May 2008

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(*)- added since last update


31.5.08

Times 31.5.08 No seductive promises, Mr Cameron - If the Tories are to have a long honeymoon they must be brutally honest with the voters now - MATTHEW PARRIS …On fox-hunting too, unrealistic expectations are best deflated early: the promise simply of a free vote and government time to seek a compromise will anger some with any mention of compromise, but may save Mr Cameron from cries of betrayal after taking the reins of government, when he could do without the distraction…. (story)

Blackpool Gazette 31.5.08 Fylde towns' in flood risk By Lisa Ettridge - LYTHAM and Kirkham have been marked out as danger areas for future floods – and developers could face restrictions on future buildings… This new report comes hot on the heels of information obtained by the Countryside Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act which raises concerns about homes being built in flood areas… (story)

Guardian 31.5.08 A necessary evil - Colin Blakemore - During the 1997 election campaign, new Labour published a pre-manifesto pamphlet, New Life for Animals, with plans for "the highest possible standards of welfare in the laboratory". Who knows whether this was influenced by discussions with the Political Animal Lobby… I think that we should respect the logic and the powerful common sense of weighing all the costs against the potential benefits. That process had made research on great apes inconceivable long before it was banned, and has reduced the permissible work on monkeys to tiny, but crucial areas of research (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 31.5.08 'WE MUST PUT A STOP TO CRUEL PRACTICE' - A Wildlife crime officer is appealing for help to fight the "cruel" practice of digging up badger setts. Lincolnshire Police's wildlife crime officer, Pc Nigel Lound, is making the appeal after two reports of badger digging in the area… (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 31.5.08 More farm animals, more greenhouse gases - Cows and other farm animals have been belching methane for hundreds of years, but their numbers have also greatly increased. The human population explosion has been accompanied by a farm animal population explosion… If we in the relatively prosperous parts of the world were to cut back on meat and dairy products, we would cut back on greenhouse gases, free up primary (plant-derived) foods for those in the developing world – and we would be more healthy. George D. Rodger, Howburn Place, Aberdeen. (letter)

30.5.08

Hexham Courant 30.5.08 It’s another record breaker as crowds flock to see the thrills By GEMMA SOMERVILLE - RECORD breaking crowds left Corbridge bursting at the seams on Bank Holiday Monday for this year’s Northumberland County Show… Dog lovers were treated to more canine capers in the main arena with a parade of hounds from the Braes of Derwent Hunt and later seven gentle giants took centre stage for the heavy horse turnout… (story)

Cumberland News 30.5.08 Gamekeepers have a vital role to play - If Barry Robson and John Wright (Letters, May 16) wish to attack Ashley Boon and express views about grouse moors, then he least they can do is make sure they are correct. In 2006 RSPB received 1,109 reports of potential offences against birds of prey in the UK, but only 13 per cent of these were actually confirmed and a very much smaller number actually resulted in any formal investigation or conviction…. Nobody, let alone a moorland keeper, has been convicted of killing a hen harrier in England this century… BARRY W LINNARD, Blackford, Carlisle
A lifetime of monitoring birds of prey and ground-nesting birds of other kinds, and comparing upland populations across the north, means I cannot go along with blanket condemnation of gamekeepers. Far from being a “no-go” area for harriers (Letters, May 16) the North Pennines have been, and remain, one of the landscapes where harriers can be seen at any time of year…. COLIN SIMMS, Independent naturalist, Cross Fell Cottage, Garrigill (letters)
Cumberland News 16.5.08 … It may be ‘rich with the calls of breeding waders and alive with other exciting birds’ but I ask; ‘where are those really exciting birds the peregrine falcon, raven and hen harrier?’ He omits to mention that these iconic birds are shot by gamekeepers who object to them taking the odd red grouse now and then…. BARRY ROBSONTindale Fell
…. He talks about a well-managed grouse moor – which presumably is one that is managed to provide plenty of intensively-reared birds so that even the least proficient of shots will go home with a “bag”…. JOHN WRIGHTTithe Barn HillWarwick-on-EdenCarlisle (letters)
Cumberland News 8.5.08 Contrasting views on protecting the grouse - Mr John Wright’s letter (The Cumberland News, May 2) describing grouse moors as “sterile killing fields”, reveals him to be ill-informed. The RSPB itself has stated in its publication The Uplands, Time for a Change that; “management of land for grouse shooting has protected upland areas from the worst of overgrazing and blanket conifer plantations”… Mr Wright did not mention that the RSPB is controlling foxes and crows on its Geltsdale reserve in order to help those upland species there…. ASHLEY BOON, Castle Carrock
At last someone has printed something of the truth of our dear uplands. Most estates went out of their way to destroy black grouse. Historically there were many more black grouse than red grouse. Only one species of bird needs heather and that is red grouse…. (letters)
Cumberland News 2.5.08 Grouse moors: deserts or valuable habitat? - I WAS extremely disappointed to see a thinly-veiled attempt by an organisation representing the interests of grouse moor owners to try to discredit the RSPB (The Cumberland News, April 25). Of course grouse moors will have larger populations of some birds because they are intensively managed to be sterile killing fields… JOHN WRIGHT, Tithe Barn Hill, Warwick-on-Eden, Carlisle (letter)
Cumberland News 2.5.08 Surprising belief about moorland birds - In your article ‘Flap over flagship reserve’s success’, David O’Hara stated that the RSPB is happy with its populations of important moorland birds at Geltsdale, and that it does not want them to increase at the expense of other species. Given their particularly low densities, this is surprising, as is his belief that it is not fair to compare the comparative abundance of ground-nesting birds on neighbouring grouse moors with those that can be found on the nature reserve. The stark fact is that people are far more likely to see these species on moorland that is managed for grouse shooting, and this is because of the serious conservation efforts by gamekeepers…. ADRIAN BLACKMORE, Moorland policy officer, The Countryside Alliance (letter)
Cumberland News 25.4.08 Flagship RSPB reserve home to fewest moorland birds in region By Anna Burdett - A FLAGSHIP nature reserve in Cumbria has the lowest number of moorland birds in the region and is being outshone by neighbouring farmland, a report has revealed. The Geltsdale reserve, near Hallbankgate, is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and lists curlew, lapwing and black grouse among its star species on its website. But a Natural England survey of 17 moorland areas found that the 12,000-acre site had lower than average densities of all important moorland birds, compared to neighbouring moors…. Adrian Blackmore, moorland policy officer of the Countryside Alliance, said: “The Geltsdale SSSI has under half the average number of golden plover and curlew, a third of the black grouse and snipe and a quarter of the lapwing and redshank than in the rest of the region, the vast majority of which is managed for grouse shooting. In the rest of the North Pennines grouse moor management includes strict predator control and habitat management, and the results are clear to see.” (story)

Birmingham Post 30.5.08 Topless vegetarian protester in Birmingham told to cover up By Shahid Naqvi - A woman who staged a protest against animal cruelty in Birmingham which involved stripping down to just her knickers and lying on a barbecue was threatened with arrest. Lauren Bowey performed the eye-catching stunt in the middle of the city centre high street to encourage people to turn vegetarian. Another campaigner with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stood by dressed as a chef and brandished a meat flipper pretending to cook Ms Bowey… (story)

29.5.08

Bolton News 29.5.08 Don't back cruel greyhound races - Greyhound racing has very much been been topic of conversation recently, particularly with the news that the Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium in London is due to close its doors in August. This week is national Greyhound Awareness Week, when greyhound lovers across the UK hold events in their areas to highlight the plight of racing greyhounds…. Have a heart for the greyhounds - please do not bet on or attend greyhound races…. Christine Holder Bolton (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 29.5.08 NO NEARER TO A CATTLE VACCINE - If there are many countries who have no badger population and still have bovine TB, how could a badger cull solve the problem?... We appear to be no nearer a vaccine to protect cattle, yet MAFF was offered funds and advice. Why was this offer refused? It could have been put to good use. PAMELA DEAN (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.5.08 BACK THE BADGERS - Chris Rundle says in his column the Badger Trust would like to see an end to farming…. What badger groups ask is for the badger to not always be classed as the cause of bovine TB… Pamela Dean, Gloucestershire (letter)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 29.5.08 'BOAR SAFE FROM EXTERMINATION' - Bosses at the Forestry Commission say claims that marksmen were being drafted in to cull wild boar cull are way off the mark. They say reports of planned baiting and shooting to control feral pig numbers in the Dean could not be further from the truth…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 23.5.08 'GUN DOWN ALL THE FOREST'S WILD BOAR' BY JENNI SILVER - Fears over public safety have sparked plans to cull wild boar in the Forest of Dean… This has prompted Forestry Commission bosses to put together an action plan to cut down on boar numbers… Rob Guest, deputy surveyor for the Forest of Dean, said the cull was needed to tackle the growing boar problem. He said: "People have been threatened or attacked, we've had at least three dogs torn apart by the boar. "We've had a number of horses attacked and thrown riders, we've had boar in gardens and there's a risk to children in the gardens…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 23.5.08 WHY CULL THIS BEAUTIFUL WILD CREATURE NOW? The proposed cull of wild boar in the Forest of Dean will be incredibly unpopular among animal lovers in the county.These wonderful creatures have as much right to be in the Forest as humans do, and there has to be a better way of controlling them than killing them…. (story)
Western Daily Press 23.5.08 WILD BOAR HAVE BACON SAVED - Forestry chiefs say they have no plans in place for a cull of boar in the Forest of Dean. Nationally the Forestry Commission has, as part of its guidelines to districts, drawn up a set of ways to cull the animals.But officials in the Forest of Dean say they are a long way from ordering the kind of cull to control numbers recently given the go ahead by Government… (story)

News Shopper 29.5.08 I AM writing in regard to Paul Browne's letter (Animal Testing Vital In Saving Human Lives, News Shopper, May 7). Yes, medical purposes are important but science has come a long way… One thing which really gets on my nerves is people bigging up animal research when they really do not understand the truth behind it, especially cosmetic companies… CARRIE-ANNE HEATH, Tubbenden Lane, Orpington (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 29.5.08 MEAT 'BAD FOR PLANET' - Most people in the Bristol region are unaware of the impact of meat consumption on global warming… But according to research by the Vegetarian Society, livestock farming generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transport system put together… (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 29.5.08 I feel sickened - HOW utterly ridiculous that you are promoting Andrew Pern's book, Black Pudding and Foie Gras…. I feel sickened that by promoting this book, you are encouraging people to eat this food…. PAULINE McSWEENEY, Rufforth (letter)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 15.5.08 Alternative to foie gras - I WAS dismayed by your apparent sanctioning of the product foie gras as featured in the Andrew Pern article…. . If anyone would like to know more about Compassion in World Farming, they have an excellent website and would also come and talk to schools and other groups… P S SHAW-JOHNSTON, Thornton-le-Dale (letter)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 15.5.08 The appalling cruelty - WHAT a pity Mr Andrew Pern's ethics don't extend to his use of foie gras.I cannot believe that such an experienced chef is unaware of the apalling cruelty that goes into producing foie gras…. ANN STEWART, Helmsley (letter)

North Devon Journal 29.5.08 ANIMAL AID COLLECTION HELP - Animal Aid would like to thank the people of Bideford for their generosity in raising £130 at a street collection on May 17… LORRAINE DRAKE, Animal Aid Collection Coordinator (letter)

Buckingham Advertiser 29.5.08 Animal Aid collection - ANIMAL Aid would like to thank the people who donated at our Street Collection in Buckingham on May 17… Peter Simpson, Animal Aid Collection Co-ordinator (letter)

Essex Echo 29.5.08 Angela Smith wants end to Canadian seal hunt - BASILDON MP Angela Smith joined anti-fur campaigners in Parliament in a bid to end seal hunting in Canada. The Labour politician watched footage of the 2008 seal hunt in Canada, and was briefed by the campaign group Respect for Animals… (story)

Essex Echo 29.5.08 Veggie day at library - EAT your greens! - That was the message when a vegetarian day was held at Southend Library. The event sought to promote alternatives to meat, with taster sessions and tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle… (story)

28.5.08

Western Daily Press 28.5.08 HOW CAN HUNTING ACT BE AMENDED? - As an old retired lawyer who does not hunt, I question the wisdom of passing laws which are unenforceable, or nearly so… David Allen, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset (letter)

Daily Record 28.5.08 Kenny MacAskill: Scots gun laws need reform - GUN licensing must be reformed to tackle record numbers of firearms in Scotland, justice secretary Kenny MacAskill said yesterday… (story)

Cornish Guardian 28.5.08 OWNER'S WARNING AFTER HEN HOUSE RAID BY SLY FOX - Bird lovers have been warned of a sly killer on the prowl with a taste for chicken. The predator has already claimed the lives of Buster the cockerel and four chickens belonging to Debbie Stone, of St Austell Road, Par…. (story)

BBC News Online 28.5.08 EU urged to review animal testing - A world expert on primates, Dr Jane Goodall, has urged Europe to find alternatives to experiments on animals… She was speaking at an event organised by animal rights campaigners and a group of Euro MPs… (story)
Guardian 28.5.08 Goodall urges Nobel prize for sparing lab animals - James Randerson, science correspondent - The primatologist Dr Jane Goodall will today propose that a Nobel prize be set up for advancing medical knowledge without experimentation on animals…. She will speak at an event organised by animal rights groups and MEPs to put pressure on the European commission to review directive 86/609, which governs animal research across the EU… Goodall's suggestion of a Nobel prize looks unlikely to succeed. Only one has been added - the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1968 - since the scientific accolades were first awarded in 1901… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 28.5.08 Controversial labs may be demolished for new homes By Melanie Adams - A Hampshire animal testing laboratory faces demolition if owners get the go-ahead to replace it with 14 new homes. Owner of Wickham Laboratories William Cartmell plans to tear down the controversial labs and erect homes on the site in Winchester Road, Fareham. However any celebrations by animal activists, who host annual demonstrations outside the labs, may be premature, as Mr Cartmell seeks to move the labs to Torbay Farm in Lower Upham… (story)

OPERATION ACHILLES - DIANE JAMIESON CONVICTION
Preston Citizen 28.5.08 Suspended jail term for Preston animal rights letter sender - A Preston animal lover who sent threatening letters to people and companies with links to an animal research organisation has been given a suspended jail term. Diane Jamieson, 60, of Lytham Road, Ashton-on-Ribble, was prosecuted as a result of a nationwide police investigation known as Operation Achilles… (story)
Lancashire Evening Post 26.5.08 Animal rights extremist avoids jail - An extremist who threatened to dig up relatives of people connected to an animal research lab subjected her victims to "a prolonged campaign of hate", police said today. Diane Jamieson, 60, of Lytham Road, Ashton, Preston, was given a suspended 51-week jail sentence at Preston Crown Court on Thursday… She was among 32 people arrested on May 1 2007 as part of Operation Achilles… The judge, Mr Justice Irwin, said Jamieson made "an arrogant assumption" she was in the right morally (story)
BBC News Online 22.5.08 Animal rights activist sentenced - An animal rights activist from Preston who sent threatening letters to suppliers of a research laboratory has been given a suspended prison sentence. Diane Jamieson, 60, sent anonymous letters to suppliers of Huntingdon Life Sciences in Cambridgeshire threatening to dig up the bodies of dead relatives. She admitted six counts of interference with contractual relationships so as to harm an animal research organisation. She was sentenced to 51 weeks in jail on each count, suspended for two years…. (story)
Lancashire Evening Post 22.5.08 'Hell and damnation' activist spared jail - An animal rights activist from Preston who sent threatening letters to suppliers of a research laboratory, has been spared jail. Diane Jamieson sent anonymous letters to suppliers of Huntingdon Life Sciences, in Cambridgeshire, in which she threatened their loved ones…. The 60-year-old, of Wigan Road in Ashton, pleaded guilty to six counts of "interference with contractual relationships so as to harm an animal research organisation"…. (story)
Fleetwood Weekly News 22.5.08 Animal rights threat woman 'lost the plot' - An animal rights activist from Preston who sent threatening letters to suppliers of a research laboratory had "lost the plot", a court heard. Diane Jamieson sent anonymous letters to suppliers of Huntingdon Life Sciences, in Cambridgeshire, in which she threatened their loved ones….(story)
Lancashire Evening Post 21.4.08 Woman sent hate mail to animal research organisation - A 60-year-old woman from Lancashire has been warned she may be sent to prison after admitting sending hate mail to an animal research organisation. On the day her trial was due to begin at Preston Crown Court, Diane Jamieson, from Preston, pleaded guilty to six charges concerning sending threatening and intimidating letters to Huntingdon Life Services and persons connected to the organisation… The charges were brought as a result of a nationwide police investigation, Operation Achilles, which targeted criminal activity associated with animal rights extremism. (story)
Lancashire Evening Post 3.5.07 Woman facing blackmail charge - A Preston woman has been charged with blackmail following an international investigation into alleged animal extremism. Dianne Jamieson, 59, from Lytham Road, Ashton, was arrested by Hampshire Police during raids on Tuesday morning…. (story)
Nelson Leader 3.5.07 Woman charged after animal rights raids - A Preston woman has been charged following a massive series of raids targeting alleged animal rights extremists across the UK and Europe. Dianne Jamieson, 59, of Lytham Road, Ashton-on-Ribble, who faces a charge of blackmail, is among nine people charged in connection with the raids throughout the UK and Europe…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 28.5.08 ETHICAL FIRMS WIN PET PRAISE - BRUCE SINCLAIR - Two Carmarthenshire pet food companies have been praised for their compassion by animal welfare campaign group Peta. Local pet food companies Burns Pet Nutrition, based in Kidwelly, and Cambrian Pet Foods, based in Pencader, have been included on a list of ethical pet food producers just released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Europe (Peta). The new list features companies that have pledged that they do not conduct animal testing for their pet food products… (story)

Worcester News 28.5.08 Use of any animal in a circus is wrong - Mr Luff's challenge for me to provide an example of domestic animal circus cruelty in the last five years serves nothing more than to demonstrate his ignorance on this matter… He appears to miss the underlying point I make which is that circuses using any animals merely continue to treat them as objects of profit - with which is partnered cruelty in unnatural training, housing and transportation…. Paul Crouch, Worcester. (story)
Worcester News 26.5.08 Animals should not be treated this way - Re Peter Luff MP's defence of animal circuses. He fails to take any interest in the essential matter of exploitation. Is it any business of humans to exploit other creatures for entertainment?... WENDY HANDS, Upton-upon-Severn. (letter)
Worcester News 14.5.08 Disgrace for MP to support this use - Peter Luff states "I have no objection to the use of animals like horses and dogs in circuses". It is a disgrace for an MP to support circuses which continue to use animals… P Crouch, Worcester (letter)

South Wales Echo 28.5.08 High cost of puppy farms - WE deal with the horrors of puppy farming on a daily basis and much has been written on this subject… National canine organisations are constantly bleating for funds and adding to the confusion by transporting thousands of dogs from the pounds of Ireland into the UK…. Moreen Davie, A Dog’s Life, Penarth (story)

South London Press 28.5.08 PETA hunt for louts who killed cat By Ben Clover - AN ANIMAL charity is offering a reward for the capture of thugs who drowned a ship's cat. Two women and one man crept up on Kilo as he made his way home to the HMS Belfast and threw him overboard…. Spokesman Bruce Friedrich said: "There can be no excuse for abusing animals… (story)

Leicester Mercury 28.5.08 MERCURY MAILBOX: POOR PEOPLE ARE PAYING THE PRICE FOR CHEAP FOOD - While acknowledging that constant price rises in almost every direction are causing many people a much greater financial burden than we have been accustomed to in this country in recent years, I find it necessary to comment on Rod Cree's letter… Does Mr Cree not realise that to enable him to buy the 15 eggs for £1.25, the hen, which produces it, will almost undoubtedly be a battery (caged) hen, whose whole life is spent in a tiny cage, with an allocated floor space of less than an A4 piece of paper!... Linda J Bodicoat, Earl Shilton (story)

27.5.08

Western Morning News 27.5.08 HUNTING OPPONENTS TARGET MPS - ADAM WILSHAW - Campaigners against fox hunting will be trying to unseat pro-hunting MPs and garner support for candidates who oppose the sport in marginal seats at the next General Election. Labour party member and anti-hunting campaigner Chris Gale, from Wiltshire, is coordinating the national operation, which is designed to prevent a Tory victory at the next election. Mr Gale has launched the campaign because Tory leader David Cameron has promised to allow MPs a free vote on repealing the 2004 Hunting Act… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.5.08 HUNTERS' FRIEND - I was intrigued by your story about David Cameron supporting his hunt pal, "Police will prosecute Cameron's hunt pal"… So, now you know what law and order Tory-style means! Vote for it at your peril! B Andrews, Somerset (story)

Scotsman 27.5.08 Don't blame the buzzards - Alastair Robertson shoots from the hip in linking the recovery in buzzard numbers to the decline of ground nesting birds (Magazine, 24 May). These two circumstances are not necessarily connected…. PATRICK STIRLING-AIRD, Secretary, Scottish Raptor Study Groups, Dunblane, Perthshire (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 27.5.08 ANGLING UNITY MOVES STEP CLOSER TO REALITY - Angling unity is a step nearer as angling organisations have been planning to unify into one body to represent all coarse, sea and game anglers.The Anglers' Conservation Association, The National Federation of Anglers, The National Association of Sea Anglers, The National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives, The Salmon and Trout Association and the Specialist Anglers Alliance are in the process of being coordinated by The Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust, the existing body representing these and other angling and fishery bodies… (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 27.5.08 Activists stage greyhound protest - Asha Mehta - Peterborough's greyhound stadium was the scene of a lively animal rights protest, with protesters waving placards calling for an end to racing. A group of around 16 demonstrators gathered outside the venue, in Fengate, Peterborough, on Saturday evening (May 24)…. The group, called Greyhound Action, which is based in Kidderminster, also urged people to lobby their MPs…. (story)

Blackpool Gazette 27.5.08 Marks rejects animal cruelty - Congratulations to Marks & Spencer who not only sell an extensive 'completely cruelty free' range of toiletries and cosmetics, but have now added household products from washing up liquid right through to laundry detergent and air fresheners to their range….. Josephine Harwood, Moor Park Avenue, Bispham (story)

Cambridge News 27.5.08 Cruelty is awful crime From Dr S O'Hanlon, Histon - PETER Jones speaks of "Absurd dog cruelty cases" and asks court staff to look after the public rather than "a few old dogs". ("People matter more", Letters, May 20.) Mr Jones may not be aware of the proven links between animal cruelty and other forms of domestic violence including child abuse…(story)

Glasgow Herald 27.5.08 Reward to catch killers of seals - Animal rights campaigners yesterday offered a cash reward for information that could help prosecute fish farmers who illegally shoot seals. The Save Our Seals Fund and Animal Concern have put up £1000 in a bid to track down farmers who shoot common seals in the summer breeding season…. (story)

26.5.08

Telegraph 26.5.08 Why make it easier for nutters to find MPs By Andrew Pierce - Sir Igor Judge, Lord Justice Latham and Mr Justice Blake are the judges who decreed that, from yesterday, all MPs should publish their home addresses…. Last week, Ann Widdecombe showed a film to MPs of anti-hunt campaigners being hit, sworn at, threatened with death and their cars and cameras damaged…. Only a few days later, Widdecombe was subjected to a particularly sinister threat in an email on a pro-hunting web site: "I have heard, from a very good source, that she is buying a property in -----. Maybe we could monitor her daily comings and goings. When I have her address I can forward it to anyone interested in welcoming her to her new home," it read. After their Lordships' intervention, the anonymous website bully will have that address… (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 26.5.08 Learn rural skills of old - FALCONRY, fly fishing and bagpipe making will be among the rural skills on display at this year's Royal Highland Show. The Scottish Countryside Alliance is organising a four-day programme to provide an insight into traditional skills and crafts… >(story)

Western Daily Press 26.5.08 FARMERS MUST PLAY BY THE RULES OVER TESTING FOR TB - In response to "Name and address supplied" suggesting that I do not know the facts about TB testing (Your Say, May 22), I would point out that a glance at my farm cattle register shows a very high throughput of cattle in our beef unit, all in a TB hotspot, since 1989. I could not have managed this business over this length of time without a thorough knowledge of the rules governing TB testing…. Gill Purser Cheltenham (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.5.08 WE NEED THE FACTS ABOUT TB - Brenda Dymock's anecdote about the dairy farmer who says his cattle don't have TB when housed but do when turned out to grass raises more questions than answers… when does this farmer have his herd routinely tested? If the answer is in the summer, it would be no surprise for him to only become aware of TB reactors when, by coincidence, his cattle are out grazing… Gill Purser, Cheltenham (letter)

Worcester News 26.5.08 Nothing funny for the poor creature - It was insensitive to show the two chip shop workers smiling and to quote them as saying: "We can laugh about this now". There is absolutely nothing remotely amusing about this story… An unfortunate creature met a painful death. A Simpson, Kempsey (letter)

25.5.08

Horse & Hound 25.5.08 League Against Cruel Sports sells London headquarters - The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) is relocating from central London to Godalming, Surrey, amid suggestions that the group has money problems and plummeting membership. Former LACS director-turned hunting supporter Jim Barrington says that in 1995 it had 18,000 members now LACS spokesman Barry Hugill says it has just 4,500…. (story)

Sunday Post 25.5.08 Amazing story of the fox and the hound By Craig Robertson - IT SOUNDS like a storyline straight out of a Disney film — the fox and the hound that defy nature to become the best of pals. But Ninja the fox cub and Sam the dog are very real, as our amazing photos show…. The tiny, starving cub was just days old when it was spotted suffering from severe dehydration on farmland in Cumbria. Remarkably, rather than deal with the fox in the time-honoured rural method, the farmer instead took it to the home of 66-year-old Pat Denny, who runs a small refuge at her home in Hawcoat, south Cumbria… (story on website for a week)

Independent on Sunday 25.5.08 Tough new rules brought in to curb Scottish seal killings - As headless animals are found on a Skye beach, the government takes action to stop year-round slaughter By Ian Johnston - Tough new regulations are to be introduced to curb the killing of seals by Scottish fish farmers, The Independent on Sunday has learned. The move comes as two headless seals – one heavily pregnant, the other a juvenile – were discovered last weekend on a beach on Skye… Andy Ottaway, of the Seal Preservation Action Group, said that, in the wake of the latest killings, the group would renew calls to supermarkets to sell only salmon reared by farms that use non-lethal methods to deter seals… (story)

24.5.08

Guardian 24.5.08 The stuff of dreams - Perplexed by negative perceptions of his trade, Kim McDonald tells Graham Snowdon how he is inspired by a passion for wildlife and guided by firm ethics… Soon his work began to attract the attention of the hunting and fishing brigade. Despite this bare necessity of a taxidermist's business, McDonald has never held any truck with the killing of animals for sport alone (and indeed, he disapproves of fox hunting)…. (story)

WDP SHOOTING CORRESPONDENCE
Western Daily Press 24.5.08 WORKING WITH THE COUNTRYSIDE - Graham Forsyth's letter, "Turning the persecution of pests into a sport is wrong" (Your Say, May 15) begs a response. Graham is wrong in stating that I am a shooting enthusiast.Having lived for more than 30 years in a town and having some time ago moved to the country, I can say with honesty and humility that I am a zealous protector of all things country and support personal freedom in all forms when legal boundaries are observed…. Graham's anti-bloodsport views are regularly cloaked in anti-shooting rhetoric and are two separate subjects…. Shaun Freke Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 24.5.08 TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A HUNT SUPPORTER - I Note with interest Mr Forsyth's letter (Your Say, May 15) regarding shooting. While I cannot agree with or fully understand his arguments, ranging as they do from acorns to the Olympic Games via Africa, and seasoned highly with morals and ethics, I would take up arms to ensure he can enjoy them… No prizes for guessing I am a dinosaur who shoots, fishes and, horror of horrors, supports his local hunt…. R F Herman Melksham (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.5.08 CONCERN SHOULD BE ILLEGAL GUNS - In reply to Mr Forsyth's comments on shooting, "Turning the persecution of 'pests' into a sport is wrong" (Your Say, May 15), we probably have, at present, the lowest level of legal firearms ownership in modern times. Surely the proliferation in the use of illegal handguns by criminals is the growth to be concerned about, not those in the hands of law-abiding citizens… Colin Currie, Radstock (letter)
Western Daily Press 15.5.08 TURNING THE PERSECUTION OF 'PESTS' INTO A SPORT IS WRONG - Having started this debate regarding the proliferation of guns in our society and read the responses to date, I feel I must respond to Shaun Freke's comments as Shaun is a keen shooting enthusiast. But first, my reason for raising this issue was to open the debate about the increasing use of firearms in our society…. taking a pop at clays or static targets is, in many cases, the starting point to then look for more exciting targets, and the old flawed arguments about what is a pest, and can we shoot it, starts to emerge… the promoters of many of these shooting events will always put forward the arguments that it teaches discipline and respect, together with a sense of duty. But I fear that if you get children used to handling guns with live ammunition, it introduces them to what is a lethal weapon at an age when they cannot fully understand the potential implications of the damage they can do… Graham Forsyth, Chard Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.5.08 SHOOTING HAS ITS POSITIVE ASPECTS - Graham Forsyth's letter, "Why has the shooting lobby gained all-party support?" (Your Say, May 6) beggars belief. Clearly, in an age where political parties rarely agree with each other on anything, it must been seen as a glowing endorsement for shooting that they agree and support the National Shooting Week…. He then outlines a quarry list for airguns which is disappointingly incorrect and, for someone who professes to know everything about the countryside, is surprising…. He also mentions that over- zealous keepers maintain a zero tolerance on crows, magpies and other corvids and fails to acknowledge that the RSPB is one of the main supporters behind Langholm Moor along with Natural England, the Game Conservancy Trust and Scottish Heritage where there is a policy to control foxes, crows, stoats and weasels…. Shaun Freke, Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.5.08 SHOOTING IS A CLASSLESS SPORT - In reply to Graham Forsyth's comments on shooting, the all-party support for shooting is quite simply the recognition by the House of Commons that controlled access to all forms of target shooting by young people develops the values of self-discipline and responsibility which are not easily acquired in modern society… Contrary to Mr Forsyth's foolish statement on public schools, shooting is both ageless and classless, as our junior and senior international teams are drawn from clubs representing the whole strata of society… Colin Currie, Radstock (letter)
Western Daily Press 6.5.08 WHY HAS THE SHOOTING LOBBY GAINED ALL-PARTY SUPPORT? - I am writing to express my concerns over all-party support of yet another National Shooting Week (May 3-11), a seemingly Government-backed initiative organised by the Countryside Alliance on behalf of the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC). I wonder what kind of society we are promoting as all three main political parties are now backing the National Shooting Week event….. My first main concern is the grouping of legal firearms and airguns together. The range of wildlife targets that are allowed to be taken by an airgun is as follows: brown rat, grey squirrel, rabbit, crow, rook, magpie, jay, wood pigeon, collared dove, feral pigeon, house mouse and mink…. Sometimes the odd child is used as a target, just for fun … Graham Forsyth, Chard (letter)

Mirror 24.5.08 Racing must not shy away from the whip - The whip issue reared its head again this week - and racing's leadership needs to be stronger than ever before. Tony Goodhew, the British Horseracing Authority's director of licensing and standards, has delivered a worrying message to jockeys. At York's Dante meeting he told them of the increased threat of criminal prosecution for whip abuse, arising from the Animal Welfare Act… the BHA has to be strong in demonstrating to those outside the sport that, while racing won't tolerate abuse, the whip is a legitimate instrument…. (story)

Western Morning News 24.5.08 DON'T BE MISLED BY LACK OF TB SIGNS - The Badger Trust was alarmed to see your headline that "only five of 80 dead cows had TB"…. The fact that visible lesions were not found on slaughter is irrelevant…. detailed research by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency has shown that the gamma interferon test is 97 per cent "specific". This means that 97 of every 100 positive cows are genuinely infected… The Badger Trust also rejects the claim by the NFU's Ian Johnson that "(Mr Yewdall) wouldn't have TB in the first place if it hadn't been for the badger population explosion". There is no evidence of an "explosion" in badger numbers… Trevor Lawson, For the Badger Trust East Grinstead, Sussex (letter)

Scotsman 24.5.08 Animal rights activists on warpath over goldfish bowl By LIAM CREEDON - By LIAM CREEDON - AN ANIMAL rights group has unleashed its campaign might on television station Five over the living conditions provided for goldfish that feature on one of its programmes. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said it had received several complaints about the size of a goldfish bowl on The Wright Stuff programme… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 23.5.08 Show rapped over goldfish bowl - An animal rights group has attacked TV station Five over the living conditions provided for goldfish that feature on one of its programmes. Bruce Friedrich, Peta vice president, wrote in the letter: "We have received complaints about the live goldfish contained in a small bowl on the reporter's desk during The Wright Stuff… (story)

Leicester Mercury 24.5.08 MAILBOX: NO TO ANIMALS - Mrs Faulkner (Mailbox, May 20) expresses her support for the animal circus that visited the area. The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) opposes the use of animals in circuses and has campaigned for over 50 years to end the cruelty of transporting animals, confining them to cages or stalls and making them perform in the ring…. Craig Redmond, CAPS (letter)
Leicester Mercury 20.5.08 MAILBOX: TOP MARKS FOR VISITING CIRCUS - I recently attended a performance by the Great British Circus at Glen Parva, and am writing to you to praise the healthy condition of the animals and the performances they were involved in…. All animals looked happy, well looked after and at ease with the environment. They were kept securely and humanely when in the public eye… Mrs C Faulkner, Leicester. (letter)

Manchester Evening News 24.5.08 Meat is murder - THERE has never been a better time to cut out or reduce meat products from our diet. Going vegetarian is the most effective single thing you can do to save animals, save other people, protect the environment and improve your own health…. Animals on today’s factory farms suffer enormously… JS., Hyde (letter)

23.5.08

MICHAEL FARRIN
Telegraph 23.5.08 Michael Farrin - Leading huntsman who rode with the Quorn and was considered a distinctive and iconic exemplar of the Shires tradition. Michael Farrin, who has died aged 65, was one of the most admired professional huntsmen of the postwar era, serving the Quorn for 30 years… (story)
Leicester Mercury 22.5.08 TRIBUTES FLOOD IN FOR QUORN HUNT STALWART BY NADEEM HANIF - Tributes have been paid to a renowned huntsman who led the Quorn Hunt for 30 years. Michael Farrin, 65, died at the Loros hospice, in Leicester, on Sunday after a long battle with illness. Mr Farrin, who lived in Wymondham since his retirement, developed a reputation as a skilled horse rider and was a hugely respected figure within the hunting and horse racing communities… (story)

Sentinel 23.5.08 ALL THE COUNTY'S BEST ON SHOW - Next week's County Show promises to be a superb event. A full main ring programme will include the Flying Gunners Motorcycle Display Team, the Monster Truck Display Team featuring Big Pete and the Grim Reaper, a parade of hounds and beagles featuring up to six packs on each day of the show… (story)
Leek Post & Times 23.5.08 BLUE TONGUE OUTBREAK WILL NOT HALT SHOW PARADE - Animal movement restrictions because of blue tongue disease will not prevent a grand parade of livestock at Staffordshire County Show next Wednesday and Thursday… Main ring attractions include the Flying Gunners motorcycle display team, Monster Trucks, an inter-hunt relay, vintage farm vehicles cavalcade and parades of hounds and beagles… (story)

WALTHAMSTOW GREYHOUND RACING STADIUM CLOSURE
Waltham Forest Guardian 23.5.08 CHINGFORD: Greyhounds will all be looked after – pledge By Sarah Cosgrove - NO dogs racing at Walthamstow Stadium will be harmed, according to a pledge made at a summit meeting at The Stow. The meeting between representatives of the British Greyhound Racing Board (BGRB), greyhound owners, stadium directors and its racing manager discussed the welfare of the 500 dogs currently racing at the Chingford Road dog track… (story)
Waltham Forest Guardian 20.5.08 Animal rights activists welcome stadium closure By Sarah Cosgrove - ANIMAL rights campaigners are celebrating the news that Walthamstow Stadium will close and say their campaign led to the decision to sell. The Greyhound Action group, which aims to end greyhound racing altogether, claim Walthamstow Stadium is responsible for 500 dogs being unnecessarily killed every year. UK co-ordinator Tony Peters said: "This is excellent news…. (story)
Waltham Forest Guardian 20.5.08 WALTHAMSTOW: Stadium closure may lead to dogs being put down - SOME dogs may have to be put down after The Stow calls time on racing this August. The 500 greyhounds which currently run at the Chingford Road stadium will need to find new jobs or new homes fast once racing at Walthamstow Stadium stops. Walthamstow Homing Scheme and The Walthamstow Owners Association, both of which have kennels in Waltham Abbey, Essex. But together they rehouse only three or four dogs a week…(story)
Independent 19.5.08 After 75 years, dog track has finally run its course By Jerome Taylor - For 75 years, the pink and green neon-lit sign that crowns the entrance to Walthamstow Stadium in east London has stood as one of greyhound racing's most iconic symbols… In August, however, the lights will finally go out at Walthamstow. Falling profits and attendances have forced the stadium's owners to sell the land to developers… "We are absolutely delighted to hear the news," said Tony Peters, of the Greyhound Action group. "We have been campaigning outside Walthamstow every weekend for the past year and I would like to think that has had a significant impact on attendance figures."… (story)
Evening Standard 19.5.08 Animal rights groups celebrate closure of greyhound stadium - Anna Davis - One of the finest greyhound racing stadiums in the country is to be closed down. Walthamstow Stadium will be sold to developers after its owners could not halt falling profits… Tony Peters of the Greyhound Action Group said: "We are absolutely delighted to hear the news." (story)

Bordon Herald 23.5.08 Outcry over new homes on badger site - A CONTROVERSIAL planning application to build four homes on a well-used badger site have been approved by East Hampshire District Council… Mick Neeve, from the East Hampshire Badger Group, said: “To my mind, the 14 councillors who voted in favour of moving a 50-year-old sett had not taken on board the objections raised…. (story)

Telegraph 23.5.08 Is Jane Goodall about to lose her post? By Tim Walker, edited by Richard Eden - As one of the most revered primatologists, Dame Jane Goodall has long added weight to attempts by Advocates for Animals to close zoos on the grounds of their alleged cruelty. However, she is now embroiled in a row with the group, of which she is president, after she praised a research centre that she opened at Edinburgh Zoo… Ross Minett, the campaigns director of Advocates for Animals, tells Mandrake that its governing committee will soon meet to discuss Dame Jane's role. "This is an issue where Jane and we have a difference of opinion," he says…. (story)

Ilkley Gazette 23.5.08 Cruelty claim puts paté off Ilkley menu Exclusive By Paul Langan - THE famous Box Tree restaurant in Ilkley has decided to dump the delicacy pate de foie gras because of threats from animal rights protesters. Protester Mike Harrington said Ramus and the Box Tree were the only two businesses in the town which still sold foie gras… Fellow protester Andy Ford said: "What reputable business in the UK would sell something that is illegal to produce in the UK…. (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 21.5.08 Delicacy off menu after animal protest By James Rush - The Michelin starred Box Tree restaurant in Ilkley has removed pate de foie gras from its menu in the face of protests by an animal rights group… A spokesman for Animal Rights Ilkley made the protest threat against Box Tree during a demonstration outside the Ramus fish shop in South Hawkesworth Street. Box Tree owner Rena Gueller said: "We have taken it off the menu because we don't want any aggravation. It is a shame, because a lot of people enjoy it and would like to have it… Mr Harrington said: "There is a lot of cruelty involved in the industry and it is illegal to produce it in the UK… Fellow protester Andy Ford said: "What reputable business in the UK would sell something that is illegal to produce in the UK?"... (story)

Stourbridge News 23.5.08 Shoppers boost farming charity - STOURBRIDGE shoppers gave generously and helped raise £101.62 for Compassion in World Farming, Britain's leading farm animal welfare organisation, during a street collection… (story)

22.5.08

North Devon Journal 22.5.08 EDITOR'S COMMENT - Before the hunting ban became law opinion was divided over its likely effects… The message, then, about a government that failed to understand rural England was easily discounted as being one from a group of interested individuals with a clear agenda and a bone to pick. It is unlikely that there will be such a division of opinion over the closure of rural post offices in North Devon….. (story)

NICHOLAS SOAMES' QUAD BIKE AT CRAWLEY & HORSHAM
East Grinstead Courier 22.5.08 DRIVING CHARGE 'PATHETIC', SAYS MP - KAREN STYAN - Banned driver Nicholas Soames has vowed that a court's ruling will not hinder his work. The Mid Sussex MP was banned from driving for two months after pleading guilty to driving a quad bike on a public road with no insurance. The charge related to an incident on New Year's Day when Mr Soames was following a meeting of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt… Mr Soames said he accepted the charge but felt it was "pathetic" as the journey was 40 yards. "I was hardly driving to Manchester," he added… (story)
East Grinstead Courier 22.5.08 SOAMES IS BANNED FROM DRIVING FOR RIDING QUAD BIKE ON ROAD - East Grinstead's MP Nicholas Soames has been disqualified from driving for two months for riding his Honda quad bike and trailer on a public road without insurance….(story)
Telegraph 17.5.08 Hunt saboteurs miss fox, but get Soames' scalp By Simon Heffer - The anti-hunting lobby's belief that banning foxhunting would bring an end to the sport has proved unfounded: the law is unenforceable, but the ignorance and bigotry that caused it to be passed live on. So no wonder activists look for ways to get their own back, such as by grassing up the Tory MP Nicholas Soames for taking a quad bike on the public highway for a few moments while following a hunt last winter…. (story)
East Grinstead Courier 15.5.08 MP BANNED FROM DRIVING (story)
Guardian 15.5.08 Driving ban for Tory MP's illegal quad bike ride (story)
Times 15.5.08 Driving ban for Nicholas Soames after riding quad bike on road (story)
Mid Sussex Times 14.5.08 MP Soames banned after quad bike incident (story)
Crawley Observer 14.5.08 UPDATED: MP Soames banned from driving – VIDEO - TORY MP Nicholas Soames was slapped with a two month ban after admitting driving his quad bike with no insurance. The ex Crawley MP, 60, a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, was filmed committing the offence by hunt saboteurs as he followed a New Year's Day hunt in Slaugham… Tim Hayden, defending, praised the fact that his client had cooperated with police and said that Soames' driving had been 'extremely careful'…. Speaking to the court Mr Hayden also criticised 'vindictive' hunt saboteurs for releasing the video to the media and said it had been an attempt to 'embarrass' Soames… Rosie McMahon, chairing the magistrates, said: "We have noted that it was a short distance and that it was cautiously driven…. she announced that Soames would have to pay a £200 fine, £15 victim surcharge and £35 prosecution costs on top of the two month driving ban... (story)
Argus 14.5.08 MP banned from driving over quad bike ride By Lee Gibbs - Conservative MP Nicholas Soames was disqualified from driving for two months today after he pleaded guilty to riding a quad bike on a public road with no insurance… (story)
Argus 14.5.08 MP Soames to face court on quad bike charges By Lee Gibbs – Conservative MP Nicholas Soames will appear before magistrates today on charges relating to footage allegedly showing him riding a quad bike on a public road with a child perched behind him… (story)
Kent & Sussex Courier/Sevenoaks Chronicle 17.4.08 NO SHOW AT COURT BY MP NICHOLAS SOAMES - It was a no show from Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames at Crawley Magistrates Court this week. By 9.15am yesterday (Wednesday), interest outside was growing steadily, but there wasn't to be a glimpse of the politician as the hearing was adjourned until next month… (story)
Mid Sussex Times 16.4.08 MP Soames' court appearance adjourned - Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames' appearance at Crawley Magistrates' Court has been adjourned…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.4.08 Quad bike film MP case adjourned - The case against MP Nicholas Soames, allegedly filmed riding a quad bike illegally, has been adjourned…. (story)
Crawley Observer 16.4.08 BREAKING NEWS: MP Soames' Crawley court hearing adjourned - EX-Crawley MP Nicholas Soames' appearence at Crawley Magistrates' Court has been adjourned. The Tory MP, who now represents Mid Sussex, had been summonsed to Crawley Magistrates' Court in connection with footage, which allegedly shows him riding a quad bike on a public road with a child sitting behind him…. But the case has now been pushed back to May 14 after Soames' legal team appealed for an adjournment (story)
Guardian 16.4.08 Soames quad bike case adjourned - Sadie Gray and agencies - The case against Conservative MP Nicholas Soames, who was due to face a court today over allegations that he gave three children a quad bike ride on a public road, has been adjourned. The MP for Mid Sussex was summonsed to appear before Crawley magistrates today, but the case was adjourned to May 14 at the request of the defence folowing a phone call to the court this morning, court officers said… (story)
Argus 16.4.08 MP Soames to face court on quad bike charges By Lee Gibbs - Conservative MP Nicholas Soames has been summonsed to appear in court today over footage allegedly showing him riding a quad bike on a public road with a child perched behind him… (story)
Mid Sussex Times 19.3.08 MP Nicholas Soames faces quad bike charges - Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames is facing charges after an incident involving a quad bike. Mid Sussex Magistrates Court confirmed yesterday that Mr Soames, who lives near Warninglid, had been summonsed to answer two charges at Crawley Magistrates Court on April 16.... (story)
Telegraph 19.3.08 Nicholas Soames in court over quad bike stunt By Andrew Porter, Political Editor - Nicholas Soames, the veteran Tory MP, is to appear in court over footage allegedly showing him riding a quad bike on a public road with a child perched behind him.... Mr Soames, 60, has been summoned to appear at Crawley Magistrates' Court on April 16 to face alleged insurance and safety offences under Section 40a of the Road Traffic Act, a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokeswoman said.... (story)
Argus 19.3.08 MP to be prosecuted over quad bike Exclusive By Ben Parsons - Sussex MP Nicholas Soames is to be prosecuted over the use of his quad bike at a new year's day hunt... Mr Soames was filmed driving down a road in Plummers Plain, near Horsham, as he followed the Crawley and Horsham Hunt on new year's day... Simon Wilde, the hunt monitor who took the film, said: "I do welcome the prosecution. It was very dangerous even if they had been on private land."... (story)
Crawley & Horsham 19.3.08 MP Soames faces Crawley court appearance - TORY MP Nicholas Soames has been summoned to court over footage apparently showing him riding a quad bike with a tot perched beside him. The child was filmed behind the former Crawley MP – a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill – as he allegedly towed two more children in a trailer on a public road while following the Crawley and Horsham Hunt in January… (story)
Mid Sussex Times 24.1.08 MP Soames interviewed over quad bike incident - Police have formally interviewed Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames about a quad bike incident near his Slaugham home…. Mr Soames confirmed this week: "The police have interviewed me and it will go before the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration. I expect to hear the outcome in two to three weeks." (story)
East Grinstead Courier 10.1.08 'MP WAS FORCED TO GO ON ROAD' CLAIM - Footage of East Grinstead's MP riding a quad bike on a public road has sparked controversy this week. Nicholas Soames was filmed with a child on the back of the bike, which was pulling a trailer with adults and children on board, during the Crawley and Horsham hunt on New Year's Day.... (story)
Argus 9.1.08 Contrasting views on quad bike row - Christopher Wysock-Wright (The Argus, January 7) should take a look again at the video footage of Nicholas Soames' quad bike before stating that he doubted that it lacked a number plate. It has been quite clearly filmed from the front and back and there is none visible.... I am a regular monitor of the Crawley and Horsham hunt and have often seen these vehicles racing along the lanes, usually with terrier men on board Sue Baumgardt, Stoneham Road, Hove
How much longer are you going to flog the Nicholas Soames story? On January 7, you wasted a whole page on this non-event... P Robertson, Cromwell Road, Hove (letters)
East Grinstead Observer 12.1.08 MP reported to police for riding bike on public road By Emily Bridges - NICHOLAS Soames MP has been reported to police after being filmed riding a quad bike on a public road with young children balanced on a trailer in the back. The MP for Mid Sussex was seen at the New Year's Day Crawley and Horsham hunt riding the bike, which was said to have no insurance, no tax or a number plate. Simon Wild, from West Sussex Wildlife Protection, which monitors the hunt, says he spotted Mr Soames crossing from private land on to a public road on the bike.... (story)
Argus 7.1.08 Error or personal freedom? The sight of MP for Mid Sussex Nicholas Soames driving a quad bike down a road with three children in a trailer behind has caused controversy and a police investigation. ... For some it was a gaffe too far but for others what he does in his leisure time is not up for scrutiny. Naomi Loomes reports.... Serena Tiernay, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Mid Sussex - This was a serious misjudgement on Nicholas Soames' part... Christopher Wysock-Wright, from the Countryside Alliance - "Nicholas was supporting his wife, Serena, at the hunt. Following horses and hounds on a quad bike towing a trailer is common practice... (story)
Telegraph 5.1.08 David Cameron's message to the Essex boys By Simon Heffer - Anti-hunting zealots gunning for Soames - Oh, hasn't it been frightfully funny that anti-hunting zealots should have filmed Tory MP Nicholas Soames riding a quad bike with alleged disregard for the safety of a child perched behind him, and allegedly on a public road?.... Before hunting was banned, saboteurs would turn up at meets, behave in a flagrantly criminal fashion, and the police would simply turn a blind eye... (story)
BBC News Online 3.1.08 Police probe MP quad bike footage - Police are investigating a film allegedly showing a Conservative MP riding a quad bike on a public road. A child is seen perched behind Nicholas Soames, MP for Mid Sussex. Two more children and other adults are in a trailer being towed by the quad bike. Hunt saboteurs claim the footage was shot on New Year's Day in Slaugham, West Sussex, as Mr Soames followed the Crawley and Horsham Hunt.... (story)
Mirror 3.1.08 Trailer tosh - David Cameron's Old Etonian chum Nicholas Soames is pictured towing children in a trailer on a public road.... (story)

Essex Chronicle 22.5.08 IS HUNTING BAN HELPING FOXES? - The Arrival of spring signals the start of new life but for the thousands of fox cubs born this season the future is more uncertain than ever before.The fox hunting ban was introduced three years ago to protect the animals… But pro-hunt supporter Anne Hull has hit out at claims the ban protects foxes, saying hunting is more humane than the current situation. Anne, a member of the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt, explained that the numbers have swelled since the ban was introduced and farm animals are suffering because of it….(story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 22.5.08 Pair's fox hunt fines - A man from Skipton and another from Penrith have been fined £200 each after hunting a fox with a dog and causing a dog to enter a badger sett… (story)
Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 20.5.08 Men fined for interfering with badger sett and unlawfully hunting fox - TWO men were fined £200 each after admitting charges of interfering with a badger sett near Shap and unlawfully hunting a fox in a case which was said to have cost more than £28,000. A three-day trial had been expected to begin on Monday at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court into the cases against John Joseph Bowman (19), The Chalet, Lakeland View, Greengill, Penrith, and William Smith (26), Keighley Road, Skipton. However, only minutes before the start of the trial before District Judge Gerald Chalk was to commence, lawyer Don Green, on behalf of the RSPCA, and the two defence lawyers came to an agreement on the charges and on a basis of a guilty plea on behalf of both men… Bowman and Smith pleaded guilty on the basis that, on the day, they went on to land where they had permission to carry out vermin control and during the day they had terrier dogs off the lead and also had “running dogs”. The men believed that at no time had they more than two dogs off their leads at any one time and believed this was lawful. Even if a fox had been disturbed, they had not until then realised this was unlawful under the Hunting Act 2004. They were unaware of a badger sett as they had never been on that part of land before…. Bowman was fined £200 with court costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £15. Smith was fined £200 with court costs of £200 and a £15 victim surcharge. No deprivation order was made against the dogs… (story)
Yorkshire Post 20.5.08 Man fined for hunting - A SKIPTON man and a man from Penrith have each been fined £200 for hunting a fox with a dog and causing a dog to enter a badger sett. William Smith, 27, of Keighley Road, and John Joseph Bowman, 19, of Lakeland View, Greengill, Penrith, pleaded guilty to both charges before Carlisle magistrates…. (story)

Argus 22.5.08 Wasteful humans - For many years those who support the case for fox hunting have used as one of their arguments that foxes will raid chicken farms and slaughter far more birds than they need…. The news that on average people throw away about 4,000 whole chickens every day says volumes about the idiocy of many people in our world… Simon Boyd, Newhaven Heights, Newhaven (letter)

Mirror 22.5.08 Gordon Brown vows to get tough on airguns By Bob Roberts - Gordon Brown has pledged to tighten airgun laws after a dad told him how his son died when he was shot in the eye. Andrew Picken said 12-year-old Mitchel had been playing at a friend's house where a dad had left out the rifle and ammunition… Mr Brown told Andrew, of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs: "We'd like to do everything in our power to prevent anything like this happening again."… (story)

Essex Chronicle 22.5.08 DEMO OVER RACEHORSE'S TRACK DEATH - MATTHEW WARD - Animal rights campaigners say they will protest at the official opening of the troubled Great Leighs racecourse after the death of a horse. Eight-year-old gelding St Andrews had to be put down after running just half a mile of the Epping Forest Handicap on just the third day of racing at the new course.Campaign group Animal Aid said it would hold a protest at the official opening ceremony on Wednesday…. (story)
Essex Chronicle 22.5.08 FIRST DEATH AT GREAT LEIGHS - The death of a horse so early on in the history of Great Leighs racecourse is a stark reminder that this sport comes at a price… And just so we're clear, the Chronicle supports the horseracing industry… But we welcome Animal Aid's desire to publicise the tragic cost of this business. For if it helps to make British horseracing - and local horseracing, now that we have an Essex racecourse - a safer sport, then that can only be for the good of everyone. (story)

South Wales Echo 22.5.08 Why we decided we could live without meat Abbie Wightwick, South Wales Echo - IT’S National Vegetarian Week and latest figures show that 2% of people in the UK eat no meat and a further 5% are partly vegetarian. Abbie Wightwick talks to three women about why and when they gave up meat…. WENDY Johnson has been a vegetarian for 19 years – apart from one little blip involving some sausages. The 30-year-old, who works for the RSPB in Cardiff, stopped eating meat in 1989 when she was 12…. JO Marley, 23, works as an events organiser for Quadrant in Tongwynlais and lives in Thornhill, Cardiff… “We had a personal and social education class at school and they showed us quite a graphic film about what happened in an abattoir… FFION Emyr-Bourton, 31, from Fairfield Avenue, Cardiff, works as a recorder at the Welsh Assembly. She gave up eating meat 19 years ago… "When I was about 12 I saw a whole chicken being cooked and thought that it looked too much like an animal to eat. "You’ve got more idea about the implications of eating meat at that age. I just didn’t want to eat anything with a face. I’m an animal lover… (story)

North Devon Journal 22.5.08 ON THE TRAIL OF A MEAT FREE TREAT - The Vegetarian Society, (the oldest vegetarian organisation in the world), is out to convince us this week that nourishing nosh, sans meat, is good not only for us but also the environment, writes Rosanna Rothery… We knew about the Grassroots Caf?? in Ilfracombe which has an enviable reputation for catering for those who are not of the meat and two veg mindset…(story)

21.5.08

Carmarthen Journal 21.5.08 VOTE AGAINST BLOODSPORTS - Everyone seems to be knocking Labour for just about anything and everything these days, conveniently forgetting the right old mess made by the Tories during their 18 years in power. All of a sudden, David Cameron is a knight in shining amour, ready to put everything right. including a return to the barbaric, so-called sport of killing with dogs…. I'm not asking you to vote for Labour, just those candidates opposed to killing for fun. After all, if your candidate supports a return to the dark ages, do you really think he/she will give a fig about you? Judi Hewitt, Hadley Crescent, Rhyl, Denbighshire (letter)

Worcester News 21.5.08 Drainage work is not all the farmers - Further to my letter (May 16). It is essential to clear up any misunderstandings Helen Smart has regarding hedging and ditching in the countryside and to refute her allegations that farmers are responsible for rural flooding… Since the Government introduced the Agricultural Cross Compliance rules hedge cutting is only permitted from August to the end of February. This fact might explain why I have missed all this non-existent hedge trimming which is presently under way… Jon Burgess, Malvern (story)
Worcester News 20.5.08 Time to consider views of others - Obviously John Shearon (Letters, April 28) holds very entrenched views on hunting but merely claiming something is cruel and unnecessary does not make it fact… Jon Burgess, Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 16.5.08 Artificial earths are simple and effective - In her latest anti-hunting letter (May 12) Helen Smart clearly admits there has never been a hunt-organised fox breeding programme. She then accuses virtually all farmers with some woodland of breeding foxes if they leave these areas undisturbed' during the summer. It's time Ms Smart accepted that artificial earths are not a secret, their use is both simple and effective. The earths are there to encourage foxes away from areas where they are a pest… Jon Burgess, Malvern. (story)
Worcester News 12.5.08 They knew where to find their ‘sport’ - In response to Mr Burgess' tirade against me regarding hunting and the countryside, I am sorry to disabuse him, but I was born and bred in the deepest countryside and lived in close proximity to the hunting and farming fraternity. Of course the hunt did not use cages or fertility pills, all they did was to leave a spinney or part of a wood undisturbed during the breeding season. Then, surprise, surprise they knew where to go when they wanted their cub hunting sport… HELEN SMART, Worcester. (story)
Worcester News 28.4.08 Hunting conserves British countryside - It's no wonder Helen Smart (Worcester News, April 22) is desperate for the hunting debate to disappear given her poor knowledge of rural matters. She claims hunts are guilty of breeding foxes. This accusation exposes her failure to understand the basic natural history of the fox. A vixen only produces one litter of cubs per year so how can their population be artificially increased? Perhaps she has evidence of foxes kept in battery cages and dosed with fertility pills… JON BURGESS, Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 28.4.08 Bigger picture of of chasing foxes - Jon Burgess of Malvern asks us to look at the bigger picture on fox hunting. Jon, which ever way you look at it, hunting is a cruel sport and not necessary… JOHN SHEARON, Worcester. (letter)
Worcester Evening News 22.4.08 Hunting will never be called a sport - With regard to Mr Burgess's letter (April 14), I do hope that the whole hunting debate is not going to rear it's head again. When will Mr Burgess accept that chasing, exhausting, and tearing a fox to pieces is not a sport?... HELEN SMART, Worcester. (letter)
Worcester Evening News 14.4.08 Look at the bigger picture first, please - C Stanley (Letters, April 5) needs to look at the bigger picture before offering any criticism of hunting. Before conservation became fashionable and being green' indicated inexperience, British agriculture was pressured to feed a growing nation at almost any cost. Against this trend, hunting farmers continued to maintain hedges and woods. Like it or not hunting played a vital role in preserving the countryside, our national heritage. The ban has put so much of this at risk… JON BURGESS, Malvern (letter)
Worcester Evening News 4.4.08 Fox hunting is a really cruel sport - I enjoy reading John Phillpott's articles as I find his opinions and comments are largely similar to my own. I refer to his article about fox hunting … Modern-day adversaries of the fox claim that it is a pest to farmers and should be killed. Just quite when fox hunting ceased to become a sport to become a means of pest control, I really don't know, but I suspect it was when the general public came to recognise it as the cruel sport it clearly was, and still is. C STANLEY, Worcester (letter)
Worcester Evening News 17.3.08 My book has a valid point about foxes, Foxy By John Phillpott - WORCESTER MP Mike Foster got his few minutes of fame during the great fox hunting debate…. I'm no great fan of the chase but neither am I convinced by the sincerity of some of the more politically-motivated in the antis' corner… (story)

Argus 21.5.08 Birds of prey - I was dismayed to learn that barn and eagle owls were on display at a boot fair in Wild Park, Brighton, on Saturday. The Sussex Downs Raptor Club appears to be just a travelling zoo. It is not in the owls' interest to be carted around the countryside and displayed, for whatever purpose… Denise Friend, Hythe Road, Brighton (letter)

Andover Advertiser 21.5.08 Crackdown on poachers By Dick Bellringer - POLICE officers are planning to join forces with landowners and gamekeepers in a campaign to crack down on poaching in Test Valley… (story)

Berwickshire News 21.5.08 Illegal snares blamed for death of badgers By Kenny Paterson - CAMPAIGNERS against the use of snares in Scotland say the death of two badgers horrifically killed in Berwickshire highlights the brutality of the device…it seems both badgers were killed - an illegal act in Scotland - and then left at the roadside to seem like a road kill. Ian Hutchison, Species Protection Officer for the charity Scottish Badgers, said : "We've known of badgers being dumped at roadsides for a while but this is the first incident we have found….(story)
BBC News Online 14.5.08 Dead badgers dumped at roadside - A police investigation is continuing in the Borders after two dead badgers were found dumped on a roadside. The incident took place earlier this month near Duns and it was later found that both animals had been snared. It has prompted claims from animal rights groups that people snaring badgers were trying to pass off their victims as "road kill"…. Wildlife group Scottish Badgers has voiced concerns about the incident which took place on 2 May…. It has prompted action group Advocates for Animals to renew its call for an outright ban on snares…. (story)

The Sentinel 21.5.08 BOWLED OVER BY CIRCUS ANIMALS - Yippee! The circus is coming to town this weekend. There will be clowns and acrobats and jugglers and ... performing animals.Hmm ... performing animals?... What sort of animals are at the circus? Zebras and camels and llamas and all sorts… Where are they kept at the circus? Well, fenced in somewhere I suppose.And put into lorries for transportation from site to site. Hardly a natural existence. Don't you think the animals deserve a bit better than that? Yes, but they don't know any different. That doesn't make it right…. D EARDLEY, Newcastle (letter)

Market Rasen Mail 21.5.08 People make more mess than pigeons - My partner and I were appalled to read that District Councillor Adam Duguid said he would deal with the pigeons under the railway bridges with a shotgun when someone, somewhere in the world is killed every minute due to gun crime… Deb Humphrey, The Ridings, Market Rasen (letter)

Surrey Advertiser 21.5.08 Vegan campaigner's 'harassment' charge dropped - Vita Millers - A CRIMINAL trial against an environmental campaigner from Guildford has been discontinued at the 11th hour. Monica Lilley, 57, had been due to appear at Guildford Magistrates' Court on Tuesday charged with harassment of another, in relation to offences alleged to have taken place between October 1 and November 11 last year at Holy Trinity Junior School, in Addison Road… She was given an anti-social behaviour order in 2004 which restricted her from approaching young people and talking about her ideas on food and animal husbandry. The Asbo expired in September 2006, and in late October last year she visited Holy Trinity school in an attempt to speak to pupils there and show head teacher Richard Rowe a video about a slaughterhouse. Police officers were called and Mrs Lilley was removed from the premises at the end of the school day after she refused to leave. She was later charged, but then received a letter from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last week informing her that the case had been discontinued, because it was "not in the public interest to proceed"… (story)
Surrey Advertiser 3.11.07 Vegan activist arrested again on a school site - ENVIRONMENTAL activist Monica Lilley has been arrested for the third time this autumn for causing a public nuisance on school premises. The raw vegan campaigner, whose antisocial behaviour order (Asbo) expired in September 2006, was taken away from Holy Trinity junior school on Addison Road, Guildford by police officers, early on Tuesday evening. The 57-year-old campaigner claimed that the head teacher Richard Rowe had invited her to come to the school to watch a film about a slaughterhouse, made by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals... Mrs Lilley received an Asbo in 2004 barring her from speaking to people under the age of 18 regarding her raw vegan diet and her views on animal husbandry, unless invited by an academic institution..(story)

Waltham Forest Guardian 21.5.08 Circuses are great entertainment, but not for performing animals - THE Great British Circus may not be returning to Waltham Forest but it is coming to neighbouring Redbridge…. It is disgraceful that wild animals such as lions and tigers are being kept as circus exhibits and are taken around the country in conditions completely unsuitable for them… Mark Dawes, Co-ordinator, Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party (letter)

20.5.08

Worcester News 20.5.08 Greyhounds were unjustly condemned - I was horrified to read about the greyhounds. I have re-homed two greyhounds, both ex-racers, they are gentle as lambs… These magnificent animals are constantly abused and suffer the most horrendous cruelty when they are no longer money-making commodities, and all for human pleasure!... A MUTTLEY, Worcester (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.5.08 GUILTY OR NOT? SCIENCE DOES NOT PROVE BADGERS CAUSE TB - John Vincent in his letter (Your Say, May 10) insists farmers need a badger cull to survive. This belief shows how ill-informed he is… Let's solve the problem logically and stop trying to find a scapegoat. Malcolm Clark, Wiltshire Badger Group, Devizes (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.5.08 TB-TEST CATTLE - In response to the letter by John Vincent (Western Daily Press, 10 May), farmers are going to continue to fight an uphill battle against bovine TB unless they stop being blind to scientific facts, scapegoating badgers, and wasting taxpayers' money… A Williams, Bath (letter)

Sun 20.5.08 I WAS appalled by the story about the young bull that was run over by a bulldozer. It is beyond belief that in modern Europe such animalistic and bestial rituals can be described as a sport… I urge tourists in Spain not to attend a bullfight. OLIVER SCHERRER, Birmingham (letter)

The Sentinel 20.5.08 PUBLIC CAN STOP ANIMAL CIRCUSES - Circus Mondao has rolled into town, bringing with it performing animals.These animals do not have a choice to perform, have no say in their confined living and travelling arrangements, and no chance of ever socialising with other members of their kind… Animals were not put on this earth to be used by humans. D N RIGBY, Sandyford (letter)

VIVA! BACON LETTER
Western Morning News 20.5.08 PIGS NEED SAVING - NOT THE INDUSTRY - Justin Kerswell, Campaigns Manager, Viva! (letter)
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 14.5.08 Saving our bacon - IN his tirade against the bacon trade (Mailbag, May 7), John Keswell of Viva tell us that pigs “need saving”. What for exactly, if we’re not going to eat them? Richard Huddleston, West Slaithwaite (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 6.5.08 SAVE YOUR OWN BACON - AND PIGS' - Justin Kerswell, Campaigns manager, Viva! (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 2.5.08 Food for thought - Pig farmers will, rightly, be very angry with Justin Kerswell's comments (T&A, April 30). If everybody stopped eating bacon or pork the pig population would be decimated. How many would survive as family pets?.... Philip Bird, Nab Wood Terrace, Shipley (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 30.4.08 Banish the bacon - Back off the bacon if you want to save your own and save animals! That's the message to your readers from Viva! - Europe's largest campaigning vegetarian organisation - after yet another attempt to prop up the British pig industry (National Save our Bacon' Week)…. If animal welfare doesn't do it, then perhaps self-preservation will. Eating just 50g of bacon a day can increase your risk of bowel cancer by a fifth… Justin Kerswell, Campaigns Manager, Viva! 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol, BS2 8QH (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 20.5.08 NO PLANS TO BECOME 'COMPASSIONATE COUNCIL' JUST YET - Brigg has no immediate plans to join other councils which have banned circuses, stopped the sale of foie gras and veal, and declared themselves plastic bag-free zones. Animal Aid's Compassionate Charter has been adopted by many councils, including those in Leicester, York and Brighton and Hove.But Brigg Town Council merely 'noted' the offer to join. It came from Animal Aid's head of campaigns, Kate Fowler-Reeves, who said she was urging Brigg Town Council to consider adopting the charter… (story)

19.5.08

Ilkley Gazette 19.5.08 10,000 at Otley Show in spite of chilly weather By Amanda Greaves - CHILLY weather and a reduced turnout of cattle did not stop thousands of people descending on Bridge End for the 199th Otley Show on Saturday… The Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt and the Airedale Beagles invited youngsters into the main ring to meet the hounds, another popular attraction with families… (story)

Western Daily Press 19.5.08 DEBT OR HUNTING? - IT'S YOUR CHOICE … David Cameron says he will give MPs a free vote to bring back hunting. Does he have any idea how implacable the majority of the population is to this? He will lose more votes from this declaration than he would gain from the hunting fraternity… John Smith, Salisbury, Wiltshire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.5.08 PUBLIC BACK ANIMAL TEST PROTEST - Hundreds of shoppers pledged their support for campaigners against cruelty to animals during a day of action in Exeter city centre on Saturday. The Exeter Friends For Animals joined a global protest against the testing of cosmetics and household cleaners on animals."Public support in shunning the buying of cosmetics tested on animals was overwhelming," said group member Sharon Howe…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 19.5.08 MEAT-FREE WILL BRING MORE TO THE TABLE - Soaring food prices have sparked riots and protests all around the world. But if everyone ate less meat, there would be plenty of food to go round, as KAY BYRNE reports…. But the Vegetarian Society, which today launches its annual awareness week, says there is a simple step we can all take to help solve the crisis - eat less meat… "If everyone was vegetarian there would be no more starvation in the world," said Tarakanatha Das of Swansea's thriving vegetarian cafe, Govinda's…. (story)

Blackpool Gazette 19.5.08 Animal abuse goes deeper - Re Josephine Harwood's letter (The Gazette, April 14), she is right to say finished products that do not test on animals do not imply cruelty free…. For information on attempting to live a cruelty-free lifestyle contact Blackpool Vegans - S BARNETT, Nairn Close, Blackpool (letter)
Blackpool Gazette 14.4.08 Animals are suffering - As many people are unclear on the subject of animal testing for toiletries, cosmetics, perfumes and household cleaners, may I make things clear so that readers can make choices in line with their beliefs. Some companies claim to be cruelty-free, that they do not test on animals, but the truth is, they buy their ingredients from laboratories that have already tested them on animals…. If you really care about animals… send a £3 cheque or postal order to Naturewatch… to receive their 'Compassionate Shopping Guide'…. Josephine Harwood, Moor Park Avenue, Bispham (letter)

17.5.08

Telegraph 17.5.08 Solar-powered wheelchairs: rally running on sunshine - Adrian Tierney-Jones cheers on the leading lights of a great adventure - crossing Britain in solar-powered wheelchairs - The SolaRola Adventure is a rally with a difference. There are no souped-up Skodas, no over-revved Renaults with screaming engines and screeching brakes… Drivers such as Annie Maw, who is quite literally running on sunshine…. In 2002, Maw was out hunting with the Mendip Farmers when she took a bad fall from a young horse. "I saw stars and rainbows as I landed and realised I couldn't move. I had broken my back." She now relies on her trusty Tramper, a cross-country, battery-powered wheelchair… It has been customised with a solar panel on the top and Malcolm Moss of Moss Solar Projects (which is providing several of the solar-powered vehicles) says: "This rally should make a major change to the way people see sustainable transport."…. "The hunts and the Countryside Alliance have been excellent," says Maw. "This is not a controversial event - they just want to help….. (story)

Mirror 17.5.08 Fury of worker's posed cull pictures - A slaughterman who posed like a gunman as he prepared to cull a cow has sparking fury from animal activists…. Charity Animal Aid said: "To make a joke of it and pose with a gun pretending to shoot these animals looking like a cowboy is callous and making light of an extremely serious and tragic situation."… Farmer Tony Yewdall, 73, of Bideford, Devon, had failed in a high court appeal to stop the cull and carry out re-testing… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 17.5.08 DEMO IN HIGH STREET - Animal rights protestors were due to hold a demonstration today about the use of animals in product testing. Campaigners from the Lincoln and Nottingham Animal Rights group will run an information stall in Lincoln's High Street from 11am…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 17.5.08 Animal experiments no longer pass the test for scientists By Gill Langley - EXPERIMENTS on animals have always been controversial, but probably never more so than now. Animal-based research and testing cause suffering and death for an estimated 115 million animals each year. Three million of those die in British labs…. (story)

16.5.08

Bromsgrove Standard 16.5.08 MP and cruelty to animals - Julie Kirkbride MP has recently signed a parliamentary petition against whaling, also advertising in your paper that she has adopted one. If she is in opposition to this type of cruelty, it is curious that she still believes in the right of fox hunters to callously maim and kill innocent animals for the sake of a 'bit of fun'… J Bennett, Bromsgrove (letter)

Cannock Chase Post 16.5.08 Getting the bird at science day displays - Students at Chase Academy were treated to a Falconry dis-play when the Hagley Falconry Centre took centre-stage at their recent Science Day…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 16.5.08 Simon Hart: Fighting to save the heart of rural Britain - A GOVERNMENT report announcing the hastening decline of community life in the countryside comes as no surprise to those who have been living and working within rural communities for the past 10 years. The report, conducted by Oxford University and published by the Department of Communities and Local Government, has followed warnings from Stuart Burgess, the Government's "rural advocate", that poorer residents in rural communities were suffering ev en more disadvantage through the gradual reduction and removal of essential services in their towns and villages… (story)

Warwick Courier 16.5.08 Plant sale By Robert Collins - Gardeners can attend a fundraising plant sale and open day at Sherbourne Park on May 18. More than 6,000 plants from around the Midlands will be on display at the event, in aid of the County Air Ambulance, the Countryside Alliance and All Saints church, Sherbourne…. (story)
Leamington Observer 8.5.08 House opens for plant sale - GARDEN lovers will be in their element at Sherbourne Park near Warwick on May 18. The Plant Sale and Garden Open Day, in aid of the Countryside Alliance, County Air Ambulance and All Saints Church at Sherbourne, takes place between 10am and 3pm…. (story)

Horse & Hound 16.5.08 Help for Heroes fundraiser sets off on epic 1,255 mile walk - Amy Mathieson, H&H news writer - Countryside Alliance (CA) fundraiser Andrew Bruce will be embarking on a 1,255 mile walk today (Friday 16 May) to help raise money for Help for Heroes — a charity which helps badly injured servicemen returning from Iraq and Afganistan….. He is aiming to raise money for a new £5mill hydrotherapy pool and gym at Headley Court Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey. And he has already raised £32,000…. (story)

DEVON COUNTY SHOW
Torquay Herald Express 16.5.08 SHOW'S TASTE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE - The threatened downpours held off for the first day of the Devon County Show yesterday… Countryside advocate and TV chef Clarissa Dickson Wright highlighted the importance of local produce. She was speaking as she signed copies of her autobiography from the Countryside Alliance stand… (story)
Western Morning News 16.5.08 'BADGERS ARE VERY GOOD EATING - Clarissa Dickson Wright is perhaps the only celebrity chef with a recipe called B******s to Blair. Adam Wilshaw spoke to her at the county show and heard about her plan to tackle the bovine TB crisis - by making badger pies - There is very little that's middle-of-the-road about Clarissa Dickson Wright - and so it was natural that she seemed very much at home in the Countryside Alliance tent at the county show on Thursday…. (story)
Western Morning News 15.5.08 SAVOUR THE FLAVOUR OF COUNTY SHOW - LOUISE VENNELLS - Thousands of visitors are expected to pour through the gates of Devon County Show today for a flavour of the best the region has to offer… Food presenter Clarissa Dickson Wright, one half of the Two Fat Ladies TV duo, will make an appearance on the Countryside Alliance stand and author and former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo will talk about his charity, Farms For City Children… >(story)
Western Morning News 14.5.08 'FAT LADY' CLARISSA SIGNS ON AT EVENT - Author and cook Clarissa Dickson Wright will be a guest on the Countryside Alliance stand at the show, signing copies of her autobiography Spilling the Beans… She is also a supporter of rural life and pursuits. She lives in Scotland.In September 2007, she was charged under the Hunting Act for allegedly hunting hares with dogs in North Yorkshire. A date has still to be set for the trial… (story)

Accrington Observer 16.5.08 Badger Barry is big screen star - BARRY the badger, who met his tragic end in Accrington, has been brought back to life in a Walt Disney film…. London company Framestore CFC, which has worked on the Harry Potter films and the latest Bond movie, needed a real badger to help it create a character called Trufflehunter for the film. The company, which specialises in making computer- generated images for TV and film, approched the Lancashire Badger Group which came up with Barry… Badger group chairman Paul Shoreman, of Cattle Street, Great Harwood, pictured, said: "Barry was picked up by a special car sent from London and after four months of movie work was returned by train….Sun 16.5.08 WHAT a lovely story about Chilli the 6ft 6ins bullock… He was lucky not to have ended up as dinner. WENDY KEELAN, Streatham, SW London (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.5.08 MOON BEARS ESCAPE UNHURT - An animal charity is appealing for help to fund the clean-up operation and animal rescues in the devastated Sichuan province in China. The Animals Asia bear rescue centre in China is 90 miles from the epicentre of the earthquake… Founder Jill Robinson, from North Somerset, flew out to the province earlier this week…. (story)

Hackney Gazette 15.5.08 CIRCUS CONTROVERSY - CALLS for performing animal circuses to be banned from the borough were made this week after the only circus in the UK with an elephant was allowed by Hackney Council to pitch its big top in two public parks… While peaceful protests have taken place, the circus strongly refutes any allegations of cruelty or ill-treatment and claimed it had been the target of more sinister attacks from the Animal Liberation Front. It reported extremists slashed tyres and spray-painted circus vehicles at the weekend and claimed Scotland Yard's special Branch were investigating…. (story)

15.5.08

Eastern Daily Press 15.5.08 Lessons in the countryside - ROBYN GREENACRE - For many it was their first foray into the countryside and a unique chance to explore a whole new world. Yesterday 850 pupils from across Norfolk spent the day seeing a whole host of countryside activities, from fishing to ferrets and a saw mill to sheep farming. Countryside Classroom is an initiative set up by the Countryside Alliance in a bid to educate people about the great outdoors, and its eighth annual event took place at Sennowe Park, Guist, near Fakenham…. Children from 19 schools visited the stately home to learn about game fishing, bees, arable farming, see the North Norfolk Harrier Kennels, and even have a talk about forestry from park owner Tom Cook… (story)

Ryedale Gaette & Herald 15.5.08 All the fun of the fair By David Jeffels - THOUSANDS of people attended the Pickering Game and Country Fair, now established as one of the top outdoor events in the Ryedale calendar… (story)

Telegraph 15.5.08 Fred J Taylor - Author who shared his wisdom about angling and other aspects of rural life. Fred J Taylor, who died on May 7 aged 89, became one of Britain's best-known countrymen as the author of a stream of books and articles on fishing, rabbiting and other aspects of rural life; for more than half a century he informed, educated and amused successive generations of lovers of the great outdoors… (obituary)

Telegraph 15.5.08 Agent provocateur - The start of the mating season has left Ed Mead feeling all hot and bothered - So, spring seems to be here at last. Thank God homo sapiens has evened out its mating season, but there are many other animals for whom this time is their only shot at procreating…. . We've all seen the documentaries about urban foxes, but most people never come across them and probably think it's all rather cute, a touch of the country in London… Without wishing to reopen the hunting debate, they are a real pest. I put a flyer through the doors of my immediate neighbours, and within hours had replies from many thanking me for doing something about the problem…. (story)

News Shopper 15.5.08 To the point - KIND DONATIONS: Animal Aid would like to thank the people of Bexleyheath and Eltham for their generosity in raising more than £531 at a street collection on April 26… JOHN DAY, Animal Aid, Collection Co-ordinator (letter)

Daily Post 15.5.08 Badger culls spark tourism boycott ultimatum by Andrew Forgrave, Rural Affairs Editor - A PRO-badger boycott of Welsh tourism is to be orchestrated by an animal lover who organised a similar protest against the culling of hedgehogs in Scotland. Steve Rudd, from West Sussex, is publishing a pamphlet called “Brock's Benefit” which will outline why people should give Welsh tourism and Welsh products a miss…. (story)

Western Morning News 15.5.08 TB TESTS CALL CONDEMNED A demand by the Badger Trust that all cattle travelling to agricultural shows should be subject to a pre-movement TB test has been condemned as ridiculous by farming organisations. The trust's call has been timed to coincide with the opening day of the Devon County Show, heralding the beginning of the agricultural showing season in the region…. (story)

West Briton 15.5.08 WHY SWEET TURNS SOUR FOR KIRSTY, 12 - A young girl has banned a make of confectionery from her house after reading claims that one of the world's largest producers tests its products on animals. Kirsty Atkinson, 12, of Redruth, came across a website which alleges that the company Mars funds tests on animals to discover the effects of its chocolate. The confectioners, however, refute any suggestion that they do anything that harms animals.Kirsty, who attends Pool Business and Enterprise College, said: "I got really against animal testing so I put that phrase into Google and it came up with the website. I sent Mars an e-mail to let them know what they are doing is wrong."…. Kirsty's friend Louise Law, 11, said: "It's not fair for them to be testing on animals and they're not like humans. They won't get the same reactions from rats anyway."… (story)
Wrexham Leader 12.5.08 Flintshire schoolgirl campaigns to ban Mars from school - By Amy Illingworth - A LEADING confectionery company has denied a Flintshire schoolgirl's claims that it is involved in animal testing. Gaby Trotter, 11, a pupil at Mold's Alun School, has asked her school to ban Mars products, and has set up her own website amid fears over animal welfare… (story)

Cambrian News 15.5.08 Rescue centre accused of link to ‘puppy farm’ - A LAMPETER animal rescue centre has been slammed by other groups in the area after it emerged that it has been taking dogs to kennels that were raided by the RSPCA. Ty Agored Animal Sanctuary revealed in a recent newsletter that they had taken border col-lies to the Gypsy-run kennels in Chippenham… Kathy Clements, spokesperson for Border Collie Rescue UK said: “It was brought to our attention that collies were being taken from Ty Agored Animal Sanctuary in Cribryn to Oak Tree Farm, Kington St Michael, Chippenham, which is a known puppy farm. “The RSPCA and police res-cued about 20 dogs from the farm on 17 October 2007…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 15.5.08 MERCURY MAILBOX: SAVING DOGS - Harborough Animal Concern is helping a dog sanctuary in Serbia where dogs are being saved from killing by dog catchers…. If you sponsor a dog, you will receive a certificate with a picture of the dog you have paid to have neutered… Jean Bird, Kibworth Beauchamp. (letter)
Harborough Mail 1.5.08 Support sanctuary to save dogs from brutal killings - HARBOROUGH Animal Concern is helping a dog sanctuary in Serbia where dogs are being saved from brutal killings by dog catchers… . You can save puppies from dying on the streets by sponsoring a dog to be neutered… Please send cheques payable to Harborough Animal Concern to Jean Bird, 7 Cedar Close, Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicestershire LE8 0HY… (letter)

Western Daily Press 15.5.08 CRUEL FACTS ON FOIE GRAS - With reference to Chris Rundle's article, "What's wrong with foie gras?" (Farm Talk, May 7), I will attempt to explain. To produce foie gras (fatty liver), male ducks are force- fed from the age of eight weeks…. Mike Mason, Vegetarian, North Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.5.08 PAINFUL TRUTH BEHIND CRUEL FRENCH FOIE GRAS INDUSTRY - Chris Rundle has got it wrong on several counts on foie gras, "So is foie gras worse than this?" (Western Daily Press, May 6). Foie gras production is not approved at European level - in fact, the European Union's Scientific Com mittee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare found the production of foie gras grossly detrimental to the health of force-fed birds…. Justin Kerswell, Viva!, Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.5.08 SO FOIE GRAS IS WORSE THAN THIS? - Political correctness has reached the realms of lunacy when catering colleges ban their trainee chefs from working with one of the best gastronomic products in the world. I refer to that gourmet delight foie gras, the engorged liver of ducks or geese. The animal rights activists are now attempting to stigmatise it to a point where eating the stuff will rank only second to cannibalism… outdated images of birds having food rammed down their throats with a stick or a hand-held mill are probably what have helped to whip up the opposition. The reality, as I witnessed on Christine and Ronald Joutet's foie gras farm near Toulouse last week, is somewhat different…. The ducks in the demonstration unit displayed no sign of fear, pain or discomfort, or even reluctance to be fed. Yet this is a process which the zealots would have us believe is cruel, even barbaric, even though it is approved and protected by EU law…. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.5.08 SHOP SUPPORTS VEGGIE SCHEME - A devon wholefood shop is preparing to take part in National Vegetarian Week. Joshua's Harvest Store, in Ottery St Mary, will play a major part in the week, which runs from May 19 to 25.Store owners Mark and Jude Essame's interest in fruit and vegetables… (story)

Matlock Mercury 15.5.08 Cromford cafe serves meat-free feast - Vegetarians will be flocking to Cromford to celebrate a week dedicated to meat-free fans.bScarthin Books will be taking part in National Vegetarian Week and Derbyshire Food and Drink Festival… Jules Goodman, from the cafe, said: "As we are a veggie cafe we thought this week would be a good way to promote it…. (story)

14.5.08

ANN WIDDECOMBE CALLS FOR LICENSED MONITORS
Mirror 14.5.08 Anne Widdecombe attacked by pro-hunting bullies By Graham Brough - Tory Anne Widdecombe told yesterday of the "terrifying" moment her car was kicked by pro-hunting bullies. She revealed video of anti-hunt campaigners being hit, sworn at, threatened with death and their cars and cameras damaged. And she added: "I was in a car being very violently booted and it is terrifying."… At a heated meeting in the Commons, she repeatedly challenged Countryside Alliance leaders to condemn the bullying on the film. They would not comment - although its head Tim Bonner said later: "I condemn completely any activity which is illegal."… (story)
Western Morning News 14.5.08 TORY MP WANTS HUNT MONITORS TO BE LICENSED - MATT CHORLEY AND LYN BARTON - Teams of camera-wielding monitors trailing huntsmen and their hounds should be licensed to ensure the legal ban is enforced, veteran Tory MP Ann Widdecombe has said. A film screened in the Houses of Parliament yesterday showed scenes of what the former minister claimed were breaches of the ban on hunting with dogs. She insisted those behind the film, shot over the last three years, were "not hunt saboteurs" but simply monitoring the hunts… Jim Pascoe, chairman of North Cornwall's Four Burrow Hunt, condemned Ms Widdecombe's idea as "insulting"…. (story)

Western Daily Press 14.5.08 HUNTING DAY OUT WITH A DIFFERENCE - As Wallace and Gromit might say, "it's a grand day out" to attend a lawn meet with as much booze and as many sandwiches as you can stuff away in half an hour… . How many of these ardent followers and supporters have any actual experience of the sights, sounds and smells when a deer, fox or hare is hunted and killed? It is not a pleasant picture… Name and address supplied (story)

Telegraph 14.5.08 HOME SECRETARY v BRITISH UNION FOR THE ABOLITION OF VIVISECTION & ANR - Queen's Bench Division Eady J April 25, 2008 - The appellant secretary of state appealed, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 s. 59, against a decision of the Information Tribunal. The breeding and supply of animals for scientific procedures was governed by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and the Home Office was responsible for related regulation…. The division responsible introduced a policy that tried to balance confidentiality with freedom of information requirements: applicants were asked to submit abstracts of their projects for the Home Office website. Shortly after the new policy began, the first respondent (B) sought, under the 2000 Act, further information on certain applications… ISSUE - How far information needed to be made available to the public. HELD (appeal allowed)… It was clear that the government deliberately retained s. 24 of the 1986 Act when repealing provisions before the 2000 Act, and did so as the scientific community had been concerned about confidentiality if it was repealed. Thus, the court should probably assume that s. 24 was included to provide additional or parallel protection to that in s. 41 of the 2000 Act and its effect should not be diluted…. (story)

Argus 14.5.08 A cruel nation for animals - The shocking report of the man who battered Chopper the cat and threw him in the river to die (The Argus, May 8) confirms yet again the RSPCA's figures that animal cruelty is on the rise in Britain…. this cat was murdered and the maximum six-month penalty makes a mockery of our smug idea that we are a nation of animal lovers. Sue Baumgardt, Stoneham Road, Hove (letter)

Droitwich Spa Advertiser 14.5.08 Spare our badgers - I AM writing to draw attention to the current predicament of badgers… Badgers have been blamed for the spread of TB in cattle. There is no doubt that some badgers are infected with TB and that TB in cattle is a serious concern. There has been an independent scientific enquiry into their control; the results were not in favour of culling…. Tessa Carrick, Bromsgrove (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 14.5.08 TWO DEAD BADGERS FOUND INSIDE BAG - Two dead badgers were found dumped by a road in Healing. Grimsby man Paul Day (43) was horrified when he found the animals on Wells Road after pulling in close to a sub-station to answer a call on his mobile phone… "I used to belong to a badger group and badger baiting does go on in the area… (story)

Scotsman 14.5.08 Missing herd of alpacas found By GARETH EDWARDS - A HERD of stolen alpacas have turned up – less than a mile away from where they disappeared. The Evening News told yesterday how the animals vanished from their field near Uphall, with police suspecting thieves used a truck to whisk them away… Mrs Wallace, 65, said police suggested to her that animal rights campaigners may have freed the creatures… Libby Anderson, political director of animal rights campaigners Advocates for Animals, said the incident may have been caused by "extreme, misguided" campaigners, but condemned the action… A police spokeswoman confirmed that they were still investigating the incident…. "As well as the gate being smashed, the animals appear to have been carefully herded or transported." (story)

Hackney Gazette 14.5.08 Meat is murder - Thank you to your headcase columnist Ed Case for owning up to his violent past and revealing the guilt that most thinking meat-eaters feel at placing greed and selfishness above doing right…. Daniel Alexander, Victoria Park Road (letter)

13.5.08

Western Daily Press 13.5.08 ALL-ROUND SUPPORT FOR REPEAL OF ACT - It is interesting the recent letters concerning the Hunting Act contain three calls for its repeal from three very different viewpoints. The Countryside Alliance's Tim Bonner's condemnation of the law, "Hunt support is growing" (Your Say, April 25) is fairly predictable, as is James Barrington's call for it to be replaced by a law banning all forms of cruelty, "Hunting act in need of repeal" (April 24). What is a little more remarkable is Peter Bunce, a hunt monitor of many years' standing, declaring the law is not working… One of the many problems with the Hunting Act is that it makes humane means of wild animal management employing dogs illegal… Let's have a Government capable of admitting to and remedying its mistakes. Giles Bradshaw, South Molton, Devon (letter)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 13.5.08 Countryside pursuit? - WHAT is it about this Labour government that makes them hate our green and pleasant countryside? At every verse end on any flimsy excuse they are doing their best to rid us of it. They virtually abandoned the farmers when they had the wholesale slaughter of animals in the foot and mouth disease epidemic. They spent hundreds of hours debating the outlawing of fox hunting when there were far more serious issues to discuss… It will not be long before the view of Great Britain from the satellite will resemble a lump of concrete. mrs n clarke, Almondbury (letter)

12.5.08

Times 12.5.08 The Queen and I: relations with the royals - Cherie Blair - While the Queen is very approachable, I can't say the same about Princess Margaret, whom I met several times at Balmoral…. My relationship with the Queen's only daughter went rapidly downhill and never recovered ... the reason, I think, was less our slightly awkward first meeting than her perception that it was me who was egging Tony on with the ban on foxhunting, Anne having very strong feelings about the matter. She made it very clear to me when Tony and I attended a state banquet at Windsor Castle while the Bill was going through Parliament. Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, on the other hand, who also had strong views on the subject, were extremely civilised about it. As for me and foxhunting, animals have never really been a passion of mine, so what happens to the ruddy fox completely passes me by. It's people I'm interested in… (story)

Guardian 12.5.08 The myth that is hawks v doves - How sad that Simon Jenkins should have such muddled and prejudiced views on the so-called battle between songbirds and raptors (Battle of the birds, May 9). The only real battle is between virtually all Britain's birdwatchers, ornithologists and conservationists on one side, and a small but vocal lobby group, with a vested interest in reducing raptor populations, on the other…. Stephen Moss, Mark, Somerset
Simon Jenkins suggests red kites are responsible for "devastating the small mammal population of the Chilterns". Unusually, he is talking bunkum. The kite prefers carrion, mostly provided by motorists running down local wildlife. Steve Rodrick, Chief officer, Chilterns Conservation Board (letters)
Guardian 9.5.08 In the battle of the birds, whose side are we really meant to be on? Flourishing, protected populations of raptors are wreaking carnage on Britain's songbirds - and ripping apart the RSPB - Simon Jenkins (story)

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE ON HOUSEBUILDING ON FLOOD PLAINS
Blackpool Gazette 12.5.08 Flood 'timebomb' By Nick Hyde - THOUSANDS of new homes on the Fylde could be at risk from a flood "timebomb", according to a new report…. Today, the Countryside Alliance released figures stating that 5,500 new homes are planned on land owned by Fylde Council – but that council officers had failed to reveal whether they would be at risk…. (story)
Sheffield Star 10.5.08 '450 homes for flood-risk spots' By Richard Marsden - HUNDREDS of new homes could be built in parts of Sheffield in danger of flooding - despite changes to planning policy meaning new developments should not happen in high-risk areas. Campaign group The Countryside Alliance revealed that of 28,550 properties waiting to be built in the city, 450 are on the flood plain…. (story)
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 9.5.08 ‘Thousands of houses at high flooding risk’ by Barry Gibson - CAMPAIGNERS have warned that thousands of new houses are planned on Yorkshire’s flood plains. New figures released by the Countryside Alliance show 2,735 new homes are due to be built in high-risk areas… (story)
Wakefield Express 9.5.08 Flooding timebomb for city? - A FLOODING timebomb is ticking away for more than 2,000 new homes in the region – but none of them are in Wakefield, according to council chiefs. Figures released to the Countryside Alliance by 17 local authorities under the Freedom of Information Act showed at least 2,735 new homes were being planned for construction on flood plains or in flood risk areas…. (story)
Cumberland News 8.5.08 No flood plain housing By Linzi Watson - CUMBRIA is bucking the trend in the north west by shunning housing developments on flood plains. Countryside Alliance figures show more than 11,800 homes throughout the north west are set to be built on known flood risk areas… (story)
Evesham Journal 8.5.08 We're ready for flooding By Steve Mather Wychavon is better prepared than most parts of the country to deal with future flooding problems, it was claimed this week…. The Countryside Alliance also released figures this week with a warning that more than 3,500 homes in the West Midlands are planned for construction on flood plains or in flood risk areas…. (story)
Birmingham Post 8.5.08 Midland homes still being built on floodplains By Shahid Naqvi - Thousands of new homes in the West Midlands are being built on floodplains and are in danger of ending up "unsaleable, uninhabitable and uninsurable", it has been claimed. The Countryside Alliance claimed the region faces a "flooding time-bomb" after discovering 3,655 new homes are earmarked to be constructed on floodplains or flood risk areas… (story)
Bristol Evening Post 8.5.08 FLOODING FEARS FOR NEW HOMES - Thousands of homes are set to be built on vulnerable flood plains in the Bristol area, it has been claimed. Pressure group the Countryside Alliance said details obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that 3,856 new houses were planned for places in the former Avon area where flooding was a threat…. (story)
Western Morning News 8.5.08 FLOOD PLAIN HOMES FEARS - MATT CHORLEY LONDON EDITOR - Severe floods could hit hardest in rural areas because the funding system to pay for defences is biased towards protecting towns and cities, a major new report has warned…. According to the Countryside Alliance's figures, West Devon Borough Council has 270 homes planned for flood plains, Restormel around six, Devon County Council some 278 houses and North Cornwall District Council confirmed "some" would be at flood risk but no numbers were given… (story)
Newcastle Journal 8.5.08 ‘Threat of flooding’ to new homes by Ben Guy, The Journal - THOUSANDS of families could see their homes flooded because the Government is failing to carry out proper risk assessments, a country group has claimed. The Countryside Alliance is warning of a “ticking timebomb” of uninsurable homes because of houses built in areas that are likely to flood… (story)
Northern Echo 8.5.08 ‘Time bomb’ homes built on flood plains By Andy Walker - PROPERTY developers are sitting on a flooding time bomb, it was claimed yesterday after it emerged that thousands of homes could be built in high-risk areas of the region… The figures given by local authorities relate to October and November last year, but were only made public by the Countryside Alliance yesterday… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 8.5.08 7,000 HOMES SET FOR RISK AREAS - More than 7,000 new homes could be built on floodplains or in flood-risk areas, it has been revealed.Figures released to the Countryside Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act show at least 7,244 new homes in the South West are planned for construction in these zones… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 8.5.08 NEW HOMES IN FLOOD PLAIN PLAN - Ten per cent of planned new homes in Devon are on the site of flood plains, new figures have revealed. Statistics released to the Countryside Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act show that Devon County Council plans 273 new homes on flood plains or in flood risk areas out of a total of 2,693 planned new homes… (story)
Kent Messenger 8.5.08 Thousands of homes caught in 'flood time bomb' - Thousands of homes are planned in parts of Kent liable to flood - but no one knows exactly how many. The warning has come from the Countryside Alliance which says there is a potential "time bomb" of uninsurable homes…. (story)
Shropshire Star 8.5.08 Homes planned for flooding risk areas By Rural Affairs Editor Nathan Rous - Hundreds of homes in Shropshire could be built on flood plains and are in danger of becoming “unsaleable, uninhabitable and uninsurable”, it was claimed today. The Countryside Alliance said that despite changes to Government planning policy in 2006 to ensure flooding is taken into account at all stages to prevent inappropriate development, thousands of homes were already planned in at-risk areas…. (story)
Kent Messenger 7.5.08 Use less water or else! Yes, shortages are in the pipeline by Samantha Payne - We have all heard it before. Take a shower instead of a bath ... do your bit for the environment and so on. But such minor lifestyle changes could be vital for the people of Kent. Water authorities are warning that unless residents start using less water in the county we could face a water shortage in the next 25 years. Ironically, it comes as another report reveals that more than a quarter of a million homes in the south east are planned in flood risk areas. The Countryside Alliance says it could become a time bomb of thousands of uninsurable homes… (story)
24dashcom 7.5.08 Thousands of new London homes 'to be built in flood risk areas' - Published by Jon Land - Tens of thousands of new homes could be built on areas at risk of flooding across London, it was claimed today. The Countryside Alliance said figures obtained from London boroughs following a Freedom of Information request showed more than 43,000 homes were planned for construction on flood risk areas or flood plains…. (story)

Crewe & Nantwich 12.5.08 Will election candidates commit to 'No Animal Testing'? - WITH the Crewe and Nantwich by-election coming up on the 22nd, I would like candidates to make commitments about animal experimentation… I hope that, at the very least, all of the candidates will commit to introducing a cruelty-free purchasing policy for their constituency office… Sara Cooper, (Nantwich) (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 12.5.08 Grey squirrels in south facing a cull By Sam Reeves - A team of countryside officers is being dispatched to the south of Scotland to tackle a threat to the native red squirrels. Four control officers are being appointed to try to prevent the spread of a deadly virus which is carried by grey squirrels but is fatal to the reds… Ross Minnett, spokesman for Advocates for Animals, said: “It is morally questionable to kill grey squirrels to save red squirrels… (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 12.5.08 TAMING TRICK FOR SAVAGE GILT - MAY I please correct the wrong impression your correspondent makes regarding "farrowing crates". Before using crates, my wife and I farrowed two sister gilts (first litters). Both proved nasty and after each piglet was born the gilt got up to savage it. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to bring into the outside run two old tea chests and heat lamps which were ready for the piglets… We then knew that with pain and uncertainty gone, the gilts would accept the piglets. All were returned to the gilts and we lost none…. A. E. Hand, Brayfield Road, Littleover. (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 6.5.08 SHOCKING WAY TO TREAT PIGS - I have become aware of a shocking example of the cruelty of factory farming: The pig farrowing crate…. I urge the people of Derbyshire to stop eating the meat produced in this barbaric way. For information on factory farming and the alternatives, contact Viva!.... Victoria Martindale, Exeter House, Derby. (letter)

Lancashire Evening Post 12.5.08 No animals harmed in Cobble Hey fair - I am astounded at Julia Pilling's comments about the pig "race" at Cobble Hey Farm on Bank Holiday Monday. It is apparent Julia wasn't even there. If she had been she would have seen that the pigs were in no way forced to race…. Afterwards everyone could go and watch the pigs happily grazing… Jane Ogden, Preston, via email (letter)
Lancashire Evening Post 8.5.08 Pigs get distressed when forced to race - I read your website every day and think it is excellent. I was, however, distressed to see an article and video on pig racing… The article does not reflect the great opposition that there is to this pactice. Pig racing causes the animals great distress…. Julia Pilling, Bamber Bridge, via email (story)

11.5.08

Sunday Times 11.5.08 Country life: how to blend in with the locals - Whether it's a country manor, castle or barn, your home's origins still matter - if not to you, then to the rest of the village, says Rachel Johnson… How to blend in with the locals 1 Never lock your back or front door in the country. Your house must be open at all times in case someone has fallen from their horse during the chase and needs a large drink, which they will expect to be offered before medical assistance or the use of your telephone… 9 When the hunt churns up your meadows and breaks your gates down, rush out beaming and sweetly offer doubles all round… (story)

Sunday Times 11.5.08 'Eco-warrior' Prince Philip attacks big families DIPESH GADHER, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT - He has championed youth achievement and the conservation of wildlife. Now the Duke of Edinburgh has turned his thoughts to solving the global food crisis…. Philip, international president emeritus of the World Wide Fund for Nature, has been passionate about conservation work for many years. He is at pains, however, to point out the difference between conserving species and the “huge emphasis” placed on animal welfare today. The distinction provides him with a defence for more bloody country pursuits, such as pheasant shooting and fox hunting…. (story)

Sunday Times 11.5.08 Greyhound breeder offers slow dogs to be killed for research - DANIEL FOGGO - The largest breeder of greyhounds in Britain is offering to sell healthy young dogs to be killed and dissected for research, an investigation has found. Charles Pickering told an undercover reporter that his breeding programme continually throws up dozens of “fit and healthy” dogs that are “just a bit too slow for the tracks” and therefore a financial burden to him. Pickering, who offered to sell them for £30 each, said he was helping to supply dogs to the animal teaching hospital at Liverpool University. He provides yearling greyhounds to Richard Fielding, a greyhound trainer, who gives his older dogs for free to university veterinary staff, who put them to sleep and remove organs for teaching and research…. (story)

Swindon Advertiser 11.5.08 Animal rights campaigners fight for moon bear - IN A few months' time, pictures of a modern cosmopolitan New China will be beamed around the world and all our eyes will be on the 2008 Green Olympic Games in Beijing… but what you may not know is that in this modern city and many other Chinese cities there is a traditional medicine lining the shelves of shops, and this is called bear bile…. Jill Robinson, who founded Animals Asia, will be speaking at a Charity Fundraising Evening at the Pagoda Palace on Friday June 13. Tickets cost £35 including dinner, auction, cabaret and disco… (story)

10.5.08

Western Daily Press 10.5.08 WHY WEST FARMERS NEED A BADGER CULL - I Must confess to being rather irritated by some people's seemingly obsessive preoccupation with the fate of foxes and badgers…. The over-zealousness of badger groups, hunt monitors and their like has been nicely sent up by the writers of Little Britain… John Vincent Sherborne Dorset (letter)

Independent 10.5.08 Cameron the killer - I note David Cameron considers himself and his Tories "progressive" (Opinion, 9 May). However, there are millions of people in the UK who care deeply about animal welfare who may disagree with that label to describe anyone in favour of living creatures being ripped apart in hunting activities… Peter Collins, Animals CountLondon EC4 (letter)

9.5.08

Pink News 9.5.08 EXCLUSIVE: Rebel Labour MP's seat could go to gay candidate By Tony Grew - A leading Labour party activist has said he is "flattered" by approaches from party members asking him to stand in Vauxhall. The current MP, Kate Hoey, caused outrage among Labour members in London when it was announced during the Mayor of London election campaign that she had agreed to become an adviser to Conservative Boris Johnson if he was elected… PinkNews.co.uk has learnt that Gavin Hayes, the general secretary of left-leaning pressure group Compass, is being touted as a more viable challenger to Ms Hoey… Many people are furious with Kate's record, not just this latest thing with Boris. She continues to campaign against the ban on fox hunting, which doesn't go down well in inner London…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 9.5.08 SANCTUARY IS THROWN A LIFELINE - A Wildlife sanctuary given the boot from its base has found a new home.Cotswold Animal and Wild Bird Rescue was left stranded when it was told to get off its Beeches Road site at Cirencester… Now it's been thrown a lifeline by The Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre at Somerford Keynes. The two ventures will merge. It means Paul Richardson, who has poured 17 years into building up and running Cotswold Animal and Wild Bird Rescue, can continue his personal crusade… (story)
Wilts & Glos Standard 17.1.08 Bird sanctuary accused of trespass By Andy Woolfoot - AN ANIMAL rescue charity faces closure after being told by a children's charity it is trespassing on the land it has occupied for the last 15 years. The Cotswold Animal and Wild Bird Rescue, based on Beeches Road, Cirencester, has been contacted by the Cirencester Opportunity Group (COG) which owns the land and has given the rescue centre until May to find a new home.... Paul Richardson, manager of the sanctuary, said: "It is sickening... (story)

8.5.08

North Devon Journal 8.5.08 KINGDOM'S WARM-HEARTED, GENUINE PASSION AND A PROFOUND SENSE OF PLACE - His latest series attracted more than two million viewers each week, and as I wait to meet TV wildlife's man of the moment, die-hard fans are already queuing round the block just to get their moment with him.It has been a busy few weeks for Johnny Kingdom, as he has been on a whirlwind tour of the Westcountry, promoting his new book Bambi and Me - a deer in the family… (story)
North Devon Journal 8.5.08 HIS VIEWS ABOUT THE COUNTRYSIDE - Moving on from Bambi I asked Johnny about his views on the countryside. Although he wouldn't directly share his views on badger culling he did say: "I do vote Conservative because I love country life, and I can't go into it too much but I think they must get it right… Where fox-hunting is concerned Johnny said: "Oh I can never mention that, my agent would come at me with a rock, but this is what I say: we welcome everybody onto Exmoor, but they must leave alone country life, because this is our home." (story)

West Briton 8.5.08 ARTICLE ON BIRDS WAS UNFAIR AND EMOTIVE - W t SWEET Mawgan - 'Callous few destroying wildlife', West Briton environment page, last week. COLIN Gregory's optical article did nothing but promote the RSPB's latest unsubstantiated and highly emotive attack on gamekeepers and sporting estates.By quoting extracts from the RSPB's latest provocative press release where it explicitly accuses gamekeepers of 'systematically wiping out' birds of prey, attention must be drawn to the fact that not a single gamekeeper has ever been prosecuted in England for the offence of shooting or killing by other means, a bird of prey… (story)

Dundee Courier 8.5.08 Licensing would be ‘virtually impossible’ - LICENSING AND control of the more than half a million air weapons in circulation throughout Scotland would be “virtually impossible,” a top Tayside police officer said last night. Deputy Chief Constable Kevin Mathieson was speaking at the conclusion of the high-profile summit on firearms…. “There are estimates that in Scotland there are between 500,000 and 750,000 air weapons in circulation…and to move to licensing all of those would be virtually impossible.”… Describing yesterday’s meeting as, “really useful,” Mr Mathieson added, “The safety of the public is the imperative, but we recognise as well that there are legitimate reasons for people to have possession of firearms.” (story)

Northern Echo 8.5.08 Birds of prey - IN his letter regarding the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and birds of prey (HAS, May 1), Alistair Mitchell says managed grouse moors have more nesting waders than the RSPB moorland reserve in Cumbria. As the RSPB does not engage in the wholesale eradication of all predators, by legal or illegal means, it is logical that a moorland managed by gamekeepers will have a higher density of waders… Eric Gendle, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough. (letter)
Northern Echo 1.5.08 Birds of prey - ERIC Gendle (HAS, Apr 25) wonders where my figure (HAS, Apr 16) of 800 breeding pairs of hen harriers in the UK came from. Well, I can tell him that my figure comes from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) itself…. Alisdair Mitchell, On behalf of the National Gamekeepers' Organisation, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham (letter)
Northern Echo 30.4.08 Birds of prey - ALASDAIR Mitchell, writing on behalf of the National Gamekeepers' Association (HAS, Apr 26), makes a ridiculous attack on the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds… He claims that birds of prey numbers are at an all time high, but omits to state that they are recovering slightly from all time lows due to many years of persecution… Eric Gendle, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough (letter)
Northern Echo 27.4.08 Birds of prey - RE "Birds of prey at risk from gamekeepers'" (Echo, Apr 22). The exploitation of birds of prey for fundraising purposes by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) plumbs new depths. Recently, it sent a direct mail cash appeal to members, using the supposed plight of these glamorous species as the hook. It also distributed press releases, embargoed to ensure publication coincided with the direct mail for maximum marketing effect… The facts are: of the UK's 15 species of bird of prey, the populations of 14 are stable or increasing, with most (including the hen harrier) at or near their highest levels in living memory…. while gamekeepers play a major role in conserving declining species, the RSPB is smearing them with scare stories about birds of prey to fill its coffers. Alasdair Mitchell, on behalf of the National Gamekeepers' Organisation, Barnard Castle, Co Durham. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 8.5.08 Government’s snare decision branded ‘a mockery of democracy’ - Scottish ministers were last night accused of making a “mockery of democracy” by refusing to listen to public opinion and ban the use of snares Animal rights activists are furious that they are refusing to change the law despite the fact that 7,182 out of 7,192 people who have lobbied the Scottish Government on the issue since last May have called for it… League Against Cruel Sports spokeswoman Louise Robertson, said last night: “It is absolutely staggering that the will of so many people was clearly ignored in the government’s decision to allow snaring to continue. It makes a complete mockery of democracy.”… (story)

Berwickshire News 8.5.08 Your article on tail docking of dogs (Dog breeders find way round tail docking law, 30/4/08) implies that people may be taking dogs from Scotland where tail-docking is banned to England where docking of working dogs is still legal, so that their dogs' tails can be removed. Anybody doing this should be reminded that the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 makes it an offence to take an animal from a place in Scotland for the purpose of having a prohibited procedure, such as tail-docking, carried out on the animal at a place outwith Scotland…. ROSS MINETT MSc BSc (Hons), Campaigns Director, Advocates for Animals, 10 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh. (story)

Newcastle Journal 8.5.08 ‘You’re letting our countryside down’ by William Green, The Journal - MINISTERS are consistently failing rural communities in the North East, experts from the region claimed yesterday…. Last night, regional Countryside Alliance director Richard Dodd said Defra had always been an “unwieldy” department since replacing the Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Farming in 2001…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 8.5.08 Jill’s brush with death - WHEN little Jill the badger was discovered in a garden starving, distressed and homeless, her future prospects looked bleak. But now the 10-week-old orphan is on the slow road to recovery thanks to round-the-clock care offered by Norton animal rescuer, Jean Thorpe… She added: "Badgers are protected by law and this policy by the Welsh Assembly has nothing to do with science. I have yet to see evidence which proves the benefit of killing these protected species… (story)

Western Daily Press 8.5.08 NO EVIDENCE FOR CULL OF BADGERS - I strongly object to any "culling" or extermination of badgers to deal with bovine TB as was announced by the Welsh Assembly on April 8…. It seems the badger has been designated a political scapegoat to appease powerful farming lobbyists, groups who dismiss all scientific findings that are contrary to their unfounded prejudices. Martin Quigley, Hereford (letter)

Forester 8.5.08 PET RESCUERS - WE ARE VICTIMS OF WITCH HUNT - Pet rescuers Stella and George Harris say they are victims of a witch hunt following a damning TV documentary.After the sudden closure of their scandal-hit sanctuary in Staunton, near Coleford, the elderly couple say animal rights activists are using bullying tactics to get them to rehome their menagerie…. Their Westlea Animal Rescue, which ran as a charity for 12 years from Upper Beaulieu Farm and as an informal centre for 10 years in Pontshill, closed last week, just before BBC West's critical Inside Out was aired last Friday…. Sheila Nevile from Symonds Yat, who volunteered for Westlea five years ago, appeared in the documentary and criticised conditions at the centre… , Mr and Mrs Harris say they had nothing to do with fundraising because they were busy with day-to-day care of rescued animals. They also stand by their now- resigned treasurer Derek Holland… The nine-strong Western Animal Rights Network from Gloucester say they will continue their vigil until Mr and Mrs Harris give up their pets. Chris Dowdeswell from the group said: "I don't deny Westlea has done good work in the past but evidence shows it ended up unable to function properly… (story)
BBC News Online 2.5.08 Rescue centre 'mismanaged money' - A Gloucestershire animal rescue centre has closed after evidence of serious financial mismanagement was uncovered. Derek Holland, trustee of Westlea Animal Rescue, stood down after admitting he failed to declare more than £34,000 in the charity's accounts. The BBC also found up to £600 a week raised from a shop run by the centre's owners was not being accounted for…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 8.5.08 MIKE GOES WILD WITH BEARS - He diced with death to help save captive bears in Romania, but Swansea's Mike Cullis is determined to do it all over again, as KAY BYRNE reports… Mike, from Dunvant, was moved by magazine pictures last year of bear cubs being released from tiny concrete and iron cages. So moved, in fact, that he decided to raise funds to help the project, and last September set off on a visit to the sanctuary… (story)

Bath Chronicle 8.5.08 ROO-FUL PUB TAKES BURGERS OFF THE MENU - Kangaroo is no longer on the menu at a popular Bath pub. The Pig and Fiddle in Saracen Street has stopped serving gourmet burgers made from the marsupials after pressure from Bristol-based vegetarian campaign group Viva…. (story)
Bath Chronicle 1.5.08 PUB IS ASKED TO TAKE KANGAROO BURGERS OFF MENU - A Bath pub popular with rugby fans and famed for its gourmet burgers has been asked to take kangaroo off the menu.A vegetarian campaign group from Bristol is hopping mad that the Pig & Fiddle in Saracen Street includes meat from the marsupials. Members of Viva! have written to the pub opposing the use of roo meat because they say the way the animals are killed for the trade is barbaric. The group says they are often shot during night hunting parties and many are clubbed to death as babies…. (story)
Western Daily Press 29.4.08 JUMPING ON KANGAROO MEAT SALES - A PUB popular with rugby fans and famed for its burgers has been asked to take kangaroo off its menu. A vegetarian campaign group from Bristol is hopping mad that The Pig and Fiddle in Saracen Street, Bath, includes kangaroo meat. Members of Viva! have written to the pub claiming the way the animals are killed for the trade is barbaric…. (story)

7.5.08

Western Daily Press 7.5.08 WHERE DOES LAW STAND? - Fox hunting is illegal. Why does the Countryside Alliance and its supporters think that cruelty to animals, as in hunting, will ever be made legal again? I think that the police are turning a blind eye to fox hunting but, if the participants were ordinary working class people, it would be much different…. R Neale, Charfield, Gloucestershire (letter)

RSPB BIRDS OF PREY REPORT
Guardian 7.5.08 Our birds of prey are not being pushed to the brink of extinction - Populations of all but one of Britain's 15 species are either stable or increasing, says Alasdair Mitchell - You reported that birds of prey are "subject to systematic attacks by owners and staff on shooting estates" (Survival fight for eagle and hen harrier - two birds of prey close to extinction in England, April 22). Yet your readers might be surprised to learn that no gamekeeper has ever been convicted of persecuting hen harriers (or eagles) in England. "Last year," you stated, "two hen harriers were shot in flight over the Queen's estate at Sandringham." Although this was widely reported at the time, it probably never happened… It later emerged that two wild grey geese (among other legal quarry) had been lawfully shot at the time and place in question…. Of course there is some illegal persecution of birds of prey, carried out by a minority of gamekeepers and others. Our organisation condemns illegal persecution. But there can be no excuse for demonising gamekeepers as a whole. Alasdair Mitchell is a farmer, journalist and media adviser to the National Gamekeepers' Organisation (story)
York Press 4.5.08 Killers of birds of prey rapped By Nadia Jefferson-Brown - A CAMPAIGN has been launched to stamp out the illegal killing of birds of prey, which a charity claims is rife on the North York Moors. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is challenging landowners and land managers to support its campaign after research shows that raptors are being slaughtered in large numbers… (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 5.5.08 Campaign against killing of birds By Nadia Jefferson-Brown - A CAMPAIGN has been launched to stamp out the illegal killing of birds of prey, which a charity claims is rife on the North York Moors. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is challenging landowners and land managers to support its campaign after research shows that raptors are being slaughtered in large numbers… (story)
Cumberland News 25.4.08 Birds of prey at risk - EXPERTS claim there were 15 reports of birds of prey being “persecuted” in Cumbria last year. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) also says two species are under threat in England because of persecution by gamekeepers… (story)
Harrogate Advertiser 25.4.08 Shame of North Yorkshire's 'killing fields' - MORE birds of prey were killed in North Yorkshire last year than anywhere else in northern England, says the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)…. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) said in a statement this week that it unequivocally condemned all persecution of birds of prey … (story)
Telegraph 23.4.08 RSPB accused over birds on flagship reserve By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has been accused of hypocrisy after its flagship reserve in Cumbria was officially revealed to have the lowest numbers of moorland birds in the region. The RSPB has been conspicuous for its criticism of grouse moor owners for allegedly persecuting birds of prey… However, a survey of 17 moorland areas by the Government's conservation advisers, Natural England has found that the RSPB's 12,000 acre reserve at Geltsdale, Cumbria, had lower-than-average densities of all important moorland birds, compared to neighbouring keepered moors… The only birds that was more plentiful on the RSPB's moor were the carrion crow - a predator species culled on most grouse moors - for which Geltsdale had double the average, grasshopper warbler and reed warbler, which are not typical moorland birds… (story)
Manchester Evening News 23.4.08 Birds of prey 'just flying fundraisers' - Don Frame - CLAIMS that rare birds of prey are being wiped out by gamekeepers and sportsmen have been rebuffed by the Countryside Alliance. The RSPB, which has launched a campaign to boost numbers of species such as golden eagles and hen harriers, has been accused of an `organised and cynical publicity exercise' to boost funds…. Spokesman Tim Bonner said: "The hen carrier population in the north west, and throughout England, is actually increasing, and not one single person has been prosecuted for killing such a bird in recent years. The RSPB has significant problems in maintaining membership, and this would seem to be an attempt to drum up interest and support… The Gamekeepers' Organisation slammed the RSPB's allegations as grossly unfair and misleading… A spokesman for The British Association for Shooting and Conservation said sportsmen and conservationists must work together to bring about an increase in the numbers of birds of prey… (story)
Carlisle News & Star 23.4.08 Rare birds of prey are persecuted in county By Nick Griffiths - EXPERTS claim there were 15 reports of birds of prey being “persecuted” in Cumbria last year. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) also says two species are under threat in England because of persecution by gamekeepers…. (story)
Independent 22.4.08 Birds of prey face persecution By Margaret Davis, PA - Birds of prey are being killed illegally in large numbers across the UK, according to the RSPB. The charity launched a campaign today to boost the numbers of birds such as golden eagles, hen harriers, buzzards and peregrine falcons. The birds are being killed in national parks including the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and the Peak District, as well as country estates… The charity blames gamekeepers and people who shoot for sport for "systematically wiping out these iconic species"…. (story)
Guardian 22.4.08 Gamekeepers accused of persecution by RSPB - Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent - The survival of two of Britain's most distinctive birds of prey, the golden eagle and the hen harrier, is being threatened by widespread and illegal persecution by gamekeepers, the country's largest conservation charity says. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds warned yesterday that both birds are close to extinction in England because of systematic attacks by owners and staff on shooting estates, particularly in the counties of Northumberland, Cumbria, Yorkshire and Derbyshire… (story)
Times 22.4.08 Gamekeepers accused of 'wiping out' birds of prey - ALEXI MOSTROUS - The RSPB has accused gamekeepers in the UK of “systematically wiping out” iconic species of birds of prey. The charity is today launching a campaign to boost the numbers of birds such as golden eagles, hen harriers, buzzards and peregrine falcons. They claim the birds are being illegally killed on grouse moors in the uplands of North of England and Scotland by gamekeepers anxious to protect their red grouse stock…. (story)
Northern Echo 22.4.08 Birds of prey ‘at risk from gamekeepers’ By Andy Walker - HUGE numbers of birds of prey are being illegally killed in the region, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) reveals today… The RSPB has not revealed the exact number of birds being killed, but its blames gamekeepers and people who shoot for sport for "systematically wiping out" the species…. (story)

NATIONAL TRUST REJECTS BADGER CULL
Carmarthen Journal 7.5.08 ASSEMBLY HAS THE POWER TO CULL BADGERS - ARTHUR WILLIAMS - The Assembly has the power to carry out a badger cull even if landowners oppose it, Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said last week. The National Trust, which has 50,000 hectares in Wales, has said it would be "unlikely to participate in a voluntary cull" because of its concern about its scientific basis…. (story)
Carmarthen Journal 7.5.08 FARMERS WELCOME BOVINE TUBERCULOSIS STRATEGY - MEYRICK BROWN - The action plan for the eradication of bovine tubercolosis in Wales, as officially announced by the Assembly, has been welcomed by livestock farmers who fully recognise the urgent need for adequate surveillance, optimum bio-security and further tightening of movement controls…. (story)
Western Morning News 3.5.08 BADGER CULL NOT BEST OPTION - The National Trust, as an organisation with a very significant involvement with agriculture in Devon and Cornwall, remains sympathetic to the impact of bovine TB on our farming industry… While we are not necessarily against culling badgers, the conclusions from the findings of the Independent Science Group are that culls in localised areas (such as that proposed in Wales) are unlikely to be effective… We support a multi-faceted approach to tackle bovine TB, including steps to improve cattle surveillance and control, and support for the GB vaccination programme… Mark Harold National Trust Director Devon and Cornwall (letter)
Daily Post 30.4.08 Threat to impose cull of badgers by Tom Bodden, Daily Post - RURAL affairs minister Elin Jones said yesterday that the Assembly Government had the legal powers to impose a badger cull against the opposition of landowners - The National Trust, which has 123,000 acres in Wales, said it was “unlikely to participate in a voluntary cull” because of its concern about its scientific basis. Ceredigion AM Ms Jones said there were “legal opportunities” to enforce her planned pilot cull if hostile landowners objected to it on their premises… (story)
South Wales Argus 30.4.08 Assembly can carry out badger cull - The Assembly has the power to carry out a badger cull even if landowners oppose it, Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said today. The National Trust, which has 50,000 hectares in Wales, has said it would be "unlikely to participate in a voluntary cull'' because of its concern about its scientific basis. Ms Jones told the Cabinet's weekly press briefing there were "legal opportunities'' to enforce her planned pilot cull if hostile landowners objected to it on their premises… (story)
Western Morning News 29.4.08 TRUST WILL NOT CULL BADGERS - ADAM WILSHAW - The National Trust will not co-operate with a proposed cull of TB-infected badgers, provoking fury among farmers battling to control an epidemic of the disease in cattle. The charity, a powerful landowner and lobbying voice with more than 3.5 million members, said it did not intend to help with an imminent badger cull in Wales - or any similar operation in England…. (story)
Western Mail 29.4.08 Badger culling’s out on Trust land by Sally Williams, Western Mail - CONSERVATIONISTS at the National Trust plan to scupper the badger cull in Wales. The cull is being proposed by the Welsh Assembly Government in a bid to wipe out bovine TB in cattle. But leaders of the trust, which owns and manages large swathes of land across Wales, said they do not believe there is a scientific case for killing badgers in cattle TB hotspots… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 29.4.08 FARMERS AND NATIONAL TRUST CLASH OVER BADGER CULLS - The National Trust is facing conflict with its own tenant farmers after saying it would not to co-operate with planned badger culls unless forced to.The trust, which owns almost 60,000 hectares in Bovine TB hotspots, has attacked plans for a targeted cull in Wales as counterproductive and ineffective.... (story)
Guardian 28.4.08 National Trust saves badgers but angers farmers - James Meikle - Officials at the National Trust say they do not plan to cooperate with the forthcoming badger cull in Wales and others that may follow in England, potentially creating a significant hurdle for the government… (story)

Brentwood Gazette 7.5.08 BADGERS AT RISK FROM CRUEL SPORTS - Spring is the time of year when badger cubs are emerging from their underground setts…. Badgers and their setts are also at risk due to cruel blood sports… The Essex Badger Protection Group is looking for volunteers to help protect badgers… Frank Last, Chairman, Essex Badger Protection Group (letter)

Brentwood Gazette 7.5.08 CULLING NOT THE ANSWER - If the Government decides to cull badgers in the belief that it will control the spread of bovine TB the Protection of Badgers Act will be trampled on. It has never been proved that badgers give TB to cattle… Mrs GE Fitzgerald, Summerdale, Billericay (story)

6.5.08

Western Daily Press 6.5.08 COURAGEOUS KATE'S A MATCH FOR THE WHIPS - Fearless Kate Hoey, the Labour MP for Vauxhall, is one of the few Members who do not kowtow to the parliamentary whips. Her Labour colleague, Frank Field, is another, as was the late Gwyneth Dunwoody. Ms Hoey bravely opposed the hunting ban some years ago, she has risked her life going to Zimbabwe undercover, and much more recently she has offered to be sports adviser in London to Boris Johnson…. (story)

Western Daily Press 6.5.08 HUNTING IS BEST FORM OF CONTROL - Well, you can always rely on a letter about hunting to make the blood boil. In reply to "Just no excuse for fox hunting" (Your Say, April 21), I am, in fact, a very down to earth type of person and certainly do not live in "cloud-cuckoo-land" as M Harvey suggests. The fox, pretty as it is, is still vermin and a ruthless killer. And, in my opinion, hunting is the best form of fox control… So we must agree to disagree. Meanwhile, we all hunt legally and foxes continue to suffer. Liz Burrett, Marlborough, Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 2.5.08 MOST HAVE OPEN VIEWS ON HUNTING - A Palmer says "Hunt ban is here to stay" (Your Say, April 19). For the welfare of the fox I hope not. Are we no longer supposed to think about hunting pre-ban?... Liz Burrett, Marlborough (letter)
Western Daily Press 21.4.08 JUST NO EXCUSE FOR FOX HUNTING - The letter sent in by Liz Burrett (Your Say, April 14) in my opinion was a disgrace. To say that hunting is not cruel shows that this person lives in cloud cuckoo land… M Harvey, Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.4.08 ACCEPT HUNT BAN IS HERE TO STAY - Liz Burrett says that she has hunted for years ("A mistaken view of hunt", Your Say, April 14). Well, maybe so, but hunting is now over… Ms Burrett says death to the fox is instantaneous. Well, I know that this is not always the case…. The ban is here to stay so get over it. A Palmer Dursley (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.4.08 A MISTAKEN VIEW OF HUNT …When in pursuit of a fox, hounds are not "out of control" as Mr Bralte suggests, nor would there be a "trail of blood" as Mr Bralte stated.If hounds had caught the fox it would have been a quick, instant death. The fox would not have escaped to be able to leave a trail of blood. Death is instantaneous… (letter)
Western Daily Press 3.4.08 DEATH THROES OF POOR FOX - In reply to Ray Bird's letter, "Hunt ban has not saved fox" (Your Say, March 19), he has again stated that people that oppose the hunt are prejudiced. How many times do we have to tell people like Mr Bird that genuine animal lovers are sickened when they see what violence the hunts inflict on many species of animals?.... Walter Bralte, Midsomer Norton (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.3.08 HUNT BAN HAS NOT SAVED FOX - After reading the report headlined "Coming face to face with the other side" (Western Daily Press, February 2), I felt this was probably a case of double standards. Like most people, these so-called hunt monitors no doubt abhor those paparazzi that constantly pursue pop stars, royalty, etc, and have no sympathy for them when the celebrity retaliates by giving them a shove or tells them to "go away". On the other hand, they themselves seem to find it perfectly acceptable to do the same thing to hunting people, including children, and then cry wolf to the police about intimidation... As for those with genuine animal welfare concerns, they need to wake up to the fact that the ban is not saving the life of a single fox.... Ray Bird, Acton Turville, Gloucestershire (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 6.5.08 HUNTS SHOULD NOW SEE SENSE - When will the pro-hunt minority recognise that the Hunting Act means what it says? The disgraceful incident near Newton Abbot on March 8, when hounds ran across both carriageways of the A380, can only confirm misgivings about the dubious practices of 'trail hunting'. If these people intended to keep within legal limits, they should have kept the beagles on a pre-arranged line of artificial scent and promptly called back any leaving the line…. KATHERINE WATSON Stockport, Cheshire (letter)

ON A WING AND A PRAYER REPORT
Daily Record 6.5.08 Campaigners want more protection for Scotland's birds of prey - COUNTRYSIDE campaigners yesterday demanded more protection for birds of prey. It came after figures showed more than 50 of the birds were poisoned in 2007, including a golden eagle in the Borders last August…. (story)
Manchester Evening News 6.5.08 'Stop killing birds of prey' - CONSERVATIONISTS and countryside groups called today for greater efforts to stop the illegal killing of birds of prey. A coalition including the RSPB, RSPCA, National Trust, British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the Ramblers Association demanded increased enforcement of laws protecting birds such as golden eagles and hen harriers. A report by the groups, On a Wing and a Prayer, said many of the UK's 15 bird of prey species all but vanished in the last two centuries as a result of persecution and poisoning by pesticides such as DDT… (story)
Scotsman 6.5.08 'Act now to rescue Scotland's birds of prey' By Jenny Haworth - DOZENS of conservation groups have banded together to call for efforts to tackle the illegal killing of birds of prey to be stepped up. They want laws protecting the birds to be properly enforced. The 26 groups, including RSPB Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland, the Ramblers' Association Scotland and the SSPCA, made their demand in a joint report, On a Wing and a Prayer… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 6.5.08 DON'T PREY ON BIRDS – COALITION - A coalition of conservation, countryside and welfare groups has called for increased efforts to tackle the illegal killing of birds of prey. In all, 26 organisations, including the RSPB, National Trust, the Ramblers' Association and the RSPCA have put their names to the call, contained in a new report on birds of prey.The report, On a Wing and a Prayer, celebrates the recovery of many species since the days when they almost vanished…. (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 6.5.08 Crackdown on bird of prey killers By Nichola Workman - Increased efforts must be made to tackle the illegal killing of UK birds of prey, according to a coalition of conservation, countryside and welfare groups. Twenty-six organisations, including RSPB Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland, and the Scottish SPCA, have made the appeal which is contained in a report on the status of the country’s birds of prey…. (story)
Western Morning News 6.5.08 END SLAUGHTER OF OUR BIRDS OF PREY - EMILY BEAMENT - Conservationists and countryside groups in the Westcountry are today calling for greater efforts to stop the illegal killing of birds of prey. A coalition including the RSPB, RSPCA, National Trust, British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Ramblers' Association have demanded increased enforcement of laws protecting birds such as golden eagles and hen harriers….(story)

Western Morning News 6.5.08 KILLING PREDATORS WILL PRESERVE NOTHING - On APRIL 22, your article "Hunting could save birdlife" publicised the views of the Game Conservation Trust. Before readers allow themselves to be misled by the inclusion of the appealing word "conservation" in the name, remember that it is preceded by the word "game". In other words, the conservation they are primarily interested in is of those species shot for sport, and they have an infallible record of publishing findings which support hunting and shooting…. To promote activities which cause suffering to predators amounts to a malign influence in the countryside, ignoring the true cause of the destruction of species - interference in the balance of nature due to humans, not least their selfish and cruel disposition to use wild animals for "sport". Penny Little, Great Haseley, Oxfordshire (letter)

Glasgow Herald 6.5.08 Taking a new angle in breast cancer treatment - GORDON MACK - Liz Allen, a social work manager from south London in her early fifties, was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2006. Her condition demanded major surgery - bilateral mastectomy and lymph-node removal - followed by intensive chemo- and radiotherapy…."I recognised there was a danger of becoming permanently ill'", she says. "I needed something to mark the end of all the treatment, something positive that I could focus on." That something turned out to be fly fishing. And the catalyst was a just-launched UK charity programme called Casting For Recovery, which provides free weekend angling retreats specifically for breast-cancer victims…. The Countryside Alliance (CA) has injected £50,000 so far into the programme. Fishing tackle manufacturer Orvis supplies equipment and some hotels have donated entire weekends. With up to five applications arriving every week, demand for the free all-inclusive retreats is already such that places have to be allocated by ballot…. (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 6.5.08 Angling to stay out of trouble by Katie Campling, Huddersfield Daily Examiner - A HUDDERSFIELD fishing club is inviting people to come and try their hand at the sport. And members also hope it will give local youngsters a new interest and divert them away from possible trouble. Low Hills Angling Club at Lindley is keen to get people who have never tried fishing involved in the activity…. (story)

Times 6.5.08 Modern Morals - JOE JOSEPH - Walking on a public footpath recently, I saw a rabbit that had been snared by a poacher and was throttling itself. Were it not for a number of still moments when it gave a harrowing squeal and regarded me quite calmly, I'd never have prised open the snare. Was I meddling? My sense of conscience is complicated by the fact that I greeted the man (and played with his dog) who I think put the snare in… It is morally right to stop bad people from doing wrong. But that is not always the same thing as going around each day dispensing the most moral good that you can. Was it right to liberate the rabbit? It might have been. But had you quizzed the man, you might have been more sure (story)

Glasgow Herald 6.5.08 Britain’s farmers will soon be needed in a way not seen since the Second World War - Those who extol the virtues of vegetarianism show ignorance of what good and balanced agriculture is all about. Three-quarters of Scotland's land mass is unsuitable for grain production. Grazing beef cattle and sheep have a part to play in the management of land. Feeding these animals involves by-products from various activities, namely brewing, bread production, biscuit manufacture and vegetable processing. All would be dumped if not used in this way….. A Eccles, High Pinmore, Maybole (story)

Guardian 6.5.08 Feathers fly over Peta anti-KFC ad - Mark Sweney - The advertising watchdog is investigating an ad by animal rights group Peta that shows KFC's Colonel Sanders spattered in blood and about to knife a chicken, after a complaint that it was offensive and could distress children… (story)

Wigan Observer 6.5.08 Why the RSPCA opposed the cull of ruddy ducks - Whilst I was interested and in agreement with most of the letter headed "No reason for cull of ruddy ducks" I must clarify the last sentence when the author inferred that the RSPCA supported the cull. The RSPCA has in fact clashed with conservationists on the unjustifiable motives for most culls; including that of badgers and ruddy ducks. Furthermore, we will no doubt continue to do so in future whenever conservation bodies put the survival of one favoured species above the right of individual members of other species to enjoy the freedom to live without unjustified human interference… Bill Stubbs, Branch Manager, RSPCA Wigan, Leigh and District (letter)
Wigan Evening Post 27.3.08 No reason to continue Ruddy Duck shootings - Not only is the Ruddy Duck cull a waste of taxpayers' money, it is also pointless…. Judith Smith, County Bird Recorder, Greater Manchester (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 6.5.08 Let's see zoo back up its big claims over conservation - FOLLOWING recent concerns raised by a number of animal welfare groups about Edinburgh Zoo's plans to begin breeding chimpanzees in its new Budongo Trail exhibit, the zoo issued a statement to the press from its CEO David Windmill claiming that "95 per cent of the mammals in our animal collection are endangered"…. A report by the Born Free Foundation published in 2006 found that around 62 per cent of the mammal species held in 13 of the more "prestigious" zoos with charity status in the UK (which included Edinburgh Zoo) were actually in the category of lowest risk of extinction in the wild. Born Free Foundation, Foundry Lane, Horsham (story)

5.5.08

Horse & Hound 5.5.08 Spotlight falls on hats worn by hunt servants - Abigail Butcher, H&H news editor - The Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) is reviewing whether hunt staff should be asked to wear hats with chinstraps. Letters have been sent to selected hunt staff consulting them on their views as part of a wider look at headgear and the implications of wearing — or not wearing — chinstraps… The Duke of Beaufort's kennel huntsman Tony Holdsworth feels people should be given the choice… Tony Wright of the Exmoor said he wouldn't hesitate to wear a chinstrap if it became compulsory for insurance reasons, but would prefer not to wear one…. But Roderick Duncan, retiring this year after 19 seasons as huntsman of the Grove and Rufford, believes the MFHA should encourage people to wear chinstraps…. (story)

Western Morning News 5.5.08 A cull would not be based on sound science and would antagonise the vast majority of the public against farmers… We all want an end to TB in cattle - but culling badgers is not the way forward… Elizabeth James, Chairman, on behalf of the Dorset Badger Group (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 5.5.08 REALITY CHECK ON TB FACTS NEEDED - Having been on the old badger TB panel, I'm totally amazed at the surreal nature of the current debate on badger culls.Even senior vets and farming "experts" seem to think the only point of testing cattle is to find badger TB hotspots, cull them - problem solved…. While I have every sympathy with farmers tied up with TB, it's about time they and vets have a bit of a reality check and rediscover the basics of cattle TB. At least 80% of so-called "unconfirmed" cattle do have TB, so these missed/untraced cattle are a huge reservoir and the real cause of present difficulties. MARTIN HANCOX Stroud (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.5.08 HUMANS DESTROY THE MOST TREES - In response to Robin Page (Comment, April 25), grey squirrels are not tree rats, they were introduced into this country in the 19th century and are here to stay… More trees are destroyed by humans; whole forests destroyed through greed. So before people like Robin Page condemn grey squirrels, I suggest the human race gets its own house in order. A Williams, Bath (letter)
Western Daily Press 2.5.08 BIRTH CONTROL FOR SQUIRRELS AN IDEA - I think Robin Page ("Squirrels on the pill?, Your Say, April 25) feels the answer to anything you dislike is to kill it…. In the end, we may have to settle for the grey as reds have now become so low in numbers. This is not just because of the spread of greys but due to the loss of pine trees and habitat…. Pamela Dean, Stroud, Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.5.08 BOTH RED AND GREY SQUIRRELS ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR SURVIVAL - I see that Robin Page is still writing articles with the same blinkered approach of a self-acclaimed expert on country life and wildlife but, as usual, gets it all wrong, "Squirrels on the pill?" (Western Daily Press, April 25). The grey squirrel does not steal eggs. It eats them as part of its food source, the same as bird food and bulbs. Mr Page should know that it is humans who steal…. Gamekeepers, stock farmers and field sport enthusiasts are the real killers of our wildlife. Perhaps Mr Page would suggest there be a cull of these?... P Richardson, South Cerney, Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.4.08 ALLOW NATURE TO TAKE ITS COURSE - I Reply to the article by Robin Page (Comment, April 25), who is intent on the thought of an unpopular cull of the grey squirrel. May I point out to Mr Page that the grey squirrel has a natural predator, the red fox… Leave all the foxes alone in the woods and forests and the vixen will feed most of the baby grey squirrels to their cubs, bringing about a natural balance. Janet Hall Cirencester (letter)

Northampton Evening Telegraph 5.5.08 Animal Welfare is our first priority - With reference to your correspondent Mrs H Bowles (Your Say, April 29). Firstly, we did not ask for £440,000 for our sanctuary; we received £290,000 from a benefactor's estate, the charity put up over £50,000 and my partner Annette sold her house and the proceeds went into the charity to cover the shortfall…. To the individuals who keep complaining about Animals in Need/Maxicare dog rehoming, get your facts right before you start writing such garbage. We would like to thank the majority for their constant support…. ROY MARRIOTT, Animals in Need (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 5.5.08 Zoo's chimp plans should be ditched - Ross Minett, campaigns director, Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)
Glasgow Herald 2.5.08 Monkey business - Animal welfare, conservation and primate rescue and sanctuary organisations are urging Edinburgh Zoo to reconsider its ill-conceived plans to breed chimpanzees in its new Budongo enclosure… . Edinburgh Zoo should surely abandon all plans to breed yet more captive chimpanzees, and instead offer lifetime care for the many captive chimpanzees kept in poor conditions in Europe and further afield.Ross Minett, Campaigns director, Advocates for Animals, 10 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)

4.5.08

Observer 4.5.08 Badgers: Super furry animal or cattle-killing, TB-ridden vermin? Tim Adams on the problem with badgers - From half a mile away you know Merrivale Wood is badger country….. I'm walking up towards it across flat farmland not far from Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire with Colin Gray, who is chairman of the county's hundred-strong badger group…. The final report of Professor John Bourne, chair of the investigating group, determined that while badgers were 'clearly a source' of TB in cattle, badger culling would make 'no meaningful contribution' to the control of the disease in Britain…. Armed with this study - the most comprehensive insight into badger-borne disease ever conceived - David Miliband, then Environment Minister, took a decision: he called for another report from Sir David King… . It fell instead to Hilary Benn, up to his knees in flood water, to sign, or not to sign, the badger death warrant. Faced with this, Benn wasted no time in asking for another report … What began as a piece of legislation to prevent cruelty to a long-persecuted animal has become, in the eyes of many farmers, another thing that prevents them from doing their job properly. David Morgan's family has farmed his land in the glorious Welsh border country near Hay-on-Wye for four generations. TB is so common in farms near him now, he says, that the stigma that once attached itself to the disease no longer applies…. (story)

3.5.08

Bristol Evening Post 3.5.08 DAVID CAMERON - READERS' COMMENTS - David Cameron has declared that if elected to govern, one of his first priorities would be to repeal the hunting laws.What makes these people want to chase, terrorise and murder the wildlife?... Did they, as children, pull the wings off flies?... R W Burnett, Almondsbury, Bristol. (letter)

Scarborough Evening News 3.5.08 Fair highlights animal campaign By Sophie Barley - STUDENTS at St Augustine's School held a fair to raise money for a project to campaign against animal testing. The youngsters organised the event which included various stalls and a game of bingo. Other pupils, staff and parents attended the fair, where the pupils raised £30 for their “Solutions for the Planet” project… (story)

2.5.08

Western Daily Press 2.5.08 MEMBERSHIP ON THE RISE - Tim Bonner is correct in saying that I was in court to see Tony Wright win his appeal against his conviction for illegal hunting ("Hunt support is growing", Your Say, April 25). However, he failed to mention that on January 9 this year, in Bridgwater, he preferred to keep his distance from the entrance to the magistrates' court… He would, of course, have been required to explain how these two servants of the Minehead Harriers felt it necessary to plead guilty to breaking a law which he repeatedly proclaims to be unclear… Regarding the League Against Cruel Sports, he is simply wrong. Membership is on the increase and our supporter base is greater than at any time in the organisation's 84-year history…. Ivor Annetts, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.4.08 PARLIAMENT WILL NOT REPEAL HUNTING BAN - Tim Bonner, "Hunt support is growing" (Your Say, April 25), of the self-styled Countryside Alliance, inhabits a parallel universe of unreality that would not be out of place in the Twilight Zone. In the real world, the barbarity of hunting has been banned, and people are being caught and are being convicted of illegal hunting…. Mr Bonner is kidding himself and his members if he thinks Parliament will reinstate cruelty in the name of "sport". Chris Gale Chippenham (letter)

NATIONAL SHOOTING WEEK LETTER
Wigan Evening Post 2.5.08 Have a shot at sporting week - Robert Gray, Organiser, National Shooting Week (letter)
North Devon Gazette 30.4.08 Give it a shot - Robert Gray, Organiser (story)
Southern Daily Echo 30.4.08 Give shooting a shot - ROBERT GREY, organiser, National Shooting Week (letter)
Redditch Advertiser 30.4.08 Give it a shot! NATIONAL Shooting Week, which will run from Saturday, May 3 - Sunday, May 11, looks set to be bigger than ever. More than 200 public open days are taking place across the nation in this Olympic year. Shooting is one of the most inclusive Olympic and Paralympic sports, where gender, age and disability are no barriers to success… Robert Gray, Organiser, National Shooting Week (letter)

Harrogate Advertiser 2.5.08 Trial for gamekeeper and agent after poison found - By FRANCIS T - A GAMEKEEPER and a land agent have been sent for trial before a judge and jury after a raid by Royal Society for the Protection of Birds investigators and North Yorkshire Police on a Yorkshire Dales farm unearthed lethal poisons. Gamekeeper James Freeman, of Moor House Farm, Lofthouse, Nidderdale and agent Simon Clowes, of Lawkland Green House, Lawkland, Austwick, near Settle, made a fifth appearance before magistrates at Harrogate last Thursday facing a total of 12 charges… (story)

Scotsman 2.5.08 Gamekeeping - I note with interest Logan Steele (Letters, 30 April) taking another of his regular pot shots at the shooting and gamekeeping world from the comfort of his armchair. Gamekeepers, by contrast, live in the real world out on the moors, and are an easy target when reports on illegal poisonings are released. However, as professional wildlife managers – not "self-styled", as Mr Steele insists – the Scottish Gamekeepers Association is the first to condemn illegal poisoning. Our policy is to expel any member found guilty of it, although I am pleased to say that has not had to happen for more than two years… ALEX HOGG Chairman, Scottish Gamekeepers Association, Arran Road, Perth (letter)
Scotsman 30.4.08 SSPCA campaign - The Scotsman and SSPCA joint campaign report, "Stop Them Now: Illegal animal poisonings at highest level for ten years" (29 April), states that the majority of incidents occur in Highland shooting estates… Let's hope the recommendations from the recent thematic review led by the Scottish Government are implemented quickly so we can see more successful prosecutions of these countryside criminals. LOGAN D STEELE, Bridgewater Avenue, Auchterarder, Perthshire (letter)

Scotsman 2.5.08 Shot down - Geva Blackett (Letters, 30 April) criticises the RSPB, a respected conservation organisation, for producing a report which she believes is not balanced and accuses it of using "headline figures" for publicity…. In 2006, a report into the economic impact of commercial shooting was commissioned by the Countryside Alliance, the British Association of Shooting and Conservation and the Country Landowners and Business Association…. This can hardly be described as "balanced", yet the Countryside Alliance never misses an opportunity to remind us of this so called £250 million shooting industry. LOUISE ROBERTSON, Scottish campaigns manager League Against Cruel Sports, Dunfermline, Fife (letter)
Scotsman 30.4.08 Imbalance on bird crime - The Scottish Countryside Alliance is one of a number of rural organisations which have made clear their condemnation of any wildlife crimes which have been proven in court. However, it has grave concerns about the report published this week by the RSPB… Rural organisations offered to help the RSPB write a joint report which was measured and accurate, but were turned down… RSPB statistics do not help to give a balanced view of this issue. In 2006, the RSPB received 1,109 reports of potential offences against birds of prey in the UK, and this headline figure is used prominently in its publicity, but only 13 per cent of these were confirmed and a much smaller number actually resulted in any formal investigation or conviction… GEVA BLACKETT, Chief executive, Scottish Countryside Alliance, Ingliston, Edinburgh (letter)

John O'Groat Journal 2.5.08 Outdated and uninformed views on predator control - Like a daft, stockie rainbow trout I am tempted to respond to the provocative lure so ably cast by your correspondent Bruce Sandison (John O'Groat Journal, April 25). I am sure his main intention is to provoke a reaction as, surely, he cannot be serious! I find it hard to believe that someone who has clearly benefited over many years from the land and wildlife management carried out by the lairds with their "money-driven blood-lust" could hold such outdated, suburban and totally uninformed views. Bruce should really look around. Where is this dramatic decline in the diversity of Scotland's wildlife that he claims exists? Certainly not on the keepered estates of Caithness and Sutherland… John Andrews, Cnoc Shee, Latheronwheel. (letter)
John O'Groat Journal 25.4.08 Wildlife diversity shot to pieces - THE list of creatures that some lairds would to like to kill because they consider them to be vermin gets longer every day. Golden eagle, sea eagle, hen harrier, buzzard, red kite, heron, otter, badger, wildcat, polecat, fox, seals, merganser, goosander, cormorant, mountain hare are included. And, unbelievably, I once heard an apoplectic laird demand that kingfishers be culled…. I wonder if we as a nation have really learnt anything from the dramatic decline in the diversity of Scotland's wildlife that has taken place and is still taking place today. (For example, the devastation of our West Highlands and Islands wild salmon populations caused by the impact of factory salmon farming; the indiscriminate persecution of mountain hares; and the recurring incidents of the illegal killing of birds of prey in Perthshire.)… (story)

Bromsgrove Standard 2.5.08 Badger cull is not the answer - Badgers are fairly widespread in Worcestershire, although many people have not seen them because they are nocturnal… Badgers have been blamed for the spread of TB in cattle… The scientific evidence suggests that killing badgers would be ineffective and might make matters worse….Like many other people, I consider it important that we do not destroy one more aspect of our heritage, a much-loved native species, and urge the Government to decide in favour of better farming methods and the rapid development of a vaccine… Tessa Carrick, Bromsgrove (story)

Dundee Courier 2.5.08 Animals suffer unnecessarily - At this moment, three million animals are being experimented on in Scotland. The media and the public are denied access and the reason for this is obvious. Those involved do not want the public to see what animals are being subjected to…. The vast majority of disease and illness are down to people’s diets and lifestyles, and after years of ignoring medical opinion they expect animals to suffer so that a cure for their subsequent self-inflicted illnesses can be found…. Bob Beveridge. Old Townhouse, Falkland (letter)

Harrogate Advertiser 2.5.08 Circus hits back at animal rights group - AN animal protection group urging the public to boycott a circus which came to Ripon this week has been rebuked by the troupe's ringmaster. Peter Jolly’s Circus, which uses animals including zebras, camels, horses, snakes and llamas, began its five-day run at Bridge Field, Magdalen’s Road, yesterday. But Manchester-based campaign group Captive Animals’ Protection Society opposes the use of all animals in circuses and wants Riponians to avoid going to the attraction….. (story)

1.5.08

Western Morning News 1.5.08 BROWN REJECTS HUNTING BAN REVIEW - Prime Minister Gordon Brown has rejected calls to reopen the debate on the hunting ban. Speaking in the Commons, the Prime Minister said there was a "settled view among the public on the matter" and there would be no new vote…. (story)

SHEILA CASTLE
Eastern Daily Press 1.5.08 Fatal fall out hunting - LAURA DEVLIN - An 84-year-old huntswoman suffered a fatal fall from her horse when it tried to jump a barbed-wire fence, an inquest heard yesterday. Sheila Castle fell headfirst after her horse collapsed on its stomach in front of other members of the Dunston Harriers, of which she was senior acting joint master. Mrs Castle, of Hellesdon Mill Lane, Norwich, was passionate about horse-riding and hunting and was one of the oldest active masters of the hunt in the country…. (story)
Norwich Evening News 30.4.08 84-year-old died after horse fall - SARAH HALL - An 84-year-old huntswoman suffered a fatal fall from her horse when it tried to jump a barbed wire fence, an inquest heard. Sheila Castle fell headfirst after her horse collapsed on its stomach in front of other members of the Dunston Harriers, of which she was senior acting joint master…. (story)
Horse & Hound 14.2.08 Master of the Dunston Harrier dies following hunting fall - The senior acting joint-master of the Dunston Harriers has died, following a fall out hunting last Saturday, 9 February. Sheila Castle, 84, died in hospital the following day. Mrs Castle, who had been joint-master since 2002 and secretary and treasurer of the hunt for 25 years prior, was a staunch supporter of hunting, who took up competitive dressage in her mid 70s.... (story)
Telegraph 11.2.08 Anti-hunting ban campaigner Sheila Castle dies By Aislinn Simpson - An 84-year-old huntswoman and "stalwart of the countryside" who campaigned tirelessly against the hunting ban died Sunday morning after falling from her horse. Sheila Castle, who pledged in December to ensure that hunting survived long after the politicians who banned it, was badly injured while out with Norfolk's Dunston Harriers for whom she was acting hunt master... Margaret Wilkins, whose daughters grew up hunting alongside Mrs Castle, said: "We are all terribly sad but Sheila would not want that. Instead, we will plan a huge hunt meet next week to remember her the way she would have wanted. She will pass into local legend." (story)
Eastern Daily Press 11.2.08 Tributes to Dunston Harriers stalwart - Tributes were paid to the 84-year-old senior joint acting master of the Dunston Harriers last night who died after falling from her horse. Grandmother Sheila Castle, who was one of the oldest active masters of the hunt in the country, fell while out riding at Snetterton in Norfolk at about midday on Saturday . Other experienced members of the hunt called for help and the East Anglian Air Ambulance was dispatched... Members of the Harriers, together with representatives from other hunts, will gather on Tuesday at Hardingham to pay their respects. (story)

Northern Echo 1.5.08 Plans to expand grouse project By Jim McTaggart - A CAMPAIGN to save the rare black grouse from extinction has been such a success in the North- East that a plan was announced yesterday to repeat it in other parts of the country…. (story)

Stroud News & Journal 1.5.08 Farmer in court after dogs poisoned - FARMER Albert Gallop poisoned two pet dogs with slug pellets intended for a fox that had killed his newborn lamb, a court heard. The actions of Gallop, 76, of Oxlynch, Stonehouse, left seven-month-old lakeland terrier Milly dead and seven-year-old Irish terrier Beamish ill after they ate the poison on a lamb chop… In an interview that day in Stroud Police Station, Gallop claimed the slug pellets were only for his garden, but in a second interview on May 9 admitted he had put them on some meat to kill a fox that had savaged his lamb… (story)

South Yorkshire Times 1.5.08 Bird deaths could have been work of rogue fox By Kevin Rogers - A ROGUE fox rather than a "prowling maniac" may be have been responsible for decapitating a Conisbrough teacher's pet birds. A whole community rallied round Balby Street Primary School teacher Jo Downing after her hens and ducks were viciously slaughtered last week… South Yorkshire Times reader Michael Coward believes the raids on three separate nights which left the headless bodies of ducks and chickens strewn around neighbouring gardens fits the behaviour of an urban fox… (story)

News Shopper 1.5.08 Animal testing vital in saving human lives - THE letter from Robert Roach (Safer Tests, News Shopper, April 16) contains the usual distortions and out of context quotations we at Pro-Test are accustomed to hearing from the anti-vivisection lobby…Scientific knowledge and technical capability are advancing rapidly, but it would be folly to abandon tests which play a vital role in the development of new medicines before replacements are available. PAUL BROWNE, Address supplied (letter)
News Shopper 15.4.08 Tests on animals cannot be trusted - PLEASE spare a thought for the human and animal victims of vivisection on World Animal Laboratory Day on April 26… ROBERT ROACH, Address supplied (letter)

BUAV HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS LETTER
Exeter Express & Echo 1.5.08 NO REAL ALTERNATIVE TO ANIMAL TESTING - Regarding the letter Products are still tested on animals, Points of view, April 29, how would you propose the testing be carried out then? On humans? Oh yes I remember that happening and a group of people being taken seriously ill not so long ago after being subjected to tests.These products and ingredients must be tested somehow before being put into production but unfortunately these people protesting and campaigning against animal testing are so short-sighted that they fail to realise this…. Nick Jones, Exeter (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 29.4.08 PRODUCTS ARE STILL TESTED ON ANIMALS - Michelle Thew, Chief executive, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, (by email) (letter)
Northern Echo 24.4.08 Animal testing - Michelle Thew, Chief Executive, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, London (letter)
Western Mail 23.4.08 Tested on animals - Many readers will be shocked to discover that everyday household products like washing-up liquid, fabric conditioner and cleaning fluids are perfectly legally tested on animals in the UK… The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) is campaigning for an immediate ban, after more than 80% of shoppers said they were concerned that household products are still tested on animals… MICHELLE THEW, Chief Executive, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.5.08 COMPASSION IN WORLD FARMING SAYS THANKS - Thank you to the people of Exeter for their generosity in raising £70 for Compassion in World Farming on Saturday…. Barbara Blaxland, Brixington Drive, Exmouth (letter)

Keighley News 1.5.08 Activists unhappy with goldfish prizes at fair - Animal welfare activists have criticised funfair stallholders who gave away live goldfish as prizes at the weekend. Marianne Crowley, who runs a Keighley wildlife sanctuary, complained to the West Yorkshire Animals in Need charity, which took the matter to Bradford Council… West Yorkshire Animals in Need co-founder Tommi Townsend said: "These goldfish are often transported in horrendous conditions…. (story)

Tamworth Times 1.5.08 TV star calls for a foie-gras ban - A well-known Staffordshire TV personality is urging the county council to discourage the sale of foie-gras in the county. Wendy Turner-Webster, presenter of popular TV shows such as Pet Rescue, and patron of leading animal group Viva!, says she is campaigning to make her home county a kinder place to live by making Staffordshire foie-gras free. Joined by her husband, TV actor Gary Webster bearing a placard and giant duck, Ms Turner-Webster presented a letter with evidence of the alleged cruelty involved in the production of foie-gras to Staffordshire County Council… (story) The Sentinel 18.4.08 WENDY TURNER LEADS CALL FOR FOIE-GRAS BAN - Tv Presenter Wendy Turner-Webster will today demand that Staffordshire becomes foie-gras free. Wendy, sister of Anthea and patron of animal group Viva, will hand a letter to John Taylor, leader of the county council, urging the authority to pass a motion to become the first in Britain to be officially foie-gras free. She will be joined by her husband - TV actor Gary Webster - and a giant duck from Viva at the council offices in Stafford this afternoon…. (story)

Formby Times 1.5.08 Boost for rescue centre by Jennifer Finnegan, Formby Times - FRESHFIELDS Animal Rescue Centre will feel the benefit from the re-opening of Southport RSPCA. The centre has been taking on animals from Southport that would have originally gone to the RSPCA which hasn’t helped their financial situation. Marge Albert, Trustee at the Freshfields Animal Rescue, said: “It should take the strain of us a bit… (story)

Clevedon Mercury 1.5.08 CRUEL PRACTICE - While Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Tesco are all striving to be animal friendly, Morrisons is not.This week, Clevedon Morrisons was promoting battery eggs as '50 per cent extra free'… I hope all readers will boycott this store and shop at stores that make efforts to be animal-friendly. Deborah Flint Coity Place Clevedon (letter)

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News 1.5.08 Battery farm eggs ban scoops award by Adrian Short, Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News - A SCHEME banning battery farm eggs from council-run facilities in Halton has scooped the authority an award from Compassion in World Farming. Halton Council was one of 15 organisations to receive a Good Egg Award thanks to an initiative which ensures the 500 hens which supply it with an estimated 145,000 eggs each year do not spend their lives cooped up in cages….. (story)

Ham & High 1.5.08 WHO'S WHO: Angela Humphery, animal rights campaigner - Angela Humphery lives in Willoughby Road, Hampstead. On May 17 she is organising a walk on the Heath to raise awareness of endangered North Asian Moon Bears, one of the many animal charities she supports…. If you had to spend £1m in a day, what would you spend it on? I would give it all to my animal charities. I'd split it between Animals Asia, Greyhounds in Need, the Mayhew Animal Home and the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad… (story)