENCE WILL NOT BE DISGUISED WITH WORDS - So now we know - red deer are athletic and cover many miles in one night to seek out good fodder, including a farmer's swede or corn... This statement from J Lucas (WMN, December 2) fails to mention that in their quest for food, the deer are not being hounded by a bloodthirsty mob whose intention is to kill it after they have had their day's "fun sport"... Her chosen so-called sport is despicable, totally unnecessary and is carried out by people of low moral standards - and no, we do not wish, as she suggests, to attend a stag meeting in order to witness extreme cruelty to a defenceless creature. We leave this to the sadists who participate... Wake up, woman, stop wittering on such rubbish - throw away your fancy pants and make yourself more useful in the community. F Cleaves, Tywardreath Cornwall (letter)
Western Morning News 5.12.03 REALITIES OF STAG HUNTING - A recent correspondent is entirely wrong to say that the red deer are "chased miles to their deaths"… before you shout about cruelty and chasing deer, go to your local stag hunt meet and find out the truth. The hunt is the most natural and the best way to manage the red deer population. Jane Lucas Chulmleigh, North Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 13.1.04 Counting chickens - THE two letters concerning the hunting Declaration Day, published on the preceding day, showed a marked contrast, unsurprisingly. Professor Roger Scruton presented his case for the declaration of intent of civil disobedience with cool logic and reason… Douglas Batchelor, on the other hand, resorted to emotive language and dragged out all the old cliches of the animal rights faction… J Ward-Hayne, Modbury Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 13.1.04 Boxing Day triumph THERE have been many recent and wildly differing results from public opinion polls regarding the future of hunting… you only have to see the wonderful turnout of hunt supporters compared to the measly handful of anti's on Boxing Day to truly gauge public feeling. Jo Rumble, Ashburton (letter)

Western Morning News 13.1.04 Shame on Dunster AS A regular visitor to Dunster, I was dismayed to read in your paper, that the West Somerset Foxhounds were allowed back into the main street for their New Year meet…. Helen Weeks, Somerset (letter)

Yorkshire Post 13.1.04 Enough is enough From: Dr K Davis, Mason's Court, Cockermouth, Cumbria …I could have turned a blind eye to your hopelessly one-sided attitude about the sickening barbarity which goes by the name of hunting with hounds. But what I cannot stomach under any circumstances are the lies which you dress up as fact concerning the war in Iraq… (letter)

Burton Mail 13.1.04 Second firm cuts farm links by DAVID POWLES - A SECOND firm has given in to pressure from animal rights activists and severed all ties with a controversial farm near Burton. Storage and distribution firm D W Clark and Sons has bowed to pressure from campaigners to officially announce that it will no longer trade or have any connections with the Hall family's Darley Oaks guinea pig farm in Newchurch…. Gordon Clark, director of the Essex-based firm, said: "We were doing a small amount of work with them, which meant that we had been there maybe three or four times. "We were contacted by the campaigners in the usual way and they said they would demonstrate against us… It was not a decision I liked making. We feel as if we are being run by someone else and it is not right to be dictated to in that way…" (story)

Western Morning News 13.1.04 VIVISECTION SHOULD NOT BE REWARDED - Animal Aid would certainly argue against awards being given for vivisection, not only because it is cruel, but because it does not benefit human health. … Richard Mountford, Development Manager Animal Aid (letter)

Western Morning News 13.1.04 FRIENDSHIP OF ANIMALS IS BEYOND MEASURE - Oh dear. Such a sad state of affairs when people abandon animals like the two puppies you pictured… Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 13.1.04 MINISTERS SHOW NO RESPECT FOR OUR ANIMALS - Your recent report on the Government's live export solution which Charles Lovell, spokesman for South West Equine Protection, described as a "fudge" (WMN, January 2) just about portrays the limited knowledge and lack of respect that ministers hold towards the delicate nature and requirements of our equines… Gill Cox, Kingsbridge (letter)

Western Morning News 13.1.04 Unwanted passports - THE horrific trade in live exports of horses, ponies and donkeys is being actively encouraged by the Government by the introduction of passports… Jenni Orme, Bradninch (letter)

12.1.04

Southern Daily Echo 12.1.04 No disruptions at successful new year hunt - MORE than 100 people turned out as members of the New Forest Hounds met for their first hunt of the new year at the weekend. Joint master Pat Hudson said they had been unable to hunt since just before Christmas because their hounds had suffered kennel cough… (story in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 12.1.40 FOXES' HAPPY FACES? I Was disappointed to see your photo feature of the "happy faces" who attended the Brocklesby Hunt on Boxing Day (Hunt As Popular As Ever January 3). Like a majority of individuals, I despise the fact that animals can be killed in the name of so-called sport… Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby. (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 12.1.04 DIFFERENT SCHOOL OF THOUGHT So, the lady fox-hunter writing to the Post recently thinks hunting wild animals is a good way for children to see nature. Hunting is a pure blood sport, in which a fox, if it finds sanctuary, is given no respite…. E A Smith, Ashton. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 12.1.04 MONARCHY LOATHSOME IN ITS SUPPORT OF HUNTING Once again, I write in support of Dr John Pamment, Points of view, January 7, and his consistently well argued anti-hunting stance. I also support Ms Elsie van der Steen's view, published on the same page, on the monarchy and its loathsome association with this disgusting practice… David Goodes, Wellpark Close, Exeter (letter)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 12.1.04 Charity hits out after horses die - A national animal charity has spoken of its horror after two horses died, at Warwick Racecourse, on Saturday. The Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has said it will look into the matter… Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said it was shocking and disgraceful, but not entirely unexpected…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 12.1.04 Protesters stage sit-in - A PROTEST march in Cambridge against plans for a primate laboratory ended in chaos as campaigners staged a sit-down protest in the middle of Huntingdon Road. Motorists faced long tailbacks on Saturday afternoon as police tried to clear the road. Four people were arrested for various offences, including obstruction of the highway. More than 100 protesters had marched through the centre of Cambridge earlier in the afternoon… Campaigner Hanna Moorcroft travelled from Germany for the protest, organised by SPEAC… Robert Cogswell, a spokesman for SPEAC, said: "The number of people who travelled miles for the protest shows the level of support that we have…" (story)
Cambridge News 9.1.04 Animal rights group in new monkey lab protest - ANIMAL rights protesters will take to the streets of Cambridge once again tomorrow in protest at the university's plans for a primate laboratory…. Tomorrow's midday protest has been organised by SPEAC (Stop Primate Experiments at Cambridge). Robert Cogswell, a spokesman for the group, said: "The decision announced by the Deputy Prime Minister is just the latest undemocratic move in this protracted saga…" (story)

11.1.04

Scotland on Sunday 11.1.04 Brussels threat to game consumption - SOME of the best-known tastes of the Scottish countryside may be banned forever if Brussels bureaucrats get their way. Under legislation due to come before the European Parliament this year, pheasant, partridge, rabbit, hare and duck could become dishes of the past… If this section of the Bill is supported, the rules governing the sale of wild game will become so tied up with red tape that it will, in effect, make the purchase of such items untenable…. Jim Mackie, Dunfermline (letter)

Sunday Times 11.1.04 Letter to the Editor: Suffer the little animals - While sympathising wholeheartedly with Ed Owen in his unhappy predicament (Animal tests mean hope for little Ella, News Review, last week), I think it was inappropriate to use his daughter’s illness as the springboard for a pro-vivisection polemic. So we may inflict suffering and death on any other creature if the object is to relieve human distress? What a narrow, cynical and selfish creed. Ruarc Gahan, Hollywood, Co Wicklow (letter)
Sunday Times 4.1.04 Animal tests mean hope for little Ella - Ed Owen, whose daughter has cystic fibrosis, thanks the controversial scientists who have helped her... The fee for this article is being donated to the Running for Ella campaign to raise money for cystic fibrosis research. More information: www.runningforella.info (story)

10.1.04

HUNT BILL MAY BE RESURRECTED
Newcastle Journal 10.1.04 Pro-hunting vow to fight By Liz Hands, The Journal Fields sports supporters in the region last night vowed to fight "tooth and nail" to defend their sport as speculation mounted that Tony Blair is preparing to introduce a Bill banning hunting before Easter... Richard Dodd, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said he believes the Government will time the hunting Bill to deflect attention from its education plans.... Pam Pattinson, secretary of the Haydon Hunt, who farms at Hotbank Farm at Haydon Bridge, said: "Blair always hauls the hunting Bill out whenever he's in hot water and he's in boiling water at the moment.... (story)
Western Daily Press 10.1.04 MP RULES OUT HUNTING VOTE - Claims MPs will vote within three months on whether to outlaw hunting with dogs were last night dismissed by MPs. James Gray, North Wiltshire MP and Conservative rural affairs spokesman, said he believed recent reports were sparked by a plot to prevent Labour backbenchers rebelling over top-up fees.... (story)
Independent 9.1.04 MPs to be given vote on Hunting Bill before Easter By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent - Tony Blair is preparing to introduce a Bill banning hunting to the House of Commons before Easter after unexpectedly dropping it from the Queen's Speech last year... Ministers are determined to finalise the Bill before the end of the parliamentary session after six years of deadlock between the House of Commons and the House of Lords. They want to give MPs the chance to vote for a full ban by Easter but are considering delaying its introduction to the House of Lords until after the summer. That would stop peers spending so much time discussing the hunting Bill that they deliberately wreck the progress of other bills on the Government's agenda.... (story)
Western Morning News 8.1.04 HUNTS DEFIANT ON BAN - The Westcountry hunting community was defiant yesterday, after Tony Blair insisted he would push through a ban on their sport. The dog above, at the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, could face a bleak future if hunting is banned…. (story)
Western Morning News 8.1.04 BACK DOWN TO EARTH WITH A BUMP - AND FURIOUS - News that the Prime Minister is to use the hunting issue as a political bartering chip rang as clear and loud as a hunting horn through Westcountry packs yesterday. The WMN's Martin Hesp had his ear to the ground… Guy Moorlock, master and huntsman of Spooner's and West Dartmoor Hunt, based near Tavistock, said: "I have to say that recently I've felt more confident than ever, but the big fear is always that the Prime Minister will use hunting as a smokescreen…." Speaking from her Exmoor home Diana Scott, Joint Master of the largest stag-hunt in the world, the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, put down her copy of the Western Morning News and told me: "I think it's something we've been aware of for a long time. We knew it would be something devious that this Government could do - to use hunting as a political football…." Michael Moore, joint master of the East Devon Foxhounds, gave me his reaction to the news that the Prime Minister might be thinking of doing a deal over hunting. "First of all I ask - can we believe what Mr Blair tells us?"…. Paul Hancock, joint master and huntsman of the Fourborough Hunt based near Redruth, represents one of only five fox-packs in Cornwall. He said: "Basically I am appalled that you can buy the law - which is really what would be happening here…" (story)
Western Morning News 8.1.04 'THE PRIME MINISTER HAS FINALLY CAVED IN - The future for hunting looks bleak in the wake of Tony Blair's private decision to back a ban, as London Editor Jason Groves reports. The senior Government source who tipped off the WMN about Tony Blair's conversion to the idea of a hunting ban was in no doubt about the significance of the decision. "Downing Street has made a decision on hunting," he said. "And it will make Labour MPs very happy indeed."… (story)
Western Morning News 8.1.04 HUNTING BAN COULD BE LAW 'THIS YEAR' Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has told Labour MPs there is no constitutional bar preventing the use of the Parliament Act to force through a total ban on hunting with dogs later this year…. (story)
Western Morning News 8.1.04 'BEST HOPES APPEAR TO LIE IN THE COURTS' Hunt supporters hoping to prevent a ban on hunting with dogs have few options left in the short term…. Legal challenges are likely over the use of the Parliament Act and over the question of whether the Hunting Bill would breach European human rights laws. But these could take years to resolve. (story)
Western Morning News 7.1.04 BLAIR GO-AHEAD ON HUNTING BAN - Tony Blair is poised to spark a furious confrontation with hunt supporters after deciding to press ahead with a total ban on hunting with dogs this year. A senior Government source has told the WMN that the Prime Minister has finally taken the decision to bring back the controversial Hunting Bill later this year in order to buy-off disgruntled Labour MPs who are threatening revolts over public service reforms. In doing so Mr Blair will also give tacit support for the use of the Parliament Act to force the banning Bill onto the statute book in the autumn, regardless of opposition in the House of Lords…. (story)

Oxford Mail 10.1.04 Don't be fooled by hunt's compassion - You report that the Old Berkshire Hunt has given £340 to the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal... Such a charitable effort should not be used to put a gloss on the hunts' horrible animal persecution and wilful ill-treatment of wild creatures.... DAVID SCOTT, Bayswater Road, Barton, Oxford (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 10.1.04 ACCEPT THERE'S NO FUTURE IN THE SPORT OF HUNTING The heading of the article by reporter Paul Matthews, Points of view, January 5, reads: East Devon fox hunt introduces children to its sport. Michael Moore, Master of the East Devon hunt, says it is important for children to be involved in the future of hunting. Is he unaware that MPs voted on July 9 last year, by 317 to 145, to ban the sport?... (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.1.04 CONTRADICTED BY ALLIANCE - David C Allen would do well to consult the Countryside Alliance website for evidence before he writes denying that hunts stop earths or encourage foxes. If he did, under the frequently asked questions section, Mr Allen would find the following: "Earth Stopping - before a day's hunting, hunt officials go out at night or early morning stopping the entrances to regularly used fox earths. Artificial Earths - for hunting to take place effectively, foxes need to be encouraged to live in areas suitable for the activity."... Paul Tillsley League Against Cruel Sports Dulverton Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.1.04 HUNTING NOT PEST CONTROL Mr Allen writes that "no one has yet proved that hunting is any more cruel than any other accepted method of pest control"…. Hunting wild animals on horseback with a pack of dogs is not, and never has been, a method of pest control. This excuse was dreamed up years ago to try to justify the hobby…. Mr S Harding Wellington Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.1.04 NO EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT - n answer to your correspondent, Roy Bourne, I have never met any landowner who "allowed, or even encouraged" foxes to settle and breed on their land. If such people do exist, they must be very far and few between. Foxes will settle anywhere if the surroundings suit them, either in urban or rural situations…. David C Allen Burnham-on-Sea Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.1.04 CRUEL SADISTS HUNT FOR SPORT - Your correspondent David C Allen states the fox must be hunted to control its population. Tell me, Mr Allen, why do some pro-hunt landowners allow, and even encourage, a vixen to have and rear her young undisturbed until they are old enough to be hunted to death by a minority of cruel sadists just for sport?... Roy Brow, Anti Blood Sports, Ston Easton, Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.1.04 FOX NO THREAT TO COUNTRYSIDE D Allen's time-wasting questions have been answered many times over. The cruel sports lobby choose to ignore that honest, well-informed people, and all research, have demonstrated that the fox is no threat to farming or the countryside.... David Thomas, Westbury, Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.12.03 PERSONAL ATTACKS WEAKEN CASE FOR HUNT BAN - If only M J Haines and all those of his or her persuasion would realise that they do not advance their cause against hunting by piling personal abuse on those who do not share their views. By so doing, they betray the weakness of their case…. As regards the Prince of Wales, I see no reason whatever why he should not express his opinions in private, in common with all other citizens of this country. It is not yet a crime so to do! So far as can be gleaned, these staghounds which crossed Sir Paul McCartney's land did no harm and were removed as soon as possible… David C Allen Burnham-on-Sea Somerset (letter)

Scotsman 10.1.04 Barbaric practice - I was delighted to see your reports (7 and 8 January) that the Scottish Greens, and some other MSPs, are supporting calls for a ban on the barbaric and indiscriminate practice of snaring.... LYNNE MITCHELL , Lower Mains, Dollar , Clackmannanshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.1.04 DEATH SENTENCE FOR THE CIVET CATS Your report about new Sars disease fears rippling across Asia prompts one to think that the immediate death sentence imposed by Chinese officials on 10,000 civet cats suspected of spreading the disease must be the best possible outcome for them at least. The photos accompanying the article clearly show these animals (apparently a Chinese delicacy) crammed into cages without sufficient room even to stand up or turn round.... Mrs E Ingram Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

9.1.04

Financial Times 9.1.04 Vive la différence à La Chasse By Rory Knight Bruce - An hour-and-a-half south of Paris by fast-train lie the mining towns of Montceau and Moulins and such famous Burgundian vineyards and regions as Macon, Givry and Fleurie. The area is home to white Charolais cattle and large tracts of purple woodland, but also to several of France's 150 packs of hounds, all of which hunt red or roe deer... (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 9.1.04 BRADSHAW'S TORY PLAUDIT BY DAVID MACAULAY, WESTMINSTER CORRESPONDENT - Exeter mp Ben Bradshaw has received an accolade from an unexpected source - the Tory shadow spokesman for rural affairs. James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire, has submitted an early-day motion to the House of Commons congratulating Mr Bradshaw for encouraging deer-stalking in his capacity as a junior environment minister... Aristocratic Mr Gray is a keen huntsman while Mr Bradshaw is a staunch opponent of hunting..."We are talking about humane culls. Hunting with hounds is a very different matter which is terribly cruel."... Mr Gray denies he put his motion congratulating Mr Bradshaw forward with a sense of mischief. He said: "There are too many deer and I would like to support his views." (story)

(Torquay Herald Express) 9.1.04 WHO ARE THE REAL PESTS? I think it was 10 years ago when the EC called for tougher measures in the control of 'pests'. On the list were magpies, crows, jays, rooks and jackdaws. My reaction was predictable. As kids we were taught at school to think of rooks as the farmer's friends, and to find jackdaws earmarked for culling struck me as barbaric.... On home ground nothing justified stag hunting, hare coursing or otter hunting; but fox hunting continues with the hunting community coughing up the usual excuses for their bloodsport.... (story)

Ledbury Reporter 9.1.04 Hunt told to stay away over claim that hounds invaded cattery - Cattery owners at Putley are asking Ledbury Hunt to stay away from their property, following claims that hounds invaded the site for the second time in less than two months. Drusilla Pearce, of Jilly's Cattery, The Sladd, said she received abusive comments from huntsmen when she asked them to remove eight hounds from the premises at around noon on Monday…. Donald Haden, spokesman for the Ledbury Hunt, said: "On Wednesday, we did receive a telephone message through a third party and our hunt secretary has tried to contact Mrs Pearce three times without success…. We hope Mrs Pearce will contact us, so that we can address any worries she might have and assure her of our best intentions…" (story in archive)

Post & Times 9.1.04 NEW YEAR HUNTING VISIT BY CAMILLA - SARAH WHELAN - Huntsmen at the Staffordshire Moorlands New Year's Eve Hunt were joined by a special guest. Camilla Parker Bowles is believed to have joined the hunt through the Moorlands - but Prince Charles was not with her… "To be honest Camilla is around the area so often that no one bats an eyelid. In the past Charles has been out with the Meynell hunt every few weeks." (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 9.1.04 'SPORT IS BARBARIC' - Vale Wildlife Rescue is totally opposed to hunting with hounds. We, like the majority of the British public, believe it to be a barbaric, cruel, unnecessary and ineffective way of supposedly controlling the numbers of animals such as foxes, hares, deer and mink…. (story)

HOLCOMBE BOXING DAY
Rossendale Free Press (@ 9.1.04) Clashes at old hunt: No arrests - HOLCOMBE Hunt supporters and anti-hunt campaigners clashed at the Boxing Day hunt. Dozens of blood-sport protesters from the League Against Cruel Sports shouted at hunt riders as they set off from Rivington with their hounds…. (story)
Bolton Evening News 7.1.04 Great news for lovers of wildlife - PSMITH of Horwich (Letters, December 23) objects to our protest against the hare hunt at Rivington on Boxing Day and even drops in several hunting terms in order to impress us with his undoubted expertise on the subject… The cancellation of the Boxing Day hunt was great news for those of us who appreciate wildlife. Kate Stratton, North West League Against Cruel Sports PO Box 359, Chorley, (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 27.12.03 Protesters fail to stop Hunt - DEFIANT huntsmen ignored anti-bloodsport protesters when they took to the moors at the annual Boxing Day Holcombe Hunt meeting at Rivington.... Hundreds of delighted spectators cheered as horses and hounds paraded around a field close to Rivington Hall before the hunt began, amid the furious cries of "murderers" and "scum" from around 60 protesters who had come from across the North-west... Lorraine Holden, spokesman from Preston Action For Animals, said: "We're here again and we will be until this is banned. We've been let down by the Government...." (story in archive)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 27.12.03 Huntsmen ride out storm of protests - DEFIANT huntsmen ignored anti-bloodsport protesters when they took to the moors at the annual Boxing Day Holcombe Hunt meeting at Rivington. Although jeering demonstrators lined the entry to Rivington Barn, waving placards and making their voices heard with megaphones, around 60 riders set off on the traditional hunting spectacle. Hundreds of delighted spectators cheered as horses and hounds paraded around a field close to Rivington Hall.... (story in archive)
Manchester Evening News 27.12.03 - SCUFFLES broke out between hunt supporters and blood-sport protesters as the Holcombe Hunt met at Rivington. Dozens of campaigners from the League Against Cruel Sports and other groups shouted at riders yesterday as they set off with the hounds and police intervened in several minor confrontations... (story)
Bolton Evening News 23.12.03 Will my budgie be next in line? BOXING Day seems annually to be consumed by the antics of the Holcombe Hunt and their gathering at Rivington for the "Hunt". To find out exactly where they are is easy. Follow the sounds of the drums and the baying for human blood from the brethren of staunch protesters. Find also, in their midst, families on a good day out, wondering what all the fuss is about... I didn't realise the Hunt chased hares, but I suspect that any self-respecting hare that could out-run two greyhounds in a hare-coursing event would laugh all the way to its burrow on first sight of John Peel... What I say is, if the Hunt is banned, what comes next? On Boxing Days to come, will the same protesters release my rabbit or unbar my budgie, unchain my Chihuahua or unhalter my horse? When the protesters make John Bull's Britain as bland and bleached as over-boiled cabbage, will they then take on matters nearer to the public heart than the questionable fate of the elusive Rivington Reynard? P Smith Buckingham Avenue Horwich (letter in archive)
Lancashire Evening Post 19.12.03 Boxing Day hunt protest - Animal rights campaigners will be staging a huge protest when the oldest hunt in Britain rides out on Boxing Day. Protesters from the League Against Cruel Sports have vowed to converge on Rivington Hall Barn, near Chorley, when Lancashire's Holcombe Hunt holds its annual meeting…. Jeanne Young, of the North West League Against Cruel Sports, said: "Everyone knows hare numbers are in rapid decline in Lancashire, yet the Holcombe Hunt will once again be hunting down hares at Rivington on Boxing Day in the name of sport…." (story)

Western Daily Press 9.1.04 A POPULAR MASTER OF FOXHOUNDS DIES AT 75 - John Cory, a popular horseman and master of foxhounds, has died at the age of 75. During an illustrious hunting and racing career, he also stewarded at the Royal Bath and West Show at Shepton Mallet…. (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 9.1.04 Ignorance of the hunt - THE fact that most people who want fox-hunting to be made illegal do not know much about it is abundantly shown by the letter from S R Grimes (Gazette, December 26). It is apparent from that rather muddled letter that he thinks that the hunt servants only work for six months of the year, namely in the winter, and that they spend the summer holidaying abroad on social security! On the contrary, all the hunt staff are employed through the whole year looking after the hounds… Gabriel Hutton, Chairman, Berkeley Hunt, Chestal House, Dursley (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 9.1.04 Where's the proof of this? - IN her letter of Monday, December 29, Mrs Large moved the goalposts regarding hare coursing…. Asked to provide details of this research she side-stepped the matter. Many papers, books and websites have checked but no one can find this work…. Not for one moment do I doubt that Mrs Large is committed to animal rights but all the evidence tells us that to ban coursing would only contribute to a decline in hare numbers. JON BURGESS, Malvern (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 29.12.03 Hares who didn't live to see light of day... MR Burgess seems to be emulating the hare as it twists and turns in the fight to save its life... I was actually quoting from the Burns report. Page 119 section 6-64 refers to the same report, which states that coursing "seriously compromises the welfare of the hare.".... I reiterate - a number of baby hares did not live to see the light of day owing to this evil practice. MRS MARION J LARGE, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 3.12.03 No evidence that ban would help the hare - MRS M Large (You Say, Monday, November 24) disputes the irrefutable link between coursing and conservation. No research has found that a coursing ban would increase hare numbers, in fact all the evidence points to a decline… JON BURGESS, Malvern (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 9.1.04 DEER CAN BE MANAGED WELL WITHOUT HUNTING Exeter mp Ben Bradshaw, the Nature Conservation Minister, has been reported as saying the deer population in the UK is about 1.5 million and numbers must be kept down or large areas of woodland would be lost… There are about 5,000 deer in Exmoor and on the Quantocks. These areas are hunted by three packs of deer hounds: the Tiverton Staghounds, the Devon and Somerset, and the Quantock Hunt… the three hunts kill a total of about 150 after chasing the animals to exhaustion over many miles for sport. It will be seen, therefore, that the number of deer killed by the three Westcountry stag hunts is insignificant… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 9.1.04 MINK ACTING NATURALLY - I Was saddened by the emotive language used in your article concerning the apparent predatory behaviour of an American mink in Swansea... We would well remember that mink were introduced to the UK by humans during the early 1900s to be farmed for their fur, a practice that led to the suffering and deaths of many thousands of these animals.... Dan Forman, Rotherslade Road, Swansea (letter)

Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 9.1.04 Decline in badger sightings is giving cause for concern - BADGER numbers in Badenoch and Strathspey appear to be in serious decline, according to recently published figures…. Mr Allan Bantick, manager of the hide and a badger expert, has blamed climate change and an associated shortage of food for the fall in badger numbers…. (story)

Irish Examiner 9.1.04 Call to halt long-distance live exports - THE long-distance transport of live animals should be halted during the Irish presidency of the European Union, a protest in Dublin urged yesterday. Compassion in World Farming staged the protest outside the offices of the Department of Agriculture and Food and handed in a letter for Minister Joe Walsh…. (story)
Irish Independent 6.1.04 Activists pressing for an end to live animal exports - ANIMAL rights activists are to picket the Department of Agriculture in protest against the export of Irish animals. Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) is leading the campaign to ban live exports from Ireland which it says is a "cruel and unnecessary" trade.... (story)

Blackpool Citizen 9.1.04 Enjoy a circus that doesn't involve exploiting animals - I AM delighted to learn the Chinese State Circus is coming to Blackpool and would urge all those people who think a circus can only be spectacular when animals are in it to go and see this wonderful circus and see what real skills and daring acts are all about -- not abuse. Animal-free means cruelty-free… Josephine Harwood, Bispham, Blackpool (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 9.1.04 Protesters - hush the noise! - WHEN I read your report of PACA's (People Against Cruelty to Animals) activities in Ledbury (Malvern Gazette & Ledbury Reporter, December 19), I felt as if 500 years of civilisation had been cast aside and I had been catapulted back to the era of witch-hunts…. Mrs Stark and Mrs Handley have again been targeted by animal rights protesters… The problem with any form of fanaticism is that it sees only its own viewpoint. Do these protesters not realise that, while exercising their undeniable right to demonstrate, they are violating traders' rights to conduct their legitimate business?... MRS M E WINFIELD, Worcester Road, Ledbury (letter in archive)
Ledbury Reporter 19.12.03 Retailer stops selling fur after her picture is burnt Two Ledbury retailers have decided to stop selling fur following a series of animal right protests outside their High Street businesses. The crunch came on Saturday when the photograph of one of the retailers was publicly burnt in the street and police took 30 minutes to respond to a 999 call from the concerned woman. Both Margaret Stark, owner of In Stark Contrast, and Sarah Handley, of Sez, say the level of intimidation of staff and customers was one factor in their decision, and other was the effect the protests were having on neighbouring retailers… The protesters are from the People Against Cruelty to Animals group or PACA, the same body that targets Sequani in the Bromyard Road…. (story in archive)
Malvern Gazette 19.12.03 Important issue - I SO agree with Pauline Burgess (Your Letters, December 12) that the 40 million animals killed each year for the fur trade is an important issue…. A petition has been circulating in the European Parliament, and I was one of the first to sign. Philip Bushill-Matthews MEP, European Parliament, Brussels. (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 12.12.03 A valid protest - I WAS sad to read that Chris Ridler (Your Letters, November 28) thinks that 40 million animals killed every year for the fur trade is petty. The anti-fur protests in Ledbury are also against the factory farming of sentient beings kept in small wire cages never able to breathe fresh air… PAULINE BURGESS, Richmond Road, Malvern Link (letter)
Ledbury Reporter 5.12.03 Fashion stores owners brace themselves for more anti-fur protests - Two High Street fashion boutiques in Ledbury are bracing themselves for more anti-fur protests tomorrow (Saturday). Sez and In Stark Contrast have been the target of placard-waving by animal rights activists… The protesters are from People Against Cruelty to Animals (PACA), the group which also targets Sequani on the Bromyard road… (story in archive)
Malvern Gazette 28.11.03 Petty protest - I AM disappointed that the animal rights activists, who have been demonstrating in Ledbury, seem unable to see that their protests are petty, and inconsequential, when put into the context of the widescale and appalling abuse of animals…. I raise this because I wonder what those who support a ban on hunting think is going to happen to the hounds and horses that will no longer be required in the `Brave New World'. So for goodness sake let's concentrate on what is important and not on the minuscule problem of what happens to the skin of animals already slaughtered for food. Chris Ridler, Yeoman Close, Ledbury. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 9.1.04 Animal welfare bill gets backing - A Black Country MP has called for a tightening of animal protection laws allowing welfare organisations to act more swiftly to stop suffering of pets. Debra Shipley, MP for Stourbridge, has backed a campaign calling for the early introduction of an Animal Welfare Bill into Parliament this year…. She also wants to see a ban on tail-docking, increased penalities for people caught animal fighting and a ban on animals in circuses (story)

8.1.04

South Wales Evening Post 8.1.04 HUNTERS IN THREAT TO DEFY PARLIAMENT - Almost two-thirds of hunt supporters say they will defy the law if Parliament bans hunting with dogs. Just over 60 per cent of hunt supporters questioned in a Farmers' Union of Wales poll said they would be prepared to break the law if MPs outlawed fox hunting with dogs... (story)

The Forester 8.1.04 A-HUNTING WE STILL GO AS PARLIAMENT DITHERS - While the Government considers using the Parliament Act to push through a ban on hunting with dogs, the local fox hunts have been out in force over the Christmas period. The Cotswold Vale Hunt regularly ride out in a narrow strip of land by the River Severn… Members of the Ledbury Hunt - including Conservative Forest of Dean District and Gloucestershire County Councillor Will Windsor Clive - have also been extremely active…. (story)

News Letter 8.1.04 Coursing Ban is to be Applauded - MUCH has been written over the past few weeks about Angela Smyth's decision to protect the hare population in our countryside. From a landowner's view, I applaud this legislation… If this pending act curtails the movements of these people by taking away the right to hunt the hare then it will have been well worthwhile and I applaud Ms Smyth for that. R A Gray, Donaghadee (letter)

Wells Journal 8.1.04 FOX IS KILLED FOR PLEASURE ... Mr Gripper seems to have missed the point - all the animals/fowl he mentioned are killed for human consumption: the fox is killed for pure barbaric pleasure. Daphne Hobbs, North Wootton (letter)
Wells Journal 31.12.03 IF WE EAT MEAT AND WEAR LEATHER WE EXPLOIT ANIMALS - Once again your columns are host to the anti-hunting brigade. While having no strong views either way about fox hunting, I am inclined to believe that those who so abhor it should visit a slaughter house, and a poultry farm... While we eat meat, use milk, butter, cheese and even some margarines and use wool and leather we are going to take advantage of animals... Desmond Gripper, St Thomas Street, Wells (letter)

Cornwall Packet 8.1.04 Hunting: Let the people decide - To Shelterbox charity of Helston, I award a bouquet of roses for the attempted preservation of life. To the Boxing Day hunt (i.e. the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable, quote Oscar Wilde), I award a bouquet of poison ivy… B Laity, Wheal Rose, Porthleven (letter in archive)

Manchester Evening News 8.1.03 What happened to Blair’s hunting pledge? …. After many years of not voting in general elections, due to my disbelief, acquired over many years, in the promises of politicians seeking election, I voted for Tony Blair and the Labour party in 1997, solely because he appeared to pledge that, should he be elected, hunting with dogs would be banned…. I may have been fooled in 1997 and again at the last election but, should a ban on hunting not have been achieved by the next general election, my vote will certainly not go to a political party as ineffective as the one we have in charge at present, especially if it is headed by Tony Blair…. B A W, Lymm (letter)

Evesham Journal 8.1.04 Don't underestimate - I am writing to let you know that your account of the Boxing Day hunt in Broadway underestimated the number of anti-hunt protesters by at least 100 per cent - there were 2 of us with placards!... Karen Chilver, Broadway (letter in archive)

Berwick Advertiser 8.1.04 Now they know what foxes feel like - The death of the Queen’s corgi, mauled by Anne’s dog, was so sad. But, they say what goes around, comes around. Anne, the Queen and the other Royals, all go hunting with dogs, so to see a beautiful creature mauled to death is not an unfamiliar sight to them… SUSAN THORKILDSEN, Wark. via e-mail. (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 8.1.04 DRAG HUNTING A FINE ALTERNATIVE - I would like to thank Jonathan Marshall (January 3) for acknowledging my "valiant but flawed attempt to defend drag-hunting as an alternative to the real thing"…. Mr Marshall stated that the fastest foxhound would not keep up with the lowest-grade trail-hound. This is a tacit admission that fox hounds are bred to be slower so as to prolong the chase… LEN SHORT (for "Animal Voices"), Torquay (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 8.1.04 'DISINFORMATION' BY ALLIANCE? - I Was interested to read in the Telegraph (January 1) of a survey into public opinion over the issue of foxhunting, which concluded the public consider this subject as something of a lesser priority… I would suggest the selective manner in which the survey's findings have been presented constitutes a subtle form of disinformation, designed to mislead those who look into those findings… Pete Lazenby, Dale Street, Scunthorpe. (letter)

Bolton Evening News 8.1.04 Percentage poser - DRIVING back from Shropshire on Boxing Day we saw many posters announcing "59 PER CENT WANT HUNTING TO CONTINUE". But on the same day, according to photographs in the Bolton Evening News, protesters were claiming that "76 PER CENT SAY NO TO HUNTING". According to my definition of percent, that doesn't add up… Audrey Rostron, Redcar Road, Smithills, Bolton (letter in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 8.1.04 THE News & Star claims not to take sides in the hunting debate and yet every year we are subjected to picture postcards scenes of the hunts and cute little children cuddling hounds… ELAINE M MILBOURN, Torpenhow (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 8.1.04 CHILDREN WILL LEARN THAT IT'S RIGHT TO HURT ANIMALS Picture the scene: a London suburb, alive with the sound of adults, children and dogs. At a given signal the group moves off. Before long, there are blood-curdling whoops from the adults as the dogs seize a cat and tear it to shreds in front of the children… And yet, scenes like this take place quite frequently in the countryside without, as yet, the intervention of the authorities. I refer, of course, to the children's meets organized by local hunts. At these gatherings, children are encouraged to believe that it is acceptable to chase a wild animal with a pack of dogs… Ms Y Nicola, Address withheld (letter)

VIVA! HALAL LETTER
Central Somerset Gazette 8.1.04 DRAW, SKIN AND PLUCK MY KILLS - I was interested in the comments from Ms Ariane MacLaren… When she read my letter she did not properly understand the issue I was trying to highlight. I began by saying that I shoot and some people may think that is cruel, as shooting for sport cannot always guarantee a clean kill. In contrast, the controlled conditions of the abattoir should… I also agree I do not have to shoot to eat and supermarkets are full of various meats. However, what I do shoot, I skin, pluck, draw and cook. The hypocrites are the ones who criticise others and then buy meat from supermarkets and say "ah yes, but I have not actually killed it myself". Paul R Atkins Littleton Somerton (letter)
Central Somerset Gazette 23.12.04 THIS IS HYPOCRITICAL VIEWPOINT I read, with increasing disbelief, the letter in December 18's paper from "shooter" Paul Atkins, on the subject of ritual slaughter… So it "upsets you" does it, Mr Atkins, when you miss and merely wound? You find it necessary, do you, in a country full of supermarkets stocked to the roof with assorted meats, to shoot in order to eat?... Well I have news for you, Mr Atkins. You are a shameless, Grade A hypocrite. Ariane MacLaren, Tor View Avenue, Glastonbury (letter)
Sevenoaks Chronicle 2.1.04 LAW MUST BE CHANGED - BETTY HORTON, Sevenoaks (letter)
Wells Journal 19.12.03 KILLING WITH MINIMAL PAIN - After reading Beckey Hawkes' letter as the RSPCA press officer last week, I was saddened that as a nation we are more concerned with not offending the religious beliefs of non-Christians than we are for the suffering of our farmed animals…. As a wildfowler for over 40 years I shoot and kill as part of my sport…. However, like many shooters, when I miss and wound my quarry it does upset me, because I have caused pain and suffering…. To respect the views and beliefs of others is wholly acceptable but to allow laws and regulations to be avoided for whatever reason is not… Paul R Atkins Littleton Somerton (letter)
Worcester Evening News 16.12.03 Islamic slaughter is humane - MRS McNally (You Say, Monday, December 8) is a classic example of a lay person who is bereft of the scientific and medical principles that allow professionals to make statements founded upon sound facts and not conjecture. The act of zabh (used in Jewish and Islamic slaughter practices) is the most humane method of slaughter ever… AHMED RAZA, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Wells Journal 12.12.03 MAKE SLAUGHTER AS PAINLESS AS POSSIBLE - B J Barnett's letter: "Shechita is humane method of slaughter", November 20). While the RSPCA recognises that religious beliefs and practices should be respected, it also believes that it is important to ensure that animals are slaughtered under the most humane conditions possible… The RSPCA, therefore, supports FAWC's recommendations to government that the current exemption which allows slaughter without pre-stunning should be repealed…. RSPCA Press Office (letter)
The Citizen (Preston) 12.12.03 No cruelty in Kosher - WITH regard to cruelty as in Kosher meat, I am afraid Jeanne Young has got her facts wrong. I cannot speak for Halal buthchers. For a Kosher animal to be eaten it must be slaughtered by the method known as Shechita. This is a procedure designed to cause the least suffering to the animal…. D Porter, Furness Close, Chorley (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 8.12.03 Halal must be stopped - MRS R McNALLY, Malvern (letter in archive)
The Citizen (Preston) 5.12.03 Cater for compassion Jeanne Young, Stanworth Terrace, Abbey Village, Chorley (letter)
Kent/Sussex Courier 5.12.03 Too much space is given to loquacious and intimidating single-issue campaigners. Fox-hunting, for example. Before the dust has settled on that, we are now getting condemnation of Halal butchering… It is wrong to interfere with the religion of others. JE Durey, Lower Green Road, Tunbridge Wells (letter)
Stourbridge News 4.12.03 Emphasis on animal welfare - I read with surprise the letter from GE Oliver (November 20) who wishes to outlaw Shechita - the Jewish religious humane method of dispatching animals for food. She and the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) conveniently ignore conclusive evidence from respected scientific and veterinary authorities. Having observed and examined the Jewish methods of dispatching animals for food, they conclude that it is a humane method of slaughter… Shiomo Winegarten London (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Evening Post 4.12.03 Shechita done with humanity - There is much to be said for being vegetarian – but we aren't. We like our lamb chops and our barbeques…. Mrs Taylor-Parkes (YEP, November 17) objects to shechita – the method of slaughter in accordance with the Jewish religion. She wants all animals pre-stunned…. Shechita is designed to be as painless as possible. It is carried out by men of great humanity, who have been trained over several years… Those who are concerned about humane methods of slaughter should be supporting, not seeking to ban, shechita. JOHN M COLLINS, Sandhill Oval, Leeds LS 17 (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 3.12.03 'HUMANE SLAUGHTER' A MYTH - I both agree and disagree with Michael Mellor's letter (November 21). He is correct that the captive bolt and electric stunning methods used in British slaughter houses are not humane. Many animals regain consciousness whilst hanging upside down on the killing line and struggle as they bleed to death.The Jewish, Shechita method of slaughter is also inhumane…. Despite a strong vegetarian ethos, the Jewish religion refuses to change its killing ritual and all animals are slaughtered while fully conscious…. Y M BLACKMORE, Abbotskerswell (letter)
Leicester Mercury 3.12.03 MINIMISING SUFFERING - I read with surprise the letter from Jill Blackwell (Postbag, November 20) who wishes to outlaw Shechita, the Jewish religious humane method of dispatching animals for food. She and the Farm Animal Welfare Council ignore conclusive evidence from respected scientific and veterinary authorities…. Dr Joel Naftalin, member of the Leicester Hebrew Congregation. (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 3.12.03 Religious slaughter is so cruel - G Pike, Penhill Drive (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 1.12.03 RELIGIOUS SLAUGHTER - I J Noble, Darlington. (letter in archive)
Western Gazette 27.11.03 RELIGIOUS SLAUGHTER MUST BE BANNED - Dorchester representative of Viva!, name and address supplied (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 22.11.03 Killing method has to stop SHEILA BRENNAN (Mrs), Bombay Street, Blackburn. (letter in archive)
Times 21.11.03 HUMANE METHOD OF SLAUGHTER - As a former resident of Torquay and reader of the Herald Express, I noted the letter from Ms P M Crabtree (November 13) who wishes to ban religious slaughter of animals for food. Viva! and the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) conveniently ignore the mass of evidence from respected scientific and veterinary authorities who have observed and examined the Jewish method of dispatching animals for food (Shechita) and concluded that it is a humane method of slaughter… MICHAEL E MELLOR, Pinner Road, Northwood (letter)
Shropshire Star 21.11.03 We must end this slaughter - Paul and Elaine Evans, Powys (letter)
Bucks Free Press 21.11.03 Protest about the slaughter - Ginny Martin Perks Lane Prestwood (letter)
Peeblesshire News 20.11.03 Immediate action required to ban cruel practice - Dr C. Tulloch. Young Street, Peebles. (letter)
Stourbridge News 21.11.03 End cruel animal slaughter in the name of religion - GE Oliver, Enville (letter in archive)
Bridlington Free Press 20.11.03 SLAUGHTER LAW - J S Goacher, Marton Gate, Bridlington. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 20.11.03 SUFFERING MUST STOP - Jill Blackwell and others, Leicester. (letter)
Wells Journal 19.11.03 SHECHITA IS HUMANE METHOD OF SLAUGHTER - The letter from Carol Harris (letters, November 13) betrays ignorance and misinformation. I question that her view of Shechita - the Jewish religious humane method of animal slaughter for food - is based on experience. If she had ever witnessed Shechita she would know that the Jewish community is exempt from stunning animals for a good reason - that Shechita is a humane method of dispatching animals for food…. B J Barnett, Bristol (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 19.11.03 Ban this slaughter From Amanda George, Jellicoe Place, Eaton Socon (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.11.03 END THIS RITUAL SLAUGHTER NOW - R Stribling Weston-super-Mare Somerset (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 18.11.03 URGE GOVERMENT TO BAN CRUEL SLAUGHTER PRACTICE Mrs J Heaver, Marlborough Road, Exeter (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 17.11.03 This slaughter must stop (Mrs) J COOK Wroughton (letter in archive)
Kent/Sussex Courier 14.11.03 LAW MUST CHANGE ON STUNNING - A Mann, Andrew Road, Southborough
WRITE to your MP and ask him or her to help end religious slaughter. MJDB Morgan London Road Crowborough
WHILE millions of animals continue to suffer there is a need to act. Lobby your MPs to support a ban. Diana Alchorne, Willow Crescent, Five Oak Green
POLITICIANS in the UK continue to drag their feet on this issue. Find out more by contacting Viva on 0117 944 1000 or at www.viva.org.uk. L Hewson, Bromley Green Road, Ruckinge (letters)
Wells Journal 13.11.03 CRUEL KILLING OF ANIMALS - Carol Harris Viva! Bristol (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 13.11.03 RITUAL SLAUGHTER MUST BE ENDED - Many readers are probably unaware of the distressing fact that millions of animals every year have their throats cut in slaughterhouses while fully conscious, and it is legal. Animals killed for Muslim halal and Jewish kosher meat are exempt from the rule that requires all animals to be stunned before being slaughtered... The campaigning organisation Viva! is holding a lobby of Parliament on Wednesday, November 19 at 1pm so that ordinary, caring people can urge their MPs to support a ban on this cruel practice... P M CRABTREE, Headland Park Road, Paignton (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 6.11.03 Millions of animals every year have their throats cut in slaughterhouses while fully conscious... Mrs V M Davis, Selborne Terrace, Heaton. (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 23.10.03 Change law to end suffering - Many of your readers are probably unaware of the distressing fact that millions of animals have their throats cut in slaughter houses while fully conscious - and it is perfectly legal. Animals killed for Muslim halal and Jewish kosher meat are exempt from the rule that ensures all animals are stunned before being slaughtered… Elaine Evans, Welshpool, Powys (letter)

Scotsman 8.1.04 MSPs back bill to protect wildlife - JAMES REYNOLDS ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT - A BILL to increase the protection of Scotland’s wildlife has passed its first parliamentary hurdle after MSPs unanimously endorsed the legislation’s principles.... Mr Finnie welcomed the committee’s view that while self-locking snares should be outlawed and improved controls imposed on the use free-running (non-lethal) snares, a total ban was not required since the contraption was a "legitimate method of pest control". However, the former Labour minister and anti-hunting MSP Mike Watson said that he was "very disappointed" by this view, which he said "failed to recognise the indiscriminate nature" and ability of all snares to bring suffering to animals.... (story)

Torquay Herald Express 8.1.04 ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS A GROSS SCIENTIFIC ERROR - Thomas Bromley from the research defence society (Your View December 23), once again tries in vain to justify the indefensible…. due to the massive vested interests in vivisection, animals still continue to suffer, and medical research is being impeded by a form of research which will go down in history books as the most barbaric and gross scientific errors of all time masked by mass deception and propaganda. JAMES FORDHAM, Kings Ash Road, Paignton (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 2.1.04 CASE PROVEN BY THALIDOMIDE - Thomas Bromley of SIMR asks what should be used instead of animals in medical research (December 23) to replicate the human body. Simple, use larger and more independently-controlled clinical trials on the people who are to benefit from the new treatment…. LEN SHORT (for "Animal Voices"), St James Road, Upton, Torquay (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 15.12.03 SUFFERING OF SENTIENT CREATURES IN RESEARCH - Firstly I would like to thank Thomas Bromley (Your View, December 3) from the pro-vivisection group 'Seriously ill for medical research' for his response to my letter regarding experiments involving primates…. I would like to challenge his notion that animal rights campaigners are extremists. I feel that this label would not be given to such individual groups, if such atrocities where occurring towards animals in people's homes…. If SIMR really wish to find cures and treatments for diseases and illnesses they should also campaign for an end to animal experiments, and call for a dramatic increase in the use and funding of modern and effective non-animal research instead of flying the flag for and protecting the organisations which have a vested interest in the pseudo-science of vivisection. JAMES FORDHAM Kings Ash Road Paignton (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 3.12.03 VITAL ROLE OF ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS - James Fordham ("Your View", October 29) fails to realise the vital role that the use of animals has played in aiding medical progress. We are delighted the government has seen past the emotional propaganda of animal extremists and granted permission to build the primate research centre in Cambridge. This will help us in our fight against complex brain disorders such as Parkinson's Disease…. THOMAS BROMLEY, Executive Secretary, Seriously Ill for Medical Research (SIMR), PO Box 504, Dunstable Beds (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 29.10.03 STOP THIS PLAN TO INCREASE ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS - Despite the present Labour government's pledge to reduce the number of animal experiments and eventually end vivisection, it seems they have gone back on their promises and are fully backing the industry…. JAMES FORDHAM, Kings Ash Road, Paignton (letter)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 8.1.04 Hope for animals after Sars By Emma Snodgrass - A Warwickshire animal rights activist hopes the discovery of the deadly Sars virus in wild animal markets in China will bring an end to the barbaric treatment of the creatures. Dave Neale, who grew up in Bedworth and is now the UK Director of the Animals Asia Foundation, is fighting to ban animal markets in China… (story)

The Stage 8.1.04 Animal welfare spot checks threaten future of circuses by Sally Bramley - Touring circuses are facing spot checks in a government clampdown over the welfare of performing animals, which could lead to expensive upgrading of facilities to stop them falling foul of the law…. The Animal Defenders group has been lobbying for an outright ban on the use of animals in circuses to be included in proposed government legislation. Campaign director Tim Phillips said current conditions, such as keeping animals in temporary accommodation - often on concrete - for eight months of the year would mean owners would be breaking the law and many would be unable to upgrade… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 8.1.04 FOREST LOSS NOT THE FAULT OF VEGETARIANS Max Visholm is determined to lay the blame for rainforest destruction at the door of vegetarians who consume soya products (Viewpoint, December 12). I think he will find that if he does his homework properly, the soya in question is being grown for animal feed for export…. Viva! (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals) warned that there was no prospect of ending impoverishment and starvation if Europe and other rich countries continued to use developing countries, such as Africa, as mass suppliers of cheap animal fodder…. Pat Wickham, North Street, Casitor (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 12.12.03 LOOK AT BOTH SIDES OF ARGUMENT, NOT THE PROPAGANDA Yet again, I have to read an utterly unbalanced letter with reference to the consumption of fish. Mr Charlie Powell (Viewpoint, December 3) is obviously as - if not more - fanatical about vegetarianism as Pat Wickham. This chap is prepared to work for nothing to promote his views…. As I have already agreed, some species of fish do have low levels of toxins in them, what I find irritating is that certain vegetarians refuse to admit that there are also downsides to their way of life… M Visholm, MFV Orient. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 3.12.03 ROAD TO HEALTH IS VIA PLANTS - We have followed the ongoing debate between Pat Wickham and Max Visholm about fish consumption and vegetarianism with much interest. As a health charity dedicated to communicating the scientific facts about plant-based diets, the Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation (VVF) is well-placed to give an authoritative viewpoint… The suggestion that Eskimos' fish consumption leads to a longer life expectancy, doesn't tally with the fact that traditional Eskimo diets cause the highest levels of osteoporosis and bleeding in the brain…. There is a huge and growing volume of scientific evidence which demonstrates that the best way to avoid chronic diseases, like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, is to eat a plant-centred diet. You certainly do not need to eat fish. Charlie Powell, nutritionist, The Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 13.11.03 VARIETY IS THE KEY TO A HEALTHY DIET - It Was with interest I read the letter from a Mrs P Wickham of Caistor who puts forward a hypothesis to support a vegetarian diet.... while one group say this, always substantiated by their facts, another group says the other, again backed their facts.... Mrs Wickham has a valid point, as most of us are aware by now, pollution is everywhere, sadly affecting everything we eat... Guess which food has the most toxins in - plant life, that's right, vegetables and that includes organic... Mr A Green, North Sea Lane, Cleethorpes. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 8.11.03 FISHING FOR SUPPORT FOR BLINKERED VIEWS - How unfortunate for Pat Wickham that on the very day she tries to take the moral high ground on "over-fishing", we see in the national news the destruction of vast areas of rain forest to make way for soya production, the food she names as a fish substitute... There are plusses and minuses on both sides, but PW would have you believe that being veggie is the more saintly, conveniently missing out the rain forest destruction, nut intolerance and chemical content in vegetables. As with any fanatic, she is obviously very blinkered and only wishes to see the facts she chooses. Judging by the column inches taken up by PW on a vast array of subjects, it seems to me to be a case of Jack of all trades, master of none. Max Visholm, MFV Orient. (Full address supplied). (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 4.11.03 KEEP VEGGIE VIEWS TO YOURSELF - Pat Wickham had a letter published on October 27 deriding the millions of fish eaters in the world and, at the same time, telling us the joys of being a vegetarian. I am not a well-educated man but I know a few facts regarding fishing which Pat Wickham does not… So, Pat, please don't foist your cranky vegan ideas on us. By all means continue with what you believe - but keep it to yourself - Tony Chester, Hainton Avenue, Grimsby. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 27.10.03 IT'S LOOKING LIKE FISH HAS NOW HAD ITS CHIPS - In response to Max Visholm, you have to be codding that fish is harmful (Viewpoint, October 22). I wish with all my heart that raising concern over the world's polluted oceans is merely "scaremongering", but sadly this is not the case…. many people do have some mercury in their bodies and fish eating accounts for most of it. A 2000 Government study failed to detect any mercury in vegetarian diets… Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (letter)

7.1.04

PACK OF PREJUDICE
Cheshire Guardian series 7.1.04 MP Mike is no joker in the hunting pack by Joel Sawyer - WEAVER Vale MP Mike Hall has been included in a colourful pack of cards that attacks MPs who support a ban on hunting. Mr Hall is the Four of Diamonds in the so-called Pack of Prejudice, created and sold by pro-hunt campaigners the Countryside Alliance… (story in archive)
Cheshire Guardian/World/Star series 6.1.04 Pro-fox hunters mark MP's cards by Graham Bailey - PRO-FOX hunting campaigners have singled 53 MPs for special attention - including Weaver Vale's Mike Hall. The Countryside Alliance has published a set of playing cards depicting the top MPs who are in favour of a complete ban on hunting wild animals with trained dogs…. (story in archive)
Ham & High Express 2.1.04 Glenda crowned Queen of the anti-hunt brigade - Andrew Brightwell - GLENDA Jackson has laughed off a stunt naming her Queen of Spades in a pack of cards issued by pro-hunting campaigners.The cards – mimicking the pack issued by the US military of war criminals wanted in Iraq – features 54 MPs who have consistently voted in favour of measures to ban hunting.Others in the Countryside Alliance’s rogues gallery of “the UK’s most prejudiced MPs” include environment minister Alun Michael (The Joker) Tory MP Anne Widdecombe (Queen of Clubs) and Liberal leader Charles Kennedy (Jack of Hearts)... (story)
Reading Chronicle 31.12.03 MP's fury over playing card stunt By Rachel Whybrow - READING West MP Martin Salter has attacked the Countryside Alliance for a 'sinister and dis-tasteful' stunt listing him with 53 other anti-hunting MPs on a set of Iraqi-style playing cards.... (story)
Western Daily Press 27.12.03 BLAME LORDS FOR THE DELAY - I've just been listening to the MP Diana Organ on the radio. Asked about her view of being Queen Of Hearts in the hunting fraternity's Pack Of Prejudice, she pointed out that more 400 MPs voted for a ban on hunting and that they were from all parties, so she felt in good company... I was pleased to see Diana Organ saw the funny side of her position in the pack of cards. Pamela Dean Whiteshill Stroud. Gloucestershire (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 26.12.03 PLEASED TO SEE MPS ARE KINGS May I say how pleased I was to see that Ian Cawsey and Elliot Morley have been named by their opponents in the Countryside Alliance's 'house of cards' as Kings.... It is we, the people of this country, who will decide how wildlife is treated. Not people who have been over-privileged in too many ways, for far too long. Robin Downs Berkeley Street, Scunthorpe (letter)
(Carmarthen Journal) 24.12.03 CARD TRICK IS 'IN VERY POOR TASTE' - A Carmarthenshire MP has been named as one the most prejudiced MPs in Britain as part of a pro-hunting campaign. The Countryside Alliance is comparing anti-hunt MPs, including Carmarthen East and South Pembrokeshire MP Nick Ainger, to Iraqi war criminals... story)
Times 24.12.03 People with Andrew Pierce - Glenda Jackson and Widders are crowned by pro-hunting lobby - THE pro-hunting brigade has borrowed tactics used by the coalition forces in Iraq to track down Saddam Hussein and his henchmen by publishing its own pack of playing cards, listing leading opponents of hunting.... (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 22.12.03 ANTI-HUNT MP IS A REAL DIAMOND GIRL ... Now, just when you thought the war was over, a Derbyshire MP has been featured in a similar pack of cards. This particular hand, dubbed the Pack of Prejudice, depicts the 54 MPs who support a ban on hunting with dogs... Sparkling as the eight of diamonds is Amber Valley MP Judy Mallaber.... Ms Mallaber has been supported by Paul Leicester, of Derbyshire Fox Rescue, based in Knighton Street, North Wingfield.... (story)
Argus 22.12.03 Anti-hunt MPs appear on playing cards - Anti-hunt MPs, including three from Sussex, have had their mugshots used on a pack of playing cards by supporters of the sport. Sussex MPs Ivor Caplin, David Lepper and Norman Baker were chosen from hundreds of MPs who have voted to ban hunting with dogs to appear in the Countryside Alliance's "pack of prejudice".... (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 19.12.03 CITY MP DEALT POOR HAND BY PRO-HUNTERS - Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw has been depicted as a knave in a pack of cards distributed by the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance… Michael Moore, a master of the East Devon hunt, said: "These cards are targeting MPs who have voted for a ban - particularly those in a ministerial position. They are not taking evidence, it's just prejudice…" (story)
Western Daily Press 17.12.03 RAW DEAL FOR MPS CALLING FOR HUNT BAN - Former Sports Minister Tony Banks is the ace of hearts, ex-Home Office Minister Ann Widdecombe the queen of clubs and Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael a joker in an unusual new pack of cards. The Countryside Alliance yesterday launched what it calls the Pack of Prejudice, featuring the 54 MPs it claims have shown most support for a ban on hunting with dogs…. Forest of Dean Labour MP Diana Organ - the queen of hearts - could not understand why she was singled out. She said: "Many other South West MPs share the same view and are not being put forward." (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 17.12.03 MP hits out at Saddam comparison - EDINBURGH-BORN Labour MP Gordon Prentice has been amazed to find himself compared to captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance. They have produced a pack of 54 playing cards of their "most wanted" list of anti-blood sports MPs… He said: "I suppose someone has got to be the Ace of Spades but it is nevertheless slightly chilling to be compared with an evil tyrant."… (story)
BBC News Online 15.12.03 Anti-hunt cards condemned - Tory hunt supporter has turned his fire on a pro-hunting campaign group over a pack of cards featuring MPs…. AM Glyn Davies said the cards were a parody of the pack produced by the US Government to help troops identify members of the Iraqi regime… But the Countryside Alliance has denied there are any comparisons between the two sets of cards, saying theirs was a "light-hearted set" showing politicians who have backed a ban on hunting… (story)
BBC News Online 14.12.03 MP on pro-hunt 'most wanted' list - The Countryside Alliance has produced a deck of playing cards featuring 54 anti-hunting MPs as part of a campaign to prevent legislation banning the sport. Ann Widdecombe, Conservative MP for the Kent constituency of Maidstone and the Weald, is pictured in the so-called Pack of Prejudice as the Queen of Clubs… Miss Widdecombe, who has often voiced her opposition to hunting, said she was "relaxed" about being included in the £5 deck. She said: "I think the concept is very amusing. I hope they will be sporting enough to send me a pack for Christmas…. (story)
Shropshire Star 9.12.03 County MP on pro-hunt cards - A Gulf war style pack of playing cards featuring the "54 most prejudiced MPs" has been produced by the Countryside Alliance as part of its campaign to stop a ban on hunting… features Wrekin MP Peter Bradley, an opponent of hunting, as the Jack of Clubs… (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 8.12.03 KINGS IN LOBBY'S HOUSE OF CARDS - They may not be as dangerous as Saddam Hussein and friends, but two North Lincolnshire MPs have found their way on to a 'Most Wanted' pack of cards. Scunthorpe MP Elliot Morley and Ian Cawsey MP, who represents Brigg and Goole, have been selected to feature in the Countryside Alliance's 'Pack of Prejudice'... (story)
Worcester Evening News 4.12.03 Ace hand in pack's campaign to hunt - HUNT supporters have included Worcester's MP in a pack of President Bush-style playing cards it says features the "most prejudiced" people in the drive to ban foxhunting… Clare Rowson, the CA's regional director, said: "Michael Foster is motivated by personal prejudice - there is no case for banning hunting…." (story in archive)

Mid Sussex Times 7.1.04 HUNT BOOSTS HOSPICE - A 15-MILE sponsored ride brought Christmas cheer to St Peter and St James Hospice in the shape of a £1,500 cheque. Local landowners opened up their land for the cross-country gallop by members of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt at Plummers Plain…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 7.1.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS IN DEFIANT MOOD - A Leading Carmarthenshire huntsman believes a total ban on hunting will never be made law. Dai Jones, joint master of the Carmarthenshire Hunt told 400 strong crowd at Guildhall Square before the New Year's Day meet, that the anti-hunting Bill was doomed to fail… "I have never intentionally broken the law in my life, but if the ban was brought in I would," he said… (story)
Western Mail 5.1.04 Hunt master believes holiday support reflects increase in membership - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - HUNDREDS of people turned out in Carmarthen town centre on New Year's Day to show their support for the Carmarthenshire Hunt. A total of 51 horses followed the hounds as they worked the Fynnondrain area to the north of the town, where hunt master Dai Jones reported three kills. "One was injured, another was almost naked on its back from mange and the third was not healthy either," said Mr Jones... Even the smaller meets in places like Llangain, Laugharne, Llanboidy, Trelech and Blaenwaun were prompting local people to turn out in support.... (story)

Cambrian News 7.1.04 Crowds support hunt - THE Tivyside hunt in Newcastle Emlyn went ahead without any protests last week and with another bumper crowd participating. The annual event, which leaves from The Emlyn Arms car park every 1 January, drew roughly the same amount of participants as it did last year according to on-lookers, showing that the contentious issue of hunting still has support from the local community… (story in archive)

Durham Advertiser 5.1.04 Show of strength at Boxing Day hunt THOUSANDS of enthusiasts from around the region turned out in a show of strength to mark what could be the last Boxing Day hunts…. Deep divisions between supporters and opponents were reflected at the Braes of Derwent Hunt, in Lanchester, where a small group of anti-hunt demonstrators staged a peaceful protest…. South Durham Hunt, which met at Bishopton, was also watched by a peaceful crowd, with no protestors. (photo)

Bucks Free Press 7.1.04 Anger at ban by church - CONSERVATIONIST Judy Gilbert has said political correctness has gone mad after the church which banned her from holding a fundraising event in its grounds complained about being barred from putting up its posters in a library. Mrs Gilbert, from Working for Wildlife, was told she could not hold a table-top sale outside All Saints Church in Castle Street, High Wycombe, as her organisation has links with the League Against Cruel Sports which the church said was too political.... (story)

Western Daily Press 7.1.04 HUNT CROWD'S FINAL FLING? - The large numbers at Boxing Day meets are not surprising. When you hear something is about to go, people often rally to it. We went (as observers) to the one at Cirencester. I would question the figure of 6,000 in attendance…. Pamela Dean Whiteshill Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Northumberland Gazette (7.1.04) Ho,ho ho better than Tally ho - ‘TIS the season to be merry…. The Boxing Day meet will draw the usual ‘antis’ protest. Surely, at this season a bridge of goodwill could be built between the warring parties?... Riders could dismount and join antis on the grass and see who could down the most kilo tubs of Percy Special ice cream in ten minutes. After that hunters and antis would be too tired and emotional to care about small furry animals… Robert Handyside, 1 The Old School, Bamburgh. (letter)

South Cheshire Chronicle 7.1.04 ON Boxing Day I attended my first hunt. We gathered at a small country pub just outside Northwich… Although things passed off peacefully, the air was heavy with menace and many of the hunt supporters made it clear how they would deal with anti-hunt protesters if given a free rein…. I did feel genuine pity for the horses and hounds that were being used just as cynically as the farm workers who were bussed in to 'protect' the huntsmen and women…. BARRY EVANSON (address supplied) (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 7.1.04 EMINENT MEN WHO WERE NOT CRUEL HAVE HUNTED - There have been many magistrates and clergymen in the past who have hunted and they cannot be considered cruel by any stretch of the imagination. These include… The hunts were formed some time after the natural predators - apart from dogs - of these animals became extinct in these islands. There must be widespread opposition to any proposed law to ban it. W Lewis, Rackenford (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 7.1.04 IT'S NOT RIGHT TO EXPLOIT ANIMALS IN NAME OF SPORT - Well, here we go into 2004 with the hunting issue still unresolved and the hunting fraternity still unable to grasp the reality of the situation, if the quotes provided by your report on the Boxing Day meet of the East Devon Hunt at Woodbury Common are anything to go by… Dr John Pamment, Clyst Heath, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 7.1.04 MAYBE PRINCE CHARLES SHOULD GO WAY OF HUNTING - Elsie van der Steen, Cecilia Road, Paignton (letter)
Western Morning News 6.1.04 Prince's privilege... Elsie van der Steen, Paignton (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 29.12.03 GET RID OF HUNTING AND HEAD OF STATE .... Perhaps the only means of ridding this country of the ancient barbaric practice of killing for fun, is to rid ourselves of the tradition of being subjected to an unelected head of state, which could be influenced by people such as Camilla Parker Bowles. ELSIE VAN DER STEEN Cecilia Road Paignton (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 7.1.04 Boxing Day police hunt - Why the Chief Constable of West Mercia Police thinks it acceptable to provide six officers and a riot bus to police the annual Boxing Day hunt is beyond my comprehension… Only a full hunting ban will end the argument once and for all, allowing police and politicians to get on with more important issues. Mrs Doyle, Bridgnorth Road, Wombourne (letter)

Scotsman 7.1.04 Gamekeepers warn of ecological disaster if pest snares are banned - JAMES REYNOLDS ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT - BANNING the use of snares for pest control in Scotland would create an "ecological disaster" in the countryside and further threaten endangered species, the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (SGA) has warned. The organisation last night urged restraint ahead of a debate in the Scottish Parliament today on the Nature Conservation Bill after the Green party called for the use of snares to be made illegal north of the Border... (story)

Western Daily Press 7.1.04 BROCK OF AGES What is all the fuss about badgers and ancient monuments on Salisbury Plain? Those people who claim the animals are damaging historic treasures, such as Stonehenge and prehistoric burial sites, are missing the point… It is man who builds artifical constructions to scar the Earth…. nature will surely take its course in the end. Name and address supplied (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 7.1.04 Research can be misleading - REGARDING Mr Thomas Bromley's comments on animal experiments (LET, January 1). He seems to assume people concerned for animal welfare are activists…. Citizens who show concern for animals will always be accused of lacking compassion for their fellow man, which is far from the truth. SHEILA BRENNAN (Mrs), Bombay Street, Blackburn (letter in archive)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 31.12.03 Patients have right to benefit from research - SHEILA Brennan (LET, December 26) is very loud in attacking medical research, but is remarkably quiet when it boils down to telling us what we should use instead of animals to give hope to people with serious illnesses.... THOMAS BROMLEY, SIMR Executive Secretary, PO Box 504, Dunstable, Bedfordshire. (letter in archive)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 26.12.03 Animal testing driven by cash - THANK you for drawing attention to laboratory animals.. Also, the ban on hunting with dogs is put on hold again and again. When will this blood sport be banned? SHEILA BRENNAN (Mrs), Bombay Street, Blackburn (letter in archive)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 7.1.04 Our group of animal lovers are overjoyed at the "Animal Aid" and "Anti-Vivisection Society" calling for a stop to the suggestion of building a Primate Experiment facility at Cambridge University…. Derek Wright, Westbury Street, Bradford 4. (letter in archive)

Daily Post 7.1.04 Merger saves animal charity By Sam Lister Daily Post Staff - THE future of a centre devoted to abandoned animals in Wirral has been secured after a charity merger. Financial struggles at Wallasey RSPCA have led to it teaming up with the more affluent Chester branch…. (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 7.1.04 Boost for campaign over horse trading - AN MP has won a boost for her campaign to protect the welfare of horses earmarked for export to the Continent… Colne Valley Labour MP Kali Mountford, who took up the issue with minister for Nature Conservation and Fisheries Ben Bradshaw, is optimistic after getting his reply…. (story)

Bromsgrove Advertiser 7.1.04 Exotic birds are exploited - This week saw National Bird Day on Monday - when it was hoped people would take some time to appreciate the wild birds who fly freely outside our windows… We shouldn't trade exotic birds like commodities and cage them like prisoners… Kevin White, Redditch (letter in archive)

6.1.04

Hillingdon Times 6.1.04 Vow to stop hunts By Rachel Sharp - MP for Hayes & Harlington, John McDonnell, has vowed to continue his fight for a ban on hunting… (story)

Birmingham Post 6.1.04 Anti-hunt group in attendance challenge By Romee Latif, Birmingham Post - A leading anti-bloodsport group has accused the Countryside Alliance of exaggerating the number of hunt supporters who attended Boxing Day meets. Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) believe the group intentionally inflated the figures... According to POWA, the CA appeared to have derived their national total 275,000 from a sample of 36 meets whereas POWA used 46 "independent" sources. Guesstimating that "hundreds" means on average 350 and "several hundred" was around 650, the total for these 46 hunts is roughly 20,500, giving an average of 446 per meet, according to POWA.... Examples highlighted by POWA include claims by the CA that up to 1,750 hunt supporters followed the hunt at Croome in Worcestershire whereas local media reported just 600 in attendance. At the Worcestershire hunt the CA claimed more than 1,500 turned up but newspapers stated that hunters and protesters together numbered just "hundreds"... (story)

Irish Examiner 6.1.04 A cornered fox can’t win the underground war - TERRIER work is probably the cruellest aspect of foxhunting. The hunt terrier men are called in when a fox goes to ground.... The terrier is bred not to give way the fox will do anything to escape the man-created terror scene. Fox dig-outs can take many hours. Both terrier and fox suffer appalling injuries or death... All digging out of wild animals should be outlawed. Terrier men should stay at home and dig the garden. John Tierney, Campaigns Director, Association of Hunt Saboteurs, PO Box 4734, Dublin 1. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 6.1.04 DON'T CONDEMN HUNTS, THEY ARE ACTING LAWFULLY - I sincerely hope Dr John Pamment took up the offer from the East Devon Hunt for readers to join its Boxing Day meet, Points of view, December 23. This would have certainly done him the world of good. Perhaps he would have then seen how wrong he has been in his persistent condemnation of ordinary decent people.... Mr G Paddon, Pathfinder Village, Tedburn St Mary (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.12.03 GO TO THE HUNT, YOU MAY SEE A FOX BEING DUG OUT Michael Moore, secretary of the East Devon Hunt, has invited Echo readers to join the hunt on Boxing Day... Presumably, those Echo readers who take up the invitation to follow the hunt will be free to attend and view the digging out and killing of a fox, should one go to earth during the course of the day... Dr John Pamment, Clyst Heath, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 6.1.04 LONG LIVE THE FREEDOM TO SPEAK OUT - Your front-page picture (WMN, November 3) was of one of the pro-hunt demonstrations which took place all over the country the day before, called to demonstrate defiance of any ban which might be imposed by a House of Commons, which is out of touch with the people it is supposed to serve. These are the faces of the kind of decent, law-abiding citizens who used to be in the majority in our society. Even these, it seems, have been driven to break the law by this Government... Their fight is no longer about hunting, it is about the survival of the rights of decent British citizens to conduct their own lives, free of fanaticism, enforcement, and fear of a bullying government. Tess Nash Mawgan, Helston (letter)

Western Morning News 6.1.04 Prejudice prevails - DURING the considerably lengthy debate on the hunting issue a substantial number of knowledgeable participants here endeavoured to enlighten the uninitiated in the art of venerie... The repetitious content of the letters of the League Against Cruel Sports, other such groups and a few individuals, as portrayed in the WMN (December 9) are confirmation of their total lack of knowledge and inability to perceive of anything other than what they have learned parrot fashion from some obscure publication which serves their purpose... W T Sweet, Mawgan Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 6.1.04 Patronising attitude - I FIND the notion that people who oppose hunting are "townies" who don't understand country life, both an idealistic view from people in favour of the hunt and also a patronising attitude towards those who live in the city.... Fox hunting is not just a sport, it is a part of some communities' lives and does generate incomes. But I believe it to be not acceptable behaviour for anyone who has a true respect for the value of another living creatures being, its life.... S C Staynings, Mount Hawke, Truro (letter)

Western Morning News 6.1.04 PRO-HUNT LOBBY NOT IN THE REAL WORL - Iain Harris's claim that he will sue any anti-hunt campaigners who use the word "cruel" to describe hunters is ludicrous... the Green Party hopes that anti-hunting MPs and individuals will take Tony Banks' attitude and will not let militants bully them into submission. Iain Harris's threat suggests that the pro-hunters truly are far-removed from the real world. Dr Mike Woodin, Green Party Principal Speaker London (letter)

Western Morning News 6.1.04 Blair loses trust - Charles Kennedy says: "I want to concentrate my New Year message on a critical issue: the profound disillusion many people feel towards MPs and the institution of Parliament...." Tony Blair has lost the trust of the electorate and made a mockery of our democratic system of government. In my opinion he has deceived people over Iraq, has been dictatorial over university fees and Foundation Hospitals, and for six years he has procrastinated and prevaricated in enacting legislation to ban hunting for sport.... John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 6.1.05 Other side of the debate on hunting - AM writing to contradict Katherine Watson's letter (Viewpoint, December 30) stating that it is time hunting was made illegal.... Most people think that hunters are barbarians and only go hunting to kill foxes. Believe me, we do not. We go for the action, speed and thrill of it... At the Woodland Pytchley Hunt meet on Boxing Day there was only one protester and he was in no way verbally or physically abused... REBECCA aged 14,Kettering (full name and address supplied) (letter)

( Crediton, Culm Valley & Tiverton Gazette) 6.1.04 WHO'S GAME FOR THE BIG WEST COUNTRY FAIR? Fans of country and field sports can plan a day out at the West Country Game Fair at the Royal Bath and West Showground in March. The fair is in its eighth year and regularly attracts thousands of visitors who are passionate about traditional country pursuits. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) will be there offering coaching and advice… Also taking place that day will be the Hunt Pack Parade featuring hounds from local hunts… (story)

News Shopper 6.1.04 Fox no worse than cats or dogs - I agree with P Hibbard (Letters, December 17). Leave foxes alone... Shut up, put up or maybe move to a high rise flat where the poor old foxes won't bother you and nor will anybody else if you are lucky. Get a life and stop trying to put an end to the lives of innocent wild animals that are only trying to exist alongside us. Who are you to decide what is allowed to live and die? Name and address supplied (letter)
News Shopper 12.12.03 Leave poor old foxes alone - LIKE Carole Runcorn (Letters, November 26) I find it disgusting so many people want to kill foxes,one reason being they dig up their garden bulbs. How pathetic… Perhaps fox haters would care to read My Year with the Foxes by Gunther Schuman, who swayed the fox hunters in his country not to kill them and what he wrote could have been me in my garden…. P Hibbard, Cloudesley Road, Slade Green (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 6.1.04 Farmers hit by hare coursing incidents - HARE coursers are continuing to blight the lives of landowners and farmers in East Cambridgeshire. Over the festive period, police had to deal with a large number of illegal hare-coursing incidents on farmland around Ely. Insp Richard Douce, Ely sector commander, today revealed that up to 30 vehicles were congregating on land between Pymoor and Burwell at any one time.... (story)

BUAV HEALTH WITH HUMANITY GUIDE LETTER
Lakeland Echo 6.1.04 Dress up cruelty-free - Wendy Higgins Campaigns Director BUAV (letter)
Western Morning News 24.12.03 Animals need compassion Wendy Higgins Campaigns Director BUAV 16a Crane Grove London N7 8NN (letter)
North East Evening Gazette 23.12.03 Christmas cruelty WENDY HIGGINS, Campaigns Director, BUAV, 16a Crane Grove, London N7 8NN. (letter)
Chester Chronicle 19.12.03 EVERY year thousands of animals around the world… WENDY HIGGINS, Campaigns Director BUAV 16a Crane Grove London N7 8NN (letter)
Surrey Mirror 18.12.03 Oppose this cruel testing on animals Wendy Higgins campaigns director BUAV Crane Grove London (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 17.12.03 EVERY year thousands of animals around the world, such as hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs, still suffer and die in cruel and pointless cosmetics testing… If you send us a small donation with your book request, we'll also send you a free copy of our Health With Humanity Charities Guide to help you support medical research this Christmas, but without supporting animal testing. WENDY HIGGINSCampaigns DirectorBUAV16a Crane GroveLondon N7 8NN (letter)

The Sentinel 6.1.04 RECOGNISE THE RIGHT EXPERTS - I agree with Mr Hancock (Letters, December 31) that we should recognise medical experts, but Professor Blakemore is not one of them. Scientists who advocate animal testing are only interested in external recognition and a fat salary.... MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)
The Sentinel 31.12.03 PROFESSOR HAS EARNED REWARD - I write regarding professor Colin Blakemore, head of Medical Research UK. I gather he has protested at his lack of recognition in the honours list, which I believe was because of some bureaucratic objection to his support for medical science working with animal research... in the past few years my wife has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. It is surprising how a diagnosis of that nature helps one to focus one's mind - particularly when the professor is likely to be one of our main hopes for a cure. Let's recognise the man and maybe it could spur him and his colleagues on to greater discoveries. DARRELL HANCOCK Blurton (letter)

ANIMAL AID GSK LETTER
Torquay Herald Express 6.1.04 POINTLESS RESEARCH - CLAUDIA TARRY, Animal Aid, Tonbridge (letter)
Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 7.1.04 Animal tests are a waste - CLAUDIA TARRY, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid The Old Chapel 1 Bradford Street Tonbridge TN9 1AW (letter)
Cheddar Valley Gazette 23.12.03 FALLACY OF ANIMAL TESTS - Claudia Tarry, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, 1 Bradford Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1AW (letter)
Yorkshire Post 22.12.03 Drug testing on animals that leads to dangerous results - Claudia Tarry, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge. (letter)
East Grinstead Courier 19.12.03 DATA FROM TESTS THAT PROVE FATAL - Claudia Tarry Campaigns officer Animal Aid Bradford Street Tonbridge (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 19.12.03 End testing on animals CLAUDIA TARRY, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent. (letter in archive)
Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 18.12.03 Animal tests don't work - THE recent admission by drug giant GlaxoSmithKline's vice president of genetics that 90 per cent of their drugs only work in half of people is a tragic consequence of the continued use of animal tests for assessing the safety and effectiveness of drugs…. Claudia Tarry, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent. (letter)

Western Morning News 6.1.04 Direct action needed - THE Government has said it has no intentions of maintaining the ban on the appalling live export trade of horses, ponies and donkeys to Europe for slaughter.... The letters, petitions and the pleadings have all been ignored by the British Government so perhaps now is the time for decent British people to stand up and take more direct action! Neil Kernick, Newton Abbot (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.1.04 DON'T CULL PIGEONS When is Trowbridge Council going to be open and honest with the public about its plan to kill pigeons?... I appeal to it to please look seriously at the methods they have been advised to use and not to adopt discredited old methods. Mike Lillington Address supplied (letter)

Daily Record 6.1.04 CRUEL FATE OF BATTERY HENS - RABBIE Burns stood in an Ayrshire field and composed a poem about a mouse whose wee house he had destroyed with the plough... I wonder what Burns would write about the fearful battery house in which thousands of hensareimprisoned.... Marie Larder, Stewarton, Ayrshire. (letter)

5.1.04

Worcester Evening News 5.1.04 Hunting ban law might not happen in 2004 - MP - THERE is no guarantee legislation will be in place to ban fox hunting by next year, according to Worcester MP Mike Foster. However he is still confident that hunting will be eventually banned... However, Bob Brierley, of the Worcestershire Hunt, maintained the legislation was unjust and would not be passed. He said the Boxing Day hunt was a huge success and was especially proud of the support huntsmen received from the public as riders left the Raven Hotel, Droitwich.... However, Mr Brierley expressed some concern over the tactics used by hunt protesters. During the Boxing Day hunt, loud whistling and jeering led to many horses becoming unsettled and two female riders needed assistance from the marshals to calm their horses down.... (story in archive)

Durham Advertiser 5.1.04 Show of strength at Boxing Day hunt THOUSANDS of enthusiasts from around the region turned out in a show of strength to mark what could be the last Boxing Day hunts…. Deep divisions between supporters and opponents were reflected at the Braes of Derwent Hunt, in Lanchester, where a small group of anti-hunt demonstrators staged a peaceful protest…. South Durham Hunt, which met at Bishopton, was also watched by a peaceful crowd, with no protestors. (photo)

Exeter Express & Echo 5.1.04 HUNTERS SHOW DEFIANCE WITH EVENT FOR KIDS BY PAUL MATTHEWS - A show of defiance was made by the hunting lobby at the weekend when they gathered for a children's meet outside Exeter. The next generation of the East Devon hunt was paraded at Rockbeare Manor as a symbol of the hunters' determination to continue in the face of a proposed ban on the sport.... East Devon hunt leader Michael Moore, 65, said it was important for the children to be involved in the future of hunting.... (story)

Weymouth Echo 5.1.04 FOXES AND CORGIS FEEL SAME PAIN - Recently one of the Queen's corgis was killed by a dog owned by Princess Anne.... On Boxing Day in Blandford the Portman Hunt celebrated the ritual death of a wild dog - the fox. I was particularly saddened to see that among those who came to join in the celebrations were mothers with young children.... PETER IRVINE, Blandford (letter in archive)

Weymouth Echo 5.1.04 SEND ME YOUR VIEWS FOR HUNTING BAN - I AM seeking help from Echo readers. In the discussion over the first Hunting Bill I voted for the suggested `middle way' and in the latest Bill I voted against the proposed ban. During the first Bill I received a small number of `anti' letters. Before the latest vote this autumn I received more than 100 letters in favour of fox hunting, and not a single one against... Before the debate begins again I would be interested to hear the arguments in favour of a ban, preferably from people who live in villages... EARL OF SANDWICH Beaminster (Please reply to House of Lords, London SW1A OPW) (letter in archive)

Ananova 5.1.04 Vinnie Jones shooting prize 'rethink' - A magazine's prize for a child of a day's pigeon-shooting with Vinnie Jones is being reviewed as he has had his firearms licence revoked. Shooting Times says it is considering what to do about the offer - which is the second prize in a competition - made before the court case last month in which Jones was convicted of an air-rage attack…. The campaign group Animal Aid said Shooting Times should already have been aware of Jones's conviction in 1998 of an assault on his neighbour and causing criminal damage… (story)

Mirror 5.1.04 A BLOODY DISGRACE - Fury as royals carry on shooting - By Aidan Mcgurran - THE Royal Family outraged anti-blood sport campaigners with their fifth shooting expedition since Christmas at the weekend. Prince Philip, 82, and his youngest son Prince Edward were among a party blasting pheasant out of the sky.... Yesterday Animal Aid turned more fire on Philip and Edward, 39. Its director Andrew Tyler said: "There seems to be no end to the Royal Family's lust for blood..." (story)

Western Morning News 5.1.04 PHEASANT SHOOTING FACES CRISIS - Martin Hesp clearly had an enjoyable and tasty time when he attended a Christmas Eve pheasant shoot in Somerset... one thing he learned is that there are problems within shooting... I hope over the delicious lunch of pan-fried pheasant breasts his hosts explained that many shoots have to provide departing guests with a brace of oven-ready birds, for it seems many of our heroic wax-jacketed shooters are squeamish of the admittedly yucky task of plucking and gutting what they have just so bravely shot.... Theo Hopkins Lifton, Devon (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.1.04 MARKETS OF CRUELTY - I write to you in great sorrow and anger. On Saturday evening I watched the Channel five news on which they were showing the animal markets in China. The callous way that the poor animals were being abused by the Chinese was unbelievable and very distressing. I cannot sleep because of what I saw... Mr R Williams and Mrs D A Head Ross-on-Wye Herefordshire (letter)

3.1.04

Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 3.1.04 Hunt plea - WANSTEAD MP Harry Cohen has reiterated his determination to see a ban on hunting with dogs… (story)

Telegraph 3.1.04 Pity poor Exmoor if the 'antis' win By Rachel Johnson - As a second-home owner who doesn't hunt, I am, as you might imagine, pretty low down the food chain here on Exmoor (whither I have repaired after the excesses of a London Christmas). My father's family has lived for half a century on a hill farm in the Exe Valley, a couple of miles downriver from Exford, on the edge of the moor, where the Devon and Somerset Staghounds meet.... this week I went into Dulverton to inquire about the latest survey, carried out by all the relevant county and district councils plus the Countryside Agency and the National Park, into the impact of a ban on staghunting in greater Exmoor and the Quantocks... The clincher is not so much the economic impact of a hunting ban but the conservation and, yes, the animal welfare case... In short, the conservationists' consensus is that red deer survive because of the hunt and not in spite of it - which means that, paradoxically, the largest threat to the survival of a robust red deer population on Exmoor and the Quantocks is probably represented by the so-called animal welfare or animal rights organisations themselves (led by the RSPCA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the League Against Cruel Sports).... So, while I unfashionably do not myself hunt, I will defend to my dying day the right to do it ... (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 3.1.04 Message to the meet: we'll be back for years to come - THE Zetland Hunt gathered on the green outside the Stanwick Arms at Aldbrough St John for its Boxing Day meet watched by a crowd of people from Aldbrough and surrounding villages. All the riders, young and old, male and female - and their horses - were exquisitely groomed. Some had added festive touches such as reindeer antlers or tinsel bows.... (story in archive)

2.1.04

Western Morning News 2.1.04 FOXHOUNDS KEEP CAMERAS CLICKING AWAY - The picture postcard Somerset village of Dunster reverberated to the baying of hounds for the first time in years yesterday as the West Somerset Foxhounds congregated by the famous ancient Yarn Market in the famous ancient main street, under the famous ancient castle.... (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 2.1.04 COUNTRYSIDE: Hunt master's call to the Government - THE joint master of the Fitzwilliam Hunt has called on the Government to listen to the people and leave fox hunting alone. George Bowyer spoke out following the annual New Year's Day hunt, which started near the Haycock Hotel, in Wansford, near Peterborough.... (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 2.1.04 Hunters defiant at New Year meet By Patrick Lowman - HUNT followers sent another message of defiance to the Government and protesters as they gathered for a New Year's Day meet. About 40 riders and as many followers gathered at Manor Farm in Horseheath, near Haverhill, yestetday to take part in the annual New Year's Day event organised by the Thurlow Hunt.... (story)

Shropshire Star 2.1.04 Variety of colourful events welcomes new year - From Morris dancing to fox hunting, carriage driving to running off a hangover, Shropshire people braved the rain to enjoy some traditional New Year's Day entertainment.... A good crowd turned out to cheer on the Tanatside Hunt for its annual New Year's Day meet, this year at the Bradford Arms at Knockin, near Oswestry.... (story)

Hexham Courant 2.1.04 HUNTING BRIGADE TURNS OUT IN FORCE FOR BOXING DAY - HUNDREDS of hunt supporters in Tynedale took part in Boxing Day meets across the district. Local hunts reported increased numbers of riders at meets, with at least one Tynedale hunt more than doubling its number of followers.... Joint master of the Tynedale, Richard Tyacke, said: "Corbridge square was absolutely chocker, it was a very good turnout. The square is full every year, and it always will be.".... The Haydon Hunt, which met at the Railway Inn, Fourstones, had 100 supporters and 35 to 40 mounted, well up on previous years according to joint master Andrew Gale... (story)

Buckingham Advertiser 2.1.04 BOXING DAY HUNTS MEET - THE BOXING Day hunting meet in Winslow was hailed a success by organisers following a large turnout of riders and spectators. More than 1,000 people are estimated to have watched the start of the event on Boxing Day morning, which was attended by more than 100 horses and riders... Miss Paine said the Bicester Hunt is glad to be able to keep the meet in Winslow, and hopes it can continue to use the field for future Boxing Day meets.... (story)

Ledbury Reporter 2.1.04 Hunt roared on by record 3,000 crowd - A record number of riders and the biggest crowd of supporters in decades turned out for Ledbury Hunt's Boxing Day meet. Hunt spokesman Donald Haden said: "In the 36 years that I've been hunting with these hounds I've never seen such a large crowd. There must have been at least 3,000 people on foot and they all gave us a tremendous welcome." Mr Haden said there were no anti-hunt protesters to be seen in Ledbury High Street.... (story in archive)

Herts & Essex Observer 2.1.04 Increased crowds at Boxing Day hunts - The traditional Boxing Day hunts in both Herts and Essex were well attended, with huge crowds of people showing their support as controversy continues to surround the pastime. Cars lined the country roads for a mile in all directions when around 1,000 supporters gathered at Washall Green near Brent Pelham for the meet of the Puckeridge Hunt on Friday morning.... The story was much the same at Matching Green when an estimated 500 to 700 people watched as 53 riders from the Essex Hunt met before setting out for a day's hunting. There were only around two protesters present.... (story may only be on website on the week)

Stratford Herald 2.1.04 Record turnout at Boxing Day hunt - AS the future of fox hunting hangs in the balance, the Warwickshire Hunt reported record numbers of followers at its Boxing Day meet at Upton House, writes Clare Semke. Over 1,000 people on foot and 110 riders turned out to show their support for the event despite increasing opposition to the sport.... (photo) (story may only be on website for a week)

Kent/East Sussex/East Grinstead Courier/Sevenoaks Chronicle 2.1.04 BOXING DAY MEET DRAWS THE CROWDS - The Sport was "fast and furious" during the Boxing Day hunt meet at Penshurst ?? with nearly 1,000 people turning out for the most important day in the fox hunting calendar. Members of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent hunt estimated numbers were up by about 200 on last year... There were just half a dozen protestors and a low-key police presence at Penshurst, where riders ranged in age from just eight to nearly 80 and hounds stood by the horses, enjoying attention from young children... (story)
Kent/East Sussex/East Grinstead Courier/Sevenoaks Chronicle 2.1.04 SUPPORTERS COME OUT TO BACK HUNT - The Sport was 'fast and furious' during the Boxing Day fox hunting meet... (story)
Kent/East Sussex/East Grinstead Courier/Sevenoaks Chronicle 2.1.04 HUNT ENJOYS ITS BOXING DAY MEET - Huntsmen and women from Old Surrey and Burstow and West Kent spotted only five anti hunt protesters at the traditional Boxing Day meet on Friday. However, Nathan Brown from the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: "There were certainly more than five." There were 10 protesters at Penshurst but a further 20 were in the woods, he said. The 90 horses from the Felbridge-based hunt and 150 foot followers who took part did so without a hitch.... There are now between 500 and 600 members in the Old Surrey and Burstow and West Kent hunt including supporters and riders... (story)

Kent/Sussex/East Grinstead Courier 2.1.04 HUNTING DEBATE - Hundreds of people turned out at the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt meet in Penshurst on Boxing Day. Most were ordinary people, with the number of foot followers greatly outnumbering the riders.... The meet of the East Kent Hunt at Elham was attended by Michael Howard MP.... James Shepherd, Grove Hill Gardens, Tunbridge Wells (letter)

Sevenoaks Chronicle 2.1.04 KEEP KILL OUT OF THE HUNT - Your correspondent Simon Russell (Chronicle letters, December 18) thinks that huntsmen help to control foxes. Foxes, like other wild creatures, are controlled mostly by the availability of food and places to breed…. Three out of four people in this country want to end hunting with dogs, although only one in 50 think this a priority, which is not surprising… Rather than flouting public opinion, would it not be better if huntsmen were to find some way of retaining the traditions, the social aspect, the spectacle and the opportunity of a good ride, without the final kill. If this is not possible many will think that it is all about watching hounds rip a terrified animal to pieces. Hopefully it is about more than that. Martin Coath, Sevenoaks (letter)

Kent/Sussex/East Grinstead Courier 2.1.04 HUNTING DEBATE - If live animal hunting is as "unique" a way of riding a horse, as a West Sussex hunt spokeswoman claimed in a radio bulletin recently, why are so few riders these days turning out to follow the hounds?... The turn-out at meets is often low, with the Essex and Suffolk Hunt last New Year's Eve all down to 10 riders. Why are so many horse riders turning to drag-hunting, and why are the demonstrators turning out in force again at Kent, Southdown and Eridge and other Boxing Day meets this year?... Katherine Watson, Rushton Drive, Bramhall, Cheshire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 2.1.04 GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND ASSAULTED BY TRADITION - Echo readers will recall the pre-Christmas invitation by the East Devon Hunt to observe the traditional Boxing Day meet on Woodbury Common... I would admit to having felt to be something of an interloper, as I came with a degree of dissent in my mind... I left the scene, my mind full of images. I had been an intruder but a little more enlightened than before.... I felt sorry for the fox, for he was about to be killed, not because he was a part of man's food chain but in the name of sport, for that was clear for all to witness. I wanted no part in the killing of a wild creature. For my part, I will not be attending any other hunt, for I feel my Woodbury Common has been assaulted - sadly by tradition. Jonathan Ruscoe, Strete Ralegh, Whimple (letter)

Guardian 2.1.04 In praise of rats - Kill a rat? Is this the Guardian or Blood Sports Daily... Alex McFarlane, York (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 2.1.04 WANTON CRUELTY - I was jolly pleased at the report (December 15) that according to a "whistleblower" at Whitehall, a scientist is being excluded from the New Year's Honour list because of his "controversial" work on vivisection. At last we have some sense!... nothing can justify such wanton cruelty. LOUISE PIDDINGTON, Welsford Avenue, Plymouth (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 2.1.04 NO EXCUSE FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY We lived in Spain for 11 years and were horrified by the cruelty to animals. In fact, it was one of the reasons we came back to England.... So you can understand my shock at the number of animal cruelty cases that are printed in the Post in the year we have been back.... Ann Browne, Oldland Common. (letter)

1.1.04

Coventry Evening Telegraph 1.1.04 Hunting enthusiasts claim record support - Warwickshire hunting enthusiasts claim record numbers of supporters turned out to what could be the last Boxing Day hunts. More than 3,000 people attended four Boxing Day hunts across Warwickshire on foot and horseback, with 1,750 turning up at the Warwickshire meet in Banbury, 700 joining in the Atherstone hunt in Market Bosworth and 300 each supporting the North Warwickshire and Warwickshire Beagles... (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 1.1.04 `We will be here again' - About 85 hunt protestors turned out for the annual Boxing Day meets at Lacock and Tedworth, a reminder to supporters that 2004 will be a crucial year in determining the future of the sport. But the hunters, and thousands of their supporters, were not put off by the protesters. The riders of the Avon Vale Foxhunt have been meeting in the National Trust village of Lacock since the Second World War and this year it is estimated around 4,000 supporters their biggest crowd yet turned out to wave them off. Several hundred supporters turned out for the smaller Tedworth Boxing Day Hunt, which sets off from outside the Bouverie Hall in the centre of Pewsey.... Jonathan Seed, master and huntsman with the Avon Vale Hunt, said he and his fellow huntsmen remain confident that they will continue to hunt from Lacock, for many years to come.... David Thompson, the League's spokesman, said: "We were encouraged by Tony Blair's comments after the Queen's Speech..." League protestor, Hazel Amore, 48, said she was proud to be among the protestors at the Boxing Day meet.... (story in archive)

Cambridge Evening News 1.1.04 Poorly supported - From M J Michalak, Swaffham Road, Burwell - AS NO anti-hunt campaigner was given the chance to air their view in your story "Hundreds turn out for hunt" (News, December 27), could I have the chance to reply. If you take two to three hundred people off the 800 quoted as sheer fantasy, we end up with some 500 souls. In a rural catchment area of several hundred thousand, and as we are constantly being told the countryside is behind hunting to a man, the support that turned up was nothing to shout about.... If I have to fight alone I will fight to the last breath against this barbarity... (letter)

Yorkshire Post 1.1.04 From: WB Thompson, Park House Green, Harrogate. I see that the huntsmen are blowing their own trumpets again. Once more they are claiming that many thousands are supporting them, and turning out to cheer them on. Given the record of hunts and statistics, I would take this so-called information with a very large pinch of salt.... (letter)

Impartial Reporter 1.1.04 Hunting and shooting work in favour of the countryside - In reply to L. O’Kane, Drumquin, 18th December, 2003, I too feel very strongly about hunting and shooting only from a different perspective. Can L. O’Kane research hunting and shooting before making discriminative and hurtful remarks on our oldest of ways of life. People who put this sort of point of view forward obviously know nothing about the countryside and do this out of a selfish lust to make everyone else do as they see fit.... RODNEY COALTER, Fivemiletown. (Hunter, shooter, fisherman, animal lover and conservationist). (letter)
Impartial Reporter 18.12.03 Hunters should consider another outdoor hobby to prevent cruelty - L. O’KANE Drumquin, Co. Tyrone (letter)
Fermanagh Herald 17.12.03 Farmer says 'No' to animal cruelty - I have never written to a newspaper before but I feel compelled to write no to be a voice for the voiceless. Hunting and shooting animals is cruel… To go out and kill an animal for entertainment is morally wrong. There can be no justification for these blood sports in today's society… L O'Kane, Drumquin, (letter in archive)

Impartial Reporter 1.1.04 Coursing banned in Northern Ireland: a Christmas present for hares! - It’s nice to hear a bit of good news at Christmas... I refer to the recent decision of Angela Smith M.P., Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister, to impose a one-year ban all hare coursing activities in the province... Coursing gangs have savagely persecuted the Irish Hare since the British Army organised Ireland’s first official hare coursing event in 1813... The sight of frightened hares being hounded to exhaustion or death in wired enclosures is unlikely ever again to darken the breathtaking scenic beauty of North Eastern Ireland.... John Fitzgerald, Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports. (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 1.1.04 FOX HATERS - I Agree with the lady who wrote about urban foxes (Evening Telegraph, December 19). What cruel people she must have living in her area, putting thorned branches in their gardens to stop foxes coming in... Name and address supplied (letter)