Hunting Bill July 2003

Back to News Index

(*)- added since last update


Cumberland News & Star 31.7.03 REMIND me again, someone, about the outcry by hunt members who complained that the proposed hunting ban would mean the destruction of their “treasured” dogs…. Now we discover (News & Star, July 28) that they are still breeding dogs. The star attraction for younger visitors at the Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds open day were, according to your report, five six-week-old puppies…. JUDY BELFORD, Port Carlisle
With the strong possibility of a total ban in the near future, shame on the Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds for breeding more puppies. ELAINE M MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letters)
Cumberland News & Star 28.7.03 HUNT KENNEL‘S DOORS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - NEARLY 300 visitors took the opportunity to look behind the scenes of a hunt kennel when the Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds opened their doors to the public… (story)

North Devon Journal 31.7.03 SONGS FROM THE SHOWS - I attended three shows in quick succession in mid-July and each quite different from the others… Farming and the countryside desperately need the support of the urban community and one of the messages that came across clearly on posters along routes leading to the Royal Welsh was that 59 of people are against a hunting ban…. (story)

Telegraph 31.7.03 I will fight Labour repression, pledges new head of Liberty By Stephen Robinson - The new head of Liberty yesterday committed the civil rights campaign group to resisting the Government's plans to introduce compulsory ID cards and to finding allies beyond the organisation's traditional left-wing support base. Shami Chakrabarti, 34, who succeeds John Wadham as director of the group, said she would work to reverse the Government's increasingly authoritarian approach to social issues… Ms Chakrabarti said Liberty took no position on hunting, but noted that efforts to ban the sport reflected the prevailing view of MPs and ministers who sought to impose criminal sanctions on behaviour of which it disapproved…. (story)

Western Daily Press 31.7.03 I'M 14 AND HAVE THE FACTS - I am writing to assure letter-writer Alan Foyle that I am 14 years old, my parents had nothing to do with me writing the letter and that I haven't been brainwashed into anything…. It was my decision to support hunting as I have been out there and I know all the true facts about it. I only wish everyone had this opportunity. Laurie Cooper Wedmore (letter)
Western Daily Press 28.7.03 HUNTERS ARE SO 'TWISTED' - I was saddened to read the response to my anti-hunt letter was written by a youngster of 14. Was it her own composition, or her parents? If, at such a young age, she has been brainwashed into accepting such animal cruelty as normal, we are decades away from evolving into a civilised society… I suggest our young writer be made aware that this bestial pastime is and always has been based in class with royalty, gentry, wealthy landowners and the like depicting it as a social fun event, and their workforce made to accept the status quo…. Alan Foyle Taunton Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 23.7.03 FOX FAVOURS A QUICK DEATH - The letter from Laurie Cooper was one of the most mature outlooks on the subject of hunting and the Countryside Alliance I have read, and I wholly support each point made… I would add that it seems today's society is bent on ridding this country of all its heritage, traditions and individuality, in the name of political correctness and bogus class divisions. Mr Rainey's letter illustrates this. How does he know I and most of my friends haven't greatly sympathised with miners and the like on job losses?... S Avery, Wrington, Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.7.03 UNDER ILLUSION THEY ARE SPECIAL - Frankly, I am not in the least interested in the pros and cons of hunting with dogs, or the fortunes or misfortunes of the hunting fraternity. To me, they are an insignificant minority of little importance in the general scheme of things… anyone who deliberately defies any imposed ban is as guilty of a crime as any common criminal and should be dealt with accordingly…Regarding any job losses, I don't recall much sympathy shown by the hunting fraternity for all of the thousands upon thousands who have lost their jobs in commerce or industry, either now or in the past… J Rainey Uplands Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 16.7.03 WHY IS CLASS A PART OF THE HUNT DEBATE? - This is a response to the letter from Alan Foyle. The retention of blood sports is definitely not the only reason for the existence of the Countryside Alliance. It is just that so many people feel so strongly about hunting that it has to be kept clear that we are serious... I am only 14 years old and I have to question whether Alan Foyle truly understands about hunting before he attempts to convert people to his view.... The hunt doesn't use any high-tech equipment, the fox doesn't naturally know how to avoid guns and snares, but it has the instinct to avoid other animals. This is why hunting is natural and no more cruel than a cat hunting a mouse - most of the arguments Alan Foyle gave are completely irrelevant.... Laurie Cooper Wedmore Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.7.03 THIS IS NOT DEMOCRACY - This prolonged hunting debate should be concluded once and for all with total abolition. Parliament has three times overwhelmingly voted for this… Basically, the Right-wing Countryside Alliance is another wing of the Tory Party… Does the Countryside Alliance disassociate itself from the policies of its lunatic extremists who will break the law?... Alan Foyle Taunton Somerset (letter)

Worcester Evening News 31.7.03 Only opposition is on back benches - IF hunting supporters think the ban is going away they will be very disappointed. At the moment, it looks very likely this Government will be in power for at least the next seven years…. JOHN NORWOOD, Kidderminster. (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 31.7.03 CAMPAIGNERS MUST GIVE US A STRAIGHT ANSWER - Alison Hawes, of the Countryside Alliance, seems to be reigning back on the nature of the campaign to keep the cruel and barbaric sport of hunting with dogs… In her earlier e-mails to supporters, she speaks of their 'true anger and resentment', July 21, and of the 'urgent hounding of Ben Bradshaw', July 18… I suspect that anyone reading the newspaper reports of the event will be surprised at Ms Hawes' recollections… Ivor Annetts, Devon committee member, League Against Cruel Sport (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 28.7.03 HUNTING PROTESTERS DID NOT DISRUPT MP'S VISIT - It seems blatantly obvious from Yvonne Nicola's letter, Points of view, July 23, concerning the recent pro-hunting presence at the Valley Regeneration Scheme office last Friday that she probably was not present. At no time was it our intention to disrupt a very worthwhile event and to suggest it was hijacked is preposterous… The two police officers present were very relaxed and happy about the whole proceedings… Alison Hawes, Regional director, South West Countryside Alliance (letter)
Western Morning News 25.7.03 ANIMAL Health Minister and Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw's comments that farmers should pay for future outbreaks of animal diseases does not surprise me. In 1997, soon after being elected, he said on Radio Devon, that "farmers should not be compensated for BSE as they were responsible for it for feeding filth to their animals".... What hope is there for the future of agriculture when a minister charged with supporting our industry is compromised with such ignorance of the subject. Humphrey Clemens, Holcombe Dawlis (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.7.03 PRO-HUNT FOLLOWERS HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO YET - Pro-hunt campaigners who tried to disrupt the opening of the Valley Regeneration Scheme office, Echo, July 19, scored another 'own goal'. Their hijacking of this event, their failure to appreciate that members of the community had worked hard to see this project come to fruition, runs true to form… Yvonne Nicola, Address withheld on request (letter)
Western Morning News 22.7.03 LAST Friday, Ben Bradshaw, the new Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) stated at a meeting in Exeter, when questioned about meat imports: "Don't forget that foot and mouth started because of bad practice at a pig farm which was acting illegally." I would like to correct Mr Bradshaw. Foot and mouth started because MAFF officials renewed a swill feeding licence on that pig farm ten days before foot and mouth arrived, when the facilities and procedures on that farm should have prevented MAFF officials from renewing that licence…. Robert Persey, Broadhembury, East Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 19.7.03 HUNT PROTEST TURNS TO FURY - Animal Health Minister Ben Bradshaw clashed with 80 angry hunt supporters yesterday, telling them farmers were to blame for the foot and mouth disaster. His astonishing outburst came as pro-hunt demonstrators attacked the Exeter MP's stance on banning their sport.... Sue Shere, who owns a livery yard at Cullompton, and hunts with Silverton Foxhounds, attended the protest with her husband, Philip. She said: "Mr Bradshaw is interfering in something he doesn't understand and is not prepared to understand..." Previously, pro-hunting protesters left manure on the doorstep of St Ives MP Andrew George, Lib-Dem rural affairs spokesman and an opponent of hunting. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 19.7.03 HUNTED BY CATHERINE JONES - Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw had to fight his way through a blockade of pro-hunting campaigners when he opened a regeneration scheme in Wonford yesterday... People questioned him peacefully until the Government's policy towards imported meat was raised and he replied: "Don't forget foot-and-mouth started because of bad practice at a pig farm which was acting illegally." Kevin Govier, from Heavitree, his wife Nicky and daughters Sophie, four, Jodie, three, were among the Countryside Alliance group. Kevin, who is on the East Devon Hunt committee, told the Echo: "This is a peaceful protest and we are just trying to get the point across to Mr Bradshaw that he's not representing everybody." Richard Chesterton, master of Stoke Hill Beagles, said: "We are ordinary people. Hunting is the best form of wildlife control and a ban would have a knock-on effect on Devon's rural industries."...
Exeter Express & Echo 18.7.03 HUNTING RALLY PLANNED FOR MP'S VISIT - Fox hunters were threatening to hound Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw today during official constituency business. The Countryside Alliance were planning to hijack the opening of a £5 million regeneration office in Wonford… Michael Moore, joint master and secretary of East Devon Hunt, said he had received the message from the Countryside Alliance and was hoping to attend the demonstration… Ivor Annetts, a Devon spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "This sounds absolutely outrageous…" (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 31.7.03 SIR - After nearly 30 years of protest to stop "hunting with dogs" it has finally been achieved. Who says that democracy doesn't work? We must thank all our local and national reps for honouring their commitment in fulfilling their manifesto promise…. Derek Wright, Westbury Street, Bradford 4. (letter in archive)

Kidderminster Shuttle 31.7.03 Right call by MP on hunt Bill - WHILE I am undecided about how I would vote on the issue of fox-hunting, I do agree with Dr Richard Taylor, MP for Wyre Forest, that there are far more important issues for the Government to rectify… On the subject of cruelty with fox-hunting, very few people actually objected to the cruelty involved during the foot and mouth crisis… H WOOLDRIDGE, Buckeridge, Rock (letter in archive)
Kidderminster Shuttle 31.7.03 Hunting support is on the rise - I WOULD like to respond to two pro-hunt ban letters published in the Shuttle/Times and News… A recent survey carried out by the Countryside Alliance shows that 59 per cent of the British public now support hunting and numbers are rising. M LONG Bewdley Road North, Stourport (letter in archive)
Kidderminster Shuttle 24.7.03 Failing to listen to 70pc of electorate - REGARDING the article in the Shuttle/Times and News on July 10 headed "Hunt ban a waste of time", MP Dr Richard Taylor's comments on the hunting ban seem to be uneducated cronyism… Clearly Dr Taylor prefers not to listen to 70 per cent of his constituency. KAREN LLOYD, Stourport Road, Bewdley (letter in archive)
Kidderminster Shuttle 24.7.03 Hunting issue is not a case of town v country - I WRITE with reference to the article "Hunt ban a waste of time"… I would like to ask Dr Taylor if he has ever witnessed the end of a hunt? When the fox is caught it is literally torn to bits, and rarely dies of a blow to the head or neck, as is often claimed… EMILY GEORGE, Belvedere Crescent, Bewdley (letter in archive)
Kidderminster Shuttle 17.7.03 Sending wrong signal on killing - I WRITE regarding Dr Richard Taylor's vote against the anti-foxhunting Bill (Shuttle/Times and News, July 10). As one who works in nature conservation, I would like to ask Dr Taylor how, in one article, he can write about the joys of watching red kites, then subsequently ally himself with a group which openly advocates the persecution of raptors? … MICK COOPER, Truro Drive, Kidderminster (letter in archive)
Kidderminster Shuttle 10.7.03 Hunt ban a `waste of time' by BECKY HAYES - BANNING fox hunting is a waste of government time, according to Wyre Forest's MP. Dr Richard Taylor, who voted against the anti-fox hunting Bill pushed through Parliament last week, said the Government should be dealing with more important issues such as education and social services…. (story in archive)

Western Telegraph 31.7.03 Misleading stats on hunting issue - I write in response to the letters from Mrs D. Clements and Mr J. Murray Evans, claiming that the majority of people in the UK do not want to see hunting with dogs banned…. The results of the poll, commissioned by the Countryside Alliance, have been completely distorted by the pro-hunting lobby… NICK AINGER MP Constituency Office, Ferry Lane Works, Ferry Lane, Pembroke Dock (letter in archive)


Birmingham Evening Post 30.7.03 Threat to MPs over hunt ban By Neil Connor, Birmingham Post - A Midland MP has vowed to continue his campaign to ban hunting despite being named on a hit-list by a militant lobby group. Worcester MP Michael Foster has been contacted by police after he was named as a target by pro-hunt group the Real Countryside Alliance… Martin Salter, the Labour MP for Reading West, is believed to have asked for police protection after learning he was on a pro-hunt list… (story)
Independent 29.7.03 Anti-hunting MPs demand police protection after hate campaign By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent - Anti-hunting MPs have been forced to ask for police protection after being subjected to a campaign of abuse and threats by pro-hunting activists. Michael Foster, the Labour MP who was one of the first MPs to try to push through a ban, has contacted his local police in Worcester after being told he was on a 'hit list' of the militant Real Countryside Alliance - a group publicly disowned by the Countryside Alliance… (story)

Northwich Chronicle 30.7.03 Pro-hunters prepare to fight ban - A CHAMPION for the rural way of life has announced its intention to fight a proposal to ban hunting with dogs by turning to the House of Lords and the courts… Now leaders of the Countryside Alliance will try to persuade the House of Lords that the Hunting Bill should be based on regulation covering all forms of hunting with dogs based on evidence and proper definitions of utility and least suffering….


Swindon Evening Advertiser 30.7.03 Drag hunting is the answer to the pro-lobby - I read with some amusement the article in The Evening Advertiser concerning MP James Gray's attempt to amend the bill for banning hunting with dogs. My amusement stemmed from him being upset that his attempt to obtain compensation for those loosing their jobs as a result of the ban, was unceremoniously thrown out… They know very well that this is a red herring as a hunting ban will not result in job losses, if drag hunting is adopted…. G Shaw, Rodbourne (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 30.7.03 IT SHOULDN'T BE DIFFICULT TO ENFORCE HUNTING BAN - Max Nottingham, St Faith's Street, Lincoln (letter)
Northern Echo 21.7.03 THE Chief Constable of North Yorkshire says the police could not enforce a foxhunting ban. Oh, do give over!... M Nottingham, Lincoln (letter in archive)
Grimsby Telegraph 15.7.03 GIVE IT UP, NOW The Chief Constable of North Yorkshire, Della Cannings, says the police could not enforce a foxhunting ban. Oh, do give over!... Max Nottingham, St Faith's Street, Lincoln (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 12.7.03 HUNTERS SHOULD STOP NOW - The Chief Constable of Suffolk, Alastair McWhirter, says the police could not enforce a foxhunting ban. Oh do give over!... The wealthy people at the top of foxhunting should phase out their "sport" in advance of legislation... Max Nottingham, St Faith's Street, Lincoln. (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 30.7.03 LAW-ABIDING? Your correspondent B Embleton, July 14, tells us that the fox hunting fraternity is law-abiding. He was obviously not present when at one of their recent demonstrations outside the Houses of Parliament… LENA HOLGATE, Newton Abbot (letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 14.7.03 IS HUNTING TRULY A POLICE PRIORITY? It is optimistic to believe that the police will be able to arrest and imprison a proportion of the otherwise law-abiding people of Devon when caught riding to hounds. Where will they put them all, and have they not got better things to do? … BOB EMBLETON, Stoke (letter)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 30.7.03 Strange bedfellows - Ros Naylor rebukes Michael Foster MP for showing disrespect to farmers by saying that more lambs are lost through lack of nourishment and mistreatment than are lost to foxes. The 8th Duke of Beaufort wrote on a similar theme in his book On Hunting, where he said ‘farmers should beware their servants blaming the fox for newborn lambs lost through their own bad husbandry’…. B Otter, Salisbury Lane, Offley, Nr Hitchin. (letter)


Mid Sussex Times 29.7.03 MINISTER SUPPORTS ACTION ON RAGWORT - PRO-hunting protesters "ambushed" government minister Alun Michael on Thursday while he was promoting a new campaign to root out a weed which kills horses… (story)

Western Daily Press 29.7.03 DEFRA BRINGS BACK ITS DEAD STOCK SCHEME - Defra has re-launched its national fallen stock disposal scheme - and livestock farmers have been warned not to shoot themselves in the foot by ignoring it this time… The NFU believes the low take-up problem was partly down to farmers withholding their support as a protest over the Government's impending ban on hunting…. (story)

Western Morning News 29.7.03 MINISTER CAN EXPECT SOME ROUGH TREATMENT - If Ben Bradshaw is in any doubt about the scale of the challenges facing him in his new job he need only look back to some of the treatment meted out to his predecessors…. Mr Bradshaw will preside over the controversial cull of ruddy ducks and the equally contentious badger culling trials, not to mention the control strategy for any major outbreak of foot and mouth or other serious disease. In the short term, though, the hunting row threatens to overshadow all this, with hunt supporters pledging to "hound" Mr Bradshaw and other Defra ministers every time they visit the countryside (story)

Western Morning News 29.7.03 CLAIM OVER HORSES AND HOUNDS FLAWED - Lucy Johnson's poignant "obituary" for the horses and dogs (hounds) that will be shot if and when hunting is banned may be somewhat premature… As for the 20,000 hounds, around half of them are shot every year by their "loving" kennel person… Len Short, Torquay (letter)
Western Morning News 18.7.03 WELFARE ISSUES OVERLOOKED BY HUNTING BILL WOULD MEAN WIDESPREAD EQUINE SLAUGHTER - Lucy Johnson continues her series taking a personal look at the repercussions on equine welfare should a ban on hunting in this country be enforced… Now Labour, with its painfully poor knowledge of the countryside… about to play the grim reaper for thousands of hounds and horses, and be the cause of insurmountable suffering. In their determination to secure more votes, they have overlooked the 62,000 horses who will be redundant, and the 20,000 hounds - and the removal of their viable roles will be abrupt… David Stephens, a dealer from Truro… said: "Between September to March, 60 per cent of our business is horses specifically bred for hunting. Not only would those horses become useless but their mothers would too. Those good hunter broodmares in Ireland will definitely be put down because what is the point in keeping them…" (story)

Western Morning News 29.7.03 SO-CALLED SPORT WILL SOON BE THING OF THE PAST - So Westcountry hunters are planning to move abroad in order to carry out their despicable "sport" when the total ban is finally introduced… Hunting will soon be a thing of the past - they must accept this fact and move on. F Cleaves, Par Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 29.7.03 More suffering WHEN the problems of BSE came to a head and it was suggested there might be a possible link with CJD, as yet unproven, to cover its own back and to satisfy a minority, the Government introduced the 30 months scheme and overnight bankrupted hundreds of livestock farmers… This was followed by the foot and mouth crisis where thousands more healthy animals were needlessly slaughtered on Government orders and now the proposed ban on hunting which will necessitate the further slaughter of thousands of horses and hounds to appease a minority who depict themselves as upholding animals rights… W T Sweet, Mawgan, Helston (letter)

Western Morning News 29.7.03 Blood lust - THE published views of WMN readers on the hunting Bill reveals two distinct classes of people… Elsie van der Steen, Paignton (letter
Western Morning News 22.7.03 No idyllic world here - THE published views of WMN readers on the hunting Bill reveal two distinct classes of people… Unfortunately such an idyllic world is not possible until humanity rises above the baying brutality of those determined to satisfy their lust for blood at any cost and are seemingly intent on breaking the law for their own ends. Elsie van der Steen, Paignton (letter)

Western Morning News 29.7.03 HUNT DEBATE WASTES TIME - The recent vote in the House of Commons on foxhunting demonstrates once more that the majority of Labour MPs, being urban based, have little or no knowledge of rural affairs… H S J Courtier, Exmouth (letter)

Western Morning News 29.7.03 BALLOT BOX HAD NO BEARING ON PROPOSED HUNTING BAN - Ben Bradshaw, Exeter MP and minister told hunt supporters (WMN, July 19) that "in a democracy like ours these decisions (ie the future of hunting) are made at the ballot box and by Parliament."… . At the last election none of the three main parties proposed a ban in their manifestos, so how could people have voted for it at the ballot box?... Norman Cowling, Newton Abbot (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 29.7.03 The Real Issue: Many people spend a great deal of time and effort trying to stop a few foxes being killed by well-meaning horse riders. What about the thousands and thousands of people being killed on our roads?... Hunters do not kill people! MERLE EVANS Manor Close, Welbourn (letter)

Worcester Evening News 29.7.03 Let's go for a hunt ban - HUNTING is barbaric. Pathetic last-minute gasps to amend impending legislation should be ignored…. ROGER MARTIN, Badsey, Evesham (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.7.03 TAKING MY PLEASURE FROM THE COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE - As someone opposed to hunting it normally gives me no pleasure to read publications by the Countryside Alliance. But I derived much satisfaction and enjoyment from an article by John Jackson, of the Campaign for Hunting, when he defined the meaning of the word 'totemic', as used by Tony Banks MP… The full text of the article by Mr Jackson may be found on the Countryside Alliance website. John Phelps, Argyll Road Exeter (letter)


Western Mail 28.7.03 Research shows MPs 'out of step' on hunting - Patrick Fletcher, The Western Mail - AN ICM poll commissioned by the Countryside Alliance confirms that a majority of the public believes that the Government should not allow hunting to be banned, it was claimed last night. ICM asked 1003 respondents, if the House of Lords reject the hunting ban - what action should the Government take? Those that insisted that hunting is banned completely came to 39%. Those wishing hunting to continue under a strict licensing system, 38%. Those that wanted the issue dropped to allow hunting to continue as it is were 19%... (story)

Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 28.7.03 Thanks to MP - FOXHUNTING came under the spotlight as animal welfare groups thanked Ilford North MP Linda Perham for her support in the debates on abolition…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 28.7.03 MP'S KIND PATH TO HELPING THE ANIMALS - Labour MP Ian Cawsey will swap his briefcase for a cat carrier tomorrow. The Brigg and Goole MP will take to the road with the RSPCA… he has been vocal on a range of animal welfare issues, speaking in every hunting debate since 1997… (story)

Telegraph 28.7.03 Alun Michael: 'Ignorant weasel' - At the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, I had the opportunity to ask Alun Michael, rural affairs minister, whether he supported the British horse industry. "Yes," Mr Michael replied. Did he realise that hunting formed an integral part of the British horse industry? "No, it does not," he asserted, before making his escape, leaving me to shout after him that he was an ignorant weasel.... Mr Michael's flat denial of the importance of hunting to the horse industry illustrates his failure to absorb any of the arguments presented during the committee stage of the disastrous Hunting Bill. Serena Soames, Horsham, West Sussex (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.7.03 SPORT IS PROBLEM WITH FOX HUNTING - The letter from the writer who had to watch the fox die slowly of mange raises one or two issues… The problem, or grey area, with foxhunting is it does not provide a meal. It is a sport. Farmers can and do shoot and snare foxes… Pamela Dean Whiteshill Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.7.03 PEOPLE TO BLAME FOR HORRIBLE THINGS DONE TO OUR ANIMALS ...I do apologise to Chris Rundle on the theory that horsey people have their brains close to the saddle - for 51 years I have been one of these so-called brain-dead people... Michael Foster and Tony Banks, and the people who voted for the ban on fox hunting, have condemned the fox to death. Farmers won't want them on their land so people will start gassing, shooting and using snares.... I watched a young cub die slowly of the mange. It took him 10 hours to die in agony. Yes, you may ask, I did phone the RSPCA. I phoned them numerous times, and the vets, and the police and the local council - no-one came out to help.... Arthur Tayler, Walcot, Swindon (story)


Telegraph 26.7.03 The wind in my hair brings out the gipsy in me By Clarissa Dickson Wright ... John Peel very properly took me to Parliament Square to cook breakfast for 600 women on their all-night vigil - with only the best bacon donated by David Lidgate and his friend Gordon Hepburn of Mountnessing, and rolls by Sally Clarke. Later that day, all 3,000 of us - young, middle-aged and even the incredibly ancient - danced in the square to It's Raining Men under the benign eye of the police, who asked us to come back every week, as all the other groups of protesters spat at them.... (story)

Yorkshire Post 26.7.03 Hunting ban a crass decision From: Martin Drake, Fenwick, Doncaster. The countryside, along with the character of rural Britain, has been changing for centuries.... It is a unique changing eco-system with human existence a bit part in the evolution of thousands of different species. The present Government has such a dislike for our heritage that with typical Islington arrogance the countryside is despised for just existing... To wrench hunting from this scene without a care to the social and environmental problems that will ensue is crass politics of the worst order....(letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 26.7.03 ALL GOD'S CREATURES - The fox should be free, all animals should be free.... Jean Bradley, Sherwood Road, Grimsby. (letter)


Darlington & Stockton Times 25.7.03 Hunting fight will go to Lords - THE Countryside Alliance has revealed plans to fight for the freedom to hunt in the House of Lords and, if necessary, in the courts.... (story in archive)
Chester Chronicle 25.7.03 Pro-hunt group to fight ban proposal By David Holmes, Chester Chronicle - A CHAMPION for the rural way of life has announced its intention to fight a proposal to ban hunting with dogs by turning to the House of Lords and the courts... The Alliance is likely to get a sympathetic hearing from the Lords who have traditionally been in favour of hunting and are expected to reject their parliamentary colleagues' proposal... (story)
Western Daily Press 24.7.03 CHALLENGE TO HUNT BAN - Hunt supporters will use the controversial Human Rights Act to mount a legal challenge if Parliament bans bloodsports, it emerged last night… (story)
Worcester Evening News 24.7.03 Hunters' vow to take their fight to court - CONTROVERSIAL plans to ban hunting in Worcestershire will be challenged in the courts if Labour MPs refuse to back down, it has emerged. The Countryside Alliance claims it has a case to challenge any ban under the Human Rights Act… (story in archive)
Western Morning News 21.7.03 'RIGHT TO HUNT' …The Countryside Alliance says it expects to issue legal proceedings against the proposed legislation before the next General Election, or even by the end of the year….(story)
Telegraph 19.7.03 Hunt Bill faces legal challenge - The Countryside Alliance announced yesterday that it expects to issue a legal challenge to the Government's Hunting Bill before the next general election and possibly by the end of the year... Charles Clover, Environment Editor (story)

Western Morning News 25.7.03 HUNT HIRES ARTIST TO HELP FIGHT BAN - A Westcountry hunt has hired a wildlife artist to help raise funds to fight the proposed ban on the sport. The Axe Vale Harriers, based in East Devon, approached Mark Upton, one of Britain's most renowned wildlife artists, to paint a portrait of its pack of rare hounds.... The artist, who has previously painted the Queen Mother, produced a limited edition portrait which will be available from August 1.... (story)

Westmorland Gazette 25.7.03 Countryside Alliance fights on - SIR, I was perplexed by what your correspondent Jonathan Ward (Letters, July 4, ‘Consider other people and other creatures’) was trying to get at as he mentioned the Countryside Alliance on a number of occasions. What did he mean when he referred to Alliance members cruising around in their power boats on Windermere ‘demanding to erode the shoreline’? The Countryside Alliance does not have a position on the Windermere speed limit, nor were we represented at the public inquiry. Is he trying to imply that all our members and supporters are rich? Because they’re not…. The Countryside Alliance will continue to fight relentlessly for country sports and the rural way of life, as we have done throughout our existence. Tom Fell Regional Director Countryside Alliance (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.7.03 MAJORITY SHOW SUPPORT FOR BAN - I read with interest a letter from a constituent of mine, Mrs Mary Evans... While I appreciate Mrs Evans's view, it is my belief that we should have a full ban on hunting and, therefore, she and I will have to agree to disagree. Valerie Davey, Labour MP for Bristol West (letter)
Western Daily Press 21.7.03 LABOUR MP'S BIASED VIEW - In December, I wrote to my MP, Valerie Davey… Mary Evans, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press or Bristol Evening Post 18.7.03 LABOUR MP'S BIASED VIEW - In December, I wrote to my MP, Valerie Davey, expressing my view that the hunting community seeks a fair solution to this contentious issue, not one based on prejudice… I was surprised to receive a reply from Ms Davey on July 2, thanking me for my support for a ban on hunting with dogs. If Ms Davey had actually read and understood my letter, she would have seen that this was not the case…. Mary Evans Westbury-on-Trym Bristol (letter)

Bucks Free Press 25.7.03 Majority want a total ban - I WAS surprised to read in Letters last week the claim of a hunt supporter that most people are against a ban on bloodsports. In fact, four widely publicised polls in the last eight weeks showed an average of 76 per cent of the population wanting a total ban… Name and address supplied (letter)

Newark Advertiser 25.7.03 Not so jolly - It has been suggested that MPs who want to ban foxhunting would change their minds if they found the courage to gallop across the jolly country and over the jolly fences… If they need to find another blood sport may I suggest Russian roulette? - JAMES CLARK, Newark (Full address supplied.) (letter may only be on website for a week)


Western Gazette 24.7.03 HUNTS GATHER TO LOBBY TORY MP - Fiery Tory MP Ann Widdecombe was greeted by a crowd demonstrating against her stance on fox hunting when she arrived to speak at a village hall. Miss Widdecombe visited Mosterton on Monday to address a Conservative association evening, but was greeted by more than 50 members of local fox-hunting groups. The Seavington, Cotley, Cattistock and South Dorset hunts joined forces to put pressure on the former shadow cabinet member to change her stance on the issue…. Tessa Jackson, joint master of Cattistock Hunt, said: "We came to see Ann Widdecombe and she came out to see us…" (story)

Telegraph 24.7.03 Majority 'against hunting ban' - A majority of the public is against a hunting ban, according to a poll commissioned by the Countryside Alliance and published yesterday... Some 39 per cent said it should ban hunting completely. A further 38 per cent said hunting should continue under a licensing system and 19 per cent said the ban should be dropped and hunting carry on as now. (story)

Forester 24.7.03 A FOX'S-EYE VIEW OF THE HUNTING DEBATE - In reply to Toby in The Forester letters page, I am a wild Forest fox, and we foxes don't have human names... when he grows a bit long in the tooth and slows down, his loyalty will be repaid by his kennel master having him destroyed, because he is of no use any more. If he's lucky some compassionate humans will rescue him and give him a good home, but he might be one of the unlucky ones... A. Fox (letter)
Forester 17.7.03 IT'S MORAL TO SAVE TOBY FROM JUGGING Thank you Toby Fox for your letter in The Forester (July 10). It confirmed what I already thought to be the case, that hunting foxes is not about controlling their numbers but, on the contrary, it is intended to keep up the numbers - all the more to hunt?... Sheilah Fielding, Dymock (letter)

Stourbridge News 24.7.03 Pinning their hopes - Following the recent backing by the House of Commons to make a law banning hunting, the pro-hunting lobby is pinning their hopes that the House of Lords will reject the bill… Edward Davies, Stourbridge (letter in archive)

Hereford Times 24.7.03 Results of costly inquiry ignored - I WAS relieved to see MP Paul Keetch had a good reason for not being in the House of Commons when the debate took place on the subject of Hunting with Dogs… I was both Master and huntsman to a pack of hounds for 24 seasons; during that time, hounds under my control killed just under 2,000 foxes. In each case the fox was killed efficiently and quickly; however, it is also true that a fair proportion of the foxes killed had been injured prior to the hounds finding them. In such cases, the hounds themselves provided a merciful release, and thus supported nature's own method of the survival of the fittest…. JOHN WILLIAMS, Much Fawley, Hereford. (letter in archive)

Cornishman 24.7.03 FAIR PLAY - John Deane, 27 Pendarves Flats, Penzance - The Lefties do appear to be inconsistent regarding the death penalty. They oppose death for mass murderers including death by hunting for Reynard, the serial killer of helpless chickens. However, the townies are in favour of the firing squad for Mr Fox. (letter)

Banbury Guardian 24.7.03 Questions on hunting - As a countryman I am dismayed that a Government would wish to ban hunting with dogs… John Bishop Warwick Road Southam (letter)

The Comet 24.7.03 In pursuit of the unspeakable
Hunting. I imagine that the young person K Holt, whose letter appeared in last week’s Comet, was attempting to justify hunting on the grounds that usually when hunting foxes they invariably evade being caught, but if they are, it is usually the older ones. If this were true, does it not run contrary to the oft-quoted justification that hunting foxes is the countryman’s way of controlling their numbers?... I MARTIN, Via e-mail
Re: Bob Bryant’s article on hunting - Congratulations to Bob Bryant’s article on hunting. I agree with everything he said. And as to the response made by the child, K Holt, last week, I think he or she should come up with a better argument than that!...ANDREW LAIRD, Cambridge Road, Via e-mail
A Traditional Sport - I fear that 16-year-old K Holt (Comet Letters July 17) has been brainwashed by his elders. Does it not bother him that he has been chasing foxes since he was 13 years old?... PETE PERRY, Trumper Road, Stevenage, Via e-mail (letters)
The Comet 10.7.03 The Last Word by Chief Reporter Bob Bryant Right to ban the fox hunt - THE barking continues regarding the great debate over whether to ban fox hunting. I have lived in the countryside all my life, come from a family with deep farming roots, yet I am on the side of those who want to abolish fox hunting… I have been to hunts and seen the pomp and arrogance displayed by those who sip from the stirrup cup and arrive in their gleaming Range Rovers, bathed and manicured for their rustic ritual…. For once, though, Barbara Follett and I agree on a subject. She backed the ban and I hope she and those who want to end this inhuman game will eventually celebrate the fox’s freedom (story)


Western Morning News 23.7.03 CITY IS LOCATION FOR RURAL TALKS - JASON GROVES LONDON EDITOR - The Labour Party will attempt to relaunch its image in the countryside this autumn by staging a one-day rural summit - in London. The event, which was immediately dubbed a "gimmick" by political opponents last night, is designed to boost Labour's battered image in the countryside… The Labour event, on September 11, looks certain to be overshadowed by the continuing controversy over the Government's Hunting Bill, with the Countryside Alliance warning last night that the meeting will be the target of a major demonstration… (story)
Yorkshire Post 22.7.03 Labour's day of rural talks - Labour sought to revive relations with the countryside last night by announcing a one-day rural seminar. Rural Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett confirmed plans for the September 11 event – probably in London and to be staged under the auspices of the Labour Party, not the Government... However, news of the September rural seminar comes after the bruising row caused by backbench Labour MPs forcing through plans for a complete ban on fox-hunting... (story)

Daily Post 23.7.03 Hunting ban 'fatal wound' - WELSH Tories claim government proposals to ban hunting with dogs is unworkable and unbearable for rural Wales. The party is highlighting the adverse impact a ban on hunting would have on rural Wales at the Royal Welsh Show… (story)

Guardian 23.7.03 The fox and the cuckoo - Thank you, Roy Hattersley, for pointing out the debt of gratitude we owe to Gerald Kaufman... Helen Weeks, West Coker, Somerset (letter)
Guardian 21.7.03 Which house really holds the power? - Roy Hattersley - Gratitude is not one of the fox's defining characteristics. And politics is a notoriously mean-minded trade. So it seems unlikely that either man or beast will afford Gerald Kaufman the credit he deserves for the part he played in guaranteeing the passage of the hunting bill. Yet I am assured, on comparatively reliable authority, that it was his meeting with the prime minister - about which, modestly, he will not speak - that swung the balance in favour of the outright prohibition... Mr Kaufman won the day by warning that if (in the case of hunting) the wishes of the unelected peers were allowed to prevail over the will of the democratic House of Commons, he would never again vote to undo damage done by their lordships to government legislation... (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 23.7.03 SIR - Geoffrey Holmes writes (T&A Letters, July 16) that a law banning hunting would be "unenforceable". Well, yes - a sizeable body of horse persons thundering across the landscape wearing silly clothes and blowing horns, preceded by a large pack of howling dogs, would be pretty difficult to detect, I suppose. Peter Wilson, Thornhill Grove, Calverley (letter in archive)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 16.7.03 Schools, hospitals, railways and roads are in a shambolic state yet this Government considers that these issues can be set aside so that the Labour Party can indulge in its ignorant and prejudiced class hatred, namely the abolishing of hunting.... As an important debate on the hospitals was set aside for this nonsense they can now explain to sufferers awaiting hip replacements and other painful illnesses that they got their priorities right.... Geoffrey Holmes, The Grove, Idle. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 23.7.03 The Real CA should stick to poking fun at MPs - THE article and We Say comment regarding the Real Countryside Alliance (Evening News, Tuesday, July 15) raises a number of points. The RCA have their own agenda which has been limited, at worst, to poking fun at pompous MPs. I hope it will remain just that. With 59 per cent of the public against a hunt ban, blocking Worcester city by the RCA would simply alienate that huge trust and support… JON BURGESS, Worcester Road, Malvern. (letter in archive)


Lynn News 22.7.03 LUCKY THIRTEENTH FOR HOLKHAM FAIR - THE THIRTEENTH Holkham Country Fair at the weekend was anything but unlucky. The sun shone and a record 52,000 flocked to the country seat of the Earl and Countess of Leicester to enjoy all the traditional pastimes that country people love best…. The Countryside Alliance manned another stand where Liz Mort, eastern regional director, was upbeat about the Bill currently going through Parliament to ban hunting with dogs…. (story in archive)

Crediton Gazette 22.7.03 MP WARNS ON DEMISE OF HUNTING - Hunting with dogs could be outlawed within 18 months, Tiverton MP Angela Browning has warned… (story)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 LET'S HAVE NO MORE ACTS OF 'TERRORISM' - "TERRORISM in all its forms should be rooted out" - so said Prime Minister Tony Blair at the start of this year. In the 1997 elections he was promising to ban hunting. Note the words he used - "terrorism in all its forms". So, what is hunting - indeed, what is vivisection - but terrorism?.... Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 EFFECT OF BAN ON MANAGING WILDLIFE - John Phelps' answers to his own questions (WMN, June 30) are unlikely to leave readers any the wiser. What controlled the fox population in England before fox hunting was introduced? The answer is that in many places the fox was not tolerated at all and was exterminated…. The hunting situation in Germany is the legacy of Adolph Hitler and Hermann Goering. Whether or not Mr Blair wishes to be remembered in their company, we shall find out… Jonathan Higgins, Dartington, Totnes (letter)
Western Morning 4.7.03 BELIEF IN THE MOTIVES OF CLASS WARRIOR MPS IS NAÏVE - John Phelps (WMN, June 30) is being naive in the extreme if he really believes that Tony Banks and his fellow backbenchers introduced their "total ban" amendment to the Hunting Bill as a result of their reasoned and objective assessment of the arguments.... Hugo Swire MP quite rightly calls this prejudice... Mr Phelps does not - but then, Mr Phelps is quite prepared to believe that a rabbit is not a wild mammal, if it suits his cause. Jonathan Marshall Taunton (letter)
Western Morning News 30.6.03 Hunting ban - I WAS interested to read the article by Jason Groves, your London Editor, writing under the heading: Compromise Bill on hunting blown apart… Most people find hunting with dogs to be repugnant because it is a sport and they object to killing animals for fun… There is neither need nor reason for further debate in Parliament. The Bill must now proceed to be enacted without further delay. John Phelps, Protect Our Wild Animals Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Take a closer look - AT Axeford Farm near Callington earlier this year there was an event held by the Lamerton Hunt branch of the pony club… This and many more hunter trials would disappear, along with so many jobs, horses and hounds… Shaun Dunster, St Austell (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 TIME TO PUSH THROUGH HUNTING BILL …In my opinion anyone, should, if they break the law be dealt with accordingly, and all those hunters who seem to think that they are somehow above it, should be taught a lesson. Hunting will be consigned to the history books. F Cleaves, Par, Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Is majority always right? ….In his inaugural address as President of the United States, just over 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson, who had tried unsuccessfully to bring an end to slavery, said: "Though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; the minority possess equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression."… I was a lad, over 70 years ago, when I followed the foxhounds on foot with all my pals, I have seen this compacted, compounded liberal majority gradually gain the ascendancy…. Archie Smith, Gorran Haven Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 BLAIR WANTED HUNTING TO CONTINUE UNDER LICENCE - Several letters recently published in the WMN complain about the Government Bill to ban hunting with dogs, but Tony Blair did not want a ban. The Government wanted to allow hunting to continue under licence, but our MP then voted for a complete ban and amended the Bill accordingly… John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Think of hounds -THE hypocrisy of the individuals and organisations of animal rights just beggars belief. All the letters I've read bang on about foxes or deer and their rights, but not once do you hear or see a mention of the hounds. Is it right that they will have to be put down?... G J King, Holbeton, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Too late for deer - ANIMAL welfare has always been the territory of the hunter. Where else in this world can you see such an abundance of healthy, well managed wildlife?... I have not yet heard or read of the League Against Cruel Sports organising food trips to Exmoor during the time of winter weather to feed the deer… Roy Williams, Callington (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 PRINCE WILL HAVE A DUTY TO UPHOLD HUNT BAN …it will be interesting to learn what exactly Prince Charles has in mind as a keen huntsman himself. Surely in the event that the proposed Bill banning hunting with dogs is duly passed and becomes law, then Prince Charles, as an upholder of the law of the land, must in the interests of law and order issue a statement that the threat of civil disobedience, disruption by militant protesters and other illegal activities aided and abetted by the Countryside Alliance will be prosecuted and fines or imprisonment will follow… R E Boswell, Looe Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Listen to us - I REGRET the forthcoming ban on hunting and believe it is a political move to appease voters in the urban areas and to lure them away from debating the failure to find weapons of mass destruction…. Reg Scott, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Wrong priorities - OH, what a mess!... Government - Got it all wrong going for fox-hunting. Greater consideration for foxes, (vermin), than for humans. Get your priorities right! Michael Bickell, Lifton Devon (letter)
Tavistock Times 17.7.03 A question of priorities …NHS, nurses underpaid, waiting lists too long. Police, plenty for speed fines, insufficient for catching thieves…. (vermin), than for humans. Get your priorities right! Michael Bickell Lifton (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 WHAT WILL FOX'S FATE BE NOW? - I respect the points of view of those persons who want a ban on fox hunting, but have they considered they could be condemning the fox to a more cruel fate?... F G Bowles, Sticker, Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Wasted debating time - . What a pity the time wasted in debate on this subject, to say nothing of the vehemence shown by backbenchers, could have been seen in February when the war against Iraq was being debated… Gwen Ross, Saltash (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Dictating country life …Such a ban by a government with a large majority in Parliament, but a minority following in the country is immoral, unfair, and will open the door to the banning of other country activities such as fishing, point to point, horse racing and so on. … Ian Wans, Lydford, Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Why change the phrase? - I WONDER why the catchphrase has become "hunting with dogs" rather than "hunting with hounds"? Is this so that farmers will not be allowed to set terriers onto rats? Joan Calmady-Hamlyn, Bridestowe, Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Turncoats will lose votes - I would just like to remind the Labour party, if you ban any hunting, you will lose the next General Election. J Thomas, Dulverton, Exmoor (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 OUR RIGHTS ARE BEING RESTRICTED BY GOVERNMENT …I believe the failure to accept the concept of licensed hunting was a serious error. Banning hunting with hounds can only be justified if it substantially improves wild animal welfare. The hunting ban does not… I have formed the view, having followed the debate closely, particularly in the letters page of WMN, that many supporters of the ban do so for reasons other than animal welfare. It is quite disgraceful that social engineering is being used in this way… David Short, Exminster, Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 More effort to keep peace - THE police should not be scared of any pro-hunt protesters who might break the law! They seem to manage the policing of anti-hunt demonstrations, very easily… P Dyer, Cannington (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 HOPPING MAD OVER ATTITUDES TOWARDS HOUNDS - I am hopping mad. You kindly published my letter (WMN, July 1) regarding the fate of an entire breed of beautiful hounds that have been carefully and systematically bred for the last 300 years, and R A Gagie dismisses it in so many words… Of course I know that they have to be put down when the time comes. In this instance hounds are no different from any other domestic pet…. the Irish government has subsidised their hunts to collect fallen stock. By so doing that have solved the problem of the EU directive. They are too astute to ban such a lucrative addition to the tourist trade, and risk alienating the majority of their rural voters. Patrick J Ellis, Chulmleigh, Devon (letter)
Western Morning 4.7.03 Tired arguments - WITH it now more likely than ever that hunting with hounds will soon be banned some desperate stuff is emitting from the hunting camp...Patrick J Ellis began with the old and tired argument that if hunting is banned thousands of dogs will be put down. That happens anyway Mr Ellis, as I'm sure you know full well… R A Gagie, Paignton (letter)
Western Morning 1.7.03 Destroying dogs - IF hunting is eventually banned, one wonders if the little matter of having to put down many thousands of fox and stag hounds - and even beagles - will be brought up? Who will have blood on their hands then? The old chestnut about rehoming is a non-starter… Patrick J Ellis, Eggesford North Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 WATCHING THE DECLINE OF FARMING AND COUNTRYSIDE - The interference with rural life since the Labour Government came into power is notorious. So how are foxes to be controlled when the hunting ban comes in? Badger numbers have doubled in the 30 years we have farmed here - not that I want to see badger baiting again - but no doubt the fox population will do the same…. Mrs M R Green, Tiverton (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 HORSES AND HOUNDS AT RISK - Radio 4 news stated (July 3) that the Chief Constable of the Suffolk Police has declared that a hunting ban would be almost impossible to enforce… I fear a Government that is capable of such devastating barbarity during the foot and mouth crisis will not flinch at inflicting a similar fate on hundreds of horses and hounds. Joanna Russell, West Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 22.7.03 Do-gooders IT seems this country of ours is now influenced by a tiny vociferous minority whose whole purpose in life is to cheese the majority of us off. The list of their targets gets longer the more successful they feel they have become in banning things they do not like. The time has finally come when reasonable sensible citizens say enough is enough… A G F Hillier, Weston-super-Mare (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.7.03 BID TO EXCUSE A BARBARIC SPORT - I feel so sorry for the hunting crowd who, unable to understand why the vast majority of people find their sport abhorrent, invent spurious arguments to try to excuse their cruel hobby…. Mr S Harding, Wellington, Somerset (story)

Western Daily Press 22.7.03 THE DECLINE OF AN EMPIRE - Now we have talk of a vote for 16-year-olds. What is going on in this green and pleasant land since that illfated 1997 debacle? Who put these cherubs in? I didn't. It's 1946 all over again. They couldn't run a whelk stall. First, came the new gun law, then Gordon Brown was scared off the interest situation and handed that on to Eddie George, then some nonentity from Worcester got on to the hunting fiasco. I followed the hunt all day in my hobnailed boots as a lad. It was great fun - better than beating up old ladies… Ted Fry, Liden, Swindon (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 22.7.03 HALAL WORSE THAN SPORT - It Was with great interest I read in the Telegraph about the animal welfare awards received by Environment Minister and Scunthorpe MP Elliot Morley and Ian Cawsey, MP for Brigg and Goole. All three of our local MPs voted to ban foxhunting, and by way of your paper I would like to ask any or all of them and the RSPCA a question. If foxhunting was a Muslim sport, would they have banned it? They talk about animal welfare, but I would like to know why they condone halal slaughter… J Benson, Old Post Office Lane, South Ferriby (letter)


BBC News Online 21.7.03 Royal Welsh show opens - Thousands of people are gathering at the opening day of the Royal Welsh show in mid Wales... During the show, the Welsh Conservatives have started a petition against the Hunting Bill, arguing a ban on hunting would have an adverse effect on rural Wales. As part of the show programme itself, people from around Wales will be giving a demonstration of hunting techniques every afternoon in the main circle.... (story)

Western Morning News 21.7.03 Hunting fines - JOHN Phelps appears to be unaware that non-payment of fines usually results in a spell as a guest of Her Majesty. Neither does he seem to know that with rare statutory exceptions the proceeds of fines go to the Treasury, and not to the police… J Ward-Hayne, Modbury South Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 15.7.03 High price to pay - I HAVE recently read several articles and letters by hunters saying they will go to prison rather than stop their sport and that the police will be unable to afford the cost of enforcing a ban on hunting… Therefore, a hunt, with a field of 40 riders, could be faced with fines totalling £200,000 per meet. This very substantial sum would more than cover the cost of enforcing the law and should provide the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary with an important new source of income... John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 21.7.03 We're not done yet - REGARDING Lord Haskins' speech on rural policy (WMN, July 11), surely it is a contradiction in terms to say in one sentence "there were going to be fewer farms and fewer farmers". And then in the next breath say "if we do not encourage more migrant workers there will be large swathes of countryside that will be derelict"…. Oh yes, I've missed out hunting. Something else the liberal luvvies of Islington want to get rid of, why don't we all just lie down and die? Then Mr Blair wouldn't need to bother about us. But we ain't dead yet, and we are never, never going to go away. Joanne Gorsuch, Crediton (letter)

Worcester Evening News 21.7.03 Taking issue on hunting figures - YOUR editorial comment on hunting claimed that 4,300 jobs would be lost as a result of any ban, as against 16,000 claimed by the pro-hunters. The Countryside Alliance accepts the findings of the independent Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs, chaired by Lord Burns, who calculated some 6,000-8,000 full-time equivalent jobs would go in the event of a ban… The refusal of Labour backbenchers to consider compensating hunts has revealed, yet again, their sheer vindictiveness towards what are, for the most part decent, hard-working rural people. CLARE ROWSON, Countryside Alliance Regional Director, West Midlands (letter in archive)

Northern Echo 21.7.03 HUNTING: MPs have voted in favour of a ban on hunting with dogs so these people and the MPs they bully into submission are a monumental bore… Brian Spooner, Spennymoor. (letter in archive)


The Sentinel 20.7.03 HUNTING BAN PROTECTS ALL - I must reply to Andrew Byron' s views about fox-hunting… Anyone who enjoys harming one sensitive species (such as fox or deer) can also enjoy harming others, such as the human species… A ban on hunting will protect society from individuals becoming desensitised and sick in the mind. MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)
The Sentinel 19.7.03 FOXES - LIVE AND LET LIVE - I read the letter by Phillip Woods which refers to the fox as being a 'vicious random killer who kills for pleasure not food'… I have never heard of hunters having fox meat for tea. P T RIDGWAY Newcastle (letter)
The Sentinel 19.7.03 GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT - I don' t agree with fox hunting and never have, even though foxes have taken chickens of ours. But BG Jones should get his facts right before calling country folk "Shameless Skylarks", "Numskulls", and "Halfwits". As for his right to roam, how would he like it if everyone roamed around his garden? ... MRS H KELSALL Harriseahead (letter)
The Sentinel 14.7.03 RIGHT TO PRIVILEGE NO DEFENCE Re. Mr Andrew Byron's column of July 2. A tiny minority of people feel they should be outside the law with regard to animal cruelty. The same halfwitted group thinks it should be allowed to possess and use illegal weapons for defence of property. Coincidentally, it's the same bunch of shameless skylarks who feel it should have cheaper fuel than the rest of us… Welcome to the 21st century. B G JONES Alsager (letter)
The Sentinel 12.7.03 FOXES ARE NOT LIKE BASIL - I am continually amazed by the total ignorance shown by supporters of a ban on hunting. On July 7, Mark Richards describes a fox as both "a helpless sentient being" and as a "sensitive species". Yesterday I visited a dairy farmer in Nantwich. The night before he had lost yet another newly born calf to a fox… PHILIP WOODS Market Drayton (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 9.7.03 Can I support Andrew Byron (Sentinel, July 2). The huge increase in foxes suffering since the enactment of the Watson Bill by Scottish parliament is shameful… The 'Hunting Bill' wasting parliamentary time has nothing to do with animal welfare. DG Betley (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 7.7.03 HUNTING MUST BE BANNED - I must reply to Andrew Byron's article of July 2, which criticises those who are against hunting. How can it be unjust to ban a so-called sport based on terrorising a helpless sentient being?... MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 2.7.03 DUMB ANIMALS ON THE BACKBENCHES - After the House of Commons vote to outlaw hunting with dogs, farmer and Sentinel Sunday columnist Andrew Byron gives his view…My main feeling on hearing about all the debates is not that I'm either for or against, but "haven't they got anything better to do?"…. Banning foxhunting will not improve animal welfare, so why do it?... (story)

Luton on Sunday 20.7.03 MADAM – Let’s hope that recent parliamentary developments finally lead to fox hunting being outlawed.... Adrian Ramsay, Eastern region Green Party animal rights spokesman (letter)
Cambridge News 17.7.03 LORDS MUST YIELD ON BAN From Councillor Adrian Ramsay, Eastern Region Green Party Animal Rights Spokesperson, George Borrow Road, Norwich - LET'S hope that recent Parliamentary developments finally lead to fox hunting being outlawed… (letter)


Western Daily Press 19.7.03 WHAT CAN THE TORIES OFFER? Sir - I suppose the MP James Gray has to support hunting in his position... The difficulty for our Opposition is confronting success. What can Mr Gray offer with their most recent record? Defence, education and transport are not in crisis... Dennis O'Leary, Malmesbury, Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.7.03 IT'S TOO HOT FOR THOSE HOUNDS - I was so disgusted, but not surprised, to see that pro-hunt people felt it acceptable subjecting their hounds to an arduous long journey on such a punishing hot day in order to protest in Parliament Square... Mrs J Rowe, Bicester, Oxfordshire (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 19.7.03 SHOOT THE FOXES With regards to fox hunting, why aren't foxes shot instead of hunted?... I can't believe anyone buys a horse for the sole purpose of hunting, plus the cost of feeding a pack of dogs all year.... Joan Moore, Clee Road, Grimsby (letter)


Northern Echo 18.7.03 Bid to ban hunting will be discussed in autumn - A FORMAL report on the Government's bid to ban hunting will be debated when Harrogate Borough Council meets in the autumn. Tory councillor Mike Bury tabled a motion at a full meeting of the authority, urging fellow members to press Westminster to rethink its policies… (story in archive)
Yorkshire Post 17.7.03 Pro-hunt demo calls for council's support - HUNT staff who face losing their jobs if the sport is banned staged a demonstration in Harrogate last night. About 100 supporters and hunt staff, accompanied by hounds and beagles, met in Crescent Gardens outside the offices of Harrogate Council where a full session of the authority was taking place. Tory councillor Mike Bury, ward member for Killinghall, tabled a motion for the council to urge the Government to think again about the issue… (story)

(poss. Gloucester Citizen) 18.7.03 JOINING PROTESTERS WAS A POINT OF PRINCIPLE - The last all-girl protest I did was at Greenham Common… But when she heard about the all women pro-hunting vigil in Parliament Square, organised by Families 4 Hunting, she knew it was something she had to support… It only took a couple of minutes to realise that hunting is indeed a women's issue, quite apart from the fact that, midweek anyway, the make up of the hunting field is predominantly female. What about all the grooms working in hunting yards? Most of them are women, their homes often tied to their jobs… As it began to rain, a woman from the Brecon and Talybont Hunt and I headed for the trees. We passed the night drinking whisky, eating chocolate and occasionally going to the public loos in Broad Sanctuary… . The Ladies of the OSB and West Kent served up tea and coffee… About lunchtime the Cotswold Vale showed up. I was thrilled to see you all, and what a turnout… (story)

South London Press 18.7.03 'Cruel' line by MP on fox-hunting - I GUESS that north Brixton has more foxes than the New Forest… I believe most people admire such wildlife and readily understand that hunting a fox to a slow, desperate death with a pack of dogs is cruel… I appealed to Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall, before the vote, but she assured me that her position for fox-hunting had not changed since her speeches from 1997… I feel that Kate Hoey's dogged support for fox-hunting is cruel to both foxes and the Vauxhall electorate. Tim Summers Knatchbull Road, Camberwell (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier/East Grinstead Courier/Sevenoaks Chronicle 18.7.03 IT'S GENOCIDE BY ANOTHER NAME - The rantings of Labour MPs no longer surprise me, but they do still infuriate me. During the latest hunting debate in the House of Commons, Gerald Kaufman MP took exception to the use of the word genocide when used in relation to the destruction of any hunting dog. He took exception as a Jew. Perhaps as a member of a minority group he should be more tolerant and understanding... Graeme Worsley, Effingham Lane, Copthorne (letter)

Western Daily Press 18.7.03 BID TO JUSTIFY THE BLOODLUST - I write concerning the many letters published in the Western Daily Press during the last couple of weeks supposedly from readers who do not hunt or have no strong views for or against hunting. If that is true why do they feel the need to write at all? Yet their letters always end by supporting blood sports… As regards fishing, of course it is cruel to drive steel hooks into the mouth of a fish, but many other animals and birds have to suffer terrible pain and death due to fishing lines and rubbish left by anglers… P Richardson Burcombe Woodmancote Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 18.7.03 STUPID THREATS OF SABOTEURS - I absolutely agree with Chris Rundle's comments on the childlike threats of some of the hunt saboteurs… I am sure none of the hunting friends I have would think of being so stupid. M G Hart Batheaston Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.7.03 WHO IN HUNTING TROD ON CHRIS'S TOES? - Phew! Someone's rattled Chris Rundle's cage again and there was I, placidly thinking some of the down-to-earth common sense of the countryside had rubbed off on him at last. I have a suspicion that way back in the past someone connected with the hunting hierarchy trod rather heavily on his toes and, like an elephant, he has never forgotten it… Mrs J Leonard Claverton Down Bath (letter)
Western Daily Press 15.7.03 GROUP'S SPLIT PERSONALITY - I once hurled a verbal brickbat at Chris Rundle but, today, I am throwing him a bouquet for his article about the threats coming from the hunting set… On the one hand, they describe themselves as "decent" and "law-abiding" while, on the other, they promise law-breaking on a grand scale and the blatantly indecent slaughter of their own dogs if they are not allowed to continue with their perverted amusements… Ann Richardson Warminster Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 10.7.03 THESE SILLY HUNT THREATS WILL BACKFIRE - I've suspected that the more extreme elements of the hunting classes had their brains remarkably close to their saddles, but their latest pronouncements seem to prove my theory…. Motorways will be blocked, city centre traffic disrupted and all sorts of other mayhem will be visited on the urban populace. Which will be a novel experience for the majority of the nation who live in towns and cities… Barely a hunt takes place without sections of the Road Traffic Acts being broken by the motorised hordes whose behaviour often imperils the safety of other road users… Editor's note: These points are entirely Chris Rundle's own, but have your say by writing to me at The Western Daily Press, Temple Way, Bristol, BS99 7HD (story)

Leicester Mercury 18.7.03 PEOPLE SPOIL THE COUNTRYSIDE - So, the powers that be have won the battle over hunting with dogs. Now it seems that no dogs at all is County Hall's aim… Come on, councillors, live in the real world. It's not dogs that spoil the countryside, it's people, and it's getting worse… Bernie Baggott,Glen Parva (letter)

(poss. Gloucestershire Citizen) 18.7.03 NO DISTANCING FROM ACTIONS I Wonder what was going through the mind of Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports (July 10), saying that it would be morally reprehensible for the pro-hunting lobby to threaten MPs with the death of a single hound… If the ban is implemented then surely as night follows day hunt horses will have to be destroyed, hounds - bred for a particular purpose - likewise… Sorry antis, but you cannot distance yourself from the results of your actions. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 18.7.03 CLASS ISSUE IS A RED HERRING - Peter Neal argues (Viewpoint, July 11) that the bill to ban fox hunting "is simply a throwback to the days of class warfare"… competitive angling can take place without any "kill"… Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby. (letter)

Weston & Somerset Mercury 18.7.03 The will of the people - In the continuing hunting debate, I wish someone would explain why, in the event of a ban, the dogs would have to be destroyed, horses disposed of, farriers put out of work and employees forced out of their homes… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter in archive)

Bucks Free Press 18.7.03 Barbaric pursuit called a sport - WITH reference to the letter regarding drag hunting last week, what a rosy picture the correspondent paints of chasing and killing animals… If the writer had witnessed the debate in the House of Commons which went on for the best part of five hours he would have seen that the MPs who were pro-hunters had neither the welfare of the animals or the countryside at heart… Name and address supplied (letter)


Bristol Evening Post 17.7.03 HUNT SUPPORTERS TARGET MINISTER DURING CITY VISIT - Pro-hunt campaigners descended on Bristol to lobby Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael. Mr Michael was at the DEFRA offices on Temple Quay yesterday to make a speech to a Rural Revival Seminar. The handful of protesters included Countryside Alliance board member Admiral Sir James Eberle… Mr Michael told the Evening Post: "The time for talking is gone. The Countryside Alliance have had their views passed on to the Commons."… (story)
Bristol Evening Post 16.7.03 PRO-HUNT PROTESTERS CONFRONT MINISTER - Pro-hunt campaigners descended on Bristol today to lobby Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael. Mr Michael was at the DEFRA offices on Temple Quay to make a speech to a Rural Revival Seminar. The handful of protesters included Countryside Alliance board member Admiral Sir James Eberle, the master of a pack of beagles for 47 years, who travelled from Dartmouth to greet the minister.... (story)

Salisbury Journal/Avon Advertiser 17.7.03 Majority in poll against ban - MORE that three-quarters of people in Salisbury and the New Forest do not think fox-hunting should be banned - according to our poll. Last week, we asked our readers to vote on the controversial subject, which has sparked a vicious political debate. When the telephone lines closed on Monday at midnight, 248 (22.5 per cent) had voted in favour of a total ban, while 854 readers (77.5 per cent) thought the blood sport should not be stopped… (story in archive)

The Sentinel 17.7.03 HORSING AROUND IS NOT CRUEL - Re: "Horsing around can be cruel" (P Gilby of Goldenhill). He knows nothing about horse riding so how he can make such dreadful comments in his letter is beyond me…. MRS J BAILEY Lightwood (letter)
The Sentinel 17.7.03 HORSING ABOUT CAN BE CRUEL - I must reply to David Moulton's article of July 7 on banning the sport of fishing. He calls it barbaric and says he did not realise it was so cruel. Well Mr Moulton, let's take a look at your own preferred pastime, that of riding your big ex- hunter horse. The trauma the poor animal has to go through every time you put that big iron bit in it's mouth… I'll say this to you. When you've banned my sport of fishing, I will be up front in banning your sport of horse riding…. P GILBY Goldenhill (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 7.7.03 GIVE BORING SPORT THE BOOT ….I am against fox hunting because of the stress the chase causes the fox and injuries to the horse. But isn't it time to look at banning another barbaric sport, that of fishing? As a small boy, not realising it was so cruel, I tried it. It's the most boring thing I have ever done in my life. How anyone can find pleasure watching a bit of plastic bobbing about on the water is beyond me… DAVID MOULTON Longton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 17.7.03 HUNTSMEN SHOULD TURN TO PICKING VEGETABLES - As an elderly city bigot, I sometimes find it difficult to follow the reasoning of the hunting fraternity and I often become confused, especially about controlling the fox population… Would it not make economic sense if these people from eastern Europe stayed in their own country to control their fox population and our huntsmen worked on English farms to supply us city dwellers with our fruit and vegetables? John Phelps Argyll Road Exeter (letter)

(poss. North Devon Journal) 17.7.03 TIME FOR SOME CLEAR THINKING ON HUNTING …the hunting with dogs bill is but one example of the curtailment of the traditional liberties of the British people that began with Magna Carta and has survived through to our present 'socialist' administration… We cannot change the natural world and it is arrogant to suppose that by legislating against man's participation in an activity that other animals would engage in whether he were there or not, somehow makes the world right… RODERICK MURPHY, Stone Leigh, George Nympton (letter)

Western Daily Press 17.7.03 HORSES GET MORE CARE THAN HUBBIE - Congratulations to Janet Barkwith for her down-to-earth and informative letter regarding the fitness and care of hunting horses and hounds… I, myself, have three horses and seven dogs who get better care than my husband, who also hunts and is a market trader, so no idle rich in this family! Liz Burrett Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.7.03 ANIMAL CARE IS PARAMOUNT - A recent anonymous anti-hunting letter contained such a plethora of wilful misinformation that I cannot let it pass unrefuted. To take each point in turn - hunting horses are taken through a carefully-planned daily fitness programme in the three months before hunting begins, the same as any other athlete… No, Mr Anonymous, most people who hunt are neither rich nor idle - just ordinary, hard-working Joes. Janet Barkwith Horton Gloucestershire (story)
Western Daily Press 14.7.03 SEE IF WE'RE RICH AND LAZY - I write in response to a letter in last week's paper, Hounds Are Suffering Too. What a load of codswallop!... Our local hunt is such an important part of keeping the countryside as we know it now… If the person who wrote the letter would like to see if they think myself and my friends are rich and lazy, then please bring your wellies and see if you can cope with 14-hour days, 365 days of the year. I think not…. Marie Walters Langport Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.7.03 HUNTERS ARE THE NICEST PEOPLE In reply to the letter, Hounds Are Suffering Too, name and address supplied! If they feel that strongly, why are they afraid to put a name to the letter?. Horses and hounds love their hunting and, as for dead hounds going back into the hounds' food chain, don't talk such rubbish, this does not happen… Chris Weir Stretcholt Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.7.03 HUNTING PACKS ARE LOOKED AFTER - I have read some misinformed and stupid comments from those supporting the ban on hunting, but none more so than those in the letter headed Hounds Are Suffering Too… I can also assure your contributor that very few of the people who hunt are 'idle rich' and, in fact, work long hours in order to subsidise their pastime. I know - I've done it. Mrs Jill Bennett Meysey Hampton Cirencester Gloucestershire… (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.7.03 HOUNDS ARE SUFFERING, TOO - I think it is about time that the true story of hunting was told. It is not the glamorous picture it is painted. There is not only cruelty to the foxes, but the hounds and horses as well. I have lived and worked on big estates all my life - the last one until my retirement - for 25 years and no hunt was or is allowed on its land... Most of the people who hunt are the rich and idle who think they are untouchable and that the working classes are there just to serve them and can be walked all over - Name and address supplied (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 17.7.03 SIR - Recently I read in the T&A Letters column another attack on fox hunting. This is a political issue. The left-wing troupe care not a jot for the fox, hounds or huntsman…. G E Sykes, Jacana Way, Clayton Heights (letter in archive)

Dundee Evening Telegraph 17.7.03 Furious MPs I READ that English Tory MPs were furious that some Scottish Labour MPs voted for a ban on foxhunting in England and Wales. I agree they should not have done this. However, after the 1987 election 357 English Tory MPs voted to bring in the poll tax to Scotland — a year before the rest of the UK. — Westender, Dundee (letter)

Western Gazette 17.7.03 FOX POPULATION IS A HEALTHY ONE …My husband and I both work in agriculture, we are both keen supporters of several wildlife charities and neither of us goes foxhunting. However, we do believe that foxes will be worse off without the hunting fraternity… Sarah House, Sparkford Road, South Barrow (letter)

Western Gazette 17.7.03 SAD INDIVIDUALS - It is a bit rich for the master of the Blackmore Vale Hunt to appeal to our sympathy about the fate of the hounds when hunting is banned. He and his kind show precious little sympathy for other animals… Tony Eldridge, Discove Farm, Bruton (letter)

Northumberland Gazette 17.7.03 Scots to blame for hunting ban - WHILST I agree with Alan Castle in your comment column, I regret to say that he missed the major point at issue on the fox hunting bill. That is that a handful of Scottish MPs could have determined the fate of fox hunting in England and Wales when English and Welsh MPs had no say in the same matter in Scotland as that was determined in the Scottish Parliament. This also applied to the case of foundation hospitals in England and Wales… B Robinson, Sans Souci, Mile Road, Widdrington (letter)

Northumberland Gazette 17.7.03 Not one justifiable reason - NORMAN Wardle in his letter to the Gazette (July 10th) puts forward several reasons why he thinks hunting with hounds shouldn't be banned. If I may, I would like to take his points one by one, and prove that none are justifiable reasons for continuing with cruel and archaic activity… Mrs Hazel A Jordan, Blue House, Elson, Newcastle upon Tyne (letter)
Northumberland Gazette 10.7.03 Hunting ban needs thought - THERE will be a hue and cry if Parliament, especially in rural areas, passes the hunting with dogs (hounds) ban… Norman Wardle, Powburn (letter)

Walthamstow Guardian 17.7.03 Animal cruelty - LIKE most readers, I was appalled and saddened by the cruelty shown to the ducklings at Chingford Mount Cemetery… On the other hand it is ironic that hundreds of so-called well brought up people made their protest last week against not being able to kill, in a most cruel way, foxes with dogs… JOY GAILEN, Castle Avenue, Highams Park (letter)


Western Morning News 16.7.03 MINISTERS 'WILL NOT BOW TO PRO-HUNT INTIMIDATION' - Government business in the countryside will not be knocked off course by pro-hunt protests, a Minister has insisted. Environment Minister Elliot Morley said Ministers would continue to make official visits to rural areas despite the threat of major demonstrations in protest at the Government's Hunting Bill... (story)

Yorkshire Post 16.7.03 Passing of Bill could 'bring threat of civil war' From: B Robinson, Midland Terrace, Hellifield, nr Skipton. THE Hunting Bill debate was a disgrace. For more than five hours the House was almost empty, yet when it came to the vote more than 400 MPs turned up. They were not voting on the evidence put forward because they were not there to listen.... (letter)

Yorkshire Post 16.7.03 Police chief should learn from miners' strike From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley. WELL what a surprise to hear the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire, Della Cannings telling us all, or should that be "brainwashing" us already for the "establishment's" refusal to obey the law when passed regarding the banning of fox hunting.... (letter)

Yorkshire Post 16.7.03 Ballot box v anarchy From: C Horsman, chairman, Bridlington and East Yorkshire RSPCA, Coppergate, Nafferton, East Yorkshire - YOUR lurid headline of July 2 is reminiscent of the tabloids – "Yorkshire to revolt at hunt ban". One can understand the continual support you provide to the Hunt but at least tell the truth for once. The majority of people in Yorkshire abhor the chase and kill of wildlife.... (letter)

Yorkshire Post 16.7.03 Part of our heritage From: Peter Price, New Adel Lane, Leeds - REGARDING your excellent report in the Yorkshire Post, may I congratulate Ms Della Cannings giving her warning on the practicalities of enforcing the law if this reaches fruition to ban fox hunting... (letter)

Worcester Evening News 16.7.03 It's like trying to convince someone drowning - THE hunting brigade are desperate. They will say anything to keep their wicked past time lawful. If they thought it would work, they could stand on the riverbank and try and convince a drowning man that, actually, water was good for him... K HEMMING, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 16.7.03 VERMIN-KILL IS NO ARGUMENT Sir - I am following with interest your lively and even-handed coverage of the foxhunting issue. Convinced by the anti-hunt case long ago, I am hugely relieved that the pro-hunt lobby now seems to have abandoned their "exterminate vermin" argument.... Meanwhile, I am concerned about the logical powers of the Berkeley Hunt's joint master. Mr Henry Berkeley states (Western Daily Press, July 4): "It stinks that a few hundred MPs have the say over what many hundreds of thousands of people do."... Most of our nation's legislation must, one supposes, involve "a few hundred MPs" or am I missing something? John Ricketts Whaddon Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.7.03 LET'S SHOOT FOXES CLEANLY .. The RSPCA and various animal anti-cruelty societies, having possibly stopped the perceived cruelty to foxes by hunting with dogs, should now turn their attention to any continuation of cruelty by the shooting at foxes with inadequate weapons, such as shotguns (even with heavy shot) or .22 rifles. Both can, and do, result in wounding and a lingering death. It should be made illegal... Now the RSPCA has almost succeeded in dealing with foxhunting, I expect it will turn its attention to the thousands of cattle killed every year in Britain by having a vein cut in their throat and then allowed to bleed to death. William Robinson Torpoint Cornwall (letter)

Boston Standard 16.7.03 Report verdict did not back total ban - The hunt supporters who buttonholed DEFRA minister Elliot Morley in Bicker Fen last week were keen to ask Mr Morley why the Government had spent many tens of millions of pounds on producing the Burns Report on Hunting with Dogs. Unfortunately, this independent piece of work did not agree with their preconceptions.... Richard Casswell Priory Farm, Horbling, Sleaford (story)


Worcester Evening News 15.7.03 Tally Ho chaos threat to city - MILITANT pro-hunt supporters have formed terrorist-like "cells" and are preparing to wreak havoc in Worcester. The Real Countryside Alliance - whose membership is clouded in secrecy and likens its structure to terrorist groups - plans a series of "spectacular" acts in a last-ditch bid to force a Government climbdown…. (story in archive)

Worcester Evening News 15.7.03 Let's hope you'll be satisfied with this, Mr Foster - MICHAEL Foster's comments in Talkback (Evening News, Friday, July 4) smack of hypocrisy! He states that this issue should be left for MPs to decide upon, then goes on to state that it was part of their manifesto commitment. Perhaps he'd like to explain just what other manifesto commitments have been met by his excuse for a Government…. The Bill before Parliament, which seeks to ban hunting, would cause severe cruelty to the animal kingdom, if it were ever to become law. I hope you'll be satisfied with that, Mr Foster. TIM PINNEY, Peopleton, Pershore (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 4.7.03 It must be left to your MPs - DEALING with hunting with dogs is not the most important issue facing Britain today. I agree… But it is not my side that has delayed matters. It is not the anti-hunt MPs who talked my Bill out in 1998…. Readers of this paper may agree or not with my views on this issue, but what unites us all, should be the ability of Parliament to set the laws by which we live. It is called democracy, and as someone once said, it may not be perfect, but it is better than the alternatives.
Ban is all about prejudice - MONDAY night's vote in the House of Commons to ban hunting was a foregone conclusion. Alun Michael, the Defra Minister who proposed the original legislation, was never, as he pretended, trying to reach a "principled compromise". It was dishonest legislation that was "spun" as a compromise, but was effectively a ban in all but name… These are ordinary, decent rural people who feel they are being unjustly vilified and picked on. We will continue to fight their corner (story)

Western Morning News 15.7.03 IS ENVY OR PREJUDICE BEHIND A HUNT BAN? I have to say that I am very puzzled by the decision of our legislators to ban hunting. When I was a young man, gay sex was a crime… Quite properly the legislators took the bold step of liberalising this recreational activity… I had thought that the principle that, except in very serious matters, a man should be ruled by his own conscience rather than the state had been established and that those legislators should be congratulated. Now those self same people seek to ban hunting, surely a matter of conscience if anything ever was…. John Montague, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 15.7.03 Thanks, MPs - I MUST point out to John Montague (WMN Views, July 8) who finds fault with MP Candy Atherton for her priorities, that wanting to live in a civilised country is top of most people's priorities. For me, and the majority of people in this country, bloodsports constitute uncivilised behaviour…. Helen Weeks, West Coker Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 15.7.03 HUNT IS CRUEL TO PETS TOO - Sir - I have lived in the Somerset countryside all my life and have seen at first hand the terrible cruelty meted out at the hands of the hunting fraternity in the name of sport. There is no sport involved in trying to comfort people whose domestic cats have been torn to shreds in their own garden by the hounds… I am not a townie. I have lived with this sickening pastime all around me all my life…. Jane Somerset Petsearch UK (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 15.7.03 SIR - How sincere is Syd Brown, the MPs and all the others of the Fox Protection Society? I have yet to read of their concern regarding cruelty done by the poisoning, trapping etc, of rats, mice, cockroaches and all other vermin… H Cooke, Stubley Farm Road, Heckmondwike (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 15.7.03 WE'RE TO BLAME FOR FOXES' MOVE Might I air my views in response to the letter which was penned by Hugh Harrison, "Fox risk in our towns" … It is we who are destroying the homes of foxes (not to mention many other animals), so it is our fault if they dare to impose on our properties… By the way, foxes entering homes, killing or injuring babies? Oh please, this is dramatics at its best! MISS J. JONES Tuffley (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 8.7.03 FOX RISK IN OUR TOWNS - Foxes, not in the countryside, but the now considerable number residing in every inner town and city…. Because of the now-being-voted-on legislation, the outcome could well result in an enormous all-round increase in the present fox population. While I am not in favour of fox hunting, somehow this long overdue inner town and city problem must be solved. HUGH HARRISON, Columbia Close, Gloucester (letter)


Worcester Evening News 14.7.03 Pro-hunt brigade's moment of truth - THE militant pro-hunt Real Countryside Alliance's threat to wreak "spectacular" havoc in Worcester is one which must not be taken lightly…. Though hunting's a pursuit we can't condone for moral reasons, we spar regularly enough with people like Bob Brierley, Tim Pinney and Jon Burgess to know that's where they and the Real CA's members part idealogical company… That's why true hunt followers must redouble efforts to make their case for a lawful opposition to the Bill as it steadily nears the Statute Book…. (story)

Western Daily Press 14.7.03 AMAZED BY CHIEF'S VIEW - What amazing comments from the Chief Constable of Suffolk on the difficulties he imagines will arise from the Hunting Bill… Jean Turner Plympton Plymouth (letter)
North Devon Journal 10.7.03 WHAT amazing comments from the chief constable of Suffolk on the problems he imagines may arise from the Hunting Bill. Surely it is not up to policemen to tell us which laws they wish to enforce?... JEAN TURNER, Dean Road, Plymouth (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 9.7.03 MANY COUNTRY RESIDENTS WANT TO SEE HUNTING END What amazing comments from the Chief Constable of Suffolk on the difficulties he imagines may arise from the Hunting Bill. Surely it is not up to policemen to tell us which laws they do or do not wish to enforce?... The hunt fraternity, which is now making dreadful threats against the law-abiding citizens of this country, should remember that all its stunts have ended in farce… Jean Turner, Dean Road, Plympton, Plymouth (letter)

Argus 14.7.03 Man is cruel - In reply to Graeme Worsley's pro-hunting sermon (Letters, July 9), cruelty is a human attribute…. Halal and Kosher butchers do not kill in the name of sport. They prepare food according to their deeply held religious beliefs… people who indulge in the sport of fox hunting do so intentionally. They chase a terrified animal across miles of countryside on horseback and dig it up if it goes to ground. They allow their ravenous hounds to rip the fox to shreds…. It is the act of the torturer. To treat animals in such a way is a short step from treating people the same way. -Richard Hammond, Lewes (letter in archive)
Argus 9.7.03 Cruelty debate can be taken too far - The futility of the anti-hunting bill can be seen in its own hypocrisy and inconsistency. If a ban is based purely on cruelty, and cruelty is defined as unnecessary suffering, you have no option but to exterminate all cats in this country…. There is no scientific evidence to support a ban on hunting. Indeed, the more evidence that is published, the stronger the case to keep hunting… -Graerne Worsley, Copthorne (letter in archive)


Scotland on Sunday 13.7.03 Taxpayer pays price for hunting debate - WHILE the issue of hunting with dogs will always be an emotive one, your columnist Gerald Warner (Comment, July 6) is quite right to pose indirectly the question: "As a nation, do we not have greater issues that require attention than the settling of old divisive ‘class war’ scores"?... has anyone ever asked the question: "How much in financial terms has the hunting debate at Holyrood and Westminster already cost the hard-pressed taxpayer?"... Douglas Ross, Falkirk
GERALD Warner is a lovely man... His astonishing nonsense in the July 6 edition, that banning foxhunting, of all things, will bring down the Westminster government, was a joy to read.... Will Mr Warner be in the front line, leading the troops, when the fox hunters in England go to war?... Michael Toner, Hamilton (letters)
Scotland on Sunday 6.7.03 Hated Blair and his chaotic government will come undone - Gerald Warner - POLITICIANS are trash. Even this column must occasionally voice a non-contentious opinion. For if there is one sentiment that commands nationwide consensus and is incapable of provoking controversy in the most argumentative public bar, it is the loathing and contempt for the political class that now pervades Britain... Remember, you read it here first - two years ago - and the assertion is repeated today: hunting is Blairism’s poll tax. The Labour Party’s purblind ignorance of all rural matters and its aggressive, two-nation contempt for the culture of country people have lured it into a confrontation that will leave government and parliament bereft of authority... Yet the cretinous conduct of the Labour backbenchers paled into insignificance when compared with the behaviour of the government. The Prime Minister was too cowardly to visit the chamber while rebels wrecked his legislation... (story)


Guardian 12.7.03 Let's cut to the chase - Julie Burchill - Those comrades who complain that the banning of foxhunting is "not important" compared with poverty or world peace miss the point. This isn't WeightWatchers; if hunting isn't banned, you won't get an end to poverty or an advance towards peace instead... If someone wants the right to behave like a low beast, they should at least have their voting rights removed, as prisoners and lunatics do. The weirdos are so blood-crazed and thick, I bet they'd give up their vote in a second... As Nye said about their class in general, they are vermin... (story)

Western Morning News 12.7.03 PATRONISED BY THE POLITICALLY CORRECT - If prizes were awarded for uttering meaningless statements on issues of great importance to rural communities, then Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael would have a good chance of getting on to the shortlist. Owing to pressing business in the House of Commons, piloting the Bill to ban hunting through its final stages, Mr Michael could not attend this week's Rural Life Conference in Shropshire. But, through the magic of pre-recorded video, he nevertheless delivered an address to delegates on, among other things, funding for rural community projects. His pearl of wisdom to the representatives of 38 community councils from around Britain was: "We must find ways of ensuring that rural communities are inclusive of all. They must respect diversity as an integral part of economic inclusion."... (story)
Western Morning News 11.7.03 MINISTER THROWS DOWN GAUNTLET - BUT ISN'T THERE TO RESPOND - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has issued a series of challenges to organisers of projects in rural areas - telling them they need to be more "inclusive" of race, age and background. But delegates from 38 community councils at the Rural Life Conference in Shropshire who had hoped to issue the minister with some challenges of their own were disappointed - his message was delivered as a video address. From the comfort of an armchair Mr Michael gave a 20-minute presentation after pressing business at the House - the final stages of the Hunting Bill - meant that he was unable to appear as one of the key speakers at the event, as planned…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 12.7.03 Costly waste of Hunting Bill From: Neil Cooper, Near Stions Farm, Westfield Road, Eppleworth. I could not believe the actions of the Government concerning the Hunting Bill. What on earth was the point of spending hundreds of hours consulting, drafting, scrutinising and then (finally) producing a Bill supposedly based on the facts and not emotion, to throw it out at the last moment and then say, "OK, we'll just have a total ban then".... It is time the Labour back-benchers listened to the Lords – they may just have a point on this one
From: S Duckitt, Moss Villa, Moss, Near Askern, Doncaster. I notice there is a suggestion that the House of Lords will throw out the new hunting Bill. I suggest a copy of John Masefield's poem Reynard the Fox be given to each member before voting.... I am a lover of the country – but not cruel sport
From: John Grice, The Close, Durkar, Wakefield - Is this country going mad or is it just class ridden Labour MPs? It matters not what state this country is in regarding transport, education, hospitals, pensions etc. What is top of the agenda again? Let's ban foxhunting!... As an item of interest, I have worked out a few figures. I added the totals of packs of hounds together and came to a total of 340; keeping the dead stock figures to a minimum I came to a total of 33,000 per year. In the present circumstances need I say more? I do wonder where this country is going and I am sure a large number of people think the same.
From: David Brydon, Thirley Beck Farm, Harwood Dale Road, Scarborough. I am strongly opposed to a ban on hunting. I am a farmer, and each year I lose a few lambs to foxes. While numbers remain small, I am willing to accept this loss as the price of the privilege of having foxes living on my land... I consider therefore hunting to be the only humane method of control (letters)

Western Daily Press 12.7.03 SCARE TACTICS WON'T WASH - Now the House of Commons has voted for the banning of blood sports, we shall be treated to the usual tactic by those who can find nothing better to do but kill for pleasure - that of scaremong ering. As a townie, born of farming stock, I see no reason why any selfrespecting farmer has not got the ability to legally shoot and kill any animal, humanely, which they feel is a threat to their livelihood... It never ceases to amaze me how these people will complain about the loss of so many jobs in the farming industry when, just a few short years ago, they didn't complain... R S Blackmore Taunton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 12.7.03 WAS ABSTENTION PART OF PLOT TO KEEP HUNTING? In Points of view, July 5, Exeter's MP Ben Bradshaw stated that the reason he abstained from voting on the Hunting Bill was because he had been asked by the Secretary of State, Margaret Beckett, to fulfil her engagements at the Royal Show in Warwickshire. Could the reason have been that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs wants to keep hunting, so that the hunts can collect fallen stock now it's illegal to bury dead animals. MT Bennallack Summer Lane Whipton, Exeter (letter)

Leicester Mercury 12.7.03 PUTTING RECORD STRAIGHT ON HUNTING-BAN POLICY - Dr Michael Lynch's "political expertise" seems to have deserted him if his comments on the House of Commons's recent vote on the proposed ban on fox-hunting (Mercury, July 2) are anything to go by... the Labour Party has never promised a ban on fox-hunting. The party has merely been committed, since its 1997 manifesto, to allowing the House of Commons a free vote on the issue. This commitment has now been honoured on four separate occasions... This matter could have been "done and dusted" five years ago if the unelected, and largely Tory, Lords had allowed the will of the Commons to prevail... Graham Howard, Leicester. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 2.7.03 HUNTING BAN 'WITHIN TWO YEARS' - A leading political expert has predicted a total ban on hunting foxes with dogs within two years… Dr Lynch, a modern British politics professor, said: "Now there has been such an overwhelming vote of support for a ban, the Government will have little choice but to press ahead and impose this on the House of Lords… Dr Lynch said he thought that overruling the peers' opposition would be undemocratic… (story)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 12.7.03 FOXHUNTING SCENE FAR FROM IDYLLIC ... now is a very important time for people to tell their MPs what they feel about this subject... Please consider your decision carefully and help us stamp out this terrible cruelty. ROBERT STONE PAW (The Powerbond Animal Welfare Trust) (letter)

Northern Echo 12.7.03 HUNTING - YOUR report of the hunting bill (Echo, Jul 1) did not match the debate which I sat through for the whole duration... I am proud of the MPs who stood by their principles and went for a complete ban. - Marjorie Embling, Hunwick (letter in archive)


The Sentinel 11.7.03 PUBTALK - After this week's Commons vote, fox hunting has never look more endangered. At Stone, in the heart of hunting country, ALAN COOKMAN discussed the latest developments with customers and staff at The Swan Inn AS BRIAN Williams, a retired teacher, calmly outlined his defence of fox hunting, I couldn't help noticing that barmaid Yvonne Roberts was giving off tell-tale wisps of steam… (story)

Wilts & Glos Standard 11.7.03 Hounds join Hunting Bill protest by Steve Barton - HUNT enthusiasts from the Cotswolds poured into Parliament Square with their dogs to protest against the proposed ban on hunting. More than 100 members from the Cotswolds, Vale of the White Horse and Beaufort Hunts gathered outside the House of Commons as MPs voted in favour of the Hunting Bill at its third reading by 317 votes to 145.... Speaking on behalf of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt, whose members joined the protest, joint master Mark Hill said: "What are you going to do with any of the hounds once the sport is banned? They don't make pets."... (story in archive)

Telegraph 11.7.03 Lords threat to revamp Hunting Bill By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent - Peers began to study the details of the Hunting Bill yesterday after its arrival in the Upper House. They want to amend the Bill, which had a third reading in the Commons on Wednesday, to remove the clauses banning hunting…. (story)

Western Morning News 11.7.03 HUNTING BILL VOTE DIVIDES ON PARTY LINES - Westcountry MPs divided broadly along party lines in Wednesday's late night free vote on the Hunting Bill…. (story)

Western Morning News 11.7.03 TIGHTENING LAWS AND BAN ON HUNTS THREATEN CHAOS - Equestrianism may be booming in the Westcountry, but the future for horses is far from a bed of roses, says Lucy Johnson… With thousands of horses made redundant through a hunting ban, supply is likely to outstrip demand and many will have to be put down. However, you can no longer choose your horse's favourite spot in his field and bury him there because that's illegal… If hunting goes, your only options are to send him to the knacker man, or have him put down by your vet and then you have to spend more than £150 to have him disposed of…. Alun Michael is a self-styled "minister for the horse" yet he has betrayed the very animals he is trying to champion… (story)

Northern Echo 11.7.03 Hunt protest to coincide with debate - HUNT supporters are planning a demonstration next week in protest at the Government's moves to ban hunting with dogs. Supporters, along with beagles and gun-dogs, are expected to join the protest outside Harrogate Borough Council's offices, in Crescent Gardens, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on Wednesday. Countryside Alliance spokesman James Bates said the demonstration would coincide with a motion by Councillor Mike Bury, who represents the Killinghall ward, calling on the Government to rethink its strategy over the bill to ban hunting with dogs… (story in archive)

Newcastle Journal 11.7.03 Hunting ban 'can not be enforced' By Anna Lognonné Rural Affairs Correspondent, The Journal - Hunting supporters last night rejected Government claims there would be no difficulty in enforcing the new Hunting Bill, warning it would be flouted everywhere. Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael yesterday ridiculed the pro-hunt lobby's claim the law would be unenforceable, saying police had many more difficult laws to enforce… North-East spokesman for the Countryside Alliance James Bates said: "This is a completely unworkable piece of legislation that has been framed in prejudice, displays an ignorance of the countryside and shows that the Government hasn't bothered to think matters through…." (story)

North West Evening Mail 11.7.03 HUNT BAN 'DIFFICULT' TO ENFORCE - CUMBRIA'S police chief has warned that a ban on hunting could be difficult to enforce…. Chief Constable for Cumbria Michael Baxter said he needed to assess how any police powers could be used without diverting attention away from the force's key priorities of reducing crime and disorder. His comments followed those of Suffolk Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter, rural spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers, earlier in the week… (story)

Westmorland Gazette 11.7.03 Incoherent animal welfare legislation - SIR, It is with a great sense of frustration and annoyance that I write to you in the firm belief that the House of Lords will do the right thing and reject any attempts to ban hunting with dogs… To apply the Parliament Act to such a bill would be a sickening corruption of our democracy, a gross betrayal of the people, and a challenge to the constitutional integrity of Parliament… David Robinson Little Langdale (letter)

Chester Chronicle 11.7.03 MAY I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Christine Russell MP for her principled stance on the issue of hunting... Could we now ask our constituency MP's to take the same interest in factory farming, which subjects millions of animals to a life of suffering, as a consequence of our demand for cheaper meat? The organisation VIVA! is currently campaigning against the farrowing crate, in which sows are caged for some five weeks at a time, with no room to turn… MARIAN HUSSENBUX Sherry Lane, Arrowe Park, Wirral (letter)

Telegraph 11.7.03 And then they voted - During the hunting debate in the House of Commons, between 40 and 60 MPs discussed the details of the impact of hunting. There was a clear indication across the House that MPs felt compensation should be paid... When it came to the vote, 462 MPs suddenly appeared and voted along predetermined lines - Ian McAllister Anderson, Ashford, Kent (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.7.03 ANOTHER VIEW, FROM FRED THE FOX'S DEN - My name is Fred. I am a two-and-a-half-year-old fox living in Wiltshire. The word is they are hoping to stop hunting with dogs by giving us foxes rights… If I do find myself in the chase I have four good legs to run with, I have a chance to get away from the hunter, not so the child in the womb. You humans need to get your priorities in order. Fred the Fox Westbury Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.7.03 PROTESTS NOT DEMOCRATIC - Pressures applied to MPs in the form of letters, visits and peaceful demonstrations, are all in line with the democratic process. However, illegal acts, such as disruption to traffic and putting electricity supplies at risk, are not. The lengths to which Edward Duke, of the Real Countryside Alliance, and other like-minded hunters are willing to go to in defence of blood sports, is quite remarkable…. The hunting fraternity must not be allowed to overthrow the will of Parliament… Helen Weeks West Coker Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.7.03 HOUND KENNELS HAVE NO EXCUSE - With the arguments raging for seven years over the hunting issue, kennels have no excuse for saying that this has crept up on them unexpectedly. Employees connected to it in whatever capacity should by now have, at the very least, made tentative enquiries as to the future welfare of themselves, and their families should their present occupations come to an end…. My advice to them is simple. You've got time to put your house in order, unlike other unfortunate individuals, so do it! Roger Graham Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.7.03 END ALL CRUELTY Why do pro-hunt people think that antis care any less for other forms of cruelty?.. J Smallwood Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.7.03 COUNTRYMAN IS SO FRUSTRATED - The only predator of the fox and deer is man…Should this only method of controlling foxes come to an end, then the people concerned will take matters into their own hands. Shooting, traps and snares will be set up and there will be far fewer foxes… T E Mattocks Taunton Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 11.7.03 ANIMALS WILL SUFFER AFTER HUNTING BAN - Rural England is no longer for the country person who works the land to feed the people. Now it is ruled by those who have no idea of what they are doing when they obstruct legitimate country pursuits…. Mrs M C Thompson, Tavistock (letter)

Worcester Evening News 11.7.03 Stop interfering in our ways - WHAT'S the Government playing at?... Why should a group of people who have no factual knowledge of what they're talking about dictate to country folk, who rely on hunting as pest control and jobs? Now it's illegal to bury dead animals on our farms, but you have also ruled out the hunt kennels who used to collect the carcasses… MRS SPAREY, Stanford Bridge, Worcester (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 11.7.03 Anger at hunting excuses - The tirade from D Waters, Shifnal, leaves me not just upset and angry, but livid that he reiterates all the old excuses for continuing a blood sport so hated and detested. Months ago letters in the Shropshire Star revealed how fox cubs were dug from their earths, and hand reared for the hunt and how a young girl from Monkmoor visiting kennels noticed a young fox caged. Inquiries to the kennelman revealed it was to be thrown to the hounds to blood them…. Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

North East Evening Gazette 11.7.03 Hunting trip up - Much as I dislike hunting I can understand the resistance of the country fraternity who are facing the possibility that their activities will be made illegal by 2006. I appreciate it will lead to a loss of livelihoods and will do nothing to help the plight of the rural poor… I sided with the miners because I am a trades unionist at heart but, in the events to come, I will stand on the sidelines. I enjoy the discomforture of Tony Blair who would like to get a magic wand and waft it all away, but this is a struggle I am sure will take place. GEOFFREY BULMER, Billingham (letter)

Darlington & Stockton Times 11.7.03 Urban majority - The House of Commons has passed a Bill which, if approved by the House of Lords, will result in foxhunting being banned in England and Wales, as it is already in Scotland. While this decision is the result of a vote in a democratic country, and reflects the view of the majority of MPs, it does not recognise the position of a very large and significant minority… PAUL HIRST, 9 Hird Avenue, Bedale. (letter in archive)

Staffordshire Post & Times 11.7.03 FOX HUNTING BAN DODGER - - At last, the atavistic beasts who chase terrified foxes across our countryside and laugh as they are torn to pieces by dogs, are to get their come-uppance, or will they? Even when the government has been forced to cave in to a vast majority of its own MPs to pass a total ban on fox hunting, Tony Blair's ministers still won't commit themselves to it… Disgusted Bramshall (Name & address supplied) (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 11.7.03 ON THE hunting debate (Courier, July 4), Z Fail makes points which need to be answered. First, police resources. The police would not be involved if the hunters ceased their pastime and remained within the law. But, the police are heavily in attendance at their meets now, so, surely, they would not be needed if there is no hunting, therefore releasing more police to fight "other crimes"... D Neeve, Forest Rise, Crowborough
Z Fail bemoans the fact that the police will on former hunt days be searching the countryside for what will then be an illegal pastime (Courier, July 4). Not so, for if the Countryside Alliance are as good as their word the police will have far more criminal activity to investigate, such as disruption of motorways and railways... Malcolm Neeves, Alexandra Road, St Leonards on Sea (letters)
Kent/Sussex Courier 4.7.03 WE SHOULD LOOK AT WIDER PICTURE - There are many implications for people who neither participate nor have an opinion on the hunting issue. These include the following: n Valuable police resources ensuring hunting does not take place - resources already stretched - police out in the country instead of pursuing other crimes.... Z Fail, Calverley Park Gardens, Tunbridge Wells (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 11.7.03 ESTIMATES claim that foxes save the farming community an average of £100million a year by killing rabbits and rodents that would otherwise destroy their crops. And yet the NFU Edenbridge and Sevenoaks group secretary, Andrew Siggs, in his defence of hunting (Courier, July 4) displays his ignorance of this fact by announcing that, now that he can't have his hound hunting, "we'll shoot every fox that we see" because he cannot protect his lambs... Dave Wetton, Castle View, Hadlow (story)


Yorkshire Post 10.7.03 Protests – but hunt ban clears Commons - A total outright ban on hunting moved a decisive step nearer last night as Labour MPs re-affirmed their determination to consign blood sports to history... Amid bitter exchanges last night Tory spokesman James Gray condemned the "lynch-mob" approach which would "criminalise thousands of decent, law-abiding citizens", while other Tory MPs raised fears of the law being broken. The fear was immediately reinforced by Yorkshire hunt supporter Julie Nelson, who with her husband Stuart – joint master of the Hunsley Beacon Beagles – travelled down with five hunting dogs yesterday to join in a Countryside Alliance demonstration involving 1,000 fox-hounds and other dogs.... (story)
Western Daily Press 10.7.03 HUNT FANS' BARK OF PROTEST - Hundreds of hunting supporters and their dogs massed outside Parliament last night as the Hunting Bill passed through its final stage in the Commons. Members of the Countryside Alliance and the Countryside Action Network gathered in Parliament Square to protest against the Bill, which will see an outright ban on fox hunting… Jane Bayley, of the Royal Artillery Hunt in Wiltshire, said: "The Government has no feeling for dogs or the countryside or people's way of life." (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 10.7.03 HUNT SUPPORTERS GET PROTEST HEARD - Hundreds of hunt supporters from the Cotswolds joined a protest outside the House of Commons. As MPs gave the Hunting Bill its third reading and debated banning fox hunting, 3,000 hunt supporters gathered in London's Parliament Square yesterday… Author Frederick Forsyth, Kate Howey MP (Labour, Vauxhall) and conservationist Robin Page - who doesn't shoot, fish or hunt, but recognises hunting's contribution to the countryside - all spoke out… Pro-hunt supporter, Jo Aldridge, of the Beaufort Hunt and who lives near Tetbury, said: "It was tremendously well attended, extremely noisy…" Supporters and dogs from the Cotswold Hunt, Cotswold Heythrop and The Cotswold Vale Farmers were also represented… (story)
Western Morning News 10.7.03 DOGS ARMY TURN OUT FOR PROTEST - A balmy day in Westminster was followed by a barmy night outside the House of Commons yesterday as hunt supporters and their dogs brought the sounds - and smells - of the country to town… "They are not really enjoying it," confessed owner Susie Goess-Saurau, joint master of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt. "They have never been to a town and they're not used to the noise. It must smell horrible for them with all the pollution."… Things were not much better for Crumpet's handler, 28-year-old Gwen Kemp, who started work as a groom for the Old Surrey, Berstow and West Kent Hunt just three weeks ago… Guy Allman, huntsman with the Mid Devon Hunt, arrived with his hounds Countess, Romper, Chariot and Grapefruit to make his point… Mervyn Dowell, of Axminster, was one of many protesters who said he would not give up his beloved Cotley Hunt even if Parliament voted to outlaw his sport… (story)

BBC News Online 10.7.03 Hunt ban bill clears Commons - A bill to ban hunting with dogs has cleared the House of Commons, with the Tories failing to win compensation for those who may lose their livelihoods.... (story)

Channel 4 News 10.7.03 Hunting Bill clears Commons - An attempt to ban hunting with hounds has cleared the House of Commons. As hundreds of countryside campaigners demonstrated outside parliament, MPs gave the Bill a third reading by 317 votes to 145... (story)

ITV.COM 10.7.03 Hunting Bill clears Commons - An attempt to ban hunting with hounds has cleared the House of Commons. As hundreds of countryside campaigners demonstrated outside parliament, MPs gave the Bill a third reading by 317 votes to 145. (story)

Telegraph 10.7.03 What has it got to do with the Scots? By Boris Johnson ... A West Country Tory was explaining the sad consequences for Exford, and other places I know and love, when stag hunting is banned. Like many others, he spoke of jobs lost and the damage done to a way of life. And as he was speaking he was heckled from the Labour benches by a Scottish voice... "What about the miners?" he said. "You didn't care about the miners, did you?" At that moment I am afraid that I succumbed to a rare moment of rage. What did he mean? Were we to take it that, in his view, this odious ban was a kind of revenge? He seemed to be saying that the destruction of livelihoods attached to hunting was in some way a fair requital for what Margaret Thatcher had done to the mining communities in the 1980s. What a disgusting way to run a country... He was from Scotland. He was about to ban hunting in England and Wales. And yet I, as an MP for an English seat, had no say whatever over the fate of hunting in Scotland.... (story)

Western Morning News 10.7.03 HUNTING DOGS IN PROTEST AS BILL MARCHES ON - A Government Bill to ban hunting with dogs was passed by 317 votes to 145 last night as it completed its passage through the House of Commons… Guy Allman, huntsman with the Mid Devon Hunt, said that a ban would cost him both his home and his job… (story)

Western Morning News 10.7.03 MASSIVE MAJORITY VOTE YES FOR HUNT BAN - JASON GROVES LONDON EDITOR - A total ban on hunting with dogs took a major step forward last night as the controversial Hunting Bill completed its passage through the Commons…. Tory spokesman James Gray described the Bill as "the most dreary, despicable, unfair and illiberal piece of legislation seen for a very long time"… Mrs Hobbs, who rides with the Mid Devon Hunt, said: "Banning hunting will ruin country life and will not save a single fox's life…" (story)

Western Morning News 10.7.03 ARGUMENT RAGES OVER FUTURE OF 25,000 HUNTING HOUNDS - There are approximately 25,000 hunting hounds in the UK but they could all be at risk. The majority are foxhounds, with smaller numbers of harriers, beagles and bassets… Tom Yandle, chairman of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said: "There is absolutely no doubt that if hunting is banned the hounds will have to be destroyed… Peter Anderson, South West spokesman for the league, said: "It is hypocritical of the hunt supporters who are concerned about the hounds. We know there are examples of foxhounds being trained as pets in rural households without any problems."… (story)

York Evening Press 10.7.03 Hunt workers' rage - THE Government came under fire today after refusing calls for hunt workers to be paid compensation if a hunting ban destroys their livelihoods. Speaking as the controversial Hunting Bill cleared its final hurdle in the Commons, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael rejected Tory demands for compensation… Christopher Hall, honorary director of the Great Yorkshire Show, said today that to refuse compensation "almost seems spiteful"…. "Ten thousand people made their feelings totally clear in the Inter Hunt Relay during the show, but sadly, the Government does not seem to be listening."… (story in archive)

Northern Echo 10.7.03 Clarion call as Bill gets reading by Steve Parsley - THE call to save hunting echoed across the North of England's biggest agricultural show as Westminster prepares for the third reading last night of a Bill that could lead to a ban… Country Alliance chief executive-designate Simon Hart attended the Great Yorkshire Show to rally support, before travelling to London in time for a noisy demonstration outside Parliament by huntsmen and their hounds… (story in archive)

Western Telegraph 10.7.03 MP applauds hunt ban - Pembrokeshire's countryside supporters, defeated but defiant after the House of Commons voted to end fox hunting, are quietly confident of a reprieve - an optimism not shared by their MP. While members of the Pembrokeshire and South Pembrokeshire Hunts joined a vigil in Parliament Square last week, local MP Nick Ainger was inside the House of Commons casting his vote for an outright ban…. (story in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 10.7.03 ANTI-HUNT MPS STANDING FIRM - North Lincolnshire MPs yesterday vowed to stand firm in the battle over foxhunting, despite being targeted by abusive pro-hunters. As MPs again debated the issue in the Commons, Scunthorpe's Elliot Morley and Brigg and Goole's Ian Cawsey pledged to stick to their guns in calling for a total ban, saying: "We're not going to be intimidated."… (story)

Amesbury Journal 10.7.03 Vote to ban hunting sends shock waves - DEFIANT fox-hunters have vowed to carry on hunting, despite a vote by MPs to ban the ancient blood sport. Members of the Wilton Hunt say they would be tempted to ignore an outright ban amid police fears a change in the law would be unenforceable… But hunt monitor Peter White, of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, says the authorities should not be lenient on the law-breakers…. (story in archive)

Cornwall Packet (10.7.03) MP rues vote on fox issue - Truro and St Austell MP Matthew Taylor says he regrets that the House of Commons rejected the option of licensing hunts as a last resort if other means of controlling foxes fail - but he confirmed he is still supporting the bill to ban fox hunting for sport. He said: "I have always supported an end to traditional mounted fox hunts, on the grounds it is unacceptable as a sport and unnecessary as a form of fox control. I voted to support the Government's original proposal that as a last resort a hunt could be licensed if all other methods of control in an area failed and a particular problem with foxes was proven…" (story in archive)

Cornish Guardian 10.7.03 RELIEF FOR ALL HUNT OPPONENTS - The Commons vote in favour of a complete ban on hunting with dogs is a relief to all those opposed to this cruel sport… Charlotte MacKenzie, Truro (letter)

Cornish Guardian 10.7.03 OPPOSED TO FOX HUNTING AS SPORT - Your report on the vote on fox hunting gives an inaccurate impression about the view taken by Andrew George MP and myself. Both of us have long opposed traditional fox hunting as a sport and neither of us believes that in most cases it is a necessary or effective means of pest control… So we support the Bill in general terms to ban it. Both of us are aware, however, of concerns of some farmers and the Burns Inquiry that in very limited highland areas, it may be the only effective way to deal with a problem fox taking livestock… While we regret the absence of a clause to allow for the possibility of exceptional circumstances, we both continue to support legislation to end this sport. Matthew Taylor MP for Truro/St Austell (letter)

North Devon Journal 10.7.03 NO CREDIBLE DEFENCE LEFT FOR PRO-HUNTING BRIGADE - Judging by the response from hunt supporters during recent television interviews, Journal readers would be excused for thinking that support for hunting has suddenly swung in their favour. Hunt apologists are quoting results from a small number of polls recently commissioned by the Countryside Alliance. However, when examined in a little more detail, they contain questions that are clearly twisted and the responses "sexed-up" in order to help manipulate the outcome… It is somewhat ironic that while watching hunting women wave their pants about in London and insist that the sport is vital for species control, a 300-year-old fox-hunt in Leicestershire has suspended four Masters, an employee and another huntsman, after video evidence was gathered showing a vixen and her cubs being moved to an artificial earth on hunting land. The hunt, called the Cottesmore, is being investigated by the Masters of Foxhounds Association… MR WILLIAMS, Barnstaple (letter)

Argus 10.7.03 Spot on, John - John Parry's article on fox hunting (The Argus, July 4) and the cruelty involved in the religious slaughter of animals is spot on… As for fox hunting, I see yet another child has been savaged by a fox, this time in New Eltham, south east London… -John Harris, Brighton (letter in archive)
Argus 10.7.03 MPs do care - John Parry is rather hard on MPs when he suggests they do not care about cruelty to animals. Some are extremely concerned. Tony Banks has campaigned for animals, has several rescued pets and is a patron of Cats Protection, as is Ann Widdecombe… -Miss R Reeves, Horsham (letter in archive)
Argus 9.7.03 Parry's right - I agree with John Parry (The Argus, July 4) that fox hunting is socially divisive. You only have to speak to people who live in villages where the Hunt has its kennels and stables to know about the type of people who go fox hunting. I lived in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, for six years. This was the home of the South Beds Hunt (now defunct). The only people who could take part in the hunt were gentleman farmers, their families and socially acceptable members of our society… -Doug Lawrence, Saltdean, Brighton (letter in archive)
Argus 4.7.03 Think Of It This Way, by John Parry - The Commons vote for an absolute ban on foxhunting exposes all the spite and nastiness of a class-obsessed Britain. If you think for a single moment the 362 MPs who voted for the ban actually give a damn about cruelty to foxes - get real…. (story in archive)

Hereford Times 10.7.03 Hunting Bill is only the start - GIVEN that the Hereford Times covers an essentially rural area, I was disapppointed the Bill to ban hunting with dogs received so little coverage… This malicious Bill, driven by prejudice is only the beginning, animal rights groups have donated huge sums of money to this Government and are expecting a return on their investment… Miranda Lee, Lower Pentre, Painscastle,Builth Wells. (letter in archive)

Western Gazette 10.7.03 FAITH RESTORED IN DEMOCRACY - It is wishful thinking on the part of Lavinia Rawlins, joint master of the Blackmore Vale and Sparkford Vale Foxhounds, to say that the Hunting Bill, amended to ban all hunting will be more likely to push it further away… Helen Weeks, West Coker Hill, West Coker (letter)

Western Gazette 10.7.03 I AM PREJUDICED Don't the old ritual killers come up with some punchy catchphrases? "Pants to prejudice was our slogan," says joint master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, Lavinia Rawlins (Western Gazette, 3 July) and what of those two girls bodypainted in hunting garb?... Kevan Sheehan, The Cottage, Osmington Mills (letter)


Carmarthen Journal 9.7.03 HUNT BAN MP SPEAKS OUT - Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Nick Ainger is supporting a total ban on hunting with dogs - because he says it is cruel. And he denied that a ban on fox hunting with dogs would have a negative effect on farming in the region…. (story)

Boston Standard 9.7.03 HOUNDED BY HUNT LOBBY - PRO-HUNT campaigners hounded a Government minister as he tried to leave an exhibition near Boston. Southwold Hunt members wanted to ask environment bigwig Elliot Morley why he backed a planned fox-hunting ban when he called in at a demonstration on flooding and land drainage at Bicker Fen on Thursday…. (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 7.7.03 MORLEY'S POLICE ESCORT - Scunthorpe Mp Elliot Morley was given a police escort after being met with pro-hunt campaigners during a visit to Lincolnshire… Ben Slee, a huntsman from the South Wolds Hunt, said despite their attempts to speak to Mr Morley, he sped off… (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 5.7.03 PROTESTERS CONFRONT MINISTER - Environment Minister Elliot Morley MP was confronted by pro-hunt campaigners during a visit to Lincolnshire... Huntsman Ben Slee, from the South Wolds Hunt, said: "His empty car was escorted out by police and he tried to leave by a different route. We caught up with him, but he wasn't going to talk to us..." (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 4.7.03 MP TRIES TO DODGE PROTEST Environment Minister Elliot Morley was confronted by pro-hunt campaigners during a visit to Lincolnshire.... Mr Morley came out at about 5pm and they attempted to speak to him. Huntsman Ben Slee, from the South Wolds Hunt, said: "His empty car was escorted out by police and he tried to leave by a different route. We caught up with him but he wasn't going to talk to us..." (story)

(Yorkshire Post) 9.7.03 Complete hunting ban demand by MP - MORLEY MP Colin Challen has joined fellow Labour back-benchers in demanding a complete ban on fox hunting… (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 9.7.03 Huntsmen vow: We'll carry on by Hannah Hughes - Dedicated huntsmen from Airedale have said they will continue to display their hounds at the Great Yorkshire Show despite controversial attempts to ban the sport. Members of the Airedale Beagles, which has been in existence for more than 100 years, made the comments at the first day of the regional agricultural show yesterday…. (story in archive)

BBC News Online 9.7.03 Hunters emphasise 'reasonable' pursuit by Mark McGregor - As the Government prepares itself for a battle with the House of Lords over the Hunting Bill, BBC News Online speaks to one of the people trying to convince MPs it is the wrong path to follow… at the Great Yorkshire Show, held annually in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, supporters were out in force to hammer their point-of-view home… The Countryside Alliance claims up to 800 jobs would be directly lost in Yorkshire alone, but that the knock on effect would have disastrous consequences for the economic and social fabric of their society. Its hunting campaign director Simon Hart told BBC News Online: "This is an activity which many hundreds of people are involved in…." (story)

Crewe Chronicle 9.7.03 Party split over Hunt Bill - LIKE the Labour Party, Cheshire is split over the hunting issue, with each side thinking it can win… Joint huntmaster of the Cheshire Forest Hunt, Richard de Prez, was philosophical about the potential ban… 'This is really good news for us,' said Paul Timpson, of the North West Hunt Saboteurs… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 9.7.03 WILL HUNTSMEN DEFY LAW... OR GO ABROAD TO FOLLOW HOUNDS? - It is becoming increasingly likely that hunting with hounds will be banned, following an anti-hunt vote in the House of Commons… Steven Kirman explores the options. Steven Kirman explores the options… Margaret Morris, a joint master of the Blankney Hunt, said: "It is always a possibility, but it would be very expensive to keep nipping abroad every week to do it."… James Barclay, a former master of the South Wold Hunt, said those in hunting circles remained adamant that they would not be forced to call a halt to their pastime… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 9.7.03 HUNT BAN MEANS A SICK SLAUGHTER Rachel Astill-dunseith needs to be a little more broad-minded in her utter condemnation of hunting. It is a minority practice but in a democracy, which the UK professes to be, the opinions of minorities should be tolerated and not ruthlessly suppressed… I wonder why those who so deplore cruelty to animals do not turn their attention to far greater abuses; for example, the pigs, chickens and turkeys which are kept in what amount to concentration camp conditions until they are slaughtered for the food market. If that's not cruelty, what is? DAVID WELSH Orchard Road, Fiskerton. (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 3.7.03 Hunt Ban Overdue: The Countryside Alliance does condone the deliberate infliction of suffering on an animal, contrary to Mr Hart's insistence (June 26). Fox hunting performs no conservation purpose nor is it a valid means of population control.... RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 9.7.03 I hope sanity will prevail - I AM writing to you about the Hunting Bill which has just passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons. I have hunted - on foot - for the past 38 years, mostly in Devon, where my husband used to farm, and I am deeply worried about the possibility that hunting might be banned… MARY BRILL, Kirkbymoorside (letter in archive)

Gloucestershire Echo 9.7.03 Madam - I note that our MPs have voted for a total ban on hunting with dogs (Echo, July 1). I also note that, through some procedural lunacy, they were unable to approve a Bill to limit the height of hedgerows causing distress to the people living in their shadow. Bravo foxes, hard luck people. Gerry Ryland, Pittville. (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 9.7.03 Down a fox hole - What a stupid Government. The state this country is in with the NHS, the railways, the roads, asylum seekers' problems, and the MPs are arguing over a few foxes. MR R W TULLOCK, Easterside, Middlesbrough (letter)

Western Daily Press 9.7.03 PART OF HISTORY …Fox and stag hunting are the last vestiges of this historic pastime in this country. If we ban hunting, we are simply denying our past. Name and address supplied. (letter)

Western Daily Press 9.7.03 FISHING THREAT - This Bill is not just an attack upon fox hunting. If it is passed, all sorts of innocent pastimes will be abolished, such as angling. Name and address supplied >(letter)

Western Daily Press 9.7.03 WHAT DO WEST MPS KNOW? …As the majority of MPs who voted to ban hunting were from city constituencies, why should they dictate their will upon people with opposing views, who have forgotten more about wildlife than they will ever learn?... Duncan Warriner Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 9.7.03 PUT PETS DOWN THE SAME WAY Hunt supporters say that fox hunting is not cruel and is a humane way to die. As a nation of animals lovers, when our pets fall ill we take them to the vet to be put to sleep. Why don't we give them to the hunt to finish off - the same way they kill a fox?... Name supplied Dursley Gloucestershire (story)

Western Daily Press 9.7.03 SHOOTING IS NO SOLUTION - Although I do not hunt, I believe the swift and final end of the fox in the jaws of the hounds is the most humane way if their numbers are to be controlled… E Bates Corsham Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 9.7.03 DON'T FORGET THE POOR OLD RAT All these letters to your paper seem very concerned with our furry, cute-looking animals, especially those that are hunted, such as the fox, hare and deer. Has anybody ever got any sympathy with the rat?... At least a hunted animal has a chance of escape or a quick, painless death. I doubt there will ever be a rat hunting/poisoning Bill considered in Parliament. R Bennett Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 9.7.03 CRUEL PASTIME SHOULD HAVE BEEN OUTLAWED LONG AGO What a relief to hear that a ban on hunting is in sight. Fox hunting is a disgrace and should have been banned a long time ago… Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 9.7.03 MP'S DETERMINATION OVER ANIMAL ISSUES - Thank you for the opportunity to give our views regarding the hunting debate. I have never met Tony Banks MP, but know that if ever there is a debate on animal issues, you can count on him… Pamela Dean Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Yorkshire Post 9.7.03 Support for hunts to fight unjust ban 'all the way' From: Irving L Theaker, Lidgett Place, Leeds. THE Government commissioned the Burns Report on foxhunting. It did not justify a ban. It was ignored, because backbench MPs wouldn't accept it….One expects laws to be passed on arguments that have been won. The evidence produced by the Government itself does not justify a total ban… (letter)

Yorkshire Post 9.7.03 Police must enforce law like they did during miners' strike From: Jack Brown, Lamb Lane, Monk Bretton, Barnsley. THE Yorkshire Post's reports make it clear: six years of debate; a free vote on a motion signed by 200 MPs "of all parties"…. I trust that, when hunting is illegal, the police will enforce the law as forcefully as they did when miners were defending their jobs in 1984-5
From: G Turner, Shakespeare Court, Burmantofts, Leeds …I was under the impression that it would still be legal for them to dress up in their fancy clothes, mount their horses, and take their dogs out to follow an artificially laid trail. No unemployment, no dogs destroyed….
From: Dr Sidney Brown, Glenhurst Road, Shipley. DO I infer from today's Yorkshire Post headline ("Yorkshire 'will rise up in revolt at hunt ban'", July 2) that a considerable number of Yorkshire folk intend to break the law should bloodsports be criminalised? Surely this can't include your readers? (letters)

Shepton Mallett Journal 9.7.03 IS THE MP FOR OR AGAINST HUNTING? - Residents of Somerton and Frome have contacted me in the last few days to express outrage that the current Lib Dem MP for Somerton and Frome, David Heath, chose the line of least resistance by abstaining in last week's vote on the bill to outlaw hunting by 2005. His abstention flies in the face of other Lib Dem colleagues in the South West who voted outright against the proposed legislation…. Clive Allen, Parliamentary spokesman, Somerton and Frome Conservatives (letter)

Shropshire Star 9.7.03 What of all the dogs? I am appalled at the response of people who want hunting with dogs banned. What will happen to the poor hounds? Put to death, I suppose… M Morse, Llangedwyr (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 9.7.03 HOUNDS WILL ALL BE PUT DOWN Having just read the article on banning hunting with hounds I feel I have to say what a complete farce this is all becoming. The country is going to rack and ruin, and all we can find to do is put thousands of hardworking people out of work and sentence hundreds of hounds and dozens of horses to death…. DARREN PRICE, (Address supplied) (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 9.7.03 NEARLY THERE IN BAN ON HUNTING I Would like to thank the MPs of all parties who supported Tony Banks regarding a total ban on hunting… PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Stroud (letter)

Bucks Herald 9.7.03 VIEWS ON THE HUNTING DEBATE - Two years until the last Vale hunt?' read your headline of July 2. I and many other supporters of liberty and tolerance hope that this will indeed not be the case as a ban on hunting would be an attack on an integral part of our rural heritage and a victory for intolerance, narrow-mindedness and a misguided attitude to animal welfare…. William Mathews, Quainton
I and my family would welcome a complete ban on fox hunting as soon as possible… G.F.Angell, V.B.Angell, S.Barber, T.Weaver by e-mail (letters)


Warrington Guardian 8.7.03 Fur flies as MPs back a ban on fox hunting …Both Warrington South MP Helen Southworth and Warrington North MP Helen Jones joined a huge majority in supporting a total ban in a House of Commons vote last week… But Lymm councillor Sheila Woodyatt said the Government should spend its time on more important issues such as health and education… (story in archive)

Windsor Observer 8.7.03 Hunt ban is only a start – MP - BANNING fox hunting now could set a precedent for other sports and pastimes to be outlawed. That is the view of Windsor MP Michael Trend, who voted against the ban proposed by Government last week…. (story in archive)

Shropshire Star 8.7.03 Hunt ban will bring chaos to country - A ban on hunting will, as the Burns inquiry concluded, not reduce cruelty or suffering to wild animals. The real agenda of the left wing politicians who support the Bill is probably one of the class war… W F Kerswell, Church Stretton (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 8.7.03 WASTE OF TIME IN PARLIAMENT - It Is so good to see our foxes are at last going to be safe with this Government's proposed ban on foxhunting. It is however an absolute travesty that the Parliamentary time spent on this issue of dubious public benefit was not invested tackling the real problems facing this country… With the Government wasting its time on such peripheral issues as Foxhunting, the future is definitely bleak for those who cannot look after their own interests. What price a land where foxes thrive while society dies out? KIM HARRISON, Barnwood (letter)

Worcester Evening News 8.7.03 New Labour's war on the countryside - PARLIAMENT should set and maintain an example of tolerance and rational behaviour. Instead, we see an elective dictatorship that seems to have lost all sense of proportion and fairness, as evidenced in the hunting debate…. Only 2 per cent of the public think the banning of hunting should be a priority at all…. It is a perverse and disreputable Government that allows itself to be hijacked by self-righteous zealots who behave towards some of their fellow citizens with all the subtlety and sensitivity of brawling playground bullies. ERIC H JONES (Dr), Guarlford, Near Malvern (letter in archive)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 8.7.03 UNBRIDLED SPITE RULES FOX DEBATE - The Hunting Bill had a further day's consideration by The Commons Standing Committee on July 3 and was rewritten as a total ban with no compensation for those whom the Government accepts will lose both their homes and livelihoods as a direct consequence of the legislation. Anyone with lingering doubts as to the real motivation of those in Parliament who seek to ban hunting, had only to listen to the malice with which those who would lose their jobs and homes were advised to visit their local job centres… The mother of Parliaments can take great pride in its history and the consideration it gives to multitudes of minorities… But when it comes to an ancient minority of its own indigenous people it closes its eyes to spiteful bigotry. It makes me ashamed to be British. PETER PRESLAND West Midlands Regional Chairman Countryside Alliance (letter)


Cumberland News & Star 7.7.03 MP PLEDGES WAR ON HUNT BAN BILL - IT is morally wrong for MPs to ban hunting just because they don't like it, according to David Maclean, MP for Penrith and the Border… Sue Harrison, deputy regional director for the Landowners' Asso ciation in the North West and Cum bria, said: "This issue was supposed to be about animal welfare, but the Hunting Bill could lead to more animal cruelty - not less… (story)

Yorkshire Post 7.7.03 Police chief's fears over hunting ban enforcement - A YORKSHIRE Chief Constable has warned that police would face serious practical difficulties enforcing a ban on hunting. North Yorkshire Chief Constable Della Cannings, whose area contains 19 packs of foxhounds, beagles and harriers, told the Yorkshire Post abolition could prove a logistical nightmare for police. While stopping short of declaring that the sort of ban approved last week by a large majority of MPs was unenforceable, she hinted that her priorities may lie in other areas such as reducing violent crime, burglary and vandalism…. (story)

Telegraph 7.7.03 Ban on hunting is just the beginning By Charlie Brooks - There are three particularly infuriating aspects to the proposed total ban on hunting. Firstly, it is so obviously a sop from New Labour to Old Labour to buy their silence. Secondly, it is detrimental to animal welfare, and thirdly, it opens the floodgates to organisations such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals to pursue their own prejudiced agenda and have a crack at horse racing… Recently the membership of the RSPCA voted to start meddling with horseracing. In the process, they made themselves the laughing stock of the equine world… It is interesting that the RSPCA had a vote on racehorse leisure time. Have they had a vote on whether it is acceptable to lock budgies in cages? How about dogs being kept in tower blocks and not being exercised properly?... No, they haven't voted on those issues, and I'll tell you why. They are, in my view, a bunch of hypocrites who considerhunting and racing to be the preserve of the rich while the other issues apply predominantly to the poor. (story)

Telegraph 7.7.03 Notebook By W F Deedes - Has this Government ditched foxhunting, or might the end of foxhunting ditch this Government? The next election will be close, and I suspect the Prime Minister was right in supposing that an outright ban could well turn out to be a minus rather than a plus for Labour…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 7.7.03 HORSE CHARITY'S FEARS ON HUNT BAN - A Bristol horse charity is concerned about the welfare of thousands of horses if hunting with hounds is banned. HorseWorld in Whitchurch rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes horses, ponies and donkeys. Chief executive James Cretney said: "HorseWorld is neutral on the subject of hunting with dogs. "But regardless of anyone's view on hunting, one thing is for sure - any action that limits the usefulness of a horse or reduces the economic value of the animal will ultimately lead to the welfare of the equine being compromised…. (story)

Western Daily Press 7.7.03 TOO SOFT ON HUNTING BILL - Labour Mp Tony Banks hit out at politicians at the "top level" today for lacking the political will to force through a ban on hunting with hounds. Mr Banks, speaking on GMTV's Sunday Programme, admitted Parliament has "much further to go" after a vote to ban the blood sport… (story)
Western Morning News 7.7.03 MP ON THE ATTACK OVER DELAYS IN IMPOSING BAN - Labour mp Tony Banks hit out at politicians at the "top level" yesterday, for lacking the political will to force through a ban on hunting with hounds…. (story)
BBC News Online 6.7.03 'Lack of will' for hunt battle - Parliament still has a fight on its hands if opponents of hunting with dogs are to achieve a ban, former Labour minister Tony Banks has said.... Mr Banks also attacked members of the hunting community who complained they risked being turned into criminals in the event of a hunt ban. "People talk about us criminalising people - no, people criminalise themselves," he said. "We pass the laws and if people disobey them, they criminalise themselves..." (story)
Ananova 6.7.03 Political will 'lacking' on hunting, says MP - Labour MP Tony Banks has hit out at top level politicians for lacking the political will to force through a ban on hunting with hounds. Mr Banks, speaking on GMTV's Sunday Programme, admitted Parliament has "much further to go" following a vote to ban the blood sport... (story)

Western Morning News 7.7.03 WE'LL BRING UK TO A HALT - Pro-hunting groups are to harass Government ministers in public and turn to civil unrest in a desperate bid to block a total hunt ban… One Westcountry hunter, with close links to breakaway group the Real Countryside Alliance, said: "There are thousands of us, and we will rise up against anyone who tries to stop us hunting…" (story)
Western Morning News 7.7.03 'DIRECT ACTION' IN FIGHT FOR HUNTING - PAUL ANDREWS - Hunt supporters are to harry Government ministers and carry out acts of civil disorder in a two-pronged attack aimed at preventing a total hunting ban… The Countryside Alliance (CA) is planning to hound senior politicians whenever they make an appearance anywhere in the country, and is setting up a full-time unit with the task of "hounding the ministers"…. But the Real CA has taken this threat a step further, saying it will target backbench MPs and senior figures from the National Trust and the RSPCA for a campaign of intimidation…. (story)
Western Morning News 7.7.03 ALLIANCE URGES SUPPORTERS TO WRITE TO LORDS - With the Hunting Bill now heading for the Lords, the Countryside Alliance is appealing for hunt supporters to write to peers and request their support in the next round of debate… (story)

Western Morning News 7.7.03 HUNTERS MAY START TO LOOK ABROAD - Westcountry hunters are already planning to travel abroad to take part in the sport if a total ban is introduced. France, Ireland, America and even Russia all offer hunting holidays, and are preparing for a sudden surge in bookings from the UK… Mikus Lindemann, a London banker and member of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said he would travel overseas if hunting were banned across Britain… (story)
Sunday Telegraph 6.7.03 'Taiaut!' British huntsmen seek foreign fields By Susan Bisset - Tally-ho . . . or perhaps that should that be "Taiaut!" Thousands of British hunters are planning to pursue their sport in France, Ireland, America and Russia if, or, as seems increasingly likely, when it is banned across Britain... Simon Hart, the director of the Campaign for Hunting, warned, however, that hunting holidays were beyond the reach of most British enthusiasts and added that the effects of a ban in England and Wales would be devastating for the rural economy.... (story)

Hull Daily Mail 7.7.03 HUNT BACKED BY EURO MP - Fox hunters in East Yorkshire have won an important ally in the fight to save their traditional pastime. Holderness Hunt has received the backing of Euro MP Robert Goodwill after Parliament voted to outlaw all hunting with hounds. He visited the hunt kennels at Etton, near Beverley, to meet staff who stand to lose their jobs if the proposed ban eventually becomes law… (story)
Yorkshire Post 5.7.03 Euro-MP joins fight to save hunt - A YORKSHIRE Euro-MP accused Tony Blair of placating Old Labour with a piece of "political red meat" yesterday over his handling of the hunting with dogs issue. Robert Goodwill met members and staff of the historic Holderness Hunt amid warnings that the countryside was "under siege".... (story)

Western Mail 7.7.03 Hunting activists threaten chaos if ban is passed - Colin Hughes, The Western Mail - A CAMPAIGN of civil disobedience drawn up by militant pro-hunting activists threatens to bring chaos to Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom… Mr Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said yesterday, "We are not trying to promote or condone acts of anger, but things will happen that none of us approve of…" (story)
Western Mail 7.7.03 Putting the party first . . . Steve Dube, The Western Mail - THE ban on hunting will be widely seen as another sign of the gulf in understanding between city and countryside. But it is more than that. Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael's compromise licensing system failed through political incompetence… Mr Michael and Tony Blair are well aware this is a bad law. So why has it been passed? The answer can be found in party politics. This is a Government that has upset its backbenchers… In the end this was one issue where it could give them what they wanted. In the end the countryside - and common sense - was expendable. (story)
Western Mail 7.7.03 Commons vote for 'anarchy' - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - THE House of Commons has voted for anarchy in the countryside by voting to ban the traditional fox hunt… Senior police officers have warned that it will be practically impossible to stop and arrest hunts people on horseback and seize their horses and hounds and horses…. Dai Jones, Joint Master of the Carmarthenshire Hunt, said there were five or six different packs in Carmarthenshire alone. He says he will continue to hunt if that is what farmers and landowners want and also predicts that police would be unable to cope… The FUW's senior policy officer Rhian Nowell-Phillips said the ban on the use of dogs would create more animal welfare problems than it solved….The British Association for Shooting and Conservation said the vote for a complete ban on fox hunting made a bad Bill worse. "BASC remains opposed to the Hunting Bill and is working to ensure that it does not adversely affect shooting," said a spokesman. (story)
Western Mail 7.7.03 Poll says don't override the Lords - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - THE Government should not facilitate the use of the Parliament Act and disregard the House of Lords on the Hunting Bill, warns a new ICM poll commissioned by the Countryside Alliance… Only 27% said the Lords should be ignored but 52% said the Government should take their views into account… (story)
Western Mail 7.7.03 'End this barbarism' - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - ANIMAL welfare organisations celebrated after the House of Commons vote last week and said the ban could come into effect by November next year. "The cruelty of hunting with dogs in modern society is unacceptable," said Phyllis Campbell-McRae, UK director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare…. (story)

St Albans Observer 7.7.03 MP welcomes Commons vote against foxhunting By Aaron Bateman - ST ALBANS MP Kerry Pollard has welcomed last week's Parliamentary vote to outlaw fox hunting, describing the practice as cruel and vicarious…. (story)

Times 7.7.03 Hunting debate divides society - From the comments of the vast majority of those who seek to ban foxhunting (letters, July 5, etc), it is apparent that, almost without exception, they know practically nothing about the sport they seek to abolish, but this does not deter them from relying on arguments which are without foundation… GABRIEL HUTTON, (Chairman of the Berkeley Hunt), Chestal House, Dursley, Gloucestershire GL11 5AA.
The claim by hunt organisations that “at least 17,000 hounds would have to be destroyed if a ban on hunting came into effect” (report, July 2) is disingenuous. If hunters care so much for their hounds, why do they routinely shoot them?... PHYLLIS CAMPBELL-McRAE, UK Director, IFAW, 87-90 Albert Embankment, SE1 7UD.
Dogs tearing an animal to pieces, encouraged by humans, is unacceptable… PETER JONAS, 82 Ingrebourne Gardens, Upminster, Essex RM14 1BW
Why does the mass of Labour MPs single out hunting with hounds for particular attention? Angling causes pain to a much greater number of sentient beings; but of course there are too many angling voters… I have never had the slightest interest in hunting, shooting or fishing. My concern is with liberty. Yours truly, H. J. BAKER, 8 Grovelands, Lower Bourne, Farnham, Surrey GU10 3RQ (letters)

Yorkshire Post 7.7.03 Foxes put the hounds at risk - From: P Capstick, Old School House, Hellifield, Skipton - So the Government is trying its best to ban foxhunting. Foxes are vermin and need to be controlled in the kindest possible way. A fox kills for sport without eating any of its prey often. By hunting with hounds a fox is either killed instantly or it gets away unscathed… (letter)

Worcester Evening News 7.7.03 Hunt wrangle - I DO not agree with the remarks made by R W Hawker (You Say, June 28). I feel the Government should settle the hunting debate once and for all… J NORWOOD, Kidderminster. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 28.6.03 Hunting low on list of priorities - THE results of an opinion poll just published by NOP will make interesting reading for the few individuals who persist in writing to the Evening News demanding that hunting and all other country pursuits be banned. From a list, the poll asked what were the most important problems for the Government to tackle at present. The NHS was top with 35 per cent. After this came asylum seekers at 31 per cent, followed by education and anti-social behaviour at 17 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. Hunting was very bottom of the list.... R W HAWKER, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 7.7.03 FOXES ARE STILL A PEST - So, it looks as if fox-hunting with dogs is to be banned… Perhaps the hunt could come down the Parade before they disband. Foxes are a real pest now, digging up the gardens, soiling the lawns, and tearing the bin bags to shreds. Ray Hewitt, Oadby. >(letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 7.7.03 SARAH'S LAW IS TOTALLY IGNORED - Can someone explain to me why the House of Commons can vote to ban fox hunting. Yet something like Sarah's Law, which aims to protect our children by allowing the public to know about paedophiles living in their area, keeps getting swept under the carpet… ALAN JOINSON Bentilee (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 7.7.03 HUNTING? PART OF OUR PAST, LIKE BULL-BAITING - Fox-hunting? It is perfectly natural for foxes to hunt and all species in order to feed themselves and rear young. That has been the way of life on Earth. Yet we humans have not always hunted for food but have been bloodthirsty hunters in pursuit of pleasure, turning hunting into a blood sport…. (Name and address supplied). (letter)

Manchester Evening News 7.7.03 Some sport! - WHEN one of the pro-hunt supporters stated on TV that they are entitled to their “entertainment,” just as townsfolk have theirs, she gave the game away… We must hope that this time democracy is allowed to work, as it was in Scotland, and that the overwhelming vote – again – for a total ban on hunting is respected. H Addie, Manchester (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 7.7.03 THINK OF THE EXTRA COST - As an urban dweller who does not engage in country pursuits, I wonder whether, when several of our local MPs voted in favour of a complete ban on hunting with hounds, they considered how much the enforcement of that ban by the Gloucestershire Constabulary will cost the taxpayer… Duncan Douglas, Cheltenham (letter)


Sunday Times 6.7.03 English hunters look to Scotland - ENGLISH hunters have threatened to move to Scotland to exploit a loophole in the foxhunting ban if the sport is prohibited south of the border…. “Many of us don’t believe a ban will happen in England,” said Roddy Baird, master of the Morpeth hunt in Northumberland, “but it is conceivable that Scotland could become the only place (in mainland Britain) where a form of hunting could continue.”… (story)

Sunday Times 6.7.03 Comment: Jenny Hjul: Backlash from the shires foxed by English apathy -The spectre of seething Englishmen and women, stiff upper lips trembling in fury as they finally run out of patience with their nippy northern neighbours, is an unnerving one. But, we are warned, this is what Scotland faces following the fall-out from the hunting bill tabled at Westminster last week... without wishing to indulge in a Berlusconi-style bout of national stereotyping, the grounds for English disenchantment at the moment are perfectly legitimate... But I don’t see it. The English — by far the bigger partner in the Union — play off a handicap, which they accept, if not with grace, then with resignation or boredom.... (story)

Sunday Telegraph 6.7.03 Catholic primate calls for debate on embryo research before fox-hunting By Chris Hastings - Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, has criticised MPs for wasting parliamentary time on fox-hunting while ignoring "alarming" developments in embryo research... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 6.7.03 Foxes matter less than the future of our species By Cormac Murphy O'Connor - This week we finally got the wake-up call we needed. While foxes dominated the news from Parliament, the rest of the country was reeling from reports that scientists in Israel and the Netherlands had "successfully" removed the immature ovaries from an aborted foetus, and matured the eggs in a laboratory... The ethical implications of developments concerning the beginning and end of life are, at best, highly contentious. For many they are positively frightening. They are certainly more alarming for most of us than the prospect of fox-hunting being allowed to continue under licence, or that the risk of cross-pollination between GM and non-GM crops has been underestimated... (story)

Sunday Telegraph 6.7.03 A dog that bites when kicked By Nigel Farndale... Though I come from a hunting background, I feel neutral about the sport... Then I saw the crowd of anti-hunt campaigners outside the Commons with their sour faces and all that hate in their eyes and I felt quite sick. Any sympathy I had for their cause slipped away. The pro-hunt lobby should encourage these shrill, ugly people to protest wherever and whenever they can. (story)

Observer 6.7.03 Pro-hunt extremists threaten to wreck reservoirs and railways - Anushka Asthana and Paul Harris - Militant pro-hunting groups are planning to cause chaos across Britain with a campaign of direct action that will disrupt railways and telecommunications, and target specific MPs and anti-hunting lobbyists... The campaign is to be spearheaded by the breakaway Real Countryside Alliance, a direct action group disavowed by the CA.... The threats come amid calls for calm from other outspoken hunting activists. Janet George, who heads the Countryside Action Network, said that she was afraid that extremists would commit acts of violence... Philosopher Roger Scruton said he would have no qualms about breaking the law if a ban came into place... (story)

Luton on Sunday 5.7.03 Hunt fury - HUNTERS in our area say they are furious that MPs voted for an outright ban on the practice this week. Kensworth-based huntsman Jonathan Dick says the Government has it in for country pursuits enthusiasts and claims that since a hunting ban was introduced in Scotland, more foxes are actually suffering.... Defending the ancient sport, Aylesbury Vale huntsman Mr Dick said: "It's terribly sad for the Government of a democratic country to attempt to ban something solely based on prejudice. There is no scientific evidence to back a ban..." (story)

Sunday Mercury 6.7.03 Hunt ban MP tells of death threats By Fionnuala Burke, Sunday Mercury - "I'll rip your entrails out!” It is just one of the chilling death threats that Midland MP Mike Foster has endured during his long fight to ban fox hunting.... “The death threats started when I first proposed a ban on hunting with dogs,” he said…" (story)

People 6.7.03 DAVID MELLOR - MAN OF THE PEOPLE: HUNT BAN NOT A REAL PRIORITY - AT a time when more and more voters are increasingly convinced the Government has lost the plot was it really wise of Labour MPs last week to make us all think the only thing they care about is banning fox hunting?... (story)

People 6.7.03 LETTERS: READER'S LETTER - WHILE the country goes to the dogs with the NHS and the rail system in chaos, all MPs can do is vote yet again on a fox hunting ban.... John Marsh, Bristol (letter)


Guardian 5.7.03 Hunt activists to hound ministers - Protest unit plans campaign of tracking and harassment - Stuart Millar - Hunt supporters are planning a campaign of public harassment of government ministers whenever they make an appearance anywhere in the country, as part of a desperate rearguard action to head off a total ban on hunting.... the Guardian has learned that the Countryside Alliance is setting up a full-time unit with the task of organising the "hounding of ministers".... Key players saddling up for the chase - Simon Hart - Chief executive designate, Countryside Alliance... Janet George - Countryside Action Network... David Harcombe - Editor of Earth Dog Running Dog... Edward Duke - Real Countryside Alliance... He is a member of the Middleton hunt in Yorkshire and was, briefly, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance... (story)

Western Morning News 5.7.03 MORE STRIFE AHEAD OVER HUNT BAN BILL - After an extraordinary week in the battle over the future of hunting, how much closer are we now to an outright ban? According to the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance, it's not hunting that's dead, but the Hunting Bill... But what cannot be denied is that other issues of greater importance than hunting deserve the Government's attention far more at this moment. To be bringing forward a Bill to outlaw hunting when the conflict in Iraq remains unresolved, parts of the NHS are buckling under pressure and the transport network is in crisis, beggars belief... (story)

Western Daily Press 5.7.03 MORE THAN 50 YEARS OF MPS' ATTEMPTS TO BAN HUNTING - There is a long history of attempts to ban fox hunting; here is a look back at some of the key moments. 1949 - Two Private Member's Bills to ban, or restrict, hunting fail to make it to the statute books... (story)
Western Daily Press 5.7.03 WE'VE GOT THE HUNTSMEN ON THE RUN - Active hunt saboteur Richard England rejects any assumption he is a townie who knows little about rural life... Earlier this year, Ernest and Denise Whitty, from Globbens Paul in Penzance, Cornwall, claimed they were hounded from their home because of their strong anti-hunting stance.... Debbie Vincent, an active hunt saboteur in the South West, said: "The saboteurs movement started with direct action back in the 1960s. People were protesting against fox hunting but in the short-term wanted to attempt to save animals' lives."... (story)

Worcester Evening News 5.7.03 Hunt ban blasted - ENFORCING a hunting ban would be "an absurd waste of police time" a local MP has said. Reacting to Chief Constable of Suffolk Alastair McWhirter's warning that there would be "practical difficulties" in enforcing the law, Leominster MP Bill Wiggin said police had more important priorities.... (story in archive)

Darlington & Stockton Times 5.7.03 Hunting Bill 'terminally damaged' say campaigners - THE Countryside Alliance says the Government has wrecked its hunting with dogs bill by voting overwhelmingly for a complete ban... (story in archive)

Times 5.7.03 Police attitude to hunting ban - The contention by Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter that the Suffolk Constabulary would be unable to enforce a ban on hunting (Comment, July 3) is a sad reflection on the competence of the officers under his command... PETER ALLEN, 53 Chute Avenue, High Salvington, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3DS.
The Police Service may be “determinedly neutral” in its approach to hunting issues, but I fear that Mr McWhirter’s article could be seen by those who have already announced their intentions of disregarding the hunting legislation as a thinly disguised permission to hunt by default, with the various police forces either unwilling or unable to act.... TIM COOPER, Holly Villa, Langton Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0HP (letters)

Western Morning News 5.7.03 I REFER to your excellent reports regarding the Hunt Ban Bill. I am neutral in the debate because, as a retired police officer, I have had to police hunt meetings in the past and have seen what both sides to the argument get up to during a meet... The conduct of some hunt saboteurs verges on anarchy but, because of the lack of manpower at the time, nothing could be done to invoke the public order laws.... I agree with Candy Atherton's comment, "It was not the job of the police to tell Parliament which laws it could pass" but does she live in the real world when she says "I do not accept what he (the Chief Constable of Suffolk) has said; I believe that this law can be enforced." Does she really think that the police service can find hundreds of extra personnel to stop the hunts - particularly if they all meet on the same day?... It is far better to leave the status quo than to pass a bad law. Mike Andrews, Barnstaple (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 5.7.03 The encouraging determination of a large majority of our elected representatives to ensure that Parliament goes forward with the complete ban on bloodsports gives all of us who feel that majority decisions, openly and peacefully debated, are at the very heart of our democracy.... Dr Sid Brown, Glenhurst Road, Shipley. (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 5.7.03 Law and ordure - I WAS interested to read that supporters of the Countryside Alliance plan to dump manure on the doorstep of anti-hunting MPs (July 1). In the same issue, I read that owners of horse-drawn carriages are fighting for the right of their horses to defecate all over our beautiful city. Cannot these two groups put their heads together to the benefit of us all (apart from the MPs, of course, but who will shed a tear for them)?... Terry Gallogly, Lowther Court, York
I WHOLEHEARTEDLY support the MPs who are opposed to hunting with dogs.... Pat Onions, Westgate, Pickering. (letters in archive)

Western Daily Press 5.7.03 NO CHICKENS LEFT TO COUNT Blair cub Michael Foster, the MP for Worcester, is quoted as saying, after the vote on hunting: "But I will not count my chickens. I will wait until I have a piece of paper entitled the Hunting Act". Once the dog's breakfast of a Bill is passed, there will be no chickens left to count. John Hatton Cainscross Stroud (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.7.03 POISON'S ANOTHER THREAT TO CUBS IN OUR AREA I write in response to your recent caption to a picture of two sweet little fox cubs. How wrong I think you are in writing: "Easier times: These fox cubs can look forward to fewer worries if hunting is outlawed by Parliament." In fact, just the opposite is true. I have no strong views for or against hunting, but what I do know is that foxes will have a much tougher time without it.... Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.7.03 WHO SAYS WE ARE A DEMOCRATIC NATION? - What a crazy country we live in. After the last general election, the politicians were bemoaning the low turnout at the polls and there were all sorts of theories as to why the electorate was apathetic. Just look at the recent shambles over the Hunting Bill... A democratically elected House of Commons has on more than one occasion passed a bill to outlaw hunting with dogs, every time with a substantial majority. Each time, the will of the Commons has been overturned by the members of an unelected House of Lords who have a vested interest.... John Crole, Street, Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.7.03 A FOX ATTACK IN OUR PADDOCK LEFT 19 DUCKLINGS DEAD - THEY HAD NO CHANCE ... I suppose the next suggestions will be to make the fox a protected animal like the badger. Like the badger, there are far too many foxes about and they are cruel animals and need to be kept under control. We need the hunt to help cull them. Helen Capel Winscombe North Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.7.03 ENFORCE THE BAN I would like to congratulate all the MPs who had the courage to defy the bullies of the blood sports brigade and vote decisively for a total ban on hunting.... Terry Sessford, Wincanton, Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.7.03 WHY WE NEED COUNTRY SPORTS - I'm not in favour of, or against, fox hunting, but I feel the countryside would suffer without hunting, shooting and fishing... D P Smith, Salisbury, Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.7.03 NEVER BE CRUEL TO CLAY PIGEONS - I hold no strong opinions regarding the hunting debate. I recognise the arguments for and against, but I do care passionately about freedom and the British way of life, and daily see it being eroded by the loony Left. Will the anglers and fishermen be next, and how about the old lady who keeps a budgie in a cage? Will she be denying it its freedom?... Frank Melhuish, Coleford, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.7.03 LET'S BE READY FOR CIVIL UNREST - Neither the fox nor those who hunt should yet despair! The politicians have proved once again how unfit they are to represent, let alone govern the people of this country... Parliament has no authority to impose its will in this manner and will invite civil unrest on a scale unseen since the 17th century if it proceeds with this outrageous interference with our liberty. John Gouriet, Chairman Defenders of the Realm, Cheltenham (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.7.03 FISHING BAN IS NEEDED - A recent scientific report proved that fish are sensitive to pain. In the light of this, no further action should be taken to ban fox-hunting until a similar ban is imposed on fishing. But, as Mike Foster, who first brought the Bill, and loud-mouthed Labour backbencher Tony Banks are both fishermen, this is extremely unlikely... Ron Tanner, Nesley, Tetbury, Gloucestershire (letter)


Harrogate Advertiser 4.7.03 Hunt supporters vow to battle on - LOCAL hunt supporters have vowed to fight on as MPs this week voted for a total ban which could affect hundreds of jobs in the Hambleton and Richmondshire area.... In this week's protest, local female hunt supporters formed part of a 500 strong group of women who held a vigil overnight on Sunday, camping out in the rain. Others, including six women from the Bilsdale Hunt near Thirsk, arrived on the Monday to swell the female protesters to about 3,000.... Mounted hunts in this area include the Bedale Hunt, Zetland Hunt near Richmond, Hurworth Hunt in the Northallerton area, Bilsdale Hunt near Thirsk, and the West of Yore Hunt, which covers Ripon to Northallerton, while there are several beagle hunts on foot, such as the Catterick Beagles, York and Ainsty Hunt and Northern Counties Mink Hounds... (story)

Telegraph 4.7.03 Police fear hunt ban will turn people against them - A ban on hunting with dogs will create friction between police and some rural communities and divert resources from the fight against crime, police chiefs have told Government and Parliament. Days after a Commons vote for an outright ban on hunting, the Association of Chief Police Officers said the public did not regard the enforcement of a hunting ban as a high priority… Chris Fox, the association's president, said: "A total ban on hunting with dogs will bring us into conflict with parts of the rural community and shake confidence in the police in those areas."… Police ejected a group of Real Countryside Alliance field sport supporters from Parliament yesterday after they disrupted a committee considering plans to ban foxhunting. (story)
Western Morning News 4.7.03 POLICE FEARS AS BAN LOOMS - Bill could prove a massive drain on resources and damage community relations in the countryside. Alastair McWhirter, rural policing spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said that although the police would work to enforce any new law, rural forces were dreading a hunt ban…. But Candy Atherton, Labour MP for Falmouth and Camborne, said it was not the job of the police to tell Parliament which laws it could pass… (story)
Newcastle Journal 4.7.03 Police dreading ban on hunting - Farcical scenes could result if police try to enforce a complete ban on hunting with dogs, it was warned last night… Suffolk Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter, rural spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers, speaking on behalf of all his fellow chief constables, said: "Parliament's vote for an outright ban on hunting fills many of my fellow officers with dread…" (story)
Eastern Daily Press 3.7.03 'Hunt ban hard to enforce' -police chief - MARTIN BARSBY - A chief constable has fanned the flames of the bitter fox-hunting row by warning that a total ban would be impossible to enforce and that the prospect filled his officers with dread… The comments were praised by Liz Mort, of the Countryside Alliance, who said they raised a “very good point”…. Lawrie Payne, of the League Against Cruel Sports, attacked the chief constable's remarks… (story)
BBC News Online 3.7.03 Fears over police enforcing hunt ban - A police chief constable has warned that a total ban on fox-hunting would be impossible to enforce and the prospect filled many officers with dread. Alastair McWhirter, Chief Constable of Suffolk and rural spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said there was also a fear that activists would turn their attention on shooting, leading to possible deaths.... (story)
Independent 3.7.03 Police chief says hunting ban 'impossible to enforce' By Lyndsay Moss, PA News - A chief constable warned today that a total ban on fox-hunting would be impossible to enforce and the prospect filled many officers with dread.... (story)
Times 3.7.03 Police chiefs 'dread' enforcing hunt ban BY VALERIE ELLIOTT AND STEWART TENDLER POLICE chiefs warn the Government today that a blanket ban on fox-hunting would be almost impossible to enforce. One chief constable says that he will not spend precious resources snooping on people hunting on private land, and that he will put action against illegal hunts behind dealing with road accidents and robberies on his list of priorities. Writing in The Times on the day the Hunting Bill goes to a Commons committee after Monday’s overwhelming vote for an outright ban, Alastair McWhirter says the new law fills police officers with dread... (story)
Times 3.7.03 Police have neither the money nor the manpower to hound illegal foxhunters - ALASTAIR MCWHIRTER - Forget the fox, the police are the pigs in the middle and have frequently been called so by both sides in the hunting debate.... The author is Chief Constable of Suffolk Constabulary and the rural policing spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (story)
Anglia TV 3.7.03 Police chief warns fox hunting ban cannot be enforced - Suffolk's chief constable entered the fox hunting debate today by warning that a total ban is filling many officers with dread because it could not be enforced (story in archive)

Kent/Sussex Courier 4.7.03 ANGER AS FOX HUNTING BAN GOES THROUGH - The PRO-fox hunting lobby in West Kent was gunning for the heads of Parliament backbenchers after they pushed through a total ban on hunting in the House of Commons... NFU Edenbridge and Sevenoaks group secretary Andrew Siggs said: "It is purely a matter of political expediency. It is something that the Labour backbenchers have always been determined to ban."... Jeff Pegrum is master of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt and said: "The bill has to go back to committee before going to the Lords, but by the time it comes back it will run out of time in this session and it will be back to square one."... (story)

Grantham Journal 4.7.03 HUNT WILL FIGHT TOTAL BAN - Belvoir Hunt committee chairman Victoria Owen remained upbeat this week about the future of hunting with dogs after the House of Commons voted for an outright ban. Mrs Owen, who took part in the pro-hunting women's vigil in Parliament Square on Monday, felt the decision was likely to hamper the Government's plans to stop hunting… But Coun Mike Williams, chairman of the Labour group on South Kesteven District Council, was pleased with the Commons 362 to 154 vote for a total ban and was confident the Government would eventually force the bill through…. Labour group leader John Hurst said: "There cannot be any compromise over cruelty to animals…" (story)

Times 4.7.03 Protesters disrupt progress of Hunt Bill BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE Countryside Alliance pleaded with members last night not to take the law into their own hands after MPs’ decision to ban hunting with dogs. The warning came after a commotion in the Commons yesterday when seven activists, believed to be members of the militant Real CA, disrupted a hearing of MPs scrutinising the Hunting Bill in its committee stage.... One of the group, Tom Bowden, 20, a student, who rides with the Middleton hunt in Yorkshire, said: “I am a hunt supporter and it is my sport and other people’s lives they are playing with..." (story)
Newcastle Journal 4.7.03 Hunt supporters in protest at MP's talks - Police ejected a group of field sport supporters from Parliament yesterday after they disrupted a committee considering plans to ban foxhunting. The protesters held up makeshift A4 placards reading "Bigots" and "Banning Hunting is Discrimination" as they sat in the public seats in a House of Commons committee room…. Tom Bowden, a student from Yorkshire who rides with the Middleton Hunt, explained the reason for his participation in the protest. "They are playing with people's lives and the jobs of friends of mine who work for the hunt," he said… (story)
BBC News Online 3.7.03 Protester thrown out of Commons - A Nottinghamshire man has been thrown out of the House of Commons - for his part in a protest against proposals to ban fox hunting…. The protestors call themselves the Real Countryside Alliance, and say the original organisation has become too moderate. (story)

Western Daily Press 4.7.03 FARCICAL BILL IS SO FULL OF PREJUDICE - Henry Berkeley is joint master of the Berkeley Hunt, which dates from the Middle Ages and is one of the country's oldest. He says the effect on the rural community would be catastrophic, but he is confident the bill will not become law.... (story)
Western Daily Press 4.7.03 A VILLAGE SCENTING DOOMSDAY - It's lunchtime at the Salutation Inn and landlady Bridget Dailly is serving her only customer a single malt whisky. The pub should be teeming with regulars at this time of day, but the only person drinking at the bar, next to walls adorned with pictures of hounds and horses, is a retired huntsman.... "If hunting is banned, I don't think the league will continue and there will be no trade at all half the weekend."... (story)
Western Daily Press 4.7.03 POLITICIANS SEEM OUT OF TOUCH - Mike Harding, who has looked after the hunt's horses and tack room for three years, believes politicians are out of touch with the countryside.... (story)
Western Daily Press 4.7.03 HUNTING A WAY OF LIFE FOR FAMILY - Chris Maiden, can trace his family's connections to the Berkeley Hunt back to 1610. The father-of-five, a huntsman for 20 years, is in charge of the kennels and hounds' well-being.... (story)

Western Morning News 4.7.03 TACTICAL VOTING CAUSES QUITE A STIR - Reports that pro-hunting MPs were urged not to block a total hunting ban have been greeted with a mixed response from both sides of the debate.... Diana Scott, Joint Master of Devon & Somerset Staghounds, said: "What goes on in the corridors of Parliament we can only imagine...." (story)
Western Morning News 4.7.03 KNICKERS, BODY PAINT AND ME... Judging by the amount of Parliamentary time devoted to this member of the dog family this week the fox is surely first among equals - to coin a Jeffrey Archer phrase. I am afraid to say this week's events were a lot more Jeffrey Archer than George Orwell and owed more to farce and shady deals than high-minded principle.... My male colleagues were getting excited: "They are hanging up their knickers, they're stripping off. There are girls there naked apart from a layer of paint," they panted. In the interests of research I had to talk to these protesters.... I found myself, instead, surrounded by a group of doughty women from the Cotley Harriers in East Devon.... (story)

Malvern Gazette 4.7.03 Pro-hunt lobby warns of `direct action' - PRO-HUNTING campaigners have reacted angrily to news that MPs have backed a ban on fox hunting… Val Allfrey, joint master of the North Ledbury hunt who took part in a vigil outside Westminster before the vote, said: "The bill is now based even more on prejudice and discrimination then before…" Joint master of the Croome and West Warwickshire hunt, Pat Allen, said she was "devastated" by the vote but warned: "Let's wait and see if hunting will continue even if it's banned…" (story in archive)

Gloucestershire Gazette 4.7.03 Supporters vow to fight ban on hunts by Julia Causton - HUNT supporters have vowed to continue to fight for fox-hunting despite a massive vote in favour of an outright ban of all blood sports in the Commons on Monday…. Berkeley Hunt president John Berkeley was clearly outraged by the latest development… Joint master of the Beaufort Hunt Capt Ian Farquhar echoed Mr Berkeley's claims that the vote showed Labour was out of touch with the countryside… Anti-hunt campaigner Simon Hacker, of Hillesley, said, although MPs voted in favour of an outright ban, he is not holding his breath for it to be instigated…. (story in archive)

Newark Advertiser 4.7.03 Women protest as hun ban looms By LIZ HANDBURY - The secretary of the South Notts Hunt was among women campaigners who took part in a 24-hour vigil to challenge the government's anti-fox hunting stance... (story may be in archive)

Sussex Express 4.7.03 Hunting: how MPs voted... Southdown and Eridge Hunt spokesman Gary Lee this week remained defiant when asked his views. 'There is no change in the Hunt's stance,' he said. 'We shall continue hunting...." (story)

Richmond & Twickenham Times 4.7.03 Local MPs vote against fox hunting By Harriet Grant (story)

Scotsman 4.7.03 Call for Scots to abstain on English votes - HAMISH MACDONELL SCOTTISH POLITICAL EDITOR - SCOTTISH Labour MPs found themselves at the centre of a fresh controversy last night over their role in forcing through policies for England which have no impact on Scotland. David Hinchliffe, the Labour chairman of the Commons health committee, appealed to his Scottish colleagues not to take part in the crucial vote on foundation hospitals next week, because it only affects England…. (story)

Bucks Free Press 4.7.03 Hunt vote stirs up pro and anti groups By James Webb - STRONGLY opposing views have been stirred up in South Bucks after Monday's parliamentary vote for an outright ban on hunting. Penny Little, from Protect Our Wild Animals, celebrated the MPs' ban of what she called "a horrible and despicable act".... Simon Hart, Director of the Campaign for Hunting, believed this sent a message to the Government that it must not facilitate the use of the Parliament Act on the Bill.... (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 4.7.03 The vote one MP was happy to miss - John Hipwood - Labour MP Bruce George raced back from an international conference on terrorism in Moscow in a bid to take part in the foxhunting vote on Monday night - but didn't quite make it… The Walsall South MP is not remotely supportive of hunting, but he also recognises that the important leather industry in his constituency is worried that a ban would severely affect the saddlery business… (story)

Chester & District Standard 4.7.03 MP BACKS FOX HUNTING BAN - CHESTER MP Christine Russell joined 361 of her colleagues in voting for an outright ban on fox hunting on Monday.... (story)

Bury Times 4.7.03 Historic hunt presses on - IT was business as usual for the Holcombe Hunt this week despite Monday's momentous vote to outlaw fox hunting. Alex Sneddon, joint master of what is believed to be the oldest hunt in the country, told the Bury Times: "We have been here before and for us it is business as usual…" The hunt ban vote was welcome news for the North West Hunt Sabateurs Association… Paul Timpson, who lives in Horwich, said: "It is still a grey area, but it is a light at the end of the tunnel…" (story in archive)

Somerset County Gazette 4.7.03 Views split on vote to ban hunting - THE hunting debate has been boiling over in Somerset this week, leaving communities divided... (story in archive)

South Wales Guardian 4.7.03 Hunt job fears by Huw Waghorn - HUNDREDS of jobs hang in the balance after the future of hunting in the Towy was thrown into grave doubt… FUW Carmarthenshire chairman Nick Somerfield says a ban would jeopardise an incalculable amount of jobs across a number of industries locally…. (story in archive)

Hexham Courant 4.7.03 HUNT CAMPAIGNERS IN VIGIL AS MPS VOTE - Members of Tynedale's hunts kept an overnight vigil in Parliament Square in London on Sunday to protest at the latest attempt to ban their sport…. Secretary of the Haydon Hunt Pamela Pattinson said: "These MPs that are against us it's a sort of xenophobia…." (story)

Times 4.7.03 Foxes and hounds - A ban on foxhunting may be forced through Parliament next year. Has the sport finally had its day? CONGRATULATIONS to Simon Jenkins (“Our countryside has no right to cry fox”, July 2). I understand that he does not like hunting, that is his right. But he makes a plea for tolerance, and that is the real issue. As the general secretary of Société de Vènerie (the equivalent of your Masters of Foxhounds Association), I have kept track of events in the UK, and took part in the countryside march... Pierre de Boisguilbert, Paris
Who benefits? - I AM hard pressed to think of a single group of people in this country whose life, circumstances or standards of living will be improved by the banning of hunting. The Government is using its majority to satisfy the ideological demands of a small minority.... Nicholas Kieft, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire
... A Labour Government banning hunting stinks of class revenge. Would it tolerate a Conservative ban on unions or the manufacturing industry, presuming there is any manufacturing industry left after Tony Blair and his merry cronies have finished? Mark Woods
... Please, hunters, accept the inevitable with grace. Think of the thousands of pounds that will be saved: no more dressing up in silly costumes and payment of expensive vet and farrier bills... Andy Brown, Lancaster
SO, AS the Government erodes another part of our culture and heritage, I would be interested to learn how many Scottish MPs were given the opportunity to vote on English and Welsh affairs on Monday night. Barry Hannam, Milton Keynes
LIKE Simon Jenkins, I too dislike many things that I don’t want the Government to ban.... I see no other solution to accepting the will of a democratically elected Parliament on this issue. David Bleines, Tenby, Pembrokeshire
Get into drag .. If the hunts switched wholesale to drag hunting, jobs would be secured and possibly increased, and with the cruelty element removed, more people would get involved... Dominic A. R. Corby, London N7
ONE further point worthy of consideration is how many of the electorate who voted for Labour actually did so despite its anti-hunting promises, rather than because of them.... Geoff Peake, Allenton, Derby
WHILE in England recently, I had the opportunity to follow a foxhunt. I was hesitant at first because of my qualms about animal cruelty. I was under the impression that it was going to be an upper-class affair and had high hopes of seeing famous people. What I found, much to my surprise, were farmers of no high society. I saw parents spending time with their children, talking with them and sharing an experience, a common ground.... I think it’s an absolute shame that this event, which doesn’t involve drugs, pollution, or harm to other human beings (things that are the real issues) is soon to be no more. Jamey Forehand, Peachtree City, Georgia
HUNTING, the professions, tradespeople and animals who depend on it should be left to country folk to regulate.... Carole Snalune, London SW20
HUNTING still plays an important part in the management of the balance of nature. If foxhunting is abolished, not only the fox (which will probably be an endangered species within 20 years, due to excessive control), but the whole of the natural fauna of our countryside will be jeopardised... Robert Taylor, Ashford, Kent
F YOU ask any hunt follower what is essential to the thrill of the chase, the answer will be riding across country in an unknown direction and watching hounds work. The kill has nothing to do with it. J. N. P. Watson (Hunting Correspondent of Country Life 1969- 1991), Horsham, Surrey
IS IT naively optimistic to believe that the people of England will finally find a voice if the Government invokes the Parliament Act?... Just two per cent of the electorate wish to give priority to banning foxhunting over such issues as the health service, transport, education and Iraq... Meriel Buxton, Leicestershire (letters)

Times 4.7.03 Parliament Acts and hunting ban - Sir, Ministers expect to use the Parliament Acts to achieve a ban on foxhunting by the middle of 2004 (letters, July 3). They really should not count their hounds before they have been caught... FROM LORD DONALDSON OF LYMINGTON House of Lords (letter)

Chester Chronicle 4.7.03 AS I know many people in Chester have expressed an interest in the Hunting Bill currently going through Parliament I am writing to all local media organisations to update you on events after Monday night's vote in the House of Commons. Last week I added my name to an amendment tabled by my friend and colleague Tony Banks MP, which promised a total ban on fox hunting in principle on the face of the Bill. During Monday night's free votes I voted for that amendment along with 361 Parliamentary colleagues… CHRISTINE RUSSELL MP for the City of Chester (letter)

Chester Chronicle 4.7.03 CONGRATULATIONS to our MPs for Monday's massive vote for a ban on hunting with dogs. Particular congratulations to Christine Russell MP for faithfully representing the views of the people of Chester who want to see an end to cruelty to animals… CHRISTOPHER CLAYTON Orchard Cottage, Brown Heath Road, Christleton (letter)

Western Morning 4.7.03 BATTLE FOR THE MORAL ADVANTAGE CONTINUES - Monday night's vote to ban hunting with dogs has provoked a strong reaction from WMN readers on both sides of the debate. Here is a selection of their views...
Thank you for your extensive and well-balanced coverage of the hunting debate.... Harvey Paulger, Joint Master, North Dartmoor Beagles
Fox will suffer - SO a-hunting we will not be going. So I hope the "townies", beloved of Blair, who are responsible for this ban will make sure their dustbin lids are firmly in place because more and more foxes will be coming to town as they breed and have hungry mouths to feed... Judy Chard, Newton Abbot
Comfy kennels ALTHOUGH the killing of thousands of hounds is not at all important compared to the prospect of stopping the toffs enjoying themselves, I would just like to reassure the few who may be worried about the fate of the hunting packs. They will all be rehomed in comfortable urban semis and go for regular walkies with their new owners... M Hunter, South Zeal (letters)

Western Morning 4.7.03 Stop saboteurs - I WONDER how many of the MPs we thought were supposed to be representing us have had any conversation at all with constituents who do not agree with their own personal views on anything. Candy Atherton declares roundly that we all agree with her. No we don't.... Tess Nash, Helston
Hound parades I HOPE many country shows and fetes continue to ask their local hunt to parade hounds. They are a wonderful sight that would be missed in the countryside... Sarah Yeoman, Liverton (letters)

Torquay Herald Express 4.7.03 REASON I ABSTAINED IN HUNTING DEBATE - Parlimentary procedure is difficult to grasp... For the last 20 years I have consistently opposed any legislation that would outlaw hunting. I have said as much every time I have been asked, in every newspaper article and every TV and radio programme. I have not changed my mind. I am only sorry that some of my constituents may have been misled by reports which did not explain the tactics that those in favour of hunting were using to prevent this evil Bill from ever seeing the light of day. Ye of little faith! ANTHONY STEEN MP Totnes (story)

Torquay Herald Express 4.7.03 IT'S THE HUNTSMEN WHO REALLY INTERFERE IN NATURE So, Ann Thompson ("Interfering With Nature", July 2) thinks that those who oppose hunting are 'killjoys' and do not understand country people's pursuits. Does she not realise that most rural as well as urban dwellers want to see hunting banned because it is cruel?... LEN SHORT For "Animal Voices" St James Road Torquay (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 2.7.03 INTERFERING IN NATURE So, our MPs have voted to ban foxhunting totally, and reneged on a compromise deal.... Banning of foxhunting will be the thin edge by the kill joys who do not understand country people's pursuit of these pests. ANN THOMPSON Mulberry Close, Paignton (letter)

Shropshire Star 4.7.03 Shame of hunt dog - I believe that fox hunting with hounds will be banned altogether. I believe this because we live in a democracy and that will democratically vote to ban it… Andrew McLaren, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 4.7.03 Politicians becoming seriously unhinged - Unbelievable! This government has presided over a recent war involving the slaughter of people on all sides. It has authorised the mass slaughter of cattle and sheep that also succeeded in wrecking any number of people's personal and professional economies…. As if that was not enough in deactivating the population and creating unhealthy attitudes to both economics and fitness it would now appear that fox hunting is to be removed from the agenda of participatory sports…. Heaven help us if ever they are let loose on the Mental Health Act…. Susan E Mayne, Ellesmere (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 4.7.03 Rights of animals - I'm sure many readers will join me in expressing how sickened they felt to read about the dog who died as a result of being thrown onto the M54… As if this were not bad enough, in the same edition of the Star, we then had a nurse proudly boasting of her cruelty to members of the canine family in the form of foxhunting… Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 4.7.03 FOXED BY MPS' VOTE - Rumour has it that, now MPs have voted against the hunting of foxes with dogs, they may soon ban the dropping of high explosives on men, women and children. Parliamentarians are also set to ban pigs from flying, but only on a Sunday! Tom Sullivan, Leicester. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 4.7.03 MATTER OF PRIORITY - With our health service, transport system, education and asylum situation in a complete shambles, our MPs are wasting valuable time debating minority issues such as fox-hunting…. (Name and address supplied) (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 4.7.03 Hunting ban: rough justice - The Government commissioned the Burns Report on fox hunting. It did not justify a ban. It was ignored because the back bench MPs wouldn't accept it.... Whatever your private thoughts on hunting itself might be, you must consider it is receiving rough justice; and those in favour of hunting must be encouraged to fight all the way. IRVING L THEAKER, Lidgett Place, Leeds 8 (letter)

Bath Chronicle 4.7.03 MPS PROTECTING A RURAL KILLER So now we know what most of our MPs think is the most important part of their jobs. Having failed so many people, they decide to protect a wild animal with the habit of killing farm animals, in preference to wild rabbits etc.... MRS F M MILLS, Homelands School Lane, Batheaston (letter)


Nottingham Evening Post 3.7.03 HUNT ON FOR A BETTER WORLD - The anti-bloodsports lobby will be encouraged by the massive Commons vote which could lead to a ban on hunting with dogs. I am encouraged too. I know what is needed by folk who get their kicks from frolicking with leather boots and riding crops while chasing across a wintry landscape to watch a pack of gore-spashed mutts tear a wild animal to shreds. They need help. But the same could be said for those for whom hunting is the cause to end all causes.... Now can those who devoted so much time and energy to the hunting cause be persuaded to turn their passion, intellects and campaigning skills to the things that really matter? (story)

North Wales Weekly News 3.7.03 Hunting ban will meet resistance - HUNTING advocates have spoken out in defence of their traditional country pursuit and vowed that no law will stop them from continuing to take part in the sport. Huntsman of the Conwy Valley fox hounds, Jason Lloyd Jones, 32, from Llanrwst, said that if a total ban on hunting with dogs became law, there would be few members of the Conwy Valley Hunt Supporters Club who would adhere to the rule…. (story)

North Devon Journal 3.7.03 HUNTSMEN SAY 'WE'RE READY FOR A FIGHT' ... the chairman of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, Tom Yandle, who is also chairman of the Deer Hunters Association, and who was in London to hear the debate, said: "This is a long running saga and we are ready for the fight ahead."... (story)

Guardian 3.7.03 Do we really need to cull foxes? - David Adam - Do you really expect a straight answer? The heart can rule even the most scientific head on such matters, so we'll go for a "maybe" - please send all outraged correspondence to the usual address. What is clear is that a ban on fox hunting as agreed by MPs on Monday would not end the slaughter: the tally-ho brigade is reckoned to account for only about 6% of the 400,000 or so foxes killed each year... (story)
Guardian 3.7.03 'It is town against country' Labour rebels set the Commons on a collision course with the Lords - Daily Mail Editorial, July 2... (story)

Telegraph 3.7.03 Labour will push on with anti-hunt Bill By George Jones, Political Editor - The Government is ready to press ahead with legislation to impose an outright ban on foxhunting despite warnings that it could provoke a campaign of civil disobedience by militant pro-hunting campaigners…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 3.7.03 Blair silent on future of hunting-ban Bill - Prime Minister Tony Blair refused to be drawn yesterday on whether the Government would force through a total ban on hunting with dogs in defiance of opposition from peers... (story)

Western Morning News 3.7.03 DON'T BLOCK TOTAL BAN - The Countryside Alliance urged pro-hunting MPs not to block a total ban on hunting in Monday's decisive Commons vote, it was revealed last night… The veteran Westcountry Tory Anthony Steen claims that he was even advised to vote for the ban, in the hope that it would "wreck" the Bill and cause it to be seriously delayed or even lost… (story)

Western Daily Press 3.7.03 NOW THE BACKLASH LOOMS - The country could face sabotage on a grand scale as hunt supporters adopt militant tactics in a backlash over the fox hunting ban, it was claimed yesterday… Edward Duke, a former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and now linked to the hardline pro-hunt organisation The Real CA, said meetings will take place around the country over the next 10 days to plan action… (story)

Comet 3.7.03 A mixed reaction over hunting ban vote - Pro-hunt lobby angry as MPs call for a total ban …Hunting groups in the area, which include the Puckeridge Hunt and the South Hertfordshire Beagles, have reacted angrily to the news. Matthew Higgs, Master and hunstman of the South Herts Beagles hunt, which hunts throughout North Herts and East Mid Bedfordshire, said: “A ban would destroy a way of life to which I’m very attached…" (story)

Redhill & Reigate Life 3.7.03 Hunt ban moves a big step closer - When the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of an outright ban on fox-hunting on Monday night it brought joy to Surrey anti-hunt protesters but disappointment to the hunt. Julie Roxburgh, 64, Surrey’s local representative for the League Against Cruel Sports said she was very pleased by the vote.... But Reigate resident Daniel Davies, 52, committee member of the Surrey Union Hunt said the vote was a great disappointment.... (story)

Derbyshire Times 3.7.03 FURY AT HUNT BAN VOTE ... Steve Clark, joint master of Barlow Hunt Club was disappointed to see the Government's compromise Hunting Bill torn apart in the House of Commons on Monday... (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 3.7.03 City MP backs campaign for bil to ban fox hunting by Gemma Handy … Rob Marris, MP for Wolverhampton South West, was one of more than 100 MPs who tabled an amendment to the Hunting Bill…. Wolverhampton-based animal rights activist Neil Lea said he was optimistic that this time fox hunting would be banned outright…. (story)

Cornish Guardian 3.7.03 LOCAL MPS SPLIT ON HUNTING BAN - Cornish MPs were split on the debate to ban fox hunting but the House of Commons voted for an outright ban by an overwhelming majority.... (story)

Harlow Citizen 3.7.03 Rammell supports fox hunt ban - HARLOW MP Bill Rammell voted for a complete ban on fox hunting during the report stage proceedings of the Hunting Bill in the House of Commons.... (story)

Evesham Journal 3.7.03 Ban on hunting with dogs `uncharted territory' says Luff - AN outright ban on hunting with dogs will lead to "uncharted territory" according to Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff… (story in archive)

Cotswold Journal 3.7.03 We fight on, say hunt supporters … Gill Purser of the Cotswold Support Group for the Abolition of Hunting welcomed the result…. Nicky Driver, area spokeswoman for the Campaign for Hunting, said the bill passed on Monday does not represent the end of hunting…. (story in archive)

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 3.7.03 MPs unite to condemn hunting Bill - LOCAL Lib Dem and Tory MPs have joined in condemning what one described as a "hunting horlicks" in Parliament on Monday…. (story in archive)

Ormskirk Advertiser 3.7.03 MP backs all-out ban on hunting - WEST Lancashire's MP successfully predicted the out-come of Monday night's Commons vote to ban hunting with dogs…. (story)

The Sentinel 3.7.03 HELP TO STOP THIS CRUELTY - I think fox hunting should be banned, it is cruel. If they don't do it to other animals, why do it to foxes?... JADE WILLIAMS Aged nine Eaton Park Primary School (letter)
The Sentinel 3.7.03 THIS CAN'T BE A SPORT - Foxhunting is a tradition like bear baiting, cock-fighting and beheading, but we have stopped all of these traditions, so why can't we stop this tradition?... DALE SHELDON Aged nine Eaton Park Primary School (letter)
The Sentinel 3.7.03 HUNTSMEN DO DAMAGE - Foxhunting should be banned because it is cruel for the foxes being hunted down and killed in a painful way… REBBECCA DEGNEN Aged 10 Eaton Park Primary School (letter)

Times 3.7.03 Foxhunting's challenge to democracy - One does not need to question the conviction of those who believe foxhunting is evil — or (like Simon Jenkins, in his Comment today) to sneer at those who support it — to regard the ban now going through Parliament as malign. Irrespective of political calculations discussed in your leading article today, it is malign because it is an abuse of the democratic process... DAVID GOODALL, Greystones, Ampleforth, York YO62 4DU
I agree entirely with Simon Jenkins, who dislikes hunting but would not ban it.... TONY TWEMLOW, 68a Stanley Road, Hoylake, Wirral CH47 1HZ
I suggest that better measures of our moral depravity than hunting with dogs (letter, June 30; see also, letters, July 2) would be the abortion rate and our indifference to the killing of over 3,000 people a year on our roads. Yours faithfully, TED STORKEY, Ty Uchaf, Tanysgafell, Bethesda, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 4AJ.
Mr Mike Hobday (letter, July 2) says that he doubts there would be half the objection to hunting if we ate foxes. Probably true, but I also doubt that they would be hunted in the same way as they are now. I’m sure there would not be much call for hound-chewed fox carcass. Yours faithfully, MARK BRYCE, 21 Orwell Avenue, Great Ashby, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 3XT.
Would it not be politically correct to issue a decree that all inns currently named the Fox & Hounds be renamed the Gas, Gun & Gangrene? Yours faithfully, WENDY GUILLEBAUD, Sweet Meadows, Clifford Bridge, Drewsteignton, Exeter EX6 6QB
Sir, I have no strong feelings for or against foxhunting, but hasn’t Parliament got better things to do? Yours faithfully, ANDREW RICHARDSON, 250 Waterloo Road, SE1 8RD.
Sir, What a pity the Commons did not get up on its hind legs in time to ban hunting with Americans. Yours, ALEXANDRA SELLERS, PO Box 9449, NW3 2WH (letters)

Guardian 3.7.03 In your wise editorial on hunting (Leader, July 2) there was one important misconception. There is no public mandate for a ban.... Nigel Henson Countryside Alliance
Never mind, the Countryside Alliance can still console itself with one remarkable achievement: it has succeeded in persuading the Guardian that the House of Windsor, the Lords, landowners and lairds, the Tory party, the Monday Club, the BNP... are an oppressed minority group deserving of liberal empathy. Victoria Isherwood London (letters)

Telegraph 3.7.03 Threat to culture A day after his victory against hunting, Tony Banks is all over the news channels protesting that the takeover of Chelsea Football Club by a Russian businessman poses a threat to his culture. Perhaps he is now better equipped to understand the feelings of country people about his threat to our culture. From: Tom Lewis, Tenterden, Kent (letter)

Telegraph 3.7.03 City law isn't for the countryside How will a ban on foxhunting be enforced? Will rural police forces that do not have the manpower to deal with burglary, car crime, assaults and other routine crimes find the men to challenge thousands of hunt supporters if they defy the ban?... Paul Wakeman, Stourbridge, West Midlands (letter)

Scotsman 3.7.03 Different rules … congratulations are due to Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader, and those other Scottish MPs who voted to ban fox hunting south of the Border. The Countryside Alliance boasted hunt supporters from all over the United Kingdom and beyond at marches against the proposed ban in Scotland; and similar marches in London drew support from Scotland… TOM GRAY West Park, Braco Perthshire (letter)

Western Morning News 3.7.03 AT The advanced age of 78 I do not now hunt. I do however think that the cessation of a sport that has been part of the countryside for many years is a pity... To ignore the fact that the health service is falling apart, the transport system is in chaos, education is in a mess and that the way government - particularly regarding the Iraq affair - has been conducted beggars belief. Major J C Montague Alphington Exeter (story)

Kent/Sussex Courier 4.7.03 DO YOUR WORST - THE HUNT STANDS READY Once again, the hunting fraternity is under attack by so-called liberals who would impose a ban on its perfectly legal activities... Your readers may be aware that a recent survey found that, second only to rats, cats are the most despised mammal in Britain. A solution presents itself almost unbidden. How splendid and uplifting would be the sight of scarlet-coated gallants urging their mounts over larch-lap and through leylandii in pursuit of fugitive felines.... Russell Cruse Walkhurst Cottages Benenden (letter)

Kent/Sussex Courier 4.7.03 LORDS MUST NOW BACK THIS VOTE - All decent people must surely welcome the vote of the House of Commons to ban the barbaric obscenity of hunting without any Blairite fudges... David Burgess, Barretts Green, Hawkhurst (letter)


ICSurreyOnline (Crawley) 2.7.03 Foxy ladies' saucy protest at hunting ban - A FEISTY huntswoman stripped off in protest at the Government's moves to ban hunting with dogs. Penny Hawes, of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt, paraded outside the Houses of Parliament with pal Emma Mortimer, with just body paint protecting her modesty, while MPs debated the Fox Hunting Bill on Monday... (story)
Shropshire Star 1.7.03 Emma, 17, in protest strip on hunt Bill A Shropshire teenager stripped off today in protest at government plans to "ban hunting in all but name" - by parading outside Parliament wearing nothing but body paint. Emma Mortimer, 17, of Annscroft, near Shrewsbury, spent around ten minutes wearing only a painted-on hunting suit to protect her modesty as part of a Countryside Alliance protest at Westminster… Lindsay Hill, 44, of Bishop's Castle, said that if hunting was banned then she, her 43-year-old husband Oliver and their two young children would "lose everything." Mrs Hill said: "My husband works with the Shropshire United Pack and we live in a tied house…." (story)
Western Morning News 1.7.03 GIRLS GO TOPLESS IN BABES' BATTLE FOR A NATION'S HEART Thousands of women hunt supporters sent a defiant message to Downing Street last night' we will go to prison before we abandon the chase. The demonstrators held a noisy but trouble-free 40-hour protest in Parliament Square before last night's crucial Commons vote. Some 25 members of Cotswold Hunt arrived at 5am on Sunday and were still there late last night…. Jeweller Fiona Cameron, from Grafton, near Tewkesbury, rides with the Cotswold Vale Farmers, and claims the Government wants to distract Labour supporters' attention from its difficulties with other issues like Iraq and the public services… Gay Handrew from the South Dorset Hunt, based at Bere Regis near Dorchester, said: "The MPs are going to vote to ban hunting and they are not listening to the majority of the country." Sheena Boutflower of the West Somerset Hunt, a retired coursing judge, said: "The most important thing in life is to keep the countryside going by people like us…. Grace Grandfield, from Spaxton on the edge of the Quantocks, has been hunting with the Quantock Staghounds for more than six decades… (story)
Mid Sussex Times 1.7.03 FOX HUNTING BAN PROTEST - MID Sussex countryside campaigner Carola Godman Law joined a 24-hour vigil outside the Houses of Parliament on Sunday and Monday… (story)
Western Morning News 1.7.03 WE'RE NO TOFFS, SAY WOMEN ON MISSION TO EXPOSE OPPONENTS' PREJUDICE - Beside a poster reading "Damn the Ban" a woman is asleep under a wax jacket… Lucy Down, who lives at West Bagborough on the Quantocks, said a ban on stag hunting - which would lead to the disappearance of the three packs in the UK, all in Devon and Somerset - would ruin her livery business and leave her husband Richard, the huntsman for the Quantock Staghounds, out of a job…. Hazel Tilbrook, 27, a care worker from Ashburton and a member of the Dart Vale and Southpool Harriers, is living proof of the Countryside Agency's latest advertisement campaign to hammer home that hunting is not the preserve of rich landowners… The women from the Taunton Vale Fox Hunt had spent the night in the square, without a wink of sleep… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 1.7.03 HUNTING WOMEN'S ALL-NIGHT PROTEST - Hunting horns sounded a rallying cry to women to stage a noisy protest against the proposed ban on hunting at the House of Commons… One of the local contingent, Sue Ellerington, a member of the Old Yorkshire Coursing Club, said: "The response from hunting women was magnificent… (story)
Daily Record 1.7.03 TALLY-HO CHAPS, LET'S ALL PROTEST - PRO-HUNT supporters Penny Hawes and Emma Mortimer were foxy ladies yesterday when they staged a near-naked protest…(story)
Times 1.7.03 Thrill of the chase follows a brief encounter - PARLIAMENTARY SKETCH BY RICHARD MORRISON - OUTSIDE, in a Parliament Square heaving with doughty rural matrons, delicate shire fillies and Country Life frontispieces of various vintages, some 1,300 “panties of protest” fluttered proudly on a vast washing-line. There’s only one controversy capable of raising such hackles, or indeed such knickers. And it ain’t the Private Finance Initiative... (story)
Sun 1.7.03 Paint these ladies foxy! - TWO fox-hunting gals abandon the chaste yesterday as they strip off to keep a pack of onlookers entertained outside the House of Commons. Penny Hawes, 25, from Horsham, West Sussex, and Emma Mortimer, 17, from Shrewsbury, showed a clean pair of, er, heels as they posed covered in body paint during a pro-hunting protest.... (story) (photo) (photo)
Argus 1.7.03 Pro-hunt campaigners go topless - by Krista Beighton - Protester Penny Hawes took a leaf from Lady Godiva's book when she went topless outside the House of Commons to campaign against a ban on fox hunting... Penny, who hunts with the Crawley and Horsham pack, said: "It's pathetic that when there are so many more important things to be done, MPs are debating this... Pro-hunting MP for Bexhill and Battle Gregory Barker, who hunts with the East Sussex and Romney Hunt, said the Bill was an "illiberal, biased, bigoted piece of legislation".... (story in archive)
Grimsby Telegraph 1.7.03 WOMEN JOIN LONDON PROTEST IN BID TO STOP THE BILL - Members of the Brocklesby and South Wold hunts joined protesters outside Parliament to demonstrate against a ban. Speaking to the Telegraph from the protest in London, Mary Sanderson, a supporter of the Brocklesby Hunt, said: "Forty-eight women have travelled here today to offer their support to the hundreds of hunts from around the country… (story)
Cambridge News 1.7.03 We know what's best, says hunt supporter …Catherine Hudson, from Newmarket, joined countryside campaigners in Parliament Square ahead of tonight's crucial vote. Ms Hudson, who rides with the Thurlow Hunt, said: "I wanted to support the cause and show them we are not going to give in easily…" (story in archive)
ICSurreyOnline 30.6.03 Hunting supporters in pant protest - More than 1,000 pairs of knickers have been strung around Parliament Square in protest against moves to ban hunting with hounds. The "pantition" was organised by the Ladies of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt to coincide with a controversial new Bill being debated in the House of Commons… Protesting grandmother Chris Smith, 56, of the Grafton Hunt, said the message was "pants to prejudice" from pro-hunting women…. Gregory Barker (C Bexhill and Battle), who hunts with the East Sussex and Romney Hunt, said: "It's great to be out here because the stench of hypocrisy over there (The House of Commons) is overwhelming."… (story)
Ananova 30.6.03 Hunting supporters stage noisy Commons protest - Hunting supporters have staged a noisy protest outside the House of Commons…. The Families 4 Hunting Women's Vigil started yesterday and many of those taking part, mostly women, spent a rain-soaked night camping outside Parliament. Lindsay Hill, 44, a huntsman's wife from Bishop's Castle, Shropshire, says if hunting is banned then she, her 43-year-old husband Oliver and their two young children will "lose everything."…. (story) (photo)
BBC News Online 30.6.03 Fox hunting battle resumes - The battle over the controversial Hunting Bill has begun in the House of Commons - with some MPs eager to launch a fresh attempt to outlaw the activity for good… Ahead of the debate, more than 500 pro-hunting protesters gathered in Parliament Square to register their opposition to the current bill…. "They have this idea that people who hunt are all Hooray Henrys, but it is just not true - there is a real social mix," said Mrs Bolt, whose husband is a joint master of the North Lonsdale Fox Hunt… (story) (photo)
BBC News Online 30.6.03 Pro-hunt women hold protest vigil - Hundreds of women from across the South West are holding a pro-hunting vigil in Parliament Square... The Countryside Alliance, which organised the vigil, is opposed to the bill which proposes licences for fox hunting, as well as an outright ban on stag hunting and hare coursing... (story)
ICSurreyOnline 30.6.03 Hunting supporters in Commons protest - Hunting supporters have staged a noisy protest outside the House of Commons… Lindsay Hill, 44, a huntsman's wife from Bishop's Castle, Shropshire, said that if hunting was banned then she, her 43-year-old husband Oliver and their two young children would "lose everything." "My husband works with the Shropshire United Pack and we live in a tied house. There's no replacement for hunting. Farmers would not allow drag hunting on their land because it serves no useful purpose…" (story)
Mid Sussex Argus 30.6.03 Pro-hunt campaigner in Parliament protest by James Slack …Cate Osmaston, from Wisborough Green, near Billingshurst, braved pouring rain to sleep overnight in Parliament Square with a band of around 100 countryside campaigners. Ms Osmaston - a member of the Chiddingfold, Beaconfield and Cowdray Hunt - accepted Labour MPs were determined to force through either a ban or tough restrictions on hunting. But she said she wanted to send a message to the Government that Sussex hunt supporters would not go down without a fight… Penny Hawes, 25 - who runs a Sussex livery stable nd hunts with the Crawley and Horsham pack - said she planned to take her clothes off outside the Commons. She said: "I'm having my body painted and will be wearing real jodhpurs and boots…"
Times 30.6.03 Hunt supporters protest as MPs debate Bill BY PA NEWS - Hunting supporters today protested outside the House of Commons as MPs debated a Bill which would allow fox hunting to continue but under a strict regulatory regime… In Parliament Square, more than 500 protesters gathered to register their opposition to the Bill as it stands. The Families 4 Hunting Women's Vigil started yesterday and many of those taking part, mostly women, spent a rain-soaked night camping outside Parliament…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 30.6.03 WOMEN PROTEST TO SAVE HUNTING - Angry hunting women from East Yorkshire were today taking part in a vigil in London to save their traditional pastime…. One of the East Yorkshire contingent is Sue Ellerington, a member of the Old Yorkshire Coursing Club… Mrs Ellerington is also a puppy walker for the Holderness Hunt foxhounds, with whom her husband, Phil, and other members of her family hunt…. Frank Houghton-Brown, huntsman and joint master of the Middleton Hunt, which hunts the northern part of the East Riding, said the women's vigil would raise awareness that hunting was not just a male thing… (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 30.6.03 HUNT PROTESTERS KEEP VIGIL OUTSIDE COMMONS Women from across Lincolnshire have travelled to London to protest over a proposed ban on hunting… Anne Jepson, spokeswoman for Lincolnshire Families for Hunting said: "In its present form the Hunting Bill is a ban in all but name and would have a devastating effect on many rural communities…" (story)
Northern Echo 30.6.03 Women's vigil against hunt Bill - WOMEN from the region arrived in London yesterday to take part in a national vigil against the Hunting Bill. Isabel Radford, who works with the Catterick Beagle pack, in North Yorkshire, was among the crowds in Parliament Square taking part in the major women's movement…. (story in archive)
Shropshire Star 30.6.03 Emma, 17, in protest strip on hunt Bill - A Shropshire teenager was set to strip off today in protest at Government plans to "ban hunting in all but name" - by parading outside Parliament wearing nothing but body paint. Emma Mortimer, of Annscroft, near Shrewsbury, is one of 500 women at a vigil at Westminster to demonstrate against proposals for strict new hunting rules… Countyside Alliance spokeswoman Clare Rowson said : "This is a banning Bill in all but name. Emma works for the South Shropshire hunt and this will ruin her livelihood and take away her freedom to hunt as well." (story)
Shropshire Star 30.6.03 Resisting an attack on rural way of life - I feel sure that your readers will wish to be aware that Families 4 Hunting (F4H) is holding a Women's Vigil in Parliament Square today to protest at the Government's treatment of the Hunting Bill which receives its Third Reading today… Clare Sawers Harmer Hill Shrewsbury (letter in archive)
Exeter Express & Echo 30.6.03 WOMEN SAY PANTS TO MPS IN DEBATE ON HUNTING BAN BY PATRICK PHELVIN - Devon fox hunters have given their support to a group of women who are staging a protest vigil outside Parliament today as the House of Commons debates a ban on hunting…Michael Moore, the joint master of the East Devon Hunt, said there was a serious message behind the humour…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 30.6.03 Hunt vote sparks last-ditch protest By Liz Hands, The Journal - Countryside campaigners in the North last night started an 11th-hour protest on the eve of a crucial House of Commons vote on fox hunting. Women from the region were travelling to join hundreds of others from across the country to stage a vigil against the Bill outside the Houses of Parliament. Michael Loyd, a member of Haydon Hunt, said: "We really want to show that people who are involved with hunts aren't all nasty men, they are housewives and women from all walks of life too… (story)
Worcester Evening News 30.6.03 OAP's VIGIL AT COMMONS - A LEADING county campaigner has camped overnight outside the Commons in protest against the Government's controversial Hunting Bill, which was due to have its Third Reading today. Pensioner Audrey Steele, of Inkberrow, braved pouring rain to sleep in Parliament Square with a band of around 100 campaigners… "It was pretty wet at the start of last night but the spirit has been wonderful," said Mrs Steele, chairman of the county Countryside Alliance and a member of the Worcestershire Hunt…. (story in archive)
North West Evening Mail 28.6.03 NO MORAL REASON GIVEN FOR BAN CLAIMS FURNESS HUNTSWOMAN - A BARROW hunt supporter was today taking part in today's major London protest about the government's controversial bill. Alison Bolt, a retired teacher from Leece, says she can find no justification for a ban on hunting with dogs which will come a step closer should the government win Monday's key vote (story)
Burton Mail 28.6.03 Farm women take protest to London by AIMEE PARKER - A TRIO of female farmers from an East Staffordshire family will be travelling to London this weekend to protest against a potential ban on fox hunting. Pat Guest and her daughters Emma and Maria will be travelling from their farm in Tutbury to Parliament Square, for a women's only vigil from 5pm on Sunday until 10.30am on Monday... (story)
Torquay Herald Express 28.6.03 FAMILIES JOIN IN HUNTING VIGIL Three South Devon woman are poised to take part in a pro-hunting demonstration in London over the weekend. 'Families 4 Hunting', a women's movement, will be holding an all-women's vigil in Parliament Square tomorrow and on Monday to protest as the Hunting Bill is debated in the House of Commons.... Families 4 Hunting spokeswoman Alex Thavenot, who lives in East Allington said: "In its present form the Hunting Bill is a ban in all but name and would have a devastating effect on many rural communities.... Caroline Lewis, whose father Gilmore is the huntsman at the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers at Halwell, near Totnes, is also due to attend the vigil as is follower Ann Skelton, of Holne, near Buckfastleigh... (story)
Bristol Evening Post 27.6.03 WOMEN'S VIGIL TO FIGHT HUNT BAN - Members of West hunts are stepping up their campaign against the Hunting Bill ahead of its return to the House of Commons. A number of women from the Beaufort Hunt will travel to London to join a vigil in Parliament Square on Sunday. Meanwhile the Berkeley Hunt is holding an open day at its kennels the day before the bill reaches the report stage and third reading…. Jo Aldridge, one of the Beaufort team making the trip to the capital, said the bill was returning despite a packed parliamentary agenda and polls which she said showed just two per cent of people thought the issue should be a Government priority…. (story)
Northern Echo 26.6.03 Pro-hunting group heads for capital - A NEW pressure group has joined the pro-hunting lobby and plans to march on London to deliver its Pants To Prejudice message to the Prime Minister this weekend. Yorkshire Families 4 Hunting (YF4H) will be setting up camp on Parliament Square on Sunday… "In its present form, the Hunting Bill is a ban in all but name, and would have a devastating effect on many rural communities," said YF4H spokeswoman Julie Nelson…. (story in archive)
North West Evening Mail 25.6.03 PRO-HUNT WOMAN TAKES HER PROTEST TO LONDON - A FURNESS woman is one of hundreds travelling from Cumbria to London on Sunday to protest against the government's Hunting Bill. Alison Bolt, from Leece, is taking part in a 30-hour women's vigil organised by the Families For Hunting movement, under the slogan Pants to Prejudice… (story)

Carmarthen Journal 2.7.03 HUNT BAN BID UNDER FIRE - A Proposed ban on fox hunting could spell disaster for the farming industry in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, according to one of the county's leading huntsmen... Dai Jones, joint leader of the Carmarthenshire hunt, said: "If the current amendment is passed by parliament, the knock on effect for farming in Carmarthenshire would be huge..." (story)

Ellesmere Port Pioneer 2.7.03 MP hails Commons vote to end hunting - ELLESMERE Port MP Andrew Miller says he is delighted that a huge majority of MPs voted to ban hunting with dogs... (story)

Bucks Herald 2.7.03 HUNTING – THE DEBATE RAGES ON ... Judy Gilbert, coordinator for the Bucks branch of the League Against Cruel Sports, is confident, after many false dawns, that fox hunting in the county will soon be a thing of the past…. Cherry Aston, chairman of the Bucks committee of the Countryside Alliance, said: "We are very disappointed but will keep fighting…. (story)

Hunts Post 2.7.03 Huntingdon MP attacks the ban on hunting - THE Government proposal to totally outlaw hunting with dogs has been fiercely criticised by Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly... (story)

Bristol Evening Post 2.7.03 DEFIANT HUNTERS PIN HOPES ON VETO BY PEERS - 'FOXHUNTERS today remained defiant that hunting would continue despite MPs voting overwhelmingly for an outright ban.... Captain Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Badminton-based Beaufort Hunt, said: "I am still optimistic that hunting will continue despite last night's vote.... (story)

Guardian 2.7.03 'If it is made illegal to hunt with dogs, I will break the law' - David Ward - A hunting print in the dining room of Randle Cooke's farmhouse home shows three Victorian huntsmen coming a cropper simultaneously on the wrong side of a hedge... Mr Cooke, who is pushing 50 and has been hunting since he was a toddler, is one of three joint masters of the Cheshire hunt... (story)
Guardian 2.7.03 Blair risks alienating rural vote in run-up to election - Lords threaten to sabotage Labour if act is forced through - Nicholas Watt and Michael White - Tony Blair has thrown in the towel and finally accepted that fox-hunting will be banned by 2005, guaranteeing a bruising fight with millions of rural voters in the run-up to the next general election.... (story)
Guardian 2.7.03 How does the Parliament Act work? ... How would it work with the hunting bill?... (story)
Guardian 2.7.03 Comment - Quite frankly, I don't care about the fate of the fox - The hunting ban is Blair's attempt to buy off a restive Labour party - Jackie Ashley ... On balance, I would be quite pleased to see fox-hunting go, but compared to issues like the war on Iraq, poverty, crime and Europe, it simply doesn't register... The splosh and sluice of hands being washed is deafening... What would be tragic, nothing less, is to find that the party had been bought off with a ban on fox-hunting, and a few similarly marginal issues, and that there had been no shift where it really matters. Foxhounds aren't the only beasts who can find themselves following false scents. (story)

Independent 2.7.03 Foxhunting families cling to history - and their jobs - The vote by MPs to abolish blood sports has disillusioned the workers who look after the dogs and horses used in hunts By Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter - During his 16 years as a kennel huntsman, Simon Hall has been abused, spat at, threatened with a knife, attacked with a baseball bat and had his photograph appear in a tabloid newspaper under the headline "Is this the most hated man in Britain?"... Mr Hall is one of two full time employees of the Essex Foxhounds which, if fox hunting is abolished, will simply disappear into rural history.... LIVELIHOODS AT RISK - THE HUNT GROOM SARA DIXON... THE SEED MERCHANT DAVID SIMPSON... (story)
Independent 2.7.03 Ministers expect ban in force by early next year By Marie Woolf and Andrew Grice - Fox hunting looks certain to be outlawed in England and Wales next year despite efforts by Tony Blair to distance himself from the vote by the House of Commons in favour of an outright ban... (story)

Telegraph 2.7.03 Hunting will be banned by 2005, say MPs By George Jones, Political Editor, and Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent - Labour MPs predicted last night that foxhunting in England and Wales would be banned outright by 2005 after they forced Tony Blair to abandon attempts to find a "middle way" compromise…. (story)
Telegraph 2.7.03 Stop the wreckers - You do not need to have any opinion about hunting to see how very extraordinary is the Government's behaviour on this subject.... What follows now will be a test of whether we live in a parliamentary system or an elected dictatorship.... Schools, hospitals, railways don't work, but it is hunting that excites Labour's passions. Labour backbenchers have revelled in their ignorance and prejudice and the Government has been devious and irresolute. Not only in the sad shires, but throughout the country, people should prepare for the largest protest yet. (story)
Telegraph 2.7.03 Will Blair decide to run with the fox or hounds? By George Jones, Political Editor - Tony Blair, unlike the majority of his party, has never shown any enthusiasm for voting to ban foxhunting.... For the past six years, Mr Blair has managed to run with the fox and hunt with the hounds. But Labour MPs believe that the time has come when he will have to decide to side with the fox.
Telegraph 2.7.03 Power of peers is restricted by law By George Jones - The Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 restrict the power of the House of Lords to block legislation introduced by the government…. (story)
Telegraph 2.7.03 Yesterday in Parliament Reports by Michael Kallenbach, Parliamentary Correspondent - The hunting vote (story)
Telegraph 2.7.03 'Wave of protests will cause rural police crisis' By Charles Clover - The Countryside Alliance said yesterday that the ban on hunting was "unenforceable" and warned that if the Bill became law people would ignore it, creating a crisis for rural policing.... (story)

Times 2.7.03 Pro-hunt militants plan campaign of sabotage BY PHILIP WEBSTER AND VALERIE ELLIOTT - FOXHUNTERS in England and Wales were facing the prospect that the coming hunting season could be their last as ministers suggested that an outright ban on the pursuit would be forced through next year.... A campaign of civil disobedience has been plotted for months by pro-hunt extremists, but they have held off to allow the Countryside Alliance a clear run to negotiate with the Government.... Edward Duke, a former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance now linked with the hardline pro-hunt group the Real CA, said that meetings were taking place to decide on anti-ban action over the next ten days.... (story)
Times 2.7.03 Ban ‘will mean death for 17,000 hounds’ BY VALERIE ELLIOT, BEN HOYLE AND AVANI MEHTA - AT LEAST 17,000 hounds would have to be destroyed if a ban on hunting came into effect, hunt organisations have estimated. The horse market, which is underpinned by demand for hunters, would also collapse.... Oliver Hill, the joint master of hounds for the United Pack in Shropshire, has bred and hunted foxhounds for 25 years... They would also lose the farmhouse where they live with their two young children because it is owned by the hunt... (story)
Times 2.7.03 The Beaufort fears for its way of life BY SIMON DE BRUXELLES - BERNIE TIDMARSH and his ancestors have shoed horses in the Gloucestershire countryside for more than 400 years... Now Bernie will have to find a way to survive the end of the way of life that he has known for 41 years. At the age of 56, it will not be easy... Tony Holdsworth, kennel huntsman with the Beaufort Hunt, is one of 12 employees who will lose their jobs. He and his wife will also lose their home... (story)
Times 2.7.03 Our countryside has no right to cry fox - SIMON JENKINS - That appears to be that. Within three years there will be no hunting in Britain. The pastime of kings will be dead... On this topic I am an extremist. I do not like hunting but believe passionately that it should not be banned.... There are few sights so picturesque as the Berkeley combing the slopes of the Cotswolds on an October evening, or the Cheshire Hills at full canter through an early mist... Hunting has added to the pleasure of a few. Disagreeable though it may be, it cannot be said to add to the misery of many. Tolerance is the greatest of social virtues. It is a creative engagement in the gift of human difference. By respecting the free will of others, we best protect our own. (story)

Times 2.7.03 Passions aroused over hunt decision FROM MR ADRIAN YALLAND - Sir, The Government’s last-minute decision to withdraw its compromise Bill and to allow MPs the option of voting only for or against a complete ban on hunting (reports, July 1) has shown that it is at best incompetent, or at worst deceptive... ADRIAN YALLAND, 42 Fishers Road, Eling, Totton, Hampshire SO40 9JA (letters)
From Mr Mike Hobday doubt very much that “most of the world” looks down on hunting with dogs “as an indication of complete moral depravity”... As an aside, I do not agree with fox-hunting, but living as I do in the countryside, would not seek to impose my view on those who do, as I realise the part it plays in a threatened and dying way of life. Yours faithfully, MIKE HOBDAY, Oaklands, Stoford, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 0PW
From Mr Christy Kilgour ... At last a cause is important enough for the backbenchers to be spurred into action. Led by dwarfs amongst pygmies, they have trampled over the pleas of the rural minority.... CHRISTY KILGOUR, Bailiff’s Cottage, Chaddleworth, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 7EU.
From Mr Christopher Clayton ... t is inconceivable for the will of the public and our elected representatives to be obstructed by the unelected landowners and cronies of former prime ministers in the Lords. Yours, CHRISTOPHER CLAYTON, Orchard Cottage, Brown Heath Road, Christleton, Cheshire CH3 7PN. (letters)

Guardian 2.7.03 Shooting their fox - Labour backbenchers have finally found their collective courage and voted against the government's wishes to ban a practice they find unpalatable. Was it foundation hospitals? Corporate killing? The minimum wage continuing to be a poverty wage?... No. They voted for a ban on fox-hunting. The unreachable in pursuit of the immaterial. Justin McKeating
At last, this despicable activity will soon be consigned to the statute books... Ali Griffiths, Cambridge
Even as a fellow vegetarian, Dylan Harris's comments on the hypocrisy of anti-hunt meat-eaters offend... Raoul Parekh London
MPs back total ban on fox-hunting - what a lie. Foxes will be hunted with guns, poison and traps in their hundreds and thousands... But the country will be so much a better place when the Hooray Henrys can't have their bit of social fun. How we have advanced. Jim Barty, London (letters)

Telegraph 2.7.03 Not me, guv - The Government's decision to withdraw its own amendment to its hunting Bill 15 minutes before it was due to be voted on (report, July 1), and thus allow MPs the option to vote on a complete ban, indicates that the Government is either dangerously incompetent or frighteningly deceptive.... Adrian Yalland, Eling Totton, Hants (letter)

Western Morning News 2.7.03 'NO U-TURN OVER HUNTING' - JAMES LYONS - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael denied yesterday that the Government had done a U-turn on hunting to win support from backbenchers for foundation hospitals…. (story)
Western Morning News 2.7.03 EARLY START GAMBLE PAYS OFF AS CROWDS POUR IN - Peter Hall reports on the success of the new look Royal Show which attracted many to travel from the Westcountry … And in a poignant gesture on the day that the House of Commons met for the third reading of a Bill that would ban hunting, two Westcountry packs, the Quantock Staghounds and the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers paraded before a supportive audience packed six deep around the grand arena (story)
Western Morning News 2.7.03 MP'S WARNING OVER USE OF PARLIAMENT ACT - Any move to push through an outright hunting ban with the Parliament Act would be an "abuse" of the legislation, a Westcountry MP said yesterday… Gary Streeter, who voted against Monday night's amendments, said many in the Commons would feel that use of the Parliament Act would be "an abuse of process"…. (story)
Western Morning News 2.7.03 WHAT HAPPENS NEXT COULD BE ANYONE'S GUESS - The future for hunting looked bleak yesterday, but as London Editor Jason Groves reports, there are still some doubts about whether a complete ban on hunting will be brought in… (story)
Western Morning News 2.7.03 FEAR FOR FUTURE THAT BINDS THE SHOPKEEPER TO THE PUBLICAN Wandering through the village of Exford, it is virtually impossible to find anyone who isn't connected to hunting in some way…. (story)
Western Morning News 2.7.03 HUNT SUPPORTERS THREATEN TO TURN MILITANT - Hunt supporters across the Westcountry will be watching the progress of the Hunting Bill every bit as keenly as they pursue their quarry in the wake of Monday's controversial vote backing an all-out ban on hunting with hounds… Scott Smale, from Dulverton, rides with several hunts across Exmoor, including the Devon and Somerset Staghounds and the Tiverton Staghounds… Nick Gibbons, the chairman of the Quantock Staghounds, said: "As far as I can see the earliest a ban can come in is about two years when there will be a General Election… Guy Morlock, the master and huntsman for the Spooners and West Dartmoor hunt, said: "I think a lot of the rank and file hunt supporters will have greeted the outcome of the vote with dismay, but when they think about why it happened and how it happened I am not sure they will be so unhappy…" (story)

Scotsman 2.7.03 Anger as Scots MPs vote on English hunt ban - FRASER NELSON AND ALISON HARDIE - SCOTTISH MPs were yesterday facing calls to withdraw from England-only affairs as countryside campaigners reacted with outrage at their part in voting for a total ban on fox-hunting south of the Border. The Scottish National Party and the Conservatives were yesterday joined by the Countryside Alliance in condemning the 27 Labour MPs who voted to end fox-hunting in England in all its forms…. (story)
Scotsman 2.7.03 On the hunt for trouble - HAMISH MACDONELL AND FRASER NELSON - THE sight of riders warming their hands on a stirrup cup with their horses stamping and snorting in the cold Boxing Day air has been commonplace in villages all over England for generations…. If the Labour-led Scottish Executive was shocked by the opposition which rose up from the countryside against the Scottish ban, it will be nothing to the fury that will spur the countryside in England into action….
COMMENT: TRUST OF RURAL COMMUNITY SACRIFICED - Nigel Henson - THIS week we have witnessed the kind of spectacle which can only further erode the public’s respect for our politicians and for parliament. In the House of Commons the minister responsible for the Hunting Bill, Alun Michael, cast aside all pretence at finding a principled and rational resolution of the hunting debate and tossed the government’s bill to back-benchers ravenous for some political red meat… Nigel Henson is the Countryside Alliance’s director of communications (story)
Scotsman 2.7.03 Scotland's MPs should not have voted …In this sensitive context, the decision by 38 Scottish MPs to vote on the English hunting bill - when English MPs had no reciprocal say on hunting north of the Border - is more than sticking one’s nose in where it is not wanted. Rather, it is a manifestation of bad neighbourliness. It is a threat to good constitutional order that undermines the devolution settlement - think of the outcry in Scotland had English MPs weighed into the Holyrood debate… Curiously, in this bizarre episode, the SNP MPs emerge with some credibility, having had the courtesy to abstain…. (story)
Scotsman 2.7.03 When question time is a waste of time - Fordyce Maxwell - IT IS questionable how much good "question times" do other than confirm prejudices… But entrenched positions on genetic modification were as nothing to what happened when questions moved on to hunting. Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister on the panel, put up a stout defence of government policy, but the yoicks-tallyho element in the audience weren’t prepared to hear it… I SUPPOSE on reflection that Mr Michael could think himself lucky to get away physically unscathed from an event which… is still the rural establishment at play…. "One of our survey findings was that people feel intimidated and unwelcome at the show," said the chief executive this week. Small wonder, and it must have included Mr Michael as he waited for the official opening in the main ring on Sunday with packs of foxhounds and staghounds and horn-blowing huntsmen galloping round to applause and the commentator saying: "We hope you can enjoy your sport for generations to come."… (story)

Yorkshire Post 2.7.03 Yorkshire 'will rise up in revolt at hunt ban' The Yorkshire countryside will rise up in open revolt if hunting is banished into history, Tony Blair was warned last night… North Yorkshire farmer and Tory Euro-MP Robert Good claimed the revolt would rally not just hunters but the whole countryside and plunge rural England into its deepest split yet with the Government… Frank Houghton-Brown, the Master of the Middleton Hunt, which periodically numbers Prince Charles among its followers, remains optimistic that parliamentary process will stop the bill… The joint Master of the Bedale Hunt, Charles Frampton, said: "This thing has to be seen through and hunting will continue…" (story)
Yorkshire Post 2.7.03 Hunt ban threatens 'whole way of life' - The vote by MPs for a total ban on hunting with dogs means the pastime may be outlawed. But that would mean more than simply the end of a centuries-old tradition. David Garner reports. FOR farmer's wife Sarah Morley, hunting is part of the fabric of life… Married to one of the joint masters of the Derwent Hunt, she would be deprived of something which has become an integral part of her existence… (story)
Yorkshire Post 2.7.03 HUNTING IN YORKSHIRE - Began in 1668 with the Bilsdale Hunt established by the Duke of Buckingham, reputed to be the oldest pack of foxhounds in England… (story)
Yorkshire Post 2.7.03 Yes, Lords can be forced to bow to the Commons - Brendan Carlin, Political Editor, looks at the process by which a procedural gun can be pointed at the Upper House, forcing it to accept the will of the elected House of Commons…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 2.7.03 Pack favoured by Royals ready to put up fight for survival - One of the country's most famous hunts said the result of last night's vote was just the start of its fight. A ban would mean an end to the Beaufort Hunt roaming the Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset countryside, a spectacle seen since 1640…. (story)

Western Daily Press 2.7.03 HUNTING BAN: WEST IS DIVIDED - The West was split last night over the controversial House of Commons vote to ban hunting throughout Britain. As Tony Blair appeared to sit on the fence over the issue, hunt supporters vowed to fight the ban in the woodlands and meadows of the West's most popular hunting grounds… Other hunt supporters have threatened to defy the law if bloodsports are outlawed, saying they are even prepared to go to jail… (story)
Western Daily Press 2.7.03 LITTLE-USED ACT COULD DECIDE FATE OF RURAL PASTIME - The fate of hunting now depends on the Parliamentary Act, a little used device designed to prevent the House of Lords blocking laws passed by the Commons… (story)
Western Daily Press 2.7.03 ON ONE SIDE ELATION, ON THE OTHER A DEEP SENSE OF ANGER . . . THE ONLY THING THEY AGREE ON IS THAT THERE'S NO ROOM FOR COMPROMISE - Countryside groups across the West last night vowed to continue the fight for fox hunting, and warned the Government its proposed ban would end in failure… Captain Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, which has been chasing across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset since 1640, said the vote shows that the Labour Government is at odds with the countryside… Richard Standing, master of the Mendip Farmers' Hunt, based near Wells, is in no doubt the last-minute amendment, put to the Commons vote after a compromise plan to allow limited fox hunting under licence was dropped, went in the pro-hunt camp's favour… Gill Abbatt, from Winchcombe, vice chairman of the Cotswold Hunt, said they had 25 supporters camping overnight…. (story)
Western Daily Press 2.7.03 THE ANTI-HUNTING LOBBY - Animal rights groups in the West were celebrating "a historic moment for animal welfare" yesterday after MPs voted overwhelmingly to ban hunting with dogs… Anti-hunt campaigner Paul Richardson, of the Cirencester Animal Rights Group in Gloucestershire, said: "My reaction is elation…" Caroline Gould, of Vale Wildlife Rescue Centre, in Beckford, near Tewkesbury, said the Bill seemed like good news… (story)

Bristol Evening Post 2.7.03 WHY HUNTS WON'T BE HOUNDED OUT - Yesterday, MPs voted to ban hunting with dogs. The move sparked cries of outrage from hunt followers and cheers of jubilation from those who have spent decades campaigning against bloodsports. However, it may still be another two years before any prohibition is successfully imposed. Here SIMON HART, director of the Campaign For Hunting and the Countryside Alliance's chief executive designate, explains why he believes the chase is far from over… (story)

Newcastle Journal 2.7.03 Warned to deliver ban - Tony Blair was last night warned by fellow North MPs that he risked "one hell of a row" unless he finally delivers a total ban on fox hunting… Master of the Braes of Derwent Hunt Alan Chapman said yesterday: "There has been a tremendous amount of time, effort and money spent on trying to come up with a workable solution to the issue that would bridge the pro and anti hunt factions…" Sandy Wilson, kennel huntsman for the Morpeth Hunt said: "I wasn't surprised that they voted for an outright ban but we have been here before and I am confident that the Bill will not become law."… Diane Sanderson, from the Newcastle Animal Rights Coalition was at the House of Commons debate in London…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 2.7.03 The Journal: Today's Voice of the North - PM must decide who stays bitter - Tony Blair has been warned in no uncertain terms that - after Monday night's Commons vote… it now appears a certainty that one large group of people is going to be bitter and angry - and will continue to fight for their beliefs. Mr Blair must decide which. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 2.7.03 SHOCK TACTICS THREAT IN BATTLE TO SAVE HUNTING BY PATRICK PHELVIN - Hunt supporters from Devon say they will be adopting resistance-style tactics ahead of the next Government vote on banning hunting with dogs. Countryside Alliance leaders in the county yesterday signalled the gloves were off in the fight to save rural pursuits put under threat when the Commons voted for an outright ban on hunting… targeted demonstrations were already being put into action around the South West yesterday and MPs who voted in support of a hunting ban found manure dumped outside their constituency offices… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 2.7.03 RURAL WORKERS FEAR FOR THEIR LIVELIHOOD - BY SARAH POUNDS - Farrier Simon Persse is one of many rural workers who fear their livelihoods would be hit by a hunting ban. Mr Persse, 38, from Talaton, near Honiton, operates a mobile business shoeing horses…. (story)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 2.7.03 WE'LL CARRY ON HUNTING - CHRIS PROUDLOVE - Prince Charles' discreet visits to the Staffordshire Moorlands could soon be no more than a memory after MPs moved in for the kill on fox hunting. The Prince of Wales has been paying unannounced trips to the Peak District National Park hills around Leek to enjoy the thrill of the chase with the Staffordshire Moorlands and the Meynell and South Staffordshire hunts… Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt joint master Edward Upton said today: "I expected this to happen and I think it's better than the mish-mash that went before…" (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 2.7.03 THREAT OF HUNT UNREST - Militant fox-hunters were threatening a campaign of civil disobedience today as ministers push ahead with plans for a ban…. Women members and supporters of the Brocklesby Hunt, which takes place near Immingham, in Lincolnshire, took part in a women's vigil in London yesterday… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 2.7.03 TALLY GO! OR STAY? - As the contentious Hunting Bill moves a step closer to becoming reality, ALISON SHORT takes a look at why the debate on hunting just keeps on going... Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, said the general public was opposed to a ban on hunting… But John Freeland, of Stroud, who has campaigned against hunting for more than 10 years, is hardly sympathetic to the view that rural communities will be badly affected… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 2.7.03 THE PRO-HUNTING STANCE - Henry Berkeley is Joint Master of the Berkeley Hunt which dates from the Middle Ages and is one of the oldest in the country… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 2.7.03 THE ANTI-HUNTING STANCE - Pat Hemming lives at Broadwell and is a member of the Cotswold Support Group for the Abolition of Hunting… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 2.7.03 SIX YEARS AFTER THE FIRST VOTE - Timeline of the fox-hunting debate. (story)

Daily Post 2.7.03 Hunt ban MPs foxed as Blair signals delay By James Lyons Daily Post Correspondent - A BAN on hunting was plunged into fresh doubt last night when Tony Blair failed to back it… (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 2.7.03 Hunting ban gets support - A Staffordshire MP has voted for a complete ban on foxhunting. Burton upon Trent Labour MP Janet Dean, whose constituency includes Yoxall, Barton under Needwood and Uttoxeter, has condemned the practice as "barbaric"…. (story)

Irish Independent 2.7.03 Fox hunting faces total ban but Blair goes back to lair - FOX hunting looks certain to be outlawed in England and Wales next year despite efforts by Tony Blair to distance himself from the vote by the House of Commons in favour of an outright ban… Marie Woolf and Andrew Grice (story)

Western Mail 2.7.03 Hunt U-turn deal denied by Duncan Higgitt, The Western Mail - RURAL Affairs Minister Alun Michael denied yesterday that the Government had done a U-turn on hunting to win support from backbenchers for foundation hospitals… (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 2.7.03 POLITICS: Huntsman slams MP over ban - A SENIOR huntsman has today slammed city MP Helen Clark for voting to ban fox hunting, but was optimistic the bloodsport would live to fight another day. George Bowyer, joint master of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, which meets in the Peterborough area, said a ban would make 1,000 people who rely on the hunt jobless…. More than 1,000 pairs of knickers were strung around Parliament Square in protest against moves to ban hunting with hounds. The "pantition" was organised by the Ladies of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt, based in Oxfordshire, to coincide with the debate on the Hunting Bill… (story)

Kent Messenger 2.7.03 Most Kent MPs back hunting ban by Political Editor Paul Francis - KENT MPs were divided when it came to Monday's vote to ban hunting - but not totally along party lines… (story)

Birmingham Post 2.7.03 Law seen as thin end of wedge - Visitors to the Royal Show angered over the Government's decision to vote on an outright ban on hunting with dogs said they were concerned about the consequences of the move… (story)

Wilts & Glos Standard 2.7.03 Hunting ban sparks controversy by Steve Barton - THE DEATHKNELL has been sounded for fox hunting after MPs voted to completely ban the pursuit… Hunting supporters from the Cotswold Vale of the White Horse (VWH) and Beaufort hunts were among a Hunting 4 Families group which held a vigil in Parliament Square from Sunday afternoon until the vote at 11pm on Monday… (story in archive)

BBC News Online 2.7.03 How hunt ban could be forced through A little-used act of Parliament may be employed by the government to force through the ban on hunting with hounds… (story)

Northern Echo 2.7.03 Fresh doubt over ban on fox-hunting - A BAN on hunting was plunged into fresh doubt last night when Tony Blair failed to back it…. (story in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 2.7.03 WELSH MPS JOIN CALL FOR FOX HUNTING BAN - ZOE HUGHES - Welsh Labour MPs have joined the overwhelming call for a total ban on fox hunting despite last minute attempts by the Government to bring about a compromise… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 2.7.03 WE FIGHT ON SAY HUNT SUPPORTERS - Hunt supporters in Carmarthenshire have vowed to keep opposing plans for a total ban on fox hunting - despite the House of Commons vote in favour. Carmarthen Hunt member David Parker said the vote was partly what was expected…. Tywi and Cothi Hunt master William Evans said: "I do not know if it will go through."… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 2.7.03 OPINION SPLIT ON HUNTING ISSUE - Grimsby Telegraph readers are split on a fox-hunting ban… we can today reveal the results of the phone poll - one of the closest we have ever staged. In a narrow victory for the pro-hunting camp, 177 voted NO, saying fox hunting should not be banned, while 169 voted YES, the tradition should be ended… Mary Sanderson, a supporter of the Brocklesby Hunt, has vowed to continue the fight against a ban… (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 2.7.03 Fox hunters urge civil protest - MILITANT fox-hunters were threatening a campaign of civil disobedience today as ministers pushed ahead with plans for a ban…. And today the Countryside Alliance joined the Tories and Scottish Nationalists in criticising Scottish Labour MPs for helping to win the vote for a total ban… Edward Duke, former Countryside Alliance chief executive who set up the breakaway Real CA, said his members had nothing to lose now negotiation with the Government had failed… (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 2.7.03 Answer the question - WHEN Scottish MPs cast their votes on proposals for a ban on fox-hunting at Westminster yesterday, they also fulfilled a prophecy made long before devolution even seemed possible. What would happen, asked Tam Dalyell a quarter of a century ago, in situations where Scottish MPs were being asked to vote on matters which affected only England? Would that be democracy once English MPs could not do the same? The answer to the West Lothian Question, as Mr Dalyell’s political poser was dubbed, has never been found. And yesterday we saw the consequences in action…. The Countryside Alliance now plans to march 500,000 protestors through London… (story)

Worcester Evening News 2.7.03 Hunt bill backlash: Defiant farmers descend on Defra's city base - PRO-HUNT protesters kicked up a stink in Worcester when a cavalcade of slurry-laden tractors delivered a smelly message to the Government. Banner-wielding farmers and members of the Countryside Alliance planted a bucket full of manure outside Defra's office's yesterday to make clear their feelings against the Hunting Bill… WORCESTERSHIRE fox-hunters are prepared to take part in a campaign of civil disobedience to protest against any ban. Bob Brierley, of the Worcestershire hunt, said he had no doubt some would also defy any ban… (story in archive)

Shropshire Star 2.7.03 Hunters vow protest chaos to keep sport - Shropshire fox hunters said today they were willing to "do anything' to protect their livelihoods, as ministers push ahead with plans for a ban, warning the Government of a tough fight… Edward Duke, former Countryside Alliance chief executive who set up the breakaway Real CA, said his members had nothing to lose now negotiation with the Government had failed… Members of the South Shropshire Hunt, Ludlow Hunt, United Pack, Teme Valley Hunt and Wheatland Hunt have all pledged to continue hunting whatever the outcome of the ban… (story)

Bath Chronicle 2.7.03 MPS VOW TO KEEP UP PRESSURE ON HUNTING - Anti-hunting politicians have vowed to keep up their campaigning after MPs voted for a total ban on hunting foxes with dogs…. (story)

Mirror 2.7.03 WE'LL FORCE THROUGH HUNTING BAN BY 2005 By Bob Roberts, Political Correspondent - FOXHUNTING will be banned by 2005, it was predicted last night….(story)

Western Daily Press 2.7.03 THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE - - In your article, Death Knell For Hunt…. As for the plans of some hunters to break the law and hunt regardless, I believe they will face their greatest nightmare - thousands of hunt saboteurs working with police support! Personally, I relish the idea of carrying out my first citizen's arrest. M Jones Thorncombe Chard Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 2.7.03 BAD NEWS FOR THE ANIMALS - Who will be the winners of a hunting ban? Not any of the animals, I feel. The hounds will be destroyed unless the RSPCA will take them on, but I do not feel they can afford that… G Jones Weymouth Dorset (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 2.7.03 BLAIR DISPLAYS SHEER SCORN The Government has utter contempt for parliamentary democracy. This is the fourth time MPs express their views about a cruel so-called 'sport'…. MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)


Telegraph 1.7.03 Blair 'shenanigans' over hunting ban By George Jones, Political Editor - Tony Blair was accused last night of acting in "bad faith" by anti-hunting Labour MPs after the Government put further procedural hurdles in front of their attempts to impose an outright ban on foxhunting… (story)
Telegraph 1.7.03 Yesterday in Parliament Reports by Michael Kallenbach, Parliamentary Correspondent - Bill to introduce ban is tough but fair, says Michael… Frank Johnson: Commons sketch…. (story)

Times 1.7.03 End of foxhunting near as MPs snub Blair and vote for ban BY PHILIP WEBSTER, POLITICAL EDITOR - THE END of foxhunting moved dramatically closer last night after Labour MPs defied the wishes of Tony Blair and voted for an outright ban by a huge majority of 208... (story)
Times 1.7.03 Compromise goes to the dogs as minister caves in BY GREG HURST, PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT - MPs VOTED to ban foxhunting outright after a dramatic Commons debate in which ministers caved in after their attempt at compromise came under mounting attack and two Labour backbenchers switched sides... (story)

Independent 1.7.03 Blair suffers fresh blow as MPs vote to ban fox hunting By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent - Tony Blair suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Labour MPs last night when the Commons voted to ban fox hunting and rejected the Government's compromise Bill... The Countryside Alliance said the situation was an "absolute farce"... (story)
Independent 1.7.03 Labour MPs fight back as minister supports hunt bill By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent - Alun Michael, the Rural Affairs minister, last night made a last-ditch appeal to Labour MPs to back the Government's hunting bill which he said would introduce "a ban on cruelty".... (story)

Guardian 1.7.03 MPs back total ban on fox-hunting - 208 rebel majority is blow to Blair - Nicholas Watt and Michael White - Tony Blair last night suffered a humiliating defeat when Labour MPs ignored the government and voted overwhelmingly in favour of an outright ban on fox-hunting. In an embarrassment to the prime minister, who had been pressing for a compromise to preserve a handful of hunts, MPs voted by 362 to 154 to ban the ancient sport. The rebels' majority was 208.... (story)
Guardian 1.7.03 Government pleads with rebel Labour MPs to back 'tough' compromise hunting bill - Hunt supporters turn out as parliament debates a ban on blood sports - Nicholas Watt, political Correspondent - Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, yesterday pleaded with Labour MPs to back the government's compromise hunting bill because it would outlaw all but a handful of hunts.... (story)

Financial Times 1.7.03 Left forces Blair into fox hunt ban By Jean Eaglesham and Roger Blitz - Tony Blair was forced to capitulate to Labour backbenchers' demands for a total ban on foxhunting on Monday night, in a humiliating policy reversal that will reinforce the impression of government weakness... The sense that Downing Street is under fire will be heightened by an FT/MORI poll which on Tuesday reveals the public no longer trusts Mr Blair and is pessimistic about the prospect of improvement in public services.... (story)

Express 1.7.03 MPs vote for total ban on fox-hunting (story)

Sun 1.7.03 Total ban on foxhunting By GEORGE PASCOE-WATSON - Deputy Political Editor - FOXHUNTING will be outlawed within a year after Tony Blair last night finally caved in to his MPs’ demands after six years... (story)
Sun 1.7.03 The Sun Says: Brush off - THERE are a thousand and one big issues worrying Sun readers. Foxhunting is not among them... Chasing vermin with dogs doesn’t even show on the radar. The Government should leave hunting to the experts who understand it. People who live in the country. (story)

Mirror 1.7.03 PM ACCUSED OF CUTTING FOX-HUNTING FOR HOSPITALS DEAL By Naveed Raja - Tony Blair was today accused of cutting a deal with rebellious Labour backbenchers after MPs voted overwhelmingly for an outright ban on foxhunting… Pro-hunting campaigner Clarissa Dickson Wright said the Prime Minister was guilty of political horsetrading, using a fox-hunting ban as a carrot to his own MPs…. (story)

ITV 1.7.03 MPs vote for total hunting ban - MPs have voted overwhelmingly for a total ban on fox-hunting with dogs in England and Wales.... Doubts were immediately raised over whether the bill will now become law during this Parliament, as Mr Michael said it would have to be sent to a Commons committee for procedural work to incorporate the complete ban... (story)

Channel 4 1.7.03 MPs vote for total hunting ban - MPs have voted overwhelmingly for a total ban on fox-hunting with dogs in England and Wales... (story)

IC Scotland 1.7.03 MPs vote to ban fox-hunting - Anti-bloodsports campaigners are celebrating after MPs voted for a total ban on hunting foxes with dogs in England and Wales... (story)

Irish Examiner 1.7.03 UK MPs back hunting ban - Tony Blair has suffered a damaging setback in the Commons as MPs again backed an outright ban on fox hunting with hounds... (story)

Northern Echo 1.7.03 MPs vote for total ban on hunting - MPs voted overwhelmingly last night for a total ban on fox-hunting with dogs in England and Wales... (story in archive)

Scotsman 1.7.03 MPs vote for ban on hunting - FRASER NELSON POLITICAL EDITOR - MPs last night voted for a complete hunting ban in England and Wales, setting themselves on a collision course with the House of Lords and the countryside lobby in a battle likely to rage throughout the summer.... (story)

Glasgow Herald 1.7.03 Overwhelming vote for total ban on hunting with dogs after climbdown - CATHERINE MacLEOD - A TOTAL ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales took a major step forward last night as the government dramatically gave in to pressure from Labour's back benchers rather than face humiliating defeat.... (story in archive)

Irish Independent 1.7.03 British MPs back ban on fox hunting - Gideon Long in London - BRITAIN has moved a step closer to ending its long tradition of fox hunting after members of parliament voted overwhelmingly for a total ban on the countryside sport... Yesterday, more than 1,000 pairs of knickers were strung around London's Parliament Square in a "pantition" organised by the Ladies of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt. (story)

Evening Standard 1.7.03 MPs vote for hunting ban By Patrick Hennessy, Evening Standard - MPs triggered a bitter new battle with peers and countryside campaigners by voting with a massive majority to impose a total ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales… Tony Blair, who had been said to have been ready to back the compromise plan, failed to turn up to the Commons to vote. But some Cabinet ministers voted in favour of a total ban on hunting foxes with dogs, including John Prescott, Paul Boateng, Charles Clarke, Peter Hain and Andrew Smith… (story)
Evening Standard 1.7.03 Confusion over hunting ban By Charles Reiss and Patrick Hennessy, Evening Standard - The attempt to ban hunting was plunged into confusion and disarray today as Downing Street refused point blank to say whether the Government would press ahead… (story)
Evening Standard 1.7.03 Labour's own blood sport - Evening Standard comment …the Commons is now set for a confrontation with the Lords, which will almost certainly reject the bill…. But the Government can only ride roughshod over the upper chamber by invoking the Parliament Act… It will be a grotesque abuse if it is used so that the Government can soften up its backbenchers to get backing for other, politically contentious policies. This measure is illiberal, extreme, intolerant and divisive. It deserves to fail (story)

Western Morning News 1.7.03 MPS VOTE FOR TOTAL BAN ON HUNTING - JASON GROVES - Mps last night voted for a total ban on all forms of hunting… (story)
Western Morning News 1.7.03 ANTI-HUNTING MPS GET THEIR WAY - Mps voted overwhelmingly last night for a total ban on fox-hunting with dogs in England and Wales… (story)
Western Morning News 1.7.03 MINISTER IS CAST IN ROLE OF QUARRY - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael was given a rough ride last night until he finally threw in the towel to his anti-hunting backbenchers. London Editor Jason Groves predicts that the end of hunting may finally be within sight…. It wasn't really Mr Michael's fault. He, after all, is just Tony Blair's hapless stooge charged with the thankless task of banning hunting while appearing not to… Last night's vote looked like the beginning of the end for hunting with dogs. But there is still some way to go before the hounds ride out for the last time (story)

Sky News 1.7.03 BLAIR'S HUNTING DEFEAT - Tony Blair has suffered another setback in the Commons when MPs voted for an outright ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)

Argus 1.7.03 Hunting ban: How your MP voted - Sussex MPs split along party lines in yesterday's Commons vote on hunting, which came out with a huge majority in favour of an outright ban… (story in archive)

Hull Daily Mail 1.7.03 No U-turn on hunting ban - minister - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has denied the Government has done a U-turn on hunting to win support from backbenchers for foundation hospitals…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 1.7.03 Historic vote to outlaw hunting - Fox-hunting is today staring down the the barrel of total abolition after an historic vote by MPs last night… Yorkshire women supporters of the bloodsport – gathered in a long protest vigil at Westminster involving more than 100 hunt supporters from the region – had earlier made clear that they would defy a total ban. Julie Nelson of the Hunsley Beacon Beagles joinedwith Sarah Morley of the Derwent Fox Hounds to insist that they were prepared to break the law and continue hunting… The "pantition" was organised by the Ladies of the Vale of the White Horse Hunt… (story)

Newcastle Journal 1.7.03 MPs snub Blair - Labour MPs delivered a devastating rebuff to Tony Blair last night as they ignored his pleas to back the proposed "middle way" on fox hunting…. North women who braved the rain at Westminster during a pro-hunt vigil last night pledged their confidence that peers would reject a ban on foxhunting… (story)

Leicester Mercury 1.7.03 'WE'RE STILL IN THE HUNT' BY TOM PEGDEN - Hunt supporters in Leicestershire today said they were confident that foxhunting will not be banned - despite MPs voting in favour last night…. Kay Chapman, Leicestershire's regional director with the Countryside Alliance, is optimistic hunting is not over… Tor Owen, chairman of the Belvoir Hunt, said: "We felt that Alun Michael's botched compromise bill was unworkable. To go for a complete ban makes it easier for us to defend." Market Harborough farmer Joe Cowen is joint master of the Fernie hunt which covers Lutterworth, Harborough and Uppingham. He said: "We shall keep fighting. The House of Lords has more sense than Labour MPs." Clive Richardson, Leicestershire spokesman for Hunt Saboteurs Association said: "All hunting is unnecessary and it does not control foxes…." (story)

Gloucester Citizen 1.7.03 MP'S VOTE FOR TOTAL HUNT BAN They have been a familiar sight in the countryside of Gloucestershire for hundreds of years, but huntsmen and their hounds could soon be forced to stop their historic pastime for good…. But Ian Farquhar, joint master of the historic Beaufort Hunt of Gloucestershire, called the result 'a travesty for common sense,' and branded those MPs who voted in favour of a ban, 'prejudiced bigots.' (story)

Western Daily Press 1.7.03 DEATH KNELL FOR HUNTING (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 1.7.03 MPS BACK A BAN ON HUNTING WITH DOGS - Anti-bloodsports campaigners are celebrating today after MPs voted for a total ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. Members supported an outright ban by an overwhelming majority of 208 in the House of Commons last night… Gill Abbatt, from Winchcombe, vice chairman of the Cotswold Hunt, said they had had 25 supporters camping outside overnight with another 25 girls who arrived before the vote…. Fiona Cameron, 49, a jeweller from Grafton, near Tewkesbury, who rides with the Cotswold Vale Farmers, said: "If we lose hunting it will mean the loss of a lot of joy, the loss of quite a few jobs, and of a great link between many different people… Anti-hunt campaigner Paul Richardson, of Cirencester Animal Rights Group, said: "My reaction is elation…" Caroline Gould, of Vale Wildlife Rescue Centre, in Beckford, near Tewkesbury, said: "As a charity we are opposed to hunting with hounds. I am personally as well…" (story)

Daily Post 1.7.03 MPs vote for total ban on foxhunting by Tariq Tahir, Daily Post - TONY Blair last night faced embarrassing defeat over foxhunting as MPs defied the Government to vote for a total ban… (story)

Halifax Courier 1.7.03 VOTE COULD SOUND DEATH KNELL FOR HUNT - AN HISTORIC Commons vote to ban hunting could sound the death knell for the Colne Valley Beagles who meet regularly on the borders of Calderdale and Huddersfield…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.7.03 HUNTERS VOW TO FIGHT ON AFTER MPS VOTE FOR BAN - Devon's anti-blood sports campaigners were celebrating today after MPs voted for a total ban on fox hunting with dogs in England and Wales… The joint master of the East Devon hunt, Michael Moore, dismissed the Hunting Bill as "appallingly bad legislation"…. (story)

Bolton Evening News 1.7.03 Local MPs delight at hunt vote - LOCAL MPS have expressed delight at the result of the Commons hunting vote on Monday night…. (story in archive)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 1.7.03 CAMPAIGNERS CELEBRATE HUNT BAN VOTE - Anti-bloodsports campaigners were celebrating today after MPs voted for a total ban on hunting foxes with dogs… Congleton MP Ann Winterton voted against the ban, but Crewe and Nantwich MP Gwyneth Dunwoody abstained from the vote last night… (story)

York Evening Press 1.7.03 Defiant foxhunters to dump dung on doorsteps by Richard Edwards - DEFIANT North Yorkshire foxhunters were today carrying out a "dirty" protest against anti-hunt MPs - as they again vowed to flout any ban. Members of the Derwent Hunt and the Staintondale Hunt were this afternoon due to leave buckets of horse manure on the doorsteps of MPs who voted in favour of a hunt ban… One of the country's most famous hunts - the Beaufort - said the result of the vote was just the start of its fight… (story in archive)
Ananova 1.7.03 Fox hunters say Operation Bullsh*t will target Prescott - Fox hunters are threatening to leave a bucket of horse manure on John Prescott's doorstep. Members of the Derwent and Staintondale Hunts say Operation Bullsh*t will target local MPs who voted for a ban on hunting with dogs… (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 1.7.03 MPS VOTE FOR FOX-HUNT BAN BY MICHAEL LITCHFIELD - Mps voted last night by a massive majority for an outright ban on fox-hunting - ignoring the pleas of the Government…. (story)

Newcastle Evening Chronicle 1.7.03 North MPs back hunting ban By Bill Jacobs, The Evening Chronicle - Senior North East MPs today demanded the Government force a ban on fox hunting through the House of Lords after the region's Labour MPs voted overwhelmingly to outlaw the bloodsport… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 1.7.03 RESORT MP BACKS CALL FOR TOTAL BAN ON FOX HUNTING - ROB BURMAN AND ZOE HUGHES - Cleethorpes Mp Shona McIsaac last night joined the overwhelming call for a total ban on fox hunting despite last-minute attempts by the Government to bring about a compromise… (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 1.7.03 MPs vote for total ban on fox hunting - Anti-bloodsports campaigners were celebrating today after MPs voted for a total ban on hunting foxes with dogs in England and Wales…. But, a leading member of the South Warwickshire Hunt, farmer Robin Smith-Ryland, of Sherbourne, has condemned the proposal for a total ban… (story)

Western Mail 1.7.03 MPs vote for total ban on fox-hunting (story)

Lancashire Evening Post 1.7.03 Backing for a ban on hunting - Lancashire MPs today predicted fox-hunting will end in two years after the Government's shock move to give in to demands for a total ban…. Today, people in Preston echoed the MP's views. Health care assistant, Diane Orton, 47, of Holstein Street, Deepdale, Preston, said: "I've never been to a hunt and I would never go to one because it's cruel. A ban has been long over-due."… (story)

Worcester Evening News 1.7.03 Hunt ban is backed - THE hunting furore reached fever pitch yesterday in a dramatic Government U-turn in which the House of Commons voted for an outright ban… Worcestershire Hunt spokesman, Bob Brierley said the total ban was "no surprise" as the hunt already faced the prospect of unworkable rules, such as appealing for a licence every 28 days…. (story in archive)

Shropshire Star 1.7.03 Hunting faces outright ban By Peter Johnson - Foxhunting is likely to be outlawed within two years after MPs have voted for an outright ban, sparking the prospect of a massive battle between town and country and another bust-up between the Commons and the House of Lords… (story)
Shropshire Star 1.7.03 Community divided on fox hunting vote By Peter Johnson and John Hipwood - Shropshire and Mid Wales was a divided community today with politicians, activists and the public split down the middle on whether to ban fox hunting… Shropshire Animal Action said the Government U-turn was a "victory for compassion". Spokesman Kevin Leftman said: "The Bill has got a long way to go yet, and while it remains in Parliament we will see yet another season during which animals die horribly…." David Jones, of the David Davies hunt, near Newtown, said: "I do not think fox hunting will be banned and if the Government want a fight they will have a fight." William Wakeham, of the Wynnstay hunt, in Oswestry and north Shropshire, said: "This is nothing to do with foxes, it is to do with Labour Party prejudice." Patrick Webster, of the Albrighton Hunt, said: "We have a Government putting up a totally dishonest bill…. (story)
Shropshire Star 1.7.03 Hunting is centre stage - STAR COMMENT - Tony Blair's trust ratings have nosedived, the Government is at war with the BBC, Labour MPs have been attacking the leadership, and Tories are in the unaccustomed position of leading in the opinion polls. And, guess what? All of a sudden, hunting is shuffled centre stage… Events of the past few days have underlined how spin plays a central role in Tony Blair's Government, even to the extent of sexing up, or sexing down (the jury is still out) the case for war. It is probably being overly cynical to see the stoking up of the hunting issue as a diversionary tactic. But could anybody be blamed in thinking that? (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 1.7.03 Campaigners hail hunting ban vote - ANTI-BLOODSPORTS campaigners were celebrating today after MPs voted for a total ban on hunting foxes with dogs in England and Wales… (story)

Manchester Evening News 1.7.03 Going for the kill - Ian Craig - MPs face a major battle in the House of Lords after voting for a complete ban on fox hunting with dogs… (story)

Liverpool Echo 1.7.03 Hunt ban faces peer pressure - Thomas Martin, Liverpool Echo - ANTI-BLOODSPORTS campaigners were celebrating today (Tuesday, July 1) after MPs voted for a total ban on hunting foxes with dogs in England and Wales… (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 1.7.03 NORTH LINCS MPS IN VOTE TO BAN HUNTING - North Lincolnshire MPs last night joined the overwhelming call for a total ban on fox hunting, despite last minute attempts by the Government to bring about a compromise…. More than 1,300 pairs of knickers were collected for the pro-hunting protest in Parliament Square yesterday to campaign against the Hunting Bill. Mary Sanderson, of the Brocklesby Hunt, who was at the demonstration, said: "We've brought a whole coachload of ladies. They surely understand we care about the animals. We're much more formidable than the men… (story)

Oxford Mail 1.7.03 MPs vote for hunting ban by Suzanne Huband - Anti-bloodsports campaigners were celebrating after MPs voted for a total ban on hunting foxes with dogs in England and Wales… Tonya Wood, a joint master of the Chipping Norton-based Heythrop Hunt, said: "We cannot allow prejudiced MPs to ignore the damage they will do to our families with this unfair and unprincipled legislation."… (story in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 1.7.03 CUMBRIAN MPS VOTE TO OUTLAW ALL FOX HUNTING - CUMBRIA'S Labour MPs last night helped force the Government into a U-turn on fox-hunting…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 1.7.03 Vote for total hunting ban - by Chris Yandell - CENTURIES of tradition in the New Forest look set to end following a vote by MPs for an outright ban on foxhunting… The news was welcomed by anti-hunt campaigners in the Forest, including members of the non-violent New Forest Animal Protection Group… Mike Squibb, chairman of the New Forest Hounds, was unavailable for comment (story in archive)

Essex Evening Echo 1.7.03 South Essex: MP Angela celebrates hunt ban - Anti-bloodsports campaigner Angela Smith was today celebrating the Government's decision to ban hunting with dogs… (story in archive)

Ananova 1.7.03 U-turn on hunting 'was the will of Parliament' - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has denied the Government has done a U-turn on hunting to win support from backbenchers for foundation hospitals… (story)

BBC News Online 1.7.03 Mixed response to hunt ban - A vote by MPs to bring in an outright ban on hunting with dogs has met a mixed response in the South East.... Graeme Worsley, joint master of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, said the initial reaction of hunt supporters had been negative. But, he said, the last-minute withdrawal of the original compromise bill in favour of an outright ban meant it would actually take much longer for it to come into force.... (story)
BBC News Online 1.7.03 Groups react to hunting vote - Pro- and anti-hunt campaigners from the South West are digesting the news that MPs have voted for a total ban on fox hunting... (story)
BBC News Online 1.7.03 Hunting ban 'likely' by 2005 - Hunting with dogs could be outlawed for good by 2005, according to Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael… (story)
BBC News Online 1.7.03 Huntsmen vow to fight on - Huntsmen have said they expect fox hunting to continue in Wales regardless of whether the government outlaws hunting with dogs…. Jeremy Reid, of the Flint and Denbigh Hunt, in north east Wales, said: "I think hunting will carry on. I've not met a person who doesn't think so…." Fellow huntsman Dylan Davies, of the Eryri Hunt in Snowdonia, said any ban would be unenforceable in rural areas… Ralph Cook, chairman of the Wales Alliance Against Cruel Sports, said the MPs vote put the end of the long fight to ban hunting in sight… (story)
BBC News Online 1.7.03 Rural anger at 'roughshod' treatment - Countryside figures have hailed the overwhelming 362 to 154 vote for an outright ban on hunting as the death knell for the Hunting Bill rather than the sport itself… Georgina Worsley is joint master of The Old Surrey and Burstow with West Kent Foxhounds. She hunts "as a family" with her husband and two small children, on a hunt that carries 500 supporters and 40 riders…. (story)
BBC News Online 1.7.03 Hunt master's vow to fight on - For Chris Burrows-Wood, hunting is not a sport - it is a way of life which he describes as the thread which holds the fabric of the countryside community together. He has been involved in hunting for more than 30 years and is Joint Master of the Clifton-on-Teme Hunt in Worcestershire with his wife Jo… "Personally I feel as though we have been stabbed in the back by the government," he told BBC News Online…. (story)
BBC News Online 1.7.03 Beaufort hunt vows to fight ban - One of the country's most famous hunts said the result of Monday's vote was just the start of its fight… (story)
BBC News Online 1.7.03 MP speaks out over hunting issue - A Staffordshire MP has accused the government of sentimentality in wanting to ban hunting with dogs… But Mark Fisher, the Labour MP for Stoke Central, voted against the bill. He says Parliament should be using its time on more important issues. (story)
BBC News Online 1.7.03 Hunting vote dominates papers - While the headlines talk of retreats and U-turns, the small print tells a different story about last night's Commons vote to ban hunting…. (story)
BBC News Online 1.7.03 Most MPs back hunting ban - Most of the region's MPs have voted to ban hunting with hounds…. (story) 1.7.03 Number 10 reluctant to push for hunt ban - Downing Street has refused to say whether the government will push its own legislation banning fox hunting through parliament…. the prime minister's official spokesman would not say whether Tony Blair stood by the bill as it returns to a standing committee before being sent to the House of Lords where it faces a likely defeat… (story) 1.7.03 Blair bruised as MPs ban fox hunting - MPs last night voted for an outright ban on hunting after the government sensationally climbed down and withdrew a compromise amendment… Whilst the move will help to shore up core Labour support in the prime minister, it comes as a further poll conducted by MORI for the FT finds that two thirds of voters believe Tony Blair is "losing his grip"… (story)

Western Morning News 1.7.03 Anger fuel - IN your article "Total ban call could wreck hunt Bill" (WMN, June 27) MP Gerald Kaufman is right in saying that returning the Bill to committee "would be an underhand device which would arouse intense anger in the House of Commons and elsewhere". As an active member of the Labour Party, I am already angry at this Government's history of delay, fudge and inaction over the promised ban on hunting… Helen Weeks, West Coker Somerset (letter)