March 2014

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(*)- added since last update


Yeovil Express 31.3.14 PICTURES: Cotley Point-to-Point hailed a success By Daniel Milligan - CAMEL racing at the traditional Cotley Point to Point steeplechase on Sunday (March 30) has been declared an outstanding success by the organisers… (story)
Western Morning News 29.3.14 Camels to race at point-to-point By Sarah Pitt - There will be an unusual sight in the Somerset countryside tomorrow when camels will be seen thundering down the home straight at a popular point-to-point. The humped creatures, more typically seen in the Middle Eastern desert, are taking part in four races at Cotley Hunt point-to-point near Chard, with local vets, hunt members and other wannabe camel jockeys on their backs. Fancy dress will be the order of the day for the riders with all funds raised from the camel racing going to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance… (story)

Worcester News 31.3.14 Stop the suffering - close Worcester Racecourse - This week Horse Racing Awareness Week is taking place to make members of the public aware of the suffering and slaughter of horses caused by the racing industry. Although the event, organised by national animal protection group Animal Aid, is designed to precede the Grand National meeting at Aintree, where 40 horses have died since the year 2000, it's important to remember that every other racecourse in the country is also responsible for the deaths of horses… Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies is dedicated to bringing about a more humane society, both in terms of the food we eat and how animals are treated in general. One of our campaigns is for an end to the horse racing industry and the closure of Worcester Racecourse… Ronald Lee Communications Officer Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies (story)

Meat Trades Journal 31.3.14 Antrim goat meat company wins award - Northern Irish goat kids’ meat producer Broughgammon Farm has been recognised for its enterprise at the Countryside Alliance Awards.. . (story)
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 31.3.14 Lechlade Festival crowned Midlands champion in Countryside Alliance Awards By Megan Archer, Reporter - LECHLADE Festival organisers have been invited to a winners' reception at the House of Lords next month to hear if they have secured a prestigious award. The annual event held in Lechlade has been crowned champion of the Midlands region in the Countryside Alliance Awards…. (story)
Bolton News 28.3.14 Bolton attraction wins "rural" Oscar - A BOLTON attraction has won a “rural Oscar” — and will now go on to represent the North West in a regional competition. The Wellbeing Farm in Edgworth has been named best start-up business in the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards… (story)
Hexham Courant 26.3.14 BARDON MILL: THEY’RE TOP OF THE SHOPS AFTER 10 MONTHS IN CHARGE. By JOSEPH TULIP - ONE of Tynedale’s newest businesses has been crowned top of the village shops in the North-East. Just 10 months after Michael and Dawn Smith opened the Bardon Mill Village Store and Tea Room, it has been recognised in the annual Countryside Alliance Awards…. (story)
Morpeth Herald 25.3.14 Awards for rural goods - ENTERPRISES in Northumberland have been recognised for their success with regional accolades. The North East of England winners in this year’s Countryside Alliance Awards included Blagdon Farm Shop (Butcher Champion) and The Kitchen Garden at Meldon Park (Best Start-Up).... (story)
Suffolk Free Press 25.3.14 Entrepreneur’s top award ... Alexandra Schwind set up Young and Country, which is based at Causton Hall, Little Cornard, in December 2012. Her aim was to create a website which would appeal to a younger generation of farmers, horse riders and country enthusiasts.... The success of the website has seen Young and Country named as the “start-up category champion” in the East of England Countryside Alliance Awards.... (story)
Lancashire Telegraph 25.3.14 Edgworth Wellbeing Farm going for national glory By Dan Clough - THE Wellbeing Farm in Edgworth will represent the North West at the Countryside Alliance’s ‘Rural Oscars’ next month... (story)
Melton Times 22.3.14 Pub praised in ‘countryside Oscars’ - A village pub is celebrating after being highly commended in this year’s Countryside Alliance Awards. The Berkeley Arms in Wymondham was nominated for for the first time and owners Louise and Neil Hitchen are thrilled to have been recognised…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 18.3.14 Four rural Northumberland businesses win Countryside Alliance Awards - Four rural businesses in the North East have won awards for the service they provide to their communities…. (story)
Berwick Advertiser 17.3.14 Sunnyhills wins ‘rural oscars’ award - Sunnyhills of Belford scooped the local food prize at the North East’s Countryside Alliance awards…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 17.3.14 Lincolnshire butchers win national award - Jon Parker and Dan Mitchell celebrate after the Navenby butcher’s Odling Bros won the Butcher Category at the 2013 East of England Countryside Alliance Awards…. (story)
Morpeth Herald 15.3.14 Winners of the rural oscars announced - The North East’s Champions in the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards, dubbed the Rural Oscars, wereannounced at a reception at Blagdon Hall last night…. Sunnyhills Farm Shop in Belford, took local food award… Bardon Mill Village Store and Tea Room scooped the village shop/Post Office accolade, with Etal Post Office and Lavender Tea Rooms highly commended…. The butcher champion award went to Blagdon Farm Shop, with North Acomb Farm Shop highly commended… And the Kichen Garden at Meldon Park took the start-up award with Zen Bakery at Bellingham highly commended… (story)
Western Daily Press 15.3.14 Celebrate the best of rural enterprise -The South West of England's champions in the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards – known affectionately as the Rural Oscars – have been announced, with top local businesses now going forward to the UK and Ireland final… (story)
Northumberland Gazette 14.3.14 Winners to be announced at rural oscars tonight - The winners of the regional Countryside Alliance awards, dubbed the rural oscars, are to be announced tonight…. In north Northumberland there are six finalists in the running across different categories…. (story)
Salisbury Journal 13.3.14 Award for community store By Hugh Cadman - A COMMUNITY-owned shop that has been running for just nine months has picked up a major regional award. Chalke Valley Stores, which is inside Broadchalke United Reformed Church, has been named joint champion by the Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars…. (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 10.3.14 Rural oscar for Stalbridge business By fdart - NORTH DORSET supermarket and deli Dike & Son became local champions thanks to the Countryside Alliance Awards this week…. (story)
Western Morning News 7.3.14 Rural Oscars awarded to two best of west businesses By WMNlynbarton - Two business which champion the very best in home grown produce have been honoured in the Rural Oscars…. This year, Partridge Farm Meats, based at Templeton, near Tiverton, have been declared regional winner in the best butcher category. Meanwhile, Church Street Stores and Café at Morchard Bishop, Crediton, has triumphed in the joint village shop/ Post Office category… (story)
Canterbury Times 4.3.14 Farm named Local Food Champion in the South East By Rebecca_Pike - A FARM that supplies meat to an award-winning Faversham butcher has been named a champion in the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards. MB Farms in Sittingbourne is the supplier for A.J. Barkaway on West Street. They agreed a deal last Autumn, meaning the local, independent butchers sources all of its beef and lamb from MB Farms… (story)

Western Morning News 31.3.14 TB due to close proximity of calves - I would like to take issue with you over your bovine TB article… Scientists do not yet know how a badger can pass on bovine TB to cattle and only after months of close, continuous confinement in laboratory conditions do calves succumb to the disease. I would say the cause of the disease in several of Mr Oliver’s calves is more likely due to the close proximity of the calves to one another, the test for bovine TB not being 100% accurate amid poor farm bio-security…. by Jenny Pike Plymouth (letter)

Surrey Advertiser 31.3.14 University used thousands of mice and rabbits for experiments By James Watkins - Charity Animal Aid said the Guildford university should use other techniques which do not lead to the "futile suffering" of animals… (story)

Plymouth Herald 31.3.14 Applauding cull is simply ignorant - REGARDING Mr Bowden's recent letter, I would like to make a final response on the matter…. The fact he applauds the cull is just an indication of that ignorance, and it beggars belief…. , I have also dived with oceanic whitetips and tiger sharks amongst others and they have killed people, as have hammerheads. I apologise if that isn't good enough for you, Mr Bowden… STUART MUNNERY Via email (letter)


Hucknall Dispatch 30.3.14 Graham Allen MP guest column: Government need to listen on animal welfare - A lot of my constituents have got in touch with me this week about Fox Hunting, outraged that the Government have threatened to relax the laws about hunting foxes with packs of dogs. I have strongly campaigned against Fox Hunting for years and am equally concerned about these threats… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 30.3.14 Pictures: Hundreds march through Exeter in badger cull protest - Hundreds marched through Exeter yesterday for a protest against the Government’s controversial badger cull policy… (story)
Western Morning News 30.3.14 Hundreds march against the badger cull By WMNAGreenwood - Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Exeter at the weekend in a public show of opposition to the Government’s badger culling policy. An estimated 500 people, some wearing badger masks and others holding placards, weaved their way through the city of Saturday afternoon in an event organised by Exeter March Against the Badger Cull… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 28.3.14 500 protesters set for badger march through Exeter - A peaceful protest against the Government’s controversial badger cull policy is being held in Exeter tomorrow…. (story)
Western Daily Press 27.3.14 Anti badger cull protesters to gather for demo in Exeter on Saturday A protest against the Government's badger cull policy will take place in Exeter on Saturday. Organised by Exeter March Against the Badger Cull, and supported by national wildlife charities Care for the Wild and the Badger Trust, the event welcomes people of all ages… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 27.3.14 Badger cull protest march through Exeter set for Saturday - A protest march against the Government’s badger cull policy will be held in Exeter on Saturday (29 March). Organisers say they expect over 500 people to take part in the protest… (story)
Western Morning News 17.3.14 'Badger Army' chooses Exeter as focus for regional protest By WMNlynbarton - The self proclaimed ‘Badger Army’ is to march through Exeter in protest at potential plans to extend a cull. Hundreds of protestors will gather at Belmont Park on Saturday, March 29, after the Badger Trust said the city would be an ideal regional focus for action. Andy Gilbert, the joint organiser Exeter March Against the Badger Cull, said he expected people from across the Westcountry to join the peaceful day of action…. (story)


Telegraph 29.3.14 Ban on fox hunting could be relaxed after all - Fox hunting with large packs of dogs in remote parts of Britain could be legalised after David Cameron ordered officials to gather evidence to support a change. By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent - Fox hunting with large packs of dogs in remote parts of Britain could be legalised after David Cameron ordered officials to gather evidence to support a change. The Prime Minister wants to build an evidence base to persuade the Liberal Democrats – which are blocking plans to legislate - to support the proposal, which would be the first change to the legislation which banned hunting 10 years ago…. (story)

Western Daily Press 29.3.14 Hunting Act reform vote debacle makes repeal case stronger, says Countryside Alliance boss Barney White-Spunner By SIMON COPP - Farmers and others in rural Britain must be given a full explanation as to why the Government has failed to change the Hunting Act "to protect both lambs and the welfare of foxes". That is the demand made by Sir Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, in response to days of conjecture over the future of the controversial act which has "brought the Hunting Act and all political parties further into disrepute"…. (story)

Anglo Celt 29.3.14 Tom Duffy circus rejects claims that its animals are poorly treated ahead of Cavan visit - Tom Duffy's traditional Irish Circus has rejected criticism from animal rights group ARAN that its animals are poorly-treated…. David Duffy, the circus’s Managing Director and ringmaster said: “Here at Duffy’s we are totally dedicated to the welfare of our animals. There is a vast difference between animal welfare and animal rights.”… (story)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 29.3.14 “A dirty tricks campaign” – Lush hits back at fracking lobby after claim made over products - POOLE company Lush has hit back at a special investigation in a national newspaper, branding it a ‘dirty tricks campaign’ by the fracking lobby… However The Sun has accused Lush, founded in Poole by Mark and Mo Constantine, of double standards after revealing the ethical global cosmetic chain was selling face masks, including Mask of Magnaminty, made from a chemical dug up in large open pit mines in the US…. (story)


Telegraph 28.3.14 Why foxhunting has become an unspeakable topic - A reluctance to address the contentious issue of foxhunting is dividing the Tory party By Isabel Hardman - Cast your eye around David Cameron’s Cabinet and you’d struggle to find two more rural Tories than the Prime Minister and his Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson… But this week, this pair of countryside Conservatives were forced to admit defeat in a long-running rural battle… while the Lib Dems say they are happy to hold that vote, the Conservatives aren’t. As a No 10 source says: “The hunting lobby don’t want a Commons free vote at the moment: it would set back the cause, as they’d lose it.”… (story)
Telegraph 28.3.14 The Tories are split on the hunting ban. That's the main reason it won't be changed By James Kirkup - David Cameron has announced that plans to water down the hunting ban will not go ahead. There is no Government agreement on reform, the PM told MPs. The statement sparked the usual talk of a Con-Lib split within the Coalition. And indeed, Lib Dem opposition played a big part. But don’t be fooled: this isn’t a simple blue-yellow divide. There’s another rift here, more interesting and potentially more important. It’s a split within the Conservative Party… (story)

Scotsman 28.3.14 Thirteen birds of prey ‘poisoned’ within two miles - A “substantial award” may be offered for information after 13 birds of prey were found dead in the Highlands. Nearly half of the dead birds, found in an area around Conon Bridge in Ross-shire, have already been confirmed as being poisoned – as many as were killed in that way across the whole of Scotland last year…. Scottish Gamekeepers Ass¬ociation ch¬air¬man Alex Hogg said: “The number of birds being found is hugely worrying and suggests something is very much amiss here.” (story)

Nuneaton News 28.3.14 Wildlife charity founder calls for snares to be banned By Alex Wainwright - THE FOUNDER of Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary is calling for snares to be banned. This comes after a fox had a lucky escape when it was found with a deadly wire snare wrapped around its stomach. Geoff Grewcock and his team received a call yesterday morning after a resident from the Radnor Drive area of Nuneaton found the animal stuck under his car…. (story)

Western Daily Press 28.3.14 Animals would be better off in the wild - Copenhagen Zoo, which pleads that there is nowhere to put these animals, didn't find them abandoned on the doorstep one morning. The zoo brought them into this world…. For anyone who cares about lions, giraffes and all the other individuals serving life sentences in zoos, the latest killings should confirm that zoos are hideous institutions that do not deserve public support… Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) (letter)

Western Morning News 28.3.14 Horrific reality of ritual slaughter - I am in such agreement with the views expressed by Lomond Handley (“Cruellest animal is the one on two legs”, WMN Letters, March 21). A friend of mine in her last year of training to be a vet had to do two weeks in a slaughter house. She knew it would be bad, but was not prepared for the horror and cruelty of it all…. by Lyn Sawkins Holsworthy (letter)
Western Morning News 21.3.14 Cruellest animal is the one on two legs - Cruelty is cruelty and the recent assertion by Nick Clegg that the slaughtering of animals without prior stunning is acceptable on religious grounds, which he considers to be more important than their pain and suffering, absolutely disgusts me…. Lomond Handley, Truro (letter)


Western Morning News 27.3.14 Government insist hunting vote will happen at "appropriate time” - By GDemianyk - MPs will get the chance to vote on whether to repeal the fox hunting ban "at an appropriate time", Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has said. Mr Paterson admitted the Tories and Liberal Democrats could not agree on how to proceed with the commitment in the Coalition Agreement to a free vote on repealing the Hunting Act. He said the commitment "still stands" but that no agreement can be reached on any amendment to the Act… (story)
Mail 27.3.14 Hunting ban will stay, admits PM: Cameron says Lib Dem resistance means laws to make it easier for farmers to control foxes have been dropped By JAMES GROVES, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - Ministers will not try to water down the hunting ban before the election, David Cameron said yesterday. The Prime Minister said opposition from the Liberal Democrats meant a compromise plan to make it easier for hill farmers to control foxes had been dropped… (story)
Western Daily Press 27.3.14 David Cameron backtracks on Hunting Act reform - Animal rights campaigners claimed victory yesterday after David Cameron signalled that coalition divisions look likely to prevent the Government bringing forward proposals to change the law on fox hunting… (story)
Telegraph 26.3.14 David Cameron abandons bid to relax hunting ban - Conservative attempts to relax the legal ban on hunting foxes with dogs are being abandoned, David Cameron says with 'regret' By James Kirkup, Political Editor - David Cameron has abandoned attempts to relax the ban on fox hunting, after opposition from the Liberal Democrats and some Conservative MPs…. (story)
Guardian 26.3.14 David Cameron drops plans to ease foxhunting restrictions - U-turn by PM means there will not be a vote on proposal to allow packs of dogs to flush out animals before they are shot - Rowena Mason, political correspondent - David Cameron has dropped plans to ease the foxhunting ban by allowing packs of dogs to flush out the animals before they are shot, after a coalition split over the issue… (story)
Independent 26.3.14 Hounded out: Lib Dems veto Tory plan to relax hunting laws - The Liberal Democrats have blocked a plan backed by David Cameron to relax the ban on hunting introduced in 2004…. (story)
BBC News Online 26.3.14 MPs will get free vote on fox hunting - Downing Street - MPs will get a free vote on repealing the ban on fox hunting before the next election, Downing Street has said. David Cameron said he "regretted" ministers had been unable to agree on allowing farmers to use more than two dogs in pest control. The move is understood to have been opposed by Nick Clegg… (story)
Western Morning News 26.3.14 Prime Minister abandons move to relax hunting ban By GDemianyk - David Cameron has expressed “regret” after ruling out amending the controversial ban on hunting. Ministers were considering cross-party calls for a change in the law to scrap a limit on using more than two dogs to flush out foxes so they can be shot. The move would have pleased farmers, especially in upland areas, who point to a surge in attacks on lambs. But speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Cameron said: “I regret to say I don’t think there will be government agreement to go forward…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 27.3.14 With a Shot of Dutch courage, chase is on! - A unique equestrian – or "equestrienne" – event attracted 15 contestants for the second Dianas of the Chase Cup. The event, the only one of its kind in the world for side-saddle riders, had to be postponed in January because the course at Ingarsby Old Hall, near Hungarton, was waterlogged. But this time, members of the Quorn Hunt and Household Cavalry made sure the two-mile course was in tip-top condition… The winner was Lizzie Harris, of Northampton (story)

Coventry Telegraph 27.3.14 For those of us in the real world who are struggling to make ends meet, one might reasonably assume that the government has its full attention on ensuring things get better by concentrating on our economic wellbeing, and therefore might question a move through the back door by David Cameron today to seriously weaken the Hunting Act by allowing a full pack of dogs to flush out foxes… Bryan Griffiths, (Protect Our Wild Animals Associate), Wiltshire Close, Bedworth. (letter)

Bath Chronicle 27.3.14 Hunting Act works - When two joint masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds were recently charged with illegal hunting after an alleged incident in the Simonsbath area on September 14, can the pro-hunt minority honestly claim that the Hunting Act is "unworkable"?... Katherine Watson Briarlands Close Brammall Stockport Cheshire (letter)

Western Morning News 27.3.14 UKIP does indeed offers voters a choice …. the other rational observation in Mr Wyeth’s latest letter is his suggestion that UKIP offers voters a choice in the next General election. Yes, UKIP does just that; voters will face a choice on one hand an anti-European UKIP hell-bent on reversing anti-smoking legislation, implementing a flat-rate of income tax for all (which by its very nature favours the rich), overturning the ban on fox-hunting, ripping up the countryside for fracking, denying evidence from the UN’s top scientific brains on man-made climate change… by Rebecca Rabinowitz Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 27.3.14 Cats infect humans with TB ‘after contact with badgers’ By David Wells - Two people in England have developed tuberculosis (TB) after contact with pet cats which could have caught the disease from badgers. It is the first ever recorded cases of cat-to-human transmission, officials said. The shocking announcement comes as veterinarians said they believed domestic cats could be catching the disease by venturing into badger setts or from rodents that have been in badger setts…. (story)

West Briton 27.3.14 bTB policy must be based on evidence - SO here we go again. A Government making up policy on the hoof has ended up with a generous helping of manure on its face. This week's publication of the independent expert panel's report on the Government's badger cull pilots show that its farmer-led "free shooting" of badgers has been ineffective and, in some cases, inhumane…. Contact Andrew George by e-mail… (story)


York Press 26.3.14 Protestors gather at Sinnington Hunt meet By Hannah Bryan - HUNT protestors gathered at the final meet of the Sinnington Hunt following an alleged incident at a hunt meeting earlier in the month. About 40 members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association attended the meet in Kirkdale, on Saturday, March 15, after an alleged incident involving a hunt monitor on Saturday, March 1…. (story)

Irish Times 26.3.14 Simon Coveney and animal welfare - My stomach turned listening to RTE’s Primetime interview with Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney on the subject of horse welfare… Can the Minister not see, or accept, that a wild dog being hounded until its lungs give out and exhaustion delivers it to a pack of hounds to be eviscerated is “welfare-compromised”? And could this euphemism not also be applied to a hare that is terrorised, mauled and tossed about by dogs like a paper toy for the amusement of a crowd of gamblers and sightseers?... JOHN FITZGERALD Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports, Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Western Morning News 26.3.14 Hunting treated like any wildlife crime - In response to Michael Howard’s letter (WMN 17/3/14), the RSPCA will not be ‘secreting operatives’ on anyone’s land. The RSPCA does not monitor hunts nor does it employ people to do so. If independent hunt monitors produce evidence showing illegal hunting the RSPCA is prepared to examine it and apply the evidential and public interest tests set out in the Code for crown prosecutors. Hunting is treated like any other wildlife crime… by Sophie Wilkinson Regional Media Manager, RSPCA West Sussex (letter)

Swindon Advertiser 25.3.14 Shoot out raises £6,500 for charity - SHOTGUNS raised more than £6,000 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance after a charity shoot at Barbury Shooting School. More than 100 people turned out to the school in Wroughton for the event, where 29 teams of four competed in an 80-bird sporting clay shoot and a 100-bird flush…. (story)


Horse & Hound 25.3.14 Hunt offers a unique Mother’s Day treat -A Mother’s Day treat with a difference is on offer from the Surrey Union this year — a £100 prize to the winning mother and child duo in the pair class at the annual hunter trials. Hunt chairman Nigel Morland had the idea when he realised the event coincided with Mother’s Day (30 March) and soon drummed up the prize-money… (story)

Milton Keynes News 25.3.14 VIDEO: 'Sickening' experiments at Milton Keynes laboratory lead to Government probe and animal cruelty protest - Written byJAMES AVERILL - UP to 100 campaigners are set to protest this Friday at a laboratory in Milton Keynes which is at the centre of a government probe into cruelty to dogs and cats.. (story)

Citiblog 24.3.14 ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS PLAN PROTEST AT MK LABORATORY by charlescrook - ANIMAL rights group Anti-Vivisection Coalition are set to protest outside a laboratory on the edge of Milton Keynes later this week. The protest will take place at the MSD laboratory at Walton Hall on Friday at 1pm, and will be attended by speakers from the AVC… (story)
Milton Keynes 24.3.14 Campaigners to protest at Milton Keynes laboratory over cruelty to dogs and cats - Animal rights campaigners are to protest outside a Milton Keynes laboratory which is at the centre of a government probe into cruelty to dogs and cats. Up to 100 people supporting the Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) – an international organisation involved in the protection of animals in laboratories – are to demonstrate at the MSD laboratory in Walton, on Friday… (story)


Shropshire Star 24.3.14 Hunt caused chaos in centre of town - I was present in Bridgnorth when the Wheatland Hunt paraded through the town centre. As the pack of hounds moved at the head of the hunt, I was forced to the side of the road and almost knocked off my bike… I for one do not support hunting. People were in the town centre to shop, not to stand in awe of this spectacle…. Lorraine Parker Much Wenlock (letter)

Western Morning News 24.3.14 Hunting Act must be respected and upheld - Michael Howard (WMN letters, March 17) has much to say about the “RSPCA and other anti-hunt factions taking little or no interest in the hunting of rats”…. Mr Howard also complains about trespass by “anti-hunt factions”, but he appears to be unaware that it is not unlawful for a person to “trespass” to prevent the commissioning of an offence… by John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 24.3.14 Barbaric 'sport' shoud stay in history books - The letter from D. Pearn is the usual Countryside Alliance propaganda. In the past such statements as “the fox actually enjoys being chased” has come from this organisation. Regarding the fox receiving an instant death, Mr Pearn obviously has not watched the video recordings that I have… Mike Shaw, Warminster (letter)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 20.3.14 'What about the views of the fox?' - So, Mr Pearn (BVM, 14th March) reckons we should all be more tolerant in the countryside towards hunting as it's a "sport loved by many". I wonder what the views of the fox population would be? As God's creatures, doesn't their opinion count for anything?... John Collins (letter)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 19.3.14 Hunting fraternity 'has no respect for others' - Your lead article in the BVM “Hunt says sorry for the fox chase chaos through towns streets” (14th March) , illustrates clearly hunt masters have little control over their hounds or their followers during their medieval activity…. T. Trowbridge, Hazelbury Bryan (letter)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 10.3.14 Tolerance in the countryside - Mr Fletcher clearly dislikes hunting, but he should learn to be more tolerant because it is a sport loved by many in the countryside. Even the independent Lord Burns found no evidence of cruelty in his report to Parliament and he went on to vote in favour of a licensed system of hunting… David Pearn Sherborne (letter)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 24.2.14 Why I didn't want name and address published - I am the author of “ Hounds are gentle and pose no threat,” (BVM 14th February). I told you when I sent in my letter, why I didn’t want my name and address printed. I had threats made to my property, by an organisation which was against the legal badger cull…. Belinda Alexandre wrote a very good letter and actually agreed with much of what I said. I fully agree with her comments about inconsiderate parking by some car followers of hunts… Name and address supplied (letter)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 24.2.14 'Law needs to be strengthened to stop hunts' - I wrote both in support of Mr Fletcher's letter ('Hunting is a barbaric anachronism') and to correct something in it. It is true there have been more than 280 successful prosecutions under the Hunting Act, but a mere 24 of these cases have been against the organised hunts of whose activities Mr Fletcher rightly complains… The evidential bar over which anyone seeking to prosecute an organised hunt has to to leap is ridiculously high and this fact, and the paltry penalities available under the Act, largely deter police and CPS from even trying… Alan Kirby, M.Sc, Hayle (letter)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 21.2.14 LETTER: Hunting is a barbaric anachronism - The presence of a hunt at Stourhead woods should be of concern to everyone. Hunts can present a real danger to domestic pets, livestock and innocent bystanders. Evidence, unfortunately, is not hard to find… In my opinion hunting is a barbaric anachronism. It should have no place at Stourhead woods, or anywhere else in a civilised community. Austin Fletcher, Milborne Port (letter)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 17.2.14 Respect works both ways - In response to the letter “Hounds are gentle and pose no threat” in last week’s BVM from name and address supplied (what a shame you did not have the courage of your convictions to add your name when you criticised Mr & Mrs Mills), I would like to suggest that respect should be mutual… The huntsmen and women I have met over the years are generally most courteous. However sadly some of the members of the hunt and in particular drivers of the many vehicles associated with a meet are not. The verges in our beautiful hamlet are destroyed on a monthly basis by tens of cars, trailers and quads parking on them… Belinda Alexandre, Stalbridge Weston (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 10.2.14 Hounds are 'gentle creatures and pose no threat' - I did not get my Blackmore Vale Magazine until this morning, 8th February and I did not look at it, until I returned from a Meet of the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Hounds, at Sherborne Castle. At the Meet, a very large crowd assembled both mounted and on foot. Those present, were drawn from all classes, colours, creeds and income groups. Everyone was happy and relaxed and everyone got along well together… I came home, looked at Letters to the Editor and read “Why does Stourhead allow hunting in woods”, from Richard and Brenda Mills of Sparkford. Clearly, these good people have absolutely no knowledge of experience of hounds. Neither they nor their dog, were under any threat from the hounds… I would like Richard and Brenda Mills to visit a pack of hounds and to see at first hand just how friendly and gentle hounds really are… Name and address supplied (letter)
Blackmore Vale Magazaine 31.1.14 Why does Stourhead alllow hunting? - Through the medium of the BMV we would like to ask Stourhead Estates why they allow hunting in their woods. We regularly walk in the woods at Pen Selwood. Their notice says "walkers welcome on the tracks keep dogs under close control for the sake of the wildlife". On 28th January while walking these woods we were sickened by the sound of baying hounds off the track to our left… Richard and Brenda Mills – Sparkford (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.3.14 Cats are so often made the scapegoat - It is humans which kill for fun and inflict suffering and cruelty, yet such as foxes, badgers, cats, magpies or any other scapegoat are used as diversionary tactics such is the arrogance and ignorance of certain humans…. D Thomas by email (letter)

Lancashire Telegraph 24.3.14 East Lancs grouse moorland giving boost to rare bird of prey - EAST Lancashire’s grouse moors are helping to keep the threat to Britain’s smallest birds of prey at bay. Merlins are flying in to nest on heather moorland managed by gamekeepers for wild red grouse like those in the Trough of Bowland. A new study for the Moorland Association (MA) has found dramatic gains in merlin populations on such land…. (story)

Cambridge News 24.3.14 EXCLUSIVE PICTURES: Vinnie Jones displays two smoking barrels during shooting day near Newmarket - but Brad Pitt is a no-show - Written by RAYMOND BROWN - Vinnie Jones was spotted wielding a shooter near Newmarket – but there was no need to run for cover. The former football hardman turned Hollywood actor was enjoying a steak dinner and a clay pigeon shoot at his friend’s pub in Six Mile Bottom… (story)

Cambridge News 24.3.14 Home values cut by poor rural broadband - People living in the countryside “are sick of being left behind” by poor broadband, which is taking up to 20% off the value of their homes. The CLA and others representing the best interests of rural businesses and communities need to come together to find a solution. This was the view of CLA’s Eastern Regional Director Nicola Currie who spoke to the East Anglian Rural Broadband and Digital Summit held in Newmarket on Friday. Organised by MP George Freeman in association with the CLA, NFU, Young Farmers and Countryside Alliance, the Summit examined the progress of the Government’s roll-out of the Fast Broadband Scheme…. (story)

Western Daily Press 24.3.14 Badger cull 'extended to Dorset' as well as Somerset and Gloucestershire - The badger cull piloted in Somerset and Gloucestershire last year is to be extended to Dorset, with culling in all three areas this summer, the Sunday Times reports. Quoting ‘Whitehall sources’, the paper says an announcement is expected this week, alongside the publication of the long-awaited report from the independent expert panel… (story)

Oxford Times 24.3.14 Stop the badger cull - The truth is starting to emerge about the Coalition’s unpopular pilot culls…. the two key conditions for the pilot culls that they should be humane and effective have not been met. Taxpayers have paid £3.2m of the £7m total cost. In the face of all this, the powerful NFU lobby is still calling for the Government to pay for even more culling…. Julia Hammett, Oxfordshire Badger Group, Oxford (story)

Stroud Life 24.3.14 Go meat-free on Mondays with erin's vegie night at the Crown and Sceptre - GO meat-free on Mondays with a new monthly dining night in Stroud. Vegetarian chef, Erin Baker, from the Natural Cookery School will be cooking up a hearty vegetarian feast on the last Monday of every month at the Crown and Sceptre pub on Horns Road in Stroud…. (story)

Huffington Post 24.3.14 Young People Want to Wear a Vegetarian 'Label' but Aren't Interested in an Education in Nutrition - Rob Blakeman - One of the UK's top celebrity fitness trainers and dieticians - To be in opposition of vegetarianism these days in some sections of society is a little like being anti-CND in the 1970's but for all wrong reasons…. Every article I have written for the last 20 years warning against the pitfalls of the adoption of a 'casual' vegetarian diet, i.e. remove the meat from your plate and make no addition to replace the lost nutrients, has been virulently and single-mindedly attacked from all quarters by a mainly parochial and partisan crowd completely closed to any kind of discussion or debate on the matter… (story)


Western Morning News 23.3.14 PICTURES: Dartmoor Hunt gathers at historic home as winter season draws to a close - Westcountry riders and hounds returned to an idyllic former hunting ground as the winter season draws to a close. Around 200 people descended on Mothecombe House at Flete estate near Holbeton on the edge of Dartmoor. Owners Anthony and Anne Mildmay-White opened the doors to their historic home to the Dartmoor Hunt and its charismatic young huntmaster Tom Lyle, who is credited with adding a raft of youngsters to the ranks during his first season in charge… (story)

Observer 23.3.14 Cameron faces Tory revolt over move to ease ban on hunting with hounds - Amendment to Hunting Act would allow up to 40 hounds to flush out a fox to face waiting guns - Mark Townsend - A growing number of Conservative MPs have warned David Cameron that he risks losing a vital Commons vote if he pushes ahead with what they believe is an attempt to weaken the ban on hunting to woo rural voters away from Ukip…. Lorraine Platt of Blue Fox said more MPs were coming forward to voice their opposition… Photo: Ukip leader Nigel Farage shakes hands with huntsman Mark Bycroft of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt… (story)

Sunday Express 23.3.14 Days after Otis Ferry pays damages, fury at Commons bid to bring back fox hunting By: Stuart Winter - Pro-hunting Tories are striving to overturn the current law so that foxes can again be flushed by packs of dogs…. Last week Otis Ferry, 31, faced a civil claim resulting from a 2007 court case when he admitted affray after he and fellow hunt supporter John Deutsch subjected two women hunt monitors to a terrifying ordeal… (story)

Mirror 23.3.14 John Prescott on fox hunting: Kill off this plan - not the foxes - The Sunday Mirror columnist and former Deputy PM says a vote to bring it back is coming to satisfy the blood lust of a few brainless toffs… (story)

Horse & Hound 23.3.14 Farewell to the UK’s oldest master - The UK’s oldest master, Arthur Board, who was MFH of the Llangeinor Foxhounds, died on 28 February. He was 96…. (story)

Western Morning News 23.3.14 Westcountry Game Fair attracts large crowds with money to spend as rural economy on the mend By WMNPBowern - Signs of growing confidence in the rural economy were in the air at the weekend, as the two day Westcountry Game Fair saw large crowds through the gates and generally happy stall holders doing brisk business… (story)
Shepton Mallet Journal 17.3.14 West Country Game Fair at Bath and West Showground to display falconry By fsingleton - FALCONRY, one of the oldest sports in the world, will be on display at the West Country Game Fair next weekend. Ben Long, who obtained his first kestrel in 1971, will be providing demonstrations and a static display at the game fair over the weekend… (story)

Sunday Herald 23.3.14 Rural alliance in row over wind farms - A Europe-WIDE body that campaigns against the wind farm industry hasaccused the Scottish Countryside Alliance of "betrayal" for appearing to side with big business and landowners in a pro-onshore wind "manifesto". Susan Crosthwaite, UK spokeswoman for the European Platform Against Windfarms, said she was "very surprised" by the stance taken by the group… (story)


Horse & Hound 22.3.14 Ullswater huntsman takes job in Canada - Ullswater huntsman John Harrison is stepping down after 18 seasons. He will go to Canada to hunt the Toronto and North Yorks, where he first worked as a huntsman in 1991…. (story)

Oxford Mail 22.3.14 A decade of taking a stand for animal rights outside university - ANIMAL rights campaigners from Speak marked 10 years of protesting outside Oxford University’s animal testing labs on Thursday…. A group of university students from the Indian Vegetarian society presented members with an award to mark the occasion. Mike Haines has been to almost every protest since they began… (story)


East Anglian Daily Times 21.3.14 Bungay: Police called to theatre after discovering hunting group were having evening meal - Police have been called to an unannounced demonstration by a group of hunt protesters in Suffolk.. A spokesman for Suffolk police said it is believed they arrived at the scene after discovering the Waveney Harriers group were having an evening meal there (story)

Eagle Radio 21.3.14 Could the Government be talking about fox hunting again? - Fox hunting is back in the spotlight. It is widely reported the Government is considering changes to the Hunting Act. There are fears it could lead to fewer restrictions on fox hunting. Simon Cowell ,Chief Executive of Surrey's Wildlife Aid Foundation, is worried we could eventually see the ban repealed… (story)

Leicester Mercury 21.3.14 Hunting royals are out of touch - Seven thousand wild animals were killed for sport on the Windsor Estates in 2013. ("Killing on estate is morally wrong",Mailbox, February 26). Like many a British citizen, I was brought up as an animal lover – to respect and want to protect them. And, like many more, I am a long-time vegetarian… I see no gain, pleasure or sport in robbing creatures of the miracle of their lives, however humble, for mere fun… Julian Wright, Braunstone (letter)

PR Week 21.3.14 Campaigner Dylan Sharpe joins The Sun as head of PR by Jonathan Tilley - The Sun has appointed Business for Britain campaign director Dylan Sharpe as head of PR…. Sharpe joins from Business for Britain, an organisation campaigning on behalf of businesses for a renegotiation of the UK’s role in Europe. He was previously head of press on the NO to AV campaign, campaign director at Big Brother Watch and head of media at The Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Independent 21.3.14 Vivienne Westwood claims being vegetarian can cure the disabled: 'People in wheelchairs have recovered from this diet' - JENN SELBY - Adhering to a strict vegetarian diet has been shown to have a number of health benefits. But Dame Vivienne Westwood has gone one step further in her endorsement of the lifestyle choice, by claiming that it can cure the disabled. The fashion designer, 72, declared herself to be the living proof that giving up meat solves all manner of ills by claiming that it healed rheumatism in her finger. Speaking at the launch of a new campaign for animal rights group PETA, The Sun quotes her as saying: “There are certain clinics where it is really strict vegetarian and there are people who have been in wheelchairs who have recovered from this diet.”… (story)


Western Daily Press 20.3.14 Vote may 'repeal hunting by the back door' By Tristan Cork - The Prime Minister was warned by his own supporters last night he faces losing a crucial vote if he presses ahead with a "devious" attempt to repeal the ban on hunting. A group of anti-hunt MPs within his own party – known as Blue Fox – said they would urge all their colleagues to oppose using a seemingly obscure parliamentary procedure to amend the Hunting Act, even if they were ordered to vote by a Government whip…. (story)
Western Daily Press 20.3.14 UPDATE: No amendment planned to Hunting Act – yet By TristanCork - Anti-hunting campaigners pledged to keep up their fight last night, even though the Government revealed it had no plans to try to amend the Hunting Act for at least the next fortnight…. (story)

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 20.3.14 Hound muzzling move is backed by animal rights campaigner By Brendan McFadden, Reporter - AN ANIMAL rights activist has backed a campaign by a Tetbury man to encourage hunts to introduce a protocol to help stop foxes being killed during hunts. Peter Martin was inspired to set up a campaign after a fox was chased into a Cirencester garden and ripped to shreds by hounds belonging to an unidentified hunt, earlier this month…. Mike Haines, who regularly monitors hunts in the area, said: “It has been nine years now since fox hunting was banned…. (story)
Western Daily Press 28.2.14 Hunts reject call to muzzle their hounds - Hunt leaders in the Cotswolds have poured scorn on a new campaign to persuade them to muzzle their hounds, warning that foxes 'could be bruised to death' if muzzled hounds happen to come across them…. Former town councillor Peter Martin witnessed the hounds running through Tetbury and said the simple way to ensure safety even if a pack of hounds does break free from the hunt's control is to muzzle each dog… "If they wear a muzzle and end up hunting a fox they corner, it could end up being bruised to death," said Guy Dibble, from the VWH…. And the Beaufort Hunt also rejected the idea as impractical… (story)
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 28.2.14 Fox ripped apart in Cirencester inspires new campaign to muzzle hunt hounds By Brendan McFadden - A TETBURY man is spearheading a new campaign which he hopes will stop foxes being killed by hunting hounds. Peter Martin was inspired to set up the campaign after a fox was torn to pieces in front of shocked residents in Chesterton, Cirencester, earlier this month, which he described as “repellent”. Mr Martin said he hoped to work with hunts to introduce measures to reduce repeated incidents, including muzzling hounds from hunts and preventing hunts from going within 500 metres of towns and villages… (story)

New Statesman 20.3.14 Sponsored post: Cruel and indiscriminate - Some three-quarters of a million animals get caught in snares each year in the UK. It’s time we banned it, finds Becky Slack… the League Against Cruel Sports, which campaigns for an end to cruelty to animals in the name of sport, argues that the use of snares is cruel, indiscri¬minate and wholly unnecessary … (story)

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 20.3.14 Otter cull call as fish worth up to £30,000 wiped out By Brendan McFadden, Reporter - OTTERS are enjoying a resurgence in the Cotswolds, but they could be on a collision course with anglers who claim they are decimating prize fish stocks in local fishing lakes… (story)

Mail 20.3.14 Walsh slams 'spineless' individuals who sent him death threats after claiming horses were replaceable during Cheltenham By MIKE DAWES - Ruby Walsh has hit back at the individuals who sent him death threats during the Cheltenham Festival and rasied concerns for his children…. The 34-year-old insisted that his comments had been misunderstood but nonetheless stood by his comments…. Following his initial comments animal rights campaigners accused the 34-year-old Irishman of being callous, while others bombarded him with threats… (story)
Western Daily Press 14.3.14 Ruby Walsh defends comments after deaths of horses at Cheltenham Festival - Horse racing authorities, trainers, jockeys and leading figures in the sport hit back yesterday against mounting criticism of the Cheltenham Festival after the deaths of three horses in the first two days…. Top jockey Ruby Walsh also clarified his remarks about horses being "replaceable", which sparked a flurry of criticism from animal rights campaigners this week… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 12.3.14 Cheltenham Festival 2014: Ruby Walsh criticised for 'disrespectful' comments after horse death - Ruby Walsh may have been a winner on the course at Cheltenham yesterday but off it he has sparked anger. The star jockey, who had two winners on day one of the Cheltenham Festival, has been criticised for making “disrespectful” comments following the death of a horse in the Champion Hurdle, yesterday’s feature race. Asked about Our Conor’s fatal fall, the 34-year-old Irishman told the Daily Mail: “Horses are horses. You can replace a horse… Campaign group Animal Aid said that Mr Walsh had shown “no respect” for the animals that have brought him success while horseracing consultant Dene Stansall told the Daily Mail: “He has shown callousness for the animals that have earned him a good living…. (story)
Express 12.3.14 Jockey Ruby Walsh slammed for 'offensive' comments after horse died at Cheltenham - A JOCKEY has attracted a storm of criticism for saying horses are "replaceable" after another of the animals died during the Cheltenham Festival. By: Jane Mathews - Ruby Walsh, 34, made the comment after spectators watched in horror as Our Conor suffered a fatal fall on one of the main races, the Champion Hurdle…. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals founder Ingrid E Newkirk said: "Walsh's comments expose the true emotion behind horse racing: greed….. (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 12.3.14 Ruby Walsh & Cheltenham Festival horse death: Scunthorpe animal welfare campaigner upset by comments - Scunthorpe animal welfare campaigner Dene Stansall has clashed with star jockey Ruby Walsh following the death of a horse on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday (March 11)… (story)

Western Morning News 20.3.14 Anti-badger cull group meets with crime commissioner - A group which fiercely opposes the culling of badgers have met with Sue Mountstevens, Police Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset Constabulary. The Somerset Badger Patrol asked for the meeting after learning that an NFU representative with in the police control room during the recent cull…. (story)

Bradford Telegraph &Argus 20.3.14 University of Bradford defends its animal testing By Julie Tickner - The University of Bradford has stressed it only uses animals for research “when there is no viable alternative.” A petition against animal testing at the university has received international support as it reaches its target of 7,000 signatures… The campaign, by AnimalrightsSP on the Care2 Petition website, has attracted support from Brazil, Spain, France and Sri Lanka… (story)

Argus 20.3.14 Animals only used for testing where there is no alternative - David Hammond (Letters, March 13) is incorrect to suggest that there are alternatives to animals in research in every case. Since 1986 it has been illegal to use an animal if an alternative method is available… The technologies Mr Hammond refers to as “alternatives” to animals, such as cell cultures, computers and human volunteers, are in fact already used and constitute the majority of medical research techniques. However, without understanding how biological systems work in a living being it is impossible to model them using a computer…. Nobody uses an animal if there’s an alternative… Dr Elisabeth Harley, policy and communications officer, Understanding Animal Research (letter)
Argus 13.3.14 Better quality results available through testing without animals - Referring to your article, “Animal tests at uni soar in three years” (The Argus, March 3), alternatives to animal experimentation are now available in virtually every field of medical research, so why are animal tests at the University of Brighton increasing? Better quality results available through testing without animals… David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks (letter)


Gloucestershire Echo 19.3.14 Shire Hall won't urge Government to halt plan to amend Hunting Act, critics say 'fox hunting by the back door' By jrmaidment - Shire Hall will not take a stand against plans to amend the Hunting Act which critics believe could effectively legalise fox hunting by the back door… Gloucestershire County Council’s Labour group asked the authority to back a motion “to oppose the Prime Minister’s plans to amend the Act” and for the leader of the council to write to the Secretary of State to urge him not to sign off on any possible amendment. However, a tense recorded vote ended in a tie at 23 votes in favour and 23 against. The chairman of the council, Councillor Tony Hicks (C, Tetbury), used his casting vote to defeat the motion… (story)

Western Morning News/Mid Devon Gazette 19.3.14 Countryside pursuits are unpleasant and unnecessary By Graham Forsyth - So once again the nation can rest easy as the Cheltenham Festival is over for another year. With four horses dead this year; well it is a National Hunt event and with hunting some poor animal usually dies in the event… Interestingly, the Countryside Alliance posted on its website details on how to contact the police regarding those promoting boycotting pubs and other businesses that support the local hunt or shoot on social media. Perhaps they are worried about the change in attitude to many of their countryside pursuits?... (story)

Central Somerset Gazette 19.3.14 Street and Glastonbury residents asked to log mobile phone reception - STREET and Glastonbury residents are being asked to help log mobile phone reception. This comes as part of a project to map signal strength in rural areas. The Countryside Alliance say people living and working in rural areas are paying for the same service as those living in urban areas… (story)

Rugby Observer 19.3.14 Hundreds protest over badger cull - FIVE hundred environmental campaigners and conservationists turned out for a march to express their opposition to Government-sanctioned badger culls. The peaceful rally - co-organised by the Warwickshire Badger Group - took place on Saturday in Stratford…. Lydia Hocking, who organised the rally with help from Badger Group, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people turn out to demonstrate their opposition to the coalition government’s badger culls… (story)
ITV 15.3.14 Hundreds to attend Stratford badger cull protest - Hundreds of people are expected to take part in a protest against the badger cull today…. (story)


North West Evening Mail 18.3.14 CUMBRIA POLICE INVESTIGATE ALLEGED INCIDENTS AT LEGAL DRAG HUNT - CUMBRIA police are appealing for information about a number of alleged incidents at a legal drag hunt. Police from the Eden Neighbourhood Policing Team are investigating alleged incidents at the event in the area of Grisedale Beck on Saturday March 15…. Police said around 15 masked ‘hunt monitors’, were there to protest against the event. The force said these people clashed verbally with those there to watch the drag hunt… Sergeant John Chambers said: “We will investigate any allegations, from all parties, however in order to do this we need cooperation from the public and for them to give us information about what they have seen…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 18.3.14 CUMBRIA POLICE PROBE DISORDER AT LEGAL DRAG HUNT - Claims that a fox was killed and a hunt monitor assaulted at a legal drag hunt are being investigated by police. Officers have appealed for information about various incidents said to have taken place on Saturday in the Grisedale Beck area of the Eden valley… (story)

North Devon Journal 18.3.14 Johnny Kingdom turns his lens on the traditions of Exmoor By NDJJoe - PHOTOGRAPHER, film maker, television presenter and wildlife expert Johnny Kingdom is set to return home for his latest television show. After making programmes all over the world, Johnny is back on Exmoor for his next TV project… Recent incidents of “commercial” deer hunting have worried Johnny. He said: “People around Exmoor are very worried. They can’t keep killing the males, they risk wiping out them out. “I love the deer. The deer are looked after by the hunting community and what’s needed is less interference from governments who don’t know what they’re doing.”… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 18.3.14 Ireland united against cruel blood sports - JOHN FITZGERALD Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 27.2.14 Sinn Fein could pay for supporting blood sport - While organised cruelty to animals may not be the biggest issue concentrating people's minds in the run-up to the European and local elections, I believe that Sinn Fein needs to ditch its abhorrent support for live hare coursing. Not only does the party have an official policy of condoning and promoting the continued legality of this blood sport in the Republic of Ireland. It has already tried, unsuccessfully thank God, to reverse the hare coursing ban in Northern Ireland… JOHN FITZGERALD PRO, Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports (letter)


Western Daily Press 17.3.14 War hero who had a passion for hunting - Sir Robin Dunn, who died on March 5 at the age of 96, started life as a regular soldier, being commissioned in 1938 from the RMA Woolwich (where he won the Sword of Honour) into the Field Artillery… A forthright and unashamed supporter of hunting, he served for many years on the committee of the Devon and Somerset Stag Hounds to whom he acted as honorary legal adviser…. (story)

Western Morning News 17.3.14 Other animals for RSPCA to protect - Over the years I have read with interest the letters of Martin Bell. I was disappointed his recent missive included a rather sneering class-laden socialist rant describing people who hunt as landowning toffs with double-barrelled names and rural mansions. I have not attended a meet for more than 60 years but then the followers were a great mix of country folk and I am sure the same exists today…. by Michael Howard Newton Abbot (letter)

Mirror 17.3.14 Video: Police to probe hare shoot organised by Ralph Fiennes’ brother over cruelty claims By David Collins - A hare shoot organised by actor Ralph Fiennes’ brother Jacob is being probed by police amid claims the animals were left “dying in agony”…. In the video, one of the marksmen is seen trying to beat a hare to death with his bare hands after it was wounded with gunfire… During the footage several upset protesters are heard shouting: “Put it out of its misery now!” and “stop its suffering”…. Joe Langram, 67, witnessed the shoot and handed the video over to police. He said: “It’s been going on for years this hare shoot…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 17.3.14 Topsham's Good Game serves up great taste By Echo_Bridget - Good Game was first conceived when the three founders Pete, Jim and Steve were on a road trip from Topsham to Morocco in a £100 Ford Cavalier in the early 90s. Now after more than two decades their dream has finally become a reality, as Sue Kemp discovered… (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 17.3.14 Tiverton MP leads boycott of badger vote - TIVERTON MP Neil Parish has orchestrated a boycott of of a Commons vote to abandon the controversial policy…. (story)
Independent 13.3.14 Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Lots of love for our dumb chums as animal support splits along party lines split - Eloquently introducing the Commons debate on her call to end the “inhumane” (and so far notably unsuccessful) slaughter of badgers as a means of eradicating bovine TB, the Tory backbencher Anne Main remarked that this was “not an easy subject with feelings running high on both sides”. This was, to put it mildly, an understatement…. (story)
BBC 13.3.14 MPs demand end to 'inhumane' badger culls - The government has come under cross-party pressure from MPs to end badger culling, which is being carried out in England in an effort to control the spread of bovine TB in cattle. A backbench debate was held on the subject on 13 March 2014, after a leaked review by independent experts is understood to have found that pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset failed to reduce the risk of bovine TB… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 13.3.14 Badger cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset "decisively failed" after MPs vote 219 to one By Michael_Yong - The badger cull in Gloucestershire has been called a failure to wildlife, to farmers and to taxpayers. MPs met in the House of Commons this afternoon to raise issues about expanding the badger cull to other parts of the country, after pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset last year…. (story)
Nottingham Post 13.3.14 Nottingham North MP Graham Allen to vote against continuation of badger culling By RebeccaSD - MP for Nottingham North Graham Allen is voting against the continuation of badger culling in a Parliamentary debate today… (story)
Western Morning News 13.3.14 Pro-badger cull MPs boycott vote as Government loses 219 to 1 - MPs supportive of culling badgers to combat tuberculosis in cows have boycotted a Commons vote to abandon the controversial policy. Some 219 voted in support of a backbench motion to halt the roll-out of badger culling already being piloted in the South West, compared with just one MP who voted against. Many pro-culling MPs made plain they believed the debate was unworthy of a vote… (story)
St Albans & Harpenden Review 5.3.14 Badger cull: MP Anne Main to raise concerns in Parliament - St Albans MP Anne Main will discuss the issue of the Government badger cull in the House of Commons this month. Following an announcement yesterday Mrs Main said she is thrilled that she will get the opportunity to fully debate the issue of animal welfare in the Chamber on Thursday, March 13…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.3.14 Vaccination is cheaper than badger cull - Last year, several thousand badgers were killed in Somerset and Gloucestershire in an attempt to show that culling them by free-shooting would be a cost-effective way of reducing bovine TB. This exercise was an utter flop… Operation Badger is a national campaign of petitions to councils across England and Wales… If you require further information, please contact the Badger Trust… Paul Cullen-James Yeovil, Somerset (letter)

Oxford Mail 17.3.14 Animal campaigners hold vigil - Campaigners will hold a four-hour vigil on Thursday outside Oxford University’s zoology department to mark 10 years of campaigning. Speak will hold the ceremony in front of an animal testing laboratory on South Parks Road from 1pm to 5pm (story)

Gloucester Citizen 17.3.14 Protesters set for council demonstration over puppy farm plans - ANIMAL rights protesters will descend on Forest of Dean District Council to oppose a puppy farm’s bid to renew its breeding license. The concerns held by Campaign to End Puppy Farming come after a vet’s report criticised the conditions in which dogs are kept at Hagloe House Farm, Blakeney… Campaign founder Linda Goodman said: “An inspection by a vet in February, 2013, revealed major shortcomings such that he would not have been prepared to support re-licensing unless major changes were met…. (story)


Lancaster Guardian 16.3.14 Roger Salmon column - Cats protection is supporting a petition that calls for a complete ban on the manufacture, sale and use of snares across England and Wales and is urging people to support cat welfare by adding their signatures to the petition that is being run by the League against Cruel Sports…. (story)

Isle of Wight County Press 16.3.14 Anger over police stance on man who tried to poison badgers - POLICE have confirmed a 65-year-old man who admitted trying to poison badgers will not face a criminal charge. The decision to allow the man to accept a conditional caution, which includes him paying for the costs of cleaning up the large amount of poison he laid outside badger setts on land off Boxers Lane on January 15, sparked outrage from the chairman of the IW Badger Trust. Peter Bonnell said: "The recent decision by the police to give a conditional caution and grant anonymity to the 65-year-old man, who admitted laying the poison in and around 20 badger setts in Niton in January, has provoked incredulity and dismay among trust members and the public… (story)

Guardian 16.3.14 Zoos are not saving animals from extinction - Andrew Anthony's Q&A article on Elizabeth Kolbert and her book, The Sixth Extinction (New Review), makes for interesting and sobering reading, but I am saddened by the view that she is "impressed by what zoos are doing"… Most of their collections do not consist of endangered species and their animals are seldom returned to the wild… Sue Berry Bedlington Northumberland (letter)


Blackmore Vale Magazine 13.3.14 Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt says sorry for fox chase chaos in Stalbridge By Dee Adcock - A hunt master has apologised after hounds and hunt followers caused chaos in Stalbridge on the last meet of the season. Residents called the police as hounds chased a fox in the cemetery and gardens in Gold Street with followers in hot pursuit… Gold Street resident Van Brember said: “A peaceful, pleasant sunny Saturday afternoon was shattered when hunt followers on quad bikes hurtled up and down Gold Street in pursuit of a fox that took refuge in the front of my property. “Thankfully at the time he managed to escape from his pursuers into a garden across the road…. Michael Felton, joint master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt said hounds picked up the scent of a real fox and left the trail that had been laid for the final meet of the season on Saturday, 1st March. He said: “The hounds switched from the trail to a fox and hunt staff immediately tried to stop it… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 15.3.14 Hunt views smokescreen - Hunt views smokescreen - DOROTHY FUDGE (Letters, March 7) should not create a smokescreen around currently-rumoured attempts to re-legislate hunting with dogs by misrepresenting them as having cross-party support. It is overwhelmingly Conservative MPs who want to change the law, to help law-breaking hunters…. SHEILA CLAYTON, Southampton United Animal Charities (letter)

Argus 15.3.14 Animal hatred and grass verge obliteration indicate that we're losing our souls - Animal hatred and grass verge obliteration indicate that we're losing our souls - What is the matter with people? Recently in Letters pages of The Argus, I have seen foxes described as vermin and a suggestion that grass verges should be turned into hard standings to accommodate cars… Sue Baumgardt, Stoneham Road, Hove (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 15.3.14 Totnes badger cull protesters to fight on - BADGER cull protesters, including a Totnes councillor, have vowed to continue their fight despite setbacks. Cllr Jacqi Hodgson was among the protesters who attended a rally at County Hall before the last Devon County Council meeting…. (story)

Plymouth Herald 15.3.14 No animal slaughter is a humane act - REFERENCE the letter from David Page (Your Say, March 7). I agree that Halal slaughter does cause the animal much suffering – but so does the slaughter of any animal, by any method…. VALERIE FRY Plympton (letter)


Keighley News 14.3.14 Merlin casts his spell over all at Merlin Top Primary School! - Children at a Braithwaite school hosted a visit from one of their feathered namesakes. Bird of prey experts took a merlin to Merlin Top Primary School for two days of special lessons… (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 10.3.14 Merlin Top Primary School pupils get hands-on with birds of prey - Children at a Keighley school hosted a visit from one of their feathered namesakes. Bird of prey experts took a merlin to Merlin Top Primary School in Braithwaite for two days of special lessons…. The SMJ team, which is based near Oxenhope, allowed the pupils to handle the birds and feed them… The lessons were funded by the Countryside Alliance through its Falconry for Schools project. (story)

Independent 14.3.14 David Cameron is right to back kosher: Judaism places immense value on animal welfare - RICHARD FERRER - The Prime Minister isn't pandering to Britain’s faiths, studies have shown shechita is a preferable method to stunning… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 14.3.14 Smirking animal torturers freed: Outcry after dog fighting thugs get suspended sentences - BY CHRIS KILPATRICK - Laughing and joking, four men convicted in relation to one of the worst cases of animal cruelty in Northern Ireland taunted police and onlookers as they walked free from court… Animal welfare charity, the League Against Cruel Sports, said the men had escaped with "a slap on the wrist". Janice Watt from the charity added: "The PSNI worked extremely hard to bring this case to court in the hope of getting justice for the countless animals who suffered at the hands of this gang… (story)

Isle of Thanet Gazette 14.3.14 Protesters picket port as live exports restart By Tom Barnes - DOZENS of protesters gathered in Ramsgate on Monday morning as live animal exports left the port for the first time in almost a year… Green Party councillor Ian Driver, who attended the protest, said: "I am down here to show my anger that the trade has resumed from Ramsgate… (story)

Oxford Mail 14.3.14 Solution to cruelty of live animal exports -RECENTLY Tim Metcalfe wrote about the cruel trade of live animal exports. Each spring, here in this country, many young lambs are born. Just a few months later, thousands of sheep and lambs are sent on lengthy journeys to continental abattoirs…. PAM TREADWELL Dodgson Road Cowley Oxford (letter)


Western Morning News 13.3.14 PICTURES: East Cornwall Hunt returns to the Tamar Valley after nearly 100 years - The silvery notes of a Victorian hunting horn floated out over the Tamar Valley for the first time in well over 100 years yesterday, when the East Cornwall Hunt met at Pentillie Castle, near St Mellion…. (story)

Dundee Courier 13.3.14 Bad press for gamekeepers - Re Dudley Treffry’s provocative article, Rural workers whose way of life always faces multiple challenges and prejudices (March 3). The vast majority of today’s gamekeepers are law abiding and need to be for job qualifications. A minority give the profession a bad name. To draw on Victorian practices is out-dated… I feel he should withdraw his baseless assertions that the gamekeeper is comparable to a drug trafficker. If he does I will invite him to spend time with today’s gamekeepers and acquaint him with the real world. WR Handy. Invergigthty, Arbroath. (letter)

Telegraph 13.3.14 Cheltenham Festival 2014: RSPCA to investigate deaths of three horses on first two days - RSPCA will look in depth at the three fatalities that marred the first two days and may call for changes in next year's Festival By Ben Rumsby, at Cheltenham - There was relief among the organisers of the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday night after a fatality-free day – but they could still come under pressure to make changes for next year’s Festival following three deaths on the opening two days. The RSPCA said it would “thoroughly investigate” the falls which led to Our Conor, Akdam and Stack the Deck being put down on Tuesday and Wednesday to establish whether any more could have been reasonably done to prevent their injuries… (story)

Whitehaven News 13.3.14 DEER CULL PROTESTORS DEMAND INFORMATION - PROTESTERS campaigning to stop a controversial cull of deer say they will continue until nuclear bosses tell them what is going on…. (story)
North West Evening Mail 10.3.14 CAMPAIGNERS STAGE PROTEST OVER SELLAFIELD DEER CULL - PROTESTERS campaigning for an end to a controversial cull of deer pledged to continue their fight as they held a vigil to force home their point. Nine campaigners from the Save the Sellafield Deer group gathered outside the nuclear site on Saturday for a peaceful protest… Group member Gayle McCrickered said: “We will carry on until we are told what’s going on so we know for sure … (story)
Carlisle News & Star 10.3.14 CAMPAIGNERS CONTINUE FIGHT TO STOP SELLAFIELD DEER CULL - By Jonny Irving - Protesters campaigning to stop a controversial cull of deer say they will continue until nuclear bosses tell them what is going on… (story)
North West Evening Mail 5.3.14 SELLAFIELD DEER CULL PLANS ARE BRANDED ‘ABSURD’ - THE owner of an organisation that champions humane alternatives to pest control has condemned “absurd” plans to cull deer near to the Sellafield nuclear site. Kevin Newell, who owns Humane Wildlife Solutions, has urged Sellafield bosses not to cull deer that have found themselves enclosed within the nuclear site… (story)
North West Evening Mail 28.2.14 SELLAFIELD DEER CULL ‘WILL HAPPEN’ - ONE of the country’s biggest animal rights groups has joined the fight to save the Sellafield deer…. (story)
Westmorland Gazette 28.2.14 Animal rights group joins plea to stop Sellafield deer cull By Flossie Mainwaring-Taylor - AN ANIMAL rights group has joined the appeal to stop the culling of roe deer at Sellafield. Bosses from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an affiliate of the largest animal rights organisation in the world, have sent a letter calling for the “humane and practical solution of herding the trapped deer off the site”…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 27.2.14 ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP PETA JOINS FIGHT TO STOP SELLAFIELD DEER CULL By Jenny Barwise - One of the country’s biggest animal rights groups has joined the fight to save the Sellafield deer…. The latest group to take up the cause is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who have offered advice to Sellafield to remove the animals rather than shoot them…. (story)
ITV 27.2.14 PETA: find a 'humane and practical' to remove deer - PETA, a national animal rights group, have called on Sellafield bosses to find a 'humane and practical' way to clear the deer from their site…. (story)
Carlisle News & star 17.2.14 SELLAFIELD DEER CULL BACKLASH GROWS by Kelly Pattison and Jenny Barwise - Thousands of people are demanding the deer threatened with death in a controversial cull are saved. Pressure is today mounting on Sellafield bosses not to start shooting animals trapped between security fences at the atomic complex…. Suzy Kenyon, of Respect for Wildlife, part of Animal Aid, was among those at yesterday’s demonstration. She said: “We are trying to raise the profile of this horrendous act.”… (story)
Mail 17.2.14 12 deer stuck at Sellafield face death by firing squad: Over 1,500 people sign petition calling for animals to be freed By PAUL BENTLEY - They are not the usual sort of people to be found protesting outside a nuclear plant. But when the Sellafield reprocessing site in Cumbria declared it would cull 12 deer caught on its land, a group of outraged villagers decided they could not stand idly by. Yesterday, 15 local protesters gathered on the grounds of the plant, waving placards in a call for nuclear bosses to show compassion to the animals… (story)
ITV 15.2.14 Vigil to be held over deer cull plans - Campaigners who are against plans for a controversial cull of deer at the Sellafield nuclear site are due to hold a vigil on Sunday (16th February). Around a dozen roe deer are trapped between two fences at the west Cumbrian site. Radiation Free Lakeland (RFL) has organised the protest outside the site gates…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.2.14 Protest over Sellafield deer cull - A group of protesters gathered outside the Sellafield plant to try to prevent a deer cull from going ahead… Organiser Margaret Morton said: "It has been a peaceful protest. We have seen quite a few people going in…. (story)
Northern Mail 9.2.14 ANTI-NUCLEAR CAMPAIGNERS IN CUMBRIA ARE HOPING TO TAKE THEIR FIGHT TO HALT THE CONTROVERSIAL DEER CULL - ANTI-nuclear campaigners in Cumbria are hoping to take their fight to halt the controversial deer cull at Sellafield to Whitehall. In just over a week thousands have put their name to an online petition launched after it was revealed the group of trapped wild roe deer would be shot… Marianne Birkby, on behalf of the Radiation Free Lakeland group, said: “The fence at the woodland should be taken down and the original fence reinforced, rather than having double fencing enclosing the woodland and trapping the deer.”… (story)
Carlisle News & Star 29.1.14 CULL OF TRAPPED DEER WILL GO-AHEAD SAY SELLAFIELD BOSSES By Jenny Barwis - Controversial plans to shoot a herd of trapped roe deer at Sellafield as led to a storm of protests – but bosses at the nuclear plant say the cull will still go ahead… Hannah Bell, founder of Lakes Legal Ltd in Walney, Barrow, has started a petition against the cull… (story)
Carlisle News & Star 27.1.14 Plea to Queen legend Brian May to help save Sellafield deer By Jenny Barwise - Animal rights campaigners fighting to stop a herd of deer being culled have turned to legendary Queen guitarist Brian May for help… Since the news broke, dozens of people have taken to the Facebook page, Name it & Shame it in Whitehaven, with many pledging to write to the rock legend, who famously headed a campaign against the culling of badgers…. (story)

Western Morning News 13.3.14 'Badgerists' vow to fight any cull rollout - The public has been “fed lies” about the nature of the badger cull trial in Somerset and Gloucestershire, campaigners have claimed in a letter to Government. Members of Somerset Against the Badger Cull patrolled the cull zone every night and said compliance reports from Natural England “only scratches the surface of what went on”…. (story)

Derby Telegraph 13.3.14 Take the Big Veg Pledge and you could live longer - IT was recently announced that scientists in California have completed an 18-year study which found that eating high levels of animal protein – such as meat, milk and eggs – increases the risk of death from cancer by four times… It seems appropriate that this news should come during National Veggie Month when Animal Aid is encouraging people to reduce their intake of animal products by taking our Big Veg Pledge… Ben Martin Animal Aid Tonbridge (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 13.3.14 All slaughtering is unacceptable - Undercover footage shows terrified animals desperately searching for an escape. KATE FOWLER Animal Aid (letter)

Plymouth Herald 13.3.14 No discrimination in my anger cruelty - I WOULD like to reply to comments made by A Dingle about my recent letter concerning the barbarism performed during the ritual known as Halal and Kosher slaughter of animals….I am just totally against the inherent cruelty involved in these methods of slaughter, and the production of Foie Gras, and I find it somewhat repugnant that you feel that by my holding and expressing my firmly held beliefs you feel that I am victimising others… DAVID PAGE Mutley (letter)

Argus 13.3.14 No excuses for negligence of park wildlife - So, rare and precious wildlife has been allowed to suffer and die at the Rotunda pond in Preston Park… It is outrageous that park wildlife should continue to suffer due to such obvious and repeated negligence. Excuses won’t wash this time. Heads must surely roll. Chris Natural, Tilbury Place, Brighton (letter)


Blackmore Vale Magazine 12.3.14 Point to Point at Wilton for Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire Air Ambulances By mbarber - Milborne St Andrew has never seen a race like this! On 22nd March the Wilton Hunt Point to Point includes a race for 10 intrepid riders who fancy themselves as the next Frankie Detorri. They are saddling up to raise money for Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire Air Ambulances and each rider has raised significant Sponsorship to take part… (story)

Western Gazette 12.3.14 Don't get the hump - camel racing is coming to Chard By rpeasland - A POPULAR point-to-point event near Chard will return with a twist this year. Jockeys at Cotley Point-to-Point will be in for a bumpy ride as the event will feature camel racing. The desert animals are specially trained by Joseph’s Amazing Camels and the race will raise funds in aid of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance…. (story)

Shooting Times 12.3.14 MPs moot changes to hunting ban By Lucy King - Government to consider lifting dog limits - Animal rights groups fear for the future of the hunting ban after rural affairs minister George Eustice and the Prime Minister confirmed that the Government is considering an amendment proposed by Welsh farmers… (story)
Express 6.3.14 David Cameron in move to relax ban on fox hunting - PACKS of up to 40 dogs could soon be allowed to flush out foxes, after David Cameron yesterday said MPs would be given a vote on the issue. By: Macer Hall - The move would be a major change to the current ban on hunting with hounds which allows only two dogs to be used to seek out foxes so they can be shot…. (story)
Western Daily Press 6.3.14 MPs could vote to relax hunting ban By Graeme Demianyk - David Cameron has signalled MPs will get to vote on relaxing the hunting ban as animal welfare group labelled the move "repeal by the back door"…. (story)
Western Daily Press 6.3.14 When votes come before common sense - It is hard to imagine that the countryside has ever been well served by politics. An increasingly urbanised population, divorced from the reality of rural life and the vagaries of Mother Nature, has become accustomed to a sanitised view of the countryside – best depicted in Disney-style movies or Sunday night television dramas…. doing the right thing, for sound, practical reasons, is not always common when politics come into play and votes need to be won. Otherwise the Hunting Act, a bad law, built around too many compromise,s would never have been passed. (story)
Western Morning News 5.3.14 Prime Minister signals Commons vote on hunting By GDemianyk - David Cameron has signalled MPs will get to vote on relaxing the hunting ban as animal welfare group labelled the move “repeal by the back door”. Ministers are currently considering cross-party calls for a change in the law to scrap a limit on using more than two dogs to flush out foxes so they can be shot – a move that would please farmers who point to a surge in attacks on lambs…. However, the League Against Cruel Sports claim an amendment would render the ban “useless” – and its technical route through parliament would differ the free vote promised on a repeal as MPs would be whipped to tow the party line rather than given a vote as a matter of conscience…. (story)
Western Daily Press 5.3.14 League Against Cruel Sports urges Cameron to 'stop being a coward, bring on the hunting repeal vote' - Animal welfare charity, the League Against Cruel Sports has today called for David Cameron to “stop hiding behind back room politics” and bring on a free vote on repealing the Hunting Act 2004, after the Prime Minister indicated that a proposal to amend the Act was being considered during today’s Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons… (story)
Western Mail 5.3.14 David Cameron says MPs will have final say on raising the limit on the number of dogs used to flush out foxes - The prime minister acknowledged the 'particular problem of pest control in upland areas of Wales'. MEMBERS of Parliament will have the final say on whether the present limit on the number of dogs that can be used to flush out foxes will be raised from two, David Cameron confirmed today. The Federation of Welsh Farmers’ Packs has argued that fox control is essential in the Welsh uplands and has won wide support for a change in the law…. (story)

Western Morning News 12.3.14 Fox hunting is wicked cruelty -My monitoring partner Graham Forsyth and I were filming a Westcountry hunt recently. We could hear the guttural shouts of the hunters and the sound of the hunting horn coming closer when I heard a cry of a single hound in the bushes beside me… I do not know what happened to that poor little running fox, but I know only a miracle could have saved it… I am writing this letter because I feel I owe it to that poor fox to bear witness to its terror and pain. Please God, it did not die in vain. by Helen Weeks West Coker, Somerset (letter)

View Online 12.3.14 BEAMINSTER: Local business brings home ‘Oscar’ at countryside awards by Jack Dixon - THEY are usually reserved for Hollywood film stars and celebrity A-listers but this year an ‘Oscar’ will be brought home to Beaminster. Seaborough-based business Black Cow Vodka has been awarded a ‘Rural Oscar’ by the Countryside Alliance and will be celebrated as one of the South West’s ‘champions’ for 2013. The awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills… (story)

Guardian 12.3.14 Police kept badger cullers informed of protester movements, court hears - Animal rights groups criticise police after marksman reveals officers kept him informed about the location of protesters - Steven Morris and agency - Animal rights campaigners have criticised police after a marksman involved in the badger cull said officers kept him informed of the location of protesters. The claim was made during a court hearing involving David McIntosh, who was taken to court for crashing a van full of dead badgers into a bus stop during a cull in Gloucestershire… Jude Walker, of Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting, said: "It certainly goes against what we have always been told about the police being even handed." (story)

Cornish Guardian 12.3.14 MP is accused by rival over badger TB cull - TWO political heavyweights are at loggerheads over how to tackle the spread of TB in cattle. Conservative parliamentary candidate for St Austell and Newquay Steve Double and sitting Lib Dem MP Steve Gilbert are on opposite sides of the political divide when it comes to deciding whether badgers should be culled or vaccinated to help stop the spread of the disease. Mr Gilbert has recently criticised the Government over the trial badger culls and this week branded them a "spectacular failure", but Mr Double has slammed the MP for failing to consult local farmers before making his views known, claiming many back a badger cull. "On hearing of the news that our MP had changed his position I wrote to every farmer in the constituency and asked for their views," Mr Double said… (story)
Western Morning News 12.3.14 Police deny claim they told badger cull marksmen whereabouts of protesters - Police have denied claims they told marksmen involved in the controversial badger cull the location of protesters. The allegation was made during a court case involving David McIntosh, who was prosecuted for crashing a van loaded with dead badgers into a bus stop during the cull… (story)

Telegraph 12.3.14 Huw Irranca-Davies: The badger cull has been a disaster - Huw Irranca-Davies, the shadow environment secretary, calls on the Government to learn lessons from the "failed" trial badger culls. By Huw Irranca-Davies, Shadow Environment Minister… (story)

Western Daily Press 12.3.14 Vegan diet shows respect - Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) (letter)
Irish Examiner 10.3.14 All animal slaughter is unpleasant - Banning slaughter methods in which cows and other animals have their throats slit while sensate is good. However, to label slaughter practices as halal can be inaccurate, because most animals in an halal slaughterhouse are roughly handled and butchered, while still conscious. Such practices are haram (forbidden) and against Islamic law…. a diet that expresses kindness, that is open to all religions, and that truly respects animal rights is veganism. Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Society Building London, N1 9RL (letter)


Hemel Hempstead Gazette 11.3.14 ‘Don’t bet on the Grand National – ban it’ says Berkhamsted animal rights campaigner - An animal rights campaigner has urged punters to boycott the Grand National ahead of the next month’s big event…. Anne Duvall is warning people to think twice before supporting the National Hunt race in which horses have to tackle 30 fearsome fences during two laps of Liverpool’s Aintree course. She said: “It’s the chaps on their backs whipping them that makes them go forward. “If they do not go faster, they get whipped harder and harder…. (story)


Western Morning News 10.3.14 Why don't hunts bill the landowners? The editor asks whether hunting is an efficient way of controlling the fox population, or organised cruelty… The cost of hunting and killing one fox runs into several thousand pounds. I find it extraordinary this substantial expenditure is borne by members of the hunt. Why do the hunts not send their bills to the farmers or landowners? John Phelps Exeter (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 10.3.14 Flutter at the races backing animal cruelty - SOME of your readers may be thinking about having a flutter on the Cheltenham Festival, which starts tomorrow. But beneath the hype more horses have been killed at Cheltenham racecourse than at any other course in the country…. You can make a difference by withdrawing your support and by encouraging others to do the same. FIONA PEREIRA Animal Aid (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 10.3.14 Join dairy boycott - I am horrified thousands of badgers were recently killed in two areas on England in a misguided attempt to control TB in cattle. In protest, I am boycotting English dairy products and would like to encourage others to do likewise…. Garry Hudson, Tanhouse Lane, Wilsden (letter)

Mid Sussex Times 10.3.14 Badger cull has ‘failed’ - And so the news is out – an independent review of the badger cull has declared that it failed in terms of effectiveness, and humaneness. For those of us following every detail of the culls, this is sadly no surprise…. . I have just been appointed CEO of the Badger Trust, in addition to my role at Care for the Wild, and a new President of the National Farmers Union has also been elected. For the sake of all the farmers in Surrey and Sussex who desperately need a solution, I will be reaching out to the new NFU President to say ‘let’s work together’… Dominic Dyer, CEO of the Badger Trust and Policy Advisor to Care for the Wild, Horsham (letter)

Thanet Gazette 10.3.14 Video: Live animal export protests at Port of Ramsgate By katejb - DOZENS of demonstrators gathered at the Port of Ramsgate to protest about the resumption of live animal exports… The campaigners, including Green councillor Ian Driver, are demonstrating against the resumption of live animal exports from the Port of Ramsgate… (story)
Kent Messenger 10.3.14 Kent Action Against Live Exports launches protest against return of live animal exports from Port of Ramsgate - Live animal exports have begun again from the Port of Ramsgate this morning despite protests from campaigners…. (story)
BBC News Online 10.3.14 Protests as Ramsgate live animal exports resume - Protesters have campaigned against live animal exports after shipments resumed at the Port of Ramsgate…. Gill Clark, one of the demonstrators, said two lorries carrying sheep passed through Ramsgate on Monday… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 10.3.14 Time for tax on animal protein - GIVEN today's finding that diets rich in animal protein may be as harmful to health as smoking, it's time for the chancellor to give serious consideration to Peta's suggestion of a deficit-correcting tax on meat, eggs and dairy products in the Budget later this month… BEN WILLIAMSON People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) (letter)
Independent 6.3.14 Time to put a tax on meat - Given the finding that diets rich in animal protein may be as harmful to health as smoking, it’s time for the Chancellor to give serious consideration to PETA’s suggestion of a deficit-correcting tax on meat, eggs and dairy products in the Budget later this month… Ben Williamson, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, London N1 (letter)


Express 9.3.14 Blue Rinse Ladies close to outfoxing 'coward' Cameron on Hunting Act vote - KEEPING shadowy grandees in their grey suits and the twinset-and-blue-rinse brigade onside in the shires is always a priority for any Tory leader. By: Stuart Winter - As David ¬Cameron reaches the defining moments of his four-year Downing Street tenure, however, come warnings that he is in danger of committing his biggest political mistake by angering a small but increasingly influential Conservative pressure group of a rather different kind…. For Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, and a powerful confederation of welfare organisations, the decision is an attempt to repeal one of the most controversial laws on the statute book, a tally-ho short of a full return to the pageantry of riding with hounds in pursuit of wild mammals… The Blue Foxes, as the anti-hunt Tories call themselves, point to a recent Ipsos Mori poll which shows that 80 per cent of the country believes the fox hunting ban should not be repealed… (story)

Western Morning News 9.3.14 Farming Minister says Defra carefully considering call to relax hunting ban - Hopes of a relaxation of the fox-hunting ban were raised last week by Prime Minister David Cameron. Farming Minister George Eustice tells Philip Bowern that Defra is on the case…. Hopes of a relaxation of the fox-hunting ban were raised last week by Prime Minister David Cameron. Farming Minister George Eustice tells Philip Bowern that Defra is on the case…. in an exclusive interview with the Western Morning News, farming minister George Eustice revealed that Defra has yet to come to a final decision on what the League Against Cruel Sports has already called “revoking the hunting ban by the back door”…. (story)


Dundee Courier 8.3.14 Morgan’s country sports award win By EWAN PATE - A third-year pupil at Breadalbane Academy, Aberfeldy, has taken home the Tam Tod Trophy, a Tiso gift voucher and the title of Young Country Sports Person 2013. Morgan Chalmers, 14, who is keen to pursue a career in the countryside, accepted the prize at the Scottish Countryside Alliance awards event held at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood this week… (story)

Epworth Bells 8.3.14 Cash boost for superfast broadband - A further boost to help bring superfast broadband to rural areas such as the Isle has been announced…. (story)
Boston Standard 7.3.14 Cache cash for Boston broadband not spots - Slow internet speeds around Boston look set to be improved with a £2.35 million injection of Government cash…. Countryside Alliance executive chairman Barney White-Spunner described the investment as "a welcome boost" to rural communities…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 6.3.14 Lincolnshire broadband: Millions of pounds to improve county connectivity - Rural community leaders and councillors have welcomed Lincolnshire's share in the Government's £250 million investment in superfast broadband for hard-to-reach areas…. Countryside Alliance executive chairman Barney White- Spunner said: "Superfast broadband provision in the countryside lags significantly behind that in urban areas… (story)


Western Morning News 7.3.14 Fox predation not to blame for sheep loss - James Barrington continues to spew out the same tired old arguments in favour of bloodsports but then of course he must, as an employee of the Countryside Alliance it is his job to do so. My late husband was a veterinary surgeon for 44 years, 24 of which he was employed by the MAFF. For decades sheep farmers were required to complete questionnaires… Poor husbandry was considered to be a major problem. A considerable number of farmers visited by my husband were proud to boast that improved husbandry addressed the issues of malnutrition, hypothermia and treated diseases and that they did not have fox predation problems. by Suzanne Campbell Cardiff (letter)

Independent 7.3.14 Peatlands put in peril as demand for grouse shooting takes off - Tom Bawden - Grouse shooting is ruining the countryside of Northern England and Scotland, as swathes of wildlife-rich upland peatlands are burned to provide the optimum conditions for commercial red grouse, the RSPB has warned… (story)

BBC News Online 7.3.14 Slow broadband 'damaging education' for rural families - Rural families say that lack of suitable broadband access is damaging their children's education. A survey conducted by insurance firm NFU Mutual suggest one in five rural families have poor broadband links…. More needs to be done to educate rural communities about the benefits of mobile broadband, thinks Sarah Lee, head of policy at the Countryside Alliance…. (story)
Think Broadband 7.3.14 Countryside Alliance claims FTTC like dial-up at 600m by Andrew Ferguson - On one hand we have the Government telling us all is well… "If you live 600 metres or more away from the cabinet you might as well be on dial-up."… Sarah Lee, head of policy at the Countryside Alliance talking to the BBC … (story) 7.3.14 Rural households 600 m away from broadband cabinets 'might as well be on dial-up' BY HANNAH LANGSTON - Countryside homes will not enjoy the benefits of fibre broadband if they live more than 600 m away from a cabinet, according to the Countryside Alliance… (story)
Western Daily Press 7.3.14 Snail-like rural broadband hits children most - Children's education is being hit by poor broadband connections in rural areas, according to a new report. One in five families reliant on the internet for children's schoolwork said they could not access online resources, a study by insurance firm NFU Mutual showed…. The Countryside Alliance has been among the bodies campaigning for faster broadband to be installed in rural areas as a national priority…. (story)

Cambridge News 7.3.14 Animal Aid campaigners protest in Cambridge over university's alleged 'macabre' experiments on pregnant sheep Written by ELEANOR DICKINSON - Animal rights activists took the streets yesterday to denounce “cruel” experiments conducted on sheep by researchers at Cambridge University. Protesters from the national campaign group Animal Aid set up a converted ambulance as a “battle bus” near the Downing Site in response to further claims of “macabre” experiments being carried out on pregnant sheep and unborn lambs at the university…. (story)

Cambridge News 7.3.14 Candlelit vigil is held for crustaceans outside Browns restaurant in Cambridge Written by RAYMOND BROWN - About 20 protestors gathered at Browns restaurant in Cambridge last night for a candlelit vigil for crustaceans…. Veteran campaigner, Joan Court, 94, who attended the protest on Thursday, said: “The barbaric practice of boiling live lobsters is testimony to how little regard the food industry and the law have for these animals… (story)

Guardian 7.3.14 Activists to appeal against convictions over involvement of police spy - Andrew Clarke and Geoff Sheppard say officer's role in setting fire to Debenhams store was hidden during trial - Rob Evans - Two campaigners are to appeal against their convictions, alleging that an undercover police officer took part in their protest and set fire to a branch of Debenhams, causing damage totalling more than £300,000…. The pair, Andrew Clarke and Geoff Sheppard, were convicted of setting fire to three Debenhams stores in the 1980s to protest against the sale of fur and jailed for three and four years respectively… (story)
BBC News Online 7.3.14 Jailed activists to appeal over undercover police involvement - Two animal rights activists jailed for firebombing department stores are to appeal against their convictions due to the involvement of undercover police. Andrew Clarke and Geoff Sheppard were convicted of planting incendiary devices at Debenhams stores in Romford and Luton in 1987. An undercover police officer allegedly planted a third device at a branch in Harrow to help convict the men… (story)

Leicester Mercury 7.3.14 RSPCA awards well-deserved - I'm sure all animal-loving readers will join me in congratulating Ruth Lane and Madi Lewis on their awards from the RSPCA ("Animal lovers honoured,'' March 3)…. Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone. (letter)


Guardian 6.3.14 Flushing out foxes - Your story (Hunting ban in danger of being undermined, say animal welfare groups, 3 March) omitted important facts. As you reported last October, the Federation of Welsh Farmers Packs, backed by many other rural organisations and a cross-party group of MPs, has called for one simple amendment to the law… The RSPCA, in particular, is disingenuous in suggesting that this would constitute "wholesale amendment" or "drive a coach and horses through the ban". It has met with our representatives and knows exactly how limited the proposed amendment is. Meanwhile it's sister organisation the SSPCA has always been supportive of the legislation in Scotland which we seek to mirror. David Thomas Federation of Welsh Farmers Packs (letter)

Irish Independent 6.3.14 Threat to hare is horror story that shames us - While welcoming the major conservation initiative to save the curlew and restore habitats essential to its survival, we should not lose sight of other species that are endangered or threatened…. Though not threatened to the same degree as the curlew, the Irish hare is listed by conservationists as vulnerable to extinction… Compounding this is the grotesque practice of hare coursing… JOHN FITZGERALD, CAMPAIGN FOR THE ABOLITION OF CRUEL SPORTS, CO KILKENNY (letter)

Scotsman 6.3.14 Illegal killing of native species is ongoing - We recognise that many private estates in Scotland do not engage in illegal activity against protected raptors and do participate in positive conservation programmes… Regarding Scottish driven grouse moors, there is a clear body of published scientific evidence showing that widespread and systematic human illegal persecution is affecting the populations of native raptor species… Duncan Orr-Ewing RSPB Scotland Edinburgh
The Scottish Raptor Study Group does not dispute the assertion by Tim Baynes that golden eagles nesting on grouse moors can rear substantial (in golden eagle terms) numbers of young. He misses two key points, one being that this happy state of affairs applies only in the case of the few pairs that nest successfully on intensively managed grouse moors… Patrick Stirling-Aird Scottish Raptor Study Group Old Kippenross Dunblane
Although I am far removed from grouse shooting interests I think that Tim Baynes’ letter brings much-needed balance to the debate stirred up by Duncan Orr-Ewing’s one-sided article (27 February). The whole rural economy is far too fragile for the important element of game shooting to be demonised by a few blinkered fanatics who would like to see it destroyed… Irvine Inglis Reston Berwickshire (letters)

Hertfordshire Mercury 6.3.14 Calls to ban badger culls in East Herts - BADGERS in East Herts won't be culled unless strong evidence demonstrates such action is necessary. An e-petition submitted to the council called on them to prohibit the culling of badgers on council owned land and to invest in local vaccination programmes. A resident of Bishop's Stortford, Kim Shaw submitted the e-petition…Cllr Malcolm Alexander responded to the petition at East Herts full council meeting yeterday (March 5). He said: "We would not permit culling on East Herts owned public spaces unless there is very clear evidence to demonstrate that this is necessary… (story)

BBC News Online 6.3.14 Isle of Wight badger poisonings: Man admits offence - A man has admitted laying poison near badger setts on the Isle of Wight. At the time of the poisoning, it was thought up to 12 badgers were affected. But Paul Creer, from the Badger Action Group, said no bodies had been found, most likely because the animals would have crawled underground to die… (story)

Cambridge News 6.3.14 Two minute silence and candlelit vigil to be held in Cambridge - for LOBSTERS cooked at Browns restaurant Written by RAYMOND BROWN - A two minute silence and a candlelit vigil will be held in Cambridge for LOBSTERS “condemned to death” at popular city restaurant Browns. Animal Rights Cambridge say they are increasing the pressure on Browns, the first restaurant to be targeted in the city in a bid to rid it of the “barbaric practice of live lobster preparation”, campaigners said…. Edmund Maile, from Animal Rights Cambridge, said: “Support for this campaign has been overwhelming… (story)
Cambridge News 28.2.14 Live lobster cooking at city restaurant is cruel and must stop, say campaigners at Animal Rights Cambridge Written by RAYMOND BROWN - Campaigners are calling for Browns restaurant in Cambridge to stop cooking live lobsters. Animal Rights Cambridge (ARC) held a protest yesterday to mark the beginning of a campaign to rid the city of what it describes as the “barbaric practice of live lobster preparation”…. Edmund Maile, from ARC, said: “Browns are profiting from cruelty of the worst kind, and selling these creatures as a gourmet dish to maximise financial benefit… (story)

Bath Chronicle 6.3.14 Diseased delicacy - Many readers will be surprised to learn that something that would be illegal to produce in Britain is freely on sale across the country, and is very likely on sale near them right now. That product is foie gras… You also have to ask yourself what is the point of sovereign welfare laws when something such as foie gras can be imported freely into Britain? That is why we are asking the Government to get tough on animal cruelty by calling for an import ban… Justin Kerswell Viva! campaigns manager Wilder Street Bristol (letter)


Western Morning News 5.3.14 'Experts' seem to want it both ways - While reading your paper on Saturday, I noted that various “experts” are saying how ineffective the recent badger culls have been and that shooting by marksmen with rifles have left some badgers to a lingering death. If my memory serves me correctly it is not so long ago that the same “experts” or their peers who were advocating the very same method for controlling foxes… by T P Lawry, Mawnan Smith (letter)

Argus 5.3.14 The rights and wrongs of killing wildlife - Still the debate about the rights and wrongs of killing certain species of our wildlife continues… Maybe we should consider this: for five days God created all manner of wildlife and every species of bird and animal – and all lived happily in peace and harmony. Then God created man and all hell broke loose... enough said! Simone Depauw, Harrington Villas, Brighton (letter)

Scotsman 5.3.14 Grouse moor criticism a flight of fancy - The comments following Duncan Orr-Ewing’s article, “Killing native birds mars landscape” (Friends of The Scotsman, 27 February), shows the legitimate public interest in this topic, but also how feelings can be stoked up on thin evidence…. He also knows that managed grouse moors have a vital role to play in the conservation of rapidly declining red-listed birds such as curlew, lapwing and ring ouzel, and that the land management sector is looking to work with RSPB on this… the RSPB and others need to be very careful that their efforts do not serve to undermine their own credibility and the practical conservation work being done every day by moorland managers, as well as vital investment in rural Scotland. Tim Baynes Scottish Land & Estates Moorland Group Musselburgh
Hector Maclean (Letters, 27 February) makes several assertions that are factually incorrect. He claims that sea eagles were reintroduced without consultation… There is little scientific evidence to suggest that raptors are the cause of wading bird population declines, however studies do show that crows and ground predators, notably foxes, may have an impact on some ground nesting bird species. RSPB Scotland Lochside View Edinburgh
Irvine Inglis (Letters, 3 February) mistakenly asserts that I failed to address the central point of his original letter, namely, his claim that virtually no young have been produced over the last decade by the estimated 440 pairs of golden eagles resident in Scotland… The obvious explanation must be the low survival rate of golden eagles in these regions. The available evidence for this situation indicates that human persecution is the main cause… Changes in land use, including the widespread practice of intensive farming, are believed to be the most influential driver of this decline. Carolyn Taylor Gagiebank Dundee (story)

Western Morning News 5.3.14 Tim Bonner: Leaked badger cull report shows it's time for iron rule at Defra - Flooding and the badger cull are the most recent in a line of crises for Defra. But with entrenched opposition within, change will be tough, says Countryside Alliance leader Tim Bonner - Whether the 'Independent Expert Panel' report on last year's badger cull trials was leaked before or after it reached the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, it highlights the unsolved problem of what to do with most dysfunctional department in Whitehall…. (story)
Western Morning News 19.2.14 Sir Alex Ferguson's horse and ex-Gold Cup contender, to run at point-to-point - Top quality racehorses, including a Sir Alex Ferguson owned mount that had outings in the 2011 Gold cup and two Grand Nationals, have declared for the Savills, Countryside Alliance point-to-point on Sunday (Feb 23)… (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 19.2.14 The Countryside Alliance Club (Wessex) at Badbury Rings on Sunday 23rd February By shill - Brassick and Round Tom can fight out the finish of the Bonhams Men’s Open at Badbury Rings on Sunday…. (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 7.2.14 Countryside Alliance Point to Point at Badbury Rings By mmanning - The Savills Countryside Alliance Point to Point is set to take place at Bradbury Rings near Wimborne later this month and organisers say it will be bigger and better than ever. The event takes place on Sunday 23rd February and, apart from some of the most exciting horse racing of the season, the programme includes children's activities, country crafts, local food stalls, a parade of the Portman Hounds, the Countryside Silent Auction and a large shopping village… (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 29.1.14 PHOTOS: The Savills Countryside Alliance Point to Point, Badbury Rings, Dorset By j-norman - The Savills Countryside Alliance Point to Point on Sunday 23rd February at Badbury Rings, near Wimborne, Dorset, is set to be bigger and better than ever for 2014. With attendance growing remarkably each year, the day provides some of the most exciting horse racing of the season and consistently attracts record entries. The events huge success however is also based on its family appeal with countryside and children’s activities, country crafts, local food stalls, Parade of the Portman Hounds, Countryside Silent Auction and a large shopping village… (story)

Bournemouth Echo 5.3.14 More than 200 horses take part in Point to Point at Badbury Rings By Will Frampton - MORE than 200 horses took part in this year’s Point to Point event at Badbury Rings, organised by the Countryside Alliance…. As well as the racing – featuring top level racehorses such as Grand National participant What A Friend – spectators enjoyed terrier racing, the Parade of the Portman Hounds, a shopping village with tackle, country crafts and food stalls…. (story)

Herts Advertiser 5.3.14 Gallery and video: Hundreds march through St Albans against badger culling - Samantha Lewis - Passionate protesters waved brightly-coloured banners as they marched through St Albans last weekend to make a stand against badger culling. Hundreds of people, some sporting badger costumes and black and white face paint, gathered outside Ye Olde Fighting Cocks on Saturday afternoon where the event began…. (story)
St Albans & Harpenden Review 3.3.14 Residents show support in St Albans anti badger cull march By Rebecca Perring, Reporter - Hundreds took to the streets of St Albans on Saturday in a peaceful protest against the Government’s badger cull. Campaigners began the walk at the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks before marching through George Street, the city centre, outside the civic offices and Hollywell Hill… (story)
St Albans & Harpenden Review 28.2.14 Badger cull protest to march through St Albans By Rebecca Perring - A peaceful protest against the Government’s badger cull will take place through the streets of St Albans tomorrow. Organised by Chris Wood from Herts and Middlesex Badger Group and supported by Care for the Wild and the Badger Trust, the event invites people to walk from The Ye Olde Fighting Cock in Abbey Mill Lane through the city centre at 12.30pm…. (story)
St Albans & Harpenden Review 24.2.14 Residents against badger cull invited to march through St Albans By Rebecca Perring, Reporter - The Hertfordshire and Middlesex Badger Group took to the streets of St Albans on Saturday to raise awareness of a march they have organised against the badger cull. The group handed out leaflets on a St Albans Market stall to tell residents about the march, which will take place on Saturday, March 1 from Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in Abbey Mill Lane at 1pm… Jo Russell from the group said: "It went really well and we had quite a lot of interest and it was great to raise awareness … (story)
St Albans & Harpenden Review 5.2.14 Herts & Middlesex Badger Group's anti-badger cull rally to take place in St Albans next month By Rebecca Perring, Reporter - Residents in St Albans will march the city streets next month against the Badger Cull. The Herts & Middlesex Badger Group have organised the march to start from Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in Abbey Mill Lane on Saturday, March 1 at 1pm… (story)

Western Daily Press 5.3.14 Chris Rundle: The Red Tractor means not a jot – though it has more credibility than badger protesters - A lot of self-congratulation goes on at the NFU conference so it was refreshing to see it get poked in the eye by Justin King of Sainsbury's… So there I was exiting the National Farmers Union conference in Birmingham, slightly older but certainly none the wiser than when I had entered the place five hours earlier, when my ears were assaulted. And assaulted is not too strong a word, for that is indeed what I experienced. The noise came from a group of the Badgerite Brotherhood assembled outside and attempting to 'engage with' (as I believe the expression is) delegates… the Friends of Brock were doing their best, via a loud hailer and assorted non-electronically-assisted shouting, to convey their message, the gist of which was that farmers were a bunch of murdering thugs…. in the interests of fairness I felt some kind of balancing statement was due… So instead I opted for a high-volume "Cull the badgers!" – the three words calculated to cause the most offence. Only to be ordered: "Keep that noise down, sir" by Plod, the words delivered in a tone implying that it was my first, final and only warning…. (story)

Channel 4 5.3.14 Badger post mortems raise further questions over cull -Post mortems of badgers killed during a recent cull raise further questions about whether the policy is humane and effective, say wildlife experts. Channel 4 News has exclusive sight of the results. Independent tests on two badgers, believed to have been shot in the cull zone during the government's pilot badger cull, show neither tested positive for bovine TB… (story)

Mirror 5.3.14 Boycott Crufts parade of freaks' call from animal charity who claim pedigree dog breeders cause health problems By Andy Lines, Amy Glendinning - Activists from animal rights group PETA will target the iconic dog show this weekend - and are asking TV viewers, visitors and competitors to boycott the event - An animal rights group has branded Crufts dog show a 'parade of freaks' - claiming the dogs set to compete this weekend suffer health problems because of their pedigree breeding…. (story)


Horse & Hound 4.3.14 Denman returns to the hunting field after recovering from life-threatening illness - A “fresh” Denman has been out hunting for the first time since his life-threatening illness last year. Rider Charlotte Alexander took the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner out with the North Cotswold on Saturday… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 4.3.14 ‘Completely bonkers’ - That’s the verdict of farmers to new ‘shoo before shooting’ policy to deal with pigeons - Michael Pollitt, Agricultural editor - A “shoo-before-shooting” policy to control pigeons has been described by a leading Norfolk farmer as “completely bonkers”. Natural England has proposed that before shooting pests, including pigeons, “appropriate warning” must first be given. Broadland farmer Richard Hirst, who heads one of the country’s largest pea groups, has branded the suggestion as “ridiculous, quite ridiculous” and “bonkers”…. (story)

Dorset Echo 4.3.14 Group promotes badger vaccinations as trial cull misses targets - THE Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare group has welcomed news that badger culls targets were missed. Organiser Ian Mortimer said: “The Government based its case for culling on badger numbers and TB rates in cattle which they have since admitted were over-estimated…. (story)

Stroud News & Journal 4.3.14 Some badgers took more than one shot to be killed during pilot cull, FOI request reveals - AN INDEPENDENT study is said to have found that the pilot badger culls were ineffective and too many animals suffered… Stroud-based Jeanne Berry, of Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting, said: “Night after night we witnessed first hand the barbarity of this cull but even with the tiny amount of monitoring that Natural England did it is clear there were serious issues with humaneness and also breaches of bio-security and firearms regulations.”… (story)

Guardian 4.3.14 RSPCA should implement my report now - Following his resignation as chief executive of the RSPCA through ill health (Report, 25 February), I pay respect to Gavin Grant and I wish the RSPCA success in meeting its challenges… Too often indeed those traducing the society during Grant's tenure pursue interests inimical to animal welfare, informed by the commercial imperative alone. In 2013 I was commissioned by Gavin Grant's RSPCA to chair what became the McNair inquiry and report into Freedom Food, the leading animal welfare assurance scheme. This followed criticisms I had made of the scheme… it should implement the McNair recommendations without delay. And it should not be chastened by assaults from those far outside the tent of animal welfare. Duncan McNair Chairman, McNair inquiry and report (story)


Western Morning News 3.3.14 Hunting with hounds is organised cruelty - Re: Jim Barrington’s article (WMN Feb 21) on hunting and your request to know “How would you control foxes?” Hunting does not and is not about controlling foxes!... Remember, Burns suggested, without a ban, that cub-hunting should be prohibited entirely and also the practice of “holding up” P148, 9.16. It is obvious, hunting with hounds is organised cruelty! by Len Short Torquay (letter)

Western Morning News 3.3.14 To shoot or just to scare? Consultation is launched over control of bird pests By WMNPBowern - A consultation into the licences issued for controlling pest species is underway. Philip Bowern recalls the last time changes were made to the way pigeons and crows could be controlled… (story)
Mail 3.3.14 'Shoo before you shoot' jail warning to farmers hit by crows under new plans labelled 'ludicrous' by countryside groups By VALERIE ELLIOTT - Britain’s farmers must try to shoo away birds before they can be shot for damaging crops, according to new plans from the Government’s wildlife advisers. And anyone breaking the rules could face prosecution, with a maximum six months in jail or a £5,000 fine. The new proposals have caused uproar, with farming and countryside groups labelling them ‘ludicrous’…. Simon Clarke, of the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, said: ‘What are we supposed to do – go out in bright shiny clothes, waving our arms and making a lot of noise before shooting?... The Countryside Alliance’s Tim Bonner said: ‘This is ridiculous and shows Natural England has no understanding of pigeon control or the damage pigeons can do.’… But a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds spokesman said: ‘The licence gives landowners the right to remove individual birds that are causing a problem, but we’ve always questioned the validity of those who appear to just go out and shoot birds for the pot, which is not allowed.’… (story)
Farmers Weekly 3.3.14 Natural England consults on shooting of crop pests - Philip Case - Farmers should first try to shoo bird crop pests such as woodpigeons and crows away before they can be shot, say new government proposals. The plans, contained in a Natural England consultation on gun laws published last week, have been ridiculed by farmers and countryside groups…. (story)
Western Morning News 28.2.14 To shoot or just to scare? Question of controlling pest birds back on agenda - A consultation into the licences issued for controlling pest species is underway. Philip Bowern recalls the last time changes were made to the way pigeons and crows could be controlled More than 60 organisations and charities, from animal rights groups to country sports campaigners have been asked to take part in a large scale consultation on changes to wildlife legislation that could see some species win protected status while others lose it….. (story)

Northern Echo 3.3.14 Durham University facing call to end animal tests, after using 8,000 in labs last year By Mark Tallentire, Reporter - DURHAM University has defended its treatment of animals used in scientific experiments, in the face of fierce criticism from an anti-vivisection campaign. The Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) claims animals have died, been seriously injured and mistreated in labs at the North’s leading university…. (story)

Argus 3.3.14 Animal testing at University of Brighton increase five-fold By Emily Walker, Chief Reporter - Animal testing at the University of Brighton has increased five-fold in three years… The Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) – which represents the interests of animals in laboratories – obtained figures under the Freedom of Information Act… (story)

Coventry Telegraph 3.3.14 RE: The butcher in Sudbury, Suffolk, who hung dead birds and displayed the cut-off heads of pigs in his shop window. Due to a recent protest against this, the butcher has stopped. I hope that the ugly sight of seeing the birds and animals may have converted the public to vegetarianism… Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby (letter)


Guardian/Observer 2.3.14 Hunting ban in danger of being undermined, say animal welfare groups - Government signals willingness to amend Hunting Act to relax restrictions on number of dogs permitted to flush out foxes - Owen Bowcott - The ban on hunting foxes and deer with packs of hounds is in danger of being undermined, according to opponents of blood sports, after the government signalled its willingness to amend the 2004 Hunting Act…. (story)

Western Morning News 2.3.14 Handing down the traditions of the countryside, father to son By Philip Bowern - Can youngsters enjoy real country experiences in our safety-obsessed age, asks Philip Bowern - My dad is 80 this year and has lived in the British countryside for most of his life. His love of the outdoors was forged in childhood when, like country boys everywhere, he spent most of his time outside…. But what about children today? Reports come out with depressing regularity about how little time young people in the 21st century spend out of doors, how play has come to mean something involving a screen and a keyboard and how, as a result, childhood obesity is at risk of becoming endemic… Of course the cost of shooting and game fishing is one of the reasons that youngsters struggle to become involved. But coarse fishing is relatively cheap, clay pigeon shooting affordable and opportunities to get involved with game shooting, as a beater, not so hard to find for the enthusiast. Special schemes, including Young Shots, run by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation which gives children countryside experience under expert supervision, aim to recruit youngsters into the sport… (story)

Ashbourne News Telegraph 2.3.14 Wildlife experts move to oppose the badger cull - DERBYSHIRE Wildlife Trust is urging the Government to abandon plans to roll out its culling policy and find a better solution to tackling the disease, Bovine Tuberculosis… Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “We understand the Independent Expert Panel report finds the pilot badger culls failed on the grounds of effectiveness and humaneness. This failure reinforces our serious concerns that if unsuccessful the culls could make matters worse…. (story)

Sunday Express 2.3.14 GRAPHIC CONTENT: Horrifying video shows PUPPIES and KITTENS tested at UK laboratory - THE Sunday Express today publishes details of an undercover investigation at a Government licensed animal testing centre that shines a light on the secret world of vivisection laboratories where puppies as young as four weeks old are taken from their mothers and killed.? By: Ted Jeory - Horrific photographs and video footage showing puppies panicking as they are injected with needles before being dissected have been taken by a brave undercover investigator who worked at the centre for eight months until December last year. The employee, an animal science university graduate, who wants to be known only as Susie, was also working with the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) throughout that time….. (story)


Derby Telegraph 1.3.14 Derby North MP Chris Williamson hears Hunting Act repeal rumours - STRONG rumours are circulating in Parliament that a vote on the repeal of the Hunting Act will take place this year, Derby North MP Chris Williamson has said. But Labour's Mr Williamson said he felt that the vote on the act, which abolished hunting with dogs, was unlikely to succeed…. (story)

Worcester News 1.3.14 Peter Luff is right on foxhunting - There is nothing strange about Sir Peter Luff’s view on foxhunting, as claimed by Sheila Garner (Worcester News, 20th February), but there certainly is something odd about her response and indeed that of many anti-hunting people…. Sir Peter has long argued for a wider wild mammals welfare law to replace the Hunting Act. Such a measure would address accusations of genuine cruelty to any wild animal in any circumstances and would rely on sound evidence. It would also make redundant the ridiculous Hunting Act – a law based on prejudice and ignorance. James Barrington Animal Welfare Consultant , London (letter)
Worcester News 21.2.14 Peter Luff's strange logic over foxhunting - Re Peter Luffs strange logic in MP's View regarding fox hunting. Does he not think that blooding a young person, after the killing of a fox, which has been chased to exhaustion and torn apart by dogs, does no harm to that impressionable child?... Sheila Garner Worcester (letter)

Scotsman 28.2.14 Docking dilemma - A puppy’s tail is an extension of his backbone and he needs it for movement… This week, while we await publication of research by the University of Glasgow, we have seen an anecdote-fuelled storm in the media, calling for a change in the law so puppies of working breeds can have their tails docked… Libby Anderson OneKind Queensferry Street Edinburgh (letter)

Argus 1.3.14 Your interview: Tom Keightley, urban fox exterminator - David Gibbons, of Saltdean: Who or what do you think gives you the right to kill wildlife at random? Tom Keightley (TK): Would you allow or put up with cockroaches, rats, fleas or head lice? I doubt it….
Andrew Cameron by email: Quite simply, you want foxes dead, I want foxes alive. Why should your wish be more important than mine? I hope that being paid to murder isn’t justification. TK: I respect your wish to have foxes alive but you cannot expect to impose your wishes upon everyone simply because you do not like the alternative…
David Hammond, of Hassocks: Foxes are farmers’ friends. By feeding on rabbits, the staple diet of rural foxes, they save British crop farmers around £7 million every year… TK: The lethal control of urban foxes has nothing at all to do with any farmer….. (story)

Western Daily Press 1.3.14 Badger culls 'have been a complete and utter disaster' - STOP THE CULLING - It's time to forget about culls, says the Badger Trust's new chief executive Dominic Dyer - The leak to the BBC from the Independent Expert Panel has proved what I knew all along – the badger cull pilots have been a complete and utter disaster on scientific, economic and animal welfare grounds…. (story)

Daily Mail 1.3.14 'The badger cull was inhumane': Controversial pilots fell short of their targets and too many animals suffered, study finds - Last year’s badger culls were inhumane and ineffective, a Government-commissioned report has found. The independent study revealed that the two controversial pilots fell well short of their targets and that too many animals suffered…. (story)
Telegraph 28.2.14 Badger cull flop 'may worsen cattle TB risk' - Pilot cull of badgers falls short of targets and could increase the bovine TB threat it was designed to eradicate, say experts By Padraic Flanagan and Claire Carter - A pilot badger cull that has fallen short of official targets may increase the risk of TB in cattle, experts have warned. An independent study of last year’s pilot badger culls has concluded that they were ineffective and too many animals suffered needlessly…. (story)
Independent 28.2.14 Figures emerge showing that up to a fifth of culled badgers took more than five minutes to die during recent trials - Tom Bawden - The full extent of the badgers’ suffering during the recent culls was laid bare today, as new figures showed nearly a fifth of the animals shot may have taken more than five minutes to die – while it emerged that marksmen frequently failed to take the appropriate biosecurity measures… (story)
Independent 28.2.14 Badger culls were 'cruel' and 'ineffective', says independent panel - An independent study of pilot badger culls is said to have concluded that they were ineffective and too many animals suffered. Research commissioned by the Government found that the number of badgers killed in Somerset and Gloucestershire fell short of targets set to limit the spread of TB in cattle. More than 5 per cent of badgers took longer than five minutes to die, failing the test for humaneness, according to the BBC…. (story)
Western Morning News 28.2.14 LATEST: Calls to halt 'inhumane' badger culls - A new row has broken out over the Government’s controversial badger cull after an independent study was said to have found two pilot schemes were ineffective and too many animals suffered…. (story)
Western Morning News 28.2.14 WMN OPINION: It’s the treatment of the farmers that is ‘inhumane’ - “Inhumane and ineffective”. That, according to leaked information passed to the BBC, is the conclusion of the Independent Experts Panel charged with examining the evidence of the two pilot badger culls and passing their conclusions to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Or is it? The BBC has been running the story as fact, at times almost seeming to suggest the report has been published. Yet it patently has not… As the anti-cull campaigners line up to rubbish the pilot culls and various officials seek to undermine the BBC’s story, farming families across the Westcountry are living with the misery of failed TB tests, lost bloodlines, cattle needlessly slaughtered and millions of pounds in costs and lost income…. (story)
Western Daily Press 28.2.14 Badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire 'failed on humaneness and numbers', says leaked report from Independent Expert Panel - Trial badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire failed to hit their targets on numbers and humaneness, the BBC has reported. The delayed report into the culls by the Independent Expert Panel, which has yet to be published, was said to have found that fewer than half the badgers in the cull zones had been killed, with more than five per cent taking longer than five minutes to die - a test of humaneness set in agreement with the Government…. (story)
BBC News Online 28.2.14 Badger culls were 'ineffective and failed humaneness test' - An independent scientific assessment of last year's pilot badger culls in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset has concluded that they were not effective. Analysis commissioned by the government found the number of badgers killed fell well short of the target deemed necessary, the BBC understands…. (story)
Guardian 28.2.14 Badger cull failed humaneness test, independent panel finds - Blow to plans for further culls as report reveals killings were neither humane nor effective at curbing TB in cattle - Damian Carrington - Controversial badger culls in England aimed at curbing TB in cattle failed on both humaneness and effectiveness, according to independent expert assessments obtained by the Guardian and the BBC… (story)
Express 28.2.14 EXCLUSIVE: Brian May on report proving wounded badgers died slowly in 'scandalous' culls - QUEEN guitarist Brian May has said a new report which revealed that the badger culls were ineffective and cruel shows the "scandalous" truth behind the killings. By: Jane Mathews…. (story)