December 2005

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Western Daily Press 31.12.05 HUNTS SHOWED IT'S BUSINESS AS USUAL - As the old year draws to a close, it leaves the equestrian community in good heart with much to applaud and more to look forward to. February 18 saw the Hunting Act come into force, with portents of gloom and despair in its wake. But the hunts were made of stern stuff, and vowed to keep going until they get a repeal of the ban…. The Avon Vale Hunt's Boxing Day meet at Lacock, near Chippenham, this Christmas, saw one of its biggest crowds yet with every approach road to the village crammed with parked cars once the car parks were full… (story)

Western Daily Press 31.12.05 CLAIMS AND COUNTERCLAIMS OVER HAVOC - Hunts across the West are still causing havoc, trespassing and killing livestock and pets, despite the ban on hunting, it was claimed yesterday. And anti-hunt campaigners alleged continuing instances of trespass by hunts signalled some hunts were continuing to break the ban…. (story)

Western Daily Press 31.12.05 NO HIDING PLACE FOR HUNTSMEN - Extra police powers to enforce the hunting ban could see the countryside opened up to rural bobbies monitoring hunts on vast swathes of private farmland, it was claimed last night. But any move to allow police the right to patrol anywhere in the countryside was slammed as 'completely crackers' by prohunters, who said the police already had enough powers to enforce the hunting ban…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 31.12.05 HUNT CLUB HELP FOR HOSPITAL - A Cheque for £1,000 is due to be presented to Tetbury Hospital on Monday by the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt. The money was raised at the Beaufort Hunt Club's horse show, which was held in August, and will be handed over to hospital representatives when the hunt meets in the Railway Car Park in the town at 10.45am. (story)

Times 31.12.05 The numbers attending the Boxing Day meets prove that hunting is very much alive, but sadly so is the persecution carried out by animal rights activists. On Christmas Eve I and 40 other mounted followers of the Clifton-on-Teme Hunt met with Father Christmas and dozens of foot followers for a day’s trail hunting… OCTAVIA POLLOCK, Great Witley, Worcs (letter)
Independent 30.12.05 Letters: Law-abiding hunt terrorised - Law-abiding hunt terrorised by balaclava-clad 'monitors' - The numbers attending the Boxing Day meets prove that hunting is very much alive, but sadly so is the persecution by animal rights activists. On Christmas Eve I and 40 other mounted followers of the Clifton-on-Teme Hunt met with dozens of foot followers for a day's trail-hunting. After an hour or so of great company, good cheer and exciting riding, a large group of "hunt monitors" in black balaclavas charged out of the trees, shouting the foulest language and blowing hunting horns…. A lady rider was boxing up her horse alone when nine of them surrounded her and tried to steal her saddle and bridle…. The behaviour we and many other hunts have experienced is frightening and dangerous and should not be allowed to continue. Such terrorism must be stopped. OCTAVIA POLLOCK, GREAT WHITLEY, WORCESTERSHIRE (letter)

Scotsman 31.12.05 Apex of the class system - The ban on fox hunting is being flouted because the law is not being enforced, and it is not being enforced because its chief proponents occupy the very apex of the class system. If there is "class war" going on, as Katie Grant affirms (Opinion 26 December), it is the landowning establishment that is waging it… GEORGE B ANDERSON, Elliothill Street, Dunfermline (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 31.12.05 THOUGHTS COUNT IN DOG-WALKING - I'd like to invite John, Life goes on after the ban, Points of View, December 29, to come hunting with my dogs and me. He'd have to be careful not to intend any deer to run away from the dogs. Defra contends that this is hunting, as it is flushing out or driving away… On the other hand, he might want to join my evil criminal conspiracy and let any flushed out deer escape. Giles Bradshaw, Rose Ash (via (letter)

Leicester Mercury 31.12.05 SENSELESS KILLING - While respecting Elaine Waterfield's views ("It's a pagan Christmas", Mailbox, December 21), as a Christian myself, I would like to add to her concerns. I would say that far more worrying and disturbing for me is the senseless and unnecessary slaughter of thousands of intensively-reared birds and animals in order to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Linda Bodicoat, Earl Shilton. (letter)


Cumberland News 30.12.05 End of a remarkable chapter of history - FORMER Cumbrian huntsman Jack Taylor died at the age of 90 last month and the village church at Welton near Dalston was packed to overflowing for his funeral on November 18…. He came to the Cumberland Farmers Hunt in 1965, mainly he said, to find a better education and start a life for his two daughters, Rosemary and Susan, and son Bobby… (story)
Cumberland News 25.11.05 Colourful Ulsterman Jack ran fox hunts on both sides of the water - THE long life of professional huntsman Jack Taylor was one of colour and incident, both before and after his many years with the Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds…. (story)

West Sussex County Times 30.12.05 Row over hunt stewards - A ROW has broken out over 'stewards' used by fox hunters to follow their opponents during events. A wildlife group has complained about the way it is treated when monitoring the Crawley and Horsham Hunt following the high-profile ban. West Sussex Wildlife Protection spokesperson Simon Wild made the comments following a hunt meet at Danehill Farm, West Chiltington, on Saturday December 17…."If anyone steps off a footpath they are forced back on the path. And if they stop for a few seconds on a footpath to film, they are told they cannot stand still on a footpath and must keep walking….” Mr Millard said: "We have been asked by land owners who have got rather tired with the fact that these hunt saboteurs trample across the land….” (story)

Telegraph 30.12.05 Notebook By W F Deedes - Rural England will pay dear for the Blair years - How well the turnout on Boxing Day of banned foxhunters and their supporters illustrated the way Tony Blair governs us. He gave the anti-hunting Bill a run in the hope that it would buy the support of his party's awkward squad for measures he was keen on. It did nothing of the kind. Many of those Labour MPs who clamoured for legislation against the class of person they associate with foxhunting are now fighting tooth and nail against Blair reforms…. What we saw on Boxing Day - birds of prey, shotguns and all - leaves nobody contented. Animal lovers feel cheated, for the fox suffers no less than it did. Hunting feels unjustly treated. The police, who have a lot else to do, are landed with another chore. It's a fudge; and that, alas Tony Blair, is how we shall remember you. (story)

Cumberland News 30.12.05 30.12.05 ‘blencathra meet lawful’ - By Julie Armstrong - JOHN Peel’s hunt, the Blencathra, visited Keswick’s hospital to protest against the planned bed closures before going drag hunting in the Skiddaw area. Bob Fell, joint secretary of the Blencathra Foxhounds, said they laid a bottled fox scent – ordered from America – and that as far he knew no foxes were killed…. (story)
Cumberland News 30.12.05 30.12.05 Hunt and hospital protests unite By Kelly Eve - THE traditional Boxing Day hunt in Keswick became a stage for 500 campaigners to protest against plans to cut more than 100 county cottage hospital beds. Hundreds of placard-waving campaigners from across Cumbria joined hunt enthusiasts to ensure the campaign to save cottage hospitals was not forgotten over Christmas…. (story)
West Cumberland Times & Star 30.12.05 HUNT BACKS HOSPITAL CAMPAIGN - More than 800 campaigners from across Cumbria joined hunt enthusiasts on Boxing Day to make sure the campaign to save cottage hospitals was not forgotten over Christmas…. Members of the Blencathra Foxhounds walk to the hospital every Boxing Day to let patients and staff meet the huntsmen and hounds. Joint master of the hunt Michael Thompson said the hunt had been meeting in Keswick’s Market Square on Boxing Day for 170 years for the annual event…. (story)
North West Evening Mail 29.12.05 HOSPITAL PROTESTERS CAMPAIGN AT HUNT - MORE than 800 placard-waving campaigners from across Cumbria joined hunt enthusiasts to ensure the campaign to save cottage hospitals was not forgotten during the festive period…. Members of the Blencathra Foxhounds walk to the hospital every Boxing Day to let patients and staff meet the huntsmen and hounds… (story)
Whitehaven News 29.12.05 Hospital campaigners join hunt party - MORE than 800 placard-wav-ing campaigners from across Cumbria joined hunt enthusiasts on Boxing Day to ensure the campaign to save cottage hospitals was not forgotten over Christmas… (story)
Carlisle News & Star 27.12.05 800 join hunters in march for hospital By Kelly Eve & Ross Brewster - MORE than 800 placard-waving campaigners from across Cumbria joined hunt enthusiasts yesterday to ensure the campaign to save cottage hospitals was not forgotten over Christmas. Hundreds joined the traditional Boxing Day hunting party on the march to the Mary Hewetson cottage hospital in Keswick to show their anger against plans to close more than 100 beds around the county. Members of the Blencathra Foxhounds walk to the hospital every Boxing Day to let patients and staff meet the huntsmen and hounds… (story)

Ledbury Reporter 30.12.05 Defiant words as hunt draws a large crowd - A BIG crowd turned out for the Ledbury Hunt's traditional Boxing Day meet, gathering at the Feathers Hotel to cheer the riders on…. Hunt secretary Helen Smith said that, taking into account the mounted followers who joined the hunt at Eastnor, there were close to 200 riders out on the day. There were also many followers on bicycle or on foot…. (story in archive)

Western Morning News 30.12.05 SUPPORTERS OUT IN FORCE DESPITE BAN ON HUNTING - Hunts gathered for the first Boxing Day traditional meets since the hunting ban with strong support countrywide. Annabel Groom reports - Along with 250 other hunts across the country, Spooner's and West Dartmoor Foxhounds had a huge turnout of supporters for their traditional Boxing Day meet at Bedford Square, Tavistock… (story)

Chester Chronicle 30.12.05 Hunt police under fire By David Holmes, Chester Chronicle - ANIMAL cruelty campaigners claim Cheshire Police did little to ensure new laws controlling hunting were not being broken at traditional Boxing Day hunts. A single police officer was allocated to observe the Cheshire Forest Hunt meet, says Dr Jane Evans of the North West League against Cruel Sports…. But Cheshire Constabulary says its main priority is possible public disorder between pro and anti-hunt factions. Spokesman Jon Ratcliffe said: 'The primary role of the police is to prevent disorder and this was successfully achieved…” There was low key police activity for the Cheshire Hunt at Tarporley where Eddisbury MP Stephen O'Brien angered anti-hunt campaigners by making a speech supporting the Hunt … (story)
Chester Chronicle 30.12.05 Hunters vow to ride out changes in law By David Holmes, Chester Chronicle - HUNTING Folk claim support for their pursuit is just as strong as ever with participants determined to see the overthrow of the new legislation. Karen Kirk, who followed the Cheshire Hunt on foot at Tarporley on Boxing Day, said the numbers of people who turned out to ride and spectate was normal…. Alex Park was out hunting with the Cheshire Forest Hunt at Mouldsworth on Christmas Eve morning. He had not heard of any incidents over the festive season and said the opponents of hunting were not in evidence and nor were the police…. (story)

Bedford Times & Citizen 30.12.05 The eagle called Isla keeping foxes honest - Oakley Hunt chasing to kill with bird of prey imported from Germany - The Oakley Hunt will pursue foxes at its New Year's Eve meet tomorrow despite the ban – thanks to a golden eagle called Isla…. The Oakley Hunt in general is still going strong, he added, with around 700 foot followers attending its Boxing Day meeting at Castle Ashby, Northants, plus 60 riders… (story)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 30.12.05 MOCK HUNTING ENJOYS A WHIFF OF SUCCESS BY MARCEL LE GOUAIS - The Horses, hounds and members of Ashford Valley Hunt traversed the countryside of Tenterden on Boxing Day as 250 hunts went ahead across the country…. The joint master of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt meeting in Penshurst on Boxing Day said it was bigger than last year. Graeme Worsley claimed the number of villagers and supporters who turned up before 11am for the meet was a show of solidarity… A number of riders fell during the meet on Monday, some of whom had to be taken to hospital, but for every tumble taken the rider had to put £5 into a kitty which was donated to Kent Air Ambulance and St Catherine's Hospice in Crawley. More than £100 was collected. (story)

Kent/East Sussex Courier 30.12.05 BACKING FOR THE BOXING DAY HUNT - Despite the fox hunting ban in February, hunting groups in East Sussex continued the tradition of the Boxing Day hunt and said they had more support than ever before. At the Southdowns and Eridge Hunt more than 130 riders met at Lewes High Street before hacking across the Downs towards Uckfield for a few hours…. Similarly more than 100 riders and 2,000 supporters turned up in Battle for the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt…. (story)

Sussex Express 30.12.05 BIG TURN OUT FOR HUNT - IT was the biggest Southdown and Eridge Hunt meet seen at Lewes for more than decade. Nearly 1,000 people lined the streets outside the White Hart on Boxing Day morning as 135 riders and horses with their dogs met outside the hostelry for their annual traditional stirrup cup…. (story)

Newark Advertiser 30.12.05 Support swells for local hunts BY LUCY MILLARD - Large numbers of riders and supporters turned out for the traditional Boxing Day hunts in the Advertiser area…. More than 350 people cheered more than 80 riders of the Grove and Rufford Hunt at the White Horse, Barnby Moor. The hunt followed a pre-laid fox scent… The secretary of the South Notts Hunt, Miss Anne Jepson, said about 300 supporters turned out to see 60 riders set off from The Green at Car Colston at 11.15am… (story on website for a week)

Retford Guardian 30.12.05 HUNT WELL SUPPORTED - RETFORD'S Grove and Rufford Boxing Day Hunt received enthusiastic support again this year despite being the first since the new ban. Over 90 people took part in the hunt and 350 supporters attended the traditional meet held at the White Horse, Barnby Moor…. (story)

Hexham Courant 30.12.05 Crowds flock to Boxing Day hunt By WILL GREEN - MORE than 400 supporters turned out at Corbridge on Boxing Day to watch the Tynedale Hunt set out on its annual meet…. Elsewhere in the district the Border Hunt met at the Percy Arms in Otterburn, while the North Tyne Hunt set out from the Black Bull at Wark… The Braes of Derwent Hunt met at the Queen’s Head in Lanchester, County Durham….(story)

South Wales Evening Post 30.12.05 HUNT'S NEW TACK - JASON EVANS - On Monday morning the Banwen Miners' Hunt will ride out as they have done every new year for the last 43 years. But this new year's ride will be like no other in the Neath Valley hunt's history... (story)

South Wales Evening Post 30.12.05 NEW YEAR MEETS - The following New Year hunts are taking place on Monday, January 2: Banwen Miners', Glamorgan Arms, Pontlliw, 11am. Carmarthenshire, Guildhall Square, Carmarthen, 11am. Cwrt y Cadno Farmers', Dolau Cothi Arms, Pumsaint, 11am. Llanwnen Farmers', Llanina Hotel, Llanarth, 11am. (story)

Wiltshire Times 30.12.05 A-hunting they will go in the Avon Vale By David Giles - THOUSANDS of people attended the traditional Boxing Day hunt in Lacock, despite the ban on hunting with dogs. The Avon Vale Hunt gathered for the first Boxing Day meet since the ban came into force and about 3,000 people turned up to support them…. (story)

Harrogate Advertiser 30.12.05 Hunts receive strong Boxing Day support - BOXING DAY hunt meets across the region were well supported this year in a show of strength against the hunting ban which was introduced in February. More than 450 people gathered in Masham market place to cheer the joint master and huntsman of the West of Yore, Major Tim Easby, who vowed: “Our hounds will be here next year, the year after and for ever.”… Elsewhere, hunts have reported increased membership with the Badsworth and Bramham Moor saying subscriptions are up eight per cent, and other hunts limiting riders because so many are turning up…. (story)

Grantham Journal 30.12.05 HUNT STILL A CROWD-PLEASER AT BOXING DAY MEET - Attendance was down on previous years at the Boxing Day meet in Grantham this year, but Belvoir Hunt master James Henderson said he is confident support will return. Around 500 people turned up on St Peter's Hill for the meet, the first since hunting with dogs was banned…. (story)

Leek Post & Times 30.12.05 FALSE TRAIL FOXED HOUNDS AT HUNT - Dozens of supporters turned out to back the first Boxing Day hunt in the Staffordshire Moorlands, since the government banned hunting foxes with hounds. More than a dozen huntsmen rode out from Dale Farm, at Rue Hill, Cauldon Low, on Sunday. The ban, which came into force in February, prohibits packs of hounds from intentionally killing a fox, so the scent of fox urine is laid down across fields prior to the hunt, for the hounds to track instead…. (story)
The Sentinel 13.12.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS BLAZE A FALSE TRAIL - ELLIE BANKS - "THERE has been more interest than ever in hunting since it was banned. It's like anything - once it is forbidden, more people want to know about it." Riders and supporters yesterday joined David Machin, field-master of the Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt, for the organisation's first event of the season…. "Although everyone seems to be enjoying trail hunting it can never replace fox hunting. "However we must not let this deter us. We must keep going if not only for the sport but because it is part of English tradition," said Mr Machin… (story)
The Sentinel 13.12.05 HOUNDS SNIFF OUT A NEW SCENT - The ban on hunting with hounds came into force on February 18. The hunt season runs from the middle of September until the first week in March…. Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt is led by Elaine Barker, the only female lead huntsman in the country…. (story)

Western Morning News 30.12.05 HUNTERS HELP LABOUR CAUSE - How wrong were those predictions that the hunting ban would decimate rural economies, cute hounds would be shot and horses exported into French casseroles. I remember a BBC TV news report on the September 2004 pro-hunting demonstration outside Parliament and the characters the camera picked out…. One story like that was worth a dozen Labour Party political broadcasts during the forthcoming election campaign…. So more power to their elbow and hooray for hunters. Labour needs you. Martin Bell Port Isaac (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 30.12.05 PUT FREE TIME TO BETTER USE - So Giles Bradshaw wants to defy the English Law on fox-hunting. Who wants to hunt animals for pleasure? Has he not got anything to occupy his mind or has he enough wealth to not have to work. If so he has free time - put it to good use like I do with charity work. Because it seems to me he hasn't got enough to do in his life. Killing for pleasure or for blood is a mug's game; nothing ever comes out of it…. SHIRLEY MORGAN, Grange Road, Paignton (letter)

Irish Examiner 30.12.05 Take the gun out of Irish tourism - IT’S that time of year again. The season when tourist shooters — mainly French and Italian — descend on our countryside like a plague of locusts. They come here to declare war oneverything that moves. Whether it flies, runs, waddles or floats, they blow it to perdition. But worst of all, from a nature lover's point of view, they target the humble songbird. In parts of rural Ireland, the celebrated dawn chorus has become a thing of the past…. The tour operators and their gun-toting clients from mainland Europe need to get the message loud and clear: stop killing our singers! John Fitzgerald, Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Fenland Citizen 30.12.05 COURT: Hare courser fined £100 - TWENTY-one-year-old Michael Connors was fined £100 after admitting hare coursing on a Wimblington farm. Connors, of Letchworth in Bedfordshire, had pleaded guilty to trespassing in pursuit of game at Hook Farm on January 14…. (story)

BBC News Online 30.12.05 Isles mink cull to be stepped up - Conservation groups have vowed to step up efforts to eradicate the American mink from the Western Isles. The pledge came after a study found initial controls had helped protect native birds and wildlife. Monitoring work by RSPB Scotland found Arctic terns were breeding more successfully in areas where the mink had been trapped and shot on the Uists…. The first phase of the Hebridean Mink Project, which began with the aim of eradicating the species from the Uists and drastically reducing numbers in South Harris, should be completed by the middle of next year… (story)
icScotland 30.12.05 Efforts to eradicate mink increased - Conservation groups have vowed to step up efforts to eradicate the American mink from the Western Isles after a study found initial controls had helped protect native birds and wildlife… (story)
Scotsman 30.12.05 Success in bid to eradicate mink menace - JOHN ROSS - EFFORTS to wipe out alien American mink from the Western Isles are working, according to a report today, which shows that a purge has helped native birds and wildlife… (story)
Glasgow Herald 30.12.05 Mink on the run as £3m island cull bites - ALEX ALI and LUCY BANNERMAN - BEWARE all resident minks on the Western Isles: your days are numbered. Ever since the 1960s, when the American pests were released or escaped from mink farms as the fur trade declined, they have terrorised the native wildlife of the Hebrides. However, a project aimed at ridding the islands of their predatory presence is now beginning to show the first signs of progress, as the birdlife under threat is flourishing once again… (story)

Henley Standard 30.12.05 Laboratory is necessary - While I believe in free speech, I hope you will allow me to reply to Sally Ker’s diatribe (letters, December 16th) against Oxford University who are going ahead with plans to build a new animal research laboratory…. Some of the disgusting actions by animal protesters remove totally any right for Ms. Ker to lecture the rest of us on morals. — Yours faithfully, Name and address supplied (letter may be in archive)
Henley Standard 16.12.05 Experiments not justified - I was saddened and angry to hear the news that Oxford University is going ahead with the building of a new animal research lab… For more information, please contact the wonderful campaign group SPEAK — — which aims to present the public with the true facts so that they can make an informed choice about the subject. — Yours faithfully, Sally Paton Ker, Hurley. (letter may be in archive)

Times 30.12.05 Ethical fur - Your Eco-Worrier is concerned about fur, and astrakhan “made from the skin of newborn lambs”, in particular (Body & Soul, Dec 17). “Brutal, I know,” she says of this stuff, much of which comes from well-run farms in Namibia, where any economic activity deserves our encouragement. Brutal? More so, say, than organic, free-range legs of spring lamb from freezing Welsh hillsides?... The trick to ethical responsibility in buying fur (as in much else) is to ask to be told about its provenance. That will require an absence of squeamishness and of humbug, the two features which are in most abundant supply in these sorts of debate. RICHARD D. NORTH, Author, Fur and Freedom: A Defence of the Fur Trade, London SW1 (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.12.05 BLAME FARMERS, NOT BROCK, FOR BOVINE TB - With regard to the article "Badgers face TB culling fields", published in the Western Daily Press on December 16. I am astounded that with all the evidence and independent investigations pointing to the movement, transportation, bad hygiene and unhealthy living conditions of cattle causing bovine TB, that some people including business farmers are still trying to pass the blame of the spread of bovine TB on to wildlife…. Mr J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (story)

Western Mail 30.12.05 Healthy veggies - Now and again we get people who shed crocodile tears. One of these people is Emyr Evans (Western Mail, Dec 14). I expect his horrendous account of the turkeys was true, but he pleads innocent when he states that meat is an essential and healthy part of the human diet. This is entirely untrue… All killings of animals involves cruelty. That is why there are vegetarians and vegans. GEORGE DUPE, Haisbro Avenue, Newport, Gwent (story)

Keighley News 30.12.05 I am aware that the lifting of the EU ban on exports of British beef has opened up the possibility of a resumption of the export trade in young calves from the UK. This development is deeply concerning from an animal welfare viewpoint. Evidence from Compassion in World Farming's investigations into the export of sheep have consistently revealed how transporters regularly flout European Law… In the longer term, CIWF believes that we should move away from the selective breeding of specialist animals to dual-purpose breeds, where all offspring will have the chance of life. G J JOY, Upper Town, Oxenhope (letter in archive)


Harborough Mail 29.12.05 Boxing Day hunt rides on - THOUSANDS of riders and supporters turned out to see the Fernie Hunt meet on the Green in Great Bowden on Boxing Day. About 2,000 people turned out on what is considered the biggest day of the fox hunting calendar to witness the hunt follow a pre-laid scent…. (story)

Telegraph 29.12.05 Labour legislates, then we try to work out what the law is By Boris Johnson - So you get back from that delightful Christmas break with the in-laws and the first sight to greet your jaundiced eyeballs as you turn the key in the lock is the smashed pane in the kitchen… So you ring the police station to report this banal event and, whaddya know, they haven't got enough manpower to attend the scene…. Well, dearie, says the lovely policewoman on the switchboard, they're all off at the hunt, aren't they? I don't know how many burglars are thinking of trying their luck over the New Year holiday, and I don't want to encourage them, but it seems to me that in rural areas they will have an unrivalled opportunity. Not only will the British people be in their habitual state of hangover, but the poor old police force will be asked to cope with another colossal insurrection by what was once a quite innocent sector of society…. In the Parliamentary Labour Party, and in the breasts of the antis, there is incontinent rage. Gerald Kaufman MP dances from one tiny and elegantly shod foot to the other. What is going on? they shriek. What are the police doing?... The problem with the hunting ban is that it is like many other pieces of government legislation: drafted with such vagueness that the citizen does not really know where he stands…. The effect is very sinister: it leaves the interpretation of the law up to government agencies or, in the case of the Attorney General, government ministers. It leaves us all with a sense of free-floating dread that we could be pounced on, at any time, for doing something that thousands of people are doing every day…. The hunters will go on until the wretched police are forced to the random enforcement of a law so mad and bad that it should really be put down. (story)

Banbury Guardian 29.12.05 BIGGEST TURNOUT DESPITE HUNT BAN - HUNDREDS of horseriders and spectators gathered in Chipping Norton to support the first Boxing Day hunt since the ban earlier this year. About 120 riders from the Heythrop Hunt left the town centre at 11am to a round of applause from the biggest ever audience at a Boxing Day meet in the town… (story)

Denbighshire Free Press 29.12.05 Big crowds cheer hunt - A BITTERLY cold wind did not deter the crowds from cramming into Denbigh for the annual Boxing Day meet of the Flint and Denbigh Hunt… (story)

North Devon Journal 29.12.05 BIG TURNOUT FOR BOXING DAY HUNT - The Torrington Farmers' Hunt turned out in force in the town for the first Boxing Day meet since the ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)

Central Somerset Gazette 29.12.05 BOXING DAY HUNTS MEET - Hundreds of hunters and their supporters in mid- Somerset turned out for the first Boxing Day hunt meetings since the Hunting Act banned hunting wild animals with dogs…. The Mendip Farmers' Hunt saw 104 horses gather on Priddy Green, with a handful of anti-hunt protestors and observers joining a crowd of supporters…. Elsewhere in mid-Somerset the Weston and Banwell Harriers gathered in The Square at Axbridge for their hunt meeting - and met the Chilmark and Clifton Foot Beagles while on the hills. (story)

Lichfield Mercury 29.12.05 LOCAL HUNT TURNS OUT FOR BOXING DAY - Fox hunting enthusiasts refused to be disrupted by government legislation and undertook their traditional Boxing Day meeting. Members and supporters of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt were at Blithfield Hall on Boxing Day for their customary meeting - the first since the new Hunting Act became law. "It was a good turn out with well over 50 riders and, of course, huge support on foot," said Tessa Hibbert, hunt master on the day…. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 27.12.05 500 SHOW THEIR SUPPORT AS HUNTERS STICK TO LAW - Hunters took to the countryside yesterday for the first Boxing Day meets since a ban on hunting with dogs was introduced. More than 500 people gathered at Blithfield Hall, Admaston, near Sudbury, for the Meynell and South Staffordshire hunt…. (story)
Burton Mail 21.12.05 HUNTERS ON SCENT OF SOMETHING NEW by Cheryl Smith - HUNTING enthusiasts from Burton and South Derbyshire will be out in force on Boxing Day — 10 months after a ban on the sport. Members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire hunt have vowed the traditional Boxing Day hunt will go ahead 'within the law' with hounds following an artificial scent. Hundreds of hunters are expected to meet at Blithfield Hall, near Abbots Bromley, at around 10am on Monday with the hunt starting at 11am…. The group will also donate £1,000 on the day to staff at Burton’s Queen's Hospital to help fund new equipment to help detect a rare condition called Vasa Previa in new born babies … (story)

Impartial Reporter 29.12.05 Large numbers out for Boxing Day hunt - The fine weather on Boxing Day brought out large numbers on horseback for the traditional Fermanagh Harriers’ Hunt Club meeting. The horses and riders assembled at Derrychara Link before proceeding through the centre of Enniskillen on their way to Dunbar on the Belleek Road accompanied by their pack of hounds…. (story)
News Letter 27.12.05 Hundreds Support Boxing Day Hunts By Anne Palmer - HUNDREDS of spectators and hunt supporters turned out in Enniskillen yesterday as Fermanagh's traditional hunt got under way…. (story)

Buckingham Advertiser 29.12.05 HUNDREDS TURN OUT FOR HUNT MEETINGS - RECORD numbers of supporters attended this year's Boxing Day hunt meetings in Winslow and Towcester, organisers said. An estimated 2,000 supporters gathered in the grounds of Winslow Hall to meet riders and hounds of the Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hounds Club, while several hundred greeted riders of the Grafton Hunt at Easton Neston House in Towcester… (story in archive)

Northumberland Gazette 29.12.05 Support strong for Boxing Day hunt - SUPPORT for hunting remains as strong as ever as crowds turned out in masses to see off north Northumberland hunters on Boxing Day. Simon Orpwood, joint master of College Valley and North Northumberland Hunt, said it was well-received when it met at Wooler on Monday… The West Percy Hunt met at Glanton and enjoyed a good day. Secretary Brian Wood said about 60 riders and 200 foot supporters turned out. The Percy Hunt also met a good crowd on Boxing Day…. (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 29.12.05 Hunt supporters turn up in their thousands By Hugo Tilney - Thousands turned out to support the Avon Vale Hunt on Boxing Day as Lacock became awash with wellies and tweed…. (story)
Wiltshire Times 23.12.05 Hunt laws fail to stop Boxing Day tradition By David Giles - THE laws may have changed but thousands of people are still expected to attend the first post-ban Boxing Day hunt in Lacock. Supporters have vowed the traditional Avon Vale Hunt will take place strictly in accordance with new regulations… (story)

Daily Post 29.12.05 Sheep farms up in arms over ban By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - NUMBERS of marksmen with high-powered rifles are set to rise in Wales as sheep farmers struggle to cope with the hunting ban… David Thomas, of the Federation of Welsh Packs, said farmers were being forced to take matters into their own hands now they could not rely on hunts to resolve lamb predation problems… Yesterday the Eryri and the Flint & Denbigh Hunts met at the Sportsman's Arms, Denbigh moors, for the traditional Christmas joint meet. AN animal rights group has been bombarded with abusive mail from hunt supporters in a scam that has cost it more than £10,000. The League Against Cruel Sports was targeted after it launched an appeal for donations using a Freepost address…. Van loads of bricks, telephone directories, heavy books and animal excrement were sent to the league's offices…. (story)

Evesham Journal 29.12.05 A-hunting we will go - Controversy over hunting with hounds should be a thing of the past, a Vale MP said this week as hundreds of local people turned out to hunt and thousands more to show their support up and down the country…. Members of the Croome and West Warwickshire hunt caught their supporters unawares in Pershore… Liz Wills, joint master of the Heythrop Hunt, said: "I don't think I would be exaggerating if I said there were over 2,000 people…. Sam Butler, joint master of the Warwickshire Hunt, which met for its traditional Boxing Day meet at Upton House near Banbury, said the day was a great success with 1,000 supporters on foot and more than 100 horses…. (story in archive)

Isle of Wight County Press 29.12.05 HUNT THRIVES DESPITE BAN By Lorraine Parker - HUNT supporters were out in force to mark the first Boxing Day hunt since the national foxhunting ban in February. Hundreds descended on Carisbrooke downs and walked among the dozens of horses and hounds, chatting to riders before applauding them as they set off. The event passed without any trouble from anti-hunt protesters and the enormous turn-out proved the ban had little impact on the traditional gathering….(story)

Midhurst & Petworth Observer 29.12.05 Hunt thrives but ban not flouted - More than 1,000 people turned out to watch the Boxing Day meet of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt at Petworth Park. Huntsmen, hounds and 78 mounted followers provided the traditional Christmastide spectacle before heading off for five hours 'hunting' in country between Balls Cross and Kirdford…. (story)

Wilts & Glos Standard 29.12.05 Thousands attend Boxing Day hunts by Tom Shepherd - NEARLY a year after the pursuit was banned, thousands of hunt supporters turned out in force across the Cotswolds on Boxing Day. Lord and Lady Apsley hosted around 2,500 people in Cirencester Park for the Vale of the White Horse (VWH) meet. The Cotswold Hunt and Beaufort Hunt also met for what is traditionally the most popular date in the hunting calendar…. (story in archive)

Cotswold Journal 29.12.05 Hundreds join hunts' big day - LARGE crowds turned out to support Boxing Day hunts in the north Cotswolds - the first to be held since the hunting ban became law. Liz Wills, joint master of the Heythrop Hunt, said: "I don't think I would be exaggerating if I said there were over 2,000 people. It's absolutely marvellous."… Sam Butler, joint master of the Warwickshire Hunt, which met for its traditional Boxing Day meet at Upton House near Banbury, said the day was a great success with 1,000 supporters on foot and more than 100 horses…. The Cotswold Hunt set out from the Frogmill Hotel near Andoversford with more than 60 riders and around 500 supporters on foot…. (story in archive)

Kentish Express 29.12.05 Hunt tradition lives on by Matt Hoople - SEVERAL hundred hunt supporters gathered at Elham on Boxing Day in a mass show of defiance of the hunting ban. The crowds cheered on about 50 mounted riders from the village square who set off on the trail of a sock doused in fox scent… East Kent Hunt treasurer Peter Crouch said: "The support this year is very much better than in previous years….” (story)

Kentish Express 29.12.05 Hunt supporters turn out in force - Keeping the rural tradition as determined hunters beat the ban by Mike Bennett - JUST as they have for decades past Wye Beagles were joined by enthusiastic supporters of country sport for the traditional Boxing Day meet at the New Flying Horse Inn in the heart of the village… (story)

Telegraph 29.12.05 Hands off our Stilton - Followers of the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt were treated to Stilton cheese laid on to slices of a rich fruit cake with port for the Boxing Day meet of hounds, as guests of Simon Robson at the Bell Inn, Stilton…. Philip Slane, Huntingdon, Cambs (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 29.12.05 HUNTING BILL - David Cameron, the new Conservative leader who is long on rhetoric but short on policies, says that he wants to build a "modern and compassionate" party - in itself something of a feat for the Conservatives many would say. Then, to prove that words mean absolutely nothing and a leopard never changes its spots, he promises to introduce a bill to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs… Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.12.05 INTENT'S THE KEY IN HUNTING ACT - Mr k Watson misses the point when he claims that there is no ban on dog walking in the Hunting Act, Points of view, December 23. The Hunting Act bans hunting with dogs, not dog walking. It states that hunting includes merely flushing out wild mammals with dogs. This can be accomplished by walking dogs through a location where there are likely to be wild mammals…. I will keep my dogs and when they die I will replace them and I will carry on breaking the Hunting Act for the rest of my life. The police know this, they know the law is ridiculous and they are happy to let me carry on. If Mr Watson wants me to shoot those deer rather than let them escape, he should write to his MP to demand that the law is enforced. Giles Bradshaw, Rose Ash, Tiverton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 28.12.05 SEE NEW ANIMAL WELFARE BILL - Giles Bradshaw, The Law should prevent cruelty, Points of view, December 22, appears to be unaware that the most significant animal welfare legislation for nearly a century has recently been published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Animal Welfare Bill will have its second reading in the House of Commons on January 10…. What Giles Bradshaw has to say on the Hunting Act is nonsense. The police cannot charge him under this legislation as the Act is designed to prevent cruelty arising from hunting with hounds for sport: an activity in which Giles Bradshaw does not participate. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (by email) (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.12.05 NO BAN ON DOG WALKING IN ACT - I write in response to When is it OK for dogs to attack?, Echo, December 16. 'Deliberately break the hunting act' - this just sums up the regressive and arrogant mentality that is holding up true progress in animal welfare and achieving civilised standards of conduct. If Mr Bradshaw had read the Act properly, he would realise that it simply bans using dogs for deliberate persecution of wild animals - not taking a dog for a walk… K Watson, Cheshire (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 22.12.05 THE LAW SHOULD PREVENT CRUELTY - The letter from the League Against Cruel Sports' Mr Hobday, When is it OK for dogs to attack? Points of view, December 16, perfectly illustrates why the Hunting Act is such a profoundly bad law. A sensible law would have placed a duty on people to prevent their dogs being cruel - nobody would have complained about this. Instead, we have a law that prevents things that nobody could say are cruel, such as dispersing animals without killing them… Giles Bradshaw, Rose Ash, near Tiverton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 16.12.05 WHEN IS IT OK FOR DOGS TO ATTACK? - The tragic case of Flopsy, the pet goat ripped apart by an out-of-control pack of foxhounds in Cornwall last week, illustrates the kind of hunt havoc that we hear about every day. Under what circumstances can dogs that are supposed to be under control rip a pet to shreds?... The hunts must keep their hounds under control and start listening. Mike Hobday, League Against Cruel Sports, London, (by email) (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.12.05 LIFE GOES ON AFTER THE BAN - The report Words of defiance at traditional hunt, Echo, December 27, should have read "Words of compliance at traditional hunt". Just 18 months ago, the hunting fraternity was saying that if the Hunting Bill became law, 40,000 people would defy the legislation, 36,000 jobs would be lost, 20,000 hounds would be killed, thousands of horses would end up as dog food, the countryside would become over-run with foxes, and the world, as we know it, would come to an end. The Echo report quotes Michael Moore, joint master of the East Devon Hunt, as saying numbers are going up since the ban and it is attracting more supporters…. My wife and I kept horses when we were living overseas and I am thinking about applying to join the East Devon Hunt, now that it is no longer hunting wild mammals with hounds for sport. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.12.05 HUNTS ARE NOT SO CAMERA SHY - Where were the objections from the hunting fraternity to being filmed for television on Boxing Day? Especially as, just recently, Alison Hawes, from the Countryside Alliance, suggested that anyone who filmed hunts was a possible deviant as there were children involved. Mrs Jennifer Cook, Tale Common Head Honiton (letter)

Cotswold Journal 29.12.05 One law for us? DESPITE the ban on hunting it seems that the kill for fun brigade still feels that the laws of the land do not apply to them. On Saturday, December 10, as I was driving from Evesham into Stow, I was met by a column of cars stretching back down the hill for some way. The cause, as I was soon to discover, were two horse boxes belonging to members of the Heythrop Hunt, one on each side of the road. The drivers, apparently, were having a conversation while blissfully unaware (or were they?) that they were holding up the traffic in both directions…. ANDREW CARPENTER, Peewit Road, Hampton. (letter in archive)

North Devon Journal 29.12.05 BADGERS BLAMED FOR BOVINE TB: WHY ARE THEY SO ADAMANT? - Farmers and the all-powerful NFU have made it clear that in their view there can be only one cause of bovine TB: badgers. Why are they so adamant? Could it be that they can't face the fact that their own practices are partly responsible?... HVF WINSTONE, Riverbank Cottages, Bideford. (story)

Western Daily Press 29.12.05 PUT PRESSURE ON CHINA TO CHANGE - I wrote to your paper in regard of bile bears. I am not easily shocked but watching news coverage on the wanton cruelty of animals in China for their pelts, it seems beyond cruelty to me. It is barbaric, so the well-off can parade around in fur coats, seeing these poor animals skinned alive…. J Hudson Monmouth (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 29.12.05 STOP ANIMAL TRANSPORTATION - I Wrote some weeks ago, when there was all the fuss about fox hunting, to my MP, Mark Todd. I felt the Government should do something to stop animals being transported alive to foreign countries, many in dreadful conditions. Because of my concerns, he has asked me to support a Bill to try and stop cruelty to animals in bad homes and ones that are used cruelly in cock and dog fights. While I cannot understand how anyone human can get pleasure watching animals being torn to pieces, I would like the law to include no long distance transportation of animals for slaughter…. Beryl Stevens, Grange Road, Alvaston. (letter)

Wandsworth Borough News 29.12.05 Puppy love? - Whilst Helen Upton's efforts to raise money for charity while taking part in an Arctic trek are truly admirable, it is ironic that animals elsewhere are being exploited to help others. There has been a lot of publicity given to the cruelty suffered by husky dogs in the Iditarod race, for which many are bred. Culling is a common practice among "mushers"…. S Edwards, Dubai (story)


Driffield Post/Times 28.12.05 Riders brave the showers - A TRADITION was upheld on Boxing Day when the horses and hounds of the Middleton Hunt gathered for their festive meet. Crowds at Kelleythorpe Showground waved off the 36 riders, including members of the Middleton Hunt East Pony Club…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 28.12.05 Hunt supporters ride out in force - LARGE crowds attended hunt meets in Ryedale on Boxing Day, but there were few reports of protesters…. But while there were apparently no foxes killed by hounds, there is growing evidence, says Bilsdale Hunt master Harry Stephenson, of foxes being gassed, snared and shot - "all legal practices"…. The master of the Farndale Hunt, George Atkinson, said there had been a good turnout at The Lion Inn, Blakey, for the annual festive meet, but there was no opposition…. Meanwhile, hundreds of people, horses and dogs were met by glorious winter sunshine as they packed Malton Market Place to watch the Middleton Hunt ride out… (story in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 28.12.05 MORE POLICE POWERS SOUGHT ON HUNT BAN - Police have called for greater powers to enforce the hunting ban as record numbers of people turned out on Boxing Day to support the tradition. Police chiefs are to put pressure on the Government to further tighten the law… The Ledbury Hunt, which organises meets in Gloucestershire, has used a bird of prey so it can track live foxes…. So far there is only one prosecution going through the courts in relation to the hunting ban. That is a private prosecution against Tony Wright, the huntsman from the Exmoor Foxhounds, which has been brought by the League Against Cruel Sports…. Thousands turned out to support Gloucestershire's hunts on Boxing Day. The prestigious Beaufort Hunt attracted 3,000 supporters and 200 riders. Meanwhile 500 people turned out to support The Cotswold Hunt at the Frogmill Hotel in Andoversford and 300 at the Cotswold Vale Farmers' Hunt at The Glass House, May Hill. Both The Ledbury Hunt and The Berkeley Vale Hunt also attracted large crowds…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 28.12.05 CROWDS GATHER TO SUPPORT BOXING DAY BANWEN HUNT - Huntsmen in Neath saddled up on Boxing Day to exercise their traditional right to roam the countryside with a pack of dogs. The Banwen Miners' Hunt started off as usual from the town centre, watched by crowds of supporters…. (story)

Carlisle News & Star 28.12.05 Seasonal hunts use scent to stay legal By Julie Armstrong - CUMBRIAN hunt followers met for their first Boxing Day event since the hunting ban – with no protest except their own. John Peel’s hunt, the Blencathra, visited Keswick’s hospital to protest against planned bed closures, before going drag hunting in the Skiddaw area…. Cumberland Foxhounds said they also had a good turnout on Boxing Day for their trail hunting, held in Uldale… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 28.12.05 HUNTSMEN ARE IN 'SURVIVAL MODE' - Holderness Hunt officials and their staff are committed to keeping the infrastructure of the hunt going until May 2007. It is providing subscribers with sport so they can exercise their horses… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 28.12.05 THE TERMS OF THE CONTROVERSIAL LAW - Under the Hunting Act 2004, it is illegal for a person to hunt a wild animal with dogs unless the activity is exempt, such as hunting rats…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 28.12.05 'IT IS NOT THE SAME, BUT WE'LL CARRY ON WITHIN THE LAW UNTIL WE CAN PROVE THIS ACT IS A FARCE' - The Boxing Day hunts have been a traditional event for generations…. AT FIRST glance, it was business as usual for East Yorkshire's showcase Boxing Day hunts. There was the unmistakable mix of smartly-dressed huntsmen and excited hounds as the region's two hunts took to the occasion with gusto in front of crowds of thousands…. Hunts such as the 250-year-old Holderness Hunt, based at kennels in Etton, near Beverley, and the Middleton Hunt, which dates from 1764, remain resolute, following an artificial trail or hunting rabbits….. (story)

Cornwall Packet 28.12.05 Ban? What Ban? - Hunt supporters turned out in force at Carn Brea on Boxing Day and there was hardly a protestor in sight. The support for the countryside and its pursuits at the end of the first full year since the ban on fox hunting came into force was as great as ever. The Four Burrow Hunt's traditional meet at the Carn was one of the biggest turnouts in the region. Followers walked up the pathways to the top in brilliant sunshine and watched as 70 riders made their way along the top…. (story in archive)

Helston Packet 28.12.05 It's still tally-ho at Cury! - Defiant enthusiasts from Cury Hunt turned out in their droves on Monday for the first Boxing Day hunt since the ban ten months ago. Huge crowds were there to support the riders, who met this year in Helston and rode up through the town. The stirrup cup was provided by the Blue Anchor pub in Coinagehall Street, giving a warming drink for the riders before they set off to ride across the moors… (story in archive)

Guardian 28.12.05 The hunt ban is working - The distortions of the Countryside Alliance (Thousands defy hunting ban 27 December) are as obvious as ever…. The police know what we in the animal welfare movement know - that the Hunting Act is a clear and enforceable law and that the hunters will not be allowed to snub their noses at the British people who made the law through their elected representatives…. Chris Gale, Labour Animal Welfare Society (letter)

Independent 28.12.05 Letters: Anarchy in the countryside - The preposterous double speak of the hunting fraternity - we're hunting but we're not hunting - is the language of domineering, powerful bullies who are demonstrating that they will not be curbed, and their message is that law enforcers, Parliament and the public had better sit up and take notice… PENNY LITTLE, GREAT HASELEY, OXFORDSHIRE (letter)

Lancashire Evening Post 28.12.05 Animal rights group in court bid to end shoot - A fresh row has erupted between animal welfare campaigners and shooters at Hoghton Tower. Protesters say they are seeking a private prosecution following a demonstration at a controversial duck shoot. The Northwest Animal Welfare group claims its campaigners faced intimidation, threats and violence while attempting to film the shoot at Hoghton Tower in October. But the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) says it was the protesters breaking the law by trespassing on the land… (story)
Preston Citizen 14.10.05 Duck shoot protest - Animal welfare campaigners have blasted a duck shoot at Hoghton Tower estate on Saturday, calling it `amateur butchery'. But the shooters have hit back, calling the protestors `interfering extremists' and blame their interference for any cruelty inflicted on the birds. The North West Animal Welfare group claims the shooters left injured birds to die where they landed… Video footage of the shoot has now been posted on the website of the North West Hunt Saboteurs Association, with a write up of the event, which claims a hunt saboteur was left to put dying birds out of their misery…. (story in archive)

Glasgow Evening Times 28.12.05 Greyhounds dumped after failing at the racetracks - RECORD numbers of racing dogs are looking for new homes after being kicked out into the cold. Scotland's biggest greyhound charity, the Greyhound Awareness League, said scores of the dogs were thrown out by owners when they no longer won at the racetrack…. Greyhounds and lur-chers handed into the GAL are housed in rented kennels or foster accommodation while they wait for permanent homes. But weight of numbers has forced the charity's convener David Melville to seek a better solution…. (story)
Scotsman 28.12.05 Greyhound charity in sanctuary campaign - RHIANNON EDWARD - A FUND-raising appeal for Scotland's first greyhound sanctuary has been launched. Volunteers who aim to find new homes for 300 dogs in the coming year are appealing for public help because, they say, the charity is near "breaking point". The sanctuary is being planned by the Greyhound Awareness League (GAL) as a haven for homeless dogs that have retired from the racing track…. (story)

Brentwood Gazette 28.12.05 GOLFERS IN SETT-TO WITH BADGER 'DEFENCE GROUP' BY KATHY CANHAM - A secret underground war is being fought involving badgers, their protectors and golfers. Members of the Essex Badger Protection Group (EBPG) have clashed with the bosses of Warley Park Golf Club over attempts to evict badgers from one part of their sett. The problem is one of encroachment as the unsuspecting badgers, who inhabit a registered sett in nearby council-owned woodland, have been tunnelling under a tee…. The club was granted a licence by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to isolate and close two entrances to the sett that lie on its land but the licence was revoked on December 23 after local badger watchers voiced concern for the welfare of the animals…. Brentwood resident Patricia Johnson, a member of the Brentwood and Havering section of EBPG, said: "A disturbing aspect is the late timing of the work in progress. Badger sows are pregnant by now and cubs can be born from late December onwards…” (story)

Western Daily Press 28.12.05 COULD TB MAYBE START IN CATTLE? - After reading Johnny Kingdom's article recently, I would like to raise the question - has anyone in authority at Defra bothered to test for tuberculosis actually starting in cattle? As an ex-pig farmer, it has been on my mind for some time that tuberculosis could start with the cattle and move to the badgers as they all use the same land… Lynda Laird Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 28.12.05 CULL IS ABHORRENT - I am shocked and horrified to keep on hearing about a planned badger cull to deal with TB in cattle. I find it absolutely abhorrent that the poor badger seems to be blamed for this so-called outbreak. I cannot believe that the badger is to blame for this infection totally. Could it not be the cattle infecting the badger?... PETER BARTON Stoke (letter)

Argus 28.12.05 Fashion shop forced to think again on fur by Rachel Pegg - An anti-fur campaigner is celebrating a U-turn by a prestigious fashion shop. For weeks Mike Nunn, a former butcher who is now a dedicated vegan, has been lobbying for shoe store Kurt Geiger to stop selling animal pelts. With fellow protesters, the 76-year-old has set up a stall outside the Brighton outlet, on the corner of East Street and North Street, and has collected signatures against the trade. Now the head office of the high street chain has decided to stop stocking fur and fur products… (story in archive)

Bath Chronicle 28.12.05 WE HELP FARMERS OUT OF POVERTY - I Write to respond to the letters from Steve Jones and Animal Aid (Letters, December 20). It is quite incorrect to suggest that the animals we give impoverish their owners. I have met so many farmers who have worked their way out of poverty for good, thanks to the livestock we have given…. The African farmers we work with are intelligent, capable people - they do the "sums" and decide what is right for them, including whether fetching water for their cows is a worthwhile investment of time and energy…. Kelly's letter is almost dishonest in its out-of-context quote from our website. The paragraph she quotes is part of an explanation of why we give smaller, more manageable, animals to people with fewer resources. We take great care to give only appropriate livestock to individual families. For some farmers this will be a cross bred cow, with both the hardiness of a local cow and much of the productivity of a pure-bred cow. For others it will be a pair of goats or other small stock…. MARTIN GEAKE, Chief Executive, Send a Cow, The Rickyard, Newton St Loe, Bath (story)
Bath Chronicle 20.12.05 FARMED ANIMALS ARE A LUXURY THAT ADDS TO FAMILY'S BURDEN - Your editorial ('Send a Cow wins the argument', December 7) tried to dispose of the valid points Animal Aid raised by trying to imply that we only care about animals. In fact, Animal Aid encourages the link between the exploitation of people and animals to be discussed… Farmed animals, quite frankly, are an expensive luxury that add to, rather than relieve, the burden of impoverished people. They are expensive to feed, shelter, keep healthy and provide with water…. Animal Aid's concerns are for all living beings - animals and humans. Dismissing us as not caring and putting the welfare of animals above humans will not make our arguments go away. KELLY SLADE, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)
Bath Chronicle 20.12.05 IT'S ABOUT HUMANS NOT ABOUT ANIMALS - In last Wednesday's Chronicle, the front page featured a debate between famine relief charity Send A Cow and the campaign group Animal Aid, and its objections to the charity's work. Within that feature, Send A Cow certainly made the stronger argument, but it would have been nice to hear Animal Aid's response. Indeed, while the charity thanked AA for bringing up "valid points", the hysterical headline and the somewhat smug editorial both, in my opinion, displayed an extreme bias… STEVE JONES, West Avenue, Oldfield Park, Bath (story)
Bath Chronicle 17.12.05 HELPING IS IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT - Mr Clive Stangroom (Letters, December 13) raised some valid points about the nature of global food production. Although he says he has "no argument with the work done by Send A Cow", his comments are an implied criticism. Therefore, it is appropriate he explain and justify them…. Although there may be some sound arguments for vegetarianism, is it realistic to expect all those in Africa not vegetarian already, to become so, at a stroke?... RICHARD OLVER, Fairfield Park Road, Bath (letter)
Bath Chronicle 13.12.05 COWS MAY NOT BE THE BEST HELP - I Was disappointed by the hostile tone taken in your recent editorial about the issues raised by Animal Aid and others concerning the work done by Send a Cow. While I have no argument with the work done by Send a Cow or its commitment to help disadvantaged people in Africa, some of the points raised by Animal Aid remain pertinent…. CLIVE STANGROOM, Back Lane, Westbury-sub-Mendip (story)
Bath Chronicle 12.12.05 COMPASSION FOR PEOPLE AND ANIMALS GO HAND IN HAND - I Was puzzled as to why Animal Aid should (December 7) attack the work of Send a Cow, a charity which empowers the most disadvantaged by providing food security in an environmentally friendly manner. Animal Aid is openly and avowedly a campaigning vegetarian/vegan organisation, but in its attack it seems oblivious to the survival challenges facing deprived families in Africa… ARTHUR STREATFIELD, Penn Lea Road, Bath (story)
Bath Chronicle 7.12.05 CHARITY THAT HELPS AFRICA'S POOR COMES UNDER ATTACK - The work of a charity that provides livestock for communities in some of the poorest areas of Africa has been criticised by an animal rights group. Newton St Loe-based Send A Cow, which was established by Christian farmers in 1988 to send farm animals to Uganda, is now involved in breeding livestock in seven African countries… But its work has been attacked by animal rights and vegetarian group Animal Aid, which campaigns against animal abuse… The organisation adds that coes and livestock also use up vital water supplies, and calls for people to switch support to a vegan famine relief charity instead…. (story)
Bath Chronicle 7.12.05 SEND A COW WINS THE ARGUMENT - The measured response from the Newton St Loe-based aid charity Send A Cow to allegations that its work is counter-productive and harmful to animals is truly magnificent. Its step by step rebuttal of criticism from animal rights group Animal Aid, which prefers people to support vegan aid agencies, is a lesson in the calm and clinical dissection and destruction of an opponents argument…. The bottom line, of course, is that those on the outer fringes of the animal rights fraternity will never accept livestock farming in whatever form it takes. Many people, of course, choose to be vegetarian or vegan.That is their choice and we respect it. However, telling subsistence farmers in some of the poorest parts of the world to give up the animals that provide them with food and a sustainable improved standard of living, does leave a very bad taste in the mouth. (story)

The Sentinel 28.12.05 DUCK SLAUGHTER PLAN IS VICIOUS - As a vegan (and human rights) campaigner, I am astounded to hear Government proposals to slaughter badgers. Indeed, this is not the only species on Government Death Row. Astonishingly, the RSPB and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust support the Government's £3.3 million public money plan to mass-slaughter Britain's ruddy ducks… MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (story)


Matlock Mercury 27.12.05 'Thousands' gather to cheer Bakewell hunt - HUNT supporters turned out in force in Bakewell on Monday for the first Boxing Day meet since the Government banned hunting with hounds. The High Peak Harriers claimed around 3,000 people gathered to cheer their members on as they set off on a day of exercising their hounds across surrounding farmland and the Haddon Hall estate…. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 27.12.05 It's carry on hunting - Ban? What ban? All over Britain the traditional Boxing Day hunts seemed to go ahead as normal. The hounds bayed, the riders took their stirrup cup and the locals turned out for the colourful spectacle…. By trying to be all things to all people, the Government ended up with a ban so hedged about with exemptions that hunts can continue hunting by claiming they are exercising the hounds, driving foxes to guns or even practising falconry. MPs demand action but police complain they have insufficient powers. It is an unholy mess which exposes the authorities to ridicule and makes the law an ass…. This is a daft way to proceed. In the law, as in real life, you either leave the nettle alone or grasp it firmly. Anything else is just a muddle in the middle (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 27.12.05 Hunt support out in force - A CROWD of more than 300 attended the traditional Rockwood Harriers Boxing Day hunt in Upper Denby. The traditional St Stephen's day outing boasted 80 people on horses with a throng more than 200-strong on foot…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 27.12.05 Huge turnout for 'new' hunt - DEFIANT fox hunters and supporters gathered to show that 1,000 years of tradition would not be broken on the most important day of the hunting calendar. Hundreds of people descended on the village of Eltisley on Boxing Day to watch the Cambridgeshire Enfield Chace Hunt enjoy their new version of fox hunting 10 months after the blood sport was controversially banned…. (story)

Bolton Evening News 27.12.05 Historic hunt at Rivington - THE Boxing Day hunt of the historic Holcombe gathering took place for the first time under new laws. More than 100 riders gathered at the picturesque Rivington Pike on a cold but dry winter's day for the annual outing…. (story in archive)

Edinburgh Evening News 27.12.05 Thousands back defiant hunters - HUNT supporters claim hundreds of thousands of people turned out to show their defiance of the ban on hunting with hounds…. (story)

South Wales Echo 27.12.05 We'll be here next year, say hunt supporters - “WE are here to stay” was the defiant message from crowds of supporters who gathered for the Boxing Day hunt – the first since the fox hunting ban took effect. Hundreds of people turned out in Cowbridge to lend their support to the 125-year-old Glamorgan Hunt on the most public and traditional day in the hunting calendar… But to reach the main road hunters had to pass a solitary protestor holding a placard which read: “We’ll be watching you”. Rachel Huws, 34, from Bridgend, said: “I’m not really here to protest against the meet, I’m just here to remind them that they need to stay within the law.” The hunt took place along with half-a-dozen others across South Wales, including the Tredegar and the Pentyrch Hunts. (story)

South Wales Argus 27.12.05 Hundreds turn out to cheer hunts off by Andy Doyle and Andy Rutherford - GWENT hunts and their supporters turned out in force yesterday for their first Boxing Day gatherings since the introduction of the ban on hunting with hounds. More than 1,000 people were at Abergavenny to see off the Monmouthshire Hunt, while several hundred converged on Bassaleg for the beginning of the Tredegar Farmers' Hunt…. One Tredegar Farmers' Hunt stalwart greeted the police officer at the entrance to the Tredegar Arms, where the hunt gathered, with the comment: "This is waste of your time, and a waste of money!"… (story in archive)

Independent 27.12.05 'It's business as usual' - hunts keep up their Boxing Day tradition despite supposed ban By Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter - In a field near the village of Brent Pelham, Hertfordshire, they are enacting a Boxing Day tradition: the huntsmen are mounted, the riders assembled and the hounds excited. Everyone is ready for the off and the thrill of the chase across glorious, if overcast, winter countryside… For the 50 or so riders out with the Brent Pelham, one of more than 250 meets yesterday, the biggest day in the hunting year, about the only thing they cannot do is let a pack of hounds chase a fox to its death…. >(story)

Oxford Mail 27.12.05 We ain't nothin' but a hound club - About 100 people rode out with the Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hound Club for their traditional Boxing Day meet. The club, which said it is operating within the law by simply exercising the hounds, was monitored by police when it set off from Winslow, Buckinghamshire, at about 11am. There were also two protesters. Patrick Martin, hound manager for the club, said: "We are exercising the hounds within the law. We're going about our business legally and still people are prodding us and following us….” (story in archive)

York Evening Press 27.12.05 Hundreds turn out to support North Yorkshire hunt - HUNT supporters across North Yorkshire gathered for the first Boxing Day meeting since hunting with hounds was outlawed. Hundreds of people, horses and dogs were met by glorious winter sunshine as they packed Malton Market Place yesterday to watch the Middleton Hunt ride out…. (story in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 27.12.05 REPEAL PREDICTED - The ban on hunting foxes with hounds will be overturned, according to the master of the South Wold Hunt. Nick Ashcroft welcomed hundreds of supporters to the Boxing Day Meet at Louth Cattle Market - the first since the ban on fox-hunting with hounds. He said: "We are still here and always will be here. We shall carry on as we are until the ban is overturned."… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 27.12.05 LORD DEFENDS HISTORIC SPORT OF HUNTING - MIKE LARKIN - Hundreds of people lined up to see the first Boxing Day meets since last year's fox hunting ban. Riders, hounds and supporters congregated on Lord Yarborough's Brocklesby Estate for the point to point, the last hunt of the year. While those taking part thought the changes to the law made the event less enjoyable, they all said the tradition had to be maintained… (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 27.12.05 HUNT KEEPS UP ANCIENT TRADITION - Hundreds of people lined up to see the first Boxing Day meets since last year's fox hunting ban. Riders, hounds and supporters congregated on Earl Yarborough's Brocklesby Estate for the point to point hunt, the last of the year. While those taking part thought the changes to the law made the event less enjoyable, they all said the tradition had to be maintained…. (story)

Swindon Advertiser 27.12.05 Law does not halt the hunts - HUNTS in Wiltshire were defiant on the first Boxing Day since the Hunting Act came into force. The Countryside Alliance said hundreds of thousands of people came out to support local hunts as a new poll showed only a third of people think the new legislation is working…. Jo Aldridge, a spokeswoman for the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, which covers south Gloucestershire and north Wiltshire, said: "For the last 15 years I've been asked if this will be the last Boxing Day meet. It never has been and it is certainly not going to be this year…” The Vale Of The White Horse hunt was also due to meet yesterday at Cirencester Park, and tomorrow at Charlton Park near Malmesbury. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 27.12.05 HUNTING ROW IS NOT OVER YET - We hesitate to mention the word 'hunt' on this page. For almost every newspaper, discussion of the subject is a hiding to nothing… But the fact that thousands all over the county turned out to support the hunting fraternity yesterday says a lot about the way things are going since hunting foxes with dogs was banned by law this year. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 27.12.05 HUNDREDS TURN OUT FOR HUNTS - Thousands of people turned out in Gloucestershire yesterday to prove that hunting is by no means dead…. Three thousand turned out to watch the Beaufort Hunt set off, according to the Countryside Alliance, and 500 gathered at the Frogmill Hotel in Andoversford to see the 60-member Cotswold Hunt…. Gloucestershire hunts that met yesterday were North Cotswold, Heythrop, Duke of Beaufort, Mendip Farmers', Ledbury, Cotswold Vale Farmers, Berkeley and The Vale of the White Horse…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.12.05 WORDS OF DEFIANCE AT TRADITIONAL HUNT - The mood was defiant on Woodbury Common at the East Devon Hunt's Boxing Day meet. "This time last year, we wondered if we would still be here this Boxing Day," joint master Michael Moore told scores of supporters before the hunt got under way…. (story)

BBC News Online 27.12.05 Hunting ban 'needs tightening up' - Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe is calling on the government to tighten up the laws governing hunting with dogs… (story)

Telegraph 27.12.05 Traditional meets see big turnout despite ban on hunting By Duncan Gardham - Large numbers turned out to watch Boxing Day hunts yesterday for the first time since the sport was banned…. Gill Grieve, for the alliance, said: "People were angry last year but this year they just want to do what they can to support hunting and get the ban lifted….” Mike Hobday, a spokesman for the league, said: "Our impression is that a lot of people have turned out but we are not sure if they are supporting the hunts or whether they did not want to be associated with it before but now they feel it is legitimate to get involved….” Among those watching the Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire was Jim Barrington, of the Parliamentary Middle Way Group, a former director of the League Against Cruel Sports who now supports licensed hunting…. The Atherstone hunt rides out from the square in Market Bosworth, Leics, for their Boxing Day meet (story)
Telegraph 27.12.05 Boxing Day hunts show ban must be repealed - It was a foregone conclusion that the hunting ban introduced by this Government would be spiteful and unjust; what did not become clear until the weekend was its sheer absurdity. Fretful that current legislation denies Pc Plod the right to invade private land in order to ensure that certain vermin meet only a lawful end, the Association of Chief Police Officers is now pressing for powers that would be justified only for the prevention of acts of terrorism…. When one law is absurd (as this one is), it undermines the credibility of all others; however good-humoured the hunts' observance of the new legislation, they must not waver in their determination to see it repealed. (story)

Times 27.12.05 Boxing Day test for hunting ban - Thousands of people turned out to watch the country’s 250 foxhunts on their first traditional Boxing Day meet since the sport was banned ten months ago. Police were out in force also to prevent confrontations with hunt saboteurs, and it was a chance for hunts to show that they had adapted to the Hunting Act…. (story)

Guardian 27.12.05 Thousands turn out to defy hunting ban - Owen Bowcott - Some landowners may be denying police access to fields and woods in order to shield illegal hunts from prosecution, animal welfare groups suggested yesterday… At least 4,000 supporters assembled near Didmarton, Gloucestershire, to watch the Beaufort Hunt, one of the country's largest…. In the village of Tarporley hundreds of supporters lined the streets to cheer on the Cheshire Hunt… The assistant chief constable of Sussex, Nigel Yeo, who is the public order spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), yesterday called on the Home Office to provide extra powers so that police can monitor what is happening on private land…. The Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare also backed demands for additional powers…. (story)

Sun 27.12.05 Hunts thrive despite ban - MORE than 250,000 people attended “traditional” Boxing Day hunts across Britain yesterday — the biggest turnout since killing foxes was outlawed… Prince Charles’ favourite hunt, the Beaufort, attracted 4,000 supporters, though none of the Royals joined them (story)

Mirror 27.12.05 TALLY-NO! - FURY AS HUNTS GALLOP OUT 10 MONTHS AFTER BAN - Tory MPs join in as 250 hunts stick two fingers up to a ban 72%of people back By Martin Fricker - TWO Tory MPs were among thousands of toffs who turned up yesterday at the first Boxing Day hunts since the ban on killing foxes came in. Stephen O'Brien and Ed Vaizey were there to pursue the sport despite the fact 72 per cent of Britons back the law that ended it…. Tory MP Ed Vaizey, MP for Wantage and Didcot, addressed hunters and supporters at the Old Berkshire Hunt in Farringdon…. Around 5,000 people turned up to support the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt at Didmarton, Glos. Police said the meeting went peacefully and no arrests were made…. An estimated 1,000 spectators braved the cold to watch the East Devon Hunt…. Police joined the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt that set off from Winslow, Bucks, to check for illegal activity…. (story)
Mirror 27.12.05 HOUND OUT THE HUNTERS - FOX-hunters believe they can ride roughshod over the will of the people…. Police chiefs correctly seek the power of entry to go on to private land and check animals are not being ripped apart by hounds…. (story)

Western Mail 27.12.05 Hunts admit they've killed foxes - Sam Burson, Western Mail - THE Government's "unworkable" anti-hunt laws were exposed yesterday when Boxing Day hunt supporters confirmed, "Foxes have definitely been killed by dogs today."… Darren Hughes, who is a member of the Llangeinor Hunt, would not confirm exactly how many foxes had been killed, or by which hunts, but said it was proof of the confusion the law was creating, and how little it did to protect animals…. (story)

Scotsman 27.12.05 Foxhunts claim record turnouts while protesters stay at home - RAYMOND HAINEY - HUNTERS were out in force for the traditional Boxing Day meets yesterday, with supporters claiming attendance numbers were on the rise despite the ban on hunting with hounds imposed by the Scottish Executive three years ago. Chairman of the Melrose-based Duke of Buccleuch Hunt Allan Murray said seven mounted hunts were out, mostly in the Borders… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.12.05 HUNTING DOWN A RECORD TURNOUT - Ten months after the pursuit was officially banned, the West's hunting fraternity turned out in record numbers for the traditional Boxing Day meets across the region. Tens of thousands of people gathered in town centres and villages from Devon to Herefordshire - as evidence mounted that this year's ban on hunting with dogs has failed with dissatisfaction on both sides of the bitter debate… One of the biggest meets was in the picturesque village of Lacock, Wiltshire, where the Avon Vale hunt gathered, cheered on by a 3,000-strong crowd who filled the High Street… (story)
Western Daily Press 27.12.05 SORT OUT THIS HUNT FARCE - Record numbers of people joined the traditional Boxing Day hunts as all sides in the bitter row called for the new law to be changed. Hunters riding out with hounds in the West were cheered on by thousands of spectators and called for the Hunting Act to be repealed. Beaufort Hunt secretary Nigel Maidment said there was a spirit of defiance in the rural community, adding: "People want to see an end to this stupid Act."… (story)
Western Daily Press 27.12.05 TIME FOR A FINAL DECISION OVER HUNTING - There appears to be some kind of consensus in the bitter hunting debate today - as both sides claim the hunt ban is not working. Tens of thousands of people saddled up with their local hunts yesterday to carry on a Boxing Day tradition and spectacle that is centuries old. The difference in 2005 is that the Hunting Act, to stop wild animals being chased and killed for sport, is now law. The problem is that the law appears to have been worded so loosely that the chances of proving a hunt has committed a crime are remote to say the least…. It will be interesting to see just how serious Tony Blair feels the matter is as the debacle drags into another year. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 27.12.05 THOUSANDS TURN OUT FOR HUNTS - Hunts across Gloucestershire rode out yesterday for the first Boxing Day meeting since the controversial ban on hunting with dogs came into force. The prestigious Duke of Beaufort's Hunt took place as normal in the south of the county with around 4,000 people turning out to show their support. Similar scenes emerged outside The Glass House, at May Hill, with more than 300 people descending on the rural village to watch the hunt depart. Around 40 mounted riders from the Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt took part… The Berkeley Vale Hunt also met yesterday in Thornbury High Street. (story)

The Sentinel 27.12.05 HUNDREDS SHOW SUPPORT AS HUNTSMEN RIDE AGAIN - ROB PARSONS AND ROGER HOULDCROFT - The call of the bugle sounded a note of defiance as members of the North Staffordshire Hunt turned out for the first Boxing Day meet since hunting foxes with hounds was banned…. Huntsmen also rode out yesterday in the Staffordshire Moorlands…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 27.12.05 HUNTS RIDE OUT IN FORCE BY TOM MACK - Hunt supporters turned out in force for the traditional Boxing Day meets - the first since the ban on hunting with hounds was introduced… The Atherstone, Belvoir, Fernie, Quorn and Cottesmore hunts were all out yesterday…. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 27.12.05 Support for hunts 'greater than ever' - HUNT supporters insisted backing for their country sport was stronger than ever as they gathered for the first Boxing Day meetings since fox-hunting was outlawed… Liz Mort, eastern region director of the Countryside Alliance, said: “The turn-outs have been very good indeed….” The Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds' hunt at Hadleigh attracted more than 1,000 supporters, proving as popular as ever…. Hundreds of riders and followers showed their support for the ancient tradition at the Thurlow Hunt, near Haverhill… Thousands of people lined the streets of Bungay to cheer the Waveney Harriers as they left for their Boxing Day hunt…. (story)

Northern Echo 27.12.05 Thousands watch hunts ride out - THOUSANDS of hunt supporters turned out as 250 meets gathered for the biggest day of the hunting calendar…. Hundreds of people gathered to watch the Hurworth Hunt, in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, while a good turn-out of riders boosted the South Durham Hunt, at Bishopton, near Darlington. About 1,000 people are believed to have been at Corbridge, Northumberland. Elsewhere in the country, an estimated 2,000 supporters watched members of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt set out from Winslow, Buckinghamshire… (story in archive)

Yorkshire Post 27.12.05 HUNTS TURN OUT – WITH HUGE SHOW OF SUPPORT - Brian Dooks - TEN months on from the contentious ban 25 Yorkshire hunts turned out for their annual Boxing Day meets yesterday and, if there was any law-breaking, thousands of people were happily aiding and abetting. Typical was the West of Yore, which met in Masham's Market Place, where 450 people cheered when joint master and huntsman Tim Easby vowed: "Our hounds will be here next year, the year after and for ever."… (story)

Newcastle Chronicle 27.12.05 Thousands defy the ban By Vince Gledhill, The Evening Chronicle - Thousands of defiant supporters and riders turned out in force at Boxing Day hunts across the region…. In Corbridge, almost 200 horsemen and women from Tynedale Hunt were cheered by around 1,000 supporters as they left the village's Market Square…. Hunts meeting elsewhere in the region included the Morpeth, Percy, North Tyne, North Northumberland and Braes of Derwent in the biggest day in the hunting calendar…. (story)

Western Morning News 27.12.05 HUNTS IN SHOW OF DEFIANCE - Defiant hunt supporters turned out in force yesterday for the biggest date in the hunting calendar since the hunting ban came into force ten months ago… A crowd estimated at close to 1,000 turned out for the East Devon Hunt, which set off from the Iron Age hill fort of Woodbury Castle. Michael Moore, one of the hunt's joint masters, did not think the Hunting Act had diminished support…. One the biggest turnouts in Cornwall was for the Four Burrow Hunt's traditional Boxing Day meet at Carn Brea Castle, near Redruth…. Supporters of the Dulverton West Foxhounds gathered at the Poltimore Arms, at Yarde Down in the heart of Exmoor, for the traditional Boxing Day meet…. A mounted field of around 90 riders set off from the middle of Chard in Somerset for the Boxing Day meet of the Cotley Harriers…. (story)
Western Morning News 27.12.05 THOUSANDS PARTICIPATE IN HUNTS ACROSS UK - Hunt supporters claimed last night that hundreds of thousands of people turned out to show their defiance of the ban on hunting with hounds on the first Boxing Day since it came into force…. (story)
Western Morning News 27.12.05 CHEERS AND APPLAUSE FOR HOUNDS - A huge turnout of supporters gathered for the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt's Boxing Day meet in Bedford Square, Tavistock, despite what organisers described as "administrative confusion" over the police being unaware of the event…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 27.12.05 HUNTING BAN FAILS TO STOP TRADITIONAL MEET By Vicki Mathias - HUNT supporters were out in force for the traditional Boxing Day Hunt, in defiance of changes in the law. Riders from both the Berkeley and Beaufort hunts met yesterday watched by hundreds of supporters on the first Boxing Day since the Hunting Act came into force…. (story)

Birmingham Post 27.12.05 Hundreds show fox hunting is booming - By Sarah Probert - A ban on hunting with hounds has led to a boom in the sport, supporters claimed yesterday as they staged the first Boxing Day meets since the law came into force…. In Warwickshire, hundreds of supporters turned out to cheer on the Warwickshire Hunt, which met at Upton House near Banbury…. (story)


Times 26.12.06 Outfoxed - A Boxing Day that will illustrate the absurdity of the Hunting Act - Every Boxing Day for the past eight years has been described as possibly the last such occasion on which foxhunting can be pursued legally…. Yet exactly the same number of hunts will take to the field this year as were seen 12 months ago. They will have to conduct themselves in a different manner to their traditional techniques to remain within the law, but to the casual observer it will all seem to be similar and the Act to be pointless. This is largely because the legislation is not only absurd but virtually designed to be so. Its anomalies make the old Sunday trading regime — which allowed Playboy to be bought on the day of rest but not the Bible — appear reasonable…. An enormous amount of parliamentary time (and money raised by various pressure groups) was wasted on a “ban” fundamentally illiberal in character. This Boxing Day will show what a farce it has all been. (story)

ViewLondon 26.12.05 Thousands join fox hunts - Thousands of supporters joined fox hunters for the first traditional Boxing Day events since the hunting ban. The famous Beaufort Hunt attracted up to 4,000 hunt supporters. They gathered at Worcester Lodge, Gloucestershire to see the hounds and riders head out on their faux fox hunt…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 26.12.05 OUTLAWED – BUT HUNTING IS MORE POPULAR THAN EVER - Massive crowds expected to show support at Boxing Day meets - Simon McGee - HUNTING with hounds is more popular now than before it was outlawed – and today's Boxing Day meets are expected to be the busiest in the history of Yorkshire's hunts…. In North Yorkshire Glaisdale Hunt says subscriptions are up 20 per cent , while the Bedale has not only reported a 10 per cent rise but also a limit on meet days because of concern about the potential damage to farmland by too many horses. Hurworth Hunt has also seen a 10 per cent boost in members. Subscriptions to the Bads-worth and Bramham Moor Foxhounds, which meets across the middle of Yorkshire, are up by eight per cent. Barlow Hounds, which hunts in South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire, has seen the number who turn up to ride regularly rise from about 50 to 60 and a clear increase in subscriptions… The Holderness and York/Ainsty South hunts said membership was as strong as it was a year ago… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.12.05 Traditional atmosphere at hunt meets CELIA WIGG, NICKI WALKER, EDWARD FOSS - Thousands of hunt supporters turned out across East Anglia on the biggest day in the hunting calendar and demonstrated their defiance of the controversial ban…. One of the best supported hunts in the country was the prestigious Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, which rode out from Worcester Lodge in Gloucestershire… In Norfolk and Waveney, there were four major meets, including the North Norfolk Harriers at Sennowe Park, Guist, near Fakenham… In Wymondham, anti-hunt activists were condemned for daubing obscene graffiti at the site of the Dunston Harriers' meet…. Fakenham racecourse hosted the West Norfolk Foxhounds, where joint master Bill Borrett said the hunt was carried out legally, either by drag hunting or with a bird of prey…. Spectators gathered in Bungay to cheer the Waveney Harriers as they left from the traditional meeting point outside the King's Head Hotel…. A lone protestor, who said he was not representing any organisation, stood silently on the pavement as the horses and riders went past. Graham Manning had come over to Bungay from Bury St Edmunds… (story)

Shropshire Star 26.12.05 Hunter’s pledge to stay within law - Thousands of people across Shropshire were meeting today for the first Boxing Day hunts since the controversial sport was banned… Organisers of the Wheatland Hunt, which met at the Acton Arms in Morville, near Bridgnorth, said around 1,000 people were out showing their support…. Edward Foster, one of the four joint masters of the South Shropshire Hunt, said there were between 500 and 1,000 people at the meet in Hookagate, near Shrewsbury…. (story)

Hawkinge Gazette 26.12.05 ELHAM HUNT MEETS DESPITE BAN - The 200-year-old tradition of the East Kent Foxhounds meeting at Elham o¬n Boxing Day is continuing when they meet in the village square today (26 December)…. (story)

Western Daily Press 26.12.05 RECORD NUMBERS EXPECTED ON HUNTING'S BIGGEST DAY - Defiant hunt leaders yesterday announced they would be around for years to come as a record number of enthusiasts prepare for today's traditional Boxing Day meets… (story)

Times 26.12.05 Thousands cheer out Boxing Day hunts, despite ban BY PHILIPPE NAUGHTON - Tens of thousands of hunt supporters turned out to cheer out the men and women in pink today as the first Boxing Day hunts since the national ban on foxhunting with hounds produced what appeared set to be record crowds. An estimated 4,000 supporters gathered at Worcester Lodge at Didmarton in Gloucestershire to see off the famous Beaufort Hunt, which has been joined in the past by the Prince of Wales and his two sons. Two thousand more watched the pink-jacketed members of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt set out from Winslow in Buckinghamshire…. Meanwhile, the world's oldest surviving hunt club, the Cheshire Hunt, was out in force for the first traditional Boxing Day meet since the ban… Around 60 people on horseback and 1,000 people on foot turned up to support the East Devon Hunt ride out from ancient Woodbury Castle… A rider jumps a hedge while out on a the Surrey Union Boxing Day drag hunt near the village of Oakwoodhill, Surrey (story)

Reuters 26.12.05 Defiant foxhunters take to the field By Peter Graff - Hunters galloped through fields and forests on the year's biggest hunting day on Monday in a show of defiance at a newly introduced ban on the age-old custom of killing foxes with packs of dogs…. At The Quorn Hunt at a stately mansion in Leicestershire, riders -- half in shiny black, half in the rich red coats known as "pink" -- rode across fields and down country lanes surrounded by enthusiastic hounds. Warm weather and a desire to show support for a repeal of the ban swelled crowds at the Cheshire Hunt… (story)

Telegraph 26.12.05 Poll says 33pc don't believe hunt ban is working - Thousands of hunt supporters have turned out as 250 hunts met for the biggest day of the hunting calendar. An estimated 2,000 supporters watched the pink-jacketed members of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt set out from Winslow in Buckinghamshire…. (story)

ITV 26.12.05 Boxing Day hunt takes place - Hunts have met on the first Boxing Day since a ban on using hounds came into force. One of the biggest was at Didmarton in Gloucestershire, which attracted more than 200 riders. … Jo Aldridge, spokeswoman for the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, which covers south Gloucestershire and north Wiltshire, said: "For the last 15 years I've been asked if this will be the last Boxing Day meet. "It never has been and it is certainly not going to be this year…. >(story)

Ocean FM 26.12.05 Ransboro hunt condemned by Animal Rights organisation - As the annual Sligo Harriers St Stephen's Day Hunt gets underway at Ransboro, animal rights organisations has called on the Government to bring forward legislation to ban all forms of hunting with dogs. The Associaiton of Hunt Saboteurs and Badger Watch Ireland have renewed their call for a ban on all bloodsports…. (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.05 Boxing Day hunts meet after ban - "Thousands" of riders and spectators have gathered at Boxing Day hunts across the South East…. East Kent Foxhounds say they are "buoyant but defiant" about continuing their 200-year-old tradition although they follow a fox scent. The Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt was expecting 2,000 spectators and 150 riders. A spokeswoman said it was not political, just enjoyable…. (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.05 Show of support for holiday hunts - Thousands of supporters across England and Wales watched the first 250 Boxing Day hunt meetings since the Hunting Act banned hunting wild animals with dogs…. former League Against Cruel Sports director Jim Barrington, who was among 4,000 supporters at the Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire, said: "I, and a number of others, have come to the conclusion that a ban is not the right way forward. The Hunting Act is a ridiculous piece of legislation. It is unenforceable and will cause greater animal suffering."… Caroline Black said the 2,000 supporters at the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt had doubled last year's turnout…. (story)

Scotsman 26.12.05 Hunts ride out in show of defiance - Thousands of hunt supporters turned out as 250 hunts met for the biggest day of the hunting calendar. An estimated 2,000 supporters watched the members of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt set out from Winslow in Buckinghamshire…. Meanwhile, the world's oldest surviving hunt club, the Cheshire Hunt, was out in force for the first traditional Boxing Day meet since the ban… Some 4,000 supporters turned up to see the Duke of Beaufort's hunt ride out…. (story)

Viploan 26.12.05 Fox hunters set to defy ban By : Pippa Fielding - In spite of a prevailing ban, thousands of foxhunters in Britain came out on horsebacks for the annual Boxing Day hunt. The tradition, said to be more than thousand years old and performed after Christmas and New Year's Day, was banned 10 months ago… (story)

Guardian 26.12.05 Hunters head for the countryside - and the shops - James Sturcke and agencies - The first Boxing Day hunts since the Hunting Act came into effect were taking place today while hunters of a different kind were heading to the first post-Christmas sales… Up to 5,000 people were predicted at the Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire, one of the most famous in the country… (story)

Northern Echo 26.12.05 Hunts expect record turn-out - despite ban - MORE people than ever are expected to join this year's Boxing Day fox hunts - despite February's ban… Richard Dodd, North-East regional director of the CA, said most of the North-East hunts would be riding today…. (story in archive)

Times 26.12.05 Hunts in full cry as ban fails biggest test BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - RECORD numbers of hunters and hunt followers are expected at Boxing Day meets today as police chiefs demand new powers to help forces to crack down on illegal hunting with dogs. Ten months after the ban on the sport Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, is being urged to give officers a right of access on private land to check hunting activity and to make arrests, The Times has learnt. Police also want hunting crimes to be “recordable” offences, leaving those caught with a criminal record, thus allowing forces to keep track of persistent offenders…. The call for more controls is revealed in The Times in an interview with Nigel Yeo, Assistant Chief Constable of Sussex and the public order spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), who advises forces on how to police the hunting ban…. (story)

Times 26.12.05 Hunting with eagles pulls in crowds, but misses the fox BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - BOSS, the golden eagle owned by the Croome West Warwickshire hunt, is one of 40 birds of prey now being used by hunts to test a new form of the sport. A record crowd of 3,000 is expected to turn out to see him today when the hunt gathers for its Boxing Day meet at Pershore, Worcestershire…. (story)

Western Mail 26.12.05 'A year on and little seems to have changed' - Sally Williams, Western Mail - UP to 30 hunts will meet across Wales today in protest against the hunting ban - on the first Boxing Day since the Hunting Act came into force…. The Countryside Alliance says that the hunts' continued presence demonstrates their determination to overturn the Hunting Act and to secure the future of their hunts, hounds and associated jobs…. (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.05 First Boxing Day hunts since ban - Hunts across the UK are due to hold their first Boxing Day meetings since the Hunting Act banned the use of dogs to hunt wild animals…. Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: "This law is not a year old but already people have come to understand what hunts across the country have known from the start. Quite simply the Hunting Act isn't working…” But the League Against Cruel Sports said the hunting ban was "only not working where Countryside Alliance members are breaking the law"…. (story)

BBC News Online 26.12.05 Public doubts over hunting ban - Almost a year after the ban on hunting with dogs was introduced, most people in Wales believe hunts are still finding ways to continue as before. That is the finding of an opinion poll for the BBC, with 82% of those questioned saying they thought activity was carrying on unchanged. … But hunt supporters insisted no-one was intending to break the law…. Mair Hughes, from the Countryside Alliance… whose husband Brian is master of the Llangeinor Hunt, near Bridgend, said public support for the ban had fallen since it was introduced in February…. The chair of the Wales Alliance Against Cruel Sports, Ralph Cook, said that most hunts in Wales were obeying the law… (story)

Guardian 26.12.05 Crowds expected for Boxing Day hunt - Press Association - Up to 1,000 spectators are expected to brave the cold to watch the East Devon Hunt ride out from ancient Woodbury Castle on Boxing Day… (story)

Daily Mail 26.12.05 Crowds expected for Boxing Day hunt - Up to 1,000 spectators are expected to brave the cold to watch the East Devon Hunt ride out from ancient Woodbury Castle on Boxing Day…. (story)

Sky News 26.12.05 'Thousands' To Join Hunts - Hunts are taking place across the country on the first Boxing Day since new laws banned the hunting of all wild mammals with dogs. Pro-hunt group the Countryside Alliance claimed hundreds of thousands of people would be supporting local hunts. It conducted a poll which found only a third of people think the new Hunting Act is working. … (story)
Evening Standard 26.12.05 Hunting back under the spotlight - Hunts all over the country will meet on the first Boxing Day since the Hunting Act came into force. The Countryside Alliance said hundreds of thousands of people would be supporting their local hunts as a new poll showed only a third of people think the new legislation is working…. (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 26.12.05 `Cruelty to wildlife rife' - animal lover - Cruelty to wild animals is rife at beauty spots in Bradford and across West Yorkshire, with shooting and poaching at alarming levels. Police are now seeking the public's help to catch the culprits who are daily inflicting pain and torture on creatures in the wild…. PC Sally Smart, the Force's wildlife officer, said… "People are persecuting wildlife. It is not like Claude Greengrass getting `one for the pot.' It is sick sport. I am trying to make people aware of what is going on so we can gather evidence….” (story in archive)


Eastern Daily Press 25.12.05 Fox hunters claim increased support - Hunt officials claim new legislation banning hunting with dogs has led to increased support, as they prepare for the annual Boxing Day showpiece…. “There has been a lot of interest from people who have not hunted before and in addition we have not lost any of our previous subscribers,” said Tizzie Craggs, joint secretary of the Waveney Harriers. “People feel this is a very ancient pastime that has gone on for hundreds of years. They disagree with the loss of freedom and they are also intrigued to see what all the fuss is about….” Sheila Castle, master of Dunston Harriers, said she and her colleagues were “marking time until more sensible people come to Westminster”…. Bill Borrett, joint master of West Norfolk Foxhounds, said support in recent weeks had been “amazing”…. And Roger Bradbury, joint master of North Norfolk Harriers, said there had been a “tremendous amount of moral support”… (story)


North West Evening Mail 24.12.05 BOXING DAY HUNT TO GO AHEAD - HUNTING tradition will be maintained in Cumbria over the festive season, despite the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. Hunt supporters plan to hold their traditional meets on Boxing Day and also on New Year’s Day. Among the packs in the south of the county holding festive season meets are Coniston Foxhounds, who start out from the Market Cross, Ambleside at 9am on Boxing Day. The Black Combe Beagles will hold their meet at Waberthwaite on Boxing Day… Tom Fell, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said the North Lonsdale Foxhounds will also hold traditional Boxing Day meets…. (story)

Scotsman 24.12.05 More expected at Boxing Day hunts - More Britons than ever are set to join this year's Boxing Day fox hunts - despite February's ban. In keeping with tradition, some 200 hunts are riding out for the biggest day of the hunting calendar…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 24.12.05 Record turnout for fox hunts - MORE Britons than ever are set to join this year's Boxing Day fox hunts - despite February's ban…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 24.12.05 'WE'LL KEEP BOXING DAY HUNT ALIVE' - East Yorkshire's fox hunts will attract thousands of supporters to their showcase Boxing Day meets to demonstrate they are coping with the controversial ban on hunting with dogs… Thousands of people will turn out to see the Holderness Hunt on Beverley Westwood and the Middleton Hunt on Driffield showground…. Hunts like the 250-year-old Holderness Hunt, based at kennels in Etton, near Beverley, are resolute, tally-hoing on by following an artificial trail or hunting rabbits…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 24.12.05 PLEA FOR PROOF OF ILLEGAL HUNTS - Anti-hunt campaigners are appealing for evidence of illegal hunting with dogs over the festive season. The League Against Cruel Sports claims a significant number of hunts appear to be breaking the law…. (story)

Sky News 24.12.05 Record Numbers Expected - More people than ever are expected to join this year's Boxing Day fox hunts - despite February's ban, anti-hunt groups have claimed…. The Countryside Alliance said rather than harming morale in rural Britain, hunting had been reinvigorated by the passing on February 18 of the Hunting Act…. But a spokeswoman for the League Against Cruel Sports said a possible explanation for increased hunt subscriptions was that many were now drag hunting and were no longer "cruel"… Jo Aldridge, a spokeswoman for the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, said: "For the last 15 years I've been asked if this will be the last Boxing Day meet. It never has been and it is certainly not going to be this year…” (story)

Gloucester Citizen 24.12.05 HUNTERS GEARING UP TO RIDE OUT ON BOXING DAY - Thousands of people across the county are expected to take to the countryside on Monday for the annual Boxing Day hunts. Spectators and riders will be gathering at venues across Gloucestershire… Leaders of the Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt are expecting hundreds of people at the Glass House, May Hill, for mulled wine and mince pies at 11am… To the south of the county, the Beaufort Hunt will gather at Worcester Lodge, Didmarton, at around the same time… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 24.12.05 BOXING CLEVER WITH DAYS OUT - Too much turkey? Fed up with the family? Kids causing chaos? TANYA GLEDHILL looks at the best things to do in Gloucestershire on Boxing Day… A hunting we will go Boxing Day hunts - The sport might be banned, but the meets still happen. See the Cotswold Hunt's horses and hounds at The Frogmill Hotel, Andoversford, at 10.45am; the Berkeley Hunt in Thornbury High Street at 11am, the Duke of Beaufort's at Worcester Lodge, Didmarton, also at 11am, and the Cotswold Vale Farmers meet at 11am on May Hill… (story)

Oxford Mail 24.12.05 Rich and poor gap widening - I wholeheartedly agree with Jacob Sanders, of the Green Party (Oxford Mail, December 14) -- David Cameron does, indeed, seem to be cast in the same mould as Tony Blair. Compassionate Conservatism is nonsense… Genuine compassion is indivisible and extends beyond humankind to embrace wildlife. Yet Mr Cameron would bring back the obnoxious cruelty of hunting… Graham Butler, Banbury Road, Bicester (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 24.12.05 DEFRA OUGHT TO LOOK AT TB TESTS - We hear news of a strong possibility of a mass cull of badgers in the spring. This despite Defra saying they still cannot prove a link between badgers giving TB to cattle…. Pamela Dean, Stroud, Gloucestershire (story)


Horse & Hound 23.12.05 "New breed" of sabs disrupt lawful hunts - Hunt saboteurs are posing many new problems for hunts, with those in south-east and north-west hardest hit… They call themselves hunt monitors and claim their aim is to ensure the Hunting Act is adhered to. But hunts have been visited by balaclava-clad saboteurs, whose intention seems to be to drive hunt followers to break the law while intimidating and harassing them…. One group spent a day disrupting the Surrey Union, following the drag-layer and spraying where he had been, eventually trying to take the scent-doused sock from him by force…. The Crawley and Horsham hunt has reported similarly provocative tactics and harassment…. League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) spokesman Wanda Wyporska denied its “Hunt Crimewatch monitors” behaved in such a way, adding traditional “saboteurs” wouldn't sign up as monitors because “our hunt monitors have a strict code of practice and a severe and rigorous training procedure”… (story)

Beverley Guardian 23.12.05 Boxing Day hunt - HUNTSMEN will be turning out in force for the traditional Boxing Day meets, despite the new law which has outlawed hunting with dogs. Members of both the Holderness and Middleton Hunts will be gathering as usual for the meetings, with both hunts saying they are operating within the law… (story)

Telegraph 23.12.05 Little change following ban By Hugh Condry - A fixture list almost indistinguishable from that of 2005 confirms that the ban on hunting, which became law last February, will have no effect on point-to-pointing in 2006…. Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall and newly-appointed chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said recently that the Act bulldozed through Parliament is "riddled with inconsistencies and holes big enough to put a hound through, if not a horse."… (story)

Independent 23.12.05 Racing: Hunting for glory - Far from the clinical atmosphere of some racing stables, Kingscliff has been prepared for Boxing Day's King George Vi Chase By galloping to hounds. Chris McGrath observes traditional methods at work… Kingscliff spent Wednesday preparing for the most important assignment of his career as part of an exquisite pastoral tableau, following a pack of hounds round the voluptuous Dorset landscape of the Blackmore Vale. Ridden by his trainer, Robert Alner, he joined a field of over 60 horses with the Portman Hunt, nimbly negotiating the twin obstacles presented by the landscape and the law… "He'd be bored stiff if he didn't get out hunting," Walford emphasised…. (story)

Craven Herald 23.12.05 Tawny owl dies in illegal trap - CRAVEN'S wildlife officer is appealing to the field sports fraternity for help after a tawny owl was found dead in a spring trap. The bird was found in Green Field Woods between Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Oughtershaw Moss. Now PC Richard Gape, wildlife officer for Craven, who is based at Grassington, needs help to discover who was responsible for setting the trap (also commonly known as pole traps)… (story in archive)

Western Morning News 23.12.05 NFU IN WRONG OVER CULLING OF BADGERS - If badgers are to be successfully culled, the science points to a county-wide cull, leaving not a badger alive in Devon and Cornwall. This is the logic of the NFU's position, as found in their proposals to Defra, and Defra's consultation document that has just been issued… I phoned the NFU and, after a short conversation with the document's author, who originally said that this section was to "protect skylarks", Alex Dinsdale admitted it was to help game shooting interests…. I am sympathetic to the troubled farmers who appear on TV and say "We like our badgers but???.". However, I have no sympathy for the NFU's hierarchy who want to kill badgers for fun. And when I say "kill badgers for fun", this is because game shooting is fun, so logically, badgers are to be "killed for fun"…. Theo Hopkins, Lifton (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.12.05 SHOOTS TRY HARD TO BEHAVE FAIRLY - With reference to the letter "Game birds are dying in agony", (Your Say, December 15), shoots work very hard to recover all game shot during a day. Not only is it food, but in the case of a paid day the shoot would not be paid for unrecovered game… I am sorry that Mrs Dean was distressed to find the dead bird on her drive. However, as a former keeper's daughter I am sure that she would not waste good food and put it to good use in the pot. Dave Kenyon Regional officer, BASC Salisbury (letter)

BBC News Online 23.12.05 Prickly issue over holly hunters - Halls across Northern Ireland are having to remain undecked this Christmas because of a holly shortage… Ronan Gorman of the Countryside Alliance said part of the shortage was down to the fact that people have been cutting and selling it themselves… (story)
Belfast Telegraph 15.12.05 Boughs of Holly are berry nice if you can find them By Michael Drake - Deck the halls with holly if you are lucky this Christmas. For seasonal thieves and hungry birds are stripping the hedgerows of a much sought-after commidity. Ronan Gorman, chief executive of Countryside Alliance Ireland, says unscrupulous thieves are killing off holly trees, while birds are feasting on what berries remain on others…. (story)

Barnoldswick & Earby Times 23.12.05 Badger baiting case: man walks free - A BARNOLDSWICK man who was found guilty of badger baiting had his conviction quashed on Monday at Preston Crown Court. Mark Law (40), of Park Avenue, was one of seven men sentenced to three months imprisonment in June this year, in relation to an incident at Old Laithe Park, Bracewell, in April, 2004. All seven walked free from Reedley Magistrates' Court at that time after lodging appeals…. (story)
Barnoldswick & Earby Times 1.7.05 Badgers case man freed for appeal - A BARNOLDSWICK man has walked free from court pending an appeal… Mark Law (40), of Park Avenue, was granted unconditional bail. His solicitor, Mr John Nuttall, appealed against the conviction at Burnley Magistrates' Court on Friday. Law was sentenced along with seven men from the Wigan are…. (story)
Colne Times 20.5.05 Badger hunt tip-off man faces prison sentence - RSPCA and police operation trapped men with dogs and spades at sett. A PENDLE man faces a possible prison sentence after being found guilty of hunting a protected species. Mark Law (40), of Park Avenue, Barnoldswick, was arrested and charged with attempting to take a badger at Old Laithe Park, Bracewell, on April 25th last year…. (story)
Wigan Evening Post 17.7.05 Badger gang in prison threat - Seven men face jail after they were found guilty of badger-baiting. Judge Alan Fowler told the defendants that he was considering a custodial sentence after a five-day trial at Reedley Magistrates' Court in Burnley… Found guilty of attempting to take a badger were: Craig Jones, 29, of Neville Street, Platt Bridge; Walter Hankey, 37, of McDonald Street, Orrell; Kim Halliwell, 48, of Aylesbury Crescent, Hindley; Lee Standen, 23, of Arundel Street, Hindley; Dennis Buxton, 41, of Lune Grove, Leigh; Nicholas Lowe, of Manor Place, Ince; David Travis, 42, of Winward Street, Leigh; and Mark Law, 40, of Park Avenue, Barnoldswick…. (story)
Manchester Evening News 14.5.05 Gang in badger hunt face prison - Paul Britton - A GANG of eight men have been warned they face going to jail after being convicted of hunting badgers. The men, seven from Wigan, were arrested in woodland in April following an undercover RSPCA operation. Inspectors from the Special Operations Unit had been tracking the gang's movements for 10 months… At magistrates' court in Burnley, Craig Jones, 30, of Neville Street, Platt Bridge, Wigan; Walter Hankey, 38, of McDonald Street, Orrell; David Travis, 38, of Winward Street, Leigh; Dennis Buxton, 38, of Lune Grove, Leigh; Kim Halliwell, 48, of Aylesbury Crescent, Wigan; Lee Standen, 24, of Arundel Street, Hindley; Nicholas Lowe, 31, of Manor Place, Wigan; and Mark Law, 40, of Park Avenue, Barnoldswick, all denied attempting to take or injure a badger…. No badgers or dogs were harmed. Charges against two other men from Lancashire were dropped…. (story)
Barnoldswick & Earby Times 13.5.05 Two cleared in badger bait case - A JUDGE has cleared two Barnoldswick men of charges of animal cruelty, but the verdict on a third local defendant is expected today. Sean Parkinson (20), of Gisburn Road, and Daniel Clark (21), of St Mary's Avenue, were discharged from Reedley Magistrates Court after the prosecution produced no evidence linking them to an alleged badger dig on April 25th, 2004…. In statements read out in court, the two Barnoldswick men said they were on the land at the request of the owner, who had been having trouble with foxes…. (story)

Scotsman 23.12.05 Give zoos a chance - Ross Minett's criticism of the captive breeding programme (Letters, 16 December) reveals all of the pie-in-the sky unreality and intolerance that we expect from single-issue pressure groups. Of course it would be preferable if habitat destruction were to cease, but it's not going to happen in the foreseeable future, so something has to be done now…. GRAHAM M McLEOD, The Muirs, Kinross (letter)
Scotsman 16.12.05 Zoo breeding is no help - Edinburgh Zoo has unveiled its new jaguar, claiming to be part of a captive breeding programme… If Edinburgh Zoo really wants to help conserve wild jaguars, it should be supporting the protection of them in their natural habitats. ROSS MINETT, Director, Advocates for Animals Queensferry Street Edinburgh (story)

Keighley News 23.12.05 The countdown to Christmas is almost over and thoughts will be turning to the centrepiece of the Christmas meal, which is usually a bird and is usually intensively reared. The latest bird to be subjected to factory farming is duck…. For more information, readers can contact `Viva!'… LYNDA M DOBSON, Height Lane, Oxenhope (letter in archive)
Oxford Mail 20.12.05 Poor conditions - I was pleased to see the very good letter from Gilli Hanna about the atrocious factory farm conditions in which ducks are kept… Anyone wanting to know the truth about intensive farming can contact Hillside Animal Sanctuary… Gillian Whitty Van-Dieman's Lane, Littlemore, Oxford (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 16.12.05 End to cruelty - M Westmacott Wanborough (letter)
Oxford Mail 30.11.05 Hollow claims - Gilli Hanna, Lower Heyford (story)
Yorkshire Post 22.11.05 Mistreatment of farmed ducks From: JM Moore, Wolfe Close, Cottingham, Nr Hull. (letter)
Bath Chronicle 19.11.05 DON'T BUY CRUELTY-PACKED DUCK MEAT - I Have recently become aware of the shameful conditions on duck farms supplying major supermarkets. Animal group Viva! has filmed ducks crammed into dirty, stinking sheds in their thousands, dead and disabled ducks thrashing about on their backs in distress, unable to right themselves and the most unbelievable abuse of all - no water for these aquatic animals to bathe, preen or even clean themselves…. To find out more, you can contact Viva! At 8 York Street, Bristol BS2 8QH… BERYL CLIFTON, Russel Street, Bath (story)
Leicester Mercury 4.8.05 DUCKS TREATED IN AN APPALLING WAY - I have recently become aware of the shameful conditions on duck farms supplying supermarkets. Animal group VIVA! has filmed ducks crammed into dirty, stinking sheds in their thousands…. Jill Blackwell, Leicester (story)

Solihull News/Times 23.12.05 Shopper cries foie - A TOWN centre shopper has called for a controversial pate to be taken off the shelves at Solihull's quarterly continental market. Janet Cummings said she was horrified when she saw Pate de Foie Gras on sale on Saturday in Mell Square…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 23.12.05 BOAR AVOID US - We often visit the Forest of Dean, and like to see animals in that part of the countryside. The sight of wild boar wouldn't upset us… PAMELA DEAN, Whiteshill (letter)

Sutton Coldfield 23.12.05 POLAR BEARS ARE A PROTECTED SPECIES - With reference to your recent article about Jim McCartney's polar challenge. Whilst I applaud Jim's courage, tenacity and bravery in taking part in this race I am appalled at the prospect of any participants in this event having to shoot polar bears. The polar bear is an endangered species and may well become extinct within our lifetimes…. There are far more ethical and wildlife-friendly ways of raising money. Adrian Hall, Four Oaks, via email (letter)


Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 22.12.05 Festive fox hunts draw protesters - Anti fox hunting protesters will be keeping a close eye on hunts on Boxing Day when hundreds of riders and hunt supporters will be gathering for the traditional meet…. "This Boxing Day the hunting fraternity in Wiltshire have a chance to demonstrate that they have given up chasing and killing wild animals with packs of dogs for so-called sport, in accordance with the law," said Mike Jeffries, a member of the league…. The Beaufort Hunt will be meeting at Down Farm, Westonbirt on Christmas Eve at 10.45am with second horses at Charlton Down… The Avon Vale Hunt will have its Boxing Day meet in the picturesque setting of National Trust village Lacock at 11am…. The Tedworth Hunt will meet as usual on Boxing Day outside the Bouverie Hall in Pewsey at 11am. (story)

South Shropshire Journal 22.12.05 More foxes breed trouble for farmers By VINCE BUFTON - Many farmers in south west Shropshire are dreading lambing time because they won’t be able to call on the local hunt to kill predatory foxes, a local hunt spokesperson has claimed. Lyndsay Hill, from the United Pack, made her comments to the Journal during preparations for the famous Boxing Day Meet in Bishop’s Castle – the first since the 2005 ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 22.12.05 Traditional hunt meets with no view to a kill by Bob Jolliffe - MORE than 100 huntsmen and women will be saddling up for the New Forest Boxing Day Hunt at Balmer Lawn, Brockenhurst on Monday. Another traditional New Forest Boxing Day activity will be taking place at Longdown, near Marchwood, that morning when about 80 riders compete in the annual Point to Point races…. (story in archive)

Western Gazette 22.12.05 HUNTERS AND PUSHERS - Market Square in Crewkerne will be filled once again on Boxing Day with two annual events. Members of the Seavington Hunt will meet in the square at around 10am before setting off, ahead of the pram race, which is due to start at 10.30am. (story)

Newport Advertiser 22.12.05 Hunt to go ahead despite ban By Jule Wilson - THE Albrighton Hunt will meet as usual in Newport on Boxing Day, despite the current ban on fox hunting. The hunt will meet outside the Royal Victoria Hotel on St Mary Street, at 11am on Monday, December 26, one of 270 packs of hounds that will meet nationwide…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 22.12.05 HUNTS SET FOR BOXING DAY CROWDS - Hunts are preparing for their biggest day of the year when the first Boxing Day meets are held since traditional hunts were outlawed. The West's Beaufort and Berkeley hunts are expecting big crowds when they meet at their regular post-Christmas venues…. There will also be a meet of the Wick and District Beagles at Hunters Hall, Kingscote, near Wotton-under-Edge, at 1pm…. (story)

Daily Post 22.12.05 Hunting cases back in court - THE League Against Cruel Sports' private prosecution of Exmoor hunt master Tony Wright is to continue into the New Year…. In a separate case, Scottish huntsman Trevor Adams, who was cleared of foxhunting charges a year ago in a landmark legal case, has again been charged with breaching the Hunting Act. Mr Adams, joint master of the Duke of Buccleuch Foxhounds, Scotland's largest hunt, has been charged over an incident on a farm near Kelso in October (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 22.12.05 HUNT RIDES IN - Clive Phillips was stunned when huntsmen and a pack of hounds rode in to his housing estate. He called the police when four riders from the Cotswold Vale Farmers' Hunt appeared in Lincoln Avenue in Tewkesbury. He said the dogs were damaging gardens…. Police said they found no damage (story)

Belfast Telegraph 22.12.05 Animal rights body welcomes plan to protect Irish hares By Michael Drake THE Government is considering long-term protection measures for the Irish hare, it was revealed yesterday). The Department of the Environment will soon publish proposals for a temporary protection order to prevent the killing, taking and trade in Irish hares. The League Against Cruel Sports has welcomed the decision which, it states, will protect the hare temporarily from coursing, hunting and shooting…. (story)

North Devon Journal 22.12.05 FARMER'S PROTEST WITH FOUR DOGS - A farmer who failed to get arrested despite handing himself in at a police station earlier in the year staged a "one man, four dog protest" against the Hunting Act last weekend. Giles Bradshaw is engaged in a battle of words with Defra over whether walking his dogs through his own woodland at Rose Ash to keep deer from damaging an area of willow coppice can be classed as hunting,… "They said that this was hunting, even if there was no actual chase. The only way I can still do it legally is to use only two dogs and to shoot dead any deer that get flushed out," he said… Defra chief press officer Marcia Nash… said: "If your intention is to catch an animal or chase it away, both are hunting - it's a human being setting his dog on a wild mammal. We would expect that to be prosecutable, leading to a conviction."… (story)

North Devon Journal 22.12.05 HUNT PAYMENTS: BLANK INFO - You recently carried a letter 'Hunt Payments' (Letters, November 24), from a Mrs Y Street, that claimed that landowners would lose their single farm payment if found guilty of hunting on their land…. Defra's reply states: "Conviction for an offence under the Hunting Act will not in itself affect a person's entitlement to SFP."… GILES BRADSHAW, Rose Ash, South Molton (story)
Western Morning News 13.12.05 WHY MUST I BE FORCED TO SHOOT DEER? - Mrs y Street's letter (WMN, November 25) says that Defra is to withhold the Single Farm Payment from people who allow hunting on their land. This concerns me as I have refused to shoot the deer my dogs flush out as required by the law….. It's one thing to pass and then fail to enforce absurd laws. It's quite another to try to bankrupt people's businesses for quite reasonably refusing to obey them…. It's time for Defra and others behind the Hunting Act to acknowledge that it contains a terrible mistake and must be amended. In the meantime they should direct people to ignore the law and allow flushed out animals to escape without being shot if they so wish. We are all above such an absurd law. Giles Bradshaw, Rose Ash (letter)
Western Morning News 25.11.05 Hunt warning - Mrs Y Street, Okehampton (letter)
North Devon Journal 24.11.05 HUNT PAYMENTS - As a landowner, and having just received my updated Single Payments Scheme booklet, I would like to remind all landowners that drag hunting is the only kind of hunting allowed under this scheme. Should any hunt be found guilty of hunting on your land, you stand to lose all your single payments… MRS Y STREET, Saddlers Way, Okehampton. (letter)

Western Telegraph 22.12.05 Policing the countryside - It is not just local politicians who should be alarmed by Government plans to create a single constabulary for Wales (Western Telegraph last week) against the wishes of police and public…. Good relations between rural people and local police officers is vital for effective policing and recognized across the UK. The Government has already introduced legislation which could jeopardise that relationship. It should beware of further alienating rural areas by marginalising policing of the countryside. Simon Hart (letter in archive)

Western Gazette 22.12.05 This must not be tolerated - NOW that the Government has at last banned the hunting of our wildlife with packs of hounds, can we safely assume that Boxing Day meets, and their accompanying disruption of urban areas, are a thing of the past? In the case of Castle Cary, the meets have previously resulted in unlawful obstruction of the highway, with a hunt "official" taking it upon himself to direct motorists wishing to pass down the main one-way system on a diversion of some miles… Castle Cary resident, name and address supplied. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.12.05 WAS 'GOAT' HUNT ACTING ILLEGALLY? - I certainly agree with the letter by Hunt Watch, Disturbed by the death of goat, Points of view, December 16, about the havoc caused by the East Cornwall Hunt…. It appears to me that the East Cornwall Hunt, employing a pack of hounds, may have acted in contravention of the Act. I am referring this matter to the police and requesting them to prosecute if the law has not been respected. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 22.12.05 MAKE EXAMPLE OF HIM - So your correspondent is going to break the law and go hunting for wild animals with dogs. He is also challenging the police to catch him. What a sad individual this man is. Is his life so dull that he has nothing better to do? Instead of 'simmering' over the hunting ban, can he not go to a Third World country and help with the devastation found there?... If he does go out hunting I hope he will be caught and made an example of and the harshest penalty should be applied. This apology for a human being cannot be allowed to get away with it. JUNE RICHARDS, South Devon, Full details supplied (letter)

Scotsman 22.12.05 Rearers may face charges of abandoning pheasants - FORDYCE MAXWELL - PHEASANT rearers could be liable to an animal abandonment charge under Scotland's proposed new animal health and welfare rules unless confusion about "wild" status is clarified, MSPs were told yesterday…. there is a difference of opinion about whether reared pheasants should still be the responsibility of the rearer when released to the wild, and proposed definitions in the bill were described as "woolly". Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, told Holyrood's rural affairs committee that only about 40 per cent of reared pheasants are shot…. : "Rearers must be responsible for the birds after they leave the cages. We say that if so many die, there is something seriously wrong. It must be classified as abandonment."… (story)

Wigan Evening Post 22.12.05 Six cleared of badger hunt - Six Wigan men jailed for badger-baiting were celebrating today after their convictions were quashed by a court…. Craig Jones, 29, of Neville Street, Platt Bridge; Walter Hankey, 37, of McDonald Street, Orrell; Kim Halliwell, 48, of Aylesbury Crescent, Hindley; Lee Standen, 23, of Arundel Street, Hindley; Dennis Buxton, 41, of Lune Grove, Leigh; David Travis, 42, of Winward Street, Leigh and Mark Law, 40, of Park Avenue, Barnoldswick, had been found guilty of attempting to take a badger…. All have now had their convictions overturned after a six-day appeal at Preston Crown Court…. (story)

Times 22.12.05 A cull by royal appointment - ROY HATTERSLEY - The Government's decision to slaughter thousands of badgers originated in Clarence House - THE GOVERNMENT has decided that there must be a badger cull. It has been warned — in the words of David Macdonald, director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University — that “culling badgers at anything like an acceptable rate is likely to lead to more cattle tuberculosis rather than less”. But unless a public outcry makes the carnage politically impossible, the slaughter will go ahead as soon as the bogus 12-week consultation period is over. The Prince of Wales — with land in the South West where cattle tuberculosis is particularly virulent — has persuaded Tony Blair that it is necessary…. It seems inconceivable that Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary — a clever woman who understands the countryside — can be party to such pointless, indeed dangerous, cruelty…. (story)

Independent 22.12.05 Blame farmers, not badgers - With reference to your excellent cover story "The culling fields" (16 December) it is outrageous that the NFU refused to take part in the pre-movement testing of cattle unless they got a mass badger cull. The farmers have blackmailed the Government into taking the most appalling and pointless measures…. The shy badger has been horribly baited and persecuted for centuries. Now these beautiful, benign and very clean creatures are once again made the scapegoat. It will be a national disgrace if the culling proceeds. TONY MEEUWISSEN, MARIE GWYNN, STROUD, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
The President of the Country Land and Business Association imagines that badgers would welcome the impending cull as in their best interests (letter, 20 December). By the same reasoning, I assume that his members' French counterparts must have welcomed the guillotines of the Terror LAWRENCE JAMES, BALMERINO, FIFE (letters)

Independent 22.12.05 Turkeys, badgers, spent-up dairy cows; if we really cared, we would take the simple decision to stop consuming meat and dairy products and allow the badgers to live in peace. JOHN VOLYNCHOOK, SURBITON, SURREY (letter)

Western Gazette 22.12.05 WE MUST NOT LET THIS CULL HAPPEN - Dorset Badger Group is appalled to learn of Government proposals to cull badgers…. Elizabeth James, Babers Farm, Marshwood. (letter)

Irish Examiner 22.12.05 Hens on the run: what’s so funny? F OR those who do not give any value to a hen’s life, there was much to laugh at in reports of a truck shedding its load of 6,500 hens in Co Cavan… The hens were on their way to be slaughtered when the accident occurred. Up to that moment (assuming they came from the battery hen system of production), they had never seen the light of day, cooped up in crowded, windowless sheds… Gerry Boland, Keadue, Co Roscommon (letter)
Irish Examiner 17.12.05 Animal liberation - IT WAS nice to see that several thousand hens suddenly acquired free-range status in Cavan (Irish Examiner, December 16). Any hope some other heavy vehicle might do the same for pigs there? PJ McElhone Castle Avenue Clontarf Dublin 3 (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 22.12.05 Hunting of polar bears - I have just read an article regarding the hunting of polar bears organised by Rick Herscher at 15,000 a time… If the Canadian Government is prepared to allow the hunting of polar bears, I suggest that weapons should be banned and the bears given an equal chance. You wouldn't find many takers on that basis. W.K. Kirk, 16 Northcote Avenue, Aberdeen. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 22.12.05 GRATEFUL AFTER SWAN SUPPORT - I Would like to take this opportunity to thank the readers of The Citizen for their support over the last 12 months. Hereford and Worcester Swan Aid volunteers responded to nearly 400 swan rescue calls, of which 161 were taken into the care of Bishops Wood Swan Rescue Centre, near Stourport-on-Severn, and Cotswold Swan Rescue, in Gloucestershire…. DAN SIDLEY, Founder, Hereford and Worcester Swan Aid, PO Box 10202, Redditch, Worcestershire B98 8YT (story)

Western Gazette 22.12.05 BEAUTIFUL BEARS ARE FREE AT LAST - What a great week of publicity for abused bears around the world. Last Tuesday's ITN news saw the highlighting of the tortured bears used for dancing in India…. Campaigns are now hotting up to end this barbaric practice. Last week the local HTV news saw Neil Parish MEP (special guest at the China Bear Fun Day in the summer) celebrating the victory of the signatures of 367 MEPs throughout Europe who signed a declaration to petition the Chinese Government to end Bear Farming forever…. Elizabeth James, Babers Farm, Marshwood. (letter)


Southern Reporter 21.12.05 New Year's Day meet in Kelso - Sally Gillespie - The Duke of Buccleuch's Foxhounds hold their traditional meet at Kelso on New Year's Day. The mounted followers, usually numbering about 50, and hounds been invited to the town for 10.45am by Provost Margaret Riddell…. (story)

Cotswold Journal 21.12.05 Hunts maintain festive tradition - TRADITIONAL Boxing Day hunts will ride out across the north Cotswolds next Monday for the first time since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force…. Sam Butler, joint master of the Warwickshire Hunt and former chairman of the Countryside Alliance's Campaign for Hunting, said: "I think support is 10 per cent up on last year and we'll have 1,000 people out for certain."… Liz Wills, joint master of the Heythrop Hunt, which will be gathering for its traditional Boxing Day meet outside the Fox Hotel in Chipping Norton Town Square at 10.45am next Monday, said the hunt had been trail hunting since the start of the season… (story in archive)

Times 21.12.05 Single in the city - The thrill of the chase BY XANADU, TIMES ONLINE SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT ABOUT TOWN - The men of the Connaught Square Squirrel Hunt, though they look quite good on the outside, are in fact raging chauvinists… It was most satisfying, however, to receive an invitation that mixed fun with a healthy bit of protest, and whipped up my naughty rebellious spirit… his get-together was the brainchild of two eligible bachelors who, in a fit of drunken dinner party chat, promised to set up the Connaught Square Squirrel Hunt. This consists of a bunch of passionate Notting Hill countryfolk, mostly young handsome squires, who meet regularly to down some pre-lunch pints, hunt squirrels in Hyde Park and then return for more drinking afterwards. This came about because of the unsavoury discovery earlier in the year that allowing your dog to chase squirrels in city parks is as illegal as hunting a fox…. (story)

Western Daily Press 21.12.05 FINE LAWBREAKERS - I have lived in the countryside all my life and I own two horses. Hunting with dogs is cruel and any person breaking the law should be fined. Rachel Jefferies Dunkerton Village Bath (letter)

Lynn News 21.12.05 Call to modernise game law - Viscountess Coke presented Admiral Lord Nelson with a brace of grey partridge at the Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe last week…. The modern presentation was one of a series of events across the country by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation to publicise a Game On campaign to both encourage more people to eat game and press the government into changing what are seen as outdated game laws…. (story)
Western Mail 6.12.05 The Game's On for food lovers - Steve Dube, Western Mail - FOOD lovers are being encouraged to give game a go this winter. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation says pubs and restaurants everywhere are supporting the Game's On campaign by putting pheasant, partridge and venison on their menus this week… < target=main href="">(story)
Telegraph 5.12.05 Pheasant to be fair game for the masses By Richard Alleyne - They are traditionally regarded as the preserve of the landed gentry, enjoyed only by the hunting, shooting and fishing set. But now the producers - and shooters - of pheasant are trying to push the virtues of game to the masses. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, which represents the field sport, is encouraging people to forgo more traditional meats this Christmas and switch to the wild bird…. Pubs and restaurants will be supporting the "Game's On" campaign by putting pheasant, partridge and venison on their menus this week…. (story)

BBC News Online 21.12.05 Concerns raised over tail docking By Catherine Lyst - A ban on tail docking in Scotland would make a "mockery" of legislation unless the same laws applied in England, according to a senior police officer…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 21.12.05 Ban on docking dogs' tails 'must be UK-wide' - ANIMAL welfare legislation which would outlaw the practice of docking dogs' tails in Scotland will be unworkable unless the ban also applies in England, police and councils have warned…. (story)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 21.12.05 Give a monkey for Christmas - WHY don't readers beat the Christmas queues and instead go online to adopt an ex-lab monkey for those "hard to buy for" people? A unique scheme organised by the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection), means that for the first time, they can adopt a monkey rescued from an animal testing laboratory…. ADOLFO SANSOLINI, Chief Executive, BUAV. (letter in archive)

Daily Record 21.12.05 TOP TABLE TURKEY - A turkey which jumped off a lorry on the way to be killed for Christmas is heading for the dinner table after all. But Lofty will be the guest of honour at a vegan feast for staff at an animal rescue centre in Kent… (story)
BBC News Online 21.12.05 Turkey who dodged death at feast - One of Britain's luckiest turkeys is heading for a Christmas dinner but will not be the main course… He ended up at an animal sanctuary in Swanley, Kent, and will be at a Christmas dinner given by vegans. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which is against factory-farmed turkeys, said he would be the guest of honour at the table. Retreat Animal Rescue spokeswoman Anita Sing said: "Christmas should be a time of compassion for animals, including turkeys."… (story)

Daily Record 21.12.05 GORD'S GRUESOME KILLINGS - REGARDING Gordon Ramsay's cooking show, where turkeys were shown being prepared for the table - gruesome, I agree…. That's what I hate about meat eaters - they prefer not to know about where the meat comes from... well perhaps they should. J.Simmons,Renfrewshire (letter)

Glasgow Evening Times 21.12.05 Bid to help greyhounds - DOG lovers are raising cash to open Scotland's first greyhound sanctuary. The Greyhound Awareness League wants to set up a safe haven for dogs which have retired from racing… (story)

Argus 21.12.05 Thank you - Animal Aid would like to thank the people of Brighton and Hove for their generosity in raising £147.12 at a street collection on Saturday, December 10…. -Jane Lilleystone, Animal Aid, Tonbridge (letter in archive)

Wolverhampton Express & Echo 21.12.05 A merry, veggie Christmas By Sarah Lefebve - Kirsty Wilks was not the ideal person to turn vegetarian - she wasn't over keen on vegetables of any kind. But at the age of ten, following her mother Maggie's example in taking a moral stand against killing animals for human consumption, Kirsty ate her last sausage sandwich and has not looked back since… (story)


Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 20.12.05 HISTORIC HUNT GOES AHEAD - Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt is planning its first Boxing Day meet since the Hunting Act came into force. The Gotherington-based hunt is meeting at the Glasshouse at May Hill… (story)

Times 20.12.05 Class war? Oh no, John, no - LIBBY PURVES - “WHY DID YOU do it, Johnny? Throw it all away?” I have spent much of the morning serenading the Deputy Prime Minister… He is wrong, though, to restart an old-fashioned class war. There are a thousand reasons why this assassination of common sense will lead to disaster. The foxhunting Bill was bad enough — a criminal waste of parliamentary time and energy, having little to do with animal welfare and everything to do with class revenge…. (story)

Western Morning News 20.12.05 FOXES RARELY TROUBLE THE FARMER - The debate over the wounding of foxes by shooting which arises every so often is based on a false premise and therefore pointless. In his letter James Barrington (WMN, December 6) goes into great speculative detail and really need not bother. Why? Because there is no reason for shooting to increase as a consequence of the hunting ban and no evidence that it has… They are desperate to hide the reality that it is just a bloodsport, and one which has the added disgrace of much anti-social behaviour. It is incredible that some still seek to defend it. Peter Bunce, Haddenham, Bucks (letter)

Western Morning News 20.12.05 Law is clear as day - ALL the bloodsport enthusiasts who are trying too hard to ridicule the Hunting Bill should get themselves a copy and study it. They will find under the heading of "Unrestricted (means legal) hunting" on page 17, schedule 2, par 57, it states "that as soon as possible after being flushed out, the animal either escapes or is shot dead"…. Lena Holgate, Newton Abbot (letter)

Worcester Evening News 20.12.05 Cameron's pledge over bloodsports - ALAN KIRBY, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA), Hayle, Cornwall. (letter in archive)
Tamworth Herald 15.12.05 NEW TORY LEADER AND THE HUNTING DEBATE - Alan Kirby M.Sc. for Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA), Hayle, Cornwall (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 13.12.05 Compassion and killing don't mix - DAVID Cameron, the new Conservative leader, tells us that he wants to build a `modern and compassionate' party. But about the only firm commitment he has given is to introduce a bill to overturn the ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs. In what sense is restoring the medieval barbarity and cruelty of such bloodsports either modern or compassionate?... ALAN KIRBY, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA), Hayle, Cornwall. (letter in archive)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 20.12.05 MAN WHO KILLED BADGER KEEPS JOB - CAMERON BROOKS - A Gamekeeper convicted of deliberately snaring and killing a badger has been fined £1,200 but will not lose his job. Steven Harmson, 47, was found guilty of two offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act last month. He was fined for the offences at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday but it emerged he will keep his position at the Findrack Estate at Craigievar, near Alford, even if he loses his firearms licence…. (story)

The Sentinel 20.12.05 TB IS A REASON TO GO VEGAN - Even if farmers are right and badgers spread bovine TB, isn't this another reason to go vegan?... MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.12.05 DELIGHT OVER BEARS - With reference to your story "Euro MPs agree to save the Bears" (Western Daily Press, December 16), I am thrilled to bits that this declaration has gone through… I started an AAF China Bears Rescue Group in Southampton and we raise funds and awareness here.. Linda Burr Southampton (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.12.05 BADGER ACCUSERS WON'T BACK DOWN - What a superbly sensible letter from M Hancox (Your Say, November 29) on the discrepancies surrounding the claim that badgers are responsible for the spread of bovine TB…. Gill Purser Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.12.05 WE SHOULD BRING IN BOVINE TB JAB - Reading Martin Hancox's letter (Your Say, November 29) made me wonder why all the cash is being spent on a badger cull… By now, there should be a vaccine to protect cattle - there can be no other way. If 30 years is not enough for them, when will it ever be? Pamela Dean Whiteshill Gloucestershire (story)
Western Morning News 29.11.05 Blameless badgers - Martin Hancox, Tiverton (letter)
Western Daily Press 29.11.05 BADGERS NOT THE VILLAINS OF PIECE - Can badgers really infect cattle with bovine tuberculosis? One of the most curious facts about the 30-year-old badgers-and- bovine-TB debate is that while farmers, vets, the Country Landowners' Association and others have recently issued policy documents calling for a mass badger cull, it remains the case that no-one has shown how badgers might give cattle TB!... M Hancox Stroud Gloucestershire (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 20.12.05 CARRY ON WRITING IN TO VIEWPOINT - Sarah and Stuart Clifford both attack Sue Cannon for taking the trouble to write to Viewpoint. It especially seems to rankle them she criticises the new Labour Government, but who can blame her? Let us keep in mind Sue Cannon criticises a Government which:… Claims to champion animal welfare, yet allows barbaric ritual slaughter without pre-stunning which causes an agonising, cruel death for millions of farm animals every year… Paul Potter, Glanville Avenue, Scunthorpe. (letter)


Western Daily Press 19.12.05 WHEN ARE HUNTS TO BE POLICED? - Don't you just love these letters from the hunt brigade? Has Mr Bond (December 5) just arrived from another planet? Cannot he accept that hunting is banned?... Mr Bond and others like him who have lost their sordid little pastime, must face up to reality. The hunt ban is certainly not nonsensical, a few convictions will help to make these people see sense. Jean Turner Plymouth Devon
I recently staged a small demonstration against the hunting ban. I went out and illegally hunted deer with my four dogs. I notified the Police, the League Against Cruel Sports, Hunt Watch and the RSPCA of my intentions. I'm very glad to say that things went very well and none of these bodies have lifted a finger to stop me…. Laws that are not enforced should be changed. giles bradshaw, rose ash (letter)

Telegraph 19.12.05 Credit and blame where they are due - James Walton's review (Television, December 15) of Natural World: Wild Harvest summed up the essence of a brilliantly conducted presentation of "green wash" on behalf of organisations one might consider wholesome. There was a glaring omission in the credits. The Game Conservancy Trust, its researchers, supporting organisations and members, deserved the highest accolade of all at the end of that programme…. Too many organisations are jostling to promote these discoveries as if they were their own. When it comes to giving credit where it is due, they have awfully poor memories. I wonder when they will announce that managed grouse moors have the highest productivity of moorland waders in Britain?... Karl Pipes, Dalmally, Argyll (story)

Yorkshire Post 19.12.05 REGION'S CONSERVATIONISTS PIONEER MOVES TO SAVE ICONIC BLACK GROUSE - Brian Dooks - PIONEERING work to restore the black grouse population in the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District is not being matched in many parts of Britain where the iconic bird's numbers are continuing to tumble towards what experts fear could be catastrophe. Since 1996 the North Pennines Black Grouse Recovery Project has been trying to reverse an estimated 10 per cent annual decline in the number of black grouse… With help from conservationists like Moorland Association chairman Simon Bostock in Nidderdale, Martin Vallance, who owns the shoot on the Arkleside Moors and James Mawle, who has a shooting estate in Coverdale, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group has been persuading landowners to give the bird a more desirable country residence….(story)
Times 19.12.05 Black grouse numbers in decline - The number of black grouse in Scotland has declined by nearly a third in the past decade alone, a survey by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said…. (story)
Scotsman 19.12.05 Concern as grouse numbers fall by 22% - JOHN ROSS - NEW conservation efforts are being planned to halt the decline of the black grouse, which has disappeared from many parts of Britain…. But the Scottish Gamekeepers' Association (SGA) has questioned the RSPB's plans. Alex Hogg, the SGA chairman, agreed that every effort must be made to enhance the black grouse's chances of survival, but said a recent scientific report showed that the decline of the birds was mainly blamed on falcons and hawks. (story)
icScotland 19.12.05 Black grouse numbers dwindle - The number of black grouse in Scotland has declined by nearly a third in the last decade alone, says a survey by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds… (story)

Oxford Mail 19.12.05 Animal activists issue warning to university - Animal rights' activists protesting against Oxford University's construction of an £18m animal testing laboratory are promising to target more staff and student social events…. Mel Broughton, a spokesman for the campaign group Speak, warned: "We are being leaked information about university social events and they will be picketed."… (story in archive)

York Evening Press 19.12.05 A turkey is for life, not just for Christmas - THE idea that the festive season needs to be celebrated by roasting and consuming a dead bird is becoming extremely dated, with more and more people deciding to extend the "peace on earth and goodwill" message to the other species we share the planet with…. You could also get helpful recipe ideas from the Animal Aid website… Sarah Bramley, Gordon Street, York. (letter in archive)

Telegraph 19.12.05 - It is no surprise that, once again, the farming industry is using one of our native species as a scapegoat for a self-induced problem (News, December 16). Modern cattle production systems place an enormous stress on the animals and this is what makes them vulnerable to TB and other conditions… Kelly Slade, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent (story)

Western Daily Press 19.12.05 PONY CARE SHAME OF RSPCA SUPPORTER - The sister-in-law of West explorer David Hempleman-Adams has been banned from keeping animals after neglecting two ponies for so long they became lame. Fashion and luggage designer Louise Hempleman-Adams, 44, from Ashwicke, South Gloucester-shire, allowed the hooves of the Shetland ponies to become overgrown, forcing them to walk on their heels. Mrs Hempleman-Adams, a keen supporter of the RSPCA who has donated £3,000 to the charity, was banned from keeping all animals for two years, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £700 in costs by Yate Magistrates…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 19.12.05 BADGER CULL JOBS TO GO IN OFFICES CLOSURE - Badger cull experts will be out of a job because farmers could fill their role. On Thursday, wildlife experts at the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs' Wildlife Unit at Aston Down, near Stroud, were told it is set to close. Colleagues at its counterpart offices in Truro, Cornwall, have also been informed they are closing at the same time…. "If culling is the option chosen then it will be up to farmers to carry out culls," said Ms Verrecchia. Gloucestershire Badger Group chairman and field officer Tony Dean feared farmers may be tempted to cut corners if they have to cull badgers. "There will be uproar if farmers are allowed to shoot them." (story)

South Wales Argus 19.12.05 'Badger cull will not halt TB' by Rebecca Thomson - A GWENT wildlife campaigner says a cull of badgers will not wipe out tuberculosis in cattle in the area…. Julian Branscombe, chief executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust, said there was little evidence that killing badgers would actually halt the spread of the disease…. (story in archive)

Argus 19.12.05 Letter: Seasonal reminder about pets as presents - In view of the record number of animals being dumped at rescue centres before Christmas - they are all full already - I would urge those who give animals as presents to think again. -Sylvia Harwood, Hove (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 19.12.05 FUR: SHOPPERS WARNED OF CRUELTY - One of the issues my constituents in Leicestershire raise most often with me is the barbaric slaughter of cats and dogs for their fur…. Roger Helmer, MEP
So, Heather Mills McCartney and the Humane Society International are campaigning against China's trade in the fur of animals… I'd be more convinced of their humanity if they campaigned against the appalling cruelty to humans killed in China and the barbaric slaughter of prisoners for their organs. Mr B J Mann, Nottingham (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 15.12.05 MEP SUPPORTS FUR CAMPAIGN - One of the issues my constituents in Derbyshire frequently raise with me is the barbaric slaughter of cats and dogs for their fur. I and my fellow Conservative MEPs have been leading a campaign in the European Parliament for a ban on cat and dog fur throughout the European Union… Roger Helmer, East Midlands MEP. (story)
Leicester Mercury 14.12.05 MEP LEADS CAMPAIGN TO BAN FUR - A Leicestershire MEP is leading a campaign to ban the sale of cat and dog fur across Europe. Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said the practice of using the domestic animals in the fur trade was "horrific", and urged the European Commission to stamp out the trade. His comments come after the visit to Brussels by animal rights campaigner Heather Mills McCartney…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 13.12.05 CAMPAIGN BACKED - Anti-fur trade campaigners have won the support of Lincolnshire's Euro MP. Roger Helmer joined protesters in their condemnation of the mistreatment of cats and dogs in Asia. He spoke out in Brussels after a speech by the wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney and animal-rights campaigner, Heather Mills-McCartney…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 19.12.05 WE MUST BOYCOTT THIS TERRIBLE TRADE … Why we continue to trade with China beggars belief…. If anyone really cares, they should write to PET, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PO Box 36668, London, SE1 1WA, for further information. Mrs Thelma Hollick, Wigston
Am I the only person who finds it disgusting that a country like China should execute prisoners jailed on trumped up charges or for political reasons and then sell their organs for transplants and yet people in the West only complain about its ill treatment of furry animals… Perhaps its supporters could also confirm whether or not PETA have used "their" funds (ie the funds they solicit from the public) to defend animal liberation terrorists?... Mr B J Mann`, Nottingham (letter)


Observer 18.12.05 'I'm not a deeply ideological person. I'm a practical one' - David Cameron, the new Tory leader, has staked his claim to be the voice of a modern, progressive Britain. In a wide-ranging interview with The Observer, his first with a newspaper since the leadership victory, he talks revealingly about changing politics, his family - and giving up smoking - Andrew Rawnsley … What about foxhunting? Would he make hunting with dogs legal again? 'Personally, yes - I would.'… Here his support for the freedom to hunt trumps his desire to win the good opinion of urban Britain, where polls suggest people are overwhelmingly in favour of outlawing the blood sport…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 18.12.05 Cheaper than mink or sable - fur coats made from dogs that were skinned alive - By Katy Duke and Elizabeth Day - It looks like the must-have item in every glamorous woman's winter wardrobe: a sleek, black fur coat dripping with opulence. But despite the seductive appearance, the coat is not mink or sable. Instead, it has been manufactured from dog fur - possibly from an animal that was drugged and skinned alive to preserve the fur's freshness…. Anita Singh, a campaign co-ordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Britain, said that there were also reports of pets being snatched for their fur… (story)


Western Mail 17.12.05 Hunt investigation - We were very surprised to see the South Wales Countryside Alliance director express outrage about allegations of illegal hunting by the South Pembrokeshire hunt (Western Mail, November 27). A wildlife crime investigator working for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) did witness the hunt behaving very suspiciously on September 24 and passed video footage to the police for information. IFAW has not yet claimed that members of the South Pembrokeshire hunt broke the law that day, but the investigation continues…. JOSEY SHARRAD, IFAW Campaigner, Albert Embankment, London SE1 (letter)
Wales on Sunday 11.12.05 WITH regard to allegations of illegal hunting in West Wales (Cops Probe Hunt Video, Wales on Sunday November 27) it is absolutely disgraceful that an international animal rights organisation is accusing the South Pembrokeshire hunt of law-breaking and is wasting hours of police time… In the meantime, hunts, landowners and farmers throughout Wales are having to grapple with a law that is detrimental to rural communities and to their way of life, and to the economy of sheep farming in Wales. Adrian Simpson, South Wales regional director for the Countryside Alliance, Carmarthen (letter)
Wales on Sunday 27.11.05 Cops probe hunt video - Marc Baker, Wales on Sunday - ONE of Wales' oldest hunts has been quizzed by police after an animal welfare charity accused them of breaking the ban. Dyfed Powys Police officers have spoken to members of the South Pembrokeshire Hunt after being reported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The IFAW reported the hunt to cops after claiming to have spotted huntsmen and hounds behaving "suspiciously" whilst out hunting in Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire…. IFAW hunt monitors were up at 7am for the South Pembrokeshire Hunt's meet on September 24 and claim to have captured footage of hounds chasing a fox on video… (story)

Telegraph 17.12.05 Oxford scraps party after animal lab threats By Rosie Murray-West - Oxford University students and staff have had a Christmas party cancelled after threats and harassment from animal rights activists. The threats are part of a campaign against a laboratory the university is building on the South Parks Road. The manager of Café Rouge, in Little Clarendon Street, Oxford, confirmed that a party booked last night for the clinical neurology department had been cancelled. She did not want to be named and would not comment on the reason, but sources said the bar had received "countless calls" from activists threatening to picket the party. The cancellation followed incidents at the Wheatsheaf pub on Oxford High Street earlier this month, when activists turned out at the experimental psychology department Christmas party and disrupted it…. (story)
Telegraph 17.12.05 Who are the activists? - Animal Liberation Front… Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty… Speak… (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 17.12.05 Kindness at Christmas - Claudia Tarry, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid, Tonbridge. (letter)
Derry Journal 16.12.05 Compassionate Christmas - VIVIENNE RHODES (letter)
Malvern Gazette 16.12.05 Animal-friendly - PAULINE BURGESS, Richmond Road, Malvern Link. (letter in archive)
Derby Evening Telegraph 2.12.05 ANIMALS SUFFER AT CHRISTMAS - Claudia Tarry, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent. (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 1.12.05 Ethical gifts can help animals, too - THIS year, it's heartening to see that many people are choosing to give "ethical" gifts, which support good causes…. To show shoppers, chefs and party-goers how to celebrate the festive season in animal-friendly style, Animal Aid has produced a Compassionate Christmas guide that covers food and drink, fashion, make-up, gifts and entertainment…. Claudia Tarry, Campaigns Officer, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)
Lichfield Mercury 1.12.05 HAVE CHRISTMAS FREE FROM ANIMAL CRUELTY - Diane Smith, Lichfield Animal Aid. (story)
Horncastle News 30.11.05 Make Christmas an animal-friendly time - ‘Tis the season to be jolly, to shop till we drop and stuff ourselves silly. If you’d like to know how to celebrate the festive season in animal-friendly style, here are some top tips for a compassionate Christmas:… send for Animal Aid’s Free Compassionate Christmas pack… JULIA HOLLIDAY, Horncastle (story)

Western Mail 17.12.05 Farming horror - I have just received a leaflet through my door from the "Viva" campaign, urging people to "go vegetarian" this Christmas, and to avoid eating poultry that has been bred cruelly… I wouldn't go as far as to turn veggie this Christmas as I strongly believe that meat is an essential and natural part of the human diet. But surely it is up to us all to make sure we get our Christmas provisions from local suppliers who we trust. My free-range chicken this year will come from a local farm where the birds can be seen in their natural environment…. EMYR EVANS Dinas Terrace, Aberystwyth (letter)

Daily Record 17.12.05 SHOOTING DEER IS WAY OFF TARGET - I READ with disbelief about the deer cull that is in operation in Dunkeld to stop them running on to the motorway… I amno animal rights activist, just a concerned person who is appalled at violence to innocents as an acceptable solution. Shame,shame,shame Mark O'Neill,Glasgow (letter)

Western Daily Press 17.12.05 BADGER BLAME IS SO MISGUIDED - The fact that this disease is called bovine TB should explain where it originates from. Your columnist Johnny Kingdom mentioned badgers possibly catching TB from foraging in meadows and looking for earthworms under cow pats. This leads me to ponder if badgers are becoming contaminated with TB by this means, then obviously the dairy cows are infected within the herd…. M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)


Torquay Herald Express 16.12.05 I'LL DEFY THIS ABSURD HUNTING LAW - I'm staging a public protest against the hunting act. I'm going to use four dogs to hunt wild deer, hare and foxes, basically whatever I can find. I've notified the police, the League Against Cruel Sports and Hunt Watch… It's up to them. Either they can prosecute me or they can allow me to continue to hunt by failing to enforce an absurd law. GILES BRADSHAW, Rose Ash, (Full details supplied) (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.12.05 DISTURBED BY THE DEATH OF GOAT - We were deeply disturbed to read about the havoc caused by the East Cornwall Hunt when it allowed its hounds to stray on to private land and attack a pet goat, which later had to be put down. At the same time, one of the hounds plunged 100ft to its death. As an organisation concerned with monitoring the Hunting Act, we would like to ask what the hunt was doing near a cliff top. Surely, if they were trail hunting within the law, this havoc would not have occurred…. Dave Wright, Hunt Watch, Norwich, (by email) (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.12.05 WE MUST ENFORCE THE HUNT BAN LAW - If fox hunting is supposed to be banned, the law should enforce it completely. We can do without these "guardians of the countryside" seeking to abuse wildlife. Captain Farquhar was fined £6,000 for discharging a chemical which polluted a stream. Also, when the late Duke of Beaufort hunted during a swine fever epidemic, his tenants expressed their disapproval…. Miss E A Smith Ashton Bristol (letter)

Wisbech Standard 16.12.05 Postbag - Shooters are not murderers - I AM writing to say I am a shooter not a mass murderer. Shooters do not shoot everything that moves…. A TAYLOR, Fendyke Road, Emneth (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 16.12.05 Help stop sheep suffering - G Hudson, Lea Road, Wolverhampton (letter)
Bath Chronicle 24.11.05 CRUEL TRADE HAS STARTED UP AGAIN - MRS M BURTON, Winsley Hill, Limpley Stoke (letter)
North Devon Journal 17.11.05 EXPORTS OF LIVE ANIMALS SO CRUEL - With reference to the letter on 'Facts Wrong on Live Stock', are they wrong? I agree with Veronica Leat. Stop these cruel exports of live animals. Yes, it is cruel, these poor, poor, dumb animals. Mentally just what are these poor, poor, dumb animals going through?... STANLEY THOMAS, Clovelly Close, Bideford. (letter)
Halesowen News 11.11.05 Live exports back on - Burton, Halesowen (letter in archive)
Keighley News 11.11.05 The trade in live sheep exports which has been dormant for the last nine months has resumed again through the Port of Dover… GWYN HAMILTON, Burnroyd Avenue, Cross Hills (letter in archive)
North Devon Journal 3.11.05 FACTS WRONG ON LIVESTOCK - Having read the letter from Veronica Leat 'Stop these Cruel Live Exports', I felt that I had to reply as does she really know what she is talking about? She states that the 'lorries' are crammed full of sheep, which are suffering, stressed, injured etc, can she prove these allegations? I am a lairage manager of a slaughterhouse (plus a Mum, and a Sheep farmer), so I see first hand livestock lorries every day, and have not seen any of the problems that she has said… So please not abuse the livestock hauliers in North Devon and Cornwall etc, because they are the best. And I suggest you should spend a day with one of them to see how professional their job is, and not speculate on something she does not know nothing about. ELAINE NEALE, Address supplied. (story)
Worcester Evening News 3.11.05 Needless suffering in live sheep trade - STEPHEN SCRIMSHAW, Evesham, Worcestershire. (letter in archive)
Argus 31.10.05 Letter: Live export rears its ugly head again - -David Hammond, Hassocks (letter in archive)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 28.10.05 Animal suffering unnecessary - Jane Burgess, Bromford Lane, West Bromwich. (letter)
Shropshire Star 28.10.05 Live export can lead to death - Mary Birtwhistle, Telford (letter)
Kent/Sussex Courier 28.10.05 THE trade in live sheep exports which has been dormant for the last nine months has resumed again this week through the port of Dover… M Munro, Furzefield Avenue, Speldhurst (letter)
York Evening Press 28.10.05 End live exports - C Tweddle, Moorside, Tockwith, York. (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Times 28.10.05 Suffering sheep - M LADY FULLER, Corsham (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 28.10.05 ANIMALS DESERVE FAIRER TREATMENT - J M Ward Minehead Somerset (letter) href="">North Devon Journal 27.10.05 STOP THESE CRUEL LIVE EXPORTS - Whenever i pass a huge, multi-tiered lorry crammed with sheep, on the link road I shall wonder whether they are destined for live export, to Europe and beyond. I have just learned from Compassion in World Farming that live sheep exports have resumed this week…. VERONICA LEAT, Churchill Way, Northam. (letter)
Chorley Citizen 27.10.05 Cruelty goes on for sheep - R Hammonds, Millfield Road, Chorley (story)
Ilkley Gazette 27.10.05 Sheep exports - Mavis Thornton 10 St Mary's Close, Ilkley. Mrs S M READ 126 Skipton Road, Ilkley (letter in archive)
Bristol Evening Post 27.10.05 LIVE SHEEP EXPORT TRADE IS INHUMANE - W E Day (Miss), campaigner and supporter of Compassion in World Farming, Kingsdown (story)
Horncastle News 26.10.05 Sheep export suffering has started again - MS J HOLLIDAY, Horncastle (letter)
Liverpool Daily Echo 25.10.05 Animal compassion - I WOULD like ECHO readers to be made aware that the trade in live sheep exports resumed again last week - more than 10,000 sheep left Dover for France… If readers are concerned with the suffering of these farm animals, further information can be found on Compassion in World Farming's web-site… Margaret Donnelly, Aigburth (story)
Western Daily Press 21.10.05 STOP THE SCANDAL OF SECRET SHEEP TRADE - The trade in live sheep exports has been dormant for the last nine months but has now started up again with a vengeance… If animals are to be slaughtered, then a trade in meat is the kindest and most humane way. Bernie Jones Gloucester (letter)
Bath Chronicle 20.10.05 LIVESTOCK SHOULD BE KILLED NEAR THEIR HOMES - The trade in live sheep exports which has been dormant for the past nine months has resumed again this week through the port of Dover…. It is widely accepted that animals should be slaughtered as near as possible to the farm of rearing. I believe there is also no good reason to transport animals on long journeys simply for further fattening… If you are concerned with the suffering of these farm animals, further information can be found on Compassion in World Farming's (CIWF) website… MARY LADY FULLER, Neston, Corsham (story)

Western Daily Press 16.12.05 TESSA IS LIVING IN A TURKEY HEAVEN - For the last three years, the Western Daily Press has kindly published a photograph and update on my sponsored turkey Tessa, which lives at Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk. Tessa was rescued from the intensive factory farming industry… If Tessa could only speak her motto would be: "Save a turkey this Christmas - don't eat one."… Miss Elizabeth Howe Yeovil Somerset (story)


Shropshire Star 15.12.05 Get facts right over shooting - This is the second time that Judy Hewitt, League Against Cruel Sports, has got her facts wrong. The last time was about the RSPCA not finding homes for 11 foxhounds in Cumbria… Where did she get the idea about huntsmen blowing the brains out of the hounds when they are no use to them anymore? The hunts use the same gun that hunts use to kill foxes, and just to remind her it is called a humane pistol…. D Evans, Telford (letter)
Shropshire Star 9.12.05 Hunt dogs the victim of animal protestors - What a sick complaint from Judi Hewitt, (North Wales Area League Against Cruel Sports), that the Star doesn’t show pictures of a huntsman “euthanasing” hounds at the end of their working lives. These are animals bred, trained and cared for by hunt staff and the mutual affection between hounds and huntsman was well depicted in the photograph she ridicules. I wonder if Ms Hewitt would also require the Star to publish pictures of a vet having to humanely put down pet animals?... The unscrupulous take their unwanted pets out in the car and dump them far from home. Is this the alternative your correspondent would choose?... B R Lewis, Shrewsbury (letter)

Ulster Herald 15.12.05 Game is free range and it‘s good for you - I am writing in response to the December 1 letter, Nothing Natural About Game Shoots. Mr Hobday asks is game ‘wild, natural and free range‘. The answer is, of course, yes, as Mr Hobday well knows, since the Advertising Standards Agency Authority agreed with us when he complained himself on this very subject… There have been many uninformed comments and much mis-information on this matter from those who oppose shooting regardless of any scientific evidence. However, the facts speak for themselves; game is a healthy food and is good for you, good for the countryside and good for the economic development and sustainability of the rural economy. Lyall Plant, Director of Communications, Countryside Alliance Ireland, Lisburn (letter may be in archive)
Ulster Herald 1.12.05 Nothing natural about game shoots - I wonder if your readers are aware of the incredible waste of sentient life perpetrated by the commercial shooting business? The Countryside Alliance claims that every gamebird killed at a shoot ends up on the dinner table. This is a lie; there is proof that many dead birds are simply dumped, sometimes surrounded by snares to trap wild animals…. Millions of other animals are shot, snared or poisoned every year in order to preserve artificially high populations of pheasant and partridge. How does that square with the Countryside Alliance's assertion that game is ‘a sustainable product‘?...Mike Hobday, League Against Cruel Sports, 83-87 Union Street, London, SE1 1SG (letter may be in archive)

Western Daily Press 15.12.05 GAME BIRDS ARE DYING IN AGONY - Midday today a shoot was taking place behind my bungalow. As it was getting dusk I found a dead partridge in my drive with a pellet wound in its breast. What agony it must have suffered until it died. So much for the statement that all injured birds are found. May I also say that I support the ban on foxhunting. Being a gamekeeper's daughter I had to live through the cruelty behind both these sports when I was a child…. Linda Dean Warminster Wiltshire (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 15.12.05 Tail-docking report handed to parliament - A REPORT on the practice of tail-docking, which claims it is both painful and damaging to a dog's health, has been presented to a Scottish Parliament committee. The report, compiled by Advocates for Animals, states that tail-docking causes acute pain to puppies, may cause long-term pain, and may even reduce the strength of the dog's back…. (story)
Glasgow Herald 15.12.05 Vet leads campaign to outlaw docking ‘mutilation’ of dogs’ tails - LUCY BANNERMAN - ANIMAL rights campaigners yesterday urged Scottish ministers to outlaw the docking of dogs' tails as part of new legislation on animal health, after branding it a painful and unnecessary "mutilation". Emma Milne, a vet who features in the BBC programme Vets in Practice, led the appeal for a total ban of the practice…. (story)
Scotsman 14.12.05 TV vet calls for ban on dog docking - A TV vet is visiting Holyrood to demand MSPs ban the docking of dogs' tails. Politicians on the Environment and Rural Development Committee are to hear evidence from representatives of various animal organisations on the practice. And vet Emma Milne - one of the stars of the BBC programme Vets in Practice - will be outside the Parliament to lobby them… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 15.12.05 ORGY OF DESTRUCTION AT THE CHICKEN SHED - LEON WATSON - A Bloodthirsty animal has ripped out the throats of hundreds of chickens at a Swansea farm, it emerged today. The animal - believed to be a mink or polecat - left a trail of blood and guts at the Bevexe Fawr Farm in Dunvant. It stole into a shed under cover of night and went on the rampage killing more than three hundred hens. The orgy of destruction was discovered at 7am yesterday by shocked farm workers…. (story)

Western Gazette 15.12.05 HOUNDS OF LOVE - Animal lovers from across the West Country accompanied by rescued greyhounds gathered outside Glastonbury's Abbey Moor Stadium on Monday to hold a candlelight vigil. The event was part of International Animal Rights Day, which saw more than 40 events taking place across the UK… (story)

Telegraph 15.12.05 Masked builders hide from animal activists By Rosie Murray-West - Builders working on a new research facility in Oxford are so afraid of reprisals from animal rights activists that they are wearing masks to hide their faces…. Builders and decorators in the Oxford area have also been sent threatening letters warning them not to work with the university…. Robin Webb, an ALF spokesman, warned that no university property would be considered safe. The Speak campaign, which says it uses lawful means to protest against the laboratory, claimed the masked builders proved that there is "one law for us and another for Oxford University"…. (story)

Bromley Times 15.12.05 Vigil for animals - ANTI-VIVISECTION campaigners held a candle-lit vigil outside a charity shop to, they say, "remember animals that died as a result of cruel practices in laboratories". The Passive Pressure Animal Welfare Group lobbied shoppers outside the Cancer Research store in West Wickham on Saturday to mark the 8th International Animal Rights Day. Organiser Jan Yarker said: "It was lovely and peaceful. We got a lot of support from people, loads signed our petition…. (story)
Bromley News Shopper 5.12.05 Protesting for animals - ANIMAL rights campaigners are holding a candlelit vigil to remember creatures who died in laboratory testing. The event on Saturday will take place outside the Cancer Research UK charity shop in West Wickham High Street from 4.30pm to 6.30pm…. Jan Yarker, an animal rights campaigner from West Wickham, said: "It's not a question of putting animals before humans. It's simply about respecting life…." (story)

Oxford Mail 15.12.05 Fresh animal lab protest - Animal rights protesters are planning a mass demonstration in January against Oxford University's construction of an animal testing laboratory… The demonstration is the latest in a series of marches through the city centre by the protest group Speak…. (story in archive)

Ilkley Gazette 15.12.05 Animal plea - Timothy Kirkhope Leader of the Conservatives, European Parliament, (MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber). (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 13.12.05 Fur trade - Timothy Kirkhope, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, Main Street, Scotton, Knaresborough. (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Evening Post 13.12.05 Cruelty behind 'cute' Christmas gifts - Can I implore the people of Yorkshire/Humberside not to be tempted to buy gifts this Christmas that could encourage the deplorable trade in dog and cat fur… It is clear that the overwhelming majority of MEPs would support a ban. It is now up to the Commission to act. Timothy Kirkhope, MEP, Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament (MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber), Scotton, North Yorkshire. (letter)

Tamworth Herald 15.12.05 ENJOY CHRISTMAS ...WITHOUT TURKEY! - Turkey, turkey, turkey... that's all I see everywhere, how to cook, stuff and eat the poor defenceless bird…. It is possible to live without eating meat, the only justification is that you enjoy the taste. Is that a good enough reason to inflict pain on a living creature?... A meat free humanitarian. (Details supplied). (letter)

Northern Echo 15.12.05 MAN AND WILDLIFE - AP Kirk, Stokesley. (letter in archive)
North East Evening Gazette 15.12.05 Sick card trick fools nobody - Isn't man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife - birds, deer, kangaroo, and all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice, foxes, and dingoes - by the million - to protect his domestic animals and their feed…. then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for a cure for these diseases… Meanwhile some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a years sends out (pointless and useless) cards while foolishly praying for "peace on earth". Merry Christmas. A P KIRK, Stokesley (letter)

Independent 15.12.05 Working for the RSPCA - A job with the RSPCA can involve abseiling, white-water rafting and orienteering - not just desk work, writes Clare Dwyer Hogg… Instead of soft-focus images of fluffy cats, Andrex-style puppies, happy cows and fields full of frolicking lambs, it's a bit more rock'n'roll. Or so a documentary following the lives of trainee RSPCA inspectors hopes to show. Airing in January, RSPCA: Have you got what it takes? reveals the rather surprising training that it seems trainee inspectors have to undertake…. (story)

Cambrian News 15.12.05 Sanctuary manager discmisses abuse of funds allegations - THE MANAGER at Ty Agored Animal Sanctuary has said that he is “confident” that allegations of abuse of funds will be found to be baseless, after trustees met with officials from the Charity Commission. Manager James Muir said: “There was a meet-ing between the Charity Commission and the board of trustees some three or four weeks ago, and they said they’ll inform us of the conclusions in writing…" (story)


Carmarthen Journal 14.12.05 GRISLY FOX FIND 'MADE ME SICK' - Angry animal lovers called police after finding five dead foxes in a hedgerow near Carmarthen. They made their grisly find on Saturday morning at Ffynnonddrain, Trevaughan. David Griffiths, who lives nearby, said he felt sick to the stomach: "They were draped like trophies in the hedge - an horrific scene."… Mr Griffiths said there was both a strong pro and anti fox hunting community in Carmarthen. "In fact, we have friends who are pro-hunting. But even they thought this was unnecessary grief for anyone who came across the carnage…” Dyfed Powys Police spokeswoman Sian George said: "We did get a report that dead foxes had been displayed on a hedgerow and went to investigate. We found four foxes lying behind the hedge. No offences were disclosed and we will not be taken any further action…” (story)

Shropshire Star 14.12.05 Shot game birds not free range - Every year tens of millions of game birds are intensely reared in factory farms — in conditions even crueller than those of broiler and battery hens — before being abandoned on shooting estates to provide targets to people who enjoy inflicting pain on birds and animals…. RJ Edwards Shrewsbury (story)

Oxford Mail 14.12.05 People come first - In response to Adolfo Sansolini, of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (Oxford Mail, December 6), no-one would use animals in medical research were it not necessary…. If any of your readers would like to help safeguard future medical progress, contact Patients' Voice, PO Box 504, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU5 5WS or email THOMAS BROMLEY, Executive Secretary, Seriously Ill for Medical Research, Dunstable (letter in archive)
Oxford Mail 6.12.05 Outmoded policy - We, the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection), the leading animal rights organisation that peacefully campaigns against vivisection, were saddened to see reports that Oxford University has resumed the building of its controversial new animal research laboratory… ADOLFO SANSOLINI Chief Executive, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (letter in archive)

Third Sector 14.12.05 Fundraising: Animal charities face fall in overall donor numbers - The number of people donating to animal welfare causes has plummeted by 24 per cent in the past five years, according to research carried out by customer relationship management specialist Experian…. The research was contradicted by the RSPCA, which said that it had not experienced this "apparent trend" and that the numbers of direct debit givers, for example, had continued to rise… (story)

Rhyl Visitor 14.12.05 Protest at the animals' 'Holocaust' - MEMBERS of North Wales Animal Rights held a demonstration in Rhyl at the weekend as part of a worldwide protest against the meat industry. The group chose the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) Holocaust On Your Plate campaign to put across their belief that meat is murder…. (story)

Western Morning News 14.12.05 Cruelty of fur trade - I SAW the recent television pictures of cats and dogs being so cruelly treated in China, and I will never visit that country while this cruelty continues…. A Smee, Lostwithiel (story)

Torquay Herald Express 14.12.05 BEATLE SHOULD THINK OF PEOPLE - Paul McCartney spouts he will not perform in China because of the horrid way it treats animals, something he very recently found out…. mightn't this mega famous Liverpudlian have been moved a whole lot sooner by the way China treats its PEOPLE? DAVE MANLEY, New Exeter Street, Chudleigh (story)

Aberdeen Evening Express 14.12.05 HELP THE DISABLED WHO SUFFER - With regard to the letter of December 12 about animal cruelty, which has been publicised by Sir Paul and Heather McCartney. I would like to draw your readers' attention to the hundreds of so-called care homes in Eastern Europe and other areas in which thousands of mentally and physically handicapped children and adults are confined in absolutely appalling and cruel conditions… I can never understand why there is so great a reaction to stories about cruelty to animals (which I do not condone) while the plight of this vulnerable group of people is ignored… Val Holroyd, Culter (letter)
Aberdeen Evening Express 12.12.05 SIGN UP TO STOP CRUELTY - I Refer to the BBC News broadcast of November 28 where an underground videotape was witnessed by Paul and Heather McCartney. This tape showed an edited version of unbelievably cruel treatment inflicted on defenceless cats and dogs in China and their eventual slaughter, to procure skins to the fur trade…. John Adam, Danestone Aberdeen (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 14.12.05 SLAUGHTER IDEA IS MONSTROUS - I Think it is a shame that there needs to be a discussion about whether the 50 or so wild boar assumed to be living freely in the Forest of Dean should be allowed to continue their lives…. Leave them alone. The thought of them being deliberately killed is monstrous. CONSTANCE EVANS, via e-mail (letter)

Carmarthen Journal 14.12.05 STAMPING OUT ANIMAL CRUELTY - Animal lovers in Carmarthenshire are being asked to save their stamps from cards and parcels over the Christmas festivities in aid of Animal Action Week. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has organised the annual event to raise awareness of animal welfare issues…. (story)

Guardian 14.12.05 Something to shout about - Benedict Southworth, new director of the World Development Movement, has no plans to let the organisation go soft - Tash Shifrin … Southworth became a Green activist at university in Derek Hatton-era Liverpool - he says he was the organising type who booked the minibus - and, he cheerfully recalls, he "laundered" money for animal rights campaigners who were having "local difficulties"…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 14.12.05 Inquiry after chimp shot by Tom Stirling - AN INVESTIGATION is being launched after a chimpanzee was shot dead at Flamingo Land theme park at Kirby Misperton, near Malton… AN INVESTIGATION is being launched after a chimpanzee was shot dead at Flamingo Land theme park at Kirby Misperton, near Malton…. (story in archive)
Yorkshire Post 10.12.05 CHIMP ON RUN IS SHOT DEAD - Mark Branagan - A chimpanzee was shot dead yesterday after running amok at a Yorkshire zoo – leading to a row between theme park owners and animal rights campaigners…. Captive Animals Protection Society campaign manager Craig Redmond said: "Serious questions need to be raised immediately about how an adult chimpanzee managed to escape and why the animal was shot dead."… (story)
Independent 10.12.05 Zoo criticised for shooting dead 'dangerous' escaped chimpanzee By Samantha Murphy - A "dangerous" chimpanzee has been shot dead after it escaped from a family zoo….The Captive Animals' Protection Society, an organisation campaigning to end the captivity of animals in zoos and circuses, said that an immediate inquiry must be launched into how the animal escaped and why she was shot dead. (story)
Northern Echo 10.12.05 Shock as runaway chimp is shot by Joe Willis - A CHIMPANZEE was shot dead yesterday after making a King Kong-style bid for freedom… The Captive Animals' Protection Society has called for an inquiry into the escape and shooting. Scarborough animal rights campaigner Sue Stone said: "I'm disgusted. I don't believe they have the experience at the zoo for the animals they keep." (story in archive)


Independent 13.12.05 Hunted down: the truth about Cameron's racy pursuits By Guy Adams - David Cameron's time at Eton, not to mention his royal ancestry, have done little to dent his popular appeal; but can his modernising reputation survive the revelation that he's a fully paid-up member of the Green Welly brigade? During an investigation into the new Tory leader's rural credentials, Horse and Hound magazine has discovered that Cameron is a mustard-keen horseman who "rode out" several times last season with the Old Berkshire Hunt… (story)

Western Mail 13.12.05 Farmers lift their ban on army training - Steve Dube, Western Mail - TENANT farmers in the Elan Valley have agreed to lift their ban on soldiers using their land for training. Robert Lewis, chairman of the Elan Valley Tenants' Association, said they had agreed to lift a ban imposed in response to the ban on hunting with hounds after meeting Brigadier Iain Cholerton, Commander of 160 (Wales) Brigade…. (story)
Powys County Times 12.12.05 Farmers retreat in army training ban - AN 18-month ban preventing the Army training on 43,000 acres of land between Rhayader and Cwmystwyth has been lifted. The ban had been imposed as a result of farmers’ dissatisfaction with the Hunting Act and the blanket ban on hunting with dogs, however, following a meeting with Army chiefs the decision has been taken to allow the Army to train on the land once again… (story)
BBC News Online 6.12.05 Farmers retreat over SAS land ban - Farmers have lifted an 18-month ban which has stopped the SAS from training on 43,000 acres in mid Wales. Imposed as a protest against hunting laws, members of the Elan Valley Tenants' Association changed their minds after meeting army chiefs…. Mr Lewis said: "We listened to the powerful case provided by the brigadier for the need for training in the Elan area and having listened decided that we did not wish to disadvantage soldiers…." (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 13.12.05 ENTIRE PACK 'MUST DIE' - The entire pack of 27 hounds of the Burton Hunt is to be destroyed following attacks on sheep…. December 1960. (story)

Western Daily Press 13.12.05 HUNT BAN BLOCKS STUDIES OF HARES - With reference to your article, "Hares decline studied" (Western Daily Press, December 7). Hare numbers have indeed declined since Victorian times, when their population was probably at its highest… Hare hunters have kept records of hare populations throughout England and Wales since 1983…. Hare hunting had the unique ability to expose and count the hare population, recording the health and fitness of the animals and working alongside farmers to help and advise them on habitat conservation where and when appropriate. The Hunting Act has greatly affected our ability to collect this valuable data. The Hare Hunting Association remains committed to promoting the fitness of the hare population. Jennie Stafford Hare conservation officer Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles Cirencester (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.12.05 HARE'S DECLINE STUDIED - The UK's fastest land animal, the brown hare, which can run at up to 35mph, is fast disappearing after sightings of the creatures - which can be shot at will at any time of the year - have plunged. Now two West sites have been chosen among a clutch around the country to help conservationists get a better picture of their true numbers. The ultimate aim is to double the UK population of spring hares by 2010… (story)

Western Morning News 13.12.05 WHY CAN'T WE ALL LIVE AND LET LIVE? - Looking at the global view we are faced with only three problems - said, of course, with tongue in cheek. First, religion, which is causing mayhem worldwide…. Second, Blair and his "reform, reform, reform". Aren't we all sick to death of it?... And finally, something I am not really interested in - other than that it should be a case of "live and let live" or - the good old hunting issue…. How tragic for our dear old likeable rogue the fox to be destroyed by a group that was trying to save it. The common link between these examples is the narrow, self-centred view imposed by minorities on the majority who are of the "live and let live" variety. J W Hillson, Yelverton Devon (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 13.12.05 COMPASSION IN BLOOD SPORTS? - The Conservative Party says it will repeal the Hunting Act and the Echo, December 7, reports its new leader, David Cameron, as having said: "I want us to give this country a modern compassionate Conservatism that is right for our times and right for our country." The personal website of Mr Cameron includes country sports as one of his interests, but how hare coursing or stag-hunting etc, can be described as modern or compassionate is beyond my understanding…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Irish Independent 13.12.05 Bloody Christmas - In this Christian and supposedly civilised country there will be widespread cruelty inflicted on wild animals during the Christmas holiday season. This reaches a peak on St. Stephen's Day, which is a traditional time for hunts meets and hare coursing events…. John Tierney, Campaigns Director Association of Hunt Saboteurs, Dublin 1 (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 13.12.05 ANGLERS IN SUPPORT TO BIRD TEAM - Anglers at a lake where two swans were killed have handed over almost £550 for a charity which rescues the birds. Newent Angling Club presented £549.60 to Hereford and Worcester Swan Aid, which has been called out to help with incidents at Newent Lake…. (story)

Western Morning News 13.12.05 Unfair picture of racing - LOUISE Piddington (WMN, December 6) presents an unfair and untrue picture of racing. No issue has a higher priority for the Jockey Club than the welfare of the horse…. Dr Peter Webbon, Director of Veterinary Science and Welfare Jockey Club (letter)

BBC News Online 13.12.05 Town pet shop to close its doors - A pet shop in Shropshire that was criticised by animal rights activists is to close after half a century. Corner Exotics, known to generations of shoppers as Pets' Corner, has been on Mardol in Shrewsbury for 52 years…. (story)

Worcester Evening News 13.12.05 Shocking life of broiler chickens - I am writing to inform readers about the shocking life of intensively farmed broiler chickens … Animal welfare group Viva! has filmed undercover inside broiler chicken farms and revealed shocking conditions… NJ WOODBRIDGE (Mrs), Worcester. (letter in archive)

News Shopper 13.12.05 GO VEGGIE: How many more scares must there be before we realise killing animals for food is unnecessary and dangerous?... TONY NORWELL Abbey Wood (letter)

UTV 13.12.05 Call for probe into fur farms - New footage taken by anti-fur farming group Respect for Animals is prompting them to call on the Agriculture Minister to investigate practices at such farms in Ireland… (story)
Highland Radio 13.12.05 Animal rights group slams treatment of mink on Donegal farms - An animal rights group says video footage taken at a fur farm in Donegal raises serious questions about the methods used to kill mink The Respect for Animals Group claim the footage is damming and places an onus on Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan to act… (story)

Telegraph 13.12.05 Stop and think before wearing fur - I was saddened to see your fashion pages featuring fur items…Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) shows clearly that all fur production entails great suffering, and that wearing fur - however old it may be - encourages and supports unregulated fur farming worldwide… Susan Scott, London SE22 (letter)

Yorkshire Post 13.12.05 Changed menu From: Pat Rattigan, Quarrybank, Chesterfield. I see that the new Tory leader is setting up an environmental committee. We can take it, I sincerely hope, that the menus at the inevitably extended lunch sessions will reflect the fact that there is no such thing as a non-vegan environmentalist… (letter)

Western Morning News 13.12.05 Despair at cruelty to pets - ANYONE who has had the task of finding caring and responsible owners for pets will feel despair at news items of cruelty to cats and dogs. It seems incongruous that column after column in your paper advertises puppies and kittens for sale… R West, Torpoint (letter)

Western Morning News 13.12.05 Ron the reactionary - REGARDING "Chips with the squirrel, sir?" (November 16) - what a reactionary and opinionated article written by Ron Bendell. My hackles automatically went up when I read "tree-huggers". Up to that point I'd tended to agree with him, but then the usual pro-hunting, rodent bashing, animal rights bashing took over…. P Smith, St Austell (letter)


Exeter Express & Echo 12.12.05 HUNT BOSS IN TALKS OVER KILLING OF PET GOAT - A couple whose pet goat was savaged by foxhounds which ran amok on their land have met hunt bosses to look at ways of 'redressing the situation'. Ken and Lesley Prickett were stunned to see more than two dozen hounds pouring on to the 10-acre plot of land around their home at Roseland, near Liskeard…. Members of the East Cornwall Hunt apologised to the couple on the day and the Pricketts met Francis Martin, chairman of the East Cornwall Hunt, on the Saturday after the incident. Mr Prickett said the meeting had been an amicable one…. (story)
Mirror 10.12.05 CRAZED FOX HOUNDS TEAR PET GOAT FLOPSY TO SHREDS By Richard Smith - MARAUDING hunt hounds ran amok in a private garden and savaged to death an adored pet pygmy goat called Flopsy…. The 26 hounds burst in to the 10-acre grounds of retired social workers Lesley and Ken Prickett, who fiercely oppose blood sports, during a drag hunt…. Lesley, of Roseland, Cornwall, said: "It was horrible watching her suffer. We're so angry with the hunt - their hounds had absolutely no right to be on our land. The whole thing was absolute mayhem. Some dogs got stuck in a quarry and had to be rescued by the RSPCA. We're thinking about taking the hunt to court."… East Cornwall Hunt master Graham Higgins has apologised to the couple saying it was an "isolated incident"… (story)
Western Morning News 8.12.05 FOXHOUND PLUNGES TO DEATH - A foxhound was killed when it fell 100 feet over a quarry cliff during a hunt. It was one of five hounds from the East Cornwall Hunt which careered over the edge of the quarry at Roseland, near Liskeard. They had trespassed on to a privately-owned farm and injured a pet goat after losing the drag scent before they ran over the edge. The hunt has been criticised because one of the hounds became trapped halfway up the cliff and had to be rescued in an expensive operation by police, animal welfare officers and two firecrews…. (story)
Plymouth Evening Herald 8.12.05 DOG DIED AFTER HUNT WENT OUT OF CONTROL - Foxhounds which ran out of control during a drag hunt trespassed onto private land, savaged a pet goat to death and then triggered an expensive rescue operation when one hound became trapped halfway down a cliff. Five hounds from the East Cornwall Hunt careered over the edge of a quarry at Roseland, near Liskeard…. Graham Higgins, master of the hunt which keeps 50 hounds and covers a wide area of Bodmin Moor, said: "It was a very regrettable incident and we have expressed our apologies to the landowner…." (story)
Cornish Times 2.12.05 Rescue drama after hounds fall over cliff by Alastair Wreford - POLICE and fire crews were called to a farm at Roseland between Liskeard and Trerulefoot on Wednesday afternoon to rescue straying foxhounds which had plunged over a cliff. Police officers and firefighters from Bodmin and Liskeard were joined by Caradon District Council’s animal welfare team as the rescue mission got under way. A police spokesman said yesterday that the incident began when hounds from the East Cornwall Hunt strayed on to private land and attacked a pet goat, which later had to be put down. At the same time one of the hounds plunged 100 feet to its death over the edge of a quarry face and another became trapped after it also fell… (story)

BBC News Online 12.12.05 Former Beatle 'inspired by Bambi' - Singer Sir Paul McCartney has said the 1942 Disney film Bambi inspired him to take an interest in animal rights…. (story)
Daily Post 12.12.05 Bambi inspired McCartney - SIR Paul McCartney has credited Bambi with inspiring his fight for animal rights. The former Beatle, 63, is famous for his animal welfare activism…. (story)
Sun 12.12.05 Bambi's deer to Macca - SIR Paul McCartney has revealed his fight for animal rights was inspired by BAMBI — the Disney cartoon fawn. The ex-Beatle, 63, says the 1942 tale of the deer whose mum is shot by a hunter was a poignant lesson for him as a child. He said: “Bambi made me grow up thinking hunting isn’t cool….” (story)
Scotland on Sunday 11.12.05 'Bambi' turned McCartney vegetarian - Sir Paul McCartney has credited the animated film character Bambi with inspiring his fight for animal rights… "If you think of Bambi, its mum gets killed by a hunter, and I think that made me grow-up thinking hunting isn't cool," he said. "It always gave me that idea….” (story)

Scotsman 12.12.05 Disgraced peer granted hearing to challenge fireraising term - JOHN INNES - THE disgraced peer Mike Watson has been granted an appeal hearing to challenge the length of his jail sentence for starting a fire at an upmarket hotel…. Lord Watson is reportedly planning to move to London with his third wife, Clare, on his eventual release. Although he is no longer an MSP and was expelled from the Labour Party, the former Scottish tourism, culture and sport minister is still entitled to sit in the House of Lords. This entitles him to subsistence expenses of £64 a day, and he can also claim for accommodation costs of £128 a night. (story)

Sun 12.12.05 Sophie in shooting fury - PRINCE Edward’s wife Sophie was slammed by animal rights campaigners last night for shooting pheasants. The Countess of Wessex, 40, blasted bird after bird out of the sky on the Royal estate in Sandringham, Norfolk… Andrew Tyler of Animal Aid accused Sophie of being “despicably cruel”. (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 12.12.05 Protesters go to the dogs... By Kevin Burchall - GREYHOUND race goers at Blunsdon's Abbey Stadium were met by an animal rights demonstration on Saturday evening… "The whole point of the vigil is to raise awareness of what happens to thousands of greyhounds when they no longer race," said Gina Harris, co-ordinator for the Avon and Somerset branch of Greyhound Action… Protester Claire Girbbon travelled all from Gloucester to hand out leaflets at the vigil…. Helen Osbourne, 30, was horrified to learn of the cruelty…. (story)

Guardian 12.12.05 Support for campaigns to replace animals in research - How unusual for a campaigning organisation opposed to vivisection such as the BUAV to find some good news in an article supposed to be damning for animal rights… According to the article, a new poll shows "half of the respondents" in support of animal testing - results understood to be showing growing public support when compared to a similar poll in 1995 - with only 40% in agreement. But a simple Google search reveals the opposite. In 2001 the same organisation asked the following question: do you support or oppose the use of animals in scientific testing of new medicines for human consumption? - 46% supported and 36% opposed it… Adolfo Sansolini, Chief Executive, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection
You describe the Association of Medical Research Charities as a "pro-vivisection" group. Our members are working towards a better understanding of health and disease, and fund diverse research methods of which that involving animals is just one. The AMRC is pro-best science, not pro-vivisection…. Dr Sophie Petit-Zeman, Association of Medical Research Charities (letters)

Nottingham Evening Post 12.12.05 HELP STOP THIS BARBARISM - I have read several letters in your newspaper describing the disgusting trade in dog and cat fur from China… I have been told by my daughter, who is a member of the animal charity PETA, that there is an Early Day Motion (EDM 94) calling for a ban…. R. TURNER Cromwell Crescent Lambley (story)

South Wales Evening Post 12.12.05 CALL FOR CAT AND DOG FUR BAN - Christmas shoppers hitting the stores this week are being warned that some of the gifts on sale could have been made with cat or dog fur…. Heather Mills McCartney, animal rights campaigner and wife of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, has joined Conservative MEPs in their call for the import and sale of cat and dog fur to be banned across the EU. Jonathan Evans, Conservative MEP for Wales, said the issue of an EU-wide cat and dog fur ban was raised frequently by his constituents…. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 10.12.05 MEP IN BID TO STOP PET FUR TRADE - East Midlands MEP Phillip Whitehead has joined campaigners protesting against the skinning and trafficking of cats and dogs in the EU…. (story)
Western Mail 10.12.05 MEP campaigns for dog and cat fur ban - A WELSH MEP is campaigning for a Europe-wide ban on cat and dog fur after the release of shocking undercover TV footage showing horrific cruelty in the Asian fur trade. Jonathan Evans, Conservative MEP for Wales, warned that the "cute animal figurines" we see in shop windows could be made from the fur of the more than 2 million cats and dogs which are strangled and stabbed to death each year for their fur…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 12.12.05 FUR OR AGAINST? STYLE SHOW SPARKS DEBATE BY JIM MCPHEATOR - A controversial exhibition has sparked a debate on whether animal fur should be used by the fashion industry. Fur in Fashion, at Snibston Discovery Park, Coalville, features displays which are meant to provoke a reaction from visitors…. (story)

Halifax Courier 12.12.05 DANCING BEARS SHAME - MAY I comment on the controversy over performing circus bears and the capture of wild animals in general? Though many of us abhor the keeping of these animals in this fashion may I draw attention to the truly abhorrent conditions of bears used for "dancing" in some Asian countries?... (Miss) C. Smith, Norfolk Place, Halifax. (letter)

Halifax Courier 12.12.05 Harping on about animal rights - I AM getting rather tired of local animal rights supporters harping on about the recent circus with the performing bear which they claim is a wild animal that should be in the wild. The bear in question is wild in law only and was born into the circus and knows nothing else…. They claim to have the support of the majority of the public but the pathetically small turnout at their demonstration against the circus is a good indication of the true level of support they enjoy. C. J. Horsman, Rochdale Road, Halifax. (letter)


Sunday Telegraph 11.12.05 Laissez faire - Now that the Conservative Party has finally decided who is to be their new leader, I wonder if they would care to include the following in their manifesto? Let the police police, let teachers teach, let parents bring up children, let farmers farm, let hunters hunt. H Fisher, Gloucester (letter)


Peterborough Evening Telegraph 10.12.05 IN FOCUS: Why Wendy is simply hooked on fishing - By day, Wendy Miller is an accountant working for a city-based firm, but in her spare time she follows her passion for fly fishing. Since she took up the sport 26 years ago, Wendy has netted herself a collection of medals and earned herself a place in the record books. Ann Molyneux reports…. (story)

Times 10.12.05 Junk medicine: animal research BY MARK HENDERSON - Seeing off the scaremongers - “The proper study of mankind is man,” wrote Alexander Pope in 1734. His words have become something of a maxim for the animal rights movement. Where anti- vivisectionists would once argue that animal experiments are unjustified, regardless of any medical benefit, many now contend instead that such benefits are illusory and the experiments worthless…. Such arguments are the staple fare of Europeans for Medical Progress (EMP), which proclaims itself to be a patient advocacy group interested in improving medicine…Unfortunately, it supports this view by playing fast and loose with the evidence. This week, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld five complaints against Our Children’s Health?, an EMP leaflet that was an outlandish example of dubious hyperbole masquerading as scientific fact… There is room for legitimate debate about whether animal research is ethical, or even whether it is always the best way of making medically significant discoveries. Baseless assertions about death and suffering, however, only confuse the issue. It is gratifying to see them dismissed by an independent body like the ASA. (story)
The Scientist 7.12.05 UK rules against animal rights group - Decision stemmed from scientific organizations' complaints against a group decrying animal experiments By Laura Netter - British medical researchers have welcomed a ruling today (December 7) by the UK advertising watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which has upheld complaints against an organization that released written material arguing that animal experiments can be inaccurate or fatal when applied to human diseases. As a result of the ruling, the organization, called Europeans for Medical Progress (EMP), is under pressure to amend certain claims it made in leaflets. The decision, based on five complaints from the UK Research Defence Society (RDS) and the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), is a victory for scientists who say that the issue of animal experiments has been skewed in the UK because of vociferous -- and sometimes misleading -- protests from activists…. (story)
Guardian 7.12.05 Anti-vivisection group censured by advertising watchdog - Alok Jha, science correspondent - The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints about a leaflet issued by an anti-vivisection organisation which allegedly misrepresented modern scientific animal research. The ruling comes as a new poll suggests that half of Britons support the use of animals in experiments. The complaints against the leaflet from Europeans for Medical Progress, entitled Our Children's Health, were made by two pro-vivisection groups, the Association of Medical Research Charities and the Research Defence Society. They said five particular points - including how animal experiments had held back the treatment of childhood leukaemia and the search for cures for other cancers - were inaccurate and misleading about the science behind animal research…. (story)

Sun 10.12.05 Pam in KFC hens plea - FORMER Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson brought her animal welfare fight to Britain yesterday. Pammie, 38, sent bosses of 535 KFC restaurants a film by animal group PETA of hens suffering…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 10.12.05 DON'T DISH UP FOIE GRAS TO SEE IN THE NEW YEAR - Last week's EG reviewed places in Nottingham where we could spend New Year's Eve. To describe the menus of one restaurant (Chino Latino) she used the word "hummajamumma". I don't know what this means but since one of the dishes on the menu is foie gras I would like to suggest that the words "inhumane" or "cruel" should be substituted for humma... If anyone would like to join Sir Roger, Arnie and the rest of us in stamping out this part of French cuisine that the world can do without get in touch with PETA… ANDREW SAUNDERS Orchard Drive Calverton (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 10.12.05 METHANE CAUSES DAMAGE - Eric Clements is right to point out that the European Union is to blame for the long-distance transport of farm animals to slaughter, which causes them great stress, but so do modern animal farming practices. In the dairy industry, genetic manipulation has produced high-yield cows and the crushing burden of carrying a calf and giving gallons of milk ensures that they are constantly hungry and emaciated… (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 10.12.05 Do animals have more rights than people? - Today is International Animal Rights Day and International Human Rights Day - No. People have more rights than animals, but people are more aware about animal rights nowadays - Alistair McSephney, 25, Currock, Carlisle… (vox pop)


Vale Advertiser 9.12.05 Hunt pledge By Karen Allen, Vale Advertiser - A HUNT master has pledged the traditional gathering through the middle of Denbigh on Boxing Day which attracts large crowds will continue this year and he is inviting members of the public to come and show their support. Master of the Flint and Denbigh hunt, Ricky Proffitt, said: "We're on course to meet at 11am on Boxing Day…." (story)

Horse & Hound 9.12.05 Hunting Act a threat to farming - Anna Tyzack - Farmers and hunt supporters in Wales have intensified pressure on the Welsh Assembly to amend the Hunting Act Farmers in Wales fear for the welfare of lambs next spring. The terms of the Hunting Act 2004 have rendered them incapable of controlling the ever-increasing fox population. "Livestock losses will increase dramatically," says David Thomas of the Federation of Welsh Packs. "The welfare implications are great and there will be a huge effect on the livestock industry…. (story)
North Wales Weekly News 1.12.05 Farmers' plea over fox hunts - FARMERS have called for a change to the 2004 Hunting Act. At the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells on Monday, where more than a third of Welsh hunts are represented, Wales' major farming organisations called for the Act to be amended in Wales… (story)
Western Daily Press 29.11.05 WELSH FIGHT BAN - Calls for a modified hunting ban in Wales were raised yesterday as Welsh farmers stepped up their campaign to change the law. Organisations representing farmers, shepherds, landowners and the NFU called on the Welsh Assembly to amend this year's Hunting Act so it would allow them to use terriers and more than two dogs to hunt foxes…. (story)
Western Mail 29.11.05 'Hunting Act puts lambs at risk' - AT the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells yesterday, where more than a third of Welsh hunts are represented, Wales' major farming organisations called for the Hunting Act 2004 to be amended in Wales. As the lambing season approaches, the Farmers Union of Wales, the National Sheep Association (NSA), the Country Land and Business Group Wales and NFU Cymru renewed concerns that the Hunting Act 2004 does not allow for effective pest control….(story)
Western Mail 29.11.05 Supporters call for hunting ban reform - Tryst Williams, Western Mail - HUNT supporters yesterday called for the hunting ban to be changed in Wales. The calls to amend the 2004 Hunting Act came at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells, where more than a third of Welsh hunts were represented…. (story)

Western Daily Press 9.12.05 PURSUED BY THE 'SPY IN THE SKY' - Mr R Bird is the latest in a queue of hunt supporters professing concern about the presence of helicopters during a hunt (Your Say, December 5). He makes particular reference to a TV company, complaining that their helicopter frightened the horses. However, if we look at news coverage from before the ban, there are no such complaints from hunt supporters, even in identical situations…. Gill Purser Clapton-on-the-Hill, Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.12.05 HUNT HELICOPTERS DO NOT HELP BAN - The letter by Helen Weeks concerning the police using lowflying helicopters to monitor hunts was typical of the short-sighted nonsense we have come to expect from the anti-hunt brigade…. I am sure that the vast majority of the tax-paying public would not want to see an already overstretched police force wasting their time and the vast amount of money it costs to keep a helicopter airborne for a day on the off-chance of perhaps seeing a fox being accidently caught… Mr R Bird Acton Turville Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.11.05 DOUBLE STANDARDS - It is very odd to see hunt supporters like Tony Giblin (Your Say, November 26) expressing concern about police helicopters being used to monitor hunts now that the Hunting Act is in force, when they were quite content for helicopters to hover over them before the ban was in place…. Gill Purser Clapton-on-the-Hill Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 26.11.05 A FLIGHT OF FANCY - Sir - So Helen Weeks advocates that the police should use low-flying helicopters to monitor hunts (Your Say, November 22). What nonsense, and from an animal lover? Just imagine what effect that would have on the local wildlife…. Tony Giblin, Westend, Near Stonehouse, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 9.12.05 CLASH OF CONCEPTS - David Cameron says he wants to build a modern and compassionate Conservative Party. But in what sense is introducing a Bill to overturn the ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs (a former hobby of his) either modern or compassionate? Alan Kirby Hayle Cornwall (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 9.12.05 POLICE SHOULD HAVE PARTNER TO ENFORCE ANTI-HUNT LAW - Has Mr Ogg (November 30) any proof hunt saboteurs set fire to the kennels he mentions? No animal rights person would endanger the lives of animals of any species…. The facts are plain and simple. Murdering animals for pleasure in silly red jackets using dogs as the tools is no longer permissible. I know it must be hard for some to accept but it is the law. League Against Cruel Sports members are actively working alongside the police in other areas in an evidence-gathering capacity. Perhaps the Lincolnshire Constabulary should embrace such a partnership… RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 6.12.05 ONLY LAW-BREAKING IS BY HUNT SABOTEURS - It was with interest that I read the elegantly-crafted fiction of Rachel Anstill-Dunseith… As a regular mounted follower of a local hunt, it is patently clear why the police are not wasting taxpayers' cash in policing hunts and that is because no laws are being infringed in our countryside by the local hunts. If only the same could be said of the hunt saboteurs who continue to trespass on private land and intimidate both law- abiding hunt staff and followers alike in the misconception they are assisting the law… Wake up, Mrs Anstill-Dunseith - if any group of citizens should contemplate doing something worthwhile with their time as you suggest, surely one need look no further than the hunt saboteurs whose monitoring services are now surplus to requirements. WAYNE COXLincoln. (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 30.11.05 HUNTING AND THE LAW - After the recent arson attack on the kennels of the Essex and Suffolk foxhounds, I welcome Rachel Astill-Dunseith's invitation to acknowledge who is on the wrong side of the law (November 23). Animal rights extremists are continuing to attempt to sabotage hunts rather than passively monitoring them. Dressed to intimidate in camouflage and balaclavas, they show no respect for the law, themselves trespassing and harassing those who are going about their legal business, and aggressively filming law-abiding families and their children…. ANDREW OGG Spalford, Newark
MUZZLE THE PACK: I would like to say a little something about the horrible things that happen in fox hunting. Okay, all meet up for a drink, all wear red coats, all get ready for the hunt. But put muzzles on the hounds!... TRUDIE SMITH Croft Street, Lincoln. (letters)
Lincolnshire Echo 23.11.05 Andrew Ogg would do well to acknowledge who is on the wrong side of the law (Your View, November 17). Hunt saboteurs or hunt monitors, as many are now known, are not vigilantes and are not outside the law - unlike hunts such as at Blankney, who are sadly deluding themselves that law breaking is permissible if dressed in a red jacket… No amount of rhetoric, whether it be spouted by Mr Ogg or Mr R Simpson (who feels that Echo readers need to know the contents of his Sunday lunch) can change the facts, nor can they change the law…. RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln. (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 17.11.05 - STILL IN THE HUNT: Ivor Pen's arguments against fox-hunting (November 12) are clearly based on ignorance and prejudice rather than any concept of animal welfare. To criticise the Blankney Hunt killing vermin with a bird of prey and then suggest anti-hunt vigilantes should "accidentally" shoot their eagle is moral hypocrisy indeed…. ANDREW OGG Spalford, Newark (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 12.11.05 OBEY THE BAN AND TAKE UP A PROPER SPORT! - The Blankney Hunt reminds me of sulky children who can't get their own way - they can't hunt with dogs so they get a new toy to play with, a killer eagle… MRS JILL ANDREWS Roughton Court, Ermine East, Lincoln
I wonder what the bully boys on horseback will think of next to satisfy their lust for death… SHEILA SIBBONS Langley Road, North Hykeham.
It was with some amusement that I read about Blankney Hunt's latest dodge - when are these people going to learn? The overwhelming view of the British people is that fox hunting is wrong and furthermore illegal… IVOR PEN Maple Street, Bracebridge
We are appalled at the barbaric use of birds for killing foxes… MR A. M. AND MRS Y. HARRIS Station Road, Blyton.
I am hardly surprised at the sheer arrogance of the local hunts in bragging about their use of birds of prey. They are desperate to flout the law of the land and equally desperate to maintain their perverse pleasure fix from the death of animals which have caused them no harm whatsoever…. RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln
Golden eagles should not be used to kill foxes. They should be left to be wild. SAMANTHA BRATLEY Gainsborough. (letter)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 9.12.05 Bird breeding farm growth plan stunted By Andrew Heath - A BIRD breeding farm in Warwickshire has failed to get planning permission to expand. Heart of England Farms, in Kington Lane, Claverdon is run by Ole Gronning who breeds pheasants and partridges for shooting…. Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, helped Mr Hopkins campaign against the expansion plans…. (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 9.11.05 Bird breeding farm growth plan stunted By Andrew Heath - A BIRD breeding farm in Warwickshire has failed to get planning permission to expand. Heart of England Farms, in Kington Lane, Claverdon is run by Ole Gronning who breeds pheasants and partridges for shooting…. Neighbour Roy Hopkins, of Kington Lane, Claverdon, was opposed to the application… Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, helped Mr Hopkins campaign against the expansion plans… (story)

The Sentinel 9.12.05 DO VETS THINK RACING'S CRUEL? - Mr T A Eaton, of Waterhayes Village, is missing the point (Letters, December 5). How race horses are cared for is not an issue. The fact they are in work under three years of age is… One of my horses broke a bone while in training as a two-year-old, having never raced. It had to be put down. I would love to hear a vet's view. DAVID MOULTON Longton (story)

Western Daily Press 9.12.05 DOG DO-GOODERS DON'T KNOW FACTS - I felt compelled to reply to the letter by Gina Harris of Avon and Somerset Greyhound Action (Your Say, December 5). Having been involved with greyhounds for 25 years I feel a few facts regarding racing and retirement need to be taken on board by these do-gooders: greyhounds enjoy racing… What I believe is cruel is standing outside stadiums on a cold night with dogs that should be indoors, and unqualified people getting involved with dogs that they clearly do not understand. Roly Phillips Netheravon Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 8.12.05 THE REAL VICTIMS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY - Believe it or not, greyhounds are bred to race, whether it be after real hares or artificial ones. These so-called animal welfare do-gooders (Western Daily Press, December 5) should be worrying about dog owners who keep their pets in blocks of flats, getting little or no exercise, and leave racing greyhounds, who are in the main extremely well looked after, alone. P Martin Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.12.05 RACING LAWS MUST CHANGE - I am writing to express my dismay at the recent renewal of Abbey Moor stadium's betting license by Mendip District Council. Despite receiving more than 500 objections to the greyhound racing that takes places at the Glastonbury stadium, the council was unable to withhold the licence, as animal welfare is not legally taken into account when such decisions are made… Gina Harris Avon & Somerset Greyhound Action Bristol (letter)

Guardian 9.12.05 How green are our Tories? - As the Conservatives look to rebrand themselves as the environmental party, Matthew Tempest looks at their record and asks how seriously we should take them… Addressing a group of delegates from the Countryside Alliance - a pressure group founded to preserve the sport of foxhunting, but also these days trying to reinvent itself as a lobby group for the rural community - the then shadow environment secretary, Oliver Letwin, promised to make the Tories the natural party of the environment…. (story)

Scotsman 9.12.05 Oh lord, it's time to put the bin out - SHAN ROSS - BLUE blood no longer cuts any ice with one Scottish council, which has ordered the landed gentry to drag their wheelie bins to the ends of their extensive driveways if they want their rubbish collected….A spokesman for the Scottish Countryside Alliance, the rural pressure group, said: "We think this is rather mean- spirited of Scottish Borders Council. People who live in the countryside pay their council tax the same as everyone else and are entitled to a full service…..(story)

Telegraph 9.12.05 GM mice lead to rise in animal testing By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - A rise in the use of genetically altered mice for scientific research has contributed to an overall increase in animal testing, according to Home Office statistics revealed yesterday…. The statistics confirm Britain's status "as the vivisection capital of Europe", said the director of the campaign group Animal Aid, Andrew Tyler. The RSPCA said it was "outraged" and Adolfo Sansolini, of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, criticised the Government for concentrating on the violence of animal rights extremists against people, which he said diverted attention away from the fact that millions of animals were still being used in experiments…. (story)
Scotsman 9.12.05 Ten-year high in number of animal experiments - RAYMOND HAINEY - THE number of scientific tests involving animals in the UK rose by 2.3 per cent to 2.85 million last year - the biggest number in over a decade…. (story)
Guardian 9.12.05 GM animal tests continue to rise By Paul Rincon - The rise in use of genetically modified animals in UK labs shows no signs of abating, government figures reveal…. Campaign group Animal Aid has published its own report to coincide with the release of the statistics that brands the use of GM animals a "scientific dead end…. (story)
Reuters 8.12.05 British medical tests on animals hit 12-year high - Britain carried out 2.85 million scientific experiments on animals last year, up 2.3 percent on 2003 and the highest level for 12 years, according to data released by the government on Thursday…. But pressure group Animal Aid slammed the rise in testing as an "unforgivable betrayal of the public as well as of animals," and raised particular concern about the growing use of genetically-modified animals… (story)
DeHavilland 8.12.05 UK animal testing rises - The number of animal experiments in the UK rose marginally last year, new government figures have revealed…. But the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) has criticised the government for failing to listen to the "growing number of scientists who are opposed to animal testing" and not investing significantly in alternatives to animal testing…. (story)
BBC News Online 8.12.05 GM animal tests continue to rise By Paul Rincon - The rise in use of genetically modified animals in UK labs shows no signs of abating, government figures reveal… Campaign group Animal Aid has published its own report to coincide with the release of the statistics that brands the use of GM animals a "scientific dead end"…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 9.12.05 'TIME TO CLEAN UP YOUR ACT' BY GARY MITCHELL - Makers of cleaning products have been criticised for testing them on animals. Carlym Sandringham, who is leading a city council working group clearing authority storerooms of products not approved by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), urged shoppers to join the boycott…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 9.12.05 GREENS BLAST FACTORY FARMING - Gloucestershire Green party has completed an online European Commission opinion poll about the welfare and protection of farmed animals… Philip Booth, a Gloucestershire Green party spokesperson, said: "There is growing interest in more humane, free-range farming methods for animals in some countries, but sadly the vast majority of animal products come from intensive farming…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 9.12.05 BADGER SNARES WILL FLOUT LAW - I Have been very concerned that farmers are to be allowed to apply for licences to capture and kill badgers using snares. However strong opinion is concerning bovine TB/badgers etc I do not feel farmers should be free to kill badgers. The "link" is still not proven. It also would seem as if Defra had thrown its hand in… PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill (story)

Hull Daily Mail 9.12.05 MP HONOURED FOR ANIMAL CAMPAIGN - Mp Ian Cawsey has won an award for his work promoting animal welfare. Mr Cawsey, who represents Brigg and Goole, won the animal welfare champion award at the Charity Champion Awards for the second year in a row…. (story)


Western Gazette 8.12.05 HENRY SALE AIDS AIR AMBULANCE - A Langport farming family have been embarking on a novel way to raise funds for the Somerset & Dorset Air Ambulance service. Helicopter Henry, a Charolais steer, was raised by Trevor and Debbie Stanbury on behalf of the Seavington Hunt and has been sold at Highbridge market on 5 December as part of the Christmas Fatstock Show, raising £835. The cost of raising the steer was met by members of the hunt who purchased Squares of Hairs, which raised another £650…. (story)
Western Gazette 8.12.05 HUNT'S HAIRY HENRY HELPS HELICOPTER - The Seavington Hunt Supporters' Club will donate £835 to Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance after some innovative fund raising. The club sold 605kg bullock Helicopter Henry at Highbridge market on Monday, after selling the animal's "hairs" to cover the cost of its upkeep…. (story)

Western Gazette 8.12.05 Hunting debate is no surprise - BERNARD Levin in his book Enthusiasms published in 1983 stated that "members of The League Against Cruel Sports would not abate their detestation of fox hunting in the least even if they were assured that the foxes enjoyed it by the foxes themselves. The hatred of pleasure, which has grown vastly powerful in our own day, has almost entirely ceased to be routed in moral or ethical grounds."… John Rawlins, Bishops Caundle (letter)

Daily Post 8.12.05 Shoot the pheasants - A NEW Mid Wales tourism business is already straining to accommodate demand for pheasant shoots. Farmers Mick and Henia Slack moved to Welshpool in 2002 after buying Moors Farm, once the principal farmhouse of Powis Castle. After renovating the building to provide B&B accommodation, the Slacks began renting the neighbouring pheasant shoot at The Rhallt…. (story)

North Devon Journal 8.12.05 THANK YOU, SHOOTERS - On behalf of the 1,400 children whom we treat at Vranch House School, including 300 in North Devon, I would like to thank the Challacombe Shoot on Exmoor for raising a magnificent £7,000 on the November 24. The syndicate donated the day and keepers, loaders, beaters, the game cart and pickers up gave their services for free and provided and bid for auction prize…SUE GOULD, Vranch House School and Centre, Pinhoe Road, Exeter (letter)

Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 8.12.05 Brief respite from extremist caper - much relief, satisfaction and pleasure, while flicking through the 'Strathy', I found that the newspaper was, at least temporarily, a capercaillie-free zone. I have no axe to grind with caper or any other of our Scottish fauna - only with those extremists who puts its welfare and wellbeing way above humans and their rights…. No RSPB or conservation official has ever deigned - or should that be dared - to comment publicly against the ritual blasting of the caper's smaller cousins from the sky - the slaughter on our autumn moors. Too many full pockets to offend?... IAN J. MACPHERSON Ardenbeg Cottage, 46E High Street, Grantown. (letter)

Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 8.12.05 Fearing for the extermination of deer - I have lived all my life in this area and was employed for 15 years on the hill ground which is now owned by Scottish Natural Heritage, and is supposed to be Inshriach and Invereshie nature reserve. I find it very sad and hard to believe that SNH, by their irresponsible deer management policies which involve shooting red and roe deer all year round, regardless of sex, have virtually made the reserve's population extinct…. Tourists would much rather see deer than an endless mass of pine and birch scrub. - Yours etc, DONALD MILTON 1 Dalnavert Cottages, Feshiebridge, Kingussie. (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 8.12.05 BIRDS OF THE KILLING FIELDS - An annual bird slaughter goes on in the winter regardless of weather, from dawn to dusk every day… This sickening pastime is carried out by the farmers, who will no doubt claim the necessity because of crops. So why are pheasants bred to be let out on to the fields to be slaughtered? Revenue? Greed? Or just the "pleasure" of the kill?... If individuals wish to use guns, why not a clay pigeon apparatus? MRS K. L. TOMS Church Lane, Corringham. (letter)

Times 8.12.05 Death of dog tests the viewers on Channel 4 BY ADAM SHERWIN, MEDIA REPORTER AND CLAUDIA JOSEPH - CHANNEL 4 is bracing itself for protests next week when it screens footage of a dog being killed by lethal injection before a post-mortem examination in a medical research laboratory. Viewers of the drama-documentary Animals, to be shown after the watershed on the broadcaster’s digital channel More4, will also see a monkey being pumped full of chemicals… The film is the first of a series of programmes examining the use of animals to test drugs. Channel 4 refused to identify the laboratory because of a fear of reprisals. Scientists agreed to co-operate to widen the debate about animal experimentation… A spokesman for the Animal Liberation Fund said: “Anything that widens the public’s awareness of how animals are treated in our society is a good thing.”… (story)

Oxford Mail 8.12.05 Police move on animal lab demo - Police moved on animal rights protestors targeting a university Christmas party at an Oxford city centre pub…. Four protestors from the animal rights group Speak were allowed to continue the demonstration at an alleyway leading to the pub… The landlord of the pub, who asked not to be named, said he had received around a dozen threatening or obscene phonecalls during the day… (story in archive)
Guardian 6.12.05 Animal rights campaigners target Oxford Christmas party - Donald MacLeod - Animal rights protesters today targeted a Christmas party being held by Oxford University staff in the latest move in their campaign against a £20m research laboratory. The Speak group said it had discovered that the department of experimental psychology was holding a party in a city centre pub and urged supporters to phone the venue with their objections to the animal experiments going on at the university…. (story)

Northern Echo 8.12.05 ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS - UK and Dutch animal protection groups have been formed to target the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC) in Holland, which uses chimpanzees in experiments. The Coalition to End Experiments on Chimpanzees in Europe (CEECE) has the support of David Attenbrough, Jane Goodall and Desmond Morris… Please, please approach your MP on this matter. - M Embling, Crook. (letter in archive)

Irish Examiner 8.12.05 Time for action against cruel puppy farms - A YEAR ago, in response to the public outrage that followed raids on horrific puppy farms around the State, the then Minister for the Environment, Martin Cullen, convened a working group… The National Stray Dog and Cat Forum met recently in Dublin. It represents the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), Irish Kennel Club (IKC), Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, Veterinary Ireland Companion Animal Society (VICAS), 25 other local animal welfare and rescue organisations, and representatives of nine county councils. The forum agreed unanimously to the following statement: "We, the undersigned, agree in principle with the recommendations of the report of working group to review the management of dog breeding establishments. We urge the minister for the environment to proceed with implementation of its recommendations."… Peter A Wedderburn, Brayvet Animal Hospital, Old Conna Ave, Bray, Co Wicklow (letter)

Weston & Worle News 8.12.05 ENDANGERED BEAR HELPED BY ART SHOW - North Somerset China Moon Bear Rescue held an art exhibition over the weekend at Daucey's Hotel, Weston, in aid of Animals Asia Foundation… (story)


Carmarthen Journal 7.12.05 ALLIANCE CHIEF BACKS FARMERS OVER HUNT CALL - A Carmarthen man has backed calls from major farming organisations in Wales for action to amend the 2004 Hunting Act…. Members of the Farmers' Union of Wales, the National Sheep Association (NSA), and Country Land and Business Group Wales, were all at a meeting at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells. Adrian Simpson, the Carmarthen-based South Wales regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "All of Wales' hunts are still operating within the law. "However, there is great concern that within the terms of the Hunting Act 2004, hunts and farmers will be unable to protect newborn lambs from foxes….” (story)

Independent 7.12.05 Christine Pullein-Thompson - Mistress of the children's pony story By Nicholas Tucker - Christine Pullein-Thompson, children's writer: born London 1 October 1925; married 1946 Julian Popescu (two sons, two daughters); died Norwich 2 December 2005…. As a former whipper-in of hounds for the Woodland Hunt, Pullein-Thompson often brought field sports into her stories. In We Hunted Hounds (1949), the headings for Marcia Lane Foster's illustrations give a flavour of a now lost world of fiction: " 'Our idea is to start a pack of foxhounds,' said Andrew"… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 7.12.05 HUNTERS ARE DEFYING LAW - Andrew Ogg claims (November 30) that hunt monitors who attempt to film illegal hunts are behaving "aggressively", and he seems very confident that allegations of illegal hunting are unfounded. There is in fact an abundance of evidence across the country of hunts blatantly breaking the law…. I think it is the hunts which behave aggressively, both toward innocent animals and toward those trying to protect them. ANNE SIMONS Hunt Watch, Norwich (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.12.05 ALLIANCE ORDERED TO DROP AD CLAIM - The Countryside Alliance has been told to drop a bogus claim that a shooting school raised £1million for charity, after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled against it… The claim was made in the Alliance's pro-shooting brochure On the Front Foot… In it, the Alliance stated: "Last year a shooting school in Berkshire announced that it had raised £1million for good causes." But in fact, antishooting group Animal Aid discovered the school - the Royal Berkshire Shooting School - had raised little more than £1,000 itself in three years, and the £1million was likely to have been raised at events where charities paid as much as £15,000 to hire the school's facilities. The Alliance said it didn't even consider the brochure to be an advert and it was merely stating what the school itself had made as an announcement… (story)

Fenland Citizen 7.12.05 Shooting should be banned too - I HAVE always dreaded the shooting season, as I know mass murder in the countryside will take place. I am a country man and a farmer and I fear the general public will tar us all with the same brush. The government banned fox hunting, which I agree with… Julian Kirk, Harps Hall Road, Walton Highway. (story)

Redditch Advertiser 7.12.05 Tinsel in time for concert - THERE has been a seasonal new arrival at an animal sanctuary in Tardebigge. Maureen Lawless, owner of Farm Animal Sanctuary, found a box containing a live turkey at the gates… (story in archive)

Edinburgh Evening News 7.12.05 City zoo bosses go ape over plan to let MSPs ban animals - IAN SWANSON - BOSSES at Edinburgh Zoo fear new legislation going through the Scottish Parliament may damage their work and put them at a disadvantage with zoos south of the Border. The Royal Scottish Zoological Society has told MSPs it is "greatly concerned" about a proposal to give the Scottish Executive powers to ban the keeping of certain species. And it claims the move could harm the national and international work done by Scotland's only zoo on animal conservation…. Animal welfare campaigners have recently been lobbying for Edinburgh Zoo to retire Mercedes, the last polar bear in captivity in the UK, from public show… The International Fund for Animal Welfare welcomed the new powers and urged the Executive to ban the keeping of primates as domestic pets…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 7.12.05 FARMER FACING ARREST - A Carmarthen farmer convicted of a catalogue of animal cruelty has now been made the subject of an arrest warrant by the courts. William John Jones of Cwm Farm, Blaenycoed, failed to appear before town magistrates to be sentenced last week for causing unnecessary suffering to his cattle and breaking a ban on keeping livestock…. Ruth Goldberg from West Wales Animal Aid in Trelech said it was possible Jones was not concerned about the conviction… (story)

Lancaster Citizen 7.12.05 Flight strike A LANCASTER fast food restaurant will be picketed by protestors on Saturday inter-national Animal Rights Day. Protestors will hold a candlelit vigil at the city's KFC outlet from 4.30pm, carrying a coffin to represent the 850 million birds killed every year for KFC. Candles will be lit in remembrance of the billions of animals throughout the world kept in cruel conditions, says campaigner Pauline Wellings. (story)


BBC News Online 6.12.05 Hunts deny breaching hound laws - A hunt supporter is denying claims by opponents of the blood sport that hunts in Lincolnshire are breaking the law. … Phillipa Mayo from the Campaign for Hunting, who rides with the Cottesmore Hunt, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has not had any evidence presented to them to bring any action…." (story)

News Letter 6.12.05 Rural Group Welcomes Hare Survey Findings - Leading rural campaigning organisation, Countryside Alliance Ireland has warmly welcomed the findings of the latest Irish Hare survey undertaken by Queen's University. The survey estimates the population of Irish Hares in Northern Ireland to be over 43,000 and confirms that Irish Hares continue to be widespread and abundant in the province… The contribution Northern Ireland's coursing clubs have made to important research carried out by Queen's University is also well recorded…. Ronan Gorman, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance Ireland (letter)

Western Morning News 6.12.05 FLAWS IN FOX SHOOTING RESEARCH - John Rolls, of the RSPCA, either misunderstands or ignores fundamental points regarding his organisation's position on hunting and shooting (WMN, November 17)…. James Barrington, On behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group (letter)
Western Morning News 29.11.05 CHANGE IN RSPCA'S ANIMAL RIGHTS POLITICS - Rspca director John Rolls' criticism of former RSPCA Council chairman John Hobhouse (WMN, November 17) centred on the validity of research on wounding carried out for the All Parliamentary Middle Way Group…. He rightly cites the peer-reviewed Middle Way Group research, which shows at best 10 per cent wounding rates with rifles at night, and 20 per cent wounding rates with shotguns. In both cases, only very rarely are there effective means available of following up a wounded animal…. The reality, Mr Rolls, is that nothing has changed beyond the RSPCA's animal rights politics. Edmund Marriage, Cirencester (letter)
Tamworth Herald 24.11.05 RSPCA DEFENDS HUNTING BAN - John Rolls, Director of Animal Welfare Promotion, RSPCA. (letter)
Western Morning News 22.11.05 EFFECTIVE SHOOT RELIES ON TARGET STANDING STILL - I was astounded to read the comments made by John Rolls director of Animal Welfare Promotion, RSPCA (WMN, November 17). He said: "An effective second shot (at a fox) would in many cases reduce the period of suffering caused by wounding on the first shot to a matter of a very few seconds" If Mr Rolls had any real knowledge of the subject he would have known that the most effective and humane way of shooting a fox is with an appropriate calibre rifle and with a shot taken at a stationary animal. However there can be no guarantee that the animal is not going to move off during the time taken to pull the trigger plus the action time of the gun to fire the bullet, and plus the transit time of the projectile itself…. Even if there was time to take a second shot you just don't take shots with a rifle at a moving animal. There would be a good chance of missing it completely or causing another wounding and even more suffering… John Dike, Crediton (story)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 19.11.05 Foxes face slow and painful deaths - J HOBHOUSE, Farleigh Court, Wiltshire. (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 17.11.05 FLAWED RESEARCH ON SHOOTING FOXES - John Rolls, Director of Animal Welfare Promotion, RSPCA (letter)
Tamworth Herald 10.11.05 DISMAY OVER HUNTING BILL - J S Hobhouse, Wiltshire. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 9.11.05 END SUFFERING - John Rolls, Director of Animal Welfare Promotion, RSPCA (letter)
Yorkshire Post 8.11.05 Wounding levels of shot foxes found to be higher than expected From: James Barrington, All Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group, House of Commons, London. HEATHER Holmes of the RSPCA either misunderstands, or ignores, fundamental points regarding her organisation's position on hunting and shooting (Yorkshire Post, November 1). The Middle Way Group study into wounding levels in shot foxes did not state the obvious, as she says. This research tested legal shooting regimes using many real-life shooters and found that wounding levels were much higher than anti-hunting bodies had previously argued…. The method used by the RSPCA to assess wounding levels in shot foxes, which examined X-rays of foxes taken to wildlife hospitals, is hopelessly flawed and could not possibly be extrapolated to represent the situation in the whole country…. With regard to this flawed Hunting Act being enforceable, DEFRA officials, after weeks of uncertainty in defining the offence, eventually said that it all comes down to intention. The RSPCA does much good work in many different areas and the inspectorate is to be complimented on its varied skills, but I do not think that mind-reading is one of them. (letter)
Worcester Evening News 8.11.05 There is no need for foxes to suffer more - JOHN ROLLS, Director of Animal Welfare Promotion, RSPCA (letter in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 7.11.05 RSPCA BELIEVES HUNT BAN IS ENFORCEABLE - JOHN ROLLS, Director of Animal Welfare Promotion, RSPCA, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex (letter)
Staines Guardian 4.11.05 Humane hunting - J S Hobhouse Wiltshire (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 4.11.05 'HUNT BAN DOES PUT ANIMAL WELFARE FIRST' Heather Holmes, RSPCA regional press officer – North (letter)
Brentwood Gazette 2.11.05 HUNTING ATTACK DISMAY - J S HOBHOUSE, Farleigh Hungerford, Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.11.05 FATAL FLAWS OF NEW HUNTING SHAKE-UP - J Hobhouse Farleigh Hungerford Wiltshire (letter)
Yorkshire Post 1.11.05 Foxes need not suffer From: Heather Holmes, RSPCA regional press officer – north, Leeds. THERE is no need for foxes to be subjected to increased suffering just because hunting has been banned. The study by the Middle Way Group referred to by the letter's author, JS Hobhouse, used a selection of unskilled and skilled shooters, with a range of weapons and ammunition, without any attempt to relate these variables to reality…. The British Association for Shooting Conservation, like the RSPCA, criticised the original Middle Way Group research for failing to assess whether the researchers' experimental shooters and experimental set-ups echoed the situation in the field…. The RSPCA also believes the Act is enforceable, and, given such extensive practical experience of enforcing such legislation, our views cannot be discounted – our 323 inspectors secured 1,665 convictions for animal cruelty last year (letter)
West Cumberland Times & Star 28.10.05 - AS a life member of the RSPCA for 50 years and a former national chairman (from 1969 to 1975), I have watched the attack on hunting with dismay…. J S HOBHOUSE, Hungerford, Wiltshire (letter)
The Shields Gazette 26.10.05 Hunting attacks deplorable - J S Hobhouse, Farleigh Court, Farleigh Hungerford, Wiltshire. (letter)
Worcester Evening News 26.10.05 Attack on hunting won't help the fox - J S HOBHOUSE, Farleigh Hungerford Wiltshire (letter in archive)
Grimsby Telegraph 26.10.05 URGENT ACTION - J S Hobhouse, Farleigh Court, Farleigh Hungerford, Wiltshire (letter)
Western Morning News 25.10.05 Act harms foxes - J S Hobhouse, Wiltshire (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 24.10.05 Hunt Act will cause suffering - J S Hobhouse, Farleigh, Hungerford (letter in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 24.10.05 SEVERELY FLAWED ACT - J S HOBHOUSE, Farleigh Hungerford, Wiltshire (letter)
Yorkshire Post 22.10.05 WHY HUNTING BAN IS CAUSING GREATER SUFFERING From: JS Hobhouse, Farleigh Hungerford, Wiltshire. (letter)
Bath Chronicle 21.10.05 RSPCA STALWART HITS OUT AT CHARITY - A Lifelong RSPCA stalwart has criticised the charity over its stance on hunting. Former national chairman of the anti-cruelty organisation John Hobhouse says in a letter to The Bath Chronicle today that he is "dismayed" by its opposition to blood sports, because he argues other forms of control are more damaging. Mr Hobhouse, who lives at Farleigh Hungerford, chaired the organisation between 1969 and 1975, and has been a stalwart of the Bath branch…. (story)
Bath Chronicle 21.10.05 HUNTING FOXES IS A BETTER OPTION - JS HOBHOUSE, Farleigh Hungerford (letter)
Times 15.9.05 RSPCA and the effects of the ban on hunting - Since the RSPCA’s raison d’être is to prevent cruelty to animals, of course we support the law banning hunting (Mr John Hobhouse’s letter, September 12). There is no need for foxes, horses and hounds to be subjected to increased suffering as a result. The best-known research showing high wounding rates in shot foxes was carried out by the Middle Way Group. The RSPCA challenges the validity and premise of this research, which in our view merely provides support for the prediction that unskilled shooters with inappropriate weapons are most likely to wound rather than kill the target animal…. JOHN ROLLS, (Director, Animal Welfare Promotion, RSPCA) Horsham, West Sussex (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.9.05 HUNT-BAN BACKING - A Leading animal welfare charity defended the hunting ban yesterday and hit back at critics who warned that shooting foxes was more cruel than using hounds. John Rolls, of the RSPCA, said as the body's "raison d'etre is to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to animals, of course we support the law banning hunting"… (story)
Birmingham Post 13.9.05 Ex-RSPCA boss backs fox hunting - A former chairman of the RSPCA has attacked the organisation for supporting the fox hunting ban. John Hobhouse said shooting foxes was crueller than hunting with hounds which should be allowed under licence with extra legal protection for wild animals…. Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrat MP and co-chair of the Middle Way Group of MPs which wants licensed hunting, said: "I am encouraged but not surprised that Mr Hobhouse has taken this view." (story)
Western Daily Press 13.9.05 FORMER RSPCA BOSS ATTACKS HUNTING BAN - A Former chairman of the RSPCA yesterday attacked the charity for supporting the fox hunting ban. John Hobhouse said shooting foxes was crueller than hunting with hounds which should be allowed under licence with extra legal protection for wild animals… (story)
Country Life 12.9.05 Ex-RSPCA Man Argues For Hunting - John Hobhouse, an ex-Chairman of the RSPCA, has written to the Times to express his dismay at the charity's stance on hunting - By Holly Kirkwood (story)
Times 12.9.05 RSPCA and Hunting Act - As a life member of the RSPCA for 50 years, I have watched the charity’s attack on hunting with dismay. Though hunting must cause some suffering to the animals concerned, that should be assessed comparatively with other legal methods of control… I estimate that the horse-racing world will see possibly 2,000 animals, normally absorbed into hunting and point to points, thrown on to the open market. As a result, horse prices will drop and many will go to the meat trade. The RSPCA was, in my view, wrong to give the impression that all hunting hounds could be taken in by RSPCA kennels… The Hunting Act is severely flawed and unworkable. It should be amended as a matter of urgency…. That the RSPCA, which does immensely important work on so many animal welfare fronts, has been party to this fiasco is a tragedy. JOHN HOBHOUSE, (Chairman, RSPCA, 1967-75), Farleigh Hungerford, Wiltshire (letter)

Western Morning News 6.12.05 DESTRUCTIVE FERAL CATS MUST BE ROUNDED UP AND DESTROYED - Reading Trevor Beer is always a breath of fresh air. However, I cannot share his delight in feral cats (WMN, November 25). These creatures, who must prey on what they can get to survive, add to the decimation of many small birds and mammals without discrimination…. The RSPCA, and even the RSPB, are "cagey" on the subject of cats; "monitoring" the situation - which, of course, leads nowhere. I suspect they are afraid of antagonising their cat-loving supporters. The fact is that if one tolerates cats (in excess) and their hunting habits one has no business "condemning" (how I've come to loathe that vogue word) properly conducted hunting by hounds. Instead the RSPCA asserts that the bullet of the "trained marksman" is more merciful than the tooth of the hound which is infallible. It forgets that tooth, claw and beak are essential tools of predation and the way the natural world works. The cat is an instinctive but not a natural predator. It calls for control. John Hillier, Burnham-on-Sea (letter)

News Shopper 6.12.05 Go open a fox sanctuary - With reference to Mrs C Runcorn's letter of November 2. I often read letters from Mr D Walters and replies and I'm just appalled to read how opinionated and hurtful people can be, almost as hurtful as the foxes on D Walters side and the yobs on Mrs Runcorn's side…. Get a life yourself Mrs Runcorn, put your opinions to good use - open a fox sanctuary or a youth hostel!... Name and address supplied (letter)
News Shopper 25.11.05 We are all wild animals - Here we go again, having a go at foxes, (Star Letter, October 5)…. The fox, along with many wild animals, is a beautiful creature. We should appreciate all our creatures and all our peoples - Name and address supplied (letter)
News Shopper 22.11.05 Forget foxes, what about real issues? FOR the past few months I have read about nothing but foxes, with fors and againsts…. Whatever you pick on has a down fall, so why not pick on your local councillors and get something done about the area where you live?... JIM HOLDER, Halfway Street, Sidcup (letter)
News Shopper 18.11.05 Nothing wrong with foxes - John Bryant of the Fox Project was right about leaving rabbits unsupervised in the garden… The Fox Project has helped thousands of people deter foxes humanely. Killing foxes instead would simply lead to other foxes quickly moving into the area in question and would mean the fox population would breed a higher number of cubs to compensate. Name and address supplied (letter)
News Shopper 18.11.05 People are mean to foxes - Regarding the letter from D Walters about foxes, I take exception to him saying Trevor Williams, the fox expert, was talking rubbish - the woman who left her rabbit unattended in the garden, knowing foxes were around, did not show any intelligence…. They are doing no-one any harm, if only people were not so mean-minded and put a bit of food out for them, you would get a lot of pleasure from them. Mr B Taylor, Oakwood Avenue, Barnehurst (letter)
News Shopper 15.11.05 Foxes to blame for cat attacks - I AM the owner of two cats and have witnessed foxes attacking them in broad daylight on three occasions. My vet has confirmed the bite marks on my cats are those of a fox…. Had I not witnessed the first attack I would have agreed foxes pose no threat but sometimes it takes seeing something to believe it. Carl Ramsay Invicta Road Stone (letter)
News Shopper 8.11.05 Fed wild vixen from my hand - I SUPPORT all the wildlife in our garden and feed them all, including foxes, every evening. I don't know what specialist knowledge Mr Walters has regarding running down two people such as wildlife worker J Bryant or fox project worker T Williams…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)
News Shopper 8.11.05 Top cat - MR WALTERS, meet my cat Izzy. Apparently you have foxes in Sidcup who are about to bring down humans. Only one look from my cat, here in Bexleyheath and they seem to run a mile…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (an animal extremist) (letter)
News Shopper 8.11.05 Fox help - FOXES were here long before us, we have stolen their environment. Also with the so-called propaganda of bird flu maybe coming our way, we should leave the foxes alone as they will do what they do and kill the birds which are sick…. C SAUNDERS, Bexley (letter)
News Shopper 8.11.05 Feeding time CLIFF Mitchell is mystified as to how foxes come to be in possession of the eggs which they had left in his garden (Garden Visitor Gives Me Gifts, News Shopper, October 26). They were put out for foxes by fox feeders along with steaks, chickens and all things nice… It is very sad likeable but completely misguided people such as Mr Leman and friends should feed foxes and cause all of the present problems instead of devoting their efforts to helping the starving millions in the world… DOUG WALTERS, Sidcup (letter)
News Shopper 1.11.05 Forget foxes and sort out yob problem - I AM writing regarding recent letters concerning foxes, both for and against…. I cannot believe two years on there are still people like Doug Walters, whining on about how terrible foxes are. It is more than evident to everyone else this borough is heaving with so-called humans, otherwise known as yobs, who make our lives a nightmare more than any fox could ever do…. I will say it again. Give me foxes any day over so-called humans. And leave the foxes alone. Mrs C Runcorn, Faraday Road, Welling (letter)
News Shopper 1.11.05 What about a cull of cats and dogs? - ONCE again fox hater Mr Walters has voiced his opinions about trying to persuade people to believe foxes are evil. The animal lovers of this country have a lot more sense and will not listen to the rubbish you preach…. Bill Leman, Hall Place Crescent, Bexley (letter)
News Shopper 25.10.05 Writer is wrong - IN REGARD to the star letter of October 5, Don't Be Foxed By Killer's Cute Face, a fox would no more attack a child than a domestic dog would…. Foxes are hunters of birds, small animals and even rats, mice and slugs. They are not interested in hurting domestic cats. L M Smith, Address supplied (letter)
News Shopper 18.10.05 Fox letter is totally wrong - WHAT absolute tosh was written in the letter Don't Be Foxed By Killers' Cute Face (News Shopper, October 5). Foxes are yet again the target of persecution and wrong accusation…. The sleeping baby bitten by a fox in Dartford a couple of years ago was an attempt by the family to be rehoused… Name and address supplied (letter)
News Shopper 18.10.05 Good support for red friends - HOW refreshing it was to read in last week's News Shopper the letters condemning Mr Walters' call, once again, for fox culling…. BILL LEMAN, Hall Place Crescent, Bexley (letter)
News Shopper 18.10.05 Fox debate needs sensible approach - I HAVE very carefully read the replies to my letter of September 21… You asked a wildlife worker, John Bryant, who has close connections with Trevor Williams of the Fox Project to give his opinions. I have previously had to correct this animals extremist for deliberately talking utter rubbish but have obviously not had much success…. He arrogantly remarks Rebecca Stening has no intelligence whatsoever, which is typical of the way fox extremists and the Fox Project verbally assault complainants…. DOUG WALTERS, Halfway Street, Sidcup (letter)
News Shopper 11.10.05 Danger from foxes is load of rubbish - HERE we go again, the start of silly season, Mr Walter telling us that foxes are evil and will kill our children… I find it difficult to believe a seven-year-old girl was in her bedroom when a fox bit her. Experts will confirm foxes are very shy and will not attack unless cornered or protecting their young…. Its about time we human beings realised our wildlife is very precious and should be protected, not destroyed by those evil thinking few. BILL LEMAN, Hall Place Crescent, Bexley (letter)
News Shopper 4.10.05 Don’t be foxed by ‘killer’s’ cute face - DOUG WALTERS, Address supplied (letter)
News Shopper 20.9.05 How long before a fox kills a human? - SADLY there is yet another authentic case of a child being bitten by a fox. Seven-year-old Georgia Wright was in her bed when the fox bit her…. We all know what vicious killers these animals are and it is only a question of time before a child will be killed by a fox…. The Bexley Council leader Councillor Chris Ball proudly proclaimed as long as he is in charge no foxes will ever be culled…. DOUG WALTERS, Sidcup (letter)

Scotsman 6.12.05 Crime against wildlife in Scotland not increasing, although reporting is up - Your report on wildlife crime (2 December) centred on the apparent fact that new figures reveal a 50 per cent increase in the past five years. We need to keep such reports and statistics in context. Is the amount of wildlife crime actually increasing, or do these figures just underline the fact that more of these crimes are being reported by the public or detected by the police?... The British Association for Shooting and Conservation is an active partner in the fight against wildlife crime, with a proven disciplinary procedure for dealing with those convicted of wildlife crime. But to suggest that airgun crime is increasing and to imply that those managing the countryside routinely resort to illegal poisons and illegal traps is misleading…. (DR) COLIN B SHEDDEN, Director, BASC Scotland, Trochry, Dunkeld, Perthshire
The Scottish Countryside Alliance does not condone any illegal activities, and certainly not crimes against wildlife. We can and will comply with the request of Tayside Police Wildlife Crime unit to encourage our 10,000 members to, "stand up and be counted" to flush out the perpetrators. It is a great pity that the Scottish Executive has been able to release figures for the numbers of wildlife offences recorded, and yet not the types of crime… We understand the vast majority of offences against wildlife in Tayside have not been related to countrysports interests…. TONY ANDREWS, Chief executive, SCA West Mains, Ingliston Midlothian (letters)

Western Morning News 6.12.05 RACEHORSE DEATHS UNACCEPTABLE - A sad end for another beautiful racehorse - Best Mate in November at Exeter. Some 300-plus die every year in races, and when horses are no longer wanted for that purpose - entertainment - thousands are disposed of every year. Analysis by Animal Aid tells me that the burden placed on racehorses "militate against their ability to perform and amount to extreme cruel and unsustainable treatment"… Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Yorkshire Post 6.12.05 Reaching out From: Linda McAvan MEP, High Street, Wath upon Dearne. SOME readers have expressed concerns about animal rights and the new EU REACH directive (Yorkshire Post, November 22). MEPs were well aware of those concerns which is why we voted a package of amendments to minimise animal testing…. (story)

Western Morning News 6.12.05 IGNORE RESULTS OF TESTS ON ANIMALS - Thalidomide was tested on hundreds of species and sub-species after it harmed human babies, and none of them produced malformed young at the doses which crippled humans. Had these animal tests been done beforehand (as they probably were), they would have indicated that Thalidomide was safe to pregnant women…. Cris Iles, Ivybridge (letter)

Western Morning News 6.12.05 SCIENTIFIC CHAOS IN DRUG TEST SITUATION - I should like to reply to the latest letter from Thomas Bromley (WMN, November 1) who is in favour of animal experiments. According to the former scientific executive of Huntingdon Life Sciences, animal tests and human results agree 5-25 per cent of the time… If readers would like to help to fund modern medical research without the use of animals, they can send donations to The Humane Research Trust… Gillian D Russell, Aberdeen (letter)
Western Morning News 29.11.05 FUTILITY OF ANIMAL RESEARCH REVEALED - T bromley (Letters, November 1) gives the impression that animal research is responsible for medical progress. Animals' organs are designed to work in conjunction with their nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory and blood pressure systems, which are different to ours, making it impossible to equate them with humans…. Marlene Thompson, Nottingham (letter)
Western Morning News 29.11.05 FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS IN ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS - Regarding the letter by Thomas Bromley, "Patients come first in research debate" (WMN, November 1) it is a verifiable fact that animal experiments provide a very poor return in safeguarding human health… Sheila Edwards, Dubai (letter)
Western Morning News 22.11.05 Animal experiments - THE letter by Thomas Bromley "Patients come first in research debate" (WMN, November 1) deserves clarification. The animal experiment debate is not about "your dog or your child" - it is about your dog and your child…. Animals suffer in laboratories while people die from adverse drug reactions that were not predicted by animal testing… Andre Menache, Scientific consultant to Animal Aid, Tonbridge (letter)
Western Morning News 1.11.05 PATIENTS COME FIRST IN RESEARCH DEBATE - Thomas Bromley, Dunstable (letter)
North Devon Journal 27.10.05 MY MOTHER IS LIVING PROOF THAT RESEARCH SAVES LIVES - Both jm Clerke and HVF Winstone (letters October 13) were very loud in attacking medical research but remarkably quiet when it boils down to telling us what we should use instead of animals to give hope to patients who are the real losers in this debate…. If any of your readers would like to help us support the humane use of animals and genetic technology where necessary and put patients' rights on the map please contact the Patients Voice for Medical Advance (PVMA) at PO Box 504, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU5 5WS. THOMAS BROMLEY, Address Withheld. (letter)
Western Morning News 18.10.05 FANATICS HOLDING US TO RANSOM - Philip J Milton, Fellow of the Personal Finance Society (story)
North Devon Journal 13.10.05 SAME OLD OFFENSIVE VIEWS IN SUPPORT OF VIVISECTION IDEAS - I found Phillip J Milton's September 29 letter, headlined 'Action must be taken to clamp down on animal extremists,' somewhat offensive… Is this the same Phillip Milton who was formerly a shareholder in the notorious Huntington Life Science Laboratories? I believe he has a grudge against all animal lovers who helped close down this particularly wicked establishment…. . Torturing animals for any reason is immoral and cannot be justified or defended…. J.M. CLERKE, Ashmead Grove, Braunton.
PHILIP MILTON'S provocative mention of 'fluffy animals' as a prelude to a call for drastic action against anti-vivisection extremists reminds me of a distant use of very similar words and phrases. Back in 1957, as we entered the space age with the first Sputniks, Soviet scientists had an astonishing idea. They would send a dog (in fact a bitch) into space, monitor its heart beat and see how the 'little brute' responded…. H.V.F WINSTONE, Riverbank Cottages, Bideford. (letters)
North Devon Gazette & Advertiser 5.10.05 Alarming evidence on animal testing - I suggest Philip Milton does a little research (Yours Sincerely, September 25, 2005). Not all anti-vivisectionists agree with the actions of extremists, nor are they necessarily animal lovers. Many are scientists, former vivisectors and medical practitioners…. There is alarming evidence that findings from animals often cause injury and death when applied to humans… Sheila Edwards, PO Box 15825, Dubai, UAE (letter)
North Devon Gazette & Advertiser 28.9.05 Rational option to testing on animals - As a rational opponent of animal testing I was annoyed to see Philip Milton's letter stating that all opponents of vivisection are animal rights extremists. He obviously has no idea that there is an extremely strong scientific case against animal testing that has nothing to do with "fluffy bunnies"… Labour got into power with a manifesto promise to set up an independent inquiry on the efficacy of animal testing. Now that they are in power they have shelved plans, doubtlessly due to the considerable influence of the pharmaceutical industry…. Paul Nelson, Croydon (letter)
North Devon Journal 22.9.05 ACTION MUST BE TAKEN TO CLAMP DOWN ON ANIMAL EXTREMISTS - PHILIP J.MILTON, Darracott, Georgeham. (letter)
North Devon Gazette & Advertiser 21.9.05 Take action against 'animal extremists' - I appreciate that by writing anything other than comment wholly supportive of fluffy animals that I could be subjected to the vitriol of the animal extremists, but why do newspapers continue to publish misleading statements from activists and indeed print photographs which, in my opinion, do not give a true picture of reality?... Hands up those will to buy untested/no recourse drugs for their ailments…. I hope that the Government will at last take action against this handful of extremists that holds the country and medical progress to ransom… Philip J Milton, Georgeham. (letter)

Western Morning News 6.12.05 JUSTICE PREVAILED - I was really pleased to see that Robert Walker, 28, of Plymouth, has been given a life ban from keeping animals… Margaret E Sayce Upper Lydbrook Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 6.12.05 EMMA'S MISSION TO STOP CRUELTY - A woman from Cornwall has volunteered to work in Thailand for four weeks in January with the Global Volunteer Network. Emma Cashmore will assist the Wildlife Friends of Thailand rescue centre… Thousands of animals are captured from the wild in south-east Asia and sold in the fur trade and pet industry…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 6.12.05 STOP CRUEL CHINA TRADE - A Recent BBC news bulletin showed horrific scenes of terrified dogs and cats in China destined to make coats and fur items to satisfy the American and European markets…. As for me, I will boycott all goods made in China. M. Charles, Hopkin Street, Swansea (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 6.12.05 Ban this trade - THE vile trade of dog and cat fur coming into the UK from China has been highlighted again this week on the BBC news. I am sure that if the great British public were made aware of this they would not only be horrified but would boycott this and other products from China…. R DOWNIE, Elcombe, Swindon (letter in archive)


Bradford Telegraph & Argus 5.12.05 Opportunity lost - How sad it was to see that a representative of the so-called Countryside Alliance (T&A, November 15) didn't use the opportunity to draw attention to such vital issues as the threats to rural post offices, schools etc and instead chuntered on about the fact that bloodsports are now criminalised…. Sid Brown, Glenhurst Road, Shipley. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 30.11.05 Law will find you - Re the letter from Mr Richard Dodd (T&A, November 15), I would like to ask a few questions. What happens to the panic-stricken fox once you have chased it through the countryside? What happens to the hounds that don't quite meet the requirements of bloodthirsty people like you?... The Hunting Act will not only stand the test of time, it will be enforced and when people like yourself and others from your organisation (who have openly boasted they will flout the law), do actually break the law, decent and caring people (not extremists as you like to call them) will be on hand to capture you on video, so as to give the police enough evidence to charge you and prosecute you. And, like it or not, prosecuted you will be! Steven McLean, Prune Park Lane, Allerton, Bradford (letter in archive)
Northwich Guardian 30.11.05 Don't you understand? IT'S pathetic the way the Countryside Alliance is spouting that it's providing a valuable service. Just what part of 'hunting with dogs is against the law' don't they understand?... ANIMAL DEFENDER, Winsford (letter in archive)
Wales on Sunday 27.11.05 ACCORDING to the Countryside Alliance's North Wales regional director Barry Henderson, anti-hunting organisations should stop their malicious, prejudiced attacks on the rural community. As far as I can see the only ones doing the attacking are those pro-hunt extremists who refuse to accept their vile cruelty has been outlawed. Jean Bennington, Prestatyn (letter)
Bexley Express 24.11.05 So much for 'pest control' role of hunting - Eileen Wilsher, Petts Wood Road, Petts Wood (letter)
Bexley Tiems 24.11.05 So much for 'pest control' role of hunting - Eileen Wilsher, Petts Wood Road, Petts Wood (letter)
Bromley Express 24.11.05 There's no human right to be cruel - Eileen Wilsher, Petts Wood Road, Petts Wood (letter)
Bromley Times 24.11.05 There's no human right to be cruel - WITH reference to the letter from the Countryside Alliance spokeswoman continuing to rail against the ban on hunting… As to the 'invaluable pest control service' this lady claims, this assertion is blown sky-high by the leaking of a plea by the Master of Fox Hounds Association to breed more foxes to cope with the current shortage… Eileen Wilsher, Petts Wood Road, Petts Wood (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 22.11.05 HUNTING NOT THE PROBLEM - I Refer to the letter from Adrian Simpson, South Wales regional director, Countryside Alliance (Have Your Say, November 15). He stated that hunts have pledged to go out and hunt within the law. Only a few months ago, before the hunting ban came in, many hunts held organised demonstrations outside the House of Commons in Westminster, with banners and loudhailers screaming out they would not recognise any hunting ban that was voted in, and would continue hunting as usual…. J Russell, St Thomas, Swansea (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 19.11.05 Time for hunt saboteurs to give up - RICHARD DODD, North of England Regional Director, Countryside Alliance. (letter in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 17.11.05 SATISFYING THEIR LUST FOR BLOOD - What a load of garbage there was in Alison Hawes' letter (Your View, November 10) regarding hunting. Instead of blaming hunt saboteurs for wasting police resources and so on, it's the blood thirsty barbarians aka huntsmen and women who are doing that… All living things deserve respect whether it's a fox, stag, seagull or spider . Sorry almost all. There are a few two-legged beasts that don't qualify. SANDRA GODFREY, Hawkins Avenue, Torquay (letter)
Northumberland Gazette 17.11.05 Hunt saboteurs should clear off - Richard Dodd. North of England Regional Director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Northwich Guardian 16.11.05 Hunting provides valuable service - BARRY HENDERSON, Countryside Alliance (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 16.11.05 ANTI-HUNT TROUBLEMAKERS - Alison Hawes Ermington (letter)
Northern Echo 16.11.05 YES, Richard Dodd, North of England director of the Countryside Alliance, (HAS, Nov 9) it does look, smell and sound like illegal hunting until you convince us otherwise… I am a rural dweller who opposes the cruelty inherent in hunting. Like thousands of others, when the ban came in I decided to support drag hunting and followed my local hunt. I was in Sedgefield on November 5. Until hunts obey the law, my support is withdrawn… Name supplied, South West Durham. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 16.11.05 Hunt supporters guilty of hypocrisy - I HAVE rarely read a more hypocritical load of nonsense than that which was written by John Haigh, of the Countryside Alliance (Letters, November 6). He states that anti-hunt protesters show no respect for the law. Was it not the Countryside Alliance that once vehemently declared that if the Hunting Bill was passed in its entirety, they would flout the law and carry on regardless?... Mrs W P Carter, Marston Crescent, Acomb, York (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 16.11.05 Hands off hunts - Richard Dodd, North of England Regional Director, Countryside Alliance (letter in archive)
South Wales Evening Post 15.11.05 CLARION CALL TO HUNTERS - Adrian Simpson, South Wales Regional director Countryside Alliance (letter)
Basingstoke Gazette 14.11.05 The hunt is on - -Sara Rutherford, southern regional director, Countryside Alliance (letter may be in archive)
Derby Evening Telegraph 12.11.05 WARNING TO FOX HUNT MONITORS - John Haigh, Yorkshire Regional Director, Countryside Alliance. (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.11.05 HUNT VIGILANTES ARE WASTING POLICE TIME - Alison Hawes, South West regional director Countryside Alliance (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 11.11.05 HUNT MONITORS WASTING VALUABLE POLICE RESOURCES - DELLY EVERARD, Wessex Regional Director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Shropshire Star 11.11.05 Time to call off anti-hunt protests - Barry Henderson, North Wales Regional Director (letter)
Worcester Evening News 11.11.05 Hunt saboteurs are acting illegally - Clare Rowson, West Midlands regional director Countryside Alliance (letter in archive)
Hexham Courant 11.11.05 Hunting plea - RICHARD DODD, North of England Regional Director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 11.11.05 STOP CAUSING RURAL TROUBLE - DELLY EVERARD, Wessex Regional Director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Lichfield Mercury 17.11.05 HUNTING ACT 'BENEFITS NO ONE' - Clare Rowson, West Midlands Regional Director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Bromley Express 10.11.05 Saboteurs' campaign must end - Susie Setterfield, South East regional director Countryside Alliance (letter)
Bexley Express 10.11.05 Saboteurs' campaign must end - Susie Setterfield, South East regional director Countryside Alliance (letter)
Bromley Times 10.11.05 Saboteurs' campaign must end - Susie Setterfield, South East regional director Countryside Alliance (letter)
Bexley Times 10.11.05 Saboteurs' campaign must end - Susie Setterfield, South East regional director Countryside Alliance (letter)
Manchester Evening News 10.11.05 Hunts are within the law - Barry Henderson, %North Wales regional director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
North Devon Journal 10.11.05 START OF HUNTING SEASON REVIVES OLD EMNITIES - ALISON HAWES, South West Regional Director The Countryside Alliance (letter)
York Evening Press 10.11.05 Ban on hunting will not stand test of time John Haigh, Yorkshire regional director, The Countryside Alliance, Northallerton Road, Thirsk. (letter in archive)
The Sentinel 10.11.05 WE WILL STILL GO A HUNTING CLARE ROWSON West Midland's Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)
South Wales Echo 10.11.05 Hunt saboteurs are the real pests - Adrian Simpson Countryside Alliance, Spillman Street, Carmarthen (letter)
Yorkshire Post 10.11.05 Unfounded allegations From: John Haigh, Yorkshire regional director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 10.11.05 WARNING TO HUNT SABOTEURS - ALISON HAWES, Ermington, near Plymouth (letter)
Bury Times 10.11.05 Animal rights groups plan to 'sabotage' legal hunting - RICHARD DODD North of England Regional Director (letter in archive)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 9.11.05 Hunts are acting within the law - SARA RUTHERFORD, Southern Regional Director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Northern Echo 9.11.05 HUNTING SEASON - THIS weekend saw the start of the 2005/06 hunting season. Thousands of people were out supporting their local hunts in the North of England. Hunts have pledged to go out and hunt within the law this season, to retain the infrastructure of hunts and hunting, and to show that the Hunting Act will not stand the test of time…. Animal rights extremists have stated their intention of continuing to 'sabotage' hunts. They will continue to show no respect for the law themselves, trespassing and harassing those who are going about their legal business and aggressively filming law-abiding families and their children… Animal rights extremists have stated their intention of continuing to 'sabotage' hunts. They will continue to show no respect for the law themselves, trespassing and harassing those who are going about their legal business and aggressively filming law-abiding families and their children (letter in archive)

Bath Chronicle 5.12.05 LEAST HUNT CAN DO IS KEEP AWAY FROM PRIVATE GARDENS - How long will it take for hunting demotees to realise that the Hunting Act means what it says? The Avon Vale Hunt Master, whose hounds recently invaded a garden chasing a fox, claims that they were trail hunting and called off the hounds as soon as they realised they were chasing a fox. Where was the trail laid? This occurred near the A630 and why were the hounds not called back when they moved away from it or a fox scent?... The Exmoor Hunt faces prosecution for alleged illegal fox hunting, and the Cheshire Faucet Hunt recently took on audacious risk with a token kind of prey and a whole pack of hounds weed to "flush out" a fox - clearly not "falconry" therefore not exempt from the ban…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 5.12.05 Disguising truth - I take issue with some of the points raised by Richard Dodd of the Countryside Alliance (T&A, November 18). He says game `provides a flavour of the wild, unequalled by farmed counterparts'. This wilfully disguises the truth. Many large shoots intensively rear pheasants and partridge, often in squalid, overcrowded conditions, leading to distress, disease and cannibalism…. Mike Hobday, League Against Cruel Sports, Union Street, London. (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 26.11.05 PHEASANT PLEA - RICHARD Dodd of the Countryside Alliance (HAS, Nov 21) says that game is wild, natural and free range. In a report by the animal welfare organisation, Animal Aid, it is said that "by the mid-1990s, 85 per cent of the 21 million game birds shot annually were pheasants. Thus the total number of pheasants shot exceeded the then estimated wild bird population of 3.1 million by 600 per cent. This excess was entirely captive bred"…. Why do these millions of captive bred pheasant have to be shot if it is not for the so-called sport of doing so? - John Gill, Consett. (letter in archive)
Cumberland News 25.11.05 Car park charges will hit tourism - WHENEVER someone talks about nature’s bounty (Letters, November 18) it’s a fair bet they’re trying to put one over on you. It’s laughable that Richard Dodd of the Countryside Alliance claims pheasants are wild, natural and free-range….For good reason, there are severe penalties for releasing any alien creature into UK ecosystems. How come, then, shooters have free rein to turn the countryside into a pheasant shooting-gallery? JEREMY ROBERTSWetheral (letter)
Northern Echo 21.11.05 PHEASANT SHOOTING - Richard Dodd, North of England Regional Director, Countryside Alliance. (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 18.11.05 The pheasant shooting season is under way, so why not join an increasing number of people who are taking advantage of nature's bounty and try some high-quality, healthy and delicious game…. Richard Dodd, North of England Regional Director, Countryside Alliance. (letter in archive)
Cumberland News 18.11.05 EAT GAME TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH - THE pheasant shooting season is under way, so you can join the increasing number of people who are taking advantage of nature’s bounty by trying high-quality, healthy and delicious game… For more details about game, just ask your local butcher or, for some delicious game recipes, just log on to RICHARD DODDNorth of EnglandRegional DirectorCountryside Alliance (story)

The Sentinel 5.12.05 HORSE RACING'S NOT SO CRUEL - It makes me sick to hear what goes on in the racing world. To think of all those poor animals. But then reality strikes. I have two daughters, both of whom are in the field of racing. One is an apprentice jockey, the other will be the same next year… Yes, they do ride young horses, but they are well looked after. The stables are immaculate, and their horses are groomed twice a day, every day, as well as fed and given hay twice a day, every day…. Well done kids. I love you and am proud to tell people what you have done for the past five years. T A Eaton Waterhayes Village (letter)

Oxford Mail 5.12.05 Animal rights protests to increase - Animal rights protest group Speak has vowed to step up its campaign against Oxford University's construction of a new £18m research laboratory tomorrow…. Speak spokesman Mel Broughton said he would not divulge exactly what was being planned, but added that from tomorrow, bigger protests would be organised on a weekly basis…. (story in archive)
Oxford Mail 3.12.05 Demo planned as lab builders work incognito - Animal rights protesters taunted contractors for wearing balaclavas in the latest demonstration outside Oxford Univer- sity's new £18m research laboratory. And they pledged there would be a mass demo outside the development in the near future, but would not reveal precisely when…. Speak spokesman Mel Broughton used a loudhailer to lobby contractors, whose identities have not been revealed…."We will stop you from building this lab. You are very brave -- you have to cover your faces. You are sick, you need to see a psychiatrist."… (story in archive)
Oxford Mail 2.12.05 Lab protests `will not end' Animal rights protesters outside Oxford University's research lab yesterday vowed again that their campaign would intensify… Thirty people -- a much larger crowd than usual -- from campaign group Speak gathered in South Parks Road yesterday for one of its weekly demonstrations -- and the message from protesters was "we will not give up"… Protester Amanda Richards, 31, who travelled from the Midlands to be at yesterday's demonstration, said: "I try to come to as many of the protests as I can but I made a special effort to come along today…. (story in archive)
Financial Times 1.12.05 Oxford resumes work on £20m animal research unit halted by extremists By Clive Cookson,Science Editor - Oxford University yesterday resumed construction of its £20m animal research facility where work stopped almost 18 months ago following intimidation of contractors and their staff by extremists…. (story)
Oxford Mail 1.12.05 ALF issues new lab warnings - Animal rights groups have issued chilling warnings after work resumed on Oxford University's new animal testing lab yesterday. Robin Webb, press officer for the Animal Liberation Front, said: "Clearly, with what's happened since the proposals were originally floated, ALF activists will continue their campaign to stop the building of this lab…." Robert Cogswell, spokesman for Speak, said: "ALF's is an illegal campaign, but whatever they do pales into insignificance when you think about what Oxford University does in its torture labs…." (story in archive)
Times 1.12.05 Tight security as workmen return to animal tests lab BY NICOLA WOOLCOCK - OXFORD UNIVERSITY is braced for war with animal rights extremists after announcing that work has resumed on its animal research laboratory 16 months after contractors were intimidated into pulling out of the project…. Protesters, buoyed by their success in forcing the imminent closure of a guinea-pig farm, vowed to mobilise supporters from across the country. Police vehicles circled the half-finished laboratory yesterday. Officers formed protective cordons around builders, who covered their faces while delivering equipment to the site…. (story)
BBC News Online 30.11.05 Oxford resumes work on animal lab - Oxford University has resumed building work on its controversial new laboratory complex on South Parks Road. Construction work on the biomedical facility had been halted in July 2004 after a sustained campaign of protest from animal rights groups…. Robert Cogswell, from the animal rights group Speak, has said his organisation will keep fighting the university (story)
Oxford Mail 30.11.05 Work restarts at building site - Work restarted today on Oxford University's controversial new animal research laboratory 16 months after contractors fled in fear…. Before the project stalled last year, builders received threatening letters warning them: "Do business with any part of Oxford University at your peril." (story in archive)
Telegraph 30.11.05 Work resumes on threatened animal research lab - Work has resumed on a £20 million animal research centre that was abandoned last year after threats and intimidation by animal rights activists. The project in Oxford was halted in July 2004 when the building contractors pulled out after staff were threatened by the activists… (story)

Scotsman 5.12.05 Lobsters do feel pain - I was concerned to read the argument put by Peter Fraser (Opinion, 28 November), that "I don't think there is any real evidence that lobsters feel pain in the process of being boiled". There is, in fact, mounting evidence from scientists that nearly all creatures, both vertebrate and invertebrate, are capable of experiencing pain and suffering to some degree…. JULIE ROXBURGH, Co-ordinator, Shellfish Network, Forest Road, East Horsley, Surrey (letter)

Argus 5.12.05 Letter: Olympic boycott? - I applaud Sir Paul McCartney and his wife, Heather, for publicly denouncing China for allowing such barbaric, appalling and unimaginable cruelty to animals… -V Roman, Brighton (letter in archive)

Liverpool Echo 5.12.05 Cruel trade - Paul McCartney last week highlighted the terrible cruelty of the fur trade in China, which uses the coats of both domestic cats and dogs. To my horror I have noticed that the use of animal fur to trim clothing is on the increase and that a number of shops and market stalls in Liverpool are selling scarves, boots and even coats that are finished with animal fur…. Jane Leonard, L14 (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 5.12.05 NO DISTINCTION: MEAT IS MURDER - Further to Ms Price's letter Points of View, November 28, how can there be a level of tolerance with regard to the slaughter of animals? I am a vegetarian who believes that meat is murder. Just because the shedding of this lamb's blood was done in the fresh air, where he used to gambol and eat fresh grass and herbs, it does not mean that the taking of his life is no less a crime…. Frances Wicks, Alphington Road, St Thomas, Exeter (letter)

Leicester Mercury 5.12.05 PESCO-POLLO-VEGGIE IS NOT ALONE - Alan Forrest (Mailbox, November 29), you are, with the exception of your chicken-eating, a "pescetarian", or simply a "pesc"… you are already doing pretty well to avoid most meat. I was there myself for the last five or so years, but earlier this year became a genuine card-carrying vegetarian…. Dave Silvester, Nottingham. (story)

Glasgow Herald 5.12.05 How did a killer squirrel and an urban fox cross over to Bute? - VICKY COLLINS, Environment Correspondent - A SMALL island is facing one of the most significant threats to wildlife in Scotland. Would-be conservationists are jeopardising the future of Bute's unique ecosystem. Grey squirrels and foxes, which have never before lived on the island, have both been spotted there in recent months. Wildlife officers at Strathclyde police are convinced the animals have been dumped on Bute deliberately by people who found them sick or injured in cities, cared for them, and then took them to the island in the mistaken belief that it would be a better environment for them. Instead of helping animals, however, the culprits are endangering them… (story)


Wales on Sunday 4.12.05 FOX-HUNTING is farmers' preferred method of fox control. The Burns Report said it was not cruel… All I can say is watch out, your sport could be next! Fishing, shooting and the Grand National are already in their sights. G Levell, Tonna, Neath (letter)

Independent on Sunday 4.12.05 Record number of GM animals being bred in UK laboratories By Marie Woolf, Political Editor - A record number of genetically modified animals are being used in Britain's laboratories, figures released by the Government this week will show…. "The Government has broken its promise that it would make a meaningful investment in non-animal research," said Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid….(story)


Cambridge Evening News 3.12.05 Laws change but tradition goes on - CRUEL blood sport or heart of country life, fox hunting never fails to provoke a strong reaction. In February this year controversial new laws banned the practice. But if the Government intended to kill off the hunts, so far at least, they have failed. It is the first season since the ban and I joined the Thurlow Hunt through fallow, field and forest, chasing the smell of a fox. A duster dipped in the animal's urine has replaced the real thing but little else has changed…. It has been reported the Fitzwilliam Hunt, which operates in the North West of Cambridgeshire, is using falcons with two dogs to kill foxes, a practice condemned by the Hawk Board as cruel. It has denied the claim saying it was only considering the option…. They will continue, as the Thurlow Hunt did on my visit, until darkness. (story)

Scotsman 3.12.05 A new breed is being hunted - SHOOTING & FISHING - ALASTAIR ROBERTSON - I ALWAYS rather wonder where it is they slaughter pheasants in their thousands and then bury the carcasses because no-one wants them. Some say the Borders, some say Hampshire and Devon. I am not saying it doesn't happen. Just that I have only heard of it fourth hand. Indeed, I have never come across anyone who has been able to actually name a shoot where it does happen, or yet seen an out of focus video of what purports to be a keeper burying unwanted pheasant carcasses with a JCB…. But there is no question that having dealt with hunting, north and south of the Border, the animal rights brigade has turned on shooting, which, if I really want to put my head in the snare's noose, is harder to defend than hunting ever was…. But even making shoots more "sporting" may not be the answer. The Countryside Alliance has been taking soundings on the whole question of public perception and discovered that the great British public is not much bothered about shooting being cruel. What they object to are the people who go shooting - if you enjoy shooting things you are cruel and horrid and ought not to be allowed. Sod the birds. This takes us back to the hunting debate…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 3.12.05 MORE HUMAN GUINEA PIGS THE ANSWER? - Humans should sometimes be recruited for laboratory experiments instead of animals, a Notts MP claims. Broxtowe's Nick Palmer says laboratories testing new drugs should offer to pay more people as volunteer in experiments… He says too many animals are tested by laboratories - and he is demanding that the Government imposes a tax regime on companies who use them…. (story)

Times 3.12.05 Animal rights attack on Bank of England BY NICOLA WOOLCOCK - THE Bank of England is the latest victim of animal rights extremists who published on the internet the home addresses and private phone numbers of more than 30 of its senior personnel including Mervyn King, the Governor. The extremists’ website accuses the Bank of “facilitating hell” with the services it provides to the research laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences…. (story)

The Sentinel 3.12.05 ANIMAL RIGHTS NOT WRONGS - Media coverage of aggressive action by a few animal rights activists has overshadowed the peaceful campaigning and demonstrating of animal rights and animal welfare groups in Britain and throughout the world…. As the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is on December 10, Sheffield-based campaign group, Uncaged Campaigns has designated this date as International Animal Rights Day…. This year marks the eighth annual day for animal rights and there will be candle-lit vigils across the world at places, such as vivisection laboratories, abattoirs and factory farms, where the rights of defenceless animals are systematically abused…. PAULINE WILLIAMS Crewe (letter)

The Sentinel 3.12.05 LET TURKEYS LIVE THIS YEAR - For Christmas, we cram turkeys into barren sheds and slaughter them in such a way that some enter the scalding tank alive…. May I make a plea for people to try a meat-free alternative, such as Linda McCartney's frozen meals, this year? MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 3.12.05 City MP calls for UK ban on dog and cat fur trade - SHOCKING footage exposing the cruelty of the international trade in dog and cat fur has led Edinburgh West MP John Barrett to call for a UK-wide ban on imports of the fur. Mr Barrett, along with the Scottish SPCA, made the call after seeing footage filmed by animal rights group PETA in China… (story)


Knutsford Guardian 2.12.05 Police called to country estate - POLICE were called to the grounds of Randle Brooks' estate on Saturday after an alleged skirmish. Cheshire Police said hunt saboteurs called at 1.30pm claiming one of them had been assaulted. The allegation was later dropped, but officers are still investigating a claim that a hunt supporter smashed a saboteur's video camera… Spokesman Dawn Preston said they had attended Peover Hall to check members of the Cheshire Forest Hunt were not breaking the law. She claimed the saboteur was filming the hunt when the supporter allegedly snatched the camera and broke it….(story in archive)

Western Morning News 2.12.05 NO PROSECUTION FOR STAGHOUNDS - Devon and Cornwall Police have confirmed that the Quantock Staghounds will not be prosecuted over an allegation of illegal hunting in the Westcountry due to lack of evidence…. On December 19 the LACS will begin the first private prosecution under the new Hunting Act when Exmoor Foxhounds' Tony Wright, appears before magistrates in Barnstaple… (story)

Shropshire Star 2.12.05 Hunting does need monitors - I feel I must respond to Barry Henderson’s letter accusing animal rights groups and monitors of harassing the hunting brigade. It is because many hunters are breaking the law that monitors are having to check up on their devious activities and hypocrisy…. As for pictures of hunters hugging their hounds perhaps dog lovers should know the truth. Not long ago in a national newspaper there was a report with photographs showing how used up hunt dogs are shot in front of an incinerator (some still alive) and thrown away like rubbish…. Jean Bennington, Denbighshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 2.12.05 CRUELTY OF EXOTIC PETS IN HOMES - I was sorry to see the Western Daily Press has published an advert for a glorified pet shop called Mendip Monsters. So-called exotic pets can be said to live an even more restricted life than companion animals such as cats and dogs who at least get out of the house to walk…. If a horse is run and beaten to exhaustion it has a heart attack, it all makes good press and the paper still promotes animal abuse in the form of the racing circuit. Much abuse goes on in this industry. Many trainers cull horses weekly for no other reason than they aren't running fast enough. Most of these unfortunate creatures end up given to hunt kennels to feed hounds. Mr R Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (story)

Scotsman 2.12.05 Airguns fuel wildlife crime surge - MICHAEL HOWIE - WILDLIFE crime is rising across Scotland with the number of offences up by nearly 50 per cent in the past five years, according to new figures. Police say they are now inundated with cases of bird poisonings, badger-baiting, hare coursing and other offences. An increase in airgun shootings has been blamed by animal welfare campaigners for the rise in the crime total. They also say the number of acts of cruelty committed far exceed the figures recorded by police… (story)

Dundee Courier 2.12.05 Time to stop animal cruelty - I was shocked and horrified to see the picture of the emaciated cocker spaniel in The Courier recently…. What kind of country is this that can show more concern for, and give more attention to, the rights of some prisoners than for the plight of innocent animals?... (Miss) M. M. Thomas. 4 Wilkie Cottages, Rose Terrace, Leven. (letter)

West Cumberland Times & Star 2.12.05 OBITUARY: MR DONALD WATSON, OF KESWICK - DONALD Watson, who founded the Vegan Society, dedicated to a lifestyle which excludes all animal products, has died at his Keswick home at the age of 95…. (story)
Cumberland News 2.12.05 The man who invented the vegan - THE man who founded the Vegan Society – and invented the word vegan – has died at his home in Keswick at the age of 95. Donald Watson was best known locally as a highly-respected teacher of crafts at Lairthwaite Secondary Modern School. Many tradesmen in and around Keswick received encouragement and support from him…. (story)
South Yorkshire Post 24.11.05 DEATH OF VEGAN SOCIETY FOUNDER - MEXBOROUGH-born Donald Watson, who founded the vegan movement, has died aged 95. Described as the 'guru of veganism', Mr Watson founded the Vegan Society and never ate meat again after becoming a vegetarian as a teenager….(story)
Manchester Evening News 21.11.05 Vegan founder dies - A RETIRED Keswick teacher who founded the Vegan Society, which now has over a quarter of a million members, has died at the age of 95. Donald Watson died at his home at Chestnut Hill on Wednesday…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 21.11.05 Pioneer of veganism dies at 95 By Ross Brewster - A RETIRED Keswick teacher who founded the Vegan Society, which now has over a quarter of a million members, has died at the age of 95. Donald Watson died at his home at Chestnut Hill on Wednesday…. (story)

Liverpool Echo 2.12.05 I WAS horrified to read in the ECHO about a market in Southern China where they are bagging cats and throwing them into boiling water… Samantha Groves, Liverpool, via e-mail (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 2.12.05 I'm a Celeb show is cruel - Claudia Tarry, Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid, Tonbridge. (letter)
North East Evening Gazette 22.11.05 Put bite on 'celebrities' - CLAUDIA TARRY, Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid (letter)
Daily Record 21.11.05 TV CRUELTY IS SO HARD TO STOMACH - THE new series of the Z-list celebfest that is I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here has kicked off. If previous programmes are anything to go by, many creatures - including rats, fish, eels and ostriches - will be abused in all manner of ways and insects will be eaten alive… Please do not boost this awful programme's viewing figures. Turn off your TV in protest. It's time for the cruelty to stop. Claudia Tarry, The Old Chapel, Tonbridge (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 2.12.05 WEARING FUR IS ABHORRENT - Paul McCartney says he will never perform in China, owing to the barbaric treatment of dogs and cats killed for their fur… The wearers of these skins - mostly selfish, mindless bimbos obsessed only with their looks - should be ashamed… JANET WENSKE Gardenia Grove, Mapperley (story)

Harrogate Advertiser 2.12.05 Ignorance over fur issue From: C Anderson, East Park Road, Harrogate - IT AMAZES me that all those people who demonstrate against people wearing fur appear to forget that all the people wearing leather jackets, leather trousers, leather shoes, handbags, etc are simply wearing fur, with the hair shaved off to leave 'the leather'…. (story)


South Wales Evening Post 1.12.05 STAMPEDE FOR HORSE FESTIVAL - A Festival with a difference will be held in Margam Park, Port Talbot, next Easter. The Welsh Festival of the Horse, the first of its kind will be held at the popular family attraction in April…. Hounds from Banwen Miners' Hunt and local farriers will also be at the festival…. (story)

Somerset Guardian 1.12.05 CHALLENGE TO BAN HAS JUST BEGUN - In reply to Alun Person, "Legislation will end the cruelty" (November 24), the legal battle has only just started as there are many aspects of this futile act that can and will be challenged in court… With regard to guns, never in our society have there been fewer legally licensed guns owned by the law-abiding public, and never has there been such an overwhelming number of illegal ones held by criminals. Thanks to the House of Commons, our Olympic pistol team can only practise abroad, while criminals with easy access to illegal weapons freely gun down police and public on our streets…. C A CURRIE, Frome Old Road, Radstock (letter)
Somerset Guardian 1.12.05 LEGISLATION WILL END THE CRUELTY - Hunt supporting correspondent C A Currie, "Police too busy to enforce ban" (November 17), tells us that the ban on hunting is bad legislation and unworkable. I'm afraid his kill-for-fun chums don't agree with him as they have just spent millions of pounds trying to get this "unenforceable law" overturned… If it's so unenforceable why are there court cases going on right now?... Isn't this the man who thinks more guns in society is a good thing?... I have evidence of gross cruelty going back years that would now be more than enough to convict under the new act. It was easy to get. These people cannot control themselves when the bloodlust is up, let alone their dogs. It's just a matter of time…. ALUN PERSON, Green Street, Ston Easton (letter)

Western Gazette 1.12.05 HERE IS THE REAL VERMIN - Name and address supplied asks Helen Weeks how she would prefer foxes to be killed (Western Gazette, 24 November). They're self regulating, is the simple answer, but that's not what N. and A. is looking for. Why not drown 'em? Some time ago, the South and West Wilts Hunt, guest of the South Dorset Hunt, chased an exhausted fox, through our garden, over the cliff outside our gate, and into a freezing sea…. This sentient creature is recognised in law as, "Vermin". No, that's the spineless bloodsports coward who wrote off four tyres and punctured the radiator of my car last Tuesday at Galton Manor, whilst I was peacefully monitoring South Dorset hunt activity there, not to mention the brave individual who placed poison in my garden for my dogs a few months ago. Now that's vermin . . . Name and address supplied.
Hunts should lie down and die - I HAVE never read so much utter rubbish as that written by S. L. Pinney in her/his letter "Hunt ban causes greater suffering"… The only lingering death I can see now is that of hunting, so come on lay down and die, get a real life and stop taking life. Neal, Dorchester, Full name provided.
A balance with nature - I WOULD like to thank R Angell (letter 24 November) for his/her comments on my farming methods and stockmanship…. Far from doing nothing, the incidents referred to were observed on nights where I had been asked to shoot foxes with my rifle and was waiting for a time to take a safe, clear shot…. I would still maintain that there are far more important issues in this world than the whys and wherefores of how the British agricultural community deals with a vermin problem. Chris Vigar, Cerne Park Farm, Cerne Abbas (letters)
Western Gazette 1.12.05 Give the foxes legal protection - I HAVE been asked to declare how I would prefer foxes to be killed (Letters 24 November). My reply is that foxes should not be killed at all. The fox is not a pest and does not warrant its reputation as a pest of agriculture…. Helen Weeks, West Coker Hill, West Coker.
Can someone please explain? I SOMETIMES have difficulty in following letters in the Gazette about hunting. The letter by Helen Weeks (24 November) saying hunting folk are pathetic people is easy to understand… Last year Lord Daresbury, Chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, sent a letter to Masters and Hunt Chairmen complaining about a shortage of foxes and berating landowners who did too little to encourage them to breed…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter >(letters)
Western Gazette 24.11.05 HUNTING FOLK ARE PATHETIC PEOPLE - Joint Master, S. L. Pinney of the Cattistock Hunt, accuses me of "hatred" towards her and her members (letters 17 November). I do not hate them. However, I have nothing but contempt for them: the fox hunters, deer hunters and hare hunters who are deliberately flouting and mocking the law… I repeat: If trails of fox urine scents are laid across land where hunts have traditionally hunted foxes and where foxes are likely to be, there can be no accidental killing of foxes…. Helen Weeks, West Coker Hill, West Coker
Hunters could go to the city - ASSUMING a fox can carry only one piglet at a time what was Chris Vigar, letters of 17 November, thinking about watching a fox steal a whole litter, also seeing them pull lambs from ewes and do nothing…. Perhaps they should take their thinly disguised drag hunting to the capital where they love to protest and leave the countryside to country people. R. Angell, Knapps, Shillingstone
Intention of Hunting Act - I WOULD like to remind Helen Weeks that it was not the intention of Parliament to ban the killing of foxes when it passed the Hunting Act. The Act intended to ban hunting. The fact that the legislation as drafted permits hunts to go trail hunting cannot be blamed on the hunting community…. Name and address supplied. (letters)
Western Gazette 17.11.05 Hunt ban causes greater suffering - YET again (last week's letters) Helen Weeks demonstrates her complete ignorance of the hunting fraternity… Her letter of 10 November just goes to show how her hatred of those "red-coated huntsmen" completely blinds her to the facts. Whilst hunting a trail which had been laid 25 minutes earlier, hounds did indeed switch to a fox and were duly stopped… Yes, fox urine is used to create the trail scent and yes, it is supplied by gamekeepers. Why? Because gamekeepers now shoot any fox they see in order to protect their gamebirds, as they can no longer call upon the foxhounds to maintain a balance in numbers of foxes as has been the case in the past…. S. L. Pinney, Dorchester.
Intrigued by Helen's letter - I HAVE lived and farmed in the countryside for my whole life and do not hunt, but found myself intrigued by Helen Weeks' letter… I am not sure how a running fox could be identified as the mate of any other and the worst thing that could quite possibly have happened is that a duster was destroyed…. I am glad Ms Weeks did not call the police - I would sincerely hope that the Dorset Constabulary had more important things to do. Chris Vigar, Cerne Park Farm, Cerne Abbas (letter)
Western Gazette 10.11.05 I can't believe this is innocent - ON the Saturday before last the Cattistock Hunt were out, apparently trying out their "trail" hunting. I asked a red coated huntsman what scent they were using for the trail. He replied: "Fox urine". When asked from where the fox urine was obtained, he said it was from a gamekeeper; he seemed unwilling to say any more on the subject. I leave the rest to your readers' imagination…. I wanted to call the police, but we had no concrete evidence, but after years of watching how hunts operate, and the hunts own avowed intent to carry on, I cannot believe that they were simply and innocently trail hunting. Helen Weeks, West Coker Hill, West Coker. (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 1.12.05 TESTING FRENZY THANKS TO EU - Chemicals fully tested for their safety in this country, and in many cases to international standards, will now have to be re-tested by diktat of the EU…. It also makes you wonder if lab animals will be the first to suffer when the testing frenzy begins. If you wrote it as fiction, who would believe you? When can we leave? Les Arnott, Athelstan Road, Sheffield. (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 1.12.05 Plea over ducks cull - More than £3 million of public money is to be used in an attempt to mass slaughter Britain's ruddy ducks. This is an obscure and wasteful attempt at imposing genetic purity on nature… The mating of ruddys and white-headed ducks is nature's way of ensuring the survival of the white-headed duck. Killing ruddys is yet another example of the arrogance of some old world "conservationist" who believe that they can shoot and poison their way to environmental harmony…. Mrs Yates and family, Oakfield Road, Bilbrook. (letter)
Surrey Mirror 7.12.05 Help stop this massacre of ducks - Mr and Mrs L Hodd Limpsfield Road, Warlingham (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 24.11.05 PLEASE HELP US SAVE RUDDY DUCKS - Flying free: PUBLIC money amounting to £3.3 million is to be used in an attempt to mass-slaughter Britain's ruddy ducks. This is an obscene and wasteful attempt at imposing genetic purity on nature….S Bishop, Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.12.05 CRUELTY ON MENU - I read with horror of the new zoo in Thailand which has decided to open a restaurant serving steaks from the most popular exhibits…. These people are sick and cruel and do not deserve to share the same planet as these animals. Nadene Thomas Bristol (letter)

Guardian 1.12.05 So Paul McCartney is to boycott China over animal cruelty (Report, November 30). Presumably, he isn't particularly bothered about China's atrocious human rights record, or he would have boycotted playing there years ago. Dean Titchener, Street, Somerset (letter)

Scotsman 1.12.05 Happy end to mutilation - I was pleased to read Fordyce Maxwell's article on the rather arbitrary and undoubtedly cruel practice of docking dogs' tails (Opinion, 28 November)… LEONORA MERRY, Parliamentary Officer, SSPCA, Queensferry Road, Edinburgh (story)

Mid Sussex Times 1.12.05 GOOSE GUARDS HIS FLOWERS - TV script writer Carla Lane has a new star at her animal sanctuary in Mid Sussex. Joey, the giant African goose that no one wanted, puts on a show every day with his penchant for pretty flowers… It costs her £3,000 a week with hundreds of injured and unwanted animals brought to her door to be cared for… (story)

Western Gazette 1.12.05 Group is trying to deny choice - A NUMBER of our members have drawn my attention to a letter entitled "Leave dairy out of your diet" (10 November) in which your correspondent, Mr Rawlings, makes some highly emotive and controversial claims about dairy farming. In fact the clue to the origin of his contentious comments comes at the end of his letter where he commends people to visit a website run by the vegan group Viva which campaigns against livestock farming and is actually dedicated to denying people the choice as to whether or not they eat meat and dairy produce…. Ian Johnson, South West NFU, Exeter. (letter)
Western Gazette 10.11.05 Leave dairy out of your diet - WALKING down a country lane recently my wife and I witnessed the birth of a beautiful calf. It lay in the grass unable to stand, but the cow made no attempt to lick it or help it to stand. She stood there for a minute and then walked away leaving the calf to bellow and stagger around alone. This seemed very strange to us until by chance the farmer came by. He told us that this cow had produced bull calves twice before - both of which he had to kill. He only kept females to produce milk, male calves were not worth keeping. She knew that he would kill her male baby so she just left it…. Why not show your compassion for these poor mothers and like us leave dairy out of your diet - visit … John Rawlings, Luckham Close, Bournemouth (letter)

Western Gazette 1.12.05 NIGHT OF MUSIC AND FUN TO HELP ANIMAL CHARITY - A Charity event will be taking place at The Assembly Rooms in Glastonbury tomorrow night. They are playing host to Compassionate Living's second fund-raising event entitled Animal Passions… Money raised from the event will go to local animal shelter, Happy Landings, and also to the National Anti-Vivisection Society…. (story)

Glasgow Evening Times 1.12.05 An un-natural habitat - IT is a sad statement about our morals concerning animals when alleged educational opportunities for children, and benefits to the tourist trade, can be considered to outweigh the harm done to animals by depriving them of freedom. The establishment of a new zoo in Glasgow (Evening Times, November 29) would be a most retrograde step…. KATHERINE PERLO Dundee (story)

Formby Times 1.12.05 Can you spare three hours? - FRESHFIELDS Animal Rescue Centre is appealing for volunteers to work in its Southport book shop… Charity worker Ethel Webber said: "If anyone can spare time to help out in the shop it would be a big help…." (story)
Formby Times 1.12.05 Donations pour in By David Sudworth, Formby Times - OUR Freshfields Christmas Appeal is off to a flying start! Generous readers have been bringing in donations since the campaign was launched on the front page of last week's Formby Times…. (story)