May 2005

Back to News Index


(*)- added since last update


31.5.05

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
Western Mail 31.5.05 Countryside Alliance offers free membership to attract young people - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE Countryside Alliance is aiming to attract younger people by offering free membership. Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said under-19s who joined the campaigning organisation would receive the full benefits…. (story)
Birmingham Post 24.5.05 Alliance's carrot for under-19s - The Countryside Alliance has launched a free membership category for young people under the age of 19…. Under-19s can join at www.countryside-alliance.org or through the Alliance membership department on 01672 519490 (story)
Bristol Evening Post 20.5.05 ALLIANCE AIMS TO WIN YOUNG - The Countryside Alliance, the group which fought hard to keep fox hunting legal, has launched a new free membership scheme for youngsters under 19 years old. Under-19 members will receive all the benefits of alliance membership, including full personal accident disability and public liability insurance, quarterly editions of the campaign's newsletter and other member benefits… (story)

EAST KENT ATTACK
BBC News Online 31.5.05 Teenager arrest over hunt attack - A youth has been arrested in connection with an attack on an anti-hunt campaigner at the East Kent Hunt. The 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm and released on bail, Kent Police said…. (story)
Kentish Express 31.5.05 Youth arrested over hunt attack - A TEENAGER has been questioned by police in connection with an alleged attack on an anti-hunt protestor at Crundale, near Ashford … The protestor was injured on February 19 at the first East Kent hunt meet after the hunting with dogs ban was introduced…. (story)
Kent Messenger 24.2.05 'Law-abiding' hunt dismisses assault claim - HUNTING SUPPORTERS PLEDGE TO KEEP UP MEETINGS UNTIL BAN REPEALED - VIOLENCE and abuse captured on camera marred an otherwise peaceful day of the first meet of the East Kent Hunt since the Hunting Act came into force. The hunt chose to legally exercise hounds on private land at Crundale, monitored by hunt-ban activists and police, who were there to ensure the event went without incident. But hours after the meet was over, as a few riders and supporters were leaving Crundale House, an anti-hunt activist was said to have been attacked…. (story)
Kentish Express 24.2.05 New chapter for hunting - First meet assembles after ban - VIOLENCE and abuse captured on camera marred an otherwise peaceful day of the first post ban hunt attended by both sides of the hunting divide at Crundale. East Kent Hunt chose to legally exercise hounds on private land, monitored by hunt ban activists and police, who were there to ensure the event went without incident…. (story)

Horse & Hound 31.5.05 Hunt staff central to "forward" plan - Yolanda Carslaw - The Countryside Alliance looks to the future with a new hunting strategy document, which will give hunt staff with more involvement in planning next season - Hunt staff are to have more say in how hunting proceeds next season under the ban, under the "Hunting: forward, not back" strategy document, published by the Countryside Alliance (CA) and the Council of Hunting Associations (CHA)… (story)

Telegraph 31.5.05 Pro-hunting campaigners tried to engage Westminster - Sir - We all know the Hunting Act was forced on to the statute book because a majority of MPs voted for it (letter, May 30). What infuriated hunters was the refusal of most anti-hunting MPs to learn the facts... When Otis Ferry led in his small group, the chamber was almost empty… And Peter Coulson applauds this as democracy in action. Thomas Glover, Chairman, Claro Beagles, Bedale, N Yorks
Within four months, when the harvest has been cleared, the usual horrors among our wildlife will be exposed. Once, these would have been sorted out, using hounds, in the quickest, most humane way…. J. H. Lloyd, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos
Amanda Parsons describes the fox as "a cunning and skilful predator totally without conscience or fear… An accurate description of the human race, I would say. Martin Horsfall, Newick, E Sussex (letters)

Western Morning News 31.5.05 Hunters are wimps - YOUR correspondent, I Pepworth, thinks the pro-hunting brigade have been acting nice and polite while showing their opposition to the hunting ban. Presumably that would include the violent scenes in Parliament Square, to name just one instance where we saw the mob in action… F Cleaves, Cornwall (letter)

Times 31.5.05 John Anderton - Sportsman whose love of countryside shaped the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (obituary)

Western Morning News 31.5.05 BADGERS ARE BEING USED AS SILENT SCAPEGOATS - Brian Hill, who "farms near Okehampton", seems to have a magic talent the scientific world needs to test. He says he kills badgers with TB. I think he should let the world know how he tells if a badger is a TB carrier by looks…. Mrs Y Street, Okehampton (letter)

Guardian 31.5.05 Chemical tests and cruelty - I welcome the research published by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics which concludes that researchers should develop better alternatives to, and rely less on, animal experimentation… I've been working closely with animal rights and welfare organisations to develop a package of amendments to Reach to ensure the resulting legislation provides a robust regulatory regime to limit the presence of toxic synthetic chemicals in household objects, without the need for any further cruel, costly and misleading animal experiments. Dr Caroline Lucas MEP, Green, South-East England (story)

The Lawyer 31.5.05 Lawyer team sets up animal welfare association - A group of lawyers involved in animal welfare has set up the Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare (Alaw)…. The association was launched on 27 June 2005 by David Thomas, director of Alaw and chair of the RSPCA, and it hopes to build links with similar associations abroad…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 31.5.05 Lisburn should take the lead in banning circuses - If councillors wish to portray Lisburn as a modern, progressive 21st century city, they must follow the lead of the more enlightened local government bodies on the mainland and ban circuses from council property…. E. J. HEWITT, Lisburn, Co Antrim. (letter)

30.5.05

Telegraph 30.5.05 Pro-hunting campaign isn't all glamour - The media emphasis on the celebrity status of pro-hunting demonstrator Otis Ferry (News, May 27) has distracted from the point of his protest. This morning, I witnessed the aftermath of the fifth massacre in as many weeks of my now depleted flock of chickens…. Compared with the sporting, controlled and well-disciplined nature of the chase, which I used to observe, the sight was one of wanton cruelty. The fox is a cunning and skilful predator totally without conscience or fear of any member of the animal kingdom. It hunts its defenceless prey relentlessly for consumption and recreation. Amanda Parsons, Billingshurst, W Sussex
- I was appalled at the self-pitying waffle of Otis Ferry (News Review, May 28). Even now, he still fails to understand the simple point that a hunting ban was the will of a large majority of the House of Commons and thus became law…. Peter Coulson, London N6 (letters)

Western Daily Press 30.5.05 HUNT BAN DIDN'T GO FAR ENOUGH - It has been suggested that the fox hunting ban is wrong, because many foxes have been shot. Persuading some people that persecuting and causing harm to wild animals is unacceptable needs a firm hand. Anybody found to be shooting foxes, (snaring, poisoning or destroying their homes) should be prosecuted…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 30.5.05 FOX HUNTS WILL REMAIN ILLEGAL - If the pro-hunt fraternity is banking on a return to hunting in about four and a half years' time, they are living in a fool's paradise. I can't think of one bill that has been overturned when there is a change of government… PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Nr Stroud (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 30.5.05 Enemies of the state - I detest all hunting with dogs; and I despise the lifestyle of those who practise it. But that is irrelevant to the charge against the eight men brought to court for entering Parliament when in session and insulting the Deputy Speaker… They should have been criminalised, if for no other reason, as a deterrent for other foolish people. WILLIAM SPEIRS, Buccleuch Street, Innerleithen (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 30.5.05 ALLIANCE YOUTH PLEA A DISGRACE - The Countryside Alliance has launched a new free full membership category for those under the age of 19. … I consider it disgraceful that the alliance is appealing to the young people of this country to join them in the abuse of animals for sport. There is no valid reason for shooting thousands of birds for the enjoyment of a few wealthy 'guns'. It is not just bird shooting that people find so objectionable. The needless suffering and death inflicted by snares on many thousand wild animals, domestic pets and livestock is also a disgrace… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (story)

Glasgow Herald 30.5.05 Ok idiots, save the monkeys. Use humans - Hugo Rifkind - Nobody likes the idea of experiment-ing on animals. Why don't the idiots realise that?... Last week, the idiots won a victory. And, yes, I do know that "idiots" isn't a terribly balanced term for a responsible newspaper columnist to be using, but I'm comfortable with that. Last week, pressure from the idiots led Air Mauritius to ban the transport of animals destined for labs from all its flights…. Medical scientists are not torturers. They are not staple-gunning macaques to planks and shoving needles into their brains just for the hell of it. They are trying to save lives, and to make unbearable lives bearable…. I have a suggestion. You can set the monkeys free. You really can…. , if you want experiments on monkeys to stop, then there is only one thing for it. It's perfectly simple. Take their place. Well why not? The whole point of experimenting on monkeys is that they are a bit like humans. But you, you anti-vivisectionists, you're exactly like humans. They wouldn't need macaques if they had you. And just think of the cute little monkeys you'd be saving. Every one of you that troops up to the door of Huntingdon Life Sciences – preferably with a shaved head and your own handcuffs – another monkey goes free… (story)

Western Morning News 30.5.05 Badger trials letter - I WAS interested by your piece "Beckett Shuns Vets' Protest" and claims that we "slipped out" our response "to avoid negative publicity in the run-up to the General Election". For the record, the letter was sent to Dr Gallagher on March 22; the election, you will recall, was on May 5…. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs London
Dear me, Ben. How many points can you miss in one letter? To deal with just one: We reported that Dr Gallagher had received the letter in March but that its contents were not made public by Defra until after the election was safely out of the way – Editor (story)

The Sentinel 30.5.05 ZOO ANIMALS HAVE RIGHTS TOO - I Am writing to complain about animal rights and animals being captive in exhibits in zoos. The animals become depressed if they are treated badly…. BETHANY HARRISON St Chad's Schools, Red Street (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.5.05 AT LAST, A REALISTIC ATTITUDE TO THESE BEARS - - I am gobsmacked over the article "MPs rally to save the Moon Bears". Don't get me wrong. I am pleased that at last some MPs have signed a Commons' motion, calling on the Chinese government to protect these bears. I am gobsmacked because one leading blood sports campaigner is at last understanding that all wildlife in any country needs our protection and exposure to the pain inflicted on those innocents in the name of sport, medicine, entertainment or conservation…. Hopefully, with help from MPs like James Gray, we may at last end these atrocities. M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (story)

Western Daily Press 30.5.05 HONOURING ANGEL OF THE MOON BEARS - The woman who has dedicated 12 years of her life to rescuing Moon Bears from appalling cruelty has received one of Europe's top animal welfare awards, it emerged yesterday. Jill Robinson MBE was presented with the prestigious Marching Trust Animal Welfare Award for 2005 at a special ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels…. (story)

29.5.05

Observer 29.5.05 It's no time for own goals - Mary Riddell … Our new national heroes do seem decent people. Djibril Cissé, who has just bought a title, has infuriated established toffs by banning foxhunting from his land in his capacity as Lord of the Manor of Frodsham…. (story)

Scotsman on Sunday 29.5.05 Monarch's deer ruin the glen, claims expert - KURT BAYER - THE Queen has been accused of ignoring the devastating environmental damage caused by vast herds of red deer that roam across her Highland estate and on to one of Scotland's top nature reserves. A leading environmentalist claims the monarch - along with many other landowners - is allowing deer numbers to run out of control because of the money to be made from shooting rights…. Dr Adam Watson, the scientist who recently received a lifetime achievement award from the John Muir Trust for services to the environment, said estates were "shirking their duty" to manage deer numbers and the Queen should be setting an example to other landowners…. (story)

Observer 29.5.05 Two sides to animal rights story - Eye witnesses swore our report of a stormy meeting was false. So what was the truth? - Stephen Pritchard - As 50 news ombudsmen descended on London from around the world last week to discuss the current state of accountability in the media, a classic example of the sort of case we often face was rapidly piling up in my email and letters tray…. The piece interviewed Parkinson's sufferer Mike Robins, who claimed to have met huge hostility from anti-vivisectionists when he described to the meeting dramatic improvements he had experienced in his health after receiving treatment developed in animals…The difficulty here is the difference between his perception - held, and reported, in good faith - and the reality, as displayed in a video recording of the meeting, made by Europeans for Medical Progress (EMP), organisers of the debate. We said his demonstration had been blocked because the meeting had been packed by anti-vivisectionists, and yet the recording plainly shows him turning off his tremors with the device, and being heard in silence. … Diana Marshall, of Woodbridge, wrote: 'Yes, the proceedings livened up a little, but sitting towards the back of a relatively small audience I heard nothing untoward.' Sue Bamgardt, of Hove, Sussex, said: 'There was some heckling, but not on the scale you reported.' Shelly Willetts of the Green Party wrote: 'There is always a little shouting at debates but I cannot understand why you would want to distort the truth to such a ridiculous degree.' Hella Gamper, of Crowborough, Sussex, added: 'To state that people in the audience shouted at Mike Robins "roll over and die" is fiction…” (story)
Observer 22.5.05 Wrong on rights - I am puzzled by Robin McKie's article ('Hundreds shouted at me: roll over and die', News, last week), which claims to report on the debate on vivisection, chaired by Tony Benn in Oxford. The public should not be misled. I was near the front and can vouch that the audience listened attentively and sympathetically to Parkinson's victim Mike Robins… Joan Court, Cambridge (letter)
Observer 15.5.05 'Hundreds shouted at me, roll over and die' - Science gave a Parkinson's victim new life but animal rights activists called him a Nazi - Robin McKie, science editor - Mike Robins is a man redeemed. Thanks to pioneering surgery, the debilitating effects of Parkinson's disease that were wrecking his life are now under tight control…. At a recent public meeting to discuss a proposed animal research centre in Oxford, 63-year-old Robins was jeered and ridiculed when he tried to show how surgery, perfected through animal experiments, had transformed his life. … 'I have seen many unpleasant things at these debates, but to scream at a middle-aged man with Parkinson's disease and then tell him he deserved to die is the worst I have observed,' said Simon Festing, director of the Research Defence Society… After trying, unsuccessfully, to show how his implant worked, Robins sat down. 'A handful of middle-aged women, the type you would meet in Sainsbury's every day, were sitting behind me. They started hissing in my ear: "You Nazi bastard. That's what they did in concentration camps".' Women like these form the core of the animal rights campaign, says Simon Festing. 'They are often well-dressed and middle-class, but are religious in their fanaticism..." >(story)

Sunday Times 29.5.05 All quiet in the animal lab - Tough new tactics against animal rights activists see science staff sleeping easier, says Nick Fielding - Could the long campaign of intimidation against scientists who experiment on animals be coming to an end? Those who work in animal laboratories are used to checking their cars for slashed tyres and their post for incendiary devices, but there are signs that the well organised animal rights movement is in crisis. A police strategy of “beheading” the movement by arresting its suspected leaders seems to have had a dramatic effect… In February Sarah Gisbourne, 39, a leading member of the organisation, was jailed for 6½ years. Gisbourne, who specialised in attacks on cars, was convicted of causing about £40,000 worth of damage to vehicles belonging to workers at Huntingdon Life Sciences. Another blow to the animal rights camp was the arrest of Keith Mann, a prominent member of the Animal Liberation Front…. At least two other activists, Natasha Avery and Janet Laurence, who has been accused of writing threatening letters, are facing possible court action… (story)

Scotland on Sunday 29.5.05 Islanders net £4,000 in bounties as hedgehog rescuers needle SNH - ANNALISA MOORE - THE celebrity-backed rescue of hedgehogs in the Outer Hebrides finished for another year yesterday - with a record 241 saved. More than £4,100 in bounties was also handed out to islanders, who were paid £20 for each hedgehog they rescued from a government-funded cull…. SNH say there is no alternative to the cull. Some 5,000 hedgehogs face being killed eventually - though some experts believe the numbers have been overestimated. (story)

28.5.05

WESTMINSTER 8 TRIAL
Western Daily Press 28.5.05 IT'S BACK TO REALITY FOR THE EIGHT COMMONS PROTESTERS - Not long after midnight yesterday, and only hours after he emerged from a London court into a media scrum, David Redvers was back in the countryside and delivering a foal. While some other members of the now famous Westminster Eight partied the night away, Mr Redvers couldn't wait to leave the capital and get back to Gloucestershire…. The gang, led by Otis Ferry, 22, of Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury, had little idea what they were getting into, he said… They were joined in the Commons raid by auctioneer Andrew Elliott, from Ledbury, Hereford, polo player Luke Tomlinson, from Westonbirt, Gloucestershire, Richard Wakeham, a surveyor from York, Nicholas Wood, a chef from Lacock, Wiltshire, John Holliday, a huntsman from Ledbury, Herefordshire, and Robert Thame, a polo player from Maidenhead, Berkshire… (story)

Independent 28.5.05 Lenient punishment for hunt protesters - I feel compelled to express my dismay at the pitifully lenient sentences - conditional discharges, in fact - given to the hunting protesters who disrupted the business of the House of Commons. These sentences are a slap in the face to those who, like me, are employed in the Palace of Westminster - the Number 1 UK terrorist target - and most particularly to those who work tirelessly to keep us safe within these walls… ALAN BATES, PALACE OF WESTMINSTER
Had a group of miners, in defence of their jobs and communities, invaded the floor of the House of Commons during the miners' strike, would they have received as feeble a punishment as was given to the hunt protesters? STEVEN KELSEY ISLE, HEREFORD (letters)

Western Daily Press 28.5.05 POLO WAS NOT A PROPER EXCUSE - I read with amusement the account of the first day of the trial of the Westminster Eight at Bow Street Magistrates Court. I could not believe that one of the accused, Luke Tomlinson, would have the cheek to ask to be excused from attending on day three as he "was playing polo for England"!... Mike Jay, Gover Road, Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.5.05 WHAT'S THE AIM OF THIS CLAIM? - Why now, suddenly, when a ban on hunting with dogs has come into existence, and after a great many years of foxes being shot, has it now been suggested that perhaps 50 per cent are only wounded and suffer further? Were people better shots before the ban came in?... D Roberts, Bridgwater, Somerset (letter)

Leicester Mercury 28.5.05 LEADER WITH MORAL COURAGE - How about Ann Widdecombe for leader of the Conservative Party? She is a true Conservative, yet is brave enough to stand up against the party on other important issues, such as hunting with hounds, and many moral issues that are often ignored by other politicians…. Denise Pfeiffer, Leicester. (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.5.05 BLAMING BADGERS OR FARMERS IS USELESS - Bunty Garmere may have no time for wandering in woods or reading scientific papers, but that is no excuse for continuing to disseminate misleading information…. Badger numbers will pick up as the weather changes, but can the same be said of farmers' livelihoods if their demand for cash to be spent on culling rather than research is granted? Blaming badgers or farmers is useless when complex causes in a changing situation are not yet understood. Eunice D Overend, Leighton, Near Frome, Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.5.05 LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: A VICTIM OF EVIL BADGER BAITERS - After emergency surgery and a week of intensive veterinary care, this defenceless dog is thought to be one of the one of the luckier casualties of the sickening practice of badger baiting. Animal welfare officials in Dorset yesterday said the Border terrier had been almost torn apart in what they are convinced is a case of the cruel and illegal pursuit. She needed 60 stitches - many of them internal… (story)
Bournemouth Daily Echo 26.5.05 Pet stolen for badger baiting by Jenna Weekes - THIS pet dog is lucky to be alive after it was stolen to order for badger baiting and ripped apart. The seven-year-old Border Terrier had its stomach torn open and underwent emergency surgery and around 60 stitches after a member of the public found it near a badger sett in Alderholt…. If you recognise her and can help trace her owner call Michelle Jones on 01202 886201…. (story in archive)

Guardian 28.5.05 Scientists dismayed by BA animal ban - Airline stops all live trade for use in experiments - Mark Honigsbaum and Alok Jha - British Airways has been accused of setting back medical research in the UK by enforcing a blanket ban on the transport of live animals for use in experiments. Government officials and leading scientists have expressed their dismay to the airline about the toughening of its stance which they fear will send the wrong message to scientists and pharmaceutical companies involved in animal testing, and could encourage s extremists who have been running a high-profile campaign to shut down the live animal trade… (story)

Guardian 28.5.05 Macaque business puts airlines on back foot - Mark Honigsbaum and Alok Jha - One night last February animal rights extremists invaded the Surrey home of an executive with airport operator BAA, poured paint stripper on three cars parked in her driveway and spray-painted a chilling message on a nearby wall."You are now a target for us," it read. "You will not win." Police never discovered the identity of the assailants but their message was not lost on Margaret Ewing, BAA's 49-year-old finance director. Nor was it lost on other senior BAA executives whose cars were paint-stripped that night or on executives of British Airways… British Airways also claims it has not carried live animals on its planes for several years. However, in December, it discovered the policy was not being enforced and took the unusual step of writing to activists to ensure assure them it would not accept the carriage of primates, wild birds or other live animals "for use in any laboratory or for experimentation or exploitation"…. Shac's website announces that tomorrow is billed as Real World Day for animals. Police believe they are planning protests at various sites, including - possibly - the Dover terminal…. (story)

MIKE ROBBINS' LETTER
Torquay Herald Express 28.5.05 ANIMAL TESTS NOT RELIABLE - I've seen some wild claims about animal experiments before, but those made by Philip Connolly (Your View, May 11) may be the silliest I've ever seen… Five researchers from three leading UK universities and the Yale University School of Medicine, U.S, acknowledged that for too long animal experiments have relied for their justification on unsubstantiated claims… ANDREW KNIGHT BSc, BVMS, MRCVS, President, Animal Consultants International, York Road, Kings Lynn (story)
Torquay Herald Express 16.5.05 THIS TESTING WON'T STOP TRAGEDIES - Philip Connolly's claim that animal tests protect volunteers in clinical trials is not true (Your View, May 11). Astonishingly, he claims there have been no deaths in clinical trials, but there have been thousands (Science 2000; 288: 951). Unfortunately for the volunteers, 92 per cent of the drugs they try out, based on prior animal tests, cause side effects which were not revealed in animals… KATHY ARCHIBALD, Director, Europeans for Medical Progress, PO Box 38604, London (story)
Torquay Herald Express 11.5.05 SCIENCE CAN BETTER PROTECT US - Philip Connolly is optimistic about animals' similarities when we experiment on them (Your View, April 27). However, consider findings from medical journals: Testing for carcinogens using animals was found to have a 67 per cent failure rate using animals and the researchers concluded that flipping a coin would be more accurate. Yet it still goes on…. CRIS ILES, Fincer Drive, Ivybridge (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 11.5.05 ELEMENTARY ERROR - Despite the impressive list of letters after his name, Andrew Knight (Your View, May 5) fails an elementary rule - read the scientific papers you quote. The British Medical Journal article he refers to actually demonstrates how well animal research predicts what happens in man…. In the past 20 years not a single healthy volunteer, the first in line, has died as a result of taking an experimental drug. So the animal tests must be doing something right…. PHILIP CONNOLLY, Director, Coalition for Medical Progress, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 7.5.05 HIDDEN DANGERS OF ANIMAL RESEARCH - Having read with interest both comments from the spokesman for, and sufferer of Parkinson's Disease, the Coalition for Medical Progress and Dr Jarrod Bailey, I feel it tragic that, like the patients group SIMR, the CFMP seem to adopt a stance that I call the "I've made up my mind, don't tell me the facts" syndrome…. Vivisecting animals to extrapolate results to people IS illogical: it is also counter-productive, a waste of money, effort, time: is potentially hazardous for the human patient and, inevitably leads to the ultimate experiment of all, on man himself - the real "guinea pig". JACQUELINE SHORTLAND, Central Road, West Hoe, Plymouth (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 6.5.05 ANIMAL TEST RESPONSE IS WEAK ONE - The response by Philip Connolly on animal tests (Your View, April 27) may appear convincing to the average member of the public, but it is scientifically weak. The fact that humans and animals share some of the same medicines is irrelevant in terms of drug safety… ANDRE MENACHE, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 5.5.05 ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS PROVIDE POOR RETURN - Philip Connolly's claim that animal experiments do a "pretty good job" in protecting human health (Your View, April 27) does not stand up to scientific scrutiny… Rather than uncritically repeating pro-experimentation dogma, it is our responsibility to advocate measures such as preventative healthcare and education, which provide far greater benefits for safeguarding human and animal health than animal experimentation ever could. ANDREW KNIGHT ,BSc, BVMS, MRCVS, President, Animal Consultants International, York Road, Kings Lynn (story)
Torquay Herald Express 27.4.05 ANIMAL TESTS INVALUABLE TO MEDICAL RESEARCH - Len Short (Your View, April 18) doubts the value of research using animals. Scientists know animals are different to humans. They try to identify the similarities as they seek to understand disease and how it might be treated. The fact that 90 per cent of veterinary medicines were first made for people shows that despite the differences we share a lot in common when it comes to healthcare… PHILIP CONNOLLY, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 18.4.05 SCIENCE CAN'T BE LEFT TO CHANCE - I am glad to hear that Mike Robbin's surgeon was able to alleviate his Parkinson's tremors (HE, March 31), but surprised that he thinks using monkeys were of use in this operation…. Species difference invalidates any attempts to extrapolate the results of animal tests to human patients with any similarities being pure co-incidence, and you can't base science on chance!... LEN SHORT, for Animal Voices, St James Road, Upton (story)
Torquay Herald Express 13.4.05 PROGRESS ASSURED WITHOUT MONKEYS - Parkinson's disease patient Mike Robbins has been led to believe that research on monkeys was responsible for the technique of deep brain stimulation (DBS) which controls his tremor (Your View, March 29). In fact, DBS was discovered in a human patient, not in monkeys as is often claimed… DR JARROD BAILEY B.Sc. (HONS), Ph.D. School of Population and Health Sciences University of Newcastle upon Tyne (story)
Worcester Evening News 1.4.05 Ape tests are vital for research - MIKE ROBINS, On behalf of the Coalition for Medical Progress, London (letter in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 31.3.05 MONKEYS GAVE ME QUALITY OF LIFE - Britain's leading science and medical organisations have just announced they are backing a study to examine the scientific basis of research using non-human primates. Animal rights campaigners often criticise the value of such experiments. However, from my own experience, I am in no doubt that research with monkeys can help reduce human suffering enormously. I have Parkinson's and six years ago underwent an operation called Deep Brain Stimulation… DBS was developed using monkeys, as they resemble us in so many ways. I owe my quality of life in part to them… MIKE ROBBINS, Coalition for Medical Progress. Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London (letter)
Birmingham Post 29.3.05 For animal experiments - Mike Robins On behalf of the Coalition for Medical Progress (letter)

Oxford Mail 28.5.05 So many 'breakthroughs' - Harry Landon enthusiastically reports that researchers in the United States have claimed that research carried out on fruit flies could provide a vital breakthrough in the treatment of cancer (Oxford Mail, May 18). He then sarcastically comments that anti-vivisectionists will be targeting research on insects next. It would be interesting to know if Mr Landon also accepts without question the credibility of the hundreds of other alleged breakthroughs in cancer research that appear every year with unending regularity… Jim Crawford, Burton Place, Oxford (letter in archive)

Scotsman 28.5.05 Fox calls for ban on animal circus acts - SCOTTISH Socialist leader Colin Fox is calling for a ban on the use of animal acts at circuses…. (story)

Guardian 28.5.05 Fur ban by Selfridges - Selfridges has stopped selling fur products after pressure from campaigners Respect for Animals, which now has Harrods in its sights (story)
Independent 27.5.05 Animal rights groups celebrate as Selfridges stops selling fur By Maxine Frith, Social Affairs Correspondent - Animal rights campaigners are claiming a victory after Selfridges said that it had banned all fur products from its shops…. Mark Glover, from the campaign group Respect for Animals, said: "For us, this is absolutely fantastic news and a major victory…” (story)

Bristol Evening Post 28.5.05 MEP WANTS END TO 'CRUEL' EXPORTING OF LIVE ANIMALS - South West MEP Neil Parish has called for live animal exports to be brought to an end. The Conservative spokesman for agriculture in the European parliament asked the European Commission to reconsider its proposed budget for 2006, which would make £45 million available for refunds on live animal exports… (story)
Western Daily Press 27.5.05 A 12-DAY JOURNEY THAT ENDS IN DEATH - The Eu was last night accused of encouraging animal cruelty by subsidising the shipment of thousands of cattle to the Middle East in barbaric conditions. West MEPs and campaigners, including actress Joanna Lumley, claim that every year more than 200,000 European animals are crammed on to container ships for harrowing 12-day journeys… (story)

27.5.05

WESTMINSTER 8 TRIAL
Malvern Gazette 27.5.05 Hunt trio guilty of disorderly conduct - THREE members of Ledbury Hunt who invaded the House of Commons have been found guilty of disorderly conduct. Andrew Elliott, David Redvers and John Holliday were each given an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 costs by Bow Street Magistrates' Court yesterday… (story in archive)
Maidenhead Advertiser 27.5.05 Fox hunter guilty of storming commons not jailed - A FOX hunting protestor from Maidenhead who stormed into the House of Commons was given a conditional discharge yesterday (Thursday) after he told how he and his accomplices made a 'full-on charge'into the chamber. Stables owner, Robert Thame, 35, of Piper's Cottage, Paley Street, was part of the 'Commons Eight' who managed to trick their way into Parliament during the second reading of the Fox Hunting Bill on September 15 last year…. (story)
Maidenhead Advertiser 27.5.05 Hunt rebel guilty after Commons showdown - A PRO-HUNT campaigner who invaded the House of Commons in objection to a ban on fox hunting has been given an 18-month conditional discharge. Robert Thame, 35, of Piper’s Cottage, Paley Street, Maidenhead, was one of eight men who got past guards at the Palace of Westminster in September and stormed the debating chamber during the second reading of the Fox Hunting Bill, sparking fears of a possible terrorist attack…. (story in archive)
Ledbury Reporter 27.5.05 Hunt trio found guilty as charged - THREE members of Ledbury Hunt who invaded the House of Commons have been found guilty of disorderly conduct. Andrew Elliott, David Redvers and John Holliday were each given an 18-month conditional discharges and ordered to pay £350 costs by Bow Street Magistrates' Court yesterday (Thursday)…. (story in archive)
Gloucestershire Echo 27.5.05 WESTMINSTER EIGHT - WE'D DO IT AGAIN - Gloucestershire hunt protest- ers convicted for storming the House of Commons stood defiant, promising: "We'd do it all again."… Mr Redvers, 34, celebrated the verdict with a pint of cider before he headed back to Gloucestershire. He said: "The result was very fair. The judge made the right decision. Obviously we were going to get a smack for it and we always expected that…" John Holliday, whose house comes with his job at the Ledbury Hunt, promised to carry on hunting…. (story)
Western Daily Press 27.5.05 WE HAVE NO REGRETS, SAY WESTMINSTER EIGHT - West polo player Luke Tomlinson last night in sisted he had "no regrets" after being convicted for storming the House of Commons during a hunting debate. Tomlinson, a professional polo player from Westonbirt, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, branded the high-profile, four-day court case a "waste of public money"…. Ferry, 22, of Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury, said afterwards: "It is a shame we had to go to these lengths to get our voices heard and to make you all be here and be interested in what we have got to say."… (story)
Western Daily Press 27.5.05 RELIEF NOW IT'S ALL OVER - Alongside Luke Tomlinson, three other West pro-hunt campaigners were last night coming to terms with the fact they now have criminal records. The trio told the Western Daily Press they were looking forward to their lives returning to normal. John Holliday, a 42-year-old huntsman from Ledbury, Herefordshire, said: "I have no regrets. I would have preferred not to have a record but it was a fair result and we couldn't have expected any less…." Mr Holliday said he and fellow members of the Westminster Eight had received "massive" support, even in London. "Taxi drivers have supported us and shook us by the hand, "… (story)
Yorkshire Post 27.5.05 HUNT PROTESTERS CLAIM VICTORY - Lizzie Murphy - PRO-HUNTING campaigners who stormed the House of Commons claimed victory last night despite their convictions for a public order offence. The so-called Westminster Eight, who included rock star Bryan Ferry's son Otis, declared they were proud to have raised the profile of the campaign against the ban on hunting with dogs and attacked the trial as a waste of public money…. Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, protester Richard Wakeham, a surveyor from York, said: "They must have spent I don't know how much public money bringing eight guys to court for a charge of disorderly conduct…" (story)
Yorkshire Post 27.5.05 HUNT SUPPORTER WHO INVADED COMMONS SAYS HIS COMMITMENT TO THE CAUSE REMAINS - Julie Hemmings - AFTER four days in the dock of Bow Street Magistrates' Court Richard Wakeham is relieved to be a free man…. He knew some of "Westminster Eight" at the time of the Commons stunt, including Ferry, a former member of the Middleton Hunt, for which Wakeham rides point to point…. (story)
Independent 27.5.05 Pro-hunt protesters convicted of invading Commons By Nick Allen - Pro-hunting campaigners who stormed into the House of Commons during a debate on the Foxhunting Bill have been convicted of public order offences…. Ferry, 22, is master of the South Shropshire hunt and was the main organiser, the court heard. The other defendants included Luke Tomlinson, 28, a professional polo player and friend of Prince William and Prince Harry…. In addition to Ferry and Tomlinson, the defendants were David Redvers, 34, a horse breeder from Hartpury, Gloucestershire; Richard Wakeham, 36, a surveyor from York; Nicholas Wood, 41, a chef from Lacock, Wiltshire; John Holliday, 42, a huntsman from Ledbury, Herefordshire; Robert Thame, 36, a polo player from Maidenhead, Berkshire; and Andrew Elliott, 43, an auctioneer from Ledbury…. (story)
Guardian 27.5.05 Commons invaders conditionally discharged - Sandra Laville - The huntsmen who stormed the House of Commons to protest against the ban on foxhunting escaped with a conditional discharge yesterday before vowing their direct action protests would continue…. Animal rights groups condemned what they said was an overly lenient sentence. "The hunting fraternity have shown their contempt for the law, the public and parliament," said Jan Creamer, chief executive of Animal Defenders. "If someone else had done something like this would they have got off so leniently?"… (story)
Guardian 27.5.05 Alarming? Not Lord Snooty and his pals - Simon Hoggart - The young pro-hunt protesters who got on to the floor of the Commons last year were convicted yesterday. The beak said "your actions caused some of those present alarm." Caused alarm? Since when was it a crime to cause alarm to MPs? They themselves do little else…. (story)
Telegraph 27.5.05 We'd invade Commons again, say protesters By Catriona Davies - Eight hunt protesters who stormed into the House of Commons were found guilty of causing alarm yesterday and two said they would do the same again once their punishment was over…. (story)
Times 27.5.05 Hunt protesters 'let off lightly' BY MICHAEL HORSNELL AND VALERIE ELLIOTT - Commons invaders vow to continue protests after conditional discharges - PRO-HUNTING campaigners who stormed the House of Commons chamber were convicted yesterday of a public order offence. The eight men, who included the rock star Bryan Ferry’s son Otis, were spared fines of up to £1,000 each and instead each given an 18-month conditional discharge…. (story)
Times 27.5.05 Security comes at a price BY GREG HURST, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - WHILE the protesters face paying costs of £350 each, the House of Commons has had to spend millions of pounds on dealing with security weaknesses exposed by their protest. Privately, some senior officials were unhappy with the decision by police and Crown prosecutors to go ahead with the court case…. (story)
Mirror 27.5.05 LET TOFF - No jail or fine for hunters who stormed Commons By Tom Parry And Reid Sexton - A JUDGE provoked fury yesterday by letting hunt protester Otis Ferry walk free after he organised an invasion of the Commons. Wealthy Old Etonian Ferry, 22, son of Roxy Music star Bryan, was the ringleader of a pro-hunt group who stormed the chamber during a debate on the hunting ban last year…. Labour MP Martin Salter said: "This sentence is nothing short of pathetic. If the protesters were striking miners or railway workers they would be facing a hefty fine or a spell in the slammer….” (story)
Mirror 27.5.05 BORN TO THE CHASE - OTIS Ferry inherited a love of foxhunting from his mother Lucy Helmore, a society heiress. The ex-model, separated from Otis's rock star dad Bryan, has a long association with the hunting set. Encouraged by her father, a bloodstock agent, convent-educated Lucy began riding out at 12 and keeps a hunter in South Shropshire, where Otis was master of foxhounds…. (story)
Scotsman 27.5.05 Commons hunt protesters avoid jail - NICK ALLEN - PRO-HUNTING campaigners who stormed the House of Commons chamber were yesterday convicted of a public order offence, but were spared jail. The so-called Westminster Eight - who included rock star Bryan Ferry's son Otis - were each given an 18-month conditional discharge to deter them from further stunts. … (story)
Daily Record 27.5.05 FERRY SON GUILTY OF PRO-HUNT PARLY RAID HUNT campaigners who stormed the House of Commons were convicted of public disorder yesterday. The so-called Westminster Eight - including rock star Bryan Ferry's huntmaster son Otis - were given 18-month conditional discharges to deter them from further stunts… (story)
Daily Record 27.5.05 REG MCKAY: OTIS FERRY - MPs thought terrorists were attacking when Bryan Ferry's son, Otis, and his spoilt brat, pro-hunting toff mates invaded parliament last year… But have they the right to kill animals for fun? They call it sport. It's murder by any other name (story)
Hereford Journal 27.5.05 Commons raid 'not expected to work' - Three pro-hunting demonstrators from Ledbury who were among a group which invaded the House of Commons had not expected their plan to work, one of them told a court. Ledbury Hunt member David Redvers, 34, who lives in Hartpury, Gloucestershire, said that he had thought the plan to disrupt the Commons debate on September 15 last year was “unrealistic at best… (story)

Western Morning News 27.5.05 HUNT BAN CHALLENGE COULD COST £3 MILLION - JASON GROVES LONDON EDITOR - The cost of mounting a full legal challenge against the controversial hunting ban could reach £3 million, hunt supporters have been warned… The Alliance has launched two challenges to the hunting ban: a High Court challenge to the use of the Parliament Act, which will reach its final hearing in the House of Lords in July; and a separate human rights case, which could take years to reach the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg…. (story)

Post & Times 27.5.05 COUNTY GOES ON SHOW FOR FAMILIES - The Staffordshire County Show returns again this year on June 1 and 2, providing fun and entertainment for all the family…. Parades come in all shapes and sizes with the grand parades of livestock and horses, hounds and beagles, vintage machinery and the Young Farmers' floats, which is on Thursday…. (story)
The Sentinel 17.5.05 A SHOW FOR AGRICULTURE VULTURES - JON BAMBER - Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on Stafford for the annual County Show next month. The Staffordshire County Show 2005, organised by Staffordshire & Birmingham Agricultural Society, will be held at the County Showground in Weston Road, Stafford, on Wednesday, June 1 and Thursday, June 2… There will be a full Main Ring programme including the Kangaroo Kid, the Essex Dog Display Team, a parade of hounds and beagles featuring up to five packs on each day of the show, show jumping, the Young Farmers' Float competition, a parade of vintage agricultural machinery and an Inter Hunt Relay…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.5.05 12-BORE LAW FLAW - In a recent article the Western Daily Press claimed that: "More foxes are dying in agony by the gun than when hunted by dogs". This makes it look like farmers have never shot foxes before the ban. What a load of rubbish… Where the hunt would pursue and catch one fox if they were lucky, the farmer would find the fox's lair and kill the whole family. Roger E Smith Gloucester (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.5.05 £3M HUNT ACTION IS WORTHWHILE - I would like to respond to John Phelps, Letters, May 25. He states that "the legal action of the Countryside Alliance is about killing animals for fun". I think he will find that the alliance is taking legal action to overturn legislation that clearly discriminates against people who live and work in the countryside. Mr Phelps goes on to accuse members of the alliance of having no respect for the law. I would put it to him that actions by some anti-hunt protesters have shown a complete lack of respect and total disregard for other people's property, the law and, at times, human lives…. Phil Walters, Broadclyst (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 25.5.05 ALLIANCE'S WASTE AND HYPOCRISY ... Next month, the Countryside Alliance is instituting proceedings against the Government, in a legal challenge to the Hunting Act. Legal costs are expected to be in the region of £3 million…. The Alliance says the Hunting Act is too costly to police and that forces are already overstretched - but if their members respected the law, the question of enforcement would not arise. It is hypocritical of them to complain about costs when they are willing to spend £3 million on what will almost certainly be wasted legal fees…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.5.05 ONE OF THESE GUNS IS REAL....BOTH ARE DEADLY - Home Secretary Charles Clarke last night pledged a major overhaul of Britain's gun laws after the Western Daily Press purchased a fearsome arsenal of firearms available to youths…. (story)
Western Daily Press 27.5.05 TARGETING DEADLY REPLICA FIREARMS - Home Secretary Charles Clarke last night promised a major review of Britain's gun laws after a Western Daily Press investigation blew a huge hole in current legislation. We assembled a fearsome arsenal of firearms by shopping for a few hours in West high streets. And this terrifying weaponry cost little more than £400. The Daily Press launched its probe after Alan Green, Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, said it was only a matter of time before a child was shot dead by a police of ficer… Last night, a Home Office spokesman complimented the Daily Press for its investigation and revealed: "We are aware this is a definite area for concern and can say that a major review of the situation is now being undertaken by the Home Office…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.5.05 A BRUTAL, BLOODY END FOR THE BIRDS - Every year, millions of pheasants are released into the countryside so that they may be shot down for sport. This bloody and brutal end to their lives is the final insult. Industrial hatcheries hold hundreds of birds and the release pens can hold scores of thousands. Pheasant farming escapes agricultural regulation, as most of the animals are not eaten…. Killing animals for fun has no place in a civilised society. If it were up to me I would make the holding of ANY firearms by ANY civilian, regardless of status, an offence punishable by a severe prison sentence… Julian Brown Nailsworth Gloucestershire (letter)

Scotsman 27.5.05 - Weapons There seems to be an attitude abroad that airguns are no more than toys. But deaths and injuries to humans represent the tip of a very large ice-berg, with thousands of birds and animals killed or injured each year by airguns…. Bruce Henderson ST ANDREWS (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 27.5.05 PET IDOL FOX DIES IN RAIL COLLISION BY HILARY BURTON - Honey, the blind rescue fox who captured Evening Telegraph readers' hearts as an entrant in Pet Idol, has been tragically killed in an accident. The fox, who was believed by owner Elesha Ambler to be about a year old, was hit by a train on the Spondon to Derby railway line and broke her neck… Mrs Ambler had taken in Honey from the National Fox Society about three months ago…. Mrs Ambler said: "I always said that if Honey won I would give the £1,000 prize money to charity, and that still holds. We would split the money between an animal ambulance in Yorkshire and the National Fox Society."… (story)

Oxford Student 27.5.05 University launches probe into staff leaks to animal activists By Jack Shenker - Oxford University has launched an internal investigation into how private staff contact details were leaked to animal rights activists intent on preventing the building of the new animal laboratory on South Parks Road. Animal rights groups have redoubled intimidation against students and employees of Oxford University in an attempt to extract information about the developments of the laboratory… The University has now urged anybody receiving letters purporting to be from the ‘Oxford University Information Appeal’ to contact the University Security Services immediately. It has emerged that several people, including individuals who had unsuccessfully applied for administration posts at the university, have in recent weeks been sent letters signed ‘Colleen Bakemore’ which request information about the University’s use of animals in research…. (story)

The Scientist 27.5.05 UK prepares for animal protests - A new strategy aims to ensure universities are more proactive in dealing with extremist campaigns By Pat Hagan - A new initiative has been launched to help UK universities be more prepared for action by animal rights activists. The Research Defence Society (RDS), a body funded by researchers, universities, and medical charities, said this week that it has appointed a senior project manager to take charge of coordinating how universities deal with extremist activity…. (story)

SEARCH FOR GLADYS HAMMOND'S BODY
Wolverhampton Evening Express & Echo 27.5.05 Search for remains ends in failure - A three-day search to find the body of a grandmother snatched from a grave near Lichfield ended without success… (story)
Post & Times 27.5.05 SEARCH OF WOODLAND FAILS TO LOCATE MISSING BODY - Police concluded a search for a woman's body last week. Around 100 officers investigating a grave desecration at Yoxall completed searches at Brakenhurst Wood in Newchurch, between Uttoxeter and Burton, last Thursday. The body was not found, but detectives say they found other items that are of interest…. (story)
Western Daily Press 20.5.05 BODY SEARCH - A Three-day search of dense woodland has failed to find the remains of a pensioner whose body was stolen from a graveyard, police said yesterday…. (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 19.5.05 Search for remains proves fruitless - A three-day search of dense woodland has not led to the recovery of the remains of a pensioner whose body was stolen from a church graveyard, police have said…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.5.05 Search for body proves fruitless - A three-day search of woodlands after animal rights extremists claimed a pensioner's remains were buried there has ended without the body being found. About 100 officers began searching on Tuesday at Brakenhurst Wood, Newchurch, Staffordshire, for the body of 82-year-old Gladys Hammond…. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 19.5.05 HATE MAIL, ARSON ATTACKS, HOAXES AND DESECRATION - Gladys Hammond's remains were stolen by grave-robbers in the latest and most sickening episode of a long-running campaign against her son-in-law, Chris Hall. Mr Hall breeds guinea pigs for medical research with his brother, John, at Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire. For years, the family has been subjected to a campaign of intimidation by extremists, including hate mail, malicious phone calls, hoax bomb alerts and arson attacks…. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 19.5.05 A GRIM SEARCH IN THE QUIET WOODS - When the remains of pensioner Gladys Hammond were dug up and taken from a Yoxall graveyard by animal rights activists last year, the theft caused waves of revulsion. Five people have since been arrested and are on bail - but the search for the remains goes on, with 100 officers this week descending on Brackenhurst Woods, near Newchurch, where it is believed they may have been hidden. Lucy Rees reports…. (story)
Guardian 18.5.05 Police search wood for body stolen by animal rights group - Activists will be caught, says detective - David Ward - Police are searching a Staffordshire wood for the remains of a woman whose body is thought to have been stolen by animal rights campaigners determined to shut down a guinea pig farm. Detectives said the search, which began yesterday and is expected to last three days, was based on information supplied by the shadowy Animal Rights Militia, a group specialising in direct action…. (story)
Burton Mail 18.5.05 SEARCH FOR GRAN'S BODY GOES ON by JONATHAN HORSFALL - POLICE searching a wood near Burton where animal rights extremists claim to have buried the stolen remains of a grandmother have said they are confident of a positive outcome. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 17.5.05 Police search woodland for stolen body - DETECTIVES investigating the theft of a woman’s body from a graveyard today began searching woodland where animal rights extremists claim to have buried her. About 100 officers are involved in the searches for the remains of 82-year-old Gladys Hammond, at Brakenhurst Wood in Staffordshire… (story)
Burton Mail 17.5.05 POLICE SWOOP ON WOODLAND by DAVID POWLES - MORE than 100 police officers were today searching woodland near Burton for the stolen remains of a pensioner. (story)
BBC News Online 17.5.05 Woodlands searched in body hunt - Police investigating the desecration of a woman's grave are to search woodlands on Tuesday where animal rights extremists claim to have buried her…. The body of Gladys Hammond, 82, was taken from a church in Yoxall, Staffs, in October. Her relatives run a guinea pig breeding farm in nearby Newchurch…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 27.5.05 New measures a good thing for animal welfare - IT’S about time goldfish prizes will be banned from fairgrounds… It’s good news that a draft bill is to be enforced in order to combat pets and livestock being mistreated and persons doing so will be penalised for offences against animals…. It’s good news that a draft bill is to be enforced in order to combat pets and livestock being mistreated and persons doing so will be penalised for offences against animals. (story)

Somerset County Gazette 27.5.05 Answer lies in turning veggie - MANY of us were alarmed a few years ago when BSE and foot-and-mouth highlighted the terrible problems of modern farming, but as these stories have fallen out of the headlines it's easy to forget that the problems are still there…. The fact is that farmers' pursuit of profit and the Government's unwillingness to take action threaten our health…. For more information about going veggie or the risks of meat contact Viva!... KAY BAXTER Crossways Farmhouse, Middlezoy (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 27.5.05 DEATH THREAT IS LIFTED FOR WANDERLUST GOATS - Wild goats which roam a beauty spot in the West have escaped a threatened cull - but still face an uncertain future, the Western Daily Press can reveal. The 73-strong feral herd grazes the 300-acre Valley of the Rocks, near Lynton, North Devon, and are a favourite sight for tourists…. Elaine Drewe, of campaign group Friends of the Lynton Goats, said yesterday: "It is brilliant news - but watch this space."… (story)

26.5.05

WESTMINSTER 8 TRIAL
Ananova 26.5.05 Hunt protesters spared jail - Pro-hunting campaigners who stormed the House of Commons chamber have convicted of a public order offence but spared jail… (story)
BBC News Online 26.5.05 Commons hunting protesters guilty - Pro-hunting campaigner Otis Ferry has been convicted of violating the Public Order Act. Seven other men were also found guilty after invading the main Commons chamber during a hunting bill debate in September last year…. (story)
Scotsman 26.5.05 Hunt Protesters Spared Jail after Storming Commons By Nick Allen and Neville Dean, PA - Pro-hunting campaigners who stormed the House of Commons chamber were today convicted of a public order offence but were spared jail… In convicting the men District Judge Timothy Workman said he had relied most on the evidence of Mrs Heal. Mr Workman told them he was satisfied their conduct was “disorderly” and that it had caused “alarm”, although he found no evidence of “harassment” or “distress”…. (story)
Times 26.5.05 Convicted hunt protestors walk free from court BY SIMON FREEMAN, TIMES ONLINE - Otis Ferry, one of eight protestors who stormed the House of Commons to protest against legislation to ban fox hunting, today vowed to continue his campaign against the "injustice" of the law. Ferry, the 22-year-old son of rock star Bryan Ferry, and his seven accomplices were found guilty of disorderly conduct by magistrates in central London at the end of a four-day trial…. (story)
CNN 26.5.05 Commons hunt protesters convicted - LONDON, England (AP) -- The son of rock star Bryan Ferry and seven other men who penetrated security at the House of Commons to protest a ban on fox hunting were convicted Thursday of violating Britain's Public Order Act…. (story)
Manchester Evening News 26.5.05 Commons hunt protesters convicted - PRO-HUNTING campaigners who stormed into the House of Commons during a debate on the Foxhunting Bill were today convicted of public order offences. The so-called Westminster Eight - who included rock star's son Otis Ferry - were found guilty of causing "harassment, alarm or distress" by invading the Commons…. The men each received an 18-month conditional discharge and were ordered to pay £350 costs each…. (story)
Sun 26.5.05 Hunt demo: eight guilty By CORINNE ABRAMS - EIGHT pro-hunting campaigners were today convicted of public order offences after they stormed the House of Commons during a debate on the Foxhunting Bill. The so-called Westminster Eight - who included rock star’s son Otis Ferry - were found guilty of causing "harassment, alarm or distress" by invading the Commons…. Mr Workman told the eight men today he was satisfied their conduct was disorderly and that it had caused alarm. However, he said he could find no evidence that their actions had resulted in either harassment or distress…. Speaking outside court, Ferry said:"It is a shame we had to go to these lengths to get our voices heard and to make you all be here and be interested in what we have got to say." (story)
BBC News Online 26.5.05 Commons hunting protesters guilty - Pro-hunting campaigner Otis Ferry has been convicted of violating the Public Order Act. Seven other men were also found guilty after invading the main Commons chamber during a hunting bill debate… (story)
Sky News 26.5.05 OTIS FERRY GUILTY - Rock star's son Otis Ferry has been convicted of violating the Public Order Act at London's Bow Street Magistrates Court after pro-hunting protesters got into the chamber of the House of Commons during a debate on the foxhunting bill…. (story)
Express 26.5.05 Commons hunt protesters convicted - Pro-hunting campaigners who stormed into the House of Commons during a debate on the Foxhunting Bill have been convicted of public order offences. The so-called Westminster Eight - who included rock star Bryan Ferry's son Otis - were found guilty of causing "harassment, alarm or distress" by invading the Commons…. (story)
Reuters 26.5.05 Pro-hunt group convicted over parliament break-in - A court convicted eight men on Thursday who broke into the House of Commons to protest a ban on fox hunting…. (story)
ITV 26.5.05 Rock star's son convicted over Commons breach - The son of rock star Bryan Ferry has been convicted of violating the Public Order Act over the storming of the Commons chamber by pro-hunt supporters…. (story)
Daily Mail 26.5.05 Rock star's son convicted over Commons protest - Rock star's son Otis Ferry has been convicted of violating the Public Order Act after pro-hunting protesters got into the chamber of the House of Commons during a debate on the Foxhunting Bill. The so-called Westminster Eight - who included rock star's son Otis Ferry, from Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury - were found guilty of causing "harassment, alarm or distress" by invading the Commons…. (story)
Telegraph 26.5.05 Rock star's son convicted over Commons protest - Otis Ferry has been convicted of violating the Public Order Act after pro-hunting protesters got into the chamber of the House of Commons during a debate on the Fox Hunting Bill. Ferry, 22, son of Roxy Music star Bryan Ferry, is master of the South Shropshire hunt and was the main organiser of the protest, the court heard…. (story)
Guardian 26.5.05 Pro-hunt protesters found guilty - Eight pro-hunt protesters were today convicted of violating the Public Order Act after invading the House of Commons during a debate on the fox hunting bill last year. After a four day trial at Bow Street magistrates court, District Judge Timothy Workman ordered that the men receive an 18-month conditional discharge and pay £350 costs each…. (story)
Country Life 26.5.05 'Westminster Eight' found Guilty - All eight of the pro-hunting protestors who entered the Commons last September have been found guilty of violating the Public Order Act By Holly Kirkwood - All eight of the protestors who stormed into the House of Commons during the hunting bill debate last September have been convicted of violating the Public Order Act. Otis Ferry, David Redvers, John Holliday, Robert Thame, Andrew Elliot, Richard Wakeham, Nicholas Wood and Luke Tomlinson have all received a conditional discharge lasting 18 months. They were also ordered to pay £350 towards the cost of the prosecution…. (story)
Horse & Hound 26.5.05 "Westminster Eight" found guilty - Carol Phillips - All eight of the pro-hunting protestors who entered the Commons last September have been found guilty of violating the Public Order Act… (story)
Evening Standard 26.5.05 Hunt protesters guilty - Pro-hunting campaigners who stormed into the House of Commons during a debate on the Foxhunting Bill were today convicted of public order offences…. The men each received an 18-month conditional discharge and were ordered to pay £350 costs each. Ferry, 22, son of Roxy Music star Bryan Ferry, is master of the South Shropshire hunt and was the main organiser of the protest…. (story)
BBC News Online 26.5.05 Protest 'was countryside's voice' - Pro-hunting campaigners who burst into the chamber of the House of Commons were the "voice of the countryside", Bow Street Magistrates' Court was told. Defence lawyers for the protestors say their actions were protected by the Human Rights Act, which protects the right to freedom of expression…. (story)
Shropshire Star 26.5.05 Verdict nears for protesters - A district judge was this afternoon deciding the fate of eight hunting protesters who invaded the House of Commons…. (story)
Birmingham Post 26.5.05 Michael - My anger at Commons protesters By Nick Allen - Government Minister Alun Michael described in court yesterday how "shocked and angry" he felt as Parliament was invaded by pro-hunting protesters…. (story)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 26.5.05 MP not alarmed by hunt protest by Jamie Hill - NORTH Wiltshire MP James Gray has given evidence in the trial of eight pro-hunting demonstrators who stormed the House of Commons chamber during a debate on the bill to ban the sport. Mr Gray, who was speaking in the chamber at the time of the stunt said he felt no fear when the protesters ran in on September 15 last year…. "He was a nice looking young fellow with short hair and he had a description on his T-shirt which gave me some degree of comfort."… (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 26.5.05 WE'RE ALL IN SHOCK - Mp Alun Michael told a court yesterday how "shocked and angry" he had felt after Parliament was invaded by prohunt protesters now dubbed the "Westminster Eight"… (story)
Western Daily Press 26.5.05 WHEN THE PROTESTERS STORMED IN, THEN I FEARED FOR OUR SAFETY - The Minister who proposed the fox hunting ban yesterday spoke of his fear when the "Westminster Eight" stormed the House of Commons. Alun Michael, who was then Rural Affairs Minister, said he was "shocked and angry" by the invasion of hunt supporters, led by Otis Ferry - the son of rock star Bryan… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 26.5.05 MY FEAR OVER HUNT INVASION - MINISTER - Government minister Alun Michael described in court yesterday how "shocked and angry" he felt as Parliament was invaded by pro-hunting protesters. Mr Michael, who was rural affairs minister at the time, said there had been fears of a terrorist attack following previous incidents in the House of Commons…. (story)
Telegraph 26.5.05 MPs give differing accounts of hunt invasion By Catriona Davies - The Labour MPs Alun Michael and Kate Hoey gave very different accounts to a court yesterday of their reactions when protesters stormed into the Commons during a debate on foxhunting. Mr Michael, a former rural affairs minister, described his "fear" as one of the pro-hunt protesters "lunged" at him. However, Miss Hoey said it was obvious at once that the invasion was a peaceful pro-hunt protest and that any disorder was caused by the doorkeepers trying to remove the demonstrators…. Ferry, the master of the South Shropshire Hunt; Andrew Elliott, 43; John Holliday, 42; David Redvers, 34; Robert Thame, 36; Richard Wakeham, 36; Nicholas Wood, 41; and Luke Tomlinson, 28, all deny threatening, abusive or disorderly behaviour. (story)
Guardian 26.5.05 Minister's shock at anti-hunt protest - Sandra Laville - The minister responsible for the bill to ban fox hunting told a court yesterday that he was "shocked angry and affronted" when hunt supporters invaded the House of Commons chamber calling him a liar…. (story)
Scotsman 26.5.05 Confusion over fox hunt protester absent from trial - NICK ALLEN - A CLOSE friend of Princes William and Harry who is on trial over the storming of parliament by pro-hunt protesters was at the centre of confusion yesterday over why he was absent from court… (story)

FOOTBALLER BANS HUNT
Cheshire Weekly News 26.5.05 Anger at football star's hunting ban By Claire Lane, Weekly News - SOCCER ace Djibril Cisse has stirred up animosity among country folk by banning foxhunting on his £2m estate… The League Against Cruel Sports said: 'Mr Cisse has set a fantastic example and we ask all landowners to follow his lead.' However, the player's decision not to allow fox hunters free rein over the grounds of Ridge Manor, which makes up part of the Cheshire Forest Hunt, has angered the Countryside Alliance…. (story)
Independent 19.5.05 Football's lord of the manor bans hunting on his nine acres By Ian Herbert, North of England Correspondent - The French footballer Djibril Cisse has infuriated the local hunt by banning it from riding across his land in Cheshire. The £14m Liverpool player became Lord of the Manor of Frodsham when he bought the £2m house overlooking the Mersey this month…. The Liverpool striker, 23, made his ruling after the Animal Rights Coalition urged its members to write to him, asking him to ban the hunt. The Cheshire Forest Hunt, which was invited to use the land by the previous lord of the manor, responded by inviting Cisse to join it…. (story)
Telegraph 19.5.05 Liverpool star stops hunt using his land By Sally Pook - Djibril Cissé, the Liverpool footballer who recently bought a £2 million manor house in Cheshire, has banned hunting on his new estate. The French striker, who inherited the title "Lord of the Manor of Frodsham" when he purchased the nine acres in the village of Frodsham, also inherited part of the route of the Cheshire Forest Hunt…. (story)
Daily Post 18.5.05 Hunt ban by soccer star By Ian Leonard, Daily Post - LIVERPOOL soccer star Djibril Cisse has refused to allow fox hunting at his Cheshire estate after an appeal by anti-hunt campaigners. "I will not permit hunting on my land," he said yesterday… The Cheshire Forest Hunt was given permission to use the nine-acre estate by Mr Longster, and hunters were hoping for a similar arrangement with the 23-year-old French International… Wanda Wyporska, spokesperson for LACS, said: "The League is delighted that Djibril Cisse has banned the cruelty of the hunt from his land…" (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 18.5.05 Liverpool star outlaws fox hunt as lord of the manor By Ian Leonard, Daily Post Correspondent - LIVERPOOL soccer star Djibril Cisse has refused to allow fox hunting at his Cheshire estate after an appeal by anti-hunt campaigners…. (story)
Scotsman 18.5.05 Soccer Star Bans the Hunt from his Estate By Emma Gunby, PA - Liverpool footballer Djibril Cisse has banned hunting on his new estate, it was revealed today. The French striker recently bought a £2 million manor house set in nine acres of land, which was part of the route of the Cheshire Forest Hunt…. (story)
Manchester Evening News 18.5.05 'Lord' Cisse bans hunting on his estate - FOOTBALLER Djibril Cisse has banned hunting on his new estate in Cheshire, it was revealed today… Richard de Prez, joint master of the Cheshire Forest Hunt, said: "It's a bit galling that Mr Cisse has apparently made a decision before we got the chance to make our points. We will not be contacting him to try to persuade him to change his mind." (letter)
Chester Chronicle 13.5.05 Goal poacher to join hunt? By Rob Devey, Chester Chronicle - FRODSHAM'S flamboyant new Lord of The Manor, Liverpool footballer Djibril Cisse, has been invited to join the local fox hunt. Cisse, who inherited the ancient title after buying Ridge Manor House on Manley Road, is at the centre of an extraordinary tug of war between the Cheshire Forest Hunt and animal rights campaigners. The Animal Rights Coalition has urged its members to write to the French international striker, asking him to ban the hunt from his land. But the hunt, which was invited to use the Ridge Manor grounds by previous owner Raymond Longster, wants to reach a similar arrangement with Cisse. Joint Master Richard de Prez said: 'Mr Long-ster was part of the Holcombe Hunt in Lancashire but he used to invite us to use Ridge Manor and would hunt with us on those days…" (story)

Western Morning News 26.5.05 FUTURE OF FARMING IN UNSAFE HANDS - The National Audit Office today condemns the incompetence of Defra. It is a complaint the Western Morning News has been making for months. Yesterday, we concluded a special series of articles examining Defra's performance. As London Editor Jason Groves reports, it unleashed a welter of criticism… Alison Hawes, South West coordinator for the Countryside Alliance, was another who felt that Defra was now more interested in closing down rural issues than dealing with them. With the exception of hunting, she said, Defra had succeeded in keeping rural issues out of the news…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 26.5.05 Why breed foxes? AFTER reading the article about fox hunting (Mail, May 19), I would like to raise two points. Robert Howarth states that without hunting the countryside would be overrun with foxes. Why then do hunts breed foxes?... E Poyser, Wimbledon Close, Bellfield Avenue, Hull. (letter)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 26.5.05 Reduce breeding - Your letter from Lisa Ward (May 19) misquotes the Masters of Foxhounds Association. Far from advising hunts to carry on breeding hounds as normal the MFHA said: "The Masters of Foxhounds Association has advised hunts to breed fewer numbers but to keep breeding nevertheless… Anyone who has had contact with foxhounds knows that they are neither "aggressive" nor "vicious". A Jackson, Editor, Foxhounds Kennel Stud Book, Cirencester (letter in archive)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 26.5.05 Lost `lampers' admit poaching charge - GAZETTE & HERALD: THREE men charged with poaching just hours after the hunting ban came into effect in February have appeared before Chippenham magistrates. They were not charged under the new legislation that made hunting with hounds illegal ¬ but they were found with four dogs, a gun and two dead animals. Defence solicitor, Clive Rees said last Thursday the poachers thought they still had seven days before the ban was passed when they were caught on February 19, a day after it became a law on February 18. Timothy Barry, 54, of Cork, south west Ireland, with Steven Edwards, 32 and Davyn Jones, 33, both from Mid Glamorgan in south Wales pleaded guilty to poaching by night…. (story in archive)

The Sentinel 26.5.05 PRE-CLINICAL TESTING VITAL ON ANIMALS - Shelley Willetts (Letters, May 15) and others who have recently commented on tests on animals, including some scientists, all appear to have completely misunderstood the purpose of a pre-clinical trial ie animal testing of a novel drug. The purpose of a pre-clinical test, using animals, is simply to show whether or not there is likely to be a rapid and very detrimental effect if the same drug was administered into a handful of human volunteers… Shelley Willetts and others are welcome to believe that animal tests have no relevance to humans, but I for one would not volunteer to take a new drug during a Phase 1 trial if that drug, at a low dose, had previously been shown to kill a rat or mouse. ERIC ADAMS London (story)
The Sentinel 16.5.05 TIME TO LEAVE CRUELTY BEHIND - In response to the letter in The Sentinel - Animal Testing Is So Cruel (May 9). Shelly Spooner is quite right to point out that there are "major differences between animals and us". If animal testing is so appropriate, why are adverse drug reactions the fourth biggest killer in the Western world?... SHELLY WILLETTS Ethical Science Adviser Green Party (letter)
The Sentinel 9.5.05 ANIMAL TESTING IS SO CRUEL - I Am writing to express my feelings on the cruel subject of animal testing. Firstly, about 15 million animals are used in research every year and young animals lose their mothers and fathers to be used in research every year and never see them again, this means that they have to fend for themselves and may die…. SHELLY SPOONER Aged 11 Uttoxeter (letter)

NUFFIELD COUNCIL OF BIOETHICS REPORT
Guardian 26.5.05 Are scientists doing enough to replace animals in medical research? - Alok Jha - Depends who you ask. Anti-vivisectionists would shout an unequivocal no and scientists would probably say efforts are being made to replace animals. Now, confusingly, independent bioethicists have plonked themselves somewhere between the pro and anti-vivisectionists. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics spent two years deliberating the ethics of animal experimentation…. (story)
Telegraph 25.5.05 Animal experiment figures 'are unclear' By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - The Government is criticised today for producing meaningless statistics on animal experiments. Home Office data on the numbers of animals used in experiments, the number killed humanely and the amount that they suffer remains unclear, according to a report from the Nuffield Foundation of Bioethics, which also calls for more to be done to find alternatives to vivisection… (story)
Guardian 25.5.05 Scientists told: reduce animal experiments - Alok Jha, science correspondent - Alternative ways of conducting medical research should be found to spare animals being used in experiments, an influential group of scientists and ethicists says today. A two-year study on the ethics of animal experiments by the Nuffied Council on Bioethics, published today, concludes that researchers should be more open about the experiments… (story)
Times 25.5.05 Call for review of animal testing BY MARK HENDERSON, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT - INDEPENDENT studies of the benefits of animal research are needed to help the debate about its role in medical science, a leading ethical think-tank has recommended. Although animal experiments have contributed to breakthroughs against diseases such as polio and Parkinson’s, too few systematic reviews have analysed their overall value for humanity, a report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics found. The Government, medical research bodies, the pharmaceutical industry and animal welfare groups should combine to fund such surveys, which would separate the issues of whether animal experiments are effective and whether they are ethical…. (story)
Scotsman 25.5.05 Call for drive to end suffering of animal testing - JANE KIRBY - THE government and the scientific community must do more to find alternatives to animal experiments, a report said yesterday. The study, published by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, said: "A world in which the important benefits of such research could be achieved without causing pain, suffering, distress, lasting harm or death to animals involved in research must be the ultimate goal."… (story)

Taunton Times 26.5.05 LEAVE THESE ANIMALS ALONE - In reply to Derek Henderson's marvellous column about the Lynton goats, he said all there is to say. It is always so easy for humans, when they think an animal is causing them an inconvenience, to cull them. I say to these people - stand in front of that animal, look it in the eye, and kill it yourself. Could you really do it? I doubt it very much… ANNE PHAIR, Amyas Way, Northam (letter)

Chorley Guardian 26.5.05 Animal rights groups' anger over circus acts - ANIMAL welfare groups have raised concerns over a circus which arrived in Chorley this week. Jolly's Circus, which features llamas, a performing donkey, an ankole bull, a troupe of line-dancing mules and a bear called Ming, will perform on private land off the A674 Blackburn Road, by junction eight of the M61…. The Preston-based Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) is now urging people not to attend circuses featuring animals…. Louise Stevenson of the North West Animal Rights Coalition, added: "It is time for Ming and all the other animals to be retired to sanctuaries rather than dragged around to perform for the public."… (story)
Chorley Guardian 26.5.05 Shame over this circus - Shame on Chorley council for allowing Peter Jolly's animal circus to feature within its boundaries. Whether wild or domestic, animals in circuses have to perform demeaning tricks, may be trained using cruelty, are being transported from town to town and kept confined for hours on end…. Irene Fogarty, Beech Avenue, Anderton (story)

Irvine Herald 26.5.05 ‘Back Bill’ call to all animal lovers - ANIMAL loving MSP Irene Oldfather is calling on North Ayrshire residents to back a bill that will tighten the laws on animal cruelty. This week, the Cunninghame South MSP backed plans for the new bill saying it will reduce suffering of animals across the country…. (story)

25.5.05

WESTMINSTER 8 TRIAL
BBC News Online 25.5.05 Minister's anger at hunt protest - Government minister Alun Michael has told a court he felt "shocked and angry" when Parliament was invaded by pro-hunting protesters last year… (story)
Life Style Extra 25.5.05 Fox protestor arrested outside court - A pro-hunt supporter dressed up as a giant fox was arrested when he tried to lunge at MP Alun Michael outside Bow Street Magistrates Court in central London today. The teenager - dressed up as Stop The Ban mascot Felix The Fox - tried to grab Mr Michael as he arrived to give evidence at the trial of Otis Ferry and seven others who broke into the House of Commons chamber…(story)
Racing Post 25.5.05 Minister was "shocked and angry" by Seb Vance - GOVERNMENT minister Alun Michael described in court on Wednesday how "shocked and angry" he felt last September as parliament was invaded by pro-hunting protesters, including stud manager David Redvers….Michael was greeted by several dozen demonstrators on arrival at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London to give evidence in the trial of the eight, who also number Otis Ferry, 22, the son of rock star Bryan Ferry. Michael was surrounded by uniformed police as chants of “liar, liar” rang out, while one man in a fox costume attempted to get to Michael but was jumped on by officers who arrested and handcuffed him… (story)
Country Life 25.5.05 Alun Michael Takes the Stand - Alun Michael testified today in the 'Westminster Eight' trial that he did not know what the protestors entering Parliament were campaigning for, although hunting was specifically mentioned by one of the defendants. By Holly Kirkwood - Alun Michael, former Minister for Rural Affairs, was today called as a witness in the 'Westminster Eight' trial by the defence. He testified that he was shocked when the defendants entered the chamber, but did not eventually feel a threat to his personal safety. Despite extensive media coverage, and the 'thousands of letters' he claimed to have received on the issue, he said on the day the men gained access to the Commons to make their protest, he didn't realise what the point of it was…. (story)
Horse & Hound 25.5.05 MP "not bothered" by Commons protestors - Holly Kirkwood - A Tory MP claimed today he "was not in the least bit bothered" by eight hunting protestors breaking into the House of Commons - The first MP to testify in the trial of the "Westminster Eight" has said he was not upset or agitated by the incursion onto the floor of the Commons by the eight pro-hunt protestors. Owen Paterson, who represents North Shropshire, admitted he was surprised by the first invasion of the Chamber since that of Charles the First more than 300 years ago. But he added: "It didn't cause me any anxiety. It was quite obvious who these people were, they were hunt protestors who had somehow got through…." (story)
BBC News Online 25.5.05 Polo confusion over hunt accused - Confusion surrounds the absence from court of a friend of princes William and Harry on trial over storming parliament in a pro-hunt protest. Polo player Luke Tomlinson, 28, was given leave not to attend Bow Street Magistrates' Court because the judge thought he was due to play for England. But a spokesman for the sport's governing body said there was no England match until later this summer…. (story)
Scotsman 25.5.05 Polo Match Confusion over Hunt Protest Defendant By Nick Allen, PA Chief Reporter - A close friend of Princes William and Harry who is on trial over the storming of Parliament by pro-hunt protesters was at the centre of confusion today over a reason given for his absence from court. International polo player Luke Tomlinson, 28, is due to turn out for a match this afternoon after being given leave by District Judge Timothy Workman not to attend today at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court in London… But the governing body of the sport, the Hurlingham Polo Association, confirmed today that there was no official England match until later this summer. Tomlinson is playing in a team called “Geebung” – in which he is the only Englishman listed – in a tournament at Windsor. His solicitor Jeffrey Hide said today that if there had been any misunderstanding, it was his fault…." (story)
Guardian 25.5.05 Confusion over pro-hunt protester's polo story - A close friend of Prince William and Prince Harry who is on trial over the storming of parliament by pro-hunt protesters was at the centre of confusion today over the reason given for his absence from court… (story)
Shropshire Star 25.5.05 MP Owen unfazed by Otis protest - North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson told a court today he "was not in the least bit bothered" by eight hunting protesters breaking into the House of Commons. Mr Paterson admitted he was surprised by the invasion of the Chamber, led by south Shropshire hunt master Otis Ferry. But he added: "It didn't cause me any anxiety. They didn't really know what to do and the doormen removed them in the standard manner." … (story)
Shropshire Star 25.5.05 Doorkeeper throttled me, claims Otis - Shropshire hunt leader Otis Ferry was throttled by a doorkeeper at the House of Commons after he and a group of pro-hunting demonstrators invaded the chamber, a court heard… (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 25.5.05 'I FEARED FOR SAFETY OF MP ELLIOT MORLEY' - The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons said she feared for the safety of Scunthorpe MP Elliot Morley when hunt protesters stormed the Chamber last year. Sylvia Heal said she was concerned for the safety of two ministers - Alun Michael and Mr Morley - when the demonstrators rampaged through the Chamber during a debate on the foxhunting bill last September. Mrs Heal, who immediately suspended the sitting, said it was an 'unprecedented' breach of security…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 25.5.05 AN MP LAUGHED SAYS HUNT PROTESTER - One of the county's hunt protesters who is accused of public order offences for storming the House of Commons told a court he thought getting into the chamber would be as hard as "trying to get out of Colditz". Luke Tomlinson, 28, a professional polo player from Tetbury and close friend of Princes William and Harry said one MP had even laughed at him as he dashed along a corridor in his pro-hunting T-shirt and had stepped aside to let him through…. (story)
Western Daily Press 25.5.05 I WAS THROTTLED BY A COMMONS DOORMAN - The ringleader of the gang of hunt protesters told a court yesterday how he was throttled by a doorkeeper at the House of Commons. Ferry, the son of rock star Bryan, described how the doorman "pounced" on him as he lay on the floor, still trying to get his point across to Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael… (story)
Telegraph 25.5.05 Commons staff 'tried to throttle' protester By Catriona Davies - Otis Ferry, the pro-hunt protester, claimed in court yesterday that a doorkeeper tried to throttle him as he sat on the floor of the House of Commons chamber after bursting in during a debate… Ferry, the master of South Shropshire Hunt, was the only one confident of the plan. "I did think we would get in." Doormen they encountered as they entered the chamber seemed "half asleep"…. (story)
Guardian 25.5.05 Commons invasion was easy, protester says - Otis Ferry tells trial of 'sedate' doormen and building chaos - Sandra Laville - Otis Ferry, rock star Bryan Ferry's son and a champion of the pro-hunting cause, told a court yesterday that a House of Commons doorkeeper tried to throttle him into silence as he barracked the then rural affairs minister… Mr Ferry and seven accomplices - John Holliday, 42, kennel huntsman for the Ledbury Hunt; David Redvers, 34, a horse breeder from Gloucestershire; Andrew Elliott, 43, an auctioneer from Ledbury; Richard Wakeham, a surveyor from York; Robert Thame, 36, a polo player from Maidenhead, Berkshire; Nicholas Wood, 41, a chef from Lacock, Wiltshire; and Luke Tomlinson, an England polo player - deny "disorderly" and threatening behaviour. The trial continues. (story)
Sun 25.5.05 MP's grin at hunt demo - A HUNT protester pal of Princes William and Harry told yesterday how an MP stood aside to let him and friends storm the Commons. Luke Tomlinson, 28, told London’s Bow Street Magistrates’ Court: “As I jogged past he looked around and laughed at me. He let me pass.”… (story)

Western Daily Press 25.5.05 DODGY STATISTICS ABOUT GUN USE - Josey Sharrad I FAW London (letter)
Western Morning News 9.5.05 CONTROL FOXES BY SHOOTING - Contrary to claims by the hunting lobby, including the so-called Middle Way Group of MPs, (WMN, May 2), the ban on hunting with dogs will not lead to more foxes being shot and wounded. Research by scientists at Bristol University in 2003 indicates that just 9 per cent of foxes shot with shotguns are wounded rather than killed, and this drops to 3 per cent where rifles are used… The International Fund for Animal Welfare does not advocate killing wild animals but, where control is necessary, shooting with a trained marksman using a rifle is far more humane than hunting with dogs… Josey Sharrad International Fund for Animal Welfare (letter)

Carmarthen Journal 25.5.05 POACHERS THREATEN RED DEER - Concern is mounting in the Cardigan area over a threat to a large number of red deer from poachers. Fears for the safety of the deer, which roam in woodland near Llechryd and the Teifi marches from Coedmor to Cilgerran, was heightened after the Wildlife Trust released publicity on proposals to monitor the animals. With a lucrative market for venison - a carcass can fetch several hundred pounds - locals fear it could become open season on the deer…. (story)

BBC News Online 25.5.05 Smear letters target researchers - Animal rights activists are attempting to smear people linked to medical research by sending anonymous letters alleging criminal and sexual offences. Police say they have received reports of anonymous letters from extremists to individuals in South Bucks… (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 25.5.05 IS SEARCH JUSTIFIED? - How can whoever makes decisions in our local police force possibly allocate about 100 police officers to the hunt in Newchurch for Gladys Hammond's body when they rarely have enough to send two to patrol town centres?... D. Mathews, by e-mail. (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.5.05 PILING PRESSURE ON TO HELP BILE BEARS - I was very impressed by the letter from Ms D Meand and Mr R Williams about bear bile farming in (Your Say, May 18). They must have rejoiced when they read your Friday story about MPs supporting the campaign. Bob Marshall-Andrews, Labour MP for Kent and Ian Liddell-Grainger are also very supportive… Lee Gibbins Moon Bear Rescue Holford (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.5.05 PUT AN END TO THIS BARBARIC PRACTICE - As regular readers of your paper we once again applaud the concern you show for the Moon Bears. Thank goodness there are people like you to bring to the media these terrible atrocities being done to animals in all countries… As for Dennis Payter, Media Mole and Barry Beelzebub, we feel angry and sad that such people exist…. Ms D Mead and Mr R Williams Ross-on-Wye Herefordshire (story)

24.5.05

WESTMINSTER 8 TRIAL
Horse & Hound 24.5.05 Westminster Eight's trial continues - Holly Kirkwood - The trial of the Westminster Eight continues today at Bow Street in London, as many of the defendants said they doubted they would get as far as they did - The eight men who stormed the Houses of Parliament last November during votes on the Hunting Act were in court yesterday for the first day of their trial amid vocal support from pro-hunting campaigners… (story)
Racing Post 24.5.05 Commons protestors thought they were 100-1 shots by Bruce Jackson - THE pro-hunting demonstrators who broke into the House of Commons last September and confronted rural affairs minister Alun Michael reckoned they were 100-1 shots to make the floor. That was the odds put on a successful protest by stud manager David Redvers, one of eight who deny public disorder offences from the storming of parliament, as he gave evidence at Bow Street magistrates in London on Tuesday… Redvers also recounted a previous meeting at his stud with Michael and the minister’s reaction when the conversation turned to hunting. "I was shocked by the change in his demeanour," Redvers said. "He went from being open-faced and frank about matters to appearing to have a glazed look in his eyes. He looked like he was lying.”.. (story)
Times 24.5.05 Otis Ferry says he was throttled by Commons doorman BY JENNY BOOTH, TIMES ONLINE - Otis Ferry told a court today how he was throttled by a doorkeeper at the House of Commons after he and a group of pro-hunting demonstrators invaded the chamber. The 22-year-old son of the rock star Bryan Ferry, who is accused of masterminding the invasion of the Commons debating chamber, said he struggled to breathe after the doorman "pounced" on him as he lay on the floor, still trying to address rural affairs minister Alun Michael…. (story)
Guardian 24.5.05 Pro-hunt protesters planned 'human chain' - The pro-hunting demonstrators who invaded the House of Commons had planned to form a human chain but were not prepared to use violence to carry out their protest, one of the group told a court today… As they ran along a corridor to the back of the Commons chamber, a man looked amused by their appearance, Mr Tomlinson told the court. "It must have been an MP I jogged past who looked round and laughed at me. He just found it quite funny - he actually stepped aside and let me past."… (story)
Shropshire Star 24.5.05 Guard: I took Otis from Commons BY SALLY JONES - Otis Ferry, the son of rock star Bryan Ferry was carried from the House of Commons chamber by his arms and legs after duping his way into the building to protest against the Hunting Bill, a court heard. Pro-hunting campaigner Otis Ferry, the joint master of the south Shropshire hunt, sat on the floor of the Commons chamber before being removed by four of the door keepers…. (story)
Birmingham Post 24.5.05 Hunt protester boasted of Commons 'charge' By Nick Allen And Neville Dean - The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons yesterday said she feared pro-hunt protesters invading the House of Commons could have been armed. Sylvia Heal said she was concerned for the safety of two Ministers - Alun Michael and Elliot Morley - when the demonstrators stormed into the Chamber during a debate on the fox hunting Bill…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 24.5.05 HUNTING PROTEST HEARING - Hunt protesters from Gloucestershire who stormed the House of Commons were today due back in Bow Street Magistrates Court in London charged with public order offences. On day one of the trial yesterday the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons said she feared the pro-hunt protesters invading the House of Commons on September 15 last year could have been armed…. (story)
Sky News 24.5.05 MPS 'LAUGHED' AT INVADERS - The pro-hunting demonstrators who invaded the House of Commons were not prepared to use violence, one of the group has told a court. Luke Tomlinson, 28, a professional polo player, said they had planned to sit in a circle on the floor of the chamber and link arms. He said they had not intended to cause anyone "alarm or distress" and claimed that some MPs were even laughing as they stormed into the chamber and interrupted the debate…. (story)
Western Daily Press 24.5.05 I FEARED INVADERS IN THE COMMONS WERE ARMED - THE "chaos and panic" of the moment hunt protesters burst into the House of Commons was vividly described in court yesterday, on the first day of the trial of the Westminster Eight…. Much of the first day's proceedings were taken up with evidence from Commons security guards - the infamous men in tights. All but one, Danny Scanlon, described the protestors as "polite" and as putting up little, if any, resistance. All but Mr Scanlon said they were not fearful of the protestors…. (story)
Western Daily Press 24.5.05 SITTING IN THE DOCK LOOKING LIKE A NAUGHTY SCHOOLBOY - THE court was already cramped when England polo player Luke Tomlinson tried to sit in the dock. At 6ft 3in, it was a hopeless task for him and the seven other Commons intruders in the antiquated court three at Bow Street Magistrates. The dock is a waist-level cage with a narrow bench and as the gangly Gloucestershire boy eased himself down, his knees stuck firm with his backside still inches from the bench. Rather shamefacedly, he was forced to sit in front of the dock with his knees up around his chin… (story)
Evening Standard 24.5.05 'Hunt invasion was so easy' By Paul Cheston Courts Correspondent, Eveningh Standard - A close friend of Princes William and Harry today told a court how he burst into the chamber of the House of Commons. Describing how he and other anti- hunting protesters meticulously planned their invasion, Luke Tomlinson admitted they had not believed it would be so easy…. (story)
BBC News Online 24.5.05 'Human chain' plan for hunt demo - Pro-hunting campaigners who stormed the House of Commons intended to form a human chain as a peaceful protest, Bow Street Magistrates' Court has heard. Protester Luke Tomlinson, 28, told the court the group was not prepared to use violence to highlight the cause… (story)
Eastern Daily Press 24.5.05 Hunt protest leader met MP's assistant - CHRIS BISHOP - The leader of an invasion of the House of Commons by hunt protesters met a Norfolk MP's assistant two days before the raid, a court heard yesterday. But Eleanor Harris, who works for North-West Norfolk Conser-vative Henry Bellingham, denied providing Otis Ferry with any assistance…. (story)
Telegraph 24.5.05 Hunt protesters were 'ushered through' to Commons chamber By Catriona Davies - Eight protesters who stormed into the House of Commons during a foxhunting debate did so without being challenged and with no help from insiders, a court heard yesterday. Otis Ferry, the 22-year-old son of the rock singer Bryan Ferry, was the "prime organiser" who bought plastic hard hats, fluorescent jackets and clipboards to make the group look like they were involved in construction work, Bow Street magistrates court was told… (story)
Guardian 24.5.05 How lapses and luck led to fights on floor of the Commons - Court told of careful planning by eight protesters who breached chamber for first time since Charles I's reign - Sandra Laville … Mr Ferry, 22, joint master of the South Shropshire hunt and the son of the rock star Bryan Ferry, was the prime organiser, Bow Street magistrates' court heard…. (story)
Independent 24.5.05 MPs thought hunt invasion was terror attack, court is told By Jonathan Brown - Security staff feared MPs were under terrorist attack when pro-hunt demonstrators led by the son of the rock star Bryan Ferry stormed the House of Commons, a court heard. There were scenes of "utter confusion, chaos and panic" when eight men, following a plan masterminded by Otis Ferry, disrupted the second reading of the Fox Hunting Bill in September last year, it was claimed…. (story)
Times 24.5.05 It's the very dickens of a time warp in here BY ANN TRENEMAN - THE Commons can be an extremely old-fashioned place but, I realised yesterday, it is positively modern in comparison to Court 3 at Bow Street Magistrates…. The usual suspects had gathered outside. There was a man in a fox costume and people holding signs with bad puns such as “For fox sake, don’t ban hunting”. There was the obligatory dog. Even the ballerina statue had become a hunt supporter for the day… (story)
Times 24.5.05 Armed attack fear for MPs in hunt protester invasion BY MICHAEL HORSNELL - THE Deputy Speaker told yesterday of her fears for the safety of MPs when pro-hunting protesters burst into the chamber of the House of Commons and grappled with security staff. Describing the invasion for the first time since it happened in September, Sylvia Heal said that she feared that the agitators, allegedly led by the son of the rock star Bryan Ferry, might be armed…. (story)
Sun 24.5.05 Ferry 'led House demo' - THE son of singer Bryan Ferry was the ringleader when a gang of pro-hunt protesters’ stormed the House of Commons, a court heard yesterday… (story)
Mirror 24.5.05 FERRY THE FIXER - Rocker's son accused of leading hunt protesters into Commons By Adrian Shaw .. Ferry, of Shrewsbury; Nicholas Wood, 41, of Lacock, Wilts; John Holliday, 42, of Ledbury, Hereford; Robert Thame, 36, of Maidenhead, Berks, and Luke Tomlinson, 28, a friend of Princes William and Harry, deny charges under the Public Order Act of disorder and causing "harassment, alarm and distress". The three stopped before the chamber - David Redvers, 34, of Hartbury, Glos; Andrew Elliott, 43, of Ledbury, Hereford, and Richard Wakeham, 36, of York - also deny the charges. The case at Bow Street magistrates court, central London, continues.(story)
Scotsman 24.5.05 Ferry son 'was hunt protest ringleader' - JOHN INNES - OTIS Ferry, the son of singer Bryan Ferry, was "prime organiser" of the storming of the House of Commons chamber by foxhunting supporters, a court heard yesterday. … (story)
Western Mail 24.5.05 Protesters targeted man 'Welsh didn't want' Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - FORMER Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael bore the full brunt of a pro-hunt protest which saw campaigners invade the floor of the Commons chamber in an "unprecedented" security breach… (story)
Daily Record 24.5.05 ROCKER'S SON 'LED FOX STUNT - THE son of rocker Bryan Ferry was the 'prime organiser' of an invasion of the House of Commons by pro-hunting protesters, a court heard yesterday…. (story)
Irish Independent 24.5.05 Anti-hunt protest mistaken for terrorist attack - SECURITY staff in the British House of Commons feared MPs were under terrorist attack when anti-hunt demonstrators commanded by the son of rock star Brian Ferry stormed the Commons, a court heard yesterday…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 24.5.05 COURT TOLD OF ALARM OVER PRO-HUNT GROUP - Kate O'Hara - TERRIFIED doormen told yesterday how they feared the House of Commons was being invaded by terrorists as pro-hunt protesters stormed the Chamber disguised as builders. MPs who witnessed last year's "unprecedented" invasion said they thought demonstrators might have been armed, and feared for Ministers' safety as they began shouting and pointing aggressively…. The protesters, who included Otis Ferry, the 22-year-old son of rock star Bryan Ferry and former whipper with the Middleton Hunt in North Yorkshire, invaded the floor of the Commons on September 15 last year after sneaking in to Westminster dressed as builders… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 24.5.05 CHARMING PORTRAITS OF LIFE DOWN ON THE FARM - Actress turned writer Carol Drinkwater is best known to television viewers as the face of Helen Herriot in the BBC's All Creatures Great and Small… Drinkwater has previously written two best-selling memoirs about her life on the farm - The Olive Farm and The Olive Season…. Often facing strong opposition to her own organic and anti-hunting views, Drinkwater still managed to be accepted by those around her…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 24.5.05 Banking on tradition From: Michael Iveson, Summerbridge, Harrogate. IN THE recent debates on the subject of fox-hunting, ill conceived or otherwise, one of the Labour Party's most vociferous anti-hunt spokesmen, and resident clowns, was Tony Banks… Surely, this cannot be the same Tony Banks who is about to take his seat in the House of Lords, that most symbolic of all our traditions? (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 24.5.05 Airgun ban implications - Firearms legislation in Britain is both complex and comprehensive. The Firearms Acts, from 1968, means that a full understanding is needed before interpreting the recently published "Firearms Certificates Statistics, Scotland 2004"…. he British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) supports the practical initiatives of education and enforcement of existing laws rather than the impracticality and disproportionate expense of other suggested remedies. Dr Colin B. Shedden, Director of BASC Scotland, Trochry, Dunkeld. (letter)

Western Mail 24.5.05 Have a go huntin', shootin' 'n fishin' - THE blackthorn and haw- thorn blossom is decorating the hedgerows, the oak is striving to win the race to get into leaf before the ash and the country fair season is set to get into full swing. The British Association for Shooting and Conser-vation organises two country events in Wales, one this coming Bank Holiday at Usk and one at the end of June at Bodelwyddan Castle in Denbighshire… (story)

Western Mail 24.5.05 Shooting contest on target for global aims - Sally Williams, Western Mail - A SHOOTING centre is ready to welcome hundreds of the world's top clay marksmen to Wales for the Krieghoff 500 Classic from Thursday to Sunday. The event, at the Mid Wales Shooting Centre at Trefeglwys, near Llanidloes, Powys, has a prize fund of £35,000… (story)

Western Mail 24.5.05 Wildlife experts call for hares to be counted - HIS pair of long ears popping up out of the grass was once a common sight, but now wildlife campaigners want to find out if the brown hare is still winning the survival race in Wales. Although the number of hares is believed to have stabilised once again in Wales, there is only anecdotal evidence that small numbers of them exist round the country…. Leading Welsh conservationist Iolo Williams says he is optimistic about the hare's survival. He has been asking for sightings of hares across Wales for his BBC Wales show, Iolo's Wildlife Safari and says that he has been encouraged by the results…. (story)
Western Mail 24.5.05 The legend of St Melangell - Neil Cammies, Western Mail - ACCORDING to the Mid Wales legend of St Melangell, Prince Brochwel, when out hunting hares, stopped on seeing Melangell at prayer in a clearing, while the hares took shelter beneath the folds of her cloak…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 24.5.05 Crushing blow for illegal hare courser - HARE coursers beware - if you break the law your property will be confiscated and your car could be crushed. The warning comes after the owner of a Subaru Legacy, confiscated by police investigating an illegal hare coursing ring, failed to win his car a reprieve at appeal…. The vehicle belonged to Patrick Ward, 45, of Buckington, Warwickshire. It was confiscated after he was charged with taking part in illegal hare coursing in Spaldwick, near Huntingdon, on October 20 last year. As well as having his car crushed, Ward was given a £300 fine and disqualified from driving for six months…. (story)

Mid Sussex Times 24.5.05 DUCKS PROTEST OUTSIDE CO-OP - A protest at Burgess Hill brought the plight of factory-farmed ducks to the attention of shoppers. Janet Wallis, who lives at Worlds End, was moved on by store staff after standing for an hour without problems outside the Co-Op in Maple Drive as part of a national campaign by Viva, which wants the Co-op to stop selling factory farmed duck….(story)

Bromley News Shopper 24.5.05 Animal rights group put pressure on supermarket - A GIANT duck joined animal rights campaigners to protest against the "barbaric" conditions on duck farms which supply supermarket chain Co-op. West Wickham-based Passive Pressure Animal Group (PPAG) held the demonstration outside Coney Hall Co-op, Croydon Road, as part of animal rights charity Viva!'s national day of action against Co-op on Saturday…. PPAG's Jan Yarker said: "How can the Co-op justify calling themselves an ethical retailer when they condemn hundreds of thousands of Britain's favourite bird to spend their pathetically short seven-week life in prison-like factory farms each year?" (story)

Plymouth Evening Herald 24.5.05 SHOPPERS IN BOMB ALERT DRAMA Hundreds of shop and office workers were evacuated in Plympton's Ridgeway shopping centre yesterday as the bomb squad exploded a suspect package in the Co-op… Animal rights protestors had demonstrated outside the store on Saturday and there were worries that the bomb scare could be connected - but the police said there was no link between the two. Police said the object was only an abandoned briefcase, but they had to act with the safety of staff and customers in mind… (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 24.5.05 Concerns raised over duck farm plans BY SARAH CHAMBERS - CONCERNS have been raised over plans which would see an intensive duck-rearing unit built near Saxmundham. Residents, animal lovers and environmentalists have raised a number of objections to proposals to erect an 80ft by 300ft building able to house around 12,000 ducks at Redhouse Farm, Sternfield, including concerns about noise, traffic, pollution, and smell…. local objector Gloria Wade, of Benhall Green, said she was concerned about a number of issues, including the spread of disease such as avian flu, pollution, vermin, the ethical aspect of the proposal, as well as noise, smell and the suitability of the local roads…. (story)

Western Morning News 24.5.05 BREEDERS MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR STRAYS - What a wonderful story of the stray dog with pups of her own, rescuing the abandoned baby in Kenya… I notice The Gables home for animals has been advertising, asking breeders not to breed large dogs as these can be difficult to re-home. I sincerely hope they will take it to heart. Animals are not throwaway objects. Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 24.5.05 HELP US TO PUT AN END TO CHINESE BEAR FARMS - You recently printed our letter about the appeal by the South Devon China Bear Rescue group to raise £5,000 to save Stardust the Chinese moon bear from a life of torture in a bile farm in China…. However, the aims of the South Devon China Bear rescue group is not just to raise the funds to move Stardust from the bile farm where he is currently languishing, to the Animal Asia Foundation's rescue centre in Chengdu, but also to support the AAF in their work to end the cruel practice of bile farming in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics… Barbara Gardner, Co-ordinator South Devon China Bear Rescue Group (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 24.5.05 Campaigners demand boycott of animal circus - ANIMAL rights activists and councillors have asked families in the Lothians to boycott the only British circus still touring with a live elephant. The Bobby Roberts Circus is heading to West Lothian with a selection of captive animals, including Anne the elephant… West Lothian councillors have urged people not to visit the circus when it rolls into town. Councillor Audrey Gordon, who represents Boghall, said: "I feel disgusted and sick that the cruelty endured by performing circus animals is being promoted in West Lothian."… (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 24.5.05 VEGGIES? CAN YOU KEEP IT UP - "CAN you keep it up for a week?" is the question being posed by the Vegetarian Society at the start of National Vegetarian Week. The society is distributing thousands of leaflets showing comedian Dave Spikey (above) raising a courgette as he encourages men to go veggie for the week….(story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 24.5.05 MP'S BACKING TO VEGETARIANS - A North Lincolnshire MP has come out in support of National Vegetarian Week. Shona McIsaac, who is the Labour MP for Barton-upon-Humber, has signed an Early Day Motion congratulating the refreshment department in the House of Commons for embracing vegetarianism by 'producing special prepared healthy and exciting vegetarian menu options throughout the week'…. (story)

23.5.05

WESTMINSTER 8 TRIAL
Horse & Hound 23.5.05 "Westminster Eight" face the courts - Holly Kirkwood - The eight men who famously stormed the House of Commons last November in protest against a looming hunt ban begin their court case today - The eight men who stormed the Houses of Parliament last November while votes on the Hunting Act were taking place are in court today for the first day of their trial amid vocal support from pro-hunting campaigners… (story)
Racing Post 23.5.05 Stud manager in court over Commons incident by Andrew Scutts - STUD manager and syndicate organiser David Redvers was among eight pro-hunt demonstrators who on Monday went on trial at Bow Street Magistrates Court for attempting to storm into the House of Commons chamber during a debate on a bill to ban foxhunting last September… The courtroom was packed with family and supporters of the protesters for the opening day of the trial, and there was a demonstration staged by pro-hunting placard-wavers outside the court building…. (story)
icSurrey 23.5.05 'I feared pro-hunt stunt was armed' - The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons has told a court how she feared pro-hunt protesters invading the House of Commons could have been armed. Sylvia Heal said she was concerned for the safety of two ministers - Alun Michael and Elliot Morley - when the demonstrators stormed into the Chamber during a debate on the fox hunting bill…. (story)
Scotsman 23.5.05 Pop Star's Son 'Main Organiser of Commons Invasion' By Nick Allen, PA Chief Reporter - The son of rock star Bryan Ferry was the “prime organiser” of an invasion of the House of Commons chamber by pro-hunting protesters, a court heard today. Otis Ferry, 22, bought builders’ outfits for himself and seven accomplices, drew up a detailed map of the inside of the House and forged an invitation from a fictitious Commons committee, it was alleged…. (story)
Glasgow Evening Times 23.5.05 Singer's son 'behind demo in Commons' - The son of rock star Bryan Ferry was the "prime organiser" of an invasion of the Commons by pro-hunting protesters, a court heard today…. (story)
CNN News 23.5.05 Fox hunt protesters go on trial - Eight men who broke into Britain's House of Commons to protest a ban on fox hunting appeared in court on Monday, vowing to call leading politicians to help win their case…. (story)
Evening Standard 23.5.05 Full terror of Commons raid By Paul Cheston Courts Correspondent, Evening Standard - The scenes of chaos and panic when hunt protesters invaded the House of Commons were described to a court this afternoon. Commons doorkeeper Daniel Scanlon said: "I thought it was some sort of terror attack." He told the court that the gang of five pro-hunt campaigners had created "chaos and panic" as a fight erupted in the chamber. "It was bedlam."… (story)
Reuters 23.5.05 Protesters stand trial over Commons break-in - Eight men who broke into the House of Commons to protest a ban on fox hunting appeared in court on Monday, vowing to call leading politicians to help win their case. The group -- which includes Otis Ferry, son of rock star Bryan Ferry, and two friends of the royal family -- were supported by a small but vocal group of pro-hunt campaigners outside Bow Street magistrates court….(story)
Times 23.5.05 Speaker tells of her fears as Commons invaded BY JENNY BOOTH, TIMES ONLINE - The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons told today how she feared that a gang of pro-hunt protesters invading the House of Commons could have been armed. Sylvia Heal said she was concerned for the safety of two ministers - Alun Michael and Elliot Morley - when the demonstrators stormed into the Chamber during a debate on the fox hunting bill…. (story)
Daily Mail 23.5.05 Rock star's son 'organiser of Commons invasion' - The son of rock star Bryan Ferry was the "prime organiser" of an invasion of the House of Commons chamber by pro-hunting protesters, a court has heard…. (story)
Sun 23.5.05 Ferry protest 'mastermind' By SUN ONLINE REPORTER - THE son of rock star Bryan Ferry was the "prime organiser" of an invasion of the House of Commons chamber by pro-hunting protesters, a court heard today…. (story)
Shropshire Star 23.5.05 Court told of Otis protest BY SALLY JONES - The joint hunt master for South Shropshire Otis Ferry was named in court today as the ring leader of a protest in which eight pro-hunt campaigners stormed the House of Commons. According to the prosecution Ferry, 22, of Eaton Mascot, Shrewsbury, bought hard hats and tabards for the protesters to pose as site inspectors… (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 23.5.05 Ferry 'masterminded Commons raid' - The son of rock star Bryan Ferry was the "prime organiser" of an invasion of the House of Commons chamber by pro-hunting protesters, a court has heard. Otis Ferry, 22, bought builders' outfits for himself and seven accomplices, drew up a detailed map of the inside of the House and forged an invitation from a fictitious Commons committee, it was alleged…. (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 23.5.05 Commons protesters in plea to MPs - Pro-hunting campaigners who stormed into the House of Commons will try to call a string of MPs to give evidence when they go on trial. The protesters, who include Otis Ferry, 22-year-old son of rock star Bryan Ferry, have been charged with a public order offence which alleges that their "disorderly" behaviour caused "harassment, alarm or distress". But they hope to prove that MPs felt no such threat… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 23.5.05 TRIAL BEGINS - Hunt supporters who stormed the House of Commons to protest against the ban last September went on trial today…. (story)
Western Daily Press 23.5.05 £1 MILLION - The 'Westminster Eight' appear in court today - as the cost of their trial is revealed to be £1million. Their supporters last night condemned the legal bill for prosecuting the mostly West-based protesters, who caused shockwaves when they invaded the House of Commons last year… (story)
Western Daily Press 23.5.05 D-DAY FOR WESTMINSTER 8 - It was the moment the bitter and divisive hunting row literally burst into the heart of Government - when eight hunt campaigners raced into the Commons Chamber and started shouting…. So it promises to be Britain's trial of the year, but mystery and speculation surround the prosecution and defence cases. For the Government, the fear is the whole trial will become a public circus, which puts the hunt ban and the MPs' decision to outlaw hunting with hounds in the dock, rather than the eight themselves…. (story)
BBC News Online 23.5.05 'Builder disguise' for hunt demo - Pro-hunting campaigners who stormed the House of Commons disguised themselves as builders to bypass security, a court has been told …. (story)
Sky News 23.5.05 OTIS FERRY IN THE DOCK - Rock star Bryan Ferry's son Otis who stormed into the House of Commons with seven other pro-hunting campaigners have gone on trial. The protesters were dressed in suits and ties as they filed into the dock at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in central London…. (story)
ITV.com 23.5.05 Bryan Ferry's son due in court - The son of rock star Bryan Ferry is due in court later after storming the House of Commons - and he hopes MPs will be called to back him. Otis Ferry and seven other men, including a friend of Princes William and Harry, are charged with public order offences after storming the Commons in a pro fox-hunting protest… (story)
Express 23.5.05 Commons protesters in plea to MPs - Pro-hunting campaigners who stormed into the House of Commons will try to call a string of MPs to give evidence when they go on trial. The protesters, who include Otis Ferry, 22-year-old son of rock star Bryan Ferry, have been charged with a public order offence which alleges that their "disorderly" behaviour caused "harassment, alarm or distress"…. Luke Tomlinson, 27, a close friend of Princes William and Harry, will also be in the dock. The other defendants are David Redvers, 34, a horse breeder, of Corsend Farm, Hartpury, Gloucestershire; Richard Wakeham, 36, a surveyor of Alma Terrace, York; Nicholas Wood, 41, a chef of Bowden Park, Lacock, Wiltshire; John Holliday, 37, a huntsman of Ledbury Kennels, Bromesberrow, Ledbury, Herefordshire; Robert Thame, 35, a polo player, of Pipers Cottage, Paley Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire; and Andrew Elliott, 42, an auctioneer of Laurel Cottage, Allbright Lane, Bromesberrow, Ledbury, Herefordshire. (story)
Sky News 23.5.05 HUNT PROTESTERS ON TRIAL - Pro-hunting campaigners who stormed into the House of Commons will try to call a string of MPs to give evidence when they go on trial today…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 23.5.05 HERITAGE SHOWCASED IN VIRTUAL HUNTING DISPLAY BY PETER SQUIRES - A computerised virtual exhibition showing the history of hunting is to be launched, thanks to a £50,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant. Melton Carnegie Museum plans to extend its existing display, which covers all aspects of hunting. The Museum of Hunting Trust wanted to better illustrate the importance of hunting to a rural community in the light of the recent Government ban… (story)
24 Hour Museum 19.5.05 MUSEUM GETS GRANT TO EXPLORE PAST PRESENT & FUTURE OF FOX HUNTING By David Prudames - Melton Carnegie Museum in Leicestershire has been awarded a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to record the impact of the ban on fox hunting. In partnership with the Museum of Hunting Trust - based at Melton Carnegie - Fox Hunting Past, Present and Future will be led by Leicestershire County Council’s Heritage Service and has been made possible by a £50,000 award from the HLF…. (story)

Western Morning News 23.5.05 Royal smiles - IT WAS lovely to see the happy smiles on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at the opening of the Devon County Show - they looked as if they were very much at home, especially with country pursuits etc…. Annette Beer, Paignton (letter)

Irish Examiner 23.5.05 Wanted: someone to conduct first head count of hare population By Caroline O’Doherty - AN unusual census is due to get underway later this year when a head count is carried out on one of the country’s most secretive residents…. Two varieties of the long-eared mammal live in Ireland, the Irish hare and the brown hare, but, ironically given their protected status, the only regular statistics available to wildlife experts come from hunting bag records and coursing club returns. The survey could have implications for coursing enthusiasts who carry out their activities under licence from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)…. (story)

Northern Echo 23.5.05 ILLEGAL SNARES - I AM glad the RSPCA inspector who examined the illegal snares in which two cats had been caught… made comment about these snares. Anyone caught illegally using snares faces a maximum of six months in prison and a £5,000 fine. The sooner the law is enforced the better, but it seems to me the law is far too lenient…. Brenda Scragg, Frosterley. (letter in archive)

Edinburgh Evening News 23.5.05 Humane solution to animal cruelty - LONORA MERRY - IT shouldn't have been like this. The dog was young, fit and healthy…. The legislation had not allowed the Scottish SPCA to act earlier because there were no deliberate acts of cruelty taking place; simply a failure to provide good welfare standards. These situations illustrate why the Executive's draft Animal Health and Welfare Bill is both welcome and overdue…. Leonora Merry is parliamentary assistant for the Scottish SPCA (story)

Western Morning News 23.5.05 Save mustangs plea - I WAS horrified to learn of the intended slaughter of the American wild mustang herds via the introduction of the Burns Amendment in December 2004. I am intending to set up petitions to inform world leaders and wildlife conservation groups…. Mrs Helen Hayward, Camborne (letter)

Worcester Evening News 23.5.05 Vegans protest outside duck-free Co-op - A VEGAN band of protesters gathered outside a Co-op in Malvern to demonstrate against what they claim are cruel farming methods against ducks - even though the store doesn't sell duck meat… "We've kept the leaflets fairly tame in case they end up in children's hands," said the protest organiser, Lisa Bonomini. Store manager Gary Heason, said there were about four protesters who were being obstructive enough for him to call the police…. (story in archive)

22.5.05

Wales on Sunday 22.5.05 THE people of our former colony the USA adore our British monarchy and wish they could have the same…. Cue Prince Michael of Kent and his glamorous wife and daughter. Princess Michael has said she finds life in Britain boring since fox hunting was banned. Gwilym Levell, Neath (letter)

Observer 22.5.05 Pity the vegetarian - It's not enough to be lumped in with Moby. Now a tasteless chef wants his piece of flesh - Barbara Ellen - By now, you have probably heard the great joke about Gordon Ramsay tricking a vegetarian into eating a pizza laced with Parma ham… Don't get me wrong. I know vegetarians are funny. I should do, I've been one half my life. Why? None of your damn business, really, but I'll tell you if you really want me to (and you're funny, you carnivores, because you nearly always want us to). Anyway that killing-terrified-vulnerable-animals-and-eating-them business - really not my scene, do you dig?... would Ramsay have played the same prank on a Muslim? I mean, they have all those silly ideas about faith and not wanting to eat pork products and everything… (story)
Scotland on Sunday 22.5.05 Bone to pick with anyone who says meat-free manifesto is easy - FIONA LEITH - IT IS no coincidence that on the Vegetarian Society's website, on a warning list of stumbling blocks for those setting out on the path to veggie Valhalla, in at No3-with-a-bullet is alcohol… A totally vegetarian society would be the stuff of nightmares. On that front I agree with Gordon Ramsay, who in the past has made no bones about his distaste for we veggies…. For as any honest vegetarian will tell you, it is not easy, it is not particularly sexy and it is certainly not without temptation to convert back to the 'other side'. The Vegetarian Society should be honest enough to put that on their website warning list. (story)

Sunday Times 22.5.05 McCartney attacks animal bill over ritual slaughter - JASON ALLARDYCE - SIR Paul McCartney and Carla Lane, the comedy writer, have criticised the Scottish executive for failing to ban the ritual slaughter of animals. McCartney who, along with his wife Heather Mills, is a vocal campaigner for animal rights, accused ministers of living in the past by effectively condoning cruelty. Lane said the executive’s failure to ban halal and kosher methods of butchering animals — where their throats are cut without first being stunned — was motivated by political correctness. … (story)

Sunday Mail 22.5.05 YOUR BEARS ARE BRED TO DIE - EXCLUSIVE Fury over zoo's £58M breeding plan after 19 polar cubs perish By Brian Lironi A FURIOUS animal welfare group has blasted Edinburgh Zoo for breeding polar bears to die. Campaigners released figures that show ALL 19 cubs born at the zoo have died… Ross Minett, of Advocates for Animals, said: 'Edinburgh Zoo has an appalling record when it comes to polar bears.'… (story)

21.5.05

Gloucestershire Echo 21.5.05 COMPLAINTS ARE POLICED - Gloucestershire Police Authority has set up a new system for dealing with complaints about the way hunt demonstrations are policed. The moves are part of the Police Reform Act 2002… (story)

Bath Chronicle 21.5.05 LIBERAL ELITE ARE GOOD NEWS FOR COUNTRY'S CRUEL PEOPLE - The so-called scientific report claiming that shooting foxes is more cruel than chasing them to exhaustion or setting hounds or terriers on to them, is not worth the paper it is written on. It was obvious who would make sure foxes and other wildlife suffered more when their pastime was made illegal…. Look who is proposing this so-called middle way. The same woolly-headed liberal elite, politically correct type of MPs who do not believe in love and discipline going together allowing the thuggish, drunk, violent dishonest people to thrive… DAVID THOMAS, Hillview, Hisomley, Westbury (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.5.05 SAD PRINCESS IS STILL IN PURSUIT - Princess Michael of Kent will set up residence in France, the reason being that she will no longer be able to go fox hunting in the United Kingdom. What a sad person she must be…. Roy Brown, Ston Easton, Somerset (letter)

The Sentinel 21.5.05 VIVISECTION IS SIMPLY WRONG - A recent letter from DN Rigby of Tunstall stated that animal experiments are scientific fraud, a view with which more and more people are being forced to agree. Not least among them, one imagines, the relatives of victims of adverse drug reactions, thousands of whom suffer death or serious disabilities each year in England alone… CYNTHIA LUBACZ Leek (letter)
The Sentinel 16.5.05 MAKE A STAND AGAINST TESTS - I agree with D N Rigby that animal experiments are scientific fraud (May 12). There are several things Joe Public can do to stop this blatant animal abuse, which also results in harm to humans. Demand that the government invests heavily in, and implements non-animal methods of research and testing, health education and preventative medicine…. S EDWARDS Dubai (letter)
The Sentinel 12.5.05 ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS ARE SCIENTIFIC FRAUD - I am writing in response to the various letters that have appeared for and against animal experiments. While there is a case that some medical progress has been made through vivisection there are numerous uncertainties about its continuing path…. It is clear that the vivisection industry has a case to answer. It is shrouded in secrecy. Practised behind closed doors, accountable to the very institution that runs it. Issuing statements to pacify the public. I turned that corner when my mother died of Alzheimer's Disease. If animal experiments had helped her I would be damning the animal rights movement to hell! Yet I know that no amount of extra pain helped…. D N RIGBY Tunstall (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.5.05 THE GROWING INHUMANITY TOWARDS OUR WATER FOWL - May I take this opportunity to thank the Western Daily Press for its positive support and coverage of the recent swan attack in Newent. Furthermore, I must thank the many good people of Newent, and in particular a very good friend of the swans, Stephen Haines, who kindly put forward the offer of a £250 reward to catch those responsible…. If you would like to make a donation to help save the swans, then please send a cheque to Hereford & Worcester Swan Aid… Dan Sidley, Founder Hereford and Worcester Swan Aid, Redditch (letter)

20.5.05

Ledbury Reporter 20.5.05 Hunt supporters face court over invasion of Commons - THREE members of the Ledbury Hunt face a court in London on Monday charged over a high-profile invasion of the House of Commons. Ledbury huntsman John Holiday, one of the accused, said a week had been put aside at Bow Street Magistra-tes Court and his solicitor had warned him the trial could even run into a second week. Eight men will be in the dock, including Ledbury Hunt members Andrew Elliott and David Redvers. All have pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct likely to cause alarm or distress… (story in archive)

DEVON COUNTY SHOW
Western Morning News 20.5.05 ANIMALS IN THE SPOTLIGHT - Animal lovers will revel in today's events at the Devon County Show… There will be a parade of inter hunt relay teams and hounds followed by an inter hunt relay… (story)
Western Morning News 20.5.05 ROYAL VISITORS CAPTURE HEARTS AT DEVON SHOW - Newly-weds Charles and Camilla received a belated wedding present at the Devon County Show yesterday - a bench made from Devon wood…. Geoffrey Cox, a farmer at Cannington Farm, Witheridge, Mid Devon, said: "I told the Prince he should keep on hunting. The Prince really backs us."… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 20.5.05 THEIR ROYAL SMILENESSES - Newly-weds Charles and Camilla must have felt they were still on their honeymoon, such was the warmth of their welcome at the Devon County Show yesterday…. Pro-farming and pro-field sports activist Geoffrey Cox, from Cannington, struck the only political note of the day beseeching the royal couple to 'keep hunting!' Mr Cox, who regularly pickets visits by politicians to the county, said afterwards: "He may be a future king of the land but like me he is also a peasant farmer…" (story)

Newport Advertiser 20.5.05 Stuffed cub foxes public - Readers will be relieved to discover that the fox cub for sale at the Raptor and Falconry Fair held at Chetwynd Deer Park over the May Day Bank holiday weekend was in fact stuffed… RSPCA Inspector Nayman Dunderdale said: “There was a police presence at the fair and after calls from distressed members of the public who told us that the animal was frightened and that people were kicking the cage, an officer went to visit the stallholder. He gave him holy hell before he was told to take a closer look. It was then confirmed that the animal was stuffed. It did attract a lot of people to the book stall and we think it was a sick joke, and irresponsible to have presented the cub in this manner, particularly in the light of the current hunting debate. We are very relieved that in this case the animal was not alive to be hurt or distressed.” (story)

Guardian 20.5.05 Growing pains - John O'Farrell - From special hideouts constructed in the English countryside you can still occasionally spot them. Eager naturalists crouch for hours behind binoculars for a rare glimpse of the once common English farmer, before fleeing in terror as a rogue male suddenly starts stomping towards them bearing a double-barrelled shot-gun and shouting "Oi! Get orf my land!"… While the farmers' greatest enemy was the greed of the supermarkets, the Countryside Alliance felt more comfortable marching against a Labour government carrying out its pledge to ban hunting…. Just as Amnesty International refuses to help prisoners who have committed violence, so socialists should refuse to support anyone in green wellingtons and an olive quilted gilet. Sorry, you might be ruthlessly exploited by the capitalist multinationals, but you have a Countryside Alliance sticker in the back of your 4x4, so you're on your own, pal…(story)

Craven Herald 20.5.05 - I was interested to read your article (Craven Herald May 13) regarding the increase in lamb losses to moorland foxes since the hunting ban came into effect. However one of the most disturbing aspects of your article, highlighted by Malham farmer Bill Cowperthwaite, concerns the release of urban foxes into the wild…. People should be aware that this practice is extremely cruel. Apart from the damage caused to livestock highlighted by your article, the foxes themselves (if they survive until winter) are likely to suffer a slow death from starvation in unfamiliar and inhospitable terrain… Robert Bell, Langcliffe Hall, Settle.
You reported last week that the "hunting ban sees foxes killing lambs". Of course, a hunting ban will see foxes killing lambs…. I reckon that what you want to say is that the hunting ban has seen foxes killing more lambs. But as you reported earlier, there doesn't seem to be any evidence for this, rather the increased incidences of kills and worryings are largely due to a dearth of rabbits… Dr Richard Broughton, King Street, Barnoldswick.
Re `Hunting ban sees foxes killing moorland lambs'. The headline to this article was misleading given that two people were quoted as thinking that the shortage of rabbits because of foot and mouth was partly to blame… Could this be pro-hunt supporters trying to show that the ban has caused problems for farmers? If so this should be exposed. Angie Pedley, Hollies Cottages, Stainforth (letters in archive)

Carlisle News & Star 20.5.05 Should greyhound racing be banned? - Campaign group Greyhound Action claims the sport is cruel and inhumane, with most racing dogs killed before they are three years old…. (vox pop)

Guardian 20.5.05 FBI calls UK animal activists terrorists - Jamie Wilson in Washington - Environmental extremists and animal rights activists, including the British-based Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, pose one of the most serious terrorism threats to the US, according to the FBI. John Lewis, the FBI's deputy assistant director for counter terrorism, told a Senate committee that activists had claimed responsibility for more than 1,200 criminal incidents in the US since 1990, including arson and bombing attacks against animal research laboratories and the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries…. (story)
Independent 20.5.05 Eco-militants are greatest terrorist threat, warns FBI By David Usborne in New York - The FBI has sounded a new and surprising alarm, suggesting environmental and animal-welfare militants are now the biggest terrorist threat in the US, increasingly using incendiary devices on targets ranging from housing developments and research laboratories to car dealerships… (story)
BBC News Online 19.5.05 Eco-warriors are 'US terror risk' - Eco-terrorism has become a serious US domestic security threat, a senior FBI official has told a Senate committee. Counter-terrorism expert John Lewis said groups like the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front were now a law enforcement priority…. He said groups such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) were "way out in front" in terms of damage and number of crimes… (story)

The Sentinel 20.5.05 PRO-ANIMAL TESTER IGNORES PROGRESS - Eric Adams (letters, May 16) is seriously misinformed about the nature of medical discovery. He claims my quote of Sabin was biased - yet it was sworn under oath before the US Congress…. Like many protecting their own interests, Eric Adams distorts the truth and ignores uncomfortable facts which disprove his argument. Europeans for Medical Progress is dedicated to protecting patient safety… KATHY ARCHIBALD Director, Europeans for Medical Progress London (letter)
The Sentinel 16.5.05 THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH IT - Once again we have an anti-vivisectionist misinforming the public (Kathy Archibald, letters 10th May). Kathy's claim about polio vaccine being delayed by animal studies simply illustrates her lack of knowledge of the whole field of virology… ERIC ADAMS London (letter)
The Sentinel 10.5.05 TESTS ON ANIMALS HOLD US ALL BACK - Michael Ardron (Letters, May 6) has been misinformed. Animal tests were not responsible for the polio vaccine or any of the breakthroughs he mentions…. Adverse reactions to prescription medicines - all tested for safety on animals - are the fourth biggest killer in the western world. KATHY ARCHIBALD Director, Europeans for Medical Progress (letter)
Post & Times 6.5.05 ANIMAL TESTS VITAL - Recently I have read a book called Mrs Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C O'Brien. Reading this book has brought to my attention the issue of animal testing, which is very controversial at the moment. I decided to undertake some research into this issue. I have concluded that animal testing is the most important form of drug testing - it is vital to medical research; it has saved thousands of lives… Michael Ardron Windsor Park Middle School Uttoxeter (letter)

York Evening Press 20.5.05 Can you still eat chicken with a clear conscience? - DURING the last parliament, this Government banned hunting with dogs, ostensibly on the grounds of animal welfare. Hopefully, we will now see this concern extended to other animal welfare issues crying out for similarly robust action…. Do people buying non-free range eggs realise each battery hen spends its life in a space no bigger than an A4 sheet of paper?... Mrs J Kay, Askham Grove, Acomb, York. (letter in archive)

19.5.05

Daily Post 19.5.05 Call to amend fox hunting act - FARM organisations have reiterated a call for the Assembly to flex its muscles and devolve elements of the Hunting Act in Wales. NFU Cymru, CLA, FUW and National Sheep Association met countryside minister Carwyn Jones to press for amendments to the hunting ban… NFU Cymru president Peredur Hughes said that the Assembly could soon have greater powers to amend primary legislation made in Westminster. He said: "Two dogs to flush foxes from cover are inadequate in a country with a high proportion of rough grazings and a 14% woodland cover. "Many of these areas are large and using two dogs to find foxes is like looking for a needle in a haystack."… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 19.5.05 THE LEADER OF THE PACK - He Leads a sport that was mortally wounded by the fox-hunting ban. Today, Robert Howarth educates Allison Coggan on the ways of the countryside - The invitation to a Royal Garden Party sits above the cooking range, tucked behind photos of Robert Howarth with Prince Charles…. Despite his royal friendship, Robert Howarth, professional huntsman for the Holderness Hunt, seems far removed from the hunting, fishing and shooting brigade. His slight physique lends itself more to a jockey than a man in charge of a pursuit denounced as "barbaric" by so many… Leaving him to his hounds, it seems arguments are not always black and white. With this one, there's a lot of green in the middle. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 19.5.05 'WITHOUT PEOPLE LIKE US, THERE WOULD BE LITTLE FOR YOU TO ENJOY' - Howarth On THE HUNTING BAN - "IT HURTS me to think a small amount of people who don't understand something can turn centuries of tradition around. My children were distraught one day because their teacher started a debate and said what their father did was 'despicable'. Surely that's not right."… (story)

Western Morning News 19.5.05 TOO MUCH POLITICS IS GOING ON AT DEFRA - In the latest part of our series on how the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has failed farming, David Fursdon, deputy president of the Country Land and Business Association, examines how Defra lost farmers' trust… The problems that have arisen since then seem to stem from two major factors. Firstly, there was the politicisation of the department. The last session of parliament was focused for much of its time on the question of hunting. This led to strong feelings being expressed on all sides and threw Defra into the front line of the debate. What it also did was to reduce the level of trust between the department and farmers and landowners…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 23.5.05 PROBLEMS ARE SELF-INFLICTED - In response to the letter, Who Let The Dogs Out? (Viewpoint, May 13). Firstly, it is high time that the pro-hunt fanatics took responsibility for their present problems, which are self-inflicted, instead of blaming others. Secondly, there would be no redundant hounds if they were kept to follow an artificial scent trail…. Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.5.05 TORY OLD GUARD MUST MOVE ON - It was obvious that although Labour had to change to get elected… The same with the Conservative Party, they will only do better when they stop being dominated by the geriatric dinosaurs who refuse to move on, defending such cruel pastimes as fox hunting… David Thomas Westbury Wiltshire (letter)

Eastern Daily Press 19.5.05 Fishing - a new angle on troubled kids - A community fishing project is helping troubled youngsters get back into line. About 60 young people aged between 10 and 16 have got involved in fishing skills courses run by the Breckland Angling Coaching Club, and there are plans to extend the courses to migrant workers to improve their English skills…. (story)

Sky News 19.5.05 DOG RACING IS 'INHUMANE' - Animal rights campaigners are attempting to persuade one of Britain's biggest bookmakers to stop greyhound racing. They are set to hold a protest outside a William Hill shareholders meeting in central London. Supporters of Greyhound Action claim the sport is cruel and inhumane. Greyhound Action's national coordinator, Tony Peters, said: "William Hill already owns two greyhound stadiumsand is set to purchase a third…." (story)

Sutton Guardian 19.5.05 Save foxes from agonising death - J MORRIS Manor Green Road Epsom (letter)
Sutton Guardian 12.5.05 Save foxes from agonising end - Having seen at least two foxes with severe mange in this area recently, could I please make people aware of the National Fox Welfare Society… J MORRIS Epsom (letter)

Western Gazette 19.5.05 CASH FOR CAMPAIGN - An animal shelter at Pylle, near Shepton Mallet, has received a financial boost from animal rights protesters. Happy Landings has been given £1,000 by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, for supporting its campaign against a pet food supplier… (story)

Guardian 19.5.05 Oxford animal lab to be built off-site - Jimmy Leach - Oxford University is to try to sidestep animal rights protestors by prefabricating its new £18m animal research facility on a secret site outside the city. According to the Times Higher Education Supplement, the move, which has the backing of senior ministers and security staff, could mean the new building is being prepared outside the country, although the university refused to comment…. (story)

Oxford Mail 19.5.05 Priorities are wrong - Reader Lucy Brett is absolutely right -- the police do seem to have strange priorities (Oxford Mail, May 16). It seems unjust laws are passed to try to intimidate even the most peaceful animal rights' campaigners. Any demonstrators who are caught handing out leaflets about vivisection are likely to be arrested. … Gillian Whitty (Miss), Oxford (letter in archive)
Oxford Mail 16.5.05 Strange priorities - Why is it that, when attending peaceful demonstrations at Oxford University against the building of a new animal housing establishment to further Oxford's barbaric use of animals in experiments, demonstrators are classed as "terrorists" and can be arrested under the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, for just giving out leaflets?... Laura Brett, Saxton Road, Abingdon (letter in archive)

Bolton Evening News 19.5.05 Animal friendly circus - A CIRCUS from Moscow is coming to Bolton which is designed to be fantastic, family entertainment. It is indeed excellent news that this entertainment involves no animals… A Cartmell, Bolton Green Party (letter in archive)

Dundee Courier 19.5.05 Vicious predator safe at Loch Leven sanctuary - Last week a farmer friend observed two black backed gulls wipe out a newly hatched clutch of peewits, while the mallard ducklings on our pond have just suffered a similar fate. These big, vicious gulls range over most of our countryside causing devastation to much of our cherished wildlife… Culling, of course, is the answer, but this may not suit the RSPB and SNH agenda of blaming farmers and field sports for our wildlife’s demise…. Michael C. Smith. Cleishmains Cottage, Cleish, Kinross (story)

Irish Independent 19.5.05 Gruesome protest gets school's blood up - Shane Hickey - A DEMONSTRATION in which school children were given buckets of fake blood and bones by animal welfare groups was condemned by school authorities yesterday. Children leaving the Ardscoil La Salle in Raheny, Dublin, were handed the items as part of a protest against Kentucky Fried Chicken's (KFC) alleged cruel treatment of chickens. Four members of UK group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Irish Alliance for Animal Rights handed out the "blood buckets" and literature on "KFC Cruelty" to pupils. PETA spokeswoman Yvonne Taylor said the campaign deliberately targeted young people…(story)
Breaking News 18.5.05 Children handed 'buckets of blood' in KFC protest - Animal rights protesters handed buckets of fake blood, bones and feathers to children outside a secondary school today in a bid to encourage them to boycott Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)…. Today, armed with the "buckets of blood", leaflets describing the company’s farming practices and a giant chicken with a "Boycott KFC" placard, Peta protesters took their message to children – who they say are the multinational’s main marketing target – at Ardscoil La Salle secondary school in Raheny, Dublin. Youngsters gave the protest a mixed reaction, with some describing the buckets as “gross” and “disgusting“, while others agreed with the message and the protest…. (story)

18.5.05

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 18.5.05 Game and country fair to be annual event - PICKERING'S first Game and Country Fair proved a huge success at the weekend, attracting crowds of more than 6,000. Demonstrations of axe racing, working sheep dogs, sheep shearing, falconry, fly casting, side-saddle riding and gun dogs kept the visitors entertained. The Ampleforth Beagles and the Derwent Hunt paraded in the arena, giving children the chance to meet the hounds…. (story in archive)

Independent 18.5.05 Hunted down: the minister who faces a frightening time By Guy Adams - It will be the oddest courtroom scene in recent times. Alun Michael, the former Rural Affairs minister who banned hunting, is to be a defence witness for the "Westminster Eight", the pro-hunting activists who invaded the House of Commons in protest against him. On Monday, Otis Ferry and his accomplices will appear at Bow Street magistrates charged with "causing fear and distress". Having pleaded not guilty, they will issue Michael, far right, with a summons to testify on their behalf…. "The defence lawyer intends to ask Michael a single rather clever question," I'm told. "It is this: 'did you, at any stage during the invasion of 15 September 2004, feel frightened?' If Michael says yes, he'll be a laughing stock, and look like a total wimp; if he says no, then they can't very well be convicted of causing fear and distress."… (story)

POLICE CHIEF WARNS OF INTIMIDATION
Telegraph 18.5.05 Extremists 'intimidate huntsmen at home' By John Steele - Anti-hunt extremists have adopted the tactics of animal rights extremists and visited the homes of suspected illegal huntsmen in an attempt to intimidate them, a leading police chief said yesterday. The number of incidents had so far been "mercifully very little", Nigel Yeo, the Assistant Chief Constable of Sussex, said…. (story)
Guardian 18.5.05 Animal rights extremists 'targeting homes' - Rosie Cowan - Animal rights extremists are targeting the homes of hunt masters as the battle over the hunting ban steps up, a senior police officer warned yesterday. Nigel Yeo, the Sussex assistant chief constable, said he was aware of a handful of incidents where homes and kennels had been attacked…. (story)
Argus 18.5.05 Huntsmen face intimidation - Anti-hunt groups are targeting the homes of huntsmen they suspect of breaking the controversial new ban, a top policeman said…. Sussex assistant chief constable Nigel Yeo warned that conflict over the ban could escalate when the new hunting season opens in September… (story in archive)
Edinburgh Evening News 18.5.05 Huntsmen now the hunted - ANTI-HUNT groups are targeting the homes of huntsmen they suspect of breaking the controversial new ban, Sussex chief constable Yeo has warned. (story)
Scotsman 17.5.05 Anti-Hunters Use 'Animal Rights' Target Tactics By David Barrett, PA Home Affairs Correspondent - Anti-hunt groups are targeting the homes of huntsmen they suspect of breaking the controversial new ban, a top policeman said today. Protesters on the margins of anti-hunting groups have adopted the tactics previously used against vivisectionists by animal rights extremists. Sussex assistant chief constable Nigel Yeo warned that conflict over the ban could escalate when the new hunting season opens in September…. (story)
BBC News Online 17.5.05 Hunting ban breakers 'targeted' - Anti-hunt campaigners are targeting the homes of huntsmen they think are breaking the hunting ban, a senior police officer has said. Sussex's Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Yeo said he knew of cases of houses and kennels being targeted. These had happened since the ban came into force in February, Mr Yeo told the Association of Chief Police Officers' annual conference on Tuesday…. (story)

Guardian 18.5.05 The same but different - Leader - Whatever arguments there may be - and some of them are very valid - about the outcome of the 2005 general election, Tony Blair was right about one thing yesterday. Overall, Labour's was by some way the most coherently plausible programme that was offered to the electorate on May 5…. One of the key lessons of the last parliament was the power of Labour's handling of apparently second-order bills to adversely define the government's reputation in the minds of many voters. Hunting, anti-terrorism, licensing hours, gambling, postal voting and the judicial appointments system all come into this category…. (story)

HLS FAILS TO FILE ACCOUNTS
Hunts Post 18.5.05 Auditors too afraid to work at animal lab - ANGELA SINGER - ANIMAL rights activists have prevented Huntingdon Life Sciences filing its annual accounts. The research laboratory has been unable to send its paperwork to Companies House since top accountants Deloittes quit after its offices, staff and directors were threatened by an animal rights group…. (story)
Scotsman 16.5.05 Lab fails to file accounts - AN ANIMAL test laboratory whose accountants, Deloitte, quit after threats from campaign groups, has failed to file its 2003 accounts with Companies House…. (story)
BBC News Online 15.5.05 HLS fails to file 2003 accounts - An animal test lab whose accountants quit after threats from campaign groups has failed to file its 2003 accounts with Companies House. Finance industry magazine Accountancy Age now claims Huntingdon Life Sciences could be struck off… (story)
Accountancy Age 12.5.05 Under siege lab misses accounts deadline again - Paul Grant - Animal experimentation labs, Huntingdon Life Sciences, is facing fines from Companies House after failing to file its 2003 accounts within the due deadline, as it sought to protect its auditor from protest action…. (story)

Western Daily Press 18.5.05 WALKING IN AID OF MOON BEARS - Well done to the Evening Post for their comments about the poor Moon Bears in the Western Daily Press (Post Mortem, May 12). Every time something negative is written about the campaign for saving the bears, another £5,000 is raised to release another bear, so keep the letters coming…. I will be doing a sponsored walk in the Quantocks on May 22 with the Moon Bear Rescue team… Jane Riva West Coker Somerset (story)

Leicester Mercury 18.5.05 ANIMAL RIGHTS CHARITY EVENT - Animal rights campaigners are organising a green fair to help raise cash for a range of charities. The event takes place on Saturday in Bishop Street Methodist Church Rooms, Leicester…. Phil Hudson, from Leicester Animal Concern, said: "Lots of charities will be there and there will be some great vegetarian food…" (story)

Glasgow Herald 18.5.05 An intolerable obscenity in 21st-century Europe - CONGRATULATIONS for publishing the photographs of the Spanish female bullfighter, gored by her fierce "adversary" (later editions, May 16). They are a salutary reminder of a so-called culture which rejoices in a despicable entertainment in which a noble animal is tortured, terrorised and maddened by agony and fear, before it is finally slaughtered by the mightiest and deadliest beings who profess to belong to the "highest order"… John Ross Maclean, 33 Drummond Place, Edinburgh.
IT IS hard to have any sympathy for the Spanish female apprentice bullfighter gored by a bull at a bullfight. This woman's pain will have been nothing compared to the suffering endured by the bulls in whose torture and death she chose to participate… Ross Minett, director, Advocates for Animals, 10 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letters)

ANIMAL WELFARE BILL
Horse & Hound 18.5.05 Animal welfare to take centre stage in Parliament - Carla Passino - The proposed Animal Welfare Bill will update the definition of cruelty, expand keepers’ responsibilities and introduce specific regulations for riding schools and livery yards - The Animal Welfare Bill is back on the government's agenda and it includes plans to introduce new regulations for livery yards and riding schools. It figured among the 44 bills mentioned in the Queen's Speech, which Parliament will debate by November 2006…. A small portion of the bill, which is currently in draft stage and was being examined by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee when the election was called, deals specifically with the equestrian industry. It proposes to update the rules for riding establishments and introduce new rules for livery yards…. (story)
Daily Mail 17.5.05 New Bill for animal protection - Animal welfare controls for the protection of farm livestock are to be extended to cover pets through the introduction of the Animal Welfare Bill. The Bill, published in draft at the end of last year, is intended to strengthen and simply the existing law. It will consolidate more than 20 separate pieces of legislation into a single measure…. Earlier this year, officials signalled that ministers had dropped controversial plans to outlaw the giving away of goldfish as fairground prizes under the new legislation. (story)
BBC News Online 17.5.05 Animal welfare laws toughened - New penalties against cruelty will be part of the overhaul of animal welfare laws pledged in the Queen's Speech. The government has already published draft plans and now it is promising a full-blown bill for England and Wales…. (story)

17.5.05

Western Daily Press 17.5.05 HUNTING BAN WILL LEAD TO UGLY SCENES - 10:13 - 17 May 2005 Increasing frustration on both sides of the hunting divide will lead to rising violence when the sport resumes in the autumn, it was warned last night…. James Barrington led the campaign to ban hunting for a decade until he left the League Against Cruel Sports in the 1990s. He is now an expert working for the Parliamentary Middle Way Group, which has sought to find a compromise deal between opponents and supporters… "You can see some pretty nasty situations developing where both sides get more and more frustrated." Since the election, hunt leaders have been rallying their troops…." (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 17.5.05 UNEASY PEACE IN COUNTRYSIDE - A ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales became a reality three months ago today. How has the controversial law affected hunting's supporters and opponents in Notts? JAMES KAY reports … It was business as usual for the hounds of the South Notts Hunt, and the Per Ardua Beagles with whom they share kennels, at the Newark and Notts County Show last weekend. Anne Jepson, secretary of the South Notts Hunt, said casual observers would not notice much of a difference between pre- and post-ban hunting when the season restarts… However, Ms Jepson said the ban has had a noticeable impact on the micro-economy connected to hunting…. Anti-hunt campaigner Roger Swaine admitted the law was flawed, but said opponents were still prepared for what lay ahead…. (story)

Morpeth Herald 17.5.05 Labour tactics cost our seats say Tories - TWO of Castle Morpeth's most prominent Tories were defeated at the County polls, citing Labour tactics, the schools debate and fox hunting as vote losers. Conservatives Michael Jeans and Richard Dodd both lost long standing seats at Ponteland to rival Lib Dem candidates…. Coun Jeans, a joint master of the Morpeth Hunt, claims that Labour's decision not to stand candidates in the two divisions was a 'deliberate ploy' to unseat prominent Conservatives… Coun Jeans admitted that he and Coun Dodd, Regional Chairman of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance, might have lost votes from the anti-hunt sector. "It's fair to say that we probably lost some people who were against fox hunting, but at the same time that would have gained us votes as well," he said…. (story)

Horse & Hound 17.5.05 The fight goes on - HHO brings you the latest news of recent protests against the Hunting Bill, plus what you can do to help support the cause - Show your support - The Countryside Alliance has introduced a pro-hunting rubber wristband which is half red and half green and bears the message BAN THE BAN. They are available from CA stands at point-to-points and county shows… (story)

Horse & Hound 17.5.05 Rosy future for point-to-points - Carla Passino - The future looks promising for the sport of point-to-pointing. Despite the uncertainty caused by the ban on hunting, the 2006 season is “all systems go” according to the Point-to-Point Board…. (story)

The Sentinel 17.5.05 FRESH FOOD IS A PERK - LET'S KEEP IT - This week I have been in a spot of hot water with some of my friends in the Countryside Alliance. In last week's article I made comments about the visual absence of the hunting fraternity during the run up to the General Election. It was pointed out to me that tens of thousands of them had been beavering away behind the scenes, working to unseat Labour MPs in rural constituencies… It is the intention of the alliance to encourage its members to get involved in local politics lobbying councillors, MPs and MEPs… They also have a commitment, which I have to say I am pleased about, and that is to encourage their members to buy locally and eat British food…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.5.05 WHY I WON'T PUT MY DOGS ON LEAD - Sir - Mrs Street displays a complete ignorance of the Hunting Act when she tries to tell me that I should keep my dogs on the lead. There is nothing in the Act that says I have to keep my dogs on a lead or control them so that they do not hunt wild mammals… The only thing the Act actually says is I must not use my dogs to hunt wild mammals that I am also hunting. Unless, of course, I shoot them. As long as I am not myself hunting wild mammals then it is fine for my dogs to. If Mrs Street has any doubt about this then she should check with Defra… Even if I was cruel, the Hunting Act has nothing to do with cruelty. It doesn't even mention it. Giles Bradshaw South Molton Devon (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.4.05 DOGS SHOULD BE KEPT ON A LEAD - How amusing to read that Giles Bradshaw, (WDP, March 31), is complaining about the new hunting with hounds law. He seems to think that it is unreasonable to take your dogs out without them hunting and chasing our wildlife…. Please don't use your lack of control as an excuse to hunt and kill certain wildlife for entertainment. In this day and age - we won't tolerate it! Mrs Y Street Okehampton Devon (letter)
Western Daily Press 31.3.05 WALKING THE DOG 'WITH INTENT'. . . It is interesting how widely different Defra's interpretation of the Hunting Act is from that of the League Against Cruel Sports. Realising how unenforcable the law is, the League is now starting to argue that even a dog hunting by accident will break the law…. Because the law applies equally to forms of hunting which cause no adverse welfare effect, such as searching for animals, or very little such as driving them away by barking at them, LACS' interpretation would make dog walkers criminals, as their dogs clearly both search for and drive away wild mammals…. Giles Bradshaw South Molton Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 17.5.05 STAGHUNT IS MERELY ORGANISED CRUELTY - While i have no intention of being politically or grammatically correct, as long as your readers can understand what I am saying I would like to reply to J Ward-Hayne's letter (WMN, April 27) bemoaning my "misuse" of language. To any intelligent and unbiased person - this obviously excludes informed and indoctrinated hunt supporters - the fact that wild deer are tolerated on farmers and landowners' estates while they eat their crops, shrubs and trees, supposedly causing thousands of pounds damage, on and around Exmoor, before they are "moved on" to the next willing landowner by the Devon & Somerset Staghounds is, to all intents and purposes a form of management which borders on "rearing" them!... Len Short, Torquay (letter)

Western Morning News 17.5.05 HOW ON EARTH DID LABOUR WIN? - The General Election result throws up a few questions. Considering the protests we have seen over the past few years regarding the Labour Government's leadership and the amount of people involved, there really can't be many who didn't disagree one way or another with the policies and actions of Tony's army…. The local hunt has been stopped, to the disgust of every supporter in the country. The mass protests in London bore out this fact. Did these people support Labour again?... Stephen Hoskin, Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 17.5.05 WHO IS BOLD ENOUGH TO SOLVE CRISIS? - The presence of Princess Anne, as patron of the Rural Housing Trust, at a seminar on "affordable housing" in the Westcountry (WMN, May 4) is not a sign of a solution but the sign of a problem… Only when politicians of all parties and campaigning groups like the Countryside Alliance work to get much more rural housing will rural housing become affordable to many less affluent people, but the market dictates that more housing will mean that the value of existing housing will fall. And what politician or hunting lobbyist would risk the anger of constituents or members who are living in their goldmines?... Theo Hopkins, Lifton (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 17.5.05 DANGER TO WILDLIFE - Lakes in Llanelli's Millennium Coastal Park are becoming littered with discarded fishing tackle that is threatening wildlife. It has prompted calls for action by animal welfare experts in the community (story)

Scotsman 17.5.05 Deer population in doubt - You report (12 May) that red deer numbers are a serious threat to wildlife. But before any widespread cull is called for, it is vital we establish a true population figure. The figure of 400,000 is unreliable, and a new figure should be built "bottom up" from counts by stalkers on the ground, not from government data that is flawed and out of date…. The Scottish Countryside Alliance believes deer management groups, with local agreement, should set an appropriate cull target, and it should be carried out in a humane manner…. TONY ANDREWS, Chief executive, SCA, Ingliston, Midlothian (letter)

Scotsman 17.5.05 Animal tests are vital - Animal research is not intended to supply us with all the answers on the safety of a new medicine, as Ross Minett (Letters, 16 May) seems to think. But it remains an essential step on the road to assessing a medicine’s safety profile…. LOUISE BEREND, Public affairs executive, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, Whitehall, London (letter)
Scotsman 16.5.05 Deadly 'safe' drugs - It is not surprising that there are regular reports of supposedly safe drugs causing human deaths (your report, 11 May). Adverse drug reactions are one of the western world’s biggest killers…. ROSS MINETT, Director, Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)

Guardian 17.5.05 Animal Rights Activist Awaits Trial By TODD RICHMOND Associated Press Writer - In 1997, two figures clad in black slipped through the northern Wisconsin pines and let hundreds of minks out of their cages. Nearly eight years later, a man identified by authorities as one of those figures, Peter Daniel Young, is about to be brought to Wisconsin for trial on federal charges. The case could open a window on the radical animal-rights movement, which federal authorities regard as a growing terrorist threat…. According to investigators, Young, 27, is part of the Animal Liberation Front, a shadowy extremist group whose goal is to shut down animal research labs and other animal-related industries…. (story)

SCOTTISH ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE BILL
Scotsman 17.5.05 Animal welfare toughened up - FORDYCE MAXWELL - RURAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT - NEW animal welfare rules proposed by the Scottish Executive would introduce a "duty of care" on every animal owner, raise the minimum age for buying animals to 16 and ban giving animals as prizes. The same Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill would extend Executive powers to enter farms and slaughter animals in any exotic disease outbreak, such as foot-and-mouth. … Angling as a cause of possible suffering is exempt under the draft proposals, and ritual slaughter methods come under different legislation. (story)
Scotsman 17.5.05 New entry powers in cruelty bill - FARMING AND RURAL AFFAIRS - FORDYCE MAXWELL - RURAL AFFAIRS EDITOR - A NEW duty of care proposed by the Scottish Executive for all animal owners should reduce cases of cruelty affecting domestic pets, horses and farm animals. But the extended Executive powers to enter farms and slaughter stock in an exotic disease outbreak, regulation of "animal gatherings", licensing of more animal businesses, including dealers, and compulsory bio-security rules could have wider long-term effects on farming… (story)
Glasgow Herald 17.5.05 Age for buying pets raised from 12 to 16 - TOM GORDON, Scottish Political Correspondent - THE days of winning a goldfish as a prize at the fair are to end under new welfare legislation, ministers confirmed yesterday. The anti-cruelty measures will also raise the minimum age for buying animals from 12 to 16. The reforms are set out in the Animal Health and Welfare Bill, which was published in a final draft yesterday, and which introduces a duty of care for the first time on all animal owners…. (story)
Glasgow Herald 17.5.05 Nothing to fear from draft animal health and welfare bill - DAN BUGLASS - FARMERS have little to be concerned about over the draft animal health and welfare bill, published yesterday, according to the rural development minister Ross Finnie. He announced some eminently sensible proposals, such as a greater scrutiny of those who are "keepers of livestock" and a ban on the giving away of livestock as prizes…. Nigel Miller, chairman of the NFUS livestock committee and a qualified veterinary surgeon, said: "We are pleased that the draft bill will cover all animals, not just those kept on commercial farms. It will help Scottish farming build on its reputation for the highest standards, but we will have to look at some of the proposals in fine detail." (story)
Dundee Courier 17.5.05 Animal welfare plans announced By Steve Bargeton, political editor - Ministers yesterday unveiled plans to raise the minimum age for buying an animal from 12 to 16 and bringing in a ban on giving animals as prizes…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 16.5.05 Cruelty Bill set to outlaw fairground goldfish prize - ALAN MCEWEN - GOLDFISH prizes will be banned from fairgrounds as part of a crackdown on animal cruelty announced today. A draft Bill unveiled by the Scottish Executive will also raise the minimum age for buying pets from 12 to 16. The measures are designed to combat the mistreatment of domestic pets and farm livestock through a series of tough penalties… Ross Finnie, minister for environment and rural development, said he wants the law to be more robust, allowing action to be taken before cruelty intensifies…. (story)
BBC News Online 15.5.05 Cruelty bill to ban animal prizes - A major new bill is promising to ban giving animals as prizes in competitions and to raise the age when children can buy pets. The draft proposals, which will be announced by Rural Development Minister Ross Finnie, are part of a raft of measures to halt cruelty to animals…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.5.05 WE DID IT FOR THE BEARS - Our beautiful Moon Bears have stolen the show again, with more than £5,000 raised at the Bristol Hippodrome. The massive boost has helped push the fund to rid China of its brutal bile farming trade past the £110,000 mark in recent weeks…. (story)

icSurrey 17.5.05 'An adventure we don't want you to have' By Joan Mulcaster - A WILDLIFE welfare charity has been gathering support for its opposition to an eight-acre safari trail at Chessington World of Adventures. The Born Free Foundation has been talking to residents' groups around the theme park about a proposed trail for large species who are living in enclosures… (story)

16.5.05

Times 16.5.05 Oh, the farmer and the townie should be friends - RICHARD MORRISON - WHEN one considers how much trouble the countryside caused Tony Blair in the past four years — what with the botched response to foot-and-mouth, the furore over Prescott’s proposed housebuilding orgy, the hunting row, the ramblers-versus- landowners squabble, the rumpus over wind turbines plonked in beautiful landscapes, and those monster raving green-welly protests in Parliament Square — one can’t help but be astonished at how little these rural issues featured in the election. They really were the dog that didn’t bark…. Out in the sticks, it was a different matter. All my farmer friends voted against Blair with a vengeance bordering on pathological hatred for every indignity his party is deemed to have inflicted on rural Britain. The pro-hunting group, Vote-OK, boasts that its activists were responsible for ousting no fewer than 29 anti- hunting MPs… This great divide is the subject of David Bellamy’s new book, Conflicts in the Countryside: The New Battle for Britain (Shaw & Sons). I recommend it … Our islands are small. Everything is connected. Everything depends on everything else. Especially town and country. The sooner that both sides accept that our fates are inextricably intertwined, the better for everyone (story)

Western Morning News 16.5.05 DEFRA DAMNED - Tony Blair was facing a mounting rural backlash last night over his decision to retain the "incompetent" Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and its controversial Secretary of State Margaret Beckett…. One senior source at the Countryside Alliance said the lack of change at Defra was the equivalent of "showing two fingers to the countryside"…(story)
Western Morning News 16.5.05 IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUT OUT OF ITS MISERY - JASON GROVES - In a disappointing post-election reshuffle, the failure to put the wretched Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs out of its misery was perhaps the most dispiriting decision of all…. If anything, the status of rural affairs in the new Government has been downgraded even further. Former Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael may have become a controversial figure because of his handling of the hunting ban. But, as a Minister of State, he did at least have the clout to make himself heard in Government - something his lowly replacement may find very difficult to achieve…. No one seriously questions Mrs Beckett's abilities as a politician… What is in question is her commitment to, and interest in, the farming and rural affairs issues which form such a large part of her brief, and which play such a critical role in the countryside. To put it bluntly, she gives the impression that she couldn't care less about the countryside or the people living in it…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 16.5.05 WHY PICK ON ME? Why pick on me, says the fox to the dog?... When they've got rid of Reynard, I wonder who's next/To suffer the chase to the kill, They call it a sport, a misnomer of course. Why pick on me?... KELVIN THOMAS, Holcombe Vale, Bathampton, Bath (letter)

The Sentinel 16.5.05 CARS DRIVE THE FOX TO DEATH - Where have our beloved foxes gone?... There are two main problems, I think. Fox hunting and cars…. Please save our foxes. ALISON WRIGHT Aged 10 St Chad's Primary School, Red Street (letter)

The Register 16.5.05 EU puts squeeze on animal testing By Pelle Neroth Taylor - The EU's scientists are facing a challenge to think up ways of reducing the animal testing element in the biggest piece of legislation to pass through Brussels in a decade. REACH (registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals) proposes to register, label and authorise the 30,000 chemicals used by industry in the production of goods today… Animal welfare groups such as the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection think the legislation will kill up to 10 million animals in tests where the chemicals will be poured into animals eyes… (story)

Scotsman 16.5.05 Hundreds of hedgehogs rescued as bounties top £4,000 MIKE MERRITT - THE last ‘hedgehog bounties’ were handed out to islanders in the Outer Hebrides yesterday, as a last-minute deadline day rush of rescued animals pushed the total amount paid out to £4,000. With still just two weeks of the controversial annual cull left, Uist Hedgehog Rescue - the group of animal welfare organisations backed by Sir Paul McCartney, Joanna Lumley, Twiggy, Sting, and lyricist Sir Tim Rice - has now stopped handing out the £20 bounties for each saved creature… (story)

Northern Echo 16.5.05 FISH OIL - Patricia Tricker, Bedale (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Evening Post 16.5.05 Safer oils - There's been a lot of hype lately about schoolkids' behaviour and work improving when they were given fish oil because of the omega-3s. What these studies don't show is the longer-term effect of mercury contamination. Much safer to get your omega-3s from flax seed or flax seed oil… Better for the fish too! Patricia Tricket MIL Cert Ed (FE), Arrathorne, Bedale (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.5.05 PEOPLE NEED THE FACTS ABOUT MEAT - There is nothing underhand about presenting people with facts regarding meat consumption (Your Say, May 10). It is actually a wholly responsible action - enabling people to make informed choices about their diet…. Toni Vernelli, Viva! Bristol (letter)

The Sentinel 16.5.05 TREAT ANIMALS LIKE HUMANS - I Think it is wrong what people are doing to animals. They are buying animals and then giving them no love or care and dumping animals anywhere they like… People, please think of animals as humans…. RACHELLE GILL Aged 9 St Chad's Primary School, Red Street (letter)

The Sentinel 16.5.05 SMALL CREATURES NEED OUR HELP - I Think that people should stop the cruelty to animals it is horrible, people don't care at all sometimes…. CHANTELLE BLEWETT Aged 9 St Chad's Primary, Red Street (letter)

The Sentinel 16.5.05 STOP THESE ANIMAL DEATHS - Can you stop people killing animals like birds because when they kill birds sometimes they leave them there and sometimes they feed them to other animals… DEAN BROWN Aged 10 St Chad's Primary, Red Street (letter)

15.5.05

Sunday Telegraph 15.5.05 Mew and cry - Cats make excellent ratters, so why not hunt the grey squirrel with "cat hunts" (letter, May 8)? This could replace hunting with dogs as a countryside sport. John Gould, Poole, Dorset (letter)

Sunday Telegraph 15.5.05 Ramsay's pizza joke outrages vegetarians - Gordon Ramsay, a chef almost as famous for his four-letter outbursts in the kitchen as for his food, has sparked outrage after feeding meat to a vegetarian in his new television show. The programme was filmed for the second series of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, which will be broadcast later this month on Channel 4…. The incident has infuriated vegetarians, who have denounced Ramsay's actions as offensive and unethical. Tina Fox, the chief executive of the Vegetarian Society, said: "I am amazed that Gordon Ramsay can find the discomfort of a fellow human being so amusing…." (story)

14.5.05

Independent 14.5.05 Sleeping with the one-time enemy: Banks joins the establishment club By Ben Russell - When Tony Banks enters the House of Lords, he will be among the peers who fought the bitter campaign to ban hunting with hounds. The elevation of the 62-year-old former West Ham MP to the peerage marks the end of his journey from firebrand left-winger to establishment figure… (story)

Western Morning News 14.5.05 Pro-hunt silence - EXCUSE me for asking, but where was the massive rural civil disobedience that foxhunters promised us before the election? Where was the promised tractor blockade of the M5, the demolition of the nation's 132 kV power grid and the rotting carcasses of hunt sabs being lobbed over the railings of Number 10?... All we got was a Devon farmer encouraging Ben Bradshaw to promote offal (an underrated yet delicious low-fat, versatile and competitively-priced food) and a single egg - not enough to make an omelette - flung at John Prescott's bus… Shame on you! Theo Hopkins, Lifton, West Devon (letter)

BBC News Online 14.5.05 Shooting estates to win EU grants - Shooting estates are set to receive more taxpayers' money under new rules governing European subsidies for farms. English landowners who plant game cover - crops which give shelter and food to game birds over the winter - will be able to claim up to £70 an acre in aid…. But the Transport and General Workers' Union, which represents agricultural labourers, opposed the subsidy. The union said it was scandalous more money should be going to large estates, which were often better off than smaller farms…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 14.5.05 LACK OF ANIMAL ISSUES A SHAME - It's a disgrace that animal rights issues did not feature in the election campaigns of the main political parties. Each second, 30 animals are slaughtered for food in the UK. Every year, more than three million die in our nation's laboratories, including thousands and thousands of cats, dogs and monkeys… ANTHONY BEE, Gloucester (story)

Northern Echo 14.5.05 Pet bird auction stopped by law - A POPULAR pet bird auction has been forced to stop after the organisers were warned they were breaking the law. The event was held at the village hall at Coxhoe, near Durham City, every other Sunday and drew visitors from across the region. But Durham City Council warned that the sale of birds at temporary events is illegal under an animal welfare law and that it would take enforcement action if the auction did not stop. The move has been welcomed by The Animal Protection Agency (APA)… director Elaine Toland said it was believed that birds such as canaries, budgerigars and finches were being sold…. (story in archive)

13.5.05

Craven Herald 13.5.05 Hunting ban sees foxes killing moorland lambs - FARMERS in Malhamdale and the Austwick area are experiencing high livestock losses since the ban on hunting foxes came into force. Bill Cowperthwaite, who farms 800 acres of hillside at Tennant Gill Farm in Malham, lost half-a-dozen lambs before taking action. Mr Cowperthwaite's farm, where he keeps 500 Swaledale ewes, is in the Lunesdale Foxhounds hunt range and has never suffered livestock losses in the past…. "I've seen foxes that are quite clearly lost, not in their territory at all, and I'm sure they are urban foxes which have been brought to the Dales and then just dumped," he added…. "I think they're taking lambs because there's not as many rabbits about at the moment," said Mr Atkinson. Eddie Braithwaite, chairman of the Sedbergh-based Lunesdale Foxhounds, said the hunt was still providing its traditional service to farmers, although it was now within a reduced capacity due to the Hunting

Western Morning News 13.5.05 BADMINTON AND HUNTING COMBINE - Clarissa Bleekman returns to Badminton and goes behind the scenes with former Tiverton, now Beaufort, huntsman Tony Holdsworth… Tony hunts hounds when "The Captain" (Captain Farquar) who is master cannot… (story)

Western Morning News 13.5.05 SPOONER'S SHOW GAINS RECORD ATTENDANCE - The spooner's and West Dartmoor Hunt Show was reborn at its new location in Bickham Park, Roborough by kind permission of the Maristow Estate, after a year in abeyance… (story)

Western Morning News 13.5.05 NON-STOP ACTION AT DEVON COUNTY SHOW - Horses in abundance will be taking part in a wide range of events ranging from showjumping to scurry driving and rare breeds as the Devon County Show at Westpoint, Exeter, opens its gates next Thursday…. During the three days, about 1,500 horses and riders will be taking part in 150 showing classes, six showjumping classes and the interhunt relay (a turnout competition and then the relay)… (story)

Cambridge Evening News 13.5.05 Not just Iraq From Mr W H Tripp, Orchard Avenue, Cambridge - YOUR headline last Saturday quoted Anne Campbell blaming the Iraq war for the loss of her job. Not really true…. a great number of people have become disaffected by the sheer arrogance of many in the Labour Party. Their huge, unseemly majority allowed the pushing through of legislation without proper debate - their bulldozing through of the anti-foxhunting Bill is but one example, the emasculation of the House of Lords is another…. At least she will have a very comfortable MP's parliamentary pension to look forward to (letter)

Barnoldswick & Earby Times 13.5.05 Time to end campaign over ban on hunting - NOW that the annual election has produced a majority vote for one party and a solid vote for another main party, upholding the Hunting Act, let us hope that the vociferous pro-hunting militants will see sense and give up their futile campaign of harassment and petty litigation…. Gordon Prentice is one of a huge majority of MP's who successfully voted for what became the Hunting Act, and this historic legislation was upheld by the Lord Chief Justice and Master of the Rolls. Rival candidate Jane Ellison's support for the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt's campaign against the ban is absurd when this hunt has, since the ban was enforced, operated successfully as a drag hunt… KATHERINE WATSON (Miss), Address supplied (letter)

Shropshire Star 13.5.05 Ludicrous tale about shooting - In an episode of Heartbeat on ITV1 on Sunday, May 8, at 8pm a boy was seen to be shot and wounded by a party of guns pheasant shooting on "Lord Ashfordly's" estate…. In my view the programme's directors acted in a totally irresponsible way in portraying this ludicrous storyline. We should bear in mind that the majority of viewers are now of the opinion that game shooting is inherently dangerous, which could not in fact be further from the truth…. Mike Vacher, Telford (letter)

Bolton Evening News 13.5.05 Homework needed on animal welfare - AS a person who cares deeply about the treatment of animals, I was disgusted to learn that Barbara Ronson, leader of Bolton Council, is in favour of forging links with China, a country with the worst reputation for animal cruelty… L Powell, Lever Edge Lane, Bolton (letter in archive)

The Shields Gazette 13.5.05 CALL TO END ANIMAL TESTING - ADOLFO Sansolini is right that the public's health is at risk because of our reliance on animal safety tests for new drugs and chemicals… Dr Jarrod Bailey, School of Population and Health Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle. (letter)

12.5.05

ANTI-SEMITISM ROW
Times 12.5.05 The vicar, the bacon sandwich and a question of ethics - MARY ANN SIEGHART - IT STARTED as a jolly pub lunch during the election campaign. It ended with a vicar being forced to apologise to Michael Howard… This is a tale of journalistic ethics as much as politics. And I am still not entirely sure that I did the right thing. See what you think. Last week, I went to Chipping Sodbury to meet a bunch of hunt supporters who had decided to lend a hand to the Conservative candidate in Northavon… Notebook and pen in hand, I diligently wrote down everything each of them said. Our photographer took their pictures. Next to me was the Rev Christopher Mulholland… there was no way the vicar could have believed that what he was saying was off the record…. (story)
Telegraph 7.5.05 Cleric says sorry for Howard jibe - By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent - One of the Prince of Wales's favourite clerics has apologised to Michael Howard after making an anti-semitic remark in a Cotswold pub about the Tory leader. The Rev Christopher Mulholland, who is a rector near Prince Charles's Highgrove home in Gloucestershire, said: "I always say I couldn't trust a man who has not tasted pork"…. (story)
Western Daily Press 7.5.05 HUNTING VICAR SORRY FOR HOWARD JIBE - Prince Charles' favourite West vicar apologised yesterday for anti-Semitic jibes about Michael Howard. Flamboyant hunting clergyman Rev Christopher Mulholland was heard joking that he "couldn't trust a man who has not tasted pork" - referring to the Tory leader's Jewish roots - at a Conservative dinner in South Gloucestershire. But after Jewish and Muslim groups expressed outrage at the vicar's comments, Mr Mulholland said he was "sorry for any offence caused" - and has also written a letter of apology to Mr Howard… (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 7.5.05 VICAR SAYS SORRY FOR PORK INSULT - One of the Prince of Wales's favourite clerics was criticised yesterday for making an anti-semitic remark about Michael Howard… (story)
Telegraph 6.5.05 Royal priest in row over anti-semitic jibe about Howard By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent and James Burleigh - One of the Prince of Wales's favourite clerics was at the centre of a storm last night after an anti-semitic remark in a Cotswold pub. The Rev Christopher Mulholland, the rector of Little Badminton, Gloucestershire, outraged Jewish sensibilities by saying of Michael Howard, the Tory leader, that he "couldn't trust a man who has not tasted pork"…. But they were played down by the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Rev Michael Perham, who called them "pub banter". Mr Mulholland, 60, is in charge of several churches near the prince's Highgrove home and has regularly hunted with him and his sons with the Beaufort Hunt…. (story)
Telegraph 6.5.05 'He speaks the language of country people' - The Rev Christopher Mulholland is a traditionalist who could have stepped out of a novel by Anthony Trollope or Jane Austen. Not only is he one of the last of a dying breed - the hunting parson - but until recently he rode to hounds in style, complete with a black frock coat and a top hat. He used to be a regular with the Beaufort, where he often accompanied the Prince of Wales and his sons…. (story)

Pontypool Free Press 12.5.05 Hunting policy turns voters off - BLAENAVON saw many staunch Labour supporters switch their ballot choices in last week's general election in protest against the anti-hunt bill. And even those who didn't change their vote, gathered this week in a show of defiance against the hunt ban. A life-long field sports enthusiast John Thomas, said generations of his family have hunted with dogs…. after a lifetime of labour voting his passion for hunting meant making a stance…. (story in archive)

Western Gazette 12.5.05 TORY SUPPORT 'PUTS LABOUR ON THE RUN' - David Heathcoat-Amory believes his reputation as a rural campaigner helped to secure him the Wells seat for the sixth consecutive election…. Mr Heathcoat-Amory, aged 56, who has been Conservative MP for Wells since 1983, campaigned on rural issues such as hunting…. (story)

Western Morning News 12.5.05 MAGPIES THRIVE ON DIET OF PHEASANTS - Yet another letter in the WMN bad-mouthing magpies and sparrowhawks as the cause of songbird losses (Countess of Morley, April 26) and a sounder letter, "Nobody knows the answer", from John Holden…. I am a self-confessed "know-nothing pseudo-conservationist", such as Rod Brammer - he of the £500 bounty for killing the most magpies - rants at, but here the shooting world seems to back me up… Magpies are great scavengers, and here we are, in the magpie courting season, providing a non-stop diet of high quality pheasant protein just when breeding maggies need just that extra fillip…. Theo Hopkins, Lifton, West Devon (letter)

Northern Echo 12.5.05 FISHING BAN - AE Carr (HAS, May 4) would like to see game angling banned because, like fox hunting, he regards it as cruel. But why just pick on game angling, there are other types of fishing. What about the tuna runs where tuna are cornered and hacked to death… As I have said before, you cannot ban one form of fishing - you have to ban the lot. - TE Crook, Bishop Auckland. (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 11.5.05 TAKING STOCK - IN response to the letter Scales of Justice (HAS, May 4) why are people obsessed with complaining and getting everything banned? Fishing is classed as a sport, but it is also done in pleasure and in work. Although some may think it is cruel, fishing is a good way of controlling fish stock and getting rid of unwanted parasites in our waters… Peter Appleby, Durham (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 4.5.05 SCALES OF JUSTICE RE Kathy Barley's letter (HAS, Apr 21) regarding the suffering of fairground goldfish. Surely she has got her priorities wrong. What about all the unlucky millions of fish landed by thousands of anglers…. Now foxhunting has been banned as a cruel sport, angling should follow suit. - AE Carr, Middleton St George. (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 2.5.05 FISH FRIENDS: I SUPPORT Kathy Barley's plea (HAS, Apr 21) to people to write to their council about fairground prizes of goldfish. If half of us who oppose this disgusting practice were to write, it would almost certainly be discontinued…. R Brown, Newton Aycliffe. (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 21.4.05 FAIRGROUND FISH - I WOULD like to bring to the attention of your readers the suffering of goldfish given as prizes at fairgrounds…. Kathy Barley, Darlington (letter in archive)

RED DEER NUMBERS
Scotsman 12.5.05 Increasing red deer numbers 'serious threat to wildlife' - JAMES REYNOLDS - SCOTLAND’S wildlife is being placed in serious jeopardy because of the rise in red deer numbers, according to a report. The population is now up to about 400,000 due to a series of mild winters and the lack of natural predators, an article in the latest edition of BBC Wildlife magazine claims…. (story)
BBC News Online 12.5.05 Warning on deer population boom - Red deer numbers are rising so fast that other wildlife is at risk, a study has warned….(story)
Daily Post 12.5.05 Red deer population explosion 'endangering other wildlife' - RED deer numbers are putting other native wildlife at risk, experts warn. The lack of a natural predator and mild winters have seen the Scottish population grow to 400,000, reports BBC Wildlife Magazine…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 12.5.05 Wildlife fear over red deer - RED deer numbers are rising at such a rate that other native wildlife are being put at risk, according to a report out today…. (story)

Ely Standard 12.5.05 Taking the cruelty out of cosmetics - ADOLFO SANSOLINI Chief Executive BUAV (letter)
Llanelli Star 12.5.05 PLEASE LISTEN, TONY - Will Tony Blair continue to ignore the wishes of his people as he has done so in the past? More then three quarters of the UK population think the Government should prohibit experiments on any live animals which cause them pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm…. I hope the Government will listen this time around. Adolfo Sansolini, Chief executive, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, London (story)

Scotsman 12.5.05 Cruelty in a bowl - I read with increasing concern your report, "Soup causes stir - at £108 a bowl" (10 May). Sharks are increasingly endangered animals that are highly susceptible to over-exploitation…. May I recommend that your readers visit the Marine Conservation Society website, www.fishonline.org, and peacefully boycott restaurants or stores that stock shark fins or shark fin soup… CALUM DUNCAN,, Scottish Officer, MCS, Coates Place, Edinburgh (letter)

Western Daily Press 12.5.05 UNNATURAL FOR US TO CAGE UP BIRDS - Having read your article on the declining popularity of keeping budgies as pets, I feel that rather than saying it is a shame surely it is something that should be welcomed. Do we really want to encourage people to keep birds in an unnatural caged environment when they should be living wild and free… C Creasey Thornford Dorset (letter)

Western Morning News 12.5.05 GROUP'S AIM TO SAVE BEAR - Kind-hearted folk across South Devon have raised more than £750 towards securing the release of Stardust the moon bear, who is being tortured in China…. Members of South Devon China Bear Rescue Group say Stardust is milked for his bile twice a day, either through a catheter or a hole punctured into his abdomen making a channel to the gallbladder. Barbara Gardner, group coordinator, said: "Stardust is currently languishing in a bile farm in China, where he is kept in a tiny cage no larger than his body, and he cannot move or turn around…. (story)

Plymouth Evening Echo 12.5.05 DIVERS TAKE TO THE SKIES FOR SEA MAMMAL RESCUE APPEAL - Divers from Plymouth are taking the plunge, but this time from a plane not a boat, to raise funds for a marine animal rescue charity appeal. Six volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) in the region are taking part in a tandem skydive jump at RAF Bicester near Oxford on May 29… (story)

11.5.05

MIDDLE WAY REPORT - WOUNDING RATES IN SHOOTING FOXES
Southern Daily Echo 11.5.05 Hunt backers say foxes face a lingering death by Chris Yandell - HUNTING enthusiasts in the New Forest say the ban on the bloodsport is condemning many foxes to a lingering death. Members of the New Forest Hounds (NFH) are backing a new report which claims that shooting results in more suffering than hunting with dogs…. However, the New Forest Animal Protection Society rejected the claims. Chairman Ken James said: "This appears to be a deliberate ploy by the pro-hunt brigade to discredit the ban on hunting with hounds…" (story in archive)
Western Mail 10.5.05 Study claims shooting foxes is also cruel - Steve Dube, Western Mail - A STUDY into the shooting of foxes dismisses claims that it is a humane alternative to hunting. Wounding Rates in Shooting Foxes, published in this month's edition of Animal Welfare, the journal of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, concludes that the anti-hunting lobby simply got it wrong. The study involved six scientists working with 199 guns in England, Scotland and Wales shooting at 1,970 paper foxes. The best riflemen wounded only one fox for every 10 foxes killed. But some shotgun shooters, even when adhering to government guidelines, wounded 13 foxes for every 10 killed - although the use of second shots or retrieving dogs might halve these rates… (story)
Newcastle Journal 10.5.05 Hunting backed by study By Rebekah Ashby, The Journal - The ban on fox hunting has resulted in an increase in the suffering of foxes, according to new research. A study commissioned by the Middle Way Group found that shooting resulted in more suffering to foxes than hunting with dogs because many are injured and left to die slowly…. James Cookson, joint master of the Morpeth Hunt in Northumberland, said: "I'm amazed it's taken them two years to work that out, a blind man could have done it. But I think this Government is made up of blind and bigoted individuals…." (story)
Horse & Hound 4.5.05 Foxes suffer more under hunt ban, says report - Holly Kirkwood - New academic research has proven that the ban on hunting has resulted in an increase in the suffering of foxes, according to the Middle Way Group… (story)
Telegraph 3.5.05 Hunt ban 'has caused rise in fox suffering' By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - The ban on hunting with hounds has increased the suffering of foxes as more are shot and wounded, according to research published this month. The study, which appears in the May issue of Animal Welfare, the journal of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, undermines claims by the RSPCA and League Against Cruel Sports that hunting, until it was banned, caused more suffering than shooting… The study was commissioned by the Middle Way Group of MPs in 2002 after shooting was mooted by pro-ban organisations as the "humane" alternative to hunting with dogs. It has only just been peer reviewed and accepted as valid scientific research…. Lady Golding, the Labour peer who is co-chairman of the group, said: "The next Government must look again at the Hunting Act and replace it with genuine animal welfare measures.'' (story)
Western Daily Press 3.5.05 HUNTING DEBATE IS BLOWN APART - More foxes are dying in agony after being shot than when hunted by dogs, a new report revealed yesterday. A group of independent scientists revealed that shooting the foxes - the main alternative to hunting with hounds - actually causes more suffering to the animals…. (story)
Western Daily Press 3.5.05 SHOOTING CAUSES MORE SUFFERING TO THE FOX THAN THE HUNT, SAYS REPORT - The Hunting debate was blown wide open last night after claims that the publication of a new report has thrown official doubt on the scientific basis for the hunting ban. The report, drawn up by six independent scientists and published yesterday, reveals that shooting foxes - the main alternative to hunting with dogs - can cause more suffering to the fox than hunting. Commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group, it has now been reviewed by a special Lords' committee and accepted as scientific fact, according to the MPs that commissioned it…. (story)
Western Daily Press 3.5.05 TRUST IN FACT NOT EMOTION - The new study highlighted today regarding the control of foxes by shooting is worthy of some serious consideration. Let's set aside the fact it was commissioned by the Middle Way Group - which may be all-party but still has an agenda - and trust it was truly independent scientists who carried it out. And let's not question too deeply the timing of its findings. Having been commissioned in 2002, why on Earth were the results not made available for the final law-making debate?... But one thing is certain. A suggestion that laws should not be based on emotion is a sure-fire loser… Ifthe cruelty issue brought forward today is correct, and hunting is to become a live issue again, then perhaps we need exhaustive, independent studies commissioned by no less than Defra. (story)
Country Life 3.5.05 Foxes 'Suffer More Under Hunt Ban' - New academic research has proven that the ban on hunting, and the subsequent rise in foxes being shot, has resulted in an increase in the suffering of the animals By Holly Kirkwood … The study, which is printed in Animal Welfare, the journal of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, has shown that up to half of all foxes which are shot are wounded and not killed…. (story)
Western Morning News 2.5.05 HUNT BAN 'NO HELP TO FOX' - Foxes are suffering more since the ban on hunting was brought in, a new scientific study has shown. The research was commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group, which has consistently maintained that banning hunting would not improve animal welfare. The study, which was carried out by a team of six scientists led by Dr Nick Fox, examined wounding rates in a range of shooting regimes…. Guy Morlock, the master of the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt, said: "I can't say I am surprised. I hate to say 'I told you so', but we said this would happen. The hunt ban was never thought through properly."… Ben Sparrow, of the Western Hunt in Cornwall, said: "If you have every Tom, Dick and Harry loosing off at foxes then I am afraid you are bound to get these problems."… (story)

Western Morning News 11.5.05 MPS PLEDGE VOICE FOR FARMERS AND FISHERMEN - Two Westcountry MPs have pledged to give the region's farmers and fishermen a "significant voice in Westminster" after securing junior environment minister roles in the new Government. Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter, and Jim Knight, MP for Dorset South, were among those involved as Prime Minister Tony Blair put the final touches to his Government reshuffle…. Meanwhile, the Countryside Alliance has welcomed the Prime Minister's decision to remove Alun Michael from the post of Rural Affairs Minister…. Mr Michael was heavily criticised by a large section of the rural community for his steering through of the controversial Hunting Ban…. (story)
Western Morning News 11.5.05 LABOUR FEUDS CAST A LONG SHADOW - Anthony gibson FROM the point of view of the rural South West - and I present this as an entirely non-partisan assessment - the outcome of the General Election could scarcely have been worse… As it is, with a majority of 66, the main opposition that Tony Blair will have to contend with in the new Parliament will come from his own left wing. And as we have discovered to our cost with the hunting ban, when it comes to a choice between governing for all the people and saving his political skin, our Prime Minister will only jump one way…. (story)

Reading Chronicle 11.5.05 Double dismay By Shaun Worth - HUNT supporters threatened to sour post-election cheer when they blew horns and taunted ousted anti-hunting MP David Rendel on a night of double dismay for the Lib Dems…. As the Conservative victory celebrations began they were almost drowned out by fierce blasts from the horn David Fleming uses to lead hunts across the Benyon family's Englefield estate near Theale. The Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks huntsman then yelled: "We told you we'd have you, Rendel. Well done the Conservatives." An unimpressed Mr Benyon fixed him with an icy stare, and urged nearby supporters to "shut him up"…. (story)

Horse & Hound 11.5.05 Hunts weigh the future of packs - Carla Passino - The MFHA urges hunts to continue breeding their key lines as packs review their strategies in the wake of the hunt ban - Tony Holdsworth worries he will have fewer puppies this year. He has been kennel huntsman for the Beaufort for 25 years and firmly believes that a well-balanced pack is the cornerstone of a good hunt. Which is why he decided to put the same number of bitches to stallion hounds as in the past, regardless of the ban…. The Master of Fox Hounds Association has advised hunts to breed fewer numbers, but keep breeding nonetheless…. (story)

Telegraph 11.5.05 Lording it - Tony Blair ignored the House of Lords over the Hunting Act because, as an unelected chamber, it did not represent the will of the people. On the other hand, Mr Blair finds the same unelected chamber a very convenient way of propelling his unelected friends into the heart of government…. Tom Foster, Kelvedon, Essex (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 11.5.05 HUNTING STANCE PUT ME OFF UKIP - I was perfectly happy to vote for UKIP being anti-European unity. That is, until I saw UKIP's Mark Fitzgeorge-Parker's response to the fox-hunting ban… I am very anti-hunting because it is so cruel and unnecessary. Drag-hunt instead. Janie Macdonald. Fore Street, Heavitree, Exeter (letter)

Horncastle News 11.5.05 You don’t have to kill animals to find out how to help them - In response to R B A Johns’ challenge on the subject of animal experimentation (Letters, April 27), and in order to bring him into the 21st century, I would refer him to Europeans for Medical Progress (EMP)… PATRICIA WICKHAM (Mrs), Caistor
Editor’s Note: This issue has been given a very full airing on the letters page over the last few months. We would like to thank everyone for their input but no further correspondence will be published on this subject. (letter)
Horncastle News 27.4.05 Give us proof of your vivisection ‘estimates’ - Oh dear! That word ‘vivisection’ again, this time from Mrs Wickham (Letters, April 20) and accompanied by more ‘estimates’ (100 million suffering animals, two to three killed as surplus to requirements, etc)…. Do you have a pet? (My wife and I have two cats.) If so, has it ever been treated by a veterinary surgeon? If so, are you aware that many veterinary medicaments have been assessed/researched using animals? If so, do you approve, or do you allow your pet to suffer? R B A JOHNS, Wood Enderby (letter)

BEARSKINS
Glasgow Herald 11.5.05 Artificial bearskins being tested for guards - ELEANOR COWIE - TRIALS have begun on an artificial material that could replace the bearskin hats worn by the foot guard regiments for almost two centuries… People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) is one of the most vocal organisations campaigning against the Army's use of black bear fur. It is now planning to demonstrate against the Queen when she goes on an official visit to Canada next week. One member of Peta is proposing to dress as a bear and stalk her during the 10-day tour. (story)
Reuters 10.5.05 Queen to face anti-fur protest in Canada By Tim Castle - An animal rights group said on Tuesday it will follow the Queen during her visit to Canada later this month to protest against the ceremonial bearskin hats worn by her Foot Guard regiments. A protester dressed in a bear suit and holding a placard reading "Save My Skin!" would be present at all her formal engagements, a spokesman for anti-fur group PETA said…. (story)
BBC News Online 10.5.05 UK's Guards in fake bearskin test - Trials are under way to test whether artificial fur can be used to replace bearskin fur on ceremonial caps worn by Britain's Foot Guard regiments… (story)
Times 10.5.05 Guards take aim at bearskins BY MICHAEL EVANS, DEFENCE EDITOR - TRIALS have begun to test a potential breakthrough in artificial fur that may replace the bearskin ceremonial caps worn for nearly two centuries by the Foot Guard regiments…. The British Army has been trying for ten years to find an alternative to the bearskin fur because of rising complaints from animal welfare pressure groups, who have accused the Guards of being party to the slaughter of thousands of bears every year in Canada… One of the most vociferous animal rights organisations that has been campaigning against the Household Division’s historic use of real black bear fur is now planning to demonstrate against the Queen when she goes on an official visit to Canada on a week today. A member of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) is proposing to dress as a bear and stalk the Queen during her ten-day tour…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 5.5.05 Bear apparent - AN animal rights campaigner disguised as a bear is threatening to stalk the Queen during this month’s royal visit to Canada, in a protest over the use of bear skins to make ceremonial headgear for British Army guardsmen (story)

Yorkshire Post 11.5.05 Slaughter of the cattle From: Malcolm Rainforth, Southfield Avenue, Ripon. SO, Inspector Doug Davison says that in his 25 years working for the RSPCA he has never seen such horrific abuse of animals as the shooting of new-born lambs… Perhaps he doesn't remember foot-and-mouth? Then the RSPCA stood by during the most wanton cruelty to animals I have ever seen as a farmer. (letter)

Essex Evening Gazette 11.5.05 Colchester: Angry protest before circus - Animal rights activists staged angry protests as the circus came to town. Campaigners heckled families as they arrived at the opening performance of the Great British Circus in Stanway…. Valerie Oliver, of Colchester, said: "It's a shame people think it's still OK to be entertained by animals."… (story in archive)

10.5.05

Lincolnshire Echo 10.5.05 LIVESTOCK WILL BE STARS OF THE SHOW - Organisers of an agricultural show say that it is set to be the biggest yet. The Newark and Nottinghamshire County Show takes place at the Newark Showground this weekend and is expected to attract thousands of visitors… Animal lovers will be in their element with a heavy horse display on Saturday afternoon and a parade of hounds on both days…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 10.5.05 PRINCESS - ENGLAND IS TOO BORING - Princess Michael of Kent is selling her Gloucestershire house to move to France because England is too boring without fox hunting. The Princess, who is based at Nether Lypiatt manor, is moving out of her apartment at Kensington Palace…. (story)
Times 9.5.05 Princess pushing off to foxhunt in France BY PETER ALLEN IN PARIS AND JOANNA BALE - PRINCESS Michael of Kent, the loose cannon of the Royal Family, has fired another embarrassing salvo, this time claiming that she may leave Britain and that life is too boring now foxhunting is banned… (story)
Western Daily Press 9.5.05 UK IS TOO BORING FOR A PRINCESS - Britain is too "boring" for Princess Michael of Kent now that fox hunting has been banned, it emerged yesterday. The Royal, dubbed Princess Pushy, is selling up and heading to France, where the sport is still legal… (story)
Manchester Evening News 9.5.05 Princess is 'bored without hunting' - PRINCESS Michael of Kent has hinted she will quit Britain because it is too boring now that foxhunting is banned…. (story)

ELECTION 2005
Telegraph 10.5.05 Notebook By Vicki Woods - Hurrah! Here's hoping for a black prime minister … Locally, we had the thrill of Newbury bucking the countrywide swing to the Lib Dems. The former MP David Rendel is a passionate anti-hunter (and Lib Dem party rebel on the issue) so round here we read the 5.5 per cent swing to the Tory Richard Benyon as a Countryside Alliance (Provisional Wing) vote for liberty. Especially when somebody tooted a hunting horn after the count…. (story)
Western Morning News (or Torquay Herald Express) 10.5.05 FIVE GO UP TO LONDON - Fed up with politics? Better read something else then, because the General Election seems to have been the beginning rather than the end of the debate… There are not many votes up on the moors, but if Labour is serious about holding on to power its leader will have to reverse the breezy contempt with which rural matters have been dealt. The pointless fox-hunting ban, the abandonment of British farmers, the apathy regarding the rural housing crisis, have finally had their reply, and the countryside will be allowing only the shortest of honeymoons before a new leader feels the heat of its wrath…. (story)

Western Morning News 10.5.05 Ban shooting? - YOUR front page "Hunt ban 'no help to fox' " reports the peer reviewed research commissioned by the Middle Way (a body of MPs that sought a compromise on hunting) showing that shooting is crueller than hunting, for shooting often wounds a fox, ensuring a slow death. Hunting, however, ensures either the quick death or the safe escape of the fox. Having read the Burns Report, the evidence pointed me that way, even before this new confirming research…. Should fox hunting be restored and pheasant shooting banned? Theo Hopkins, Lifton West Devon a target=main href="http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=143697&command=displayContent&sourceNode=143696&contentPK=12408976">(letter)

Western Morning News 10.5.05 We aren't horrible thugs - WHEN attacking various animal rights groups W T Scott should remember that we weren't busy throwing offal stuffed into an apple at Ben Bradshaw. Nor were we hanging dead foxes from a tree, nor shooting squirrels and hanging them up on a fence…. Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Bath Chronicle 10.5.05 LABOUR STILL HAS A LARGE MAJORITY - Anyone would think Labour had lost the election on Thursday rather than won an historic third term in office…. In the case of Dan Norris, it seems that about 3,000 of his former supporters switched to the Lib Dem candidate, safe in the knowledge that Dan had a big enough majority to secure his seat. I was tempted myself but when I got to the ballot box I remembered how Dan was not intimidated by the hunting fraternity, and decided he deserved my vote…. CHRIS STILLMAN, Wellow Tyning, Peasedown St John (letter)

Western Morning News 10.5.05 CULLING BADGERS WILL FAIL TO ERADICATE BOVINE TB - I am sick and fed up with all this talk about mass badger culling. Successive governments have repeatedly adopted an ostrich-like stance towards bovine TB for more than 30 years. I'm sure it doesn't take that long to develop a vaccine, for heaven's sake! Michael Ashton states in his letter (WMN, April 8) that it's irrelevant where TB started. What rubbish! It is bovine TB - badgers obviously caught it from cattle in the first place!... Anne Shaw, Penzance (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 10.5.05 Gang 'tried to flush out badgers' - A GANG of 10 men with 13 dogs spent nearly an hour by a badger sett attempting to flush out animals, a court heard. Yesterday Reedley Magistrates heard how Mark Law, Sean Parkinson and Daniel Clark, were part of a group of men arrested as part of a joint police and RSPCA operation on farmland in Bracewell, near Barn-oldswick, last year. … (story in archive)

BUAV NATIONAL PET WEEK LETTER
Scunthorpe Telegraph 10.5.05 THINK ABOUT LAB ANIMALS - Did your readers spare a thought for laboratory animals during National Pet Week April 30 to May 8?... The same animals we hold close to our hearts can legally be burned, poisoned, electrocuted, brain damaged, paralysed, infected with disease, surgically altered, psychologically tormented and killed. Find out how you can help them by contacting the BUAV… Adolfo Sansolini, Chief Executive, BUAV, (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection), 16a Crane Grove, London, N7 8NN (letter)
The Shields Gazette 9.5.05 DON'T LET ANIMALS SUFFER - Adolfo Sansolini, The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 10.5.05 Animals provide us a vital link - THE pharmaceutical industry is also opposed to animal testing when there are alternative options ("Tests on animals questionable", Letters, May 30). More than £300 million is spent every year on developing alternatives, but animal research remains an essential part of medicines development…. JIM EADIE Director, Scotland, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, Queen Street, Edinburgh (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 30.4.05 Tests on animals questionable - GILLIAN DOUGLAS, RUSSELL PINEWOOD AVENUE, ABERDEEN - REGARDING your article on animal experiments at Inveresk (News, April 27), your readers might like to know that an Early Day Motion has been tabled in parliament, calling for an independent and transparent inquiry into the questionable efficacy of animal research. … (letter)

The Ecologist 10.5.05 Animal testing: science or fiction? MPs, medical professionals and scientists unite in demanding a thorough evaluation of the utility of vivisection by Kathy Archibald - Most of us know that cancer, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the West. But many people would be surprised by the next biggest killer: side effects of prescription medicines…. The pharmaceutical establishment constantly reassures us that all drugs are tested for safety and efficacy on animals before they can be administered to humans. When challenged about the ethics of vivisection, their defence typically goes like this: ‘Which do you think is more important: your child’s life or a rat’s?’… (story)

Totally Jewish 10.5.05 Peta Apology by Daniella Peled - A radical animal rights group has belatedly apologised for a campaign that saw animal slaughter compared to the Shoah. Jewish groups worldwide were outraged by “Holocaust on a Plate”, the campaign by the US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) shown for the last two years by Peta activists around the world… But last week Peta president, Ingrid Newkirk, said the organisation had decided to abandon the controversial advertisements. Announcing that the group was “deeply sorry” to have upset the Jewish community, Newkirk said: “I have decided to apologise for the pain caused by the “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign.”… (story)

Western Morning News 10.5.05 LEAVE THE LYNTON GOATS IN PEACE - With regard to the current furore over the proposed culling of goats in the Valley of the Rocks. As regular visitors to the area because of family connections, we would like to say that we wholly disagree with the proposed cull…. Mr & Mrs S Foster, Norfolk (letter)

Western Morning News 10.5.05 WE MUST CARRY ON FIGHTING FOR THE BABY SEALS - The wmn carried the letter about the awful killing of baby seals for the fur trade. My Canadian sister has been fighting for the seals for many years, and for a short time, the Canadian Government stopped the slaughter. I also wrote to the Canadian Commissioner at that time, and will write again…. Eileen Hocking, Constantine, Falmouth (letter)

9.5.05

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 12.5.05 Huntsman retires after 40 years by Tom Shepherd - THE longest serving huntsman in the country has retired after more than 40 years hunting in the Cotswolds. Sidney Bailey joined the Vale of the White Horse hunt in the early 1960s and has been hunting the countryside around Cirencester ever since…. (story in archive)

Telegraph 9.5.05 Townies lost amid liniment and tweed By Andrew Baker - The sheer scale of the Badminton Horse Trials is the first thing to strike anyone who has not attended for a while…. This is not a place for those who love London town. This is the Mecca of the anti-metropolitan, where T-shirts read 'Keep Hunting, Keep Fighting', and baseball caps proclaim 'B******s to Blair'. This is the heartland of the Countryside Alliance, where the completion of competition and the presentation of the prizes are split by a parade of the Duke of Beaufort's hounds…. (story)
Western Daily Press 9.5.05 BADMINTON IS SPLASHING FUN - The sun shone on the yellow and black stickers that adorned almost every sweater, hat and welly. This was perfect weather for Badminton - not too hot but bright and sunny…. this was the first Badminton since the hunting ban, and although the devoted tried their hardest to lift spirits and come together in defiance, there was a tinge of something missing, a carefree atmosphere lost for a while… Only those very optimistic of a Government defeat, and a repeal of the hunting ban, came on Thursday thinking their bright yellow and black Felix the Fox "Fight the Ban" stickers would be redundant by September… Down the Countryside Alliance tent, busier than ever before, chief executive Simon Hart was encouraging supporters. By the Saturday, the bright sunshine had lifted spirits and there was some fantastic cross-country riding to enjoy… (story)

ELECTION 2005
Guardian 9.5.05 Hunt backers claim scalps of 29 MPs - A pro-hunting organisation yesterday said that its "thousands" of volunteers helped remove 29 pro-ban MPs. Anti-hunt campaigners called the claim "ludicrous". Charles Mann, director for Vote-OK, electoral wing of the hunt lobby, said supporters gave "170,000 campaigning man hours" to pro-hunt candidates, delivered 3.4m leaflets, addressed 2.1m envelopes, and erected 55,000 posters… However, Penny Little, of Protect Our Wild Animals, said: "Vote-OK had 137 targets so 29 represents a considerable failure…" (story)
Northern Echo 9.5.05 'Countryside vote ousted Labour MP' - CONSERVATIVE Robert Goodwill said he believed support from rural voters was behind his defeat of Labour's Lawrie Quinn in the marginal seat of Scarborough and Whitby… (story in archive)
Scarborough Evening News 9.5.05 New MP has first visit to commons - IMPROVEMENTS to the A64, protecting Whitby Hospital and overturning the ban on hunting will be some of the key priorities for Scarborough's new Conservative MP Robert Goodwill… "One of the first things I will be raising is the move by Defra to ban motor sport on agricultural land. I shall battle for improvements to the A64, try to help Whitby Hospital and seek changes in the hunting legislation."… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 9.5.05 DISGUSTED BY A DEAD FOX STUNT - We were absolutely disgusted on May 4 when we saw, passing over Exe Bridges, a car with a dead fox tied to the back, being dragged along the road. Mrs SE Clarke and Ms Clarke, Arena Park, Exeter (letter)

Manchester Evening News 9.5.05 Killing goes on - WHEN the ban on fox hunting became law, we were told it would be effective from a date in March this year…. Within the last few days, we learn that the hunting fraternity are still riding out in some areas, in full regalia and with their pack of hounds…. What concerns me, and what we were not told in this breeding season, was what happens to the young cubs after the vixen is killed. I strongly believe that the various loopholes in the ban on hunting with hounds, which allow those so inclined to satisfy their blood lust, should be closed. Anti-Fox Hunter, Lymm (letter)

Northern Echo 9.5.05 Crowds continue to grow at game fair - RURAL traditions are being kept alive at an annual game fair which attracted thousands country pursuits lovers at the weekend. The Teesdale Game Fair was the biggest staged at Witton Castle, near Bishop Auckland, since the foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2001… (story in archive)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 9.5.05 Hunters admit to firearms offences - TWO men have been warned they face jail after guns and a dead young deer were found in a pick-up truck in the New Forest. The pair were arrested after being stopped by a police anti-poaching patrol on a country lane at Picket Post shortly after 11pm…. A search of the home of 33-year-old David Cailes revealed a sawn-off shotgun as well as ammunition. Cailes and Ian Robinson, 43, appeared before Southampton Crown Court where they admitted firearms offences… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 9.5.05 KILLING GROUND IN THE WOODS - It's spring again, time of rebirth with the emergence of new spring flowers, cowslips, king cups, snake's head fritillaries and the woods full of bluebells. But wait! All is not what it seems. Deep in the woodland, among the bluebells, Defra workers are baiting and setting traps…. These Defra traps will now be catching any badger that enters them, including lactating females, which are shot the next morning, leaving cubs underground to starve to death, or die of hypothermia… M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 9.5.05 Animal testing an unnecessary evil - I READ with horror the account of cruelty inflicted upon animals at Inveresk Laboratories in the name of research. I strongly believe that experiments upon animals are unnecessary and unethical, doing more harm than good to the furtherance of drug safety…. L Kaya, Edinburgh (letter)

The Sentinel 9.5.05 LEAVE THE ANIMALS ALONE - Although not everyone will agree I think animal testing for anything other than medical research should be banned immediately! Firstly, my most important point is that it is very, very cruel because people are testing things on animals which could kill them… ALEX DJUKIC Aged nine Seabridge Junior School (letter)

Manchester Evening News 9.5.05 Morrissey's veggie message - Carmel Thomason - MORRISSEY has joined forces with Hollywood star Alec Baldwin to help promote vegetarianism… Narrated by Baldwin, who has addressed the United States Congress about the need to enforce and strengthen the Humane Slaughter Act, the video looks at the treatment of animals in some factory farms and slaughterhouses…. (story)

8.5.05

Sunday Times 8.5.05 Stag hunting video prompts police inquiry - JONATHON CARR-BROWN - THE country’s leading stag hunt has become one of the first to be formally investigated for allegedly breaching the anti-hunting laws. Police are looking into a complaint that the Quantock Staghounds allowed a pack of hounds to chase deer across the countryside before shooting them… The League Against Cruel Sports has passed six videos to Devon and Cornwall police which it claims show that the Quantock hunt is going much further than pest control… (story)

ELECTION 2005
Sunday Telegraph 8.5.05 Hunt supporters thanked for role in ousting Bradley By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - The Tory MP who unseated Peter Bradley, the anti-hunting campaigner, in The Wrekin led tributes last night to the silent army of hunt supporters whose efforts helped the Conservatives snatch 29 semi-rural seats from Labour in the general election. Mark Pritchard, the new Conservative MP for The Wrekin in Shropshire, was one of 130 candidates, most of them Tories, who received help from 20,000 countryside campaigners who poured into marginal seats all over Britain in an attempt to unseat anti-hunting Labour MPs…. (story)
Sunday Times 8.5.05 Tories seek fresh hope all over again - A Tory revival rests on who replaces Michael Howard. Will it be a hardliner or a young Turk from the Notting Hill set? David Cracknell and Richard Woods report… A local farmworker said he was backing the Conservatives “because of the hunting business”. “The concern of rural people is that the present government doesn’t give a damn for the countryside,” said another. “They hate us. Obviously there’s hunting, but there’s also the economy, village shops, schools, transport.”… (story)
Sunday Times 8.5.05 The winners and losers of the campaign … The losers… HUNTING - According to reports, hunt supporters were campaigning in force to remove anti-hunt MPs. But the topic was hardly mentioned… (story)

7.5.05

OTIS FERRY ARRESTED
Scotsman 7.5.05 Fox fan gets foul with Blair - PETER MACMAHON - THE Prime Minister was yesterday at the centre of a security scare prompted by the fox-hunting son of the singer Bryan Ferry. Otis Ferry was arrested after he got within a few feet of the Prime Minister and his wife Cherie as they arrived for a post-election party at the National Portrait Gallery in London…. (story)
Times 6.5.05 Hunt campaigner Ferry arrested after Blair protest BY TIMES ONLINE AND PA - The son of rock star Bryan Ferry was arrested today as he tried to get to Tony Blair as he arrived for a post election party gathering. Pro hunting campaigner Otis Ferry got to within a few feet of the Prime Minister and his wife Cherie as they arrived at the National Portrait Gallery in London…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 6.5.05 ROCK STAR'S SON ARRESTED FOR LUNGING AT PM - The son of rock star Bryan Ferry was arrested today as he tried to get to Tony Blair. Pro-hunting campaigner Otis Ferry got to within a few feet of the Prime Minister and his wife Cherie as they arrived for a post-election party at the National Portrait Gallery in London…. (story)

ELECTION 2005
Telegraph 7.5.05 Anti-hunting MPs are run to ground By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - Twenty-nine anti-hunting MPs were ousted after an unprecedented tactical campaign by hunting supporters on the side of pro-hunting candidates. Seats where hunt supporters claimed that their campaigning had helped to remove anti-hunting MPs included the Wrekin, previously held by Peter Bradley, the parliamentary private secretary to the rural affairs minister Alun Michael…. The network of hunt supporters, called Vote-OK, used up to 20,000 volunteers to deliver 3.4 million leaflets, lick 2.1 million envelopes, and put up 55,000 posters for the campaign. (story)
Western Mail 7.5.05 Rural activists cheer as anti-hunt MPs lose - RURAL activists were yesterday celebrating after several anti-hunting MPs lost their seats in the general election. The hugely controversial ban on hunting with hounds has proved a focus for anger in the countryside - despite claims by anti-hunt supporters that the issue had gone away and would not be a priority for voters. One rural group alone - Vote OK - placed nearly 20,000 activists in marginal seats nationwide…. In Monmouth and Preseli Pembrokeshire, Welsh voters rejected anti-hunting candidates. Both seats went to the Tories…. Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said, "There have been plenty of people suggesting that rural issues and hunting were not an issue in this campaign and that activists had gone away or given up. Nothing could have been further from the truth…." (story)
Western Daily Press 7.5.05 TORIES AND LIB DEMS SLUG IT OUT IN THE SHIRES - The Labour Party emerged battered and bruised yesterday morning after losing three key seats as the Tories staged a comeback in the West…. The most dramatic scenes of the night were in Bristol West, where Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams ousted Labour's long-serving Valerie Davey…. Labour's last bloody nose in the West was widely anticipated, as the party lost rural Monmouth to the Conservative revival. Former Welsh Assembly member David Davies swept aside Labour's Huw Edwards on the back of the hunting vote to take a significant majority of 4,526…. (story)

Western Morning News 7.5.05 NOT IN OUR NAME TONY BLAIR - Tony Blair was last night warned that he had no mandate to impose New Labour's urban values on the rural Westcountry - as it emerged just one in eight people in the region had voted Labour…. Tim Jones, chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said the low level of support for Labour should mean an end to controversial legislation like the hunting ban. He added; "If Mr Blair's words of contrition are going to ring true then there needs to be a much greater appreciation of regional and rural issues."… (story)

News Letter 7.5.05 Rod And Gun Shooting Wide Of The Mark - I REFER to an article in Dan Kinney's Rod and Gun column in the News Letter …. the event at Moira Demesne on May 28 and 29 is the National Countrysports Fair, an internationally renowned event that is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and which is considered by many as Ireland's top country sports event. Secondly, the National Countrysports Fair withdrew from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board's annual awards some weeks ago after raising concerns with NITB about the shortlisting process and the methods used to verify information supplied by applicants…. Bill Beckett, National Countrysports Fair (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 7.5.05 Animal drug tests doing their job - REGARDING "Test drugs on man not his best friend" (Letters May 3), let me be the first to say that animal tests are not perfect. Neither are computers nor cells in a dish… Adverse drug reactions are caused, in the main, by old medicines not being supervised properly. The animal tests did their job, which is to protect the volunteers in clinical trials…. PHILIP CONNOLLY, DIRECTOR, COALITION FOR MEDICAL PROGRESS, HAMILTON HOUSE, MABLEDON PLACE, LONDON, WC1H 9BB (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 3.5.05 Test drugs on man not his best friend - IN response to your question in Friday’s News, "Do you think animal experiments are justifiable for medical reasons?" If animal testing is so appropriate, why are adverse drug reactions the fourth biggest killer in the Western world?... We need more open, scientific debate regarding the efficacy of animal based research. An independent inquiry into the validity of animal experiments is long overdue. SHELLY WILLETTS, ETHICAL SCIENCE ADVISOR, GREEN PARTY, LONDON (letter)

6.5.05

Western Morning News 6.5.05 FOXHOUND BREEDERS FACE TOUGH DECISIONS - GILLIAN MOLESWORTH - As the breeding season commences, hunts across Devon and Cornwall face thorny choices about the future of their hounds. Spring is traditionally whelping time for foxhounds, when the cream of the pack are matched together to propagate characteristics like stamina, voice and symmetry…. "You have got to take a stand on it," said Guy Morlock, huntsman for the Spooners and West Dartmoor based in Yelverton. "We have puppies this season and the hunt will keep going in some form…. (story)

ELECTION 2005
Independent 6.5.05 The loyalists, the protesters and the principled abstainers: how I cast my vote in this election … Dylan Jones… I quite like Tony Blair, but he's done so many things I disagree with: introducing top-up fees, slashing the armed forces, banning fox hunting…. (story)
Western Mail 6.5.05 Hunting-ban minister returns with easy win - Martin Shipton, Western Mail - ALUN MICHAEL, the National Assembly's first leader, had no trouble holding on to the Cardiff South and Penarth seat he first won in 1987. Mr Michael, pictured right, the Rural Affairs minister, had a majority of about 9,000 over the Tories this morning…. (story)
Western Mail 6.5.05 Boost for rural campaigners - Rural activists were today celebrating after several anti-hunting MPs lost their seats in the General Election. The hugely controversial ban on hunting with hounds has proved a focus for anger in the countryside - despite claims by anti-hunt supporters that the issue had gone away and would not be a priority for voters. One rural group alone - Vote OK - placed nearly 20,000 activists in marginal seats nationwide…. In Monmouth and Preseli Pembrokeshire, Welsh voters rejected anti-hunting candidates… (story)
Bath Chronicle 6.5.05 VOTERS THWART LIB DEM BID TO OUST SITTING TORY BY SARA OLIVER - Voters in North Wiltshire have returned Conservative James Gray to Westminster with a significantly increased majority…. Mr Gray sparked boos from Labour supporters when he paid tribute to the Beaufort and Avon Vale hunts for their support…. (story)
Bath Chronicle 6.5.05 NORRIS SEES MAJORITY CUT TO UNDER 2,000 AFTER TOUGH FIGHT BY WENDY WALKER - Labour's Dan Norris has held on to his Wansdyke seat after a combined political challenge bit into his majority…. The campaign saw conflict with egg-throwing pro-hunt campaigners determined to unseat Mr Norris… (story)
Bath Chronicle 6.5.05 WEBB HOLDS NORTHAVON FOR THE LIB DEMS - Steve Webb consolidated his hold on Northavon for the Lib Dems by increasing his majority over the Conservatives… There had been a suggestion that Mr Webb's support for the ban on fox hunting with dogs in a rural constituency might have reduced his support… (story)
Western Morning News 6.5.05 FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD... OR ANYONE - As an antidote to General Election fever, Martin Hesp visited the most remote polling station in southern Britain yesterday and had plenty of time to hear tales of the rebellious Exmoor folk of yesteryear… "Oh they'll all be turning out to vote, I should think," he said. "There are strong feelings about hunting, you see. Hunting is very big up here.".. (story)
Western Daily Press 6.5.05 TORY SET TO ROMP HOME ON A TIDE OF HUNTING VOTES - Labour looked set to fight off the blue tide of a strong Tory challenge in Swindon as the party held onto the town's northern seat…. Senior Tory James Gray was last night set to romp home to victory, largely thanks to Wiltshire's prohunting lobby…. (story)
Western Daily Press 6.5.05 RALLYING THE FAITHFUL - When Tony Blair embarked on his last final frantic days of electioneering he chose Gloucester as the venue for a rallying cry for the party faithful… But the hunting issue could rear its head with a large chunk of the constituency sitting in the Cotswolds - favourite hunting ground for the Royals and the socalled Glosse-Possie…. >(story)
Western Daily Press 6.5.05 MERCILESS BATTLE GOES TO THE WIRE - The power struggle for Somerset raged into the early hours of this morning as the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives went head-to-head across the county. The power struggle for Somerset raged into the early hours of this morning as the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives went head-to-head across the county. The tightest fight was in Taunton, where Conservative candidate Adrian Flook faced a strong challenge from Liberal Democrat candidate Jeremy Browne…. Where Mrs Ballard was fervently antihunt, current Liberal Democrat candidate Jeremy Browne is in favour of regulation rather than an outright ban…. (story)
Western Daily Press 6.5.05 BLOODIED, BUT BLAIR WINS HIS HISTORIC THIRD TERM - Tony Blair this morning won the historic third successive election win he craved despite Tory gains and some shock results… Former Minister Dan Norris, who was targeted by hunting supporters, retained Wansdyke…. (story)
Western Daily Press 6.5.05 LABOUR NERVES SHREDDED - Tensions were running high in both Wansdyke and Bristol West last night as Labour attempted to fend off a Conservative resurgence. While the last ballot papers were counted, both Labour's Dan Norris and Valerie Davey were left on tenterhooks as they awaited news… Since he took the seat in 1997, Mr Norris has been no stranger to controversy, particularly with his strong anti-hunting stance…. (story)
Bristol Evening Post 6.5.05 DAN HOLDS ON TO WANSDYKE - Dan Norris, who came in with New Labour in 1997, has held on to his Wansdyke seat with a much-reduced majority. The 5,613 votes which the 45-year-old former child protection officer held over Conservative rival Chris Watt in 2001 were cut to just 1,839 last night…. Delly Everard, Wessex regional director for the Countryside Alliance, said Mr Norris had caused himself problems by going to a prominent hunting area after the ban on hunting with dogs was confirmed…. (story)

Daily Record 6.5.05 KILLING TIME - HOW my heart went out to 'responsible airgun owner, Falkirk'moaning about how their 'pastime' of killing animals has been taken away, but now is upset about the banon airguns. No wait - actually my heart goes out to the many beautiful animals this person has killed…. Miss S.Thompson,via e-mail (letter)
Daily Record 5.5.05 RIGHT TARGET - ONE by one, I have had all my pastimes taken from me.Hunting, shooting, working dogs - all gone…. While my heartfelt sympathy goes to the parents of toddler Andrew Morton, who died after being shot with an airgun, the actions of one must not be used to penalise the thousands of responsible airgun users… Responsible airgun owner,Falkirk
I DO in part agree that airguns and rifles should be banned. I think shops should stop selling them to people under 25. I have owned air rifles nearly all my life and have never shot anyone or thought about shooting anyone…. I am a warranted Crown bailiff and use them for pest control… But there should be stricter gun control laws… Ali, Kilmarnock (letters)

Ledbury Reporter 6.5.05 Sequani protest heavily policed - A DAY of action led to the biggest animal rights protest for several years outside the Sequani plant in Ledbury on Saturday. A police helicopter was called in as over 30 vocal protesters waved placards outside the Bromyard Road site, from 11.40am to 3pm… Animal rights campaigner Tony Peters, who has protested outside Sequani in the past but was not present on Saturday, said the Ledbury facility was one of several UK animal testing laboratories to be targeted in strength on the day. (story in archive)

Post & Times 6.5.05 STOP THIS SUFFERING - I am writing to express my feelings about animal testing. I think that animal testing is the most appalling thing ever - more than two million animals are killed a year and more than 30,000 are used for the cosmetic industry. It's like killing millions of humans a year and no one caring…. Holly Bowers Windsor Park Middle School Uttoxeter (letter)

West Cumberland Times & Star 6.5.05 Animal activists target circus goers - ANIMAL rights activists staged a protest outside the Bobby Roberts Circus in Workington at the weekend… (story)
West Cumberland Times & Star 29.4.05 TV star condemns circus - AN ARTHRITIC Asian elephant visiting Workington has become the centre of an animal rights storm. Anne, 52, is the pride and joy of Bobby Roberts’ circus, which is in town until Monday. She is also the only elephant still touring with a British circus…. (story)

Western Daily Press 6.5.05 WILD BOAR'S FATE MUST REST WITH SANCTUARY - I recently contacted the Forest of Dean Enterprise Office to enquire about the wild boar that have been dumped there. They informed me that if any of these animals are injured or killed on Forestry Commission land, the commission takes responsibility for the animals… I also understand that this appalling situation will continue until Defra has completed a national consultation, the results of which will be published later this year. Surely rather than wait for Defra, who in my experience always work at a snail's pace, the local authority should take responsibility for their welfare now and ensure that they are not used as target practice or injured on the roads and left to die in agony or with wounds which may not heal…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.5.05 MEAT-FILLED DIETS ARE NO TALL STORY - So the latest research from Bristol University has discovered that children from affluent families are taller, and they say it's diet. Well, well, well. I remember the same conclusion reached over 50 years ago, with research assisted by the medical and body sizes recorded for military conscription, which many countries had at that time…. W Robinson Westbury Wiltshire (letter)

Leicester Mercury 6.5.05 ANIMAL RIGHTS - We were shown a picture of a gentleman looking over his garden fence objecting to a plan to build a two-storey block of flats on a wooded glade off Aylestone Road… How dare a planning leader say that wildlife even down to the smallest insect will not get full consideration…. G A Wright, Leicester. (letter)

Wells Journal 6.5.05 ABUSE CAN'T HIDE THE BADGER FACTS - When badger consultant Adrian Coward is lost for sensible arguments he resorts to intimidation, but all his verbal abuse directed at me (Letters, April 21) cannot hide the fact that badgers spread TB to cattle… Mr Coward's emotional rant portrays me as a hater of wildlife, alleging "he has at last shown his true colours by advocating and supporting the indiscriminate killing of wildlife". This is, to put it bluntly, a lie. Given his high position in the Somerset Wildlife Trust, Mr Coward must know of the 60 Mendip acres that I manage as nature reserves, as a member of the Somerset Private Nature Reserves Network… William Stanton, Westbury-sub-Mendip (letter)
Wells Journal 22.4.05 IT'S A PITY ABOUT BADGER HATRED William Stanton's response to my letter (April 14) was surprisingly reassuring for its predictability. Despite his past protestations and claims to be a conservationist he has at last shown his true colours by advocating and supporting the indiscriminate killing of wildlife. It is a pity he has such hatred for badgers, because they damaged his garden, and such disdain for me, because I thwarted his attempt to hoodwink his parish council into applying for a licence to kill badgers, leading him to regurgitate propaganda as proven fact and try to denigrate individuals when he has no answer to proven facts… Adrian Coward, West Horrington (letter)

5.5.05

Horse & Hound 5.5.05 Raising funds for the “Westminster Eight” - H&H staff writer / Holly Kirkwood - A cartoon and a silver FIGHT THE BAN bangle have been launched to help raise funds to cover the legal costs of the Westminster Eight - As the trial date draws near for the eight hunt protestors who stormed the House of Commons last September, a cartoon and a silver wristband have been produced to help raise money for their legal fees. The “Westminster Eight” — Andrew Elliot, David Redvers, Luke Tomlinson, Otis Ferry, Robert Thame, John Holliday, Richard Wakeham and Nick Wood — will appear on 23 May at Bow Street Magistrates Court, charged with public order offences…. (story)

Daily Post 5.5.05 Has hunt ban meant carnage for lambs By David Lloyd, Daily Post - FARMERS in Wales are being urged to respond to a survey tracking the toll of lambs lost to attacks by foxes since the ban on hunting came into force. The situation has been particularly serious in upland areas where lambing is now drawing to a close. Farmers report an apparent increase in the fox population since hunts were ordered to scale down activities in mid-February…. Gareth Vaughan, Farmers' Union of Wales president, also suffered losses on his farm near Newtown. He said the FUW will join forces with the NFU, the National Sheep Association and the Country Land and Business Association at a meeting with Carwyn Jones, Assembly countryside minister… (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 5.5.05 Why hunt protester was worried about his pie - GAZETTE & HERALD: As he sat in prison after raiding the Houses of Parliament chef Nick Wood's main concerns were for an uncooked shepherd's pie in Lacock. "We were all allowed one phone call. I used mine to call the butler and tell him to get the shepherd's pie in so that it would be ready for Lady Weinstock's supper," says the divorced 41-year-old father-of-two. Mr Wood cooks full-time for the Lacock family and lives in an apartment above their stables. On September 15 he was one of the `Westminster eight' who raided the Houses of Parliament in protest against the Government's hunting bill…. Although not a huntsman Mr Wood decided to take part in the raid in the hope of embarrassing the Government after being enraged by what he felt was an illegal law…. (story in archive)

Times 5.5.05 He’s the butchest man in handbags - CAROLYN ASOME - Bill Amberg likes hunting, shooting, fishing — and making gorgeous bags and leather goods. As he opens a new flagship store, our interviewer talks to a design giant - SPREAD AROUND 1,000 square metres of prime Notting Hill real estate is an impressive display of vintage artefacts connected with the great outdoors… this is the site of the leather designer Bill Amberg’s latest retail venture, which is why, alongside the various objets, there are also a lot of bags… A strong believer in the importance of rural communities, Amberg went on the Countryside Alliance march and thinks nothing of rising at 4am to go crawling through the undergrowth on a hunting trip…. (story)

Guardian 5.5.05 The spirit of Meilyr lives on … I'm afraid I had taken on trust a report in the Sunday Telegraph. This newspaper seems a little accident-prone at the moment…. the paper had to apologise for a front-page headline which read "Government finally admits hunting ban is part of the class struggle" - a claim purportedly based on a piece, printed inside, by a mere parliamentary private secretary, who was arguing that the element of class hatred inflaming the hunting debate came from the pro-hunting side…. (story)

ELECTION 2005
Times 5.5.05 How a bit of lateral thinking solved my voting dilemma - ANATOLE KALETSKY - Labour's unexpected recovery in the polls is largely thanks to the ineptitude of its opponents - If Labour does better than the punters expect and I win any money (the unlikely event of Labour preserving its present majority of 160 would win me £1,000) I will divide my jackpot into three equal parts and send them to three organisations that I think could promote liberal values, and encourage a more constructive Tory Opposition and help to keep an overweening Labour government in check. The three are the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, the pro-immigration Refugee Council, and the pro-market Adam Smith Institute (story)
Times 5.5.05 Curse of Kennedy has ruined Lib Dems’ chance to shine - MARY ANN SIEGHART - NEVER has there been an election when my views have been so out of line with any of the three parties. I can’t secure a decent fit with any of them. I am in favour of tuition fees, helping the poor, asylum and immigration, school selection, hunting, cannabis, childcare, human rights, civil liberties and diversity of provision in public services. I am against ID cards, the euro, local income tax and a 50 per cent top-rate tax band…. (story)
Guardian 5.5.05 Stage-managed rings of confidence - As television exerts ever greater influence, the roadshow choreography attains ever more finesse - Patrick Barkham, Oliver Burkeman, James Meek and Ed Vulliamy - Election campaigns have been made-for-television events since the 1960s. But in the degree of its choreography, the amount of effort expended on controlling every aspect of the experience, 2005 set a new standard…. At one Labour rally in Rushden, Northamptonshire, a group of about 80 hunting supporters gave Blair and John Prescott a ferocious barracking, but never managed to get within touching distance. At the end Prescott drove slowly past them in his coach, grinning and shouting into a microphone: "Friendly people! Friendly people! Right to roam! Right to roam!"… (story)
Guardian 5.5.05 The election hour by hour …02:00… Monmouth, declaring around now, is the Conservatives' best chance of gaining a seat in Wales: here hunting is a crucial issue…. (story)
Western Morning News 5.5.05 TOO CLOSE TO CALL IN KEY MARGINALS - As polling day finally comes round, London Editor Jason Groves assesses the situation in the Westcountry's key marginal seats… The Lib-Dems believe they will win in Taunton, despite strong support among the Exmoor hunting community for defending Tory Adrian Flook who has a majority of just 235… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 5.5.05 ELECTION IS ABOUT ECONOMY - Answers on the big issues from Tony Blair … What is your party's position on the fox-hunting ban? It was a free vote in Parliament. Your MP - and the vast majority of MPs - voted for a ban…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 5.5.05 REPRESENTING A SILENT MAJORITY - Answers on the big issues from Michael Howard … What is your party's position on the fox-hunting ban? The Hunting Act will have an enormous economic and social impact on the countryside and rural livelihoods. We will introduce a bill to repeal the ban and, in accordance with precedent, there will be a free vote…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 5.5.05 WE'RE THE REAL OPPOSITION - Answers on the big issues from Charles Kennedy … What is your party's position on the fox hunting ban? This was a free vote in the House of Commons and MPs from all the political parties voted, some for and some against. I voted for the ban… (story)

Independent 5.5.05 Defend the hunt ban - Roger Stratton ludicrously overestimates voter support for hunting with dogs… With the Conservatives pledged to introduce a Bill overturning the ban, it's certainly a case of vote Tory, vote cruelty. CHRISTOPHER CLAYTON, WAVERTON, CHESHIRE (letter)

Tamworth Herald 5.5.05 Immediately upon his 1997 election victory, Tony Blair increased MP's salaries and pensions. Did you vote for that?... Fox hunting: He promised a ban and, despite other more vital matters at hand, spent countless hours of Parliamentary time on this. Foot and mouth: Couldn't handle this one… Cllr Brian Beale (Conservative), Wilnecote Ward. (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 5.5.05 JUSTICE HAS BEEN DONE BY HUNT BAN - I Am writing in response to Bob Feltham's letter ("The fox isn't beautiful, it's vermin", Open Lines, April 20). Mr Feltham tries to justify fox hunting as acceptable because he believes that foxes are cruel. Yet I have never known a stag to "rip anything apart", but they are also chased to their death. What is the hunter's excuse for that?... N Thomas (Miss), St Phillips (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 30.4.05 FEEDBACK - THE FOX - With regard to Rob Feltham's letter concerning the fox… He then goes on to comment on the damage done by foxes to farmers' stock. This must be a loss farmers are prepared to suffer, because if they weren't, they would have ensured the foxes demise by now, rather than use the notoriously inefficient method of hunting with dogs - "a price worth paying" springs to my mind…. Carl Turville, Redland. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 25.4.05 STILL HOPING FOR A COMPLETE BAN - I Read with interest the letter from Bob Feltham (Soapbox , "The fox isn't beautiful, it's vermin", April 20). For many years I had hoped to live to see the day when fox hunting was abolished…. Despite my concerns over the governments dealings in foreign affairs and its apparent inability to spend wisely, I shall almost certainly vote Labour again. The fox hunting abolishing bill needs to be firmly entrenched…. V P Thomas, by e-mail. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 20.4.05 THE REAL REASON FOR HUNT BAN - I Must write in response to K Pomphrey's recent letter (Feedback, April 6) which once again totally misses the point about the ill-conceived ban on hunting with dogs in the United Kingdom. Whereas I sympathise with those who genuinely feel that it is cruel to hunt foxes, I have to say that these people are naive in the extreme if they think that this was the main reason for banning the pastime. Without doubt the main reason centres around the bias and spite of those mainly Labour MPs who seek to attack the "sport of the rich and upper classes" as they see it… Bob Feltham, by e-mail. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 11.4.05 WAITING FOR A REPLY TO POLICY QUESTION - I Write in reference to the letter from Mr Pomphrey in Open Lines (Feedback, April 6). I am absolutely certain that the hunting ban is purely political. My experiences with this government is that it has no knowledge of animal welfare whatsoever. I wrote to my local MP in November 2004 concerning hunting and puppy farming… I did not receive a reply, so I wrote again, and have repeatedly written. All I have received is an acknowledgement saying she is awaiting a reply from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs… Name supplied. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 6.4.05 FEEDBACK:'FOX-HUNTING BAN IS ABOUT PARTY POLITICS' - I Feel that I must reply to the letter (Soapbox, March 29 by M Scott, "Fox-hunting ban is about party politics, not animal welfare"). Mr Scott accused the Government of railroading the Bill through parliament. He seems to have conveniently overlooked the fact that in 1998 when a Bill was put forward to ban fox hunting, 411 members of parliament voted to ban hunting with dogs and only 151 voted against…. In his letter M Scott quotes Chris Fox, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers as saying: "A total ban on hunting will bring us into conflict with parts of the rural community and shake the confidence of the police in these areas." That's interesting. The police didn't seem to care about the feelings of the mining communities when they broke up miners' rallies with baton charges in the 1980s…. I can only surmise that the hunting community's interpretation of human rights is the right to charge across this lovely land with the sole aim of disembowelling one of the most beautiful creatures in the British countryside all in the name of sport and tradition. K Pomphrey (Mr), Yate. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 29.3.05 SOAPBOX: FOX-HUNTING BAN IS ABOUT PARTY POLITICS, NOT ANIMAL WELFARE - The Government went back on its promise of introducing antihunting legislation based on "principle and evidence". Its 2001 Election Manifesto commitment was to resolve the hunting issue, not to press ahead with a ban which ignored the evidence and the views of every major landuse group in the country as well as two out of three rural vets… The hunting community and the Lords compromised much, contrary to Mr Michael's assertions that they would not allow "the slightest compromise". They agreed to a licensing system rather than the status quo, which is testament to their own desire to improve animal welfare and to behave in an open and accountable manner…. M Scott, by e-mail. (letter)

North Devon Journal 5.5.05 BADGERS ARE THE SCAPEGOAT - CLARE WHYTE, Coalition of Badger Action Groups, Plymouth. (story)
Western Morning News 3.5.05 BLAME FOR BOVINE TB IS WRONGLY PLACED - At the moment, Defra is pre-baiting in Mid Devon and south Gloucestershire. Trapping and killing is starting from May 1. Defra is so keen to start killing badgers that it can't even wait for the end of the closed season to lay its traps…. It's quite amazing that the Government is quite happy to waste millions of pounds on killing badgers, but puts very little in comparison to fund research into a vaccine for bovine TB…. Write to your MP, get letters in the Press and donate anything you can towards the costs of compassionate volunteers who monitor the slaughter of the so-called "protected badger". Clare Whyte, Coalition of Badger Action Groups Plymouth (letter)

North Devon Journal 5.5.05 GOATS' FUTURE MAY GO TO PUBLIC VOTE - A referendum may be held to decide the fate of Lynton's famous wild goat herd. A controversial proposal by Lynton Town Council to reduce the Valley of Rocks goat herd to 36 was put on hold following a packed council meeting in Lynton on Thursday last week. Representatives from North Devon Animal Defence, Friends of the Earth and the League Against Cruel Sports joined local people for a demonstration outside the hall… Mayor Christne Bowden said councillors and their families had received abusive and threatening letters, a situation which she said was "intolerable."… Spokesman for the Friends of the Goats, Jan Hunt, said: "We were encouraged to see so many people at the meeting…. (story)

Telegraph 5.5.05 Spanish practices - I am surprised that, by describing the experiences of a misguided though attractive female and emphasising the glitzy aspect of the corrida, you have covered what is actually the ritual torture of a noble animal with a false glamour… Frank Hobson, Hornsea, E Yorks (letter)

Guardian 5.5.05 Halifax tiger ad sparks animal rights furore - Julia Day - Halifax is refusing to withdraw a TV advert featuring a white tiger cub chained to a bedpost despite complaints from customers and animal rights campaigners…. It has attracted protests from the Captive Animals' Protection Society, an organisation that campaigns on behalf of animals used in the entertainment industry…. (story)
BBC News Online 5.5.05 Rescuer nets reward in isle cull - A "bounty hunter" in the Outer Hebrides has earned £1,000 in the last month by saving hedgehogs from extermination. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is carrying out a cull of the creatures, which are not native to the islands. Animal activists from Uist Hedgehog Rescue, however, are offering £20 for every live animal they are given…. (story)

Scotsman 5.5.05 Saving hedgehogs from cull proves a grand idea - MIKE MERRITT - AN ISLANDER from North Uist has earned more than £1,000 in less than a month by saving hedgehogs from a cull in the Outer Hebrides. The man, who has asked for his identity not to be disclosed, has rescued more than 50 hedgehogs at a rate of £20 each…. (story)

Western Morning News 5.5.05 Sickening cruelty - A "HEFTY fine" and a ban from keeping animals "for a suitable period of time" would certainly not be sufficient for the thug reported (April 16) as the perpetrator of the brutal stabbing of a cat… Continual reports of cruelty in the Westcountry are enough to put people off visiting us. Do we want to be called the worst area in the UK for cruelty? I don't, but I think we must be well on the way. Louise Piddington, Plymouth (story)

EDINBURGH ZOO
Edinburgh Evening News 5.5.05 Modern zoos have a complex role - I HAVE read with great concern the anti-zoo letters being printed in the Evening News these past few weeks, but Mrs Pat Morris’s letter on Tuesday April 26 was the final straw, and I felt compelled to write in and support my local zoo. I have been a member of The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland for over a decade now, and was quite shocked by Mrs Morris’s letter on the state of their 90-year-old zoological park, Edinburgh Zoo…. Every time I visit I see positive changes, and with the advent of the 20 year masterplan, I see the zoo becoming even more integral as a major conservation and educational resource… SARAH BOYD, VIEWFORTH, EDINBURGH (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 3.5.05 Zoos have a big role to play in modern world - ONE of the most common images of zoos is that they are prisons for animals. This image, in my mind seems to have little evidence to back it up. People should see a zoo as a place of knowledge where people can learn about animals they may not have even heard of…. LLOYD HUGHES, Blackford Hill Grove, Edinburgh (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 2.5.05 Get real conservation - From submissions to your letters page it seems clear that Edinburgh Zoo’s plan to obtain more polar bears is not a popular one…. The public is becoming more aware that a zoo is not a suitable environment for any animal and the quicker we see an end to these tourist attractions the quicker we can start really respecting animals and getting on with real conservation - protecting animals in their natural environment. CRAIG REDMOND, CAMPAIGNS OFFICER, THE CAPTIVE ANIMALS’ PROTECTION SOCIETY, PO BOX 573, PRESTON, PR1 9WW (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 30.4.05 Leave innocent creatures in the wild - MRS JUNE FLEMING, OXGANGS FARM GARDENS, EDINBURGH - I AGREE with veterinary surgeon Pat Morris (Letters, April 26) in her views about another polar bear coming to Edinburgh Zoo. Polar bears or any other animals should not be kept in captivity at any zoo etc…. (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 29.4.05 No need to bring bears to Capital - I AM very upset that Edinburgh Zoo propose to renege on a previously made commitment that following the death or relocation of the polar bear Mercedes no further bear would be forced to endure her confinement… I AM very upset that Edinburgh Zoo propose to renege on a previously made commitment that following the death or relocation of the polar bear Mercedes no further bear would be forced to endure her confinement ELIZABETH MCNEILL LIVINGSTONE PLACE, EDINBURGH (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 26.4.05 No justification for zoo in modern age - I WAS horrified to hear that there may be another polar bear at Edinburgh Zoo (News, April 9). I visit the zoo from time to time, although over many years I have come to dislike zoos a great deal…. I was appalled at what I consider the totally psychotic state of the present polar bear - upsetting, repetitive behaviour in a very poor enclosure… As a retired veterinary surgeon who has spent a lifetime concerned with animal welfare, I can no longer condone zoos and hope that the public will vote with their feet. MRS PAT MORRIS BVM & S, MRVCS (VETERINARY SURGEON, RETIRED), HOPETOUN TERRACE, GULLANE (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 20.4.05 Edinburgh Zoo decision is a hard one to bear - ROSS MINETT DIRECTOR, ADVOCATES FOR ANIMALS, QUEENSFERRY STREET EDINBURGH - ADVOCATES FOR ANIMALS was absolutely astonished when Edinburgh Zoo announced that it was considering going back on its prior commitment to not replace Mercedes the polar bear when she dies… We, along with other animal welfare and protection organisations, are determined that the pitiful Mercedes will the last polar bear that visitors to the zoo will have to witness. Members of the public can, and we hope will, vote with their feet. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 15.4.05 Don't bring more captive bears to the Capital - I HAVE never written to a newspaper in my life before (preferring to keep my thoughts and comments to myself) however, your story about Mercedes the polar bear ("Polar bear pen plan gets icy reception", News, April 9) has compelled me to do so. Last year, on a visit to Edinburgh Zoo, it was obvious to me and most people there at the time, that Mercedes was totally bored and frustrated, going round and round in her pool…. So come on Edinburgh Zoo, please have a rethink. DOUGLAS BROWN, NORTHFIELD TERRACE, EDINBURGH (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 9.4.05 Polar bear pen plan gets icy reception - HAZEL MOLLISON - A MASSIVE new polar bear enclosure is to be built at Edinburgh Zoo as part of a £58 million redevelopment, it was revealed today. Zoo chiefs say the project will ensure the future of Mercedes, the only polar bear in captivity in the UK. And they hope to introduce more of the huge animals to the new enclosure. But animal activists, who have highlighted the problems with Mercedes’ existing accommodation, have hit out at the plans…. Ross Minnett of Advocates for Animals, said: "Polar bears are widely recognised as one of the most unsuitable animals to keep in captivity…" (story)

Epsom Guardian 5.5.05 Anger at praise for RSPCA - I'm afraid Mr Button's letter extolling the virtues of the RSPCA made me see red (Letters, April 14). What he says may be true in theory, but it's definitely not true in practice. Being an animal rescuer for London Wildcare Wildlife Hospital, over the past year I've been called to distressed and worried callers who have tried in vain to get help from the RSPCA…. R JONES, Epsom Downs (letter)

4.5.05

BBC News Online 4.5.05 Stag hunt is cleared over cruelty - An inquiry by hunting and countryside organisations has cleared a County Down hunt of accusations of animal cruelty. The inquiry into the County Down Staghounds followed the screening of a stag hunt on BBC Northern Ireland. It was carried out by the Northern Ireland Masters Association along with the Hunting Association and the Countryside Alliance of Ireland. The board rejected the suggestion that the film showed the stag was exhausted…. Speaking on Wednesday after what was described as a lengthy meeting of the inquiry board, Mr Gorman added: "In any case the hunt only lasted a matter of minutes and in the vet's opinion that was not long enough to induce even minor exhaustion."… (story)
BBC News Online 8.2.05 Frustrations of hunter and hunted - Hunting with dogs will soon be banned in England and Wales. By next week Northern Ireland will be the only part of the United Kindom where it will continue as before. Martin Cassidy has been out in the field searching for the hunters and the hunted…. It is a peaceful scene with the rolling farmland of County Down bathed in a weak winter sun…. Far below, the horses and hounds are moving off. The bright red jackets are clearly visible as a group of 20 or more mounted figures take to the fields…. But while the Countryside Alliance is keen to emphasise that at the end of the hunt, the stag is free to go, animal welfare campaigners are not impressed with that argument. Stephen Philpott of the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the hunt needs to be viewed from the stag's point of view... Back near Dromara, the County Down Stag Hounds are packing up for the day. The hounds have been called off and many of the riders have dismounted and are unsaddling…. (story)

Bromley Express 4.5.05 Pupil outfoxes her competition - A TEENAGER has scooped a top prize in a London-wide writing competition. Rebecca Cawley, 14, from Newstead Wood School, Orpington, triumphed in the 'Be a Reporter' competition… organised by The Guardian and the London Grid for Learning… Judges said Rebecca's article on the issue of fox hunting was an 'innovative, emotional and topical look into the world of fox hunting, those who enjoy it as an age old tradition and those who so strongly demonstrate against it'…. (story)

OTIS FERRY V TONY BLAIR
Western Morning News 4.5.05 BLAIR IS TOLD: 'YOU'RE RUINING THE COUNTRYSIDE' - Tony Blair was accused of "ruining the countryside" yesterday as he launched a frantic bid to shore up support in marginal seats. Hunt protester Otis Ferry heckled Mr Blair during a visit to Shropshire - highlighting the problem the Prime Minister has faced during his rare forays into the countryside in the wake of the hunting ban…. (story)
Independent 4.5.05 Election Diary … Quote of the day - "Tony Blair, go back to the city. That's the only place you are welcome. Stop smiling. I haven't got words for you. Go away back to the city." - Pro-foxhunting campaigner Otis Ferry… (story)
Shropshire Star 3.5.05 Otis's taunts as PM visits region - Tony Blair was heckled by south Shropshire joint huntmaster Otis Ferry as he arrived in Wellington today. Mr Ferry hoped to show his feelings towards the ban on hunting to the Prime Minister, but was kept away as plain clothes officers stepped to the fore… (story)
BBC News Online 3.5.05 Otis himself - Otis Ferry has been hunting Tony Blair and today found him in Shropshire. The 22-year-old outspoken pro-hunt campaigner shouted abuse at the prime minister as he arrived at a Labour event in Wellington. Mr Ferry, who stormed the House of Commons last year, was surrounded by police officers as he approached the prime minister's car…. (story)

CHARLES KENNEDY IN TAUNTON
Guardian 4.5.05 Outsider Kennedy goes his own way - Ed Vulliamy - It is history, as much as the Liberal Democrat leader himself, which brings Charles Kennedy centre stage during the campaign's twilight phase… "Happy hunting!" Mr Kennedy bids them farewell. "We're on to Taunton." It proves an unfortunate choice of words, for as he arrives in the town he could win from the Conservatives, he is greeted by a jostling mob of local Tories and the well-funded electoral wild card in these parts: the Countryside Alliance and foxhunters bussed in from Exmoor…. (story)
Western Morning News 3.5.05 LIB-DEMS DETERMINED TO WIN BACK HOTLY CONTESTED CONSTITUENCY - Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy received a lively welcome in the Westcountry yesterday when he braved a walkabout in the closely fought marginal seat of Taunton. Tory activists jostled with Lib-Dem supporters as Mr Kennedy took a brisk walk around the west Somerset town, which is the party's number one target seat…. Many local Lib-Dems believe they should never have lost the seat, which was held by Jackie Ballard until 2001. But Ms Ballard's outspoken support for a ban on hunting alienated many constituents on Exmoor, who turned out in force to help unseat her…. (story)
Times 2.5.05 Bursting the Lib Dem balloon - A definite stepping up of the pace for Charles Kennedy's campaign…. on the 21-minute flight to Taunton, the Lib Dem's top target seat, Mr Kennedy dropped off or a nap. His walkabout in Taunton town centre was the most spirited yet, as a large crowd of Lib Dems vied with a local Tory demonstrators, backed up by a Land Rover with loud speakers, plus a handful of hunt supporters from Exmoor. There was much scuffling and placard jousting, a few yellow Lib Dem balloons were burst… (story)

ELECTION 2005
Western Morning News 4.5.05 OPINION POLLS WRONG, UPBEAT TORIES DECLARE - JASON GROVES LONDON EDITOR - Conservative policy director David Cameron yesterday predicted that the Tories could still win in the Westcountry, as he declared: "The polls are wrong… Mr Cameron, author of the Conservative manifesto, acknowledged that the last Tory government had made "mistakes" that led to rural voters feeling let down. But he said a future Tory government would be good for the countryside, with pledges on key rural issues like affordable housing, a fair deal for farming and a repeal of the hunting ban…. (story)
Western Morning News 4.5.05 NOW, IF I WERE THE PRIME MINISTER... Ian pettyfer WITH a new Government only a matter of days away, I have been reading some of the lighthearted "if I were the Prime Minister" comments appearing in the WMN…. I can certainly daydream about replacing Margaret Beckett as Secretary of State at Defra…. Alun Michael's hobby is hill walking. He visited our hilly farm a few years ago to view Jim's newly planted woodland, and has been sending Jim a Christmas card each year since. I would reward him by sending him back to his native Wales to take responsibility for the health and safety of the animal rights brigade, with whom I have some sympathy, in their future role as the quarry for Welsh drag hunts… Ian Pettyfer helps on a family farm in Mid Devon (story)
Planet Ark 4.5.05 Rural Britons Take Hunt Ban Anger to the Ballot Box - WROXETER, England - Rural Britons are in revolt and mounting a determined but almost certainly doomed bid to stop Tony Blair's Labour party winning an unprecedented third term in Thursday's election… "The ban typified everything that is wrong with this government. It is an unnecessary and cowardly attack on a minority," said Patrick Webster, chairman of the 170-year-old Albrighton Hunt in the northwestern county of Shropshire… (story)
The Sentinel 4.5.05 APATHY IS A WASTED VOTE - It Is a typically British irony that while so many people are prepared to risk their lives for democracy elsewhere in the world, many of us at home cannot be bothered to vote… How many of the thousands who marched against the war in Iraq, or the abolition of fox-hunting, or support Fathers 4 Justice, or lobby for an increase in the minimum wage, voted at the last election, or intend to this time?... (story)

Guardian 4.5.05 Down-to-earth Tories I read with interest your report (Hunt lobby in covert bid to oust Labour MPs, April 30) on the role we at Vote-OK play in encouraging people to take part in the democratic process. In these days of spin, half-truths and suspicion, it is depressing that everyone should be tarred with that brush. Vote-OK has played scrupulously by the rules. Goaded into action by Alun Michael's challenge "... if people wish to continue their opposition to legislation, they have the option of the ballot box", Vote-OK is upfront that the ban on hunting was the catalyst to its inception… Charles Mann, Lechlade, Glos (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 4.5.05 UNDERSTANDING THE HUNTING ACT - I sympathise with the views expressed by J B Doherty, Letters, April 28, who says the Countryside Alliance continues to protest about Parliamentary time being wasted on hunting - but then gives support to the Conservatives, who wish to introduce more draft legislation into the Commons, to repeal the Act, and expend even more Parliamentary time… The Hunting Act does not ban hunting. It bans only hunting wild mammals with dogs for sport…. Do any Echo readers believe it needs 60 horsemen and 40 hounds to hunt one fox? John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Yorkshire Post 4.5.05 From: CJ Horsman, Allangate Lodge, Rochdale Road, Halifax. DESPITE the recent Freedom of Information Act, the Labour Party is extremely reticent about giving details of any donations it receives from animal rights groups… Coupled with the dropping of the manifesto commitment not to further restrict shooting sports, and behind-the-scenes moves to make gun ownership even more difficult, one can only speculate on the motives behind these moves…. As was demonstrated by the forced implementation of the Hunting Act, animal welfare is not the prime concern of these people or their pet MPs… (letter)

Bath Chronicle 4.5.05 DAN Norris' withdrawal from an event in Keynsham because of apparent 'police information' that his security would be jeopardised, was not substantiated by Avon and Somerset police. In February, on the eve of the Hunting Act coming into force, he forced his way into Badminton deliberately in order to antagonise those people towards whom he has continually shown prejudice and resentful malice…. DELLY THOMAS EVERARD, Countryside Alliance regional director (letter)
Bath Chronicle 3.5.05 THREAT IS ONLY OF ODD EGG - How sad that the Keynsham pre-election debate has had to be cancelled due to security concerns for Dan Norris… the threat, such as it is, surely cannot be more than the odd egg from the hunt supporters. The police spokesman stressed that they had not asked him to cancel attendance at meetings and that they would supply appropriate support. Since Dan Norris continues to forlornly plod the streets… one wonders if it is not convenient for the local Labour Party to withhold the right of the voter to critically question the appalling record of the Blair government…. RAY BUCHANAN, Manor Road, Saltford (letter)
Bath Chronicle 3.5.05 SOUNDS PATHETIC TO ME - According to local press, Labour has pulled out of the usual Churches Together pre-election debate in Keynsham. Why? because of Dan Norris's safety…. I haven't seen hunting types riding through Keynsham on horseback in search of Dan Norris. I've seen no wanted posters. I have seen Dan on the High Street a couple of times and he didn't look too worried. Surely Dan pulling out is about him being afraid to face the other candidates in an open forum. I note that the police didn't seem to have a problem with it. So what other conclusion is there?... ANDREW WAIT, Manor Road, Keynsham (letter)
Bath Chronicle 27.4.05 DEBATE CANCELLED OVER CANDIDATE SAFETY FEARS BY TOM BRADSHAW - THREATS made against Wansdyke's Labour General Election candidate and staunch anti-hunt campaigner Dan Norris have forced a traditional pre-election debate to be called off… Organisers have blamed the cancellation of the debate, which was due to be held at the Elim Pentecostal Church in Keynsham, on threats made to Mr Norris by pro-hunting extremists angered by his outspoken opposition to blood sports…. The Labour Party's south west regional co-ordinator, Steve Richards, said yesterday security concerns were now sufficiently high that Mr Norris was unable to appear at open, public pre-election events… Jay Moorish, vice-chairman of Bath and District Charter 88, said safety concerns had left him and other organisers with no option but to pull the plug on the meeting, which had been scheduled to take place tonight… (story)
Bath Chronicle 27.4.05 MEETING FACED THREAT OF VIOLENCE - Before the last two General Elections, the Bath branch of Charter 88, the national campaign for a modern and fair democracy, organised a public meeting. All the candidates for the Bath constituency faced the public…. However, we were appalled to learn from the police that they feared for an outbreak of public disorder… Charter 88 has no strong views on the rights or wrongs of hunting. We do have very strong views indeed on the denial of democratic rights by a group of intemperate activists who, when they don't get their own way, resort to violence…. JAY MORRISH, Vice chairman, Bath & District Charter 88, Shaft Road, Combe Down, Bath (letter)

Scotsman 4.5.05 Harriers still hounded - Tony Andrews, of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, refers (Letters, 28 April) to the increase in hen harrier numbers during the 2004 survey. The increase in Scotland was almost entirely in Orkney, the Hebrides, and north and west Highlands. This was in stark contrast to the managed grouse moors in the southern uplands, where the survey showed a decline of 46 per cent since 1998…. LOGAN D STEELE, Bridgewater Avenue, Auchterarder, Perthshire
Tony Andrews implies overall recovery in harrier numbers across mainland Scotland should excuse the fact there has been no recovery on grouse moor areas. To most people I am sure that statistic doesn’t camouflage the poor performance on grouse moors - but underlines it…. (PROF) DES THOMPSON, Scottish Natural Heritage, Anderson Place, Edinburgh (letters)
Scotsman 28.4.05 Harriers on the rise - Professor Des Thompson (Letters, 25 April) has not answered the key question as to why the results of the breeding hen harrier survey have been given such controversial publicity when there is no report for anyone else to see…. Now that the figures have apparently been analysed, they reveal a massive 45 per cent increase in the population across Scotland. This is good news but still the publicity turns the results into an attack on grouse moors…. TONY ANDREWS , Chief executive, SCA, Ingiston, Midlothian (letter)
Scotsman 16.4.05 Hen harrier survey - While the Scottish Countryside Alliance welcomes the strong recovery of the hen harrier population (your report, 12 April), we condemn the manner in which the results of the survey have been publicised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. There is no report on the results of this survey, so independent scientists cannot verify the data, and the public can only see whatever snippets of data the RSPB chooses to give to the media…. There is a good case for the localised management of hen harriers - a "zoning" approach - to concentrate them on unmanaged moors and areas where there is a lot of forestry. SNH and the Scottish Executive must not allow the RSPB to dictate a policy that will inflict serious damage on native bird species and the rural economy. TONY ANDREWS, Chief executive, Scottish Countryside Alliance, West Mains, Ingliston, Midlothian (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 4.5.05 GUNDOGS ON SHOW AT EVENT - Dogs and the handlers of all levels and ages are invited to the fourth annual Gundog Weekend at Walton-on-Trent. The event, at Catton Park on Saturday and Sunday, is a celebration of the world of the gundog and is open to those who are a novice or expert handler, or who have a general interest in gundogs…. (story)

Runcorn World 4.5.05 Don't denigrate anglers - I COMPLETELY agree with Mr Rashid's views on barbaric blood sports and also understand his repulsion for dog racing as some of these animals lead horrific lives. But he shouldn't tar the coarse fishermen with the same brush as the supporters of these so called 'sports', personally I do not consider fishing a sport…. We don't kill fish. Quite the opposite. We do all we can to ensure fish wildlife and their habitat are kept in excellent condition because we understand they all depend on each other…. Neil Wallace, Houghton Street, Widnes (letter in archive)

Cambridge Evening News 4.5.05 £200 fine for hare coursers - THREE hare coursers from Cambridge have been fined £200 each for trespassing while hunting hares with their lurcher dogs. At Cambridge Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, John Burton, 59, Norman Burton Snr, 57, and Norman Burton Jnr, 31, all pleaded guilty to daytime trespass in pursuit of game at The Farm and Boxworth End Farm, Boxworth, on November 16 last year…. (story)

Telegraph 4.5.05 How virtuous is your ethical fund? - Some funds are changing their investment criteria. Jenne Mannion examines the implictions for investors' consciences… Last week, the Henderson Ethical fund changed its remit to focus on finding "industries of the future", such as cleaner energy, sustainable transport, water management, safety and health. Among those changes was the controversial decision to allow the fund to hold healthcare companies that use animal testing…. (story)

The Sentinel 4.5.05 VIVISECTION IS JUST CRUELTY - I had to respond to the various letters you recently printed about animal experiments. Most people seem to be under the false impression that vivisection is going to lead to finding the cure for cancer and other awful diseases. If they were given access to all the facts they might understand that it will not provide the miracle cures. In fact, in some cases it can hinder medical breakthroughs…. LISA DELRIO Hanford (story)

Hull Daily Mail 4.5.05 JANET TOKER (LIBERAL) … I am against the laboratory testing of animals…. (story)

Oxford Mail 4.5.05 Countering the animal rights lobby - In your report of Joan Court's hunger strike (Oxford Mail, April 21), you stated that I am 'Diane Gracey, of the Research Defence Society'. I am not. The only societies to which I belong are SIMR (Seriously Ill For Medical Research, a patients' group) and the Multiple Sclerosis Society… My connection with the RDS began when a group of patients mounted a demonstration at the site of the proposed laboratory in Oxford on January 29, which is where I first met Dr Simon Festing, chief executive of the RDS. When I protest, I do so on my own account and for the many millions with serious illnesses throughout the world… DIANE GRACEY, Carrick Close, Cambridge (letter in archive)

3.5.05

Horse & Hound 3.5.05 Euro-hunt supporters join legal challenges - Nine hunting supporters from around Europe are mounting a legal challenge against the Hunting Act, arguing that their human rights have been infringed under EU Law - The Countryside Alliance-backed challenge to the Hunting Act on human rights grounds will be heard in the High Court the week of 4 July, alongside a case brought under EU law on free movement of goods and workers by nine people. The nine, which include an Irish horse dealer and breeder, a West Country hireling operator, a Belgian-based Viscount, plus Portuguese and German hunting enthusiasts, will say that their rights have been infringed in a disproportionate manner…. (story)

Guardian 3.5.05 No win, no fear - More law lords; judges vent their anti-journalist feelings; and a new TV show, No Win, No Fee - Marcel Berlins - Fox-hunting is the most important, then comes something about debts and debentures, with torture only third in importance. I'm talking about law lords. In July, they'll be hearing the case of the pro-hunting lobby, arguing that the ban on their activities is illegal. Nine law lords will be sitting on that one…. (story)

Western Morning News 3.5.05 MANOR'S OWNERS TO RUN US HUNTING HOLIDAYS - An historic Westcountry property is being sold by owners who are starting up a new business - running hunting holidays in America. Grade II-listed Feniton Court in East Devon has been in Peter Acland's family for four generations, but now he plans to quit Britain for the United States to run hunting holidays for the English. Mr Acland says he has been forced to put his home on the market by red tape that has blighted attempts to run small businesses linked to his 251-acre estate…. Although Mr Acland, 50, does not hunt, his wife has previously hunted in America. She said a number of Westcountry residents with whom she had discussed her plans had been enthusiastic about taking part…. (story)

ELECTION 2005
BBC News Online 3.5.05 Are hunters on the poll trail? By Ollie Stone-Lee - Thousands of hunt supporters knocked on the door of democracy when they protested in Parliament Square and they vowed to make this election count for their cause. The government was apparently so worried that it was willing to see the ban on hunting delayed until safely after polling day… Stroud in Gloucestershire might be just the place to expect unrest… Henry Berkeley, master of the Berkeley Hunt in the constituency, says the pro-hunt lobby may not have been very visible but has been weighty. He says the campaigning is not party political - they are just backing the pro-hunt candidate… A group called Vote OK is targeting 139 marginal constituencies nationwide with similar campaigning…. (story)
Telegraph 3.5.05 Forget Handel, the Hell's Angels could have ridden to the rescue By Vicki Woods - I haven't been keeping up with the Today programme in this election, because I couldn't bear the endless commentary about how it's a done deal… Sir George will get in again, no question. His majority in 2001 was 12,009. This is a deep-blue, wealthy, rural constituency that went right off that Mr Blair during the dark days of Foot and Mouth and disliked him even more during the 900 hours of parliamentary time-wasting over the Hunting with Dogs Bill…. Now, I don't usually mind Lib Dems, especially this year (for Sam Brittan's reasons) but the Newbury one - David Rendel - is a nightmare, all traffic-calming nonsense and virulently anti-foxhunting…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 3.5.05 WHAT WOULD CANDIDATES DO ABOUT FOXES, EURO AND MORE? - Today, the Echo gets answers from the General Election candidates in the Teignbridge constituency. As polling day draws closer, political reporter Ben Norman finds out what they really think about the important issues, from Iraq to education... UKIP (Trevor Colman)… CONSERVATIVE (Stanley Johnson)… LABOUR (Chris Sherwood)… LIBERAL (Reg Wills)… LIBERAL DEMOCRAT (Richard Younger-Ross)… What is your position on the fox-hunting ban? UKIP: The hunting with dogs legislation should be repealed and local referendums, on a county basis, should be used to allow local communities to decide whether or not hunting is allowed in that area. CON: I am pro-hunting and against the ban. LAB: The fox-hunting ban has been passed by Parliament. All members of the community should respect this law, and we need to work with those affected to provide support to work through this difficult time. LIB: We support the bill to ban hunting. LIB DEM: I do not like fox-hunting but opposed the ban…. (story)
Horse & Hound 3.5.05 Hunt supporters prepare for polling day - Deirdre Shields - With just a few days to go to polling day, Horse & Hound finds that armies of hunt supporters-turned-political animals are upping the action - Hunt supporters nationwide have rallied to rural affairs minister Alun Michael's challenge to make themselves heard at the ballot box… (story)

Western Morning News 3.5.05 MANIFESTOS HAVE LITTLE OF INTEREST FOR COUNTRY FOLK - I was interested to read the responses the leaders of the main political parties gave to your question on hunting and shooting. The Countryside Alliance has been asking similar questions and monitoring the manifestos which have been published in the past few weeks. Our work suggests some gaps in the answers you received. Charles Kennedy somehow forgot that the Lib-Dem manifesto contained a commitment to ban young people under the age of 14 from participating in shoots - a severe and pointless restriction. Tony Blair was no more straightforward in his response. He says that the Burns Report found the number of people whose livelihoods would be directly affected by a ban on hunting was very small… Alison Hawes, South West Regional Director Countryside Alliance (letter)

Western Morning News 3.5.05 Group shot - I'M a Devon photographer seeking to reflect an alternative side to the forthcoming General Election. Over the past 12 months or so, the Westcountry has seen its fair share of protests and demonstrations. Farmers, students, and the elderly; from the moors to the sea, took direct action… I'm seeking contact with as many of those protesters as possible for a group photograph near Exeter. If interested, please e-mail devonpictures05@yahoo.co.uk - J L Merritt, Plymouth (letter)

Leicester Mercury 3.5.05 PAD IS OPPOSED TO ALL VIOLENCE - David Davidson's pro-hunting letter (Mailbox, April 19) contains important inaccuracies regarding the cruelty of fox hunting, and unfounded slurs on Protecting Animals in Democracy (PAD). He appears to be repeating the spin that fox hunting promotes animal welfare… Mr Davidson asserts that we are extremists and implies that we are undemocratic: clearly an attempt to paint as violent law-breakers. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have publicised our opposition to violent forms of protest on several occasions…. Dan Lyons, PAD, Sheffield (letter)
Leicester Mercury 25.4.05 CIVILISED POLICY - I congratulate Mr David Taylor, who is standing for Labour in North West Leicester, for his compassionate and courageous stance in supporting the aims of PAD (Protecting Animals in Democracy)…. The only extremists we need to fear are those who think it is acceptable to inflict pain, suffering and death on other sentient beings in the name of sport and science. Coun Carlym Sandringham, (Lib Dem) (story)
Leicester Mercury 19.4.05 ELECTION REPORT - I read with interest your article on the Electoral Commission helpline and was surprised that on the same page you appear to be endorsing the Protecting Animals in Democracy (PAD) re-election campaign of David Taylor. The content of the PAD plan is contentious at best, and, on fox-hunting, just plain wrong… PAD is, in fact, an organ of the vegan and animal-rights extremists, and should not be supported by democratically-minded citizens, let alone by David Taylor. David P Davidson, Leicester. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 13.4.05 HELPLINE HAS TIPS ON HOW TO VOTE … David Taylor, who is standing for Labour in North West Leicestershire, has appealed for other contenders to sign up to campaign group Protecting Animals in Democracy's (Pad) six-point plan. Campaigners are asking would-be MPs to say where they stand on issues such as hunting with dogs, factory farming and animal experiments…. (story)

Western Mail 3.5.05 Shooting tourism slipping through our fingers in Wales - WHY, when we have so much to offer, are shooting sports in Wales virtually ignored by the Welsh Tourist Board? Both of our Celtic cousins, Ireland and Scotland, promote the sporting potential of their countryside and coastline to visitors, while Wales appears only to recognise that it has plenty to offer the angling enthusiast…. (story)

Times 3.5.05 Labour promises airgun controls following Glasgow toddler death BY ANGUS MACLEOD, SCOTTISH POLITICAL EDITOR - CURBS on the use of airguns will be introduced by the end of July if Labour is returned to power, Charles Clarke, Home Secretary, said yesterday. It follows the death of two-year-old Andrew Morton in Glasgow in March after he was hit by a pellet. A 27-year-old man has been charged over his death. Mr Clarke, at a news conference in Glasgow, indicated that a complete ban on airguns was unlikely because of legal problems and that a new Labour Government would instead raise the age limit for buying airguns from 17 to 18 and impose tight restrictions on using them beyond the boundaries of private premises…. (story)
Dundee 3.5.05 Clarke plans airgun curbs By Steve Bargeton, political editor - HOME SECRETARY Charles Clarke said yesterday the Government would crack down on airguns if Labour wins the General Election on Thursday, but refused to commit to an all-out ban. At a press conference in Glasgow he said proposals agreed with Scottish ministers would be announced by the end of July… (story)
Western Daily Press 3.5.05 PURGE ON AIRGUN YOBS - Plans for cracking down on airgun crime will be announced by the end of July if Labour are returned to power, Home Secretary Charles Clarke, right, said yesterday…. (story)

Dundee 3.5.05 It’s time for courts to act - Financial pressure is, of course, no excuse for Scottish gamekeepers poisoning birds of prey (Wildlife crime ‘fuelled by pressure on estates’, April 23). It is well known that gamekeepers are responsible for killing huge numbers of our wild animals in an attempt to protect the financial interests of shooting estates… Ross Minett, Director, Advocates for Animals. 10 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh. (letter)

Western Morning News 3.5.05 'RANTS' ON SHOOTING HAVE POSITIVE RESULT - I AM chuffed that Peter Mercer finds my fusillade of letters to the Western Morning News, critical of recreational shooting, "vaguely amusing" and "entertainingly controversial"…. There is reason in my madness. Seven years back, woodland that I manage for conservation was surrounded by what I would call "the shoot from hell"… There is a Code of Good Shooting Practice body, to which I appealed. Originally, they declined to help me, but eventually I twisted their arm and they acted. However, it was essential to keep my name before them…. By last season, not only had the shoot stopped releasing birds in stupid numbers, it has now been sold to a local farmer. The previous owner was a commercially ambitious, absentee and "townie" businessman from Dorset. Shooting that is too intensive and too commercial, like any other "monoculture", is environmentally damaging… Theo Hopkins, Lifton West Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 3.5.05 Greyhounds make marvellous pets - BEFORE any of your readers put another bet on greyhound racing I urge them to think again. As racing greyhounds is all about money, as soon as the required speed cannot be met a greyhound is of no further use and is disposed of in various ways…. They are also used for vivisection - some reward for all the profit their owners have made out of them. Their ears are always removed to avoid identification marks, and dogs have actually been found wandering with their ears removed… Barbara Garwood, Bideford (letter)

Western Morning News 3.5.05 HOW CHARITY RESTORED FOX CUB ORPHAN TO FULL HEALTH - If you have ever wondered what the RSPCA did, then this cute little fox cub should go some way to explaining the charity's work… The five-week old cub is just the latest of thousands of creatures to be rescued and treated each year. A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said: "There has been animal rescue undertaken on the site at West Hatch since 1963 when Littlecreech Farm was purchased by the Somerset branch of the RSPCA… At present we are successfully releasing approximately 40 per cent of all animals admitted." (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 3.5.05 Animal tests not vital - THERE are plenty of alternatives to animal testing, cell culture and computer modelling being just two… Conchita Pinto, Keir St Edinburgh (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 3.5.05 Animal test agony is just bad science - Animal Defenders International - READERS of the Evening News will have been shocked by images published last week showing horrific experiments at Inveresk Research near Edinburgh…. It is worth noting, that the Animal Defenders International (ADI) report is taken from leaked internal documents. This is not campaigning rhetoric, these are the words of the Inveresk experimenters themselves…. Did the Home Office knowingly licence the experiments we have reported? Or did Inveresk simply ignore the conditions of its Home Office licences to experiment? ADI and Edinburgh’s Advocates for Animals will continue to press for answers…. ADI has proposed an advanced science and technology testing strategy to replace the animal-testing proposals within Reach. Readers can contact us to find out how to prevent the deaths of millions of animals in experiments similar to those you read about last week. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 3.5.05 Profit blinds to alternatives - CHARLES River Laboratories, which owns Inveresk, claims that in order to ensure the safety and efficacy of drugs and other products for people, "alternatives to animal research do not exist." This is a total fabrication… It is time that advocates of animal experimentation stopped feigning concern for human safety. Animal testing has nothing to do with protecting human health but everything to do with corporate profitability. KATHY ARCHIBALD, DIRECTOR, EUROPEANS FOR MEDICAL PROGRESS (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 3.5.05 CONSIDER THE ONES THAT DON'T ESCAPE - I write in response to the story of the two lambs born in the slaughterhouse near Boston (April 27 and 28). While it is commendable that the slaughterman would not kill these animals, this topic should prick the collective conscience of all who eat meat… I hope that these lambs and their mother have a long and happy life ahead of them but we should all remember that millions of others like them are destined to end up centre stage on the family plate. RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln
I was thrilled to read that the two little lambs Mint and Sauce and their mother (has she a name? If not please call her Susan after me) have been given a reprieve…. I am sure someone who has the proper facilities will give them a home. They deserve it. FLORENCE SUSAN KIRK West Parade, Lincoln. (letters)

Manchester Evening News 3.5.05 Badly treated - I AGREE totally with the reader who wrote about cruelty to animals (Postbag, April 25). How right she is. Animals are badly treated, from factory farms to animal experiments…. Animals are not ours to eat, to wear, to experiment on, or to use for entertainment. Animal Lover, Warrington (letter)

Rochdale Observer 3.5.05 Call for circus ban stirs up jumbo row - A JUMBO-sized row has broken out following the appearance of a 52-year-old elephant at a Rochdale circus. Bobby Roberts Circus is facing calls for it to be banned from Rochdale if it continues to use large performing animals… After the visit, Councillor Ian Duckworth said Rochdale Council should enforce its policy to stop shows on its land if they feature large performing animals… The row follows complaints from the Captive Animals’ Protection Society, which urged people to boycott the circus…. (story)

2.5.05

ELECTION 2005
Independent 2.5.05 Spirited battle for Labour's soul in heartland of Foot and Bevin By Barrie Clement and Nigel Morris … Prosperous Monmouth near the English border could be taken by the Conservatives. Many voters in the Gwent market town are unhappy with the ban on foxhunting. Another seat that Labour might lose to the Tories is Clwyd West, an area made up largely of villages and not traditional Labour territory…. (story)
Western Daily Press 2.5.05 I BELIEVE WE KNOW HOW TO RESPOND TO RURAL PROBLEMS - The plane taking Michael Howard from London to Newquay yesterday passed directly over the Millennium Dome… The last election was held in the shadow of the foot-and-mouth disease crisis which devastated the countryside in the West. Since then, and fuelled by the intense debate over banning fox hunting, the rift between town and country appears to be widening - is that something a Conservative government could address? "Yes, I do think there is a problem and we can help…" (story)
Leicester Mercury 2.5.05 GAUGE FOR RURAL ENGLAND - In our series of constituency profiles, Mel Atkinson finds food for thought in Melton and Rutland… The recent decision to ban hunting has poured further salt into the wounds of those voters who feel that the Government is unsympathetic to rural issues…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 2.5.05 THE ANSWERS ON CRIME, NHS, SCHOOLS AND THE WAR - Labour (James Court):… LIBERAL DEMOCRAT (Tim Dumper)… CONSERVATIVE (Hugo Swire)… INDEPENDENT (Christopher Way)… What is your position on the fox hunting ban? LAB: This issue has now been settled and like every other MP I respect the will of Parliament. I also respect those who feel passionately over this issue and support their right to peacefully protest. LIB DEM: Hunting is banned - I will not seek to reopen the issue - I believe it is cruel. UKIP: I don't have a strong view on fox-hunting, but I do believe in freedom to pursue country sports and control pests as has been found necessary over hundreds of years. CON: I am pleased that the Conservative Party will provide Government time to allow MPs to revoke this unjust ban, on a free vote. IND: As a cat owner, I simply do not approve of unnecessary suffering for any sentient animals. I therefore support the ban…. (story)

Worcester Evening News 2.5.05 MRS A Steel of the Countryside Alliance is probably right that this organisation has no connection with the Conservative Party. But anyone could be excused of thinking there was, because where there were once posters supporting hunting, there are now hundreds supporting the Conservatives in the forthcoming General Election. JOHN NORWOOD, Kidderminster. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 18.4.05 No front for Tories - REGARDING the correspondence from D E Margrett (Letters, Tuesday, April 5) on the subject of the Countryside Alliance, by suggesting the Countryside Alliance is a front for the Tory Party he is obviously unaware of the purpose and structure of the organisation. The Alliance is politically non-aligned and is certainly not connected to the Conservative Party. Legally, the Alliance is also prohibited from supporting individual candidates. If D E Margrett had checked the credentials of the Alliance President, Chairman and previous Chief Executive he/she would have found them to be members or supporters of the Labour Party. … Analysis of the actual voting shows that it was in fact Labour Peers who voted, in the majority, for hunting to continue in its present form under licence… MRS A STEEL, County Chairman, Worcestershire Countryside Alliance (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 5.4.05 Alliance a front for the Tories? CLARE Rowson, Countryside Alliance regional director, (Letters, Wednesday, March 21) refers to "Home Office firearms review hints at restrictions on the age young people can use weapons"… for the Countryside Alliance, anything constitutes a legitimate stick with which to beat the Government. I remember that in the late 1940s and early 50s there existed The British Housewives League. This organisation was a front for a Conservative Party as is the Countryside Alliance today… D E MARGRETT, Worcester (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 2.5.05 Sport has been dragged through mud - I AM a professional Airsofter, which involves use of electric and gas powered bb rifles and pistols. For years the sport I love has been dragged through the mud because of a small minority of idiots who abuse the law and do things like running round a public venue with a pistol… the pictures will be sent to every registered airsoft gaming site so that if those involved tried to turn up they will be refused entry. J BIRCH, UK Airsoft Community, Swindon (letter in archive)

Telegraph 2.5.05 Antis will try to ban us, Paxman warns his fellow anglers By Fiona Govan - The days of casting a dry fly to deceive the wily trout are numbered, according to Jeremy Paxman. The BBC Newsnight interviewer, who is also a keen fisherman, has warned anglers that their sport will go the same way as foxhunting… "We can go on endlessly about whether or not fish feel pain. But it is not a distinction that many of those who have campaigned to ban hunting recognise. They see it as part of the same process. The next target will be shooting. After that it will be fishing…." (story)

Western Mail 2.5.05 Memorial for abused greyhound - Gareth Morgan, Western Mail - A MEMORIAL has been held for a greyhound found mutilated and abandoned on a Welsh mountain this time last year…. The Reverend James Thompson, founder of Christians Against All Animal Abuse, officiated at the ceremony and laid flowers in the dog's memory… Tony Peters, Greyhound Action's UK co-ordinator, said, "Sadly, this case is just the tip of a very large iceberg…" (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 2.5.05 Another way to conduct tests must be found - I am writing to you in absolute horror after reading the article on the Inveresk Research report… These animals cannot speak for themselves so it’s up to us humans to speak for them. We now live in the year 2005 and there are other ways to carry out these tests. SUSAN BERNARD, CALEDONIAN CRESCENT, EDINBURGH (letter)

The Shields Gazette 2.5.05 END ANIMAL TESTING NOW - A few months ago there was a food scare concerning the Sudan 1 dye. It is worth noting there will probably be many more health timebombs waiting for us, and on an even bigger scale, unless considerable changes are made to the ways in which we assess health risks, not just in food but across the whole spectrum of chemicals, in our daily lives…. The European Commission is currently proposing a massive testing programme (called REACH) to deal with the problem of 30,000 chemicals in everyday use, yet which are still to be assessed for their risk to humans and the environment. Unfortunately, that programme looks likely to involve poisoning millions of animals in laboratories – all to yield information which we simply cannot rely on… Adolfo Sansolini, Chief Executive of BUAV. (story)

York Evening Press 4.5.05 Cruel to keep Sophia in the zoo - WHAT a cute picture of Sophia, the baby white crowned mangabey monkey, on the front of the Press (April 26). However, it is so sad to know she will spend her life in captivity in the zoo… Many people, including myself, would like to see Flamingoland close its zoo and expand its theme park instead… Sarah Bramley, Gordon Street, York. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 2.5.05 CHINA SHOWS THAT IT WANTS TO PUT AN END TO CRUEL BEAR FARMING - Dear Readers, AS the resident bears relax in the spring weather in the rehab and forest areas of the sanctuary, another ambassador, Moonie, is doing the circuit in China. She is inspiring thousands of people in the community to join our campaign, calling on the Chinese Government to bring the horrific practice of bear farming to an end… (story)

Western Morning News 2.5.05 HELP IS AT HAND FOR BEARS - Members of the South Devon China Bear Rescue Group thank everyone in the South West who has donated towards the target of £5,000 to save Stardust the Chinese moon bear from a life of torture… Barbara Gardner Co-ordinator South Devon China Bear Rescue Group (letter)

Leicester Mercury 2.5.05 GOURMET TREATS WITHOUT THE MEAT - Sue Daniels makes no bones about it: she's proud to be vegan. Joan Stephens went to meet her Sue Daniels is a member of the fourth generation of vegetarians in her family. For her, vegetarianism is a question of principle. "I don't believe it is right to kill animals for food," she says. … She has now formed the Leicestershire Vegetarian and Vegan Society, which has 30 members and meets regularly at the Friends Meeting House in Queens Road, Leicester…. (story)

The Shields Gazette 2.5.05 NEEDLESS KILLING OF SEAGULLS - I SEE the culling season is back again. I am a parent trying to teach my young daughter about the seagulls that are nesting nearby… Unfortunately, last Monday morning, she witnessed two men shoot the birds dead on the roof-top, which really upset her. How are you supposed to teach children about animals and birds if they see something like this? M Pearce, South Eldon Street, South Shields. (letter)

1.5.05

Observer 1.5.05 Power corrupts, and how! - Whether on Iraq or education, Blair will say anything to stay in office for men in public life - Richard Ingrams … The election campaign has seemed unreal, but then that is the nature of today's politics. I got a vivid glimpse of this from Peter Oborne's Channel 4 film last week, Election Unspun: Why Politicians Can't Tell the Truth. In search of Blair, Oborne finally tracked him down to the village of Rushden in Northamptonshire. Here, he found a crowd of people all protesting about the government's policies - students outraged by tuition fees, Countryside Alliance members up in arms about the ban on fox hunting. All these people had been cornered by a phalanx of policemen and could only shout their protests as Blair sped past them on the way to a meeting with some carefully vetted party workers…. (story)