May 2004

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(*)- added since last update


31.5.04

Independent 31.5.04 A question of discipline - They may make unlikely allies, but an anti-racism advocate and a fox-hunting barrister have joined forces to attack the Bar Council By Robert Verkaik - Nigel Ley appears to be the very epitome of an Establishment barrister. The public-school educated advocate, who is an expert in drink-driving law, likes nothing better than a canter across the fields of Leicestershire and Lincolnshire with the Cottesmore Hunt. But appearances can be deceptive. For 20 years, Ley has been a rebellious figure at the Bar, taking every opportunity to expose what he sees as the failings of his ruling body. Last month, he claims, he paid the price for his critical probing of Bar Council affairs when he was fined £1,600 by the profession's disciplinary tribunal for overcharging in four drink-driving cases…(story)

ISLE OF WIGHT HUNT SERVED WITH NOISE ABATEMENT ORDER
Telegraph 31.5.04 Beagle tune - You report (May 27) that council officers found the noise of the Isle of Wight hunt "horrendous". As an opera and concert singer, and vocal coach of some 20 years professional experience, I can report that the baying of the hounds on the Fitzwilliam (Milton) hunt in Cambridgeshire is the most beautiful music on God's earth… Philip Slane, Old Weston, Cambs (letter)
Isle of Wight County Press 28.5.04 HUNT TOLD TO HUSH HOUNDS By Gavin Foster - THE IW HUNT has been left bloodied but defiant by a landmark court ruling that its hounds are a noise nuisance. A district judge ruled on Wednesday that the IW Council was right to serve a noise abatement notice on the hunt which means it now has six months to reduce the volume of barking and howling of foxhounds at its Gatcombe kennels. Resentful that the only noise complaints were by two bed and breakfast owners who moved to the area long after it set up there in 1927 — one complainant set up business opposite in 1999 — the hunt nevertheless will have to consider taking drastic steps if it is to comply…. (story)
Horse & Hound 27.5.04 Hunt told to keep hounds quiet - The Isle of Wight Hunt has been issued with a Noise Abatement Order after neighbours of the kennels complained about the noise made by the hounds… (story)
Telegraph 27.5.04 Silence hounds, judge tells hunt By Stewart Payne - A court ruling upholding a noise abatement order on a pack of foxhounds could affect hunts across the country, it was claimed yesterday. The Isle of Wight Hunt fears it will have to close unless it can comply with the order, served after two neighbours complained that the baying from its kennels kept them awake…. Outside the court, Andrew Sallis, master of the hunt, and Ronald Holland, its chairman, expressed concern that anti-hunt protesters would use the ruling to challenge other packs... (story)
Telegraph 24.5.04 Hounds in full cry threaten hunt's existence By Stewart Payne - A court ruling this week could achieve what the Labour Government has threatened but so far not delivered - a ban on foxhunting. Not all foxhunting, but the baying of hounds will be silenced on the Isle of Wight if magistrates uphold a noise abatement order served on a kennels by the local council. The Isle of Wight Hunt has been based at Gatcombe since 1927. Recently a small number of neighbours complained about the noise.... (story)
Telegraph 9.1.03 Hunt's baying hounds get noise abatement order By Stewart Payne - A fox hunt has had a noise abatement order imposed on it and the Master of Hounds has been told to stop his pack from baying to prevent a public nuisance. In what is believed to be the first action of its kind, the Isle of Wight Hunt was served with the order after complaints from people living close to its kennels…. Anita Fitzgerald, one of those to complain, is a hunt supporter who has sung at the Isle of Wight Hunt Ball. She said: "This is nothing to do with the argument about hunting. It is about the most basic human right of being able to sleep."… (story)
Isle of Wight County Press 9.1.03 APPEAL ON ORDER TO SILENCE HUNT HOUNDS - WITH the threat of a total ban still looming, the IW Hunt is facing a more immediate peril. The IW Council has served a noise abatement notice on the hunt following an investigation by officers of complaints by neighbours that the hounds are causing a noise nuisance. The hunt has appealed against the notice and the matter will now be decided by magistrates. (story in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 31.5.04 HUNTING MUCH MORE THAN MINOR ISSUE FOR HUNTERS - Tim Bonner, head of media, Countryside Alliance, Points of view, May 5, steadfastly refuses to accept that the hunting debate is over… Mr Bonner could find himself in big trouble with the president of the Countryside Alliance if he continues to insist that hunting is a minor issue… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Shropshire Star 31.5.04 The fox is repaid by his death … The fox is a member of the dog family. So is this how we repay him by hunting him for sport, and killing him? For what?... I say to Belinda Edwards, Bridgnorth, (May 5) and Andy Allen, Sedgeford (May 10), there will always be wars, shortage of cash for education, hospitals and so on. Do not fear when the hunt ban comes. The police will cope and the people with red coats will be easily spotted from the air…. B Banks, Ludlow (letter)

Evening News 31.5.04 Fox is likely culprit behind duck deaths - CRAIG MOWAT - A FOX is thought to be behind a string of duck deaths in North Earlham. It had been thought callous yobs were behind the attacks on the birds, but an animal expert said a fox or dog was the more likely culprit.... Chris Rockingham, of People for Animal Care Trust, said the deaths could possibly be the result of a fox or dog attack... Police have urged anyone with any information to call Earlham Police... (story)

Western Morning News 31.5.04 MINISTERS MUST TAKE NOTE OF COUNTRY FOLK - In the 1988 version of the farmers' bible the Agricultural Notebook it states: "Tuberculosis has been virtually eradicated from the UK though testing continues and some cases do occur…" even I can come to the conclusion that since badgers have been over-protected the spread of TB has rocketed. Farmers who have closed herds, double fenced and stringent health measures have still had animals that have gone down with TB…. I do not expect a minister with no farming background to have an instant detailed knowledge of agriculture, but I do expect him to have some respect and take notice of the custodians of the countryside, many of whom will still be farming when the minister returns to the back benches. Andrew Goodridge Dawlish (letter)

Telegraph 31.5.04 Cull of 250 hedgehogs 'has cost £190,000' By Tom Peterkin - The cull of hedgehogs in the Outer Hebrides ended at the weekend amid claims from animal rights activists that it has cost the taxpayer more than £700 to kill each beast.... Ross Minnet, of Uist Hedgehog Rescue, said: "Our rescue has cost the taxpayer nothing - in fact islanders have received £20 for each hedgehog brought to us.... (story)

Scotsman 31.5.04 Needless suffering - Jordan Rubin’s advice on diet (S2 Health, 18 May), should be taken with a pinch of salt…. Every piece of flesh eaten today is eaten at the expense of needless animal suffering. Advances in nutritional science insist we no longer need to kill animals to maintain our own health…. JAMES BOYLE Eastwoodmains Road Clarkston, Glasgow (letter)

30.5.04

Scotland on Sunday 30.5.04 Unfair attacks on pike fishermen - I FIND it strange that the article ‘Rogue anglers threaten fish stocks with pike’ (News, May 16) was printed without supplying proof of where these supposed transfers have been made… Loch Ness has had pike for many years, as I have relatives in Inverness who caught pike back in the Fifties whilst out trolling for salmon. Steve Tapley, the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland
YET again the pike is described as a "ferocious" predator, "the fearsome pike", and "the freshwater equivalent to the great white shark"…. The Rev W B Daniel mentions in his book Rural Sports, published in 1801, the capture of a 72lb pike from Loch Ken. Pete Conway, Calvine (letters)
Scotland on Sunday 16.5.04 Rogue anglers threatening fish stocks with pike - KURT BAYER - IT HAS been described as the freshwater equivalent of the great white shark: a ferocious predator that can weigh more than 50lbs, armed with rows of razor-sharp teeth, and which devours its own. Now evidence is growing that thrill-seeking anglers are deliberately introducing the fearsome pike to some of Scotland’s most prized trout and salmon waters. Wildlife groups say the voracious fish threatens to wipe out native species in some of the country’s most celebrated lochs and rivers…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 30.5.04 TB or not TB By Melissa Kite This is the story of a political row arousing terrible passions on all sides. It involves parliamentary dirty tricks and claims of lobbying behind closed doors. It will cost the taxpayer £90 million this year and hundreds of hours of government time. But this is not about Iraq, the state of the National Health Service or the asylum system. This is about badgers.... Last week Ben Bradshaw, the animal health minister, appeared before a committee of MPs and said the policy was to wait for more research. But farmers say they cannot wait; many are leaving the dairy industry and there is anecdotal evidence of desperate farmers taking the law into their own hands...." Elaine King, the chairman of the National Federation of Badger Groups, insists. "The scientific evidence has tended to show that culling badgers will not control TB in cattle...." The mere suggestion that Mr Bradshaw may have been unduly influenced by the animal rights lobby provokes a strong reaction. "I entirely refute that accusation and I would be grateful if anyone could provide any evidence that I have been biased in one way or another since I have been in this job," he said. The suspicions may have been fuelled by Mr Bradshaw's appearances at League Against Cruel Sports events. He spoke at its fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference in 2003 and posed with members at their stands.... (story)

Observer 30.5.04 Unnatural behaviour: activists condemn ads with boozing chimps - Robin McKie - Animal welfare campaigners have attacked drink company bosses over television and cinema adverts that use chimpanzees to illustrate the dangers of binge drinking…. 'For a start, a chimp is an ape, not a monkey, which shows how ignorant this campaign is,' said Jenny Hawley, of the International Fund for Animal Welfare…. 'Ads like this just encourage poachers to think they can make money by selling baby chimps,' said Ian Redmond, of the UN Great Ape Survival Project. 'If the Portman Group does not pull this ad, they will be faced with an outcry from millions.' (story)
Observer 30.5.04 Leader - Ditch this TV ad - The sight of a chimpanzee clutching a beer bottle and lurching around drunkenly is, sadly, one that is likely to raise a smile… Animal welfare groups are therefore right: these degrading adverts should be scrapped. (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 29.5.04 GOING APE ON ANTI-DRINK AD - HURTEJ KAUR GOLAR - A Controversial ad campaign depicting a drunken chimpanzee is to hit the East Midlands next month…. The Portman Group, an industry-funded body promoting responsible drinking, launched the national campaign devised by M &C Saatchi at the Broadway Cinema in Hockley yesterday, but already the promotion has drawn criticism from an animal rights group…. Craig Redmond, CAPS campaigns officer, said: "Chimpanzees are extremely intelligent animals with highly complex needs and should not be subjected to the humiliation and distress of being trained to perform in this manner which clearly seeks to ridicule them…. (story)

Luton on Sunday 30.5.04 Squirrel cull - I think it's disgusting that the council have been killing squirrels on the quiet. And the method they used is barbaric - training them to eat poisoned grain out of feeders attached to trees is also cruel and cowardly…. P Jarvis London Road, Luton (letter)

29.5.04

APPEAL AGAINST SCOTTISH HUNT BAN REJECTED
Scotsman 29.5.04 Hunters lose latest appeal over ban on foxhunting - JOHN ROBERTSON LAW CORRESPONDENT - HUNTERS lost their latest challenge yesterday to the Scottish Parliament’s outlawing of mounted foxhunting with a pack of hounds…. Lord Gill, the Lord Justice-Clerk, and Lords Macfadyen and Abernethy, said: "We consider that... it was a fit and proper exercise of legislative power to proscribe such an activity."… Nine individuals and groups, including the Fife and Jedforest hunts, the Countryside Alliance and the Masters of Foxhounds Association, had attempted through a judicial review petition to prevent the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act being brought into effect in August 2002, but the challenge was rejected by Lord Nimmo Smith…. (story)
BBC News Online 28.5.04 Hunting ban challenge is rejected - A legal bid to overturn the ban on the hunting of foxes with dogs in Scotland has been rejected by appeal judges. The challenge to the country's anti-hunting legislation was thrown out at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. The Countryside Alliance and members of the fox hunting lobby argued the laws were incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights…. The three judges ruled there was enough information available for the executive to decide hunting with dogs inflicted pain on the fox and there was a proper basis for making the judgement that it constituted cruelty. The pro-hunt group included the Countryside Alliance, the Fife and Jedforest Hunts, a joint master of the Buccleuch Hunt, the Master of Foxhounds Association and its chairman Lord Daresbury…. (story)

Western Morning News 29.5.04 Better off out - THE Countryside Alliance would like it known that it is not affiliated in any way with the newly formed political "Countryside Party." The alliance has always been apolitical and wish to remain so. The best chance of saving our countryside is to vote for the United Kingdom Independence Party…. Patrick J Ellis, Chulmleigh, Devon (letter)

Yorkshire Post 29.5.04 Foxed? From: EW Beechey, Yorkshire Representative, League Against Cruel Sports, Eastfield Lane, Kellington, Goole. Helen Capstick informs us (May 24) that "every dictionary tells you that foxes are vermin". Well, mine doesn't…. (letter)
Yorkshire Post 24.5.04 From: Phyllis Capstick, Hellifield, Skipton - When will people who know nothing about country matters, such as Jeanne Young (Letters, May 17), realise that foxhunting is the important control of vermin in the kindest and most natural way possible?... (letter)
Yorkshire Post 17.5.04 Blair should keep promise on hunting From: Jeanne Young, North West League Against Cruel Sports, PO Box 359, Chorley. THE Countryside Alliance must be really desperate if it is willing to commission a poll which confirms the blindingly obvious: the vast majority of the public want the Government to make further improvements in education and health care… To imply, as Peter Hole (Letters, April 30) does, that MPs spend a significant amount of time on bloodsports at the expense of other issues is misleading and insulting to the hard work MPs do for their constituents…. (letter)
Yorkshire Post 30.4.04 From: Peter Hole, Green Lane, Northowram, Halifax. I AM appalled that some 20 Yorkshire Labour MPs, including my own, should be wasting yet more Parliamentary time calling for a totally unjustifiable ban on hunting…. (letter)

Western Morning News 29.5.04 Vote against cruelty - A MAJORITY of MEPs recently voted in favour of long journeys for farm animals to continue. The new EU Chemicals Directive may result in millions of animals being used in cruel, outdated and unnecessary tests. Now Labour has failed to defend its right to retain its ban on the export of horses…. Adrian Cooper, Lostwithiel (letter)

Worcester Evening News 29.5.04 Animal tests failing to be a gauge of safety - IT sounds like good news that the Government is to set up a national centre for best practice to develop alternatives to animal experiments. However,the best approach would be to stop using animal experiments altogether... RICHARD MOUNTFORD, Development Manager, Animal Aid. (letter in archive)

Scotsman 29.5.04 Hedgehog cull on the Western Isles claims 250 - JOHN ROSS - MORE than 250 hedgehogs have been killed in the Western Isles during the second cull carried out on the islands…. The protest group Advocates for Animals, which has criticised the cull, has so far helped rescue 185 hedgehogs for relocation to the mainland and will continue their search over the weekend… (story)

28.5.04

Rye & Battle Observer 28.5.04 Hunt fans corner MP HUNT supporters clashed with Rye MP Michael Foster at the Town Hall on Saturday afternoon…. They were angry that Mr Foster was one of 11 MPs in the South East to have signed Gerald Kaufman's Early Day Motion calling for a return of the Hunting Bill…. Nick Onslow said: "Signing that early day motion is equivalent to signing a death warrant for the dogs that were there on Saturday and thousands like them."… (story)

Newark Advertiser 28.5.04 Hunting bill back on agenda By WILL HARRISON - Hunting groups and local politicians have reacted to reports that the Prime Minister is to push through a ban on foxhunting. It is reported that Mr Tony Blair is planning to reintroduce a bill to ban hunting with hounds either before the Commons' summer recess in July, or in September… The Labour MP for Sherwood, Mr Paddy Tipping, a long-standing supporter of the anti-hunt lobby, said the report that the bill would be returning to the Commons was true… Mr Roderick Duncan, of the Grove and Rufford Hunt, said no Government Minister had formally put forward the proposal, but it seemed like an attempt by the back-benchers to corner the government… The secretary of the South Notts Hunt, Miss Anne Jepson, said a ban would mean farmers and landowners would resort to shooting foxes instead. (story probably on website for only a week)

Western Morning News 28.5.04 Killing for fun - ANNE Rix may well be right and that I am naive about foxes and cats and their habits… Anne Rix may well be right about foxes continuing killing in a confined space because of "flapping" chickens, but more than once, we have had a fox go round killing free range chickens outdoors leaving corpses all over a field… Michael Ashton, Torrington (letter)

Irish Examiner 28.5.04 Public purse used to fund animal cruelty - BÓRD na gCon has approved ‘in principle’ €250,000 for hare coursing from its annual €12m grant from the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism. So the public purse may now fund animal cruelty despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of taxpayers are opposed to this barbarism… Aideen Yourell, Spokesperson, Irish Council Against Blood Sports, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. (letter)

Darlington & Stockton Times 28.5.04 Shooting at myths - Claims that shooting is linked to conservation have been disproved by secretly-filmed video on the Cawdor estate, near Inverness, which shows the illegal use of five gin traps set in a circle around a rabbit carcass… When investigators infiltrated the Plas Machynlleth Fox Hounds (one of mid-Wales most established gun packs) during the 03/04 hunting season they filmed an unprecedented show of cruelty… V L LONSDALE, Nosterfield, Bedale. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 28.5.04 MACHO 'SPORTS' MUST BE BANNED - As Simon Hart, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, is replying to correspondents in the Western Daily Press, there is a very important question I would like answered. I ask if the Countryside Alliance still supports the continental bloodsport enthusiasts shooting and trapping our wild birds, while on their autumn and spring migration to their wintering and breeding grounds?... At a rally in Paris well represented by British organisations, including the Countryside Alliance, the then Chairman, Charles Goodson-Wickes, spoke in support of the cruel practice of killing, eating, and stuffing our songbirds for display…. M Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Matlock Mercury 28.5.04 CHATSWORTH Angling Fair proved a splashing success at Chatsworth Estate over the weekend of May 22 and 23. The good weather shone bright throughout the event for the first time in three years, leaving audiences to enjoy the sport…. (story)

Harrogate Advertiser 28.5.04 Campaigners' protests at company office - A 'COLOURFUL and noisy' protest by animal rights campaigners outside Procter and Gamble's Hornbeam Park office passed off peacefully on Friday afternoon…. (story)

Times 28.5.04 Animal rights protests - There is a difference between the legal, albeit sometimes noisy, demonstrations which are held outside company premises… and the illegal threatening actions of a few militant activists who have attacked properties and assaulted and abused persons… Exclusion zones around labs will outlaw demonstrations that are currently legal but will not stop the occasional and random attacks… PETER ALLEN, 43 Chute Avenue, High Salvington, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3DS (letter)

West Sussex County Times 28.5.04 EXPOSED: VILE BADGER KILLERS IN SOUTH DOWNS - BADGER setts in the South Downs are being targeted by fiends involved in badger baiting… Paul Skinner of the Mid Sussex Badger Protection Group said the Ashington dig was seen by members of the public, including dog walkers, but they did not realise what was happening and failed to raise the alarm…. Steyning-based Inspector Mark Piper of Sussex Police confirmed the reports of badger digging in the area. He said: "We have been working closely with the RSPCA and the Mid Sussex Badger Group in our investigation of the recent badger digging…. (story)

Craven Herald 28.5.04 The ongoing issue about the slaughter of Halal and Kosher meat and the slaughter concerns a lot of people…. Please ask yourself why is it that a Muslim country like Saudi Arabia ensures animals are stunned first because they deem it cruel not to, yet Great Britain will allow such cruelty…. David Scholey. Belgrave Street, Skipton (letter in archive)

Blackpool Citizen 28.5.04 Scrap the landau rides - AS a long standing campaigner against landau horses being used on the Promenade, I must say I am 100per cent behind Preston-based Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS) when they say it is time to scrap them… Mrs J Harwood, Moor Park Avenue, Bispham (letter in archive)
Lancaster Citizen 7.5.04 Call to scrap landau and donkey rides by Lori Hudson - ANIMAL rights activists have urged Blackpool council to scrap the resort's landau and donkey rides amid claims that they are animal welfare and public safety hazards. Members of the Preston-based Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS) claim the familiar horse-drawn carriages and beach donkeys pose a "serious welfare risk" to animals and well as an "unacceptable safety risk to the public"…. (story in archive)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 28.5.04 Prison is the answer on cruelty - For the second time in little more than a week your pages have carried distressing reports of dogs being starved to death by their Wolverhampton owners… John Reed, Westering Parkway, Wolverhampton (letter)

Stourbridge News 28.5.04 Watching in horror - As an animal lover, supporter, and campaigner, I feel absolutely devastated after watching in horror on the news about the baby wallaby being beaten to death by an eight-11 year old child… Marion Whittaker Kingswinford (letter in archive)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 24.5.04 Youngsters' evil at zoo - Evil rears its ugly head once again… Kicking to death a wallaby or any other animal amounts to murder and yes they should be named and shamed. I do not care how old they are… What a pity they did not get into the lions and kick them, then perhaps they would have got a taste of their own medicine, its just what they deserve. Marie Stringer, Hyde Green, Halesowen (story)
Dudley News 21.5.04 An abominable act - As an animal lover, supporter, and campaigner, I feel absolutely devastated after watching in horror on Midlands News, about the baby wallaby being beaten to death by an 8-11 year old child at Dudley Zoo… Marion Whittaker, Kingswinford (letter in archive)
Dudley News 21.5.04 Share the blame - I felt sickened at the beating to death of a five-month-old wallaby at Dudley Zoo… The zoo must take some responsibility as I believe that wild animals should remain in their own habitat, surviving by virtue of their natural and intelligent instincts, not kept in captivity… Janet Cummings, Rugby (letter in archive)
Dudley News 21.5.04 Protection from attack - I was horrified to hear on the news today that a baby wallaby, resident at Dudley Zoo, had been beaten to death. Leaving aside the question of whether zoos are a humane environment for animals to live in, surely protecting them from attack is the very least of your responsibilities towards your animals…. Caroline Russell, Rugeley (letter in archive)

Wiltshire Times 28.5.04 Solutions to pigeon problem discussed - A PIGEON control expert has refused to help solve Trowbridge's bird problem unless two warring authorities promise not to recruit lethal methods. Guy Merchant, of the Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PICAS) met with leaders of Trowbridge Town Council and West Wiltshire District Council for a make-or-break meeting at offices in Fore Street…. (story in archive)

The Sentinel 28.5.04 BRING BACK SMALL FARMS - If we all do what Mark Richards - "Vegetarian is the way to go" - wants, what will happen to our cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry? We will have to feed them until they die of old age and ensure they do not reproduce?... DAVID ROGERS Alsager (letter)
The Sentinel 24.5.04 VEGETARIAN IS THE WAY TO GO - This is National Vegetarian Week. If we adopted a vegetarian diet, world hunger (grain protein for cattle), deforestation (cattle ranches) and global warming (cattle methane) would be reduced…. MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)

27.5.04

Telegraph 27.5.04 Butchers told: don't give a dog a bone By Richard Savill - A council has told butchers they could be breaking European regulations if they give bones to dog owners. Ceredigion county council in Wales has warned butchers they could be infringing the law if they give customers leftover bones... The council's letter stated: "The practice of supplying domestic animals with bones, meat trimmings etc, must be discontinued." Disposing of bones and meat waste to hunt kennels and packs of hounds could only now be allowed if the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs approved the kennels or the packs of hounds.... (story)

Southern Daily Echo 27.5.04 Don't let dead ponies rot on the roadside by Chris Yandell - DEAD New Forest ponies could be left to rot in front of tourists if their owners are barred from joining a major new scheme. The grim warning has been issued by the Forest's two MPs, who are furious at plans to exclude horses from a livestock collection service…. Carcasses will be taken away by the National Fallen Stock Company following new EU rules that ban farmers from burning or burying dead beasts. However, the service is restricted to farm animals and excludes the hundreds of ponies that roam the Forest. Dead animals are currently collected by the New Forest Hounds, but the service could cease if the government decides to ban hunting with hounds… New Forest East MP Dr Julian Lewis and Desmond Swayne, who represents New Forest West, have written to animal health minister Ben Bradshaw… (story in archive)
Dorset Daily Echo 27.5.04 Commoners in bid to join abattoir scheme - NEW Forest Verderers have called for a meeting with a government minister if commoners' ponies are not to be included in a national fallen stock scheme… In the New Forest, where commoners' ponies and cattle die as the result of road accidents, the situation could be exacerbated by the threat of a ban on hunting with dogs. Traditionally the hunt has collected cattle and ponies that are killed in crashes or put down as a result of their injuries to feed its hounds. Last week MPs Tony Banks, Ann Widdecombe and Norman Baker signed an early day motion in the Commons, calling for the reintroduction of the government's Hunting Bill…. (story in archive)

Irish Examiner 27.5.04 Torturers find it easy to leap species barrier - AMONG the shocking reports of the ill-treatment of Iraqi prisoners, it wasn’t surprising that pictures of tortured and mutilated animals were also found in the Abu Gharib prison…. As a society we sanction institutionalised cruelty on a scale almost too massive to comprehend. From the 'rape rack' of the intensive pig farm to the 'gas chamber' of the fur farm, from the torture inflicted on animals behind the locked doors of the world's laboratories to the savagery of foxhunting in full view of the public, we daily turn our backs on the most powerless and vulnerable among us…. Nuala Donlon, Alliance for Animal Rights, PO Box 4734, Dublin 1. (letter)

Cornish Guardian 27.5.04 EURO IDIOCY ERODING OUR RIGHTS -I read, with increasing frustration, the daily rantings and legal stances being taken by those with more money than morals or sense… Our rights have been whittled away with threatened bans on hunting, the new right to roam act, increased roadside cameras that do nothing to punish car theft or insurance fraud, massive increases in fuel costs that are more to do with taxation than road conditions, no homes for our young people, salary discrepancies ... the list is endless…. Dr D Wade Crackington Haven (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 27.5.04 Still aiming to end hunt - Shirley Reid implies that it is not possible, and even morally wrong, to be concerned about banning hunting with dogs at a time when greater issues such as Iraq and the problems of the NHS are unresolved…. the majority of the British public, and the elected Members of Parliament, remain committed to ending the cruelty inherent in the so-called sport of hunting with dogs…. Barbara Michell, Codsall Road, Wolverhampton (letter)

Surrey Mirror 27.5.04 Swan drowns as fishing-line row grows at lakes - A SWAN was drowned by fishing twine at Earlswood Lakes - prompting a bird lover to accuse some fishermen of targeting them. John Potts, from Outwood Swan Sanctuary, said the dead bird became ensnared in 120ft of line last Thursday…. (story)

Canary Wharf Weekly 27.5.04 DIRECT ACTION - A STATE Street director has fallen victim to animal activists who threw paint stripper on his cars. The attack, understood to be the work of the Animal Liberation Front, happened on Wednesday (May 19) at the Kent home of the employee… (story)

The Scientist 27.5.04 Animal activists arrested - By Ted Agres - US federal authorities yesterday (May 26) arrested and charged seven members of an animal rights organization with conducting a campaign to "terrorize" officers, employees, and companies associated with Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS)… The five-count indictment, handed up by a federal grand jury in New Jersey on May 20 and unsealed with yesterday's arrests, charges Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA (SHAC-USA) and seven of its members with animal enterprise terrorism, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 3 years in prison and a $250,000 fine… Among those arrested yesterday was SHAC-USA president Kevin Kjonas, also known as Kevin Jonas…. (story)

Somerset Standard 28.5.04 LIVESTOCK MARKETS RISK DISEASE, CLAIMS ANIMAL WELFARE GROUP - Cattle and livestock markets are a disease timebomb which could spark a catastrophe on the scale of foot-and-mouth, an animal welfare group has warned. The grim prophecy comes after undercover film crews from the charity Animal Aid claim they recorded cruelty at flagship West sales, including Frome…. Ajaye Curry, the organisation's campaigns officer, said: "Livestock markets were right at the centre of the foot-and-mouth outbreak yet our report shows clearly that lessons have not been learnt…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 27.5.04 Fresh calls for ban on pet fur trade - EURO MP Struan Stevenson has renewed calls for the European Commission to ban the sale of cat and dog fur in light of a ruling in Australia where the government has outlawed the trade… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 27.5.04 TOUGHER LINE NEEDED IN CRUELTY CASES - I HAVE stepped back from writing about recent animal cruelty cases such as the maggot-infested Shetland pony and the dog that had her throat cut in order to study the letters from your readers about the matter…. I think what is needed are special judging panels set up with people from animal refuge and welfare centres on the bench to deal specifically with ALL cases of animal cruelty and lack of decent welfare…. They should be the ones who are given the task of sentencing the cruel scumbags who administer the horrific injuries we have to read about. GUS PROUD Skinburness Village, Silloth (letter)

The Forester 27.5.04 HELP STOP SLAUGHTER OF HORSES IN FRANCE - I Was so happy to read about Harvey Gwilliam's rescue of horses from export for slaughter to France… I have printed postcards stating the case addressed to the Environment Minister, Ben Bradshaw, which require only a signature and a second class stamp, which I will gladly send to anyone who cares to ring me… Sheilah Fielding, Dymock (letter)

26.5.04

Lincolnshire Echo 26.5.04 HARE COURSING PETITION - An animal welfare organisation is calling for the people of Lincolnshire to help clamp down on hare coursing. Lincs Ark is a welfare organisation which is dedicated to the peaceful targeting of areas of animal neglect in the county. With recent news of a rise in hare coursing both in the county and across Britain, it has organised a petition against the sport…. The aim of the petition is to campaign for hare coursing to be made illegal, with or without the permission of the landowner… (story)
Boston Standard 26.5.04 Sign petition and do your bit to protect neglected animals - WE REFER to the recent press interest in illegal hare coursing in Lincolnshire. Links Ark, an animal welfare organisation, formed in 2003, is dedicated to the peaceful targeting of areas of animal neglect, within our region. We are currently in the process of requesting members of the public to add their names to our petition, to be presented to the government…. The Committee of Lincs Ark PO Box 155, Boston, Lincs (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 26.5.04 MP U-TURN AFTER DEATH OF BIRD? - I heard, with sadness, that an osprey at Rutland Water has been shot dead… Now will Mr Tipping see sense and press for a ban on all guns and blood sports? Killing for pleasure is evil, its endorsement is irresponsible. L. KING Main Street Linby (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.5.04 ALLIANCE BULLIES BLAIR AND PUBLIC - It is outrageous for the bloodsports organisation, the Countryside Alliance, to threaten the Government with blackmail, as suggested in the article "Summer of flak if Blair bans hunting". I would like to remind this small, rich and powerful minority, who seem to have nothing better to do than ride round the countryside with a pack of dogs, chasing and killing wildlife (not to mention the odd cat who gets in the way), that the vast majority of people want a ban…. Helen Weeks West Coker Somerset (letter)

Shropshire Star 26.5.04 Remarks on sheep appalling - I would like to reply to J Roberts's letter, Forget the foxes - why not hunt the sheep… His reference to sheep hunting is appalling, has he forgotten the horrendous scenes of killing and burning of these innocent animals during the foot and mouth epidemic? Joan Price, Llanfihangel (letter)
Shropshire Star 12.5.04 Forget the foxes - why not hunt the sheep? - With all this talk about banning fox hunting I think I have the solution. A friend and I go walking in Wales every week and it is over-run with sheep. We can't sit down to eat our lunch because of the sheep droppings everywhere, and they smell… The solution ... sheep hunting!... J Roberts, Shrewsbury (letter)

Guardian 26.5.04 Eco sounding - Owen Bowcott … Animal welfare minister Ben Bradshaw recently promised to "help angling clubs deal with the increasing problem of predation by cormorants." Conservative MP David Heathcoat-Amory was swift to exploit rivalry between species. "The government is promoting the interests of those who like dragging fish around in the water with sharp hooks, while wishing to ban hunting with dogs," he told the Commons…. (story)

Redditch Advertiser/Alcester Chronicle 26.5.04 Make way for all the fun of the fish - A GLIMPSE of Redditch's thriving fish hook manufacturing past will be offered when the national Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair comes to town. The Abbey Stadium will be opening its doors on Sunday to anglers who want to buy, sell or swap fishing tackle, books, cased fish or angling trophies…. (story in archive)

Plymouth Herald 26.5.04 PUT YOUR QUESTIONS TO THE PROSPECTIVE POLITICIANS - Voters will get the chance to put prospective politicians on the spot at an election question time being staged in the city. As elections to the city council and European Parliament loom on June 10, a forum is being held for prospective candidates to answer questions from the public at the Swarthmore, Centre, Mutley Plain, tomorrow at 7.30pm… The meeting is set to see a wide range of issues tackled, which could include nuclear submarines at Devonport Dockyard, lowering the voting age to 16, animal testing, and the referendum on the European Constitution… (story)

Irish Examiner 26.5.04 Ban the export of horses for slaughter - THE Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) is a registered charity involved in rescuing and rehabilitating neglected or abused horses and ponies… and it recently launched a petition to have the export of live horses for slaughter outlawed… The trust is asking all involved in the forthcoming elections to declare their support for legislation to outlaw this cruel trade… Sharon Newsome, Director, Irish Horse Welfare Trust, Ballydonnell Stables, Redcross, Co Wicklow (letter)

VIVA! VCJD LETTER
Gloucester Citizen 26.5.04 SO MANY RISKS FOR MEAT EATERS - ALISTAIR CURRIE via e-mail (letter)
Western Daily Press 25.5.04 VEGETARIANS AREN'T PRONE TO DISEASES - MEAT-EATERS ARE - Alistair Currie Campaigns Office Viva! (letter)
Glasgow Evening Times 25.5.04 A meat free diet - The news that more people than previously thought may be infected with vCJD in the UK (Evening Times, May 21) is very distressing. This horrific illness is, however, at the very bottom of the list of life-threatening diseases caused by meat…. In contrast, there are no serious illnesses whatsoever linked by epidemiologists to vegetarianism. ALISTAIR CURRIE, Via e-mail (letter)

STROUD PIGEON CULL
Stroud News & Journal 26.5.04 Feathers ruffled by pigeon cull by David Gibbs - IN a week when there has been an outcry over robins killed at a Gloucestershire garden centre for hygiene reasons, Stroud has also been getting in a flap over the launch of the district council's campaign to cull the town's pigeons… Once trapped in cages the pigeons are taken away and dispatched using a tool akin to a pair of pliers to break their necks, a method the district council have defended as humane. But this has excited an anonymous anti-cull movement, which this week was sabotaging council traps and distributing leaflets imploring residents to oppose the campaign… (story in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 24.5.04 PIGEON CULL IS BARBARIC SAY TOWN'S BIRD LOVERS - A Cull of pigeons has begun in Stroud - but lovers of the "beautiful birds" are fighting back… Anonymous animal-lovers have sabotaged the traps and distributed anti-cull leaflets…. local resident Helen Nightingale described the use of the pliers as "barbaric," insisting she did not consider pigeons to be a particular problem… (story)

25.5.04

Mid Devon Gazette 25.5.04 AMANDA ON RIGHT SCENT - People have the opportunity to view an exhibition of photos before they are transferred to London's prestigious Space Gallery. Amanda Lockhart has chosen Loyton Lodge, near Morebath, to premier her new exhibition called 'Scent', a collection of hunting photographs. The pictures, taken over the last four years, feature images of over 100 hunts… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.5.04 DON'T LET HOUSE OF LORDS FRUSTRATE THE COMMONS - Exeter mp Ben Bradshaw tells me: "It is not just the Hunting Bill that the House of Lords can frustrate or defeat, but the entire Government legislative agenda, should they so wish."… What right has this unelected chamber to frustrate a Bill sent to them by our Members of Parliament in the Commons?... John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.5.04 DEER CULL IS A CONTRADICTION - While it is very good news that the lower Wye Valley has been given a £1.3million boost for conservation… the minus side is the cull of the deer… We seem to be forever killing in the name of conservation - Pamela Dean Whiteshill Nr Stroud Glos (letter)

ABPI FIGURES SHOW INCREASE IN ANIMAL RIGHTS VIOLENCE
Burton Mail 25.5.04 Activists step up campaign of terror, research reveals by DAVID POWLES - ANIMAL rights activists are increasingly using illegal tactics to get their message heard, latest figures have revealed. New research by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has found that violent attacks and intimidation of people linked to controversial firms is on the increase … Protesters against Darley Oaks Farm have stepped-up their campaign in recent months after a letter was sent out to staff at the farm promising to carry out a 'series of sustained and serious attacks' against them and their families…. (story)
Guardian 24.5.04 Industry berates animal extremists' intimidation campaign - Polly Curtis - The pharmaceutical industry today claimed violent attacks against its members by animal rights extremists had dramatically increased in the space of a year. The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry said data from the first three months of 2004 showed instances of damage to property had doubled…. (story)
Independent 24.5.04 Animal rights extremists step up attacks By Ciar Byrne - Animal rights extremists are launching an increasing number of violent attacks and making greater use of intimidation methods, figures show. The number of instances of damage to public and private property by the fanatics more than doubled in the first three months of the year compared to the similar period in 2003. Between January and March, there were 46 recorded incidents, including 34 attacks on vehicles mainly involving corrosive fluid, shows research by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.... (story)
Scotsman 24.5.04 Animal rights fanatics 'have stepped up campaign' - JOHN INNES - EVIDENCE of escalating intimidation and violence by animal rights extremists is revealed today by medical researchers…. There were also 32 visits to the homes of company directors, compared with ten in the same period last year, according to figures from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)… Dr Mark Matfield, a spokesman for the new group Victims of Animal Rights Extremism (VARE), said: "We’ve known for some time that the situation generally is getting worse, and these figures confirm that…." (story)
Glasgow Herald 24.5.04 Attacks on animal researchers increase - RAYMOND DUNCAN - RESEARCHERS claim they are being subjected to rising levels of intimidation and violence by animal rights activists. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry reported there were 46 instances of damage to personal, company and public property between January and March this year – more than double the number in the first quarter of 2003…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 25.5.05 DO YOUR BIT TO HELP POOR GREYHOUNDS - Animal-lovers across the west will be highlighting the plight of ex-racing greyhounds this week as part of Greyhound Awareness Week, organised by Greyhound Action…. Greyhound Action is asking people not to bet on greyhound racing or visit dog tracks in protest against the cruelty…. Gina Harris, by e-mail. (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 25.5.04 CASH CRISIS BITES AT RSPCA - Up to three animals a month are being turned away by the Lincoln RSPCA because the charity does not have enough funds to look after them. The branch has suffered a cash crisis, having raised only £2,100 through fund-raising last year…. RSPCA inspector Dean Astill-Dunseith said the work of the Lincoln branch was vital. "If I go to an accident where a cat has been run over, the first part of the examination is paid for by the national RSPCA," he said. "If the cat needs long term care, which can be weeks or even months, this is all paid for by the Lincoln branch…" (story)

24.5.04

Horse & Hound 24.5.04 Hurworth hound bound for India - An Old English Foxhound will tomorrow board a plane at Heathrow to begin a new life – and a new line – in India. Four-year-old Shepherd, from the Hurworth hunt in North Yorkshire, is to join the Ooty hunt, based at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in Nilgiris, Southern India, for breeding purposes…. (story)
Northern Echo 28.4.04 Tally ho! Foxhound Shepherd heads for India by Hannah Chapman - A foxhound is about to leave its kennels to travel half way around the world to answer a call for help from a hunt in India. Four-year-old Shepherd - an Old English foxhound from the Hurworth Hunt pack, based at West Rounton, North Yorkshire - is wanted for breeding. Next month, he will leave his familiar surroundings and fly out to join the Ooty Hunt, which is based at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in the Nilgiris area of southern India…. (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 24.5.04 SUMMER OF FLAK IF BLAIR BANS HUNTING - Pro-hunting campaigners are ready for a summer of protests if Tony Blair pushes through a hunting ban bill in July…. The Countryside Alliance said it is ready to "swing into action" if the ban goes ahead. But it said it will wait for official word from the Government before planning its next move… (story)

Mirror 24.5.04 BIG PUSH FOR HUNT LAW BAN By Oonagh Blackman - MINISTERS plan to push a ban on fox hunting through Parliament in a single day. A Bill is set to be pushed through the Commons by the end of the year… (story)

Times 24.5.04 Farmers call for crackdown on illegal hare coursing BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - FARMERS and landowners are demanding laws to protect them from violent gangs who organise illegal hare coursing on their land. They have been shocked by the scale of intimidation and violence they have encountered, according to a survey for the National Farmers Union (NFU)…. (story)
Times 24.5.04 'He hit me with a pickaxe' BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - ONE farmer from Buckinghamshire still lives with the pain of a broken jaw nine months after confronting illegal coursers on his land. The 53-year-old man, who does not wish to be identified, is now campaigning for laws to protect landowners (story)

Bristol Evening Post 24.5.04 PROTEST ON RACING HOUNDS Opponents of greyhound racing are planning a major protest outside a bookmakers in Clifton today. The Greyhound Action Group aims to highlight the suffering it claims racing greyhounds are put through for the sport. The action will take place outside the William Hill bookmakers on Triangle South from noon until 2pm. Bristol spokeswoman, Gina Harris, said: "We have rescued many ex-racing greyhounds over the last few years, including dogs that have been starved and badly neglected…." (story)

Torquay Herald Express 24.5.04 ANIMAL AID WARNING - Two of Devon's top livestock markets at Newton Abbot and Exeter were not included in the latest survey by Animal Aid MarketWatchers, but that doesn't mean they will escape scrutiny next time. The findings in its report, relating to both welfare and biosecurity, reinforce Animal Aid's position on markets - to encourage people to adopt an animal-free diet but to ensure that animals are kept free from stress at those markets operating…. (story)

23.5.04

Sunday Times 23.5.04 Blair to enforce foxhunting ban - DAVID CRACKNELL AND ANDREW PORTER - IN A surprise move Tony Blair is to push through a ban on foxhunting in the autumn in an attempt to shore up support among restless Labour backbenchers. The government will reintroduce a bill to ban hunting and will take it through the Commons either in July, before the Commons rises for the summer recess, or in the short session in September when it returns… (story)
Independent on Sunday 23.5.04 Hunting ban to be forced through in a single day Blood sports: Opponents confident of success at last - but supporters are threatening a major wave of civil disobedience By Andy McSmith, Political Editor - Fox-hunting is threatening to become the summer's hottest political issue, with ministers planning to rush through a Bill banning the sport in a single day, The Independent on Sunday can reveal… this time the anti-hunt lobby insists that the Commons will invoke the Parliament Act to force the measure through, making hunting illegal before the 2006 season begins…. Victoria Collins is one of thousands who have signed a pledge to break the law and risk prison if necessary to preserve what they regard as a way of life…. Miss Collins has grown up in a household that depended on the hunt for its very existence. In the year she was born - she is now 25 - her father Bob Collins gave up farming to take up a post as huntsman with the Hampshire hunt…. "We're not just going to wait for the ban to happen. I'm sure there will be many more protests. Everybody feels so strongly about it." (story)

Bedfordshire on Sunday 23.5.04 Farmers' fear of blood sport fans - Illegal hare coursing is bringing violence and intimidation to the region's farms. More than half of the 102 farmers questioned in a National Farmers' Union (NFU) East Anglia survey said they had been threatened or attacked by gangs of coursers in the last 12 months…. (story)

Observer 23.5.04 Leading surgeon backs animal testing - Robin McKie, science editor - One of the country's top brain surgeons has launched an uncompromising attack on the government's decision to set up a centre to promote alternatives to animal experiments. 'There is no substitute for carrying out experiments on animals and it is dishonest to suggest otherwise,' Professor Tipu Aziz told The Observer. 'If we want to rid ourselves of the scourge of brain disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, we have to face the fact that we need to carry out animal experiments.'… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 23.5.04 Sticking the boot in - I could not help but chuckle at Tom Parker Bowles's seething comments about the efforts of People for the Ethical Treatment on Animals (Peta) to protect animals. Peta is as proud to be known by our enemies as by our friends… Dawn Carr, Director, Peta Europe, London SE1 (letter)

22.5.04

Western Daily Press 22.5.04 SUBJECTIVE PAIN - I am neither a hunting man nor an "anti"… Some of your correspondents fulminate about the pain and suffering of the fox being torn to pieces by the hounds, but they never mention the pain and suffering of the chickens, rabbits, and so on, being torn to pieces by the fox. Ralph Sheffield Weston-super-Mare Somerset… (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 22.5.04 ANGLERS IN LINE - Is it democratic to close off the debate as soon as the other side fails to agree with you (May 18)?... When the townies and their allies have killed off our countryside traditions, will they start on the bullfighting, the racoon and possum hunting, the boar hunting? The anglers will be next…. MAURICE SCOTT Bedford (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 18.5.04 DEMOCRACY ON SIDE OF HUNT PROTESTERS - In response to Kay Chapman (May 7), I really do not expect any logic from any member of the Countryside Alliance…. Those objectives remain the preservation of their feudal system and the belief that they have the right to persecute one or more species merely to satisfy their baser urges… A former hunt master (Stephen Gerald Parkin of Whitemoor, Cornwall) admitted causing an 11-month-old female foxhound unnecessary suffering while he was master of South Cornwall Hunt and Kennel Huntsman…. The Speaker of the House of Commons automatically uses the Parliament Act and duly sends the Bill for Royal Assent. This could be given in November 2004. This would mean that Ms Chapman and her misguided cohorts would be committing a criminal offence should they continue their cruel practices any time after February 2005… RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln. (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 8.5.04 LABOUR STUCK TO ITS HUNT PLEDGE - Rachel Astill-Dunseith (May 1) has a strange view of democracy. She seems to think any group which donates funds to a party can expect its agenda to be delivered even if it is contrary to evidence, principle and basic freedoms…. The hunting community has long supported the concept of a logical, workable licensing system which would give reassurance of highest possible standards. The only ones blocking this are those for whom this issue is more about prejudice against people who go hunting than welfare of the hunted animal. KAY CHAPMMAN East Midlands Director, Countryside Alliance. (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 1.5.04 NO RETREAT FROM THE HUNTING BILL - The Hunting Bill (April 17) must be brought back to bring about the end of this anachronistic, barbaric and unjustifiable excuse for tormenting one species of animal. Mr Oborne speaks of a Bill inflaming and dividing the country. It is a little late in the day to assert this, as this is already the case regarding this controversial issue…. RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.5.04 VOTE TO BAN HUNTING WITH DOGS MUST BE RESPECTED - A recent Countryside Alliance press release claims that 99 per cent of the public, including Labour voters, consider the Bill to ban hunting with dogs to be an absurd waste of time and not a Government priority… The delay in enacting the Hunting Bill has not been caused by those opposed to the sport. There should be no need to challenge the Bill in the courts if the Countryside Alliance would gracefully accept the will of the people and their democratically elected MPs. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 22.5.04 No choking, John! SIR - May I offer my abject apologies to John Hall… So sorry to hear it made him choke - something I personally think should, like bloodsports, be made illegal especially for fellow T&A letter writers with a neat turn of phrase…. Sid Brown, Glenhurst Road, Shipley. (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.5.04 TOP COOKS SAMPLE THE TASTE OF DEVON - Celebrity chefs have been praising the quality of local produce during the Devon County Show. Clarissa Dickson Wright, who rode to fame in a motorcycle sidecar in the TV cookery programme Two Fat Ladies, has been championing rural living. She was manning the stall of the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, where she was signing copies of her new book. There she was keen to share her passion for field sports and traditional activities… (story)

NATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE REPLACEMENT, REFINEMENT AND REDUCTION OF ANIMALS IN RESEARCH LAUNCH
Independent 22.5.04 New animal research centre sets goal of phasing out tests By Danielle Demetriou Government plans to scale back the use of animals in scientific research announced yesterday were criticised by anti-vivisectionists who said the board overseeing the changes included figures associated with vivisection... Jan Creamer, of the National Anti-Vivisection Society, said: "This is a missed opportunity for the Government...." (story)
Telegraph 22.5.04 Minister backs centre to cut tests on animals By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent - Proposals for a national centre designed to cut the use of animals in experiments and minimise their suffering were unveiled yesterday…. The National Anti-Vivisection Society described the proposal as a "sham"…. (story)
Times 22.5.04 More cash to help welfare of laboratory animals BY MARK HENDERSON - GOVERNMENT spending on the welfare of laboratory animals is to double this year, with the establishment of a national centre for research into improvements and alternatives to animal testing…. Wendy Higgins of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection said: “Our fear remains that a national centre risks being hijacked by an agenda focused more on ‘refinement and reduction’ than on ‘replacement’.”… (story)
New Scientist 21.5.04 UK boosts quest for animal experiment alternatives - A new centre in the UK will boost the quest for alternatives to animal experiments. Unveiled on Friday, the centre will not do research itself, but will act as a new focus for all research geared to the so-called three Rs - replacement, refinement and reduction…. Initially the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research will be based at the headquarters of the UK's Medical Research Council, a decision criticised by antivivisectionists. "We fiercely oppose such a plan because of the MRC's pro-vivisection bias," says the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection… (story)
Telegraph 21.5.04 New centre aims to cut animal testing - Plans for a new national centre to reduce the use of animals in scientific testing have been unveiled by the Government. However, animal welfare groups were warned they would have to sign up to all of the centre's aims if they wanted a seat on its board… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 21.5.04 ANIMAL RESEARCH TO BE CUT BACK - Ministers today unveiled plans for a new national centre to reduce the use of animals in scientific testing but warned welfare groups they would have to sign up to all of its aims if they wanted a seat on its board…. (story)
Reuters 21.5.04 New centre to cut animal testing unveiled By Ben Hirschler - LONDON (Reuters) - The government says it is establishing a new centre designed to minimise the number of animals used in medical experiments… (story)
BBC News Online 20.5.04 Shake up of animal tests expected - The UK Government is tomorrow expected to announce a radical shake-up in the way animal experiments are controlled. Science minister Lord Sainsbury will outline proposals likely to include the creation of a new national centre for "best practice" in animal testing…. (story)

21.5.04

East Grinstead Courier 21.5.04 DOG SNATCHED FROM GARDEN BY SHEILA GOW - A Distraught animal-lover from Ashurst Wood is pleading for the safe return of her border terrier after it was snatched from her garden on Monday just 10 months after it was last the victim of dog-nappers. Last July, there were joyful scenes when a dramatic police chase led to Dhileas, then five years old, being reunited with Helen Relf… But despite extra security, including a large padlock on the gate, the tiny, pedigree bitch was again plucked from the garden by being pulled through a gap… "I have told everyone in the village, the dog is micro-chipped, and the hunt people know. She is quite distinct, small and friendly. She is all I have got and I don't know where to look."… In the past three years, she has been the target of vandals. A suspected "bomb" under her car in March 2001 was thought to be the work of hunt saboteurs. In later incidents, red paint was thrown over her car, it was smashed on two occasions and the keys stolen… (story)
East Grinstead Observer 19.5.04 Dog thief leaves pensioner distraught - A DISTRAUGHT pensioner is appealing for the return of her canine companion, stolen from her garden for the second time in a year…. Mrs Relph, 67, believes the thief squeezed Dhileas through the bars of a padlocked gate…. A neighbour saw a metallic blue Ford estate car with a roof rack outside the house at the time of the theft…. The driver is described as having light ginger hair and was wearing a short-sleeved shirt with brown stripes.(story)

Yorkshire Post 21.5.04 From: Ken Holmes, Cliffe Common, Selby, York. It looks as if the horse racing authorities are pre-empting the banning of fox hunting: they have already decided to do away with the centuries-old title "National Hunt Racing" and substitute it with the daft title "British Jump Racing"… (letter)

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE EDM LETTER
Driffield Times 21.5.04 HUNTING TO HIGHEST STANDARDS - Simon Hart, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, Kennington Road, London, writes . . . Mr Fox (May 5) is entirely wrong to suggest that I have no interest in winning the debate on hunting. The reason my letter addressed the subject of backbench MPs skewed priorities rather than the case for hunting itself is that no-one outside a handful of animal rights extremists still believes there is any case for a ban…. The House of Lords did not filibuster the Bill. Peers were in the process of recreating a Bill to licence hunting with massive cross party support when through lack of time the Bill failed…. (letter)
Western Daily Press 21.5.04 EYEWITNESS TO HUNT HORRORS - In reply to Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and blood sports supporter, I also have a copy of the Burns report, which people interpret and extract paragraphs from to suit themselves…. I have written to the Western Daily Press on many occasions on human and animal welfare and also given details of events I have witnessed…. M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Central Somerset Gazette 20.5.04 CARE ABOUT HUNTING AND SCHOOLS - In response to the letter by Simon Hart of the Countryside Alliance in the May 13 edition of the Central Somerset Gazette, I would like to take exception to his letter. I am a member of the electorate and I actually care about the issues of fox hunting. How he can say that only two per cent of the public are against fox hunting with dogs I do not know… Sue Wilton, Ashcott (letter)
North Devon Journal 20.5.04 PUBLIC EXPECTS POLITICIANS TO PASS BAN ON HUNTING - The chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, Simon Hart, has claimed spending more Parliamentary time on hunting will provoke an outbreak of despair among the public… The League Against Cruel Sports agrees with him about the best use of Parliamentary time. That is why we support the return of the Hunting Bill, which could be passed by the Commons in one day and the Lords in another, and would see at long last a ban on hunting… DOUGLAS BATCHELOR, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports, Union Street, London.
THE Countryside Alliance must be really desperate if it is willing to commission a poll which confirms the blindingly obvious, the vast majority of the public want the Government to make further improvements in education and health care… JEANNE YOUNG, NW League Against Cruel Sports, PO Box 359, Chorley. (letters)
Hillingdon Times 20.5.04 Hunting with dogs is unpopular - ban it now - THE Countryside Alliance must be really desperate if it is willing to commission a poll which confirms the blindingly obvious… Jeanne Young. North West League Against Cruel Sports, PO Box 359, Chorley, PR6 8WA (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 18.5.04 Shameful sport - Sir - The Countryside Alliance must be desperate if it is willing to commission a poll which confirms the blindingly obvious… Far from being `ridiculous' as Simon Hart of the Countryside Alliance (T&A, May 6) claims, MPs know just how unpopular blood sports are with their constituents…. Jeanne Young, North West League Against Cruel Sports, Chorley (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 17.5.04 Time for decision on blood sports - THE Countryside Alliance must be really desperate if it is willing to commission a poll which confirms the blindingly obvious: the vast majority of the public want the government to make further improvements in education and health care…. Far from being 'ridiculous' as Simon Hart of the Countryside Alliance (Letters, April 26) claims, MPs know full well just how unpopular bloodsports are with their constituents. Even Arnold Greenhalgh, Master of the Holcombe Hunt, acknowledges this and stated, "Everyone seems opposed to foxhunting and we do live in a democracy."… JEANNE YOUNG, North West League Against Cruel Sports, PO Box 359, Chorley. (letter in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 15.5.04 FOR THE FOXES' SAKE - The chief executive of the Countryside Alliance (formerly the British Field Sports Society) claims less than two per cent of the public would support the government on banning hunting. It would be interesting to know where that figure came from - perhaps amongst members of the Countryside Alliance?... The elected House of Commons (i.e. our MPs) actually passed the Hunting Bill in July 2003, but it was rejected by the unelected House of Lords…. Despite assertions of the Countryside Alliance, support for a hunting ban is still very strong, and pressure from the public and MPs is imperative in getting the Government to reintroduce the Hunting Bill to the House of Commons. JO FORSYTH Lyme View Close, Torquay (letter)
Central Somerset Gazette 13.5.04 HUNTING IS HARDLY AN ISSUE Simon Hart Chief executive Countryside Alliance 367 Kennington Road London SE11 4P (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.5.04 LOGIC RUNS AWAY WITH HUNT CRITIC - M J Haines is as creative as ever with both his statistics and his arguments. Unfortunately, his logic is deeply flawed. Claiming that the Countryside Alliance is responsible for wasting parliamentary time on hunting is as sensible as blaming a victim of crime for wasting police time…. The Bill was "wrecked", as Minister Alun Michael described it, by backbench MPs who rejected the findings of the Burns Report, and the public consultation process that followed, in obsessive, prejudiced pursuit of a ban on hunting…. Simon Hart Chief Executive Countryside Alliance (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 12.5.04 ANTI-HUNTING BRIGADE REPRESENT MAJORITY - In this week's letters column of your sister paper the Weekender, the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance proposes that a ban on hunting is only an issue with the Labour Party,… Yet what is the truth, hunting with dogs is a sickening prospect, if any of your readers or those of the Weekender ever witnessed hare coursing, in which a small animal was set upon by a pack of about 20 to 30 ravenous dogs. They are not fed on the morning of the hunt, otherwise they would not hunt, in a sickening burst of savagery, tear to pieces a live and conscious animal… BARRY KAYE, Chairman, Teignbridge Constituency Labour Party (letter)
Western Daily Press 8.5.04 MPS ARE OUT OF TOUCH ON SUPPORT - Your correspondent Jean Turner is timely in questioning the polling evidence that supports Simon Hart's statement that only two per cent of the population think that hunting should be a priority. That figure is questionable, but only because a new NOP poll published recently showed that 99 per cent of the population now think that the Government should be concentrating on other issues… Alison Hawes, South West Regional Director, The Countryside Alliance (letter)
Cheshire Chronicle 7.5.04 A PERSISTENT and vociferous minority within the Labour Party is suggesting it might once again be a good idea to concentrate on banning hunting, despite the fact that less than 2% of the public agree…. SIMON HART Chief Executive Countryside Alliance 367 Kennington Road London SE11 4PT (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 6.5.04 SIR, - A persistent and vociferous minority within the Labour Party is suggesting that it might once again be a good idea to concentrate on banning hunting… (letter)
North Devon Journal 6.5.04 HUNT BAN OBSESSION NOT GOOD - SIMON HART, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, Kennington Road, London (letter)
Wharfedale Observer 6.5.04 No priority - Simon Hart, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, 367 Kennington Road, London. (letter in archive)
Driffield Times 5.5.04 OPPONENTS BECOME MORE DETERMINED - Christopher W Fox, of Watersedge Driffield - Simon Hart (April 28) accuses Labour Party backbenchers of being obsessed with banning hunting… In his letter, Mr Hart tries to divert attention from hunting by saying that other issues are more important… doesn't any proposal generate opposition from those who dislike it? (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.5.04 ALLIANCE ROLE TO SAVE HUNT - As the Chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and, I believe, related to the Hart family of the Master of Foxhounds Association, Simon Hart knows only too well the main reason for setting up the Alliance - to try to save blood sports…. The anti-hunt campaigners take their stalls out on to the streets and know the signatures and support they get from the majority of the public…. M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 3.5.04 ABSURD LINE BY PRO-HUNT CROWD - We all know it's backs-to-the-wall time for the hunt fraternity but, even so, the letter (April 23) from Simon Hart, of the Countryside Alliance, is really the height of absurdity…. Jean Turner, Plympton, Devon (letter)
South London Press 30.4.04 - TO THE vast majority of the population whose wish list is for good hospitals, safer streets and better schools, more time spent on hunting will provoke an outbreak of despair… Simon Hart, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, Kennington Road, Kennington (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 30.4.04 CATALANS SHOW THE WAY WITH BULLFIGHTING BAN - I wonder if Simon Hart, of the Countryside Alliance, Points of view, April 26, has noted that the good people of Barcelona have recently banned bullfighting. Of course, a number of traditionalists lament its passing and the loss of employment… Neither has anyone come up with a bogus opinion poll, which combines using a sentient creature as a plaything with improvements to the health service - as if anybody needs to choose… G R Holwill, Stoke Hill Crescent, Exeter (letter)
Western Gazette 29.4.04 HUNTING BAN HARDLY REGISTERS AS ISSUE - Simon Hart, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Hillingdon Times 29.4.04 Forget hunting and get to real issues - Simon Hart, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Berwick Advertiser 29.4.04 Government should reflect carefully on its priorities - SIMON HART, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, Kennington Road, London SE11 4PT. (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 27.4.04 Hunting obsession - Simon Hart, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, Kennington Road, London (letter in archive)
Exeter Express & Echo 27.4.04 GOVERNMENT COULD FACE BACKLASH OVER HUNTING - Simon Hart, Chief executive, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Western Mail 26.4.04 Hunting an obsession on Labour back benches - SIMON HART Chief ExecutiveCountryside AllianceKennington Road, London (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 26.4.04 Hunt ban a Labour obsession SIMON HART, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, Kennington Road, London. (letter in archive)
Bath Chronicle 26.4.04 HUNTING IS HARDLY AN ISSUE OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT - SIMON HART, Chief executive, Countryside Alliance, Kennington Road, London (letter)
Western Daily Press 26.4.04 GO TELL IT TO THE BIRDS, MR HART - I see by Simon Hart's latest letter to your paper that the Countryside Alliance has decided on the tack that "the people/electorate are not concerned with banning hunting"… I suggest you go tell it to the birds, Mr Hart. Rosemary Davies Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 24.4.04 HUNT HYPOCRISY - The hypocrisy of Mr Simon Hart in complaining about MPs wasting time on an anti-hunting bill is breathtaking.... Maggie Hughes Wotton-under-Edge Gloucestershire (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 23.4.04 MORE PRESSING ISSUES TO PURSUE - Simon Hart, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 23.4.04 Public don't care about hunt ban - Simon Hart Countryside Alliance London, SE11 4PT (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 23.4.04 BAN ON HUNTING IS NOT A PRIORITY - A persistent and vociferous minority within the Labour Party is suggesting that it might once again be a good idea to concentrate on a hunting ban, despite the fact that some polls suggest less than two per cent of the public agrees…. To the vast majority of the population, who want good hospitals, safer streets and better schools, more time spent on hunting will provoke despair - and in the countryside the reaction would be much stronger…. Through their obsession with hunting backbench MPs are making their Government look ridiculous. For their own sake, and that of the country, they would be well advised to concentrate on issues about which the electorate actually cares. Simon Hart Chief Executive Countryside Alliance (letter)

Darlington & Stockton Times 21.5.04 All at sea - Sir, - Well, that's the final straw - this Government has definitely lost its way. It is now proposing pointless, illogical restrictions on legitimate gun owners in its latest Controls on Firearms Consultation paper. Despite in its 2001 Manifesto saying it had no intention whatsoever of placing restrictions on the sport of shooting…. GEORGE WINN-DARLEY, Hutton-le-Hole. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 21.5.04 BADGER CULL MUST BE BASED ON SCIENCE - Contrary to comments attributed to Ian Johnson of the South West NFU (WMN, May 6), the Government has said repeatedly that will consider a badger culling policy in the fight against TB - but only on the basis of robust scientific evidence that it will help… Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Animal Health (letter)

BBC News Online 21.5.04 Is animal testing justified? - The UK Government has announced a radical change in the way animal experiments are controlled…. Do you think animal testing is justified? Can alternatives to animal testing be found and will they be effective? Send us your views…. (story)

20.5.04

HADLEIGH SHOW
Ipswich/Anglia Advertiser 20.5.04 Hit Show for Hadleigh - HUNDREDS of people flocked to Hadleigh for what turned out to be a scorcher of a May Show last weekend…. Highlights of the show, best viewed from the free grandstand, included a parade of foxhounds, beagles and bloodhounds, a vintage tractor parade and show jumping…. (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 17.5.04 Record crowds flock to Hadleigh Show - IT has bounced back from the foot-and-mouth crisis, defied wet weather and even Ipswich Town's frenzied play off game was no match for the Hadleigh Show. A record breaking crowd of more than 12,000 people visited the annual country show in the picturesque Holbecks Park on Saturday… the events in the main ring remained unchanged and the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds, East Anglian Bloodhounds and the Stour Valley Beagles also undertook their traditional parade…. (story)
Suffolk Evening Star 17.5.04 Huge crowd turn out 165th show - YOUNG and old were among a record-breaking crowd of more than 12,000 people who visited the Hadleigh Show in the picturesque Holbecks Park on Saturday… Events in the main ring remained unchanged and the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds, East Anglian Bloodhounds and the Stour Valley Beagles also undertook their traditional parade…. (story)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 20.5.04 MPs should deal with other issues - MPs who have signed an Early Day Motion calling for more parliamentary time to be spent on hunting are ridiculous and out of touch…. Kay Chapman East Midlands Director, Countryside Alliance (letter)

Western Morning News 20.5.04 ANTI-HUNT MPS OBSESSED - A total of 220 Labour MPs recently signed a Commons Early Day motion calling on the Government to put hunting at the top of the parliamentary agenda yet again. At a time of momentous world events and pressing domestic concerns about health, education, crime, pensions, transport, housing, the EU Constitution etc., I wonder what your readers make of their obsession with this issue… Peter Presland, General Secretary, Hunting for Tolerance (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.5.04 DEER AREN'T ONLY VICTIMS It is no surprise to me that deer-ramming in four-by-fours is becoming more commonplace and spreading to the countryside… Other examples include: Horses, plus riders, terrier-men, followers and 30 dogs chasing foxes, deer, hares and mink to exhaustion and a violent death; the mass shooting of hand-reared pheasants, partridges and other birds by organised gangs of beaters and gunmen… Obviously, these kind of people cannot condemn these actions by callous youths, as they are involved in the exact same callous killing of wildlife themselves. M Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Yorkshire Post 20.5.04 Hunting ban a vote loser From: Jane Slater, Wressle, Near Selby, North Yorkshire. WHEN the country kicked out John Major and his gang in 1997, I felt we had seen the end of incompetent politicians, but recent events have made me think again. In its place we have a Government that has connived at the occupation of Iraq, is determined to exclude poorer children from having a university education, and supports private healthcare. And what does Hugh Bayley MP (Labour, York) think about it? I can't tell, because his mind is always too occupied with the eradication of field sports…. (letter)

Wandsworth Guardian/Comet 20.5.04 Fox hunting back on agenda - Why on earth has Putney Tony Colman MP signed an early day motion calling on the Government to try and ban hunting again? Hasn't he got anything better to do with his time?... J ROWLAND-ROUSE Malbrook Road London (letter)

Cornish Guardian 20.5.04 SHOTGUN LAW CHANGES SLAMMED BY NFU CHIEF - Strict new laws could be introduced to regulate shotgun ownership which would affect thousands of shooting enthusiasts in Cornwall. The Home Office has put forward plans for wide-ranging changes which it says are part of a crackdown on gun crime. Suggestions include restricting the use of shotguns by under 18s or even a complete ban and requiring shotgun owners to undergo mandatory training and testing…. Ian Johnson, spokesman for the National Farmers' Union in the South West, said: "Once again it is the innocent suffering for the guilty. There is nothing to suggest that these restrictions will work…. (story)

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY ANGLING REPORT
Exeter Express & Echo 20.5.04 NOTE TO MP: SEA TROUT ARE NOT 'DOING WELL' - Ben Bradshaw My point of view, Echo, May 12, rightly praises the benefits of angling and its contribution to our economy - namely £3bn a year. I am also pleased that Mr Bradshaw has expressed concern about fish predation by cormorants but I must take issue with his comments on sea trout… The worrying decline in salmon stocks mean that more and more people are fishing for sea trout… Evidence suggests that taking the nets off has had a positive effect on fish numbers and I would urge Mr Bradshaw to support this measure. Charles Jardine, Director, Countryside Alliance Campaign for Angling, Kennington Road, London (letter)
Stratford Herald 14.5.04 Anglers' dream river 'hardly ever Þshed' - SOUTH Warwickshire's River Alne has been named in a government report as containing some of the most abundant fish stocks for a small river in England - but it's also one of the most under-fished. In Our Nation's Fisheries, the Environment Agency, which is responsible for fisheries in England and Wales, reports this week that thriving and diverse coarse fish populations are now present in more rivers than at any time in the past century… (story probably only on website for a week)
Exeter Express & Echo 12.5.04 BEN BRADSHAW - MY POINT OF VIEW - The first comprehensive report on the state of fish stocks in our streams and rivers makes encouraging reading for the nation's three million regular anglers…. (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 7.5.04 ARE THERE MORE ROACH IN THE RIVER? - Anglers can no longer say they missed 'the one that got away' because a major survey has revealed there are more fish in the River Trent than at any time in the past century. Pike, perch and roach are all flourishing - and even the stocks of salmon are slowly building up again, according to the Environment Agency… (story)
Guardian 5.5.04 Fresh water fish stocks revived - Paul Brown, environment correspondent - More fish are now found in greater numbers in rivers, lakes and canals in England and Wales than at any time since the 19th century. But one species, the eel, which had always been common, is disappearing. In the first comprehensive report into fresh water fish stocks in England and Wales, the Environment Agency celebrates the increase in stocks because of reducing pollution but says there are worrying developments, and the demise of the eel is the worst… (story)
Independent 5.5.04 Hooked on angling: why a nation spends £3bn on most popular hobby By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor - It might not be cool, like computer games. It might not be super-cool, like the iPod. But angling - old-fashioned, reliable angling - is still Britain's most popular pastime, and is now worth more than £3bn a year, according to the most comprehensive review of Britain's fisheries. Boosted by thriving fish populations in rivers that are getting steadily cleaner, angling continues to attract huge numbers of people, with nearly four million men, women and children saying they had gone fishing in the previous two years, the report from the Environment Agency says… (story)
Eastern Daily Press 5.5.04 Angling reels in millions - CHRIS BISHOP - East Anglia's ecomony is reeling in millions from the growing number of anglers fishing the region's waterways, says a report. The Environment Agency (EA) says Britain's three million regular anglers spend more than £1000 a year each on tackle, travel, accommodation and meals…. (story)
Western Mail 5.5.04 Teifi anglers fund 20 full-time jobs - Gareth Morgan, The Western Mail - A SPECIFIC Environment Agency study of the River Teifi in South-West Wales shows the annual contribution made by salmon and sea trout anglers to the local economy is estimated at £1m. It is thought that this funds the equivalent of some 20 full-time jobs, principally in the hotel and accommodation sector…. (story)
Daily Post 5.5.04 Moves to increase income from Welsh rivers - ANGLING tourism is generating more money than ever across Wales. But experts say the nation has the potential to get even better over the next three years. The Environment Agency said three million regular anglers spent on average more than £1,000 a year each on tackle, travel, accommodation and meals during their fishing trips… (story)
Newcastle Journal 5.5.04 Coarse fish revival By Tony Henderson Environment Editor, The Journal - Thriving coarse fish populations are now present in more northern rivers than at any time in the past century, says a report out today. The Environment Agency's Our nations' fisheries study is the most comprehensive report produced on the state of freshwater and migratory fish in England and Wales and reveals fish are returning to many previously polluted rivers…. (story)

Chichester Observer 20.5.04 Campaigners have got it wrong in snare row, says estate - Animal rights campaigners who have rounded on the Cowdray estate have been told they are barking up the wrong tree. Leading West Sussex animal rights figure Simon Wild has called for a ban on animal snares, already in existence on the Cowdray estate, to be extended to 'Cowdray land' in Scotland…. But Cowdray estate manager, Robert Windle, has rejected the calls saying the 53,000 acre estate in Aberdeenshire Mr Wild refers to is not controlled in any way by Viscount Cowdray himself… (story)

Scotsman 20.5.04 Deer numbers crisis may be exaggerated - JAMES REYNOLDS - ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT - CLAIMS that the number of deer in Scotland has reached crisis point because of poor management are exaggerated, according to a new report. Although there could be some environmental benefits to the mountain landscape from a reduction of deer numbers, there is an equal need to reduce the number of sheep, the study published in the scientific journal Nature claims…. a mass cull of deer at the Glenfeshie Estate led to a rift between gamekeepers and the Deer Commission for Scotland (DCS)… Now it seems that the concerns of the conservation bodies may have been "exaggerated", according to the new report… (story)
Times 20.5.04 Deer cull questioned BY MARK HENDERSON, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT - A DRASTIC cull of red deer may not be necessary to conserve the Scottish Highlands… a new study led by Tim Clutton-Brock, of Cambridge University, published today in the journal Nature, says that the rate of increase is probably much less marked than the report last year suggested… (story)

Cambridge Evening News 20.5.04 Life sciences hatred bred on web - THE Government has been urged to tighten the law to stop a protest group using the internet to promote hatred against Huntingdon Life Sciences. MP Jonathan Djanogly said Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) was using the web to incite violence against employees. Speaking in a House of Commons debate, the Huntingdon MP said HLS could not take action to close the website because it is based in the Netherlands…. (story)

Worcester Standard 20.5.04 School councillor accused at animal rights protest - ANIMAL rights campaigners held a series of demonstrations outside a city school this week to protest against a member of the school's council who they claim is a "sick" animal tester. People Against Animal Cruelty (PACA) strung up banners outside The Alice Ottley School in The Tything on Monday… The protestors claim that Dr Sue Hughes earns her money "torturing, maiming and murdering animals" and want her kicked from her position at the school… A Sequani spokesman said the experiments it carries out on animals are regulated by the Home Office and are designed to cause the minimum of discomfort to them…. (story)

Oxford Student 20.5.04 Animal activists out again - Heightened college security as SPEAK campaigners march in support of releasing the 'Oxford two' - Zoe Mernick-Levene - Colleges and University buildings were seriously disturbed by the march of animal rights activists SPEAK on Saturday afternoon. Approximately 100 people marched in the protest, part of an ongoing campaign against the building of a new animal research hotel on South Parks Road… During the previous march at the end of Hilary, damage was done to both Brasenose and Balliol colleges… (story)
Oxford Mail 17.5.04 Demo targets university animal centre - More than 100 anti-vivisection campaigners turned out for what police described as a peaceful demonstration against a new Oxford University animal research building. May 15's protest organised by the animal rights group Speak -- Voice of the Animals - began in Broad Street…. (story in archive)
BBC News Online 16.5.04 Protesters march over animal work - Demonstrators took to Oxford's streets on Saturday in protest at new premises at Oxford University for housing animals destined for research. More than 100 people marched from Broad Street in the city centre to the new £18m facility at the university's South Parks Road science area…. (story)

Swindon Advertiser 20.5.04 Animal testing protest call - ON Saturday, events will be taking place all over the UK and in dozens of countries across the world to protest at Procter & Gamble's animal testing policies. This will be the eighth Global P&G Day organised by national anti-vivisection organisation Uncaged Campaigns…. Swindon Animal Concern is taking part in the protest by having a stall in The Parade to give out leaflets and to ask people to sign a pledge not to buy P&G products. M Harrison, Beaulieu Close, Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)

Yorkshire Post 20.5.04 Good news on animal rules From: Richard Corbett MEP, Labour MEP for Yorkshire & the Humber, Blenheim Terrace, Leeds. I HAVE some good news for Mrs JA Peirson (Letters, May 14). Britain will not be forced to drop its ban on live horse and pony exports. Labour MEPs voted to toughen up proposed new rules on animal welfare… (letter)

ILPH HORSE LIVE EXPORTS LETTER
Ealing Times 20.5.04 Stop the horse export cruelty - Mrs P R Fuchowska, Chairman, Perivale Residents' Society, Dawlish Avenue, Perivale (letter)
Northumberland Gazette 7.5.04 New EU law reverses ban on export of horses - Mrs Anna Masters, Preston Tower (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 7.5.04 DON'T TREAT HORSES LIKE THIS - ELAINE PHILLIPS, Animal Lover, Longlevens (letter)
The Forester 6.5.04 CONCERN AT LEGISLATION ON EXPORT OF HORSES - P. K. Jones, Gloucester (letter)
Salisbury Journal 5.5.04 Help us protect these animals ROZANNA HERRING Church Lane Lower Bemerton (letter in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 4.5.04 HORSES FACING THREAT OF EXPORT FOR SLAUGHTER - JENNIFER MAYO, Station Terrace, Dymock (letter)
Darlington & Stockton Times 30.4.04 Horses' plight - J A HARRISON-BROADLEY-FISHER Long Street, Thirsk (letter in archive)
Louth Leader 21.4.04 Say NO to live horse exports - Coun Mrs S Harrison, Saltfleetby (letter)
News Shopper 14.4.04 Stop the export of live horses - Mrs P Stevens, Eversley Avenue, Bexleyheath (letter)
Shropshire Star 31.3.04 We must act to stop live trade in horses - A Dennis, Presteigne, Powys (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 22.3.04 SCANDAL OF HORSE-MEAT TRADE - CAROLINE SHELDON, Ravenstone, Keswick (letter)
Chester Chronicle 12.3.04 IF YOU are not already aware, you will be horrified to find out that British horses and ponies could once again be exported live from the UK… J M A BARRY Sandy Lane, Chester (letter)
South Cheshire Chronicle 12.3.04 IF YOU are not already aware, you will be horrified to find out that British horses and ponies could once again be exported live from the UK… MISS S HOLDING Newfield Drive, Crewe (letter)
Somerset County Gazette 12.3.04 Stop long haul to slaughter - DINAH BUTLER Bradford-on-Tone, Taunton (letter in archive)
Western Gazette 11.3.04 ACT NOW TO STOP HORSES AND PONIES SUFFERING - Miss B. E. Bowers, Hope Close, Buckhorn Weston (letter)
Banbury Guardian 5.3.04 Stop live exports - Diana Adamson Gate Cottage North Aston (letter)
Henley Standard 5.3.04 Save horses from suffering - Sheila M. Collis-Rudge and Edward Rudge, Heathfield Close, Binfield Heath (letter may be in archive)
Western Gazette 4.3.04 PONIES' LONG JOURNEY TO THEIR DEATH - Diane Mitchell, Chilfrome Cottage, Chilfrome (letter)
Market Rasen Mail 3.3.04 We must act to stop UK horses being exported - Mr & Mrs W G & N N Boulton, South Kelsey (story)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 3.3.04 Don't let horses be slaughtered - D MOORE, Wroughton (letter in archive)
Keighley News 27.2.04 SIR - If you are not already aware, you will be horrified to find out that British horses and ponies could once again be exported live from the UK… P TAYLOR, Chapel Lane, Oakworth (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 26.2.04 British horses must not suffer - JUNE S JEFFERY, Alfrick (letter in archive)
Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 26.2.04 Stop horse exports - Teresa Fitzsimons, Middleton (letter)
Berwick Advertiser 26.2.04 Act now to stop this dreadful exportation - ROSY E HUTCHINSON, Reiver Andalusians, Fenwick Steads, Belford (letter)
News Post Leader 25.2.04 HORSES AND PONIES MAY BE EXPORTED - SARAH RICHARDSON, Gorseway, Morpeth (letter)
The Sentinel 23.2.04 STOP HORSES BEING EXPORTED - MRS G KEY Stafford (letter)
Bolton Evening News 21.2.04 Rein in live exports - D Marsden, Red Lane, Breightmet (letter in archive)
Sutton Guardian/Comet 20.2.04 Stop live transport of horses - MRS D B NUNN Heathside Place Epsom Downs (letter)
Wells Journal 20.2.04 CAMPAIGN AGAINST LIVE EXPORTS Julia Garrett, WES Garrett (Saddler's), Back Lane, Draycott, near Cheddar (letter)
Epsom Guardian 20.2.04 Act to save our horses from live export trauma MRS D B NUNN Heathside Place Epsom Downs (letter)
Surrey Mirror 19.2.04 Help prevent this cruelty to horses - L Sidwell, Thepps Close, South Nutfield, Redhill (letter)
Reading Chronicle 19.2.04 Spare our animals this awful fate - Mrs A E DAVIS, Somerset Walk, Tilehurst (letter)
19.2.04 Say NO to live export of equines - J PUNTON, Coldstream (letter)
Argus 16.2.04 Don't allow export -Madeleine Connell, Coldean (letter)
Dundee Courier 16.2.04 Act now to protect ponies - T. I. Donaldson. 14 Grampian Avenue, Auchterarder (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.2.04 HORSE LOVERS TO FIGHT HORRORS OF LIVE TRADE - Kathleen Doorbar Glastonbury Somerset (letter)
Evesham Journal 12.2.04 Act now to stop the suffering - IF you are not already aware, you will be horrified to find out that British horses and ponies could once again be exported live from the UK to face a long, uncertain journey to their death in Europe… I am supporting the ILPH (International League for the Protection of Horses), Say No to Live Exports Campaign to pressurise the Government and the European Parliament to stop the resumption of the live traffic…. ANNE JORDAN, Merrybrook, Evesham. (letter in archive)

NATIONAL VEGETARIAN WEEK
Leicester Mercury 20.5.04 FEAST FOR VEGETARIANS - It is national Vegetarian Week from May 24 to 30. The Vegetarian Society is encouraging people to tuck into some top veggie nosh. To celebrate Vegetarian Week 2004, our local group has a stall at the Green Fair on Saturday, May 22, from 10am to 4pm, at the City Rooms, in Leicester…. Sue Daniels, Leicestershire Vegetarian/Vegan Group (letter)
Western Mail 14.5.04 - I would like to remind your readers that it is National Vegetarian Week from May 24 to 30. The Vegetarian Society is encouraging people to tuck in to some top nourishing veggie nosh and try a delicious three-course gourmet veggie meal… BRYNMOR EVANS, Bridgend, Glamorgan (letter)

Guardian 20.5.04 Among the shocking reports of the ill-treatment of Iraqi prisoners to emerge in recent weeks, it wasn't surprising to discover that pictures of tortured and mutilated animals were also found in the Abu Ghraib prison. Acts of abuse are about power and control regardless of the species of the victim, and crossing the species barrier is but a small step… Nuala Donlon Irish Times, May 15 (letter)

19.5.04

Horse & Hound 19.5.04 Hunting horn heralds West Ham - The huntsman of the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt led out the West Ham football team to the call of the hunting horn at one of the club’s most important fixtures last night… Ken Hand, huntsman of the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt was asked by the club manager, Alan Pardew, if he would lead out the footballers onto the pitch at the beginning of their high-profile match against Ipswich last night… “I was in my full hunting kit,” says Ken. “I walked out in front of the football team blowing my horn. The reception was really amazing, and as soon as I walked off the pitch, the manager came over and shook my hand and thanked me. It was absolutely brilliant…." (story)

NATIONAL FALLEN STOCK COMPANY
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 19.5.04 Local hunts handed Government contracts - THE Government has handed key contracts for disposing of dead animals to North Yorkshire hunts - reigniting the bitter row over a hunting ban. The hunts will help ministers meet tough EU biosecurity guidelines by collecting the fallen stock from farmers. The Masters of Foxhounds Association said the list included Sinnington Hunt, York and Ainsty South, Middleton, in Malton, and Bedale, Harworth and West of Yore, all in Northallerton. Other local hunts could also take part, it said…. (story in archive)
Western Mail 18.5.04 Hunts help to prop up new National Fallen Stock Company - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - DEFRA has acknowledged the economic benefits of hunting by recognising the vital role hunt kennels will play in collecting fallen stock as part of the new National Fallen Stock Company. The Countryside Alliance said half the contractors involved in the scheme, when it begins next autumn, will be hunts…. Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said, "The role hunts play in keeping a fallen stock service running in the UK cannot be overestimated…. It is ironic that it is the same Defra Ministers who voted for a ban on hunting, who are now relying on hunt kennels to help them comply with EU legislation,"…. (story)
Western Mail 18.5.04 Stock burial scheme set for autumn - ORGANISERS of the long- awaited scheme to collect and dispose of dead farm animals say it is still not ready. But the National Fallen Stock Company aims to iron out the problems and says it will be ready in the autumn - 18 months after it became illegal to bury dead livestock on farmland…. For more than a year farmers have been stopped from burying any dead livestock on their land. Instead carcasses have been collected or received by hunt kennels, or farmers have faced varying costs from knackers yards for disposal…. (story)
Daily Post 18.5.04 Euro rules raise fresh doubt over hunt ban By Robert Merrick Daily Post - A BAN on fox hunting was thrown into fresh doubt last night after claims that hunt kennels are needed to meet Euro-rules on clearing away dead livestock. The government has asked 138 hunts - including the Cheshire Hunt, based in Northwich - to dispose of fallen stock, under regulations introduced last summer. The Countryside Alliance said it showed kennels were essential to prevent Brussels imposing "vast fines" if dead animals continued to be buried on farms…. (story)
Daily Post 18.5.04 Probe into carcasses filmed in farm field By Hywel Trewyn Daily Post - A NORTH Wales council has launched an inquiry into allegations a farmer left animal carcasses in his fields…
A BAN on fox hunting was thrown into fresh doubt last night after claims hunt kennels are needed to meet Euro-rules on clearing away dead livestock. The government has asked 138 hunts - including several in North and mid Wales - to dispose of fallen stock, under regulations introduced last summer… Defra has been forced to turn to hunt kennels for help because of a shortage of rendering plants. They include the Eryi hunt based in Garn Dolbenmaen, in Gwynedd, the Gogerddan hunt in Tregaron, Ceredigion, and the David Davies hunt in Llandinam, Powys (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 19.5.04 Get real, Paddy - Paddy Tipping MP and his campaign against the hunting and shooting fraternity is ill-founded. He should concentrate his efforts on the real problems in our society - such as gun crime, drugs, local tax increases and Northern Ireland…. W. ANDREW Greasley Street Bulwell (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 19.5.04 Fishing group angles to stop anti-flood bid - SAM HALSTEAD - ANGLERS are fighting plans to lower the water level of a reservoir to help cut the risk of flooding in the Capital. The Malleny Angling Association claims the proposed reduction in water levels at Threipmuir reservoir, near Balerno, could wipe out the habitat of breeding aquatic insects, a critical food source for fish such as trout…. (story)

Irish Independent 19.5.04 Jousting and falconry for festival … For the first time, Countryside Alliance Ireland is organising a Game and Country Festival at Clonmel Racecourse on August 7 and 8. The event is is expected to attract 15,000 people… (story)

Portsmouth News 19.5.04 Fox hunt after pet catches mange - VETS are trying to trap a fox to stop it spreading a disease that could be fatal for cats and dogs. The fox, on the loose in Stubbington, has the skin disease mange – which causes itching and loss of fur and can kill…. (story)

Western Morning News 19.5.04 TORY DEMANDS COMMONS STATEMENT ON BOVINE TB - Animal Health Minister Ben Bradshaw was last night under pressure to make a formal statement to MPs about the Government's handling of the growing crisis of TB in cattle. In a letter to Mr Bradshaw the Shadow Agriculture Minister Owen Paterson said he was "increasingly perplexed and concerned" by the Government's failure to tackle a problem that was threatening to run out of control in the Westcountry…. Although the 1992 Badger Protection Act allows the granting of licences to cull badgers for disease control Mr Bradshaw said that it was "current policy not to issue any licences to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis"…. (story)

Leamington Spa Courier 19.5.04 ANIMAL RIGHTS PROTEST AGAINST CIRCUS - Activists are planning to protest against the use of animals at a circus in Cubbington next week. Jolly's Circus opens on Tuesday with clowns, trapeze artists, fire eating and a large collection of animals… Aileen Vania, of Whitnash, is a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and plans to visit the circus to protest against the use of animals…. (story)

I AM NOT AN ANIMAL CARTOON
Milton Keynes News 19.5.04 Animal rights? (Don't make me laugh) - A NEW Milton Keynes-made TV comedy mocking animal rights campaigners has been welcomed by anti-vivisectionists…. Triffic boss Tim Searle challenged critics to 'watch it first and then decide' after the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) slammed the six-part series before it was even screened. But BUAV spokesman Wendy Higgins, who originally called for the cartoon to be scrapped, told mk news after watching last week's first episode: "To be brutally honest I thought as a comedy programme it was utter rubbish… (story)
Milton Keynes News 31.3.04 Dead dog star of lab cartoon - HERE'S the big secret behind Milton Keynes' latest TV series. One of the 'stars' is the creator's dead dog. Tim Searle is the man behind Triffic Films, the Stony Stratford animators responsible for 2DTV…. The show is expected to be one of the most controversial for years when it is screened on BBC2 this May. It tells of six talking animals who are realised from a vivisection lab, prompting protests from animal rights' protesters BEFORE it has even been screened…. (story)
Telegraph 27.3.04 Coogan's TV animal cartoon defended By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - A professor of ethics defended Steve Coogan, the comedian who created Alan Partridge, yesterday after he was attacked as irresponsible by anti-vivisectionists over his new cartoon series about laboratory animals... The series has been attacked by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, which said it was crass and inaccurate because animals in laboratories endure horrendous cruelty. However Dr David Morton, professor of biomedical ethics at Birmingham University, said: "It is just not the case that laboratory animals are at the receiving end of gratuitous cruelty...." (story)
Independent 24.3.04 Coogan in trouble over cartoon's pampered lab animals By Ian Burrell, Media Editor - Steve Coogan and his Baby Cow production company have been accused by anti-vivisectionists of being "irresponsible" in making a cartoon series which portrays laboratory animals as living in pampered conditions... The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) has written to Jane Root, the controller of BBC 2, to complain about the BBC's backing for the project. Wendy Higgins, the BUAV's campaigns director, called on Ms Root to drop the six-part series... (story)
Milton Keynes News 24.3.04 Lab animation creates uproar - THIS is the exclusive picture of the most controversial TV show ever to come out of Milton Keynes. The animation has already come under fire from animal rights' protesters - BEFORE it's even been screened…. BUAV's campaigns director Wendy Higgins said at the time: "To portray the lives of lab animals as anything other than a living torture would not only be deeply crass, but also irresponsible."… (story)
Guardian 17.3.04 BBC2 breaks out with vivisection comedy - BBC2 bosses are going ahead with a controversial comedy about a group of animals who escape from a vivisection lab despite protests from animal rights protestors. Animated comedy I am Not an Animal will feature the voices of Steve Coogan, Simon Pegg, Julia Davis and Father Ted co-creator Arthur Mathews…. Animal rights campaigners accused the show of making light of "hideous and appalling suffering" when details of the series first appeared last year… (story)

Guernsey Press & Star 19.5.04 ‘Nuisance’ geese need cash to go by Claire Sims - DOZENS of geese will be saved if enough money can be raised to get them off the island. About 120 greylags living at the Colin Best nature reserve at the former L’Eree aerodrome are threatening the habitat… "… There was talk of a cull, which no one wanted to do,’ said Animal Aid founder Sue Vidamour. But an animal lover at a wildlife and wetlands trust in Peterborough has offered the birds a home after being approached by Animal Aid through the Pigeon Control Advisory Service… (story)

18.5.04

Western Morning News 18.5.04 Foxes are proven killers - I MUST take Trevor Beer to task over his remarks when he says "foxes do not kill for fun". When I had poultry although they were wired in, on several occasions the fox dug underneath, killed 16 and took precisely one bird… Whether you support hunting or not it is time everyone who does not live, work and earn a living in the country stopped sentimentalising over something which can be classed as "something useful to the farmers". Judy Chard, Newton Abbot (letter)
Western Morning News 18.5.04 Talking to foxes? IN his feature (WMN, May 1) Trevor Beer commented on a book called Lessons on Country Life, which was written about 100 years ago; and he writes "and by the way foxes do not kill for fun, as is sometimes said of them"… Entering the gate at 7.30am I found 23 white Wyandotte hens strewn about. Reynard, spotting me, made off…. Derrick V Rugg, Ottery St Mary (letter)

Western Morning News 18.5.04 Duplicitous views THE Western Morning News appears to express duplicitous views over whether Parliament should spend time on animal legislation. In your recent editorial you suggest that Parliament should not spare time to enact a hunting ban… No doubt if polled, Labour MPs and others would also suggest that education, health and housing are more important issues than live export of horses. Can your readers now expect a similar WMN editorial suggesting live export of horses would be a waste of valuable parliamentary time and should not be included in the legislative programme? Stuart Walker, Carbis Bay
The difference, Mr Walker, between bringing in a ban on horse exports and outlawing hunting with dogs is that the horse legislation ought to be swift and non-controversial, whereas banning hunting is anything but - Editor (letter)

Western Morning News 18.5.04 BLAIR MUST ENSURE HUNTING BAN IS LAW - So, the Countryside Alliance poll found that Labour voters do not think hunting should be the Government's top priority (WMN, May 5). Are they idiots, or do they think the rest of us, normal people, are?... I urge your readers to remind the Prime Minister that he has an absolute obligation to bring back the Hunting Bill in the next few weeks and ensure it now becomes law. Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals Hayle (letter)

Western Morning News 18.5.04 Finding views of electorate - YOUR correspondent Jonathan Ward-Hayne (WMN, May 4) complains the Liberal Democrats' interest in hunting is to find out how many votes they may gain, or lose, in the next general election. But what is wrong with a political party ascertaining the views of their electorate?... John Phelps, Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 4.5.04 STANCE ON HUNTING HAS LONG BEEN CLEAR - It should come as no surprise that a Lib-Dem spokesperson from Cornwall, Julia Goldsworthy, is "meeting organisations from all sides in order to come to a decision on the position I will take", referring to the hunting issue. After all, the debate has only been raging for a few decades, and if Ms Goldsworthy has not yet looked into the pros and cons her belated interest can only have the objective of finding out where the most votes might be scratched up in the next General Election by pandering to the most vociferous pressure group… To what extent notions of freedom and evidence will influence Ms Goldworthy's choice of position remains to be seen. No doubt she will inform us when she has finished her meetings. J Ward-Hayne Modbury South Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 21.4.04 Broken promises - MOST people's annoyance with the Government on hunting is because it makes promises and then fails to keep them…. In my opinion being for or against hunting is more a personal issue…. I'm in the process of meeting organisations from all sides in order to come to an informed decision on the position I will take. Once this process is complete I will take a stance on the issue. Julia Goldsworthy, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Falmouth and Camborne (letter)

Shropshire Star 18.5.04 Poll shows alliance is desperate - The Countryside Alliance must be really desperate if it is willing to commission a poll which confirms the blindingly obvious… Far from being 'out of touch' as Countryside Alliance supporter Barrie Hawkyard (Letters, May 12) claims, MPs know full well just how unpopular bloodsports are with their constituents. Even Arnold Greenhalgh, Master of the Holcombe Hunt, acknowledges this and stated, "Everyone seems opposed to foxhunting and we do live in a democracy."… Jeanne Young, North West League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Shropshire Star 12.5.04 Why are many MPs signing up to the bill? - I found the following information, which was gained from the Countryside Alliance, quite interesting. In a survey of Labour supporters, only one per cent placed fox hunting as a priority for this Government to deal with…. I am not a member of any political party, but I know who I will not be voting for. Barrie Hawkyard, Market Drayton (letter)

Western Mail 18.5.04 Why moves to increase legal firearms restrictions won't reduce gun crime - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - THE Home Office has issued a consultation paper on the review of firearms law in Britain which raises the possibility of much more severe controls on shotguns. If the suggestion is that gun crime will be reduced by increasing current restrictions on legally held firearms, then the Home Office is wrong…. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation runs a nationwide programme of voluntary training courses and compiles and publishes codes of practice for all aspects of sporting shooting… (story)

Irish Examiner 18.5.04 Keep an eye out for the fair day sharpshooter - YOUR readers may be interested to know that the showcase of Ireland’s country sports calendar, the National Country Fair, takes place at Emo Court, Emo, Co Laois, on June 6/7… The new angling championships offer €15,000 worth of prizes and the international open spey casting championships, with a purse of €3,000, is sure to be hotly contested… (letter)

Eastern Daily Press 18.5.04 Farmers threatened by hare-course thugs - MARIA FULCHER - More than half of East Anglia's farmers have been threatened by illegal hare-coursing thugs, it emerged last night. The shocking statistics came from the National Farmers' Union (NFU) in a call for a change in the law to counteract the tide of rural terror against farmers. One landowner told the EDP last night: "If the police don't get this sorted out now, there's going to be a major incident. Someone's going to do a Tony Martin and take things into their own hands."…. (story)

Guardian 18.5.04 GSK wins battle over executive pay packages - Heather Tomlinson - GlaxoSmithKline, the UK's largest pharmaceuticals company, has won its two-year battle with investors over the pay of its executives despite a remuneration package that could give chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier up to £18m a year. At the company's annual meeting yesterday, amid loud protests from animal rights activists, chairman Sir Christopher Hogg said the company had narrowed the gap between what shareholders want and what the board thinks about pay…. Although shareholders raised the issue of pay, the most passionate protests came from three women, part of Stevenage Animal Rights, who barracked the directors… (story)
Independent 18.5.04 Glaxo survives vote on boardroom pay By Katherine Griffiths - GlaxoSmithKline, Britain's largest drugs company, was subjected to attacks from shareholders yesterday over pay, animal rights and its policy on drugs for Aids at its annual general meeting in London…. Looking stony-faced and, at times, shaken, Sir Christopher also had to ask security at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre to remove members of a group called Stevenage Animal Rights, who shouted out: "You set a rat and we see a life. You are Glaxo the serial killers."... (story)

Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph 18.5.04 'STOP THIS POISONING OF ANIMALS' One needs to assume people in responsible positions like the Home Office junior minister Caroline Flint possess the power of rational thought. When pressed by John Barrett MP, Liberal Democrat for Edinburgh West, regarding chemical testing of household products, did she just parrot the Government's stock answer that 'animal experiments will not be banned as there is still no reliable alternative to using them to ensure they are safe for man'. Which begs the question, why does she not use that power?... Jacqueline Shortland, Central Road, West Hoe, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 18.5.04 JUDGE A NATION BY ITS ANIMAL WELFARE - The Western Morning News is to be congratulated for once again rising to the challenge, on this occasion with its worthy and continuing campaign for a total ban on the export of live horses for slaughter… Keith Woodward, Yealmpton (letter)

Western Morning News 18.5.04 SO GRATEFUL FOR KIND PET RESCUERS - Every year it seems to me we read distressing accounts of dogs running over cliffs…. Thank God for the people who took the trouble to help it, the walkers who found it, the licensees who run a dog-friendly establishment at Exmoor Sandpiper Inn and the vet who traced the owner…. Louise Piddington Plymouth (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 18.5.04 WITH regard to the Silloth farmer John Sails who allowed that poor pony to be infested with maggots, his sentence was too lenient… Mrs Stuart, Longtown
A MAN who could let that happen to his animal has no love of animals and I think he should have had a worse sentence than he got…. Lorna Wardrope, Warwick-on-Eden, Carlisle
… It is absolutely disgusting that this man has only been fined £100… Audrey Riley, Stanwix, Carlisle
THE farmer who did that to the horse should be banned for life… George Wright, Greenbell, Longtown
MR SAIL’S sentence was far too lenient, and I think it gives the message out to other people who are uncaring that we as a nation don’t really care about our animals… Pamela Minor, Scotland Road, Stanwix, Carlisle
THE sentence on the farmer who maltreated the pony was absolutely disgraceful… Peter Staples, Finch Close, Carlisle (letters)

BBC News Online 18.5.04 Animal group urges circus boycott - An animal rights group is urging people to boycott a circus which is currently on tour in the Forest of Dean. The Captive Animals' Protection Society (Caps) criticises Bobby Roberts' Super Circus for still using wild animals… (story)

17.5.04

Western Morning News 17.5.04 DEFIANT FARMER TO STAND FOR EUROPEAN ELECTIONS - JASON GROVES - A farmer who thwarted a foot and mouth cull has joined forces with a leading huntswoman and an internationally-renowned explorer in the hope of leading a "rural rebellion" at next month's European elections. Chris Thomas-Everard, whose Exmoor farm hit the headlines at the height of the 2001 foot and mouth crisis, is leading a slate of six candidates for the Countryside Party at the elections for the European Parliament in the South West…. They include international explorer and author Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who lives on Exmoor; the joint master of Devon and Somerset Staghounds, Diana Scott, who has been one of the most prominent opponents of a hunting ban; Barnstaple vet Brian Crawford; farmer Archie Montgomery, who owns Cadbury Castle, in Somerset; and North Devon farmer Tony Yewdall, whose farm has suffered one of the worst outbreaks of bovine TB seen in recent years…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 17.5.04 DEFENDING HUNTING - Someone should tell Christine Harris (Postbag, May 7) and her few hundred friends that the game is up. They have lost the best chance they ever had of getting a decent legal framework for hunting, when their fellow-travellers on the back-benches of the Labour Party wrecked the Bill that the Government offered them…. Why not leave the great majority of us decent citizens to get on with our day-jobs, and free to follow our consciences in how we look after nature and the countryside. D Davidson, Osgathorpe (letter)
Leicester Mercury 7.5.04 TIME TO END THIS BARBARIC 'SPORT' - We have once more seen the end of a fox hunting season. How many more of these are to be endured before there is a ban on hunting with dogs?... May I ask your readers to write without further delay requesting that the Hunting Bill be once again brought before parliament to ensure an end to this barbaric pastime. Christine Harris, Protect Our Wild Animals, Loughborough. (letter)

Western Daily Press 17.5.04 CRUELTY, OR A SURVIVAL LESSON? - Sir - Under the heading, Hunting With Hounds Helps The Foxes Survival Instincts, your correspondent Charles Drury states that exposure to hazards sustains essential diversity… The fox that is about to be torn to pieces by a pack of hounds, or the exhausted stag, may have some difficulty in accepting that their suffering is justified because of some long-term benefit to their species… C P Harrell Pill Somerset (letter)
Hereford Times 13.5.04 Nurturing the animal instinct - Charles Drury, Director, For Wildness' Sake, Pontrilas. (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 6.5.04 HUNTING WITH HOUNDS HELPS THE FOXES' SURVIVAL INSTINCTS - Back in 1949, Sir Peter Scott, David Attenborough's TV predecessor and founder of Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust, stated that hunting benefited the fox by fostering its instinct for survival…. Sir Peter was of the view that for the sake of instincts essential to its health as a species, hunting otherwise benefited the fox. Mr. Kaufman's Early Day Motion would result in the opposite. Charles Drury Director For Wildness' Sake (letter)

Yorkshire Post 17.5.04 From: CJ Horsman, Allangate Lodge, Rochdale Road, Halifax. I NOTE that despite the fact that the mess in Iraq is getting worse, that violent crime is on the increase and the looming European constitution is still a mystery to most of us, several Yorkshire Labour MPs have signed a motion calling on the Government to try to ban hunting… (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 17.5.04 Young farmers show is a delight - AN estimated 16,000 people gathered in glorious sunshine to enjoy the 2004 Essex Young Farmers Country Show… In the rings, Micheal Davie gave a stunning falconry display with his Harris Hawk and Eagle Owl… Meanwhile the game fair area had fishing and gun dog scurry demonstrations, also giving visitors the chance to have a go at shooting laser clays and fly fishing… (story)

Argus 18.5.04 Letter: More control - "Pet cat is shot in the face" (The Argus, May 3) is yet another clarion call for the use of airguns to be restricted to gun clubs.... -David Hammond, Hassocks (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 17.5.04 MY BET'S ON LAW CHANGE - I Was horrified to read about the poor greyhound, that was dumped on a mountain-side like a sack of unwanted rubbish… Vast sums of money change hands in the UK by punters of greyhound and horse racing. A law should be introduced urgently for their protection and retirement and each animal should be registered. M Charles, Hopkin Street, Swansea (letter)

The Scientist 17.5.04 Animal activists in Oxford - Campaigners target animal house while gov't offers new piecemeal legislation | By Robert Walgate - Animal rights campaigners who halted Cambridge plans to build a primate research center have succeeded in temporarily closing the Oxford Department of Pharmacology this past weekend, for fear of invasion by demonstrators against the university's new animal house, under construction nearby, Oxford pharmacologist Les Iversen told The Scientist…. “There are demonstrations every 3 or 4 days. They are small and peaceful, but meanwhile, behind the scenes, they are targeting vulnerable groups, like in this case the building contractors—their vehicles have been attacked, tires slashed, paint poured.”... Mel Broughton, a spokesperson for SPEAK, the animal rights campaign group “successful” in Cambridge and now active against the Oxford laboratory, told The Scientist his group was a legal campaign that carries out legal demonstrations.... (story)

Scotsman 17.5.04 Beneficial regime - There is no logic in the suggestion by Alastair Harper (Letters,12 May) that we should reduce Scotland’s population lest we "eat ourselves out of house and home"… by the simple manoevre of removing animals from our diet we can free up massive quantities of food to support our existing human population… JAMES BOYLE Eastwoodmains Road, Clarkston, Glasgow (letter)

15.5.04

Nottingham Evening Post 15.5.04 HUNTING PROMISE BROKEN Tony Blair, supported by a majority of MPs, and the public, promised to ban hunting six years ago! Of course, there are other important issues to deal with - there always will be - but if Mr Blair had carried out his promise instead of dragging his feet and wasting time, in an attempt to appease certain hunting friends, this matter could have been resolved years ago… Mr Fox (Letters, May 7) claims banning hunting is an attack on the freedom of the individual. Who gave individuals the right to hunt terrified animals for fun?... M. A. THOMPSON (Mrs) Farleys Lane, Hucknall (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 7.5.04 ADDRESS THE REAL ISSUES - I understand local MP Paddy Tipping is intent on pushing through a complete ban on hunting with dogs. I have never been to a hunt meeting but I believe this is yet another attack on the freedom of individuals from the representative of a Government which does not listen to public concerns… MARTYN J. FOX Nottingham Road Ravenshead (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 15.5.04 ANGLERS CARE ABOUT FISH Madam - I write to support the views of Mr Adams (Echo, May 11), under the headline 'Treat fish as fish'. He is absolutely spot on. No one cares more for the health of our lakes and rivers than anglers…. People who fish, hunt or shoot, care more and do more for the countryside than any other groups. It's time that the 'greens' and the country sports communities got together. The enemy of the countryside are the people who aren't bothered either way. A Wadland, Withington. (letter)
Gloucestershire Echo 12.5.04 'ANTI-ANGLER IS SWIMMING AGAINST TIDE' - Madam - Has M Thomas only just realised that angling is popular in Gloucestershire (Echo, May 8)? Angling is enjoyed just about everywhere else in the world where fishable water exists…. I learned to fish when I was about 11 years old. I learned patience and concentration. I was taught to respect the countryside and leave it in a fit state for other people to visit… Bill Dodwell, Cheltenham. (letter)
Gloucestershire Echo 12.5.04 LET'S TREAT FISH AS FISH - Madam - I write in response to the letter from M Thomas (Echo, May 8) headlined "It's time to ban angling". Can we seriously believe that fish are "soft loving creatures put into this world to enjoy life?"… Last week I dropped my car keys in the river. Did the soft loving creatures organise a search party and gently slip them back onto the river bank? Of course not. They are fish, not human beings. Chris Adams, Naunton. (letter)
Gloucestershire Echo 8.5.04 IT'S TIME TO BAN ANGLING - Along with many other people I was pleased to receive in the Echo a free copy of the Gloucestershire Summer Guide 2004. However, after gazing at the cover which shows a very good picture of two graceful and beautiful swans, I was horrified to read the second event down as angling… Do people who go angling tell themselves that fish are made of rubber or other synthetic material? They are soft, loving creatures, put into the world to enjoy life…. M Thomas, Cheltenham. (letter)

Southern Daily Echo 15.5.04 Stop Botox tests say campaigners by Ben Clerkin - PROTESTERS picketed a Hampshire animal testing laboratory amid claims that scientists are testing the beauty treatment Botox on mice... Eight members of pressure group Stop Wickham Animal Testing (SWAT), some dressed as mice, demonstrated outside the building for two hours.... Protest organiser Helen Nelson said: "We were expressing our horror at the awful abuse which takes place at Wickham Laboratories...." (story in archive)

Cambridge Evening News 15.5.04 Be aware of public feelings From G B Smith, Station Road, Fordham IN ANSWER to Professor Twink Allen's foot-stamping tirade of criticism against the present Government's attitude towards animal rights campaigners, I would like to draw attention to its unbending support for the controversial Huntingdon Life Science (HLS) contract-testing laboratory… I think Professor Allen needs to be aware of public feelings in this country towards research such as his and take care not to bring upon his organisation the revulsion afforded to the rest of the vivisection industry. (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 15.5.04 Polluting the environment even more From G Delaney, Herringswell Road, Kentford - I WOULD like to suggest to the writer of the latter of May 5 Fed up with paying (name and address supplied) that they would be paying considerably more in the form of Council Tax, via policing, if the proposed primate laboratory at Girton had been allowed to proceed… As for "ramming ill-informed opinions down our throats" the animals at HLS, including beagle dogs, have poison rammed down their throats, so the writer should think themselves lucky. (letter)

14.5.04

Darlington & Stockton Times 14.5.04 From Devon to North Yorkshire, via Munich - it's been a long road home by Sheila Weber - JULIE Nelson is a vegetarian; unsure about intensive farming methods; uneasy about hunting and some country sports…. She is also priest-in-charge of four parishes on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. So she freely admits this combination "challenges her thinking"… (story in archive)

Kent/Sussex Courier 14.5.04 CONFINE IT TO THE HISTORY BOOKS - As much as the hunting fraternity enjoys the endless swapping of anecdotes about ??mindless violence?? and the ??WaltDisneyfication of animals?? (Courier, April 23), there is no lessening in the determination to see the practice of hunting foxes, deer, hares and mink confined to the history books and to the newspaper archives…. Caroline Wetton, Castle View, Hadlow (letter)

Worcester Evening News 14.5.04 Anti-hunting claims always disproved - I DON'T blame Mrs M Large for launching a personal attack on me (You Say, Tuesday, April 27). It was inevitable after her anti-hunting allegations had been continually disproved… I hope Mrs Large will eventually take up my invitation to a hunt kennels. The knowledge gained might enable her to focus on hunting, rather than me…. JON BURGESS, Malvern. This correspondence is now closed Letters Editor. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 27.4.04 Obscene show of force and might - JON Burgess knows full well that I would not demean myself by going to a hunt meet for the purpose of participating or supporting it in any way. He is correct when he says I attended the Boxing Day meet at the Raven Hotel… It is true that I introduced myself, again for the sole purpose of telling him exactly what I thought of him and his views…. MARION J LARGE, Worcester. (letter)
Worcester Evening News 23.4.04 She needs to see kennels - MARION Large (You Say, Wednesday, April 14) constantly refers to a hunting opinion poll still under investigation regarding its validity…. Mrs Large gives the false impression that hounds are savage beasts. At country shows every summer a hundred or more hounds will mix with many hundred children. The only victim of these meetings is an occasional ice cream…. This debate will not move forward until Mrs Large visits a hunt kennels. Only then will she begin to appreciate what is involved. JON BURGESS, Malvern (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 14.5.04 HUNTING HAS HAD ITS DAY - I say to Fiona Cameron that I am not surprised how, in their desperation, hunters are campaigning to save their blood sport on the back of Britain going to war with Iraq. How desperate is that?... Janet Hall Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.5.04 STOP KILLING THE WILDLIFE - Fiona Cameron claims in support of hunting that "we can no longer bear to use the assistance of animals to deal with an animal problem". What problem? Leave foxes alone and they will obviate the excuse of farmers for shooting rabbits. Stop appropriating all land for human use and the deer population will regulate itself… Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 8.5.04 NO EVIDENCE THAT THE FOX IS THREAT - If Fiona Cameron was really interested in the welfare of other species, she would be helping those who already are, rather than undermining them… Also, 90 per cent of feed merchants, farriers, saddlers would not notice if hunting stopped today. The small number that did would only do so because of hunts refusing to take up drag hunting. David Thomas, Westbury, Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.5.04 HUNTING LINKS US TO ANIMAL WORLD With reference to your article on April 20, on what a brave new world modern Britain is, how civilised it is… So civilised humane and caring that our Government went blithely off into a war that has resulted in not only lots of Iraqis being killed but I am sure many of their innocent animals. So civilised and caring that more than 200 MPs are busting a gut trying to ban hunting again, because whatever we do to foreigners and their animals, we must not chase the English fox, because "hunting with dogs has no place in modern Britain"…. Fiona Cameron, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.5.04 HELPING ANIMALS A recent correspondent claimed that people who care about the plight of poisoned dogs in Greece are racist… People who are interested in acting on animal welfare cases do so whether they are global abominations like bullfighting or halal slaughter or British abominations like hunting…. Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 10.4.04 ANIMAL PLIGHT IN GREECE - As a Greek woman, I would like to thank Vesna and Paul for helping all those animals in Greece…. And I would like to say that when we save all these now homeless people in Iraq and all the children in starvation in the Third World countries, we can start saving all these animals in Greece as well… Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 27.4.04 EFFORTS PAID OFF Sir - The investigation by Roger Tavener on stray dogs in Greece is similar to a situation I was involved in while in Malta in 1994… Our trip was organised by John Hicks, the founder of International Animal Rescue… John Rowbrey Bagborough Taunton (letter)
Western Daily Press 27.4.04 CRUEL NEGLECT CANNOT GO ON I was moved to tears to read the story of Jimmy Samaras and the animal shelter in Greece… Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 27.4.04 HELP END THE HORRIFIC PLIGHT OF CATS AND DOGS IN GREECE would like to congratulate your paper for highlighting the horrific situation at the Thessalonika Animal Shelter… Greek Animal Rescue has been reporting for many years the terrible plight of cats and dogs in Greece… Betty Gearing Hanham Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 27.4.04 POISONING IS NOTHING NEW - Thank you for exposing the horrific poisonings of stray cats and dogs in Greece. This is not a new revelation because of the Olympics. Poisoning has been the chosen way to reduce the strays in Greece for some time…. Maggie Forbes-Buckingham (letter)
Western Daily Press 27.4.04 WELFARE WORRY I have been haunted by the report and pictures in your article on Monday of the poor dogs in the so-called animal sanctuary in Athens… Lesley Harding Newent Gloucestershire (letter)

SHOTGUN CONTROLS
Western Morning News 14.5.04 ANGER AT NEW GUN RED TAPE - Ministers were last night accused of imposing "illogical, pointless restrictions" on thousands of Westcountry farmers and shooting enthusiasts, in order to distract attention from the Government's failure to tackle inner city gun crime…. Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said ministers were desperate to be "seen to be doing something" about gun crime. (story)
Telegraph 13.5.04 Countryside groups attack plan for curbs on shotguns By John Steele, Home Affairs Correspondent - The prospect of tougher controls on shotguns, including preventing young people using them, was raised by the Government yesterday. But rural groups and the hunting and conservation lobby responded by arguing that the more than 500,000 shotgun owners in England and Wales were not criminals and cracking down on them would have no effect on the largely drug-related gun crime in cities... Mike Eveleigh, the senior firearms officer of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, said: "Shotgun owners go through a robust licensing system, which includes police home visits, criminal record and medical checks. Attacking responsible shotgun users will do nothing to combat gun crime, which mainly involves illegal weapons already prohibited in this country." The Countryside Alliance cited research in 2001 which showed no link between legitimate gun ownership and incidence of gun crime.... (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 14.5.04 TIME TO GET THESE WEAPONS BANNED - At The beginning of the month I saw an item on the TV news concerning a pair of swans which had been shot by youths with high-powered air rifles… It is time the law was changed, and I am writing to Ian Cawsey, MP for Brigg and Goole, to say a Government which claims interest in animal welfare should get these weapons banned, and an amnesty held to take the existing ones out of circulation. A Proctor, Westfield Road, Ashfield Park Homes, Burringham Road, Scunthorpe. (letter)

Worcester Evening News 14.5.04 Festival for the anglers A FESTIVAL that started as a bet nearly 30 years ago is set to be even bigger than in previous years. The Evesham Angling Festival is one of the biggest events in the fishing calendar and this year it is set to include trade stands, a craft fair, a plants and produce sale, a fun fair, a beer tent, afternoon teas, strawberries and ice cream and live entertainment… (story in archive)

Ross-shire Journal 14.5.04 Tell what you think about Scotland's deer - The number of deer in Scotland is a matter of some controversy. Some claim their numbers have increased dramatically over the last 40 years while others suggest this is a huge exaggeration. I have an interest in public attitudes towards Scotland's deer and am keen to hear the thoughts of your readers on how deer affect their lives and property…. Sam Gardner 3F1, 27 Comely Bank Street Edinburgh EH4 1AR (letter)

Scotsman 14.5.04 Mischief-making - With regard to your report, "Hedgehog rescue rewards escape clutches of the Inland Revenue" (4 May), it is of concern to those of us working hard to rescue hedgehogs from the Uists and Benbecula, and relocate them to the mainland, that unfounded "tax" rumours may hamper our rescue efforts…. ROSS MINETT Director, Advocates for Animals Queensferry Street Edinburgh (letter)
Scotsman 4.5.04 Hedgehog rescue rewards escape clutches of the Inland Revenue - JOHN ROSS - ANIMAL rescuers who are saving hedgehogs from a cull have themselves escaped the clutches of a hunter. Volunteers who are paid £20 for handing in the animals for relocation feared some of the bounty might also be redirected by the taxman. However, the Inland Revenue has now told the rescuers in the Western Isles that their reward is not taxable…. (story)
Sunday Mail 2.5.04 HEDGEHOG TAX FURY - INLAND Revenue bosses want to tax islanders who are saving hedgehogs from a cull in return for a £20 reward for each animal saved. Uist Hedgehog Rescue group - which has saved 120 of them - claim the cash is a non-taxable 'reward'…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 14.5.04 HEDGEHOG CULL SHOWING RESULTS - Scottish Natural Heritage is celebrating an upturn in bird survival rates in the Outer Hebrides as a direct result of its continuing hedgehog cull on the islands… Uist Hedgehog Rescue for each creature saved, tomorrowwrap up their latest mission, claiming to have liberated at least the number that the SNH has so far culled this year - 171…. (story)

13.5.04

Bucks Free Press 13.5.04 Dashwood hits back at safari tour claims By Kris Hall - COUNTRYSIDE Alliance boss Sir Edward Dashwood has hit back strongly at allegations he offers tourists chances to kill endangered species on big game hunting trips to Africa. The League Against Cruel Sports claims the 39-year-old provided shooting holidays through his West Wycombe based company EJ Churchill charging between £500 and £19,000 for trophy kills. But Sir Edward, chairman of the Countryside Alliance's Campaign for Shooting, told the Free Press: "I don't know where people have got this idea from. I am a passionate hunter and conservationist. I've never tried to sell a big game safari. There was an old business we took over that was still advertising big game safaris in a small part of its brochure. It's not something we were selling. It's a gospel fact that we have never sent a single person on a big game safari. Its clear as black and white."… (story)

SOUTH CORNWALL MASTER CONVICTED
Cornish Guardian 13.5.04 DOGS BAN - The former master and kennel huntsman of the South Cornwall hunt has been banned from keeping dogs for five years after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a foxhound bitch… (story)
Western Daily Press 8.5.04 HUNT MASTER BANNED FROM KEEPING DOGS FOR 5 YEARS - Hunt master Stephen Park-in was banned from keeping dogs for five years yesterday after letting a foxhound in his care waste away to the brink of death…. Parkin had been Master of South Cornwall Hunt for nine years, and kennel huntsman for six when the offence was uncovered. He resigned after the allegations were made, and the hunt closed down shortly afterwards… (story)
BBC News Online 7.5.04 Hunt master mistreated foxhound - A former hunt master who caused weeks of suffering to an 11-month-old foxhound has been banned from keeping dogs for five years. Stephen Parkin, 42, of North Road, Whitemoor, Cornwall, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the foxhound. The RSPCA visited the South Cornwall Hunt's kennels at Woodland Barton last year and found one of the 11 hounds in an "emaciated" condition…. (story)
Western Morning News 29.4.04 MASTER OF HUNT GUILTY OF CRUELTY TO HOUND - A hunt master who let one of his hounds become so severely emaciated it could barely stand has said he is "very sorry" for the incident. The 11-month-old foxhound, one of the South Cornwall Hunt pack, was caused weeks of suffering before being rescued by RSPCA officers, Liskeard Magistrates' Court heard yesterday. Stephen Parkin, 42, from Whitemoor in Mid Cornwall, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering… Parkin, who runs a smallholding, resigned as master of the South Cornwall Hunt - which has now disbanded… (story)
Western Daily Press 29.4.04 CRUEL HUNT MASTER REDUCED HIS DOG TO A BAG OF BONES A West hunt master let a young foxhound become so horrifically emaciated she could barely stand, magistrates heard yesterday. In a sickening case of neglect, Stephen Parkin allowed Roxy, an 11-month-old bitch, to almost starve to death… Parkin has admitted causing unnecessary suffering while he was Master and Kennelman of South Cornwall Hunt…. The case was adjourned for sentence at Bodmin Magistrates' Court until May 6… (story)
Western Morning News 13.2.04 HUNT DISBANDS AFTER CRUELTY CHARGE - An established hunt group was disbanded just days after the launch of an RSPCA investigation into allegations of cruelty. The committee for the South Cornwall Hunt voted in favour of folding at a crisis meeting, held five days after hunt master Stephen Parkin was charged by the animal welfare charity with causing unnecessary suffering to a hound…. Founding member Geoff White, from Golant, said all the members have now joined other hunts. He said: "We ran out of country. Our ground was on loan to us from the Four Burrow and North Cornwall hunts, and they wanted to take their land back. That was the main reason." (story)
Western Daily Press 13.2.04 FOXHUNT FACING HOUND CRUELTY CLAIM DISBANDS A Hunt with a 30-year tradition was disbanded just days after the launch of an investigation by the RSPCA into allegations of cruelty, it emerged last night. The committee for the South Cornwall Hunt voted in favour of folding at a crisis meeting held five days after hunt master Stephen Parkin was charged by the animal welfare charity with causing unnecessary suffering to a hound. Yesterday Mr Parkin, 42, a farmer from Whitemoor, near St Austell, denied the allegations through a statement issued by his solicitor Clive Rees… Alison Hawes, South West regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "Hunts are a business and when they get short of country or when the figures don't stack up then it isn't viable for them to continue…" (story)

North Devon Journal 13.5.04 WHY HAVE ELECTION PLEDGES IF THEY ARE NOT ACTED ON? - Here we are again on the merry-go-round of the hunting argument. I was under the na??ve impression that in the light of four adverse Parliamentary votes the Countryside Alliance had decided to bow to the inevitable, reserving to the last a sinister prospectus of extra-Parliamentary action if the threat of forcing the vote through the second chamber came to anything…. Of one statistic I am quite confident, the pro-hunt lobby will vote Conservative to the last man and woman at the next election, unless they find an even more congenial right-wing peg to hang their riding hat on. Mr Blair need not hold his breath. H.V.F. WINSTONE, Riverbank Cottages, Bideford. (letter)

Hereford Times 29.4.04 Couldn't bear to look at picture - I COULD not believe your paper with that dreadful Clarissa Dickson looking absolutely ridiculous. How very insensitive to all of us who abhor hunting… I sent you a letter about the appalling conditions of a farm supplying Tesco pork and you couldn't manage to find a space for that yet use the front page to promote animal cruelty!.. BARBARA BODKIN, Mansel Lacy.
Editor's note: The letter about pork and Tesco's was one of several received using near-identical wording and part of an orchestrated campaign. (letter in archive)

Berwickshire News 13.5.04 Wild Mammals Act a disaster - SIR, — I really cannot let Jack McConnell get away with his smug, self congratulatory letter of Thursday May 6. This government is responsible for the disastrous Wild Mammals Protection (Scotland) Act 2002 (WMPSA). Since the introduction of this act more foxes than ever have been killed by legal foxhunts and Scottish hunts have been compelled to maim foxes and leave them to die in the wild in a way which is impossible and against MFHA rules south of the border…. But surely there must be some benefit from the act? Oh yes, the hunts no longer wear scarlet coats! Yippee, Halleluiah, I bet foxes are all racing over the border into Scotland and jumping for joy!... I hope England and Wales will learn from Scotland’s mistake and I hope that Scottish politicians in Westminster will have the courage to admit Scotland's failure............oops, sorry I must go, a pig just flew past the window. Jeremy Whaley, Reedy Loch, Duns. (letter)

The Forester 13.5.04 A WASTE OF ENERGY THAT MYSTIFIES ME - It is amazing that our politicians can waste so much time and energy on something that is insignificant on a national scale…. Do they seriously believe that fox hunting should be at the top of the government's agenda, when there are so many other pressing matters to deal with. G. Peters Twigworth (letter)

The Forester 13.5.04 WASTE OF TIME - So 'our Di' is still wasting her time on this Hunting Bill… Come on Di, you may be 'looking forward' to a hunting ban, but we are looking forward to electing an MP who actually cares about the same things that we do. Carolyn Keeling, Staunton (letter)

The Forester 13.5.04 SHOULD WE NOT BE AIMING TO OUTGROW PRIMITIVE URGES? - Your reader Cathy Garlick (The Forester, April 29) and the Countryside Alliance would do well to dismount their high horses for long enough to consider how to manage their situation when an outright ban on Hunting with Dogs become law…. It would make good sense if we all pulled together to outlaw Hunting with Dogs in line with other cruel sports such as bull and bear baiting and dog and cock fighting. Sheilah Fielding, Dymock (letter)

Cambridge Times 13.5.04 Farmers find themselves threatened by illegal hare coursers Story by: MAGGIE GIBSON LOCAL farmers finding themselves threatened with retribution by illegal hare coursers if they tell police have resorted to drastic measures to keep intruders off their land…. Just last week hares in milk with tiny babies to look after were left slain in local fields. The coursers have been labelled as sadistic by Countryside Watch - an organisation calling for new legislation to tackle what has become a major problem in the fens…. (story)

Ross on Wye Journal 13.5.04 Action group slams latest badger culls - Action groups have hit out at badger culls near Ross-on-Wye aimed at establishing a link between the animals, cattle and the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis. The Coalition of Badger Action Groups claims the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is currently trapping and killing badgers on Broadway Lands, near to Ross…. “Thousands of badgers and badger cubs are killed every year in the name of ‘science’”, said spokesman Dan Sidley… (story)

Evesham Journal 13.5.04 Tempers get frayed at Vale circus protest A CLASH between circus owners and animal rights activists resulted in police being called to the first night of Bobby Roberts Circus in Evesham on Tuesday. Police were called at about 6.40pm as the Captive Animals Protection Society were protesting against the presence of an elephant in the troupe at the time when the audience was arriving… Spokesman for the protestors Craig Redmond said: "The human performers can choose to be there, the animals have no choice…." (story in archive)

Western Gazette 13.5.04 DON'T DUCK THIS ISSUE - I Have recently become aware of the shameful conditions on duck farms supplying major supermarkets in their thousands. Animal group Viva! has filmed ducks crammed into dirty sheds in their thousands… Dr H.E. Davies, Steart Road, West Camel (letter)

12.5.04

Bristol Evening Post 12.5.04 MPS WASTE TIME ON HUNTING BAN - It is hardly surprising that the voting public has lost its faith in the way the House of Commons operates and has also lost its respect for many MPs therein. I am referring, of course, to Doug Naysmith and Valerie Davey. Along with another 214 colleagues, they have given their support to an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to spend more time trying to ban hunting…. I stopped voting Conservative some 30 years ago, but the present bigotry, class prejudice and failure to prioritise on what is important, expressed by the MPs concerned, will inevitably result in driving voters back into the Tory camp - myself included. David O'Hagan, Westbury-on-Trym (letter)

Western Daily Press 12.5.04 USE HORSES IN DRAG HUNTING - When Erich Maria Remarque wrote All Quiet On The Western Front he pulled no punches regarding the terrible things inflicted on man and animals…. As the pro-hunting letter of May 1 states, we all have our own view on this issue. If the joy of working with horse and hound is so great, people should accept the next best thing, drag hunting. Pamela Dean Whiteshill Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 12.5.04 Another view of countryside - THERE have been several pro-hunting letters of late, including one which gave the impression you had to reside in the countryside to have an opinion about it…. I have witnessed the horrors of the hunt, foxes pursued to the point of exhaustion before being ripped apart. I've seen fox earths and badger sets blocked up to prevent the hunted fox from finding refuge…. J Fone, Bromsgrove (letter in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 12.5.04 UPSET OVER DEAD FOX - A Distressed walker has spoken of her upset after finding a dead fox tied to a fence by wire. Susan Marshall, of Grimsby Road, Humberston, found the fox as she went to feed a horse at the back field of Weelsby Hall on Weelsby Road. She believes the animal was deliberately wired up to the fence, and did not get caught in it accidentally… (story)

North East Evening Gazette 12.5.04 Claims of fox slaying probed - Mike Underwood, Evening Gazette - Top RSPCA officers were today probing sickening allegations that foxes are being trapped and clubbed to death to protect pigeons on a Teesside allotment. Inspectors are investigating claims that someone has been baiting the animals in box traps then slaying them at Beechwood Allotments in Gleneagles Road, Middlesbrough…. (story)

Financial Times 12.5.04 Government targets violent animal rights protesters - David Firn and Sundeep Tucker in London - Legislation to control violent animal rights extremists is to be toughened, the government said yesterday as the National Association of Pension Funds said it might offer a reward for information that puts ringleaders behind bars.... (story)
Guardian 12.5.04 Government to defend scientists from animal rights extremists - The science minister, Lord Sainsbury, today pledged to bring in legislation to protect scientists from animal rights extremists. Lord Sainsbury made the promise during his tri-monthly session with the science and technology committee… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 12.5.04 WISER TO FIND CATTLE VACCINE - I Am puzzled by the recent comments regarding the "rapidly increasing" population of the badger. The badger has cubs once a year; last year was a very bad one… Might it not have been wiser to spend more time and money finding a vaccine to protect cattle. Very long overdue. PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Nr Stroud (letter)

Irish Examiner 12.5.04 Put the spotlight on pigs and chickens - SEVERAL issues relating to animal welfare and animal rights have been in the news recently… But there is a much larger issue waiting to be exposed: the institutional cruelty at the source of over 95% of our pig and chicken meat the factory farm…. Gerry Boland, Animals in Crisis, Keadue, Co Roscommon (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 12.5.04 DISGUSTED BY DEER-KILL DRIVERS -Re: The Citizen, May 7 - I have never read anything as disgusting and evil as the mindless yobs (please don't call them joyriders) who are driving with stolen vehicles, and driving over repeatedly until they are dead, any animal, be it deer, hares or foxes they can catch… MRS M. BRIAN, Address supplied (letter)

Northern Echo 12.5.04 Cull protest - ANIMAL rights protestors yesterday re-enacted the shooting of pigeons at a North-East bus depot. If follows an incident last week at the Go North East bus depot in Chester Road, Stanley, County Durham… Members of North-East group Save Our Pigeons yesterday recreated the scene in a piece of street theatre. Campaigner Diane Sanderson arrived dressed as a giant pigeon and was symbolically shot by a fake rifle-wielding Go North East worker…. (story in archive)
Northern Echo 7.5.04 Pigeon killing spree at depot - IRATE bus workers tired of being pestered by pigeons went on a killing spree, it emerged last night. Public transport operator Go North-East has admitted that two members of staff at its bus depot in Chester Road, Stanley, had taken matters into their own hands after the building became plagued with the birds… Emma Haskell, director of animal rights pressure group Pigeon Campaigns UK, said: "We are disgusted and horrified…" (story in archive)
Newcastle Evening Chronicle 7.5.04 Anger at barbaric cull of bus firm birds By Simon Armstrong, The Evening Chronicle - Pigeons were shot and stamped on by workmen, sparking fury from bird lovers. The two busmen carried out the unofficial cull at a North East coach depot and shot the birds before stamping on their dying bodies…. Pigeon Campaigns UK are also threatening to target Go North East and hold demonstrations outside their depots in the region…. (story)

Barnet Times 12.5.04 Headline was a slur on animals - Sophie Kummer's report about a man from Cricklewood who stabbed someone to death and kicked him like a football carries the headline 'Killer behaved like an animal as victim died'… The only animal that behaves in such a way, i.e. arming themselves with knives, stamping on another living being, and stabbing someone to death is the human kind…. Pam Kinnunen, Purley Avenue, Cricklewood (letter)

11.5.04

Nottingham Evening Post 11.5.04 The issues that matter - A new NOP poll found that 99% of Labour supporters think that there are more important issues for the Government to tackle than hunting…. JEREMY STANTON Rutland Road West Bridgford (letter)

Western Morning News 11.5.04 Live horse export - WITH regard to the Government's stance on the live export of equines for meat - there is method in their madness. They are so obsessed with implementing a ban on hunting they allow it to take precedence over all else… W T Sweet, Mawgan, Helston (letter)

Western Morning News 11.5.04 REASONED VIEWS FOR NEW HORSE LAWS - Some ten years ago, I was a regular reader of Horse and Hound. I recall a reported incident, which came before a court, where a horse had failed to jump a gate during a hunt. Its leg became trapped, whereupon a rider began to beat the horse about the head with a whip… If horse owners and riders, especially huntsman, display the callous disregard for their mounts as I have illustrated, how can they complain of horses being transported anywhere? I see little need for live export, but the cruelty lies in the poor treatment of horses during their last journey, not in their eventual slaughter, provided that slaughter is humane... Mike Baker, Foxhole, St Austell (letter)

Western Morning News 11.5.04 RESOLVE HUNTING ISSUE NOW - Banning hunting with hounds and banning live export of animals including equines are equally important animal welfare issues…. it is disturbing to see the export issue used to overshadow or sabotage the hunting one by those who only see it as a means to be allowed to continue their own brand of cruelty…. R A Gagie Paignton (letter)

Western Morning News 11.5.04 WE WON'T BE CONNED WITH FALSE PROMISES, NEW LABOUR - John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister, looks to be in for a hard time, what with eggs thrown at him (WMN, April 14) by the pro-hunting lobby. He is not in favour either, with the animal rights campaigners over broken promises regarding animal experimentation in so-called medical research… Cruelty has got to be stopped - whether it is to animals or humans. So come on Labour, less spin, more action and have the courage of your convictions if you want our votes. We won't be conned again, with false promises. Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Western Mail 11.5.04 The question of ethics - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - AT SOME stage most of us who shoot live quarry have thought long and hard about the ethics of shooting…. (story)

Western Morning News 11.5.04 ANNUAL BADGER CULL SERVES NO PURPOSE - Martin Hancox, Stroud, Gloucestershire (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 7.5.04 SWITCH MONEY TO CATTLE TESTING - Badger cubs have been above ground for a few weeks now and will be dependent on mum for weeks longer. Nevertheless, the Krebs/Bourne badger cull restarted on May Day… Scrapping the cull now would release £31m infinitely better spent on increased cattle testing. M. HANCOX, Nouncells Cross, Stroud (letter)

News Shopper 11.5.04 Are we really all animal lovers? - We in the UK have long been known as the nation of animal lovers…. I suspect most of your readers are unaware of the scale of abuse and cruelty in commercial animal agriculture… Anyone considering a vegetarian lifestyle should write to The Vegetarian Society… Mr C Pope, Erith (letter)

10.5.04

Western Morning News 10.5.04 HUNT LOBBY'S COURT THREAT - The Countryside Alliance is to undergo a major constitutional shake-up in a bid to adopt greater legal powers to fight any ban on hunting. The pro-hunting organisation is to become a limited company to enable it to take High Court action should a ban be introduced…. (story)
Western Morning News 10.5.04 ALLIANCE 'SHAKE-UP' TO FIGHT HUNTING BAN - The Countryside Alliance has announced significant changes to its constitution as it gears up for a legal challenge to a possible hunting ban later this year…. The Alliance is currently an unincorporated association. As such it would have difficulty in mounting legal challenges to a ban in its own right. The organisation believes that a ban could be subject to a series of challenges on human rights grounds in both the British and European courts…. (story)

New Statesman 10.5.04 To know the countryside, you must live in the city - David Nicholson-Lord - Country folk, tradition has it, are in tune with nature. Wrong. They have long shown woeful ignorance of everything from worms to badgers and foxes. By David Nicholson-Lord… You can be a "countryman", it seems, and know little of the country. To anyone acquainted with, say, Cold Comfort Farm, this may come as no surprise. But the countervailing wisdom, which depicts country folk as being in tune with the land, still holds sway… This assumption infects much of our culture and politics. It underpins the operations of the Countryside Alliance, for example… The badger culling saga is an object lesson in why we should be wary of the wisdom of country folk…. (story)

Shropshire Star 10.5.04 Far more important items than the hunt - I have read recently that a number of MPs have signed an Early Day Motion to pressurize this Government into bringing forward a Bill to ban hunting with hounds. You really would think that such people would have better things to do than continue to pursue such an agenda when all recent reports discredit the prejudices and myths that the anti-hunting brigade continue to propel…. John H Brereton, Llangollen (letter)

Shropshire Star 10.5.04 Reasons why I care about ban on hunting - BR Banks asks in a letter why should I care what happens after a ban on hunting? Everyone should care about the consequences of legislation. If the police are overstretched because of trying to enforce the unenforcable, who will track down the people who burgled your house? Or don't you care, Mr Banks?... Andy Allen, Sedgeford (letter)
Shropshire Star 5.5.04 Hunt ban on course - In reply to hunt ban letters, Star, April 22 and April 26, Andy Allen, of Sedgeford. As we all know hunting with dogs and the ban for it is now imminent… Yes there are many things wrong in the world but all the spadework is now done on hunting - and it has taken 40 years… B R Banks, Ludlow (letter)
Shropshire Star 29.4.04 A waste of our money - It is no wonder that the RSPCA needs to push for funds for welfare(feature Saturday, April 24) when it wastes so much on politics, a luxurious HQ and a very generous salary for its chief executive who is a former Animal Rights Organisation member. I'm sure many people, like me, would prefer that their money was spent on helping animals - not trying to ban hunting which would not save the life of one fox… Andy Allen, Sedgeford (letter)

Leicester Mercury 10.4.04 POINTLESS AND CRUEL - Mr David Manning (Postbag, April 28) expresses his views on the hunting of hares with hounds as one who participates… These practices are cruel and unnecessary. They have no place in a modern society, remaining only for the wretched enjoyment and pleasure of the participants (excluding the innocent creature killed). As such, they should be banned. A F Wreathall, Queniborough. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 10.4.04 HUNTED ANIMALS SEVERELY TRAUMATISED - Ian Kilgour (Postbag, May 1) recommends me to read the Burns Report on hunting. I recommend Mr Kilgour obtains a copy of the Observer and reads the report of the findings of a panel of independent vets who carried out post mortem examinations on several hares and foxes which had been hunted… G A Wright, Leicester. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 1.5.04 LIBERTY AT THE HEART OF DEBATE - Two recent letters questioned the roles of animal welfare, liberty and conservation in the context of the hunting debate. I recommend the writers of these letters read the report of the Burns Inquiry on hunting set up by the Government… Liberty is at the very heart of the debate. Hunting is not a matter for vindictive legislation. Ian Kilgour, Thurcaston (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 10.4.04 DIFFERING OPINIONS OVER LABOUR MP - Correspondent Richard Ashby (Open Lines, April 28) has missed the point. The recent criticism directed at Valerie Davey is not prompted by her anti-hunting views. She fails her constituents by supporting the views of her like-minded colleagues in believing that the Government should be distracted from more pressing problems… Richard Barry, Westbury-on-Trym
IN reply to the letter recently printed in Open Lines, I would argue that many of Valerie Davey's constituents (of which I am one) are against the horror of hunting with do gs. In fact, I handed over a petition of more than 20,000 names against hunting to Valerie and these names were of people living in and round Bristol… Sarah Bishop, by e-mail (letters)
Bristol Evening Post 28.4.04 WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE SUCH A CARING MP I Must protest at the nasty condemnation of Valerie Davey in Open Lines recently. Just because she opposes hunting, as many people do, does not mean that she is an ineffective MP - quite the reverse.. I think we are very lucky to have her. So why does the correspondent want to remain anonymous? Richard Ashby, High Kingsdown, Bristol (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 23.4.04 SO, Valerie Davey has signed a motion calling on the Government to try and ban hunting again. Hasn't she got anything, anything at all, better to do with her time?... Name and address supplied (letter)

Northern Echo 10.5.04 Fair keeping alive countryside traditions - AN annual fair that is helping to keep countryside traditions alive drew large crowds at the weekend. The Teesdale and District Game Fair featured an enlarged and improved programme at Witton Castle on Saturday and Sunday…. (story in archive)

North East Evening Gazette 10.5.04 King of beasts - Regarding the alleged abominable treatment of Iraqi PoWs by some coalition military personnel… it is however nothing compared to the treatment meted out to other innocents, notably those animal-abusing "research" laboratories, factory and fur farms, slaughterhouses, animal-abusing circuses and even some zoos…. A P KIRK, Middlesbrough (letter)

BBC News Online 10.4.04 Embassy protest against whaling - Animal welfare campaigners were to hold a demonstration to urge Norway to stop the slaughter of hundreds of whales. The protest, organised by Whalewatch, was due to be held opposite the Norwegian Embassy, in Belgrave Square, in central London…. (story)

9.5.04

Sunday Telegraph 9.5.04 Without hunting, we will incur vast EU fines -The clamour by more than 200 MPs for the Government to get on with its ban on hunting has presented ministers with an impossible dilemma. Officials of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have worked out that the only way Britain can comply with an EC regulation banning the on-farm burial of "fallen stock" - stillborn lambs, old cows and other animals that die of natural causes - is to call on the assistance of hunt kennels, which feed the meat to hounds. If a hunting ban means the kennels can no longer help, there is no way the Government can comply with EC law. It will thus face fines totalling millions of euros… (story)

Independent on Sunday 9.5.04 Help labs, say MPs By Tim Webb Lord Sainsbury, the science minister, will come under pressure from MPs this week to back new legislation to protect the pharmaceutical industry from violent animal rights extremists. Ian Gibson MP, chairman of the science and technology committee, tabled an early day motion 10 days ago urging the Government to introduce the legislation... Dr Gibson said that some of his fellow MPs felt scared about supporting it. "There are a lot of people worried about sticking their names on the motion," he said. "It's time to stand up to the animal rights extremists. They are bullies." (story)

8.5.04

Leicester Mercury 8.5.04 SNUBBED BY THE JONESES BY KATHRYN EDWARDS - Leicestershire's hunting set has been snubbed by a forthcoming Hollywood blockbuster. Local tourism bosses say they are disappointed the opportunity to promote the county has been missed by producers of the sequel to Bridget Jones's Diary. The sequel, The Edge of Reason, follows the heroine as she is sent to cover the Quorn Hunt in her role as TV reporter…. However, in the multi-million pound film, set to be released in November, all references to Leicestershire have been removed, and the scenes have been filmed in Hertfordshire…. "The Quorn Hunt is one of the best in the country, and it's a real shame they haven't chosen to use us," said hunt spokesman Rad Thomas…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 8.5.04 50,000 AIM FOR TOP SHOW - More than 50,000 people are expected to flock to the Newark and Notts Agricultural Show. The event, which started today at Newark Showground, Winthorpe, has entertainment for all tastes. It includes falconry, a display by the Royal Marines commander team, a monster truck, a parade of hounds and Beeston Pipe Band…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 8.5.04 NO ROOM FOR THE RITUALISED CRUELTY - On April 30 you published four very similar letters suggesting that the three local MPs who have signed an Early Day Motion for the return of the Hunting Bill should not have done so as there are more important issues to discuss. This really is pathetic… KEITH HANNEFORD, Parliament Street, Gloucester (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 6.5.04 HUNT BAN WAS POLICY PLEDGE - I Was so saddened by the few letters in your paper on April 30 on the subject of "wasted political time and money spent on the hunting issue"…. May I remind those writers that the ban was one of the Labour Government's policies to which very many animal lovers no doubt voted for. The only reason it's still being discussed today is due totally to the unelected, out-of-touch and pathetic House of Lords on each by occasion blocking it. STEVE HAINES, via e-mail (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 6.5.04 STOP DELAYS BY THE UNELECTED - Four letters from hunt supporters saying substantially the same thing begins to look like a co-ordinated campaign… Our MPs should press ahead with a further vote on hunting and the Government should invoke the Parliament Act to ensure that the unelected do not frustrate the wishes of the elected once again…. KEITH WALDON, Wheatway, Abbeydale (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 30.4.04 WHAT A WASTE OF POLTICAL TIME … Surely there are many more important things to the majority of British people, i.e. NHS, education, crime, roads, transport, railways, Europe and this Government's illegal occupation of Iraq, support of private hospitals, excluding working class students from university and not forgetting immigration. What do Parmjit Dhanda, Diana Organ and David Drew think about it? I don't know because they are too busy trying to get hunting banned…. G. PETERS, Twigworth (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 30.4.04 CONCENTRATE ON PRESSING MATTERS - I Am saddened to hear an Early Day Motion to ban fox hunting has been signed by many MPs, including Diana Organ… S. J. CUTHBERT (MISS), Cliffords Mesne, Newent (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 30.4.04 HUNT BILL INSIGNIFICANT - I Refer to the report in your paper on April 1 which stated that the Gloucestershire Labour MPs (Diana Organ, Parmjit Dhanda and David Drew) have all just signed an Early Day Motion asking for the return of the Hunting Bill to Parliament. I find it amazing that they want to spend yet more time and energy on something that surely must be insignificant to the majority of the British electorate … PAULINE HEAD, Gorsley (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 30.4.04 TURN YOUR MIND TO REAL ISSUES - Life is too short and too important to waste so much time, money and effort on trying to ban fox hunting. When will our local MP Diana Organ begin to address real important issues such as immigration, NHS, crime rates soaring… CATHY GARLICK, Gorsley (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 8.5.04 Selfish attitude From Pat Griffin, Bakers Lane, Linton MAYBE the author of "Let's fight back wearing fur" (Letters, April 24) would have no trouble finding a few like-minded people to parade through Cambridge wearing their finest fur, leather and sheepskin to counter the animal rights protests… I must say I am not surprised that the letter is unsigned. Who would be so brave as to expose such a callous and selfish attitude? (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 20.4.04 Let's fight back wearing fur - I'M NOT about to give my real name because I don't want my car torched or house fire- bombed. It's just that in common with many Cambridge people I'm sick to death of having my freedom of movement curtailed on a Saturday by outbreaks of mass hysteria… In their deranged mission to drive animal testing abroad… these people represent the unacceptable face of Cambridge, otherwise an entirely mature and civilised place…. Can I suggest that on those few weekends when police leave is not cancelled… the rest of us parade in our finest fur, leather and sheepskin? We could even bring our pets along to protect us. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Mail 8.5.04 Greyhound dumped with 'barbaric' injuries - A GREYHOUND with a hole in its head and both ears missing was found dumped alive on a mountainside, it emerged yesterday. The RSPCA branded the incident "barbaric" and said the "deeply distressed" animal may have been a racing dog, which would have had identifying tattoos on its ears…. (story)
BBC News Online 7.5.04 Greyhound's ears 'cut off' - The RSPCA has condemned an attack in which a greyhound was shot in the head and its ears cut off before being dumped alive on a south Wales mountain…. Appealing for anyone with information to come forward - anonymously if necessary - Karen Thomas, chair of the charity Greyhound Rescue Wales, said most people would be "shocked and disgusted" at this crime…. (story)

7.5.04

HUNTING NOT A PRIORITY FOR LABOUR VOTERS
Southern Daily Echo 7.5.04 Get priorities right, huntsmen tell Blair by Chris Yandell - HUNT leaders in the New Forest have told the government to get its priorities right following the publication of a new public opinion poll. The NOP poll says 99 per cent of Labour supporters feel ministers should be dealing with more important issues than a ban on hunting…. Leaders of the Countryside Alliance commissioned the poll in the wake of reports that a new anti-hunting Bill is likely to be introduced… New Forest Hounds spokesman Graham Ferris said: "Previous opinion polls have shown that people generally think there are more important things for the government to spend its time on…." However, Ken James of the New Forest Animal Protection Group said Labour should honour its pre-election pledge to deal with the hunting issue…. (story in archive)
Western Morning News 5.5.04 HUNT BAN IS NOT A PRIORITY, SAY LABOUR VOTERS - A new poll has found that the overwhelming majority of Labour supporters feel that the Government's priority should be almost anything other than hunting… Hunting was considered by only one per cent of Labour voters to be the most important issue facing the Government…. Guy Morlock, master of the Spooners and West Dartmoor hunt, said: "This doesn't surprise me at all. To be frank 99 per cent of the public are not interested in hunting one way or another. Of course, the war, education and the NHS have far more impact on the public."… (story)
Scotsman 4.5.04 Hunting Issue 'Least Important to Labour Supporters' By Amanda Brown, Environment Correspondent, PA News - An overwhelming majority of Labour supporters believe the Government should be concentrating on issues such as health and education instead of pursuing a ban on hunting, according to a poll out today. The results follow an NOP survey commissioned by the Countryside Alliance which show that 99% of Labour supporters think the Government should not make hunting a priority issue…. The NOP poll took place on April 23-25 among 964 respondents who were asked “Which of the following do you consider to be the most important for the Government to tackle? Labour supporters replied: The NHS 34% Immigration 17% Terrorism/Iraq 22% Education 24% Hunting 1% (story)

Kent/Sussex Courier 7.5.04 GOOD CROWD SHOW FOR ALDINGTON MEET - There was a good crowd at Aldington where the West Street Tickham held the second of their two meetings on Monday. Runners, although not numerous, 27 in total, were sufficient to provide enough excitement to keep punters happy on a very wet, grey afternoon….
In spite of heavy overcast skies the crowds poured into Peper Harow for the Surrey Union meeting, where the viewing is much restricted due to the tree plantations getting ever taller. The overnight rain had helped the going, as it turned from firm to good to soft, which encouraged owners to run their horses…. (story)

South London Press 7.5.04 MP: time on big issues - REBECCA Stevens (Letters, April 30) accuses me of neglecting all the big political issues like Iraq, Europe, health and crime while "spouting off in newspapers and on radio about the "desperate need to ban fox hunting". Totally untrue. I have sent nothing to newspapers nor spoken on radio about fox hunting, though I do support a ban… Joan Ruddock, Lewisham, Deptford MP (letter)
South London Press 30.4.04 Pressing matters for MP Joan? IN CASE I am mistaken, Iraq is still a mess… And what is Joan Ruddock doing about it? Well, it seems to me - nothing. She is too busy signing Early Day Motions, lobbying Government ministers and spouting off in newspapers and on radio about the "desperate" need to ban fox hunting… Rebecca Stevens, Deptford (letter)

Cheshire Chronicle 7.5.04 I HAD such a lovely time at the Point to Point races at Eaton last Sunday… It was a really happy countryside occasion, but of course it will not happen again if hunting is banned. How very sad. J SHERWIN Malpas (letter)

Kenilworth Weekly News 7.5.04 Blinkered MP is out of touch FROM: Peter Towers, Manor Court, Churchover. In case I am mistaken, Iraq is still a mess, and getting worse, the European Constitution is looming, the local NHS hospitals are crumbling, and crime is soaring in Rugby and Kenilworth. What is Andy King MP doing about it? Well, nothing. He is too busy signing Early Day Motions, lobbying government ministers and spouting off in newspapers and on radio about the ‘desperate’ need to ban fox hunting…. (letter in archive)

Stourbridge News 7.5.04 A message to Debra Shipley, MP - In case I am mistaken, Iraq is still in a mess, the European Constitution is looming, the local NHS hospital is crumbling, and crime is soaring in Stourbridge. And what is Debra Shipley doing about it? Well, nothing. She is too busy signing early day motions, lobbying Government ministers and spouting off in newspapers and on radio about the `desperate' need to ban fox hunting…. Hilda Adams, Norton (letter in archive)

Torquay Herald Express 7.5.04 HUNTING NOT A PRIORITY - Iraq is still a mess, the European Constitution is looming, the NHS is still struggling, and crime is soaring in Torbay. And what is Adrian Sanders doing about it? Well, nothing. He is too busy signing early day motions, lobbying government ministers and spouting off in newspapers and on radio about the 'desperate' need to ban fox hunting… F N WHITE, Doddiscombsleigh, Near Exeter (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.5.04 HOUNDS ARE DEARLY LOVED - I read in your paper so much about the protection of wildlife and all animals in our countryside by many MPs and the general public who are against hunting. There are many thousands of hounds (not dogs) kept for hunting that would have to be destroyed if hunting were banned… E A Thomas Somerset (letter)

Newark Advertiser 7.5.04 Meat concern - I have today seen a letter from Jean Morris of Southwell… The lady also commends Mr Tipping on his pledge to ban hunting with hounds as intimated within the Labour manifesto some time ago…. If Mr Tipping really has time to spend on animal welfare then he should start to look at the death of animals under the banner of religion, ie halal meat… - IAN RANDALL, Boughton. (Full address supplied). (letter may only be on website for a week)
Newark Advertiser 30.4.04 Humane side - It is clear that Lynda Howard in her letter regarding hunting with dogs (Low Priority, News Views, April 23) has no knowledge of the range of work undertaken on behalf of his constituents by the MP for Sherwood, Mr Paddy Tipping. Having, until recently, lived in the Sherwood constituency for many years I can personally vouch for his hard work, enthusiasm and commitment… JEAN MORRIS, Southwell, (Full address supplied) (letter may only be on website for a week)

Nottingham Evening Post 7.5.04 FOX-HUNTING - Fox-hunting debates continue to rumble/The pros the cons the constant grumbles… For years mankind have liked such sport/Seeing helpless animals chased and caught… SHIRLEY MCINTYRE Lower Beauvale Newthorpe (poem)

Western Morning News 7.5.04 DIFFERENT RULES FOR HUNTS ON DARTMOOR - While visiting my daughter for the day we decided to take a walk on Dartmoor. Could someone please explain the very confusing hypocrisy of the Dartmoor National Park signs? On entry to the Park we were greeted by signs saying that we had to keep dogs on leads… This in itself I might understand had we not been confronted by the sight of 30 horse riders, with as many hounds, cantering across the moor… Horrified we watched this farce, and videoed it, as the local hunt not only set skylarks flying but also cantered through a small herd of sheep, with young lambs… D Williams, Barnstaple (letter)

Aberdeen Press Journal 7.5.04 EXECUTIVE ACCUSED OF 'SNEAKY' MOVE IN NEW ANGLING ORDER - TIM PAULING - The Scottish Executive has been accused of sneaking through a freshwater fishing protection order in the Highlands without giving anglers an opportunity to object. It emerged yesterday that ministers have approved a protection order for the Sutherland Assynt and Coigach area, even though an earlier application was rejected in November, 2002…. (story)

Irish Independent 7.5.04 Thousands of horses brutalised in slaughter export trade - Aideen Sheehan - THOUSANDS of Irish horses are suffering unnecessarily during export for slaughter each year in contravention of official state policy, it was claimed yesterday. The Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) demands legislation to end the "cruel practice" of live horse export for slaughter to the UK, France and Italy, their meat destined for human or pet consumption…. (story)

Peeblesshire News 7.5.04 Cruel imprisonment to pigs - I have recently become aware of a shocking example of the cruelty of factory farming — the pig farrowing crate… For information on factory farming and vegetarianism, contact Viva!... C. Tulloch, BSc, PhD. Young Street, Peebles (letter in archive)

Henley Standard 7.5.04 Unimaginable suffering - I have recently become aware of the shameful conditions on duck farms supplying major supermarkets. Animal group VIVA has filmed ducks crammed into dirty and stinking sheds in their thousands… Mrs. Gillian Houdret, Skirmett. (letter may only be on site for a week)

Bristol Evening Post 7.5.04 SCIENCE IS NOT THE ISSUE OVER ZOOS - David Spratt of the Captive Animal Protection Society claims in his letter in Open Lines on April 28 that recent arguments in favour of zoos in the Post "display a startling inability to use facts and lo gic". His own letter, then, seems to show the same startling inability…. Mr Spratt asks: "How can anyone speak on behalf of those animals held against their will in any zoo?" Good question - we can't, including you…. I think that the fact and logic of the situation is that Mr Spratt and his friends from CAPS just don't like zoos, and science just doesn't enter into it. One is just left pondering as to who does have "an empty and pathetic shell of a life". Seb Miller, Badminton, Gloucestershire. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 3.5.04 CONGRATULATE ZOO'S ACHIEVEMENTS - I Write in response to the letter from Sue Hughes, regarding her dismissal of the great work achieved by Bristol Zoo Gardens…. I hope you can pull your head out of the sand, Miss Hughes, and make the world a safer place for our wild animals instead of moaning unjustly. Nicholas Cottrell, Severn Beach. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 30.4.04 PARTY'S ZOOS POLICY IS UNCHANGED - The writer on "Closure of zoos" challenged Glenn Vowles, referred to as "a Green Party candidate" with the Green Party's policy on zoos. Glenn Vowles resigned from the Green Party over the party's opposition to the war in Iraq and is not, therefore, a member of the Green Party (whose policy incidentally has NOT changed). Keith Wiltshire, by e-mail.
IN her letter ("Closure of zoos", Soapbox , April 26) Sue Hughes wanted me to confirm that I was expressing a personal opinion and not a Green Party one when I wrote to say that Bristol Zoo should not close. I can confirm this… Glenn R Vowles, Knowle (letters)
Bristol Evening Post 28.4.04 ZOOS DO LITTLE FOR REAL CONSERVATION - Recent arguments in favour of zoos ("Zoo crucial for many animals", Post , April 14) display a startling inability to use facts and lo gic. A little bit of research would show that these places do next to nothing for real conservation - their main claim to support their continued existence…. David Spratt, scientific consultant, The Captive Animals' Protection Society. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 26.4.04 SOAPBOX: CLOSURE OF ZOOS - Like the recent Post correspondent Glenn Vowles (Open Lines, April 17), I too have been a passionate green campaigner for more than 20 years. Unlike Glenn, I agree wholeheartedly with the demonstrators who picketed Bristol Zoo and called for it to be closed… As a Green Party candidate, Glenn should also know that this is his party's official policy…. Sue Hughes, Montpelier. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 20.4.04 LACK OF CONCERN FOR ANIMAL WELFARE - May I congratulate Glenn Vowles on his measured and thoughtful letter on zoos… Members of the Animal Rights brigade, on the other hand, are merely looking for a cause which will legitimise their anti-social behaviour… After all, would anyone who really cared release thousands of minks into the wild, to slaughter all the wildlife within a five-mile radius? John Rogers, Bishopston. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 17.4.04 ZOOS CAN DO A LOT FOR CONSERVATION For more than 20 years I have been a passionate green campaigner, but I do not agree with the protesters who have called for Bristol Zoo to be closed, along with all zoos... If designed properly zoos can entertain by encouraging people to wonder about and marvel at the natural world. Glenn Vowles, Knowle. (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 7.5.04 A RULE FOR ONE, AND ONE FOR ANOTHER? It was with interest I read the spate of letters concerning circus animals. Now I am no fan of caged animals, but perhaps somebody can point out to me the difference in say caged birds. Is that any less cruel?... Who would turn a nose up at a shot pheasant or wild duck, but munch happily away on a battery-reared chicken? After a short cramped life, they are humanely slaughtered. Conscience clear now?... I'm Animal Rights? Not likely, those idiots released mink into the wild, the carnage they cause to wildlife is unbelievable… Mrs L Green, Hainton Avenue, Grimsby (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.5.04 ABSURD TO CLAIM WE ARE HARMED BY MILK - As a biologist, I would ask Roy Franklin to cite me the scientific papers he has gleaned his "facts" from as they are contrary to all I have learned… I would also challenge Mr Franklin that a landscape devoid of grass and livestock, and replaced by arable land and vegetables, is somehow better for the environment…. Mrs Elizabeth A Smith Usk Gwent (letter)
Western Daily Press 4.5.04 TIME TO PHASE OUT ANIMAL FARMING - If Mrs H Hughes is offended by my abhorrence of dairy farming, how does she think I feel, as a vegan, being forced to subsidise an industry I despite? As a care worker on the minimum wage, who does a 16-hour day, often seven days a week, you can imagine that I resent my hard-earned cash being given as a handout to farmers…. Roy Franklin Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.4.04 WILD ALLEGATIONS WIDE OF THE MARK I am utterly amazed by the fanatical rants of Roy Franklin of Bridgwater. His ignorance is almost beyond comprehension when he articulates his fantasies about the farmers who, with difficulty in his case, keep him fed and watered… Coffee with soya milk? Ugh, and no thanks! C Sparkes Bridgwater Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 23.4.04 FARMERS ARE NOT STUPID OR CALLOUS - I am usually hesitant about replying to the animated ramblings of Mr Franklin but his letter of April 19 was so full of inaccuracies I felt compelled to do so. I do agree with him that tourism is a major part of the rural economy. Why is that so? Because people come to see the countryside as it is now, and as it has been for many years…. I actually take great offence to his attitude to farmers, who put the welfare of their animals first before anything else. They certainly are not stupid or callous, many having retrained and having other work outside farming to try and make ends meet…. It seems to me that Mr Franklin is the one with the problem. I am proud of what I, and many others, do to produce the food for people in this country. Michael Weaver Frampton Cotterell Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 22.4.04 ANGRY OVER BIGOTED ATTACKS ON FARMERS - Once again I am offended and incensed by a letter from Roy Franklin with yet another bigoted attack by him on the farming sector…. Yes, we do raise animals to earn a living and to provide food for the general public. We also grow 100 per cent of the food (ie, barley and grass/silage) that these animals need… Perhaps Mr Franklin could explain what he means by a "proper job" and also suggest how food would be brought to his table…. Mrs H Hughes Hazelton Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.4.04 NOW TOURISM KEEPS RURAL ECONOMY AFLOAT - Chris Rundle needs to get real (WDP, April 15). It isn't Tony Yewdal and his family who are the latest victims of the TB saga. Cows which have been forced for years into yearly pregnancy, in order for their bodies to be used as cash machines, are the real victims - ditto the badgers that have caught TB from cows. The rural economy is sustained by tourism, not milk production - products from animal abuse do not need to be part of it…. Animal lives are more important than abusers' feelings. There is too much bull from snivelling farmers, who should get proper jobs, leave animals alone and get their grabbing hands out of the public's back pocket. Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

6.5.04

(*) Barry Gem 6.5.04 ‘Horse riders lack courtesy’ - MY daughter and I were recently travelling along the lane between St Athan East Camp and Cowbridge in the direction of Llantrisant. Without any warning, about 30 horseriders appeared from exits to various fields… it seems these riders have no respect for motorists… A bit more consideration and courtesy on the road, please, huntsmen and perhaps the same for your faithful steeds. Yours sincerely Name and address supplied (letter)

The Forester 6.5.04 HUNTING BILL IS A WASTE OF TIME - I Was born in the Forest I lived there for many years (but not now). I still read your paper with great interest. So Diana Organ has signed a motion calling on the Government to try to ban hunting again. Hasn't she got anything, anything at all to do with her time?... Mrs Margaret S. Green, Gloucester (letter)

The Forester 6.5.04 THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES - I Am saddened to hear that an Early Day Motion to ban fox hunting has been signed by many MPs, including Diana Organ. In case I'm mistaken, Iraq is still a mess and the European Constitution needs careful consideration apart from many domestic issues… Miss S. J. Cuthbert, Newent (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 6.5.04 FOCUS ON THE BIGGER PICTURE - The Middle East is in chaos… and yet MPs represented to serve the people are wasting their time on the hunting bill…. Name supplied, Cheltenham. (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.5.04 MP OUGHT TO HELP ELECTORS So Mrs Diana Organ has signed a motion calling on the Government to try to ban hunting again. Hasn't she got anything at all to do with her time? Couldn't she actually put some effort into improving the lives of the people whom she was elected to represent?... Margaret S Green Eldersfield Gloucestershire (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 6.5.04 MP SHOWS COMPASSION - I do not know where Mr Guy (Post, April 29) gets his information on hunting - probably the Countryside Alliance. Alan Simpson's constituency should be thankful they have such a compassionate MP… BRIAN TORR Barnfield Wilford (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 29.4.04 MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES TO DEAL WITH THAN HUNTING - Last Friday morning (April 23) local radio station Trent FM informed me that St George's Day is time to celebrate being English. Unfortunately, I see little to celebrate. Our troops are still being killed in Iraq and are incidentally part of an illegal occupying force, the NHS, schools, police force and fire service are in crisis and on the verge of strike and traffic congestion chokes the roads… What is local MP Alan Simpson (Nottingham South) doing about this? Nothing! He prefers to spend his time signing Early Day Motions and trying to persuade the Government to bring back a Bill to ban fox-hunting… MARK A. GUY Lenton Manor Nottingham (letter)

Wells Journal 6.5.04 THE FOX - HARDLY A SERIAL KILLER - I am writing in response to the article by Gadfly on April 22. There are a few inaccuracies and assumptions in his article which are presented as fact. The comment that the fox is a "serial killer of poultry that must rip and tear for the pleasure of it" is the opposite to the view of Professor Stephen Harris, Research Fellow at Bristol University and acknowledged fox expert,… David Stevens, Crease Close, Badgers Wood, Wells (letter)

Rugby Advertiser (6.5.04) Fifty, not twenty - I REFER to the article in the Rugby Advertiser’s April 22 edition headed ‘Protesters face up to thousands of Race fans”. I wish to amend the quote by Mr. Francis that 20 protesters were present at the stadium’s opening night, when in fact approximately 50 plus protestors attended… Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby. (letter)
Rugby Advertiser 22.4.04 Protesters face thousands of race fans - THOUSANDS of visitors flocked to Coventry Stadium last week to see the historic return of greyhound racing after nearly 20 years…. Rugby animal rights campaigner Janet Cummings was outside the stadium last week during the protests, organised by Coventry Against Greyhound Racing…. (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 15.4.04 Placard protest greets punters - Animal rights campaigners lined the road outside Coventry Stadium to heckle race-goers last night. Dozens of protesters bearing placards with slogans such as "You Bet - They Die" and "Dying To Entertain You" shouted at cars pulling into the site…. John Curtis, of the Coventry Against Greyhound Racing group, said he was pleased with the response… Rugby animal rights campaigner Janet Cummings said she was pleased at the strength of the turnout… (story)

Western Morning News 6.5.04 FARMERS HIT BY 'LAW CHANGE' ON BADGERS - Animal Health Minister Ben Bradshaw has been accused of abandoning Westcountry farmers by secretly "changing the law" on bovine TB to appease badger lovers. Shadow Animal Health Minister Owen Paterson said Mr Bradshaw covertly changed the law by closing off an option designed to help farmers whose herds have repeatedly come down with the devastating disease…. (story)

BBC News Online 6.5.04 Man arrested over badger baiting - A man has been arrested on suspicion of taking part in badger baiting after a raid on a house in Lancashire. Police and RSPCA officers raided a house in the Todmorden Road area of Bacup on Thursday…. (story)

Redditch Standard 6.5.04 Circus protest over cruelty - ANIMAL welfare campaigners staged a series of roadside protests this week urging Redditch residents to boycott a controversial circus. Bobby Roberts' animal circus, which rolled into Weights Lane on Tuesday (May 4), was branded upsetting and distressing by members of Redditch Animal Rights… Kevin White, Redditch Animal Rights spokesman, told The Standard at least two families turned away on Tuesday night after realising the circus featured animal acts…. (story)
Redditch Advertiser/Alcester Chronicle 5.5.04 Circus protest - ANIMAL rights protesters were last night due to stage a demonstration outside Bobby Roberts' Circus - which is in town until Sunday. Redditch Animal Rights group was planning to gather at Weights Lane with banners and hand out leaflets in an attempt to encourage the public to boycott the circus. Member Kevin White said: "Anyone who loves animals should give Bobby Roberts a miss and go to one of the many animal-free circuses."… (story in archive)

Oxford Mail 6.5.04 Bullfight is not way to raise cash for injured - I wholeheartedly agreed with reader Sarah Morris's comments about the Spanish raising money for the people injured in the terrorist bombings by organising a "charity" bullfight… I find their so-called 'traditions' an absolute disgrace. They need to be banned now. GILLIAN WHITTY (Miss) Oxford (letter in archive)

North Devon Journal 6.5.04 FURIOUS RESPONSE TO GOATS REPORT - The society set up to protect Lynton's wild goats has hit out at controversial plans to drastically reduce the herd's numbers. Friends of the Goats has reacted furiously to last week's decision at the town hall to "remove by any necessary means those goats that are currently causing a nuisance"…. (story)

5.5.04

Gloucestershire Echo 5.5.04 WHAT A WASTE OF MP'S TIME - Madam - It is with incredulity that I observe our Cheltenham MP signing up for yet another attempt at outlawing fox hunting…. Des Mills, Address supplied. (letter)

Shropshire Star 5.5.04 Far more pressing than foxes - In case I am mistaken, Iraq is still a mess, the European Constitution is looming, the local NHS hospital is crumbling, and crime is soaring in Shropshire. And what is David Wright doing about it? Well, nothing. He is too busy signing Early Day Motions, lobbying Government Ministers and spouting off in newspapers and on radio about the need to ban fox hunting…. Belinda Edwards, Bridgnorth (letter)

Western Morning News 5.5.04 Wonderful foxes? YOUR correspondent M Coot must be very naive to think that animals do not kill for fun… I have no views on hunting, but I do have the view that foxes are not the wonderful, faultless animals that M Coot would have us believe. Michael Ashton Torrington (letter)
Western Morning News 30.3.04 Predator knows no bounds - M COOT of Launceston (WMN, February 23) may have lived and worked all his or her life in the countryside and may well have devoted some of that time to the study of foxes but knowledgeable or expert he/she is not… To the vixen free range poultry and newborn lambs are as Tesco is to people - and like people, where they get satisfaction they will return. W T Sweet, Mawgan, Cornwall (letter)
Western Morning News 30.3.04 FOXES KILL SOLELY FOR FUN OF IT In reply to M Coot's letter (WMN, February 23) concerning foxes killing lambs - in one breath the writer states that foxes don't take live lambs and in another says that rogue foxes might. I don't think M Coot knows what he or she is writing about. Foxes kill healthy lambs - ask any moorland farmer…. The fox is an opportunist and often kills poultry and game in large numbers just for the fun of it… D Dawson, Bodmin (letter)
Western Morning News 2.3.04 'Nonsense' view of foxes - OH dear me, your correspondent Tess Nash really does have an Enid Blyton outlook towards animals, doesn't she? To her, only animals such as little lambs are acceptable as they are adorable and sweet, but wild foxes are wicked, demonic and cruel!... I am sure you have perfectly sensible correspondents whose letters could take the place of Ms Nash's obsessive hatred of foxes. Penny Little, Founder, Little Foxes Wildlife Sanctuary, Oxfordshire (letter)
Western Morning News 2.3.04 MEMORIES OF ENJOYABLE CHILDHOOD ON THE FARM - I do not know where Tess Nash of Helston was living 65 years ago but I imagine that it must have been fairly close to the North Pole…. As for keeping llamas to drive away the fox. Interesting. The same goes for the foxes hunting in packs. I think that there may be a place near Helston called cloud cuckoo land. Eric Higgs, Bodmin (letter)
Western Morning News 24.2.04 REAL FARM LIFE WAS COLD, HARSH AND LONELY There have been some interesting letters recently in Western Morning Views, on the reality of rural life… On my friend's farm, where he keeps a herd of llamas to protect his large flock, the "dear little foxes" have begun to work in packs. Part of the pack works at one end of the field to attract the llamas, while the rest of the fox pack whizz in and kill lambs. That is the reality of foxes…. Tess Nash, Helston (letter)
Western Morning News 23.2.04 FOX IS NOT THE BAD GUY I write with reference to the letter from Tess Nash (WMN, January 29). It makes me so angry that it is always assumed that anybody who sympathises with the plight of our fox is a "townie".... Foxes do not take live lambs.... People who constantly defend their right to abuse and kill our wildlife have no place in today's society.... M Coot, Launceston (letter)
Western Morning News 10.2.04 FRENZIED KILLING IS A WASTE OF ENERGY - Your correspondent Tess Nash (WMN, January 29) lectures readers on what constitutes a proper understanding of the countryside. However, I fear her credentials are compromised by her outlandish description of a fox killing a newborn lamb. Why would Ms Nash stand and watch a fox doing what she alleges instead of shouting her head off to frighten him away?... Only one species really kills "for no more than enjoyment". Some examples of that species even dress up and gallop around the countryside in the pursuit of that lethal enjoyment…. Penny Little, Little Foxes Wildlife Sanctuary Great Haseley, Oxfordshire (letter)
Western Morning News 29.1.04 IDEALISTIC ILLUSIONS ABOUT COUNTRY LIFE - The other evening, I saw a TV advertisement lauding the merits of "countryside" holidays, in cottages and chalets and so on and so on…. What a picture of Rural Britain, I thought in horror… Then I read a letter in Western Morning Views from Mrs Jean Beare… She seems to have some idealistic illusion about what the countryside actually is, very akin to the holiday advertiser's…. how would she feel when the fox, the innocent creature of her imaginings, got into the lambing fold, and, as I have seen happen, tore that newborn and defenceless little lamb to pieces in a typical fox-like frenzy of insane killing, for no more than enjoyment?... Tess Nash, Mawgan, Cornwall (letter)
Western Morning News 20.1.04 Saddam's fate WHAT a ridiculous letter by W T Sweet (WMN, January 9) comparing the fox's fate, to that of Saddam Hussein… No doubt Saddam will enjoy good human treatment while he awaits trial. Can the same be said of the poor fox at the hands of his captors? I don't think so. Mrs Jean Beare, Liskeard (letter)
Western Morning News 9.1.04 Hunting Saddam - FOXHUNTERS have on occasion been referred to as cruel, bloodthirsty and barbaric, etc. However, as is often the case, the fox is hunted to ground… in which case it is swiftly and painlessly dispatched…. the coalition forces in Iraq, having hunted Saddam to ground, sent in the terriers and he was dug out, scrubbed, shaved, incarcerated, interrogated and will be put on display for many months - even years - before his life will eventually be terminated in an uncertain manner. To whose fate would you rather succumb? W T Sweet Mawgan Helston (letter)

Northern Echo 5.5.04 Hoping to get others hooked on fishing - THREE teenagers from the North-East will travel to an angling fair to offer advice to young people on how to take up fishing. Jonathan Boulton, 14, from Sunnydale School, Shildon, Wayne Collins, 16, from Bishop Barrington School, Bishop Auckland, and Paul Soulsby, 16, from Tanfield Lea School, Stanley, all County Durham, will join 17-year-old Corina Smith, from Stoke-on-Trent, at the Chatsworth Angling Fair, in Derbyshire, on May 22 and 23. All four were trained through the Get Hooked on Fishing scheme started by County Durham police officer Mick Watson…. (story in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 5.5.04 PATIENTS OPPOSE ANIMAL TESTING I See that the Post has published a letter from one K Bromley of the drug company-funded, pro-vivisection group Seriously Ill for Medical Research (Open Lines, April 29). His group's name would suggest that all sick people are in favour of animal experiments. This is not so, as evidenced by the Seriously Ill Against Vivisection Group… Chris Pedler, Kingsleigh Park, Kingswood (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 29.4.04 SOMETIMES THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE - I Am writing in response to Chris Pedler of the British Anti-Vivisection Association (Open Lines, March 31). I am not necessarily a Labour supporter but I think any government should support medical research, and unfortunately some of that research involves the unavoidable use of animals where no alternative exists…. K Thomas Bromley, SIMR Executive Secretary (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 31.3.04 TIME TO CONSIDER LABOUR PHILOSOPHY - I Was interested in reading about Christopher Head of the Bristol Cancer Health Centre and in his comments regarding his desire to see this Government offer cancer patients the information necessary to allow an informed decision about nutrition, and in particular information on the health hazards of dairy products…. Disregarding the evidence of the independent enquiry into the value of vivisection, which found that experiments upon primates would have no discernible benefits for people, Blair put his full weight of support behind plans for a new primate vivisection laboratory at Cambridge University… Chris Pedler, British Anti-Vivisection Association, Kingswood. (letter)

4.5.04

Western Mail 4.5.04 Lobby puts economy to rights on bangs - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - RESEARCH is under way to assess the importance of the sport of shooting to the UK economy and to jobs in the countryside. It is thought that the contribution has greatly increased since the last survey five years ago showed that the income to government from all field sports was in excess of £650m…. The survey is also backed by the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, the Countryside Alliance and the Game Conservancy Trust…. (story)

Jersey Evening Post 4.5.04 From Michael Dryden, chairman, ornithology section, Société Jersiaise, Roblea, Route des Genêts, St Brelade - READING Alasdair Crosby's column 'Feathers must fly' ( JEP, 29 April), I came to muse upon the idea that if you state something often enough, it can soon become a fact, whether or not it might actually be true. Take, for example, the case of the common pheasant, Phasianus colchicus. To the best of my knowledge, no survey into the numbers of this species of bird has ever been carried out in Jersey, but already a figure of 4,500 is being introduced into our sub-consciousness as the size of the Island's population… What is a fact, though, is that these birds were released in Jersey illegally, with the intention of generating a game bird to be shot for sport. If a general licence to shoot them should ever come about, then those who broke the law will have been rewarded for their nefarious activity. (letter may be in archive)

Dundee Courier 4.5.04 Regarded as pest species - You report (April 29) that the four “adorable” fox cubs found on a roadside in Edinburgh are, in due course, to be released into the wild—in other words, dumped on somebody’s ground. We have from time to time had foxes dumped here. They are easily distinguished by their behaviour which is in sharp contrast to wild country bred foxes… Malcolm Strang Steel. Greenhead of Arnot, Leslie. (letter)

Western Morning News 4.5.04 STOP BLAMING OTHER CREATURES FOR OUR FAILINGS - I was appalled to hear that some Westcountry farmers have now claimed that badgers are responsible for brucellosis in cattle, as well as bovine TB… I do sometimes wonder if these cruel, evil, totally pointless badger culls are implemented merely to keep people in employment. G Ryan, Redruth (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 4.5.04 ANIMALS' ROLE IN MEDICINE TESTS - Don't tell Andrew Saunders (Letters, April 17), but all those scientists he despises so much actually agree with him. Animal tests do not prove medicines are safe for people. Safety testing with animals is carried out to give as much protection as possible to the people who will take part in clinical trials…. PHILIP CONNOLLY Director, Coalition for Medical Progress Hamilton House Mabledon Place London (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 30.4.04 NO BENEFITS TO RESEARCH - I agree with T. Bromley (Letters, April 26), people should come before animals, which is why an increasing number of scientists are demanding accurate methods of research… M. A. THOMPSON Farleys Lane Hucknall (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 17.4.04 ANIMALS OFFER ONLY HOPE - Both C. Kent and Robert Massey (Letters, April 9) are very loud in attacking medical research, but remarkably quiet when it boils down to telling us what we should use instead of animals to give hope to people with serious illnesses.... THOMAS BROMLEY Executive Secretary, SIMR (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 17.4.04 TESTING ON ANIMALS MUST END, ONCE AND FOR ALL On Friday (Letters, April 9) the Post printed two letters in reply to a letter from Thomas Bromley, the mouthpiece for Seriously Ill for Medical Research (or perhaps it should be "Seriously Ignorant for Medical Research"). Robert Massey and C. Kent brilliantly refuted Thomas Bromley's bogus claim that experimenting on animals helps the sick... Anyone who decides that this barbaric practice has no place in a civilised society should make a resolution to get involved to end it once and for all. Why not contact a campaigning organisation such as Animal Aid... ANDREW SAUNDERS Orchard Drive Calverton (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 9.4.04 CRUELTY TO ANIMALS IS NO WAY TO CURE DISEASES - It beggars belief that people like Thomas Bromley could think hideous acts of deliberately brain-damaging healthy, young primates, proposed by so-called scientists at Cambridge, could possibly produce a cure for Parkinson's or Alzhiemer's.... C. KENT High Road Chilwell
Why I'm worried sick In response to Thomas Bromley (Letters, March 30), I do feel for people with serious illnesses and wish I could do more to help them get well. I work at Oscar (Organisation for Sickle Cell Anaemia Research)... Oscar does not fund vivisection... I am seriously ill, Mr Bromley, because of vivisection.... I am sick of betraying my fellow creatures by being afraid of how I die, when they are dying horrifically in their droves. ROBERT MASSEY Willoughby Court Lenton (letters)
Nottingham Evening Post 30.3.04 Lab would help the sick - In response to P. J. Smith (Letters, February 14) the decision by Cambridge University not to go ahead with their planned primate laboratory might be a victory for animal extremists but is not much help to the most important people in the debate, those of us with serious illnesses for which continued animal research is crucial... THOMAS BROMLEY SIMR Executive Secretary (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 14.2.04 UNIVERSITY DECISION IS A VICTORY FOR THE PROTESTERS -I hope that in abandoning plans for new laboratories using non-human primates for so-called research, Cambridge University have finally accepted democratic, moral and scientific arguments against their plans... P. J. SMITH Nottingham Animal Rights Gladstone Street Nottingham (letter)

Western Mail 4.5.04 EU baulks at tougher live transit rules - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - EUROPEAN farm ministers have failed to agree new rules to cover the transport of live animals for slaughter. Talks in Luxembourg broke down last week after a number of countries, including Ireland, complained that new time limits would seriously harm their meat industry…. (story)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 4.5.04 Mankind is the real animal - SO officials in Alaska killed the brown bear, the 400lb brown bear that 'attacked' a 15 year-old boy in his tent when he was sleeping… Is it any wonder the human race is such 'bad news' for so-called 'wild animals?' No animal is wilder than we are. D PRATT (Mr), Plantation Street, Accrington. (letter in archive)

Telegraph 4.5.04 Unnaturally woolly - Sheep such as Shrek (News, Apr 29) would not naturally need to be sheared any more than cows would need to be milked. It is selective breeding and unnatural diets that have led to excessively woolly sheep… Richard Mountford, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

3.5.04

Hull Daily Mail 3.5.04 Lucky old animals... In reference to Nick Palmer's letter "Labour backs hunt ban" (Post, April 27). Nick Palmer MP is so right. Animal welfare has progressed under Labour; it's the only thing that has! KEN E. SALMONS Hanslope Crescent Bilborough (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 27.4.04 Labour backs hunt ban - Several readers have attacked Labour over animal welfare, and not unreasonably asked why it's taken so long to ban hunting with hounds. The position, if we're honest, is that animal welfare has progressed under Labour, but not as fast as many of us would like…. NICK PALMER MP Labour, Broxtowe Barratt Lane Attenborough
Are vermin so important? To the constituents of Sherwood, I suggest you think further as to who you vote for to look after your affairs. Mr Tipping obviously thinks that to protect vermin (ie foxes) is more important than other issues to improve his constituency… GILLIAN LIPP (Mrs) Annesley Cutting Annesley (letters)

Irish Examiner 3.5.04 We shoot straight from the heart - I AM writing on behalf of the National Target Shooting Association (NTSA) in response to the letter from John Fitzgerald entitled ‘Shooting incident should be a warning’. This ill-informed letter paints a truly horrifying image of the Irish target shooting community, all the more so because it is completely false in all of its accusations… Mark Dennehy, PRO, National Target Shooting Association, 167, Applewood Heights, Greystones, Co Wicklow (letter)
Irish Examiner 22.4.04 Shooting incident should serve as a warning - THE miraculous escape of a woman who was accidentally shot in County Roscommon recently should again focus attention on the dangers posed by lethal weapons in the hands of so-called sportsmen.... Not content with littering the fields, woods, and roads of rural Ireland with the mutilated carcasses of once beautiful wild creatures, they now want to extend this reign of terror into our state forests and parks.... John Fitzgerald, Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Shropshire Star3.5.04 World visitors fly in for falconry show - Thousands of visitors descended on a Shropshire park for a country fair which also pulled in visitors from United States and Japan. The first day of the British Falconry, Raptor and Country Fair, near Newport, saw visitors basking the the Bank Holiday sunshine…. (story)

Western Morning News 3.5.04 FIONA Saint, of Bovey Tracey, says (WMN, April 27) that we should sign up to the EU Constitution because the words "animal rights" appear in the draft…. There are two very peculiar ideas here. One is that we should sign up for something without being sure what is in it… Peter Martin-Kaye, Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 30.4.04 Vote yes for animal rights - HOW many people are aware that at present the words "animal rights" appear in the draft EU Constitution?... There is no guarantee that rights for animals will make it into the final constitution. But if we vote no then we surely lose all say in the matter. Fiona Saint, Bovey Tracey (letter)

2.5.04

Scotland on Sunday 2.5.04 Cruel bullfighting IT WAS disappointing to read the article promoting the cruel ‘sport’ of bullfighting (‘Fiesta forever’, Spectrum Magazine, April 25)… Ross Minett, Advocates for Animals, Edinburgh (letter)

1.5.04

Cambridge Evening News 1.5.04 MP not out of touch From Mike and Ingrid Michalak, Swaffham Road, Burwell - IT IS NOT Anne Campbell who is out of touch with people over her anti-hunting stance (News, April 22). It is the bleating, hand-wringing members of the hunting fraternity who for years have looked upon the vast majority of the general public as uninformed idiots.... (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 1.5.04 She speaks for us From John Brackenbury, Carisbrooke Road, Cambridge - I AM DELIGHTED to support my MP, Mrs Anne Campbell, who has expressed her will to end hunting with dogs… (letter)
Cambridge Evening News 22.4.04 Anti-hunt MP 'out of touch with people' - CAMBRIDGE MP Anne Campbell has been branded "out of touch with ordinary people" for her support of a hunting ban. The Labour politician is one of more than 200 MPs from across the political divide who have turned up the heat on Tony Blair to introduce legislation in the next few weeks.... (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 1.5.04 HUNTING BAN DETERS VOTERS - Madam - I would like to express my disappointment that our elected representatives in Westminster feel it is a worthwhile use of their limited parliamentary time to re-introduce a bill banning hunting with dogs rather than deal with issues of much greater importance… JA Egan, Grafton. (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 1.5.04 HUNTING BILL IS NOT A TRIVIAL ISSUE - Mrs Howard's sweeping assumption that the Hunting Bill is not high on the public's agenda, (Letters, April 22), is sheer arrogance! We can assure her that it has top priority with animal lovers worldwide… BRIAN TORR Barnfield Wilford (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 28.4.04 HUNTING IS NOT A POLITICAL PRIORITY - MP is respected It is a pity that Mrs Howard is a voicepiece of the Countryside Alliance (Letters April 22). If she knew Paddy Tipping, MP, or even lived in the Sherwood constituency she would know he has a reputation as being a respected hardworking constituency MP. DON BRADLEY Vernon Crescent Ravenshead (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 22.4.04 Let the dogs loose on a real issue of concern - It has come to my attention that Sherwood MP Paddy Tipping, a fierce opponent of hunting with dogs, is pressurising the Government to reintroduce the Hunting Bill, in the same form as that which ran out of time last year in the House of Lords…. What a shame he does not have a similar enthusiasm for serving and improving his constituency… LYNDA HOWARD (Mrs) Langold Worksop

Cambridge Evening News 1.5.04 Parable of the cage - From Mrs M Ashenden, Cavendish Avenue, Cambridge - A READER complained about having to sit in her car which was held up in traffic during the World Day for Laboratory Animals demonstration. I have since spoken to a number of people who too had been held up. They said the demonstration had made them think about what it must be like to be confined, not in a car for a short period of time, but in a cage and for life.... (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.5.04 BLAMING THE BADGER INSTEAD OF FARMING - Once again poor old Brock the Badger is made the scapegoat for discredited farming methods that have blighted the countryside for so many years… A Turner, Backwell, Bristol (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 1.5.04 HEDGEHOG BOUNTY HUNTERS SURGE AHEAD This season's hedgehog bounty hunters in the Outer Hebrides have now saved more creatures than Scottish Natural Heritage has culled…. Kay Bullen, of Uist Hedgehog Rescue, said: "We hope to save hundreds more before the mission ends at the close of next month…" The research has received funding from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital… (story)

Dundee Courier 1.5.04 Humane methods needed - R. T. Gordon (April 26) mistakes the motivation of many of those who complain about the Canadian seal cull. Many of us are not ignorant of wildlife conservation matters, as he avers.... Men with clubs battering an animal to death demeans all definitions I know of humanity.... Ian F. McRae. 17 Broomwell Gardens, Monikie (letter)

Western Morning News 1.5.04 Chicken cruelty - Requests, like the one from TV chef Antony Worrall-Thompson earlier this year, to buy only free-range eggs and not battery ones is highly commendable. But is he ignorant of the fact that either method of egg production involves horrific cruelty to baby male chickens?... The sad fact is that the only way to avoid cruelty in eggs is not to buy any egg products at all - something few of us can manage. Kareena Grey, Torquay (letter)