October 2002

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(*)- added since last update


Newcastle Journal 31.10.02 Willy Poole Column By Willy Poole, The Journal The unspeakable in hot pursuit of the uneatable" - that was Oscar Wilde's description of foxhunting and very pithy too… I certainly eat all the game I shoot. There is nothing nicer than young roe doe. But it is a casuistry to try to justify killing by eating. There is no necessity to eat meat at all. Those who eat meat do so for their own pleasure. It makes no difference if the meat comes from the supermarket wrapped in cling film or has been killed by the eater, it is still a matter of gastronomic pleasure… (story)

Irish Examiner 31.10.02 Hunters face a real tally-ho - WITH the inevitable ban on live hunting with hounds in the UK, the baton of social reform will then be handed to Ireland to join its more forward-thinking neighbours and remove hunt-controlled violence from the Irish countryside… John Tierney, Campaigns Director, The Association of Hunt Saboteurs, PO Box 4734, Dublin 1 (letter)

Taunton Times 31.10.02 JACKIE BALLARD GOT IT WRONG …Mrs Ballard justified her financial competence to be the new chief executive of the RSPCA as she "had managed a revenue budget of £500 million when she was deputy leader of Somerset County Council"…. The revenue budget in 1994-5 was £280 million. As an erstwhile member of the RSPCA, I do hope that the current board and members will note this evidence. CHRISTOPHER WOLVERSON County councillor for the Lydeard division Halse (letter)

Buckingham Advertiser 31.10.02 PLEASE TAKE DOWN THE POSTERS DRIVING around the countryside I am struck by the number of posters that remain in position for months after they cease to be relevant… John Braybrook, Syresham (letter)

Western Daily Press 31.10.02 POLITICIANS ARE AS SLY AS FOXES - Sir - Your correspondent Mr Sessford's claim that foxes do not need to be controlled because 'numerous scientific studies' say so shows a most touching faith in the pronouncements of scientists… the methodology of counting fox droppings is, to say the least, highly suspect… However, since the real objective of the hunting controversy has little to do with animal welfare, but is part of the Government's agenda to w eaken or destroy the House of Lords by orchestrating a constitutional crisis, we should all be cynical. Politicians and foxes have much in common - innocent and attractive at first sight but, given the right opportunities, they become voracious predators.Both need to be controlled! J W Alexander Corsley Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 23.10.02 MAN SHOULD NOT INTERFERE - J W Alexander is wrong in his claim that the fox population has to be controlled by man. Moreover, the notion that foxes can be left to control their own numbers is most certainly not "specious pseudo-scientific rubbish"…. Terry Sessford Wincanton Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.10.02 MAN HAS TO CONTROL PESTS - I am most grateful to your correspondent Mr Sessford for his frank admission of objectives in today's letter, and also for the O-level biology lesson… I do not hunt foxes with hounds, somewhat dislike fox hunters, and have even ejected them from land under my control. However, as a qualified agriculturalist… I can assure him and your readers that the notion being put about that foxes, and presumably their pest species, can be left to control themselves is dangerous and specious pseudo-scientific rubbish… Fox hunting is a bad method of fox control, but fortunately for foxes it is very inefficient.All other methods are however as bad, or worse! Hence I do not support the idea of bunnying it! J W Alexander, Corsley, Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 15.10.02 HUNTING IS NOT THE ANSWER - - In his letter J W Alexander said: 'Why don't the anti-hunt protesters simply seek to have the fox declared a protected species, as in the case of the badger?' Well, in essence, this is just what many do seek… Terry Sessford Wincanton Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.10.02 I'M FOXED BY ANTIS' ATTITUDE Amid all the furore about fox hunting, why don't the anti-hunt protesters simply seek to have the fox declared a protected species… Could it not just be that they know it is a pest, but do not care much how it is killed?.. Oh what a lovely class war! There's nothing like a bit of typical British humbug to spice it up! J W Alexander Lyes Green Corsley Wiltshire (letter)

York Evening Press 31.10.02 Guns or spears? - IF Mr Gorman thinks that there is no legitimate reason for anyone to own a gun in Britain (October 29), then he evidently prefers factory farming and snares. Guns are used to shoot vermin (aka foxes) in Scotland now that one is not allowed to use hounds for killing…Dr Duncan Campbell, Albemarle Road, York. (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 31.10.02 How long can it last? - I read with interest the letter from Chris Ellis regarding the population of mink… I have witnessed a moorhen being killed and know they were responsible for the deaths of at least five cygnets on this stretch of water… Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

The Comet 31.10.02 Importance of animal testing - I am so glad that the Letchworth member of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (letters October 17) mentioned the Thalidomide tragedy in his letter because the truth about this drug highlights exactly why the use of animals in medical research is so important… Thalidomide was never tested on pregnant animals before it was used in humans - it was not realised at that time that a drug could have a harmful effect on the foetus but not the mother… THOMAS BROMLEY, SIMR Executive Secretary (letter)
The Comet 24.10.02 Benefits of testing on animals - I refer to the letters from various members of the anti-vivisection lobby that have appeared in The Comet over the past two weeks… These letters promote the myth that testing drugs on animals is totally useless… Mistakes happen, and medicines sometimes get on to the market without adequate animal testing – with disastrous consequences. Thalidomide was just such an example… The real tragedy was that it was never tested on pregnant animals, even though the drug was intended to be used by pregnant women. When thalidomide was belatedly tested on these animals it was found to produce birth defects in every single case – regardless of species!... . Which is to be? A dead rat, humanely killed, or a dead or deformed child… NAME AND ADDRESS WITHELD (letter)
The Comet 24.10.02 I reply to the letter claiming inaccurate reports of heavy handed police action, I would like to state otherwise in my opinion. Police didn’t do enough to stop the abuse and harassment of pedestrians and motorists… It should be noted that I do not work for HLS and happen to be an animal lover. NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD (letter)
The Comet 17.10.02 Count your blessings - Given that it is always a good idea to count one’s blessings, perhaps those Letchworth shoppers inconvenienced by the SHAC demonstration might appreciate in retrospect how fortunate they were to be out and about on that lovely late September Saturday afternoon. When millions of other sentient beings in laboratories across the UK whose only trip would be without consent to the operating theatre, would not… Letchworth Member British Union against Vivisection, NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)
The Comet 10.10.02 The real story? Re: HLS Demo. It’s a pity you do not tell your readers and staff what happens to cats and dogs etc at HLS… PETER PATSTON, Archer Road, Stevenage (letter)
The Comet 10.10.02 Animal research is useless - I refer to your article ‘Cops clamp down on protest’, October 3… Reading what Andrew Gay and Richard Harbon said about demonstrators makes me wonder whether I was actually at the same protest. I saw one person out of the 200 people in a monkey mask during the whole time and certainly no-one was swearing, banging on the windows or kicking at the door of Mr Gay’s house… There are many drugs that have caused horrific damage to people, even though they have all been ‘safety tested’ on animals. That is why we demonstrate and why we wish to inform the public of the truth about animal research. LAURA APPLETON, Mill Hill Anti-Vivisection Alliance, London (letter)
The Comet 3.10.02 Cops clamp down on protest - POLICE in riot gear poured into Letchworth on Saturday afternoon as animal rights campaigners brought chaos to the town…. Around 200 demonstrators illegally descended on Letchworth after a rally agreed with police was switched at the last minute from Welwyn Garden City. Their target was the Norton Way South home of Andrew Gay, marketing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences… Mr Gay and his wife Heather had left at home two of their daughters – one of them five years old – while they went shopping in Iceland. They rushed back when they received an urgent phone call saying that the house was besieged by baying protesters. “My daughters were terrified by people in monkey masks swearing, banging on the windows and kicking at the door,” said Mr Gay… Seventeen people were arrested but only one, a woman from St Austell, Cornwall, was charged with resisting a constable… Hitchin community inspector Richard Harbon said: “This was an illegal protest and the police reacted quickly to avert trouble. These people are out to disrupt the peace and damage and destroy property. They are nothing but urban terrorists and this was just a waste of police resources.” (story)
Welwyn & Hatfield Times 2.10.02 Counting cost of demo decoy - Animal rights campaigners switch venue - HUNDREDS of police officers and a handful of protestors were left bemused on Saturday when a planned animal rights demonstration in WGC failed to materialise. Around 200 officers had been drafted in for the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty demonstration, at an estimated cost of tens of thousands of pounds. But in an effort to thwart the operation, organisers changed the venue and the march went ahead in Letchworth.... barriers were left open at Campus East car park to provide the protestors with parking spaces, at a cost to the council of around £300 in lost revenue.... Seventeen people were arrested for public order offences in Letchworth, according to police. They included a 35-year-old from WGC and a 60-year-old woman from Stevenage, who was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon. (story)

Bolton Evening News 31.10.02 Face the facts over sale of fur toy 'pets' - LOCAL animal welfare groups have a right to be concerned about these "toy" cats found to be made from real fur... Respect for Animals urges all Bolton Evening News readers to boycott all real fur products, including cat "toys"… Richard De Ville, Information Officer, Respect for Animals, Nottingham (letter in archive)

Jersey Evening Post 31.10.02 From Maya Hammarsal. Mayerling, Green Road, St Clement. IN 1989 Lynx, the anti-fur charity, was in the Island as part of its educational road show entitled Bring out Your Dead. The film and information given on the incarceration, torture and mutilation of animals showed that there is no glamour in fur. … In this industry, those who give their skins and those who wear them are the same, only the ones in the middle are laughing, at both their expenses (letter may be in archive)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 31.10.02 No need to kill them - In reply to M J Fawdrey's letter concerning his wish to destroy pigeons in Walsall, I feel he is just scaremongering by sensationalising the fact that pigeons can carry several serious diseases… I have rescued many pigeons over the years from towns and cities, and have taken care of them until they returned to full health then released them… P Jackson, Longford Road, Cannock (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 31.10.02 HELP STOP CRUELTY TO BABY ELEPHANTS - I write to hopefully help the elephants in Thailand… There is no hope for this world whilst humans carry out such tortures. Please send whatever you can to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PO Box 36668, London SE1 1WA . E Girling, Sigston Road, Beverley. (letter)

Horncastle News 30.10.02 RAP ON THE KNUCKLES FOR FOX-HUNTING PROTESTORS - AN AMERICAN rapper has taken The South Wold Hunt's struggle to keep hunting alive to heart, and has released a single inspired by their plight. On Saturday Washington DC rapper Samuel Payne, known as The President, capped a most unlikely story by riding with the hunt at Legbourne Abbey, before his protest song hit music shops on Monday…
Louth Leader 23.10.02 THE WOLD MAN OF RAP HUNTS FOR A NEW HIT - AN AMERICAN rapper has taken The South Wold Hunt's struggle to keep hunting alive to heart, and has released a single inspired by their plight. On Saturday Washington DC rapper Samuel Payne, known as The President, capped a most unlikely story by riding with the hunt at Legbourne Abbey, before his protest song hit music shops on Monday. He joined the hunt in the morning, where he put his new found riding skills to the test, having been taught by Master of the South Wold Hunt James Barclay… (story in archive)
Independent on Sunday 20.10.02 Nice day for a spot of hunting, Mr President By Simon O'Hagan - A rap artist from Washington DC joined a hunt from North Lincolnshire in a spirit of supposed shared oppression yesterday, as the Countryside Alliance unveiled the latest weapon in its propaganda war against the Government. It was just a pity that Samuel Payne – stage name, the President – could barely ride a horse… the President swapped his cargo pants for jodhpurs, and took his place alongside members of the South Wold Hunt… The President insisted, however, that he was enjoying himself. Was he feeling at home among these people? "Sure, they're normal people, down to earth." Mr Barclay, the President said, was a "brilliant man". One hunt follower, a hearty middle-aged woman called Rachel, came up to the President and congratulated him on what he was doing… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 30.10.02 SADISTIC PLEASURE IS REAL OBJECT OF THESE HUNTERS I should like to comment on some of the points made by defenders of fox hunting (Post, October 10)… the object of fox hunting is not to control foxes. If it were, why are some foxes deliberately bred to be hunted?... Many barbaric practices have gone on for centuries, for example judicial torture, public hangings, badger baiting and cock fighting. Now, thankfully, they are banned… Mary Calis, Lan Street, Morriston, Swansea (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 30.10.02 City values help country out of poverty - …Mr Leeks writes that he and his friends can meet and enjoy a good humours and peaceful day 'hunting' the vulnerable people in our countryside society are not so lucky and most are at home worrying about what they are going to put on the kitchen table….. JENNY ALLEN, Seckford Street, Woodbridge (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 22.10.02 Please leave rural way of life alone – My congratulations to D Willingale, (letters, October 10) for her clear identification of the philosophy which lay beneath the Countryside Alliance March. Of course the marchers wanted to point out the injustice and absence of wisdom in pursuing a ban on hunting but the principles at stake run much deeper… I believe that we marched to defend a rural culture and the right to live in a peaceful and principled manner… G N LEEKS, Pilcox Hall Lane, Tendring (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 10.10.02 Hypocrisy behind anti-hunt sentiments - I don't hunt and I am just an ordinary primary school teacher but I did go on the Countryside March and was really impressed with the organisation by the Countryside Alliance… The majority of banners including my own were supporting the right of people to fox hunt, shoot and fish or sadly were pointing out just how bad things are for farmers. No one there found the focus on hunting a problem although some organisations are now implying this because they want to undermine the support for the March…. D WILLINGALE, Nedging (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.10.02 JACKIE HAS THE ANIMAL MAGIC - I was delighted to read in your paper that Jackie Ballard was voted the new chief executive of the RSPCA… MG Hart Taunton Somerset (letter)

Redditch Advertiser 30.10.02 Complaints groundless - IN response to Mr Shutkever… He states mining was the chosen trade of the miners… Does the same not apply to farmers? Did they not choose the trade at which some are not so good. Therefore, why are they complaining and seeking further subsidies?... My point was that having sold the barns, the country bumpkins are complaining because the townies have the nerve to actually live in them… This week, 41 farmers with their tractors brought traffic to a halt on the A45, a busy trunk road. They were protesting at consultation proposals for a new airport. Are these the same people who, we are told, are working 18 hours a day for a pittance?... DON VINCENT Middleton Mews Winyates East (letter in archive)
Redditch Advertiser 23.10.02 Image was total fallacy - DON Vincent has got his knickers severely twisted over a complete fallacy (Letters, October 9). No farmer I know begrudges hardworking people their livelihood whether they are miners, foundry workers or whatever… Perhaps the next time Mr Vincent goes for a spin along any motorway he will look occasionally at the landscape on either side, loveliness brought about by those nasty farmers he so despises. And largely at their own expense. Harry Shutkever, Wilmore Lane, Wythall (letter in archive)
Redditch Advertiser 2.10.02 Farmers work their socks off! - Obviously Don Vincent fancies himself as the next George Tyndale, the Sunday Mercury columnist, to have the audacity to write such a controversial and nasty letter regarding the British farmer being idle (Advertiser, September 25)… I was on the Liberty & Livelihood march and was proud to be in the company of genuine, hard-working members of the farming community who are so desperate to be listened to in order that they can carry on doing a job they genuinely love… Ruth Procter, Chapel Farm, Beoley (letter in archive)
Redditch Advertiser 2.10.02 Distorted facts just set town against country - Working 14 hours a day, seven days a week is idle!.. We work hard for little reward and have reinvested profits in our farm to make modernisations and to keep up with ever increasing bureaucracy and regulation. For the past five years, no reinvestment has been possible… Andy Morris, Heathgreen Farm, Beoley (letter in archive)
Redditch Advertiser 2.10.02 Distorted facts just set town against country - FROM time to time, as I am sure with most of your readers, I come across letters in your paper with which I strongly disagree. In a free society that is how it should be. However Don Vincent's letter is of a different order.... I will quote only one fact to counter Mr Vincent's wild assertions and that is that the UK farmer's average income in 2001 was £7,900... Michael J Braley, Birchfield Road, Headless Cross (letter in archive)
Redditch Advertiser/Alcester Chronicle 26.9.02 British farmer is idle - BY now, the farce that was the Liberty and Livelihood march should be over. This was the demonstration that cost the Conservative Party (Oops! Sorry), the Countryside Alliance, £1 million to organize. Not bad considering the pleas of poverty that assailed our ears and eyes…. British farmers receive around £3 billion in direct subsidies. In addition they get another £250 million to assist in diversification plus £40 million to raise productivity…. The modern British farmer is bone idle…. We could do worse than abandon farming all together and turn the countryside into a gigantic theme park in much the same way as parts of central Africa have been… Don Vincent, Middleton Mews, Winyates East (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 30.10.02 DARN IT, WE'VE ALL BEEN RUMBLED BY RUNDLE - As one of Chris Rundle's bean-eating, black propagandists (October 17), I was so hurt by his criticism that I threw my sandals at the wall, spat out my lentils and tore my beard out… Never again will I accuse farmers of helping to create deadly superbugs through their profligate and constant use of antibiotics… And as for BSE/CJD, I will blame my veggie friends for having spread this terrifying disease across the world… Never again will I draw attention to the 95 per cent of pigs who are forced to endure miserable lives in intensive, indoor units… Tony Wardle Associate Director Viva! Brighton (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 29.10.02 BOOKMAKER FINED FOR YELLING RACIAL ABUSE AT ANTI-HUNT PROTESTER …Peter Smith, aged 21, who works in his family's bookmaking business, clashed with Imran Khan after he waved an anti-fox hunting banner at the massive demonstration in central London… was fined £500 and ordered to pay £55 costs at Bow Street Magistrates Court…. (story)

Shropshire Star 29.10.02 They are entitled to their views - When John Handley denigrates the letters of pro-hunters who wrote in (October 2), it is a pity he did not appreciate they are entitled to their opinions… Gamekeepers are the major force in controlling foxes but foxhounds make a contribution, with foot packs in hill areas making an important impact. Keith Erlandson, Denbighshire (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 29.10.02 CONGRATULATIONS TO RSPCA CHIEF Sir - Many congratulations to Jackie Ballard in her new role as chief executive of the RSPCA… Perhaps, not surprisingly, the two representatives of the hunting fraternity quoted in your article indicate that they are not happy with this appointment and suggest more of their supporters will leave the RSPCA as a consequence. This can only be applauded… Doreen Cronin West Quantoxhead Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 29.10.02 HYPOCRISY OF OUR MPS ON SENSITIVE SUBJECT - As an impartial observer of the pro- and anti-hunting scene in the past, I am beginning to realise the hypocritical and opportunist stance by the urban backbench MPs of all parties… I would suggest the media show scenes of a fox vixen with a den full of cubs, dragging itself on two front legs to the den after a botched effort to shoot it or somebody's pet cat or dog dying in agony from eating poisoned bait. John M Ellison Stoke Canon, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 29.10.02 BLAME FARMING'S HOORAY HENRIES NOT TONY BLAIR - I watched the Countryside Alliance march and the one picture that stayed in my mind during the hours of television coverage was of a coachload of poverty stricken farmers and their supporters opening bottles of champagne and handing around the smoked salmon… . I shall always be against hunting. Michael Tom St Austell (letter)

Western Morning News 29.10.02 HAVING had Dr Richard White's letter under the heading, "Hit Motorways" (WMN, October 8)… Anyone who suggests civil disobedience as a means to achieve their ends has never appreciated living in a democracy… H Cameron Saltash, Cornwall (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 Hit motorways - NOW that it is quite clear that the Countryside March has been ineffective in achieving its aim of influencing Government, perhaps we should plan urgent action that will be noticed. Civil disobedience in the form of withholding council taxes would be a start… Dr Richard White, Holsworthy (letter)

Western Mail 29.10.02 Shooting groups meet Defra to discuss Bill on animal welfare - Sheila Coleman, The Western Mail - GOVERNMENT officials involved in drafting a proposed Bill on animal welfare have held talks with representatives of the shooting world to discuss how it might affect the sport… Representatives from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Game Conservancy Trust, the National Gamekeepers' Organ-isation and the Game Farmers' Association met civil servants and veterinary experts who are involved in assessing the Bill in the light of a 16-week public consultation period…. Another issue raised was the tail-docking of working dogs…. (story)

NewsShopper series 29.10.02 Horrific killings in our abattoirs - Few of us like to contemplate the reality of animal slaughter. However, I've just found out about a practice so horrific I feel readers must be informed. Viva's new investigation reveals heavily pregnant animals are routinely sent to slaughterhouses… Yvonne Donnelly, Pattison Walk, Plumstead (letter)

PETA MILK SUCKS SCHOOL CAMPAIGN
Western Morning News 29.10.02 Milk is pure - I THINK that it is an absolute disgrace that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals should be permitted to hand out incorrect information to school children… Michael Ashton Torrington (letter)
Aberdeen Independent 17.10.02 Milk protest is udder disaster …People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) chose Aberdeen Grammar School to kick off their Dump Dairy campaign, which co-incided with National School Milk Week… But the pupils turned tables on Mr Gifford, leaving school carrying their own posters stating give milk a chance and let milk into your life. The crowd of around 100 pupils then pelted Mr Gifford and the cow with milk cartons….(story)
Scotsman 12.10.02 Milk protest turns sour - HELEN MORGAN - POLICE had to break up an animal rights protest yesterday when schoolchildren in Aberdeen pelted activists with cartons of milk. Sean Gifford of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and an unidentified man in a cow-suit had planned a peaceful protest at the gates of the Grammar School to let pupils know about the claimed hazards in milk… About 100 children, shouting "milk for the masses" and carrying banners, surrounded Mr Gifford and his "cow" partner and drenched them both in milk for about ten minutes. The police eventually intervened and escorted the PETA members back to their car. Mr Gifford said: "I have travelled all over the UK with this protest and I have never seen anything like this before. It must be something to do with children in Aberdeen ... one pupil, Alan Smith, 16, said: "This is a stupid idea. We should be encouraged to drink milk and I certainly won’t stop drinking milk just because a man has dressed up as a cow outside my school." (story)
Daily Record 12.10.02 WE'RE UDDER ATTACK - Anti-milk demo turns sour - Charlie Gall - POLICE had to be called yesterday after schoolkids ambushed animal rights' activists with milk bombs… The attack stunned representatives from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA leader Sean Gifford and a man in a cow suit ended up drenched in milk… A spokesman for Aberdeen City Council said: "There's not a lot we can say or do because it was outside school. "I am sure that the children were just exercising their own right to protest." (story)
Edinburgh News 12.10.02 False claims in milk argument - HAVING read about the campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (News, October 8) to convince children not to drink milk, I decided to access their website, MilkSucks.co.uk. What utter twaddle…. Frankly, I have read more believable conspiracy theories in the Fortean Times…. As for the tactics employed by Peta, one wonders where the law stands on strangers standing outside schools and enticing children with something which could prove harmful to them? Leslie John Thomson Moredunvale Green, Gilmerton (letter)
Aberdeen Evening Express 11.10.02 NE PUPILS TARGETED BY ANIMAL PROTEST … Aberdeen Grammar School was being targeted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)… Bill Johnston, head teacher at the Grammar, issued a memo to all pupils which stated: "People are entitled to their views, but nobody should feel pressurised into taking a leaflet or having views forced upon them." (story)
Scotsman 10.10.02 Parents condemn anti-milk campaign - JAMES DOHERTY - ANIMAL rights campaigners have been condemned as “dangerous” after targeting Scottish schoolchildren with grotesque leaflets in an attempt to stop pupils drinking milk. Activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will hand their literature to pupils leaving Hyndland Secondary School in Glasgow today. The group yesterday launched their campaign at James Gillespie High School, in Edinburgh, and will picket Aberdeen Grammar tomorrow… (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 10.10.02 Milk no danger to our children - I FEEL that now I have stopped laughing I had to write to you regarding People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) and its idiotic anti-milk campaign (News, October 8). What exactly does this organisation want? Peta stated that drinking cows’ milk is "unnatural, unhealthy and cruel". Should women like myself, who have been fortunate to not only have three wonderful children but have also been able to breast-feed them, spend the rest of their lives attached to a breast pump so our children can drink milk which, in Peta’s eyes, is safe?... Using school children is contemptible to say the least. Children today are overweight and unhealthy due to lack of exercise and a poor diet, to claim that milk is responsible for this is idiotic and dangerous. Norma Lynn Devlin Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 10.10.02 Here's to mother of all mysteries - Tonya Macari - The milk joke's on Peta - PEOPLE for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been criticised by health and political chiefs for its new anti-milk campaign targeted at Edinburgh schoolchildren… As the mother of a six-year-old boy who is obsessed with toilet humour and bodily functions, I reckon telling Bruno and friends that milk makes them break wind will only make them more keen to glug down their daily pinta. (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 9.10.02 ANTI-DAIRY CAMPAIGN TO TARGET SCHOOL - LAURA GRANT - Animal rights activists hope to put the squeeze on pupils drinking milk when they target an Aberdeen school… They plan to tell youngsters at Aberdeen Grammar School that drinking milk will make them fat and cause spots. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) will hand out trading cards to pupils which also claim that milk will give them wind… Conservative councillor John Porter said of the protest: "This is ludicrous. I would never stop anyone, political or not, from putting their views across but this is not the way to go about it. "To be doing this at the grammar in front of impressionable young people is totally wrong." (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 9.10.02 ACTIVISTS TO TELL PUPILS OF DAIRY 'DAMAGE' - LAURA GRANT (story)
Edinburgh News 8.10.02 Anger over anti-milk campaign at school By FIONA MacGREGOR - AN anti-milk campaign targeted at Scottish schoolchildren has been slammed as "irresponsible" by health experts and politicians. Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) plans to stand outside James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh handing out illustrated trading cards which claim milk causes illness in young people… Councillor Ewan Aitken who said: "I think it is scandalous that they are targeting kids outside school ." (story)
Edinburgh News 8.10.02 Milk monitor … PETA’s decision to directly target schoolchildren in Edinburgh to warn them of the so-called dangers of drinking milk discredits its cause…. The benefits of drinking milk and eating dairy products in moderation far outweigh the spurious claims by PETA that it causes flatulence and phlegm… PETA’s actions are as ill-considered as they are irresponsible. Schools should do everything they can to protect children from this despicable campaign. (story)
Northampton Chronicle & Echo 8.10.02 Production of milk does involve cruelty - I WAS surprised and saddened by the letter from Andy Meads (Chronicle & Echo, September 28) using the word “paranoia” to describe a campaign against milk and dairy products outside schools… I cannot understand why he fails to see the cruelty which is unavoidable in the production of milk…. I personally think the chairman of Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) was correct in so far as retarded children and all animals should be treated with kindness and gentleness as they are very dependant on the rest of us…. Maureen Cook, Save the Strays, Wycliffe Road, Abington, Northampton (letter)
Western Morning News 27.9.02 ANTI-DAIRY CAMPAIGN BRANDED 'APPALLING' - Outspoken Westcountry farmer Richard Haddock has condemned an animal rights campaign which uses grotesque cartoon characters to give schoolchildren the message that milk is bad for them…. PETA's director of campaigns, Sean Gifford, who handed out the cards in Devon yesterday, said children have a right to know the problems associated with milk. (story)
Bristol Evening Post 26.9.02 ANTI-MILK GROUP TARGETS PUPILS … Pupils at Bristol Grammar School - some as young as seven - were targeted by members of pressure group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as they exited the school gates yesterday… Bristol Grammar School headmaster Dr David Mascord condemned the protest as "irresponsible"… (story)
Northmapton Chronicle & Echo 25.9.02 Milk protesters get creamed by parents … Animal Rights activists, including one wearing a 6ft cow costume, handed out leaflets to bemused children outside Lyncrest Lower School in Northampton. But parents who arrived to pick up their children insisted they would continue to allow the youngsters to drink the white stuff…. Campaign leader Sean Gifford said: “Kids would spit out their milk if they knew how cows suffer in the dairy industry…" (story)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 24.9.02 CHAOS AS GIANT COW PROTESTS AT SCHOOL - Animal activists caused chaos at a Cheshire school with a 7ft cow and posters declaring: "Milk Sucks". People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) chose Sandbach School yesterday to begin their UK campaign against dairy products. As police looked on, the protesters - American activist Sean Gifford and Michael Greatorex, dressed as a cow - tried to warn pupils as they left school that drinking milk could make them spotty, fat, and suffer with wind…. Year 12 pupil Joe Wright began his own protest alongside them with a makeshift sign reading: "Milk Rulz". Joe said: "I've set up my own quiet, non-violent protest. "Milk is good for everyone as long as you don't kill the cows in the process."… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.9.02 ANGER AS ANIMALS' RIGHTS GROUP PLANS PROTEST AT SCHOOL BY CATHERINE JONES …PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - says a protest will be staged outside Pinhoe Combined School, in Harrington Lane, as children leave on Thursday. The protest will mark the latest stage in the group's long-running 'Milk Sucks' campaign… (story)

Western Morning News 29.10.02 Vaccine needed - WHAT Michael Huton (letter WMN, October 8) does not mention is the fact that in the cull, a great many more badgers are killed that are perfectly healthy… Eileen Hocking, Constantine Falmouth, Cornwall (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.10.02 STOP THE EXPORT OF LIVE ANIMALS NOW - Lynda Sanderson Petty France Badminton South Gloucestershire (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 28.10.02 ANIMAL EXPORT IS BARBARIC PRACTICE - Following the tragedy of last year's foot-and-mouth epidemic we should not forget the further misery that the end of the outbreak brings. Namely, the resumption of the terrible live export trade… Lynda Sanderson, Petty France, Badminton, South Gloucestershire (letter)
Bath Chronicle 24.10.02 CALL A HALT TO THIS HORRIBLE CRUELTY - Following the tragedy of last year's foot-and-mouth epidemic, we should not forget the further misery that the end of the outbreak brings. Namely, the resumption of the terrible live export trade… There is a ritual slaughter which is annually carried on outside Paris, called the Eid-el-Kabir, where sleep are hog-tied and slaughtered by members of the crowd…. LYNDA SANDERSON, The Manor House, Petty France, Badminton, South Gloucestershire (letter)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 29.10.02 No stray calls to RSPCA By Barbara Goulden - Animal welfare workers in Coventry say there is little point in people ringing them about stray dogs, because only those that are injured or suffering can be put into RSPCA kennels… The situation was highlighted by Pam Hirons, of Waverley Road, Spon End, who tried in vain to ring the RSPCA after a lost dog jumped into her daughter's car…. "We kept trying to ring the RSPCA but couldn't get through. Then we rang the police and they told us… it would be going to Birmingham Dogs' Home the next day, which doesn't seem right when we all contribute to the RSPCA."… (story)

Northern Echo 28.10.02 Protestors take fight to Blair by Andrew White - HUNDREDS of people and their dogs marched through Tony Blair's backyard in a show of strength to protest a proposed hunting ban. An estimated 300 people took part in the Countryside Alliance rally in Trimdon Village, County Durham, yesterday… Countryside Alliance supporter Peter Lister, of Tow Law, County Durham, was one of a number of people dressed as convicts for the march…. David Jukes, of the Zetland Hunt, said he was one of many who would lose their jobs in the event of a ban…. (story in archive)
Hartlepool Mail 28.10.02 PRO-HUNTING LOBBY IN PM'S BACKYARD - Around 300 Countryside Alliance campaigners gathered in Trimdon Village yesterday for a march against a planned ban on hunting with dogs… (story in archive)
Darlington & Stockton Times 26.10.02 Dog owners take hunting message to PM's village by staff of The Darlington & Stockton Times - HUNDREDS of people and dogs are expected to march through Tony Blair's home village of Trimdon on Sunday. The North-East branch of the Countryside Alliance has organised the rally to take the protest against the ban on hunting with dogs to the Prime Minister's own backyard… (story in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 28.10.02 BIG SUPPORT FOR THREATENED HUNT MEMBERS of the Cumberland Farmers' Foxhounds met on Saturday for the start of what could be the pack's last hunt season. Around 200 adults and children set off on foot, horseback and by car from Welton, near Dalston. Up to 30 horses and 40 foxhounds took part… (story)

Telegraph 28.10.02 TV licence should be scrapped, says poll By Matt Born The BBC licence fee can no longer be justified in the age of multi-channel television, according to a poll for The Daily Telegraph… In addition, thousands of viewers are threatening to boycott paying the fee in protest at the BBC's coverage of the Liberty and Livelihood march… (story)

Times 28.10.02 Zoo time … The only justification for continuing to confine animals in what are in effect prisons is for breeding programmes aimed at preventing the extinction of endangered species. DAVID MELLOR, 14 Coed Mor Drive, Prestatyn, Denbighshire LL19 9RB (letter)

Portsmouth News 28.10.02 VILLAGERS VOW TO FIGHT LAB BID - VILLAGERS are drawing up battle lines to stop a controversial animal testing laboratory moving in. … Mrs Nelson from Gosport and Fareham Animal Rights Group said: 'It's all very, very worrying. Not just for the animals but for the local people who can't do anything to stop the laboratory doing anything it wants on the site.' (story in archive)

Bath Chronicle 28.10.02 SHOULD PESTS BE CULLED? Today we give you the chance to have your say on the pesky pigeon population which is driving people mad in Trowbridge… the Chronicle launches a phone poll to let you decide if culling the pigeons is the right decision… An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "We would definitely be opposed to a cull if the local authority had not taken all the other options first…" (story)

WORLD VEGAN DAY
Swindon Evening Advertiser 28.10.02 Day for vegans - NOVEMBER 1 is World Vegan Day; people around the world will once again be celebrating the formation of the Vegan Society in 1944 and the compassionate lifestyle it promotes… Anyone wanting to find out more about the vegan diet can visit Swindon's central library from October 28 to November 16, where leaflets and recipe booklets will be available. D & M harrison Beaulieu Close, Toothill (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 28.10.02 AID FOR RSPCA ON THE CARDS - A Derby animal shelter is appealing for bingo lovers to help it to raise much-needed funds. The Derby and district branch of the RSPCA, based in Abbey Street, which provides shelter and care for more than 100 animals at a time, needs to raise £100,000 by next March to avoid closure… (story)

Sunday Times 27.10.02 Irish hunts close ranks on Britain - SCOTT MILLAR - BRITISH foxhunters have been told they are not welcome to come to Ireland to escape a ban on their sport at home. Hunting clubs have told their British counterparts there will not be enough room for them to take part in Irish hunts when the season begins on Friday… The Scottish hunting ban has boosted the Irish anti-hunt lobby, which is planning more activities this season. Spokesman Bernie Wright said: “When foxhunting is ended in England we would foresee an immediate end to it here…." Tony Gregory, an independent TD and vice-president of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, said hunt clubs’ refusal to let British hunters join them was little more than a publicity stunt…. The opposition of Irish hunt clubs is not dissuading all British hunters. Shelia Tannock from the Eglinton Hunt in southwestern Scotland visits Ireland every year… the threat of legal action has already led to Sir Rupert Buchanan-Jardine disbanding the Dumfriesshire hunt…. Suzanne Holmes, an English woman living in Ireland who rides with the Kilkenny hunt, said the hunt was more egalitarian in Ireland… (story)

Sunday Independent 27.10.02 Exmoor arson probe - by Sarah Pitt - Over the past few weeks, staff at the League Against Cruel Sports' wildlife sanctuary in Dulverton, deep in Exmoor hunting country, have been on the receiving end of anonymous calls, arson and graffiti attacks. The campaigning group is pointing the finger at the Real Countryside Alliance… (story in archive)

Scotland on Sunday 27.10.02 Defending - Alex Massie - SIR John Mortimer takes a sip of champagne and laughs his famously wheezy laugh… he is flushed with excitement from his presence on the Countryside Alliance’s Liberty and Livelihood march through the capital the previous day. "I was meant to be leading the wheelchair parade," he chortles, sipping his second glass of champagne, "but the other wheelchair people were very competitive and kept wanting to get into the lead."… The government’s determination to limit the right to trial by jury and its illiberal determination to eliminate fox-hunting strike him as being profoundly uncivilised… "Maybe it needs President Bush to put on a pink jacket and go hunting, because Tony Blair will do anything Bush tells him."… (interview)

RSPCA LEADERSHIP ROW
Sunday Times 27.10.02 Interview: Jasper Gerard meets Jackie Ballard: A woman of animal passions (interview)
Sunday Times 27.10.02 RSPCA chief seeks freedom for big cats - JASPER GERARD - ALL large wild animals should be removed from zoos and returned to their natural environment, the new head of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said this weekend… “I would like to see RSPCA members with placards down at the docks protesting against the live exportation of animals, and outside meetings of the World Trade Organisation, which regards animals as commodities.”… Ballard hoped the society would always have the reigning monarch as patron, but said it was “unfortunate” the Queen had been photographed wringing the necks of pheasant and taking part in hunting. (story)
Telegraph 26.10.02 Jackie Ballard reveals her animal instincts - By Alice Thomson - Jackie Ballard has enemies… As I turn into her cul de sac in a quiet Taunton suburb, I'm expecting a vast Ann Widdecombe with shorn hair wearing the sab's camouflage uniform. But Mrs Ballard, 49, has lost five stone through a fruit and vegetable diet. "I'm not opposed to demonstrations. I've been on lots myself. I also think trying to sabotage hunts by leading a false trail is a good idea."... As for shooting, she says she couldn't contemplate going out with a man in plus fours. "In my view, breeding birds for the purpose of shooting them is unacceptable. I really don't understand that mentality. Why can't they be content with clay pigeons?"… (interview)
Somerset County Gazette 25.10.02 New director general for RSPCA - FORMER Taunton MP Jackie Ballard has been confirmed as the first woman director general of the 180-year-old RSPCA. One of the first changes she plans at the country's biggest animal welfare charity will strip away deep-rooted formalities at the top. "I'll want people to call me Jackie," she told the County Gazette…. (story in archive)
Independent 24.10.02 Jackie Ballard: The RSPCA is about a lot more than fox-hunting - Since the announcement of my appointment as Director General of the RSPCA, there has been a good deal of press interest and comment about the society, about me and about my background… I may have held some radical opinions in the past, but let me make one thing clear: the charity I will lead is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, established by royal charter. Our inspectors carry the crown on their uniform. The Queen is a well-known animal lover and, as far as I'm concerned, our main asset. Whatever else happens, she's staying… The Countryside Alliance has lost the argument on hunting, and its campaign will fail….(story)
Taunton Times 24.10.02 CONTROVERSY AS JACKIE TAKES ON RSPCA TOP JOB - Former Taunton MP and anti-hunt campaigner Jackie Ballard has been named as the new Director General of the RSPCA…. Mal Treharne, spokesman for the prohunt Countryside Alliance in the South West, said: "We regret the fact that the RSPCA has offered this position to someone whose politics are bound to move the organisation further away from the real agenda of animal welfare to overt campaigning against field sports."… (story)
Telegraph 23.10.02 Skills for the job - Amid the alleged "resignations" and the reported "mounting debts" facing the RSPCA, the reality is different - it is business as usual and animal welfare remains the priority… Whether I am a feminist, financially illiterate, fanatically anti-hunt or whatever else my critics want to manufacture, I have been put in the top post by the majority of RSPCA council members; I have the expertise to do the job and will be backed by a professional team. Jackie Ballard, RSPCA, Horsham, W Sussex (story)
Times 23.10.02 Anti-hunt new broom signals a fresh start BY VALERIE ELLIOTT COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - JACKIE BALLARD, the anti-hunt former Liberal Democrat MP who is the first woman to head the RSPCA, wants to transform the charity into a “young person’s” organisation… She said: “I am anti-hunting but one of the main RSPCA policy positions is anti-hunting. It does not mean that I am a single issue person and I am motivated by a whole range of animal welfare issues. But there can be no middle way on hunting.” She made clear, however, that there was no RSPCA policy to ban shooting or fishing… (story)
Independent 22.10.02 Turmoil at RSPCA as ex-MP and anti-hunt campaigner Ballard becomes chief By Kim Sengupta - The RSPCA was beset with in-fighting yesterday in response to the appointment of the former Liberal Democrat MP and passionate anti-hunting campaigner Jackie Ballard as its director general. One member of the animal charity resigned and there were threats of more to come, adding to motions of no confidence and demands that lawyers be called in over the selection for the post…. (story)
Telegraph 22.10.02 New RSPCA chief promises to provide a stronger edge By Richard Alleyne - Jackie Ballard, the former MP and anti-hunt activist, spoke for the first time yesterday after her controversial appointment as head of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Accepting the £90,000-a-year post, she said her "experience and expertise" in political campaigning would give the society an "even stronger edge". She ignored criticism of her lack of experience of running a business and repeated her "commitment" to animal welfare… (story)
Telegraph 22.10.02 The RSPCA should be saving animals, not hounding MPs By Alice Thomson … The RSPCA lost £16 million after its investments were devalued after September 11. But that is hamster droppings compared with the cow pat they're now in. The RSPCA has lost its way. Only half its money is now spent on the 300-strong inspectorate and on prosecutions. The rest has been chucked away on political campaigns, a £16 million new headquarters and ridiculous amounts of bureaucracy (evidently there are 35 people in the IT department alone)… But the real hostility has come over hunting, which would have surprised the founding members of the RSPCA, several of whom were Masters of Foxhounds… (story)
Guardian 21.10.02 Anti-hunt activist to head RSPCA - Andrew Clennell - A former Liberal Democrat MP who is a vigorous anti-hunt campaigner and who recently moved to Iran to study is to be announced today as the new RSPCA chief. Jackie Ballard, the Liberal Democrat MP for Taunton between 1997 and 2001, beat the former Railtrack chief executive Steve Marshall for the £90,000 a year post in an appointment likely to cause controversy… Jackie Denham, one of the six on the RSPCA council which made the decision on the new director-general, immediately resigned from the council…. (story)
Telegraph 21.10.02 Protests as RSPCA names new chief By Thomas Penny - The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has chosen an anti-hunt campaigner and former MP as its new chief executive. Jackie Ballard was selected for the £90,000-a-year job from a shortlist of four… Reformers within the society are furious that someone with little financial expertise or experience of running such a large organisation will be charged with pulling the charity out of its current financial crisis…. Jacq Denham, a business adviser, resigned from the RSPCA council yesterday and said she was rewriting her will to cut out the society, which has been the main beneficiary for the past 34 years…. "Mrs Ballard was asked the difference between cash flow forecasts and management accounts and she said she had never even heard the terms. It beggars belief that she has been offered the job."… (story)
Telegraph 21.10.02 Ups and downs of an unpredictable woman By Richard Alleyne - Whatever else is said about Jackie Ballard, one cannot accuse her of being predictable. A passionate anti-hunt campaigner, she represented Taunton for the Liberal Democrats, a town in the heart of Somerset, the most hunted county in Britain… (story)
Times 21.10.02 Anti-hunt former MP offered RSPCA top job BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - JACKIE BALLARD, the former Liberal Democat MP whose anti-hunt views contributed to her losing her seat in last year’s general election, is the first choice to become the new director-general of the RSPCA… The council is also to discuss a motion of no confidence, at its December meeting, in Dr Richard Ryder, the RSPCA chairman, and David Thomas, its vice-chairman, over the selection process… (story)
Argus 21.10.02 New boss for RSPCA by Fay Millar - A former Liberal Democrat MP and anti-hunt campaigner has been appointed chief executive of the RSPCA… But there was expected to be strong reaction from senior staff at the charity's headquarters in Southwater, near Horsham, who are believed to have privately voiced their concerns about her taking over… (story in archive)
Times 18.10.02 RSPCA riven by infighting over contest for new leader BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE RSPCA is heading for turmoil over attempts to topple its chairman and vice-chairman over their handling of the selection of a new £90,000-a-year director-general… Four leading contenders for the post had been whittled down to two, but disarray and in-fighting between council members over the process has led to a re-run of interviews for the original shortlist. Final interviews take place in London tomorrow. Regardless of the outcome, Chris Flood, a council member for three years, has told senior RSPCA staff that he is to table a motion of no confidence in Richard Ryder, the chairman, and David Thomas, the vice-chairman, at the council’s December meeting… There appears to be considerable lobbying behind the scenes by various groups for the candidates — Jackie Ballard, an anti-hunt former Liberal Democrat MP; Steve Marshall, former chief executive of Railtrack; Michelle Thew, chief executive of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) and Major General Michael Laurie, a retired Army officer. There is believed to be no clear favourite…. (story)
Telegraph 14.9.02 Lawyers called in over selection of new RSPCA chief By Thomas Penny - Lawyers have been called in to sort out the chaotic attempt by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to select a new chief executive. The panel charged with choosing a successor to Peter Davies failed to come to a conclusion after presentations from four shortlisted candidates on Monday and is still in disarray after a week of arguments and crisis meetings. Questions have also been asked about the actions of David Thomas, the panel's chairman, who has been championing Michelle Thew, one of his employers, for the RSPCA's top job…. Jackie Ballard, the former Liberal Democrat MP who was favourite to take the job before Monday's interviews, failed to impress the panel with her presentation and was not selected… Sources at the RSPCA estimate the cost of the attempt to find a new chief executive at £40,000, including the use of a specialist recruitment firm…. (story)
Western Telegraph 12.9.02 BALLARD BACK TO HAUNT THE HUNTING FRATERNITY - Eighteen months after blaming her election defeat on a "dirty tricks" campaign, former Taunton MP Jackie Ballard has been tipped to become the new chief executive of the RSPCA…. (story)
Taunton Times 11.9.02 JACKIE TIPPED FOR RSPCA - Eighteen months after blaming her election defeat on a "dirty tricks" campaign, former Taunton MP Jackie Ballard could be back to haunt the hunting fraternity. The outspoken Liberal Democrat, famous for her anti-hunting stance, has been tipped to become the new chief executive of the RSPCA…(story)
Western Morning News 11.9.02 ROW OVER TOP JOB AT RSPCA - A fierce battle has erupted between RSPCA chiefs as they attempt to elect a new leader. Two members of the a team chosen to appoint a new director general for the animal welfare charity have threatened to walk out if the job goes to Jackie Ballard, former Liberal Democrat MP for Taunton and fervently anti-hunting… (story)
Western Daily Press 10.9.02 OUSTED MP IN LINE FOR TOP RSPCA ROLE - Eighteen months after blaming her election defeat on a "dirty tricks" campaign, former Taunton MP Jackie Ballard could be back to haunt the hunting fraternity. The outspoken Liberal Democrat, famous for her strictly anti-hunting stance, has been tipped to become the new chief executive of the RSPCA…(story)
Telegraph 9.9.02 Bitter fight over top job at RSPCA By Thomas Penny - The search for a new chief executive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has dissolved into acrimony. Two members of the panel charged with choosing a successor to Peter Davies say they will resign if Jackie Ballard, the former Liberal Democrat MP, is given the job… The people who have threatened to resign are understood to prefer Steve Marshall, the former chief executive of Railtrack…. An RSPCA source said: "Ballard is vehemently anti-hunting, but there's much more to running the RSPCA than that…" The other two short-listed candidates are Michelle Thew, chief executive of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, and Maj Gen Michael Laurie…. (story)

Observer 27.10.02 Whose democracy is it anyway? - Karen Bartlett of Charter 88, setting out the themes of Charter 88 and Observer Future of Democracy conference, asks if it is any surprise that our politics turns so many people off…. We live in a curious world where the civil liberties agenda has been successfully hijacked by a cadre of the old establishment primarily concerned with their ability to carry on fox hunting…. (story)

Sunday Mirror 27.10.02 SPARE THE BEAR MA'AM THE Queen is being urged to ban her guardsmen from wearing their famous bearskins… But PETA - People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals - are demanding that fur from American and Canadian black bears must be swapped for fake alternatives. PETA director Dawn Carr said: "By using fur from these animals for her guards' helmets the Queen is subsidising the barbaric slaughter of these noble and beautiful creatures…. (story)

Scotland on Sunday 27.10.02 Shocked by outrage at Nepal sacrifice - YOUR "outrage" article on the religious sacrifice of animals in Nepal (News, October 20) was highly questionable from many angles. Since the practice has gone on for centuries, it was certainly not ‘news’… Above all, the breathtaking colonial arrogance and prurience of being shocked by, and seeking to enforce change to, other cultures is almost Victorian. Both reporter and the animal rights representatives quoted should be ashamed at their knee-jerk political correctness and narrow-mindedness… By what right does an affluent nation of meat-eaters and leather consumers feel free to pick on dirt-poor, conflict-riven and predominately vegetarian Nepal as a bête noire? RD Allen, via e-mail (letter)
Scotsman 21.10.02 Nepal's bloody sacrifices - DAVID ORR IN KATHMANDU - FROM dawn until dusk the cleavers slice through the animals’ necks, their blood used to drench effigies of the warrior goddess. As the full moon rises over Nepal tonight, the 15-day Hindu festival of Dashain will come to a close, bringing an end to the carnage which has seen thousands of buffaloes and other animals ritually beheaded…. Last night, animal rights campaigners in Scotland condemned the mass killings and demanded an end to the ritual blood-letting. John Robins , of Animal Concern, said: "This is absolutely horrific. No religion can justify such cruelty. I have been working with Animal Concern for 20 years and this is one of the worst instances of religion abusing animals that I have come across. There will be an international backlash to this when it becomes public. It is horrific and barbaric."… Les Ward, of Advocates for Animals, added: "It is totally unacceptable to behead an animal for whatever purpose - be it religious or because a person gets some sick pleasure out of it." … (story)

Western Daily Press 26.10.02 WE WILL FIGHT 'MIDDLE WAY' ON FOX HUNTS - Countryside campaigners in the West last night pledged to fight attempts to introduce a licensing system for fox-hunting. The compromise move, the so-called middle way, will be announced in the Queen's Speech next month, according to reports… Alison Hawes, regional director of the 100,000-strong Countryside Alliance, said: "We are not prepared to negotiate away one type of hunting to save another…" the idea was condemned as "farcical" by Captain Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Beaufort Hunt which draws wide support from Gloucestershire and Wiltshire… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 26.10.02 SURGE IN MEMBERSHIP - The Countryside Alliance has announced that its membership has passed 100,000 and is at an all-time high, following the massively successful Liberty and Livelihood March…. (story)

Western Daily Press 26.10.02 IT'S NOT JUST HARES THAT ARE MADE TO SUFFER - Sir - I have read with interest the ongoing debate in your letters column concerning hare coursing. The gruesome picture of the demise of the unfortunate hare, and the subsequent comment this has provoked, leaves one in no doubt of the strength of feeling surrounding this subject - and rightly so…. Jan Lake, Greyhound Rescue West of England (letter)

Western Morning News 26.10.02 Hunting traditions IT may come as a surprise that assistance may be found in EU Treaties for those both for and against hunting. Annexed to the Nice Treaty, is Protocol 33 for the Welfare of Animals which includes the following: "Member states shall pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals, while respecting the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the member states relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage"… Harry M Randall, Cerne Abbas Dorchester (letter)

Leicester Mercury 26.10.02 'BEST FORGOTTEN' - The Duke of Rutland is prepared to defy any ban on hunting… If the Duke carries out his threat to defy a ban, it will be gratifying to watch as he and any other perpetrators are hauled before the magistrates. Christine Harris, Protect Our Wild Animals, Loughborough (letter)

Telegraph 25.10.02 Peers hot on trail of the rural fox - The Government said last night it was unable to act to control the problem of urban foxes amid claims that gardens were being overrun. Lord Whitty, a junior environment minister, told peers that this was not a matter for Government but rather for pest control. However, Lord Newby (Lib Dem) urged the Government to issue clear guidelines to local authorities so that they could effectively manage the rise of the urban fox… Lord Hoyle (Lab) who is against hunting with hounds, gave his opinion. "I do hope you don't call in the hunt because that would cause the damage and upset and tremendous distress they cause in rural areas." Lord Peel (C), who is pro-hunting, complained of foxes being transported from urban to rural areas "in considerable quantities". This was probably illegal, unfair to urban foxes and unfair to rural people who had "enough foxes already"…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 25.10.02 Rural folk rally for Royal visit - The Prince of Wales has been given overwhelming support from rural folk for his letters to ministers about national issues. The prince spent more than an hour talking to farmers and staff at an agricultural support service in the small market town of Middleton-in-Teesdale, County Durham, hearing how they are rebuilding their lives after last year's foot-and-mouth disaster… Prince Charles spotted retired farmer John Cronin in the crowd holding a banner, which read "Keep writing the letters Charlie." As the prince spoke to members of the crowd he nodded to the 56-year-old's banner and joked: "Don't you worry."… (story)

North Devon Journal 25.10.02 SHEDDING SOME LIGHT ON HOW OUR DEMOCRACY REALLY WORKS - Having recently spent both an enjoyable and tiring day alongside many others, protesting at the short sightedness and neglect by this government of the countryside, I have been walking around with a smug smile on my face. It is the look of one who has done the right thing and has a little badge to prove it. I now realise that the chances of the government changing its mind is almost nil, unless the Countryside Alliance starts behaving like rent-a-mob, rather than in its normal peaceful manner….RONALD BANKS, Under Minnow Road, Pilton (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 25.10.02 PETS AND FOXES NOT THE SAME … How does B. Flood think a fox kills its prey? It worries it. A hound kills a fox in the same way. In both instances, it is mercifully quick, not that a fox or hound has any compassion for its victim, but is anxious to avoid any injury to itself. All things being equal, is it more or less cruel for a hound to kill a fox than a fox to kill its victim?... Life in the countryside is all a question of balance. Getting it right is a job for the professionals - the farmers. W. E. Yates, Rona Close, Sinfin Moor (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 9.10.02 FOXES ARE IN NEED OF PROTECTION - Further to W. E. Yates and Mick Staniforth's letters (Opinion, October 1), I agree with everything said on the rural communities, farmers and countryside. But no-one will convince me that tearing a fox to bits is humane and that farms will close because they cannot shoot and hunt animals… B. Flood, Barden Drive, Allestree (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 1.10.02 SINGING THE PRAISES OF 'BOLD REYNARD' …A young healthy fox in open country is usually too smart to fall prey to the hunt and nearly always lives to fight another day. The huntsmen give their quarry the sporting chance that the fox denies to its own fenced-in victims and I believe that there is a poetic irony in the pitting of skills between the only two creatures in the British Isles that hunt for the sheer thrill of it… Mick Staniforth, White Street, Derby (letter)

Manchester Evening News 25.10.02 - Shameful - CONVENIENTLY labelled as "vermin,'' the fox is the focus for those who enjoy cruelly hunting down and killing animals for pleasure. I wonder why little mention is made of the shameful cruelty of stag hunting, in which the terrified animal is chased to exhaustion and final brutal death, or hare coursing, in which an animal may be torn to death in a brutal tug-of-war between two dogs… Impatient, Cheshire (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 25.10.02 WORKERS' LOT - To COIN a phrase, Mr John S Rooney is 'having a laugh' if he thinks the Countryside Alliance are the predecessors of the Tolpuddle Martyrs… The predecessors of the Countryside Alliance were the very people who orchestrated the punishment of the Martyrs, again in their own interests. DAVE SPRINGBETT Regional Industrial Organiser TGWU Plymouth (letter)

Glasgow Herald 25.10.02 China deports Scots animal rights activist - DAMIEN HENDERSON - A SCOTTISH animal rights campaigner who stripped to her high heels in Beijing to protest against the fur trade was deported by Chinese authorities yesterday. Yvonne Taylor, 29, had her passport confiscated by police but was told no charges would be brought against her after she and Kayla Worden, a nurse from New York, stripped naked and displayed a protest banner in a busy Beijing shopping district on Wednesday… Sean Gifford, a campaigner with Peta, described Ms Taylor as a committed activist and a vegan… (story may be in archive)
Edinburgh Evening News 24.10.02 Scare for nude protester - BEIJING police spent five hours questioning a Midlothian woman after she stripped off in the Chinese capital to protest against the fur trade. Yvonne Taylor, 29, from Penicuik, and co-protester Kayla Worden, 41, from New York were taken into a police station for questioning and held for five hours over their naked protest against animal cruelty before being released… (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 24.10.02 Chinese police scare for city fur protester - By FIONA MacGREGOR - BEIJING police spent five hours questioning a Midlothian woman after she stripped off in the Chinese capital to protest against the fur trade… The women, both members of animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), stripped off in Beijing city centre at around midday yesterday and, wrapped themselves in a banner which read "We’d rather go naked than wear fur", marched through the busy streets… Ms Taylor, who works for another animal rights group Advocates For Animals, said the police started shouting at her and Ms Worden before taking them away in a police van for questioning… This was not the first time Ms Taylor has removed her clothes for animal rights issues. In the past she has undressed in front of the White House to protest against fur farming and she also posed naked as Lady Godiva to protest about a drug called Premarin, made from the urine of pregnant horses. During the World Cup she crouched in a cage in South Korea to protest against cats and dogs being boiled alive for human consumption. (story)
Daily Record 24.10.02 STRIPPERS' CHINESE TAKEAWAY - AN ANTI-FUR campaigner last night told how Chinese police booted her out the country after a nude protest. Yvonne Taylor, 31, stripped off with fellow protester Kayla Warden in Beijing to promote animal rights group PETA's anti- fur campaign…. She said: "We weren't sure about the reception we'd get but police were very aggressive…" (story)
Ananova 23.10.02 Anti-fur protesters strip in China - Two female anti-fur protesters have walked through the centre of Beijing wearing nothing but a protest banner. Briton Yvonne Taylor and Kayla Worden from New York were covered only by a banner reading "We'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur"… (story) (photo)

RSPCA ZOO ELEPHANT REPORT
East Anglian Daily Times 25.10.02 Essex zoo rejects charity's report - THE only zoo in East Anglia which keeps elephants has rejected an RSPCA report suggesting that European zoos should phase out the keeping of the animals - for welfare reasons… Colchester Zoo maintained that the living conditions and welfare of elephants in British zoos had improved significantly in recent years… (story)
Oxford Mail 24.10.02 University study criticises zoos - Oxford University scientists who were asked to study the welfare of zoo elephants have concluded that their lives in captivity lead to early deaths. The research was commissioned by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals… (story in archive)
Chester Evening News 24.10.02 zoo defends its care of elephants by Rob Griffiths - CHESTER Zoo has defended its handlers in the face of a damning report on the treatment of captive elephants… Mark Pilgrim, the zoo’s chief curator said: “We welcome the fact the RSPCA is looking at this issue with us and we are all working to ensure these fabulous and complex animals get the best care in zoos…." (story in archive)

Worksop Guardian 25.10.02 RSPCA SAYS BOYCOTT THE CIRCUS - BUT CIRCUS SAYS THEY CARE FOR THEIR ANAIMALS - WORKSOP people are being urged by the RSPCA to boycott an animal circus that opened in Carlton last night. Peter Jolly's traditional animal circus has over 30 animals performing in its big top on Hundred Acre Lane and insists rigorous Government guidelines are followed for the welfare of the animals… "The RSPCA believes it is unacceptable to use animals for any form of entertainment where suffering or distress may be caused," said RSPCA spokesman Jo Marlow… (story in archive)

Harborough Mail 25.10.02 Whoever let the circus come should be ashamed - I SAW the report in the local press about the Great British Circus having to leave town without performing, due to the recent flooding. Thank goodness!... To welcome such a show to town is beyond belief. ‘Performing’ zebras, camels, tiger cubs, etc!... On behalf of the thousands of animal lovers in this area, I would like to invite those responsible for granting permission for such a circus to visit the town to explain their decision… Stephen Riley, Bottom Lock, Foxton. (letter)

DARTMOOR PONY CULL
Plymouth Evening Herald 25.10.02 END SLAUGHTER - I am absolutely appalled to hear that 200 ponies on Dartmoor are to be shot. Many moorland farmers are irresponsible about the welfare of their animals and it has often been left to animal organisations to care for them… M MAHONY, Manadon (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 24.10.02 SURELY SOMETHING CAN BE DONE FOR THE PONIES - Isn't the proposed cull of 200 Dartmoor ponies a heartbreaking situation?... The RSPCA have favoured a cull of ponies as a "humane" alternative. Well, what about the alternative of finding them shelter for the winter and saving as many of them as possible?... Frances Wicks Alphington Road, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 24.10.02 COMPASSION DOESN'T COME INTO IT ANYMORE - I am writing to express my disgust of the RSPCA's support of the Dartmoor pony cull. Once again, we will slaughter innocent animals purely because the greedy farmers cannot make any money out of them. I can't believe we are taken in by the farmers time and time again and made to feel sorry for them … Miss K Wicks, Ashleigh, Alphington, Exeter (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.10.02 BREEDING SCHEME IS THREAT TO BIRDS - Many bird-lovers are angered and distressed by the attitude of the RSPB to the plight of, and decline of, the songbirds. There is much evidence that the main reason for the decline of songbirds is the breeding programmes for birds of prey conducted by the RSPB… John Cowen Edinburgh Scotland (letter)

ANIMAL AID VEGETARIAN PARENTS SURVEY (Ronny Worsey Richards (Worsey-Richards)
East Grinstead Courier 25.10.02 SURVEY TO HIGHLIGHT VEGETARIAN BENEFITS … Animal Aid in Bradford Street has introduced the Veggie Parents Campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of being a vegetarian and the pressures people face in becoming one… Preliminary results from the survey have shown people face peer pressure from friends with many schools discouraging vegetarianism by failing to provide vegetarian meals… (story)
Skegness Standard 9.10.02 Are vegetarians getting fair deal? Ronny Worsey Richards Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid The Old Chapel Bradford Street Tonbridge Kent TN9 1AW (letter)
Northern Scot 4.10.02 Veggie parents survey RONNY WORSEY RICHARDS, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent. (letter
Whitehaven News 3.10.02 GIVE US YOUR VIEWS - Ronny Worsey RICHARDS, Animal Aid Bradford Street, Tonbridge Kent (letter)
Worcester Evening News 1.10.01 Veggie facts - R W RICHARDS, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 1.10.02 Vegetarian survey - Ronny Worsey Richards Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid The Old Chapel Bradford Street Tonbridge Kent TN9 1AW (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 26.9.02 Veggie views THE number of vegetarian parents is growing every year… RONNY WORSEY RICHARDS, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter in archive)
Manchester Evening News 26.9.02 Veggie views - THE number of vegetarian parents is growing every year… R W Richards, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid (letter)
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 25.9.02 Vegetarian views DEAR EDITOR - The number of vegetarian parents is growing every year… Ronny Worsey-Richards, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid. (letter in archive)
South Wales Evening Post 24.9.02 VEGGIE SURVEY TO CHART SERVICE - The number of vegetarian parents is growing every year… Animal Aid has recently launched a national survey, which will examine the views and experiences of vegetarian parents… Ronny Worsey Richards Campaigns Office, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1AW (letter)

Western Morning News 24.10.02 Homes debate - YOUR correspondent D Cooper acknowledges that second home ownership is having an impact but instead of entering into reasoned debate has resorted to a tirade against myself…. Curbing second home ownership can't be achieved by individuals, but by a change in government policy. Something which a true countryside alliance would be campaigning for… R A Gagie, Paignton (letter)
Western Morning News 15.10.02 Free market - I AM moved to reply to the letter from Robert Gagie who repeats the familiar cry that second home ownership is destroying country life. He also make the ridiculous suggestion that the Countryside Alliance has a vested interest in the property holdings of its members. Although, by the sound of it, Mr Gagie is probably contributing to country life by supporting a Labour ban on hunting, he needs to understand that each house that is bought has a buyer and a seller… D Cooper, Wedmore, Somerset (letter)
Western Morning News 12.10.02 SECOND HOMES ARE A REAL THREAT …I wrote to the WMN several years ago concerning this matter and asked Countryside Alliance spokesman Mal Treharne to join me in condemning this serious threat to the countryside. No reply was received and none expected. The conclusion is obvious. The Alliance can't speak up against second homes because too many of its members own them. Robert Gagie Paignton (letter)

Western Morning News 24.10.02 FAIR DEBATE OVER HUNTING ISSUE - How very much I agree with all your correspondents who heartily applaud Prince Charles for his letters to Government ministers. Of course Charles should write, he is a taxpayer after all. Those who don't agree that Charles should be expressing his opinion are clearly influenced by his love of hunting. Thus we read anti-hunting opinion overflowing with animosity toward a totally unrelated subject. Whatever happened to live and let live?... Roy Williams Callington (letter)

Cambridge News 24.10.02 Hare coursers out - …At 2pm we were walking back towards the Little Eversden village sign down the track from the Mare Way, and we saw a hare running for its life closely followed by a greyhound…. We then saw a four-wheeler bristling with aggressive looking men in, and hanging on to it, so were forced to step aside… As soon as they passed I phoned the police on my mobile, giving both vehicle registration numbers, but although they were polite and took details, obviously they felt totally unequal to taking any action…. Name and address supplied. (letter)

Evesham Journal 24.10.02 Let's not split hares over coursing issue - HARES may not always get `torn apart' as S Woolley states (Journal, October 17), but, judging from their screams they certainly don't enjoy the tug of war that takes place during coursing… REX STAMFORD, The Gatehouse, Longborough, Moreton. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 24.10.02 REAL BULLIES CARRY GUNS - With reference to the reply to my letter by Anne Sparks, headed - Meet The Bully-boys In The World Of Birds… In my letter, I deliberately omitted the shooting, trapping and poisoning of hen harriers, golden eagles and many more raptors by the hunting fraternity, as this is the illegal side of, in their term, pest control. I will now mention the shooting of woodcock, snipe, jack snipe, golden and grey plover - migratory species that move to our shores for the winter to be blasted out of the skies. I must also mention the Countryside Alliance's support of killing our migrating breeding songbirds and finches en masse, plus raptors and waders….M Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.10.02 MEET THE BULLY-BOYS IN THE WORLD OF BIRDS - With reference to your correspondent of October 14 regarding the shooting of crows, rooks, magpies and jays, these are the thugs and terrorists of the bird world, and like any bullies, must be controlled… Opponents of pheasant shooting conveniently forget, or perhaps don't know, that while preserving a habitat for these birds, and feeding them, they are also providing the habitat for dozens of other species, and feeding them too… Anne Sparks, Stogursey, Bridgwater, Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.10.02 TIME TO STOP SLAUGHTER IN THE SKIES Bird shoot: Leaders of the RSPB should step up its opposition to hunting, both at home and on the continent …My question to Alistair Gummell is why isn't the RSPB putting pressure on the Countryside Alliance to stop them supporting the continental hunters shooting and trapping our migrating birds… We see vehicles parading around with pro-hunt and RSPB stickers side-by-side. Could these people explain to me the difference between killing one bird species from another?... M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Leicester Mercury 24.10.02 WHO WILL CARE? In response to H Newman (Postbag, Oct 15), imagine the scene: Where there was once a river, abundant with fish and wildlife, there is now a reeking cesspit, choked with weed and fungi… No fishermen left to care for and pay for the necessary upkeep. Only one thing never changes - ignorance is far more deafening than silence. S R Penny, Market Harborough. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 15.10.02 IN THE NAME OF SPORT? - Imagine the scene: A country landowner hands over a small woodland area to a local village, so that it can be used to rear fox cubs for hunting… a similar scene was recently reported in the local press: The wood became a small lake, the village a city estate… The fox became a fish. Only one thing did not change - an animal was to suffer in the name of sport…. Not a whisper from the RSPCA… and a deafening silence from the MPs. H Newman, Oadby (letter)

Whitehaven News 24.10.02 MELODY PASSES 41 VICTORIES - Hound Trailing by John Walsh - DICKIE Smithson, a stalwart of the Aspatria and Wigton Area for years, was enthusing after Saturday's trails at Gamelsby produced the finish of the season… (story)

Penarth Times 24.10.02 AM backs ban on live export by Charles Booth - Lorraine Barrett, AM for Cardiff South and Penarth, has called for a stop to the cruel export of livestock for meat. She said: "There is no need for this kind of cruelty. The animals can travel for up to 50 hours in a cramped lorry with very little water. It is cruel and has to stop."… (story in archive)

Glasgow Evening Times 24.10.02 Puppy farm protest - DOZENS of protesters today staged a demonstration in Ayrshire in a bid to shut down a puppy farm… The Waterside Action Group campaigners claim Mr Hamilton has been importing scores of sickly puppies from the Irish Republic in the back of articulated lorries… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 23.10.02 Dog blessing sparks row - ANTI-hunt campaigners have criticised a senior New Forest clergyman for "blessing" a group of foxhounds. The Vicar of Lyndhurst, the Rev Peter Murphy performed the ceremony during his annual open-air service at Bolton's Bench. Mr Murphy has come under fire from members of the New Forest Animal Protection Group, which is campaigning against hunting… The dogs were owned by the New Forest Hounds… (story in archive)

Guardian 23.10.02 We would support the lawbreakers - The head of the Countryside Alliance on civil disobedience - John Jackson - In recent months a number of normally law-abiding people have said that in the event of a ban on hunting they will disobey the law, and accept the consequences of their actions. The Countryside Alliance would never recommend its members, or others, to engage in civil disobedience by breaking the law…. For any law, just or unjust, to come into existence it must either have been passed by both houses of parliament, or been imposed by the House of Commons invoking the Parliament Act, an act passed in 1911 to curb the powers of an unreformed House of Lords… The fact that the Parliament Act was used in those circumstances to force through war crimes legislation in 1991 does not make the approach "right"… (story)

Crewe Chronicle 23.10.02 JOHN Buckley (Personally Speaking) must think readers are 'cerebrallychallenged' when he talks about hunting… I am proud that the Government of this country 'takes time out to deal with foxes' or any other animal. No living thing should be terrorised or abused…. A DYKE Audley Road, Alsager (letter)
Chester Chronicle 18.10.02 Copy of a letter to Personally Speaking columnist John Buckley - I WAS interested in the points you made regarding the town and country views of foxes (Chronicle, September 27). A large number of people in the countryside support a ban on hunting… , fox-hunting was banned for 10 months during foot and mouth, and severely restricted for a further two months. During this period, there was no significant change in fox numbers… CHRISTOPHER CLAYTON Brown Heath Road, Waverton
Chester Chronicle 18.10.02 I REFER to John Buckley's Personally Speaking published in The Chronicle of September 27… sweet kittens grow into cats that kill birds and mice, leaving their offspring to starve. However, I would not suggest that 50 men and women on 50 horses with 50 dogs chase the cat to exhaustion and tear it to pieces… P D REID Fox Lane, Waverton, Chester (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.10.02 SOME COUNTRY FACTS OF LIFE - I do not go hunting, but because I have a love for the countryside I follow the debate in your paper with interest… How can emotions often bordering on hysterical take over so completely from some people's common sense? Disregarding their obvious prejudice against those they perceive as being snobs on horseback, what sensible reason does the anti-hunt lobby have for wanting fox-hunting banned?... John Butler Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 23.10.02 WHY WAS SHE CONSIDERED FOR THIS ROLE? - It has never ceased to amaze me that when people are appointed to responsible posts in Government the last thing that is considered is whether they have the aptitude. For a position as important as the one Margaret Beckett has it should be someone with great experience of rural affairs, farming etc, not someone who has always been involved in urban affairs… Near hysteria is going on over hunting when you consider all the other cruelties involved which animals are made to suffer - such as transporting abroad and barbaric killing… Patricia Dawe, Padstow (letter)

Worcester Evening News 23.10.02 Aliance is more than just lobby for hunting - THE Countryside Alliance thanks all those in Worcestershire who gave up their day on September 22 to be part of the display of people-power that brought more than 400,000 people into London to march peacefully for liberty and livelihood…. CLARE ROWSON, Countryside Alliance Regional Director for Worcestershire & the West Midlands. (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 23.10.02 Labour's leading lovers of hunting - Tom Bennet comments that the Countryside Alliance is "...a self-confessed wing of the Conservative Party" (Letters, October 15). Although no doubt many of its members vote Tory, the Alliance is apolitical. Its president, Baroness Mallalieu, its chairman, John Jackson and its chief executive Richard Burge are all Labour Party members… Until they can demonstrate their commitment and put more than 400,000 on the streets of London, it is impossible to take the anti movement seriously. I do not hunt. Keith Erlandson, Llangollen (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 15.10.02 Opposition to hunting has grown - The present town versus country scenario has been artificially created by The Countryside Alliance in an attempt to divert attention away from the cruelty aspect of hunting, for which they have no defence. As a self-confessed department of the Conservative Party, the Alliance is duty-bound to oppose and discredit the present democratically elected government… For the last few years, we have had a government in office that does not depend on the unspeakable for votes or financial support. They must listen to the people who put them there. Tom Bennett, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Horncastle News 23.10.02 Horncastle News should be ‘middle of the road’ on countryside issues - Re your question ‘are we letting the country down’? (October 9) - and your correspondent’s view that you (and other local papers) should have given more publicity to the Countryside Alliance march in London. Local newspapers should be strictly ‘middle of the road’ on all matters of reporting - neither supporting nor condemning any particular issue… I too sometimes wonder who ‘the real guardians of the countryside’ are when I see fields that have been ruthlessly stripped of hedges and trees, decimating the bird population… R FISHER, Hemingby Way, Horncastle (letter)
Horncastle News 9.10.02 The News should do more to support the countryside - I should like to express my concern at the lack of support local newspapers such as yourselves are giving the local countryside infrastructure and the agricultural industry. The recent Countryside March was given a front page review immediately afterwards in your September 25 edition and the actual article covered less than 10 per cent of the available news space, the rest being taken up by photographs and advertisements… I do not hunt and I am not engaged in agriculture but, unlike Alun Michael the government spokesman, I had no difficulty in determining what the message was about… Why has the Horncastle News forgotten, so quickly, the historic events of two weeks ago and why are we not seeing some supportive reporting around the issues which affect the whole community and the livelihood of Horncastle itself…. KEITH EDDINGTON, Ranby
Editor’s Note: What do you think? Are we letting the countryside down and concentrating too much on issues affecting the people of Horncastle? We appreciate your views by letter to the address above or by email to: horncastle.news@virgin.net (letter)

Skegness Standard 23.10.02 More reasons than hunting to go on march - In reply to Mr Beardsley’s letter in the October 9 edition, may I say there were many reasons for people attending the Countryside March in London on September 22. A lot of those who went along were not primarily protesting about the continuation of fox hunting… Lincolnshire Resident (Name and address supplied) (letter)
Skegness Standard 9.10.02 ‘Poor’ farmers hold townies in contempt - I was very interested to see in the Skegness Standard of September 25 Mr Mark Simmonds MP taking part in the Countryside Alliance March in London on September 22. While very puzzled what the vast majority were marching for – I suspect it was about fox hunting… The Countryside Alliance are Tories on the march, outraged and uncomprehending at how Labour holds power while they own the land… Ray Beardsley Skegness (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 23.10.02 Foxy reply to protest …At a pelican crossing not 100yds from the junction of Old Street and City Road, which is in Central London and busy by anyone's standards, stood a very healthy well-fed looking fox… The countryside lobby recently visited Tony Blair to protest about bans on fox hunting and whatever else. Whether they succeed is anyone's guess, but I take my hat off to this slightly more enterprising fox, who'd clearly taken the matter into his own hands and moved into the comparative safety of the capital just a mile or so from Mr Blair himself… Mark Jones, Ross Close, Wolverhampton (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 23.10.02 WILL THIS CULL GO ON FOR GOOD? - We now know MAFF (now DEFRA) has been killing badgers for 27 years. No doubt farmers will say the same applies to cattle. How far have we now got with a vaccine?... PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 23.10.02 BAN POACHING - I have just received terrible news from an international animal charity (IFAW) that ivory poaching is now rife in Africa and Asia and is getting worse by the day…. Mrs J Ibbotson, Cottagers Plot, Laceby (letter)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 23.10.02 Claims that rural crime will soar are `nonsense' by Hilary Sanders - CLAIMS that rural crime is set to soar because of low rural policing figures have been dismissed as "nonsense" by North Yorkshire Police. The Countryside Alliance claimed funds for rural areas would be siphoned off to tackle violent urban crime. But, say the police, there have never been so many officers in North Yorkshire as there are at present…. According to the Countryside Alliance, the Government plans to concentrate police resources in urban areas. Yorkshire regional director Lindy Best said: "If funds ... to further concentrate police resources in urban areas are siphoned off to tackle violent urban crime, then rural people can expect to see the already increasing rural crime rate soar yet further…" (story in archive)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 23.10.02 Animal rights raider has jail term cut - A COURT has reduced the sentence of one of three animal rights protestors who burgled WGC pharmaceutical firm Roche… Madeline Buckler, from Wales, had three months taken off her burglary sentence, which appeal judges described as “manifestly excessive.” Her offence was deemed to be not as serious as those of Sarah Gisborne and Kate Simpson, both of Coventry. Their sentences were not reduced. Following the burglary the pair, along with about 30 other protestors, raided the Christmas party. Appeal judge Mr Justice Treacy, said their actions had left some staff members terrified… (story)
Cambridge News 21.10.02 Protester's sentence is reduced - AN animal rights' protester who was jailed after burgling the premises of what she believed was a Huntingdon Life Sciences client has had her sentence reduced. Madeline Buckler… was sentenced to 12 months behind bars after being found guilty of breaking into pharmaceutical company Roche UK of Welwyn Garden City… Mr Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Pitchers decided to reduce the 20-year-old's sentence by three months. The appeal court judges refused to cut the 12 month sentences handed out to fellow SHAC activists Sarah Gisborne and Kate Simpson, who were also involved in the raid (story)

Chester Chronicle 23.10.02 McDonald's veggie snub - By Jan Roberts, Crewe Chronicle - BURGER giant McDonald's is reviewing its menu after a Crewe mum protested about a lack of veggie options for children. Vegetarian Gretta Bayley, 33, of Lunt Avenue, was left feeling less than happy after ordering her four-year-old daughter Kaitlin a Happy Meal… (story)

Portsmouth News 23.10.02 Cash crisis grips pet centre …Stubbington Ark has been plunged into financial crisis and could be forced to close. The RSPCA, which runs the centre, says it will start having to turn animals away and pets who have been there more than three months face uncertainty… Rob Dazely, the RSPCA regional manager, said the cash crisis had hit because of a lack of donations… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 22.10.02 HISTORY CAN TEACH US THE REASON FOR STAGHUNTING - R h AYRE in Views (October 8) talks more sense about staghunting than 100 criticising the sport… When the Devon & Somerset Staghounds were started in 1855 the total number of deer in the Exmoor district were said to be 50, many of them suffering from wounds of some kind or another. From that date onwards the numbers of deer rose steadily and today the annual count records about 2,500 on Exmoor with some 7,800 on the Quantocks and a lesser number in the Tiverton area… Dick Lloyd, South Molton (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 CAN THESE ANTI-HUNTERS OFFER AN ALTERNATIVE? - In ALL the correspondence in the press from the anti-hunting lobby I have not seen one that puts forward any alternative…Obviously a hunted animal is bound to suffer a degree of stress especially during the later stages, but there is no doubt shooting would cause far more stress and pain than hunting ever has. Recently in this area a stag was found with its lower jaw broken by shot. It was slowly dying of starvation, and judging by its severely emaciated condition it had been suffering for some considerable time. This one deer alone had suffered more than a hundred deer killed by hunting… R H Ayre, North Molton, Devon (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.10.02 No walkies - MR GAGIE from Paignton (WMN, October 19) asks if there is any difference between Parliament banning hunting and his council banning dogs from the local beach. To make the comparison… Mr Gagie would be banned not just from taking his dog on the beach, but from exercising it anywhere, including in his own back garden… Norman Cowling, Widecombe-in-the-Moor (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.10.02 PERFECT MANNERS OF OUR COUNTRY MEN AND WOMEN …My friend from Eggesford took me back over Exmoor and to our usual lunch at Exford and from there we went back on to the moor to find ourselves on the fringes of a stag hunt… As soon as I was on the moor, a very kind, elderly gentleman could sense I was a "grockle" and immediately began to explain the hunt to me… Moments later, I saw a man open a gate for two huntswomen and he was received with fine manners and courtesy, which I have not heard expressed in many years. Lynne Whitehouse Dartford, Kent (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.10.02 LEAVE THE STRUCTURE OF COUNTRY LIFE ALONE - It is clear from many reported comments that a significant number of Labour MPs hold to a mind set that says to them "hunting is a 'class' thing and we must wipe it out"… It is clear from many reported comments that a significant number of Labour MPs hold to a mind set that says to them "hunting is a 'class' thing and we must wipe it out"…. Tom Jones, Plymouth (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.10.02 THE Countryside Alliance has demonstrated its organisational ability on the recent London march. I suggest it would be beneficial if the Countryside Alliance could arrange for its many thousands of supporters to spend the required number of weekends clearing the countryside of ragwort… Bramwell J Ibbett, Horrabridge, Yelverton (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.10.02 GOOD FOR THE PRINCE - HE'S STANDING UP TO BE COUNTED - I welcome the general support your newspaper has given to the right of the Prince of Wales to correspond with Ministers… David Short, Exminster Devon (letter)
Western Daily Press 22.10.02 OUR MPS HAVE FORGOTTEN WHY WE VOTED THEM IN - Not so long ago, Prince Charles was being vilified by this Government's supporters, because he and members of his family, along with millions of other perfectly normal people, like to go fox hunting… I think the truth is that we, the electorate, have been conned for far too long into voting, not for a Member of Parliament to represent us, but a political party. Once that party is in Government, we are then told we have to put up with their dictatorship because we voted for them. I do not think that this is democracy, it is licensed dictatorship… Tess Nash, Mawgan, Helston (letter)
Western Morning News 22.10.02 PRINCE CHARLES IS RIGHT ABOUT MANY THINGS - It is odd that people write of Prince Charles as wallowing in riches and unable to see the ordinary man's view, but say nothing about the obscene wages paid to footballers, the millions stashed away by popstars or the enormous properties bought by retired or sacked business men with their bonuses or pay-offs… Mrs J Calmady-Hamlyn, Bridestowe (letter)
Western Daily Press 22.10.02 Letting daylight in - THE interesting and important question asked in the letter by L A Parry (WMN October 15), about who governs us, has no simple answer… The Royal Family remain a mystery to me, but the republicans have a first class web site worthy of a visit at: www.republic.org.uk... John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Worcester Evening News 22.10.02 Facts tell different tale - OUR Government appears to have a straightforward no-nonsense desire to ban hunting… the Government employs five falconers with their birds of prey in London to hunt pigeons which are making a mess on the buildings around Whitehall. Meanwhile, the shooting of 12 badgers in Brighton has been sanctioned because they are devaluing properties on an upmarket housing estate there. What an extraordinary set of double standards this Government operates by. It wants to ban hunting in the countryside but not in the city…P KING, Bransford, near Worcester (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 22.10.02 HUNT HORROR Sir - Regarding the letter printed in your paper on September 30, from J Aldridge, Sherton, Wiltshire, I followed the hunt once, but never again, I saw the huntsman pull a fox from its hole and throw it to the hounds alive… Name and address supplied (letter)

The Herald (Glasgow) 22.10.02 THE Countryside Alliance and the Scottish Landowners' Federation have done an excellent job in highlighting the government's interference in what was historical and traditional freedoms by making certain countryside activities criminal offences, therefore its supporters will be delighted to learn of Labour's stated commitment to revoke its own legislation, the fresh-water and salmon fisheries (Scotland) act 1976… Andy Scott, 28 Brora Court, Tayside (letter may be in archive)

Western Mail 22.10.02 Plan to restrict docking of dog tails `hits welfare' - COUNTRY sports enthusiasts are to meet with Government representatives to discuss the issue of docking the tails of working dogs…. The government says the plans are in the early stages, and further talks will be held, a move welcomed by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.10.02 CONTROL THE MINK BEFORE WE LOSE OUR WILDLIFE - With reference to the article 'County's search for elusive Ratty', Echo, October 15, has anyone given thought to the cause? It is in no doubt the mink population that are killing off the water rat… Frank Farr, East Budleigh (letter)

Independent 22.10.02 Animal rights row over plan to shoot infected seals By Paul Kelbie Scotland Correspondent - Plans to slaughter thousands of seals threatened by a deadly virus have provoked outrage among animal rights campaigners who claim the disease is treatable. Six marksmen have been recruited by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and put on stand-by to cull colonies in the hope of halting the spread of phocine distemper virus… Les Ward, of the welfare organisation Advocates for Animals, said: "The SSPCA is supposed to exist to save animal life and prevent cruelty…" (story)

Northern Echo 22.10.02 'Illegal' wires are killing pigeons - AN ANIMAL welfare worker is considering taking legal action against those responsible for trapping and killing pigeons in a town centre. Ray Mackinlay, of the National Animal Sanctuary Support League (NASSL), has condemned the measure as an act of cruelty… Guy Merchant, director of the national Pigeon Control Advisory Service (Picas), said devices of this type are often not designed to trap and kill birds, but do so because they are incorrectly installed… (story in archive)

Western Mail 22.10.02 `War zone' farms fear EU adding to trouble - Sheila Coleman, The Western Mail - FARMING on the urban fringe creates a multitude of problems for Welsh farmers, but it is feared a new European Union directive could exacerbate those problems. In a new report the National Farmers' Union highlights the difficulties that arise from farming on the edge of towns and cities which, it is claimed, can be like working in a "war zone"… Meanwhile the Countryside Alliance has condemned what it claims are Government plans to bolster urban police force numbers at the expense of rural areas… (story)

Plymouth Evening Herald 22.10.02 WRONG IDEA - I read the letter from Mr Ponds of Plympton with incredulity. If he believes that farmers deliberately infected their own stock with BSE and foot-and-mouth disease, there is no point in any discussion… The 'animal rights' lobby has given Labour a seven-figure sum and now it is 'pay-back time'. The Tolpuddle Martyrs opposed an over-powerful and oppressive government which refused to listen, so they are the predecessors of the Countryside Alliance. JOHN S ROONEY Plymouth (letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 28.9.02 PROTEST ADDED INSULT TO INJURY - Sunday September 22nd's unwholesome spectacle of toffs and their lackeys demanding the continuation of blood sports and farming subsidies, should put the final nail in the coffin of the way the countryside has been run for too long.... Only recently, as a consequence of the financial muscle of the urban population, have the greedy and destructive custodians of our collective rural heritage been bribed and cajoled to give some plants and animals a second chance.... H J PONDS, Plympton (letter)

Western Morning News 22.10.02 DON'T LET THEM FOOL YOU OVER VACCINATION - Patrick Rattigan Chesterfield (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.10.02 SMALLPOX SHOTS WILL BE A DISASTER Vaccine manufacturers, aided by their very good pals at the Department of Health, the BBC, etc, are rubbing their hands at the prospect of a multi-million pound smallpox immunisation campaign… Patrick Rattigan Chesterfield Derbyshire (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 22.10.02 DEFENDING SPENDING OF RSPCA - Following a recent letter voicing concern about the distribution of RSPCA funds (Opinion, October 11) I would like to reassure readers that the RSPCA spends 85 pence in every pound directly on animal welfare… In his letter, David Davidson also refers to the society's new headquarters. The society could have rented instead at £1.3m a year and, after 12 years and nearly £16m later, had nothing to show for it…. Jo Marlow, RSPCA regional press officer. (letter)

Northern Echo 21.10.02 FOX HUNTING - I WAS horrified at the interview with Edward Duke (Echo, Oct 14). If the threats had been uttered by someone who was anti-hunt they'd have had the police round straight away and their phone tapped… - Patricia Tricker, Bedale (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 14.10.02 The real voice of hunting …Nick Morrison meets the public face of the militant pro-hunt movement… Edward Duke doesn't seem like the archetypal toff who enjoys donning a scarlet coat and quaffing from a stirrup cup… His first hunt had him hooked, and he is a regular with the Middleton Hunt… Mr Duke is the public face - and financial backer - of the Real CA… "This Government really has to be aware of the anger that is being felt by people." If this sounds faintly ominous, what comes next is a little more disturbing. "You saw 400,000 people in London marching, and not one person stepped out of line. But if we wanted to take 400,000 people to London and let them loose, it would be frightening. I think we're capable of doing that, if we want," he says… As I take my leave, his wife Penny, who has just arrived home, calls out: "You will be nice to us, won't you?" I would hardly dare be anything else. (story)

Shropshire Star 21.10.02 Remove all those placards - I am all in favour of people standing up and taking affirmative action for something they believe in… Please could you now remove those placards and posters inciting rural jihad on September 22, as it is really starting to detract from my aesthetic enjoyment of the countryside… Ed Evans, Church Stretton (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 21.10.02 Repulsive acts - TIM Pinney says that I am not interested in facts. This is not so… Fact. That beautiful, timid creature the hare, is chased… The hunting lobby has never disputed these facts. They just seek to justify them and maintain their "right" to do it for entertainment. MARION J LARGE, Worcester (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 1.10.02 She isn't interested in facts - MARION Large says I make puny attempts to belittle Anita Knittel and Maurice Brett… Over the years, I have shaken hands with Maurice and shared a drink with Anita Knittel. On no occasion have I ever tried to belittle them. I believe that both of them would actually support me on this issue… My letters contain facts to back up my argument and point of view. In her recent outburst, Marion large states that a recent scientific survey carried out by the RSPCA proved that hunting is a futile occupation. As usual, she is incorrect. The RSPCA has carried out no survey at all. What in fact she refers to is research carried out on their behalf by a well-known supporter and friend of the League Against Cruel Sports… TIM PINNEY, Peopleton, Pershore. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 24.9.02 Desperate to find favour with city people - THE puny attempts of Messrs Pinney and Burgess to belittle Anita Knittel and Maurice Brett are boringly predictable and smack of desperation in an attempt to win Worcester people over to their point of view… MARION J LARGE, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Scotsman 21.10.02 Rural development - Richard Williamson, of the Buccleuch Group, must remember (Letters, 17 October) that there are many other estates of differing management structures exemplifying the urgent need for land reform… Some of these, his own employer in particular, have already expressed concern that employees will lose jobs and homes as a result of the ban on fox-hunting, thereby acknowledging insecurity within estate employment and tied house dependency…. TOM GRAY, Braco, Perthshire (letter)

Scotsman 21.10.02 Making the Scandinavian connection - Katie Grant - IT IS BOTH tempting and easy to lambast our parliamentarians over "jaunts" and "swanning around abroad"… . But last week’s visit to Stockholm by assorted Scottish great and good does not fall into this category… Far be it from me to praise Lord Watson, but surely this is exactly what a Scottish culture and tourism minister should be doing rather than wasting the Parliament’s time and our money banning hunting?... (story)

Leicester Mercury 21.10.02 FOX 'FUDGE' ON THE WAY - There cannot possibly be any conceivable justification for animal cruelty in any form, even if it is plausibly masqueraded as something else by the fox-hunting fraternity… There is an Atlantic swell of voters and MPs in these isles who believe that this instinctive beast with its amazing powers of stealth and bristling bushy tail should be managed and looked after properly… . But watch the Government space: Another all things to all men compromise fudge is on its way…. Neil Russell, Shepshed (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 21.10.02 Vegan diet has plenty to offer - – Having read the second part of the Delia Smith interview (EADT, October 15), it was a shame that she, as she put it, 'can't get her mind around vegans'… I turned vegan because I didn't want to eat animals or dairy and eggs as these still mean that animals are slaughtered at the end of the day… TINA CANHAM, Palmerston Road, Ipswich (letter)

Ananova 21.10.02 Animal rights group releases elephant cruelty video …People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims the film shows Thais and ethnic hill tribesmen hitting the animals so hard they bled from the ears… The group's Jane Garrison said: "If they the government don't respond to us we plan to launch a very aggressive international campaign to get tourists and merchandise importers to boycott Thailand."… (story)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 20.10.02 DECENT COUNTRY PEOPLE HOLD NO TRUCK WITH BNP'S MESSAGE - Andrew Byron …Another disturbing aspect of the BNP's campaign is that it considers rural Britain as its natural recruiting ground. Presumably its members see farmers, usually considered to be extremely conservative, as an easy target for recruiting… A view shared by The Independent's columnist Yasmin Alibhia Brown… Ms Alibhai Brown goes on to say, about the countryside march: "…My heart breaks at the thought of those poor, flushed apple cheeks of country Brits as they watch us blacks and those queers overtaking them in the gallop to privilege."…I find it ironic that as someone who spends so much time complaining about prejudice and bigotry, she has no difficulty in applying stereotypes of her own to rural people… If the BNP thinks that its limited success in the Stoke-on-Trent mayoral ballot will translate into wider gains, especially in rural areas, it is very much mistaken… when you spend your life working with cows, you do become adept at identifying bull… (story)

Northern Echo 19.10.02 Huntsmen keep their date with tradition … Followers of seven beagle packs from County Durham, Yorkshire and the South Tyne Valley were joined by 26 huntsmen from Ireland for the premier event of the 23rd Alston Hare Week - the biggest festival of its kind to be staged in the North… John Haigh, from Thirsk, a founder member of the festival, said: "The Game Conservancy Trust has shown that hares are in decline only in areas where farmers are not sympathetic to land use…" Simon Beckett, master of the Weardale and Teesdale Beagles, which organised yesterday's hunt, said: "Because of changes in farming techniques, the hare population has gone up. Hunting them is a traditional recreation and an important way of conserving the countryside."… (story in archive)

Scotsman 19.10.02 Culture Who is behind the nonsensical campaign: "One Scotland, many cultures"… If you happen to come from the fox-hunting culture, then that is one you are not allowed to pursue. You can have any culture you like, so long as it is not a rural ethnic British one - Tim Culham GREENLAW, BERWICKSHIRE (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.10.02 EMPTINESS IN THE LIFE OF POOR CHARLES WINDSOR - It might be considered rather churlish of David Goodes, Points of view, October 8, to suggest that Charles Windsor does not fully appreciate the extreme good fortune of his circumstances.… Some might consider that the prospect of such an enforced departure would be the most cogent reason put forward so far for the outlawing of fox hunting…. R A Seymour, Threshers, Crediton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 8.10.02 PRINCE CHARLES FORTUNATE TO HAVE SKIING OPTION …I must comment upon Prince Charles and his alleged statement, Mail on Sunday, September 22, that he might as well leave the country and spend the rest of his life skiing if fox hunting was banned. I wonder if he comprehends how extremely fortunate he is to have this as an option? David Goodes, Wellpark Close, Exeter (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 19.10.02 CRIME: Police map to crack hare coursing - POLICE are appealing for farmers to help them crackdown on hare coursing gangs in Cambridgeshire. Landowners across Greater Peterborough have been sent a map asking them to highlight which fields they own and whether they object to coursing on their land… A spokeswoman for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said a bill which may outlaw all hunting with dogs is being drafted by Minister for Rural Affairs, Alun Michael. But a ban on hunting is not the option preferred by the NFU. Mr Rome said: "A blanket ban on hunting is not the answer. It is part of rural life and will create more problems than it solves." (story in archive)

RSPCA FINANCIAL CRISIS
Telegraph 19.10.02 RSPCA employees discuss industrial action over cuts By Thomas Penny - The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is facing industrial action for the first time in its history as a result of cuts agreed at a meeting last month. Amicus, the union that represents the majority of RSPCA employees, is in talks with the management to head off a confrontation, but front-line workers are said to be "champing at the bit" for action… (story)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 RSPCA SAYS CASH LOSSES WILL NOT CUT INSPECTIONS - The RSPCA has pledged that animal inspections at farm markets in South Devon will not be cut, despite the charity's losses in the stock market crisis. Decisions have been taken aimed at reducing spending following share falls which have lost the charity £15.8 million… "There are ten regional press officers, and the posts are being reduced to five, but no decisions have yet been made on who goes." (story)
Argus 5.10.02 Challenge to charity cuts by Krista Beighton - An animal rights campaigner who works in Sussex has resigned from the RSPCA's leading council, vowing to fight against cutbacks in the region... The controversial cutbacks were decided during a two-day meeting of the charity's trustees in Loughborough last week, which ended in national council appointee Angela Walder quitting.... In a move which has angered Mrs Walder, the charity is also considering closing the region three headquarters, based in Maidstone. She said the council had been discussing merging the regional headquarters.... (story in archive)
Gloucestershire Echo 3.10.02 CUTS MAY AFFECT ANIMALS - Animal welfare in Gloucestershire could be at risk because of RSPCA budget cuts... A breakdown of where the job losses will occur has not been released but RSPCA member Paul Richardson, who runs the independent Cirencester-based Cotswold Swan and Wild Bird Rescue Centre, says he is disgusted.... (story)
Chester le Street Advertiser 3.10.02 Crisis halts RSPCA plan - PLANS to build an animal sanctuary in Chester-le-Street have been put on ice while the RSPCA struggles with multi-million pound losses... (story in archive)
Shropshire Star 2.10.02 Market crisis causes a halt to RSPCA jobs - Vacant positions at Shropshire's flagship RSPCA headquarters near Shrewsbury will not be filled because of a cash crisis which has hit the charity, it was revealed today... (story)
South Wales Evening Post 1.10.02 RSPCA STAFF FACE PAY FREEZE - Staff at animal charity the RSPCA are facing a pay freeze as the charity attempts to rein in its finances… elsewhere in the country plans for an animal hospital, a new centre and an animal clinic have been shelved… (story)
Newcastle Journal 1.10.02 - Staff at the RSPCA were being told yesterday of a series of cutbacks as the charity tries to turn round its finances…. (story)
Telegraph 30.9.02 Cash crisis forces RSPCA to cancel animal centres By Thomas Penny - Staff at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will be told today of a series of cuts to the charity's services to tackle a financial crisis caused by losses on the stock market and controversial spending decisions… One member of the society's ruling council has resigned after it was decided to spend another £1 million on the controversial Freedom Food farm scheme, even though two new animal centres will not now be built…. (story)
Western Mail 30.9.02 RSPCA axes clinic planned for Merthyr By Lesley Richardson - Plans to open a new RSPCA clinic at Merthyr, have been postponed as the charity anounced a series of cutbacks to prop up its ailing finances… The spokeswoman refused to comment on reports that up to 60 jobs would be lost across the society's three regional offices…. (story)

Telegraph 19.10.02 Unnecessary and brutal killings - Although the evidence indicates that the 26 dead seals washed up on an Orkney beach may have been illegally shot (report, Oct 11), unfortunately a prosecution seems unlikely because of a lack of witnesses… Ross Minett, Advocates for Animals, Edinburgh (story)

Hexham Courant 18.10.02 ON HORSEBACK TO HELVELLYN'S PEAK - DURING one of several visits to the Ullswater Foxhounds this spring we ended up on the top of Helvellyn… Having recently acquired a young horse I wondered whether it would be possible to ride it up Helvellyn, although not via Striding Edge. With the help of the Bewcastle Hunt and the Ullswater Hunt, overnight stabling was arranged for two horses and the route planned out between the Haydon Kennels, at Hexham, and Helvellyn itself, avoiding Tarmac as much as possible. The event was generously sponsored by local businesses and many individuals, with the proceeds to be divided amongst the Haydon Hunt, the Countryside Alliance and the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS)… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 18.10.02 PRO-HUNTING LOBBY LAUNCH POSTER BLITZ - Rural hunt supporters have launched a national campaign to save their livelihoods. They have stepped up their campaign to stop the sport being banned by urging all their allies to buy a green solidarity Union flag. The Union of Country Sports Workers (UCSW)… is promoting the flag with full-page adverts in a number of national newspapers… Jill Purser, member of the Cotswold Support Group for the Abolition of Hunting, said: "Despite all this noise and fuss being made by hunting supporters, I don't think we anti-hunting campaigners need to demonstrate… we don't need to hold such protests because we have a Labour Government in power who we elected because of its promise to ban this barbaric sport…." (story)

Chester Chronicle 18.10.02 THE Countryside Alliance thanks all in Cheshire and Merseyside who gave up their Sunday on September 22 to be part of the display of people-power which brought more than 400,000 people into London to march peacefully for liberty and livelihood…. TOM FELL Regional Director for Cheshire, Countryside Alliance (letter)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 18.10.02 LETTING DOWN THE COMMUNITY - Sue Baumgardt is right to say that the fox-hunting issue is obscuring and weakening the arguments expressed about the more major concerns of the rural community… To say that peoples' livelihoods will be threatened if hunting is abolished is akin to saying that drug dealers (we don't need them either) will become impoverished if crack cocaine is legalised… Tim Cooper, Langton Road, Langton Green (letter)
Kent/East Sussex Courier 4.10.02 DROP HUNTING FOR MAJOR SUPPORT - I, and all of my rural friends, would have been right there with the farmers' wives had the march not been mainly about maintaining hunting… Drop the support for fox-hunting and you'll have most of the country - Sue Baumgardt, Stoneham Road, Hove (letter)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 18.10.02 CAN'T JUST PICK THE BITS THAT SUIT - It IS simplistic to interpret my letter on fox-hunting (Courier, October 4) as being against the freedom of the minorities. By the phrase "Our voices are louder", I mean that our argument is more compelling and the justice of our case recognised by a majority of MPs… J Shepherd (Courier, October 11) might reflect on the freedoms he enjoys: he is at liberty to march through the streets of London, write to government ministers and lobby his MP… Rachel Chapman, Benenden, Cranbrook (letter)
Kent/East Sussex Courier 11.10.02 WRITER WARNED AGAINST TYRANNY - Rachel Chapman implies that assuming that a majority wants something, then it must have it (Courier, October 4)… Almost certainly a majority would have favoured the deportation of much of the non-white population of Britain during the 1960s. What sort of argument would that have won? JS Mill warned of the tyrannny of the majority - not democracy but mere majoritarianism - but Mill's On Liberty is no doubt an amusing irrelevance to those who would snuff it out. J Shepherd, Grove Hill Gardens, Tunbridge Wells (letter)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 18.10.02 NUMBERS MADE A POLITICAL POINT - The Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood March on September 22 was remarkable because 407,000 people came to London to make a political point in an age when politics are increasingly regarded as irrelevant… Matthew Knight, Knights Solicitors, High Street, Tunbridge Wells (letter)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 18.10.02 RETRAINING WOULD TAKE SOME TIME - What a lovely array of letters condemning hunting and speaking up for abused animals. Diana Allchorne rightly finds it odd that the Countryside Alliance does not oppose factory farming… If factory farms were replaced by labour-intensive, humane farming methods, this would provide jobs for all those allegedly worried about losing their jobs with the various hunts… Tara Corcoran, Coldharbour Lane, Hildenborough (letter)
Kent/East Sussex Courier 11.10.02 NOTHING ABOUT LIBERTY OF HENS - The Countryside Alliance was keen to point out that they wanted traditional values upheld in the countryside. So why haven't they marched alongside those people who protest on a regular basis about the development of factory farming?... Could it be that again, it is the self-interest of the wealthy to do as they please without consideration for others?... I also resent the implication that because I do not support hunting, I know nothing about the countryside. Diana Allchorne, Willow Crescent, Five Oak Green (letter)

Manchester Evening News 18.10.02 Here's why they were - I READ with incredulity the letter from Tom Fell of the Countryside Alliance (Postbag, Oct 11). He seems to imply that the 400,000 people who marched through London showed that a huge majority of country folk were there to support the alliance's fierce opposition to the government's proposed ban on hunting with hounds… The legitimate grievances of country folk, such as transport, the building of affordable housing for their young folk, etc., will go unheard if they continue to share a platform with people whose only concern is that their most popular leisure activity should not be banned… For too long the landed gentry have been in a position to organise matters to their own advantage, with their house servants and farm workers being very reliant on their employers for their continued employment and/or tied cottage accommodation… Ex-Countrywoman, Lymm (letter)
Manchester Evening News 11.10.02 We're united - THE Countryside Alliance thanks all in Lancashire who took part in the display of people-power which brought over 400,000 people into London to march peacefully for liberty and livelihood. It was also gratifying to see so many representatives of the regional media travelling down on coaches and trains with the marchers and giving very fair and balanced reporting…. Tom Fell, Countryside Alliance Regional Director for Lancashire, Greater Manchester & NW England (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 18.10.02 Stop Halal cruelty now - Your correspondent P D Perry raised a very pertinent question regarding the preparation of Halal meat for Muslims, in which live animals are hung upside down, have their throats cut, and bleed to death… I hope that hunting with dogs is banned in England and Wales, as it is already is in Scotland, and I also hope that Halal meat production will soon be outlawed… A J Hodgkiss, Cannock Road, Wolverhampton (letter)

Bury Times 18.10.02 Drag hunt is just as good - THERE are many ways in which people can make the most of, and support, the British countryside that do not involve cruelty to wild animals. And the tradition, pageantry and excitement of the hunting spectacle can all be retained if live quarry hunts convert to the humane sport of drag hunting… J. YOUNG, Lancashire League Against Cruel Sports (letter in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 18.10.02 They deserve a spell in jail - SATURDAY'S Adver contained an article about huntsmen being prepared to be jailed if hunting with hounds is banned… The likes of Ian Farquhar have enjoyed a lifetime of animal abuse. A spell in prison would be the least they deserve. PHILIP BEAVEN Merton Avenue Swindon (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 18.10.02 HYPOCRISY OVER BAN ON HUNTING …Sheep are herded by dogs into trucks to take them on a journey abroad, which may last for two days… The fox's ordeal lasts for maybe two hours… Given the choice, I know which I would prefer… how many of the people who support the ban are vegetarian?. And if they are opposed to killing, why are they not protesting loudly against a possible war with Iraq?.. Robert Goodall, Dockseys House, Kniveton, Ashbourne (letter)

Shropshire Star 18.10.02 Hunters in it for the thrills of the kills - In his letter of October 10, 2002, Mr Eriandson states that those who oppose hunting should be required to read certain letters by hunt supporters. I fail to understand the logic of this as the letter writers have little knowledge of how natural systems operate and have made up half-baked arguments to justify hunting… I find it desperately sad that hunt supporters have been able to use undemocratic practices to forestall the wishes of the elected members of parliament. Geoff Handley, Whitchurch (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 10.10.02 Predators of the fox - The letters of WF Kerswell, Donald Oakley, Cheryl Jagger and K Jones (October 1) are required reading for all those who oppose hunting with hounds… Many years ago, foxes in Britain were predated by wolves and I made the point to my local Labour MP Martyn Jones (who is a good constituency MP), commenting that a fox's death by a larger predator i.e.a foxhound, was more as nature intended as neither rifle nor shotgun has played any part in the evolutionary development of the fox. Martyn Jones, somewhat pompously replied "As a biologist, I find your comments spurious". I very much doubt whether he has dissected a shotgun wounded fox. I have. Keith Erlandson, Llangollen (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 18.10.02 One rule for them, one for us - Could it be right what Prince Charles says - that farmers and country people are more discriminated against than gays? Planners in Shropshire and Powys allow eight-bedroom mansions to be built by stockbrokers, and yet at the same time they are so very petty that they restrict farmers with a viable farming enterprise from allowing the smallest-type dwelling to be put on their farm out of sight of anyone, for a worker…Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 18.10.02 Hunting at heart of country protest - IN reply to David Sones’ letter last week, I can assure him the Countryside Alliance made it clear before to everyone taking part in the Liberty and Livelihood March in London a major reason for the protest was the possibility of Government legislation to ban all ‘hunting with dogs’. Anyone taking part in the march, or witnessing it, could have no doubt hunting was a major issue. A glance at the array of pro-hunting banners carried throughout the historic march by 407,000 people confirmed this… An overwhelming proportion of farmers and landowners continue to support hunting by properly registered hunts such as the Cottesmore in this area... MICHAEL CLAYTON Chairman, Countryside Alliance, East Midlands Region (letter)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 18.10.02 Game-keeper can tackle foxes - IGNORANCE Mr Fynn (Rutland Mercury letters, Oct 4)? I don’t think so, after all, cruelty and no thought for the terror inflicted on our country side animals is never going to be a ‘stale issue’ in my mind, and many others I’m sure…. . A good old fashioned game-keeper type with .22 rifle should be able to keep foxes down to an acceptable level… M STAITE Stretton Road, Greetham (letter)

Western Daily Press 18.10.02 WE MUST RESPECT VIEWS OF OTHERS …I would like to offer a view of coursing as an enthusiast of some 25 years standing. All that follows relates to coursing to NCC rules at local club level. In my experience less than one in 10 hares coursed are killed, although I believe, nationally, the figure is a little higher. … Hares are beautifully evolved to escape predation… A hare being coursed is not in a state of panic. Evading pursuit is a natural part of its existence. Once safe it will very quickly resume its normal feeding…. I respect the views of anybody who believes it wrong to kill another creature, but the answer is very simple. If you don't like it, don't do it… I regret that I must ask for my name and address to be withheld on this occasion. I would prefer to keep this argument to the pages of this paper than receive the threatening, abusive letters and calls that others have had to endure. Name and address supplied (letter)

Hexham Courant 18.10.02 SPORTING RIGHTS SOLD FOR FIRST TIME IN 300 YEARS …For the first time in over three centuries, the sporting rights of Knarsdale Moor, near Alston, have been sold and the land has been leased for 999 years in a deal overseen by Clark Scott-Harden property consultants, of Stocksfield. CSH also oversaw a 15-year lease of Asholme Moor…. (story)

Western Daily Press 18.10.02 REAL THREAT OF CATTLE TB - Scrap The Costly Badger Cull? Having been on the Government's badger TB panel and tried for a dozen years to warn of the alarming rise of cattle tuberculosis, I'm saddened that the predicted impact of foot-and-mouth has now produced a widespread "headless chicken response" to the very real TB crisis… M Hancock Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Cornishman 18.10.02 RESULTS OF BADGER CULL - Patricia Garnier, Orchard Cottage, Belle Vue, Newlyn… If this is a scientific experiment, it demeans the use of the word 'science'. (letter)

Cambridge News 18.10.02 Zippos cares for animals From Martin Burton, Director Zippos Circus, Enborne , Near Newbury - I AM sorry Rhona Boorman (News, October 8) did not appreciate Zippos Circus on her recent visit but am writing to set the record straight. Zippos Circus believes that, with good animal husbandry, there is a place for performing domestic animals in modern circus… We never want an unsatisfied customer, however, and if Ms Boorman would care to write to us, will be happy to refund her ticket prices. (letter)
Cambridge News 18.10.02 Circus was not a let-up From Coun Evelyn Knowles, Cambridge Liberal Democrats, Primary Court, Chesterton - I AM sorry that Rhona Boorman (News, October 8) was upset by the horses and birds she saw at Zippos circus. As a council, we couldn’t agree more that circus animals need all the protection they can get… In this case we were satisfied that the animals in this circus were well cared for…. (letter)
Cambridge News 8.10.02 Appalled by circus acts From Rhona Boorman, Stretten Avenue, Cambridge - IN THE past few years I have always taken my grandchildren to the circus, safe in the knowledge that Cambridge had banned live animals performing. Has Cambridge City Council changed this rule? I was appalled to see horses and birds performing at Zippo’s Circus… (letter)

Argus 18.10.02 Skin-deep stance - I would take issue with Peter Allen's comments ("Fatuously furry", Letters, October 12)…. What is the difference between furs and leather garments? I don't hear any complaints about Cherie Blair. Animals have to be killed for both types of apparel. -Mrs Iris Long, Sutton Park Road, Seaford (letter in archive)
Argus 12.10.02 Fatuously furry - The Queen cannot be completely unaware that her decision to wear an extravagant and pretentious fur coat on her visit to Montreal would cause considerable offence to many people and her action demonstrates a degree of contempt for the opinions of her subjects…. -Peter Allen, Chute Avenue, High Salvington, Worthing (letter in archive)
Glasgow Herald 10.10.02 Anger as Queen wears fur coat - VICKY COLLINS - ANIMAL rights groups yesterday expressed shock at the Queen's decision to wear a fur coat during her golden jubilee visit to Canada, saying it was important the Royal family set an example on such issues… People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said it sent out a message of Royal indifference to animal suffering… Les Ward, director, said: "Whether they are old or new, for the majority of people it is no longer acceptable to wear fur coats. It is about time that the Royal family realised this and decided to set an example to the rest of the world.".. (story in archive)
Ananova 10.10.02 Animal activists condemn Queen's decision to wear real fur on Canadian trip Animal rights protesters have condemned the Queen's decision to wear real fur during her trip to Canada… Claudia Tarry, of VIVA (Vegetarian International Voice for Animals), said: "Whether caught in the wild or reared in wire cages on fur farms, the cruelty involved in all fur production is obscene…" (story)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 18.10.02 REGISTER NEEDED FOR EVERY ANIMAL - Pet owners can no longer be so naive - they must be aware that it is not safe to leave a dog tied up outside a shop, in an unlocked car - or a garden unattended… Specialised breeds can be used for puppy farm intensive breeding and even back-door supplies for vivisection…. Pauline Grant, Chairwoman Sussex Horse Rescue Trust, Hempstead Farm, Uckfield (letter)
Argus 15.10.02 Dog gone - All too often we read heartbreaking reports of dogs stolen or lost… Different breeds are stolen for different purposes. All types of terriers, lurchers and hunting dogs are popular for badger baiting, dog fighting, hare coursing and other illegal activities… -Pauline Grant (chairman) Sussex Horse Rescue Trust, Uckfield (letter in archive)

Cornishman 18.10.02 CALL FOR BAN ON EXPORT OF LIVE ANIMALS - Carol Alway, 7 Gwavas Bungalows, Newlyn - We all want to see farming go forward in a way that is humane and sustainable and not tarnished by cruelty. This summer saw the resumption, for the first time since the foot and mouth crisis, of live exports for slaughter… (letter)

Liverpool Echo 18.10.02 I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with G Gordon's letter (ECHO, October 15) regardling mankind's treatment of animals, and the planet in general. We have nothing to be proud of if we continue to allow the persecution of animals and the destruction of this beautiful planet… L. Clarke, Bootle (letter)
Liverpool Echo 15.10.02 I GET sick of listening to the Countryside Alliance and others of the same ilk going on about taking away their rights…What other animal kills for so-called sport, tears down the life blood of the planet, the rainforests, pollutes the seas, abuses its young for pleasure and murders its own kind just because it wants to?... G Gordon, Liverpool 11 (letter)

HUNTSMAN'S DECLARATION
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 17.10.02 Hunt supporters are prepared to go to prison over ban by Esther Barron - Captain Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, is among over 1,500 supporters who are preparing to sign a declaration to defy any new law… Professor Roger Scruton, who hunts with the Vale of the White Horse Hunt (VWH) and lives in Brinkworth near Malmesbury, said: "We're collecting signatures of people who are prepared to do this so that at the appropriate time we can point out to parliament that they are engineering a confrontation with a large selection of law abiding people…" (story in archive)
Leicester Mercury 16.10.02 'ABOVE THE LAW' - The decision by the Duke of Rutland to defy any hunting ban is a typical attitude of the hunting people…. will they still be protected by the police from hunt saboteurs? Peter R Elliott, Arnesby (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 12.10.02 Hunt master will risk jail if sport is banned … Capt Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, is among more than 1,500 people preparing to sign a declaration to defy any anti-hunt law…. Prof Roger Scruton, who hunts with the Vale of the White Horse Hunt (VWH) and lives in Brinkworth, said: "We're collecting signatures of people who are prepared to do this so that, at the appropriate time, we can point out to parliament that they are engineering a confrontation with a large selection of law abiding people." (story in archive)
Melton Times 10.10.02 DUKE AND DUCHESS WILL DEFY HUNT BAN The Duke and Duchess of Rutland have said they are ready to go to prison rather than accept a ban on foxhunting. They are prepared to disobey any law banning hunting as part of a massive movement of civil disobedience. More than 1,500 landowners, celebrities and middle-class professionals have signed up to the cause following last month's countryside march through London… The Duke of Rutland owns a hunt on the £50million 18,000-acre Belvoir Castle estate… (story in archive)
Leicester Mercury 9.10.02 I'D RATHER GO TO JAIL THAN BAN THE HUNT! BY DAN MARTIN - The Duke of Rutland said today he would be prepared to go to prison to defy a ban on hunting… The Duke does not hunt, but allows the Belvoir Hunt to run on his 15,000-acre estate and owns the hounds used by the hunt… Market Harborough's Fernie Hunt joint master, Joe Cowen, said: "There are a lot of brave people in this area who would be prepared to go to prison, and we do mean business…. League Against Cruel Sports spokesman Steve Wilde said: "If they wanted to carry on hunting, then fine. We should lock them up…" (story)
Western Daily Press 9.10.02 DEMOCRACY HAS SPOKEN - Sir - When are wealthy landowners, like Captain Ian Farquhar and the Duke of Rutland (Huntsmen vow to risk jail, October 7) going to wake up to the fact that they live in a democracy?... Helen Weeks West Coker Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.10.02 ANARCHY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE - Hunt supporters across the West have pledged to defy the law if a hunting ban is introduced - and say they are prepared to go to jail… Julian Barnfield, a member of the Cotswold Hunt, based near Cheltenham, said: "We have got nothing to lose any more. Thousands will sign up for this and it will be impossible to police." Veteran Labour MP Gerald Kaufman, who has called on the Government to bow to a free vote supporting a complete ban on hunting with dogs, said yesterday: "I hope there's enough space in the jails. And, if not, I hope they find space in the asylum seekers' centres for them." (story)
Western Daily Press 7.10.02 HUNTSMEN VOW TO RISK JAIL DEFYING HUNT BAN - Senior hunting figures in the West are prepared to go to jail if any ban on blood sports is introduced, it emerged last night… Captain Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, said he is among many individuals who have signed or are preparing to sign a declaration pledging to defy the law. More than 1,500 leading landowners, hunting figures and celebrities nationwide have already signed and the postcard and letter campaign is snowballing by the day… Julian Barnfield, a professional huntsman with the Cotswold Hunt in north Gloucestershire, said: "A ban will be impossible to police. On an average Saturday, we have 150 followers…" (story)

Independent 17.10.02 Tales from the Country - Brian Viner - A brand-new, blood-free autumn sport for everyone - Last week a note was slipped under our door, signed by the master of foxhounds of the North Herefordshire hunt. It gave details of a forthcoming hunt and said: "We will be mounted and may wish to visit your land."… I carry no torch for fox-hunting, but nor do I wish to see it banned. I didn't want a bunch of toffs or even non-toffs thundering across my precious few acres, but it seemed unfriendly to refuse them permission. So I did nothing, not least because I was sidetracked by some flights of fancy inspired by a marvellous typographical error at the top of the note: "Autumn hinting has recently started," it declared. Now there's a leisure activity that everyone could enjoy… (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 17.10.02 YOU AIN'T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG - In 1956/57, I took part in hunting; as the hunted. I ran cross-country for REME and our team was "volunteered" as the quarry in drag hunts. It is here that I disagree with Ms Malloy's suggestion... Fox scent would do absolutely nothing for the real victims of the "sport" - the hounds…In the hunt that I was involved with, the master of hounds informed me in the bar one night that the working life of a foxhound is six to seven years… Perhaps some other members of this "sport", the huntsmen, should also be put down at about the age of 40 - though I'm not so sure about humanely! W. Clark, St Andrew's View, Breadsall (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 8.10.02 DRAG HUNTING THE ANSWER - Well done, B. G. Bower, of Alvaston; at last a sensible letter about fox hunting. I thoroughly agree that the answer to the fox hunting argument is drag hunting… It is easy enough to train the hounds to follow a fox scent on a piece of rag, and there are enough land owners in sympathy with hunting… Rachel Malloy, Brailsford Stables, Ashbourne (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 4.5.02 ALTERNATIVE IS SO COSTLY - B. G. Bower believes he has a viable alternative to hunting with dogs to control foxes (Opinion, September 30). I will give him credit for conceding that foxes may need to be culled but he may need guidance on one or two points… A visit by a vet to administer the drug would cost about £30. Does Mr Bower think a cash-strapped farmer or gamekeeper would pay this? W. E. Yates, Rona Close, Sinfin Moor (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 30.9.02 CRUELTY MUST BE ABOLISHED - Kay Chapman (September 16) amongst others, seems to have strayed off the point about why fox hunting should be abolished…. for genuine animal lovers who want to save jobs in the countryside then drag hunting is the answer… B. G. Bower, Thorndike Avenue, Alvaston (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 27.9.02 RIGHT TO LEGISLATE - Apart from disagreeing with Roger Helmer's position against the proposed ban on fox-hunting, I am also amazed at his statement that "where large groups of people take different views on a moral issue, it is wrong for the Government to legislate to criminalise one group or the other". What nonsense. That is precisely one of the things a Government is voted into power to do… Steve Pilkington, Stiles Road, Alvaston (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 20.9.02 HUNTING ROW RUNS AND RUNS - Chris Williamson had 500 words in the Evening Telegraph to set out his case against hunting (September 10) but made such a bad job of it that he had to come back with another 350 words (Opinion, September 13) attacking my article. A pity he seems not to have read my article before attacking it…. He is right that, like most working animals, foxhounds are put down at the end of a happy and useful working life. My point is that, if hunting is banned, virtually all foxhounds, young and old, will be put down in a single canine "holocaust". On drag-hunting, I explained in my article why it cannot replace foxhunting, but he ignores my point completely and simply repeats the error…. Roger Helmer MEP, East Midlands, Conservative Party (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 19.9.02 MIDDLE GROUND - The two contributors in the piece on hunting articulated many of the arguments concisely (Evening Telegraph, September 10)… It was strange, then, not to see a contribution from the Hunting Middle Way Group. This growing cross-party, largely Parliamentary, coalition was set up a couple of years ago and is being led by Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik…. As a riding enthusiast myself, I don't need a fox or a hound as an excuse! Because this is an "unwhipped" topic, not all Lib Dems would say the same as I have. Kate Smith, Amber Valley, Liberal Democrats, Hillcrest, Crich. (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 17.9.02 SPURIOUS CLAIMS IN DEFENCE OF HUNTING - It must have been with a certain naivety that Roger Helmer MEP even dared to air (Evening Telegraph, September 10) the same old spurious claims in defence of hunting with dogs… given the track record of his own party in its treatment of the coal and steel industries, where the loss of many more thousands of jobs resulted in the decimation of hundreds of communities, how is it that this Tory MP is suddenly concerned about jobs?... Roger Helmer states that the antis know nothing about hunting. For the record, groups such as the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) have been around for many decades. They are well-versed on the subject and carry out excellent research. They make no unsubstantiated claims. They have no hidden agenda… To those who do only enjoy the ride, and I believe there are some, I say that you only serve to aid and abet… Jonathan Lane, Hawthorn Crescent, Findern (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 16.9.02 HUNTING BENEFITS THE ECONOMY AND WILDLIFE - The comments of Chris Williamson (in Tuesday's Evening Telegraph) on hunting and the Countryside Alliance are only what can be expected from a member of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS). However, I would expect someone with his allegedly vast experience of these issues to be able to produce a much more valid and factual argument for his case… Yes, we welcome anyone on the March in London on the September 22 who cares about the future of the countryside, habitat, conservation, farming and all rural issues, because anyone who understands this also understands the benefits of hunting, shooting and fishing to not only the rural economy but also the welfare of the quarry species and the added benefits this provides to all other wild animals… Kay Chapman by e-mail (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 13.9.02 GETTING FOX FACTS CORRECT - I hope you will allow me to correct some of the misleading assertions that were made by pro-hunting MEP Roger Helmer (DET, September 10). Mr Helmer claims that when hunting is banned, thousands of jobs will be lost and 10,000 hounds will be put down. Wrong! Less than 1,000 people are directly employed in hunting, and if the humane alternative of drag hunting replaced it, more jobs could be created because it would almost certainly be more popular… Chris Williamson, Leader of Derby City Council. (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 10.9.02 IS THERE A MIDDLE WAY ON HUNTING? As the six-month public consultation on hunting with hounds draws to a close, a compromise between the warring factions seems more remote than ever… Here, East Midlands Conservative MEP Roger Helmer explains why he will be joining the marchers. Meanwhile, Chris Williamson, the leader of Derby City Council and executive member of the League Against Cruel Sports, explains why he believes Labour must press ahead with a ban.
Pro-hunting - Roger Helmer MEP - A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Burleigh Horse Trials - where the BBC tried to get the Countryside March posters removed from the dressage ring before they would film. But, if hunting is banned, events like Burleigh will suffer… Yes, say the antis, foxes naturally hunt, but it's wrong for people to kill for pleasure. This familiar argument shows two things. First, that their attitude is more about attacking people than protecting animals. Second, they know nothing about hunting…
We've had enough. Anti-hunting - Chris Williamson …the Countryside Alliance is desperate to get any support it can. Its supporters continue to wrap their passion for hunting wild animals in a veneer of disingenuous concern about other rural issues…What I find so shameful about the Countryside Alliance campaign is that it is seeking to fool the public. It has one overriding priority and that is to save cruel and hideous bloodsports… The Countryside Alliance should come clean and rename itself the Hunting Alliance. By contrast, the League Against Cruel Sports, rather like Ronseal woodcare products, does exactly what its name implies - campaigns against cruel sports, no more and no less. Maybe that's why the League has so much public support and the Countryside Alliance so little…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.10.02 LET COUNTRY FOLK DECIDE - A great deal has been said in favour of banning fox hunting. Apart from the fact that a large number of people, in many walks of life will be put out of, or lose business livelihood, many thousands of hounds, terriers and horses will have to be destroyed as they will no longer be required… E Stainer, Address supplied (letter)

MIKE WATSON "RECANTS"
Scotsman 17.10.02 Lost the plot - The recent tirade by Mike Watson, MSP, against The Scotsman , accusing it of being anti-Scottish, would seem to be further evidence that he has totally lost the plot… The betrayal of his own constituents over the hospital cuts, and now the remorse for his bill to outlaw fox-hunting, would give the impression that he no longer knows if he is on horseback or foot. ROSS CLARK, Main Street, Linlithgow, West Lothian (letter)
Scotsman 16.10.02 Scoop? Reading your front-page report (9 October), I picked up on vital information, which destroys Mike Watson’s stand on hunting it seems, and which, usefully, is not more than a year old. I look forward to reading The Scotsman in a year’s time, when I hope to catch up with today’s scoop. Ronald D MacLean KILTARLITY, INVERNESS-SHIRE (letter)
Scotsman 10.10.02 Watson hits out at hunt-ban report - LORD Watson lashed out against The Scotsman when he read a report in yesterday’s newspaper of his wish that he had "never started" the bill to ban fox hunting in Scotland… Yesterday morning, the tourism minister was greeted by three pro-hunt supporters when he arrived at Bute House, the First Minister’s official residence in Edinburgh . When they showed him The Scotsman article, he reacted furiously. "The Scotsman is anti-Scottish Parliament, anti-Scottish Executive and anti-Scotland," he fumed… (story)
Scotsman 10.10.02 Lord Watson's consistent inconsistency - "I am proud of this Scottish Parliament." So said Lord Watson, the Labour MSP who originally sponsored the bill to outlaw foxhunting… But Lord Watson’s pride is a curious thing. Several of his constituents now claim that in private he has confessed that he wished he had "never started the ban" of which he is so proud… in recent weeks, Lord Watson has defied ministerial rules by continuing publicly to oppose Executive policy on Glasgow hospital reforms despite agreeing to them as a cabinet member. He has appeared at several protest meetings, after which there have been conflicting stories about what he did or did not say…. In itself, Lord Watson’s contradictory stance on foxhunting is a minor affair. Rather it is his consistent inconsistency that is the problem…. If Lord Watson truly believes what he said last February - that he is proud of the Scottish Parliament - then he should choose between living up to the ministerial code of conduct or else forgo his salary and resign to champion his constituents’ interests. Either would be honourable, but trying to run with the hare and the hounds is not on. And hares and hounds are something with which Lord Watson professes to have an intimate acquaintance (story)
Scotsman 9.10.02 Watson: 'I wish I'd never started hunt ban' - HAMISH MACDONELL SCOTTISH POLITICAL EDITOR - LORD Watson, the Labour MSP responsible for making fox hunting illegal in Scotland, wished he had “never started the ban” in the first place, it was claimed last night. Two of his constituents have come forward to claim he told them at a surgery that he regretted piloting the controversial bill through the Scottish Parliament. Jacqueline Prosser and Billy Shaw, both from Lord Watson’s Glasgow Cathcart constituency, said he wished he “had never started” the process because it caused so much trouble…. (story)

Northumberland Gazette 17.10.02 There was no FMD compensation - I WISH to correct many of the misconceptions of Mr TM Martin on farming. First, no one got compensation for foot and mouth. Our animals were compulsory purchased by MAFF so they could murder them - the price paid was their valuation, not anyone else’s. No one gave us any compensation anywhere in Britain for loss of income… Second, everyone in this country is subsidised by the taxpayer. Mr Martin gets aid on roads he uses, transport, socials services and education… I do not believe in breaking the law Mr Martin, but I do believe minorities such as the animal rights should also abide by the laws and stop terrorising people doing their legitimate legal activities, whether it is in the chemical industry, in shops such as John Lewis or in the country. Why should we be dangerously attacked by a minority of people… A Wrangham, Harehope Hill End, Alnwick (letter)

ANIMAL WELFARE LEGISLATION
Telegraph 17.10.02 Dog walkers may have to apply for a licence By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent …Outlining the proposals for a new Animal Welfare Bill, Elliot Morley, the environment minister, denied that it was an animal rights Bill…. He also emphasised that the Bill would not be used to legislate on hunting with dogs or other field sports. That would be dealt with in separate legislation… it will outlaw the docking of dogs' tails… The Bill also proposes a ban on horse and pony tethering… (story)
Times 17.10.02 Licences to collar unsuitable pet carers BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, CONSUMER EDITOR - DOG walkers and petsitters may be licensed to care for animals, under plans to update welfare laws announced yesterday by the Government… New laws are to be introduced within two years to modernise animal welfare legislation — some laws are nearly 100 years old — and to give ministers discretionary powers to bring harsher controls on controversial activities…. Animal sanctuaries and livery yards may be licensed and there will be new safeguards for animals used in sport and recreation. This may include protection for dogs in hunt kennels, or racehorses in stables, and new rules for rearing pheasants for gameshoots. But Elliot Morley, the Animal Welfare Minister, said yesterday the law would not be used to curb hunting, fishing, shooting or racing. Hunting will be dealt with by separate legislation being announced soon…. (story)
Independent 17.10.02 Animal welfare takes a huge leap forward with new laws – but old anomalies remain - Landmark legislation unveiled yesterday puts a duty of care on anyone keeping pets and other creatures to prevent their ill-treatment - By Michael McCarthy and Marie Woolf …The Animal Welfare minister, announced that no fewer than ten separate Acts of Parliament would be updated and consolidated in a new measure, ranging from the Protection of Animals Act, 1911, through the Cockfighting Act, 1952, to the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act, 1999. The new law will be sweeping and will account for welfare of all domestic, farmed, wild or exotic animals in captivity, although it will not protect zoo or laboratory animals or place new restrictions on hunting, fishing or shooting. At its heart will be a new duty of care on anyone who keeps an animal: if you have one, you will be legally obliged to look after it properly…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.10.02 RURAL LIFE SHOULD BE TOP OF THE CURRICULUM - I've generally got a lot of time for the RSPCA and its various good works, but its latest scheme appears to have more than a whiff of the crackpot about it. It's a children's charter on farm animal welfare, to which the first group of youngsters was persuaded to publicly sign up for last weekend… I wouldn't mind if the children who sign up to this nonsense were doing so from an informed viewpoint...The blame for this must be laid not only on inadequate, and in some cases, ill-informed teaching, but on the lack of funding and interest, plus the over-abundance of regulations that now make school visits to farms and even the countryside a real rarity. Meanwhile, schoolchildren are under regular bombardment by black propaganda from the militant bean-eaters of Viva! and other campaigning groups, who regularly denounce the production and eating of meat, and even demonise milk-drinking!... (story)

Hull Daily Mail 17.10.02 LET'S HAVE FREE RANGE EGG-BUYING SPREE …Please buy only free range. The consumer holds the most powerful voice and could bring down the battery systems quickly… Eileen Girling, Sigston Road, Beverley (letter)

Harlow Citizen 16.10.02 Expressihg their views - LAST month's Countryside March was the biggest civil demonstration in British History… I was disappointed, though not surprised, by Mr Rammell's sneering and dismissive article on what many independent commentators have described as a remarkably inclusive, good-natured and friendly event (Commons Column, September 25)… . His indifference to the genuine concerns of country folk illustrates that ignorance, intolerance and class hatred still poison the Labour movement…. Those who fear the tyranny of the so-called majority and value a free and diverse liberal society should treat New Labour's attack on one minority as being an attack on all minorities. That is to say an attack on us all… GUY MITCHINSON, Joyners Field, Harlow (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 16.10.02 Cheap motoring has undermined rural life - I am interested to see that Katie Mummery (Letters, 2 Oct) lists "increased traffic" among the concerns of the Countryside Alliance… Reinstatement of the Fuel Duty Escalator would in fact help to achieve several of the Countryside Alliance's stated aims, as it is cheap motoring which has undermined the economics of rural public transport, rural shops, and many other local services… SIMON NORTON, Hertford Street, Cambridge (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times (7.10.02) Real rural issues were part of march - Regarding Mrs D M Wood's letter (September 26) criticising the Countryside March and the Organisers for not dealing with the real issues facing the Countryside…. had she have been there she would have witnessed numerous placards regarding " the real issues" of those who live in the countryside, such as rural bus services, the reinstatement of rural post offices, pubs and village shops, the poor medical and police cover in rural areas, the rising crime rates, the poaching of green belt land, increased traffic, cheap beef imports, poor milk prices, forced diversification, the issue of subsides, the never ending and ever increasing EU Regulations, along with a whole host of other things, which did indeed include field sports… KATIE MUMMERY, Saxon Way, Woodbridge (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 Forget marching, try writing a letter - – I think that the organisers of the Liberty and Livelihood march are misguided if they think that such a large gathering will have greater impact. This is a time when big is definitely not beautiful… More effective than marching is letter writing because it shows genuine commitment and concern from the individual… FERIAL ROGERS, Holly Cottages, Little Bealings (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 Protest did not deal with real problems - Well, there they all were, the 'Hooray Henries' baying for the continuance of all the well publicised blood sports, coursing, hunting and the slaying of the various furred and feathered countryside residents, who don't have a voice of their own to defend themselves!... MRS D M WOODS, Barton Road, Woodbridge (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 16.10.02 Ban directed at what hunting stands for - Having read Mr Roy Booth's letter and many others I am convinced that the proposed law banning fox hunting is not directed at what fox hunting does what it stands for. This is, in my opinion not politically correct and any legislation directed at a legal pursuit enjoyed by a minority is in fact akin to racism and should not be condoned… I write this letter as a "mild anti" but with an open mind. D DAVIES, Fornham All Saints, Bury St Edmunds (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times (7.10.02) How they squeal now they have lost power - What on earth are the Liberty and Livelihood marchers moaning about? It is, I think, all about foxhunting and feeling disempowered and disenfranchised… They no longer rule our country and so are determined to continue ruling our countryside… There are, of course, one or two unfortunate souls who insist that they will lose their job if, for instance, fox hunting is banned. This is understandable but they shouldn't worry because the very rich people for whom they work will, as a matter of honour, find them other employment… ROY BOOTH, Hoxne (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 16.10.02 Scoopers at the ready - I have been interested in the letters re the march through London by Countryside Alliance… I would like to ask if any of the people on the march had their "pooper-scooper" with them, considering the number of horses and dogs on the march? R M DOUBLEDAY (Mrs), Leiston (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 16.10.02 Countryside march had plenty of media - – I replied (unpublished) to a letter complaining about what the writer saw as inadequate TV coverage of the Liberty and Livelihood march on the following day. I suggested that the complainant see things in perspective and compare how the media covered his march and the one I subsequently attended, opposing a war on Iraq… . The score in the first edition of the EADT following each march was Hunters: six full pages (including the front page), Don't Attack Iraq: 0, not even a word… It seems that there is an orchestrated incitement to break the law, should the hunters not get their way. EDDIE DOUGALL, Wattisfield Road, Walsham le Willows (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.10.02 DEMOCRACY IS AT RISK - I recently appealed to my MP, Adrian Flook (Conservative, Taunton), to reflect the democraticallyexpressed wishes of the overwhelming majority of his constituents by voting to ban hunting with dogs… His reply was terse and uncompromising: "In the interests of civil liberties I am unlikely to support a ban." Is suppressing democracy in the interest of civil liberties?.. D G Powell Taunton Somerset (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 16.10.02 FOX-HUNTING NOT SPORT- Reference the fox hunting debate… it is not that foxes need controlling, it is how it is achieved. It seems to me that the real problem is the fact that the act itself has been turned into a spectacle rather than a fact of life. Therefore to the huntspeople, I would say if you want to dress up, drink and have a good time watching dogs chasing a furry object, then go to a greyhound meeting. In other words leave the farming community alone to sort out the fox problem without the abhorrent spectacle you have created in the name of sport. C STOKES Fenton (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 16.10.02 THESE PEOPLE ARE ORDINARY …ordinary people like to go hunting to see the hounds and terriers work in the pursuit of fox, mink and rats. These ordinary people include an eye surgeon, a doctor, a psychiatrist, a nurse, factory workers etc… As for the suggestion that hunting people should take up golf, football etc., all that can be said is that we've tried it, compared to seeing dogs work, it's boring. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 16.10.02 HUNTERS BEING PERSECUTED? …It struck me the Government has no one who has been hunting. Are they institutionalising racism against hunting people because they are an indigenous minority? JENNY SWANN Keele (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 15.10.02 DEER HUNTING IS INEXPLICABLE In reply to Steve Taylor's letter in The Sentinel, he writes that dogs and horses will be destroyed if fox hunting is abolished…. My husband and I walk on Cannock Chase and we see the lovely deer… To think people get enjoyment chasing, terrifying and then seeing them torn to pieces is beyond my understanding. M ALLEN Cheadle (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 4.5.02 GOVERNMENT LIVING IN PAST OVER FOX-HUNTING - - Just what planet is Mark Porten on when he says he would rather keep the fox? I admit in the past I have not had much time for Prince Charles, but just lately the man is talking a lot more sense than our so called Socialist Government… I don't like hunting. I have never participated in a hunt myself but I firmly believe in the right of choice. Take that away by law from any one section of society and it marks the slippery slope to dictatorship. Alas, I think it is already here. STEVE TAYLOR Packmoor (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 27.9.02 KEEP THE FOX AHEAD OF PRINCE CHARLES … if fox hunting is the only thing keeping Prince Charles in this country then I say good riddance!... MARK PORTEN Fenton (letter)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 16.10.02 Alienated by hunting bias - The Countryside Alliance march was well attended. I hold passionately a desire to see a revitalisation of the countryside… Unfortunately the Countryside Alliance chose hunting, it appears, as their main priority… It’s not uncommon practice for foxes to be bred in artificial earths especially for the hunt… When the hounds are past their hunting prime they are put down… My conscience would not let me attend the march, although my heart is within the countryside and its current demise. Kevin Pressland, address supplied (letter)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 16.10.02 Rights are important - I have never hunted foxes in my life and probably never will do. Nonetheless, I had no hesitation in attending the Liberty and Livelihood March… The mere fact that several Labour MPs disapprove of hunting is not a sufficient ground to see it banned. I disapprove of any number of activities that other people engage in, without wishing such activities to become criminal offences… Sean Fear, Councillor, Potters Bar Oakmere (letter)

Bath Chronicle 16.10.02 HUNTING KEEPS PEOPLE IN WORK - When Suzanne Smart has finished chasing Mr House until he is half dead (Letters, October 4) and when and if hunting and fishing are banned, will wildlife be any better off ? I think not. Hunting foxes is no more cruel than the alternatives of shooting, snaring and gassing - or even dying of old age…. DIANA DEAL, Bradford Road, Winsley (letter)
Bath Chronicle 10.10.02 MANY WOMEN HAVE CHASED ME - I ask the right to reply to the letter from Suzanne Smart (Letters, October 4) about me, headlined 'I'd like to chase him until he's half dead'. Ms Smart, I have been chased by many women in the past and some of them who ensnared me did indeed leave me feeling half dead… My hunting is taking my terriers into my fields, sending them into the brambles and occasionally bringing a rabbit to me for a stew… VICTOR HOUSE, Forest View, Chippenham (letter)
Bath Chronicle 4.10.02 I'D LIKE TO CHASE HIM UNTIL HE'S HALF DEAD - I would like to reply to Victor House re his letter dated September 21 2002… Perhaps, Victor House would let me accompany him when he next does this? So, while his dogs and ferrets are chasing an animal till it's half dead with exhaustion I can have the pleasure of doing this with my dog to him until he too is exhausted and terrified?...SUZANNE SMART Broadmoor Vale Weston (letter)

COURSING
Western Daily Press 16.10.02 COURSING IS MERELY A LICENCE FOR CRUEL PURSUIT - Your leader and article on hare coursing on the Cotswolds (October 9) failed to mention that whether coursing is licensed or unlicensed, it usually ends in the same way with a hare being torn to pieces…. Just because something is licensed doesn't make it morally right or acceptable. Jo Pedler Paulton Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 16.10.02 ALL COURSING IS BARBARIC - I agree wholeheartedly with your front page story of October 9, Stop This Evil Outrage Now! Hare coursing, whether it is illegal or legal, is barbaric, cruel and unnecessary…. P Richardson Woodmancote Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 16.10.02 HOUNDED TO DEATH - Congratulations on your article about illegal hare coursing. Please also remind your readers that the greyhounds themselves die and suffer just as surely as the hares… Sandra Bigley Sirius Dog Rescue Manchester (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.10.02 YOU DESCRIBED THE DIFFERENCE … It deeply saddens me that an Act of Parliament would probably ban coursing and the illegal, which you so vividly describe, would continue and, without the stewarding of the National Coursing Club, would most likely increase…. Cliff Standing NCC Licensed trainer Sturminster Newton Dorset (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.10.02 BOTH SIDES OF SPORT ARE SICK - Regarding the article on illegal hare coursing, and the response from Charles Blanning, secretary of the National Coursing Club, calling illegal coursers the 'scum of the earth'… I would also place you firmly in this category because people who derive pleasure involved in this sick pastime/so-called sport are equally cruel… Mike Mason Nailsea North Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.10.02 WHY IS LEGAL HARE COURSING LESS CRUEL? - What makes illegal hare coursing more cruel than that organised by the National Coursing Club?... to those fully signed-up members of the NCC, it is perfectly acceptable for them to watch a hare being chased, then ripped to shreds, by dogs… I just find the hypocrisy of clubs like the NCC to be beyond belief… (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.10.02 BE A SPY IN THE NIGHT AND HELP US CATCH THESE BUTCHERS OF THE MEADOW - Police last night called on the public to be "Spies in the Night" and help stamp out bloodthirsty gangs of criminals who organise illegal hare coursing meetings in the West…There are about 30 organised hare coursing clubs governed by the 140year-old National Coursing Club… But the barbaric gangs who converge on fields in the Cotswolds do not follow NCC guidelines to prevent large numbers of hares suffering an agonising death… Lisa Dewhurst, of the RSPCA, said the organisation was opposed to legal and illegal hare coursing… (story)

Western Mail 15.10.02 `The President' launches single to support the Countryside Alliance - E'VE had the march now here is the song with the release ext Monday of the Liberty and ivelihood single - Balance. Written and performed by US apper "The President" in suport of last month's Liberty and ivelihood March Balance is he official march song and will lso be performed live at the lbert Hall tomorrow evening s part of Whip Craic, which is fundraising Gala in aid of the ountryside Alliance… . He has been touring the country in the run up to the launch of Balance and has visited the South Wold Hunt, Market Rasen races and joined the Liberty and Livelihood March in London… (story)

Western Morning News 15.10.02 Debate ending …We have had many opinions from the "experts" on the cruelty issue, but surely the best placed people to give an accurate account of the kill are the huntsman, his staff and the few dedicated hunting people in the field who have managed to keep up with the hounds? I'd have thought being killed by a hound a very fitting end. W T Sweet, Mawgan Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 15.10.02 NOTHING NATURAL ABOUT HUNTING WITH DOGS - People who claim that both livestock farming and hunting with dogs are especially "natural" are simply deluding themselves… The brutal killing of hounds once they get to a certain age is also a ritual that is based on self interest as animal life means nothing when compared to the god of hunting economics… Peter Jennings, Porthtowan, Truro (letter)

Western Morning News 15.10.02 Real spirit of march - SO Liz Wallace of Whimple (WMN, September 10) was glad we were all off to London so that no wild animals would be killed… Sorry to disillusion you Ms Wallace, but no hunting takes place on a Sunday anyway… Ida King, Holbeton, Plymouth (story)
Western Morning News 10.9.02 HUNTERS' MARCH WILL GIVE WILDLIFE A BREAK - So, the hunters are off to London later this month. How wonderful it would be if they would stay there and leave the countryside to those of us who can enjoy it without feeling the need to kill and destroy the wildlife… Hunters, accept the fact that it is wrong to get your kicks through the abuse of our wildlife. The countryside will be much better for your absence. Lis Wallace, Whimple Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 15.10.02 BAN WOULD NOT AFFECT FOX POPULATION - The Countryside Alliance would have us believe that a ban on hunting would lead to an increase in the fox population… It was with great interest I read that Professor Stephen Harris of Bristol University has just carried out research, funded by the RSPCA and International fund for Animal Welfare and carried out on behalf of the Mammal Society… It was found that there was no significant increase in the number of droppings and in fact that the population even went down in some areas… F Cleaves, Par, Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 15.10.02 Limited vocabulary - INTERESTING to see that F Cleaves (WMN, October 1) has given up even pretending to debate the hunting issue, but like so many on his side of the fence, has reverted to childish "yah-boo" name-calling (chinless wonders, bumpkins etc). My only recollection of the tiny anti-hunting presence on the Liberty and Livelihood March was of a woman screaming "Scum! Scum!" through a megaphone - just another example of the same mentality… Jonathan Marshall, Lydeard St Lawrence Taunton (letter)
Western Morning News 1.10.02 DESPERATE DEMONSTRATION AGAINST HUNTING BAN - So, the biggest fiasco seen on the streets of London is now over. The Barbours, paisley caps, and bumpkins have retreated back to their holes, and all that is left is for the chinless wonders to threaten "all out war" if hunting is banned…. F Cleaves, Par, Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 15.10.02 Know-it-alls? - I AM in complete agreement with the farmers and others who took part in the recent march in London. I am a gamekeeper's daughter, and the present Government's attitude shocks me… W A McLaren, Carlyon Bay, St Austell (letter)

Western Morning News 15.10.02 Where is Fox Trust? - DOES anybody know how to contact the Fox Trust? I understand that this is the trust set up by the regular hunt protesters to take over the duties of the present hunts if foxhunting is stopped… A fox warden in each hunt area will cost about £15,000 a year. While the regular hunt protesters are undoubtedly willing to pay £200 to £300 a year each, it seems only fair that those people who have been supporting hunt closures should take their share of these costs by contributing Dorothy Olmer, Taunton (letter)

Western Morning News 15.10.02 Hare numbers - JOHN Phelps' reply (WMN, October 8) to Ian Pearse's letter about brown hare numbers raises some interesting points. The Burns Report does describe a decline in the British hare population - in the 1960s and 1970s - and finds that this was probably due, at least in part, to modern farming methods which have reduced biodiversity… Jonathan Higgins, Totnes (letter)
Western Morning News 24.9.02 BROWN HARES THRIVE IN OUR COUNTRYSIDE - I have read the column by Trevor Beer (WMN, September 12) and support much of what he says - especially the role that farmers who support country sports play in protecting our environment… I must, though, disagree with one issue Trevor raises. The brown hare is most certainly not in decline. The annual hare survey conducted by the Nature Conservatory is ample proof of this…. On May 1 I moved to Devon from Hertfordshire, where I hunted a pack of hare hounds in a county consisting of many large stocks. I can confirm the brown hare is extremely common and thriving…. Ian Pearse, MFH, South Devon Foxhounds, Newton Abbot (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 15.10.02 Compassionate act to free trapped animal - Those EADT readers that are representative of today's civilised and humane society will no doubt have been heartened to have read… the rescue of an injured stag… A truly commendable act of compassion by a small group of people… in direct contrast with the actions of those members of the hunting fraternity that would choose to chase and willingly kill that same rescued stag as well as the fox and brown hare-not out of necessity but just for the archaic pleasure of a little bit of so-called harmless countryside fun… CYRIL DOY, Station Road, Southwold (letter)

Worcester Evening News 15.10.02 Shooting foxes is not an option - I HAVE written before that I am neither for nor against foxhunting. Until relatively recently, I had a gun in my possession. So when I contradict John Norwood of Kidderminster I think I know what I am writing about… Shooting foxes is not an option, because few farmers have rifles and even fewer carry a gun of any sort when out in the fields working, so have little chance of shooting one… And some shooting folk could not hit a barn door, let alone a running fox! PETER ALCOCK, Upton Snodsbury, Worcestershire (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 15.10.02 Marchers a bunch of Tory voters YET again Tim Pinney (You Say, October 3) rambles on with a feeble defence of hunting… The people on the Liberty march were a bunch of Tory voters who are hardly going to worry a twice-elected Labour government. A JAMES, St Phillips Drive, Evesham, Worcestershire (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 3.10.02 Hunting's at top of the agenda - ANYONE who reads the national Press would see that countryside protesters aired a range of issues ranging from Post Offices and rural pubs to farming, transport and country sports... TIM PINNEY, Peopleton, Pershore. (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.10.02 OUR COUNTRYSIDE HAS NOT BEEN LOOKED AFTER WELL …Where are the songbirds and butterflies? Poisoned with pesticide… Where are the deer and the foxes? Hunted for pleasure. Thank you Countryside Alliance, you have cared for the country well. K Richardson, Address withheld on request (letter)

Western Morning News 15.10.02 Show of strength - CONGRATULATIONS to Prince Charles. His letters to the Prime Minister reflect the views of a vast majority…. He has upset New Labour - oh dear, what a shame… M H Wadmore, Okehampton (letter)
Western Morning News 15.10.02 Changing image - SO Prince Charles is concerned about the countryside? He never did much for Princetown when I lived there… Henry Oxenham, Fremington (letter)
Western Morning News 15.10.02 INTELLIGENT THOUGHTS MUST BE EXPRESSED - Congratulations to Prince Charles for taking up his concerns with the Prime Minister and members of the Government… At least his letters seem to be read, which is more than happens to the letters I write to the PM! Michael Ashton, Torrington (letter)
Western Morning News 15.10.02 THIS IS UNWARRANTED INTERFERENCE - The WMN has recently published several letters about the Prince of Wales corresponding with Ministers of the Crown. Communications of this nature must be an unwarranted interference with affairs of state. I would certainly resent any pontificating by the heir to the throne on issues such as hunting with dogs for sport as I am opposed to killing animals for fun… John Phelps, Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 15.10.02 LET PRINCE HEAR OUR SUPPORT …To this day I, for one, realise that food is a basic necessity of life, and applaud Prince Charles on his outspoken attack against this urban based Government, who show utter contempt for farmers, their families and all the associated industries who depend on farming…. Coun Mrs Ruth Burrow, Ottery St Mary (letter)

Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 15.10.02 Anti-war demo outfoxed countryside - CONGRATULATIONS on your Iraq News Special (Guardian, October 3), particularly your coverage of the anti-war demonstration on September 28… Interestingly, the police put the number of demonstrators at 150,000 although they were quite willing to accept a 400,000 figure for the countryside demonstration the previous week. Yet it was obvious to all who took part that the anti-war march was as large or even larger… BELLA GOLDSTEIN, Hillcrest Road, South Woodford (letter)

Yorkshire Post 15.10.02 A sport in the firing line - If they ban foxhunting, will other bloodsports tumble, too? Frederic Manby reports from Coverdale. Grouse shooting is the highest profile field sport after foxhunting. It is very one-sided. I am standing next to estate agent Ian Cox, his Spanish 12-bore dripping with rain. My left boot is full of bogwater. Out of sight over the hill we can hear the beaters hollering to push the grouse towards the shooters, hereafter known as The Guns…. (story)

Western Mail 15.10.02 Pheasant shooting `will bring around £40m to fragile rural economy' - Sheila Coleman, The Western Mail - PHEASANT shooting is a popular and important aspect of the Welsh countryside. This year's pheasant-shooting season has now opened, and it is estimated it will bring more than £40m into the hard-pressed Welsh rural economy, says Nigel Davenport of the Countryside Alliance… (story)
Daily Post 14.10.02 In the firing line - With the pheasant shooting season now underway, Andrew Forgrave, Rural Affairs Editor, finds out how farmers can cash in ... Nevertheless, says the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, this is Britain's fastest growing participation sport… Not everyone is happy. Pheasant shooting is likely to find itself next in the firing line from animal rights campaigners if they succeed in banning hunting with hounds… "Pheasant rearing and shooting is now a massive business built on greed and excess, where the shed-reared birds are regarded as nothing more than feathered targets in a fairground-style shooting gallery," says one LACS website… In the coming weeks, says Countryside Alliance Campaign Director Nigel Davenport, shooting will be bringing more than £40m into the hard-pressed Welsh rural economy… (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 15.10.02 Only a quarter of killed pheasants are eaten - R Williams letter (Evening Advertiser October 8) defending pheasant shooting, questions my knowledge of the subject. I admit that I have never attended a shoot and would never want to, I find killing for fun abhorrent. However I have seen photographic and video evidence of the painful restraints and mutilation pheasants are subjected to…. M Harrison, Beaulieu Close, Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 14.10.02 `Sport' is just barbaric - I WAS interested to read R Williams letter (EA, October 8) about the healthy and happy life of pheasants bred to be shot for sport… Taking part in wicked or cruel practices, not only hurts living humans or creatures, but also demeans the perpetrators. REV BERT JONES Priory Hill Wroughton (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 14.10.02 Unacceptable sport …Perhaps R Williams rather than Marilyn Harrison should direct her efforts elsewhere if they believe that releasing pheasants into the air to be shot by morons is an acceptable sport. PHILIP BEAVEN Merton Avenue Swindon. (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 8.10.02 Compare a pheasant's life with a chicken's - It was apparent from Mrs M Harrison's comments (Letters, October 4) that her concern for animal welfare far outweighs her knowledge of pheasant shooting. Her letter contained many incorrect facts that should be addressed… Perhaps Mrs Harrison should compare the living conditions of a pheasant to those of the millions of factory-farmed chickens killed each year. She may then feel that her efforts could be better directed elsewhere. R Williams, Ashfield Road, Chippenham (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 4.10.02 And you thought pheasant shooting was a sport ...The image that Britain's pheasant shooters try to project is one of tweedy Edwardian elegance of responsible custodianship of the countryside. But rather than harvesting a natural resource, pheasants are mass produced inside hatcheries and rearing sheds... For more information, contact Animal Aid at Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1AW telephone 01732 364546. (Mrs) M HARRISON, Swindon Animal Concern, Beaulieu Close, Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)

GLOUCESTERSHIRE BADGER CULL
Gloucester Citizen 15.10.02 THIS IS NOT A POLICE JOB - In last Wednesday's issue of The Citizen some information about the badger cull was inaccurate. In the cull areas, badgers are trapped and shot without being tested first for TB…. In the current cull, police helicopters are circling over the area, plus police on the ground to stop people releasing the badgers… PAT HOLLANDS (MRS), Beacon Lane, Haresfield (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 15.10.02 WHAT PROTECTION FOR THIS ANIMAL? …A short while ago DEFRA told me there would be no cull of badgers in the Stroud area - that we were not a 'hot spot'…. I was shocked to see in The Citizen that badgers were being killed. I've been told in fact they are not being 'tested.'… PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Nr Stroud (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 15.10.02 TB CAME IN WITH THE BADGERS - As a local farmer, farming in Gloucestershire, whose herd has recently become infected with TB, I feel I can comment on the subject. Until my herd was infected by this disease I must say that I thought badgers could only be a small part of the problem, but now find myself forced to the conclusion that they play a far bigger part. Tony Dean seems to blame the farmers for the spread of the disease, without a thought that the badgers could possibly be involved at all. Yet he admits that they can carry it, so how do they get bovine TB? Could they therefore not pass it back?... NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 15.10.02 SPEND CASH ON TESTS NOT CULLS …So how in open fields do a few corgi-sized badgers spread it to herds of lumbering cattle many times their height and size?... NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 11.10.02 'FARM ANIMALS SPREAD DISEASE - NOT BADGERS' - The "barbaric" cull of badgers is simply an attempt by farmers to turn attention away from the poor conditions in which they keep cattle… Gloucestershire Badger Group chairman Tony Dean blasted Wednesday's announcement by Animal Health Minister Elliot Morley that cattle movement restrictions would be modified while the killing of badgers continued… Fellow badger campaigner Pat Holland, of Gloucester, said that farm animals spread the disease - not badgers."The cattle are kept very close together in crowded sheds, allowing the disease to spread quickly," she said. "Badgers aren't the problem."… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 10.10.02 BADGER WARS Animal rights activists in Gloucestershire are threatening to disrupt the culling of badgers with acts of vandalism and sabotage… Gloucestershire members of animal rights group Animal Aid are threatening to throw the control of bovine TB into crisis… The growing threat groups like Animal Aid pose was illustrated by a massive police presence when DEFRA resumed its culling programme near Stroud after it was suspended because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak… Yesterday, Animal Aid director Andrew Tiler fanned the flames of animal rights protest by claiming that activists were "not by any means discouraged" from damaging badger traps and actively putting the cull in jeopardy… Gloucestershire Animal Aid spokesman Richard England said: "People do go out and sabotage traps. That doesn't necessarily mean causing criminal damage - just making sure they don't work. I know plenty of people who carry out sabotage."…
Stroud News & Journal 10.10.02 Cull a waste of money - A FORMER policeman has hit out at the force for wasting time and money on a controversial badger culling operation. Tony Dean from Stroud said the police must be spending thousands of pounds on the project which could be better used putting more bobbies on the beat. He has slammed the police for spending public money on an operation which includes the use of a helicopter at the site of the Gloucestershire badger cull, organised by DEFRA… Mr Dean, of the Gloucestershire Badger Group was a policeman for 30 years… (story in archive)
Bristol Evening Post 10.10.02 BADGER POLICE ANGER - Police have been criticised for mounting a major exercise to protect badger culling operations on farms in South Gloucestershire. Riot vans full of officers and the force helicopter have been seen making regular sweeps over the countryside in the Wotton-underEdge area in a bid to spot animal rights activists. But some villagers have complained at the huge police presence and feel they would be better used fighting crime… Tony Dean, a member of the Gloucestershire Badger Group and a former policeman, said: "I gather DEFRA started culling there last week and I have been down there and seen a couple of their Land Rovers around. Obviously the police want to prevent activists trying to stop the culling, but we have very few activists of that sort in this area…" (story)

Western Mail 15.10.02 Ban snares, RSPCA urges after finding badger dead in wire noose - TWO recent incidents in South Wales where badgers have been caught illegally in wire noose traps have led to calls for all snaring to be banned… (story)

Guardian 15.10.02 Coogan comedy raises campaigners' ire - John Plunkett - Steve Coogan's new comedy about a group of animals that are liberated from a vivisection lab has come under fire from animal rights' protestors… The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection accused the Alan Partridge star of making light of animals' "hideous and appalling suffering"… (story)
Ananova 15.10.02 Steve Coogan's new comedy under fire from animal rights campaigners - Steve Coogan's new animated comedy has come under fire from animal rights' protesters…(story)
Argus 11.10.02 Coogan in animal rights row by Barbara Davidson - Hove-based comedian Steve Coogan's latest television project has been criticised by animal rights campaigners. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) lost its sense of humour when it learnt the comic was setting his new BBC series in an animal testing laboratory. The adult cartoon, entitled I Am Not An Animal, will portray animals living a pampered life in a luxurious club class wing of a secret lab… the BUAV is urging Coogan to scrap the project, saying the suffering of animals is an unsuitable subject for a comedy…. (story in archive)

East Anglian Daily Times 15.10.02 Animal brutality seen on video - I find myself having to clarify a few points in a previous letter that I had published concerning live transportation of farm animals (letters, September 16)… D C Coe can rest assured that those who put themselves in danger of obtaining such photographic and video evidence of animal brutality, do not idly sit on the data. IAN SMITH, Philip Road, Bury St Edmunds (letter)

Western Mail 15.10.02 Protesters fight live exports - Sheila Coleman & Clive Betts Sheila.Coleman@Wme.Co.Uk, The Western Mail - PROTESTERS against live exports of lambs raised a cheer yesterday when an AM told them she was a vegetarian. Lorraine Barrett was receiving a letter from 50 protesters from Compassion in World Farming outside the National Assembly in Cardiff Bay asking her to put-pressure on Rural Development Minister Michael German to halt live exports… Marie-Claire Davies, the campaigns officer from Hampshire, said, "Although exports started last July, this was our first chance to protest to AMs as this is their first day back."… (story)

Northern Echo 15.10.02 Stores face factory fish farming protests by Stuart Mackintosh - ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are preparing to target supermarkets in the region in a protest against factory fish farming… Campaigners from the Farm Salmon Protest Group say they will be handing out leaflets to make people aware of the suffering farm fish experience. John Young, of Middleton St George, near Darlington, is planning to stage a protest outside the Morrisons store at the town's Morton Park… (story in archive)

Daily Post 14.10.02 AN ANTI-hunting correspondent, who conceals his or her identity (October 3), is highly selective when quoting from Mr Alun Michael's three-day hearing on the future of hunting… It should not pass unnoticed that Prof Stephen Harris's report regarding fox densities was financed by the RSPCA and the IFAW, and as a fox apologist, it is small wonder that he came to the conclusion that he did…. Keith Erlandson, Llangollen (letter)

Sunderland Echo 14.10.02 Misplaced venom - IN his latest party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party, Chris Mullin MP reiterated his contempt for those who find pleasure in the rural pursuit of fox hunting… on the Richter scale of cruelty, fox hunting does not register compared to that of factory farming… Such people may not be wearing black shirts, or goose stepping, but I would suggest that they are blindly serving to move this country towards that which at great cost we fought to destroy between 1939 and 1945. Mary Metcalfe, East Herrington (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 14.10.02 ALLIANCE POSES QUESTIONS …The CA manifesto aims mention hunting only once, among a raft of other issues. Yet last year it spent £3million on hunting issues and £200,000 on all other issues. To the casual observer this does suggest paying lip service to other issues in order to drum up support for an elitist pursuit… Steve Clegg, Swansea and Llanelli Green Party, Norfolk Street, Mount Pleasant, Swansea (letter)

Worcester Evening News 14.10.02 Bloodsports - IN response to Ian Tinsley… I would say that I am neither anti-angling nor anti-hunting. I was merely raising the question as to why anti-hunt campaigners attack some bloodsports and not others. I BAILEY, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 8.10.02 Three million anglers just cannot be wrong - I WOULD like to respond to the misinformed anti-angling letter headlined "Coarse work" by I Bailey (You Say, October 1) The only reason the anti-hunting brigade has only targeted hunting is purely down to size, and where they would have most impact… IAN TINSLEY, Norton, Worcester (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 1.10.02 Coarse work - WHEN is the anti-hunting lobby going to start campaigning against coarse fishing? This is a sport that inflicts suffering on the fish, with little arguable benefit to anyone. I BAILEY, Pinkett Street, Arboretum, Worcester (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 14.10.02 Sign of the times - MAY, I through the medium of your excellent paper, applaud the enthusiasm of the Liberty and Livelihood organisers and ask them when they are going to clear up the signs that still litter the countryside that we are all so passionate about. Ray House, Tavistock (letter)

Leicester Mercury 14.10.02 MORE EXPENSIVE! - So Prince Charles has threatened to leave Britain… He is less use to us than a fox and a damned sight more expensive.Anthony M Wallis, Leicester. (letter)

Times 14.10.02 The countryside online - Sir, Dr Chris Cheetham (letter, October 8) may well be correct that in his own village the need for proper IT links is more of an issue than the threat of a ban on hunting. This is precisely why one explicit purpose of our Liberty and Livelihood march (letters, September 27, etc) was to demand that politicians “address the real problems of the countryside which are destroying its communities” instead of indulging in fatuous, socially and economically destructive attacks on rural minorities…. RICHARD BURGE, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, 367 Kennington Road, SE11 4PT (letter(
Times 8.10.02 Needs of today's country people FROM DR CHRIS CHEETHAM, The Manor House, Noke, Oxfordshire OX3 9TX - Rural access to broadband (letters, September 24, 26 and October 2) typifies a divide between those who vociferously support the “true way of life” in the countryside and the silent majority who live here… We also need (and lack) such other basic essential supplies as reliable electricity, postal services and running water. I did not see the banners raised on these topics in Central London recently… (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 14.10.02 Anti-war views not getting prominence …we were surprised to find no mention of the big anti-war rally and March of September 28, in marked contrast to the coverage of the Countryside turnout. Both marches attracted roughly the same number of people, and surely the prospect of yet another war… is at least as important as Fox Hunting, 'bus services, country post offices, etc…. MRS E C WATLING AND MR WGA WATSON, Bucklesham Road, Kirton (letter)

Independent 14.10.02 Minks blamed as water vole 'extinct' in the south-west - By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor - Water voles, Britain's most rapidly declining mammals, are believed to have become extinct in Devon and Cornwall, provoking proposals for a countrywide campaign to shoot American mink, the predators responsible. A national strategic plan to control mink numbers will be discussed tomorrow at a meeting in London of all of the organisations concerned with conservation of the water vole… (story)

DUMFRIESSHIRE DISBANDS
Sunday Times 13.10.02 Dumfries hunt is first victim - FRANK HURLEY - THE Dumfriesshire Hunt has announced that it is to relocate after 150 years, making it the first victim of the Scottish parliament’s ban on hunting with dogs. The hunt, which has enjoyed the support of the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal, has been forced to disband its pack of 80 hounds after being told it can no longer use its traditional course in the Borders. Sir Rupert Buchanan-Jardine, the landowner, told organisers that he feared prosecution under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act if he allows them to continue to hunt over his 20,000 acres… “What has happened to the Dumfriesshire Hunt is a direct consequence of this flawed legislation,” said Allan Murray, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance… (story)
Scotland on Sunday 13.10.02 Anger as hunt forced to disband - FRANK HURLEY - ONE of Scotland’s oldest and most historic hunts has become the first victim of the Scottish parliament’s legislation against hunting foxes with dogs. The Dumfriesshire Hunt, which has been in existence for 150 years, has disbanded its pack of 80 dogs after being told it can no longer use land in the Borders owned by Sir Rupert Buchanan-Jardine. Sir Rupert told organisers that he fears prosecution under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act if he allows them to continue to hunt over his 20,000 acres… (story)
Sunday Herald 13.10.02 After 150 years of Borders tradition, no last fanfare as the first hunt dies - The Dumfriesshire Hunt was a royal favourite but is the first to fall under the new ban. Some are celebrating ... others see it as the end of a way of life - By Alan Crawford … The Dumfriesshire hounds' kennelman, John Carruthers, said he now faces an uncertain future with his wife Isobel, 45, and their 10-year-old son Andrew. The hounds have been disbanded forever, the dogs sold to hunts in France, Ireland and England…. However, many campaigners welcomed the end of the hunt. Les Ward, chairman of the Scottish Campaign Against Hunting with Dogs, said: ''We have always said anyone losing their job is not losing out because of the bill but because of the management of the hunt. There are options, including drag hunting. Dogs can be kept and looked after. Huntsmen with tied cottages can still make a living…" Libby Anderson, the parliamentary officer of the SSPCA: ''We are not opposed to the tradition of hunting and many of the aspects associated with it, such as hunt balls, but the prolonged chase and killing of foxes by dogs is simply cruel.' (story)

Sunday Times 13.10.02 It’s a short trip from Pink Floyd to hunting pink - ROGER WATERS … I have always felt passionately about the hunting issue… I may be better known as the former frontman of Pink Floyd, but I have always felt as passionate about the countryside as I have about music… That is why I am appearing in concert on Wednesday at the Albert Hall in support of the Countryside Alliance. After the Berlin Wall came down, I stood in front of 350,000 people in the Potsdamer Platz and performed The Wall. In many ways, the Whip Craic fundraising concert this week is just as symbolic…. (story)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 13.10.02 ANIMALS WERE SACRIFICED ON THE ALTAR OF NEW LABOUR'S IMAGE - Andrew Byron - Cross Country - The European Parliament's temporary committee on foot and mouth has issued a working document based on the findings of its inquiry into the UK's foot and mouth outbreak… The 400,000 people who took part in last month's countryside march probably had 400,000 different reasons for being there. The fact that these disparate groups have come together is testimony to the staggeringly inept way New Labour has handled rural politics…. Blair banning fox hunting at a time of unprecedented hardship for rural communities was a bit like Thatcher banning brass bands and whippet racing at the height of the pit closures…. (story)

BASIL BRUSH
Western Daily Press 12.10.02 FARMERS NOT AMUSED BY NEW BASIL … Basil Brush has run into controversy just two weeks after returning to his old haunt on prime-time TV. Farmers are calling on the BBC to pull the plug on the puppet's new series because they claim it gives farming a bad name. They say the programmes portray Basil Brush as living in a basement flat with neighbours from hell - a farming family - upstairs…. (story)
Times 11.10.02 Basil's brush with hunting BY ADAM SHERWIN AND VALERIE ELLIOTT - AN EPISODE of the Basil Brush show depicting farmers as bloodthirsty simpletons has been dropped by the BBC from today’s schedules. It featured a bad-tempered farmer becoming Basil’s neighbour and telling the puppet fox that foxes are fit only for shooting… The BBC insisted that the programme was not being screened today because it was “not yet ready for transmission” and that the decision was not due to the content. The episode would appear at the end of the current BBC One series. Richard Haddock, a beef farmer from Devon and a member of the National Farmers’ Union council, said: “I am absolutely disgusted. The BBC in London seems to be going down this anti-farm agenda.”… (story)

Telegraph 12.10.02 Reg Older - Reg Older, who has died aged 85, was Master of the East Kent Hunt for 30 seasons, although he did not take up hunting until he was in his forties… (obituary)

Telegraph 12.10.02 No difference of opinion - Your otherwise precise coverage of the Liberty and Livelihood March, organised by the Countryside Alliance, contained one slight inaccuracy. Reference was made to a public difference of opinion between two "militants" from the Union of Country Sports Workers and the alliance at the start of the march… There is no disagreement between the union and alliance: we have worked together in this campaign… Lindsay Hill, Union of Country Sports Workers, Banbury, Oxfordshire (letter)

Guardian 12.10.02 - Alfred Brendel's view that we in England have "little talent for fanaticism" would seem flattering … better health and transport, are clearly not important enough for us. We get fanatical protests with regard to things like the price of vehicle fuel and fox-hunting. Colin Troth, Birmingham (letter)

Worcester Evening News 12.10.02 A cry from heart of rural Britain - WILL Richards (You Say, October 4) suggests that the foxhunting lobby had hijacked the recent Countryside March. This suggestion has been well spun by a certain political party, but is simply not true. I was there, and can assure him that this was not the case…. The Friday before I had been at a major conference at the NEC near Birmingham, reviewing long-term strategies for the whole West Midlands region. Transport was high on the agenda… It should not have been left to me, as a Member of the European Parliament, to highlight the urgency of transport problems within the Shires. There was a sudden if sheepish realisation among those present that none of them had given this a moment's thought… PHILIP BUSHILL-MATTHEWS (MEP), European Parliament, Brussels, (and Conservative Office, Sansome Place, Worcester). (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 4.10.02 Hunters hijacked this campaign - IN the lead-up to the Countryside March, we witnessed every endeavour by those fortunate enough to be able to afford to live in our countryside to keep the matter in the public eye… Unfortunately, the foxhunting lobby has yet again been allowed to hijack a campaign, which might otherwise have enjoyed the support of townies like me, together with an even greater number of rural dwellers. WILL RICHARDS, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Cambridge News 12.10.02 Wild error on cull - From Russell Tofts, Royston Road, Whittlesford - IT appals me that some people consider animal life so cheap. I am referring to the recent cull of Canada geese (News, October 5) in Granta Park, Great Abington… (letter)
Cambridge News 5.10.02 Workers' outrage over cull - WORKERS at a Cambridgeshire business park were left outraged after wild geese feeding there were shot dead in a cull. The birds, a flock of Canada geese, had been watched and cared for by staff at Granta Park in Great Abington after arriving at its lake a few months ago... Two weeks ago pest control specialists were called in to the park to destroy some of the birds in the hope others would be deterred. But Wendy Abrams, an employee of one of the companies at the park, said she and a number of others were extremely upset about the cull. (story)

Hexham Courant 11.10.02 SUPPORTERS FOXED … A well-intentioned Hexham woman saw the terrier sat in a wooden box on the back of a quad-bike travelling towards Haydon Bridge and mistook it for a fox…. Fox-lovers spoke with alarm about the animal's eyes, which were wide with horror at the thought of it being driven to its obvious end. However, the gentlemen from the Haydon Hunt had a quite different explanation for the presence of the motoring mammal. They explained he was a terrier not a fox who was being taken by his quad-biking owner to that day's hunt. No doubt the animal's eyes were bright with anticipation, rather than horror… (story)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 11.10.02 CRUELTY IS MORALLY WRONG - Aj CLARKE (Courier, October 4) states that it was made clear that the countryside march was about hunting. If this was so, why was it called as being for Liberty and Livelihood?... Fairness is worth fighting for. But there's nothing fair about 30 hunters and 40 dogs chasing one terrified fox. Rose Westrup, Hawkhurst Road, Cranbrook (letter)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 11.10.02 SAD AGENDA OF BLOOD SPORTS - Having had their jolly in London, would the British Field Sports Society (sorry, Countryside Alliance) please remove the literature advertising their failed march of September 22 from the countryside… a parading mob of 400,000 blood sports enthusiasts with its sad agenda is few compared with the 50 million-plus who chose to spend their Sunday normally. TA Gardner, Tangier Lane, Frant (letter)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 11.10.02 PITY THEY CAN'T DO IT IN SPIRIT … how can Polly Thomas (Courier, October 4) possibly know that 75,000 took part in the countryside march "in spirit"? And by what psychic process were these spirit sympathisers counted?... Mary Hallah, Talbot Road, Hawkhurst (letter)
Kent/East Sussex Courier 4.10.02 OUR FUTURES DEPEND ON THE COUNTRYSIDE - Your editorial the week after the Liberty and Livelihood March asks: What was it all about? (Courier, September 27). Maybe that attitude is what made us march. The countryside is being strangled by the efforts of people to change it without understanding what it needs or how it works…. Polly Thomas, James Farm, Hadlow (letter)

Hexham Courant 11.10.02 JULIA BELL - AS we in the countryside know, it's always been one rule for us and quite a different one for all those townies… AS we in the countryside know, it's always been one rule for us and quite a different one for all those townies… Apparently, pigeons are vermin, or at least they are to city-dwellers. Kindly Ken Livingstone has referred to them as "rats with wings" and has banned bird feeders from Trafalgar Square… So the Government is flying in the face of all its animal-friendly policies by sending out a team of hawks named Nelson, Hardy, Buzz, Red and Harriet to deal with the red-eyed invaders. Rather odd, really, isn't it? This same Government stands poised on the brink of banning fox hunting in the name of animal welfare, yet apparently pigeons don't have the same rights as foxes…. I do object to a small group of self-righteous, grey-suited individuals imposing their whims of the moment on the rest of society particularly when their views are so inconsistent with their actions… I bet our so-called environmentally-friendly Ministers crush dozens of foxes beneath the wheels of their Jaguars as they motor around Britain every week trying to see what further menace they can impose on the citizens of this green and pleasant land. (story)

Scotsman 11.10.02 GILLIAN FERGUSON: Science meets pure Disney in babyland … A sniper stalks ordinary Americans, yet still US politicians are too weak to tackle America’s appalling gun culture - 200 million guns in private hands, 35,000 people killed a year… Why do people irrationally cite the longevity of something manifestly dreadful as blind rationale for its continued existence in the face of civilising change? Not mentioning any names here - OK, the pro-hunt lobby, for instance… (story)

Hexham Courant 11.10.02 EASY TARGETS - I write in response to Hazel Dean's critique of Veronica Heath (Courant, October 4). I could never argue that hunting was for "all the people" but surely a "supposedly" civilised society would allow the pursuance of a minority interest such as foxhunting, much as our liberal democracy saves other groups from the tyranny of the majority… This is meant to be an animal welfare issue but, if so, why do so many critics prefer to ignore the pet industry and industrial farming, which are surely more pressing? The answer is simple becase toffs on horses make easy targets…. Jeremy Blackburn, Corbridge. (letter)
Hexham Courant 4.10.02 NOT EVERYONE - SO Veronica Heath believes that fox-hunting belongs to "the people" (Courant, September 27). Most of "the people" I know think that hunting has no place in our supposedly civilised society, and would therefore like to see it abolished as soon as possible.... HAZEL DEAN, Errington Hill Head, Corbridge (letter)
Hexham Courant 27.9.02 TYNEDALE MARCHERS TAKE CAPITAL BY STORM … All five of the Tynedale-based fox hunts were represented, along with beaglers, falconers, shooters, fishermen, ramblers, pensioners, office workers and people from every walk of rural life…. Some proudly sported banners, like the Haydon Bridge based Northumberland Crow Falconers, while others were happy just to be there…. (story)
Hexham Courant 27.9.02 'HUNTS BELONG TO THE PEOPLE' - THERE is no county in England that has been more thoroughly hunted in all its quarters and by a greater number of different packs of hounds than Northumberland… The early history of Northumberland foxhunting leads us into a maze of interweaving masterships and divisions of the country, private packs springing up here and there, without regard to fixed territories or hunt boundary…. Though most of these packs hunt a proportion of moorland it is along the Scottish border that we find the true moorland hunts. The Milvain, the Border, the College Valley now joined with the North Northumberland and the Haydon…. (story)

Western Daily Press 11.10.02 DAWN RAIDS FOR HUNTERS? So, senior hunt figures are prepared to go to prison if a hunt ban is introduced…. I take it for granted that their homes will be raided at the crack of dawn, their houses searched from top to bottom, that they will be taken to police stations and charged with conspiracy and incitement to break the law…. It occurs all the time to people involved in the animal rights'movement… Richard England Highleadon Newent Gloucestershire (letter)

Wiltshire Times 11.10.02 The difference between cars and hunting is... R Meahen (Letters, October 4) asks what the difference is between a wild animal being killed by a motorist or a huntsman... Firstly, when an animal is killed by a motor vehicle, it is usually just a tragic accident, not a deliberate act of cruelty… Karen Gray, Pound Street, Warminster (letter in archive)

Wiltshire Times 11.10.02 Is this the way to save livelihoods? - I REFER to the the Liberty & Livelihood protesters in North Wiltshire. Where we might well ask were these same people who now cry foul when the miners were seeing their livelihoods decimated or the steel and textile workers? The answer is that these same farmers and rich landowners were lapping up subsidies and patronage from their Tory friends… (NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED).

Bob Lomas letter
Wiltshire Times 11.10.02 On September 22, hundreds of thousands marched through London in protest at the destruction of our agricultural industries… Bob Lomas, (a lifetime in rural industries) Horsham, Sussex. (letter in archive)
Whitehaven News 3.10.02 Europe holds the strings not London - Bob Lomas, (a lifetime in rural industries), Bacon's Cottage, Dragon's Green, Horsham (letter)
Western Morning News 1.10.02 Only the messenger - ON September 22, hundreds of thousands marched through London in protest at the destruction of our agricultural industries… Bob Lomas, Horsham, Sussex (letter)
Worcester Evening News 1.10.02 We must win back our country first - BOB LOMAS, Dragons Green, Horsham, Sussex. (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 28.9.02 WE HAVE TO REGAIN CONTROL - Sir - Demonstrating in London against the Government will achieve nothing, as the Government is only the messenger....Bob Lomas Horsham Sussex (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 28.9.02 PROTEST THAT WILL ACHIEVE NOTHING - On SEPTEMBER 22, hundreds of thousands marched through London in protest at the destruction of our agricultural industries... BOB LOMAS, (a lifetime in rural industries), Bacon's Cottage, Dragons Green, Horsham, Sussex (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 26.9.02 DEMOS WILL GET US NOWHERE - On September 22, hundreds of thousands marched through London in protest at the destruction of our agricultural industries… The Countryside Alliance is simply channelling protesters down a blind alley as its plans to 'reform' the Common Agricultural Policy are a total nonstarter… Bob Lomas, Bacon's Cottage, Dragons Green, Horsham, Sussex (letter)
Yorkshire Post 25.9.02 Win back our country - From: Bob Lomas, Bacon's Cottage, Dragons Green, Horsham, Sussex. On September 22, hundreds of thousands marched through London in protest at the destruction of our agricultural industries… (letter)
Northern Echo 25.9.02 Countryside march - THE hundreds of thousands who marched through London in protest at the destruction of our agricultural industries will achieve nothing as the Government is only the messenger. The Countryside Alliance is simply channelling protestors down a blind alley as its plans to 'reform' the Common Agricultural Policy are a total non-starter… If we are to save our countryside, we must first win back our country. - Bob Lomas, Horsham, Sussex (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 25.9.02 Save our country first - On September 22, hundreds of thousands marched through London in protest at the destruction of our agricultural industries…. If we are to save our countryside, we must first win back our country. Bob Lomas. Dragons Green, Horsham, Sussex (letter in archive)

Harborough Mail 11.10.02 No problems over field sports alternative - WITH the long awaited ban on hunting set to become reality, with shooting and fishing soon to follow, am I the only person wondering if they could be substituted with other field sports? There is a particularly odious sub-species that seems to be spreading uncontrolled and blighting our country… they are known by many names, some even printable, but the correct noun is Government. RH Bancroft, Avon Fields, Welford. (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 11.10.02 HORSES CONTINUE TO DIE FOR RACING 'FUN' - A few months ago the Herald printed a letter from me in which I expressed my concern at the rising and unreported death rate in the horse racing industry… Readers may be interested in my discovery that six horses died from just six days racing, all on the flat in August…. The modern day thoroughbred is a shadow of its predecessor and physically no longer able to withstand the rigours of racing… KAREENA GREY Discover Racing Death Info Service, Torquay (letter)

Irish Independent 11.10.02 Respect for all animals …your page 8 article on the 250 starving and abandoned gentle hard-worked greyhounds was even more uplifting. It is very faith-restoring in mankind to see that Anne Finch and her husband gave some of their savings to have the greyhounds transported for adoption in England and Europe… Mary J Kilgallon, Dromard, Co Sligo (letter)

Argus 11.10.02 Twice no - Viva! was dismayed to learn that a planning proposal has been lodged for a second time to build an abattoir at Blackstone Gate Wood near Henfield… -Alistair Currie, campaigns office, Viva!, Queen Square, Brighton (letter in archive)

Scotsman 11.10.02 Brutal seal cull prompts outrage - John Ross - A POLICE investigation has been launched after 20 seals were found shot dead on a beach in Orkney…. Ross Flett, who runs the Orkney Seal Rescue Centre, later revealed his life was threatened and the centre vandalised after calling for an investigation into the deaths…. (story)

Warrington Guardian 10.10.02 Protesters save fox cubs from huntsmen - HUNT saboteurs protesting at a seasonal meeting of the Cheshire Forest Hunt managed to save the lives of several young foxes in Whitley last weekend… Paul Timpson, spokesman for NWHSA, claims that Cheshire Forest huntsmen were taking part in a secret cub hunting exercise… But Alex Park, joint master of the hunt, said: "Fox hunting is not secret and it is carried out in full view of the public - it's an up front and legal sport. The fox was killed very rapidly but the saboteurs grabbed it before the huntsmen could get to it… Mr Park said that the fox was running away from the hounds, but when it saw the saboteurs it turned quickly and ran towards the animals…. (story in archive)

TORY PARTY CONFERENCE
Yorkshire Post 10.10.02 Leader will reverse any hunting ban - A Conservative government would give MPs a chance to reverse any ban on fox hunting, Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said yesterday. Mr Duncan Smith accused Labour of hating the countryside and hit out at its "ridiculous" focus on hunting…. (story)
Telegraph 10.10.02 Pledge of new vote to reverse ban on hunting By George Jones - The next Conservative Government would give MPs a chance to reverse any ban on foxhunting, Iain Duncan Smith said yesterday. He accused Labour of hating the countryside and giving priority to banning hunting when education, the NHS and crime were in crisis…. (story)
Western Daily Press 10.10.02 TIME TO VISIT THE FAIR - Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith showed he had not forgotten rural issues when he visited a country fair yesterday… He said the countryside was blighted by the foot-and-mouth crisis and plagued by health, education, crime and transport problems. He asked: "What is the Government's priority for the coming year? To ban fox hunting." (story)
Western Daily Press 10.10.02 BLAIR HAS AGENDA ON SHOOTING, SAYS MP Tony Blair has his sights trained on stopping people from going shooting, the Conservatives warned yesterday… Jim Paice said the Prime Minister knows he cannot ban the pursuit outright. But he told the conference Mr Blair could introduce a series of guidelines and regulations to make it "almost impossible" for people to carry on enjoying shooting. Speaking at a fringe meeting organised by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, he highlighted a piece of "political trickery" by the PM. (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 10.10.02 Suffolk farmer and Lord hits out By GRAHAM DINES Political Editor - A SUFFOLK farmer and member of the House of Lords yesterday launched a scathing attack on Rural Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett, whom he described the least understanding of farming and the countryside as any previous agriculture minister…. Lord Marlesford was speaking at a fringe meeting organised by the newly established Conservative Rural Action Group, the aims of which are to highlight the needs of rural communities, champion the rights of those who live in rural areas, and to campaign on issues such as rural transport, local healthcare, affordable housing and the freedom to pursue traditional country pursuits…. (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 9.10.02 Duncan Smith vows to reverse hunting ban - Iain Duncan Smith says a Conservative government would give MPs a chance to reverse any ban on fox hunting… (story)
Telegraph 9.10.02 Panel argues issue of liberty By Benedict Brogan, Political Correspondent - The right to kick a burglar down the stairs, the fight to protect hunting, the pressure to build new houses in the countryside, and the success of Marks & Spencer were among the issues that dominated a conference fringe debate on freedom…. (story)
Western Morning News 9.10.02 TORIES 'LEARN LESSON' OVER THE COUNTRYSIDE - JASON GROVES …In an interview with the WMN, David Lidington acknowledged that the rural record of the last Conservative government had cost it dearly in traditional rural Tory heartlands like the Westcountry… Mr Lidington said that a future Conservative government would give MPs the chance to repeal any ban on hunting with dogs. But he stressed that the Tories' priority in the countryside would be to tackle the crisis in farming. (story)
Ananova 9.10.02 Duncan Smith vows to reverse hunting ban - Iain Duncan Smith says a Conservative government would give MPs a chance to reverse any ban on fox hunting. Mr Duncan Smith is accusing Labour of hating the countryside and has hit out at its "ridiculous" focus on hunting… (story)

Western Daily Press 10.10.02 WHY LAWS MUST BE BASED ON COMMON SENSE - As an old, retired lawyer, it seems to me that your correspondent K R Powell, of Mangotsfield, fails completely to understand that all good laws must be based on sound reasoning and morality. Laws enacted simply on a parliamentary majority, without any good reason in support, will be bad laws and will give rise to further contempt for our judicial system…. D Allen Burnham-on-Sea Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.10.02 DO WE LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY? I have a question. Is this country a democracy and, if so, does this mean that the voice of the majority is heeded by Government?.. When all forms of hunting have been banned, and those who refuse to obey the law have been jailed, without exception, I would happily support the Countryside Alliance's efforts to preserve village life… The only fact that matters is that fewer than 500,000 of the population attended a rally in London, 58 million did not. Therefore, fewer than one in 100 of the population supports hunting…. K R Powell Mangotsfield Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.10.02 MY ANGER AT HUNTING SLUR - I would like to start by saying how appalled and outraged I was by the antihunt letter written by Alan Foyle. I am a 14-year-old girl and the fact that I wrote this letter on my own without even informing my parents proves just how strongly I, and many other children, feel. Does it really make any difference what form of transport people used to get to the Countryside March and how much the coach companies were paid?... There is no way anyone was bullied into marching. The people of the countryside come from all walks of life. There are a few people from wealthy families but that doesn't make hunting a sport for snobs…Laurie Cooper Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.10.02 LET'S BE CIVIL ABOUT A BAN - So the hunters plan to break the law when a ban on fox hunting is eventually enacted. As a 'retired' hunt saboteur I am more than prepared to get back into the fields to witness, record and attempt to stop their illegal acts. I personally witnessed, and suffered, attacks at the hands of hunters and their supporters using horses, vehicles, whips, fists, etc, as weapons…. A statistic printed previously in your letters page ends this nicely: 400,000 attended the march, 58 million didn't.Hunters, forget civil disobedience, your time has come. Let's be civil about it. Mark Jones Chard Somerset (letter)

Worcester Evening News 10.10.02 Battle on streets …Farming plays a small part in the economy of our nation these days and the country way of life is being eroded in all directions, from foot-and-mouth to the proposed ban on hunting… In a democracy the minority should not rule the majority…. M BURCHER, Worcester (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 10.10.02 This is the reason we marched - I walked the walk for the Countryside Alliance. The right to hunt was one issue. Local affordable housing for workers who earn £6 an hour working the land, woodlands, rivers, cutting the hedges and roadsides, whatever their jobs - this was an issue… Mr Meacher doesn't know why four hundred and forty thousand honest people came to London...tell him. A.Morris, Minsterley nr Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 10.10.02 Hunt debate is about politics, not cruelty - I agreed with J W Wright's letter in last week's Gazette regarding Blair's Government being a failure… In the overall scheme of things hunting with dogs is an issue of minor importance affecting a small minority of people, an issue that has been brought to the forefront of the political arena by an even smaller minority of anti-hunt lobbyists… If the subject of this issue were cruelty to animals then why does it never include discussion on the barbaric system of ritual slaughter known as halal… that's what I call cruel, but I suppose it would lose Labour too many votes at election time to make a fuss about this, wouldn't it? Robert Baggs Oxford Road, Calne (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 3.10.02 Hunt ban good way to start - I WOULD like to thank the Countryside Alliance and their supporters for reminding me why I felt such jubilation when the Tories lost the 1997 election.... An over privileged minority still think it is good sport to watch hounds tear wild animals apart.... J W WRIGHT, Maiden Lane, Cherhill (letter in archive)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 10.10.02 FOX-HUNTING IS NOT A SPORT - I really cannot allow Mr Presland's nauseating attempts to justify his participation in the loathesome practice of hunting by trying to classify it as a sport, go unchallenged… MRS J THORNTON Silverdale (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 9.10.02 CONCENTRATE ON SAVING FARMING - Further to Peter Pressland's letter in the Sentinel on the countryside march, I too observed the demonstration, and must comment he seems to have ignored the main reasons for the march which were rural poverty, loss of local services, bankruptcies and the overall collapse of farm/ food prices… Unfortunately, these very valid issues have been used as mere wrapping paper to be discarded once the core of the alliance's agenda, which is obviously the continuation of fox hunting could be revealed… Let us be rid of this anachronism and concentrate properly on saving farming and the wider country communities for future generations - JWB Baddeley Green (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 8.10.02 HYPOCRISY OF THE HUNTING SET - I would like to thank Mr Peter Presland for his pro-hunting letter. An amiable but revealing public relations exercise. Here, neatly encapsulated in 250 words, lies the mind-set of the hunt 'enthusiasts'. He's done a brilliant job conveying to us all what we had long suspected: they don't give a monkey's what they do nor what we think of them for doing it…. BRIAN WALKLET Tunstall (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 2.10.02 A-HUNTING WE WILL GO, MR BLAIR I was proud to be one of the 400,000-plus people who marched through London last Sunday in an effort to make the Government see sense about country sports and the country way of life. It was a chastening experience to be part of the biggest demonstration this country has ever seen. It was also the most peaceful. When will this Government learn the futility of criminalising a decent, law-abiding section of the population?... PETER PRESLAND Chairman, Staffordshire Countryside Alliance (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 10.10.02 FOXES KILL JUST TO FEED THEMSELVES - I am writing to protest about fox hunting. Did you know when someone goes fox hunting they send packs of hounds to wear the defenceless fox down and when the fox stops the hounds tear it apart?... Melissa Gallagher, aged 10, of Seabridge Junior School (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 10.10.02 Foxes could very soon become extinct - In reply to Trevor Hart's letter on Monday 30 September 2002; The 407,000 people who descended on London for the Liberty and Livelihood March, marched for their country way of life, for their Post Offices, Shops, Petrol Stations, Schools, Village Life and more importantly, their jobs… If shooting becomes the only way of keeping the fox population under control, the fox could very soon become extinct… JACY CUTTING, Barham Ipswich (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 10.10.02 Foxes help keep vermin at bay - Having heard and read so much lately about the Countryside and hunting debate I would firstly like to know who actually decides that the fox is a pest? Is it just the hunting fraternity who are afraid of losing their jobs and way of life? Having kept chickens, sheep and goats over twenty five years we have never found them a problem, even when we had a family of foxes in the field where the chickens roamed free… S TURNER (Mrs), Worcester Court, Gt Baddow, Chelmsford (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 10.10.02 Too many points for Mr Blair to get - It amuses me to think that the Prime Minister is supposed to do anything specific about the unspecific wishes of the Countryside March. Your leader of yesterday (EADT, Oct 4) says that “their concern was issues like rural policing, public transport, the closure of post offices…” whilst saying that the demonstrators were not protesting about either fox-hunting or the state of farming. Odd that. The eastern region director of the Countryside Alliance is reported by your paper to have said that “There has been nothing mentioned about fox hunting, which was the centrepiece of the march”… ignoring his dictatorial attitude, what is he expected to do about the countryside when told by the Countryside Alliance to leave the countryside alone, and by the NFU to do something about farming before it is too late? A G WOOD, Dallinghoo, Woodbridge (letter)

Evesham Journal 10.10.02 The true meaning of a rural community - I WOULD like to respond to Mr John Linwood's letter… Can I point out that as a 16-year-old, I am yet to be considered of legal age to vote, and as far I know I'm not destine to vote Conservative, so sorry Mr Linwood, but you're wrong again…. not all people who took part in the `Liberty and Livelihood March' are hunting-obsessed-toffs, even if they were, what's it got to do with you?.. MICHAEL EVANS, Sevincott Close, Stratford. (letter in archive)
Evesham Journal 3.10.02 Don't forget the silent rural dwellers - THE `Liberty and Livelihood March' may have been very well-attended; but don't forget there are about 14 million rural dwellers in this country. That makes about 13 and half million who didn't go on the march. What about their views? This march was about one thing: killing animals for fun... JOHN LINWOOD, Berrington Road, Shipston. (letter in archive)

Hereford Times 10.10.02 These are the reasons why - MADAM, Ms Compton asks what the Countryside March was for - and then lists many of the very issues involved. The March was a call to all at Westminster, whatever their political persuasion, that the countryside is in peril. The catalyst for the largest demonstration ever held in this country may have been the current government's attempt to ban hunting, but the participants were also voicing their concern about ALL the matters that concern the countryside… Jonathan Jackson, Hephill, Lugwardine. (letter in archive)
Hereford Times 3.10.02 But what was it all meant to be for? - MADAM, The countryside march was a great success in terms of numbers but the incoherence of its aims was less impressive... CAROLINE COMPTON, Croft Castle, Leominster (letter in archive)

Hereford Times 10.10.02 Where were the protesters then? - I would be interested to know from people who attended the Countryside Alliance march in London what "Liberty" they were marching to defend?.. Regarding the job losses in the countryside where were these people when Margaret Thatcher's government was destroying through political dogma, the shipping, steel and mining industries resulting in millions of job losses? John McGowan, Webtree Avenue, Hereford (letter in archive)

Hereford Times 10.10.02 Urban and rural share problems - How can the Countryside Alliance claim the march was about a range of countryside issues?.. The CA simply made this a multi-issue march because they knew there would be very little support for a single-issue, pro-hunting march. DANIEL HALL, Anarchist Federation, Peterchurch. (letter in archive)

EMTRYL
Western Daily Press 10.10.02 EURO DRUG BAN SHOOTS DOWN PHEASANT HUNTS Britain will soon be facing a seasonal glut of a food that was once the preserve of the wealthy - pheasant… But this could be the last year that the birds are available in such quantities. For the European Commission is now challenging the use of Emtryl, a drug which is routinely used to prevent some of the most common game bird diseases… (story)
Western Daily Press 10.10.02 DAILY PRESS FACT FILE - Pheasant shooting is worth an estimated £1billion a year to the rural economy. It has grown enormously in popularity in the past 20 years, with the spin-offs extending to hotels, pubs and restaurants which cater for shooting parties… (story)
Western Morning News 10.10.02 PHEASANT SHOOTING UNDER A CLOUD - Doubts about a drug used to keep pheasants healthy have cast a shadow over the start of the game-shooting season… Emtryl, an anti-protozoal, is the only cure for some of the most virulent diseases suffered by game birds, but it was banned in the USA a decade ago after research showed it caused a "significant increase in the occurrence of mammary tumours in rats". Four years later, Emtryl was prohibited by all member countries of the EU because of fears that it was a potential carcinogen. There was one exception - the British shooting industry was allowed to carry on using it to aid the rearing of partridge and pheasant…. "It's true that the Westcountry is one of the most important regions when it comes to shooting," I was told by BASC spokesman Jeffrey Olstead. "But let's keep this in perspective - this is a bit of a scare story. For a start, people must know that birds are treated with the drug not later than 28 days before shooting begins."…. (story)
Western Morning News 10.10.02 AND IF YOU'VE GOT A GUN... A total of 1,900 acres of wood and farmland with shooting and hunting rights have gone on the market in Exeter - and the lease will go to the highest bidder. The Pynes Estate is located just to the north of the city, between the Exe and Creedy rivers, around the village of Upton Pyne…. (story)

Grantham Journal 10.10.02 FLY FISHERS NET AWARD … Grantham Angling Association Fly Fishing Section has been awarded the Wild Trout Trust and Classic Malts Conservation Award 2002. Instead of carrying on buying fish from Derbyshire to stock the river, the group decided to spend money on engineering work to regenerate the brown trout population to grow naturally and support itself… (story in archive)

Western Morning News 10.10.02 MEP LEADS CALL FOR BAN ON ANIMAL TESTING - South West MEP Graham Watson is spearheading a campaign calling for a ban on the use of animals for testing cosmetic products… (story)

Blackpool Gazette 10.10.02 Animal Centre Victory … The trustees of the RSPCA's Blackpool and North Lancs branch have announced that the Longview Animal Home on Division Lane, Marton, will stay open. An announcement was not due until next month. But astounded by the public response, to a fund-raising appeal, the trustees have removed the threat of imminent closure…. (story)

Boston Standard 10.10.02 RSPCA wouldn’t help - ON A recent fishing trip another fisherman further up the bank asked for some help because he had found a swan with a broken wing. We phoned the RSPCA who said they would do nothing… Why wouldn’t the RSPCA help? They are supposed to prevent cruelty to animals, so why let that swan suffer a painfully slow death instead of humanely putting it to sleep as the vet did?.. My thanks go to the other fisherman who caught the swan and put it carefully into my car (he was not local) and to the vet at Kirton who gave up some of his Sunday to help a wild animal in distress. (letter)

Cambridge News 9.10.02 Foxhounds set to parade at race day - ORGANISERS of the massive Liberty and Livelihood march in London last month will have a presence at the race day at Huntingdon on Friday… Mrs Dawson said they had been approached by the Fitzwilliam (Milton) hounds from Peterborough and could see no reason why they should not appear…. Richard Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, will also be on hand to discuss the alliance and its aims… (story)

Market Rasen Mail 9.10.02 A HUNTING BAN WOULD AFFECT THE RACECOURSE - IT WAS very much a day for the hounds as well as the horses when Market Rasen Racecourse staged its Countryside Day last Sunday. Pip Adams, Racecourse Manager, said: "The whole afternoon has summed up our feelings about the countryside. People should understand there will be a big knock on effect for the racecourse should hunting be banned… The Blankney, South Wold, Brocklesby and Burton Hunts all featured in the programme together with the East Lincs Basset Hounds and the Per Ardua Beagles. All these packs hunt within Lincolnshire (story in archive)

Epsom Post 9.10.02 Hunting pictures stay up …Leigh Parsons, manager at The Fox and Hounds in Walton-on-the-Hill, said: "A surveyor from Six Continents Brewery which owns the pub was looking round and saw there were some hunting scenes among all the other pictures of country life we have on the walls. He suggested that in the current mood about hunting it might be better to take them down. But as far as I am concerned none of my customers have raised any objections to them and they will stay." Although there is no fox hunting in the area there are some riders who support The Surrey Union Hunt… (story)

Lancashire Evening Post 9.10.02 A final goodbye to dad 'loved by everybody'... A procession of huntsmen and hounds led a horse-drawn carriage to say goodbye to a battling dad-of-two. The funeral cortege made its way through the streets of St Micheals, near Garstang, to pay tribute to villager Nigel Fletcher. Nigel, a supporter of the local Holcombe Hunt, fought a cancerous brain tumour for six months before passing away at the end of September… (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 9.10.02 URBAN PEOPLE HAVE RIGHTS TOO - So, Simon Hart was marching in the name of liberty (Letters, October 1). He and the other marchers were there "to stand up for the cause of liberty, to ask no more than to live our lives free from state interference and to protect livelihoods". My guess is that he is happy to accept the sort of state interference which subsidises the farming industry to the tune of £3 billion a year… Mr Hart should recognise that those of us living in towns and cities continue to pay for subsidies to the countryside. If we are paying to support his way of life then we have rights too. We have the right to demand that he and his neighbours act in a civilised manner and stop the cruelty of hunting with hounds. KEITH WALDON, Abbeydale (letter)

Western Daily Press 9.10.02 TIME TO GET WORLDLYWISE - Sir - Hunting is legal in France, Ireland and the US. Spain has bullfighting, and the shooting habits of the Italians are by no means beyond criticism…. Where, then, does Mr Nowlan suggest we go on holiday and acquire our food?... J W Alexander Corsley Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.10.02 HIGH PRICE FOR OUR COUNTRY LIFE - Sir - In response to Barry Nowlan's letter (October 4) concerning country people. I was a town girl from London when I joined the Women's Land Army in 1941. I knew absolutely nothing about country life. It seemed an idyllic existence, but I soon learned differently! City people are so far removed from the basics of life and what it means to pit oneself against nature and the elements… M Chivers Marshfield South Gloucestershire (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 9.10.02 Majority of 'incomes' are below average - Your leader column of October 4 misses the real concerns of the countryside and whether those who marched in London are being listened to… Can the countryside can safely be left to farmers? Farmers who have ripped out thousands of miles of hedgerows for fat subsidies, causing loss of bio-diversity. Farmers who have poured billions of tons of chemicals onto fields and polluted watercourses - at public expense to clean up. Farmers who have rushed to produce animals in conditions so appalling they have to be pumped up with anti-biotics - causing growing anti-biotics resistance among animal eating humans. Farmers who transport live animals around Britain and Europe to take advantage of subsidies… DEREK METSON, Queen Street, Brightlingsea (letter)

Scotsman 9.10.02 Primeval instinct? - It is quite wrong to say, as do Bryce Campbell and Eric Begbie (Letters, 2 October), that we owe our existence to hunting… JAMES BOYLE, Eastwoodmains Road, Clarkston, Glasgow (letter)
Scotsman 2.10.02 Hunting So Kay Thow (Letters, 27 September) thinks that the Countryside march requires that, as a race, we take a hard look at who we have become. But homo sapiens survived because we developed hunting weapons and used dogs to make our hunting practices more efficient... Bryce Campbell, Eric Begbie ALLOA, CLACKMANNANSHIRE (letter)
Scotsman 30.9.02 Hunting Kay Thow (Letters, 27 September) perpetuates the myth that hunting is cruel. She and her ilk seem to imagine that if a fox, or any other wild creature, is not killed by humans, it will die peacefully of old age. Such ignorance is exactly why the Countryside March was necessary - to educate the urban population… Jean Johnston UPPER BALGEDDIE, KINROSS (letter)
Scotsman 27.9.02 I find myself yet again appalled at the arrogance of the human race, which is highlighted by the countryside march. Time and time again, I hear foxes being referred to as vermin. We need only look at the state of the planet, and the real vermin would be revealed as ourselves, human beings…. KAY THOW, Telford Road, Inverness (letter)

Sunderland Echo 9.10.02 Mass disobedience - CHRIS MULLIN MP in his Echo Column (Sept 27), asks how seriously should we take the impressive turn-out by 407,000 supporters of the Countryside Alliance? I would suggest very seriously, because if the majority of our MPs vote for a total ban on fox-hunting with dogs then I fear all hell will be let loose in the countryside… In 1941 during the Second World War, 4,000 Kent miners went on strike despite the fact that it was then illegal. To make prosecutions manageable 1,000 strikers were selected and prosecutions were ordered…. When the first few miners were sent to prison, the dispute worsened. Eventually the Home Secretary intervened and ordered the miners to be released from jail – the rest were fined, but 900 refused to pay and as they could not be accommodated in Canterbury Prison the clerk to the justices was advised not to enforce the penalties… C McFarlane, Sunderland (letter)

Shropshire Star 9.10.02 Hunting is for people who enjoy killing …K.Jones' letter, of September 1, does puzzle me. He criticises Phillip Sykes as being ignorant of nature, yet himself displays a basic lack of knowledge of natural history… we are the only country where we feel we need to control it by chasing it with hounds… The issue is one of morality. Hunting is done because the participants enjoy it, they enjoy taking part in a blood sport which has unnecessary cruelty at the centre of its activity. Geoff Handley, Whitchurch (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 9.10.02 Rural life has been hijacked by townies - The Countryside Alliance seem intent on continually blaming the government for choking the life out of the countryside. Well the government is not to blame for this. What is to blame is mechanisation of the farming industry… thousands of people were made redundant and forced out of there homes to look for work in towns and cities… along came the wealthy town and city dwellers they bought all the empty properties and converted them all into luxury homes, turned the countryside into a playground and started calling themselves the Countryside Alliance and haven't stop moaning since. Steve Waddington, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 9.10.02 Hijacking claim is so annoying - Mr Frank Ashfield tells us that he did not take his family on the Liberty and Livelihood March "because the Countryside Alliance had allowed the hunt brigade to hijack the event"… It was obvious to anyone present that a diverse range of rural interests were represented by the marchers, judging by the wide variety of placards carried… Much of the finance for the recent event was raised by hunting supporters, who have long tended to pick up the bill for other rural issues. It is, therefore, doubly insulting to be accused of hijacking the march…. B Lewis Stapleton, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Borehamwood & Elstree Times 9.10.02 Anti-hunting folk angling for a ban - So Christine Brock (Letters, October 3) thinks that the animal rights activists do not have angling in their sights?... The RSPCA's policies on animal welfare include this little gem: "The RSPCA is opposed to the infliction of pain and suffering on any animal in the name of sport." To continue: "[It] believes that the current practices in angling involve the infliction of pain and suffering on fish."…. Ms Brock says that the majority of people dislike foxhunting. She's right. But it's a pretty shabby kind of government that tries to buy cheap popularity by picking on an unpopular minority. David McKee, Borehamwood Conservatives (letter)

Northern Echo 9.10.02 FOX HUNTING - I MUST take issue with Harry Mead over his column (Echo, Oct 2). This Government commissioned an inquiry, headed by Lord Burns, to review the whole question of fox hunting…. It would appear that this was not what the Government wanted to hear, so the findings of Lord Burns's commission have been quickly shelved and conveniently forgotten. Leave the countryside, Harry Mead, to get on with what it knows is best. - William Trotter, Staindrop (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 4.10.02 FOX HUNTING - LIKE many class-warriors, Harry Mead (Echo, Oct 2) is clearly disconcerted that so many people were prepared to demonstrate in opposition to a ban on hunting. Far from signifying "ever-advancing respect for animals", the prospect of a hunt ban demonstrates ever-decreasing respect for rural people… Let me remind him that Labour won just 43 per cent of the vote, gaining an even lower total number of votes than the last Conservative government. Nor has it ever promised a ban… - Alasdair Mitchell, Stocksfield, Northumberland. (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 2.10.02 No place for fox hunting in rural life by Harry Mead ...the abolition of hunting is in the long term interest of the rural community. (story in archive)

Worcester Evening News 9.10.02 Death of a hunted stag - A RECENT letter from a reader about stag hunting caused me to recall an incident that was reported in the Observer Magazine some time ago…. Make no mistake about it this is what the Countryside Alliance march on September 22 was all about - their "right" to inflict unbelievable cruelty on animals that cannot speak for themselves. MARION J LARGE, Worcester (letter in archive)

Horncastle News 9.10.02 ‘Peasants’ made a bold stand - On September 22 history was made. The most peaceful, civilised, desperate, largest public protest ever in England… The urban mind would have Homo Sapiens as the last predator in its home-made theme park. Somehow politics must be balanced for the countryside and its peasants to be preserved as a commercial unit. To enable them to ensure everyone enjoys the right to roam. We may have to start roaming in the urban jungle unexpectedly. HENRY FOSTER, Woodhall Spa (letter)

THERESA THOM ANTI ANGLING LETTER
Bromsgrove Advertiser 9.10.02 Rising to the bait? - Theresa Thom's recent letter does my heart good. It may be the letter that finally wakes up the anglers of this country to the fact that 'Animal Welfare' supporters only ever see one side of the argument and - no matter what logical debate/discussion you put up - it matters not one jot… Anglers of Britan rise up and tell these people in no uncertain terms to go forth. Part-time angler (name submitted), Woodlands Road, Rubery. (letter in archive)
Bath Chronicle 3.10.02 WRONG ANGLE - WRONG ANGLE - I am writing with regards to the letter received from Teresa Thorn, looking for support on a ban on angling. It seems your paper was not the only one in the country to receive this propaganda letter, all with the same story of this so-called cruel fishing contest... NICK SHINN Garrick Road Twerton (letter)
Kilmarnock Standard 27.9.02 Born again fish … Ms Thom must have had a horrific dream or had a session with our friend Johhnie Walker last week,or maybe she was a fish in another life…. E. Barclay, Kilmarnock. (letters may be in archive)
Kilmarnock Standard 27.9.02 Wonderful sport - IN REPLY to the Theresa Thom of London letter of last week, it would appear that she has her lines crossed. In Scotland we do not keep live fish in a net… Jay Steel, Moscow, Ladies Scottish Fishing Team Member (letters may be in archive)
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 25.9.02 Fishing contributes to the state of the economy - What an amazing piece of con-tradictory fiction Ms Thom wrote about angling… Best stay in London madam, and put your own house in order before coming up here, being condescending to women and interfering. Mrs T. Ferriday, Ashill Road, Rednal. (letter in archive)
Banbury Guardian 19.9.02 ANGLERS DO TAKE REAL CARE - I feel I must write in response to the letter I have just read headed “Time to ban this cruel sport” (Banbury Guardian, September 5)… On August 29, I and a couple of friends went to Boddington Resovoir for a day’s fishing. I was appalled that some anti-bloodsports activist came along walking their dogs and allowed them to run down into the waters and jump around, with no respect for property or other people’s feelings… On returning to our vehicles in the small car park, we discovered that one of our cars had had the window smashed… Maybe they will try to ban pigeon racing and greyhound racing, both activities I currently enjoy, as their next targets… Geoff Bateman, Banbury
Banbury Guardian 19.9.02 WHAT IS TO COME? - I HOPE the letter (Banbury Guardian, September 5) regarding fishing hit home to every country person as an insight of what is to come… Daphne Lock, Great Bourton (letter)
Market Rasen Today 18.9.02 Fishing for a ban on angling - Editor - I had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular tourist spot near your office on Saturday…. Theresa Thom London (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 18.9.02 CAUGHT OUT? - You recently published a letter from Theresa Thom, giving wholesale criticism about angling which had been witnessed by the writer during a recent visit to Grimsby… It now transpires that the letter was sent in the same format to a number of regional papers throughout the country at the same time… The details have been highlighted in the current edition of Anglers' Mail, dated September 14. G Allison, Florence Wright Avenue, Louth. (story)
Swindon Evenin g Advertiser 16.9.02 Letter writer had us hook, line and sinker - THIS is in reply to a letter that appeared in your paper last week. It also appeared in our local paper, the Suffolk Free Press… Teresa Thom supposedly visited a local fishing spot in Sudbury and witnessed an act of great cruelty. She must be a very busy lady. According to my research she also visited Cambridge, Banbury in Oxfordshire and Swindon at the same time…. MALCOLM BLAZEY, Long Melford, Suffolk (letter in archive)
Bath Chronicle 13.9.02 BAN ON FISHING - I had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular fishing spot near your office on Saturday… TERESA THOM James Street, London (letter)
Wiltshire Times 13.9.02 Something fishy going on - THE person who wrote the letter about fishing (Wiltshire Times, September 6) is so badly misinformed about angling that I have my doubts that it comes from an individual but one of the anti sports groups. They gave no information as to where or when this fishing match took place, if it ever did…. If Theresa Thom does exist I would inform her that some of the largest angling clubs in the country are based in London as angling is a sport for all, not just people living outside our cities. TERRY FELL, Chairman, South West Region, National Federation of Anglers, Devizes. (letter in archive)
Rutland & Stamford Mercury 13.9.02 Beware, angling is under attack - I am writing to inform you that the letter headlined ‘Time to ban angling’ (Letters, September 6) was sent with a false name and address attached. Friends of mine in the angling world tell me a group of animal rights activists is responsible for the letters…. Some extremists have in the past set fire to angling shops and in the current climate of terrorism now more than ever we need to use our common sense to stop such activists from causing any trouble… MRS S LARKINSON Cliff Crescent, Stamford
Rutland & Stamford Mercury 13.9.02 You’ve been duped I AM writing to let you know that you have been duped into printing a letter from Theresa Thom… The remarkable Ms Thom appears to have witnessed an identical fishing match close to the offices of virtually every local newspaper in the country on the same day. I AM writing to let you know that you have been duped into printing a letter from Theresa Thom’, which is a fake and a lie, as is the name under which she writes. The remarkable Ms Thom appears to have witnessed an identical fishing match close to the offices of virtually every local newspaper in the country on the same day. PETER SHARPE Bourne (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 12.9.02 HORROR AT FISHING CONTEST I had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular tourist spot near your office on Saturday…. Now that we have banned hunting with dogs in this country I hope that this evil practice wll be banned as soon as possible… Theresa Thom (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 12.9.02 LEAVE PEACE-LOVING ANGLERS BE - If Theresa Thom (Viewpoint, September 3) wants to take up her "sword" against cruelty and vandalism, and something that seems to also take up many thousands of police hours, and cost the health service millions, she should start a campaign to ban football… Roy Harrison, Pelham Road, Immingham (story)
Berwickshire News 12.9.02 Behold! The same letter in The Orcadian - What a heart-rending letter "Cruel Fishermen' (Berwickshire News, Sept 5th) from your London contributor. On opening The Orcadian of the same date behold an identical letter, down to the last detail… Perhaps on her return, as she promises to do at the end of the month, she will write again to let us into the secret of her amazing ability to be at both ends of the country at once. F J HUNT, 2 The Square, Cockburnspath. (letter)
Malvern Gazette 11.9.02 Threat angling could be on ban `hit list' - I had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular fishing spot near your office on Sturday…Now that we are trying to ban hunting with dogs in this country I am sure that we must ban this evil practice as soon as possible… Theresa Thom, James Street, London. (letter in archive)
Forres Gazette 11.9.02 Stop evil of fishing - I had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular fishing spot near your office recently… THERESA THOM, 54 James St, London W1M 5HT (letter in archive)
Market Rasen Mail 11.9.02 Fishing for a ban on angling - had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular tourist spot near your office on Saturday… Now we have banned hunting with dogs in this country I hope this evil practice will be banned as soon as possible… Theresa Thom London (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 10.9.02 STUDY FACTS ON FISHING - In reply to a letter from Theresa Thom, regarding banning angling. This person needs to get some stark facts correct as regarding this sport. Firstly, having lived in Grimsby all my life, I do not know of any fishing spots near your office…. Unlike hunting with dogs, angling is not a blood sport, all fish are returned alive and well. So study all the facts Theresa and get a life. B Ambridge, Darwin Court, Grimsby (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 9.9.02 End the cruelty - I had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular fishing spot in Swindon recently…. Theresa Thom James Street, London (letter in archive)
Cambridge News 9.9.02 Just stop carping - From Colin Brett - Hollytrees, Bar Hill - SO TERESA Thom wants to ban fishing (Letters, September 4). I wonder, would there be any fish if it wasn’t for fishing and fishermen/ women making sure the waters of this land are clean enough to support fish and other aquatic life?... (letter in archive)
Cambridge News 9.9.02 From Martin Tingey - Queens Park, Waterbeach - IF IT distressed Ms Thom so much by allegedly witnessing “an act of great cruelty” while visiting a popular fishing spot on Saturday last - why go there in the first place?..
Cambridge News 9.9.02 From Margaret Hunt, Long Furlow, Over - ANGLING is one of the biggest sports in this country, which is why there are many “popular fishing spots” around. As for it being an evil practice, there are a lot more things going on in this world that justify the word “evil” than fishing…. (letters)
Kent/Sussex Courier 6.9.02 ACT OF GREAT CRUELTY - Theresa Thom, London (letter)
Wiltshire Times 6.9.02 Shock at sport - Theresa Thom, James St, London. (letter in archive)
Kilmarnock Standard 6.9.02 Fishing should be next target - Theresa Thom, London (letter may be archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 6.9.02 SIR - I had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular fishing spot near your office on Saturday… Now that we have banned hunting with dogs in this country, I am sure that we must ban this evil practice as soon as possible… Theresa Thom, James Street, London W1M (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 6.9.02 Fishermen are true guardians of waters - There was certainly something fishy about Theresa Thom's letter… The fact is the Countryside Alliance is rather miffed at most angling bodies' total rejection of their attempts to coerce anglers into supporting the doomed practice of hunting with hounds… I suggest that Theresa Thom is actually a supporter of fox hunting, and has submitted this desperate letter in a futileÊattempt to provoke the support of anglers… Anglers are now the only effective guardians of this country's water resources, and those who seek to criticise anglers have shown themselves to be completely indifferent to the true threats to our native fish… Peter Sharpe, Lincs (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 6.9.02 The basic rules of angling contests …I can only assume that the writer knows nothing about this sport or they would not have written such an ill-informed letter to you. It is now unlawful to use barbed hooks, any decent fisherman/woman would not dream of handling the fish without a wet cloth…. Mrs Margaret Barnes, Castlefields, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 6.9.02 Was Christ barbaric? - Fishing is not a sport which has just appeared overnight… I know a lot of fishermen and the welfare of the fish is always their top priority. We can ban walking dogs next, because the lead around their neck chokes them…. Name and address supplied (letter in archive)
Aberdeen Evening Express 5.9.02 NEW ANGLE ON ANIMAL CRUELTY - I had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular fishing spot when I visited Aberdeen recently… Theresa Thom, London (letter)
Bolton Evening News 4.9.02 Against all of this angling - I HAD the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular fishing spot near your office on Saturday. A group of people were engaged in a fishing contest. I could not believe that this hideous and grotesquely cruel practice is still permitted under British Law… We must ban this evil practice as soon as possible. I shall be returning to your area at the end of the month and looking for people who will support a ban on fishing. Teresa Thom, James Street, London (letter)
Cambridge News 4..9.02 Now let's ban fishing - I had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular fishing spot near your office on Saturday…Please tell your readers that if they ever see this evil practice they are to approach the fishermen and women and tell them to stop… From Theresa Thom, James Street, London W1 (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 3.9.02 CALL FOR BAN - I had the considerable displeasure of witnessing an act of great cruelty on a visit to a popular fishing spot near your office on Saturday… The poor fish were being dragged through the water with an evil barbed hook in their mouth and then having their cold blooded flesh scalded by being handled by warm-blooded men and unbelievably women also… Now that we have banned hunting with dogs in this country, I am sure that we must ban this evil practice as soon as possible…. Theresa Thom, James Street, London (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 9.10.02 KILLING IS NOT SOLUTION - Tony Dean has been chairman of Gloucestershire Badger Group for more than 10 years. He believes the killing of badger populations won't stop the spread of bovine TB…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen WHY CULL HAS TO TAKE PLACE - Dairy farmer Andrew Cozens has lost more than a third of his cows to bovine TB in the last year and is under restrictions which prevent him selling any live animals off his Eastington farm…. "Farmers aren't against badgers, we're against the spread of TB." (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 8.10.02 'BADGER CULL WON'T STOP SPREAD OF TB' - Tony Dean reckons culling badgers has no impact on the spread of TB in cattle. The Gloucestershire Badger Group spokesman was responding to new government figures which show Britain could be on the brink of the worst bovine tuberculosis outbreak in 35 years… (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 9.10.02 Anti-fur lobby thanks - Members of the Respect for Animals "Fighting the Fur Trade" campaign send their most sincere thanks to all those generous people who donate to their street collection in Ipswich on Saturday, August 24… NICK BROOKS, Respect for Animals, Nottingham (letter)

Scotsman 8.10.02 A platform for bigotry and sectarianism …Holyrood has already got into enough trouble by seeming to play to the gallery (on fox-hunting or Section 28) rather than fixing the NHS or our schools…. (story)

Worcester Evening News 8.10.02 Barbaric pursuit is a lost cause - REGARDING the recent countryside march, I think that there are some genuine rural problems - such as affordable housing, public transport and village amenities - but regrettably the tally-ho brigade hijacked the event… L SPITERI, Worcester (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 8.10.02 Anti-hunters' money no longer welcome? - THE letter from M E Hammond regarding the Countryside Alliance and its insistence on including support for hunting in its March Charter raises some interesting points. I wonder how many people, including myself and Mr Hammond, felt unable to support the Alliance March for just this reason… A REECE, Worcester (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 26.9.02 It IS about hunting... YOUR editorial headlined "Liberty march is vital to everyone (Voice of Worcester, September 14) stated that "people shouldn't make the mistake that this is just about hunting". However, Richard Burge, as head of policy for the Countryside Alliance, has announced via the website "anyone who does not subscribe to all five principles of our march - and these crucially include the right for people to decide for themselves whether they may hunt - will not be welcome on it"…. M E HAMMOND, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 8.10.02 'Leak' is theft - WHILE we have the present arrogant and dictatorial Government it is a great consolation to know that in Prince Charles we have a true champion of the people and long may he continue to wield his pen in defence of freedom, justice and common-sense - in spite of the churlish remarks of lesser men… H S J Courtier, Exmouth (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 SPECTRE OF DICTATORSHIP HANGS OVER ENGLAND - If His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall is to be gagged by political correctness when high treason stalks once lofty halls of power in Westminster… M G Hall, Tavistock (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 Letters are worthwhile - I WRITE with regard to two events which can have fundamental effect, the March for Liberty and Livelihood in London and the Prince of Wales' letters. The march epitomises that feeling of Meldrewism due to Tony Blair and his Government ignoring the wishes and feelings of the people… The Prince should enjoy, as a citizen, those time honoured rights and freedoms of all citizens, providing he is not involved in any anti-state or political activity….Mervyn Madge, Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 Talking sense - THANK God for Prince Charles! Of course we need his views on the future of the countryside, farming, organic growing, fishing, on all of which he expresses himself lucidly, from a lively mind and considerable first-hand knowledge… Mary Varcoe, Par, Cornwall (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 DIVERSITY OF PRINCE'S BUCOLIC OPINIONS …Charles is likeable but misguided - an agrarian philosopher and also an atavist, who promotes organic farming and yet has the bloodlust of the hunter… I loved horse-riding and I rode on a fox-hunt, but no fox was found. I soon became opposed to all blood-sports… In 1968 I felt a sudden revulsion from the taking of life and I have eaten no meat since - L T Sargent, Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 WHY PRINCE CHARLES IS RIGHT TO AIR HIS OPINION - B Williams, Helston Cornwall (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 Long live GB - I QUITE agree with Prince Charles writing letters on things that concern us all… G Treglown, Launceston Cornwall, England (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 Give us more …God Bless the Prince of Wales, and long may his letters continue… A E Wilkinson, Bideford (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 Thanks due - I THINK it's great that Prince Charles is airing views to the Prime Minister and others… Mrs M E Hilliard, Saltash Cornwall (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 We agree MY husband and I agree totally with Prince Charles views on our countryside, and the treatment of the people's livelihoods within it. Joy Howard, Winkleigh Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 Well done - WELL done, Prince Charles, a wonderful idea keep up the good work… S Stacey, Bodmin (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 PRINCE ARTICULATES CONCERNS OF PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE - Of course Prince Charles is right to write letters to members of the Government; it is utterly ridiculous to claim that he is abusing his position by so doing. We are told that the Government is "listening", but how can it be listening when it turns a deaf ear to the voices of 400,000 people?... Alexander Markin, Penzance (letter)
Western Morning News 8.10.02 Let Charles go skiing …This man should never be King and head of the country's church. Let him go skiing and we'll have an elected leader. A Smythe, Goonhavern, Truro (letter)

Western Morning News 8.10.02 Just blood lust? WHAT a lot of nonsense about hunting being good for the community and the countryside. Why can't the riders have competitions chasing across the countryside amongst themselves… Mrs Dorothy Knowles, Crediton (letter)

Western Morning News 8.10.02 OUR indomitable leader seems determined to pay his "blood price" to the Americans in the currency of potentially thousands of agonising human deaths. At the same time, his high principles require that he provoke and antagonise hundreds of thousands of his own citizens the length and breadth of the country, for the spurious good of foxes… Joanna Stubbs, Silverton Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 8.10.02 TORIES ALSO SHARE THE BLAME -Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael's "bewilderment" as to the causes of the extraordinary depth of feeling demonstrated in London on September 22 is understandable, given his fatuous comparison with the anti-apartheid cause in Africa which was plainly much more intelligible and sympathetic to him than any suffering of his fellow-countrymen could conceivably be… A long line of former Conservative administrations is equally to blame in their refusal to back the food producers of this country by constantly admitting cheap imports of any quality and at any price…. Jerome Gardner Lynton, North Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 8.10.02 THERE 'TIZ, BLAIR IS HERE TO STAY A WHILE - Well, "there 'tiz" as they say down here in the Westcountry - they that was born and bred down this way that is, and didn't make the trip up to the big city like a lot of others did, to make their presence known to one and all, and in megaphoned voices, complain noisily about the hard time they're having since they came down this way to live… Les Terry, Teignmouth (letter)

Western Morning News 8.10.02 Getting facts straight - IF Michael Toms had taken the trouble to join the Countryside Alliance march, he would find that 99 per cent of the marchers were not the "titled landed gentry and their lackeys", but honest hardworking country-minded people who are sick and tired of being treated with contempt and who can no longer contain their frustration and anger… G Dymond, Yarnscombe, Barnstaple (letter)
Western Morning News 1.10.02 LET THOSE WHO LOOK AFTER THE COUNTRYSIDE GET ON WITH IT - When will people such as Michael Tom of St Austell and Michael H Black of Exmouth (WMN Views, September 18) realise that the Liberty and Livelihood march was for just that? We are not all huntsmen, I am certainly not landed gentry or one of their "lackeys"… The problem with people like Mr Tom and Mr Black is they have the Bambi/Thumper complex. They need to live in the real world. S Strawbridge, Launceston (letter)
Western Morning News 18.9.02 Warm welcome - I WONDER what will happen on the day that the so-called "real Countryside Alliance", made up of titled landed gentry and their lackeys, go on their protest march into London? Will they be greeted by the infamous riot police as were the poll tax protesters and miners and steel workers?... Michael Tom, St Austell (letter)

Western Morning News 8.10.02 FARMERS SHOULD STOP EXPECTING LARGE HANDOUTS -I never realised the liberty of people to chase small furry animals around a field and then get a pack of wild dogs to rip them to pieces was so important…. For many years after the war we felt that there were a number of strategically important industries that had to be protected no matter what - farming was one, as was coal, steel and the railways, but no more. Farmers need to recognise that simple fact and stop looking for handouts…. Dennis Treleaven, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 8.10.02 ALTERNATIVE COUNTRY MARCH - With so many away in London, the Sunday of the Liberty and Livelihood march was a good time to take to the roads and lanes of this glorious county… R A Gagie, Paignton (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 25.9.02 ALTERNATIVE COUNTRYSIDE LANE MARCH - …I agree with many of the things which they travelled to the capital for, but the march was hijacked by a group who hunt with hounds and that I certainly can't condone. Hence the need for an alternative countryside match. My aim was to walk across the county… R A GAGIE, All Hallows Road, Paignton (letter)

Shropshire Star 8.10.02 Setting the record straight on fox hunting - It seems that the more fanciful anti-hunting stories are usually written by anonymous correspondents. Such as the story of the week-old fox cub that was found wandering "...having lost its whole family a few days before". Week-old cubs cannot wander and at this age, the vixen lies with the cubs underground, so is safe from hounds…. Keith Erlandson, Llangollen (letter in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 8.10.02 ALLIANCE PROTEST WAS REALLY ABOUT POLITICS I write in support of Stuart Walters's letter about the Countryside Alliance rally in London (Postbox, September 26). You would need a heart of stone not to laugh at the continued insistence that the Liberty and Livelihood march was not just about fox hunting and dislike of the Government. It was, and just about every banner and marcher interviewed confirmed it… Councillor Paul Lloyd, Winch Wen, Swansea (letter)

Bath Chronicle 8.10.02 MARCH WASN'T JUST FOR HOORAY HENRYS I am writing in response to the letter from Laura Curtis with the headline 'Countryside march a waste of energy'. I went on the march, not to support fox hunting, although I do ride nearly every day and enjoy the countryside… I marched with vicars, schoolteachers, village postmen and women, gamekeepers, smallholders, pig and dairy farmers - the list could go on. Yes, half of the marchers were pro-hunting, but only half and the people I marched with did not in the least feel that their energy was wasted… CAROL BARRETT, Walcot Street, Bath (letter)
Bath Chronicle 2.10.02 COUNTRYSIDE MARCH A WASTE OF ENERGY - I would like to respond to AC Welsh, who wrote in support of the Countryside March, and fox hunting. I would just like to point out that the majority of people in this country are against hunting with dogs and believe fox hunting is a cruel and out-dated tradition. We have not had a similar march against hunting, this is mainly because we know we are in the majority and it is only a matter of time until hunting is banned... LAURA CURTIS Willow Close Bath (letter)
Bath Chronicle 30.9.02 ANTI-BLOODSPORTS PEOPLE HAVING CHANGE OF HEART - I attended the countryside rally held in Hyde Park in July 1997, where 25,000 law-abiding protesters gathered in defence of foxhunting. In March '98 I returned to London in defence of field sports, where countryside marchers totalled at least 250,000. Last Sunday saw me there once again. Police agree with the organisers' count of 407,791 marchers…. How large has a minority to be before taken seriously by this Government?... AC WELSH Walcot Street Bath (letter)

Liverpool Echo 8.10.02 …Where was the caring Prince during the miners' strikes, when thousands lost their jobs, or during the uproar and injustice surrounding the Poll Tax or the dockers' dispute? The "caring" Prince cares about fox hunting and living as they have always lived, in a protected little world of privilege and luxury. Paul A Hampson, Aigburth (letter)

Western Mail 8.10.02 Hunting to be limit of field sport action - COUNTRY sports enthusiasts have welcomed assurances from Labour politicians they have no plans to impose further restrictions on shooting. Also at the Labour Party conference… At a fringe meeting on shooting and conservation, organised by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (Basc), Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael praised shooting for its environmental record and re-affirmed the manifesto pledge not to attack the sport… Basc's director of communications Christopher Graffius said after the meeting, "It was an incredibly positive debate, the statements which came out were very encouraging." (story)

North East Evening Gazette 8.10.02 Gun club staring down the barrel at nature site - Matthew Pardo, Environment Reporter, Evening Gazette - A shooting club is locked in a battle with wildlife experts over the future of land set to become an internationally-important bird reserve. Conservationists want the gun club off the site near Port Clarence and say letting them continue would put public safety at risk. But the shooters say they have managed the site for over 40 years, without Tees twitchers knowing they even existed, and in that time haven't had an incident or accident…. (story)

North West Evening Mail 8.10.02 PHEASANT SEASON CRUELTY - WITH another pheasant shooting season now upon us, an investigation by Animal Aid makes shocking reading. By exploiting the confusion in different government departments as to whether the mass production and shooting of these birds is sport or agriculture, the industry is costing the British taxpayer millions of pounds through the non-payment of VAT and business rates… BECKY LILLY Campaigns Officer for Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

Cambridge News 8.10.02 Coursers trapped in Operation Sparrow POLICE in Cambridgeshire have moved against illegal hare coursers in a county-wide operation. Dozens of coursers were stopped and spoken to by officers at the weekend as part of Operation Sparrow after they descended on the county from across Britain. Many will now be receiving a court summons in the post and could face fines running into hundreds of pounds… (story)

Daily Record 8.10.02 Puppy fear - I WAS dismayed to hear that East Ayrshire council's licensing committee have issued a breeders licence, subject to planning permission, for a new puppy farm at Waterside Farm, Galston… Becky Lilly, Campaigns officer for Animal Aid (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 8.10.02 UNFAIR TO ANIMALS - After reading Mr Richard Peakes' letter (Mail, October 3) I, too, reacted in the same way… We are all aware of the abuse and cruelty of innocent animals that takes places across the world and, being an avid animal lover, it turns my stomach. People who class bullfighting as sport and entertainment to me are warped… Mrs B Bennett, Mill Lane, Kirk Ella. (letter)

Scotsman 7.10.02 KATIE GRANT: Tories putting themselves in line for a fall … BAD luck if you have been broken into in the Aberdeen area recently. The reason the police are too busy to deal with burglars is that the idiotic nature of Lord Watson’s Protection of Wild Mammals Act means that policemen spend an increasing number of hours talking to the procurator-fiscal about whether a hound killed a fox deliberately or not…. I doubt whether foxes care much whether death comes through a shotgun or the jaws of the hounds used to flush them out. Rather, consternation in the fox population will currently be focused on the fact that since Lord "Bambi" Watson’s efforts on their behalf, more have been killed than ever before…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 7.10.02 LOATHED VIEW OF DEMOCRACY - I don't particularly like fox-hunting. I don't particularly like those who practise it. I loathe and fear Steve Haines' vision of democracy (Letters, September 24)… I, for one, would defend anyone from his proposed tyranny of the electorate TONY PHELPS, Lower High Street, Newnham-on-Severn (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 24.9.02 NOW GET READY FOR DRAG-HUNTS Just a quick reply to Joint Master of Berkeley Hunt Henry Berkeley's quote in The Citizen (September 17). He stated that he hopes Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael "listens to public opinion and does not ban hunting with dogs". Surely a bad choice of words. If Mr Michael does listen to public opinion, it will be banned… STEVE HAINES, Tuffley, Gloucester (story)

Western Daily Press 7.10.02 HUNTING BILL WAS FLAWED - Lionel Hutt's letter under the headline Tony should honour 1997 election pledges in Saturday's Western Daily is a classic example of "long on rhetoric and short on substance"… The Scottish Parliament uniquely has a scrutineering process to assess the value of a Bill to the Scottish People, after 17 months it recommended that the bill to ban hunting should not proceed… Mal Treharne Countryside Alliance Aley Somerset (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 7.10.02 COSY SET-UP With reference to the report on the Liberty and Livelihood march, I can tell you that the marchers were wasting their time. Mr Blair will take no notice of them at all. He knows full well that 99 out of every 100 registered electors who joined in the march will, at the next general election, vote in exactly the same way as they have done before, so nothing will change… LJ IRVING, Stonehouse (letter)

Western Morning News 7.10.02 DEMOCRACY REPLACED BY DIRECT PROTESTS - Both Neil Young and Kate Ironside have recently raised important issues which have a certain resonance with each other, namely the exercise of democracy in this country. Neil wrote in the context of the Liberty and Livelihood march in London, and Kate on the probability that Iraq will blow the euro referendum off the radar screen. Both, however, pursued a line of thought with striking similarities, namely that the constitutional process is suffering from varying degrees of disenchantment from the electorate…. If this Government brushes this protest aside, then we can expect people to take direct action in ways we may all regret. John Kelly, Exmouth (letter)

Yorkshire Post 7.10.02 Parties and pressure groups - From: EW Beechey, Eastfield Lane, Kellington, Goole. I am reliably informed that the Countryside Alliance had a stand inside the Labour Party Conference… However, I wonder if the Conservative Party will offer the same facility to the League Against Cruel Sports… (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times (7.10.02) People may not obey this divisive law - We are told that there could be disobedience if the Hunting Bill is passed with a ban on hunting. At the Countryside Rally in 1997 there were about 100,000 people, at the first Countryside March in 1999 there were 250,000 or more and this year there were over 400,000, so more and more people feel strongly enough to go to London and register their protest… This is a bad Bill and should be put to sleep. Parliament can then get on with things that are important to everyone and we can avoid a divided and angry society. C GLADSTONE, Levington. (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times (7.10.02) Government dishonest about hunting - I'm writing to you because I feel that the Government has been deliberately misleading in its reaction to the Countryside March last week-end… I have never hunted with hounds, nor am I ever likely to. The only thing that might tempt me to try would be if any government were to make this activity illegal. However, I can quite categorically confirm that the overwhelming reason why I, and over 400,000 others, chose to spend a day tramping the streets of London was this dictatorial government's plan to ban hunting. There may well have been other issues that people chose to protest about, but the impetus behind this massive event was people's unremitting anger that a bunch of urban MP's should choose to outlaw a pastime that none of them know anything about, and at the same time disenfranchise probably the most law-abiding section of society in the land… C E M SYLVESTER, Peasenhall, Saxmundham (story)

Guardian 7.10.02 Fat, sluggish and just waiting to be killed - Bred for £10, shot for £30 and worth absolutely nothing: 36 million pheasants reared for Britain's fastest growing 'sport' - John Vidal (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 7.10.02 CRUEL INDUSTRY FEATHERS ITS NEST WITH OUR MONEY - Animal Aid has for some time now been conducting investigations into the multi-million pound pheasant shooting industry, bringing to light the terrible treatment of pheasants reared for sport… Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 7.10.02 30 million animals will suffer in tests - Within days, the European Union is set to release a legislative proposal which will detail its plans to retest some 70,000 existing chemicals, causing as many as 30 million rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, birds and possibly even dogs to suffer and die in painful toxicity tests…. We want the EU to replace these hideously cruel tests with sophisticated non-animal tests…. IAN SMITH, Philip Road, Bury St Edmunds (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 7.10.02 Enforce laws for animal transport - Existing EU law requires that live animals transported in standard lorries must be rested after eight hours…. Qualified inspectors from British and Dutch animal welfare societies recently followed and filmed a Hungarian truck carrying 500 fattening pigs and 24 heifers from Holland to Greece. The cattle were unloaded from the vehicle for only 6 1/2 hours during their 90-hour journey… Ms Beate Gminder, the European Commission's animal welfare spokeswoman, acknowledges that EU regulations are flouted by Member States and confirms that the Commission would take infringement action, if it is "deemed appropriate". I find this situation unacceptable, as we in the UK are vigilant and faithfully follow the EU directives… BASHIR KHANBHAI MEP, (Conservative) Eastern Region, European Parliament, Brussels (letter)

Sunday Times 6.10.02 Duke happy to break hunt law - THE Duke of Rutland has pledged to face imprisonment as part of a massive movement of civil disobedience intended to derail any ban on foxhunting. He is among 1,500 landowners, celebrities and middle-class professionals who have signed a declaration to disobey any law banning hunting.... Signatories, joining the hunting declaration at the rate of 100 per day, plan to stage a mass foxhunt, attended by up to 20,000 people and aimed at inflicting maximum embarrassment on the government on the first day of any ban... Rutland owns a hunt on his 18,000-acre estate centred on Belvoir Castle in Lincolnshire and worth more than £50m. He has also registered his wife, the duchess, for the protest. Some of the protesters may require gentle handling. The Earl of Romney, 91, conceded that frail health had forced him to stop riding with the West Norfolk Foxhounds, but he felt he had “one or two more seasons” in him as a supporter on foot. He said he was prepared for “inevitable arrest”... Some leading landowners are concerned that the preparations for civil disobedience may be a tactical blunder. Edmund Vestey, 70, the owner of 17,000 acres in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex and joint master of Thurlow Foxhounds, said: “I wonder how wise it is to pick a fight ahead of any legislative proposals.”
In Scotland, police are investigating complaints that the Jed Forest Hunt, near Jedburgh, is failing to comply with a law intended to reduce suffering to foxes. Advocates for Animals, a pressure group, claims the hunt has failed to ensure that they are shot before the hounds can tear them apart. The guns have allegedly been placed half a mile away from the dogs. ... (story)

Sunday Mirror 6.10.02 STIRRUP TROUBLE - A FORMER high-ranking IFA member has claimed he's received death threats because he is leading a campaign to have fox hunting banned. Former Kilkenny County Chairman Philip Lynch, 64, started Farmers Against Hunting last year, saying he was sick of hunts causing extensive and serious damage to crops, livestock and other farm property... But the retired farmer says he is now the victim of sinister threats by people opposed to the ban... However, Mr Wilkinson claimed that the group wasn't solely a farmers' interest group. He said there was a strong Animal Rights contingent within Farmers Against Hunting... >(story)

Sunday Telegraph 6.10.02 Good to know - Andrew Alderson (News, September 29 ) cites a poll in The Telegraph as support for the view that it was "imprudent of Prince Charles to become involved in the debate on foxhunting". Did he not notice that of the people who took part in that poll, 64 per cent supported Prince Charles, with only 29 per cent against?.. (Miss) H M Berry, Wollaton, Nottingham (letter)

Sunday Telegraph 6.10.02 Shaping public attitudes - Peter Bell (Letters, September 29 ) was "amazed" that you chose to publish a photograph of Basil Brush on the cover of your TV guide on the day of the Liberty and Livelihood March, believing that this cuddly image of foxes is responsible for shaping - and skewing - public attitudes to hunting. I am not convinced that there is anything to worry about here. Incy Wincy Spider, Roland Rat and Hissing Sid failed utterly to alter people's perceptions of spiders, rats and snakes... Andy Smith, Ashtead, Surrey (letter)

Observer 6.10.02 Tale of two marches tells us about Britain
Is it fair to compare the Countryside Alliance and anti-war marches (News, last week)? One, a self-interested march, funded by multimillion-pound donations with professional organisers and free coaches. The other, a united opposition to a distant racist war promising thousands more innocent deaths... Jenny Hall, Bristol
The comparison of the pro-countryside and anti-war marches was interesting, but failed to identify one essential distinction - the fundamental difference in the motivation of protesters. It is hardly surprising that the desperate state of farming, tourism and rural services should bring droves on to the streets in defence of their way of life. What is much more remarkable is that similar huge numbers of people came on to the streets out of concern for the safety of strangers ... Teresa Belton, Norwich
Clive Aslet (News, last week) suggests that we demonstrators were the usual suspects: rent-a-mob Lefties, far removed from the hard-to- provoke yokels of the week before. I have to tell him that this, as for many others, was my first demo... Stephen Thompson, London N1
he disproportion between coverage of the Countryside Alliance and Stop the War marches on consecutive weekends cannot go unchallenged. The bloated estimate of numbers by Countryside Alliance organisers was accepted uncritically. The police immediately (and ludicrously) marked down the Stop the War figures... Alan Gibbons, Liverpool
As a 61-year-old I took part in my first ever protest march on Saturday. I was agreeably surprised both by the numbers present and the lack of violence... David Smith, Weymouth, Dorset ((letters)

Worcester Evening News 5.10.02 Decent, law-abiding people - OLIVE Pike asks (You Say, September 27) "what sort of people are those who paraded on Sunday?" I will tell her. They were decent, ordinary law-abiding people with their families and children who were marching to protest their right to carry on a traditional way of life including foxhunting, the least cruel method of fox control... ALAN CURE, Dormston, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 27.9.02 Chased to its death by the `sportsmen' - I LISTENED to Farming Today on Radio 4 one morning recently. The programme solely dealt with stag hunting on Exmoor. The "master," talked about the sport, which he enjoyed… What sort of people are those who paraded in London last Sunday? OLIVE PIKE, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 5.10.02 WHEN WILL THE HUNTING FRATERNITY TELL THE TRUTH? ...Why does the hunting fraternity not openly admit that they enjoy chasing defenceless creatures - frightening them to death? Why hide behind pretending to be saving the countryside?... Mrs Wyn Saunders, Chapel Downs Road, Crediton (letter)

South West Evening Post 5.10.02 HUNTING BAN PROPOSALS ONLY FOR POLITICAL GAIN ...As an animal welfare campaigner and strict vegan, I would like to offer my views. Whatever the pros and cons of hunting I believe the Government's position is totally hypocritical. Compared to other forms of cruelty such as farming, ritual slaughter and the vivisection industry the use of hunting with dogs pales into insignificance. The Government is pushing this Bill, I believe, purely for political opportunism... Obviously, I would prefer there to be no fox hunting but the reality is that people will control the fox population whether we like it or not. At least with fox hunting the fittest foxes evade capture and when caught are usually finished off quickly.... Simon Roe, Middle Road, Swansea (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 5.10.02 BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR HUGE FOXES . . . What an imagination reader M Jenkins of Downend has. Foxes as big as - shall we say - elephants? To a small mammal being hunted by a fox in full stride, then a fox would appear so... We are supposedly a free nation so no-one should feel the need to curtail our choice of pursuits. Hunting is a part of the country way of life. Long may it continue to give employment and pleasure. I don't hunt but I can sympathise with those who do... M Hendy, Brislington (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 27.9.02 WHO'S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD FOX? - In Mary Hendy's pro-hunting with dogs letter (Post , September 20), she says of a fox that: "Their instinct to kill is strong. No mammal is safe if it crosses their path." I presume that Ms Hendy is talking about a secret, scientifically-created AK47-toting mutant fox creature that the rest of us are unaware of. Why were we not informed by the authorities before?... M Jenkins, Lytchet Drive, Downend (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 20.9.02 SOAPBOX: HUNTERS ARE THE TRUE CONSERVATIONISTS … Our country is also beautiful, especially our countryside, which so many seek to spoil in one way or another. I refer to those who conveniently forget "human rights" when doing their utmost to eliminate a country way of life which has survived generations; and to folk who have given their love and loyalty to the land. Of course, I am referring to country sports, and to hunting in particular, which seems to be a burr under so many imaginary saddles…. Those who hunt, shoot and fish are the true conservationists. Mary Hendy, Brislington (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 5.10.02 HUNTING'S ROYAL LOBBYIST - The Royal author Hugo Vickers, states that Prince Charles is entitled to raise political issues with the Prime Minister so long as it is done in private.... But in the unlikely event that democracy is effective and that the majority of decent citizens who abhor cruelty should gain a ban on this disgusting bloodsport addiction, we can hopefully see the back of HRH. And would he please take that dreadful woman with him. ELSIE VAN DER STEEN Cecilia Road Paignton (letter)

York Evening Press 5.10.02 - GRAHAM Tissiman (letters September 27) suggests that Prince Charles should write a column in the Evening Press. What a good idea, His Royal Highness would be a lot more interesting than your present bunch of columnists. Mike Usherwood, Mendip Close, Huntington, York. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 27.9.02 Try Press, Charles - How much better would it be if Prince Charles wrote to the Evening Press? He would get a much wider hearing than he does by writing in secret - well, almost - to government ministers. Graham Tissiman, Eastfield Avenue, Haxby, York.

Cambridge News 5.10.02 Scheme to halt coursing - ILLEGAL hare coursers, who make normal life impossible for many Cambridgeshire farmers, could be stopped in their tracks this season thanks to a new scheme... Nearly 1,000 farmers have signed statements saying they never allow hare coursing on their land and these have been lodged with the police. When coursers are reported officers can tell immediately if they are there illegally.... (story)

Bristol Evening Post or Western Daily Press 5.10.02 IT'S TIME TO PUT A STOP TO THE LIVE EXPORT OF UK MEAT - Sir - The decision by the French to lift their ban on British beef will be welcomed by farmers here... Nevertheless, what I still find inexplicable is the live export of livestock.Why?.. It's time we put a stop to exporting meat on the hoof. G Crompton Cam Gloucestershire (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 5.10.02 RSPCA COLLECTION - Long EATON: The RSPCA will be raising money today and tomorrow at the Asda store in Nottingham Road, Long Eaton, to try to save its Abbey Street shelter. The shelter, which costs £5,000 a week to run, will shut unless it manages to find £100,000 by next March... (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 5.10.02 CHARITY'S APPEAL FOR LOTS - An auction to raise funds for an animal charity might have to be cancelled if more suitable goods are not donated. The Burton branch of the RSPCA is planning to hold the auction at the Priory Centre, Church Road, Stretton, on Saturday, October 12. But chairman Stella Downs said the charity had not yet received enough items to make the auction viable.... (story)

Edinburgh News 5.10.02 New animal welfare law delayed until after election - A NEW law to toughen rules on animal welfare has been postponed until after next year’s Scottish Parliament elections. Rural Development Minister Ross Finnie said there was not enough parliamentary time to bring forward the Protection of Animals (Scotland) Bill, which would bring the law into line with provisions south of the Border... (story)

Western Mail 4.10.02 Hunting ban to be forced through - LABOUR Party delegates yesterday backed a call for the Government to force through a ban on fox hunting, even if it is rejected by the House of Lords… (story)

Newcastle Journal 4.10.02 I really do care about the farmers, says Blair - Prime Minister Tony Blair has denied turning his back on Britain's farming and rural communities. The PM was accused of saying "virtually nothing" to the hundreds of thousands of rural activists who recently demonstrated in London. Speaking at his monthly press conference, Mr Blair ignored the issue of a hunting ban, which was central to the demonstration. But he insisted he had addressed the concerns of rural activists in his speech to the Labour Party conference… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 4.10.02 Rural campaigners turn on Blair - COUNTRYSIDE campaigners have turned on Tony Blair after he defended his record of helping rural communities…. Liz Mort, eastern region director of the Countryside Alliance, said the Prime Minister devoted just 65 words of his hour-long speech to rural issues… (story)

Independent 4.10.02 MPs brace for 'countryside rage' By Marie Woolf Chief Political Correspondent - Ministers are braced for an angry backlash from countryside campaigners over government plans to ban hunting with dogs as a sport... The Countryside Alliance said a ban was not justified on the evidence submitted to the Government. "The rage of the countryside will be felt," said Mark Hinge, political director for Wales.... (story)

Western Gazette 4.10.02 HUNTER LEAVES HOSPITAL FOR COUNTRY MARCH - A woman paralysed by a riding accident earlier this year left her sick bed to attend the Countryside Alliance's Liberty And Livelihood march last week. Annie Maw, aged 54, was riding with the Mendip Farmers' Hunt on a misty February morning at Dinder, near Wells, when her horse spooked at a little stone wall she had negotiated many times before… She is an inpatient at a specialist spinal unit at Salisbury District Hospital but left her bed to fight for the country way of life she so passionately believes in…. (story)

Western Gazette 4.10.02 GOVERNMENT 'SHOULD LISTEN TO RURAL PEOPLE' - A somerset MP has given his verdict on the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood March having attended it last week. Tory MP for Wells David Heathcoat-Amory met a number of constituents on the rural procession and claimed that there was a touch of defiance about the marchers and said the Government had better sit up and listen…. (story)

North Devon Journal 4.10.02 A FINE MESS - Protest marches and peaceful demonstrations are all the rage. Never before to such an extent have people from all walks of life taken to the streets and put pen to paper to make their voices heard. Local issues pale into insignificance compared with that massive gathering in the capital. Nevertheless, they are as important to those involved…. (story)

Guardian 4.10.02 League versus Alliance - Darren Hughes of the Hunting Alliance misses the point when he suggests League Against Cruel Sports members take to the streets to match the so-called Liberty and Livelihood march (Letters, October 3). While the hunters demand the freedom to kill wild animals for fun, league members are campaigning hard within parliament to end this barbaric "sport"… Miranda White, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Guardian 3.10.02 The League Against Cruel Sports claims a 74% rise in membership (Party central, G2, October 2). I do not expect this claim will be backed up by solid figures, but if they have really enjoyed such an upsurge in support during the build-up to the Liberty & Livelihood march, perhaps hundreds of thousands of their supporters will soon be taking to the streets in support of a ban on hunting. Darren Hughes, Countryside Alliance campaign for hunting (letter)
Ananova 3.10.02 Countryside march boosted anti-hunt march - Anti-hunting campaigners claim applications soared by 74% last month following the countryside march through London. The League Against Cruel Sports has announced a surge of interest in their cause…. (story)

Kent/Sussex Courier 4.10.02 VIEWS OF MAJORITY Your article about the Alliance marchers could perhaps better have been titled 'Marching out of time'… The majority of them were not from the countryside anyway. They represent less than one per cent of the population, which compares badly with the 74 per cent who think hunting is cruel and want it banned…. TARA CORCORAN, Hildenborough (story)

Kent/Sussex Courier 4.10.02 WE'VE ALREADY WON ARGUMENT - Predictably, after asserting that the countryside march was "not just about hunting", the pro-hunt lobby are claiming that all those who went on it were in favour of this cruel pastime… Rachel Chapman, Dingleden, Beneden (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 4.10.02 IT HAS MADE NO DIFFERENCE Although I believe that hunting with hounds should be banned, I am neither a class warrior nor a trade unionist and have never voted Labour in my life…. why go on marches anyway? No one these days has to turn up en masse in London like the peasants of 1381. In this age of mass communication, change is brought about via letter and e-mail, interviews on radio and television and through opinion polls and petitions…. Andrew Bowers, Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 4.10.02 SYNTHETIC PUZZLEMENT It is clearly part of a post-march checklist to profess synthetic puzzlement as to what it was about (Courier, September 27). This would be more convincing if the cue had not been taken from Alun Michael and then parroted. It was doubly unfortunate that you went on to quote former US President Bill Clinton - hardly appropriate when you claim the moral high ground… Incidentally, I enjoyed Mr Wetton's letter and hilarious calculations (Courier, September 27). Presumably these emanate from the Estelle Morris school of A-level maths. James Shepherd, Grove Hill Gardens, Tunbridge Wells (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 4.10.02 IT IS TIME THEY CAME INTO LINE David Burgess (Courier, September 27) and others have said they will be glad if Prince Charles leaves the country over the fox-hunting issue. I find their sentiments amusing and understandable… I believe that he is basically a sincere and intelligent individual. That he can support a sadistic blood sport like hunting shows the damage that the conditioning created by upbringing can do… Tara Corcoran, Coldharbour Lane, Hildenborough
David Burgess rather rudely hopes that Prince Charles will leave the country if fox-hunting is banned. May we expect that, if it is not banned, it will be Mr Burgess that leaves? Pamela Murphy Upper Haysden Tonbridge (letters)

Kent/Sussex Courier 4.10.02 HIJACK DEFLECTS FROM THE FACTS - What a mixture of emotions and assumptions were aired in your letters column last week concerning the countryside march (Courier, September 27). There were the usual rash generalisations, the usual hatreds expressed, the ignorance and lack of any kind of understanding of the subject of hunting and the countryside. My family took part in a peaceful, bringing together of like-minded people from every conceivable walk of life…. As for the accusation that the march was hijacked, it was made clear from the start that it was about hunting, and if you didn't support hunting, then don't go…. AJ Clarke, Moorhill, Hawkhurst (letter)

Worcester Evening News 4.10.02 Fire Service informed about beacon sites - I WRITE in response to D J Hudson's letter concerning the lighting of beacons on Wednesday, September 18, published in Evening News on Monday, September 23. All Hereford and Worcester beacon locations were notified to Hereford and Worcester Fire Service with six-figure OS Map Reference numbers… I hope Mr and Mrs Hudson will be as diligent and concerned around November 5. MRS SHIRLEY POWELL, Knightwick. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 23.9.02 Why should we pay for Alliance demo? - LAST Monday night, due to the inconsiderate actions of a minority, the fire services of our country had to had to attend more than 50 fires… My main concern here is the effect that this may have had the operational capability of our fire service, but one must also consider the cost, and I do not see why taxpayers should bear this… D J HUDSON, Worcester (letter in archive)

Yorkshire Post 4.10.02 More bias from the BBC - From: C Dee, Little Driffield - Sarah Penty's letter (Yorkshire Post, September 28) criticising the bias of our BBC is worthy of further support. This is particularly so after the Stop the War march at the weekend had extensive BBC coverage. There was interviewing of participants of many religions, minority factions and Labour MPs… The Radio 4 reporter in Hyde Park before the Countryside march said: "I am standing here in front of all the swanky hotels watching the toffs on horseback drinking champagne waiting to join the demonstration..." (letter)
Yorkshire Post 28.9.02 BBC 'biased against protesters' - From: Sarah Penty, Burneston, Bedale, North Yorkshire. I was one of the 407,791 people who left home early on Sunday morning and returned early on Monday morning... However, I was surprised to find that the biggest march in British history did not even warrant a mention on the radio or TV the following morning. Had no-one noticed us?... Despite the fact that the BBC is funded by our licence fee and is supposedly an unbiased organisation, the BBC stands for Blair's Broadcasting Corporation... (letter)

Leicester Mercury 4.10.02 NOT POLITICALLY NEUTRAL - The Prince of Wales is to be congratulated on opening his mouth and putting his foot in it over the countryside march by allegedly saying in a letter to the Prime Minister that farmers suffer more discrimination than either the ethnic minorities or the gay population, which is quite plainly untrue… I note he has threatened to leave the country if fox-hunting is outlawed and as usual Dennis Skinner has summed things up nicely by saying that that would be an added bonus. Mike Clutten, Leicester (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 4.5.02 LICENCES NEEDED FOR HUNTS - As hunting stands, there is a limited future for the industry and I think the rural economy has suffered enough recently with BSE and Foot and Mouth Disease. Banning the "sport", I fear, would mean the end for much of the rural economy. Hence, I think at least to have a trial period with licences for hunts would be the best way forward. This should include having a vet and farrier in attendance at every hunt… Once a fox goes to ground, it should then be game over and when one is caught, it should be humanely destroyed - not torn to pieces by the hounds… Sally Hawkins, Derby (letter)

Shropshire Star 4.10.02 Move light industry to rural areas - Judging by press reports there has been a deal of fibbing and downright deceitful propaganda surrounding the Countryside March. Even Prince Charles is accusing people of being vindictive to rural life. So far as I can see no reasonable person objects to anyone dressing up and riding about so long as no blood is spilt... Dick Perkins, Leegomery (letter in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 4.10.02 RURAL DISPUTE IS NO SINGLE ISSUE DEBATE - The Countryside Alliance raises some valid points regarding the purchasing power of supermarkets, the reduction of rural poverty and exclusion, and moving away from subsidies.... However, several issues about the Countryside Alliance and their September 22 march deeply concern me. The reported exclusion of several groups who did not agree with the agenda is a great worry... Given the relative numbers of foxes killed by shooting compared to hunting, the stabilisation of fox populations during the foot and mouth epidemic and the hunting ban in Scotland, and the need for hunts to periodically encourage breeding to provide a quarry, this "sport" must be recognised for what it is - a barbaric social ritual that also draws money in from the towns. But if we all agree to differ and argue about this one issue, there is a lot of common ground to be found on the others.... Steve Clegg, Swansea and Llanelli Green Party, Norfolk Street, Swansea (letter)

Newark Advertiser 4.10.02 What a lot of vicious, prejudiced twaddle (Out Of Step, News Views, September 20.) If Scornful wrote a letter about blacks, gays, abortionists or travellers like the one he/she wrote about the countryside marchers New Labourites would have been down on him/her like a ton of bricks before you could say: 'Tally ho.' Funny how people who perpetrate this kind of abuse, like the hunt saboteurs in their black balaclavas and those who send excrement through the post to hunt masters, prefer to remain anonymous... - (Mrs) SYLVIA SCARLETT, Home Farm, Staunton. (letter may only be on website for a week)
Newark Advertiser 27.9.02 Marchers highlight all rural issues - I must take issue with Scornful of Coddington's assertion that the Liberty and Livelihood march was a march of 'the rich and privileged.' I was brought up on a council housing estate in Liverpool. There was no silver spoon in my mouth and I now live in a small rural backwater near Newark…. COUNTRYWOMAN, Normanton-on-Trent (Name and full address supplied.) (letter may only be on website for a week)
Newark Advertiser 27.9.02 Blinkered view - The letter from Scornful (News Views, September 20) suggesting that fox hunting was the only issue in the countryside just shows how blinkered the Labour Party has become… By the way, I do not own a horse or a fancy vehicle. - (Mrs) SUE WHITTAKER, Speakers Cottage, Ossington. (letter may only be on website for a week)
Newark Advertiser 27.9.02 Come clean - I wonder why the writer of such a misinformed letter (News Views, September 20) with its 'pampered backsides' and 'countryside toffs' felt the need to hide his identify behind the pseudonym, Scornful. Only the faces of a few hecklers at Sunday's march were contorted with hate. The 400,000 plus marchers looked a good-natured lot…. JOAN STEPHENSON, Church Walk, Newark. (letter may only be on website for a week)

Stamford & Rutland Mercury 4.10.02 Country marchers are not martyrs - THE problem when modern causes attempt to hijack history is the circumstances which prevailed in the past are unique to that generation... Today supporters of the Countryside Alliance cite the Tolpuddle Martyrs as kindred spirits because they too claim poverty... The analogy falls apart when one analyses the Alliance’s transparent connections to landlords, hunt masters and a Conservative Party so out of touch with today’s working class it should send a post card.... NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Craven Herald 4.10.02 Somebody has displayed a banner on the A59. It reads: "Mining gone. Fishing gone. Manufacturing gone. Farming going going."... If this catalogue of rigid self interest wasn't enough, we're now being told that a ban on fox hunting will reduce Village England to something analogous with Ireland during the Black 1840s... Brian Kiernan Smith, Upper Union Street, Skipton. (letter in archive)

Craven Herald 4.10.02 With regard to the Liberty and Livelihood March, I read with interest the front-page report headed Protest against ban in the Herald's sister free paper Craven Target on September 18. Michael Bannister, of Coniston Cold, joint Master of the Pendle and Craven Hunt, states amongst other things hunting is the most animal-friendly way of culling.. I ask him to cast his mind back to January 2000 when the hunt chased a deer onto the A65 very near the Coniston Hall Hotel, and in front of motorists they allowed the hounds to tear the terrified deer to pieces... David Scholey, Belgrave Street, Skipton.(letter in archive)

Wharfedale Observer 4.10.02 Nice to read about the `big' march in London from farmer Flesher, September 26. We didn't hear a word about the land sold to property developers... If the privileged, rich landowners get their way over foxhunting they will ignore their poorer neighbours, tenants, and employees... F Dickinson, 48A Larkfield Road, Rawdon. (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 4.10.02 CULLING ANIMALS IS CRUEL - NO JOKE I realise that the anonymous correspondent who called for a cull of domestic cats instead of foxes and deer had his tongue in his cheek. But the whole point of decrying fox and deer hunting is the cruelty of it. If you hate cruelty, this applies to all creatures, even the not-very-attractive ones. There are idiots about who delight in hurting animals.... E Chappell, Arnall Drive, Henbury. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 4.10.02 RUDDY DUCKS SHOULD BE PROTECTED NOT CULLED - I am writing to you in response to a letter by Frances Wicks, Points of view, September 21, on the plan to cull the ruddy duck as they are seen to be an 'impure hybrid'. I couldn't agree more with Mrs Wicks and I think the whole idea is disgusting and that the RSPB should be ashamed for condoning such species racism when the only thing the ruddy ducks have done is mate with other ducks!.. Ms K Wicks, Ashleigh, Alphington, Exeter (letter)

Telegraph 4.10.02 Julia shows her feelings for fish - Julia Stephenson, the eccentric eco-socialite who lost her deposit when she stood for the Greens in Kensington and Chelsea at the last election, has a new cause. Protesting against the launch of National Seafood Week, which starts today, Julia trooped down to Chelsea Harbour yesterday to pose with her friend Lucy Wills, dressed as mermaids. "Hands off my fishy friends," said Stephenson... (story)

Scotsman 4.10.02 Puppies As campaign officer for Animal Aid, I am dismayed to hear that East Ayrshire Council’s licensing committee has issued a breeders’ licence, subject to planning permission, for a puppy farm at Waterside Farm, Galston... Becky Lilly TONBRIDGE, KENT (letter)

LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE
Guardian 3.10.02 Call to push through hunting ban wins backing - The Labour party conference today backed a call for the government to force through a ban on foxhunting even if the House of Lords rejects it… (story)

LIBERTY & LIVELIHOOD MARCH
Western Morning News 3.10.02 COUNTRY MARCHERS WOULD REJECT WAR - I have been disappointed at the attitude of some of your correspondents, and indeed some of your columnists last week, to the peace march in London last weekend. Several commentators opined that few, if any, of the countryside marchers of the previous Sunday would join the peace rally. If I had not spent the previous weekend attending the countryside march, I would certainly have been at the peace rally and I would guess that many other countryside marchers would feel the same…. T G Garratt, Chagford (letter)

Cornishman 3.10.02 PROUD TO GO ON MARCH - Liberty and Livelihood: I would not have missed the march through Whitehall last Sunday for anything, even though it took two hours to reach the start… I do not hunt, shoot or fish but I was proud to be one of 407,791 good humoured but determined people who marched behind the banner of the Four Burrow Hunt….Peter Milln, Polgooth (letter)

Banbury Guardian 3.10.02 MARCHERS DECLARED SUPPORT FOR HUNTING - YOUR leader about the Liberty and Livelihood march (Banbury Guardian, September 19) was full of inconsistencies... It is a little ridiculous to suggest in the light of this that the Countryside Alliance should jettison its support for hunting merely because as you so rightly state, it is no longer politically correct. I do not hunt but support absolutely the right of people to hunt. Over 704,000 people attended the countryside march, all of them had to declare their support for hunting even if they were concerned about many other issues in the countryside. On the basis of the current population of the UK that means that more than one in every 150 people attended the march, the largest of its kind in our country’s history.... Many people think it objectionable, but it is the belief and tradition of a significant minority and we should leave them alone. We have other more important things to worry about. JM Osborne, Oxford Road, Banbury (letter)

Penarth Times 3.10.02 Own agenda REGARDING the letter by Joe Harris in last week's paper; the All Party Group on Animal Welfare (APGAW) is for Assembly Members, but we offer associate membership to various animal welfare groups as we value their expertise. Mr Harris criticises me for not allowing a discussion on hunting, but APGAW is not the right vehicle to discuss hunting because we need to work in a consensual way and there will never be a consensus on hunting across the four political parties and the Assembly has no powers to ban it anyway.... Lorraine Barrett AM National Assembly Wales (letter in archive)

Berwickshire News 3.10.02 Legislation causes more suffering to foxes - While Mr Walthew finds foxhunting "obnoxious", he should feel relieved that society doesn't ban everything which many people find obnoxious. If they did we would have neither his regular whingeing letters, nor a Scottish Parliament which passes legislation, under the pretence of preventing suffering to foxes, that in fact causes more suffering and less tolerance of the species overall. Jeremy Whaley, Reedy Loch, Duns, Berwickshire (letter)
Berwickshire News 26.9.02 Diversification could create more hunt jobs - Mr Hunt of Co'path is right to be puzzled by the letter headed 'Cruel Fishermen' from 'Theresa Thom' of London (B.N. Sept 5th)… I suspect the writer is pro-hunting and trying to get anglers to support her cause by suggesting a ban on fishing will be next… I was delighted to read in your edition of August 15, that the Berwickshire Hunt had introduced the new activity of chasing Quarry Captains… But then the euphoria was spoilt when the following week I read that hunt supporters had raised £27,000 to fight the ban on hunting with dogs…. RICHARD WALTHEW, Whitsome Crofts, Duns, Berwickshire. (story)

Berwickshire News 3.10.02 Successful march will not change anything ...Let’s not be fooled into thinking that anything will change as a direct result, because they won’t. Why not? Two factors: (a) This government does not want to upset some of it's biggest corporate sponsors; (b) There are no votes for this government in the rural constituencies. R.M.DAVIES, 65 Castle Street, Duns. (letter)

Western Morning News 3.10.02 IS it any wonder that so many of us went to London to show how we abhorred the way the Government is handling virtually everything in the countryside? The latest snub is the announcement that a £200 million fund for affordable housing is to be focused entirely on London and the South East… As farmers who are trying to make a living in spite of this Government and its complete misunderstanding of our way of life and our hopes for the future, just three of us went on the Liberty and Livelihood March to tell the Government that we have no confidence in their ability to even attempt to understand how life goes on outside London and the South East. The rest of the family would have liked to come to London with us, but milking still has to be done and animals need to be looked after. Michael Ashton, Torrington (letter)

Western Daily Press 3.10.02 PROTEST IS NO LOVE OF LABOUR - Come on, A George - in your letter, Get the Message? - be a bit more realistic! The Countryside Alliance organised the Liberty and Livelihood March because it doesn't like the fact that democracy is working and this happens to mean that a ban on hunting with hounds is fast becoming a reality… the MORI poll taken at the march showed that just four per cent were supporters of Labour, while 82 per cent were Conservative supporters. Arminel Scott Secretary South West Deer Protection Williton Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 3.10.02 WHO WOULD CLEAR OUR FOOTPATHS FOR FREE - I have just read Mary Tapping's article, I'm Glad I Was There, on the countryside march, and read the words on one side of the banner that I took on the day: 'Mr Blair, you're hunting down the minority'. But, on the other side of it, it read: 'I do not hunt, fish or shoot, but I love the countryside.Do you, Mr Blair?'…As a parish councillor in Henlade, one of the jobs I do is to look after the footpaths… I've been out three times to see what happens on a hunt, but no foxes have been killed. Some of the people are not toffee noses or upper-class, but just country folk out for a day's sport - just like someone going to a football match or rugby game… Doug Lowe Henlade Taunton Somerset (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 3.10.02 TURNOUT FOR MARCH CANNOT BE IGNORED - Mr Chambers (Opinion, September 30) clearly sees the Countryside March as a "class" issue. I would take issue with the view that, as the marchers were only 0.7 per cent (his calculation) of the population, then the remainder are indifferent. Clearly, this is absurd and he has merely repeated the comment put about by the Labour Party…. Mick Thomas, Ashby Road, Ticknall (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 30.9.02 RURAL MINORITY ARE JUST MAKING TROUBLE - If, as we are told, an estimated 400,000 rural folk attended the "Liberty and Livelihood" march in London it would follow that the remaining 99.3 per cent of the population remained indifferent… As for the Countryside Alliance, I do not believe they truly represent the rural community. They are just a bunch of frustrated rich Tories out to cause as much damage to the Government as possible…. Peter Chambers, address supplied (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 3.10.02 HUNTING WAS HIGH PRIORITY AT MARCH - I must challenge a couple of the wilder points made recently (Opinion, September 26 and 27). Someone called Roger, of the Derby Hunt Saboteurs, claimed that the Countryside March "appeared to be hijacked by the bloodsports fraternity"…. It was organised by the Countryside Alliance, formerly the British Field Sports Society. How could we hijack our own march?... Sandra Barker, of Milford, who attended the march, said: "We were constantly verbally abused... some of us were spat at and one marcher threw rotten eggs at us." Ms Barker must have been at a different event…. Roger Helmer MEP, East Midlands Conservative Party. (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 27.9.02 PROTEST RALLY WAS HIJACKED - Congratulations to the Countryside Alliance on one of the most successful protests of all time… It is, however, a shame the march appeared to be hijacked by the bloodsports fraternity…. Roger, DAR/Derby Hunt Sabs (letter)

Northern Echo 3.10.02 Hear All Sides: Countryside March - I HAVE read with interest and amusement features on the Countryside March. This group of people are far from being the saviours of the countryside. Instead, they have corrupted it systematically in the name of greed… David Noble, Darlington.
COUNTRY sports are not carried out by "goofy Tory toffs with plummy accents". Take the Countryside Alliance. The president is a Labour peer, the chairman is a Fabian and the chief executive is a Labour Party member… far too many people have downright bigoted class-ridden views. Since when was it an offence to have a posh accent? - Jim Tague, Chairman, Conservative Party, Bishop Auckland Branch (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 3.10.02 LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF HALF A MILLION PROTESTERS - I read the comments from John Truscott (Letters, September 30) and it would seem that a lot has been written without the use of facts or accurate statement. The Liberty and Livelihood march attracted half a million supporters and was the largest demonstration seen in London for many years… The march in London was not a last gasp - it was a wake-up call to every caring person in this country to tell the government where they are going wrong and to ask them to change their ways… JIM SILVER Wilford Lane West Bridgford (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 30.9.02 MARCH WAS 'LAST GASP OF ARCHAIC COUNTRY SQUIRE' What a stunning piece of hypocrisy last weekend's audaciously misnamed "Liberty and Livelihood" march was. Ostensibly claiming to be defending (amongst other fringe issues) crumbling rural services and low-paid agricultural workers, it was in fact a last gasp of the archaic country squire class and assorted drones of the landed gentry to hold on to their ancient privileges and barbaric past-times in an age that has largely passed them by as irrelevancies… JOHN TRUSCOTT Kent Road Mapperley (letter)

Northampton Evening Telegraph 3.10.02 Why countryside must stay viable - I READ the letter from Peter Weston (Viewpoint, September 28), regarding the Countryside Alliance march with a great deal of concern. It is not just that he would like to feel that 407,000 people marched in London solely about fox hunting; nothing could be further from the truth…. I can’t pretend to be a fan of hunting because I am not, but I will stand by people in the countryside in their desire to do so if they wish and to ensure that the countryside is a living and viable part of our society for us all to enjoy. TERRY FREER Queensberry Road, Kettering. (letter)

The Shields Gazette 3.10.02 MP is in a class war - I READ an article in the Gazette from the MP Stephen Hepburn about the then forthcoming march in London, his article is written in a way that is not what we expect from a Member of Parliament, if there is a class war then Hepburn should be in prison for inciting it… Words like 'upper-class snobs', 'warped' and 'green wellie brigade' do instill anyone with the impression that he will not listen to the facts and that he hates everyone that he thinks has more than him, then to remind people that his Government paid billions out to farmers when it was in fact their incompetence that accelerated foot-and-mouth…. Richard Dodd, Regional director NE, Countryside Alliance, Northumberland (letter)

Cornishman/Cornish Guardian/West Briton 3.10.02 ON THE MARCH ...No-one has to march if they don't want to. But this time there isn't a hint of tweed, or a flash of olive wax, or a wellie in sight. That was last week. And if you were marching last week I somehow don't think you'll be here now. We do have some things in common with the Countryside Alliance - mostly the frustration of speaking for a huge constituency the government would rather not hear... But we are not led by the English aristocracy or their determination to retain their privileges. This is not a gathering of those who built the British Empire... (story)

Buckingham Advertiser 3.10.02 NO RIGHT TO BAN COUNTRYSIDE SPORT - The Liberty and Livelihood March was an electrifying and fantastic experience. I was honoured as an angler to be a part of it, along with my teenage step-daughter. Two days previously, Mr Michael Wedgebury wrote into “Your Voice” expressing his views on what he would have called “The Bloody March”. Well, I would like to say to Mr Wedgebury ‘pull your horns in’... So I would say to Mr Wedgebury (and others like him), if fox-hunting is irrelevant and outdated, why were there well over 400,000 people at the march? C Walden, Brackley (letter)
Buckingham Advertiser 19.9.02 NOBLE SOUNDING BUT MEANINGLESS? I WAS surprised to see the letter from Jeremy White (Your Voice, Sept 6) trying to encourage readers to attend the Countryside Alliance (they used to call themselves the British Field Sports Society) forthcoming march in London…. It would seem that the Alliance is deliberately being ambiguous about this march, giving it the noble sounding but meaningless Liberty and Livelihood title. I would have suggested “The Bloody March”… I would advise people to think twice about attending this march, but if they do ring the 0900 number given by Mr White (who may have forgotten to mention the cost per minute of the call) I suggest they ask to talk to other departments within the Alliance about other rural issues. There are no other departments. Michael Wedgebury, Collswell Lane, Blakesley, Towcester (letter)

Buckingham Advertiser 3.10.02 FOX HUNTING MUST BE STOPPED - I totally sympathise with the issues relating to farming but feel that while they have the Pro-hunt supporters marching with them they will not achieve anything... People with a vested interest in the countryside have some real issues and needs and should be supported by the majority of the country, however, allowing yourselves to be associated with the hunting lobby will alienate the majority of the population. Sheila Clark, Brackley
FIRST TIME ON A PROTEST MARCH - I WAS one of the 400,000 or so people who joined the Liberty and Livelihood March. My impressions are these: the sea of people, from all walks of life, babies in prams, disabled people in wheelchairs, men and women in tweeds, young people in jeans, all marching good humouredly, but with determination.... Why did I, who have never been on a protest march in my life, feel the need to march? Because, as a country person born and bred, I wished to show solidarity with those whose liberty and livelihood is under threat. Name & address supplied (letters)

Boston Standard 3.10.02 We must stop hunting - ONLY the very naive will imagine the recent weekend ‘countryside’ march was to do with improving life in the countryside... It was to do with the fight to preserve fox hunting, a fight which must not succeed.... John Richards, Vauxhall Road, Boston (letter)

The Citizen (Lancaster) 3.10.02 Rural issues should not be overlooked - THE Countryside Alliance mass London demonstration in their `March for Liberty and Livelihood' suffered the inevitable criticism savoured by that section of the marchers assiduously intent upon making their point relative to the conservation of ` blood-sports' when, in reality, the majority of the third of a million demonstrators were highlighting a whole raft of issues particular to rural marginalisation... These are the direct and positive issues that enthused the Countryside Alliance to bring to our notice their genuine plight when they marched around London on Sunday, seeking Liberty - Livelihoods and Justice. Richard Grave, Fulwood Drive, Torrisholme. (letter in archive)

PRINCE CHARLES' LETTERS
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 3.10.02 PRINCE CHARLES CAN SPEAK UP - I thought this was a country of free speech. I thoroughly agree that Prince Charles has a right to intervene in politics, I would even support an amendment in the constitution to allow this. At least he tries his best to help people and be himself… GEORGE J MATTHEWS Shelton (letter)
Scotsman 3.10.02 The knee-jerk "how dare he!" response from the media and your correspondents with regard to Prince Charles’s private consultations with ministers is thankfully tempered by Roseanna Cunningham’s comment in your front-page report (28 September)... ROB MAXTONE GRAHAM, Auchindinny, Penicuik, Midlothian
In the United Kingdom, we have the NHS in crisis, an examination scandal, rising crime, child poverty, and the possibility of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, taking the country into an unpopular war on Iraq. Prince Charles made no comment about any of the above, but suddenly, when the Countryside Alliance marches in London, there is a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister... Prince Charles also referred to the fox-hunting community as a minority. Will he then accept that, in a democracy, it is the majority that rules?... LESLIE JOHN THOMSON, Moredunvale Green, Edinburgh (letters)
York Evening Press 3.10.02 Prince does good job - WE have enough carbon copies of people who direct sarcasm and venom against fellow human beings. Prince Charles does more good with his little finger every day than do many with the whole of their hands in a lifetime... Mrs C Smith, Mistral Court, Fossway, York (letter in archive)
Derby Evening Telegraph 3.10.02 A FRUSTRATED FOX HUNTER - So now we know - Charles Windsor is a secret letter writer. While the nation teeters on the brink of war with Iraq, all that concerns the mass media are the gripes of a frustrated fox hunter... David Tobias, Bracken Close, Long Eaton (letter)
Manchester Evening News 3.10.02 Royal rights - YES, we should encourage more royals to have their say on public matters (Postbag Sept 30), but why all the secrecy? If they have something to say, why not print it in the press?... B A Welch (via e-mail) (letter)
Western Daily Press 2.10.02 CHARLES, MAN OF LETTERS Well done Prince Charles for writing to the Government Ministers on behalf of us all about the state of our country. I too have written many times, but I get no reply. J Mitchell Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)
Scotsman 2.10.02 Petitions If Prince Charles writes to a politician, that is his right to do so... is it not hypocritical to dismiss him for being "unelected" and "having undue influence"? No-one elected Jo Moore, to quote but one notorious example. Alan G Melville CANTERBURY (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 2.10.02 ORGANIC PRINCE HAS THE BLOODLUST OF A HUNTER ...Charles is likeable but misguided ... I loved horse riding and I rode on a fox hunt but no fox was found. I soon became opposed to all blood sports... L T Sargent, Cowick Hill, Exeter (letter)
Yorkshire Post 2.10.02 From: M Turner, Alwoodley, Leeds - Sir, - The release of details of letters written by Prince Charles is contemptible and shows a total disregard for his rights of privacy. However, I totally support not only his right to express his personal views but feel that there is an ever increasing requirement for him to do so....
Ordinary people - From: Mrs Betty Patchett, The Grove, Ilkley. I feel very strongly that Prince Charles should express in letters and verbally his views as they are representative of the views of so many ordinary people... (letters)
Yorkshire Post 2.10.02 Does the truth hurt? From: Mrs Susan M Abbott, Melbourne Road, St Johns, Wakefield. - Mrs Susan M Abbott, Melbourne Road, St Johns, Wakefield. Sir, - Yes, I certainly do think Prince Charles has a right to express his views in letters to Ministers. What are they so afraid of - does the truth hurt?..
I feel that letters being sent to Ministers by the Prince of Wales is nothing new and I cannot understand what all the fuss is about. The letters should, however, have remained private.... From: Name and address supplied.
From: JM Wragg, Malton, North Yorkshire. With a Government that pays little heed to the people's representatives in Parliament, it is good news that the Prince of Wales should speak for them.... (letters)
Yorkshire Post 2.10.02 Prince Charles has civil rights too - From: Alec Denton, Oxford Avenue, Guiseley, Leeds... (letter)
Yorkshire Post 2.10.02 Echoing concerns - From: William Snowden, Butterbowl Gardens, Farnley, Leeds - By voicing concerns about the iniquities of political correctness, the burgeoning compensation culture and the dreadful decline of rural communities, Prince Charles is quite properly echoing the earnest concerns of many millions of people... (letter)
Yorkshire Post 2.10.02 Private letters From: Mrs Sheila Wolstenholme, West View Terrace, Hampsthwaite, Harrogate. I do think Prince Charles has every citizen's rights to write on whatever subjects he feels strongly about - and the letters should not be "leaked" to the Press, since they are private letters.
The ignored From: Mrs J Brason, Redhouse Park, Hatfield Woodhouse, Doncaster. Sir, - I hope Prince Charles will continue to send letters to the Government as I do. He speaks for the people whose opinions are ignored by this Government eager to dispose of everything that made England great.(;etter)
Daily Record 2.10.02 PRINCE HAS A BAD ATTITUDE ...How can a man who has everything enjoy torturing animals, for if one were to do the same to a dog or cat or even a horse we'd find ourselves in prison. - Elaine Pomeransky, Edinburgh. (letter)
Times 1.10.02 Breach of the Prince's trust - Advisers should keep their distance from Westminster …Questions about the Prince’s judgement, his allies and his future conduct have been raised; these must be addressed in his interests and for the sake of the monarchy’s continuing welfare… The Prince’s advisers should ensure that he spends less time on political lobbying, weeds out advice motivated by partisan considerations and is wary of the limelight. St James’s Palace is viewed best when a reasonable distance from Westminster. (story)
Worcester Evening News 1.10.02 Would foxhunting Prince be missed? … He seems to spend three-quarters of his life on this pursuit and the other quarter on holiday. Will he be missed?... M HARDY, Malvern (letter in archive)
Bristol Evening Post 1.10.02 CHARLES IS RIGHT TO MAKE VIEWS KNOWN - How dare anyone try to silence Prince Charles!... We have a prince who cares about his country and its people. Long may his fearless verbal onslaught and bombardment of governmental ministries and judges continue…. D E Powell, High Street, Oldland Common. (letter)
Glasgow Herald 1.10.02 Prince and letters - WITH regard to John Thorpe's ridiculous letter (September 28), it tells us more about him than it will ever tell us about Prince Charles. Bill Rutherford, 30 Halliburton Place, Galashiels (letter may be in archive)
Northern Echo 30.9.02 Hear All Sides: Prince Charles - I DON'T see why Prince Charles should not speak his mind. He is Prince of Wales, but still a citizen of our country. He cares for the countryside and country life… (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Post 30.9.02 Prince Charles - in his own write From: Norman Hitchen, Edens Way, Ripon. What is all the fuss about? Prince Charles has the same right as every citizen to write to Ministers of the Crown. I do. The real issue is - does he receive the same sort of replies that most of us receive?... (letter)
Manchester Evening News 30.9.02 TO deny the Prince of Wales his right to say his piece, however controversial, goes against everything this country stands for… I can only hope he will be a man of his word when hunting, a cruel personal pleasure of uncaring people, is stopped once and for all. I hope, too, that he will take all the royals - and Mrs Parker Bowles - with him. Les, Wythenshawe (letter)
York Evening Press 30.9.02 Whinging prince - PRINCE Charles has finally shown his true colours. He's thrown the toys out of his pram, stamped his little royal foot, and declared that if nasty Mr Blair bans fox-hunting, he will spend all his time abroad skiing. No change there then!...Ella Hirst, Coggan Close, York (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 30.9.02 FOX HUNTING …I think the question should be 'if hunting were a favourite pastime/hobby of any ethnic minority, gay/lesbian group, would this Government even consider banning it?' I think we all know the answer to that, or would hunting suddenly qualify for a Government grant or even Lottery money? - M Kilvington, Richmond. (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 30.9.02 PRINCE CHARLES HAS MEASURE OF BLAIR …The fact is that a large number of this country's citizens will agree wholeheartedly with Prince Charles' comments on New Labour's excessive emphasis on "political correctness," and the increasing domination of the American claims culture… Tim Williams, Exeter (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 29.9.02 IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION: THAT RARE BREED CALLED THE FARMER - Prince Charles is in hot water over his comments that farmers are more victimised than homosexuals and black people - Andrew Byron - Can this really be so? Are farmers really an oppressed minority?... (story)
Independent on Sunday 29.9.02 Charles allies 'may have leaked letter' By Andrew Clennell (story)
Sunday Telegraph 29.9.02 Prince Charles writes to Blair expressing 'regret' over leak By Andrew Alderson, Chief Reporter (story)
Observer 29.9.02 Politics and the Prince - Franziska Thomas and Sunder Katwala (story)
Observer 29.9.02 Angry of Windsor keeps on writing - Ben Summerskill and Kamal Ahmed (story) 29.9.02 Inner circle of the opinionated prince (story)
Sunday Times 29.9.02 VICTIMS? Prince Charles is reported as saying he agrees with a Cumbrian farmer’s assertion that farmers are more victimised than blacks or gays… Dr Stuart Harbron, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire (letter)
Observer 29.9.02 Prince Charles says he will leave Britain if fox-hunting is banned. As a republican-minded person, it never occurred to me that banning fox-hunting would contribute to the abolition of the monarchy. Ray Sirotkin, London SE4 (letter)
Scotland on Sunday 29.9.02 SO, the Prince of Wales has threatened to leave Britain over the fox hunt issue. I find it amazing that this pompous, coddled, spoiled child has failed to realise how stupid such a statement appears to the rest of the world… June Bland, Alberta, Canada (letter)
Guardian 28.9.02 Disgusted of Highgrove - John O'Farrell ...Prince Charles is alleged to have repeated - and thereby given credence to - the opinion that Cumbrian hill farmers get worse treatment than black or gay people.... The subtext of Charles's latest rant is that it would be all right if black and gay people were being persecuted but these farmers are upstanding white Englishman and that's just not on... (story)
Guardian 28.9.02 A grain of truth within the royal chaff - Simon Hoggart - There's a lot of common sense in Prince Charles' letters. Sadly, reading them must be rather like eating a pomegranate; the recipients must wonder whether it's worth all the trouble just to get at those little pips full of goodness... (story)
Western Daily Press 28.9.02 How can Prince Charles and his favourite church minister justify the appalling sadistic hunting of God's creatures?... J Churchill Beckington Somerset (letter)
Western Morning News 28.9.02 THIS week Prince Charles has soared in my estimations... I may not agree with everything he says, but the fact the heir to the throne is prepared to try and break free from the suffocating protocols that surround his station and exercise his right to free speech is a refreshing eye opener, and he should be applauded... Steve Dawe, St Ives (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 28.9.02 PRINCE IS RIGHT ... We are truly blessed that God has anointed this Prince to rule over us. In these difficult times his moral guidance is invaluable. JOHN CRAMPTON Ullswater Crescent Bramcote (letter)
Times 27.9.02 Prince's letter on gay and black rights does not exist BY ANDREW PIERCE - THE private letter from the Prince of Wales to Tony Blair, which triggered the row about the extent to which he has been lobbying ministers, does not exist. The Times has learnt that the disputed document, in which the Prince endorsed a farmer’s view that the rural community was more discriminated against than gays and black people, was a carefully crafted minute of a confidential meeting he had with Tony Blair at St James’s Palace…. (story)
Telegraph 27.9.02 Royalty has its rights and its responsibilities By Rachel Sylvester …"If he wants to be king," one minister said, bluntly, "he's got to shut up." (story)
Guardian 27.9.02 Leaks of prince's letters to ministers spiral - Stephen Bates and Kevin Maguire - (story)
Independent 27.9.02 Ministers tell Prince Charles: you should get out more By Andrew Grice Political Editor - Ministers want the Prince of Wales to recruit a much wider circle of advisers to ensure that he gets a broader picture of the state of Britain today… (story)
Mirror 27.9.02 Matthew Norman - One foot in the mouth for Charles … Far from suggesting Kitchen's brave King, who took on a brutal right-wing leader, they remind you of a politer Victor Meldrew - a tragi-comic figure always getting in a strop about some infuriating minor detail of modern life or another…. (story)
Scotsman 27.9.02 Private-school myths of choice and charity - Gillian Ferguson - I’ve always had a soft spot for Charles, seemingly a sensitive personality trapped in an insensitive system… Though I shall be writing myself to suggest, ahem, his pro-hunt stance is a hideous mismatch with his causes portfolio. (story)
Telegraph 27.9.02 Added liability - I read Prince Charles's letter to Lord Irving about litigiousness (Sept 26) and believe that he is right…. Richard Guthrie, Todmorden, Lancs (letter in archive)
Telegraph 27.9.02 If only … He is writing what many thousands of people across the country would write, if only we thought that our letters would have a chance of being read. P A Jennings, Bristol (letter in archive)
Telegraph 27.9.02 Listen up … When he allows his views on public life to be examined head to head with, for example, Jeremy Paxman, then a lot more people might start to listen to him. Paul Walter, Newbury, Berks (letter in archive)
Telegraph 27.9.02 Speak, if you dare - Thank God for a Prince who says what the Opposition dares not. Nicholas Salaman, London SW10 (letter in archive)
Guardian 27.9.02 Write-in vote for a royal contender
Given the life he lives and the company he keeps, Prince Charles's views are no surprise, and will influence no one… Geoffrey Lang, London
I disagree with much of what Prince Charles champions but limiting what he can say would be an assault on his right to free expression. Theo Hopkins, Lifton, Devon
Giving his views is desirable as long as he doesn't get involved in party politics. A Wills, Ruislip, Middx
Given the latest set of reactionary missives from Charles Windsor, I assume he will be the first Conservative candidate for the British presidency. Mike Homfray, Liverpool
Would it not have been both courageous and politically correct for ministers to ignore the Prince of Wales's correspondence? John Mallinson, Oxted, Surrey
Could you help? I have an embarrassing complaint: I find myself agreeing with Prince Charles. Should I consult my doctor or vote Tory? Martin Ward, Thelnetham, Suffolk
For 200 years previous princes of Wales specialised in partying and womanising. Our democracy would be safer if Prince Charles continued this tradition. Roch Garrard, Hook, Hants
Why can't he write to the Guardian like the rest of us? Anne Cowper, Swansea (letters)
Western Morning News 27.9.02 CHARLES 'SHOULD BE ALLOWED HIS SAY' - PAUL BERGER AND PAUL ANDREWS - Leading members of the rural community in the Westcountry have defended Prince Charles' right to correspond with ministers. Michael Galsworthy, vice-Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, said yesterday: "I think it is marvellous that he speaks out in such a diplomatic way, it's just regrettable somebody leaked the letters. I think the Prince's input is enormously helpful, to any Government, to help get over points of view that we would never normally be able to make, and I think we should be very grateful."… (story)
Western Morning News 27.9.02 PEOPLE OF CORNWALL TELL PRINCE CHARLES: The people of Cornwall yesterday stood firmly behind Prince Charles over his widely-criticised letters to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Government Ministers…. Jeremy Dowling, spokesman for the Bishop of Truro, said: "Prince Charles has shown, in a variety of ways over many years, a keen and passionate interest in the rights of the individual, and we welcome his continued interest and his desire to draw the attention of Government to matters which concern him and many within Cornwall."… (story)
Cumberland News 27.9.02 CHARLES WINS SUPPORT OF 'VICTIMISED' COUNTRYSIDE - FARMERS, politicians and the ordinary people of rural Cumbria today sprang to the defence of Prince Charles over his reported claim that farmers were treated in a way which would have been unthinkable if they were black or gay…. (story)
Torquay Herald Express 27.9.02 TAKE CAMILLA WITH YOU WHEN YOU GO - So Prince Charles has remarked that if hunting is banned he "might as well leave this country and spend the rest of my life skiing". Fine, but with this proviso - take Camilla with him… JUNE RICHARDS, Southfield Avenue, Preston, Paignton (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 27.9.02 TOFFS IN PEASANTS' CLOTHING - IF banning the hunting of wild animals with dogs for sport - don't give me that stuff about protecting livestock - will rid us of the adulterous privileged prat who is heir to the British throne, let's do it, I say…. MIKE BIRD, Main Road, Maryport (letter)
Telegraph 26.9.02 'Black spider' letters catch Charles in web of controversy - Leak has benefited no one, but has stirred up sensitive issues. Caroline Davies and Charles Clover report… (story)
Telegraph 26.9.02 Charles defends political letters By Caroline Davies (story)
Times 26.9.02 I won't put down my pen, declares Prince of letters BY TOM BALDWIN AND ANDREW PIERCE (story)
Times 26.9.02 Charles pressures ministers on his pet subjects BY ANDREW PIERCE AND TOM BALDWIN (story)
Times 26.9.02 Plenty of princes have had time for mischief making BY ALAN HAMILTON (story)
Times 26.9.02 'Cranky' ideas of a royal campaigner find acceptance at last BY MICHAEL HORSNELL (story)
Times 26.9.02 A Prince writes - We intercept a royal missive - My dear Prime Minister, I am writing further to my earlier letters of 9.30 this morning, 11.15 and 2.30. It now being nearly teatime and your not having favoured me with the grace of a reply I feel it is my bounden duty as a Prince of the Blood Royal to emphasise the grave constitutional importance of the matters I raised…. (story)
Guardian 26.9.02 Hunt for source of Charles's leaked letter puts both sides in firing line - Stephen Bates and Michael White (story)
Independent 26.9.02 Prince Charles says row will not stop letters to ministers By Robert Verkaik Legal Affairs Correspondent (story)
Independent 26.9.02 Analysis: The truth about political correctness - in black and white By Sean O'Grady …Nor is the reactionary right free from a tendency to intolerance and euphemism. Bloodsports such as fox hunting are nowadays "field sports" or even more absurdly "a way of life". The British Field Sports Society has mutated into much friendlier sounding Countryside Alliance. And killing animals for fun and demanding subsidies for farmers goes under the more catchy "Liberty and Livelihood". That, many would argue, really is political correctness gone mad (story)
Independent 26.9.02 The Prince of Wales should keep out of politics (story)
York Evening Post 26.9.02 Rural communities to welcome the campaigning Prince - RURAL communities in North Yorkshire will give a big welcome to Prince Charles when he visits the county next month. The Prince this week voiced his concerns on the future of the countryside in a letter to the Prime Minister. People living in rural areas say they are relieved to know their plight has been recognized… Jeremy Timm, joint master of York and Ainsty South Hunt, said Prince Charles's views on the countryside and hunting were well known. He said: "People in the countryside and countrymen respect him for taking a stance…." (story in archive)
Northern Echo 26.9.02 Charles is told to keep out of politics by Andrew Douglas and Richard Barker … Cattle and sheep farmer John Stobart, who farms in Middleton-in-Teesdale, also supports the prince's stance. He said: "I think Prince Charles is right to stand up and make his feelings known, and I'm glad he's coming to Middleton-in-Teesdale to meet farmers and the community."… (story in archive)
Yorkshire Post 26.9.02 Prince hits back in row over letters sent to Ministers (story)
Yorkshire Post 26.9.02 One more delivery by Royal male - The revelation that Prince Charles has been writing to Ministers to express his concerns should come as no surprise because he has a long track record of speaking out on issues that matter to him. Andrew Vine reports… (story)
Western Mail 26.9.02 You're right to stick up for the countryside, say Welsh leaders - HE'S not exactly a knight and he doesn't wear shining armour, but last night Prince Charles was as good as nominated a hero of the revolution that's building in the countryside…. (story)
Daily Record 26.9.02 PRINCE'S LETTER ROW (story)
Cumberland News & Star 26.9.02 CHARLES AND THE MINIMUM WAGE - SO Prince Charles understands more than the Prime Minister about rural issues, (News & Star, September 23). This is the man who is reported to believe farmers suffer more discrimination than ethnic minorities and gays…. ELIZABETH DAVIDSON, Scotland Road, Carlisle
IF Prince Charles is so in touch with the rural way of life why was he, like many other employers from a wide variety of backgrounds, forced to give many of his workers on his vast estates a compulsory pay rise when the minimum wage was introduced?... RICHARD THOMAS, Newtown Road, Carlisle (letter)
North West Evening Mail 25.9.02 SHOULD PRINCE CHARLES GET INVOLVED IN POLITICS? (Vox Pop) (story)
BBC News Online 25.9.02 Palace defends prince's letters - St James's Palace has defended Prince Charles after he came under fire for a letter-writing campaign to ministers… (story)
Yorkshire Post 25.9.02 In his own write - THE unmasking of the Prince of Wales as a serial letter-writer, regularly corresponding with Ministers on matters dear to his heart, has ruffled the feathers of some Left-wing MPs… (story)
East Grinstead Courier 25.9.02 Soames denies he wrote Charles' protest to PM - By Fiona Evans, East Grinstead Observer - TORY MP Nicholas Soames has slammed reports he drafted a pro-hunting letter to Tony Blair from royal pal Prince Charles… Mr Soames, who shares his time between London and Handcross, spent the day at the Livelihood and Liberty march with 16 members of his family, including his 80-year-old mother and six-year-old daughter…. (story)
Scotsman 25.9.02 I am astonished at your report (23 September) concerning Prince Charles’s threat to leave the country, should fox-hunting be banned. Perhaps it is time that the rest of the United Kingdom put the population first, and banned fox-hunting UK-wide to call his bluff. Antony Jack EDINBURGH (letter)
Guardian 25.9.02 Shoot the Prince's fox
It is now up to gay, black, bloodsports enthusiasts to come forward and let us know in which area of life they suffer most discrimination… Mark Achurch, Oxford (letter)
Times 25.9.02 Royal letters
Sir, I was heartened to learn that the Prince of Wales takes our lobbying of him so seriously that he takes up our worries with government ministers… Long may Prince Charles continue his eloquent and informed private lobbying of government ministers on our behalf. GILL TRAYNER, 6 Northlands House, Salthill Road, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 3PY
… Let’s be clear. Prince Charles enjoys a life of privilege and influence purely through accident of birth. He should not attempt to justify this privilege by claiming a corresponding duty to become the self-appointed mouthpiece of the allegedly unrepresented. ANDY SMITH, 21 Picton Way, Caversham, Berkshire RG4 8NJ.
Sir, Has the Government considered the fact that if it truly understood the concerns of country people, the Prince of Wales would not need to write so many letters? DELL WILLIAMS, 6 Acton Place, Vicarage Road, Yalding, Kent ME18 6DN. (letters)
Times 24.9.02 Labour counts Prince's letters By Andrew Pierce and Tom Baldwin - THE Prince of Wales is under investigation by a Labour Party think-tank over the extent of his private lobbying of government ministers. A dossier is being compiled by the Fabian Society, which is affiliated to the Labour Party, as part of its review into the future of the Royal Family. The information about Prince Charles placing pressure on politicans has come from academics and unnamed sources of the society with close links to ministers… (story)
Guardian 24.9.02 Dear Charles: some facts on discrimination, farmers and the gay and black communities - Tania Branigan, Peter Hetherington and David Walker - Leading figures from the gay and ethnic minority communities yesterday poured scorn on the view quoted by the Prince of Wales in a letter to the prime minister that farmers suffered more discrimination than they did, dismissing the comments as offensive and absurd… (story)
Argus 24.9.02 MP blasts Charles letter - A Sussex MP today attacked Prince Charles's decision to criticise the Government's countryside policy. Lewes Lib Dem MP Norman Baker said it was "unconstitutional" for Charles to step into the world of politics by writing to Prime Minister Tony Blair…. (story in archive)
Cumberland News & Star 24.9.02 COUTRYSIDE SHOUTS LOUDLY, BUT WHAT IS THE MESSAGE? CHARLIE may be the new darling of the farming community. And the hundreds of thousands who marched in London on Saturday for "Liberty and Livelihood" demonstrated that country folk won't take any threat to their way of life lying down. In what those mysterious and anonymous "official sources" described euphemistically as an "intemperate" letter to Tony Blair, Prince Charles hit a raw New Labour nerve alright by suggesting that Cumbrian farmers felt more victimised than gays and blacks… (story)
Western Morning News 24.9.02 BLAIR AND PRINCE 'HAVE GOOD RELATIONSHIP' - Downing Street officials yesterday said that Tony Blair and Prince Charles enjoyed a "very good relationship," despite reports that the prince had written to the Prime Minister voicing concerns over the handling of rural issues… (story)
Western Morning News 24.9.02 Prince as prey? …Prince Charles is said to have written to the Prime Minister saying that if hunting were banned he'd leave the country and go skiing the year round. We know just what he can in future do with the produce/products which emanate from the Duchy farms. Perhaps I could suggest he go somewhere where he could be sure of year-round snow but to leave his shotgun at home. The Arctic, perhaps, where he might find out what it's like to be chased to death by polar bears… (letter)
Guardian 23.9.02 Row over Charles' lobbying letter - Stephen Bates - Prince Charles's staff made little effort to deny reports yesterday that he had warned Tony Blair that farmers were more victimised than black or gay people… The remarks are likely to anger ministers as well as the country's ethnic minorities, of whose urban problems the prince has been made well aware over the years, and homosexuals, about whom he has shown less sympathy… (story)
Times 23.9.02 Farmers are more victimised than blacks, says Prince - A LETTER by the Prince of Wales claiming that farmers were more discriminated against than blacks and gays left him isolated in political and royal circles last night…. (story)
Glasgow Herald 23.9.02 Charles tells Blair 'countryside victimised' http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/archive/23-9-19102-23-42-27.html
Daily Post 23.9.02 Anger as Charles steps into rural row (story)
Ananova 22.9.02 Charles 'told PM of fears for countryside' - Downing Street has been drawn into the controversy surrounding the countryside march after reports that the Prince of Wales relayed rural concerns in a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair… (story)
Sunday Telegraph 22.9.02 Prince Charles tells Blair: 'Farmers are being treated worse than blacks or gays' The Prince of Wales has written to Tony Blair to say that he agrees with farmers who believe that they are victimised more than "blacks or gays". In an impassioned intervention on behalf of the countryside, Prince Charles told the Prime Minister that he agreed with a farmer in Cumbria who told him that "if we, as a group, were black or gay, we would not be victimised or picked upon"… The disclosure of the intervention will hearten the 300,000 people expected to attend today's Liberty and Livelihood march on London organised by the Countryside Alliance. The protest is aimed at demonstrating opposition to a ban on foxhunting and to defend the rural way of life…. (story)
Independent on Sunday 22.9.02 Farmers victimised like gays, says Charles By Jo Dillon and Severin Carrell - The news came as Prince Charles's companion Camilla Parker Bowles was today expected to ignore the pleas of his advisers and take part in the countryside march in central London… Mrs Parker Bowles, a "passionate" member of the Beaufort hunt, is expected to ignore fears that her presence at the largest anti-government protest for years will raise constitutional and political problems for the Royal Family… (story)
Sunday Times 22.9.02 Charles: farmers ‘more victimised than blacks’ (story)
Scotland on Sunday 22.9.02 Prince : I'll leave Britain over fox hunt ban - JEREMY WATSON - PRINCE Charles has sparked an explosive clash between the monarchy and the government after launching an outspoken attack on the Prime Minister over plans to ban fox hunting… In an outburst overheard by a senior politician, the Prince is also alleged to have said: "If Labour bans hunting I’ll leave Britain and spend the rest of my life skiing."… (story)
Mirror 23.9.02 CHARLES IS RUNNING WITH WRONG PACK - PRINCE CHARLES feels passionately about hunting but so do lots of people on both sides of the argument… And it didn't need an intervention from Prince Charles and his Tory pal to achieve that. (story)
Yorkshire Post 23.9.02 Row over Prince's reported bid to influence Premier (story)

Evesham Journal 3.10.02 Is this the freedom to do what we will? - WHEN I was a lad them nasty adults stopped me and me mates catching hairy old bluebottles to pluck their wings off and have a laff... `Hare Coursing' the Nobs call it. Best thing is that you don't have to do the pulling off bit yourself. They got Dogs to do that! Wow, short work of it they do make with their sharp teeth and strong jaws. ... MICHAEL THOMAS PARKER, Grange Cottage, Main Street, Sedgeberrow (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 3.10.02 CHASE IS JUST BLOOD LUST - The age-old custom of 'blooding' someone out on their first hunt is absolute proof of the barbarity of these people... Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 3.10.02 HUNT DEBATE IS NOW CLOSED - I, and probably many other readers, am bored with the interminable and often lengthy letters on the subject of hunting with dogs... Parliament has democratically voted on the issue and the Government should now stop pussyfooting around and consign this trivia to the history books... J Rainey Uplands Bristol (letter)

Scotsman 3.10.02 Agonising end for the hunt's terrorised quarry - Jean Johnstone (Letters, 30 September) tries to equate the instant death of an animal from a marksman’s bullet with the fate of wild mammals hounded to death by the hunt. There is no equivalence. .. LYNNE MITCHELL, Lower Mains, Dollar, Clackmannanshire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 3.10.02 SADISTIC - Hunting sickens me, largely because hunters call it sport and actually enjoy a jolly fun day as they inflict terror, exhaustion and death on an animal... JOY MISSEN, Mannamead (letter)

Cabridge News 3.10.02 It's hardly sporting - From Daphne Foreman, Sturton Street, Cambridge - MR Rowberry has missed the point in that fox-hunting (or any hunting with dogs) is not a matter of preference and democracy but the issue is one of causing terror and agony to living creatures... (letter)
Cambridge News 27.9.02 From M K Rowberry, Little Downham … How is it possible to justify legislating against those who believe hunting is a relevant and integral strand of country life? The heretic is safe from the stake; the huntsman must be saved from the ban. These are the threads of democracy; we should not wear them out. (letter)

Royston Crow 3.10.02 MP in talks with farmers - FARMERS from the Royston and Baldock area have met MP Oliver Heald to discuss the menace of illegal hare-coursing.... (story)
The Comet 3.10.02 - You report that MP Oliver Heald has spoken out against hare coursing. Isn't this a form of hunting with dogs? DAVID HARROWELL, Station Road, Arlesey (letter)

Worthing Herald 3.10.02 snared fox dies in agony ...The young fox was found hiding in a garden in Singleton Crescent. It is believed he had been in the snare for a few days as his wounds were crawling with maggots. Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service (WADARS) was called and he was taken to Grove Lodge veterinary surgery, but he died on the operating table.... (story in archive)

Manchester Evening News 3.10.02 A poor response - A READER wrote to thank the RSPCA (Postbag, Sept 23). She must have phoned them on a good day! I have tried to get them twice in the last two months... The RSPCA has gone off my list and I shall not be giving to them again. Sorry, RSPCA. Get your act together. Mrs I Birchall, Stretford (letter)

Manchester Evening News 3.10.02 Cruel trade - BLACKPOOL is a good place to walk... However, on the promenade one can often see photographers with snakes, for visitors to have their photo taken with. In this day and age, I feel this is unacceptable. These reptiles are gentle creatures, are in what is an awful environment for them, and should not be subjected to so many people touching them.... J Marshall, Burnley (letter)

LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE
Yorkshire Post 2.10.02 Delegates poised to vote for total fox-hunting ban - LABOUR delegates are today expected to clear the decks for a total ban on hunting, just as the Government boasts that it is the true party of the countryside. The Labour conference is poised to endorse calls for MPs to be able to override any opposition in the House of Lords to a hunting ban. And in Blackpool yesterday, a member of the party's ruling national executive committee, Tony Robinson, told delegates that hunting was a "tawdry obscenity".... (story)
Northern Echo 2.10.02 'End obscenity of fox hunting' - ACTOR Tony Robinson yesterday called for an end to the "tawdry obscenity" of fox hunting. Mr Robinson, pictured, best known for his role as Baldrick in the Blackadder series, is a member of Labour's ruling National Executive Committee... (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 2.10.02 BECKETT DODGES RURAL REVOLT Rural Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett yesterday tried to head off the rural revolution by claiming that Labour was the real party of the countryside... Although she made no direct reference to the 400,000-strong Liberty And Livelihood March, it clearly forced her to respond to claims that Labour does not understand the countryside. But she made no new announcements and angered farmers by her insistence on an end to many of their current subsidies... Mrs Beckett failed to mention hunting, even though she has overall control of the Government Bill that will decide its fate.... The League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund For Animal Welfare announced the results of a new opinion poll on the march. MORI questioned 628 marchers and said fewer than half could count themselves as truly rural dwellers... (story)
Western Morning News 2.10.02 BECKETT'S 'CONTEMPT' There were plenty of things that Margaret Beckett could have said yesterday to calm the anger of rural Britain - but she did the opposite. London Editor... Mal Treharne, Westcountry spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, which organised last month's Liberty and Livelihood march in London, said it was "astounding" that Mrs Beckett's speech had given so little attention to the problems of the countryside.... (story)
Western Morning News 2.10.02 DESPAIR AND DISBELIEF OVER LATEST GOVERNMENT SNUB TO FARMERS - Members of Parliament representing rural constituencies in the Westcountry said last night that they were dismayed but not surprised by the dismissive attitude of Tony Blair and Margaret Beckett... North Cornwall Liberal Democrat MP Paul Tyler said: "I think the Blair Government has lost the plot as far as farming is concerned. There is a clear case for saying bring back Nick Brown as Minister for Agriculture. Mr Brown had the inestimable advantage that he did not pretend to know it all..." South-East Cornwall MP Colin Breed, the Liberal Democrat Party's spokesman for agriculture and rural affairs, commented:..."She seems determined to close down any debate or discussion as something which is the fault of globalisation and world markets and which in her view has very little to do with her department...." Mr Breed added: "The Government has tried to ignore the fact that over 400,000 people decided for whatever reason to go to London and hold a protest about all sorts of issues, of which hunting was just one. It is pretending that this does not matter. That is ridiculous."...(story)

LIBERTY & LIVELIHOOD MARCH
Louth Leader 2.10.02 council leader applauded for praising liberty march - APPLAUSE greeted East Lindsey District Council's leader Coun Mike Capes when he praised the 400,000 Liberty and Livelihood march in London.... He had been asked by Coun Robert Palmer if he agreed the march had been an overwhelming success and a wake-up call to the government on farming and rural issues.... Coun Capes said he had been in London on the big day for a Local Government Association meeting on government reforms of fundings for councils. Two politicians who had watched the march told him they found it very emotional. Regardless of differences over hunting, shooting and fishing, the countryside must get across the message that rural areas were unfairly treated.... (story in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 2.10.02 WHY CAN'T THE HUNTERS GO AFTER RAT POPULATION? - Looking at the Countryside Alliance march, one wonders that if its supporters wish to hunt animals, why they do not decide to hunt rats instead of foxes... T Marsh, Exeter (letter)

Scotsman 2.10.02 Freedom of choice - The Countryside march in London was a terrific demonstration by Britain’s countryside, but the 407,791 who took part were a small proportion. Many many more were unable to take part because of other commitments... DAVID WATHEN, Eskadale, Strathglass, Inverness-shire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 2.10.02 ALLIANCE MARCH FOOLED NO ONE - So, THE Countryside Alliance (alias British Fieldsports Society!) have had their march, and have been told the Government's actions will not be affected by their efforts, I'm glad to know... These dreadful people stoop to the lowest tricks and lies as a way of life, and now they've been shown up for what they are, they don't like it....(Mrs) PEARL DUKE, Mary Tavy (letter)

Yorkshire Post 2.10.02 Compromise for the countryside From: Jim Reid, Littlebeck Lane, Sleights, Whitby - Now that the Countryside March is over and rural dissatisfactions have been aired, can we now, as a nation, strive towards a solution of compromise?... Other abhorrent traditions have already gone. Hare coursing is plain repugnant and fox and stag hunting with dogs has been proved to be totally ineffective as regards claimed pest control... (letter)

Shropshire Star 2.10.02 Marchers put off by hunt issue ...I would have gladly taken my family to support the cause in London on Sunday if the Alliance had not allowed the hunt brigade to hijack the event, and muddy the waters.... Frank J Ashfield, Chirbury, Montgomery (letter in archive)

Horncastle News 2.10.02 Alliance has hijacked rural plight - I think that it is a terrible pity that the pro-hunting lobby, in the guise of the Countryside Alliance, has effectively hijacked public awareness of the political issues of rural policy. I and my ancestors have lived and worked in rural Lincolnshire for many years and I feel passionately about the preservation of the countryside, but I wasn’t present at the march in London because I refuse to support in any way, a move to retain the barbaric practise of hunting with dogs... MRS PICK West Ashby (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 2.10.02 NO MENTION OF ANTI-WAR DEMO - Last week we heard about the impending Countryside Alliance march every day. How come we've heard very little about the anti-war demo that is taking place this weekend. Double standards by the media?... MIKE COOKE Chesterton (story)

York Evening Press 2.10.02 Pig farmer's lament - IT IS not a case of town verses country (Helen Mead, September 30). My pig farm depended on `townies' to buy my produce but the in-betweens have so forced down ex-farm prices for the past five years I have to stop production before I am forced to... Our Government neither understands nor cares about the countryside and that was the main reason for the London march - Fred Henley, Green Farm, Seaton Ross, York. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 30.9.02 A country girl confesses - by Helen Mead - Help, I'm confused. For the past week, in fact ever since thousands of people took to the streets to battle for the legal right to hunt down and kill wildlife, I have heard more than a few damning remarks against a certain section of the population. No, we're not talking racism or sexism here. We're talking townism… Brought up in a country village, I then spent eight years living in London and for the past 13 years I have lived in a city… I… Despise fox hunting as inhumane and only ever considered going to the hunt ball to stage a protest… Am certainly not vegetarian and am particularly partial to rabbit pie (so long as it has not been hunted with dogs)… (story in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 2.10.02 He has no idea about country life - I AM writing in response to the columnist Peter Heaton-Jones, Tue, September 24. What an ignorant man he is... The countryside march held on September 22 was about more than hunting, but about values of country life. Values that some people could never possibly understand, people like Mr Heaton-Jones, who sits in a warm studio, talking for a living!.. P J Lait, Pavenhill, Purton (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 2.10.02 PROTESTER CONFUSES COUNTRYSIDE ISSUES - I am writing in response to Sandra Barker's letter?"Speaking out over cruelty to animals" (Opinion, September 26). I was privileged to be on the march and would like to comment on her remarks as follows: She is correct when she says she stood with a few in Parliament Square - if the march concentrated on the bloodsports issue, where were the remainder of the so-called majority in favour of a ban? I find it difficult to believe that they were constantly verbally abused - certainly not when I passed and, as those of us there will know, it was a very slow procession. She claims one marcher threw rotten eggs and that a few spat at them. This was deplorable, but, if true, demonstrates out of 400,000 people, it was a very well-behaved gathering.... Mick Thomas,Ashby Road,Ticknall. (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 2.10.02 COUNTRYSIDE MARCH COMMENTS SO UNFAIR - In reply to Ms Barker's letter about the Countryside March (Opinion, September 26), may I say how terribly unfair I found her comments... I can honestly say that the march was an extremely good-natured affair and to say that the protesters were verbally abused is completely untrue... I'd ask that you please don't publish my name and address as Ms Barker's fellow protesters also carried a placard, stating: "While you are here marching, my mates are in the country, robbing your houses." It says a lot, doesn't it? (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 2.10.02 March was different - Alun Michael said the "Liberty & Livelihood March" was unlike any he had been on, and that he could not understand the reasons for the march. The reasons were simple: to oppose a ban on hunting and to highlight the way this Government is treating the rural community...Steve Brookes, Moxley Road, Wednesbury (letter)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 2.10.02 Common sense not greed from farmers - Janet Cummings (Chron letters, September 27) obviously does not like farmers and accuses them of being greedy... One can only promote conservation out of profitable farming . . . that is why farmers chose to march last weekend. Branch Chairman, Northampton NFU, Cottesbrooke. (letter)

The Shields Gazette 2.10.02 Respect freedom - WHEN a local MP hopes it rains in London (Gazette, September 18) on the day of the Countryside Alliance march, he shows a complete contempt for others. When he disparagingly refers to the green-wellied brigade, he displays a fundamental basis of prejudice. I was on that march and saw it from beginning to end. I saw no green wellies. It did rain briefly, and ironically, as we passed 10 Downing Street.... In short, Mr Hepburn, I marched because of the shackles the Government has placed on every citizen in this land, making it not unlike Orwell's 1984 world. I marched for freedom. Name and address supplied.(letter)

Louth Leader 2.10.02 Foxhunts take the welfare of animals very seriously - I am not involved, nor ever have been, in fox hunting... I believe that foxhunts across the country maintain the highest standards of animal welfare and take this responsibility seriously... Ultimately the Liberty and Livelihood march was about protecting us from bigotry and prejudice, particularly at this moment, against hunting with dogs. It was about the need for parliament to deal with the real problems threatening our economy, our communities and the future of our children. E.R.Jervis (letter)

Market Rasen Mail 2.10.02 We are a rather large fly in Labour’s ointment ...As a 16-year-old on my first march campaigning about something I really have an interest and view on, I was amazed at how civil everything was. The organisation of the whole event was outstanding and with the cause being shown as of a high calibre, you could see why the government has been neglecting our farmers...-Alex Heron, West Torrington (letter)

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 2.10.02 At a loss to know what march about - YOUR feature on the thousands who attended the so called Countryside March last Sunday from Shropshire, only reminded me that tens of thousands of Shropshire people did not attend that march.... Those countryside marchers do not speak for the majority of us who live in the country and we loath their obsession with killing for fun. Do us a favour, clear off to the town every weekend and let the townies come to us to enjoy a bit of fresh air. P Bolton, The Yeld, Clee St Margaret, Craven Arms. (letter in archive)

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 2.10.02 Opposed to cruel sports - SHALL I tell you why I am against hunting with dogs? It is not just fox hunting, it's the other cruel sports such as stag hunting... This march, the fox hunters, they think they have built up a lot of support. There is a lot of discontent in the countryside, but I don't think the countryside should have joined the march. They should have distanced themselves away from the fox hunters. They are sending out a wrong message... Name and address supplied. (letter in archive)

Skegness Standard 2.10.02 ‘Greedy, cruel people’ want their own way - I didn’t join the marchers for Liberty and Livelihood on Sunday because I think that, for the most part, they are greedy whinging and cruel people, who talk of wanting democracy, only when they want their own way!... MR GERRY FLOWERS West Street Alford (letter)

North Devon Gazette 2.10.02 Wrong place for march? - The Countryside Alliance achieved a remarkable turnout of more than 400,000 marchers in London. But as Conservative and Labour governments have handed over control of agriculture and the rural economy to the Eurostate, shouldn’t they have been marching in Brussels? M Pagram, Chairman, UKIP North Devon. (letter in archive)

Rod Liddle
Guardian 2.10.02 Reader, I chose you...Rod Liddle ...The Mail on Sunday did manage to snap some horse-riders who, it implied, were appalled and disgusted etc. Unfortunately, by bad luck, the riders constituted one half of my own family. There was Tyler Liddle, pictured on his cute little pony, Strummer. I think Tyler has yet to make his mind up on the issue of fox hunting. He has yet to make his mind up on many, many things, being only four years old...as an indirect result of that particular 300 words of the usual blundering invective, I'm also no longer the editor of the Today programme... (story)
Telegraph 1.10.02 Foxhunt furore hounds Liddle out of his job By Tom Leonard, Media Editor - Rod Liddle, the editor of Radio 4's Today programme, stepped down from his job yesterday after being accused of revealing his Labour allegiances in a newspaper article attacking the Countryside Alliance… (story)
Times 1.10.02 Today editor quits after 'pro-Labour' hunt article BY ADAM SHERWIN AND RAY SNODDY - THE editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has been forced to resign after refusing to give up a newspaper column in which he had expressed pro-Labour views… (story)
Independent 1.10.02 Editor of 'Today' calls it a day after bias row By David Lister Media and Culture Editor - The editor of Radio 4's Today programme has stepped down from his post after being reprimanded by BBC bosses for writing a party political polemic in a national newspaper column… (story)
Guardian 1.10.02 great editor - but he crossed the line - You suggest (Leader, September 28) that the BBC stopped Rod Liddle, the editor of the Today programme, from continuing to write his column for this newspaper because he had shown disrespect towards the Countryside Alliance. You also think the BBC's response to his piece was dictated by the Daily Telegraph's disapproval. You are wrong… the piece about the Countryside Alliance was not seen by anyone in the BBC before it was printed - the result of a genuine error - and it was immediately apparent that it fell on the wrong side of the line that separates edgy, challenging commentary from a frontal attack… Mark Damazer, Deputy director, BBC News (letter)
Scotsman 1.10.02 Today editor steps down in column row (story)
Telegraph 30.9.02 Puckish, lively approach to editing - It isn't true that Today had no intention of giving proper coverage to the Liberty and Livelihood March (leading article, Sept. 26): it did, and I was the man whom editor Rod Liddle asked to do the job… Tragically, though, I was on holiday when the march happened, so I was unable to deliver. As for Rod himself, I was extremely surprised to hear him dismissed as a Labour stooge. He is nothing of the sort…. (letter)
Observer 29.9.02 A matter of opinion - It only took one column in a newspaper by Rod Liddle, editor of radio's flagship new show, to put the BBC under pressure. Jamie Doward and Vanessa Thorpe report on unease within the corporation's top brass - and how the affair could shape its future… Last week's row about the right of the Today editor, Rod Liddle, to express his political views in print has exposed serious tensions inside the BBC. His fate over the next few days will be testament to the fact that Gavyn Davies, the chairman of the corporation's board of governors… is very rattled indeed. He fears that Liddle's outburst in the pages of the Guardian may have undermined his campaign to safeguard the autonomy of the BBC… For those not familiar with the Liddle story, a brief recap: Liddle used his column to attack the Countryside March and, by implication, the Tories of the nation. 'You may... have forgotten why you voted Labour in 1997. But then you catch a glimpse of the forces supporting the Countryside Alliance: the public schools that laid on coaches; the fusty belch-filled dining rooms of the London clubs that opened their doors, for the first time, to the protesters; the Prince of Wales, and, of course, Camilla: and suddenly, rather gloriously, it might be that you remember once again,' Liddle snarled… leaving Today would be a wrench and Liddle wants some space to make up his mind. 'I just want a weekend. I am going to go blackberrying with my children and I will maybe make my decision on Sunday night…. (story)
Sunday Times 29.9.02 Profile: Rod Liddle …Rod Liddle, editor of Radio 4’s Today programme and a Guardian columnist, is a self-publicist of the highest rank (he will be loving every word of this, even by the time he gets to the end) who rejoices in being the grit in the corporation’s oyster. The almost total disregard shown by the Today programme, promoted as the flagship of “serious, intelligent” BBC journalism, towards the Countryside Alliance’s massive show of strength has been linked to Liddle’s hatred for all things Tory, and foxhunting in particular…
Sunday Telegraph 29.9.02 Rod Liddle is a man for Today By Andrew Gimson - Rod Liddle is a brilliant journalist under whose editorship the Today programme has gone from strength to strength. He is in trouble now because he stands accused of displaying "the most blatant bias, animus, and even party allegiance" in a column he wrote for The Guardian attacking the Countryside Alliance. As far as that column is concerned the attack is perfectly justifiable, or at least understandable, for he was thoroughly offensive about the wonderful people who went on the countryside march and said that the mere sight of them would be enough to remind many people why they voted Labour in 1997. But as far as Liddle's wider record is concerned the attack is most certainly not justified. He is a friend of freedom, a natural libertarian who delights in saying things that many journalists who believe themselves to be liberal would not only refuse to say themselves but would very much like to stop anyone else from saying either…. (story)
Guardian 28.9.02 Today editor to leave after claims of bias - Matt Wells, media correspondent - The Today editor Rod Liddle was last night negotiating an exit from the BBC's flagship news programme after bosses declared his Guardian column was incompatible with his main job. Liddle was considering his options after being accused of revealing his political allegiance in a piece that poured scorn on the participants in Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood march... (story)
Guardian 28.9.02 Giving Rod the boot
The hierarchy of the BBC censure Rod Riddle for expressing his anti-Countryside Alliance, pro-Labour views in his column. Yet they were content to let him write that Africa is a lost cause, that the men accused of the murder of Stephen Lawrence were obviously innocent, and that he approves of the extremist mullah Abu Hamza... And Prince Charles still complains that black Britons are more privileged than green wellies? Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, London
Last year John Humphrys told the Field he was pro-hunt, but I don't recall the Telegraph responding with accusations of bias on Today... Ben Stewart, London
For once, Rod Liddle writes an article that is heartfelt, sociologically plausible and nicely turned, and he is immediately threatened with the sack from his day job... Peter Snowdon, Brussels, Belgium (letters)
Telegraph 26.9.02 Slanted thought on Today - Who wrote this? "you may have forgotten why you voted Labour in 1997. But then you catch a glimpse of the forces supporting the Countryside Alliance: the public schools that laid on coaches; the fusty, belch-filled dining rooms of the London clubs ; the Prince of Wales and, of course, Camilla and suddenly, rather gloriously, it might be that you remember once again." The answer is Rod Liddle, Editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, in the Guardian yesterday. On its eight o'clock news bulletin the morning after Sunday's 400,000-strong Liberty and Livelihood March, the Today programme failed to mention the march at all… (story)
Independent 27.9.02 'Today' chief told to quit column after countryside tirade By David Lister Media and Culture Editor (story)
Guardian 25.9.02 Marching back to Labour - Rod Liddle - I'm not sure what I think about watching howling, slavering dogs rip a fox's throat out. I suppose, if pushed, I would venture that it was a depraved thing to do. But, then, we all need a little depravity in our lives and I would probably march to London to preserve my historic right to indulge in acts which the majority of British people would consider, perhaps, grotesquely depraved….. In my neck of the woods, the people who attended the march were largely those who own the countryside, or run it, together with a forelock-tugging menagerie of their better-paid servants…. ou may, therefore - understandably - have forgotten why you voted Labour in 1997. But then you catch a glimpse of the forces supporting the Countryside Alliance: the public schools that laid on coaches; the fusty, belch-filled dining rooms of the London clubs that opened their doors, for the first time, to the protesters; the Prince of Wales and, of course, Camilla ... and suddenly, rather gloriously, it might be that you remember once again. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 2.10.02 Forest hunt returns after month's ban - FOX hunters returned to the New Forest early today after serving out a one-month ban which had put their traditional September start on hold... Professional huntsman Paul Woodhouse, pictured, revealed that the New Forest Hounds - which employs him - had been kept busy on private land while the ban from Forestry Commission land was in force. He said: "We have been out at the invitation of several hunts in the area -- the Royal Artillery, the South West Wilts, the Wilton and the Hursley Hambledon... Hunt opponents Frankie Horan and Ken James of the New Forest Animal Protection Group say they have been following the hunt this morning and saw them drive a fox to ground... (story in archive)

Worcester Evening News 2.10.02 Anti-hunt group's rally call to support ban on `killing'... Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) is calling on people to support its fight to ban all hunting and condemn supporters who supposedly derive "pleasure from killing" animals.... POWA member Richard Britton said he rode with the Berkshire Hunt but left after two years.... "We have to remember that foxes are a member of the dog family and suffer the same pain. It is therefore unnatural to see hounds chasing a fox," said Maurice Brett... (story in archive)

Times 2.10.02 Human rights and hunting foxes - John Wadham, Director of Liberty (letter, September 26), calls for a new human right, the right to engage in any peaceful activity unless there is a legitimate reason to prevent it, any interference with which would need to be proportionate.... Specific legislation on hunting would at least have the merit of being clear-cut, as the Scottish Act has shown... BENEDICT BIRNBERG, 4 Eliot Place, Blackheath, SE3 0QL.
I found Tom Walters’s view of rights and legislation (letter, September 28) a little too simplistic. Sometimes it is clear that there should be legislation against immoral behaviour - murder is Mr Walters’s example... Until hunters feel shamed into conducting their activities in secret and no support can be found in press or Parliament, then individuals should be allowed to choose to hunt if they wish, but should expect to be regulated and controlled. Yours faithfully, CHRISTOPH HARWOOD, Wheelwright Cottage, High Street, East Meon, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 1QA. (letters)
Times 2.10.02
Times 28.9.02 Hunting and rights - John Wadham (letter, September 26) complains about “the trend to create more criminal offences” and argues that the civil rights of the individual are at risk... Surely the point is whether foxhunting is cruel and unnecessary... TOM WALTERS, 566 Kenton Road, Harrow Weald, Middlesex HA3 7LJ. (letter)
Times 26.9.02 Hunting ban and human rights - The debate over banning hunting (letters, September 24, etc) raises issues about freedom, human rights and criminalisation. We take no position on the rights and wrongs of foxhunting itself, but we are concerned about the trend to create more criminal offences. Governments should not criminalise activities without good reason; unfortunately, that is all too often their first response to a problem…. A new right needs to be added, perhaps in the context of a new Bill of Rights: the right to engage in any peaceful activity unless there is a legitimate reason to prevent it. Any interference would need to be properly regulated by law and its effect would have to be proportionate. This new right would allow the foxhunting debate to be properly aired in human rights terms, and would allow the courts to take a view if laws enacted by governments are unjustified. JOHN WADHAM, Director, Liberty, 21 Tabard Street, SE1 4LA. (letter)

Times 2.10.02 When eventually the number of people who enjoy terrifying and torturing an animal to death has diminished to the point where the keeping of hounds for that purpose has become uneconomical, perhaps we can lay a more justifiable claim to being a civilised society. Yours faithfully, TREVOR TROTMAN, 30 Howard Road, Woodside Green, SE25 5BY. (letter)

Argus 2.10.02 Foxes kill for fun - I assure your Hove correspondent Gloria Wheatcroft (Letters, September 26) that I am neither stupid nor short-sighted. I have seen, too often, very clearly a fox attack and leave alone several of my chickens... Yes, Gloria, foxes do kill for fun - there is no confusion... -Louise Sugarman, Spatmans Lane, Ditchling (letter in archive)

Argus 2.10.02 Bad memory - It sounds as though John Parry (September 27) went on the Countryside Alliance march and spent too long listening to angry white upper-middle-class foxhunting Conservatives... -E M Telcs, Freshfield Street, Brighton (letter in archive)
Argus 27.9.02 Think of it This Way, by John Parry …Government's cynical disregard for the rights of country folk are just the tip of a huge iceberg. Levels of discontent are rising inexorably… In truth, Britons really are leaving the country in growing numbers. While it may not be the threat of a fox hunting ban that finally drives them away, or the desire to spend the rest of their lives skiing, they all have ambitions for healthier, more enjoyable and fulfilling lives in other countries. In fact, in a recent survey, no less than 54 per cent of those questioned said, if they were free to do so, they would like to settle abroad. … It is all cumulative. A surfeit of rage and frustration does not happen overnight. Feelings of alienation, fear that society is breaking down, suspicion that government does not work any more and the perception that public services are irredeemable, need time to mature… (story)

Cambridge News 2.10.02 Foxes are just pests From Gus Jeevar, Galfrid Road, Cambridge - IT is about time the fox was regarded as a pest and controlled properly. A lot of resources go into fox hunting, which is an ineffective means of control... (letter)

Cambridge News 2.10.02 Cruelly ignorant - From Russell Tofts, Royston Road, Whittlesford - I HAVE never read such uninformed rubbish as that purveyed by one of your correspondents in a short letter (News, September 25) on the issue of whether fox-hunting is a cruel pastime... I resent being called ignorant. I trained as a zoologist, worked for several years as a zoo-keeper, and have written on animal subjects for a variety of learned publications, all of which qualifies me to say, categorically, that fox-hunting is cruel, anachronistic and wholly unnecessary in a society which purports to be civilised... (letter)

LEICESTER CITY PROTEST 23.8.02
Leicester Mercury 2.10.02 SIGHTSEEING NO INDICATION OF SUPPORT FOR PRO HUNTERS - Following the printing of my letter (Postbag, Aug 29) about the pro hunting lobbyists who were allowed to take over two major roads of this city I was pleased to read subsequently that many other readers shared my views.... Ken Orrill, Leicester. (letter)

Louth Leader 2.10.02 Countryside folk don’t understand town life - There seems to be a problem with these countryside folk understanding the outside world.... The miners and steel workers put up a fight - where was the Countryside Alliance then? If these folks want us ‘townies’ to keep our nose out of hunting you keep your noses out of our spending habits - if we want to buy cheap imports we will... Alan Morris Louth (story)

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 2.10.02 Missing point of animal cruelty - I RECENTLY shot at a rabbit which was on my vegetable patch at the rear of my house. Despite becoming a `marksman' in the Army in 1943, sadly, I missed the aiming point and shot the rabbit in the neck. The rabbit ran away screaming, obviously in pain. That is cruelty... With fox hunting, if the fox is caught by the hounds, it is dead within 10 seconds... Douglas Gifford, Rocks Green, Ludlow. (letter in archive)

Skegness Standard 2.10.02 Sad ‘sport’ ... is it not odd, and rather sad, that there are people, otherwise apparently normal, who get their kicks by dressing up to chase terrified animals for fun?.. RAY TAYLOR Links Crescent, Skegness (letter)

North Devon Gazette 2.10.02 Illegal gin trap was cause of fox’s death by Geoff Staddon - POLICE and the RSPCA are appealing for help from the public in tracking down those responsible for setting illegal and barbaric gin traps to catch wild animals in North Devon... (story)

Epsom Post 2.10.02 Bird lovers hit out at pigeon marksmen - FURIOUS bird lovers were out in force at Epsom Railway Station on Saturday to begin a campaign of protest about rail bosses hiring marksmen to shoot pigeons. Organiser Georgina Hierons said: "The demonstration at Epsom will be followed by one at Sutton on Saturday and others at Ewell East, Epsom Downs, Belmont, Banstead on a week to week basis."... Discussions between humane removal expert Dr Jane Cuthbert and South Central officials happened earlier this year and there appears to have been a breakdown of communication between the two... Another humane control expert, Guy Marchant of the midlands based Pigeon Information Control and Advisory Service, has also offered his services.... (story)
Sutton Post 11.9.02 Protests after culls of pigeons at rail stations - ANIMAL rights campaigners will protest against rail bosses' shotgun culls of pigeons, after they alleged an expert in humane removal broke her promise to rid them from Epsom Station… South Central Trains say they had no choice after Dr Jane Cuthbert's promised spring removal of eggs and fledglings from Epsom Station did not materialise…. But Georgina Heirons, of anti-cull Pigeon Alliance, claims the failure was not Dr Cuthbert's fault. She said: "The contractor supplied by South Central, who was supposed to climb up to the eaves and hand the eggs and fledglings down to me as instructed by Dr Cuthbert, didn't turn up every time I presented myself at the station to do the job. If they are now going to call in a contractor with guns we will organise protests."… this week, one of the world's foremost authorities on pigeon control, Guy Merchant of the non-profit-making Pigeon Information Control and Advisory Service, offered his services… (story)
Sutton Guardian/Comet 11.9.02 Cull sets cat among the pigeons - South Central has begun culling pigeons at Epsom station again, despite earlier protests from pigeon lovers. Georgina Hierons, one of last year's protestors, said: "They say they will cull only as a last resort but you can't believe what they say, can you?"… (story in archive)

Times 1.10.02 Police round up pro-hunt protester BY RUSSELL JENKINS - FIVE hunt activists, including a retired bank manager, a middle-aged businessman and a master of beagles, accused the police yesterday of using heavy-handed tactics to thwart a planned pro-hunting demonstration outside the Labour Party conference. The protesters, members of Countryside Action Network, a mainstream lobbying group, complain that they were rounded up by armed police at dawn on Sunday in a pub car park in the village of Wesham, near Kirkham, as they were preparing banners for a protest meeting to be held later in the day…. Those arrested, four men and one woman, are considering pursuing legal action against Lancashire police for wrongful arrest and imprisonment… (story)
Blackpool Gazette 30.9.02 Police foil Demo 'Plot' - POLICE in Blackpool have issued a warning to protesters who plan to disrupt the Labour Party conference – we will crack down on any illegal demonstrations. The warning comes after officers arrested five people in connection with attempting to disrupt the conference hours before a planned march by thousands of rural campaigners. Police swooped at 6.30am yesterday on a group outside the Fairfield Arms at Wesham. Those arrested are understood to be members of the Country Action Network…. A spokeswoman for Lancashire police said: "Five people were arrested in connection with planned protest activity that may have been aimed at disrupting the conference. They were released without charge."… (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 2.10.02 Indian activist leads march - ENVIRONMENTAL, human and animal rights campaigner Maneka Gandhi is today leading an animal welfare march in Bristol. The daughter-in-law of assassinated Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was addressing the march and public meeting to celebrate World Farmed Animals Day . .. (story)

Guardian 1.10.02 Can she sustain it? - Margaret Beckett must force the whole of government to embrace a green agenda - Jonathon Porritt …what are the key tests for Mrs Beckett? The first is, undoubtedly, the future of farming and rural policy. Much though I admire the organisational skills of the Countryside Alliance, the secretary of state doesn't need to see 400,000 people marching down Whitehall to make her aware of how critical a turning point this is in rural policy. The future of fox-hunting is a sideshow compared with concerns about the viability of farming, the decline in rural services, affordable housing in the countryside, and the reconciliation of what taxpayers want from the countryside and the readiness and ability of farmers to provide it…. (story)

Derbyshire Times 2.10.02 The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have vowed to defy any ban on fox hunting even if it means risking fines or prison... (story in archive)

Lewisham News Shopper 2.10.02 Foul foxes and their faeces - Foxes: they are a nuisance. One night recently, they left nine faeces in our garden, five next door and four in two other gardens, in addition they urinate and dig holes in our lawns and flower beds to find worms etc. Dog faeces are recognised to be dangerous to children and can cause blindness and have to be scooped up by owners. Surely fox faeces are equally dangerous, if not more so... Mrs Mazinke, Sherlies Avenue, Orpington (letter)

Telegraph 1.10.02 Mistake - Your front page (report, Sep 28) indicated that the country is now equally split over foxhunting… Then I read the survey, which states that 57 per cent believe that hunting with dogs is never acceptable, and that 50 per cent believe that it should be made a criminal offence, as against 44 per cent who disagree. Many of this country's population have sympathy with the erosion of country life, myself included, but to merge that support with that of the pro-foxhunting lobby is a mistake by the Countryside Alliance - Shaun Coles, Melbourn, Hertfordshire (letter)

Daily Record 1.10.02 IF fox hunting is banned in this country, one wonders what the cowards and wasters who practise this evil thing will do to get their kicks - tear the wings off flies maybe? - J. Cumming, Glasgow. (letter)

Argus 1.10.02 Killer fox - We found 12 dead hens one morning - the entire contents of one hen-house - and saw the fox slinking away across the field… -Mrs D Blaylock, Lewin Close, Lancing (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 1.10.02 OUTRIGHT BAN ON HARE COURSING IS ESSENTIAL - Not finding anything in WMN (September 23) about the hunt supporters versus protesters, I was pleased to see on the TV news that the protesters at least made themselves seen and heard in Plymouth. How dare they, supporters of savaging wild animal under the guise of "sport", bring 200 hounds into Plymouth city centre?... There is no justification for this barbaric killing, it is cruelty at its worst… Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Shropshire Star 1.10.02 Return to values of the past - The countryside has been declining in values since the 1939-45 war by the policies inflicted on them by the government of the day…. I believe the country way of life is the foundation of our society. The catching of rabbits for a meal, fishing, and the control of foxes by hunting is a valuable part of rural life… Donald Oakley, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 1.10.02 Natural for animal to kill its prey - Birds of prey kill song birds and this is their nature - nobody objects because it is said to be "natural". The ancient sport of falconry is not approved by the "antis". Dogs chase and kill rabbits, hares and foxes, this being their nature, also cats kill mice and birds. So why object when people on horses, on foot or in cars, follow hounds (dogs) and observe the chase of a fox, hare or stag?... W F Kerswell, Church Stretton (letter in archive)

Manchester Evening News 1.10.02 No protests - INDUSTRIES have been lost, such as cotton, mining, steel, motorcycle and heavy goods manufacturing… Did we hear any protests then from Prince Charles or any other royal? No! Now the landed gentry can see their "sport" in danger, so we suddenly have them joining the countryside protests…. Food For Thought, Ashton (letter)

Manchester Evening News 1.10.02 I CONTEST the view of Countryside Alliance supporter Vinnie Faal, who hunts wild rabbits with his dogs and defends fox-hunting with hounds (MEN, Sept 20). He says that "90 per cent of the people who support a ban on hunting eat meat, wear leather and buy battery-farmed chickens to eat, which I think is much more cruel.'' Not true! I and many others eat only a very small amount of meat… True Animal Lover, Bury (letter)

Manchester Evening News 1.10.02 …Gerald Kaufman, MP, was asked for his comments. He replied: "When people dress up on a Sunday morning just to ride horses to follow and kill wild animals, wearing bright uniforms and blowing horns, I become very angry." Yet the government are planning to send British servicemen to Iraq, dressed in uniforms and travelling on mechanical vehicles, just to kill humans. Does Mr Kaufman consider the life of a predatory animal more important than the lives of our kith and kin?... John Clarke, Manchester (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 1.10.02 HUNTING FOXES IS MORE HUMANE - Think of the alternative before condemning hunting. Snares, poison, gassing and shooting are much worse. If regulated, hunting is more humane… J Green, Berkeley Road (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.10.02 FARMERS SHOULD THANK US FOR ALL THEIR SUBSIDIES Bravo to Messrs Fanson and Treleaven, Points of view, September 22, for highlighting the hypocrisy at the heart of the Countryside Alliance and, in particular, the farming lobby's argument… David Goodes, Wellpark Close, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.10.02 MPS SHOULD VOTE IN THE INTERESTS OF THE NATION - There's no objection I suppose to Ben Bradshaw's and Cllr Norman Shiel's little game of guesstimating votes nationwide for and against hunting or capital punishment, My point of view, September 25, and Points of view, September 27. But they both know that MPs are not selected in order to behave as delegates obligated to vote according to the voters' remit but to represent their constituents and decide how to vote in accordance with the best interests of the nation or of humankind…. Peter Cousins, Fairpark Road, Exeter (letter)

LIBERTY & LIVELIHOOD MARCH
Western Mail 1.10.02 `Politicians will ignore protest at their peril' - Mark Hinge, The Western Mail - THE march in London on September 22 was not a one-off protest, nor did it, as our opponents and the Government have tried to spin since, have either a muddled message or a platform "to storm public buildings"… Sunday, September 22, served as an overwhelming demand by people for just and reasonable policy towards the countryside. Democratic politicians ignore such a heartfelt, unified call at their peril. ***** Hinge is Wales political director of the Countryside Alliance. (story)

North West Evening Mail 1.10.02 LIBERTY MARCH WAS NOT A ONE-OFF … Countryside Alliance county chairman Paul Broomby, said the protest on September 22 was just one part in a long campaign to air the problems countryside people face… "Anyone who argues that the best use of parliamentary time is an assault on hunting while British agriculture is facing crisis, and the risk to country community is grave, is clearly muddled." (story)

Harborough Mail 1.10.02 GROUPS from rural communities across the district travelled to London to join more than 400,000 people in the huge Liberty and Livelihood march at the weekend... Meriel Buxton, from Smeeton Westerby, is a member of the Fernie Hunt and organised transport to get some of the marchers to London... (story in archive)

Scotsman 1.10.02 Supermarkets yield to pressure over retail cheese - Fordyce Maxwell Rural Affairs Editor - AS THE Countryside Alliance announced plans for an all-embracing rural council yesterday, it was confirmed that dairy farmers had managed to squeeze a fairer share of retail cheese prices out of supermarkets… Plans for a rural council to represent all countryside interests have been floated since the 400,000-strong London march. Yesterday, the Countryside Alliance said that all rural organisations would be invited to a conference, probably at the National Agricultural Centre in Warwickshire, within 40 days to discuss the idea. Although the London marchers were mainly from England and Wales, there was a strong Scottish representation and the alliance made it clear that that would be reflected in any rural council… (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 1.10.02 The large turn-out for the rural fraternity's march for the right to hunt showed great solidarity in their cause…. We no doubt air our views about them vehemently while out on a drive through their country settings… Then we come home to a nice meal of British-produced lamb, beef, pork or chicken. Kenneth E Higgins, Bempton Court, Great Horton (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 1.10.02 Keep 'em on, ladies - How disappointing to see Shropshire's Clare Rowson and others topless in The Sun newspaper on Tuesday, September 24. Does this really help the rural communities' cause for fair funding and all other issues raised at Sunday's demonstration in London?... Mrs L.Cartwright, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Cambridge News 1.10.02 Marching to save jobs - From Robert Boorman, Arbury, Cambridge - Terry Sweeney says in the letters page that the animal rights protesters should not be criticised, as they are few in numbers. It cost a great deal to police them because their fellow travellers have been violent and disruptive… (letter)
Cambridge News 24.9.02 Disruptive protests . . . From Terence Sweeney, Lichfield Road, Cambridge - A few weeks ago there was a small, peaceful demonstration in Cambridge by people protesting about animals being used for medical research. That demonstration was condemned by Andrew Lansley… We have just seen a much larger demonstration in London by people supposedly worried about the countryside but everyone knows it was really all about their retaining the right to chase and kill foxes… I just hope that Mr Lansley will be even handed and condemn this march in the same way he did the earlier, local one (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 1.10.02 HUNT FANS ARE CRUEL The recent massive pro-hunt march in London probably explains the high incidence of animal cruelty and domestic violence today…. Norman Wall, High Street West, Wallsend (letter)

The Shields Gazette 1.10.02 Aristocrat hits back - IN response to the letter from John Bissett (September 25), I feel I need to reply to the most arrogant, uninformed, narrow-minded man who composed the most amusing essay I have read for a long time…. The Liberty and Livelihood march was not merely a hunt march but a countryside gathering to address the problems and traumas of farmers and anyone who, please forgive them Mr Bissett, tries to make an honest living from the countryside…. Kimberley Dodds, South Shields, Via e-mail (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 1.10.02 Times changing for farmers - Our small farmers are probably the best in Europe, if not the World…. our farmers need all the friends they can muster. But what have they done? They have thrown their hat in with the Countryside Alliance, and are now being led by 'Tweedies' and red coated buffoons further alienating themselves from the general public… The latest protest in London, ridiculously named the Liberty and Livelihood March, is a thinly veiled pro- fox and deer hunting lobby, organised by rich landowners… Vic Smith, Jubilee Grove, Blymhill. (letter)

Northern Echo 1.10.02 COUNTRYSIDE MARCH - ON Sunday, September 22, over 400,000 protestors marched through the middle of London. Yet the BBC hardly mention it and those few mentions were flagrantly distorted… Now we have been presented with a dossier on the misdeeds of Saddam Hussein. How on earth are we to know if it is true?... - AC Arthur, Durham (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 1.10.02 PROTECT HUMANS' FRAGILE FREEDOMS - We, the English, tend not to make a commotion about abstract principles. To do so would be considered embarrassing. Protest about specific issues is another matter. The march last Sunday highlighted many practical concerns but fundamentally it was about freedom… D F Gilley, Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 1.10.02 Barbaric pastime - WHILE watching the liberty and livelihood march from the sidelines, I think I can honestly say, what an arrogant bunch of boneheads!... Kim Anthony Simpson, Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 1.10.02 ARGUMENTS ARE FLAWED I marched last Sunday, not particularly for hunting with dogs, but something I devoutly believe in - liberty and livelihood… it struck me that the town dwelling custodians of this dreary environment, could learn a lot from their country cousins. They rightly condemn needless cruelty and cite foxhunting and live animal exports, but at the same time excuse the fox when it slaughters a flock of chickens, or their cat when it torments a mouse or bird…. Noel Thornton, Ashford, Kingsbridge (LETTER)
Western Morning News 1.10.02 IDIOTIC CLOWN DESTROYED DIGNITY OF MARCHERS - The Countryside March required meticulous planning and organisation. Great credit is due to the Countryside Alliance that it went brilliantly in general. But I have a couple of gripes that I think should be considered in the "post mortem" debriefing. Every traveller was issued with an envelope for a donation. But after the start we were solicited by wave after wave of stewards with yet more begging envelopes… The atmosphere of restraint was ruined by the antics of a purple-shirted clown in the line of tellers. This show-off had climbed on a plinth and was bawling "I can see you but I can't hear you" and was waving his arms around… John Griffin, Cullompton (letter)
Western Morning News 1.10.02 Superb coverage - PLEASE may I be permitted to applaud you and all your reporters and other staff for your superb coverage on the march in London, particularly Martin Hesp… L Beard, Sparkwell Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 1.10.02 ELDERLY COWS MAY BE 'TICKING TIME BOMBS' …Badgers are still blamed for causing cattle herd TB breakdowns, particularly in closed herds where no stock are bought in… M Hancox, Stroud (letter)

Newcastle Journal 1.10.02 Mother attacks animal charities - The RSPCA and the police yesterday defended themselves after an angry mother attacked lack of action after a pet dog attacked her toddler. Rochelle Wardle was furious nobody from either agency was prepared to remove her three-year-old cross-Labrador, Hooch, which she had owned for just three days, after it launched itself at two-year-old Jade, who required plastic surgery for a facial wound… She said: "I didn't want him immediately put down, but somebody could have come out and put him in a kennel." But RSPCA regional superintendent, Dave Millard replied yesterday: "Removing a dog from somebody's home is not part of our charitable remit…." (story)