January 2015

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(*)- added since last update


31.1.15

Telegraph 31.1.15 We have to unmask the anti-hunt thugs - It's not acceptable for a small group of hardliners to terrorise a community that is engaged in a lawful pursuit By Clive Aslet - Last weekend a member of the public, going about a lawful pursuit in the Wiltshire countryside, was battered unconscious by masked thugs wielding iron bars…. Only a dozen of the 300 hunts that ride out each week are now “sabbed”, but the tactics of saboteurs have become more extreme. These black-clad individuals may be likened to the anarchists who batten on to marches in central London in order to smash windows and create mayhem. In some cases they may be the same people…. The police are investigating the Wiltshire incident. Their work has been made harder by the wearing of masks. How do these potentially dangerous men and women get away with concealing their identities from the police and anyone else? Police officers can require them to unmask, but the process is cumbersome… (story)

Northumberland Gazette 31.1.15 Another bumper year for shooting in the North East by Ben O’Connell - The shooting industry is celebrating another great year as the 2014/15 shooting season closes tomorrow, with the last shoots taking place today…. Adrian Blackmore, director of shooting for the Countryside Alliance, said: “Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to turn out across the UK today to mark the end of the season … (story)

Fife Herald News 31.1.15 Upgrade for north east Fife mobile ‘not spot’ - The north east Fife village of Ceres is set to benefit from a special upgrade to its mobile phone coverage. The village is one of 100 specially selected for improvements by Vodafone. Scottish Conservative and Unionist General Election candidate Huw Bell said he began working with local people and businesses after hearing about the initiative via the Scottish Countryside Alliance, which campaigns on rural issues…. (story)

Western Morning News 31.1.15 Environment Secretary Liz Truss claims badger cull figures hit by sabotage and criminal activity By WMNJBayley - Environment Secretary Liz Truss has blamed criminal activity and sabotage for the failure of a pilot badger cull to hit its targets…. (story)
Western Daily Press 29.1.15 'Sabotage' and 'criminal activity' caused failure of pilot badger cull - Environment Secretary Liz Truss has blamed criminal activity and sabotage for the failure of a pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire to hit its targets… (story)

Coventry Telegraph 31.1.15 Coventry campaigner Jill Phipps remembered 20 years after her death By Mary Griffin - Friends and family of Jill Phipps are remembering the campaigner 20 years after she was killed at Coventry Airport. Jill, 31, from Hillfields, was demonstrating against the export of veal calves to Europe when she was crushed beneath a 50-tonne lorry on February 1 1995… (story)

30.1.15

ShootingUK 30.1.15 Norwegian parliament to vote next week on repealing lead shot ban - Lucy King - Norway’s politicians are preparing to vote on a repeal of the country’s lead shot ban for use in shotguns. The Norwegian Hunters’ Organisation – the Jegernes Interesseorganisasjon (JI) – has welcomed the news and is hopeful that the ballot, which will take place on 3 February, will result in a partial repeal of the prohibition… (story)

29.1.15

Norwich Evening News 29.1.15 Jack gets a lift from Waveney Harriers hunting show - Vanessa Britton - Waveney Harriers, for the second year running, ran a popular hunting show at Broads Equestrian Centre in Barnby. Classes were open to horses and ponies that have hunted three times with any hunt in the current or previous season. The show was well supported by local businesses who sponsored the classes and St Felix School provided vouchers to every winner for a free schooling round on their cross country course. Every winner was also given a free day’s hunting… (story)

Westmorland Gazette 29.1.15 Plans to cull red deer at Leighton Moss sparks row between RSPB reserve and animal rights campaigners by Katie Dickinson - ANIMAL rights campaigners yesterday attempted to disrupt a controversial cull of red deer at a north Lancashire nature reserve by trying to put themselves in the line of fire. Protestors gathered at Leighton Moss before first light in a bid to halt the shooting. But they were blocked from going to Jackson Hide by reserve staff and heard two shots ring out. Campaigner Marianne Birkby said: “It was still pitch black – it was about 7.10am when the first shot was fired. “I tried to push past them - I was shining my torch above the reeds and shouting at them to stop shooting, but they were blocking the way.”… (story)

Western Morning News 29.1.15 If we ignore the needs of wildlife our own existence is under threat - As animals face increasing pressures from mankind, Pauline Kidner rejects the idea that opposition to culling animals can be attributed to ‘Disneyfication’… (story)

York Press 29.1.15 Millions of male chicks are gassed - THANK you for printing my letter in The Press of January 19, but you made an error…. It should have read: “We also gas millions of male chicks because we don’t need them”. Mr D Fillingham, The Crossway, York (letter)
York PressYork Press 19.1.15 Speaking up for the maligned Mr Fox - IN response to Ken Holmes letter of January 3, I never said foxes eat humans… we are the champions of mass slaughter of anything that lives on this planet… D Fillingham, The Crossway, York. (letter)

28.1.15

Farming Life 28.1.15 Route Hunt meet at Ballyversal - On Saturday 24th January, despite the freezing conditions in the morning, 17 Route hunt members and visitors met at the home of Lesley and Freddie McDowell at Ballyversal, Coleraine…. (story)

27.1.15

Horse & Hound 27.1.15 Spectacular hunting photo goes viral - This photograph of Ben Hitchcott departing in spectacular style from his ride while out with the Mid-Surrey Farmers’ Draghounds went viral when it was put online on Sunday (25 January). But is it real or has it been edited?... The photographer Ginni Beard, who works across the South-East, has been taken back by the reaction to the picture. “I am sorry to say it was just a joke photo,” she told H&H. “I had no idea that it would be shared by anyone except Ben…. (story)
Western Daily Press 25.1.15 Is it real? Amazing pic of unseated huntsman stirs Twitter By TristanCork - It appears this particular huntsman is about to come down to Earth with a bump. This picture has sparked something of a debate on Twitter after going viral among Britain's close-knit community of hunting folk. It was apparently taken by Ginni Beard… "It is two photos taken a minute apart!" confirmed Ginni. "The rider, who had fallen off, said he would jump off the fence after his horse, and 'Could I put him back on?' So I did… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.1.15 In two columns of page 43 of Saturday's Western Daily Press, barrister Noel Sweeney contrived to put his arguments against badger culling without once mentioning the reason why English Heritage (did he really mean Natural England?) could and indeed should issue licences for badger culling, namely disease control... With a total absence of evidence to support the claim Mr Sweeney avers that "the reason behind the cull is twofold. The Government has made it a political issue and it is a ruse to re-introduce fox-hunting."... John Tuck Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire (story)

Vice.com 27.1.15 Animal Rights Activists Protested Britain's Limping Annual Greyhound Racing Industry Awards By Adam Forrest, Photos: Chris Bethell - Award ceremonies are weirdly popular these days… And so to the Greyhound of the Year Awards 2015. The dog owners, trainers and bookmakers' big night got off to a bad start outside London's Lancaster Hotel on Sunday night. As they made their way inside, attendees were forced to endure an angry mob of around 100 people chanting "Scum!", "Shame! Shame! Shame on you!" and even one or two people shouting, "Murderers!"… (story)

Morning Advertiser 27.1.15 Countryside alliance backs MEPs' calls for detailed processed meat labelling By Daniel Woolfson - The Countryside Alliance has welcomed MEPs’ calls for country of origin labeling for meat as an ingredient in processed foods made on Wednesday 21 January.... (story)

Independent 27.1.15 Nothing daft about abolition of zoos - Ian Birrell (26 January) criticises the Green Party’s “daft policies”, such as “the abolition of zoos”. I am disappointed that Mr Birrell views this policy as daft; zoos are pernicious places that degrade and oppress animals for the sake of our pleasure.... Harley Miller, London SW19 (letter)

26.1.15

LUNESDALE CASE THROWN OUT
Westmorland Gazette 26.1.15 Lunesdale huntsmen cleared of fox hunting at Ingleton following trial - THE chairman of the Lunesdale Hunt and its huntsman have been cleared of fox hunting after an all-day trial at York Magistrates’ Court…. (story)
Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 26.1.15 “Illegal foxhunting” trial collapses - A TRIAL of two men facing charges related to alleged illegal foxhunting has collapsed. The hearing involving key members of the Lunesdale Foxhounds at York Magistrates’ Court. Paul Whitehead (53), of Sedbergh, was accused of hunting a wild mammal with dogs on 18th February, 2014, on Holly Platt Farm, Ingleton…. (story)
Horse & Hound 22.1.15 Hunting case collapses on first day of trial - Amy Mathieson - A court case against two members of the Lunesdale hunt collapsed yesterday (Wednesday 21 January) — just one day into a scheduled two-day trial…. (story)
Western Daily Press 22.1.15 Hunt ban 'unworkable' as another case collapses despite video of hounds chasing a fox By TristanCork - Hunt campaigners have slammed the ban on hunting as unworkable after another prosecution of an organised hunt was dropped at the start of the trial. The Countryside Alliance said the case against two members of the Lunesdale Hunt, which collapsed before magistrates in York before any evidence was even heard, should never have been prosecuted…. (story)
Craven Herald 22.1.15 Lunesdale Hunt men cleared on fox hunting charges by Megi Rychlikova - THE chairman of the Lunesdale Hunt and its huntsman have been cleared of fox hunting after an all-day trial at York Magistrates' Court. The League Against Cruel Sports claimed it had filmed huntsman Paul Whitehead, 53, directing the hunt's hounds as they pursued one or two foxes on farmland atIngleton on February 18 last year. But after viewing the League's video and hearing from witnesses who took part in its covert surveillance of the hunt, the magistrates decided there was no evidence that either Mr Whitehead, or Terence Potter, chairman of Lunesdale Foxhounds Ltd, were present on the farmland on the day when fox hunting was alleged to have taken place and there was insufficient evidence that hunting was being carried out…. (story)

Cambridge News 26.1.15 Cambridge University defends experiments depriving rats of oxygen - Cambridge University has defended its practice of artificially depriving rats of oxygen, following criticism from an animal rights organisation. Animal Aid has slammed the use of experiments which see rats confined in low-oxygen ‘hypoxia chambers’ for 14 days, before thery were killed for analysis… (story)

Matlock Mercury 26.1.15 Animal rights group protests outside Matlock shop - Animal rights activists who protested outside a Matlock shop that sells vintage fur at the weekend have warned they may return. Members of Derby Animal Rights (DAR) gathered outside Spinderella, in Dale Road, on Saturday to protest against the shop’s sale of vintage fur clothing…. David Sommerville, of DAR, said the group had found peaceful protests to be an effective way of stopping shops from selling fur in the past….

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25.1.15

Mail on Sunday 25.1.15 RSPCA set to close TV's Animal Hospital as donations dry up: Clinic made famous by Rolf Harris to shut after struggling with negative profile - The RSPCA is to close the animal hospital made famous in the BBC TV show of the same name presented by disgraced broadcaster Rolf Harris… Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said: ‘This is in an inevitable consequence of pursuing a politicised agenda that has alienated so many of its supporters. It has a choice where to cut. Closures suggest it is again prioritising politics and prosecution over caring for animals on the front line.’… (story)

Worcester News 25.1.15 You can help to save greyhounds - s a national greyhound protection organisation we are full of praise for John Williams in his effort to walk 60 kilometres with 60 dogs to raise funds for Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue ("Dog-lover marks his 60th birthday with challenge", Worcester News, January 13th). EGLR do excellent work, but sadly they, and the many other greyhound rescues throughout the country, are only able to save a small percentage of the thousands of dogs discarded by the racing industry every year… Tony Peters Media & Public Education Officer Action for Greyhounds (letter)

Worcester News 25.1.15 Stop these giant broiler units by turning veggie - I share the delight of the Wychavon Parishes Action Group that plans to build a huge intensive chicken farm at Upton Snodsbury have been rejected… Yet another reason to go vegetarian or, better still, vegan! Lily Michaels Evesham (letter)

Independent on Sunday 25.1.15 John May (Letters, 18 January) says we should consume grass-fed cows because grain-fed cows are bad for the planet. But, surely, we must first of all acknowledge that animals are sentient beings like us…. Mark Richards Brighton, East Sussex (letter)

24.1.15

INTERVIEW WITH NOEL SWEENEY
Western Daily Press 24.1.15 Badger cull, the hunting lobby and their Conservative friends - Barrister Noel Sweeney argues the legal case against the badger cull… The reason behind the cull is two-fold. The Government has made it a political issue and it is a ruse to reintroduce fox-hunting. The reason lies hidden in the 2014 review by Stephen Wooler which opponents of the RSPCA hoped would destroy the organisation when in truth the reverse has happened. Wooler identified the covert machinations of the hunting acolytes and their political allies. This example illuminates that truth: "The Heythrop Hunt had been a subject for attention by hunt monitors long before the RSPCA became involved. This led to a police investigation and a prosecution arising…. (story)
Bristol Post 23.1.15 Speaker's corner: Killing of badgers can never be justified - UNNECESSARY suffering" is the core legal term that governs our approach towards animal welfare. While we can and do cause animals to suffer cruelty and pain by our treatment of them, there is a limit to what we can lawfully do… there are constant requests for the complete secret report commissioned by Defra to be disclosed. Thus far all requests for that report, paid for by taxpayers, have been denied. Why would Liz Truss fail to reveal those findings?... Truss is the truss for Dave's desire to first kill the badgers and then kill the deer and foxes and stags. Her promotion as countryside tsar proves that badgers are being used as a political subterfuge for the nascent rise of the 'nasty party'… (story)

Shropshire Star 24.1.15 Broadcaster Pippa Greenwood to return to Shrewsbury Flower Show - Broadcaster Pippa Greenwood is to return to this year’s Shrewsbury Flower Show… Pippa actively supports many charities but most of her time is spent assisting HART Wildlife Rescue Centre, Toxoplasmosis Trust, Child Line and The League against Cruel Sports, with their fundraising events…. (story)

Western Daily Press 24.1.15 Roger Evans on gamekeeping and bad backs - There was a time in my life that I used to meet gamekeepers on a regular basis…. (story)

Scotsman 24.1.15 Animal rights campaigners anger over deer cull by ILONA AMOS - PLANS to use gunmen to control rising deer populations in parts of Scotland have sparked a row between forest managers and animal rights campaigners…. The council said the mass shooting is necessary to safeguard woodland areas from further damage by wild deer…. (story)
Dundee Courier 23.1.15 Animal rights groups demand Perthshire deer cull rethink By Jamie Buchan - Plans for a mass deer cull across Perthshire have angered animal rights groups…. Celebrity-backed organisation Animal Aid, known for its high-profile protests against events like the Grand National, is urging Perth and Kinross Council to rethink its strategy. Their call has been backed by another activist group, Scotland For Animals, which has asked the local authority to look for an alternative solution…. (story)

Cambridge News 24.1.15 Thousands sign petition against AstraZeneca's plans for animal research lab in Cambridge - An online petition calling for a proposed animal research lab in Cambridge to be dropped has attracted more than 4,000 supporters. A group of animal rights activists has launched the campaign to oppose pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca’s plans for an animal testing lab on the Biomedical Campus in the city…. Rachel Mathai, spokeswoman for CAP, said: “We are deeply moved by the messages of support we have been receiving and by how hard people are working to help us…. (story)

23.1.15

ARAN ANTI FUR DEMONSTRATIONS>
Limerick Leader 23.1.15 ‘Fur is murder’: demonstration takes place in Limerick by Anne Sheridan - “FUR is murder”, chanted animal rights activists on the streets of the city this week, as they urged people to be aware that even fur labelled as fake could in fact be real. John Carmody, and other members of ARAN (Animal rights action network) carried replicas of skinned aniamls on Cruises Street and O’Connell Street to highlight their message…. Another protestor Pat Moran, from Monaleen and a member of Limerick Animal Welfare, said: “The fur industry would have you fooled…(story)
Belfast Telegraph 22.1.15 Anti-fur activists shock Belfast shoppers with skinned foxes By Kirsten Elder - Anti-fur campaigners took to the streets of Belfast today to educate the public about “the truth” about wearing animal fur. All dressed in black and carrying dead bodies of skinned, bloody foxes, a dozen of activists from the ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTION NETWORK (ARAN) walked round the city centre confronting shoppers…. (story)

22.1.15

Western Morning News 22.1.15 Impressed by the hunt's good manners - Following on from the letter by F Cleaves of Par about a local hunt, I recently came across a hunt whilst travelling along a back lane and I have to say I found their manners impeccable. The red-coated chaps immediately called the hounds to one side to let me pass and not one hound disobeyed…. the red-coated chap doffed his hat and wished me a good morning, if only people had the manners of this “hunt mob”. by B Eagle Launceston (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.1.15 What is the truth behind claims over badger cull? - In yesterday's Western Daily Press, Philip Bowern's article suggested that the attitudes of anti-badger cull groups was softening. Here Pauline Kidner the founder of the Secret World Wildlife Rescue charity, denies this is the case… (story)

Western Mail 22.1.15 Cows suffer most in the dairy industry - With all the recent attention to falling dairy prices focused on farmers, let’s not forget that it’s cows who are suffering the most in the dairy industry…. Sara Wise People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), London (letter)

21.1.15

Worcester News 21.1.15 Let's kill this horse-death industry - All those who care about the protection of horses will hope the Bill that gives landowners more power to deal with fly-grazing will soon become law… The Control of Horses Bill is backed by the RSPCA and other animal welfare groups… Another tragic thing that has happened to horses in recent years is that, during the past five seasons, 29 of them have died or been put to death at Worcester Racecourse, after suffering appalling injuries, such as broken legs and necks… Members of the public can help put an end to this horrific situation by not attending or betting on horse racing… Peter Talbot Worcester (letter)

Western Morning News 21.1.15 BIG INTERVIEW: Chief Executive of the Badger Trust on farming, politics and why the cull is wrong By WMNPBowern - Dominic Dyer is a controversial figure for many in livestock farming because of his role at the Badger Trust. He told Philip Bowern why he believes he is right… (story)
Western Daily Press 21.1.15 Dominic Dyer: Science backs GM, but not the badger cull -Brian May's fight against the badger cull has been largely brushed off by Defra and the NFU. But Dominic Dyer's background in government and farming – as well as a well-oiled media machine – has made him harder to shake off. Philip Bowern meets the loudest critic of the culls… (story)

Farming UK 21.1.15 Government commitment to badger culling - Environment Secretary Liz Truss used her speech at the Oxford Farming Conference to reiterate her commitment to eradicating bovine TB in cattle by use of badger culls. “Let me be clear, we will not walk away. We will do whatever it takes to eradicate this disease.”… Claire Bass, Executive Director for Humane Society International/UK said: “We are extremely disappointed that once again the Chief Veterinary Officer has chosen to endorse what is widely considered within the scientific community to be a cruel and costly failure of a badger cull…. (story)

20.1.15

IndependentWestern Daily Press 20.1.15 Cirencester's Royal Agricultural University Beagles mob hunt sabs in shocking video By TristanCork - The principal of the Royal Agricultural University has promised to ‘deal with rigorously’ its students who embarked on a foul-mouthed tirade against hunt saboteurs who tried to stop what they claimed was illegal hunting… The Hunt Saboteurs Association said their members interrupted the hunt, known as the RAC Beagles, after they met at the Holford Arms in Knockdown, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, on Saturday January 10. The anti-hunt activists said the beagles were chasing a hare in the fields behind the pub, but the hunt packed up within a few minutes, and then the saboteurs’ vehicles were surrounded. A video posted by the Hunt Saboteurs Association shows hunt followers threatening saboteurs inside their vehicles, chanting and showing dead rabbits… (story)
IndependentWilts & Gloucestershire Standard 20.1.15 Police investigating claims by hunt saboteurs after alleged confrontation in Tetbury with hunt group linked to Cirencester’s Royal Agricultural University by Michael Purton, Assistant Editor - POLICE are investigating extraordinary claims from hunt saboteurs following an alleged confrontation with a hunt group linked to Cirencester’s Royal Agricultural University (RAU). Members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) travelled to a meeting of the Royal Agricultural College (RAC) Beagles at the Holford Arms in Knockdown near Tetbury on January 10…. HSA alleges that one man produced a dead rabbit and a foxes brush and waved them at its members, and that when the saboteurs tried to leave the area in their vehicles they were blocked in…. (story)

IndependentWestern Morning News 20.1.15 Politicians target the rural voters - Much has been written about the fight for the agricultural votes particular here in the Westcountry where Exeter’s Ben Bradshaw is Labour’s only light visible in the area… A return to hunting and the further development of game shooting and with the abolition of the Agriculture Wages Board and the removal of many employee working rights, countryside labour will be so much cheaper…. Deception and deflection are all that the hunting and shooting fraternity has ever offered in place of justification for their killing programmes as the shooters enjoy their countryside fairground…. by Graham Forsyth Chard, Somerset (letter)

IndependentGloucester Citizen 20.1.15 'We must try to live alongside the animals', says Forest of Dean campaigner - Plans to fence off a Lydney play area from boar should not be stopped as more effort should be taken to live alongside the animals, a wildlife campaigner has said…. Scott Passmore, from A Wildlife with Animals, said similar projects have been a success in the Forest of Dean and is frustrated culling is the preferred option for controlling boar…. (story)

19.1.15

IndependentWestern Morning News 19.1.15 Wrong to close road for meeting of hunt - I was under the impression that public roads were closed to traffic for several reasons – one being for road works and the filling in of pot holes etc, or for there having been a serious accident. Never have I been aware of a road being closed just for the purpose of a hunt meet as reported in the WMN… by F Cleaves Par (letter)

Western Morning News 19.1.15 Shooting group urges election candidates to show support for the sport before May poll By WMNPBowern - Country sports may be an election side issue. But pressure groups on both sides are making sure they get some attention. Philip Bowern reports… First out of the blocks is the British Association for Shooting and Conservation who have already launched a campaign to ensure that MPs and general election candidates recognise the value of shooting as they consider the issue in the run up to polling day. Independent research, carried out for BASC and other pro-shooting organisations, show the sport generates £2 billion for the economy every year… (story)

Berwick Advertiser 19.1.15 Filling stations to reap benefit of fuel rebate - The European Commission has approved the rollout of rural fuel rebates to 17 areas of the UK, including parts of Northumberland…. Countryside Alliance executive chairman, Barney White-Spunner said: “We are delighted that the Government is listening to the views of rural people and welcome this attempt to make petrol and diesel more affordable in some of the worst affected communities…. (story)

RED MEAT CAMPAIGN
Exeter Express & Echo 19.1.15 MP Neil Parish hits out at animal rights group, PETA, who called his red meat campaign ‘out of touch’ - Mid Devon MP Neil Parish has responded to accusations by animal rights group PETA that his campaign for a red meat month is “out of touch” and “irresponsible”… Mr Parish told PETA: “I read with interest your argument that consuming red meat is ‘out of touch’ and ‘irresponsible’. I am sure the millions of ordinary Britons who have enjoyed roast beef or a shepherd’s pie will be surprised to learn that they are ‘out of touch’ and with good reason.”… (story)
Western Morning News 19.1.15 Animal rights group says red meat month would be 'unfair' to animals, the poor and the sick - MP Neil Parish's call for a red meat month to balance celebrations for vegans and vegetarians, drew an angry response from the animal rights group PETA. Mr Parish, a farmer and the Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton, dismissed their letter to him - describing him as 'out of touch' - and pointed out that millions of Britons enjoy red meat but there is no formal event to mark its importance to the economy and the countryside…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 6.1.15 PETA say MP Neil Parish’s call for more promotion of red meat is ‘grossly irresponsible’ - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has said a Mid Devon MP’s call for more promotion of red meat eating is not only “out of touch but also grossly irresponsible”. The charity have written a letter to Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish asking him to think again about his support for the meat industry… (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 5.1.15 PETA say MP should consider vegan alternatives - AN ANIMAL charity says a Devon MP’s call for more promotion of red meat eating is not only “out of touch but also grossly irresponsible”. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have written a letter to Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish asking him to think again about his support for the meat industry…. (story)

18.1.15

Mail 18.1.15 The British shooting star hunted by sick Twitter trolls: Markswoman says she's treated 'like a terrorist' by online bullies By SARAH OLIVER FOR MAIL ON SUNDAY - The threat was graphic and unequivocal: 'Crossing my fingers for a 'hunting' accident in 2014, hoping we'll find your tiny brain blown off by a shotgun, dripping down rocks covered by your slutty hair, ahh makes me smile just thinking about it!' There were others labelling Rachel Carrie, one of Britain's top female game shooters, a psychopath who kills for kicks and suggesting she turn her gun on herself. Perhaps most disturbing were the ones designed to make her abandon her lifelong commitment to hunting by directly threatening her family…. (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 18.1.15 Badger group calls on Gloucestershire Crime Commissioner to deal with incidents of harassment during cull by Stuart Rust - A GROUP against badger shooting is calling upon Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure those responsible for harassing Wounded Badger Patrollers during last year’s cull are brought to justice… Jeanne Berry of Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting said: “We are calling upon the PCC to ensure that the remaining 12 outstanding instances of harassment and intimidation committed against those opposing the cull are brought to a conclusion as it is not clear from the figures produced by the police that this is the case… (story)

17.1.15

Spectator 17.1.15 The sheer joy of hunting - Camilla Swift - It’s the simple pleasure of being out in the field, watching the hounds do what they do best, and discovering the pure beauty of the sport… I only hunted once before the ban on foxhunting came into force.. Today, I’m out hunting every weekend, and any other day that I possibly can — and I’m far from the only one.. (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 17.1.15 PHOTOS: Portman Hunt at Hanford - The Portman Hunt was at Hanford School this morning, with thirteen of the pupils joining the ride that left late morning. (story)

DECAPITATED FOX FACEBOOK ROW
Hartlepool Mail 17.1.15 ‘I cut off the fox’s head... but I didn’t kill it’ – Hartlepool man admits sick Facebook post as police take away firearms - A HUNTER has admitted putting the head of a fox on a spike and posting the picture on Facebook – but denied he killed the animal. Hartlepool man Mark Lowery claims he found the dead animal by the side of the road near Hart Village – but carried out the act and his sick boast to taunt anti-hunt campaigners…. (story)

Northern Echo 16.1.15 Police seize guns from man who posted graphic decapitated fox head picture to taunt campaigners by Alexa Copeland - POLICE have seized a number of guns from the North-East man who posted a decapitated fox head on his Facebook page… The man lives in the Hartlepool area and a Cleveland Police spokeswoman said today (Friday, January 16) that their enquiries are continuing… (story)
Mirror 16.1.15 Hunt supporter defends decapitated fox Facebook picture and claims it exposed 'vicious' animal rights campaigners By Jeremy Armstrong - Pest controller Mark Lowery, 44, claimed he had found the vixen dead by the roadside and posted the image to provoke anti-hunt protesters… (story)
Mirror 15.1.15 Decapitated fox photo posted by hunt supporter with sinister 'I keep my promises' message By Jeremy Armstrong - A vile image of a decapitated fox has been posted by a hunting supporter with the sinister warning: “I keep my promises.” The man, using the name Mark Lowery on the shocking Facebook post, issued threats which enraged animal lovers. He uploaded the image of the fox’s head with the message ‘one ban = one fox”. Thousands have called for him to be removed from Facebook… (story)
Northern Echo 15.1.15 Man posts picture of fox's head on spike to Facebook with message to anti-hunt campaigners (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) - ANIMAL lovers have launched a campaign to have a North-East man kicked off Facebook after he posted a disturbing photograph of a decapitated fox’s head on his page…. (story)
Western Morning News 15.1.15 Fox beheaded in row with anti-hunting campaigners - An investigation is under way after an image of a fox’s head on a spike was posted on Facebook as part of a row with anti-hunting campaigners…. (story)

IndependentWestern Morning News 17.1.15 Slavery comparison is incomprehensible - How Len Short of Torquay (WMN January 12) can compare slavery with hunting is beyond me…. by Colin Richey Tiverton (letter)
Western Morning News 12.1.15 Act should stand as hunting is cruel - Colin Richey claims that he is neutral on hunting with hounds but thinks it is time to “dump” the Hunting Act (repeal it) (WMN, January 3).… Yes, hunting is a traditional country pursuit (blood sport) and so was slavery a traditional activity of over 250 years, condoned by Parliament, the Church and the Monarchy, and also cruel and eventually banned. It hasn’t been repealed – nor should hunting! by Len Short Torquay (letter)
Western Morning News 5.1.15 Repeal useless Hunting Act - With the General Election just around the corner one of the most contentious issues concerning politicians will be whether to repeal the Hunting Act. I have no axe to grind one way or another but I do, think it is time to dump this ridiculous piece of legislation into the dustbin of history…. by Colin Richey Tiverton (letter)

Western Morning News 17.1.15 RSPB cleared after 'dictatorship' claim by Sir Ian Botham - The RSPB has been cleared of accusations it had breached Charity Commission guidelines after two high-profile complaints. The wildlife organisation was alleged to have misled donors over what percentage of its income it spends on conservation, of intimidating shooting groups and operating like a “dictatorship”…. In a letter, the Charity Commission told the RSPB to amend its web site to reflect the fact that 90% of its “net income” is used for conservation…. (story)

Herald 17.1.15 Concerning implications of case involving jailing of gamekeeper - I AGREE wholeheartedly that those who illegally persecute and destroy our endangered species should suffer the full weight of the law ("Conviction that is welcome" , Herald Editorial, January 13). However the case of George Mutch appears to have some very concerning implications. It would appear that the RSPB put a recording device on private land without the knowledge or permission of the landowner… On whose legal authority was the recording device so placed? Were the RSPB acting without legal authority? If they had legal authority how far does this authority extend? Can they place snooping devices in our gardens?... David Stubley, 22 Templeton Crescent, Prestwick
LIKE most of my RSPB colleagues I was extremely pleased when gamekeeper George Mutch was jailed for the destruction of a goshawk ("Gamekeeper first in UK to be jailed for killing bird of prey", The Herald, January 13), but have we jailed the right person?... The people who should have been in court are the owners of the Jersey company, but of course our law cannot get a hold of them because the company is based in Jersey… AC Kilpatrick, No 1 Holding, Glasgow Road, Longcroft, Stirlingshire (letters)

Western Morning News 16.1.15 New deal puts pheasants shot in the Westcountry on discount supermarket shelves By WMNPBowern - A Westcountry company has struck a deal with supermarket discounters Aldi to put pheasants from shoots across the region and beyond onto the shelves. A whole British pheasant, plucked and gutted, is priced at £3.99. The birds, marketed under the Brookfield Game brand, went on sale this week… (story)

16.1.15

Guardian 16.1.15 Grouse-shooting and the future of hen harriers - It is wonderful to read that finally one of these people has been sent to jail… Name and address withheld
The Countryside Alliance agrees with much said by Patrick Barkham in his article about the plight of the hen harrier (The long read, 13 January). We too want to see many more hen harriers in the English countryside. However, poor breeding rates and low numbers in England cannot be solely the fault of illegal persecution… Adrian Blackmore
I take exception to Stephen Mawle’s description of anti-grouse-shoot campaigners as having “a hypocritical distaste for those who take pleasure in killing wild birds”… Austen Lynch Garstang, Lancashire
As long as grouse-shooting is permitted to take place, birds of prey and huge numbers of other wild animals will continue to be – legally and illegally – persecuted and killed… Kevin Mutimer London
Stephen Murphy’s final comments (penultimate paragraph) were particularly incisive but the other “elephant in the room” was never broached – human access to our wild places… David Newton Hope Valley, Derbyshire
Whatever the arguments on either side of the hen harrier issue the overriding factor in the current situation is a legal one. Too many grouse-moor owners and their gamekeepers seem to think that the law protecting birds of prey does not apply to them… Graham Whitby Portesham, Dorset (letters)

Gloucestershire Echo 16.1.15 Protesters and farmers clash over badger cull incidents after Gloucestershire Police releases figures By Michael_Yong - Protesters and farmers have clashed over the badger cull in Gloucestershire after police revealed there were dozens of altercations during last year’s operation…. Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS) group said they were subjected to harassment….(story)

Nottingham Post 16.1.15 Vegetarian and vegan delights at new Bluebird Cafe in Sherwood By LynetteP - One of them lived in Nottingham, the other in Dubai and veganism brought them together. Kate Antill was a flight attendant living in the Middle East when she decided to take being vegetarian to a new level. But as she went online and scrolled through Adrian Bhagat’s vegan recipe website, created at his home in Nottingham, she had little idea that it would lead to a relationship and a brand new life on the other side of the world… (story)

15.1.15

Worcester News 15.1.15 Hunting is a war on nature - I would like to re-iterate a letter sent in by Jane Hargraves of Stourport, Worcester News, Thursday, January 8, she's correct in everything she says about the Worcestershire Hunt…. The Worcestershire Hunt came thundering across the fields, with as many as 40 beagles, some worn out, some on their last legs…. MR L PRESLREY Bransford (letter)
Worcester News 10.1.15 The sums about hunting deaths don't add up - The contribution to the hunting debate by Jane Hargreaves (Worcester News 3rd January) is completely out of touch with reality. She alleges over the next 100 years half a million hounds will be "put to death"… To put down the massive number she claims would mean disposing of at least five thousand or one third of all hounds every year. .. (letter)
Worcester News 3.1.15 Hunting ban needs strengthening - So Ben Skilbeck, of the Worcestershire Hunt, hopes that "in 100 years these hounds will still meet in Pershore and the horses will be as well cared for as they are today" ("Thousands gather for traditional hunt meet", WN, December 27th). It's interesting that "master huntsman" Skilbeck didn't mention the care of the hounds and I'm wondering if that's because he is well aware that many thousands of these dogs are put to death by hunts in the UK every year…. Jane Hargreaves, Stourport (letter)

Western Morning News 15.1.15 What townies just don't understand - Following Philip Bowern’s report on the attitude of the wider public on managing/controlling wildlife, it is obvious that there are “townies” who view the countryside as an idyllic playground for lovely little furry animals… Diseased badgers must be culled – not only to avoid risk of infecting cows, but for their own welfare. If only we could have TV cameras in badger setts, showing TB-diseased animals suffering a painful and lingering death, it might make a change to public attitude!.. The right of the individual to choose is very important, and we must respect the views of those opposed to field-sports – but they don’t have to get involved, and allow the great majority of country people to enjoy their sport – which helps the rural economy and environment. by John Peake Dorchester (letter)

Western Morning News 15.1.15 Strongly opposed to shooting birds - Philip Bowern’s article (WMN, January 12) on shooting animals for sport claimed that: “All three main political parties, plus the majority of those that might make an impression at the election, including UKIP, have pledged their support for shooting”. Although the Liberal Democrats have not included the issue of shooting or hunting in their pre-election manifesto many of my colleagues and I staunchly oppose the breeding of birds for the purpose of shooting them out of the sky…. by Adrian Sanders MP Liberal Democrat, Torbay (letter)

Stroud News 15.1.15 Badger cull: Police reveal incident statistics - GLOUCESTERSHIRE Police have now released statistics about the incidents we dealt with in and around the designated badger cull area in Gloucestershire last year. In the six weeks to October 20, 2014 there were 180 incident reports from members of the public - 16 direct from anti-cull/ protector community, 12 from individuals who wished to remain anonymous and 152 further calls from residents within the affected areas. … (story)

Hucknall Dispatch 15.1.15 Animal rights’ group is being set up by Katie Butler - An animal rights’ group is being set up covering Mansfield, Ashfield and Chesterfield…. Local resident and animal campaigner, David Sommerville, is helping set up the group. He said: “Animals need a voice and that is what we plan to represent… (story)

14.1.15

Western Morning News 14.1.15 Government wants to make UK dairy farmers 'best in the world' By Philip Bowern - Environment Secretary Liz Truss claimed the Government was standing up for hard-pressed dairy farmers when she addressed last week’s Oxford Farming Conference…. The Countryside Alliance welcomed moves to improve British food labelling, but urged the Secretary of State to go further… (story)

Western Daily Press 14.1.15 Chris Rundle - More woes at First Milk – and they are unlikely to be the last. Days after slashing its milk prices ruthlessly in a bid to balance the books the troubled co-op had to resort to more financial legerdemain to try to conjure its way out of a cashflow crisis… In the same week as a driver dies on the M4 as a result of an accident involving a wild boar the Princess Royal reveals that one of the animals has dispatched a much-prized Gloucestershire Old Spot boar on her estate. Time we got to serious grips with the wild boar problem before it gets totally out of hand… Yet whenever culling is discussed up pops the 'animal rights' mafia – among their number (unsurprisingly) some of the leading all-purpose agitators from the anti-badger cull movement – declaring that they will oppose any such operation to the point, it even seems, of fundamentalist martyrdom, given their announced intention of standing between a targeted boar and the barrel of the marksman's gun… (story)

13.1.15

Western Morning News 13.1.15 Still time for free vote on hunting - The Countryside Alliance members hope for movement on the hunting ban in the next Parliament. Surely they cannot rely on a Conservative promise?... The UKIP idea of county by county referenda on this matter would enable the voters to decide as they should for such a non-party matter. by Graham Calderwood Prospective UKIP candidate for St Ives (letter)

Spectator 13.1.15 Labour’s latest plan: tackling the deficit through gun licence fees - Camilla Swift - Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie was on the Daily Politics earlier today, outlining Labour’s economic plans to tackle the deficit, ahead of this afternoon’s motion on the ‘Charter for Budget Responsibility’... So, exactly what tax rises and spending cuts do Labour have up their sleeves to tackle the deficit? Well, from what Chris Leslie had to say, there are two: the 50p tax rate, and increasing the price of gun licences… (story)

Stroud Life 13.1.15 Not enough evidence to convict the badger - THE trial of the badger, the jury is out: question to consider… Conclusion, no court in the country could convict the badger of this evidence - Malcolm D Lake (letter)

Western Morning News 13.1.15 Bovine TB figures just don't add up - Lies, damn lies and badger statistics! Roger Clemens of Wadebridge seems a bit upset at my previous letter’s conclusions… Ring vaccination of edge areas is crass stupidity, and it’s a disgrace there is £25 million of EU money for this farce. by Martin Hancox Stroud (letter)

12.1.15

Spectator 12.1.15 Why Labour needs to step back from the hunting debate and look at the facts - Kate Hoey - The public can always tell an election is near when the photo opportunities start to increase. Just such an occasion occurred on the 10th anniversary of the Hunting Act in November, when the Parliamentary Labour Party office invited MPs to have a photograph taken, ‘with a large fox holding up a sign saying “Back the ban”.’ Needless to say, I did not attend…. Despite claims from anti-hunting groups that this issue is a major factor when it comes to voting, we know that hunting, and indeed most animal welfare matters, hardly register at all in a general election. The economy, education, employment, the NHS and taxes will always be the deciding factors. While it may feel good to score a few political points on the issue, has Labour really improved its standing in rural constituencies as a result of the Hunting Act?... (story)

Herald 12.1.15 First gamekeeper jailed for persecuting raptors - David Ross Highland Correspondent - For the first time in the UK a gamekeeper has been jailed for persecuting birds of prey, a sentence which conservationists are hailing as historic. George Mutch, 48, received four months in prison in Aberdeen Sheriff Court after being found guilty last month on four charges: illegal use of a trap; illegal killing of a goshawk; illegal taking of a goshawk; illegal taking of a buzzard. The offences took place on 5,500 acre Kildrummy Estate in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire in 2012, which is owned by a Jersey-based company… (story)
BBC News Online 12.1.15 Gamekeeper George Mutch jailed for killing rare bird - A gamekeeper found guilty of killing a rare bird and setting traps illegally to capture others has been jailed for four months. George Mutch, 48, of Kildrummy, denied recklessly killing or injuring a goshawk and illegally taking away another goshawk and a buzzard in 2012…. A Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) spokesman said: "The SGA has taken the ultimate sanction available to it, as an organisation. Mr Mutch will no longer hold SGA membership…. (story)

11.1.15

Worcester News 11.1.15 Stop the slaughter, become a veggie - Many readers will have been horrified and upset about the sheep that were viciously attacked by a dog on a farm near Worcester… Sadly, however, the risk of being attacked by dogs is only a part of the suffering that sheep have to put up with… And all this suffering and slaughter is totally unnecessary, because we can all live perfectly healthily without meat or any other animal products… Ronald Lee Communications Officer Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies (letter)

10.1.15

Western Daily Press 10.1.15 Seavington Hunt's Charlotte Jackson: MPs 'likely to repeal hunting ban' - The joint master of one of the West's most famous hunts is hopeful that the Conservative Party will stick to its pledge to vote to repeal the fox hunting ban if it wins a majority in May's general election…

(story)
Western Gazette 10.1.15 'Bring back our right to hunt' Joint master of Crewkerne's largest hunt hopeful that Tories will keep promise to hold vote to repeal fox hunting ban - THE joint master of the largest hunt in the Crewkerne area is hopeful that the Conservative Party will stick to its pledge to vote to repeal the fox hunting ban if it wins a majority in May’s general election… Charlotte Jackson, joint master of the Seavington Hunt, is of the belief that English and Welsh MPs would vote in favour of overturning the decade-long ban, adding that Prime Minister David Cameron is pro-fox hunting…. (story)

Mirror 10.1.15 Fox hunter barks up the wrong tree as he heads up a dual carriageway By Ian Murphy - A silly huntsman with no scent of direction halts traffic by riding the wrong way up a dual carriageway…. (story)
Telegraph 9.1.15 Tally no-go! Cars forced to stop as huntsman rides wrong way down busy road By Tom Whitehead and agency - Motorists were forced to come to a halt after a hunt veered the wrong way down a busy dual carriageway. The pack of dogs wandered in the road on the wrong side of the A5 in Shropshire and were then duly followed by the horses and their riders who desperately tried to recover the dogs in to a nearby field… (story)
Shropshire Star 9.1.15 Hunt takes a bizarre turn onto busy Shropshire road - It’s not a view you see every day – a huntsman on his horse trots along a busy dual carriageway in front of startled motorists. Traffic on the A5 in Shropshire was forced to slow down as two men rode their horses either side of the road trying to retrieve hounds from the road. At least one of the dogs appeared to be injured and was taken away… (story)

Western Morning News 10.1.15 Cull the Tories, a countryside menace - I write regarding the article on the Countryside Alliance’s survey into so-called Disneyfication of attitudes to animals in the countryside (WMN, January 5). If we were to cull all animals that do harm to the countryside, top of the list would be David Cameron and his posh boys… by Paul Stroud Marlborough, Wiltshire (letter)

Hereford Times 10.1.15 Opposition to hunting even stronger - WE refer to your claim that 'Ten years on from the ban the hunt tradition remains strong'… we believe that the opposition to hunting foxes and stags with dogs remains even stronger and that re-legalisation of that abominable so-called 'sport' is as unlikely to happen as is a return of cock-fighting and bear-baiting. NEVILLE AND HAZEL FOWLER Weston-Under-Penyard (letter)

FOX KILLED IN GIN TRAPS
BBC News Onlie 10.1.15 Reward offered over gin trap fox deaths in Surrey - A reward has been offered after two foxes in Surrey were killed by illegal gin traps…. (story)
Surrey Advertiser 10.1.15 Major cash reward to catch Guildford Gin Trap fox killer - Warning: GRAPHIC IMAGES By Paul Harper, Georgina Townshend - Two foxes were caught and killed in gin traps set in close proximity to Tormead School, Guildford… (story)
Surrey Mirror 9.1.15 Wildlife charities offer £1k appeal for information after illegal traps kill two foxes in Surrey - TWO CHARITIES are offering a £1,000 reward for information after illegal gin traps killed two foxes in Surrey. The League Against Cruel Sports and the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), based in Leatherhead, launched the reward today for information leading to "the successful conviction of the individual or individuals responsible" for setting the traps, which killed two foxes in ten days in Guildford near Tormead School…. (story)

Shropshire Star 10.1.15 Humans at risk by persecuting wildlife… We are not only stealing all of the land and robbing the animals of their food but we are polluting everything we touch…. By polluting, being selfish, driving the animals extinct and not curtailing our numbers, we humans are committing mass suicide. Tom Williams, Sutton Hill, Telford (letter)

8.1.15

Western Morning News 8.1.15 David Cameron aims to promote 'northern powerhouse' while rural vote is up for grabs - David Cameron will pledge to create the “critical mass” needed in English cities outside London to make them the UK equivalent of Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Atlanta as he takes the election battle to the north west…. His comments came a day after leading rural interests campaign group the Countryside Alliance said the coalition Government had “not delivered for rural people” – meaning the countryside vote is up for grabs at the next election… (story)

Bristol Post 8.1.15 Cards showing fox hunting mask the cruel reality - CHRISTMAS card scenes of fox hunt meets would not be so popular if they showed the cruel reality of digging out a terrified fox to run for more 'sport'…. Miss E A Smith Ashton (letter)

Cable News 8.1.15 Rural group doubts claim of jobs boost from superfast broadband BY HANNAH LANGSTON - A government report suggesting productivity will grow faster in the countryside than urban areas over the next decade has been described as “very optimistic” by an association of rural councils… The Countryside Alliance described the government’s predicted 6% increase in employment as a “bold claim” but added “there is no reason why levels of productivity should be any lower in rural areas than in towns”…. (story)

Burton 8.1.15 MP Heather Wheeler determined to put end to broadband woe in South Derbyshire By Rob Smyth - A CAMPAIGNING MP has revealed her determination to improve broadband services across South Derbyshire. Heather Wheeler, MP for the district, has moved to remind people from across the area that efforts to boost the online offering in South Derbyshire will be at the forefront of her work during 2015…. Mrs Wheeler is now encouraging people in the area to download a new app from the Countryside Alliance and Actual Experience called BbFix to improve their broadband service…. (story)

Teesdale Mercury 8.1.15 Teesdale may miss out on new mobile deal - TEESDALE may not reap the benefits of a new Government deal to improve mobile phone coverage in areas with poor reception…. However, the Countryside Alliance was more positive about the £5bn investment in phone coverage by the four network operators, saying it will mean a big boost to rural reception… (story)

Nottingham Post 8.1.15 'We owe animals more than they owe us' - "2014 has been one of the worst ever for animal cruelty," says the RSPCA… One example (of many) where we are unintentionally cruel is the one Jade gives concerning rabbits... I presume we are mostly unaware how cruel it is, as we also are, it seems, when we use all types of animals for entertainment, sport, hobbies, experiments, ego, profit, and whatever else… NEIL UNWIN George Street Hucknall (letter)

Blackpool Gazette 8.1.15 Consider vegetarianism - With the festive season now over, no doubt many of us will have put on a few extra pounds and want to shed them as painless as possible. If this is you, then why not give vegetarianism a try?.. Josephine Harwood Moor Park Avenue Bispham (letter)

7.1.15

Sevenoaks Chronicle 7.1.15 Horse killed and cars written-off in freak double police car crash drama By AnnaVerdon - DRIVERS experienced long delays around Four Elms yesterday after separate coincidental crashes involving .police cars… Arnold Kingston who lives on Ide Hill Road had two of his cars damaged after the taxi ended up in his driveway… “The police car on the way to the accident then ran into a horse when the police woman called for assistance and it took 45 minutes before another turned up… “We couldn’t understand why it took so long but heard another police car on its way to assist got tangled up in a hunt and hit the horse. “It was in Five Fields Lane. Apparently one horse threw its rider, as a result the police car struck two horses, one was injured and the other died.”… (story)

Uttoxeter Advertiser 7.1.15 Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt: New Year sees hunt return in style to Uttoxeter - TOWNSFOLK were out in force to welcome back a 150-year-old tradition to bring in the New Year. THE Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt arrived in Uttoxeter in its usual traditional style -– hunters proudly on their horses and the hounds ready to hunt… (story)

Horncastle News 7.1.15 VIDEO: Hunt goes ahead – without horses - The crowds came out in force for the annual New Year’s Day hunt in Horncastle. There was just one thing missing...horses. Officials from the South Wold Hunt decided the frosty ground was too dangerous for the traditional hunt to take place. However, they were determined not to let everyone down and exercised their hounds instead…. (story)

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE CULLING SURVEY
Western Morning News 7.1.15 Wildlife control is part of country life – so why do so many reject it? By Philip Bowern - A survey has shown significant opposition to culling wild animals and birds. Philip Bowern looks at the law on what can and cannot be legally shot, trapped or otherwise killed in the countryside…. (story)
Western Daily Press 6.1.15 Disney is to blame for ignorance to realities of the countryside - Most people don't believe even 'pest' species should be culled, according to a new survey. Philip Bowern looks at a gap in our understanding of the management of the countryside… (story)
Western Morning News 4.1.15 Deer, rabbits and even rats should be spared legal culling, millions in UK believe By WMNPBowern - Only 17% of people in Britain believe it should be legal to kill deer, despite the fact that control of the mammals has been permitted for centuries and is seen as vital for the good of the countryside and the health of the herd. Opposition to culling by a majority of the population also applies to grey squirrels, mink, foxes and rabbits – despite the fact that all are considered vermin and are routinely controlled as part of normal land management procedures… The pro-hunting and shooting Countryside Alliance, which carried out the research, blamed the high opposition to the legal killing of certain species on what it called the “Disneyfication of the Countryside.”… (story)

Western Morning News 7.1.15 Drones must be strictly regulated - As much as I admire the public spirited nature of Mr Forsyth’s offer to save the police money by offering the services of the Hunt Saboteurs’ Association to assume responsibility for enforcing the Hunting Act (WMN letters December 3) the police, CPS, RSPCA, and his own organisation would be saved infinitely more if the awful Act was abandoned altogether…. his intention to use drones to monitor hunts should sound the alarm bells ringing loudly in the ears of the public…. They could be used by thieves, rustlers, private investigators and many others with mischievous intent on their minds… I know exactly what I shall do if one of Mr Forsyth’s drones invades my air space! by Roger Mason Slew (letter)

6.1.15

Western Morning News 6.1.15 Campaigners blast political parties for ignoring real issues facing the countryside - The countryside vote is up for grabs as the coalition Government has “not delivered for rural people”, the leading hunting campaign group has warned…. (story)
Western Morning News 6.1.15 WMN OPINION: Hunting is a big election issue for those it affects - The election gun has been well and truly fired and all the usual – and vital – issues are on the agenda… Yet we are prepared to bet that on issues of over-riding importance to many people in rural areas like our own, the debate will barely get into its stride, even as election day approaches. The management of the landscape, farming, forestry and rural activities like hunting are all seen as ‘side issues’ by many in mainstream politics… (story)

Western Daily Press 6.1.15 Rural vote is very much up in the air By Graeme Demianyk - The countryside vote is up for grabs as the coalition Government has "not delivered for rural people", the leading hunting campaigning group has warned. But Tim Bonner, campaigns director of the Countryside Alliance, said there was "very little of substance" to Ukip on rural matters "beyond Nigel Farage's tweed jacket"…. Asked if he thought hunt supporters would edge towards Ukip, Mr Bonner said members would find it difficult to back Mr Farage… "There is a temptation towards Ukip, but frankly Ukip has possibly the most idiotic policy on hunting that is capable of imagining."… (story)

Western Morning News 6.1.15 'Feared' railway helped to boost hunt's fortunes - Controversy around hunting is nothing new. But in the second half of the 19th century, one man helped to improve the support for staghunting on Exmoor, as a new book reveals. Philip Bowern reports…. A new book by one of the Westcountry’s foremost authors on venery, Richard Lethbridge, tells the story of Mourdaunt Fenwick Bisset, master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds from 1855 to 1881. He is credited with reviving the fortunes of the hunt, and the red deer of Exmoor, and overcoming significant threats to the traditions of hunting in the process…. (story)

Somerset Guardian 6.1.15 Hunting hound hit by passenger bus in Farrington Gurney By SG_ABrennan - A First Bus driver has won praise from his passengers for his actions after an incident involving a hunting hound on the A37 near Farrington Gurney. The driver was forced to make an emergency stop when the dog from the Mendip pack ran in front of the vehicle near an accident black spot with the junction of the A39…. (story)

Western Morning News 6.1.15 Why do we need to kill foxes? - Could someone enlighten me on why the Hunting Act needs to be repealed? Why do hunting enthusiasts need to kill foxes to heighten their enjoyment of riding across country?... by K D Knight Bideford (letter)

Southern Daily Echo 6.1.15 Bosses at the Orange Rooms are looking for a new home for their tropical fish after pressure from animal welfare campaigners by Michael Carr, Reporter - THEY have become the most familiar faces at a Hampshire nightspot. For 13 years, Ratsy, Reiss, Terrance and Bazza have been part of the furniture for revellers visiting Southampton’s Orange Rooms and even have their own Facebook account. But now bosses at the Bedford Place bar are looking for a new home for the tropical pacu residents as pressure mounts from animal welfare campaigners who say they are not being treated fairly… One campaigner, Corinne Dugdale, who is a student at the University of Southampton, was so distraught when she launched a petition to find them a more suitable home. It has now been signed by more than 55 people… (story)

5.1.15

Farming Life 5.1.15 ROD & GUN: Hunting Act may eventually end up consigned to the failure dustbin - There is a chance that the ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales may be repealed after the May General Election. And not a minute too soon, you may think. The unworkable ban was imposed 10 years ago at the behest of people who wanted to get a dig at the toffs and others who mistakenly thought that the ban would help to save foxes which still manage to do so much harm to lambs, poultry and indigenous wildlife. (story)

Western Morning News 5.1.15 Hunt saboteurs may cut force costs - Readers will be concerned at the report (WMN, December 22) about cuts to the police budget… The Countryside Alliance and their hunting friends say the Hunting Act 2004 is bad law and a waste of police resources. Perhaps money could be saved if the Hunt Saboteurs’ Association took over responsibility for monitoring hunts on a voluntary basis… by John Phelps Exeter (letter)

Scotsman 5.1.15 Sporting estates - Donald Lewis (Letters, 3 January) quotes 8000 as the figure for the numbers employed on Scotland’s sporting estates, and a figure of £470m as the annual contribution to the Scottish economy…. Can Mr Lewis tell us how he arrives at these figures? Graham M McLeod Muirs Kinross (letter)

Western Morning News 5.1.15 Poor old brock is victim and villain - The long-running badgers and TB debate (www.badgersandtb.com), has rather expectedly reached new heights of Alice In Wonderland folly with the end of 2014… It was extremely helpful of Minister Liz Truss, with Chief Vet Nigel Gibbens, and scientific monitors, Natural England, to burn the midnight oil for the 5 o’clock announcement on December 18, just as parliament ended… Ring vaccinating badgers will be a spectacular waste of time and money, absolutely guaranteed to fail… Alas poor Brock, yet again victim not villain. by Martin Hancox Ex-government TB Panel Stroud (letter)

Oxford Mail 5.1.15 Residents pay tribute to lost badger habitat - DOZENS of Kidlington residents held a vigil to protest against the demolition of a badger sett. The sett was removed by developers Pye Homes from a site at Webbs Way on Friday, December 12, despite a campaign and petition to save it…. Kidlington resident Louise Crone, 48, and her 11-year-old son Ben attended…. (story)

4.1.15

Sunday Telegraph 4.1.15 English votes for English laws plan ‘could end hunting ban’ By John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor - The hunting ban could be swept aside in a parliamentary overhaul to introduce so-called “English Votes for English laws”, new research suggests. Supporters of hunting are increasingly confident a constitutional rebalancing exercise to accompany the devolution of new powers to Scotland following the independence referendum would shift the balance at Westminster in favour of repealing the Hunting Act 2004… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 4.1.15 Scottish landowner attacks "out of control" RSPB By Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor - One of Scotland’s largest landowners has erected signs across his estate stating the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is not welcome in protest at the charity having “lost the plot” and abused its power. John Mackenzie, who owns the 60,000 acre Gairloch and Conon Estates at Dingwall in Ross-shire, said “years of frustration and anger” had boiled over in response to the charity “constantly” blaming farmers, gamekeepers and landowners for raptor poisonings… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 4.1.15 Millions of pounds of public money to pay for grey squirrel cull - The Forestry Commission has drawn up plans obliging landowners to rid their estates of grey squirrels By Rosa Silverman - Landowners are to be paid millions of pounds of public money to cull grey squirrels under the first national plan for managing their numbers…. (story)

Cambridge News 4.1.15 Animal rights activists protest against AstraZeneca in Cambridge By Freya Leng - A group of animal rights campaigners and environmentalists gathered outside the city's Guildhall to protest against AstraZeneca in Cambridge. About 50 members of CAP( Cambridge against AstraZeneca Planning) and fellow activists waved placards and heard speeches on Saturday afternoon in a 'visual representation' of their opposition to the pharmaceutical giant's plans for a global headquarters and animal testing lab in Cambridge… Rachel Mathai, spokesman for the group, said people came from far and wide to support the protest from places including Birmingham, Yorkshire and Coventry…. "We would like to thank Animal Rights Cambridge, Cambridge Friends of The Earth, Animal Aid and NAVS for their caring support," she said. "Also, all the other caring activists, shops, groups and individuals that have supported this campaign… (story)

3.1.15

Rutland Times 3.1.15 Boxing Day hunt raises hundreds for For Rutland In Rutland - The traditional Boxing Day Cottesmore Hunt helped support a great cause this year. The For Rutland In Rutland charity was offered the chance to collect and raise awareness at this year’s meet in Oakham. People responded well and donated a total of £1107.28 for the charity… (story)

Yorkshire Post 3.1.15 ‘They’ are the majority... against bloodsport! - From: Mr R Turner, Hollybank Avenue, Upper Cumberworth, Huddersfield. I FIND myself bound to contest the disdainful comments in Charlotte Cooper’s article (The Yorkshire Post, December 26) from the Countryside Alliance where she states “they” did not believe we had it in us. May I remind her, that “they” are the majority of the British public, against a major barbaric bloodsport!... (letter)

Wells Journal 3.1.15 Wells reader: Badger cull is ‘a miserable waste of time and public money’ - Adrian Coward Chairman, Somerset Badger Group, West Horrington (letter)
Frome Standard 25.12.14 Badger cull performance 'is far from a success' - Government and the NFU will claim that the 2014 Somerset Badger Cull was a success. What they won't be telling the public is somewhat different and they are keeping very quiet about their miserable and wasteful performance in Gloucestershire…. Adrian R Coward Chairman – Somerset Badger Group West Horrington Wells (letter)

2.1.15

Tamworth Herald 2.1.15 GALLERY: Atherstone Hunt 2015 - People gathered in their numbers for the start of a new year and the usual tradition of the Atherstone Hunt… (story)

York Press 2.1.15 Riders out in force for traditional New Year’s Day meet of the Derwent Hunt - THE traditional New Year’s Day meeting of the Derwent Hunt was held yesterday. Riders turned out in force to meet for the Derwent Hunt which went across the Ryedale countryside from outside The Hall in Thornton-le-Dale…. (story)

Northern Echo 2.1.15 New Year tradition maintained as Hunt meets by Matt Westcott - HUNTSMAN David Jukes led his hounds from the Morritt Arms Hotel, at Greta Bridge in County Durham today (Thursday) as the Zetland Hunt got underway for its traditional New Year's Day meet… (story)

Western Morning News 2.1.15 Are hunt supporters wrong to get their hopes up that repeal of ban is coming? - After the election, country sports fans will be looking carefully at the make-up of a new Parliament what it means for a possible repeal of the Hunting Act. Philip Bowern considers the chances…(story)

Western Morning News 2.1.15 Hunting ban must not be repealed - I would like to respond to Jamie Foster, Passionate defender of hunting, (WMN December 22). Very commendable of him being a lawyer to support the hunting fraternity, the animal has no such luxury…. by Peter Wyeth Bugle (letter)

Western Morning News 2.1.15 Hares are being hounded to extinction - Rational and sensible people are proven to be living, unlike others, in the 21st century by campaigning for the retention and strengthening of the 2004 Hunting with Dogs Act. One of the animals benefiting from this legislation is our iconic, but appallingly persecuted brown hare… by John Rimington Technical Liaison Officer Hare Preservation Trust (letter)

Western Morning News 2.1.15 Hunters are ruining UK's credence - How can we as a nation have a voice that will be listened to in the wider world when here on our own shores we hunt down foxes, stags and hares for the enjoyment of the paying subscribers?... by Graham Forsyth Chard (letter)

Derby Telegraph 2.1.15 MP Chris Williamson warns ‘humans could be next target’ after Derbyshire village cat shootings By ChrisM_DT - A “SICK” cat killer who shot dead a beloved pet on Christmas Day could target humans, according to an MP. Derby North MP Chris Williamson made the comments after it was revealed there had been four reported cat shooting incidents in Hilton… He said: “Death and cruelty on animals caused by humans using guns can lead them to target humans… (story)

Western Morning News 2.1.15 Surprised that animal welfare is a priority - How enlightening to read in the WMN that solicitor Jamie Foster has visited Seaworld in Florida and has been advising them on resisting challenges from Animal Rights’ activists…. And there was me thinking that Animal World is an attraction that is rather more concerned with making money than with any regard for its animals!... by Pete Keen Blisland (letter)

1.1.15

Carmarthen Journal 1.1.15 PICTURES: View our photo gallery from the Carmarthenshire Hunt on New Year's Day (story)

Essex Chronicle 1.1.15 In pictures: Maldon New Year's Day Hunt parade 2015 - Hundreds turned out for the annual New Year's Day hunt in Maldon this morning…. Members of the Essex Farmers Hunt paraded in the High Street in front of hundreds of passers-by, on what was a mild start to the year…. (story)
Essex Chronicle 1.1.15 Photo Gallery; Maldon New Years Day Hunt Parade By GHMorgan (story)

Northern Echo 1.1.15 New Year tradition maintained as Hunt meets by Matt Westcott - HUNTSMAN David Jukes led his hounds from the Morritt Arms Hotel, at Greta Bridge in County Durham today (Thursday) as the Zetland Hunt got underway for its traditional New Year's Day meet…. (story)

Harborough Mail 1.1.15 Fernie Hunt brings out the crowds in Great Bowden by Alex Dawson - Thousands gathered in a Harborough village on Boxing Day for the annual meet of the Fernie Hunt…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 1.1.15 New Year’s Day meet by the Cottesmore Hunt attracts hundreds of followers By Peter Squires - Part of Leicestershire’s rural pageantry filled Uppingham Market Place to get 2015 off to a rousing start. The New Year’s Day meet by the Cottesmore Hunt, was attended by 30 members on horseback, plus foot-followers… The New Year meet tradition was also followed by the rest of the county’s hunts with the Atherstone gathering in The Square, Atherstone, the Belvoir at Buckminster Park, and the Quorn in Melton Mowbray Market Place (story)

Wells Journal 1.1.15 Hunts facing year of fresh controversy - HUNTERS gathered in Axbridge and Priddy on Boxing Day for their biggest meets of the year, as hunting once more climbs the political agenda…. (story)

LACS VIDEO
Gloucester Citizen 1.1.15 What if it was you? Animal cruelty protesters release video of terrified woman being hunted - Protesters against animal cruelty have released a dramatic online video which features a woman being hunted to depict the “terror and cruelty” the sport causes on the wild…. (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 31.12.14 Animal cruelty campaign group release online video featuring terrified woman being hunted By Impeyecho - Protesters against animal cruelty have released a dramatic online video which features a woman being hunted to depict the “terror and cruelty” the sport causes on the wild. The League Against Cruel Sports has launched a national ad campaign to show the “cruelty” hunting with dogs inflicts on animals…. (story)
Western Daily Press 26.12.14 VIDEO: Controversial anti-hunt film set to shock cinema-goers as support for ban rises By TristanCork - Four out of five people do not believe the ban on hunting foxes with dogs should be repealed – and even more want it to stay for chasing and killing deer and hares. That was the result of a new Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports, who have launched a new publicity drive targeting cinema-goers over the New Year period. The controversial film shows a young mother holding a baby before placing it in a cot and then running away, terrified, from an unseen pursuer. Eventually, she falls and appears to be caught by hounds, with the caption reading ‘What if it was you?’… (story)

ANIMAL AID NEW YEAR VEGAN LETTER
Bristol Post 1.1.15 Reader's letter: Why not go vegan for New Year? - Ben Martin Animal Aid (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 31.12.14 Resolve to go vegan in 2015 - BEN MARTIN Animal Aid (letter)
Bournemouth Echo 31.12.14 Try a vegan diet for a healthy life - AFTER the over-indulgence of Christmas, I’m sure many people will be considering turning over a new leaf this January and making a New Year’s resolution to be healthier. Might I suggest that those people consider going vegan?... BEN MARTIN, Animal Aid (letter)

Leicester Mercury 1.1.15 Leicester Vegan Challenge: Are you up for it? By Yasmin_Duffin - The Vegetarian and Vegan Group in Leicestershire are encouraging people to mark the new year by trying out a new diet. Members of the group are launching the ‘Vegan Challenge’ on Saturday, which will see people change their eating habits for 30 days…. Member of the group Carys Bennett, who came up with the idea of the challenge, said: “I wanted to help people who wanted to be a vegan but didn’t know where to start…. (story)