October 2004 - Hunting 16-31.10.04

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BBC News Online 31.10.04 Hunt supporters blessing hounds - Hundreds of people opposing a ban on fox-hunting in England and Wales have attended a special service to say prayers for hounds. The event at Avon Bank, Pershore, Worcestershire, was organised by the Free Church of Country Sports, which celebrates the countryside… Its founder John Milne said: "A number of packs came, not only fox hounds but basset hounds and mink hounds…" (story)

Sunday Telegraph 31.10.04 Blair allies seek hunting compromise By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - Tony Blair's Cabinet allies have launched a last ditch attempt to persuade Labour MPs to allow hunting to continue under licence. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, indicated a new attempt to find a compromise by voting for an amendment to the total ban, which would allow for a system of registered hunting. He was one of several ministers who backed the compromise in the Lords last week..... (story)


Huddersfield Daily Examiner 30.10.04 Hunting fans on the march By Richard Porritt, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner - PRO-HUNT supporters pelted a Labour Party office with eggs and stuffed horse muck through the letter box during a protest yesterday.More than 100 protesters gathered at the office on New Street, Slaithwaite, yesterday, to demand that Colne Valley Labour MP Kali Mountford should oppose a bill to ban hunting in December…. Ms Mountford maintained she would not to change her mind on hunting:… "My views on hunting have been clear through two elections and I have met representatives of the Colne Valley Beagles many times and told them how I would vote given the opportunity…" Protest organiser and hunt master with Pennine Foxhound, Andrew Rogers, of Holmfirth, said if Ms Mountford did vote against hunting she would lose her seat at the next General Election…. Peter Hole, of the Countryside Action Network, said people's anger was boiling over because MPs were not listening…. (story)
BBC News Online 29.10.04 Hunt protest held at MP's office - More than 100 pro-hunt lobbyists have staged a protest outside an MP's West Yorkshire office over her support for a ban on fox hunting with dogs. Members of the Colne Valley Beagles gathered outside Kali Mountford's office in Slaithwaite on Friday calling on her to oppose the Bill. Manure was pushed through the office letterbox during the demonstration. The Labour MP confirmed she has received 4,500 letters urging her to change her mind on the subject…. (story)

Times 30.10.04 The anti-hunting bill BY ROBIN LANE FOX - The anti-hunting bill hasn’t got a leg to stand on - Foxhunting may be persecuted by Parliament but it is not in retreat. The season starts on Monday, and the preparatory cubbing has been heavily subscribed. At our newcomers’ day in the Cotswolds, 310 mounted followers turned up… The House of Lords has spoken and voted crushingly against the Tony Banks Bill, one of the most feebly drafted bits of legislation they have ever had to contemplate…. I hope that hunters have nothing to do with violence and instead devote their energy to planning a haven for foxhounds until the next election but one, when Labour will lose. Then a new Government can reintroduce the sport as a protected heritage activity. There is no worry about “access for the disabled”. Hunting has always been great at creating them in the first place. (story)

Telegraph 30.10.04 Zeffirelli makes a drama out of EU crisis By Bruce Johnston - Silvio Berlusconi used the full panoply of Italian pomp and artistic talent to stage a grandiose £7 million ceremony for the signing of a constitution that stands little chance of being ratified.... In the early morning, three Britons were turned back after trying to enter the inner no-go zone, apparently with a view to mounting a protest against the proposed ban on foxhunting. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 30.10.04 BIG CROWD EXPECTED TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR HUNTING - East Yorks: Supporters of fox hunting were expected to turn out in force today as a "positive show of solidarity" to mark the first hunt of the season. Amid fears it could be their last season, East Yorkshire huntsmen say today's turnout at Rise Park, near Skirlaugh, will be "a reflection of the level of support" in the region for the centuries-old tradition…. About 90 members of the Holderness Hunt joined 10,000 campaigners in Parliament Square last month as the debate raged in the House of Commons…. (story)

Western Morning News 30.10.04 PANIC WON'T STOP HUNTING DEBATE - In these times of over-reaction, backlash, heated protest and political opponents stoking up the temperature at every turn, the Government has just taken a runaway lead… A few eggs have been thrown and Alun Michael, the Rural Affairs Minister, has been pursued, and well, it has all been a bit confrontational. That's what it is like in a democracy when passions are raised, and that's how it should be… But the world of New Labour seems not to operate according to these simple tenets. A senior Government source said ministers were "alarmed" by the quality of the intelligence of hunt supports…. this smacks of gross over-reaction that is intended to stigmatise legitimate protesters as a mob of uncontrollable hooligans. It cannot be that today's breed of ministers are such a timid lot that they cannot cope with a few angry exchanges. And if they can't, they shouldn't be in Parliament to begin with… Calling in Special Branch and heightening the general climate of suspicion, antagonism and paranoia when they are already too much in evidence is no way to win an argument or gain confidence…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 30.10.04 HUNT FANS PICKET THE PM Hunt supporters from Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire picketed Downing Street this week in protest at the Government's proposed hunting ban…. Local hunts taking part in the protest included the Avon Vale Hunt, the South And West Wiltshire Hunt, the Tedworth Hunt, the Mendip Farmers Hunt, the Chilmark Beagles, the Berkeley Hunt and the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt… (story)

Bolton Evening News 30.10.04 Protesters can be outfoxed - I READ the various comments in recent editions of the Bolton Evening News, regarding fox hunting. Have these people ever thought that the fox is a cunning animal which does not give its victims the chance of escape, being a very swift runner and that it kills for killing sake?... Dorothy B Waters, Winifred Road, Farnworth (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 30.10.04 THINGS ARE GETTING OUT OF HAND - I Write in response to a recent letter entitled 0Time to impose fox-hunting ban", among others (Post , October 26). It is known that one way of fox control is as cruel as another. So, if we are to ban fox-hunting simply because some people enjoy it, then other animal exploitation like angling, horse racing, show jumping, etc, will be next…. We, of all people, should be wary of the knee jerk, illiberal intolerance of the ban lobby…. I am mindful of the leaking of personal data from the DVLC and the nasty way the animal rights lobby gets at people who have a different opinion to theirs. I appreciate that this means you may well not publish my letter, which would of course be another small victory for them. Name and address supplied. (letter)


Warminster & Westbury Standard 29.10.04 LAND IS WITHDRAWN TO PROMOTE HUNT DEBATE - A Codford farmer, frustrated by the government's failure to listen to the opposite side of the hunting debate, is coordinating a campaign he hopes will force it to negotiate. Land on East Farm, belonging to Josh Stratton, has been used to train troops since the Second World War. But now Mr Stratton has withdrawn permission for 3,500 acres on the southern perimeter of Salisbury Plain to be used by the Army…. A memo leaked to a national newspaper said the action could have significant consequences. "Training on private land (TOPL) is an indispensable and growing part of military training. "The department relies upon the goodwill of landowners. In some areas there is an extensive reliance on TOPL, " the memo read… (story)

(poss. Torquay Herald Express) 29.10.04 NOT ENOUGH COMPROMISE BY PEERS ON HUNTING BAN BILL, SAYS WHITTY - A total ban on hunting with dogs appeared to move a step closer last night after the Government said peers had "not compromised enough" on the issue. In a statement, Farms Minister Lord Whitty criticised peers for transforming the controversial Hunting Bill from a banning measure to a licensing regime…. Baroness Byford, Conservative agriculture spokesman in the Lords, said Lord Whitty's statement was "disappointing". She told the WMN: "It is extremely frustrating. We have been debating this for three days without the Government giving us any indication of where it thinks a compromise might lie. Lord Whitty has not engaged fully in the discussions and that is disappointing…." (story)

Western Morning News 29.10.04 HUNT PROTEST SAFETY REVIEW FOR MINISTERS - Special Branch is to launch a review of ministers' personal security amid fears that anger provoked by the Government's controversial Hunting Bill could "get out of hand". The issue was discussed by Cabinet yesterday after incidents in which ministers have been "greeted" by angry hunt supporters at public engagements across the country. A senior Government source said ministers were "alarmed" by the quality of the intelligence network run by hunt supporters and the angry nature of some recent confrontations… Alison Hawes, regional organiser for the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said ministers had refused to listen to rural communities and had gone back on promises to find a solution to the hunting issue based on "principle and evidence"…. She defended the tactic of egg throwing used against Mr Michael during a visit to Exeter last month. "Country people are furious and it is probably better for them to vent their anger by lobbing a few eggs at ministerial cars than by lobbing something else," she said…. (story)

Western Morning News 29.10.04 LONDON DEMONSTRATORS TARGET MICHAEL - Pro-hunting demonstrators yesterday targeted Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael as he arrived for a conference in London…. (story)
Scotsman 28.10.04 Michael Faces Pro-Hunt Protesters By Katherine Danks, PA News - Pro-hunting demonstrators today targeted rural affairs minister Alun Michael as he arrived for a conference in London today. About 20 protesters from the Countryside Alliance waving placards and blowing whistles chased Mr Michael’s car and attempted to follow him into the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in Parliament Square… (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 29.10.04 HUNT MASTER JOINS PROTEST - Mark Hill made his feelings about the Hunting Bill known when he protested along with hundreds of others outside 10 Downing Street. The joint-master of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt, based in Meysey Hampton, near Cirencester, says a ban would destroy his and fellow hunters' livelihood. The 46-year-old, who lives in Ewen, near Cirencester, attended yesterday's protest along with his wife Caroline, sons Thomas, 14, and James, 12, and nephew Anthony, nine…. Mr Hill said 150 members of VWH hunt attended the 600-strong, four-hour protest… (story)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 29.10.04 Hunters `fight prejudice' - HUNDREDS of hunt supporters, countryside workers and their families from the region picketed Downing Street yesterday to show their fight against a hunting ban continues…. It was manned by representatives of all forms of hunting with dogs including the Berkeley Hunt, the Cotswold Hunt, the Vale of the White Horse Hunt and The Duke of Beaufort's Hunt…. (story in archive)

Western Mail 29.10.04 Huntsmen tried to 'beat up' Hain - Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - CABINET Ministers have called for a review of their personal security following an attack on Welsh Secretary Peter Hain by pro-hunt supporters. Mr Hain was pelted with eggs, threatened with violence and his aide was punched during an angry pro-hunt demonstration at Oxford University on Wednesday night…. He said, "These hunt supporters have to ask whether their motto is physical violence rather than logical arguments."… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 29.10.04 ATTACKERS LEFT MP 'IN FEAR OF LIFE' - Neath Mp Peter Hain today revealed he feared for his life after being pelted with eggs by pro-hunt demonstrators. The leader of the Commons was speaking at Oxford University's Labour Club, when two protesters stormed the venue on Wednesday night. They managed to get through tight security and hurl the eggs straight at him. Two men were later arrested and are now being questioned…. (story)
Llanelli Star 28.10.04 HAIN HIT IN HUNT EGGS PROTEST - Neath Mp Peter Hain was pelted with eggs by pro-hunt demonstrators at Oxford University last night after he started a speech: "I hear there's a new sport - hunting cabinet ministers." The leader of the Commons, speaking at the university's Labour Club, was approached by a protester - later arrested - who "hit him squarely in the nose" with an egg (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 28.10.04 Commons chief egged by pro-hunt protestors - PRO-HUNT demonstrators pelted MP Peter Hain with eggs after he started a speech: "I hear there’s a new sport - hunting cabinet ministers". As the leader of the Commons began his address to the Oxford University Labour Club, he was approached by a protester - later arrested - who hit him on the nose with an egg. "Mr Hain was very cross - he turned a brighter shade of orange than usual," said Richard Jackson, 25, a pro-hunt campaigner who saw the event…. (story)
BBC News Online 27.10.04 Hain hit with eggs in hunt demo - Commons leader Peter Hain has been pelted with eggs and his aide punched during a pro-hunt demonstration at Oxford University. Mr Hain had to be given a police escort after making a speech but was still confronted by more campaigners at the city's railway station…. On Wednesday evening, he was jostled by a crowd of about 40 protesters as he arrived at the Oxford University Labour Club. A couple of the protesters managed to get inside the meeting, despite tight security, and ran at the minister, throwing eggs from a distance of around half a metre, said Mr Hain's spokesman…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 29.10.04 HOW TO ENFORCE BAN ON HUNTS? - A Ban on hunting looks inevitable but there are growing fears that it could result in civil war in the countryside. JONATHAN ISAACS looks at the problems a law to outlaw hunting will bring and asks if the legislation can be made to work. Neath Mp Peter Hain hit out at violence and thuggery after he was pelted with eggs by pro-hunt demonstrators on Wednesday night. It was an unpleasant incident but could be a portend of much worse to come if the Commons decides to invoke the Parliament Act to enforce a ban on hunting in Wales and England… The Countryside Alliance, which backs hunting, is doing all it can to ensure that the protests taking place in the run-up to Parliament's decision next month are peaceful… Alliance chairman, John Jackson, agrees that breaking the law is wrong. But he asks what should be done if the law itself is unfair?... (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 29.10.04 Supporter leads rally for hunting - A HUNTING supporter has rallied friends for a second demonstration aimed at preserving the ancient sport. Carla Smith, 23, of Skelmanthorpe, was joined by two friends at Grange Moor roundabout on Tuesday afternoon. They carried placards with pro- hunting slogans…. She began campaigning after her car was vandalised in Huddersfield - she believes it was because she had a pro-hunting sticker in the rear windscreen. Carla went on her first hunt on Saturday with the Rockwood Harriers… (story)

Hexham Courant 29.10.04 SUPPORTERS NOW EXPECT COMPLETE HUNT BAN - PEERS have rejected the Hunting Bill, but supported a cross-party amendment that could see hunting licensed rather than banned outright. On Tuesday night the House of Lords voted 322 to 72, a majority of 250, to amend the Hunting Bill to replace a ban on the sport with a licensing scheme…. But a local farmer and hunt supporter has dismissed Government posturing over the amendment as “horse trading” and is sure that a total ban will still be forced through using the Parliament Act on November 18. “At the end of the day the football has now gone back over the fence into the bigger hall,” said Belsay farmer and Countryside Alliance director Richard Dodd…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 29.10.04 MP WILL 'LOOK AT' LORDS' HUNT LICENSING IDEA - A Leading Notts anti-hunting MP could abandon seven years of campaigning and back a last-minute compromise allowing the sport to survive. Paddy Tipping, Labour MP for Sherwood, has consistently pressed Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael to re-introduce a Bill aimed at banning the sport. But now Mr Tipping, who chairs the powerful House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, has refused to rule out backing a compromise put forward by the House of Lords, allowing hunting to continue under a strict licensing system…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 29.10.04 Peers seek hunting compromise - MPS and peers are on a collision course again over hunting after the House of Lords backed a compromise deal for licensed hunts… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 29.10.04 Fell pack hunt bid rejected by Lords By Kat Ferguson - THE HOUSE of Lords has rejected two amendments that would allow some forms of fell hunting to continue in Cumbria, even if hunting with hounds is banned…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 29.10.04 PEERS WANT UNWORKABLE HUNTING BILL TO BE BLOWN UP - Simon McGee - PEERS say the Hunting Bill should be "blown up" after claiming that the last three days of detailed scrutiny have revealed the document is crammed full of anomalies and cannot be implemented properly. Yorkshire peer Earl Peel, a leading hunt supporter, said the House of Lords' examination of the Bill showed it was unworkable and called on MPs to reflect on its enforceability. He highlighted the fact that it suggested terrier work should be allowed for the protection of birds to be shot but remain illegal even where farmers are attempting to protect livestock or rare birds…. (story)

Somerset County Gazette 29.10.04 Hunting saga continues - HUNT supporters across Taunton Deane and West Somerset were left once again on the edge of their seats after the House of Lords voted for licensed hunts instead of a full ban this week…. (story in archive)

Newcasatle Journal 29.10.04 Opponents ready to hunt By Robert Brooks, The Journal - With the proposed hunt ban being debated in the House of Lords, reporter Robert Brooks saddles up to look at how the opposing factions are facing what could be the last legal fox-hunting season in England. There is an air of anticipation at the Percy Hunt this week, but it stretches far beyond the forthcoming season when huntsmen and hounds will once more take to the open countryside around Alnwick…. For professional huntsman Martin Claxton, who works for the Percy Hunt and lives in a cottage provided by the Duke of Northumberland's estate at Hulne Park, just outside Alnwick, the season began in April…. "Being a huntsman is like being player-manager of a football team,"… James is married to Carol, they have no children, and live a comfortable, quiet life together in a three-bedroomed detached cottage in a picturesque village in the heart of the North…. James has been an active hunt saboteur since he was 17…. Florian Dury reports on how hunt enthusiasts face a very different situation in France…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 29.10.04 UNDER THREAT – A WHOLE WAY OF LIFE - Tomorrow sees the first hunt of the season for the Holderness. If the Government gets its way, there won't be many more. Bill Bridge has been to East Yorkshire to meet people who will be most affected by the ban, and he will be following them over the coming months…. HUNTING is Robert Howarth's life, no more no less, and his passion for his chosen way of life is as clearly defined as the weal on his forehead caused by a policemen's baton during the latest Countryside Alliance protest, in London. Raised in Derbyshire, the son of a dairy farmer, Howarth took to hunting with his local Pony Club, and on leaving school at 16 went into hunting for a living with the Meynell and South Staffordshire. In the last 20 years he has graduated from whipper-in to huntsman of the Holderness… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 29.10.04 Peers lead hunt ban campaign By Michael Drake - Two Ulster Lords want the Hunting Bill extended to Northern Ireland. Lord Laird of Artigarvan, supported by Lord Fitt, has tabled an amendment to extend its remit to the province…. (story)

Northern Echo 29.10.04 Outdoor sports and animals blessed in church service - HORSES, hounds and huntsmen were blessed in a countryside sports church service yesterday. North Yorkshire packs gathered at Kirby Knowle Church, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, yesterday. The service was conducted by a field sports enthusiast, the Reverend Toddy Hoare…. The vicar was highly critical of the Government's stance on hunting…. Peter Dennis, the master of the Hurworth Hunt, attended the service to have his hounds blessed…. Photo: Church day: Members of Bilsdale Hunt outside St Wilfrid's Church, Kirby Knowle (story in archive)

Chester Chronicle 29.10.04 IT IS a measure of the priorities and courage of this government that they will spend money, time and effort banning something that kills vermin, but does nothing to stop something that kills thousands of people each year. It is no doubt easier to attack the minority that support hunting than stop a substantial (25% of the population) number of people from smoking in public, damaging the health of innocent people…. TONY DAHILL Bramble Bank Utkinton (letter)

Chester Chronicle 29.10.04 CHRISTINE Russell states that hunting is 'not a key concern' for countryside people. So why is she persistently voting for a ban on hunting? I'll tell you what really concerns country people - that MPs such as Christine Russell are receiving £175,000-plus of taxpayers' money every year to vote quite blindly on issues like hunting. These MPs don't understand anything about hunting and are not prepared to make any attempt to find out about it either…. JOANNA DAKIN The Holt, Dimelow Court, Malpas (letter)

Yorkshire Post 29.10.04 Shooting foxes way off the mark From: JW Buckley, Throstle Cottage, Aketon, Pontefract. Aled Jones (October 15) makes out that the shooting of foxes is effective and humane, and relies on a paper by a learned professor. I quote from a debate in the House of Lords in 2002… Lord Soulsby: "Analysis has been put forward by some 300 veterinary surgeons who have country practices. Those vets would submit that hunting is the method that produces what I would call the 'cleanest' kill." For me, and I am sure the majority of people, practical experience is better than theory. Hunting is not cruel, and shooting is not best. (letter)

Wells Journal 29.10.04 LESS THAN 25 PER CENT OF POPULATION VOTED LABOUR - Would you permit me to comment on two of the letters you published last week? Lee Baker says that "unfortunately for the people who hunt with hounds a majority voted the Labour government in and it now makes the rules". This statement ignores the fact that less than 25 per cent of those eligible to vote actually cast their votes for New Labour…. The overwhelming majority Labour enjoys in Parliament is a quirk of our "first past the post" system which has been criticised as leading to "an elective dictatorship"…. Roderick Hudsmith, Welsford Avenue, Wells (letter)

Central Somerset Gazette 29.10.04 WILL MP ABSTAIN ON OTHER ISSUES? - Clive Allen Parliamentary spokesman Somerton and Frome Conservatives (letter)
Shepton Mallet Journal 29.10.04 WILL MP ABSTAIN ON OTHER ISSUES? - Clive Allen Parliamentary spokesman Somerton and Frome Conservatives (letter)
Wells Journal 29.10.04 WILL MP ABSTAIN ON OTHER ISSUES? - It is clear that the current Lib Dem MP for Somerton and Frome does not feel embarrassed that he abstained on the recent hunting vote. His justification is that his postbag was so equally balanced on views on hunting that, by abstaining, he is representing both sides. In reality, of course, he is representing neither…. Clive Allen, Parliamentary spokesman, Somerton and Frome Conservatives (letter)

Wells Journal 29.10.04 HUNTING PROVIDES SUSTAINABLE CONTROL - It is just so easy to claim the moral high ground by simply mentioning "cruelty" where fox hunting is concerned. The pity about this is that there then normally follows a torrent of uninformed nonsense such as the letter from Lee Baker (October 21). Foxes have no predator in this country other than man and disease… Believe me, a ban on hunting will be Mr Blair's poll tax… Sheilagh Williams, Bathway Farm, Chewton Mendip (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 29.10.04 STOIC VIRTUE DISPLAYED IN PEACEFUL PROTEST - Joe Coleman (Opinion, October 23) displays just the narrow-minded, bigoted attitude which has brought this shameful attack on country pursuits to the position that it now finds itself in. The hunting fraternity has withstood this constant Parliamentary time-wasting battle for over three years now with exactly the stoic virtue that he suggests they lack…. A show of "animosity" is hardly surprising when you consider that the lives and livelihoods of normal working people will be changed forever if this ill-conceived piece of legislation ever reaches the statute books. Jeff Hurd, Wade Drive, Mickleover. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 29.10.04 CRUEL AND ABHORRENT 'SPORT' - In response to Stephen Little's letter (October 16), we would like to make it clear that the RSPCA is opposed to all hare coursing, legal or illegal…. Sophie Wilkinson, RSPCA east regional press officer (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 29.10.04 ANGERED BY THE LIES ON HUNTING - I Felt compelled to write about the fox hunting issue because I am so angered at the lies that are being told. I am also saddened at the way the people who have written letters supporting the cruelty try to belittle those of us who wish to live a compassionate life…. To delight in killing a living being makes me sick to the stomach…. BERNIE JONES, Cinderford (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 29.10.04 BUY FOOD FROM NON-HUNT FARMS - So a farmer and his fellow wildlife "killers for fun", are making the hunting ban political by punishing an elected Government for daring to fulfil one of its manifesto pledges… I ask all "anti-hunt" grocery buyers to purchase where possible food produced by farmers who do not hunt, the main perpetrator being the Duchy of Cornwall and the owner of Highgrove, none other than our future king. TONY SHORTT, Labour councillor for Cainscross, Stroud (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 29.10.04 GOVERNMENT MUST STAND BY DECISION - I Am writing to add my voice to those calling for a complete ban on hunting with dogs. I am hoping that the Government will allow democracy to prevail and will be bold enough not to be bullied by wealthy landowners who seem able to exert disproportionate influence…. E Cook, Redfield. (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 29.10.04 SHOCKED BY GRAVE PROTEST - I am writing to say how disgusted I was about the animal rights protester digging up a woman… All the animal rights groups are scary and should quit while they are ahead. I say they're all mad because I have had experiences in hunt protests and, whilst I've been hunting, they all try to hurt hounds and confuse them. They're not saving animals' lives, they're hurting humans. Elise Winifred Cudworth, Poyser Lane, Kirk Langley. (letter)

Hexham Courant 29.10.04 UNNECESSARY - Totally irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the hunting debate, is it really necessary to ruin the appearance of our village and the countryside by nailing up large posters (“Support the Ban”) on every available tree/ telegraph pole?... D.M. STANLEY, Stamfordham (letter)

Harborough Mail 29.10.04 Fed up with anti-hunt ‘fiction’ - I FELT I had to reply to the anonymous fiction in the letter (Oct 14) from Harborough Animal Concern. If everyone went out with the hunt in jeans and jumpers and rode shaggy ponies no one would bother. It’s because people dress in a traditional manner and ride well cared-for horses that some people don’t like it. As for cruelty to foxes, all of the other methods of culling can be very cruel…. The incident involving a vixen trying to save its cub from the hunt, I doubt very much happened at all, as a vixen with cubs would not be above ground in spring during the hours of daylight and by the autumn the cubs have long since left their mother and are young foxes not cubs…. Mrs BV Smith, Glyndebourne Gardens, Corby (letter)

Blackpool Citizen 29.10.04 MP ends hunt for answers on voting - I AM disappointed and saddened to read in the Citizen, October 15, 2004, that Josephine Harwood accused me of `choosing not to vote' on the Hunting Bill, without making any effort to find out the facts, especially as she knows my overwhelming opposition to the practice…. As a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, I and my colleagues had some months ago agreed to undertake an inquiry into the Child Support Agency… The announcement of the hunting debate was made with only six days notice and it was far too late to chance the committee's arrangement…. Joan Humble MP, Blackpool North & Fleetwood Constituency (letter in archive)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 29.10.04 £50,000 TO GIVE UP BEING A HUNTSMAN? - I Read in the Sunday paper the unbelievable news that the government is going to buy the acquiescence of huntsmen by giving them £50,000 for losing their livelihoods and accommodation, and hoping they'll go and live in France or Ireland… I trust the huntsmen treat it with the contempt it deserves. The government thinks anyone can be bought. JS Clarke, Plaw Hatch Lane, Sharpthorne (letter)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 29.10.04 'VOTE QUESTIONS WERE AMBIGUOUS' - I Would like to know how so many people managed to vote on your hunting issue. I tried to vote and the question and supposed answers were so ambiguous that it was impossible to vote…. DE Saunders, Saint Hill Road, East Grinstead Editor??s note: The voteline question was not ambiguous. If you support a ban on hunting with hounds, then you would be opposed to hunting ?? a no vote. (letter)

Post & Times 29.10.04 FOXHOUNDS DON'T POSE A THREAT TO HUMANS - I am equally staggered by the words in your paper by 'Staggered of Uttoxeter' in your letters column. What complete and utter nonsense. The truth, of course, is that foxhounds are not brutalised into killing machines. They, like all dogs, have a hunting instinct and have to be trained not to hunt animals other than the fox. At the kennels they feed with cats and are exercised in fields which contain sheep, deer and poultry…. or anyone who is interested to see the real truth for themselves, they would be most welcome to visit the Meynell Hunt kennels where they will discover just what lovely animals foxhounds are. I would be only too pleased to accompany anyone on such a visit. John Herbert Uttoxeter (letter)

Post & Times 29.10.04 HUNTING DISTRESS - I was interested to read John Herbert's and Jean Wickham's letters about fox hunting. It would suggest that I might be mellowing with age if I did not reply to them. Fox chasers are law-abiding country people? Law-abiding country folk do not dump dead animals in the street… Neil Seaton Clowneholme Marston Bank Rocester (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.10.04 WORSE TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THAN FOX HUNTING - We are all fully aware of the free vote by MPs to ban fox hunting with hounds, John Phelps, Points of view, October 20. Just because they are MPs does not alter the fact that democracy allows freedom of choice and freedom of speech within the law. Hunt supporters are within the law. We certainly don't want your criticism and condemnation…. G Paddon, Pathfinder Village, Tedburn St Mary (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.10.04 WELCOME EUROPEANS AND CLEAN UP OUR OWN ACT - I read that the city council has organised another continental market to be held in Bedford Street, Echo, October 21… Fox hunting, drug abuse, murder and rape - all these moral outrages are committed by people living in our society. Our society needs to be cleaned up before we boast and brag about how good we are. We are not God's chosen race and continental people are just as intelligent as we British. Tony Parsons, Haymans Close, Cullompton (letter)

Western Mail 29.10.04 Hunting solution - The debate on "hunting with dogs" could be resolved - and beautifully. In the absence of artificially stimulated blood-lust, a pack of hounds is a lovely thing. If killing the fox was banned, then many more people, relieved of the grisly business of killing, would gather on Sunday mornings and pay a sizeable fee simply to ride with the hounds along directed routes… William Chirgwin, Deans Close, BagilltFlintshire (letter)


Tamworth Herald 28.10.04 THREE-WHEELING IN THE SPOTLIGHT - Demonstrators hurled eggs at North Warwickshire MP Mike O'Brien last week as he visited St Michael's Church in Arley. (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 23.10.04 Hunt protesters storm meeting over housing By Dayle Crutchlow - Pro-hunting campaigners have scored an "own goal" after ambushing a housing meeting, MP Mike O'Brien said today… Mr O'Brien said: "The hall was jampacked with people all talking about this housing issue but a hunt spokesman got up and started making a political attack. "They just booed him and the micro-phone was taken off him. I said I would talk to them after the meeting and I got their names and addresses. Only two were from the constituency. There were people from Leicestershire, Gloucestershire and Leamington…." Although none of the thrown eggs hit Mr O'Brien, he had to be escorted to his car by police officers as the demonstrators chanted abuse… (story)

North Devon Journal 28.10.04 HUNTING COMPROMISE? - Peers have backed a compromise proposal that would allow hunting to continue under licence. The vote by the House of Lords is designed to introduce a registration system and avoid an outright ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 28.10.04 WHERE TO SEE LOCAL HUNTS IN ACTION - Atherstone… Belvoir… Cottesmore… Fernie… Quorn… >(story)

Whitehaven News 28.10.04 THEY SHOULD GET OFF OUR CHASE - I TOOK the Blonde Bomb-shell to see her first fox hunt the other day. We have been and watched them from afar, on several occasions in the past, but on this occasion as they were out cubing I thought there was more chance that we would actually see the hounds really at work…. One of the best things about this little hunt was the fact that it took place in a field adjoining a public road and four riders were stationed on that public road at probably 100 yard intervals to ensure the safety of the hounds and the horses and to slow traffic down. Every single vehicle that passed did so showing respect for the animals on the road and indeed a number of them wound their windows down to shout encouragement. Nobody shouted abuse…. (story)

Whitehaven News 28.10.04 NOT ENOUGH NEW BLOOD IN TRAILS - Hound trailing by John Walsh - THE recent decisions by experienced hound trailing men Joe Mather and Ian Graham to leave the sport have encapsulated the problems being faced by the HTA…. Hound trailing is in a similar position to my own long-time sport of pigeon racing – there just isn’t enough new blood (younger people) coming into it…. there’s a massive, massive opportunity to broaden the whole horizon of the sport if the Hunting Bill becomes law and hunting to hounds is made illegal all over the country. Contact should be made with every known hunt under threat in the country and the virtues of hound trailing extolled to them… (story)

Newcastle Journal 28.10.04 Start day for fallen stock scheme By Anna Lognonne, The Journal - Farmers will at last be able to register for the National Fallen Stock Scheme, more than a year after the Government banned on-farm burials…. The scheme will give livestock owners access to a guaranteed, nationwide, biosecure collection service, which is being provided mainly by knacker yards, renderers, hunt kennels and collectors… (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 28.10.04 Two girls injured in riding accidents By Danielle Nuttall - TWO girls were airlifted to hospital after falling off horses during separate incidents. A 17-year-old girl was taken to Ipswich Hospital after falling from her horse during a hunt of the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds in Holton St Mary, near Hadleigh, at 2.30pm yesterday. The girl's horse fell on top of her, but she somehow managed to escape serious injury…. (story)

News Shopper 28.10.04 Hunting is cruel - I SUGGEST Jeaves of Meopham does more research into the cruelty of fox-hunting. He/she conveniently forgets to mention the fox is relentlessly pursued for many miles until it is exhausted, only to meet a barbaric end…. C Apps, Summerhouse Drive, Bexley (letter)

News Shopper 28.10.04 Fox-hunting far less cruel than nature - Lynn Sparks letter (October 6, 2004) epitomises perfectly the humbug of the anti-hunting league. Apparently, it is wrong to use dogs to hunt but ok for her to encourage foxes into her garden to get rid of rats. What does she suppose the foxes do? Escort the rats to the boundary and serve them with eviction notices?... Graham Moorhouse, Shepherds Lane, Dartford (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 28.10.04 SCRAP THIS BOTCHED HUNTING BILL NOW - Have the supporters of the Hunting Bill ever witnessed young lambs killed, sheep viciously attacked, or chickens massacred, all for the sheer fun of it, by foxes? I very much doubt it. The majority of supporters are not genuine country folk and have not the faintest idea whatsoever of country life or of the havoc and distress that is caused by foxes…. This is a botched Bill and should, either, be scrapped altogether, or carefully rethought to allow hunting of foxes under licence. GEORGE GREEN, Kents Road, Wellswood, Torquay (letter)

North Devon Journal 28.10.04 AND YOU CALL THIS CIVILISED? - Oh dear, I do not think Anne Phair has been reading the newspapers or watching the news, when she says due to the fox-hunting ban she can call England civilised. A 14-year-old girl shot and an old lady stabbed because she was snoring… I would rather have manky fox being chased. C. NICHOLLS, Loxhore. (letter)

Barry & District News 28.10.04 Still riding - I heard a farmer on the TV say recently, that as an anti-hunt person, the ban is not going to stop the hunters from riding their horses or even using hounds in drag hunting, so it is not true that those who enjoy the sport of cross country riding will in any way be deprived of their form of sport. I agree with his sentiments and reasoning… D E Coombes Herridge (Mrs) Salisbury Road Barry (letter in archive)

Sutton Guardian 28.10.04 Use act to ban cruel hunting - I agree with the majority of your correspondents that fox hunting as a sport should be banned. That includes both stag hunting and hare coursing…. J W FORWARD Twyford Road Carshalton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.10.04 WHO PAID FOR MOTORWAY PROTEST'S POLICE ESCORT? - Police should make best use of cash they have was the heading to the letter by Colin Richey… A number of farriers from Devon, led by Malcolm Tribe from Moretonhampstead, took part in a slow drive protest on the M5 on Saturday afternoon… I am surprised that the police permitted a wilful and unnecessary obstruction of a motorway and Mr Richey may well ask whether the farriers paid the police to provide the escort. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Yorkshire Post 28.10.04 Treatment of animals From: John Roberts, St John's Court, St Johns, Wakefield. I'd like to salute the excellent letter by Barrie Frost (October 12) in which he wrote: "Why does Britain, concerned about cruelty to foxes, deer and hares, accept the slaughter of millions of animals annually without any pre-stunning for halal meat?" One of the clearest measurements of a truly humane society lies in how it treats its fellow creatures…. (letter)

28.10.04 Argus Letter: Wilde was right … I have never heard someone, Ann Rose, put someone else, Alan Nunn, so firmly in their place about fox-hunting… The following words of Oscar Wilde… perfectly encapsulate the view of someone who has outlived him by seven years: "The English country gentleman galloping after a fox - the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable." Richard W Symonds -Crawley (letter in archive)

Ilkley Gazette 28.10.04 Fox hunting - SIR, - I feel obliged to break it to Victor Bean that not everything he views on the internet is any more reliable than what he reads in the Daily Mail… BASC is openly in favour of fox-hunting, shooting hares, flushing foxes out of their bolt-holes, rabbiting and other animal-unfriendly activities…. AUDREY HARGREAVES, 6, North Street, Addingham. (letter in archive)

Cornwall Packet 28.10.04 Tory's argument does not hold water - WE must be indebted to Ashley Crossley for putting the matter straight on hunting. Before I read his letter I thought hunting was a cruel pastime enjoyed by an absurd, but fortunately small number of people. Following his letter we now know it is undertaken for the benefit of the fox and I assume the huntsman do it out of the goodness of their hearts rather for the sadistic pleasure of seeing a wild animal ripped to pieces…. L B Sandcroft, Woodlane, Falmouth (letter in archive)

Cornwall Packet 28.10.04 Fox hunters encouraging `pests' to breed! Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals,Churchtown Road, Phillack, Hayle (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 26.10.04 FIGHT FOR HUNTING BAN STILL NOT OVER - 11:00 - 26 October 2004 Most people will be overjoyed at the long-awaited passage of the Bill to ban hunting with dogs and appalled by the arrogant, violent and anti-social behaviour of the hunting minority on that day and since…. Alan Kirby, Hayle
GB will go on - J W HILLSON asks if banning hunting is the end of Great Britain. No! Of course not. It is just the end of a nasty, cruel little blood sport. R A Gagie, Paignton (letters)


Telegraph 27.10.04 Hunting puts peers on collision course with Commons By George Jones, Political Editor - A constitutional clash was looming between the House of Lords and the Commons last night after peers voted overwhelmingly against an outright ban on foxhunting…. (story)

Times 27.10.04 Peers snuff out hopes of hunt deal BY GREG HURST AND TOM BALDWIN - HOPES of a late compromise over foxhunting appeared finally to have been snuffed out yesterday as a minister told peers not to try to protect the pursuit with a revived registration scheme. Lord Whitty, the Rural Affairs Minister, told them that the Lords would be exceeding its powers as a revising chamber if it substituted a Bill banning hunting with one allowing hunting under licence. Peers ignored his warning and, as expected, voted by 322 to 72 to overturn the ban sought by MPs and replace it with a system of registered hunts authorised by tribunals similar to that first proposed in the Government’s Bill…. (story)
Times 27.10.04 Parliamentary Sketch - Foxhunting fans warm to the thrill of the chase BY ANN TRENEMAN - THE Lords went a-hunting yesterday for a compromise on the Hunting Bill. They have allowed three days of debate on this. I cannot think why, because surely there is enough material to last at least a month, if not longer…. In the end, the Lords did what they were always going to do. They did not compromise on their compromise and voted overwhelmingly for licensed hunting. It was a triumph of going backwards while going forwards and there will be, most certainly, tears before bedtime. (story)

Independent 27.10.04 Peers defy MPs by voting for hunting to go on under licence By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent - Peers backed an attempt last night to allow fox hunting to continue under licence, despite warnings that it would put the House of Lords on a collision course with MPs intent on imposing a ban. The House of Lords voted 322 to 72, a majority of 250, to amend the Hunting Bill to replace a ban on the sport with a "compromise" licensing scheme…. (story)

Guardian 27.10.04 Peers defiant in vote for hunting under licence - Lords challenge bill with 322 to 72 vote for 'third way' compromise raising prospect of Parliament Act being used for total ban - Michael White, political editor - The Lords last night threw down another hunting gauntlet before the equally implacable Commons when peers voted by 322 to 72 to restore the "third way" compromise that would allow hunting with hounds under local licence. During yet another indignant debate on the most disruptive social issue of the current parliament, the junior environment minister, Lord Whitty, faced repeated demands to explain the government's position…. (story)
Guardian 27.10.04 Peers pursue an implausible plot line - Simon Hoggart - The House of Lords debated hunting, yet again. Or rather, peers discussed the Parliament Act, which the Commons has threatened to use to force through a ban on hunting. Their lordships were not pleased. They thought this was unfair. The fact that the Commons has voted many times for a ban, always by huge majorities, does not strike them as a complete irrelevance, but as a sort of regrettable side issue, which can be resolved by goodwill on all sides…. (story)

Sun 27.10.04 Fox-hunting has 'gone' By NIC CECIL, Political Editor - PEERS sounded the death knell for fox-hunting last night. They backed licensed hunting by 322 to 72 — a majority of 250. The scheme would outlaw hunting in nearly all lowland areas but not remote hills. But Labour MPs will almost certainly reject the compromise and vote for a total ban…. (story)

Western Mail 27.10.04 Lords vote gives Blair another chance to compromise on hunt Bill - Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - TONY BLAIR has repeated his hope for a compromise over fox hunting as the House of Lords backed a deal to head off a total ban on the sport. After three hours of debate, peers last night voted 322 to 72 to allow registered hunting to continue, a majority of 250…. (story)

Glasgow Herald 27.10.04 Defiant peers reject fox hunting ban - DEBORAH SUMMERS, UK Political Correspondent - PEERS last night placed themselves on a collision course with the House of Commons when they rejected a ban on fox hunting in England and Wales in favour of a compromise deal to allow registered fox hunting with hounds… (story)

Scotsman 27.10.04 Clash with Commons looms after Lords vote in favour of hunting - RUSSELL JACKSON - THE House of Lords last night set a collision course with the Commons after peers overwhelmingly backed moves to allow hunting with hounds in England and Wales to continue under licence…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.10.04 BLAIR'S DILEMMA AS LORDS BACK LICENSED HUNTS AGAIN - Peers are on a collision course with MPs after yesterday voting overwhelmingly to allow hunting to continue under a licence system. They approved the compromise move by a massive majority of 250, leaving a panicking Tony Blair in a dilemma. MPs are almost certain to vote once again for an all-out ban when the Hunting Bill returns to the Commons next month. Labour backbenchers want the Government to use the Parliament Act to force the ban through, but the Prime Minister has made it clear he wants a compromise…. Lord Donoughue, an adviser to the TV comedy series Yes Prime Minister, a famous satire on the workings of government. He said yesterday: "I have to say that this scenario, we would have been happy to adopt as a satirical script in that programme, with the Government using the Parliament Act to resist its own proposals. But the other two authors would certainly have said to me 'We won't get away with that because it's not credible'. If it were not so tragic it would be funny."… (story)
Western Daily Press 27.10.04 A LONG WAIT FOR BAN ON HUNTING - It is seven years now since Labour pledged to abolish hunting. And it would seem they are hardly any further forward now than they were then. What this longdrawn-out and occasionally vicious battle has demonstrated is that a really determined and resolute opposition can thwart a massive majority in the Commons…. The veteran former Labour MP Lord Ashley of Stoke admits to being heretical when he says: "I cannot say I am enthralled, given the stark problems of life - death, poverty and suffering - that stalk the world and need attention." In other words: "Drop it!" (story)

The Sentinel 27.10.04 HUNT MOVE TOO LATE - A "constructive COMPROMISE" backed by the House of Lords may have come too late to save a total ban on hunting, according to a Government minister… Lord Whitty said "coherent" proposals to allow hunting with hounds to continue under licence could not be enough to prevent the lower house enforcing its will. (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 27.10.04 POLITICS: Vote boosts hunt's quest to save sport - THE Fitzwilliam Hunt has received a political boost in its quest to continue to pursue foxes across the countryside near Peterborough. Last night, peers in the House of Lords voted by 322 to 72 to restore the "third way" compromise – which would allow hunting with hounds under local licence…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 27.10.04 Ugly hunt clashes all set to continue By Robert Brooks, The Journal - Conflict between fox-hunters and saboteurs looks set to continue even if the pursuit is outlawed by the Government. North anti-bloodsports campaigners vowed last night to police the countryside themselves and saboteurs said they would continue to target hunts to make sure no foxes were being killed illegally, should a ban be brought into force… one North-based saboteur, a former civil servant in his 50s who asked not to named, said last night: "There will still be a need for HSA members to go out as observers and check that the law is being observed…" (story)
Newcastle Journal 27.10.04 The Journal: Today's Voice of the North - A drawn-out death - The debate over foxhunting drags on and on and the Government yesterday continued to show the weakness and vacillation that has characterised its approach from the start. For people in the countryside this issue is of tremendous importance - both practical, in that the loss of hunting will cost jobs and livelihoods - and symbolic. To them the willingness of urban Labour MPs to drive hunting into extinction is emblematic of Labour's couldn't-care-less attitude to rural affairs… (story)

BBC News Online 27.10.04 Rider cleared of saboteur attack - A huntsman who was accused of riding his horse at a hunt saboteur and breaking her shoulder has been cleared. Jonathan Broise, 46, of London Road, Petworth, West Sussex, denied a charge of actual bodily harm. On Wednesday, the defence successfully argued there was no case to answer and the jury at Hove Crown Court was ordered to return a not guilty verdict…. (story)
Scotsman 27.10.04 Hunter Acquitted of Horseback Attack on Protester By Matt Adams, PA News - A hunter was cleared today of deliberately riding his horse at a hunt saboteur. A judge ordered that a jury acquit Jonathan Broise, 47, of causing actual bodily harm to activist Wendy Bridle, 60…. It was claimed that Mr Broise, huntsman with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, had intentionally ridden from a wood at a group of demonstrators…. The jury was shown a video of events immediately before and after the alleged assault taken by activist Simon Wild, 46, but the defence claimed it had been doctored. Mr Wild denied tampering with the video. Last year, Mr Broise was cleared by a jury of punching Mr Wild’s wife Jane during another meeting of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt in West Sussex. (story)
Western Daily Press 26.10.04 HUNTER DENIES ASSAULT CHARGE - A Huntsman knocked a hunt protester to the ground with his horse, breaking her shoulder, a court heard yesterday. Jonathan Broise, 46, is alleged to have used his mount to push demonstrator Wendy Bridle, 60, out of his way during the meet last September… Protesters had been trying to block the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, based in West Sussex… (story)
Scotsman 26.10.04 Horseman Accused of Running Down Female Hunt Saboteur By Matt Adams, PA News - A huntsman rode his horse at a female hunt saboteur and knocked her to the ground breaking her shoulder, a court heard today. Jonathan Broise, 46, is alleged to have used his horse to push protester Wendy Bridle, 60, out of his way during the hunt last September…. (story)
Argus 8.10.03 Preposterous - So, "Foxhunters are a danger to humans," (Letters, October 1) are they? I put it to EA Taylor that more hunters and hunt followers have been injured by saboteurs than vice-versa. Furthermore, if people are stupid enough to cause a disturbance around horses, they are likely to get hurt…. I wish all animal rights activists, before writing to newspapers, took time to read the report on Hunting With Dogs. -AJ Jackson, Wick, Littlehampton (letter)
Argus 1.10.02 Foxhunters are also a danger to humans - A female anti-hunt protester was badly injured on Saturday at Graffam (The Argus, September 29). What a sad indictment of a so-called civilised society that a 60-year-old woman is run down and badly injured.... it is now accepted by the authorities that many child abusers begin their perversions as animal abusers... it is now accepted by the authorities that many child abusers begin their perversions as animal abusers... EA Taylor, High Salvington, Worthing (letter)
Argus 29.9.03 Huntsman arrested after clash with saboteurs - A huntsman cleared two months ago of attacking a woman hunt saboteur was arrested following a clash with protesters, the Countryside Alliance said. Jonathan Broise, 46, was questioned by police after allegedly assaulting two saboteurs during a meeting of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt near Petworth on Sunday morning. Mr Broise, of London Road, Petworth, was released on police bail without charge, a Sussex Police spokesman said.... The Countryside Alliance claims Mr Broise was targeted first by the saboteurs, who grabbed his horse's reins, causing it to rear up, as part of an orchestrated campaign.... (story)
People 28.9.03 PROTESTER, 60, HURT IN HUNT DEMO FURY - A FOXHUNTER was arrested yesterday after protester Wendy Bridle, 60, was seriously hurt. A man also suffered cuts to his face and a broken tooth in the fracas at Graffham, West Sussex (letter)
BBC News Online 28.9.03 Man held over saboteur 'assault' - A female protester was taken to hospital after the altercation between hunt saboteurs and the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt in West Sussex.... (story)

Western Mail 27.10.04 Buying locally is vital - and won't leave you out of pocket - Dylan Jones Evans, Western Mail - THE countryside has not had the best possible press during the last few weeks, especially following the demonstrations in Parliament Square and within the House of Commons itself. Yet the fox hunting debate has overshadowed other more serious issues about the key economic and social concerns that affect many who live in rural Wales. These include the decline in incomes, depopulation by young people, the increased price of housing - especially in coastal areas - and the closure of rural schools…. (story)

Guaridan 27.10.04 Green and pleasant lands 'no place to be black' - Herpreet Kaur Grewal - Ethnic minority households living in rural areas can experience isolation, and may even suffer from racist language and violence as a result of white communities' fear of the unknown and unfamiliar, according to a new report published today. The study by the University of Leicester depicts a countryside worlds away from the cosy imagery with which it is typically associated and echoes claims made recently by the Commission for Racial Equality chairman, Trevor Phillips, that it is a place "in which people from ethnic minorities feel uncomfortable"….. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 22.10.04 TASTE WARES OF 'BLACK FARMER' - The man who calls himself the Black Farmer will be visiting Gloucester tomorrow to encourage city shoppers to try his own brand of sausages. Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, described as the "only known Afro-Caribbean in British farming", has a small farm near Launceston in Cornwall…. Wilfred has now launched his own brand of sausages in time for National Sausage Week. He will be visiting Gloucester's Asda store tomorrow at noon to give customers the chance to try them. Frustrated at not being able to find a really good meaty sausage, Wilfred created a ultimate banger containing 90% pork meat…. (story)
Western Morning News 19.10.04 RURAL RACISM CHARGE A SMEAR - The chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality has been accused of deliberately "smearing" rural communities with the charge of racism in order to bolster public support for the Government's hunting ban. In an outspoken article in the New Statesman magazine, published yesterday, leading anti-racism campaigner Darcus Howe hit out at Trevor Phillips over controversial comments in which he accused rural communities in the Westcountry of practising a form of "passive apartheid"….(story)
Western Morning News 19.10.04 PHILLIPS NOT ENTITLED TO POLITIC FOR LABOUR - This is what Darcus Howe wrote in his New Statesman article TREVOR Phillips knows as well as I do that rural racism is not the problem here. What in heaven's name moved Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, to launch such a gratuitous attack on our fellow citizens in the British countryside? And what is "passive apartheid"?... The Hunting Bill is before the House of Lords, and the metropolitan middle classes and the rural population are at daggers drawn. His intervention smears the countryside in order to demean rural folk's cause…. (story)
New Statesman 19.10.04 Darcus Howe exonerates the countryside of racism - Darcus Howe - Trevor Phillips knows as well as I do that rural racism is not the problem here, writes Darcus Howe… (story)
Sunday Times 17.10.04 I belong here more than I do in the city - Claims that racism is rife in the countryside are scaremongering, says Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, Britain’s only black farmer. He tells Roland White how he came to be part of rural Devon society - A few days after the countryside was denounced by the Commission for Racial Equality, Devon farmer Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones ambled into his local pub. He had dropped in for a meal many times before but on this occasion he began to feel rather conspicuous. “I’m used to being the only black person in there,” he says, “but then it struck me: I was the only local. Everybody else was a visitor.” This is how you know you’ve really settled down in rural Britain: you start complaining about the incomers….“What signal has Trevor Phillips put out to black people?” says Emmanuel-Jones, 46, striding through a field of cattle in his wellies. “A lot of people now think they can’t go to the countryside because of racism. Living in a posh London environment was worse than any experience I’ve had in a rural society. And I know far more people down here than I ever did in London…." (story)


South Cheshire Chronicle 27.10.04 I READ with interest the hunt supporter's letter in the Chronicle last week claiming hunt stereotypes are false. I recently experienced a very different view. At 10.30am on Saturday, October 9, I was in my kitchen when I saw some of my cats frantically running across the yard…. To my horror, several large foxhounds were hurling themselves at my closed gates…. I spotted a huntsman near the house blowing a horn but the hounds were entirely out of control and completely ignored him… This is not the first time this hunt has been reported. In January this year the entire pack was put on the police dog bite register after they attacked a man in his back yard… BARBARA WALLEY Nantwich (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 27.10.04 Proper Charlie... I wish to thank M J Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, for his letter explaining the likely outcomes of the Hunting Bill. Prince Charles has made known his intention to carry on hunting, regardless of the law, and that will, in my view, stimulate a call for an end to the monarchy…. The barbarity of fox hunting, has been discussed and generally frowned upon as long as I can remember… GLADYS BAKER-BAINBRIDGE, Stockton (letter)

Western Morning News 27.10.04 Hunting logo - I ALWAYS read with interest your articles and comments about pro-hunt campaigners. I support all legal efforts to overturn the mindless Bill which is soon to be forced through parliament…. Might I suggest someone designs a logo which could be used to indicate support for hunting. Most of us remember the CND logo which was used to great effect some years ago…. L J Beale, Falmouth (letter)

Northern Echo 27.10.04 HUNTING - HARRY Mead, in one of his columns, mentions a democratically elected House of Commons, with which statement I agree as long as it applies to Britain…. At the moment there are MPs voting on English affairs who were born in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Africa and Eastern Europe, instead of only English-born people…. G Hutchinson, Spennymoor. (letter in archive)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 27.10.04 Well attired - I WAS sorry to read Tony Woodwards' letter last week. Whilst I can understand his dislike of fox hunting, I cannot agree with his reasoning, which seems to centre on "questionably attired pest controllers", "over-weight" hunters, and "blood lusting followers"…. To condemn a pursuit because of the clothing worn, or indeed of the weight of those that he perceives to hunt is quite immature. On those ground he must really hate sumo-wrestling!... Mr B Lammas, Bromsgrove (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 27.10.04 Anti-hunt writers forgetting their facts - In the letter from an anonymous reader on October 12, 2004, the description of autumn hunting is emotion-fuelled but very short on fact. Hunting starts in the autumn when the fox population is made up of physically mature foxes, able to fend for themselves…. Clare Rowson, West Midlands Regional Director, Worcestershire (letter)

Oxford Mail 27.10.04 So ill-informed - I hope that Andrew Hornsby-Smith, who wants to ban Boxing Day hunt meets in Bicester Market Square (Oxford Mail, October 22), considers himself humiliated by his lack of knowledge and interest in a town which he does not inhabit. This is typical of so many New Labour interfering busybodies…. Bruce Skelton, Meteor Close, Bicester (letter in archive)

Northwich Guardian 27.10.04 Barbaric - PROBABLY most people would like to see the fox population controlled but not in the barbaric way it's done now… REGULAR READER (letter in archive)

Knutsford Guardian 27.10.04 Hunting ban boils down to class war - NICKY Green (Knutsford Guardian October 13) says no animal is responsible for its actions and that a cat is only exercising its natural instinct when it kills a bird. If this is the case why won't she accept a dog killing a fox is doing the same thing?... What makes her so superior that she can say her cats can kill as many animals and birds as they like, but she does want a dog killing a fox?... MR G MATHER, Wilson Crescent, Lostock, Gralam (letter in archive)

Salisbury Journal 27.10.04 SO, Mr Hale (Postbag, last week) repeats yet another myth of the anti-hunt lobby, without bothering to check his facts. Salisbury's other local hunt, the Pimpernel Beagles, never shoots any dogs, whether puppies or full-grown. They ALL go hunting, regardless of their abilities… DES HOBSON, Salisbury
I NOTE that Tony Banks refers to those members of the public who disagree with the banning of hunting with dogs legislation as `toffs', and now Tessa Jowell has labelled those who disagree with her Gaming Bill `snobs'…. Perhaps we should just refer to these politicians who do not take any account of a significant proportion of the public voice when it suits them as arrogant b*******! CLIVE GREGORY, Homington (letters in archive)

Worcester Evening News 27.10.04 I've never seen fox in the wild - GEORGE Cowley is lucky to have seen a live fox. In the 1930s, I followed the hunt on foot and cycle, and never saw a fox in the wild. The only one I've seen has been in a zoo. F C CLAXTON, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Carmarthen Journal 27.10.04 I UNDERSTAND THE ANGER - In response to his letter of October 6 and his comment about pro hunt supporters teaching their children anarchy, I can assure Mr C A Moore they have been taught that only too well by the anti-hunt brigade… We have tried unsuccessfully for over seven years to put our point forward peaceably. But, why bother; maybe the 'antis' have got it right after all. For years, they've physically and verbally abused members of the public, hunt servants and their horses and hounds sometimes with dire consequences. So, who's winning? The law-abiding hunter who cares daily for his charges and the countryside? Or the law-breakers? Seems to me we may have to take a page out of their book…. Jane Davies, 9 Bryngelli, Carmel, Llanelli (letter)

27.10.04 Hunting ban compromise? - The bill to ban fox hunting is now before the House of Lords and they are trying to change it to allow hunting to carry on under a licensing scheme - despite the fact that 76 per cent of the general public, as well as the elected House of Commons, want a total ban…. DOUGLAS BATCHELOR Chief Exec, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)


Birmingham Post/Mail 26.10.04 Peers back hunting under licence - The House of Lords is on a collision course with the Commons after peers overwhelmingly backed moves to allow hunting with hounds to continue under licence…. "If the Government does not accept this rational compromise and also uses the draconian Parliament Act against its original proposals, then my Government - of which I am normally a most loyal supporter - will in my view be shamed and humiliated by its actions," Lord Donoughue said. (story)
Reuters 26.10.04 Peers press for fox-hunting compromise - LONDON (Reuters) - Peers in the House of Lords have pressed for a compromise on fox-hunting which would allow some hunting to continue under licence. Peers, many opposed to a complete ban of the centuries-old pursuit, voted by 322 to 72 on Tuesday for a continuation of hunting with hounds in some areas of the country under strict licence…. (story)
icScotland 26.10.04 Peers back hunting under licence - The House of Lords is on a collision course with the Commons after peers overwhelmingly backed moves to allow hunting with hounds to continue under licence…. (story)
BBC News Online 26.10.04 Peers vote to save licensed hunts - A plan to allow licensed fox-hunting to continue has been backed by peers trying to stave off an outright ban. MPs have already overwhelmingly backed a full ban and the Commons could use the Parliament Act next month to force the measure onto the statute books. Peers voted by 322 to 72 - more than three-to-one - to change back to the "Middle Way" option suggested by ministers but rejected by MPs in 2003… (story)
ePolitix 26.10.04 Hunting ban row continues - Attempts to ban fox hunting have again prompted fierce debate in the both houses of parliament, while Number 10 has urged backing for a compromise measure. The row erupted in the Commons as MPs discussed whether legislation to implement a total ban should be forced on to the statute book using the Parliament Act…. At constitutional affairs questions, minister Christopher Leslie was warned by members of all sides that invoking the Act would be an abuse of power… (story)
Times 26.10.04 Peers urged to back licensed hunts - The House of Lords will today be urged to back a call for licensed hunting with hounds, by a powerful coalition of peers. Lord Donoughue, a senior Labour peer, believes there is a "reasonable chance" enough members of the Upper House will support an amendment to the Government’s controversial Hunting Bill, which outlaws the centuries-old country sport…. (story)
Daily Mail 26.10.04 Lords asked to back hunt compromise - The House of Lords is being urged to back a call for licensed hunting with hounds, by a powerful coalition of peers. Lord Donoughue, a senior Labour peer, believes there is a "reasonable chance" enough members of the Upper House will support an amendment to the Government's controversial Hunting Bill, which outlaws the centuries-old country sport…. (story)
ITV 26.10.04 Lords asked to save fox hunting - A powerful coalition of peers is calling for a law allowing licensed fox hunting instead of an outright ban ahead of a vote on the controversial issue in the House of Lords later…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 26.10.04 PRO-HUNT PEERS AIM FOR MIDDLE WAY - Simon McGee - A COALITION of pro-hunting peers will today ask the House of Lords to agree to the licensing of hunting with hounds as part of a last-ditch attempt to prevent its extinction at the hands of MPs…. (story)
Western Mail 26.10.04 Peers back hunt licensing - Steve Dube, Western Mail - PEERS in the House of Lords plan to return the Hunting Bill to the House of Commons in the form once promoted by the Government through UK Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 26.10.04 CALL FOR LORDS TO BACK LICENSED HUNTING WITH HOUNDS - The House of Lords was today be urged to back a call for licensed hunting with hounds, by a powerful coalition of peers. Lord Donoughue, a senior Labour peer, believes there is a "reasonable chance" enough members of the Upper House will support an amendment to the Government's Hunting Bill, which outlaws the centuries-old country sport… (story)
Western Daily Press 26.10.04 PEERS URGED TO BACK LICENSED HUNTING - A Powerful coalition of peers will ask the House of Lords today to back a call for licensed hunting with hounds…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 26.10.04 26.10.04 Lords bid to allow licensed hunting - The House of Lords will today be urged to back a call for licensed hunting with hounds, by a powerful coalition of peers… (story)
Manchester Evening News 26.10.04 Hunt poll threat - Ian Craig - PEERS began a three-day debate today on plans to ban foxhunting with a warning that the general election campaign could be disrupted by violent protests…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 26.10.04 Peers fight for change to hunt Bill - THE House of Lords was today to be urged to back a call for licensed hunting with hounds by a powerful coalition of peers…. (story)

Western Daily Press 26.10.04 ON ATTACK IN FIELDS OF WAR - There's no mistaking this is army country in the Wylye Valley. Not a minute goes by without a forces' lorry or jeep whizzing past, or a helicopter skirting the horizon… But despite being the largest stretch of rural ground in southern England, it still gets very busy, and the farmers around the edge of this stunning landscape - the ones whose grandfathers hung onto their land during the great pre-war buy-outs - are often called on to allow access…. But now that is changing, and it has nothing to do with the Iraq war - the issue producing the soul-searching has nothing to do with army life at all - it is hunting. One of the biggest landowners, Josh Stratton, announced this weekend the army would be no longer welcome, because the Government seems intent on banning hunting. It was, he said, a difficult decision, especially since he supports the army's work…. (story)

Western Mail 26.10.04 Date set for fallen stock service - Steve Dube, Western Mail - FARMERS can register for the much-delayed National Fallen Stock Scheme from Monday November 22…. The regulation came into force on May 1, 2003, leaving farmers heavily dependent on hunt packs and knackers yards to dispose of casualties. It has taken until now to finalise the scheme. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 26.10.04 Under pressure From Nick Richardson, Pheasant Rise, Bar Hill - THE Labour Government ban on hunting with dogs has nothing whatsoever to do with animal welfare. No government which encourages supermarket cartels to squeeze farmers so ruthlessly that they have to resort to factory-farming - rearing chickens in such appalling conditions that 100,000 die of disease, injury or stress every week - has the right to criticise fox-hunters…. (letter)

Yorkshire Post 26.10.04 HUNTERS' PLEASURE IS IN CHASING A WILD ANIMAL From: C Sanderson, Normanton, Nr Wakefield. I WAS brought up on a farm and would have had no compunction in shooting a fox raiding our hens. However, what I cannot come to terms with in respect of hunting is the motive behind the act…. There is no justification for hunting deer with dogs and if hare coursers only want to give points to greyhounds for turning the hares and not actually ripping them to pieces, why not provide them with muzzles as they do in greyhound racing?
From: John Warden, Cherry Burton, Beverley. ALED Jones (October 15), arguing that shooting is the most effective way of controlling foxes, cites a report by Prof Stephen Harris. In an opposing study, carried out by hunts in the West Country, half of all foxes killed by hounds in one season were found when autopsied to be carrying shotgun pellets or rifle bullets in their bodies…. (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.10.04 RSPCA AWARD TOO? - I was interested to read in the Western Daily Press that James Gray MP has become an honorary member of the British Veterinary Association for his work on animal welfare. I look forward to the time when he receives a similar award from the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA. The Rev H Jones Swindon (letter)

Western Morning News 26.10.04 NON-VOTING MP - IN the recent controversial vote to ban hunting with hounds, David Jamieson, MP for Devonport did not vote. Are we to accept that Mr Jamieson did not have the courage of his convictions, one way or the other?... Wilf Worth, Plymstock (letter)

Western Morning News 26.10.04 FARMERS FIND FOXES BENEFICIAL - In a letter to the press, a local farmer made the point that when another farmer used to shoot all the foxes in the area, he was plagued with rabbits… In a different letter, an ex-councillor proposed that fox hunting be allowed to continue with the hounds muzzled. Foxes would survive. Huntsmen could enjoy the chase. farmers would continue to have the rabbit population controlled… Robert Craig, Weston Super Mare
Teacher's pet hate - I AM sick to death of hearing members of the anti-rural brigade, chanting how the people in the countryside didn't care about the miners. Come to that - where were the miners, when the teachers of London were being turned out of their jobs by the Labour controlled Inner London Education Authority… Tess Nash (retired senior teacher), Inner London (letters)

Western Morning News 26.10.04 Hunting solution - WHATEVER is all the fuss about? I love to see the men in red hunting clothes and hear them blow their horns - it's English. All they have to do is not kill the foxes and deer…. Phyllis M Voisey, Buckfastleigh (letter)

Western Morning News 26.10.04 TIME LABOUR HONOURED VIVISECTION PLEDGE - I must dispel the myth put out by hunters that anti-cruelty campaigners are wasting Parliamentary time banning hunting. The truth is that Labour could have stopped this animal abuse years ago by backing Mike Foster's Private Members Bill in November 1997… Perhaps more importantly, Labour has failed to honour its pre-1997 election pledge to stage a Royal Commission into vivisection…. Leo Phillips, Totnes
Firearms danger - RECENTLY a 13-year-old boy was shot dead by lampers in Devon… f hunting is banned deer will have to be culled in this way. Controlling wildlife with high velocity weapons is not a good idea. How many more lives must be lost before this fact is grasped? Col P D King-Fretts, South Molton (letters)

Western Morning News 26.10.04 Huntryside folk - THE people massed in Brighton were not representing the countryside, as they were from that entirely different place, the Huntryside. The Huntryside is a very small, sinister place which consists of people whose obsession is the dominance of other species through a ritualised form of killing…. Penny Little, Great Haseley, Oxfordshire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 26.10.04 UKIP IS MAKING A MISTAKE TO SUPPORT HUNTING LOBBY - I suppose it is entirely predictable that Peter Cox, the Conservative prospective candidate for Exeter, should oppose a ban on the practice of hunting wild animals with packs of dogs, Points of view, October 15. That the Bishop of Exeter should again wade into the political field, this time in favour of chasing small animals to exhaustion and then tearing them to pieces is, at best, a pity, Echo, October 6. For David Challice to use his position as chairman of the Exeter branch of the UK Independence Party, to give the practice his support is, I think, a mistake as it will cost his party votes… John S Stuart, Regent Street, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 26.10.04 HUNTING DIRECTORY GIVES DETAILS OF ALL THE MEETS - The anonymous correspondent, Points of view, October 16, requesting information about fox hunting and the frequency of meets, etc, would be well advised to purchase a copy of Baily's Hunting Directory due for publication next month - available from Waterstones at about £40… The book contains much historical record and information about all the hunts, but it is silent on the question of fox control, or the number of foxes killed, as this is, of course, of little interest to the sportsmen. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 26.10.04 SAVAGING OF DEER IN JAWS OF HOUNDS WAS HORRIFIC - Last Tuesday and Wednesday we read the horrific story of a deer regarded by an elderly widow as a family pet, rather than a wild animal, being torn to shreds by a pack of hounds in her private barn…. They are a major contribution to this carnage in an animal-loving society where by far the majority of people are in favour of a ban on hunting with dogs. C P G Morris, Falklands Road, Torquay
THE description by Vola Van Minnen of the horrific death of the roe deer is the very reason hunting is to be banned, Echo, October 20…. Name and address withheld on request
…. The sooner the Mid Devon Hunt have their nasty toys taken away the better. Next time it might be a young child's life. Mr J E Hutchinson, Cowick Street, Exeter (letters)

News Shopper 26.10.04 Can we justify the cruelty of hunting? Surely Mr Gillies' letter regarding fox-hunting (News Shopper, October 6) is some kind of joke?... the thought of watching (and taking enjoyment from) the sight of a fox being ripped apart by hounds makes me feel physically sick…. Sarah Niven, Sheridan Way, Beckenham (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 26.10.04 LABOUR HAS DONE COUNTRY GOOD - I Do not know which planet Mrs Brookes was on when she wrote her recent letter to Open Lines, but it was certainly not the planet earth, so let me remind her what has been happening here for the past seven years…. The only thing we need the Government to get on with now to make us proud to be British again is to ban the evil practice of hunting foxes and deer with dogs, thus stopping a few sick people from getting some sadistic pleasure. Peter Brimble, Stapleton. (letter)

Western Morning News 26.10.04 No truth in claims of hunt ban packages YOUR story (October 18) suggesting that hunt workers might be offered compensation packages by the Government is totally without foundation or just cause. I can only assume that this is another attempt by the pro-hunting lobby to spread confusion…. Alun Michael MP, Rural Affairs Minister London
Far from "cruelly raising expectations", Westcountry hunt workers will be delighted to read Mr Michael's dismissal of this story (which also appeared in national newspapers) because they told us they thought the £50,000 reported figure was "risible" - Editor (letter)
Western Daily Press 25.10.04 COMPENSATION IDEA ON THE WRONG TRACK - Alun Michael MP Rural Affairs Minister (letter)
Sunday Telegraph 24.10.04 Hunting confusion - Your report suggesting that hunt workers might be offered compensation packages of up to £50,000 (News, Oct 17) is without foundation…. Alun Michael MP, Minister for Rural Affairs and Local Environmental Quality, London SW1 (letter)

Western Morning News 26.10.04 Western Morning News 26.10.04 - Fox myth blown apart - LEAKED Countryside Alliance documents complaining about a "shortage of foxes" have blown apart the myth at the heart of the hunters' argument - that the fox is a pest and needs to be controlled…. It is now time for the ban - and time the hunters gave up this cruel sport and found themselves a more humane pastime. Phyllis Campbell-McRae, Director, IFAW UK London (letter)


Telegraph 25.10.04 Real jumping season is now under way By Charlie Brookes … The abolition of hunting, however, is a problem for racing, which is why I was in Piccadilly last week hurling abuse at Geoff Hoon, the Minister of Defence…. Nothing epitomises how weak and ineffectual the campaign has been better than the actions of the Isle of Wight hunt masters, who sacked their kennel huntsman for dumping a dead horse at the Labour Party conference. Someone should be dumping fallen stock outside Houses of Parliament every day.... (story)

BBC News Online 25.10.04 Pro-hunting farmers ban military - Ten farmers, angry at the proposed hunting ban, have withdrawn land used by the Ministry of Defence. They say they will no longer allow the military to use land near Salisbury Plain in protest at the government's plans to licence the activity…. (story)
Western Daily Press 25.10.04 FARMERS OF SALISBURY PLAIN START A NEW BATTLE IN THE WAR OVER HUNTING - Farmers on Salisbury Plain were accused last night of putting the lives of soldiers at risk in a "petty" protest over the hunting ban…. An MoD spokesman said they weren't yet aware of the move, but they were aware other farmers in the Welsh uplands and in Cumbria had similarly cancelled their agreements…. Labour MP and former parliamentary whip Dan Norris slammed the farmers. He said: "I'm sure the army have had to meet much more formidable challenges than this, and I'm surprised that these farmers are daft enough to think this will make any difference. Landowners are petty and have delusions of their own importance that they are prepared to risk the lives and quality of training of our armed forces on such an irrelevant protest. It will make no difference, and I urge them to reconsider that very carefully."… (story)
Sunday Telegraph 24.10.04 Army 'forced to cancel exercises' as farmers revolt over hunt ban By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - Farmers angry at the imminent ban on hunting with hounds have withdrawn 35,000 acres of land used by the Ministry of Defence for training exercises on Salisbury Plain.... An internal MoD memo seen by The Sunday Telegraph reveals that the withdrawal of private land in protest over hunting has already led to a "significant increase in expense" for the MoD and has hampered Army training. Some training projects are under threat, including an important artillery range in the north of England. Josh Stratton, of East Farm in Codford, Wiltshire, who is co-ordinating the Salisbury Plain action, said yesterday: "We have no problem with the military. They always look after the place and they are very polite. "What we do have a big problem with is the Government. The Hunting Bill is total class warfare.... At the moment, the MoD has very little strategy for vermin control on its own land, and I think it's going to be a complete disaster."... (story)
Yahoo! 24.10.04 Pro-hunt farmers boot military off their land - Well-heeled farmers, furious over a proposed law to ban fox hunting, have blocked military from using their land for training exercises. Some 35,000 acres (14,000 hectares) normally used by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire are now off-limits, The Sunday Telegraph reported, citing an internal MoD memo…. (story)

Scotsman 25.10.04 Peers Move to Allow Licensed Hunting to Continue By Amanda Brown, Environment Correspondent, PA News - A powerful coalition of peers will tomorrow ask the House of Lords to back a call for licensed hunting with hounds. Lord Donoughue, a senior Labour peer told PA News, there is a “reasonable chance” that enough members of the Upper House will support an amendment to the Government’s controversial Hunting Bill, which outlaws the centuries’ old country sport…. (story)

Telegraph 25.10.04 Ministers hope for deal over hunting By Brendan Carlin, Political Correspondent - Ministers revived hopes of a compromise on foxhunting yesterday as peers prepared to discuss the issue. Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, appeared to invite the House of Lords, who start a three-day debate on the Hunting Bill tomorrow, to amend the total ban and return it to the Commons with a compromise plan.... (story)

Newcastle Journal 25.10.04 Pro-hunt groups slam ministers By Dave Black, The Journal - A claim that the Government is still seeking to avoid a total ban on foxhunting was greeted with anger and skepticism by North pro-hunt campaigners last night…. Master of the Tynedale Hunt Frank Houghton-Brown said: "It would be nice to see some sort of hope in the minister's comments but they have had chances to produce a compromise before and haven't done so…." (story)

Western Morning News 25.10.04 MINISTER HINTS AT SOFTER LINE ON HUNT - The Government is still hoping for a compromise on foxhunting which would allow the issue to be resolved in a "less confrontational" way, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has claimed…. Meanwhile, the Countryside Alliance has denied that it plans to cause major disruptions on the country's roads over the coming months in protest at the ban on hunting…. However, one group of pro-hunt campaigners has already held a motorway protest. A number of farriers from Devon, led by Malcolm Tribe from Moretonhampstead, took part in a "slow drive" protest on the M5 on Saturday afternoon…. (story)

Western Daily Press 25.10.04 LORDS IN BID TO FORCE HUNT BAN BEFORE THE ELECTION - Hunt leaders in the West expressed fears last night that fox hunting could be banned as early as February if the Lords reject the controversial two-year delay. The Government inserted the clause to postpone the ban past next year's General Election, but Tory peers are this week considering an 'ambush' of that plan. Pro-hunting Lords are planning to strip the hunting Bill of the delay, in a bid to plunge the Government into the nightmare of fighting an election campaign with the countryside in the grip of a threatened hunting 'civil war'…. "I'm very worried about a ban being imposed suddenly," said Ian Farquhar, the joint master of the Beaufort Hunt…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 25.10.04 Alliance denies blockade claim - FOX-hunting supporters in Hampshire have rubbished claims they are to block roads into the New Forest in an effort to highlight opposition to a ban on the bloodsport…. a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance's Hampshire branch said the claims were wrong…. (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 25.10.04 DEMO'S NEXT VENUE IS WEST, SAYS FARM ARMY - Bristol has been selected as the target for the next protest by the "Countryside Army" led by Farmers For Action. It's one of four cities to which the organisation now plans to take its campaign, after the initial success of a demonstration in Chester 10 days ago. Hundreds of demonstrators - and 40 tractors - paraded through the city centre protesting at everything from the Hunting Bill to low milk prices…(story)

Bath Chronicle 25.10.04 'CRUELTY CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED JUST BECAUSE IT'S BEEN GOING ON FOR CENTURIES' - Following last week's Q & A with a pro-hunter, Justin Broadwith, of Bath Hunt Saboteurs Association, takes the hot seat 1. Why should the Government ban something that has been an integral part of rural communities for centuries? I don't believe that it is an integral part of rural communities. A visit to a hunt would shed light on this - you see more people watching their local football or rugby clubs…. (story)

Rutland Times 25.10.04 Hunt's family day is a huge success - Despite the ongoing threat of a ban on fox hunting, potential newcomers to the pursuit flocked to an open day at the Cottesmore Hunt on Saturday. They were able to join the hunt, or follow on foot, as followers set off from Tilton-on-the-Hill. Claire Bell, secretary of the Cottesmore, said: 'We had a great response. Eight newcomers joined us on horseback and three followed on foot…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 16.10.04 DISPELLING HUNT MYTHS - Members of the Cottesmore Hunt are today opening their doors to people who want to find out more about their activities. The newcomers' day is being hosted as part of a national drive to encourage more mounted and foot-followers…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 13.10.04 HUNTERS INVITE PEOPLE TO JOIN - Members of the Cottesmore Hunt are hoping to dispel the myths and mysteries of hunting at an open day this weekend. Members are to open their doors to people who want to find out more about what they do. The newcomers' day is part of a national drive to encourage more people to join…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 8.10.04 HUNT REVEALS TYPICAL DAY - Members of the Cottesmore Hunt are hoping to dispel the myths and mysteries of hunting at an open day later this month. Members are to open their doors to people who want to find out more about their activities. A newcomers' day is being hosted as part of a national drive to encourage more mounted and foot-followers… (story)
Leicester Mercury 7.10.04 HUNTERS TO REVEAL THEIR TYPICAL DAY - Members of the Cottesmore Hunt are to open their doors to people who want to find out more about their activities. A newcomers' day is being hosted as part of a national drive to encourage more mounted and foot-followers…. (story)

BBC News Online 25.10.04 Huntsman 'rode horse at saboteur' - A huntsman rode his horse at a hunt saboteur and knocked her over, breaking her shoulder, a court has heard. Hove Crown Court heard Jonathan Broise used his horse to push Wendy Bridle out of the way. The alleged offence is said to have happened during a meet of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt last year…. (story)

Western Daily Press 25.10.04 COME OUT AND SEE FOR YOURSELF - Heather Wolf is sparing with the truth (WDP, October 19). Hunts have had to put up with almost weekly incidents of violence against them from hunt monitors, as the recent conviction of Suzanne Amos for actual bodily harm serves to highlight… Alison Hawes Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.10.04 PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE REMINDS ME OF URBAN FOX - I had to read Exeter's Tory parliamentary candidate Peter Cox's letter about hunting, Points of view, October 15, twice before I could work out what his stance on the issue is. He is in danger of getting a splinter in his backside by trying to sit so firmly on the fence…. How much better is the example of Ben Bradshaw, who has stated unequivocally what his belief is, and stood by that, no matter what abuse it has earned him. I would suspect it has also earned him a great deal of respect… Rob Harding, Powderham Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.10.04 I PROTEST OVER COMMENTS MADE BY LORD MANCROFT - Jennie Cook, Points of view, October 21, is right to describe the remark by Lord Mancroft, in his address to the House of Lords, as utterly distasteful. It was very wrong of him to say that hunters now felt like "Jews in Nazi Germany". I am writing to Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw about this matter and also to protest at the untruthful statement by Lord Mancroft that we have a democratically-elected government behaving like a fascist dictatorship. Adolf Hitler banned hunting with hounds for sport without seven years of procrastination and prevarication. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 21.10.04 So Lord Mancroft in the hunting debate used the analogy that hunters now felt like "Jews in Nazi Germany". What an utterly distasteful remark. Jennie Cook, Honiton (letters)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.10.04 DRAG-HUNT HOUNDS COULD MEET A FOX ON THE TRAIL - With regard to drag-hunting to provide the thrills of the chase, Points of view, October 21, what, I wonder, will happen when hounds following a scent encounter a fox? KH Wood, Shelton Place, Heavitree, Exeter (letter)

Argus 25.10.04 Letter: Time to move on Alan Nunn's argument for the rights of those who wish to hunt is feeble…Cruelty of the hunters to the hunt saboteurs is well documented but that is only to be expected. When the archaic practice of grown men in red jackets riding across the countryside is made illegal, it won't be before time. -Ms Ann Rose, Worthing (letter in archive)

Argus 25.10.04 Letter: Hunters got off far too lightly - I was appalled at the magistrates' leniency in dealing with the pro-hunters who dumped animal carcasses in the city centre during the Labour Party conference… -Robin Tulley, Hove (letter in archive)

Bolton Evening News 25.10.04 Hunt makes no money sense - WITHOUT wishing to become embroiled in the hunting question, I would point out to Dr GC Gibson (Hunting: Get facts right, Saturday, October 16) that hunting in the terms of the economy is not viable…. John S L Evans, Howard Avenue, Deane (letter in archive)


Independent on Sunday 24.10.04 Pro-hunting peers set a trap for Blair By Andy McSmith Political Editor - Pro-hunting peers are ready to set a trap this week to cause maximum embarrassment for Tony Blair if MPs push ahead with a ban on fox-hunting…. They intend to overturn the ban on fox-hunting that was passed by 339 votes to 155 in the Commons last month. Instead, they propose to reinstate a compromise originally put forward by the Rural Affairs minister Alun Michael, with Tony Blair's backing, which would ban hare-coursing and stag-hunting, but allow fox-hunting to continue under strict conditions. Anti-hunt MPs will then call for the Parliament Act to be invoked, overruling the Lords… (story)

Ananova 24.10.04 Government's 'hunt compromise' aim - The Government is still hoping for some sort of compromise on fox-hunting which would allow the issue to be resolved in a "less confrontational" way, rural affairs minister Alun Michael said…. He told BBC1's Breakfast With Frost: "It is getting rather late, but it is time for the House of Lords to engage with the Bill, amend it in the way they think it should be and send it back (to the Commons)…." (story)

Sunday Times 24.10.04 Foxhunt supporters plan to bring M25 to standstill with convoy - JONATHON CARR-BROWN - THE Countryside Alliance is planning to disrupt country roads and motorways to prevent a ban on foxhunting. Documents seen by The Sunday Times show the alliance is preparing a series of stunts to highlight its opposition to a ban…. Plans are also at an advanced stage for a “Freedom Ride” involving hundreds of slow-moving horseboxes converging on the M25 and driving around it in convoy… Confrontations with ministers will also be stepped up. John Prescott, the deputy prime minister known for his fondness for Jaguar cars, is likely to face a protest of 20 Jaguars outside his house in Hull. Margaret Beckett, the environment secretary, could find her love of caravanning lampooned by the arrival of dozens of caravans at her home… (story)

Wales on Sunday 24.10.04 Skippy foxed us - URBANITES led by townie politicians are increasingly dabbling in things they do not understand, i.e. telling rustics how to run the countryside. Shouldn't politicos and their constituents first learn to tell the difference between Skippy and Basil Brush? Huw Beynon, Llandeilo
FOX hunting has been debated to death over the past seven years… There is no mandate for banning something just because you do not like it… Gwilym Levell, Neath (letters)

Bedfordshire on Sunday 24.10.04 Ann will get a warm reception SIR - I write regarding your lead story 'Tory MP gets cold shoulder'. … I for one, and I know I am not alone, am going because of Ann Widdecombe's stance on fox hunting…. So, as has been said, 'If you don't like it then don't come'. You will not be missed. Patricia Hall, Coniston Road, Flitwick, Member of Mid Beds Conservative Party (letter)
Bedfordshire on Sunday 17.10.04 TORY MP GETS THE COLD SHOULDER - FUR is flying in Mid Beds as Tories are threatening to boycott their annual dinner. Guest speaker Ann Widdecombe MP is a long-term opponent of fox hunting. Letters of protest have been lodged with the Constituency head office in Shefford expressing their disgust at having one of the only six Tory MPs to vote in favour of banning fox hunting…. The dinner, hosted by the area's Parliamentary representative Jonathan Sayeed, is to be held on November 18 at Mitchell Hall, Cranfield University. A member of the association who has put in a formal complaint, told this newspaper: "I am absolutely appalled that this ghastly anti-hunting woman should be invited to address a rural constituency like Mid Beds…." Association chairman Ashley Green vowed to keep Miss Widdecombe as the guest speaker and said if members are not happy with the arrangements they should not bother attending. He said: "I will not change the speaker unless there is a huge boycott of the dinner. If fewer than 30 people planned to turn up then maybe I would reconsider. …" (story)


Leicester Mercury 23.10.04 HEWITT FACES HUNT PROTEST - Hunt supporters heckled Leicester West MP Patricia Hewitt as she arrived for her constituency surgery yesterday…. Ms Hewitt declined to speak to the protesters, and walked past them to get into building. Phillipa Mayo, spokesman for the Leicestershire Hunts, said: "Patricia Hewitt refused to acknowledge us…." (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 23.10.04 MP GREETED BY HUNT DEMO - Pro fox-hunting demonstrators gathered outside Margaret Beckett's office, in Vernon Gate, Derby, yesterday evening to hold a peaceful protest. The MP for Derby South invited in two of the 10 protesters to give her their points of view. Richard Brooks, retired master of South Notts Hounds, which covers Belper and Wirksworth, was given the chance to speak to the MP in her office. Mr Brooks, pictured far right, said: "It was very good of her to meet us and we spoke to her for about 30 minutes…." (story)

Leicester Mercury 23.10.04 HUNTING DATES The hunting appointments this coming week are as follows. Belvoir… Cottesmore… Quorn… (story)

Western Mail 23.10.04 Welsh peer calls for hunting compromise - WELSH peer Lord Livsey of Talgarth has joined calls for a compromise on the Hunting Bill. The former Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire said an outright ban would do nothing to improve animal welfare…. (story)

Scotsman 23.10.04 Religiously defending the cause - Alastair Robertson - IN JUNE THE PRIME MINISTER WAS asked about banning the ritual slaughter of animals. He replied that while he agreed it might be seen as cruel, there was nothing that could be done. These were religious matters and really not up for discussion. This made one or two people wonder what constituted a religion. Apparently the definition of religion is an organisation with a minimum of 5,000 followers, with leaders who are distinguishable by their special form of dress, which holds regular meetings, which have their own vocabulary along with incantations and ceremonies, and can be seen as a distinct grouping. Country sports seemed to slot quite neatly into this general bracket. Hence the arrival of the Free Church of Country Sports… It is fair to say that there are many, myself included, who have never felt so close to the Almighty as when bouncing about the countryside on a horse. Which is precisely why I don’t go near them…. As a wheeze, the Free Church of Country Sports has to be a good one, although its members see it as more than a good joke. Indeed they seriously see it as a legal tool: Court of Human Rights and all that…. (story)

BBC News Online 23.10.04 West: Fox hunting - Dave Harvey - Show West's programme on fox hunting has been overwhelming. Dave Harvey reports. "What do foxes do? Ask yourself that! Nothing" "There is absolutely no defence for chasing an animal and killing it for pleasure." Which was the fourteen year old girl, which the rural Tory voter? Yes, Netty Simon, 14, is an enthusiastic hunter with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt. Geoff Leonard has always voted Conservative, until now… (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 23.10.04 Sometimes a compliment isn't welcome - Peter Rhodes … A fox hunter in Shropshire tells his local paper that he has hunted for 50 years and never witnessed a kill. That is true of most hunting folk. And yet they will all tell you, with a certainty bordering on a religion, that the fox is killed instantly by a sharp bite to the neck. Curious…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 23.10.04 Halal slaughter is also cruel From: David Scholey, Belgrave Street. Skipton, North Yorkshire. Richard Linkogel asks (October 8) how anyone can compare the halal method of slaughter with fox hunting. No one is comparing fox hunting to the slaughter of halal meat, only saying that if this Government is so concerned with animal welfare then why has it announced that it will not ban the practice of non stunning of animals for halal meat?... (letter)

Worcester Evening News 23.10.04 Why artificial earths are necessary - I AM happy to correct any misunderstanding Frank Holt (You Say, Thursday, October 14) may have about hunting. Mr Holt asks why the fox is vermin. For years the fox has been regarded as a pest and is specified as such under the Agricultural Act (1948). This qualifies it as vermin…. Artificial earths are no secret and they certainly are not part of a mass breeding programme. Most were established years ago to encourage the fox to live in areas where they would do least damage…. JON BURGESS, Malvern, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 23.10.04 COUNTRY PEOPLE KNOW THAT HUNTS DON'T TARGET FOX CUBS - Sir - I have read some codswallop over the years from the anti-hunt lobby but if there was a prize for the most misleading letter, then Helen Weeks would be among the leading contenders…. Most hunts nowadays finish in March. The majority of cubs are born in April. Any earth that may contain early-born cubs are left alone by the hunt…. Ray Bird, Acton Turville, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.10.04 CHRISTIAN WAY IS NOT TO HUNT - Your feature, Hunters Fighting The Ban In The Name Of God, made interesting reading. That a free church of country sports has been set up to help pro-hunting extremists after the hunting ban is implemented is breathtaking. I find it a contradiction that the three men who set up this odd-ball organisation are Christians…. I think it proves what's been known for a long time, that the Country- side Alliance is politically motivated and is another wing of the Tory party. How much is the Countryside Alliance giving the Tories financially to back their cause?... Alan Foyle, Taunton, Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 6.10.04 THE HUNTERS FIGHTING THE BAN IN THE NAME OF GOD - If Tony Blair thought he had God on his side he could be wrong. A "church of hunting" has launched its own crusade against the foxhunting ban and one of its founders yesterday issued a warning of the violence ahead. Rod Brammer, one of three men who set up The Free Church of Country Sports, said his church is setting up medical units to deal with the aftermath of violent protests being planned by pro-hunting extremists…. "The violence in Parliament Square - the police started all that," he said. "They were taunting the crowd. When the police are a blunt instrument of Government they lose all respect. They reminded me of SS Storm troopers rounding up the Jews…" (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 23.10.04 HUNT'S REACTION TO DEATH OF DEER IS NOT A SURPRISE - It should come as no surprise that the master of the Mid Devon Hunt expresses no discomfort for the heartbreak and agony caused to Vola Van Minnen when her precious deer was savaged by his fox hounds, Echo, October 19. How else could he and his chums possibly amuse themselves by setting loose a pack of dogs to hound another living animal if they were not able to disregard the suffering caused by this unnecessary and inappropriate activity?... Mr and Mrs D G Purser, Clapton-on-the-Hill, Cheltenham (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 23.10.04 HUNTING'S ABOUT SPORT - NOT PEST CONTROL - I was sorry to hear that Jackie Smith (Herald Express, October 13) had lost her poultry to a marauding fox, an incident which has left her 'sitting on the fence' as to the Anti-Hunt Bill. From August to late October in the autumn/cub hunting season when the hunts use the excuse of dispersing fox cubs (five-seven months) to train their young inexperienced hounds…. Hunting is, and always has been, about sport and recreation, not pest control (only five per cent of total deaths). That is why the majority of urban and rural people are against it. LEN SHORT St James Road Torquay (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 23.10.04 BISHOP SHOULD RESPECT VIEWS OF GENERAL SYNOD - I am not too sure that M Moore, Points of view, October 15, is correct in saying that everyone in this country has the right to free speech - including bishops… Although the Rt Rev Michael Langrish may, of course, express his personal opinion, I feel that as Bishop of Exeter he has a duty to respect and represent the views of the General Synod who, on February 5, 1970, passed the following motion: "That the Church Assembly is of the opinion that the practices of hare coursing, deer hunting and otter hunting are cruel, unjustifiable and degrading, and urges Christian people in the light of the Christian profession and responsibility to make plain their opposition to activities of this sort and their determination to do all in their power to secure their speedy abolition."… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Mid Devon Gazette 19.10.04 BISHOP IN WAR OF WORDS ON HUNTING - The Bishop of Exeter and a Mid Devon anti-hunt campaigner have locked horns in a war of words over hunting. The row started when the Rt Rev Michael Langrish addressed Exeter Diocesan Synod saying there was no convincing case for banning hunting. He had added that he was neutral on the position himself. That statement incensed Ivor Annetts, of the Mid Devon support group of the League Against Cruel Sports, who challenged the Bishop to change his views. The Bishop, who is the Church of England's spokesman on rural affairs, responded by denying he'd taken a public pro-hunting stance… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 15.10.04 BISHOP WAS RIGHT TO GIVE HIS WELL BALANCED VIEWS - Well done, the Bishop of Exeter, for putting his views on the Government's plan to ban hunting across in an understanding and balanced way. How quickly Ivor Annetts, Points of view, October 6, responded with his usual inaccuracies. Firstly, he should remember that everyone in this country has the right to free speech unless it is libellous - even bishops!... Be careful, Mr Annetts, and remember that only 26 per cent of the population voted for the present Government…. M Moore, Slade Close, Ottery St Mary (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 13.10.04 HUNTING ISSUE SHOWS UP POOR JUDGEMENT BY BLAIR - Ivor Annets, Points of View, October 6, wrote to criticise the Bishop of Exeter Michael Langrish, for his stance on the hunting debate. In marked contrast, I wish to congratulate the bishop for his courage in standing up for what any well-informed and independently minded person would recognise as the truth... David Challice, UKIP Chairman (Exeter branch), Holland Road, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 6.10.04 UNHOLY ROW - The Bishop of Exeter has enraged anti-hunt protesters by opposing the House of Commons' bid to ban the sport. The Right Reverend Michael Langrish said he was morally neutral on the issue of fox hunting but a convincing case to ban it had not been made. Now a prominent Devon anti-hunt group has hit back in an open letter to the bishop following the disclosure of his views in a national paper… Ivor Annetts, on behalf of the Mid Devon support group of the League Against Cruel Sports, called on the bishop to either correct the views expressed or respond to concerns… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 6.10.04 SPEAK OUT AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD BREAK THE LAW - An open letter to the Bishop of Exeter: We were surprised and disappointed to read your comments on the hunting issue as recently reported in the national press… You spoke of being fearful of an overspill of anger. Frustrated hunt supporters could easily read this as an encouragement to break the law. Any follower of the political scene knows that the Hunting Bill is about to become law and that hunters will be obliged to obey it…. Ivor Annetts, For and on behalf of The Mid Devon Support Group, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Telegraph 1.10.04 Bishop forecasts violent backlash over hunting ban By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent and Jonathan Wynne-Jones - A senior Church of England bishop warned the Government yesterday that it would provoke a violent backlash if it "misused" its powers to push through a ban on fox hunting. The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Rev Michael Langrish, said ministers had underestimated the depth of alienation felt by much of the rural population. "I fear an overspill of anger into non-peaceful protest which will be a real danger for public order. I think it is serious," the bishop said.... (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 23.10.04 HUNT CAMPAIGNERS LACK 'STOIC VIRTUE' - If one compares the recent animosity displayed by pro-hunt lovers against the Government's anti-hunt stand with the way a professional football team conducts its business, then one can make a clear-cut comparison showing a vast difference in attitudes. Executives in the footballing industry make harsh, even unfair decisions in running the business of soccer…. Some of these fans riot in a small way but most actually do something more peaceful, like writing to the club or keeping peaceful protest vigilance outside the ground…. Compare this almost stoic virtue of attitude with that shown by the chinless wonders of the upper classes and their lackeys - when it comes to protesting about their rights to hunt-down foxes on horseback and then allowing a pack of hounds to tear the exhausted creature to pieces…. Joe Coleman, Tewkesbury Crescent, Chaddesden. (letter)


Cambridge Evening News 22.10.04 Pro-hunt lobby hijacks opening of new court - THE official opening of Cambridge's new crown court was overshadowed by hundreds of pro-hunt protesters who turned out for the arrival of Lord Falconer. Countryside Alliance protesters jeered the Lord Chancellor as he entered the building today before starting up chants of "No Ban"… (story) (photo)

Wiltshire Times 22.10.04 Fury at vets' honour for pro-hunt MP - WILTSHIRE TIMES EXCLUSIVE: PRO-HUNTING MP James Gray has provoked a storm of protest after accepting an honorary post with a national veterinary body. The North Wiltshire MP has become an honorary associate of the British Veterinary Association, which has its own animal welfare foundation…. other animal rights groups have derided Mr Gray's appointment as "absolutely farcical" because of his strong pro-hunting stance in Parliament and his commitment to the sport. League Against Cruel Sports spokesman Peter Parks said: "My first reaction is to say they must be joking. It's absolutely ridiculous…." (story in archive)

Southern Daily Echo 22.10.04 Walkers warned of mange threat by Chris Yandell - FOXES in the New Forest have been struck down by a highly contagious disease that can cause an allergic reaction in humans. Dog walkers are being urged to be on their guard against sarcoptic mange, which can be contracted by pets and transferred to their owners…. Graham Ferris, spokesman for the New Forest Hounds, said there was no danger that fox-hunting in the area would have to be suspended. He said: "Our hounds are at risk, but it's relatively easy to treat with modern drugs." (story in archive)
Bournemouth Daily Echo 22.10.04 Fox culling call in disease alert by Bob Jolliffe - VETERAN New Forest commoner Len Mansbridge has called for a cull of foxes suffering from mange. Mr Mansbridge, who farms at Home Farm, Ashurst, told the Court of Verderers at Lyndhurst there were now many diseased foxes in the New Forest… (story in archive)

Post & Times 22.10.04 FOXES OUTLIVE HOUNDS, CLAIM - GRAHAM PHOENIX - Many of the hounds bred by one of Britain's most exclusive hunts have shorter life expectancies than the comparatively few foxes they are made to chase, an expert claims. The allegations come from a man who spent over 40 years helping the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, based in and around Uttoxeter, to pacify and compensate farmers for the damage riders regularly cause to hedges and fences. But these allegations have been refuted by the hunt, with a spokesman saying; "We have nothing to hide". Rocester farmer, Neil Seaton, alleged hounds were automatically destroyed when: They won't bark with the pack…. Mr Seaton said he had an intimate knowledge of the way the Meynell Hunt worked as, much to his regret now, he had for long arranged for farm property damaged by riders in full cry to be repaired…. (story)

Western Morning News 22.10.04 NEW SCHEME TO COLLECT DEAD FARM LIVESTOCK - A national scheme to collect dead livestock from farms is to be launched next month, the Government announced yesterday. Junior environment, food and rural affairs minister Ben Bradshaw, who is also MP for Exeter, said the national fallen stock scheme would begin on November 22… Pro-hunt campaigners are angry that their role in collecting fallen stock for hounds in hunt kennels will disappear if hunting is banned, in line with the current legislation before Parliament (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 22.10.04 Ban will not save life of single fox - I watched question time last Wednesday as our PM tried to answer his own party members' question on Iraq. These are important matters to the country. But astonishing as it is the government is to press ahead with its Hunting Bill…. Andrew Davison, Westonbirt (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 22.10.04 Cause discredited - Not being a huntsman, or indeed a countryman, in the sense of actually living there, or of being a farmer, I have not had very strong views for or against hunting with hounds - until now…. Following the disgraceful scenes both inside and outside Westminster and at the Labour Party Conference, by people who claim to be law-abiding citizens, we can now see them in their true colours. Law-abiding only when it suits them…. GERALD PERKINS, Hill View Close, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 22.10.04 Heads in the sand - AS a born and bred countryman, I wish to disassociate myself from the pompous remarks of J H Ling (Your Letters, October 1)…. I can only associate this sort of hypocrisy with the hunting fraternity who are similarly divorced from the reality of living in the 21st Century… ARTHUR MOLTON, Mundsley, Hereford (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 22.10.04 It's about choice - PETER Adams' letter (Your Letters, September 24) shows just how little he knows of hunting or of the many people either directly involved with hunting or of those of us who support their right to hunt. A small minority of upper middle class do not dominate it, as Peter Adams suggests. Many middle and working class either work with the hunt, follow it or just support it, as my family and I do… MRS R WILLIAMS, Cradley. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 22.10.04 FREEDOM IS DELIBERATELY BEING ERODED - The scenes I witnessed on the television the other day reminded me of something out of George Orwell's 1984; ordinary people, middle England you might say, demonstrating against the state and getting fervently driven back by the state police dressed more like Roman legionnaires than our own cherished bobby on the beat… Although the issue under debate here is foxhunting, I see deeply concerning parallels with what could well be "the shape of things to come". Orwell warned us of a totalitarianism creeping in by stealth when he said: "These things will happen if you the people let it." Graham Palmer, Yelverton
Threat to our society - YOUR reports of recent demonstrations by pro-foxhunting folk in Parliament Square, Exeter and Brighton are deeply worrying, and a report by Martin Hesp indicated that there might have been some orchestration of infiltration by the intelligence services at the Exeter event… may I add my concerns about the likely impact of the Civil Contingencies Bill currently passing through Parliament. This Bill is receiving virtually no attention from the press/media, and most commentators are completely unaware of its existence nor its effects…. The leading constitutional lawyer Leo Price QC has described it thus: "In my opinion this Bill, if enacted, is a danger to freedom and is contrary to the principles which, in our country, underlie the relationship between those who are governed and those who govern them." Graham Booth, MEP SW, UKIP, Paignton (letters)

Western Morning News 22.10.04 BAN COULD COST BLAIR THE NEXT ELECTION - If labour push the ban through, they will possibly be committing collective suicide, losing the next General Election. This isn't as unlikely as it seems and, if accurate, means that in the long term perhaps they should do us all a favour and use the Parliament Act. The justifiable backlash from the countryside will be entirely of their own making. Not a civil war; never a civil war, but widespread civil unrest exposing the sores in this society…. David Challice, UKIP Chairman Exeter Branch (letter)

Western Morning News 22.10.04 DIABOLICAL ATTACK ON OUR RURAL WAY OF LIFE - The pro-hunting demonstration in Westminster on Wednesday, September 15 led to claims from some quarters that the nation was in a state of civil war between those living in the countryside and urban dwellers. Those claims, reported by the WMN, resulted in a massive postbag. Here we print a selection of the letters we received
Absolutely disgraceful, diabolical and undemocratic - the bigoted attitude of this Government, with Tony Blair the chief culprit, doing all it can to destroy our way of life in the rural areas of our country, our heritage and tradition of hundreds of years…. M Medhurst, North Devon
Animal welfare abuse - I DON'T hunt myself, but feel strongly that people who want to should be allowed to do so. I do shoot and enjoy angling. I am also a commercial fisherman and am beginning to wonder if New Labour will use/abuse the animal welfare issue to ban this next…. Ian Shepherd, Noss Mayo
Claim full compensation - PERHAPS the time has come for a new Civil War if it means we can get rid of the present dictatorship as Cromwell got rid of an oppressive monarchy…. Mrs Calmady-Hamlyn, Bridestowe
Different outlook - TO ME, born in the suburbs, raised in a city and now living in the countryside, it has become obvious that there is a real difference in the outlook of rural and city folk - and the onus to improve relations lies with our urban cousins… Martin Price, Kingsbridge, South Devon (letters)

Yorkshire Post 22.10.04 Snark hunt From: John Roblin, Queensgate, Bridlington. I CANNOT understand the concern of the hunting fraternity over the proposed ban on fox hunting. Surely there are a few of Lewis Carroll's snarks still out there? (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.10.04 FUNNY OLD WORLD WHERE HUNT IS NOT PROSECUTED - If I, as an ignorant townie, had trained a pack of dogs to kill and those dogs had broken into a neighbour's garden and torn a much-loved pet to shreds, I suspect I would be prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act… But that won't happen to the Mid Devon Hunt. Funny old world, isn't it? G R Holwill, Stoke Hill Crescent, Exeter (letter)

Shropshire Star 22.10.04 Foxes are a real pest to farmers - Reading Mike Claydon's letter of October 5, he seems annoyed that the Shropshire Star does not print photos of the killing of foxes by hunters…. Looking through my records, I see three small children have been attacked by half-tame urban foxes in the south-east, photos of all these victims are on my files. Maybe Mike Claydon is not aware what a pest the fox is. G Morris, Newport (letter)

Shropshire Star 22.10.04 Don't be fooled by reports in tabloids - I would like the opportunity to respond to David Evans letter "Brutality of police on demo day" in which he suggested that I was merely an armchair critic…. Don't believe everything you see or read in the tabloid press, Mr Evans, for words can be taken out of context and photographs can be very selective. The young lady parading in her underwear - sorry bra, was no doubt auditioning for page three in certain tabloids…. Ray Williams, Shifnal (letter)


Grimsby Telegraph 21.10.04 MINISTER HECKLED BY PRO-HUNT SUPPORTERS - NEIL PRESTON - Vociferous pro-hunt demonstrators attempted to hijack a prestigious educational launch in Cleethorpes. A crowd of more than 100 blood sport supporters from north Lincolnshire's two leading hunts gathered to lobby Schools Minister Stephen Twigg - one of the 356 MPs who voted for a ban - who was at Grimsby Town FC's Blundell Park ground to open the study support centre there… The gathering of protesters included members of both the Brocklesby and South Wold hunts as well as other people in favour of hunting…. (story)

Isle of Wight County Press 21.10.04 RSPCA SLAMS CARCASS PROTEST FINES - TWO ISLAND men who dumped four animal carcasses on the streets of Brighton in protest at the government's bill to ban hunting have been fined by magistrates in a sentence slammed as 'astonishing' by the RSPCA. IW Hunt kennel huntsman Stuart Trousdale, 33, of Gatcombe, was fined £80 and Jamie Butcher, 39, a builder of Ashey Road, Ryde, was fined £167. Both admitted disorderly behaviour causing harassment alarm or distress on September 28 and were ordered to pay £70 costs by Brighton magistrates on Tuesday… (story)
Argus 20.10.04 Carcass pair fined £247 by Ali Cridland - Pro-hunt protesters who dumped rotting animal carcasses in Brighton have been fined a total of £247. Animal rights groups have branded the punishment "astonishing". Stuart Trousdale and Jamie Butcher made their protest during last month's Labour Party conference… Animal rights campaigner Mary Frankel confronted the men as they left the court, in Edward Street…. Charles Shelton, defending, said the men carried out their actions for political reasons and apologised for causing distress. He added all the animals had died a natural death. He said: "Being from the countryside they are so much more used to the sight of death. It was a mistake not to realise the effect on urban people…." (story in archive)
20.10.04 PAIR FINED OVER CARCASS PROTEST - Two pro-hunting protesters who dumped animal carcasses in the street during the Labour Party conference were yesterday fined. Stuart Trousdale, 33, and Jamie Butcher, 39, both from the Isle of Wight, horrified local residents by unloading two dead calves and a cow from a pick-up truck near the conference venue in Brighton, East Sussex. They pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates Court to breaching the Public Order Act through threatening and disorderly behaviour and were both ordered to pay costs…. (story)
Telegraph 20.10.04 Carcasses protesters are fined - A protest by two huntsmen, who dumped rotting carcasses near the Labour Party Conference in Brighton last month, revolted the public, the city's magistrates were told yesterday. Jamie Butcher, 39, and Stuart Trousdale, 33, both of the Isle of Wight, sought to draw attention to the role of hunts in disposing of carcasses…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.10.04 Two fined for dumping carcasses - Two hunt supporters have been fined for dumping animal carcasses in Brighton during the Labour Party Conference. Stuart Trousdale, 33, of Gatcombe, and Jamie Butcher, 39, of Ashley Road, Ryde, both on the Isle of Wight pleaded guilty to public order offences…. Charles Shelton, defending, said: "Mr Trousdale and Mr Butcher are not hooray Henrys, out to make a point. They are hard working members of their community. They are countrymen who feel that, as they see it, their way of life is under threat…." Trousdale, a kennels huntsman, was fined £80 and ordered to pay £70 costs and Butcher, a handyman builder, was fined £167 and ordered to pay £70….(story)

Okehampton Times 21.10.04 Hunt under fire after death of young deer by Jane Honey - A 74-YEAR-old widow has hit out at a hunt pack after hounds attacked a young deer in the grounds of her West Devon home on Saturday…. George Lyon-Smith, master of Mid Devon Hunt, confirmed that three hounds had crossed onto Mrs Van Minnen?s land while they were fox hunting on Saturday. He said it was a ?very rare occurrence? for hounds to kill a deer and the hunt apologised ?wholeheartedly? for crossing onto Mrs Van Minnen?s land… (story)
21.10.04 FURY AS HUNT RIPS APART BABY DEER - Furious animal rights activists last night hit out at the owners of hunt hounds which ripped apart a baby deer at an animal sanctuary…. Campaigner Paul Tillsley, manager of the League Against Cruel Sports' Dulverton branch, said this was the latest of a string of irresponsible acts from owners of foxhounds…. Hunt master George Lyon-Smith, of the Mid-Devon Hunt, said: "From time to time there is a very regrettable incident and we will try to avoid it in future." (story)
Mirror 20.10.04 ANIMAL SANCTUARY BAMBI TORN APART BY FOXHOUNDS By Geoffrey Lakeman - A BABY deer from an animal sanctuary has been torn to pieces by hunt hounds. The three-month-old female had to be put down by vets…. Sanctuary owner Vola Van Minnen, 74, said: "It screamed like a child in mortal agony..." Hunt master George Lyon-Smith, of the Mid-Devon Hunt, said: "From time to time there is a very regrettable incident and we will try to avoid it in the future." Ivoe Annetts of the League Against Cruel Sports said: "We get cases every year involving trespass and where animals are killed."... (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 20.10.04 HUNT UNDER FIRE OVER BABY DEER DEATH APOLOGY - Woman claims she is still waiting for response after attack - An elderly widow says she is yet to receive an apology from the Mid Devon Hunt after a baby deer was savaged by hounds on her property…. Vola Van Minnen, who lives at Sticklepath near Okehampton, criticised the hunt following the incident at her 15-acre farm which doubles as a sanctuary for wildlife… But Mid Devon huntmaster George Lyon Smith stood by the hunt and said that it had now sent a written apology to Mrs Van Minnen. He said: "On Saturday evening, I spoke to Mrs Van Minnen's son, Richard, who said that his mother was very upset and she would be putting a complaint in writing to us. I didn't apologise then because I didn't want to exacerbate the problem. We have sent a written apology to Mrs Van Minnen today." (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 19.10.04 DEER DIES IN HUNT HORROR - A Devon widow has spoken of her horror after hounds from a hunt came onto her farm and savaged a young deer sheltering in her barn. Vola Van Minnen, from Sticklepath, near Okehampton, says the incident, early on Saturday morning, has left her devastated and angry…. The 74-year-old, who says she is neither pro nor anti-hunting, said: "I was at home eating breakfast with my son, Richard, when I heard a commotion near the barn…. Mrs Van Minnen criticised Mid Devon Hunt for its response to the incident. She said: "I believe the hunt is irresponsible for not controlling their dogs - they obviously don't respon to the bugle…." (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 21.10.04 Clergy show `solidarity with countryside' - TWO leading Ryedale clergymen helped revive an age-old tradition by blessing the local hunt on Saturday. The Farndale Hunt is one of the smallest and oldest in Britain, dating back some two centuries, and it covers the beauty spots of Bransdale, Farndale, Rosedale, Hartoft, Westerdale, Baysdale and Kildale. Master George Atkinson invited the vicar of Kirkbymoorside, the Rev David Purdy, and the Rev Toddy Hoare, vicar of the Hillside Parishes, to take part in the "newcomers' day" and to bless the hunt at its first meeting at Monkett Bank, Farndale…. (story in archive)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 21.10.04 Anti-hunting bill reaches the Lords by Victoria Young - "WE'RE back to where we were years ago" on the bill to ban hunting, says a member of the Ryedale-based Derwent Hunt. Clive Procter was commenting on the progress of the bill at Wesminster where, last week, it received its second reading in the House of Lords… (story in archive)

Independent 21.10.04 - The overwhelming majority of our society has been happy to use the benefits of the work that comes from animal experimentation, while keeping our heads down when people like the Halls are attacked. The Government and the police give inadequate protection to such people as the Halls, while they provide thousands of police officers to protect government ministers from angry hunt protesters or fathers denied rights to see their children…. JEREMY WHALEY, Duns, Berwickshire (letter)

21.10.04 NO BRIBES - I think it is totally wrong for any of the blood junkies to get any pay-off to stop hunting…. The miners never had the option to be given money and start again. The sooner hunting is banned the better the countryside will be. C Stewart Wincanton Somerset (letter)

21.10.04 HUNTING BAN A PERILOUS ACT - How much longer must we tolerate the holier-than-thou drivel of the anti-hunt brigade?... David Picton-Thomas Address supplied (letter)

Barry Gem 21.10.04 ‘Do foxes need to be controlled?’ - I WRITE in reply to a recent letter to the Editor published in your newspaper regarding foxhunting. The author of this article asked if anyone knew of a humane way to control foxes, implying that hunting with hounds is the only effective method. I think that the real question to be asked here is, do foxes need controlling at all?... Larraine Gilbert, Llanharry (letter)

Barry Gem 21.10.04 Hunting: ‘THE Lost jobs that no-one cared about’ - AS a long term animal sympathiser, I am against all forms of animal cruelty, so I obviously support a ban on the hunting of animals for sport…. When the mines closed, more than 200,000 miners lost their jobs and whole communities were decimated. Now we are supposed to allow a barbaric sport to continue to protect approximately 10,000 jobs…. K Green, Barry (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 21.10.04 HUNTING IS FOR ALL, NOT JUST 'SNOBS' - I Think M A Long's attitude to others is a disgrace ("Soapbox: hunting", Open Lines, October 13). Who is M A Long to call others "toffee-nosed snobs"? He says he has "the deepest loathing for these people"… For his information,"these people" are from all walks of life, so he should open his mind….. V Hicks, by e-mail (letter)

Cornwall Packet 21.10.04 Fox control alternatives are not ideal - I RESPECT David Leamon's view that fox-hunting should be banned. The problem we face however is that the alternative methods of fox control - trapping, gassing, shooting etc - which all sides seem to accept needs to happen to ensure farmers' livestock and the countryside is maintained, are not ideal solutions either…. There is so much else we need to be doing: concentrating on issues like the NHS budget deficit in Cornwall, economic regeneration in our local area and getting a fairer deal for our pensioners. For me, as I am sure for many, too much parliamentary time has and is being used on this issue without any satisfactory alternative, and this with the reasons outlined above is why I would not support pursuing this ban… Ashley Crossley,

Barry & District News 21.10.04 IN the present debate on blood sports, let us be consistent and ban them all: angling… chasing criminals with police dogs; boxing and marriage - that can be really cruel - I should know, I have survived two. Christopher Short Redbrink Crescent Barry Island (letter in archive)

Tamworth Herald 21.10.04 ANIMAL DEBATES TAKE CENTRE STAGE - As a veterinary surgeon with experience of practice, teaching and research, I would like to comment and then expand on one important issue raised in the very sensible and timely letter in the fox hunting debate by Richard Meredith (Herald, Letters October 7). I still enjoy fishing and I used to enjoy shooting, but Mr Meredith is right. Banning hunting can only strengthen the hand of the so-called animal welfare activists (AWAs) to target other sports involving animals…. Prof Richard Penny, Austrey.
IT was interesting to read the letter by Richard Meredith on fox hunting. He hails from 'the land of my fathers' - a country renowned for nice singing, lovely scenery and appalling puppy farms…. At least his letter was amusing, whereas the suggestion made by another writer that hunts serve as a kind of 'National Health Service' for foxes is simply ludicrous…. Hazel Greenstiles, Atherstone. (letters)

Torquay Herald Express 21.10.04 WHY THE FOX HAS BECOME A SCAPEGOAT - To answer E Whitehurst's questions (Your View, October 6) have I seen a fox take a newborn lamb? No. Have I seen a chicken run after a fox has visited? Yes. My parents blamed themselves, not the fox, for not securing the run… With modern livestock farming techniques, the fox isn't a major pest and on arable farms, they do only good, helping to contain the population of rabbits and rats. R A GAGIE, All Hallows Road, Paignton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.10.04 DON'T PICK AND CHOOSE IN BLAMING THE ABSENTEES - I see that the Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Teignbridge, Somerset farmer Stanley Johnson, has criticised our MP Richard Younger-Ross for not being present for the third reading of the Hunting Bill, MP criticised on Hunting Bill, Echo, September 18… Having looked into this, I find that 163 MPs were not present for the vote, including Stanley Johnson's son Boris, the Tory MP for Henley…. Terry Philips, Exeter Street, Teignmouth (letters)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.10.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS WANT IT BOTH WAYS OVER A VOTE - Mr Lewis, Points of view, September 25, in answering a letter from John Phelps, inadvertently answered a question I put to him a few weeks ago - slipped up there! Would he accept the result of a referendum? The answer, he would if the result was that hunting should continue but if the result was against hunting, a majority should not be allowed to ban any minority group…. G R Holwill, Stoke Hill Crescent, Exeter (letter)

Shropshire Star 21.10.04 Hunting of foxes a service to farmers - A few years ago, in January and close to lambing time, I was checking the in-lamb ewes when I noticed that one was on her back… I walked over to this particular ewe and as I approached I saw a vixen crouched low behind her…. As I tried to lift her to her feet I saw, to my horror, that the devil had eaten away half of the poor ewe's face…. I don't regularly follow the hunt but I do happen to see them while travelling around I have to stop and watch and think thank God for fox hunters who assist in the prevention of such a cruel death of helpless, defenceless sheep. Michael G Tudor, Shrewsbury (letter)

Warrington Guardian 21.10.04 Laws must be obeyed - IN reply to G A Hill's letter Warrington Guardian (October 7) concerning the abolition of fox hunting, may I point out that the practice of sending young children up chimneys and down coalmines in the 1800s was also considered 'an English way of life'…. MRS S BLACKBURN, Elizabeth Drive, Padgate (letter in archive)
Warrington Guardian 21.10.04 Respect life - IN response to Mr Hill's letter in the Guardian (October 7), pro-hunting, it's nasty, cruel and unnecessary… Old traditions can be updated Mr Hill, we do not send children up chimneys or dip witches in water. omen even have a vote, no more treading on worms or pulling legs off spiders, life must be respected at all costs. It is precious. PAULINE ADAM, Liverpool Road, Great Sankey letter in archive)
Warrington Guardian 7.10.04 Way of life With Parliament banning fox hunting - an English way of life for hundreds of years - we must now accept the following: 1: The cost for saving one fox will cost the taxpayer £200 2: The police will have to neglect other duties to enforce the ban…. MR G A HILL, Liverpool Road, Great Sankey (letter in archive)

Ulster Herald 21.10.04 21.10.04 Bring on full ban on hunting in the North - The Lord Laird of Artigarvan, House of Lords, London (letter may be in archive)
Belfast Telegraph 21.10.04 It is our duty to protect animals - It was with great joy that I welcomed the progress of a Bill to ban hunting with dogs and hare coursing in England and Wales, through the House of Commons last month and through the House of Lords last week…. THE LORD LAIRD OF ARTIGARVAN House of Lords, London (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 21.10.04 Regarding a recent letter from Mr T M Hall (Outfox 'Em - Cage Their Canines, 5.10.04), he says police should seize all the fox hounds on the day the ban comes into force. Without dogs they can't hunt. What he doesn't say is what is to be done with the dogs. Who is going to look after them, or are they to be caged or worse destroyed?... PAUL McDONALD, Middlesbrough
I would like to comment on the debate about fox hunting. Could the supporters tell an ignorant townie, as they are fond of calling anyone who is for the ban on fox hunting, just where the sport is in chasing an animal to exhaustion and then letting a dog rip it to pieces?... DAVID NEWTON, Coulby Newham (letters)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 21.10.04 CONCERN AT HALAL SLAUGHTER - In his letter 'Beautiful, but deadly' (Viewpoint, October 4), Dennis Littler claims the RSPCA 'deliberately condones and totally ignores' the practice of halal slaughter. In fact, while the RSPCA recognises religious beliefs and practices should be respected, it also considers scientific research has clearly demonstrated slaughter of an animal without stunning can cause unnecessary suffering… Sophie Wilkinson, RSPCA east regional press officer. (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 11.10.04 NO THOUGHT FOR ALTERNATIVE TO HUNT - I would like to reply to Dennis Littler's letter 'Beautiful but deadly' (October 4). I completely agree with him. How can this Government discriminate about cruelty involved in hunting with hounds while ignoring that inflicted in halal or kosher slaughter?... Banning hunting without any preparation for the consequences is another. Make no mistake, Blair's reasons for the banning of hunting are to put one in the eye of rural Tory voters…. As horse owners for many years past, I and my family are, on balance, anti-hunting with hounds but recognise the importance of controlling the fox…. What we are also against are hunt saboteurs - not the genuine ones who hate cruelty but the professional trouble makers…. Sue Cannon, High Street, Flixborough. (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 4.10.04 BEAUTIFUL, BUT DEADLY - It is commendable our local MPs demonstrated their compassion for the suffering of an animal, the fox, by voting to stop fox hunting. The fox is a beautiful creature - but also a vicious predator and killer of wildlife… Perhaps our local MPs will now consider the welfare of domestic animals, cattle, sheep, poultry and game which also suffer a barbaric death by the halal method of slaughter, which is an inhumane practice and breaks all the well-established rules which as a society we introduced over the centuries to ease the suffering of animals entering our food chain…. Dennis Littler, West Street, Winterton. (letter)

Sutton Guardian 21.10.04 Hunting ‘organised cruelty’ - Margaret Ballard is absolutely right in condemning the cruelty involved in vivisection, factory farming and ritual slaughter (Letters, October 7), but wrong in criticising Tom Brake for his support of the hunting ban. The local MP sensibly advocates the logical and humane alternative of drag-hunting… FRANK GARDNER Hinton Road Wallington (letter)

Western Gazette 21.10.04 THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO 'TOUCHING' PICTURE OF CUDDLY BEAGLE PUPPY - I Am sure that the photo of a beagle puppy, which appeared in your article on hare hunting (Western Gazette, 7 October), touched the hearts of many of your readers. A picture of young hares slowly starving to death because their mother had been killed by beagles may also have touched their hearts, but it clearly had no place in Martin Hutchinson's pro-hunting propaganda. The cynical use of this photo is only equalled by naming a group of blood-sports enthusiasts, who gain pleasure from slaughtering innocent wildlife - The Park Beagles Brown Hare Conservation Group…. Julie Byngham, Blandford, full address supplied. (letter)
Western Gazette 14.10.04 VIEW OF ANIMAL WELFARE IS DISTORTED - The article about the hunting of hares with beagles was extraordinary and I could not believe that you agreed to publish it without checking the "facts". If I thought for one moment that the Dorset Wildlife Trust "works closely with" the amusingly-named Brown Hare Conservation Group and thereby give implicit endorsement to the hunting and killing of 20 hares per year then I would abandon my voluntary work for the trust, and resign my membership, immediately…. M. J. Lowing, Broadwindsor, full address supplied. (letter)
Western Gazette 14.10.04 ARROGANCE IS SICKENING - The arrogance of Martin Hutchinson makes me sick. Of all hunting, hare hunting and coursing is the most loathsome… If, as they say, Dorset Wildlife Trust has anything to do with them, then shame on it. if, as Mr Hutchinson says, he will go to prison to keep his vile hobby, I hope it is in the coldest, darkest cell and he is only given bread and water. Chris Hull, Coles Lane, Yetminster. (letter)
Western Gazette 7.10.04 'READY FOR PRISON' TO DEFEND HUNTING - A Huntmaster says he is prepared to go to prison if the sport is banned in defence of the country pursuit he sees as vital for the future wellbeing of wildlife. The Park Beagles Brown Hare Conservation Group hunts wild brown hare on foot with beagles, which track their quarry by scent alone… Martin Hutchinson, one of the masters of the Park Beagles Brown Hare Conservation Group, has pledged to carry on hunting regardless of any ban, even if it means a prison sentence… (story)

Western Mail 21.10.04 Hounding Rhodri - First Minister Rhodri Morgan's comments on foxhunting in Wales are profoundly misleading…. Contrary to Mr Morgan's claims, the Government's hunting bill will not allow any hunting of any sort in Wales for any reason. As the Bill stands it would heavily restrict the ability of farmers to control the fox population. The Bill bans all hunting with dogs. This prohibition would ban all gun packs and foot packs in rural Wales…. SIMON HART, CEO The Countryside Alliance, London (letter)

The Forester 21.10.04 DOGMA HOUNDS THE HUNTING DEBATE - So, John Belcher thinks I'm eccentric. Is this because my opinion differs from his? If that's the case, then he's dogmatic - a far worse sin than eccentricity… There is one thing in particular about this whole debate that bothers me. To my knowledge, no-one seems to have picked up on the fact that this bill, which will be forced through via Parliament Act is not to 'ban fox-hunting', but to 'ban hunting with dogs'. Does this mean it will no longer be possible to catch a rabbit with a terrier or lurcher? What about shooting, using a retriever?... Robin Bonser, Cinderford (letter)

Wells Journal 21.10.04 WILDE OBSERVATIONS ON BREEDING VERMIN - Firstly, it seems to me that Oscar Wilde's quotation ("the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable") about fox hunting has some merit. Here is a quote I found on the internet: "In countries where earths are scarce it is sometimes found necessary to make artificial earths, to provide somewhere for local foxes to have their cubs: in other words, for breeding purposes…." If they are vermin why help them breed?... Paul Cross, Landmead, Glastonbury (letter)

Wells Journal 21.10.04 BEING MYTH INFORMED - Myths about fox hunting. I would like to express my opinions on a few of the myths used to support hunting with hounds… Let's face it, fox hunters, you know as well as I do that you hunt animals for no other reason than fun and why do you not admit this… Lee Baker, Town Lane, Shepton Mallet (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.10.04 BURNS TEAM DIDN'T SEE WORST FORM OF CRUELTY - Wherever cruelty is legalised in the UK, we are all responsible. So let us hope that our MPs will have the resolve to quickly end the pastime of hunting with dogs our native red deer in Devon and Somerset… Government is guided on this issue by the Lord Burns Hunting Inquiry… The inquiry team was given a guided tour of stag hunting by stag hunters, but never witnessed the worst cruelty… Having spent more than 30 years exposing stag hunting and similar pastimes, I know that if they had just witnessed how the deer are killed they would have been far more forceful. M J Huskisson, Animal welfare information service, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.10.04 TORMENT CAME FROM EUROPE - For all the polarity in the hunting debate, both sides appear to agree that if Harold had won the Battle of Hastings, the pastime of tormenting wildlife with packs of hounds would never have arrived here… M J Huskisson Animal Welfare Information Service (letter)
Bolton Evening News 16.10.04 Bloodsports a European import - M J Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter in archive)
Exeter Express & Echo 16.10.04 FRENCH HUNTING TRADITION THAT WE CAN DO WITHOUT - I see from the UK Independence Party website that it is keen to declare support for hunting our wildlife with packs of dogs…. For all the polarity in the hunting debate, both sides appear to agree that if Harold had won the Battle of Hastings, the pastime of tormenting wildlife with packs of hounds would never have arrived. These games are a Norman French import, Euro-bloodsports if you like, and it is surprising to see Eurosceptics rushing to support them… M J Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)


Ellesmere Port Pioneer 20.10.04 MP adds name to anti-hunt protest - ELLESMERE Port Labour MP Andrew Miller has signed the Declaration for Democracy and Against Cruelty. In doing so, he has joined the League Against Cruel Sports, other MPs and members of the public who want to ensure a ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)

Western Mail 20.10.04 Charles'should be grilled by MPs' - Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - THE Prince of Wales should be hauled before MPs at Parliament and grilled on his opinions from fox-hunting to nanotechnology. That was the rather bold suggestion from one daring MP who - to the horror of colleagues - aired his idea that the Prince should be as exposed to parliamentary scrutiny as the pauper. Ian Gibson, chairman of the Commons Science and Technology Committee, revealed how a tentative invitation to Prince Charles to expand on his views on genetically modified crops had been "rebuffed"… (story)

Westmorland Messenger 20.10.04 Hunting bill edges closer (story)
Westmorland Gazette 15.10.04 Hunting bill moves a step closer - A BAN on hunting with dogs in England and Wales moved a step closer this week after the bill to outlaw the sport was allowed to progress to its next parliamentary stage, reports Ruth Lythe…. A BAN on hunting with dogs in England and Wales moved a step closer this week after the bill to outlaw the sport was allowed to progress to its next parliamentary stage, reports Ruth Lythe…. Zoe Mendies, spokeswoman for The League of Cruel Sports, said: "We are very happy that it has gone through the House of Lords and we are just waiting for it to become law."… (story)

Northumberland Gazette 20.10.04 Time to decide on future way of life - MUCH has been made in recent weeks about the impact that a hunting ban would have on the rural economy. However, when thousands of jobs were lost by the closing of the shipyards and steel plants of Tyneside and Teesside, were the pro hunters up in arms and calling for the Government to help the families of those affected?... Gordon Tough, Alnwick (letter)

Leicester Mercury 20.10.04 POLICE MUST MAKE CHOICES - Leicestershire Police Authority vice-chairman Bryon Rhodes's comments on the impact of the hunting ban on police resources are not, as suggested by Christine Harris (Postbag, October 6), an attempt by the police to protect the rights of hunters. In policing anti-hunt demonstrations, Leicestershire Constabulary has always remained impartial, committed to facilitating peaceful and lawful protest, while also ensuring that the legal right of hunt members to meet was upheld…. What Christine Harris and those in both the pro and anti-hunting movements need to ask themselves is "What do you want from the police?" and, further, "How much are you prepared to pay to ensure the police are able to deal with the ever-increasing demands placed upon them"?... David Lindley, Deputy Chief Constable, Leicestershire Constabulary. (letter)

Western Mail 20.10.04 Hounded hunters - While out hunting with my hounds and following guns, 16 foxes were accounted for in one valley which is hunted every year. Should hunting be banned, farmers will still want the fox controlled as it is classified as vermin. At present all hunts are licensed by the Forestry Commission and the National Trust when they hunt on their land. The police also know where we are on a given day and they know who to contact should a problem arise…. If the legislation is passed, the fox will be no better off and wildlife in the country in general will be worse off as no one will be held accountable. EH Jones, Derlwyn, Harford, Llanwrda
Outfoxed - Currently the House of Lords is debating yet again the issue of fox hunting.Should government of any party adopt dictatorial powers to revoke the Parliament Act in what after all comes under the simple heading of recreational activities?... MARTIN REES, Llanrumney, Cardiff (letters)

Horncastle News 20.10.04 Using hounds to hunt controls with discrimination - We seem to be having a lot of anti-hunt letters in spite of the 60/40 pro hunt split in your phone in vote… With hunting the quarry animal is either killed or escapes, there is never any wounding with subsequent death in agony at some later date as would happen with a badly shot or poisoned animal…. JOHN MARSHALL Tetford
A hunting ban has a similarity to the war in Iraq - “Put up and shut up Mr Foster, your hunt days are over”, (Horncastle News Oct 6). I’m very sorry to disappoint Mr Marriott, I have only been foxhunting four times in 40 years with the South Wold… I intend to go hunting on the day it is banned…. Mr Marriott would make an excellent Labour back bencher. Our sitting room carpet has seen more wildlife than most of them - HENRY H FOSTER Horncastle Road, Woodhall Spa
Abuse weakens sound arguments … may I offer a comment on two letters which appeared on the same page, one of which (alongside mine) was entirely anonymous and Mr Paul Marriott chose to withhold his address. Perhaps as he grows older he will learn that a sound argument needs no bolstering by abuse, and indeed is weakened by it. RICHARD JOHNS Wood Enderby (letters)

Northwich Guardian 20.10.04 Clowns - THERE seems to be a belief that those of us opposed to hunting are opposed to the control of foxes. I understand fully the need to control an animal that would otherwise be a pest but what I will never understand is how people can justify turning it into entertainment…. MART SYKES (letter in archive)

Hull Daily Mail 20.10.04 BLINDED TO HUNTING FACTS - I Believe people who attempt to legitimise being part of a foxhunt by saying they help control the fox population are wrong…. It is more likely that what draws people to join hunts is the enjoyment of being part of the spectacle. They kid themselves that they are doing some sort of public service… Susannah Kemp, Jesmond Road, Cottingham. (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.10.04 DEMOCRACY IS BEING CORRUPTED - I fear the definition of democracy has become distorted. Democracy is a form of government based on the theory that all are equal - the government of the state by a majority of the people - as opposed to one - the monarch (monarchy) or the few (oligarchy). Politicians are elected to serve all of the people, not a majority nor a minority and in the event of a strong difference of opinion, by referendum, thereby taking the opinion of all of the people. This was not done over Iraq, nor has it been done over hunting… Peggy Taylor Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.10.04 FIGHTING FOR OUR RIGHTS - I write on behalf of the thousands of people, mostly senior citizens who go hunting with their local and neighbouring packs four or five times a week. They don't go to see foxes killed, they go to hear and see hounds at work and to spend a day in our lovely countryside in the company of their friends, many of whom fought in the last war to maintain the freedoms which the Government now seems to be trying to take away from us…. B Sedgley Swindon Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.10.04 IGNORANT OVER THE FACTS OF LIFE - Why all this fuss about hunting? If present trends continue, within the next 20 years, and certainly by the middle of this century, there will be nothing of Britain's countryside left over which it is possible to hunt - or indeed carry on any conventional rural activity - including farming… J W Alexander Corsley Wiltshire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 20.10.04 MPS WERE GIVEN A FREE VOTE ON ISSUE OF HUNTING - Peter Cox, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Exeter, Points of view, October 15, appears not to understand that the Prime Minister and several other ministers did not wish to see a total hunting ban, but it was the MPs who amended the Hunting Bill to impose a complete ban on the sport…. Hunting is not a question of animal rights, but human rights. Do humans have the right to kill animals for fun? John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

The Sentinel 20.10.04 DOUSE SALE OF FIREWORKS NOW - Why do teenagers get a thrill from setting off bangers in the street? Will this Government ever pass a long overdue bill to ban fireworks, other than at organised displays. I suppose if it ever happens, it will get the scant treatment given to the time-wasting debates on fox hunting. Please whoever is in power next time - try to listen to your electorate… ANTONY FORST Stoke-on-Trent (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 20.10.04 A VERY FOXY LADY COMES VISITING OVERNIGHT - One of the foxes visiting us this year was a vixen we called Charlie. Well, all foxes are traditionally Charlies, aren't they?... Foxes will kill young, defenceless or injured animals. They are opportunists, they have to be. They will also kill for the sheer joy of it, and always creatures with little defence…. How anyone can set a whole pack of hounds on one fox and see it ripped to pieces is beyond me. The same applies to hare-coursing…. Sue Cannon, High Street, Flixborough. (letter)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 20.10.04 Hypocritical - IN response to the letter `Cruellest Form of Slaughter' - I would ask the writer to vacate their anonymous hiding place and state whether they are expressing true animal compassion or pure hypocrisy?... I am a fish only eater… and therefore consider myself to be a total hypocrite regarding animal cruelty, having given up so called meat eating on compassionate grounds but still consuming fish. However, I do recognise the overwhelming difference between extremely brave trawler men, who battle against the most severe sea conditions, and the small minority of questionably attired self-appointed pest controllers, who hold an inherent desire to slaughter one of mother nature's most magnificent but unfortunately timed creations… Some years ago, while on a training run, a colleague and I unfortunately witnessed the Worcestershire Hunt pack chasing and inevitably ripping to pieces a majestic dog fox… Tony Woodward, Fringe Green, Bromsgrove (letter in archive)

Salisbury Journal 20.10.04 Hunts themselves shoot the hounds - THE letter from Will Day (Postbag, last week) makes some points about hunting with dogs that require a response. I am sure I am not alone in being fed up with the cynical shroud-waving by hunt supporters over the number of dogs that might be destroyed should a hunt ban come into being. What hunts are not so quick to speak up about is the number of hounds, full-grown and puppies, they kill each and every year… BOB HALE, Saddlers Close, Fordingbridge
HAVING no car, I enjoy the countryside by walking or cycling through it, to a degree similar to that of Mr Carter's daughter (Postbag, last week)… Why also do none of the four writers of the letters on this subject last week appear to have heard of or experienced the equal joys, challenges and exhilaration of riding to a drag hunt, with no threat to the livelihoods of the hunt workers or the hounds themselves… RICHARD HARVEY, Folkestone Road, Salisbury
IN response to a letter about me (Postbag, October 7), I should like to point out that I am one of about 2,500 farriers in this country who will have their lives directly affected by a total ban on hunting. This will have a huge knock-on effect throughout my industry…. I am sure the writer knows, as they seem to know quite a bit about me and my house, that, to afford it, I have an above-average work load, 10hrs per day, six days a week…. CLIFF BARNES, Highfield Farm, Firsdown
I SHOULD like to reply to James Carter's letter (Postbag, last week)…. What I am is a person who does not understand the need to hunt down and kill a helpless animal…. SALLY MARSHALL, Vale View Road, South Newton, Salisbury
AT 8.30 on the morning of Saturday, October 16, I stepped out of my house in Coldharbour Lane and almost collided with a large fox running along the road in the direction of the town. I can only assume he was heading for the Labour Party offices up near St Paul's roundabout. Perhaps they gave him some breakfast. TIMOTHY STROUD, Coldharbour Lane, Salisbury (letters in archive)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 20.10.04 Vindictive and prejudiced - Hundreds of hunt supporters, countryside workers and their families from Hertfordshire and the East of England were the first of many to man a weekly picket outside Downing Street. Their presence is to remind the Cabinet of their determination and commitment to fight any ban on hunting…. There is absolutely no justification for a ban and we are prepared to return again and again until the Government treats us fairly. Liz Mort, local organiser, Countryside Alliance. (letter)


Western Daily Press 19.10.04 BEAUFORT ENDS BOYCOTT - The West's leading hunt will today end its boycott of collecting farmers' fallen stock, after just two weeks, the Western Daily Press can reveal. The Beaufort Hunt told farmers earlier this month it would no longer collect their dead animals, to highlight the situation if the hunting ban becomes law in two years' time…. A hunt source said: "It was done to make a point, and to show one of the many side-effects of a ban on hunting, and we didn't wish to cause distress to our already hard-pressed farmers in the Beaufort area. "We spoke to 250 farmers and there was only one against the protest - a remarkable level of support."…. (story)
Horse & Hound 19.10.04 Farmers support Beaufort hunt protest - The Duke of Beaufort’s hunt have stopped collecting fallen stock in an attempt to increase awareness of the knock on effects of a ban on hunting with dogs… The problems that a lack of fallen stock service by hunts would create was illustrated when a riding school horse at Barton End Stables near Stroud, died of a heart attack during a hack. The insurance company required a post-mortem on the carcase, which lay on a public right of way, and riding school staff set about arranging it…. A neighbouring farm worker moved the carcase to the stables, and eventually Samantha contacted a knackerman who agreed to make an 80-mile round trip to transport it to the vet, wait during the post-mortem and take it away for incineration. “The bill was £200,” says Samantha, “but he only came because he had other business in the area…"
The Isle of Wight hunt has been suspended for four weeks by the MFHA discplinary committee following the actions of Stuart Trousdale, its kennel-huntsman, who dumped a dead horse and dead cows in Brighton during the Labour Party conference. (story)
BBC News Online 7.10.04 Hunt's ban on 'flesh collection' - Members of the Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire are stopping their service of collecting dead animals in protest against the proposed hunt ban. A letter from the hunt's joint master, Captain Ian Farquhar, warned farmers it would no longer dispose of carcasses…. The Beaufort Hunt, which covers parts of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, collects about nine tons of carcasses a week… (story)
Western Daily Press 7.10.04 WE'LL LET DEAD ANIMALS ROT ON THE FARMS, VOW HUNTERS - Thousands of dead animals will litter the countryside within weeks, farmers warned last night, as hunts said they would stop collecting fallen stock in protest at the hunting ban. The West's leading hunt, the Beaufort, became the first to order a halt to the service, informing farmers by letter yesterday morning…. In his letter to farmers, Ian Farquhar, the joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, wrote: "We are close to extinction at the hands of a Government with little or no interest in rural life. This will end the flesh collection service we have undertaken for so long. We need to demonstrate to the Government the effect that this will have and, therefore, with great regret all flesh collection will cease until further notice."… One dairy farmer in Wiltshire estimates it could cost more than £1,200 a year to pay for his dead stock to be collected by renderers, who could have to travel 50 miles to collect animals…. Defra warned farmers yesterday they would face hefty fines for not disposing of dead animals properly, but farmers said they would not be able to afford them….
Father so proud of hunt rebel - THE father of a hunt rebel who shouted down the Prime Minister during his Conference speech said yesterday he was proud of his son's stand. Tom Leeke, 31, rides with the Ledbury hunt in Malvern, Worcestershire, which also boasts many of the other House of Commons gatecrashers as members… (stories)

Leicester Mercury 19.10.04 SABOTEUR SENTENCED - A female hunt saboteur has been given a 75-hour community punishment order after being found guilty by a jury of injuring a supporter by kicking him in the face and chest. Protester Suzanne Amos (39), who has previously been jailed for violence during an animal rights protest, was sitting in a hole where a fox had run to ground during a Quorn Hunt meet…. She was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Friday and told to pay £300 compensation. (story)
Horse & Hound 1.10.04 Saboteur found guilty of ABH … A 39-year-old woman has been found guilty of causing actual bodily harm to a Quorn hunt supporter. A jury took 3hr to convict Suzanne Amos of attacking 65-year-old assistant terrierman Graham Allen, causing injuries that kept him off work for 10 weeks…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 25.9.04 HUNT SABOTEUR FOUND GUILTY BY SUZY GIBSON - A female hunt saboteur has been found guilty by a jury of injuring a supporter by kicking him in the face and chest… Protester Suzanne Amos (39), who has previously been jailed for violence during an Animal Rights protest, was sitting in a hole where a fox had run to ground during a Quorn Hunt meet... A jury of seven men and five women at Leicester Crown Court took three hours to unanimously convict Amos of causing the pensioner actual bodily harm on the morning of September 13 last year…. After the verdicts, David Lee, prosecuting, revealed Amos was imprisoned for 12 months in 1999 for violent disorder and common assault. It related to an incident in April 1998, at a farm in Oxfordshire, when Amos was among a 1,000-strong group of animal rights protesters (story)
BBC News Online 24.9.04 Hunt protester guilty of assault - A hunt protester who injured a man during a scuffle outside a fox's den has been told she will not go to jail. Suzanne Amos, from Blaby in Leicester, kicked Graham Allen in the face and chest as she struggled with members of the Quorn hunt near Melton Mowbray…. Amos, 39, was granted bail on condition she does not attend any further hunt protests until she is sentenced… (story)
Leicester Mercury 23.9.04 'INJURED IN FIGHT OVER FOX'S LAIR' - A female hunt protester kicked a supporter in the face and chest as he tried to lift her off a hole where a fox was hiding, a jury heard. Graham Allen, 65, also had his spectacles snatched off and broken in the skirmish at the Quorn Hunt, it was claimed. The incident allegedly happened as the huntsmen pursued the fox onto private farmland off Asfordby Road, Saxelbye, near Melton, on the morning of September 13, last year. Suzanne Amos (39) of Maple Avenue, Blaby, denies causing actual bodily harm to Mr Allen and damaging his glasses, claiming she acted in self-defence…. (story)

Shropshire Star 19.10.04 Young people divided on fox hunting - Young people from across Shropshire who attended a special forum in the county town have shown they are divided on the issue of whether fox hunting should be banned. The vote was too close to call after the issue was debated at a special youth event held at the Shirehall, Shrewsbury, yesterday…. (story)

Western Mail 19.10.04 Sensible solution to hunting issue needed - PRESSURE is building on the Government to whip its backbenchers into line and adopt a sensible solution to the hunting issue. Last week Lady Byford, Conservative rural affairs spokeswoman in the House of Lords, said UK Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael had made it clear that he would consider reasoned amendments to the outright ban on hunting with dogs forced through by Labour MPs…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 19.10.04 PLAID'S DOUBLE STANDARD - I Fully support Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Adam Price in the motion he is drawing up to attempt to impeach Tony Blair… Having read Richard Auty's report on the government Bill banning hunting with hounds in Tuesday's Post, however, I was shocked to see the name of Mr Price cited as an opponent of the ban… Mr Price loses a great deal of credibility as an advocate of peace when he appears to condone the violence inherent in the barbaric practice of fox hunting…. Rhodri Griffiths, Swansea Green Party parliamentary candidate for Gower (story)

Northwich Guardian 19.10.04 Foxes are not cuddly, puppy-like creatures - I WASN'T really surprised that the Labour majority in the House of Commons should vote to 'ban fox hunting with hounds'. Coming mainly from towns they would have little knowledge of the whys and wherefores of country life and were called upon to vote on something they obviously knew nothing about…. Those who follow hounds on horseback do so, not because they are stinking rich, for many of them travel around in cars so old they would certainly look out of place in Westminster. They do it because they enjoy the challenge of riding across country. Oh, and by the way 'pink coats' are not worn to impress, but because hounds that become temporarily lost, recognise them from afar and will rejoin the rest of the pack. MR J M GILLOW, Heath Farm, Peover Heath (letter in archive)

Bradford & Telegraph & Argus 19.10.04 Unfair to foxes! - The basic ingredient in a democracy is being as fair to all as possible. I, like many others, see life as all are equal in God's eyes…. Don't forget that the fox hunters aren't fair-minded people, they mean to tear the fox apart prior to its death. Derek Wright, Westbury Street, Bradford
Sidney Brown (Letters, October 11) never misses an opportunity to explain the cruelty of hunting with dogs as carried out by unruly, hooligan, upper crust `hooray Henrys'. As a champion of animal welfare perhaps Mr Brown through your columns would avail us of his feelings on the religious slaughter of animals without pre-stunning, and what actions he is, or will be taking, to help bring an end to such cruel practices… Peter D O'Malley, Heaton Drive, Baildon. (letters)

Bath Chronicle 19.10.04 HE'S A CELEBRITY - GET HIM OUT OF HERE - As expected, many of our local MPs have condemned the Floor of the House demonstration in Parliament against fox hunting. For my part, they have done us all a great service.They highlighted the fact that the protesters almost outnumbered the MPs in the Chamber to debate this bill that the government appears to have decided is more important than the state of our hospitals that have super bugs that kill 5,000 people a year, our hopeless transport system, crime, education, pensions and all the other chaos currently surrounding us…. R HORTON, The Hollow, Bath (letter)

The Sentinel 19.10.04 WE NEED NEW MP - If ever there was confirmation that this constituency continues to be represented by an earnest foot soldier of Tony Blair, it was Charlotte Atkins's recent appointment to a minor government position at the Department of Transport… As everyone knows locally to their cost, during her tenure as our MP, Atkins has shown she always loves reverse gear, her three-point turns are masterly and as for her political principles, she never sets out without a complete set of spares…. Her concentration on the hunting ban inexcusable while violent crime rises and pensioners remain in poverty… Patrick Burk Leek (letter)

The Sentinel 19.10.04 FIGHT FOR TRADITION - Following the letter last week from Keith Hoptroff, of Sandon Street, Leek, I think he should get the facts right about the things he is commenting on. Firstly the animals dumped in Brighton were fallen stock, which means they were dead and didn't need putting down. Secondly for years the antis have been using terrorist actions such as attacking people using car bombs and the most recent of all the desecration of a grave to get their points of view across. I don't condone any actions like this, but they are just taking notes from the antis' book. The Government has backed normal law abiding citizens into a corner and they have now come out fighting… Daniel Capper Leek (letter)

The Sentinel 19.10.04 BILL IS 'DEATH OF DEMOCRACY' - A Bill going through Parliament was described by Lord Lucas in the House of Lords as being comparable to Hitler's Enabling Act, which transferred powers from the State to a party, enabling them legitimately to hijack democracy. The Civil Contingencies Bill (CCB) has been described as the most dangerous Bill ever to come before the House…. There is much talk about the Draconian methods the Government is using to push the anti-hunting law through Parliament by applying the Parliament Act to ignore any decision made in the House of Lords. Yet this is not a very important issue, so why the pressure? Could it be that if they can drive this through using the Parliament Act, it will show that they could drive the CCB through also?... G LOVER Chesterton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.10.04 HUNTING BAN WILL LEAD TO WIDESPREAD UNREST - Mr John Phelps states in his letter to Points of view, October 11, that he does not intend to answer any more of my letters. I cannot recall him ever answering any of the questions I have posed about wild animals. I am sure I am not the only reader of your paper who will heave a sigh of relief at the disappearance of his almost daily emails!... One only has to read the many letters objecting to people 'dressing up in fancy clothes and pink coats' to realise this is not about the welfare of the fox but it is all about prejudice against one particular section of society….. M Lewis, Rackenford, Tiverton (letter)

Leicester Mercury 19.10.04 WHO CAN SEE SIGNS OF FEAR? - In a letter to Mercury Postbag (October 12), J Cowley wrote that she had never seen a distressed fox (not compared with a distressed dog which runs round with its tail between its legs). Surely, after living in the country for 60 years and following the hounds, J Cowley must know that, in fear or distressed, a hunted fox is unlikely to be seen running with its tail between its legs…. G A Wright, Leicester. (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.10.04 HUNTING DEBATE - May I congratulate your reporter Tristan Cork on his most constructive interview with Ian Farquhar, Master of the Beaufort hunt. MrFarquhar's speaks for all the huntsmen and huntswomen I have met when he talks so knowledgeably and with such compassion about life in the countryside with regard to fox hunting with hounds. These articles are a rare sight in our newspapers…. S Avery Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.10.04 BEHAVING LIKE SPOILED KIDS - The hideous, barbaric, so-called sport of fox hunting should have been banned many years ago…. Norah Pound Wroughton Swindon Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.10.04 INFURIATED BY LABOUR BAN - Steve Adams Marlborough Wiltshire (letter)
Wiltshire Gazette 14.10.04 Angry at ban - HAVING worked with five different packs of foxhounds over the last 20 years it infuriates me that the Labour Government are hell bent in taking my livelihood away from me…. If the Government told football supporters they can no longer go and watch their team play on a Saturday afternoon do you think Millwall fans will say "That's ok Tony, we understand"? S ADAMS, Burbage (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 19.10.04 VIDEOS REVEAL THE REAL TRUTH - J Miller and his ilk can no longer claim that those who oppose hunting's brutal ways are ignorant of what is going on. The crucial difference in recent times has been the accumulation of revealing video footage of precisely what hunts get up to, taken by the likes of International Fund for Animal Welfare's hunt monitors…. Heather Wolf Bristol (letter)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 ANIMALS NEED OUR THOUGHTFUL BLESSINGS - Having recently attended a church service for the blessings of animals, I wanted to send you this lovely verse taken from the service. I do hope you can print at least some of it. I would like to add that I am totally opposed to hunting with hounds and delighted a ban is to be enforced…. Miss Tamsin Rowe, Padstow (letter)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 Just the start... ANGLERS and shooters beware, you are next on the list. Simple remedy, throw out your local Labour and Lib-Dem politicians ASAP. Nigel Winner, Brixham (letter)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 DEMOCRACY AT RISK IN HUNTING ROW - In great Britain, bull-fighting, bull- baiting, bear-baiting cock-fighting, dog- fighting and badger-baiting are all illegal. Why? Because the majority of the public rightly perceived these "sports" to be cruel and barbaric, and have exerted their will in a democracy…. In a democracy, you cannot cherry-pick the laws you agree with and choose to obey, ignoring the ones you don't like; the outcome of everyone doing so would be anarchy. So people who enjoy hunting foxes, deer, hares or mink with packs of dogs are going to have to find another entertainment, or risk the might of the law… Graham Broach, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 WE SHOULD HOLD A REFERENDUM ON HUNTING - Nobody appears to be trying to find a way out of the hunting debate even though your columns are full of arguments we've heard three million times already. The politicians of the main parties are failing us completely. With a Labour government we get a hunting ban. With a Tory government we get no hunting ban. Either way we get a bunch of malcontents with a lunatic fringe prepared to break the law, thus wasting the time and resources of the police and security services… I suggest we put the issue to a referendum. Parliament passes the current Bill subject to a referendum. Then the opposing sides, who both claim that a majority of us support them, can find out the truth…. Philip Kerridge, Bodmin
Blatant propaganda - PETER Anderson's prosaic attempt to justify a hunting ban (WMN, September 11) is to reiterate his all too familiar monotonous monologue, a repugnant propagandist ploy of repeating his factually inaccurate, deeply distorted and utterly biased hate mongering, in the vain hope that on hearing it often enough, people will begin to believe it…. W T Sweet, Mawgan, Helston (letters)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 DANGER OF LOSING OUR PRECIOUS LANDSCAPES - I think it's time all of us who live in the West asked a few questions. My own view of hunting is that I would prefer not to do it. I rarely fish either. I am a Westcountryman and living next to the elements has made me realise that the world is at times harsh and sometimes cruel. I think I should remind readers that meat is not born in a plastic bag and fish does not come from the freezer…. I don't hunt or wish to hunt. But it is he who is without sin who should cast the first stone. Kevin Pyne, Dartmouth (letter)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 CAN COUNTRYMEN MAKE CITY RULES? - I have read with great interest all your items on banning foxhunting and agree wholeheartedly with the articles (WMN, September 20) by Anthony Gibson and Mark Daniel. What I find unbearable is the fact that people who may never have seen the countryside should sit in judgement on somebody else's way of life and relaxation. Will banning fishing be next, and what will come after that?... Mrs R Westall, Ashburton
Hunting means jobs - AS a past employee of the hunting industry on Exmoor, I strongly advise against a ban on hunting. It provides tourism and employment at a time of year when other seasonal jobs have closed down for winter…. Lynn Loud, Wrexham (letters)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 BETTER WAYS TO HAVE HEALTHY FOX POPULATION - Your correspondent Caroline Llewellyn (WMN, September 27) insists that only hunting with hounds will ensure a healthy fox population… If the writer is worried about maintaining a genetically healthy fox population, she should have a word with our local shoot rather than defend hunting with hounds. Theo Hopkins, Tiverton
Political cold fish - ANGLERS need not fear that they are next on the hit list. Fish are cold-blooded creatures and presumably have no feeling. That makes them akin to our present law-makers. Pauline Williams, Carnon Downs (letters)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 ONE PARTY HAS COUNTRYSIDE VALUES - FOR those of us with an interest in the countryside and country pursuits, it was good to have the reassurance of the Conservatives that they support the things that we believe in, too… Half a million people attended the Countryside March in London (more than was counted officially; I was behind the counter when the doors were closed as were several tens of thousands of others) but the Conservative Party has only 300,000 members (still the largest of all parties)…. Philip Milton, Georgeham
Australia's killing fields - I READ with interest the letter by Dr R Allen of Western Australia… I would suggest that the good doctor puts his own house in order before criticising the UK on the fox hunting issue. Pig hunting is a great sport out there, using dogs to flush them out and kill them; kangaroos are shot from helicopters; wild ponies are reduced in numbers also by being shot from the air…. When living in someone else's country he should learn to accept their way of life and abide by their rules, as we do when we are visiting this lovely country. Julia Hayllor, Ashburton (letter)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 PEOPLE KILLING FOXES NEED TO BE GOOD SHOTS - I would not like to be a "right to roamer" when they start shooting foxes…. Rifle bullets that miss their targets carry on for long distances and may well end up hitting the very people who are trying to protect the fox . John Stanton, Okehampton
Don't kill for fun - THERE seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding as to what the discussion should be about. Whether the hunt is killing foxes, deer or hares or any other creature, the object of the hunt is to kill a living thing for self-satisfaction…. Douglas Barton, Portloe, Cornwall
Simpler bill is better - I WAS interested to read (WMN, October 1) that Tony Blair has not ruled out a compromise on fox hunting…. If I were a fox, I'd rather take my chances in a chase with the hounds than have my lair destroyed by housing development, or being shot - providing I could get away… Alan Griffey, Torquay (letters)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 OTHER CONTROL METHODS ALSO FAIL - So they think hunting is cruel do they? Well, have many "townies" witnessed the vile virus myxomatosis introduced to this country 50 years ago by the government of the day…. Sandra Turner, Okehampton
Virtues of hunting - BEFORE the decision is made on hunting with dogs, ponder a while on the thousands of young people that hunting has installed with a sense of discipline and spirit of adventure. The responsibility of horse husbandry, personal care in turning out for the authority of the hunting management structure, and the bravery of galloping across unknown country…. Robin Clarke, Exmouth
Controlling mink - CJA COPE is completely wrong to say that the decline in mink numbers is as a result of the decline in water voles…. Mink numbers increased despite the hunter's efforts…. If there was an efficient means of removing them, I'd be all for it. Hunting with hounds just isn't it. R A Gagie, Paignton (letters)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 WILL BAN BE FINAL FOR HORSE AND HOUND? - Surely hunting is the least successful way of controlling foxes. I myself have shot two dog foxes and a vixen during my poultry keeping days…. I cannot imagine any of the horse owners I know considering shooting their horse because they cannot hunt. As for the hounds, they are shot anyway when they are considered too old to hunt; but hounds, from dashunds to greyhounds, make excellent pets, ask any puppy walker. L B Ward, Crackington Haven, Bude
Civil liberty at risk - It is an attack on civil liberty for the Government to ban hunting; a sport that is enjoyed by few and harms nobody. Ian McCowen, Gullane
Road kills versus hunting? ON A recent 25 mile journey through East Cornwall I saw three dead foxes, obviously victims of vehicle hits. Can you, through your journal obtain confirmation from Peter Anderson that none of these animals suffered; failure to do so must surely set him on an immediate crusade to ensure the next item to be banned is cars…. Ted Ivory, Gunnislake
Mr Anderson - or any other reader - might like to address your point, Mr Ivory. We'll happily publish the replies. (letters)

Western Morning News 19.10.04 No change - SHORTLY after the end of the Second World War, I was, as a young officer aspiring to obtain a regular Army commission, required to attend a course. The object of the exercise was to alert us … to the vagaries of press reporting. I was reminded of this when I read reports of the incident surrounding Alun Michael's appearance in Exeter on Wednesday, September 23. One newspaper's (WMN) banner headline read: "Rural Outrage - Minister Faces the Full Fury of Hunt Supporters"… The other (Express & Echo) read: "Blood Lust - Moment when City Hunt Protest Descended into Violent Mob Rule"…. David Wood, Cullompton (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 19.10.04 ANIMALS DESERVE OUR RESPECT - I have to respond to the foxhunting debate. I must say well done Mike Huskinson for bringing to light about fox pups because that's what they are. I cannot, beyond belief, understand why people want to harm any creature… S MORGAN Grange Road Goodrington Paignton (letter)


Western Daily Press 18.10.04 COUPLE'S CRUSADE TO BAN BLOODSPORTS - On an ordinary day more than a decade ago, David and Gill Purser had an experience of hunting which would spark a crusade against the bloodsport. It has seen them ostracised and then supported in the very communities hunters regard as their heartland. And despite having dead foxes dumped on their doorstep and alleged threats to their business, the Pursers said last night they were more determined than ever to see a ban through…. The Pursers' business has suffered. One supplier of calves refused to deal with them because of their stance on hunting, and fellow farmers warned their high-profile campaigning might affect planning permission for a home on their land…. (story)

Newcastle Evening Chronicle 18.10.04 Pro-hunt protesters jeer MPs By Owen Mcateer, The Evening Chronicle - Senior Labour MP Hilary Armstrong was jeered by pro-hunt protesters at a dinner. Durham police were called to the dinner hosted by the North West Durham MP and Government Chief Whip at the Pavilion Restaurant in Iveston, near Consett, which was attended by Health Secretary John Reid. About 25 protesters gathered outside waving placards and blowing whistles as guests arrived for the meal last Friday night…. (story)

Chester Evening Leader 18.10.04 CITY COMES TO STANDSTILL IN HUNT PROTEST - TRAFFIC was brought to a standstill as hundreds of pro-hunt campaigners staged a major protest rally in Chester. A parade of 70 tractors, lorries and cars wound their way around the city centre in a demonstration against the Government’s Hunting Bill…. (story)
Chester Chronicle 15.10.04 Farmers plan to paralyse city centre By Roisin Gad El Rab, Chester Chronicle - FURIOUS farmers will bring Chester city centre to a halt tomorrow when they bring the countryside to town in a dramatic protest… 'This is intended to highlight the state of farming and the rural countryside as a whole because it is in total devastation at the moment,' said Tom Houghton, Cheshire coordinator for Farmers For Action which has organised the protest rally…. Members of the Countryside Alliance have thrown their weight behind the rally and have urged members to turn up on the day…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 18.10.04 Our sport's not for sale, say hunt fans By Robert Brooks, The Journal - Hunt workers in the North-East say potential Government compensation of up to £50,000 each would not be enough to make them give up their jobs and homes…. Huntsman Martin Claxton, who works for the Percy Hunt and lives in a cottage provided by the Duke of Northumberland's estate at Hulne Park, Alnwick, said such an attempt to cushion the impact of ending fox-hunting was doomed… (story)
Western Daily Press 18.10.04 HUNTERS ANGRY AT £50 000 TO BUY NEW LIVES - Hunt campaigners in the West last night branded a Government offer of £50,000 to help them emigrate after a ban 'a joke'…. (story)
Western Daily Press 18.10.04 HUNT OUTCRY AT £50,000 PAYOFF - Hunt staff in the West last night angrily rejected a government plan to offer them up to £50,000 each to emigrate when hunting is banned. Yesterday it emerged ministers are drawing up confidential proposals to give compensation to workers employed directly by hunts in an effort to defuse the row…. Tony Holdsworth, the kennel man for the Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire, said: "It's a joke. Fifty thousand would be nowhere near enough. If they said £250,000 then I would start listening at least," he joked…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 18.10.04 HUNT EMIGRATION PLAN - A Plan to offer hunt staff up to £50,000 each to emigrate when hunting is banned has been angrily rejected by members of the Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 17.10.04 Revealed: Labour plan to give hunt workers £50,000 to quit their jobs By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - Hunt workers will be offered compensation packages of up to £50,000 per person to give up their jobs under confidential plans being drawn up by the Government. Ministers hope that hunt workers will relocate, or even emigrate with the money and that it will undermine the cause of supporters of hunting by removing some of their most determined backers. However, Jeremy Reed, a professional huntsman in north Wales, said that no amount of money could compensate him for the loss of a vocation that he had pursued since leaving school at 17.... He lives rent free with his wife, Lucy, and two children, Charlotte, 11, and Ben, nine, in a tied cottage at St Asaph, north Wales. It is provided as part of the payment he receives for looking after the hounds of the Flint and Denbigh hunt in the kennels next door.... A recent report by independent auditors of the likely claim from a typical hunt estimated a demand of £692,036 for redundancies and loss of business and a potential claim of £173 million nationwide. A minister suggested that the offer currently being worked on would be closer to £10 million and would be highly selective.... (story)

Western Morning News 18.10.04 BRUTAL POLICE CLAIM PROBE - The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to investigate allegations of police brutality outside Parliament Square during the Government's vote to ban hunting with dogs…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.10.04 POLICE FACE PROBE INTO 'BRUTALITY' COMPLAINTS - A multi-million pound investigation is under way into complaints of police brutality outside Parliament Square during the Government's vote to ban hunting with dogs. More than 300 people have contacted the Independent Police Complaints Authority (IPCC) alleging that baton-wielding officers were heavy-handed during the 100,000-strong demonstration last month…. Nick Gibbons, chairman of the Quantock Staghounds, said: "There are many people who felt the police went over the top and as such it is only right there be an investigation."… (story)

Bath Chronicle 18.10.04 WHY WE WILL HOUND OUT THIS GOVERNMENT - As a ban on hunting looms, Jonathon Seed, master and huntsman of the Avon Vale Hunt, defends the practice in this week's Question and Answer… (story)

Edinburgh Student 18.10.04 The thrill of the chase - A recent bill passed in Scotland has made it the first place in the UK where it is now illegal to hunt with dogs. Sarah Boyack, MSP, Scottish Labour Party, says that it belongs in the past, whereas Mark Thomlinson argues that it shouldn’t be banned… (story)

Worcester Evening News 18.10.04 Object of Bill is to continue class war - MAURICE Brett tried to ridicule both the Countryside Alliance and the rural community with his letter (You Say, Monday, October 11). His outlandish allegations turned out to be a classic own goal. Mr Brett knows only too well that the Government's anti-hunting legislation will never improve animal welfare. The only objective is a continuation of class warfare…. AUDREY STEEL, Chairman Worcestershire Countryside Alliance. letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 11.10.04 They're becoming ever more desperate - EACH time I see a Countryside Alliance placard or sticker, or hear their representatives attempting to defend hunting, I can't help wondering if they themselves actually believe their drivel…. Hunting a living creature to its death using a pack of dogs and gaining pleasure from the spectacle is aberrant behaviour… MAURICE BRETT, Bromsgrove. (letter in archive)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 18.10.04 Just what do the hunt do to help? - I AM so pleased to learn that Claire Wright is giving her total support to Mr Bowyer in his protests against fox hunting… As a member of the general public, would she please advise me of the services that the hunt offers, and how to avail myself of them…. DEREK JARVIS, West Street, Helpston, Peterborough (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 18.10.04 FEEDBACK - In reply to the letter by M A Long about hunting, I have never hunted or had any desire to do so. The anti-lobby allegedly base their case on "cruelty to the animal" and not the issue of class. I note, however, the term "toffee-nosed snobs" used in the letter by M A Long. My real question is this. If hunting is banned on the grounds of cruelty will the same people please demand a ban on fishing, abortion, keeping birds in cages, fish, lizards and snakes in glass tanks, in other words, where do we draw the line on what we define as cruelty?... Mike Taylor, Broadlands Drive, Lawrence Weston.
THANK-you for the beautiful picture of the scarlet-clad horsemen with their dogs in the countryside. This leads me to feel that it is only the obscenity of their purpose, the dressing-up to kill such beauty - the fox - that makes it so necessary of the democratic vote to ban it…. Claude Salavin, Clifton (letters)

Western Morning News 18.10.04 MPS AREN'T ABLE TO REFLECT ALL VIEWS - A recent correspondent raised an interesting question as to what persuades/motivates MPs to vote in the way in which they do… In the case of the Hunting Bill all parties give their MPs a free vote because, we are told, this particular issue is a matter of conscience. This, however, raises a further question. If it is a matter of conscience for MPs why is it not also a matter of conscience for their constituents? In this particular case it is clear that by voting in favour of a ban an MP would deny his/her constituents the opportunity to exercise their conscience regarding the matter…. G Mannell, Truro
Anguish for antis - I WAS so pleased to see that John Phelps has a sense of humour. We have to remember that much is at stake for him and his fellow hunt-haters. If the ban does not go ahead, we all know that he and his like will lose their jobs and their whole way of life…. I have to agree with Mr Phelps that shooting is too dangerous - remember the standard of marksmanship shown by government agents during foot and mouth?... Oh what unbearable suffering and financial hardship for Tony Banks if hunt employees and their suppliers continue to make a modest living and thousands of hounds are not put down. It hardly bears thinking about, does it? M Hunter, South Zeal, Devon (letters)

Shropshire Star 18.10.04 Defence on control of pest is destroyed - The central plank in fox hunting's defence is "pest control", even though they kill only about three per cent of foxes… A leak has shown that earlier this year, Lord Daresbury, chairman of the Master of Fox Hounds Association, wrote to about 800 leading fox hunters. He complained of a nationwide shortage of foxes and asked them to urge landowners to encourage foxes to breed. What sane person encourages a "pest" to breed?... Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) Phillack, Hayle (letter)

Shropshire Star 18.10.04 Hunt like a chocolate fireguard - After reading the ongoing correspondence sent to the papers on the subject, I have finally figured out that fox hunting as a form of pest control is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard…. To the people who bleat about tradition I would say there used to be a tradition of putting young children up chimneys and before mechanisation and modern weed control systems, farms used to traditionally employ hundreds of people. As I have said before, hunting should be consigned to history. Anthony Foxe, Bridgnorth (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 18.10.04 'WE HAVE MOVED BEYOND HUNTING' Re: Sue Cannon's letter on fox hunting, October 11. I agree with most of what she says, but realistically, the world doesn't lend itself to such fundamental views, securely rooted in common sense and decency. She is very lucky to have an excellent gamekeeper in her area…. At least the people losing their jobs because of hunting are doing so for the sake of basic humanity and not because of a country going to the dogs because of political ineptitude… Claire Elliott, Appleby. (letter)


Observer 17.10.04 Animal instincts - I resent Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's accusation (Observer Food Monthly, last week) that animal rights supporters are only interested in the welfare of foxes… I haven't eaten a pig or any other breed of animal for almost 15 years. This is the most effective way to ensure one is not contributing to the cruelty inherent in killing animals… Ryan Harkin, Surbiton, Surrey (letter)
Western Morning News 15.10.04 FORGET THE FOX. WHAT ABOUT THE POOR PIG? - If a fox led a pig's life, then it would have something to bark about. Why don't anti-hunting MPs put the cruelty of intensive farming to the top of their agenda, asks Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall… This article first appeared in the Observer's monthly food magazine on October 10 (story)
Observer 10.10.04 If a fox led a pig's life, then it would have something to bark about - Why don't anti-hunting MPs put the cruelty of intensive farming to the top of their agenda? - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - A hunting we will go ... I reckon the old nursery rhyme is at least partly to blame:… I mean, it's so cruel, isn't it? Hardly surprising that any subconscious guilt, festering in our infancy, rises to the surface and brings so many of us out in favour of the fox…. A lot of people I meet seem to think must be enthusiastically, aggressively prohunting - perhaps because I make a TV show which extols (some) of the virtues of country living. I'm not. I can't be that enthusiastic or aggressive about something that I have never been interested in…. What I can't see is how any intelligent person who had stopped to think about it for more than a minute could ever consider the wild fox in more urgent need of legislative protection than the factory farmed pig…. The problem is, of course, that all manner of cruelty is permissible when animals are being raised and slaughtered for food. It's business, and God forbid that any MP of any party these days be seen to be interfering with that sanctified pursuit…. (story)

Wales on Sunday 17.10.04 Foxes not to blame - FOXES are considered pests by humans because they disrupt what we see as OUR countryside, and 'steal eggs from the nests of all the beautiful birds we all enjoy'! There is no greater pest, no greater global virus, than us!... There will be a time in the future when our very own contributions to creation will look back on the way humans treated animals in the 21st Century with utter disgust, and will realise that the hunt is nothing but a sham. It is bloodlust. Lewis Smith, Cardiff (letter)


East Anglian Daily Times 16.10.04 Hunt protestors target court opening - THE opening of a £14million state-of-the-art Crown Court development was gatecrashed by angry hunt supporters yesterday. Campaigners from the Countryside Alliance were at Ipswich Crown Court to lobby the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, as he officially unveiled the new building. About 50 demonstrators were outside the court, on Russell Road, voicing their opposition to the Government's plans to outlaw fox-hunting…. (story)
BBC News Online 15.10.04 Pro-hunters stage court protest - Pro-hunt campaigners have demonstrated at the official opening of the new Ipswich Crown Court building…. Liz Mort, of the Countryside Alliance, said: "His party is threatening to bamboozle through a law which would make people like me criminals."… (story)
Suffolk Evening Star 15.10.04 Pro-hunt protests as court opens - PRO-HUNT protesters today stole the limelight from a day meant to honour Ipswich's new crown court. On the day the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, was officially opening the new crown court, around 150 protestors gathered outside the courthouse. Clad in plaid and quilted jackets, the people – supporters of the Countryside Alliance and Families for Hunting – waved their placards and shouted in protest… Toni McCarthy, 53, of Wyverstone, added: "My son is the huntsman of the Essex and Suffolk hunt. He is 30 years old and would lose his job, his home and his social life if the hunt was banned."… (story)

Western Mail 16.10.04 Hunt site makes Michael the quarry - Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - HATE figure of the hunting lobby Alun Michael has just become a marked man - with a new website dedicated to tracking him down. The Countryside Minister and Cardiff South MP given the thankless task of driving through legislation on hunting with hounds is in danger of becoming the quarry. A website set up yesterday aims to keep hunt protesters abreast of the Minister's public engagements…. First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Welsh Secretary Peter Hain have slammed the "bully boy" tactics of some hunt supporters and praised Mr Michael's defiance in the face of intimidation…. Lembit Opik, Montgomeryshire MP and chairman of the Middle Way group on hunting, said the websites should be treated lightly provided they stressed non-violent forms of protest. He said, "Alun has Peter Hain to thank for this new website. Peter Hain on Any Questions last week said direct action was perfectly legitimate. I agree violence is not acceptable and I trust the organisers of this website will stress the importance of non-violence in whatever they plan to do."… (story)
Western Mail 16.10.04 'I won't be intimidated' - Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - A DEFIANT Alun Michael said he would not let the latest weapon in the hunt lobby's campaign stop him from doing his job… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 16.10.04 MP STANDS FIRM ON FOX HUNT BAN - PAUL LEWIS - A Leading anti-fox hunting campaigner has warned there can be no compromise. Aberavon MP Hywel Francis says that as far as he is concerned a move to water down the ban by allowing licensed hunts is simply not on…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 16.10.04 DRAG HUNTING HAS SOMETHING TO SATISFY ALL - Local novelist Jean Chapman deplores the use of dead animals by so-called animal-lovers - The pro-hunting lobby's actions at the Labour Conference has, in my opinion, been far more effective than any saboteur's actions in influencing public opinion against the pastime…. So let's look at the alternative - drag hunting - with dogs, but with no live prey…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 16.10.04 From: Harry Mead, High Street, Great Broughton, Stokesley, North Yorkshire. In answer to your correspondent who, arising from my article on hunting (September 30), asked where I was during the foot-and-mouth crisis, might I say that, throughout the year, I devoted the best part of a weekly column in another newspaper to opposing what I saw as the medieval slaughter and to favouring vaccination?... it is my firm belief that the thrust of history will bring an end to blood sports and the consumption of meat. (letter)

Worcester Evening News 16.10.04 In complete denial over anti-hunters - FROM their recent letters Douglas Batchelor (League Against Cruel Sports) and Peter Bunce (Protect Our Wild Animals) are obviously in complete denial regarding the reality of anti-hunt monitors or saboteurs. Mr Batchelor chose not to take responsibility for the LACS hunt monitor who caused suffering to a fox while filming the Plas Machynllech hunt…. Mr Bunce claims hunts refuse access for POWA monitors. As a hunt only operates as guest of the landowners, I suggest POWA follow the same procedure and seek permission to film from the landowner. JON BURGESS, Malvern, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 16.10.04 FARMERS MUST STICK TOGETHER - I have not written before to reply to letters from anti hunt/anti farming people as the majority are so misinformed that most sensible people will not believe half what they write anyway… Then in the October 7 paper, under the heading, How to enforce a ban, I could not believe a fellow farmer advising how to enforce a ban, then being too cowardly to put his name to his ideas… I would say very nearly all farmers support their local hunt due to the excellent service they have provided for years by picking up dead animals - the same day in most cases. Who are Defra asking for help in setting up The National Fallen Stock scheme? All the hunts, of course…. Jeremy Cottle Steeple Ashton Wiltshire (letter)

Western Morning News 16.10.04 STAMPING ALL OVER COUNTRY PEOPLE - I am a subscriber to the Countryside Alliance's free grass routes e-mail service - something which is great for keeping those of us who are truly concerned about the fate of rural England informed about the destruction of it. Something which the WMN is also very good at reporting - I recommend them both to anyone! As you have reported, banning hunting while at the same time imposing their idea of a more "savoury" spectacle - wind turbines - appear to be Labour's current reactions to the lack of affordable rural housing, the declining services available in rural areas, and the increasing infestation of cattle with TB (even in closed herds)…. Ross Collins, Port Issac North Cornwall (letter)

Leicester Mercury 16.10.04 FEARS FOR LEGAL HARE-COURSING SAFEGUARDS - In reply to the letter from Mrs Arden-Rowe (October 7), one of the many misconceptions in her letter is that hare-coursing is banned. Coursing is not banned, but continues, usually under the strict regulations of the National Coursing Club. These include many rules to safeguard hares…. Stephen Little, Bath. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.10.04 QUESTIONS OVER CRUELTY HAVE NOT BEEN ANSWERED - Several weeks ago Points of view kindly printed a letter from me, in which I expressed the hope that we would see far fewer letters from the pro- and anti-hunting brigades. I also said that in my view that stopping cruelty to children was a far more worthy aim than trying to protect cruelty to a four-legged predator. I regret to note that there has been no response to either of these points…. P F North, Moon Ridge, Newport Park, Exeter
I WONDER whether one of your correspondents would please let readers know how long the fox hunting season lasts each year and how often each week, during that season, the hunt is active. Name and address withheld on request (letters)