February 2015

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(*)- added since last update


Northumberland Gazette 28.2.15 Hunts in Northumberland ‘stronger than ever’ 10 years on from ban - Calls to repeal a law which changed the face of hunting in the UK are as loud as ever, 10 years after it came into force….Charles Bucknall, Master of the Percy Hunt, said the spirit of the hunt had never been stronger… (story)
Northumberland Gazette 28.2.15 WATCH: Video of 1938 Percy Hunt setting off from a crowded Alnwick - This video of the Percy Hunt parading through the streets of Alnwick in 1938 before setting off shows how times have changed…. (story)
Northumberland Gazette 26.2.15 WATCH: Look back to 1938 Percy Hunt - ‘We are stronger than ever and better’ – Say hunting groups 10 years after the hunting ban. A law which changed the face of hunting in the UK has had calls to be repealed 10 years after it came into force…. Charles Bucknall, Master of the Percy Hunt, said the spirit of the hunt had never been stronger…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 28.2.15 Has shooting helped to conserve Ilkley Moor? From: Jonathan Shires, Holme, Cumbria - Perhaps Bill Oddie should consider the following before giving an emotional opinion… How long has shooting taken place on the moor? Who has been responsible for conservation on the moor during this period? Has this conservation been detrimental or beneficial to wildlife on the moor?... (letters)

Western Daily Press 28.2.15 Tips on tracking down deer near you - Deer are among the country's best loved wildlife. Whether stalked and shot for their venison, hunted with hounds – before the ban – or simply watched and photographed, humans and deer have been sharing a landscape for centuries. Philip Bowern reports… (story)

News & Star 28.2.15 PRESSURE GROUP PETA LAUNCHES SECOND ATTACK ON CUMBRIAN AQUARIUM By Jenny Barwise - An aquarium urged to cut fish from its cafe menu is once again facing pressure to change – this time for selling tackle and bait on the premises…. Pressure group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wrote a letter to complain to the aquarium, asking for it to end the sale of seafood. Now the organisation has hit out at bosses who allow the bait and tackle shop to operate from the site…. (story)


Telegraph 27.2.15 Woman crushed to death between two horses as they are spooked by hounds, inquest hears - A retired teacher died from massive internal injuries after being crushed between two horses, an inquest heard. Rosemary Turnbull, 62, suffered multiple wounds to her chest and heart as she led the animals ahead of a hunting pack… (story)

Nottingham Post 27.2.15 The Hunting Act: Ten years on By JonPritchard - Ten years ago, one of the most controversial laws of recent times came into force. The Hunting Act 2004 banned the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales, causing uproar in the countryside…. According to the Countryside Alliance, hunting continues to be popular in Nottinghamshire, with four fox hunts still taking place in the county, including the South Nottinghamshire Hunt, which holds a New Year's Day hunt from Newark…. (story)

Horse & Hound 27.2.15 Campaign against ‘intimidating’ masked animal rights activists builds momentum - Sophia Heath - An e-campaign by the Countryside Alliance (CA) to highlight the issue of masked animal rights activists has resulted in more than 8,000 people writing to their local police crime commissioners (PCC)…. (story)

Wells Journal 27.2.15 The hot potato: Why do hunts still exist? - I’m tired of seeing the excuses for ‘hunting with dogs’ carrying on as if there had never been a ban. How many years is it now? There is no excuse that justifies the hunting of an animal for fun in the 21st century. Not one. Ever. Each time a hunt supporter tries to claim a justifiable reason it just makes the rest of us more suspicious…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 27.2.15 Support for those hounded by the hunts From: Ms N Reilly, Cowlersley Lane, Huddersfield. I WAS saddened, though not surprised, to read the letter from Mrs Bamford (The Yorkshire Post, February 21) outlining the continuing harassment she claims to have has experienced from The Rockwood Harriers… There is an organisation “Hounds Off” www.houndsoff.co.uk that was formed to support victims of hunt trespass, threats and violence…. if you are a witness to illegal hunting with hounds or other bloodsports do contact the League Against Cruel Sports wildlife crime hotline… (letter)


Spectator 26.2.15 The day an ancient and very wonderful sport died - Farewell to the great hare-coursing slipper Garrett ‘Garry’ Kelly - Last week was the tenth anniversary of the last running of the English hare-coursing classic, the Waterloo Cup. I shan’t start raving on about the perversity of banning a so-called blood sport in which the death of the hare, should it happen, is seen as a failure. Suffice to say that in the last season of legal coursing under English Coursing Club rules, 160 hares were registered as killed — one in nine hares coursed. Three months after the Hunting Act had come into force, 8,000 conserved hares on ten coursing grounds had been shot, including 3,500 on the coursing grounds of the Swaffham Coursing Society (founded in 1776) alone…. (story)

Stretford & Urmston Messenger 26.2.15 Kate Green MP marks 10 years of the Hunting Act - KATE Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston joined forces with animal welfare charities to mark the success of Hunting Act 10 years on…Commenting on the anniversary Ms Green said: “I am delighted to celebrate the Hunting Act ten years on from when it first came into force. It is a mark of our civilisation as a society that we protect animal welfare and it’s great that the Act has been so successful…. (story)

Worcester News 26.2.15 Bid to get Worcester MP Robin Walker to back the Hunting Act is rejected by Tom Edwards, Political Reporter - ATTEMPTS to get Worcester's MP to strengthen the controversial hunting ban have been blocked - after councillors insisted city people "don't care" about it. Back in September last year Robin Walker told your Worcester News the infamous legislation, which has always sparked huge controversy, was a "bad" piece of law which should be ditched. As a result of that a debate has taken place at Worcester City Council this week over writing to him to ask that he backs a call to "strengthen rather than weaken" the Hunting Act. But the motion, by Green Councillor Neil Laurenson, was voted down despite support from the Labour Party and Liberal Democrat Liz Smith…. (story)

Western Morning News 26.2.15 Anti-hunt protests harm the horses - Re the letter from R M Morris, concerning the supposed treatment of anti-hunt supporters who are “beaten and abused” whilst attending a meet. It seems to me that it is the horses that come off worse…. I do not hunt, but whenever I have attended a hunt meet it has been clear which group is the most provocative. How can supposed “animal lovers” act as they do to horses and seemingly not expect a response? by Lawrence Townsend Eastdon (letter)

Western Morning News 26.2.15 Five out of ten for animal welfare policy - As a rare breed in Somerset; ie a Labour councillor; I found Labour’s animal welfare policy a mixed bag; some good and some poor and some missing altogether…. The commitment to scrapping the badger cull is very strong so no concerns there… Second, the poor: The first shot against the shooters over the persecution of birds of prey is most welcome… but with no wider move to review all shooting which I was hoping I am disappointed. As for the gun licence being continually subsidised by the taxpayers, I am disappointed… by Graham Forsyth Chard (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 26.2.15 Foxes are vermin and have entered houses, attacking babies in cots - IF YOU sow the wind you reap the whirlwind. It was the ban on hunting foxes that has caused the foxes to invade the towns as there isn't enough food in the countryside to support the increase in the fox population. I think that Mr D Hutchinson should sue the anti-blood sports lobby for the damage done to his property and the cost of the repairs… Mr R.S.Moore, full address supplied. (letter)
Western Morning News 25.2.15 Saboteurs' conduct is a disgrace - Re a very interesting if one- sided letter regarding hunt tactics from Mrs R M Morris (WMN, February 21). What a pity she did not mention some of the hunt monitor/saboteur tactics I have seen, including the wearing of balaclava and paramilitary clothing, very intimidating. Are they embarrassed at what they do?... by Mrs B Eagle Launceston (letter)
Western Morning News 21.2.15 See hunt tactics for yourself - Lee Moon paints a truly horrific picture of how anti hunt supporters are regularly being beaten and abused, with very little support given by the police. As a one-time hunt monitor I can vouch for the truth of Lee Moon’s article. I have been kicked, spat at, sworn at and have been ridden down by a yobbo on horse back…. by R M Morris Minehead (letter)


Western Morning News 25.2.15 Sentimentality will destroy wildlife - Labour proposals for wild animal conservation betray the party’s unsuitability for government because it is clearly motivated more by sentiment than practicality… instead of crudely culling badgers, foxes, deer, rats and mice by means that do not discriminate between the fit and unhealthy, we should reintroduce hunting… by Tony Maskell Newton Ferrers (letter)

PirateFM 25.2.15 Only A Quarter Of Cornwall Is Covered By 3G - It is revealed that only a quarter of Cornwall is covered by 3G phone signal…. Sarah Lee from the Countryside Alliance reckons enough is enough, she said: "We have seen the government promise 150 million pounds to fill the not spots in rural areas, we have seen the most recent announcement between operators and the government about putting 5 million pounds into coverage in rural areas, but despite all these promises there is very little improvement on the ground…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.2.15 "Unacceptable" rural mobile phone coverage revealed By GDemianyk - Mobile phone users in Devon can get coverage from all four big companies in just 15% of the county – compared to almost full service in London and other cities…. Countryside Alliance Head of Policy Sarah Lee said: “Bad rural mobile phone signal is the black hole of the digital age and this is unacceptable…. (story)

Mail 25.2.15 Badger cull has ended my 11-year bovine tuberculosis nightmare says cattle farmer whose land lies in controversial pilot area By MARK DUELL FOR MAILONLINE - A cattle farmer claimed today that the badger cull had ended his bovine tuberculosis nightmare that lasted more than ten years. James Griffiths - whose land in Tibberton, Gloucestershire, lies within the controversial pilot area - said his dairy herd was free of TB for the first time since 2004…. (story)
Western Daily Press 24.2.15 Gloucestershire farmer James Griffiths claims the badger cull has worked for his dairy herd - Farmer James Griffiths claims the controversial badger cull has brought an 11 year nightmare to an end after his dairy herd was tested negative for bovine TB the first time in over a decade…. Mr Griffiths’ farm was one of those in the 132-square-mile Gloscon pilot badger cull where disruption was blamed for 274 badgers being killed, instead of the minimum 615 estimated to be needed to deliver reductions in TB. He says balaclava-wearing saboteurs posted negative messages on Facebook, followed his 19-year-old daughter home and frightened his 88-yearold mother...(story)

Gloucester Citizen 25.2.15 Gloucester owl charity comes under fire from activists over false link with London's first owl bar - An owl charity in Gloucester has come under fire from animal rights activists after false reports that its birds would be appear in London’s first owl bar. Nearly 25,000 people have applied for tickets to the pop-up owl cafe…. An owl charity in Gloucester has come under fire from animal rights activists after false reports that its birds would be appear in London’s first owl bar. Nearly 25,000 people have applied for tickets to the pop-up owl cafe…. (story)

Southend 25.2.15 Southend MP joins calls to ban wild animals at circuses by Paul Nizinskyj… by Paul Nizinskyj A SOUTHEND Member of Parliament has delivered a petition to Downing Street calling for a ban on wild animals in circuses. Sir David Amess, who represents Southend West, joined Animal Defenders International (ADI) at Downing Street today to deliver a 20,000-strong petition to David Cameron, the prime minister, calling on the ban. He was joined by fellow Tory MPs Mark Pritchard and Tracey Crouch, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Labour MPs Jim Dowd and Angela Smith,….


Leek Post & Times 25.2.15 Animal campaigners to stage protest in Leek and Butterton - ANIMAL welfare campaigners are set to stage a further protest in Leek following a demonstration in a Moorlands village over animal cruelty…. Campaigners travelled from as far away as Holyhead in Wales in the wake of the release of a secret film which showed animals being kicked, punched and thrown around at the S Bagshaw and Sons abattoir in the village…. (story)


Mail 24.2.15 Countryfile BETRAYS the countryside: 7 million watch it. But CHRISTOPHER BOOKER says the BBC's flagship show ignores rural Britain's real problems By CHRISTOPHER BOOKER FOR THE DAILY MAIL - One of the BBC’s most spectacular recent success stories is the weekly wildlife and farming programme, Countryfile… Above all, the picture they present is relentlessly positive and upbeat. But this is precisely what gives rise to the most commonly heard criticism of Countryfile from those who know about nature and life in the countryside at first-hand: the programme prettifies, sentimentalises and sanitises what goes on there. Anything which contradicts the Countryfile agenda is seemingly airbrushed out of the picture… In short, Countryfile acts as the flagship for a sentimental and largely urban view of the countryside — as a pretty place full of cuddly foxes and badgers whose only enemies are cruel hunters and greedy farmers…. (story)

Western Morning News 24.2.15 WMN OPINION:Clear choice on bovine TB for voters of two main parties. What about the rest? - If anyone had any lingering doubts about the point of difference between the two major parties on tackling the scourge of bovine TB in Britain they will have had them swept away over the past seven day… The real issue, however, is likely to come after May 7 when it is quite likely that neither Labour or the Tories will have a majority and either one may have to rely on the support of one or more smaller parties to form a Government. What then, does UKIP think about culling badgers? What about the Greens, the Scottish Nationalists or, indeed, the Lib Dems?.... (story)

Western Morning News 24.2.15 Hunt Act should be binned - The main reason why the Hunting Act does not work is because it was drafted by people who did not understand hunting. Those who did have knowledge of hunting were pro-hunt and therefore, understandably, not going to point out the pitfalls…. Over 700 hours of Parliamentary time and the heavy handed use of the Parliament Act brought this piece of unworkable legislation into being. If it is not right after all that then it should be binned, not modified!... by Roger Berryman Falmouth (letter)

Irish Examiner 24.2.15 Fox hunting is cruel and disruptive of rural life - In County Clare, eight hunt hounds that savaged sheep to death were then shot by farmers. This is further shocking and incontestable evidence of the havoc hunting inflicts on the countryside…. John Fitzgerald (Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports) Lower Coyne Street Callan Co Kilkenny (letter)

BBC News Online 24.2.15 Lincolnshire farmers urged to tackle grey partridge decline - The decline of one of the UK's most endangered birds could be slowed if more farmers take part in an annual count, a conservation trust has said. Grey partridge numbers have dropped by 86% in the last 40 years, according to the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. The trust wants more farmers to take part in its annual count scheme…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 24.2.15 Solve the fox epidemic in Cleethorpes - IF I TAKE my dog to Haverstoe Park and release it from the lead I could be prosecuted…. Why then are foxes exempt? This area of Cleethorpes has an environment health problem and we are inundated with foxes. At least three visit our garden every day and have wrecked the place, despite all our efforts to deter them… David Hutchinson, Cleethorpes, full address supplied (letter)

BBC News Online 24.2.15 Badger cull 'succeeds in reducing TB', the NFU says - Pilot badger culls in Somerset and Gloucester have succeeded in reducing tuberculosis (TB) in cattle, the National Farmers' Union (NFU) has said. President Meurig Raymond told the NFU's annual conference in Birmingham that TB had been reduced in the pilot areas. Meanwhile Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said a Tory-led government would roll out badger culling to more TB-infected areas… (story)
Guardian 24.2.15 Badger culls would continue under new Tory government, Liz Truss says - Environment secretary tells National Farmers Union conference the policy to halt spread of bovine TB will be rolled out despite criticism of pilot culls - A Conservative-led government will continue the cull of badgers regardless of complaints from protesters, the environment secretary has pledged… (story)
Telegraph 24.2.15 Badger cull extended across country if we win election, Tories say - Liz Truss, the environment secretary, says badger culling should take place across the country after trials show it reduces cases of bovine TB By Dan Hyde, Consumer Affairs Editor - Badger culling would be extended across the country under a Conservative government, the environment secretary said today, after trials showed the measure significantly reduced tuberculosis among cows…. (story)

Washington Post 24.2.15 Virginia measure could put PETA out of the animal shelter business By Rachel Weiner - Nothing is warm and fuzzy in the world of Virginia animal-welfare organizations… At the heart of this fight is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and its record on euthanasia, which alarms other animal advocates. PETA operates a large shelter at its headquarters in Norfolk, where every year the vast majority of cats and dogs taken in are euthanized. The shelter came under fire last fall after it euthanized a Chihuahua that was inexplicably snatched from its owner’s porch by a PETA contractor on the Eastern Shore. So the timing was perfect for a bill put forward by Sen. William M. Stanley Jr. (R-Franklin) that has emerged from both houses of the state legislature and that defines a private animal shelter as “operating for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes.”… (story)


Western Morning News 23.2.15 Saboteurs shouldn't hide behind masks - It was disquieting to read the front page of your Feb 12 edition informing us of the incursion of masked activists into our peaceful countryside. More alarming was to read ‘Opinion’ on page 7 where Lee Moon of the Hunt Saboteurs declares that their ‘moral obligations ‘ transcend laws…. This attitude is surely reason enough for the police to insist that all masks are removed in these circumstances and those who are labouring under the illusion that the ‘sabs’ are anything but an unpleasant vigilante group have doubtless now had the wool pulled from their eyes… by Roger Mason South Molton (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 23.2.15 Goodie Bill Oddie joins bid to stop grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor by Chris Tate - COMEDIAN and ornithologist Bill Oddie has joined calls for Bradford Council to end grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor…. Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor (BBIM) is heading a high-profile campaign for Bradford Council to abandon the controversial deed awarded to the Bingley Moor Partnership in 2008, which allows game bird shooting on the land…. Photo: Bill Oddie (centre) joins the campaign to ban bloodsports on Ilkley Moor, with Luke Steele (left) and Tod Bradbury, of Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor (story)

Telegraph 23.2.15 Animal welfare lobby accused of 'wild-eyed obsession' with religious slaughter By Patrick Sawer, and Edward Malnick - Repeated calls for a ban on the religious slaughter of animals have become an “obsession” of the animal rights lobby and are in danger of damaging wider community relations, religious groups have warned. Jewish and Muslim leaders have accused animal welfare lobbyists of campaigning against the non-stun religious slaughter of animals to the exclusion of almost all other welfare issues…. (story)


Western Gazette 22.2.15 Hunt saboteur demands CPS reinvestigates her case after she was trampled by a horse By WG_StephenDO - A WOMAN who was trampled by a horse during a hunt meet in Charlton Horethorne has demanded the CPS reinvestigate the case after charges were not pursued against the rider…. She was part of the Dorset Hunt Saboteurs who targeted the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hunt on August 28, 2014, at a meet near its base in Charlton Horethorne…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 22.2.15 Ten years on from the fox-hunting ban and the topic still fiercely divides the two sides By Giulia Crouch - It's been 10 years since fox-hunting with dogs was banned, but campaigners are still ardently calling for its return… Spokesperson for the Beaufort Hunt, Jo Aldridge, said fox-hunting has a huge array of benefits including it being a sociable event and "before the ban it was good for wildlife management."… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 22.2.15 Should fox-hunting with dogs be made legal again? - Campaigners are calling for fox-hunting with dogs to be made legal again, on the 10th anniversary of the controversial Hunting Act… (story)

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 22.2.15 Calls to legalise fox hunting on the 10th anniversary of its banning by Jack Pitts - FRESH calls are being made to legalise fox hunting on the 10th anniversary of its banning. The Conservatives have pledged a vote in Parliament, should they win May's general election, to repeal the ban that prevents hunting fox, deer and hare with dogs…. (story)

Essex Chronicle 22.2.15 Could fox hunting make a return to Essex? By SamBalls - Fox-hunting with dogs could return to rural Essex as campaigners call for the controversial activity to be made legal ten years after it was outlawed…. (story)

Sunday Times 22.2.15 ‘Posh sabs’ dirty the 4x4 to foil hunts - Kevin Dowling - A MILLIONAIRE businesswoman is among a new wave of “posh sabs” doing battle with foxhunters in the countryside…. (story)

Horse & Hound 22.2.15 Heavy horses to race at Cotley point-to-point - Caroline Bankes - Heavy horses will be thundering down the Cotley course at the hunt’s point-to-point on 29 March. Four heavy horse and cob charity Flat races have been added to the usual point-to-point card to raise the profile of the meeting…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 22.2.15 Deer stalking: the solution to a problem? - Deer are breeding in the UK at unsustainable levels. Our writer confronts his misgivings to witness the solution By Gustav Temple - Sunday, 6.30am. A car pulls up outside my house and the horn sounds. The driver is John, a man I barely know, who has offered to take me deer stalking. We drive through the dark silence of the town, where not a soul stirs, towards the open countryside of East Sussex… (story)

Guardian/Observer 22.2.15 Christine Brock obituary - Paul Meade - My friend Christine Brock, who has died from cancer aged 61, was a lifelong animal rights campaigner, and a biomedical scientist engaged in research to expose scientific and ethical flaws in animal experimentation…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 22.2.15 Anarchist who downloaded 'terrorist's' guide to evade FBI online caught out by broken printer By Chris Osuh - An anarchist downloaded a ‘terrorist’s’ guide to staying secret on the internet - and then got caught out by a broken printer. Roney Commons, 39, began hoarding documents on covert computer use while staying at the Hafan Wen drug rehabilitation clinic in North Wales. But his bid to avoid government surveillance fell apart after he used the communal computer room. Manchester Crown Court heard that Commons, a New Age traveller and animal rights activist with a lengthy interest in anarchist movements, was exposed after sending information on bomb-making to a printer which jammed…. (story)
Mirror 22.2.15 Anarchist who downloaded guide to bomb making caught when printer jammed in communal computer room By Chris Osuh - Roney Commons's cover was blown when how-to instructions on making detonators was spotted by another user - An anarchist downloaded a ‘terrorist’s’ guide to staying secret on the internet - and then got caught out by a broken printer… (story)


Shepton Mallet Journal 21.2.15 Somerset still divided over Hunting Act ten years on - Ten years ago this week, the Hunting Act came into force across the country. Joe Ponting investigates what Labour’s controversial legislation has meant for the blood sport in mid-Somerset, and where it stands now in 2015… Rob Williams, Master of Mendip Farmers Hunt, acknowledges that whatever happens to the Act next will be decisive. “If there is a vote and the Act gets repealed, that would be fantastic and I think it would stay that way.”… (story)

Yorkshire Post 21.2.15 Arrogant attitudes of the hunts From: William Snowden, Dobrudden Park, Baildon Moor, Baildon…. When I was a volunteer ranger I regularly encountered both the casual killers, and the committed saviours of wild animals. The former were irredeemably arrogant, and indignant that anyone should dare to be seen to curb their “country pursuits”. The latter characteristically humble and caring and, with one exception, female…
From: Mrs MR Bamford, Clayton West, Huddersfield. WITH reference to the hunting ban, as far as we are concerned it doesn’t seem to have had an effect whatsoever. The Rockwood Harriers, the local hunt here, turn out twice a week to run riot and cause havoc. They have been asked many times not to come onto our land but they do not or will not heed our request….
From: John Micklethwaite, Penistone, South Yorkshire. WITH reference to your article on hunting (The Yorkshire Post, February 14), just how many of these participants are able to cut their tax liabilities by claiming the livestock and accoutrements, vehicles, trailers, manpower etc as expenditure to lessen tax demands, therefore depriving the country of much needed revenue?... (letters)

Yorkshire Post 21.2.15 Abuse of process in attempt to discredit shooting estate From: Adrian Blackmore, Countryside Alliance, Kennington Road, London. IT appears that the RSPB may be going down the same route as the RSPCA in having an obsession with prosecutions, rather than focusing on what should be its core agenda of nature conservation…. The recent case that was brought by the RSPB against a gamekeeper on the Bolton Estate in North Yorkshire is a case in point. That case was based on unlawful “evidence” that had been obtained by RSPB… Failure to supply evidence to the defence team, despite repeated orders from the court, meant that it would have been impossible for the defendant to have received a fair trial, 
and magistrates therefore considered there to have been an Abuse of Process by the prosecution, and ordered a stay of proceedings… The Bolton Estate can be justifiably proud of its credentials when it comes 
to its impressive records for nature conservation, which makes the RSPB’s efforts to discredit one of those responsible even more remarkable…. (letter)

Irish Examiner 21.2.15 It’s illegal in Australia to feed rabbits to greyhounds. Here, it’s called coursing - The animal cruelty scandal that has rocked Australia’s greyhound industry should give us food for thought in Ireland. Trainers were caught on camera feeding live rabbits, possums, and piglets to their dogs, as part of the ‘blooding’ process… Here in Ireland, greyhound trainers can legally exploit and terrorise one of the gentlest creatures in the countryside, our native Irish hare… John Fitzgerald Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co. Kilkenny (letter)

Birmingham Mail 21.2.15 Bill Oddie joins Birmingham badger cull demo at Wildlife Festival By Jasbir Authi - Nature presenter Bill Oddie and actor Peter Egan joined hundreds of people at the Birmingham Wildlife Festival and Badger March. Large crowds of animals lovers, including a few dressed up as creatures, filled Centenary Square on Saturday, with some waving banners reading ‘Save Our Wildlife - No Badger Cull’…. (story)

Ham & High 21.2.15 Fifty Shades of Greyhound: Angela Humphery talks Ricky Gervais, Dame Judi Dench and saving monkeys - Longtime Hampstead resident and animal welfare campaigner Angela Humphery has put her story into a book, Memoirs of a Party Animal, with tales of her adventures working in the field….(story)

Stoke Sentinel 21.2.15 Protesters stage peaceful demonstration after allegations of animal cruelty at Butterton abattoir - PROTESTERS staged a peaceful demonstration on the site of an abattoir which has been temporarily banned from operating after allegations of animal cruelty. Around 30 campaigners descended on S Bagshaw and Sons in Butterton, near Leek, following claims workers were mistreating pigs, cows and sheep… Gill Greaves, aged 47, of Newcastle, who works as a clerical assistant, said: “I was really upset by the footage…. Lead campaigner Philippa Sangha, aged 38, of Macclesfield, added: “People buy meat from the butchers shop with no idea of what goes on inside abattoirs…. (story)
Leek Post & Times 21.2.15 Demonstration at S Bagshaw and Sons in Butterton near Leek in protest at abattoir filming which showed animal cruelty - DESPITE the snow and bitterly cold morning around 30 animal welfare campaigners held a peaceful protest in Butterton village today, Saturday… One of the organisers of Saturday’s demonstration, Ruth Winston-Jones, said: “We are protesting because the law has been broken…. Janine Plimley, aged 44, of Buxton, said she was at the protest and seeing the footage of the video… (story)

Northern Echo 21.2.15 Slaughterhouse of horror - WE have laws against cruelty to animals killed for food. All such livestock must be stunned prior to slaughter…. BE Cooper, Sedgefield. (letter)


Denbighshire Free Press 20.2.15 Hunting debate still rages 10 years on from ban - Rhian Waller - HUNTING a fox with packs of hounds was banned 10 years ago, but a decade on hunters and anti-hunt activists alike are not satisfied with the results. Jeremy Reed, 52, master of the Flint and Denbigh Hunt, says he would like the law overturned, while anti-hunt spokeswoman Annie Maluver, 44, of Brymbo, says current enforcement is not good enough… Annie Maluver, 44, became an unofficial hunt “monitor” after the fox hunting ban came into force in 2005. She has links to hunt saboteurs but has never interceded directly in a hunt, preferring to observe and document hunters to make sure they stay within the law…. (story)

Cambridge News 20.2.15 Fox hunting law is bone of contention for both sides in Cambridgeshire By Gareth McPherson - Ten years after the Hunting Act came into force, Cambridgeshire's huntsmen and saboteurs are in agreement on one thing at least. They both want the law to change…. Charlotte James, one of Cambridge's "sabs", said they want a "reckless provision" to be included into the legislation to make such kills illegal, sentencing powers to be increased and a prohibition of sending terriers underground to flush out foxes… No-one from the Cambridgeshire Hunt with Enfield Chace was available to comment yesterday. However, Simon Bateman told the News in December they were campaigning hard for a repeal of the law adding: "We won't stop fighting until we get that"… (story)

North West Evening Mail 20.2.15 BIG DEBATE: HAS THE HUNTING BAN WORKED? - A DECADE has passed since the Hunting Act became law and banned the use of dogs for chasing and killing foxes in England and Wales. But more than 300 hunting packs are still operational, including six in Cumbria. We ask: has the Hunting Act changed anything?... (story)

Western Morning News 20.2.15 WMN OPINION: Politicians must stay focused on issues of importance to rural Britain - Another week crossed off the calendar and the General Election looms closer. No party leaders in the South West this week – but rural issues of pressing interest to our region, including the battle to eradicate bovine TB, the future of the Hunting Act and reducing animal cruelty were all covered in Labour’s policy launch on animal welfare. Not in the way many people in the rural Westcountry would like, perhaps – as the Western Morning News has already reported in some detail – but at least issues of importance are deemed worthy of the attention of the political parties… (story)

Western Morning News 20.2.15 Becky Sheaves: Stop hounding the anti-hunt message to death By Becky Sheaves - Two things really shocked me when I went to see Fifty Shades of Grey this week. And neither was anything to do with the film…. Amid the ads for make-up and a thriller starring Jennifer Lopez, a young woman’s face appeared on the screen…. She put her very photogenic toddler into her cot and legged it out of the house, all the while being chased by the camera, horror-movie style, across a field. Finally, to the sound of baying hounds, she collapsed on the grass. Up on the screen flashed a message: “How would you feel if it was you?” followed by an announcement that this was part of the League Against Cruel Sports’ campaign to ban “illegal hunting of foxes with dogs”. Now, can I say straight up: OF COURSE I WOULDN’T LIKE IT if I was chased by dogs. But I also don’t like being patronised and manipulated as a soppy, sentimental female idiot…. why do we have our heart strings tugged by an advert targeting a practice that is, at best, extremely infrequent and – HELLO! – already illegal?... (story)

Irish Examiner 20.2.15 Sheep farmers shot dogs dead - Peter O’Connell - Sheep farmers shot dead hunting dogs after lambs were slaughtered. The dogs, including beagles and cross-breeds, had been on a supervised hunt in Co Clare. But eight dogs broke away from the pack and attacked sheep on two separate farms in Broadford. The county’s dog warden Frankie Coote said yesterday the dogs killed two sheep and injured several more… (story)

Leicester Mercury 20.2.15 Disgusted by this cruelty - Just like Robert Jalland (Mailbox, February 12), I am disgusted that in this day and age animals are still being killed without first being stunned…. J G Wright, Leicester. (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 20.2.15 Laura Winter: Is steak the perfect meal for elite athletes? This vegetarian says no.... Sportsmen and women, are you eating the right food to fuel elite performance?... There is no doubting the benefits of eating meat to provide ample protein for an elite athlete. But a plant-based diet can provide the same levels of protein, even for those putting their bodies under the highest demand. As a vegetarian, I never struggled to fuel myself despite the rigours of heavy swimming and rowing training… (story)


Craven Herald & Pioneer 19.2.15 Fox hunting ban came in ten years ago by Lindsey Moore - THE Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt can trace its roots back to the time of King James I, who granted it its royal livery of red jackets. But ten years ago it faced a major upheaval with the introduction of new legislation, which banned fox hunting. Here, we look back at how the change was greeted in Craven…. (story)

Western Morning News 19.2.15 OPINION: Labour's animal pledges are about attacking political enemies as much as protecting wildlife By WMNPBowern - Britain, it is said, is a nation of animal lovers. But after a week marked by the tenth anniversary of the start of the hunting ban and Labour’s policy pledges on animal welfare, you have to wonder whether it is not fast becoming a nation largely ignorant of the realities of the countryside and wildlife. Maria Eagle, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, didn’t stray very far from the safety of Westminster on Wednesday when she unveiled her party’s policies on animals in advance of May’s General Election…. (story)

ITV 19.2.15 Rare video shows fox chase ten years after hunting ban - A decade since the ban on fox hunting was introduced, the chairman of a hunt in Warwickshire has told ITV News the law has not prevented animal cruelty…. >(story)

Mancunian Matters 19.2.15 Hunting ban, 10 years on: Four in five Brits say 'barbaric pastime' should remain illegal By Christopher Fountain - As we pass the decade mark since the ban on hunting came into effect in Britain, a study has revealed the public still overwhelmingly support the legislation….Liberal Democrat Mark Hunter, who has represented Cheadle since 2005, joined forces with animal welfare charities to celebrate the ban’s continued success and support… far from dying out, the tradition of hunting has grown, with 45,000 people regularly taking part and a quarter of a million heading out across the country for the most recent Boxing Day meets. Officially, these are 'drag hunts', which involve the hounds simply following a chemical trail scattered across the countryside, but hunt 'saboteurs' – typically animal welfare activists who go out with the intention of disrupting the hunts – claim that the murder of foxes still regularly takes place…. (story)

Horse & Country 19.2.15 The Hunting Act back on political agenda By Charlotte Ricca-Smith - On the tenth anniversary of the Hunting Act, and with a general election looming, hunting is back on the political agenda…. The Countryside Alliance is calling for the law to be repealed, calling it ‘completely unworkable’…. (story)

Western Daily Press 19.2.15 Queen's Brian May: Backing for Labour's animal charter - As Labour launches its 'Protecting Animals' document which sets out the party's election promise to champion animal welfare, Queen guitarist and animal rights campaigner Brian May of Save-Me, voices his support… Save-Me is now working closely with several of these hunts that have disassociated themselves from cruelty. Having changed from blood hunting to true drag hunting, they reject the idea of attempting to repeal the Act, which is there to protect wild animals from unnecessary suffering. As a result, they have seen an increase in their followers…. (story)

Western Daily Press 19.2.15 Labour promises to end badger cull in election war By Andrew Woodcock - Labour has launched a bid to win animal-lovers' votes in the general election with promises of action to tackle cruelty in circuses, puppy farms and shooting estates and end culling of badgers…. (story)
Mail 18.2.15 Labour vow to tackle animal cruelty - On the 10th anniversary of the ban on hunting with dogs, Labour launched a bid to win animal-lovers' votes in the general election with promises of action to tackle cruelty in circuses, puppy farms and shooting estates and end culling of badgers. Unveiling the pledges in a document entitled Labour Protecting Animals, shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle warned that Conservative victory on May 7 could lead to the repeal of the ban on hunting with dogs, while Labour would ensure it was defended…. (story)
Guardian 18.2.15 Labour pledges to tackle animal cruelty, including foxhunting - Labour will pledge to crack down on animal cruelty with promises of action to tackle abuse in circuses, puppy farms and shooting estates and end the culling of badgers. Unveiling the pledges on the 10th anniversary of the ban on hunting with dogs, shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle said that a Conservative victory on 7 May could lead to the repeal of the ban, while Labour would ensure it was defended…. (story)
Western Daily Press 18.2.15 Labour pledges to end the badger cull if the party wins the General Election - Labour will today put an immediate halt of the badger cull at the heart of its strategy to “lead the way” on protecting animals from cruelty. Maria Eagle, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, will launch a six-point plan to champion animal welfare on the tenth anniversary of the hunting ban initiated under Tony Blair. In a speech, she will outline how an Ed Miliband government would uphold the Hunting Act amid Tory calls for a repeal, crackdown on shooting estates and ban wild animals in circuses… (story)
ITV 18.2.15 Labour vows to ban puppy farms and animal circuses in new election manifesto - Puppy farms, badger culls and wild animal circuses will be banned under new proposals by Labour unveiled today. On the 10th anniversary of the hunting ban, a raft of new measures to safeguard animal welfare have been promised by Labour as part of its manifesto ahead of May's general election. At the top of a list of six pledges, contained in a document entitled Labour Protecting Animals, was defending the ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
Huffington Post 18.2.15 Miliband Makes Election Promise To Protect Animals By Tackling Puppy Farms, Foxhunting And Badger Culls By Paul Vale - On the 10th anniversary of the ban on hunting with dogs, Labour launched a bid to win animal-lovers' votes in the general election with promises of action to tackle cruelty in circuses, puppy farms and shooting estates and end culling of badgers. Unveiling the pledges in a document entitled Labour Protecting Animals, shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle warned that Conservative victory on May 7 could lead to the repeal of the ban on hunting with dogs, while Labour would ensure it was defended…. (story)
Mirror 18.2.15 Labour will axe badger cull and ban wild animals in circuses if it wins election in May By Owen Bennett - Labour announces key pledges to protect animal welfare as it vows to protect the hunting ban from any Tory attempt to axe it… (story)
BBC News Online 18.2.15 Labour makes animal welfare election pledges - Labour has pledged to fight animal cruelty by measures including a ban on wild animals in circuses and ending the "inhumane and ineffective" badger cull… (story)
Dorset Echo 18.2.15 Labour vow to tackle animal cruelty - On the 10th anniversary of the ban on hunting with dogs, Labour launched a bid to win animal-lovers' votes in the general election with promises of action to tackle cruelty in circuses, puppy farms and shooting estates and end culling of badgers… (story)
Farmers Weekly 18.2.15 Labour vows to abandon badger cull - Philip Case - The Labour Party has pledged to scrap the badger cull if it wins this year’s general election…. (story)

Swindon Advertiser 19.2.15 Bolster Hunting Act - Ten years ago the Hunting Act came into force. It was intended to end the cruel and barbaric ‘sports’ of using trained packs of killer dogs to chase and savage wild mammals to death, for the pleasure of a minority who form themselves into gangs called hunts…. Eighty per cent of the public – urban and rural – want the Hunting Act retained, but also want a law that works properly. This can only be achieved if the Act is significantly toughened up, as sought by www.campaigntostrengthenthehuntingact.com. Please support that, urge MPs and candidates to do the same – and vote for a party that will uphold and extend the welfare of wild mammals, not seek to destroy what little protection they have to please their own red-coated pals. Alan Kirby Protect Our Wild Animals Hayle, Cornwall (letter)

Western Mail 19.2.15 Is hunting foxes with dogs really humane? - Brecon and Radnorshire’s MP, Roger Williams, has called for the UK Government to devolve powers over hunting with dogs to Wales… I have heard a number of the hunting fraternity saying that hunting with dogs was a far more humane way of killing foxes… Some how I don’t believe that being torn apart by a pack of dogs is all that humane. Neil Taylor Rhyl (letter)

Worcester News 19.2.15 We need CCTV in slaughter houses - Wendy Lawson (Worcester News, February 6) should know it is no only halal slaughterhouses where animals are horribly abused. Animal Aid's undercover investigation found breaches of animal welfare laws in eight of nine randomly chosen UK slaughterhouses…. MAX BURGESS Malvern (letter)

Bristol Post 20.2.15 Time to stop all testing on animals - IN 2013 4.12 million scientific procedures were conducted using 4.02 million animals in the UK, according to figures released by the Home Office… It's not going to stop overnight. 30 years ago people were testing cosmetics on animals and saying at that time it had to happen. That's now against the law. We got there through a phased approach. It just takes vision and innovation. D F Courtney Weston-super-Mare (letter)


Somerset County Gazette 18.2.15 POLL: Opinion still divided 10 years after the hunting ban became law - COUNTRYSIDE campaigners and animal rights supporters are as divided now as they were ten years ago today (Wednesday) when hunting wild animals with dogs was banned… (story)

Telegraph 18.2.15 Ten years on from the hunting ban, has anything really changed? - Despite the law against fox hunting, hunters, saboteurs and camera-armed vigilantes still play cat and mouse across the countryside - and foxes are still being killed By Laurence Dodds - In 2004 Tony Blair made a bet with Prince of Wales. The Prince thought Labour’s proposed ban on foxhunting was absurd, and said as much, so Blair wagered that people would still be hunting after he had left office. “But how, if you’re going to ban it?” asked the Prince. “I don’t know,” said Blair, “but I’ll find a way.” Today, exactly a decade after the Hunting Act came into force, did Blair win his bet?... (story)

Telegraph 18.2.15 Fox hunting glossary: five words to fake it in the field - Telegraph Video deciphers the jargon of the hunt and collates the top five terms to help you blag it with the best of them… (story)

Telegraph 18.2.15 The Hunting Act - in 60 seconds - As it approaches it's tenth anniversary, The Telegraph examines what makes the Hunting Act one of the most contentious pieces of legislation seen in modern political times By Geraldine Cooper, words by Myles Burke (story)

Gloucester Citizen 18.2.15 Ten years on and campaigners are calling for fox hunting to be made legal again - Ten years after a ban on fox hunting campaigners are calling for it to be made legal again. The controversial Hunting Act, which was bought into law in 2005, brought about a total ban on hunting with dogs, outlawing fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing with dogs…. (story)

Spectator 18.2.15 Hunting may be banned, but the fight still goes on - Camilla Swift - Ten years ago today, Tony Blair’s ban on hunting with dogs came into force. Rural communities had marched, Otis Ferry had stormed the Commons, but none of it made any difference, and anti-hunt campaigners rejoiced when hunting became a banned sport. But though the law has been in place for a decade, the fight for hunting still goes on…. (story)

Spectator 18.2.15 If this is a debate about animal welfare, we must repeal the Hunting Act and start again - Tim Bonner - Today marks ten years of a ban on hunting a wild mammal with hounds in England and Wales, except under certain exemptions. To understand what a fundamentally bad law the Hunting Act is, and why it must be repealed, it is best to start at the beginning with the original purpose of the ban…. (story)

Huffington Post 18.2.15 Ten Years Too Long, It's Time to Repeal the Hunting Act - Tim Bonner - Today marks 10 years of the ban on hunting a wild mammal with hounds in England and Wales. To understand what a fundamentally bad law the Hunting Act is, and why it must be repealed, it is best to start at the beginning with the original purpose of the ban…. (story)
Huffington Post 18.2.15 Hunting, Ten Years on - Has Anything Changed? - Philip Mansbridge - It's been 10 years since the Hunting Act came into force. The 18 February 2005, for charities like the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), was indeed a day to celebrate… (story)

Express 18.2.15 Is the fox-hunting ban a farce? Just NINE hunts see members convicted in last decade - LESS than 10 registered hunt groups have seen members convicted in relation to illegal fox hunting since the Hunting Act came into force almost a decade ago, according to latest figures… (story)

Guardian 18.2.15 Has the Hunting Act stopped cruelty towards foxes? - Karl Mathiesen - It’s 10 years since fox hunting was banned in the UK but the battle lines are still drawn, with hunters saying the law has failed and should be repealed, while animal welfare groups hail its success… (story)

Northern Echo 18.2.15 Ten years on from the hunting ban and the row still rages on by Andy Walker - A DECADE ago today, one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in recent years – the Hunting Act – was introduced…. Andrew Spalding, joint master of Zetland Hunt, which covers 20 square miles of countryside straddling the North Yorkshire and County Durham border, says: “We are hoping that the Tories will get a decent enough majority and there could be a repeal of the ban."… (story)

Western Daily Press 18.2.15 Hunting Act debate rages as ban is decade old By Dominic Harris - A decade ago today one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in recent decades was introduced – the Hunting Act… Ten years on the arguments still rage, with anti-hunting groups calling for the Act to be defended and strengthened and pro-hunt lobbyists confident that it will be repealed following a pledge by the Coalition Agreement to a free vote on the matter… (story)

Western Daily Press 18.2.15 League Against Cruel Sports toughens stance against all hunting - Ten years after the hunt ban came into force Britain's biggest animal welfare organisation opposed to country sports is calling for trail hunting to be banned and all hunts to close. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) said it had "hardened its stance" on hunting because, it claimed, hunts were determined to break the law. "If they cannot stick to the law then they should close," a league spokesman said. And in a marked change of policy it also called for trail hunting in which hounds follow a trail made using fox urine, to be outlawed… (story)

Western Daily Press 18.2.15 Hunting Act statistics disputed by campaigners - Campaigners on opposing sides of the hunting debate are keen to present differing figures to back up their arguments. According to the Ministry of Justice there were 522 prosecutions under the Hunting Act between 2005 and 2013… But the Countryside Alliance says more than 96 per cent of convictions under the Act relate to casual hunting or "poaching" rather than registered hunts…. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 18.2.15 POLL: Are the regulations introduced by the Hunting Act tough enough? - A decade ago tomorrow one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in recent years was introduced - the Hunting Act…. (story)

Shropshire Star 18.2.15 Poll: Are the regulations introduced by the Hunting Act tough enough? - A decade since it came into force, the ban on hunting wild animals with hounds, pushed through by Labour in 2004, continues to divide opinion…. At the time the law was passed, one of the most outspoken opponents of the ban was Otis Ferry, son of Roxy Music star Brian Ferry, and joint master of the South Shropshire Hunt…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 18.2.15 Poll: Ten years on, should the hunting ban be lifted? - On the 10th anniversary of the ban on hunting with dogs, Labour launched a bid to win animal-lovers’ votes in the general election with promises of action to tackle cruelty in circuses, puppy farms and shooting estates and end culling of badgers…. The Conservative election manifesto is widely expected to repeat the 2010 promise of a free vote on hunting in the House of Commons, and pro-hunting campaigners are hopeful that a move to “English votes for English laws” would make overturning the ban easier south of the border… (story)

Your Thurrock 18.2.15 Labour's Mike Le-Surf continues to support hunting ban - LABOUR'S parliamentary candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock, Mike Le-Surf has pledged to continue to support the ban on fox hunting with dogs… (story)

Mail 18.2.15 Despite ban, fox hunts still thrive, and divide, in Britain - IBSTONE, England (AP) — The horses wait in the farmyard, tails braided and manes gleaming, while huntsmen in brightly colored coats marshal the eager hounds, straining to chase the scent of a fox. To some, the start of a fox hunt is a quintessentially English scene, steeped in tradition… "People who live in the country support hunting," said Mike Murray, who has come to see off the hounds and riders of the Kimblewick Hunt in Ibstone, a village tucked into the wooded Chiltern Hills an hour outside of London. "It's as simple as that."… (story)

Gay Star News 18.2.15 Why are people still getting away with hunting animals? - It is exactly 10 years since the Hunting Act - which banned the chasing or killing of foxes, stags and hares with a pack of hounds for so-called ‘sport’ - came into force in England and Wales. A significant landmark in the calendar for anti-hunting groups, such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), there are certainly reasons to celebrate…. (story)

BBC News Online 18.2.15 Hunt ban working well 10 years on says Alun Michael - The ban on hunting with dogs is "working well" 10 years after it was introduced, according to Alun Michael. The ex-Labour environment minister says he does not regret taking the ban through Parliament…. (story)

Horse & Hound 18.2.15 H&H’s hunting editor Polly Portwin: there is a future to look forward to - Ten years ago, those charged with the everyday organisation of hunting were facing the unknown. What had been a legal activity one day became illegal overnight, but those at the forefront had to keep the show on the road. Faced with adversity, the hunting community came out fighting and has continued to prove that the Hunting Act 2004 is an unworkable and bad piece of legislation that must be changed…. (story)

Sentinel 18.2.15 POLL: Should the ban on hunting with dogs be lifted? - A decade ago one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in recent years was introduced - the Hunting Act…. (story)

Telegraph 18.2.15 Protecting villages from menacing hunt protests - Last Saturday the local hunt was in our parish, with participants conducting themselves – it seemed – within the law. They were pursued by at least 20 anti-hunt protesters. My 12-year-old grandson ran out into the street to watch the proceedings to be met by a group of black-clad, balaclava-wearing individuals who told him to go home…. Surely it is time the police were given powers to be able to identify individuals by instructing them to show their faces? William Rose Fillingham, Lincolnshire (letter)

Guardian 18.2.15 British Heart Foundation hits back at animal testing protest in High Street, Wanstead by Douglas Patient, Reporter - The chief executive of a charity has hit back at protesters who held a demonstration oone of its charity shops. The Waltham Forest Animal Protection group staged a demonstration against animal testing by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) on Saturday in High Street, Wanstead…. Simon Gillespie, chief executive of BHF, said he was “saddened” by the news people were protesting in Wanstead and said his charity only tests on animals when there is “no alternative”…. (story)

Essex Chronicle 18.2.15 Animal protesters at illegal Chelmsford pet shop trial By PeteWalkerAdv - Animal rights protesters turned out to see magistrates try a woman accused of running an illegal pet shop, only for the hearing to be postponed. The second part of Julie Hutching’s trial was scheduled to conclude at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday…. Speaking to the Chronicle at court, Romford protester Marcia Hagon said: “We have come because we are members of the public who want to see a case that we’re interested in.” Ms Hagon, also a spokesman for Essex Animal Defenders, has previously been seen remonstrating outside Moulsham Street pet shop Aquapets… (story)


Metro 17.2.15 Should fox-hunting with dogs be made legal again? Have your say here - Rob Waugh - Campaigners are calling for fox-hunting with dogs to be made legal again, on the 10th anniversary of the controversial Hunting Act. The Conservatives pledged to have a vote in Parliament on repealing the act, which brought about a total ban on hunting with dogs, outlawing fox-hunting, deer-hunting and hare-coursing with dogs…. (story)

Western Morning News 17.2.15 10 years on, arguments rage on success of controversial hunting ban - A decade ago tomorrow one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in recent years was introduced – the Hunting Act… The legislation was pushed through by Labour backbenchers in November 2004 and brought about a total ban on hunting with dogs, outlawing fox-hunting, deer-hunting and hare-coursing with dogs…. (story)
Western Morning News 17.2.15 Is hunting, shooting or trapping the best way to manage the fox population? By WMNPBowern - Michael Stephenson, head of campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports, was adamant on BBC’s Countryfile on Sunday night. Reporter Tom Heap asked him if the 2004 Hunting Act had been good for foxes. “Of course it has,” Mr Stephenson replied, almost incredulous that anyone could ask such a question…. (story)

Express 17.2.15 Hunting Act: Just nine registered hunts see members convicted in relation to fox hunting By LEVI WINCHESTER By LEVI WINCHESTER - The Hunting Act came into effect on 18 February 2005 and as of early this year, there are over 300 hunt organisations registered with the Council of Hunting Associates in England and Wales. However the number of convictions remains relatively low with countryside groups claiming there are actually more people involved in the sport than a decade ago… (story)

Cornish Guardian 17.2.15 Welfare group say all hunts should close - BRITAIN'S biggest animal welfare organisation opposed to country sports is calling for trail hunting to be banned and all hunts to close. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) said it had "hardened its stance" on hunting because, it claimed, hunts were determined to break the law…. (story)

Western Mail 17.2.15 Hunting ban 10 years on: Alun Michael says Labour was right to push it through By Darren Devine - Former Labour environment minister Alun Michael has said he does not regret taking the ban on hunting with dogs through Parliament a decade after it became law. Mr Michael said the ban does not prevent activity, but only cruelty to wild animals… (story)

USwitch.com 17.2.15 Rural campaigners 'disappointed' at Virgin Media's urban fibre focus - Virgin Media's rollout plans disappoint the CLA and Countryside Alliance….. (story)
BBC News Online 13.2.15 Virgin Media's rural broadband plans anger campaigners - Campaigners have expressed disappointment that Virgin Media's £3bn investment in broadband will not benefit rural areas. The company said it had no plans to extend the network into the countryside, concentrating instead on expansion in towns and cities…. the Countryside Alliance's head of policy, Sarah Lee, said it was "disappointing that the improvements will not be seen in rural areas, but we welcome this challenge to BT's monopoly"…. (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 17.2.15 Point to point – The Countryside Alliance Club (Wessex) at Badbury Rings, Sunday 22nd February By shill - Raffa and Hameldown Tor, first and second at Wadebridge in December, can fight out the finish of the Bonhams Men’s Open at Badbury Rings on Sunday…. Gates open at 9am for a variety of entertainment including terrier racing, hound parade, ongoing children’s activities, silent auction, a large shopping village with varied food outlets and much more. First race is at noon (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 8.2.15 Point-to-point at Badbury Rings - Sunday 22nd February By fdart - The Savills Countryside Alliance Point to Point at Badbury Rings, near Wimborne, on 22nd February is set to be bigger still for 2015… (story)
Bournemouth Echo 1.2.15 Get geed up for the annual Point to Point horse race at Badbury Rings by Nicky Findley - Dorset is home to one of the most popular horse racing events in the country, and this year promises to be the best yet. The annual Savills Countryside Alliance Point to Point at Badbury Rings, near Wimborne, saw record entries in 2014, more than any other that season. Now it has been voted best point to point for trade stands, access and entertainment in the Wessex area, by Horse & Hound magazine… (story)
Western Daily Press 25.1.15 Point to point riders head to Badbury for Countryside Alliance date - Philip Bowern previews one of the top point-to-point events of the calendar, organised by the Countryside Alliance - The point-to-point season is well under way. But one meeting in Dorset that has won plaudits for its trade stands and entertainment value is coming up shortly and has a higher profile than many because of its backers.The annual Savills Countryside Alliance Point to Point at Badbury Rings, near Wimborne, has been voted best point to point for trade stands, access and entertainment in the Wessex area, by Horse & Hound magazine… (story)

Argus 17.2.15 Crack down on air guns to stop yobs shooting at cats - I have just volunteereed at Lost Cats Brighton and yet another cat has been rescued by founder Ron Ayres, after being shot by a cowardly individual in Angmering… guns are supposedly frowned upon in this country yet only, it seems, if it is pointed at a human being but not if it is targeted at a non-human animal…. It is reassuring to know that we now have the newly formed Animal Welfare Party standing in the May 2015 general election… David Hammond North Court, Hassocks (letter)

News Letter 17.2.15 Animal rights groups welcome DUP circus ban pledge by Gemma Murray - A DUP pledge to ban wild animals in circuses in Northern Ireland has been welcomed by animal protection groups… The pledge has now been hailed by by Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN)… (story)

Northern Echo 17.2.15 Animal cruelty - I FIND it appalling that animals are neglected and cruelty treated. The latest example is how some workers have treated poor terrified animals in a slaughterhouse in Thirsk… It is good that Animal Aid has brought conditions in the slaughterhouse to the attention of the general public and the press….. M Walton, Newton Aycliffe (letter)


Western Morning News 16.2.15 League 'hardens its stance' on hunting and says it would like to see all hunts close By WMNPBowern - Ten years after the hunt ban came into force Britain’s biggest animal welfare organisation opposed to country sports is calling for trail hunting to be banned and all hunts to close. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) told the Western Morning News it had “hardened its stance” on hunting because, it claimed, hunts were determined to break the law… Yet 10 years ago, at the start of the first hunting season since the ban, the then director of the League, Douglas Batchelor, praised hunts that were both drag hunting and trail hunting and urged them to continue…. Yesterday, however, the League, which claims the Hunting Act to have been one of the most successful pieces of wild animal legislation ever, insisted: “There is no such sport as trail hunting – it is just a false alibi for illegal hunting.”… (story)

Western Morning News 16.2.15 WMN OPINION: Hunt legislation is not fit for purpose – it has to go - It is clear, as we complete ten years of the ban on hunting with hounds, that something needs to be done about the Hunting Act. Even the League Against Cruel Sports, (LACS) which won an 80-year battle to get the sport banned with the 2004 Act, now admits the legislation is not working. It means the anti-hunt campaigners can surely now agree with the hunt supporters on at least one thing – that the hunt ban is bad law…. ten years later, Michael Stephenson, director of campaigns for the League says they want all hunts to close and drag hunting – once supported by the League – to be banned. That is not the stance of an organisation happy with the hunt ban as it stands…. The Countryside Alliance, of course, has an agenda on this issue. But its director of campaigns Tim Bonner is right today when he tells the WMN that it is time for politicians to make a clear choice on the issue – because animal welfare is clearly not being served by what we have at present…. (story)
Western Morning News 16.2.15 Hunting row goes on in fictional Ambridge – and in real life - By Philip Bowern - Rob Titchener is a radio soap baddie… to ram home the truth of Rob’s evil nature to listeners the Archers’ writers have cooked up a plot that is almost guaranteed to put him in the dock… As a keen huntsman with the Borsetshire Hunt, he was involved in an altercation in Thursday night’s episode, with an anti-hunt protester out filming the hunt… He appears to have assaulted the man and tried to snatch his camera. Shula Archer, who witnessed the argument, was effectively asked to lie on Rob’s behalf about precisely what happened… Rural dwellers everywhere, including those who listen to The Archers, know the Hunting Act has failed to take the venom out of the row. If anything the degree of animosity between the two sides in the hunting debate is more bitter than ever… Either the police fully enforce the law as it stands – which would mean acting against hunt saboteurs who try to disrupt legal hunting as well as enforcing the law if breaches in the Hunting Act are identified. Yet, many believe, the police lack both the will and the resources to spend much time on the matter. Alternatively the Conservatives could follow through on their pledge to put a repeal of the hunt ban to a free vote on the Commons, if they win a majority… (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 16.2.15 How to protect property from hunts: letter - If anyone, anywhere, is affected by hunt trespass be it by riders, dogs or supporters, there is help at hand. Hounds Off exists precisely to support people who would like to make where they live into a hunt-free zone…. Joe Hashman, Shaftesbury (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 14.2.15 Hunt should respect other people's property: letter - I am not the first person to write to the BVM on the subject of hunting. I am strongly in favour of letting people enjoy the countryside however they see fit. However, I am vehemently opposed to the kind of arrogant and dangerous behaviour which I witnessed from our local hunt on Wednesday two weeks ago… The issue I have is that during this time the hunt supporters in vehicles felt it appropriate to pull into my private driveway to pass each other, and one woman even had the cheek to pull in, park and take photos… C. Eves by e mail (letter)

Lancashire Evening Post 16.2.15 Gunfire harms country idyll - I was walking around Longridge a few weeks ago, hoping to enjoy its beautiful rural surrounds. However, the noise of gunfire from several directions ensured the countryside wasn’t a peaceful place. It seems that a few people’s enjoyment of killing and maiming innocent wildlife takes precedence over the public’s enjoyment of the countryside for its own sake…. Name and address withheld (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 16.2.15 Wild boar cull extended to curb growing population in Forest of Dean - Wild boar are to be culled throughout March in the Forest of Dean as the Forestry Commission struggles to clampdown on the growing population… Campaigners who look to sabotage the cull claim the reason not enough boars were being killed was because there were not enough to kill… “All that will happen by Mr Stannard extending this barbarous cull is baby boar will starve…. (story)

York Press 16.2.15 Shocked at abuse of lambs by abattoir - LIKE Chris Flanagan (Letters, February 6), I too was horrified by the plight of the lambs being abused at the Bowood abattoir. I believe all animals should be stunned before slaughter; religion should not come before compassion in our treatment of animals…. Jenny Horner, Hornsey Garth, Wigginton, York (letter)


Mirror 15.2.15 Pro-hunting group calls for ban on balaclavas after masked saboteurs attacked hunt master - Izzy Ferris - A countryside war has erupted over a campaign to ban hunt saboteurs from wearing balaclavas. The Countryside Alliance want the face coverings outlawed after a hunt master was knocked unconscious and attacked by masked protesters last month. They claim saboteurs in balaclavas have a “strange obsession with paramilitary-style uniforms”, and are “intent on war with rural people”…. (story)

BBC News Online 15.2.15 Call for fox hunting to be devolved to Wales - Powers over hunting with dogs should be devolved to Wales, according to the MP for Brecon and Radnorshire. Roger Williams said controlling foxes in Wales was completely different to controlling them in most parts of England due to the land's geography. But Julie Morgan AM said there was no appetite for the legislation to change. She added that even if it was devolved, the majority of Labour assembly members were opposed to the sport of hunting…. (story)

Dorset Echo 16.2.15 Badgered MP asked to 'have a heart' - WEST Dorset MP Oliver Letwin was urged to ‘have a heart’ when campaigners delivered a wildlife-friendly message. Members of Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare delivered a ‘Valentine’s Day’ card to Mr Letwin at his Beaminster advice surgery…. (story)

Independent 15.2.15 Katy Guest says halal and kosher stunning should be banned (“Off with their heads”, 8 February). She also claims the abuse of animals “by rogue workers” in regular slaughterhouses is a separate problem. She is wrong. Abuse is endemic in the conveyor-belt system that allows animal killing on this massive scale… Sara Starkey Tonbridge, Kent (letter)


Yorkshire Post 14.2.15 Political will for Hunting Act repeal in doubt by Adrian Pearson - A free vote on repealing the hunt ban law looks unlikely as MPs prepares for a hung Parliament. Of the three main parties, only the Conservatives have any likelihood of bringing forward a change in the law, but such a Bill would face a difficult passage through Parliament…. Maria Eagle, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, said: “David Cameron’s plans to bring back fox hunting show how out of touch he is with people’s everyday lives … THE HUNTING Act is difficult to interpret and prosecute, according to one district judge, who made the comments at the start of a trial at Beverley Magistrates Court in August 2013…. Michael Stephenson, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The Hunting Act is not only successful, it is very popular … Phil Ellerington, 61, an arable farmer near Beverley, has been involved in the pursuit for 50 years. His local hunt is the Holderness which attracts around 50 people to meets on Tuesdays and about 70 on Saturdays. Mr Ellerington told The Yorkshire Post of how the legislation had changed his life…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 14.2.15 Exclusive: Fewer than two huntsmen a year guilty of breaking ban by Ben Barnett - Just two members of organised hunts have been found guilty of fox hunting with dogs, on average, per year since the hugely controversial hunting ban was enforced a decade ago this month… Tim Easby has been a member of two local hunts, the Middleton and the West of Yore in North Yorkshire, and is now director of the Master of Foxhounds Association. The Hunting Act was a result of “class warfare” and was not motivated by political will to improve animal welfare, he claimed…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 14.2.15 February 14: Hunting ban: was it worth it? WAS IT worth the turmoil? On the 10th anniversary of the Hunting Act being introduced, a controversial piece of legislation which was the culmination of a decade-long struggle between blood sport opponents and countryside activists, this newspaper can reveal that just 21 people involved with hunts have been found guilty of breaking the law…. (story)

Telegraph 14.2.15 'My fascination with hunting has been costly' - Ten years after the hunting ban became law, rural communities still pay for urban hypocrisy By Robin Page - It seems incredible as I sit here, trying to type while wearing so many jumpers I can hardly move my arms, that just a few days ago I was sitting on Mudanda Rock in Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park… Suddenly, wild dogs – 24 of them, one of Africa’s rarest and most endangered animals. There was movement, dust, commotion – and the buffalo had gone. There was no kill; the dogs wanted to hunt, but the light was going…. Not for the first time I had noticed the similarity in organisation and agitation between a pack of wild dogs and a pack of foxhounds. There was one big difference, however. With the wild dogs, the whole group of watchers was entranced. Yet to many people at home in detached, urban Britain, the very sight or mention of foxhounds brings comments of loathing and disgust… My fascination with hunting has been costly. To be a non-hunting conservationist who sees wildlife and cultural pluses from hunting has had its negative consequences. It brought me the sack as farming and wildlife adviser to Country Living; it was a major factor in getting me dismissed from One Man and His Dog by the free-speech-loving BBC; and, astonishingly, it got me arrested on bogus “hate crime” allegations, for which Gloucester Constabulary later had to pay compensation…. (story)

Western Morning News 14.2.15 Labour puts animal welfare at centre of election campaign By WMNPBowern - The Labour Party is to make the badger cull and animal welfare a central plank of its election manifesto – following discussions with Dominic Dyer, CEO of the anti-cull campaign group the Badger Trust. Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment Maria Eagle will launch Labour’s “Pledge for Animals” next Wednesday in London… In it she says: “From the future of the Hunting Act, to the roll-out of the Government’s badger culls, animal welfare issues will play an important part in our election campaign. Next week I will be setting out what the next Labour government will do for animals.”… (story)
Western Morning News 14.2.15 WMN OPINION: Playing politics with animal disease eradication could prove risky for Labour - Labour’s decision to put animal issues at the centre of its election manifesto looks like clever politics. When she stands up next Wednesday at Labour’s policy launch on animal welfare and declares herself the saviour of the badger and the protector of the fox Maria Eagle, shadow Defra Secretary, is bound to win support with a significant number of voters… But playing politics with issues like the battle to eradicate bovine TB from the UK could prove to be a very dangerous game… she ought to remember one thing. Domestic stock are animals too. Labour’s pledges next Wednesday, must show the party understands that point… (story)
Western Daily Press 14.2.15 Labour to announce policy on badger cull helped by Dominic Dyer By philip bowern - The Labour Party is to make the badger cull and animal welfare a central plank of its election manifesto – following discussions with Dominic Dyer, CEO of the anti-cull campaign group the Badger Trust…. (story)

Surrey Advertiser 14.2.15 Godalming new year's hunt in the clear over death of fox - WARNING: DISTRESSING IMAGES By Mark Edwards - No criminal offences were committed when a fox was found dead during a legal drag hunt in Godalming, police have said. Officers carried out an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the fox during the new year’s day Surrey Union hunt… (story)
Surrey Advertiser 6.1.15 Fox found dead at Surrey Union Hunt meeting, police criticised for saying it 'ran into the path of dogs' - WARNING: DISTRESSING IMAGES By Jessica Best - Surrey Police has sparked outrage after suggesting a fox that died during a New Year's Eve hunt "ran into the path of dogs". The fox was found dead after a legal drag hunt in Godalming on December 31. A police statement said an officer visited the scene and the animal was understood to have died "after it ran into the path of dogs following a pre-laid trail in Godalming"… A spokesman for the Surrey Union Hunt said artificial trails had been laid for its hounds to follow on New Year's Eve, and this was recorded on video… "In fact we reported the incident ourselves and regret if, as it appears, a fox crossed the path of the artificial trail and encountered the hounds."… (story)
Mirror 6.1.15 Police spark outrage after suggesting fox died during New Year's Eve hunt after 'running into path of hounds' By Jessica Best - Surrey Police has sparked outrage after suggesting a fox that died during a New Year's Eve hunt "ran into the path of dogs"… Guildford Hunt Monitors - also known as Guildford Hunt Saboteurs - were tracking the Surrey Union Hunt as it rode through Godalming on December 31. A spokesman for the group said that at around 1pm one of its members noticed the hounds "had their heads in something", and when the group arrived at the scene they found "a fox laying lifeless on the ground with hounds still attacking"…. They say they then took the animal to a vet, who wished to remain anonymous, but provided a verbal post mortem report saying the fox "had been killed by a large mammal… (story)

Western Gazette 14.2.15 Police probe attack after hunt clashes in Sherborne - A HELICOPTER was deployed by police following a clash between pro and anti hunt protesters in Sherborne. Dorset Police received a call at 2.54pm on Saturday 7 February to reports of an assault at Boys Hill, Sherborne. The confrontation between members of the Dorset Hunt Saboteurs and masked pro-hunting supporters took place close to the start of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt at Sherborne Castle… (story)
Morning Star 12.2.15 Car smashed up, driver choked by Joana Ramiro - A GANG of masked hunt supporters verbally and physically assaulted saboteurs during a Dorset hunt meet last weekend, new images revealed by the Star today show…. The posh hunting gang, known as the anti-antis, covered their faces with scarfs and balaclavas as they provocatively “jostled” activists and stole expensive gadgets from the saboteurs’ cars. Hunt sab Gordon Murphy said that in 20 years of animal rights campaigning he had never seen that level of aggression and harassment…. The latest incident happened during the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt on Saturday — the same toffs that attacked Nid in August… (story)
Western Morning News 8.2.15 Hunting row erupts over alleged attacks by masked gangs in the Westcountry By WMNPBowern - A Land Rover belonging to Hunt Saboteurs in the Westcountry has been attacked by a masked gang. It followed an incident on Saturday (Feb 7) where Dorset Hunt saboteurs say they attended a meet of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt at Sherborne Castle, and were attacked by what they claim were pro-hunt supporters with their faces covered. The incident is the latest row to erupt over masks worn in disputes over hunting. The Countryside Alliance is campaigning against saboteurs wearing masks following an alleged attack on huntsman Mike Lane of the Tedworth, in Wiltshire on January 28. He was reportedly knocked out and kicked while on the ground…. (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 14.2.15 No Moor guns in the future - Barry Wilkinson, 
Friends of Ilkley Moor - Although the decision by Bradford Council to allow shooting on Ilkley Moor until 2018 when the lease comes to an end is disappointing (YEP, February 11), we are confident that it is unlikely to be renewed… (story)

Western Daily Press 14.2.15 Derek Mead: Badger cull shows how anti-farmer Defra really is - Defra must make farmers its priority and a proper badger cull a reality, says Derek Mead - I see even MPs are now getting impatient with Defra and demanding to know what its next move is going to be in the war against badgers. It comes to something when a government department has to be taken to task in such a way but to an outside observer it's clear what is happening. Defra's senior officials are marking time, stalling until the election in the hope that a Labour government will be returned and call an immediate halt to any culling…. (story)

Scotsman 14.2.15 Monkey’s distress - I was saddened by Yongzhi Chu’s photograph of a cowering monkey, which you included in your article on the 2015 World Press Photo of the Year competition (your report, 13 January)…. China’s circus industry is built on the exploitation of its captive animals…. Carolyn Taylor Wellbank Broughty Ferry (story)

Northern Echo 14.2.15 Couple's legal challenge over dog ban ruling costs RSPCA more than £100,000 by Neil Hunter - A COUPLE who launched a legal challenge against a ban from keeping dogs have cost an animal charity more than £100,000, The Northern Echo can reveal. County Durham dachshund breeders Frank and Hazel Hill staged an appeal against a decision made by magistrates when they were convicted of welfare charges. Since the five-year ban was imposed 16 months ago, the RSPCA has spent almost £50,000 on boarding fees and £30,000 on legal costs fighting the challenge…. (story)


Western Daily Press 13.2.15 No excuse for roaming rural areas in masks (story)
Western Morning News 11.2.15 Grim attacks that prompted a campaign to ban the mask - By Tim Bonner Director of campaigns, Countryside Alliance - In November last year a man, coming to the defence of his girlfriend, was beaten up on a lane in rural Gloucestershire so badly that a female fellow gang member eventually dragged the assailant away… All the assaults were committed by masked self-styled ‘hunt saboteurs’ and no-one has ever been identified and charged in relation to any of the attacks…. Surely it is time to give individual officers on the ground the authority to order the removal of face masks and remove the ability of extremists intent on violence to commit crimes without fear of being identified. (story)

Western Daily Press 13.2.15 Sabs 'only mask up to protect themselves from hunt retaliation' (story)
Western Morning News 11.2.15 Hunt saboteurs mask up to avoid becoming victims – like the quarry they protect by Lee Moon Press spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association - The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) was formed in 1963 by individuals whose sole intention was to place themselves between the hunters and their quarry… The Countryside Alliance are currently trying to make an issue of the fact that some saboteurs choose to cover their faces by wearing masks. The reasons behind this are simple and righteous and we are unapologetic about this choice. Over the years the pro-hunt community have consistently put a great deal of time, money and effort into identifying saboteurs. They then use this information to try and ruin lives. Long-term sabs have lost their jobs, had their cars firebombed, had dead animals left on their doorsteps and been viciously beaten in their homes by pro-hunt thugs… (story)

Spectator 13.2.15 The sadistic sport of the hunt saboteurs makes you long for the good old days - Molly Guinness - At a recent day’s hunting in Wiltshire, a man in a balaclava trying to pull a rider off his horse and said, ‘Some of you will be going home in body bags today’…. It’s 10 years since the hunting ban came into force but the sadistic sport of the hunt saboteurs is as popular, and as vicious, as ever. It makes you long for the old days; in 1900, when the army reserves, as well as an awful lot of horses, were heading off to fight in the Boer War, most hunts continued just as they always had… (story)

Morning Star 13.2.15 On The Tail Of The Fox-Hunting Louts by LESLEY DOCKSEY - WAR is being waged in the countryside, in the fields and along the quiet lanes, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Dorset and Somerset “territory” of the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale (BSV) hunt… The “sabs,” dedicated to protecting wildlife, are being targeted by people intent on disregarding the Hunting Act 2004…. (story)

York Press 13.2.15 Middleton Hunt joint Master, Tom Holt, cleared of fox hunting charge by Jo Kelly - A joint Master of the Middleton Hunt has been cleared of allegations that he illegally hunted a fox with hounds during a meet in Ryedale last year…. (story)
Western Daily Press 12.2.15 Video: Countryside Alliance slams CPS after another failed hunt prosecution By TristanCork - The police and the CPS must ‘urgently review’ their relationship with animal rights groups like the League Against Cruel Sports following the second failure of a Crown prosecution of a hunt for breaking the Hunting Act in a matter of weeks. League Against Cruel Sports monitors filmed hounds from the Middleton hunt chasing a fox across a field, followed by huntsman Tom Holt on horseback. The CPS mounted a prosecution using the evidence from the LACS video, but after a trial, Mr Holt was found ‘not guilty’. The judge in the case said the video evidence did not show Mr Holt intended the hounds to chase the fox, or that he ‘showed signs of participation’…. (story)
Horse & Hound 12.2.15 Huntsman cleared of illegal hunting allegations Sophia Heath - Another Hunting Act case, brought to court because of evidence supplied by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), failed in court today (Thursday 12 February). Middleton hunt master and huntsman Tom Holt, 28, was found not guilty of a Hunting Act offence during a trial at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 12.2.15 Judge throws out ‘cruelty’ charge against Middleton hunt master - A HUNT master was this afternoon cleared of a fox hunting charge after a prosecution prompted by the League Against Cruel Sports ‎collapsed… (story)
Scarborough News 12.2.15 Hunt master cleared of fox hunting charge - A hunt master was this afternoon cleared of a fox hunting charge after a prosecution prompted by the League Against Cruel Sports ‎collapsed. Tom Holt, a joint master with the Middleton Hunt, had been accused of chasing a fox with a pack of hounds. But the case was thrown out by after a one-day trial at Scarborough Magistrates Court after a district judge ruled there was not enough evidence…. (story)

Independent 13.2.15 Secret photos of dozens of pheasants dumped into a pit expose 'myths' of hunting industry - CAHAL MILMO - Amid the festering remains of dead deer and game birds, some 40 freshly culled pheasants are slid from containers by an estate worker into a pit to join a slowly decomposing open-air mulch of meat…. Images taken from hidden cameras and passed to The Independent show dozens of pheasants being heaved into a hole on a private Berkshire shooting estate once frequented by royalty and former senior Conservative politicians and now owned through companies based in the Channel Islands and Switzerland…. Dr Toni Shephard, head of policy and research at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The dumping of pheasants unfortunately comes as no surprise…. The managers of the photographed site, operated by Polesdon Estates Ltd, told The Independent that all birds shot on its land were either given to participants in shoots or sold to a registered game dealer. They said the only birds disposed of were those which were not fit for sale… (story)

Western Daily Press 13.2.15 Regarding the role of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) lobbying politicians from all parties in order that no benefit cuts are applied to their sport. I think that both Labour and the Lib Dems are wasting their time. Basically the Tories have the hunting and shooting lobby all sewn up and when you consider the active lobby groups like VoteOK and the Countryside Alliance… Graham Forsyth Chard, Somerset (letter)

Worcester News 13.2.15 Save the animals, become a veggie - Wendy Lawson ("Despicable treatment during Halal slaughter", WN, Feb 6th) is correct to describe the treatment of animals secretly filmed in a Yorkshire halal slaughterhouse as being "outrageous and unbelievably cruel". However, other investigations by animal welfare groups have also revealed horrific cruelty at non-halal abattoirs and farms, so it's a mistake to think that "OUR laws and standards" offer animals any proper proctection…. Ronald Lee Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies (letter)


Nuneaton News 12.2.15 Police chief slams balaclava-clad anti-hunt aggressors - A POLICE chief has hit out against the use of balaclavas and face masks by protesters seeking to intimidate hunting groups…. Responding to calls from local hunters, Ron Ball, Warwickshire's PCC condemned the use of face coverings in this way, stating: "I can think of no reason why someone wanting to carry out a legitimate protest would feel the need to conceal their identity in this way."… (story)

Horse & Hound 12.2.15 Hunts urged to report masked saboteurs - Amy Mathieson and Polly Portwin - Hunts are being urged to remain calm but vigilant after several incidents — including one violent — with anti-hunting campaigners. Last month (24 January) joint-master and huntsman Mike Lane was left with two fractured teeth and concussion following a clash between hunt saboteurs and members of the Tedworth. Mr Lane claims he was kicked in the head by saboteurs when hounds were boxing up at the end of the day near Everleigh in Wiltshire…. (story)

Western Daily Press 12.2.15 War of words over hunts and sabs 'masking up' By TristanCork - A bitter war of words erupted yesterday as a campaign to outlaw the wearing of balaclavas and face-coverings by hunt saboteurs snowballed. The Countryside Alliance campaign, which began after the master of the Tedworth Hunt in Wiltshire was knocked unconscious and attacked by masked saboteurs last month, escalated after the organisation’s spokesman labelled saboteurs in balaclavas as having a ‘strange obsession with paramilitary-style uniforms’, and being ‘intent on war with rural people’… (story)

Western Morning News 12.2.15 Tighten up wording in the Hunting Act - When the Countryside Alliance says “the Hunting Act has failed” , does it mean that people still hunt foxes but cannot be prosecuted because of poor wording of the act?... by Mike Baker St Austell (story)

Hereford Times 12.2.15 MP in shooting group hustings event by Paul Broome - A HEREFORDSHIRE border MP has taken part in a hustings event organised by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation. Roger Williams, the Lib Dem MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, was joined by Lord DeMauley for the Conservative Party, and Angela Smith for the Labour Party…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 12.2.15 From: David March, Springhill Court, Tadcaster - THERE have been many stories recently regarding the cases of animal abuse in slaughterhouses that practice halal and non-halal slaughter. The bottom line is that there is no such thing as humane slaughter… (letter)

Staffs Live 12.2.15 Secret filming by animal charity shows cruelty at Staffordshire abattoir BY TOM BURNETT - An undercover investigation into the ‘barbaric’ treatment of animals at a Staffordshire Moorlands abattoir revealed shocking footage of animals being apparently mistreated. Harrowing secret footage filmed at the Butterton-based abattoir was published by Norwich charity Hillside Animal Sanctuary and appears to show pigs, cows and sheep writhing in agony. Some of the animals seem to have not been properly stunned…John Watson, a spokesman for Hillside Animal Sanctuary, condemned the treatment of the animals as ‘barbaric’ and said the charity received the tip-off following their investigation into the Red Lion abattoir in Nantwich…. (story)

Cambridge News 12.2.15 Silent lobster vigil in Cambridge: case collapses after woman blew whistle at protest - By RAYMOND BROWN - The case against a Cambridge woman arrested for blowing a whistle during a 'silent vigil' for 'lobster rights' has collapsed at the last minute. Rachel Mathai, 49, of Mill Road, was arrested on September 9 at the Riverbar steakhouse on Quayside and today faced trial by jury… She was released on unconditional bail, and was told to appear at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday but was told that the Crown Prosecution Service was no longer pursuing the case against her… (story)
Cambridge News 28.11.14 Cambridge woman Rachel Mathai to stand trial accused of causing public nuisance during silent vigil for lobsters - A Cambridge woman arrested for blowing a whistle during a 'lobster rights' protest will face trial by jury. Rachel Mathai, 49, of Mill Road, was arrested on September 9 at the Riverbar steakhouse on Quayside. She was arrested and accused of repeatedly blowing a whistle as 14 animal rights activists from Animal Rights Cambridge and the United Shellfish Front held a ‘silent vigil’ to protest against the boiling of live lobsters… (story)
Cambridge News 10.9.14 Silent lobster vigil marred with arrest ‘over blowing a whistle’ outside Cambridge restaurant By RAYMOND BROWN - Animal rights activists claim a campaigner was arrested for 'blowing a whistle' after a silent vigil was held for lobsters outside a Cambridge restaurant. About 15 protesters gathered at the Riverbar, Quayside to protest over the boiling of live lobsters. The vigil was held on Saturday half way through the event, and veteran activist Joan Court, 95, spoke to campaigners about the culinary practice. Edmund Maile, of Animal Rights Cambridge and the United Shellfish Front, said: "One protester was arrested early on for blowing a whistle. She was released from custody around 4am the next morning with no charge… (story)


Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 11.2.15 Police plea after Tedworth Hunt attack - Police are appealing for information over an assault at Tedworth Hunt at about 4pm on Saturday, January 24, in Everleigh… (story)
Western Daily Press 11.2.15 Unmasked - police release pic of sab in Tedworth Hunt case By TristanCork - Police investigating the altercation at the Tedworth Hunt in Wiltshire which left huntmaster Mike Lane hospitalised have released this picture of a man they want to speak to in connection with their investigation… (story)
Telegraph 29.1.15 Watch: Huntmaster attacked with iron bars by masked saboteurs - Dramatic footage shows the moment a West Country huntmaster is knocked unconscious in a vicious attack by masked hunt saboteurs armed with iron bars… (story)
Express 29.1.15 Chilling moment lone huntsman was battered by a masked gang of fox-hunting protesters - VIOLENT footage has emerged showing a group of hooded hunt saboteurs armed with iron bars attacking a huntsman. By TOM MORGAN - Mike Lane, joint master of the Tedworth Hunt, was set upon as he attempted to calm a group which had been protesting during a meet…. (story)
Western Daily Press 28.1.15 Huntsman knocked out in 'nasty' attack by sabs in Wiltshire By TristanCork - A West Country huntmaster was knocked unconscious in a vicious attack by masked hunt saboteurs armed with iron bars, the Western Daily Press can reveal. Police in Wiltshire are investigating the incident, which happened near the village of Everleigh, near Amesbury, at the end of a fractious day of confrontations between sabs and the Tedworth Hunt on Saturday… (story)
Western Daily Press 28.1.15 VIDEO: Huntmaster knocked unconscious in vicious attack by masked hunt saboteurs with iron bars - A West Country huntmaster was knocked unconscious in a vicious attack by masked hunt saboteurs armed with iron bars, the Western Daily Press can reveal… (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 28.1.15 West Country huntmaster knocked unconscious by masked saboteurs armed with iron bars - Wiltshire police are investigating an incident in which a West Country huntmaster was knocked unconscious in a vicious attack by masked hunt saboteurs armed with iron bars, reports the Western Daily Press… (story)
Mail 28.1.15 Shocking moment master of the hunt was beaten unconscious by balaclava-wearing protesters armed with iron bars By GEMMA MULLIN FOR MAILONLINE - This is the shocking moment balaclava-wearing protesters used iron bars to beat a huntsmaster unconscious during a meet. Mike Lane, Joint Master of the Tedworth Hunt in Wiltshire, had been attempting to calm saboteurs when he was punched, kicked, spat on and left needing hospital treatment… (story)
Mirror 28.1.15 Huntmaster knocked out by masked saboteurs armed with iron bars By Laura Heads - A huntmaster was knocked out by hunt saboteurs armed with iron bars. Mike Lane suffered broken teeth and concussion during the assault by masked protesters at a drag hunt… (story)
Horse & Hound 27.1.15 Police investigate clash between hunt and saboteurs that left huntsman unconscious - A huntsman has been left with two fractured teeth and concussion following a clash between hunt saboteurs and members of the Tedworth Hunt on Saturday (24 January). Joint-master and huntsman Mike Lane (not pictured), who suffered severe concussion, claims he was kicked in the head by saboteurs when hounds were boxing up at the end of the day near Everley in Wiltshire… (story)

Western Morning News 11.2.15 Unmasked – intimidation in the countryside from thugs with hidden faces - Violence in the countryside is rare. While there are rural activities and pastimes that involve danger and occasional bloodshed – from shooting to horse riding – the threat of being physically attacked is low. But the war between those who hunt and those bitterly opposed to the activity still exists. Philip Bowern reports… (story)

Scotsman 11.2.15 Edinburgh students targeted over animal experiments - Edinburgh students are being warned not to give out too much personal information after anti-vivisectionists targeted undergraduates who work with animals. The animal rights campaigners are promising “beer money” if they get names, contact details and even pictures of students who experiment on animals as part of their degree. National Operation Anti-Vivisection (NOAV) insist their will only use the information politely to point out alternatives to animal research. But the tactic has been condemned by the National Union of Students and pro-animal research groups…. (story)
Independent 27.10.14 Anti-vivisection group offers cash to name Cambridge animal testing lab workers - Paul Peachey - Anti-vivisection campaigners have opened a new front in a long-running campaign of intimidation by offering cash rewards for personal information about university students working on animal testing projects. Posters offering “£££” for “beer money” have gone up in Cambridge asking supporters secretly to send in the names, addresses and photographs of students who work in testing labs, in a tactic adopted by activists in the US. The bills were issued in the name of a group calling itself National Operation Anti-Vivisection (NOAV) that emerged after Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac) – a long-established group that led direct action protests against local testing centre Huntingdon Life Sciences – was disbanded earlier this year…. (story)
Mail 24.10.14 Animal rights 'extremists' offer Cambridge undergraduates money in exchange for personal details of students involved with experiments on animals By GEMMA MULLIN FOR MAILONLINE - Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham has led the criticisms by a group of landowners of the RSPB… Sir Ian, who runs a commercial shoot at his home in North Yorkshire and is one of the leaders of the You Forgot The Birds campaign, told the Daily mail: ‘It is a massive bureaucracy where donations are spent on homes for office workers not homes for birds…. (story)


Newcastle Chronicle 10.2.15 Northumberland Huntsman Ian McKie's badger case dropped - A Northumberland huntsman accused of interfering with a badger sett has walked free from court after the case against him was dropped. Ian McKie, joint master and huntsman with the College Valley and North Northumberland Hunt, was taken to court accused of damaging part of a badger sett close to the hunt’s kennels last year. However, the charge was discontinued after prosecutors concluded the identity of the person responsible for the alleged offence could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt… (story)

BBC Magazine 10.2.15 Did fox hunting disappear? By Justin Parkinson - It's 10 years since the ban on hunting foxes in England and Wales came into force, amid mass protests by those in favour and against. What is the situation like now?... After the Hunting Bill passed, supporters claimed it would protect animals, while opponents decried it as bad law which would be impossible to implement…. Gerald Sumner, master of the Kimblewick Hunt, which covers a large area of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, says protesters sometimes still turn up in balaclavas…(story)

Southport Visiter 10.2.15 The Waterloo Cup: Ten years since the hare coursing event's demise By Paddy Shennan - Controversial event took place on "The Killing Fields" of Great Altcar in West Lancashire… Paddy Shennan recalls the horrors of The Killing Fields of Altcar. Did this really happen? Did our supposedly decent society really allow this to happen for so long?... (story)

North Devon Journal 10.2.15 Hunt supporters mask-up to allegedly attack saboteurs after campaigning against masks and balaclavas worn by sabs -A GROUP of hunt supporters ‘masked-up’ when they allegedly attacked anti-hunt saboteurs (sabs) in the South West on Saturday – after a campaign calling for a ban on sabs wearing masks and balaclavas. Dorset was the scene for a clash between fracas last month between supporters of the Tedworth Hunt and masked hunt saboteurs from Bristol and Southampton which hospitalised Wiltshire huntsman Mike Lane… Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesman Lee Moon claimed the sabs in Dorset tried to disrupt illegal fox hunting by the Blackmoor and Sparkford Vale Hunt, who met at Sherborne Castle, on the Dorset-Somerset border on Saturday, but were themselves disrupted by ‘a large group of masked-up hunt supporters’ who ‘pushed and shoved, and threatened further violence…. (story)
Western Daily Press 9.2.15 Hunt supporters 'mask up' to smash sabs' vehicle - after Countryside Alliance launch campaign against sab masks By TristanCork - Hunt supporters across the West have join a campaign calling for a ban on anti-hunt saboteurs from wearing masks and balaclavas – only for a group of hunt supporters to ‘mask up’ when they allegedly attack sabs in Dorset on Saturday… Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesman Lee Moon claimed the sabs in Dorset tried to disrupt illegal fox hunting by the Blackmoor and Sparkford Vale Hunt, who met at Sherborne Castle, on the Dorset-Somerset border on Saturday, but were themselves disrupted by ‘a large group of masked-up hunt supporters’ who ‘pushed and shoved, and threatened further violence… (story)

North Devon Journal 10.2.15 VIDEO shows hunt saboteur being knocked down and seriously injured by huntsman's horse - AS a poll shows support for the fox hunting ban has dwindled, conflicts between hunt supporters and hunt saboteurs continue. This video shows the moment a a hunt saboteur suffered serious injuries when she was knocked down by a huntsman’s horse in Somerset last year…. Mark Doggrell, a huntsman from the Blackmoor and Sparkford Vale hunt, was initially arrested on suspicion of ABH after presenting himself to a police station on the Saturday, but now the Crown Prosecution Service has revealed he would not face any charges, due to insufficient evidence… (story)
Western Daily Press 9.2.15 VIDEO: Moment huntsman's horse knocks down saboteur in Somerset By TristanCork - This is the moment a hunt saboteur suffered serious injuries when she was knocked down by a huntsman’s horse in Somerset last year…. (story)
Horse & Hound 8.9.14 Hunt member arrested following collision - Polly Portwin - A member of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt has been released on bail after an incident in which a hunt saboteur was hospitalised following a collision with a horse. He was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, but was later released pending further police enquiries… (story)
Western Morning News 3.9.14 Huntsman arrested after protester 'seriously injured by horse' at hunt in Somerset - A huntsman has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm after a female hunt protester was seriously injured when she was allegedly hit by a horse at a meeting of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hunt in Somerset…. (story)
Mail 3.9.14 Hunt member arrested after he 'deliberately trampled female protester with his horse leaving her with seven broken ribs and suspected punctured lung' By EMMA GLANFIELD - A hunt member has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm after a protester was left with seven broken ribs and a punctured lung when 'his horse trampled her' at a hunt…. (story)
Western Daily Press 3.9.14 Huntsman arrested after Blackmore and Sparkford Vale monitor breaks seven ribs By TRISTAN CORK - A huntsman has been arrested on suspicion of causing GBH after a woman hunt protester was hit by a horse and seriously injured at a meeting of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hunt in Somerset…. (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 3.9.14 Woman seriously injured at hunt protest - A 42-year-old woman suffered seven broken ribs and a suspected punctured lung during an incident at a hunt protest on Thursday… (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 2.9.14 Man arrested after hunt saboteur "significantly" injured at Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt meet - Dee Adcock - A hunt saboteur was seriously injured when she was struck by a horse at a meet at Charlton Horethorne. A man was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and has been released on bail pending further inquiries… The incident happened on Thursday afternoon as the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt was preparing to disperse… Shika Rose of the Hunt Saboteurs Association said the woman suffered broken ribs and was believed to have a collapsed lung…. (story)

York Press 10.2.15 Deeper significance of the hunt vote - IT SEEMS that a Tory candidate may be re-elected in Malton/Thirsk simply because many voters are hunt supporters and hope that a Tory government would repeal the anti-hunting laws. I can almost guarantee such a repeal will not occur… Martin Cruttwell, Prospective Independent Candidate for Malton/Thirsk, Scrayingham. (letter)

Western Daily Press 9.2.15 Hunting Act - The latest poll showing a marked increase in the number of people who feel the current Hunting Act is flawed has finally convinced me that the ten-year-old hunting ban is indeed flawed…. I now feel the hunting ban should be strengthened and the police given the necessary support to implement the law… Shaun Shute Gloucester (letter)

Yorkshire Post 10.2.15 Ilkley Moor grouse shoots to continue as animal rights groups lose campaign by Andrew Robinson - ANIMAL rights campaigners have vowed to continue disrupting grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor after councillors rejected their pleas to ban it. Members of Bradford Council’s executive committee today voted unanimously to allow the controversial shooting of grouse on the council-owned land to continue… (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 10.2.15 Grouse shooting will continue on Ilkley Moor, council chiefs rule by Claire Wilde - A BLOODSPORT will be allowed to continue at one of the district's most famous beauty spots, Bradford Council has ruled. The shooting of grouse on Ilkley Moor will carry on for another three years, but those running the shoots have now been barred from using traps to kill wildlife…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 9.2.15 Decision due on Ilkley grouse shooting ban - Councillors will decide tomorrow if grouse shooting will continue on Ilkley Moor…. Despite the objections, largely raised on biodiversity grounds, the Council’s Environment and Waste Scrutiny Committee has recommended the contract is honoured until it expires in 2018. Members of the Council’s Executive committee must today decide whether to uphold that recommendation… (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 3.2.15 Vote could end grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor - GROUSE shooting could be banned on Ilkley Moor next week, if senior councillors are swayed by an anti-bloodsports campaign. The authority has a controversial ten-year arrangement which allows the Bingley Moor Partnership to shoot grouse on the Council-owned moor until 2018. But the group Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor (BBIM) has waged a high-profile campaign against the sport, even staging sit-in picnics to disrupt the shoots…. Councillors will be considering three options - letting the shoot continue as it is, ending it subject to a six-month notice period, or letting it continue but prohibiting pest control.... (story)

Brechin Advertiser 10.2.15 Shooting industry celebrate good year comes to an end - The shooting industry is celebrating another great year as the 2014/15 season comes to an end. Research undertaken in 2014 shows that shooting is worth around £2 billion to the UK economy, it plays a vital part in rural Britain and supports the equivalent of 74,000 full-time jobs…. (story)

Western Morning News 10.2.15 War of words erupts over email suggesting imminent ban on lead ammunition By WMNPBowern - It’s the big issue on the horizon for the gun trade and those who shoot. But reports that lead shot is about to be banned may be premature Philip Bowern reports… (story)

Mail 10.2.15 You STILL can't trust what's in a lamb takeaway: One in five contains other types of meat - and some have no lamb at all By SEAN POULTER FOR THE DAILY MAIL - One in five lamb take-aways contains other types of meat – and some have no lamb at all. The disturbing findings come a year after two investigations raised concerns about the ingredients in many curries and kebabs…. Sarah Lee of The Countryside Alliance said people need to be ‘confident about what they are eating and where it came from’… (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 10.2.15 Gloucestershire badger cull protesters call on Government to come clean on evidence of 'extensive and unlawful protest' - Protesters against the badger cull in Gloucestershire want the Government to come clean on its evidence of “extensive and unlawful protest and intimidation”. Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting (GABS) had their Freedom of Information (FoI) request rejected by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which said disclosure was “not in the public interest”…. (story)

Telegraph 10.2.15 Animal rights activists 'bribe students with beer money to hand over friends' details' - An animal rights organisation has been condemned for bribing students with money for beer to hand over personal details of friends involved with vivisection. The National Operation Anti-Vivisection is offering cash to students who spy on their researcher friends and hand over names, addresses, phone numbers and pictures of them… Chris Magee of Understanding Animal Research, a pro-animal research organisation, condemned the group… (story)


Burton Mail 9.2.15 Previously banned Meynell Hunt allowed to hunt on South Derbyshire land By Helen Kreft - AN historic hunt has been awarded a licence to trail hunt on land in South Derbyshire for the second year after a previous ban when two members were convicted of illegal activity. The Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt had been banned from hunting on National Trust land, which includes Calke Abbey, near Ticknall, after two of its members were secretly filmed trying to kill foxes near Hilton in 2011. However, the hunt's licence has now been issued for the second time in a row because again 'it had processes in place to ensure that all its activities take place within the law'…. (story)

Western Daily Press 9.2.15 Police should unmask the hunt sabs, say Countryside Alliance By TristanCork - The police should intervene and force hunt saboteurs to remove balaclavas and face masks when they try to disrupt and harass hunts in the West Country, a new campaign is urging. Thousands of hunt supporters have taken up a Countryside Alliance campaign urging them to write to police and crime commissioners and their local MPs calling for police to take action against the masked saboteurs… (story)
ShootingUK 6.2.15 Balaclava battle: campaign seeks to unmask anti-hunt thugs - Lucy King - Countryside Alliance campaign seeks to make sure police can complel violent or intimidating anti-hunt protestors to show their faces - The Countryside Alliance has launched an online campaign to unmask anti-hunt thugs and put an end to their intimidation of rural people…The Alliance has drafted a message to be sent to Police and Crime Commissioners summing up the concerns surrounding the use of masks to hide the identity of those wishing to intimidate or assault hunt supporters operating within the law. All the user needs to do is visit the Countryside Alliance’s campaign website, fill in his or her name and address and click “send”…. (story)

Western Daily Press 9.2.15 New poll shows decline in those who back the hunting ban - A new poll into the public’s support for the ban on hunting – ten years old this year – shows a marked decline in the numbers who back the legislation. The pro-hunt Countryside Alliance has seized on the research, carried out by polling organisation YouGov, as evidence that the Hunting Act is deeply flawed and more people are coming to recognise that fact… (story)
Western Morning News 8.2.15 WMN OPINION: Polling not always best guide to public view on hunting - As the 2015 General Election approaches the hopes – or fears, depending on your perspective – that an incoming Government will vote to bring back hunting with hounds are animatedly aired once more… Since 2004 the support for the hunt ban has fallen, according to a YouGov poll, by ten points… The problem with asking ‘the hunting question’ of anyone outside of those either deeply involved with the sport, or vehemently opposed to it, is that most people have a view without any real understanding of what goes on… it is possible, especially when a poll has been commissioned by one side or the other, to influence the outcome. That, it is alleged, is what the anti-hunt League Against Cruel Sports were able to do with their poll last year alleging 80% support for the ban simply, the Countryside Alliance claims, by juxtaposing questions about badger baiting – something no one is suggesting should be legalised – alongside questions about foxhunting… (story)
Western Morning News 8.2.15 Hunting poll shows support for ban on fox hunts is in decline By WMNPBowern - A new poll into the public’s support for the ban on hunting – ten years old this month – shows a marked decline in the numbers who back the legislation. The pro-hunt Countryside Alliance have seized on the research, carried out by polling organisation YouGov, as evidence that the Hunting Act is deeply flawed and more people are coming to recognise that fact…. (story)

Western Morning News 9.2.15 Hunt's future is secured after hounds find new lodgings By WMNPBowern - An historic pack of hounds looked set to be forced to disband when the lease on its hunt kennels expired. But, as Philip Bowern reports the Modbury Harriers has found new lodgings and will be moving once the season ends – but keeping its country and hunting again in 2015-16…. (story)
Western Morning News 17.12.14 Hunt's future secured after hounds are found new kennels By WMNPBowern - A Westcountry hunt facing an uncertain future after it was given notice to quit its kennels has found new accommodation and is planning its Boxing Day meet. The Modbury Harriers, established more than 200 years ago, is to move its hounds to Denbury, near Newton Abbot, from their current home on the Flete Estate, near Holbeton. They will become tenants of the South Devon Hunt…. (story)
Western Morning News 29.10.14 Modbury hunt fights for future in crisis over kennels - A Westcountry hunt is fighting for its future and facing the loss of its hunt kennels after almost 200 years in existence. The Modbury Harriers in South Devon was originally established to hunt hares but switched to foxes more than 100 years ago, until the 2004 Hunt Ban. It now trail hunts. Greg Johnson, Joint Master and chairman, said yesterday that after 40 years kennelling hounds at the Flete Estate, Holbeton, the lease was about to expire. The 2014-15 hunting season, which starts on Saturday, will be the last for the hounds at Flete… (story)

Irish Times 9.2.15 Protests at hare coursing event in Clonmel - Mattie McGrath TD barracked by protesters and animal rights activists on final day of national coursing finals - Conor Kane - A small group of protesters yesterday picketed outside the venue for the final day of this year’s National Coursing Meeting. The picket was led by members of the Animal Rights Action Network (Aran), who have called on the Government to allow a free vote on coursing in the Dáil in their attempt to have the sport banned… (story)

Shropshire Star 9.2.15 Letter: Snares are the real evil in countryside - In response to the letter “Protection Problems” by W F Kerswell in the, Shropshire Star, january 31, I would like to make a few points based on Mr Kerswell’s comments. Firstly his suggestion that animal welfare groups are an “industry” is rather odd… Despite the ban on hunting with dogs, hare coursing still takes place all over the UK. Finally, the most horrific acts of cruelty that I have found while in the countryside, are the amount of snares that are set, to catch wildlife… Lorraine Parker Much Wenlock (story)

Western Morning News 9.2.15 Dartmoor's bird man By Mike Bramhall - A surprise present led to a soaring career with fascinating hunting birds for former Dartmoor farmer Martin Whitley…. Martin, 46, describes himself as ‘owner/director/general dogsbody’ of Dartmoor Hawking – one of Britain’s few private falconry centres. It is not open to the public, but offers clients hands-on falconry experience, hunting with hawks and falcons, eagle flying, and falconry from horses tuition. It also offers tuition for people who want to learn more about falconry… (story)

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE AWARDS 2014 – February 2015 coverage
Herald 9.2.15 Borders farm wins award inspired by Two Fat Ladies TV chef - Fiona McKay - A FARM in the Scottish Borders has won an award named in honour of the late Clarissa Dickson Wright in recognition of its contribution to food, farming and education. Family-run Peelham Farm, an organic, mixed farm based in Foulden, Berwickshire, won the second annual Clarissa Dickson Wright Award because of its practice of "sustainable self-reliance"… (story)
Berwick Advertise 7.2.15 Top prize for Peelham Farm - Peelham Farm, the family-run farm at Foulden in Berwickshire, has been named in Parliament as an example to food producers everywhere. Peelham was honoured with the second annual Clarissa Dickson Wright Award for contribution to food, farming and education…. (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 5.2.15 Wiltshire shop storms to victory in rural Oscars - By jspiteri - Phil and Jo James from Ludwell Stores were at Parliament this week to receive the Countyside Alliance Award Champion of Champions prize from Defra Secretary Liz Truss… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 4.2.15 Suffolk Food Hall grabs top national gong in Countyside Alliance’s Champion of Champions Rural Oscars - Edmund Crosthwaite - The Suffolk Food Hall has beaten of nationwide competition to be crowned Local Food Champion of Champions at the Rural Oscars. The farm shop in Wherstead came out top in a public vote run by the Countryside Alliance to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its annual award…. (story)

York Press 9.2.15 Cruelty at abattoirs has to be stopped - IF ANY of your readers wonder why animal charities have been crying out for every abattoir across the country to have CCTV cameras, just watch the footage from Bowood lamb abattoir in Thirsk, then you will know why… Mr D Fillingham The Crossway York (letter)

Essex Chronicle 9.2.15 Elite marathon runner begins her quest to complete seven marathons, on seven continents in seven days – in a cow suit. By WillWatkinson - An elite marathon runner dubbed the "Queen of Extreme" has begun her toughest task yet – seven marathons, on seven continents in seven days – all whilst dressed in a cow suit. Fiona Oakes, 43, who is owner of the Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary in Asheldham, on the Dengie Peninsula, and began her epic feat in Melbourne on Sunday, February 8…. (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 3.2.15 Vegan athlete in cow costume makes world record attempt By fdart - A vegan with three Guinness World Records for distance running, Fiona Oakes has her sights set on a fourth : seven marathons in seven days on seven different continents - all whilst wearing a cow suit…. (story)

Northern Echo 9.2.15 Abattoir protesters say their message was tarred by extreme minority by Emily Flanagan -RESIDENTS say their local protest message against alleged animal cruelty at an abattoir has been tarred by an extreme minority who used the revelation to make death threats. About 50 residents from across the north of England gathered outside Bowood Yorkshire Lamb abattoir at Busby Stoop near Thirsk on Thursday, after shocking footage of abuse of animals at the slaughterhouse was released by campaign group Animal Aid… The protest coincided with revelations that the abattoir had been in receipt of death threats. Protesters say the behaviour of the extremists who made the threats - who were not linked to their protest - tarred the message of Thursday’s campaign…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 9.2.15 Changing diet is best response to abattoir footage - Once again, covert filming in a slaughterhouse reveals sickening abuse of animals by workers (DebateNI, February 6)…. No human being could do such a job without a level of desensitivity that destroys any sympathy for another creature, which then easily descends into wanton cruelty… It is only worthwhile if more people are encouraged to change their diet - for humane, as well as for health, reasons. MF PEARSON By email (letter)


Worcester News 8.2.15 It was the RSPCA who visited kennels - - Mr Richard Booker (Worcester News January 19th) is disingenuous regarding his visit to the Worcestershire Hunt Kennels on Sunday 12th November 2000. Mr Booker claims it was the League Against Cruel Sports who visited the kennels, but the arrangements were made between Mr Booker as Branch Chairman of Worcester and Mid-Worcestershire RSPCA and myself. His correspondence being on RSPCA headed paper, signing himself as Chairman. Not once did he mention the League. The RSPCA team were, Mr Booker, Ms Knittel and Mr Brett. Prior to the inspection Mr Booker was guaranteed complete access to all parts of the kennels, including the hound breeding records which he and Mr Brett certainly examined…. Jon Burgess Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 3.2.15 These deaths are morally unacceptable - The fate of hunting hounds has been a concern of mine for many years… All data available to me does suggest that there are many thousands of hounds put to sleep (or rather shot) each year. I am sure no-one will dispute that there are two ‘rounds’ of selection for bred hunting hounds…. I welcome the endorsement of Jon Burgess (Worcester News – 25th January), who judging from his previous letters is an ardent hunt supporter, that ‘any serious debate needs clear cut independent evidence rather than just hearsay’. With this in mind, on behalf of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), I would urge both Jon, and his fellow hunt supporters to make publicly available hunts’ breeding and destruction records, in order to produce an independently verified report to help both pro-hunt and anti-hunt campaigners to publicly close down this debate once and for all… Philip Mansbridge UK Director, IFAW (letter)
Worcester News 31.1.15 We need genuine animal welfare, not politics - Maurice Brett (Worcester News 19th January) clearly states the local RSPCA visited the Worcester Hunt Kennels in November 2000. Incredibly on the very same page in the next letter Richard Booker, Chairman of Worcester and Mid-Worcestershire RSPCA, denies the they were ever there!... Many ordinary people have cancelled their membership and ceased making donations. In 2012 the RSPCA spent a third of a million pounds to prosecute just two men for hunting. Now the Society has been forced to close it's famous animal hospital in Putney and three other clinics in London alone…. Jon Burgess Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 17.1.15 RSPCA fully support ban on fox hunting - On behalf of the current serving Trustees of the RSPCA Worcester & Mid-Worcestershire Branch, I wish to add clarity to a reference made by Mr J Burgess in the letters page of January 9. Mr Burgess quotes that prior to the Hunting Act coming in to force in February 2005 members of our Branch Committee visited the Worcester Hunt kennels to view breeding records. An invitation to visit the kennels at that time was made by the Worcester Hunt to members of the local RSPCA Committee. Three members of the LACS accepted the invite with the very intention of viewing the hound breeding records, as this would have given strength to the argument of hounds destruction. It is worth pointing out however that during their visit, the three members of the LACS group were not permitted to view those records…. R BOOKER Chairman, RSPCA Worcester & Mid-Worcestershire Branch. (letter)
Worcester News 16.1.15 Hunting with hounds - again! - I find it extraordinary that ten years after hunting wild animals was banned, the campaign for its revival continues, and the same old arguments are dredged up (Jon Burgess, January 9). In his letter he claims that members of the RSPCA 'carefully studied hound breeding records'. We most certainly did not. We were allowed no sight of these records… MAURICE W BRETT Bromsgrove (letter)
Worcester News 25.1.15 Dubious figures about hound deaths - Isobel Thorpe makes several accusations about hunting hounds being unnecessarily put down (Worcester News 19th January). She claims up to 7302 are shot each year. As hound numbers only total around 15000 this mean half are being killed off every year if we believe her. Basic maths show her figures simply don't stack up… Jon Burgess Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 21.1.15 They are killing thousands of hounds every year - wish Jon Burgess was correct in his denial that fox hunts kill about 5,000 of their hounds every year ("The sums about hunting don't add up", WN, January 9th). However, extensive research carried out in 2011 by Alan Kirby MSc (which can be found at www.powa.org.uk/id82.html) indicates that "the numbers of hounds deliberately and unnecessarily killed by their own hunts per annum in the UK is probably somewhere between 4,942 and 7,302"…. Isobel Thorpe Worcester (letter)

Sunday Express 8.2.15 GRAPHIC CONTENT: Barbaric torment of farm animals inside family butchers' slaughterhouse - THESE horrific images reveal the painful and agonising torment farm animals experience before they are inhumanely slaughtered at an abattoir in Staffordshire. By REBECCA PERRING … The distressing scenes have been captured by animal welfare campaigners, who set up hidden cameras at the 112-year old S Bagshaw and Sons butchers in Butterton, over a six-month period… An investigator from Hillside Animal Sanctuary, which carried out the probe, said: "We received a tip-off saying that things weren't right so decided to start setting up hidden cameras last August… (story)

Bolton News 8.2.15 Glass cage is no place for monkeys - Re the story about the marmosets. There is no need whatsoever to keep these beautiful highly intelligent animals in a glass cage, not for sale, but obviously to attract the public… Julia Ralphson Bolton (letter)


Telegraph 7.2.15 Hunting ban could only apply in England under Welsh devolution plan - The change could see hunting with packs of dogs introduced in Wales in a similar model to Scotland, where packs can be used to flush out foxes before they are humanely put down. Hunting with dogs is legal in Northern Ireland, which would leave England as the sole redoubt for the hunting ban - England could be the only country in Britain where hunting with packs of dogs remains illegal under plans to devolve powers to Wales next month, The Daily Telegraph has learned. The right to legalise hunting in some form could be one of the measures devolved to Wales as part of a new devolution settlement later this month… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 7.2.15 Concerns over puppy farming in Gloucestershire as figures reveal sharp rise - Concern is growing over the puppy trade in Gloucestershire as figures show complaints about the controversial business have almost doubled…. Campaigner David Grimsell from Care and Respect Includes All Dogs said people have been breeding puppies in poor conditions for a profit without any regard for the animals’ welfare…. (story)


Western Morning News 6.2.15 Politicians speak up for shooting at Q&A session in the Commons By WMNJBayley -Lobbying politicians is an important part of the work of special interest groups in the countryside. Philip Bowern reports on the three main parties’ attitudes to shooting following a House of Commons meeting… (story)

Lancashire Telegraph 6.2.15 In support of halal petition - I was disgusted to read that despite a petition of more than 100,000 signatures the government is still refusing to ban religious slaughter… Mrs LM Jackson, Blackburn (via email) (letter)


Swindon Advertiser 5.2.15 Drag hunt angst - I see the ‘heroes’ of the hunt saboteurs and animal rights thugs have made the news again. This time they were embroiled in an attack on the Tedworth fox hounds who, on private land, were carrying out the legal sport of drag hunting… A group of these so-called animal lovers, wearing balaclava masks and scarves as a disguise and armed with clubs and whips, trespassed on private land to prevent this sport from proceeding and led to the hunt master suffering concussion and the loss of several teeth, which were knocked out….. A Curtis Royal Wootton Bassett (letter)

Swindon Advertiser 5.2.15 Bloody cruel sport - It never fails to amaze me when countryside people jump at an opportunity and decide that another species of wildlife needs to be culled. This is the response to the unfortunate death of a man who was in collision with a wild boar and according to the countryside hunters and shooters, hunting is required to keep wildlife numbers in check!... Graham Forsyth Fairway Rise Chard Somerset (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 5.2.15 Snaps show truth of hare coursing - This year's "showpiece" National Hare Coursing Festival has been overshadowed somewhat by photos taken on the opening day of the event. An animal welfare activist managed to capture dramatic images of hares being struck and pinned down by greyhounds….. JOHN FITZGERALD Campaign Against Cruel Sports (letter)

Westmorland Gazette 5.2.15 Campaigners gather outside Leighton Moss for weekend protest opposing red deer cull by Katie Dickinson - PROTESTERS gathered at Leighton Moss on Sunday to demonstrate against the controversial culling of red deer at the RSPB reserve…. Marianne Birkby, who organised the protest, displayed historic aerial photographs of the moss, claiming that the photographs show there has always been a criss-cross network of deer trails in areas of the reedbeds…. Protestor Stefanie Nield said: “I’m here because I don’t feel that any alternatives to manage deer numbers have been addressed….. (story)

Cambridge News 5.2.15 AstraZeneca: Animal rights activists protest against Cambridge planning approval By Florence Snead - AstraZeneca’s arrival in Cambridge has attracted opposition from people in the UK and further afield, with written objections from nearly 90 Cambridge residents, in addition to those from individuals outside the UK… Rachel Mathai, spokeswoman for the CAP campaign said: “We are of course, bitterly disappointed about the council’s decision… (story)

Independent 5.2.15 Slaughterhouses will always be brutal - Once again, covert filming in a slaughterhouse reveals sickening abuse of animals by workers… M F Pearson Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
Nearly 30 years ago, while training to be a veterinary surgeon, we were required to put in two weeks’ “seeing practice” at an abattoir. It was one of the most distressing experiences of my veterinary life…. Manda Scott Clungunford, Shropshire
The Rev Tony Birbeck is no doubt right (letter, 4 February) that politicians shy away from banning religious ritual slaughter of animals because they fear upsetting prospective voters (although they seem incapable of seeing how they upset many voters by not banning it). But there can be no legitimate reason why it should not be made compulsory for all slaughterhouses to have functioning CCTV cameras in place in every part of these hellholes…. Penny Little Great Haseley, Oxfordshire
Concerns that religious hatred could be fuelled by the recent exposure of the mistreatment of animals at a halal abattoir are justified… While there has been a small increase in halal abattoirs no longer adopting pre-stunning methods, the majority of halal meat products that are available in the UK are pre-stunned… Animal Aid’s suggestion of the installation of CCTV in all abattoirs should be made mandatory to monitor and ensure the fair treatment of animals. Nadia Qadri London SE6 (story)


Western Morning News 4.2.15 Queen guitarist and anti-badger cull campaigner Brian May considering standing as an MP By WMNDavidWells - Queen guitarist and anti-badger cull campaigner Brian May could soon be badgering people for their votes after it emerged the musician is considering standing for parliament in the general election… (story)
Western Daily Press 4.2.15 VIDEO: Queen legend Brian May could stand for Parliament on 'Common Decency' pledge By TristanCork - Queen guitarist and Dorset animal rights campaigner Brian May did not rule out standing as a candidate in the General Election in May, after speculation mounted that he would make a bid to become an MP…. (story)
Mirror 3.2.15 Brian May 'seriously considering' standing in 2015 general election with a campaign for Common Decency By Mikey Smith - Brian May is "seriously considering" standing as an independent candidate in the 2015 general election as part of a campaign to convince people to use their vote and break free from corrupt politicians… In his younger days he voted Tory, but described himself as an "apolitical person." But the badger cull, combined with what he sees as a desire by the Conservative part of the coalition to bring back bloodsports, energised him. He's become a fierce critic of David Cameron and has frequently lobbied MPs over animal rights issues… (story)

Independent 4.2.15 Game shooting: The journey that takes pheasants from field to plate -Kashmira Gander - Alistair is a game keeper and a deer stalker, who lives alone in a modest white brick house in the rugged hills of a hunting estate in rural Argyll. He spends the year maintaining the land for its owners - during which he uses a combination of steel-strong willpower and the welcome wag of his golden retriever’s tale to help haul himself from bed - all for days like today…. (story)

York Press 4.2.15 A little too quick to condemn shooters - WITH regards to the letter from Neil Burke about the desecration of the countryside with bullets and cartridges on public footpaths, I do not know which paths he walks along, but bullets (rifles) are never used on shoots…. The cartridges are collected and not left on the fields for cattle, sheep or horses to graze, and neither are they left on arable fields. Happy walking, Mr Burke, but please do not condemn so easily when you come onto the free footpaths. Pamela Frankland, Hull Road, Dunnington, York (letter)
York Press 28.1.15 Litter louts spoiling our countryside - WRITING as a long-standing refugee from London, I very much enjoy walking amid the tranquil and varied landscapes of North and East Yorkshire. However, I’ve recently noticed an increasing number of unsightly spent bullet cartridges tossed carelessly on to otherwise unspoilt rural pathways – presumably spewed from the guns of so-called ‘sporting enthusiasts’…. Neil Burke, Wilberfoss, York. (letter)

Kent & Sussex Courier 4.2.15 Tonbridge Animal Aid group exposes "vicious attacks" in Yorkshire slaughterhouse through secret filming By AnnaVerdon - A TONBRIDGE animal rights campaign group has released undercover footage it took inside a Yorkshire slaughterhouse. Animal Aid, based in Barden Road, took the footage, which the Courier has decided not to show because it is too graphic, over three days in December from inside Bowood slaughterhouse…. (story)
Northern Echo 3.2.15 Local farmers will feel "let down" by slaughterhouse cruelty revelations, says MP by Emily Flanagan - LOCAL farmers who supplied the abattoir at the centre of animal cruelty allegations will feel “let down”, an MP has said. Footage recorded by animal rights group Animal Aid, showing the mistreatment of animals at a halal slaughterhouse at Busby Stoop, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, has been met with widespread anger locally and nationally…. The footage from hidden cameras, which also showed animals in distress and suffering, has already been condemned by the Muslim Council of Britain…. (story)
York Press 3.2.15 Abattoir workers suspended following alleged mistreatment of animals in slaughterhouse - Four slaughtermen at a North Yorkshire abattoir have had their operating licences suspended after hidden cameras were used to film the alleged mistreatment of animals at a halal slaughterhouse. The Food Standards Agency has launched an investigation into the footage from the Bowood Lamb abattoir in Thirsk, saying there was “no excuse for treating animals in the way shown on the video” and adding that prosecutions could follow…. (story)


Western Gazette 3.2.15 Video released by Dorset Sabs claims to show hunt hounds killing fox - The Dorset Hunt Saboteurs released a video this week which they claim shows hounds from a Dorset hunt killing a fox. It shows hounds swarming over a dead animal, which is then picked up by a huntsman and, they claim, was later given to a huntsman…. Senior Master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt Michael Felton denies that the fox was killed illegally during the hunt. He says that he believes it is more likely the video shows the hounds with a dead fox as he was told that the hunt came across two foxes that had been shot that day, he said it was likely someone had been out lamping…. (story)
Western Daily Press VIDEO: Dorset sabs film as hunt hounds kill fox By TristanCork - Hunt saboteurs released a new video this week which they claim shows hounds from a West hunt killing a fox that had been ‘bagged’ and saved by hunt staff. The Dorset Hunt Saboteurs’ video shows hounds swarming over a dead animal, which is then picked up by a huntsman and, they claim, was later given to a huntsman. The pro-hunt Countryside Alliance slammed the ‘hysterical language’ of the saboteurs, and the style of their video, and added that killing a fox is not illegal…. (story)

Farmers Weekly 3.2.15 Fire service plan to axe livestock rescue unit prompts welfare fears - Debbie James - Farming groups fear animal welfare will suffer after a Welsh fire authority announced plans to axe a rescue service for stranded livestock… the unit is being disbanded as part of a bid by the local authority to save £3.5m over the next five years. The fire service said the equipment used by the unit could be donated to the RSPCA along with appropriate training in its use. However, the Countryside Alliance is so concerned about the cost-cutting measure that it is seeking an urgent meeting with Welsh government ministers…. (story)

Argus 3.2.15 All tasty animals feel pain - I reply to RE Leadbitter’s letter condemning shooting a goose. I agree with the comment: “Children should be encouraged from an early age to respect and care for all sentient beings.” That means going vegan… Emily Stevens, Kipling Avenue, Woodingdean (letter)
Argus 30.1.15 Stop all this killing - I write regarding the article (January 23) on shooting a goose. I find all taking of life in the name of sport immoral. Indeed it mocks the meaning of the word… RE Leadbitter Sloane Court Park Street, Brighton (story)

North Wales Leader 3.2.15 Tributes paid to ‘padre for animals’ from Holywell - A CLERGYMAN known as the ‘padre for animals’ has died. The Rev James Thompson, of Fron Park Road, Holywell, died on January 30 after a short illness. He was 84. Mr Thompson was known across the country for his work in animal rights and founded the group Christians Against All Animal Abuse… (story)
Daily Post 2.2.15 Tributes paid to Holywell vicar and animal rights campaigner - Tributes have been paid to a “much-loved” reverend and animal rights campaigner who has died, aged 84. James Thompson from Holywell – or ‘Animal Padre’ as he was known locally – passed away on January 30 following a short illness… (story)

Telegraph 3.2.15 Ukip bans non-stun slaughtering in abattoirs By Christopher Hope, Chief Political Correspondent - Slaughtering animals in abattoirs without stunning them first should be banned, the UK Independence Party has said. Stuart Agnew MEP, the party’s agricultural spokesman, had tried to persuade the party to allow stunning as long as kosher and halal meat is labelled. However the party’s national executive committee voted rejected the plans, which means it is the first political party to back a ban on non-stun slaughter…. (story)

York Press 3.2.15 Scandal that bird killer is unpunished - NOW I really do think I have heard everything: a man kills a bird by pulling its head off and seems to have escaped any form of punishment… Heather Causnett, Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York. (letter)


Western Morning News 2.2.15 Hunting dogs do not have to kill - I was fascinated by John Phelps’ letter which effectively claims that hounds can no longer be classed as “sporting” dogs, because they no longer kill anything… Why? I hunt a pack of bloodhounds, hunting a human quarry. This sport is known as “hunting the clean boot”. My bloodhounds have never killed anyone or anything, so presumably Mr Phelps believes it is not a sport… Foxhounds are now used for draghunting and trail hunting, if that’s not a sport, what is it? Come on Mr Phelps, I think you are revealing an irrational dislike of the people that hunt, more than the activity itself. by Jeremy Whaley MBH The South Downs Bloodhounds Kennels, Alton, Hampshire (story)
Western Morning News 27.1.15 Hounds should be on leads on the highway - Why are packs of hunting dogs allowed on public highways without leads? Section 27 (4) (b) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 granted exemption to dogs, being used for ‘sporting purposes’ from the need for them to be kept on a lead while on a public highway. However, I do not think this exemption now has any valid application as the Hunting Act 2004 brought an end to hunting wild mammals with dogs for ‘sporting purposes’ and it must be reasonable to assume that the Road Traffic Act exemption is, by implication, repealed and can no longer apply... by John Phelps Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 2.2.15 Defra Secretary pledges Tory support for game shooting as she receives a brace of pheasants By WMNPBowern - The pheasant shooting season is over for another year. Philip Bowern reports on what pro-shooting groups are calling a successful season as Defra Secretary Liz Truss is handed a brace of dressed birds and pledges Tory support for game shooting… (story)

Western Morning News 2.2.15 Sights are set on shooting fraternity - I wondered when Graham Forsyth would turn from his usual rants against hunting, farming and almost anything to do with the countryside to having a go at shooting!... Out of interest Mr Forsyth, do you and your fellow antis include fishing on your hate list? by Paul Mercer Tavistock (letter)

Western Morning News 2.2.15 Cameron: "Badger culling is my most unpopular policy." By GDemianyk - David Cameron has admitted the badger cull is the Government’s most unpopular policy – but maintained it is the “right thing to do”…. (story)

Western Morning News 2.2.15 Finding a solution to indiscriminate culling - Thank heavens for the measured down to earth rebuttal of indiscriminate badger culling, from Ms Pauline Kidner (WMN Jan 28) ‘Indiscriminate badger culling is a total waste of life’ how different to the ‘tunnel vision’ of the NFU and I’m afraid many farmers to cull, cull and more culls! It does not seem to matter whether the badgers are sick or healthy, just kill theme and the problem will be solved!... Jane Feasey Stratton (letter)