September 2002

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Yorkshire Post 30.9.02 I still back total ban on 'cruel' hunting, says Blair - TONY BLAIR yesterday gave a clear signal that he would still back a total ban on fox-hunting. Just days after he saluted the huge countryside march through London, the Prime Minister made clear it had not changed his mind on hunting. He told BBC1's Breakfast with Frost yesterday: "I think it is cruel and I do not understand why people want to do it in that way."… (story)

Bolton Evening News 30.9.02 MP's fox hunt plea to locals - AN MP is urging Boltonians who support a ban on fox hunting to make their views known to the Government. David Crausby, who represents Bolton North-east, has asked constituents to spell out their concerns to Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael… (story in archive)

Hull Daily Mail 30.9.02 Police say no action will be taken against the Holderness Hunt after a badger was disturbed from its sett during a recent hunt…. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 30.9.02 How to interpret the opinion polls - I am obliged to point out that G Latham has made several mistakes in his letter about hunting views statistics. His revelation that support for a ban on hunting is waning is untrue…. The vast majority of the British public want to see the back of hunting. Case closed! KLARE KENNETT, RSPCA South East regional press officer (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 6.9.02 Poll showed number opposed to hunting - Sir, - Both Daniel Webb and G Richards question the number of people who oppose hunting in their correspondence… in January 2002, a MORI poll showed that 72 per cent of people believe fox hunting should be illegal, 80pc believe that deer hunting should be illegal and 81pc believe that hare coursing should be illegal… KLARE KENNETT, RSPCA South East Regional Press Officer (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 19.8.02 Fight for our unique countryside - – I am responding to a letter from a Klare Kennet of the RSPCA. I am 16 and am about to start a National Certificate in Gamekeeping, I am also a Country Alliance member… In her letter Kennet stated that there were only 39,000 hunt supporters. Yes, perhaps only 39,000 who regularly go hunting on a regular basis, but there are hundreds of thousands of people who support it and hundreds who rely on hunting for their livlihood. Also if there are only 39,000 hunt supporters why did over 300,000 people turn up for the last 'Countryside March'?...DANIEL WEBB, Wetheringsett (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 19.8.02 Fight for our unique countryside - Klare Kennett's letter of August 14 invites us to fall into a classical “statistics” trap… Using her figures there are more people against hunting than for it, this may or may not be true but she confidently states that hunting has 27,000 subscribers and 39,000 supporters, a total of 66,000 pro hunting out of a rural population of 11 million. This however does not mean, as she implies, that 10,934,000 people are opposed to hunting!... Using her fallacious arguments against her, the case could be made for banning the RSPCA, all political parties or even the Roman Catholic Church in England because only a minority support them!... G RICHARDS, Layham (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 14.8.02 High time hunting was banned - Sir, – I would like to respond to the letter from D Rodd of Colchester claiming that "cruelty is being used as a smokescreen to the hunting debate when the truth is class hatred by a large amount of protestors."… RSPCA is campaigning for this cruel pastime to be outlawed. It is time hunting with dogs was consigned to the history books where it belongs. KLARE KENNETT, RSPCA South East Regional Press Officer. (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 7.8.02 Suffering class envy Sir, - It is surely the people who support fox hunting who are suffering from class envy, as many are involved in the 'sport' to be associated with what they perceive to be the upper class, thus to be a fox hunter is to be a member of that class… S BEARHAM, Greenstead Green, Near Halstead (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 1.8.02 You can't justify barbarity - In a letter to your paper on July 24, Jenny Hadley pointed out that not all of those who live in the country support hunting. I would just like to assure her that she is far from being on her own, with opinion polls supporting her position as being one in the majority living in the countryside…. At the same time I would like to take objection to some of the comments made by Miles Cooper in a letter published on July 10… L PAYNE, Birch Avenue, Dovercourt (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.7.02 Hunters are not people of 'class' - Sir, – I agree with Jennie Hadley about the hunting fraternity… I too, am a country woman and I abhor hunting of wild animals with horses or dogs… FERIAL ROGERS, Holly Cottages, Little Bealings, Woodbridge (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 24.7.02 Class envy is not anti-hunting motive - Sir, – You have recently printed comments from the hunting fraternity which suggest that those against hunting do so from class prejudice or envy… I am a working class country woman who has detested hunting all her life. I do not covet the wealth, possessions or position in society of hunting folk to justify my opposition to it… JENNY M HADLEY, Mill Rise, Saxmundham (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 18.7.02 Class hatred drives anti-hunt protesters - As an observer to the fox hunting debate I find it interesting that no one from the anti hunting brigade commented on Jan Finch's letter (EADT May 16)… the truth is class hatred by a large amount of protesters… D RODD, Colchester. (letter)

Bolton Evening News 30.9.02 Just look at what country folk are so angry about - LET'S ban hunting, as promised by Labour years ago, and give the economy a real boost. If Charles emigrated, it would save the taxpayer millions… So what exactly are the country communities mostly complaining about? Hunting, coursing and yet more murderous activities being banned. A Merchant, Halliwell Road, Bolton (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 30.9.02 You must report this to the RSPCA - I would like to respond to the letter "Bloody fox was ripped apart limb from limb", dated Tuesday September 24, 2002… I would like to ask, therefore, if the above correspondent reported this appaling act immediately to the RSPCA, Master of Foxhounds Association and/or the police… If the above did not know the names of anyone involved in this act (or even the name of the hunt), but just happened to be out strolling and stumble on this awful event, then the date it took place and the location will immediately identify the hunt, and more importantly the masters responsible…. M J E Browning, Joint Hon Sec The Wheatland Hunt Bridgnorth (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 27.9.02 Anonymity discredits testimony - You published an anonymous letter on September 24 from a person who claims to have seen a fox dug out of a drain, its tail cut off, then thrown to hounds. I do not believe your correspondent and consider the letter to be spurious anti hunting propaganda… Keith Erlandson, Denbighshire (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 24.9.02 Bloody fox was ripped apart limb from limb - Regarding the letter from Harry Sawyers, published in the Shropshire Star on September 19, in which he poured scorn upon the phrase "ripped alive limb from limb"… I have seen an exhausted and terrified fox go to earth in a land drain. I have seen the hunt staff dig down to it and, wearing protective gloves, grasp the half-drowned fox… cut off the still alive fox… the struggling fox raised in the air and thrown into the middle of the hounds where it was ripped alive limb from limb to the cheers of the hunt members… Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 30.9.02 Mindless actions by hunters - WITH reference to the hunting issue, I am surprised that no one has mentioned the mindless graffiti that is appearing all over our roads… Then we have the issue of the beacons being lit. Not only would it have disturbed wildlife with the fireworks, but the fire brigade had many false alarms, wasting their time… KATE COX, Worcester (letter in archive)

Torquay Herald Express 30.9.02 CONSIGN SO-CALLED SPORT TO HISTORY - I am writing to show my disgust at the total bias shown by newspapers and TV stations in their opposition to a ban on bloodsports, most notably fox hunting… I'm no outsider, I've lived in the bay all my life and I know there is huge support for a ban on blood sports… L GODFREY, The Willows, Barton (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 30.9.02 What's barbaric? - I have often wondered if those who nominate foxhunting as barbaric adopt the same attitude when it comes to the mass butchery of unborn children in our nation… L Arnott, Athelstan Rd, Sheffield (letter in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 30.9.02 SPORT HUNTING IS BARBARIC - Many of us urban dwellers have spent a large chunk of our lives visiting the countryside… But hunting for sport is totally unacceptable in the 21st Century, it's cruel and barbaric…. M Charles Address supplied (letter)

Northern Echo 30.9.02 FIRST WORLD WAR - SO Tony Blair is to allow a free vote in Parliament on the question of fox hunters. But no debate whatever, free or under the control of the Chief Whip, is to be allowed for teenage soldiers such as Private William Hunter, of North Shields, sentenced to death by firing squad in the First World War… John Hipkin, Newcastle (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 30.9.02 CONSERVATIVES IN EUROPE KEEN ON ANIMAL WELFARE I have received a great many letters with regard to animal welfare in livestock markets. Along with my Conservative colleagues in the European Parliament, I have always been extremely concerned to promote the prevention of cruelty to animals and to ensure that animals are treated in a decent and responsible manner…Giles Chichester MEP. Queen Street, Exeter (letter)

Argus 30.9.02 Trapped pigeon is saved by Fay Millar - Firefighters had to part-close a shopping street in Haywards Heath to save a trapped pigeon… The RSPCA became worried about the bird's welfare after it became trapped in netting round a parapet designed to stop pigeons resting there… A spokesman for the fire station said: "We had to close off the pavement to Saturday afternoon shoppers and put up a ladder to rescue the pigeon. "It is a busy road at the best of times but even worse on a Saturday." (story in archive)

Birmingham Evening Post 30.9.02 Pets fair blast By Andy Probert, Evening Mail - Animal rights campaigners today slammed Redditch Borough Council bosses for allowing an "illegal" reptile event to be staged in the town…. Elaine Toland, a spokesman for Animal Aid, said Redditch council had ignored legal advice assembled by Animal Aid which had been campaigning for years to close such fairs down… (story)

Sunday Times 29.9.02 Senior police defy minister by insisting hunting is legal - Mark Macaskill - SCOTLAND’S most senior police officers have ruled that foxhunting is still legal despite a call by Lord Watson, the sports minister who originally proposed the ban, for hunts to be prosecuted. Since the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill came into force last month, six of the 10 hunts in Scotland have exploited a clause in the bill that allows them to hunt with packs of hounds under the banner of pest control. In some cases foxes have been pursued by hounds, although not always killed by them. Yesterday, during a hunt near Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, hounds were sent into woodland to flush out foxes towards marksmen more than half a mile away... Richard Holman-Baird, master of the Kincardineshire hunt, said: “The reality is that the exemption has allowed us to still use the hounds. The public will quickly realise they are as likely to see a pack of hounds now as they ever were." However, Watson believes the huntsmen are acting unlawfully and he has called for a test case in the Scottish courts... Last week a spokesman for Strathclyde police said a meeting had been scheduled between senior officers and local hunt members to discuss their interpretation of the act but emphasised that pest control would not always be policed because of limited resources (story)
Sunday Times 29.9.02 Focus: Shooting a hole in the law Scotland’s Protection of Wild Mammals bill was supposed to ban foxhunting and steal a march on Westminster, but it has failed. Hunts have just found ways to bend the rules, writes Mark Macaskill Allan Murray, a leading figure in the Scottish Countryside Alliance, could be forgiven for feeling a moment of pride. Early yesterday morning the 24 hounds of the Jedforest hunt were summoned by the master’s bugle to a wet field in the grounds of Rue Castle Farm... Scotland’s foxhunting fraternity breathed a collective sigh of relief. For RichardHolman-Baird, master of the Kincardineshire Hunt, the news sparked an idea. It occured to him that, under the terms of the Act, it would be lawful for hunts to continue as before, so long as they ensured that armed marksmen were on hand to shoot the fox once it had been flushed out by the hounds... According to Trevor Adams, master of the Buccleuch hunt, of the 30 foxes that have been dispatched since August, five of the 30 killed have been finished off by hounds rather than shot.... Last month Holman-Baird was reported to the local police station when a villager spotted him exercising his pack of 40 hounds. The villager wanted to know why the pack had not been destroyed under the act... (story)

Sunday Telegraph 29.9.02 Sunday Telegraph 29.9.02 - We enjoyed Leo McKinstry's article on the Middle Way Group ("There is no third way in the hunting debate", Comment, Sep 15). Factually, three points to make. First, Lembit Opik was born in Bangor, not Belfast. Second, he's Estonian, not Lithuanian. Third, the Middle Way Group always welcomes suggestions to improve its proposals… Lembit Opik MP, Baroness Golding, Peter Luff MP, Co-Chairmen, All Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group, House of Commons, London SW1 (letter)

Sunday Times 29.9.02 Your letter writers have the usual misconceptions on foxhunting. Farmers have no interest in allowing hunts on their land for draghunting… John Embrey, Dollar, Clackmannanshire (letter)

Telegraph 28.9.02 Britain evenly split on foxhunting - Britain is split down the middle on foxhunting and there is no longer a "natural" majority in favour of a ban, a new poll shows. While 50 per cent of the people questioned in a Telegraph/YouGov poll believed that hunting should be criminalised, 48 per cent favoured tighter regulations or keeping the status quo....More than half of those polled said the Government should be more sympathetic and determined to help those involved in the march; 64 per cent said the Prince was justified in writing to the Prime Minister about countryside issues...(story)
Telegraph 28.9.02 The march worked - On reading the results of the Telegraph/YouGov poll in today's paper, the organisers of last weekend's Liberty and Livelihood March can congratulate themselves on the effectiveness of their demonstration. National sympathies are firmly with the marchers, the rural population and the thoughts expressed by Prince Charles that also emerged last weekend.... t's worth looking closely at how important people think action on hunting is. Only three per cent think a ban is a top priority, and 70 per cent think the Government should be concerning itself with more vital political issues.... (story)
Telegraph 28.9.02 Foxhunting divides nation into tribes By Anthony King - Banning foxhunting is a divisive issue that only a minority of people think should be anywhere near the top of the Government's agenda, according to a YouGov poll for The Telegraph.... The Prime Minister has long deplored "tribalism" in British politics, but foxhunting seems to have the power, almost uniquely among contemporary political issues, to split the nation into tribes. That is almost certainly why the Blair government has postponed action on the issue for so long and would still postpone it if possible.... Anthony King is professor of government at Essex University (story)

Cambridge News 28.9.02 Good, bad and politics - From Rodger Milnes, Fen End, Over - MR UNWIN (Letters, September 23 “Move off the Land”) is the sort to blame the Conservatives for all his problems. Who is this Lord Beacham who helped the Tories to close down the railways? I’ll bet it was the same as the Lord Beeching, whose 1963 Report was implemented by the 1964-9 Labour Government courtesy of Barbara Castle to decimate our railways.... (letter)
Cambridge News 23.9.02 Move off the land - IT DOES appear strange to me why the Countryside Alliance blames the Labour Government for all its problems. With the help of Lord Beacham it was the Tories who closed the rural rail network. They privatised the buses, reducing the routes, allowed council homes to be sold… If farmers are so unhappy with their lot then why don’t they sell up and get another job, just like the steel workers and miners did. The only difference is they had no choice - From Keith Unwin - Stonefield, Bar Hill (letter)

Western Morning News 28.9.02 'Sport' is the issue - DARTMOOR farmer Anton Coaker (WMN, September 24) says he called his local kennels who sent a couple of men and four hounds to stalk and kill a fox. What the League Against Cruel Sports object to, and most members of the public protest about, is killing animals for sport. The two men from the kennels were not accompanied by a ghoulish entourage of 30 riders, 30 horses, and 40 hounds.... John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 28.9.02 I believe that the failure to introduce a total ban on foxhunting is an absolute sham upon democracy... TOM TAYLOR, St Budeaux (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 28.9.02 SAVE CASH FOR JOBLESS - D. MONK (Opinion, September 18) suggests that the RSPCA should use legacies to save its Derby shelter from closure instead of spending money on press campaigns to abolish foxhunting. I have read and heard many excuses for the continuance of blood sports, but I find these particular comments despicable... J. Hardwick, Church Croft, Ripley (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 28.9.02 HOW CAN THIS BE DEFENDED? - I find the bullying tactics of the Countryside Alliance and its supporters thoroughly obnoxious. By threats and blackmail they are trying to force a democratically elected government to change its policy in their favour... Mary Calis, Lan Street, Morriston, Swansea (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 28.9.02 BARBARIC METHODS ARE NOT SPORTING - The hunters have at last learned that although their mob tactics work with the defenceless fox it carries no weight with the public majority and the Government who intend at very long last to ban hunting. For those who think fox-hunting is a sport I would like to relate an all too frequent incident from a follower of the Derwent Hunt... E A Smith. (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 28.9.02 CALL TO PROTECT ANIMALS - Police are asking nature-lovers to help them protect countryside animals. Lincolnshire Police Rural Intelligence Officer PC Nigel Lound is looking for members of the public to help clamp down on sports such as badger baiting and lamping.... "Lamping has also become more and more common - whereby offenders use a large spotlight to spot an animal and then set the dogs on them. It is cruel beyond extreme."... (story)

Worcester Evening News 28.9.02 Pigeon advice I WAS surprised when I read about Hodson's Café's "problem" with pigeons that the city environmental health department had not given Mr Machin information of the Pigeon Control Advisory Service... PAULINE BURGESS, Friends of the Feral Pigeons (letter in archive)

Western Mail 28.9.02 Live Welsh lamb exports spark protest By Amanda Brown - Animal welfare campaigners were starting a vigil today in protest at the resumption of live lamb exports, most of which are coming from Wales. The demonstration organised by Compassion in World Farming was being staged at Dover Docks in Kent. Supporters are angry at what they say is a cruel and barbaric trade... (story)

Telegraph 27.9.02 A free country By Stephen Robinson - Whatever may be the constitutional wisdom of his correspondence with government ministers, the Prince of Wales has a point in passing on to Tony Blair the comments of a farmer who suggested that black people would not be treated as badly as those who hunt foxes. Perhaps unwittingly, Prince Charles has hit upon one of the most unsatisfactory aspects of the Human Rights Act, which incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into British law…. Those who drafted the human rights convention betray a depressing "group" mentality, seeing the HRA's role in protecting human rights as that of a mediator between various interests and pressure groups, while suppressing the notion that the British might enjoy liberty as individuals. (story)

Scotsman 27.9.02 Intriguing - I read with interest your report (23 September) on the Jed Forest Hunt’s interpretation of the law prohibiting hunting with dogs in Scotland. I was, however, slightly intrigued as to the comment by John Robins, of Animal Concern…. Surely, a fox shot with a "canon" such as that described is not likely to escape wounded, or any remains ever be found again for that matter. Edward Bewsher EDINBURGH (letter)
Scotsman 23.9.02 More animals killed under Scots ban - WHEN the Jed Forest Hunt assembled at the beginning of this month for the new season, there was a slight difference to the way the fox was killed since the hunt’s inception in 1884. Instead of the fox being mauled by the hounds, it was instead shot by two professional gunmen hired for the day. As a result, more foxes are being killed than under the traditional form of hunting…. The "firing squad" technique was described as highly dangerous by John Robins, of Animal Concern, who believes that, while the killing may be quicker, there is strong evidence that a fox suffers terribly in the chase itself…. Jeremy Whaley, the master of the Berwickshire Hunt, is a reluctant supporter of shooting the fox after a chase. He said the method could be more cruel than allowing dogs to finish off a fox because more foxes would escape wounded by gunfire. "But if that is the way the Scottish Parliament says things must be, it is not for us to complain. "(story)
Scotland on Sunday 22.9.02 March of the hunters - FOR fox-like cunning, it was hard to beat. Eight months ago the Scottish parliament thought it had savaged fox-hunting with hounds to death by banning the pursuit in Scotland. Yet as the mists rose over the Scottish Borders last week, the Buccleuch Hunt, as it has been for centuries, was in full cry. The hounds, yelping in anticipation, were homing in on their bushy-tailed quarry while a group of riders struggled to keep up. For the hunt’s Master of the Foxhounds, Trevor Adams, it was good to be back in the saddle even if he now leads an upmarket version of Rentokil - like eight of Scotland’s 10 lowland hunts, the Buccleuch Hunt claims it is now strictly in the pest control business… Of the 30 foxes that the Buccleuch has despatched since riding out three times a week since August, 25 have been shot while five have been finished off by the hounds. The hunters are exploiting a loophole in the law that still allows foxes to be killed by hounds if they do not leave the cover of woodland or are injured and require instant despatch…. both the Buccleuch hunt and the Jedforest hunts in the Borders have admitted allowing their packs to kill foxes since hunting resumed last month…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.9.02 HUNT CAN PAY DOGS' UPKEEP - Sir - S Longden rightly voices concern for the hounds should hunting be banned. Hunts have known for the past five years that hunting wild mammals with dogs could become illegal, but they have continued to breed and train hounds to hunt live quarry with total disregard for their future welfare… Janet Hall Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.9.02 BREED WILL BE HOUNDED OUT - Over many months, your readers have pointed out how cruel hunting with hounds is and have shown great sympathy for the fox. Do I take it for granted that the same people will home some of these hounds if hunting is banned?...At the last count, the RSPCA had 120,000 unwanted pets, which they cannot re-home and have trouble finding food for. Goodness knows what they will do with young, fit foxhounds that understand no other life than hunting and living in a pack… S Longden Bristol (letter)

Worcester Evening News 27.9.02 It's a single issue body - IT'S a bit rich for Peter Luff to warble on about "the countryside" when he is pictured (P5, Evening News, September 17) setting light to a huge bonfire. Apart from the ensuing environmental pollution, the fire brigade had to deal with a large number of call-outs across the country… A KNITTEL, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.9.02 MP SHOULD NOTE MAJORITY SUPPORT DEATH PENALTY - Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw cannot have it both ways. In My point of view, September 25, he defends the move to ban hunting by saying this is the will of the majority in the whole country. May I assume that he will now back the long overdue restoration of capital punishment… Norman Shiel, St Leonard's, Exeter (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 27.9.02 BACK FARMERS NOT FOXHUNTING - I recently had a disagreement with a Spanish visitor over my disapproval of bullfighting… The visitor was quick to point out that the British had no right to criticise another country's blood sports when we approve of the barbaric killing of defenceless foxes by packs of dogs…. C. Harris, letter by e-mail (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 27.9.02 AMAZING CLAIMS OF HUNTING FOLK - I find it quite amazing that the hunt and the Countryside Alliance have so successfully managed to blur the delineation between hunting with dogs and the survival of country values… I have been hunting and have also been a hunt saboteur. I have seen the consequence of hunting, both good (for necessary culling or food, certainly morally superior to buying mass-produced meat from a supermarket) and bad (for the gratification of gun-mad fools in camouflage gear)…. (letter)

Malvern Gazette 27.9.02 Creditors face losses - AN exhibitor at the Game and Country Show has spoken of her disappointment at losing three days' pay because its organisers went into liquidation. Eileen Hill, who travelled down from her West Yorkshire farm to give sheepdog demonstrations during the event, found a cheque for her £1,300 fee had been cancelled when she tried to cash it… (story in archive)
Worcester Evening News 20.9.02 Staff anger at bankrupt fair - THE organisers of an agricultural show held in Malvern earlier this month have gone into liquidation - leaving angry ground staff waiting for their money. The Three Counties Agricultural Society has confirmed that the Game and Country Fair, which was held at its showground, has gone bankrupt…. It was supported by the Countryside Alliance, the National Farmers' Union and the Country Land and Business Association. The show at Malvern was the first of its kind…. (story in archive)

CIWF RESUMPTION OF LIVE EXPORTS LETTER
Streatham Guardian 27.9.02 Help to stop live exports - For the first time since the foot and mouth crisis last year, live lambs have been exported from Dover despite the public protests against this trade.... PAULINE SCOTT, Gilbey Road, Tooting (letter)
Leicester Mercury 9.9.02 EXPORT OF LIVE ANIMALS IS A 'CRUEL TRADE' - For the first time since the foot-and-mouth crisis last year, live lambs have been exported from Dover, despite public protests against this trade… S Overton, Narborough (letter)
Rutland & Stamford Mercury 6.9.02 A plan to stop live exports - I WRITE with reference to the letter from Lisa Vanden Heuvel (Aug 9) headed ‘Live exports are back’. The letter is on behalf of the charity Compassion in World Farming, but uses the example of the live export of lambs into Europe. I think it is important we understand why the lambs are being exported. There are a number of factors… British supermarkets have not been persuaded to ‘shop locally’… The Government does nothing to encourage respect or enthusiasm for British agriculture, for example the MoD feeds the armed forces on imported meat, while DEFRA ordered widescale culling during the foot-and-mouth crisis…. CLAIRE COLTON, Exeter Gardens, Stamford (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 5.9.02 CRUEL TRADE This July saw the resumption of a most cruel trade - the export of live food animals… EMMA MOORE Berkeley Avenue, Torquay(letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 4.9.02 MEAT CRUELTY - I must agree with Janice Hunt - and so, I am sure, does every animal-lover - that refrigerated lorries are the answer to the live export trade… T McCANN, Southway <(letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 31.8.02 EXPORT FEAR - Animal lovers will be upset to learn that the cruel live export trade has resumed after foot and mouth…. Elaine Jacklin, Breedon Street, Long Eaton. (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 30.8.02 Facts on live exports appear outdated - Daphne Edwards, (EADT, August 26) claims farmers allow lambs to go for live export realising the suffering they have to endure. At the present time lambs may only be exported by Government approved hauliers, in vehicles of high standard. Space allowance, journey times, route planning, feeding, watering and rest periods are all laid down by law… D C COE, Gt Wenham (letter)
East Grinstead Courier 30.8.02 END CRUEL TRADE - The welcome end of the foot-and-mouth epidemic brings with it one real danger; the resumption of the cruel live animal export trade… Patricia Barrington, Tonbridge (letter)
North Devon Journal 30.8.02 NO CHOICE ON TRAVEL FOR POORLY-TREATED ANIMALS …Entirely from the point of view of the animals involved I would expect that they would prefer to be shot on their home ground rather than to be transported for maybe 72 hours without food, water or rest… PETER WEBB, Whitehouse Close, Instow. (letter)
Manchester Evening News 30.8.02 That's enough - FOR the first time since the terrible foot and mouth crisis last year, the live export trade has started up again… E Fysh, Timperley (letter)
Kidderminster Shuttle 29.8.02 Farmers lose sympathy over live animal export - FOR the first time since last year's foot and mouth crisis, live lambs have been exported from Dover, despite the public protests against this trade… MRS L OWENS, Ennerdale Road, Stourport (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 27.8.02 EXPORT LIVESTOCK 'ON THE HOOK', NOT 'ON THE HOOF - I have recently learnt from Compassion in World Farming, that the live export trade has started up again… Mrs O Green, Bovey Tracey Devon (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 27.8.02 Protest against revival of live exports - Sir, - For the first time since the foot and mouth crisis last year, live lambs have been exported from Dover despite the public protest against this trade… DAPHNE EDWARDS, Pytches Road, Woodbridge. (letter)
Cambridge News 24.8.02 Live exports return - From Sue Hughes, High Street, Linton - PACKED together in stinking tiered trucks, our young lambs are once again suffering the horrors of the live export trade which resumed on July 15… (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 24.8.02 HELP END BARBARIC LIVE ANIMAL EXPORT TRADE - Janet Moreley Isca Road, Exeter (letter)
Bury Times 23.8.02 Should we be sorry? - I WAS dismayed to learn that live exports had resumed in July… However, with lambs as young as two and three months now being exported one can only wonder whether the farmers' tears were shed for their animals or for the money they lost. PAT CROMPTON (Mrs), Watling Street, Affetside, Bury. (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 20.8.02 'Appalling' live animal trade - I AM appalled at the news of the resumption in the live animal export trade… I would also like to address the issue of Halal and Kosher slaughter. Whilst I respect all religions and their beliefs, I do not agree that this country should take account of particular doctrines, which will mean suffering for animals…. Claire Wright, Honiton (letter)
Kent/East Sussex Courier 17.8.02 The export of live animals has resumed… Mike Parcell, Chuck Hatch, Hartfield (letter)
Northern Echo 17.8.02 LIVESTOCK EXPORTS - LIVE lambs are again being exported from Dover, despite immense public protest regarding this trade… LIVE lambs are again being exported from Dover, despite immense public protest regarding this trade. (letter in archive)
Keighley News 16.8.02 SIR - The live export trade has just started up again…. GWYN HAMILTON, Burnroyd Ave, Cross Hills (letter in archive)
Liverpool Echo 14.8.02 FOR the first time since the foot and mouth crisis last year, live lambs have been exported from Dover, despite the public protests against this trade… Jean Street, Childwall (letter)/a>
York Evening Press 14.8.02 Farmers under stress - I AGREE with Jenny Horner that animals for meat would be better exported on the hook (Letters, July 31), but needs sadly must, and I am satisfied our stock will have every consideration during transport… Her callous statement "that farmers cried crocodile tears while raking-in vast amounts of compensation" beggars belief… Pamela Z. Frankland, Hull Road, Dunnington, York (letter in archive)
Argus 14.8.02 Cruel trade - As a member of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), I was horrified to learn of the recent resumption of live animal exports… -Julia Wilde, Foundry Street, Brighton (letter in archive)
East Anglian Daily Times 14.8.02 Sir, - To live export or not to live export, that is the question. I agree with J P Jackson that "Our MPs are in so many cases puppets of the EU bureaucrats" (EADT, August 2)…. IAN SMITH, Philip Road, Bury St Edmunds (letter)
Western Morning News 13.8.02 Cruel trade starts again - P Folca, Dartmouth (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 13.8.02 PLEA TO END LIVE EXPORTS - Jane Whitehead, The Chase, Youlgreave (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 12.8.02 Show you care - I WOULD like to ask readers a question would you consider it cruel for sheep, pigs and calves only two or three months old to be crammed on to trucks; transported for anything up to 90 hours without food and water to a destination in Southern Europe?... many so-called caring British farmers allow this to happen by agreeing to export their animals abroad… you can contact Compassion in World Farming on 01730237379 or contact the National Farmers' Union on 0207331 7200 and voice your concerns (please refrain from using abusive language, as this does not help). steve Dixon, Swindon Animal Concern (letter in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 12.8.02 FARMERS LOSING OUR SYMPATHY …Coming on the back of the disclosures that the foot-and-mouth epidemic cost the taxpayer billions of pounds in compensation and clear-up payments, it is surely time to tell the farmers "enough is enough" - they are losing our sympathy… LIZ STATHAM, Minsterworth (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 10.8.02 LAMBS EXPORTED ACROSS EUROPE FOR SLAUGHTER - Mary P Tamlyn, Elm Grove Road, Topsham (letter)
Blackpool Citizen 9.8.02 Trade in live animals - S Dobson, Wyredale Road, St Annes. (letter in archive)
Plymouth Evening Herald 9.8.02 LAMB EXPORT - JANICE HUNT, Lower Compton (letter)
Lewisham News Shopper 8.8.02 ANIMAL EXPORTS: …call Compassion in World Farming… A Howard, Heathway SE3 (letter)
Lewisham News Shopper 8.8.02 FARM COMPASSION: … Being a supporter of Compassion in World Farming, I am asking for the public's support in ending this cruel trade … Mrs D L Mallen, Fernbrook Road, Lewisham (letter)
Northern Echo 8.8.02 ANIMAL WELFARE - ANIMAL lovers all over the country will be sad to hear that, after the break due to foot-and-mouth, the live export of animals for slaughter has started up again… OA Parker, Billingham (letter in archive)
East Anglian Daily Times 8.8.02 Why animals need us to speak up for them - I'm writing in regards to J P Jackson's letter (EADT, August 2) saying that live exports will go on… Writing to Margaret Beckett of DEFRA isn't a waste of time. We can't give up, these poor animals need us to speak for them… TINA CANHAM, Palmerston Road, Ipswich (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 7.8.02 END LIVE EXPORTS - I am writing to ask your readers to support Compassion in World Farming in its campaign to ban the export of live animals to the continent…. MICHAEL N CORKERY Seymour Drive Watcombe Park Torquay (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 5.8.02 WRETCHED LIVE EXPORTS - Now that the wretched live export trade has started up again, will our farmers shed a tear for the animals they have condemned to such a cruel fate? During the foot and mouth outbreak, we were confronted almost daily by pictures in the press of weeping farmers… JEAN TURNER Dean Road, Plympton (letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 5.8.02 LIVE EXPORTS - Bad, bad news! 2,500 lambs (approximately) were exported from Dover on July 15. So it's started again!... LOUISE PIDDINGTON, Stoke (letter)
York Evening Press 5.8.02 Crocodile tears - Jenny Horner's rant about "farmers crying crocodile tears last year" (Letters, July 31) has sickened those who have lost animals and suffered as a result of the disastrous foot and mouth epidemic… While we would prefer that animals be slaughtered in the UK and then exported in meat form, the UK is part of the European Union and therefore has to abide by EU rules on the transportation of animals. Rob Simpson, NFU PR Officer, York. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 5.8.02 THE re-start in exporting live farm animals for slaughter to far off countries highlights one of the cruellest trades…. D James, Huntington Road, York (letter in archive)
East Anglian Daily Times 5.8.02 No justification for live exports - I, like Mrs S P Drake was alarmed to hear that the live export trade had started up again…. J I POWER (Mrs), East End Lane, East Bergholt, Colchester (letter)
Yorkshire Post 3.8.02 Time to ban cruel export trade From: Joan Sykes, The Garden House, Gledhow Lane, Leeds. … On July 15, more than 2,000 lambs were exported from Dover …
From: ME Newbury, The Avenue, Kirklington, Bedale. - D uring the foot-and-mouth epidemic I saw a farmer on television almost in tears because his dear little lambs were being shot in the fields where they had been born. Now he must be jumping for joy because live exports have started again….
From: Janet Walsh, Lidgett Place, Leeds. Sir, - It seems that we have learned nothing from the foot-and-mouth crisis, as live animal exports and presumably the hazardous mixing of stock, has now been resumed. Already, 2,500, 12-week-old lambs have been exported from Dover…(letter)
Scotsman3.8.02 Cruel trade - FRANCES FAIRWEATHER, Argyle Gardens, Glasgow (story)
Westmorland Gazette 2.8.02 Campaign continues to ban live exports - Adele & Jill Garside, Staveley (letter in archive)
Harborough Mail 2.8.02 And still this evil trade goes on - THE day I have been dreading has arrived! On Monday and Saturday, July 15 and 20, the first consignment of lambs since the foot-and-mouth crisis was shipped to the continent from Dover… Jean Bird, Harborough Animal Concern. (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 2.8.02 Live exports will go on Mrs S P Drake's request, (EADT, July 25), to those of us who oppose live animal exports, to write to Margaret Beckett, is a waste of time… I well remember, when I joined the Brightlingsea protests, the prospective Labour Party candidate pledging that, when we had a Labour government, live exports would have stopped. We have a Labour government and live animal exports have not been stopped… J P JACKSON, Wormingford, Colchester (letter)
Cumberland News 2.8.02 Our lambs go to a cruel slaughter - JENNIFER KREBS, Caldbeck (letter)
Craven Herald 2.8.02 SIR - I have received a letter today from Compassion in World Farming telling me that the live exports of animals has restarted…. Jean Cookson, Yealand Avenue, Giggleswick. Editor's note: We have received two further very similar letters on the same subject. (letter in archive)
Lewisham News Shopper 1.8.02 How much pain has your meal caused? - Despite months of campaigning, the live export of animals trade has just started up again… Mrs J Tuthill, Lambscroft Avenue, Mottingham (letter)
Sutton Guardian/Comet 1.8.02 Stand up against live exports - I understand Farmer's Ferry has announced it is ready to resume the live animal export trade in the first week of August 2002, and this after British taxpayers have bailed out the farming industry to a tune of billions of pounds… So, we can all be proud of the great British farmer who loves his animals, cries crocodile tears over them and then laughs all the way to the bank…. CATRIANO SHORT, St George's Gardens, Epsom (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 1.8.02 Lambs exported - WE wish to raise public awareness that the cruel trade of live export of lambs has started up again…. YVONNE FORSEY, ANNE KIRKBRIDE, ELIZABETH PADDON, Bishops Cannings, Devizes (letter in archive)
Bath Chronicle 1.8.02 ANIMAL SUFFERING - Through the Compassion in World Farming organisation I have learned that the export of live animals was resumed… IRENE GILES Holloway Bath (letter)
Whitehaven News 1.8.02 LIVE EXPORTS HAVE STARTED AGAIN - SIR - The Foot and Mouth epidemic put a welcome stop to the export of live animals to the continent, however, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) is alerting the public to the fact that it has started up again… P M COX, Randle How, Eskdale Green (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 1.8.02 PITY THE ANIMALS - Adrian Sanders is right to draw attention in his column to the part animal movement played in the spread of foot and mouth disease… Live export has just resumed. On Monday July 15, nearly 2,500 lambs were exported from Dover…. R A GAGIE All Hallows Road Paignton (letter)
Shropshire Star 1.8.02 Barbarous practices must stop - So much suffering, so much misery, so much barbarity. I refer to the resumption of live exports… What I find so difficult to understand is just how unfeeling the people involved in this sick trade are, from Tony Blair who allows Defra to give licences to the hauliers, to the greedy farmers, who apparently only get an extra £3 extra per head for sending two to three month old lambs to Holland… As a very youthful 55-year-old vegan grandmother I am sickened by the unnecessary suffering to animals… Judi Hewitt Rhyl, Denbighshire (letter may be in archive)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 31.7.02 FIGHT THE LIVE EXPORT TRADE - Sir, - I am writing to alert your readers that after a ban due to foot and mouth disease, the live export trade has started up again… LYNN OSBORNE Stoke-on-Trent (letter)
York Evening Press 31.7.02 Lamb trade scandal …Two and a half thousand lambs were shipped from Dover on July 15 to Holland and then on to Italy, France or Spain to be slaughtered… If those farmers have the welfare of their animals at heart, they would stop this shameful trade now! - Jenny Horner, Avon Drive, Huntington, York (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 31.7.02 THIS CRUEL EXPORT TRADE RESUMES - Ten years ago, I wrote a letter to your paper concerning the plight of animals being exported to Europe for slaughter. Nothing has changed. The foot-and-mouth outbreak put a stop to this trade temporarily, but now it has started again… D King Wookey Hole Wells Somerset (letter)
Yorkshire Evening Post 30.7.02 when will we learn? - It seems that we have learned nothing from the foot-and-mouth crisis, as live animal exports and presumably the hazardous mixing of stock, has now been resumed. Already 2,500 12-week-old lambs have been exported from Dover, initially to Holland… JANET S WALSH, Lidgett Place, Leeds 8 (letter)
Western Daily Press 29.7.02 EXPORT SCANDAL - Sir - Sadly the export of live lambs, some aged only two to three months has been resumed… Anyone wishing to substitute for this a carcass only trade, should contact compassion in world farming… M Calder Address supplied (letter)
East Grinstead Courier 27.9.02 NO THOUGHT FOR ANIMALS' WELFARE - The live export trade has just started up again. Nearly 2,500 lambs were exported from Dover on Monday, July 15 on the live export ship, Caroline… Diana Allchorne, Willow Crescent, Five Oak Green (letter)
Evesham Journal 25.7.02 Fight the live animal trade …In the early hours of Monday, July 15, 2,500, 2-3 month old Welsh lambs were herded onto the Canoline, the notorious live export ship … If you need any more information you can contact `Compassion In World Farming' … STEPHEN SCRIMSHAW, Hamilton Road, Evesham (letter in archive)

Telegraph 26.9.02 Labour tries to leave behind the Millbank myth - A new HQ means a relaxed new mood and an emphasis on discussion. David Triesman talks to Rachel Sylvester… Mr Triesman was clearly a little taken aback by the size of the Liberty and Livelihood March. But he predicts that despite the public backlash, the Government will press ahead with a ban on hunting with hounds. "It's right to consider what the march means and weigh it up, but I'm quite sure that it would be no great effort to come up with a petition, signed by several times the number of people who walked through London, saying you can't treat animals that way…"(story)

Northern Echo 26.9.02 Hear All Sides: Fox Hunting
THE majority of the population, including myself, feel that fox hunting is a hideous and barbaric sport and the sooner that it is banned the better… Martin Jones, Environment Spokesman, Liberal Democrats, Spennymoor Branch.
THERE is a lot of truth, and good sense in your editorial comment (Echo, Sept 24). But it should be noted that hunting is the one issue that has brought those with many other grievances together…. Organised fox hunting is highly regulated. All registered hunts have been visited by independent inspectors for the last three years. If hunting were to be banned that regulation would stop, but I doubt that many of your readers would believe that foxes would not continue to be killed…. Angela Vaux, Barton (letters in archive)

Manchester Evening News 26.9.02 I DIDN'T hear any protests from farmers and country people when the party most of them voted for, the Conservatives, destroyed half of British industry - engineering, shipyards, steel works, coal mines…. L B, Prestwich (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.9.02 PRACTICES DO NOT HELP NATURE - In response to the letter by Tracy, Marchioness of Worcester, she is wrong on the issue of hunting and shooting, but right on some other issues… A Williams Bath North Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 23.9.02 - Hunting is a way of preserving our natural environment in a world where everything is subordinated to corporate profit…. Tracy Marchioness of Worcester (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.9.02 HUNTERS ARE SAVIOURS OF OUR COUNTRYSIDE - Hunting is a way of preserving our natural environment in a world where everything is subordinated to corporate profit…. Perhaps British animal lovers are targeting the wrong villains? The natural symbiosis between farmer and wildlife has been eroded by the demands of agri-business and will be completely demolished if hunting is banned. Tracy Marchioness of Worcester (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.9.02 TOWN ATTRACTS ODD PEOPLE - I was horrified to read the letter from Julian Brown comparing hunting folk with serial killers… D M Harvey Dursley Gloucestershire (story)
Western Daily Press 23.9.02 IT'S CRUELTY ALL THE SAME - It was interesting and enlightening to read the evidence given by Professor Andrew Linzey at the hearings at Westminster on September 11 into the future of hunting. He said that people who were cruel to animals were more likely to harm other humans and could go on to become child abusers, rapists and torturers. I welcome this official link between the supporters of barbaric field sports and the abusers of our fellow man…. Julian Brown Hunters Way Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Shropshire Star 26.9.02 Cruelty is a bungled shot - I recently shot at a rabbit which was on my vegetable patch at the rear of my house. Sadly, despite becoming a marksman in the Army in 1943 with a four-inch group at 50 yards, I missed the aiming point and shot the rabbit in the neck, The rabbit ran away screaming, obviously in pain...THAT is cruelty…. With fox hunting, if the fox is caught by the hounds it is dead within 10 seconds…. Douglas Gifford, Ex 1st Commando Brigade (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 26.9.02 Grim truth on hunting … I used to belong to a hunt… Fox hunting is not about control of the fox population, it is about a tiny minority who enjoy killing animals for their own pleasure… Avril James, West Felton, Oswestry (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 26.9.02 Switch to drag trail … I say to the hunters: Accept that hunting is going to be banned and take up drag hunting - it's exactly the same but without the animal cruelty - and donate the money to charity where it will do some good instead of wasting it in a vain attempt at something you have no chance of winning… Mervyn Braithwaite, Ellesmere (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 26.9.02 No animal should be so treated - Shall I tell you why I am against hunting with dogs? It is not just foxhunting, it's the other cruel sports… I have myself in my younger days joined in looking for the fox in the woods. I have been there when they have dug out cubs and seen them killed, though not on a hunt…. Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 26.9.02 IN response to MC of Carlisle (Liberty, Livelihood and Barbarism - Letters, September 24), I'd just like to say: yes, foxhunting is cruel, so let's ban it, and close down all the hunts in England…. The world may well be on the verge of World War Three, but hey, lets ban fox-hunting and do some 'toff-bashing' while we're at it. Great fun, don't you think? E MARSH, Warnell Drive, Carlisle (letter)

Manchester Evening News 26.9.02 WHILE most people have genuine sympathy with the grievances of country folk - for example, lack of amenities such as banks, post offices, etc - and those of hard working farmers, I feel there is little sympathy for those who indulge in "bloodsports" or "field sports"… It should be a government priority to ban all hunting with dogs, close down animal concentration camps which house unhealthy chicken farming, and suggest to members of the royal family that they should set an example to the country by abandoning their hunting and shooting activities. David S Lawson, Stockport (letter)

Daily Record 26.9.02 HUNT THEM - The rural and fox hunting debate has got nothing to do with saving the poor wee beasts. It's about the battle of the classes and our ruling classes still trying to keep down those beneath them. But this is the 21st century, not the 19th century… Ian Speirs, Kilmarnock (letter)

Tavistock Times 26.9.02 Hunt helped me keep my chickens - MY experience is completely the opposite to Peter Barnes’ (Letters September 19). For the first time in 12 years I recently lost, one morning, all my ducks, my cockerel and three quarters of my flock of free range chickens… The local hunt answered my plea for help and have put the hounds through the area…. Without the help of the hunt I would not be able to go on keeping my chickens and many people would miss their weekly supply of tasty eggs. Mrs R Spedding, Sampford Manor, Sampford Spiney
Tavistock Times Local foxes never a problem - WITH reference to the emotive claims that are being bandied about with regard to hunting, I would like to add my own experiences to this matter… The local foxes were never a serious problem and were never controlled by the hunt. It was only when they hunted in surrounding areas and disturbed the neighbouring foxes that I had any serious problems. To say that the hunt controls foxes is utter rubbish. Peter Barnes, 8 Barkers Way, North Tawton (letter in archive)

Burton Mail 26.9.02 Animal rights activists start paedophile smear by TOM BRADSHAW - ANIMAL rights activists have been accused of launching a "false and malicious" leaflet campaign claiming a father-of-two is a paedophile. Leaflets were distributed around Horninglow yesterday claiming that the 33-year-old had been convicted by a Scottish court in 1998 of assaulting a minor. The man, who works at the controversial Darley Oaks farm in Newchurch, said today that animal rights protestors were behind the leaflets. Police say the "cruel and malicious" accusations are totally false…. (story in archive)

Stourbridge News 26.9.02 Go veggie - and help end animal cruelty - Everyone who detests what is happening to animals in Britain's abysmal factory farms and slaughterhouses now has a great opportunity to express their revulsion. We all know that the suffering is indefensible and that there is an urgent need to end it. By supporting Viva!'s first ever national campaign against factory farming you can take an important step towards doing just that…. Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Cambrian News 26.9.02 The vegans are coming! - VEGANS of the world unite – you have nothing to lose but your chins, writes Daniel Davies. That’s the call from the Dyfi Valley representative of the Vegan Society, who believes that a Vegan lifestyle is the way to reduce obesity and improve the health of the British populace… according to Laurence Main of Dinas Mawddwy, Vegans have often been treated like Monsters from Outer Space… (story in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.9.02 NO EVIDENCE THAT FOXES NEED TO BE CONTROLLED Further to the letter submitted by Mr G Paddon, Points of view, September 11, concerning the protest march by the hunters, I am writing to say that there is no evidence that foxes need to be controlled…. Mrs Frances Wicks, Alphington Road, St Thomas, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 18.9.02 HUNTING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PEST CONTROL - Mr G Paddon, Points of view, September 11, suggests that the purpose of hunting with dogs is fox control. This is untrue. Many hunts actually encourage fox breeding by constructing artificial earths in suitable places where they are likely to be found and utilised by pregnant vixens… Hares are virtually extinct in many parts of the UK. They are transported into such areas for hunting and coursing after being trapped in nets in areas where they are more abundant… Rodney Hale, President, British Brown Hare Preservation Society, West Sandford, Crediton (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 25.9.02 HORRORS OF HUNTING STAY SECRET - Madam - I refer to the letter from Pat Bush, who said she was against hunting but, on meeting the huntsmen, found them "welcoming and polite" (Letters, September 20). It seems to have changed her view of hunting… I suggest that if Pat Bush wishes to see the true side of this barbaric practice, she should visit a kill, when a poor exhausted creature is ripped to pieces for the entertainment of those "welcoming and polite people"… John Hewett, Cheltenham (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.02 Sir - THE TIMES ARE CHANGING FAST So John Haines believes people opposed to hunting are townies who let their dogs go for a walk round the woods once a week and dump their old mattresses in the countryside, and don't know where their kids are at night… Killing the fox for sport has no place Let them find something else to chase. Millie Pearce Salisbury Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.9.02 HUNTING ISSUE IS BEING JUDGED BY ILL-INFORMED - I neither support hunting or campaign to have it banned. I have been qualified and professionally involved in wildlife and countryside management for 15 years. I am concerned that this thorny subject is being judged by those who are at best ill-informed or totally unsuited to pass judgment on the lives of those who live and work in the countryside. ho are these town folk who sit in judgment?... Perhaps these people should get their own house in order before attempting to take control of the countryside and make it as big a mess as their cities. John Haines, Redhill, Near Bristol… (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.02 PUT THE HUNTERS ON A LEASH I was horrified and saddened at the deliberate cruelty meted out to a fox by the Derwent hunt, related by former hunt follower John Cox (September 14)… Drag hunting is the answer to replace blood sports… EA Smith Ashton Bristol (story)
Western Daily Press 19.9.02 SMALL MINORITY AFFECT ALL OF US - Sir - In response to the letter by John Cox, although I support fox hunting, if his story was as barbaric as he claims I would be the first to condemn such actions. Unfortunately it's a fact of life that you are always going to get a small minority that make it bad for the rest, football hooligans being a prime example… those that have followed the debate must have realised by now that a ban isn't going to save the life of a single fox, indeed the likelihood is that even more will be killed…. D Edwards Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.9.02 MY MEMORIES OF BARBARISM - I am approaching 70, but there was a time many years ago when I was an avid follower of the Derwent Hunt, where much of the land covered, in Yorkshire, was of a very difficult nature… Just below the village of Silpho, after a long run, an exhausted and handsome young fox sought refuge in a craggy bank… One of the huntsmen produced a large meat hook, someone else cut down a long ash pole, a leather rein was attached to the meat hook and these were then tied to the ash pole…. The vivid memory of what followed still sickens me, even after 55 years…. I've been a country-lad all of my life and know that we don't need fox-hunting with dogs… John Cox Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.02 HOOLIGANS OF COUNTRY LIFE - The effort to which the blood sports enthusiasts go in order to make themselves seem more acceptable to society would be hilarious were it not for the fact that our wild animals are persecuted and cruelly killed merely to satisfy their craving for blood…. Be honest for a change, you hunting crowd; stop trying to ally your cause with other more noble ones and stop hiding behind phrases such as Liberty and Livelihood and Countryside Alliance…. S J Harding Wellington Somerset (story)

Cambridge News 25.9.02 Fox hunting is not cruel - From Robert Billingham, Chatteris - Once and for all, fox hunting is not the cruel sport the ignorant claim it to be. A fox hunt is a very colourful countryside social event. It gives work to many who love dogs and horses. In an average hunt, the fox is seldom caught, being wiley and cunning… (letter)

Shropshire Star 25.9.02 Shooting is best way to cull foxes - Recent reports in the Shropshire Star regarding farmers rushing to arm themselves with high-powered rifles for fox control in the light of a hunting ban, are sadly missing the facts… Reading between the lines, the hunting fraternities are a little biased towards this fact. They are pressing the panic button to protect their livelihoods. I myself have mixed feelings about fox hunting but I don't support a ban. JH Walton, Donnington Wood (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 25.9.02 Hunting? No need to debate it - There was/is no need for a debate on fox hunting with dogs at all. Anyone who really believes that this is not cruel, clearly has a brain defect… Phillip Sykes, Stanton Near Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Scotsman 25.9.02 Reading Neil McKinnon’s letter (23 September), I was amaz-ed that anyone from Perth could make the assertion that most of the meat on city supermarket shelves comes from factory farmed animals…. Having never eaten fox, I do not understand the logic of his reasoning that only vegetarians have the right to criticise hunting. To quote Oscar Wilde… JOHN R MURDOCH, Murthly, Perthshire (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 25.9.02 THERE IS A MORE HUMANE WAY - I felt I must write concerning your double page spread, Burning issues of rural life (September 17). I thought newspapers were supposed to be unbiased, but the heading in one section, No finer sight in England than the hunt on Kedleston estate, did nothing but glorify hunting… The League Against Cruel Sports is not a group of trouble makers but just ordinary people like myself who think there is a more humane way to deal with foxes…. Mrs E.G. Adams, Ripon Crescent, Chaddesden (story)

Hull Daily Mail 25.9.02 END THIS EVIL - Amid the support you have been giving to the pro-hunting lobby, the small piece you allowed Kevin McNamara (Mail, September 21) shines like a beacon of principle… Jeremy Wilcock, Local Party Chair, Beverley & Holderness Liberal Democrats, Main Street, Kilnwick. (story)

Manchester Evening News 25.9.02 Poor animals I HAVE noticed that many humans, when recovering from a life-threatening disease like cancer, start raising money for cancer charities which "create" painful and unrealistic cancer growths on animals in laboratories… If any of your readers would like a copy of Health Charities, Helping or Hurting? please ring PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) on 020 8870 3966 and request a copy. Kay Mawson, Hulme (letter)

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH LAB CAMPAIGN
Cambridge News 25.9.02 Primate lab not needed - From Dr Pandora Pound, Peasedown St John, Bath - It is very convenient for Mr Nixon to suggest that the public are opposing the development of Cambridge University's proposed primate laboratory on moral grounds. In fact, the majority of protesters are opposing the proposed laboratory on scientific grounds; namely that there is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that animal experiments are necessary for the development of clinical treatments… (letter)
Cambridge News 17.9.02 Morals 'not the issue' in monkey lab inquiry - A HEARING about a planning refusal for a primate laboratory in Cambridge has been told it is not a moral issue. At a pre-planning inquiry hearing yesterday, chartered town planner Stuart Nixon, appointed by Secretary of State John Prescott to conduct the proceedings, established that more than a dozen witnesses could be called to put the case for the two main parties, Cambridge University and the local authority. Representations will also be heard from a number of other parties, including animal rights groups, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, local residents and the Highways Agency… (story)
Cambridge News 2.8.02 Prescott to rule on fate of controversial monkey lab - DEPUTY Prime Minister John Prescott will personally decide the fate of the controversial primate research centre in Cambridge… Joan Court, of X-SCAPE (Cambridge Against Primate Experiments), said: "We are deeply concerned about his decision and feel it is unwarranted interference from central government."… (story)
Cambridge News 8.6.02 Stay out of laboratory decision, Prescott told … The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) has written to Mr Prescott, newly responsible for local government, to express its concerns… Wendy Higgins, the BUAV's campaigns director, said: "The Government has long since declared its support for vivisection but this is about obeying the law… X-CAPE (Cambridge Against Primate Experiments) will stage a peaceful protest in Huntingdon Road, Girton… There will be speakers from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Animal Aid at the demonstration, which starts at noon on Saturday, June 22. (story in archive)
Cambridge News 24.5.02 Criticism over PM's support for monkey lab - TONY Blair has been accused of making a mockery of the planning process after he publicly backed an application for a Cambridge monkey lab… John Reynolds, chairman of Cambridgeshire Police Authority and a Cambridgeshire county councillor, said: "The university has made an appeal. The inspector has to hear the evidence and make a report to the Minister (Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions). Is the inspector being told what to do by the Prime Minster?"… (story in archive)
Times 24.5.02 Protests blamed for killing off laboratory BY MARK HENDERSON - ONE of the most significant British science projects that has been jeopardised by protest is a neuroscience centre planned by Cambridge University to investigate cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s… (story)
Cambridge News 9.5.02 Councillor wants lab inquiry to be public …John Reynolds, county councillor for Girton and police authority chairman, is calling for the inquiry to be carried out in public. He said he was shocked to learn the university had launched an appeal after councillors kicked out the plans in February when the police warned they could not guarantee public safety during protests by animal rights groups… (story in archive)
Cambridge News 8.5.02 Appeal over animal lab plan - CAMBRIDGE University today launched an appeal against the decision to block its controversial animal laboratory plans… Joan Court, spokeswoman for Animal Rights Cambridge, said: "We are not suprised. The university was not likely to take a snub like that lying down…" (story in archive)
Times 9.2.02 Pensioner thwarts animal tests BY GLEN OWEN, EDUCATION CORRESPONDENT - JOAN COURT, 82, does not look like a battle-hardened animal rights activist. But she is at the centre of allegations that threats of violence and intimidation have been used to halt pioneering research at Cambridge University. Ms Court, the founder of X-CAPE (Cambridge Against Primate Experiments) has lobbied against a proposed £24 million centre that would use monkeys for research into brain diseases. This week she claimed victory after local councillors rejected the plans, citing threats to public order... (story)
Telegraph 9.2.02 Brave decision ... South Cambridgeshire District Council to reject Cambridge University's application to build a laboratory that would conduct experiments on animals as part of its research (report, Feb. 7) was a remarkably brave move and the council's action is to be applauded... (Byron Grainger-Jones, Godalming, Surrey) (letter)
Guardian 7.2.02 Protest fears halt animal research plan - James Meek, science correspondent - Animal rights activists were jubilant last night after fear of mass protests caused a local council to throw out Cambridge University's plan to build a new primate experimentation laboratory... Members of the council's planning committee voted 17 to four, with one abstention, to follow the advice of police and lawyers and refuse the application "on public safety grounds"... "We are delighted that, for whatever reason it's been turned down," said a spokesman for Animal Aid. "It is not simply our right to demonstrate against these things, it is our democratic duty." Wendy Higgins, campaign director of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, said: "I am delighted..." (story)
Independent 7.2.02 Cambridge research centre bid thwarted by protest fears By Steve Connor, Science Editor - A Cambridge University research centre judged to be of national importance in the study of serious diseases has been refused planning permission because of police fears over animal rights protests... (story)
Telegraph 7.2.02 Fears over protesters scupper monkey lab By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - PLANS for a monkey laboratory to study brain disorders such as autism and Alzheimer's disease were rejected yesterday because of fears over animal rights protests... (story)
Cambridge News 7.2.02 Skills loss warning as monkey lab is blocked - THE University of Cambridge could lose world-class scientists because plans for a monkey-testing laboratory have been blocked, its Pro-Vice-Chancellor has warned. (story in archive)
Cambridge News 5.2.02 Protesters hope for lab plan rejection - ANIMAL rights protesters have welcomed a recommendation by planning officers that a controversial proposal for a primate-testing laboratory in Cambridge should be thrown out... quote from Joan Court, of X-Cape (Cambridge Against Primate Experiments) (story in archive)
Cambridge News 2.2.02 Animal lab fear - PLANS for a primate-testing laboratory in Cambridge look set to be thrown out because police fear the site could become a magnet for animal rights activists... Cambridgeshire's Chief Constable Ben Gunn sent letters to the council warning of the public safety threat if the plans go ahead. He said a "serious risk of harm to road users" could result from demonstrations at the site... (story in archive)
Cambridge News 5.11.01 Minister backs plan for monkey test lab... SCIENCE Minister Lord Sainsbury has risked the wrath of environmental and animal rights campaigners by supporting plans for a monkey testing laboratory in Cambridgeshire.... quote from Joan Court, spokeswoman for X-cape, Cambridge-based animal rights organisation (story available in archive)

Daily Post 25.9.02 Torture is their sport David Charters Reports - YOUNG Morenito the bull was bred to be brave, so that his last minutes on Earth would make a grand spectacle. But he didn't know that, how could he, grazing and snorting in his field with the other bulls?... the mob was mad. Among them was Matilda Mench who felt she was almost inside the bull's spirit as he entered these last moments of life. Her hands were trembling on the video camera and her green eyes were blurred. She felt sick with grief and anger. Yet she knew she must go on filming, so the world could see what the people of this town had done to Morenito in celebration of some forgotten virgin from the Christian faith… Tony Moore, Matilda's boyfriend, who was taking still photographs, noticed how much smaller the bull looked slumped on the ground with the life passing from his body…. In the coming weeks politicians from Spain, Germany, Britain and the European Parliament will see the photographs and films taken by Matilda, Tony and their friend Billy Johnson…. Tony's wife Vikki spent much of her adult life campaigning against blood sports. She died in February, 2000, from a massive haemorrhage, almost certainly the result of being gored by a bull five years earlier… (story)

Times 24.9.02 Pro-hunt activists plan disruption at Labour conference BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR HUNT activists are planning “flurries of disruption” to inconvenience ministers and MPs attending next week’s Labour Party conference in Blackpool… Edward Duke, a former alliance chief executive who has been acting as spokesman for the RCA, said: “There is a minority out there who will not accept an outright ban…" Janet George, spokeswoman for Countryside Action Network, confirmed that there were discussions about protesting at Labour’s conference. “We won’t be doing anything major. There is no point declaring World War Three unless there is something to declare war over.” Richard Morley, a joint master of the Belvoir Hunt, which includes parts of Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, said: “The reaction we got from the Government shows they are not taking any notice of us and so they will have to be made to take notice.”… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.02 THINK AGAIN ON JOINING ALLIANCE - It was interesting and enlightening to read in a recent report at a hearing into the future of hunting, that people who were cruel to animals were more likely to harm other humans and could go on to become child abusers, rapists and torturers…. If you are a decent person considering joining the Countryside Alliance, please reconsider. Do you really wish to be counted along with those who are truly on the lunatic fringe of society? JULIAN BROWN, Hanover Lodge, Hunters Way, Stroud (letter) p>Gloucester Citizen 24.9.02 MADNESS OVER BLOCKADE PLANS - The news that local farmers are to step up the blockade of food (September 18) looks like self-induced madness… Many farmers further alienate potential supporters by allowing their cause to be captured and subverted by the fox-hunting lobby when it is clear that the majority of people find hunting as uncivilised as bear-baiting and cockfighting. KEITH WALDON, Wheatway, Abbeydale, Gloucester (letter)

Scotsman 24.9.02 Culling If the main aim of the Countryside Alliance is to improve conditions in the countryside, more power to it. If, however, its main aim is to protect fox hunting, a sport where people with too much time and too much money satisfy their need for the blood of the weaker, it should be condemned… Patricia Jones TORONTO, CANADA
Slaughter It is amusing, is it not, that so many of the British can go to such extremes about 43,000 foxes killed by hounds, and do nothing about the millions of cattle, sheep and poultry slaughtered, and allowed slowly to bleed to death while fully conscious, by fellow humans. Sandy Corbett ANTWERP, BELGIUM
Abdication It seems we are now faced with a second abdication in less than a century. One over a foxy lady, the second over a fox. A Kemp ROSYTH, FIFE (letters)

Worcester Evening News 24.9.02 Real priority of the Alliance - I HAVE never thought that the liberty argument for justifying hunting with dogs was one that would win the day…. There's nothing wrong with a single-issue campaign if there is a case to be articulated, but there is something not quite credible about "band-wagoning" for wider support when a wider support for the original issue is not authentic… WENDY HANDS, Upton-upon-Severn (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 24.9.02 It's a pity the fox does not have a say - I DO not hunt myself, but do meet many country people at local point-to-points and harness race meetings. Contrary to C Boulton's reference to "bloodthirsty mobs", I have found that many hunt supporters are fair-minded individuals who just want to continue an activity that has gone on for hundreds of years… It is a pity that Mr and Mrs Fox do not have a say in the outcome, as I am sure that they would vote for a continuation of the present system, in preference to the wholesale slaughter of their species… LES RUSSELL, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 16.9.02 Let's face the facts that hunting is cruel - I MUST reply to the never-ending rambling of Tim Pinney and John Burgess who constantly try to defend their bloodthirsty sport of hunting… Some hunters have said that if hunting was banned then they would continue to hunt and break the law. I would be glad to help enforce the law and ensure this bloodthirsty mob no longer terrorises defenceless animals. C BOULTON, Evesham (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 24.9.02 FORCED HUNTING BAN WOULD BE UNLAWFUL - Leaving aside the near certainty that far from expanding, the fox population would be decimated by other crueller means in the event of a hunting ban, it has been intimated that the Government may, if it wishes, enforce legislation by invoking the Parliament Acts. Neither the 1911 nor the 1949 Parliament Act was intended to force primary legislation on to the Statute Book without the settled will of Parliament and people just to satisfy political prejudice… We believe this would contravene the Bill of Rights, and probably exceed the powers of Parliament and the Parliament Acts. A ban would thus be unlawful. My colleagues and I shall shortly be putting these matters to the test if the course of our forthcoming challenge in the courts on the limits of government power… Five thousand people have so far contributed £150,000. It's an excellent start, but we shall need much more. Leaflets from and cheques to Constitutional Challenge, This England, Cheltenham, Glos GL50 1YQ. The Meldrew Club is right behind us!... John Gouriet, Bicknoller Taunton (letter)

Western Morning News 24.9.02 Wrong words - BARONESS Mallalieu speaks of the prospect of the Government forcing a Bill to ban hunting, through Parliament by use of the Parliament Act (WMN, September 12)… The Commons may vote to prevent application of the Act, but no action is required to be taken by the Government or Members of Parliament for it to be effective…. John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 24.9.02 Balaclavas out - REGARDING the letter "Bluster of huntsmen", Theo Hopkins obviously feels strongly about something, I'm not certain about what exactly…. I fully realise that all hunt saboteurs love to be in the thick of things and during one meet were even seen to be hitting horses with staves…. Roy Williams, Callington (story)

Western Morning News 24.9.02 BARBAROUS ACTIVITY SEEMS LIKE ADDICTION FOR SOME - The findings of the poll saying that a substantial proportion of hunters will defy the impending ban on their "sport" (WMN, September 5) comes as no surprise… Violence against anti-hunt campaigners, both saboteurs and monitors, is commonplace… Alan Kirby, Phillack, Hayle (letter)

Western Morning News 24.9.02 HORROR OF THE DAY I WENT OUT WITH THE FOX-SHOOTERS - Watching Country File on BBC 1, I could not believe what I was hearing and seeing, when the man from the League Against Cruel Sports said they were all in favour of flushing out foxes from cover and shooting them. It just goes to prove these persons have never seen any of these things done that they talk about. Some years ago I was invited by a fox gun club to join them for an afternoon shoot near St Clears in West Wales… I have never seen such cruelty in all my life, and hope I never will. If the League members think this is the way to control foxes, they should leave the "Against" out and call themselves the League for Cruel Sports. R Hearn, Ottery St Mary (letter)

LEICESTER CITY PROTEST 23.8.02
Leicester Mercury 24.9.02 MORE THAN BLOODSPORTS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE - So Ashley Wood (Postbag, Sept 11) was "considerably moved by the tremendous support" that the Countryside Alliance march through Leicester supposedly got. Judging by the account in the Mercury, on the television and from a friend who lives on London Road, the march actually met deafening silence, apart from a few relatives of the riders who had visited Leicester for the day to boost numbers…. Ms Kerry A Bodycote, Melton Mowbray (letter)
Tamworth Herald 12.9.02 ATHERSTONE HUNT IS ON THE MARCH … The 70 members of the Atherstone Hunt joined 1,000 other protesters at Leicester Race Course where they took part in a peaceful mounted march… Members and supporters of the Atherstone Hunt will also head down to London for the national Liberty and Livelihood march next month. (story)
Leicester Mercury 12.9.02 WHAT IS WRONG WITH DRAG HUNTING? - The pro-hunt protesters caused absolute chaos to the roads recently. I was stuck in traffic, my journey of 20 minutes took me over one hour. All this so these so-called countryside lovers, can follow a fox till exhaustion then watch it ripped to bits… T Callaghan, Evington. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 12.9.02 'NOISY BRAYING INTOLERANT FEW' - So Ken Orrill (Postbag, Aug 29) nails his socio-political colours to the mast! If he had been present on the famous and moving occasion, of the pro-hunting alliance demonstration and if he had opened his eyes and looked around, he would have seen that lining the length of London Road were hundreds and hundreds - perhaps a couple of thousand - cheering and waving residents…. David Davidson, Osgathorpe (letter)
Leicester Mercury 11.9.02 SAME MARCH? - Was D Barker (Postbag, Aug 31) really at the same Countryside Alliance march as the rest of us? I was there and was considerably moved by the tremendous support we received on our journey from Leicester Racecourse to Victoria Park and back…. Ashley Wood, Blaby (letter)
Leicester Mercury 6.9.02 A WORKING DOG'S LIFE - With regard to K Beeson's letter (Postbag, August 22), I feel I must comment on its narrow vision and ignorance… What does K Beeson think happens to the many thousands of other working dogs - for example with the armed forces, police and security companies - when they have reached the end of their working life?... What is better to spend eight years - longer than a dog in the wild would expect to live - pursuing natural instincts, or 10 to 12 years locked in a kitchen, then taken for a quarter-mile walk, if it is lucky, round the block on a lead?.. K Maile, Countesthorpe (letter)
Leicester Mercury 6.9.02 DEMONSTRATION OF SELFISHNESS - Until recently, I have been "neutral" in the controversy over hunting with hounds. In fact, I have looked at this so-called sport as a very picturesque and very English traditional pastime. Not any more. The choice of a demonstration on the Friday before the bank holiday, bringing nothing but traffic chaos to the main thoroughfares of the city, show these people up for what they are: A lot of selfish, stupid, snobbish and anti-social louts… Mr Mortimer, Leicester (letter)
Leicester Mercury 5.9.02 ROAD CLOSURE WAS FOR PUBLIC'S SAFETY - I refer to Ken Orrill's letter (Postbag, August 29) concerning the decision to shut roads for the Countryside Alliance demonstration… The decision to close London Road while the Countryside Alliance procession took place was taken solely on grounds of public safety…. Charles Poole, Service Director (Democratic Services), Leicester City Council (letter)
Leicester Mercury 4.9.02 RURAL FOX IN PERIL OF GUN - In reply to the letter in the Leicester Mercury on Tuesday, August 27, signed "name and address withheld", I went to London Road to see the demonstration organised by the Countryside Alliance. I must say that more than 1,000 horses and riders was an amazing sight and one I shall never see again, I'm sure. I understand that each rider paid £10 for the privilege of joining. This was towards the cost of the policing (mounted police and police cyclists) and the clean-up afterwards…. I shut all my chickens up at night so the fox came in the day. If shooting occurs instead of fox hunting, there won't be any foxes to worry about, because every one flushed out will be shot, so they could become extinct in the countryside and we'll be left with urban foxes. Sheila Knott, Scraptoft (letter)
Leicester Mercury 4.9.02 UNBEARABLE STENCH - As I have to pay a fixed standard fine when I don't 'pick up' my dog's mess within the bounds of Leicester city, I am wondering why the Liberty and Livelihood pro-hunt horse brigade were allowed to foul the roadways and pathways of Knighton with apparent impunity. The stench in Victoria Park and London Road last Saturday was unbearable. R e Thomas, M Thomas, L N Thomas, D B Thomas, Knighton, Leicester (letter)
Leicester Mercury 4.9.02 MIND NOW MADE UP - Before the pro-hunting march, I was not particularly for or against the hunt, but was furious that a main road was closed for these selfish people. I was unable to catch my usual bus to work and had to walk past the foul-smelling manure that the horses left behind. It made me sick… Alan Roberts, Leicester (letter)
Leicester Mercury 4.9.02 HUNDREDS OPPOSED CRUELTY TO ANIMALS - As a group that campaigns against animal cruelty, we had stalls in and around Leicester and leafleted as many people as we could to make them aware of the cruelty of hunting, such as fox and stag hunting, and hare coursing…. Pam Jirku, Loughborough and Leicester Animal Concern (letter)
Leicester Mercury 31.8.02 REAL 'ENEMY WITHIN' - So the people who derive pleasure from tormenting animals, masquerading as the Countryside Alliance, can bring the city to a standstill… D Barker, Oadby (letter)
Leicester Mercury 29.8.02 MOUNTED MARCH WAS A NECESSITY - May I reassure Mr Dennis Roe on two points: Firstly, the horses in the Mounted March up London Road and around Victoria Park kept to the tarmac. No damage was inflicted on the grass. Secondly, the event was self-financing. A donation to the city council funded all the emergency services needed… Our liberty and livelihood is being eroded by this Government. Hence the need for 1,033 horsemen to come to town to illustrate the huge numbers of people and animals that would be affected by the proposed Bill to ban hunting with dogs. Val Anderson, Old Dalby (letter)
Leicester Mercury 29.8.02 LEADERS SWAYED BY PRIVILEGED MINORITY The decision by Leicester City Council to shut two major roads to allow the pro-hunting alliance to hold a demonstration against the fox hunting bill is outrageous and flies in the face of public opinion. In doing so, this council shows just where it stands. It is not with its electorate, but with a very small, highly privileged minority that is able to exercise a disproportionate influence where it matters…. Ken Orrill, Leicester (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 24.8.02 GUNS, STREET VIOLENCE AND DRUGS? MEET THE US RAPPER WHO SINGS ABOUT HUNTING... An AMERICAN rap artist has joined the Lincolnshire pro-hunt lobby after a chance meeting with a county farmer. Samuel Samson Joffre Payne is a 27-year-old rapper from the streets of Washington DC, and is known to his fans as the President because of his politically-motivated lyrics… Yesterday, the President accompanied Mr Barclay on another pro-hunt demonstration, which saw over 1,000 horses and riders flood the streets of Leicester. He accompanied Mr Barclay home to Lincolnshire and told the Echo: "I have been inspired by James Barclay and men like him who feel very strongly about what they believe in…" Master of the South Wold Hunt James Barclay (right) gets down with master of the rap, the President aka Samuel Payne. (story)
Telegraph 24.8.02 1,200 riders bring hunt protest into city centre By Nick Britten …,200 horses - more than in the Charge of the Light Brigade - formed a two and a half mile procession in protest at the proposed ban on foxhunting. As a warm-up to next month's Liberty and Livelihood march in London, yesterday's protest, said to be the biggest march with animals to be held in Britain, was considered a great success by the organisers… One of the highlights was the appearance of the new unlikely champion of the Countryside Alliance, a black American rap artist called the President… quotes from Karen Catto, a 29-year-old administrator and a member of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, Annelies Van Wyjk, 24, a member of the South Wold Hunt, Miles Cooper, a former senior member of the League Against Cruel Sports (story)
Western Daily Press 24.8.02 HUNDREDS SADDLE UP IN PROTEST More than 1,000 horses were yesterday ridden through a city's streets in one of the biggest demonstrations involving animals in recent years… (story)
Leicester Mercury 23.8.02 HUNT SUPPORTERS HOLD HUGE PROTEST IN CITY BY DARREN BECK - Hundreds of campaigners rode horses through Leicester today in protest at a possible ban on hunting. At least 800 riders made their way from Oadby racecourse to Victoria Park… Hammond Smith, of London Road, said he was furious he could not get out of his driveway because of the protest… David Manning, joint master of Cottesmore hunt, near Oakham, said it was a peacefulprotest against the Government's countryside policies… James Cretney, of the National Equine Welfare Council, said the march had been a success… Anti-hunt protester Karen Fletcher said: "It's outrageous they can come through a city like this to promote bloodsports."… (story)
Ananova 23.8.02 Over 1,000 horses join pro-hunt protest - More than 1,000 horses have been ridden through Leicester in what is thought to be one of the biggest demonstrations involving animals in recent years. The pro-hunt protest by the Countryside Alliance saw the group march in a never-ending line through Leicester… (story)
Leicester Mercury 22.8.02 COMMUNITY DISRUPTION WAS ENOUGH FOR ARRESTS - I note that the police have decided to close some of the city's streets in order to facilitate the 500 horse protest by the fox hunting minority of whom the majority, if not all of them, are not residents of the city itself. Funny this, two years ago when faced with a go slow protest by HGV vehicles over the price of fuel, the police threatened to arrest those drivers who were planning to drive slowly. Also back in 1984 and the miners' strike, the police were only too keen to arrest anybody … Rob Roweth, Botcheston. (story)
Leicester Mercury 22.8.02 THEIR END - Pro-hunt members - don't bother trying to invoke sympathy by parading hounds to highlight their mass destruction, should fox hunting be banned. Even us ignorant townies know that after a few short years, their usefulness spent, these young healthy dogs are destroyed…. K Beeson, Loughborough. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 22.8.02 HUNTING AN ACTIVITY TO BE PROUD OF - I think it is great that so many people want to turn out with their horses to support hunting in Leicestershire… I also take issue with an item of news that you published last week about the rally of working dogs in Loughborough. According to the police there were 14 vociferous "anti's" trying to disrupt a carefully organised and officially-sanctioned event for perhaps 750 people and their dogs…. David Davidson, Osgathorpe.(letter)
Leicester Mercury 21.8.02 OPPOSITION MUSTERED FOR PRO-HUNTING RALLY BY AMRIN KHAN - Anti-hunt demonstrators are planning a counter protest against pro-hunting supporters in Leicester… Supporters from Loughborough and Leicester Animal Concern are joining forces with the National Anti-Hunt Campaign, the League Against Cruel Sports and the Hunt Saboteurs Association to oppose the march… quotes from Pam Jirku, John Green, of Knighton (story)
Leicester Mercury 17.8.02 STRANGE GESTURE OF 'FRIENDSHIP' - I read about the proposed protest by 500 horses… It is the owners and riders of the poor beasts who will subject their sensitive mounts to a prolonged period of stress in unnatural surroundings, regardless of whether it be lashing down with rain or roasting with sweltering heat… The spokesman of the protest says… the protest is a gesture of friendship to Leicester. A strange gesture that blocks up a main entry road to the city, preventing working people going about their business… to make it authentic some of the younger riders should have their faces smeared with fox blood… I don't hold strong views on fox hunting, but I think there is no justification for a horseback protest into a city on a weekday. I don't think that a protest against a legitimate Government bill should be allowed to disrupt the life of a city, especially for a prolonged period. A Miller, Leicester. (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 16.8.02 CAMPAIGN TO TAKE TO THE ROADS Hundreds of horse riders from Derbyshire are expected to join a pro-hunting rally in the streets of Leicester next week… Supporters of the Meynell, Barlow and High Peak hunts will join other groups connected with horses to converge on Leicester and show their solidarity in opposing the proposed ban on fox-hunting with dogs… (story)
Leicester Mercury 13.8.02 500 RIDERS JOIN IN CITY PROTEST BY NIC RIDLEY - More than 500 horses and riders are to close one of Leicester's main roads for five hours in a protest against a ban on hunting. London Road, from Leicester Racecourse to Victoria Park Road, will be shut from 10am until 3pm on Friday, August 23… Representatives from 18 East Midlands hunts are expected to take part to protest against proposed legislation to ban hunting… Roy Campsall, a member of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "I think it's a disgrace and they're not going to win over the support of the people of Leicester by closing London Road."… (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 24.9.02 ALLIANCE IS THERE FOR RICH FARMERS I was very surprised to read Erin McDaid's article on behalf of the Notts wildlife Trust in the Post (September 16) where he seemed to be supporting the cause of farmers and by implication, the Countryside Alliance… JEFF BUCK, Moorbridge Cottages Bulwell (letter)

Scotsman 23.9.02 This government puts the fox before people - Paul Allison - HAVING been servicing and shoeing horses for almost 30 years, I find my business a victim of the Scottish Parliament’s Protection of Wild Mammals Act. Since 1 August, many of the owners of hunting horses have adopted a wait-and-see approach as to the way forward. Many hunting horses normally in work at this point in the season, remain in the fields, as yet unshod... The effect on business is a reduction of some 40 per cent in the number of hunting horses being shod. As the season continues towards November and December, this figure will increase... As a member of Scottish Borders Countryside Traders - an informal group of employers and employees whose livelihood is derived from work in the area - we took part in many meetings with MSPs of all political parties to inform them how this act would affect the economy. Throughout this period, we found little or no interest from some political parties and in particular from Labour, who have been so eager to pass legislature on this issue... The fact is that this government is prepared to put the fox before people and continues rural degeneration as a masterpiece of misguided social engineering for the sake of political correctness... (story)

Blackpool Gazette 23.9.02 Now country marchers could bring resort to a halt … thousands of rural protesters who brought the capital to a standstill yesterday could be set to "gridlock" the resort during the Labour Party Conference. A source inside Country Action Network, which was part of yesterday's march, revealed to The Gazette today that a protest is being planned to take place in Blackpool on Sunday… (story)

North West Evening Mail 23.9.02 DO BRITAIN'S RURAL DWELLERS GET A ROUGH DEAL? - vox pop (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 23.9.02 TRY A DAY OUT WITH THE HUNT Can I ask Ms Kent what, coming as you so quaintly put it "from the heart of rural Sandiacre", should preclude me from knowing anything about hunting… As for fox-hunting there are more people who ride, follow on foot or simply support hunts who live in one-bedroom flats and terraced houses in the middle of towns and cities than do those fortunate enough to fit her image…. How can you condemn out of hand something that you cannot even by your own admission be prepared to watch? On what do you form your opinion? Hearsay I suspect. DENNIS A. YATES, Sandiacre (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 7.9.02 HUNTERS AREN'T CONFINED TO CONSERVATIVE RANKS - At long last there is something I can agree with Nick Palmer MP about - hunting. It is indeed a case of the unthinkable chasing the uneatable… BARRIE BRADDOW Mattley Avenue Nuncargate (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 5.9.02 ON THE MARCH TO DEFEND HUNTING AS A SPORT - C. Kent (Letters, September 2) and Labour MP Nick Palmer display a breathtaking lack of knowledge about both hunting and the forthcoming countryside march in equal measure…. Mr Palmer's silly comment concerning the Liberty and Livelihood March on September 22 in London beggars belief and really shows his ignorance when he claims we are holding it on a day when as he says "Parliament is not even sitting". Even we thicko country bumpkins know that it does not sit on a Sunday; as ladies and gentlemen we are holding it on that day as a matter of courtesy to others in order that the least amount of disruption will be caused… DENNIS A. YATES The Hewarths Sandiacre (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 5.9.02 Get our priorities right - It was interesting to read the letters from Jack Dunn and MP Nick Palmer (August 30). One offers hope that banning fox-hunting will move society towards civilised values. Considering the number of shootings, muggings, drug-related offences, theft and burglary in this city alone, I doubt this ban will do the trick… if the Post had received as many letters of outrage in respect of the two little girls abducted and murdered in Soham as it has on fox-hunting, I, for one, would feel far happier that we have our priorities right. A. ESPIN Pinfold Lane Kinoulton (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 2.9.02 WHY NOT CARE FOR ANIMALS RATHER THAN KILL THEM? - What gives the likes of Dennis Yates of Sandiacre the idea that hunters have a right to gang up on and tear to bits a fox just for their own perverted pleasure?... C. KENT High Road Chilwell (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 30.8.02 HUNT BAN WOULD PROVE SOCIETY'S STILL CIVILISED - The supporters of fox-hunting are mounting a vigorous campaign to try to prevent the banning of this activity… If, however, a ban on hunting is finally introduced it will be seen by the majority as an enlightened decision offering the hope that our society is still moving towards civilised values. JACK DUNN Cromwell Crescent Lambley (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 30.8.02 What sport's in cruelty? - Mr Yates of Sandiacre (August 24) urges readers to support his right to chase and kill animals for sport. I've been a Labour MP since 1997. But I've been involved in animal welfare issues since I joined the RSPCA back in 1968, and it's always seemed unreasonable to me that a sport should be allowed to involve inflicting suffering on animals… there is always a funnier side. The Countryside Alliance, in its infinite wisdom, has chosen to lobby Parliament on a day when Parliament is not sitting! NICK PALMER, MP Barratt Lane Attenborough (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 24.8.02 Will critics march? No! - If Messrs Scott, Gibbons and Gee are so sure of their ground (Letters, August 22), I suggest they, along with the "millions of people who are against foxhunting", do the democratic thing they all so favour and take the time to attend the next Liberty and Livelihood march in London on Sunday, September 22… I and my fellow supporters for the right to hunt will again, as we have on every past occasion, clearly outnumber the armchair critics by many tens of thousands to one… DENNIS A. YATES The Hewarths Sandiacre (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 22.8.02 ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF HUNTING UNCONVINCING - If Ms Jepson's letter on foxhunting was an attempt to redress what she sees as unfair bias in the Jo and Twiggy article, she has failed miserably… She claims "a fox is not torn to pieces". What happens then, Ms Jepson? Do the dogs lick it to death?... D. SCOTT Medina Drive Tollerton (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 22.8.02 Unjustifiable behaviour - Good old Twiggy!…What the country folk fail to understand is that millions find their behaviour unjustifiable… BETTY GIBBONS Villiers Road West Bridgford (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 22.8.02 - Hunting was popularised by the 19th Century novels of Surtees and his character, Jorrocks - an East End grocer. That's what hunting has been about for the 300 years… a feudal charade, in which the fox is irrelevant… Hunting is a commercial activity, not a charity. Perhaps a hunting accounting could reveal the secret incomes of hunts, with their kill rates? What's the cost of a hunt, how much to kill just one fox, what profit and is it taxed?... RALPH GEE Mansfield Road Nottingham (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 22.8.02 Foxes, ethics and jobs - The dilemma which accompanies foxhunting is whether or not it is right to hunt and kill other species… they would quite readily vote against the hunt because of the archetypes who enjoy it… Such emotive, prejudiced and ignorant rantings are of no use to such an important moral issue. It is a choice of tens of thousands of people's livelihoods against the possibility of killing a fox. In my opinion the first option reigns supreme. MICHAEL M. CHAMPION Chairman Rushcliffe Conservative Future (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.9.02 - RESEARCH WILL TAKE TIME - The Government is planning a compromise bill which would outlaw most forms of hunting, but provide for licenced hunting in upland areas as the most humane way of controlling foxes, according to The Times…. Steve Reed The Roman Way Glastonbury Somerset (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 13.9.02 THE MORAL ARGUMENT FOR HUNTING IS BEING WON - "THE Government is planning a compromise Bill which would outlaw most forms of hunting, but provide for licensed hunting in upland areas as the most humane way of controlling foxes," according to The Times. Thus ('the most humane way of controlling foxes') logic is preserved and the moral argument for hunting with dogs is won, even if the implications of this are not properly reflected in these proposals… Steve Reed, The Roman Way, Glastonbury, Somerset (letter)

Shropshire Star 23.9.02 Nonsense of the law on hunts - If a callow youth in his first rush of blood lust takes his crossbow or airgun and kills a swan, his actions are quite rightly reviled by society and media. If on the other hand a more mature adult breeds a stag and rears it from birth, so that he and his friends can torment it for hours before killing it, their actions and associated social activities will probably be reported favourably… Ken Parry, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 23.9.02 BLACK GROUSE BACK AFTER 25 YEARS - Rare black grouse have been reintroduced into the Peak District after 25 years and are breeding again. Severn Trent and landowner Richard May teamed up last September to introduce eight adult birds into a recreated grouse moor on the western edge of the Peak District…. (story)

Western Daily Press 23.9.02 DON'T BLAME BADGERS FOR FARM TB OUTBREAKS A recent letter on TB in cattle certainly went a long way round in explaining why tests cannot be relied on. In my opinion the reason is so much simpler…. I do not believe that badgers are responsible for cattle TB… It is quite true that foxes will kill large numbers of poultry if they have the chance and only carry one off to eat. They will also take newly-born lambs while the ewe is busy giving birth to another. With the hunts working with the farmers a tolerable balance of numbers is maintained. No farmer wants too many foxes; no hunt wants too many foxes either, and no hunt that I know of makes artificial earths for foxes or imports extra foxes. It used to be done 100 years ago but not now…. Robert Hastings Harford Castle Cary Somerset (letter)

Leicester Mercury 23.9.02 'DON'T BLAME THE FARMERS' The export of live animals is indeed a cruel trade. My late husband, who farmed all his life, and I were always against it. In answer to S Overton, (Postbag, Sept 9), animals are sold by the farmer in one of two ways. If he sells direct from his farm, a buyer comes and offers a price for the animals he chooses…. However, for what may be very good reasons the farmer may decide to take the animals to market. There they will be auctioned and the farmer will not necessarily know who has bought them… please don't blame the farmer for restrictions that are not of his making, but prevent the best treatment for the creatures who serve us and who deserve better. Wendy Warren, South Kilworth. (letter)

Daily Post 23.9.02 Animal rights call - CHESHIRE Euro-MP Brian Simpson is seeking a Charter of Rights for animals to prevent cruelty. The president of the Warrington and Halton RSPCA says he has been inundated with letters from people across the North- West angered by a secret film which showed children and adults mistreating livestock at markets in Belgium… (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 23.9.02 Not so kind to animals I HAVE just read some shocking news about dog and cat food the leading brands all carry out cruel testing on cats and dogs…. Visit the BUAV site on www.helpthedogs.org - Laura Hobbs, Stone Lane, Lydiard Millicent, Swindon (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 23.9.02 MEDICAL RESEARCH BACKING - D. Spencer (Opinion, August 31) is presumably healthy and can, therefore, afford to be against the use of animals in medical research…. Thomas Bromley, SIMR, West Sussex. (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 31.8.02 USE ACT TO BE HUMANE - When we give money to medical charities we give, I believe, because we hope it will help find cures… Do we know if some of that money funds animal experiments? It is vital that animal experiments are brought out into the open, by having the Freedom of Information Act applied to project licence applications… D Spencer, Dovedale Crescent, Belper (letter)

Sunday Times 22.9.02 Foxhunters just wanna have fun
UNLIKE Otis Ferry, I was born and brought up in North Yorkshire… The “cruelty” of nature is structured for survival and to keep an ecological balance. Foxhunting is for pleasure pure and simple. It always has been. Eileen Elstrop, York
LAST STAND: Otis Ferry’s vain defence of the indefensible convinces nobody. A crumbling rural economy with fox-hunting’s demise? The remedy lies squarely in the hands of its supporters. Hunts have had ample time to convert to drag-hunting, thus retaining jobs, hound packs and the sporting element… Karen Whitchurch, Hornsea, East Yorkshire (letters)
Sunday Times 15.9.02 - I’m willing to risk jail for foxhunting - Otis Ferry, son of rock star Bryan, reveals why his passion for the countryside has made him reject Caribbean holidays for hunting … Three years ago I left home permanently and joined the Middleton Hunt in Yorkshire as an amateur whipper-in…. It is sad and dangerous that while we wage war on terrorism — with discussions every day about the “root causes of terrorism” — respectable, peaceful people are being victimised, marginalised and ignored…. My co-workers and I will be marching with the Countryside Alliance in London next Sunday. And having been on these marches before, we know already that the whole affair will be thoroughly boring and a complete waste of our day. What’s more, we can’t help but wonder whether even a mass protest will make the slightest bit of difference. But if you passionately believe in something, you have to stand up to be counted — and my family fully supports that. My mother and brothers will be joining the march on Sunday to help fight a corner worth defending. Sadly, my father won’t be able to make it. He is on tour… (story)

Telegraph 21.9.02 Beckett undecided on compromise Bill By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary, offered no hope to the Liberty and Livelihood marchers yesterday that their protests would influence the Government's plans to regulate hunting. She washed her hands of responsibility for ensuring that backbenchers signed up to a compromise on hunting being devised by the Government, saying the fate of the Bill was "a matter for Parliament"…. (story)

Telegraph 21.9.02 Protest? Suddenly everyone had a glint in their eye By Vicki Woods - My foxhunting friend from Yorkshire rang me from the M40 last Wednesday to say she had "something to do" near Newbury and was I busy?... So just how big is it? "About 150ft long and 40ft across." Oh, good God, woman. What the hell is it? "A painted carpet. It's a huntsman, blowing his horn. He's rolled up in the trailer, and I'm towing him to Beacon Hill, so people can see him from the A34."… and he had a funny glint in his eye. "Something planned for Beacon Hill, eh?" he said, toying with a piece of architrave. I said maybe there was and maybe there wasn't. "She in the Real Countryside Alliance, your friend?" Blimey! I didn't say that…. We carefully spread out his horn. Twenty-odd men, fanned out like beaters, hauled the whole 150ft length of industrial carpeting downhill, while my Yorkshire friend trudged up and down, shouting that he mustn't lean sideways because he'd look drunk…. (story)

Times 21.9.02 Father of the Quorn seeks a benefactor BY MICHELLE HENERY - THE only known portrait of Squire Thomas Boothby, the father of foxhunting and the founder of the Quorn Hunt, is up for auction… The Melton Carnegie hunting museum in Leicestershire, which has Boothby’s horn in its collection, hopes to find a benefactor willing to purchase the portrait for the museum. (story)

BBC News Online 21.9.02 MPs 'are listening' to countryside - The government is listening to the concerns of people living in the country, the rural affairs minister has insisted ahead of Sunday's countryside march in London. Alun Michael said the government recognised the countryside had gone through "a horrendous time"…. (story)

Cumberland News 20.9.02 OVER CUMBRIA'S COUNTRYSIDE - I RESENT being branded a "hunting bully" by Elaine Milbourn… Hunting with hounds is still the best and most humane method of culling. GINA PARKER, Gilsland
HE reason Labour was elected into office twice since 1997 was not primarily to effect a ban on hunting (Elaine Milbourne's letter, The Cumberland News, September 13) as this pales into insignificance when viewed objectively against, for example, the state of the economy. They were elected to save the nation from the rabid policies proffered by the Tories… The Liberty and Livelihood march is a visual protest against many rural issues neglected or discounted by backbench MPs, who only affect to notice them if an election looms. Calling the marchers "bullies" merely polarises the matter further… JEREMY GODWIN, Drovers Lane, Penrith
BOTH Elaine Milbourn and the League Against Cruel Sports (for whom she acts as the Cumbria representative) seem more concerned with the welfare of foxes than of the animals upon which they prey, or of other animals kept or killed under circumstances which many would consider to involve far greater cruelty… Dr Davis is correct to point out that there is an even greater threat to liberty and livelihood which affects everyone in Britain, in the form of ever encroaching government from Brussels. However, he then goes on to destroy his own arguments by suggesting that the liberty and livelihoods of those minorities of which he disapproves are irrelevant in comparison with the greater struggle over Europe. DAVID PARKER, Longtown
I GIVE my full support to the excellent letter by Elaine Milbourn… D N HILL, Stanwix, Carlisle
AS one who is about to move into your area and who reads your paper to try to learn about North Cumbrians and their way of life, I am intrigued by the vitriolic letters condemning fox-hunting. How can they justify making an innocent traditional country pursuit a criminal act?... Ms M A CREW, Queen's Road, Liverpool (letter)
Cumberland News 13.9.02 THE COUNTRYSIDE MARCH OF THE HUNTING BULLIES - OBVIOUSLY David Lowes, deputy chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, is confusing those who love the countryside with those who take pleasure in killing wild animals with dogs (The Cumberland News, September 6)… It is not those who love the countryside who will be on the march, Mr Lowes, it will be wildlife killers and their supporters from both rural and urban areas… ELAINE M MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton
Cumberland News 13.9.02 I BELIEVE that hunting with hounds is an anachronism which should have been consigned to the dustbin of history long ago, with other obsolete practices like cock fighting and bear baiting. Not so David Lowes who says (The Cumberland News, September 6) he is bemused at finding, on a recent visit to Cumbria, a dearth of banners, car stickers and the like… Dr K DAVIS, Mason's Court, Cockermouth (letters)

Telegraph 20.9.02 Staying out of the debate - Lord Barber's unwarranted attack on the Council for the Protection of Rural England (letters, Sep 17) demonstrates scant understanding of our objectives or our motivation… Of course, we recognise the contribution that field sports have made to the evolving character of the countryside. But one does not have to support field sports to retain an abiding interest in our unique and beautiful landscape. Some of our members are keen supporters of hunting, some are not; many have very strong views on this issue… It is not surprising, therefore, that our executive committee, made up of representatives of every region of England, was unanimous in its decision that CPRE should not be drawn into this very political and divisive issue… Sir David Ford, Chairman, Council for the Protection of Rural England, London SW1 (letter)
Telegraph 17.9.02 Emasculated body - The Ramblers' Association and the Council for the Protection of Rural England will not, it seems, be attending the great September march. For the former this is understandable… But the prissy attitude of the CPRE is beyond belief… Lord Barber of Tewkesbury, London (letter)

BANNER FOR A BAN CAMPAIGN
Penarth Times 20.9.02 'Stop this cruelty' by Gemma Mitchell - PENARTH residents have united in a bid to ban hunting with dogs as part of an RSPCA campaign. Locals Jackie Marshall and Julia Steinson are supporting the action, and in a joint effort have collected hundreds of signatures - as part of the RSPCA's campaign called 'A Banner for a Ban'. Julia explained that the general public had enthusiastically signed their petition sheets. Their aim is to collect a banner of signatures locally, which will then be put together with others from all over Britain… Local Assembly Member for Cardiff South and Penarth, Lorraine Barrett is also supporting the movement…. (story in archive)

HUNTING HEARINGS
Western Morning News 20.9.02 MINISTERS URGED TO HEED FINDINGS OF THREE-DAY HUNTING HEARING - Ministers yesterday faced renewed calls to "listen to the arguments" on the future of hunting with dogs, after it emerged that last week's three-day hearings on the issue had landed the taxpayer with a £50,000 bill… Witnesses were paid a £120 per day attendance fee, together with expenses and preparation fees, depending on the number of sessions they were asked to attend. Those benefiting from the payments included the controversial Oxford ethics professor Andrew Linzey, who angered many in the hunting community by suggesting that hunting was the "moral equivalent" of child abuse, rape and torture…. Gary Streeter, the Conservative MP for South West Devon, said it was now incumbent on Mr Michael to ensure that the money spent was not wasted. Mr Streeter said: "I am afraid it is probably going to prove to be money down the drain because the Government has already made its mind up to bring in a 'Trojan Horse' Bill which they known their backbenchers will turn into a ban… (story)

Western Daily Press 20.9.02 ARSON STRIKES CLAIM IN HUNT ROW - Police were last night investigating claims that property belonging to an anti-hunt group was daubed with pro-hunting graffiti and set on fire. A sign at the League Against Cruel Sports' wildlife sanctuary at its headquarters in Dulverton, on Exmoor, was allegedly daubed with red paint before being burned down on Wednesday night… Countryside Alliance spokesman Mal Treharne said: "It seems there is a lot of duplicity going on. When we lit our beacons and bonfires last Monday it seems there were anti-hunt groups calling the police and the Fire Brigade out even though we had alerted the authorities to our activities in the first place… We haven't rushed to the police it's all part of the game, I'm afraid."… (story)

Western Daily Press 20.9.02 WE DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO KILL - If the letter written by Mr Hawkesley - Critics Miss The Point - is a prime example of the attitude of the hunting fraternity, then the sooner the ban on hunting takes place the better…. Someone always suffers for its cause, but if it leads to a better world, then arrogant, self-opinionated beliefs, twisted morals, selfish hobbies and a venomous tongue must be forfeited. J Kelly Credenhill Hereford (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.9.02 I'M NO FASCIST FOR HATING CRUELTY - Simon Hawkesley thinks all animal-lovers, who hate and oppose hunters, are fascists. That is probably the lowest statement to have come from these people. I hate their cruel treatment to animals, but am no fascist… I doubt the loathsome so-called sport will be outlawed for many years yet because of all the rich aristocrats who control the country. Chris Hull Yetminster Sherborne Dorset (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.9.02 CRITICS MISS THE MARK - Once again the animal fascists have decided to tell me what I may and may not enjoy. I do not approve of many, perfectly legal, practices, I find them morally disturbing and of no interest. That does not mean they should be made illegal, in fact I would fight to the death for people's rights to live in freedom and without hindrance….if we ban something because we do not like it, the future for millions looks bleak - from homosexuals to Muslims to racial minorities. All had better take note of some people's notion of democracy. The trend in this country is to vilify all that we do not like or understand. That terrifies me and I will fight hard to ensure that these Fascists in the guise of animal lovers fail at every turn. Simon Hawkesley West Harptree Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.9.02 PROTESTERS ARE NOT ABOVE LAW - An exquisite irony is exposed in the headline Hunt Ban Means War Say West Landowners.Here we have the self-regarding pillars of English society threatening to ignore the law if they can't get their own way… I also have a question for those attending the march who are concerned for the real rural problems… If they want to get their message across and be taken seriously they need to jettison the hunting brigade. K Watts, Southwick Trowbridge Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.9.02 WILL PRO-HUNTERS TURN TO CRIME? - Listening to Newsnight on BBC2, we heard what the pro-hunt fraternity would be prepared to do should a ban on hunting become law… What frightened me was that, when pressed further, one person quite calmly said: "We could put dye in the drinking-water supply."… Pamela Dean Whiteshill Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Worcester Evening News 20.9.02 After foxes... all the rabbits? MY visits to Worcester, to see friends and relatives, are made all the more agreeable by reading your respected newspaper, but your gamekeeper correspondent C J Salisbury (You Say, September 13) gives me cause for concern. If Mr Salisbury has his gin traps in hedgerows he has little respect for both animals and law, as such cruel devices have been banned in England and Wales since 1958…. JOHN PHELPS, Exeter. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 14.9.02 Hunting pink and red faces - ANITA Knittel (Evening News, Saturday, September 7) will certainly have embarrassed fellow members of the anti-hunting movement with her latest outburst about `'social climbing'' being the main purpose of hunting. While Mr Brierley has consistently based his reasons for retaining hunting on the grounds of animal welfare and conservation, along with a right to livelihood and liberty, Ms Knittel appears to consider social status more important than any of these…. Should hunting be banned and the fox become a protected species, I am sure Anita Knittel would be very satisfied. But then, she will not have to deal with aftermath of her actions - the carnage left in the lambing fields, free range piglets and poultry killed and injured. JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 13.9.02 I cannot see the local bobby walking hedgerows looking for my gin traps - WELL done, Anita Knittel. If hunting is banned you have just consigned the fox to extinction from our countryside. As a gamekeeper, I do not believe in the complete eradication of the fox population. The local hunt used to maintain a balanced number of foxes. Now, if you have your way, I will have to do the job myself…. there are now shooting clubs waiting to move in to farms to shoot every fox to extinction… If there is a hunting ban, I hope your conscience is clear. C J SALISBURY, (Gamekeeper), Hallow, Worcester (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 7.9.02 A pity he doesn't understand fox ecology - IT is a pity that Bob Brierley of the Worcestershire Hunt still appears not to understand fox ecology… Scientific evidence proves that foxes are not pests and that hunting actually increases numbers by dispersing stable groupings and the widespread use of artificial earths, with DEFRA agreeing that livestock predation by foxes is insignificant…. A KNITTEL, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 29.8.02 Hunt hearing for foxes' fate - THE Government will be guilty of encouraging cruelty to animals if it fails to drop legislation banning hunting with hounds after a public hearing next month, claims a Worcestershire pro-hunt campaigner. Bob Brierley said he was confident the Government public hearing into hunting with dogs would prove that it was the most humane way of controlling foxes… (story)

North Devon Journal 20.9.02 THINK OF THE HUNTING DOGS - I'd LIKE to put a different slant on the hunting debate - think about your much loved dog, a member of the family. Think of the unquestioning trust and devotion you receive. Think of the lasting regret that they don't have a longer lifespan and the heartbreak of losing them. I now ask you to think of the lifespan of a hound used for hunting. A life cut short when the required speed for the chase can no longer be maintained… BARBARA GARWOOD, Acre Lane, Horns Cross. (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 20.9.02 Sir, - A correspondent (Name and address supplied, August 23) claims that foxes are vermin and need to be controlled. Far from harming farmers, foxes actually kill the three major animals which hinder arable farming… If foxes are indeed vermin, could the correspondent explain why hunters regularly breed foxes in artificial earths. MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 23.8.02 Sir, - Regarding a letter concerning hunting, August 20. The fox is not a helpless sentient being. It is vermin. It kills indiscriminately… Last Saturday, I went out with the Staffordshire mink hound pack.. there were a pair of swans with one cygnet. There was a sure sign that a mink had been present, as the other six had been killed… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 20.9.02 SOAPBOX: HUNTERS ARE THE TRUE CONSERVATIONISTS - So pro-hunting activists are threatening to sabotage water supplies in public reservoirs. Ifthe Government had honoured the wishes of the majority of the people and the overwhelming votes of members of Parliament, it would not have had to contend with the many threats from the Countryside Alliance… There can be no compromise with the indiscriminate killing of creatures that share our world. It must be stopped now. Name and address supplied (letter)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 20.9.02 Time running out for blood-thirsty hunters - BLOOD-thirsty fans of hunting with hounds are running out of time. The disgusting act of foxes being ripped to shreds will be consigned to history when the public gets what it wants… Councillor Paul Concannon, Scholars Court, Northampton (letter)

Horncastle News 20.9.02 No ‘art’ to hunting – it’s just barbaric EDITOR - I am writing to complain in the strongest possible terms about an article which appeared in the newspaper (Horncastle News, August 28). The article that has so infuriated and incensed me was on page three and is regarding a children’s visit to Belchford Kennels… Hunting is most ceretainly not an art. It may require great skills of horsemanship, training of the dogs and courage on the part of the riders. It is also a barbaric, outdated, sadistic practice that should have been banned a very long time ago…. I would like to extend an offer to these children to view videos which have been collected by the League Against Cruel Sport, RSPCA and many others. I have very recently moved to Horncastle and have lived in a rural community all my life… PAUL J MARRIOTT Francis Lane, Horncastle (letter)
Horncastle News 28.8.02 LEARNING THE DYING ART OF HUNTING - Children aged 11 - 15 were recently invited to to visit South Wold Hunt kennels in Belchford. The visit was in order to gain an insight into the lives of both kennelman and first whipper-in Ben Slee and stud groom Clare Kingston … (story in archive)

Telegraph 20.9.02 Save the shark - In November, the international community will meet in Chile to discuss the protection of some endangered species, including the basking shark (report, Sep 16)… Phyllis Campbell-Mcrae, Director, IFAW UK, London SE1 (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 17.3.03 HOW A LURCHER OUTFOXED FOXY - In the wake of the Countryside Alliance's protest march in London last weekend, Bristolbased journalist ROBERT GORELANGTON reflects on the pursuit of 'persons of fur' HATEVER it was that won Crufts earlier this year, it wasn't a dog. It was more like the love-child of Danny La Rue and a vast gerbil… It is outrageous that while these animals are given rosettes, real dogs with real jobs are under threat. If hunting is banned, a recent report by Miles Cooper, the former 'undercover operative' for the League Against Cruel Sports, claims, as many as 20,000 hounds, 100,000 terriers and 70,000 lurchers face a one-way trip to the vet…. For every one fox preserved, three dogs and a healthy horse will get the bullet… The pet market will soon be flooded with redundant hunting dogs needing to be 'rehomed'.We should all buy one. I have… The thing to go for is one of those 70,000 soon-to-be-laid-off lurchers… Take on a fox and you take on the RSPCA, the BBC, New Labour and an army of pressure groups. The thing with the lurcher is that there's no override button. It doesn't sniff the fox's bottom, it just kills it… (story)

Telegraph 19.9.02 Time for lawyers to take up the scent - The barrister Marina Wheeler looks at the possible consequences for the legal profession if the Government uses the Parliament Acts to force through legislation banning hunting with hounds… In Scotland, the battle is well under way. In February 2002, middle-class, urban-dwelling Members of the Scottish Parliament agreed to ban hunting with hounds, making it a criminal offence to engage in the activity of mounted hunting with dogs or to permit land or dogs to be used for hunting. There was an instant legal challenge by a group that includes a farmer, two land-owners, the manager of hounds for the Duke of Buccleuch's Hunt, the Jedforest Hunt, the Countryside Alliance and others…. If all legal challenges fail, we may then face the prospect of the Yemeni chapter of Amnesty International calling on David Blunkett to release our prisoners of conscience…. (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 19.9.02 Hunt protest on the cards - Beaufort Hunt supporters Netia Hibbert and Emma Farquhar have launched a postcard featuring the people who stand to lose their jobs if hunting is banned. The two friends, from Pinkney, near Malmesbury, have had such a huge response to the cards, entitled Endangered Species, that they have had to print a second run to cope with demand…. (story in archive)

Times 19.9.02 Poll shows most people oppose 'inhumane' sport - A MORI poll for the Campaign for the Protection of the Hunted Animal has found that most people do not believe hunting with dogs is a humane activity… (story)

Times 19.9.02 Countryside problems and the proposed ban on hunting
Your leading article today (“Country grievances”) confuses Government initiatives with real action to address the many problems facing the countryside today, of which there has been none… Hunting is an important issue — and not only for people living and working in the countryside. The Times should be in the forefront of those warning the Government not to stray into areas of personal choice which are inappropriate for legislation in a tolerant democracy. JOHN BRISBY, Stockings Farm, Helmdon, Northamptonshire NN13 5QY.
Country people know that governments cannot reverse the fall in world food prices, nor stop incomers pushing up the price of local housing. But they do expect government to act where it can, to give a fair chance to British agriculture and to create a legislative framework in which rural businesses and communities can thrive, not be strangled by excessive red tape and regulation…. a ban on hunting comes across as unjustified and unhelpfully confrontational - EDWARD GREENWELL, President, Country Land and Business Association, 16 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8PQ
The Liberty and Livelihood March in London is hugely important and likely to attract widespread support. It is the only opportunity for thousands of decent, law-abiding people to demonstrate their frustration and sense of anger at the contempt and hostility shown by the Government and left-wing urban Members of Parliament to rural Britain…. TIM HUTCHINGS, Bookers Farmhouse, Bolney, West Sussex RH17 5NB.
Mr R. T. Oerton (letter, September 13) cites cockfighting, dogfighting, bearbaiting and badgerbaiting… In all these four “sports” the animal concerned has no opportunity for escape and there is no legitimacy in terms of pest control…. DAVID WOOD, The Vicarage, Crosby Ravensworth, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 3JJ.(letter)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 20.9.02 Hunt for words - PLEASE may I correct the amendment made to my letter last week headed "Appeal for horses. " The last paragraph of my original letter read "I would so like to see the fox adherents" which was changed to "the fox hunting adherents" (the complete opposite). It was not so much the pro-foxhunting as the anti-foxhunting fraternity I was addressing… MURIEL CLARK, St John's Close, Marlborough (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 12.9.02 Appeal for horses - THE hunting issue drags on and on. I am still against the abolition of foxhunting and I more or less agree with Mrs Macmullen's letter in last week's paper, though I deplore some of the practices employed by some of the huntsmen. Hunting is cruel, but at least it's natural… I would so like to see the fox hunting adherents turn their attention to this far more pressing issue: For every fox that is killed, hundreds of horses meet this terrible end. MURIEL CLARK, St John's Close, Marlborough (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 19.9.02 DOES KILLING HAVE TO BE MAIN THRILL? …I believe it is cruel to the hounds because they are force-trained to kill one of their own kind - a form of cannibalism that is virtually unknown elsewhere in the animal kingdom.A fox is not a natural prey for a hound nor for any breed of dog. The hounds are trained from puppies to eat the meat of older, sicker dogs that have exhausted their useful life. They are starved in kennels and gradually introduced to the meat of their ancestors.By this process they are turned into killers of their own species. This cruelty also includes throwing fox clubs, alive, into a pack of hungry dogs…. Roy Tallis Clifton Bristol (letter)

Argus 19.9.02 Hunting is a useless and vicious charade - Jimmy Hill showed us all just how shallow he really is with his comments about foxhunting… Hunting is cruel and unnecessary and so are the people who support it. Neither Jimmy Hill, The Argus nor the Countryside Alliance will stop a ban being introduced. -Norman Rayner, Crabtree Lane, Lancing (letter in archive)
Argus 18.9.02 I have no particular feelings one way or another on the hunting debate but I must take issue with Jill Brown (Letters, September 12), who states that foxes kill only to eat… We had a smallholding on the South Downs for many years and, on several occasions, our entire small flock of free-range hens was killed by a fox and just left strewn in a bloodbath up the field - not eaten at all, just all dead and lying there… -Wendy Taylor, Wendy.taylor67@ntlworld.com (letter in archive)
Argus 12.9.02 Wild for it - I was very surprised to read about Jimmy Hill's attitude to the possible banning of fox hunting (The Argus, September 7)… Foxes can teach us a lot. If humans were as caring to each other, there would be far fewer broken families. How many husbands and fathers would trek miles and miles for food then, although starving themselves, give it to their wife and children?... -Jill Brown, Cuckfield Road, Hurstpierpoint (letter in archive)
Argus 7.9.02 Jimmy Hill plans hunt protest Football pundit Jimmy Hill has vowed to break the law if the Government bans fox-hunting…. Animal rights campaigners have reacted angrily to his comments and are hoping the police take strict action against him if his illegal protest goes ahead…. Jaine Wild, of West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group, said: "The police have put a lot of energy and resources into stopping us from attending hunts and demonstrating legally. "I hope they show the same attitude and manpower if hunting gets banned and people like Jimmy Hill take illegal actions."… (story in archive)
Argus 7.9.02 Hunt dilemma - Most MPs represent town and city constituencies where foxes are often seen as cunning but cute animals causing no more trouble than the occasional raid on a dustbin…. Many villagers regard hunting as a worthwhile tradition which also helps keep down the number of foxes. Among them is sports commentator Jimmy Hill from Hurstpierpoint who plans to defy any ban on hunting… The big countryside march in London in a fortnight's time will show considerable rural support for hunting. No wonder Tony Blair keeps putting off a decision. With opposition like this, the unpopular legislation may be an own goal. (story in archive)
Telegraph 6.9.02 Peterborough: Hill ready to ride again …. chin-waggling football pundit Jimmy Hill, now in his seventies, is getting in on the act with a pledge to break the law and return to the hunting field if the sport is banned… (story)

Argus 19.9.02 Peter Allen (Letters, September 12) is right to say Karen Hoy's article showed atrocious behaviour by supposed hunt supporters…. I would not be surprised if the acts had been committed by anti-hunt supporters who, despite their love of animals, often seem happy to cause suffering to people and their pets in support of their campaign…. The biggest issue about hunting is not the fox's welfare but hatred of the supposed "upper-class" huntsman. For the record, I am certainly not upper class. I also live in the town and cannot afford to move to the countryside. -Name and address supplied (letter in archive)
Argus 12.9.02 Both sides guilty of repellent behaviour - In response to Karen Hoy ("Who are the hunted?", The Argus, September 4), firstly, I and all sane people totally and unreservedly condemn the alleged action of the "fanatical bloodsports activists" referred to… On the other hand, pro-hunting people, myself included, have been subjected to similar actions for years with barely a word mentioned in the Press. I have had two visits to my home in the night, resulting in more than £7,000 of damage. I have had to evacuate a primary school next door when a suspect package was delivered. I have received razor blades in the post, letters threatening to kill my children and abusive phone calls at all hours of the night… It would not surprise me if some of these recent actions had been carried out by anti-hunt activists in an attempt to smear honest, law-abiding hunting folk…. Graeme Worsley, Effingham Lane, Copthorne (letter in archive)
Argus 12.9.02 What next? Thanks to Karen Hoy for revealing the atrocious behaviour and true nature of many hunters and their supporters… What outlet will they find when hunting is banned forever? -Peter Allen, Chute Avenue, High Salvington (letter in archive)
Argus 4.9.02 Hunter and the hunted - by Karen Hoy …FANATICAL bloodsports activists have launched a campaign of terror against key figures in the animal rights movement as the fight to preserve hunting turns uglier and nastier… The tactics have been stepped up as countryside rights campaigners prepare to converge on London for The Countryside Alliance Liberty and Livelihood march, which accuses the Government of trying to ruin the rural way of life… Jaine Wild, 47, who has been involved with animal rights causes since she was 18, found a deer's head in the garden of her and her husband Simon's home in Bognor… In one incident she was knocked unconscious by a horse on a hunt in what she believes was a deliberate attack… Carla Lane, the television comedy script writer and animal rights activist, was distraught when the body of a mutilated fox was found hanging from a metal pole outside her home in Horsted Keynes, near Haywards Heath… The Countryside Alliance has denounced such tactics but animal rights campaigners fear militants are intensifying their intimidatory tactics… But while Mr and Mrs Wild and Ms Lane use legitimate and lawful methods of protest to show their opposition to what they consider cruelty, some animal rights activists have resorted to violence or threats of violence to intimidate individuals or groups they consider to be taking part in animal cruelty… One call which Neil Bartlett made from a phone box in Sussex led to 400 people being evacuated from the London Eye wheel… The Countryside Alliance condemns violence as a means of promoting its support for hunting, shooting and fishing…. (story in archive)

Western Morning News 19.9.02 TIME TO GET REAL ABOUT RURAL ISSUES - I have just been watching a television news item on hunting. A film was being shown of a terrier with its head down a hole in the ground. There was no blood. There were no blood-curdling yelps or screams. Just a little dog, with its head down a hole, wagging its tail. It may or may not have been hunting, it was impossible to say. However, while this was being shown, the TV company was also running a commentary of horrific propaganda, which gave a very different description of blood-chilling cruelty from that which was clearly before our eyes… I think the media should get real about this question and certainly make sure first that they know what they are talking about before offering any commentary of their own. Tess Nash, Helston (letter)

Western Morning News 19.9.02 Mistaken identity - YOU published a letter (Western Morning Views, September 17), purportedly written by me but obviously sent in by an articulate person who holds views about the Countryside Alliance that are diametrically opposed to the views held by me… I am a member of the Countryside Alliance and my wife and I will be joining several hundred thousand people who will be supporting the Liberty & Livelihood March on Sunday… David Owen, Exmouth
We published the original letter in good faith, Mr Owen, although we now accept it was not from you - Editor (letter)
Western Morning News 17.9.02 Poor London - SO all the village idiots from the hamlets of the Westcountry will be joining together for the pro-hunt march in September. Heaven for us down here, but I feel sorry for Londoners who are about to witness verbal diarrhoea, and placards spouting rural manure. David Owen, Exmouth (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 19.9.02 ALLIANCE HIJACKED RURAL ISSUES - The hunting debate has largely dominated the agenda in recent times. I don't have a great interest in hunting, but it is difficult to understand how any right- thinking person can possibly enjoy seeing a fox hunted by other animals and then torn apart…. JAMES NORRIS via email (letter)

Leicester Mercury 19.9.02 HE'S CORRECT - T r Blake, (Postbag, Sept 10) is absolutely correct! A ban on hunting with dogs will be discriminatory against those few members of the British population who make a "sport" of chasing animals to the point of exhaustion and then having them torn to pieces by their dogs. Coun Peter Valentine, Lib-Dem, Oadby, (letter)
Leicester Mercury 10.9.02 A BAN ON FOX HUNTING WILL BE DISCRIMINATORY - I write with reference to the Government's proposal to ban fox hunting as a cruelty to animals sport. The Government discussed a subject of cruelty in only one area of animal husbandry ie: fox hunting. This is surely discrimination against one fraternity of the people of the country. For example what is more cruel than shooting of game birds, fishing, breeding chickens for eggs in battery cages, even down to breeding animals for food in inhumane conditions, coming down to force feeding geese and ducks for pate which the Government and the country turn a blind eye to and sells these goods for profit on our supermarket shelves… T R Blake, Melton Mowbray (letter)

Manchester Evening News 19.9.02 Hunting is part of my heritage uses all the usual descriptive and defaming comments to describe those who, like me, hunt with dogs (MEN, Sept 6). However, I was dismayed to see that although his use of the English language is colourful and descriptive, his grasp of the facts of hunting is non-existent… Hunting is part of my cultural heritage. It has taken place for thousand of years and is perfectly natural for me and others like me to hunt. Because you don't like or agree with it does not mean that it is wrong. A J H Pilkington, Lancashire County Chairman, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Manchester Evening News 19.9.02 CONGRATULATIONS to Andrew Grimes on his article on stag hunting and also the MEN for publishing it. Most of the media seem to prefer to brush this side of hunting under the carpet… S E, Gatley (letter)

Northumberland Gazette 19.9.02 How can a ban be policed? - IF Tony Blair and his Government manage to turn over a million law abiding citizens into criminals by banning fox-hunting, I would be intrigued to see how he intends to police the situation…. Aidan Ruff, Ellingham Hall, Ellingham. (letter)

Northumberland Gazette 19.9.02 Some freedom of choice RE Dennis Burton and his “Freedom of choice” and “Peaceful business of the countryside”… Oh yes, man does have freedom of choice when it comes to his treatment of other living creatures. D Elsey, 4 The Avenue, Swarland. (letter)
Northumberland Gazette 5.9.02 Freedom of choice believer - I WISH to take issue with your correspondent Mrs Win Kelly (August 29th.)… Why, therefore did she not go up to the huntsmen involved and complain?... I do not believe for one moment that kennel men ill-treat their charges as she said… I feel I should mention I do not hunt, shoot, or fish, but I do believe in freedom of choice. Dennis Burton, Felton Park, Felton, Morpeth (letter)
Northumberland Gazette 29.8.02 Day out at the trials spoiled - WE are writing to bring your attention to a day spoiled, at the Horse Driving Trials And Country Fair at Alnwick Castle. After the hounds parade, the dogs were being moved back towards the top of the field by two red coated men riding horses ( presumably the huntsmen ) and one of them cracked a very large whip around the dogs and the dogs were yelping with pain and one was definitely hit if not more… How true that nothing brutalizes people more than cruelty to animals, particularly relevant to people who take pleasure in hunting with dogs. Mrs Win Kelly, Morpeth. (letter)

Telegraph 19.9.02 Controls are urged on guns and snares By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - The Government's proposed Bill regulating hunting must also cover shooting and snaring if it is to be seen as fair and lead to an improvement in animal welfare, the Middle Way group said yesterday…. James Barrington, an adviser to the Middle Way and a former director of the League Against Cruel Sports, said the debate was "flawed from the start" and was only valid "if you could also apply it to activities which would take over if hunting was banned"…. (story)

Lewisham News Shopper 19.9.02 Foxes are wild and dangerous - I would refer to countless letters I have read regarding the dilemma of foxes. I had a seven-year-old miniature Yorkshire terrier who last year was attacked in our garden by a fox with two cubs. It broke her nose and pallet and she underwent expensive and painful surgery… However, on July 3 this year, it was a warm, dry day, the back door was open and at 9.15pm there was a scuffle outside. My husband and I ran to check on the dog. There were seven foxes with three cubs outside, all about to leap the fences, and sadly, no sign of our dog… My neighbour found remains of our dog and it became absolutely conclusive she was taken and destroyed by foxes… please spare a thought for those of us who have lost our beloved, innocent little pets for no other reason than to be tormented and killed. One letter I read tells of how the writer feeds foxes by hand! These are wild animals, please let them remain wild and do not encourage them into our gardens. Nicola Bach, Long Lane, Bexleyheath (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 19.9.02 IT'S A REAL HARE-RAISING EXPERIENCE! Coming soon to a field near you. No, it's not a branch of Insomniacs Anonymous trying to count sheep to get some shut-eye. They are, in fact, keeping their eyes peeled for hares…. But this apparently hare-brained idea to observe and record the behaviour of rare animals has been dreamed up by Severn Trent Water staff… (story)

FoxNews 19.9.02 LOS ANGELES — Critics of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are pushing for an end to the group's tax-exempt, non-profit status following revelations the organization gave money to eco-terrorists blamed for a Vail ski resort fire and other acts of violence. Records show that PETA, known for its publicity stunts on behalf of animal rights, has given monetary support to the Environmental Liberation Front, which has been blamed for the Vail attack and other acts. "We did it, we did it. We gave $1,500 to the ELF for a specific program," said PETA President Lisa Lange…. (story)

Cambridge News 19.9.02 Lab link fury sparks crematorium protest - ANIMAL rights protesters were today due to target Cambridge Pet Crematorium over its involvement with Huntingdon Life Sciences. Campaigners with the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty group (SHAC) say they have proof the facility burns animals used in experiments by HLS… Natasha Taylor, of SHAC, said: "We have been contacted by horrified pet owners nationwide whose beloved companion animals have been cremated and buried at Cambridge Pet Crematorium… (story)

Western Morning News 19.9.02 Westcountry children think the Government should do more to help farm animals, according to a survey out this week. In a poll carried out among 610 seven to 14-year-olds, 70 per cent said the Government should be doing more to help improve farm animal welfare. This has prompted the RSPCA Freedom Food scheme to appeal to the nation's children to volunteer to help draft a Children's Farm Animal Welfare Charter…. (story)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 19.9.02 KEEP ANIMALS OUT OF CIRCUS - I am writing to protest about circuses with animals in. Did you know that in some circuses animals are whipped just because they can't do something right. I believe it is very wrong to use animals for shows and money because the animals need to be free… Lauren E Amor, of Newcastle (letter)

Isle of Wight County Press 12.9.02 DOLPHIN FAN HORRIFIED BY 'JAWS' TALK - From Mrs Joan Robson, Badgers, 9 Foxhills, Ventnor: I BELIEVE that your front page article on Georges the dolphin was alarmist (CP, Sept 6)… I am a great dolphin fan and belong to International Dolphin Watch, an organisation through which Dr Horace Dobbs, a leading authority in dolphin healing methods, conducts his Operation Sunflower programme…. (letter in archive)

Times 18.9.02 Rural groups want their version of urban summit BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE Prime Minister has been warned that next month’s two-day “urban summit” will fuel resentment among country dwellers that ministers do not care about them… (story)

North Yorkshire Advertiser 18.9.02 Huntsman makes Argentinian match … Joint master of Northern Counties Hunt, Ulsterman Garry Corbett, an architectural historian with English Heritage, married Argentinian Texan, Audrey Trotti, a student in architectural studies at Huddersfield University…. (story in archive)

Evening Standard 18.9.02 Ban extremism from the countryside by Anne McElvoy, Evening Standard.- It's become a commonplace of Blairite Britain that there isn't really any opposition to New Labour… I was struck this week by the expectant buzz around the Countryside March this Sunday - the potent combination of mass movement with frantic social preparations for dinners, parties and the idea that the March is the right thing to be associated with, morally, politically, socially. It felt, in other words, very much like an alternative political party on a roll… Mr Blair fears abstract coalitions of discontent far more than he fears any foe in Parliament, existing or prospective. The Countryside Alliance is informal in structure, unwieldy, unaccountable. That is precisely what makes it so potent… Asked why the Alliance tolerated as a leading campaigner Brian Hughes - the huntsman who organised the blockade of the Severn Bridge two years ago and claims now that there are "hundreds and thousands or people ready to break the law, disrupt Parliament, whatever it takes" - the Alliance's urbane chief executive Richard Burge replied that the organisation's job was to get the ban lifted "so that Brian doesn't have to go to these lengths"… This is the language of Sinn Fein talking about the IRA… Mr Burge should not slide into passive acceptance of extremism by failing to say clearly what is not acceptable behaviour or threat for anyone associated with the Countryside Alliance… (story)

Scotsman 18.9.02 Bleeding hearts on the rural bandwagon - Fordyce Maxwell - THE professional peasant annoys me almost as much as those who bemoan, through rose-tinted spectacles and a comfortable income, the passing of a way of rural life they couldn’t wait to leave. Jack Webster was a classic example, off to be a show-business writer on the old Daily Express as soon as he could save the fare… Robin Page stayed on the farm he worked in partnership with his brother and bemoaned the passing of the English peasant. Whether the £100,000 or so a year that Robin trousered from his newspaper columns and television programmes went through the farm accounts, who knows?... CONFUCIUS said something along the lines of the true man looking within himself for the answer while the weak man blames someone else. Pitching it strong, but I’ve no intention of joining the "Liberty and Livelihood" march on Sunday. That, as I’ve said here before, is not going to be about rural jobs and services and farming. It’s going to be about fox-hunting, no matter how the organisers try to spin it, and in the great scheme of things the end of fox-hunting is not the end of a rural way of life…. The list of bleeding hearts is endless. I can only say that if Clarissa Dickson Wright, Sir John Scott, Camilla Parker Bowles, Robin Page, WF Deedes and a few dozen like them were fronting my cause, I would be a mighty uncomfortable marcher…. (story)

Western Daily Press 18.9.02 PUT AN END TO FEUDAL WAYS - In reply to Ray Bird and R Harford, as usual with pro-hunt supporters, I find their letters muddled… I had a cousin (now deceased) who was a tenant farmer who, as part of the contract on his tied farm, had to minister to the hunt. Once, after a major operation, he was asked to ride second horse for a hunt master, even though he was still recovering. When he was young, rural working-class people had little choice but to work for hunts to keep a roof over their heads and eat. The hunt have never assisted the rural poor. They have always been a large part of the problem... R Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 18.9.02 HUNTING IS FOR BYGONE DAYS There was a time when villages were self-contained, in that people were born and grew up there, and their children also lived in and worked on farms and estates around… The people who moved into the estates and villages no longer had to rely on things like hunting to provide sport. There was radio, TV, buses, trains and planes. The towns could be reached by their cars, and they could even visit foreign lands! But an arrogant few got quite annoyed when it was suggested that, with all the other forms of entertainment, there was no need for the hunt… It's time that those trying to hang on to a 'sport' that belongs to the past grew up… Mrs M Turner Trowbridge Wiltshire (letter)

Shropshire Star 18.9.02 Concerns over staff of groups - I am concerned about the level of violence used by the two anti-hunt groups who were mentioned in the Shropshire Star on Monday, August 19. First the League Against Cruel Sports was reported to the Department of Trade and Industry in early spring 2001 for knowingly recruiting staff with a history of violence and intimidation - chief of which was their new press officer who had served a sentence for assaulting a police officer with an iron bar. Secondly, the National Anti-Hunt Campaign is fronted by Neil Hansen, a man with a reportedly long history of intimidation, the principal feature of which was a conviction for intimidating an eight-months pregnant woman and a two-year sentence for explosives offences… Mr J Brown, Ellesmere (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 18.9.02 Lobbyists wake up to loss of services - So the pro-hunting lobby has suddenly discovered the loss of rural services. What a coincidence when the hunt is under threat of being banned… If a farmer has a problem with a rogue fox, he knows how to deal with it and usually does so… Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 18.9.02 RICH FARMERS REAP REWARDS - In seeking to heighten the profile of British agriculture the Country Alliance seems to be in danger of shooting itself in the foot by making the public ever more aware of subsidies and tax privileges enjoyed by farmers… R J COX Stoke-on-Trent (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 18.9.02 CASH QUERY - I refer to the report that the Derby RSPCA fears closure unless it can raise £100,000 to cover running costs annually. I can't understand why the RSPCA doesn't use some of the money it inherits through legacies and doesn't cut down on the money it spends on press campaigns to abolish fox hunting to pay for the shelter. D. Monk, Fife Street, Derby (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 18.9.02 ANIMAL CRUELTY For the first time since the foot and mouth crisis last year, live lambs have been exported from Dover, despite the public protests against this trade. The farmers fully realise the suffering their animals endure in severely over-crowded trucks, often without food or water for journeys which can last for 40 hours or more…. I am sure that we all want to see farming go forward in a way that is humane and sustainable, and not tarnished by live animal exports. GRACE HALL, Highweek Road, Newton Abbot (letter)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 18.9.02 Animals in medical research - HELEN Whitehead (Gazette & Herald, letters, July 25) is presumably healthy so can afford to be against the use of animals in medical research… THOMAS BROMLEY, Littlehampton, West Sussex (letter in archive)

Times 17.9.02 All those anti-hunt protesters should burger off - SIMON BARNES - We live in a nation of horse-lovers. It’s the riders they can’t stand. Which brings us, yet again, to hunting. The issue is supposed to be cruelty to animals. Which is fair enough: hunting is cruel, and that’s why I don’t do it. But if we’re against cruelty to animals, there are many more serious targets… I’m not terribly black, and I don’t care for discrimination against black people. I don’t care for discrimination against country people either… I am also vegetarian, for reasons that are neither illogical nor sentimental. I have more respect for some one who kills, cleans and cooks his own rabbit than any anti-hunting person with a burger in his hand… I disagree with hunting, but I defend a person’s right to do it. Opposition to hunting is nothing to do with love of foxes, it is a fossilised relic of the class war: that bit that says that people on horses are rich, snooty, arrogant, violent and cruel, so they should be dragged off their horses and kicked to death… True power is no longer to be found among the landed gentry. It lies with multinational corporations. If you wish to reform society, they are a far more logical target — but an awfully tough one. So instead, we have been redirected to the long-outdated hate-figure of the toff on a horse. Let’s spoil his fun and pretend we are doing it because we are better people than him… (story)

Guardian 17.9.02 Brutal facts of rural life - As a country dweller, it is clear to me that Jeanette Winterson's piece on hunting (Comment, September 16) is written by a city dweller who has been conned by her new neighbours… I'm sure that many involved in the slave trade were also pleasant people… Joanna Jones, Levens, Cumbria
Jeanette Winterson is to be applauded (but I bet she won't be) on her change of mind about hunting. I have also travelled in the same direction. I don't much like the notion of hunting with dogs, but I like still less the vulgar authoritarianism of New Labour…. as a lifelong socialist I hate to say this - I'm against you, Tony. Tally ho! Paul Noel Wilson, Salterforth, Lancashire
Jeanette Winterson raised a telling point about a 13-year-old being "desensitised" by being allowed to go ratting with his terriers. Far from the boy in question being the one being desensitised, I would apply this description to the majority of his peer group who spend hours attached to their computers, indulging themselves in the most brutal and bloody thirsty games imaginable… Jessica Leigh-Pemberton, Faringdon, Oxon (letters)
Guardian 16.9.02 Why simple city folk are the scourge of the countryside - Policies are made by those who are out of touch with nature - Jeanette Winterson - When I moved to the Cotswolds eight years ago, I was anti-hunt… Yet I was wary of imposing my views on people I had only just met, so I decided to test myinstincts against the reality of the situation. I agreed to let the hunt continue to ride over my land for a season. In the meantime, I learned to ride and I spent a lot of time listening and watching. I became friendly with a kennel man, who earns very modestly, lives in a tied cottage, and is content… The Countryside March next weekend will not be packed with unspeakable toffs and sinister slit-eyed badger baiters; it will be a march of ordinary people who feel they are being slowly bled by an urban drive to make the countryside anaemic. I keep hens. If you keep hens you also keep rats. Nobody is interested in a rat protection bill, so you can kill them as you wish. The best way - and the most dramatic - is to get in a terrier man… The man who does this for me has a 13-year-old boy who goes to a school in town. He told me how his teacher had overheard him talking about our ratting weekend, and made an example of him before the class…. "No," said James, and tried to explain that Warfarin, the poison of choice, takes three days to kill a rat, which bleeds to death through the stomach. Any animal or bird that eats the rat will be poisoned too… I hope that the international crisis will not be used as an excuse to dismiss the march as minority moaning. The problems of this small island remain the same in miniature as the problems presently facing the whole world: how do we live side by side, without forcing everyone to live in the same way? (story)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 HUNTING IS A BATTLEGROUND - To understand the full scope of the March for Liberty and Livelihood, one must remember that David Blunkett chose to insult all farmers as "subsidy junkies"… James Williams, Wellington Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 16.9.02 MARCH AGAINST THE BULLIES To understand the full scope of the Countryside March, one must remember that David Blunkett chose to insult all farmers as "subsidy junkies'… If anybody doubts this wider agenda, how would he explain the Government's recent decision for all compensation received by rural businesses after the slaughter of millions of livestock to be taxed as income? Putting the boot in on people that are down. This march is against bullies and control freaks. James Williams West Buckland Wellington Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 OTTERS HAD A CLOSE SHAVE IN SURVIVAL BATTLE - Reading Tony Evan's letter "Leave otters in peace", one can't help but reflect how near we came to losing this animal… Without similar action, how long for the hare? R A Gagie, Paignton (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 Follow nature's way - THE pleasure of working and living in the countryside is repeatedly blighted by individuals, or groups, who are unaware of nature's "way of life"…. Perhaps our so-called representatives in Westminster would allow the people in the countryside to work with nature, to compromise, allowing the leisure pursuits of mankind not to clash too extremely with nature's own methods of population self control, for in that way the country's tourist industry and its ancillaries would benefit the rural economy and avoid taxpayers' money being used to support lengthening dole queues. Lord Clifford, Chudleigh (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 RIDICULOUS REALITY OF POLICING A NEW LAW - Adopting a very worst-case scenario stance, should hunting with dogs be banned, how on earth can the powers-that-be possibly police this law? After all the packs of hounds have been put down, owners with more than one dog of the breeds bred for hunting, eg terriers, spaniels, greyhounds and whippets, labs and flatcoats would have to register their animals, just in case they have been reportedly seen chasing rabbits…. This may seem ridiculous, but following this Government's line of thinking, all this is certainly possible. Roy Williams, Callington (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 Animal rights support - YOUR correspondent J Ward-Hayne recently asked what animal rights lobby donated large sums of money to every Labour government prior to the 1997 election (WMN, August 20). The International Fund for Animal Welfare (UK), not a charity but a company limited by guarantee, who resolved not to have "ltd" added to its name "loaned" £600,000 to the Political Animal Lobby (PAL) which in turn donated £1million to the Labour Party, followed by a further £100,000… W J Sweet, Mawgan Helston (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 PICTURE SHOWS WHY THIS 'SPORT' MUST END If anyone was ever in doubt as to the cruelty involved in staghunting, then I hope they read the account of the last moments of a stag in the WMN (August 10)…. Tom Yandle, the chairman of Devon and Somerset Staghounds and those involved, should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves… F Cleaves, Par, Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 Opinions ignored - YOUR correspondent John Phelps characterises foxhunting as "this needless activity". Out of 600 sheep farmers surveyed: 93 per cent stated that hunting with hounds should not be made a criminal offence. 82 per cent reported loss of livestock due to fox predation on their farm. 76 per cent considered that maintaining the ability to control foxes with hounds is very important. 65 per cent said that fox numbers had increased since the ban on hunting due to foot and mouth. 81 per cent declared that further increase in fox numbers would have a negative effect on sheep breeding businesses… J Ward Hayne, Modbury (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 PROTESTS OF 70 YEARS AGO WERE NO DIFFERENT - Your correspondent Joanna Stobbs ("New party would rate true anti-hunt feeling", WMN, September 3) sums up the hunting issue admirably. I would not, however, have thought "the vast majority of the population" ever had strong feelings on the subject, being either oblivious or indifferent to it, as now… Looking through my copy of Henry Williamson's Wild Red Deer of Exmoor the other day, I came across a report - partly drawn from the North Devon Herald - of a protest meeting held by the League Against Cruel Sports at Lynton Town Hall at the opening of the 1931 hunting season. Although some 70 years ago, the lurid language, rudeness and attempted proof by assertion were identical with today's… John Hillier, Burnham-On-Sea Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 A duty to all - IN his reply to an article by Mark Daniel, John Phelps (WMN, September 10) concludes by suggesting that Labour need not be concerned about alienating "a substantial part of the electorate" because this part of the electorate, "the hunting fraternity", is unlikely to have been enthusiastically pro-Labour in the first place… A government in office has a duty to all of the electorate - not just those who voted for it… If the party we vote for is not elected we are disappointed; if our government fails in its duty to us we are alienated. Jonathan Higgins, Totnes (letter)
Western Morning News 10.9.02 Mark Daniel (WMN, August 31) appears to be unaware that a decision has already been taken by the dominant House of Parliament (Commons) to ban hunting with dogs for sport… John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 A MORAL IMPERATIVE TO TRIM BACK PREDATORS - Hunting - no doubt embracing shooting, fishing, hunting with dogs, and for a whole range or vermin or game - is now characterised as being the moral equivalent of "child abuse, rape and torture"!... As for gamekeepers, and perhaps even soldiers, who carry live bullet guns to work, one might assume they are both the moral equivalent of Adolf Hitler. Tom Jones, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 Imposed views - BOTH Lyn Sawkins and J Green (WMN, August 20), in common with the majority of anti-hunting correspondents, resorted to sarcasm and rudeness about people they don't know…. Hunting people do not try to impose their views on others, much less inveigle them to join in, although, of course, anyone is welcome to hunt if he/she wishes. We do not submit frequent ill-informed verbal attacks on those whose views and opinions differ from ours. C Eke, Holsworthy (leter)
Western Morning News 27.8.02 Listen to the people - I HAVE just read Lyn Sawkins' superb letter (WMN, August 20) opposing the hunting of animals. When is the Government going to abide by the wishes of the majority and stop this cruelty to animals? John Meredith, Chagford (letter)
Western Morning News 20.8.02 HUNTSMEN HAVE THEIR OWN RULES ABOUT WHAT IS CRUEL - Recently you published a picture of the last moments of a stag which had been hunted by the Devon and Somerset Staghounds. I would like the hunt responsible for this to explain to me (and I am sure thousands of other people) how they can call this sport… Lyn Sawkins, Holsworthy (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 EXCITEMENT OF THE HUNT CAN BE RETAINED - On Sunday, while the pro-hunt lobby converges on London, the majority who oppose hunting will be going about their daily lives, many of them enjoying the countryside. For all their noise and publicity, the fact remains that the marchers are a minority… The tradition and excitement of the hunt can all be retained if live quarry hunts convert to the humane sport of drag hunting… Barbara Gardner, Ivybridge (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 FURTHER DELAYS WILL LEAD TO CIVIL UNREST - Paul Andrews (WMN, August 31) is probably right to say that a hunting ban may lead to disorder, but failure to impose a ban will certainly lead to civil unrest. I, and many other people, will definitely not tolerate any further attempts by the Labour Government to delay or frustrate the democratic process…. During the Second World War I spent much of my childhood in a hunting community on the Mendips and was also sickened by these blood-sportsmen… John Phelps, Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 31.8.02 HUNTING BAN 'MAY LEAD TO DISORDER' - PAUL ANDREWS - The MINISTER for Rural Affairs was yesterday warned that if the Government bans hunting there would be a campaign of civil disorder… There to watch his visit was Scott Smale, an abattoir worker from Dulverton who regularly takes part in hunts on Exmoor. He said: "The Government needs to understand that if they ban hunting there will be thousands of people affected who are prepared to take action. We will take tractors to London and block roads, block ports or spray slurry in the city…" (story)

Cumberland News & Star 17.9.02 FOXING CLEVER OVER REAL COUNTRYSIDE ISSUES - SEVERAL tuts to T Glennen in his response to my letter. Surely he has been keeping tabs on everything going on, and is aware that the "Child Attacked By Fox" case is widely discredited…. JUDY BELFORD, Port Carlisle (story)
Cumberland News & Star 11.9.02 On the fox's side - JUDY Belford's letter (News & Star, September 3) "In for the Kill", shows how correct my own letter of August 29 was… In Judy's letter there is no mention of the fox that injured a child recently… T GLENNEN, Morton, Carlisl (letter)

Shropshire Star 17.9.02 Shooting foxes is a better way - I read with amazement the remarks made by David Jones, of the David Davies Hunt, regarding the shooting of foxes (Star, September 12)… The remarks that you make are a definite slur on the hundreds of legitimate shooting clubs and syndicates that are to be found throughout this land… I know the damage that foxes can do during the lambing time, Mr Jones. I was often out at 5.30am to check the flock and stand over lambing ewes with foxes in close proximity… Sandra Jones, Ruyton-XI-Towns (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 17.9.02 HUMANS WITH KILLER INSTINCT - According to letters from Mrs J Gingell and S B Thornton, many of us are misinformed about hunting. They say that the fox, for instance, is vermin. It kills needlessly, it attacks young lambs and chickens for fun… Perhaps your correspondents would further enlighten us as to what despicable crimes are committed by deer and hares to justify the appalling things that are done to them in the name of 'sport' and 'control'? Ann Richardson Warminster Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.9.02 ARGUMENTS DON'T RING TRUE - Mrs J Gingell's comments about foxes tearing animals apart for "fun and not for food" has a familiar ring about it… Tony Blair is trying to save animals and birds from the sick human beings who kill them for fun. Please tell me what atrocities the hare and stag commit? Tony Shortt Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.9.02 Your reader who wrote that hunting is a trivial issue is right to suggest there are more important topics of discussion. However, if there is legislation to ban hunting, this will give cause for concern that uninformed views are taken seriously… Is it any wonder there are people who say they will ignore legislation to prevent hunting when courts pick and choose the laws they will enforce or ignore? Mrs J Gingell Fishponds Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 12.9.02 HUNTING IS SUCH A TRIVIAL ISSUE - What a shame to see yet another mass of arguments in your letters pages concerning hunting… A lot of them tend to spill over into arguments over democracy and the environment, when really it revolves around a minority of people killing a very small minority of animals. Surely more are killed in horrific fashion by cars every year than a handful of people hunting?... R Norton Barton St David Somerset (letter)

North West Evening Mail 17.9.02 HUNT BAN ENDANGERS FOXES - Can the RSPCA and IFAW really believe what they are saying about the implications of their so-called scientific research into Britain's fox population?... Those in favour of hunting have never, to my knowledge, claimed that hunting is the most efficient method of fox control, if efficiency is measured by the number of foxes killed… The ecological value in hunting is not in the numbers killed but in its discriminatory aspect - a hunted fox stands a good chance of survival if it is wily and fit… Alison Bolt, Leece (letter)

Western Daily Press 17.9.02 TB TESTS IN CATTLE CANNOT BE RELIED UPON - Perhaps farmers or vets reading your columns could shed some fresh light on TB? Badgers are still blamed for causing cattle herd TB breakdowns, particularly in closed herds where no stock are bought in. However, what many do not realise is that the cattle TB test is only 80 per cent accurate, so that some early or late cases are not picked up as reactors… M Hancox Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Times 17.9.02 Huntingdon hit by US campaign BY MARK COURT - HUNTINGDON LIFE Sciences (HLS), the UK animal-testing group that moved its domicile to the US after a violent campaign by animal rights activists, was yesterday left with only two market-makers in the US after an escalation of the activists’ campaign… (story)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 LIVE ANIMAL EXPORTS FILL MARKET DEMAND - Farmers are frequently told that we have to provide what the market requires, but when the market requires that we export live animals for slaughter we are immediately criticised for fulfilling that market requirement… There are laws governing the transport of live animals in this country and in Europe. Those laws are quite strict and require rest periods and the provision of water for animals in transit. If Compassion in World Farming or any other welfare organisation has verifiable evidence that those laws are being abused, it is their responsibility to take that information to the appropriate authorities and put pressure on them to take action against those who are flouting the law. Ivor Dennis, Holsworthy (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 MAKE A STAND AGAINST THE SLAUGHTER OF 4,000 DUCKS - Did you know that 4,000 ducks are facing slaughter to satisfy Spanish conservationists? An official cull of our entire population of ruddy ducks is likely because our European neighbour sees the species as a "genetic menace"… Mrs Frances Wicks, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 17.9.02 COULD HUMANS ENDURE BATTERY HEN'S LIFE? Gloria Schofield (WMN, August 15) writes that intensive farming is "nowhere near as abhorrent", yet, how long had the battery hens been caged and what date were the hens delivered from the hatchery?... Ivor Dennis (WMN, August 9) thinks it's "better for hens to die from shock" when de-beaked, apparently from his letter. Perhaps we could test how he'd like a small part of his anatomy amputated with a red hot blade and ask his opinion of that?...Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 9.8.02 ARE HENS MISERABLE OR NOT? - In her letter (WMN, July 30), Louise Piddington raises several questions which I will attempt to answer. Anyone who has had many years of caring for animals will know, from experience, whether they are happy and contented or just plain miserable and hens which are cawing, as they invariably do in cages, cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered to be miserable…. Ivor Dennis Holsworthy (letter)
Western Morning News 30.7.02 HENS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE CAGED FOR LIFE - With regard to Mr Dennis's letter on battery hens, how does he know that they are happy when calling? How does he know "hens do not look at life as we look at it"?... Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 9.7.02 WHO SAYS THAT BATTERY HENS ARE IN PAIN OR DISTRESS? - It would be interesting to know where Gloria Schofield obtained the information which she provides in her article on battery hens. It is full of everything except the facts… Gloria claims that battery hens spend their whole lives in pain and misery. How does she know that? Where is the evidence to support that claim?... Substantially increasing the price of a basic food such as eggs may not seem significant to people who have a good income, but for poor people it can simply create even greater hardship. No doubt some people consider that the welfare of hens is much more important than human welfare! Ivor Dennis, Holsworthy Devon (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 17.9.02 'I've lost faith in animal charity' - Matthew Pardo, Evening Gazette - A furious bird owner has blasted animal charity the RSPCA, claiming it didn't act on a report his pet needed help. Kes the kestrel was bought for Gary Millar, of Ormesby, as a birthday present by his wife Christine… while he was cleaning the aviary the bird escaped… Almost straight away he was contacted by a man in Overfields, Middlesbrough, who told Gary the bird had died in a tree near his home. He told Gary he'd first seen the kestrel on the day Kes went missing at about 3.30pm. When he saw it stuck in a tree being attacked by gulls he called the RSPCA to report the animal was in distress. Although he was told an inspector would be sent to the scene one never arrived…. Gary said… : "When I was told the RSPCA were called and didn't go, it completely destroyed my faith. We're devastated that we've lost our pet. Before now we've always given to the RSPCA, they've got endless volunteers, but when we needed them they didn't come." (story)

Hull Daily Mail 16.9.02 RESIDENTS SHOULD BE THE CONCERN - My views on the Countryside Liberty & Livelihood protest have caused much response to your Letters page, led by none other than Jeremy Wilcock, chairman of Beverley & Holderness Liberal Democrats… I do not wish to enter the debate on hunting. There is far more to the countryside than this single issue. Many people I spoke to on the previous protest march in London said if that had been the only reason for the demonstration, they would not have been present…. Stephen Parnaby, Leader, East Riding Council, County Hall, Beverley (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 29.8.02 CRUEL 'SPORT' CANNOT GO ON - I rarely agree with a Liberal Democrat, especially in the East Riding, but councillor Jeremy Wilcock (Letters, Monday) was right about the march by the Countryside Alliance… look forward to the day when the cruel, barbaric ritual of chasing and ripping apart a fox for "sport" is outlawed… This march, which is an attempt to destabilise the Government, and no more, should be viewed with some scepticism. Richard Peake, Lysander Drive, Market Weighton (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 27.8.02 PUT OFFICERS IN THEIR PLACE - East Riding Council leader Stephen Parnaby's condemnation of certain officers (Mail, August 20) would seem to support the suspicion that some are out of control. In this case, officers threatened farmers with legal action unless they removed signs from their own land… Robert Bottamley, Thorn Road, Hedon. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 26.8.02 FUN'S OVER FOR FOX HUNTERS - Unlike East Riding Council Leader Stephen Parnaby, I hasten to applaud the East Riding planning officers for doing their job (Mail, August 20)… The Countryside Alliance march next month is not in broad protest against hardship in the countryside. It simply aims to put a shroud of respectability over what is in reality a final protest march in support of hunting with hounds… My message to them is "time's up - you've had your fun for far too long". They should observe the law and stop whining. Jeremy Wilcock, Beswick Parish Councillor, Local Party Chair, Beverley & Holderness Liberal Democrats, Main Street, Kilnwick. (letter)
Yorkshire Post 22.8.02 Farmers applaud council leader in row over signs - Dave Mark - THE leader of East Riding Council who condemned his own officers for "hindering" farmers by demanding they pull down signs advertising a Countryside Alliance rally says he has been overwhelmed by words of support. Conservative councillor Stephen Parnaby was incensed this week when he heard that the authority's officers had threatened farmers with legal action if they did not remove signs referring to the rally on September 22 in London… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 20.8.02 OUTCRY OVER SIGNS THREAT - East YORKSHIRE: Council leader Stephen Parnaby was today locked in a war of words with his own planning officials - over the fate of signs promoting a massive countryside protest. The Tory leader has joined a huge outcry in condemning East Riding Council officers who have threatened to prosecute farmers and landowners who refuse to remove the hoardings… farmers and landowners now risk prosecution by defying the officers' requests to remove the boards… They will face fines of up to £1,000-a-sign if they are taken to court, and £100-a-day for every day the signs stay up after they are convicted… Farmer John Duggleby, of Beswick, near Driffield, said: "If the council asks me to take it down, I will just move it to another part of the farm."… (story)

Times 16.9.02 Blair goes to the country to woo angry rural voters BY VALERIE ELLIOTT AND MELISSA KITE - TONY BLAIR is to embark on a countryside tour this autumn in an effort to allay fears that a ban on foxhunting would wreck communities and destroy jobs. On the tour, the Prime Minister will outline measures to boost jobs, services and housing. Mr Blair will say that these are the real issues, not hunting… Mr Blair believes that he must show leadership and support the government solution, which would end hare-coursing and deer hunting, but allow some licensed foxhunting. As The Times reported last week, Labour MPs are preparing to hijack the Bill and strike out the compromise clause…. (story)

Times 16.9.02 Hunt hotheads plan disruptive action BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - MILITANT hunt supporters are planning to disrupt life in the cities and to inconvenience the public in a desperate attempt to save their sport. One plan is to immobilise a motorway by covering a stretch with a ton of pop rivets that would slash vehicle tyres. Other ideas include dumping sand into sewers to block drains, and pouring dye into Welsh reservoirs that supply the Midlands. Severn Trent Water has stepped up its security… Edward Duke, a former Alliance chief executive, has admitted placing an advertisement depicting a freed IRA terrorist and an imprisoned huntsman… A member of the Bramham Moor Hunt and a businessman, he told The Times yesterday: “I placed the order for the ad, but I didn’t pay for it. I was acting for others.”… It is clear there are people determined to become martyrs for hunting, though the majority would refuse to take part in violent action. Richard Morley, a farmer and the master of the Belvoir Hunt, favoured by the Prince of Wales, is one. Aged 58 he has never been in trouble, but said yesterday: “I am prepared to go to jail for it.” …(story)

Times 16.9.02 Country grievances - Hunting should not hijack rural Britain's agenda - The decision by Ewen Cameron, Tony Blair’s rural advocate, to join this weekend’s Countryside Alliance march, with Downing Street’s encouragement, highlights the misleading caricatures that now surround this event. This is not a single-theme demonstration, led by Tory fox-hunters implacably hostile to the Labour Government. Nor is the Government so blinded by its metropolitan make-up that it knows nothing of rural Britain. The clash of town and countryside has been much exaggerated, hijacked by militants attempting to create a constituency… no one can say the Government has shut its eyes. The Curry Commission produced one of the most comprehensive long-term reviews of the future of farming and money has been found to implement most of its recommendations… The Government has issued White Papers, Green Papers and a host of other proposals on rural life, local government and planning. But the marchers on Saturday must be heard out, if not placated (story)

Independent 16.9.02 Farm folk have reason to leave the bunny hugging to townies - Simon Carr - With the countryside so much in the news you need a reliable guide to the issues…. Who knows what you would feel about foxes if you came across the eviscerated ball of wool and tendons that make up the remains of a fox attack? Town people can't even really guess at it. (story)

Telegraph 16.9.02 Prisoners of the hunting war - For the first time since the 17th century the Berwichshire hounds are not running this season. You don't have to be a hunting man to sense the void, says W F Deedes… "The condemned cell," said my daughter Lucy, as the foxhounds leaped about us. They are the prisoners of war as it were in the bitter campaign to put foxhunters out of business, which the newly fledged Scottish Parliament put early among its public duties…. Jeremy Whaley has brought in bloodhounds to chase human beings who enjoy running, as a diversion, not as a substitute for foxhunting…. (story)

Western Daily Press 16.9.02 HUNT BAN MEANS WAR, SAY WEST LANDOWNERS - Leading landowners could spearhead a rebellion if peaceful protests fail to halt a ban on hunting, it emerged yesterday. Tonight, hundreds of beacons will be lit all over the country as momentum for the Countryside Alliance march on London next weekend gathers pace… Professional huntsman Julian Barnfield, 39, was among those warning it could be the Government's last chance to reconsider because any ban would mean people had "nothing to lose"… Mr Berkeley, owner of the 12th century Berkeley Castle and estate, said: "I'm always the optimist and do not believe the politicians will pass such radical law… Henry, joint master of the Berkeley hounds, which are kept within the shadows of the ancient castle, is even more outspoken: "My position is that, even if hunting is banned and made illegal, I will carry on doing it, " he said… And Ian Farquhar, Joint Master of the neighbouring Beaufort Hunt, said landowners large and small viewed any ban as an infringement of their civil liberties which could be ignored…. (story)

Shropshire Star 16.9.02 Shooting foxes may put lives in danger By Craig MacFarlane - Shropshire farming chiefs have warned that lives could be put in danger if farmers are forced to use guns to control fox numbers… "If we are shooting foxes on farmland, then there is clearly an increased risk to those members of the public who exercise their right to roam in the countryside."… (story)

Scotsman 16.9.02 KATIE GRANT - The topsy-turvy world of foxy criminals - AS NEXT Sunday’s Liberty and Livelihood March gathers momentum, the only question on the lips of hunting enthusiasts is whether or not you are prepared to spend some time At Her Majesty’s Pleasure, swapping your breeches for prison joggers… I must stiffen my backbone. My ancestor, John Towneley, spent many years in the Tower for demanding the freedom to follow his faith. As hunting becomes the new Catholicism, I feel honour bound to do no less. (story)

Worcester Evening News 16.9.02 Close season - MUCH has been written in recent months regarding fox hunting…. Perhaps a compromise situation could be achieved by giving the fox a well-deserved break from this ritualistic slaughter. CHRIS WHATMORE, Malvern (letter in archive)

Cambridge News 16.9.02 Hypocrisy of the hunters - From Mr M Michalak - A RECENT survey disclosed that 63 per cent of all hunters would continue killing even if a ban on their so-called sport was introduced. Strange, when these same people constantly whine about the lack of rural policing…. Swaffham Road, Burwell (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 16.9.02 ANTI-HUNTING - I am writing to congratulate Plymouth for being a caring city. It was really lovely to see so many caring people signing the anti-hunt petition and speaking out at the Countryside Alliance on this barbaric lust for blood… (Miss) L TAYLOR, Plymouth (letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 13.9.02 LAWFUL SPORT - It IS the hallmark of our libertarian society where free speech is the norm that we can read a letter in the Herald from an organisation styling itself the Plymouth Hunt Saboteur's Association - for after all, hunting is lawful and sabotage is not. MAL TREHARNE, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 12.9.02 PETITIONS - Referring to your article (August 23) on foxhunting, I was in Plymouth city centre that afternoon… I went to sign the anti-hunting petition and had to go back no fewer than three times because of the number queueing….(Miss) T WATSON, Plymouth (letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 29.8.02 ANTI-HUNTING - On THURSDAY, August 22, the Countryside Alliance held a 'working dog' event in Plymouth city centre… Having been present for the entire day, I saw very few members of the public visit the Countryside Alliance stall and of those who did stop to talk to the hunting fraternity a large majority did so to express their opposition to hunting. In comparison, we had a constant stream of people, often queuing for some time, to sign a petition for a ban. Over 2,000 signatures were collected… ANDY POLLOCK, Plymouth Hunt Saboteurs Association (letter)
Western Morning News 27.8.02 WE'VE WAITED SIX LONG YEARS FOR A BAN, MR BLAIR - May I, through your columns, express our sincere thanks to the people of Plymouth for the incredible level of support they showed us when the National Anti-Hunt Campaign visited the area? All day people queued to sign our petition and to take our campaign postcards calling on the Rural Affairs Minister, Alun Michael, not to compromise on the Government's previous promises to ban hunting… Niel Hansen, NAHC London (letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 21.8.02 ANTI-HUNTING - May I, through your columns, express our sincere thanks to the people of Plymouth for the incredible level of support they showed us when we visited the area… NIEL HANSEN, National Anti-Hunt Campaign (letter)

Scotsman 16.9.02 Foxes lan Murray, the spokesman for the Scottish Countryside Alliance, stated that there are more foxes now than before the foot-and-mouth epidemic. Irrespective of whether there are or not, can he tell us why Britain, alone in the world, needs to tear these small animals to pieces?... J Richmond PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA (letter)
Scotsman 13.9.02 Agonising death - Gillian Ferguson’s excellent article on hunting and other crimes against wildlife (Opinion, 6 Sep-tember) has hit a raw nerve with the bloodsports brigade. She was spot-on when she accused the hunters of dishonesty and of relying on spurious arguments. Allan Murray’s letter (11 Sep-tember) was a case in point. He attempted to use the Burns inquiry to dispute her assertion that foxes are ripped to pieces at the end of the hunt…. The vets found that it was not possible to determine the time period from first bite to death, but what was certain from their report was that the two foxes killed by hunt terriermen endured an even more prolonged agony. LYNNE MITCHELL, Lower Mains, Dollar, Clackmannanshire (letter)
Scotsman 11.9.02 More foxes now - Gillian Ferguson (Opinion, 6 September) refuses to let the facts get in the way of producing her column. While the survey she referred to claimed that hunting has no effect on fox numbers, a recent Produce Studies survey shows that 65 per cent of farmers have reported that there are more foxes now than in February 2001… ALLAN MURRAY, Director, Scottish Countryside Alliance, Ingliston, Midlothian (letter)
Scotsman 10.9.02 Highly combustible subjects - In her article, "Why don’t the pro-hunters just admit it?" (Opinion, 6 September), Gillian Ferguson adds nothing new to the hunting debate… Emotional, ill-tempered sentiments on either side of the hunting debate only serve to build walls that can never be, and yet cry out to be, bridged… Perhaps, the time has come to focus and report on the issues of the day and the challenges facing our country, and forget throwing lit matches at highly combustible subjects. DOUGLAS ROSS, Shieldhill, Stirlingshire
Scotsman 10.9.02 …Those who live in the country are closer to nature "red in tooth and claw" than city-dwellers. Since they witness the death of wild animals on a daily basis, it is understandable that they seem more relaxed about being party to the ritualised killing of an animal they considered as vermin. JAMES BOYLE, Eastwoodmains Road, Clarkston, Glasgow (letters)
Times 7.9.02 Foxes that cross Scottish border 'will be shot' BY GILLIAN HARRIS, SCOTLAND CORRESPONDENT - FOR more than 130 years the Border Hunt has pursued foxes across the moorland separating England and Scotland. But when the Northumberland-based hunt heads out for the first meet of the season riders will need to be careful. If they cross into Scotland they will be breaking the law…. For the Border Hunt, one of the smallest in England with 58 hounds and a following of about 130, and the neighbouring College Valley North Northumberland Hunt, which covers the Cheviot Hills, the legislation in Scotland will severely restrict their activities… Richard Dodd, a Countryside Alliance organiser, said: “If a fox crosses into Scotland it will be shot but if it runs into England it has the chance of getting away. If anyone thought this legislation was going to help foxes, this proves how wrong they were.”… (story)

Times 16.9.02 Labour MPs on target to become the shooting party BY MELISSA KITE, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - LABOUR MPs have become the unlikely allies of a country pursuit which many fear could join foxhunting in the list of activities banned by the Government. A dozen MPs, including a senior minister, have developed a passion for shooting. The MPs became smitten with the sport… after being taken out during the parliamentary recess by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation… Paddy Tipping, MP for Sherwood, tops the new Labour shooting gallery which includes Alun Michael, the Minister for Rural Affairs, who is charged with deciding the future of hunting, Jack Cunningham, Martin Salter, David Drew and Peter Bradley. Sandra Gidley, a Liberal Democrat MP, is the only woman MP to have tried her hand so far… Mr Tipping, who opposes foxhunting, said he would have no moral objection to shooting wildfowl instead of clays because shooting had a conservation value. “I just don’t see any role in hunting,” he said…. (story)

Northern Echo 16.9.02 GUN LAWS - They should be banned all together. There may be an argument for allowing fairgrounds to have them for shooting for prizes, but there is no reason to have them outside to maim or blind pets or other animals… Ian Brown, Newton Aycliffe (letter in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 16.9.02 ANIMALS NOT NOW NEEDED FOR TESTING - On the subject of replacements for animal tests, Ms Myers is absolutely right to point to the fact that "existing non-animal alternatives are still being under utilised", (Viewpoint, September 9)…. Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 9.9.02 THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES TO ANIMAL TESTS - With reference to the letter People must come first (Viewpoint, September 2).Aside from the fact that no one could call it humane to conduct tests on a primate by embedding bits of metal in its skull (which is what happens), here are a number of salient points regarding the alternative to animal testing… Ms L Myers, Barnoldby Road, Waltham. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 4.9.02 ANIMAL FRIENDLY FARE - With reference to the letter Thinking in the Bath… fact both the RSPCA - in their free booklet Pretty Good (address: Causeway, Horesham, West Sussex) and also BUAV (16a Crane Grove, London)… give names and addresses of those companies who use no animal derived ingredients whatsoever in their products… Ms L Myers, Wishbone Cottage, Barnoldby Road, Waltham (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 4.9.02 THINKING IN THE BATH - These people who complain about experiments on animals, do they not realise, there are animal by-products in every bar of soap… Les Taylor, Albion House, Grimsby (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 2.9.02 PEOPLE MUST COME FIRST - In response to Pat Wickham (Viewpoint, August 14), if the use of animals in medical research is so unnecessary, where are all the non-animal dependent treatments?.. We would be interested to hear how they plan to replicate a beating heart, blood-system, breathing lungs, a central nervous system and the way these function together. These are just some of the necessities required by medical researchers when studying life threatening conditions…. Thomas Bromley, executive secretary, PO Box 3125, Littlehampton, West Sussex. (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 14.8.02 ANIMAL TESTING DELAYING MEDICAL PROGRESS - Ian Potter appears to be unwilling to be persuaded by the facts regarding the danger to humans of animal research (What If The Boot Was On The Other Foot? Viewpoint, August 8)… Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 12.8.02 WHY SHOULD ANIMALS SUFFER? - With reference to the letter in View point dated August 8, What If The Boot Was On The Other Foot? I feel that I am as well qualified to comment as anyone, since I suffer from a degenerative condition myself… It is not the fault of any animal, that Mr Potter's son - myself or indeed anyone else, suffers from dreadful illness or infirmity, so why should an animal be made to suffer?... Miss L Myers, Barnoldby Road, Waltham. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 8.8.02 WHAT IF THE BOOT WAS ON THE OTHER FOOT? - I would like to reply to the letter A danger To Our Health (Viewpoint, Tuesday August 6). I totally agree with Mr Bromley on the point of Pat Wickham turning her time and energy on to something more constructive… Pat Wickham preaches how cruel it is to test medications and drugs on animals, but she ought to stop and think about people on the other side of the fence, like my 11-year-old son who has an incurable, terminal illness and depends on various drugs to enable him to live his life with some quality... My wife and I would gladly test any drug if we thought that it would cure our son, but unfortunately we know that this won't happen in his short life… please would you, and all of the rest of the so-called do-gooders engage your brains before opening your mouths, otherwise - shut up! Ian Potter, Seaton Grove, Grimsby (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 6.8.02 A DANGER TO OUR HEALTH In RESPONSE to Thomas Bromley's often repeated standard letter on the alleged merits of animal research (Viewpoint, August 1). I would simply say that he is guilty of perpetuating a terrible wrong against humanity and nature…. Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 1.8.02 WHEN RESEARCH IS A NECESSITY - Pat Wickham (Viewpoint, July 22) is presumably healthy and can therefore afford to be against the use of animals in medical research. But what about the millions of us whose lives depend upon prescription medicines… Thomas Bromley, SIMR executive secretary (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 22.7.02 TIME TO END THIS CRUELTY - Every year, our pet-loving nation allows almost 5,000 dogs to be used in experiments in UK laboratories… Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 16.9.02 ANIMAL CARE Where is the animal welfare regarding the selling for profit of animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, gerbils, hamsters, reptiles and birds from garden centres and pet centres?... Name and address supplied (story)

Sunday Telegraph 15.9.02 Hunt ban will end in chaos, say police By David Bamber, Home Affairs Correspondent - The Government's plans to ban or restrict hunting with hounds would cause chaos in rural areas and put an unacceptable strain on the police, senior officers are warning ministers. Kevin Morris, the president of the Police Superintendents' Association, said that small rural police forces would find it impossible to cope with the illegal hunts, and protests, that would result from the legislation. He added that the police's priority should be to tackle serious crimes such as robbery and burglary, not "preventing people from fox hunting". (story)

Sunday Telegraph 15.9.02 Estate owners vow to defy ban on hunting By David Harrison, Environment Correspondent Some of Britain's biggest landowners have vowed to carry on hunting with hounds even if the Government decides to make it illegal… Edmund Vestey, who owns 17,000 acres in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, said: "There is a great deal of anger and frustration and the temptation to break the law will be there if the Government bans foxhunting…" Mr Vestey, 70, the joint master of the Thurlow Foxhounds near Haverhill, Suffolk, added: "The priorities have gone totally haywire in Parliament. Who are they to dictate to us in the countryside? It's a case of Nanny knows best when, clearly, Nanny does not." Henry Berkeley, the owner of the 6,000-acre Berkeley estate in Gloucestershire, said: "I am determined to carry on hunting for as long as I can and if that means acting illegally, then so be it…" Richard Williams, who owns a 1,800-acre estate in Snowdonia and Anglesey, said: "Without a shred of doubt we will carry on hunting… Roger Scruton, the writer and philosopher who rides with the Vale of White Horse and Beaufort hunts, said civil disobedience was inevitable in the face of "bad laws"… Joining the protesters will be a host of writers, actors and sporting stars, including Frankie Dettori, the jockey; Richard Faulds, the Olympic double trap gold medallist, Jimmy Hill, the football pundit, and Stirling Moss, the former racing driver. Other famous names who will join the protesters include the actors Edward Fox, Diana Rigg, Jeremy Irons, and Vinnie Jones; Tim Rice, the lyricist; Jim Davidson, the comedian; Marco Pierre-White and Anthony Worrall Thompson, both chefs; and the broadcasters Melvyn Bragg and Janet Street-Porter. The novelists Frederick Forsyth and Joanna Trollope, and the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes are also expected to attend (story)

Sunday Telegraph 15.9.02 There is no third way in the hunting debate - 'If you try to compromise on a moral issue, everyone just gets hacked off," said the former Labour sports minister and vociferous animal rights campaigner Tony Banks recently, dismissing the idea that there can be any deal between opponents and supporters of fox hunting. A compromise is precisely what the Government now appears to want, following last week's pantomime of official hearings at Westminster on the future of hunting… New Labour's eagerness to reconcile diametrically opposed positions has even been elevated into a political ideology called the Third Way…. For all the warm words from Alun Michael last week about finding "common ground" between the two camps, the reality is that his scheme is likely to be both expensive and unworkable. It is absurd, for instance, to believe that hunting could exist in one area and be banned in a neighbouring locality…. In truth, the concept of "utility" will be cynically used to further the class-based attack on so-called "privilege" that is the real driving force behind Labour's hatred of hunting. So telegenic Cumbrian hill farmers who might be deemed working-class will be allowed to carry on but we could see bans on the less socially "useful" huntsmen of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire… the Countryside Alliance, by colluding with this bizarre licensing arrangement, in the belief that it was being "reasonable", has fallen into a utilitarian trap set by the Government. It - and we - may soon pay a heavy price. (story)

Independent on Sunday 15.9.02 Minister's aides are pro-hunt campaigners By Jo Dillon, Political Correspondent - Two key advisers to Alun Michael – the minister who will oversee the fate of proposed legislation to ban fox-hunting – are prominent voices behind the pro-hunting campaign. Mr Michael, a Home Office minister, was flanked at last week's parliamentary hearings on hunting by Dr Pete Robinson, formerly of the pro-hunting Conservancy Game Trust, and Matthew Heydon, the author of a contentious pro-hunting report… Anti-hunt campaigners say the backgrounds of Mr Michael's two advisers add to concerns that the Government has already cut a deal with the pro-hunt lobby… plans are under way in the anti-hunting campaign to try to take the sting out of the 22 September march (story)

Observer 15.9.02 Violence fear at pro-hunt rally - Antony Barnett, public affairs editor - Police and transport chiefs in London fear that next Sunday's demonstration by pro-hunt supporters could erupt into violence. Organisers of the march, the Countryside Alliance, are cooperating with police to identify members of a militant pro-hunting group who police fear could bring violence to the capital next weekend. Police believe about 50 members of the Real Countryside Alliance are expected to join the march to protest against possible government plans to ban hunting… London Underground will run a normal Sunday service without any extra trains being put on to cope with the crowds. LU has also chosen not to stop engineering works on the Jubilee Line, which will be used as one of the main routes for the demonstrators. (story)

Observer 15.9.02 Hunting? That's not the issue - House prices are too high, farm earnings are falling, bus links are poor and tourism is wilting. Ed Douglas warns that an obsession with fox-hunting obscures the real struggle …Julie Webb has seen them everywhere. A single mother, she lives in one of the few council houses left in this corner of the Peak District with her son. She doesn't know much about the Alliance, although she doesn't agree with hunting. She won't be among the tens of thousands marching through London next weekend. But Julie's story is just as much a reflection of what's happening in the countryside, especially to those living on low incomes. It's also a story of how Labour has failed to reach what should be a core constituency in rural communities. And it has absolutely nothing to do with foxes… (story)

Observer 15.9.02 Like farmer, like son... Richard Benson was never cut out for the family farm, but he returned from London when his dad had to sell up - and found that their shared loss was part of a profound change in rural life …I don't think I could ever have been ready to hear my dad's voice sound so muted and shaken. He tells me that a man from the HSBC bank came out to see them yesterday, to tell them that the loan that has been keeping them going was at its limit. The man brought a little computer, he says, and put it on the kitchen table and showed them the figures… With no hope of an upturn, he says, the only way to make sure they keep the house is to sell up and hope it brings in enough to square up with the bank. He has been farming all his 60 years, his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him, but when the end comes it comes quickly. He has already called an auctioneer and set a date for the sale on a Saturday… In recent years the Government, journalists and lobby groups have effectively conspired to fit everything into one story, which is mostly about a conflict between urban and rural communities over the right to hunt foxes with dogs. This seems a red herring to me - for a start, it's not true that the country unanimously supports hunting, nor that the town unanimously opposes it… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 15.9.02 Peaceful alternatives to foxhunting - How sensible of the Berwickshire Hunt to go bloodhound hunting rather than "sitting at home and sulking" after the ban on fox hunting in Scotland was introduced this year… The hunting of wild animals with dogs is now at an end in Scotland. Draghunting and bloodhound hunting offer perfect alternatives - Phyllis Campbell-McRae, Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare (UK), London SE1 (letter)
Telegraph 8.9.02 The day I became a hunted man - With foxhunting now banned in Scotland, meets have turned to chasing 'human quarry' instead. A brave Jeremy Clarke tries to outrun the Berwickshire bloodhounds… "It is not a substitute for foxhunting," insists Mr Whaley with some passion, for he has come in for much criticism about this from fellow foxhunters. "It is simply a stop-gap until the Act is repealed." Mr Whaley, who will be taking part in the Countryside Alliance march in London on September 22, is certain that it will be. "The Scottish Government are acting like thugs," he says. "If we are patient, we will get justice in the end. The morning after the Act is repealed the Berwickshire will be out foxhunting as usual."… Fiona Ajar, 16, whose horse looked exhausted, said it had been "faster than foxhunting". Robert MacDonald, also 16, who has hunted foxes since he was eight, agreed. The chase had been "good and quick"… But Hugo Palmer, 21, perhaps more honest than most, remained sceptical, complaining that the hunt had had no sense of urgency…. (story)

Observer 15.9.02 Hunt immorality - The president of the Countryside Alliance (Letters, last week) betrays the pro-hunter's failure to grasp the reason for outlawing fox-hunting. Most people believe hunting down a terrified wild animal with dogs for pleasure, causes unjustified suffering, is morally repellent and should be illegal… John Naylor, Bristol (letter)

Financial Times 13.9.02 HARE OF THE DOG By Charlie Pye-Smith - The Britannia Beagles' battered blue van looks and sounds as though it is nearing the end of its life, and if most MPs get their way, its pungent-smelling cargo - fifteen-and-a half couple of hounds, or 31 beagles in layman's language - may soon be nearing the end of theirs…. (story)

HUNTING HEARINGS
North West Evening Mail 13.9.02 CHANGES CONCERN HUNTING GROUPS - CUMBRIAN hunting groups have expressed concern about proposed legislation which will allow hunting to continue in the county… Edmund Porter, master of Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds, said that more people would be attracted to the fell hunts if hunting were banned in other parts of the country… (story)

Times 14.9.02 Lucy Pinney - The difference between drag-hunting and fox-hunting is like the difference between masturbation and making love …. Thick mist hung over the cows and sheep on Richard Dormer’s farm, and when I drove up and showed Dormer his name on a printout of the Urban Alliance hitlist he was alarmed… Twenty-six years old, recently married and rather sleepy, Dormer explained that he rides in a farmers’ hunt, the Axe Vale, on his cob, Brian, and possibly has been singled out because he will be a steward on the march… He suggested that I talk to his more eloquent best friend, Dave Selley… Dave and his wife Carolyn are franchisees and clean drains for a living… They are both about as far from the upper-class “enemy of the working classes” stereotype as it is possible to get… But she and her husband are disarmingly frank about why they want to go on hunting: they enjoy it…. Surely drag-hunting provides an equally invigorating ride across country? Carolyn explained that it did not… “The difference between drag-hunting and fox-hunting is like the difference between masturbation and making love. Both are pleasurable in their own way, but one is a foregone conclusion, and the other is exciting and unpredictable.”… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 14.9.02 MARCHERS WILL TARGET LONDON More than 8,000 Gloucestershire people are preparing to converge on London for the Liberty and Livelihood march next weekend…. Prominent protesters will include Lord Allen Apsley and his wife Lady Sara who farm at Cirencester Park… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 14.9.02 'COUNTRY DAY' FOR ANTI-HUNT LOBBY An ANTI-HUNTING group is urging animal lovers to make the most of the Gloucestershire countryside this month as county hunting supporters head off to protest in London…. with so many people from Gloucestershire planning to go, The Cotswold Support Group for the Abolition of Hunting has designated September 22 Cruelty-Free Countryside Day… Linda Graham, group spokesperson said: "Every blood sports supporter will be marching in London on that day so it is an ideal opportunity for millions of us to enjoy the countryside, safe in the knowledge that our wildlife is free from persecution for just one precious day… (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 14.9.02 Tomorrow, stars from the racing world will be attending an informal gathering of the Cotswold hounds at the Hollow Bottom pub in Guiting Power… (story)

Western Daily Press 14.9.02 THE LAW MUST PREVAIL - The argument concerning loss of jobs, should hunting be banned, demands a reply… The law should prevail over all of us, no matter how humble or mighty. Dean Whiteshill Gloucestershire (letter)

Yorkshire Post 14.9.02 Ban will set the fur flying From: Aidan Ruff, Ellingham, Northumberland. If Tony Blair and his Government manage to turn over a million law-abiding citizens into criminals by banning fox hunting, I would be intrigued to see how he intends to police the situation as, if recent high-profile news reports are anything to go by, our police force is now so under-resourced, tied up in red tape and buried in paperwork that currently it's unable to manage its normal workload of common-or-garden burglars, rapists, murderers and terrorists, to say nothing of wicked motorists… (letter)

NATHAN BROWN LETTER
Bolton Evening News 14.9.02 Fox cubs not hunted to train the hounds - I READ with interest the comments from Nathan Brown of the Hunt Saboteurs Association… It is total nonsense to claim that cubs are hunted to train the hounds as… Hounds do not need to be trained to hunt. Hunting is totally natural to them and the only training that they need is to learn are the huntman's calls…. I also note that it is claimed that Hunt Saboteurs use non-violent tactics and yet I personally have been physically attacked and it was not too long ago that this newspaper reported that I was receiving death threats from anti-hunting activists and that the threats were being investigated by the police. AJH Pilkington, Bolton (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 10.9.02 HUNTING WITH DOGS PUTS HARES AT RISK - Nathan Brown, Hunt Saboteurs Association, Northampton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 10.9.02 PACKS OF HOUNDS SET ON BABY HARES BY HUNTERS - Nathan Brown, Hunt Saboteurs' Association PO Box 5254, Northampton (letter)
Worcester Evening News 9.9.02 No compromise on cruelty issue - NATHAN BROWN, Press Officer, Hunt Saboteurs Association. (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 5.9.02 Foxes not the only species at risk from hunting - NATHAN BROWN, Press Officer, Hunt Saboteurs Association, Northampton (letter in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 4.9.02 'HUNTING HELPS PUT HARES IN DANGER' Hunt saboteurs are warning of dangers to the hare population in Gloucestershire as the hare coursing season approaches… Nicky Driver, of the Countryside Alliance - which is holding a march in support of all forms of country sports later this month - said hare coursers in fact were responsible for the conservation of the species… But Nathan Brown, of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, sees things differently…. (letter)
Bolton Evening News 4.7.02 Time to call a halt to these cruel sports - AS your readers will be aware, a Bill was placed before Parliament earlier this year to ban hunting… When a species faces endangerment, hunting the young poses an obvious threat. The only salvation for these animals is the intervention of hunt saboteurs, who will use non-violent tactics such as blowing hunting horns and laying false trails… Nathan Brown, Press Officer, Hunt Saboteurs Association (letter in archive)
Northampton Chronicle 4.9.02 No compromise on the issue of cruelty - Nathan Brown, Press Officer, Hunt Saboteurs Association. (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 3.9.02 SABS APPEAL FOR ANTI-HUNT HELPERS - As your readers will be aware, a bill was placed before parliament earlier this year to ban hunting… A six-month consultation process to find a compromise is nearing completion but may be extended. At the Hunt Saboteurs Association, we maintain that there can be no compromise on the issue of cruelty. While the wheels of bureaucracy turn, hunt saboteurs are the only people saving lives now… Hares are not considered pests (although that could not justify them being ripped to pieces by a pack of hounds). In fact, they are reaching endangered species status… The only salvation for these animals is the intervention of hunt saboteurs, who will use nonviolent tactics such as blowing hunting horns and laying false trails… N Brown, Hunt Saboteurs Association (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 14.9.02 ‘Distasteful’ adverts for leather sofas spark anger - ANIMAL activists last night hit out at a "distasteful" advertising campaign for leather furniture. Officials at Edinburgh-based Advocates for Animals condemned controversial posters advertising a range of leather sofas for Olympian. The images include a picture of a leather sofa with the slogan "Vegans, look away now". Another poster features one calf asking another: "Is Mummy all right?" while the other replies: "Yes, they are making her comfortable"… (story)

Scotsman 14.9.02 OUTDOORS: The blood addicts - Jim McBeth - The visitors, Geordies, bellow encouragement to the battling creatures in the pit, their voices competing against the harsher accents of Glasgow, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and the Borders. The Tynesiders are on holiday, a sick, despicable holiday organised by like-minded sadists, the purpose of which is to watch dogs fight to the death with badgers dug from the earth and taken to secret locations somewhere south of the Forth-Clyde divide…. The result is that this year an estimated 20,000 badgers will die, 2,000 in Scotland, 10 per cent of the population… (story)

Western Daily Press 14.9.02 COMPASSION AND CAREFUL DRIVING I've been interested in the spectrum of reaction from the public to the story about the poor dead badger that had a white line painted over it by callous contractors… I am confident that there would be a lot fewer casualities, particularly on country roads, if drivers just slowed down a bit and took a little more care. What happened to compassion? A Turner Backwell Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.9.02 GO FOR QUALITY NOT QUANTITY IN MEAT - Much of what Nitin Mehta says about vegetarianism is true. If you want to go vegetarian, fine.But not all pasture land in Britain is suitable for growing crops.We need some animals grazing to preserve the unique character of our landscape. So for those, like me, who can't bear to give up meat altogether, I have a suggestion - go for quality not quantity… P Drakeford Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 10.9.02 EAT VEG - AND SAVE OUR WORLD The dangers facing Mother Earth are frightening and, if we are to secure the future of coming generations, each one of us will have to make life style changes… A lifestyle change that will profoundly help the planet would be a shift away from a meat-based diet to a vegetarian one… Nitin Mehta The Vegetarian Society Parkdale Dunham Road Cheshire (letter)

HUNTING HEARINGS
Western Morning News 13.9.02 HUNT COMPROMISE CLAIM DISMISSED - The Government yesterday dismissed claims that Ministers are planning a compromise on hunting that would stop short of criminalising the controversial activity. Reports yesterday claimed that Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael had been impressed by proposals at this week's hunting hearings to extend existing animal welfare legislation to hunted animals…. Candy Atherton, Labour MP for Falmouth and Camborne, said anti-hunting MPs were in no mood to accept a compromise that stopped short of a ban… (story)
Telegraph 13.9.02 Future of field sports is still in the balance - Will the hunting bill allow exemptions, or will Labour MPs insist on an outright ban? Having listened carefully to the hunting hearings, Charles Clover delivers his opinion… (story)
North Devon Journal 13.9.02 RED DEER HUNTING BAN WOULD 'PUT HERD AT RISK' - A simple BAN on hunting red deer would not be enough to preserve the Exmoor herd, according to a conservation group. The Exmoor Society warned that a straightforward ban, without an alternative and efficient management system in place, would be "irresponsible and put the herd at risk." The claim came as part of a submission to DEFRA minister Alun Michael by the 2,700 members of the Society, as part of the consultation debate on the future of hunting… (story)
Cumberland News 13.9.02 FEARS OVER HUNT BAN 'COMPROMISE' - CUMBRIAN hunting groups have expressed concern about proposed legislation that will allow hunting to continue in the county. This week a three-day inquiry in Westminster into the future of hunting heard details of a compromise deal to allow hunting in upland areas of Cumbria. Yesterday, Edmund Porter, master of Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds, told The Cumberland News that more people would be attracted to the fell hunts if hunting were banned in other parts of the country. He said: "Farmers wouldn't stand a ban just in lowland areas, it is out of the question."… (story)

Westmorland Gazette 13.9.02 'Rural life is in crisis' REELING off problems from rising rural crime rates to young people driven out their home villages - Richard Burge believes the countryside is in real crisis, and on the brink of catastrophe…. He argues that the CAP needs to be scrapped, and money coming into the countryside seen as an investment in rural development so that urgent and rapid change can take place. At the forefront of this drive for change is the Countryside Alliance, formerly called the British Field Sports Society, which now with a wider aim to provide a voice for rural Britain…. Liberty and Livelihood is the theme of the September 22, with protesters marching to defend their right to live their lives responsibly, including the right to hunt should they choose… (story in archive)

Daily Post 13.9.02 Hunt vigil at Palace - CHESHIRE Hunt members held a 24-hour sit-in outside the Palace of Westminster in London to oppose a ban on hunting. They were joining a vigil which began in May and is scheduled to finish on September 22… (story)

Keighley News 13.9.02 Show back with a vengeance by Kate Pallister - Keighley Show was "back with a vengeance" after last year's cancellation as the 45th annual show bustled with people on Saturday…. The established attractions were boosted by a falconry display, miniature horses, a Worth Valley K9 Care Club dog show, Morris dancers, children's go-karts, Airedale Beagles and a Young Farmers' Club display… (story in archive)

Times 13.9.02 Freedom to hunt? - Mick Hume (Comment, September 9) says that what is at stake in the debate about foxhunting is “the future of freedom”. Surely not. Time was when cockfighting, dogfighting, bearbaiting and badgerbaiting were all part of our freedom, and what Mick Hume says about foxhunting could equally have been said about them…. R. T. OERTON, The Granary, Park Lane, Cannington, Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 2LU. (letter)
Times 9.9.02 The hunting debate is about much more than foxes - it is about our freedom - MICK HUME - To paraphrase Mr Blair’s thoughts on a rather bigger issue: if we want to live in a free country, we must be prepared to let the fox population pay “the blood price”. It will strike many as absurd that the Government is this week holding an unprecedented three-day hearing at Westminster into whether or not hunting foxes with hounds is necessary or cruel… Labour MPs and the powerful anti-hunt lobby are not really concerned about the fox… When they say “Ban hunting”, they mean “Stop living like that”… In this debate, the danger to a civilised democratic society does not come from a few foxhunters (as the antis claim), or from the prejudices of a few backbench Labour MPs (as some optimistic hunt supporters suggest). It comes from the advance, and the increasingly widespread acceptance, of the State’s power to encroach upon our autonomy as citizens. Forget the fox; this is what the hunting debate should really be about… (story)

Times 13.9.02 The basic issue in the foxhunting debate — class antagonism apart — seems to me to be the one of killing for pleasure; but do not most of us put countless calves, lambs, turkeys and chickens — not to mention fish — to death for the pleasure of eating meat?... ANDREW ANDERSON, 1 The Close, Norwich NR1 4DH (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.9.02 THERE'S CHARITABLE SIDE TO HUNTING - - Re Arminel Scott's letter, I am pleased that a member of an anti-hunt group replied to my letter. It really highlighted their attitude of "I'm all right, Jack - my livelihood isn't at stake and I couldn't care a fig about trying to ruin yours"…. Each year, hunts nationwide organise hundreds of events, ranging from a local pony show to big country fairs, and from charity balls to bring-and-buy stalls. A hunting ban would naturally see them all being discontinued…. Ray Bird Acton Turville Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 4.9.02 HUNTING CAN'T BE DRESSED UP - I think that Ray Bird, August 30, is wrong when he says that people know that the Liberty and Livelihood march is essentially an attempt to save hunting. Although his letter served to remind people of this, he had missed the point that the Western Daily Press have allowed Countryside Alliance supporters' two pages in recent issues to recruit people to the march, neither of which mentioned hunting once… Frankly, I'm not sorry if Ray Bird's livelihood, which he says depends on photographing these people, is affected by a ban on hunting with hounds. I too live and work in the countryside, and it's because I truly understand country issues that I will not be a party to propping up the hunts' disgusting habits by marching with them through London… Arminel Scott Secretary SWDP (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.9.02 DUKE'S GESTURE IS NOT SO NOBLE - The Duke of Devonshire says he will allow hunting on his land - even if there is a total ban… The public will no longer tolerate the cruelty of hunting to kill for pleasure…. Roy Brown Ston Easton Nr Radstock Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.9.02 I BELIEVE LIBERTY IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR - Sir - According to the letters from K Watts and B Watkins, I am a pervert and a thug because, at the age of 76, I believe in a countryman's right to his liberty and livelihood… Where were those two letter writers when I was driving tractors as German bombers came over Bristol in daylight? Where were they when I was ploughing round bomb craters and over unexploded bombs, then doing Home Guard duties at night? Why do anti-hunters think they have a right to call perfectly honourable people such scandalous names?... We are ruled by a dictator who has refuses a recall of Parliament over Iraq… Every one of us should be supporting, in any possible way, the call for our liberties and our livelihoods. R H Harford Castle Cary Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.9.02 MARCH IS NOT ABOUT LIBERTY Sir - Dr Andrew Murrison, MP for Westbury, has, according to the Western Daily Press, decided to attend the inappropriately named Liberty and Livelihood march because he feels strongly about 'personal liberty' - whatever that means. Surely he cannot be so naive as to believe that the march is about anything other than maintaining the liberty of an insignificant minority to continue to terrorise and kill innocent wildlife for their perverted pleasure… I trust the police will be instructed to show minimum tolerance if public order offences are committed during the march - as they did during the miners' strike…. K Watts Southwick Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.9.02 END DITHERING - IMPOSE BAN Sir - At 6.20am, the quiet peace of the late-August morning in the countryside near Thornbury was broken by the sounds of the Berkeley Hunt on their way to another cubbing session. In the next hour or so, I knew that a number of young fox cubs would have suffered a cruel and traumatic terrorisation, before being disembowelled by the hounds being trained for yet another full hunting season due to begin in November. The Prime Minister has declared publicly that he wants hunting banned, so why the delay?... B Watkins Thornbury Gloucestershire (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 13.9.02 HORSES KILLED - In FOLLOW up to Mr Peter Anderson's letter, 'hunt dogs are destroyed', let's also spare a thought for the hunt horses. They too suffer a similar fate, as horses are ridden hard across off-road terrain and jumped over hedges, gates and ditches in pursuit of a fox… (Mrs) D WARD, Mutley Plain (letter)

Shropshire Star 13.9.02 Ban hides real issue - Over the last five years a definite pattern is emerging over the ban on foxhunting. This issue is raised and championed by Blair and his cronies always at a time of increased tensions between his government and their own backbenchers. The ban is always used as a sop to Labour MPs to distract attention away from even more controversial Blair projects… Daniel Kawczynski, Ullingswick (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 13.9.02 Hypocrisy in hunting argument - Those who trot out the badger/bear baiting cock/dog fighting arguments have either missed the point - or are using the emotive images to further their arguments whether they see the flaw or not. These forms of sport which were banned in the past have one fundamental difference from fox hunting and that is that neither adversary has chosen to be where it is… Beware our controlling government. They say they won't ban angling, but there are plenty of voters who think dangling a fish from a hook in its mouth is cruel… Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

East Grinstead Courier 13.9.02 ANTI-HUNTING FIGURES NO LONGER THE CASE - Malcolm Neeves (Courier, September 6) claims that the proposal to ban hunting with dogs has the support of 71 per cent. That may have been so 10 years ago, but it is no longer the case. Only in April an NOP poll showed that fewer than 50 per cent of those questioned wanted to see hunting made a criminal offence - most people wanted to see it go on, either via self-regulation or government licensing…. MP McNally, High Street, Tunbridge Wells (letter)

North Devon Journal 13.9.02 TIME TO ACT TO STOP 'PHARMING' SPREAD We now face our final wake-up call to the dangers of Pharming… It means the production (farming) of animals as living pharmaceuticals - produced to be convenience appliances…. Are factory farming and live exports, or the vivisection of defenceless animals in order to sell products which kill humans too, not unthinkable enough? Pharming combines these twin atrocities… SARAH CHALKLEY, Heanton Street, Braunton (letter)

IFAW ANIMAL ACTION WEEK
Gloucester Citizen 13.9.02 ANIMAL WELFARE HEROES ARE SOUGHT - James Bond star Pierce Brosnan is on the look-out for heroes dedicated to animal welfare in the county. Pierce has joined a charity which rewards people who have helped take care of animals, and now they are looking for Gloucester's own animal heroes. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) say nominations can be sent in by any member of the public…. (story)
East Grinstead Courier 13.9.02 BOND QUEST FOR ANIMAL HELPERS - James Bond star Pierce Brosnan is searching for animal heroes from Tunbridge Wells. He has joined the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to reward people who have done something good for animals… Trish Moore, IFAW 186 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1EY (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 12.9.02 ARE YOU DEDICATED TO CARE OF ANIMALS? - Animal-lovers in Bristol could be in line for a national award. The International Fund for Animal Welfare, supported by James Bond star Pierce Brosnan, is presenting the awards as part of Animal Action Week which tfrom September 29 October 5…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 10.9.02 MISSION TO FIND ANIMAL-LOVERS - Animal-lovers in Lincoln are the subject of James Bond's latest mission. The 007 star Pierce Brosnan is looking for animal heroes to take part in the International Fund for Animal welfare's Animal Action Week…. (story)
Belfast Telegraph 17.8.02 Tarrant calls for artists to help animal welfare fund By Gary Grattan - WHO Wants To Be a Millionaire host Chris Tarrant is calling on Belfast's animal loving artists to help save animals around the world and win a prize into the bargain. Chris is the celebrity patron of Animal Action Week 2002, which is run by the International Fund for Animal Welfare each year… (story)
Kent/East Sussex Courier 17.8.02 ART TO HELP SAVE WORLD'S ANIMALS - Televsion star Chris Tarrant is calling on Tunbridge Wells' animal loving artists to help save animals around the world and win a prize… (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 16.8.02 CHRIS WEIGHS IN TO HELP ANIMALS Tv STAR Chris Tarrant is calling on Torquay's animal loving artists to help save animals around the world and win a prize into the bargain. Chris is the celebrity patron of Animal Action Week 2002, which is run by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) each year…. (story)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 13.9.02 Live export is cruel - I fail to see how vegetarianism can be cited as a contributory factor in the live export of lambs (Letters, September 6, ‘A plan to stop live exports’). It was the RSPCA’s exposé of this vile trade some years ago that finally moved me to become vegetarian… SUE HODSON Park View, Barnack Road, Stamford (letter)

The Citizen (Chorley) 13.9.02 Battery of help sought in egg battle - THE RSPCA is seeking the support of caring consumers in its campaign against battery hen egg production… People are being asked to keep their welfare-friendly egg boxes, to sign them and drop them in to the RSPCA charity shop, including the one in Market Street, Chorley… (story in archive)

Manchester Evening News 12.9.02 Hunt fans chase gay support - DRINKERS looked on in bemusement as the Countryside Alliance staged a march through Manchester's gay village. Around 40 pro-hunting marchers waving banners and accompanied by four horses, dogs and a falcon made a dramatic sight as they marched along Canal Street to voice their support for hunting with dogs. Organisers chose the village to highlight the fact that they - just like the gay community - are a persecuted minority… Transport planner Peter Black, 40, was on his way back to work when he saw the march and angrily remonstrated with one of the participants. "Fox hunting is barbaric, it's cruel," he stormed…. (story)

HUNTING HEARINGS
Times 12.9.02 Tribunals may rule on right to hunt BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - A NETWORK of local tribunals to oversee hunting is being studied by Alun Michael, the Rural Affairs Minister. A strong option is for a Bill to set out a ban on certain forms of hunting, some exemptions, and lay down national standards that would then be implemented by tribunals to allow some licensed hunts. Hunts would then apply to tribunals for permission to hunt for the purposes of pest or population control, and possibly social and economic reasons… However, such a system was denounced last night by anti-hunt campaigners. Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, condemned the idea as a “burdensome and bureaucratic” process. (story)
Telegraph 12.9.02 Compromise Bill on hunting 'within weeks' By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - Hunts would be made subject to national laws on animal cruelty, effectively allowing some forms of the sport to survive, under proposals being considered by ministers for a Bill to be published within "a matter of weeks", Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, said last night…. Local tribunals would also decide where hunting performed a useful purpose, to farmers or the landscape, which outweighed any suffering it might cause to animals… Mr Michael said… the idea of tribunals, advanced by Michael Patchett-Joyce, a barrister nominated by the Countryside Alliance, was "worth looking at"…. The proposal for local tribunals was opposed by many in the Countryside Alliance, who said that Mr Patchett-Joyce had not consulted them…. Patrick Martin, of the Bicester, said he had attended a fox hunt this season in Scotland conducted under the new rules… "They shot the fox. It was hit hard, fell over and ran off. The hounds chased the injured fox. They spent several hours looking for it. They never found it…" David Jones, huntsman of the David Davies hunt in Montgomeryshire, said he favoured hunting to be subject to a licensing system, monitored by wardens, as in the United States… (story)
Western Daily Press 12.9.02 HUNT BAN LEGISLATION JUST WEEKS AWAY AS HEARINGS ARE ENDED - Leglislation deciding the future of hunting will be published within weeks, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael promised last night… Earlier yesterday, economist Sean Rickard rubbished claims a ban on hunting would cost the rural economy 6,000 to 8,000 jobs… Bristol academic Professor John Webster meanwhile claimed that a chicken with arthritis suffers more than a fox killed by hounds… (story)
Newcastle Journal 12.9.02 New hunting Bill hope - New proposals on future legislation for hunting with dogs could be put before Parliament within "a matter of weeks", Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael said last night… Mr Michael admitted that no new "killer fact" had emerged from the process, but stressed the "gamut" of views covered was very useful. (story)
Cambridge News 12.9.02 Don: Hunting 'is less cruel' - A CAMBRIDGE academic has defended hunting with dogs in the face of charges the controversial pursuit is "morally reprehensible". Dr Robert Wise told a Westminster hearing that dogs killed foxes or deer at least as quickly as less controversial methods of culling, such as shooting…. (story)
York Evening Press 12.9.02 Hunting legislation promised `within weeks' - LEGISLATION to decide the future of hunting with dogs in North Yorkshire will be unveiled "within weeks", Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has pledged…. (story in archive)
North West Evening Mail 12.9.02 CUMBRIA MAY BE EXEMPT FROM FOX HUNT BAN - LEGISLATION to ban hunting with dogs should include a get-out clause allowing the pursuit to continue in Cumbria, a leading barrister has said. Michael Patchett-Joyce, who is helping to shape the legislation, made the comments on the final day of a Westminster hearing on the future of hunting…. Earlier yesterday, economist Sean Rickard rubbished claims by Lord Burns that a ban on hunting would cost the rural economy 6,000 to 8,000 jobs… Charles Nodder, adviser to the national Gamekeep-ers Organisation said the number of jobs lost in his profession would be substantial. He claimed it would also force landowners to turn to illegal control techniques in a bid to keep fox numbers down. (story)
Ananova 12.9.02 New proposals for hunting ban 'within weeks' - New proposals on future legislation for hunting with dogs could be put before Parliament within "a matter of weeks", according to Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael….(story)

Guardian 12.9.02 Countryside matters - A ban on hunting will put jobs at risk, but it's hardly a crisis. A shortage of affordable housing, low incomes and poor services are the problems - Peter Hetherington - Travel along any rural road or motorway and the slogans leap out from hedgerows and giant field-side hoardings: the countryside is in crisis. Every other four-wheel-drive seems to display a poster proclaiming the same message, while mobilising Britain for a "liberty and livelihood" rally in London on September 22… Peter Hetherington is the Guardian's regional affairs editor (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 12.9.02 LORD BURNS WAS CLEAR ON THE HUNTING ARGUMENT - Lord Burns' Report, where it touches on the subject of hunting with hounds and cruelty, is often interpreted as having different meaning - depending on which side of the hunting debate one is…. He said: "Although we would have liked more evidence...we came to the view that the experience of being closely pursued, caught and killed by hounds seriously compromises the welfare of the fox…" It always seems a pity that those who enjoy hunting cannot accept this starting point before engaging in any debate on the subject. David Wood, St George's View, Cullompton (letter)

Shropshire Star 12.9.02 Were the writers on hunting all from here? - I have put pen to paper on this subject before, several months ago. However a lot has happened since then, not the least of which is the poll organised by the Shropshire Star regarding the 'to hunt or not to hunt' issue… It's a fact that the pro-hunters are much better organised than the anti-hunters and is it just possible this could have been reflected in the results of the vote?... Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Northern Echo 12.9.02 FOX HUNTING - IF Tony Blair and his Government manage to turn a million law-abiding citizens into criminals by banning fox hunting, I would be intrigued to see how he intends to police the situation as, if recent news reports are anything to go by, our police force is now under-resourced, tied up in red tape and buried in paperwork… A Ruff, Ellingham, Northumberland (letter in archive)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 12.9.02 ANIMALS HAVE RIGHTS TOO … Each one of us is an animal and an individual, and personally I am appalled by the way some of our kind treat fellow animals, eg foxes (fox hunting)…. Frankly I cannot imagine what sought of sick mind would find pleasure in it… By Francesca Jones, aged 11, of Westlands (letter)

Lewisham News Shopper 12.9.02 - FAST FOOD PERILS: Jenny Atkins (News Shopper, September 4) talks sense in some ways but falls down on rats. It is recognised they are becoming a national problem, since more and more are leaving the sewers and living off discarded fast food and excess food put out by fox feeders… Doug Walters, Sidcup (letter)

Argus 12.9.02 No category? - On August 27, a young lady reported to me her cat had been missing for a week… As normal, I faxed the RSPCA, on August 29, giving a description of the cat and the area it was lost in… The lady found her cat and the neighbour's cat at Chichester RSPCA. They had been picked up by an inspector the day they went missing. Why was I not contacted when my fax arrived at Patcham? Why were there no questions asked when the cats were taken into care?... -Roger Davis, FUZZIESLIST@amserve.com (letter in archive)

VIVA! HORSE EXPORT CAMPAIGN
Swindon Evening Advertiser 12.9.02 Put an end to the horses' suffering - I HAVE just read about a sickening trade that makes me ashamed of the human race. It details the conditions in which 87,000 horses a year are sent by road from Poland to Italy where they are slaughtered for human consumption for horse meat…. To find out more, contact Viva at 12 Queen Square, Brighton BN1 3FD… Lisa Mayland, Coxhill Lane, Potterne, Devizes (letter in archive)
Louth Leader 17.7.02 Trade in horses is sickening - I have just read about the sickening trade that makes me ashamed of the human race… All this is shown in the video “Journey to Death”, made by the British animal group Viva!... J F DeVére Smith, 103 Laceby Road, Grimsby (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 11.4.02 Protest and stop this cruel trade - I HAVE just read a sickening trade that makes me ashamed of the human race. It details the conditions in which 87,000 horses a year are sent by road from Poland... PHILIP BEAVEN, Merton Avenue , Swindon (letter in archive)
Louth Leader 10.4.02 Time to make people aware of ponies’ misery on the moors - EDITOR – I would like to appeal to readers to join our campaign against the annual killing of Great Britain’s wild ponies. Animal welfare group Viva! points out that hundreds of moorland ponies are killed every year, as their destiny from markets is often slaughter... Mrs J. Seddon, Hemingby, Horncastle (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Plymouth Evening Herald, Torquay Herald Express, North Devon Journal, Western Morning News) 8.3.02 THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR SLAUGHTER OF PONIES - I was shocked and angered to learn of the slaughter of Dartmoor ponies and wish to protest most vigorously against it… Having been made aware of the true state of affairs, pressure must be brought to bear on the authorities to end this cruel practice. John Cowen, Stewart Terrace, Edinburgh (letter)
Bucks Free Press 1.3.02 Stop the horror for the horses …Contact Viva! at 12 Queen Square, Brighton BN1 3FD or telephone 01273 777688. Rev Rosemary Payne Goddington Road, Bourne End (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 22.2.02 Tragedy of wild ponies - MAY I appeal to readers to join our campaign against the annual killing of Britain's wild ponies… KAT MACMILLAN, Viva! 12 Queen Square, Brighton BN1 3FD, UK (letter in archive)
ThisIsGloucestershire (Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo, Western Daily Press) 8.2.02 JOIN CAMPAIGN AGAINST CRUELTY - I WOULD like to appeal to readers to join the campaign against the annual killing of Britain's wild ponies... MRS. J KILFORD, Shuthonger, Tewkesbury (letter)
Bolton Evening News 6.2.02 Pony slaughter must be stopped - I WOULD like to appeal to readers to join our campaign against the annual killing of Britain's wild ponies... Kat Macmillan, Viva! Campaigner
Evesham Journal 24.1.02 Campaign for ponies ...Animal welfare group Viva! Points out that hundreds of moorland ponies are killed every year as their destiny at markets is often slaughter... G MOYSE, Boat Lane, Evesham. (letter in archive)
Nelson Leader 24.1.02 I HAVE just read about a sickening trade that makes me ashamed of the human race. It details the conditions in which 87,000 horses a year are sent by road... M. HARRISON (Mrs) Manchester Road, Barnoldswick
Streatham Guardian 23.1.02 Help stop the slaughter of horses - I have read of a sickening trade in which 87,000 horses a year are sent by road from Poland to Italy to be slaughtered for human consumption... Animal charity Viva! has opened an office in Warsaw and is co-ordinating a campaign demanding an end to horse exports for meat... VANIA CAMPBELL, Woodland Road. Upper Norwood (letter in archive)
Streatham Guardian 11.1.02 Help stop the slaughter of horses - contact Viva! - VANIA CAMPBELL, Woodland Road, Upper Norwood (letter in archive)
Cambridge News 10.1.02 Death trade in horses - letter from Sue Nightingale, Burwell "I HAVE just seen the most horrific video footage of my life...." contact Viva! (letter in archive)
Bristol Evening Post 8.1.01 We can help save Dartmoor ponies - I'D like to appeal to readers to join Viva!'s campaign against the annual killing of Dartmoor ponies... Rosanna Hair (letter in archive)
Stourbridge News 3.1.02 Join in the fight to stop horses suffering ... A recent exposure by Viva, an international campaign group for animal welfare has documented the suffering incurred, as horses travel long distances, some of over 2,000 kilometres... Edward Davies, Stourbridge (letter in archive)
Lewisham News Shopper 3.1.01 Shocking trade in horses is sickening - "I HAVE just read about a sickening trade which makes me ashamed of the human race..." contact Viva! etc. from E RIVETT, Albemarle Road, Beckenham (letter)
Argus 26.12.01 Star backing for horse campaign - A calendar of photos taken by the late Linda McCartney is being sold to raise awareness of Viva's campaign against trade in Polish horses for meat. It was made with the help of Sir Paul McCartney and his family, who are supporting the campaign (story in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 11. 12.01 Terrible fate - letter from L HOBBS Stone Lane Lydiard Millicent, Swindon - Dartmoor ponies are bred for meat " The farmers responsible for this should be stopped." Contact Viva! for info (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Evening Post 11.12.01 A road trip to death - standard Viva! anti Polish horse live exports letter from MRS J SAUNDERS, Sheffield. (letter)
Sunderland Echo 29.11.01 Sickening horse trade - Viva! standard letter - Ms Kathleen Surtees, Campbell Road, Hylton Castle, Sunderland (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser22.11.01 Killed for meat A BURGE Burns Way Upper Stratton Swindon (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 16.11.01 Sickening trade in horse meat - letter from LIZ TERRY, North Piddle, Worcester supporting K MacMillan (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 7.11.01 Sickening cruelty of meat trade (Kat MacMillan, Viva! (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 1.11.01 (letter in archive, also in Bristol Evening Press archive)
Argus 1.11.01 standard Viva! letter re: export of horses from Kat MacMillan, Viva!, Brighton

Argus 12.9.02 Feline faint - J A Rousell could be right about cat-shootings (Letters September 4). According to the International Wildlife Consultants, householders are "driven to extreme measures to repel cats, resulting in airgun pellet injuries"…. People who deliberately injure animals are not "driven" to it, they enjoy it. -Miss R Reeve, Burford Road, Horsham(letter in archive)

Canary Wharf Weekly 12.9.02 IS FARM REALLY GOOD FOR CHILDREN? - WHILE I strongly abhor the violence meted out to the animals at City Farm by unknown perverts, I must point out some unmentioned facts Although local children might delight in the sight of all of these beautiful animals, few are taught that most of them, the fluffy young baby animals they see end up being subjected to the terrors of the slaughterhouse… Instead of CCTV, the best protection for the greatest number of animals would be if people stopped eating them. Carole Zdesar, London E6
Canary Wharf Weekly 12.9.02 In reply to the piece on Mudchute City Park and Farm, I would ask why have this farm at all? What does it actually teach children? Are they made aware of the untimely deaths of the cute animals they have been petting?.. Sarah Baker, Via email (letters)

HUNTING HEARINGS
Telegraph 11.9.02 Hunting with dogs would be banned under world ruling By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - Hunting with hounds would be banned if it was subject to international standards on animal welfare, two experts said yesterday at the Government's second day of hearings into the future of the sport…Prof David Morton, head of biomedical science and ethics at Birmingham university, told the hearing that welfare standards prepared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for domesticated animals said that if something was likely to cause suffering in humans it should be assumed it caused suffering in animals… The Rev Prof Andrew Linzey, research fellow in Theology and Animals at Oxford, said the cruelty involved in hunting was "morally indefensible" and "in a class of its own"…. Lembit Opik, MP, of the Middle Way Group, asked Prof Morton what he thought about competitive shooting and fishing. Prof Morton said he believed that it was "morally problematic to go angling for sport." But he said the intention of shooting was "to destroy almost instantaneously."… (story)
Times 11.9.02 Hunt debate reduced to game of cat and mouse BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE vexed issue of hunting with dogs was polarised yesterday by Harry and Pepper, two cats ranging free in the garden of an Oxford don… Professor Andrew Linzey, a senior research fellow in theology and animals, likens hunting to child abuse and rape…. Mr Opik seized the moment. “Cats cause unavoidable suffering in your garden. Hundreds and millions of animals are killed by cats. You could avoid suffering in the country by not having cats.”… But Professor Linzey, a vegetarian whose Oxford chair is funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, was quick to defend Harry, a ginger tom, and Pepper… “A cat is not a moral agent and therefore is not morally responsible and therefore it is inappropriate to talk about moral beings and non-moral beings.”… (story)
Guardian 11.9.02 Hunting debate gets teeth into Plato, Aristotle, Harry and Pepper - Steven Morris - The debate on the ethics of hunting had begun with reference to Plato, Aristotle and Kant. It ended with an eminent professor of theology having to defend the hunting habits of his cats, Harry and Pepper…. Prof Linzey said he did not feel "morally responsible" for their actions… After the hearing, Prof Linzey, a vegetarian, admitted he had faced a "moral dilemma" about what he should feed the cats but had put his doubts aside and cooked fish for them…. (story)
Western Daily Press 11.9.02 HUNTING 'LIKE TORTURE, RAPE AND CHILD ABUSE' - Hunting can be compared with child abuse, rape and torture and will never be acceptable in normal British society, Oxford don Andrew Linzey said yesterday… (story)
Worcester Evening News 11.9.02 Hunting compared to rape - HUNTING can be compared with child abuse, rape and torture and can never be acceptable, a senior academic has claimed. The Rev Professor Andrew Linzey's comments came on the second day of hearings into the future of hunting, at Westminster… Cambridge University academic Dr Robert Wise defended the pursuit, saying that dogs killed foxes or deer at least as quickly as less controversial methods of culling, such as shooting… He argued that it was wrong to attempt to compare the suffering experienced by humans with that of hunted animals…``The sound of the horns behind will not invoke the concept in the mind of the hunted that `they are still after me'…. (story in archive)
Western Morning News 11.9.02 'HUNTING IS THE MORAL EQUIVALENT OF TORTURE' - JASON GROVES …Giving evidence to the Westminster hearings on the future of hunting yesterday, Professor Andrew Linzey said there was a "broad moral equivalence" between hunting wild animals and actions such as child abuse and torture, which target the "innocent and vulnerable."… Richard Burge, chief executive of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said that Professor Linzey seemed to be more interested in animal rights than human rights… Hugo Swire, Conservative MP for East Devon, described Professor Linzey's comments as "ludicrous." Mr Swire, who rides with the East Devon Hunt, said: "It is a ludicrous statement that barely warrants comment. There is no moral equivalence between someone abducting and brutally murdering two ten-year-old girls and someone pursuing vermin, which would be killed one way or another in any case."… (story)
Western Morning News 11.9.02 HUNTING ARGUMENT THAT IS JUST A SMOKESCREEN …As an exercise in futility, this week's Government hearings on the future of hunting are right up there with William Hague's election campaign last year - the result is a foregone conclusion and no-one is interested in the arguments along the way… All very open and inclusive, you might say. Except that these three days of hearings are unlikely to have the slightest impact on the final fate of hunting with dogs. The first problem with the hearings is that by focusing on cruelty and utility they rather miss the point of the whole hunting argument…. It would be easier to teach a fox Chinese than change the mind of the average MP on the issue of hunting... the huge number of anti-hunt MPs, whose votes look likely to bring hunting to an end, were notable only by their absence…. The Oxford University professor Andrew Linzey is unquestionably a very clever fellow, but like a lot of very clever people, he holds some rather odd opinions. His argument that hunting is the "moral equivalent" of child abuse and torture, suggests a certain lack of perspective… So what is the point of this three-day exercise? The only explanation that makes any sense is that Ministers want to be seen to be doing the right thing ahead of the next week's countryside march…. (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 11.9.02 Hunted hares 'not frightened by the chase' - A LEADING academic has told the Government inquiry into hunting with dogs that hares being chased expect to escape. Professor John Webster was giving evidence on the second day of the hearing which is part of the Government's ongoing consultation over a possible ban on hunting, which would take in the Waterloo Cup… (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald/Evening Express 11.9.02 The last hunt? by Hilary Sanders SHOCK and anger followed reports that fox hunting will be banned in upland areas such as North Yorkshire. The reaction was furious to the news that rural affairs minister Alun Michael had already stated his view at the beginning of a fact-finding enquiry. "Has the Government declared war on the countryside?" asked Andrew Osbourne, master of Sinnington Hunt… Middleton Hunt master Frank Houghton-Brown said it was ludicrous that the person heading up the enquiry was someone who had already voted against hunting… Derwent hunt secretary Sarah Morley vowed to be out hunting with everyone else the day after a ban… (story in archive)
Western Mail 11.9.02 Warning from anti-hunters - ANTI-hunt campaigners yesterday warned there could be "no compromise" on the issue as a public hearing on the future of the controversial sport got under way… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 11.9.02 SUPPORT FOR HUNTING WILL BE SHOWN BY MARCHERS - Dr John Pamment, Points of view August 29, comments on his usual subject, hunting with hounds…. The hunts are fully supported and their support will be shown, as before, by the march…. Mr G Paddon, Pathfinder Village, Tedburn St Mary (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 29.8.02 PERHAPS THE MARCHERS COULD HUNT IN SPIRIT? - Evidently the single-issue pro-hunting group, the Countryside Alliance, has come up with the idea of bolstering numbers for its London march by including those who cannot attend but who will "march in spirit"… Why don't they request that all those who support blood sports do their hunting also in spirit?... Dr John Pamment, Clyst Heath, Exeter (letter)

Evening Standard 11.9.02 Melanie McDonagh - No one loves a dirty rat - Among the unlikelier elements on the Countryside March there will be seven members of the Royal Albert Ratting Club, which meets in the Royal Albert pub in Barnsley… In considering a hunting ban, perhaps we should imagine it being applied to other warm-blooded mammals we'd be prepared to poison on sight. The hunting debate should stand or fall on the rat question… (story)
Telegraph 10.9.02 Barnsley pub ratters join the hunting set - Members of the Royal Albert Ratting Club would be the first to admit they do not fit the archetypal image of the hunting set… But the seven stalwarts, who use terriers and ferrets to kill rats, are preparing to stand shoulder to shoulder alongside all classes of society in the Liberty and Livelihood march in London on Sept 22…. At the club's monthly meeting in the Royal Albert pub at Blacker Hill, near Barnsley, South Yorks, the name of Tony Blair is used in the same irreverent way as that of Margaret Thatcher in a traditional Labour area devastated by pit closures…. Kevin Bradley, 46, secretary and treasurer, said the sporting element was working the dogs and ferrets. "All we want is to be allowed our freedom in our own countryside to enjoy our sport or provide a free pest control service to people," he said. "We have got the old fluffy bunny brigade telling us what we are doing while so-called pet-lovers lock their dogs up in flats in London for 24 hours a day. That's animal cruelty…" (story)

Northampton Evening Telegraph 11.9.02 Hunting ban ‘would cost me my job - A BRIGSTOCK man says he stands to lose his job and home if fox hunting is banned. Tim Taylor, huntsman for the Woodland Pytchley pack, is facing an uncertain future as MPs are almost certain to be given some sort of vote on the issue this autumn… From his home in Kennel Lane, Mr Taylor and four full-time staff care for 120 hounds for the Woodland Pytchley, the Nottinghamshire Mink Hounds and the Pipewell Beagles… (story)

Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 11.9.02 Hunting supporter will not get my vote - I HAVE just read in my Sunday newspaper of the horrendous tortures inflicted on animals by the pro-hunting lobby and the obscene act they have perpetrated against the wonderful and compassionate Carla Lane... SYLVIA FERBER, St Ronan's Crescent, Woodford Green (letter)

Yorkshire Post 6.9.02 Elusive quarry - FOR three days next week, Parliament will host a debate on fox hunting. Not, it should be noted, a Parliamentary debate in which elected politicians take to the floor of the House of Commons. Too few have returned from their long vacations to enable such a discussion… Of course, even if the pro-hunting lobby win the intellectual and moral arguments, the Government has now gone so far down the legislative road towards implementing a ban, that it is hard to see how next week's deliberations will affect the ultimate outcome… The more vindictive Labour MPs may have the scent of blood in their nostrils, but the pro-hunting lobby could yet prove to be an elusive quarry. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 11.9.02 HUNTERS NOT BEYOND THE LAW - I was rather surprised at the comments by the Countryside Alliance in The Citizen. They appeared to be saying it would be acceptable to defy the law should a ban on fox hunting take place…. PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, near Stroud (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.9.02 WHY PROLONG SUCH UNNECESSARY AGONY? - Must the Government prolong consultations and inquiry into the live animal hunting issue into another stag, hare and fox hunting season?....The decision to hold six months of consultation after the Hunting Bill, passed by the House of Commons with a 211 majority vote on March 18, was rejected by the House of Lords came as a disappointment to the many campaigners for a firm and final ban on these brutal ideas of sport. Less than two weeks later the Devon and Somerset Staghounds chased an exhausted stag, which had probably been harassed over miles, into the River Barle at Dulverton… The Campaign to Protect Hunted Animals roadshow has produced a magnificent response with an impressive number of petition signatures… K Watson Stockport Cheshire (letter)

Daily Post 11.9.02 Throats torn out as gang dogs kill foxes - A VICIOUS gang of bloodsport fanatics is feared to be at large in Cheshire after 17 dead foxes with horrific injuries were found dumped in a country lane… The killings are believed to be the work of gangs with lurcher dogs who stalk rural areas at night searching for foxes. They use a practice known as lamping which involves using powerful lights to dazzle the animal before releasing the pack of dogs. Chris Owen, spokesman for the Chester-based Wildlife Cruelty Investigation Alliance, said: "These poor animals suffered a cruel death for no other reason than for entertainment… RSPCA spokesman Kevin Heggarty said: "The RSPCA is opposed to the killing, injuring or taking of any wild animal and is distressed to hear what has happened. We are interested in looking into the incident."… (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 11.9.02 Time for open debate on vivisection - Sir, – Some members of the Ipswich Animal Rights Group travelled to London on Saturday, September 7 to join other like minded activists on a rally. The purpose of the rally is to call for an independent judicial inquiry into vivisection… We will be demanding that the BBC airtime for an open, real-time debate on vivisection with anti-vivisectionists of our own choosing who will, for the first time, put across the scientific arguments against vivisection. IAN SMITH, Philip Road, Bury St Edmunds (letter)

Guardian 11.9.02 Zoos blues - There really is very little justification for zoos (No holds barred, September 4)… Richard Mountford, Development manager, Animal Aid
In what could have been a really interesting article and a genuine debate about zoos, your reporter takes the easy option by allowing himself to be the spokesperson for Caps and the Born Free Foundation, which are openly working for the closure of all zoos. The lack of balance, and the focus on only one zoo, leaves the reader totally in the dark about the genuine successes being achieved by many zoos in this country… Ken Simms, Chair, Federation of Zoos (letters)
Guardian 4.9.02 No holds barred - You wouldn't expect to find endangered species of animals discussed under 'any other business' on a council's agenda. But local authorities are caught in the middle of an increasingly bitter battle over the value of zoos - Michael McIlvenna… One animal welfare organisation, the Captive Animals Protection Society (Caps), lists Southport among Britain's worst zoos…. Southport zoo is picketed each weekend by members of two groups demanding its closure. You do not need to visit the zoo to be aware of the protests: homes, shops and businesses in the area are regularly blitzed with leaflets criticising conditions at the attraction… The Born Free Foundation, the international wildlife charity, believes local authorities are in an especially difficult position. Will Travers, chief executive of the organisation founded by his parents, Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, says: "When they are the licensing authority, but also have a strong interest in the local economy, they might be less inclined to take severe action such as closure…" Diane Westwood, executive director of Caps, says it would not be in the interests of any council to close a zoo because, under new rules, the local authority would be required to oversee the dispersal of large numbers of exotic animals… (story)

Yorkshire Post 11.9.02 Back eggs campaign, say charity - Sally Cope … The RSPCA wants people to buy free-range eggs and then send them the empty boxes, which passed on, with a petition, to the Defra Secretary of State, Margaret Beckett, whose department has begun a consultation process into conditions for laying hens…. (story)

Western Daily Press 11.9.02 FIND THIS CRUEL CULPRIT Just two weeks ago I read in your paper a dreadful story of cruelty to a dog, dragged to its death behind a car… This person should be brought to justice and never again be allowed to own a car or a dog. R Haynes Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.9.02 THE MAN WHO SWITCHED SIDES - While the public gradually tires of the Government's stuttering attempts to ban hunting, a pitched battle is being waged along two lines across the Quantock hills… This is something of which Graham Floyd is all too aware. Having been born into the hunting fraternity, he is now openly opposed to blood spor ts… Since he took up his position as sanctuary officer with the League Against Cruel Sports three years ago, he says he has been shunned by many former friends and relations, and felt compelled to leave his home… "My family have pretty much disowned me, we don't really speak anymore." I meet Graham on a sunny morning as he prepares to monitor the Quantock Staghounds…. "They hardly ever manage to kill anything anymore, " says Graham. "The land they're allowed to hunt on is too fragmented. It's high time the sport was banned…. (story)

HUNTING HEARINGS
Times 10.9.02 Peer urges delayed hunt vote to reach consensus BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR … Lord Burns, the man responsible for the Government’s official inquiry on hunting, suggested that if new laws to ban or regulate the sport were rushed through Parliament many people would oppose the outcome…. Recent government leaks have suggested that some ministers believe that they could broker a deal by banning hunting in most of lowland Britain but allowing it in the uplands to help farmers protect livestock. But Lord Burns said: “The legislation should not be based on different geographical locations but based on objective measures. Define the activity and not the location.”… (story)
Times 10.9.02 Clash on hunt's use BY GREG HURST, PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT - THE first day of the parliamentary hearings on hunting at Portcullis House in Westminster established little common ground between the two sides. Stephen Tapper, of the Game Conservancy Trust, who spoke after Lord Burns, argued that hunting made an important local contribution to conservation while Stephen Harris, Professor of Environmental Sciences at Bristol University, called it insignificant and detrimental…. (story)
Guardian 10.9.02 'Gradual' action on hunting advised … Introducing legislation which bans hunting with dogs immediately could alienate many country people, a senior government adviser warned yesterday. At the start of a three-day hearing on hunting, Lord Burns, who chaired a committee of inquiry on the issue, advised a cautious approach…. Piran White, of York University, reported that only 0.4% of lambs were killed by foxes, and said keeping newborn lambs indoors for a few hours was the best way of preventing them being taken by a fox…. Critics believe the current consultation period is "cosmetic" but Mr Michael insisted he had not yet made up his mind over the proposals (story)
Independent 10.9.02 Meeting of minds needed before fox hunting decision, warns peer By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent - Lord Burns, who wrote the Government's official report into hunting, warned ministers yesterday not to rush ahead with a law banning the use of dogs in the sport… Richard Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance. "Trying for a quick solution would not be a solution at all."… Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "We are confident that any new evidence will back up what is already an overwhelming moral and scientific case against hunting with dogs."…(story)
Independent 10.9.02 The cruelty of this tedious debate over fox-hunting - Does anyone know what Tony Blair really thinks about fox hunting? … This newspaper believes fox-hunting is a curious and rather unsavoury pastime, but that is not cause for a ban. There are far more pressing animal welfare issues, such as battery farming and experimentation on primates. Where cruelty is found in field sports, there are already laws to deal with it. Far better that there be no ban on hunting, than a fudged middle way, whose only true motive is political guile. (story)
Telegraph 10.9.02 No 10 told not to rush hunt ban By Charles Clover, Environment Editor Tony Blair should delay attempts to devise a quick compromise Bill on hunting because it would not attract broad public support, the chairman of the Government's hunting inquiry said yesterday. Lord Burns, who chaired a six-month investigation into hunting two years ago, was addressing the first of three days of televised hearings on the future of the sport… Dr Stephen Tapper, of the Game Conservancy Trust, said that hunts spent an estimated £1.4 million a year on conservation, including maintaining rides and walls… But Stephen Harris, professor of environmental sciences at Bristol University, said: "I find it hard to find any evidence that hunting makes any contribution to habitat or wildlife. I would even say that it had a negative impact."… (story)
Yorkshire Post 10.9.02 Quick-fix on fox hunting 'would split country' - Brendan Carlin Political Editor - THE Government was last night under pressure to soft-pedal on proposals to regulate fox hunting after its own adviser warned that a quick ban would fail to heal the countryside's divisions. But at the start of a three-day consultative hearing on whether a ban could be justified, anti-hunt campaigners defiantly insisted that there could be "no compromise" in their battle to outlaw hunting with hounds… Lord Burns, the man chosen by the Government to chair the committee of inquiry into hunting with dogs which reported two years ago, yesterday warned that only a gradual approach was likely to bring the countryside together… (story)
Western Daily Press 10.9.02 CONSERVATION EXPERTS CLASH - Experts yesterday clashed over whether hunting with dogs helps preserve wildlife, at the start of a three-day inquiry to decide the future of bloodspor ts. The confrontation came during unprecedented public hearings at Parliament, which will shape legislation to be drawn up by the Government this autumn… (story)
Western Daily Press 10.9.02 HUNT BAN 'WILL ENDANGER DEER' - Banning hunting will trigger a massive cut in the number of wild red deer in the West, a hearing on bloodsports was told yest e rd ay. Hugh Thomas, who chairs the Exmoor Deer Management Society, said hunting with dogs is the best way to ensure a healthy number of animals… (story)
Western Morning News 10.9.02 BURNS WARNS AGAINST IMMEDIATE HUNTING BAN - JASON GROVES - The chairman of the Government's inquiry into hunting with dogs yesterday warned MPs that they would perpetuate division in the countryside if they pressed ahead with plans to outlaw the controversial activity as quickly as possible… (story)
Western Morning News 10.9.02 DEER 'WOULD BE DECIMATED WITHOUT HUNT' - Exmoor's red deer population would be decimated if hunting was banned as farmers turned to other forms of population control, the Government's hearings on the future of hunting were told yesterday. Hugh Thomas, chairman of Exmoor Deer Management, said many Exmoor farmers only tolerated the damage caused by deer because they supported the hunts… Dr Piran White, a wildlife ecologist from the University of York, said the economic damage caused by foxes was often grossly overstated…. (story)
Belfast Telegraph 10.9.02 'Lamping' can control foxes By Brian Walker - SHOOTING foxes at night, or "lamping" is the best way of controlling the fox population, according to evidence from the RSPCA being presented at the Government's three-day inquiry into a fox-hunting ban at Westminster…(story)

POLICE POWERS
Western Daily Press 10.9.02 PLEA FOR MORE POLICE POWERS OVER HUNT BAN - Police are calling for new powers amid fears that a ban on hunting could lead to a campaign of mass disobedience across the countryside, it was revealed yesterday… (story)
Times 9.9.02 Landowners who flout hunt ban 'should be prosecuted' BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - FEARS of mass disobedience in the event of a ban on hunting have prompted police chiefs to ask for a law to deal with landowners who allow illicit hunts on their property. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) says that, without a specific offence directed at landowners, many will turn a blind eye to a ban. The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, as first reported in The Times, are willing to defy any anti-hunt laws and to allow the sport to continue on their Chatsworth estate. Police chiefs are convinced that other landowners would follow suit…. (story)
Times 7.9.02 Police chiefs fear law will bring chaos to the hills BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR, AND MELISSA KITE - SENIOR police have told the Government that they will not be able to monitor the “inconsistent” proposed laws on upland and lowland hunting. A letter to the Rural Affairs Minister from Alastair McWhirter, the deputy chief constable of Wiltshire, on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers, insists that new laws must be consistent and “preferably not create offences in one part of the country which are not illegal in others”. He wrote to Alun Michael: “I understand that this may clash with the principle of utility but it would make policing extremely difficult if, for example, something was illegal in parts of Northumbria, legal in Cumbria and who knows what in Scotland?”…. (story)

Telegraph 10.9.02 Notebook By Vicki Woods - Why is Ambridge a passion-free zone over hunting ban? - I was wallowing in the bath on Sunday, listening to The Archers and wishing it was something else, when a male character whose name escapes me asked Jill Archer if she wanted a Liberty and Livelihood sticker for her car. To my surprise, she demurred… I heard Jill murmur something about "having always been against the hunt, you know", and her interlocutor said mmn, yes - but the march was about more than just hunting, wasn't it?... It was a farcical little exchange, though. Animal rights arguments are now so red in tooth and claw that the bland Ambridge geniality sounded beyond fake. In real life, pros and antis can't be seated at dinner together without violence… (story)

Western Morning News 10.9.02 POLITICAL PREJUDICE IS AT OUR EXPENSE - Thousands from the Westcountry will march in the Liberty and Livelihood march on Sunday, September 22. ESTHER SHAW speaks to graduate Amie Pascoe, who is demanding that politicians listen to what she and fellow demonstrators are saying about the need to preserve the countryside and the rural way of life for future generations… Amie has plans to work for a pressure group, such as the Countryside Alliance, when she returns from an expedition to Ghana… (story)
Western Morning News 10.9.02 MERCILESS CHASE OF WILD ANIMALS MUST BE BANNED - As a founder member of Cornwall Hunt Saboteurs, writes Mary Lynch, I have been actively involved in protecting animals from being hunted for many years… Young hounds have to be taught to hunt and are forced to attack and savage fox cubs as part of their training… It has long been known that foxes control their own numbers by food availability… (story)

Western Daily Press 10.9.02 THE REAL HUNTERS WON'T BE IN MARCH In reply to Mr Haines's letter, Do Not March, Save Our Feathered Friends, I thought he might like to hear a conversation that took place at a coffee morning I attended… I asked everyone who had a cat how many birds they would catch in a week. The average was three or four… The moral of this tale is - don't blame the farmers and country folk for everything. Kathleen Stagg Tredington Tewkesbury Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 2.9.02 SAVE YOUR FEATHERED FRIENDS - DO NOT MARCH Sir - Reading your article on August 26 entitled "Rare goose in wildlife project is victim of huntsman" once again gives me the opportunity to remind people of the Countryside Alliance's involvement of supporting the killing of our migratory breeding birds. If any member of the RSPB, or any other genuine conservation body, travels to London to support their march, they are ultimately agreeing with this carnage… All evening and dawn shooting of waders and wildfowl should be banned, as it is virtually impossible to identify Cadwall and Garganey from Mallards, and the lesser white fronted goose from white fronted geese… Stay in the countryside, go birdwatching, knowing that hundreds will be saved that day, as the majority of the bird killers will be in London. M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 10.9.02 YOUR correspondent J Ward-Hayne in defence of hunting, spends many words explaining how democracy works… he made no attempt to justify the predatory dogs and the flailing hooves galloping over meadow and wood… G R Cook, Okehampton Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 10.9.02 J WARD-HAYNE (WMN, August 21) writes that laws restricting the liberty and livelihoods of citizens should not be passed without very good reasons for doing so… I recently wrote to Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter… I had a prompt and polite reply from Mr Bradshaw stating that he would have to agree to differ on the hunting issue, and that because I am not a constituent of his he could not answer questions… I wrote to Ann Widdecombe on the same matter, had a prompt and polite reply, and a refusal to answer my questions. A few years ago I had an interview with Jackie Ballard - who was my MP. She also refused to discuss the issues or answer my questions… If MPs are prepared to use their majority to restrict the liberty and severely affect the livelihood of a great many people, they should be prepared to discuss the matter with their victims. Jim Morrish, Wellington, Somerset (letter)
Western Morning News 10.9.02 I HAVE read many arguments about foxhunting, but J Ward-Hayne goes too far. Using the present tragic and agonising situation in Zimbabwe as an argument for not foxhunting is sick… If this mentality is typical of foxhunters, the sooner the "sport" is banned, the better. Ann Owen, Croyde North Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 3.9.02 March proudly - THE assertion by Shirley Child that countryside marchers "feel they have special rights over the rest of the population" is wide of the mark. They have, and intend to assert, the same rights as any other citizen, namely the rights to live their lives and gain their livelihoods without being criminalised by arbitrary legislation based on emotion instead of reason…. J Ward-Hayne, Modbury, Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 22.8.02 GOOD RIDDANCE TO HUNTING - I won't be sorry if people like Jo Strong feel compelled to live in Australia when hunting is banned… Sadly the countryside marches alienate and divide instead of projecting a more hopeful, sustainable image of farming… Shirley Child, Exmouth (letter)

Western Morning News 10.9.02 IS COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE THE VOICE OF RURAL BRITAIN? - The Countryside Alliance professes to be the voice of rural Britain… When in 2000 Barclays Bank closed 171 rural branches with the loss of thousands of jobs the alliance was quick to condemn the decision… A hypocritical stance, considering as at the time the alliance held £40,000 of shares in Barclays… The Countryside Alliance has been astute to realise that it needs to show some concern about genuine rural grievances in order to gain a larger audience for its true agenda, the preservation of bloodsports. The only people it represents are those intent on defending and perpetuating the cruelty to animals inherent to these activities. Archie Shepherd, Plymouth
THE Countryside Alliance responds: Each of the shareholdings mentioned were bequeathed to the Alliance and its predecessor organizations… . The Countryside Alliance did not support the fuel protests… Sam Butler is not the chairman of the Countryside Alliance. He is the unpaid head of the Campaign for Hunting within the organisation and a partner in a small private estate agency… The two companies McAlpine and Persimmon have never donated money to the Countryside Alliance… (letter)

Western Morning News 10.9.02 I WAS deeply saddened by the photographs (WMN, August 9) of a stag being pursued by hounds in a river near Dulverton… Mrs Jennifer Cook, Honiton (letter)

Western Morning News 10.9.02 Bereft of ideas - WAS it by design or coincidence that J Phelps' letter appeared alongside Neil Young's column? (WMN, August 17). Either way most appropriate. How can anyone flit between political parties so freely over one minor consideration, e.g. to ban fox-hunting, when there are so many major issues desperately waiting to be addressed?... W J Sweet, Mawgan Helston (letter)
Western Morning News 27.8.02 SO Mr Phelps has left the Labour Party and rejoined the Liberal Democrats over the massively important issue of a ban on hunting. As I understand it, the Lib-Dems support the "middle-way"… How nice that Mr Phelps has put aside his prejudices and is prepared to compromise for the benefit of the countryside…. M Hunter, South Zeal (letter)
Western Morning News 17.8.02 HUNT VOTE DELAY WILL COST LABOUR AT POLLS In the absence of a formal job description, it is difficult to understand what Members of Parliament are paid for, but I am hesitant to accept the letter from Tess Nash (WMN, August 13), complaining that Matthew Taylor MP did not represent his constituents by voting for a hunting ban… Further delay by the Labour Government in enacting a ban will deservedly cost the party lots of votes. I have now rejoined the Liberal Democrats in view of the procrastination and prevarication of Tony Blair and duplicity of Jack Straw in this matter. John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 10.9.02 DESTROYING HOUNDS IS NOT THE ONLY ANSWER - I am appalled and enraged to read the comments made in your article "Dartmoor huntsman fears for his hounds", (WMN, August 19) by the master and huntsman of the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt, Guy Morlock… I am sure the huntsmen of the Spooners and West Dartmoor hunt could afford to pay for the upkeep of these dogs following a hunt ban, but they will not. David Neale, Looe, Cornwall (story)

Western Morning News 10.9.02 WHY WE PITY THOSE POOR 'TOWNIES' - I do so agree with Lynne Curry regarding the terrible suffering of "townies" who have to live in £375,000 apartments near to the best theatres, shops, restaurants, museums, exhibitions etc… Speaking as one of the privileged rural poor, I find fresh air is ample compensation for having to drive 20 miles to work for the minimum wage. No wonder the unfortunate townies want to ban hunting and (if at all possible) farming. We over-indulged country people have no right to make a very modest living doing something urbanites find vaguely distasteful…. M Hunter, South Zeal (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 10.9.02 CARNIVAL COULD SOON BE OVER FOR HUNT FRATERNITY - The Countryside Alliance should realise that… it will never convince the vast majority of us that such an unfortunate necessity should be a carnival… David Fanson, Beacon Lane, Exeter (letter)

Shropshire Star 10.9.02 Hunting of mink now a problem - I would like the local MPs David Wright and Peter Bradley to explain via your paper how mink are going to be controlled if hunting with dogs is banned… DL Barnett, Arleston (letter in archive)

Northern Echo 10.9.02 RETURN OF THE WOLF - JUST where are these people coming from who want to see the wolf returned to our countryside?... I bet these same people are totally against fox hunting. But it is quite all right for a wolf to tear a deer or any other animal to pieces… H Smith, Darlington (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 10.9.02 THIS BIRD IS THE LATEST TARGET We felt we must write to you regarding the article "Massacre fear at water park"… Well done to Paul Richardson, of the Cotswold Swan and Wild Bird Rescue, for speaking out and branding it a disgrace. We of Birdwatch agree wholeheartedly…. M. JOYNER, Birdwatch, Hopewell Street, Gloucester (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 6.9.02 Park geese may be shot - HUNDREDS of Canada geese at Cotswold Water Park could be shot because business owners say they are a menace to tourists… But animal rights campaigners have vowed to take action if marksmen start shooting…. Paul Richardson, of the Cotswold Swan Rescue Centre and Cirencester Animal Rights said: "There isn't a problem with Canada geese at the water park…" Mike Haines of Cirencester Animal Rights said if the birds had to be culled, dipping eggs to stop them hatching would avoid all the shooting, maiming and injury… (story in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 30.8.02 MUCKY GEESE GET THE BULLET IN PARK CULL - Animal lovers fear hundreds of Canada geese could be shot at the Cotswold Water Park… Paul Richardson of the Cirencester-based Cotswold Swan and Wild Bird Rescue Centre fears the cull could turn into a massacre… (story)

Western Morning News 10.9.02 ANGER OVER DECISION TO SHOOT SEAGULLS - A westcountry hospital has admitted hiring professional gunmen to shoot seagulls from its roof before starting maintenance work… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 9.9.02 SHOOTERS CULL HOSPITAL GULLS … Bosses at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Wonford, brought experts in on Wednesday evening to kill between 20 and 30 seagulls. Some people who were in the grounds of the hospital at the time have reacted with anger at seeing a bird fall from the sky… Janet Kipling, a spokeswoman for the RSPCA, explained that licences can be obtained from the Government to cull pests and shooting was a legitimate method… (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 10.9.02 It's grim for greyhounds - SO September 3 saw Abbey Stadium celebrate 50 years of greyhound racing. In that time, hundreds of thousands of greyhounds in Britain have been killed, simply because they reached the end of their racing life. Hardly something to celebrate!... If you would like to help in the fight against greyhound cruelty please contact Greyhound Action PO Box 127, Kidderminster, Worcs, DY10 3UZ. Marilyn Harrison, Beaulieu Close, Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 10.9.02 ZOOS ARE CRUEL TO ANIMALS …should we keep animals in captivity just for our own entertainment and at what cost to the animals?... Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS) is calling for a moratorium on new zoos and greater legal protection for captive animals… D Spencer, Dovedale Crescent, Belper (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 10.9.02 JUSTIFY HQ - With regards to the article about the RSPCA needing £100,000 by next March, I would like to ask the RSPCA how it can justify paying £18m for a new headquarters when the animal shelters seem to be struggling?... Name and address supplied. (letter)

HUNTING HEARINGS
Western Morning News 9.9.02 COMMONS HEARING TO DEBATE A COMPROMISE - A last-ditch effort to find a compromise on the future of hunting with dogs will be made today as a three-day hearing on the issue begins at Westminster… Paul Tyler, the Lib-Dem MP for North Cornwall, said: "I suspect it is going to be the dialogue of the deaf."… Gary Streeter, Conservative MP for South West Devon, said: "The arguments on both sides are well known. "The Government have got to make up their minds as to whether they are going to listen to the countryside or not."… (story)
Argus 9.9.02 Hunting reform on course - Hunting will not be allowed to continue in its present form in areas such as Sussex, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael warned today. Mr Michael spoke out as a three-day hearing on hunting's future began at Westminster…. (story in archive)
Western Mail 9.9.02 Bid to draw line under hunt controversy - Nick Speed, The Western Mail - AFTER more than a year in the brief, he should have a pretty good idea already. Having taken every effort to get to the bottom of both sides of the hunting debate, Alun Michael must sometimes have wondered if he's the quarry… Lembit Opik, the Welsh Liberal Democrat leader who will attend the hearings wearing his Middle Way group chairman's hat, says much could hang on how the minister chairs the hearings… (story)
Belfast Telegraph 9.9.02 Inquiry over fox hunt ban By Brian Walker - A BRAND new type of inquiry was launched today into the vexed question of a ban on fox hunting in England and Wales, a topic which has put many Labour backbenchers at loggerheads with the Government, town against country and animal rights' supporters against hunt supporters…. (story)
York Evening Press 9.9.02 Minister warns of fox hunt changes by James Slack - RURAL Affairs Minister Alun Michael warned today that fox hunting would not be allowed to continue in its present form in areas such as North Yorkshire. Mr Michael spoke out as a three-day hearing on the future of the controversial pursuit began at Westminster…. Jeremy Timm, master of the York and Ainsty Hunt, said: "We cannot pre-empt what the outcome of the hearing will be, but the hope is that the evidence is presented fairly and squarely." (story in archive)
Lincolnshire Echo 9.9.02 FUTURE OF HUNTING GOES ON THE LINE - The first pieces of evidence in the public inquiry into hunting with dogs were being given today… Daniel Crane, joint master of the Horncastle-based South Wold Hunt and member of the Countryside Alliance, is hopeful that the consultation will show that hunts should be allowed to continue in the future…. Jean Battersby, of anti-hunt group Lincoln Animal Rights, hoped otherwise…. (story)

Western Daily Press 9.9.02 WHEN THE HUNTERS ARE BEING HUNTED - In less than two weeks time, half a million people will march on Whitehall in support of hunting. With the more militant countryside campaigners plotting direct action if hunting is banned, reporter TRISTAN CORK spent a day with the West's premier hunt, the Beaufort, to meet the people who claim their livelihoods are on the line… (story)

Western Morning News 9.9.02 FEARS OF 'BACK DOOR' HUNT BAN - NATHAN PYNN - Westcountry MPs last night warned that the Government must not be allowed to ban hunting through the back door, as speculation increases over the future of the sport… Gary Streeter, Conservative MP for Devon South West, said a back door Bill would "lack moral legitimacy"…. John Burnett, Lib-Dem MP for Torridge and West Devon, urged the Government to act democratically… Mal Treharne, of the Countryside Alliance, said he was confident that fears of a ban being passed through the back door were exaggerated… Hayden Macey, of South Devon Animal Rights and South Devon Hunt Saboteurs, said: "We do not care whether the ban comes through the back door, front door or even the cat flap as long as it comes, and as soon as possible."… Hugo Swire, Conservative MP for East Devon, feels the Government is being clandestine in its approach… (story)

Telegraph 9.9.02 A question of sport …When at home, many officers and men of the British Armed Forces indulge in field sports, one of which, hunting with dogs, the Government is spending enormous amounts of its precious time trying to ban.I wonder if the irony has dawned on Mr Blair that, while his men are away defending our liberty, many of them will be criminalised when they return… Charles Hansard, London SW1 (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 9.9.02 Majority against hunting ban - Barbara Mitchell is wrong to claim that the majority of people want hunting with dogs banned. When the RSPCA made the same claim in an advertising campaign last year, the Advertising Standards Authority criticised it as misleading and ordered it to stop implying it in future advertising. The ASA adjudication quoted in evidence an independent NOP poll which showed a majority in favour of hunting continuing… Steve Brookes, Wednesbury (letter)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 3.9.02 Wrong kind of liberty - Clare Rowson says that the theme of the march planned by the Countryside Alliance in September is liberty and livelihood. The liberty to which she refers seems to be the liberty of a small group of people to pursue and kill deer, foxes and hares in a singularly unpleasant manner…. Barbara Michell, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 9.9.02 I could hardly believe it when I heard that one Torbay councillor stopped the RSPCA touring coach from campaigning against cruelty to animals!.. We should know the name of the Torbay Councillor and if he is a supporter of the Countryside Alliance and bloodsports. P DYER, Mill Lane, Cannington (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 28.8.02 AFRAID OF WHOM? - I see the council has refused animal welfare organisations the chance to visit Torquay. That did not receive any publicity to my knowledge… This is not a hunting area, and many Tories, some well known, support a ban. Who was the council afraid of offending? D COYLE Garth Road, Torquay (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 20.8.02 RECONSIDER BAN ON HUNT ROADSHOW - I understand that Torbay Council is refusing to allow animal welfare organisations to visit the town to collect signatures supporting a ban on hunting with dogs… The 'Banner for a Ban' roadshow, organised by the RSPCA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the League Against Cruel Sports, is touring England and Wales this summer… I cannot see any valid reason to prevent this petition from coming to Torbay… TONY BANKS MP House of Commons, London (letter)

Sunday Telegraph 8.9.02 Some hunting is 'necessary' says rural minister By Colin Brown, Political Editor - Hunting with hounds is "necessary" in some country areas and should not be banned where it is the best way of protecting livestock, the minister for rural affairs said last night. Alun Michael, the minister responsible for drawing up the foxhunting Bill, said that hunting to safeguard farm animals and control fox numbers was "fair enough"…. The minister, who will hold a three-day series of hearings on hunting this week before publishing a draft Bill, also rejected a recent report which claimed that fox numbers had not increased during last year's ban on hunting, which was caused by the foot and mouth outbreak. He dismissed the evidence as "inconclusive" saying that hunting supporters were adamant that alternative forms of culling had been used to keep down fox numbers…. It is likely that the Bill will propose a ban on hare coursing and stag hunting with dogs. Local authorities will then be allowed to decide whether hunts in their area are necessary and should be licensed…. (story)

Independent on Sunday 8.9.02 Review biased in favour of status quo, say opponents By Jo Dillon, Political Correspondent … A group of Labour MPs has written to Alun Michael, the minister responsible for the review of the laws on hunting, complaining that his planned consultation process – due to begin later this month – favours the pro-hunt lobby…. Evidence has been released linking leading figures in the Middle Way group to lucrative hunts. A recent edition of the Heythrop Hack – a hunt supporters' magazine – names Richard Schuster, who funds the Middle Way group, as deeply involved in the Heythrop hunt….Mr Schuster was also involved with the Four Shires Basset Hounds, and at the time of the Burns Inquiry into hunting with dogs was the chairman of the Masters of Basset Hounds... (story)

Independent on Sunday 8.9.02 Pro-hunt activists to target roads, Parliament and sporting events By Severin Carrell - Militant pro-hunting activists are planning to target Tony Blair, national sporting events, and the Houses of Parliament in an increasingly violent campaign against proposals to ban fox hunting… The Independent on Sunday has uncovered rural militants' plans to picket and disrupt public events attended by the Prime Minister, action that started last Tuesday when Tony Blair visited his Sedgefield constituency…. One prominent countryside activist, Robin Page, the former presenter of One Man and His Dog on BBC2 and chairman of the Countryside Restoration Trust, has received pledges from nearly 180 huntsmen, field sports enthusiasts and countryside activists that they would risk imprisonment if fox hunting were banned… (story)

Sunday Times 8.9.02 Pro-hunt rebels plot ‘air mayhem’ - MILITANT campaigners who oppose the proposed ban on foxhunting have drawn up plans to bring London’s three main airports to a standstill, writes Nicholas Hellen… Private e-mails between activists, seen by The Sunday Times, lay out proposals to “paralyse communications”. One message warns recipients “keep this to yourselves for God’s sake”, before spelling out Heathrow’s vulnerability: “(It) has only two entrances and one of them is a big tunnel. A well-placed ‘breakdown’ or two could cause real mayhem.”… This weekend the Countryside Alliance rejected the threat. Simon Hart, its campaign director, said: “We have no time for individuals or organisations who use illegal means as part of their campaigns. We are not going to encourage any action which inconveniences the public.” (story)

Sunday Times 8.9.02 Minette Marrin: Bullfighting dwarfs prove one EU size can’t fit all - The important news that Jack Straw favours a European Union constitution reached me not long ago in the mountains of southern Spain on a day when I was planning to go to a bullfight. With dwarfs…. Mr Straw has voted against cruelty in hunting and his party appears to be determined to stop foxhunting, even though its own Burns report found that foxhunting is not cruel… What we have come to expect from this government is a pathological inability to leave people alone in any of their pursuits or pleasures….Even the British worm seems to be turning. For years we have been rather docile and law-abiding. But suddenly a spirit of rebellion has appeared; national figures such as Jimmy Hill and the Duchess of Devonshire have publicly announced that they will break any ban against hunting…everyone should be stopped equally: no John Peel and no corrida — and no halal meat. It will be very funny watching Europe’s urban liberals, like Mr Straw, trying to create a constitution out of that can of turning and wriggling worms (story)

Sunday Times 8.9.02 Mean Fields: Jonathan Miller: Huntin’ shootin’ and Soho fishin’ - An ingénue researcher from the BBC’s Countryfile rang to run their latest line on hunting by me, presumably to see if I would parrot it for them on the air. It involved a confused, torturous conspiracy theory involving the Countryside Alliance. The girl was new so I explained why their thesis was wrong and ludicrous, and obviously she then had no further interest in me Nature magazine has published junk research attempting to prove that there are no more foxes this year than last, even after last year’s hunting suspension. This is research with an obvious political agenda and it is clearly also wrong, as anyone who lives in the country can tell you. Nobody has ever seen so many foxes… We meet at the Punch Bowl pub opposite the Surrey Union Kennels, the most attacked in Britain. The pub is sending a coach to London for the countryside march on September 22 (though a strong force will be left behind on guard duty)… (story)

Scotland on Sunday 8.9.02 Fading life of Brian - Siobhan Synnot - BRYAN Ferry may be regretting the hostage to fortune that is his musical back-catalogue this week… Much was made of the fact that he sent all four of his sons to Eton, though Isaac, a keen huntsman, was suspended from the school after sending abusive e-mails to anti-hunt campaigner Simon Wild… last month Otis, 19, who works for a hunt in Yorkshire, was arrested by armed police outside Tony Blair’s constituency home in the middle of the night after attempting to pin up pro-hunting posters… (story)

Sunday Times 8.9.02 Shooting is the new golf - NICHOLAS HELLEN, SOCIAL AFFAIRS EDITOR - THE blast of the shotgun is challenging the tap of the golf putter as Britain’s farmers let up to a third of their land to a new breed of field sports enthusiast… High-profile women who have faced down political controversy to endorse game shooting include Tracy Edwards, the yachtswoman, the singer Elaine Page and the former sports minister Kate Hoey. Male rugby internationals Phil Vickery and Rob Wainwright, as well as the pop star Sting, are also enthusiasts…. Regardless of its attitude to foxhunting, the government appears to have accepted tacitly that shooting is the key to achieving its goals on conservation…. a £300,000 government grant has been earmarked to boost consumption of game, under the slogan Game to Eat. The irony of taxpayer funding is not lost on the Countryside Alliance. A spokesman pointed out that Labour had simultaneously accepted money from animal rights groups dedicated to banning shooting. (story)

Sunday Times 8.9.02 Jeremy Clarkson: Gone fishing – a waste of time like no other - Nothing has happened this past week so it seems appropriate to talk about fishing… I flung one line out into the sea and then flung the other, which promptly got tangled up with the first. This, I soon learnt, is really what fishing’s all about. Undoing knots. Backward knitting…. don’t think your local pond is safe either. There are those who say that once Mr Blair has finished with foxes and pheasants, fish will be next. But long before he gets the chance, Manuel and Stavros will have been up the Grand Union canal with a Dyson. And had the lot (story)

Times 7.9.02 Backdoor ban on hunting BY MELISSA KITE, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE Government is to introduce a total ban on foxhunting by the back door, raising the prospect of a furious constitutional showdown in Parliament. Ministers are preparing a compromise Bill which will outlaw most forms of hunting with hounds but which will provide for licensed hunting in upland areas as the most humane way to control foxes. However, The Times has learnt that the Government fully expects MPs to amend the “Trojan horse” Bill, striking out the licensing option and strengthening it into a uniform ban across the country. Senior ministerial sources indicated that if this happens the Government will invoke the Parliament Act to push through the amended Bill, overriding the inevitable opposition in the Lords… (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 7.9.02 HUNTERS WARN AGAINST BILL Countryside campaigners have warned ministers against introducing a "Trojan horse" Bill in an attempt to push through a ban on hunting with hounds. The Government is planning a compromise Bill which would outlaw most forms of hunting, but provide for licensed hunting as the most humane way of controlling foxes. But ministerial sources say that the Government fully expected anti-hunting MPs to amend the Bill, striking out the licensing option and strengthening its provisions into a uniform ban… (story)
Ananova 7.9.02 Blair warned against 'trojan horse' hunting ban Countryside campaigners are warning ministers against introducing a "Trojan horse" Bill in an attempt to push through a ban on hunting with hounds…(story)
Guardian 7.9.02 Country alliance lays down gauntlet - Democracy at risk if MPs won't listen on hunting, says chairman - Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent - Democracy would be in danger if Labour MPs pressed ahead with a hunt ban regardless of pro-hunt groups succeeding in winning the argument at next week's government hearings, John Jackson, chairman of the Countryside Alliance, warned yesterday… (story)

Telegraph 7.9.02 What would be achieved by imposing a ban? - Miles Cooper, former hunt saboteur, talks to Charles Clover - When the future of hunting with hounds is debated for three days next week… one of the most important pieces of evidence presented in favour of traditional foxhunting will be a report by a former hunt saboteur. The existence of this report has been kept a close secret since it was written in 1997 by Miles Cooper, a theology student. Prepared for John Bryant, the then chief officer of the League Against Cruel Sports, just before the 1997 election, the report examines the future of fox control if formal hunting is banned… Mr Cooper sees it as inevitable that hunting - which accounts for only 10 to 15 per cent of foxes killed - would be replaced by gun packs and snaring, and, potentially, also by illegal practices such as setting lurchers after foxes… He hasn't yet decided whether to take part in the Liberty & Livelihood march, but says: "My inclination is towards marching on September 22, but in an anti-ban capacity. If I were to be asked, it would be from the liberty end. The liberty angle is the far stronger argument; I have always valued free thought, and the fact that I felt hindered in the anti-hunting movement was deeply frustrating." (story)

Times 7.9.02 Countryside march - FROM THE DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE - Sir, The Reverend Graham Hellier (letter, September 4) suggests that the “shrill dispute” over hunting means the Liberty and Livelihood March will miss the opportunity to address more important countryside issues. I disagree. The march is about exactly those issues which he raises: agricultural reform, farming incomes and rural services as well as the affordable housing crisis in rural areas and the increasing threat of greenfield development. That is why the majority of marchers will not be people who hunt, although all will support the right to do so…. DAVID LOWES, Deputy Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, 367 Kennington Road, SE11 4PT. September 5. (letter)
Times 4.9.02 Countryside march - FROM THE REVEREND GRAHAM HELLIER - Sir, The most remarkable feature of the March for Liberty and Livelihood on September 22 is the scale of the missed opportunity. There is immense sympathy and support for farmers and rural communities which could be used to tackle creatively the problems of changing agriculture, farming incomes, rural services and land ownership, yet these issues are likely to be sidelined by the shrill dispute over hunting… Monmarsh End, Marden, Hereford HR1 3EZ. (letter)

Telegraph 7.9.02 Country diary: at war - RWF Poole reflects on the Lowther show … one of the main topics of talk was the Liberty & Livelihood March in London on September 22, run by the Countryside Alliance, and how much effect this march will have on the Government…. "The only way you will save hunting is for Blair to be more frightened of the countryside than he is of his own backbenchers." Many doubt that the alliance can achieve this, which is why support for the rival Countryside Action Network is growing…. I remember a time in France when no government minister dared to set foot in the French countryside. Mr Blair wants us to be more European. (story)

Telegraph 7.9.02 Hunting permits to end - Fox hunts will no longer have to apply for special permits to guard against the spread of foot and mouth from the end of the month, it was announced yesterday… (story)

MAMMAL SOCIETY RESEARCH
Cumberland News & Star 7.9.02 HUNT FANS REJECT PROF'S EVIDENCE PRO-HUNTING supporters have rubbished new research which suggests that hunting does little to control foxes… But now Darren Hughes, a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance Campaign for Hunting, says that the professor's research is flawed… (story)
Worcester Evening News 7.9.02 Fox faeces used as `proof' - A WORCESTER anti-hunt campaigner says new research confirms what she has been saying for years about hunting . Anita Knittel, a member of Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA), says the Government now has no choice but to ban the sport… Bob Brierley, of the Worcestershire Hunt, said he had not seen the report but said local farmers should be asked about the effect foxes had on them during the foot-and-mouth epidemic…. (story in archive)
Worcester Evening News 7.9.02 Countryside chief speaks out against nature expert - CLAIMS by a wildlife expert that hunting has no effect on fox numbers have been dismissed by Countryside Alliance chief executive Richard Burge. Speaking on the first day of the Game and Country Fair at Malvern he said Professor Stephen Harris, of Bristol University, had drawn "incorrect conclusions from his research"… Yesterday, Mr Burge was addressing a shooting forum at the Game Fair, held at the Three Counties Showground, and warned shooters their sport was very much under threat "from the back door". He said the anti-gun lobby and anti-country sports factions had formed an "unholy alliance", and were already threatening the sport of shooting in several ways…. (story in archive)
Telegraph 7.9.02 Fox boom - understand that the Mammal Society's survey of the fox population was funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the RSPCA, both of which are against hunting… I have never known a year like it, in more than 30 years of keeping chickens and ducks. This same gamekeeper informs me that he has shot 53 foxes since the beginning of February… M P Wiedman, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire (letter)
Telegraph 7.9.02 Foxes are vermin - Surveys of fox droppings are rubbish. The conclusions which are alleged do not follow… Foxes are vermin and have to be killed, or there would not be a cat or a chicken left in the countryside…. Lord Walsingham, Thetford, Norfolk (letter)
Telegraph 5.9.02 Hunting ban will not lead to fox boom, says study By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - New evidence that a permanent ban on hunting would not lead to an explosion in the fox population has emerged from a nationwide survey… (story)
Guardian 5.9.02 Hunting ban did not lead to fox increase - James Meek, science correspondent - The ban on fox hunting during last year's foot and mouth outbreak did not lead to an increase in the number of foxes, scientists reported yesterday, undermining the hunting lobby's claims that their pastime is an extravagant but necessary form of pest control… The Countryside Alliance, which is for fox hunting, accused the Mammal Society of breaking a gentleman's agreement not to publish new research before next week's public hearings on hunting with dogs, chaired by Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister. Describing the Mammal Society as "patently an anti-hunting group", Alliance spokesman Tim Bonner said the research proved nothing new. (story)
Independent 5.9.02 Fox numbers 'not reduced by hunting' By Steve Connor, Science Editor … Professor Stephen Harris, who led the study, said the findings clearly demonstrated that hunting played no substantial role in regulating fox numbers….(story)
Times 5.9.02 Hunting does nothing to keep foxes in check, say scientists BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR (story)
Scotsman 5.9.02 Fox survey disputes ban claims - JAMES REYNOLDS ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT (story)
Worcester Evening News 5.9.02 Research will fox hunt lobby - MP - CITY MP Mike Foster today welcomed an academic study which claims a ban on hunting would not lead to an explosion in the fox population in Worcestershire… John Rolls, of the RSPCA, said he hoped the survey would "silence once and for all" the pro-hunting lobby. Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff, who supports the "middle way" option of allowing hunting to continue under licence, will sit on a nine-person panel at next week's hearings. (story in archive)
North West Evening Mail 5.9.02 ACADEMIC GIVES A BOOST TO ANTI-HUNT CAMPAIGN … The study was immediately attacked by the Countryside Alliance - which is fighting government proposals to ban the cruelty of the pursuit. Spokesman Simon Hart said: "The majority of British farmers and wildlife managers disagree with Prof Harris and consider his science is more akin to propaganda than meaningful results. "It seems odd that Prof Harris cannot wait until the public meetings in Portcullis House to have his evidence examined and feels the need to blurt it out without the need for intelligent analysis." (story)
Yorkshire Post 5.9.02 Fox totals 'failed to climb in hunt ban' - Chris Benfield (story)
York Evening Press 5.9.02 `Hunting has no effect on fox numbers' - claim - HUNT campaigners have reacted angrily to an academic report which claims a hunting ban would not cause an explosion in the fox population… the study was immediately attacked by the Countryside Alliance. Frank Houghton Brown, Master of the Middleton Hunt, said the report by Prof Harris was "drivel"…. (story in archive)
Scotsman 4.9.02 Banning Hunting 'Will Not Help Boost Fox Population' By Amanda Brown, Environment Correspondent, PA News - A ban on hunting will not lead to an explosion in the fox population, according to a report funded by the RSPCA and International Fund for Animal Welfare…. quotes from Professor Stephen Harris of Bristol University, who carried out the research, John Rolls, RSPCA Director of communications, Phyllis Campbell-McRae, director of IFAW UK… But the study in Nature was immediately criticised by pro-hunting Countryside Alliance spokesman Simon Hart, who said: “The majority of British farmers and wildlife managers disagree with Professor Harris and consider his science is more akin to propaganda than meaningful results…" (story)
Western Morning News 2.9.02 FOXES UNAFFECTED BY HUNT BAN - Hunting makes no difference to the number of foxes in the wild, a report will reveal this week. The Mammal Society study, to be published in Nature journal, claims fox numbers were unaffected during the ban on hunting during the foot-and-mouth crisis…. (story)
Independent on Sunday 1.9.02 Fox numbers unaffected by hunting By Andrew Morgan - Hunting plays no role in controlling foxes, according to a report published this week in Nature, which reveals that fox numbers remained unaffected during the ban on hunting in the foot and mouth crisis. The Mammal Society claims its study provides the only quantified data on the impact of the hunting ban… Although the Mammal Society says it has no policy on hunting, the study was funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (story)

Bristol Evening Post 7.9.02 HUNT BAN 'PUTS JOBS AT RISK' - A hunting ban across England and Wales would be catastrophic, for local economies, according to a Bristol accountant. As countryside campaigners prepare to march on London later this month, a survey carried out on behalf of Saffery Champness claims to show how important field sports are to the rural economy… (story)

Newcastle Journal 7.9.02 The Journal Talkback - Rising tensions over Iraq, the foxhunting debate and the future of Ashington town centre have all inspired calls to The Journal's Talkback line this week.
FOX HUNTING
The hunting debate is a waste of time. There are far more important things for our Government to be working on, such as the NHS, public transport and education… Jennifer Rae
I'm all in favour of the Countryside Alliance and will be doing my best to join the March in London… Tim Jobling-Purser,
The Countryside Alliance's beacons are polluting the countryside… Alan Bainbridge
Fox hunting shouldn't be stopped by law… It should be stopped voluntarily because, in the 21st Century, it is just plain stupid. Peter Martin (letters)

Hull Daily Mail 6.9.02 WOULD HUNTERS IGNORE BAN? - East YORKSHIRE: Fox hunters today vowed to fight "to the bitter end" if the Government presses ahead with plans to ban hunting… Two packs of foxhounds hunt over East Riding farmland - the Holderness and the Middleton - and the hunts attract hundreds of followers every week. But officials at the two hunts remained guarded as to whether their members would be prepared to break the law… (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald/Chippenham News 6.9.02 We'll break law, hunters threaten HUNT supporters in Wiltshire are prepared to break the law if the sport is banned by Parliament… Tony Holdsworth, 40, of the Duke of Beaufort Hunt, has been hunting all his life. He said: "I would most certainly continue. It would simply be a stupid law, as there are more important things to worry about…" Alistair McWhirter, deputy chief constable of Wiltshire, and spokesman on hunting with dogs for the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said: "… Any legislation which is introduced must be practically enforceable. If hunting with hounds is to be made illegal, then powers of entry onto land, powers of arrest and powers of seizure of hounds and horses and other equipment must be made clear…" Igrayne McNeile, of the Avon Vale Hunt, based in Chittoe, near Melksham, will probably continue hunting even if a ban is enforced… (story in archive)

Yorkshire Post 6.9.02 Elusive quarry - FOR three days next week, Parliament will host a debate on fox hunting. Not, it should be noted, a Parliamentary debate in which elected politicians take to the floor of the House of Commons. Too few have returned from their long vacations to enable such a discussion… Of course, even if the pro-hunting lobby win the intellectual and moral arguments, the Government has now gone so far down the legislative road towards implementing a ban, that it is hard to see how next week's deliberations will affect the ultimate outcome… The more vindictive Labour MPs may have the scent of blood in their nostrils, but the pro-hunting lobby could yet prove to be an elusive quarry. (story)

Shropshire Star 6.9.02 Pro-hunters say farmers back them By Arthur Mills …. A poll of more than 1,200 farmers across the West Midlands region revealed overwhelming support for hunting with dogs. The poll on behalf of the Countryside Alliance and the Council of Hunting Associations is the latest twist in the propaganda war from countryside campaigners ahead of next week's crucial public hearings…. More than 900 farmers - around 81 per cent - say that there are more foxes now than in February, 2001, when hunting was suspended due to the foot and mouth crisis…. (story)
Southern Daily Echo 6.9.02 Majority of farmers oppose hunting ban - A HUGE majority of farmers in the south are opposed to attempts to outlaw fox-hunting, according to a new survey… More than 93 per cent of farmers questioned on behalf of the alliance normally allow hunting with dogs on their land… The survey's findings will please the New Forest Hounds and other hunt groups who are battling to persuade MPs to allow the bloodsport to continue. However, Ken James of the New Forest Animal Protection Group said he attached no credence to the outcome of the study… (story in archive)

BANNER FOR A BAN CAMPAIGN
Ipswich/Anglia Advertiser 6.9.02 MPsupports hunting ban GREAT YARMOUTH MP Tony Wright joined hundreds of residents earlier this week by adding his signature to a petition - 'Campaigning to Protect Hunted Animals'. The roadshow which was organised by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the RSPCA and League Against Cruel Sports was in the Market Place on Tuesday and invited individuals to have their say in banning 'cruel sports' which involve fox, deer, hare and mink… (story)

Somerset County Gazette 6.9.02 Hate calls sparked by hunting - THE war of words in the hunting dispute deepened this week after anti-hunt campaigners claimed they were targeted by threatening and abusive phone calls. At least one messages directed at the League Against Cruel Sports sanctuary and base near Dulverton was captured on an answer machine… But Countryside Alliance spokesman Mal Treharne told the Somerset County Gazette hunt supporters faced similar intimidation daily… (story in archive)
Guardian 3.9.02 Abusive phone calls inquiry - Police were yesterday investigating threatening and abusive phone calls received by the anti-hunting League Against Cruel Sports at its branch in Dulverton, Somerset…. (story)
Western Daily Press 3.9.02 ANTI-HUNTING GROUP HIT BY ABUSE THREATS … The League Against Cruel Sports West Country branch, basedin Dulverton on Exmoor, claims it has receiveda number of abusive and anonymous telephone calls… Branch manager Paul Tillsley claimed: "We have received a series of calls of a threatening and abusive nature…." Mal Treharne, a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, saidit was not involvedin threatening calls andit didnot support lawb re a k i n g . He added: "We have also been getting calls and letters last week, but it is something we've been putting up with…" (story)

Hexham Courant 6.9.02 BRILLIANT BELLINGHAM - A HEADY brew of the traditional, the pioneering and the bizarre meant that Bellingham Show was back in business with a bang on Saturday … The top class hound show in the country fair kept the huge crowd enthralled for much of the day, and it was ironic that the Bellingham Hunting Horn Trophy went to the entered bitch Ruby from the Jedforest Hunt, for hunting has been banned north of the Border. The innumerable equine classes were the first to start and the last to finish, and one of the highlights of the day was the inter-hunt challenge, when teams of three horses and a quad bike representing four local hunts charged at breakneck speed around a testing course in the main arena. The Tynedale pipped the Border in the final… (story)
Newcastle Journal 2.9.02 Tradition and novelty draw the crowds - Traditional dog and horse shows and less traditional boxing kangaroos took centre stage as the 160-year-old Bellingham Show attracted an enthusiastic crowd at the weekend… However, other animals were very much at the forefront of the programme with hound and dog shows, terrier racing, equestrian classes, show jumping and an inter-hunt relay challenge involving horses and motorbikes which proved a big crowd-puller… (story)
Hexham Courant 23.8.02 SHOW IS BACK WITH A BANG - AFTER the disappointment of last year's cancellation due to foot-and-mouth disease, Bellingham Show is back with a vengeance a week tomorrow… There are many horse classes, for both showing and sporting purposes, not to mention the popular inter-hunt sports. The show incorporates a dog show, and there is a separate hound show in the country fair… (story)

Scotsman 6.9.02 Why don’t the pro-hunters just admit it? - Gillian Ferguson … It’s the sheer dishonesty of pro-hunters that gets me, their persistence with spurious arguments. Why don’t they just admit it? The simple reason they want to hunt is that they enjoy the cruelty, the suffering and terror of the animal, their collective mob power over it. They feel blood-lust the way people once flocked to the gladiators or dog fights or executions. It appeals to the most barbaric and degraded part of human nature that we’ve spent centuries trying to civilise - if they have not succeeded in this like the rest of us, tough…. (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 6.9.02 Racehorses' lap of honour - A PARADE of horses including the 2002 Grand National winner Bindaree, and Bond Boy which won the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood, was one of the top attractions at an open day on Sunday at Greatwood, near Marlborough… The afternoon featured a visit from the Marlborough Beagles and The Tedworth Hunt… (story in archive)

Telegraph 6.9.02 The limits of government power …it has been intimated that the Government may, if it wishes, enforce legislation by invoking the Parliament Acts. Neither the 1911 nor the 1949 Parliament Act was intended to force primary legislation on to the Statute Book, without the settled will of Parliament and people, just to satisfy political desire…. John Gouriet, Taunton, Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 6.9.02 ELECTED FEW FAIL TO LISTEN TO COUNTRY - Just as it was irrational and unjust for a Conservative government to "experiment" on Scotland with the ill-fated poll tax, so too it is unwise for a Scottish parliament to dictate that Westminster follow their example by outlawing hunting with dogs… Lord Clifford, Chudleigh (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 6.9.02 COME CLEAN OVER HUNTING - Here are several points to clarify about Graeme Worsley's letter against the RSPCA's anti-hunting… he and his fraternity couldn't give a damn whether or not the hunted animal is killed "quickly and cleanly"… Foxes were imported to this country in the 19th century as there weren't enough to go round to hunt… Most hinds are pregnant at the start of the hind hunting season… Hares are in decline… otters were hunted to near extinction… Deborah Barnes, West Hoathly Road, East Grinstead (letter)
East Grinstead Courier 30.8.02 HUMAN EMOTION NOT FELT BY FOX - There are several points to clarify about the RSPCA's stance towards fox hunting… Those foxes that are caught by hounds are in the majority weak. Other methods of control are non-selective…. Hounds are put to sleep when they are unable to feed or fend for themselves in the pack environment in which they live. It is a compassionate act carried out by the huntsman who loves his hounds. Wild animals which live in packs, such as wolves or hyaenas, do not have the luxury of a vet and so they do starve and die… Graeme Worsley, Effingham Lane, Copthorne (letter)
Kent/East Sussex Courier 17.8.02 FOX LAMPING IS THE BEST OPTION - In response to Graham Worsley (Courier, July 25), who claims that when hunting the fox is killed instantly, and that this is more humane than shooting, the RSPCA would like to state that the Govern-ment's Burns Inquiry said where a need to control foxes is shown, then lamping plus rifles has fewer adverse welfare effects than hunting. Where lamping cannot be done, it is accepted that dogs could be used to flush foxes from cover to waiting guns…. Mr Worsley also claims that the RSPCA would be unable to rehome all the hounds that hunts no longer require when hunting is banned. He does not mention that hunts already shoot 3,000 dogs each year when they are no longer fast enough to catch a fox. The RSPCA only puts down dogs on veterinary advice… Klare Kennett, RSPCA South East regional press officer, Maidstone (letter)
East Grinstead Courier 27.7.02 POLITICS, NOT ANIMAL WELFARE - The RSPCA states that to trap a fox and shoot it is acceptable. However, to shoot a fox and wound it is a criminal offence… It is impossible to guarantee a clean kill with one shot. In the case of hunting, the fox is killed instantly when caught… The RSPCA is an increasingly radical body more interested in political correctness than animal welfare. It will be unable to rehouse the 25,000-plus hounds if hunting is banned, let alone the thousands of horses and terriers which will have to go…. It already incinerates many tonnes of dog carcasses every year which it is unable to care for… Graeme Worsley, Effingham Lane, Copthorne (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 6.9.02 IMPORTANT PART OF RURAL LIFE - The Edenbridge and Oxted Show has just been held over the bank holiday weekend with record numbers attending. One of the highlights was the parade of seven packs of foxhounds in the main ring on Monday… The public reaction demonstrated that the majority do not support a ban on hunting, and a growing number are turning to support hunting because, as it becomes more open, people are accepting it as an important part of rural life. Graeme Worsley, Effingham Lane, Copthorne (letter)
East Grinstead Courier 30.8.02 FANTASTIC TWO-DAY SHOW WAS RESULT OF A GREAT TEAM EFFORT - CHAIRMAN John Garner said the Edenbridge and Oxted Show was a huge success, with record visitors in excess of 32,000 following the return of cattle to the line up of attractions… Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, based in Felbridge, was am-ong those which made a welcome entrance into the ring on Monday morning. Other hunts included Surrey Union, which was formed in 1799 and is believed to be one of the oldest in the country, Crawley and Horsham, South Downs and Eridge, Ashford Valley and East Sussex and Romney Marsh. Jim Garner said anti-hunt campaigners did not disturb the proceedings. Thirteen of them handed out leaflets at the car park entrance…. (story)
East Grinstead Courier 30.8.02 PEACEFUL PROTEST BY ANTI-HUNT GROUP AS THE POLICE STAND BY … A police presence watched over by Insp Gavin Stephens and officers armed with video surveillance equipment, ensured Sunday's schedule of attractions, including the Cavalcade of Beagles and Mink Hounds, went off without a hitch…. A small and peaceful group from the Surrey Anti Hunt Campaign protested at the main entrance to the Lingfield show ground handing out leaflets which targeted the Old Surrey and Burstow Hunt… (story)

Malvern Gazette 6.9.02 No middle way - IT is time for an absolute ban on hunting wild animals with dogs, no middle way which would only allow it to be licensed is acceptable in a civilised society…. M E MUNRO, Hampden Road, Malvern (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 6.9.02 Compassion lacking - AS a native of South Wales, I am well aware what havoc an uncaring government can bring to a community. The Thatcher administration closed mines and steel works with no thought for the people whose livelihoods depended on them. But at least the mine closures were done on the pretext of economic policy, the hunting ban is based only on ignorance of the facts and spite…. Prime Minister Blair should think carefully before arbitrarily banning any form of hunting, he should remember what happened to Mrs Thatcher when she tried to force the Poll Tax on us. ALAN COOK, Bishops Frome. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 6.9.02 WHERE'S THE PROOF OF BIG CATS? - Once again those who have seen - or think they have seen - big cats in the wild are calling for anyone with information on the subject, to share it…. Having had the experience of following fox-hounds on foot - covering many miles of all manner of ground; moorland, farmland, woodland and so on - for several years, I have yet to see a big-cat… I feel certain that if there were big-cats on the loose, at least one foxhunter would have reported a sighting. Roy Williams Callington Cornwall (letter)

Malvern Gazette 6.9.02 It's about cruelty - I WAS astounded by the article about the Game & Country Fair at the Malvern Three Counties Showground. Game bird shooting has nothing to do with conservation as pheasants are factory farmed for sport, thus ruining the balance of nature…. PAULINE BURGESS, Richmond Road, Malvern Link. (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 30.8.02 Fair takes lead in debate on the future of shooting - THE future of shooting and its importance to the economy of rural areas will be pressed home in a debate at the first Game and Country Fair at Malvern's Three Counties Showground. Leominster MP Bill Wiggin and Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff are among those invited to take part in the forum, joining the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, Richard Burge… (story in archive)

Bury Times 6.9.02 FURY OVER PIGEON CULL IN BURY - ANIMAL rights campaigners have hit out at St Edmundsbury Borough Council for what they call its 'uncaring attitude' after a pigeon cull at the town's historic Abbey Gate. The Norwich branch of Saving Animals From Exploitation (SAFE) is accusing the council of inhumanity after a cull of pigeons at the landmark six months ago…Director Guy Merchant said: "We are horrified that the council had a cull. Far from reducing numbers, culling actually increases pigeon numbers."… (story in archive)

Bolton Evening News 6.9.02 Confusion over vegetarian food - I WAS puzzled reading your "Eating Out" page by Karen Stephen, August 30… you either are a vegetarian, or you aren't, there really is no in between. If you eat creatures, you are not a veggie… What do these people think a tuna is?... N Powell, Lever Edge Lane, Bolton - Karen Stephen replies to "a real veggie" N Powell …. I have not eaten meat for 22 years but have eaten fish. The same goes for my husband. And we will encourage our son to do the same. Well done for not eating any flesh (letter in archive)

Bury Times 6.9.02 A "veggie" or not? - AS a vegetarian for five years, I would like to point out to some other "vegetarians" just what it entails… There is no such thing as a "semi-vegetarian", only "selective meat-eaters". LISA HOPKINSON, (aged 17). (letter in archive)

FARMED ANIMAL ACTION "ROAD TO HELL" CAMPAIGN
Swindon Evening Advertiser 6.9.02 Save spring lambs - THE exportation of live animals resumed from the UK on July 15… Farmed Animal Action have launched their `Road to Hell' campaign against live exports… For more information please contact Farmed Animal Action, PO Box 27, Tonbridge, Kent TN12 5WJ. Tel: 0845 4560284… Tina Brumfield, Director, Farmed Animal Action (letter in archive)

Telegraph 5.9.02 63pc 'will defy ban' - Two thirds of people who hunt would continue to pursue their sport even if it were banned, according to a poll released yesterday. About 47 per cent of those questioned would also consider breaking the law in defence of their right to hunt, the survey found. The results follow interviews for Country Life magazine with 500 people by the independent pollsters the Edge Partnership… (story)
Times 5.9.02 Two thirds of foxhunting enthusiasts are prepared to defy a ban, according to a poll in Country Life magazine… (story)
North East Evening Gazette 5.9.02 'Most' hunters would defy ban Two-thirds of people who hunt would continue to pursue their sport even if it was banned by Parliament, according to a poll out today… (story)
Western Daily Press 5.9.02 TWO-THIRDS 'WILL IGNORE HUNT BAN' Two-thirds of people who hunt would continue to do so even if it was banned by Parliament, it emerged yesterday. And nearly half would consider breaking the law to defend their right to hunt, the survey showed… Labour peer Baroness Mallalieu, president of the prohunting Countryside Alliance, said: "A law which did not have the respect and support of the rural community to which it applied would be a bad law and unworkable." The Duchess of Devonshire also pledged to allow hunting on her land at the Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire, even if it was banned… (story)
Western Morning News 5.9.02 TWO THIRDS 'WILL BREAK LAW OVER HUNT BAN' - ESTHER SHAW …Guy Mortlock, master and huntsman of the Spooners and West Dartmoor hunt, yesterday said he could understand the feelings of those interviewed. He said he would hunt until he was prosecuted for doing so… Alistair McWhirter, deputy chief constable of Wiltshire and spokesman on hunting with dogs for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: "ACPO's position on the issue of hunting with dogs is properly neutral… Those who may find themselves affected by a ban are often those who regard themselves as the strongest supporters of the police and law and order, and any ban will be another factor in that continuing relationship."… quotes from Alison Hawes, Mal Treharne of Countryside Alliance…Jonathan Silk, South West regional manager for the RSPCA, said: "All sort of threats and strange statements have been made, but in reality, people don't want to break the law..." (story)
Newcastle Journal 5.9.02 Hunting 'has no effect on the number of foxes' By Tony Henderson, The Journal …. But Simon Orpwood, joint master of the College Valley hunt in Northumberland, who farms at Mindrum and also near Berwick, said: "During foot-and-mouth we saw a most distinct increase in foxes because there was no fox control. Hunting is a major way of controlling foxes in the hills and fells. It is very difficult to shoot foxes in the hills."… (story)
Western Morning News 5.9.02 POLICE WOULD FACE UPHILL TASK - Country Life editor Clive Aslet highlights the difficulties the government may encounter in trying to pass and enforce a law which such a significant proportion of those at whom it is aimed have no intention of obeying… (story)
York Evening Press 5.9.02 Two-thirds of people who hunt would continue to pursue their sport even if it was banned by Parliament, according to a poll out today…. (story in archive)

Birmingham Evening Post 5.9.02 MP and peer in debate on fox hunting By Jonathan Walker, Birmingham Post …Peter Luff (Con), MP for Mid Worcestershire, and Baroness Golding, formerly Llin Golding the MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, will take part in major public hearings on the future of hunting… The Middle Way Group will be represented by its three joint chairmen, who include Peter Luff, Baroness Golding and Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire…. (story)

Daily Post 5.9.02 Daresbury targeted on saboteurs' hit-list By Claire Tolley Daily Post Staff - LUXURY hotel magnate and former amateur jockey Lord Daresbury has been targeted on a hunt saboteur hit-list. Peter Greenall, heir to Warrington-based Greenalls' brewery fortune, is chairman of the UK Master of Foxhounds Association….. Lord Daresbury, 49, is Master of Foxhounds of Sir William Watkin-Wynn's hunt in North Wales…. (story)
Telegraph 3.9.02 Saboteurs target hunt supporters' homes By Matt Born Hunt saboteurs have published the addresses and telephone numbers of more than a hundred prominent supporters of the Countryside Alliance with an apparent invocation that protesters "target" them where they live. The list, which includes the Duke of Beaufort and the Marquess of Zetland, as well as dozens of ordinary hunt supporters - many of them women - has been published by an organisation calling itself the Urban Alliance… Mark Hill, master of fox hounds at the Vale of White Horse hunt, is named on the website.. (story)
Observer 1.9.02 Fox-hunting celebrities named in militants' hit list - Paul Harris - Celebrities, aristocrats and members of the royal family have been named on a 'hit list' by militant campaigners against fox hunting… The campaign is part of plans to disrupt a pro-hunting march organised by the Countryside Alliance…The hit list has been circulated by a group calling itself the Urban Alliance. This a self-proclaimed umbrella organisation for activists in the anti-hunting movement and anti-capitalist demonstrators. The list also contains scores of other less high-profile names, including the addresses and phone numbers of dozens of people involved in fox hunts across England and Wales… (story)

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News 5.9.02 Hunt on to find sign vandals - Runcorn And Widnes Weekly News - THE propaganda tactics of a militant pro-hunting group will come under the spotlight next week because of damage inflicted on more than 100 Cheshire road signs… Chris Owen, a League Against Cruel Sports spokesman, said he had counted more than 60 stickers on signs on various roads, especially the A49 near Sandiway close to the Cheshire Hunt kennels… (story)

Cotswold News 5.9.02 Countryside marchers warned over illegal signs - COTSWOLD district councillors have warned the organisers of the Livelihood and Liberty March of the consequences of illegal signs. A letter will be sent to the Countryside Alliance spelling out what action may be taken over any signs still being illegally displayed seven days after the march on September 22. The letter will explain that landowners could be prosecuted for signs displayed on the highway or without planning permission…. The motion was proposed by Liberal Democrat councillor Deryck Nash, who said: "I would like to make it clear for the record that I support many of the aims of the Countryside Alliance…" Mrs Pat Hemming, a founder-member of the Cotswold Support Group for Abolition of Hunting, welcomed the decision…. (story in archive)
Northwich Chronicle 4.9.02 Pro-hunting graffiti puts lives at risk By David Holmes, Northwich Chronicle - THE propaganda tactics of a militant pro-hunting group will come under the spotlight this week because of damage inflicted on more than 100 Cheshire road signs… The worst damage has been caused by the use of green Union flag stickers - the slogan of the Real Countryside Alliance - which are impossible to remove without ruining reflective qualities so important at night…. Chris Owen, a League Against Cruel Sports spokesman, claimed he had counted more than 60 stickers on direction signs, speed limit signs and chevron signs on various roads… The Countryside Alliance, which is organising a 'Liberty and Livelihood' march in London on September 22, has distanced itself from the militant group and its postering campaign. Spokesman David Stocker said: 'We condemn it…" (story)
Chester Evening Leader 2.9.02 vandalism slam on pro-hunting group By CLARE WILDMAN …Councillors will discuss the vandalism by the so-called Real Countryside Alliance, who have spayed and fly-posted highway signs on both the A41 and A49. As well as causing thousands of pounds of damage, the vandalism also impacts upon road safety… (story in archive)
Liverpool Daily Post 31.8.02 Pro-hunt vandals threaten safety By Rachel Newton, Daily Post - MILITANT pro-hunting activists have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to Cheshire road signs by defacing them with propaganda… It is thought to be the work of the so-called Real Countryside Alliance (RCA), an anonymous group apparently formed with the sole aim of fighting a hunting ban…. Cheshire Hunt spokeswoman Ellie Boddington insisted the protest was nothing to do with its members, adding: "We feel there should be a serious debate on hunting and any protests should be carried out in a peaceful and controlled manner."… (story)
Chester Chronicle 30.8.02 Graffiti will cost thousands - THE propaganda tactics of a militant pro-hunting group will come under the spotlight next week because of damage inflicted on more than 100 Cheshire road signs… The damage raises road safety implications and has a financial impact because it will cost thousands of pounds to repair and replace the signs…. Chris Owen, a League Against Cruel Sports spokesman, claimed he had counted more than 60 stickers on direction signs, speed limit signs and chevron signs on various roads, especially the A49 near Sandiway, close to the Cheshire Hunt kennels…. (story)

Northumberland Gazette 5.9.02 Keep away from the Border - THE annual killing ritual otherwise known as the hunting season, is just about to begin in England, in Scotland of course hunting has been banned. The ban poses problems for the likes of the Border Hunt and the Master Michael Hedley recently appeared on TV to bewail the fact that his hounds, in their eagerness to tear a fox into umpteen pieces, strayed over the border, they'd be breaking the law. He's go it in one. He was tactily admitting that, despite all those 'sportsmen' clutching whips and horns hounds in full cry are completely out of control… Hazel A Jordan, Blue House, Elsdon, Newcastle upon Tyne. (letter)

West Briton 5.9.02 SO WHAT IS WRONG WITH DRAG HUNTING? - At the Countryside Alliance stand in Truro, we offered some constructive points, to which there were not too many replies. Could we offer a few more points? Firstly, when they state that foxes need to be culled by hunting, how do they explain the fact that in Shropshire, where we lived for 27 years, a gamekeeper bred foxes for the hunt, as there was a shortage… Could someone explain what is wrong with drag hunting? NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 5.9.02 This `sport' is irrelevant - THE Gazette and Herald should be applauded for giving both sides the opportunity to air their views about hunting. Until recently I was ambivalent about the issue, but the more I hear from the Countryside Alliance, the less inclined I am to offer my support… It appears to me that the Countryside Alliance has dressed the hunting issue in more acceptable clothing in an attempt to garner the widest support. The truth remains that hunting is a "sport" and, when compared to the really important issues in life, such as housing, wages, health services and transport, it is irrelevant to the vast majority of country people. G J MERRILL, West Kennett, Marlborough (letter in archive)

Northumberland Gazette 5.9.02 Unfairness of the punishment IN reply to John Gibson’s letter (22.8.02) the only one suffering from misconceptions is himself…. Mr Gibson reminds us fishing or should I say angling, is a sport. Once again not for me it is not. Hooking fish in the mouth or any other part of its anatomy is in the same bracket as shooting, fox-hunting with dogs, etc. etc… E Turnbull, Ashington.(letter)

Liverpool Echo 5.9.02 IF THE teenagers who have recently been seen kicking pigeons to death were wearing red coats, and riding behind a pack of baying hounds to the tune of the posthorn gallop… I suppose it would be viewed by many as sporting and acceptable behaviour J.P. McCann, Knotty Ash (letter)

Scotsman 5.9.02 Unpopular cause - The Scottish Tory leader, David McLetchie, accuses the Scottish Executive of being obsessed with hunting… On the same day, the Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith, said if he ever became Prime Minister, he would overturn any hunting ban… LYNNE MITCHELL, Lower Mains, Dollar, Clackmannanshire (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 5.9.02 INOCULATION RATHER THAN EXTERMINATION - Since your front page article "Activists disrupt badger studies" (Even-ing Telegraph, August 24), I have come across an old cutting "Scientists rule out extending badger cull" (Evening Telegraph, February 2000)…. In New Zealand there was thought to be a link between possums and bovine TB. Rather than killing a non-indigenous species from Australia, a large-scale inoculation of possums was undertaken. Why is the British government not using the same strategy? Badgers are, after all, indigenous to this country and part of our fragile rural ecology…. Roger, DAR/Derby Hunt Sabs (letter)

Guardian 5.9.02 Manure up to their bellies - David Fickling is correctly concerned over the export of live sheep from Australia. He mentions the MV Cormo Express and a voyage in 1990 during which 10,000 sheep died (Report, September 4). I was the chief radio officer on that voyage… The ship's officers and crew, and the two NZ maff vets who accompanied the sheep, did their best to prevent suffering… Despite their best efforts, they continue to find themselves overwhelmed by the scale of the task. It is time for more humane regulations. Mark Croucher, Economy spokesman, UKIP (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 5.9.02 Animals have right to cruelty-free life - Being someone who campaigns for animals it always amazes me the attitudes of some people. On a recent protest in Town (against Adidas using kangaroo skin for football boots) a lady went by and said: “they're only animals”. I replied that animals have feelings, which is true… On the day of the protest I was heartened to see so many youngsters really interested in what we were there for and telling us how appalled they were about what was going on… TINA CANHAM, Palmerston Road, Ipswich (letter)
Stockport Express 4.9.02 Protesters hopping mad over kangaroo football boots - ANGRY demonstrators gathered outside adidas headquarters to protest against the killing of kangaroos to make football boots from their skins. The Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (VIVA!) group headed to the site on Pepper Road, Hazel Grove, demanding an end to the flourishing trade… quotes from campaigner Claudia Tarry, 30, John Brown, 55, from Craig Road, Heaton Mersey, who has been campaigning for four years… (story in archive)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 23.8.02 Stop slaughter of kangaroos - SPORTS shoe makers promoting kangaroo skin football boots are causing seven million adult kangaroos and a million baby joeys to be slaughtered each year… SHEILA BRENNAN (Mrs), Bombay Street, Blackburn. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 21.8.02 SIR - Animal campaigners around the world will be holding a day of action against adidas later this month to protest against their use of kangaroo leather... S May (Bradford Animal Rights Group), c/o CVS Offices, Sunbridge Road, Bradford 1. (letter in archive)

East Anglian Daily Times 5.9.02 Cash will help fight live animal exports - Sir, – I would like to thank the people in Colchester who gave so generously and those who helped collect £195.82 on Saturday, August 31, 2002 for Compassion in World Farming…. Many people signed our petitions against this trade, they will in the near future be presented to the Prime Minister whoever he or she is!! SHEILA GERARD, Tower Road, Wivenhoe (letter)

Newcastle Journal 4.9.02 Sedgefield at centre stage in global crisis … At his latest "presidential-style" press conference - held in his Sedgefield constituency - the Prime Minister launched a new bid to win public backing for military action… But his bid to focus on domestic issues like community safety and health during the morning still managed to court some controversy. Pro-hunt campaigners arrived to stage a protest outside Sedgefield Community Hospital…. (story)
Northern Echo 4.9.02 PM's whistlestop tour takes in problems great and small by Chris Lloyd - FROM ridding the world of poverty in Johannesburg to cleaning up the streets of Ferryhill in 24 quick hours. From opening a modest community hospital in Sedgefield to tackling the menace of Saddam Hussein in Iraq within the blink of an eye. The life of Tony Blair must pass in a blur and yesterday, for a nanosecond, the people of his County Durham constituency were caught up in it… A lone huntsman on top of a brown charger took up sentry duty on the roundabout outside the hospital, blowing his hunting horn in frustration at Mr Blair galloping through a ban on foxhunting…. (story)

BANNER FOR A BAN CAMPAIGN
Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph 4.9.02 FOX HUNT 'MISINFORMATION' Reading the report in Monday's Telegraph about the anti-hunting roadshow visiting Scunthorpe, I was very saddened at the way people, especially children, are being misinformed on the subject. The truth is that banning hunting will not save the life of a single fox… (Mrs) Frances Mulholland, via email PS I am not a hunter (letter)
Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph 2.9.02 SUPPORT FOR A BAN ON HUNTS - Hundreds of shoppers, including children as young as five, have pledged their support to a national campaign to ban hunting with dogs… Roadshow spokeswoman Josey Sharrad of (IFAW) said: "The response we have been getting from the public has been overwhelming - in just over three hours we had 800 signatures…. Steve Stark (five), from Scunthorpe, signed the petition along with his brother Philip (10) and mum Jane… Leslie Hutson (54), of Scunthorpe, said: "I am against the hunting of foxes and badgers.." Coun Nic Dakin, the leader of North Lincolnshire Council, signed the petition and said hunting with dogs was 'barbaric'… But Kay Chapman, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, defended hunting with dogs as the best form of control… (story)

Western Morning News 4.9.02 Know your man - COULD I please refer to a letter from A Smythe, of Goonhavern (WMN, August 27)? I do not believe Geoff Mannell, to whom he refers, has ever claimed he represents the countryside or country people. As the current county chairman of the Countryside Alliance, he articulates the views and aspirations of its members and supporters… Mr Mannell still lives in the house in which he was brought up and in the village in which he was born… I can vouch for the fact that he has a deep knowledge and understanding of the countryside and that he can tell hay from straw… How do I know all this? I am his wife!... (letter)
Western Morning News 27.8.02 Vote for ban - MATTHEW Taylor MP has been given a bag containing hundreds of letters by 60 protesters urging him to support hunting. Mr Taylor should do no such thing. Most of his constituents support a ban on hunting foxes with hounds... G Mannell and others have no right to suggest they represent the countryside or country people. Mr Mannell is a townie who spent his days working at County Hall. I believe his knowledge of the countryside is very limited and I suggest he does not know hay from straw - A Smythe, Goonhavern (letter)

Worcester Evening News 4.9.02 His claims about foxes are wildly inaccurate - MAURICE Brett (You Say, Wednesday, August 28) appears to have an almost expert knowledge of foxhounds. But, in truth, his correspondence contains wildly inaccurate claims about how they live…He claims hounds are put down for being too slow, while others in the anti-hunting movement claim that hounds are bred to run slowly to prolong the hunt. It's about time they got together and decided which story they're going to tell. I recall Maurice Brett visiting the Worcestershire Hunt kennels nearly three years ago… At no time during, or since his visit to the kennels, has Mr Brett bothered to raise any questions with the hunt about the hounds… JON BURGESS, Malvern (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 4.9.02 He has lack of understanding - I MUST reply to the ramblings of Maurice Brett who, while perhaps having good intentions, has a lack of understanding of the countryside and the animals that live there… I wonder if Mr Brett can explain why at least three executive directors of the League Against Cruel Sports have changed sides in the past few years?... TIM PINNEY, Peopleton, Pershore. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 28.8.02 Thousands of animals doomed - BY failing to bring back last year's Hunting Bill, the Government has missed the opportunity to ban hunting until at least 2004… Hounds will be killed for many reasons, some trivial. One thing that is certain is they will never be allowed to grow old…. MAURICE BRETT, Protect Our Wild Animals, Linehouse Lane, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 4.9.02 Why pro-hunting japes are not at all jolly HOW I laughed at the jolly japes of those loveable rogues from the Real Countryside Alliance for dressing up the Kilburn White Horse as a red jacketed hunter… these are the same vandals who have been spray painting their pro-hunting slogans all over North Yorkshire… I do not find tearing a fox to pieces with a pack of dogs or trapping a vixen and her cubs in a den and sending in the terriers amusing either… Alan Robertshaw, Towthorpe Road, Haxby, York (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 4.9.02 FOX HUNTERS DOMINATE NEWS Once again the 'brigade of chase and kill' are marching on London. The blood sports fraternity have taken away the public interest in the genuine grievances of the majority of country folk… Name and address supplied (letter)

Redditch Advertiser 4.9.02 Out foxed... THE Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith, has pledged that a future Tory government will overturn any ban on hunting. The sound you can hear is the foxes cheering at the prospect of a long and peaceful life…. Don Vincent, Middleton Mews, Winyates East (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 4.9.02 WHY THIS MANIA TO KILL ANIMALS? - It has taken years for the badger to gain protection. I was sorry to see attempts are now being made to "blacken" their image in order to kill them. You wonder at times if this is all so-called "countryside groups" ever think about - just killing something… PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, near Stroud (letter)

Times 4.9.02 Debate - Animal welfare - How can we explain the growing popularity of bullfighting on the Continent?
I AM sure the overwhelming majority of readers will be disturbed to hear that there are plans for the reintroduction of bullfighting in the South of France (report August 28), just as they are outraged by its continuance in Spain… John Wainwright, Potters Bar
Dumb bloodlust … Increasing violence in film, television and society has a direct effect on people’s value systems; what was once shocking is no more…. Jamie Young, London
Costa bravado … Overall, I thought the whole event was cruel. But, it is tradition — and it clearly involves skill and courage on the part of all participants (including the poor bull). There is a lot of support locally for this type of event. Ultimately, who are we to oppose a local tradition and way of life? I’m not surprised bullfighting is enjoying a surge in popularity. Becky Hughes (15), Banstead, Surrey
Growing cruelty - IT IS a cruel and sadistic event…. Mary Alice Pollard, Portscatho, Cornwall
Thumbs down - BEING Portuguese, I was born in a country with bullfights but grew up hating this torture of animals for pure entertainment… Maria Lopes, Northampton (letters)

Cambridge News 3.9.02 Hunting inquiry's evidence from don - A RESPECTED Cambridge academic will give evidence at a three-day public hearing on controversial plans which could ban hunting with dogs. Dr Douglas Wise, a veterinary lecturer at the University of Cambridge, will discuss the issue of cruelty and suffering when hounds are used to control wild mammals, including foxes… (story)

Telegraph 3.9.02 Re: Duncan Smith's own goal - Iain Duncan Smith's decision to fight for freedom and liberty by joining the Countryside March is something of a public relations own goal…. Gordon Nunn, Weston Favell, Northants (letter)

Wells Journal 3.9.02 DRESSAGE COMPETITION MARRED BY PROTESTERS - Nearly 70 young riders aged between 10 and 20 met at Palace Farm, Wells, to compete in the Pony Club's Area 14 Dressage Competition. Hosted by the Mendip branch of the Pony Club, riders came from Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Gloucestershire…. Some local residents in Silver Street, however, made their feelings known about this large event by placing signs in their windows protesting about what they felt was a lack of consideration shown by the organizers… However, one of the audience, who had travelled from West Pennard said: "…The day was sadly marred by a few residents of Silver Street who decided for some unknown reason to protest against this event… Perhaps it was the word 'hunt' that led them to behave this way." (story)

Telegraph 3.9.02 Re: Degrees of 'neutrality' - Alun Michael, when interviewed by the BBC on August 30, stated that the Government was adopting a strictly neutral attitude to fox hunting… The degree of this "neutrality" can be judged from the fact that not only Tony Blair himself but also every one of the senior Defra ministers - namely Lord Whitty, Margaret Beckett, Michael Meacher, Mr Michael and Elliot Morley - have already publicly voted for the total abolition of hunting…. David Parker, Longtown, Cumbria (story)

Worcester Evening News 3.9.02 Papers have no evidence of artificial earths … Pauline Burgess… recommends that I contact the national newspapers for proof that hunts are using artificial earths for some massive fox breeding programme. This would be a complete waste of time as neither they (the newspapers) or Ms Burgess have any such evidence…. I call upon Ms Burgess to name the hunts involved or withdraw the accusation and publicly apologise to the hunting and rural community… Ms Burgess is under the impression that the fox plays a useful part in controlling pigeon numbers. She has obviously not noticed, but the pigeon has wings and can fly at more than 30 miles an hour, so is unlikely to be on the menu of your average fox with four legs but no wings… JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 17.8.02 Contrary to morals of civilised society - IN response to the comments made by Jon Burgess (You Say, Thursday, August 8) regarding foxhunting, I cannot claim to speak for anti-hunting activists who switch sides… But it does not devalue the opinions of those who are still against it…. BENJAMIN EATON, Stourport-on-Severn (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 15.8.02 Foxes do good - If Mr Burgess wants proof about artificial earths he should contact the national newspapers that have exposed them… PAULINE BURGESS, Malvern Link. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 17.8.02 To kill an animal just for fun is despicable - YET again, the pro-hunters such as G Hartwright and J Burgess are attempting to belittle someone opposed to their views. Anita Knittel is a fine upstanding person who has researched her subject thoroughly…. MARION J LARGE, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 16.8.02 Hideous deaths inflicted by hunts - G HARTWRIGHT (You Say, August 9) says "from the time the fox is caught and killed by hounds, it's all over in less than five seconds". This ignores the fact that a hunted animal suffers the physical torture of a long chase by a pack of dogs and hunters for many miles before exhaustion results in capture…. PENNY LITTLE, Great Haseley, Oxfordshire (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 9.8.02 Hunt ban would not benefit fox's welfare - A KNITTEL, talking on the subject of hunting (You Say, July 30) is an experienced correspondent and knows how to distort the facts to mislead the general public. A fox torn to pieces is hardly likely to be alive - after all, we humans do the same with our meat at the table. From the time the fox is caught and killed by hounds, it's all over in less than five seconds… Recently, Miles Cooper, an ex-representative of the League Against Cruel Sports has stated that after 10 years research "a ban on hunting would not be good for animal welfare"…. G HARTWRIGHT, Crowle, Worcester. (letter)

Western Morning News 3.9.02 DON'T TAMPER WITH CENTURIES OF TRADITION … Perhaps Mr Phelps can answer a question for me; he has often said that he has most of the answers. Could he please explain exactly what is wrong with our lovely flora and fauna, our countryside and its management, that he considers he can better?... Our beautiful countryside, although more than a sum of its many parts, would quickly fall apart if one or more aspects of it were to be tampered with… Roy Williams, Callington (letter)

Western Morning News 3.9.02 NEW PARTY WOULD RATE TRUE ANTI-HUNT FEELING Your correspondent John Phelps should get together with like-minded evangelical supporters of animal rights and form a party to promote their cause. Then, at the next election, we could judge the issue's true rating in our democracy… Our democracy has become big business, corrupted by corporations, rich individuals and wealthier pressure groups, who buy the policies they favour. The hunting issue is part of that process. Joanna Stobbs, Silverton (letter)

Western Morning News 3.9.02 HALAL KILLING IS BARBARIC AND SHOULD BE BANNED - I bought a tin of meat, a product of Denmark, from a local store, and idly read its contents on a label on the side of the tin. It stated Halal Slaughtered in Accordance with Islamic Rites. It brought back horrific memories of my days in the African jungle… People are up in arms about foxhunting, but the fox is free in its natural environment, to escape the hounds. The animals in the halal slaughterhouses are trapped and cannot escape the horror of their hideous death…. Charles Crowle, Hayle (letter)

Western Morning News 3.9.02 What democracy? … Five years ago MPs voted to ban hunting with dogs for sport, but we still have procrastination and prevarication by Ministers… John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 3.9.02 MP MUST EXERCISE JUDGMENT - Tess Nash's letter (WMN, August 13) states that most of Matthew Taylor's constituents are in favour of hunting, and that he should vote according to their wishes… there is no evidence which demonstrates exactly what the support for and against hunting actually is in this constituency, although he has received far more letters from constituents against hunting than for it… Julia Goldsworthy, Researcher for Matthew Taylor MP, St Austell (letter)

Leicester Mercury 3.9.02 ANOTHER DEADLY FOE - In response to the letter "On the evidence" (Postbag, August 22), your correspondent omits to mention that the Burns report also finds the alternatives to hunting less than satisfactory…. Jamie Bye, Rothley (letter)
Leicester Mercury 22.8.02 ON THE EVIDENCE - I agree with Jamie Bye (Postbag, Aug 19) that the debate on fox hunting should be conducted on the evidence partly of the Burns Report that does say fox hunting is a waste of time in controlling fox numbers, causes unnecessary cruelty and would lead to minimal job losses. Danny Stowell, Loughborough (letter)
Leicester Mercury 19.8.02 EMOTIVE DISTORTIONS - It is regularly claimed, by those opposed to hunting that this activity is on a par with bear, and badger baiting, or dog and cock fighting. This ignores the fact that these, now banned, activities were never promoted as sport, vermin control or part of the English country way of life…. Jamie Bye, Rothley (letter)

York Evening Press 3.9.02 Stags don't deserve such a cruel fate as this …. he sickening image, shown recently on television, of a stag being hunted 13 miles and swimming for dear life in a river, haunts me more than a few pieces of red carpet sewn together or words scrawled on roundabouts…. I would like to think that we would then follow Scotland's example of an all-out ban on hunting with dogs. W P Carter, Marston Crescent, Acomb, York. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 3.9.02 Self-destructive - HAVING been Exmoor born and bred, I can to some extent empathise with some adherents to the hunting scene… But I feel the mass slaughter of pheasants commercially reared for the purpose should be abhorrent to a traditional countryman… A Watts, South Molton (letter)

Western Morning News 3.9.02 OF BADGERS AND BOVINE TB - It would have been better if Martin Hancox had read my letter properly before replying to it (WMViews, August 13). He claims that my figures for Exmoor were wrong. I did not refer to Exmoor… The figures quoted in my letter are correct, are not designed to mislead and do indeed show that the number of infected badgers found during testing was very substantially higher than Martin claimed, over a period of 20 years…. Ivor Dennis, Holsworthy (letter)
Western Morning News 13.8.02 NO-ONE CAN SHOW IF BADGERS PASS TB - I was rather amused to read Ivor Dennis's letter in which he says if I'm such an expert on badgers and TB, I'm routinely straying into the realms of fantasy… Well, I was on the Government TB panel and have had 50-plus papers in the scientific press, including both this month's Microbiology Today and the current Respiratory Medicine… Martin Hancox, Stroud (letter)

Scotsman 3.9.02 The hottest ticket in town, darling - William Lyons - IT HAS been the most talked about party in Scotland, and fashionistas, celebrities - and freeloading journalists - are dusting down their finest outfits for tomorrow night’s launch party at Harvey Nichols…. The £10 million development has become an instant hit with shoppers, with many designer items selling out within hours. But the store has also faced some criticism, not least from animal rights activists who object to the stocking of items made from rabbit fur…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 2.9.02 Rabbit protest at Harvey Nicks - PROTESTORS hand out leaflets and wave placards outside Harvey Nichols’ flagship new store in the Capital after activists discovered rabbit fur coats for sale there… Yvonne Taylor, pictured right, campaigns co-ordinator for Advocates for Animals, said she was "horrified" when she saw a rabbit fur coat in the St Andrew Square store…. (story)
Times 24.8.02 Fur flies at Harvey Nichols in Scotland BY GILLIAN HARRIS, SCOTLAND CORRESPONDENT - ANIMAL rights activists are planning to demonstrate outside Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh next weekend because rabbit-fur coats are on sale at the newly opened store… (story)
Scotsman 24.8.02 The strange curse on Harvey Nicks - Alastair Jamieson … The exclusive fashion house has suffered a sudden rush of negative publicity about its new Scottish store, despite an enthusiastic welcome at the official opening just over a week ago…. Animal rights campaigners yesterday said would protest outside the store after activists discovered rabbit fur clothing on sale. Advocates for Animals (AfA) and Edinburgh Animal Rights plan to hand out graphic leaflets on the fur trade… (story)
Edinburgh News 23.8.02 Harvey Nicks in a rabbit stew over fur coats By ANGIE BROWN - HARVEY Nichols is set to face protests after activists discovered rabbit fur coats for sale at its flagship new store in the Capital... Edinburgh Animal Rights and Advocates for Animals plan to target the multi-million- pound shop next weekend in a bid to cause embarrassment to the store… Scott MacLeod, spokesman for Edinburgh Animal Rights, said: "We campaign against the sale of all fur and have an ongoing and highly effective campaign to educate the Scottish public about the cruelty involved in this despicable trade…" Yvonne Taylor, campaigns co-ordinator for Advocates for Animals, said she was "horrified" when she saw a rabbit fur coat for sale in the St Andrew Square store… Hannah Taylor, 51, an office manager from Penicuik, Midlothian, who visited the store on Saturday, said she was boycotting it after seeing rabbit fur products for sale…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 2.9.02 PLANT SEED OF PEACE IN THE KILLING FIELDS - With reference to Josephine White's recent letter in which she again makes reference to fox hunting. (Why we all carry the burden of guilt, Viewpoint, August 20). Ms White obviously views the bloodsport of fox hunting as unimportant and dismisses it as not worthy of serious debate, and yet at the same time, she berates us for the kind of society we have become… There is no greater truth than compassion and when it is practised, then logic will always follow. Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 2.9.02 Live animal export crueler than hunting - In response to Daphne Edwards' letter of August 26 regarding the renewed practice of exporting live animals…I believe the exportation of live animals for long journeys in overcrowded conditions without food or water causes more suffering than that of the hunted fox, whose end is brief, and should be abolished QUEENIE HOUGHTON, Rectory Cottages, Kelsale, Saxmundham (letter)

Newcastle Journal 2.9.02 Bill Telfer column - I was reading a report of Labour's Rural Issues Conference held a couple of weeks ago. Unless I am very much mistaken there is little comfort in it for the average peasant… Margaret Beckett, Lords Haskins and Witty and that "expert" on rural matters Alun Michael were all paraded for our delight… Thinking of the aforementioned Alun Michael or indeed it may have been Michael Meacher - they are all interchangeable in their lack of knowledge on country matters - did you see him extolling the virtues of clay pigeon shooting at the Game Fair and assuring all and sundry that shooting for sport was under no threat from Labour? Remember football "the manager is not under threat" is usually quickly followed by his departure…. (story)

CIRCUS PROTESTS, BRIGHTON
Argus 2.9.02 Horse sense - To reply to the letter regarding the pony with protesters at Zippos Circus, it is obvious the writer has no equine knowledge… Has the Chipperfield cruelties expose been forgotten already? Sussex Horse Rescue Trust took Oopah to the Circus because he was purpose-bred to perform… -Pauline Grant, Sussex Horse Rescue Trust, Uckfield (letter in archive)
Argus 2.9.02 Look deeper …the writer's venom-filled stereotyping of people demonstrating outside Zippos, describing them as "dishevelled" merely exposes the writer in question as being shallow and only able to judge people by appearance rather than substance… the writer should be advised to avoid personal attacks on the people demonstrating and the rescued circus horse and look deeper into the facts behind the use of animals in circuses which is unethical, unnecessary and cruel. -H Whittaker (Ms), Woodlands Close, Peacehaven (letter in archive)
Argus 29.8.02 Circus tricks - Having attended all six demonstrations against Zippos Circus over the past two weeks, it was interesting to note the reaction of people who turned up with their tickets unaware that Zippos had performing-animal acts… it was great to see people taking a moral stand and walking away in disgust at being hoodwinked… -Norman Rayner, Crabtree Lane, Lancing (letter in archive)
Argus 24.8.02 Lessons in animal welfare - My family and I visited Zippo's Circus on Hove Lawns. On arrival, we were not surprised to see the usual posse of animal rights supporters protesting against the use of horses in circus… we were surprised to see that this rather dishevelled lot had bought with them an even more dishevelled pony… the condition of this pony was pitiful. It was patently not well looked after, was unshod (and therefore should not have been standing on a tarred surface) and its hooves were split. Furthermore, it stood outside on a very hot day with no water for more than an hour… -Name and address supplied (letter in archive)
Argus 21.8.02 Poor horses …it was a shame those poor horses weren't out in their fields enjoying themselves instead of being made to do tricks just to please the audience inside a hot and noisy tent. -M Frankel, Hove (letter in archive)
Argus 31.7.02 Demo planned over circus horses by Kate Matthews - Animal activists are planning to demonstrate against a circus which uses horses. The annual Zippos Circus will be located on Hove Seafront Lawns, near the King Alfred Leisure Centre, from August 15 to 27… Justice and Freedom for Animals (JFA), the group planning to demonstrate throughout the circus' stay… JFA spokesman Norman Rayner said: "You do not need animals performing tricks and degrading acts to entertain you any more…" JFA will carry out demonstrations outside the entrance of the circus during performances. Mr Rayner, 47, said: "Anyone who wants to join in is more than welcome. There will be a big one on the opening night, from 6.30pm."… (story in archive)

Telegraph 2.9.02 Talking bull - Debra Ashton claimed in her letter (Aug 30) that the cult of the bull will fade in Spain and that studies showed that 60 per cent of Catalans wanted a ban on bullfights. If she continued her research, she would discover that more than 60 per cent of Catalans think they are not Spanish and do not speak Castilian as their language of choice… She would do more for animals if she concentrated upon the many areas of food production that inflict more suffering on animals than bullfighting does… Peter Gordon, Tarporley, Ches (letter)
Telegraph 30.8.02 Taking the bull by the horns - Contrary to the claim that the "cult of the bull will never fade in Spain" (report, Aug 24), recent research shows that more than 60 per cent in Catalonia, one of Spain's largest regions, would like a ban on bullfights, and 78 per cent are opposed to the state subsidies given to them… Debra Ashton, World Society for the Protection of Animals, London SE1 (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 2.9.02 ANIMAL ALARM - An animal rights demonstration in Burton passed off peacefully on Saturday. Around 70 members of the Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs campaign marched through the town to protest against Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, which breeds guinea pigs… Campaigner Jonny King (28) said: "It's been fantastic…" (story)
Burton Mail 31.8.02 BOMB PROBE by SUZANNE HARROP - POLICE were today investigating a suspected animal rights bomb attack on the home of a 66-year-old woman… The explosion, at just after 4am yesterday, took place near Tatenhill Common, Rangemore, home of May Hudson, who works as a cleaner for the Hall family at Newchurch… The probe comes ahead of a major demonstration in Burton at noon today organised by campaigners from the Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs Campaign (story in archive)

Northern Echo 2.9.02 AM I to assume that The Northern Echo is waiting for yet more people to be maimed and killed because of animal "research… Could this be why you were nowhere to be seen in Harrogate when you should have been at the recent national demonstration against Covance… AP Kirk, Teesside (story in archive)

Bath Chronicle 2.9.02 RATS AND MICE MOST OFTEN USED FOR RESEARCH - I should like to put the record straight over Wendy Higgins' inflammatory letter promoting anti-vivisectionism… There is no other country in the world where every detail of any scientific procedure on any vertebrate animal has to be licensed in advance and where every licence amendment takes months to obtain… Our law is so stringent that even tadpoles are fully protected… One respect in which I do agree with Wendy Higgins is in the need for more publicity. Because of the thuggish tactics of animal rights extremists, it would be wrong to release the names and addresses of those who hold licences. However, I am in favour of disclosing the content of the licences and believe this will soon happen…. II would recommend anyone interested in the medical research case to consult the web site of the Research Defence Society (www. rds-online. org. uk/). PROF JMW SLACK University of Bath (letter)
Western Daily Press 22.8.02 ANIMAL EXPERIMENT LAWS BEING ABUSED - The public is continually reassured by an increasingly pro-vivisection Government, that the UK has the tightest animal experimentation regulation in the world and that animals are used in tests only when absolutely necessary… The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) has revealed evidence to show that even leading academic institutions break the law on animal experiments… Wendy Higgins British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) London (letter)