April 2012

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(*)- added since last update


BBC News Online 30.4.12 Bovine TB: Prof Chris Pollock quits over badger cull U-turn - A scientist advising on bovine TB has resigned over the Welsh government's reversal of a planned badger cull. The Welsh government confirmed the resignation of Prof Chris Pollock from its TB eradication board… (story)
ITV 30.4.12 Scientist resigns over Badger Cull U-turn - The Farmers' Union of Wales claims that the resignation of a scientist from the Welsh Government’s bovine TB eradication programme highlights what it calls the 'flawed nature' of the u-turn on holding a badger cull. Prof Chris Pollock is an expert in biological, environmental and rural sciences… (story)
Farmers Guardian 27.4.12 Top scientist resigns over Welsh badger cull U-turn - ONE of the UK’s leading research scientists and a member of the management board set up to oversee the eradication of bovine TB in Wales has resigned in protest over the Welsh Government’s change of direction. Professor Chris Pollock, who after retiring as director of the world famous Aberystwyth-based Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences was appointed acting Chief Scientist in Wales, has told Farmers Guardian that he believes the decision by Environment Minister, John Griffiths, to opt for badger vaccination rather than culling is flawed…. (story)

STV 30.4.12 University used more than 47,000 animals for breeding and experiments - Dundee University has revealed it used mice, rats, frogs and rabbits in experiments last year. The University of Dundee has released details of its use of animals in experiments. Responding to a Freedom of Information request from a member of public, the university revealed that it carried out experiments on living animals. Luke Beevers, understood to be an animal rights activist, made the request and asked how many living animal… (story)
Dundee Courier 30.4.12 Dundee University used 47,000 animals for breeding and research in 2011 - More than 47,000 animals were used for breeding and research at Dundee University last year. The university has released the details in answer to a freedom of information inquiry by a member of the public. Luke Beevers — who is understood to be an animal rights activist — had asked to know how many living animals were used in experiments and how many animals the university has on its premises… (story)

Derby Telegraph 30.4.12 Drugs are never released without human testing - EVERYONE is entitled to an opinion but must Victoria Martindale (Will that tablet make you better ... or are you just the lab rat? Opinions, April 24) foist her inaccurate views on adverse drug reactions on the rest of us? Adverse drug reactions account for less than 3% of deaths, so there are many other causes of death to worry about more and she makes no mention of the enormous benefits to health which modern drugs otherwise bring…. Peter Harris, Ashbourne (story)
Derby Telegraph 24.4.12 Victoria Martindale: Will that tablet make you better ... or are you just the lab rat? HEADS or tails? Heads you live. Tails you are poisoned. Predicting whether a new medicine is going to poison you or not based on the flip of a coin is a scary thought. But, astonishing although it may sound, reaching for our prescription pill bottles is poisoning over a million of us every year…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 30.4.12 Fury as RSPCA sells land in Alderley Edge to developers -The family of an animal lover who left land in his will for a nature reserve said his dying wish was ignored – after bulldozers were sent in to clear the site. David Brown spent his spare time watching foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and squirrels on the plot of land next to his house in Alderley Edge. Mr Brown, described by neighbours as a 'gentle giant', wanted it to be preserved after his death in 2007, and left it, along with his home, to the RSPCA. But the RSPCA says Mr Brown did not make it a binding condition in his will that it should not be developed– and sold the site… (story)
AlderleyEdge.com 24.4.12 Outrage as land left to the RSPCA is bulldozed By Lisa Reeves - Local residents are up in arms that land left to the RSPCA by a wild life enthusiast was bulldozed by a property developer last week. David Brown, of 83 Heyes Lane, died in April 2007 and, according to local residents, in his will he left his house, contents and the adjacent allotment land at Belmont Cottages to the RSPCA. Paul Welton, of Heyes Lane, said "In his will the late David Brown left his house and the allotment land to the RSPCA to remain undeveloped and left for the wildlife. How is it that the RSPCA could have sold this to a global developer against David's wishes? "They have now stripped the land, felling mature trees including oaks which were the homes to nesting birds and wildlife…. (story)

Portsmouth News 30.4.12 Portsmouth North MP backs anti-ivory trade campaign - AN MP has thrown her support behind a campaign against the ivory trade. Portsmouth North’s Penny Mordaunt has pledging her support for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s campaign to protect elephants from poachers… (story)
Crawley News 25.4.12 MP backs crackdown on the trade in ivory - CRAWLEY'S MP has given his backing to a campaign to protect elephants. Henry Smith has pledged his support to the International Fund for Animal Welfare's (IFAW) fight against the ivory trade… (story)


Independent on Sunday 29.4.12 What an extraordinary view Sir Barney White-Spunner, head of the Countryside Alliance, has of morality ("The man who wants kids to shoot", 22 April). By his lights, it is perfectly all right to cause terrible suffering and pain to a hunted animal. What music to the ears to all those who indulge in cruel activities: murderers, rapists, child molesters, badger baiters, people who beat their dogs and starve their cats…. Helen Weeks, West Coker, Somerset (letter)

Stornoway Gazette 29.4.12 A Gamekeeper’s life - WITH mile upon mile of moorland, hills and lochs, Scotland’s natural habitat and wildlife attracts large numbers of hunters from all over the world in pursuit of deer, game birds and the salmon, contributing almost £80 million annually to the economy. Traditionally, it is the Gamekeepers role to maintain those unique environments and also to act as guardians for guests wishing to shoot or fish. And Gaelic television show Trusadh: Gamekeepers follows three of these Gamekeepers – Donald Angus MacDonald on Scaliscro Estate in Uig, Lewis; Angus MacLeod on Barvas Estate, Lewis; and Niall Rowantree on Arnamurchan Estate on the west coast… (story)

Clitheroe Advertiser & Times 29.4.12 Time to reform laws on cruelty to animals - A RECENT article in your newspaper referred to a cat killed by yobs with dogs and stamping on its head in Barrowford… The only solution to this and other cases, be it human or animals, is for this Government to get its act together, reform the pathetic laws we have and punish these people by inflicting the same treatment on them…. AUSTIN JAMES, Livingstone Street, Brierfield (letter)


Horse & Hound 28.4.12 Farewell to... former joint-master of the Holderness - Dorothy Cook, a former joint-master of the Holderness, died in her sleep at her home Freshlands in Owstwick, East Yorks, on 11 April, aged 86… (story)

Western Morning News 28.4.12 Speaking up for shooting sports in the Westcountry - David Gervers admits that telling friends about his new job initially raised a few eyebrows. As South West regional director of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation – Britain's largest shooting organisation – he heard one regular question from his non-shooting mates. "They asked me 'what's shooting got to do with conservation?'"… (story)

Yorkshire Post 28.4.12 Ban the Grand National From: Mrs MA Mawe, Linton Close, Cloughton, North Yorkshire. HOW anyone can go and watch the Grand National beats me! It is very cruel and should be banned… (letter)

York Press 28.4.12 A National tragedy - I ALWAYS read Ken Holmes’s letters with great interest, but I believe that the murderous Grand National should be banned…. Heather Causnett, Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York
KEN HOLMES’S opinion is far from “humble” (Soap Box, April 26). Everyone who proclaims to be “passionate about the welfare of racehorses” would celebrate the banning of this dreadful annual spectacle… Yvonne Knowles, Foss Grange, Crayke, York (letters)
York Press 26.4.12 Leave it to the racing experts - Ken Holmes, Cliffe Common, Selby. (letter)
Yorkshire Post 26.4.12 From: Ken Holmes, Cliffe Common, Selby. WE racing people are crestfallen, and heartbroken, at the death of two of our dear racehorse friends, Synchronised and According To Pete in the recent Grand National…. So the sooner the busybodies like Animal Aid and the RSPCA get out of their hair and are sent packing the better for all concerned, including our beloved racehorses. (letter)

Scotsman 28.4.12 Beef about TB - WE NEED not look any further than our love for burgers to find the cause of Scotland’s largest outbreak of bovine tuberculosis (“TB source still a mystery”, your report, 25 April). The process of raising, killing and consuming animals enables potentially fatal pathogens, including TB, to multiply, spread and cause infection… The best way to stop the spread of disease epidemics and infectious illnesses as well as the suffering of animals is to adopt a vegan diet. Ben Williamson PETA Southwark Street London (letters)


Somerset County Gazette 27.4.12 Go-ahead for legal challenge to West Somerset badger cull By Hannah Green - THE approval of a judicial review into the proposed badger cull pilot in West Somerset could see the scheme scrapped…. Adrian Coward, chairman of the Somerset Trust Badger Group, said: “We are pleased that the law courts have allowed Badger Trust to proceed to a judicial review on all three grounds submitted… (story)

Henley Standard 27.4.12 Don’t cull badgers - In this nation of supposed animal lovers it is too often erroneously assumed that wildlife in general exists in a state of sublime tranquillity… Bea Bradley Cuxham Road, Watlington (letter on website for a week)
Oxford Mail 18.4.12 Avoid dairy products - Bea Bradley (Monday’s Oxford Mail ViewPoints) is correct in asserting that “the 10-year scientific trial at a cost of more than £50m of taxpayers’ money concluded that culling can make no meaningful contribution to the reduction of bovine TB… Of course, the badgers and all the other forms of wildlife that have been infected originally by the cattle will acquire immunity, whereas the cows themselves will never do so, because of their appalling treatment… Those who genuinely care about our wildlife should consider giving up dairy produce, or at least trying to make a significant reduction in their consumption of it… PETER LANGLEY, Windmill Road, Headington, Oxford (letter)
Oxford Mail 16.4.12 Protest against badger culling - IN THIS nation of supposed animal lovers it is too often erroneously assumed that wildlife in general exists in a state of sublime tranquillity. However, following the Government’s decision that a mass cull of badgers is necessary to overcome the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in cattle, the appalling prospect of such gross cruelty to these much-loved native animals should galvanise everyone who deplores animal exploitation and cruelty to write to their MP, the Prime Minister and Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs… It has been noted that badger-baiting is on the increase; perhaps the baiters feel empowered by this pro-hunting, pro-badger culling Government. BEA BRADLEY, Cuxham Road, Watlington (letter)

Derby Telegraph 27.4.12 Badgers are being culled for the sake of 'cash cow' - MANKIND has done more damage to this planet than natural disasters ever have. One of the latest "faux pas" (to put it mildly) is the culling (or killing) of wild badgers that have been blamed for spreading disease to cattle. How ignorant can these cullers get?... Beef cattle are a huge money-earner for farmers, shops and supermarkets, so they are far more "precious" than the wild badger… Has it ever occurred to the would-be exterminators of Britain's badger population that, if they do happen to carry a health-threatening disease to cattle, that this gene is a natural defensive gene that doesn't harm other naturally-created animals like ourselves?... Joe Coleman Tewkesbury Crescent Chaddesden (letter)

Huffington Post 27.4.12 Animal Testing: The Ugly Secret of the Beauty Industry - Mark Jones - Executive Director for animal protection organisation Humane Society International/UK - While testing cosmetics such as lipstick and shampoo on animals was banned in the European Union in 2009, elsewhere around the world animal suffering for cosmetics continues…. Whereas some companies have become defined by their refusal to stop animal testing, others are defined by their opposition to it. Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics is one such company… (story)

Huffington Post 27.4.12 Animal Tested Cosmetics: Is the End in Sight? - Alistair Currie - PETA's Policy Advisor - During World Week for Animals in Laboratories 2012, no one should need to write about cosmetics testing on animals…. (story)

Malvern Gazette 21.4.12 Humans entertain …. I don’t know why Ms Jackson thought I shouted abuse at people, some circus goers did stop and tell me about the condition of the animals they’d seen and discuss concerns about the training of wild animals in circuses…… PAULINE BURGESS, Malvern (letter)
Malvern Gazette 20.4.12 Tradition touted - IT'S a pity Petra Jackson (letters, April 13) undermines her defence of animals in circuses by making false accusations against protesters. One of our number was loudly appealing to circus-goers not to support animal cruelty. Pauline spoke to people when they stopped for a leaflet. Other than that we were silent… Roberta Balfour, Malver (letter)
Malvern Gazette 18.4.12 Animals are fine - THANK you to all the supporters of Circus Mondao who attended our performances while in Malvern, we had a great time. I am writing in reply to Roberta Balfour and Pauline Burgess who do not agree with our lovely animals being in our circus. You obviously have never looked behind the scenes of our circus and seen for yourself how happy and healthy all our animals are… PETRA JACKSON Ringmistress (letter)

Coulsdon & Purley Advertiser 27.4.12 Waitrose cash to help animal care - ANIMAL-LOVER Ann Boyce paid a visit to Croydon Animal Samaritans on Wednesday to present them with a £400 donation. Ms Boyce – who took the opportunity to have a cuddle with abandoned Jack Russell Archie – had persuaded the Coulsdon branch of Waitrose to include the charity in its monthly "community matters" scheme… (story)


Yorkshire Post 26.4.12 Four ways Grand National could be made safer From: Keith Handley, Scotland Way, Horsforth, Leeds. IT appears that the racing industry is unconvinced about the inherent cruelty of the Grand National and have little intention of changing anything in spite of two further deaths in this year’s race… How about this for an idea to “persuade” the racing industry to get their house in order – every time that a horse has to be destroyed after falling, the race is declared null and void, there is no prize money awarded and all bets are off… (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 26.4.12 This barbaric race must be stopped - REGARDING the Grand National race. I wonder how many more of these wonderful animals, horses are going to be put down having competed in this barbaric race the Grand National?... T VALENTINE, Leeds (letter)

Southern Daily Echo 26.4.12 No to ban after racehorse deaths - I VERY rarely write letters to newspapers but felt I had to reply to the letter from Sheila Clayton regarding the Grand National (Letters, April 21). It seems she has jumped on the bandwagon to ban the race yet again… Horses can die anywhere. Only last week a top jumper of trainer David Pipes was turned out in a field and the next morning found to have broken a leg. Does this mean grazing should be banned?... Lastly, her comment about “horses can be healed if they break a leg but it’s all money” is totally misleading and incorrect…. NICK JONES, Bishop’s Waltham. (letter)

Essex Chronicle 26.4.12 RACING: Safety could be improved but care is taken of runners and riders - The Grand National is very much a lottery for both the public and the horses. It is too long; four miles (or less) would be far enough and there are too many horses…. But they eat horses in France, don't they? Here we prefer beef, lamb, pork and chicken from sources that often don't even see their first birthday. So, unless one is a vegetarian, it is perhaps questionable that we should be too critical of these sad events. Allan Trigg By Email
I AM absolutely appalled at how the Chronicle reported the High Easter Point to Point races. The opening sentence started with 'More than 4,000 spectators watched as a horse was put down'… However, this is in no way true… it was near impossible for spectators to witness the treatment of horse and rider. I recognise that this was a tragic accident for horse, rider and owner. However, there was no need to over exaggerate in such a way that it could cause the public to decide against going to this event again. I am very disappointed. Anonymous, aged 18
YOUR article about the High Easter point-to-point was quite sensitively handled but it was still unfortunate that the headline led with the fatal injury… Every step is taken to minimise the risks but there are no guarantees and whatever you do the prospect of a fatality is always present… Also, 4,000 people did not witness the death of the horse – it was well away from the public enclosures and, apart from being informed that an injured horse was being treated, we were not aware of the full circumstances. Charles Murray Runwell Road Wickford (letters)

St Helens Star 26.4.12 Horses don't get a say to run in the Grand National - I’M writing over a letter in the St Helens Star on Thursday, April 19 - 'It wouldn't be the Grand National without the challenge and risks'…. with the Grand National, the horses have no choice and for the horses that continue to run without a rider are full of adrenalin and aren’t aware of the potential dangers that humans are… We choose our own destiny, unfortunately for horses we tend to choose theirs’ too. Lorraine Ryle, Reginald Road (letter)

Farmers Weekly 26.4.12 Rural Britain has 'worst broadband in Europe' - Philip Case - Rural parts of the UK have some of the worst broadband services in Europe, says the Countryside Alliance… Speaking to the Western Morning News, Sir Barney said the West Country was particularly poorly served by broadband networks… (story)
USwitch 24.4.12 Countryside Alliance: UK has Europe's worst broadband by Oliver Folkard - The Countryside Alliance has launched a stinging attack on the UK's rural broadband services. Sir Barney White-Spunner, the new Executive Chairman of the campaign group, claimed that internet services outside the major urban centres are the worst in Europe. Speaking to the Western Morning News, he noted that broadband and mobile services are particularly poor in the south-west… (story)
Western Daily Press 23.4.12 Alliance's lead may be just what youngsters need to follow - The Countryside Alliance is the latest organisation to add its voice to the call for children to spend more time in the great outdoors…. (story)
Broadband Choice 23.4.12 Countryside Alliance chief says rural UK broadband is worst in Europe - The West Country and other rural parts of Britain have some of the worst broadband in Europe, Sir Barney White-Spunner of the Countryside Alliance has said. Broadband services in rural parts of the UK are lagging behind every other country in Europe, according to the new executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance. Speaking to the Western Morning News, Sir Barney White-Spunner - a self-confessed "technology nut" - said the West Country is particularly poorly-served by broadband networks… (story)
Independent on Sunday 22.4.12 The man who wants kids to shoot - Former soldier who now leads Countryside Alliance says children should ditch their laptops and embrace country sports - MATT CHORLEY - Children should put down their computer games, abandon virtual shooting and take up the real thing, the new head of the Countryside Alliance has declared. Sir Barney White-Spunner is urging a new generation to take up arms and embrace country sports. In a provocative hunting and shooting message, Sir Barney said fishing, farming and clay-pigeon shooting trips have a vital part to play in preventing an exodus of the young from the countryside. "In an age when an awful lot of children spend their time in their bedroom on a laptop, I don't think that's necessarily very good for future generations," Sir Barney said… (story)
Western Morning News 21.4.12 'Teach young to shoot and fish' - Young people need to be weaned off computer games and encouraged to take up country sports such as shooting and fishing, the new head of the Countryside Alliance has said. Sir Barney White-Spunner has made a defiant case for the uptake of field sports in the face of the relentless march of rival home entertainment… In the Saturday Interview, the retired Army Lieutenant-General also launched an attack on the Hunting Act, saying a repeal of the controversial legislation continues to be "central" to the organisation…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.4.12 Rural residents are living in a digital and fuel apartheid... London Editor Graeme Demianyk speaks to Sir Barney White-Spunner, the new executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, about repealing the Hunting Act, getting the Westcountry better broadband than in Afghanistan and dragging youngsters away from their laptops. Rural life is not, Sir Barney White-Spunner muses, the idyll many in Westminster perceive it to be. Of course, you "would not want to live anywhere else". But for how long… (story)
Western Morning News 21.4.12 WMN opinion: Country sports one way to get children out of doors - The Countryside Alliance is the latest organisation to add its voice to the call for children to spend more time in the great outdoors. The rural pressure group joins the National Trust in urging young people to turn off their computers and put away their mobile phones in favour of a day in the country… But while the National Trust's wittily titled list of "50 things to do before you are 11-and-three-quarters", published last week, was non-controversial, the CA's call is likely to be greeted rather more warily from some quarters because the Alliance is, first and foremost, a pro-country sports organisation… We accept that, for some families, country sports will be firmly off the agenda. That's fine. Other things can take their place. The point is that simply opening the back door and urging children to go out and enjoy themselves may no longer be enough… (story)

Salisbury Journal 26.4.12 Relief at cull review news - THE chairman of the Burley-based Badger Group has spoken of his relief after the Badger Trust charity won the right to a judicial review over the government’s plans for a badger cull… Badger Group chairman Martin Noble said he is “delighted and relieved” at the news. “I believe the move to cull was politically motivated to pacify the farming community,” he said…. (story)

Somerset Guardian 26.4.12 Why we must cull badgers to reduce TB in cattle - Some 25,000 cattle are slaughtered every year because they have tuberculosis (TB). This costs the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds but more importantly can bring farmers to the brink of disaster. It is widely suspected that the disease is spread by badgers… A selective cull must be the way forward. It would help farmers, cattle and even restore the badger population to better health. (story)

Western Daily Press 26.4.12 Badger cull ruling leaves industry paralysed by inaction - Battle lines for a countryside conflict – drawn up last year after the Government said it would permit a cull of badgers in a bid to limit the spread of TB in cattle – can only have become further entrenched after yesterday's legal ruling. As we report on Page 8 today, the two badger cull trials in the West this summer have been thrown into doubt after a judge ruled that the Badger Trust's application for a judicial review could go ahead. Quite understandably, the decision has been welcomed by the League Against Cruel Sports. Opinions are divided – and passionately held – on this issue. But while the debate rages and nothing is actually done, bovine TB continues to ravage the West Country's dairy farming industry… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 26.4.12 Help stop lab animals' suffering - APRIL 24 was World Day For Animals In Laboratory. To mark the occasion, more than 1,000 people from East Yorkshire joined others from across the UK in Birmingham to remember and recognise the suffering of animals in laboratories…. We can have safe medicines without animals suffering. Dave Cheale, address supplied (letter)

Shields Gazette 26.4.12 Animal rights protesters target circus - PROTESTERS braved terrible weather to demonstrate outside the Bobby Roberts circus last night…. A small group from Northern Animal Rights waved placards and a banner and handed out leaflets…. (story)

Telegraph 26.4.12 Human body hair sent to Harrods in envelopes in protest against sale of fur - Hundreds of envelopes containing human hair have been posted to Harrods as part of a protest against the sale of fashion items made using animal fur. By James Orr - Activists from Animal Rights UK targeted the luxury London department store at the weekend and letters have been arriving since Monday…. Today, a spokesman for Animal Rights UK said the envelopes containing “chest and head hair” had been sent to the store by its supporters…. (story)
Newcastle Evening Chronicle 25.4.12 Bobby Roberts Super Circus facing rights protest by Rachel Wearmouth, Evening Chronicle - ANIMAL rights protesters have vowed to demonstrate as a circus at the centre of an elephant cruelty case rolls into Tyneside this week…. Jon Proctor from Newcastle Animal Rights said: “The animals at Bobby Roberts circus are highly intelligent creatures who are forced to perform degrading tricks in the name of entertainment… (story)
Shields Gazette 25.4.12 Animal right activists plan circus protest - GROUPS of animal rights activists are planning a protest against a circus which has pitched its Big Top in South Tyneside. Northern Animal Rights (NAR) is set to stage a protest on Bobby Roberts’ Super Circus’s opening night tonight… (story)
Shields Gazette 25.4.12 VIDEO: Controversial circus defends its use of animals By VICKI NEWMAN - A CONTROVERSIAL circus has defended itself on its return to town. Bobby Roberts’ Super Circus is just one of a handful of operators still using animals in their acts. But wherever its performers go, they are met by animal rights activists who protest against them… as the circus arrived at Wheathall Farm in Mill Lane, Whitburn, musical clown and ringmaster David Konyot defended the spectacle. He said: “It’s a huge debate and there are a lot of lies being told – but do our animals look like they’re being beaten up?... (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 26.4.12 Short lives filled with pain - Justin Kerswell Viva! campaigns manager (letter)
Oxford Mail 17.4.12 Lambs to the slaughter - JUSTIN KERSWELL Campaigns manager Viva! York Court Wilder Street Bristol (letter)
Derby Telegraph 11.4.12 Stop eating meat to help save the lives of animals - Justin Kerswell Viva! 8 York Court Wilder Street Bristol (letter)
Coventry Telegraph 10.4.12 Go veggie to help UK lambs - Justin Kerswell, Viva! campaigns manager (letter)
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 7.4.12 Think about meat - SPRING is finally here and what better illustration of new life and hope than seeing new born lambs gambling in our countryside… The reality is that the lives of most sheep is short and often filled with pain, disease and fear… If this disturbs you, stop eating meat. Lambs are particularly cute but so are piglets and calves and chicks and they all suffer hugely before they end up on people’s dinner plates… Justin Kerswell, Viva! campaigns manager (letter)


Gloucestershire Echo 25.4.12 Donkeys share the limelight with celebrities - CELEBRITIES will team up with donkeys to support a Cotswolds charity. Pop legend Bryan Ferry's son Otis is among the contestants in a donkey derby at a Country Fair at Cocklebarrow Farm, Northleach, on June 17… Proceeds go to the Eloise and Katie Memorial Trust, funding young people's projects and the Heythrop Hunt (story)
Western Daily Press 25.4.12 Country fair donkey race gets star jockeys - Hunt campaigner Otis Ferry is set to drive a donkey mad in the Cotswolds. Pop legend Bryan Ferry's son will take part in a charity driven donkey derby at a country fair at Cocklebarrow Farm… (story)

Liverpool Echo 25.4.12 Leave National alone - A WEEK after the end of the Grand National might be long enough to look with a little less emotion at why two horses were put to sleep after the race… Horses don’t know that they have to keep the leg or shoulder in a still, fixed position until mended. So this causes them tremendous suffering… The Grand National should be left as it is with the safeguards that are already in place. Gary O'Neill, Greasby
End this cruelty - THE Grand National should never take place again. That should be the last. It is brutal, cruel and wicked… Mrs A. Wilson, Pensby (letters)

Hull Daily Mail 25.4.12 Condemning horses to slaughterhouse - Anumber of animal- lovers have written recently regarding the Grand National and steeple chasing… I appreciate their concern but have they thought it through?... If these race conditions were taken away, coupled with the enormous cost of keeping them, I'm afraid they would go the way of the dray and cart horses that were seen by the thousand at one time before the petrol engine took over… You kind and thoughtful people are condemning these wonderful animals to the slaughterhouse wholesale. L Parker, Ings Road, Hull (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 19.4.12 Rein in race to single lap - THERE has been widespread interest – and concern – from thousands of people who are not normally animal-lovers, regarding the Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival. If they truly love their horses, then they would throw their whips away…. Steve Broom, Ings Road Estate, Hull (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 16.4.12 Grand National horse deaths are a disgrace - ONCE again two terrified horses die at our Grand National. There is nothing grand about it, it is a national disgrace… Eileen Girling, Sigston Road, Beverley (letter)

Bolton News 25.4.12 Greyhounds ‘cruel sport’ - THE Bolton News is correct in its article (April 13). The greyhounds do race all the year round, even in ice, sleet, snow and below freezing temperatures. They often fall, break their legs and necks, suffering before they are eventually shot and disposed of… Name and address supplied (letter)

NE Business (Newcastle Journal) 25.4.12 North East villagers show their entrepreneurial spirit by Ruth Lognonne, The Journal - TWO years ago Prime Minister David Cameron "officially" unleashed the entrepreneurial spirit of rural communities with the unveiling of his government's idea for a Big Society… However, years before Cameron announced his big idea, shops and pubs in some of the North East’s most far-flung villages were already being successfully run by volunteers… Humshaugh Village Shop has been run by the community since November 1, 2009, but the campaign to save it began back in July 2008… The shop, which has a team of 40 dedicated volunteers, recently won the regional champions title for Best Village Shop at the Countryside Alliance awards for the second year on the trot… (story)

BBC 25.4.12 Ten minute rule motion - Retailers must be forced to label halal and kosher meat to ensure that consumers understand the provenance of the products they are buying, Conservative MP Philip Davies has said. On 24 April 2012, MPs rejected Mr Davies' ten minute rule bill aiming to enshrine the policy in law by a majority of just three votes… (story)

BBC News Online 25.4.12 Geese cull costs Stoke-on-Trent City Council £7,500 - More than 1,000 geese and 4,000 eggs were destroyed by a Staffordshire council last year. Stoke-on-Trent City Council said Canada geese are a "problem" in the area's parks and it has a duty to its citizens to control the population…. The charity Animal Aid said alternative "humane deterrents" could be used…. (story)

Western Daily Press 25.4.12 World's first shop to fight moon bear cruelty opens in Weston-super-Mare - They have raised £250,000 to help save tortured moon bears, and now a group of Somerset animal-lovers have opened the world’s first charity shop dedicated to the cause. The shop, in West Street, Weston-super-Mare, opened on Monday and is dedicated to the work of Animals Asia Foundation, a global charity working to end cruelty and restore respect for animals across the continent… (story)

Essex Echo 25.4.12 Animal cruelty is intolerable - With reference to the article about the sentencing of the two slaughterhouse men who were filmed inflicting unnecessary cruelty on animals in their care, I am very pleased these two individuals are going to feel the full force of the law…. Mo Smith Kiln Road Thundersley (letter)

Mail 25.4.12 Animal cruelty pair jailed after being caught stubbing out cigarettes on pigs’ faces and hitting them with baton By Ian Garland - Two slaughtermen who were filmed beating pigs and stubbing cigarettes out their faces were today jailed. Piotr Andrzej Wasiuta, 30 and Kelly Smith, 40, were secretly filmed by animal rights group Animal Aid, who hid cameras in pig pens at Cheale Meats in Brentwood, Essex…. (story)
Romford Recorder 18.4.12 Pair could face jail for ‘gratuitous cruelty’ to pigs at Brentwood abattoir Cheale Meats - Two Warley abattoir workers who beat pigs and stubbed out cigarettes on their faces could be facing jail. Piotr Wasiuta, 29, and Kelly Smith, 40, showed ‘gratuitous cruelty’ towards the animals moments before they were due to be slaughtered. The pair were caught out when animal welfare group Animal Aid placed hidden cameras in their workplace at the Cheale Meats abattoir… (story)
BBC News Online 18.4.12 Ex-slaughtermen admit pig cruelty at Essex abattoir - Two former slaughtermen from Essex could face jail after being secretly filmed attacking pigs. Piotr Andrzej Wasiuta, 29, from Southend, and Kelly Smith, 40, from Benfleet, admitted animal cruelty charges at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court…. They will be sentenced on 25 April (story)
Heart 28.3.12 Brentwood: Two Charged With Pig Cruelty - Two former Essex slaughterhouse workers are to be charged with animal cruelty after footage appeared to show pigs being attacked. Piotr Andrzej Wasiuta, 29, from Southend will appear in court accused of stubbing out a lighted cigarette on the snout of one of the animals at Orchard Farm in West Horndon. Kelly Smith, 40, from Benfleet, is facing prosecution for striking a pig with a baton, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said. Simon Clements, of the CPS, said he had advised the Food Standards Agency that there was sufficient prospect for conviction after footage was obtained by the animal rights group, Animal Aid, in March and April last year. Both are accused of offences while working for Cheale Meats…. (story)


Farming UK 24.4.12 Marine Bill ’poses threat to shooting’ - The Marine Bill, which was introduced to improve marine nature conservation, has attracted criticism from BASC for failing to take shooting interests into account. The draft Bill is making its way through the Northern Ireland Assembly and is currently at the committee stage… The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Countryside Alliance has consulted wildfowling clubs and MLAs before responding to the Environment Committee’s call for evidence on the Marine Bill… (story)

Yorkshire Post 24.4.12 Yorkshire casts net for fans of country sports - LEADING rural campaigners have launched a bid to attract country sports enthusiasts from across the globe to Yorkshire and capitalise on the multi-million pound tourism sector centred on angling, shooting and horse-racing… A formal bid is now being prepared to secure funding from the Government as well as the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to bolster an online campaign to attract a new generation of enthusiasts… The Countryside Alliance’s regional director for the North, Simon Hamlyn, has helped organised a meeting next month with the region’s tourism body, Welcome to Yorkshire, and Mr Brook to discuss the proposed marketing campaign…. (story)

Guardian 24.4.12 What is the point of carrying out local project research? Consultants often charge huge sums to review the progress of a local scheme. Here's how to avoid getting ripped off - James Derounian - The well known slur about consultants is that they borrow your watch to tell you the time, getting paid a fat wage to quiz you about what you already know… Take an example from my own area of rural development. First we had Rural Action for the Environment, a government funded scheme started in 1992 to foster "community-led environmental action"…. Rural Action was so successful that it was axed. Then came the government's 2000 rural white paper, which in 2001 gave birth to the 'vital villages' programme… And then – you guessed – it was axed. Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, commented at the time: "By withdrawing rural peoples' ability to help themselves, it would seem the future of rural communities is no longer of importance"…. (story)

Mail 24.4.12 The fox attack myth, by BBC man: Chris Packham says he doesn't believe people who are attacked by the animal By Liz Thomas - Chris Packham is becoming something of a champion for some of our less endearing wild animals… Now he’s come to the defence of the urban fox and, as for accounts of them attacking humans, he simply doesn’t believe them… (story)
Evening Standard 24.4.12 Fury as BBC presenter Chris Packham says he can’t believe fox attack claims - Kiran Randhawa - A BBC television presenter has provoked outcry by saying he does not believe people who claim to have been bitten by foxes. Wildlife expert Chris Packham said reports the animals had “gone bad, attacking everything” are unfounded… But his comments in the Radio Times were met with anger by ambulance worker Tammy Page, 30, who had the top of her finger bitten off by a fox. She said: “His comments are unbelievable. He is basically calling all of us who have been attacked by foxes, liars… (story)

Guardian 24.4.12 Badgers' fate influenced by books, research discovers - Portrayals of badgers in literature from The Wind in the Willows to Beatrix Potter linked to UK's conflicted attitude to culling - Alison Flood - From the kindly old Badger of The Wind in the Willows to the murderous Tommy Brock from Beatrix Potter, the proliferation of literary depictions of badgers through the ages has dangerously coloured the debate around whether to cull wild badgers, according to new research. Dr Angela Cassidy, a fellow with the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme, says the UK's conflicted attitude to badgers is "rooted in history",… (story)

Shropshire Star 24.4.12 Concern at Shropshire NFU as badger cull to be reviewed - The chairman of the National Farmers Union in Shropshire today said he was ‘disappointed’ a judicial review had been granted following protests against plans for a trial cull of badgers to control the spread of TB in livestock… (story)

Farmers Guardian 24.4.12 Leading campaigner on TB in alpacas diagnosed with M.Bovis By Alistair Driver - A WOMAN who has campaigned for greater awareness of the problem of bovine TB (bTB) in alpacas has been diagnosed with the disease. Dianne Summers, whose own herd of alpacas was infected with the disease in 2008 and 2009, fell ill about eight weeks ago. She was confirmed with M. Bovis last week, having initially been told she had pneumonia…. “I am absolutely devastated,” she said. “I am confined to bed and I am really sick with it. I am just waiting to see what the consultant suggests next.”… (story)

Harrogate Advertiser 24.4.12 Animal rights demonstration in Harrogate - ANIMAL rights protesters are demonstrating outside a laboratory in Harrogate. Campaigners have set up banners and posters outside the Covance site on Otley Road, in objection to its work. Today, Tuesday, April 24, is World Lab Animal Day and campaigners from the National Anti-Vivisection Society are protesting against the laboratory’s work…. (story)

Huffington Post 24.4.12 Medical Charities Are Funding Animal Experiments But They Don't Want You to Know - Peter G Tatchell - Today, Tuesday 24 April, is the UN-recognised World Day for Animals in Laboratories, when the public is encouraged to consider the plight of the hundreds of millions of animals exploited, and often killed, in toxicity tests and disease research. There are serious humanitarian and scientific issues at stake… (story)

Wirral News 24.4.12 Wirral Council will ban cleaning products tested on animals by Helen Hunt, Heswall News - WIRRAL Council will ban the use of household products that have been tested on animals from being used by its cleaners. The Clean-up Cruelty motion was passed by elected members in which the council voiced its commitment to using only cleaning products which have not been tested on animals throughout council buildings… Today the move was welcomed by animal rights campaigners from the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV)… (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 24.4.12 Stop experiments - Ashley Owen, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1AW (letter)
Oxford Mail 24.4.12 Remember lab animals - April 24 marks World Day for Animals in Laboratories – a day recognised by the United Nations to remember the millions of animals that have been used and killed in animal experiments around the world… ASHLEY OWEN, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 24.4.12 Humans worse than seagulls - WHILE on holiday in Cornwall, I observed that catching crabs from the dockside with a piece of string containing bait, seems to be popular with young and old… A nearby sign read: Do not feed the seagulls as they are vicious. Which are the most vicious: the humans causing the crabs to suffer or the gulls whose fish has been depleted by man… Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby (letter)


Northern Echo 23.4.12 Grand National - I COULDN’T bring myself to watch the Grand National as I love horses too much. However, I couldn’t fail to hear the news that another two beautiful strong gentle horses are now dead. How dare these supposed animal lovers subject their horses to such an ordeal?... Sylvia Smith, Darlington. (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.4.12 Judge's decision throws Somerset badger cull plan into doubt - The two badger cull trials in the West this summer have been thrown into doubt after a judge ruled the Badger Trust application for a judicial review could go ahead. The decision was welcomed last night by the League Against Cruel Sports…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.4.12 Badger culling in doubt as campaigners win review fight - Two planned Westcountry badger culls have been thrown into doubt after opponents won the right to a judicial review… (story)
Telegraph 21.4.12 Judicial review approved into badger culling - A judicial review is to be held into the Government’s decision to allow badgers to be culled in England to halt the spread of bovine TB. By Murray Wardrop - The Government last year announced final plans for a cull – initially in two pilot areas – to try to curb the spread of tuberculosis in cattle amid support from many farmers…. A judge yesterday granted permission for a judicial review into the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs's decision, on three grounds…. (story)
iNDEPENDENT 21.4.12 Review ordered over badger cull - A judicial review is to be held into the Government's decision to allow badgers to be killed in England to halt the spread of bovine TB…. (story)
BBC News Online 20.4.12 Badger culling: High Court challenge granted - Government plans to cull badgers in England are to to be reviewed in the High Court following a legal challenge by the Badger Trust…. (story)
Farmers Guardian 20.4.12 Judge grants permission for badger cull judicial review - DEFRA’S decision to permit badgers to be culled in two areas of England this autumn is to be challenged in the High Court. The judge, Mr Justice Irwin, informed the Trust on Friday (April 20) that it has been granted permission for a judicial review of Defra’s decision on all three grounds requested. The case is likely to be heard at the High Court, London, in June… (story)

Western Mail 23.4.12 Fears and threats over badger action - I was at the Welsh Assembly when John Griffiths AM, Environment Minister, announced that badgers would be vaccinated rather than killed. I was also present for Questions to the Minister and heard with great disquiet Elin Jones AM ask: “Do you agree with me that farmers will now have to consider how best to protect their cattle? I, for one, would not blame them however they chose to do that.”… What does she mean by “however” in her question? Does she mean that bio security measures should be ignored: or the swapping of ear tags on cattle or otherwise confusing the identity of cattle; or does she mean the illegal transport of cattle? The list goes on… I understand the concerns of many over Elin Jones’ question to the Environment Minister have been presented to the Commissioner for Standards WAG. NIGEL GEORGE Cardiff (letter)

Leicester Mercury 23.4.12 MEP fears test delays - An MEP fears Europe might backtrack on promises to end the sale of products tested on animals… Glenis Willmott, Labour MEP for the East Midlands, said she was concerned the European Commission might propose delaying the deadline…. (story)

Argus 23.4.12 The pig farrowing crate is inhumane - I WOULD like to bring to more people’s attention a shocking example of what I believe to be animal cruelty in the form of the pig farrowing crate… Sadly, this treatment is frequent in factory farming, where profit is more important than the welfare of animals… People can also write to their supermarket asking how pigs used in their meat are raised. Or better still, stop eating meat at all… J Elford, address supplied (letter)

Leicester Mercury 23.4.12 Why our zoos can't really help animals - Mrs R Taylor said zoos provide breeding programmes for endangered species, educate the public and offer protection to animals from criminal activity… A zoo director in the US said: "Any zoo that tells you that the strength of zoos is the species survival plan is blowing smoke."… Greed, misguided affection for animals, habitat loss and climate change are causing the demise of many animals. Sadly, zoos can do little to prevent this. Mrs Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 23.4.12 Curtain down on circus animals - I VERY much welcome the pledge, made on ethical grounds, by this government to ban the use of wild animals in circuses "as soon as possible". However, this has taken far too long already…. David Wedlake, details supplied. (letter)


Guardian 22.4.12 Grand National talks need to focus on facts and avoid rush for change - The race's future is likely to top the agenda when Paul Bittar, BHA chairman, meets the chairman of World Horse Welfare - Chris Cook - The future of the Grand National seems sure to be the main point of discussion at the offices of the British Horseracing Authority on Monday when its chief executive, Paul Bittar, meets his opposite from World Horse Welfare, Roly Owers… It is to be hoped the conversation is more grounded in reality than much of the blether generated by this topic in the past week, when the fashion has been to agonise over the loss of Synchronised and According To Pete without actually addressing what happened to either… (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 20.4.12 Pete’s story has no happy ending By Steve Carroll , Sports reporter - I HAD the pleasure of meeting Peter Nelson and his family in the run-up to the Grand National and, in more than a dozen years of journalism, I’ve never met a more genuine group of people… But there’s something rotten on the internet… some of the views were a little cruel. Like the poster who claimed it was all about the money… I had to laugh at the person who argued they stood to gain financially from huge stud fees if the horse did well in the National… A poster admired them for their beauty and faithfulness, referring to Aintree as a “slaughterhouse”. Are cows, lambs, sheep, chickens and pigs any less beautiful? A slaughterhouse is the fate for millions of them every year…. (story)
Herne Bay Times 20.4.12 Gale attacks Grand National organisers - BAY MP Sir Roger Gale has criticised Grand National organisers after two horses died during the race on Saturday… (story)
Liverpool Daily Post 20.4.12 The Debate: Does the Grand National have a long-term future?... YES, says Paul Struthers, of the Jockey’s Association… NO, says Mimi Bekhechi , UK manager for PETA… (story)
Wells Journal 19.4.12 'Publicity seeking' RSPCA blasted - Retired Shepton Mallet vet Roger Eddy has voiced strong words after criticism from animal rights campaigners and RSPCA chiefs about horse racing. Mr Eddy, from North Wootton, a past president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons was among the huge crowds celebrating Neptune Collonges' victory parade through Ditcheat on Sunday. Mr Eddy said: "I am very annoyed at what the RSPCA have come out with. In my opinion they are seeking publicity for their own ends," he declared… (story)
Brentwood Weekly News 18.4.12 Sanctuary slams Grand National after deaths - REMUS Horse Sanctuary in Ingatestone is demanding action after two deaths during this weekend's Grand National… Sue Burton, sanctuary manager, said: "The problems with the National are twofold in my opinion…. Remus is urging people to not support the races by placing bets and to ask their MPs to look into the racing industry and to encourage a ban on the use of the whip." (story)
Coventry Telegraph 17.4.12 Bookies feat backlash after Grand National deaths by Alan Poole, Coventry Telegraph - HARD-HEADED business considerations rather than animal welfare concerns will decide the future of the Grand National….. however they sneer at regular protesters as urban simpletons or fringe fanatics, they should understand that the vast bulk of British people are sickened by the sight of a magnificent animal careering round an assault course with a shattered leg flapping underneath it…. (story)
Western Daily Press 17.4.12 Needless cruelty masquerading as sport - Sprawled on the ground, limbs tangled, necks wrenched at agonising angles, the photographs of the fallen horses at Saturday's Grand National were painful even to look at. Yet millions take pleasure in this cruel spectacle…. How can horses be so ruthlessly exploited to feed this national habit when we claim to be proud to be more compassionate than most other countries to our animals? Having banned fox-hunting, bear-baiting and cock-fighting, we like to think ourselves morally superior to our crueller ancestors who used to revel in these practices. But the Grand National is little different to such barbarities…. (story)
Mail 16.4.12 Terrified Grand National horse who died at Aintree should NEVER have even started, say the racing experts By Luke Salkeld - A champion horse killed after falling at the Grand National should never have been allowed to race after it became spooked before the start, experts said yesterday…
As a vet, I say: Ban this cruel spectacle - Emma Milne… (story)
Telegraph 16.4.12 What really drives the Grand National killjoys is not a love of horses but a hatred for human beings By Brendan O'Neill - Every year it's the same: first there's the horse race, and then there's the race for the moral high ground by animal-rights activists… (story)
Telegraph 15.4.12 Grand National 2012: we cannot and should not sanitise this race any further - The yin and the yang of life cannot exist without each other. They demand that there must always be equilibrium. And given that the essential nature of the Grand National is that it is always a Shakespearean tragedy, small wonder the race is littered with tales of woe By Charlie Brooks… (story)
Guardian 16.4.12 You can't rationalise the Grand National - The National is unpredictable, emotional, dangerous. It probably shouldn't exist, yet it has enriched our imaginations - Stephen Moss … (story)
Independent 16.4.12 James Lawton: Safety is not the driving force of our, or a horse's, instinct - No matter how dangerous this event is, Synchronised died not as a result of being pushed beyond either its limits or appetite… He died doing something of his own volition. Separated from his jockey AP McCoy, he kept running and jumping. He wasn't pushed beyond either his limits or his appetite. When the champion addressed the fatal fence, having recovered from his mishap at Becher's Brook, he was in charge of his own destiny… (story)
Evening Standard 16.4.12 I have a choice to run the Marathon but horses have no say over the National - Steve Cording - The sport of racing is at a crossroads and it is not just because of what happened at Aintree on Saturday. The tragic deaths of Synchronised and According To Pete in the Grand National have become the latest stick to beat the sport with. And, after watching along with over 600million people worldwide, I find it very difficult to argue with animal rights campaigners who have labelled the sport barbaric…. (story)
Huffington Post 16.4.12 Grand National Steeplechase Under Fire From Animal Rights Groups After Death Of Two Horses - The world's most famous horse race has come in for criticism after the death of two horses, that of joint favourite Synchronised and According to Pete, both from falls…. (story)
Mail 15.4.12 A hero's welcome for Neptune Collonges as Grand National winner is paraded through home village By Rachel Rickard Straus - Hundreds of revellers gathered to give Grand National champion Neptune Collonges a hero's welcome as he returned to his home village today… Director of Animal Aid Andrew Tyler said, ‘The Grand National is a disgusting and shameful spectacle masquerading as sport… (story)
Express 15.4.12 DEATH OF FAVOURITE BLIGHTS THE GRAND NATIONAL By Jon Coates and Shehkar Bhatia - A DARK day for racing yesterday saw the favourite Synchronised and another horse die after falls during the Grand National despite safety improvements to the course fences…. David Muir, the RSPCA equine consultant, said any number of deaths was “unacceptable” but said he did not favour a ban… Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: “The Grand National is a disgusting and shameful spectacle… (story)
Yahoo! Sport (Reuters) 15.4.12 Horse racing-Animal rights group slams 'shameful' National - The head of a leading British animal rights group has slammed the Aintree Grand National as "disgusting and shameful" after two more equine lives were lost on Saturday…. (story)
Scotland 15.4.12 Horse deaths mar Grand National again - A DRAMATIC finish to the Grand National yesterday was marred by the deaths of two horses, including the Aintree favourite, Synchronised… Earlier, animal rights activists had staged a demonstration against the event. A group of about 30 protesters gathered outside Aintree train station with banners that read: “Don’t Bet on Cruelty.”… (story)
People 15.4.12 Fury as Grand National favourite Synchronised killed at Becher's Brook by Nick Dorman, The People - ANIMAL lovers and campaigners hit out last night after two horses including the favourite were killed in the Grand National… Andrew Tyler, of leading charity Animal Aid, told The People: “Synchronised was spooked before the race and threw off his jockey. He did not want to run. He was nervous and anxious… Tony Moore of Fight Against Cruelty to All Animals, said: “I am not surprised that the horses have died, but I am still shocked.”… (story)
Mail 14.4.12 A finger-biting photo finish, a fall from the favourite and a host of fillies: Grand National lives up to its reputation for drama By RICK DEWSBURY - The Grand National lived up to its reputation for drama today as an outsider won after a finger-biting photo finish and a fall from the favourite…. Outside the racecourse, animal rights activists gathered to protest against the festival. As racegoers came out of Aintree train station and towards the course they walked past some 20 to 30 protesters, who gave out leaflets and waved banners which read: 'DON'T bet on cruelty'. Fiona Pereira, an activist for Animal Aid, was at the protest wearing a black Victorian-style dress and a hat depicting a horse falling over a jump fence with the letters RIP… (story)
Derby Telegraph 14.4.12 Animal activists in protest over race - ANIMAL rights activists are holding a two-day protest in Derby following the deaths of two horses during last year's Grand National. Derby Animal Rights began the protest yesterday at Ladbrokes bookmakers, in St Peters Street, to encourage people not to bet on horses… (story)
Guardian 14.4.12 Is horse racing too dangerous? Is horse racing, and especially the Grand National, in which two horses died last year, too risky? Former jockey Richard Pitman and activist Dene Stansall talk it out - Interview by Emine Saner (story)
Huffington Post 14.4.12 In Defence of the Grand National - David Skelton- Deputy Director and Head of Research at Policy Exchange - This weekend, millions of Brits will be betting on one of the world's most spectacular sporting events. The Grand National will be watched by about ten million viewers in this country alone… A tiny minority of extremists will be given disproportionate airtime and a media soapbox to denigrate the Grand National, to call it cruel and to call for it to be banned. Only last Sunday, the Observer presented a deeply skewed opinion piece as a news article where the views of Animal Aid, with its handful of members, were given absurd prominence…. A Grand National entered horse is likely to be the apple of the eye of their trainer or owner. Any idea that racing people, who adore horses, would put them through something that they believe to be cruel is clearly complete nonsense. And anybody who suggests that horses are "forced" to do something they don't enjoy has clearly never seen the reaction of a thoroughbred who doesn't want to do something… (story)
BBC News Online 13.4.12 Grand National: Horse race protest at Derby bookies - Animal rights campaigners who claim the Grand National is unsafe and cruel to horses have protested outside a Derby city centre bookmakers. Derby Animal Rights said they were "trying to convince" people not to back horses in the race, which they say causes horse fatalities… Protester Roger Swain, who took part in the demonstration, said it was a "horrible sport" and was against all forms of horse racing…. (story)
Guardian 13.4.12 Aintree hoping improvements can give the Grand National redemption - Last year the National's public image was damaged because of fatalities, but the course has put safety measures in place to restore racing's most important advertisement - Greg Wood - There were 10,147 horse races in Great Britain in 2011, but only one many remember. Up to 600 million people worldwide watched the Grand National, and many saw its drama and danger more clearly than ever… "There will be 70,000 people at Aintree for the Grand National, and lining up in support of the Animal Aid protest outside will be probably 15 or 20 at most…” Animal Aid, a campaign group which is frequently described as a "charity" but does not have charitable status, has emerged as the most vocal critic. Here again, the BHA's position seems to have shifted in recent months. Where once Animal Aid was ignored, now there is an attempt to draw attention to its wider aims. "The Grand National is a very small part of their agenda," Jamie Stier, the BHA's director of operations and regulation, says. "They have said publicly that they want to ban horse racing, but when you drill down further into it, their position is that people should not be using animals for any reason at all and I think it's important that people are aware of that."… (story)
ClickLiverpool 11.4.12 Animal rights group encourage people to boycott Grand National by Amy Blacklock - An animal rights group is asking members of the general public to refrain from attending or placing bets on this year's Grand National. Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE) are also encouraging supporters to attend the yearly demo, in co-operation with Animal Aid and local groups, on the day of the event…. (story)
Observer 8.4.12 Grand National betting boycott urged by animal charity - Campaigners appeal for gamblers to send money they might have wagered to a horse sanctuary instead - Tracy McVeigh - Campaigners are calling for a betting boycott of next weekend's Grand National, as latest figures reveal the death toll on Britain's racecourses. Animal Aid has launched a Sanctuary Not Cruelty campaign, appealing to people to send money they might have put on the race to a horse sanctuary instead… (story)
Inverurie Herald 8.4.12 Inverurie Eye - The Grand National - Spring time brings with it one of Britain’s best loved, most thrilling sporting fixtures – the Grand National, writes Susann Brown… Spring time brings with it one of Britain’s best loved, most thrilling sporting fixtures – the Grand National, writes Susann Brown… Andrew Tyler, who is Director of Animal Aid, said that deaths are not accidents, but “entirely predictable” and labelled the Grand National as “straightforward animal abuse.”… Personally, I have seen horses killed on the flat, never mind over these awesome fences, so on the day - no, I won’t be watching. (story)
Daily Star 20.3.12 ANIMAL RIGHTS PLOT TO WRECK THE NATIONAL By Marc Walker - THE Grand National is to be targeted by animal rights activists with “swarms” of remote control helicopters. Campaigners plan to land the mini choppers on the Aintree course in protest at horses’ deaths in the race… James Shannon, 52, who cares for former race horses, said activists were angry that Aintree continued to use solid fences. Mr Shannon, of Liverpool, said he was not involved in the protest but understood why campaigners were targeting the event… (story)

Independent on Sunday 22.4.12 Commercial horse racing, which caused horses to suffer and die in the Grand National, is not a sport… Emma Richards, Brighton, East Sussex (letter)
Argus 21.4.12 Horse racing - a question of sport - COMMERCIAL horse racing, which caused horses to suffer and die in the Grand National, is not a sport… A real sport involves consenting human participants, not abusing and whipping defenceless animals to win a race to line greedy pockets. Emma Richards, Halland Road, Brighton (letter)
Argus 20.3.12 Death at the races - COMMERCIAL horse racing, which killed five horses in two days of racing at Cheltenham, is not a sport. Two-thirds of the 15,000 foals bred for racing each year aren’t good enough for the grade and are often simply killed… A real sport involves consenting human participants, not abusing and whipping defenceless animals into winning a race. And all to line cowardly and greedy pockets. Emma Richards, Halland Road, Brighton (letter)

The Yorker 22.4.12 High street retailer fights animal testing - High street trader Lush have launched their first ever global campaign, ‘Fighting Animal Testing’. Lush, who specialise in bath gifts and cosmetics, launched the campaign to coincide with World Animals Week…. (story)


York Press 21.4.12 Free course for gamekeepers - GAMEKEEPERS are being offered a free one-day course on managing and improving woodland for game and wildlife. The North York Moors National Park Authority is holding the event on Friday, May 18, for shoot owners and managers, gamekeepers, forestry operators and conservation agencies who operate within the park…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 21.4.12 Time for action on unacceptable risk of jump racing - From: Dr Mark Kennedy, Senior Lecturer in Animal Welfare, Anglia Ruskin University This year, as last year, the Grand National meeting has resulted in the deaths of three horses. Since 2001, 20 horses have died over the Grand National fences, 10 in the Grand National Steeplechase itself over the last 12 years…. A core issue which needs to be emphasised is that these fatalities are predictable; they are not freak accidents…. when (quite justifiably) the language of unacceptable risk is being used by the animal welfare organisations that formerly gave racing qualified support it is time for the BHA and racing to take serious heed and act. (letter)

Argus 21.4.12 OWNERS and jockeys have a choice – horses don’t…. That isn’t sport – it’s animal cruelty. And for what? Money…. Joan Archer, Rusper Road, Worthing (letter)

Irish Examiner 21.4.12 China horse welfare fears - Last weekend the pundits, bookies and people involved in horse racing celebrated their winnings literally on the backs of horses in the Grand National. Little press coverage was given to the horses that suffered appalling injuries and untimely deaths all for the "enjoyment" of mankind… The lives and welfare of the Irish horses that will end up in China appear to be of no consequence to our government and the racing industry. Chris O’Malley Swords Co Dublin (letter)


The Sentinel 20.4.12 I was not proud of being British - THANK you Martin Tideswell for writing your article about this year's awful Grand National (Sentinel, April 17). It is time this race was put to sleep permanently to save further unnecessary animal cruelty and suffering…. ANGELA DALE Lightwood (letter)

The Sentinel 20.4.12 Horse race is a national disgrace - I AGREE about every thing Martin Tideswell says about the Grand National (Sentinel, April 17). There are greedy horse owners with fat wallets and trainers with big egos… SARAH GRIFFITHS, Meir (story)

Derby Telegraph 20.4.12 Action has to be taken on barbaric Grand National - I GREW up below the South Downs awaking to the wonderful sight of racehorses out training on the gallops. The sight of horses being horrifically injured at this weekend's Grand National was sickening… We talk about human rights. What about animal rights? Val Roberts Chestnut Avenue Mickleover (letter)

Independent 20.4.12 Deaths at the Grand National - William Simpson (letter, 19 April) states that injuries to animals are a "far from inevitable consequence of National Hunt Racing". Apart from two deaths each in 2012 and 2011, there have been 14 horse fatalities in the Grand National since 1996, an average of just less than one per year… Martin Heaton, Gatley, Greater Manchester
… Surely not breeding animals for the sole purpose of betting with a high risk of death or injury would be a good thing. Ian Jenkins Cardiff (letters)

Worcester News 20.4.12 Changes have to be made to the National - Only 15 horses out of 40 runners finished the Grand National this year and two had to be put down (as last year). What a disgrace. Is it not time that this state of affairs is radically reformed?... Phil Pegler, Worcester (letter)

Yorkshire Post 20.4.12 Grand horse race turning into national disgrace From: Roger Dobson, Ash Street, Cross Hills, Keighley. I APPRECIATE that the Grand National is the greatest steeplechase horse race in the world. But surely now enough is enough…
From: Peter Hyde, Kendale View, Driffield. I am not normally a person who wants to ban something because of the hazards, but I do feel we ought to look again at the jumps in the Grand National…
From: John Gordon, Whitcliffe Lane, Ripon. NOTHING like last year will happen, said the organisers, but it did… I hope those people who went home with a bulging wallet will stop and consider whether they have made the world any better. (letters)

Broadband Expert 20.4.12 Welsh MPs: Rural mobile phone coverage is ‘ludicrous’ BY HAZEL CHUA - Many rural areas still do not have access to reliable broadband services… Joining B4RN and the Countryside Alliance in calling for improvements when it comes to rural broadband are the Welsh MPs. The former head of the Countryside Alliance, Simon Hart, explained how it was incredibly difficult to talk to other MPs in neighbouring areas because of “ludicrous” mobile phone coverage… (story)
Carlisle News & Star 19.4.12 PLAY FAIR ON SERVICES FOR COUNTRYSIDE, CUMBRIAN MP PLEADS By Anika Bourley Parliamentary Correspondent - Penrith MP Rory Stewart has called on rural areas to get help to access basic services that those in urban areas take for granted…. He spoke in a Commons debate on Government support for rural economies, secured by former Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart, who is now a Tory MP…. (story)
Western Daily Press 18.4.12 Rural rip-off scandal as twice as much is spent on urban residents - People living in the countryside are losing out because the Government spends twice as much on those in urban areas, James Gray warned yesterday. The North Wiltshire MP used a special Commons debate to highlight the problem – and urged Ministers to change it. He spoke out in a Commons debate on Government support for rural economies, secured by former Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart, who is now a Tory MP… (story)
Farmers Guardian 18.4.12 Broadband roll-out on track, claims MP By David Boderke - THE Government’s commitment to have the best broadband available across the country by 2015 was on track, Defra Under-Secretary of State Richard Benyon told MPs on Tuesday. He was speaking in a debate in the Commons on rural communities, introduced by the former Countryside Alliance president Simon Hart, now Tory MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire…. (story)
Western Mail 17.4.12 Welsh MPs describe rural mobile phone coverage as 'ludicrous' - Welsh MPs in neighbouring constituencies cannot talk to one another because of “ludicrous” mobile phone coverage, the former head of the Countryside Alliance claimed today. Simon Hart, who is now the Conservative MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, denounced the “nightmare” of isolation facing many people in the countryside and said it was not good enough to say that fuel costs would be worse under Labour… (story)


Western Morning News 19.4.12 Terrierman wins badger sett appeal - A hunt supporter has been cleared of damaging a badger sett after a judge ruled he may have been the victim of mistaken identity. Andrew Bellamy, 41, had always denied that he was a man caught on film by anti hunt monitors sending a terrier underground and then digging out and killing a fox which it located. He was found not guilty on appeal at Exeter Crown Court after Recorder Mr Malcolm Gibney said it was impossible to be sure he was the man on the film… Mr Bellamy is the huntsman with the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt where his wife Clare is the hunt master. He was also the terrierman with the neighbouring South Devon Hunt, which has its kennels at Denbury, near Newton Abbot… (story)
Western Morning News 14.4.12 Terrierman wins badger sett appeal - A hunt supporter has been cleared of damaging a badger sett after a judge ruled he may have been the victim of mistaken identity. Andrew Bellamy, 41, had always denied that he was a man caught on film by anti hunt monitors sending a terrier underground and then digging out and killing a fox which it located. He was found not guilty on appeal at Exeter Crown Court after Recorder Mr Malcolm Gibney said it was impossible to be sure he was the man on the film…. (story)
BBC News Online 13.4.12 Huntsman Andrew Bellamy's badger sett conviction overturned - A huntsman found guilty of damaging a badger sett was the victim of mistaken identity, a court has ruled. Andrew Bellamy, 41, of The Kennels in Sampford Spiney, near Yelverton, was convicted by South Devon Magistrates' Court in February 2011. But in an appeal at Exeter Crown Court, Mr Bellamy said he was not the man on a video secretly filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports. The recorder overturned Mr Bellamy's conviction and awarded him costs…. (story)
Western Morning News 13.4.12 I was a victim of mistaken identity, terrierman insists - A hunt supporter has denied damaging a badger sett while trying to dig out and kill a fox. Andrew Bellamy, 41, says he is not the man who can be seen digging in a video which was shot secretly by anti-hunt monitors at a Dartmoor beauty spot. The terrierman said he had laid three trails for the South Devon Hunt on foot and had not ridden the quad bike which can be seen in the video camera footage… Bellamy was identified by hunt observers who recognised him from their film after he and his wife were featured in a photo story in Horse and Hound magazine a couple of months later…. (story)
Western Morning News 6.3.12 Terrierman appeal is adjourned - A wildlife expert has told a judge that a burrow where two huntsmen were allegedly seen digging out a fox was a badger sett. Ivan Lakin said there were signs of badgers living in a system of tunnels where hunt observers filmed a terrierman digging during a foxhunt. Huntsman Andrew Bellamy is in court accused of interfering with the badger sett, but he insists he is not the man on the film and no badgers were living in the burrow… (story)
ThisIsDevon 1.3.12 Huntsman appeals badger sett conviction - A hunt monitor has told a court how he watched a terrierman dig out a badger sett as he flushed out a fox. Hunt observer Edmund Shephard hid on a bridleway behind a stone wall as he shot 31 minutes of video in which huntsman Andrew Bellamy and a colleague dug furiously in a field on the edge of Dartmoor before allegedly shooting a fox…. Bellamy, 40, of The Kennels, Sampford Spiney, near Yelverton, denies two offences of interfering with a badger sett. He is appealing against his conviction under the Protection of Badgers Act by South Devon Magistrates a year ago, where he was fined £500 with £500 costs and a £15 surcharge. He says it is a case of mistaken identity and he is not the man in the film. He also argues that the earth dug out was not an active badger sett. He says he was identified wrongly because he and his wife Clare had recently been featured in Horse and Hound magazine because she was Master of the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt. Kerry Barker, prosecuting, said Bellamy was filmed while out on a quadbike with the Denbury-based South Devon Foxhounds in April 2010… (story)
ThisIsDevon 4.2.11 Edmund Shephard - During the trial of a man convicted by South Devon magistrates of damaging a badger sett Mr Edmund Shephard... was described as a former hunt saboteur. Whilst the League accepts that Mr Shephard has acted as a hunt saboteur in the past, they confirm he has not acted as a saboteur whilst in their employment (story)
Horse & Hound 2.2.11 South Devon hunt countryman convicted under Protection of Badgers Act - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - South Devon hunt countryman Andrew Bellamy has been found guilty of two charges of interfering with a badger sett.... (story)
ThisIsDevon 2.2.11 Terrier man to pay £1,000 after being found guilty of damaging badger sett - A terrier man has been convicted of breaking wildlife protection laws after secretly-filmed footage by anti-hunt campaigners showed him and another man digging out a badger sett. Andrew John Bellamy, of Yelverton, Devon, denied two charges of damaging and interfering with a badger sett at Bridford, on Dartmoor, last year while laying a trail for the South Devon Foxhounds... (story)
BBC News Online 1.2.11 Man caught on camera digging badger sett in Devon - A Devon man has been fined £500 for interfering with a badger sett. Andrew Bellamy was captured on film digging the sett in April 2010, Torquay Magistrates' Court heard. Bellamy, 39, of Yelverton, was prosecuted under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. He told the court he was employed by the South Devon Hunt. As he was laying trails for the hunt he was filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports digging the sett... (story)
ThisIsDevon 21.1.11 Man accused of 'cock and bull story' in defence of digging up badger sett charge - A terrier man accused of wildlife offences and hunt supporters who acted as witnesses at his trial told a "cock and bull story" in his defence, a court has heard. Andrew Bellamy, 39, of Sampford Spiney, has denied two charges of damaging and interfering with a badger sett near Beacon Farm, Bridford last year, while laying a trail for the South Devon Hunt. Bellamy disputes he was one of the two men secretly filmed digging out a terrier by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) on April 7, despite being picked out of a police identity parade by two of its members... (story)
ThisIsDevon 20.1.11 Evidence of experts at odds in badger trial - The credibility of a huntsman who was presented as an expert witness at the trial of a terrier man accused of digging out a badger sett was questioned in court yesterday. Defendant Andrew Bellamy, 39, of Sampford Spiney, has denied two charges of damaging and interfering with a sett at near Beacon Farm, Bridford last year while laying a trail for the South Devon Hunt.... The prosecution called Ivan Lakin, a wildlife investigator for Natural England, who had found 24 entrances, seven of which were "very active"... But when Stephen Lomax, member of the pro-hunt group Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management – formerly known as Vets for Hunting – took the stand, the prosecution launched an attack on his motives... (story)
ThisIsDevon 19.1.11 Man denies being filmed by campaigners digging up badger sett - A terrier man has denied digging out a badger sett during the meeting of a Westcountry hunt despite secretly-filmed video footage shot by campaigners from nearby woods. Andrew John Bellamy, 39, of Yelverton, pleaded not guilty to two charges that he damaged and interfered with a sett at Bridford on the north western tip of Dartmoor last year while laying a trail for the South Devon Hunt. Mr Bellamy, 39, who lives at The Kennels, Sampford Spiney with wife Claire Bellamy, Master of Fox Hounds at the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt, disputes he was captured on film by the League against Cruel Sports (LACS) on April 7... Kerry Barker, prosecuting, told the court how Paul Tillsley, the League's head of operations, and Edmund Shephard, an investigations officer for South Devon, watched the events unfold from a nearby bridleway... (story)
ThisIsDevon 25.8.10 Terrierman accused of badger sett tampering - A Devon terrierman faces prosecution under the Badgers Act over allegations he interfered with a sett. Andrew Bellamy will appear in front of magistrates in Newton Abbot on September 14. The prosecution follows a monitoring operation undertaken by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS). Investigators from the animal welfare group were monitoring the South Devon Foxhounds on April 7... (story)

Cambrian News 19.4.12 Hunt master fined over gun charges - A LLANBEDR hunt master has been fined £3,500 for ‘losing’ two guns and leaving a pistol in his car. Alan Owen, 63, of Glandwr Cottages, Llanbedr, who is the Llanbedr Master of the Hounds, pleaded guilty at Dolgellau magistrates court this week to three charges of failing to comply with the conditions of a shotgun and firearm certificate regulations… (story)

Ashbourne News Telegraph 19.4.12 charity match supports hunt - THE Meynell and South Staffs Hunt is holding a charity fund-raising rugby match this weekend in aid of Help For Heroes. The Meynell team will be made up of masters from the hunt, hunt followers, and local farmers, all different age ranges, abilities and fitness and the opposition for the day are Leicestershire team East Leake RFC… (story)

Belfast Newsletter 19.4.12 No reasoned debate over Grand National - IT’S that time of the year when the animal rights brigade go apoplectic, ignoring sanity and sensible reason over two horses losing their lives in the Grand National…. The great majority of racehorse owners love their animals, treating them with kid gloves, and they even arrange a happy and contented retirement for them. More than any government can say for its electorate. Harry Stephenson Kircubbin (letter)

The Sentinel 19.4.12 Horrific toll of so-called sport - COMMERCIAL horse racing, which caused horrific horse deaths in the Grand National, is not a sport. Two-thirds of the 15,000 foals bred for racing each year aren't good enough and so are often simply killed…. MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)

Yorkshire Post 19.4.12 Time to put the Grand National out of its misery From: J Berry, Barfield, Hambleton - I LOVE horse racing but would never ever bet on the Grand National because it is an unacceptable race….
From: Charles Gate, Willowfield Crescent, Halifax. YOUR magazine (Yorkshire Post, April 7) featured the Grand National contender According To Pete. You will know that this horse, and another, died in the race, Many horses have died at this event over the years and surely now is the time for this carnage to be banned…. (letters)

Independent 19.4.12 Horses killed at Aintree - I'm not sure which race D Peacock was watching (letter, 17 April) but National Hunt jockeys do not to wear spurs. Was there a Western on the other channel perhaps?... William Simpson Bath
Without the Grand National, Cheltenham Festival and the sport of National Hunt racing none of the horses that took part in last Saturday's event would have ever come into being. Michael R Gordon Bewdley, Worcestershire (letters)

St Helens Star 19.4.12 It wouldn’t be the Grand National without the challenge and risks - ON Saturday I watched the Grand National… I have seen the improvements that have been made to make the course and jumps more acceptable to all the critics but could I ask these people an obvious question: “Should we stop people from climbing Everest (or any other mountain) because of the obvious danger involved?”…. Les Woods, Reginald Road, Sutton. (letter)

Irish Examiner 19.4.12 Silence of racing ‘fans’ over Government plan to supply China with horses is deafening - As horse racing pundits in the UK give lip service to the horse killings at the Grand National we do not hear many racing supporters condemning the move by the Irish Government to supply China with Irish horses…. In a humane society, we would expect our legislators to condemn China’s animal and human abuses without any further delay. Bernie Wright The Ward Co Dublin (letter)

Western Morning News 19.4.12 Backlash against the badger cull is starting - Congratulations to the Stroud 100 group, and District Council for banning pointless badger culls, even though the alleged pilot cull areas are in fact nowhere near them, being in Tewksbury and Somerset. It is, however, a pity the council and 100 group are backing vaccines since vaccines don't work in already infected badgers. No vaccine strategy can "get ahead" of the spread amongst cattle with spillover to badgers in TB areas… (story)

Derby Telegraph 19.4.12 Animals do not have to suffer in laboratories - APRIL 24 is World Day for Laboratory Animals. It is recognised by people all over the world to commemorate the suffering of animals in laboratories… For more information, contact The National Anti-Vivisection Society… Dawn Spencer, Dovedale Crescent Belper (letter)


Wilts & Glos Standard 18.4.12 Fox hunters beware: You will be hounded - IT WAS a lovely day on Monday. I walked into the park… Nearing the farm, I couldn’t believe it – a fox crossed my path, sweating, tongue lolling, running for its life closely followed by a group of baying hounds, noses to the ground… I know nothing of the twisted rules regarding hunting but I thought it was illegal to chase down a fox… I am proud to say I won’t ever understand the warped mentality of those involved. What goes around comes around. Their time will come. They, too, will be hounded. SUE DUNCAN Cirencester (letter)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 18.4.12 Suspected hare coursers hop it - Suspected hare coursers near Aldbourne did a runner before police arrived on Tuesday afternoon after being disturbed by gamekeepers. They made off so quickly in their Green Subaru Legacy estate car that they left a whippet-type dog behind, said PCSO Jonathan Mills… (story)

Argus 18.4.12 Hunt on to catch Seaford fox poisoner By Emily Walker, Chief Reporter - Animal rescuers took to the streets in the hunt for a woman thought to be trying to slaughter foxes. Volunteers spoke to residents and delivered leaflets to homes near a seafront park where they fear a woman has been trying to kill the wild animals with poisoned dog food. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service (WRAS) volunteers yesterday visited addresses near Salts Recreation Ground in Seaford in a bid to catch the fox killer…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.4.12 Reward offered over fox poisoning in Seaford - Kent and East Sussex animal charities have put up a reward for information leading to the conviction of anyone poisoning foxes in the Seaford area. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) said it had been contacted by a garden centre after a woman had tried to buy poison to mix with dog food to kill foxes…. The Fox Project based in Pembury in Kent, East Sussex WRAS, International Animal Rescue in Uckfield, Jessie's Trust based in Alfriston and Seaford Dog Rescue have put up a reward of £2,700 for evidence leading to a conviction of a person illegally poisoning animals… (story)
Argus 16.4.12 Hunt for Seaford fox poisoner By Emily Walker, Chief Reporter - A bounty has been put up to catch a woman suspected of trying to kill foxes…. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS), the Fox Project and pet charities are working together to put up a reward for in a bid to catch the culprit…. (story)

Daily Mail 18.4.12 Daring cub creeps into townhouse, trots up flight of stairs and curls up in schoolboy's bed for a SNOOZE By James Tozer - With her emaciated frame and matted fur, this female fox cub doesn’t look too healthy. Which might explain why she was seeking somewhere comfortable to rest when she happened across a child’s bedroom. Alexander West, nine, who had left the back door of his house open when he went out to play, found the sorry looking creature curled up on his duvet when he returned…. Mrs Luminati-West, of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, called RSPCA staff who took the cub away… (story)

Coventry Telegraph 18.4.12 Facts needed in horse debate - BRYAN Griffiths (Letters, April 17) is wrong on almost all aspects of racing. Describing the fences as “12ft obstacles” shows a crass misunderstanding…. To have a sensible debate about horse racing we need facts, not fiction. Simon Whitehead, Cannon Park, Coventry. (letter)
Coventry Telegraph 16.4.12 Horse racing punters need to see other side of 'sport' - YET again, the BBC actively promotes a sadistic 'sport' with four hours of coverage resulting in the sad death of two horses. How can our national broadcasting channel continue to support this so-called public entertainment when every year, innocent equines are forced to put their lives at risk by humans incensed on waging money on its outcome?... Bryan Griffiths, Wiltshire Close, Bedworth (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 18.4.12 Horses love the thrill of racing - P A REID By e-mail (story)
Independent 17.4.12 High-bred horses relish the thrill of the race - There is a Chinese saying about a good horse: "He is of one mind with man and achieves great merit"…. If you could ask a thoroughbred racehorse, such as those that took part in Saturday's race, whether he would prefer to moulder in a paddock without risk or glory or run his heart out on a racecourse, I am sure I know which he would choose…. P A Reid Wantage, Oxfordshire (letter)

Northern Echo 18.4.12 Grand National - REGARDING the deaths of two horses in this year’s Grand National. Sadly, dying is not cruel – it happens to every living creature…. Does Andrew Tyler (HAS, Apr 16) give us figures for the number of horses put down every year by people who ride for pleasure?... No, they are not high profile like the Grand National – the race gives Mr Tyler and his ilk some good coverage and more money for his charity. I see he has a link where you can send money. Harry Manuel, Hexham (letter)

Northern Echo 18.4.12 ALISON JERMY is obviously one of many people who are jumping on the RSPCA bandwagon…. P Armstrong, Darlington (letter)
Northern Echo 11.4.12 Grand National - IN response to Norman Chamberlain’s letter (HAS, April 7) claiming that the Grand National is not cruel and neither is use of the whip, I would like to make a number of points. Between 2000 and 2011, 20 horses have died on the Grand National course and, during the three day meeting, 34 horses have been killed in that same period…. The reality is jockeys use the whip to bully and intimidate horses in the running up to and beyond their physical limits…. Alison Jermy, Darlington (letter)
Northern Echo 5.4.12 Grand National - IT is April already and another punishing Grand National is fast approaching… Many people who wouldn’t normally bet on horse racing, have a harmless flutter on the Grand National, but there is nothing harmless about a race that routinely inflicts serious injury and death upon the horses that take part…. Please don’t back the cruelty, for you it’s a harmless flutter, but horses pay with their lives. They don’t have a choice. Alison Jermy, Darlington. (letter)

Bolton News 18.4.12 Greyhounds are just slaves - READING The Bolton News (April 13), I came on the advert from Belle Vue stadium, which is promoting greyhound racing. Greyhound racing is a terribly cruel business and the greyhound is definitely not the king. He is the slave who is made to run…. Narender Singh Bolton (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 18.4.12 Can testing on animals ever be justified? - Elaine Milbourn from Torpenhow, supporter of the Dr Hadwen Trust - A lot of animal research is totally unnecessary. You can’t do something to an animal and find that it has the same effect on humans. Dan Bage, manager of Lush, Carlisle Bev Francis-Green, myeloid leukaemia sufferer from Kirklinton JESS STRANGWARD from Cockermouth, British Pharmocol-ogical Society… (story)

Guardian 18.4.12 RSPCA inspectors descend on Ramsgate to monitor animal welfare - Controversy stalks UK's only port for live export trade, a practice campaigners claim is unnecessary and cruel - Lizzy Davies - As the lorries trundled in, the cries went up. "Animal abuser!" shouted one woman. "Evil scum!" yelled another… Every time there is a sailing, there is also a protest. "It's on my doorstep and everyone else's doorstep," said Reg Bell, a local businessman who has turned out for almost all the demonstrations since May. "We don't want it. And we're not going to have it."… (story)


Independent 17.4.12 Time to tame our four-legged fiends - The Dangerous Dogs Act was supposed to put a stop to the proliferation of aggressive 'devil' breeds on British streets. Instead, the problem posed by four-legged fiends is worse than ever. Alan Selby and Kevin Rawlinson investigate…. "We're increasingly picking up gangs who are urban-based but going out in the country, often with firearms and dogs, hunting and shooting wherever they can," Joe Duckworth, the chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said….. (story)

Independent 17.4.12
Saturday's Grand National showcased the best and the worst of jump racing, but the notion that 600kg of racehorse will jump if it doesn't want too is pretty laughable, witness Vic Venturi's refusal…. Charlotte Robinson Southampton
So the Grand National is much safer this year, is it? My idea of a safer Grand National is all the horses finishing alive, not dying in such distress on the course…. Lynn Hutchings Whitstable, Kent
James Lawton's comparison between steeplechasing and boxing is ridiculous (16 April). A horse does not have the same capacity to agree and willingly participate that a human being does. To suggest that Synchronised "died doing something of his own volition" is risible. The horse is a herd animal, where the weak and injured get attacked by predators, so when Synchronised fell and lost his rider, he felt at risk, so tried to run away… The horses were racing because they were being hit with whips and kicked with spurs… D Peacock Cheadle Staffordshire (letters)

Argus 17.4.12 Now two more horses are dead, isn't it time we banned the Grand National? THE deaths of two horses – Ornais and Dooneys Gate – in the 2011 Grand National caused a national outcry… Anyone who wants to know more about a campaign to ban the Grand National, including a short film about the big race, can visit Animal Aid’s website… Jennifer Watts, Brighton (letter)

York Press 17.4.12 It’s time to ban the Grand National - I CANNOT understand why Peter Nelson (The Press, April 16) entered his beloved horse, which he says was “part of the family”, into such a cruel race as the Grand National… Lesley Potter, Holly Tree Croft, Dunnington (letter)

Scotsman 17.4.12 National disgrace - Southwark Street London (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 17.4.12 Horse race is nothing but a grand disgrace - BEN WILLIAMSON Peta (letter)
Northern Echo 16.4.12 Grand National disgrace - WHIPS, injuries and death were the only sure bets for the Grand National on Saturday. Every year, we see exhausted animals crash face-first into the ground and career into one another on this deliberately punishing and hazardous course, as if their lives were worthless… The Grand National is a national disgrace that is grand only if you are not a horse or a caring human being. Ben Williamson, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 17.4.12 Aintree response is inadequate - PHILIP RICKARD By e-mail (letter)
Independent 16.4.12 Woeful inaction over horse deaths - The response of the horseracing authorities to the deaths of horses at Aintree seems to be that they will have to take a long look at yesterday's events… I guess we are waiting for the (unlikely) death of a jockey before any real action is taken… Philip Rickard, Ashford, Kent (letter)

Leatherhead Advertiser 17.4.12 Animal instinct drives me on - A MODEL will trade trendy outfits for a badger costume to run a marathon this weekend. James Farmer will take on Sunday's Brighton Marathon for Leatherhead charity the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF)… (story)
Surrey Advertiser 13.4.12 Marathon model's badger costume to highlight cull fears By Guy Martin - WHEN a male model runs the Brighton Marathon on Sunday (April 15) dressed as a badger, he will be carrying a serious message along with an eye-catching costume. James Farmer will be raising funds for the Leatherhead-based animal charity, Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), as well as showing its opposition to government plans to cull badgers in England…. (story)

The Boar 17.4.12 Animal rights activist breaks into medical centre - Tom Newham - An animal rights activist was arrested at the University of Warwick on Tuesday 3 April on suspicion of illegally entering the University’s medical centre…. The University’s Medical School was listed by rights organisation Animal Liberation Investigation Unit (ALIU) as one of a number of university laboratories known to test on animals … Robin Webb, a prominent animal rights activist who in 1998 published the threat on Professor Blakemore’s life made by another animal rights group, told the Boar that he was not in any way involved in the break-in…. (story)
Coventry Telegraph 7.4.12 Animal rights activist arrested at Warwick University's medical centre after dramatic citizen's arrest By Martin Bagot - AN ANIMAL rights protester who got in to Warwick University’s medical centre was wrestled to the ground by staff and arrested. The activist – who claimed to be gathering information about animal testing at the university – was eventually rumbled after posing in a lab coat for a number of hours at the Gibbet Hill campus centre. Police arrested a 16-year-old and questioned him on suspicion of burglary… (story)
Coventry Observer 5.4.12 Animal rights activist arrested at University of Warwick By Matthew Bates - AN ANIMAL rights activist has been arrested after getting inside a lab at the University of Warwick. A spokesman confirmed they had handed the activist over to police after an alleged burglary but would not comment further…. A spokesman for the National Anti Vivisection Alliance said the activist went undercover and discovered tests on rodents… (story)

Leicester Mercury 17.4.12 MPs have not got the guts to intervene - Trevor Waldrom asks for readers' points of view on the practice of animals being slaughtered without prior stunning… I have written to many MPs on this matter since at least the early 1980s, as I think it is totally unacceptable that this should be allowed. I have a feeling that they all have a stock of ready replies, as every reply I have received has been the same…. Mr G Wright, Leicester. (letter)

Western Daily Press 17.4.12 Don't blame obesity on eating meat - We have become used to some bizarre and outlandish statements from the Vegan Tendency over the years but the latest attempt by Peta – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – to besmirch the name of the meat industry is as close to what in legal terms is known as a malicious falsehood as it is possible to get. So full marks to those right-minded people who have chosen to rip down the giant poster it put up in Gloucester equating meat-eating with obesity… (story)
Huffington Post 12.4.12 Peta's Coffin-Shaped Pasty Advert Vandalised To Show Pie And Chips By Felicity Morse - Peta's poster of a coffin shaped pie on a billboard in Gloucestershire has been vandalised a day after overweight meat-eaters were labelled "coffin dodgers" by a spokeswoman for the animal rights charity… Peta's slogan has been ripped off the bilboard to expose a tantalising glimpse of a McCain oven chip, the picture is now of a high calorific meal that rather contradicts Peta's original message…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 12.4.12 Peta labelled 'insensitive' as coffin-shaped pie ad put up near mortuary - AN advertisement which features a coffin-shaped pie and urges meat eaters to lose weight has been deemed insensitive. Pressure group the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) put the hard-hitting billboard up in Painswick Road, Gloucester…. Professor David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum (NOF), said the ad was insensitive…. Campaigner Yvonne Taylor said: "The new billboard highlights how meat pies and pasties have been linked to obesity and other ailments. "The best thing that coffin-dodgers can do for their health and to help animals is to go vegan."… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 12.4.12 Citizen editor comment: Coffin advert is an insult to grieving families - GO to any football patch and at some point the age old chant of 'who ate all the pies?' is usually bandied around. What can appear a harmless jibe is still abuse nonetheless…. When it comes to healthy eating, everyone knows pies and indeed and excess of red meat is not exactly good for the diet but is it really up to a pressure group to preach this? Also, the way in which they have gone about their campaign is nothing short of sick… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 11.4.12 Billboard tells Gloucester residents to go vegan to avoid "supersize" mortuary - An advertising board featuring a coffin-shaped pie and urging people to go vegan to lose weight has been put up near Gloucester's mortuary. Installed by pressure group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), they said the location, by the Ibis Hotel, had been chosen as it was near to the new mortuary, which can accommodate people who weigh up to 50 stone…. Professor David Haslam is chairman of the National Obesity Forum (NOF) has slammed it as insensitive and said it was sending out the wrong message… (story)


Scotsman 16.4.12 Shooting & fishing By ALASTAIR ROBERTSON - LAST time I mentioned the Heather Trust they were in frightful trouble with the RSPB for auctioning a cartoon which poked fun at the society. The cartoon was an unfavourable comment on the RSPB’s guardianship of an English grouse moor. Inevitably, birds of prey came into it…. (story)

Scotsman 16.4.12 Horse welfare - Once again horses have been killed on the Grand National course and, as usual, there are calls for action to be taken to make horseracing safer. However, there is a law that can be used to improve safety on race courses. Clause 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it a criminal offence to fail to protect an animal “from pain, suffering, injury and disease”… John F Robins Secretary Animal Concern Advice Line (letter)

Irish Independent 16.4.12 A humane sport - It is with great regret that I find cause to write this letter. The Grand National, one of the most spectacular sporting events in the world, has been marred by the deaths of two horses. Anyone involved with horses or horse racing deeply regrets the loss of these two precious animals…. Sarah O'Sullivan, Rathkeale, Co Limerick (letter)

Western Morning News 16.4.12 Why we can't trust animal experiments - Philip J Milton (WMN April 5) doesn't like the use of emotive pictures and statistics by Animal Aid to garner support from the public as opposed to letting the facts speak for themselves when they expose the horrors and fraud of vivisection now called animal experiments or procedures. If these experiments and procedures were humane, as he claims, then why do the experimenters need a licence before they carry them out?... (story)

News Shopper 16.4.12 Activists plan Sidcup protest calling for ban on animals in circus performances By Abigail Woodcock - ACTIVISTS will be protesting outside a circus in Sidcup this week, calling for a ban on the use of animals in its performances. Supporters of charity Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) will stand with banners outside Zippos Circus in Sidcup Place Park on April 19 from 6pm until 7.30pm…. Protester Paul Bruce-Joy has been campaigning for 10 years for animals to be banned from circuses…. (story)


Nottingham Evening Post 14.4.12 Council's message to the pro-hunt lobby - AT the end of a hunting season that has produced a plethora of suspect hunting and house incidents, Bassetlaw District Council's rejection of a proposal to revive the Boxing Day Meet at Retford comes as welcome news… Miss Katherine Watson Rushton Drive Stockport (letter)

Scotsman 14.4.12 Racing certainty - I DO not understand how, year after year, people who claim to care about animal welfare (and who don’t normally gamble) throw money at the industry that feeds the Grand National… EMILY SCOTT Edinburgh (letter)

Independent 14.4.12 Horse-race deaths are no accident - The sport of horseracing is at pains to show scrupulous regard for welfare, but this is not the same as actually having a scrupulous regard for the welfare of the animals used… horseracing inevitably causes pain and death to those who have no choice in whether they take part. Kate Fowler Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid Tonbridge, Kent
The deaths of five horses over the first two days of the Cheltenham Festival this year reminded us of the level of risk horses are exposed to in hurdling and steeplechasing…. I cannot see how we can draw any conclusion other than that the present level of risk is too high. Dr Mark Kennedy Senior Lecturer in Animal Welfare, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (letters)

Guernsey Press & Star 14.4.12 Animal rights lobby hurt sponsor deals - RACING stalwart Jim Jamouneau says the sponsorship crisis affecting the Guernsey Race Club is down to a number of factors – including the 2011 protests over animal safety… (story)

Western Daily Press 14.4.12 Stiles are out of fashion at national park … The Countryside Alliance warned against imposing a blanket ban on stiles, and said any changes must be 'implemented sensibly'. (story)
Express 13.4.12 STILES BAN TO CLEAR WAY FOR FAT RAMBLERS By Tom Lawrence - COUNTRY stiles are set to be banned from one of Britain’s most famous beauty spots – in a bid to help overweight walkers…. Stiles were named in a list of the top 25 countryside icons in a poll conducted by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. But the move to axe them at Dartmoor National Park is designed to improve access to the vast nature spot for the disabled, elderly, families with prams and overweight people… Alison Hawes, south-west regional director for the Countryside Alliance, was concerned by the move to ban stiles…. (story)
Mail 13.4.12 Dartmoor National Park expected to phase out stiles in bid to increase 'access for all' - Clambering over a stile is as much a part of a country ramble as blackberry picking and eating warm sandwiches on a hillock. But the traditional wooden structure that provides a step over boundary lines could soon become a rarer sight at Dartmoor National Park as officials make some 450 miles of pathways more accessible…. The Countryside Alliance called for changes to be ‘implemented sensibly’ (story)
Mail 13.4.12 Just get over it! Stiles set to be removed from Dartmoor National Park after complaints about access for fat people - They have been a feature of the rugged landscape for centuries. But stiles could soon be removed on Dartmoor – after ramblers claim some walkers are becoming too fat to get over them… The Countryside Alliance warned against imposing a blanket ban on stiles, and said any changes must be ‘implemented sensibly’… (story)

Cotswold Journal 14.4.12 Badger cull rethink welcomed - GLOUCESTERSHIRE Wildlife Trust has welcomed a recent report which urges the Government to reconsider its plans for a badger cull in England this autumn. The report ‘Common Sense and Bovine TB’ published by the Bow Group on March 25 presents their reasons why they believe badger culling is not the answer… (story)
Western Morning News 27.3.12 Farmers' dismay as influential Tory group warns a cull would cost votes - The Government must abandon plans for a badger cull because it will cost the Conservative Party votes, a Tory think-tank has warned… Richard Mabey, research secretary of the Bow Group, said: "The Government's policy is bad for farmers, bad for wildlife and bad for the taxpayer…. The report includes contributions from anti-cull rock star Brian May, Lord John Krebs, who recommended the 10-year Randomised Badger Culling Trial and Tory MP and environmentalist Zac Goldsmith… (story)
Western Daily Press 27.3.12 Tory group calls for rethink on proposed badger cull in West Somerset - An influential Conservative thinktank has surprisingly upped the ante on the Government by urging England to follow Wales in abandoning plans for a badger cull… (story)
Farmers Weekly 26.3.12 Think tank calls for badger cull to be scrapped - Philip Case - An influential Tory think tank is calling on the government to follow Wales and abandon plans for a pilot badger cull in England. The Bow Group, a centre-right think tank, unveiled a major paper on Monday (26 March) urging the government to reconsider plans to resume badger culling in England this autumn…. (story)
Guardian 26.3.12 Badger cull divides Tories - Vaccination better method to stop bovine TB infection in cattle, says thinktank - Patrick Barkham - The government's planned cull of badgers is impractical, according to an influential Conservative thinktank, and should be scrapped in favour of vaccination to help curb the bovine TB infection afflicting cattle. The Bow Group paper exposes for the first time divisions in the Tory party over the nocturnal shooting of badgers in bovine TB hotspots and concludes that the scientific evidence favours vaccination over a cull, which it said would be ineffective and expensive… (story)


Mail 13.4.12 Rural Oxfordshire? It's like a war zone, claims Sir Patrick of Star Trek in outburst against shooting range near his £2.2m mansion By Andy Dolan - As a former Star Trek captain, Sir Patrick Stewart has fought his share of intergalactic battles…. The man who played Jean-Luc Picard has turned both barrels on a shooting range close to his £2.2million Cotswolds mansion – claiming the noise it produces has left him feeling like he’s ‘living in a war zone’… Sir Patrick, who bought his Cotswolds home, around 1.5 miles from the shooting ground, in 2005, told a local newspaper: ‘We’re not asking them to stop firing, but we want modifications to lessen the impact on the local community… (story)

Express 13.4.12 GERVAIS CONDEMNS HORSE-RACING - Animal rights champion RICKY GERVAIS has condemned horse-racing ahead of the famous track event this weekend (14Apr12). The funnyman has long campaigned on behalf of animal causes and has now spoken out against horse-racing, branding it a cruel sport… (story)

Liverpool Echo 13.4.12 Horses are loved - IN response to Mrs Morris… Some emotive words like horses tortured, horses whipped to exhaustion… Mrs Morris is typical of those who switch on the telly and see what they want to see. Brian Hunter, L13 (letter)
Liverpool Echo 3.4.12 Ban Grand National - ONCE again the celebrations have begun – and to celebrate what? The annual exhibitions of animal cruelty at Aintree. Horse are tortured – sometimes to death… A ban on the National is long overdue, but it will never happen because money is more important than the welfare of the animals… Mrs. M. Morris, Lancashire. (letter)

York Press 13.4.12 Stop the slaughter - IF you care about the slaughter of badgers and want to stop it, write to David Cameron at Downing Street or to James Pake MP Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, at DEFRA, Nobel House, Smith Square, London… D Fillingham, The Crossway, York (letter)


Horse & Hound 12.4.12 Farewell to... the Tiverton Foxhounds' oldest supporter Sam Butt - Tributes have been paid to Sam Butt — the oldest supporter of the Tiverton Foxhounds — who has died at the age of 97. A retired farm worker, Mr Butt collected caps from foot and car followers for more than 30 years and in all weathers… (story)

North Devon Journal 12.4.12 Shoot raises charity cash - A CHARITY shoot near Ilfracombe raised nearly £200 for the Rotary Compass Club last weekend. The open event, at the North Devon Shooting Ground on Monday, offered a 40 bird shoot over five stands…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 12.4.12 Fears for wildlife over cruel snares on farmland - A MAJOR new report into the use of snares to catch foxes and rabbits has found many farmers have never heard of Government guidelines outlining how they should be used, while few manufacturers are building the traps to required standards. The long-awaited study commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has concluded up to 240,000 fox snares are being used across England and Wales – but that around a third of farmers who deploy them have never even heard of the Government’s Code of Practice governing their humane use… (story)

North Devon Journal 12.4.12 Farmer told to let his lamb die rather than dig out a badger sett - A NORTH Molton sheep farmer just managed to save a new lamb from a lingering death after being told he couldn't dig out a badger sett to retrieve it. The curious lamb had ventured deep into a badger hole and found itself trapped underground on the farm of 33-year-old Matthew Brown… But when he asked the National Farmers' Union for advice he was told he couldn't dig into the hole to mount a rescue as badgers and their setts are protected by law…. "They said I could apply for a licence. But it's still crazy when you have to do all this paperwork for the chance of still losing the lamb, maybe two days later, knowing what all this bureaucracy is. It's unworkable." (story)

Leicester Mercury 12.4.12 Zoos have a conservation role to play - So, the animal rights people are exercising their rights to protest against keeping animals in captivity… There will always be exceptions to the rule but establishments such as Twycross and Jersey zoos are providing services in two very different ways…. In a perfect world the protesters wouldn't need to take these actions, but this is not a perfect world and some animals need to be protected… Mrs R.Taylor, Gaulby. (letter)

Hinckley Times 12.4.12 Animal rights protestors camp out at Twycross Zoo for Easter holidays by Katy Hallam, Hinckley Times - INSTEAD of being greeted by the usual Twycross Zoo sign on Saturday, visitors were met with protestors brandishing placards. Activists from the Derby Animal Rights group were demonstrating against animals being kept in captivity as part of The Captive Animals’ Protection Society’s (CAPS) annual zoo awareness weekend… (story)
Melton Times 12.4.12 Animal rights campaigners at Twinlakes - A SMALL group of animal rights campaigners gathered outside Twinlakes Park on Sunday as part of a national series of demonstrations…. Abbie, of the Hidden England Animal Rights Group, which took part in the Twinlakes demonstration, said: “Our stance is that animals shouldn’t be kept in captivity full stop… (story)
Blackpool Gazette 11.4.12 Protesters gather to raise awareness By Lisa Ettridge - PROTESTERS set up camp outside Blackpool Zoo to highlight issues surrounding animal cruelty. Rain may have steadily poured, but the weather didn’t deter activists from The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) and Manchester Animal Action. Around 10 protesters gathered outside the East Park Drive attraction to raise awareness of animal rights and conservation issues… Steve Banks, a member of Manchester Animal Action, told The Gazette: “We strongly believe we have to provide a voice for animals who are being kept prisoner and who can’t speak for themselves…. (story)
Birmingham Mail 9.4.12 Animal rights protestors hold demonstration outside Dudley Zoo by Jane Tyler, Birmingham Mail … (story)
Sunday Mercury 8.4.12 Animal rights campaigners hold protest outside Dudley Zoo by Jane Tyler, Sunday Mercury - ANIMAL rights protesters are targeting Midland zoos over the Easter bank holiday. The Captive Animals’ Protection Society waved placards at families as they entered Dudley Zoo… The demonstrators warned that the bank holiday action would be followed up by at least 1,000 of their members staging a huge animal rights rally in Birmingham city centre on April 28. Demonstrator Dean Bracher, Birmingham Animal Aid group co-ordinator, admitted that children arriving at the zoo could get upset by their banners, but he said it was part of educating youngsters about the unsuitability of keeping animals in captivity… (story)
ITV 7.4.12 Zoo targeted by protesters - Animal rights activists have been protesting outside a zoo farm in Wraxall, in North Somerset today… One of the campaigners, who wished only to be known as "Jenny" told us: "Zoos are an old Victorian idea and its a questions of making money out of showing animals… (story)
ITV 7.4.12 Protest planned outside Somerset zoo farm - A protest is being held outside a zoo farm in North Somerset to highlight concerns for captive animals…. Activists from the Bristol Animal Rights Collective are demonstrating outside Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall. (story)
Bristol Evening Post 6.4.12 Protest planned outside Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Bristol - PROTESTS are being planned outside a North Somerset zoo farm over Easter weekend to highlight concerns for captive animals. The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) is calling on people to boycott their local zoo and choose another activity for their holiday and to spend their money elsewhere…. Tomorrow activists from the Bristol Animal Rights Collective will demonstrate outside Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall, from 10am…(story)
Tamworth Herald 6.4.12 Protest plan at zoo over animal welfare - ANIMAL rights protesters say they will be outside Twycross Zoo this Saturday to highlight concerns over captive animals. Local activists and Derby Animal Rights will be at the family attraction as part of Zoo Awareness Weekend…. (story)
Birmingham Post 4.4.12 Animal rights campaigners to hold protest at Dudley Zoo and Twycross Zoo by Anuji Varma - Animal rights campaigners will protest outside two West Midland zoos at the weekend to urge families to boycott the attractions. The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) are targeting Dudley Zoo and Twycross Zoo in Staffordshire on Zoo Awareness Weekend. Birmingham Animal Action member Dean Bracher said: “We are opposed to zoos on ethical grounds and see animals’ place in nature more important than our needs to see them in captivity… (story)
Birmingham Mail 4.4.12 Animal rights campaigners target Dudley Zoo and Twycross Zoo over Easter Bank Holiday by Anuji Varma, Birmingham Mail - PROTESTERS are set to gather outside two West Midland zoos at the weekend to urge families to boycott the attractions…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 4.4.12 Activists in zoo protest - Animal rights activists will be holding a protest at Twycross Zoo. On Sunday, members of the Derby branch of Captive Animals' Protection Society will be at the zoo to mark Zoo Awareness Weekend… (story)
Blackpool Gazette 4.4.12 Animal welfare activists target zoo By Alex Ross - A PROTEST is being staged outside Blackpool Zoo this Easter to highlight issues surrounding animal cruelty. Activists from The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) and Manchester Animal Action will use Easter Monday to raise awareness of animal rights and conservation issues… Brian Banks, a member of Manchester Animal Action, told The Gazette: “Blackpool has a bad record for its enclosures and I believe it’s facilities are not adequate enough… (story)

Mid Sussex Times 12.4.12 Ban all battery cages, says Green MEP Keith - GREEN MEP Keith Taylor visited an organic free range egg farm in Ditchling and called for an end to the use of battery cages in the UK. The MEP for Sussex and the South East was at Fourfields Farm to meet farmer Susie MacMillan and see her family farm which supplies more than 70,000 organic eggs a day to supermarkets and shops… Photo: JPMT 020412 MEP Keith Taylor left with owner Susie MacMillan, her father Peter and Sue Baumgardt ( right ) of Brighton Animal Action… (story)


ThisIsMoney 11.4.12 Why country life costs you £264 more a week than a city dweller By Ruth Lythe - Families living in the countryside must bring in £13,740 a year — or £264 a week — more than those living in the city just to get by, Money Mail research has found…. ‘People in the countryside are being clobbered with rising insurance, lower wages and the gradual disappearance of rural shops, forcing them to travel further for even simple items,’ says Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of campaign group the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Teesdale Mercury 11.4.12 PURGE ON GAS-GUZZLERS HURTING DALE FAMILIES - THE government’s purge on gas-guzzling vehicles is seriously hurting dale residents… Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services (UTASS) says “extortionate” tax hikes on 4x4 vehicles are punishing rural communities… Research by the Countryside Alliance last month shows that cost of diesel at rural filling stations is over 4p more per litre than diesel at stations in urban areas….. (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 11.4.12 Race still dangerous - The deaths of two horses – Ornais and Dooneys Gate – in the 2011 Grand National caused a national outcry, after images of Ornais’ tarpaulin-covered corpse were accidentally screened on television… A short film made by Animal Aid, available on the group’s website, reveals the true price paid by horses entered into the annual Grand National at Aintree. Please view the film and support Animal Aid’s campaign to get this out-dated, cruel and obscene race banned for good. Steve McLean, Prune Park Lane, Allerton… (letter)

Guardian 11.4.12 Scottish government criticised by ad watchdog over panda advert - ASA received two complaints that the public was being misled over the cost of bringing two giant pandas from China - Mark Sweney - The Scottish government has been criticised by the advertising watchdog for misleading the public over the cost of bringing two giant pandas from China to Edinburgh zoo…. The Advertising Standards Authority received two complaints, from Animal Concern and Scotland for Animals, that the ad was misleading as the pandas had been leased to the charity that owned Edinburgh zoo at "substantial cost"…. (story)


Leicester Mercury 10.4.12 Opportunities for the young - She was the first woman to become chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and called on David Cameron to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs. Now as head of The Peter Jones Foundation, Alice Barnard's new mission is to help aspiring young entrepreneurs realise their dreams…. (story)

Irish Examiner 10.4.12 Issue of animal cruelty practices not ‘misdirected, despite criticism - I would totally reject Keith Hamilton’s contention (Letters, Apr 6) that concern for circus animals is "pure sentimentality"… If our legislators had considered badger baiting from only a conservationist point of view this appalling blood sport would still be legal, because at no time did it have any significant impact on the overall badger population… The objection to hare coursing and zoos is likewise based on well-founded concern for the welfare of the animals used…. John Fitzgerald Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports Callan Co Kilkenny (letter)

Leicester Mercury 10.4.12 Shielded from the brutal reality of life - Fluffy chicks, cute lambs, rabbits and eggs are synonymous with the season of spring and Eastertide; the time of birth, renewal and resurrection… Pastoral images of happy, carefree young animals associated with springtime and Easter shield us from the brutal reality of their short lives. Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone. (letter)


Western Morning News 9.4.12 Hunt makes a splash as season ends - Hunters made a magnificent image as they took their horses for a ride in sea ahead of their day's event. Under generous April skies, about 90 riders gathered on Saturday for the Four Burrow Hunt in Cornwall. The event dates back to 1780 and is something of a highlight in the hunting calendar as it marks the last meet of the season…. (story)


Horse & Hound 7.4.12 BBC film hedge laying competition at Cotley Hunt meet - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - The ancient art of hedge laying was given a boost when a BBC film crew turned up to record the Cotley Hunt’s fourth annual competition and combined meet on 17 March. Cotley joint-master Mary Perry said the BBC filmed the competition, at Sadborow, Dorset, for a new wildlife series due to be shown next year… (story)

Mail 7.4.12 Animals in British zoos live in conditions 'as bad as those in the former Soviet Bloc' By Fiona Macrae - Animals in some British zoos are kept in conditions little better than those in former Soviet Bloc countries, it was claimed last night. A major undercover investigation of zoos, wildlife parks, bird of prey centres and aquaria, revealed numerous cases of agitated animals and repetitive behaviour… Animals whose plight has been highlighted by the Born Free Foundation include a Bornean orang-utan living in ‘horrendous’ conditions…(story)


Blackmore Vale Magazine 6.4.12 Point to point round-up: Avon Vale Hunt at Larkhill - REACHER Boy recorded his fifth Larkhill victory in the Avon Vale Men's Open on Saturday… The Portman at Badbury Rings, Easter Saturday… Taunton Vale Foxhounds at Kingston St Mary, Easter Monday… THE Tedworth at Barbury Castle (Wilts) on Easter Sunday has been cancelled because of the hard going…. (story)

Harborough Mail 6.4.12 Tributes to riding club stalwart Liz - FRIENDS of a riding club stalwart who died last month after a battle with cancer have paid tribute to her. Liz Cross, from Lutterworth Road in Gilmorton, died on Monday, March 26, at the age of 73. Mrs Cross had been involved with the Misterton and District Riding Club for more than four decades… “She also worked with the Fernie Hunt to arrange instruction events and camps…. (story)

Western Morning News 6.4.12 Ticket price review 'threatens train revival' - Passenger groups have urged the Government not to halt a renaissance in rural rail travel by hiking Westcountry fares to London levels… Sarah Lee, head of policy for the Countryside Alliance, criticised the plans which mean rural rail passengers face higher fare rises… (story)
Telegraph 2.4.12 Passengers outside London face bigger fare rises - Commuters outside London and the South East face higher train fare rises as a result of the Government’s review of the rail industry. By David Millward, Transport Editor … The prospect of rural rail passengers facing higher fare rises was condemned by Sarah Lee, head of policy for the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 6.4.12 Legal move to ban wild animals in travelling circuses welcomed - PROMISED Government legislation to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses has been welcomed by local animal rights protestors. With the Big Top Productions circus currently pitched on Laceby Road, Grimsby, protestor Sean Atkinson believes the legislation "should have been here sooner"…. (story)


Ripon Gazette 5.4.12 Racing stables open their doors - RACEHORSE trainers in and around Middleham will be opening their doors to the public this Friday, April 6… Professional jockeys including Silvestre de Sousa, Joe Fanning, Kelly Harrison, Henry Brooke and Kieron Fallon will be pairing up with members of the Bedale and West of Yore Pony Club for a race against the clock over jumps. There will also be a parade by the Bedale hunt horses and hounds and a question and answer session with leading trainers on Middleham’s Low Moor… (story)

Farmers Weekly 5.4.12 Farmers Weekly launches broadband campaign - Robyn Vinter - Battling for Broadband is a Farmers Weekly campaign to improve access to broadband for rural people and businesses by pressing government to keep its promises and by raising awareness of the problems a lack of broadband causes… Key players in the campaign…. Country Land & Business Association… NFU… Countryside Alliance… (story)

West Briton 5.4.12 My campaign to tackle unfair fuel prices is gathering momentum… My campaign to tackle unfair fuel prices at the pumps, by asking the Office of Fair Trading to undertake an investigation, is gathering momentum…. I will be working with the Countryside Alliance and a range of my parliamentary colleagues to persuade Ministers that the high fuel prices paid by rural motorists needs to be looked at, to ensure that the regional fuel market is functioning fairly and competitively…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 5.4.12 Protestors accuse Lincolnshire rabbit farm of 'cruel' sweetener testing - Activists dressed up as rabbits demonstrated outside a farm that breeds the animals for medical testing. Campaigners demanded the closure of Highgate Farm, in Normanby by Spital, and held signs calling for an end to "murder". Kennel worker Kate Thomas, 30, who travelled from Liverpool to protest, said: "I believe animal testing is cruel and unnecessary and there is no place for it in this day and age…. She was one of 40 demonstrators who attended, despite organisers promising more than 100…. Journalist Lisa Symonds, 40, from Merseyside Animal Rights, said: "What happens to animals at Highgate Farm haunts me every day…. Deborah Minns, 42, from Hull, said: "There are other ways of testing…. (story)
BBC News Online 31.3.12 Protest at Highgate Farm against breeding rabbits for research - Animal rights campaigners have gathered outside a Lincolnshire farm which breeds rabbits for research…. Lisa Symonds, one of the campaigners at the protest, told the BBC: "Our argument is that these tests are not doing humans any favours at all and these animals are suffering… (story)
Lincolshire Echo 28.3.12 Rabbit breeder hits out at demonstrators ahead of farm protest in Lincolnshire - A rabbit breeder has hit out at anti-vivisection protesters who are preparing to descend on his farm. Campaigners who believe Geoff Douglas breeds the animals for Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), say he is responsible for the cruelty they claim has taken place… But Mr Douglas says he does not sell rabbits to the company… Mr Douglas's home has been the target of firebomb attacks in the past and on one occasion eight rabbits perished when activists set a van alight…. (story)
Market Rasen Mail 26.3.12 ‘Misguided’ protesters to descend on ‘animal farm’ - HUNDREDS of protesters are set to descend on a farm that breeds rabbits and ferrets for animal testing. A massive police operation will see Highgate Lane in Normanby by Spital closed on Saturday as protesters surround Highgate Farm in a bid to force the owner to close down. Up to 400 “misguided” animal rights activists are expected to join in the protest using sirens and drums to cause maximum disruption…. (story)

Worcester news 5.4.12 Animals facing death as owner loses eviction battle - THE owner of a closure-threatened animal sanctuary has lost her fight against an eviction notice after an intensive three weeks of mediation failed to resolve a land dispute. Janet Taylor has run the Farm Animal Sanctuary at Manor Orchard Farm, Middle Littleton, near Evesham, for the past 14 years but faces being thrown off the land by its owner, leaving the future of more than 600 animals in doubt… Ms Taylor is now appealing to the community to help her raise vital funds to cover legal costs and enable her to buy the land in order to ensure the sanctuary can remain open… (story)
Halesowen News 16.2.12 Flood of support for under threat sanctuary - THE owner of an animal sanctuary near Evesham faced with eviction has spoken of her gratitude after receiving a flood of support. Janet Taylor has been running the sanctuary at Manor Orchard Farm, Middle Littleton, for 14 years after animal charity supporter Patricia Bernie gave the land to her as a gift… But now Ms Bernie wants the land back as she claims she gave it to Ms Taylor on a temporary basis… (story)


Burton Mail 4.4.12 Pluck a pigeon or shoot a clay at gamekeepers' fair - A GAMEKEEPERS’ fair ‘true to its roots’ is set to take place in South Derbyshire later this month. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the UK’s largest shooting organisation, is holding the event at Catton Park, near Walton on Trent, on April 14 and 15…. (story)

Epsom Guardian 4.4.12 Pet rabbit stolen from Leatherhead garden 'then beheaded' - Exclusive By Hardeep Matharu - An animal-loving family has been left traumatised after their rabbit vanished - and was returned headless four days later. Chloe Baldwin, of Waterfields, Leatherhead, discovered her two-year-old rabbit, Tony, was missing last Wednesday morning when he could not be found in his hutch in the garden. Then on Sunday morning, her daughter Sarah, nine, found the rabbit’s body in their garden after they returned from a trip out…. Miss Baldwin is convinced the killer is a person, not another animal as the RSPCA suspects, and called in the police…. "The RSPCA refused to come and look at him. It did absolutely nothing and decided to tell me over the telephone that a fox had done it…. (story)

Worcester News 4.4.12 Yes, horse racing is all about the money – I agree with Carole Roberts (Worcester News, March 30) that racing is all about money…. I never back horses – you never see a poor bookie. The letter by B Colley ‘Horses are animals of great beauty’ (Worcester News, March 30) about my “codswallop” and “twaddle” simply made me laugh…. GEORGE COWLEY, Worcester (letter)
Worcester News 4.4.12 Where’s your pity for these fine creatures? - It is indeed fortunate for George [Cowley] that we are not able to put a saddle on him, ride him round the Cheltenham racecourse at high speed, beat the sweat out of him until he has the audacity to fall and break a leg and then shoot him…. ROBERT JENKINS, Callow End (letter)
Worcester News 30.3.12 Horses are animals of great beauty - Once again George Cowley is talking a load of codswallop… They don’t have a say in being raced and whipped into exhaustion, whereas it’s the jockey’s choice to take up the profession that they do… B Colley, Droitwich (letter)
Worcester News 30.3.12 Horses aren’t given a choice about racing - Re George Cowley’s letter… Of course it matters about jockeys not getting hurt. But they have a choice not to ride, the horses do not have. They do not ask to run these races so people and their owners can get rich. It’s all about money…. Carole Roberts, Ronkswood (letter)
Worcester News 30.3.12 Care about horses? Don’t vote on National - George Cowley is quite right that it was fortunate that no jockeys were killed at the Cheltenham races (Worcester News, March 22). It is, however, their choice to race. The horses are not given that luxury…. Maxine Burgess, Malvern (letter)

Harborough Mail 4.4.12 Badgers planning row reaches court - A bid by animal lovers to block a plan to build luxury homes in one of the most expensive areas in Essex because of the impact on local badgers has reached the High Court… Hutton Mount resident Ralph Patmore, who is also a member of the Essex Badger Protection Group, asked the judge at London's High Court to quash the permission… (story)

Shropshire Star 4.4.12 Badgers blamed as country lane close to collapse - Badgers have left a country lane in Shropshire close to collapse with their tunnelling, it has been revealed. The road in Claverley, near Bridgnorth, has already started subsiding and is to be closed for four days from April 10 for emergency repairs…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 4.4.12 Slaughter of the fluffy innocents From: Kelly Slade, campaigns officer, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent. (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 2.4.12 Save an animal life: go vegan - At Easter, we see cute baby animals everywhere - fluffy yellow chicks adorn greeting cards and lambs gambol in the fields. But the reality for these animals is not as pretty. In farms and slaughterhouses, these babies are treated as mere units of production… So this Easter, celebrate life by going vegan… KELLY SLADE, Animal Aid (letter)

Monmouthshire Beacon 4.4.12 Protesters aim to steal the show from circus - It may be most people’s favourite phrase, but the words “the circus is coming to town” are a cause of concern for one local woman and her son. Circus Mondao rolled into Monmouth earlier this week complete with big-top, clowns, aerial acts and some other more unusual performers. The circus is one of the last remaining groups in the UK that uses animals in its shows. … A local woman, who has asked not to be named, has travelled the country protesting against the use of animals in the circus and was shocked to hear they would be arriving in her home town… (story)

Irish Examiner 4.4.12 Banning wild animals in circuses - "Elephants are very intelligent, sensitive animals." The irony of this statement by the owner of the circus Mr Courtney will not be lost on anyone who regards the captivity of these magnificent animals for entertainment as unacceptable and cruel… We should follow the enlightened and compassionate stance taken by our English neighbours and ban the use of wild animals in circuses. Steven O’Leary Jacob’s Island Blackrock Cork (letter)

Independent 4.4.12 Butterflies killed for a picture - Looking at Damien Hirst's I Am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds my only reaction is of horror at the thousands of butterflies which were killed to create an ephemeral gallery… Peter Forster, London N4 (letter)

Derby Telegraph 4.4.12 'Guantanamo Bay for pigs' activists dress up in protest against farm - HOODED protesters wearing pig masks and dressed in orange jumpsuits took to the streets of Derby to campaign against plans for a massive pig farm… Abi Izzard, special projects co-ordinator for Peta UK, said: "We are trying to encourage people to object to the application… William Maxwell, from Peta, said: "We obviously care about animals and locking them up in sheds is completely the wrong direction to be headed in…. (story)


Eastern Daily Press 3.4.12 Labour plans strategy to take back seats in the East of England - Red constituencies were not exactly sprawling across the East of England before 2010… To lead the fight-back a shadow cabinet member has been allocated to each region of the country to champion Labour’s cause. For the East it is shadow chancellor Ed Balls. The leadership has then tasked an MP to work with councillors, activists and Labour members to ensure the party has a clear strategy and targets. Labour MP Chris Williamson will do the job in the East…. He has been a bricklayer, a social worker and a welfare rights officer. He is a vegan and an active member of the League Against Cruel Sports…. (story)

News Shopper 3.4.12 Bexley police officer rescued rabbit from jaws of fox in Sidcup By Kelly Smale - A BUNNY rabbit is hop-ing to bounce back to its owners this Easter after escaping the jaws of a fox… Acting Police Sergeant Terry Meegan was in his car patrolling Sidcup. When he got to Burnt Oak Lane, at the entrance of Rose Bruford College, he noticed what he thought was a fox dragging a carrier bag across the road. Sgt Meegan said: "It was actually a bunny rabbit… The rabbit is now recovering at Oval Pet Centre but will be moved to a rescue centre if it is not claimed within the next couple of days. Sgt Meegan, who carried out house-to-house inquiries on the night, said: "It can only be a local pet owner because it was in good condition…. (story)

Argus 3.4.12 Obese foxes? THE feeding habits and the increase in size of the fox got me thinking about the food householders are putting out for them (Letters, March 19). Burger scraps, bacon rind and chicken leftovers are all very well but quite fattening… I suggest finely cut fillet steak and lightly-steamed fresh fish; my experience has been that Ferdy will readily adapt to this diet… This will help Ferdy stay leaner and fitter, and outsmart those who wish to persecute him. L Hill, South Ferring, Worthing (letter)

Worcester News 3.4.12 I’ve been a vegan for years and I’m healthy - I see there is yet more research suggesting that we cut down our meat consumption for our health… With so much research now carried out showing the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, and Cancer Research UK suggesting no more than 500g of meat a week to decrease risk of bowel cancer, might we safely assume that none would be even better? I have been vegetarian for about 35 years, vegan for 25 of those, and I am very healthy and have never suffered iron or any other deficiency, or weight problems, during that time… ROBERTA BALFOUR, Malvern (letter)

Derby Telegraph 3.4.12 Research vital for future of humans and animals - ADRIAN Stallwood is wrong when he states that "A good deal of confidence would certainly drain away if the public knew just how much animal experimentation these charities fund each year"…. Everybody knows somebody who would not be alive today if it were not for animal research. The bottom line is that animal research saves the lives of humans and animals alike… We use the smallest number of animals possible and have long insisted on high standards of animal welfare….. Chris Magee, Understanding Animal Research (letter)
Derby Telegraph 26.3.12 Vital research can be done without hurting animals - Dr Adrian Stallwood Animal Aid The Old Chapel Tonbridge Kent (letter)
Western Morning News 23.3.12 Animal experiments hidden from donors - The head of the organisation representing Britain’s leading medical research charities recently told the British Medical Journal: “Medical research is the most popular charitable giving in the UK, funding £1 billion of research a year… It is important we don’t lose this public confidence.”… if the public knew just how much animal experimentation these charities fund each year. Recent examples revealed by Animal Aid’s Victims of Charity report have involved lab workers deliberately damaging monkeys’ brains with toxic chemicals; systematically destroying dogs’ hearts; and tormenting mice in water mazes… Dr Adrian Stallwood, Scientific consultant, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

Independent 3.4.12 Simon Kelner: A barbaric delicacy that is rightly beyond the pale - It is difficult to imagine these days, but, not very long ago, people would deposit litter on the streets without care or reproach… We are a much more evolved society now… Other aspects of personal behaviour are frowned upon, too. The wearing of fur, for instance. And to that list must now be added the eating of foie gras… (story)

Telegraph 3.4.12 Is there too much fuss about foie gras? It’s not only the treatment of ducks and geese that are a cause for concern in farming. By Rose Prince - 'Need to make it completely clear story about my buying foie gras total fabrication i.e. a lie,” tweeted Nigella Lawson yesterday.…. But just how cruel is it to force feed a duck or goose? The idea of putting a 15-in tube down the throat of a bird, then depositing a large helping of maize directly into the stomach is not exactly kind…As with all livestock farming there are two sectors: the small “mom seasonally after the maize harvest in the run-up to Christmas, and the all-year-round intensive factory version. I have visited the former, and found that both the ducks and geese – though vastly overfed and enormous – were kept fully free range and their strong legs were able to support their weight. They seemed content and willing to be fed through the tube when the farmer offered it… My husband, on the other hand, toured the largest foie gras factory farm in the US and found thousands of miserable birds in pens, indoors, shying away from the man with the funnel and tube used for force-feeding… (story)


Northampotn Chronicle & Echo 2.4.12 A ban on the whip is needed - Fiona Pereira, Campaigner, Animal Aid. (letter)
Central Somerset Gazette 8.3.12 Need to stop whips being used on race horses - Fiona Pereira Campaigner Animal Aid (letter)
Shepton Mallet Journal 8.3.12 Horse whip ban is needed - Animal Aid has long campaigned against the use of the whip in horse racing… To that end, a new international initiative has been launched, spearheaded by Animal Aid, which has the support of animal advocacy groups in Australia, France, Germany and the Republic of Ireland – countries in which there are strong horseracing industries. Each of the groups is launching a bespoke version of a hard-hitting and witty new viral film, Whipping Hurts, produced by Animal Aid…. Fiona Pereira Campaigner Animal Aid (letter)

Western Mail 2.4.12 Refusal to cull badgers is illogical - SIR – Mark Chataway’s letter (March 27) makes a number of allegations about the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) and the Welsh farming industry in general which should be corrected. Firstly, Mr Chataway bizarrely states that the FUW’s support for a badger cull rather than badger vaccination is not in the interests of its members, and is based upon “primitive bloodlust”. This is a ridiculous statement; the figures given to the minister suggest that a cull would save the lives of far more cattle than vaccination would. Is it surprising that an organisation representing farming families wants a policy which science tells us will save the lives of more cattle and mean less financial and emotional turmoil for those families?... BRIAN WALTERS, FUW vice President (letter)
Western Mail 27.3.12 Rejection of culling is good science - The decision by the Welsh Environment Minister to vaccinate badgers rather than to cull them is a rare example of policy being guided by science rather than by the chase for votes and contributions from some powerful lobbying group. Of all the powerful interest groups, the Farmers’ Union of Wales normally stands out as dedicated to the interests of its members at the expense of any sense of fairness or the national good…. MARK CHATAWAY, Cwmfelinfach, Caerphilly
– Wildlife Trusts Wales welcomes the decision of John Griffiths to pursue vaccination of badgers to try to control bovine TB… RACHEL SHARP, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Trusts Wales (letters)

Mail 2.4.12 Ruddy outrage! How lusty British ducks are being culled at a cost of £2,000 each to please the Spanish By Stephen Moss - You can't fault the male ruddy duck for effort…. Only an estimated 100 ruddy ducks remain at large in the UK, following a Government-led cull that has so far cost £5?million, and led to the slaughter of more than 6,000 birds. Now, news that the Government is planning to spend a further £200,000 to finish the job has caused a rift in the conservation world…. (story)


Sunday Telegraph 1.4.12 Linda McCartney memorial wood is destroyed by disease - The wood planted by Sir Paul McCartney in tribute to his wife, Linda, has been ravaged by sudden oak death disease. By Richard Eden …“Some of them were diseased and it was decided that the larch would be chopped down as a preventative measure,” said Joe Duckworth, of the League Against Cruel Sports, which runs the woodland near Dulverton. "Lots of larch in the area are being chopped down.”…. (story)
Mail on Sunday 1.4.12 Heartbreak at Linda's Wood: Sir Paul McCartney's memorial to late wife destroyed by rare tree disease By Rachel Rickard Straus - It was meant to be a lasting living memory to Sir Paul McCartney’s late wife, Linda. But now great swathes of Linda’s Wood in Somerset have had to be cut down because of a deadly disease that is sweeping the country…. The forest has since been managed by the League Against Cruel Sports, as part of its deer sanctuary….. (story)

Kent on Sunday 1.4.12 RSPCA inspects live animal exports from Ramsgate - Ed Hill - THE RSPCA has sent inspectors to Ramsgate to monitor the export of live animals from the town’s harbour… (story)
Isle of Thanet Gazette 30.3.12 Drivers warned in port animal checks - LORRY drivers exporting animals for slaughter received two warnings from RSPCA inspectors at the Port of Ramsgate this week… (story)
BBC News Online 28.3.12 RSPCA inspects welfare of Ramsgate livestock exports - Animal welfare inspectors have carried out checks on livestock being exported from the Port of Ramsgate in Kent… (story)
Kent Online 28.3.12 Warning notices issued over live animal exports - Warning notices have been issued after lorries carrying live animal exports through a Kent port were inspected by the RSPCA for the first time today… (story)
Thanet Gazette 28.3.12 Animal welfare inspectors crack down on Ramsgate's live export trade - LORRY drivers exporting animals for slaughter received two warning notices from the Royal Society for the Protection Animals (RSPCA) at the Port of Ramsgate this morning…. (story)
BBC News Online 22.3.12 RSPCA in Ramsgate live animal transport talks - Live animal exports from a Kent port are being discussed by the RSPCA and council leaders. Ramsgate is the only UK port used for the exports and campaigners have been calling for the trade to be stopped… The RSPCA opposes the long distance transport of the animals and its chief executive, Gavin Grant, is meeting the port's owner, Thanet District Council…. Officials from Compassion in World Farming are also attending the meeting. Emma Slawinski, senior campaigns manager, said: "We worked with dedicated groups in Ramsgate to raise the profile of this vile trade last year and we are determined to keep up the pressure this year… (story)