May 2015

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Central Somerset Gazette 31.5.15 Street resident challenges MP James Heappey … IF you voted for James Heappey in the General Election, it is no good complaining about his intention to vote for a repeal of the hunting act, he made it quite clear that the repeal was one of his top priorities…. I would also like to challenge James to an open debate on this subject where he can justify the barbarity of hunting our wildlife with a pack of hounds… John Crole, Street (letter)

Bath Chronicle 31.5.15 Alex Brown...on the passions hunting debate can stir - A strange thing happened last Thursday night. We had run an online poll from Tuesday on the issue of fox hunting. By Thursday evening it was looking like a landslide victory for the anti-hunt side of the argument – from the word go the poll had been running at around 85/90 per cent in favour of keeping the ban… Then something unexpected happened. Overnight the poll figures turned around. There was no mention of anything on social media – certainly nothing that mentioned the Bath Chronicle at the same time, but by lunchtime the majority of voters were backing a repeal of the Hunting Act… (story)


Telegraph 30.5.15 Foxhunting was left out of the Queen’s Speech but chase is still on for Hunting Act repeal By Rosa Prince, Assistant Political Editor - “Tally-ho … oh no.” That was the cry of the unspeakable as their dreams of pursuing the uneatable fell at the first hurdle this week with the absence from the Queen’s Speech of legislation to repeal the hated 2004 Hunting Act… And yet on Wednesday when the Queen read out her Government’s programme for the coming year, hunting was notable by its absence…. (story)
Telegraph 30.5.15 Foxhunting ban: scores of Conservatives will vote against repeal, minister predicts - Tracey Crouch, minister for sport, predicts that 30 to 40 Conservative MPs will help defeat attempts to repeal the hunting ban by either abstaining or voting against it By Emily Gosden, Rosa Prince and Michael Wilkinson… Tracey Crouch, the minister for sport and an opponent of hunting, said she expected 30 to 40 Tories to either abstain or vote against repeal of the Hunting Act in a free vote promised by the Conservative government…. (story)
Telegraph 30.5.15 Foxhunting ban: Will my MP vote to repeal it? - As talk of repealing the foxhunting ban returns to the political agenda, we identify which way Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and other MPs may vote By Michael Wilkinson, Rosa Prince and Emily Gosden… (story)

Plymouth Herald 30.5.15 Ban all cruelty to animals like these - WHY IS it some people have to continually moan about animals?... Stag hunting, badger baiting and fox hunting are cruel and barbaric. There should be a total ban. KAREN GAMBLE Plymouth (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.5.15 MPs don't represent views of the majority - I believe that the welfare of this country was the most important factor in the general election. However, the repeal of the Hunting Act became a feature when a small paragraph appeared on page 23 in the Conservative Manifesto. It stated: "We will support, hunting, fishing and shooting for all the benefits to individuals, the environment, and the rural economy that these activities bring…. I thought that David Cameron was very unwise when he thanked the hunting fraternity for their help in the election campaign. It was bound to cost him votes… Jill Deane Wells, Somerset (letter)

Telegraph 30.5.15 Two England captains united against the RSPB - Ian Botham and Gerry Francis are tackling the charity head-on over the issue of predator birds versus grouse and racing pigeons By Peter Stanford - Charities can usually count on improving their fortunes by rubbing shoulders with celebrities, but the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has this month been having the opposite experience. Though one of Britain’s best-known and best-loved organisations, it has been hit for six by not one but two of our greatest national sporting icons…. Ian Botham, a keen grouse moor shooter. This self-proclaimed “country boy” claims one of the RSPB’s officers accused him, on a BBC radio programme last week, of illegally killing birds of prey. At the same time, another hallowed former England captain, footballer Gerry Francis, speaking as a long-time member of the 26,000-strong Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA), has slammed the RSPB for allegedly promoting misguided policies on protecting birds of prey that are decimating Britain’s pigeon lofts…. (story)

Mail 29.5.15 Angry grandmother launches one-woman campaign against circus's 'cruel' dancing polar bear - even though it's actually a man in an inflatable costume By AMANDA WILLIAMS FOR MAILONLINE - A grandmother has launched a one-woman crusade against a circus because she mistakenly believes that a man dressed up as a disco dancing polar bear is a real animal… The unnamed woman has apparently been bombarding the circus with angry phone calls and letters, after her grandson told her that his favourite part of the show was 'a massive polar bear who dances to disco music.' Ringmaster Ross Farrer has made a public appeal for the woman to come forward, so he can prove to her the dancing bear is nothing more than a man in a suit, because she keeps telling animal rights activists about the 'cruel attraction.'… (story)
Express 30.5.15 Angry gran blasts circus for 'dancing polar bear' - without realising it's a MAN in a suit - AN OUTRAGED grandmother has launched a furious attack against a travelling circus for their use of a "dancing polar bear" - apparently without realising it is a MAN in a costume. By LEVI WINCHESTER (story)

Express 30.5.15 Why not call it Ye Olde Poppycock says Richard - R: BRITAIN’S oldest pub is inSt Albans, tucked up AbbeyMill Lane. By RICHARD AND JUDY … PETA has written to the landlord urging a compassionate update to the pub sign – it should henceforth readYe Olde CleverCocks. Why? Step forward Mimi Bekhechi, PETA’s director. … It’s hard to know where to begin with people like Mimi. It really is. Here we are, the nightly news dominated by images of desperate refugees drowning in the Medwithin sight and sound of the TV cameras; reports of yet another advance by the murderous, psychotic forces of Isis; mass abductions of Nigerian school girls destined to be forced jihadi brides– and good old Mimi whips off a letter to the pub wittering on about “today’s rejection of needless violence” (uhh?) and the need to “celebrate” the IQ of chickens…. (story)
Herts Advertiser 29.5.15 Animal rights group backs down over bid to change name of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks - Matt Adams - A bid by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to rename Ye Olde Fighting Cocks to Ye Olde Clever Cocks made the national news last week. The organisation’s special projects manager Dawn Carr wanted the pub to end its association with the sport of cockfighting - banned more than 150 years ago - and instead celebrate “intelligent, sensitive chickens”. But the charity faced a social media backlash for focusing on political correctness instead of real-life animal abuse…. This week Ms Carr confirmed that PETA would not be pursuing the campaign any further. She told the Herts Advertiser: “While we would have loved to see the pub change its name, it was great to have a discussion about chickens. Some people enjoyed our request, some did not…. “Our letter was a light-hearted way to draw attention to a serious issue and afforded us the opportunity to reach thousands of people with the message that chickens deserve kindness and that the best way to help animals is by not eating them….(story)
Salisbury Journal 29.5.15 Animal activists call for the Fighting Cocks to ditch name in favour of the Clever Cocks to celebrate intelligent fowl (story)
Telegraph 29.5.15 Drinkers, unite! We must save the great British pub name - To change the names of Britain's historic and wonderfully eccentric pubs would be to pour gallons of our rich past down the plughole, writes Dominic Utton - Look to your pints, men of Britain: they’re coming for our pubs…. The enemy this time is not high taxes, competition from supermarkets, or changing demographics, but from that more insidious enemy of the British drinker – the forces of right on-ness. Animal rights group PETA have taken exception to an eighth-century boozer in St Albans – because they feel it might be upsetting to the local chicken population… (story)
Telegraph 26.5.15 Peta demands Britain's oldest pub changes its name to show 'compassion' for animals - Animal rights group says Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans should update its name to Ye Olde Clever Cocks to reflect a change in society's attitudes… (story)
Mail 26.5.15 Animal activists PETA demand Britain's oldest pub change its name from Ye Olde Fighting Cocks to Ye Olde Clever Cocks to 'celebrate intelligent chickens' By THOMAS BURROWS and JENNIFER SMITH FOR MAILONLINE - Activists has called on an eighth century pub to change its name from 'Ye Olde Fighting Cocks' to 'Ye Olde Clever Cocks' to reflect today's compassion for animals… (story)
St Albans & Harpenden Review 19.5.15 Britain's oldest pub will NOT change name, despite campaign from animal rights activists by Charlotte Ikonen - Britain’s oldest pub will not change its name, despite a campaign from animal rights activists. Christo Tofalli, landlord of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, has responded today to a letter sent by PETA asking it to change its name to Ye Olde Clever Cocks, in recognition of “compassion for animals”. He said: “This is an historic building with a remarkable story behind it, and I take the responsibility of looking after the oldest pub in the country very seriously… (story)
Herts Advertiser 19.5.15 Animal rights group calls fowl over name of historic St Albans pub - An animal rights group has launched a campaign calling for the country’s oldest pub to change its name to something less offensive to chickens. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) wants Ye Olde Fighting Cocks to be renamed Ye Olde Clever Cocks… The organisation’s special projects manager Dawn Carr sent an open letter to the chief executive of pub owner Mitchells and Butlers, and Cocks landlord Christo Tofalli, in which she urged them to end the association with the long-banned sport of cockfighting… When pressed by the Herts Advertiser, Ms Carr admitted it had been some years since she had been in St Albans and hadn’t actually visited Ye Olde Fighting Cocks… Landlord Christo Tofalli said he had a responsibility for preserving the history and heritage of the oldest pub in the country… (story)
St Albans Review 18.5.15 Animal rights group campaign for St Albans pub to change name - "Changing the name of Britain's oldest pub would reflect today's rejection of needless violence and help celebrate chickens as the intelligent, sensitive and social animals they are." People for the Ethical Treatment of Aminals (PETA) director Mimi Bekhechi said today the animal-loving campaign group want to change Ye Olde Fighting Cocks to Ye Olde Clever Cocks to "reflect compassion for animals"… (story)


Open Democracy: Our Kingdom 29.5.15 Labour and the Hunting Act - James Barrington - The ban on hunting with dogs has done nothing for animal welfare and should be repealed. With the Labour Party now taking time to reflect on the reasons it lost so disastrously at the general election, it might be a good time for the party to also re-examine its support for the Hunting Act…. (story)

Huffington Post 29.5.15 Has the Threat to the Hunting Act Passed? Not on Your Nellie... Dr Toni Shephard - There has been much talk about the threat to the Hunting Act, and expectation that the government's promised 'free vote' on repeal would be mentioned in the Queen's Speech. It wasn't. Does that mean the Hunting Act is safe? No, it doesn't…. (story)

Closer 29.5.15 Katie Hopkins hits out at anti fox hunting campaigners: 'You're just jealous-legalise it!' By Jessica Anais Rach - Katie Hopkins has voiced her support for fox hunting in a series of cruel tweets - Apprentice star Hopkins has hit out at animal rights campaigners (and civilised people in general) by voicing her support for David Cameron's proposal to lift the fox hunting ban. The barbaric sport, which sees 'hunters' get off on watching their dogs tear foxes to pieces, could be reinstated in the coming months under the new government… (story)

Bournemouth Echo 29.5.15 Please help save the seas by reporting ghost fishing gear - WE are inviting your readers to take part in World Animal Protection’s Sea Change Week from June 4 to 11 and take action for animals by helping us spot and record ghost fishing gear. Ghost fishing gear refers to any fishing equipment or fishing related litter that has been abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded; also referred to as ‘derelict fishing gear’ and/or ‘fishing litter’…. ALYX ELLIOTT UK Sea Change Campaign Manager, World Animal Protection, Gray’s Inn Road, London (letter)

Telegraph 29.5.15 Born Free's Virginia McKenna calls for conservation lessons in schools By Martin Chilton, Culture Editor online - Virginia McKenna, the star of Born Free, called for conservation to be a fixed subject on the UK school curriculum, in order to address the "catastrophic mess the world is in"…. (story)

South Wales Echo 29.5.15 Most people want a circus animal ban - The British public were promised that the ban on wild animals in circuses in England and Wales would take effect by January 2015. Although that promise has been broken, now is the time to do the right thing…. Elisa Allen People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, London (letter)


Western Daily Press 28.5.15 New Tory MPs see hunting repeal as 'toxic' issue that damages party – claim By TristanCork - Attempts to repeal the Hunting Act are likely to fail because a new generation of Conservative MPs elected earlier this month see hunting as 'a toxic' issue for their party…. In the first major interview with the founder of the Blue Fox lobby group of 'Conservatives Against Fox Hunting' since the election, Lorraine Platt said the organisation was welcoming the support of the new wave of Tory MPs 'every other day'…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 28.5.15 Pro-hunt campaigners in the West still confident ban will be lifted but no mention in Queen's speech - Hunt campaigners across the West have maintained they are still confident that MPs will be given a free vote on repealing the hunt ban, despite there being no mention of it in the Queen's Speech yesterday…. (story)
Wells Journal 28.5.15 Pro-hunt campaigners 'confident and enthusiastic' - Hunt campaigners across Somerset have maintained they are still confident that MPs will be given a free vote on repealing the hunt ban, despite there being no mention of it in the Queen's Speech….(story)

Southern Reporter 28.5.15 WATCH: MSP Grahame ‘appalled’ by video of Borders hunts - Local MSP Christine Grahame says she is “appalled” at video footage allegedly showing Borders hunts flouting the ban on hunting with dogs….The video was to be shown to MSPs at Holyrood yesterday (Wednesday) and includes clips featuring the Lauderdale, Jedforest and Berwickshire Hunts…. Ms Grahame, whose constituency includes Tweeddale and Lauderdale, told us: “As an individual and as chair of the parliament’s Cross Party Group on Animal Welfare, I am appalled at apparent footage of hunts in the Borders seemingly flouting the law… (story)
Mirror 27.5.15 Secret 'fox hunting' footage revealed by activists - who claim string of hunts are breaking law BY DAN BLOOM - Activists who spent months taking secret footage of fox hunting say a 'worrying' number of hunts are still breaking the law. The League Against Cruel Sports released reams of footage today ahead of a controversial Commons vote sparked by pro-hunting David Cameron… But they've faced fury from pro-hunting campaigners - who say the footage is 'subjective to say the least and contrived to say the worst'…. Berwickshire Hunt master Rory Innes - whose hounds were alleged to have run across open ground moments after a fox - said: "We all comply with the Hunting Act. "The hounds are not chasing the fox across open ground. They're chasing the line of the fox…. (story)
Border Telegraph 27.5.15 New video 'shows Borders hunts’ contempt for law' - AT least half of Scotland’s hunts - including a number in the Borders - are breaking the law which bans fox hunting, an investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports indicates… video evidence captured by the League during a 3-month surveillance of five of Scotland’s hunts - including Lauderdale, Jedforest and Berwickshire - appears to show no ‘flushing to guns’. It suggests that hunts routinely behave as they did before the ban on hunting – with a complete absence of any shotguns…. (story)
Glasgow South & Eastwood Extra 27.5.15 Half of hunts 'breaking the law' - At least half of Scotland's registered hunts are breaking the law on fox hunting, campaigners claim. The League Against Cruel Sports said it has captured video evidence that suggests hunts are routinely using dogs to hunt foxes and not merely "flush" the animals from cover for shooting… (story)
Evening Standard 26.5.15 Fox hunting: campaigners release secret video footage of string of 'illegal' hunts in Scotland ahead of key vote - RACHEL BLUNDY - Anti-fox hunting campaigners have released secret video footage of what they claim shows a string of illegal hunts in Scotland ahead of a key vote on the controversial practice. The League Against Cruel Sports shared the footage on its YouTube channel today and suggested that at least half of Scotland's hunts are breaking the law… (story)
STV 26.5.15 At least half of fox hunts 'breaking the law', say campaigners - At least half of Scotland's registered hunts are breaking the law on fox hunting, campaigners claim…. (story)
Guardian 26.5.15 Calls for SNP to make anti-foxhunting stance clear as hunts caught on video - The SNP has been challenged to underline its opposition to foxhunting across the UK as fresh video evidence alleges that half of Scotland’s hunts are breaking the law on hunting with dogs…. covert video footage taken by the League Against Cruel Sports over a three month period apparently shows no practice of ‘flushing to guns’… Robbie Marsland, Director of League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: “Scotland led the way on legislating to ban hunting with dogs in the British Isles. We are calling on the Scottish government to lead the way once more and make two simple amendments to the law [to reduce the number of dogs used in flushing to guns to two and to add a clause outlawing reckless behaviour… But Jamie Stewart, Scotland director for the Countryside Alliance, disputed the nature of the footage, telling the Guardian: “Having viewed the footage, I am appalled that the League Against Cruel Sports is wasting the Scottish government’s time with what is at best subjective and at worst contrived.”…. (story)
Scotsman 26.5.15 Scottish packs accused of flouting fox hunting ban - Ilona Amos - NEARLY half of Scotland’s registered hunting packs may be breaking the law banning fox hunting, according to animal rights campaigners….ideo footage filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) during the last hunt season seems to show hunters out with full packs of hounds but no guns in sight…. (story)
BBC News Online 26.5.15 Half of Scots fox hunts breaking law, say campaigners - The League Against Cruel Sports said it has video evidence suggesting hunts were routinely using dogs to hunt foxes and not merely "flush" them from cover for shooting, which is allowed…. The League said it carried out surveillance on five recent hunts in Scotland between December 2015 and March 2015 and saw no shotguns used during 16 days of filming… (story)

Cheddar Valley Gazette 27.5.15 Carol Wilkie's Notes from a Small Settee: 'Rats are repulsive, foxes are fluffy, both are vermin' - Quite a few Gazette readers have taken to their keyboards and winged off letters to take newly-elected Tory MP, James Heappey to task, because he supports fox hunting. It's always fox hunting which riles people. I know several blokes who go ratting with terriers, and have met a couple of lads recently who do the same with ferrets… Why do people never jump up and down with rage, when chaps pop out of a morning with their eager little Jack Russell terriers to throttle a barn load of rats?... foxes have loads of supporters. They have fans, whereas feral rats do not…. So a fox-sized rat with a yard long smooth tail, beady eyes, and a long pointed snout and sticking out whiskers, nobbly claws is perhaps not such a cute, sweet looking mammal as Basil Brush, who has cuddle appeal and looks like a soft toy won on the fairground rifle range. If this was what huntsmen chased I suspect there would be no anti hunting lobby, after all there isn't an "anti" group for ratting with terriers… (story)

Rutland Times 28.5.15 Come and enjoy this year’s Rutland County Show - The 183rd Rutland County Show this year is on Sunday, May 31. The show office is hoping for another beautiful day like their first in the new showground last year….No show would be complete without the main ring attractions and this year we have the Mounted Games of GB, the new Military Working Dog Squadron based at St George’s Barracks, Canine Partners, Leicester Tigers and of course the very popular Cottesmore Hunt, but the highlight of the day though is always the prestigious Parade of Livestock Champions…. (story)
Rutland Times 16.5.15 Almost ready for Rutland County Show - Organisers of the Rutland County Show are hoping for another beautiful day like their first in their new home last year…. Other additions to the show this year are a farrier competition. There is also a vintage dairy, the NFU roadshow, the dog zone, the parrot show, the hilarious sheep show, a demonstration by the Military Working Dog Squadron based at St George’s Barracks in Cottesmore, as well as Leicester Tigers and the Cottesmore Hunt…. (story)

Horse & Hound 28.5.15 Would you wed your horse? This man did just that [VIDEO] - Have you ever decided that you love your horse so much that you want to marry them? Well, you are not alone, because a wedding took place on Friday 22 May between a hunting man and his faithful horse. Renowned on the hunting field, Irishman Aidan “Suntan” O’Connell married Oliver, his favourite 25-year-old hunter at Bunratty Manor Hotel in Co Clare… After the Reverend had asked if anybody in the congregation knew of any reason why the couple should not get married, he proceeded with the ceremony: “Aidan Donncadha O’Connell of no fixed abode, do you take Oliver Equus as your lawful partner in marriage, with equal sharing of laundry, cooking and ironing”, which he replied “Yes”. Then he turned to Oliver and asked the same question where witnesses report there was a definite nod of the head…. (story)

Guardian 28.5.15 No place for animal experiments that cross the line - Opposition to animal experimentation is based on compassion and scientific evidence. It has nothing to do with provoking fear among animal researchers… Isobel Hutchinson Campaigner, Animal Aid
Your editorial on monkey experiments was unbalanced and inaccurate. Monkey experiments are not – and cannot be – “humane”… Jarrod Bailey Senior research scientist, BUAV
I support “pushback” against primate research not out of “sentimentality and fear” but because life as a whole is more important than the purely human part of it… David William Evans Leeds
I was very disappointed in your editorial. It purports to be objective and rational yet it builds in so many assumptions that it leads inevitably to the conclusion that animal experiments are necessary…. Robin Gardner West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire
Your editorial concludes with a chilling phrase: “... that urge to understand which seems uniquely human should triumph over sentimentality and fear”…. Mike Kaye West Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire (letters)
Guardian 26.5.15 The Guardian view on vital medical research on primates: don’t give in to the animal rights advocates - Editorial - Some medical research on primates is vital. It must be humanely conducted, but abandoning it would be craven and foolish - The extraordinary triumph of the neuroscientists in California who have wired up a paralysed man’s brain so that his impulses to move can control a robot arm deserves a toast…. It also shows the importance of research on higher primates…. Yet there is a determined pushback against all research on primates, which earlier this month drove one of Germany’s leading scientists out of the field. The prominent researcher Nikos Logothetis decided to abandon his work on macaques after a campaign against his work in Germany involving threats to him, his co-workers and their families…. This is reminiscent of the prolonged campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences in this country. In both cases the opponents of all animal experimentation gain their ends by frightening anyone less passionately intense. We must resist them…. (story)


Western Morning News 27.5.15 MPs could still vote on repealing hunt ban - despite measure failing to make Queen's Speech By WMNPBowern - A bill to overturn the Hunting Act could still be brought before parliament in the short term – despite the measure failing to appear in the Queen’s Speech…. (story)
Western Daily Press 27.5.15 Pro-hunt campaigners 'still confident and enthusiastic' despite Queen's Speech omission By TristanCork - Hunt campaigners across the West have maintained they are still confident that MPs will be given a free vote on repealing the hunt ban, despite there being no mention of it in the Queen's Speech yesterday. Pro-hunt activists, who volunteered in their thousands to help Conservative candidates get elected in many of the key marginals in Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, are now turning their attention to lobbying MPs to support their call for the ban to be lifted…. (story)
Western Daily Press 27.5.15 A ban on hunting with dogs is absent from the Queen's Speech - Animal welfare groups welcomed the absence of plans to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs in the Queen's Speech, but campaigners warned the threat to the law remained… (story)
Northern Echo 27.5.15 Hunting issue "has not gone away" by Mark Foster - ANIMAL welfare groups have welcomed the absence of plans to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs in the Queen's Speech. However the hunting community itself was quick to point out that they didn’t expect it to be mentioned – and that the Government must still go-ahead with their pre-election promise…. A member of the Bilsdale Hunt on the North York Moors said: “We are all lobbying our MPs to get them on our side and show the strength of countryside opinion…. (story)
Kent & Sussex Courier 27.5.15 Hunting Act repeal not included in Queen's Speech - Animal welfare groups are relieved at the absence of plans to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs in the Queen's Speech this morning, but warn the threat to the law remains…. (story)
AFP via Yahoo News 27.5.15 English foxes safe for now as Cameron backs down - English foxes won a temporary respite after Prime Minister David Cameron's promise to repeal a ban on hunting them failed to make it into his programme outlined in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday…. (story)
Western Morning News 27.5.15 Mixed bag for South West in Queen's Speech - The South West will not be left behind the Prime Minister has pledged, as he unveiled plans to grant greater autonomy and boost growth in the region… But some Westcountry voters will be disappointed by the speech’s failure to mention fox hunting or investment in the region’s infrastructure… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.5.15 Anti-hunt group calls on Scots to block repeal bid - Anti-hunt campaigners trying to stop the hunting ban being repealed believe they have hit upon the one way to persuade Scottish MPs to vote on the matter – by showing that English foxhunts cross the border into Scotland. The Hunt Saboteurs Association has launched an online appeal to raise money to buy a range of GPS-enabled video cameras to use on the border between England and Scotland, to try to draw Scottish politicians into the row over hunting in England…. (story)

Mirror 27.5.15 Environment secretary would vote to legalise fox hunting - and that's her only straight answer in awkward interview BY MIKEY SMITH - Tory environment secretary Liz Truss failed to give a straight answer on anything during an awkward radio interview - except to say that she'd vote to legalise fox hunting. Speaking to the BBC ahead of today's Queen's Speech, she was asked whether a series of measures in the Tory manifesto would make it into the address. In answer to almost every question, she refused to "speculate"… The only question on which she answered with gleeful clarity, was on whether she'd vote to legalise fox hunting. Asked how she'd vote on scrapping the Hunting Act, she said: "I would vote to repeal."… (story)

Independent 27.5.15 Cameron must listen to majority on hunt - At last David Cameron has an opportunity to demonstrate his determination to work for a “one nation” country. The long-running divisive issue of the Hunting Act (Letters, 25 May) needs to be settled once and for all. This may only be achieved if enough Conservative MPs realise that it is time to recognise that the time for protecting the historical privileges of a fortunate few is over…. Michael Branch Wantage, Oxfordshire
I find it very hard to understand that anyone can believe it is right to chase a creature to exhaustion, then watch it ripped to pieces by dogs, merely to increase the confidence in riding of granddaughters and their friends in the Pony Club… Stanley Tyrer Bury, Lancashire
The fox-hunting debate should begin and end with the history of the Isle of Wight. Foxes are not indigenous to the island, they were introduced in 1848 ... by the hunt! Richard Evans Cowes, Isle of Wight (letters)
Independent 25.5.15 Hunting: minority pastime for heartless few - I sympathise with Penelope Reid (letters, 23 May) for the loss of her hens, but we live in a world with wildlife, and conflict is common. The kneejerk reaction of killing all and sundry plainly doesn’t work… Adele Brand Caterham, Surrey
As a hunt monitor for seven seasons I am aware of atrocities that are an everyday occurrence in the hunting calendar (Letters, 21 May)…. The Tories were elected for their economic policies, not to bring back this minority pastime for the heartless few. Margaret Barnicle Holmer Green Buckinghamshire
Sport? On one side a pack of 20 or 30 well-fed hounds, on the other a solitary fox, living on its wits in a hostile environment, trying to bring up a family and often going hungry… Peter Booker Sandhoe Northumberland
Mike McHugh says that passages in previous letters “depicting cruelty to the fox mirror exactly the cruelty inflicted on my half dozen hens by Mr Fox”, and says that he has “little sympathy now” with foxes being chased by the hunt…. the cruelty inflicted by foxes is not morally equivalent to the cruelty inflicted on foxes by hunting them with dogs. This is because foxes, unlike human beings, are not moral agents… John Dakin Toddington Bedfordshire (story)
Independent 23.5.15 Let’s be truthful about hunting - Like Mike McHugh (letter, 21 May), I am the witness of vulpine depredation, having lost my burnished bantam cockerel and several fine Light Sussex hens from a daytime raid… But my real concern is rather more serious in that it involves my grand-daughters. They have just become reasonably confident riders on their small ponies and it would be good if soon they could go hunting , as do many of their friends in the local Pony Club. I know that if they did, they would learn patience, courage, horsemanship and a knowledge of farming and the countryside… Penelope Reid Wantage, Oxfordshire (letter)
Independent 21.5.15 Little sympathy for killer foxes - The letters from L M Smith and Denise Ward (18 May) eloquently set out the opinion of the majority of us as regards the so-called “sport” of fox hunting, but one or two passages in their letters depicting cruelty to the fox mirrored exactly the cruelty inflicted on my half-dozen hens recently by Mr Fox... Mike McHugh Leeds
I am grateful for the reasoned tone of Eric Carpenter’s response (letter, 16 May) to my argument that support of hunting and a longing for a more inclusive politics are compatible. I hope that the debate to come, when repeal of the Hunting Act is proposed, will be as respectful.... Philip Martin Alderholt, Dorset
The supporters of fox hunting justify this so-called sport as an efficient method of “vermin” control... A tenant farmer kept chickens, some of which he lost to a fox. He shot the fox. His landlord warned him that if he killed another fox he would be evicted. The landlord was the local hunt master.... Ray Radley Horringer, Suffolk (letters)
Independent 18.5.15 A sport fit for deranged Roman emperors - After promising to work for “all of Britain”, David Cameron decides to ignore the majority of people in the UK by giving the current crop of MPs the power to repeal the ban on chasing and killing deer, hares and foxes with packs of dogs, in the name of “sport”…. People, including my Conservative voting mother, did not vote for him to bring blood sports back to Britain. L M Smith Chichester
What does it show about the UK when a group that is less than 1 per cent of the population can force a change in a popular law? As a hunt monitor and producer of the documentary A Minority Pastime, I have now witnessed foxhunting many times… Humans are the same across class and wealth divides. What is different about this group is that it commands high social status and the disproportionate power of great wealth…. Denise Ward Stroud, Gloucestershire (letters)
Independent 15.5.15 Hunting is not good stewardship - I lived for many years in the countryside and, in my experience, the right to hunt is not “part of a responsible and well-reasoned stewardship”… Of the farmers I knew, none were interested, nor had the time, nor would spend money on keeping an expensive horse as a plaything to ride while dressed up in fancy attire… Eric Carpenter Bath (letter)

Sunderland Echo 27.5.15 Prince not in real world - I don’t have a problem with Prince Charles voicing his concerns with governments…. No it was more like his concern that fox hunting may be banned. That’s right, the animal-loving prince thinks there’s nothing wrong with chasing a defenceless animal around on a horse and being torn to pieces by his dogs in the name of sport…. Ged Taylor, via email (story)

Yorkshire Post 27.5.15 Grouse moors are a desolate wasteland From: Dominic Rayner, Gledhow Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds. AMANDA Anderson of the Moorland Association was “compelled” to write to you (The Yorkshire Post, May 22), but her arguments are far from compelling. As the representative of a bunch of large landowners, of course her job is to write to you in defence of the huge public subsidies paid to the landowners, but they are indefensible. Anyone who has walked across a managed grouse moor will be astonished that such an empty landscape could be the result of a conservation strategy…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 22.5.15 Why grouse moors are vital for preserving our landscapes From: Amanda Anderson, Director, The Moorland Association, Austwick, Lancaster. I AM compelled to correct the misconceptions and inaccuracies in Dr Toni Shephard’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, May 13). Not only does she claim the Foundation for Common Land’s report on the future of some our most precious and beautiful high ground is one-sided, she fails to appreciate the benefits of managing moorland for wild red grouse… (letter)
< target=main href="">Yorkshire Post 13.5.15 A grouse with moor report -From: Dr Toni Shephard, Head of Policy & Research, League Against Cruel Sports. I MUST take issue with the Foundation for Common Land’s one-sided report hailing the management of two grouse moors as ‘good examples’ (The Yorkshire Post, May 2). Management of grouse moors only benefits species that have exactly the same habitat requirements as red grouse… (letter)

Spectator 27.5.15 Equine squatters: the topic that united the Countryside Alliance and the RSPCA - Camilla Swift - In September last year I wrote about horses being illegally grazed and abandoned, and the inability of landowners to do anything about it… as of yesterday the Control of Horses Act 2015 has come into force, which means more powers to move the equines elsewhere…. Fly-grazing has been a very interesting battle as it has united a number of groups who might not have otherwise worked together. The likes of the National Farmers Union and the Countryside Alliance have both had their own issues with the RSPCA in recent years, but on fly-grazing they have all worked together in a bid to find a solution for the benefit of both horses and humans… (story)


Shropshire Star 26.5.15 Poll: Should fox hunting be brought back? - A substantial number of Conservatives would help defeat attempts to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs, Liam Fox has said…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 26.5.15 Listen to public over hunt ban - I WOULD refer to the comments made by Simon Hart MP (Post, May 19) who is reported as saying that the hunting of foxes could return to the countryside of South West Wales. I must point out that the Hunting Act is supported by 80 per cent of the British public and almost 70 per cent of Conservative supporters… D Meskill Port Talbot (letter)
Western Daily Press 25.5.15 Government's attempt to repeal the ban on hunting will fail says MP Liam Fox By Jeff Wells - Former cabinet minister Liam Fox believes Tories opposed to fox hunting will ensure any vote to repeal the 2004 Hunting Act will fail…. Peter Heaton-Jones, MP for North Devon, said he believed the ban was an "unreasonable and unenforceable" piece of legislation…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 24.5.15 Attempts to overturn hunting ban will fail, Liam Fox predicts By Ben Riley-Smith, Political Correspondent - MPs will defeat David Cameron’s attempts to overturn the hunting ban, Liam Fox has predicted in what would prove a major blow for countryside campaigners. The former defence secretary said a “substantial” number of Tory MPs will vote against repealing the controversial law should there be a free vote…. (story)
Mail on Sunday 24.5.15 Cameron will LOSE vote to bring back fox hunting because a 'substantial number of Conservatives are against it' By TOM MCTAGUE, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE - Any bid by David Cameron to bring back fox hunting is likely to be voted down by MPs even though the Tories have a majority, former Defence Secretary Liam Fox said today. The senior backbench MP said there was a substantial number of Conservatives who would vote with Labour and the other parties to keep the ban in place…. (story)
Western Morning News 24.5.15 Former Tory cabinet minister says anti-hunting Conservatives will vote to keep hunt ban By WMNPBowern - A substantial number of Conservatives would help defeat attempts to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs, Liam Fox has said. As the Countryside Alliance launches an e-lobby to persuade MPs to vote to scrap the ban in a free vote promised by David Cameron, anti-hunt Tories are lining up to vote to keep the legislation in place, according the ex-cabinet minister…. (story)

The Comet 26.5.15 Walker left horrified after stumbling upon heap of dead animals in wood near Baldock - A walker has been left horrified after stumbling upon a heap of dead animals and birds yards away from a public footpath near Baldock…. He said: “When I stumbled on this horror, I counted deer, rabbits, hares, squirrels, foxes, stoats, weasels, crows, magpies and jays…. What could be sacred to this monster? Well I’ll tell you. Pheasants and partridges. This mess is sitting next to pheasant pens, and is approached through a minefield of wire snares… Who is responsible? We’ll try and name and shame the lowlife gamekeeper, but it’s the landowners and in the bigger picture the shooting industry… (story)


Telegraph 25.5.15 Ivan Massow: The Tories are the gayest party there is - As Ivan Massow launches his campaign to be Tory candidate for Mayor of London, Bryony Gordon asks why, as a self-made millionaire and father-to-be, he would want to ruin it all by going into politics By Bryony Gordon - Ivan Massow has just launched a campaign to be selected as Conservative candidate for Mayor of London… As it is, being gay has never caused him any trouble politically – if anything, it’s helped him to get on, he suggests. “But the fact I went fox hunting?” He squirms in his seat. Does he still hunt? “It’s not allowed any more. We do a bit of bloodhounding, but our people are very strict.” He is aware, moreover, that fox hunting isn’t very “London”, and he’d rather it stayed banned… (story)

Western Morning News 25.5.15 Sir Ian Botham goes into bat against bird charity over saving the hen harrier - It is all happening a long way from the Westcountry, but the row over hen harriers has relevance for conservation everywhere. Philip Bowern reports …Sir Ian Botham, the former Somerset and England cricketer – a country lover and passionate defender of shooting sports – has joined the debate, and claimed that gamekeepers, rather than posing a threat to the iconic birds of prey, offer the best hope of their long-term survival… Martin Harper, RSPB director of conservation recently acknowledged the value of lowland pheasant shoots for providing good habitat for other species, including song birds. In this instance, however, he is less sympathetic to the shooting interests…. (story)
Mail on Sunday 24.5.15 I'll sue RSPB for libel after charity's incompetence and misleading ads, says former cricketer Sir Ian Botham By JO KNOWSLEY FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY - Sir Ian Botham has threatened legal action against the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, claiming the 126-year-old organisation has accused him of illegally killing birds of prey. Lawyers for the England cricket legend sent a stern letter to the charity after comments it made on the BBC last week about him… The RSPB would not win the respect of the countryside, he adds, until it stops 'constantly slurring gamekeepers as criminals' – 'They do this because it gives them a class war propaganda line against 'shooting toffs' to help whip up donations…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 24.5.15 RSPB 'sit on their hands’ as endangered species die, Sir Ian Botham says - The RSPB is full of ‘deckchair conservationists' who 'sit on their hands’ as endangered species die, Sir Ian Botham has said as waded into a row over the disappearance of three Hen Harriers…. “The RSPB are deckchair conservationists with binoculars who sit and watch failing nests. They campaign, they complain, they blame - but they are rubbish at conservation. Year after year the RSPB fails to live up to its name and protect birds. If you want to protect birds from predators you need gamekeepers not the RSPB,” Sir Ian said…. (story)

Sheffield Star 25.5.15 Badger Trust response to HRH Prince Charles’ letters - The Badger Trust has reacted strongly to pro-culling comments made by HRH Prince Charles in his recently revealed correspondence with the government. Peter Martin, the Trust’s newly appointed Chairman and a close neighbour of the Prince in Tetbury said, “These comments display a complete lack of understanding not only of basic badger ecology but also of the true causes of TB in cattle…. (story)


Eastern Daily Press 24.5.15 Lurchers and ferrets at North Norfolk Country Fair - Alex Hurrell - Lurcher racing proved a popular new addition to this year’s North Norfolk Country Fair. The event, now in its eighth year, attracted about 4,000 people to the village’s community field today, although afternoon rain saw many make an early departure. Regular favourites included ferret racing, a gun dog scurry, and the North Norfolk Harriers who brought along hunt hounds to meet the public…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 24.5.15 Countdown begins for Three Counties Show - It's nearly time for the annual Three Counties Show – and organisers are promising that this year's event will be bigger and better than ever before…. The Three Counties show is this year branching out into more dog competitions, with the first ever hound show taking place. The show, on the Saturday, will feature hounds that hunt within Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, with individual classes for hounds and beagles… The Royal Three Counties Show is taking place from Friday, June 12 to Sunday, June 14 at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern… (story)

Independent on Sunday 24.5.15 Hunting ban: David Cameron to propose 'middle way' to limit outcry over animal welfare - JANE MERRICK , MARK LEFTLY - David Cameron is considering a “middle way” option to the controversial planned repeal of the hunting ban in a bid to limit public outcry over animal welfare, it has emerged. A bill to axe the 2004 Hunting Act will not be in this week’s Queen’s Speech but legislation is expected before Christmas… (story)

Cornishman/West Briton 24.5.15 Shots fired in fight over proposed Commons free vote on repeal of ban on fox hunting with dogs By WBJeff - The battle over the potential return of legalised fox hunting with hounds is heating up after a campaign group kick-started its lobbying efforts for a repeal of the ban while a former Conservative minister said rebel Tories could help defeat such a move. The pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, which secured a promise from Prime minster David Cameron for a free vote on the law, has launched an online lobby of MPs to make sure the new Conservative Government sticks to it…. (story)


Telegraph 23.5.15 Conservative attempts to scrap hunting ban could start within weeks - Exclusive: David Cameron wants to support a backbench proposal to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs - which is less certain to be successful in Parliament By Christopher Hope, Chief Political Correspondent (story)

Argus 23.5.15 MPs must not vote to make hunting legal ten years after ban by Chris Pitt, Deputy Campaigns Director for League Against Cruel Sports - Within hours of the election result becoming clear, the issue of hunting with dogs was already being raised…. In among the statistics and the bluster, there’s one simple truth that cannot be ignored. Hunting was banned because it is hideously cruel…. (story)

Express 23.5.15 5-year-old British child given SHOTGUN license - ALMOST 50 children aged under 10, including one five-year-old, have been granted shotgun licences in the past five years. By MATTHEW DAVIS - The five-year-old was given the licence in 2012 despite being too young to read or properly understand the document…. The Gun Control Network spokesman said: “Shotgun licences and any other gun licence should only be issued to adults aged 18 or over… A gun is designed for one purpose, to kill, and the danger it poses in the mindset of the child is that it’s fun and ‘normal’ to kill things. It is a teaching of brutalisation and cruelty.”… (story)

Hertfordshire Mercury 23.5.15 National Vegetarian Week on the menu in Herts - Once just the realm of hippies and those in search of an "alternative" lifestyle, vegetarianism has surged in popularity in recent years… This week marks National Vegetarian Week, which aims to promote a wider uptake in a non-meat diet. Vic Hobson is the managing director of Hertford's only vegetarian café, Mudlarks… (story)

Bristol Post 23.5.15 Thousands head to Bristol's Vegfest to celebrate vegan food - Thousands of foodies and music lovers gathered at Bristol Harbourside for the 13th annual Vegfest… (story)


Southend Echo 22.5.15 We want hunting ban to stay, Echo readers say by Matthew Porter - FOX hunting is still a hugely divisive issue in the country… A poll on the Echo’s website received more than 10,000 votes, demonstrating the big interest in any vote. In total, 6,422 people (60 per cent) said fox hunting should stay banned, while 4,223 people (40 per cent) called for the Hunting Act to be revoked…. (story)
Halstead Gazette 20.5.15 POLL: Should fox hunting stay banned? - AS David Cameron returns to Number 10, the Conservatives plan to offer a vote to overturn a ban on fox hunting. .. (story)

Ecologist 22.5.15 Bring back fox hunting and hare coursing? Not on our watch - Chris Pitt - Fresh from his surprise election victory, David Cameron is facing calls to expedite a 'free vote' in Parliament to repeal the law that forbids hunting with dogs, writes Chris Pitt. We must make sure our MPs vote to protect wild animals from the horrendous cruelty that resumed hunting would inflict on them… (story)

Guardian 22.5.15 Anti-foxhunting groups lobby SNP MPs to help quash hunting ban repeal - New Scottish National party MPs are being lobbied by voters in the rest of the UK who are promising to holiday in Scotland and buy more whisky if they vote against the repeal of the hunting ban…. Some Tory MPs are pushing for a vote on foxhunting to be held within the next few months after a repeal of Labour’s 2004 Hunting Act was promised in the party’s manifesto… (story)

Mirror 22.5.15 Fox hunting: Petition against lifting the ban attracts more than 100,000 signatures BY HELEN WHITEHOUSE - David Cameron plans to hold a vote on the repeal of the fox hunting ban at some point in the not too distant future but many people strongly oppose this idea - and this petition proves it - A petition has been created urging people to "Ask your MP to vote against fox hunting" and has gained over 100,000 signatures… (story)
Mirror 13.5.15 More than 200,000 people sign fox hunting petition after David Cameron returns to Number 10 By Dan Bloom - The Conservatives have promised a free vote on Labour's 2004 hunting ban to the horror of animal rights campaigners - More than 215,000 people have urged David Cameron to keep the fox hunting ban since he returned to Number 10 on Friday…. Now a huge swell of people have joined calls to stop the change in an online petition, whose total signatures reached 200,000 last night. The campaign, started by Becky White from St Helens, Merseyside, slams fox hunting as a 'vicious and outdated pastime'… (story)


Westmorland Gazette 21.5.15 Hunting ban battle looms in Cumbria by Katie Dickinson - A FIGHT to end the 10-year ban on hunting with dogs over the Lake District fells is set to come to a head as the new Parliament gets under way, campaigners have said…. Roger Westmorland, of Coniston Foxhounds, said he would do “whatever it takes”, and was due to meet with MPs in London this week about the issue…. (story)

Daily Record 21.5.15 Torcuil Crichton: Tougher calls than shooting a Tory fox - ANIMAL rights are a sensitive issue but TORCUIL questions why SNP MPs would worry about vixens in our neighbours’ yards when jobs are at stake in our own communities? NEW SNP MPs report one of their biggest mailbags, albeit electronic, is on the repeal of foxhunting in England. Anti-hunt campaigners are bombarding Westminster in anticipation of a Bill overturning the Labour ban on foxhunting being in the Queen’s Speech under “other measures”…. The trouble is, SNP MPs usually do not vote on issues that only affect England and Wales. This could be an exception, creating a precedent, leading to a pattern…. Animal rights are a sensitive issue but why worry about vixens in our neighbours’ yards when jobs are at stake in our own communities?... (story)

Bath Chronicle 21.5.15 Fox Hunting: MP Ben Howlett says issue "is not as black and white as some have made it out to be". Newly elected Bath MP Ben Howlett has backed a repeal of the Hunting Act, but has declined to tell the Bath Chronicle whether he is in favour of fox hunting…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 21.5.15 Alex Brown: "Nothing progressive about our politicians - or society - if we repeal the hunting ban" - "Vote for us – we'll take Britain forward" was the gist of things from every candidate, email and if I'd bothered to read through the forest of leaflets pushed through the letterbox, I'm sure it would be there too. No one suggested a step back in time… I'm all for looking at bad decisions but there is absolutely nothing progressive about repealing the hunting ban…. Tradition? Just because something has been done for centuries doesn't make it right. Was slavery right? Was it right that homosexuality was illegal until the 1960s? Was it right that women were once barred from voting. No, no and no…. (story)

Horse & Hound 21.5.15 ‘The election won, let the battle on behalf of hunting commence’ -It’s hard not to be optimistic. Royal Windsor Horse Show brought in spring with unforgettable displays of horsemanship — little and large. And now that the Conservatives are back in, their promise to offer a free vote in government time over the future of the Hunting Act 2004 offers — for the first time in years — a real hope for us all. Horse & Hound’s position has always been clear: we support any opportunity to change this bad piece of legislation… (story)

Mail 21.5.15 Animal rights radical aiming at top office in the RSPCA wants to 'phase out' pet ownership By Ben Spencer, Science Reporter for the Daily Mail - The charity's 22,000 members will vote to fill five of 25 seats on the council. Of the eight candidates, five has a history of radical views on animal rights. The RSPCA has been criticised in the past for pursuing a 'political' agenda, including prosecuting fox hunts rather than focusing on animal welfare…. Mr Bryant is one of the more radical of the candidates, who wants pet ownership phased out in the coming years…. (story)
Telegraph 21.5.15 Radical campaigners vying to be elected to run the RSPCA By Victoria Ward - An animal rights activist who has compared pet keeping to slavery is among those bidding to be elected to the RSPCA’s ruling council, it has been claimed. John Bryant, an author who writes about animal liberation, has called for dogs to be freed “from the leather nooses and chains” that enslave it.... Mr Bryant, a former chief officer of the League Against Cruel Sports who now works as a “humane” pest controller, wrote in his 1982 book Fettered Kingdoms: “The cat, like the dog, must disappear. We should cut the domestic cat free ...(story)
The Week 21.5.15 RSPCA candidate compared farming to holocaust - Another animal rights activist seeking election as RSPCA trustee wants to set pets freed from 'leather nooses'... a handful of the latest nominees have raised eyebrows with their extreme views on animal rights. Peta Watson-Smith, who is standing again after failing to win last year, caused outrage among the Jewish community with her comments on farming... Founders of the Centre for Animals and Social Justice, Dan Lyons and Angela Roberts, are also standing as candidates. They were previously part of the pressure group Uncaged, which compared acid attacks on people to the treatment of captive animals. Another possible contender is John Bryant, a pioneering animal rights activist and former chief officer of the League Against Cruel Sports.... (story)
Mirror 21.5.15 RSPCA council elections: Who's in the running for the RSPCA ruling council? BY HELEN WHITEHOUSE - The candidates for the RSPCA ruling council elections have hit the headlines due to their quite out there views on the treatment of animals.... John Bryant is the one who has been hitting the news by comparing the keeping of domestic pets to slavery... Another candidate with a slightly controversial outlook is Peta Watson Smith, who compares the farming industry to the holocaust.... Dan is the co-founder of Centre for Animals and Social Justice, which is basically an animal protection charity.... Angela Roberts actually co-founded Uncaged Campaigns, where fellow candidate Dan Lyons was director. Dan is her partner, which could be slightly awkward as they are both running for vacancies... (story)

Western Morning News 21.5.15 Repeal unworkable Hunting Act - It seems that the Countryside Alliance feels sure that it has enough MPs on its side to have the ridiculous Hunting Act repealed within 12 months. Since its inception the Act has had more holes in it than a sieve and has never really worked... So do the right thing and repeal this unworkable Hunting Act. by Colin Richey Tiverton (letter)

Western Morning News 21.5.15 Wrong to incite others to hunt - In 1973 an Act of Parliament required motorcyclists to wear approved safety helmets.Many riders objected to compulsion and a protest organisation was formed. Motorcyclists protested by taking part in organised “non helmet” runs... I see similarity with the actions of The Countryside Alliance, members having signed a pledge that they will continue to hunt foxes. If motorcyclists, who harmed nobody, could be prosecuted for incitement, why are hunt seniors not prosecuted for inciting others to hunt in defiance of the law?... by Mike Baker St Austell (letter)

Swindon Advertiser 21.5.15 Ecological disaster -I HAVE just watched the BBC news reporting on a study issued by a body representing British Wildlife. This study showed that in the last five years we have lost 80 per cent of our river wildlife... They quote two main reasons for this disaster. The first is the change in the farming industries where farmers were forced, for economical reasons, to abandon the old traditional farms... Secondly, the near extinction of water voles and decimation of fish was caused by the release of hundreds of mink being illegally freed from licensed and legal mink farms by animal welfare activists who smashed their way into farms, destroyed pens and released these voracious animals to spread all over the country... A CURTIS Kingsley Avenue Royal Wootton Bassett (letter)


Mirror 20.5.15 David Cameron thanks fox hunters for helping him win election in celebratory text message - The PM went out of his way to pay tribute to bloodsports enthusiasts who had campaigned in key constituencies to help boost the Tory vote - David Cameron sent fox hunters a text thanking them for their crucial election backing within minutes of realising he had snatched victory…. The PM’s text was revealed in a celebratory online message by the Ledbury Hunt in Gloucestershire…. He boasted: “The Prime Minister sent this text to us early this morning ‘Please thank Vote-OK for all their amazing work’.”… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 20.5.15 The great fox hunting debate set for round 2 - THERE have been few such divisive debates down the years than that which saw fox hunting banned but buckle up its about to enter round two. A decision on whether a ban on fox hunting will be scrapped could be made in the next few months according to one Conservative MP, Simon Hart… (story)

Bath Chronicle 20.5.15 Fox hunting debate: Pressure grows on SNP MPs to step in By Tristan Cork - The West's Conservative MPs have said that if Scottish National Party MPs do decide to vote to stop the repeal of the hunt ban in England, it will spark a constitutional crisis over the make-up of the United Kingdom…. (story)
Western Daily Press 19.5.15 How Tories will make SNP position on hunting vote 'untenable' as pressure grows on Scots to step in By TristanCork - The West's Conservative MPs have said that if Scottish National Party MPs do decide to vote to stop the repeal of the hunt ban in England, it will spark a constitutional crisis over the make-up of the United Kingdom. Pro-hunt Tory James Gray said the SNP would 'bring themselves into disrepute' if they do decide to go back on a pledge not to interfere on English laws that don't affect Scotland, and it would hasten controversial moves to bring in 'English only votes'. One tactic from the pro-hunt lobby could be to propose amending the Hunting Act so that it mirrors the more lax law in Scotland – putting any SNP MP in the 'untenable' position of voting against a law in England that they themselves passed in Scotland… (story)

Essex Chronicle 20.5.15 Is fox hunting set for a return to Essex? By ricbrown3193 - Fox hunting could make it's return in 2015, 11 years after it was first banned, one Conservative MP has claimed. Simon Hart, MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, has said that he hopes the issue will be brought up for debate by the autumn, in a move which is likely to anger animal rights groups across the country… MPs would be allowed to vote however they wished on foxhunting as it is considered to be an issue of conscience, and one Essex politician likely to be in favour of a return is Maldon's John Whittingdale…. (story)

Rhyl, Prestatyn & Abergele Journal 20.5.15 More than 26,000 sign petition launched by Rhyl animal welfare campaigner to ban terrier work - Suzanne Jordan - MORE than 26,000 people have signed an online petition calling a ban on fox flushing and terrier work. Judi Hewitt, an animal welfare campaigner from Rhyl, launched the campaign on Care2 against the “cruel practise” and echoed a statement from one of her supporters that she would “sign the petition in her own blood” if she could…. (story)

Kent Messenger 20.5.15 Villagers help hunting group search for missing hound in West Farleigh, Maidstone by Anna Young - A hunting dog has turned the tables on its owners by becoming the target of a woodland search. A fox hound called Polka has been living as a stray in West Farleigh since she was separated from her pack over 10 weeks ago. Members of the Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt say they have returned almost every day since the animal’s disappearance but have been able to catch her, despite help from villagers…. (story)

Plymouth Herald 20.5.15 Dog owner warns of Dartmoor hound which attacked her Jack Russell By CARL EVE - A JACK Russell was left with puncture wounds to his neck after being attacked by a hound on Dartmoor. Paula Metters, from Leigham, said her 62-year-old husband Allen and their five-year-old Jack Russell, Patch, take daily walks on the moors… Allen, who always keeps Patch on a lead, was left trying to battle off what appeared to be a hunting dog which burst out of bushes at a patch of ground near the Clearbrook… Allen described the dog as being black and white, around three to four feet high and appeared similar to a Harrier Hound or an English Foxhound…. (story)

Mail 20.5.15 Sorry Ms Lumley you're barmy to feed urban foxes: ANDREW PIERCE, who's had his home invaded, says it's wrong to be soppy about these 'vermin' By Andrew Pierce for the Daily Mail - As sunlight poured through the lounge door that was open on to my back garden, I saw a flash of red. At first I thought it was my imagination until my two cats, backs arched, began edging across the floor towards me. There, bold as brass, in the middle of the room, was the reason. A large fox…. When I called pest control at Camden Council, I was told it was not policy to kill foxes. ‘We don’t believe in cruelty to animals. The foxes were there before your cats,’ the female official at the Labour-controlled local authority told me. ‘I’ll put some leaflets in the post.’ When I pointed out foxes can’t read, she ended the conversation…. The fact is that the fox is not a loveable bushy-tailed cartoon character. It’s a ruthless omnivore with a strong sense of territory which can stretch to 400 gardens. I know a lot of readers will strongly disagree but I believe they should be put on a par with rats… (story)

Guardian 20.5.15 The risks of feeding an urban fox - Paula Cocozza - Joanna Lumley invites them into her London home, feeds them and allows them to lounge on her sofa – but what happens if your neighbours don’t share your fondess for foxes?... “It’s the sheer beauty of the animal. I think we all – most of us – like to feel close to nature at some point,” says Sally Beggs, who runs the Urban Fox Defenders Facebook page. “To be very close to a beautiful animal that is essentially very shy is something quite special.”…. But city foxes are divisive, and feeding them can upset the neighbours. That is often when Tom Keightley, a pest control expert with 35 years’ experience, gets a call…. (story)


Western Morning News 19.5.15 Scottish Nationalists could scupper efforts to repeal hunting ban By WMNPBowern - Hopes – or fears – are growing that David Cameron could be making good on his promise to put repeal of the hunt ban to a vote inside 12 months. Philip Bowern reports - There are huge issues facing David Cameron’s Conservative government, with its narrow House of Commons majority, over the next five years. But one of them, delivering on the manifesto promise to put a free vote to MPs on repealing the ten year old hunt ban, could be decided inside 12 months… (story)

Hereford Times 19.5.15 Hunting ban to be overturned? by Gary Bills-Geddes - LEDBURY Hunt has issued a statement on its website in support of the new Conservative Government, and expressing the hope that the ban on hunting will now be overturned. Hunt spokesman, Donald Haden revealed that supporters of the hunt had helped with the Tory's election campaign locally, including in Worcestershire…. (story)

Newcastle Chronicle 19.5.15 Durham MP Kevan Jones is warned that lifting hunting ban could wipe out brown hare population - Lifting the ban on dog hunts could wipe out the entire British hare population, a Durham MP is being warned. Following news that the hunting ban could be repealed within months, an urgent letter has been sent by the Hare Preservation Trust to North Durham MP Kevan Jones. In it John Rimington warns that the native “inoffensive brown hare”, which has already seen its numbers plummet by 80%, could be effectively killed off if the current ban is overturned…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 19.5.15 "Pandering to a tiny minority of noisy extremists won't get us elected, it will get us rejected" By Simon Hart (story)
Spectator 14.5.15 Pandering to animal rights extremists will get MPs rejected, not elected - Simon Hart - The reasons why England and Wales voted so convincingly for a Conservative Government on Thursday will be debated forever, but one of the most obvious is the complete rejection of both Labour and Liberal Democrats in any constituency that has a hint of the countryside about it…. In 2015 Labour’s policy offer to the countryside was little more than a series of threats about everything from gun ownership to badger culling and extraordinarily the Liberal Democrats, despite having many sensible MPs in rural areas, also managed to exude indifference towards the countryside at a national level…. The message is clear to all of us in politics. Pandering to a tiny minority of noisy extremists won’t get us elected, it will get us rejected… (story)

West Briton 19.5.15 POLL: Opinion split over hunting ban By DaveCDM - After more than 2,500 votes in our hunting poll, opinion is split on whether the controversial Hunting Act should be scrapped…. Our poll, which asks if readers would like to see the Hunting Act scrapped, has split opion, with 50% supporting its repeal, 49% wanting to see the ban stay in place, and 1% unsure…. (story)
Cornish Guardian 17.5.15 POLL: Readers in favour of scrapping hunting ban By DaveCDM - A plan to scrap the Hunting Act would be supported across Cornwall according to our poll of more than 1,000 people across the Duchy… So far, 73% of people have voted in favour of scrapping the act, with 26% of people saying they want to keep the ban in place… (story)
West Briton 16.5.15 POLL: Ban on hunting with dogs could go within 12 months claim hunt supporters By cmjohnw - Supporters of hunting with dogs say they are confident of overturning the ban imposed 10 years ago, claiming a majority of MPs in the new House of Commons will vote to lift it…. The pro-hunting lobby, which has analysed the views of the MPs elected this month, believes it has achieved the “magic number" of 286 votes it needs to win. The figure is less than half of the 650-member House because the Scottish National Party has said its 56 MPs will not take part…. (story)

Metro 19.5.15 ‘It’s time to bring back hunting with dogs’ - James Barrington - Hunting is a barbarous activity carried out by people who couldn’t care less about the welfare of wild animals – if you believe the likes of Ricky Gervais and Brian May. However, any genuine scrutiny of their viewpoint proves it to be false. I say this as a former executive director of the League Against Cruel Sports – one of a number of people who worked for that organisation who have changed their minds on the validity of the anti-hunt case…. (story)

Evesham Journal 19.5.15 "Bizarre": what Worcester's former MP said about any plans to repeal fox hunting with dogs - WORCESTER'S former MP has branded any plans to repeal the ban on fox hunting with dogs as 'bizarre'…. The ban on fox hunting with dogs was introduced in England and Wales under the Labour Government more than a decade ago (the Hunting Act 2004) with Worcester's then MP Mike Foster backing the ban which has been branded 'pointless' by the Countryside Alliance…. Worcester's MP Robin Walker said although he would vote for a repeal of the ban as he did not believe the legislation worked he had more important issues on his agenda… (story)

Bournemouth Echo 19.5.15 Hunting is a 'cruel sport' - I APPLAUD your courage in the printing of your front page story in Saturday’s Echo, May 16, showing the sickening, unlawful slaughter of deer in Purbeck recently… The Hunting Act was made law in 2005 and made it illegal to hunt wild animals with packs of dogs… Wildlife in the countryside must never again have to endure the cruelty of being ripped apart by a pack of dogs in the name of sport. I cannot believe that anyone would want to bring back such wanton cruelty… DAVID WEBBER Forest Way, Wimborne (letter)

Scotsman 19.5.15 Hunting ban - The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act was passed by the devolved Scottish Parliament in 2002… It has long been a Conservative Party pledge to repeal the Hunting Act south of the Border and following David Cameron’s election success this is now a serious possibility. This nightmare cannot be allowed to happen,… Bryan Griffiths Bedworth Warwickshire (letter)

Western Morning News 19.5.15 Hunting Act needs to be revised - David Clark, having seen the destruction caused by a fox in a chicken run, says the only good fox is a dead one. But this is not a justification for hunts ensuring that their “country ” has an adequate number of foxes to pursue. Hunts call the practice of providing artificial habitats for foxes to breed as “conservation” …. In any event, hunts only operate on countryside known to be free of dangerous obstacles and with ample room for fast riding. Not the same place that chickens are usually kept…. by Mike Baker St Austell (letter)
Western Morning News 15.5.15 The best fox is a dead one - The recent opinion article by Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports (WMN, April 28) upset me. The best fox, is a dead one. No matter how it’s killed…. I was only young when a fox broke into our chicken coop and I came home from school to bedlam… Years roll on. The Hunting Act was badly done. But that’s Labour. by David Clark Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 19.5.15 In My Opinion - I cannot believe that the country voted for the Tories By Michael Thompson, Brixham - On behalf of the old, the ill, the disabled, the homeless, the unemployed, and the employed working in low waged, short term, insecure jobs, what must the Tories do before the English reject them?... Also the Tory manifesto says the party wants to scrap the Human Rights Act, and David Cameron is also going to try to repeal Labour’s fox hunting ban. I cannot believe the English Tory voters want this either?... (letter)

Evening Standard 19.5.15 Simon Jenkins: They may look cute, but urban foxes are a growing menace - The numbers in Kensington are out of control and the council claims it is powerless to do anything about them - The foxes are back, and with reinforcements. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the only place in southern England whose human population is actually falling, largely due to buy-to-leave. It has clearly decided to make up the missing numbers with foxes... Two years ago I found a vixen with two cubs beneath my garden shed... I was advised to call a “fox consultant” in Tunbridge Wells. He asked after the health of the cubs — “aren’t they adorable?” — and suggested if I really did not want them I should spread urine round the den... I have tried everything. Bricks and repellent are ineffective. Lines of male guests spray urine by the gallon on flower beds.... The garden is all but unusable... Just wait until the first child is attacked. The council claims that attacks by foxes on children are “statistically rare” and it is happy to take that risk rather than cull foxes. I would not dream of leaving a child in my London garden, or leave open garden doors or windows.... (story)

Telegraph 19.5.15 RSPB 'sit on their hands’ as endangered species die, Sir Ian Botham says - The RSPB is full of ‘deckchair conservationists' who 'sit on their hands’ as endangered species die, Sir Ian Botham has said as waded into a row over the disappearance of three Hen Harriers…. “The RSPB are deckchair conservationists with binoculars who sit and watch failing nests. They campaign, they complain, they blame - but they are rubbish at conservation. Year after year the RSPB fails to live up to its name and protect birds. If you want to protect birds from predators you need gamekeepers not the RSPB,” Sir Ian said…. (story)

Dundee Courier 19.5.15 Raptors killing our wildlife - Journalist and former television presenter Robin Page went on record last week with a bravely honest assessment of the damage that killer birds are doing to our wildlife across the United Kingdom. Both Dr David Bellamy and Mr Page were ostracised by the BBC for telling the truth about predators…. If Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB were to release some sea eagles and pine martens into our cities’ lovely parks, then utter carnage would ensue with the deaths of everything from much-loved chihuahua pets to Canada geese… Michael C Smith.Threapmuir Farm.Cleish,Kinross.(story)

Belfast Telegraph 19.5.15 End to testing on animals not yet achievable - Julia Baines (Write Back, May 14) and I agree that some fantastic progress has been made in developing alternatives to using animals in scientific research…. Julia Baines wants us to stop medical research until alternatives to animals are discovered. Personally, I do not want to tell people with currently incurable diseases that nobody is searching for treatments for them, because they are not allowed to use animals. If we want medical progress, animal research remains necessary. WENDY JARRETT Chief executive, Understanding Animal Research (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 14.5.15 Animal testing is cruel and dated - Misinformed and out of touch, Wendy Jarrett (Write Back, May 7) remains in the Dark Ages of animal testing with her failure to recognise the astounding scientific progress that has been made without testing on animals…. DR JULIA BAINES People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (story)
Belfast Telegraph 7.5.15 Candidates' vow to ban animal research worrying - I was disappointed to learn that local parliamentary candidates Naomi Long, Neil Wilson, Paula Bradshaw and Ross Brown have pledged to ban several important areas of medical as well as veterinary research using animals. This is the work which gave us antibiotics, anaesthetics, asthma and blood pressure medicines, for instance, alongside practically all our other medicines for conditions like cancer and diabetes…. WENDY JARRETT Chief executive, Understanding Animal Research (letter)

Mail 19.5.15 No bananas please, we're vegetarian! The foods you think are safe to eat but actually contain SECRET animal products By ANUCYIA VICTOR FOR MAILONLINE … Vegan campaigner Karin Ridgers, founder of VeggieVision TV, insists that vegetarians should do their homework before eating anything. Ms Ridgers told MailOnline: 'Read the list of ingredients, and if you are not sure what the ingredient actually is, just research it. You will then know forever…. (story)


Mirror 18.5.15 The fox hunting ban: What happens next? BY HELEN WHITEHOUSE - David Cameron pledged to hold a vote on the hunting ban now he is back in Number 10, but how does it work, is it likely to be passed and what is the background to the ban?... (story)

Guardian 18.5.15 SNP considers voting to stop lifting of foxhunting ban - Nicola Sturgeon hints that SNP could stand in the way of Tory clamour to repeal legislation - The Scottish National party is considering whether to oppose the repeal of the foxhunting ban in England and Wales, which is being pushed by some Conservative MPs, who hope there could be a vote this year… (story)

Western Morning News 18.5.15 WMN opinion: Ending bad hunting law will test stomach of Government By WMNJBayley - It has been more than 10 years since hunting with hounds was banned in Britain. Ever since the Hunting Act became law, one thing has been abundantly clear to both supporters and those against hunting. The act is bad law. It is completely unenforceable and has done little or nothing to promote animal welfare, and even less for liberty… Repeal and replacement with something that actually improves animal welfare and wildlife management has to be a better option. Of many challenges ahead, this could be one of the Government’s toughest (story)
Western Morning News 17.5.15 Hunting ban could be repealed within 12 months - The hunting ban could be overturned within the next 12 months, according to campaigners, thanks to a surge in Parliamentary support for repeal…. (story)

Western Daily Press 18.5.15 The Countryside Alliance hopes MPs will end hunting ban By eva jones - The Countryside Alliance says it is "confident" the hunting ban will be overturned within the next 12 months. As reported in the Western Daily Press on Saturday, there has been a surge in Parliamentary support for repeal… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 18.5.15 Fox hunting vote which could scrap law banning it should happen by the autumn says Carmarthen MP - FOX hunting could return to the countryside around south west Wales with a vote on repealing a law banning it imminent, it has been claimed. Simon Hart, Conservative MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, is reported as saying he hoped a debate on the issue would have begun by the autumn…. Events such as the Banwen Hunt in Neath have continued without any foxes being killed…. (story)

Somerset Guardian 18.5.15 National: Hunting debate heats up following news that the ban could be overturned - A surge in Parliamentary support for a hunting ban repeal means the ban could be overturned within the next 12 months. The number of pro-hunting MPs in the commons is believed to have reached 286 – the level required to win a vote on overturning the ban…. (story)

Scotsman 18.5.15 SNP MPs may vote against repeal of hunting ban - SCOTT mACNAB - Scotland’s new team of 56 SNP MPs could be poised to vote against a planned repeal of the fox hunting ban south of the Border – despite the move having no impact on Scotland. Nationalists have previously indicated they would not vote on the issue, but the party’s Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, has said he is now looking “very closely” at it after being contacted by campaigners opposing the Conservatives’ plans…. (story)

Medway News 18.5.15 Will the hunting ban be repealed? - THE FOX hunting ban could be pulled under new plans of the new government… (story)

Mirror 18.5.15 SNP could stop fox hunting being brought back despite vowing to skip controversial vote - The SNP could stop fox hunting being brought back - even though it vowed to skip the controversial vote. A surprise move could trip up the Tories, who are demanding David Cameron gives them the chance to scrap the ban before the new hunting season starts this Autumn… leader Nicola Sturgeon is indicating her party could deliver the Tories a humiliating Commons defeat. Pressed on the hunting ban, she wrote on Twitter: "The SNP has not yet taken decision on this. We certainly don't agree with repealing ban."… (story)

Yorkshire Post 18.5.15 Meet Andrea Jenkyns - the vegetarian, anti-fox hunting Conservative who brought down Ed Balls - Having ousted one of Labour’s most senior figures, Andrea Jenkyns talks to Sarah Freema… (story)
Yorkshire Evening Post(story)

Farmers Guardian 18.5.15 Irish badger cull has been a 'huge success' – Coveney - The Agriculture Minister contrasted Ireland’s success in reducing TB levels in recent years with the UK’s failure to do so - and suggested different approaches to badger culling could be the reason for the Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture has described the Irish badger cull as a ‘huge success’ and suggested it was the reason Ireland was making a better job of tackling bovine TB than the UK…. (story)

Western Daily Press 18.5.15 Bristol widow Jenny Phelps says she's a second target for charities By Izzy Ferris - A second widow from Bristol told yesterday how she has been bombarded with more than 1,000 begging letters from charities – after she set up two direct debit donations. Jenny Phelps, 65, decided to start giving money to charity following the death of her husband, Jimmy, five years ago – as she wanted to do some good…. (story)
Sunday Express 17.5.15 'Charities bombard me with 90 letters a month': Widow reveals her 'charity letters HELL' - A WIDOW has been “bombarded” with up to 90 begging letters a month after she began just three charity donations. By JOHN REYNOLDS - Jenny Phelps, 65, wants to raise public awareness of the issue following the death of poppy seller Olive Cooke… Mrs Phelps began donating five years ago after the death of her husband Jimmy. She set up direct debits to the RSPCA and the International Fund for Animal Welfare for three-month periods. She also started giving £3 a month to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. However, within weeks she began receiving up to three begging letters a day and being called to ask if she had received them… (story)
Metro 17.5.15 Pensioner’s charity bombardment: Woman receives three begging letters daily after setting up direct debit - Richard Hartley-Parkinson - Jenny Phelps is a generous woman and, despite being a pensioner, she set up three direct debits for animal charities…. They were for £3 a month each for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, RSPCA, and the British Union of Abolition of Vivisection. But then she started receiving more requests for money in the post… (story)
Bristol Post 17.5.15 Bristol widow who received 1,000 charity begging letters speaks out following death of Olive Cooke - A BRISTOL widow has come forward to say she has been bombarded with more than 1,000 begging letters from charities after she set up just two direct debit donations. Jenny Phelps, 65, wants to help raise awareness of the issue following the death of 92-year-old Olive Cooke,… (story)

Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser 18.5.15 Save the swans protest - A group of Animal Rights activists staged a peaceful protest at Kings mill Reservoir on Saturday, following a recent spate of mute swan deaths. The demo was organised by the Kirby-in-Ashfield based Reach Out for Animal Rights group (R.O.A.R.), and educational leaflets were handed out to the public as the protested walked a circuit of the reservoir…. David Sommerville, Animal Rights activist, said: “Last year, In one week alone, seven swans died of botulism at Kings Mill Reservoir…. (story)
Mansfield Chad 4.5.15 Campaign to save King’s Mill swans is rocked by more deaths - The campaign to protect swans at King’s Mill Reservoir in Sutton, which has attracted more than 80,000 supporters, has been stepped up after another spate of deaths….A total of 83,618 people have now signed an online petition to save the swans, which was organised by animal-rights supporter David Sommerville (46), of Pleasley…. (story)


Cornish Guardian 17.5.15 Cornish MPs likely to vote for scrapping the Hunting Act By cmjohnw - A plan to scrap the Hunting Act would be supported across Cornwall according to our poll of more than 1,000 people across the Duchy – and many of our MPs…. This weekend, the six Conservative MPs who represent Cornwall have been contacted about their intentions, should the Hunting Act be brought up before Parliament. And the four MPs who have responded so far seem to be in favour of scrapping the act…. (story)

North Devon Journal 18.5.15 Supporters of hunting with dogs confident ban will be lifted - SUPPORTERS of hunting with dogs say they are confident of overturning the ban imposed 10 years ago…. (story)

Mail on Sunday 17.5.15 Tories demand a Commons vote on scrapping hunting ban to be staged within weeks By JASON GROVES FOR THE DAILY MAIL - Tory MPs are demanding a Commons vote to scrap the controversial hunting ban within weeks – despite fears the move could be blocked by the SNP. David Cameron pledged that MPs would be given a free vote on whether to repeal the Hunting Act if the Conservatives won the election. Senior Tories want the move to be included in this month’s Queen’s Speech, despite concerns in Downing Street that it would send out the wrong message… (story)

Metro 17.5.15 The hunting ban could be repealed very soon - Oliver Wheaton - Hunting enthusiasts have something to smile about today as the new Tory government is expected to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs imposed ten years ago. The ban, put into place under Tony Blair, is expected to be lifted following a vote in the House of Commons… (story)

Independent on Sunday 17.5.15 Anti-vivisection activists win right to legal challenge over how Home Office investigated the care of animals at leading research institution - Anti-vivisection activists have won the right to a legal challenge over the way the Home Office investigated the care of animals at a leading research institution. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) lawyers argued that the way the Home Office responded to allegations of “appalling animal suffering” was inadequate. The High Court has granted the organisation a judicial review into the Home Office’s handling of the complaints and the “extremely weak penalties” imposed…. At Imperial College in London, an undercover investigation by the BUAV alleged in 2012 that animals were left overnight after operations without any staff to keep an eye on their condition…. (story)
Times Higher Education Supplement 15.5.15 Home Office taken to court over Imperial animal research investigation BY HOLLY ELSE - The High Court has ruled that an animal rights organisation can bring a judicial review against the Home Office - The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection claims the Home Office did not thoroughly investigate its allegations of poor care for research animals at Imperial College London and imposed “extremely weak penalties” on staff found to have breached their licences…. (story)


Western Daily Press 16.5.15 Hunt ban repeal 'likely soon' - as long as the Scots don't get involved By TristanCork - The ban on hunting looks almost certain to be repealed – as long as the new army of Scottish National Party MPs keep their promise not to vote on English laws. But repealing the ban on hunting could be the first issue to spark the division of the United Kingdom – if those SNP MPs do step in and vote with anti-hunt English and Welsh members. A free vote on the Hunting Act was promised in the Conservative manifesto and sparked a huge number of hunt supporters to volunteer in their thousands to help campaign for Tory MPs across the West. But the early indications are that if a free vote was held it would be on a knife-edge – if the Scottish MPs joined in…. (story)

Express 16.5.15 Hunting ban 'could be repealed within a year' after Tory victory in General Election - THE ban on hunting with dogs could be reversed within a year following the election of the new Tory government, it was claimed today. By NICK GUTTERIDGE - The pro-hunting lobby is confident that it will have enough support within Parliament to overturn the legislation, which was brought in by Tony Blair's Labour Government…. (story)

Western Daily Press 16.5.15 Country sport workers' union closes after 18 years of campaigning By JEFF WELLS - The union representing the interests of grooms, farriers and other country sports workers when "hunting was under attack" is to be dissolved, it was decided earlier this week. The decision was taken at the organisation's annual meeting in Northamptonshire on May 10. The UCSW, which in its 2014 returns listed its membership as 3,128, was said by its chairman to be no longer viable…. After the annual meeting, chairman Rob Lowe said: "Everyone associated with the UCSW can be proud of what has been achieved over the past 18 years. Formed when hunting was the main focus of attack, we brought together all those employed in country sports…. (story)
Horse & Hound 12.5.15 Country sports trade union to be dissolved - Polly Portwin - The Union of Country Sports Workers is to be dissolved, following a decision taken at the organisation’s AGM on 10 May at Thorpe Mandeville, Northants. The UCSW was established in 1997 as an independent organisation to fight for its members rights and against any threats to their jobs and homes. It was the only listed trade union dedicated to country sports employees… (story)

Leicester Mercury 16.5.15 MERCURY MAILBOX: Angling is a cruel 'sport' - How devastating for anglers that up to 60,000 fish were poisoned by a suspected leak of farm slurry… In the article, anglers gave the impression of being more concerned with a temporary cessation of their "sport" than for the fish whose poisoning would have caused significant suffering. As for angling, it's a myth that fish can't feel pain…. Far from being a gentle pastime, angling causes suffering. Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone. (letter)


Gloucestershire Echo 15.5.15 Petition urging Alex Chalk MP to stand by hunting ban launched by Cheltenham councillor By Lewis Pennock - A petition has been launched by a Cheltenham councillor urging the town's new Conservative MP, Alex Chalk, to vote against any government move to decriminalise hunting. Andrew Lansley (Ind, St Paul's) set up an online petition which has gathered more than 300 signatures in 48 hours, calling for Mr Chalk "to clearly state he will be voting against any attempt to re-establish these archaic and cruel activities"…. (story)

Independent 15.5.15 Hunting ban ‘set to be repealed within 12 months’ with early Commons vote expected - Andrew Grice - Supporters of hunting with dogs are confident of overturning the ban imposed 10 years ago, claiming that a majority of MPs in the new House of Commons will vote to lift it…. The Countryside Alliance calculates that only about 12 of the 330 Conservative MPs will vote to keep the ban imposed by the Blair Government. However, the rival League Against Cruel Sports is also lobbying MPs and is confident that more than 12 Tories will vote to maintain the ban… (story)

Horse & Hound 15.5.15 The Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase victorious in Windsor inter-hunt relay - Polly Portwin - The Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase (BHWC) team convincingly won the inter-hunt relay on a rain-soaked day at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Thursday 14 May…. (story)

Western Morning News 15.5.15 Hiding behind trail hunting excuses - by Graham Forsyth Chard (letter)
IndependentWestern Daily Press 12.5.15 Hunting ban not being enforced - Having monitored hunts for the last ten years I have witnessed local hunts that have continued to go out under the excuse of trail hunting; where they put the hounds into all the old haunts that before the ban they used to find and hunt foxes… Charlotte Cooper, of the Countryside Alliance, may say the campaign is laughable and prejudiced, but then hunters would say that as hunting continues with a hunting ban in name only as our native wildlife is used as sporting accessories for the sly and cruel. Graham Forsyth Chard, Somerset (letter)

Hitchen Comet 15.5.15 ‘Hitchin’s new vegan charity shop could be the first of a national chain’ - There will be no bargain leather jackets and cut-price fur coats on the racks when a new charity shop opens in Hitchin town centre. And many other items will be banned from shelves, too – because the town-based Dr Hadwen Trust is promising that its new bargain base in Churchyard will be operating on vegan principles…. Group head of operations Dr Kay Miller: “As a national charity we hope opening a shop will help raise awareness of our work, as well as helping us engage with current and new supporters…. (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 15.5.15 Buy products with leaping bunny logo - Most people buy make-up and household products that are tested without thinking of the cruelty involved. Look for the leaping bunny logo on the front or the back of the products that shows they are cruelty free… Marilyn Wareham Poole (letter)

Newcastle Chronicle 15.5.15 Newcastle vegan cheese company about to launch unique product in the UK BY JANE HALL - A vegan cheese that tastes as good as its dairy cousin? Ami Tadaa believes she’s cracked the secret with her cashew nut-based varieties… Tyne Chease (the misspelling is intentional) is set to launch not one, not two but seven different vegan cheeses on to the market at the end of May. The new venture based in Heaton, Newcastle, is the brainchild of lifelong vegan Ami Tadaa. The 24-year-old is confident her range which includes garlic and herb, smoky paprika, za’atar roule, chilli flakes, raw soft macadamia and ale and mustard varieties, will be a game-changer in the world of non-milk cheeses…. (story)

Burton Mail 15.5.15 Wish for fish liberation as boy starts petition against fair prizes - A TEENAGE animal rights campaigner has started a petition against goldfish being given away at fairs. Ryan Blankley, who lives in Stapenhill, was distressed to see fish being handed out in plastic bags to winners on fairground attractions, when he and his mum visited an event over the May Day bank holiday weekend. So the 17-year-old, who works part-time in a pet shop, decided to do something about it, and started a petition… (story)

Bournemouth Echo 15.5.15 Lush refused to serve Bournemouth nurse - because she wanted to buy TOO MANY products by Melanie Vass - A BOURNEMOUTH nurse has hit out at cosmetic company Lush after she was refused service for trying to buy too many items. Cynthia Wang, 43, said she was left upset and confused after the manager told her she was not allowed to bulk buy their products. The hospital nurse, who has lived in England for 13 years, wanted to buy around 30 soaps and shampoos to take back to China as gifts for friends and family members…. Lush have stood by their actions and said their policy is in place to protect their brand and stop any resale of their products, particularly in China where products sold at markets can be seized and tested on animals…. (story)


BBC News Online 14.5.15 Fox fight: comedians drive online opposition to hunting vote - Hannah Henderson - Less than a week after Conservative Party won a majority in the UK general election, animal rights activists - with prominent comedians and entertainers as their allies - are organising online to fight an effort to legalise hunting with dogs…. (story)

Mirror 14.5.15 Brian May blasts David Cameron over support for 'psychopathic' fox hunting and badger cull By Mikey Smith - Brian May has launched a passionate attack on David Cameron, who he says has "no compassion for animals whatsoever."… "I think Cameron is a special kind of Tory. The worst kind of Tory. The kind that has no compassion for animals whatsoever."… (story)

Guardian 14.5.15 Fox hunting and anti-vivisection: Why animals matter more than people - Dean Burnett - Outrage at fox hunting and anti-vivisection campaigns are just two examples of people putting animals first. But why do we favour other species over our own?... (story)

Shooting UK 14.5.15 National Ladies Shooting Day set to go off with a bang! - Martin Puddifer - National Ladies Shooting Day looks set to be a record breaker when around 1,000 women take part in clay shooting events across the UK on June 27. National Ladies Shooting Day, organised by the Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club, is aimed at encouraging ladies from all age ranges and backgrounds to try clay shooting for the first time or improve their skills… (story)


Southend Echo 13.5.15 POLL: Should fox hunting stay banned? by Emma Thomas, web editor - AS David Cameron returns to Number 10, the Conservatives plan to offer a vote to overturn a ban on fox hunting… What do you think? Should the ban be overturned or should it stay banned?... (story)

< target=main href="">Belfast Live 13.5.15 Dog fighting on the rise in Northern Ireland as people involved believe they will only get "slap on the wrist" - Dog fighting is on the rise in Northern Ireland because the people involved believe they will only get a “slap on the wrist” if caught, it is being claimed…. The League Against Cruel Sports is pressing for serious offenders to go to jail and for animal cruelty legislation to include an ‘aggravated’ offence when animals have not just been subjected to inhumane behaviour but exceptional cruelty including being forced to fight to the death…. (story)
IndependentBelfast Telegraph 13.5.15 Barbaric bloodsport in Northern Ireland - horrific pictures show pets with their faces ripped off after hunting foxes BY PATRICIA DEVLIN - The shocking images, collated by pressure group League Against Cruel Sports, show pets with their faces ripped off, wild animals being barricaded into their dens and foxes being tore apart by packs of dogs… Janice Watt, public affairs officer with the League Against Cruel Sports, who handed the pictures over to Sunday Life, said … “The League Against Cruel Sports have made outlawing hunting with dogs for sport our priority campaign in Northern Ireland. The public were outraged at the leniency shown to dog fighters convicted last year by courts — but what is the difference between setting dogs on a domestic pet, and setting dogs on a beautiful fox or majestic stag? The answer is none…. (story)

< target=main href="">Irish Times 13.5.15 Lobsters and restaurants - The National Animal Rights Association, which released lobsters in Clontarf, having removed them from a restaurant, may have been unaware of the environmental risks their actions may have caused… Many lobsters that are imported to Ireland are a different but related species originating from the eastern coast of North America… Dr DAN MINCHIN, Killaloe, Co Clare.
IndependentThe high-profile liberation of lobsters from a tank in a Dublin restaurant has attracted considerable media attention. Deservedly so, because, generally speaking, even the most fervent meat-eaters like to think that the creatures killed for their meals are humanely dispatched. But that can never be said of lobsters… JOHN FITZGERALD, Callan, Co Kilkenny. (letters)


< target=main href="">Hampshire Chronicle 12.5.15 Record year for South Downs Bloodhounds pack by Andrew Napier - SOUTH DOWNS Bloodhounds have reported a record-breaking year. More people hunting on more days, reports Jeremy Whaley, the master of the pack based at Privett, near Alresford. Another record broken was for the largest mounted field, 110 riders and between 300-400 foot followers at the meet at Lopshill, near Fordingbridge…. Mr Whaley said he would like to thank the farmers and landowners who allow the bloodhounds over their land… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 12.5.15 Hunting wild animals - I MUST thank Joe Duckworth for his letter in Saturdays Echo for writing a wonderful appraisal on the issue of hunting wild animals…. Living in our wonderful New Forest for most of my long life, it amazes me that these horrible people still get pleasure in this activity… As a founder member of Ukip I now hope my party will take positive action on this issue - EWEN HENTALL, Nursling (letter)

Western Morning News 12.5.15 Liz Truss stays on as Environment Secretary in PM's reshuffle By GDemianyk - David Cameron's Cabinet reshuffle will see Liz Truss continue as Environment Secretary – signalling no significant change on rural policies including badger culling – despite being tipped for promotion… she has given here full-throated support for culling badgers and repealing the Hunting Act, as well as being a fierce champion of "buying British" food to support farmers. Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said: "The Countryside Alliance welcomes the reappointment of Liz Truss as Secretary of State for Defra…. (story)

Colchester Gazette 12.5.15 Decapitated badger made to look like roadkill - A DECAPITATED badger was found at the roadside in Layer de la Haye after the North East Essex Badger Group’s hotline received a call…. Judy Massie, Colchester section leader of the group, said: “This call-out was different. “The badger was not the usual road accident. It had been decapitated and obviously dumped there to try and appear the victim of a collision… (story)


Western Morning News 11.5.15 In My Opinion - Culling protected birds of prey must remain illegal By Derek Courtnell, Plymouth - I am prompted to write having read the letter from Rosalie Gelling in WMN May 5. I too feel obliged to add my two-pennyworth to question gun-totin’ Philip Bowern’s promotion of rook pie, and it does seem to me that it’s just another excuse for Mr B to blast another species out of the sky.There was a well-written letter too in WMN May 4 from HM Stephenson detailing his reasons for upholding the Hunting Act, and I should like to know where Mr B stands on that issue… (letter)

Western Morning News 11.5.15 Hunting Act must be strengthened - With all the important issues to deal with in this country such as housing, education, immigration, NHS, terrorism etc it was no surprise to see the WMN giving front page coverage and pages 4 and 5 in the March 6 issue dedicated to Cameron droning on how he will allow government time for a free vote in the Commons to repeal the ten-year-old hunting ban…. by F Cleaves Par (story)

Western Daily Press 11.5.15 Election 2015 – animals to suffer from Tory win - Helen Weeks West Coker, Somerset (letter)
Independent 9.5.15 It seems the party of the foxhunter may have a majority to overturn the Hunting Act. David and Samantha Cameron and the Royal Family must be thrilled; they will be able to take up hunting again… Helen Weeks West Coker, Somerset (letter)

Mail 11.5.15 Do-gooders obsessed with increasing population of 'avian predators' are letting killer birds terrorise our countryside and attack our pets By ROBIN PAGE FOR THE DAILY MAIL - Her little chihuahua had been playing in the garden for only a few minutes when the seagulls swooped down and pecked it to death… Yet gulls are a protected species, which makes it illegal to kill or injure them intentionally. And despite the increase in attacks, the RSPB is vehemently against any cull…. If the red kite is protected for all time and its population continues to rise, it will cause the extinction of several varieties of farmland bird… Gamekeepers are regularly — and unfairly — demonised for seeing off hen harriers by the politically correct conservation bodies (and, no, I don’t shoot grouse). Last year three hen harrier chicks disappeared from a nest and the culprits were found — but they were never blamed publicly by the RSPB, for they were buzzards…. (story)

The Sentinel 11.5.15 Lee wants to be the first badger over the line at Potters 'Arf By RichardAult - ANIMAL lover Lee Morgan is busy training for the moment he dons a badger mascot costume and steps out in the Potters 'Arf. The 36-year-old, of Leek, answered a call from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust for people to run the half-marathon in aid of the charity… (story)

Ulster TV 11.5.15 Activists 'liberate' lobsters from Dublin restaurant ¬- Charges are being pressed against members of an animal rights group after nine lobsters were “liberated” from a restaurant’s fish tank on Wicklow Street. On Friday evening, activists from the National Animal Rights Association (NARA) went into Ka Shing Chinese restaurant posing as customers looking for a table. However, rather than sitting down for a meal, the group stole nine of the crustaceans from a tank placed close to the restaurant’s front window…. (story)
BBC News Online 11.5.15 Lobsters 'liberated' from Dublin restaurant fish tank - Animal rights activists have "liberated" nine lobsters from a fish tank at a Dublin restaurant… The National Animal Rights Association (NARA) said it was "life or death". Founder Laura Broxson called it an "act of compassion"…. (story)
Irish Examiner 11.5.15 VIDEO: Lobsters liberated from Dublin restaurant by animal rights activists by Linda McGrory - Nine lobsters have been liberated from a Dublin restaurant in a daring weekend sting by animal rights activists. Members of the National Animal Rights Association (NARA), Direct Action For Animals, and Alliance For Animal Rights swooped on the Ka Shing Chinese restaurant as busy Friday trade got under way about 7.30pm… (story)

Mirror 11.5.15 Hollyoaks’ Carley Stenson starts one-woman anti-fur protest with ‘skinned fox’: “Wearing fur sickens me” By Katy Hallam - A former Hollyoaks star took an anti-fur campaign to the door of Birmingham’s poshest department store today. Carley Stenson, who played Steph Cunningham in the Channel 4 soap until 2011,called on Harvey Nichols to stop selling real fur.... Backing the campaign, run by animal welfare charity PETA, the 32-year-old said: “The idea of wearing fur sickens me…. (story)


Hinckley Times 9.5.15 Petition calls on council to stop hunt using park -A petition calling for a ban on Atherstone Hunt riding across county-owned land in Hinckley and Bosworth has gained more than 2,300 signatures. The protest, launched by former Barlestone resident Jack Riggal, wants Leicestershire County Council to stop allowing the hunt to use Market Bosworth Country Park… (story)

Mirror 9.5.15 Fox hunting back on the agenda says Jeremy Hunt as Tories plan 'radical blitz' after election bloodbath By Dan Bloom - The Tories have already put fox hunting back on the table by vowing to enact everything in their controversial manifesto…. Jeremy Hunt confirmed the plans will all go ahead on the BBC's Newsnight. "These are things that have long been bugbears," he said when pressed on the human rights law, which enshrines the right to a fair trial and freedom of speech… (story)
Metro 9.5.15 The Tories are bringing back fox hunting, because of course they are - Marie Le Conte - The Conservative formed a majority government yesterday, and they’ve already gone back to work, it seems. Asked on Newsnight about some of the party’s pledges, Jeremy Hunt confirmed that they would overturn Labour’s hunting ban… (story)

Independent 9.5.15 Anti-hunt campaigners say they'll work with sympathetic Tory MPs to stop David Cameron legalising fox hunting - JON STONE - Anti-fox hunting campaigners are planning to work with anti-hunt Conservative MPs to sink any attempt by David Cameron to repeal the ban on the traditional killings… Anti-hunt Conservatives returned to parliament at the general election include Simon Kirby, the MP for Brighton Kemptown, and Sir Roger Gale, who represents North Thanet in Kent…. (story)

Independent 9.5.15 Ricky Gervais reminds UK of David Cameron's promise to vote on repealing fox hunting ban after Conservative election victory - Ricky Gervais has reminded the electorate of a pledge David Cameron made to hold a parliamentary vote on repealing the fox hunting ban if the Conservatives won the election…. (story)


Huffington Post 8.5.15 Joe Duckworth Be Aware - Your 'Review' of the Hunting Act Is an Unbelievable Farce - It's taken ten years for The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) to finally admit that the Hunting Act is not actually perfect and needs reform. Up until now the law has had the status of a sacred text amongst many anti hunters. Any criticism of it was met with a torrent of harassment and abuse. I have long campaigned for a form of humane deer dispersal that involves taking dogs on foot through areas of cover…. (story)

Third Sector 8.5.15 The International Fund for Animal Welfare's Sly Ones campaign presents a sinister view of fox hunters by Annette Rawstrone - The Sly Ones campaign features three photographs of men in red fox-hunting attire who have been given fox-like makeovers. Their demeanour is sinister and snooty as they look down their noses and grasp their riding crops. The images, created pro bono by the agency J Walter Thompson, are captioned "It’s not the foxes who are sly". The campaign has been run in the national press and promoted by IFAW digitally on its website and social media, including a blog by Philip Mansbridge, UK director of IFAW, on The Huffington Post website…. (story)
ThisIsTheWestcountry 6.5.15 Crude class caricatures or canny campaign? Anti fox hunting charity sparks controversy POLL - A leading wildlife charity has been accused of "resorting to bigotry and stereotypes" after sparking controversy with an anti fox hunting campaign. The International Fund for Animal Welfare, which funds monitors at hunts in Somerset and across the South West has launched a controversial new advertising campaign dubbed ‘The Sly Ones’…. (story)
Western Morning News 5.5.15 Anti-hunt campaign uses pictures of 'sly' foxhunters to highlight calls for ban to be strengthened By WMNPBowern - Anti-hunt activists are targeting the Tories in the closing days of the election campaign with a poster campaign highlighting what they claim are ‘sly’ fox hunters. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is using online and newspaper advertising to drive home the message that David Cameron would allow a free vote on the repeal of the 2004 Hunting Act if he is returned as Prime Minister with a Tory majority…. (story)
Western Daily Press 5.5.15 Are these pictures 'outrageously bigoted?' Bitter hunt row erupts over election By TristanCork - Bitter arguments over hunting were thrust to the front of the West's election campaign last night after controversy erupted over a new series of anti-hunt adverts featuring 'sly-looking men' dressed as foxhunters. The International Fund for Animals Welfare, which funds hunt monitors in Somerset and Dorset trying to capture evidence to prosecute law-breaking hunts, produced the controversial ads for an online, newspaper and poster campaign…. The pro-hunt Countryside Alliance described the ads as 'outrageously bigoted', and said it confirmed that anti-hunt organisations were prejudiced against 'rural people'… (story)
Marketing 5.5.15 Vulpine fox-hunters raise awareness of illegal fox hunting in IFAW press campaign - Creepy portraits of vulpine fox hunters form the basis of an IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) campaign to drive awareness of '10 years of illegal' hunting in the UK. ‘The Sly Ones’ is aimed at highlighting a decade of illegal hunting since the ban, with the IFAW calling for the "ineffective" Hunting Act to be strengthened… (story)
Western Morning News 15.4.15 Wanted - foxy-featured gentlemen to 'star' in anti-hunting poster campaign - An animal rights group is looking for posh looking men with foxy features to star in a new advertising campaign against hunting. The bizarre brief has been issued by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, (IFAW)… It has hired top London casting agency Ali Fearnley to find men aged between 35 and 70 who look as much like a fox as possible to be photographed for an anti-hunt poster campaign. The brief calls for men of upper class appearance with “sly, sinister, sneaky, fox-like faces”. They should have “sharp, pointy features, sharp eyes and, if possible, facial hair”, although the agency says this is not essential as it can be added later… (story)

Horse & Hound 8.5.15 The hunting community welcomes the Conservative government - Polly Portwin - The result of the general election has been welcomed by the rural community, and in particular the hunting fraternity…. (story)

Western Morning News 8.5.15 Tory victory spares livestock farmers need to go to court to keep on with badger cull By WMNPBowern - Farmers have been spared the need to go to court to fight for the continuation of the badger cull thanks to the Conservatives' election victory…. The pro-hunt Countryside Alliance (CA) will be holding the Prime Minister to his pledge to allow a free House of Commons vote, in Government time, on repealing the 2004 Hunting Act that effectively bans hunting with hounds… (story)

Wells Journal 8.5.15 James Heappey your new MP - who he is, and what he stands for… James Heappey lives in Axbridge with his wife Kate and his two children, Charlie and Matilda. He is a self-employed project manager specialising in business risk and resilience… "The ban on hunting was never really about animal welfare and there are countless reports and testimonies – including from a former chief of the League Against Cruel Sports – which recognise that hunting with hounds is one of the most effective methods of wildlife management… (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 8.5.15 Election 2015: Candidates for North Dorset, West Dorset, Somerton and Frome, Poole and Wiltshire - With the polls for the 2015 General Election opening tomorrow, we run through the candidates standing in each of the Blackmore Vale areas…. Dr Andrew Murrison is both a doctor and MP… In 2004, in a free vote, he voted against the bill to ban foxhunting and hare coursing which became the Hunting Act 2004… (story)

Derby Telegraph 8.5.15 General Election: Chris Williamson loses Derby North seat to Tory Amanda Solloway By CarolineJones - Derby North Labour candidate Chris Williamson has lost his seat to Conservative Amanda Solloway…. (story)

Hereford Times 8.5.15 Circus defends using animals in performance as protesters demonstrate in Hereford by Jess Phillips - A TRAVELLING circus which visited Hereford this week has defended itself over its use of performing animals. Circus Mondao pitched up on the city's racecourse for four days of shows… Members of Hereford Animal Protection League staged a peaceful protest outside the showground on Thursday night and said they thought wild animals should not be used for entertainment…. Tim Barclay, a spokesman for Hereford Animal Protection League, said: "We find it is undignified… (story)

Farmers Weekly 8.5.15 Charity watchdog tells Badger Trust to clarify stance - The Badger Trust has been told to distance itself from comments made by chief executive Dominic Dyer in the run-up to the general election… The Charity Commission told the trust to publish a statement on its website after Mr Dyer made a number of comments on social media. The website statement said: “Any statements of a political nature made by Dominic Dyer on the badger cull policy between now and election day on the 7 May are made in a personal capacity only and do not reflect the views of the Badger Trust as a charity.”… (story)


Buxton Advertiser 6.5.15 Warning after joggers caught in hunt snares - Joggers and ramblers are being urged to be vigilant after people were caught in vicious wire snares while enjoying the Peak District, according to a recent investigation… (story)

Independent 29.4.15 Peak District estate under pressure to remove snares after spate of injuries - BEREN CROSS - A Peak District estate is under pressure to remove more than 100 animal snares from its land after an investigation found that several people had been injured along with scores of hares. In the past five years, four runners claimed to have suffered cuts and bruises after having been caught in the traps… The most recent incident, involving two members of the Dark Peak Fell Runners group based in Sheffield, occurred in January this year and triggered a plea for the League Against Cruel Sports (Lacs) to investigate the use of the wire devices across this eastern patch of the Peak District… Dr Toni Shephard, head of policy and research at Lacs, said: “We do want a complete ban. We are only one of five countries in Europe where they’re legal… (story)
BBC News Online 29.4.15 Runners injured in animal snares By Claire Marshall - Calls are being made for snares to be banned after two runners were caught in the traps in the Peak District… An investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports found 100 snares in the nearby area… Caroline Hanson from the Moscar Estate, which owns the land, said that part of the snared area is fenced-off and marked with canes. She added that the snares and the canes are being tampered with - in some cases, the canes are being removed. The estate also says that the snared areas are marked on a map made available to the Dark Peak Fell Runners…. (story)


Banbury Guardian 5.5.15 UPDATE: Search to find Tilly ends in sadness - Jason Pritchard - The search for miniature dachshund Tilly, who went missing in fields near her Hook Norton home last week, ended in sadness when two Heythrop Hunt experts discovered her body in an underground drain. Heartbroken owner Sara Fulton expressed immense gratitude to hundreds of people who turned out to look for the tiny, two-year-old pet… Ms Fulton said: “The two highly professional men that came from the Heythrop Hunt were exceptional, both in their ability to search and their compassion towards me and my wee darling dog. Even after finding her they were truly wonderful in their care… (story)

Western Morning News 5.5.15 Outlaw cruelty to all animals - In his recent article “For the sake of wild animals, strengthen the Hunting Act”, Joe Duckworth argues that the Hunting Act is a good law – yet he wants it changed. From what I understand, the reason he wants it changed is that people are taking their dogs out and their dogs are occasionally chasing wildlife. I’d warrant that many people do this. Not just in the countryside but also in town parks. I know people whose dogs regularly chase squirrels in parks. If Mr Duckworth gets his way then such ‘accidental pursuit’ will become a criminal offence and one which could result in a prison sentence…. Giles Bradshaw Rose Ash, Devon (letter)

Telegraph 5.5.15 A fair deal for rural areas is long overdue - No one is talking about the countryside in this election, but it is facing a battle for survival - By Barney White-Spunner - British country lifehas barely featured in this general election campaign. Little wonder that many rural people believe, as one Monmouthshire farmer told the BBC recently, that “politicians live in a town and don’t know what goes on in thecountryside”…. Last month the Countryside Alliance published our Election Manifesto, dividing the issues that concern us into five blocks: digital communications; food and farming; communities; services; and wildlife management…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 5.5.15 Deceptive in the hunt for votes? - Having read with interest the article in the Echo regarding animal cruelty in Southampton and on the same day an election pamphlet arrived from Caroline Nokes MP highlighting her commitment to standing up for animal welfare issues…. This seems at odds to a letter I have just received from her clearly stating that she would vote in favour of a return to hunting and her full support for grouse shooting… KEN GOLDING, Nursling (letter)

Hexham Courant 5.5.15 TYNEDALE: RURAL CRIME WEBSITE SET UP - RURAL communities are being encouraged to add their experiences to a website run by the National Rural Crime Network…. Other rural stakeholder organisations involved in the National Rural Crime Network include the Country Land and Business Association, National Farmers Union, NFU Mutual, Historic England, Crimestoppers, Neighbourhood Watch, National Community Safety Network, National Gamekeepers Organisation and the Countryside Alliance… (story)
Dorset Echo 5.5.15 STOP RURAL CRIME: Add your experiences of rural crime to new website to help with crackdown by Oscar Tollast - RURAL communities are being encouraged to add their experiences of crime to a new website…. (story)

Western Morning News 5.5.15 Foxes must hunt for themselves - Your story of the couple feeding a number of wild foxes (April 29), including one with a disfigured face, is on the surface a lovely story. Unfortunately, they are not necessarily being kind to the foxes. A few years ago, a man who lived on the south coast of Devon started putting out food in his garden for local foxes. In a relatively short space of time, four foxes had become a very large number, all of the same family, which had inevitably interbred, and many cubs were born with terrible disfigurements and diseases due to the small gene pool…. by Diana Smurthwaite Newton Abbot (letter)


Leicester Mercury 4.5.15 Friends and family of 'inspirational' horsewoman killed in riding accident raise £20,000 for charity - Friends and family of an "inspirational" horsewoman killed in a horse riding accident have raised their target of £20,000 for the air ambulance within a year of her death. Caroline Harvey, 40, of Melton, fell and broke her neck when her horse, Oscar, was jumping a fence on a drag hunt at Quenby Hall, near Hungarton, in February last year…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 13.5.14 Friends go naked for charity in memory of 'inspirational' horse rider killed in accident - Friends of an "inspirational" woman killed in a horse riding accident are posing for a calendar to raise money for the air ambulance service which flew her to hospital. Caroline Harvey's family say the Derbyshire Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance's prompt action allowed them to spend precious moments with her before she died…. Now, a group of friends is hoping to raise £10,000 from sales of a calendar of tasteful nude and semi-nude photographs posed in the Leicestershire countryside Caroline loved… (story)

Horse & Hound 4.5.15 Election 2015: future leader ‘implored’ to tackle equestrian issues - Amy Mathieson - On Thursday (7 May) the country goes to the polls, and equestrian organisations are “imploring” whoever will be the new leader to tackle issues within the industry. This February saw the 10-year anniversary of the Hunting Act, brought in by a Labour government. However, a recent YouGov poll suggests that public support for the Hunting Act has dropped from 61% to 51% since 2004. Opposition to the Act stands at 44% among Conservative voters, but 64% of Labour voters are in support. Parties have set out their manifestos, and issues — including hunting — are highlighted (see below)…. (story)

Sunderland Echo 4.5.15 Animal rights activist denies ‘hate campaign’ claims over kennels - The Northern Animal Welfare Co-operative started an online petition on the website calling on Sunderland City Council to cancel a contract with Cleadon Kennels… Leanne Evans – a member of the animal rights campaign group – said they want the council to use another Washington-based service…. (story)

The Herald 4.5.15 Face to Face interview: Scottish farmers should switch to growing hemp, flax and health seeds - Cate Devine Food Writer and Columnist - Perhaps because he's been so quick to spot that I'm not one of his, Tim Barford can't help evangelising about the vegan movement and its phenomenal growth in Britain: Scotland, and especially Glasgow, is becoming a significant player in its development, which is why Vegfest, now Europe's largest vegan festival based in Bristol, is coming to the SECC for the first time in December…. (story)


Rye & Battle Observer 3.5.15 Website will help fight rural crime - Rural communities are being encouraged to add their experiences to the National Rural Crime Network website at The National Rural Crime Network involves 29 Police and Crime Commissioners and their Police Forces across England and Wales …. Other major national rural stakeholder organisations are also involved in the National Rural Crime Network. These organisations include the Country Land and Business Association, National Farmers Union, Farmers Union of Wales, NFU Mutual, Historic England, Crimestoppers, Neighbourhood Watch, National Community Safety Network, National Gamekeepers Organisation and the Countryside Alliance. (story)
MKWeb 1.5.15 RURAL CRIME: New website has been set up to help combat crime in rural areas... A new website has been set up to help combat crime in rural areas. The Rural Services Network has welcomed the launch of a website that aims to tackle crime in the countryside…. These organisations include the Country Land and Business Association, National Farmers Union, Farmers Union of Wales, NFU Mutual, Historic England, Crimestoppers, Neighbourhood Watch, National Community Safety Network, National Gamekeepers Organisation and the Countryside Alliance. (story)


Spectator 2.5.15 Welcome to Miliband country: how Labour would wreck rural life - Melissa Kite - Imagine rural England five years into a Labour government led by Ed Miliband, and propped up by the SNP and perhaps also the Greens. If you can’t imagine, let me paint the picture for you using policies from their election manifestos and only a small amount of artistic licence…. Oh, and if you’re thinking of walking a dog, think again. The killing of any animal outdoors, whether intentional or accidental, is deemed to be ‘reckless hunting’…. Hunting and shooting are, of course, the thin end of wedge. The suspicion has to be that the left wants to get stuck into racing, too, and anything else that ‘toffs’ do on horseback. Moreover, if Labour has to rely on Green party support, the price the Greens might extract could easily be the adoption of their own barmy policies… (story)

Western Daily Press 2.5.15 Election 2015 – Think of wildlife when you vote - This election campaign would make one think that only the human inhabitants of the UK will be affected by the result. But it will also have major repercussions for a voiceless and voteless constituency – our wild animals…. Ian Kirby Protect Our Wild Animals (letter)

Yorkshire Post 2.5.15 Hunting ban’s flaws now reveal a law based on prejudice - From: Jim Barrington, Welfare Consultant, Countryside Alliance. (letter)
Derby Telegraph 2.5.15 'Why hunting with dogs should be allowed' - Jim Barrington Welfare consultant to the Countryside Alliance (letter)
Lancashire Evening Post 30.4.15 Hunting ban not answer - The letter from Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), (letters April 27) will probably sound reasonable to anyone who, like Mr Duckworth, has little or no experience of hunting and wildlife management…. suggesting repeal of the Hunting Act would also mean the legalisation of badger baiting and dog fighting, as LACS polls have done, shows dishonesty and desperation in equal measures. Ask a straight question of the public, as a YouGov poll did in January, and that “80 per cent of people [who] want hunting to remain illegal” drops dramatically to roughly 50 per cent…. As a previous executive director of LACS, I have come to understand the importance of using scenting hounds, which hunt in a similar way to wolves and other wild canines. This form of hunting provides a unique method of wildlife management, being selective, testing and non-wounding… Jim Barrington, welfare consultant to the Countryside Alliance and former director of the League Against Cruel Sports (story)
Western Morning News 28.4.15 For the sake of wild animals, strengthen the Hunting Act - The controversial Hunting Act is very successful, however you judge it, according to Joe Duckworth, chief executive for the League Against Cruel Sports… (story)
Newcastle Journal 25.4.15 The Hunting Act has worked now let's strengthen it - Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, says the next government needs to crack down further on illegal hunting… (story)
Lancashire Evening Post 27.4.15 No U-turn on hunting ban - Could attitudes to fox hunting decide which way the polls go on May 7? With five active hunts in the Lancashire Evening Post’s region - The Coniston, Wensleydale, North Lonsdale, Lunesdale Foxhounds and the Holcombe Harriers – it’s a particularly pertinent question… Joe Duckworth, chief executive, the League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Yorkshire Post 24.4.15 Pro-hunting lobby should respect the will of the people From: Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports. COULD attitudes to fox hunting decide which way the polls go on May 7?... Introduced to end the suffering to animals caused by hunting with dogs for sport, the Hunting Act is one of this country’s proudest achievements… (letter)
Derby Telegraph 24.4.15 Success of Hunting Act shows society has moved on, says League Against Cruel Sports chief By Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports: COULD attitudes to fox-hunting decide which way the polls go on May7? When hunting a wild animal with a pack of dogs was finally made illegal in 2005, a clear line was drawn in the sand as to what is and isn't acceptable behaviour in a civilised society. Ten years on, nothing has changed. The majority of MPs and the general public, regardless of class or political persuasion, whether rural or urban, still consider hunting for sport unacceptable… (story)


Horse & Hound 1.5.15 Successful jockey retires from racing to take up hunting career - Polly Portwin - Jockey Sam Jones has retired from race-riding to start a new career in hunt service from today (Friday 1 May). He will become whipper-in at the Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase, based near Bicester, Oxon…. (story)

Telegraph 1.5.15 Election 2015… Lifting the hunting ban or bringing back hanging are now minority issues that will never happen, says Nigel Farage. The UK Independence Party manifesto commits to an annual referendum when people can select and vote on issues that they want to see introduced into Parliament as a draft law… he said the referendums were unlikely to be a route to legalise hunting or reintroduce hanging for the worst criminals….


Western Daily Press 1.5.15 The League Against Cruel Sports claim animal welfare could swing marginal constituencies - Political parties' policies on animal welfare could affect the outcome in marginal constituencies, campaigners claimed as a poll showed one in 10 swing voters named it as an important issue in how they will vote… (story)

Daily Post 1.5.15 Anglesey farm shop voted best of the best in 'Rural Oscars' By Andrew Forgrave - Hootons Home Grown acclaimed 'champion of champions' at Countryside Alliance's 10th anniversary awards for Wales… (story)