February 2005 - hunting 15-21.2.05

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Yorkshire Post 21.2.05 HUNTING: FREEDOM OF CHOICE IS KEY ISSUE - As hunting with hounds becomes illegal, Bill Bridge, a relative newcomer to the activity, offers a personal view. I SHALL be out in the field tomorrow, among thousands of others who will be leaving home early, whatever the weather, to make a point: the ban on hunting foxes, hares and stags with hounds cannot work…. on my first visit to a hunt – the Rockwood Harriers on a dank, mizzling Saturday morning last October – brought the unforgettable sight of the field charging headlong down one side of a wall high in the Pennines while, unknown to them, the hare they were chasing scampered down the field on the other side of the wall, bounded over a road and was gone… Following the York and Ainsty on a landmark day for hunting. Don't miss Country Week tomorrow… (story)

Bridgwater Times 21.2.05 RIDERS HEAD OUT ON HUNTS - Riders were out in force on Thursday to support the last legal meet of the Quantock Staghounds at Crowcombe Park before the controversial ban from yesterday (Friday). The hunt says it will keep the kennels for the foreseeable future and will keep within the law by taking out two hounds to flush out and then shoot at the first opportunity deer it will cull…. (story)

Hampshire Chronicle 21.2.05 Huntsmen pledge to fight on - Hundreds of people will take the law into their own hands this weekend by joining Hampshire hunts. Their action comes after hunt supporters lost their battle to have overturned a ruling, which banned hunting with dogs in England and Wales, in the Appeal Court, on Wednesday…. Tomorrow (Saturday), over 250 hunts drawing large crowds are expected to take place across the UK with two meets in Hampshire, the Hursley Hambledon Hunt and the Hampshire Hunt…. ut Marjorie Pooley, of Ropley, a former hunt protester, rubbished the idea of a "legal hunt", adding: "They're being hypocritical, trying to avoid the fact they're breaking the law. We have no sympathy with them at all."… (story in archive)

Telegraph 21.2.05 Charles Clover, Environment Editor, and Catriona Davies - Hunts intend to test police willingness to enforce the ban on hunting with hounds in the remaining three weeks of the season, sources close to the Countryside Alliance said yesterday… Animal rights campaigners, annoyed by the total of nearly 100 foxes killed by 250 hunts and the appearance of 300,000 hunt supporters on Saturday, warned that hunts risked seeing the ban tightened if they continued to test the law…. (story)
Telegraph 21.2.05 Just off on a hack across the Essex countryside By Charles Clover - More than 800 people turned up to support the meet of the Essex and Suffolk hunt at Stutton Hall, by the Stour estuary, on Saturday, at least four times more than usual…. (story)
Telegraph 21.2.05 Promises, promises - So much for the Government's promise to end foxhunting. The first day after the ban saw each of the 184 hunts in England and Wales meet as normal, and 100 foxes killed. The only difference was that there were more people riding to hounds, and many, many more supporting them….(story)
Telegraph 21.2.05 Notebook By WF Deedes - How will Blair wriggle out of a ban on angling? - I have never held a fishing rod in my life, which is not a claim to virtue, but an admission of weakness….Up to now, however, it has seemed to me a relatively innocent pursuit and I would be sorry to see it lined up for the chop. Yet, logically, this must come, for those who felt that hunting foxes with hounds was cruel must, in good conscience, admit that a fish hauled slowly towards land by a hook in its mouth feels distress, to put it mildly… (story)
Telegraph 21.2.05 The tears give way to anger and defiance By Charlie Brooks After the tears of the final days before the hunting ban, there was a surreal air of celebration when the Heythrop Hunt met near the village of Chadlington, near Chipping Norton, Oxon, on Saturday. A much larger turnout than usual was welcomed by a Caribbean steel band and an aircraft with a banner proclaiming: "Bollocks to Blair."…(story)

Times 21.2.05 Hunts attacked for 'brandishing dead foxes in PR stunt' BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - HUNTSMEN who brandished the carcasses of foxes in defiance of the ban on hunting were attacked yesterday for their “triumphalism”… Michael Foster, Labour MP for Worcester, who first tried to introduce a ban eight years ago, denounced the parade of dead foxes as a PR stunt by the Countryside Alliance and felt his campaign to ban the use of dogs to kill foxes had been vindicated…. He also ridiculed the tactic of the philosopher Roger Scruton, who organised a mouse hunt at his West Country home….(story)

Guardian 21.2.05 Both sides claim victory as hunts stick to rules - Owen Bowcott - Police forces are investigating at least four alleged breaches of the new Hunting Act following countrywide protests against the ban on Saturday by more than 270 hunts across England and Wales. Most of the incidents were in the south and south-west where there were sporadic confrontations between hunt supporters and animal rights activists…. One of the accidents occurred at the Holderness hunt in east Yorkshire where a pack of hounds out exercising picked up the scent of a fox, chased it for two miles and killed it before they could be stopped… (story)

Western Morning News 21.2.05 HUNTERS IN HUGE SHOW OF DEFIANCE - Rural communities in the Westcountry have staged a spectacular show of defiance against the ban on hunting… There were 1,000-strong attendances in three of Cornwall's remotest locations: Kilkhampton, near Bude; Davidstow, near Camelford; and Caerhays on the south coast. East Devon Hunt's Michael Moore, seeing the streets of Honiton lined with cheering crowds, said: "This is the most overwhelming demonstration of defiance imaginable...." Ten saboteurs put in an appearance, after the police had left the Powderham estate where the South Devon Hunt had 110 riders and 700 followers. South Devon spokesman Ian Pearse said: "They were protesting at us trail hunting. For 40 years they have campaigned for us to stop hunting live quarry and hunt a trail. Now they are trying to stop us doing that. You cannot win."… (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 JOHNSON 'PLAYS THE BORIS CARD' AGAINST LABOUR - Outspoken MP Boris Johnson has joined a hunt for the first time in his life, in protest at an "absolutely wrong" ban, he told a Westcountry audience… (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 NOW COUNTRYSIDE CAN BE CRUELTY-FREE - SO the hunt ban has come at last, and everyone is wondering what it means. The Countryside Alliance jubilantly announced the death of 91 foxes on Saturday - a figure well below the 400 usually killed on a hunting Saturday. But the hunt ban was never about stopping foxes being killed. If that had been Parliament's intention, it would have started by banning cars!... The law of the land is a precious thing - as is Parliamentary democracy. When Parliament passes a law, we cannot pick and choose whether to follow it. We are all bound by a common allegiance to obey the law…. Except in a small number of cases, where we believe that hunts did break the law, no fox was chased to the point of exhaustion. And no fox was torn apart alive by a pack of hounds… (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 WE JUST CAN'T CHASE A SOCK - "TO see hounds hunting a sock is enough to reduce grown men to tears," said Julie Nicholls, wife of the Tetcott hunt master. The Tetcott Hunt met at Kilkhampton on Saturday, where more than 1,000 people congregated outside the London Inn…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 THE ONLY WAY IS TO FIGHT TO GET THIS BAN OVERTURNED - The only way to fight the ban and get it overturned is to vote Conservative at the forthcoming General Election, more than 400 hunt supporters were told at the East Cornwall's meet… (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 WE WILL 'KEEP OUR HEADS UP' UNTIL LAW IS CHANGED - Sitting astride his steed, Guilmore Lewis cut a perfect figure of rural Westcountry tradition. Generations of hunt masters have sat in his place, in front of the grand house at Buckfastleigh Racecourse, waiting to lead the predecessors of the Dart Vale and South Poole Harriers to the hunt. At Saturday's meet, everyone felt a change. Despite the sunshine and mulled wine, the jovial atmosphere of hunts gone by was dampened…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 SABOTEURS OUT IN FORCE TO TRY AND DISRUPT TRAIL HUNT - LOUISE THOMAS - Hunt saboteurs turned out in force at Powderham Estate on Saturday as the South Devon Hunt rode out for the first time since the introduction of a ban on hunting and coursing with dogs. There were 110 horse riders on parade and more than 700 followers on foot…(story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 WESTERN MUSTERS 50 FOR CANTER ACROSS THE MOOR - The hilltop village of Madron, near Penzance, has been the spiritual home of the Western Hunt for centuries and that is where its subscribers and supporters gathered on Saturday for a show of solidarity. There were 50 horse riders on parade and 300 on foot in Madron square, including two visiting members of the Surrey Union Hunt, as the Western master, Ben Sparrow, issued his latest rallying call to his troops…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 WHAT HAPPENS NOW TO THE FALLEN STOCK ON PRIVATE LAND? - Here's a quiz question for knowledgeable countryfolk: what do you do when you find a large, fully grown, red deer hind dead on your property? Do you: a) ring Defra and ask them to collect it; b) phone the Environment Agency; or c) contact the health department of your local district council? Chulmleigh dairy farmer John Webber did all three, and after hours on the phone was still none the wiser as to what course of action he should take. Eventually, an expert on the animal by-product waste order from Defra got back to Mr Webber and told him to bury the deer himself. It's an illustration of how the ramifications of the staghunting ban have already started to affect the countryside. "Normally I would have phoned the Tiverton Staghounds, who run an animal collection service, but because of the ban I thought I'd better see who else would deal with the situation," Mr Webber told the WMN….(story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 HARRIERS ARE REDUCED TO EXERCISING HOUNDS - A week ago, Axe Vale Harriers would have ridden out for a full-scale hunt. This week, their activities were reduced to hound exercising in the East Devon countryside…. Janet Eames, whose husband Edward is master of the Cotley Hunt, said: "The support was absolutely tremendous. It was like a point-to-point meet…." (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 HUNTING ISSUE IS FAR FROM SETTLED - When New Labour loftily promised, in its election manifestos of 1997 and 2001, to settle the hunting issue by means of a free vote in Parliament, did party members ever envisage the scenes of Saturday, February 19 2005? Did they expect more huntsmen and women than ever before to be riding out to hounds on the first proper hunting day since the ban came into effect? Did they anticipate a massive show of support from hunt followers and supporters and eulogies in favour of hunting to be carried by many of our national newspapers?... Which way will it go? Only time will tell. But if Tony Blair, who yielded to his backbenchers and allowed this class-driven legislation to go through, thought he had now "settled" this issue as he promised, then he's deluding himself. Hunting with hounds is far from being resolved. (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 MASTER'S MOVING SPEECH BRINGS TEARS - Sadness and defiance marked the first outing of the Tiverton Staghounds since the introduction of a ban on hunting with dogs. Several members of the hunt had tears in their eyes as hunt master John Lucas made a moving speech before the parade set off…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 BEAGLE PACKS MAY SWITCH FROM HARES TO RABBITS - Up to 300 supporters - most of them non-hunters - turned out to offer words of encouragement to members of Dartmouth's Britannia Beagles when they met on Saturday. Joint hunt master David Bateman said he was "quite astonished" at the gathering which was waiting to welcome the hounds at the Royal Castle Hotel at midday…. "Oliver Cromwell fought the only English civil war on liberty and conscience and we think this is an issue of liberty and conscience," said Geoff Cox, the master of Taw Vale Beagles. And there appeared to be plenty of support for this sentiment as he walked out on Saturday afternoon. More than 200 people followed, compared with an average Saturday turnout of 30…. Saturday saw the last day of hunting of the season for Stoke Hill Beagles. The hunt committee has opted not to go out again this season to give the hunt a chance to "take stock of the situation"… The North Devon Beagles met at Bluegate, Simonsbath, on Exmoor, where Mr Tucker told his audience: "We are hound exercising and we will carry on for as long as possible…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 COLLECTION BUCKETS FILLED TO OVERFLOWING - The generosity of hunt supporters saw collection buckets filled to the point where they were " almost too heavy to lift" in Ermington, near Ivybridge, in South Devon. Gregg Johnson, joint master and chairman of the Modbury Harriers, said the meet was "superb"…. More than 80 horse riders turned out for the Taunton Vale Harriers on Saturday morning, followed by more than 400 people on foot… (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 FEELINGS OF DETERMINATION, OPTIMISM AND UNITY - REBECCA SHORT - Nothing will destroy the golden triangle between a huntsman, his hounds and their quarry. This was the predominant message echoed by hundreds of supporters at Torrington Farmers' hunt in North Devon on Saturday…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 MEMBERSHIP SCHEME TO LIMIT NUMBER OF RIDERS - The strength of feeling against the hunting ban is such that Silverton Hunt is introducing a membership scheme to limit numbers riding out with it. On Saturday, 70 riders and about 450 followers on foot turned out for a trail hunt, leaving Pyne's House in Silverton, near Exeter, at 11am following a hearty hunt breakfast… (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 PROSPECTIVE MP DELIVERS MESSAGE - North Devon's Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate Orlando Fraser took time off on Saturday to ride with the Eggesford Hunt. The meet, which took place at the Fox and Hounds Country Hotel in Eggesford, attracted around 75 mounted riders and more than 1,000 foot followers….(story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 USED TO COPING ON A SHOESTRING - Supporters of the Cury, Cornwall's smallest hunt, were in high spirits on Saturday after being treated to a sizzling cooked breakfast. It was laid on for them in the yard of Tuscoyne Farm, Constantine, near Falmouth, where 30 riders and a large number of supporters gathered…. Last week, however, the Cury lost much of their Lizard peninsula terrain when English Nature withdrew its hunting licence for the Goonhilly Downs area for the rest of the season…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.05 SUPPORTERS UNITE IN DEFIANCE - A Cornish cove once chanced upon by Prime Minister Tony Blair and his holiday entourage on a public relations foray attracted one of the biggest turnouts in the 225-year history of the Four Burrow Hunt…. THE farmers and moorland dwellers of North Cornwall converged in large numbers on a Second World War aerodrome at Davidstow, near Camelford… There was an especially loud cheer on Saturday when North Cornwall master Jed Watson, of St Breward, rode on to the airfield with his pack of hounds… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 21.2.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS TURN OUT IN FORCE BY ALLAN TUDOR - Protest hunt meets passed without incident on Saturday as thousands of supporters and hundreds of riders turned out across South Devon in a show of solidarity against the hunting ban. The largest show was on the moor where the Dartmoor hunt combined with three others and two beagle packs for a mass gathering at Postbridge. Police estimate there were up to 2,500 supporters present with about 200 riders in the field…. The Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers met at Buckfastleigh race course where a field of 65 riders turned out to a crowd of up to 500 supporters… The Britannia Beagles met at the Royal Castle Hotel, Dartmouth where a small number of police officers were present for crowd control…. The South Devon Hunt met at Powderham Castle….(story)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.2.05 HOUNDED OUT OF THE UK - Devon huntsman emigrates to the United States to escape the new bloodsports ban - A Devon huntsman says the ban on the bloodsport has forced him to leave the country. Jason Marles, from Farringdon, near Exeter, is moving to America to continue his passion for hunting. The 23-year old kennel man has secured a top job in the state of Virginia as a first whipper-in for the Blue Ridge Hunt…. He says he has no other option if he wants to stay working for a hunt. He is currently whipper-in for the Glamorgan Foxhounds in Wales, and also hunts with the East Devon Hunt. He said: "The jobs are not available in Britain any more because of the ban. I'm disappointed it has come to this. It's sad I could not fulfil my career in England…." (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 21.2.05 'THIS IS TO LET PEOPLE KNOW WE ARE STILL HERE DESPITE THE BAN' - Thousands of supporters rallied to show solidarity with fox hunters across Devon on the first full day of the ban on fox hunting with dogs - and not one arrest was made… As hundreds lined the High Street to see the East Devon Hunt trot through the town in a bright red show of strength, the woman, who said she was called Kate but would not give her full name, halted their progress by parking a bright yellow pick-up truck in the middle of the road. After an exchange of angry words, the obstruction was removed and the woman was given a fixed penalty notice… Silverton hunt master Andrew Knox, 64, said that while the Hunting Bill had legal loopholes that could be exploited, in the long term, Silverton's 70 hounds probably would have to be put down. South Devon hunt master Ian Pearse said before leading the hounds off at Powderham that he had already had some hounds destroyed and probably more would follow…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 21.2.05 VOTE TORY AND LET'S SEE OFF THIS BAN, SAYS LORD DEVON - Ballot box rallying call as hundreds of angry hunt supporters meet - Devon's premier peer has thrown offf political neutrality to urge hundreds of hunt supporters to kick out Tony Blair and overturn the ban on hunting. Speaking in the shadow of ancient Powderham Castle on the outskirts of Exeter on Saturday, Lord Devon spelled out a simple message: "Grit your teeth and vote Conservative." He was addressing around 500 hunt supporters who had gathered at his castle estate along the Exe estuary for the first meet of the South Devon Hunt since the Hunting Act came into force… Addressing the crowd, senior huntmaster Andrew Knox said: "The Countryside Alliance believe that 10 per cent of the South-West's hunts could disappear. The Silverton Hunt are keen to demonstrate that we will be among the strongest of those who will survive."… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 21.2.05 TIVERTON FOXHOUNDS - There was some confusion as to whether Tiverton Foxhounds killed a fox on the first day of the ban of hunting with dogs. Spokesman for the hunt, Roland Notley, who is also Countryside Alliance chairman for North Devon, said at first he understood a fox was lawfully killed late in the afternoon by being shot. He later reported there was "some confusion" over the death and it would be best to say that a fox was not killed…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 21.2.05 TIVERTON STAGHOUNDS - Around 60 riders met for the Tiverton Staghounds meet on Cobley Farm, Witheridge, near Tiverton, on Saturday…. (story)

Western Daily Press 21.2.05 DON'T WASTE POLICE TIME - Defiant hunt supporters were last night warned not to test the new law against their sport after a massive show of solidarity at the weekend. An estimated 300,000 riders and followers turned out to ride with hounds on the first day of the controversial ban. Foxes were shot legally and their corpses dragged across countryside for hounds to pursue…. Penny Little, who monitored the Bicester hunt yesterday, said there was intimidation from supporters and asked for greater police protection… (story)
Western Daily Press 21.2.05 AS THE HUNT RUNS OUT OF LEGAL STEAM, EAGLE-EYED MONITORS ARE LEFT DEF LATED - It Was done in a flash, with just the glint of a blade. Then the sound of the piercing gush of air meant the job was done. And that instant flat tyre meant two hunt monitors were immobile for half an hour as the horses and hounds rushed past…. We were in the back of a Land Rover, with Kevin Hill and Peter White…. It was the first day of the ban and Kevin and Pete said they were determined to see what they'd worked for 20 years each to see - the Beaufort Hunt drag hunting… (story)
Western Daily Press 21.2.05 PROOF WAR HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN - There was no sign of the violence, taunts, arguments or threats that have plagued the fight against the controversial Hunting Act. But on the first Saturday the ban came into force, the searing sound of the bugle could be heard as loud and clear as ever at the Beaufort Hunt… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 21.2.05 SUPPORTERS DISPLAY A BURNING ANGER AT BAN - The flames matched the burning determination of the Ledbury Hunt to continue. Hundreds turned out at the first meeting since the Hunting Bill came into effect on Friday to support what they say is their traditional rural way of life. And as children patted the hounds and the gathered crowd took photographs, a resolute message came from the masters of the hunt…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 21.2.05 PROTESTS PASS OFF PEACEFULLY DESPITE FEARS - County hunts passed off peacefully this weekend despite fears of illegal activities. Gloucestershire Police confirmed that they received no complaints against hunts this weekend but were presented with "information"….(story)
Gloucester Citizen 21.2.05 LAW 'BASED ON REVENGE' - The countryside will fight the hunting ban and take its protest to the polls. That was the message at the first meeting of the Berkeley Hunt under the new laws as 100 people rode out…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 21.2.05 GET READY TO GIVE MPS THE BRUSH-OFF - Whatever your view of fox hunting, it makes no sense to give ludicrously overstretched police officers even more to do, especially when the additional work comes on top of a likely increase in drink-related crime… As I've said before, I'm a townie. I don't have a strong opinion either way on fox hunting and being detached from the argument, it does tend to look like a bunch of New Labour MPs grabbing the chance to kick a few 'Tory toffs' into the hedgerow…. Any taxpayer who is burgled, robbed in the street, assaulted by drunken yobs, or is a victim of antisocial behaviour, and cannot get the police to respond because they are busy hunting hunters, should ask if their MP voted to ban hunting. If so, they should sue the MP in question for compensation, as his or her action will have directly contributed to a shortage of police officers in urban areas. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 21.2.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS - WE WON'T GO AWAY - Defiant hunt supporters turned out in their thousands for the first Gloucestershire meets since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force. At the Cotswold Vale Farmers' Hunt at Southwick Farm, near Tewkesbury, riders and foot followers were determined to carry on until the law is overturned…. More than 1,000 turned out to watch 120 Ledbury Hunt riders meet at Castlemorton Common, near Tewkesbury…. Two hundred riders and 2,000 supporters watched the Vale of the White Horse hunt in Bibury. Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown made a speech before the field followed a pre-laid scent…. Three hundred people were out with the Royal Agricultural College Beagles… (story)

BBC News Online 21.2.05 Minister defends hunting ban law - The law banning hunting with dogs in England and Wales is enforceable and "very clear", Alun Michael has said. The rural affairs minister said it would become obvious if people flouted the law, which came into force on Friday, and pretended they were not…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 21.2.05 HUNT ALL THERE BAR THE FOXES - It Was like any other hunt, with horses, hounds and huntsmen, wearing scarlet coats and drinking whisky stirrup cups, all in attendance. But there was one notable difference - no foxes or hares…. Members of the fox chase group the Holderness Hunt and Hunsley Beacon Beagles, who hunt hares on foot, held a joint meet at Rise Park, near Skirlaugh, on Saturday… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 21.2.05 HUNT DOGS KILL FOX - A fox was killed at a hunt on Saturday, the second day since the ban came into force…. The incident happened at a showcase meet of the Holderness Hunt at Rise Park, near Skirlaugh, where the masters had intended to exercise the hounds within the letter of the Hunting Act. However, a fox is said to have crossed the path of the hounds, who gave chase. Before professional huntsman Robert Howarth and the rest of the riders caught up, the fox had been killed…. Members of the Holderness Hunt and Hunsley Beacon Beagles, who hunt hares on foot, held a joint meet at Rise Park, on Saturday…. (story)

Daily Post 21.2.05 Thousands turn out as fox hunts vow to carry on - By Kirsti Adair Daily Post Staff - THOUSANDS of supporters turned out across Cheshire for the first hunt since the government ban…. Richard de Prez, joint master of the Cheshire Forest Hunt, held near Knutsford, said: "It was a sad and emotional day for many people. However, we had a good turnout with 92 riders and around 800 members of the public who came to support us…." Hundreds of people turned out at the Wynnstay Hunt in Malpas, and the Cheshire Hunt near Tarporley also saw record numbers… The Alliance's chief executive, Simon Hart, said the law "cannot, and will not, work". Speaking at the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, Didmarton, Gloucestershire, where over 3,000 people gathered, he said: "Today this defiant and determined response of hundreds of thousands of people has started the process of dismantling the Hunting Act…." (story)

Leicester Mercury 21.2.05 PLEDGE TO OVERTURN 'RIDICULOUS' BAN BY BEN FARMER - "The fightback starts here!" shouted Dr Paul Davenport to a crowd of more than 1,000 hunt followers and riders. Loud cheers and enthusiastic applause greeted a defiant speech by the chairman of the Atherstone Hunt as it met for the first time since hunting with hounds was banned…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 21.2.05 WE'LL FIGHT ON BY JON DI PAOLO, CHRISSY HARRIS AND BEN FARMER - Thousands lined the streets for a day of demonstrations as hunts rode out for the first time since the foxhunting ban became law. Defiant protesters met in Leicestershire's market towns on Saturday, vowing to test the new legislation to the limit and keep fighting to overturn the ban. By far the largest scenes were in Melton, where the town centre was brought to a standstill by an estimated 550 riders on horseback and up to 2,800 foot followers. Up to 2,000 people were at Great Bowden to see the Fernie Hunt, while more than 1,000 turned out to cheer on the Atherstone… In Melton - home to hunting for more than 300 years - members of the Quorn, Cottesmore and Belvoir hunts, together with the Oakley Foot Beagles, paraded through the streets…. (story)

Western Mail 21.2.05 Hunt turnout 'biggest in history' - Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail - THE hunting lobby turned out in force in Wales over the weekend killing more foxes than in the previous week before the controversial hunting with dogs ban came into force… Adrian Simpson, the Countryside Alliance's regional director for South and Mid Wales said there was unprecedented support for the Welsh hunts with more than 100 horses and 4,000 people turning out in Bridgend for the Llangeinor Hunt… Barry Henderson, a regional director for the Countryside Alliance was out with the Flint and Denbigh hunt on Saturday. He said there were about 100 mounted out on the hunt and between 500 and 700 people on foot following the hunt…. (story)
Western Mail 21.2.05 Monitors vow this is just the beginning - Along with the Welsh hunts, members of the League Against Cruel Sports were out in force on Saturday to watch them. Judi Hewitt was one of them, and here she tells what she saw - FIVE of us League Against Cruel Sports monitors arrived at Coed Coch at 10am, and watched at a distance a steady stream of horse transporters and hunt supporters arriving for the "exercising" of the hounds…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 21.2.05 HUNTERS: WE'LL KEEP ON RIGHT SIDE OF LAW - Defiant horseriders today pledged to carry on hunting foxes within the law. Hundreds of people took part in five Lincolnshire hunts over the weekend and at least one fox was killed…. Julie Barker, groom at Burton Hunt, near Lincoln, said that they received tremendous support as they rode out from Gate Burton Hall, near Gainsborough on Saturday…. Hunt saboteurs were present at Blankney Hunt, which met at the Old Hall, Brant Broughton… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 21.2.05 PEACEFUL PROTESTS LED BY DEFIANT HUNTSMEN - Blankney Hunt met at 11am at The Old Hall, Brant Broughton… Brocklesby Hunt met at noon at The House in Brocklesby. This hunt went ahead with no confrontation and no arrests…. Burton Hunt started at 11am at Gate Burton Hall, near Gainsborough… Per Ardua Beagles met at 1pm at The Bugle Horn in Bassingham…. South Wold Hunt congregated at 11am at Staunch Meadow, off Jubilee Way, Horncastle… (story)

Rutland Times 21.2.05 Hunt ban could deal £10m blow to our local economy - The hunting ban has come into force and with it the potential loss of £10m from the local economy. The Cottesmore Hunt was due to meet to carry out a traditional day's hunting for the last time yesterday (Thursday) at Owston… Thousands are expected to join a parade through Melton Mowbray tomorrow (Saturday) at 10.30am, including members of the Cottesmore, Quorn and Belvoir hunts and the Oakley Foot Beagles…. (story)

UK Insurance News 21.2.05 'Insurance risk' of illegal hunts - Hunts which pursue foxes illegally after the ban may not be covered by their insurance if anyone gets hurt. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says public liability policies may not cover hunts judged to have intentionally broken the law. But it would be for the courts, rather than insurers, to decide if a hunt had set out to act illegally, the ABI said… (story)

Professional Security Magazine 21.2.05 News of how the hunting ban has been policed - so far - Avon and Somerset Police attended a number of hunting events on Saturday, February 19. Of the more than 20 hunting related events, the largest gathering in the force area took place at Wells Market Place where around 4,000 people gathered with the Mendip Farmer's Hunt…. Avon and Somerset Constabulary Assistant Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: "The Avon and Somerset Constabulary has been pleased with the level of responsibility shown by all intetrested parties during the first days of the hunting ban…. (story)

Northern Echo 21.2.05 Hunters out in force to defy ban by Catherine Jewitt - THOUSANDS of supporters turned out at hunt meets across the region on Saturday in a show of defiance against the new hunting ban… Mark Shotton, master of the South Durham Hunt, based in Prime Minister Tony Blair's Sedgefield constituency, said: "During a traditional hunt, if a fox gets into earth, it has won. The tables have now turned. "We could set a drag up to that earth, dig out the fox, kill it and feed it to the hounds. This is what will happen."… (story in archive)
Northern Echo 21.2.05 No winners - not even the fox, say bitter huntsmen by Catherine Jewitt - IT was a typically English picture postcard scene. Forty riders in smart blazers, traditional pinks and polished brass buttons taking the lead of an excitable pack of hounds. But as South Durham Hunt galloped across Tony Blair's pretty Sedgefield constituency, it was not a fox they were pursuing but one of their own… Elsewhere in the region, the Zetland hunt descended on Aldbrough St John, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, to chase a man wearing a Tony Blair mask through the village…. More than 300 members of the Cleveland Hunt turned out in Kildale, and about 500 people cheered and clapped as the Bedale Hunt rode into West Tanfield, near Masham… In Lanchester, County Durham, more than 100 horses from the Braes of Derwent Hunt exercised the hounds through the village… (story in archive)

Grimsby Telegaph 21.2.05 LORD VOWS TO 'NEVER GIVE UP' ON HUNTING - PETER CRAIG - Lord Yarborough gave the rallying call "never give up" to more than 1,000 hunt supporters at Brocklesby Hall in opposition to the new law on hunting with hounds…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 21.2.05 HUNTERS RIDE OUT FIRST TIME AFTER BAN - The South Notts Hunt took its hounds out for 'training' on Saturday - the first time since hunting was banned. But they will be rested until the next hunting season begins in September…. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 21.2.05 Hunt supporters in defiant mood BY DANIELLE NUTTALL - HUNT supporters were in defiant mood as thousands turned out across the region in a bid to make a mockery of the Government's ban on hunting with hounds. Despite the ban on the sport, which came into force on Friday, about 22 foxes were killed at hunts in East Anglia on Saturday…. James Buckle, joint master of the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds, said the hunt flushed out a fox to be shot at its meet at Stutton but said the new arrangements were "a fiasco"…. James Aldous, senior joint-master of the Suffolk Hunt, which met at Euston, near Thetford, said: "There was a tremendous turnout, with around 1,000 people and 70 horses attending the event…" (story)

Bolton Evening News 21.2.05 Hunters back in the saddle - HUNT supporters rode out over the weekend in protest over the new ban on hunting with dogs. Members of the 700-year-old Holcombe Hunt gathered in Little Scotland, Blackrod, on Saturday afternoon, to campaign against the recently enforced legislation…. (story in archive)

Southern Daily Echo 21.2.05 New Forest hunt paraded through village but vows to keep within law by Chris Yandell - THE call was sounded and the New Forest Hounds moved off, just as it had done every Saturday for longer than anyone could to remember. However, that was where normality ended. While other UK hunts vowed to defy the law, the New Forest Hounds made sure their first post-ban meet was entirely legal…. The New Forest Beagles also took part in the procession and received an equally warm welcome…. (story in archive)

Manchester Evening News 21.2.05 Tally ho! And a hunting we still go - Ben Rooth and Roland Hancock - HUNTERS in Cheshire and Lancashire turned out in force over the weekend, aiming to make a mockery of the government's ban…. Among the supporters of the Cheshire Hunt, which met near Tiverton on Saturday, was television personality Clarissa Dickson Wright…. The Cheshire Hunt and the Cheshire Forest Hunt, which met at Peover Hall near Knutsford on Saturday, both rode out with their hounds…. But Holcombe Hunt went on the last hunt of the season on Saturday without their dogs, without horns, and without protesters, but with more than 100 supporters in their wake… (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 21.2.05 'NEVER GIVE UP' CALL TO BIG HUNT - Lord Yarborough gave the rallying call 'Never Give Up' to more than 1,000 hunt supporters at Brocklesby Hall in opposition to the new law on hunting with hounds. More than 100 riders and a pack of around 80 hounds took part in a hunt meet without chasing the trail of a fox. Humberside Police officers were present to check the law was observed… (story)

Carlisle News & Star 21.2.05 Thousands turn out on first day of hunt ban THOUSANDS of hunt supporters turned out on Saturday in an attempt to make a mockery of the Government’s ban on hunting with hounds… (story)
Carlisle News & Star 21.2.05 JUST ALONG FOR THE RIDE By Chris Story - “IT IS the end of the chapter – not the end of the book.” Cumberland Foxhounds master Tim Brockbank’s words captured the defiant spirit of hunt supporters as they met for the first time since hunting with packs of hounds was outlawed…. People were out in force with cameras to capture the historic occasion, the legislation is one which Workington farrier Paul Johnston, who works for both the Cumberland Foxhounds and Cumberland Farmers, will not remain… Elsewhere, the Bewcastle Hunt held a breakfast before exercising their hounds near Roadhead, the Blencathra Hunt at Threlkeld walked their hounds while Ullswater Hunt held a hunt breakfast. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 21.2.05 Activists vow they will spot illegal hunts By Chris Story - ANTI-HUNT activists kept a close watch on hunts to ensure they stayed within the law on Saturday. The League Against Cruel Sports’ Hunt Crime Watch project monitored meetings across the country to gather evidence of any alleged illegal hunting…. (story)

York Evening Press 21.2.05 Hunts throw effigy of Blair to the dogs - PROTESTING hunt supporters posed for pictures with their hands round the neck of an effigy of Tony Blair. A red-jacketed rider then shouted "throw him to the dogs" and the mannequin - adorned with the word "vermin" on its chest - was thrown into the sniffing mass of hounds at the York and Ainsty South Hunt, at Easingwold… Meanwhile, at the Middleton Hunt at Birdsall, near Malton, about 160 hunter horses, twice as many foot followers and scores of people turned out…. Animal rights campaigner Annabel Holt, of Dalby, herself a former huntswoman, staged a small protest with banners which passed off without incident…. (story in archive)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 21.2.05 Hundreds show support as hunts meet after ban - MORE than a thousand hunt supporters turned out in Northamptonshire to show their opposition to the new hunting ban at the first meets after the law came into force…. At Potterspury, master of the Grafton Hunt, Colin Richmond-Watson said: "We are here to celebrate freedom, tolerance, tradition and the rural way of life…" (story)

Brighton Argus 21.2.05 Clashes over hunting ban - Violence erupted as thousands of fox-hunting supporters gathered in a mass show of defiance against the Government ban on their sport. Terrified anti-hunt protesters claim they narrowly escaped serious injury as their minibus was barged off the road from behind during angry confrontations. The 12-seater Renault van was wrecked in the incident at the West Crawley and Horsham Hunt. … Jaine Wild, 49, one of the nine passengers, claims to have suffered whiplash… (story in archive)

Yorkshire Post 21.2.05 I COULD GET LOCKED UP SAYS HUNTSMAN AFTER HOUNDS KILL A FOX - Sally Cope - A YORKSHIRE huntsman admitted last night that he could be charged with breaking the law after a fox was killed by hounds. The Holderness Hunt held their first meeting since the Hunting Act came into force when they gathered at Rise Park, east of Beverley, on Saturday… a fox crossed their path and was pursued by the hounds for four-and-a-half miles before being killed. Robert Howarth, employed to run the hunt on a day-to-day basis, insisted they were determined not to break the new law and were powerless to prevent what happened.. . (story)
Yorkshire Post 21.2.05 WE WILL RETURN EVEN STRONGER VOWS MASTER - Bill Bridge - A BITING wind might have caused the odd tear to fall down William Bethell's cheeks and nerves might have been behind his cracking voice, but there was no doubt the emotion of the moment had struck home to him and the 2,000 who hung on to his every word…. Mr Bethell, Master of the Holderness and deeply proud of his family's association with the hunt which stretches back to 1765, was singularly forthright in his attack on the ban on the hunting of mammals with more than two hounds. He told the crowd – plus members of Hunsley Beacon Beagles who met at the same venue to send out a message of solidarity – that their presence was a message to the Government to stop interfering in ordinary peoples' lives and the rural way of life… (story)
Yorkshire Post 21.2.05 SMALL PACK AND ARTIFICIAL SCENT KEEP IT ALL LEGAL - Sally Cope - AS the winter sun glistened on the lake at the stunning setting of Coniston Hall, near Skipton, more than 300 supporters turned out to mark the "dawning of a new era" in hunting history. The Pendle Forest and Craven Harriers were out in force in a show of defiance…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 21.2.05 AIR TURNS BLUE AS DEFIANCE IS MINGLED WITH SADNESS - Robert Sutcliffe - AT Upper Denby there was sadness, but also defiance. Involved in hunting since the age of eight, senior joint master Liz Sykes was not going to let the moment pass without making her views more than clear. Her language turned the chill air blue as she addressed members of the Rockwood Hunt near Barnsley with a stirring battlecry…. (story)

Shropshire Star 21.2.05 No trouble as hunts get massive turnout BY DAVID BURROWS - Police and hunt supporters in Shropshire and Mid Wales reported no trouble following their show of strength in the first meetings since fox hunting was banned…. Protest groups were present at some meetings - most notably the South Shropshire Hunt, which met at Eaton Mascott, near Shrewsbury, where anti-hunt campaigners filmed the day's activities…. Myles Salmon, master of the Wheatland Hunt, said the mood at their meet in Shipton had been "defiant"…. Joint huntmaster of the North Shropshire hunt, Ann Carding, said Saturday's meeting had gone well…. (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 21.2.05 WHEN IS A HUNT NOT A HUNT...? The law banning hunting with hounds came into force last week but Saturday offered the members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt the first opportunity to gather in the wake of the change…. Peter Presland, the West Midlands regional chairman of the Countryside Alliance, admitted: "It was a desperately sad and poignant day. You can make no bones about that. But it is also a new era and a new stage in our campaign." The sadness had swelled the hunt's numbers, as had the joining of forces with the South Staffordshire Moorland Hunt, the DNS Beagles and the Dove Valley Mink Hounds. By the time the hunt was ready for the off, people were still queuing in their cars on the A515, waiting to get on to the site…. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 21.2.05 VINDICATION OF NEW LAW - The interminable hunting debate is being clouded by hyperbole to the point of absurdity. The weekend saw the new era begin for huntsmen, their animals and their traditional foes - the foxes and the anti-hunt protesters. As far as Derbyshire was concerned, it all seemed to go remarkably well….Mr Presland's subsequent pronouncement that "the activities taking place here will look, sound and smell like real hunting but will be within the law" will be seen by most of us as a vindication of the new legislation, and not a condemnation… (story)

Plymouth Evening Herald 21.2.05 HUNTERS SHOW THEIR DEFIANCE OF BAN - Riders and supporters were out in force at the weekend in a show of defiance against the ban on hunting. In Devon, 300 riders and 2,000 supporters converged on Postbridge, Dartmoor, where three hunts met on Saturday. At the Powderham estate, the South Devon Hunt had 110 riders and 700 followers… (story)

Basingstoke Gazette 21.2.05 New law is put to the test in peaceful hunt by Anna Bailey - PRO-HUNT campaigners turned up in force to the first Hampshire Hunt since the introduction of a controversial ban. Close to 2,000 supporters attended Saturday's event, organised by the Countryside Alliance, at Moundsmere Manor in Preston Candover…. (story in archive)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 21.2.05 Hunt protest vows to challenge ban By Samantha Clarke - The Warwickshire Hunt and thousands of supporters turned out in a massive show of defiance against the ban on fox-hunting. In a mass protest against the controversial outlawing of hunting with hounds, about 200 hunt members and between 3,000 and 4,000 supporters showed up at Upton House, near Kineton, on Saturday… (story)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 21.2.05 Back in the saddle by Johanna Dollerson - HUNTS across Dorset met on Saturday for the first time since the ban on hunting with hounds came into effect. The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt was joined by the Purbeck and Bovington Beagles in Stalbridge this Saturday morning - one of five meets across the county. Attended by 187 riders and almost 2,000 people on foot, the event marked a break with a rural tradition hundreds of years old. There was also a strong turnout in Blandford for the meeting of the Portman Hunt… (story in archive)

Essex Evening Gazette 21.2.05 Essex: Rallying call for hunters - Hundreds of pro-hunting campaigners were out in Essex to show that hunts can continue legally…. (story in archive)

Portsmouth News 21.2.05 Hunters defiant at first trail meet - CROWDS of hunters and supporters have gathered for their first meeting since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force. More than 100 riders took part in Saturday's Hursley Hambledon Hunt, which began at Longwood, near Owslebury, with around 1,000 people turning up to give their support…. (story)

Burton Mail 21.2.05 PRO-HUNTERS SHOW DEFIANCE by LAURIE COOMBS - HUNDREDS of hunting enthusiasts from Burton and South Derbyshire have turned out to show their defiance against a ban on the sport. More than 700 members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, the Staffordshire Moorlands and the DNS Beagles hunts gathered at the Darley Moor Aerodrome, near Ashbourne, on Saturday to protest at the Government’s decision to axe fox hunting…. (story)

Birmingham Post 21.2.05 Hunt supporters pledge revolt by Sarah Probert, Rural Affairs reporter - Thousands of hunt supporters are planning a mass revolt against the ban on hunting with hounds in the run-up to the General Election… Sam Butler, joint master of the Warwickshire Hunt, responded: “We must allow legal challenges to continue but we have other things up our sleeve.” (story)

Birmingham Post 21.2.05 Hunt rides out in defiance By Sarah Probert, Birmingham Post - It was a very personal moment but in front of thousands, horsewoman Louise Bell fought back her tears to tell of an uncertain future in which she faces losing her business…. An estimated 4,000 supporters had turned out to back the Warwickshire Hunt…. (story)

Daily Post 21.2.05 It was just another day of hunting... By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - FOX hunting will be driven underground with illegal activities under-mining the work of traditional packs, supporters heard on a day of defiance…. An estimated 700 people met near Abergele for a rally in support of the Flint & Denbigh Hunt…. The Eryri Hunt saw one of its largest ever turn-outs when 380 people gathered on Beddgelert village green…. Some hunts such as the Eryri and Royal Rock Beagles have said they will examine using hounds to flush foxes to birds of prey, which is legal…(story)

Country Life 21.2.05 Hunts Turn Out In Force - More than 270 hunts supported by 500,000 riders and followers turned out on the first Saturday after the ban came into force in a staggering display of courage and defiance. By Jeremy Lott .. Over 270 hunts were out in force on Saturday morning, from the Tynedale to the Spooners and West Dartmoor, many accompanied by hundreds of followers… An estimated 3-4,000 people turned out at the meet of the Warwickshire Hunt… Speaking from the Beaufort Hunt in Badminton, which was also attended by Labour MP Kate Hoey, Simon Hart, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: 'Today this defiant and determined response of hundreds of thousands of people has started the process of dismantling the Hunting Act.'… (story)

North West Evening Mail 21.2.05 ARE YOU WATCHING TONY BLAIR? A BITING wind greeted hunt supporters at a rally in Cartmel on Saturday. But frozen hands and feet were of little concern to people who say their liberties have been infringed. Alan Bolt, master of North Lonsdale Foxhounds, protested against the hunting ban in front of more than 100 like-minded people at Cartmel Racecourse… (story)

Sheffield Star 21.2.05 We will hound the authorities to reverse ban - The ban on fox hunting is now part of British law, but the fight to overturn it is far from over. Jade Beecroft joined hundreds of supporters on the Chatsworth estate to see the first Barlow Hunt meet since the ban…. (story)

The Sentinel 21.2.05 HUNT FOR A CHANGE IN LAW - Hundreds of hunt supporters vowed to take revenge at the ballot box as they set out for the first time since the hunting ban came into force. Dozens of riders clad in red and black were cheered on their way by more than a thousand residents who braved icy winds on Saturday to gather at Darley Moor Airfield, near Ashbourne on the Staffordshire border…. And more than 200 people turned up at Sandon Park, near Stafford, to cheer on 60 North Staffordshire Hunt riders as they set off on their first ride out since the ban… Peter Heaton, joint master of Cheshire Forest Hunt, presented a passionate speech which was greeted by a rapturous applause…. Riders and foot-followers from the Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt met the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt at Ashbourne The Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire Beagles and the Dove Valley Minkhounds were also at the event….(story)
The Sentinel 21.2.05 HUNTING ACT - 12:00 - 21 February 2005 The Act states: a person commits an offence if he hunts a wild mammal with a dog, unless his hunting is exempt. Stalking a wild mammal, or flushing it out of cover to be shot, are exempt if done to prevent or reduce serious damage to livestock, crops or property…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 21.2.05 Turnout is huge as hunts ride again By Robert Brooks, The Journal - More foxes will die after the law forced hunters to switch from hounds to guns at the weekend, it was claimed last night…. Forty hunt meets took place in the region and at least three in Northumberland - Alnwick, Morpeth and Tynedale - killed a fox on Saturday… ore than 500 people gathered at the Pastures beneath Alnwick Castle to see off a 150-horse contingent of the Percy Hunt, a turn-out three times higher than the usual calendar highlight of New Year's Day…. The village of Matfen played host to a gathering estimated to be more than 1,000, as 120 members of the Tynedale Hunt prepared for the chase…. Thirty years ago, Charles Renwick's grandfather Eustace died in a hunting accident. Yesterday, three generations on, his descendants took to the field with the Morpeth Hunt to maintain a family tradition stretching back over 100 years…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 21.2.05 Foxes killed as ban comes in - Hundreds of hunt supporters rode out across the North East in a united display of defiance against the Government's ban on hunting with hounds…. Richard Dodd, North East Spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, joined the Tynedale Hunt which left from outside the Black Bull at Matfen… (story)

Reading Evening Post 21.2.05 Hunters rally as the ban kicks in - DEFIANT Berkshire hunters refused to be outfoxed by new legislation as they returned from their first post-ban ride with an “entirely legal” kill. Almost 200 riders from the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berkshire Hunt – along with the familiar pack of hounds – rode out from Englefield House near Theale on Saturday… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 21.2.05 HUNTERS DEMAND ACTION ON FOX CURBS - LIZ PERKINS - Hundreds of hunt supporters turned out in force across Wales on Saturday in an attempt to make a mockery of the Government's ban on hunting with hounds. Campaigners claimed more foxes were actually killed this weekend than in the week before the new laws came into effect. They are now calling on Welsh AMs to go it alone and take action against the Hunting Bill which came into force last Thursday… Rachel Evans, deputy master of the Towy and Cothi Hunt, which started its meet from the Castle Hotel, in Llandovery, said there were growing calls for people to lobby the Assembly for a change in the law in Wales. She said: "The support we had from the community was phenomenal…" (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 21.2.05 BAN: Foxhunt supporters turn out in force - RECORD numbers of people turned out to see the first Fitzwilliam Hunt since new laws on fox hunting came into force…. (story)

Oxford Mail 21.2.05 Day of defiance - The sun shone as crowds packed into a field near Bicester for one of at least 250 hunt meetings taking place within the law across the country on Saturday…. Among the hunt supporters was film star Jeremy Irons and World Champion showjumper and British Chef d'Equipe, Derek Ricketts, 56, of Bicester… But trouble flared at Stratton Audley, near Bicester, when one of the anti-hunt protesters, Sue McClure, 47, claims she hurt her back after being pushed against a wall and had her camera thrown in a ditch. Another protester, Bea Bradley, who is in her 70s, claims she was shoved by hunt supporters while there were reports of a pro-hunt demonstrator being hit by a car… (story in archive)

Yorkshire Evening Post 21.2.05 We won't be hounded out.. A Yorkshire hunt sounds a defiant note as it marks the start of the post-ban era by Richard Edwards THE atmosphere was a mixture of defiance and disbelief. Hunt supporters, bloodsports enthusiasts and everyday country people packed into Boroughbridge Market Square to mark the start of a new, post-ban era…. The official line from the York & Ainsty North Hunt was that Saturday's meet would stay within the law….(story)

Bury Times 21.2.05 Hunters back in the saddle - HUNT supporters rode out over the weekend in protest over the new ban on hunting with dogs. Members of the 700-year-old Holcombe Hunt gathered in Little Scotland, Blackrod, on Saturday afternoon, to campaign against the recently enforced legislation….(story in archive)

Weymouth Echo 21.2.05 Defiant hunters checked by sabs - ANIMAL rights campaigners today vowed to keep monitoring hunts after the first legal meets took place in Dorset. No kills were made by the South Dorset Hunt at Dorchester or the Cattistock Hunt at Abbotsbury when they met the day after the Hunting Act 2004 came into force. Dorset Anti-Bloodsports spokes-man Neil Buckoke said saboteurs followed both hunts on Saturday and filmed their activities…. (story in archive)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 21.2.05 You can't stop us - HUNTSMEN gathered in Holmfirth to send a defiant message to the Government: "The hunts will go on." More than 250 people met on Saturday at the Huntsman pub, above Holmfirth, in a show of solidarity against the ban on hunting with dogs… Stewart Shaw, huntsmaster with the Colne Valley Beagles, said he had spoken to police and assured them they would do everything they could to keep within the law…. Three local hunts - the Pennine Foxhound, Colne Valley Beagles and Holme Valley Beagles - met on Saturday… (story)

South Wales Argus 21.2.05 Hunters vow poll revenge - DEFIANT pro-hunt campaignershave vowed to take their revenge on the Labour government at the ballot box. The warning came at a meeting of the Monmouthshire Hunt on Saturday which several hundred people turned up to support…. (story in archive)

Market Rasen Mail 21.2.05 Hunt ban 'temporary infringement' say supporters - HUNTS which continue to meet and kill foxes inspite of a ban insist that the legal measure is 'only a temporary infringement'…. John Lockwod, joint master of the Burton, told 70 mounted riders and 700 supporters at Gate Burton Hall: "The good news is that this is only a temporary ban. We shall continue to fight it through the courts and at the General Election until it is defeated." Nick Ashcroft, master of the South Wold said challenges would continue in the House of Lords and European Court of Human Rights…. At Brocklesby House more than 1,000 followers and 170 mounted riders met with the oldest English pure-breed pack of hounds before they moved off to 'exercise'…(story)

Scarborough Evening News 21.2.05 Carry on hunting! HUNTERS and followers turned out in their hundreds on Saturday aroundthe Scarborough area and vowed to continue hunting to fight the new "unjust law". Organisers counted almost 400 people on foot and 49 riders at the Staintondale Hunt at Barmoor Cottages, Scalby, which was the first hunt meeting to take place in the Scarborough area since the ban against hunting with dogs was introduced at midnight on Thursday… (story)

Worcester Evening News 21.2.05 Thousands turn out to back lawful hunt - THOUSANDS of dedicated huntsmen and supporters were out in droves at meets across Worcestershire and Herefordshire on Saturday in defiance of the Government. In one of the area's biggest meets, more than 500 people turned up to support

Cambridge Evening News 21.2.05 IS THIS REALLY THE END OF HUNTING? - FOX hunting may be banned but that didn't stop more than 1,000 supporters turning up in Newmarket to fight for the sport. Around 150 hunters gathered at Tattersalls Auctioneers on Saturday and rode out across Six Mile Bottom exercising their hounds to demonstrate the battle for the countryside tradition has only just begun…. Eighty-six-year-old hunt protester Joan Court, of Sturton Street, Cambridge said: "I rejoice in the ban. I hate to see these people training children to be cruel."… (story)

Scotsman 21.2.05 Hunting horn sounds for death of Old Britain - KATIE GRANT - IT IS four years since my mother died; as I stood at her grave on Thursday, it struck me that were she to come back now, while the little churchyard folded into Lancashire’s Trough of Bowland may look the same, the country we live in has changed entirely….way to describe it is to say that during the second term of the Blair project, something else, apart from my mother, has died. Few people may have noticed its demise; some may have noticed and cheered; others noticed but not cared. Nevertheless, this other death struck me hard as I followed my local hunt in England for the final time last Tuesday… For Old Britons who hunt, a day out with the local pack is not about the proverbial mad gallop and what fences you can jump, it is about watching how the hounds work, about scenting conditions and reading the country, in the hunting sense of that word, right…. I mind because I happened to love the feel of Old Britain, solid as old turf beneath my feet. Old Britain, just like traditional hunting, was not perfect, but it had a certain stubborn and glorious quality, a certain earthy sense of itself. Now Blair has finally killed that off, and, standing over my mother’s grave, I found myself grateful that she was spared seeing Old Britain die as the Gone Away faded and the hounds hunted into the dark…. (story)

Times 21.2.05 The rights stuff - Roger Cruton advocates civil disobeience to oppose the ban on hunting. What do you think? I WAS outraged to read Professor Scruton’s article (Comment, February 17) on hunting, in which he cites the civil disobedience campaigns of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King to justify his attempt to continue his particular and peculiar bloodlust by setting hounds on mice…. Vaseem Akbar, London E14
Foxy ways - AS ALWAYS, Roger Scruton is being a little “foxy” with his sources and inspiration. Gandhi’s message was clear: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be measured by the way in which its animals are treated.”… Edward Gray, Oxford
Unlikely alliance - WHILE it is true that Gandhi stressed that the means were as important as the end, I doubt if he would be flattered to have his name invoked in the cause of such literally bloody ends…. Supriya Guha, Basle, Switzerland
Meaningful change - I HAVE largely ignored the hunting ban fiasco as it seems incredibly trivial in the sorrowful world in which we live today… I do object strongly, however, to the comparison between the “injustice” suffered by the hunters and that of the Indian people under imperial rule, and find farcical the suggestion that hunting is as imperative to the hunters’ lives as halal food is to Muslims… Daniel Wilson, Annecy, France
Free for all - ROGER SCRUTON’S article sets out a guide for hunters on how to frustrate the application of the Government’s hunt laws… Once you proceed along the path of civil disobedience you have to accept that other minority groups may well employ similar tactics in pursuit of their interests. Eamonn O’Gorman, Elstree, Hertforshire
Alienated minority - I AGREE entirely with Roger Scruton’s sentiments. This Government spends far too much time pandering to the “bleeding hearts and artists” brigade of political correctness… Peter Wilson, Gosport, Hampshire (letters)

Western Morning News 21.2.05 Not role for police …I am completely opposed to Devon and Cornwall Constabulary's scarce resources being used to enforce the hunting ban. Wealthy pressure groups like the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA campaigned to make hunting with dogs a criminal offence, so let them gather the evidence. Martin Bell, Port Isaac (letter)

Torquay Herald Express or Western Morning News 21.2.05 ENTHUSIASM LACKING FOR HUNTING LAW - During media interviews the police do not seem to demonstrate much enthusiasm for enforcing the law in respect of those who wish to continue with hunting. I cannot remember any shortage of enthusiasm amongst the police force to enforce the laws of the land during the miners' strike… AMANDA RESTELL, Dawlish Road, Teignmouth (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.2.05 THIS BAN WILL NOT SAVE A SINGLE FOX - Chris Weir Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.2.05 SHEER PROVOCATION - As Wansdyke MP, Dan Norris finds time to make a provocative visit to Badminton and gloat about the end of hunting just yards from the Beaufort Hunt kennels, where loyal and hard working staff are about to be made redundant, one must assume all is well in his own patch. No failing schools, no hospital waiting lists, no killer bugs, no binge drinking and yobbish behaviour in his town centres, no drugs, no crime, no falling farm incomes, no unemployment in Wansdyke for him to devote his time to… J H Rushton Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.2.05 HUNTING PEOPLE HAVE LOST THE PLOT - I was staggered by the events surrounding the physical attacks on Wansdyke MP Dan Norris by pro- foxhunting demonstrators. Never one to duck the controversy aroused by the hunting issue, Mr Norris had accepted an invitation to take part in a debate, but eggs were hurled at him by pro-hunt supporters. That was bad enough. The punching of his female assistant by the same people was quite appalling…. Mrs J Wyatt Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.2.05 NORRIS HAS SPUN HIMSELF TROUBLE - The Countryside Alliance has condemned Dan Norris, following his visit to the fox hunting village of Badminton to gloat on the eve of the hunt ban coming into force. Badminton residents are appalled by the misleading spin and accusations made by Mr Norris…. Delly Everard Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.2.05 DAN NORRIS HAS HIMSELF TO BLAME - I would like to explain the truth behind Mr Norris's comments to BBC Points West which you have reported. The protest was not made by people the worse for drink or hot heads as he called them. He does not understand what his presence in the village meant to people whose lives and jobs have been so affected…. Sean Richards Malmesbury Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.2.05 SADLY, THIS WILL NOT BE THE END - I was shocked to read the statement by our Home Secretary, who is supposed to uphold ALL laws. I am 30 years have been a saboteur for the last four or five years. Whenever I have gone out, there has always been an overwhelming police presence. Police have always been willing to warn and even arrest anti-hunt supporters when even the slightest law appears to have broken…. Helen Nicholas Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.2.05 TIME FOR A TOWNIE REVOLT - It seems to me that the pro-hunting argument is full of contradictions. On the one hand, hunting is said to provide a useful service to farmers in keeping down this vermin, on the other, hunters protest that they rarely catch or kill their quarry…. Mick Ryan Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.2.05 NO MORE RIDING UNDER INFLUENCE - The Home Secretary and Chief Constables of Police in England and Wales should be asked to enforce the law relating to being over the alcohol limit when in charge of a horse on the public highway… R Everett Yate Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.2.05 HARE COURSING: SICKENING SIGHT - What a sickening sight seeing the Waterloo Cup Hare Coursing on TV. These people who can enjoy seeing an animal torn to bits, be it hare, fox or stag, are really sick. How can they take children to watch such a sight…. MRS M. BRIAN, Address supplied (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 21.2.05 DIVERT RESOURCES TO TACKLE CRIME - I'm interested that Charles Clark says that enforcing the law on banning hunting is not a priority for the police. This picking and choosing what laws to enforce seems to set a dangerous precedent. How would he view it if I said that keeping the law regarding theft was not a priority for me?... Philip Cook, Hanham (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 21.2.05 HUNTERS WAITING FOR TORIES TO RIDE TO THEIR RESCUE? The fox hunting ban will only be difficult to enforce if there are people at the top who are deliberate law breakers (February 17). That is rich, influential establishment figures who run hunting packs. It would be surprising if they indulged in wanton law-breaking (perhaps Otis Ferry has a record to promote)…. MAX NOTTINGHAM St Faith's Street, Lincoln.
Rachel Astill-Dunseith (February 2) is obsessed with her views on fox hunting. A Labour MP has already admitted the vote in the House of Commons was politically motivated…. Watch out fishermen, you will probably be next on the list! A. R. JACKSON Oulton Close, North Hykeham
I just could not ignore Rachel Astill-Dunseith's letter the other day about pigeons, in which she quotes a "dictionary definition" of the term "vermin". She only quotes the part, and a very small part, of the full definition which suits her argument, indicating a continuing bias against common sense and a balanced judgement….It is a pity that she, and others like her, only chose to pursue the emotive side of any argument, and this is very evident in her many and vitriolic diatribes against fox hunting, without due and fair consideration of the benefits emanating therefrom… MRS AUDREY TONG High Street, Navenby.
I have no wish to get involved with the fox hunting debate, but perhaps the hounds and riders could be redeployed into the city centres around Britain at midnight. I'm sure there would be far less trouble from the drunks and no doubt the centres would be cleared very quickly…. M. G. BARNES Mallard Close, Lincoln. (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 21.2.05 'A GREAT DAY FOR ANIMAL WELFARE' - The law which has now come into force, preventing hunting with dogs, is more than welcome to most people who believe animals should not be cruelly treated… Robin Downs, Berkeley Street, Scunthorpe. (letter)

Yorkshire Post 21.2.05 From: Pauline Farmer, Seaton Way, Marshside, Southport. SO, the police will find it hard to enforce the hunting ban and will give it a low priority (Yorkshire Post, February 14). What do the police prioritise? The fact that the hunting prohibition may be difficult to police does not invalidate the Act itself. … (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 21.2.05 How to enforce hunting ban - So the fox hunting laws are going to be pretty useless. To enforce them would mean a huge expense in terms of policing the hunts etc. Why not tackle the problem at source? A few-well placed dawn raids on the properties which house the hounds might only require a handful of officers of a couple of vets and the dogs could be destroyed humanely…. W Hollywood, Armley (letter)


Observer 20.2.05 270 hunts, 91 dead foxes, no arrests: the day the ban was put to the test - Mark Townsend, Anushka Asthana and David Smith - Thousands of huntsmen and women rode out in anger at the government's ban yesterday, swearing to defy Tony Blair and killing 91 foxes - but without falling foul of the law…. Sussex police last night said they would investigate after tempers flared at the Crawley and Horsham Hunt in West Sussex. Jaine Wild, a hunt saboteur, claimed that hunt supporters rammed a van full of protesters off the road…. Among those making a show of defiance was Otis Ferry, son of the rock star Bryan, who took his protest to the heart of government last year by storming the House of Commons. Ferry, master of the South Shropshire Hunt, said yesterday: 'We feel persecuted. We know these people, the urban population, hate us deeply.'… Thousands turned out in Didmarton, Gloucestershire, to applaud the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, where past riders have included Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles…. Irons, attending the Bicester Hunt in Oxfordshire, said the ban was 'the thin end of the wedge'…. (story)
Observer 20.2.05 Outfoxed for now - The law has fallen at the first fence - Leader - Do ye ken John Peel? He and his 'coat so gay' have been a blue touchpaper issue for centuries. Today Mr Peel would risk arrest (not least for breaching the peace with those horns and hounds awakening the dead)…. Will class and culture wars now have to be fought out for real? Since Friday it has been illegal to hunt mammals with dogs. Or rather to hunt mammals other than rats or rabbits with dogs. Or rather to hunt mammals other than rats or rabbits with more than two dogs. Or rather to allow more than two dogs to tear into a mammal... unless said mammal has first been shot. We admit to delight that the law is clearly unenforceable and that hunting has so far proceeded undisturbed. If parliament intended to protect animals, it fell at the first fence… (story)
Observer 20.2.05 Stars and sun cheer Bicester's last hunt - As ministers fear attacks from Real Countryside Alliance protesters, and animal activists celebrate the new ban, hunt supporters across the country gather in the cold to say farewell to their tradition - Rosemary Clarke - Ten o' clock in the morning and I am driving round Oxfordshire, looking for a tiny village called Stratton Audley. It's cold, but the sun is breaking through and it's going to be one of those mornings that makes you glad to be alive. The fields are green and brown, the tiny single-lane roads are glinting. It's a fine morning to hunt. That's what they'd say at the Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase (known as the Bicester)…. (story)
Observer 20.2.05 Anti-hunt MPs to get 24-hour bodyguards - Bodyguards for ministers as Real Countryside Alliance warns 'we will hound them to their graves' - Mark Townsend and Martin Bright - Ministers are being given bodyguards amid mounting concern over reprisal attacks in the wake of the hunting ban. At least three ministers have so far heeded police advice by electing for 24-hour protection from Special Branch officers because of fears that Labour's election campaign in rural Britain will be disrupted by violence…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 20.2.05 Day of hunting ban runs smoothly - IAN CLARKE - The war over hunting intensified, as supporters were threatened with tougher laws if they look for loopholes in the new ban…. Penny Little monitored the Bicester hunt in Oxfordshire and complained of intimidation from supporters…. Labour MP Kate Hoey spoke against her party's ban before she rode out with the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt… Sheelin Cuthbert, hunt campaigner with West Norfolk Foxhounds, said: “We were asked to encourage people to come out as if it was Boxing Day. I thought that was impossible but the turnout sends out the message that we will not be beaten… Sarah Greene, of Huntwatch, said: “We want them to know that we put pressure on them to keep within the law…" (story)
Eastern Daily Press 20.2.05 Hunts hold first meets under Act - If the ban was meant to spell the end for hunting, then no-one had told the huge crowds which flocked out into the countryside of Norfolk and Suffolk on Saturday…. “There has to be a future,” yelled Sheelin Cuthbert, hunt campaigner with the West Norfolk Foxhounds, to cheers and applause from the 1000-strong crowd at Lexham…. At Snetterton, Dunston Harriers made sure they followed the letter of the law by leaving their hounds behind when they rode out… Hunt Watch spokesman, Phil Insley, said: “We want to ensure that the law, which is now in force, is properly enforced and properly monitored and that is our sole intention here today…." A sizeable crowd, some carrying pro-hunt placards, cheered as Waveney Harriers chairman Robin Bramley lambasted Westminster politicians from a step behind his Range Rover at Somerleyton Hall…. One of the largest gathering of supporters attended the first meeting of the Norfolk Beagles Hound Club under the new rules on Saturday…. He welcomed the pack of the Bolebrook Beagles from Kent, which had also been successfully trail hunting on Friday near Erpingham. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 20.2.05 So much for your hunt ban, Mr Blair By Daniel Foggo, Karyn Miller and Tony Freinberg - Almost 100 foxes were reported killed by hunts across Britain yesterday during a mass show of defiance by foxhunters against the Government ban on their sport. Hunts including the Tynedale, the Spooners and West Dartmoor, the Bicester, and the South Shropshire all said that they had killed foxes, although each insisted that they had done so in accordance with the new law permitting foxes to be flushed out by no more than two hounds and shot…. At the Duke of Beaufort's in Gloucestershire, the atmosphere was one of noisy exuberance. The hunt master, Capt Ian Farquhar, told a large crowd that he had wept for his hounds at breakfast. He concluded by borrowing words from Winston Churchill: "He said, 'We must keep buggering on.' I intend to keep buggering on." Jeremy Irons, the actor, also registered his opposition to the ban by attending the Bicester in Oxfordshire. He said the legislation was "the thin end of the wedge".… More than 700 riders and 3,500 pedestrians congregated in Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire to protest at the ban. The supporters blocked roads and held up traffic, and applauded riders with Quorn, Cottesmore and Belvoir hunts as they paraded from the Cattle Market to the Hunting Museum. The police presence at all the hunts was muted. At the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt on Exmoor, a policeman even joined in the drag hunt … (story)
Sunday Telegraph 20.2.05 Tally ho, the chase goes on - Numerous police officers accompanied the more than 250 hunts which took place yesterday, the first day that the sport became illegal. Despite the friendly exchanges between officers and huntsmen and women, the presence of the police posed a question: what public good were they trying to uphold?... The real point of the ban is the punishment of hunters. And the reality, as opposed to the illusion, of the hunting ban is that those who will be most hurt by it are not "the toffs on horses" who arouse the hatred of Labour's class warriors. They are the poor rural folk who depend on hunting for their livelihood: the people who care for the hounds and the horses, who plan the hunts, and who provide and maintain the equipment needed for them. The rich will be able to hunt in France, or to spend more on polo or whatever other exotic equestrian sport takes their fancy…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 20.2.05 'I had expected a lot of people, but this... this is lump in the throat stuff' - In bright sunshine and under cloudless blue sky, Melissa Kite joined the Old Surrey hunt on its first outing since the ban took force. A sport capable of creating such a picture-perfect English scene can't be wrong, can it? she asks… More than 200 riders and three times as many followers from the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunt had come from every direction to converge on this picturesque corner of the South Downs…. hear fighting talk. Mr Worsley paused, composed himself and didn't disappoint: "In 1934, Adolf Hitler banned hunting. In 2004, Tony Blair was the very next person to do that." The crowd cheered….(story)
Sunday Telegraph 20.2.05 Notes from a haunting horn By Nigel Farndale - Anger and sadness; these are the emotions which hunting folk have been feeling over the past few days, according to various news reports. And who can blame them? The hunting ban is a spiteful, illiberal and pointless piece of legislation. But there is another emotion that I have noticed – bewilderment, and I have seen it before in recent months, on the East and West coasts of America….even those antis who wear suits seem to have mean and twisted faces, soured by hatred. The hunt followers, by contrast, all seem to have open, trusting and honest faces. I was studying some of them yesterday at a meet near Uppark in the Sussex Downs. There it was that the first pack of fox-hounds in the country was formed by Lord Grey in the 17th century. In a sort of "first and last" gesture, 50 members of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt gathered in full attire on horseback. They drank a stirrup cup, made a few emotional speeches, stuttered semiquavers from their horns and then solemnly and sliently dismounted, reloaded their unmuddied hounds and horses and drove back to their homes… (story)

Sunday Times 20.2.05 Hunts kill 91 foxes on first day of ban - JONATHON CARR-BROWN AND MAURICE CHITTENDEN - ON THE first day of the hunting ban 250 hunts rode out into the wintry sun and killed no fewer than 91 foxes. It looked very much like business as usual, apart from some huntsmen dragging effigies of Tony Blair for their hounds to pursue… Among those who threw down the gauntlet to the government was Otis Ferry, huntsman son of the rock singer Bryan Ferry, whose hunt, the South Shropshire, also shot a fox after it was dug from a hole…. (story)
Sunday Times 20.2.05 Parenting: Children need the thrill of the chase - The hunting ban is a victory for namby-pamby parenting, says Amanda Lynch, because exposure to danger is a vital part of growing up - I had a brief taste of hunting back in the 1970s when my father changed jobs and our family was transplanted from suburbia to the Welsh borders… Alex Kerr Wilson, who hunted with the Flint and Denbigh as a child 25 years ago, was unfazed by some nasty accidents….What is wrong with parents today? We keep our children in their bedrooms like battery hens in front of flickering banks of electronic entertainment devices. It is a world of padded playgrounds. We are afraid to let our children even cross the road by themselves… Charlotte Marshall is a typical hunting mother, taking Charlie, 7, and Izzie, 5, out with the East Sussex and Romney Marsh hunt. “You can’t force a child to hunt. It is an adrenaline-pumping, risky activity,” she says. “My husband hunts, I hunt, and therefore hunting is a lovely thing that the children can do with us on a Saturday.”… (story)

Independent on Sunday 20.2.05 Scores of foxes die on a day which leaves questions over impact of hunting ban By Severin Carrell - Nearly 100 foxes were killed, as tens of thousands of hunt supporters and their dogs rode out this weekend for the first time since the Government's ban on hunting with hounds. The League Against Cruel Sports said they expected a number of prosecutions against hunters after gathering evidence of "suspicious behaviour"…. The South Shropshire hunt ¬ whose joint master is Otis Ferry, the son of rock star Brian Ferry ¬ was the first to claim a legal "kill" within an hour of setting out near Shrewsbury yesterday…. Ms Hoey, the Labour MP for Vauxhall in south London, told a crowd of 3,000 cheering supporters of the Beaufort hunt in Gloucestershire, that the act would eventually be repealed. "Legal hunting will continue until such time, in my view, as either this Government or another sees sense," she said. Irons, who was attending the Bicester Hunt in Oxfordshire, claimed the ban was "the thin end of the wedge"… (story)
Independent on Sunday 20.2.05 The fox was shot. But nothing else changed for Otis and his friends - The South Shropshire Hunt's first quarry under the new law was killed with a gun. Few people noticed the difference, says Stephen Khan - There was blood: a fox found within the hour, shot with a pistol and "given to the hounds". All very legal, not very traditional, but blood none the less…. (story)
Independent on Sunday 20.2.05 Simon Blackburn: Tally-ho and rot ye, sir - We may dislike cruelty, but we enter deep water when we seek to ban it - I have never been offered the opportunity to hunt, although from what I have read I think I should rather enjoy it. …. Cruelty is a powerful word for a nasty thing, and one to be used in many good causes. Unfortunately, it is ambiguous: causing unnecessary suffering or distress is a start, but that captures the cat-owner who would surely resist the word… But there is no reason to think that this description applies to people who hunt in general. Hunters surely get excited at lots of things - any man old enough to have salivated over Jane Fonda riding away in the film Cat Ballou knows the potential of a good seat - but I do not suppose they relish the distress of the fox…. (story)

Sunday Mirror 20.2.05 CARRY ON KILLING By Colin Wills, Simon Wright And Sara Nuwar - HUNTING is over...or is it? Yesterday, supposedly the first weekend of the hunting ban, the same sickening scenes were in evidence. A fox was torn to pieces by hounds within an hour of the South Shropshire Hunt setting out. It was all strictly legal, as the South Shropshire - whose joint master Otis Ferry is the son of pop star Bryan - tested the new law for the first time…. Across the country, a second fox was killed within half an hour of the Surrey Union Hunt gathering…. Many eyes were also focused on the Duke of Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire… Bill Smith, senior joint master of the Hursley Hambledon hunt and a former jockey for the Queen Mother, said: "It's a bit like drinking alcohol-free lager after tasting the real thing."… (story)
Sunday Mirror 20.2.05 LABOUR'S KATE JOINS IN PROTEST By Simon Wright - LABOUR MP Kate Hoey rode with Prince Charles' favourite hunt yesterday - and slammed the ban as "unjust and wrong". The veteran backbencher, a keen horsewoman, joined 250 members of the Beaufort Hunt near Prince Charles' country estate at Highgrove, Gloucs…. (story)

Sunday Mirror 20.2.05 REYNARD IS SAFE FROM SAD WILLS By James Harper - THE Queen has vetoed a plan by Prince William to hunt foxes legally - in France… He was intending to join pals on a trip to Pau, in South West France, where hunting a fox ("reynard' in French) is legal and where pro-hunting bodies are promoting links with Britain… (story)

Sunday Express 20.2.05 Call to close hunting loopholes - Hunt supporters risk seeing the ban tightened if they continue to test the law, animal rights campaigners have said… Penny Little, who monitored the Bicester hunt, said if hunts continued to probe for loopholes in the ban the Government would be forced to close them off… (story)

BBC News Online 20.2.05 Hunt number 'exceeds expectation' - The first Cheshire Forest Hunt since the ban on fox hunting was introduced went ahead peacefully, said organisers. Tom Fell, the Countryside Alliance regional director, said there were no problems at Saturday's hunt…. (story)
BBC News Online 20.2.05 Counselling offered over hunt ban - Counselling is being offered to people in Warwickshire who are affected by the ban on hunting. The Rev Gordon Gatwood, from the Arthur Rank Centre in Stoneleigh, said that whatever people's views on the subject, he was available to offer support…. (story)
BBC News Online 20.2.05 MP wants police to seize horses - An anti-hunt MP has urged police to seize horses from hunters if they defy the ban and kill foxes with more than two hounds. Nottingham South MP Alan Simpson said enforcement is a key to making sure the new Hunting Bill is upheld…. Countryside Alliance spokesman James Bates said the MP's suggestion is "ludicrous". He said: "What are they going to do - get paddy wagon for horses? Where do they keep the horses if they seize them?... (story)
BBC News Online 20.2.05 Hunters warned to obey new law - Anti-bloodsports campaigners in Wales have warned they will continue to police hunts. The Wales Alliance against Cruel Sports said it would gather evidence and ensure that hunters breaking the new laws were prosecuted…. "I believe that there are hunts that will break the law in Wales," said Alliance chairman Ralph Cook, who has spent 27 years campaigning against hunting for sport…. The new legislation has been criticised by Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Opik, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Wales and co-chairman of the Middle Way Group. He visited two hunts in his constituency on Saturday - the Tanatside Hunt in Welshpool, and the David Davies Hunt in Llandinam, near Newtown - and said he was "overwhelmed" at the show of support…. Around 60 riders were seen off by several hundred supporters when the Flint and Denbigh Hunt met at Dolwen near Abergele… (story)
BBC News Online 20.2.05 Foxes shot 'legally' during hunt - About 14 animals were killed during Saturday's hunts in Devon and Cornwall, according to the Countryside Alliance. It says 13 foxes and 1 stag were killed within the terms of the ban either by being flushed to guns, or flushed from their earth to protect game birds. The Spooners and West Dartmoor Foxhounds, one of the hunts which met at Postbridge, says it shot one fox…. Tony Wright of Exmoor Foxhounds , who met at Dulverton on Saturday, said: "We have no more intention of breaking the law than a rambler who accidentally stumbles off the footpath and finds himself trespassing."… (story)
BBC News Online 20.2.05 Illegal hunt claim investigated - An incident of alleged illegal hunting in Somerset is under investigation by a wildlife crime officer. Police say the incident is alleged to have happened near Chard. At Wells Market Place around 4,000 people gathered with the Mendip Farmer's Hunt. There was one reported assault of an anti-hunt protester…. (story)
BBC News Online 20.2.05 Dead fox 'fed to dogs in public' - Claims that a dead fox was fed to hounds in front of the public, on the first day after hunting with dogs was banned, are being investigated. Sussex Police said it was also claimed a hunt monitor's vehicle was forced off a road at the Crawley and Horsham hunt…. Four hunts took place across Sussex, attended by about 500 riders and 2,000 supporters, Sussex Police said… He said officers would be "discussing a number of issues" with the Crawley and Horsham hunt organisers including an allegation "that a dead fox was fed to hounds in front of members of the public". The spokesman said: "This behaviour is unacceptable and unnecessarily provocative."… Nick Onslow, spokesman for the East Kent Hunt, which met in Crundale, told BBC Radio Kent: "There is anger at what the government has done to us, but we have been very clear to all of our supporters that we must try to turn the other cheek to any sort of intimidation…." (story)
BBC News Online 20.2.05 Fallout over hunt ban's first day - Hunters have claimed a successful day of "legal" hunting and protest against the hunting ban in England and Wales… One anti-hunt protester was taken to hospital after a violent clash in Kent. The man suffered facial injuries after an incident involving a group of men at the end of the East Kent Hunt, near Ashford. Monitor Penny Little, who monitored the Bicester Hunt in Oxfordshire, said she had witnessed "gratuitous, spiteful killing of foxes"…. (story)
BBC News Online 20.2.05 West: Hunting is banned, but the hunt goes on - Dave Harvey - It's been happening for centuries, and it took 700 hours of parliamentary debate to ban it. But this weekend, hundreds of hunters were out looking, for all the world unchanged by the ban…. To find out just how hard, I went out with a Wiltshire hunt on the last legal day of hunting. I knew they were chasing foxes - but would I be able to prove it?... (story)
BBC News Online 20.2.05 Police praise peaceful protests - Police have praised hunt supporters and people in a Leicestershire town after a demonstration passed off peacefully on Saturday. About 700 mounted hunt supporters and an estimated crowd of 2,800 gathered in Melton Mowbray's town centre… (story)

Wales on Sunday 20.2.05 'We will carry on as normal' - Marc Baker, Wales on Sunday - ONE of the oldest hunts in Wales last night said breaking Tony Blair's fox hunting law was inevitable. The warning came as more than 100 members of the 200-year-old Llangeinor Hunt in Bridgend joined forces with 250 others across England and Wales to put the new ban on hunting with dogs to the test…. (story)
Wales on Sunday 20.2.05 Foxhunters mock ban - Thousands of hunt supporters turned out in an attempt to make a mockery of the Government's ban on hunting with hounds. Although the 250 separate hunts operated within the law across England and Wales there was little discernible difference in the "new format" of drag hunting…. (story)
Wales on Sunday 20.2.05 Anti-hunt groups draw blank - Marc Baker, Wales on Sunday - ANTI-HUNT campaigners yesterday failed to find any Welsh hunt groups breaking the law. The League Against Cruel Sports mounted an undercover UK-wide operation to catch law-breaking hunts. The league had its eagle eyes on hunts in Llanarth, Monmouthshire, Sennybridge, Powys and in Gwent….(story)
Wales on Sunday 20.2.05 Hunter-gathering BBC is living in the past - Greg Lewis, Wales on Sunday - HAS anyone else noticed the seemingly unashamed bias with which the BBC has been reporting the hunting ban? It's been all about tradition, scones and sherry. I've seen more than enough misty-eyed, red-faced huntsman leaning down from their mount to whisper about how their families have been chasing a fox for 400 years… (story)

Bedfordshire on Sunday 20.2.05 TALLY HO - HUNDREDS turned out in support of the Oakley Hunt on Saturday morning in defiance of the first day of the hunting ban…(story)

Scotland on Sunday 20.2.05 Thousands ride out after hunting ban - KATE FOSTER - THOUSANDS of defiant hunt supporters gathered across England and Wales yesterday as foxhound packs rode out for the first time since new legislation on hunting came into force… (story)

Sunday Mail 20.2.05 HOEY BACKS HUNTERS - LABOUR MP Kate Hoey yesterday gave a defiant speech against the ban on hunting and said members of her party who backed it were 'prejudiced and bigoted'…. (story)

UTV 20.2.05 Hunting option in N.Ireland - If the Prince of Wales or his fellow huntsmen want to go fox hunting - legally - this week they need only look across the Irish Sea. Following the ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where the centuries old pursuit of the fox is still not outlawed…. (story)

Star 20.2.05 Minister warns of testing hunt ban - Hunt supporters have been warned not to waste police time by testing the new ban. The Government urged hunts not to break the "simple" law after Saturday's massive demonstration of opposition to the ban. Rural Affairs minister Alun Michael said most of the 250-plus hunts out on the first weekend after the ban came into force acted legally…. (story)

ePolitix 20.2.05 Michael says hunt protests were legal - Rural affairs minister Alun Michael has played down weekend protests against his anti-hunting law. Speaking on the BBC's Countryfile programme on Sunday he said he was happy to see hunts continue, so long as they were within the bounds of the new legislation…. (story)


Spectator 19.2.05 The end of part of England - As soon as I see Bertha’s rear end backing down the tailgate towards me, I think there has been some mistake. They told me they would find a nice quiet mare, given that I have never been riding before. Advancing upon me are the towering bay buttocks of the biggest horse I have ever seen…. We passed a single magpie, and I could not help noticing Charles’s long mumbling prayer of propitiation, all about ‘say hello to Mrs Magpie ...give her my best ...my name is Charles Moore,’ and so on at such length that I became seriously rattled. Charles is a veteran, a pro. He is entitled to the pink, green-collared jacket of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh….Apart from an hour on a camel in Egypt, and a few hours on an elephant in India, I had never been properly transported on a large mammal, and though I have done some things that are arguably brave, such as attending the births of four children and driving at 160 mph on the M40, I have never ridden a horse at speed…. There was only one reason for doing it now, and that was to show my anger and my support; though I speak as one who has never had any particular urge to kill animals…. Ten times as many foxes die on the roads as are killed by the hunts, and unlike the hunted fox they have a truly cruel and lingering death, haemorrhaging from glancing blows. Is the Labour government going to ban cars?... (story)

Spectator 19.2.05 The dogs have had their day - The scene in the ballroom at the Prince of Wales hotel at Southport last Sunday night belonged more readily to a Surtees novel than the 21st century. The cream of British coursing — landowners, gypsies, dog-trainers, Irish raiders — were present to hear call-over on the eve of the 158th and final Waterloo Cup. Only the presence of the Pakistani immigrants who have emerged as a dynamic force in the sport over the past decade lent a contemporary touch… (story)

Telegraph 19.2.05 Princes to 'wait and see' on hunt ban By Charlie Methven - The Prince of Wales, Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince William are to "wait and see" what the impact of the hunting ban will be before deciding whether to continue riding to hounds…(story)

Western Morning News 19.2.05 SHOULDER TO SHOULDER AS HUNT GOES ON - A mass show of strength will be made by Westcountry hunt supporters this morning as they turn out in force for the first day of hunting under Labour's ban…. Torrington Farmers Hunt' chairman Tod Marshman said: "We look to the future with mixed feelings. This is not a scenario we wanted, but it's one we are determined to make the best of…" Peter Southcombe, chairman of the Cattistock Hunt, said members would be meeting at the Swannery in Abbotsbury, near Dorchester, with around 25 hounds…. Three hunts, including the Dartmoor, Mid Devon, and Spooners and West Dartmoor, will have a joint meet today at Postbridge on Dartmoor - but promise that they will be holding a trail hunt, where the hounds follow a scent…. Francis Martin, chairman of East Cornwall Hunt, which is meeting on Minions Moor, near Liskeard, said: "We'll carry on until the end of March, once a week rather than twice, with a mixture of hound exercise and trail hunting…." (story)
Western Morning News 19.2.05 CRAZY LAW THAT WON'T SAVE A FOX - Pity the poor old bobby. Today, as thousands of hunters and hunt followers gather for a mass demonstration of defiance in the wake of the Hunting Act, he will be in the middle, attempting to enforce a law that even he must acknowledge was wrong-headed in its conception and disastrous in its drafting…. Those Labour backbenchers who forced this legislation through may feel proud of themselves. They've won what they see as a battle in the class war. But they've split rural communities, creating a huge amount of uncertainty and left rural police forces up and down the land to pick up the pieces. And not a single fox saved. Good work by our legislators? Hands up who thinks so. (story)
Western Morning News 19.2.05 NO GLOOM IN HEART OF HUNTING COUNTRY - 11:00 - 19 February 2005 H UNTING ban, what hunting ban? Walking around Britain's hunting Mecca yesterday, you wouldn't have known that a political knife had just been thrust through the heart of the nation's premier hunt community. The chase - and everything and everyone surrounding it, from farriers to hoteliers - has pumped the lifeblood of Exford for more years than anyone can remember…. However, there were no flags flying at half-mast in Exmoor's thin drizzle yesterday. There was contempt, yes. Anger, definitely. But depression over a bleak future? Not likely… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.2.05 LIFEBLOOD OF EXMOOR - When Exmoor National Park Authority carried out a survey of 1,300 households and 3,000 individuals in the area, it found that "levels of participation in hunting and other activities organised by the hunts were very high" . In total, individuals went out hunting 67,000 times in one year and spent an estimated £5.5 million on hunt related activities…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.2.05 SABOTEURS PROMISE TO MONITOR THE HUNTERS AND REPORT BACK TO POLICE - Plymouth hunt saboteurs will be 'monitoring' Dartmoor today to ensure the new hunting ban is enforced - and have vowed to sabotage hunts if police don't act…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express 19.2.05 MASS TURN-OUT AS HUNT FOLLOWERS TRY FOR LAST TALLY HO! BY ALLAN TUDOR - Hunting with hounds may have become illegal but hundreds of pro-hunt supporters were expected to turn out today to protest over the ban. The Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers were meeting at Buckfastleigh, the South Devon Hunt were gathering at Powderham, the Dartmoor were due to meet in a mass protest with other hunts at Postbridge, and the Britannia Beagles were gathering in Dartmouth…. Len Short, of Torquay, a member of the anti-hunt Animal Voices group, said: "The hunters are very resourceful and they have said time and again they won't go drag hunting and yet now it appears they will…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 19.2.05 HUNTING WITH HUMAN QUARRY - Riders in Nottinghamshire and neighbouring counties are hot on the heels of cross-country athletes - chasing the runners in an increasingly popular sport. "We're following the natural scent of man, using bloodhounds," said Andrew Witcomb, of Shoby, near Melton Mowbray, who has recently been appointed fieldmaster of the Cranwell Bloodhounds…. (story)

Scotsman 19.2.05 Crowds Brave Chill to Cheer on Hunters By Phil Hazlewood, PA - Crowds lined the streets today as some of England’s oldest and most famous foxhound packs rode out for the first time since new legislation on hunting was introduced. Hundreds of people braved the chill morning in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, to witness members of the Belvoir, Cottesmore, Fernie and Quorn hunts set out from the town’s cattle market…. (story)

Scotsman 19.2.05 Foxhunters Mock New Ban by Continuing the Chase - Thousands of hunt supporters turned out today in an attempt to make a mockery of the Government’s ban on hunting with hounds. Although the 250 separate hunts operated within the law across England and Wales there was little discernible difference in the “new format” of drag hunting…. The Countryside Alliance reported 91 foxes were killed…. The South Shropshire Hunt, whose joint master is Otis Ferry, son of rock star Bryan, claimed its first legal fox hunting kill within an hour of riding out near Shrewsbury earlier today…. Oscar winning actor Jeremy Irons, who was attending the Bicester Hunt in Oxfordshire said the ban was “the thin end of the wedge”…. (story)

BBC News Online 19.2.05 Out with the hunt under new ban - Less than 48 hours after the controversial ban on hunting with hounds became law, riders gathered for the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt (OSBWK)…. SATURDAY 1700GMT - Things are wrapping up. It's been a fruitless day according to huntsman Mark Bycroft, who has most to lose from the reforms…. So what was it like hunting a pre-set trail rather than a live fox? "Crap" he says. "It's just doesn't feel authentic. You might as well go up to Hyde Park for a trot around,"… Rather than monitoring, the "antis" had been using dirty tricks, trying to confuse the hounds by blowing horns and spraying citronella to throw them off the scent…. Earlier police were forced to intervene in a mild fracas after anti-hunt protestors who had mingled with the crowd got onto the farm. Robin Howard, 51, was escorted onto the public bridleway after he says he was spotted in the crowd…. Fellow "anti" Susan Roberts, 61, said she had turned out to see whether the hunt would be conducted legally…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Welsh hunts ride out after ban - Thousands of Welsh hunt supporters turned out for the first major meetings since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force…. The new legislation has been criticised by Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Opik, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Wales and co-chairman of the Middle Way Group… He visited two hunts in his constituency on Saturday - the Tanatside Hunt in Welshpool, and the David Davies Hunt in Llandinum, Newtown - and said he was "overwhelmed" at the show of support… (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Defiant hunts put ban to the test - Thousands of hunt supporters have been out on the first day of hunting in England and Wales since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force…. One anti-hunt protester was taken to hospital after a violent clash in Kent… The man suffered facial injuries after an incident involving a group of men at the end of the East Kent Hunt, near Ashford…(story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Sadness turns to determination By Sarah Mukherjee - Yet again the weather matched the hunter's mood. On Thursday, it was misty and dreary as huntsmen and women across the country shed a tear for the end of their ancient pursuit. On Saturday it was crisp, bright and cold - and sadness turned to anger and determination as thousands gathered on foot and horse to, as one man put it: "prove the law a bloody ass"…. The huntsmen of Gloucestershire's Beaufort hunt were out in their green and blue coats, the horses had brushed manes and tails plaited - but as to what they were going to do, not even the hunt master seemed certain… (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Region's hunts facing first test - Thousands of hunt supporters turned out in force at more than 20 meetings across the North East and Cumbria. Up to 200 people followed master Jim Cox through the village of Threlkeld at the Blencathra hunt in Cumbria. At the South Durham hunt near Wynyard a fox was killed legally after being flushed out by two hounds and shot… At the Tynedale hunt in Matfen, Northumberland, 1,000 supporters filled the village green to encourage 120 riders out exercising their hounds… Hundreds of supporters also turned out at the Zetland Hunt in Aldborough St John, near Darlington… (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 In pictures: defying the ban - Hunt supporters - like these following the Quorn hunt in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire - turned out despite the ban on hunting foxes with dogs coming into force. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Ferry's first hunt under new laws - The hunt made famous by Otis Ferry - son of rock star Bryan - made its first legal kill under the new rules, within an hour of setting out on Saturday. Mr Ferry, 21, is joint master of the South Shropshire Hunt and rode out from Eaton Mascott Hall, near Shrewsbury, just after midday…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Four hunts join forces in protest - Hundreds of fox hunting supporters gathered in a Leicestershire town for a demonstration on Saturday. The Quorn, Belvoir, Cottesmore and Oakley Foot Beagle hunts staged a protest in Melton Mowbray before setting off to hunt within the new law…. Claire Bell, secretary of Cottesmore Hunt, said: "We intend to hunt to the letter of the law within this new law, however ridiculous it may be."… The South Notts hunt was holding a hound exercise at Screveton off the A46 on Saturday…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 First hunts gather following ban - Hunts were meeting across Kent, Sussex and Surrey on Saturday for the first time since the ban on hunting with dogs became law… Graham Worsely, from the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, said they were planning to lay a scent…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 West hunts will 'stay inside law' - Hunt members around the West gathered on Saturday in protest against the new law banning hunting with dogs… In Gloucestershire at the Beaufort meet around 2,000 people set off on horseback and on foot. Riding with the hunt, the Rev Christopher Mulholland, Vicar of Tetbury said: "We will try to make the best of hunting within the law…. Among the hunts riding are the Berkeley, the Beaufort, the Mendip Farmers and Somerset Vale West, the Taunton Vale, West Somerset, Exmoor and Devon Hunts and the Somerset Stag Hounds. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Analysis: The real cost of a ban? By Evan Davis Fox hunting in England and Wales killed about 25,000 foxes a year. That might seem a lot - but that is forgetting just how many other animals we kill. Add up the cows, sheep and pigs and you find that we slaughter approximately 25m a year… The real point is that the countryside and its economy depend on farming far more than they ever did on fox hunting… Approximately 7,000 jobs depended on hunting. More than 7,000 people had hunting-related jobs, but it was 7,000 full-time equivalent. Yet over 500,000 people work in agriculture…. Urban politicians might get away with telling the countryside not to engage in countryside pursuits like hunting. But can they simultaneously tell the countryside it has to preserve its rural charm and develop economically? (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Hunters pledge to obey new laws - Participants in the Cheshire Forest Hunt will "enjoy a ride in the countryside" on Saturday, without breaking the law… (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 South hunts meet to protest ban - Hundreds of hunt members across the South are to gather in protest on Saturday at the new fox hunting ban. About 30 hunts are meeting in Hampshire, Dorset, Oxfordshire and Berkshire and the Isle of Wight. The Bicester with Whaddon Chase and the Hampshire Hunt are among many planning to shoot foxes instead of letting dogs kill them - legal under the new law…. In the village of Burley, Hampshire, members of both the New Forest Hunt and the New Forest Beagles are to stage a rally in the high street instead of a hunt….(story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Region's hunts ready to go ahead - Hunts across Yorkshire are preparing to ride out on Saturday - the day after the hunting ban came into force. The Countryside Alliance has issued guidance to hunts on how they can still meet and hunt legally. The group is expecting large numbers of supporters to attend meets by the Holderness, York and Ainsty South and Pendle Forest and Craven hunts…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Region's hunts remain within law - Hunts across the region were cheered on by huge crowds on Saturday as they rode out for the first time since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force…. Devon and Cornwall Police's Assistant Chief Constable Richard Stowe said the day had gone much better than expected…. Tony Wright of Exmoor Foxhounds , who met at Dulverton on Saturday, said: "We have no more intention of breaking the law than a rambler who accidentally stumbles off the footpath and finds himself trespassing…." The Countryside Alliance said some 30 hunts met in Devon and Cornwall on Saturday, with some of the largest crowds at Postbridge where five hunts met for a joint hunt across Dartmoor. One of the biggest meets in Cornwall was the Four Burrow Hunt who rode out from Caerhays. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 End of an era for Powys hunt By Carl Yapp - On a glorious winter's morning in Powys, one of Wales' largest hunts turned out for its first meeting since the ban on hunting with dogs. But the weather did not reflect the mood of the 100 or so supporters of the David Davies Hunt, in Llandinam, near Newtown, who turned out in force…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Hunts go ahead despite new laws - Hunts across Yorkshire met on Saturday despite the ban on hunting with dogs which came into force on Friday. One of the biggest turnouts was at Birdsall near Malton in North Yorkshire for the meeting of the Middleton Hunt… (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 South's hunts pass off peacefully - Hundreds of hunt members across the South gathered on Saturday in protest at the new fox hunting ban. About 30 hunts met throughout Hampshire, Dorset, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and the Isle of Wight - with little in the way of real trouble…. In the New Forest, the New Forest Hounds met in Burley for procession through the village without incident. Meanwhile, actor Jeremy Irons, who attended the Bicester Hunt in Oxfordshire, described the ban as "the thin end of the wedge"…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Hunting ban facing first big test - Hunts are expected to be out in force across England and Wales over the weekend, putting the new ban on hunting with dogs to the test. The Countryside Alliance has called on hunt supporters to meet as normal, but stresses they will stay within the law…. (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Hunting: What happens next? - Hunt supporters say they will continue efforts to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. BBC News examines what happens next… (story)
BBC News Online 19.2.05 Race for fox hunting legal stance By John Knox - Yes, they still chase foxes in Scotland. But for the past two-and-a-half years they haven't hunted them. The distinction is something the English and Welsh will have to get used to as the ban on hunting south of the border becomes a legal fact…. The "flushing" clause in the Protection of Mammals (Scotland) Act has allowed all 10 registered hunts in Scotland to stay in existence - the Berwickshire hunt, the Liddesdale, Lauderdale, Buccleuch, Jedforest, Dumfriesshire, Renfrewshire, Eglington, Kincardineshire and Fife…. The whole fox hunting saga has been like watching a strange civil war between town and country and between a modern idea of what constitutes cruelty and the tradition of man enjoying his ancient role of hunter-killer. The modern townies have won - the countryside has changed forever. (story)

Guardian 19.2.05 Defiant hunters vow to overturn ban - A defiant call to fight back against the new law banning the hunting and killing of foxes with hounds was issued by the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Guardian 19.2.05 Guide to age - Alexander Chancellor - Now, for the first time in history, hunting with packs of dogs is illegal in England and Wales. At least, I think it is: it seems you are still allowed to hunt rats (though not mice) and rabbits (though not squirrels). For the Act banning hunting, which came into force yesterday, is a pretty complicated document…. From where I sit in Northamptonshire, I overlook land on which Henry VIII used to hunt deer with Anne Boleyn, and I am close to the "countries" (or territories) of the Grafton and the Pytchley, two of the country's most famous foxhunts… I feel indignant at the presumption of a government that chooses to override the rights of a minority, simply because a majority of the electorate disapproves of what that minority does. Perhaps I am heartless, but I don't care enough about foxes to put their welfare above the happiness of the people whose whole lives revolve around hunting them…. (story)

Guardian 19.2.05 United in a cause, racing takes on hunt ban - Traditional links between sport and the scarlet coat lead to show of strength at meeting in Fakenham as fears for the future grow, reports Paul Weaver… It was not so much a race meeting as a Countryside Alliance rally at Fakenham yesterday. Following the outlawing of hunting with dogs the race card included such titles as the Hands Off Our Hunting Chase, the Hunting Will Survive the Temporary Ban Hurdle, the Hunting Act - Unworkable Legislation - Hurdle and the Go Hunting Tomorrow National Hunt Flat Race….(story)
Times 19.2.05 Huntsmen stay dogmatic in opposition to new law BY ALAN LEE - Our correspondent attends a meeting where the races played second fiddle to badges, beagles and blood sports… ANY casual racegoer arriving, early and oblivious, at Fakenham yesterday must have wondered how he had gatecrashed a cross between political rally and dog show. Having blundered into this alien world, he would also have felt he had breached a dress code if clad in anything bar tweeds and flat cap, and sensed that any adverse views about blood sports were best kept for another time…. A charity race raised £14,000 for the Countryside Alliance, which almost everyone present would have nominated as their cause of choice, and hounds from the West Norfolk pack scurried around the racetrack as mutinous speeches were made….(story)
Eastern Daily Press 18.2.05 Hunt supporters rally to cause - Hundreds of hunt supporters and dozens of hounds converged on Fakenham racecourse in a public act of defiance and solidarity against the new law banning hunting with dogs… Children, on their half-term break, were among the pro-hunt gathering staged at the Hunting and Countryside Raceday, highlighting country sports, and they were encouraged to join in abusive anti-Blair chants…. West Norfolk Foxhounds huntsman Ian Higgs spoke of his passion that he has enjoyed for 40 years as he was surrounded by the hounds on the racecourse with the anti-Blair chants being voiced loud and clear…. (story)
Eastern Daily Press 15.2.05 Racecourse focal point for protests - JAMES GOFFIN - Hunt supporters will converge on Fakenham Racecourse for a rally on the day that laws banning the bloodsport come into force. About 4000 people are expected at the course's Hunting and Countryside Raceday on Friday, which will feature parades of foxhounds and greyhounds from local hunts in addition to the normal racecard…. The charity race starts at noon and will be followed by a parade of coursing greyhounds, including some that took part in this week's controversial Waterloo Cup at Aintree, and a terrier dog race. The West Norfolk Foxhounds will then parade the ground prior to an address by Countryside Alliance council member Stephen Lambert and the first professional race…. (story)

Times 19.2.05 Hunt ban and a sniff of trouble for hounds BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - TEACHING hounds to follow the scent of a fox instead of the actual animal is turning out to be rather hit and miss for most hunts…. Yesterday Julian Barnfield, of the Cotswold Hunt, was finalising his plans to lay a trail for the 150-strong hunt to follow in the countryside between Cheltenham and Cirencester. The preparations, are not for the faint-hearted… The only experiment that has worked was mixing the putrified water from the fox carcasses with fox urine removed from the carcasses’ bladders. The hounds immediately picked up the scent. Meanwhile it has emerged that the police will have to collect fox droppings as evidence if they are to prove any hunts are operating illegally…. (story)

Telegraph 19.2.05 Princes to 'wait and see' on hunt ban By Charlie Methven - The Prince of Wales, Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince William are to "wait and see" what the impact of the hunting ban will be before deciding whether to continue riding to hounds. Friends say they remain vehemently opposed to the hunting ban, which took effect yesterday, but have been strongly advised that to ride out as the election approaches would be inflammatory…. (story)

Telegraph 19.2.05 The countryside has become a bogus version of itself: thin city, tied together by cars By Adam Nicolson - As the huntsmen know, the country is becoming increasingly irrelevant to the life of Britain. There are some brute economic facts behind that statement. In 1970, agriculture contributed three per cent to Britain's GDP. That figure has now sunk to less than one per cent … (story)

Telegraph 19.2.05 Country notebook: a fond farewell - After more than 300 entries, Germaine Greer's column reaches its last page - This is my last Country Notebook. In losing my column, I lose first of all a collaboration with some of the most supportive people I've ever had the privilege of working with - very different, I may say, from my erstwhile colleagues on other broadsheet newspapers…. It was my intention, somewhat grandiose in retrospect, to draw town and country closer together, by involving my readers in the complex issues that country-dwellers face every day. One of the persistent themes that evolved in the context of the ill-natured and unnecessary campaign against country sports was the misery endured by British sheep, which passes unnoticed and unresented by the same general public that is clamouring loudly for the criminalisation of hunting wild animals with dogs…. (story)

Yahoo! 19.2.05 Hunting ban faces first test - LONDON (Reuters) - The new law banning hunting with dogs will be put to the test today when tens of thousands of people attend hunts across England and Wales….(story)

Carlisle News & Star 19.2.05 Defiant hunts to meet - HUNTS across Cumbria will meet today in a show of defiance against a controversial ban which could put many in jeopardy. A number, including the Cumberland and Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds, plan to exercise their packs of hounds - within the new law - while others will hold breakfasts to bring supporters together…. (story)
Carlisle News & Star 19.2.05 Alliance’s call to fight hunt ban - A DEFIANT call to fight back against the new law banning the hunting and killing of foxes with hounds was issued by the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance today. It was “simply the first day in the dismantling of the Hunting Act”, said Simon Hart, who was among thousands of people expected to attend hundreds of foxhound meetings throughout England and Wales. Mr Hart said he was attending the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt in Gloucestershire at which pro-hunting Labour MP Kate Hoey is scheduled to give the pre-chase speech…. (story)

Daily Mail 19.2.05 Hoey blasts 'bigoted Labour MPs' - Labour MP Kate Hoey gave a defiant speech against the ban on hunting with hounds and called members of her own party who supported it "prejudiced and bigoted"…. The MP for Vauxhall in south London was speaking to a crowd of more than 3,000 supporters of the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt gathered at Worcester Lodge, Didmarton, Gloucestershire. Before she rode out with the 200 other hunt members, she described the ban as "unenforceable" and based on "prejudice" rather than democracy…. (story)
Politics.co.uk 19.2.05 Hoey speaks out against ban - Kate Hoey has spoken out against the government in a speech against the ban on foxhunting. The Labour MP was speaking at the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt gathered at Worcester Lodge, Gloucestershire…. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 19.2.05 Police chief 'ready for hunt ban' - THE Chief Constable of Suffolk last night insisted his officers were ready to enforce the new hunting ban – despite fears it would make the county's thin blue line even thinner…. The Waveney Harriers gathered in the grounds of a top independent school in Southwold to hunt hares for almost the last time this week… A meeting of the East Anglian Bloodhounds will go ahead tomorrow as planned. The meet will start at midday at Dines Hall, Little Maplestead, Essex….(story)

Hull Daily Mail 19.2.05 THE HOUNDS WILL BE HARD TO KEEP UNDER CONTROL ... New laws banning hunting with hounds and dogs are being put to the test today. Countryside reporter David Taylor looks at how hunts are coping with the legislation and what the future holds for them… Large crowds were expected at meets of the region's two main fox hunts, the Holderness and the Middleton, and the Hunsley Beacon Beagles hare hunt today… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 19.2.05 MASTERS TO FOLLOW HUNTING HANDBOOK - Hunt masters have been issued with a "bible" to explain how they can keep hunting within the new law. The manual has been drawn-up by the Council of Hunting Associations and the Countryside Alliance, which is fighting the ban through the courts… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 19.2.05 PUBLIC URGED TO REPORT ILLEGAL HUNTING ACTIVITY - Animal welfare groups have urged the public to be alert to any illegal hunting with hounds and report anything suspicious to police. Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said "I would like people to be as vigilant as we are being and to report these issues to the police… (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 19.2.05 Tracking the hunters by Victoria Young - ANTI-HUNT groups have set up a website urging their supporters to keep a close watch and ensure the new hunting ban is enforced…. Edward Duke, a member of the Middleton Hunt and a founder of the militant pro-hunting group Real CA, said he believed "absolutely" that any attempt to monitor hunts would lead to vigilante action from activists - which would turn to violence…. (story in archive)

Leicester Mercury 19.2.05 'WE RIDE ON' BY BEN FARMER, CHRISSY HARRIS AND JON DI PAOLO - Thousands of defiant supporters turned out as hunts rode out for the first time since the hunting ban became law. Crowds lined the streets in Melton, Great Bowden and Market Bosworth today as foxhound packs held rallies before they set off to hunt…. In Melton - home to some of the country's oldest hunts - people stood three deep as the procession of members of the Belvoir, Cottesmore and Quorn hunts, pictured above, went through the town…. Richard Tyacke, a former joint master of the Atherstone Hunt, said the turnout sent a strong message….(story)

Leicester Mercury 19.2.05 ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNERS KEEP EYES ON COUNTY HUNTS - Leicestershire's hunts - meeting for the first time today since hunting with dogs became illegal - were warned: "We're watching you." Animal rights campaigners issued the warning as they pledged to monitor hunts to make sure the ban, which came into force yesterday, was not breached…. (story)

Western Mail 19.2.05 Hunts out to defy ban today - Steve Dube, Western Mail - OPEN confrontation in the countryside could begin today as hundreds of hunts across England and Wales meet in a display of defiance against the ban on hunting…. David Moffett, Welsh Rugby Union chief executive, will appeal for calm when he addresses his local Glamorgan Hunt at Coedarhydyglyn near Cardiff at noon today…. (story)

Western Daily Press 19.2.05 AND THE BANNED PLAYED ON. . . A Group of American riders have been in Britain this week to experience hunting with dogs just before the ban became law. After spending a week on Exmoor, they travelled to Wiltshire and were joining the Avon Vale Hunt which, along with packs countrywide, has been testing the boundaries of legal hunting for the first time…. (story)

Western Daily Press 19.2.05 PELTED WITH EGGS FOR DARING TO BE DEMOCRATIC - THIS WAS HUNTING'S DARKEST HOUR - Yesterday, DAN NORRIS, the Wansdyke Labour MP, was pelted with eggs, yoghurt and cream by an angry, baying crowd of hunt supporters. Here he explains how the incident unfolded, and his shock that what seemed a straightforward event turned nasty BADMINTON village has seen one of the pro-hunting lobby's darkest hours. It was also a terrible day for democracy - violence is never acceptable. The pro-hunters appeared to have carefully prepared their ambush as they waited for my arrival. Most of us don't normally carry eggs, cream and yoghurt in our pockets. Yet this was what the waiting throng had done…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 19.2.05 HUNTS MEETING TODAY ARE Beaufort…Berkeley… Ledbury… (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 19.2.05 HUNTS READY FOR LIFE IN LEGAL SPOTLIGHT - As Gloucestershire's hunts today prepared to ride out for the first time since a ban was introduced, county police were urging members of the public to report any illegal activity… At places like the Sinnington Hunt kennels, near Helmsley, in Yorkshire, foxhound puppies born yesterday face an uncertain future…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 19.2.05 Hunting supporters are defiant By Jim Smith - More than 100 hunting supporters from across South Lakeland and Furness turned out at Cartmel Racecourse on Saturday morning in a show of defiant support for their way of life…. Alan Bolt, master of the North Lonsdale Foxhounds, welcomed the large number of people supporting the event and said it showed the strength of feeling on the issue…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 19.2.05 Riders on the storm test law - HUNTERS and protesters will be out in force today in the first major test of new anti-hunting laws that came into force at midnight on Thursday…. Holcombe Hunt is planning an "artificial" hunt, where a human runner will be given a scent and chased across the countryside by horses and hounds, while hunts across Cheshire and the High Peaks claim to be riding to "exercise their horses and hounds, and take in a few jumps along the way"…. (story)

Burnham Times 19.2.05 TALLY-NO TO HUNT BAN - Hunting with dogs became illegal at midnight on Thursday, after the Countryside Alliance lost a last-ditch appeal against the ban. But at hunt meets across the country up to half a million people will be today staging a show of defiance by meeting for legal drag hunting or hound exercising. The Chilmark and Clifton Foot Beagles will be meeting at Wedmore at noon today for a day of hound exercising and more than 50 people are expected to turnout…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 19.2.05 'HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WILL BE OUT TODAY AND WILL PUSH THE GREY AREAS OF THIS ACT' - LIZ PERKINS - Hundreds of defiant huntsmen and women across South West Wales were today expected to show their contempt for the new ban on fox hunting by saddling up and taking to the countryside… David Parker, of the Carmarthenshire Hunt, which was meeting at the Fox and Hounds in Bancyfelin, this morning said he expected a huge turnout and little trouble… Cwrt y Cadno Farmers' Hunt, which has more than 200 members, will be displaying its hounds throughout the area…. Master of Banwen Miners' Hunt Billy Hancock has confirmed that his pack will still be hunting twice a week…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 19.2.05 DEFIANT HUNT TO RIDE OUT - "A Fox will be killed". That is the vow of one of the area's foremost hunts as members take to their steeds today. The Avon Vale Hunt, based in the Corsham and Melksham area, is holding its first hunt since the ban came into force yesterday…. (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 19.2.05 No jail cuppa for pro-hunt campaigner - Armley jail Governor says 'no thanks' - By Richard Edwards - HORSE dentist Ken Holmes drilled home his pro-hunting protest at Armley Prison – but there was no tea with the governor. Devoted countryman Mr Holmes took two of his specially-bred hunting terriers to the Leeds jail, where he knocked on the gate and asked to see governor Ian Blakeman. As reported in Wednesday's Yorkshire Evening Post, Mr Holmes said he wanted to take tea with Mr Blakeman and explain to him the "stupidity" of the ban on hunting. But when Mr Holmes, of Cliffe, near Selby, spoke to prison officers guarding the gate he was politely but firmly told that tea would not be served. Mr Holmes said: "I am disappointed that the governor did not come down but I am pleased with the chief prison officer, he listened and was very polite, he let me make my point….(story)
Yorkshire Evening Post 16.2.05 Galloping grandad's dogs set for jail in pro-hunt protest by Richard Edwards - HORSE dentist Ken Holmes reckons the Government has bitten off more than it can chew with its ban on hunting… On Friday, the day that hunting with hounds is officially outlawed, devoted countryman Mr Holmes, 73, says he will be banging on the door of Armley Prison at Leeds. Mr Holmes plans to take two of his terriers, Panda and Jack, to the high security jail, where he will demand to see governor Ian Blakeman…. "I will have a cup of tea with the governor and explain the stupidity of this law."… (story)

Channel 4 News 19.2.05 Still hunting - The ban on hunting with dogs is facing its first major test as more than 200 hunts meet today in defiance of the new rules governing the blood sport. The groups are meeting, mostly for legal drag chases where foxes are shot and then their scent is left as a trail for the hounds. … (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 19.2.05 HUNTS OUT ON FIRST WEEKEND OF NEW ERA - County hunts were meeting as usual today on the first weekend of the new law against sportsmen killing foxes. Five hunts were due to meet… Blankney, Brocklesby, Burton, Per Ardua Beagles, South Wold… (story)

Suffolk Evening Star 19.2.05 Hunters gather in a new dawn - FOX hunters were due to gather across Suffolk today for the first time since hunting with dogs was banned. And both the Essex and Suffolk Hunt and the Suffolk Hunt insisted they would be hunting within the law…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 19.2.05 Hunter's Moon - At hunter's moon they sat in wait for a fox that was to be their bait. The hounds were hungry, the hunter's cruel looking for another living being to kill…. This time the fox has won, the hunter's day is over. Their evil game is well and truly done. HEATHER MOORE West Bridgford (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 19.2.05 'I CAN'T STAND FOOTBALL EITHER' - In Reply to P Watson's letter (February 10) about hunting with hounds. Well, it must be me, because as well as not ripping animals to pieces and calling it sport I can't stand football either, but then again they don't have signs all over the country telling me that 51 per cent support the game…. Mike Stewart, Woad Lane, Great Coates. (letter)

Times 19.2.05 Bevin as a hunter - Sir, Sir Roderick Barclay, who was Ernest Bevin’s private secretary, records that his boss was a strong supporter of blood sports… When there was a debate in the House on some backbencher’s anti-hunting Bill, Bevin insisted on going, even at some inconvenience, to record his vote against it. He had enjoyed following hounds in his youth and anyhow “was opposed to legislating about people’s pastimes”. Come back old Labour, all is forgiven…. DAVID COLVIN, (HM Diplomatic Service, 1966-2001), 15 Westmoreland Terrace, SW1V 4AG. (letter)

Times 19.2.05 Hare coursing - There is a critically important factor in hare coursing (report, February 15) which very few people understand. Even if the hare escapes the fatal attention of both dogs, it is unlikely to survive afterwards…. simply because their metabolism cannot cope with the trauma of transportation away from their natural home territory and then the stress of evading a feared predator. ANTHONY J. RIMINGTON, (Member, British Brown Hare Preservation Society), 36 Golden Riddy, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire LU7 2RJ. (letter)

Telegraph 19.2.05 I read with amazement that Eunice Lucas (letters, Feb 2) is inconvenienced by the hunt. What did she expect living in rural Britain? I suggest she go down the Caledonian Road when Arsenal are playing at home. Compared with that, the hunt is no problem. Michael Whitehead, Spetchley, Worcs (letter)
Telegraph 2.2.05 No right to rampage - So the Countryside Alliance is appealing against the hunting ban on the ground of human rights' infringement (News, Jan 29). The inhabitants of our small farming village have their human rights infringed every time the hunt invades us…. Eunice Lucas, Peatling Magna, Leics (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 19.2.05 IMAGES OF HARE-COURSING - Having seen the appalling pictures of a hare hunt (the Press and Journal, February 15 ), I have come to the sad conclusion that a lot of the present population of this country are no more civilised than many of their ancestors who flocked in their thousands to watch bear-baiting, cockfighting and public executions…. Jim Hughes, 89 Springfield Road, New Elgin. (letter)

Yorkshire Post 19.2.05 Make anti-hunting MPs responsible for disposal of hounds From: John Davis, Friary Chambers, Whitefriargate, Hull. WHILE your "Hunting ban a pantomime" headline (Yorkshire Post, February 14) aptly describes the political fiasco we now see unfolding, this is not, unfortunately, a seasonal performance. More a long-running farce….There are reported to be some 25,000 foxhounds, so each of the of the 350 or so MPs who voted for the new legislation could be allocated about 70 animals, with the target of disposing of them as they think fit…
From: Dr SE Farmer, Hatfield Doncaster. THE hunting ban is misguided, spiteful and has not been properly thought through. Why is it that the only group of people who can be derided and insulted nowadays are hitherto law-abiding, decent country people?.... (letters)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.2.05 MORE CRUELTY LIES AHEAD AS FOXES WILL BE SHOT - In the end, banning fox hunting will cause more cruelty to the fox population…. Jean C Osgood, Exminster, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.2.05 CONSERVATIVES WILL SCRAP VINDICTIVE HUNTING ACT - It is a sad fact that February 17 saw the last day of legal hunting with dogs, bringing to an end a countryside pursuit that had endured for hundreds of years as a way of life. However, Echo readers can be sure that hunts all over England and Wales, will test the dog's breakfast of a vindictive law in every way possible… David Owen, Portland Avenue, Exmouth (letter)

Bath Chronicle 19.2.05 PACK OFF YOBS TO THEIR OWN ISLAND If I ruled this country, I'd create a colony called ASBO Island. I would transport to it all the anti-social alleged 'poverty' stricken, socially excluded families and their hideous offspring… Future residents for my now expanding colony would include the deranged baying hunt fraternity, (plenty of quarry on ASBO Island to hone their skills and satisfy their sickening quest for blood sports)… MS P NEWMAN, Bridge Street, Bradford on Avon (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 19.2.05 Arrest hunters - Regarding the fox hunting ban – what a complete waste of time passing a law that isn't going to be enforced. The police will only have to prosecute one or two of the people involved in this barbaric activity, as an example, and they should soon get the message…. TA VALENTINE, Leeds (letter)

Northern Echo 19.2.05 HUNTING - I WISH to support A Parkin (HAS, Feb 17) who condemns hare coursing and the Waterloo Cup. There may be arguments in favour of foxhunting as the only means of fox control, but there can be no arguments in favour of hare coursing…. The miners felt the full force of the law in 1984 so let's hope the law is equally enforced in 2005 and beyond. - Hugh Pender, Darlington. (letter in archive)


Wells Journal 18.2.05 HUNT RIDES OUT TO RALLY SUPPORT - The Mendip Farmers' Hunt will be riding down Wells High Street on Saturday, February 19. This will be the first gathering of the hunt following the ban, which is due to be introduced tomorrow (Friday)…. (story)

Warminster & Westbury Standard 18.2.05 'BAN WON'T STOP US' - Hunts across Wiltshire and Somerset are defiantly preparing for their first meet after legislation forbidding hunting with hounds comes into effect tomorrow (Friday). Organisers expect a record turnout of supporters, both mounted and on foot, at meets across the two counties this weekend…. John Adderley, Avon Vale Hunt secretary, said: "There will be as large a meet as we can muster to show our strength and disgust at this abominable piece of legislation…" The Mendip Farmers Hunt will meet at Stoberry Park, north of Wells…. (story)

Beverley Guardian 18.2.05 Final hunt on eve of ban - Final hunt on eve of ban - MEMBERS of the Holderness Hunt held their final hunt on Thursday February 17 at Leven, on the eve of today's ban on their sport…. Brandesburton farmer Chris Richardson, a joint master of the Hunt, said yesterday's meeting at Leven would be the last time they went hunting, but tomorrow's meeting on Saturday at Rise Park, near Skirlaugh, would be a show of support - with hounds, horses but no fox. "We will be holding a mass meeting which will be within the law. It will be a joint meeting with the Hunsley Beacon Beagles - the hounds, horses and everyone will be there, but it will be a ride around the park and that will be it. It will be to show that we are still there but will be completely within the law," he said…. (story)

Rye & Battle Observer 18.2.05 Hunt's show of defiance - HUNT followers put on a show of strength in Catsfield yesterday (Thursday) - the day before the new ban takes force. It was the last chance for the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt to legally pursue the centuries old tradition of foxhunting. Huntsmen and women on horseback, with hounds, gathered outside the White Hart pub prior to the hunt…. (story)

Chester Chronicle 18.2.05 Insurance setback for foxhunters By David Holmes, Chester Chronicle - A FOXHUNTING ban began at midnight last night but problems with insurance are likely be the main reason why local hunts will not defy the law. Thousands of hunt supporters had vowed to hunt illegally, but companies which insure riders and horses say they won't pay out if it can be proved their customers were breaking the law. The Cheshire Hunt, Cheshire Forest Hunt and Sir Watkin Williams' Wynn hunts will take to the field tomorrow in a show of strength…. (story)

Cumberland News 18.2.05 Cumbria packs stand defiant as police ponder difficult question: When is a hunt not a hunt? - POLICE will be at every hunt in Cumbria tomorrow, but warn they face real difficulties enforcing the new ban on hunting with dogs, which came into effect at midnight yesterday…. In a show of defiance, the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds, and the hunting packs at Ullswater Foxhounds, Cumberland Foxhounds, Bewcastle Foxhounds and Blencathra Foxhounds will be out in force tomorrow. All say they will stick within the law….(story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 18.2.05 Law out-foxed - AFTER all the huffing and puffing, the Act banning hunting with dogs finally comes into force today. It now falls to the police to enforce the legislation and nobody will envy them in that task… The burden on the police will be to prove to the criminal standard (beyond reasonable doubt) that Suspect A owned the dogs and was hunting a mammal at the time he was seen and arrested. Given that the activity in question takes place in difficult terrain, at speed, by large numbers of people dressed in similar fashion, it doesn't take much to imagine the difficulty in assembling evidence that the Crown Prosecution Service will be prepared to take to court…. (story in archive)

West Cumberland Times & Star 18.2.05 HUNTING ENDS BUT THE FIGHT GOES ON - TOMORROW marks the end of hundreds of years of a Cumbrian tradition as the Government ban on hunting comes into force. Cumbrian hunters met for the last time yesterday although many have vowed to keep the fight alive and in the public eye…. Blencathra Foxhounds plans to meet tomorrow at The Riddings at Threlkeld, the ancestral home of one of its founder members, Squire Crozier…. Carole Smith, of Fletchertown, near Aspatria, was one of 2,500 Countryside Alliance protestors at the Labour Party’s spring conference in Gateshead last week…. Carole’s partner Les Hudson is a huntsman with Cumberland Foxhounds and the hunt also plans to meet as normal tomorrow at Clea View, Westward, near Wigton…. (story)

Bury Times 18.2.05 "We'll be back legally' say officials - Hundreds of years of history came to an end on Wednesday as members of Holcombe Hunt took to the fields to hunt foxes for the final time…(story in archive)

Post & Times 18.2.05 A BLANK DAY FOR MOORLANDS HUNT ON LAST TRADITIONAL MEET - It Was a poignant day for the Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt on Monday, when members rode out on a traditional hunt for the last time. Although the ban on hunting with hounds comes into force on Friday, hunters have vowed to keep together and fight to have it overturned. The final hunt took place at Waterfall and although the hounds did not catch a fox, the day was deemed a success by everyone who attended… The League Against Cruel Sports, of which Mrs Lubacz is a member, is organising a Hunt Crimewatch, for people to monitor the movements of their local hunt… The huntsmen of the Staffordshire Moorlands will be joining a meet of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt at Darley Moor at noon on Saturday to hunt legally in a protest against the ban…. (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 18.2.05 - NORTH Wiltshire MP James Gray will join the Avon Vale Hunt tomorrow as part of a wave of protests against the hunting ban which came into force today… Former Labour Minister Kate Hoey is to deliver a speech before a meeting of the Beaufort Hunt tomorrow…. (story in archive)

Craven Herald 18.2.05 Tears shed as foxhunting comes to an end - EMOTIONS ran high as Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt held its final day of fox hunting. Many riders including master of the hounds Tom Bannister found it hard to contain their emotions as final preparations were made for the last hunt before legislation banning hunting with dogs comes into force today (Friday)…. (story in archive)

Telegraph 18.2.05 Tears and defiance on hunting's last day By Joshua Rozenberg and Charles Clover - As the last day of legal hunting came to an emotional end yesterday, the Crown Prosecution Service issued guidance on the way the Hunting Act should be enforced…. (story)
Telegraph 18.2.05 'Tomorrow the fightback begins' By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - The Quorn - The hounds were silent in the Quorn's £1 million kennels as the last day of legal hunting dawned grey and drizzly. "The hounds always pick up a mood. Pete the huntsman's choked" said Geoff Brooks, a neighbouring farmer and hunt member…. (story)
Telegraph 18.2.05 'Our birthright has been taken' By Nigel Bunyan - Barry Todhunter had been up since the break of day, and now he was striding out across the fells, red jacket flapping in the wind, horn calling to his beloved pack of hounds. Only the tears in his eyes betrayed the fact that this would be the last day in his life that he would fulfil the role of huntsman to the Blencathra. "I'm trying to block out my emotions,'' he said. "It's far too painful to think about what comes after this.''… (story)
Telegraph 18.2.05 Tony's Fox gives historic hunt the runaround yet again on final chase By Paul Stokes - The one that got away - A fox with a den beside the Prime Minister's constituency home evaded a historic hunt's final chase before today's ban. For five years "Tony's Fox" has been the prized quarry of the South Durham Hunt but has always managed to get away. Wednesday was no exception. The fox led 80 horses and 35 hounds on a 15-mile chase across fields and streams and through a hay barn before escaping into an allotment yards from the Blairs' home, Myrobella, at Trimdon Colliery, near Sedgefield…. (story)
Telegraph 18.2.05 New era dawns for the 'antis' By David Sapsted - The saboteurs - They talked about hunting yesterday with a bloody-mindedness that made it clear they would not allow the ban to keep them from an activity about which they had been passionate virtually all their lives. They talked about rights, morality, animals and the future of the countryside. They talked about bad law, protests and policing problems. Except these were not huntsmen talking about their sport. They were saboteurs talking about theirs. At times, they came across as the obverse side of the same coin. Only the accents were different…. "Unbelievable isn't it? All of a sudden, it's like we are the sheriff's posse and it's the other side who have become the outlaws," said Dave Wetton… Nathan Brown, a spokesman for the association, accepts that "covert surveillance" with video cameras will now become a primary role for the saboteurs…. Aubrey Thomas, 47, a director of the association, said that "normal" activity would continue until the season ended in a few weeks' time…. (story)

Telegraph 18.2.05 'A sad day but we will crack on within the law' By Michael Kallenbach - The RA - There was a slight drizzle on Salisbury Plain as I unloaded Gypsy, my mare, shortly before noon yesterday. I glanced up at the ominous clouds over the hunt. There were about 70 mounted followers as we gathered at Larkhill racecourse, behind the headquarters of the Royal Artillery…. Several children dismounted so they could be "blooded" - another tradition we will never see again. One boy, aged eight, didn't quite understand what the ban meant but after a few seconds' pause, he said: "They should ban Tony Blair." (story)
Telegraph 18.2.05 Spy - Celia Walden - Hunting help - With the hunting ban coming into force today, Spy learns that, on Sunday, a coach carrying 50 members of the Avon Vale Hunt will descend on the marginal Labour constituency of Hammersmith and Fulham. Their agenda? To spend the day delivering leaflets for Greg Hands, the prospective Tory candidate… (story)

Telegraph 18.2.05 Britain is better as a country of few laws - It would be odd if the members of the Blencathra, Quorn and Royal Artillery hunts, who are interviewed elsewhere in today's paper, were not distraught at a ban on an activity that, for many of them, defines their lives. But why should the rest of us, who may never have sat on a horse, let alone have chased after a fox, care?... Once you accept the equation between disapproval and a ban, there is no reason why fishing and shooting should not also be illegal. There is also no reason why any activity that annoys enough people - standing on the wrong side of the escalator, chewing gum, loud phone conversations on the 17.02 from Waterloo - should not be made a criminal offence. That is why the hunting ban is worrying. The debate has been portrayed as one between town and country, when in fact it is a battle between libertarians and those who want to control other people's lives…. (story)

BBC News Online 18.2.05 MP hit with eggs in hunt debate - A Labour MP has been pelted with eggs and claims a member of his staff was punched during a debate on hunting. The attack on Wansdyke MP Dan Norris happened just before he did a TV interview at Badminton, Gloucs, near the home of the Beaufort Hunt…. A spokeswoman for the Beaufort hunt added: "How dare this man come to our village. He has just ruined the villagers' lives…" (story)
Gloucester Citizen 18.2.05 MP ATTACKED IN HUNTING VILLAGE - Anti-hunting Mp Dan Norris was pelted with eggs and a member of his staff punched last night when he visited a South Gloucestershire village. The angry scenes emerged on the eve of the hunting ban coming into force and ahead of a television interview with the Labour MP in Badminton, near the home of the Beaufort Hunt. Mr Norris, MP for Wansdyke, later claimed the aggressors were "drunken hotheads"…. But a Beaufort Hunt spokeswoman defended the action in the village, saying it had not been a drunken minority and that Mr Norris "deserved it". "How dare this man come to our village," she said. "He has just ruined the villagers' lives. Why come to Badminton, which has been the home of the Beaufort hounds since 1650, to gloat about what he and his fellow backbenchers have achieved? We have been treated in the most crass way imaginable."… (story)
Western Daily Press 18.2.05 PROTESTERS PELT WEST MP - These were the ugly scenes in a West village last night after anti-hunt MP Dan Norris was ambushed by pro-hunt supporters as he prepared for a live TV interview. As the sun set on the last day of legal hunting, the Labour MP for Wansdyke was pelted with eggs and cream, and verbally abused before being hounded out of the village by a group of irate hunt supporters. A female member of Mr Norris's staff was punched and covered in eggs during the fracas, the MP said last night….(story)
Sun 18.2.05 Fox hunt mob attack MP By DANNY BRIERLEY - AN anti-hunting MP was pelted with eggs and chased out of a village by 50 angry hunt supporters last night. Labour’s Dan Norris was also doused with cream by the protesters before he fled in his car. And in another ugly incident, 15 thugs beat up three anti-hunt protesters…. Mr Norris was to take part in a TV debate with a member of the Countryside Alliance. But 50 pro-hunt demonstrators tackled him in BADMINTON, GLOUCS, a hunting stronghold… The other attack happened near Petworth Park in WEST SUSSEX. A woman in her 40s suffered head injuries, a hunt saboteur aged 27 had severe head injuries and an elderly man had his glasses smashed, his camera stolen and was kicked and punched. The incident allegedly involved supporters of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt… (story)
Bristol Evening Post 18.2.05 ANTI-HUNT MP PELTED - Mp Dan Norris - an outspoken supporter of the ban on fox hunting - has been pelted with eggs and cream by hunt supporters after arriving in their home village for a TV appearance. Mr Norris, Labour MP for Wansdyke, was waiting to take part in a live televised debate in the South Gloucestershire village of Badminton - the home of the Beaufort Hunt - when trouble broke out last night, the eve of the hunting ban coming into force today…. Henry Berkeley, joint master of the neighbouring Berkeley Hunt, pledged "the Berkeley Hunt will never die" before more than 100 mounted riders and hundreds of hunt supporters set off on its last legal fox hunt near the village of Ham, near Berkeley…. (story)

BBC News Online 18.2.05 'Modern life changing' as hunts end By Martha Buckley - At the stroke of midnight centuries of tradition came to an end, when hunting with hounds became illegal. Supporters of the Surrey Union hunt were among those out to mark the historic change. They arrived in their scores, on horseback or in their 4x4s, just as they usually do every weekend…. As some 300 men, women and children gathered at the kennels in the village of Okewood Hill, near Dorking, for a pre-hunt tipple, the prevailing spirit was one of resignation about the "ridiculous" Hunting Act and a determination to fight it….(story)
Globe & Mail 18.2.05 Whisky, hounds and rebel aristocrats By DOUG SAUNDERS - Okewood Hill, England — For the last fully legal time in his life, Ian Shakespeare pressed the brass horn to his lips yesterday morning and gave it a quick, throaty blast, sending 35 hounds baying across a patch of field and his horse rearing into the foggy air. A fox had been spotted, charging out of a woodpile into the clear. For Mr. Shakespeare, 29, one of the six red-suited masters of the Surrey Union Hunt, this was a melancholy moment…. "Our government has lost all respect for minority rights, and we're now in a position where some bureaucrat at a desk in the city can outlaw our customs and our ways of living, so we have no choice but to fight back," said hunt master Jeremy Gumbley, 26, as he sat astride his driving horse, Vincent…. (story)

Guardian 18.2.05 Minister warns hunters not to flout new law - Tears and defiance as more than 160 groups gather for one last day of legal pursuit after centuries of bloodsport - Owen Bowcott - As thousands of hunt members headed home last night after their last legal pursuit of the fox, the government's rural affairs minister warned them not to flout the new law. The ban on hunting mammals with a full pack of hounds, which came into force in England and Wales today, will be effectively enforced, Alun Michael insisted. His declaration was aimed at rebutting claims that the legislation is riddled with loopholes, that the police will not make prosecutions a high priority and that the Hunting Act may ultimately be overturned by challenges in the courts… (story)
Guardian 18.2.05 Q&A: What will happen next? (story)
Guardian 18.2.05 A sad goodbye to this atavistic, irresistible, indefensible delight - Anne Perkins - There is a noise foxhounds make when they first get the scent of a fox: it is like the peal from a dozen bell towers, a spine-chilling, joyous crash of sound…From today, there will only be silence. Hunting was sustained by a glorious myth, a myth of honour and courage, a belief that men and women are better than they are. To me, it has always seemed an atavistic, irresistible, indefensible delight… Mainly, though, hounds were noble but stupid. But a fox was worthy prey and if it escaped it would be cheered for its wit as much as, if it died, it would be cheered for its courage…. Of course the greatest heroes were the horses… Little bits of all this can be replicated. After all, there are lots of places for galloping about on a horse. But the savage, ancient excitement of the hunt has gone. It was my first, most enduring, sometimes guilty love affair, and now it's over. (story)
Guardian 18.2.05 What they said about ... the hunting ban - William Cederwell - As of today, hunting with hounds is against the law in England and Wales. The Countryside Alliance tried to get the Hunting Act overturned, but "was refused leave to appeal to the House of Lords" on Wednesday, noted the Independent…. (story)

Independent 18.2.05 Defiant Beaufort hunt prays for a Tory government to ride to the rescue By Jonathan Brown - There was bitterness, there was anger and, deep down at the Beaufort Hunt as 200 riders and hundreds of foot-followers gathered in a muddy field near Malmesbury, there was a mood of defiance…. (story)
Independent 18.2.05 Fox finds sanctuary in Blair's backyard By Jonathan Brown - At midnight last night, hunting with hounds became illegal. Earlier, among the thousands of hunting enthusiasts who took to the field for a final day of chase and vitriol, the South Durham Hunt spent part of the day in pursuit of a fox that has made its den in a field beside Tony Blair's constituency home in Trimdon. Dubbed "Tony's Fox" by the hunt, which has been pursuing it for five years, the quarry once again escaped, going to ground in an allotment yards from the Prime Minister's home. …(story)

Times 18.2.05 Fox goes to earth as the hunts ride into sunset BY ALAN HAMILTON AND SIMON DE BRUXELLES - YOU may call him crafty, intrepid and cunning, but you must also call him a political animal. One fox has escaped his last day of persecution by hiding behind Tony Blair’s house. South Durham Hunt has been on his trail for five years. When they held their last meet on Wednesday at Sedgefield in the Prime Minister’s northeast constituency — their last before the hunting ban becomes law today — he gave them the slip again…. (story)
Times 18.2.05 Political analysis - Final tale spun with animal cunning BY ANDREW PIERCE - THE foxhunting saga could not have had a happier ending for one person: Tony Blair. The bushy tale of Tony (the fox not the politician) was such a perfect metaphor for new Labour that it was hard not to detect the handiwork of a certain Alastair Campbell, who has been brought back to the Downing Street den…. (story)

Scotsman 18.2.05 Last Tally Ho as hunts get ready to ride into battle - STEPHEN MCGINTY - AT THE stroke of midnight last night, fox-hunting, a legitimate countryside pursuit of both commoner and king for centuries, became a criminal act in England and Wales….In the Wiltshire village of Hullavington, where the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt has gathered since the 17th century, feelings were running high…. Nick Onslow, a spokesman for the East Kent hunt, which also met yesterday, said it would be meeting again on Saturday, but had no intention of breaking the law… (story)

Yorkshire Post 18.2.05 THIS IS NOT THE END, SAY HUNTS AS FOX BAN BITES - For many rural communities today's hunting ban ends a way of life. Chris Bond joined the Grove and Rufford Hunt in South Yorkshire on the eve of the ban…. In North Yorkshire, more than 40 members of the Bilsdale Hunt, which is arguably the oldest in England having been founded in 1658 by the Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers, rode out from Ravensthorpe Manor, Felixkirk, near Thirsk for its final legal fox-hunt…. AT least one person was injured last night in violent clashes between animal rights activists and huntsmen. Trouble broke out at around 5pm, after a day of tension between the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt and anti-hunting protestors in West Sussex….(story)

Western Daily Press 18.2.05 THE LAST HURRAH - The leader of the Countryside Alliance admitted he is "so close" to openly defying the ban as hunt campaigners struggle to quell growing anger and defiance in their ranks. Chief executive Simon Hart told supporters the only thing stopping the campaign leadership from giving the go-ahead for mass defiance of today's ban was the damage it would do to the relationship between farmers and huntsmen… (story)
Western Daily Press 18.2.05 PLEASE DON'T TAKE THE MICKEY IN OUTWARDLY DEFYING THE LAW, POLICE URGE - Police chiefs across the West have urged hunt leaders not to "take the mickey" in outwardly defying the hunt ban, as it became increasingly clear yesterday that few people will be on hand to enforce it. Forces in the region made it plain yesterday they viewed maintaining the peace between pro- and anti-hunt campaigners was more important than catching errant hunts… (story)
Western Daily Press 18.2.05 HISTORIC STEP TO A FAR BETTER SOCIETY - With so many conflicting arguments being put forward about the reasons behind today's ban on hunting with dogs, it would be easy to lose sight of what this new law is really all about. The ban is not about class or the town versus the country, these are just red herrings used by the prohunt Countryside Alliance to confuse the situation. The reason for the ban is very simple but nonetheless vital. To bring an end to a uniquely cruel and unnecessary "sport". Whatever those who practised the "sport" of fox hunting say, there is no getting away from the fact that it was immoral to set one animal on another in order to derive feelings of pleasure or empower ment… (story)

Mirror 18.2.05 GOOD RIDDANCE AS HUNTING IS BANNED By Gary Jones - HUNDREDS of hunters mourned an end to their bloodsport with a final tally-ho yesterday...leaving the fox with the last laugh. From midnight last night the barbaric practice of hunting with dogs is illegal, sending it the same welcome way as bear and badger baiting and cock-fighting…. The famous Beaufort said its weekend meet would be a drag hunt. It will be addressed by former Labour sports minister Kate Hoey who is a fervent supporter… Graeme Worsley, 37 - joint master of the 250-year-old Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt - said: "We're angry and upset. I had a knot in my throat, but it's not the end. We killed four foxes today, a lot of fun."… The 347-year-old Bilsdale Hunt in North Yorks, Britain's oldest, also rode out… At Petworth, West Sussex, eight bloodsport sabs were taken to hospital after allegedly being attacked by hunters. Three others said they were punched and kicked by 50 hunt supporters, some wielding poles, at the last day of the Chiddingfold and Leconfield Hunt. … (story)

Western Morning News 18.2.05 'SAD, SAD' LAST DAY OF HUNTING - "Sorry son, you're too late. You are the future and I am the past." If dogs could speak, then that is what this Exmoor staghound might have been saying to the two-year-old child who was attending the nation's last ever legal stag hunt yesterday…. even the most defiant among them fell silent as Devon and Somerset Staghounds huntsman Donald Summersgill blew his horn to summon hounds one last time. They knew it was an historic moment in the long and dusty annals of both the chase, and the hills…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 DEATH OF A COUNTRYSIDE WAY OF LIFE - If the countryside was a symphony, then it lost some of the richness of its wind section's sound last night when the clock struck 12. The blast of the hunting horn and the baying of the hounds were as much a part of the music of the British countryside as the clamour of church bells. Now it is the huntsman for whom the bell tolls…. There is no new policy. No one thought to replace the country's three last remaining stag hunts (all based here in the Westcountry) with anything that would help the deer flourish and survive while at the same time being kept to manageable numbers. No doubt the foxhunting lobby would say the same disregard had been shown to the management of their beloved quarry….(story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 HUNTING WITHIN THE LAW - Business as usual, but within the law: that is the determined message coming from Westcountry hunts as they prepare to ride out in defiance of the hunt ban which came into force at midnight last night. Tomorrow, nearly every hunt in the Westcountry will be out in force, despite the change in legislation, and they say they will continue to do so until their usual end of season…. Torrington Farmers Hunt chairman Tod Marshman said: "We look to the future with mixed feelings. This is not a scenario we wanted but it's one we are determined to make the best of. We do not see the ban as permanent. We intend to maintain our hounds and hunt until this ban fails."…(story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 POLICE CALL FOR PUBLIC'S HELP IN ENFORCING HUNTING BAN - Members of the public have been urged to aid police during an expected "bedding-in period" by informing them of any illegal hunting taking place across the Westcountry to help enforce today's law…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 RIDERS OF THE CHASE VANISH IN THE MIST - You've got to be tough and tenacious to live in the hills, which is maybe why the folk of Exmoor were showing such extraordinary defiance in the face of the hunting ban yesterday. The massive crowd which gathered to witness Britain's last ever stag hunt seemed utterly convinced that their favourite field sport would come bouncing back before too long. To them, there was no air of finality. The outward thrust of opinion at the Devon and Somerset Staghounds' (D &S) Hawkridge meet was that the ban was going to be a mere blip in the long, long annals of the chase…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 PARLIAMENT PUTS STOP TO CENTURIES OF TRADITION - After 300 years of "releasing the hounds", and a political battle where Parliament was forced to wield the equivalent of a constitutional bulldozer, foxhunting is now banned. Since Labour promised a free vote on banning the practice in its 1997 manifesto, the issue has sparked fierce passions, protests and even created constitutional questions… (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 TEARS AS A WAY OF LIFE FINALLY ENDS - Emotion got the better of Alvin Bartlett at yesterday's meet of the Tetcott Hunt. The former master of the hunt, now aged 75, wept openly as he helped lead yesterday's hunt with current master Robin Nicholls. Also riding out with Mr Bartlett were his daughter, Jenette Prouse, and nine-year-old granddaughter Hayley… (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 MIXED MOOD OF SADNESS AND DEFIANCE OF 'WRETCHED' ACT? - A profound sadness laced with defiance summed up the mood of hunt supporters who gathered yesterday in the far west of Cornwall for their last legal foxhunt. To the casual observer, it could have been any other day for the Western Hunt, as generous quantities of mulled wine and hot pasties were handed round. Enured against the steady drizzle over Lamorna, a spirit of unity prevailed in the face of bitter disappointment. After all, this was no ordinary day in the proud history of the hunt…. Linda Matthews, who usually follows the Cury hunt on the Lizard, said she was "fitting in" as many days as possible before the ban. "I'm just hoping the Conservatives get in at the next election," she said…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 CHEERS OF SUPPORT AS HUNT ENJOYS THE FINAL DAY - With two blasts of the master's horn and a loud cheer from supporters, the East Cornwall Hunt set off on its last day of legal foxhunting. Yesterday morning about 70 riders turned out in their traditional finery at the historic Jamaica Inn, on Bodmin Moor. And only a tinge of sadness was evident through their steely will to see the ban overturned…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 BIG JOHN'S LAST STAND AT HUNTING - OR MAYBE NOT - Wmn Farming Editor Peter Hall tells us of a grand old gentleman of hunting. Whatever the future of this sport, Big John will somehow always be involved - The premature closure of the foxhunting season because of the silly ban marks the probable end of a career that has few rivals. Big John, my heavyweight chestnut hunter, clocks up the grand old age of 30 this summer when he faces retirement. But like Frank Sinatra, he has already retired twice only to make a notable comeback. So who knows?... (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 WILL WHIP BE NEXT CRAZY TARGET OF THE ANTIS? - While i was out riding a couple of weeks ago a local farmer paused in his work to pass the time of day with me. "In 20 years' time riding will be illegal," he said. Ridiculous idea, I thought. Or is it? The hot topic of debate in the countryside is obviously the hunting issue, followed closely by the cavalier attitude of the Government to much else of what goes on outside the city walls…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 HUNTING ISN'T DEAD SO LET'S NOT BURY IT YET - Opinion by Equestrian Editor Annabel Groom I INTENDED this editorial to be a lament on the passing of foxhunting and a tradition that has endured in these islands for 1,000 years and more, but when I sat down to put pen to paper I was overcome, not by a sense of remorse or loss, but by a stirring of excitement…. The battle, let alone the war, is not lost. This unjust, ill-conceived legislation that owes more to a misguided notion of class war than animal welfare considerations, will be challenged and ultimately overturned…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 LAST DAY FOR PONY CLUB HUNTING HERITAGE - Apassion for hunting filled the air on Valentines' Day this year, as members of the Lamerton and Spooners & West Dartmoor Pony Clubs met up at Hardicott Farm, near Milton Abbot, for a final day of legal enjoyment of the field sport before today's ban comes into force. The long lane down to the farm was grid locked with trailers and horse boxes, as the yard filled up with almost 80 riders of all ages, ready for the off…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 BAN SUPPORT DECLINES - This week's court ruling on the banning of hunting with dogs comes as a new MORI poll for the BBC suggests that support for a ban on hunting has significantly declined. The poll found 47 per cent of people asked were in favour of a ban on hunting, compared to 63 per cent when a similar poll was conducted in 1999… (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 DETERMINATION CAN BEAT DIVISIVE BAN ON HUNTING - It is a strange feeling to stand on the edge of the void and still feel hope and excitement in the challenges ahead. The aim of the Hunting Act 2004 is to consign to history a way of life that has existed since man first enlisted the assistance of the wild dogs that surrounded his camps. The Act was forged in ignorance and fuelled by bigotry. It is deeply divisive and leaves those of us that it affects directly feeling bereft, disenfranchised and angry. However, above all we are determined. Determined to keep our hounds and kennels intact, determined to maintain the social cohesion and determined to prove this law unworkable…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.2.05 COURT RULING OUTLAWS HUNTING - A ruling by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday that the court challenge to the Parliament Act was not legitimate, effectively puts an end to the Countryside Alliance's efforts so far to prove that the law was invalid…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express 18.2.05 'THIS IS NOT THE END OF OUR SPORT' - The final day of fox-hunting with a full pack of hounds was greeted with a "phenomenal" show of support in South Devon. Nearly 60 riders and more than 200 followers and supporters were at the final traditional meet of the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers when they met at their kennels, at Halwell, near Totnes, yesterday, to hunt towards the village of Blackawton…. (story)

Warminster & Westbury Standard 18.2.05 DON'T JUSTIFY SPORT WITH VERMIN CLAIMS - Bruce Coombes, February 3, has it about right. There has always been and still are those who look for a scapegoat because of their own inadequacy… Regarding cruel sports, foxes are deemed vermin to justify having a quarry specie - also called evil, cruel. One media idiot called foxes pathological killers, others call seals vermin of the seas. The cruel sports fraternity have relied on this glib ploy, and using false analogy, anthropomorphism, not using the correct premise and suppressing or ignoring facts when debating the issue because they fear or are ignorant of nature…. DAVID THOMAS Hillview Hisomley Westbury (letter)

Worcester Evening News 18.2.05 `A-hunting I will go' says MP Luff - WORCESTERSHIRE MP Peter Luff will join the North Cotswold Hunt tomorrow as part of a wave of protests against the hunting ban. Although the ban came into force today, hundreds of hunts are ready to meet in a show of defiance…. (letter in archive)

Harrogate Advertiser 18.2.05 Hunt supporters plan to launch political challenge - HUNT supporters have vowed to try and save hunting through a political campaign…. They will target seats held by anti-hunting MPs who are supporting the ban and backing MPs and prospective MPs who are pro hunting. Included on the list are Harrogate MP Phil Willis, Wetherby MP Colin Burgon and Selby MP John Grogan, who are all anti-hunting. A spokesman for the York and Ainsty North Hunt said they would be taking the fight to the ballot box… (story)
Harrogate Advertiser 18.2.05 Defiant hunters show support - HUNT supporters will be out in force in the area tomorrow in a show of defiance…. Boroughbridge will also be the setting for the York and Ainsty North tomorrow. They expect a huge turnout…. In an unprecedented show of solidarity three local hunts are all meeting within a few miles of each other. The West of Yore Hunt and the Claro Beagles are meeting on Masham Market Place at 10.45am, while just down the road in West Tanfield members of the Bedale Hunt will be gathering…. (story)
Harrogate Advertiser 18.2.05 Hunt meets for last time before ban - ONE of the oldest hunts in the country was out in force near Thirsk yesterday in a show of strength against the hunting ban, which became law today. Bilsdale Hunt, established in 1658, made history when it met at Ravensthorpe Manor, near Boltby, as one of the last hunts in the country to legally hunt before the Hunting Act 2004 came into force…. Locally, the Bedale Hunt are at West Tanfield near Masham and the Bilsdale Hunt is meeting at Rievaulx, while the Hurworth Hunt is meeting in Northallerton and the Zetland Hunt is gathering at Aldbrough St John, near Richmond…. (story)
Harrogate Advertiser 18.2.05 Supporters turn out for final hunt - THE YORK & Ainsty North Hunt held their last hunt on Wednesday as the government's ban on hunting came into effect. Leaving Low House Farm in Farnham, there was a large turnout for the day which was due to end with a get-together of hunt supporters in the evening… (story)
Harrogate Advertiser 18.2.05 Hunts will meet to keep sport alive - AN eleventh-hour bid to overturn the hunting ban failed this week. Court of Appeal judges rejected the Countryside Alliance's legal challenge on Wednesday but huntsmen across the area have vowed to fight on… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 18.2.05 'IT'S TRAGIC THAT MPS WHO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE COUNTRYSIDE CAN GET THIS LAW PASSED' - Hundreds of people turned out for the Holderness Hunt's last traditional fox chase before the ban on hunting with dogs came into force at midnight. Countryside reporter David Taylor was among the crowd to gauge the mood at the emotion-charged event… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 18.2.05 HUNTSMEN VOW TO CONTINUE - Hunting with dogs became illegal today, but hundreds of thousands of pro-hunt supporters vowed to continue…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 18.2.05 'LAW BREAKERS MUST BE PROSECUTED' - Animal rights campaigners today called on the police to enforce the controversial ban on hunting wild animals with dogs. Anti-hunting groups that fought for the ban, such as the League Against Cruel Sports, say nobody is above the law and offenders must be prosecute… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 18.2.05 HUNTERS VOW TO DEFY BAN - Hunting with dogs became illegal today, but hundreds of thousands of pro-hunt supporters vowed to continue. The Countryside Alliance said hunts would be out tomorrow, when they will try to keep within the law by drag hunting or flushing out foxes and shooting them….. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 18.2.05 LIKE IT OR NOT, IT'S THE LAW - The hunting fraternity might not like their pastime being banned, but it is now a law of the land…. Whatever the rights and wrongs are of blood sports, the ban is in place and hunters must abide by the law…. The Mail urges East Yorkshire's hunts, such as the Holderness and Middleton, to be peaceful in their future activities…. (story)

Birmingham Evening Mail 18.2.05 Hunters go down fighting By Tim Simpson, Evening Mail - Determined hunters turned out in droves for one last time before the controversial ban on hunting with hounds came into force. In the Midlands, 110 people on horseback along with a further 360 on foot met at Bradley Green, near Bromsgrove, yesterday for the last legal meeting of the Worcestershire Hunt…. (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 18.2.05 The last tally-ho - The last legal fox hunt took place in Warwickshire yesterday with hundreds of supporters braving the cold mist to witness the end of an era. Despite the dank conditions enveloping Old Town Farm near Bishops Itchington, more than 300 men, women and children gathered at 10.45am. They were there to watch the final Warwickshire Hunt set out and to protest against hunting with dogs becoming illegal…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 18.2.05 Hunters vow to carry on - HUNTING with dogs became illegal in England and Wales today - but hundreds of thousands of pro-hunt supporters vowed to continue. … (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 18.2.05 FAVOURITE WITH ROYALS - The Beaufort Hunt has been going since 1640 and is regularly attended by members of the Royal Family, including Prince Charles and Prince William. The hunt meets four days a week, usually on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays… (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 18.2.05 RICH HISTORY OF BERKELEY - The Berkeley Hunt started in 1326 and adopted its current form in the mid-1700s. It meets twice a week on Wednesdays - regularly attended by around 60 riders - and on Saturdays, which is attended by around 90 riders…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 18.2.05 HUNDREDS AT FINAL 'PROPER' HUNTING - More than 300 spectators and 80 people on horseback today turned out for the last "proper" Ledbury Hunt after 239 years. The hunt met at Corse Lawn Hotel, near Redmarley, before riding out for the last time in its present form. Elsewhere, Gloucestershire's Berkeley and Beaufort hunts also attracted large crowds when they met for the final time before a new ban comes into effect at midnight…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 18.2.05 LEDBURY'S 239 YEARS - The Ledbury Hunt has been going for 239 years. Its hunt country runs from Dymock in the west to Tewkesbury in the east and from Malvern Wells in the north to Maisemore in the south…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 18.2.05 BAN MAY NOW BE LAW, BUT THIS WON'T BE FINAL HUNT! - A Thin mist hung over Ham Hill Farm as the Cotswold Hunt gathered for the last time before the ban came into force. The meet near Whittington saw a huge turnout for a weekday: dozens of riders and supporters braved the cold and drizzle yesterday to watch a piece of history slip into the mists of tradition…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 18.2.05 TEARS AND CHEERS AS ERA ENDS - Hundreds of years of history came to an end yesterday when three county hunts held their last traditional meetings. New laws that came into effect earlier today will now stop them from hunting foxes in the manner they have been accustomed to for centuries. Hundreds of spectators and riders turned out to show their support for the meetings of the Beaufort, the Berkeley and the Ledbury Hunts yesterday morning…. (story)

BBC News Online 18.2.05 Anti-hunt group urges vigilance - Anti-hunting campaigners have called on the public to inform police of illegal hunts, after a ban on the activity came into force in England and Wales… (story)

Newcastle Journal 18.2.05 Tradition ends with sorrow and defiance By Robert Brooks, The Journal - Hundreds of hunters and their followers have gathered in the North to bid a tearful farewell to more than a century of local tradition. In what was their last legal pursuit of a fox with a pack of hounds, Alnwick's 150-year-old Percy Hunt, founded by the Dukes of Northumberland, met at Shawdon Hall, near Powburn, just hours before Parliament's ban on the activity came into force…. One crafty fox seemed to know who his friends were yesterday - when he hid from a hunt near Tony Blair's North-East home…. Followers of historic South Durham Hunt, which met for the last time in Sedgefield on Wednesday, say the creature has evaded them for five years…. There was almost disbelief among members of the Tynedale Hunt yesterday at what could be their last meet…. (story)

Newcastle Evening Chronicle 18.2.05 Hunts pledge to keep their sport alive By Jane Picken, The Evening Chronicle - North East hunters vowed to keep the sport alive as a national ban came into effect today. If they continue to hunt with hounds they face a hefty fine, a criminal record and confiscation of dogs and vehicles. But for many the fight over fox hunting has just begun…. Morpeth Hunt master Michael Jeans has been pursuing fox for more than 30 years and believes hunt supporters will see the ban overturned in the future…. Many of the region's hunts take place in Northumberland with thousands taking to the saddle each week. The Haydon Hunt starts in Hexham, while the Morpeth hunt, held three times a week starts from Meldon Park. Lanchester, County Durham, see the beginning of the Braes of Derwent hunt, which stretches across County Durham and Northumberland. Tomorrow, the Haydon, Morpeth, Newcastle and District Beagles and Percy hunts plan to meet to show their opposition to the Hunting Act. They will be joined by members of the Percy West, Tyne North, Tynedale, Hurworth and Braes of Derwent hunts…. (story)

Hexham Courant 18.2.05 HUNT BAN WILL BE ENFORCED By WILL GREEN - POLICE in Tynedale have vowed to “thoroughly investigate” any breach of the hunting ban which came into force earlier today…. One local hunt which will be able to continue to hunt with hounds despite the ban is the Border. For more than 130 years it has hunted country in both Northumberland and across the Scottish border in Roxburghshire, where hunting with hounds is still legal provided the quarry is killed with a gun rather than by the dogs…. Chairman and master of the 150-year-old Braes of Derwent Hunt Alan Chapman said the hunt has laid off a member of staff because of the ban…. (story)
Hexham Courant 18.2.05 A LASTING ANGER - THE debate on the future of hunting has been passionate, often acrimonious. Today, that debate becomes largely academic with the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales coming into force…. Of all the issues facing the countryside, particularly in the aftermath of the foot-and-mouth crisis, hunting was not a priority and did not warrant the precious parliamentary time devoted to it while so many rural problems remain unaddressed and unsolved. As the Countryside March showed, rural communities can be a powerful political lobby when they gather together. The election could be another rallying call for them. (story)
Hexham Courant 18.2.05 BAN ENDS 150 YEARS OF HISTORY - By WILL GREEN - HIS daughter is the fourth generation in his family to hunt, and master of the Braes of Derwent Alan Chapman is determined she will not be the last. Today, hunting with dogs became illegal in England and Wales, and as the sound of the huntsman’s trumpet echoed for the last time around Tynedale, 150 years of history came to an end…. (story)

Kent/Sussex Courier 18.2.05 FOXHUNTERS PROMISE TO ABIDE BY NEW LAW - Foxhunters in Sussex have bowed to pressure and promised to stay within the confines of the law. Despite earlier pledges to carry on hunting in defiance of the ban, members of Southdowns and Eridge Hunt confirmed to the Kent and Sussex Courier that from now on - and until the "law is repealed" - they would be following an artificial line and not killing foxes… East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt will also be out and about tomorrow when they hold their meet at Brightling Park. Hunt member Gardie Grissell said: "We will be going out to exercise the hounds and have a gallop around but we are very keen not to break the law."… (story)
Kent/Sussex Courier 18.2.05 DAWN OF A PIONEERING NEW STYLE OF HUNTING - After the last traditional fox hunt, the dawn of a pioneering new style of hunting in Kent will begin tomorrow (Saturday). The Ashford Valley Hunt will meet in Wittersham, on the outskirts of the Weald, at around 12noon and chairman Richard Middleton pledged the introduction of the new style will be well within the boundaries of the law, which came into force today (Friday) through The Hunting Act 2004…. (story)
Kent/Sussex Courier 18.2.05 LET'S SEE IF ANYTHING WILL CHANGE BY MARY HARRIS - Whether hunts remain law abiding after the ban under the Hunting Act 2004 goes live today (Friday) is yet to be seen. The turning of "blind eyes" by hunt staff could mean foxes and other quarry are still killed by hounds, believes an anti-hunt campaigner. Dave Wetton, the Kent spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs' Association and its former secretary, said masters would be pivotal in keeping their hunts on the right side of the law…. He believed high profile hunts like the Quorn and Cottesmore, which has "magistrates and bank managers" among its members, would not wish to be involved in an illegal activity…. (story)

Daily Mail 18.2.05 Hunt supporters vow to continue - Hundreds of thousands of pro-hunt supporters have vowed to continue hunting with dogs just hours after a new ban came into force… (story)

Cambridge Evening News 18.2.05 Final bugle call of the hunt? - MASS hunt protests are set to take place over the weekend as the ban on hunting comes into force. Hundreds of hunts will meet across the country, including at Tattersalls in Newmarket, and at Barton. But rather than defying the ban, the Countryside Alliance insists participants will be going out and hunting within the law…. Thurlow Hunt is meeting at Tattersalls, Newmarket, at noon. * Trinity Foot Beagles will meet at the Kennels, Cambridge Road, Barton, at 1.30pm. * The Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace will meet at Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, at 11am. * The Fitzwilliam Hunt is meeting at Milton Park, outside Peterborough, at 11am. (story)

Shropshire Star 18.2.05 County hunts get call to stay within law - Shropshire and Mid Wales hunt members are being urged to stay within the law if they ride out tomorrow, after their 300-year-old rural tradition was banned…. Wheatland Hunt master Myles Salmon's wife, Elizabeth, said no one would be breaking the law…. North Shropshire Hunt members and supporters will gather at Shrewsbury livestock market tomorrow to demonstrate their contunued backing for countryside sports. (story)

Powys County Times 18.2.05 THE END OF AN ERA - THE Tanatside Hunt witnessed one of its largest ever turnouts yesterday (Thursday) for its final meeting with hounds ahead of the Hunting Act 2004, which came into force at midnight…. (story)

Whitby Gazette 18.2.05 Hunts vow to keep riding - HUNT supporters vowed to continue hunting within the law and to fight the ban as they gathered in Egton Bridge for their last legal fox hunt. Three packs from Glaisdale, Farndale and the Pennines gathered at the Postgate Inn yesterday morning for the meet…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 18.2.05 HUNT PARADE TO GO AHEAD AFTER TALKS - Shopkeepers' fears over hounds allayed - Traders and hunt followers have reached a pact amid fears that a parade of horses and hounds in a Devon town could disrupt its market. The decision by the East Devon Hunt to go through the centre of Honiton on market day tomorrow prompted initial worries among traders. Honiton Chamber of Commerce spokesman and market superintendent Terry Farebrother said concern about loss of trade had been raised and the police had been consulted, but after discussions it had been agreed there would be no conflict…. (story)

BBC News Online 18.2.05 First hunts to meet following ban - Thousands of fox hunters are to meet on Saturday in Kent and Sussex for the first time since the ban became law…. Graham Worsely, from the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, said they would try to lay a scent but they did not know what was going to happen…. (story)

BBC News Online 18.2.05 Ban on hunting comes into force - Fox hunting with dogs is now illegal in England and Wales after a ban on the activity came into force overnight. The law faces a stiff test this weekend, with the Countryside Alliance saying many hunts will be out in force. … The Beaufort Hunt had one pack out on Thursday and has promised a hunt this weekend… (story)

BBC News Online 18.2.05 School hunting promotion blocked - Plans to take hunting dogs to an event for schoolchildren in Hampshire have been blocked by the county council. The Countryside Alliance often takes hounds to rural events so it can teach children about country sports. The alliance is due to attend the Countryside Live roadshow in Havant, Hampshire, on 17 March. Councillors say it would be "wholly inappropriate" for any organisation to promote hunting with dogs after a ban came into force on Friday… (story)

BBC News Online 18.2.05 Hunting: What next for all sides? - The ban on hunting with dogs came into effect at 0001 GMT on Friday, ending an activity that has existed for centuries…. Will the threatened scenes of mass unrest materialise or will hunting carry on unchanged? And how will those involved on all sides respond to the changes?... (story)

Evening Standard 18.2.05 Hunt ban brings violence By Ed Harris, Evening Standard - Hunting supporters and saboteurs were involved in violent clashes as the ban on the sport came into force. The clashes came as half a million people from 268 hunts across the country are said to be planning to test the law. Police forces are braced for more angry clashes tomorrow between foxhunt supporters and opponents…. (story)

Reading Evening Post 18.2.05 Hunt: We won't be hounded out - Defiant: sportsmen vow to continue fighting new ban - DEFIANT huntsmen in Berkshire have vowed not to give up the chase despite a failed effort to get new anti-hunting laws dumped by the High Court…. The Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berkshire Hunt is expected to gather at Englefield House tomorrow for the first hunt under the new laws…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 18.2.05 Hundreds turn out for last legal hunt by Chris Yandell - THEY turned out in their hundreds to cheer and applaud a group that has been part of the New Forest for 224 years. Villagers staged a massive show of support for the New Forest Hounds (NFH) when it met for the last time before fox-hunting was banned at midnight last night…. The Hursley and Hambledon Hunt also met for the last time before the ban, but met little opposition from anti-hunt campaigners… At Shalden, near Alton, the Hampshire Hunt held a successful final legal hunt with at least one fox killed…. (story in archive)

Eastern Daily Press 18.2.05 'This is the worst day of my life' - NICK PARKER, PETER WILLIAMSON - A slight drizzle partly obscured the leafless trees in a distant valley of the rolling farmland… But beneath the apparent peace there was seething anger and bitter regret when members of West Norfolk Foxhounds yesterday took part in their last meeting before the ban on hunting came into force at midnight… (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 18.2.05 Hunting ban becomes law - A COUNTRYSIDE tradition dating back more than 300 years ends today as the ban on fox-hunting comes into effect… Roger Clark, a farrier based at the Tendring Hall estate, estimated that 25% of his work is hunting orientated during the winter…. (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 18.2.05 Anger and tears greet hunt's last hurrah - Midnight last night saw the banning of hunting with dogs in England and Wales – bringing to an end the 350-year history of a Yorkshire hunt thought to be the oldest in the world. GRANT WOODWARD joined its members for their last ride. THEY were trying their best to put a brave face on it, but tears and anger lurked beneath the unconvincing smiles of the members of the Bilsdale Hunt yesterday…. (story)

Oxford Mail 18.2.05 Legal hunting ends - The last day of legal hunting was marked across Oxfordshire on February 17 in a day of high emotion… More than 100 riders of the The Bicester with Whaddon Chase, including many children, gathered for the last time at Home Farm, Poundon, near Stratton Audley, at 11am yesterday morning -- it was just one of hundreds of meets planning to return tomorrow for a regular meeting at the Red Lion pub in Stratton Audley -- only last Saturday they pledged to meet the terms of the new law and ride out as a "hunt club"…. (story in archive)

Hawkinge Gazette 18.2.05 HUNTING COMMUNITY EXPECTED TO BE "LAW-ABIDING" SAYS MINISTER - The Hunting Act has come into effect as of today. It is now illegal to hunt a wild mammal with a dog, unless the activity is specifically exempted. Hare coursing has also been banned…. (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 18.2.05 Hare hunt has run its course - About 30 followers, many in red waistcoats and green knickerbockers, gathered yesterday to mark the last official hare hunt. The Airedale Beagles chose to have their final meeting at Keighley Gate, on Rombalds Moor, where the hunt had first started 113 years ago…. (story in archive)

Bath Chronicle 18.2.05 HUNTERS WERE OUT IN FORCE - Hundreds of people gathered yesterday to support the last legal hunt by an historic pack of hounds. The Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, which has members across the Bath area, gathered ahead of the ban on hunting with dogs which came into force at 12.01am today…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 18.2.05 THIS IS NOT THE END, IT'S SIMPLY A VICTORY FOR INTOLERANCE, SAY HUNTERS BY CAT TURNELL AND JON DI PAOLO - Notes of sadness, anger and defiance were sounded by county hunters as they rode out with hounds for what could be the last time. For 250 years, they, and generations of their ancestors, have thundered over the Leicestershire countryside, hounds baying and bugles calling, in breathless pursuit of the fox. As of midnight last night, the Cottesmore, Fernie, Belvoir, Atherstone and Quorn hunts now face arrest and a £5,000 fine for doing something they see as a vital part of their way of life…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 18.2.05 FIVE FAMOUS HUNTS STEEPED IN TRADITION - Atherstone… Belvoir… Cottesmore…Fernie… Quorn… (story)
Leicester Mercury 18.2.05 GALLOPING INTO THE - Passions are running high at Cream Gorse Farm, as the Quorn's master, Joss Hanbury, leads scores of riders up the gravel to thunderous applause for what could be hunting's last hurrah. History books - Left and right, there are grown men in flat caps and waxed jackets clapping their frozen hands or wiping their crying eyes…. (story)

Northern Echo 18.2.05 Hounded into history by Joe Willis - EMOTIONS ran high yesterday as huntsmen and women gathered on a bitterly cold moor for a final day's hunting before the ban. Followers of the Catterick Beagles, based at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, who met on Hipswell Moor, told of their anger towards the politicians who had pushed through the ban - and sadness that their way of life was under attack…. (story in archive)

Western Mail 18.2.05 Can Welsh hunting ever go to ground? - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THREE centuries of fox hunting came to an end yesterday with Welsh hunts seizing the moments for a last hurrah…. The two mounted hunts in Pembrokeshire, and others in Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire, were among those who made the most of their last day of legal hunting…. Among the 60 mounted horsemen and women and 100 followers in the Glamorgan Hunt yesterday was Kerry Moffett, wife of Welsh Rugby Union chief executive David Moffett…. Tomorrow the only North Wales mounted hunt, the Flint & Denbigh hunt, meets at Coed Coch, near Colwyn Bay, and like all registered hunts they said they would stay within the law by using just two dogs to flush out the fox before shooting it…. (story)

Western Mail 18.2.05 Farmers 'need right to control vermin ' - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE end of the fox hunt may set loose a devil in the countryside that decimates lambs, small mammals and ground-nesting birds and ultimately harms the fox itself, it was claimed yesterday. As hunts across England and Wales took off on their last legal pursuit of Britain's most popular wild animal, farmers and landowners warned that the fox population could explode…..Although the 40-odd mounted hunts with their red coated Masters and huntsmen get all the attention, the foot packs are more numerous and by far the more successful. One, the Paxton Hounds, which operates around Llanarthne in Carmarthenshire, estimates that it kills 300 foxes a year. In the county itself, hunts of every description kill an estimated 3,000 a year… (story)

Western Mail 18.2.05 'Fox control' rules set out for forestry - Martin Shipton, Western Mail - THE Forestry Commission last night released details of how "exempt hunting" will be regulated on the large tracts of land it owns in Wales…. (story)

Isle of Wight County Press 18.2.05 CROWDS EXPECTED FOR HUNT RALLY - BLOOD sport supporters are tomorrow (Saturday) expected to rally at Shorwell for a defiant show of strength they say will expose the 'ridiculous' flaws in the government's hunt ban…. Hunt master Andrew Sallis said: "We will be seeking at certain stages to highlight flaws and ridicule the ban to prove that in no respect will the legislation benefit the fox in the way that the antis would intend."… Labour general election candidate Mark Chiverton called on the IW Hunt to concentrate on the spirit of the law and channel its energies into preserving its pageantry with non-cruel sports like drag hunting or campaigning on more important issues such as tackling rural poverty…. (story)

Daily Post 18.2.05 Opik to join hunt show of defiance - MID Wales MP Lembit Öpik will join the David Davies Hunt tomorrow as part of a wave of protests against the hunting ban. With the ban coming into force today, hundreds of hunts are ready to meet in a show of defiance… (story)

Northumberland Gazette 18.2.05 Hunts to meet in defiance as ban is endorsed by Appeal Court - TOMORROW marks the end of an era for many as the Hunting Act comes into force…. Today, the 150-year-old Percy Hunt will wave goodbye to tradition as it meets at Shawdon Hall for its last legal hunt. But hunt members vow that this is not the end, and just 36 hours after the enactment of the ban they will unite with more than 250 hunts across the country to meet legally in a demonstration against what they see as an unfair and unjust law…. (story)

Suffolk Evening Star 18.2.05 Hunters out on final day - FOX hunters in Suffolk were due to gather today on the last legal day of hunting with dogs. Both the Essex and Suffolk Hunt and the Suffolk Hunt have vowed to continue their campaign against the hunting ban…. (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 18.2.05 Crowd gathers for final hunt - Today a law comes into force banning hunting with dogs. One of the final legal hunts - held at Berkeley Castle on Saturday - attracted 150 mounted followers and hundreds on foot. (story in archive)

Hertfordshire Mercury 18.2.05 1,000 plan to protest as hunting ban becomes law - DEFIANT members of the Puckeridge Hunt expect a turnout of more than 1,000 riders and supporters at a hunt meeting tomorrow as new legislation banning hunting becomes law today…. (story)

Harborough Mail 18.2.05 - The hunt is on...but within the law - A HUNT is planning to put new laws to the test with a meet on Saturday (Feb 19). Along with 250 hunts across the country, the Fernie Hunt will meet on Saturday at its kennels in Great Bowden as a demonstration against the Hunting Act, which comes into force today (Friday)…. (story)

Chester Chronicle 18.2.05 Insurance setback for foxhunters - By David Holmes, Chester Chronicle - A FOXHUNTING ban began at midnight last night but problems with insurance are likely be the main reason why local hunts will not defy the law. Thousands of hunt supporters had vowed to hunt illegally, but companies which insure riders and horses say they won't pay out if it can be proved their customers were breaking the law. The Cheshire Hunt, Cheshire Forest Hunt and Sir Watkin Williams' Wynn hunts will take to the field tomorrow in a show of strength. But a letter to supporters of the Cheshire Forest states: 'Hounds will continue to meet at least once a week next season. We do not intend to break the law as if we do so deliberately our insurance would be invalidated by participating in an illegal activity.'…(story)
Guardian 15.2.05 Flout the ban and we'll not pay out, insurers warn hunts - Sandra Laville - Hunts that break the law and continue to pursue foxes once the hunting ban comes into force risk losing the insurance cover that pays out if hounds cause accidents to members of the public. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said companies providing public liability insurance for hunts were discussing the implications of the ban, which is due to begin on Friday. Those who announce publicly that they will flout the law, and continue hunting foxes, risk having future claims on public liability insurance turned down, a spokesman said. This would force anyone hurt during a hunt to claim directly off hunt committee… (story)
BBC News Online 15.2.05 'Insurance risk' of illegal hunts - Hunts which pursue foxes illegally after the ban may not be covered by their insurance if anyone gets hurt. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says public liability policies may not cover hunts judged to have intentionally broken the law… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 18.2.05 THE END OF THE ROAD? AFTER years of heated debate, protests and campaigns from both sides of the divide, hunting with dogs is now illegal…. Hunts across Cumbria now face an uncertain future. Under the legislation, it is against the law for them to use hounds to hunt their quarry and landowners can also commit an offence by allowing hunting to take place on their land… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 18.2.05 Blencathra Foxhounds - ACKGROUND: The Blencathra fell pack hunts an area of the northern Lake District from Caldbeck in the north to Dunmail in the south. Much of the land is owned by the National Trust, Forestry Commission and United Utilities. The hounds are kennelled at Threlkeld…. (story)
Cumberland News & Star 18.2.05 Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds - BACKGROUND: The Eskdale and Ennerdale is a fell pack covering the Western Lake District from Ennerdale in the north, Broughton-in-Furness in the south, Langdale in the east and Bootle in the west. Most of land is owned by the National Trust and Forestry Commission… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 18.2.05 Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds - BACKGROUND: The Cumberland Farmers, based at Welton, hunt an area of land between Kirkbride, the Eden Valley and Caldbeck. The area contains mainly privately-owned farms and estates…. (story)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 18.2.05 IS THIS THE FINAL TALLY HO? by Andy Davey - THE huntsman's horn echoed across the New Forest on Friday morning - signalling the end of nearly 1,000 years of tradition. At midnight the controversial nationwide ban on fox hunting came into force - but defiant hunters and their supporters, who gathered in droves for the New Forest Hounds' final hunt, insisted it was not the last post. Chairman of the New Forest Hounds Mike Squibb, 57, claimed the ban was merely a "blip" in the history of the New Forest's fox-hunting tradition and vowed the sport would go on….(story in archive)

Portsmouth News 18.2.05 The last hunt - or was it? HUNT followers today vowed to defy the ban on hunting even if it meant going to jail. Their defiant pledge came just hours before their 'sport' was outlawed at midnight yesterday. As the last Hursley Hambledon Hunt under the old laws set off yesterday, most riders and their supporters went along with the Countryside Alliance line that they would obey the new Hunting Act. (story)

Lancashire Evening Post 18.2.05 'Hunting is not a priority' - Lancashire Police today admitted arresting huntsmen is not one of its priorities. The controversial Hunting Act 2004, which came into force at midnight, bans hunting with dogs and hare coursing….The Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe's chairman Tony Moore said: "We will be accepting calls from the public who see any fox hunting or hare coursing and we will pass that information on to officers…" (story)

South Wales Argus 18.2.05 Historic day as hunting era ends - MORE than 300 years of history came to an end on the misty slopes of the Blorenge mountain near Abergavenny yesterday. Gwent hunt supporters said goodbye to their way of life - something anit-hunt protestors say is an act of cruelty - on the last day it was legal to hunt a fox with dogs… For members of the Monmouthshire Hunt, yesterday was a poignant occasion…. "We'll be operating within the law - to show the full strength of feeling within Monmouthshire for the hunt." And the Tredegar Hunt are due to do the same meeting at the Tredegar Arms, Bassaleg, at 11am tomorrow…. (story in archive)

Leamington Spa Courier 18.2.05 SUPPORTERS GATHER FOR NATIONAL PROTEST PICNIC - Warwickshire Hunt will join hunts all over the country in staging a protest meet tomorrow (Saturday). Hunt supporters will gather at The Park behind Upton House near Edgehill to exercise hounds and hold a picnic and barbecue. They are protesting against the Hunting with Hounds Act 2004 which has been upheld by Wednesday's Court of Appeal judgement which upheld the act, and the Parliament Act 1949 used by the government to override opposition from the House of Lords…. (story)

South Wales Guardian 18.2.05 End looms for fox hunting - by Chiara Rinaldi - THE day they hoped would never come is looming over Towy Valley hunts - from this Friday (Feb 18) hunting with dogs will be banned…. But although Towy Valley hunts will be marking the occasion, they say they have no plans to ride on the wrong side of the law, but they are looking to adapt within in it. Among them is William Theophilus, Chairman of Towy Valley and Cothi Hunt…Phillip Hancock, from Talley, rides with the Llandeilo Farmers' Hunt. He said: "We have held two hunts this week before its made illegal but we will not hunt on Saturday. We will meet at the White Hart Inn, Llandeilo before moving outside for a hounds exercise and ride … (story in archive)

Ledbury Reporter 18.2.05 End of a tradition marked at meet - HUNDREDS of people turned up to support Ledbury Hunt's last meeting before the hunting ban becomes law today (Friday). (story in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 18.2.05 'LEGISLATION WILL BE ENFORCED' - Lincolnshire Police have vowed to enforce the ban on hunting with dogs and have drawn up contingency plans. Superintendent Dave Wheeler, head of the force operations support department, said: "We will police any hunting activities in an impartial manner while carrying out our obligations to enforce the law. "Our primary aim will be the safety and well-being of the public whatever their views on the legislation…." (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 18.2.05 SHOT FOXES WILL BE HUNT'S NEW QUARRY - PETER CRAIG - Emotions ran high at the final fox hunt by Louth's South Wold Hunt yesterday. Tears were shed by some of the members as up to 50 riders and 50 hounds set off from Scamblesby House. The route taken by the hunt was lined with hundreds of supporters eager to enjoy the spectacle of a large hunt, despite them not seeing a fox all day… (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 18.2.05 THEY'RE HOPING TO MAKE A POINT AT RASEN - The Burton Hunt stage their Point-to-Point meeting at Market Rasen racecourse on Sunday. More than 100 entries have been received, which is down on previous years owing to a clash with the re-arranged Sinnington fixture in Yorkshire. It is envisaged this should work to the advantage of Lincolnshire qualified runners…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 18.2.05 TEARS ON FINAL DAY FOR HUNT - Midnight marked the end of an era when the ban on hunting with dogs came into effect. HURTEJ KAUR went along when the South Notts Hunt rode out for the last time As the South Notts Hunt gathered for their last legal hunt, tear-filled supporters gathered in their hundreds. Huntsman Garry Williams, 41, broke down as he rode along the concrete path in dismal weather yesterday. "This is what I live for," he said, trying to hold back the tears… (story)

Burton Mail 18.2.05 STAFFS POLICE TO KEEP CHECK ON LOCAL HUNTS by DAVID POWLES - POLICE have warned that they will be making surprise visits to any legal hunts held in the Burton area from today to make sure the new ban is not being flouted… The Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, the Staffordshire Moorlands and the DNS Beagles will meet at Darley Moor Aerodrome, off the A515, between Sudbury and Ashbourne. (story)

Sky News 18.2.05 POLICE FACE HUNT CHAOS - Police forces across the country may end up caught in the cross-fire as they attempt to enforce the hunting ban this weekend….(story)

Southport Visiter 18.2.05 Protest at final Cup - By Gillian Stratton, Southport Visiter - THE final Waterloo Cup at Altcar ended on Wednesday. This year's event was brought forward to escape the hunting ban that comes into force today (Friday). This follows the Countryside Alliance's failed challenge to the Court of Appeal…. (story)

Telegraph 18.2.05 Hunt supporters should rally to the Tory cause - So the hunts will be out in force this weekend defying the ban, will they? The map of their distribution (Feb 17) has one striking feature: the density is in inverse proportion to the number of Tory MPs in their area…. Among those hunt supporters are many who couldn't be bothered to vote in 1997 and 2001, or who are toying with the idea of voting UKIP or Veritas this time around. If, tomorrow, they ride into their local Tory office, offer their help and their money, start canvassing and help win back seats in May, there might be some chance in future of overturning the hated ban. Edwina Currie, MP (Cons) for S Derbyshire 1983-97, South Nutfield, Surrey. (letter)

Telegraph 18.2.05 I am one of the 150 peaceful demonstrators against hunting who on Monday (report, Feb 15) were pelted with mud, stones and lighted fireworks by thuggish, combat-jacketed, pro-hunting yobs at the Waterloo Cup hare-coursing event in Great Altcar, Lancashire…. From today, the animals should also have the benefit of police protection against people who participate in cruelty for fun. Christopher Clayton, Waverton, Cheshire (letter)

Times 18.2.05 In full pursuit of post-ban hunters - The hunting of badgers became illegal under the Badgers Act 1973. The practice of sending terriers into badger setts to flush out and fight badgers was very popular with working men who could not aspire to the more sophisticated fox and stag hunting… After a while the flow of prosecutions dried up, from which I inferred that the badger hunters had lost their appetite for their “sport” at about the same time as they lost their appetite for prison food. Yours, TOM HART, 7 Hookway Village, Crediton, Devon EX17 3PU. From Mr Adrian Brodkin If those intending to defy the ban on hunting with hounds are prosecuted by the police with the same vigour as they prosecute car drivers using mobile phones, the outlook for foxes remains bleak. Yours faithfully, ADRIAN BRODKIN, 93 Kingsley Way, N2 0EL. (letter)

Argus 18.2.05 Letter: This is a sad day for foxes and us - This week hunting with hounds comes to an end. I find this very sad. Gone will be the hounds, gone will be the tradition, gone will be the countryside stewardship which goes with hunting….-Paddy Johnston, Brighton (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 18.2.05 THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT STOP US - The Hunting Act came into force at midnight last night. Tomorrow over 250 hunts across the country will be meeting, legally, as normal to demonstrate to the Government that they feel this law to be unjust. The infrastructure of hunting will be preserved nationwide whilst challenges to the legislation in the courts are taking place…. The Beaufort Hunt is meeting tomorrow at Worcester Lodge, Didmarton, at 10.45am and look forward to welcoming many of you there. Jo Aldridge Sherston Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 18.2.05 CAN THE POLICE BE 'IMPARTIAL'? It comes as no surprise to read that, according to a leaked memo from the Association of Chief Police Officers, policing the hunt ban will be low priority and the law breakers will not be arrested? Recently, according to newspapers, including the Western Daily Press, it took Cheltenham Police three and a half hours to attend a burglary taking place in a house 30 yards from the police station. It was, they said, low priority. Yet about three weeks ago in Cheltenham, eight animal rights activists were handing out anti-fur leaflets outside a shop selling fur, and were surrounded by two police vans, three police cars and police motorcycle. That was high priority…. P Richardson Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

18.2.05 Enforcing the law - THE hunting ban has not begun and I will be very interested to see the reaction of the police…. The police taking no notice of the blatant abuse by motorists contravening the highway laws is typical in many areas…. I would think to chase huntsmen in red coats would also place a heavy strain on police resources. Surely the general public would expect the police to act even-handed and enforce all laws - however difficult? E J BOULTON, Pershore. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 18.2.05 We need the Lords - TODAY the law banning hunting comes into force. Its foundation can be found in little more than outdated class hatred. It is a stupid law, enacted by those totally out of touch with those they are supposed to represent, fired by those "groups" who clearly wish the nation ill. Worse, it is politically inept, unworthy of a free democracy…. Tess Nash, Helston (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 18.2.05 BAN WILL NOT HELP THE FOX - Ibelieve when fox hunting is stopped, life for Mr Fox will be far, far worse. In reply to the letter in Viewpoint on Friday, February 11 - I was out hunting with the Brocklesby hounds when they were hunting near Grove Cottages, Riby. I did not hear screams of excitement or see people running afraid that they may miss the kill of a fox. In fact, no fox was found here…. Mary Sanderson, Barton Street, Laceby. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 16.2.05 LETTER WAS PROPAGANDA - I Really must write in reply to your correspondent "Still Undecided About Foxhunting?" Viewpoint, February 11) The only truth in the whole letter is that the Brocklesby hounds were at Riby on that day….(letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 11.2.05 ARE YOU STILL UNDECIDED ABOUT FOX HUNTING? - Anyone still undecided about hunting with dogs? Please read on: At least 30 mounted hunters, one pack of hounds and several dozen hunt supporters, all hell bent on being in on the wanton slaughter of one single exhausted terrified fox. Had you been with me in my house last Wednesday this is what you would have seen from my windows…. L Wellings, Grove Cottages, Riby. (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 18.2.05 Will Blair enforce this hunting ban - IF, as they threaten, the unspeakable continue their pursuit of the uneatable, despite endorsement by the Appeal Court of the Act of Parliament banning hunting with dogs, we will find out where Tony Blair’s loyalty lies. Depending on how the Prime Minister reacts, we will know whether he favours the wealthy pseudo-country folk and middle-class professionals or the majority of decent people to whom his 1997 manifesto promised an end to the barbarous practice of hounding animals to death…. MIKE BIRD, Main Road, Maryport (letter)

York Evening Press 18.2.05 Treat fox hunters like the miners - MOST people possessing a modicum of humanity will today be celebrating the end of the previously legalised torture and death of God's creatures. Unfortunately the avowed ``criminals" who take part in this activity, have already stated their intention to break the law…. Liz Edge. Parkside Close, York. (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 18.2.05 End to barbarism- ONCE again I open the paper and read what ridiculous and comical lengths the hunting lobby stoop to in order to get across their point… Melanie Lackenby-Allerton, Willowbeck Lodge, Settrington, Malton. (letter in archive)

Bath Chronicle 18.2.05 DAN SPEAKS ON WHAT MATTERS - Can I thank Wansdyke's Labour MP Dan Norris for the courteous way he conducts himself while at the same time speaking plainly and forcefully on the issues that really matter to those he represents?... Dan's strong views against fox hunting are also well known. On a recent TV programme a Conservative pro-hunting peer verbally attacked Dan. As always Dan was completely unruffled, countering with argument not insult. MERYN MCLAREN Chaffinch Drive Midsomer Norton (letter)


NewsWales 17.2.05 Hunt ban will lead to rise in lamb deaths, say farmers - Up to ten times more new born lambs could be killed by foxes as a result of the ban on hunting with dogs, it was claimed today. The prediction is based on evidence collected when hunting was suspended during the foot and mouth epidemic of 2001. "There is no doubt that many more lambs are going to suffer a savage death as a result of this ban," said Derek Morgan, a Powys farmer and Chairman of the Farmers’ Union of Wales’s Hill Farming committee.


Melton Times 17.2.05 Trade fears as hunts set to disrupt the town - TRADERS fear shoppers will stay away as hundreds of hunt supporters converge on the town on Saturday. Melton is expected to become a no-go zone when more than 600 riders and supporters parade through the town centre, along with around 80 beagles and members of the local farming community… Some feel the parade, which features the Quorn, Belvoir and Cottesmore Hunts, along with the Oakley Foot Beagles, is set to severely impact on town centre trade by deterring shoppers… (story)

Milton Keynes Citizen 17.2.05 Tally ho! Hunt plans to meet the day after ban - The Grafton Hunt will meet as normal at Wakefield Lodge, Potterspury, on Saturday – in spite of the foxhunting ban…. (story)

Essex Chronicle 17.2.05 VIOLENCE AT LAST HUNT BY CHRIS RUNECKLES - An outbreak of violence led to three arrests at the last mid-Essex hunt to be held before hunting with dogs is outlawed. Tempers frayed at the Essex Hunt's final Saturday foxhunt at Great Bardfield with allegations of assault from both huntsmen and saboteurs… Huntsmen have pledged to be out in force this Saturday - the day after hunting with dogs is banned in England and Wales. Both the Essex Hunt and the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt expect large turn-outs from the hunting and farming communities in a "show of solidarity" against the Government's decision…. (story)

Cornish Guardian 17.2.05 RIDERS VOW TO SADDLE UP IN DEFIANCE OF HUNT BAN - Hunts across Cornwall are set to continue this week despite the national ban on hunting coming into force tomorrow (Friday)… One hunt which will meet on Saturday is the Four Burrow, gathering at Porthluney Beach at Caerhays as usual at 11am… (story)

Frome & Somerset Standard 17.2.05 HUNTS ARE DEFIANT AS BAN COMES INTO FORCE - Hunts across Wiltshire and Somerset are defiantly preparing for their first meet after legislation forbidding hunting with hounds comes into effect tomorrow (Friday). Organisers expect a record turnout of supporters, both mounted and on foot, at meets across the two counties this weekend…. John Adderley, Avon Vale Hunt secretary, said: "There will be as large a meet as we can muster to show our strength and disgust at this abominable piece of legislation…" The Mendip Farmers Hunt will meet at Stoberry Park, north of Wells…. (story)

Frome & Somerset Standard 17.2.05 KEEP HUNT FUSS IN PROPORTION - Tomorrow (Friday) the controversial bill banning hunting with dogs comes into force. We already know that several hunts across the area plan to meet as usual on Saturday and openly defy a law which is democratically supported by the vast majority of people in this country….Nobody minds a gang of dressed-up horsemen and women gallivanting about the countryside in the healthy pursuit of fresh air and exercise. What the great majority of reasonable people - who would never dream of taking criminal action to achieve their end - object to is chasing animals for sport… (story)

Somerset Guardian 17.2.05 LAST HUNT HELD BY FARMERS - Mendip Farmers will be holding their last hunt from Shortwood Farm before new legislation about hunting with dogs comes into force today… (story)

Dunmow Broadcast 17.2.05 Last tally-ho for hunters - THE Essex Hunt was holding its last traditional meeting yesterday (Wednesday) – less than a week after trouble erupted during a weekend hunt…. (story)

Mid Wales Journal 17.2.05 Hunts determined to defy ban - Hunting groups from all over Mid Wales and the borders will be meeting as usual tomorrow (Saturday) just a day after the fox hunting ban came into force across England and Wales… At 10.30am on Saturday the Irfon and Towy Hunt will meet at the Square in Llanwrtyd Wells, and the Teme Valley Hunt will meet at the Radnorshire Arms in Beguildy at 11am. The Golden Valley Hunt will be meeting at 10.45am at the Parking Barn, Clifford, Hay-on-Wye and the Radnor and West Hereford Hunt will meet at Kington Cattle Market at 11am. The David Davies Hunt will meet at the Kennels in Llandinam at 10.30am; the Tanatside will meet at 11am at Welshpool Livestock Market and the Brecon and Talybont Hunt will meet at 10.45am at the Glanusk Estate, Crickhowell…(story)

Shropshire Journal 17.2.05 Life without hunting starts today... Life will never be the same again for south Shropshire’s hunters – with their sport now banned…. Lyndsey Hill, from the Bishop’s Castle based United Pack, said: “We are going to carry on hunting in a legal form.”…(story)

Morpeth Herald 17.2.05 Hunt carrying on but guns to be used to kill the catch - THE Morpeth Hunt meets this weekend, with 'fed up' huntsmen preparing to observe the new ban…. James Cookson, Joint Master of the Morpeth Hunt, said members plan to use the compromised method only until the ban can be overturned…. (story)

Cornishman 17.2.05 GONE TO THE DOGS - STEVE FLETCHER - The western Hunt will be meeting at Lamorna today for the very last time before the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales becomes law at midnight. But members of the hunt, who are drawn from all over West Cornwall, will be gathering with their horses, hounds and supporters at Madron on Saturday morning in protest at the ban…. (story)

Cornishman 17.2.05 HARE COURSING - With the ban on hunting with dogs coming into force at midnight tonight, Ginni Little of the Cornwall Bat Hospital in Penzance called to say that her great great uncle was the only person to ever win three years in succession the famous Waterloo Cup for hare coursing in Lancashire, which has featured prominently in the news this week…. Whatever your views on hunting and field sports, a way of life in the countryside will be no more and yet another tradition lost to our nation. It seems to me that the countryside is becoming a weekend and holiday-time playground for city folk and that real country life is being eroded …(story)

Daily Post 17.2.05 No rest for 'evil people' - By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - SHE should be gloating, but she's not. Andrew Forgrave, Rural Affairs Editor, meets Judi Hewitt, the middle-aged housewife who's become a major thorn in hunting's side… A vegan who has been showcased by veggie group Viva for her unblemished skin (she's in her mid 50s but looks a decade younger), she is currently laid low with a stomach ailment which she darkly blames on a dodgy meal prepared by a hunt-loving restaurateur. But she is determined to persevere. Judi has been a member of the League Against Cruel Sports since 1993, but it was an incident three years ago which galvanised her into a more pro-active role. While walking in the countryside near Bodfari with her husband Bob, she heard the sounds of a footpack in the distance and felt compelled to investigate. She said: "I could hear a vixen screaming for her life. I tried to intervene, but the huntsmen told me to sod off…." "It was precisely because of that incident that I formed Denbighshire Animal Rights, now North Wales Animal Rights (NoWAR)."… NoWAR's membership is largely female and urban. Among them is Jean Bennington, one of the group's most active members, handing out leaflets, attending protest vigils and manning town centre stands…
Dedication of the 'animals' padre' - REVEREND James Thompson's moment of epiphany arrived as an eight-year-old, when he watched a half-cousin anointed with fox blood as he was initiated into his local Scottish Borders hunt. From that time on he carried a torch for the animal rights movement. Now based in Holywell, he is a semi-retired Anglican vicar who is a veteran of numerous protests against live exports and animal experimentation… Rev Thompson, a member of North Wales Animal Rights, believes hunting involves the corruption of young minds…. (story)

Daily Post 17.2.05 Let us decide for ourselves By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - A WELSH Tory politician is to challenge the Assembly's Labour administration to devolve elements of the Hunting Act. If Glyn Davies is successful, hunting exemptions in Wales could be widened to allow huntsmen greater freedom to carry out pest control…. (story)

Daily Post 17.2.05 Where do we go from here? By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - ANDREW FORGRAVE, Rural Affairs Editor, the ban means to them ... and how they talks to the North Wales hunts on what plan to deal with the consequences… Eryri huntsman Dylan Davies has been told he will lose his job unless the Assembly relaxes hunting regulations in Wales…. Flint & Denbigh Hunt Joint huntmaster Rikki Proffitt said: "We've met the police to explain what we intend doing and they seem happy with that…. Snowdon Valley Hunt Hunt secretary Gareth Williams said: "Two weeks ago, we had a letter from the Forestry Commission asking us to stop hunting on their land. "As we've always had a good relationship with the Commission, I expect the committee will want to observe this request…. Plas Machynlleth Hunt Hunt secretary Nick Fenwick said: "We have been backed into a corner and so will have to stay within the law…." Llanarmon DC Foxhounds Hunt owner Vic Matthews said: "We are small pack with a low profile and most antis don't really know we exist. "We don't plan to advertise in advance what we will be doing, although I can say we will be meeting next Saturday." Anglesey Foxhounds Hunt owner Emyr Hughes said: "I'm too old to go to jail, so I'll have to find a way of hunting legally…" Sir Watkin Wiliams Wynne Hunt Huntmaster Richard Tyacke said: "We hope to raise enough money to keep things going over the next couple of years until such a time as the Hunting Act is repealed…. Aber Valley Foxhounds Hunt owner Ivor Evans said: "We have the only purebred Welsh Hounds in North Wales and we've worked too hard at developing the bloodlines to let them go…. David Davies Hunt Huntmaster Lord Davies said: "Members are being tabled with a resolution to hunt only within the confines of the Act…." Tanatside Hunt Hunt secretary Jean Gow said: "Our members unanimously voted to carry on, though we will be hunting within the law…. (story)

Staffordshire Newsletter 17.2.05 Hunting clash is due on Saturday By Pat Lees - LOCAL hunt supporters and anti-blood sports campaigners will face their first confrontation just hours after Friday’s ban on hunting with dogs comes into force. The Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt is expecting thousands of people to turn out for its Saturday meeting at Darley Moor, Ashbourne. Spokesman Peter Presssland said the riders intended to hunt within the law in a bid to "ridicule this bad legislation and expose its many flaws."… (story)

Western Gazette 17.2.05 'RURAL PEOPLE OPPOSE BAN' - A New poll conducted by MORI for the BBC shows that the majority of rural people oppose a ban on hunting, it was claimed this week. The poll of 2,234 people across the country shows that even in urban areas there is no majority support for a ban, according to pro-hunting Countryside Alliance…. (story)

icHounslow 17.2.05 Hundreds gather for last legal hunt - Hundreds of people gathered to support the last legal fox hunt by an historic pack of hounds. Drizzle swept across the Wiltshire village of Hullavington where the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt gathered. The foul weather did not deter the followers of the hunt which has been meeting in the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire area since the 17th century…. (story)

Times 17.2.05 Hunt ban in chaos over lack of guide on enforcing law BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE Government’s hunt laws were in chaos last night as it emerged that police and prosecution lawyers have received no guidance on enforcing the ban. The Times has learnt that the Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, has issued no directions on dealing with those who break the law, which comes into force at midnight… (story)
Times 17.2.05 Huge turn-out for final tally-ho within the law BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - CENTURIES of tradition will come to an end today when at least 150 of Britain’s 250 hunts ride out for the last time to chase and kill foxes legally with hounds. The Prince of Wales has engagements in London but the Beaufort hunt is expecting a large turnout and other members of the Royal Family including Prince Harry, the Princess Royal and her daughter, Zara Phillips, and even Camilla Parker Bowles, might be in the saddle. The Quorn, one of the oldest hunts, has decided to begin its day’s hunting at 9am instead of the usual 11am at Cream Gorse, a woodland near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, and ride until dusk…. (story)
Times 17.2.05 I shall gallop after Gandhi - ROGER SCRUTON - When, why and how is it right to disobey the law? A guide for hunters and other dissenters - THE HUNTING ACT is vindictive in its aim and discriminatory in its effect. It takes away liberties from law-abiding people, destroys a deeply-rooted way of life and confers no benefit on any person or animal…. (story)

Telegraph 17.2.05 Hunts ban passes the last hurdle as appeal dismissed By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor - The Government's ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales will go ahead at midnight after the Court of Appeal dismissed a claim by the Countryside Alliance yesterday that the Hunting Act 2004 was not a valid Act of Parliament…. (story)
Telegraph 17.2.05 Tomorrow hunting is banned: this injustice cannot endure By Charles Moore - Tomorrow, hunting will be banned in England and Wales. This is not the moment to enter, yet again, the arguments that have raged since Labour first started the process in 1997. It is a moment to consider what we are losing. What we are not losing is cruelty to animals. The central untruth of the antis, repeated incessantly, is that the fox "is torn apart alive". It is torn apart dead. The quarry – fox, hare, deer, mink – often escapes, but is virtually never wounded…. I do not believe that this patent injustice can endure, though it may take five years to put right. Freedom cannot so easily be destroyed, though today its sound is faint, like that of a distant horn. (story)
Telegraph 17.2.05 Police to keep the peace, prosecute later By John Steele, Home Affairs Correspondent - Preventing conflict between "triumphant or frustrated" opponents and supporters of hunting will be the police priority after the Hunting Bill is enacted, forces have been told. Guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers to 43 forces in England and Wales make clear that ensuring public safety should come before dealing with those who break the new Act…. >(story)
Telegraph 17.2.05 Why widespread doubts remain over effectiveness of legislation By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - The last day of legal hunting which dawns today in England and Wales represents the end of a seven-year process since Labour swept to power in 1997 with a manifesto pledge to hold a free vote on the sport's future. Widespread doubt remains, though, whether in passing the Hunting Act, which takes effect tomorrow, Parliament has "resolved" the issue of hunting, as Labour promised in its 2001 manifesto. As one foxhunt, the Essex and Suffolk, plans to practice its sport in the French Pyrenees, some 260 hunts and around 500,000 people, are expected to continue some form of hunting on Saturday…. (story)

Guardian 17.2.05 Proceed with caution - Leader - Few pragmatists will criticise Lord Woolf and his court of appeal colleagues for dismissing the Countryside Alliance's last ditch legal challenge to the Hunting Act yesterday. The alliance's case was a procedural challenge, not a substantive one. A finding in the alliance's favour - which would have invalidated the 1949 Parliament Act - would have triggered an unnecessary and mischievous crisis between the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The court was right both in law and in common sense to rule against the alliance…. We do not think that hunt supporters should break the new law, but nor do we think that opponents or the authorities should seek confrontations either. The police, frankly, have better things to do with their time…. (story)
Guardian 17.2.05 A long day in the saddle on the eve of illegality - Supporters prepare to jump hurdles and explore loopholes - Owen Bowcott - The last occasion when it will be legal to kill foxes with a full pack of hounds dawns today. From midnight, the hunters will have become the quarry…. One of those who has been enjoying a last opportunity to follow a traditional hunt this week is Prince Charles. He joined the Meynell and South Staffordshire hunt on Tuesday. But Buckingham Palace said he had no plans to go out again before the ban came into force… (story)
Guardian 17.2.05 Lost appeal puts hunt war back in the field - Judges reject 'unprecedented' challenge to banning act - Clare Dyer, legal correspondent - Hunt supporters vowed yesterday to exploit loopholes in the ban on hunting with dogs after losing a challenge to the ban in the court of appeal…. (story)

Independent 17.2.05 Campaigners and hunters prepare to renew hostilities By Jonathan Brown and Alastair O'Dell - The countryside is braced for confrontation this weekend after an appeal to save hunting with dogs was rejected by Britain's most senior judges. Anti-blood sports campaigners were jubilant as, after eight years of political and legal wrangling, fox, hare and deer hunting using hounds was due to become illegal from midnight tonight. But with doubts over how the law will be implemented, the Government's most senior legal adviser was warned by the Lord Chief Justice yesterday not to "hide behind the courts" and to take responsibility for enforcing the Hunting Act…. (story)
Independent 17.2.05 New law is not only a disgraceful misuse of the legal system, it is bad for the hare - After watching the last Waterloo Cup in Britain, Bruce Anderson is convinced the Government's move to kill off the tradition is an absurdity - Nasser Ahmed should be an ideal candidate for a New Labour honours list. Forty two, the son of immigrants, he has built up a private hire business and is a respected figure in his own locality. He has also made an important contribution to the environment and to sport. His sport is not a fashionable one… Instead of honouring him, New Labour is about to suppress his sport. Nasser Ahmed is a hare courser. This week, his greyhound Undergraduate reached the semi-final of the Waterloo Cup…. After spending a couple of days with the coursers, I would defy anyone to produce a more attractive cross-section of British society. These are people who love their dogs and understand nature. They could not be described as absolutely classless; there were not enough members of the urban middle classes…. But townies would have benefited from an excursion to the Cup; they would have acquired new and valuable information about their own country. Unlike many of the hares which it has protected, the Waterloo Cup will survive, albeit in exile. But banning it is a disgraceful misuse of our legal system. (story)
Independent 17.2.05 The huntsman: 'More foxes will end up being killed with this law' - Graeme Worsley, 39, joint master Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, and M25 landscape manager. Plans to meet at Warren Barn Farm, Woldingham, Surrey, on Saturday. "I expect it to be the biggest meet of the year. We usually have around 80 horses and riders but this weekend we are hoping to have around 400 horses and 2,000 supporters on foot. We want to show the Government how ridiculous the law is and how wrong they are…. (story)
Independent 17.2.05 The anti-hunt protester: 'We will follow riders with binoculars and cameras' - Jane Evans, 36, environmental scientist and volunteer with League Against Cruel Sports. Plans to monitor activity at hunts in the Midlands this weekend - "I'll be out at a number of hunts in the Midlands monitoring what they are doing and reporting any illegal activity to police…. Unfortunately, shooting foxes and dragging their bodies to cast a scent will still be legal. It is a shame that people have to take such extreme measures to get their entertainment…" (story)
Independent 17.2.05 Animal activists: the next target - The hunting ban is finally coming into force. But don't think that the saboteurs are laying down their banners and going back to their day jobs. Rich Cookson asks the animal activists what they're going to fight for now… Hunt saboteurs have been disrupting game shoots since 1978 - and anti-angling campaigners have reportedly disrupted fishing by putting on waterproof gear and jumping in to scare off the fish. But now that hunting is certain to be outlawed, where will those who've fought successfully for the ban set their sights? George (not his real name), 35, has dedicated 20 years of his life to campaigning against hunting… "I'll keep on looking at hunting with dogs for at least another year," he says. "What happens next depends on how law-abiding the hunters are. If they are flouting the law day in, day out, I'll have no option but to keep on doing what I'm currently doing…." Another campaigner, who has worked undercover and who also asked not to be named, says commercial game shooting is likely to be the next big target…. The LACS has already turned its attention to shooting. "Our work with hunting is now over. We'll be monitoring the ban for a while, but we are also looking at commercial game shooting," says a spokesperson…. AnimalAid, too, has an anti-racing campaign. "We are trying alert the public to the fact that hundreds of horses die each year in racing or training," says Tyler…. (story)

BBC News Online 17.2.05 Hunts promise to stay in the law - Police in Dorset say local hunts have vowed to abide by new legislation outlawing hunting with dogs…. (story)
BBC News Online 17.2.05 Final legal hunts to take place - Kent fox hunters will hold their last hunt on Thursday before the activity becomes illegal in its present form… The East Kent Hunt, based in Elham, will hold its last pre-ban hunt on Thursday but has already said it plans to meet on Saturday…. (story)
BBC News Online 17.2.05 Final hunts expected ahead of ban - Most hunts in England and Wales are expected to be out later - on the last day that hunting with dogs is legal…. (story)
BBC News Online 17.2.05 Hunting ban scrutinised in papers… (story)

Western Mail 17.2.05 Scene set for countryside conflict - THREE senior judges set the scene yesterday for confrontation in the countryside after they rejected an Appeal Court bid by the Countryside Alliance to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs…. The Alliance brought the action in the names of three of members - chairman John Jackson, Bicester Hunt member Patrick Martin and Mair Hughes from Gilfach Goch, whose husband Brian is a farrier and joint Master of the Llangeinor Hunt. The hunt is expecting a huge turn-out when it meets at Heol-y-Cyw near Bridgend on Saturday…. (story)

Express 17.2.05 - The last ever legal hunts will go ahead as countryside campaigners vowed to continue their 300-year old tradition after the ban takes effect. The Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, which dates back to the 17th Century, and The Bilsdale Hunt, in Ravensthorpe Manor, Boltby, near Thirsk, North Yorks, will be among Britain's last legal hunting meetings…. (story)

Yahoo! 17.2.05 Final hunts expected ahead of ban By Victoria Cutler - LONDON (Reuters) - The last legal fox hunts in England and Wales go ahead today before a controversial ban on the ancient pursuit comes into force on Friday. Pro-hunt campaigners lost a legal appeal on Wednesday that was their last chance to stop a ban on hunting with dogs -- but many enthusiasts have vowed to carry on with their sport regardless of the law…. (story)

Scotsman 17.2.05 Beaufort Meets for Its Last Legal Fox Hunt By Simon Evans, PA - The Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, which dates back to the 17th Century, is meeting for its last legal fox hunt today…. (story)

Washington Post 17.2.05 English fox hunts about to become history - Years of stormy debate finally results in ban - By Frances Stead Sellers - KIRBY KNOWLE, Yorkshire - As a pale wintry sun dropped toward the moors, Harry Stephenson -- grandson of a Gypsy and huntsman of England's oldest fox hunt -- pulled up his gray mare, put his horn to his lips and repeatedly blew two sonorous notes into the afternoon chill. For the eight of us who had followed the hunt on horseback since morning, the call was a poignant indication that the time had come to call it a day; for Stephenson's pack, it was a routine signal to gather around him. And while the black-and-tan called Mayday briefly broke away in pursuit of a fresh scent, the other 28 hounds of the Bilsdale Hunt loped, tongues lolling, after their pensive huntsman, oblivious to the fact that today was one of the last times they would legally chase a fox across England's green and pleasant land…. (story) and (story)

Yorkshire Post 17.2.05 HUNTS WILL RIDE OUT DESPITE BAN AS LEGAL CHALLENGE IS REJECTED - William Green - Political Correspondent - THOUSANDS of hunt supporters are set to defy the ban after a panel of senior judges yesterday rejected a legal attempt to overturn it. Hundreds of packs of fox hounds, hare hounds, deer hounds and other hunts and clubs are planning to meet on Saturday, the day after the ban comes into force….
TEARS AS HARE-COURSING FESTIVAL CLOSES - The last hare-coursing event before the sport is made illegal finished yesterday amid emotional scenes. The Waterloo Cup, which has taken place since 1836, was won by Shashi, a black greyhound which caught his hare. Nine hares died in 80 slips over the three-day event…. (story)

Irish Independent 17.2.05 Hunt groups vow mass defiance of new ban as appeal fails - PRO and anti-hunting groups in Britain are braced for bitter confrontation this weekend after a last-ditch appeal to save hunting with dogs was rejected by the country's most senior judges…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 17.2.05 FAREWELL TO THE HUNT - Hunting with dogs will be outlawed when the controversial Hunting Act comes into force at midnight. As the last traditional hunts are held across the region, countryside report David Taylor looks at the impact of the ban… there will be feelings of great sadness, and maybe the odd tear will be shed, when the Holderness Hunt kennels its foxhounds tonight…. Senior master William Bethell, whose family have been associated with the hunt from its start, said: "It is going to be grim but we will continue within the law…. The Holderness Hunt is based at Etton, near Beverley, where packs of hounds from the Hunsley Beacon Beagles and East Lincs Hare Hounds, are also kenneled. The masters have decided to keep the hunt going, including retaining their five staff until May, 2006, when the situation will be reviewed. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 17.2.05 SADNESS AS HORNS SOUND FOR THE FINAL HUNTS - East Yorks: Fox hunters in East Yorkshire were today crying tally-ho for the last time on the eve of the controversial ban on hunting with dogs. Members of the Holderness Hunt were expecting a huge turnout of supporters for their last proper fox hunt before the ban kicks in at midnight tonight. It will be the last hunt involving foxes but the three packs of hounds, Holderness and the Middleton, which hunt foxes, and Hunsley Beacon Beagles hare hunters, are meeting on Saturday… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 17.2.05 CAMPAIGNERS ON WATCH FOR 'ILLEGAL ACTIVITY' - Huntsmen will run the gauntlet of anti-hunt campaigners keen to catch law-breakers from tomorrow. Trained members of the League Against Cruel Sports will be visiting hunts to spot illegal activity. Video evidence of hunts breaking the law will be passed to police with a view to them being prosecuted. League monitors will be attending East Yorkshire's two fox hunts, the Holderness and the Middleton, and the Hunsley Beacon Beagles hare hunt. The League's Declan McVeigh said: "We will be out to make sure hunts comply with the new laws…." (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 17.2.05 HUNT IS SET TO RIDE OUT - LEGALLY - Members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire hunt will meet in Derbyshire this weekend, despite hunting with dogs becoming illegal from tomorrow. But the hunt says it will not be breaking the law under The Hunting Act, as it will not allow any of its hounds to hunt foxes or other mammals… (story)

Western Daily Press 17.2.05 NO LAST CHANCES - Hunting with dogs will become illegal from midnight tonight after the Countryside Alliance lost its last-ditch appeal against the ban yesterday. And hunt campaigners received a double blow yesterday when an 11th-hour bid to delay the ban until their final appeal is heard was also rejected…. CHIEF Inspector Nick Ashley, from Wiltshire police, said: "We have a duty to enforce the law where breaches are apparent, however, the prevention of disorder and minimising harm to individuals are our primary responsibilities…. Last night Capt Ian Farquhar, the master of the Beaufort Hunt in the Cotswolds, said: "The feeling is a mixture of anger, defiance and incredible disappointment out in the countryside. A lot of people who've been living this life for years still can't really believe that for the wrong reasons, their entire way of life is being jeopardised. It doesn't make sense." (story)
Western Daily Press 17.2.05 DAILY PRESS BRIEFING - What will happen on Saturday? About 500,000 people are expected to turn out to support local hunts, but hunt chiefs maintain they will be hunting within the law - either chasing rats or rabbits or following an artificially laid scent. Didn't they all say in October 2004 they would defy the ban? Yes, but hunts have realised that open defiance could spell the end for them. The Hunting Act means that hunt organisations could be prosecuted collectively, and they will no longer be able to get insurance. Now no hunt is publicly saying it will defy the ban - all say they will drag hunt temporarily…. (story)

Scotsman 17.2.05 Former Sports Minster to Give Pre-Hunt Speech By Simon Evans and Alison Purdy, PA - Former Labour Minister Kate Hoey is to deliver a speech before the first meeting of the Beaufort Hunt following the ban on hunting with hounds which comes into force at midnight tonight, she confirmed today. Ms Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, who is a keen supporter of foxhunting and voted against the ban in parliament, said she did not know what she would say at this stage but would be speaking in support of hunting with hounds…. (story)

Scotsman 17.2.05 Hunt Supporters Review Options as Ban Starts By Alison Purdy, PA - When hunts meet for the first time this weekend after the ban on hunting with hounds comes into force they will have a number of options available to them…. (story)

Scotsman 17.2.05 England's 'Oldest' Hunt Will Keep Going Say Defiant Members By Bolaji Babafemi, PA - Members of the Bilsdale Hunt, arguably the oldest in England, gathered for its last legal fox chase with hounds in North Yorkshire today. More than 40 mounted members of the Bilsdale, founded in 1658 by the Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers, rode out from Ravensthorpe Manor, Felixkirk, near Thirsk for its final legal fox-hunt…. (story)

BBC News Online 17.2.05 Final hunts held as ban looms - Hunts in England and Wales have been out to mark the last day that hunting with dogs is legal…. Among the hunts out on Thursday was the East Kent hunt, which saw about 50 horses and 100 local supporters gathered on farmland near Ashford… (story)

BBC News Online 17.2.05 Brick thrown through MP's window - A brick attack on the offices of a Northumberland MP, with a note attached warning of a pro-hunt protest, has been dismissed as the actions of a crank. The brick, with a makeshift leaflet wrapped around it, was thrown through the window of Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell's constituency office… (story)

BBC News Online 17.2.05 Hound hunts ride out before ban - Hunts across the South West have been riding out on their last meet before hunting with hounds becomes illegal. For many, it was a highly emotional day on Thursday, and hunters plan to take part in legal activities allowed under the Hunting Act…. One horsewoman of the South Devon Fox Hounds, who did not want to be named, said just before setting off on Dartmoor: "My feelings are that the tears are very, very close…." (story)

Kent Messenger 17.2.05 Final day of legal fox hunts - HUNTS in Kent will be policed under new guidelines as the Hunting Act 2004 comes into force this Friday. The guidelines issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers will be followed, assistant chief constable David Ainsworth has vowed…. The Wye Beagles will meet at The Kings Head Hotel, in Wye, near Ashford, at midday on Saturday. Spokesman Jane McLennan said: "Please come along to support your local hunt in their fight against the hunting ban. The Wye Beagles, which is Kent's student and young persons pack of hounds, will continue after the ban comes into force and will meet and operate within the new law to ridicule this bad legislation and expose its many flaws…." (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 17.2.05 HUNTS WILL 'EXERCISE' THEIR DOGS - Fox-hunts in Notts were licking their wounds today after the Court of Appeal threw out a legal bid to save their sport. The Countryside Alliance is mounting a series of challenges to a ban on hunting, forced into law last year using the 1949 Parliament Act despite opposition in the House of Lords… And despite the hunting ban coming into force from midnight today, the South Notts Hunt planned to turn out on Saturday along with others across the country. But they will not technically break the law because members will not chase and kill a fox…. (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 17.2.05 HUNT MEMBERS ADJUST TO CHANGES - Grove and Rufford Hunt have spelled out the future of local hunting as the ban on the activity is on the horizon. The hunt met at Sturton-le-Steeple village hall last week to approve changes to its constitution. 180 members were present and a statement of intent and guidance has been issued….(story)

Leicester Mercury 17.2.05 OPPONENTS ALERT FOR BREACH OF HUNT BAN BY TIM SMITH - Anti-hunt campaigners say they will inform the police if anyone breaks the ban on Saturday. Thousands of people are expected to show their defiance to the Hunting Act by holding a series of demonstrations across Leicestershire the day after the ban comes into force… The protests on Saturday include a rally organised by Atherstone Hunt, which is expecting about 5,000 people at its meet at Bosworth Water Park…. The Fernie will meet at its kennels in Great Bowden, where at least 1,000 people are expected to show support. In Melton, streets will be closed while the Cottesmore, Belvoir, Quorn and Oakley Foot Beagle hunts stage a combined procession through the town centre. Protests are also scheduled by North Warwickshire Beagles at Walkers Farm, Odstone, and by Westerby Bassets in Laughton…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 17.2.05 Hunting ban is set to have its first test By Liz Hands, The Journal - The new law on hunting with dogs will be tested for the first time this weekend after the Countryside Alliance lost its renewed attempt to overturn the ban in the Court of Appeal yesterday… Last night Michael Jeans, hunt master at Morpeth, which is meeting at Meldon Park on Saturday, said: "I'm disappointed, but not surprised at the Court of Appeal decision. But we are not in the mood for giving up…." A long-serving North magistrate yesterday said he would refuse to sit if any hunters were brought before him charged with breaking the new law. Michael Loyd, from Threepwood, near Haydon Bridge, a magistrate at Hexham for 20 years, had feared he might have to resign if a ban were brought in. But yesterday, the farmer, a member of the Haydon Hunt, said: "I can't see a problem with the situation as it stands…." Police chiefs last night admitted they would not be able to stop illegal hunts taking place… (story)
Newcastle Journal 17.2.05 The Journal: Today's Voice of the North - A law almost impossible to enforce - Decisions which are made in haste have a habit of allowing you to repent at leisure. And one cannot help but think that The Hunting Act, which outlaws fox-hunting, deer-hunting and hare-coursing with dogs, and comes into force tomorrow will fall into that category…. As it stands, the law is so full of loopholes and grey areas that it will be practically impossible to enforce in all but the most flagrant of breaches. Add to that the increasing number of police forces who admit they simply do not have the resources to stop illegal hunts taking place, and your have a real mess…. But this is what happens when a Prime Minister throws an issue like hunting to his backbenchers in exchange for him being allowed to pursue his equally contentious goals in the Middle East. (story)

Bath Chronicle 17.2.05 POLICE ON STANDBY FOR HUNT BAN BY LUCY RUTHERFORD - Specialist officers from the Avon and Somerset Constabulary are being lined up to deal with any breaches of the Government's new hunting ban…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 17.2.05 Hunters fight on as ban comes into force By Chris Story - DEFIANT Cumbrian hunt supporters yesterday refused to concede defeat despite failing to overturn a ban starting in 24 hours…. Cumberland Foxhounds spokesman Adrian Francis said: “There is obviously some disappointment, but one has got to remember it ain’t over until the fat lady sings – and she ain’t even got her clothes on yet…." (story)
Cumberland News & Star 17.2.05 Magistrate resigns in disgust - By Jen Andrews - A CUMBRIAN magistrate has resigned because he is refusing to enforce the hunting ban. Myles Walker, 66, from near Ivegill, said he could not enforce the ban, which becomes law tomorrow, because he was so strongly opposed to it….(story)

Bolton Evening News 17.2.05 Thrill of the chase ends - THE final horn sounded on Wednesday for the hunters who ride with the traditional 700-year-old Holcombe Hunt. Sixty riders from around Bolton and the North-west turned out for their last traditional legal hunt…. (story in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 17.2.05 HUNDREDS AT FINAL 'PROPER' HUNTING - More than 300 spectators and 80 people on horseback today turned out for the last "proper" Ledbury Hunt after 239 years. The hunt met at Corse Lawn Hotel, near Redmarley, before riding out for the last time in its present form. Elsewhere, Gloucestershire's Berkeley and Beaufort hunts also attracted large crowds when they met for the final time before a new ban comes into effect at midnight….(story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 17.2.05 'ONLY DUSK BRINGS US PEACE OF MIND' - Dave and GILL PURSER own a 120-acre mixed farm - cattle, sheep, horses and poultry - near Bourton-on-the-Water. They are co-founders of the Cotswold Support Group for the Abolition of Hunting, formed in 1997. Here is their anti-hunt diary... (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 17.2.05 HUNTS OUT ON LAST DAY BEFORE BAN - County huntspeople are expected to be out in force today as they count down to tonight's historic ban…. In Gloucestershire, the Beaufort, Berkeley and Ledbury hunts were all due to be releasing the hounds this morning. Supporters view the ban as a direct attack on their way of life from urban dwellers…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 17.2.05 HOW WILL OFFICERS ENFORCE THE ACT? - With the hunting ban due to come into effect tomorrow, how are Gloucestershire Police proposing to enforce the Hunting Act 2004? All reports of illegal hunting activity will be taken seriously by the Gloucestershire Constabulary and we will respond to those reports accordingly… (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 17.2.05 'WE'RE TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY' - Gloucestershire Police have said they will deal "seriously" with anyone breaking the new hunting laws. The constabulary has said each report of illegal hunting will be investigated. This comes following a statement by the Association of Chief Police Officers that nationally they are giving the ban a low priority….(story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 17.2.05 CAMPAIGN HEADS FOR THE LORDS - County hunt supporters have said that all is not lost despite the failure of their legal challenge in the Court of Appeal. The ban will now go ahead as scheduled from midnight tonight, but the Countryside Alliance has said it intends to take its fight to the House of Lords…. Master of the Berkeley Hunt Henry Berkeley said: "The judge said we have a very good case that needs deciding by the House of Lords. There's a lot of mileage in both legal cases."… (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 17.2.05 Hunters gather for last legal outings - THE last legal fox hunts in England were going ahead today as countryside campaigners vowed to continue their 300-year-old tradition after the ban takes effect at midnight tonight. The Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, which dates back to the 17th Century, and The Bilsdale Hunt, in Ravensthorpe Manor, near Thirsk in North Yorkshire, will be among Britain’s last legal hunting meetings…. (story)

Worcester Evening News 17.2.05 Jobs cut hunt plan to ride out in defiance - NEWS that jobs in rural Worcestershire are to be lost was confirmed as top judges yesterday rejected a Countryside Alliance appeal to overturn the fox-hunting ban…. Yesterday's decision came as no surprise to hunt members. They joined hunts across the country for a final legal meet this morning. "We had to make plans for the worst scenario anyway, so they are still in place," said the Master of Albrighton Woodland Hunt, Peter Swann. "We have had to scale down operations for next season. There will be two redundancies and we will also lose three of the horses."…. In defiance of the latest decision, the Albrighton Hunt, based near Kidderminster, met in Staffordshire yesterday, and will meet again on Saturday - a day after the Hunting Act has come into force - at the Fox Inn, in Stourton, near Stourbridge…. (story in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 17.2.05 HUNT TO TEST OUT 'GERMAN' METHODS TO CATCH FOXES - RON CANT - Huntsmen are preparing to saddle up this weekend despite the start of the controversial ban on their 'sport'…. Organisers of the Banwen hunt in Neath say they will hunt within the law, but other hunts are considering their position…. The Carmarthenshire Hunt meets at the Fox and Hounds, Bancyfelin, on Saturday at 11am, and will try out German ways of hunting. Hunt master Linda Parker, from St Clears, visited the Sauerland Hunt in Germany where hounds are trained to scent and hunt the hoof prints of a horse. Carmarthenshire hounds have also been sent to Germany to be trained in this type of hunting, which was introduced when Adolf Hitler banned the practice…. Cwrt-y-Cadno Farmers Hunt met on Tuesday to discuss whether or not to flout the hunting ban… Llandeilo Farmers Hunt will meet at 11am on Saturday at the White Hart…. (story)
South Wales Evening Post 17.2.05 TALLY HO, HERE YOU GO - The following hunts are taking place on Saturday: Carmarthenshire, Cwrt y Cadno Farmers, Llandeilo Farmers, Llanwnen Farmers, Vale of Clettwr, Banwen Miners… (story)

North East Evening Gazette 17.2.05 The last ride - Naomi Paylor, Evening Gazette - Huntsmen have gathered for the last legal hunt in Sedgefield days ahead of a national ban coming into force. The South Durham hunt gathered at the village green yesterday and chatted with supporters before heading off to the fields… Today, the last legal hunt meetings were going ahead. Among them was the Bilsdale Hunt, meeting in Ravensthorpe Manor, Boltby, near Thirsk… The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said that farmers and landowners can still allow a hunt to enter their land for legal activities… The CLA's public law adviser, solicitor Christopher Price. said: "The important issue is for the landowner to be able to make it clear to the police that they only gave permission for legal activities …" (story)

Politics.co.uk 17.2.05 Country gears up for hunting ban - oliticians, pro-hunt groups and the anti-hunting lobby are gearing up for the start of the ban on hunting with dogs….(story)

Eastern Daily Press 17.2.05 End to the hunt ... but what now? - After decades of argument, the controversial ban on hunting was coming into force at midnight hours after the county's final few hunts passed off without incident…. (story)

Cheddar Valley Gazette 17.2.05 CONCERNS FROM POLICE ON HUNT BAN - Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that Avon and Somerset Constabulary are concerned about the attitude of some of their officers to a ban on hunting with dogs. Devon and Cornwall police released documents of a meeting held between themselves and Avon and Somerset police last November in which Avon and Somerset officers stated that: "Sensitivity will be needed as we are not secure as an organisation, eg police officers are involved in hunts."…. (story)

Country Life 17.2.05 Thousands Gather for Last Legal Hunt - As hunts gather across the country for the last time before the ban comes into force, confusion still looms over how those breaking the law will be dealt with. By Jeremy Lott…(story)

Cambridge Evening News 17.2.05 Hunters ride out in final show of defiance - HUNDREDS of defiant hunters rode out this afternoon just hours before a Government ban came into force. The mood was tinged with sadness as 300 people gathered as part of the Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace's last legal hunt… (story)

Shropshire Star 17.2.05 Hunts gather for the last time BY CHRISTY TUER - Hunts across Shropshire and Mid Wales rode out today for one last meet before the 300-year-old rural tradition is officially banned…. The North Shropshire Hunt met in Lee Brockhurst, near Shrewsbury, where joint master Ann Carding said there were mixed feelings for the 400 people who attended. More than 100 people turned out in Lapley to support the Albrighton Hunt…. In Mid Wales, Captain Tim Bell, chairman of the Tanatside Hunt, hosted the last last full meet this morning…. (story)

Western Morning News 17.2.05 HUNTING WITH DOGS WILL BE A CRIME - The Government will attempt to sweep away centuries of rural tradition at midnight tonight, as hunting with dogs becomes a crime… (story)
Western Morning News 17.2.05 END OF AN ERA AS THE HOUNDS FALL SILENT - Hunting meets are normally noisy affairs. Hounds yelp, horses whinny, and there is the cheerful hum of conversation issuing from the country folk who've mustered in the hills. But you could have heard a pin drop on lonely Knowlestone Moor yesterday as the chairman of the Tiverton Staghounds stepped forward to address the huge crowd…. (story)
Western Morning News 17.2.05 POLICE TO TAKE 'BALANCED' POLICY ON UPHOLDING BAN - The Assistant Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police has insisted the force will take a "balanced and reasonable" policy towards upholding the ban on hunting. Speaking as a press conference at police headquarters in Middlemoor, Exeter, yesterday, Richard Stowe said the force was aware the ban was a "sensitive issue", and also warned of a "bedding in" period for officers upholding the law…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express 17.2.05 HUNT BAN CHALLENGE FOR POLICE BY ALLAN TUDOR - Policing the new hunting ban will be challenging, say Devon and Cornwall police. But the force says it will not derail its key priorities. It says the response to the ban on hunting with dogs, which comes into force tomorrow, will be "proportionate, necessary and legal"…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 17.2.05 COULD IT BE THE LAST TALLY-HO? by Chris Yandell - WE'LL ride on! That was the message from bloodsport enthusiasts today as they staged what could be the last fox-hunt ever held in the New Forest…. The New Forest Hounds (NFH) plan to continue turning out while attempts are made to overturn the ban, but members say they will obey the new law by calling off the hounds if they chase a fox… (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 17.2.05 Preparing for life after hunting by Chris Yandell and Vicki Green-Steel - FOR more than 300 years it has been an integral part of rural life across Hampshire. Pink-coated horse riders have assembled on village greens and set off in pursuit of what some say is the countryside's biggest pest - the fox…. Hampshire hunts have vowed to comply with the Act in the hope that it will be overturned or repealed. Hursley and Hambledon Hunt supporter Victoria Cobden told the Daily Echo: "We won't be flouting the legislation, even though we don't agree with it…. The New Forest Hounds (NFH) are also planning to comply with the legislation…. Luke Axel-Berg, a spokesman for the Ropley-based Hampshire Hunt, said: "We will hunt within the law on Saturday at Moundsmere Manor, Preston Candover…." (story in archive)

Manchester Evening News 17.2.05 Tally ho for last hunt - Ian Craig - THE hounds barked, the bugle-horns sounded as with a clatter of hooves and shouts of "tally ho," red-coated riders, many with tears in their eyes, rode off on the last hunts today…. The Cheshire hunt gathered at Cholmondeley Castle, near Malpas. In Lancashire, the bugle sounded at the stroke of midday as riders and hunt followers toasted the Holcombe Hunt with a drop of brandy or port…. Some 200 riders and another 200 foot followers were expected to meet in Hullavington, Wiltshire, for the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt…. (story)

Northern Echo 17.2.05 Final hunts held as bans loom - Hunts in the North-East have been out to mark the last day that hunting with dogs is legal. With the ban due to come into force at midnight tonight many riders were defiant and vowed their activities had only been "suspended temporarily"…. (story in archive)
Northern Echo 17.2.05 Huntsman's horn blows the last time - A controversial ban on hunting with dogs will come into force tomorrow after the failure of a last-minute legal challenge. Catherine Jewitt visited the South Durham Hunt on a day that could mark the end of a countryside tradition…. (story in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 17.2.05 HAS THE SUN SET ON FOX HUNTING? - Devon hunt supporters will be out in force this weekend - a day after the new law on hunting comes into action…. Andrew Knox, Master of the Silverton Hunt, confirmed it would meet this Saturday at 11am - just 35 hours after the ban takes effect. He said: "People who hunt are generally law-abiding citizens and we will continue to follow the law…" His views were shared by East Devon Hunt joint master Michael Moore… Tiverton Staghounds are also expecting lots of support when they meet on Saturday morning… Eggesford hunt secretary Betty Boundy said they would also meet as usual on Saturday… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 17.2.05 PUBLIC ENCOURAGED TO SHOP ANY ILLEGAL HUNTS TO THE POLICE - Police have urged people to inform them of illegal hunting to help enforce the new law. Scores of hunts across Devon have pledged to defy the Hunting Act, which comes into force on Friday. Devon and Cornwall police assistant chief constable Richard Stowe yesterday called on people to tip them off if they believed an illegal hunt was taking place…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 17.2.05 BEMUSED HUNTER IS TURNING INTO THE HUNTED - Hunting, says Bob Street, has survived two world wars and he hopes it will survive this latest setback…. "My dad followed the hounds on foot," said Bob. "As soon as I was big enough to walk, I went with him. It was great fun. During my childhood I spent Saturdays and a few days during the week with the terrier man for Chiddingfield and Leconfield Hunt…." After leaving school, Bob worked on a small holding, all the time waiting for an opening into a hunt. Ten months later he become a full-time whipper-in with the Bucks Otter Hounds…. His next move was to the Puckeridge Hunt in Hertfordshire, where he spent one season. He rode 'second horse' - if the huntsman's horse got tired they swapped mounts…. "Then I came to Tiverton Foxhounds and was kennel huntsman to Martin Scott for five seasons. When he left, I became huntsman for the next 10 seasons." More moves followed before Bob finally arrived at Silverton Foxhounds. When he retires, he would have spent 12 seasons with the group…. (story)

North Devon Journal 17.2.05 LAST CHASE FOR THE HUNTSMEN - History will be made today when hunts across North Devon, Torridge and Exmoor legally chase live quarry for the final time. Scores of huntsmen, hounds and supporters will be out ahead of the ban which becomes law tomorrow… Torrington Farmers' Hunt chairman Tod Marshman anticipated a "party mood" today when the hunt sets off at 11am from St Giles in the Wood… (story)

Tamworth Herald 17.2.05 HUNT TO DEFY BAN FOR MEET - TRACY ROBBINS - Members of Atherstone's historic hunt will meet on Saturday - in spite of the ban on hunting which comes into effect tomorrow, February 18. The group, formed in 1812, is determined to 'continue hunting until this temporary ban is overturned', said chairman Angela James… (story)

Post & Times 17.2.05 HUNT PLANS COUNTRY RIDE - Horses and hounds will be out in force near Uttoxeter only 24 hours after the Government's ban on foxhunting with dogs is outlawed. And more than 100 members of the exclusive Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, many from Uttoxeter, claim they will be breaking no laws and hunting no foxes when they meet on Saturday. They say they will merely be holding a 'country ride and hound exercising day' and have no intention of hunting anything…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 17.2.05 ALL SET FOR LAST LEGAL FOXHUNT - PETER CRAIG - The death knell has sounded for hunting foxes with hounds in Lincolnshire. Today, on the eve of the official ban of the sport, dozens of riders set off from Scamblesby Hall, near Louth, on the last foxhunt by members of the South Wold Hunt. Fellow hunters of the Brocklesby Hunt will stage a protest meeting at Brocklesby House on Saturday from noon, hosted by the Earl of Yarborough, in a bid to overturn the law which ends the centuries-old tradition of foxhunting…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 17.2.05 DEFIANT OR DEFEATED? - Hunt supporters have vowed to fight on to protect their sport despite the failure of their appeal against a ban. Three judges dismissed a legal bid to overturn the hunting ban yesterday…. Julie Barker, a stud groom with the Burton Hunt, near Lincoln, said she was contemplating a bleak future. "I'm very angry. We have lost again and we are starting to feel a little despondent," she said…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 17.2.05 WHAT THE LAW WILL MEAN - The Hunting Act 2004 will make the hunting with dogs of all wild mammals an offence. This is apart from some specific exemptions such as ratting and activities like stalking and flushing out with no more than two dogs in limited circumstances, or the use of a dog below ground to protect game birds…. (story)

Denbighshire Free Press 17.2.05 HUNT FOLK GO INTO THE UNKNOWN - Hunt gathers for the final time before ban - FOLLOWERS of the Flint and Denbigh hunt have gathered for the last time before the ban comes into force tomorrow. A Pony Club meet held on Tuesday at Cefn Meiriadog attracted around 30 youngsters and a total of 63 riders…. (story)

York Evening Press 17.2.05 Going, gone by Victoria Young - WAS this the end for more than 240 years of British country tradition? Members of one of the country's oldest hunts rode out over the North Yorkshire countryside for their last full legal meet yesterday. Forty mounted members of the Middleton Hunt, which dates back to 1764, gathered on a glorious, crisp February morning at Foulrice Farm, Marton Lordship, at Marton-on-the-Forest…. (story in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 17.2.05 WE WILL UPHOLD NEW HUNT LAW BY CHRIS ALLEN C.ALLEN - Police have made it clear they will uphold the new law banning hunting with hounds, which comes into effect tomorrow. Officers today warned that breaches of the controversial legislation will be treated like any other criminal offence. Specialist wildlife crime officers will be sent to investigate all allegations and extra police may also be brought in to break up illegal hunts…. (story)

Hartlepool Mail 17.2.05 Fox hunters meet for the last time - THE end of an era finally arrived for foxhunters when they rode out on what could be their last meet. It was an emotional day for the South Durham Hunt as they set off yesterday morning in pursuit of a fox which lives near the Prime Minister Tony Blair's home in Trimdon Colliery…. (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 17.2.05 The end - From tomorrow, the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales becomes a criminal offence. The Chronicle & Echo followed one of the last legal fox hunts in the country to find out what the future holds... The Pytchley Hunt, which has been meeting for hundreds of years, assembled at Cottesbrooke Hall yesterday for its final hunt with the foxhounds before tomorrow's ban comes into force…. (story)

Daily Post 17.2.05 We'll ignore the ban on hunting By Stephen Howard, Daily Post - THE hunting fraternity face a head-on clash with the police this weekend after it emerged many will ignore the Hunting Act. Up to half a million supporters of hunting with dogs are expected to defy the ban after the Court of Appeal yesterday rejected a challenge the Act was not valid…. (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 17.2.05 Defiant stand as new law is in force - HUNTSMEN will meet above Holmfirth on Saturday morning - defying the law banning the sport. The new law, banning hunting with dogs, comes into effect tomorrow. But defiant supporters of the Holme Valley Beagles, the Pennine Foxhounds and the Colne Valley Beagles are taking part in a joint meet from The Huntsman Inn, Greenfield Road, at 10am… (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 17.2.05 Final day for legal hunt meetings - THE last ever legal hunts were going ahead today as countryside campaigners vowed to continue with their 300-year-old tradition. The Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, which dates back to the 17th Century, and The Bilsdale Hunt, in Ravens- thorpe Manor, Boltby, near Thirsk, will be among Britain's last legal hunting meetings…. (story)

Whitehaven News 17.2.05 LAST POST SOUNDS FOR ESKDALE PACK - ESKDALE and Ennerdale Foxhounds will NOT try to defy the national foxhunting ban which starts tomorrow, but the fate of its 50 hounds hangs in the balance. “It is a horrible, horrible situation,” said Linda Porter, joint master of the pack, one of the oldest in Cumbria… (story)

Horse & Hound 17.2.05 Hunts unveil post-ban plans — part three Horse & Hound has been canvassing hunts from around the country to find out what their plans are for the rest of this season - Gelligaer Farmers, Glaisdale, Goathland, Gogerddan, Grafton, Glamorgan, Golden Valley, Grove & Rufford, HH, North Herefordshire, South Herefordshire, Hursley Hambledon, Irfon & Towy, Isle of Wight, East Kent, Lamerton, Ledbury, North Lonsdale, Llandeilo Farmers, Llangeinor, Llanwnnen & District Farmers, Ludlow, Lunesdale (story)
Horse & Hound 17.2.05 Hunts unveil post-ban plans — part four - Mendip Farmers, Middleton, Meynells & South Staffs, Monmouthshire, Morpeth, Nantcol Valley, New Forest, West Norfolk, Oakley, OSB&WK, Pembrokeshire, South Pembrokeshire, Pennine, Percy, Pytchley, West Percy, Portman, Puckeridge (story)

Horse & Hound 17.2.05 Hunts unveil post-ban plans — part five - Royal Artillery, Saltersgate Farmers, Seavington, Sennybridge Farmers, Silverton, Southdown & Eridge, South Shropshire, Tanatside, Taunton Vale, Tedworth, Teme Valley, Tetcott, South Tetcott, Tivyside, Torrington Farmers, North Tyne, Tynedale, Thurlow, Tredegar Farmers, Ullswater, United (story)

Horse & Hound 17.2.05 Hunts unveil post-ban plans — part six - Vale of Aylesbury/G&SB, Vale of Clettwr, VWH, Vine & Craven, VWH, Warwickshire, Wensleydale, Western, West of Yore, Wheatland, Sir WWW, West Street Tickham, South & West Wilts, Wilton, Worcestershire, York & Ainsty South, York & Ainsty North, Ystrad Taf Fechan, Zetland (story)
Horse & Hound 10.2.05 Hunts unveil post-ban plans Horse & Hound has been canvassing hunts from around the country to find out what their plans are for the rest of this season - Albrighton, Albrighton Woodland, Ashford Valley, Atherstone, Axe Vale, Badsworth & Bramham Moor, Banwen Miners, Barlow, Blean Beagles, Bedale, Belvoir, Bicester with Whaddon Chase, Bilsdale, Blackmore & Sparkford Vale, Blankney, Border, Braes of Derwent, Brecon & Talybont, Burton, Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace, Carmarthenshire, Cattistock, Cheshire, Cheshire Forest, CL&C, Cleveland, Clifton on Teme, College Valley & North Northumberland, Coniston, East Cornwall, North Cornwall, Cotley, Cotswold, North Cotswold, Cotswold Vale Farmers, Cottesmore, Crawley & Horsham, Croome & W Warwickshire, Cumberland, Cumberland Farmers, Curre & Llangibby, Cury (story)
Horse & Hound 10.2.05 Hunts unveil post-ban plans — part two - Dartmoor, David Davies, Derwent, Mid Devon, East Devon, South Devon, South Dorset, Dulverton West, Dulverton Farmers, South Durham, Dwryd, Eggesford, Eskdale & Ennerdale, Essex, Essex Farmers & Union, Exmoor, Fernie, Four Burrow (story)

Formby Times 17.2.05 Pro-hunting lobby vow to fight on - By Gillian Stratton, Formby Times - A RENEWED attempt by the Countryside Alliance to overturn Parliament's ban on hunting with dogs has failed in the Court of Appeal. Hunt supporters at the final Waterloo Cup were in a defiant mood following the decision. The Countryside Alliance has vowed to fight on and will take their case back to the House of Lords… (story)
Liverpool Echo 17.2.05 Thousands attend quiet end to the Waterloo Cup By Greg O' Keeffe, Liverpool Echo - MERSEYSIDE 'S final Waterloo Cup ended quietly. Thousands of spectators attended the last day of the 170-year-old hare-coursing event at Altcar, near Formby, yesterday. But despite sporadic violence erupting on Monday, the event concluded peacefully…. (story)
Formby Times 17.2.05 Defiant in the face of defeat By Gillian Stratton, Formby Times - THE final Waterloo Cup at Altcar ended yesterday. This year's event was brought forward to escape the hunting ban that comes into force tomorrow…. (story)
Western Daily Press 17.2.05 WATERLOO ENDS - The last hare-coursing event before the sport is made illegal finished yesterday amid emotional scenes. The Waterloo Cup, which has taken place since 1836, was won by Shashi, a black greyhound which caught his hare…. (story)
Western Daily Press 17.2.05 THEY'VE MET THEIR WATERLOO - The primitives who revel in bloodsports were out in some force this week for what should be the last ever Waterloo Cup on British soil… . All those who hunt should immediately move abroad in order to continue their distasteful activities free of state interference or the intervention of those who care about animal welfare. They can take their horses and dogs with them. And their Countryside Alliance as well. (story)

Somerset Guardian 17.2.05 PLANTS ARE WORTHY OF A LIFE, TOO - We now have fox hunting banned and soon shooting, followed by fishing. What next?... let us consider the humble carrot: it grows from a seed, spends its life in warm earth and is brutally plucked from the ground, dehydrated, beheaded, peeled, chopped into little pieces, frozen and unceremoniously dashed into boiling water, salt rubbed in and then eaten…. R PURNELL, High Street, Midsomer Norton (letter)

Barry Gem 17.2.05 ‘Hunting: the real issue is cruelty’ - I READ with interest the recent letter by E Lucas in support of foxhunting: without doubt, our way of life does sometimes provide additional food for animals such as foxes and magpies. I wondered in response, whether I should suggest a ban on driving, in order to curb the proliferation of crows and magpies. The idea that, but for foxhunting, we might eventually end up with an unbalanced eco system, full of top predators, is obviously ridiculous… Alun J Robson, Llantwit Major (letter in archive)

Warrington Guardian 17.2.05 They are not animal lovers but people haters - While hunting on February 5, the Cheshire Forest Hunt came across extensive damage to hundreds of acres of Cheshire countryside. Hundreds of fence posts had been cut down and the fence wire sliced, a five-bar gate and a sleeper-bridge had been sawn in half with a chainsaw, and carpet tacks had been thrown liberally on to roads and fields putting livestock, horses, hounds and the general public at risk. Added to this, a local gamekeeper told us that several of his pheasant pens had been destroyed, including drinkers and feeders - meaning that shooting is now under threat…. RICHARD DE PREZ, Joint Master, Cheshire Forest Hunt, Daresbury (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 17.2.05 HARE-COURSING IS A BRUTAL OBSCENITY - Those who this week enjoyed seeing a harmless animal, namely a hare, being torn to bits, screaming, by dogs, have a notable similarity to those who, 2,000 years ago, watched humans and animals being bloodily dismembered in the arena of the Colosseum…. M Roden (Mrs), Southville (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 17.2.05 ANIMAL CRUELTY IS STILL ALIVE AS SPECTATOR SPORT - Call me naive if you like, but I had thought that hare coursing had been banned years ago, along with bear-baiting and cockfighting. So it was a bit of a surprise to see a news item in which two dogs tore a live hare to shreds, to the obvious delight of the watching audience…. G R Holwill, Stoke Hill Crescent Exeter (letter)

Western Gazette 17.2.05 FOXES WILL LOSE OUT - A Hunting ban is potentially only days away and if it is implemented the future looks very bleak for the fox. A recent study entitled Wounding Rates in Shooting Foxes, by Dr Nick Fox, has found that wounding levels from shooting are far higher than previously claimed. The study has been peer-reviewed and accepted by these impartial referees. It will now be published in the respected scientific journal Animal Welfare…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Gazette 17.2.05 THE RARELY DISCUSSED ASPECTS OF HUNTING - You seem to have an endless supply of letters from those who are opposed to the hunt and an equal number from hunt supporters… I agree that hunting can be cruel, but life in the wild is always cruel. Out there, everything eats everything else right down the food chain. Those that escape a quick death by being killed and eaten will face a slow and miserable death in their old age…. I am trying to point out that there are very good reasons to conclude that hunting is probably the kindest way to deal with foxes. Hunting kills mostly old or weak animals, which ensures a healthy and stable population…. (letter)

Independent 17.2.05 Hunting and democracy Well done to David Lowes for summarising the foxhunting debate so perfectly (letter, 15 February). However, his use of the phrase "crude majoritarianism", although correct English, is rather unusual. An alternative in more common parlance is "democracy"… QASIM SALIMI, North Shields, Tyne and Wear
David Lowes informs us that the campaign against hunting is nothing to do with animal welfare. Sickening television pictures of the (hopefully last) Waterloo Cup demonstrate beyond a shadow of doubt that so-called "country sports" have nothing whatever to do with management of the countryside. A F LITTEN Croydon, Surrey (letters)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 17.2.05 SIR, - I am writing to you about hunting with dogs. I read in a sporting magazine that hunting rats and rabbits with dogs was allowed in England and I wrote to Shooting and Conservation, of which I am a member, asking if hunting rats and rabbits with dogs was allowed in Scotland. I have been told by letter that there is no legislation in place relating to dogs hunting rabbits or rats and I am allowed to do it; they do not come under the legislation on hunting with dogs that came into force in Scotland. James Ross, 4 Seaton Cottages, Factory Lane, Avoch. (letter)

North Devon Journal 17.2.05 BREAKING HUNT LAW WILL AVOID REAL ISSUES - On the issue of hunting, may I urge all concerned to listen to the wise words of Devon and Somerset Staghounds' joint master George Witheridge. Quote "we will be putting forward a plan of action...we do not intend breaking the law." I fully empathise with the hunting fraternity on their frustrations but getting angry and breaking the law is not the answer… So, listen to your hunt master and plan for the great day this Government is overthrown. We've some talented Parliamentary candidates in Messrs Fraser, Harvey and Knight, whose efforts over the coming months will be telling. Take note of the grievances of the anti-hunt lobby and be prepared to compromise. STUART BARNES-WATSON, Oxford Park, Ilfracombe (letter)

North Devon Journal 17.2.05 BULL RUNNING COMPARISON WRONG - Sheelagh darling's letter last week perfectly illustrates the sort of myths and misleading information which the wealthy anti-hunting organisations have passed off as truth. In choosing to try to link the Stamford Bull Running, as it was known, with hunting, she fails miserably…. The supreme irony is that the welfare of both foxes and deer will suffer when this law is implemented, as the present parallel and crueller methods of control will be extended. TONY DUNN, Old Scoresdown, Lynton. (letter)

Western Morning News or Torquay Herald Express 17.2.05 HUNT DEATH NOT WORST FATE - The countryside is struggling to maintain economic viability and hunting brings in revenue, mostly regarding horses and dogs - but also bringing people into the countryside during winter when trade is slow…. The thrill of hunting may seem barbaric to some, but it is still a pack of dogs chasing their prey, and the fact that people are enjoying a social day out in the countryside does not add to the hunted animal's stress…. Peta France, Tiverton (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 17.2.05 HAS ALL THE EFFORT TO BAN HUNTING BEEN WORTH IT? - After Friday this week, the quarter of a million or so British citizens who currently enjoy hunting a wild mammal - usually but not always a fox - will be breaking the law… So the PM has managed to get through controversial legislation on the likes of student top-up fees and the invasion of Iraq by offering his backbenchers the carrot of taking on and defeating the largely unloved hunting fraternity. In the process no fewer than 700 hours of valuable and limited legislative time were taken up in putting this law on the statute book. It took barely seven hours to decide to join the US in its invasion of Iraq two years ago… BILL JACKSON William Road West Bridgford
Hypocrites' cruelty claim - I'm sick of reading all the hypocritical letters regarding the cruelty involved with fox hunting. A fox caught by a pack of hounds dies within seconds of being caught. The fox being caught is often sick, lame or old…. PAUL JAMES GENT Platt Street, Pinxton (letters)


Western Telegraph 16.2.05 We'll meet again? by Debbie James - Pembrokeshire's two fox hunts will meet tomorrow (Thursday) to hunt legally for the last time, just hours ahead of the implementation of legislation banning hunting with hounds. The Cresselly Arms at Cresswell Quay will be the scene of South Pembrokeshire Hunt's last meet. Across the county, at Llanwarren, Letterston, the Pembrokeshire Hunt will also be out on horseback…. (story in archive)

Taunton Times 16.2.05 HUNTS FACE NEW LAWS - Hunts in the Taunton area look likely to respect the law when the ban begins tomorrow. Taunton Vale Foxhounds will meet near Ilminster to give the hounds a run in a joint outing with Ilminster Beagles…. The Quantock Staghounds also intends to keep its kennels together for the foreseeable future and is meeting twice this week…. The West Somerset Vale Foxhounds will be meeting at the Greyhound Inn at Staple Fitzpaine on the same day when it will be following a an artificial scent…. (story)

BBC News Online 16.2.05 Hunt police 'piggy in the middle' - Devon and Cornwall Police have admitted that they will be "piggy in the middle" between hunt supporters and opponents when the ban comes into force. Assistant Chief Constable Richard Stowe said the force was "very aware" of the sensitivity of the issue of banning hunting with dogs in England and Wales. He also added that it would be difficult to distinguish between what was legal and illegal hunting…. (letter)

BBC News Online 16.2.05 Hunt supporters vow to fight ban - Hunt supporters say they will continue efforts to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales, which comes into force on Friday. The Countryside Alliance had its latest legal bid thwarted when three Appeal Court judges rejected its argument that the Hunting Act was unlawful…. (story)
Independent 16.2.05 Last-ditch challenge fails to halt hunting ban By Stephen Howard, PA - A renewed attempt by the Countryside Alliance to overturn Parliament's ban on hunting with dogs failed in the Court of Appeal today. Three senior judges headed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, rejected argument that the 1949 Parliament Act, which MPs used to force through the Hunting Act in the face of opposition from the House of Lords, was invalid…. (story)
Racing Post 16.2.05 Hunting effects to be put to the test - Lee Mottershead - FEARS racing could be affected by a ban on foxhunting will be put to the test from Friday after three senior judges on Wednesday dismissed claims the Government's use of the Parliament Act in forcing through the Hunting Act was unlawful… (story in archive)
Country Life 16.2.05 Appeal Court Upholds Parliament Act - The Court of Appeal today ruled that court challenge to the Parliament Act was not legitimate, effectively giving the go ahead for a ban on hunting from Friday. By Holly Kirkwood…(story)
Evening Standard 16.2.05 Hunt supporters lose court bid (story)
Politics.co.uk 16.2.05 Court backs hunting ban (story)
Sun 16.2.05 Hunt ban challenge fails By NICOLA DAVENPORT (story)
Horse & Hound 16.2.05 Appeal Court throws out pro-hunting case - Holly Kirkwood (story)
Reuters 16.2.05 Court dismisses hunt ban appeal By Victoria Cutler (story)
Lawyer 16.2.05 Countryside Alliance fails to overturn hunting ban - The Countryside Alliance’s heavyweight legal team of Allen & Overy, Sir Sydney Kentridge QC and Richard Lissack QC today (16 February) saw its appeal against the ban on hunting dismissed by the Court of Appeal…. (story)
Eastern Daily Press 16.2.05 Hunt supporters appeal fails - A renewed attempt by the Countryside Alliance to overturn Parliament's ban on hunting with dogs failed in the Court of Appeal today… The Countryside Alliance say the following meetings are taking place on Saturday: Bolebroke Beagles, noon at Bawdeswell Hall; Dunston Harriers, 11am at North Farm, Snetterton; North Norfolk Harriers, 11am at Cromer Hall; West Norfolk Foxhounds, 11am at Lexham Hall, near Litcham; Suffolk Hunt, 11am at Euston Park Gates, near Thetford; Waveney Harriers, 11.30am at Somerleyton Hall…. (story)
Eastern Daily Press 16.2.05 Hunting ban challenge refused again - JAMES GOFFIN - The ban on hunting with dogs will come in on Friday after the Court of Appeal this morning threw out a challenge to the legality ban…. (story)
Northampton Chronicle & Echo/Evening Telegraph 16.2.05 Hunt ban challenge falls - A RENEWED attempt by the Countryside Alliance to overturn Parliament's ban on hunting with dogs failed in the Court of Appeal today…. Hunstman for the Woodland Pytchley Hunt Tim Taylor said: "We'd have been fools not to try it but the outcome is what we expected."… (story)
Shropshire Star 16.2.05 Supporters lose bid to block hunt ban - Hunt supporters today lost a renewed attempt to overturn the ban by Parliament on hunting with dogs, which is due to come into force on Friday. But joint master of the South Shropshire Hunt, Otis Ferry, is calling on supporters to turn out in force this weekend to defy the ban…. South Shropshire is not the only hunt planning to meet the day after the ban comes into force - four other hunts are also hoping for a good turnout. The Ludlow, North Shropshire, and United hunts, as well as the Shropshire beagles hunt, are all setting out at 11am on Saturday. (story)
Reading Chronicle 16.2.05 Hunting ban challenge fails - BREAKING NEWS: A renewed attempt by the Countryside Alliance to overturn Parliament's ban on hunting with dogs has failed in the Court of Appeal…. (story)
Reading Chronicle 16.2.05 Judges rule on legality of hunt ban - Hunt supporters will learn whether the latest round of their legal challenge to the law that will outlaw their sport has been successful…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.2.05 Ruling expected on hunt challenge - Hunt supporters are set to learn whether the latest round of their legal challenge to the law that will outlaw the practice has been successful…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 16.2.05 Hunting ban challenge fails (story)
Manchester Evening News 16.2.05 Fox hunters lose ban fight - (story)
Guardian 16.2.05 Court of appeal backs hunt ban - Mark Oliver, Matthew Tempest and agencies (story)
Cumberland News & Star 16.2.05 Hunting Ban Challenge Fails (story)

Times 16.2.05 Q&A: the hunting ban - Valerie Elliott, Times countryside correspondent, explains why hunting will not end when the ban comes into force… (story)

Mirror 16.2.05 BLOODY DISGRACE - Cop leader: I'll snub hunt ban By Aidan Mcgurran Aidan.Mcgurran@Mgn.Co.Uk - A POLICE leader has caused outrage by vowing to turn a blind eye if friends defy the hunting ban. Sue Kelly, 47, believes the law, which takes effect on Friday, is unenforceable and says rural areas feel "extremely hard done by". Ms Kelly - whose attitude is condemned by anti-hunt groups as "appalling" - said: "I have gone out hunting and know a lot of people who hunt now. But if I knew they were going out to hunt and defy the law, I would not do anything." The constable, chair of Essex Police Federation, added: "It's similar to my husband doing 71mph on a motorway. I do not do anything about that, or if I'm driving at 75, I do not report myself…." (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.2.05 POLICING FOX HUNTS NOT A BIG CONCERN - Policing fox hunts will not be a top priority for Devon & Cornwall Police when the ban of hunting with dogs comes into force at the end of the week. Officers will not be routinely sent to meetings and the issue will not overtake the force's dedication to community policing, it has been revealed…. Michael Moore, joint master of the East Devon Hunt, said: "If someone is blatantly breaking the law, obviously they will be dealt with, but the Bill has so many grey areas, it will be extremely difficult for police to pin anything on anybody…." (story)
Western Morning News 16.2.05 'SOFTLY, SOFTLY' POLICE APPROACH TO HUNTING - Devon and Cornwall Police are to adopt a "softly, softly" approach to enforcing the controversial hunt ban in a bid to preserve community relations in the rural Westcountry. Publishing the force's long awaited guidance on the Hunting Act yesterday, the police stressed they would not routinely attend hunt meets unless there was specific information to suggest that an offence was likely to take place. The guidance stresses that hunting "is not a priority area" in either the national policing plan or the specific plan regarding wildlife crime. And it states that the police will not allow officers to be "unduly influenced" by the demands of anti-hunt campaigners to attend individual events or locations at the expense of other policing priorities in the community… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 16.2.05 HOUNDED OUT - LAST DAY HUNTS TURN OUT - The final day of legal fox-hunting tomorrow will see hunters and supporters in South Devon gathering as usual. The Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers are due to meet at their kennels at Halwell, Totnes, to pursue their quarry with a full pack of hounds. When the ban comes into force on Saturday, they are due to meet in protest at Buckfastleigh racecourse, and are expecting a large turnout of supporters. The South Devon Hunt is due to meet at Powderham Castle, the Britannia Beagles are due to meet at the Royal Castle Hotel, Dartmouth, while the Dartmoor pack is combining with three other hunts and two beagle packs for a mass gathering at Postbridge… (story)

Leicester Mercury 16.2.05 HUNTS TO MEET IN PROTEST A DAY AFTER BAN COMES IN - Thousands of people are to show their defiance to the hunting ban by holding meets and demonstrations the day after it comes into force…. In Melton, streets will be closed while the Cottesmore, Belvoir, Quorn and Oakley Foot Beagle hunts stage a combined procession through the town centre to Carnegie Museum. The Atherstone Hunt is expecting about 5,000 people to gather at its meet at Bosworth Water Park. The Fernie will meet at its kennels in Great Bowden, where at least 1,000 people are expected to show their support…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 16.2.05 RIDERS IN PLEDGE TO 'WIN THE DAY' - One of four county hunts has held its last traditional meeting before new hunting laws come into effect this Friday. The Cotswold Vale Farmers' Hunt rode out from Edge, near Painswick, yesterday in the manner they have been accustomed to for the past 58 years… "We won't be able to do what we want to do," said joint hunt master Geoff Peters, "but we will hunt within the law."… (story)

East Grinstead Observer 16.2.05 Hunt meet 'will stay within the law' - THE Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt is due to hold a meet just 35 hours after the Hunting Act comes into force. The ban has required the hunt to make careful plans for the event at Woldingham on Saturday when it is intending to hunt within the law… (story)

Times 16.2.05 Prince of Wales goes foxhunting for last time BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE Prince of Wales went hunting yesterday. It was prob-ably his last time in the saddle in pursuit of a fox before the ban comes into force on Friday. He joined 70 members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire hunt for a 25-mile ride in bitter cold and bright sunshine over farmland near Tissington, Derbyshire…. Peter Presland, one of the hunters, said: “It really lifts the spirits to see the Prince making such a statement. This ban is all about prejudice and vindictiveness and this intolerant law will be repealed.”… (story)
Telegraph 16.2.05 Prince saddles up for final hunt By Caroline Davies - The Prince of Wales went hunting for what, in all likelihood, will be his last time before the ban comes into force on Friday. He chose to ride with one of his favourite packs, the Meynell Hunt, in the Derbyshire Peak District, and then stopped off for a drink with other huntgoers at the Blue Bell pub in Tissington, near Ashbourne…. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 16.2.05 TALLY-HO! - Prince Charles took part in a Derbyshire fox hunt yesterday - less than three days before hunting with dogs becomes illegal. The Prince joined the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt at they began a five-hour outing across countryside around Tissington, near Ashbourne…. (story)

Sheffield Star 16.2.05 Hunters vow to defy legal ban - LOCAL fox hunting supporters have vowed to defy the Government this weekend as the ban on the blood sport comes into force. Hunting with dogs becomes illegal from tomorrow after a renewed attempt by the Countryside Alliance to overturn the ban failed in the Court of Appeal today… But the Barlow Hunt and the High Peak Hunt will be among more than 250 hunts across the country who plan to meet as usual on Saturday…. (story)

Essex Evening Gazette 16.2.05 Essex: Fox-hunters will test out ban - Fox-hunters in Essex will continue to meet after the sport becomes illegal. Defiant supporters plan to test out the new ban, which comes into effect on Thursday, by riding out as usual to four major hunts at the weekend… James Buckle, senior master of the Essex and Suffolk hunt, said the new law would "not make a lot of difference" to followers meeting near Ipswich on Saturday…. (story in archive)

Daily Post 16.2.05 Children's last hunt - FORTY girls and boys took to the Welsh countryside yesterday to hunt foxes for the final time. Members of the Flint & Denbigh Hunt Pony Club, some as young as five, climbed on their horses to stage a symbolic final hunt…. (story)

Crewe Chronicle 16.2.05 Hunts to still meet after ban By Ben Jervis, Crewe Chronicle - TWO hunts are vowing to stay within the law but continue to take to the field when the ban on killing foxes with dogs comes into force on Friday. The Cheshire Hunt says it will be exploring all possible avenues that will allow it to carry on hunting within the law… TWO hunts are vowing to stay within the law but continue to take to the field when the ban on killing foxes with dogs comes into force on Friday. The Cheshire Hunt says it will be exploring all possible avenues that will allow it to carry on hunting within the law…. (story)

BBC News Online 16.2.05 Hunters gather in Blair's village - An historic fox hunt is to take place legally for the last time in Tony Blair's constituency ahead of a ban. The South Durham Hunt has been held since 1872, and hundreds are expected at the meeting in Sedgefield, County Durham, before the sport is outlawed…. (story)
Northern Echo 16.2.05 Hunt in Blair's constituency will meet for last time today - The historic hunt at the heart of Tony Blair's constituency will meet for the last time today. The South Durham Hunt has existed since 1872 but it origins stretch back to the Old Sedgefield hunt, which was at its height in the early part of the 19th century…. (story in archive)

Stroud News & Journal 16.2.05 Racehorse trainer's hunting ban fears by Will Saunders - A TOP racehorse trainer from Stroud says he will be out with the Cotswold Hunt as usual on Saturday despite the controversial hunting ban which comes into force at midnight on Thursday. Tom George, 37 said: "The government is trying get rid of every bit of heritage we have in this country. They have got absolutely no idea what they are dealing with."… He said the Cotswold Hunt would be "hunting legally" on Saturday but said there would be hounds there. Gloucestershire police say enforcing the ban will be a low priority… (story in archive)

Ashbourne News Telegraph 16.2.05 Hunts unite to hit trail for fox scent - HUNT supporters are being invited to attend a mass meet at Darley Moor airfield on Saturday. Members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, the Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt and the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire Beagles will come together at noon for the first ‘legal’ hunt after the Government ban on fox-hunting which comes into force on Thursday…. (story)

Bolton Evening News 16.2.05 End of an era for historic Holcombe Hunt - HUNDREDS of years of history came to an end on Wednesday as members of Holcombe Hunt took to the fields to hunt foxes for the final time…. But disappointed members of Holcombe Hunt vowed they would keep their pack of hounds together and switch to trail hunting instead. However, Holcombe Hunt chairman Mike OíHanlon said he was confident that at the end of a continuing, and lengthy, legal process the anti-hunt legislation would be overturned and fox hunting will resume…. (story in archive)

Carmarthen Journal 16.2.05 HUNTS WILL BE OUT IN FORCE - West Wales hunters will meet this weekend, despite the ban. The much debated Hunting Act comes into force at midnight tomorrow (Thursday) but hunts will still take place across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. Most have said they will operate within the new restrictions but Cwrt-y-Cadno Farmers Hunt were meeting last night to discuss whether or not to flout the ban… Carmarthenshire Hunt will meet at Bancyfelin on Saturday at 11am - and will hunt the German way. Hunt master Linda Parker, from St Clears, has been visiting Sauerland Hunt where hounds are trained to scent and hunt the hoofprints of a horse…. Llandeilo Farmers Hunt will meet at 11am on Saturday at the White Hart…. Other hunts meeting on Saturday include: Tywi and Cothi Hunt at 10.30am outside the Castell Hotel, Llandovery. Llanwnen Farmers Hunt at the Ram Inn, Cwmann, Lampeter at 10.30am. The Vale of Clettwr Hunt at 10.30am at Talardd Arms, Llanllwni. (story)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 16.2.05 Hunters to stay defiant - AFTER around 200 years the Worcestershire Hunt is set to come to an abrupt end even though supporters are remaining defiant. Their last legal hunt is set to take place tomorrow (Thursday) at Park Hall, Bradley Green, before the new Hunting Act comes into force on Friday, making the activity illegal. However, supporters are determined to continue hunting as far as the law allows…. (story in archive)

Scarborough Evening News 16.2.05 Hunts vow to carry on 'within law' - THE Derwent Hunt in Snainton says it will continue to hunt "within the law" when the ban comes into force at midnight tomorrow. Some members had previously been adamant they would defy the ban, but now say they will adhere to the new guidelines…. Other local hunts have also announced plans to hold meets at the weekend. The Staintondale Hunt will be rallying at Dove's Nest Farm, in Sneaton, which is owned by Kevin Roche…. The Saltersgate Farmers' Hunt will meet at the Fox and Rabbit Inn at Lockton, near Pickering, the Middleton Hunt will meet at its kennels in Birdsall, the Ampleforth Beagles, Farndale and Sinnington Hunts will gather at Pockley, near Helmsley, and the Bilsdale Hunt will meet at Tylas Farm, Rievaulx…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 16.2.05 Record crowds expected as sun sets on legal hunting by Claire Metcalfe - EVERY hunt in Ryedale will ride out in displays of defiance after hunting with dogs becomes illegal this weekend. Record crowds are predicted to swell some of the hunt meetings on Saturday, after the ban officially comes into force on Friday. The Sinnington Hunt will be joined by the Farndale Hunt and the Old Ampleforth Beagles at Lady Clarissa Collin's home, Wytherstone House, Pockley, near Helmsley, at 11am…. The Derwent hunt will meet tomorrow at Headon Farm, near Pickering, and on Saturday at their kennels in Snainton… Other hunt meetings this week include: February 16 Glaisdale and Goathland Hunts will meet at Brow House Farm, Goathland, 10.30am, and also Glaisdale Rigg at 1.30pm. Middleton Hunt will meet at Foulrice Farm, Marton-in-the-Forest at 11am. February 17 Glaisdale and Goathland Hunts will meet at Postgate Inn, Egton Bridge at 10.30am. February 19: Saltersgate Farmers' Hunt will meet at The Fox and Rabbit Inn, Lockton, near Pickering at 11am. Glaisdale Hunt will meet at Fryup Village Hall at 10.30am. (story in archive)

Wilts & Glos Standard 16.2.05 Hunts to meet as usual after ban deadline by Michelle Field - HUNTS will continue to meet as usual across the Cotswolds on Saturday even though the fox-hunting ban will have come into force…. Locally, the Beaufort Hunt and Vale of the White Horse Hunt (VWH), who are meeting at the Bibury Court Hotel, will be riding out as usual…. (story in archive)

Northwich Guardian 16.2.05 Beware of illegal hunting on your land - LANDOWNERS can now receive hunting advice, available from the Country, Land and Business Association (CLA), in regard to the controversial new ban under the Hunting Act 2004…. Christopher Price, public law advisor for the CLA, said: "The important issue is for landowners to make it clear to the police that they only gave permission for legal activities. The best way to do this is with a detailed letter from the hunt."… (story in archive)

Mori 16.2.05 Attitudes To The Hunting Ban - A MORI survey for BBC ONE's Countryfile programme has revealed that support for a ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales has fallen from nearly two thirds of British adults to around half. The most recent question was asked in the context of a ban on hunting being due to come into force in England and Wales, subject to a legal challenge…. (story)
BBC News Online 16.2.05 Hunt ban support is 'in decline' - Support for a ban on hunting has fallen in the past six years, a poll suggests. Less than half the UK wants a ban compared to almost two-thirds in 1999, the Mori survey of 2,000 adults for BBC One's Countryfile programme suggests. The number opposed to a ban remains constant, but those "neither supporting nor opposing" has increased by 11%.... (story)

Western Daily Press 16.2.05 OUTRAGE AS HOUNDS RUN AMOK IN GARDEN - A pack of bloodthirsty hounds broke into a private garden and ripped a squealing wild hare to shreds. Animal charities were outraged last night after seeing pictures of 20 animals scrambling under a wire fence onto the private property in Somerset. Paul Jelly, Master of the Chilmark and Clifton Foot Hunt, confessed to the Western Daily Press that he suspects the beagles belonged to him. And last night he apologised to the furious owner of the land near Bridgwater…. Garden owner Doug Baker, who is in his seventies, said the animals had broken into his garden by climbing through a 5ft-tall pig-wire fence…. Last night Tim Bonner, from the Countryside Alliance, said: "It is extremely unfortunate that hounds have run a hare into a back garden. Questions must be asked about why they were so close to housing in Bridgwater. We will certainly be requesting the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles to urgently investigate the incident through their disciplinary department."…. William Human, of Mark, near Highbridge, Somerset, plans to lead a small group of activists on a hunt from 12.01am on Friday - one minute after the ban on hunting is introduced…. Dozens of meets are expected to take place across the West. Organisers of Wilton Hunt's meet at Odstock, near Salisbury, said it expects at least 100 horses and several hundred foot followers to attend their meet at 11am on Saturday… (story)

Kentish Gazette 16.2.05 Film footage 'shows attack on hunt saboteurs' - VIDEO footage allegedly showing an attack that left hunt saboteurs needing treatment has been handed to Kent Police…. Leading East Kent Hunt Saboteur campaigner Grant Tillman says that his footage shows an attack on his group while they were protesting at an East Kent Hunt meeting at Crundale on February 5… (story)

Cambridge Evening News 16.2.05 Hunt sabs clash with supporters - VIOLENT clashes marred a hunt meeting just days before the ban on foxhunting comes into effect. Three people were arrested, while hunt supporters and anti-hunt protesters both claimed to have sustained injuries. The confrontation happened when 40 to 50 saboteurs attended a meeting of the Essex Foxhounds in Little Bardfield, near Thaxted. Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesman Nathan Brown claimed several saboteurs were hurt. He alleged: "Right from the very start of the day they were getting assaulted by hunt supporters…. But the pro-hunting group Countryside Alliance said hunt supporters and their vehicles were attacked by saboteurs, including some with wooden bars. Officials said that three people had been taken to hospital…. Two hunt saboteurs - a 26-year-old man from Thaxted and a 29-year-old woman from Colchester - and a hunt supporter - a 27-year-old man from Maldon - were arrested on suspicion of assault. They were bailed to appear at Braintree police station at the end of March… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 14.2.05 Last legal hunt ends in violence - THE last weekend of legal fox-hunting erupted in violence in Essex as supporters and saboteurs clashed – leaving some people injured and resulting in three arrests. About 50 officers including 30 from Essex Police's special "silver reserve" were drafted in to deal with the last weekend of hunting before the historic ban is due to come into force on Friday. One hunt supporter and two saboteurs, including a Colchester woman, were arrested on suspicion of assault as rival groups clashed at the Essex Foxhounds hunt in Little Bardfield, near Braintree, on Saturday… (story)

Liverpool Echo 16.2.05 Hare course supporters to fight on By Gillian Stratton, Liverpool Echo- COURSING supporters at the Waterloo Cup were in a defiant mood today despite the failure of a bid to overturn the hunting ban. The court of appeal rejected arguments by the Countryside Alliance that the 1949 parliament act used to force through the ban was invalid. Hare coursing supporters were out in force today for the third and last day of what is now certain to be the final Waterloo Cup competition at Altcar, near Formby…. (story)
Southport Visiter 16.2.05 Protesters hit with bottles By Gillian Stratton, Midweek Visiter - ANGRY scenes erupted at the start of the final Waterloo Cup at Altcar. The event, the 'Grand National' of the hare-coursing calendar, was brought forward this year to escape the hunting ban which comes into force on Friday. Pro-hunt supporters, most separated from protesters by a wire fence, were controlled by a line of police officers as around 200 people from across the country demonstrated against the Waterloo Cup at Withins field. During the 40 minute stand-off, protesters were showered with dismembered hares, bottles, cans and clumps of mud. At one point a firecracker was thrown and exploded in front of protesters…. (story)
Midweek Advertiser 16.2.05 The last stand By Gillian Stratton, Midweek Advertiser - ANGRY scenes erupted at the start of the final Waterloo Cup at Altcar. The event, the 'Grand National' of the hare-coursing calendar, was brought forward to escape the hunting ban which comes into force on Friday… (story)

Liverpool Echo 16.2.05 Sporting definitions - HOW can hare coursing be a sport? How can fox hunting be a sport?... How barbaric has man become, that he should watch the slaughter of innocent animals and call it entertainment. Carl Bargh, Hightown
Fight for rights - THE annual barbaric hare coursing event amply demonstrates why a ban on hunting with hounds is long over-due… Karen White, address withheld (letters)

Salisbury Journal & Avon Advertiser 16.2.05 Shooting foxes - THE hunting ban is now with us - and the future looks bleak for the fox and other quarry species. A recent study, entitled Wounding Rates in Shooting Foxes (2003), by Dr Nick Fox et al, found that wounding levels from shooting are far higher than previously claimed…. NAME & ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter in archive)

Telegraph 16.2.05 Your view: Is the hunting ban right? The ban on hunting with dogs will come into force on Friday after the Countryside Alliance lost its latest appeal to overturn the legislation… Do you support the hunt ban and believe that the police should use as many resources as necessary to enforce it? Or do you think that the legislation is unnecessary or unworkable and that hunt supporters should be allowed to continue hunting?...
How can anyone say that tearing an animal to bits is a pleasure sport. How barbaric. Which century are we living in? Betty Jones, Hong Kong
The ban is of course wrong since it replaces a natural means of control - hunting by scent with tooth and claw, which foxes are equipped to cater with - with artificial means such as guns that foxes cannot naturally counter…. Brendan Skelt
James Murray is quite right: it is beyond my comprehension as to why certain people seem to get pleasure form dressing up in silly clothes and chasing one animal from their precarious position on top of another. Then again I fail to understand why people spend hours and hours queuing up to join another forty or fifty thousand extremely noisy individuals in a packed arena, often in the rain, to watch 22 men chasing a ball…. Bill Harris, Tanzania
Although I understand the revulsion of some people when it comes to the concept of ripping apart a fox or other furry animal for fun, I do think it is typical of the naivety of the age when so much effort is put into banning sports that upset people, rather than putting effort into dealing with the levels of anti-social behaviour, criminality and general mediocrity that actually harm people… Ali, Dubai
I oppose the ban - please keep Britain hunting. It is not only the toffs who hunt, people from low wage jobs hunt too. The toffs are only the tip of the iceberg. The hidden part consists of people working directly (and indirectly) with the hunt as grooms, kennel staff, vets, farriers and saddlers or in horse studs, kennels and point to point racing… Angie (vegetarian), Stoke on Trent, Staffs
Let's not hide behind excuses of freedom of choice - hunting with dogs is cruel and barbaric… Fred Furner, Lewes
Whenever I come across someone who is anti-hunt, they invariably refer to landed gentry "lording it" over the countryside. That says it all for me. This ban is about outdated prejudices, it has nothing to do with foxes. Andy Jenkinson, Great Cheverell, Wilts
I am now truly anxious that our democracy is in jeopardy. Now that this Government has succeeded in using the Parliament Act for a Bill which even the Prime Minister is not convinced was the right solution, are we adequately protected from future prejudiced ministers forcing through unjust legislation?... Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Northumberland
It seems totally wrong to me that a group of urban politicians, who clearly have no understanding of country life, can ram through a law banning something that has been a tradition in the British Isles for centuries…. K Jones, Greece
Of course it's barbaric. Bloody, without respect for natural life, based on falseness, perpetrated by those whose philosophy is destruction… I Kelly, Zurich, Switzerland
I do not support the ban. It is a huge part of my life. Why should a minority be dictated to by a Government who cannot even be bothered to face the realities of the ban…. Name withheld by request
In a world where we are supposed to look at the greener alternatives, what could possibly be more back to nature than hounds hunting and catching a fox compared with the other alternatives such as gas or poison?... Julian Brewitt, Leics
The ban is waste of the time and resources of Parliament and the police. Not one fox, hare or stag will benefit from it… Laetitia Glossop, London
Where next, a ban on recreational sport fishing and the shooting of game birds? That is where these so called activists will be turning their attentions next…. D Jenkins, a Briton in the USA
In no way do I believe the hunting ban is right. Members of Parliament supporting the ban took no notice of the Burns Report commissioned by this Government at great cost…. D C MacDoanld, Newbury
As a vegetarian, it seems strange to me that people who support the ban on animal cruelty grounds seem content to eat food, such as chicken or beef burgers, which has been made from animals that have been raised in appallingly cramped conditions. Rather than trying to impose their ill-educated ideas on total strangers, I would suggest that they adopt them into their own life first by not condoning such “battery conditions”…. Alexander Stewart, London
I am not pro-hunting but I am opposed to the ban. I do not believe that it will achieve anything other than create further divisions in our society and is yet another instance of New Labour interfering in trivia when it should direct its attentions to much more serious issues. Steve Deacon, Trimley St Mary, Suffolk
Many hunting people say they will carry on illegally which makes me smile as these very people are the most litigious when it comes to anybody questioning their activities…. Caroline Collett
I don’t hunt (or ride for that matter). However, I utterly oppose the hunting ban…. M J Dobey, Leicester
This ban is an insult to country people throughout the land…. David Davidson
This spells the death of the countryside fox, it will be culled indiscriminately from now on… N Morgan, Sowerby Bridge
Bloodsports should be banned. Those who believe its their right to enjoy killing animals should take a closer look at their selfish pleasures. Helen Robertson, Haddington, East Lothian
… This ban is not about preserving certain wild mammals or even conserving them. It is all about Labour MPs’ failure to open their minds to the fact that hunting is not cruel (as Lord Burns concluded) and can in many ways serve a useful purposes. Max Rumney, Lambourn, Berks
On grounds of animal cruelty, I support the ban…. Gareth Treharne
The hunting of foxes with hounds should be banned. The penalties for ignoring the ban should be a period of imprisonment at the very least. Geoff Henne
Does anybody who is against hunting believe that the foxes can be killed in a more human way?... Graham Spurrier, Germany
I believe the ban on hunting with dogs to be wrong, mainly because it is completely misrepresented. People present it as preventing animal cruelty, when it is completely clear that animal laboratory testing creates infinitely more animal suffering than hunting with dogs ever could…. Lewis Evans
How any human being can get pleasure from treating a dumb animal to terrifying cruelty is just beyond my comprehension. James Murray
It is clear that the Countryside Alliance has lost the argument regarding hunting with dogs. This is is not only a victory for reason but a major step forward for the next generation…. Bill McKay
No it isn’t right: the ban goes against the evidence, against basic human rights, and individual liberties…. David Michell, Newmarket, Suffolk (letters)

Gloucester Citizen 16.2.05 SEE WHAT SUM SHE WILL RECEIVE - Subsequent to the recent marriage announcement, what is the difference between this event and the Duke of Windsor/Wallis Simpson situation? I can only see one large one, namely that Camilla was directly responsible for the royal divorce. Will this be the end of fox-hunting and other outdated superfluous institutions?... G. WILLIAMS, (New Republican), Dunster Close, Tuffley (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.2.05 HUNTING IS NOT THE CAUSE OF SO MUCH CRUELTY - I am amazed at Ray Griffin's letter (Points of view, February 11). He states hunting is outdated in a better-educated society. Hunting in this country has been going for hundreds of years…. Every day we read of murders, stabbings, rapes, drug addicts, child abuse, domestic violence, attacks against the old and sick and road rage. You name it, we've got it! Is this what Mr Griffin calls an educated society? Hunting has not brought this about… G Paddon, Exeter (letter)

Bath Chronicle 16.2.05 JOIN US FOR THE HUNT ON SATURDAY TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT - The Hunting Act comes into force at midnight on February 17. On Saturday, February 19 more than 250 hunts across the country will be meeting, legally, as normal to demonstrate to the Government that they feel this law to be unjust… The Beaufort Hunt is meeting on February 19 at Worcester Lodge, Didmarton at 10.45am and looks forward to welcoming many of you there. JO ALDRIDGE, Sherston (letter)


Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 15.2.05 MAGISTRATE QUITS OVER HUNTING BAN - AN Eden magistrate has resigned because he 'fundamentally disagrees' with the law to ban hunting with hounds and will not enforce it. Myles Walker, aged 66, of New House Farm, near Ivegill, who has been on the Eden Bench since 1994, formally resigned at the end of January prior to the anti-hunting legislation coming into force on 18th February. 'I won't enforce it in court, therefore I have to step down,' said Mr. Walker, who has followed the Blencathra pack for a number of years. (story probably only on site for a week)

Dorset Daily Echo 15.2.05 Pack it in - ANY hunters in the New Forest who defy the ban imposed on Friday can expect to feel the full weight of the law. That is the message from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary's Chief Constable, Paul Kernaghan. It differs from the line being taken by Home Secretary Charles Clarke, who on Sunday said chief police officers would be right to give a low priority to enforcing the ban…. (story in archive)

Suffolk Evening Star 15.2.05 Hunting ban legal confusion - POLICE officers have called for more guidance on how to enforce the ban on fox-hunting and fear they are being put in an "invidious" position by the new legislation. They voiced their concerns as one police federation chairman said she felt the ban – which comes into effect on Friday – was "unenforceable"…. (story)

BBC News Online 15.2.05 Hunt changes rules to stay legal - A Gloucestershire's hunt is holding a meeting on Thursday to change its constitution ahead of the ban which comes into force on Friday. The Ledbury Hunt says it will replace hunting with hounds with hunting to offer entertainment for members wishing to ride, jump and watch hounds working…. (story)

Scotsman 15.2.05 Hunters protest as ban begins - JOHN INNES - HUNDREDS of packs of foxhounds, hare hounds, deer hounds and other hunts and clubs are planning to meet this Saturday - the day after the hunting ban comes into force in England and Wales…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 15.2.05 Hunt ban: The battle will go on - RACHEL BULLER - East Anglia's hunting fraternity says it is ready to accept Friday's ban - but last night, supporters of the bloodsport remained defiant as they pledged to carry on within the law until it was overturned…. Sheila Castle, joint master with the Dunston Harriers, based near Norwich, said: "When we go out, we will behave as a hunt and look like a hunt but we will just not be chasing live animals, and we will keep this up until we get this Government out."… Roger Bradbury, joint master of the North Norfolk Harriers, said they would also be meeting on Saturday. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 15.2.05 Police fears on enforcing hunting ban By Jonathan Barnes and Ted Jeory - POLICE officers have called for more guidance on how to enforce the ban on fox-hunting and fear they are being put in an “invidious” position by the new legislation. They voiced their concerns as one police federation chairman said she felt the ban - which comes into effect on Friday - was “unenforceable”…. (story)

Western Mail 15.2.05 Hunt supporters defiant - HUNDREDS of packs of foxhounds, hare hounds, deer hounds and other hunts and clubs will meet on Saturday in a mass demonstration of intent the day after the ban on hunting comes into effect in England and Wales…. In the South Wales Valleys, members of the Celtic Bloodhounds, who have never hunted anything other than a trail laid by a runner, have cancelled their meet on Sunday to ride out with the Llangeinor Hunt at Heol-y-Cyw, Bridgend…. Mr Rees is also joint master of the Mid Wales and Glamorgan Mink Hounds, which will soon be banned from hunting an introduced pest responsible for 80% of the deaths of the increasingly rare water vole…. David Jones, of Ffarmers near Lampeter, master of the Cwrt y Cadno Hunt, which meets at Llydrych, Llansawel on Saturday, said, "I don't think the police will bother with us," he said. "I am not a toff. I'm just a farmer. I'm 84 and I've been doing this all my life." David Thomas, master of the Dwyryd Hunt, which meets on Saturday at Cwm Bowydd Farm, Blaenau Ffestiniog, was also defiant…. Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and former master of the South Pembrokeshire Hunt, said February 19 will be a chance for the rural community to show their determination to fight a ridiculous law…. (story)

Burton Mail 15.2.05 Campaigners defiant by DAVID POWLES - HUNDREDS of hunt campaigners are planning a horseback protest against its ban — two days after the new law is implemented. Members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, The Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt and The DNS Beagles, will gather at Darley Moor Aerodrome, off the A515 between Sudbury and Ashbourne, on Saturday…. (story)

North West Evening Mail 15.2.05 PRO-HUNT SUPPORTERS PLAN DEMO AT CARTMEL - MEMBERS of North Lonsdale Foxhounds will hunt every day ahead of Friday’s ban. The huntsmen and women will be out on foot with their hounds in Low Furness until the Hunting Act takes full effect in England and Wales….“Hunt supporters are more determined than ever to fight and overturn this unjust and unenforceable law, and hope that all who support freedom and tolerance will come to Cartmel Racecourse on February 19.” (story)

South Wales Evening Post 15.2.05 HUNT IS READY TO DEFY RULING - Huntsmen in the Dulais Valley are planning to carry on hunting despite a ban which comes into force in England and Wales on Friday ). Organisers of Banwen Miners Hunt have already started their season and intend to meet as usual on Saturday, but claim they will not be breaking the law…. (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 15.2.05 HUNT PACKS TO MEET TWO DAYS AFTER BAN STARTS - Twelve packs of hounds will meet in Mid Devon on Saturday, two days after the Hunting Act comes into force. All packs that turn out that day have vowed that they will remain within the law, and that hunting will continue until the natural end of the season, in March. Tiverton Foxhounds will meet at Little Silver. "We are turning out with the whole pack," said chairman Roland Notley…. Hunts meeting on Saturday include the Devon and Somerset Staghounds at Honeymead, Simonsbath, Dulverton West at Lanacre Bridge, near Withypool, Exmoor, Eggesford at the Fox and Hounds, Eggesford, Silverton at Pynes, Upton Pyne, Stevenstone at Buckland Filleigh House, Buckland Filleigh, Stoke Hill Beagles at The Bell Inn, Thorverton, Taunton Vale, at The Catherine Wheel, Hemyock, Taw Vale Beagles at Great Lightleigh, Kings Nympton, Tiverton at Little Silver, Dulverton Farmers at Spire Cross, near Dulverton, Exmoor at Stone Farm, Tiverton Staghounds at Cobley Farm, Wellington. (story)

Worcester Evening News 15.2.05 Tally ho! A case of carry on hunting - THE sound of horses and hounds will ring throughout the Worcestershire countryside on Saturday - despite hunting with dogs becoming illegal on Friday. There will be eight hunt meets in the county and all are expecting massive turnouts to oppose the Hunting Act…. Clifton-on-Teme Hunt will meet at 11am at Woodmanton, Clifton-on-Teme; Cotswold North Hunt will meet at 10.45am at Broad Close Field, High Street, Broadway; Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt will meet at 11am at Croome Court, near Kinnersley; The Leadon Vale Bassets will meet at 12 noon at Barn Orchard, Berrow in Malvern. The Ledbury Hunt will meet at 10.45am at Hurst Farm in Welland; The Warwickshire North Beagles will meet at 12 noon at Sutton Park House, Sutton, near Tenbury Wells; The Worcestershire Hunt will meet at 11am at the Point to Point Course in Chaddesley Corbett; and the Ledbury North Hunt will meet at Old Colwall House in Colwall. (story in archive)

Argus 15.2.05 Police will crack down on hunters - A Sussex police chief has warned officers will take action against fox hunters even though a ban has been given a low policing priority. Assistant Chief Constable for Sussex, Nigel Yeo, the Association of Chief Police Officers' (ACPO) spokesman on public order, said: "It is entirely clear what the law says. It is eminently enforceable and we will enforce it."… (story in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.2.05 POLICE OUTLINE HUNT TACTICS - Police in Devon were today due to unveil their plans for policing the hunting ban, only 72 hours before it is due to come into force. Officers were issued with guidance on the law last night, following weeks of speculation about how police intend to enforce the new laws in one of the most heavily hunted regions in the country…. (story)

Northern Echo 15.2.05 Vow to test the law on hunting by Liz Lamb - HUNDREDS of hunt supporters across the North-East and North Yorkshire last night vowed to test the law on hunting - the day after a ban comes into force. Packs of foxhounds and beagles will meet throughout the region on Saturday - only 24 hours after the ban in England and Wales becomes law…. Hunts from the region that will meet on Saturday include the Zetland hunt, from Aldbrough St John, near Darlington; South Durham hunt, which dates back to the 17th Century and is based at Sedgefield, County Durham; and Hurworth Hunt, based at West Rounton, North Yorkshire…. Middleton Hunt, in Malton, North Yorkshire, which has more than 200 full members, said it would not be hunting on Saturday but would meet to go riding (story in archive)

Newcastle Journal 15.2.05 Hunts for mass show of defiance By Liz Hands, The Journal - Hunt members across the North will be out on Saturday - the day after the hunting ban is expected to come into force - in a mass show of defiance. Every hunt in the region is due to meet in a show of solidarity against the ban…. Michael Jeans, hunt master at Morpeth, said: "We'll be carrying on hunting, but operating within the law…." John Carr-Ellison, joint master of the West Percy Hunt, in north Northumberland, said: "We're holding a meet and a rally on Saturday to show our defiance of what has happened…" BORDER 9:45 The Bird in Bush, Elsdon, Northumberland… COLLEGE VALLEY/NORTH NORTHUMBERLAND 10:45 The Cuddystone, College Valley, North West of Wooler off the B6351, Northumberland… HAYDON 10:45 Newbrough, Hexham, Northumberland… MORPETH 10:45 Meldon Park, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 3SW… NEWCASTLE AND DISTRICT BEAGLES 12:30 Percy Arms, Birtley, Northumberland… PERCY 11:00 Alnwick Castle, Northumberland… PERCY, WEST 11:00 Boulby's Wood, Ingram, Nr Alnwick, Northumberland…. TYNE, NORTH 9:30 Barrasford Arms, Barrasford Village, Northumberland… TYNEDALE 11:00 The Black Bull, Matfen, Northumberland… BEWCASTLE 9:30 Murrayholm, Roadhead, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA8 2JJ BLACK COMBE & DISTRICT BEAGLES 10:00 Brown Cow Inn, Waberthwaite on A595, Cumbria … BLENCATHRA 9:30 The Riddings, Threlkeld, Cumbria … CUMBERLAND 10:30 Clearview, Westward, Wigton, Cumbria… CUMBERLAND FARMERS 1pm Welton, Cumbria…. LONSDALE, NORTH 10:00 Cartmel Racecourse… LUNESDALE 9:30 Street House, Ravenstonedale… MELBREAK 9:00 Gatesgarth, Buttermere (story)

Cumberland News & Star 15.2.05 Working class hunters By Chris Story - WORKING-CLASS families will be robbed of their livelihood if a foxhunting ban is upheld. That was the warning last night from one woman just days before the controversial Hunting Act, banning the sport, comes into power. Carole Smith, of Fletchertown, was one of 2,500 Countryside Alliance protesters who vowed to fight the “unjust and illegal” legislation outside the Labour Party’s spring conference in Gateshead on Friday…. Carole, who runs mobile catering firm Carole’s Kitchen, supports hunting in the winter – she was out with the Cumberland Foxhounds yesterday – as well as houndtrailing in the summer. The ban would not just affect her, but partner Les Hudson, huntsman with the Cumberland Foxhounds…. Blencathra Foxhounds, at Threlkeld, will, however, meet at The Riddings, the one-time home of Squire Crozier on Saturday, but will not hunt. Huntsman Barry Todhunter said: “After that hunting will be suspended until we see the outcome of the legal challenges.”… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 15.2.05 You can only go so far with flat caps and tweed - PRO-HUNTING protestors may have a significant portion of the British public on their side, if only because we resent our freedoms being steadily eroded. But if they insist on dressing up like twits in their flat caps and tweedy jackets and popping up in the background with their stupid Countryside Alliance posters every time a politician appears on the box, sympathy is going to evaporate rapidly…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 15.2.05 SINISTER MOTIVES FOR THIS BAN ON HUNTING - On Friday, this Government will make several hundred thousand model citizens criminals when it bans fox hunting. Bizarrely, it does this ignoring all the evidence commissioned and to the huge detriment of the fox. So what is our fascination with this "sport" and why can we not accept this new Act banning it?... Alun Michael misleads all with his spin when he states that Parliament had voted for a ban - the House of Commons with their massive Labour majority may have done but the House of Lords with their responsibility to prevent bad law from passing to the statute book did not and were overruled by the rarely-used and possibly illegal Parliament Act…. (story)

The Sentinel 15.2.05 MIXED EMOTIONS AS HUNT MEETS FOR LAST TIME - As The Prince of Wales was discussing organic farming at Beechenhill Farm yesterday he probably knew that just a stone's throw away one of his other passions was being played out for the last time The Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt, which the Prince has joined on several occasions since it was founded in 1980, gathered at Back o' th' Brook farm at Waterfall, near Leek, for its last foxhunt before the ban against hunting with hounds comes into effect on Friday…. (story)

North Yorkshire Advertiser 15.2.05 Protest by hunt fans - HOME secretary Charles Clarke was confronted by angry pro-hunt supporters during his visit to the region on Friday. He was in Thirsk to look at the work of Thirsk Clock Cafe, a meeting place and advice centre for teenagers. But before he arrived, a group of about 30 protesters gathered outside the cafe…. Garry Corbett, joint master of the Northern Counties mink hunt, said: "It shows the extent to which the Government has pushed ordinary people. People now feel that they have to take action like this to put their point across." Richard Emmott, professional huntsman with the York and Ainsty South hunt, said: "He has come here to visit a drop-in centre for kids where they can look for jobs, but he is taking our jobs and our homes away from us."… (story in archive)

Hull Daily Mail 15.2.05 'I SUPPORT PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO PROTEST, BUT NOT IF THEY RESORT TO VIOLENCE' - Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon was pelted with eggs during a recent visit to Beverley. Police today called for calm ahead of Work and Pensions Secretary Alan Johnson's visit to Withernsea - a day after a ban on hunting comes into force…. Police want to avoid a repeat of the disorder when Work and Pensions Secretary Alan Johnson visits the Pavilion Leisure Centre in Station Road, Withernsea, on Saturday… (story)

Guardian 15.2.05 Voters love a crackdown, but our liberties can still be saved - Charles Clarke's control orders will be opposed by Lib Dems and Tories - Martin Kettle … Liberty is a fuzzy and imprecise word. It means different things to different people. So the charge that individual liberty is at risk from the Blair government arrives in different guises in different corners of the public mind. Lawyers hear the charge and think about threats to habeas corpus or trial by jury. Libertarians, particularly in a week such as this, hear the same words and think about foxhunting, speed-cameras, and the nanny state…. Something deep in New Labour prevents large parts of the party from grasping and sympathising with the importance that so many British people rightly attach to a belief in their liberties…. (story)

Times 15.2.05 Libby Purves - Hand me that rolling-pin - If Blair wants to cast himself as some sort of guilty husband, I'm first in the queue to biff him… New Labour wasted aeons of parliamentary time on a piffling, malicious class war against hunting, resulting in an unenforceable law that dismays rural police forces. It made an expensive pig’s ear of the foot-and-mouth crisis. It has not faced up to the underfunding of universities (on higher education we spend only half the proportion of GDP that other developed countries do), yet it persecutes the great universities with ill-informed bullying…. (story)

Glasgow Herald 15.2.05 So, it’s all right to wear fox if you don’t chase it to death - Melanie Reid - The world of fashion is one of professional transgression. The industry's lifeblood is shock and outrage; it survives, in its highest form, by virtue of almost hysterical exhibitionism. The only bad taste which the industry understands is the bad taste which comes from not getting noticed….But what irony. What a week, of all weeks, for the London catwalks to have made dead foxes the height of cool, with nary a murmur of protest. The ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales comes into force on Thursday, leading to a tense few months as hunts continue to meet and the government attempts to make criminal an activity which has been lawful since time immemorial. And all because foxes – animal-farmed for their pelt all over the EC – get killed… Back in the days when the catwalk was on its high horse and the fur trade in this country was on the point of being banned, the philosopher Professor Roger Scruton remarked that the decision that a trade should be criminalised, without any proof of its immorality or any suggestion that it is socially divisive or environmentally destructive, and only because a pressure group has said so, was a novel departure in government. How acutely these words apply to hunting as well… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 15.2.05 Call to ban all hunting with dogs in Ulster By David Gordon and Michael Drake - A call was today made for a complete prohibition on hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland, after the High Court upheld a temporary ban on hare coursing. A coursing club, backed by the Countryside Alliance, had been seeking to overturn Environment Minister Angela Smith's decision to halt the capturing of Irish hares. But the judicial review application was yesterday dismissed by Mr Justice Weatherup. Welcoming the court's decision, Alliance leader David Ford today said: "The sooner all hunting of mammals using dogs comes to an end, the better…." (story)

Belfast Telegraph 14.2.05 Rural group fails to overturn hare ban By David Gordon - The Countryside Alliance today failed in a legal bid to overturn a ban on hare coursing in Northern Ireland. But the campaign group claimed a moral victory at the conclusion of the High Court judicial review case…. Ronan Gorman, chief executive of Countryside Alliance Ireland, today said: "We always believed that actually overturning the decision would be very difficult so the outcome was expected. "We believe we have won a moral victory as the ruling said the Minister had been procedurally unfair."… (story)
BBC News Online 14.2.05 Hare hunting ban upheld by court - A ban on the netting and hunting of the Irish hare has been upheld by the Northern Ireland High Court. Local coursing clubs had challenged a special preservation order which was made by Environment Minister Angela Smith….(story)

Daily Post 15.2.05 Violence flares at final Waterloo Cup - As the last Waterloo Cup got underway yesterday Graham Davies witnessed angry scenes between hunters and protesters - SOME had come to witness the final days of a 170-year-old countryside tradition. For other coursing enthusiasts, it seemed their primary purpose for attending was to let the day descend into a violent battle…. Grandmother Vicky Parkinson, 58, from Liverpool has protested at the Waterloo Cup for the past 12 years…. Housewife Patricia Scoffield, 50, had travelled from Staffordshire to join the protest…. As the procession, escorted by police, was led through the car park at Withins Field, they met their first contenders in the form of children as young as 10, wearing army camouflage jackets and screaming obscenities. Parents then began to add their own epithets, accusing campaigners of only coming to start trouble and telling them to "get a job"…. Then the throwing began. Bottles, cans and clumps of mud were perhaps the least offensive missiles to be thrown over the fences by the pro-hunters… (story)
Western Daily Press 15.2.05 COURSING: HAS IT MET ITS WATERLOO? Violence was sparked yesterday at Britain's last major harecoursing meet before the sport is made illegal on Friday. Animal rights protesters clashed with spectators at the final Waterloo Cup, which had been moved forward by a week to avoid the ban on hunting, due to become law from Friday. Three people were arrested…. Tony Moore, who led the protest on behalf of Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe, said: "This is not a day of jubilation for us. I just feel bad that it has taken so long to achieve this ban."… (story)
Newcastle Journal 15.2.05 Protesters clash with spectators at hare coursing - Violence erupted yesterday at Britain's last major hare-coursing event before the sport is made illegal. Animal rights protesters clashed with spectators at the final Waterloo Cup, which had been moved forward by a week to avoid the ban on hunting… (story)
Guardian 15.2.05 Snobs and yobs shiver with joy in Waterloo mud - Cheering crowd swaps insults with 'antis' under police escort, as 158-year-old event is staged for what may be last time - John Vidal - Of all the blood sports the British ever thought to invent - or to ban - hare coursing ranks as one of the more lunatic. In its most sophisticated form, seen yesterday near Formby in Lancashire at the 158th and probably the last Waterloo Cup, thousands turn out to watch two greyhounds at a time pursue a brown hare across a vast field…. (story)
Independent 15.2.05 Waterloo sunset for hare coursing - a pursuit that may have run its course - It has been the highlight of hare coursing since 1836, so there were strong passions and protests when 10,000 people turned out to mark the end of the Waterloo Cup in Britain By Jonathan Brown - If the bookmakers are right, Equal Status, a greyhound belonging to the celebrated racehorse trainer Sir Mark Prescott, will become the last champion at the Waterloo Cup…. (story)
Times 15.2.05 Last battle with protesters as coursing meets its Waterloo BY RUSSELL JENKINS - ANGRY field-sports enthusiasts hurled insults, mud, bottles and even pieces of dismembered hare at animal rights protesters yesterday at the 158th and last Waterloo Cup. Passions ran high as about 200 protesters, to the usual cacophony of whistles, horns and drums, disrupted the opening day of hare coursing’s premier event, four days before the hunting ban becomes law… (story)
Telegraph 15.2.05 Defiant hare coursing fans vow to battle for their Waterloo Cup By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - The gaggle of 150 anti-hunting protesters escorted by police into the gathering of a near-record 10,000 hare coursing enthusiasts at Great Altcar yesterday badly wanted to believe that this was the 158th and last Waterloo Cup. The Hunting Act, which comes into force on Friday, had lent a triumphalist flourish to the placards of the protesters as they were ushered to their traditional stand on a raised track overlooking the premier annual hare coursing event. Time to Face Facts: You're Finished, read the banner carried by Preston Action for Animals. "You won't be here next year," shouted a woman holding a placard, reading The End is Nigh. The roared response from the hare coursing enthusiasts was robust and unrepeatable…. (story)
Western Mail 15.2.05 Coursing followers throw hare's head at protesters - A DISMEMBERED hare was among the missiles thrown as pro and anti-country sports protesters clashed yesterday. Around 200 protesters demonstrated at the start of the last major hare-coursing event before the activity is made illegal. They banged drums and sounded air horns as the three-day Waterloo Cup got underway at Altcar, Lancashire… (story)
Daily Record 15.2.05 HARE TODAY, BUT GONE TOMORROW - ONE of Britain's biggest blood sport events was staged for the last time yesterday. It was the final chance for hare-coursing enthusiasts to legally see their dogs in pursuit of prey before the hunting ban takes effect in England on Friday… (story)

Mancheser Evening News 15.2.05 Will this be the last cruel cup? - AS someone who is against cruel sports, may I remind Postbag readers that the Waterloo Cup takes place on February 14 and 16 at Great Altcar, near Southport… We must all show our opposition to this gruesome three-day festival of cruelty. This could be the last Waterloo Cup. Jack Ogden, Manchester (letter)

Liverpool Echo 15.2.05 Traditional pursuits - WELL said, Stephen Regan! (ECHO column, February 10) It's about time somebody spoke up for those traditional British pursuits of poisoning pigeons - "flying rats" - caging and goading lions under the big top and chaining up elephant… We'll be banning the slaughter of ferocious hares next! Marian Hussenbux, Arrowe Park (story)

Independent 15.2.05 This unjust ban on hunting will not stand for long - How refreshing to read such an honest letter as A J Griffiths' (11 February), devoid of "pretentious rubbish" about foxhunting. He recalls a heyday in the early 1920s when the "most ill-mannered, arrogant assembly of humans" hunted and presumably annoyed people like Mr Griffiths. And there was I, thinking this Act was something to do with animal welfare…. Hunting is accepted only when it fits in with rural life and livelihood and the explosion in its popularity in the last few years is testament to the fact that it does. Farmers accept or reject the hunt for a variety of reasons, but it is their choice…. DAVID LOWES, Witheridge, Devon (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.2.05 DOES LISTING OF MEETS SIGNIFY HUNTING SUPPORT? - Your listing of the hunting taking place this coming weekend in last Saturday's Echo is reminiscent of the way Prince Charles went out hunting the day after the hunting ban was passed by the House of Commons. By doing this, Prince Charles showed a contempt for the will of the people as embodied in our democratically elected institution…. Nick Long, Buddle Lane, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.2.05 DON'T WORRY, LANDOWNERS WILL BE BREAKING THE LAW - Miss a Williams, Points of view February 11, says that landowners should be fined for allowing hunts to illegally take place on their land. She will be pleased to know that Section 3 of the Hunting Act reads: "A person commits an offence if he knowingly permits land which belongs to him to be entered or used in the course of the commission of an offence."… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 15.2.05 TEAMWORK WILL GET LAWBREAKERS - May I allay the fears of your columnist Peter Arnold. There will be no difficulty in arresting followers of the hunt, once hunting is banned. a) This will be achieved by a multi-agency partnership approach. b) The hunt will first be located, and then with the Gloucestershire Drugs Unit approaching from the west, the Priority Policing Team approaching from the east, and in a pincer movement the City Centre Neighbourhood Inspector together with the Gloucester Crime and Reduction Partnership approaching from the north and the south, the police will have them surrounded…. P. C. DAVIES, Belgrave Road, Gloucester (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 15.2.05 END OF AN EXMOOR ERA? - John Sims, Hartford Lodge, Hartford, Brompton Regis, Dulverton. (letter)
North Devon Journal 10.2.05 GOODBYE TO TRADITION AS THE HUNT WAY OF LIFE IS ENDED - In a few days time hunting with hounds will be banned. To most people that will mean very little and not affect their lives in any way. For others, such as the people on Exmoor, nothing could be further from the truth. Families that have lived for generations in remote farmsteads will have lost a part of their way of life forever…. We have no time for the needs of such people as these in the modern world of New Labour. Despite their massive parliamentary majority it is necessary to give a reward to the bigoted and ignorant back benchers so they can pass their reforming bills that will, we are told, solve the problems of health and education…. JOHN SIMS, Hartford Lodge, Brompton Regis (letter)

Western Morning News 15.2.05 TELL SOCCER PLAYERS TO SWITCH TO MARBLES - Ken Simpson is puzzled that he doesn't see an answer to the suggestion that hunting people should switch to drag hunting, a suggestion beloved by the anti-hunt brigade. That could well be because he hasn't looked thoroughly, but more likely because the suggestion is too fatuous for anyone to bother to deal with it. It is akin to banning soccer, but encouraging its players to swap to marbles as both games are played with round objects…. R N Emeny, Bridgwater (letter)

Western Morning News 15.2.05 Forget the trivia - A FEW years ago, I wrote to you and you printed my letter, warning that the proposed ban on hunting was a red herring thought up by this Government when it came to power. And so it has proved as every now and then, the subject is raised whenever Blair is taking us further into the European trap, from which there is little hope of escape…. Mr and Mrs K J H Pratley, Kingsteignton (letter)

Western Morning News 15.2.05 FARMERS CAN KEEP DRAG HUNTING OFF THEIR LAND - Ken Simpson (WMN, January 18) wonders why the pro-hunt lobby are reluctant to consider drag hunting… The pro-hunt lobby insist on telling us that it is only ignorant townies who oppose hunting with hounds. They are terrified that we will find out that lots of country folk don't like the hunts either. If a local hunt has established rights to hunt on your land there is nothing you can do about it. No matter how much you want to keep the hunt off your land it takes an Act of Parliament to legally bar them access. This often means that hunting takes place against the wishes of landowners…. Nigel Hollyhead, Brixham (letter)

Western Morning News 15.2.05 HUNTED DEER ARE KNOWN TO JUMP OVER HIDDEN DANGERS - Sorry to steal the WMN's thunder, but the event - a mounted follower being knocked from his horse by a terrified fleeing stag - that hunt apologists in the article seemed at pains to describe as unique, is not so…. I do, however, agree with the Devon & Somerset spokesperson who voiced her concern that the pictures may give people the impression that the deer was terrified. That's because the article suggests that she and her friends were out chasing it with a pack of dogs, which it would perceive as a threat. If the animal wasn't scared it would stand still and there would be no hunt…. Arminel Scott, Secretary, South West Deer Protection (letter)

Western Morning News 15.2.05 STAG WASN'T JUST CROSSING ROAD - Having just read your account (WMN, February 4) regarding the stag involved in the incident with the staghounds I am astonished to read the comment that the stag was just "attempting to cross the road". The stag was being hunted or at the very least thought he was being hunted. Having monitored hundreds of staghunts over the years for the campaign to ban hunting, I simply do not agree with that report…. Kevin Hill, Dorset (letter)