February 2012

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Western Morning News 29.2.12 Barney to the rescue - As an administration New Labour had a seriously lamentable record of negativity towards farming and the countryside… From 1997 onwards the anti-rural culture was manifest in so many ways, none more, to my mind, than the thoroughly spiteful hunting ban… I was a supporter of the formation of the Countryside Alliance from the BFSS and WAGBI – but I have been disappointed by what emerged… I am far from alone in feeling the CA should have gone neck-or-nothing to prevent it. Now, in Westcountry-based Barney White-Spunner, the CA has a new executive chairman. A very successful career soldier, he has hunted with 75 packs of hounds, is president of the Masters of Harriers and Beagles Association and past editor of Bailey's Hunting Directory. So we look for greater things to come (story)

Border Telegraph 29.2.12 A decade of fox hunting under the ban - David Knox - IT was meant to sound the death knell of the centuries-old pursuit of fox hunting for ever. But exactly a decade on from the introduction of controversial legislation in Scotland which was fiercely opposed by the countryside set, local hunts continue to survive - and even flourish… Scotland's largest hunt, the Buccleuch, were out in force in the Borders last Monday offering a pest control service to local land owners… (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 29.2.12 Countryside Alliance hunting stance sparks debate - WELCOME to Yorkshire, the county’s tourism marketing board, is being urged to tell the Countryside Alliance (CA) it cannot be a member because of its stance on hunting. Pickering Town Council was told by Coun Tommy Woodward the CA was closely linked with the pro-hunting lobby. He said his motion was not about hunting but about an organisation that had publicly said it was prepared to break the law on the issue…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 13.1.12 From: Simon Hamlyn, Northern Regional Director, Countryside Alliance. I WRITE in response to the letter from Mr Chris Gale from Chippenham (Yorkshire Post, January 9). Mr Gale is not only misguided in his comments, inaccurate in his sentiments, and as well is deliberately blinkered in particular to the wide ranging and very much valued work that the Countryside Alliance undertakes in rural communities… (letter)
Yorkshire Post 9.1.12 Bloodsports body ‘will hit tourism’ - From: Chris Gale, Chippenham, Wiltshire. I WAS shocked to learn that Welcome to Yorkshire has recently made the Countryside Alliance (CA) bloodsports organisation an official member… (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 29.2.12 Majority want hunting to remain illegal - WITH the country in economic turmoil, thousands of job losses and many more to come, swingeing cuts to essential services, businesses closing, an ever-widening gap between rich and poor and the breakdown of law and order, what does pro-hunt Cameron do to keep his wealthy backer on track? He promises to make time for a free motion in Parliament, which could lead to the repeal of the Hunting Act of 2004, which outlawed hunting with dogs…. Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor (letter)

Irish Times 29.2.12 Hounding a hare - The world is full of horrors – murders, accidents, car crashes, suicides – without having to torment a hare for “sport”. The Irish Timesseems to be promoting such activity by printing a photograph of a terrified hare being pursued by a greyhound for “sport”…. VIVIENNE McKECHNIE, Crecora, Co Limerick (letter)

Newark Advertiser 29.2.12 No respite for hares - I wish to point out that hares are the only British game species that do not enjoy a close season… if a female is shot whilst she is lactating her young, the leverets starve to death… ERIC WRIGHT, Doddington Road, Whisby, Lincolnshire (letter)

Western Morning News 29.2.12 Pheasants benefit from life in the wild - Your correspondent, Joe Scaife, (WMN Feb 17) alleges that pheasants are bred in intolerable conditions. This is factually untrue… Hugh Thomas, Barnstaple (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 29.2.12 Sign of badger protests - AN ANTI badger cull slogan was daubed onto a building at Wotton-under-Edge in the dead of night…. (story)
Farmers Weekly 27.2.12 NFU Mutual office hit in anti-badger cull paint attack - Philip Case - Police are hunting vandals who daubed sick graffiti on the walls of an NFU Mutual regional office. The words "Badger Killers" and NFU Murerin Scum" [sic] were painted on the walls of the NFU Wotton-under-Edge branch in Gloucestershire… (story)

Falmouth Packet 29.2.12 Couldn’t farmer just have shooed family’s dog away? - REGARDING the shooting of the dog in Flushing (Packet, February 22), the behaviour of the farmer was disgraceful… The behaviour of the police in adhering to some backward old medieval law, rather than do the right thing and prosecute this brute, is just as disgraceful… R G Hingston, Conway Road, Falmouth (letter)

Western Morning News 29.2.12 Veggie propaganda is all about animals, not food - Are you looking forward to the start of National Veggie Month tomorrow? Will you be spending the day busily shopping to stock up the larder with lashings of lentils, mouth-watering bran and yummy chick peas? And at midnight will you troop out into the garden to bury any remaining sausages, chops and burgers with a few words of strictly secular atonement? No. Me neither… The month is promoted by the group Animal Aid, another of those bodies not so much interested in helping our fellow creatures but more in seeing them disappear. Dangerous territory this. Back along I accused the charity Compassion in World Farming of much the same thing and the backlash was tremendous. I still have nightmares involving Joanna Lumley and a machete… Perhaps the food on offer will be a bit more appetising in November when Animal Aid will be sponsoring National Vegan Month. I can't wait (story)

Western Morning News 29.2.12 UK's poor record on farm animal welfare - How dare Peter Kendall, the NFU chairman, blithely ignore 300,000 cattle culled annually due to serious health problems, then state that the UK has “world leading farm standards”!... Anne Shaw (Mrs), Penzance. (letter)


Horse & Hound 28.2.12 Hunter hireling providers report best season yet - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - Hunter hirelings are hot property this season, with those stables offering rides with popular packs able to fill their saddles twice over…. (story)

Evening Standard 28.2.12 Tally ho! Hunt down the capital's vulpine menace - Simon Jenkins - I have a fox, a big one. Over three feet from nose to tail, she arrived in my garden a month ago and declined to leave when asked to do so… I did what any citizen would do and rang the council…. "That is not a pest. In the view of the council a fox is not a pest. We refer you to the fox deterrence unit."…. I noticed the feisty new candidate for mayor, Siobhan Benita, launched her campaign last month on an anti-fox ticket…..But she has suddenly gone quiet. Foxes no longer feature in her election material. The furry friends lobby has clearly got to her. If I cannot have a mayor, my last hope is for a hunt. I long for the sound of the horn over Holland Park, the baying of hounds on Campden Hill and the cry of a view from Ladbroke Grove. What's good enough for John Peel is surely good enough for the Royal Borough (story)

Yorkshire Post 28.2.12 Oddie backs badger cull opposition - Naturalist and TV presenter Bill Oddie is supporting moves by campaigners against the planned badger cull, as a poll suggests culling has limited public support… (story)
Western Morning News 28.2.12 Springwatch presenter Bill Oddie to lobby Government over badger cull - Conservationist Bill Oddie has today accused the Government of "bloody-minded arrogance" as tensions ratcheted up over the controversial badger cull… (story)

Guardian 28.2.12 The government must act now to ban wild animals in circuses - It is time for Defra to stop dragging its heels while the rest of the world takes the lead. Wild animals don't belong in circuses…. Ann Widdecombe (story)

Mid Sussex Times 28.2.12 War Horse tribute vandalism anguish - A FAN of the hit War Horse film is disgusted that her public tribute to the animal war victims has been wiped out. Retired district nurse Cynthia O’Neil, 73, put her pot plant and small placard at the Burgess Hill War Memorial at Church Walk…. “For ten days my placard kept vigil and then some person or persons removed all evidence. Who has done this and why?”… (story)


Shropshire Star 27.2.12 Masked protest at South Shropshire Hunt - Men wearing balaclavas and hooded tops gatecrashed an annual hunt in Shropshire, it was alleged today. Officials from the South Shropshire Hunt said a minibus containing about a dozen people pulled up outside the Mytton and Mermaid pub in Atcham, near Shrewsbury, just before the start of its annual hunt. Hunt master Otis Ferry said the men began shouting at the people who were due to take part in the event at about 10.45am on Saturday…. (story)

Farmers Weekly 27.2.12 Hunting link to bovine TB dismissed - Philip Case - Animal rights campaigners have urged the government to probe a possible link between hunting and the spread of bovine tuberculosis. Vegetarian group Viva! have claimed the crippling disease in cattle could be spread through animals used for hunting and vehicles travelling across large areas of land…. However, DEFRA dismissed the claims as well as the Countryside Alliance who labelled it as "pseudo-science", saying that Viva! were "embarrassing themselves"…. (story)
Western Morning News 25.2.12 Hunts linked to spread of bovine TB, group claims - The Government should examine a possible link between hunting and the spread of bovine tuberculosis before embarking on controversial badger cull trials, according to animal campaigners. Vegetarian group Viva! claim that the infection could be spread via animals used for hunting and vehicles crisscrossing large areas of land… But both Defra and hunt supporters dismissed the claims. Jim Barrington, animal welfare consultant for the Countryside Alliance, said: "In my 40 years working in animal welfare I have never seen or heard of Bovine TB being spread by hunts… (story)

Horse & Hound 27.2.12 Hunt staff ready for hounds to be microchipped - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - Hunt staff say they are ready to switch from identifying hounds by ear tattoos to microchippingif required to do so by law. The issue of microchipping has been in the news after a minister hinted that the Government may make it compulsory to help encourage “responsible dog ownership”… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.2.12 A true country gent inspired by his horses - Brigadier David Edelsten, who has died aged 78, was a passionate horseman, countryman and author… (story)
Bristol Evening Post 23.2.12 Brigadier David Edelsten - A FORMER Clifton College pupil who wrote a series of books about hunting and horses has passed away, aged 78. Brigadier David Edelsten, was born in London, the third son of Alan Edelsten, a Dorset GP who attended patients on horseback… (story)
Western Morning News 23.2.12 Countryman hunt reporter was inspired by horses - David Edelsten, who has died aged 78, was a countryman who turned his knowledge of hunting and horses into a series of well-loved books. He began writing for magazines, reporting on 67 different hunts for Country Life, The Field and Horse & Hound, and discovered a turn of phrase that could make the dullest topic interesting… (story)

Western Morning News 27.2.12 Shooting is well-run and not at all cruel - John Phelps of Exeter writes that he does not know on what authority the League Against Cruel Sports issue their statements, but he apparently is quite happy to believe every word and to quote them in his letters! While I am no expert on hunting I am assured that stories of the hunt putting foxes into artificial lairs is total rubbish. As regards the shooting on the estate where I go beating, I am happy to enlighten him on what happens…. Don’tbelieve everything that the anti brigade tell you because much of it is just not true. Paul Mercer, Peter Tavy. (letter)
Western Morning News 21.2.12 Royal actions back up League's view - I was surprised to read the letter by Paul Mercer… if Mr Mercer has a computer I suggest he asks Google to find: ‘Queen pheasant’. These two words will enable Google to produce, within two seconds, numerous press reports about the dexterity of Her Majesty in dispatching pheasants by wringing their necks or bashing them on their heads with her walking stick… John Phelps, Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 15.2.12 Missing opportunity to shoot down a view - I have to agree with John Phelps (letters, February 6 ) that shooting and hunting are both field sports and that the erstwhile British Field Sports Society was a sports society – the clue is in the name! Reading his letter further I was surprised to note that he has had little contact with participants in these pursuits… His belief that foxes are hunted from artificial earths is something that I have never encountered in a lifetime lived in the country, or heard of anyone who has who has experienced it either… R Mason, South Molton (letter)
Western Morning News 11.2.12 Your letters: Attack on country sports ill informed - I fail to understand why John Phelps – who I presume is an intelligent man – has written such utter drivel about shooting and hunting (WMN Feb 6) I attend a large shoot as a beater and I can assure him from personal observation that what he has written is total rubbish… Paul Mercer, Peter Tavy (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 27.2.12 Greyhound racing is inherently cruel - I am sure the applicants of the new greyhound racing track at Towcester will have attempted to assure people that the welfare issues surrounding dog racing are minimal… But this track will be a part of an industry that depends on inherent cruel practices for its financial viability… Greyhound racing is purely and simply a gambling industry that uses dogs as a “betting unit” and a very poorly regulated industry at that. Trudy Baker, Co-ordinator, www.greytexploitations.com (letter)

BBC News Online 27.2.12 Fresh legal challenge on badger culling By Richard Black - The Badger Trust has launched a new legal challenge to the government's plans to cull badgers in England… (story)
Telegraph 27.2.12 Badger cull challenged in court for 'free shooting' - A charity has launched a legal bid to stop the badger cull on the grounds that the Government's plans to allow free shooting of the mammals has not been thought through and could spiral in cost. The Badger Trust is seeking judicial review of the decision by the Government to allow culling of badgers to limit the spread of the cattle disease bovine tuberculosis…. (story)

Wear Valley Advertiser 27.2.12 Badgers hunted down by ‘lowlife’ blood sport enthusiasts By Catherine Priestley , Chief Reporter - BADGERS are being persecuted out of existence in areas of the North-East by “lowlife” blood sport enthusiasts, wildlife campaigners fear…. Durham County Badger Group has this year been called to seven incidents of suspicious deaths or activity at badger setts…. Lesley Johnson, from the group, said: “We cannot be sure but the probable motive was to put them with dogs or retrieve dogs that went after them… (story)

Eastbourne Herald 27.2.12 Worries over horses’ welfare - THE WELFARE of horses pulling carriages along Eastbourne seafront as a tourist attraction has been raised as a concern by councillors… While the majority of councillors were in favour of the plans, some raised concerns about the welfare of the horses. Cllr Philip Ede said he made no apology for not supporting the proposal and said, “Personally, I am not in favour of the re-introduction of horse-drawn omnibuses in any circumstances… Council leader Cllr David Tutt said the welfare of the animals was a serious consideration and said he would welcome a presentation to all councillors from Animal Aid… (story)

The Sentinel 27.2.12 All animals feel pain and emotion - IT IS not just cute animals, like badgers, that should not be killed. 'Meat' animals, like cows, are just as worthy as all animals feel pain and have emotions… MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)


Horse & Hound 26.2.12 Brocklesby hold an impromptu "show" to beat the snow Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - Members of the Brocklesby refused to let the snow get in the way of a good time when winter tightened its grip on the Lincolnshire wolds earlier this month… fuelled by “several gins”, sporting artist Daniel Crane, wife Ali and their guest Paul Scott from the Bicester with Whaddon Chase — a former H&H “hunt swapper” — decided to hold an impromptu “show”… (story)

Horse & Hound 26.2.12 Farewell to... Border master Ian Headley - Britain's most senior master, Ian Hedley of the Border, has died aged 99. Mr Hedley joined the mastership of the Border in 1952 and was in office until his death on 4 February… (story)

Telegraph 26.2.12 Fox hunt apologises after hounds chase pet terrier into lake - A fox hunt has apologised to a woman and her nine-year-old autistic son who watched in terror as hounds chased their terrier into a lake in Petworth Park, Sussex. Mya, a three-year-old Lakeland terrier, fled for her life from mink-hunting hounds from the Wealden pack… The hounds were called off by the huntsman but it took Linda Wickenden and her son Kian more than an hour to coax their petrified pet to swim back from her refuge out in the lake… The Wealden mink hounds are kennelled at Petworth Park under an arrangement with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray fox hunt… (story)
Midhurst & Petworth Observer 23.2.12 Boy watches in horror as hounds chase pet in Petworth - A mother and her nine-year-old son watched helplessly as a pack of hounds chased their pet terrier around a lake in Petworth Park on Sunday. Mya, a three-year-old Lakeland terrier, fled in terror as mink hounds from the Wealden pack, on exercise in the park, pursued her… The Wealden mink hounds are kennelled at Petworth Park under an arrangement with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Fox Hunt. Nick Bamber, chairman of the CLC, said two Welsh mink hounds had recently been drafted into the Wealden pack…. (story)

Mail on Sunday 26.2.12 'My wife married a rockstar but ended up with a floundering farmer': Alex James on why he prefers mucking out to being in Blur By Alex James …. Claire and I fell in love one weekend in the Cotswolds and got married nine months later. We bought the farm while on our honeymoon … I had to get a gun. A shotgun licence is the most straightforward. Rifles are a bit more tricky. Pistols are very complicated, and almost no one has cannons any more. Anyone who wants to keep a weapon must have a ‘suitable reason’ to have one, (which can only ever really be ‘because I want to shoot stuff’)…. (story)

Mail on Sunday 26.2.12 PETA 'killed more than 95 per cent of adoptable dogs and cats in its care last year' shocking new report says - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals killed more than 95 per cent of animals in its care last year at a Virginia shelter, a shocking new report states. The report, released by non-profit consumer group, claims that PETA - which is known for its outspoken stance on animal rights - were responsible for the deaths of nearly 2,000 adoptable animals last year alone… Records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture obtained through public records by the Centre for Consumer Freedom show figures that are quite contrary to PETA’s mission… (story)


Horse & Hound 25.2.12 Countryside Alliance want your hunting photos -Amateur photographers are invited to send theirhunting shots to the Countryside Alliance (CA) for a competition to mark the seventh anniversary of the Hunting Act in England and Wales… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 25.2.12 Calls to end branding of New Forest ponies By Chris Yandell - NEW Forest pony owners are coming under pressure from animal welfare groups to scrap the ancient practice of branding and replace it with microchipping…. Organisations such as the RSPCA say it is time to end the "suffering" felt by the ponies, most of which are still foals. But the New Forest Verderers, who represent the interests of pony owners, are fighting calls to end the ancient custom. They say it enables them to identify the semi-wild animals from a distance, avoiding the problems caused by trying to use a microchip scanner… (story)


Horse & Hound 24.2.12 Major Tim Easby appointed as new MFHA director - Major Tim Easby takes over from Alastair Jackson asdirector of the Masters of Foxhounds Association(MFHA) on 1 May… (story)

Farming Life 24.2.12 Unique breast cancer charity reveals its 2012 retreat schedule - CASTING for Recovery UK & Ireland, the unique outdoor programme specifically designed for women who have, or have had, breast cancer, has announced its 2012 retreat schedule and applications are now being accepted… Countryside Alliance is a major financial backer and all fishing tackle and appropriate clothing is provided by Orvis UK…. (story)

Independent 24.2.12 Our duties to dolphins - Dr Shand's perspective on the responsibilities of dolphins (letter, 23 February) treats them as humans living in Western democracies. They are beings as sentient and possibly as intelligent as we are, with their own societal rules, and it follows that we have a duty to treat them as such – rather as we ought to treat a newly discovered human tribe…. Max Gauna, Sheffield (letter)

Isle of Thanet Gazette 24.2.12 Number of live exports falls says protester - THE total number of animal export shipments from Ramsgate now stands at nearly 200 lorries, campaigners have revealed. So far this year however there have been just three sailings carrying five lorries. Ian Birchill from Kent Action Against Live Exports said: "There have been a lot less compared to this time last year… (story)


Western Gazette 23.2.12 General takes charge of Alliance's ban campaign (story)
Western Daily Press 22.2.12 Sir Barney campaigns to bin 'silly' hunt ban - The new head of the Countryside Alliance has vowed to campaign to overturn the "silly and ludicrous" ban on hunting… (story)
Telegraph 21.2.12 Sir Barney White-Spunner on his Countryside Alliance role - Lt Gen Sir Barney White-Spunner, the new head of the Countryside Alliance, on the campaign to bring the voice of the countryside to Westminster. By Neil Tweedie - Sir Barney White-Spunner is talking about rural broadband and pointing out, with only a hint of irony, that it is easier to get a good connection from a British base in Afghanistan than it is in some parts of this green and pleasant land…. (story)
Western Morning News 21.2.12 New rural boss vows to scrap hunt ban - The new head of the Countryside Alliance has vowed to campaign to overturn the “silly and ludicrous” ban on hunting. Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner argues that Labour’s controversial Hunting Act attacks “the kind of people who hunt, rather than what they actually do”…. (story)
Western Daily Press 20.2.12 Dorset military man leads charge for hunting community - The man to lead the hunting community towards their goal of repealing the ban has been named as a former head of the UK Field Army. Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner has been revealed as the new executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, … (story)
Farmers Guardian 20.1.12 Former head of Field Army takes up rural posting - FORMER head of the UK Field Army, Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner, has been appointed executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance and director of the Countryside Alliance Foundation, taking on overall responsibility for the organisation…. (story)
Horse & Hound 19.1.12 Top soldier is Countryside Alliance's new boss - Charlotte White, deputy news editor - The former head of the UK Field Army, Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner is taking over the reins at the Countryside Alliance. Sir Barney (pictured with US President Barack Obama) replaces chief executive Alice Barnard, who resigned in November… (story)
Horse & Country 19.1.12 New executive chairman of Countryside Alliance appointed - Former head of the UK Field Army, Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner, has been appointed Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance and Director of the Countryside Alliance Foundation…. (story)

Country Life 23.2.12 Country mouse on the children’s meet - Mark attends the eventful children’s meet where fifty new converts to following hounds were created- Rupert Uloth … (story)

Horse & Hound 23.2.12 Over 600 people turn out for Lord Somerleyton's memorial service - More than 600 people have attended a memorial service for Lord Somerleyton — a lifelong supporter of hunting, eventing, pointing and thePony Club… he served as master of the Waveney Harriers and was district commissioner of the hunt’s branch of the Pony Club… (story)

Evesham Journal 23.2.12 Mounted badger cull? - RE “the balance of nature” in last week’s letters. Thankfully I have yet to hear anyone suggest that badgers be culled by people on horses with hounds. Presumably it would not generate enough “fun”…. STEVE ANDERSON Bourton-on-the-Hill (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 23.2.12 Not just the fox suffers - I HAVE been reading about the pro-hunters who want fox hunting to become legal again. I'm against blood sports of any kind and it's time to mention what happens to some hounds once they are past their sell-by date. Some are kept for breeding purposes but when others reach around seven years old they are shot or put down by vets or by the hound master… T J Bevan, Llandarcy, Neath (letter)

Ryedale Gazette & Express 23.2.12 Pickering gamekeeper George Thompson wins Bellamy Trophy By Mike Laycock , Chief reporter - A GAMEKEEPER has been presented with a national award by environmentalist Professor David Bellamy for his work in promoting conservation and education on a North Yorkshire grouse moor. George Thompson, who has won the Bellamy Trophy and a cheque for £500, is head grouse moor keeper at Spaunton Moor… (story)

Worcester Evening News 23.2.12 Taxpayers ‘should not subsidise gun licences’ By Alicia Kelly - CONCERNS have been raised about taxpayers subsidising the cost of applying for firearms certificates for gun enthusiasts and the rate at which applications are processed. It has been revealed that certificate applications for firearms used for target shooting are subsidised by £50… (story)

Mail 23.2.12 Johnston blasts RSPCA for 'ridiculous' comments after animal welfare charity wades into whip row By Marcus Townend - Mark Johnston has branded the RSPCA’s reaction to the latest changes to the whip rules as ‘ridiculous’. The most prominent animal welfare organisation in the country have claimed the BHA moves were a ‘black day for the racing industry’…. (story)
Telegraph 23.2.12 British Horseracing Authority denies RSPCA snub over latest whip reforms - The British Horseracing Authority has rebutted allegations that it deliberately bypassed the RSPCA and animal welfare groups to deliver its new package of whip rules on Tuesday. By HOTSPUR (JA McGrath) …'A black day for racing’ was the inflammatory spin that an RSPCA statement put on this revamp of the whip rules, which encouraged discretion by the stewards, but on Wednesday it was reported on Twitter that these highly-controversial comments, attributed to David Muir of the RSPCA, were, in fact, not those of the respected spokesman, but instead those of the press office … (story)
Guardian 22.2.12 RSPCA whip rules outburst reveals the society is now racing's enemy - Basic flaws are still evident in the BHA whip rules. Many people will still be counting, and those who want to see the whip banned altogether will be counting most diligently of all - A few minutes after 8.30 this evening, the last horse will cross the line at Kempton Park, and after a deeply troubled 136-day existence, the British Horseracing Authority's "new" penalties for whip abuse will suddenly be its old penalties instead…It is not the BHA that is the problem, but the RSPCA, which issued a statement condemning Bittar's changes which suggested jockeys can now "beat horses with impunity", a ludicrous claim which seemed more in keeping with the extremist animal rights activists at Animal Aid. Forget the RSPCA's fluffy public image. This is a line that could have been written only by a zealot, but it does at least expose the wilful ignorance that has characterised much of the society's contributions on the whip issue…. (story)

Irish Examiner 23.2.12 Little regard for fellow creatures - "I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t… These sentiments expressed by the renowned American author Mark Twain over a hundred years ago should resonate even stronger now…. Edward Twohig, Glounthaune, Co Cork (letter)

Andover Advertiser 23.2.12 Plea to go meat-free - Last year, Animal Aid obtained evidence showing slaughterhouse workers spitting into the faces of live pigs…. Animal Aid has filmed sadistic cruelty to animals inside UK slaughterhouses in recent years… Consumers who find such lax security, poor hygiene and animal cruelty reprehensible might choose to withdraw their financial support from this industry altogether and go meat-free. Kate Fowler Head of Campaigns Animal Aid The Old Chapel Bradford Street Tonbridge (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 23.2.12 Ringmaster: animal show is 'way of life' - A CIRCUS show featuring tigers, camels and horses is starting in Louth this week. The long-established Great British Circus started on Tuesday and will run until Sunday, March 4. Animal rights campaigners have protested about the circus but ringmaster Barbara Howes has defended the circus's use of animals in its performances… (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 22.2.12 Animal rights protests planned as tigers star at circus in Louth - A CIRCUS show featuring tigers, camels and horses is starting in Louth this week. The long-established Great British Circus is undergoing its final rehearsals ready for the performances which start tomorrow and run until Sunday, March 4. Animal rights campaigners have protested about the circus but ringmaster Barbara Howes spoke to the Target to defend the circus's use of animals in its performances… (story)

The Sentinel 23.2.12 Human's nature - WE daily hear about the horrors animals endure in the abattoir. Yet we want the power of making animals suffer and die for us…. MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)


Guardian 22.2.12 You report that although hounds of the Cattistock Hunt were allegedly filmed chasing a fox without being called off… the CPS advised against prosecution because arrested huntsmen's defence would be "… funded by the Countryside Alliance…. Would that be the Countryside Alliance co-founded… by Nick Herbert, currently the Tories' policing minister? Christopher Clayton, Waverton, Cheshire (letter)

Bradford telegraph & Argus 22.2.12 Friends group welcomes review of shoot licence following concerns By Jo Winrow - A review of grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor has been welcomed by a group dedicated to the moor’s conservation. The Friends of Ilkley Moor group, which was set up shortly after a ten-year lease was granted by landowner Bradford Council, has called for a break clause to be invoked…. Owen Wells, chairman of Friends of Ilkley Moor, told the Telegraph & Argus, that the group had initially adopted a neutral position regarding the shoot, but after a number of allegations and concerns, it had changed its stance… (story)

Telegraph 22.2.12 Jilly Cooper signs up to campaign against badger cull By John-Paul Ford Rojas - The writer, who lives in the Cotswolds, has signed up to a list of residents who have pledged not to allow the creatures to be killed on their land as part of a pilot scheme this autumn… (story)

Carmarthen Journal 22.2.12 Puppy farm gets the green light to stay open despite objections - CONTROVERSIAL plans to let dog-breeding kennels near St Clears stay open have been approved by planners despite hundreds of objections… Linda Goodman of Cariad (Care And Respect Includes All Dogs) — which represents animal charities and organisations across Wales — addressed planners at last week's meeting… (story)
Carmarthen Journal 8.2.12 Plans to keep breeding kennels running put on ice for site visit - CONTROVERSIAL plans to let a dog breeding kennels near St Clears keep running have been put on hold…. Founder of local animal welfare group Cariad (Care And Respect Includes All Dogs), Linda Goodman, has previously criticised the application… (story)

Shropshire Star 22.2.12 Angered by close encounter of the furred kind - I am writing to you to express the revulsion I recently felt when visiting the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock. It’s such a pretty town and I enjoyed my visit there apart from my disgust at the many women I saw there wearing real fur coats…. Penny McCold, Chorlton, Manchester. (letter)


Guardian 21.2.12 Fox hunt investigation abandoned amid row between campaigners and CPS - Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent - An investigation into a Dorset hunt has been abandoned amid a row between animal welfare monitors and the Crown Prosecution Service over the text of a letter explaining why no arrests should be made. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has accused the CPS of ignoring filmed evidence and using the fact that members of the Cattistock Hunt can afford "specialist" defence lawyers as grounds for giving up their legal inquiries into allegations of fox hunting with hounds. The hunt has denied doing anything illegal and prosecutors insist the reason for not proceeding is that there is "insufficient evidence to convict beyond reasonable doubt"… The hunt was on 8 October last year, near the village of Wraxall in west Dorset. IFAW monitors, at a distance, captured what they claim was evidence of hounds chasing a fox and no one calling dogs off the pursuit. The quality of the pictures means that individual hunt officials allegedly involved are not identifiable… (story)

Mail 21.2.12 Zara who? Red faces at hunt foul-up, as volunteer fails to recognise royal By Richard Kay - As the Queen’s granddaughter and a one-time BBC sports personality of the year, Zara Phillips surely has one of the most recognisable faces in the country… Princess Anne’s daughter was driving into the car park at North Hereford Hunt’s point-to-point meeting for the annual Whitwick Manor estate steeplechase when she was refused admission… But gate official and hunt volunteer Tim Hinton was not impressed, telling her: ‘You have to have a pass or you can’t come in — unless you pay £12.50.’ … Yesterday Tim told me: ‘I feel rather embarrassed and I have had a lot of ribbing about this since… (story)
Telegraph 21.2.12 Zara Phillips turned away from horse event - The Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips was refused admission to an equestrian event when an official failed to recognise her after she turned up in a "very ordinary little car", it was reported today…. The royal had been driving into the car park at North Hereford Hunt's point-to-point meeting for the annual Whitwick Manor estate steeplechase over the weekend… (story)

Farmers Guardian 21.2.12 Anti-badger cull campaigners heckle NFU delegates By Ben Briggs - AROUND 50 anti badger cull protesters heckled NFU AGM delegates on the opening morning of the annual conference in Birmingham… (story)
Meat Trades Journal 20.2.12 Security stepped up for NFU conference - Farming leaders will be taking extra security measures after reports that animal rights activists are to demonstrate at the annual National Farmers’ Union conference. The protests are likely to be aimed at the secretary of state Caroline Spelman, who will be speaking at the conference tomorrow (21 February), and based on opposition to the pilot badger culls to control the problem of bovine TB… (story)

Farmers Weekly 21.2.12 Anti-badger cull leaflets mailed to residents - Philip Case - A badger conservation group has been carrying out door-to-door leaflet drops in a bid to get residents to lobby Natural England against the planned culling of badgers… Produced by the Somerset Trust Badger Group, the leaflets called on opponents of the cull to make their views known to Natural England, which is assessing licence applications to cull badgers, by Thursday… (story)

Stroud News & Journal 21.2.12 Town council backs anti-badger cull campaign - A CAMPAIGN aimed at preventing a widespread cull of badgers in the Five Valleys has been backed by Stroud Town Council. More than 80 landowners including author Jilly Cooper have joined lobby group Stroud 100 to oppose the shooting of badgers after a Government-led national cull was announced to tackle the spread of bovine TB. Group founders Jeanne and Nick Berry aim to sign up 100 members before writing to the Government to demonstrate the strength of feeling in Stroud….. (story)
Farmers Weekly 14.2.12 Badger campaigners set up 'no-cull zone' - Philip Case - Campaigners have set aside a large area of land as a "no-cull zone" in a bid to prevent a badger cull in part of Gloucestershire. The Stroud 100, a local lobby group opposed to the culling of badgers, has "sealed off" more than 1,200 acres of land, dotted around the Stroud area… Stroud 100 founder member Jeanne Berry, an animal welfare supporter, said: "The government acknowledges that the success rate of culling badgers to prevent bovine tuberculosis is not high…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen/Echo 10.2.12 Badger campaigners 'seal off' 1,000 acres in Gloucestershire - CAMPAIGNERS in Stroud have 'sealed off' a vast area of land to prevent a proposed cull of badgers in Gloucestershire. The Stroud 100, a local group opposed to the culling of badgers in Stroud, has 1,000 acres of local land signed up as a no cull area. It now has 75 local people and organisations signed up including farmers and businesses who say they will not allow the culling of badgers on their land…. (story)

York Press 21.2.12 Welfare is so vital - ON the proposal for a new abattoir at Murton near York, it is hoped with the vast amount of animals processed through for slaughter that the highest standards are adhered to in animal welfare…. DA Heald, Compassion in World Farming, Huntington Road, York (letter)


Dundee Courier 20.2.12 Animal rights campaigner planning official complaint after receiving new information about Airlie dog shooting - An animal rights campaigner's plea to the owner of a dog found buried in Angus has resulted in accusations of ''inadequate'' investigation into its death. Animal Aid advisor Kit Davidson has been in touch with owner Margaret Ford, after an article carrying his previous appeal for information last week caused her to contact him…. (story)
Dundee Courier 30.11.11 Animal rights defender contacts police to query details of Airlie dog shooting - A consultant for an animal rights group has inquired into the legal circumstances surrounding the shooting of a 15-year-old dog by a gamekeeper in Airlie…. Although gamekeepers are entitled to kill dogs if they are threatening animals, Kit Davidsonof Animal Aid contacted The Courier and police in an attempt to clear up several alleged ambiguities… (story)
Dundee Courier 23.11.11 Police say gamekeeper was within his rights to shoot pet dog for worrying cattle - Tayside Police have concluded that an Angus gamekeeper who shot a pet dog did not commit any offence…. Although gamekeepers are entitled to kill dogs if they are threatening animals, the League Against Cruel Sports and local MSP Jenny Marra have vowed to take up the case…. (story)

ThisIsSouthDevon 20.2.12 Take the Devon Vegan Pledge! - This year why not try a diet that's good for you, good for animals and good for the planet? That's the question Exeter Friends For Animals will be asking when they invite the public to take the Devon Vegan Pledge in March 2012…. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Wendy Smith… (story)


Horncastle News 19.2.12 Not convinced by hunt’s apology - Must the victims of hunt havoc accept excuses about “these things happen”… The master of the Southwold Hunt wrote a decidedly unconvincing apology, after his hounds overran a garden… Katherine Watson By Email (letter)

Sunday Mercury 19.2.12 Forestry Commission shooting deer at Cannock Chase By Mike Lockley - THEY are known as Bambi to animal lovers across the globe. But the Forestry Commission is currently shooting dead muntjac deer in Midland parks… Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said the Forestry Commission should erect electric fences and tree guards instead of killing deer, who are already battling to survive in the chilly temperatures…. (story)

Observer 19.2.12 Should charities use shock tactics? Peta's latest advert has caused outrage by parodying campaigns by charities working with victims of physical abuse. Has it gone too far? - Alex Clark and Peter Stanford (story)


Horse & Hound 18.2.12 Farewell to...former joint-master of the Grove and Rufford Jim Ratcliffe - Jim Ratcliffe, former joint-master of the Grove and Rufford, died on 25 January. He was 70 and had been suffering from cancer… (story)
Newmarket Journal 7.2.12 Former racehorse transport boss dies aged 70 transport - A keen huntsman, Mr Ratcliffe was joint master of the Grove and Rofford Hounds based at Newark in Nottinghamshire and had regularly rode to hounds with the Beaufort and the Berkeley hounds based in Gloucestershire. He leaves a widow, Jenny, three sons and a daughter. Family flowers only have been requested at the funeral service with all donations to the Hunt Servants’ Benevolent Fund…. (story)

Western Daily Press 18.2.12 Shooting is safe in young hands - Many of the British shooting team competing in this summer's Olympics will have had their interest nurtured when they were young by someone qualified to teach them the safe and responsible use of sporting guns…. At our facility in the Mendips, Braces Shooting School, I have taught children as young as nine how to handle and use a shotgun properly. I taught my own son Dan to shoot when he was a boy, and now that he is in his 20s, we run Braces together. For its part, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation organises an active programme for young shots, and the events it holds across the UK are usually over-subscribed…. (story)

Dundee Courier 18.2.12 Think green, but think smart - We learned from the recent Budget Bill that there would be £11 million less available through agri-environment schemes over the next three years…. Many farmers and land managers already employ game management which has been proven to deliver major biodiversity benefits while providing a sustainable, additional income, and more could…. Dr Adam Smith.Director Scotland,Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (letter)

Northampton Chronicle 18.2.12 Northamptonshire greyhound track may get backing despite international apposition - PLANS to build a major greyhound track in Northamptonshire look set to be approved by officials, despite an international campaign against the scheme. The owners of Towcester Racecourse revealed plans to build “the country’s premiere greyhound track” in October last year… (story)

Independent 18.2.12 Butcher gets the chop over foie gras scandal - Selfridges in London has parted company with its "celebrity" butcher Jack O'Shea after he was caught using a codeword to sell banned foie gras to customers under the counter…. (story)
Mail 18.2.12 Celebrity butcher sacked after selling banned foie gras under the counter to customers who knew secret codeword By Suzannah Hills - A celebrity butcher who sold top of the range meat to the rich and famous at Selfridges in London has been given the chop today after secretly selling banned foie gras in the store. Jack O'Shea has been forced to close his butchers based in the high end department store after he was exposed for selling the controversial goose liver on undercover camera footage… (story)
Evening Standard 23.12.11 'Cruel' food sold under the counter as Selfridges flouts its foie gras ban - John Geoghegan and Jonathan Prynn - Selfridges has been accused of a "shocking betrayal" after flouting its self-imposed ban on selling foie gras… customers at its Jack O'Shea butchers in the Food Hall can still buy foie gras if they ask for it using the codeword "French fillet" at the counter… During the sale on Wednesday, one of the staff at the butcher's counter admitted it was against Selfridges' policy to sell the prized delicacy following a campaign led by former James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore…. (story)
Telegraph 23.12.11 Celebrity butcher Jack O’Shea escorted from Selfridges in foie gras row - An award winning butcher at Selfridges, the department store, has been marched out of the building afer being filmed selling 'under the counter' foie gras to customers if they used the codename "French fillet". By John Bingham and Donna Bowater - Jack O’Shea, who provides prime meat to some of London’s most exclusive restaurants and celebrity chefs, admitted he operated a "secret society" selling the French delicacy at his concession in the food hall in defiance of animal rights pressure. The company banned the sale of foie gras from its stores two years ago after a high-profile campaign led by Sir Roger Moore, the former James Bond actor….. (story)


Horse & Hound 17.2.12 Masters to ride in third Countryside Alliance 'Race for Repeal' at Ascot - Madeleine Pitt - The third Countryside Raceday at Ascot will take place on Sunday 1 April. Nine masters will take part in the ‘Race for Repeal’in aid of the Countryside Alliance’s huntingcampaign… Amongst the masters running is Alice Dunson of the Surrey Union. She said: “I'm doing the Master's race at Ascot 1 April 2012! My first question ‘What’s the weight? I hate dieting....’” Andrew Sallis told H&H he was taking his training “hole-by-hole”… The nine MFHs riding will be: Alice Dunsdon — Surrey Union, Andrew Sallis — East Sussex & Romney Marsh, Guy Landau — West Somerset Vale, Libby Lawson — East Kent, Michael Bowlby — Old Berks, Michael Felton — Blackmore and Sparkford Vale, Rupert Nuttall — Blackmore and Sparkford Vale, Tim Lee — Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray, William Bryer — Cattistock (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 17.2.12 I COMPLETELY agree with Mr David Palmer (Opinion, February 3) about the quality (or lack of it) of your paper's letter page. It's now obvious that only letters with a left wing slant are welcome or have any chance of being published. I know from my own experience that to say anything negative about things like immigration, homosexuality, criminals, benefit scroungers or the Labour party – or to defend Britishness, the monarchy or field sports, especially hunting or shooting – means your letters will be swiftly consigned to the waste bin…. ENID FALCONBRIDGE Bramerton Road Bilborough Estate (letter)

Southern Reporter 17.2.12 Dave’s crime exposé - HE was Scotland’s senior investigation officer with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) for than two decades, spending much of his time probing crimes against wildlife in the Scottish Borders. But in a new book, Dave Dick claims those charged to enforce and dispense the laws against the perpetrators of these offences – including the poisoning of raptors by to protect the interests of estates – are paying little more than lip service to their statutory responsibilities… In his book, Mr Dick gives unflinching accounts of what he considers the “shocking” level of killing, by gunshot, trapping or poison, and the “cruel and callous” attitude of the killers… (story)

Somerset County Gazette 17.2.12 Campaigners call for block on badger cull - A BADGER conservation group is calling on people to lodge their objections to a planned experimental cull to reduce TB in cattle due to take place in West Somerset later this year… Somerset Trust Badger Group chairman Adrian Coward is calling on opponents of the cull to make their views known to Natural England by next Thursday (February 23)…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 17.2.12 130 deer killed in TB outbreak - WILD deer in the Forest of Dean "must be infected" with bovine TB according to one keeper who had to cull his whole herd. Brian Thornton had to go through the heartbreak of wiping out all 130 of the animals which roam his Priors Mesne estate, near Aylburton, Lydney… (story)

Western Morning News 17.2.12 Badger tests don't chime with real life - Thirty five years ago, as a member of the (then) RSPCA’s Wild Animals Advisory Committee, I asked (then) MAFF officials how do badgers transmit TB to cattle. The answer was: ‘We don’t know, but we are sure they do’…. if the problem really is caused by badgers getting access to feed stores, yards and cattle-sheds, why can’t the farmers simply fence them out? John Bryant, Humane Urban Wildlife Deterrence, Kent (letter)

BBC News Online 17.2.12 Norfolk pig cruelty probe farmer died of gunshot wound - A farmer found dead days after a probe was launched into claims of pig cruelty died from a severe head injury "due to a shotgun blast", an inquest has been told. The body of Stephen Brown, 52, was found at Harling Farm, near Thetford, Norfolk, on Wednesday…. (story)
Meat Trades Journal 16.2.12 Animal Equality defends investigation - Vegan group Animal Equality has been forced to defend itself over why it chose to wait more than six months to report animal welfare abuse at a Norfolk pig farm…. Visitors to the Animal Equality Facebook page have questioned why the group waited so long to report the alleged abuse to the authorities, and why no-one approached the owner of the farm to inform him about the behaviour of his employees… (story)
Farmers Weekly 16.2.12 Animal activists slammed after farmer's death - Johann Tasker - Shock has turned to anger following the death of a farmer targeted by animal rights activists. Pig producer Stephen Brown, 52, was found dead on his farm at East Harling, Norfolk, on Wednesday (15 February). His farm had been the target of an undercover investigation by activists from the campaign group Animal Equality…. (story)
Farmers Guardian 16.2.12 Pig industry shock over Norfolk farmer death By Alistair Driver - THE death of a Norfolk pig farmer whose workers were accused of mistreating his animals has shocked the pig industry. Tributes have been paid to Stephen Brown, who was found dead at his home in the village of East Harling on Wednesday morning… Laura Gough said the vegan organisation had ‘no comments on any of the circumstances surrounding the owner’s death’… (story)
Farmers Weekly 13.2.12 RSPCA investigates pig farm cruelty case - Jonathan Riley - The RSPCA has launched an investigation into allegations of cruelty at a pig farm supplying Red Tractor branded meat to major retailers. The allegations were made by animal rights group Animal Equality after it released video footage showing pigs being kicked, slapped and attacked... (story)
BBC News Online 13.2.12 Norfolk pig abuse film farmer 'gutted' - The owner of a pig farm where animals were secretly filmed being abused has criticised animal rights campaigners. Stephen Brown, who farms at Harling Farm, in Norfolk, said the person who filmed the abuse had been tasked with looking after the pigs… (story)
BBC News Online 12.2.12 'Shocking' pig cruelty condemned at Norfolk farm - An RSPCA investigation has begun into "shocking" footage of pigs apparently being beaten on a farm in Norfolk. Animal Equality said it had filmed the animals being kicked, slapped and attacked with iron bars at Harling Farm, in East Harling, near Norwich… (story)

Yorkshire Post 17.2.12 Battery ban From: Jennifer Bookbinder, Cottingley Gardens, Leeds. WITH reference to your article concerning hen cages (Yorkshire Post, February 11), it is, of course, good news that it is now against the law to imprison hens in vile battery cages…. (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 17.2.12 Wild animals should be free - RECENTLY there has been the horror at a UK zoo of a lion in captivity eating a barn owl also at the zoo… Wild animals should be left to remain in their own habitat. Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby (letter)

Leicester Mercury 18.2.12 Animals are far more intelligent than most people realise - Recently in a cafeteria my mother and I joined a very long queue to order a basic meal each. The assistant used a touch screen to record requirements. After recording the first meal she had forgotten what was required for the second meal. Having watched the TV programme Super Smart Animals I decided that the chimp who could recall numbers had a far superior memory to that of the assistant and the service would have been much faster had he been serving!... Mrs Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (letter)


Western Gazette 16.2.12 MANY congratulations Jonathon Taylor on your front-page report headlined "Anger as hunt's hounds run riot" (Western Gazette February 2, Sherborne edition). There was considerable opposition from many Leigh residents regarding the illegal and abhorrent hunt which took place in the village on Thursday, January 26…. The hounds were out of control and at one point we had about ten in our garden. My two cats would not have stood a chance against so many dogs and were extremely traumatised by the incident… The hunter's feeble apologies have been accepted once, however should the hunt ever deviate through the local churchyard or my garden again, the huntsman will have no acceptable excuse…. (letter)
Western Daily Press 2.2.12 Anger over hunting hounds in garden - A resident has called on her neighbours to complain to police after hunting hounds "ran riot" in her the village. Julie Hounsell, of Leigh in Dorset, discovered the dogs running loose in her garden at 3pm last Thursday afternoon… (story)

Telegraph 16.2.12 A shooting party driven from its historic drives - Shooting at Polesden Lacey - Eternal shame on the National Trust for closing a small, safe and traditional game shoot that has existed for generations without inconvenience to anybody at Polesden Lacey (report, February 15). As the shoot’s former captain and leaseholder, I do not accept the reasons given for this decision. The increase in visitors over the past 35 years, which the trust claims is a concern, is almost wholly confined to the public areas in the warmer months and not to the shoot areas…. Andrew M. Courtney, Hampton Wick, Middlesex (letter)
Telegraph 14.2.12 National Trust accused of turning estate into 'Disney theme park' after banning latest shoot By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent - Keen sportsmen and women have enjoyed shooting at Polesden Lacey, a grand country house near Dorking, for more than 100 years. But now the Trust has decided the Edwardian estate is more suited to Nordic walking classes and “the quiet enjoyment of visitors”. The lease for Poleden Lacey Shooting Syndicate was terminated at the beginning of this month after 40 years.David Rann, a member of the syndicate for more than 20 years, accused the Trust of “hypocrisy”…. (story)
Mail 14.2.12 National Trust accused of turning historic Edwardian estate into a 'Disney theme park for townies' By Ted Thornhill - The National Trust has been accused by a furious pheasant shooting syndicate of wanting to turn the historic Polesden Lacey estate near Dorking, Surrey, into a ‘Disney theme park for townies’. The syndicate has enjoyed sport in the woods and parkland around the Edwardian manor house at Great Bookham for more than 40 years but its lease ran out at the start of February and members have been told it won’t be renewed…. (story)

Western Mail 16.2.12 Animal welfare groups hail Swansea University's trial of testing without animals - Animal welfare groups have welcomed a major new research project into ways of testing for cancer-causing substances in everyday chemicals and cosmetics without using laboratory animals. Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science is working with Brunel University to develop testing methods based on how human – not animal – cells are affected by certain substances…. Alistair Currie, policy officer for People for Ethnic Treatment of Animals (Peta) said: “The current animal test for carcinogenicity is primitive, cruel and useless…. Marie Claire Macintosh, spokeswoman for animal welfare charity Four Paws, said: “We welcome this new funding… (story)

New Statesman 16.2.12 Helen Lewis Hasteley - Why PETA makes me want to eat a barn owl - What's better than domestic violence imagery? Sexy domestic violence imagery!... Well, nothing makes me want to eat a barn owl more than PETA, the People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals…. this PETA advert doesn't in the slightest make me want to go vegan. In fact, quite the opposite. So not only will I happily call them out, but I'm going to smother myself in foie gras and panda steaks. (story)
Guardian 16.2.12 Peta's vegan sex ad shows it has tofu for brains - Flirting with domestic violence imagery in your shock-tactic marketing is not the way to promote an animal-free diet - Arwa Mahdawi - This article contains content of sexual nature. If you don't like it, jog on…. Peta is an organisation dedicated to the ethical treatment of animals. I am careful to point this out, because it's easy to mistake them for an organisation dedicated to the promotion of sex with vegetables or the propagation of self-loathing, misogyny and Pamela Anderson. Honestly, Peta's ads make me so angry I could stamp on a kitten. While eating a Big Mac and wearing chinchilla. … (story)

Linlithgow Gazette 16.2.12 Animal charity seeks volunteers for wildlife challenge - ANIMAL welfare charity OneKind, formerly Advocates for Animals, is looking for volunteers from the Journal and Gazette area for an amazing new international charity challenge to help end animal cruelty… (story)

Scotsman 16.2.12 Animal group claims victory after probe into running of Edinburgh Zoo - ANIMAL rights campaigners who called for an investigation at Edinburgh Zoo claim they have been vindicated, after bosses at the attraction were told to review its financial controls…. John Robins, spokesman for Animal Concern, said the report showed the group was right to raise its concerns over the running of the zoo with the OSCR… (story)


Galloway Gazette 15.2.12 The hunt goes on - LAST Tuesday marked the tenth anniversary of the passing of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 – the Act which outlawed traditional fox hunting and hare coursing in Scotland. In Galloway, many areas have no hunt still in existence, except the Dumfries and Stewartry Hunt, which were out in the countryside on Boxing Day for their traditional meeting…. (story)

This Is Money 15.2.12 Pay-as-you-drive insurance policy could penalise families in rural areas By RUTH LYTHE - Families living in rural areas may be penalised by a new car insurance policy where premiums are based on where and when you drive. The AA has launched a pay-as-you-drive insurance scheme which uses in-car ‘black box’ technology to monitor your driving behaviour behind the wheel… Campaign group the Countryside Alliance says it is unfair to penalise people for living in a rural area… (story)

Horncastle News 15.2.12 Video: Police say sorry to animal rights protester for terrorism claim By Alison Sandilands - A video of a Leeds PCSO falsely accusing a Horncastle animal rights activist of being connected to terrorism has become an overnight hit on YouTube. The film, recorded by campaigner Ali Firth outside Bramley pet supermarket Dogs 4 Us has been viewed more than 5,000 times and has attracted the attention of national media… A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said a letter of apology was being issued… (story)
Mail 10.2.12 Police forced to apologise after YouTube video showed PCSO accusing animal rights protester filming pet store of being a terrorist By Suzannah Hills - A police force has apologised to an animal rights campaigner after she posted footage on YouTube of a PCSO falsely accusing her of having terrorist links. Activist Ali Firth, 49, was filming outside a pet store in Yorkshire on her video camera when the police community support officer demanded she stop… (story)
Yorkshire Post 9.2.12 Video: ‘Turn that camera off - these puppy protesters may be terrorists’ - A POLICE force has apologised to an animal rights campaigner after a community support officer said a protest group had links to “known terrorists”. Ali Firth, 49, was filming a small demo outside a puppy supplier in Bramley, Leeds, when she was told by an officer to stop filming or her camera would be confiscated. A police community support officer told Ms Firth that the protest group “is connected to known terrorists”… (story)

York Press 15.2.12 I am sickened - INNOCENT men are regularly named in alleged rape cases, yet a heartless monster who fried a helpless animal to death remains anonymous… Heather Causnett, Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York (story)

Oxford Mail 15.2.12 Animals deserve rights - ASHLEY OWEN, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)
Sunderland Echo 6.2.12 Animal rights - IT is becoming more accepted that animals experience many of the same emotions and sensations as humans do…. Obviously animals do not need exactly the same rights as humans, but the right to a life free from suffering and exploitation is as important to them as it is to us. A good place to start would be to stop intensively farming and slaughtering them for food, and to stop conducting cruel and unreliable experiments on them… Ashley Owen, Animal Aid, Kent (letter)


BBC News Online 14.2.12 Fox found 'hanged' in illegal snare in Dumfries - The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after a fox was discovered in an illegal snare in Dumfries. A member of the public found the animal at a waste water treatment works off New Abbey Road, last Wednesday…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 14.2.12 Night vision putting deer in line of fire - IT'S bad news for deer in Neath and Port Talbot as culling in the area is taking on a whole new James Bond-styled approach. Night vision cameras, more commonly used on the battlefields of Afghanistan or in spy films, are being deployed to monitor the numbers of the animals in the area's forests…. (story)
Farmers Guardian 14.2.12 Foresters deploy spy cameras to track game By Barry Alston - FORESTERS are using state-of-the-art “stealth” cameras to capture infra-red images of deer and wild boar roaming Welsh Government woodlands. The cameras, which are hidden on trees and are triggered by movement, have been installed to help Forestry Commission Wales mount round-the-clock surveillance on the animals which, if left unmanaged, can cause significant damage to agriculture, forestry and vulnerable habitats…. (story)
Western Mail 14.2.12 Animal rights campaigners attack "rush to kill" deer cull policy By Sion Morgan - Animal rights campaigners last night attacked a “rush to kill” policy that has seen 1,000 deer culled in Welsh forestry this winter alone. Forestry Commission Wales officers are using “stealth” night vision cameras to combat growing populations of wild deer and boar in Welsh Government woodlands… But Animal Aid say the economic benefit of deer culling raises serious questions about the need to cull at all…. (story)
Western Mail 13.2.12 Growing numbers of wild deer being shot in Wales By Sion Morgan, WalesOnline - The number of wild deer being culled in Wales has doubled in the past five years after deer populations increased by an estimated 25% a year in some parts of the country. Foresters are now using stealth night vision cameras in a bid to control the nation's growing wild deer and boar population…. (story)

BBC News Online 13.2.12 Deer night-vision cameras in Welsh forests as culling increases By Iolo ap Dafydd - The number of wild deer being culled in Wales has doubled in the past five years, according to officials…. Meurig Rees, from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, explained that while the deer is not a protected species, there are strict rules about culling them… (story)

Leamington Observer 14.2.12 Wildlife Trust slam badger culling plan By Kevin Unitt - WARWICKSHIRE Wildlife Trust is calling for badger vaccinations rather than culling in a bid to tackle the spread of the Bovine TB disease… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 14.2.12 Testing on animals can save lives - I READ with annoyance and incredulity the letter from Eileen Girling. I have been a type one diabetic for 40 years and my son has been a sufferer for eight years. How dare your reader regard animal testing as "useless"? If it had not been for the brilliance of Banting and Best I would have died, my son would also be dead and so would millions of others…. J Golding, Dunswell Road, Cottingham (letter)


Gloucester Citizen 13.2.12 Quedgeley councillor shot in the face with BB gun - CALLS have been made to ban BB guns after a Quedgeley councillor was shot in the face by a child. Gloucester city councillor Fred Wood was leaving Quedgeley Community Centre at around 5.30pm on Thursday when he was shot in the temple by a metal ball-bearing fired from a BB gun… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 13.2.12 Citizen comment: Is it time BB gun regulations were tighter? - WHY on earth would a child need a BB gun? Unless they were involved in controlled shooting competitions, why would they feel the need to get their hands on what is clearly a weapon?... According to the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, it is estimated there are four million air rifles in the UK, the vast majority of which are used in a safe and responsible manner. While we do not doubt that most people know how to look after and use these weapons, quite clearly some, on occasion, are falling into the wrong hands… (story)

Western Daily Press 13.2.12 Badger cull threats aimed at pest controller - A vermin controller says he has been threatened by animal rights campaigners ahead of a badger cull in the West Country… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 11.2.12 Threats made to vermin controller over badger cull - A VERMIN controller suspects animal rights campaigners threatened him ahead of a badger cull in Gloucestershire. The county man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was told not to have anything to do with the pilot cull in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset…. (story)

Salford Star 13.2.12 SALFORD PUPPY PROTEST AT DOGS 4 US - Campaigners lined the entrance to Dogs 4 Us on Agecroft Road yesterday to raise awareness about puppy farms and the over supply of dogs in the UK…"We've had a great response today" said campaigner Michael James… (story)


Blackmore Vale Magazine 10.2.12 Court threat after hunt strays - A HUNT has been threatened with court action after horses and hounds strayed on to private land in Hazelbury Bryan. The incident happened at High House Farm on West Lane during the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt's meet last Tuesday. Magistrates instructed the hunt to keep off the farm after organic dairy farmer Leslie Head and his father Robert took court action for trespass 20 years ago… (story)

Huffington Post 10.2.12 Oppose the Whippenscott Deer Cull - Giles Bradshaw - For the last six years I have campaigned against an absurd condition in the Hunting Act which bans my use of dogs to manage the wild deer on my farm at Whippenscott in North Devon unless I shoot them… I have developed a completely humane non lethal way of dealing with this problem. I simply take my pet dogs round my property on a regular basis… I first became aware of the absurdity of the Hunting Act in relation to my activities back in 2004. I wrote to Defra explaining the situation. Initially they insisted that to 'chase away' the deer would be legal but they then quickly changed their tune and maintained that the deer in these circumstances would have to be shot. I attempted to enlist the help of animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS). Surely these bodies would oppose the senseless destruction of wildlife just to satisfy a badly thought out law? I was shocked to find out that this was not the case… (story)

Horse & Hound 10.2.12 Seavington master makes steady progress in hospital - Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - Seavington joint-master Jereme Darke is making a steady recovery in Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, after fracturing his skull last month…. (story)
View Online 27.1.12 SEAVINGTON: Hunt master recovering from a fractured skull By Marion Draper - WELL known large animal vet and joint master of the Seavington Hunt Jereme Darke is said to be recovering after suffering a fractured skull whilst testing cattle at a farm in Donyatt…. (story)
Western Gazette 26.1.12 Injured vet Jereme Darke ‘making good progress’ after gate accident = A vet who was hospitalised after a freak accident where a cow kicked a metal gate into his face is making good progress in his recovery… (story)
ThisIsDevon 20.1.12 Vet fights for life after cow kicked metal gate into his face - A leading vet was in a critical condition in hospital yesterday after he suffered a brain haemorrhage when a cow kicked a metal gate into his face. Experienced Jereme Darke, 45, fell backwards and cracked his head on the concrete floor after the heifer bucked the swinging cattle gate straight into him… Mr Darke, who lives in Devon, is joint Master of the Seavington Hunt and secretary of the Crewkerne Farmers' Skittle League… (story)
Western Gazette 19.1.12 Somerset vet critical after freak accident with cow - A vet remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital after a cow kicked a metal gate into his face. Jereme Darke, 45, who is well known across south Somerset, was blood testing beef cattle at a farm in Donyatt when the freak accident occurred at 3.10pm on Monday, January 9… Mr Darke, who lives in Devon, is joint Master of the Seavington Hunt and secretary of the Crewkerne Farmers’ Skittle League… (story)

Evesham Journal 10.2.12 Twilight zone - AH, The Hunting Laws. It IS a disgrace that 700 parliamentary hours has been spent on the laws concerning hunting with hounds – so why waste any more time trying to repeal the present law?... STEVE ANDERSON. Bourton-on-the-Hill (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 10.2.12 Hunt dogs must face death row - Along with many of your readers, I await with interest the outcome of the PSNI investigation into the barbaric killing of a family cat last week by a group of fox-chasing hounds. The contrast between this story and the plight of Lennox the dog could not be greater… Surely the very least we can expect is that the dogs in question - which are evidently dangerous - be seized and destroyed forthwith? Or will the blue-blooded background of the canine culprits perhaps save them from such a fate? ANIMAL LOVER Jordanstown, Co Antrim (letter)

Mail 10.2.12 RICHARD LITTLEJOHN - Beware of militant tax-paying ‘Tories’ - The BBC has decided it has a duty to ‘out’ those dangerous headbangers at the Taxpayers’ Alliance…. according to Kevin Bakhurst, controller of the BBC News Channel and the News at One: ‘They have close links with the Conservatives…Gavin Allen, editor of BBC Political News and executive editor of Question Time, replied that similar treatment should be given to outfits such as the Countryside Alliance and ‘Right-leaning’ think tanks such as Civitas…. (story)

Western Morning News 10.2.12 Badger Trust fights plan for pilot culls - The Badger Trust has threatened a legal challenge in a bid to stop the forthcoming badger cull trials in two South West areas… (story)
Western Daily Press 10.2.12 Badger charity launches legal challenge to Somerset cull - An animal charity yesterday set out the reasons why it will take legal action to try to stop a planned badger cull in the West, if ministers do not abandon it… (story)
Farmers Weekly 9.2.12 Badger Trust warns DEFRA of legal challenge - Jonathan Riley - The Badger Trust has warned that it intends to take legal action against DEFRA unless the department drops plans to cull badgers… (story)

Isle of Thanet Gazette 10.2.12 Campaigners remember protester - ANIMAL welfare campaigners held a rally in Ramsgate harbour on Saturday in memory of Jill Phipps who was killed while protesting about live exports of cattle… Gerard Bane, of Thanet Against Live Exports, led the tributes as music was played through speakers… (story)

Oxford Mail 10.2.12 Bullfighting is barbaric - R LEWIS rightly denounces Alexander Fiske-Harrison for portraying bullfighting as “an ego-based exercise”… SHARON HOPKINS, Templar Road, Oxford (letter)


Horse & Hound 9.2.12 Centenary of the Masters of Basset Hounds Association - Flora Watkins, H&H news editor - Supporters of basseting are enjoying a week of events to mark the centenary of the Masters of Basset Hounds Association (MBHA)…. On Saturday, the Westerby will hunt the de Burgh and North Essex country, while the following week the Four Shires and the Barony hunt the East Lincs country… (story)

Leicester Mercury 9.2.12 Horses are now being bred to excess for racing and the pet trade - Steven Spielberg's film War Horse has prompted many comments about the treatment of horses in times of war… Horses are now being bred to excess for racing and the pet trade… Research conducted by Animal Aid indicates that about 420 horses are raced to death every year…. Mrs Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (story)

Torquay Herald Express 9.2.12 Bay badger cull pledge - NO badger cull would be permitted in Torbay, mayor Gordon Oliver has pledged. There was no particular problem with TB in badgers in Torbay, he told full council in response to a call from Cllr Julien Parrott to refuse to allow any cull on land controlled by Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust… (story)

Spalding Guardian 9.2.12 Animal rights protestors at Weston circus By SHARON PELL - ANIMAL rights protesters intend to have a peaceful demonstration on the opening night of the circus at Weston tomorrow. Campaigners from Animal Defenders International (ADI) said they hope to “inform” visitors to Circus Mondao, which has set up at Baytree Nurseries Garden Centre, with leaflets about circus animals… ADI spokesman Phil Buckley said: “We ask our supporters to attend and make their feelings known. Animals have no place in the circus in this day and age…. (story)

Oxford Mail 9.2.12 Bullfighting author’s talk called off - A TALK tonight by Oxford bullfighter Alexander Fiske-Harrison has been cancelled. Mr Fiske-Harrison mounted a fierce attack on Blackwell’s for cancelling the event, rescheduled to today after the Broad Street bookshop postponed the original talk because of security fears…. (story)
Oxford Mail 27.1.12 Author who took bull by the horns By Reg Little - AS perhaps the only Oxford-educated bullfighter in history, Alexander Fiske-Harrison is not a man easily scared. As reported in yesterday’s Oxford Mail his talk at Blackwell’s in Broad Street scheduled this week had to be postponed following “a credible threat” from an animal rights extremist. But facing death threats, he insists, are nothing compared to facing a bull in a ring… (story)
Oxford Times 26.1.12 Bullfighting author gets death threats By Reg Little - THE Oxford author who wrote about becoming a matador has had his appearance at a bookshop today cancelled after threats from animal rights protesters. Alexander Fiske-Harrison says he has received at least 20 threats, including ones on his life, since writing Into The Arena: The World of the Spanish Bullfight…. (story)

Wells Journal 9.2.12 Circus ban wins backing - Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson has entered the ring of Wells MP Tessa Munt's campaign to ban wild animals from circus shows in the UK… (story)


Western Gazette 8.2.12 Paul Nicholls: A year off is likely for racing legend Denman - Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has refused to rule out a hunting future for recently retired Denman although conceded the racing legend is likely to be given a year off… Now Denman is again walking at Nicholls’ Ditcheat yard, the handler said he was tempted to make the most of owner Paul Barber’s links with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt… (story)

Wigan Observer 8.2.12 Walkers’ shooting terror - POLICE are investigating claims that a pheasant shoot at a beauty spot near Wigan endangered walkers’ lives. An ex-bobby today led the complaints, saying he feared for his safety as he trekked down a public footpath off Parbold Hill…. Mr Dowd said: “Whoever these people were, they were not abiding by the shooting code of conduct. I was flabbergasted…. I am pro-shooting but you have to act more responsibly than this. I shouted across to the group ‘are you allowed to shoot so close to the path?’ and one of them replied ‘yes, we have the landowner’s permission.’”… (story)

Oxford Times 8.2.12 Leave red kites alone - THE article titled ‘Red kites are turning pests’ (Oxford Mail, February 2) is a misrepresentation of the facts behind these magnificent birds’ rise in numbers…. My suspicions are that the gamebird rearing fraternity fear the kites will be taking their fledglings from their breeding land… ADRIAN TAYLOR Thames Court Eynsham (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 8.2.12 Call for snares to be banned - WILDLIFE sanctuary boss Caroline Gould has launched a campaign to have snares banned. It follows the discovery of a badger that had been horrifically injured by one. Caroline is the founder and manager of Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre, at Beckford, near Tewkesbury… (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 8.2.12 Writing for the love of animals - Budding artists and poets in Bradford who are passionate about animal issues are being sought for a national Youth Art and Poetry Competition. Education group, Animal Aid, is looking for imaginative talented work from those aged between 11 to 14 years old… (story)


BBC News Online 7.2.12 New figures cast doubts on effectiveness of hunting ban - Figures obtained by BBC One's Sunday Politics programme in the Midlands reveal the number of prosecutions brought under the Hunting Act in our part of the country since it came into force in 2005. Just one! Our Freedom of Information request to theCrown Prosecution Service also reveals that the case in question involved not fox hunting, but hare coursing, in Warwickshire, six years ago… The Masters of the Warwickshire Hunt tell us they are not expecting Parliament to reopen the question in the near future… (story)

Belfast News Letter 7.2.12 Hunt ban calls after cat killed - FRESH calls for a ban on hunting with hounds in Northern Ireland have been made after a cat was attacked and killed at the weekend… (story)
BBC News Online 6.2.12 North Down hunt dogs kill cat in Kircubbin - A Kircubbin woman has called for the hunting laws in Northern Ireland to be changed after her cat was killed by dogs from the North Down hunt. Lisa Smith's cat Sophie was torn apart by about 10 dogs that came into her back garden on Saturday afternoon. The dogs had been hunting a fox when they left the field and entered Ms Smith's garden. The Countryside Alliance has apologised to her for the loss of control of the dogs… (story)
UTV 6.2.12 Cat mauled to death by hunt dogs - A Co Down woman whose pet cat was savaged by a pack of fox hounds at the weekend says her heart is broken. Sophie, who was seven, was attacked by the hunt in the back garden of her owner's home in Kircubbin on Saturday…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 7.2.12 Former Stradbroke woman Billy Hawes on dog sled challenge for Countryside Alliance - A daring explorer is preparing to embark on the latest of her many thrilling adventures around the globe to raise money and rural awareness. Self-proclaimed eccentric Billy Hawes is leaving these chilly isles for an even colder climate and a 200km trek across the far reaches of Norway, in aid of the Countryside Alliance… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 6.2.12 Suffolk: Adventure prepares for Arctic challenge By Tom Potter - A DARING explorer is preparing to embark on the latest of her many thrilling adventures around the globe to raise money and rural awareness. Self-proclaimed eccentric Billy Hawes is leaving these chilly isles for an even colder climate and a 200km trek across the far reaches of Norway, in aid of the Countryside Alliance. The seven-day Arctic Dog Sled Challenge coincides with Billy’s 60th birthday and is the most recent chapter in a well-travelled tale of worldwide expedition…. (story)

Huffington Post 7.2.12 Show Your Support for the Rural Economy - Dylan Sharpe - Head of Media Relations, Countryside Alliance - While some might have you believe that the biggest threat facing the countryside is the government's as yet unpublished and yet-to-be voted-on White Paper on planning (otherwise known as the National Planning Policy Framework or NPPF); in truth the biggest danger to our much-loved green spaces is the slow and seemingly irreversible decline of the rural economy…. (story)

Western Daily Press 7.2.12 Badger cull opponents begin hunt to recruit volunteers - A charity opposed to the potential badger cull in West Somerset is planning to enlist local volunteers to help convince landowners to oppose the pilot. The League Against Cruel Sports has said that as 70 per cent of landowners in the area must agree to the cull for it to go ahead, they will be asking them to sign declarations saying they won’t allow it to happen…. (story)
Somerset County Gazette 5.2.12 West Somerset landowners urged to oppose badger cull - A CHARITY opposed to the potential badger cull in West Somerset is planning to enlist local volunteers to help convince landowners to oppose the pilot. The League Against Cruel Sports has said that as 70% of landowners in the area must agree to the cull for it to go ahead, they will be asking them to sign declarations saying they won't allow it to happen…. (story)


Surrey Comet 6.2.12 Wimbledon school fields blighted by fox mess By Omar Oakes - Brazen foxes have little shame using school playing fields as a toilet, residents have complained, as the council claimed nothing more could be done to deter them…. Councillor Chris Edge, a governor at the school, said the law should be changed to reclassify foxes as vermin and allow local authorities to take stronger action against them… But Merton Council’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability, Councillor Andrew Judge, said trapping or killing foxes was ineffective and cruel…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 6.2.12 Rescuer of 'betrayed' war horses - I am extremely grateful to Mrs Denise Moore for her letter ("Treatment of war horses beyond belief", Mailbox, January 25) as it vividly highlights the stark reality which lies behind the War Horse story… Linda J Bodicoat, Earl Shilton (letter)
Leicester Mercury 25.1.12 Treatment of war horses beyond belief - I read your story "Real story of a war horse" (Mercury, January 18) with absolute disgust and disbelief…. Mrs Denise Moore, Coalville (letter)


Express 5.2.12 CIRCUS DROPS ANIMAL ACTS AFTER PUBLIC STAY AWAY By Ted Jeory - A CIRCUS has dropped its animal acts because they are not a big draw for the Big Top. Paulo’s Circus had attracted protests from animal rights activists but owner Kenny Darnell said his decision was made for strictly commercial reasons… (story)


Horse & Hound 4.2.12 Zetland huntsman rewarded for his bravery - Zetland huntsman David Jukes has been recognised for the bravery he showed when helping police to catch a criminal in September…. (story)
Teesdale Mercury 26.1.12 POLICE AWARD FOR HAVE-A-GO HERO DAVID - A MAN who chased criminals across the Teesdale countryside has received a bravery commendation from the police. David Jukes, a huntsman at the Zetland Hunt, took part in a high-speed police pursuit near the A66 in September… (story)
Northern Echo 28.9.11 Police commandeer huntsman's Land Rover during off-road chase By Chris Webber - A HUNTSMAN has told how he and his Land Rover were commandeered by police in a high speed, offroad chase that went through fences and hedges. David Jukes, 56, and a police officer drove about five or six miles across rough terrain before Mr Jukes, armed with a spade, helped make an arrest by jumping on a man’s back… Mr Jukes, who has been a professional huntsman in the area for the Zetland Hunt for more than 20 years and knows the area well, said:…. “You could see this four-wheel drive pick-up, it was an Isuzu, flat out across a field. There were three police cars, BMW estates, chasing the Isuzu with these two lads inside, but of course the police estates were no good against the bigger vehicle. “I indicated to a policeman, pointing at my Land Rover. In a millisecond a policeman was beside me and I shuffled over to the passenger seat. We were off at some speed… (story)
North east Evening Gazette 28.9.11 Huntsman's Land Rover helps off-road chase by Andy Passant, Evening Gazette - A HUNTSMAN helped give chase after police hunted a wanted Teesside driver through the fields in a high-speed pursuit. David Jukes’ Land Rover was commandeered by police during the chase, which went across open countryside and through fences and hedges…. Huntsman Mr Jukes, who belongs to the Zetland Hunt, said: “It was all very exciting stuff. It was better than the telly.”… (story)

Western Daily Press 4.2.12 Fox-chasing students may be expelled - Members of a "chauvinist" drinking society at Oxford University have been warned they face expulsion after a party where they chased girls dressed as foxes. The notorious 'Black Cygnets' drinking club at St Hugh's College organised the 'Fox Hunt' drinking session at a university bar… (story)

Scotsman 4.2.12 Shoot to thrill: hunting was child’s play for gamekeeper’s son By SANDRA DICK -HIS first victim slumped bleeding and in a lifeless bundle on the ground at his feet when he was just 13 years old. Brian Grigor held his still smoking weapon in his arms, surveyed his red-haired victim and felt a surge of pride. “I don’t suppose I probably thought like most 13-year-olds,” he admits with a shrug. “I’d been shooting with my dad lots of times, so I wasn’t squeamish. Instead, my first kill brought a kind of sense of pride. I’d shot my first fox.”… (story)

Yorkshire Post 4.2.12 Rethink urged on green belt house building - Countryside campaigners have called on local authorities in Yorkshire to reconsider controversial plans to build more than 11,000 homes on the region’s green belt land…. Northern Countryside Alliance regional director Simon Hamlyn said: “Green belt has long been abused and ignored by local authorities and has moved away from its original function – we believe there should be a whole scale review of the policy as the current system has resulted in a piecemeal approach. “… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 4.2.12 Wildlife trust: Badger cull is not the answer - THE Government said it believes that this cull is based on science. But the work we have seen at the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust – from the randomised badger control trial, which has been analysed by the Independent Scientific Group – shows that, at best, culling will only have a small effect on reducing bovine TB… (story)

Derby Telegraph 4.2.12 Sophie's seven hours in cage for pig-farm protest - A CAMPAIGNER spent seven hours in a tiny cage to highlight her concerns over plans for a massive pig farm. Sophie Longdon, 30, dressed as a pig as part of her efforts to collect signatures against the plan…. Sophie was in the cage, in Lush, in the Westfield Centre, from 11am to 6pm yesterday. The 5ft 1in Lush employee said it was tough but she won a lot of support… (story)
Derby Telegraph 4.2.12 Protest continues against Foston’s pig farm proposals - Campaigners continued their protest against proposals to build the controversial pig farm in Foston on Friday as Derby County Council's decision looms closer…. Victoria Martindale, spokeswoman for Derby Animal Rights, said, "No one wants this pig farm to go ahead… (story)


Berwickshire News 3.2.12 Anger over grouse claims - A BERWICKSHIRE landowner has poured cold water on suggestions made by an English academic that Scotland’s heather moorland should be ripped out and replaced with forests. Sir David Read, a professor of plant sciences at the University of Sheffield has caused anger north of the Border with his accusation that grouse moors contribute little to the economy and replacing them with trees would be better all round… (story)

Guardian 3.2.12 Need for speed: can rural councils fulfil the promise of universal broadband? The government claims the UK will soon have the best high-speed broadband network in Europe – but connecting rural areas could cause problems - Duncan Jefferies - The countryside has a lot to offer: fresh air, beautiful surroundings, pub gardens you actually want to sit in. But these things often come at the price of decent broadband access… Sarah Lee, head of policy for the Countryside Alliance, which recentlycriticised the lack of progress made on four high-speed broadband pilot schemes in Cumbria, Herefordshire, North Yorkshire and the Highlands and Islands, believes too much pressure is being put on councils…. (story)

Flintshire Chronicle 3.2.12 Lush-ous products that are kind to the environment too By Laura Taylor - WITH their delightfully scented toiletries and innovative ‘green’ thinking, Lush has certainly revolutionised the bathing experiences of many of us across the globe. So why are Lush enthusiasts – including myself – so passionate about the lotions and potions on offer at this popular high street store?.. Animal cruelty is perhaps one of the biggest causes of concern for Lush - they even dumped manure outside the Houses of Parliament in 2010 to express their fervent loathing of animal testing. You’ve really got to admire their fortitude…. (story)


Wiltshire Times 2.2.12 How many at meet? - Surely Jonathon Seed and RL Tonge, Jan 27, are confirming a point Mr Lauder made, that the tax payers are funding any extra services needed by problems caused by a single issue group like the blood sports fraternity, whereas if any other organisation want to hold a gathering that would cause traffic or other problems as highlighted by R L Tonge, they would have to fund it in part or in total, also how many others who breached parking laws would be just given a warning… D Thomas, Dilton Marsh (letter)
Wiltshire Times 26.1.12 Hunt traffic was better - In response to Mr Lauder’s letter entitled ‘why no fines’ in Lacock on Boxing Day, I can confirm it was my decision to have two enforcement officers there for a few hours… Jonathon Seed was not the decision maker. I made the decision during a meeting I attended in Lacock with parking officers, the parish council, the National Trust, the police and Mr Seed… R L Tonge, Wiltshire Council. (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 2.2.12 Hunters have no humanity - RE: Have Your Say, Wednesday, January 18: Fox hunting has no place. I can think of only one word to describe fox hunters and fox hunting — and that is bestial… Averil Williams, Gorseinon (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 25.1.12 Hounding out street vermin - REGARDING "Bags attract foxes and rats" (Post, January 20) — as hunting with hounds is apparently a safe, controlled and humane sport, maybe they should concentrate on the needs of the good people of Brynmill who have fox issues resulting from household waste… But don't forget to lock up your pets and children (unless of course Mr Levell discounts their welfare, too). Huw Evans Pontardawe (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 20.1.12 Fox hunt fan in Stone Age - IN his brief letter (Have Your Say, January 11), Gwilym Levell shows a lack of compassion in expressing support for fox hunting. Interestingly, he refers to our Stone Age ancestors. I would suggest that he has one foot in the Stone Age…. G Barwick, Killay (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 19.1.12 Where's the fun in hunt? - DOES Gwilym Levell (Have Your Say, January 11) realise the incongruity of his closing advice to hunt opponents? I quote: "Live and let live." Only one faction of a fox hunt gets out alive Mr Levell and perhaps even you can figure out who gets the worst of this equation… Arthur Hendey, Penlan, Swansea (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 18.1.12 Fox-hunting has no place - SADLY I do not think Gwilym Levell was joking when he described fox hunting as a sport and said that "opponents of fox hunting should live and let live" (Have Your Say, January 11). It is ludicrous to equate fox hunting with other sports… Name and address supplied (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 17.1.12 Can killing be relaxing? - GWILYM Levell (Have Your Say, January 11) assures us that "fox hunting is a sport we do when not working or resting". Does that mean that killing is relaxing?... Killing is not the act of a civilised person. Trish Howells, Mumbles, Swansea (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 11.1.12 Fox hunting is just a sport - SPORT is what free people chose to do when they are not working or resting… The loss of freedom to enjoy one sport is a threat to all sports. Opponents of fox hunting should live and let live. Gwilym Levell Whittington Street, Tonna (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 2.2.12 Keep packs off our highways - WHY are packs of hunting dogs allowed on public highways without leads? Section 27 (4) (b) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 granted exemption from the requirement for dogs, being used for sporting purposes, to be kept on a lead while on a public highway, but I do not think this is any longer the case… as the Hunting Act 2004 brought an end to hunting wild mammals with dogs for sporting purposes it is reasonable to assume that the Road Traffic Act exemption is by implication repealed and no longer valid. Hounds must, in my opinion, be kept off highways unless they are on leads. John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Gazette 2.2.12 Celebrate rural life at Game Fair - THE Westcountry Game Fair is one the first of the great regional game fairs in the calendar and returns this year on the weekend of March 10 and 11…. (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 2.2.12 Don’t fuel animal killers’ blook lust - COULD I please urge the YEP to stop publicising the recent sightings of dead rabbits, foxes etc hung in trees in local woodland. All you are doing is fuelling the thirst of these animal killers… Gary Edwards, by email (letter)
Yorkshire Evening Post 30.1.12 Dead rabbits are not ‘new phenomenon’ By Laura Bowyer - Residents claim the sight of dead and decomposing rabbits hanging in trees have blighted a popular walkway for at least four years. Walkers recently recoiled in horror at the grim discovery along the footpath near the north Leeds market town of Wetherby. The carcasses of at least 10 dead rabbits were wedged in branches at eye-level but locals claim that they have been dumped in the trees before… PC Atkinson added: “There are people in that area who have permission to shoot rabbits and we expect them to dispose of them properly and sensibly…. (story)

Oxford Times 2.2.12 Minimising conflict - While hen harriers are unlikely to colonise Oxfordshire, they do try further north and Charles Nodder’s defence of gamekeepers is disingenuous…Nodder’s line that ‘no gamekeeper has been convicted for killing a hen harrier in recent years’ may well be true — the reason is that those that do kill birds of prey have become very good at covering their traces… Dr Anthony Cheke, Oxford (letter)
Oxford Times 26.1.12 Force for good - “Extinction” is an emotive word and in his piece about the scarcity of hen harriers in England (Country Matters, January 12), Liam Creedon has taken the RSPB’s line that these birds are nearly extinct and all because of gamekeepers. Not so. There are hundreds of hen harriers in Scotland, where there are also hundreds of gamekeepers too. The birds do well enough there…. Charles Nodder, National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, Darlington (letter)

Computing 2.2.12 Analysis: Is the government's fast broadband delivery strategy starting to fall apart? By Derek du Preez - In the coalition government’s October 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review, Chancellor George Osborne paid a great deal of attention to the rollout of superfast broadband in the UK…. Last December, a freedom of information request submitted by rural Britain campaigners the Countryside Alliance (CA) revealed that very little progress has been made establishing next-generation broadband networks in the four pilot areas…. (story)

Ripley & Heanor News 1.2.12 Neighbourhood plan - everything you need to know - A MAJOR overhaul of the way planning decisions are made could be on its way to Ripley - if townsfolk vote to take on a set of radical new proposals…. Currently the Amber Valley area is only meeting eight per cent of its affordable new housing needs, according to national campaigning group the Countryside Alliance… (story)

Sentinel 2.2.12 We're complicit in animal exploitation - THOSE of us who oppose the Government's upcoming badger cull should consider our own complicity in the exploitation of animals to make meat, dairy and eggs… MARK RICHARDS, Newcastle (letter)

Wells Journal 2.2.12 Vaccine cattle to sort TB problem - The content of James Stephen's article (Mid Somerset Series January 19) did very little to support its headline of "Time to solve the TB problem"… It is time to solve the TB problem; by all parties working together to pressure Government to develop a cattle vaccine… Why does the National Farmers Union, the British Veterinary Association and farming Correspondents not pursue this course of action? Adrian Coward Chairman Somerset Trust Badger Group (story)

FT 2.2.12 Call for more scrutiny of undercover police work By Helen Warrell - Police working undercover with environmental protesters, animal rights activists or potentially violent political extremist groups should have their operations approved by an independent authority outside the police service, according to a report by the forces’ watchdog. The probe followed the collapse last year of a trial of six activists accused of conspiring to shut a main UK power station when an undercover police officer who infiltrated the group offered to provide evidence in their defence… (story)
Guardian 2.2.12 Police spies: watchdog calls for safeguards over 'intrusive tactic' - Inspector criticises 'intrusion' into activists' lives by undercover officer Mark Kennedy - Paul Lewis and Rob Evans - A clandestine operation that secretly deployed police spies in political groups for 40 years is severely criticised today by the official policing inspectorate, which concludes that the "intrusive" tactic should in future be used only after independent authorisation. A report into the activities of Mark Kennedy, an undercover police officer who spent seven years living as an environmental activist, finds that he defied instructions from his supervisors and failed to inform them about intimate relationships he developed with activists… (story)

Brentwood Gazette 2.2.12 Animal rights group hits out after abattoir tour - "THERE is a saying that if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian." The famous sentiments of Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney were repeated by animal rights activist Wendy Morgan this week. She, and campaign group the Essex Animal Defenders, hit out after the Gazette's tour of Cheale Meats' Elmkirk Ltd abattoir in Warley where scenes of animal cruelty were exposed last year… Leigh Norton said the public should be more aware of what happens in all slaughterhouses…. (story)
Brentwood Gazette 2.2.12 Ever-present protest that is in danger of becoming strain on vital police resources - ANIMAL rights protesters are in danger of taking vital police resources away from the rest of Brentwood, it has been claimed. The police have been called to a number of protests outside the Elmkirk Ltd slaughterhouse with almost clockwork regularity but as hostilities have threatened to flare, officers have even been pulled from other patrols and incidents… (story)
Brentwood Gazette 30.1.12 Sickening acts of cruelty must never, ever be repeated, says abattoir's boss - ABATTOIR boss Adam Cheale claims his family business has done all it can to prevent a repeat of the "sickening" cruelty meted out to pigs as they headed to slaughter. The Cheale Meats director outlined all the measures that have been introduced to ensure the highest welfare standards since covert footage showed slaughtermen punching pigs and burning them with cigarettes…. It was a rare media visit to the site, just off Little Warley Hall Lane. Mr Cheale, the second generation of the family behind the business, said they would even consider opening up the abattoir for public tours as long as they could ensure animal rights activists could not get in to cause trouble. Mr Cheale said: "If we could guarantee the people were not extremist and were general members of the public, I wouldn't have a problem with it…. (story)

Oxford Times 2.2.12 Absolutely chilling - One is an ‘animal rights extremist’ if one protests against bullfighting?! (Feature, January 26.) Are you mad? One would have to be a sub-human empty shell not to… Rosina Dalziel, Tavistock (letter)

Westmorland Gazette 2.2.12 Cull of 200 Canada geese planned in Lake District By Steven Bell - A SOUTH Lakeland conservationist has slammed a planned cull of Canada Geese on Windermere as ‘a total massacre’. Clive Hartley hit out at the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA), which is considering killing around 200 of the birds this spring…. (story)


Horncastle News 1.2.12 Complaints after hounds catch the scent of live fox during routine hunt - A VILLAGER has complained after a stampede of hounds trampled through their garden during the South Wold Hunt on Saturday. Alastair Grant, who lives near Edlington, said around 15 hounds raced through his garden in pursuit of a fox…. However Nick Ashcroft, master of the South Wold Hunt, said this sort of thing can sometimes happen and that they did not break the law by deliberately setting the hounds after a fox. He said: “There was an artificial scent and a fox must have jumped up in front of them…. (story)

Herald 1.2.12 Photo story: a fine day for a Borders shoot - February 1 is the last day of the shooting season, which began in August, on the Glorious Twelfth. Herald photographer Marc Turner was invited to join a shoot at the last minute, documenting a key date in Scotland's countryside calendar…. (story)

Huffington Post 1.2.12 Badger Cull: Doing Nothing is Not an Acceptable Option - Jim Paice - Let me say first how pleased I am that Mark Jones takes the issue of tuberculosis seriously. TB is a major animal health problem and has a devastating impact on the animals and farmers affected… The decision to proceed with a policy of badger control was not at all an easy one but we have to make a judgement based on the available evidence. Doing nothing is just not an acceptable option. (story)

Farmers Weekly 1.2.12 NFU to challenge Queen legend Brian May over badger cull claims - Philip Case - The NFU is to complain about the validity of claims about the control of bovine TB made by rock star Brian May during a TV interview. Speaking on ITV's The Alan Titchmarsh Show, the legendary Queen guitarist said killing badgers would achieve little in the fight against bovine tuberculosis…. Dr May claimed cattle farming was responsible for transmitting the crippling disease, which has infected the badger population…. (story)

Guardian 1.2.12 So, what is an ethical vegan? I'm often asked about veganism. It's simple, I believe discrimination against species is as distasteful as any other kind - Sali Owen - I have been a vegan for seven years…. I went vegan for ethical, not dietary reasons. I do not think humans have the right to oppress or abuse other species simply because they are intellectually weaker. Toddlers are intellectually weak, but you're unlikely to find one in a casserole…. (story)

Coventry Telegraph 1.2.12 Campaigners pay tribute to animal activist Jill Phipps 17 years after her death outside Coventry Airport by Tina Junday, Coventry Telegraph - FAMILY and friends of animal rights campaigner Jill Phipps will mark the 17th anniversary of her death today. The 31-year-old died on February 1, 1995, after being crushed by a lorry outside Coventry Airport as she protested against the transportation of live veal calves… (story)

Leicester Mercury 1.2.12 Being too bitchy about animals - In a recent court case a judge likened the violent actions of a man to animal behaviour: "he acted like an animal"… Such descriptions display an undeserved prejudice against animals and are examples of a long-standing negative attitude towards them. Mrs Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 1.2.12 Please stop cruel food processes - MILLIONS of animals worldwide are being forced to grow faster and bigger than nature intended. A duck raised in a cage to produce foie gras has no means of escape… Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby (letter)