February 2014

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Farming Life 28.2.14 Glitz and glamour at the Route Hunt equestrian ball - On Saturday evening more than 200 Route Hunt members and friends gathered at the Lodge Hotel Coleraine for the annual hunt charity ball which this year was supporting Diabetes UK…. (story)

Scotsman 28.2.14 Birds of prey - I wish to respond to Irvine Inglis’s rather offensive letter (28 February), in which he attacks the views expressed by Mr Duncan Orr-Ewing (Friends of The Scotsman, 27 February)…. The status of deer and sheep populations is not relevant to the breeding success of golden eagles, as Mr Inglis claims… Whilst it’s true white-tailed eagles share the same food sources as golden eagles, their numbers do not present a threat to the latter, with whom they happily co-existed until they were wiped out by man…. Carolyn Taylor Gagiebank Broughty Ferry, Dundee
Your report (27 February) ¬regarding the killing of native birds in Scotland to preserve game shooting interests will come as no surprise to those who monitor the growing list of criminal offences taking place across sporting estates and in particular grouse moors… Their choice is clear: choose to stop the killing now or leave it to the government to introduce licensing for grouse moors. The decision is in their hands, for the time being at least. Logan D Steele Bridgewater Avenue Auchterarder (letters)

Leicester Mercury 28.2.14 Regrettable that royals still hunt - Prince Charles and Prince William must be applauded for calling people to act to save endangered animals such as rhinos, elephants and tigers. However, reports of princes William and Harry hunting deer and wild boar in Spain is unfortunate timing, a poor example to others and somewhat hypocritical…. Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (letter)

Ealing Times 28.2.14 Campaigners praise Ealing deputy leader over call for community action - LOCAL Works, a group of 100 national organisations, this week congratulated Ealing Council for pledging to work with residents, through the Sustainable Communities Act, to tackle borough problems… The Act received cross-party support in Parliament when it became law in October 2007, following a five-year grass roots campaign by the Local Works coalition. Members include Age UK, the Campaign for Better Transport, CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale, Countryside Alliance and Friends of the Earth. (story)

Mail 28.2.14 The Fox: Friend or foe? Novelist Alexander McCall Smith defends the animal that divides the nation By ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency author has always been fond of foxes - In a new book he contributes his defense to the much-loathed animal - All profits from the book will go to Great Ormond Street hospital (story)

Independent 28.2.14 Time for rethink on how we treat animals - I found Bob Comis’s disquiet on being a livestock farmer (“Farming confessional”, 26 February) interesting, including all the hoops he’s going through to justify what he does. He has an idea that “conscientious animal farming is necessary for a transition towards a vegan world”. Surely, being part of an industry that produces 60 billion animals a year as a “crop” makes him part of the problem rather than part of the solution?... Sara Starkey, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

Independent 28.2.14 With 5,000 animals being killed each year in European zoos (report, 27 February) it’s obvious that the aim of zoos’ breeding programmes is not to breed animals so they can be rehabilitated to the wild, but to breed them so they can be gawked at… Jenny Moxham, Monbulk, Victoria, Australia (letter)


Cornishman 27.2.14 Hunt master turns 90 - A CELEBRATORY meet of the Western Hunt took place in Lamorna last week to mark former master of the hounds, Captain Ben Sparrow's 90th birthday. Hunt chairman John Laity told around 20 riders and 80 followers on foot at Trevelloe Stables how Captain Sparrow had hunted the hounds from 1949 to 1968 and continued as a master of the hunt until 1974, completing 25 years of service for which he had been given a saddle as a parting gift by the hunt… (story)

Cornishman 27.2.14 Group formed to monitor illegal hunting in Cornwall - A NEW group has been established to monitor hunting with hounds in Cornwall. Kernow Hunt Saboteurs say they are the first active hunt monitoring group in Cornwall since the hunting ban became law in 2004…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.2.14 RSPCA boss to leave the job with immediate effect - The boss of one of Britain's best-loved animal charities has stepped down for health reasons. RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant has left with immediate effect "because of medical concerns about his health", the charity said…. (story)
Meat Trades Journal 27.2.14 Animal welfare boss to step down - The controversial boss of animal charity the RSPCA has announced he is stepping down from his role, due to fears for his health. Gavin Grant, chief executive of the RSPCA, was reported to be giving up his job with immediate effect because of “medical concerns”, although the charity was not commenting further… Peter Garbutt, chief livestock advisor with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), said: "The NFU doesn’t comment on personnel changes but our members have been concerned about the highly politicised, animal rights agenda of RSPCA for some time and we all hope that new leadership will give the RSPCA the opportunity to return to its more moderate core values which take into account and balance the welfare of all animals." (story)
Mail 26.2.14 'I quit', says the RSPCA chief who took Prime Minister's hunt to court: Unexpected departure due to 'medical concerns' about health By TAMARA COHEN - The head of the RSPCA announced he would be stepping down with immediate effect yesterday - after a controversial two years in the post. Gavin Grant’s unexpected departure as chief executive was due to ‘medical concerns about his health’, the animal charity said in a statement…. (story)
Western Morning News 25.2.14 RSPCA head Gavin Grant stands down 'with immediate effect' due to health reasons By Ellen Pickover - The boss of one of Britain’s best-loved but increasingly controversial animal charities has stepped down for health reasons. RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant has left with immediate effect “because of medical concerns about his health”, the charity said…. (story)
Telegraph 25.2.14 RSPCA chief executive leaves post - Gavin Grant has left his position as chief executive of the RSPCA amid health concerns By John Bingham, and Claire Carter - Gavin Grant, the chief executive of the embattled RSPCA has been forced to step down from the role after two years because of fears for his health. The animal charity said Mr Grant, who was known for his vocal criticism of hunting and the Government’s badger cull, was giving up the post with "immediate effect" because of "medical concerns"…. (story)
Guardian 25.2.14 RSPCA chief executive steps down - Gavin Grant, accused by some of making animal welfare charity too political, is leaving because of concerns over his health - Adam Vaughan - Gavin Grant, the chief executive of the RSPCA who has faced attacks for his vocal criticism of the badger culls in England and for successfully pursuing a prosecution against David Cameron's local hunt, has stepped down…. (story)

Western Morning News 27.2.14 Civilised society will never allow hunting - James Barrington’s lengthy attempt to find a way around bringing back hunting foxes never ceases to shock me. His attempts to rubbish the LACS, the RSPCA, or any other organisation or people that prevent him and his fellow animal killers from taking up this heinous crime just leaves me totally unable to understand him.... by Margaret Barnicle, Holmer Green, Bucks (letter)

Argus 27.2.14 I just feel sad for people who need to hate wild animals - Recent correspondence on foxes and suchlike brings me to wonder what makes people need to hate other creatures…. Joyce Edmond-Smith, Bentham Road, Brighton
Foxes do things to survive that upset humans but they cannot be called “evil”… Lesley Kite, Brighton
Never before in my life have I read that a day in the life of a fox can be compared to shopping at Tesco…. perhaps the cunning fox has cottoned on to the slogan that “every little helps”. Roy Hilliard, Old Shoreham Road, Portslade
It would seem Tom Keightley – a “pest controller” – triggered a lot of people to write to the Letters pages of The Argus voicing their feelings on fox culling… Let’s leave the fox alone – give it a rest from persecution…. Gloria Wheatcroft, The Drive, Hove (letters)
Argus 18.2.14 Let our foxes live as nature intended - I see pest controller Tom Keightley says extermination of foxes is essential to stop their proliferation (The Argus, February 12). Surely, as someone who knows wildlife, he should also know that foxes, by territory, regulate their own numbers…. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to live it as nature intended? Roger Musselle, Roger’s Wildlife Rescue (letter)
Argus 17.2.14 Who are we to decide if an animal is a pest? - So Tom Keightly thinks he has a right to kill wildlife, and schools and individuals obviously consider they too have a right to hire this person to execute foxes, and presumably any other form of wildlife they categorise as “a nuisance”… The wildlife of this country belongs to all of us. Just because someone happens to see a fox in their garden does not mean they have the right to call someone in to kill it… David Gibbons, Marine Drive, Saltdean
I must applaud Tom Keightly for controlling foxes. They have become a pest, running out of control…. Terry Wheatley, Bexhill (letters)

Shooting News 27.2.14 Birdwatchers launch wildlife crime battle By Lucy King - Two trustees of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) are the co-founders of a new campaign group set up to encourage birdwatchers to record and report wildlife crime. Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) says it is “not affiliated to any existing charity or organisation” despite the fact that LACS trustees Charlie Moores and Lawrie Phipps helped found it….

Herald 27.2.14 Gamekeepers call for end to tail-docking ban - GAMEKEEPERS have taken their campaign to end the ban on tail docking of working dogs to the Scottish Parliament…. (story)
BBC News Online 26.2.14 Gamekeepers want tail docking ban overturned for working dogs - A petition calling on the Scottish government to reverse a ban on tail docking for working dogs is due to be submitted at Holyrood later. The Scottish Gamekeepers Association said Alex Salmond promised such a move if it could be backed up by evidence… (story)
Daily Record 26.2.14 Gamekeepers call for Scottish Government to lift ban on tail docking for working dogs - THE Scottish Gamekeepers Association presented a 4,158-signature petition to the Environment Secretary, calling for the ban to be reserved for working dogs on the grounds of animal welfare…. (story)

Scotsman 27.2.14 Culture of game - Lori Anderson’s comment on the meaty issue of the realities of food origins (Perspective, 26 February) addresses a point which we at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust have long debated. The stark reality of what we consume can be an emotive issue for some, not least the children and adults we interact with when delivering our successful Beyond the Farm Gate education programme…. Katrina Candy Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (Scotland) Perth Airport (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 27.2.14 Royals’ shooting spree - Kate Fowler, head of campaigns, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge (letter)
Leicester Mercury 26.2.14 Killing on estate is morally wrong - Kate Fowler, Animal Aid, Tonbridge (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 26.2.14 Killing is repugnant - A Freedom of Information Request has revealed that more than 7,000 wild animals were killed on the Royal Windsor Estate during 2013. The huge numbers killed were mainly at the request of shoot operators, farmers and foresters, and Animal Aid believes that this culture of killing on Britain's wealthiest estates must be curbed…. Kate Fowler, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)

Portsmouth News 27.2.14 Superfast broadband boost - AN extra £250m is set to be invested in superfast broadband in rural areas to help business start-ups and job creation. The announcement, made yesterday by culture secretary, Maria Miller, is a ‘very welcome boost to rural communities’, according to the executive chairman of Countryside Alliance, Sir Barney White-Spunner….. (story)

BBC News Online 27.2.14 Illegal snaring harming deer numbers in Scotland, SSPCA says - Deer are suffering due to illegal snaring in parts of Scotland, according to an animal welfare charity. The Scottish SPCA said it had been contacted with concerns that the practice was taking place in East Ayrshire, particularly in Auchinleck and Cumnock… (story)

Surrey Advertiser 27.2.14 Badger cull campaigners pleased with council's petition response - Any moves to carry out a badger cull in Surrey would be subject to a debate and vote by all county councillors… That was the message from the county council's cabinet member for the environment, Councillor John Furey, who received a petition objecting to any potential cull happening in the future . The petition, started by Walton resident Jim Sewell… was handed in at County Hall in time for a public meeting…. (story)

Kent Messenger 27.2.14 Lab staff at Venomtech in Canterbury accused of cruelty to animals by campaigner Sara Hamilton - An animal rights campaigner has accused a Canterbury-based laboratory of cruelty to the creatures it keeps. Sara Hamilton launched a petition against the practices of Venomtech, which extracts venom from snakes, scorpions and spiders to sell to medical researchers. She claims the animals are kept in cramped conditions, and the process – in which spiders and scorpions are anaesthetised and given a mild shock to stimulate the release of venom – is akin to torture…. (story)


Southern Daily Echo 26.2.14 Call to lobby MPs over hunting ban - IN the last year before the next general election, there will be pressure on the Conservative Government to remove the ban on hunting, not just of foxes but deer and hares too…. We have written to our MP but invite others to do the same to theirs, to stress the ban on such cruelty to our wildlife must be kept. SHEILA CLAYTON (hon organiser), Southampton United Animal Charities (letter)

Western Morning News 26.2.14 So how much are shooting sports worth to the rural economy? - People who shoot are being asked to take part in a extensive survey aimed at finding out the true value of shooting sports in Britain. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation has emailed letters to members urging them to help completely update and overhaul the last such survey – in 2006 – that helped make the financial and environmental case for shooting sports. BASC spokesman Simon Clarke said: “A sample of BASC members has been asked to help by providing information to the independent economic consultants, Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC). The sample is around 40,000. The other 16 organisations involved with the survey will also be asking their members to provide information.”… (story)

Oxford Times 26.2.14 Mice experiments cruel, say vivisection campaigners - Anti-vivisection campaigners have criticised the work of scientists at an animal testing laboratory at Harwell Oxford science centre. The Anti-Vivisection Coalition said experiments performed by Medical Research Council staff were “inherently cruel”. It spoke out after a film crew was given access to the Mary Lyon Centre, a mouse breeding unit. … (letter)

Argus 26.2.14 Does Sussex Wildlife Trust only care about cute animals? I read the Soapbox article written by Ronnie Reed of the Sussex Wildlife Trust… How can Sussex Wildlife Trust consider some animals (badgers) worthy of life, yet others (rats) worthy of death?.... Emma Richards, Halland Road, Brighton (letter)


Bradford Telegraph & Argus 25.2.14 Blood sports shame - Yet again, the outrageous hypocrisy of the Windsor family has come to the fore this week. Prince Harry and Prince William both enjoy blood sports. Both shoot animals for fun. Both have the brass neck to come out and campaign for calls to protect wildlife. The “endangered” argument just does not cut it… Sam Gardner, Coniston Grove, Baildon (story)

Birmingham Mail 25.2.14 Badgered into protesting - A different view of life in Birmingham with Paul Fulford. - In the Ukraine over recent weeks, countless thousands have protested against injustice and corruption and in pursuit of freedom… In Birmingham, around 2,000 people gathered on Saturday in Victoria Square... in support of badgers… My main concern is that there are many more important issues that we Brits might get uppity about than the fate of bug-carrying woodland creatures who happen to look quite nice. There’s the future of the NHS, for instance… (story)


Western Morning News 24.2.14 Huer highlights the terrible trade in ivory - Thank you Mike Sagar-Fenton (Huer’s Call, WMN, Feb 17) for writing such a brilliant column on Prince Charles and Prince William trying to stop the terrible trade in ivory… Then we read that Prince William has been hunting wild boar in Spain – it just does not make sense… by Mrs V M Hircock Boscastle (letter)

Farming Life 24.2.14 CAI attend the launch of new Operation Salar on poaching - With the fishing season beginning in March, ‘Operation Salar’ was launched at the River Bush Salmon Station, Bushmills, on Tuesday 18 February. This is a new initiative between the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime, the Department for Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and the Loughs Agency…. Representatives from Police Service of Northern Ireland, Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, Loughs Agency, Countryside Alliance Ireland, and the Ulster Angling Federation were in attendance at the launch… (story)

Argus 24.2.14 Put your questions to fox exterminator Tom Keightley By Emily Walker, Chief Reporter - Exterminator Tom Keightley who shoots foxes for a living will be answering your questions in Your Interview this Friday…. (story)


Sunday Mirror 23.2.14 Windsor 'wildlife massacre': 7,000 animals killed in just ONE year on the royal estate By Sam Chadderton - Figures show that the Crown Estate's 'vermin control' methods wiped out 1,161 rabbits, 118 parakeets, 28 hares and nine moles - An animal welfare campaign group has slammed a 'Windsor wildlife massacre' after figures showed more than 7,000 animals were killed on the royal estate in just a single year… Animal Aid, which uncovered the figures through a Freedom of Information request, called it "carnage" and labelled the activities "morally repugnant"… (story)


Mirror 22.2.14 Tory lobbying against gun fee hike had fancy jaunt with hunting group By Ben Glaze - Old Etonian Geoffrey Clifton-Brown had all expenses paid shooting trip with fellow toffs then lobbied to keep gun license fees down… Old Etonian Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, 60, was one of four Tory MPs treated to the £800 jaunt as a guest of the British Association of Shooting and Conservation…. (story)

BBC News Online 22.2.14 Birmingham anti badger cull rally attracts 1,000 protestors - About 1,000 people have staged a protest march in Birmingham city centre, calling on the government to stop culling badgers…. Organisers of the march had said they were expecting 2,000 supporters, but were pleased with the "determination" of those who attended. Julie Buxton from Birmingham said she had to get involved when she heard about culling…. (story)

Birmingham Mail 22.2.14 Britain's biggest anti-badger cull demo takes place in Birmingham - Around 2,000 people packed into Victoria Square to take part in the Birmingham March and Rally - People from all over the country descended on Birmingham to take part in Britain’s biggest anti-badger cull demonstration… (story)
Birmingham Mail 21.2.14 Britain's biggest anti-badger cull demo being held in Birmingham - The Birmingham March and Rally will feature music, entertainment, wildlife stalls and speeches focused on the government’s unpopular badger cull By Mike Lockley - Britain's biggest anti-badger cull demo takes place in Birmingham on Saturday (Feb 22). The Birmingham March and Rally, organised by Julie Buxton, local resident and wildlife enthusiast, runs from 11am to 4pm and will feature music, entertainment, wildlife stalls and speeches focused on the government’s unpopular badger cull. Around 2,000 people are expected to attend… (story)

Western Morning News 22.2.14 Controversial anti-cull spokesman to lead Badger Trust By WMNAGreenwood - A leading campaigner against continuing the badger cull to tackle the scourge of bovine TB has been appointed as chief executive of the Badger Trust. Dominic Dyer, policy advisor for the charity Care for the Wild, will take up the role alongside his existing post next month…. Last year he was forced to issue an unreserved apology to NFU president Peter Kendall after wrongly suggesting he was complicit in the gassing of badgers… (story)


Western Morning News 21.2.14 OPINION: We know what the anti-hunt brigade oppose but what are they for? - As anti-hunting Tories urge David Cameron to keep the ban and 'move on' from demanding a vote to scrap it, Jim Barrington highlights what he sees as hypocrisy in the antis argument - There was talk last year about badgers moving goalposts, but it is clear they are not the only ones capable of this feat… Here is a comment made to me by Lord Burns during his inquiry into hunting with dogs. He was slightly puzzled and surprised at a statement made by a League Against Cruel Sports official when he visited a LACS’ sanctuary in the Westcountry. Yes, shooting deer was argued to be the better option in deer control, but, Lord Burns was told, when hunting is banned shooting would be next…. (story)

Western Daily Press 21.2.14 Honesty required in hunt ban campaign -The 18-year study "European Journal of Wildlife Research" found that deer numbers are soaring across the UK while rabbit, fox and hare are in steep decline. Official figures have always shown that 99 per cent of lamb fatalities are from disease, starvation and hypothermia… . Why not be honest and state that the welfare of our farm animals has never been and still is not the aim of any change in the ban on hunting with dogs? D Thomas by email (letter)

Western Morning News 21.2.14 Badger cull was totally misguided - So, Lord Clifford of Chudleigh believes that farmers have better things to concentrate on than eradicating badgers which is surprising, that it was for their benefit, all across the countryside… by F Cleaves Tywardreath (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.2.14 No justification to continue with cull - The farcical and costly badger cull could very soon be extended here to Worcestershire, and the RSPCA is urging all those opposed to it to make their feelings heard… David Bowles RSPCA head of public affairs and campaigns (letter)


Shooting Times 20.2.14 Countryside helps flooded farms By Lucy King - Hunts, shoots and other fieldsports enthusiasts from across the country have rallied to help those affected by this winter’s floods, with many going more than the proverbial extra mile to see that aid gets to those who need it most. … Yorkshire farmer Phil Rowbottom, a competitive clay Shot and former member of the England ESP team, led a convoy of tractors loaded with 15 tons of silage, haylege and straw on a 10-hour trip from Yorkshire to Somerset… Hunts across the country have also donated resources to the campaign, including the Taunton Vale, the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale, the Quorn, the Belvoir, the Cottesmore and the North Cotswold… The Countryside Alliance (CA) has set up a page on its website with links to current flood warnings and detailing ways to offer financial and practical help to those flooded and dealing with the aftermath of flooding… (story)

Argus 20.2.14 All animals are sacred and should be respected - I was reading your Letters page of Monday, February 17, about foxes and saw the headline, “Who decides which animals are pests?” I think all animals are sacred and should be respected. They are definitely not pests. We have no right to cull any wildlife at all… A Bowyer, Richmond Close, Rustington (letter)

ITV 20.2.14 Council embroiled in badger protest - Anti-Badger cull protestors will be at County Hall in Exeter later… More than fifty people are expected to be dressed as badgers to act out a shooting scene (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 20.2.14 Video: Animal welfare campaigners stage Exeter protest against badger cull in Devon By AWalmesley - Campaigners against the slaughter of badgers gathered outside county council headquarters today ahead of a debate on whether the controversial cull should be banned in Devon. Around 80 protestors wearing fancy dress and wielding placards stood on the steps of Devon County Hall this afternoon to demonstrate against the killing of the wild animal on council land… Ama Menec, chairman of Totnes Badger Vaccination Action Campaign, said: “If we have a badger cull in Devon - not only will it be horrific, socially divisive and devastating for tourism - it will cost millions… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 20.2.14 Devon County Council rejects badger cull ban By WMNAGreenwood - A bid to ban badger culling on council-owned land in Devon has been thrown out by members. Labour councillor Jill Owen had submitted a motion to the full council that it should “prohibit badger culling on its land, where it has the legal jurisdiction so to do, and asks that more research be undertaken by Government to find more effective and cheaper vaccinations for badgers and cattle to help eradicate bovine TB”… The motion was defeated by 27 votes to 18. (story)

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 20.2.14 Animal activists in Cirencester angry badger setts in Pinbury Park found to be illegally filled in By Shaun Dix - BADGERS in Cirencester are at risk of suffocating after a number of setts in the town have been illegally blocked. Animal activists in the town have launched a scathing attack on the perpetrators following the discovery of the disturbed setts in Pinbury Park on Monday, February 3. Mike Haines, a Cirencester-based animal rights campaigner who spent last autumn patrolling the Gloucestershire badger cull, said situations like this are becoming more and more common…. (story)

Guardian 20.2.14 Denmark's ritual slaughter ban says more about human hypocrisy than animal welfare - To complain about the halal or kosher slaughter of battery chickens or factory farmed veal is a truly monstrous absurdity - Andrew Brown - "Animal welfare takes precedence over religion" declared Denmark's ministry of agriculture when a ban on ritual slaughter came into effect this week… It seems to me obvious that the slaughter of animals at the end of their lives is of far less ethical importance than the way they are treated beforehand. The cruelties of factory farming extend over an animal's whole lifetime whereas the cruelty of ritual slaughter lasts minutes at most. To complain about the halal slaughter of battery chickens or factory farmed veal is a truly monstrous absurdity… The first principle of serious ethical reason is surely "It isn't different when we do it" but at the same time it is an axiom of moral sentiment that it's different when other people do it. (story)

Irish Examiner 20.2.14 Danes treat animals far better than the Irish - There has been a huge outcry against the killing of a giraffe at Copenhagen zoo, and the feeding of its carcass to lions, while people watched…. The Danes treat animals far better than we do. They don’t allow live hare-coursing, which sets up animals as live bait for salivating dogs… John Fitzgerald (Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports) Lower Coyne Street Callan Co Kilkenny (letter)


Western Morning News 19.2.14 'Move on, hunting has had its day', MPs tell campaigners - A group of Tory MPs have urged hunt supporters to forget about campaigning for a fresh Commons vote and “move on”. Conservatives Against Fox Hunting have marked the ninth anniversary of the Hunting Act, which came into force in February 2005, banning hare coursing, fox, stag and hare hunting with dogs… (story)

Banbury Guardian 19.2.14 Hunt apology after hounds go on the run - A huntmaster has apologised after hounds ran through a village garden and towards a nursery school in possible pursuit of a fox. Sam Butler, of the Warwickshire Hunt, offered the apology in response to strong criticism after the hounds picked up the scent of a fox in Farnborough on Monday…. (story)

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE AWARDS 2013 (February coverage)
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 19.2.14 Holme Valley pub-turned-shop wins Countryside Alliance Rural Oscar. The Fleece, Holme, wins village shop/post office of the year. A pub, which also serves as a village shop, has won a ‘rural Oscar’…. (story)
East Lindsey Target 14.2.14 Success for East Lindsey businesses at Select Lincolnshire Awards - EAST Lindsey businesses scooped a number of awards at this year’s Select Lincolnshire Food and Drink awards…. Many businesses received highly commended awards including Village Limits… Sadie Hirst, said: “We are just delighted. We rounded off last year with the news we had reached the finals of the Countryside Alliance Awards for which judging is taking place at the moment…. (story)
Meat Trades Jouranl 13.2.14 Yorkshire butcher’s again announced as 2013 Countryside Alliance regional champion By Oli Haenlein - H Weatherhead & Sons Butchers in Pateley Bridge has been chosen as Yorkshire champion in the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards for the second year running…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 11.2.14 Independent butchers reap the benefits of the horsemeat scandal - Jane Hall talks to two North East butchers who are nominated for awards…Small retailers like Simon, who runs the butchery department at the acclaimed Blagdon Farm Shop, near Seaton Burn, and Chris, of R Green and Son of Longframlington, whose family launched the award-winning business 126 years ago, have faced tough trading times…For a start the professional rivals’ businesses are among top foodie names in the running for regional honours in this year’s Countryside Alliance Awards…(story)


Cotswold Journal 18.2.14 North Cotswold Hunt support flood-hit farmers - SUPPORTERS of the North Cotswold hunt have raised more than £1,000 to buy animal feed for farmers affected by flooding in the Somerset Levels. Mark Russell, Field master for the hunt, delivered about 60 large wrapped bales of haylage down to the Sedgemoor Livestock Market, in Bridgwater, yesterday (Monday). And another load of about 100 bales will be delivered following a further donation…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 18.2.14 Farmers in Leicestershire helping flood-hit colleagues - Farmers are supporting their colleagues in the flood-hit south west with cash and practical aid…. The Quorn, Belvoir and Cottesmore hunts are also organising emergency deliveries and have appealed for money…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 13.2.14 Hunts rallying to support farmers hit by the floods - The hunting fraternity is rallying round flood-hit farmers in the south west who have been left without food and bedding for their livestock. The Quorn Hunt is organizing emergency deliveries of fodder and straw to farmers affected by flooding in the Somerset Levels… Donations of fodder are being co-ordinated by Geoff Brooks, joint owner of Eurobale haylage business, Widmerpool … Support for the relief scheme is also being offered by the Belvoir and Cottesmore Hunts. (story)

Dorset Echo 18.2.14 Enter now for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust photographic competition - THE Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is looking for entries for its third annual Julian Gardner Award photographic competition…. (story)

Western Daily Press 18.2.14 Hunting and poaching. There is a difference - Could big game hunting help conserve African wildlife? Philip Bowern examines the facts "Hypocrites" cried the animal rights lobby as Prince Charles and his son, William, launched a campaign to end the illegal wildlife trade fuelled by poaching just days after returning from a trip hunting wild boar and deer in Spain…. Yet the critics confuse legal hunting, which comes with very many benefits for wildlife and the land it inhabits, with poaching, which is bringing about serious population declines in already endangered or declining species… (story)

Guardian 18.2.14 If Prince William wants to protect wildlife, he'd better put down the gun - I've seen that hunting remains a royal obsession, and the prince's latest boar shoot is more than just a PR slip-up - Ken Wharfe … The British royal family has for centuries shot game on privately owned estates throughout the land. Hunting has historically been, and remains, an obsession. While protection officer to the late Princess of Wales, I was present at most of the annual November shooting parties, hosted by Prince Charles at Sandringham House in Norfolk… The royal shooting obsession was something Princess Diana found repugnant. Requiring little or no skill, royal pheasant shoots are a pre-planned carnage of wildlife, bred specifically for slaughter…. (story)

Swindon Advertiser 18.2.14 Help ban foie gras - ON Saturday February 22 Swindon Animal Concern will have a stall in Regent Street to give people the opportunity to fill in cards to respectfully ask the Weighbridge Restaurant to remove foie gras from their menu… M Harrison, Beaulieu Close, Swindon (letter)


Telegraph 17.2.14 Country diary: who's to blame for the Somerset floods? Well-meaning bodies understandably fight their corner, but the flooding in Somerset is a case of things going too far By Robin Page - From the top of Collard Hill, 93 metres (300ft) up, near Glastonbury, the Somerset Levels stretch out for 160,000 acres… In Somerset, there is still a simmering resentment concerning the hunting ban. Forget “toffs” with cut-glass accents – many of those who loved hunting the Levels were ordinary family farmers, workers, shepherds, willow growers… The great inundation has almost certainly killed more badgers and foxes than either a cull or hounds ever could. And what about the protected water vole? The local population will have been devastated, yet the usual bleeding hearts have stayed silent… (story)

Sheffield Star 17.2.14 Firm stand on hunting ban from Sheffield MP - Animal rights activist and South Yorkshire MP Angela Smith has taken a firm stand against relaxation of the fox hunting ban. The Penistone and Stocksbridge representative joined fellow politicians in a celebration to mark the anniversary of the HuntingAct 2004, which outlawed the hunting with dogs of wild mammals including foxes, deer, hares and mink…. (story)
Barnsley News & Sport 15.2.14 Any repeal of the Hunting Act would be a backward step for a civilised society says Penistone MP - It is 20 years since the RSPCA, the League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) began campaigning together for an end to hunting with hounds. That campaigning was successful with the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004, which has now been in force for nine years. To mark the anniversary Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith, a keen animal rights supporter, attended a reception at the House of Commons hosted by fellow MP, Chris Williamson… Said Angela: “In common with the majority of the British people, I believe any repeal of the Hunting Act would be a backward step for a civilized society … (story)

Express 17.2.14 'It makes me feel sick' Brian May hits out at Prince William and Harry over animal hunting - QUEEN guitarist Brian May has hit out at Princes William and Harry after they spent a weekend shooting animals in Spain. By: Jane Mathews - The Princes hunted wild boar, stag and partridge just days before William backed Prince Charles in a campaign to stop the killing of endangered wildlife such as elephants… But Mr May, 66, has accused him of hypocrisy and of having "archaic" attitudes to animal welfare…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 17.2.14 Badgers most loved yet most persecuted animals - BADGERS appear to be one of our best loved wild animals judging by the number of people from all walks of life who turned out on cold, wet, windy nights to try to protect them from the recent badger cull. But they are also probably the most persecuted animals… Now the flood waters are covering so much of the countryside the impact on all our wildlife must be absolutely catastrophic…. Does anybody provide food or shelter for these poor creatures, indeed does anyone care?.... MISS P H NELSON, Gosport (letter)

Swindon Advertiser 17.2.14 Stop badger culls - Last year thousands of badgers were slaughtered in Somerset and Gloucestershire. DEFRA and the NFU claim that this was intended to halt the spread of bTB in cattle – but they were wrong… Jon England (Name and address supplied) (letter)

Swindon Advertiser 17.2.14 Zoos are businesses - So despite thousands of signatures calling for his reprieve, Copenhagen Zoo have shot Marius, their surplus baby giraffe, and fed him to the tigers. And everyone is outraged. But what do they think happens in UK zoos? … Jan Hunt, Wildings Box (letter)


Cambridge News 16.2.14 SLIDESHOW: Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) protest outside University of Cambridge's Senate House Written by JORDAN DAY - Animal rights campaigners protested against scientific experiments on monkeys outside the University of Cambridge. Members of the Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC) gathered outside the university’s iconic Senate House on Saturday…. Luke Steele, director of campaigns for the AVC, said: “The British Government’s stance on animal research is in urgent need of an overhaul and that starts with primate tests…. (story)


Swindon Advertiser 15.2.14 Princes’ animal cruelty - I see William and Harry are at it again! Both are patrons of wildlife organisations, and both display contempt for them. Both spent time in Spain hunting wild animals recently, especially the wild boar. What hypocrisy! Just like their ancestors – recent and distant… Steve Nibbs, Milton Road, Swindon (letter)

Mail 15.2.14 Caught on camera: Gamekeeper secretly filmed setting an illegal trap to snare wild birds on sprawling country estate By LIZZIE PARRY - Dressed in camouflage and peering around to watch for onlookers, these pictures reveal the moment a gamekeeper was caught in the act setting up illegal traps to snare wild birds on a sprawling country estate. Ryan Waite was captured by RSPB investigators re-setting a spring-loaded pole trap on top of a 6ft tree stump at the shooting estate in Yorkshire… Harrogate Magistrates Court heard officials from the League Against Cruel Sports visited the estate on May 31, last year and found the illegal trap. The RSPB were alerted and visited two days later… (story)
Northern Echo 13.2.14 RSPB disappointed with outcome of case, but defence says gamekeeper was demonised By Stuart Minting - A GAMEKEEPER on an expensive shooting estate has been fined after admitting setting a trap which could injure wild birds. Harrogate Magistrates Court heard the RSPB and two expert witnesses were convinced Ryan Waite, who maintained the Swinton estate 10,000-acre grouse moor in the Yorkshire Dales, had intended to target birds of prey… Magistrates fined Waite £250 and found he had been reckless as to whether wild birds would be injured…. (story)
Harrogate News 13.2.14 Gamekeeper used traps illegally at Swinton Park - A gamekeeper has been convicted of using an illegal trap on a shooting estate on two occasions. At Harrogate Magistrate’s Court today (13 February 2014) Ryan Waite, employed as a gamekeeper on the Swinton Estate in North Yorkshire was sentenced on two charges of illegally setting a spring trap between May and June 2013… He was fined £250 with an additional £105 costs and victim surcharge. Following an initial report from the League Against Cruel Sports, on the 2nd June, RSPB Investigations visited Ox Close plantation on the Swinton Estate, North Yorkshire, and discovered a spring trap that had been placed on top of a two-metre high tree stump… (story)

Western Morning News 15.2.14 Badger cull proposal must be defeated - I wonder how many of your readers are aware that on the February 20, Devon County Council will be voting on whether or not to allow a badger cull to be carried out on land they own if a cull is rolled out in the county this year. I have written various times explaining why a cull will not help the farming community… by J D Stewart, Newton Abbot (letter)


Belfast Telegraph 14.2.14 Ban these vile blood sports - THERE has been a huge outcry against the killing of a giraffe at Copenhagen zoo and the feeding of its carcass to lions while people looked on…. There is no justification for hare coursing – apart from the need some people feel to inflict pain and terror on a dumb animal… JOHN FITZGERALD Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports (letter)

Northern Echo 14.2.14 Macho man - THERE is no inconsistency in Princes Charles and William campaigning against the elimination of whole species and wild creatures and their love of sport (Echo, Feb 10). Were all wild creatures eliminated, some other targets would have to be found to occupy men with guns… G Bulmer, Billingham (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 14.2.14 Badgers could be drowning in Gloucestershire floods, charity fears By RobinJenkins - Badgers could be drowning in the Gloucestershire floods, an animal welfare charity has warned. Humane Society International UK said today that it is particularly concerned for the welfare of badgers in the pilot cull areas of Somerset and Gloucestershire who had already endured significant disturbance from weeks of free shooting and trapping last year… (story)


Gloucester Citizen 13.2.14 Gloucestershire pubs won't be deterred from hosting hunting meets say landlords - Plans by anti-hunting protesters to pressure pubs into not hosting meets will not work in Gloucestershire, landlords have said. The Hunt Saboteur Association has started an online campaign to lobby landlords in order to get them to refuse to host meets of hunts. A spokesman for the Bitter Taste of Hunting campaign said it was not its intention to hurt the pubs’ business… But Sandra Davenport, the manager of the Lygon Arms in Chipping Campden, which has hosted the North Cotswold Hunt, said she wouldn’t be put off… Philip McLaughlin, landlord of the Stirrup Cup in Bisley which hosts the Costwold Hunt, said he would not be put off by the protesters… Jo Aldridge, one of the organisers of the Beaufort Hunt, which is based in Badminton, dismissed the campaign of the protesters… (story)
Western Daily Press 13.2.14 Hue and cry over hunting pub protest - tristan.cork@b-nm.co.uk - A new campaign by anti-hunt protesters and saboteurs to lobby pubs that host hunt meets across the West was labelled "sad" by hunt leaders last night… After being deluged with comments on its own Facebook page, the Monkton Inn at West Monkton, Somerset, called its local hunt to say it would have to meet elsewhere this week… The Red Lion in Lacock, Wiltshire, for instance, was listed as holding a hunt meet, even though the Avon Vale Hunt merely meet in the street outside… . No one from the Monkton Inn was prepared to comment yesterday. Although the formal meet of the Taunton Vale Foxhounds had been moved away on Friday, a pub quiz organised by the hunt appeared to still be going ahead next week at the pub…. (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 13.2.14 Residents in Chesterton, Cirencester horrified to see fox mauled to death by hounds By Megan Archer - ANGRY residents have hit out after a fox was mauled to death in front of shocked witnesses and the body left to rot. Other residents of the ironically-named Foxes Bank Drive in Chesterton, Cirencester later found the ripped-apart remains of the animal on Monday afternoon. Fitness instructor and resident David McKinnon took to social media site Facebook to express his concerns… It is unclear yet which hunt was involved in the incident… (story)

Evening Standard 13.2.14 Boris Johnson reiterates support for fox hunting in London during Twitter Q&A - Boris Johnson has reiterated his support for fox hunting as a solution for London's growing problem with the animals. The London Mayor said he would have "no hesitation" backing a cull in the capital and even suggested hunters could carry out the killings on bicycles, during his weekly Q&A with Londoners on Twitter…. (story)

Western Daily Press 12.2.14 Good question... but the reply lost me - In the letters page (Daily Press January 31), VHolbourne of Wells attempted to obtain clarity over Ukip's position on hunting from Greg Heathcliffe of Swindon… Where I stand, firstly as a Lib/Dem activist then a Green Party activist, was that I was firmly opposed to hunting… S Farthing, Hengrove, Bristol (story)

North Devon Journal 13.2.14 Ban killing 'game' birds - ANDREW TYLER Director, Animal Aid. (letter)
Bristol Post 7.2.14 It's time to ban breeding of birds for "sport shooting" - Andrew Tyler Director, Animal Aid (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 6.2.14 ‘Sport’ is needless - February 1 marked the end of the pheasant and partridge shooting season. For many people, these ‘game’ birds are unable to stir the emotions in the same way as a persecuted badger or a vivisected dog. But their capacity to feel pain is equal, while the scale on which they are ‘processed’ and killed exceeds that of, say, egg-laying hens… It is time to follow the Dutch example and ban the production of birds for ‘sport shooting’. Andrew Tyler, director, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge (letter)

Telegraph 13.2.14 Badgers to be given 'the pill' under plans to wipe out bovine TB - Contraception for badgers is set to be included in the Government's plans to eradicate bovine tuberculosis in cattle - Badgers are to be given 'the pill' under the Government's blueprint to eradicate bovine tuberculosis in cattle, an environment minister has said. George Eustice drew laughs in the Commons as he told MPs the final version of the strategy will include looking at birth control to limit population numbers…. (story)

Western Daily Press 13.2.14 Think twice before that trip to the zoo - So despite thousands of signatures calling for his reprieve, Copenhagen Zoo have shot Marius, their surplus baby giraffe, and fed him to the tigers. And everyone is outraged. But what do they think happens in UK zoos?... Something to think about when you next take your children to the zoo? Jan Hunt, Box, Wiltshire (letter)


Carmarthen Journal 12.2.14 7,200 in call for action after hunt group claims By Rebecca Jones - MORE than 7,200 people have signed an online petition calling for a Towy Valley hunt group to be investigated and prosecuted for allegedly breaching UK hunt laws. The petition on Change UK, which was set up by Action Aid for Animals, has so far seen 7,272 people sign it…. A spokesman for Llandeilo Farmers' Hunt group said: "The persons in the photos had no official position within Llandeilo Farmers Hunt."… a target=main href="http://www.carmarthenjournal.co.uk/7-200-action-hunt-group-claims/story-20609862-detail/story.html">(story)

Farming Life 12.2.14 Suits and ball gowns as the East Antrim Hounds hold hunt ball - The East Antrim Hounds Members swapped their hunting attire for dress suits and ball gowns for all the glitz and glamour of the hunt ball held in the Knockagh Lodge, Greenisland…. (story)

Mirror 12.2.14 Prince William's decision to hunt before campaigning to save wildlife was ''unfortunate timing'' By Victoria Murphy - The future King's appeared at a United for Wildlife Symposium days after spending the weekend shooting wild boar and stag… President of the Born Free Foundation, Will Travers, said: “I don’t think it was great timing and I personally do not hunt…. (story)
Express 10.2.14 Prince William criticised over wild boar hunt - PRINCE WILLIAM has been criticised by animal rights activists for taking part in a wild boar hunt in Spain after filming a video calling for the end of exotic animal poaching…. Joe Duckworth, of organisation the League Against Cruel Sports, tells the Sunday People newspaper, "These actions show an absolute disregard for animals and wildlife…. (story)
Western Morning News 8.2.14 Royals hunt wild boar day before wildlife plea is broadcast By WMNlynbarton - The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have reportedly gone hunting in Spain - a day before William and his father, the Duke of Cornwall, call on the world to combat the illegal wildlife trade…. (story)
International Business Times 8.2.14 Princes William And Harry Criticised For Hunting Trip [VIDEO] By LILIAN ANEKWE - Princes William and Harry have sparked fury among wildlife conservationists for jetting off for a hunting holiday in Spain – days before fronting a campaign to save exotic wildlife from being hunted and slaughtered…. Jan Creamer, from Animal Defenders International, told The Sun: "Hunting animals is barbaric and it is absolutely shocking that such prominent Royals should take pleasure from it."… But the Countryside Alliance defended the hunting trip, saying "If a hunt is well managed it is not only legal but a great activity."… (story)


The Avondhu 11.2.14 Two leading anti bloodsport campaigners forcibly ejected from National Hare Coursing event - Dear Editor, We are shocked and disgusted at the thuggish ejection of two leading animal welfare campaigners from the so-called national coursing meeting, held over the weekend at Powerstown Park, Clonmel. Two leading members of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS) attended the event with the aim of video recording the so-called 'sport'… While filming, the two women were approached by men purporting to be stewards who ordered them to put away the camcorder. When they objected, the men asked them to leave the hare coursing venue. When they further questioned this, they were manhandled and literally dragged from the grounds by the men…. John Fitzgerald, PRO, Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny (story)

Dorset Echo 11.2.14 Pheasant shoots attract half a million people - HALF a million people were expected to join shoots on the last day of the pheasant and partridge seasons… The Countryside Alliance estimates 25,000 shoots took place around the country, with as many as 500,000 people – 200,000 guns and another 300,000 family and friends… (story)
Western Daily Press 1.2.14 Game season draws to a close after successful year By PHILIP BOWERN - The main game shooting season in the West Country ends today after one of the wettest in living memory. But despite the rain the UK's two main country sports organisations, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and the Countryside Alliance, both report a successful season for sportsmen and women… (story)
Shooting Gazette 31.1.14 1/2 million to attend February 1 shoots - Countryside Alliance By Martin Puddifer - The final day of the pheasant and partridge seasons falls on a Saturday this year, and the Countryside Alliance is predicting record numbers will take full advantage of the weekend finale… (story)
Western Morning News 31.1.14 Game shooting season hailed big success - despite the wind and rain By WMNPBowern - The main game shooting season in the Westcountry comes to an end on Saturday February 1 after one of the wettest in living memory. But despite the rain the UK’s two main country sports organisations, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and the Countryside Alliance, both report successful seasons for sportsmen and women… (story)

Western Morning News 11.2.14 Call to raise cost of gun licences shelved thanks to PM's intervention - Calls to raise the cost of a gun licence have reportedly been blocked by David Cameron and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – both known to be keen shooting men… Despite calls from the Association of Chief Police Officers for an increase to £92 to help cover the cost of issuing the licences, the Sunday Times reports that the Prime Minister intervened to hold down the charge. Now Labour MP and League Against Cruel Sports trustee Chris Williamson is to write to the cabinet secretary to ask him to investigate… (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 11.2.14 Win tickets to the Westcountry Game Fair By mmanning - The Westcountry Game Fair returns for its annual celebration of country life next month, and we're offering readers a chance to win one of five pairs of tickets. The two-day show takes place at the Royal Bath and West Showground, near Shepton Mallet, on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd March. Supported by the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC), the show is now in its 18th year and organisers promise something for all the family… (story)

Scotsman 11.2.14 Zoos are prisons - Dying zoos often breed giraffes and other “exotic” animals in captivity and create babies in an effort to keep drawing in paying visitors – yet often, there’s nowhere to put the offspring as they grow… Peta urges everyone who genuinely cares about giraffes and all the other individuals serving life sentences in zoos to avoid patronising these facilities and instead donate to campaigns that actually protect animals in their native habitats. Ben Williamson People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals London (story)


Western Morning News 10.2.14 RSPCA should focus on its core values - Readers of your Feb 3 edition may find it ironic that the front page news item, “Threat to RSPCA to prosecute”, is followed in the letters section by a proclamation that “RSPCA given new prosecution powers” as subscribed to by Martin Bell. His enthusiasm for the descent of this once revered organisation into the murky world of animal rights is evidently not shared by the Attorney General, or many others in the countryside for that matter… by R Mason South Molton (letter)
Western Morning News 3.2.14 RSPCA given new prosecution powers - The only change in the RSPCA’s historic role as a statutory prosecutor of animal abusers is that the Hunting Act 2005 made the pursuit of wild mammals with more than two dogs a crime. This brought the organisation into conflict with the rich and well connected fox-hunting establishment, represented by retired General Sir Barney White-Spunner… This is a prosecution game-changer, applying techniques hitherto used against al-Qaida terrorists. The fox hunters know it, which is why they are frantically demanding that the RSPCA loses its prosecuting powers. by Martin Bell Port Isaac (letter)

Swindon Advertiser 10.2.14 Hunting is no joke - Reference the ongoing hunting ban saga. If anyone does not believe hunting is cruel, may I suggest they watch’ Don’t Turn the clock back to cruelty’, or ‘No Joke’ at www.league.org.uk/nojoke. If that’s not enough, try reading ‘A Master of Hounds Speaks’. It is quite horrendous… S Giles, Swindon (letter)

Western Morning News 10.2.14 Celebrities should help flood victims - The article in the Western Morning News by Roger Clemens arguing that scientific evidence illustrates the need for badger culling and the article written on February 5 by Anthony Gibson on the same subject should be read by guitarist Brian May… It would be appreciated by everyone in the Westcountry if such celebrities as Mr May gave their energy to raising funds for families, and businesses devastated by an environmental ecological disaster… Prince Charles gave £50,000 after all. by Lord Clifford of Chudleigh (letter)

Newcastle Chronicle 10.2.14 Sick 'neknomination' video posted by Newcastle Facebook user is slammed - A Facebook profile under the name Shaun Wilson, 27, from Newcastle, posted a video in which a man plunges a blade into a deer’s neck to severe an artery before downing the animal’s blood… Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “This video is sickening. We would ask the public not to promote, share or take part in such activities… (story)

BBC News Online 10.2.14 RSPCA criticised after vet leaves dead horse in field - An animal welfare charity has been criticised after the body of a horse was left in a field for four days after it was euthanised by a vet. The horse, one of a group of 16 in a field in Yateley, Hampshire, was put down by an RSPCA vet on Tuesday, but its body not removed until Saturday…. The charity said it was up to the landowner to remove the horse…. (story)

Plymouth Herald 10.2.14 Humans are vilest and cruellest species - I AM grateful to Sylvia Paskins for her letters of support regarding my letters of love, respect and support for all animals. Re. Sylvia's recent letter – name and shame abusers of innocent animals – what an excellent idea. Animal abusers should be named and shamed with their photograph included. It's good to know there are a lot of other animal lovers also… KAREN GAMBLE Plymouth (letter)

Independent 10.2.14 Giraffe condemned for his genes - I am very distressed and saddened by the execution of a healthy 18-month-old giraffe, just because his genes were too similar to other giraffes in a breeding programme… Susan Rowberry Saxmundham, Suffolk (letter)


Mail on Sunday 9.2.14 Now that's one for the album! Amazing picture shows how baby's finger was saved after fox bit it off By Amy Oliver and Jennifer Wiley - What a difference a year makes. As he claps and toddles happily, few would suspect that little Dennie Dolan almost lost a finger when he was attacked in his home by a fox just a year ago. Dennie was just five weeks old, when the urban fox sneaked inside, dragged him off a sofa and tried to pull him out of the house… (story)


Croydon Advertiser 8.2.14 Urban hunter: 'I'll kill Croydon's foxes for money' By Andrew Jameson - A MAN who shoots foxes for a living says he "doesn't have a problem" with the animals and that he actually quite admires them. Tom Keightley, 56, sparked an outrage when he wrote in the Advertiser's letters page last week that he was available to kill up to eight foxes per customer, in a bid to combat their proliferation in urban areas…. Peter Rafferty was one of those who disagreed with Mr Keightley's choice of profession. He said: "Foxes are not vermin – they are sentient creatures that have the same basic instincts and emotions as cats, dogs and humans."… (story)

Western Daily Press 8.2.14 Exmoor national park signs air freshener deal - It is one of the most stunning parts of the West, with windswept hills plunging into the sea. But now the National Park authority controlling it has sparked ridicule after getting Exmoor sponsored by an air freshener… Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance, mocked the link-up… (story)

Shropshire Star 8.2.14 March against badger cull at Shrewsbury Quarry -Hundreds of protesters from across the country descended on Shrewsbury today to attend an anti-badger cull protest march. About 200 campaigners braved the cold and wet weather to march through the town centre armed with banners and placards… (story)
Shropshire Star 18.12.13 Anti-badger cull group to hold march in Shrewsbury - The protest will take place on February 8, starting out from The Square in Shrewsbury at 1pm. Marchers will be addressed by a series of speakers, including wildlife campaigner Drew Pratten, Jim Ashley from the Shropshire Badger Group and Dominic Dyer from Care for the Wild… (story)

Somerset County Gazette 8.2.14 South Somerset Badger Protection group hits back - MEMBERS of South Somerset Badger Protection have hit back at critics of the protests against the recent badger culls. Chard Town Councillor, Graham Forsyth and former scientist Andy Hamilton of West Coker are veterans of the volunteer night patrols which successfully disrupted the Autumn slaughter of badgers on Exmoor and in Gloucestershire…. Graham and Andy both vowed to do their utmost to sabotage what they see as a misguided policy. “We’ll be out there in huge numbers,” they promised… (story)


Southern Reporter 7.2.14 Keepers oppose calls for grouse moor licencing - SPORTING interests are united in opposing a call by the Scottish Raptor Study Group that estates, companies and organisers should have to apply for a licence to run group shoots. Both the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) and the Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA) have come out against the proposal… (story)

Sky News 7.2.14 Animal Testing Plan Branded A 'Whitewash' - The Government has announced its plans to reduce animal testing as recent figures show lab experiments increasing. Animal rights campaigners have accused the Government of fudging its pledge to reduce testing on animals…. (story)
7.2.14 'No target' in UK animal tests plan By James Morgan - The UK government has launched its delivery plan to replace, refine and reduce the use of animals in research - known as "the 3Rs"… (story)


AboutMyArea 6.2.14 Response To Rural And Urban Needs Have Equal Priority For Commissioner - Author: Sallie Blair, Better Times - Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins has told the Countryside Alliance of his determination "to respond to the needs of rural communities just as much as those of the urban areas of Bedfordshire." His comments follow his endorsement of the new National Rural Crime Network which was launched earlier this week to help fight rural crime… (story)

Mail 6.2.14 Documents show PETA killed nearly 2,000 shelter animals in 2013 - Animal rights group PETA may go to extreme lengths to save animals from the slaughterhouse but the Virginia-based organization's animal shelter killed nearly 2,000 stray cats and dogs at its shelter in 2013. The Center for Consumer Freedom released its annual review of PETA's Norfolk shelter and it shows a surprising 82 percent euthanization rate… (story)

Daily Star 6.2.14 Town gets in a flap after councillor suggests putting pigeons on the pill - A COUNCILLOR has come up with a novel way of sorting his town's bird problem: putting pigeons on the pill. By Sarah Ann Harris - Locals in Ware, Hertfordshire, are worried that the growing number of birds is driving away shoppers and tourists from the town. But Tory councillor Jake Shropshire told a town meeting that the pesky pigeons could be kept to a low number by adding a special contraceptive to bird feed… Animal rights group PETA also shunned the idea and said: "There's a much simpler and more effective solution to keeping pigeons away from certain areas than feeding them contraceptive pills, which can cause deadly side effects, and that's simply to get out a broom and keep the area clean… (story)


Western Daily Press 5.2.14 Alliance chief's 'outrageous remarks' - I agree totally with Mr Ian Pedlar of Bath in his letter of January 6 with reference to Barney White-Spurner and his tedious and often outrageous remarks… Robert M Tubman Cheddar, Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.1.14 These people should run RSPCA policy - Is it my imagination or do blood sport supporters live in some kind of parallel universe? For in his latest "investigation" Philip Bowern ("History repeats itself in RSPCA battle" Daily Press January 8) appears to find it incomprehensible that people who oppose cruelty to domestic animals should also feel the same about wild animals… So let there be no mistake about the issues at stake here and stress to every individual who genuinely cares about real animal welfare to make absolutely certain that there is no way people like Barney White-Spunner, or groups of self-appointed "animal welfare experts" such as the Countryside Alliance, must ever again be allowed to dictate policy, practice or procedure within the RSPCA. Ian Pedler Paulton, Somerset (letter)

Rossendale Free Press 5.2.14 Phone detectives could map out reception across Rossendale - Rossendale MP Jake Berry wants to map ‘real’ phone reception across the Valley…. Jake Berry MP is asking smart phone and tablet users to download the RootMetrics app and use it while they are at home and, in particular, out and about in rural areas… Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of Countryside Alliance which is running the ‘Sick of No Signal’ campaign, added: “It is very important that we can prove that some people living in the countryside are not getting a good deal from their phone service providers…. (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 5.2.14 Animal charity held up as 'worst practice' By Chris Tate, T&A Reporter - A Keighley animal charity which only used 10p out of every £1 to fund welfare projects is being used as a national example of poor practices by a national watchdog. Wildlife Rescue Sanctuaries, founded by Marianne Crowley, has been probed by the Charity Commission, which has just released its official Operational Compliance Report. And Mrs Crowley has already pledged to tackle all the issues which include: 90 per cent of cash raised by professional fundraisers stayed in their coffers… (story)


Swindon Advertiser 4.2.14 Killing animals for fun - I was interested to see the letter in the Adver of 29 January from James Barrington. Mr Barrington attacks the RSPCA and describes himself as an Animal Welfare Consultant. Can I point out that Mr Barrington is a paid spokesman for the Countryside Alliance whose only interest in animals is to promote the killing of animals for fun?... Philip Beaven, Merton Avenue, Swindon (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 29.1.14 Protect wild mammals - The claim by the RSPCA’s Sophie Wilkinson about the public’s attitude to hunting (Swindon Advertiser, 24 January 2014) fails to mention that recent polls have included loaded questions, comparing hunting with hounds to dog fighting and badger baiting. No one is calling for dog fighting or badger baiting to be legalised, but their inclusion in a poll does help produce the desired result…. James Barrington, Animal Welfare Consultant, London (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 27.1.14 Hunting the truth - I read with interest the Rev Jones’ letter of the 22nd of this month. I have to admit I have never heard of anyone breeding foxes for hunting but if you have to go back to before the war to find evidence of this I do not believe it warrants a place in any modern debate on the issue of hunting…. A Holman-Baird, Name and address supplied (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 24.1.14 Hunting opposed - The RSPCA would like to correct points raised by A Holman-Baird in the letter “Ban cars before stopping hunts.” They refer to the poll which shows 80 per cent believe fox hunting should not be made legal again and say that this was unlikely to be conducted within the inner city. The poll actually showed 80 per cent of rural dwellers believe it should not be made legal again… Sophie Wilkinson, RSPCA Regional Media Manager, West Sussex (story)
Swindon Advertiser 22.1.14 Hunts breed foxes - I was interested to read A Holman Baird’s letter from Rutland of 16 January. There is well documented evidence that when foxes are few in number there is a programme to breed them. Before the war, the Master of Hunting contacted all the hunts to breed more foxes because he feared a shortage…. Rev H W Jones Summer House Road Wroughton Swindon (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 16.1.14 Ban cars before stopping hunts - I cannot pretend to be a regular reader of your publication but I was pointed by a friend to a letter published on January 9 this month entitled, ‘Oppose hunting evil’ and I must agree with its author Revd Jones that you cannot use numbers to justify a cause… Rather than opposing a method of wildlife management that is not only humane according to the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management but is also undeniably an effective way of managing fox numbers, perhaps the reverend’s time would be better spent opposing the driving of cars… A Holman-Baird, Uppingham, Rutland (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 9.1.14 Oppose hunting evil - There was a report in the national newspapers that a quarter of a million people turned out to support 250 fox hunts on Boxing Day although they admit that 80 per cent of the population are against hunting… Be very careful on using numbers to justify a cause; millions of people supported slavery and millions supported Adolf Hitler… Evil flourishes when good men do nothing. Rev H W Jones, Summer House Road, Wroughton, Swindon (letter)

Western Morning News 4.2.14 Disturbing the balance of nature - Rodney Hale (In My Opinion, Jan 6 ) misconstrues my reply to his original letter. It is surely the balance of nature that is important and, in an environment managed by man, this means the retention of controls which we exert. Although he quotes the source of his information to support his claim that a single fox can save 100 tons of grass per year by killing voles, I remain highly sceptical of the scientific validity of this data from the upper reaches of the Trossachs…. by Roger Mason South Molton (letter)
Western Morning News 5.1.14 Leave foxes in peace and they will do their bit for us - by Rodney Hale MSc Founder/Chairman - South-West Action For Hares - I can understand Roger Mason finds it difficult to believe foxes are efficient conservers of pasture grass through their predation on field voles… John Barrington, shepherd of 1000 Blackface sheep… wrote in the “Scottish Farmer” April 7, 1979, “Foxes also help to conserve valuable grazing for the sheep, by reducing the population of small grazing rodents and lagomorphs… Leave foxes in peace to continue doing their bit for agriculture and the environment and if they do take the occasional viable lamb then that is a small price to pay. (story)

Express 4.2.14 EXCLUSIVE: Brian May - Why my cancer scare made me determined to fight for the badgers - Rock star Brian May has described how a cancer scare earlier this year has made him more determined to "make a difference for the better". By: Jane Mathews - Speaking as he launched a badger vaccination funding appeal to try and bring about an end to culling, Mr May said that the uncertainty over his health had made him even more committed to campaigning for animal rights…. (story)

Camden Journal 4.2.14 Commuters stopped and urged to become vegans by ALINA POLIANSKAYA - COMMUTERS were urged to become vegans as they passed through King's Cross. Members of the pressure group People for the Ethical of Animals (PETA) paraded around the underground stop in farmyard animal costumes to kick off a new drive to encourage people to try a vegan diet…. (story)
Retail Times 3.2.14 PETA launches ‘Love me, don’t eat me’ pro vegan campaign on London Underground - Fiona Briggs - Commuters on London’s tube network couldn’t believe their bleary eyes this morning as a dozen giant ‘animals’ – ’pigs’, ‘chickens’, ‘ducks’, ‘cows’ and ‘sheep’ – holding signs which said, “Love me, don’t eat me”, descended on King’s Cross to kick off a new campaign by animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) challenging people to think critically about their meat consumption… (story)

Worcester News 4.2.14 Beyonce's vegan diet inspires others - Worcestershire Vegans and Veggies said a lot of people were interested in becoming vegan for short periods like singer Beyonce… Members were busy promoting Veganuary, turning vegan for January, during the Cruelty Free Christmas Fayre held in the city in December… Ronald Lee, communications officer, said: "A lot of people were coming up to us interested in trying it for short periods of time and we do get a proportion who go on to become vegan permanently… (story)


Crawley & Horsham 3.2.14 Case against two men connected with the Crawley and Horsham hunt dropped - Magistrates have branded the prosecution of two men connected to the Crawley and Horsham as an “abuse of process”. Animal rights activists had accused Daniel Howick and Jonathan Light, of interfering with a badger sett on 15 January 2013. The men denied the charges, and on 20 January 2014 Horsham Magistrates Court threw the case out after ruling that unacceptable delays in the prosecution case meant they would not receive a fair trial…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 3.2.14 Threat to RSPCA power to prosecute - A review of the RSPCA’s position as investigator and prosecutor in animal cruelty cases, which could be overhauled, has been given a cautious welcome… (story)
Western Daily Press 3.2.14 Former CPS lawyer to review RSPCA prosecution policy - A review of the RSPCA's position as investigator and prosecutor in animal cruelty cases has been given a cautious welcome…. (story)
Western Morning News 2.2.14 Threat to RSPCA's power of prosecutuion - A review of the RSPCA’s position as investigator and prosecutor in animal cruelty cases, which could be overhauled, has been given a cautious welcome… in December Stephen Wooler, a former chief inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, was appointed to the role. He has now suggested that the charity’s role as prosecutor could be removed altogether although he cautioned that “you have to put something in its place”… Jim Pascoe, chairman of the Four Burrow Hunt in West Cornwall, welcomed the review and said he hoped it would be “completely independent”…. Jim Pascoe, chairman of the Four Burrow Hunt in West Cornwall, welcomed the review and said he hoped it would be “completely independent”…. (story)
Telegraph 1.2.14 RSPCA risks losing power to prosecute - Independent reviewer considers stripping charity of its right to prosecute following string of controversial court cases By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent - The RSPCA’s role in prosecuting cases of animal cruelty could be overhauled to restore public confidence. Stephen Wooler, a former HM chief inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service, suggested the charity could be stripped of its prosecution rights because of increasing concern over its approach… The RSPCA was criticised for bringing a £326,000 private prosecution against the Heythrop hunt in David Cameron’s Oxfordshire constituency at the end of 2012. A judge said the costs, some of which went on external lawyers, were “staggering”.... (story)

Northern Echo 3.2.14 RSPCA satisfied despite Willington sanctuary founder's disgust at animal treatment - THE RSPCA says it is satisfied with the way animals are being treated at a sanctuary after an evicted owner said she was disgusted at how they were being cared for. Paula Campbell raised concerns over the welfare of more than 300 animals at Rainbow Ark Animal Sanctuary… But the RSPCA visited the sanctuary at Milkup Bank Farm this afternoon (February 3) and said they had no issues with the way the animals are being looked after by a security firm acting on behalf of Redstone Mortgage Company… (story)
BBC News Online 2.2.14 Police called to Rainbow Ark animal sanctuary protest - Police have been called to a protest by supporters of an animal sanctuary repossessed by a mortgage company. Paula Campbell, who ran the Rainbow Ark shelter at Willington, County Durham, was evicted by bailiffs on Wednesday after falling behind with mortgage payments… (story)
Northern Echo 31.1.14 Animals at the Rainbow Ark sanctuary, in Weardale, given clean bill of health By Nigel Burton - THE RSPCA has been called in to help advise a mortgage company which repossessed a Weardale wildlife sanctuary - and hundreds of animals. Baliffs entered the Rainbow Ark Animal Sanctuary, at Milkup Bank Farm, to repossess the property yesterday after owner Paula Campbell fell behind with her repayments… The baliffs - who demanded that photographers and television crews not take their picture - ignored sanctuary volunteer John Proctor who tried to deny them a right of entry… (story)
Northern Echo 31.1.14 Target for Willington animal sanctuary smashed by thousands By Catherine Priestley - ANIMAL sanctuary supporters must work out how best to spend tens of thousands of pounds after being overwhelmed by donations. An online fundraising campaign in aid of the repossessed Rainbow Ark Animal Sanctuary, in Willington, initially set a target of £10,000 to cover the cost of rehoming its 350 animals. But within 24 hours of bailiffs moving onto the site, on Wednesday, the Save the Animals of Rainbow Ark campaign had smashed its target and by this afternoon (Friday, January 31) 2,000 people had donated more than £36,000… (story)
Mail 30.1.14 Heartbreaking moment distraught animal sanctuary owner collapsed into mud as bailiffs arrived to evict her after 20 years By MARK DUELL - This dramatic photograph shows the moment a distraught animal sanctuary owner collapsed in the mud moments after bailiffs arrived to evict her from her farm. Paula Campbell, 47, was so overcome with grief that she was admitted to hospital after the repossession of the Rainbow Ark Animal Sanctuary in Willington, County Durham… Jonathon Proctor, 21, who was a volunteer at the centre, told MailOnline: ‘I was the last person to get kicked off site. At about 12pm yesterday an army of bailiffs, police and locksmiths arrived… (story)


East Anglian Daily Times 1.2.14 East Anglia: Sid’s life with horses - Sid Everett is 91 years old and has been featured in a new DVD by Oral Traditions editor Neil Lanham for his work with heavy horses all his life. Picture: Ian Burt - Sid Everett had a work ethic that would put most of us to shame…. Now, at the age of 91, Mr Everett is the subject of a DVD produced by a Suffolk historian to provide a lasting record of the life of the hard-working team-man… Widowed five years ago, Mr Everett is now kept company by a cockatiel called Olly, but still loves to get out and about, regularly following the local hunt and visiting his daughter in Mattishall… (story)

Western Daily Press 1.2.14 Digging skills better used on ditches - Like many others, I was shocked to see the picture of men digging out two foxes in order to kill them… There is far too much sentimental respect towards anything human, no matter how degraded and destructive… Ann Richardson Warminster, Wiltshire (letter)

Yorkshire Post 1.2.14 Shoot appeal increases across genders by Ben Barnett - More women are taking up shooting as Yorkshire gamekeepers look to build on the region’s country sports market which is estimated to be worth £480m to the local economy every year…. (story)