March 2003

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(*)- added since last update


Oxford Mail 31.3.03 Mother calls for hunts to be more considerate - A mother who takes her children pony riding on the Ridgeway is calling for hunts to be more considerate of other people using the countryside. Deborah Lewis-Pryde, of Collet Way, Grove, took her youngest daughter Jordan, eight, and one of her friends for a pony ride on the trail recently when they suddenly heard a hunting horn…. The master of the Old Berkshire Hunt, Jessica Leigh-Pemberton, said they took great steps to let people know when the hunt would be out. She said she had told the owner of the field which Mrs Lewis-Pryde rents that there would be a hunt two weeks ago but the message had not been passed on… (story in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 31.3.03 INTO REAL WORLD - May I respond to EA James (Viewpoint, March 8) on his comments about my letter on fox-hunting and the countryside. Can I suggest that he or she go and live on a farm for a month or two, where they would be going into the real world, and find out how the other half live instead of coming out with such silly statements... T Hall, Willing Way, Grimsby (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 8.3.03 CHANGE PLACES WITH FOXES? May I reply to Mr T Hall's letter regarding foxhunting (Viewpoint, February 26). Firstly, the creatures named above lived in the countryside, when along came a man.... these brave hunts people state that the fox likes being chased and pitting his wits against them. How dare he or anyone else say such a stupid thing?... I have been to meetings and have always asked the same question: "Would you change places with the fox?" Funnily enough, not one person has answered my question. Would Mr Hall please answer it? EA James, Westwood Road, Healing (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 6.3.03 WHAT ABOUT CULL OF HUMANS? - With reference to the letter A Lot To Learn, written by T Hall… I recently took part in a ceremony for animals, and some of the treatment meted out to them by humans was such that I was ashamed of my own species… if you really want to hone your skills as a dictator - might I suggest that you visit somewhere such as China, Bolivia or somewhere equally receptive to your ideals. Or, perhaps it would be better to stay at home and support the theory of a harmless deterrent for foxes… C Lyall, Waltham Road, Grimsby (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 26.2.03 A LOT TO LEARN I Would like to reply to one or two of the points regarding fox hunting. It seems to me that town people are very ignorant and have got a lot to learn about the ways of country life. Have some of them ever been any further than Bradley Crossroads? I think not. If they had, these so-called do-gooders would not be coming out with such rubbish and utter verbal tosh…. T Hall, Willing Way, Grimsby (letter)

Western Morning News 31.3.03 VOTE 'ALLOWS' HORRIFIC TRADE - ANDY GREENWOOD Westcountry marine conservationists are furious with the European Parliament after a vote which will effectively allow the barbaric "finning" of sharks to continue. The Plymouth-based Shark Trust has long-campaigned for the horrific practice to be banned.... But environmentalists are angry at voting by MEPs which will permit finning to continue in EU waters and on EU vessels around the world... (story)

Western Morning News 31.3.03 SADNESS OF A GENTLE GIANT - Several years ago, while on a visit to Bristol Zoo, I was so appalled at what I saw I vowed never to visit another zoo again. Housed in a small cage was an enormous gorilla, a beautiful sight. He passed away his time by vomiting repeatedly and then playing with it in his hands... Leave wildlife alone and let them live normally and naturally as nature intended. Mrs J Webb Weston S Mare Somerset (letter)

Western Mail 31.3.03 Pony welfare society warns RSPCA of risk of disturbing endangered breeds in foal during roundup on common - OWNERS of Welsh mountain ponies are threatening to disrupt RSPCA plans to round up neglected animals. The animal-welfare charity has teamed up with the police and local agencies to clear Merthyr Tydfil and Gelligaer commons of animals that are grazing illegally. The Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies warns, however, that removing mares at this time of year, when many are in foal or have just given birth, could lead to severe injury…. (story)

Scotland on Sunday 30.3.03 Research, not misinformation, key to aiding thoroughbreds - Martin Hannan - EVERY year at Grand National time, the usual suspects pop out of their think tanks, don anoraks and head for Aintree to protest about animal cruelty. I stopped giving these people the time of day when I encountered a demonstration at Aintree a couple of Nationals ago, which involved the blowing whistles, banging drums and raucous shouting and jeering, all within jarring earshot of several poor horses, who were undoubtedly spooked by the behaviour... The trouble is that Animal Aid have shot themselves in the foot with their faux-scientific approach, throwing "facts" at us which are simply not true, or have been twisted to suit their ends.... (story)

Western Morning News 29.3.03 HUNTER IS IN THE RUNNING - MATTHEW ROBINSON - A south Devon man is running the London Marathon next month in a bid to raise money to protect countryside sports. Xan Thavenot, 24, a trainee solicitor, is trying to raise money for the Countryside Alliance... Xan is Master and Huntsman of the Christ Church and Farley Hill Beagles and has done most of his marathon training out with the beagles... "As a member of the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers, I have always been a keen hunter and I also enjoy shooting and fishing...." (story)

Ledbury Reporter 28.3.03 Huntsman says goodbye to Violet, 102 - The Dymock area has lost one of its oldest survivors, with the death of Violet Hawtin, aged 102... The centenarian's last wish was that a huntsman from the Ledbury Hunt should sound a horn at her departure, and this was carried out as mourners left the church. A huntsman had also attended her 100th birthday celebrations held at Broom's Green Village Hall, and a horn was sounded on that occasion too…. (story in archive)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 28.3.03 Hunt saboteurs cost us money - G METCALFE'S assertion (Letters, March 4) that hunting requires a police presence, which is paid for from the public purse, is nonsense. Police presence at hunt meets occurs only when hunt saboteurs are, or are likely to be present. It is they, and not the hunting community, who create a need for a police presence, which the public end up paying for. TOM FELL, Regional Director, North West England, Countryside Alliance. (letter in archive)
Lancashire Evening Post 18.3.03 Most rural folk oppose hunting IT is not surprising Tom Fell, of the Countryside Alliance (Letters, February 11), objects to hunting being tested against 'utility,' as it would mean bloodsporters having to prove that killing animals is necessary… J YOUNG, League Against Cruel Sports, Lancashire support group, Chorley. (letter in archive)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 4.3.03 You are either for or against - TOM Fell of the Countryside Alliance (Letters, February 11) objects to the proposal of giving taxpayers' money to animal welfare groups to contest hunts' licence applications, but he doesn't object to the taxpayer funding bloodsports, which the majority of people oppose, to the tune of £1million each year in policing bills…. Mr Fell's single-issue group doesn't represent any community. It only represents a small number of people who enjoy killing animals in the name of sport - G METCALFE, Moorhey Crescent, Bamber Bridge. (letter in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 28.3.03 ANIMAL CRUELTY LINK TO MURDER - In response to Peter Neal's letter (March 18) complaining that the Government, "is spending so much money and parliamentary time attempting to ban fox hunting".I would maintain, along with the vast majority of people, including Tories, that an issue as important as the infliction of terror, pain and suffering on wildlife for sport... deserves as much time and money as it takes to rid society of this evil... Peter Neal appears to be blissfully unaware of telling research, first in America and increasingly here in the UK, which demonstrates chilling and compelling links between animal abuse, child abuse, torture and murder... Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 28.3.03 ECONOMY IS UNDER THREAT At a time when people are concerned about falling standards in our schools, the demise of the NHS, the breakdown of law and order and the failure of our transport system, it is strange that this failing government is spending so much money and parliamentary time attempting to ban fox hunting.... Peter Neal, Mill Road, Cleethorpes (letter)

Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 28.3.03 What sort of example is this? - No doubt the Blencathra Foxhounds made sure there was a fox to hunt when Prince Charles came (Herald, 15th March). How often must we say that all hunts breed foxes for "sport"?... In rural environments, it's barely possible to breathe civilised air…. ROSE DALZIEL, Ousby. (letter may be in archive)

Scotsman 28.3.03 Apathy ... Voters should elect politicians who recognise that homophobia, child abuse and the dismemberment of small mammals for pleasure have no place in a modern, democratic Scotland. Martin Hulme EDINBURGH (letter)

Craven Herald 28.3.03 Farmers voice their fears as predators kill their lambs - FARMERS in North Craven are being extra vigilant as natural predators seem to be taking more newborn lambs than in previous years. Anne Booth, who farms near Settle, is barely a quarter way through lambing but already has lost a number of healthy lambs to foxes, crows and, for the first time this year, badgers, which she believes have killed four lambs… However, Craven Badger Group believes foxes are more likely to be to blame for the slaughter. "It's not impossible, but it is highly unlikely badgers were responsible," says Liz Groves, chairman…. (story in archive)

West Cumberland Times & Star 28.3.03 TRAIL HOUND PUPS STOLEN - TWO HOUND trail pups, worth about 2,000, have been stolen in Flimby. Thieves broke into kennels on Church Lonning on Tuesday night and took the ten-week-old dogs… All the kennel doors were left open after the break-in and the remaining hounds were found wandering round the garden by part-owner Gordon Tinnion, of Grange Avenue…. (story)

RUDDY DUCK CULL
Rutland & Stamford Mercury 28.3.03 Why ruddy ducks must go YOUR article on the cull of the ruddy duck was full of emotive language but short on informed reasoning. Reasons for the intended cull are to protect a seriously endangered species, the Spanish white-headed duck and not, as stated by Mr Tyler of Animal Aid, ‘an attempted genetic cleansing of nature’... (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 26.3.03 Killing ruddy duck is simply carnage - I REFER to recent reports in press and TV that your Department [Dept of Environment] is planning a cull of the ruddy duck species… While Defra's genocide squads (with their guns and power to force their way onto anyone's land) are carrying on with the carnage, Spanish `sportsmen' will be lining up to massacre lovely song birds, passing in migration over Sprain towards their summer in England?... ERIC JOHN BAMFORD Pinnegar Way Swindon (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 25.3.03 No slaughter - I AM outraged at the proposal to wipe out the ruddy duck in this country. This massacre is being carried out by Defra with the approval of the RSPB. Why? Just to please the Spanish, who have failed to protect their white-headed duck from trigger-happy hunters... Miss A D Ace, Paignton (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 13.3.03 ...AND HE'S STICKING UP FOR RUDDY DUCKS AS WELL - ERIC Martlew is campaigning to save the ruddy duck, claiming its mating habits mirror those of British tourists in the drink-and-disco beach resorts of Spain…. He signed a Commons motion noting "mating in Spain is an annual ritual practiced by many British holidaymakers". The motion urged the UK and Spanish governments to be as tolerant towards ruddy ducks as they are to British tourists… (story)
Western Daily Press 12.3.03 MAN SHOULD STOP MEDDLING WITH THE COURSE OF NATURE - Take an organisation that is very large and very powerful. Give it guns and a licence to use them at will. These are the tools for mass destruction. I am, sadly, referring to the RSPB and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust call for the unnecessary mass cull of thousands of ruddy ducks… Andy Meads Safewings Wildlife Conservation Projects Isham Northamptonshire (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 12.3.03 DON'T SACRIFICE RUDDY DUCKS FOR THE SPANISH - I Am furious to see that the Government has opted to sacrifice Britain's ruddy duck to save a rare Spanish species. There are plans to slaughter 6,000 ruddy ducks…. conservationists say the real culprit is the Spanish keenness for bird hunting… J P Kerswell-Frost, Exwick Villas, Exeter (letter)
Oswestry & Border Counties Advertizer 12.3.03 DUCKS FACE MERE CULL - RUDDY Ducks swimming on the meres in Ellesmere and Colemere could be a thing of the past if government plans to cull 6,000 of the birds is given the green light…. (story in archive)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 11.3.03 CULL 'COMPLETELY QUACKERS' - Regarding the proposed cull of ruddy ducks reported in the Telegraph, I have already written to the WWT and the RSPB to express my objections to this campaign.... Giles Dixon, Ferry Road, Barrow-upon-Humber (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 11.3.03 THESE DUCKS DO NO HARM - We of Birdwatch (Glos) are totally against a cull of ruddy ducks. We will never be able to understand the need to kill, kill, kill… H. KNICKENBERG, J. BRAIN, M. JOYNER, M. ROSATTO, C. SMITH, P. GUNNELL, L. WOODHAM, D. PHELPS AND MANY OTHERS. Birdwatch, Glos (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 11.3.03 LET'S BACK THE RUDDY DUCK CULL - In Reply to your article on randy ruddy ducks. I am in favour of the cull. Look what trouble the grey squirrel has brought after being introduced from America… MRS CAROL TARBOX Tuffley (letter)
Sunday Post 9.3.03 Animal lovers - THE MYTH that we are a nation of animal lovers takes another battering with ruddy ducks about to face DEFRA firing squads... Normal Wall, Wallsend. (letter may be in archive)
Sunday Times 9.3.03 DUCK CHOP: Culling the ruddy duck to preserve the Spanish white would be like killing all the black people in the UK in order to maintain the colour of white people Paul Farber, Leicester.(letter)
North East Evening Gazette 8.3.03 Duck, you're in firing line - Matthew Pardo, Evening Gazette - Randy ruddy ducks on Teesside could soon find themselves in the firing line. Within 18 months Government contract killers could be ethnically cleansing Teesmouth's ruddy ducks…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 8.3.03 Ruddy duck cull draws protest From: Catherine Smith, East Parade, Brigg, North Lincolnshire. Regarding the article about ruddy ducks... The RSPB feel that "it is regrettable, but it is a measure we feel, has to be taken to protect the white-headed duck." Bang goes my donation (even though it's small) to them... (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 7.3.03 RUDDY DUCKS - To answer the question which The Citizen posed to its readers on Tuesday: "No ruddy ducks are not a nuisance, they have done no more than many other ducks, which is mated!"... PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Nr Stroud (letter)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 7.3.03 Activists fight to save ducks - Animal rights activists have renewed their call to save the ruddy duck.... Ursula Bates, secretary of Solihull Animal Aid, is leading the rallying case for letting nature take its course. She said white-headed ducks "had been virtually shot out of existence by trigger happy Spanish shooters."… (story)
Essex Evening Gazette 6.3.03 North Essex: Ruddy Outrage - A move to wipe out ruddy ducks in north Essex will have to be carried out by force, conservationists have warned… Essex Wildlife Trust director John Hall said: "If the Department of Food and Rural affairs wants to shoot, it will have to force access on us." … Barbara Lock, of the Clacton and St Osyth Bird Watching and Protection Society, said: "I am against culling full stop and I do not see it will achieve what it sets out to."… (story in archive)
East Anglian Daily Times 6.3.03 Wildlife group's concern at duck cull BY JULIETTE MAXAM - ESSEX Wildlife Trust will not allow Government officials onto its land to shoot ruddy ducks which are currently facing a mass cull…. The Trust is "extremely concerned" about the disturbance that shooting ruddy ducks at the reservoirs would cause… (story)
Warrington Guardian 6.3.03 Sitting ducks for the cull? - A POPULAR bird could disappear from Warrington following a Government decision to cull the breed. The ruddy duck, which can be seen at sites including Woolston Eyes, Appleton Reservoir and Houghton Green Pool, is to be targeted in a bid to get numbers in the country down from around 6,000 to less than 200… (story in archive)
Western Mail 5.3.03 Spain ducks £5m bill for `sex-tourists' cull - SPAIN should foot the multi-million pound bill for controversial plans to wipe out Britain's ruddy duck population, the National Assembly was told yesterday…. (story)
Shropshire Star 5.3.03 Duck cull call …Glyn Davies, Welsh Conservative AM for Mid and West Wales, suggested ruddy duck shooting as a national sport following the Government proposal to cull the species in the UK… (story)
Western Mail 4.3.03 UK's ruddy ducks from America will be wiped out to save the Spanish THE Government yesterday confirmed plans to wipe out the ruddy duck in Britain to protect an endangered species in Spain.... (story)
Worcester Evening News 4.3.03 Why must all the ruddy ducks die? - AN "amorous" duck is set to vanish from British waters if a peroposed cull of 6,000 birds takes place - and the plans have ruffled the feathers of a local bird club. The West Midland Bird Club has used the ruddy duck as its emblem since the 1970s… Tony Kettle, chairman of the West Midland Bird Club's Kidderminster branch, agrees the species should be saved… (story in archive)
Yorkshire Post 4.3.03 Why all those ruddy ducks ought to be shot... THE Government yesterday confirmed plans to wipe out the ruddy duck in Britain to protect other endangered species. The move, outlined in a Commons written statement, is necessary because the ducks, originally from America, regularly fly to Spain and mate with endangered white-headed ducks, risking that breed's demise… (story)
Scotsman 4.3.03 Rampant ruddy ducks set to meet their maker - JOHN INNES - THE government has confirmed plans to wipe out the ruddy duck in Britain to protect other endangered species…. Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: "This [cull] is grotesque, obscene and absurd. Mating with the robust ruddy duck is the white-headed duck’s means of survival." (story)
Yorkshire Post 3.3.03 Ruddy duck cull may save threatened species - The ruddy duck is set to be wiped out in Britain after the Government agreed in principle to eradicate it to protect other endangered species… In a written statement to the Commons today, Wildlife Minister Elliot Morley, a keen birdwatcher, will announce a Government commitment to further research in to the problem of the ruddy duck… Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: "This (a cull) is grotesque, obscene and absurd…" Wildlife consultant Dr Jayne Cuthbert, a research fellow at Kingston University, said the white headed duck was in danger because of over-hunting not because of inter-breeding… (story)
Eastern Daily Press 3.3.03 Ruddy great row over duck cull - Dozens of ruddy ducks across Norfolk could be killed as part of a UK-wide cull of the species… EDP wildlife columnist Moss Taylor said he was against any form of killing to control populations…. (story)
Western Daily Press 3.3.03 OUTRAGE AT MOVE TO KILL OFF RUDDY DUCKS The Westcountry's small population of ruddy ducks will be killed off as part of a nationwide cull to protect an endangered species, it emerged yesterday… (story)
Independent on Sunday 2.3.03 Animal charities in row over ruddy duck cull By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor - Britain's leading bird charity is embroiled in a furious row over its role in persuading the Government to shoot thousands of ducks. At the urging of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) ministers have agreed to cull Britain's entire population of ruddy ducks... Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, says the RSPB's position is "grotesque and hypocritical" and accuses it of trying to "impose a kind of genetic uniformity on nature… (story)
Sunday Telegraph 2.3.03 Duck soup - The fate of the British ruddy duck population, an American import, hangs in the balance.... Unlike the over-sized American grey squirrels, who have boisterously harassed our dwindling native red squirrel, the British-based ruddy ducks have simply practised a little gentle miscegenation. Spare the ruddy ducks: they have made love, not war. (story)
Sunday Times 2.3.03 Ruddy bad luck for the lusty duck - GARETH WALSH - BRITAIN’S booming population of 6,000 ruddy ducks is facing extermination for breeding too vigorously with a Spanish cousin. The £5m cull will be carried out by government marksmen after pressure from Spain.... The government and the RSPB are more interested in preserving rare breeds than the welfare of all birds, said Andrew Tyler, the director of Animal Aid.... (story)
Sunday Herald 2.3.03 Fury at cull plan for ruddy duck By Bridget Morris - The ruddy duck is set to be wiped out in Britain after the government agreed in principle to eradicate it to protect an endangered species... This has enraged animal welfare groups, who have described any cull as 'grotesque' and 'obscene'.... Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: 'This [cull] is grotesque, obscene and absurd...." Wildlife consultant Dr Jayne Cuthbert, a research fellow at Kingston University in London, said the white-headed duck was in danger because of over-hunting, not inter- breeding. She added: 'A cull is an enormous mistake. ' (story)
Scotland on Sunday 2.3.03 Ruddy duck faces UK wipe-out in £5m cull - CHRISTOPHER CLAIRE - THE ruddy duck is set to be wiped out in Britain after the government agreed in principle to eradicate it to protect other endangered species, it was disclosed yesterday.... The news has enraged animal welfare groups who have described any cull as "grotesque" and "obscene"... (story)
Sunday Mirror 2.3.03 A RUDDY NUISANCE - A HIGHLY-sexed duck brought to Britain from America is to be wiped out. The ruddy duck is causing problems by flying to Spain and mating with white-headed ducks, one of the country's rarest birds.... (story)

Cambridge News 28.3.03 Vivisection is unreliable From Gail Record, Address supplied - AS A DISABLED person living in the Cambridgeshire area, I feel I have a responsibility in making sure the proposed primate labs at Girton are never built…. (letter)

Blackpool Citizen 28.3.03 Zoo row is very intriguing - I AM intrigued by the content of your article `Row brewing over zoo management company'. (Citizen March 13)... BFF started life as Zoo Check, an organisation committed to campaigning for the abolition of zoos. We now hear their spokesperson saying that their only concern is for `the welfare of the zoo's animals and to provide the public with an educational environment.' What happened to that earlier mission, proclaimed so loudly in the book `Beyond the Bars' to stop animal incarceration in zoos?... I would suggest that anyone who is interested reads the chapter by the late Bill Travers in `Beyond the Bars' to see what his vision was. Would he be happy to see what has happened to his dream -- and to see his son sitting on the Government body set up to keep zoos in business… Michelle Freeland, Holcroft Place Lytham (letter in archive)
The Citizen (Lytham St Annes) 20.3.03 Row brewing over zoo management company - A LEADING animal welfare group claims it has received 'hundreds of complaints' about the company set to take over Blackpool Zoo. The Born Free Foundation is to oppose the handing over of Blackpool Council's zoo operating licence to Grant Leisure Group Ltd, which is due to be approved at a meeting today (Thursday)… (story in archive)

Dartmouth Chronicle 28.3.03 Gifts ‘not made of dead cats’ - A DARTMOUTH trader has hotly denied claims that he sells ornaments made of real fur from slaughtered cats. Steve Fairclough, who owns three gift shops, including Just Fancy, has been underfire for buying the sleeping look-a-like cats from Chinese firms which slay cats for their fur.... Mr Fairclough insists his cats are made from rabbit fur... Totnes resident Val Hennessy spotted the cats in the window of Just Fancy and Port of Call when she visited Dartmouth recently. ‘I remember seeing a report in a national newspaper, saying that objects made of real cat fur are being sold in gift shops around the country,’ Ms Hennessy, a columnist for the Daily Mail, said... (story in archive)

Newbury & Thatcham Chronicle 27.3.03 Pants Minister: that is the message from pro-hunters - PRO-HUNT supporters waved their pants in the air to greet Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael when he arrived in Newbury on Tuesday. He was due to address the South East Rural Affairs Forum meeting at Newbury Racecourse. About 50 women from across the area were at the gates to support the Pants to Prejudice campaign. Bryher Golding-Barrett, from the Countryside Alliance, said: "We wanted to let him know that a lot of women's jobs and careers are at stake with hunting. Many live in tied cottages and if they lose their jobs much more could be at risk."… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.3.03 FEARS OVER EURO FARM BURIAL BAN - Somerset County Council has joined protests over an impending ban on farmers burying dead animals. Officials say the EU regulation, due to come into force within weeks, will create more problems than it will solve… There is one licensed knackerman in Somerset. Fourteen hunt kennels, which normally accept farming stock casualties, will disappear if hunting is banned (story)

Lewisham News Shopper 27.3.03 Fox doesn’t visit anymore - I cannot see what harm foxes do. They are most loving and are a pleasure to see… Marie Lee Cattistock Road Mottingham (letter)

Western Gazette 27.3.03 MINK FACE WIPEOUT TO PROTECT WATER VOLES - Plans to eradicate large numbers of mink on the Somerset Levels have been given the thumbs-up by conservationists. Muchelney residents have backed a scheme by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation to boost the populations of endangered species on the Levels.... (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 26.3.03 Fox hunting - a personal impression by PAUL ANDREWS - Every season brings something to look forward to, no matter how cold the days or long the nights, and, as summer ends, I often find a project to keep me busy during the winter months… This winter was going to be the last season before fox hunting is finally banned… So, I decided to see if I could learn to ride to the right standard again, and have another go before it was too late…. I was rather apprehensive when at last I met the Saltersgate Farmers' hunt a few weeks ago…. (story in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 20.3.03 HUNT CRITIC FALLS IN EMOTION TRAP Several points occur to me on reading Ms Morgan's tirade regarding hunting, apart from the obvious query as to why, if she dislikes the place so much, she then chooses to make her home in good hunting country?... she falls into the trap of believing animals are humans in fancy dress and worry about the future as she and I do… MICHAEL JONES, Gloucester Road, Rudgeway, Bristol (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 11.3.03 HOW CAN YOU CALL IT SPORT? - I was horrified and disgusted after reading those letters from two women with their excuses for inflicting pain and barbaric methods hunting foxes… MARGARET BRADSHAW, Painswick (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 7.3.03 HUNTING NOT ONLY CRUEL TO FOXES - I Am writing in response to two letters published in The Citizen on Wednesday's with reference to fox hunting. One letter stated that fox hunting is not cruel and encourages people to be aware of the countryside and environment. I was outraged by this… Many foxes drown in the canals as they try to escape the hounds, many have their dens blocked so they are unable to escape underground, and most are ripped apart alive by the hounds… As to the suggestion that women need hunting for jobs, hunt grooming is not the only job a female can do and they should not rely on their employer to provide their homes… CATHERINE MORGAN, Saul Villa, Moor Street, Saul (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 5.3.03 WOMEN NEED HUNTING As You know, 32 Members of Parliament are sitting, spending hours of time and energy thinking and talking about hunting - most of them want to ban it. Hunting makes a large contribution to rural employment and social life, particularly to the lives and employment of women… FIONA CAMERON, Grafton, Tewkesbury (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 5.3.03 FOXHUNTING IS NOT CRUEL - Hunting is not cruel. If it was, we would not be doing it. Two Government inquiries have proved it's not… Foxhunting is an activity in which women, men and, in many cases, children participate equally… JUDY PULLEN, Badgeworth, Cheltenham (letter)

JERSEY PHEASANTS
Jersey Evening Post 27.3.03 What a lot of hogwash is written about pheasants From C Michel, Les Vaux, Val de la Mare, St Ouen - I CANNOT believe the amount of hogwash that has been written about the pheasants, now established in the Island. Point one: There has been no captive breeding of pheasants in the Island for the last 15 years. Point two: If the persons involved had been allowed to rough-shoot several pheasants a year during the shooting season the present problem would never have occurred. Unfortunately, the birds law in Jersey made pheasants a protected species and a licence to shoot them was withheld… (letter in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 22.3.03 Pheasants - much of the comment is at best based on double standards From James Godfrey. Oakleigh, Rue Gombrette, St John - It is clear that while some consider it to be either the colourful addition or the ecological vandal for most it is the opportunity to comment on the rights or wrongs of shooting game birds. Much of this comment is at best based on double standards, and at worst utter hypocrisy… I have nothing against people who would choose to live their lives in this way, that is a personal choice, however, I do object to being 'preached' at as to how I live mine. Be careful when taking the 'moral high ground' as it can be a long way down. (letter in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 13.3.03 Outlaw captive breeding From Angela Mitchell, La Francheville, Route de la Francheville, Grouville …If we have a problem with pheasants on this Island let us make sure that the rearing of pheasants in captivity for release to the wild is made illegal, so that we may protect our own wildlife and let us hope the UK will follow suit in the near future (letter in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 13.3.03 Remove the interloper From Tony Banner. 136 Sandway Road, St Mary Cray, Orpington, Kent. The rearing of pheasants is big business here as is shooting them but they do damage local wildlife… While you have a chance to remove an interloper do it. Who was stupid enough to allow them in the first place? (letter in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 13.3.03 Discourage the sport mentality From Michael Dryden. Roblea, Route des Genêts, St Brelade. HAVING read the letter from R Huelin on the subject of pheasants (JEP, 8 March) I would like to respond to some of the comments made therein… Hunting is not an accepted pastime in Jersey and if control of this species is necessary, then it should be done in a way which does not encourage a sport mentality to prevail… (letter in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 10.3.03 The pheasant is a foe, not a friend - R Huelin. 19 Ville de l'Eglise, St Peter. IN response to your leader of 25 February regarding pheasants and the possible problem they might become in the future, I am in no doubt that they are already a problem and that it will get worse… Possibly a solution over here would be to allow (under special licence?) responsible people with the right equipment - permission from the landowner, licence and insurance and a well-trained gundog able to flush and retrieve, enabling the quarry to be dispatched as quickly as possible in a humane way - to hunt these birds… (letter in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 24.2.03 Cull 'would end' pheasant threat BY HARRY McRANDLE - DEPUTY Phil Rondel says pheasants have become such a pest that they need to be either culled or have their protected status removed so that they can be shot... Pheasants and red-legged partridges were first introduced to Jersey about 15 years ago for game shooting on selected fields as part of an abortive business venture that the States refused to sanction.... In his letter, Deputy Rondel writes: 'I have had reported to me that these birds have attacked our birds and mammals. Over and above this they dig up early potatoes and seed crops. Last week I counted no fewer than 32 pheasants in one field in St John.'... (story in archive)

Ross-shire Journal 27.3.03 Cruelty to elephants - I am writing to you to express my opinions on animal rights. Personally I think it is terrible that so many animals are going to be extinct. I am writing on behalf of different kinds of elephants. They are huge animals so they are not toys. They are betrayed and their tusks are sold for money… Cheryl Niven, Alness Academy (letter)

South Cheshire Chronicle 26.3.03 I READ with interest the article by Alan Jervis, 'Swan is hooked', concerning a swan which had fish hooks removed by the RSPCA at its wildlife hospital.... The set-up shown is clearly a pike trace, probably baited with a dead fish, and is likely to have been snagged in shallow water. Even with a strong line, breaks do happen and the hapless swan has spotted the bait and swallowed the set-up intended for a pike... I have read a number of similar articles regarding damage to wildlife. The RSPCA even distributes leaflets outlining the problem. However, some of the organisation definitely has an anti-angling agenda. Never do I hear it outlining the great benefits that wildlife, birds in particular, receive in abundance from angling…. DAVE HOLMAN (address supplied)
AS a lifelong angler, I am dismayed by the actions of a small minority of people who should know better about the dangers of all kinds of litter, not just fishing lines and hooks... ANDREW FAIRCLOUGH Valley Road, Wistaston (letters)

Northern Echo 26.3.03 Animal rights protest at racecourse - ANIMAL rights campaigners have held a protest at a County Durham racecourse ahead of next weekend's Grand National. "You bet...they die" was the message to punters visiting Sedgefield Racecourse yesterday. Members of the North-East Animal Rights Coalition and Animal Aid's regional branch displayed the banner at the stadium entrance and handed leaflets to spectators, branding racing a cruel sport… Spokeswoman Diane Sanderson said: "Racing horses are treated as commodities, not as sentient beings…" (story in archive)

St Albans Observer 26.3.03 Groups voice fears for badgers' safety By Angela Knight SPRING may be in the air but Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT) and Herts & Middlesex Badger Group (HMBG) can report an increase in badger digging now that the evenings are getting lighter… Ms Audrey Randall, chairman of the HMBG, advised people to call police if they suspect badger digging is taking place so that they could collect evidence to identify the perpetrators… (story)

Hunts Post 26.3.03 Animal rights protests has cost Cambs Police £3.6 million - Report by BEN JONES - POLICING animal rights demonstrations has cost Cambridgeshire Constabulary £3.6 million…. But animal rights activists Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty have vowed to continue their campaign against HLS, despite the cost to the taxpayer. Heather James, spokesman for the group, said: "We had a meeting with Cambridgeshire Police two to three months ago where we asked for HLS to pay for their own security – HLS obviously said no…" (story)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 17.3.03 POLICING: Protesters cost £4m in policing - PROTESTS at the controversial Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) laboratories have cost Cambridgeshire police more than £4 million and left the force struggling to cope with routine duties, it emerged today… (story in archive)

Bath Chronicle 26.3.03 ELEPHANT PETITION ON STREETS OF BATH - A Man campaigning to prevent elephants from being kept captive in environments that are unsuitable wants to recruit volunteers to help his cause. Shaukat Qazi, from Twerton, spends part of every Saturday outside the Pump Room in Bath inviting people to sign a petition. It calls for the end to captivity of elephants, who are kept in unsuitable environments in this country, across Europe and in the Americas... (story)

Western Morning News 26.3.03 END SUFFERING IN BAGHDAD'S ZOO - After reading your sad, sad news about the little zoo in Baghdad and the hell of the few animals living there, one wonders what further hell they may go through, with war… M G Hart Batheaston Taunton Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 26.3.03 Fur trade - THANK you for your exposure of the dog and cat fur trade… M J Clapp Sidmouth (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 26.3.03 BEARSKIN UNDER FIRE: BARING ALL BUT ONLY FOR EFFECT - Ollowing on from Victoria's comments on Bearskin/guardsmen in her article on Saturday (Weekend Citizen, March 22). I Wonder if the guards would prefer lighter headgear anyway?... why not change to a man made material? The main reason is hunting policy/trophy for the said hunter…. PAMELA DEAN Field Road Whiteshill Nr Stroud (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 26.3.03 'SAVIOUR' PLEA ON HEDGEHOGS - TIM PAULING - Scottish Natural Heritage is being urged to continue negotiations with animal welfare groups intent on saving hedgehogs on the Hebridean island of Uist… The Scottish Parliament public petitions committee heard yesterday that SNH had held talks with a number of interested parties including the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), the People's Trust for Endangered Species, ST Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, and Advocates for Animals… (story)

Western Morning News 25.3.03 Hunt prejudice - CHARLES Darwin wrote of his feelings when hunting game on the vast steppes of Patagonia, that the love of the chase was "an inherent delight in man, a relic of an instinctive passion".... It will be to his and his Government's disgrace and peril if they arbitrarily try to throw this natural "Darwinian" part of human nature to the wolves. Dr Christopher Maycock Crediton (letter)

Western Morning News 25.3.03 FURTHER to Stephen Harris's article (WMN March 3), there are, in my opinion, many discrepancies in his arguments... Hares, at the moment, largely exist in pockets in the South West and this is generally because landowners and farmers preserve them for shooting or they enjoy seeing the hunting and are prepared to go to great lengths to protect the hares from poaching.... Peter T Perry, Tavistock (letter)

Western Morning News 25.3.03 MYTHS OF HUNTING FOLKLORE - Why does Lucy Johnson try to satisfy her curiosity about hunting people (WMN, February 28) when she knows quite well what they get up to, especially at the end of the hunt? Has she forgotten that she wrote (WMN, July 11, 1997) "Do stop cubbing and do stop the use of terriers"... The Modbury Harriers are not charged with the task of controlling the local fox population - they are there purely for the sport... The Burns Report did not agree that hunting was "the kindest and most natural ways of culling foxes"... Len Short For Animal Voices Torquay (letter)

Western Morning News 25.3.03 BE VIGILANT AND REPORT ILLEGAL SLAUGHTER OF HARES - Rodney Hale British Brown Hare Preservation Society, Crediton (letter)
Bucks Free Press 20.2.03 Extinction fears for hares in south Bucks By James Young - AN animal welfare group says hares will die out in south Bucks if a ban on shooting them is not brought in. The British Brown Hare Preservation Society is calling on the Government to enforce a ban on shooting the animals because the group fears they may become extinct… John Rimington, regional spokesman for the British Brown Hare Preservation Society, said: It is diabolical that in Britain we do not have a period of time during the year when shooting hares is banned…. (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 25.3.03 INCONSISTENCY BY AUTHORITIES - One wonders at times how decisions are reached by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust (WWT). Six thousand British ruddy ducks face slaughter because they are mating with the Spanish white-headed duck and in an operation which is said to cost £5 million pounds... the two bodies mentioned above have strongly resisted the culling of the cormorant for years to the extent that even today, you have to make out a very strong case before you can get a licence to kill a small number of them... (story)

Western Morning News 25.3.03 Too many badgers - IT is all very well to be so sympathetic to badgers. When I came back from the Second World War I had no badgers at all on my property and there were many hedgehogs, moles and rabbits. Now badgers have moved in and with four setts they have dug up and eaten every very young hedgehog, mole and rabbit... Roger Cobley Westward Ho! (letter)

Cambridge News 25.3.03 Protesters attacked for secret 'misery' dossier - STOP Huntingdon Animal Cruelty has been attacked for drawing up a secret document telling protesters how to cause maximum misery…. It is called This is your chance to drive them out and lists senior scientists, directors and staff at the labs – along with where their children go to school… Greg Avery, spokesman for SHAC, denied there was any secret report… "There's nothing illegal in the documents. They are published after they have been looked at by barristers."… (story)

Western Morning News 25.3.03 SUSPICIONS OVER FELINE TRANSPLANTS - Who felt sickened and suspicious, as I did, to learn that vets had given approval for cats to have kidney transplants in the UK? Of course it will be lucrative - but is it a ploy, more to do with research, connected and prior to human therapies?... Louise Piddington Plymouth (letter)

DEER CULL
Western Daily Press 24.3.03 DEER CULL BID - A Mass cull of wild deer across the country may be ordered after nature experts highlighted the threat posed to woodland, open spaces and motorists by the rapidly multiplying species… (story)
Independent on Sunday 23.3.03 Massive cull to halt the rise of the 'urban deer' By Severin Carrell - Tens of thousands of wild deer are to be culled across the country after biologists warned that the animals are invading city parks, destroying woods and risking road safety. English Nature, the Government's conservation agency, is discussing plans with agriculture ministers, the Forestry Commission and a small government-backed group called the Deer Initiative for a national programme to curb an explosion in numbers of wild fallow, roe, and muntjac deer by shooting them…. (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 24.3.03 No excuse for this cruelty - SUSIE Groess-Saurau (Letters, March, 17) is confusing keeping horses as pets and keeping horses for racing… Thousands of horses leave racing each year. The lucky ones end up in animal sanctuaries, others are slaughtered for pet food…. There can be no excuse for the cruel use of animals purely for human pleasure. Marilyn Harrison Beaulieu Close Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 17.3.03 Horses are too loved to harm - I FEEL I must take Mr Day to task over his somewhat misguided comments regarding his allegations of cruelty in the horse racing industry (EA February 19). He deems all owners and jockeys to be bullies who "send injured horses to race and be abused by jockeys with whips." Anyone who has witnessed a field full of horses galloping free, will know the urge to race is a natural one and anyone who has attempted to try to make a horse do something it does not want to, will know it is almost impossible to "force" it to do something against its will…. SUSIE GOESS-SAURAU Rockley Marlborough (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 19.2.03 Animal cruelty - I AM grateful for A Warren's concern (Advertiser 13/2), but I can assure her/him that I and my friends at Animal Aid have a rich and varied life. One aspect of this life is devoted to informing people of the suffering endured by animals, including those forced to take part in human `sports'. It is almost certain that some of the horses racing at next month's Aintree meeting will die horribly… Andrew Day Bydemill Gardens Highworth Swindon (letter in archive)

Bolton Evening News 24.3.03 MP calls for cut in animal experiments - A BOLTON MP is calling for a reduction in animal experiments -- and has vowed to continue his support to investigate alternatives. Dr Brian Iddon, MP for Bolton South East, said he wanted to see fewer animal experiments in medicine and veterinary science. In a debate entitled "Non-Animal Alternatives to Animal Experiments" held in Parliament, the MP said too many animals had been used to test chemicals, including pharmaceuticals, in the past… (story in archive)
Eastern Daily Press 18.3.03 MP in animal testing debate - A Norfolk MP is due to raise the controversial issue of alternatives to animal experiments tomorrow. Norwich North MP Dr Ian Gibson is scheduled to introduce a Private Members' Bill in the House of Commons.... Dr Gibson said the debate would concentrate on two main points. "Firstly, scientists are not taking up all the money available to find alternatives... Secondly, I believe the practical thing would be to run both animal and non-animal until alternatives are fully up and running... I am also going to raise the vicious literature some of those campaigners have been putting out attacking people who work within the industry,"... (story)

RUGBY PIGEON CULL
Coventry Evening Telegraph 24.3.03 Humane solution to curbing pigeons By Duncan Gibbons - A medieval method of bird control is to be tried in Rugby town centre to control the rapidly growing pigeon population. Dovecotes are set to be built at either end of Regent Street to encourage the birds to perch, nest and feed in one place. Some eggs would then be regularly removed… Animal rights campaigners, who feared that the pigeons would simply be culled to control their numbers, staged a demonstration out-side Rugby town hall on Thursday. Among them was Nancy Phipps, mother of Jill Phipps, who died after she fell under a lorry during a veal export protest at Coventry Airport…(story)
Rugby Advertiser 13.3.03 Feathers ruffled over pigeon row - THE PIGEONS have come home to roost for town centre bosses plotting how to deal with the bird population of Rugby… Prominent local campaigner Janet Cummings - who brought her concerns about a possible pigeon cull to the Advertiser last week - will be joined by local councillors and activists for the protest at Rugby Town Hall at 2pm on March 20. Cllr. Ron Ravenhall (Lib Dem, Dunchurch and Knightlow) will join the demonstration… "People love the pigeons. I think they're an asset to the town, and there aren't that many of them. It's just a few sadists and monsters who want to get rid of them."… (story in archive)
Rugby Advertiser 13.3.03 BIRDS NOT MAIN PROBLEM - Reading your letters page and the remarks made in your comment section, I felt that before I return to America after spending a most enjoyable holiday with friends here in Rugby, I wish to interject a few comments of my own to your readers…. Pigeons do not know that what they do is offensive, but anyone who litters, spits, or discards gum knows exactly when they do that it is certainly an antisocial behaviour… James Buckingham, Elm Street, Jackson, Missouri, USA
CULLING METHODS ARE A SICKENING SIGHT - Once again in Rugby Robin Richter, Town Centre Manager, and some shops are baying for blood - pigeon blood… Don’t inflict cruelty on these innocent creatures - some horror which you would recoil from yourself…. Kay Barker, Bilton Road, Rugby
I ENJOY THEM - So please don’t get rid of the pigeons but feel happy that they are here and enjoy them. Their presence is good. G. Patel, Hillmorton Road, Rugby.
HUMANS MAKE MORE MESS …I agree with Miss Cummings that the only humane way of reducing future pigeon numbers would be to extract their eggs… P. Brayson, Cymbeline Way, Bilton (letters)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 8.3.03 Feathers ruffled by pigeon bid By Annette Morgan - Animal rights protesters who claim town centre bosses are considering "cruel" methods to reduce the pigeon population are to hold a demonstration. The protesters, led by local campaigner Janet Cummings, will stage the protest outside Rugby Town Hall at 2pm on March 20, where the Town Centre Company is holding a meeting. (story)
Rugby Advertiser 6.3.03 Threat to pigeons upsets protestor - A ROW over a possible pigeon cull in Rugby has left an animal rights campaigner and town centre bosses with ruffled feathers. Prominent local animal rights campaigner Janet Cummings contacted the Advertiser after hearing rumours pigeons in the town centre would be gassed and taken away in bags. Town centre boss, Robin Richter, categorically denied this, although he did say that there were plans afoot to deal with the damage caused by the large pigeon population… (story in archive)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 4.3.03 Pidgeon cull claims denied By Annette Morgan - Town centre bosses have denied claims they were set to organise a pigeon cull to control numbers of the birds in the central area. Animal rights campaigners contacted the Evening Telegraph after hearing rumours that plans to "bag and gas" the birds were being considered by Rugby's Town Centre Company…. Robin Richter, managing director of the Town Centre Company, dismissed the claims as "rubbish"… But animal rights campaigner Janet Cummings said she was still "very concerned"…. (story)

Scotland on Sunday 23.3.03 SHOOTIST - JONATHAN FALLA - The woods behind me ring with gunfire. With luck, there’ll be a brace of pheasants on the coal bunker by evening, courtesy of my neighbour. From Brixton to Broxden, the Bogside to Baghdad, a man must be able to handle a gun. How might I fit into the new gun culture? What persona should I adopt?... (story)

Times 21.3.03 Prison for animal activist - AN ANIMAL rights activist who left a managing director “frightened for himself and his family” was jailed yesterday for 15 months. Sonia Hayward, 35, drove to the house of Timothy Allington in Tunbridge Wells at least twice while an accomplice threw rocks through windows at the property… Hayward, from Tonbridge, also took part in a campaign to harass female members of a fox hunt using fake prostitute calling cards. Scores of cards with the home telephone numbers of seven members of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt were left in call boxes across the South East…. (story)
Kent Messenger 21.3.03 Jail for animal activist in hate campaign - AN ANIMAL rights activist who took part in a hate campaign against the boss of a pharmaceutical company has been jailed for 15 months by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court. Sonia Hayward acted as a driver for others who hurled rocks through windows at the home of Timothy Allington in the mistaken belief that he was connected with an animal experimentation company. Hayward, 35, a former clearing bank worker, of Woodside Road, Tonbridge, was also involved in a campaign of harassment against hunt supporters and their families... The campaign against hunt supporters involved the use of fake prostitute calling cards that were placed in telephone boxes. They had printed on them the first names of women who had connections with the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt.... (story)
BBC News Online 20.3.03 Animal rights activist jailed - An animal rights activist has been jailed for harassing a company director and his family wrongly believing they had links with a firm which carries out experiments on animals. Maidstone Crown Court heard how Sonia Hayward, 35, drove by Timothy Allington's Kent home while an accomplice threw rocks through the windows… Hayward, of Woodside Road, Tonbridge, was also sentenced for her part in a campaign during the summer of 2001 to harass female members of a fox hunt using fake prostitute calling cards. Cards with telephone numbers of seven members of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt were put in call boxes across the South East…. (story)

BBC News Online 23.3.03 Animal export protest starts - Animal rights campaigners are staging a vigil in Dover in an attempt to have live animal exports banned… Joyce D'Silva, director of Compassion in World Farming, said 72 hours of events throughout the UK was to represent the amount of time some animals are forced to travel across Europe in cramped conditions… (story)

Harborough Mail 21.3.03 Personal attack missed the point completely - I DON’T know F Bent (The Mail, March 6) and he, obviously, doesn’t know me. As a member of Harborough Animal Concern I find his personal remarks both presumptuous and insulting. Since I was commenting on the Bishop’s visits to hunt kennels, the slaughter of cattle and pigs, however horrendous, was not relevant to my letter... I support over a dozen animal charities, from Advocates for Animals to the World Society for the Protection of Animals. I am having a fundraising stall this month for Compassion in World Farming and Viva (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals). I am having another stall in April for International Aid for Korean Animals and one in September for Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land. I wonder what F Bent does... Janet Gee, Lubenham (letter)
Harborough Mail 14.3.03 Bishop has duty to show concern for all his flock - J ASTILL from Harborough Animal Concern accused the Bishop of Leicester of blatant hypocrisy following a visit to the Fernie Hunt kennels recently. The Bishop has a pastoral responsibility to all in his diocese and is very much aware of the problems which have beset people in rural communities for some years... The Bishop shows compassion and concern to all his flock and would not be carrying out his duties properly if he ignored some sectors because he risked personal criticism. Sue Kyriakou, The Church of England, St Martin’s East, Leicester
Compassion extended to hunts - N reply to the letter ‘Bishop’s blatant hypocrisy’, J Astill states that the Bishop’s job is ‘to represent God and extend love and compassion to all beings’. Members of Leicestershire hunts are in this category, as indeed we all are... P Ringrose, Kibworth
Wrong to support wanton cruelty - I READ your feature ‘Hunts are given support from a Heavenly quarter’ with great sadness. As a member of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals; founder and secretary of the Leicestershire Group... I felt compelled to write to express my deep regret that any clergy, and particularly a bishop, should see it as part of his duty to give credence to such a barbaric pastime as hunting with hounds.... Linda J Bodicoat, Earl Shilton (letters)
Harborough Mail 7.3.03 Cruelty concerns should extend beyond foxes - I READ Janet Gee’s letter with interest (The Mail, Feb 27) and must have respect for her views on animal welfare. Unfortunately she seems to be obsessed with the welfare of one animal, this pest and killer, the fox. More support would be coming her way if she could include concern for some of the many other acts of cruelty that occur in this and many other countries…. I find it very difficult to understand and believe that foxes regulate their own numbers. How? Does this apply to foxes only?... F Bent, The Headlands, Harborough. (letter)
Harborough Mail 7.3.03 Bishop’s blatant hypocrisy - WHAT a farce! The Bishop of Leicester visiting the Leicestershire Hunts to give his support and share his concerns about rural issues…. J Astill (Harborough Animal Concern), Foxton. (letter)
Harborough Mail 28.2.03 Better to study wildlife than mix with hunters - I WAS sorry to see that the Bishop of Leicester has visited the Fernie and other hunts…. Janet Gee, Tower Court, Lubenham. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 13.2.03 HUNTS MEETING - The Bishop of Leicester is set to meet hunt supporters today. The Rt Rev Tim Stevens will meet masters and huntsmen from the seven Leicestershire hunts - Atherstone, Belvoir, Cottesmore, Fernie, Quorn, Oakley Foot and Westerby Bassetts - at Great Bowden, near Market Harborough… (story)
Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 17.3.03 PRINCE CHARLES AT PENRITH - SCORES of cheering schoolchildren greeted Prince Charles when he visited Penrith... The Prince also visited Caldbeck and went out with the Blencathra Foxhounds.... (story may be in archive)

Southport Visiter 21.3.03 Hares will die - MRS Farmer (Your Views) wants to ban hare coursing at Altcar, where approximately 24 hares died this year. What she has to do is think how hares live and die in the real world. She wants to take the protection off the hares that the coursing gives them. Two years after coursing is banned there will hardly be a hare left at Altcar… I'm afraid two years down the line our MP, the RSPCA, League Against Cruel Sports and you, Mrs Farmer, will have forgotten all about the hares and be crusading about something else… JOHN ALVEY,Guildford Road, Birkdale (letter)
Southport Visiter 7.3.03 Grotesque sport - HOW can Jackie Pope of the West Lancashire and District Countryside Alliance Action Group possibly compare the sick and grotesque event of hare coursing ( Visiter 28/02) to 'watching a predator pursue its prey in a TV wildlife documentary'?... NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED
No comparison - THE analogy between a TV wildlife documentary and the Waterloo Cup is false… It is easy to see through the fiction that 'coursing is not organised with the prime aim of killing hares.' If this is the case why do the spectators cheer when the hare is caught and savaged?... PAULINE FARMER, Seaton Way, Marshside. (letters)
Southport Visiter 28.2.03 See the benefits - AS someone with an interest in wildlife management, I'd like to ask readers with an open mind to consider the following: At the cost of the few hares that are unfortunate enough to be killed at the Waterloo Cup (around a dozen over three days last year), we have an estate which has one of the most populous and healthy hare populations in the North… Why do the people who virulently oppose events of this kind fail to recognise the benefits to the hare population as a whole? MICHAEL CLOUGH, Bradfield Close, Wigan West (letter)
Southport Visiter 28.2.03 fair sport - THE spectacle enjoyed at the Waterloo Cup differs little from watching a predator pursue its prey in a TV wildlife documentary…. Surely in an age where wildlife habitat is disappearing, the overall health of the hare population is of greater importance than the few individual animals that might be caught? JACKIE POPE,West Lancashire & District Countryside Alliance Action Group. (letter)

Newcastle Journal 21.3.03 Wildlife groups and Defra under attack on badgers - A farmers' group yesterday criticised Government and wildlife organisations for not doing enough to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis… Robert Robinson, chairman of the National Beef Association and a beef farmer in Alnwick, Northumberland, yesterday singled out Defra for not providing enough cash to fight bovine TB and wildlife groups for not accepting that a badger-to-cattle TB link existed and that badgers had to be culled… Heather Holmes, North-East spokesman for the RSPCA, said the society did not oppose controlled badger culls… (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 21.3.03 Baiting cruelty - ALTHOUGH badgers are protected in Britain by law, an estimated 10,000 are still killed illegally each year for the so-called sport of badger baiting… Badger crime is not notifiable to the Home Office, therefore police forces are not encouraged to take these crimes seriously… Everyone who cares should take their concerns to the Prime Minister, their MP and the Home Secretary… Mrs H Fraser, Tarbrax, West Calder (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 20.3.03 PLEASE KEEP FOX RECIPE TO YOURSELF - I was saddened by the distasteful article about TV star Zog Ziegler cooking a fox for lunch... Name supplied, Cheltenham (letter)
Gloucestershire Echo 4.3.03 START PRAYING - I write regarding the article about the chef who has a recipe for cooking fox... On all four estates that I have worked on I have always been asked by my employers not to shoot all the foxes so there are a few about when the fox hounds come this way in the winter. If the Government goes ahead with plans to ban hunting we will no longer tolerate foxes on our shoots and farms and will shoot or snare every fox we can.... Charles Brush, Cheltenham. (letter)
Gloucestershire Echo 25.2.03 ZOG COOKS FOX FOR SUNDAY LUNCH - Zog Ziegler says a fox marinated in burgundy for three hours makes the perfect dinner... He said: "Many years ago when I was blasting across the Cotswolds in my Jaguar I hit a fox, put it in the boot, took it home and marinated it. How did it taste? A bit like dog."... (story)

Kidderminster Shuttle 20.3.03 Drag-hunting to take over in five years - KEN Ainge's anguished cry (Letters, February 13) in defence of hunting is a desperate collection of misunderstandings, inaccuracies, wild exaggerations and sheer imaginative ramblings... In five years time, in the real world: l The vast majority of hunts will have converted to drag-hunting, finding that it's an infinitely better, faster, more exhilarating sport anyway, as many hunters already know but are not allowed publicly to admit for obvious political reasons... HARRY DOWNES, Lower Birch, Cleeton St Mary (letter in archive)
Kidderminster Shuttle 13.2.03 Shooters, anglers to be next target? - CURRENTLY 32 MPs are sitting on a standing committee to examine the provisions of the Government's proposed Hunting Bill…. With so much of such great moment now taking place, both in this country and in the world, how can such a waste of individual effort be justified? It is also clear that this particular committee has been rigged from the word go…. In view of this, those of us who shoot or fish should not allow ourselves to be complacent nor place much faith in this Government's pledge, that our pastimes are safe in their hands. I believe that if hunting goes, we shall be next in the firing line. We should be prepared and act accordingly. KEN AINGE The Foxholes Kidderminster (letter in archive)

Argus 20.3.03 MPs call for snare ban - Almost 40 MPs have signed up to a House of Commons motion calling for the banning of snares. The motion, tabled by Lewes MP Norman Baker, follows a report from the National Federation of Badger Groups, which reveals badgers and other animals are being severely injured and killed by snares. (story in archive)

Western Gazette 20.3.03 GROUPS SHOW THAT BADGER ROW IS NOT BLACK AND WHITE - A War of words has broken out between wildlife campaigners and farming leaders after it was suggested that badgers are not responsible for infecting cattle with bovine tuberculosis... in a paper submitted by the National Federation of Badger Groups to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, research pointed to evidence that cattle are the main vectors of the disease... Val Bridge of the Dorset Badger Group said: "Since badgers are not in the habit of travelling around the country, the sharp rise in TB confirmed that cattle were taking the disease from farm to farm.... (story)

North East Evening Gazette 20.3.03 Animal maniacs - I read with horror and disgust your article on badger baiting. What do these evil people get out of it?... MRS ANNIE ARMSTRONG, Guisborough (story)

Penarth Times 20.3.03 Cruel sport - THE ALL Party Group for Animal Welfare in the National Assembly for Wales had a presentation recently from the Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE). We saw a horrific video of Spanish bullfights and "fiestas"…. Lorraine Barrett Penarth AM National Assembly for Wales (letter in archive)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 19.3.03 'Outlaw hunting and the hare will suffer' …For decades, the borough’s sprawling 3,000-acre Arbury Estate, the ancestral home of Lord Daventry, has been the traditional meeting place for the North Warwickshire Beagles, a group which hunts hares on foot. But under legislation currently going through Parliament, proposing a ban on hunting, the activities of the 70-strong group would be outlawed… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.3.03 LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WON'T GIVE US BAN ON HUNTING - I was puzzled by John Phelp's explanation for his latest change of political party, Points of view, March 10. It was clear that John's over-riding priority during his spell as a member of the Labour Party was a hunting ban. Now, just as there is a strong chance of a ban becoming reality, he goes back to the Liberal Democrats because Labour has "betrayed the trust of the electorate" on hunting.... R Johnstone, Longbrook Street, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 10.3.03 I CAN'T TRUST TONY BLAIR ON HUNTING OR OVER IRAQ - Six years ago I trusted Tony Blair and the Labour Party to honour their promise to ban hunting with dogs for sport. Therefore, in the spring of 1997, I left the Liberal Democrats and joined Labour… Although I expect the Bill will, in due course, be amended to ban all forms of hunting with dogs for sport, the fact remains that the Government deliberately introduced a Bill knowing it to be unacceptable to their own members of Parliament…Readers of the Echo must ask themselves whether the Prime Minister, who has betrayed the trust of the electorate on hunting, is a fit person to deal with the Iraq issue… I have now rejoined the Liberal Democrats in whom I have greater trust. John Phelps Argyll Road Exeter (letter)

Market Rasen Mail 19.3.03 Otters have made a massive comeback - It is a shame I R & M P Taylor (Letters March 5) know absolutely nothing about British wildlife. To pretend otters are nearly extinct is to ignore the massive comeback they have made in the last 20 years, when pesticides caused their decline… The hare population is known to be stable and increasing slightly at 800,000, and as packs of hounds kill no more than 2000 a year in the whole country… William Proudfoot, Kent
Market Rasen Mail 19.3.03 Coursing is about seeing working dogs - Everyone is, of course, entitled to his or her view on the hunting debate. The letter you published in the Rasen Mail (March 5) gave clear evidence of one opinion… It is unfortunate your correspondents, whom I presume live in Glentham, did not actually see what was happening at the coursing meet as they would then have produced a more accurate report. At no time was a field surrounded with 20 or more dogs, people or riders. There was only one person on horseback, the judge… Your correspondents’ other points about the scarcity of wildlife do not hold up… . In your correspondents’ blanket objections to hunting, shooting and farming they failed to include fishing. Was this an oversight? Sharon Brown, Middlefield Lane, Glentham. (letters
Market Rasen Mail 5.3.03 A really bad hare day - Saturday was a bad hare day. Once again we had the running dogs loose on the fields around our village. All perfectly legal of course, but try as I might I cannot get on a mental level with someone who thinks that surrounding a field with 20 or more dogs supported by equal numbers of people and riders after a small defenceless animal equates to sport… Time was when if you went for a walk in the countryside you would see wild creatures. Now, thanks to the efforts of all our brave hunters with their dogs and their guns, ably supported by intensive farming and general greed and selfishness in the use of the land we can all rejoice to live in England’s green and STERILE land. I R & M P Taylor , Address supplied (letter)

North Devon Gazette 19.3.03 Please pay attention - We have apparently elected ourselves a Prime Minister who thinks he is above the wishes of the people. We had a Countryside March with thousands of marchers and he ignored it completely. We have the majority of people in this country opposed to war with Iraq and he ignores them completely…. The only people who have managed to get his attention are the IRA and heaven forbid that we have to go down that path…. David Beagley, Richmond Villas, Ilfracombe (letter in archive)

Glasgow Herald 19.3.03 Enough legislation already on airguns - IT is interesting to note that one of the animal welfare organisations behind the ineffectual Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act is now turning its sights on airguns (March 17).... Given that the use, or misuse, of airguns is already covered by more than 30 different pieces of legislation and that it is already illegal to use airguns anywhere except on private land with permission, it is clear to those who shoot that the problem does not lie with a lack of legislation. What is missing is an apparent willingness to enforce existing legislation, when necessary.... Dr Colin B Shedden, director, BASC Scotland, Trochry, Dunkeld. (letter may be in archive)
Glasgow Herald 17.3.03 Charity in election call for animal welfare minister - CATHERINE LYST - A CHARITY will call tomorrow for an animal welfare minister for Scotland as part of its manifesto for the Holyrood elections. Advocates for Animals, based in Edinburgh, also wants a programme of legislative reform, including a ban on animals in circuses, proper enforcement of the standards on modern zoo practice and an end to live animal exports from Scotland…. Les Ward, director, said: "At the moment, everything is so fragmented. When we tried to introduce the hunting bill, there was doubt as to which committee should deal with it…. It wants a total ban on the use of airguns in public… (story in archive)

Times 19.3.03 Animal rights extremists boost backing for live tests BY MARK HENDERSON, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT - REVULSION at violent tactics used by anti-vivisection protesters has enhanced public support for medical research involving animals, a new opinion poll says... Medical research groups that commissioned the MORI survey said that the changing attitudes could be explained in part by increasingly violent methods adopted by activists, particularly those taking action against the Cambridgshire laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS)... Wendy Higgins, of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, said: “I think it’s a real shame that the public is sometimes more preoccupied with the methods of campaigners than the issue of animal research, and if the more direct tactics of some campaigners have contributed to this that’s something to be regretted.” (story)
Telegraph 19.3.03 Support grows for animal experiments By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent - High-profile campaigns by hard-line animal rights activists to close research laboratories and intimidate scientists may have backfired, according to a poll showing increased public support for animal experiments. According to the Mori survey, 90 per cent of people give conditional backing for vivisection in science, compared with 84 per cent in 1999…. The poll was commissioned by the Coalition for Medical Progress, a new alliance of organisations formed to put the case for vivisection in science….

Independent 19.3.03 Ban new battery cages, say activists By Steve Connor, Science Editor - Animal welfare groups condemned the Government yesterday for deciding against banning a new type of "friendly" cage for egg-laying hens that is said to be no better than the old battery cages.... Peter Stevenson, of Compassion in World Farming, said the new cages were "glorified battery cages with a fancy name"... (story)
Newcastle Journal 19.3.03 Cages for egg-laying hens will not be outlawed - Calls to ban cages used to house egg-laying hens were rejected by the Government yesterday… Compassion in World Farming dismissed enriched cages as "glorified battery cages with a fancy name"…. (story)

Times 19.3.03 Welfare charity challenges NFU's 'caring' food logo BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming is challenging claims that the red tractor logo on food means that livestock has been treated kindly... The charity held a protest yesterday to counter the NFU campaign to promote farm food that has the tractor logo. Shoppers at a South London supermarket were shown video footage of a chicken farm which had been approved under the logo scheme.... (story)
Telegraph 19.3.03 A food promotion launched by farmers yesterday was disrupted by animal rights campaigners, claiming that the Little Red Tractor logo promoted cruelty... Compassion in World Farming is considering referring it to the Advertising Standards Authority. A video van at the protest outside the launch of the scheme showed footage from an approved broiler chicken farm… (story)
Newcastle Journal 19.3.03 Call to get rid of Red Tractor - Campaigners yesterday demanded that a food logo designed to reassure shoppers about farming standards be removed from all animal-related products. Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) said the British Farm Standard scheme, known for its red tractor mark, makes "wild claims" while failing to protect animals… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 18.3.03 WILL THE REAL CHARLES PLEASE STEP FORWARD? - WELL, if that's Prince Charles's idea of a perfect day then no wonder the activities of his household are so bizarre… The Prince's "day off" in rural Cumbria last week comprised a good walk with the local hunt -nothing wrong with that unless you are an anti-hunt protester - followed by an afternoon of listening to traditional hunting songs rendered by followers in a traditional Lakeland inn. Look, I have attended these singing events. Some of the blokes who fancy themselves as fellside Pavarottis wouldn't even get on Pop Idol as first-round losers… (story)
Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 17.3.03 PRINCE CHARLES AT PENRITH - SCORES of cheering schoolchildren greeted Prince Charles when he visited Penrith... The Prince also visited Caldbeck and went out with the Blencathra Foxhounds.... (story may be in archive)
North West Evening Mail 13.3.03 PRINCE LOVES TOFFEE SHOP - Prince Charles tested the 'best toffee in the world'' during his visit to Cumbria… During his stay, the 54-year-old Prince spent his time relaxing and braving the torrential rain to go walking with local farmers on the Blencathra hunt in Mungrisdale, near Keswick (story)
Western Mail 13.3.03 Charles returns to his favourite rural retreat - THE Prince of Wales yesterday checked out of his favourite £25-a-night bed and breakfast and indicated he would like to return again… During his stay, the 54-year-old Prince spent his time relaxing and braving the torrential rain to go walking with local farmers on the Blencathra hunt in Mungrisdale, near Keswick… (story)
Telegraph 12.3.03 Prince shrugs off hernia to join Lakes hunt By Nigel Bunyan - The Prince of Wales shrugged off the pain of his hernia yesterday to go hunting in the Lake District. Prince Charles apparently felt no ill effects when he joined members of the Blencathra Hunt as they scrambled behind the hounds on a day of torrential rain in Mungrisdale, near Keswick, Cumbria… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 18.3.03 Fair Game: On the subject of hare coursing - how about reviving the ancient sport of drawing and quartering, starting with the spectators? S. M. TOOP Field Lane, Morton, Gainsborough (letter)

Western Morning News 18.3.03 KILLING WILDLIFE SHOULD NOT BE ACCEPTED 'SPORT' - Once again we have been subjected to the sickening sights of the Waterloo Cup. All the usual nobs and yobs in attendance - Paisley caps, Barbour and the rest of the trappings they need to participate in this disgraceful activity… As for Joanna Russell saying there is no question of the hare being "finally caught", and that the quarry escapes into woods, scrub, rough fields and crops where dogs do not pursue it further, is just another example of someone telling fairy stories while trying to justify their sick desire to pursue and kill a defenceless wild animal in the name of sport… F Cleaves, Par (letter)
Western Morning News 25.2.03 Hares' escape route - IN reply to David Matthews (WMN, January 21), there is no question of the hare being "finally caught" by the dogs when coursed. The aim of coursing is not to kill the hare, but to test two dogs…. Joanna Russell, West Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 18.3.03 Irish concerns - THE Irish hunting fraternity are mildly concerned that a ban on hunting in Britain would cause an influx of British field sports enthusiasts… They also think that hunt saboteurs would find sponsorships for air fares from various anti groups to enable them to carry on with their "sport" in Ireland… Unlike our rulers, the Irish Government respects the countryside and the country dwellers, customs and livelihoods and I would expect the Irish people to come down hard… W T Sweet, Mawgan, Helston (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 18.3.03 Save our wildfowl stop fishing - IF C Roberts (Letters, March 6) is really concerned about waterfowl, I suggest he stops fishing. Wildlife rescue centres around the country would tell him that the vast majority of injuries and deaths to waterfowl are caused by tackle…. (Mrs) M HARRISON (Swindon Animal Concern) Beaulieu Close Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 18.3.03 BEST PLACE TO WATCH ANIMALS IS IN THE WILD - Regarding Jonathan Shorney's article about Bristol Zoo… I feel saddened to see such beautiful animals caged and bored within the confines of their cages. The animals may be fed and watered, but they almost look as if they're in a state of depression. I guess it is the boredom and confinement they suffer…. I agree with the statement about silent suffering and feel that zoos should be stopped as, like the circus, they are cruel and set up just as a money-making attraction… Miss Ellie Phillips Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.3.03 IT'S TIME TO SHUT DOWN CITY ZOOS - Jonathan Shorney is right to question whether there is any need for city zoos in this day and age. There is nothing more depressing than seeing some exotic animal sitting huddled under a paltry bit of vegetation, sheltering from the wind and rain... Even though these creatures are looked after, you can see it in their eyes and listless gait that they are unhappy... J Smith Bristol (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 18.3.03 Make animal welfare a priority, says Euro MP - A call for decisive action over the long-distance transport of live animals is being backed by North-east Conservative Euro-MP Martin Callanan. Conservative MEPs in the European Parliament have tabled a formal resolution calling for urgent and decisive action on the issue… (story)

Bolton Evening News 17.3.03 MP seeks total ban on hunting and fireworks - BOLTON North-east MP David Crausby says he will continue to push for a complete ban on hunting foxes with dogs as the issue returns to the House of Commons for debate next week….Both Bolton West MP Ruth Kelly and Brian Iddon, Bolton South East MP, have also revealed their support for a total ban on hunting foxes with dogs… (story in archive)

Dorset Daily Echo 17.3.03 Forest hunts cancelled because of dog disease - FOXHUNTING in the New Forest has been cancelled for the rest of the season because the hounds have contracted a highly contagious disease. New Forest Hounds have scrapped their last six meets of the winter after an outbreak of kennel cough, which can prove fatal in extreme cases… (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 14.3.03 Kennel cough cancels hunt - FOXHUNTING in the New Forest has been cancelled for the rest of the season because the hounds have contracted a highly contagious disease. New Forest Hounds have scrapped their last six meets of the winter after an outbreak of kennel cough, which can prove fatal in extreme cases… Mike Squibb, chairman of New Forest Hounds… said it was "fairly unlikely" that the hounds had infected domestic pets that are exercised in the Forest, adding: "Kennel cough is spread by close contact and when we go out the public don't come that close with their own dogs." Ken James of the New Forest Animal Protection Group, said: "The hunt went out on Tuesday, when some of the hounds seemed lethargic…. (story in archive)

Dorset Daily Echo (17.3.03) WI stalwart dies aged 103 LIFELONG countrywoman and doyenne of the Women's Institute Mary Golding has died in a Ringwood rest home aged 103…. she was at home when New Forest Hounds played a happy Happy Birthday serenade on their hunting horns when they met outside Linbank Farm on the morning of her 100th birthday in 1999… (story in archive)

Scotsman 17.3.03 A road less travelled - Alexandra Tolstoy... It was these trips that whetted my appetite for more adventurous travels, and led me to respond so enthusiastically to a friend, Sophia Cunningham (Mouse) , a couple of years later, when she told me that she nurtured a dream of retracing the ancient Silk Road on horse and camel.... Mouse loves the outdoors and is always eager for adventure. Having hunted all her life with the Flint and Denbigh Hunt in North Wales, she was a far more experienced rider than we three were.... Last Secrets of the Silk Road by Alexandra Tolstoy is published on 27 March, Profile Books, £16.99. (story)

Western Daily Press or Bristol Evening Post 17.3.03 SHALLOW CASE OF THE ANTIS - Erin Dean's piece on hunts breeding foxes is an accurate record of my comments. However, the allegation that we accept that hunts 'breed foxes' is not. Hunts do not breed foxes, they breed entirely in the wild. The League Against Cruel Sports has no evidence of foxes being held captive in earths by hunts, nor does it have evidence of other breaches of the rules…. Nicky Driver Campaign For Hunting Ledbury Herefordshire (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 17.3.03 Children should take no part in animal hunting - AFTER the recent revelations of Marlborough College boys involved in twice-a-week beagling, clearly it is time to close the loopholes in the Hunting Bill and put it forward as a total ban on live animal hunting… KATHERINE WATSON Rushton Drive Bramhall Cheshire (letter in archive)

Cambridge News 17.3.03 Hunting the hunters - HARE coursing is an ever present problem in rural areas of Cambridgeshire. Reporter John Clare and photographer Duncan Lamont joined police on one of their weekend patrols to see first hand the difficulties involved in cracking down on the sport…. If the Government's controversial Hunting Bill becomes law then hunting with dogs will be outlawed, meaning coursers can be arrested and their dogs and vehicles confiscated…. (story)

Western Daily Press or Bristol Evening Post 17.3.03 MEP SHOULD SPEAK UP FOR ALL LIVESTOCK - While it is highly commendable of MEP Neil Parish to speak out against the horrific conditions faced by horses and donkeys being transported around Europe, I hope he and his colleagues remember other livestock. It is not just horses and donkeys that face this awful cruelty, but sheep, cattle, pigs and chickens… Name and address supplied (letter)

Observer 16.3.03 Missing link - After providing a personal history of the killing of numerous animals, Wilbur Smith (Magazine, last week) registers an uncomprehending shock at 'man's inhumanity to man'... G. Hardingham, Cambridge (letter)

Eastern Daily Press 15.3.03 Ex-Harriers master is jailed for perjury - A company director who claimed to be a victim of a “regime of terror” has been jailed for 15 months after he lied during the trial of a major drugs dealer at the centre of a crime empire. Stewart Sayer, 45, who was field master for the Dunston Harriers, said he was a under constant threat two years ago when he gave evidence at the trial of Richard Carter. Carter, along with his brother Stephen, ran a large-scale drug dealing operation and smuggled a steady supply of cannabis and heroin to inmates at Norwich prison.... Norwich Crown Court heard that during the trial, Sayer lied in court to help Richard Carter hide his “ill-gotten” gains from his drug dealing empire.... Michael Clare, in mitigation, handed the judge nearly 50 statements and letters in support of Sayer with references about his charity work and social activities for the local hunt.... (story)

Telegraph 15.3.03 Correction on codes of conduct - Christopher Graffius (letter, Mar 13) is wrong about my Bill, which has continued support from the largest parts of the rural community.... I would introduce amendments at committee stage, as I explained at the Bill's second reading, which would not give the Secretary of State the powers he alleges but would give recognition to established governing bodies and their codes of conduct.... My Bill, if adopted by the Government, would mean that it would be unnecessary to pursue a Bill to ban hunting with dogs. Lord Donoughue, London SW1 (letter in archive)
Telegraph 13.3.03 Support shooting people - Lord Donoughue's Private Member's Bill - supported by the Countryside Alliance - would give the Government power to set up and appoint an unelected quango that could draw up "codes of practice" to regulate any activity, including shooting, in which mammals are the quarry... The British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) opposes this Bill because a future, anti-shooting government could use these powers to appoint animal rights activists to the quango, and draw up codes of conduct for the sport without reference to shooting people; all backed by criminal sanctions.... Christopher Graffius, BASC, Wrexham, Flintshire (letter in archive)

Argus 15.3.03 Swans get a reprieve - A pair of swans facing the death penalty for straying across a flight path have been granted a stay of execution… Trevor Weeks, from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue, said: "No action will be taken on the swans until a full investigation has been carried out by the National Swan Sanctuary…" (story in archive)
Argus 14.3.03 Swans face execution by Huw Borland - A pair of swans are facing execution for putting pilots in danger by straying across a flight path. Wildlife campaigners are outraged by the "shoot-to-kill" licence given to Shoreham airport…. the swans' nesting ground is on Sibella Pannell's five-acre property off Old Salts Farm Road in Lancing, west of the airport and she is refusing to allow anyone on her land… RSPCA spokeswoman Klare Kennett said: "We only have permission to remove the swans if we get permission from the landowners to do so…" (story in archive)

Argus 15.3.03 Plan to airlift Middle East donkeys by Steve Rogers - A charity founder could airlift more than 20 donkeys from Israel to Britain if war breaks out in the Middle East. Lucy Fensom, from Hove, is worried for the safety of a sanctuary she established in 2000 after being touched by the plight of pack animals. Her Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land looks after 53 animals treated cruelly by their previous owners…. Now, Lucy is preparing to bring a number of her wards to the UK should Israel come under fire…. (story in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.3.03 WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION THREAT TO ANIMAL WELFARE - The greatest threat to animal welfare is the World Trade Organisation. Under its current rules, animals are treated as ordinary goods of trade.... As the WTO rules are being re-negotiated, I urge anyone that cares about animals to write in protest to either the trade minister or their MP. Animals are sentient beings and to treat them otherwise discredits the WTO.... Jane Moore, St Leonard's Road, Exeter (letter)

York Evening Press 14.3.03 Hunt gallops to aid of hospice by Liz Todd - NORTH YORKSHIRE hunt supporters proved they are ahead of the field with a mammoth fundraising effort, which brought in a total of £2,600. A special dinner and show jumping demonstration was organised by the Middleton Hunt to raise cash for Martin House Children's Hospice, with £1,300 donated to the charity…. (story in archive)

Scotsman 14.3.03 Natural Law - ALLAN MASSIE ….I leave gardening to others, neither hunt nor shoot, and it’s years since I tried to catch a fish. But I like the idea that these things are going on around me, just as I like, on a morning walk with one of the dogs along the river, to see herons rising from the water and flapping their slow wings reproachfully… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 14.3.03 COUNTRY LOVERS CAN HATE HUNTS - A Couple of comments puzzled me in the article, "Minister runs into pro-hunt protest fury"... there is no "divide" between country and town but between people, some pro-hunting, others anti... PAMELA DEAN Whiteshill Nr Stroud (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 8.3.03 MINISTER RUNS INTO PRO-HUNT PROTEST FURY - A Government Minister was mobbed by furious rural protesters in Gloucester after he declared hunting was "not important" to the countryside. The demonstrators from hunts all over the county were gathered in College Green, Gloucester, to confront Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael on his visit to the city. Mr Michael was in Gloucester attending the signing of the training strategy for the Gloucestershire Training Partnership for Town and Parish Councils... (story)

Newark Advertiser 14.3.03 Hunting lobby I have received correspondence from the MP for Newark, Mr Patrick Mercer, which said that many constituents had asked him to vote in favour of fox hunting and that he would continue to vote for hunting with dogs. Clearly the wishes of the majority of his constituents in this matter are to be ignored…. JAMES CLARK, Newark (Full address supplied.) (letter may be in archive)

Western Morning News 14.3.03 Why do we kill? I SEE that the huntsmen want to control red deer by hunting and that there is no other way of doing so. Deer could be controlled like sheep - rounded up into a high pen and picked out. If they are given some hay each day they would get tame enough to sort out... Robert Royston, Totnes (letter)

Harborough Mail 14.3.03 Sick suggestion on savagery - I WAS disgusted to read the letter printed in the Harborough Mail, written by L Palmer... Anyone who smiles at the thought of someone’s cherished pet cat being ripped to pieces by a pack of hunting dogs must have an utterly sick mind. L Reid, Nelson Street, Market Harborough.
One of the many reasons why hunting should be banned now HARBOROUGH Animal Concern would first of all like to offer our sympathy to the owners of Kitty the cat who was killed by the Westerby Bassett hounds... Hunting should be banned for many reasons, and the sooner the better for the sake of innocent pets that happen to just be in the way! Jean Bird, Harborough Animal Concern, Kibworth Beauchamp (letters)
Harborough Mail 7.3.03 Organised killing is not nature’s way - WHAT a sad life for L Palmer (The Mail, Feb 27) when he/she can get a smile from hearing a cat had been savaged by the hunt while under a hedge of a garden…. P Riechert & H Cooke, Astley Close and Highcross Street, Market Harborough. (letter)
Harborough Mail 28.2.03 Nature levelling the score? - THE door opened, leaving the pampered predator to roam at will on its fouling and killing mission. Along came the organised hunt and the hunter now becomes the hunted… How many smiles passed over the faces of the gardeners and birdwatchers seeing nature level the score. L Palmer, Horsefair Close, Market Harborough. (letter)
Harborough Mail 24.2.03 HUNTING HOUNDS SAVAGE CAT - A WOMAN whose cat was savagely attacked by a group of hunting hounds after being mistaken for a fox, says the hunt organisers responsible should foot her vet's bill. Heartbroken Marjorie Lansdell, of Westhorpe in Sibbertoft, and her family say they have been left devastated by the attack which happened in her village… She also believes the Westerby Bassett Hunt, which organised the hunt, should cover the cost of her £300 vet bill…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 14.3.03 Hunting out the facts From: B Robinson, Midland Terrace, Hellifield, near Skipton. The letter from SM Barnard (Yorkshire Post, March 3), headed "Flawed arguments in favour of fox hunting" is flawed itself. It is the old, the weak and sick foxes that most often kill lambs and poultry, the reason being they no longer have the speed to catch rabbits and hares... For the benefit of the people who have sent me abusive letters through the post following my last letter, by no sense of imagination could I be classed as a squire, neither do I ride a horse. I do my hunting on foot. Additionally, my "country pile" is a modest terraced house. (letter)
Yorkshire Post 7.3.03 Flawed argument in favour of fox hunting From: SM Barnard, North Park Road, Leeds - B Robinson ("Hunting makes for fit foxes", Letters, February 25) seems to have a problem with his or her reasoning… Now we are told that it is the old, weak, sick and stupid foxes that are killed. Surely these are the ones least likely to have the ability to slaughter lambs and foxes, abduct pet cats and bite babies in their cradles?... (letter)
Yorkshire Post 25.2.03 Hunting makes for fit foxes From: B. Robinson, Midland Terrace, Hellifield, near Skipton. I find it impossible to accept emotive statements made by Neil Hanson in his letter (Yorkshire Post, February 20). It would be interesting to hear how one can slow a hound down in order to prolong the chasing of a fox. Does he dream these things up when he is having a bad night?... The only artificial earths I have seen have been built by gamekeepers for the purpose of catching foxes to put them down... (letter)

FUR FARM COMPENSATION CLAIMS
Telegraph 14.3.03 Mink farm payouts unfair, judge rules - The last 10 mink farmers in Britain, forced out of business this year by a government ban on their trade, won a significant victory in the High Court yesterday when a judge ruled that the way the ban was carried out was unfair... The National Farmers' Union said... the Government should take the defeat as evidence of the likely attitude of the courts if it tried to impose draconian restrictions on hunting with dogs, or a ban, without adequate compensation.... (story)
Yorkshire Post 14.3.03 Mink farmers in line for millions after win - YORKSHIRE mink farmers could be in line for millions of pounds in compensation after a judge ruled that their human rights had been violated when the Government decided to shut them down... The National Farmers Union, which backed the case, said the former mink farmers, who had to shut up shop when the ban on fur farming came into force in January, were left high and dry with compensation payments that came nowhere near meeting their losses... (story)
Western Daily Press 14.3.03 MINK MEN WIN - Ten former mink farmers who lost their livelihoods when the Government banned their trade now look set to win millions more in compensation... (story)
Newcastle Journal 14.3.03 Mink farmers in pay-out victory By Timothy Baly, The Journal, The Journal The North's last mink farmer has won a High Court victory in his fight for hundreds of thousands of pounds in extra compensation for the loss of his business. Peter Harrison, of Corneyhaugh, near Ponteland, was one of 10 mink farmers who took on the Government over payouts they were offered when the industry was outlawed…. Mr Justice Burnton said the Government had failed in its duty to create a "fair and rational" method of paying farmers… The result was "arbitrary" payments that were in breach of the farmers' right to respect for their private property under the Human Rights Convention…. (story)
Lancashire Evening Post 14.3.03 Mink farmers' court victory - Three Preston mink farmers were celebrating today after winning their High Court battle against the Government for a multi-million pound payout…. Now, in light of their victory, they are planning to launch a new case for compensation, and will seek a deal worth up to £16m…. (story)
Southern Daily Echo 14.3.03 Fur farmer's award angers welfare lobby by Chris Yandell - A FORMER Hampshire fur farmer is in line for a massive compensation award after a High Court victory that has angered animal welfare groups. Terence Smith was one of only ten remaining mink farmers in the UK when the trade was outlawed at the beginning of the year… Organisations that attacked the potential pay-out included the New Forest Animal Protection Group. Spokesman Ken James said: "I don't think mink farmers should receive any compensation at all. They went into business to make money out of cruelty and deserve any losses that come their way…." (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 14.3.03 Mink farmer wins compenation battle - AN ISLE of Wight mink farmer has won a stunning High Court victory in his battle for compensation from the government. Ken Shyn, of Bunts Hill Farm in Porchfield, was one of the last ten mink farmers in Britain to be put out of business by the government ban on their trade…. Overturning the current compensation scheme, Mr Justice Burnton said the government had failed in its duty to to create a "fair and rational" method of paying farmers for the destruction of their businesses…"
Newcastle Journal 27.2.03 Fur farm fights for pay out By John Aston, The Journal - A north fur breeder put out of business by new laws yesterday joined nine other mink farmers in a £15m court battle for compensation. Peter Harrison, from Ponteland, Northumberland, was among the farmers challenging the legality of the Government's compensation scheme, arguing the views of the anti-fur trade lobby had wrongly been taken into account… The farmers were angered when Defra consulted the animal rights campaigners over the levels of compensation being assessed under the Fur Farming… (story)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 28.10.02 DON'T CONDONE CRUEL FUR TRADE - Len Kelsall is campaigning for greater compensation for the forced closure of his mink farm… Those who profit from the abuse of animals need condemnation not compensation. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)
Newcastle Journal 18.10.02 Fur farmers in fight for compensation By Dave Black, The Journal - England's last fur farmers - including one from the North-East - yesterday launched a legal bid to win millions of pounds in compensation for the loss of their outlawed businesses. Peter Harrison - whose Cornyhaugh mink farm near Ponteland, Northumberland, was at the centre of a sustained protest by animal rights activists - is one of 11 farmers seeking up to £15m in compensation…. Mr Justice Newman, sitting in London, ruled that the farmers have an arguable case after they claimed the terms they are being offered are "unfair, arbitrary and unlawful"… Last night Louise Stevenson, a member of the Cornyhaugh Fur Campaign which targeted Mr Harrison's farm, accused the mink farmers of being greedy… (story)
Shropshire Star 18.10.02 Ex-mink farmer seeks more cash - A north Shropshire border mink farmer forced to shut down his business of 40 years last year when the Government outlawed fur farming has launched a High Court bid for improved compensation. Len Kelsall, 62, who operated at Kelbain Farm at Onneley, near Market Drayton, was forced to close his mink farm last April… (story)
Dorset Daily Echo 18.10.02 Fur flies over payout to mink farmers - DEFIANT mink farmer Terence Smith has won the right to challenge the government over its allegedly "inadequate" compensation for the loss of his business… (story in archive)

Bolton Evening News 14.3.03 These birds are such a huge menace to the fish - THERE is at the moment a great deal of controversy centred around the love affairs of a bird… Such is the outrage that a figure of £50,000 has been quoted to cover the cost of a nationwide cull… Meanwhile, for the past 10 years, fishery owners and angling associations have seen a dramatic decline in the quality of their fishing. The cause of this problem -- the Goosander, Merganser, and the dreaded black death itself, the Cormorant…. when we apply for a licence to cull these birds "we will willingly do it for free", we might as well ask for the moon, and there is a wailing and gnashing of teeth because they are a protected species. As far as I am aware, a bird is a bird, unless of course you are a Ruddy Duck. T F Hampson, Fisher Owner and Conservationist Hulton Lane Bolton (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 14.3.03 FEEDBACK: OPINION SHOWS DOUBLE STANDARD - I Would like to respond to letters attacking medical research. Claire Hudson ( February 28) objects to the use of animals in medical research, but, rather hypocritically, admits that she takes drugs that have been developed using animals... Ann Richardson ( , February 27) has a pretty irresponsible attitude for someone who claims to be a former nurse... Thomas Bromley, SIMR Executive Secretary (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.3.03 WE ARE NOT THE SAME AS ANIMALS I read with interest Thomas Bromley's letter regarding his backing of animal experiments. As I pointed out in my letter, I also want improvements in health and I am not against medical research. I am against research involving animals... Sarah Hawker, Chippenham, Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 28.2.03 SPARE ANIMALS AND TEST ON CELLS - I am a severe asthmatic and suffer from eczema… Although I do not like the fact, I accept that the drugs I take have been tested on animals and am grateful to them and to the scientists that invented the drugs. That said, I cannot agree with Thomas Bromley that concerns about testing on animals are emotional propaganda… Let us encourage the Government to support those organisations that do medical research without testing on animals… Claire Hudson Frome Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 27.2.03 TESTING DRUGS ON ANIMALS NOT OK - The letter from Mr Bromley advocating the testing of drugs on animals, in which he states that only healthy people disagree with it, is nonsense. I suffer from two intractable and distressing disorders, but I strongly disapprove of testing anything on animals… As a student nurse in the 1960s, I dished out thalidomide to all and sundry every night. Everybody knows what that was doing to unborn babies. It had, of course, been extensively tested on pregnant animals… Ann Richardson Warminster Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.2.03 THE BENEFITS OF ANIMAL TESTING Your correspondent Sarah Hawker is presumably healthy and can therefore afford to be against the use of animals in medical research… Thomas Bromley SIMR Executive Secretary PO box 504 Dunstable Bedfordshire (letter)

Newcastle Journal 14.3.03 'End this barbarity to farm animals' - Conservative Euro- MPs are demanding urgent action to ease the plight of transported animals. This follows news that pigs were recently kept in a truck for 90 hours on a journey from the Netherlands to Greece, and in Poland horses and donkeys have suffered journeys of five days without rest, food or water…. (story)

Malvern Gazette 14.3.03 Actor thanked for support ON behalf of Compassion in World Farming, I would like to thank the many people of Malvern who, despite the very cold, wet and windy day (Saturday), took time to sign our petitions against the live animal export trade… J HARRIES, local organiser, Compassion in World Farming, Petersfield, Hampshire. (letter in archive)

Epsom Guardian 14.3.03 We must stop torture of animals - The first signs of spring are beginning to appear in the countryside and in our local shops. Easter cards bearing traditional cuddly lambs and fluffy chicks are also making their annual appearance. If only more members of the public could look beyond these hackneyed and reassuring icons of new life to see the real and terrible fate which awaits these endearing creatures in our world today… Yvonne Burnett Glenfield Road Banstead (letter)

Hertfordshire Mercury 14.3.03 Live goldfish-eating contest sparks fury - A bizarre live goldfish-eating competition in Ware to raise money for Children in Need has sparked outrage from the RSPCA and the town mayor… Bar owner Abs Baradarannakajavan wants to tie in the goldfish swallowing with the launch of the bar's new front dining area on Tudor Square next month. "Part of the launch will include a live goldfish eating competition to raise money for Children in Need," he confessed…. Ware mayor Victoria Shaw echoed calls for the boycott of the freak event. "Speaking as a vegetarian and an animal lover I am outraged…" (story may only be on website for a week)

Telegraph 13.3.03 Farmers may leave carcasses to rot after burial ban By Benedict Brogan, Political Correspondent Dead livestock could be left to rot on farms because the Government has refused to fund a national disposal scheme when a European Union ban on burying animal carcasses comes into force in May.... Previously farmers have been able to dispose of dead animals by burying them or burning them in incinerators. But the new rules mean they will have to call in outside contractors to dispose of everything from a fallen cow to a stillborn piglet.Local hunts play a vital role in helping farmers to dispose of unwanted carcasses. Alastair Jackson, the director of the Master of the Foxhounds Association, said many farmers would have little choice but to break the law…. (story)

Western Daily Press 13.3.03 HUNT IS BREEDING FOXES, CLAIM WILDLIFE CRUSADERS Dramatic images of a dog being sent down an artificial fox earth reveal how prestigious hunts are breeding their own quarry, animal campaigners claimed yesterday. A former member of the well-known Heythrop Hunt was captured on video directing two terriers down the manmade breeding sites, the League Against Cruel Sports alleges… (story)
Cotswold News 13.3.03 Hunt hits back over allegations by Mathew Martin - THE League Against Cruel Sports claims to have evidence that a Cotswold hunt is secretly encouraging foxes to breed in order to guarantee good sport. At a crowded press conference in Chipping Norton yesterday, Douglas Batchelor, the league's chief executive, claimed the Heythrop Hunt maintained a network of artificial earths and illegally dumped carcasses for its quarry… Campaign for Hunting representative Nicky Driver said the footage presented by the league did not represent any wrongdoing… She had contacted trading standards in Oxfordshire and they were not considering taking any action against the hunt… (story in archive)
Oxford Mail 13.3.03 Hunt 'helped foxes breed' - The Heythrop Hunt has been accused of making artificial earths for foxes to breed in and of dumping animal carcasses to feed foxes. The League Against Cruel Sports carried out a 18-month investigation and said it discovered sunken brick-built chambers linked by pipes, many newly constructed. But Nicky Driver, a spokesman for the Campaign for Hunting, said: "There's nothing new or illegal about artificial earths and many have been in existence for a number of years."… (story in archive)
Ananova 13.3.03 Hunters 'breeding foxes in man-made earths' - Anti-hunt campaigners claim they have uncovered new evidence linking a prestigious hunt to man-made fox breeding sites. The League Against Cruel Sports has unveiled video footage showing a former member of the Heythrop Hunt, which covers Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, letting dogs into one of the artificial fox earths.... Richard Sumner, joint master of the Heythrop Hunt, brushed aside the League's claims: "Artificials have been around for years, for centuries. It's nothing new at all..." (story)

Gloucester Citizen 13.3.03 YOUR CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE HUNTING A County Hunt is inviting people who have never hunted before to come along for the day and see for themselves what the sport is like. The Vale of the White Horse (VWH) Hunt is inviting everyone interested in experiencing a day at the hunt to their Welcome to Hunting day at Cirencester Park on Monday…. (story)

West Briton 13.3.03 MP SHOULD LOOK AT BASS FISHERY - NOT FOX HUNTING - Candy Atherton MP's claims about the overwhelming support for a hunting ban have never been reliably quantified, indeed, they are lamentably short on factual detail.... Personally, I do not hunt, but am an enthusiastic bass angler who, despite assurances to the contrary from Ms Atherton, remain convinced that shooting and fishing will be next on the agenda once hunting has been disposed of. I am bitterly disappointed by her apparent lack of input into the issue of the midwater pair trawl fishery and dolphin by-catch... Perhaps Ms Atherton ought to re-think her priorities and focus on issues that really do benefit her constituents. KEVIN P BENNETTS, St Day (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 13.3.03 WONDERFUL RURAL SIGHT - Hounds in Calke Abbey - a wonderful sight to all who love the countryside…. D. Dowell, Park View, Derby Road, Melbourne (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 13.3.03 ONLY A TOTAL BAN WILL STOP CRUELTY - As Monitors for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), we routinely work all over the UK observing and filming the activities of fox and deer hunts and various hare coursing events. We are not hunt saboteurs, do not follow hunts on private land, and are opposed to violence… We urge your readers to write to their local MPs and press them to vote for a total ban on hunting… KEVIN HILL AND PETER WHITE, IFAW Hunt Monitors, Somerset (letter)

St Helens Star 13.3.03 Any wonder I'm anti-angling? IN reply to the letter regarding the shooting of the cormorants on Eccleston Mere (Star Letters, February 27) I would like to say the following…. Who wants to go to the countryside after being at work all week to see this mess? And anglers wonder why people are becoming anti-angling… J. Frost (name and address supplied). (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 13.3.03 Gamekeeper followed his dreams - A Brandsby gamekeeper who fulfilled his life's ambition through his work, has died aged 72. Herbert Richardson was born at Sinnington on December 12 1930, the eldest of five children… He was a well-known gamekeeper for the Brandsby Shoot, run by Geoff Nicholson and Henry Gorwood… (story in archive)

Hereford Times 13.3.03 Shocked at slaughter while walking dogs - In my twilight years one of my few remaining pleasures is walking my dogs… The other day I encountered an act I have never seen the like of and I could scarcely believe what I was seeing: some men were sat in seats tied to trees while others walking through the woods herded deer into open farmland where they were shot by men in seats… Anon, Herefordshire (letter in archive)

Hereford Times 13.3.03 Focus on farmers' unproven claims Madam, If it is true there is an "articulate and well organised" pro-badger lobby, Bill Tanner's piece on bovine TB (HT 20 February) shows it is no match for the NFU… E J Dowling, Silver Fir Close, Hereford (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 13.3.03 DON'T BLAME BADGERS - I am concerned about recent inaccurate reports in the media regarding badgers and bovine tuberculosis (TB), together with the call by farmers for extra badger culling (Mercury, Feb 22). There is no proven link showing that badgers transmit bovine TB to cattle… Whilst having every sympathy with the farming community for the need to eradicate bovine TB, I trust that the above provides more balance to the debate. Dr D P Duckett, Chairman of the Leicestershire Badger Group (letter)

Eastbourne Herald 13.3.03 POACHERS DIG DOWN INTO BADGER'S SETT - POACHERS have tried to dig down into one of the chambers of a badgers' sett near Hailsham. Trevor Weeks, from Sussex Wildlife Rescue, contacted the Gazette to ask for help catching the culprits… (story)
Argus 6.3.03 Badgers at risk by Karen Hoy - Sussex wildlife experts suspect a family of badgers, dug out of their sett, could be used for illegal baiting. Trevor Weeks, of the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service, was contacted after the landowner reported the incident to the RSPCA… He said the South Downs Badger Group was investing in a special DNA spray. The spray would be used to mark the hair of badgers in other setts in Sussex…. (story in archive)

FASHION SHOW FUR PROTESTS
Scotsman 13.3.03 Even when I'm old, if they ask me to strip off, I'll do it. And I'll threaten them to stay naked' - Louisa Pearson - Sitting in an oversized chair in Starbucks, Yvonne Taylor seems at ease. Blonde, petite and softly spoken, she’s dressed in trainers, jeans and an Adidas top. Last week her attire was rather different. The crowd she had to blend in with then was the world’s fashion elite… By day she’s campaign co-ordinator for Edinburgh group Advocates for Animals, working on projects such as saving Uist’s hedgehogs and keeping foie gras off the menu in restaurants. But outside work her protests for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has catapulted her into the media spotlight… (story)
Glasgow Herald 12.3.03 Fur protester ready to go to jail for the cause - CATHERINE LYST - A SCOTTISH animal rights activist, who has made news across the world with her anti-fur protests, said yesterday she was prepared to go to prison for her cause. Yvonne Taylor has just returned to Edinburgh from Paris, where she stunned the fashion industry by storming catwalks… (story in archive)
Guardian 10.3.03 British designers prove a hit in Paris - Charlie Porter in Paris ... The one low point of the show was the worrying amount of fur. Indeed fur has been the talking point of the weekend, with support growing for the protesters who continue to sabotage the shows. On Saturday, many in the audience were revolted by the treatment of activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. At Jean Paul Gaultier's show, security guards threw real fur blankets over the protesters before they were pulled off the catwalk... (story)
Telegraph 10.3.03 What to wear as you fight through wind and snow By Hilary Alexander, Fashion Editor ... Gaultier's show also took the snowy playgrounds of the rich and famous as inspiration.... The designer, whose collections generally feature fox, mink and rabbit, turned the tables on anti-fur protesters. As the activists clambered on to the catwalk, at his show in the Carrousel du Louvre, security guards armed with fur coats bundled them into the things they most despise and dragged them off. (story)
Scotsman 8.3.03 Protesters fail to stop return of fur - AVRIL GROOM AT THE PARIS FASHION SHOW- THEIR protests are becoming more regular, more high-profile, more daring. Yet the anti-fur campaigners appear to be fighting a losing battle; for every protester, it seems, there is a fashion house ready to send its models sashaying down the catwalks clad in ever-more outrageous furry creations.... At Karl Lagerfeld’s Gallery show yesterday, four protesters from PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) jumped on to the catwalk as the first fur appeared and waved banners in front of the models for several minutes before being hustled away by security men. At the Dior show, a demonstrator was bundled off within seconds. At both shows, the protesters’ timing indicated they had inside contacts at the fashion houses to know when the furs would appear... (story)
Daily Record 8.3.03 FUR FLIES ON THE CATWALK - Scot storms Paris shows - SCOTS anti-fur activist Yvonne Taylor stormed on to the catwalk at a top Paris fashion show yesterday - for the second day running. Yvonne, 29, from Edinburgh, was held by police overnight after disrupting the Christian Dior show on Thursday. Just hours after being released, she staged a protest at the Karl Lagerfeld show at the Le Carrousel du Louvre venue... A spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said: "The message to the fashion world and fur trade is that protests will continue...." (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 8.3.03 City activist crashes Dior show - AN animal activist from Edinburgh has gate-crashed two Paris fashion shows, chanting and waving anti-fur banners. Yvonne Taylor, 31, stormed on to the catwalk during Christian Dior’s show on Thursday and Karl Lagerfeld’s yesterday with other protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).... Sean Gifford, director of campaigns for PETA warned designers to expect more of the same.... (story)
Guardian 8.3.03 Dior rides high and gives protest the brush off - Charlie Porter in Paris - Most designers would not be best pleased with a show during which a fur protester climbed on to the catwalk and a model in vertiginous heels fell to her knees . But yesterday Christian Dior announced profits of $36m (£24m) for 2002... A word of advice to fur protesters: if you are planning to storm the catwalk in France, wear padding. While those in London are treated apologetically, first the model at Dior charged into the protester from behind, and then she was rugby-tackled to the ground. It seems that at Dior, no matter what else is happening around them, they just get on with it. (story)
Glasgow Herald 7.3.03 Galliano does it again for Dior - SHAN ROSS - JOHN Galliano, the British fashion designer, unveiled his latest ready-to-wear range for Christian Dior on the first day of the Paris autumn-winter 2003-2004 fashion shows yesterday... At one point an animal right protester jumped on the catwalk with a sign reading "Fur kills" but was quickly hauled away by security guards as model Jacquetta Wheeler strode past in a black rubber muzzle and chunky lilac fur coat.... (story)

Cumberland News & Star 13.3.03 MP ERIC BACKS BILL TO OUTLAW HEN CAGES CARLISLE MP Eric Martlew has backed a parliamentary campaign to improve the "miserable" lives of hens farmed to produce eggs. He wants a new law banning "enriched cages", which he believes are cruel. The Labour backbencher supported a ten-minute rule Bill in the Commons which he hopes will make it onto the Statute Book… (story)

Manchester Evening News 13.3.03 Macca bans meat at Arena party - WHEN wealthy Paul McCartney fans sit down for a pre-concert banquet, there won't be a chicken drumstick or prawn in sight…. The world's most famous vegetarian has vetoed meat products and fish because they go against his strict principles… (story)

Blackpool Gazette 13.3.03 Group in zoo plan challenge - BLACKPOOL Zoo's transfer to a private operator could be delayed at a council meeting today. Leading Tory councillor Peter Callow said he would "wholeheartedly" support objections due to be lodged by The Born Free Foundation at the borough's licensing committee… (story)

Daily Post 12.3.03 The Andrew Forgrave column - IF EVER hare coursing ever gets a little dull, you can always rely on protesters to liven things up: at the recent Waterloo Cup, the bored housewives and single issue fanatics of Lancashire did not let us down… On the opening day, amid unusally tight security, a bedraggled convoy of shrieking women and limp-wristed men marched on the Withins, brandishing homemade banners and hurling increasingly frantic abuse through megaphones… (story)

Northwich Guardian 12.3.03 Barbed wire row as hunt hounds get in a tangle - THE League Against Cruel Sports has urged huntsmen to show more compassion for their dogs after hunt monitors witnessed hounds being left tangled in barbed wire. It is alleged that dogs from the Royal Rock Beagles in Cheshire struggled in the wire for several minutes… However, Peter Jones, master of the Royal Rock Beagles, said the hunt monitors had turned up for five minutes out of a four-hour hunt…. "On this particular day, these two people who call themselves hunt monitors were hindering us and getting in the way." (story)

Liverpool Echo 12.3.03 Blood lust - I FULLY agree with the sentiments of Mr P. Roberts (ECHO Letters, February 28) on hare coursing, although I would swop his pitbulls for a couple of hungry lions. That's how angry I feel about their despicable activities… J. Wilson, Fazakerley (letter)
Liverpool Echo 28.2.03 Cup challenge - I just want to express my feelings about the so called "Waterloo Cup" and Sir Mark Prescott's comments (ECHO Feb 24). I challenge Sir Mark or any of his barbarians to take the place of the hare to raise money for Comic Relief, only we will replace the hounds with two pit bulls… P. Roberts, Aigburth (letter)

Dorset Daily Echo 12.3.03 Survey vital to ensure future of brown hare by Paula Tegerdine - A MAJOR survey is being carried out in Dorset to help safeguard the long-term survival of the mad March hare… Dorset Wildlife Trust conservationists are appealing for volunteers to help keep a record of sightings as part of a survey to discover where brown hares live, in order to devise strategies for their conservation… (story in archive)

Guardian 12.3.03 Open verdict on activist's death - An inquest jury yesterday returned an open verdict on the animal rights activist Barry Horne, who died in November 2001 while on hunger strike in protest at experiments on animals… (story)

Daily Record 12.3.03 I WONDER how many of the people who criticise others wearing fur have any of the following in their homes: leather shoes, leather handbags, leather suites, leather coats and countless other leather items which is, after all, the skin of an animal?... - D. Richardson, Strichen, Aberdeenshire (letter)

Horncastle News 12.3.03 Ladies: just say no to real fur - I wish to appeal to ladies not to buy real fur garments. While listening to the Richard and Judy Show a German MEP revealed to us China is allowing the skinning alive of cats and dogs, including puppies and kittens for their real fur products… MRS V K HOLLAND Market Rasen (letter)

Taunton Times 12.3.03 FOR THE BEARS - A town centre retailer is backing a local campaign to rescue Asiatic Moon Bears in China, following a series of special reports in the Taunton Times. Jane Armour, of specialist stationers Jane Armour Trading, has pledged to double the proceeds of an Easter egg competition at her Bath Place shop in aid of funds to save the Moon Bears from a life of torture in China… (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 11.3.03 Hunt riders pay silent tribute to aristocrat - MEMBERS of the Pytchley Hunt held a minute’s silence in memory of former huntsman Lord Tom Boardman, who died at the weekend… (story)

Western Morning News 11.3.03 FIASCO REVEALS MPS AS FAR FROM HONOURABLE - Your correspondent W T Sweet (WMN, February 22) is correct when he points out that, in putting together the Hunting Bill at present before the committee, Alun Michael proposed a ban on deer hunting and hare coursing, insisting that he had incontrovertible "evidence" that neither would meet the "tests" which he proposed. Despite repeating this claim in writing and promising to reveal this "evidence" at the appropriate time he has now denied he ever said it… Anti-hunting members of the committee have made it clear that concern for animal welfare comes a poor second to their hate for those who hunt. Why do MPs refer to one another as "honourable" members? G Mannell Truro (letter)
Western Morning News 28.2.03 Hunt ban delay - W T SWEET (WMN, February 22) writes that Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has repeatedly stated that a ban on hunting is justified because of incontrovertible evidence that hunting is unnecessarily cruel. Were that the case, then the Bill currently before Parliament would ban all forms of that activity whereas, thus far, a ban is only proposed for deer and hare hunting and hare coursing… The League Against Cruel Sports believes that similar arguments hold for all forms of hunting…. Ivor Annetts, League Against Cruel Sports Cullompton, Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 22.2.03 WHERE'S THE EVIDENCE, MINISTER? Will politicians such as Alun Michael ever refrain from insulting the electorate by compelling them to accept blatant misinformation?... It appears his only source is the highly discredited Bateson report. The eminent professor himself has recently publicly distanced himself from Mr Michael's misinterpretation of the report which has been dismissed as highly questionable by other scientists and veterinarians... W T Sweet Mawgan Helston, Cornwall (story)

Western Morning News 11.3.03 MPs' priorities - My surely esteemed and valued MP/The one who's elected to represent we,/She votes NO to hunting, what must be a pest,/But says YES to killing the innocent rest… It's OK to put armies out in the sand.But hunting old wily foxy must surely be banned… Sheila Moyle, Redruth (letter)

Western Morning News 11.3.03 TRUST IS BASIS FOR HUNTSMAN AND HOUNDS' RELATIONSHIP - If you catch any animal by the tail, let alone try and lift it thus, its immediate reaction will be to turn around and bite you, kick you, or both… !) Your correspondent Louise Piddington has presumably misheard the phrase "turning hounds to… It simply means that the "whip" ensures that all hounds out that day are accounted for, are not injured or in trouble and are "returned" to the huntsman… Mrs A E Sutcliffe, Chagford (letter)
Western Morning News 25.2.03 ANIMAL LOVERS? NOT WHILE HUNTING GOES ON - Ivor Annetts (League Against Cruel Sports, WMViews, January 28) mentioned how a straying hound from the hunt was hit by a car, and "limped off before the driver could check its injuries". Would the hunt spend money on getting it checked by a vet when it was returned to the kennels, I wonder?... But why has there been no mention in WMN letters about a process known as "sterning", holding the dog by the tail and smacking them around the ribs with the crop end of a whip… In some cases of hound destruction, hound carcasses had been found dumped in feed bins for the rest of the pack to eat!... Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 28.1.03 CONTROL OF HOUNDS IS ALWAYS IMPOSSIBLE - The League Against Cruel Sports is accustomed to experiencing at first hand, and receiving numerous reports of, trespass and havoc caused by hunts…. During the current season there have been numerous incidents of trespass on to League wildlife sanctuaries by hounds… I am astonished that in the House of Commons, hunt supporting members of Standing Committee F on the Hunting Bill are constantly reiterating the view that land owners only have to ask to ensure that hunts do not come on to their land… Hunting, by its very nature, is an uncontrollable activity. The quarry will go where its instinct takes it… Ivor Annetts, League Against Cruel Sports Cullompton (letter)

Western Morning News 11.3.03 GAME BIRD IS AN EASILY CAUGHT CREATURE - So now we have it! The main reason for hunting foxes according to Brian Mitchell is that they might take a fancy to a meal of a game bird!... The Countryside Alliance wage war on our countryside and seek to destroy anything that cannot afford them the pleasure of trapping, digging, fishing, shooting or hunting with horses and dogs… Elizabeth Gurney, Newmill, Penzance (letter)

Western Morning News 11.3.03 Free food for hounds - J WARD HAYNE (WMN, February 25) points out what a "valuable service" the hunt provides for the farmer through "free" collection of fallen livestock. Another way this could be seen is that the hunt is being given free food for its hounds and this is saving them the cost of buying it… Kevin Caveney, Liverton, Newton Abbot (letter)
Western Morning News 25.2.03 VALUABLE SERVICE FROM HUNT In His or her letter about the end of the mobile slaughterman, your correspondent J McKay also mentions the ban on burial of fallen stock on the farm and the cost to the farmer of its collection and disposal… in most cases a telephone call to the local hunt kennels will ensure its prompt removal at no cost whatsoever. Last year the Modbury Harriers collected 70 head of cattle plus 550 calves from farms within its country, which covers roughly the western half of the South Hams. 50 sheep were also removed at a nominal cost of £10 per head since the wool has to be sent for incineration…. J Ward-Hayne, Modbury (letter)

Western Morning News 11.3.03 YOU are of course quite right to point out the benefits of living in Devon in your editorial (WMN, March 6). I do not however share your enthusiasm for the Country Life survey. The survey was very clearly tilted towards a tiny minority of the population, Country Life readers…. The sport section clearly only refers to the hunting, shooting and fishing brigade… David Short, Exminster (letter)

Western Morning News 11.3.03 Hare hunting - YOUR article by Professor Harris of Bristol University poses the question: "Will a ban on hare hunting put a halt to their declining number?" (WMN, March 3). This is a politically loaded non sequitur, and the answer, a resounding No; the numbers appear to be stable despite great changes in agriculture. The North Dartmoor Beagles have found plenty of hares this season, and have to date killed only four, plus a fifth that had been badly shot, was emaciated and obviously dying… Gordon Robinson, Okehampton (letter)

Worcester Evening News 11.3.03 Bowing to prejudice, bigotry - THAT this Hunting Bill seeks to ban all hare hunting and coursing shows the essential dishonesty of Rural Affairs' Minister Alun Michael's "consultation process"…. P KING, Bransford, Worcester (letter in archive)

Liverpool Echo 11.3.03 Bloodlust cup IT WOULD appear Mark Roberts ( ECHO, March 3) wasn't listening during his biology lessons.... I would have a modicumof respect for Mr Roberts and his ilk if they admitted the Waterloo Cup is there merely to satisfy the bloodlust of those who attend.... Ian Locko, Neston (letter)

Western Morning News 11.3.03 HUNTING REMAINS BEST WAY TO REGULATE FOXES - The overwhelming majority of sheep farmers who are opposed to a ban on foxhunting will have been deeply unimpressed by Mrs J L Prowse's suggestion that "Perhaps farmers should hone their animal husbandry skills and leave nature to regulate itself"… Those who follow the hunt do not do so in the hope of a "barbaric kill" or with the intention of inflicting "sickening cruelty", to quote Mrs Prowse's emotive language… J Ward-Hayne, Modbury (letter)

Western Morning News 11.3.03 No trust in Labour - SIX years ago I trusted Tony Blair and the Labour Party to honour their promise to ban hunting with dogs for sport. Therefore, in the spring of 1997, I left the Liberal Democrats and joined Labour. After half a decade of procrastination and prevarication the Labour Government is now introducing a Bill to formally licence cruelty and legally sanction hunting with dogs… I have now rejoined the Liberal Democrats in whom I have greater trust. John Phelps Exeter (letter)

Lewisham News Shopper 11.3.03 : MRS P A PARK'S letter (Letters, February 19). Why can't people just live and let live? What is so terrible about a few foxes in your back garden? Just like the argument about foxes killing chickens it's simple the chickens' owners should make sure they are secure. Sarah Mills Ramsden Road (letter)

Times 11.3.03 Animal activists force conference ban BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - A DUBLIN hotel has cancelled a conference for technicians working on animal experiments after protests by animal rights activists. The Citywest Hotel told the Institute for Animal Technology yesterday that it was refusing the booking for its two-day conference next month. The decision follows a campaign organised by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) to persuade activists to bombard the hotel with e-mails and telephone calls… Natasha Avery, spokeswoman for SHAC, said that it was another victory in the group’s campaign to close the Huntingdon Life Sciences research laboratory… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 10.3.03 Activists win conference cancellation - By David Green A CONFERENCE to be attended by staff from Huntingdon Life Sciences – the East Anglian research firm targeted by animal rights campaigners – has been called off after pressure on the owner of the venue… The Citywest Hotel in Dublin was invaded last week by members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC)… The activists also let off stink bombs and jammed the hotel's switchboard with protest calls… IAT spokeswoman, Ann Shaw, said the cancellation was due to "violence and intimidation" by a handful of extremists…. (story)

Telegraph 11.3.03 Animal lobby forces Foot Guards to look for alternative bearskins By Caroline Davies For two centuries the Sovereign's Foot Guards have been distinguished by the foot-high bearskins that top their scarlet ceremonial uniforms. But now, to appease animal rights campaigners, defence officials are seeking an alternative to the traditional headgear… The latest to complain is Miss Great Britain, Yana Booth, who yesterday wrote to the Queen on behalf of Peta, (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)… (story)

Western Morning News 11.3.03 Cultural conflict ….I do believe that your comment (WMN, February 22) would leave Chinese and Asians somewhat bemused over condemning their practice of eating cat and dog meat and utilising their pets. In this country cattle and sheep for instance, among other animals, are reared and butchered for their meat and their hides are used in many ways… W T Sweet, Helston (letter)
Western Morning News 11.3.03 CRUEL TRADE IS ONLY TIP OF THE ICEBERG - Thank you for the article on the appalling cat fur trade (WMN, February 22)…. Mrs C A Colloby, Probus (letter)
Western Morning News 28.2.03 READING your front page article (WMN, February 22) about the imports of cat and dog fur caused me great distress. I certainly put pen to paper writing to our local MP, but feel it rather a waste of time…Yvonne Squire, Torrington (letter)

Daily Record 11.3.03 Skin shame I AM concerned at the number of fashion designers who are putting fur backin their catwalk collections… K. M., Perth (letter)

Jersey Evening Post 11.3.03 Sickened by cat fur ornaments From Joy Thompson. 4 Thornton Mews, Upper King's Cliff, St Helier. CONGRATULATIONS for giving the news item of the cat fur ornaments the importance it deserves by giving it front-page prominence in Tuesday's paper. I have been sickened by these 'ornaments' becoming more and more prevalent in town shops and in mail-order catalogues.... (letter in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 4.3.03 Cat fur toy to be used in national campaign BY ANDY SIBCY - THE toy confirmed by the States analyst last week as being made of real cat skin was today on its way to Westminster to join a campaign against the international fur trade. It is the first example of dog or cat fur being sold in Britain that animal rights group Respect For Animals has found in years of campaigning. The group now plans to take the cat fur ornament, which was bought in Hallmark Cards in King Street, to a meeting with the Department of Trade and Industry minister, Baroness Symons…. (story in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 28.2.03 Fur protest in Royal Square - AN animal rights campaigner is organising a protest against the fur trade in the Royal Square tomorrow. Carol Hansford (pictured) is staging the demonstration following the news that toy cats were being sold in the Island that were, in some cases, made out of cat or dog fur…. (story in archive)
Jersey Evening Post 26.2.03 Horror of toys made of cat fur BY ANDY SIBCY - PRODUCTS made from skinned cats are being imported from China and sold to unsuspecting customers in Jersey, the JEP can reveal… The owner of Hallmark Cards, Alison Baker, said that she and her staff were horrified to find out yesterday that real cat fur had been used. She added that the product has now been taken off the shelf…. The manager of the Animals Shelter, Pru Bannier (pictured), said that the trade in animal skins to make such toys was 'completely horrific', adding: 'Most people would not buy them if they realised a real cat was killed to make the toy… Bridget Murphy, of the Jersey Animal Rights Association, said: 'If you care about these things then don't buy anything that's furry unless it has got a definite label saying that it is made of man-made material… (story in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 11.3.03 LET'S PUT AN END TO THIS CRUEL 'ENTERTAINMENT' - The RSPCA is urging Notts people to vote with their feet by boycotting an animal circus that is due to visit Stapleford next month… JO MARLOW RSPCA regional press officer (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 11.3.03 Animals charter to hit circuses - Circuses will be stopped from parading and touting for business in the Dudley borough if a new charter for animal welfare is adopted by the council. During a debate on the charter proposed by Councillor Frank Whitehouse members agreed to add a clause stopping circuses and travelling animal shows parading in the borough's streets…. (story)

Times 10.3.03 Activists to shame public schools over beagle hunts BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - ANTI-HUNT activists have begun a campaign to highlight the promotion of blood sports by leading public schools. The League Against Cruel Sports is seeking to shame schools such as Marlborough College in Wiltshire and Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire for introducing pupils to what it calls the “barbarity” of hunting with dogs… Edward Gould, Master of Marlborough College, said: “We are not ashamed of conducting a legal activity. We have done it for years. We are a rural school.”… Deborah Jones, general secretary of the Catholic Study for Animal Welfare, is deeply critical of schools’ involvement in blood sports, particularly that of Ampleforth, which offers a Roman Catholic education… The activities at Marlborough were raised by Heather Cochrane, a league supporter from Pewsey, Wiltshire… (story)
Western Daily Press 22.2.03 HISTORIC COLLEGE IN HARE-COURSING ROW - A Famous West college became embroiled in a bitter row with animal rights activists yesterday over the school's hare-coursing club. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) says Marlborough College is "ashamed" of its beagle pack because it is not in its prospectus... Local resident Heather Cochrane, of Pewsey, told the league:... "It's disgusting that children are going out killing animals as part of school activities. No wonder they don't learn any compassion."... (story)

Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 10.3.03 PRINCE OUT WITH LAKELAND HUNT - PRINCE William was a surprise visitor to an Ullswater Foxhounds hunt at Haweswater.... (story may be in archive)
Cumberland News & Star 3.3.03 PRINCE UNDER FIRE FOR JOINING HUNT - ANTI-hunt campaigners in Cumbria today accused Prince William of "sticking two fingers up at the Government" by taking part a fox-hunt in the county. Prince William, 20, had joined the Ullswater Foxhounds hunt around Haweswater Lake, near Penrith, last weekend with a group of friends and fellow students from St Andrew's University in Scotland… But Elaine Milbourn, Cumbria's co-ordinator for the League against Cruel Sports, said his appearance at the hunt was "totally insensitive". She said: "The anti-hunting bill is at the report stage in Parliament and as heir to the throne, Prince William should not be meddling in public affairs…." Another Cumbrian anti-hunt campaigner Judy Belford, of Port Carlisle, said: "It's like father, like son. It's clear what they are trying to say to the people of this country."… (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 10.3.03 After reading the letter from D Jewitt (T&A, February 7) telling me I am wrong regarding the fox, who is he/she to be judge and jury? The very word "vermin" means that it has no commercial value, which means that humans cannot make any money out of it…. As for the rat, this poor creature goes through terrible torture, being pumped full of carcinogenic cultures that don't prove anything, as rats and humans do not respond equally… D Wright, Westbury Street, Bradford 4. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 14.2.03 In answer to the letters from D Jewitt regarding the fox (February 7), don't these people understand foxes have fangs?... It is perfectly natural for them to kill to eat… If this lame duck of a Prime Minister had kept his promise, hunting with hounds would be a thing of the past. R Carter, Baildon Road, Shipley. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 7.2.03 Derek Wright (Letters, January 20) is wrong on several counts. Firstly, the red fox is classified as vermin… For many farmers, hunting is but one means of pest control and if it's banned then snaring, gassing and shooting will have to do, none of which offer as clean and relatively painless death as the hound does. D Jewitt, Falcon Road, Bingley (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 20.1.03 Beautiful foxes - feel I must put quill to parchment when people like G E Sykes complain about foxes (Letters, January 9). Firstly they are not vermin. They are beautiful animals…I am very pleased to see that fox hunting will be banned soon even under licence. The Government will be wise to take this step to please millions and upset a few. That's democracy. Derek Wright, Westbury Street, Bradford 4 (letter in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 10.3.03 CROPS AND CATTLE FORCE OUT WILDLIFE GUS Proud (Letters, March 5) obviously feels very strongly about the shooting of wild animals for sport, but I fear he may have misinterpreted some points from Simon Clarke of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation…. I'm sure that what Simon meant by this is that forests and other areas of biodiversity are being cleared to grow food crops or to raise cattle - clearly to the detriment of the native species… MARK RICHARDSON, Great Broughton, Cockermout (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 5.3.03 WE DON'T WANT BLOOD MONEY - 'SHOOTING benefits wildlife' (News and Star, February 25)! Yes and abortion helps the human race! The response to my letter from Simon Clarke is what I would have expected from him or any other shooting 'protector' of wildlife…. GUS PROUD, Skinburness Village, Silloth (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 25.2.03 SHOOTING BENEFITS WILDLIFE - Gus Proud is seriously misguided in his views about shooting and its conservation benefits (News & Star, February 18). SMP Elaine Murray should be applauded for promoting shooting as a tourist attraction in Cumbria and South West Scotland. Shooting generates around a billion pounds a year for the UK economy, and its followers act as an unpaid army of conservation volunteers…. Simon Clarke, Press Officer The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (letter)

Guardian 10.3.03 The environmental reforms required of Malta if it eventually joins the EU will have implications not just for hunting but for its cultural life in general (Hunting under fire, March 8). If the island could nurture a pride in its marvellous environment among its Labour party supporters, it could become a feasible off-season venue for eco-tourism... Terry Gifford (letter)
Guardian 8.3.03 Hunting under fire - 'Say no to EU' banners are draped across the façade of the Malta Labour party's social club in Valletta, and the talk inside is of rules from Brussels that will spoil the sport of the island's hunters.... Such activities may soon become a thing of the past. In the EU, the government would get seven years to comply.... (story)
Guardian 8.3.03 Shooting songbirds 'is not sport, it is a passion' By Philip Delves Broughton in Malta - The hunting and trapping of songbirds is a Maltese tradition which faces restrictions under European Union law. In a country of 390,000 people, 17,000 have hunting licences. "Hunting is not a pastime or a sport for Maltese," said Lina Faruggia, the head of the Federation for Hunting and Conservation Malta. "It is a passion."… (story)

Wilts & Glos Standard 10.3.03 Protesters Give Beckham Footwear the Boot - A PROTEST against the use of kangaroo skin in football boots was held in Cirencester on Saturday. Five demonstrators stood outside Hargreaves and D&J sports stores, both in Cricklade Street, as part of an international protest by Vegetarians International Voice For Animals (VIVA) against Adidas' controversial Predator boots… Over 500 leaflets were handed out to the public during the protest, organised by Cirencester Animal Rights. Protester Joyce Moss told the Standard that 30 percent of the kangaroo population was shot every year in addition to it being affected by drought and famine… (story in archive)

Luton on Sunday 9.3.03 Hare today... MADAM - Amidst the fox hunting furore, as highlighted in your paper, the need to ban all forms of hunting, including coursing of our native brown hare, is more than just a question of unnecessary cruelty - it is, in reality, also about the survival of a species. Britain is the only European Union country without an annual close season for hare shooting... John Rimmington, Regional Press Officer, Hare Preservation Society (letter)

Scotland on Sunday 9.3.03 Counting the cost of fear - JEREMY WATSON - SHE would only speak freely as long as her name wasn’t placed in the public domain. Working inside a company that finds itself at the forefront of an animal liberation war now comes with clear and present dangers.... Natasha Avery has no such qualms. She relishes every opportunity to publicise the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac) group whose direct action against Deloitte & Touche, one of the world’s leading accountancy firms, led to the firm severing its links as auditor with the besieged animal testing laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences.... (story)

Yorkshire Post 8.3.03 RSPCA 'is playing' politics' on hunting THE RSPCA was yesterday accused of spending its members' money on a "nakedly political campaign" to criminalise hunting with hounds. The claim about the animal welfare charity came from Conservative peer Lord Willoughby de Broke during a Lords debate on a backbench Bill to outlaw causing intentional suffering to wild animals. The peer, a supporter of the Middle Way Group on Hunting, said he would refer the question of RSPCA charitable status to the Charities Commission.... (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 8.3.03 Moors hunt stalwart hangs up his horn - COUNTRYMAN Joe Tindall retired yesterday as Glaisdale Hounds huntsman,after 40 years' service. The Cleveland, Farndale, Goathland, Saltersgate and Staintondale hunts met at Ainthorpe's Fox and Hounds pub, to pay tribute to his work. A special dinner in his honour is held at Whitby held tonight…. (story in archive)

Worcester Evening News 8.3.03 Hunting helps countryside - I HAVE to inform Mrs M Large that she is wrong about the hunting opinion polls. They now consistently show that the majority in this country just doesn't support a ban. =This explains why the anti-hunt organisation has stopped commissioning them after watching support for a ban drop from 75 per cent to less than 40 per cent in only six years… H RAY, Colwall, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 20.2.03 Hare would fail to see humour... I WAS very interested in Mike Pryce's article in Country News (Saturday, February 1) giving the views of Richard Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance on the subject of the infamous "sport" of hunting… MARION J LARGE (Mrs), Lower Wick, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 8.3.03 Sickening trade - Well done to the Western Morning News for exposing the sickening trade of animal fur from China, being used in the toy trade.... V N Hircock, Boscastle (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 8.3.03 Challenge to MSPs over rat factory - A CONTROVERSIAL Government decision to allow a West Lothian farm to breed rats despite a storm of public protest is to be challenged again by council chiefs... Pressure group West Lothian Animal Rights were also due to hold a demonstration against the plant in Bathgate today (story)

Scotsman 8.3.03 Ramsay reveals expansion plans for Scottish restaurants - FRANK O’DONNELL - GORDON Ramsay, the celebrity chef, has revealed that he wants to branch out by opening a New York-style cafe in Edinburgh, The Scotsman can reveal... The vegan action group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, called for Ramsay to be stripped of one of his Michelin stars. Ramsay claimed reports over the chicken vegetable soup furore had been massively exaggerated, and that he had only done it as a joke while serving a vegetarian friend a meal at home.... (story)
Ananova 5.3.03 Ramsay in hot water over veggie soup 'joke' - Gordon Ramsay has expressed regret after a joke about the contents of a soup landed him in hot water with vegetarians. A spokeswoman for the chef said he had been joking when he said he once told a table of vegetarians that an artichoke soup had been made with vegetable stock when it was actually made with chicken stock… Ramsay's expression of regret came after animal rights campaigners People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said they had written to Michelin asking the restaurant guide to revoke his starred status following the interview…. Peta director Dawn Carr rejected his explanation accusing him of "running scared" … (story)
Scotsman 1.3.03 Top chef duped vegetarians - JIM MCBETH - CELEBRITY chef Gordon Ramsay was caught in a storm of controversy yesterday after admitting duping a group of vegetarian diners into eating chicken. Ramsay said the guests - in one of his six Michelin-star restaurants - ordered artichoke soup, which they expected to be based on vegetable stock. "I told them it was vegetable, but it was chicken stock," he admitted in an interview... The UK Vegetarian Society said that it showed a "complete lack of respect". Spokeswoman Liz O’Neill said: "It is disappointing that he hasn’t got time for his customers’ beliefs."... (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser/Wiltshire Times/Wiltshire Gazette 7.3.03 Two `tried to disrupt hunt' - before magistrates in Trowbridge. Aubrey Burge, 50, and Steven Dixon, 36, both faced charges of aggravated trespass relating to a fox hunt near Coulston on January 18… (story)

Hexham Courant 7.3.03 EIGHT-YEAR PAUSE WAS WORTHWHILE - THE Tynedale Hunt's first Sunday point-to-point fixture since 1995 was an unqualified success at the Downhills course near Corbridge, with a bumper crowd and 97 runners in nine races on near perfect going…. (story)
Hexham Courant 28.2.03 IT'S ALL DOWNHILL FOR POINT-TO-POINTERS - THE Northern Area point-to-point season resumes on Sunday after a two week break with the popular Tynedale Hunt meeting at Downhills near Corbridge… (story)

Scotsman 7.3.03 Call for Scottish animal death scheme - A MEETING with Ross Finnie, minister for environment and rural development, has done nothing to ease NFU Scotland’s fears about how farmers will deal with animal deaths after on-farm burial is banned from 1 May under European Union legislation, writes Fordyce Maxwell… An estimated 35,000 cattle and calves and more than 250,000 sheep, not counting lambs at birth, die on Scottish farms each year. Hunt kennels and on-farm burial were the main means of disposal… (story)

Scotsman 7.3.03 Tories promise slim Executive - ANDREW DENHOLM - DAVID McLetchie, the Tory leader will today promise a slimmed-down Scottish government with only half the number of present ministers, if his party wins the forthcoming Holyrood election… "Half the number of ministers, fewer MSPs, a streamlined committee system, fewer bureaucrats and spin doctors, and a parliament that focuses on the real issues. Not politically-correct nonsense such as fox hunting and land reform, which have been the staple diet for far too long."… (story)

Ledbury Reporter 7.3.03 Countryside race day to become annual event - THE county branch of the Herefordshire National Farmers' Union is involved in the Countryside race day at Hereford Racecourse on Friday, March 7. The day is once again being arranged by the racecourse, the Countryside Alliance, the NFU and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, to represent a unification of organisations in the countryside…. There will be a display of the world-famous Monnington Morgan horses, a parade of hounds and a spring fair… (story in archive)

Darlington & Stockton Times 7.3.03 Sir, - The hunting community were sceptical of Alun Michael's assertion that he would judge hunting with dogs on the grounds of "principle informed by evidence", but were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt… It goes to show that power can be bought (£1m donation to the Labour Party from animal rights organisations) and that power corrupts, even in this so-called first world country. ANGELA VAUX Regional Chairman, Countryside Alliance, Barton. (letter in archive)

Times 7.3.03 Gundogs may avoid ban on tail docking BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - GUNDOGS are likely to be exempted from a proposed ban on tail-docking because of the injuries they are said to suffer when flushing or retrieving game birds from dense forestry or gorse. Ministers have told the game shooting industry, worth nearly £1 billion a year to the national economy, that they are sympathetic to the plight of working dogs… (story)

ANIMAL AID GRAND NATIONAL LETTER #1
Bucks/Marlow Free Press 7.3.03 What happens to race horses - JOHN Maxse of the Jockey Club refers to my previous letter about horseracing as containing "misinformation and sweeping generalisations" (Marlow Free Press, February 7). He says that horses are at less risk on a course than a road. But is it possible to justify one evil by citing an even greater one?... A Tyler Director Animal Aid Tonbridge Kent (letter)
Sevenoaks Chronicle 14.2.03 WE LOVE HORSES TOO Due to misinformation and sweeping generalisations, I feel I must reply to Richard Mountford's recently published correspondence written on behalf of the animal rights organisation Animal Aid regarding horseracing in general and the Grand National in particular…. John Maxse, Public Relations Director, The Jockey Club (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 5.2.03 FULFILLING LIFE FOR HORSES - I feel I must reply to Andrew Tyler's letter (Postbox, January 20) written on behalf of the animal rights organisation Animal Aid regarding horse racing and the Grand National in particular. The Jockey Club is responsible for regulating horse racing in Britain and no issue has a higher priority for us than the safety and welfare of horse and rider… Animal Aid also chooses to ignore the positive relationships that racing enjoys with recognised animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA and the International League for Protection of Horses. We agree with those organisations that horses have the right to a decent and fulfilling life, both during their racing careers and afterwards. John Maxse public relations director The Jockey Club, London (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 4.2.03 Give up the sweepstake to save horses' lives - Andrew tyler Director Animal Aid (letter in archive)
Sevenoaks Chronicle 31.1.03 SO MANY ANIMALS STILL FACE CRUELTY - It Was sad to read about the two thoroughbred horses starved by a horsedealer… However, the case brought to mind for me the terrible plight of racing horses… Four horses died during last year's three-day Grand National event and this is just a fraction of the cruelty involved…. RICHARD MOUNTFORD Animal Aid, Tonbridge (letter)
Bucks Free Press 24.1.03 Boycott the cruel Grand National - Andrew Tyler Animal Aid Tonbridge Kent (letter)
Bolton Evening News 20.1.03 Grand National bets are cruel - Andrew Tyler Director, Animal Aid Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter in archive)
South Wales Evening Post 21.1.03 DON'T BACK THIS CRUELTY - Andrew Tyler Director, Animal Aid The Old Chapel Bradford Street Tonbridge Kent (letter)
The Shields Gazette 17.1.03 Ban sweepstakes - ANIMAL Aid is appealing to thousands of local businesses around Britain to show their compassion for animals by pledging not to organise an office sweepstake/syndicate for the next Grand National Horse Race. Horse racing is a brutal business that costs lives…. Andrew Tyler,Director,Animal Aid (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 7.3.03 Join the badger sett - Matthew Pardo, Evening Gazette - Evil badger baiters are prowling Teesside snatching the animals from their homes to have them compete in fights to the death…. (story)

ANIMAL AID VEGETARIAN PARENTS STUDY
South London Press 7.3.03 Parents and veggie facts - Ajaye Curry, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid (letter)
Independent on Sunday 2.3.03 'Hostile' doctors and teachers discriminate against vegetarian children, say parents By Jonathan Thompson - Vegetarian parents are protesting against the discrimination they and their children are forced to face in everyday life. A new report, to be published this week, claims that nearly half of all parents raising their children on a meat-free diet have experienced "hostility" over the decision – from doctors, health visitors, teachers or relatives. The findings – released by the leading animal rights group Animal Aid – are based on a survey of 800 vegetarian parents across the country….(story)
Bucks Free Press 28.2.03 Veggies find life a bit tough - A NEW survey by Animal Aid shows that parents succeed in raising their children as vegetarians despite prejudice in many aspects of life. The report, Building A Veggie Future: Animal Aid's Vegetarian Parents' Questionnaire, based on the responses of nearly 800 vegetarian UK parents is published on March 1… Ajaye Curry Campaigns Officer Animal Aid (letter)

Wear Valley Advertiser 6.3.03 DRESSED smartly in her black riding jacket, jodhpurs, and hat Stephnie Bell is excited about setting off for a day of hunting. But it could be the last time she and her friends at the South Durham Hunt will gather…. (story in archive)
Northern Echo 3.3.03 The young voices of hunting by Helen Miller - DRESSED smartly in her black riding jacket, jodhpurs and hat, Stephnie Bell is excited as she sets off on the last day of the hunting season. But it could be the last time that she and her friends at the South Durham Hunt will gather, in the backyard of Prime Minister Tony Blair's constituency… (story in archive)

Times 6.3.03 RSPCA and hunting - Sir, I have never hunted. I do not ride. I have lived in the country most of my life and have had many geese and chickens “murdered” by foxes (as opposed to killed for food)…. I, like many country people I know, used to support the RSPCA vigorously. Nothing would induce me to give it a penny now. Yours faithfully, PETER HARDY, Lawn Farm, Withersfield, Suffolk CB9 7SJ. (letter)
Times 4.3.03 RSPCA and hunting - Sir, Your report (March 3) that the RSPCA “supports” the Hunting Bill omits two important points. We agree that the Bill has been strengthened significantly in committee but there are two crucial amendments that still need to be voted through at report stage. These are a ban on the activity of cubbing, which accounts for 40 per cent of the foxes killed by hunts, and a restriction on the chase, which would remove the sporting element of hunting… JACKIE BALLARD, Director General, RSPCA, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS. (letter)
Times 3.3.03 RSPCA supports hunt Bill BY DAVID CHARTER AND ANTHONY BROWNE - THE RSPCA has reversed its opposition to the Hunting Bill, saying that it had been significantly strengthened by MPs during its committee stage and was now tougher than any previous attempt at legislation… (story)

Worcester Evening News 6.3.03 Magic word is hunting - Add TV cameras, radio and photographers and he comes running to give his views on why the people of Worcester would be better off if hunting were banned in this country even though no hunting takes place in his constituency. However, mention to him the prospect of war on Iraq and he remains totally silent…. Does he support the potential war in Iraq, or does he oppose it? I therefore challenge him to reply to this letter within seven days, so that both his constituents and the Prime Minister will know precisely where he stands on this issue,,, TIM PINNEY, Peopleton, Pershore (letter in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 6.3.03 NEW LAWS ON HUNTING - I Quite agree with Ken Chapman of the Countryside Alliance, that MPs' time should be spent on matters other than hunting with dogs. The facts are the vast majority of this country's people have come to the conclusion chasing animals, of any species, with a pack of hounds is a cruel and unnecessary practice…. Robin Downs, Berkeley Street, Scunthorpe (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 18.2.03 TURNING THE TABLES - In Reply to Kay Chapman of the Countryside Alliance, who seems to believe if a fox's death is almost instantaneous, then hunting is not cruel, may I point out instilling terror into an animal by chasing it for hours before the kill surely amounts to cruelty… Beryl Sanders, West Common Crescent, Scunthorpe (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 14.2.03 NO LABEL OF 'CRUEL' FROM HUNT REPORT - In response to letters from Stella Thompson and Miss Quinn against hunting ??? where do they get their information from? Lord Burns himself has stated many bodies have 'erroneously' quoted the Burns Report suggesting it demonstrated hunting caused cruelty… Surely Ian Cawsey's time would be better spent addressing serious local issues which affect his constituency… Kay Chapman, East Midlands Regional Director, Countryside Alliance. (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 8.2.03 IN SUPPORT OF HUNT BAN - I Am writing to express my support for the campaign to ban hunting…This strong and principled position is a reason to support MPs like Ian Cawsey, who has consistently supported animal welfare legislation... Mrs P Parkinson, Kirby Road, Scunthorpe. (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 6.2.03 SUPPORT FOR BAN ON HUNTING - I Wish to express my support, with Brigg and Goole MP Ian Cawsey, for the ban on hunting with dogs… Miss J D Quinn, Elizabeth Terrace, Brigg. (letter)

Warrington Guardian 6.3.03 Cat among the pigeons MAY I please respond to your article 'Send in the hawks' relating to Stockton Heath village. Is the 'expert' from Cheshire Falconry, an expert on all manners of pest control?... Why is the encouraged practice of killing one species of bird by another, allowed and seen to be acceptable, when all other means of hunting, i.e. dogs hunting foxes, hares, rabbits, badgers, etc, is not allowed in many quarters and is viewed as cruel?... PETER FOY , BEWSEY (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 6.3.03 Wildlife trust killing deer - HIRED marksmen from the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust are "worse than poachers" since it began a policy of culling deer in its own nature reserve, a farmer has claimed. Brian Jones said Muntjac deer have been virtually wiped out in Grafton Wood… The keen conservationist believes 11 animals have already been shot and he now wants trust supporters to withdraw their membership until its policy is altered… (story in archive)
Birmingham Post 4.3.03 Farmer's fury over cull decision By Zannah Lewis, Birmingham Post - A Midland farmer has called on members of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust to renounce their membership after it was revealed it sanctioned the killing of deer. Brian Jones, of Dormston, Worcestershire, was horrified to learn that rangers have shot dead 13 deer since August amid claims they were damaging woodland…. (story)

Western Gazette 6.3.03 'WE NEED NATIONAL FRONT PARTY LIKE A HOLE IN THE HEAD' ... Neal Buckoke, whose Dorset Animal Action Anti-bloodsports Group is affiliated to the Anti-Nazi League, said: "We have no problems down here at the moment, what we don't need is for them to come along and start their racial hatred...." (story)

Barry & District News 6.3.03 Dogs suffer - OUR CHARITY, Greyhounds in Need, is currently supporting, with veterinary and food costs, approximately 130 rescued galgos (Spanish greyhounds) at home and abroad, who will eventually find loving homes. This is the worst time of the year for the galgo: the end of the hunting season, when many thousands are abandoned or hung… Beverley Page Monmouth Way Boverton Llantwit Major (letter in archive)

North Devon Journal 6.3.03 FEARS FOR BADGERS ON HOMES SITE - Fury erupted among conservationists after it was revealed badger setts could occupy hedgerows bulldozed at a new homes development.... Resident Hannah Whitely regularly inspects the setts to make sure they have not been disturbed.... (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 6.3.03 CONCRETE BURROWS FOR INVERNESS BADGERS TO COST £15,000 - An Inverness housing firm is forking out £15,000 to create two underground badger setts in the city. Inverness Homes Limited will construct the setts on land near Culduthel Farm, where it intends to build 550 new homes over the next five years… one of Europe's top badger experts Mike Harris is a consultant in the conservation project…. (story)

Northern Echo 6.3.03 MP leads fight to ban cages for hens - A NORTH-EAST MP and former Labour minister is leading moves to ban "enriched" cages for egg-laying hens. Sunderland MP Chris Mullin said an EU Directive will ban the conventional battery cage from 2012. However, so-called "enriched" cages, which are 45cm high, are only slightly bigger than conventional ones and do not allow hens to turn, stretch or flap their wings…. (story in archive)

Cambridge News 6.3.03 It’s no joke for the cows - From Joan Court, Animals, People and the Environment, Sturton Street, Cambridge - COWS do indeed belch methane gas (and carbon dioxide). Your column (“Bid to End Cowpat Gas”, News March 1) makes a joke of this, but life for the dairy cow is not amusing… For further information about the dairy industry please write to Compassion in World Farming, 5a Charles Street, Petersfield GU32 3EH or Hillside Animal Sanctuary, Hall Lane, Frettenham, Norwich NR12 7LT…. (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 6.3.03 PEOPLE ARE ONES TO CULL In reply to Mr G. L. Robinson and "Greedy geese must be culled", what an awe-inspiring idea! Only thing is, right idea, wrong species. I think homo sapiens are the ones that need culling… LIZ OSMOND (Miss) Ludlow Avenue West Bridgford (letter)

Kidderminster Shuttle 6.3.03 Aid to relieve bears' misery by MARS CHUA - TORTURED bears in China are a little closer to being released from their miserable existence, thanks to £500 raised by a generous Kidderminster woman. But Vivienne Shakespeare-Jones, founder of Wyre Forest Moon Bear Rescue, still needs to collect more funds to help the bears escape lives of cruelty…. (story in archive)

Lewisham News Shopper 5.3.03 hunt it to extinction: The Hunting with Hounds Bill is now making its way through Parliament… By its very nature, hunting is horrifically cruel… L J Warren, Dartford (letter)

Worcester Evening News 5.3.03 Tactics of extremism - CAN I be the only reader of the Evening News who has noticed how extreme the language of the anti-hunting correspondences has now become. Their terminology is aggressive and deliberately denigrates anyone associated with hunting or country sports…. De-humanising people and creating the impression they are a minority to be despised is a tactic of extremism and the servant of fascism. CHRIS TOLLEY, Alfrick, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 5.3.03 Evidence ignored in Bill to ban hare hunts - That the Hunting Bill seeks to ban all hare hunting and coursing shows the essential dishonesty of Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael's "consultation process"…. His behaviour is incomprehensible unless, as has been claimed, it was for him never a question of "if" hunting should be banned but "how" it should be banned…. Ian Sawers, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 5.3.03 ROYALS DON'T SET A GOOD EXAMPLE - This month the Hunting Bill will return to the House of Commons for the last time before it is passed and goes to the House of Lords. I feel the time has come for hunting to be banned… Our royal family are perpetrators of hunting, much to my own and many others' regret, and do not set us a good example as they should do…. Mrs J Sheppard, Yew Tree Drive, Kingswood. (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 5.3.03 ACTIVISTS TO TARGET CITY RESEARCHERS - LINDA SUMMERHAYES - Animal rights protesters yesterday warned they planned to target scientists in Aberdeen who are researching cancer treatments. The Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac) group has compiled a list of companies linked with Europe's largest animal testing laboratory…. Natasha Avery of Shac, however, said Biovation were a target because they were owned by German pharmaceutical giant Merck which, they claim, does have dealings with HLS… (story)
The Herald 4.3.03 Animal rights group's new targets include Scots firms - MARTIN WILLIAMS - ANIMAL welfare activists have compiled a list of more than 100 UK customers, including some in Scotland, of a company that conducts chemical and drugs tests on animals. The ringleaders of the group involved have already been jailed on charges relating to a campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences, and the homes of company executives have been picketed by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac), de-scribed by the FBI as a "domestic terrorist group"…. (story in archive)
The Herald 4.3.03 Standing up to extremists - Law must support victims of animal rights thugs - The members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac), the extremist animal rights group, would, perversely, probably make excellent hunters. Like a good stalker, they identify and track down their prey. Like a clinical marksman (or woman), they bring it down by fair means or foul. The trouble with Shac (an inappropriately anodyne acronym for such a despicable group) is that the means it employs are invariably foul… It is only by scientific research on new treatments that progress can be made to eradicate conditions that blight humankind. If testing on animals, properly monitored and regulated, is the most effective way to develop treatments and avoid side-effects, it is a price worth paying… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 5.3.03 DEMO AGAINST EXPERIMENTS - Using animals to test commercial products is seen by most people as an outrageous practice, which has to stop. Many people also feel powerless to help it. We are currently organising a massive peaceful demonstration against the largest laboratory in Europe to do these tests…. Our demonstration will be in Cambridge on April 19, and transport is arranged from all over the country… Chris Clarke Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty Evesham Worcestershire (letter)

Guardian 5.3.03 Child and animal cruelty linked - John Carvel, social affairs editor - The NSPCC and the RSPCA go into partnership today after evidence that families mistreating pets are more likely than others to abuse their children too. They are launching a campaign to make professionals working with children, families or animals more aware of patterns of violence in the home and more prepared to collaborate on inquiries. The partnership is based on research showing households in which there has been serious cruelty to animals are more likely to have other forms of family violence, including child abuse and wife battering… (story)
Western Mail 5.3.03 Charities unite against family violence - TWO anti-cruelty charities, the NSPCC and RSPCA, yesterday joined forces to combat family violence against both children and animals. The move comes in the light of research which suggests that children may be at risk in households where animals are badly mistreated…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 5.3.03 CHARITIES JOIN FORCES IN BID TO TACKLE VIOLENCE - Anti-cruelty charities the NSPCC and RSPCA today joined forces in the county to combat family violence against both children and animals… (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 5.3.03 MAKE YOUR LUNCH CHICKEN FRIENDLY - Members of the Dawn Chorus, a Nottingham group, wish to share the following concerns with Evening Post readers. Our group seeks to raise awareness of the link between human, animal and environmental welfare issues…. It is no coincidence that the RSPCA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Compassion in World Farming have each launched campaigns tackling separate issues on chicken welfare… J. SKIPTON High Road Chilwell (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.3.03 MY-RIGHTS CULTURE - Your two-page spread (Thinking More of Animals, WDP, February 22) implied that animal lovers are pandering to the apathetic and pleasing those who profit from or enjoy abusing other species. Billions of pounds of tax-payers' money already goes to those with children, more billions for health, education, housing and other benefits… Yet when decent, caring people decide of their own free will, with their hard-earned money, to try to help the real innocents of our world, shock horror! They are vilified… David Thomas Hisomley Wiltshire (letter)

Eastern Daily Press 4.3.03 Pro-hunt protest called off - A pro-hunting march in which demonstrators had planned to ride on horseback through Norwich city centre was called off this afternoon after Norfolk police intervened. Officers in the city contacted the Union of County Sports Workers after being told by "external sources" of its plans to stage the mounted protest against the proposed ban on hunting. They informed them that insufficient notice had been given, and said the event would have to be cancelled…. (story)

Western Morning News 4.3.03 MP FINDS 'MISS RIGHT' AT MARCH - It is often said that political demonstrations do not change anything, but last year's countryside march proved the exception for one lovelorn Westcountry MP - when he chanced upon the woman of his dreams. Adrian Flook, the Tory MP for Taunton, yesterday announced his engagement to marketing director Frangelica O'Shea following a whirlwind romance, which began at last year's Liberty and Livelihood march in London on 22 September… (story)

Western Daily Press 4.3.03 SICK SPORT THAT MUST BE OUTLAWED - Thank you for printing the sickening photograph of a hare being savaged by two dogs at the Waterloo Cup. It shows us why this despicable blood sport is at long last being banned under the Hunting Bill currently being debated in Parliament…. H Weeks Protect Our Wild Animals West Coker Somerset (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 4.3.03 HORSES OF NO CONCERN TO THE QUEEN - In Reference to the numerous letters about tethered horses (which I fully agree with) and the lady who wrote to the Queen. The Queen and her family are not animal lovers as such. The Queen is into horses for sport, which is in itself cruel. Two horses were killed during last year's Grand National - The Last Fling suffered a broken back and Many Magic a fractured neck… Eileen Girling, Sigston Road, Beverley. (letter)

Argus 4.3.03 Animal demo man sues police - Police who attacked an animal rights campaigner tried to cover their tracks by falsely accusing him of assault, a court heard. Michael Haines, 57, says he was injured after travelling to Brighton to take part in a demonstration against Shamrock Farm, which was selling monkeys to laboratories… Mr Haines claimed that during the demonstration on November 28, 1999, Sgt Boyle pushed him hard in the chest as he tried to speak to his girlfriend who had just been arrested… (photo) (story in archive)

Hull Daily Mail 4.3.03 THANKS ON BEHALF OF HORSES - I Would like to express my thanks to the Mail for highlighting the plight of tethered horses. I hope those responsible for this cruel practice now know this may soon become illegal. Mrs J I Roebuck, Linkfield Road, Hull. (letter)

North West Evening Mail 3.3.03 CHARLES TO VISIT COUNTY THIS MONTH THE Prince of Wales is to visit Cumbria on March 12. Limited details of the visit have been released by St James's Palace, revealing how the prince will meet Cumbrians involved in various rural community initiatives on trips to Penrith and Kendal… In recent years, the prince has come to Cumbria on private visits, and enjoyed days on the fells hunting with the Blencathra foxhounds… (story)

Telegraph 3.3.03 Jack Champion - Jack Champion, who died on February 13 aged 89, was for 38 seasons huntsman of the Old Surrey and Burstow. It was known as Jorrocks's Hunt, because R S Surtees described his great fictional character, the Cockney grocer John Jorrocks, starting his hunting career in the Surrey Hills south of Croydon. Indeed, Jack Champion's cheerful, extrovert character had a Surteesian flavour. He earned a great reputation as one of the most entertaining of huntsmen, inspiring generations of devoted followers in the OSB's country, which stretched from Greater London into commuter Surrey, Kent and East Sussex…. (story)
Times 24.2.03 Jack Champion Entertaining huntsman who had occasional critics but devoted followers - Jack Champion was one of the most popular huntsmen of the 20th century, and the last huntsman in a family with a tradition of professional hunt service going back at least four generations. Ever cheerful, and a dashing horseman, he had a great reputation as one of the most entertaining huntsmen in the postwar years. He had a devoted following as huntsman of the Old Surrey and Burstow for 38 seasons, retiring in 1985 when he was still hunting with great verve at the age of 70... (story)

Western Daily Press 3.3.03 THOUGHTS OF A COUNTRYMAN - Sir - Mr L Webster and Mr P A Wood (February 20 and 21) seem to think I am a so-called townie with no experience of the country, as I am opposed to blood sports and livestock farming. I am 62, born, lived and worked in the country most of my life, on estates and farms in Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire… It is this lifelong experience that has convinced me that the exploitation of animals for pleasure and profit is a cruel blot on our countryside… P Richardson Woodmancote Cirencester (letter)
Western Daily Press 21.2.03 COUNTRY LOVER'S VIEW IS WARPED - Mr P Richardson's letter was another bigoted and warped view from the anti-establishment corner… Mr Richardson suggests that all farmers hunt. Many have no interest in hunting. The main point of using hounds is that they discriminate between a healthy fox and a sickly one, whereas a rifle or snare, even poison, do not. The only real blight on the countryside is the misinformed, part-time country lovers, not the keeper or huntsman…. P A Wood Tetbury Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.3.02 COUNTRY 'LOVERS' IN TOWN MIND-SET - I write in response to P Richardson's letter in which livestock farmers, hunters, shooters and gamekeepers ("those who kill for a living") are labelled as a "blight on the countryside, spoiling the enjoyment and pleasure of real country lovers". I suggest that P Richardson and other narrow-minded real country lovers should speak to or spend some time with a gamekeeper, a farmer, or hunter at work to see how they care for and respect their stock… L Webster Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.2.03 REAL PESTS OF THE COUNTRYSIDE - In answer to Ray Bird's letter, Warped View Of the Countryside, may I suggest it is he and his bloodsport cronies that have a warped and bloodstained view of the countryside… The real pests of the countryside are hunters, shooters, gamekeepers and livestock farmers. They earn their living by killing animals, then they spend most of their leisure time killing yet more animals… P Richardson Woodmancote Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Worcester Evening News 3.3.03 Something very wrong with countryside - WE read (Evening News, Friday, February 21) that a farming family is to sell up and emigrate… Is it not very obvious that something is very wrong in the countryside? Obvious to everyone except Tony Blair and New Labour… Is it a case of them being totally oblivious or just so arrogant and full of dogma, believing the countryside is just full of fox hunting toffs who need to be eradicated? E F SHOWELL, Fernhill Heath, Worcester (letter in archive)

SHAC FORCES HUNTINGDON AUDITORS TO QUIT
Independent 3.3.03 Cruelty to animals can never justify violence against humans - It may seem only a small act of moral cowardice, but it should not be allowed to pass without comment. Deloitte & Touche, one of the country's leading accountancy firms, quietly announced last week that it was resigning as auditor to Huntingdon Life Sciences, the company engaged in testing drugs on live animals… . Deloitte says that its staff and their families have been similarly harassed, suffering criminal damage including broken windows and superglued doors. That is a disgraceful burden which ought not to be diminished in any way, but Deloitte is under an obligation, as a partnership, not to yield to such extortion… Equally, however, we are implacably opposed to the threat or use of violence against people in order to promote the cause of animal rights… (story)
Guardian 1.3.03 Campaigners force auditors to quit animal testing firm - Nicholas Pyke - Opponents of Huntingdon Life Sciences, the animal testing firm, have succeeded in forcing Deloitte & Touche to quit as auditors to the company, after a campaign of harassment and intimidation directed against Deloitte employees... Some senior managers had their mobile phones and emails jammed after an insider leaked their details to campaigners. It is reported that others were subject to more serious harassment including home visits and paint attacks on their cars and houses.... Greg Avery, Shac's coordinator, described the leak from Deloittes as "the best information we have ever had from inside a company - the first time anyone has leaked the whole top tier of directors and their secretaries..." (story)
Telegraph 1.3.03 Animal activists force out Huntingdon auditor - By Rosie Murray-West - Brian Cass, chief executive of Huntingdon Life Sciences, yesterday called for stronger laws against animal rights activism after Deloitte & Touche resigned as auditors for the drugs-testing company. Deloitte would not comment on why it had resigned, but it is known to have been the subject of sustained protest from Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), which printed details of employees' home addresses on its website and visited their homes…. (story)
Times 1.3.03 Accountants drop animal lab after staff threats BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, CONSUMER EDITOR - THE accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche severed its links with the Huntingdon Life Sciences research laboratory yesterday after its staff became the target of protests by animal welfare activists. Senior staff were picketed at their homes. Protesters with megaphones and airhorns visited one staff member six times, shouting abuse and disturbing neighbours. Criminal damage was reported... (story)

Guardian 3.3.03 'Holocaust on a plate' angers US Jews - David Teather in New York - An animal rights organisation has sparked outrage with a campaign and exhibition that compares the slaughter of livestock to the Holocaust in the second world war. The exhibition, called Holocaust on Your Plate, juxtaposes harrowing images of people in concentration camps with disturbing pictures of animals on farms… The organisation behind the campaign, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), intends to take it on a tour of the US, and has set up an exhibition website, masskilling.com… Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor, said the attempt to win approval was "outrageous, offensive and takes chutzpah to new heights"…. (story)

Shropshire Star 3.3.03 Fur flies in ornament row - An animal rescue worker from the Shropshire border today claimed cat ornaments on sale in shops across Britain are too realistic and could be made from genuine cat fur. Kerrie Anne Daniels, from Penley, near Ellesmere, claims shops in Shropshire are selling the items without realising the fur may not be synthetic… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 3.3.03 GET EDUCATED ON VEGGIES - Judging by his statement, it is obvious Mr Bush lacks any sympathy for the starving millions. His reasonings are at the heart of what is wrong in this selfish world…. Eileen Girling, Sigston Road, Beverley(letter)
Hull Daily Mail 27.2.03 BUSH SPREADS MYTHS ABOUT VEGETARIANS Mr Bush (Mail, February 18) is once again guilty of putting out a great myth of our time. That is that vegetarians are weak and sickly… Eileen Girling, Sigston Road, Beverley (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 18.2.03 ONE MAN'S MEAT IS ANOTHER MAN'S POISON - One sympathises with the starving millions but I could not make a child feel guilty whose instinct is to eat meat…. Meat repairs the heart, strengthens the blood and energises people. Sydney J Bush, Anti-Coronary Clinics (UK) Ltd. Skidby House, East Yorkshire (letter)

Luton on Sunday 2.3.03 Huntsmen sing the fox’s praises YOU would think the chances of a huntsman talking about his admiration for foxes would be about as likely as President Bush and Saddam Hussein kissing and making up.But during a morning with the Aylesbury Vale Hunt, huntsman Jonathan Dick surprisingly described the creatures as ‘beautiful’ and ‘possibly the cleverest animals in the wild’. The other surprising thing about this group of people was their disparate background. Not Lords and ladies or members of the aristocracy, but a redundant Yorkshire miner, a dental assistant, a market trader, a gardener, a second-hand car dealer and a 16-year-old girl who has just left school.... (story)

Scotland on Sunday 2.3.03 Unfair criticism of absentee landlords - THE recent publication of the joint university study into Scottish Highland sporting estates (News, February 23) appears timed to bolster justification for the Land Reform (Scotland) Act and the arguments put forward by critics of Scotland’s extant system of land ownership... Country sports, which also take place and generate income outside the summer tourist season, require substantial investment in land management. Substitute or jeopardise that activity - shooting, deer stalking, salmon fishing - and you also remove jobs, skills, and the incentive for the owner to manage the land not only for game, but biodiversity in a far wider sense.... Stephen Gibbs, chair, Association of Deer Management Groups (letter)
Sunday Herald 23.2.03 Scotland's weekend lairds: huntin', shootin' and leavin' - A quarter of the country kept as a playground for the rich, reveals study - By Jenifer Johnston ... The study, commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council, reveals that just 16% of sporting estates report regularly making a profit... Researcher Andy Wightman, who also devised the Who Owns Scotland database, agreed that owners had to be pro-active in future. He said: 'In Scotland, hunting has been developed as a 'respectable' sport because of the phenomenon of sporting estates. If those estates didn't exist, there would be far more people making use of the land.' … Tony Andrews, chief executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said he would prefer to shift the debate onto the rural economy as a whole. 'I would rather know about the economic contribution these estates make to rural businesses and the benefit to tourism from the often very large sums of money visitors spend on activities such as shooting, deer stalking and fishing…." (story)
Scotland on Sunday 23.2.03 Off your bike say absentee landlords - CHRISTOPHER CLAIRE - THE modern Scottish Highland sporting estate continues to be a place owned by an absentee landowner who uses the land for hunting and family gatherings, according to a new study. Research carried out by the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen also showed how 66% of landowners tolerated public access but opposed certain sports taking place on their estates.... (story)

Observer 2.3.03 Mink face cull to save Ratty from wipe-out - Mark Townsend - Tens of thousands of American mink are facing slaughter in a bid to save one of Britain's best-loved mammals. Plans for the most ambitious cull of wild animals the UK has ever seen are being finalised in a move to preserve the water vole... However a massive cull still has to be sanctioned by Ministers. There is concern that supporting such a move would create a precedent to wipe out other foreign species such as the grey squirrel... (story)

Times 1.3.03 In the eye of the beholder - Beauty, speed, death ... Martin Evans mingles with fans at the most controversial event on the sporting calendar - THE FERRET was found hiding in a bucket on a building site near Manchester just before Christmas but by last Tuesday she had taken up residence on the shoulders of Sheila Crompton. As a débutante at the 156th running of the Waterloo Cup on the late Lord Leverhulme’s estate at Great Altcar, Merseyside, she attracted more than her fair share of admiring glances from the gentry assembled in the nominators’ enclosure... (story)

Telegraph 1.3.03 All the thrills of the chase - Organised by local hunts, equestrian team-chasing is fast and furious, for both competitors and spectators alike, finds Veronica Lee - On a sunny but bracing Sunday morning I arrive at Canal Farm in deepest Leicestershire. Vehicles dispense assorted folk - young, old and lots of in betweens - many with their dogs, as the day's sport gets under way across Richard and Karen Chandler's farm. We are here for some horsey derring-do at the Belvoir Team Chase.... (story)

Leicester Mercury 1.3.03 WHERE'S HIS PROOF? In his letter to Postbag (Feb, 19), Ian Kilgour said the hunting bill going through Parliament was not based on evidence. What evidence has he got when he says up to 20,000 jobs could be lost? When his Tory friends shut down the mines, 125,000 jobs were lost... G A Wright,Leicester (letter)
Leicester Mercury 19.2.03 BILL NOT BASED ON EVIDENCE The Hunting Bill going through Parliament at present has the potential to change the lifestyles of as many as 20,000 of the county's population... The Hunting Bill the Government failed to provide any evidence that hunting with dogs is more cruel than culling by any other legal means... Ian Kilgour, Thurcaston (letter)

Cambridge News 1.3.03 Honour for animal welfare champion - ANIMAL rights campaigner Joan Court is set to be honoured for her contribution to animal welfare. New Hall College graduate Joan, will be handed the Lord Houghton Award for her major contribution to animal welfare on Monday... (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 1.3.03 BAN SELECTIVE BREEDING - Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) is planning to mount a detailed legal challenge to the Government. It is attempting to enforce a clause in the EU's General Farms Directive, which specifies that the Government must ensure no animal is bred with a body inherently prone to suffer, due to its breeding. CIWF has been trying to persuade the Government that if the directive is interpreted correctly, they must ban the selective breeding of broiler chickens.... Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor (letter)