January 2005 - hunting

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Cumberland News & Star 31.1.05 Hunting: fight is not over - CUMBRIA’S pro-hunt supporters say the fight to overturn the ban on hunting is not over, despite losing their High Court battle…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 31.1.05 HUNT PROTEST CONFUSION - People who defy the hunting ban will not get criminal records, according to police guidelines. The Association of Chief Police Officers has stated that those convicted of breaking the Hunting Act 2004 would not have their offences recorded or notified under national criminal recording standards… (story)
Western Morning News 31.1.05 NO RECORD FOR HUNT CRIMES - People found guilty of breaking the hunt ban will not get criminal records, the Association of Chief Police Officers has revealed. The news has been held up as fresh evidence of how "farcical" the legislation actually is…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 31.1.05 HUNT DEMO TRIAL DATE - Two pro-hunt demonstrators from the county will face trial at the end of May or the beginning of June. David Redvers, 34, a horse breeder from Hartpury, and Luke Tomlinson, 27, of Westonbirt will face charges of disorderly conduct for entering the House of Commons chamber in September…. (story)

Oxford Mail 31.1.05 Pets cause damage too - How right Patricia Howard is about hounds killing cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc (Oxford Mail, January 24). In November, I experienced the same terrible treatment to my friendly poultry by the 'hounds'…. Ban foxhunting? Why? These hounds were domestic dogs let loose in a country environment by the owner who said they needed exercise as they were locked in their town house all week…. PAUL JARVIS, Heathfield Cattery, Heathfield (letter in archive)

Irish Examiner 31.1.05 Saints don’t sit on the fence or join the hunt - ST AIDAN, because he is said to have miraculously saved a stag from hounds, is invoked as protector of hunted animals - his emblem is a stag… There is also St Hubert. Bloodsports are promoted in his name, are they not?... To invoke him as patron of what he renounced is one of the greatest con-tricks ever foisted on the gullible and uneducated. Let us not be fooled. Bríd ní Barói, 5 Ascail, Tireoghan, Portlairge (letter)

The Sentinel 31.1.05 FOXY, FOXY, FAST HE RUNS - Foxy, foxy, fast he runs, From something even worse than guns, As he runs he fears the sounds, Of 30 barking snarling hounds… JULIANA DAY, aged 11 Birches Head (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 31.1.05 WHAT IS THE TRUE PICTURE? - I've never had any interest in fox hunting nor bull fighting, really. Having said that, it takes a brave man to walk into a bull ring armed only with a cloak which is quite different from a huntsman sat on his horse, of course… What is meant by the term cubbing? What is meant by the term blooded? How can you say 59 per cent support hunting? I have asked everybody I know and no one does…. M Stewart, Woad Lane, Great Coates. (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 31.1.05 Bloodless fox hunting fun - Hunting has no need to be banned. It could continue without involving foxes. The huntsmen or women could be split into groups. Someone could go out earlier and lay a variety of trails with a prize for the first group who complete the winning trail. It could still be fun without any blood…. J SHEDLOW, Moortown, Leeds. (letter)


Independent on Sunday 30.1.05 Bolly Ho! - Baying hounds, pink coats, misty downs... the traditional British hunt is alive and well, in southern India - even if they haven't caught a fox in 170 years. James Deavin reports. The hounds can't pick up the scent of the jackal on the morning I join the hunt. The riders, some in pink jackets and turbans, arrive at dawn to find their horses waiting for them with the syces (grooms), most of whom have camped overnight in frosty conditions. Their fires are still smouldering as the final preparations are made for the off, in a landscape more like the New Forest in Hampshire than anything you would imagine finding in southern India… The Ooty Hunt Club was founded in 1835 by British residents of Ootacamund, a Raj-era hill station in the state of Tamil Nadu. Now its membership is 95 per cent Indian, but it still meets once a month to charge through the Nilgiri Hills…. There is existing support for the Ooty hunt in the UK. Last year the Hurworth hunt, in North Yorkshire, donated a four-year-old foxhound called Shepherd to help improve the local bloodline…. (story)


Yorkshire Post 29.1.05 HUNTING DILEMMA GOES TO THE WIRE - What next for Countryside Alliance? - GIVEN how it has taken a ponderous Government almost eight years to bring anti-hunting legislation to fruition, the implementation of such a controversial law was always going to prove divisive…. That divide was clearly visible again yesterday after the Countryside Alliance failed in its High Court bid to halt the ban. The group believed its legal challenge had solid grounds, because of the use of the draconian Parliament Act by the Government to finally bypass sustained House of Lords opposition…. (story)
Western Mail 29.1.05 More legal battles ahead in hunt war - THE bid to overturn the ban on hunting moves to the Court of Appeal next month following its dismissal by two High Court judges yesterday…. The challenge is being brought in the names of businessman John Jackson, co-founder and chairman of the Countryside Alliance, Patrick Martin, huntsman of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt in Oxfordshire, and Mair Hughes, 46, from Gilfach Goch, in the Rhondda, whose husband Brian is joint Master of the Llangeinor Hunt and a farrier…. (story)
Western Morning News 29.1.05 JUDGES REJECT HUNT BAN PLEA - Supporters urged: Keep on fighting - The hunting community was yesterday urged to "Keep hunting, keep fighting" after its leaders lost their first legal battle against the ban on hunting with dogs due in a few weeks' time…. Diana Scott, joint master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said last night: "It was not unexpected. We think it might have more chance at appeal than at this early stage." John Pugsley, chairman of the Dulverton West Foxhounds, said: "I think it is regrettable that the ban has been upheld. I think what most hunting people feel so aggrieved about is that the ban was political extremism in the first place."… (story)
Western Morning News 29.1.05 POLICE'S TACTICAL ENFORCEMENT PLANS 'WILL BE REVEALED IN TIME' - Exactly how the hunt ban would be enforced was still not being specified by police yesterday. The official line from the Association of Chief Police Officers is that the law will be enforced, but the details have not been revealed. It is believed the police are likely to follow hunts to gather evidence of lawbreaking without necessarily making arrests at the time…. (story)
Western Daily Press 29.1.05 FIRST BLOOD TO THE FOXES IN LEGAL BATTLE - Hunters were yesterday told to "keep hunting and keep fighting" after they lost a last-ditch attempt to stop next month's ban. With two possible court appeals being rushed through in two weeks, it appeared almost certain that hunts riding out on February 19 will not be allowed to kill any foxes. But last night militant hunting groups threatened to step up their campaign of direct action, and the ban looks set to spark a massive drive to oust anti-hunt MPs in the forthcoming General Election…. More militant hunting campaigners, the Countryside Action Network, outlined it would step up direct action, especially against Ministers, in the countdown to the General Election… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 29.1.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS VOW TO FIGHT ON - Devon Campaigners back appeal after ban case rejected - Defiant Devon hunt supporters have vowed to fight on after campaigners lost their High Court battle to overturn a ban on hunting with dogs… Michael Moore, one of the joint masters of the East Devon Hunt, said: "A total ban is still a long way off and this is just a battle lost in a much greater war…" Jenny Springett, 70, who has been at meetings of the Silverton Hunt for more than 40 years, said she would back any moves to challenge the latest ruling in the Court of Appeal and beyond… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 29.1.05 'WE'LL CARRY ON BATTLE AGAINST HUNTING BAN' - Huntsmen and women in Gloucestershire have vowed to carry on fighting the hunting ban despite yesterday's legal defeat. The master of the Berkeley Hunt said he was not surprised the initial case had failed but was still optimistic the ban would be overturned as a result of their further legal challenge…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 29.1.05 FOX HUNTERS STAY DEFIANT BY JON DI PAOLO - Fox hunters across Leicestershire today vowed to keep fighting on after a legal challenge to the ban on their sport failed… The Belvoir, Quorn and Cottesmore hunts are to meet in Melton Mowbray on February 19 in a symbolic display of defiance, although they say they will not break the law… Joe Cowen, joint master of the Fernie, which hunts around Market Harborough, said the ruling had not shaken hunters' resolve to overturn the ban…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 29.1.05 CAN THIS BAN BE ENFORCED? - It will come as little to surprise to anyone that the bid by the Countryside Alliance to stop the new law banning hunting with dogs has failed. Campaigners have always been prepared for a long fight and this was only the first round in what is likely to be a long battle…. Does anyone have a clue as to how a ban is going to be enforced by the police? Police chiefs themselves admit concern over the number of officers that might be involved. Are we seriously suggesting that officers will be diverted away from the fight against terrorism, drug smuggling and street violence to chase after huntsmen on horses? Apart from anything else, Leicestershire does not have a mounted section…. (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 29.1.05 HUNTERS TO 'FIGHT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS' - Local hunt groups vow to fight on after the Countryside Alliance failed to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs yesterday. South Wold and Brocklesby see the High Court decision as a setback, but are preparing for an appeal and further fight on human rights grounds… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 29.1.05 HUNT NOT GIVING UP HOPE ON BAN FIGHT - Members of a Neath Valley fox hunt are not giving up the fight against the ban on hunting with hounds, despite a High Court ruling going against them. Two judges rejected the Countryside Alliance's challenge to the Government's use of the Parliament Act to force through the ban. Now members of the Neath Valley-based Banwen Miners' Hunt are resigned to a long wait as the appeal works its way through the courts... (story)
Telegraph 29.1.05 Countryside Alliance bid to get hunt ban ruled invalid fails By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor - The Countryside Alliance fell at the first hurdle yesterday when the High Court dismissed its claim that the Hunting Act 2004 was not a valid Act of Parliament. Unless the Alliance wins an appeal to be heard early next month, the Government's ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales will take effect in three weeks…. But even if their appeal fails, hunting supporters are expected to turn out in force on Feb 19 - leaving the police to decide what action, if any, to take against them…. (story)
Guardian 29.1.05 Hunt supporters outfoxed as high court upholds ban - Countryside Alliance vows to keep fighting - and hunting - after judges reject attempt to challenge legality of ban - Clare Dyer, legal correspondent - Pro-hunt campaigners urged their followers to "keep hunting, keep fighting" yesterday after losing the first stage of their legal battle to stop the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. But they won the right to appeal against yesterday's high court ruling at an expedited appeal court hearing on February 8 - shortly before the ban comes into force on February 18…. The application for judicial review was brought in the names of John Jackson, the chairman of the Countryside Alliance; Patrick Martin, huntsman of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt in Oxfordshire; and Mair Hughes, from Gilfach Goch, Mid Glamorgan, the wife of the master of the Llangeinor Hunt (story)
Independent 28.1.05 Hunters lose court battle By John Aston, Cathy Gordon and Jamie Lyons, PA - Hunt supporters today lost their High Court battle to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales… (story)
Times 29.1.05 Political briefing - Supporters have many hurdles to clear BY PETER RIDDELL - IF YOU are planning on hunting in three weeks, do not give up all hope, yet. The pro-hunt lobby’s attempt to secure a judicial review of last November’s Act banning hunting with dogs predictably failed in the High Court yesterday. But that is far from the end of the story. It is all a question of timing. Even if the outcome of the legal challenges looks certain, upholding the legality of the ban, the when remains uncertain…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 29.1.05 HUNTERS DEFIANT AS BAN UPHELD - William Green - Political Correspondent - DEFIANT hunters yesterday vowed to keep fighting the imminent ban on hunting with dogs despite losing their first courtroom battle. Two senior High Court judges upheld the validity of the 1949 Parliament Act, used in the House of Commons to force through the Hunting Act despite opposition from the House of Lords. The ban is due to take effect on February 18 and will end fox-hunting, stag hunting, and hare-coursing with dogs…. In Yorkshire, Middleton hunt master Charles Gundry promised to stay within the law until it was proved wrong or unworkable… Stephen Newlove, from the York and Ainsty North hunt, said: "It is a nail in the coffin but they have got a few more to get in yet before we are gone completely. We are very much confident that it will get overturned. We have got right on our side."… (story)
Western Mail 29.1.05 Hunters lose case but fight on - THE hunting community has been urged to "keep hunting - keep fighting" after its leaders lost their first legal battle against the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales due in a few weeks' time…. (story)
Eastern Daily Press 29.1.05 Hunt campaigners fail first hurdle - Hunt supporters yesterday lost the first part of a "three-round fight" to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales…. Alliance spokesman Liz Mort said: "We are disappointed that we didn't win the first round but it was to be expected…" Master of the West Norfolk Hunt Roger Lyles agreed it was vital to keep the pursuit alive… (story)
Hull Daily Mail 28.1.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS VOW TO FIGHT ON - Hunt supporters in East Yorkshire today vowed to fight on after losing the first round of the legal battle to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs. Members of the Holderness Hunt are disappointed two senior judges this morning rejected a move in the High Court to declare the ban invalid… (story)
Burton Mail 29.1.05 MP welcomes hunt ban court decision by TOM SLOAN - BURTON’S MP has welcomed a High Court decision to throw out a challenge to the Government’s ban on hunting. Janet Dean hailed the verdict in favour of the Government against pressure group the Countryside Alliance as a victory against a 'barbaric sport'…. (story)
Scotsman 29.1.05 Hunt ban stays in place - THE Countryside Alliance yesterday lost its High Court bid to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales…. (story)

Times 29.1.05 Hunt rebels will not be given a criminal record BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR ANY huntsman or woman found guilty of breaking the hunt ban laws will avoid a criminal record, police have disclosed. The news was a fillip for hunt supporters after they failed yesterday to clear the first fence in their legal challenge to the ban in the High Court… In guidance to police forces Nigel Yeo, the assistant chief constable of Sussex, on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) public order working group, states that offences under the hunting Act carry a fine of up to £5,000 but: “They are not recordable or notifiable under the national crime recording standards and I am also advised by Home Office lawyers that persons convicted of offences under the Hunting Act will not secure a criminal record.”… (story)

Telegraph 29.1.05 Thady Ryan - Thady Ryan, who has died aged 81, was for almost 60 years Master of the Scarteen Hounds, Ireland's most famous pack of foxhounds…. In 2002 he published My Privileged Life with the Scarteen Black and Tans. This portrays a sunny man of great humanity who is essentially untouched by the modern world…. (story)

South Wales Argus 29.1.05 Meet the master of tradition by Mark Choueke - AT 75 years of age Howard Jones (pictured) lives in the house where he was born, in Lower Machen, on the outskirts of Newport…. "I still ride as well now as I ever did, I hunt every Tuesday and Saturday." Though both he and his wife are native Newportonians - June, Howard's wife of 50 years, was born to a Bettws farming family - both avoid going into the city if they can…. Proud of his position as a local figurehead, Mr Jones said: "Tredegar Farmers' Foxhounds, now known as the Tredegar Farmers Hunt Club, was established after the war in 1947 and I've hunted with them ever since. It's a great tradition and I don't understand why so many want it taken away from us. But we won't be dictated to…." (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 29.1.05 BAD SHOW BY OUR GOVERNMENT - Is this Government plain ignorant about the countryside, or is it that it just couldn't care less about country people? Its latest plan to introduce new health and safety licences for country shows, which will result in much higher costs for organisers, will in turn be yet another severe blow to rural people's livelihoods and enjoyment. As it is, unless our hunts can keep their infrastructure together until the ban is repealed, we will see the end of the many shows they organise each year, while this latest act of government nonsense will be the final nail in the coffin for many more country events… Mr R Bird, Acton Turville (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.1.05 BEN IS AN EXCELLENT CITY MP AND HE HAS MY VOTE - J Denny, Points of view, January 26, says he's not impressed by Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw and, as effectively one of his employers, wants to congratulate the pro fox hunter who assaulted him. Who does J Denny think he is? Does he think it's okay for a boss who doesn't like one of their employees to assault them?... Dennis Lewis, Clifford Close, Whipton, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.1.05 LACK OF AGREEMENT NO JUSTIFICATION FOR AASSAULT - I was disgusted to read J Denny's letter. When some thug threw a missile at Ben Bradshaw, cutting his face, they were, according to the police and common sense, committing assault…. Pat West, Address withheld on request (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 26.1.05 NOT IMPRESSED WITH MP BEN'S WORK FOR EXETER - No one has said it yet, but a hearty "well done" to whoever pelted Ben Bradshaw with that offal bomb, Echo, January 18. As a citizen and taxpayer of Exeter, I am one of his employers, and I'm not impressed with his record…. J Denny, Fords Road, St Thomas, Exeter (letter)

Bath Chronicle 29.1.05 SOON WE'LL HAVE LETTERS ABOUT RATS - How long have we got to wait for letters about the terrible cruelty to pests like rats and mice which are taking at least three days to die? Even now people like Kevin Davis and Maureen Holtan want all dogs to be stopped from killing other animals. Obviously they don't mind if poison is used to bait foxes as well. They just do not want to see it being done. But of course pet dogs and cats often find this bait…. All they can refer to is the "fun of the chase" which they call fun of killing and the Chronicle staff seem also very mixed up at the big difference in words…. MRS FM MILLS, School Lane, Batheaston (letter)

Oxford Mail 29.1.05 Blood lust of hunters - I feel sorry for Fred Towns if he really is so blind he thinks the fox has no redeeming features (Oxford Mail, January 22). This creature, hounded to death and cruelly treated for centuries, is among the most beautiful of our indigenous wild animals… This despicable pastime is simply irrelevant, otherwise drag hunting would replace it everywhere. It just exists to satisfy a blood lust. The joys of the chase can persist without animals suffering. GRAHAM BUTLER, Banbury Road, Bicester (letter in archive)


Northumberland Gazette 28.1.05 Hunts vow to carry on the fight - HUNTS across Northumberland have vowed to fight on, despite the Countryside Alliance losing its first legal challenge to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs… Charles Bucknall, chairman of the Percy Hunt, said: “I was not surprised the judges upheld the Government’s decision. I think they felt they should go to the highest court in the land for something of this constitutional nature.” Patrick Cooper, of the West Percy Hunt, said: “We are all very disappointed with the Judges’ ruling but it has still got to go to appeal and we hope for more in our favour.”…


BBC News Online 28.1.05 High Court upholds ban on hunting - Pro-hunt campaigners have lost their High Court challenge to the law banning hunting with dogs in England and Wales…. The RSPCA welcomed the High Court's decision as "a watershed in the development of a more civilised society for people and animals"…. Baroness Mallalieu, president of the alliance, condemned the decision. "What it means is that the House of Commons can pass legislation to destroy any constitutional power of the House of Lords."… (story)
BBC News Online 28.1.05 Hunting: What happens next? - Pro-hunt campaigners have lost their High Court challenge to the law banning hunting with dogs in England and Wales - but the battle now moves to the court of appeal. BBC News examines what happens next…. (story)
Financial Times 28.1.05 High Court upholds ban on foxhunting By Emilie Filou - The Countryside Alliance's bid to challenge the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales was dismissed by the High Court on Friday… Pro-hunters, however, have been allowed to pursue their claim in higher courts, and the Countryside Alliance is expected to to to the the Court of Appeal on February 8… (story)
Cambridge Evening News 28.1.05 Hunt supporters 'gutted' as court rejects appeal - CAMBRIDGESHIRE hunt supporters were distraught after the Countryside Alliance lost its High Court battle to overturn a ban on hunting with dogs…. Sacha Wheatley, joint master of the Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace Hunt, said she was "gutted"… (story)
Manchester Evening News 28.1.05 Alliance to appeal against hunt ban ruling - The COUNTRYSIDE Alliance will not give up the chase despite today's setback. Although its challenge failed, the judge has given the alliance leave to appeal…. (story)
Cumberland News & Star 28.1.05 Hunters lose court battle - Hunt supporters today lost their High Court battle to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales… (story)
Sky News 28.1.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS LOSE - The Countryside Alliance has lost the latest round of their battle to carrying on fox hunting. The pro-hunt campaign group had claimed that the Government's use of the Parliament Act, which was used to push through a ban, was invalid. However, a High Court judge refused a judicial review of the act. Supporters have been given leave to take their case to the Court of Appeal…. The application was brought in the names of John Jackson, chairman of the Countryside Alliance; Patrick Martin, huntsman of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt in Oxfordshire, and Mair Hughes, 46, from Gilfach Goch, Mid Glamorgan, wife of the Master of the Llangeinor Hunt, who is also a farrier. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 28.1.05 High Court challenge to hunts ban in England fails - HUNT supporters today lost their High Court battle to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. The Countryside Alliance challenged the validity of the 1949 Parliament Act, which MPs used in the House of Commons to introduce the Hunting Act because of opposition from the House of Lords…. (story)
BBC News Online 28.1.05 Judges set to rule on hunting ban - High Court judges are due to rule on a legal challenge to the law banning hunting with dogs in England and Wales…. Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter, rural spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Constables (ACPO), says their aim would be to gather evidence for a prosecution. "What we probably wouldn't do is go out there and say 'stop' to the hunt, but gather evidence using our eyes and video cameras," he said…. The call for a judicial review over the ban was in the names of Countryside Alliance chairman John Jackson and Mair Hughes, from Gilfach Goch, Mid Glamorgan, wife of the Master of the Llangeinor Hunt … (story)

BBC News Online 28.1.05 Police told 'avoid hunt arrests' - Police may decide not to break up illegal fox hunts if the ban is upheld, BBC News has learned. Instead they may video the hunt for future prosecution, according to police guidelines released under the Freedom of Information Act…. Alastair McWhirter, rural spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), says officers would not normally break up illegal hunts but would aim instead to take legal action later…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 28.1.05 Hunters fly in face of the law By Ruth Lythe - CUMBRIA'S hunting community has unveiled an arsenal of controversial tactics that would allow them to continue with their sport in the face of an imminent ban. Tom Fell, Cumbrian director of pro hunting organisation the Countryside Alliance, said that hunt members had been scouring legislation passed last November for legal loopholes that would allow them to keep on with the pursuit within the confines of the law if the ban was implemented on February 18…. "There are no restrictions on using a pack of hounds to flush out mammals to a bird of prey. The method has been used with spaniels to drive a bird or rabbit to a hawk or eagle," said Mr Fell…. Field master of the Lunesdale Foxhounds Malcolm Robinson said he was expecting "a large turnout" for the meet on February 19. And joint Master of the Coniston Foxhounds Doreen Westmoreland said that the hunt also planned to meet on February 19, as an act of defiance…. (story)

Craven Herald 28.1.05 Pro-hunting lobby vows to overthrow Labour MP - PRO-HUNTING campaigners want to de-seat Pendle's Labour MP Gordon Prentice in the forthcoming general election…. According to the Sunday Telegraph, husband and wife Charles and Chipps Mann have unleashed a political crusade, infuriated by the hunting ban which is due to come into force at midnight on February 17… (story in archive)

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 28.1.05 Veteran hunstman launches political war on Government by Tom Shepherd - VETERAN huntsman Charles Mann has quit the Countryside Alliance (CA) to pursue a political campaign against the Labour Party. The 53-year-old member of the Vale of the White Horse hunt is busy mounting a military-style operation from his South Cotswold farm. Along with his wife, Chipps, he is targeting marginal constituencies with a view to shattering Labour's election plans, and ultimately reversing the Government's ban on fox hunting, which comes into force next month… (story in archive)

Hexham Courant 28.1.05 VILLAGE IS NO PLACE FOR POLITICAL POSTERS By JOSEPH TULIP - THERE is no place for banners promoting ongoing political issues in Stamfordham, councillors have agreed. The decision comes after editor of the Stamfordham Communicator David Stanley called for the removal of several Countryside Alliance posters from roads leading into the village…. (story)

Western Morning News 28.1.05 HISTORIC HUNT INTEGRAL PART OF RURAL LANDSCAPE - The East Cornwall Hunt has been hunting on Bodmin Moor for more than 100 years and are not prepared to give up their historic tradition without a fight. Katie Dawson reports… (story)
Western Morning News 28.1.05 TRADITION PASSED ON THROUGH GENERATIONS - Farmer Trevor Burley has been hunting in the Cornish countryside for more than 50 years. He began at the age of nine and now hunts regular with the East Cornwall Hunt, where he is the field master, and the Four Burrow Hunt, whose country lies near Truro…. (story)

Western Morning News 28.1.05 HUNTSMAN HONOURED - A testimonial lawn meet will be held in honour of Bob Street, the well-known professional huntsman of the Silverton Foxhounds. The meet will be held at the Crediton home of chairman Robin Knight Bruce on Monday, February 7 at 11am…. (story)

Kent/Sussex Courier 28.1.05 HUNT FINDS FIREWORKS IN FIELD WHERE MEET HELD - A PRO-hunt supporter has claimed that fireworks left in a Hever-based field were designed to kill or maim riders and horses during a meet on Saturday. Hunt joint master Graeme Worsley said that about seven fireworks, which had been left on a timer, could have gone off as the 150-strong group met if it had not been for a fellow hunter who spotted them…. (story)
Sevenoaks Chronicle 27.1.05 EXPLOSIVES FOUND HIDDEN NEAR HUNT BY GILLIAN COPE - Safety of more than 200 people and animals jeopardised by 'act of terrorism' Police were called to a fox hunting meeting in Hever on Saturday morning when lit fireworks were discovered nearby in what has been described as 'an act of terrorism'…. Around 150 bystanders ranging from babies to senior citizens who were also there to see off the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt. Members smelled burning and found the pyrotechnics tucked behind the hedge of a field next to the car park… (story)
Sevenoaks Chronicle 27.1.05 FOXED ABOUT EXPLOSIVES - The Incident of the lit fireworks found near to a hunt meet in Hever last weekend has been met not only with anger but confusion as to the motive of this seemingly senseless act. The potential danger that horses and hounds of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent hunt were exposed to raises doubts as to whether hunt saboteurs or animal activists were involved… Whoever is responsible for this act, it seems that the only thing achieved on the day was to risk animal life and create a wider gulf between the pro and anti hunt communities (story)
East Grinstead Observer 26.1.05 Fireworks found near fox hunters By Cathy Reeves - POLICE are investigating after fireworks were found in a field next to a gathering of fox hunters. The explosives, including rockets, were discovered yards from where the Felbridge-based Old Surrey and Burstow Hunt were unloading horses at Hever, in Kent, on Saturday. Huntmaster Graeme Worsley, of Copthorne, believes the devices were set deliberately by saboteurs…. (story)
BBC News Online 25.1.05 Rockets 'left by hunt saboteurs' - An incident where fireworks were found in a field close to where a fox hunt was due to meet is being investigated by Kent Police. Officers have confirmed that rockets were found next to a car park in Hever before the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt met on Saturday… Supporter Nick Onslow said there would have been serious injury and possibly deaths if the devices had gone off… (story)
Kent Messenger 25.1.05 Hunt firework ambush described as 'terrorism' by Rob Bailey - THE tactics of animal activists who tried to attack riders on a hunt with fireworks have been called "terrorism". Seven incendiary devices, believed to be display-strength rockets, were discovered on the route of a hunt in Hever, near Sevenoaks, on Saturday. Members of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt averted the danger when they smelled burning and uncovered time-delay fuses set to fire the rockets. Some 90 horses were taking part in the hunt including children on ponies…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 28.1.05 Hunting and the hunted From: David Quarrie, Lyndon, Acomb, York. If the Country Landowners' Association were to win their present High Court action against the Government by claiming the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 were illegal, fox hunting would still not be saved…. this Government is so determined to ban all hunting it would be prepared to carry out this action and once having achieved that, will almost certainly try to ban shooting and then fishing. Socialist governments nearly always end up hurting their core supporters the most (letter)

Post & Times 28.1.05 HYPOCRISY AT THE TOP - A correspondent wrote last week in favour of banning foxhunting and suggesting that drag hunting take its place. In that letter my name was mentioned in the context of my continued reference to the ritual slaughter of cattle for Muslim/Jewish consumption… In respect of these two instances of alleged animal cruelty - the government invited and received recommendations following comprehensive examination by government appointed 'agencies'. In both cases the government has taken the opposite of what has been recommended. It chose to ban foxhunting although Lord Burns did not recommend a ban (and he actually voted in the Lords against a ban) and the government chose to allow ritual slaughter to continue despite agreeing publicly with the prestigious Farm Animal Welfare Council's recommendations that it is both cruel and should be banned… why do I bang on about ritual slaughter? Because it illustrates perfectly the total ignorance and hypocrisy of this corrupt and inept government and its attitude towards rural people, rural life and rural community traditions. Peter Brady New Lodge Farm Flash (letter)

Henley Standard 28.1.05 Foxes admired by hunters - It is about time the anti-hunting lobby was honest and admitted that the debate is not about foxes at all. Some Labour MPs have admitted as much. It is ‘class warfare’ which only goes to show that the majority of ‘antis’ have never been to a hunt… Wendy Shuttleworth, Henley Road, Medmenham (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 28.1.05 JUST WHERE IS 'MAJORITY' OPPOSED TO HUNTING? - A bigot is "someone who has very strong and unreasonable opinions about people who belong to a different race, religion, or political group and refuses to change their opinions"…. I am very glad Mr Torr thinks I may have a view on the subject, but who are the 76% of the public who voted for a ban and when did this supposed vote take place?... A total of 407,000 people marched to support hunting. That figure was only beaten by the anti-war march. The Countryside Alliance has 350,000 members and is growing. There are 67,000 hunt members (and growing) but 700,000 people attending events associated with hunting. (Figures from the Daily Telegraph)…. When is the march in favour of a ban? Can the supposed majority be bothered (or is it easier to tick a box or answer "yes" when confronted when out shopping by someone waving a clipboard at you)…. Turn your gaze to the town not the countryside for cruelty as entertainment. J. ADDISON Woodthorpe Court Chestnut Walk Nottingham (letter)


Scotsman 27.1.05 Falconer Signal Parliament Act Change By Andrew Evans, Lords Staff, PA News - The Parliament Acts, used to force the ban on foxhunting into law and now subject to a judicial review in the High Court, need to be amended, the Lord Chancellor said tonight. Lord Falconer of Thoroton told peers: “We don’t want to curtail the (Lords’) ability to delay (legislation), but we need to make it simpler, clearer and much more appropriate to today’s arrangements.”…(story)

Tamworth Herald 27.1.05 HUNTING DECISION IS DUE - A Decision which could see the ban on hunting reversed is due to be made in the High Court tomorrow (Friday). On Tuesday the Countryside Alliance presented a legal challenge to the validity of the 1949 Parliament Act which was invoked to pass the Hunting with Dogs Act in November 2004…. (story)
27.1.05 DECISION TIME FOR HUNT BAN HEARING - Hunt supporters will learn tomorrow the outcome of their High Court bid to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. The Countryside Alliance is seeking a ruling that the ban, due to come into force within a few weeks, is "invalid"… The application for judicial review being considered by the court is in the names of Alliance chairman John Jackson, Bicester Hunt member Patrick Martin, from Oxfordshire, and Mair Hughes, 46, from Gilfach Goch, Mid Glamorgan, wife of the Master of the Llangeinor Hunt… (story)
Western Morning News 27.1.05 DECISION EXPECTED SOON ON HUNT BAN DELAY BID - Hunt supporters will learn tomorrow the outcome of their High Court bid to overturn the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. The Countryside Alliance is seeking a ruling that the ban, due to come into force within a few weeks, is "invalid"… (story)
North Devon Journal 27.1.05 HUNTING BAN FIGHT BEGINS - Opponents of the hunt ban have begun a last-ditch bid to have the law overturned. The Countryside Alliance on Tuesday urged the High Court to declare a ban on hunting with dogs "invalid."… (story)

Daily Post 27.1.05 Call for amendment to hunting ban - LORD Ellis Thomas has reiterated his appeal to the Assembly to devolve the Hunting Act. The Assembly's presiding officer told the NFU Meirionnydd annual conference the hunting ban should be "urgently addressed". Legal experts have assured him that section 2.2 allows the Welsh Assembly to amend the exempt hunting section of the Act…. (story)
Western Gazette 27.1.05 HUNTS PLAN WAYS TO CARRY ON THE CHASE - Opposing sides will know tomorrow whether hunting with hounds will be allowed to continue. Two senior High Court judges are deciding whether to grant a review of the Government's ban on hunting, which will come into force on Friday 18 February… Martin Hutchinson, joint master of the Park Beagles Brown Hare Conservation Group, said: "We are going to carry on hunting in a legal way; we'll get the hounds to hunt a scent line…" Hunt protester Neil Buckoke said: "When a law is passed I don't think they should have a chance to change it, the courts should throw it out…" John Rawlins, master of the Blackmoor and Sparkford Vale Hunt said: "On the first day after hunting with quarry becomes illegal, we are having a meet where we will be hunting an artificial scent. It will be a drag hunt. The main reason is to show the Government we will not just pack up and go away and will be carrying on the rural tradition…." (story)

Torquay Herald Express 27.1.05 SECRECY OVER VISIT BY OFFAL ATTACK VICTIM MINISTER - Secrecy surrounds the Fisheries Minister's three visits to South Devon towns today and tomorrow after he was attacked last week by hunting campaigners in Exeter with a missile filled with animal offal. He's even lunching in mid-river to avoid any more sudden assaults, after the last attack was captured by TV cameramen and shown on prime-time news. Minister Ben Bradshaw, who will have police protection, was cut on the face by the offal "bomb" outside a big fisheries conference at county hall…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 27.1.05 HUNT FOLLOWERCLAIMS ATTACKBY SABOTEURS - A Hunt supporter was assaulted and a number of cars were damaged during a hunt meeting in Laxton last weekend. The incidents took place on Saturday January 22. A man's car was attacked and, when he got out, he was allegedly punched and kicked by a group of people…. (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 24.1.05 HUNT GROUP ATTACK CLAIM - Police are investigating an assault on a member of a Notts hunt group. Peter White, of Kneesall, claims he was assaulted in front of his 12-year-old daughter at 4pm on Saturday after a hunt meeting at Laxton, near Ollerton. Mr White, a member of the Grove and Rufford hunt, claimed a group of ten attackers assaulted him after he tried to stop them attacking his Land Rover… (story)

Daily Record 27.1.05 HUNTSMAN OFF THE HOOK - A MAN accused of breaking Scotland's hunting ban has had the charges dropped after almost two years. The decision over Rory Innes, 27, former master of the Jedforest Hunt, follows the acquittal of Trevor Adams, former master of the Buccleuch Hunt, last month…. (story)
BBC News Online 26.1.05 Court drops fox hunting charges - Charges have been dropped against a Borders huntsman accused of breaking Scotland's fox hunting legislation, it has emerged. Former master of the Jedforest Hunt Rory Innes, 27, has been told that proceedings against him have been discontinued after almost two years. It comes a month after Buccleuch huntsman Trevor Adams was cleared of breaching anti-hunting legislation…. A spokesman for the Scottish Countryside Alliance welcomed the decision, saying it vindicated its position. (story)

Leicester Mercury 27.1.05 HUNTS SET DATES FOR MEETS - Atherstone, Belvoir, Cottesmore, Fernie, Quorn…. (story)

Western Gazette 27.1.05 'WORN STIRRUP' TO BLAME FOR HUNTSMAN'S FALL - A Pillar of a village community died in what has been described as a freak accident while taking part in a hunt. Murray Stoddart died after his stirrup leather broke and his horse bolted over a gate, throwing him off, an inquest heard last week. He was a well-known and respected figure within the hunt fraternity and East Coker. Mr Stoddart, who was 62, of East Coker, suffered severe head injuries from the fall at Eggardon Hill, Bridport. He had been out with the Cattistock Hunt….(story)
Western Daily Press 20.1.05 FALL KILLED HUNTSMAN - Life-long hunt supporter Murray Stoddart died in a freak accident after his stirrup leather broke and his horse bolted over a gate, throwing him off, an inquest heard yesterday. A well-known and respected figure within the hunt fraternity and his village community, Mr Stoddart, 62, of East Coker, near Yeovil, Somerset, Hunt, suffered severe head injuries from the fall. He had been out with the West Country's Cattistock hunt… (story)
Weymouth Echo 20.1.05 A HUNTSMAN died when he fell from his horse after his stirrup leather broke, an inquest heard. Murray Lawrence Stoddart was hunting with the Cattistock Hunt in Uploders valley, near Bridport, when he lost control of his hired horse…. (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 27.1.05 PLAYING FOR TIME ON HUNTING BAN - The Countryside Alliance is challenging in court the validity of the Hunting Act. Their case appears hopeless, but they will apply for an injunction to delay implementation of the Act pending their appeal…. POWA suspects this is another Government tactic to frustrate the will of the people and MPs on this issue. We urge readers to contact their own MP, and Tony Blair (via www.number-10.gov.uk), to demand that any injunction to delay implementation of the Hunting Act is vigorously opposed. Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.1.05 SELFISH 'WAYS OF THE COUNTRYSIDE' - I have seen some disturbing arguments put forward by hunt supporters but Mr Gouriet's idea that hunting teaches children "the ways of the countryside" (Letters, Jan 17) is probably the most scary. I cannot think of any situation where learning to indulge oneself by setting loose a pack of dogs in pursuit of another living animal, riding a horse recklessly after them, disturbing livestock, invading villages and causing disruption on our roads would be considered a desirable credential for future life…. Gill Purser Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.1.05 SUCH IGNORANCE OVER CHILD MEETS - As the father of Annabel Gouriet who was mentioned in the article,"Child riders spark storm of protest at foxhunt tradition", I totally refute both the exaggerated headline and the comments made by Gill Purser and Douglas Batchelor that as a parent I am exposing my children to "unnecessary brutality" and "an atmosphere of cruelty"…. James Gouriet Tetbury Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Gazette 27.1.05 DOCTOR WRONG ABOUT FOX DIET - I Refer to the letter from Dr Bob Jones on 13 January attempting to ridicule Helen Weeks' letter of the 6th instant. I would recommend that he undertakes some reading on the subject of foxes and their diet before committing his prejudice to print… S James, West Coker Road, Yeovil. (letter)
Western Gazette 20.1.05 GAPS IN KNOWLEDGE - Dr Bob Jones, in his recent letter to the Western Gazette, claims that Helen Weekes "displays a severe ignorance of wildlife" which "renders hollow" her anti-hunting views, when she states that foxes eat insects and berries. I would refer him a book by Dr David Macdonald, Running with the Fox, in which the author, one of the country's leading experts on fox behaviour, describes and lists the fox's diet… Peter Irvine, Blandford, full address supplied. (letter)
Western Gazette 20.1.05 NOT A WILDLIFE EXPERT - Dr Bob Jones (Letters, 13 January) is not the wildlife expert he would have us believe. Foxes do indeed eat insects (mainly beetles) along with berries (in October/November fox droppings in my garden were stained purple with blackberry juice and full of seeds), worms, fallen fruit, rodents, and the occasional rabbit…. I would suggest that in future, Dr Bob Jones makes sure of his facts before putting pen to paper. Helen Weeks, West Coker Hill, West Coker (letter)
Western Gazette 20.1.05 THE TRUTH BEHIND HUNT SCENES - There were two letters in the Western Gazette last week concerning fox hunting. One was from hunt supporter Richard English praising people who turned up to support the Seavington Hunt on Boxing Day… The other letter, from Helen Weeks, told of the appalling cruelty that occurred later in the day. I would like to thank Helen for exposing the truth behind the so-called colourful hunt scenes on Boxing Day… Robert Chapman, Camborne Place, Yeovil. (letter)
Western Gazette 13.1.05 ARGUMENT NEGATED - Does Helen Weeks of West Coker Hill (Letters, 6 January) seriously believe that foxes eat "insects and winter berries"? If so, she displays a severe ignorance of wildlife, negates her argument, and renders hollow her point of view about hunting… Dr Bob Jones, Horsington, full address supplied. (letter)
Western Gazette 6.1.05 THIS IS NOTHING LIKE PRETTY PICTURE - What colourful Boxing Day scenes of happy hunters astride their sleek horses, small children sitting on ponies or patting hounds, surrounded by well wishers, and a Tory MP thrown in for good measure. I would like to ask your readers to picture another colourful scene, a short distance away, of a beautiful young fox yawning in the bright winter sunshine as it settles to sleep after a night spent foraging for insects, winter berries, voles, mice and if really successful a rabbit. Peel away the colourful facade and move on to later in the day, where another scene is unfolding. A sordid scene of brutality and evil intent, the ugly guttural shouts of men urging the dogs on to the quarry or driving the terrified fox back to the hounds…. Helen Weeks, West Coker Hill, West Coker (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.1.05 GOOD AND BAD - I Was listening to the radio today about the tsunami disaster and the wonderful response from the public in helping both the people and wildlife of that area. I then put on the TV and saw a bunch of thugs (Countryside Alliance Supporters) throwing missiles made of intestines. At least the public is seeing what the pro-hunters are really like…. N. Buckoke, Dorchester, full address supplied (letter)

Evesham Journal 27.1.05 They are not furthering cause - THE hunt in full cry across the fields is a fine sight I must admit… Recently the hunt visited adjacent land. How dare these arrogant people dispatch hounds over my fence into my garden?... They really know how to further their cause, don't they? B GODWIN, Rous Lench (letter in archive)

Ormskirk Advertiser 27.1.05 Questions that should be asked - NOW that Rosie Cooper has been selected as the Labour Party's Parliamentary candidate, may I, on behalf of West Lancs Green Party, welcome her to this constituency…. Could I ask her to clarify her position on the following ten questions, so we know where she stands on a number of official Labour policies?... 8, What is her attitude towards blood sports?... MAURICE GEORGE, Yew Tree Road, Ormskirk (letter)

Frome & Somerset Standard 27.1.05 BUSH SPEECH MADE ME SICK - After listening to George W Bush's inauguration address last week, I was left suffering from a chronic dose of nausea. The President's futile attempt to occupy the high moral ground and lecture his audience on global freedom was like listening to a Master of the Hunt give a talk on animal rights…. KEN GLASS, Delmore Road, Frome (story)


Telegraph 26.1.05 Hunting ban 'not a true' Act of Parliament By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor - Legislation designed to ban hunting with dogs in England and Wales "is not truly an Act of Parliament", the High Court was told yesterday. Opening a constitutional challenge on behalf of the Countryside Alliance, Sir Sydney Kentridge, QC, argued that "what is called the Hunting Act 2004" had been passed under the Parliament Act 1949, which itself was invalid…. (story)
Times 26.1.05 Ban on hunting is unlawful, alliance argues in court case BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE ban on hunting which will affect the lives of thousands of people throughout the country is unlawful, the High Court heard yesterday. With less than a month before the ban comes into force on February 18, the Countryside Alliance launched a legal action to the save the sport… The challenge to the act's validity is in the names of the alliance's chairman, John Jackson, the Bicester hunt member Patrick Martin, and Mair Hughes, from Gilfach Goch, Mid Glamorgan, wife of a farrier who is also the Llangeinor hunt's master. … (story)
Guardian 26.1.05 Hunt lobby in court for fight to overturn ban - Clare Dyer, legal correspondent - The hard-fought battle over the ban on hunting with dogs moved into the courts yesterday as the Countryside Alliance began its challenge to the validity of the Hunting Act, just weeks before the ban is due to come into force…. (story)
Independent 25.1.05 Pro-hunt lobby launches High Court challenge By John Aston and Cathy Gordon, PA Legislation used to force through the ban on hunting with dogs "is not truly an Act of Parliament" and the ban is therefore invalid, the High Court was told today. Thousands of people are due to lose livelihoods and "a major source of recreation and enjoyment" because of the fundamental legal flaw…. (story)
Western Morning News 26.1.05 HUNTING BAN INVALID HIGH COURT IS TOLD - The Countryside Alliance yesterday urged the High Court to declare a ban on hunting with dogs "invalid". Its appeal came at the start of what has been described as the most important constitutional case for a century…. (story)
Western Morning News 26.1.05 PRO-HUNTERS' CHALLENGE TO THE CONSTITUTION - The intentions of long-dead MPs who passed a law 94 years ago will decide whether hunting should be banned. Yesterday, even the leader of the Countryside Alliance admitted their legal challenge at the High Court had "little to do with hunting" and much to do with "the constitutional arrangements in our country and respect for the law"…. (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 26.1.05 HUNT: LEGAL CHALLENGE IS BACKED - Huntsmen and women in Gloucestershire hope a legal challenge to the ban will end in victory. The Countryside Alliance is challenging the Government's use of the Parliament Act to force through the ban at the High Court…. Roger Bennett, a committee member of the Broadway-based Cotswold Hunt, said: "We have high hopes. But personally I think we'll have more success with the European Human Rights Act….." Mark Hill, joint hunt master of the Vale of the White Horse hunt, based in Meysey Hampton near Cirencester, said: "We're all on tenterhooks waiting for the result. It's only the first in a number of stages that could last years."… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 26.1.05 PRO-HUNT PROTEST IN COURT - Welsh pro-hunt supporters have travelled to London as the legal fight against a ban moves to the High Court. The protesters claim the Commons had no right to ban hunting and the 1949 Parliament Act - used by the Commons to overrule House of Lords objections - was unlawful…. The ban is due to come into effect on February 18 but among the protesters was Mair Hughes, whose husband Brian is master of the Llangeinor Hunt, near Bridgend… (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 26.1.05 Hunting supporters target Widdecombe's Ryedale visit by Victoria Young - OUTSPOKEN Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe met her critics head-on when she was confronted by angry hunt supporters in a Ryedale town. The MP, who is a prominent opponent of hunting, was greeted with boos and shouts of "you're not welcome here" when she arrived at the Feversham Arms Hotel in Helmsley to promote her third novel. But rather than dodging the campaigners and their placards, Miss Widdecombe fought her corner when interrogated by Ivan Holmes, a farmer from Old Byland, who is field master with the Bilsdale Hunt…. Among the 40-strong crowd, which staged a noisy but peaceful demonstration, was Ian Kibble, master of Ampleforth Beagles. He said: "I'm here in protest against the injustice of this hunting ban, which Miss Widdecombe approves of. It's based on ignorance, bigotry and prejudice."… (story in archive)
Yorkshire Post 21.1.05 TORY MP TURNS ON 'CRUEL' HUNTERS AT PROTEST - Brian Dooks - HUNT supporters pursued the Tory MP Ann Widdecombe yesterday only to have her turn and face them and condemn their activities as "monstrously cruel". Miss Widdecombe was targeted for a demonstration by members of the Sinnington, Middleton and Bilsdale Hunts and the Ampleforth Beagles as she arrived to speak at a literary lunch in Helmsley, North Yorkshire. But the anti-hunt MP – one of only three Conservatives to vote in favour of the ban – stood her ground when she was challenged by the fieldmaster of the Bilsdale Hunt, Ivan Holmes, outside the Feversham Arms. She told him: "You may hold it very dear, but to me it is monstrously cruel…. Meanwhile, the shadow minister for countryside affairs, James Gray, yesterday became the latest Tory MP to visit the Holderness Hunt at Etton, near Beverley… (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 21.1.05 Campaigners hound Widdecombe as she launches novel by Victoria Young - OUTSPOKEN Tory MP Ann Widdecombe met her critics head-on when she was confronted by angry hunt supporters in a North Yorkshire town. The MP, who is a prominent opponent of hunting, was greeted with boos and shouts of "you're not welcome here" when she arrived at the Feversham Arms Hotel in Helmsley to promote her third novel, Father Figure. But rather than dodging the campaigners and their placards, Miss Widdecombe fought her corner when interrogated by Ivan Holmes, a farmer from Old Byland, who is field master with the Bilsdale Hunt…. Among the 40-strong crowd which staged a noisy but peaceful demonstration was Ian Kibble, master of Ampleforth Beagles…. (story in archive)

BBC News Online 26.1.05 The unusual suspects By Tom Geoghegan - BBC News Magazine - Hunt supporters hope their legal challenge will stop the ban due to start next month. Some say they will ignore it if it is introduced. What is it that makes otherwise law-abiding citizens decide to break the law?... Ex-miner John, who hunts with terriers and lurchers in south Wales, remembers the violence of the picket lines during the national miners' strike, in which nearly 10,000 miners were arrested…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 26.1.05 F4J IN TALKS OVER POSSIBLE ANTI-LABOUR ELECTORAL PACT - Protest group Fathers 4 Justice is considering joining forces with the UK Independence Party and the Countryside Alliance over a possible electoral pact against Prime Minister Tony Blair…. But last night UKIP and the Countryside Alliance distanced themselves from the suggestion, saying no pact had been agreed…. (story)

The Sentinel 26.1.05 EXTRA PATROLS PLANNED TO OUTFOX ANIMAL KILLERS - Wardens are stepping up patrols at a popular beauty spot after walkers found dead foxes on public footpaths. In the last two weeks four corpses have been left in prominent places along walkways on Barlaston Downs Banks…. The National Trust says the findings are unexplained but has not ruled out protests from pro-hunt demonstrators… (story)

Guardian 26.1.05 Button up your bullet-proof tweed and let chaos commence - Michael Hann - "On February 19 we step into the unknown: a world of legal challenges, illegal protest meets, organised chaos and impromptu civil disobedience." As the Field (February) had noticed, the ban on hunting is imminent, and it was not the only countryside magazine with the scent of political blood in its nostrils. In Country Illustrated (Vol 8, No 73), Roger Scruton warned that "civil disobedience is a live possibility…. (story)

Westmorland Messenger 26.1.05 Hunt resignation call - ANTI-HUNT campaigners are calling for the immediate suspension of one of Cumbria's main foxhunts and the resignation of the chairman of the central committee of fell packs. The call comes after tourists claimed that they had witnessed a Cumbrian hunt digging out a fox that had gone to ground and then throwing it alive to a pack of frenzied hounds. This act would be a clear breach of the Master of Foxhounds Association's 'Code of Good Hunting'… The North West League Against Cruel Sports (NWLACS) are calling for the resignation of Mr Edmund Porter, chairman of the central committee of fell packs and master of Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhunts, for failing to investigate the claims… (story)
21.1.05 Hunt cleared of cruelty to fox - ALLEGATIONS that the Melbreak Foxhounds dug a live fox out of a hole and threw it to the hounds have been investigated and found to be without foundation, said the hunt’s joint master, John Vickers…. He said: “The fox wasn’t dug out at all; it bolted and the hounds caught it. The visitors probably saw the hunt getting the terrier out and thought it was a fox.”… The anti-hunt campaigners said that the Melbreak should be suspended “until it gives a full explanation as to why the fox was not killed quickly by shooting.” They added that Mr Porter, Master of the Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds, “should resign and allow the allegations to be investigated fully.” (story)
Cumberland News & Star 19.1.05 Cruelty claim at fox hunt By Anna Burdett - ANTI-HUNT campaigners have called for the suspension of a West Cumbrian hunt after claims that a fox was thrown to the hounds. The North West League Against Cruel Sports (NWLACS) claims members of the Melbreak Hunt dug out a fox that had gone to ground before throwing it to the hounds who tore it to pieces. Tourists walking between Buttermere and Crummock Water say they witnessed the November 6 incident… Master of the Melbreak Hunt based in Lorton John Vickers said… He said: “The fox bolted after it was dug out and there was no chance to kill it humanely. If anyone could have got hold of it, we would have shot it, not thrown it to the hounds. I cannot understand why anyone would tell such stories.” (story)

Yorkshire Post 26.1.05 AUSTRALIANS TO PUT FOXES ON THE PILL TO LIMIT NUMBERS - Mark Branagan - Riding with hounds has created a fox explosion Down Under – and now Australians want York University to investigate putting vixens "on the Pill" to control numbers. Hunters introduced the European Fox into southern Victoria in the 1870s. But although fox hunting thrived, Australian wildlife has not as the predator devastated native species, causing damage estimated at £90m each year… Now University of York expert Dr Piran White and his team are to help the Australian authorities find a way to use birth control compounds in the wild… (story)

Northern Echo 26.1.05 Farmer trampled to death trying to stop bulls fighting - A FARMER who tried to stop two enraged bulls fighting in a pen was trampled to death, an inquest jury has been told. The jury, sitting at Harrogate Magistrates' Court, heard how 80-year-old William Lax had brought all three of his bulls into a building at his Carlton Grange Farm, Aldbrough St John, near Richmond, in September… Mr Lax, a bachelor, was a warden at the church in Aldbrough St John and looked after the churchyard at Stanwick. He loved hunting and was involved with the Zetland Hunt. He also enjoyed skiing and watching cricket. (story in archive)

Bradford Telegraph & Archive 26.1.05 Put law into force - I don't think New Labour has been very observant in its acceptance of the suggested revolt of The Countryside Alliance and their pretence regarding hunting with hounds…. Once again it will fall back on the police to sort it out. They would have every right to refuse to police any activity where the government has irresponsibly condoned the law breakers demands…. Derek Wright, Westbury Street, Bradford. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 26.1.05 PITY PROTEST WAS MARRED BY ONE ACT OF STUPIDITY - Alison Hawes South West Regional Director Countryside Alliance (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 20.1.05 FOOLISH ACTIONS OF ONE TAINTED HUNTING CAMPAIGN - It is a great shame that the actions of one idiot at the Ben Bradshaw demonstration in Exeter - Exeter MP is injured by blood offal and apples, Echo, January 18 - deflected media interest towards the protest rather than the issues surrounding the hunting legislation… The Countryside Alliance will continue to support lawful peaceful protests and we will be continually reminding the Government of our numbers and ability to impact upon the General Election, while reminding the wider public of the Government's disgraceful behaviour in enacting unjust law… Alison Hawes, South West regional director, Countryside Alliance (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.1.05 HUNTING SET TRY TO SMOTHER FACTS - The honest and well-informed know that the only people affected by any ban on cruel pastimes such as fox hunting are those who legally enjoy setting dogs on to our wildlife and baiting foxes with terriers. Or shooting estates breeding game birds in battery conditions and persecuting and killing our natural wildlife…. David Thomas Westbury Wiltshire (letter)

Oxford Mail 26.1.05 Try lions and tigers - I had to laugh recently when one of my grandsons said: "Would all these fox-hunters be so keen and still go fox hunting if foxes were as large and fierce as lions and tigers?"… S FORD, Radley Road, Abingdon (letter in archive)

The Sentinel 26.1.05 WHERE ARE THE REAL POLICIES? - It's all very well for Derrick Huckfield to protest he is an animal lover but what of the rest of UKIP? Well-known hunt supporters are being lined up as candidates…. T HEATH Madeley (letter)


Hull Daily Mail 25.1.05 'WE'LL CARRY ON WITHIN THE LAW' - The Holderness Hunt today pledged to carry on within the law, whatever the outcome of The Countryside Alliance's High Court battle over the ban on hunting with dogs. Pro-hunt campaigners want the 1949 Parliament Act, used by MPs to force through the ban, declared invalid by two senior judges… (story)

Manchester Evening News 25.1.05 Hunting ban invalid, says Alliance QC - LEGISLATION used to force through the ban on hunting with dogs is invalid, the High Court was told today. Sir Sydney Kentridge, QC, said: "It is not truly an Act of Parliament."… ." Today's application for judicial review is in the names of Countryside Alliance chairman John Jackson, Bicester Hunt member Patrick Martin, from Oxfordshire, and Mair Hughes, 46, from Gilfach Goch, Mid Glamorgan, wife of the Master of the Llangeinor Hunt, who is also a farrier… (story)
Reading Evening Post 25.1.05 Hunt ban law not valid, court told Legislation used to force through the ban on hunting with dogs "is not truly an Act of Parliament" and the ban is therefore invalid, the High Court has been told… Sir Sydney Kentridge QC made the submissions on behalf of the Countryside Alliance at the start of a legal challenge at the High Court in London…. (story)
Reading Evening Post 25.1.05 Hunting case 'most important ever'- The Countryside Alliance has described its legal battle over the ban on hunting with dogs as probably the "most important constitutional case" the High Court has ever had to consider…. (story)
Reading Evening Post 25.1.05 High Court challenge to hunting ban - The Countryside Alliance is in the High Court to launch a historic battle over the ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
Scotsman 25.1.05 High Court Challenge to Hunting Ban By John Aston, PA - The Countryside Alliance is launching a historic High Court battle today over the ban on hunting with dogs. Pro-hunt campaigners want the 1949 Parliament Act, used by MPs to force through the ban, declared invalid by two senior judges…. (story)
Birmingham Post/Mail 25.1.05 Hunt legal bid begins today By Sarah Probert - Hunt supporters will descend on the High Court today to mount an historic legal challenge in a bid to overturn the Government's proposals to ban hunting with hounds…. (story)
Western Morning News 25.1.05 DOUBTS OVER BID TO DELAY HUNT BAN - The Countryside Alliance may abandon its bid to postpone the implementation of the hunting ban because of fears that the delay would only serve to "get Tony Blair off the hook" in the run-up to the General Election. The pro-hunting body will launch the first of a series of legal challenges to the controversial ban in the High Court today…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 25.1.05 HIGH COURT CHALLENGE TO HUNT BAN - The Countryside Alliance is launching a High Court battle today over the ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
Western Daily Press 25.1.05 TALLY HO! - The last bid to stop a ban on hunting will get underway in the High Court this morning. And it emerged yesterday that the Attorney General himself, Lord Goldsmith, will defend the Government's use of the Parliament Act to force it through… the League Against Cruel Sports claimed yesterday the Alliance already appears to have given up on hunting. Spokesman Mike Hobday said the appointment of Shooting Times editor Robert Gray as the new campaigns director showed it was now turning its attention to shooting… (story)
Western Mail 25.1.05 QC challenges hunt ban - Steve Dube, Western Mail - ONE of Britain's top civil rights barristers will today begin a High Court challenge to the ban on hunting with hounds. Sir Sydney Kentridge QC, who was a counsel in the trial of Nelson Mandela and represented the family of civil rights leader Steve Biko at the inquest into his death in police custody, will represent three members of the Countryside Alliance including Mair Hughes of Gilfach Goch…. The other challengers are businessman John Jackson, chairman of the Countryside Alliance and Patrick Martin, huntsman of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt in Oxfordshire… (story)
Western Mail 25.1.05 Hunting: Farewell to all that? - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE crowd for the New Year's Day meet of the local foxhounds in our small town was the largest on record - spectators, foot-followers, riders, pensioners, toddlers, everybody turned out. And the cap, which the hunt had announced would be donated to the tsunami disaster fund, would have impressed even Croesus… As the legal wrangling begins it seems that the chief outcome will be to undermine still further the traditional respect for our institutions. At a time of terrorism and international uncertainty that is something we can ill afford. (story)
BBC News Online 25.1.05 Hunters prepare for court battle - The legal fight against the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales is going to the High Court. Lawyers for the Countryside Alliance will argue the House of Commons had no right to pass laws banning hunting…. (story)
BBC News Online 25.1.05 Welsh hunters join court battle - Welsh pro-hunt supporters have travelled to London as the legal fight against a ban moves to the High Court. Among them is Mair Hughes, the wife of a Rhondda farrier and hunt master, and one of three Countryside Alliance members applying for a judicial review…. Mrs Hughes, whose husband Brian is master of the Llangeinor Hunt, near Bridgend, said: "I'm going to London because my husband and my son are both farriers. The amount of work they could lose, should a hunt ban be implemented, would absolutely ruin our business…" (story)
BBC News Online 25.1.05 Pro-hunters claim ban 'invalid' - The law used to push through a ban on hunting with dogs is "invalid" because "it is not truly an Act of Parliament", the High Court has been told. The fundamental legal flaw will mean thousands of people losing livelihoods and "a major source of recreation and enjoyment", the court heard on Tuesday… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 25.1.05 Court challenge to hunt Bill - THE Countryside Alliance was today launching a historic High Court battle over the ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 25.1.05 Confidence over hunt ban case by Victoria Young - SUPPORTERS of hunting with dogs in North Yorkshire said today they remained confident as a lengthy battle over the future of hunting with dogs was poised to begin in the High Court… Steven Gibson, treasurer of the Ampleforth Beagles, said: "We have total confidence in the Countryside Alliance; they represent all hunting organisations…. (story in archive)

Worcester Evening News 25.1.05 Hunters round in on Foster for election - A GROUP has been set up to oust anti-fox hunting MPs in a possible General Election - with Worcester MP Mike Foster among top targets. Vote-OK aims to use pro-hunting volunteers to campaign for MPs' opponents. They would be taught to promote the candidate's views but not push a pro-hunting agenda…. However, Vote-OK founder Charles Mann, said he preferred constituents of each MP to take part and admitted having doubts whether city residents were passionate enough about hunting to take part…. (story in archive)

CBBC Newsline 25.1.05 Guide to fox hunting - Thousands of people take part in fox hunting every year in the UK, but it is an issue that divides the population. Supporters of hunting say it is the kindest way to control the number of foxes in the countryside, but opponents say it is cruel and try and stop the hunts taking place…. (story)
CBBC Newsline 25.1.05 Your reaction to the fox hunting ban's delay - Fox hunting could continue for another year if an appeal against the ban by hunting supporters goes ahead. So how do you feel about the latest development in this highly sensitive issue?... (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 25.1.05 THE COUNTRY TIMES - Our latest special publication is a must for all country sports fan - Country Times offers hunting, shooting, fishing and equestrian news. The latest edition, which can be read online, includes articles on the Hunting Act, countryside rights of way, fly fishing and countryside skills…. (story in archive)

Northumberland Gazette 25.1.05 Don't blame hunting for bad driving - AFTER reading the letter from G Hamilton of Longstone Park, Beadnell, I was absolutely furious that someone could talk about hunting foxes as a contributing factor to the reason why he knocked down five sheep in three years – perhaps he needs his eyes testing. I hunted for many years and can see both sides of the arguments but to blame holes in fences is unforgivable. He needs to lift his right foot a bit when he is driving… S Boyd, Shilbottle Grange, Alnwick. (letter)

Northampton Evening Telegraph/Chronicle & Echo 25.1.05 There are no winners with hunting legislation - THE Hunting Act takes effect on February 18, unless postponed by legal process, as this Government continues its deliberate and slow dismantling of this country's traditions and rural infrastructure…. This is a bad law. There are no winners, only losers, particularly Mr Charlie Fox. This law will not save one fox…. M H Bletsoe-Brown, Joint Master of the Pytchley Hunt. (letter)

Western Morning News 25.1.05 - Prime Minister can complete hat trick of major decisions MAYBE, just maybe, the General Election is around the corner seeing that cynically, Tony Blair has backed off on the hunting ban in that the Government seeks to delay its implementation, until all the legal challenges have been exhausted. What a precedent… Ian Oxley, Paignton (letter)

Western Morning News 25.1.05 COUNTRYSIDE IN GREAT DANGER FROM URBAN INVADERS - There is no doubt whatsoever that our countryside and wildlife and farming is in great danger with many endangered species…. These people trample all over private and public land in large numbers taking their numerous dogs running loose with them, often shouting abuse if farmers ask them politely to put their pets on leads and keep to the footpaths. They seize upon fox hunting as a palliative to their own prejudice and class hatreds. Years ago, when I went hunting, the countryside was alive with foxes but we only killed a few to control numbers and preserved them out of season…. A J Rigby-Jones, Mylor, Falmouth (letter)


BBC News Online 24.1.05 Court hears arcane hunting debate By Jon Silverman - The tortuous parliamentary battle over the future of hunting has been characterised by blood and thunder. But when hostilities transfer to the High Court, the argument will become highly arcane. The Countryside Alliance, through its eminent QC, Sir Sydney Kentridge, will say that the legislation banning hunting with hounds is invalid….(story)

Telegraph 24.1.05 Attorney General to defend hunt ban By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor - Lord Goldsmith, QC, the Attorney General, is to defend the Government's Hunting Act in person at the High Court tomorrow in the first of a series of challenges brought by the Countryside Alliance… (story)

Guardian 24.1.05 Blair faces bumpy ride in run-up to poll - Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent … He is praying that the high court will have allowed a stay on the implementation of the hunting ban, calming the countryside, and avoiding ground war between police and law breaking hunters. The two-day court case starts tomorrow…. (story)

Western Daily Press 24.1.05 DON'T GET MAD. . . GET EVEN - Charles Mann isn't going to get mad - he's getting even. The 53-year-old member of the Vale of the White Horse hunt was plotting a military-style election campaign yesterday to oust anti-hunt Labour MPs from their constituencies. A veteran hunt campaigner and former soldier, Mr Mann knows a thing or two about battles… (story)
Western Daily Press 24.1.05 FACT FILE - Other tactics now under consideration by hunts in the West are: Shooting a fox before the hunt sets out and dragging its corpse around the countryside for hounds to follow the scent. lushing out foxes which are then caught by birds of prey will not be an offence under the ban and huntsmen are already considering the idea…(story)
Sunday Telegraph 23.1.05 'Don't get mad, get even' is new tactic of the pro-hunters By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - The wall-to-wall maps, complete with pins in target areas, suggest that something more than cattle rearing is going on at the Cotswold farm of Charles and Chipps Mann. In fact, a political campaign to unseat Labour MPs in marginal constituencies is quietly gaining pace in this unlikely location…. The volunteers have been warned not to mention hunting, however, for fear of alienating voters for whom the defence of country sports is not an election issue. They are being taught instead how to push their candidates' views on schools and hospitals…. Mr Mann, 53, a member of the Vale of the White Horse hunt, is reluctant to talk about tactics. Campaigners want to remain as much as possible an underground movement between now and an expected May poll…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 24.1.05 FOX-HUNTING MEETING WILL DECIDE BAN PLAN - The Cottesmore hunt is to hold a special meeting to plan a survival strategy for when a ban on hunting with dogs comes into force. The hunt expects a full turnout of members and supporters at Barnsdale Lodge on February 11 when it will discuss ways in which it can carry out its activities without breaking the law…. Mr Clayton said that the Cottesmore had received overwhelming support from farmers and from landowners who wanted the hunt to continue controlling foxes on their property… Although fox-hunting is the most common form of field sport likely to be affected, Leicestershire also has two packs of hounds which hunt hares, the Oakley Foot Beagles and Westerby Basset Hounds, whose activities will also come under the ban… (story)

Leicester Mercury 24.1.05 AHEAD OF THE PACK - In the light of recent events, I was interested to read this excerpt from the 1975-76 edition of the official Leicestershire Handbook…. "Such hunts as the Quorn, the Fernie, the Cottesmore, the Pytchley and the Belvoir are known wherever hunting is talked about and all of them have a history that has been part of the county's life for the past 200 years." (story)

York Evening Press 24.1.05 Ban is simple to enforce - WHEN the hunting ban comes into force, and the rules are written in black and white, then the police will know what to do to any law-breaker - fine them, or jail them…. Inspector Burnett seems to think the law is unclear (January 18). When he meets with the Government and the RSPCA and other animal bodies, the law will be clear as daylight… D Fillingham, The Crossway, York. (letter in archive)

Telegraph 24.1.05 Parliament's decision must be upheld - I am opposed to a ban on hunting with dogs. This does not, however, prevent me from being dismayed by the lack of constitutional principle and integrity being displayed by the Government in its planned stance on any application for an interim injunction to prevent the Act taking effect next month…. The legislature has no effective means by which to enable its interests to be represented directly before any court. It must therefore trust the executive to defend the interests of the legislature. It is accordingly constitutionally incumbent on the government of the day to act to defend the validity and effect of any primary legislation… David Turner, London WC2 (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.1.05 DISGRACEFUL TO ATTACK MP WITH 'OFFAL BOMB' - Protesters pelting Ben Bradshaw with offal, Echo, January 18, was a despicable act…. Carry on Mr Bradshaw, don't give in to what the pro-hunting protesters want. Name and address withheld on request (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.1.05 CHILDREN IN DANGER OF BEING DE-CIVILISED - About six years ago, a prominent head teacher bemoaned current "civilised" society, saying children nowadays had no chance to experience excitement, or even a little danger, while growing up other than by experimenting with drink, drugs and sex… What is the Government doing about it? Well, it is seeking to lengthen licensing hours (presumably so that children can experiment at any time of the day or night); it has de-regulated cannabis, and I believe that it is seeking to ensure that girls of any age, should they become pregnant, can be given an abortion without their parents' knowledge. Oh, and they have just banned hunting… Children who hunt learn to use their own initiative and have the opportunity to experience huge excitement, some danger and the feeling of being on their own while nevertheless being in the company of others, all of whom will help them if they get in to difficulties… Peg Livingstone-Learmonth Malmesbury Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.1.05 ANIMAL TRAGIC - I have read with interest the letters on the cruelty in the hunting debate, most of which are illinformed tripe! Cruelty is underfeeding your animals, overfeeding your animals, keeping dogs locked in for 12 hours while you are at work and then wonder why they have mental problems… Mrs S House Mark Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.1.05 OUTDATED VALUES FOR YOUNGSTERS - I read nothing into Lesley Todhunter's letter, Hunting Teaches Lifelong Lessons, that cannot be taught to a child without the blood sport of hunting wild mammals to their death with dogs…. Janet Hall Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.1.05 HUNTING FOR 'FUN' AT ODDS WITH GOD - Further to the letter published recently headed "Hunting Teaches Lifelong Lessons", in my many years of campaigning against cruelty to animals I don't think I have ever heard a more ludicrous argument in favour of hunting. Just because Ms Todhunter does not smoke, is teetotal, works part-time so she can help the community and teaches Sunday school, does this make it morally right for her daughter to enjoy hunting?... Miss Elizabeth Howe Yeovil Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.1.05 A MORAL ISSUE - Leslie Todhunter may be a non-smoker, helper in the community and Sunday school teacher, but it is still wrong to enjoy the suffering of animals. There are other healthy activities for her daughter to engage in which don't involve causing pain… E Langman Gloucester (letter)
Western Daily Press 8.1.05 HUNTING TEACHES LIFELONG LESSONS - My eight-year-old daughter hunts regularly with her best friend. It is their favourite thing in the whole world. I am a single parent, do not smoke, am teetotal, work parttime so I can help in the community, and I teach Sunday school. We nip and tuck to keep her pony but it is worth every penny. Hunting gives her so many things: responsibility, looking after her pony and riding him to keep him fit… What about the fox? She knows it is the most humane death possible… I am so proud to have a girl who does not watch TV, couldn't care less about brands of clothes, and is able to mix with all kinds of people with a common passion. Lesley Todhunter, Address supplied (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 24.1.05 Following wrong trail on hare coursing - An article (Belfast Telegraph, January 19) entitled Bardot joins in fight to help hares, is misleading in two respects. In the first instance, the photograph used to accompany the article does not accurately depict coursing in Ireland, as the greyhounds depicted are not muzzled…. Rather than help hares, the proposals supported by Ms Bardot could actually have a negative effect on the Irish hare population by making important research, currently supported by our coursing clubs impossible and by removing an important management incentive…. RONAN GORMAN, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance Ireland. (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 19.1.05 Bardot joins in fight to help hares - Ulster campaigners against hare-coursing have a new ally today - screen goddess Brigitte Bardot… In the Republic, meanwhile, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS) has stepped up its campaign for a complete ban across the whole of Ireland. And it has announced that Brigitte Bardot is supporting its cause. In a statement, the council said: "Brigitte has signed our 'Stop the Terror - Ban Hare Coursing' campaign postcard, a copy of which we have forwarded to the Taoiseach, the Tanaiste and the Minister for the Environment."… (story)


Eastern Daily Press 23.1.05 Woman, 60, hurt in hunt clash - ISABEL COCKAYNE - Police have launched an investigation after a hunt saboteur was injured after being hit by a horse. The woman, aged 60, suffered concussion through head injuries and whiplash during the Dunston Harriers meet on private farmland at Quiddenham on Saturday. But a leading member of Dunston Harriers today said a counter-claim of assault would be lodged after anti-hunt protesters allegedly whipped a huntsman in the same clash… (story)

Sunday Times 23.1.05 Huntsmen play it foxy to beat ban - JONATHON CARR-BROWN AND JONATHAN LEAKE - THE ban on hunting is threatening to descend into confusion as hunt members devise a series of ruses to continue their sport while remaining within the law. One possible tactic could involve shooting a fox before the hunt sets out and dragging its corpse round the countryside for hounds to follow the scent…. Flushing out animals to be caught by birds such as falcons will not be an offence. Meanwhile, a judge is expected to rule this week on an attempt by the Countryside Alliance to gain an injunction delaying the ban until a case challenging the Hunting Act can be heard…. The low-key police approach comes amid fears by some senior officers that the hunt ban could make them look ridiculous…. One officer said: “It could look like something out of Monty Python.”… Brian Palmer, joint master of the Quantock Staghounds, said: “Deer control will take place but it will be within the law if the ban takes effect… .” Diana Scott, joint master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, one of the country’s biggest hunts with more than 750 subscribers, said: “Hunting will carry on in some shape or form….” The difficulties of enforcing a ban were proved in Scotland last month when Trevor Adams, 46, huntsman of the Duke of Buccleuch’s Foxhounds, was cleared at Jedburgh sheriff’s court of hunting when he claimed he was using 20 hounds for permitted “pest control” for a local farmer…. (story)

Observer 23.1.05 Hunting lobby launches its last attack - Jamie Doward - Hunt supporters will launch a last-ditch attempt to overturn the hunting ban tomorrow in a move that has potentially wide constitutional implications. The Countryside Alliance is to challenge the act making hunting illegal, claiming it breaches the European Convention on Human Rights. On Tuesday it will ask the High Court to rule that the Parliament Act of 1949, used to introduce the ban, is invalid. … (story)

Scotland on Sunday 23.1.05 Moribund Conservatives have forgotten how they can be winners - GERALD WARNER… What, then, ails This Great Party of Ours? In a word: amnesia. It has lost its historical memory and, with it, the ideological intuition that for so long made it the natural executor of the national will…. Swingeing tax cuts; a crusade against identity cards; an active championship of hunting and other countryside issues, marginalising the Labour-compliant Countryside Alliance; a parallel campaign on urban issues, notably crime (the Government’s arrogant reneging on rights for householders to tackle burglars testifies to its presumption of electoral victory); a referendum on capital punishment - the liberal nostrums of the 1960s have all but destroyed our society; a complete moratorium on asylum until the next general election... these are the issues that would outrage the media, provoke vitriol from Labour and pile up Tory votes to the point where they would need to be weighed rather than counted…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 23.1.05 Trust advertises 'Catholics-only' holiday cottage - A restriction imposed by the pious donor has provoked accusations of discrimination and could soon be illegal, writes Chris Hastings… Roger Scruton, the philosopher and author who is a National Trust member, said that he supported the advertisement, although he added that he could not help but contrast it with the trust's decision to ban hunting on donated land… (story)


Times 22.1.05 Police fear being meat in a hunt sandwich BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - POLICE are preparing a massive operation to enforce the hunt ban next month and officers from cities might be drafted into the countryside to help. A recent e-mail sent by the Association of Chief Police Officers to all forces, however, warned officers that they will be “sandwiched” between pro- and anti-hunt campaigners… (story)

Times 22.1.05 Voters who threaten Labour plans to sweep the election board BY TOM BALDWIN - The terrain on which the next general election campaign will be fought it starting to come into sharp focus for political insiders… Andrew Cooper, the director of Populus… , said:... “Hunting is only a huge issue in areas which are already Tory, like Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire,”… MONMOUTH - HUNTING VOTE - Seat held by Huw Edwards for Labour with a majority of 384 over the Conservatives. His support for the ban has made him a top target for Countryside Alliance activists who point out the combined membership of two local hunts is greater than his margin of victory over Tories in 2001…. (story)

Worcester Evening News 22.1.05 Hunt down a new look for this season - IN the latest bizarre twist to the fox hunting saga, fashion trend setters are turning to the country sport for a lead… among the best sellers is a range of anti-cellulite jodhpurs that originated in the hunting fields of Worcestershire. With the aim of "smoothing it out and holding it in", they have been designed and are being sold by Endeavour Clothing, the co-founder of which, Fiona Owen, hunted with the Albrighton Woodland Hounds, that are based near Kidderminster…. (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 19.1.05 HUNT COUTURE - Once the favoured couture of only the older Royals and the aristocracy, hunting gear is now riding high in the fashion world, West saddleries revealed yesterday… Julie Giles, manager of Old Dairy Saddlery Ltd in Tockenham, Wiltshire, confirmed sales were now booming… Fiona Owen, the co-founder and sales director of Endeavour Clothing in the Midlands, said its first capsule hunting range was launched in September…. (story)
Worcester Evening News 12.1.05 Hunt gear takes off at a gallop - THE country sport may be facing an uncertain future, but it's yoiks, tally ho, onward and upward for one fox-hunting Worcestershire businesswoman. For Fiona Owen, who has ridden with the Albrighton Woodland Hunt based near Kidderminster, has launched a new range of ladies hunting gear and found it's taken off at a gallop... (story in archive)

Telegraph 5.1.05 Forget about the ban, hunting gear is now all the rage - Suppliers of 'equestrian chic' are taken by surprise at the demand for tweed and jodhpurs, writes Hilary Alexander - The ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales may be only a matter of weeks away, but demand for hunting style is riding high…. (story)
Birmingham Post/Mail 4.1.05 Firm banks on 'foxhunt chic' - It may seem a strange time to bring out a new range of designer riding wear when a ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales is just weeks away, but a firm in the West Midlands has done just that. Bosses at Endeavour Clothing, based in Quarry Bank, near Dudley, say business has never been better and claim the Government's foxhunting bill does not appear to have dampened pro-hunt supporters' enthusiasm for looking their best when riding out… Ms Owen, who rides with the Albrighton Woodland Hunt in Shropshire, said the whole idea for a designer hunting range came from discussions among colleagues, all of whom ride… (story)
Scotsman 4.1.05 Riders Hunt Out Designer Clothing By Phil Hazlewood, PA - It may seem a strange time to bring out a new range of designer riding wear when a ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales is just weeks away… (story)

Irish Examiner 22.1.05 Bassey's last-minute boot buy - Singing legend Dame Shirley Bassey had to make an impromptu shopping trip after being caught with the wrong footwear at a Scottish fox hunting event. The Diamonds Are Forever icon realised her designer footwear was too flimsy to withstand the Scottish countryside used for the Berwickshire foxhunt, so she made a quick trip to the nearest shoe shop and purchased a pair of tiger- print rubber boots. After watching the hunt, Bassey attended the annual Berwickshire Hunt Ball at Duns Castle as the guests of ALICK and ALINE HAY… (story)
Contact.Music 21.1.05 BASSEY'S LAST-MINUTE BOOT BUY - Singing legend DAME SHIRLEY BASSEY had to make an impromptu shopping trip after being caught with the wrong footwear at a Scottish fox hunting event. The DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER icon realised her designer footwear was too flimsy to withstand the Scottish countryside used for the Berwickshire Fox Hunt, so she made a quick trip to the nearest shoe shop and purchased a pair of tiger-print rubber boots. After watching the hunt, Bassey attended the annual Berwickshire Hunt Ball at Duns Castle… (story)

Spectator 22.1.05 Animals don’t have human rights - ‘What happened to him?’ I said, meeting the eye of a thin magpie through the bars of his cage. Andrew Meads, veteran bird rescuer and proprietor of Safewings wildlife sanctuary at Isham, near Kettering, Northants, related the following case history…. This year Mr Meads and his wife Jaqui have taken in more than a thousand birds from 64 species and released 751 back into the wild. The birds were brought to Safewings by policemen, vets, by PDSA and RSPB officials and by members of the public. Conspicuously absent from the above list of referrers, however, is the RSPCA… Mr Meads believes that the RSPCA’s problem runs deeper than a simple question of time and motion. It has become a secretive and hegemonic organisation, he said, with an anti-pet agenda. In evidence he cites the RSPCA’s overweening interest in, and influence on, the drafting of Defra’s Animal Welfare Bill… Under proposed legislation, sanctuaries like Safewings will be required to register with the local authority, produce a veterinarian plan, and be subject to inspections. And which agency will carry out these inspections? ‘Why, the RSPCA, of course,’ said Mr Meads… There is a real risk that the Bill will be amended in such a way as to prevent the shooting and rearing of pheasants… There’s every sign that animal rights groups are itching to report the slightest infraction, and after their triumph over the fox-hunters, they are looking for the next big challenge…. (story)

Western Daily Press 22.1.05 NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CHASE - Nothing really matches the real thing, and I feel the ban on hunting to be a very retrograde step, passed by mass hysteria, prejudice and urban ignorance…. If drag hunting is to replace live hunting, the drag organisers will have to do a bit of window dressing. At the moment, as I am told, it is a mad gallop from the start over a preplanned route with prepared jumps along the way. This is no substitute for the "chance" element of live hunting, where the field (riders) can watch hounds working and can appreciate the skill of the huntsman - and can pick the best way of getting across the country to keep up… L F Reed, Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.1.05 OPPOSITION 'IS AGAINST THE LAW' - C A Currie makes an interesting point about hunting legislation and Magna Carta. This, I believe, makes any hunt supporters opposing the laws of the land in direct conflict with the monarchy… I must assume the people who oppose the law of this land, are in full support of the European Union and its laws and have no respect for our ancient tried and tested procedures of law dating back to the Magna Carta. M J Haines, Cirencester, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.1.05 ROYALS SHOULD STOP HUNTING - - Our elected Government has passed a law banning hunting with dogs. The Queen, as head of state, has her representative sign the document, making it lawful… . Prince Charles and Princess Anne often represent the Queen, and by going hunting with dogs, they appear to be challenging the authority of Parliament…. Rev H W Jones, Wroughton, Swindon, Wiltshire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.1.05 CITY MP KEPT HIS DIGNITY AFTER DISGRACEFUL ATTACK - I agree entirely with David Macaulay's comments, My point of view, January 20, regarding the disgraceful attack on Ben Bradshaw by a hunt protester. Alison Hawes, of the Countryside Alliance, is very fond of telling us that hunt supporters are well-behaved and law-abiding when attending demonstrations… Brenda Bennett, Hensons Drive, Westleigh, Tiverton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.1.05 WE AWAIT CONDEMNATION AND APOLOGY FOR VIOLENCE - I notice in all the public comments of Alison Hawes, of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, she has failed either to unreservedly condemn the violence directed against our MP Ben Bradshaw by hunt supporters or to apologise. Will she now do so? Pat West , Address withheld on requeset (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.1.05 MS HAWES OUGHT TO HAVE A WORD WITH THE QUEEN - Alison Hawes, South West Regional Director of the Countryside Alliance, complains about the disgraceful behaviour of the Government in enacting unjust law… I suppose Alison Hawes could complain to the Queen, as legislation cannot be enacted without her assent, but it is no good protesting to Tony Blair as he has no authority in this matter. The important point is that the Hunting Bill was enacted by the freely elected representatives of the electorate in accordance with a constitutional process known as democracy… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)


Ledbury Reporter 21.1.05 Court date set for hunt trio - The trial of three Ledbury Hunt members who stormed the House of Commons during last autumn's hunting debate has been set for March 29. Professional huntsman John Holliday, former kennel huntsman Andrew Elliott and hunt supporter David Redvers will appear at Bow Street Magistrates' Court with five other men, all charged with disorderly behaviour… (story in archive)

Hull Daily Mail 21.1.05 'WE WILL KEEP OUR HUNT STAFF' - Organisers of an East Riding fox hunt have pledged to keep their staff, despite the introduction of a ban next month. Masters at the Holderness Hunt have given money to keep their five staff employed and their kennels working for the next year. Yesterday, they won the support of shadow countryside minister James Gray MP, when he visited the kennels at Etton, near Beverley…. (story)

Western Morning News 21.1.05 POPULAR HUNT EVOLVED THROUGH A SERIES OF MERGERS - Today's Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers has evolved over more than two centuries. The name dates back to 1991 when the Dart Vale and Haldon Harriers merged with the South Pool Harriers. However the origins of the separate packs can be traced back to at least 1759…. (story)

Western Morning News 21.1.05 HARRIERS HAVE BEEN PART OF COUNTY'S LIFE FOR 250 YEARS - The Lewis family are among thousands whose futures are under the cloud of a hunting ban. But, as Louise Vennells finds out, after a lifetime of hunting they are not prepared to roll over at New Labour's command. Even on a miserable January day the panorama from Little Oak Farm, where the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers are based, is uplifting…. Mrs Lewis, whose father was a farmer, hunted hares as a girl. Their daughter Caroline, 31, is a nanny, but spends all her free time and holidays hunting or helping her parents care for the hounds. Her brother David, 34, is master of the Seavington hunt, in Somerset… (story)
Western Morning News 21.1.05 BAN WILL HARM RURAL BUSINESSES - Mike Churchward has many reasons to be gravely concerned about the future of the Dart Vale and South Pool hunt. He is a keen hunter, and has acted as voluntary whipper-in for six seasons. But, as director of an agricultural merchants' business, based in Ashburton, he also stands to lose out financially…. (story)

Hexham Courant 21.1.05 HUNT MEETINGS ACROSS TYNEDALE - Tynedale, Border, Haydon, North Tyne, Newcastle & District Beagles… (story)

Argus 21.1.05 Letter: Humans first - I am pleased to see the debate continues in your pages about fox-hunting… It is facile to say that improving human behaviour should start by changing our approach to the lesser species which share this planet. I would like to see it begin with human-to-human relations - being pursued by gangs dressed in black with their faces obscured, trying to take my picture so they can "find me and get me", calling me a pervert and a whore and trying to pull children off their ponies is nothing less than countryside terrorism… -Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 21.1.05 Terrified foxes - WHEN Roy Williams writes (January 4) that those who "dreamed up a foxhunting ban" did it "for spite and envy", he doesn't seem to recognise people's ability to use their imagination. Is he incapable of imagining the living agony and terror of being savagely drawn, eaten and quartered by a pack of baying hounds?... John Morse, Callington (letter)

Post & Times 21.1.05 OFFENSIVE CLAIMS - I wish to reply to the letter from 'name and address supplied' concerning fox hunting. This letter is totally inaccurate and has no bearing whatsoever as to what took place. The facts are that more than 1,000 people attended the Meynell and South Staffs Hunt meet at Blithfield, none of whom was drunk. A cheque for the sum of £3,000 was presented to the new cancer unit at Queen's Hospital, Burton, on behalf of the hunt… The claim by your letter writer that 'most of those actively taking part in hunts come from the types of background where half the family is sozzled before they turn out in the morning' is not only totally inaccurate, but also most offensive…. John Herbert Blythe Bridge Mill The Blythe (letter)
Post & Times 21.1.05 B-TESTS GOOD IDEA - Your correspondent who suggested that members of hunts galloping along public roads might be breathalysed after partaking of too much 'stirrup cup' made a very good point. It is a fact that an anti-hunting law will become operable soon, but how it is to be legally enforced is quite another matter… Certainly, I await with interest reports on any court proceedings the pro-hunt lobby might be taking over the next few months in defence of their disgraceful 'sport'. John Meaden Uttoxeter (letter)
Post & Times 7.1.05 WHY NOT B-TEST BOOZY HUNTERS? - I noted with some interest and no little contempt a report claiming that more than 1,000 people had turned out to support festive season foxhunting forays being staged by the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt. I also registered, with delighted, that it was too cold and icy for these tender blossoms to actually go hunting… As most of those actively taking part in hunts come from the types of background where half the family is sozzled before they turn out in the morning, how about a team of lusty coppers armed with plenty of breathalysers pouncing on them as they prance about drinking from their stirrup cups outside their local hostelries?... Name And Address Supplied (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 21.1.05 HUNT OPINION - I Read Michelle Hurst's comments regarding hunting in the Grimsby Telegraph recently; these may be your opinions and you are free to express them. However, they should not be attributed to the population in general, as implied by your use of the pronoun "we". Eileen Tupling, Pelham Avenue, Scartho, Grimsby (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 21.1.05 Over the top over hunt toffs - In attempting to draw a comparison between policing operations used in quelling violence during the last miners' strike and those proposed by him in combating fox hunters, Geoff Kerr-Morgan, surely with tongue-in-cheek, merely turns an analogy into a parody (Were Pitmen A Special Case? 8.1.05). He proposes costly inter-force co-operation for saturation policing. This is doubtless justifiable to counter mass public disorder, or in dragnet operations for a fleeing IRA gunman or serial killer, both of which we have recently seen in North Yorkshire, but could hardly be warranted in merely preventing those perceived to be toffs from hunting…. The police were right to voice concern over this ill considered and hastily drafted legislation. DAVE MIDDLETON, Stockton (letter)

Henley Standard 21.1.05 Hunting is not about control - My presumed ignorance of the countryside (Letters, December 31) is well matched by Mrs. Hatch’s “I do not hunt myself but” stance and Mr. Hatt’s repeated recollection of incidents on his father’s farm, which do not gain credibility with the passing years…. Apart from the fact that foxes are solitary hunters, the very idea of them taking on a farrowing sow or a newly-calved heifer is ludicrous… Bea Bradley, Cuxham Road,, Watlington (letter may be in archive)

Torquay Herald Express 21.1.05 IT'S CRUEL, EVIDENCE OR NO EVIDENCE - Stephen Lambert, chairman of the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles (Your View, January 6) claims there is no scientific evidence hare-hunting is cruel. Any compassionate person can recognise cruelty to sentient beings without any "scientific" evidence!... many female hares are nursing or heavily pregnant when hunted and coursed. This is not the sign of compassionate or caring country people, let along knowledgeable ones! LEN SHORT, St James Road, Upton, Torquay (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 6.1.05 THERE'S NO EVIDENCE THAT HARE HUNTING IS CRUEL - STEPHEN LAMBERT, Chairman, Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 24.12.04 IT'S TAKEN TOO LONG TO PROTECT HARES FROM THE HUNTER - M J HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth IP19 0JL (story)
Western Morning News 21.12.04 IS THE ANIMAL A MERE TOY? - M J Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service Halesworth (letter)
Horncastle News 1.12.04 Ban won’t stop foxes being legally killed or wounded - STEPHEN LAMBERT, Chairman Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles, PO Box 5682, Newbury Berkshire (letter)
Bath Chronicle 27.11.04 THE point that Mr Huskisson is attempting to make in his recent letter is that hunting, and hare hunting in particular, is cruel. Where is his evidence for this?... STEPHEN LAMBERT, Chairman AMHB, Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles, Newbury, Berkshire (letter)
Ulster Herald 25.11.04 There is no evidence that hunting is cruel - The point M.K. Huskisson(UH, Letters, November 4) is attempting to make is that hunting, and hare hunting in particular, is cruel. Where is his evidence for this?... Stephen Lambert, chairman, Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles Newbury, Berks. (letter may be in archive)
Horncastle News 24.11.04 Anti-hunt lobby used ancient data - It seems that no depths are too low for Mr Huskisson of the Animal Welfare Information Service to stoop as he continues desperately to fight his corner in the hunting debate using propaganda and misinformation. In his letter of November 9, he instantly removes all traces of credibility from his argument by referring to a text that is more than 70 years old… Burns concluded that “Because hare numbers tend to be maintained at high levels in areas where hunting/ coursing occurs, the impact of a ban might well be that, in the absence of other changes, the population would decline in those areas… KAY CHAPMAN Countryside Regional Director Countryside Alliance (letter)
Bath Chronicle 23.11.04 WHERE IS EVIDENCE OF HUNT CRUELTY? - The point that Mr Huskisson is attempting to make in his recent letter is that hunting, and hare hunting in particular, is cruel. Where is his evidence for this? The Government commissioned Lord Burns to investigate all aspects of hunting. Lord Burns said in The House of Lords two weeks ago that: "I find it difficult to accept the use of the Parliament Act in circumstances in which there is no scientific support for the animal welfare implications of a ban."… Finally, Huskisson makes no mention of the fact that all packs of hare hounds are required to collect data on hare population on every single day that they hunt. Each year 40,000 data points are collated, covering virtually the whole of England and Wales. This data is supplied to the Game Conservancy Trust and is considered to be unique data which would be lost if there is a hunting ban. STEPHEN LAMBERT, Chairman AMHB Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles, Newbury, Berkshire (letter)
Shropshire Star 23.11.04 Hunt ban a sign of changing times M J Huskisson, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.11.04 THIS IS NO SPORT AT ALL - M J Huskisson Animal Welfare Information Service Halesworth (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.11.04 SYMPATHISE WITH THE HARE - M J Huskisson Animal Welfare Information Service Halesworth Suffolk (letter)
Worcester Evening News 17.11.04 Torment of innocent creatures is no sport - M J HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service. (letter in archive)
Torquay Herald Express 13.11.04 PARLIAMENT DITHERING ON HARE COURSING - MIKE HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)
Horncastle News 10.11.04 Hare hunting: time for change - MIKE HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Society, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)
Worcester Evening News 10.11.04 Sympathy for hunted animals - M J HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth, IP19 0JL (letter in archive)
Bath Chronicle 10.11.04 LET'S PROTECT THE HARES - MJ HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)
Ulster Herald 4.11.04 Why hare hunting reform takes so long - WHILE the hunting debate may appear complex it is in reality both simple and fundamental. At its core is how we view quarry such as the hare. Is the animal a mere toy for our amusement or a sentient being to be protected from unnecessary suffering?... When hare hunters are forced to switch to draghunting, the humane alternative, the only surprise surely is that reform has taken so long. M J Huskisson (letter may be in archive)


Guardian 20.1.05 Labour panel to draw up election shortlists - Kevin Maguire - Labour's leadership is to take control of parliamentary selections later this month as the party gears up for a general election likely in May…. Labour is preparing to fight off threats from a variety of opponents, including critics of the Iraq war and the ban on fox hunting, in what insiders say could be one of the most diverse elections of recent times…. The hunting threat - Monmouth - Two hunts say their combined membership is much bigger than sitting MP Huw Edwards' majority, and both are vowing to help defeat him… The Monmouthshire hunt and the Curre and Llangibby hounds jointly claim more than 600 supporters and have organised protests outside the MP's constituency office…. (story)

Guardian 20.1.05 New Labour MP performs like an old boy - Simon Hoggart … Labour MPs wanted to cheer Mr Jackson; Tories either to boo, or at least to stare in sullen silence…. "Much has changed and much has remained the same," he vouchsafed. He wanted the government to "grasp the nettle of bovine TB". He is in favour of hunting, and described attending a meet of the Old Berkshire Hunt at the weekend. "Year, year," yelled Labour MPs as he sat down, but I have to say they looked a little puzzled. Was that all? they seemed to ask. (story)
Telegraph 20.1.05 Commons sketch - New colleagues won't stonewall Jackson's views - The distress of Robert Jackson's friends deepened yesterday as he was paraded in public by New Labour agents…. Having remarked that he has "a perhaps undeserved reputation for speaking my mind", and again praised Tom Williams, Mr Jackson said: "Some of this heritage of rural goodwill has been forfeited by the hunting ban." Mr Jackson said he very much wants hunting to continue, and reckons it will: "I believe a way can be found for the honourable traditions of the countryside to be preserved." … Can it be that Mr Jackson has embarked on a suicidally dangerous mission to preserve foxhunting by sowing bitter enmity inside the party that wants to ban it?... (story)
Western Morning News 20.1.05 BLAIR'S RURAL RECORD 'SHAME' - Minister's were accused of treating the countryside with "neglect and disdain" last night as MPs on all sides criticised the Government's rural record. In an opposition debate on farming and the countryside, Shadow Agriculture Minister Jim Paice laid out a detailed critique of the Government's record… Labour attempted to deflect attention away from the debate by taking the opportunity to unveil their new convert - the former Tory MP for Wantage Robert Jackson. But the bid backfired when Mr Jackson, who defected to Labour at the weekend, used his speech to attack the Government's ban on hunting. Mr Jackson said that much rural goodwill had been "forfeited by this hunting ban"…. (story)

Western Daily Press 20.1.05 PROTESTERS OFFAL SORRY - Hunting ban protesters are calling on the person who threw offal into a Minister's face in Exeter to apologise, it emerged yesterday…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 19.1.05 ROW AT ATTACK ON MP BY BEN NORMAN - A row has erupted over who was responsible for throwing rotting animal entrails at Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw…. Alison Hawes, the regional director of the Countryside Alliance, has dubbed the culprit an "idiot". But she has claimed that one of her members saw someone who was not from their group throw the offal at the MP…. (story)
Western Morning News 19.1.05 COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE CONDEMNS ATTACK ON ANTI-HUNTING MINISTER - The region's director of the Countryside Alliance has condemned an attack on the fisheries minister Ben Bradshaw, in which he was struck in the face by a hollowed out apple filled with offal… Initial reports suggested that it was one of the alliance protestors that threw the missile, but Alison Hawes, South West regional director of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said she had been told that members had seen someone throw the apple who was not from their group. Condemning the attack, she said: "It doesn't matter who threw the missile, if I find out who threw it, I will hang, draw and quarter them, it did us no good…." (story)
BBC News Online 19.1.05 Offal thrower told to apologise - Hunting ban protesters are calling on the culprit who threw offal into a minister's face to apologise. Fisheries Minister and Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw suffered a cut below his eye in Exeter on Monday after a hollowed out apple filled with offal hit him. The Countryside Alliance said it was a "great shame the actions of one idiot marred an otherwise peaceful protest against the hunting ban"…..(story)
BBC News Online 18.1.05 Hunt supporters heckle minister - Government minister Ben Bradshaw has been hit in the face by animal innards at a protest against the hunting ban. About 70 demonstrators shouted abuse at Mr Bradshaw who was attending a fisheries meeting in his Exeter constituency…. The Countryside Alliance condemned the incident but said otherwise the protest had gone off peacefully…. (story)
Western Daily Press 18.1.05 MINISTER HIT BY OFFAL IN HUNT PROTEST - A Pro-hunting protester threw offal at Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw as he attended a conference on the fishing industry yesterday. About 70 demonstrators assembled outside County Hall in Exeter, Devon, yesterday morning to show their opposition to the Hunting Act…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.1.05 MINISTER BRADSHAW PELTED WITH OFFAL - Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw grimaced as animal offal thrown by a pro-hunting protester hit him in the face yesterday…. (story)
Western Morning News 18.1.05 PROTESTER THROWS OFFAL MISSILE IN BRADSHAW'S FACE - A pro-hunting protester pelted Labour Minister Ben Bradshaw with offal as he attended a conference on the region's fishing industry yesterday…. Mr Bradshaw, the Labour MP for Exeter, said: "Throwing offal into people's faces does not do the hunting cause much good, and continuing to mount violent protests while at the same time going through the courts seems odd."… (story)
Torquay Herald Express 18.1.05 MINISTER STRUCK BY MISSILE AT DEMO BY ALLAN TUDOR - Countryside minister Ben Bradshaw was hit in the face with a piece of liver as he arrived at a meeting in Exeter… It is understood members of the Dartmoor Hunt were present, but it is not known if supporters of other South Devon hunts were there…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 18.1.05 EXETER MP IS INJURED BY BLOODY OFFAL AND APPLES - Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw was hurt after being pelted in the face with rotting animal entrails at a city demonstration by pro-hunt protesters… One of the pro-hunt supporters at the demonstration was James Harris, a joint master of the Tiverton Foxhounds… Another pro-hunt demonstrator, Richard Chesterton, 31, master of the Stoke Hill Beagles, said: "There is a lot of frustration and anger out there and we will continue to protest."… (story)

Western Gazette 20.1.05 POLICE SEEK ADVICE FROM HUNT MASTERS - A Senior police officer has sought advice from hunting organisations, saying that officers will find it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal hunting after the Hunting Act comes into force on 18 February. In a letter to the Masters of Foxhounds Association, assistant chief constable of Sussex Nigel Yeo, who is responsible for advising police forces on implementing the Act, asked if there was "any guidance I can give to police officers on how to identify the difference between drag hunts and trail hunts, which will remain legal, and fox hunting"…. (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 12.1.05 Police admit fears over enforcing hunting ban by Victoria Young - A SENIOR police officer has asked for advice from a hunting organisation, admitting that officers will find it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal hunting when the ban comes into force next month…. Catherine Webster, secretary of the Glaisdale Hunt, said: "I quite agree. At first sight, it will be very difficult to distinguish between what is legal and what isn't…" (story in archive)

Horse & Hound 10.1.05 Police chief confused about hunting ban - Jeremy Lott - A police chief has sought advice from a hunt body on how to tell the difference between fox hunting with hounds and drag hunting, which will remain legal after the ban is imposed… (story)
Country Life 10.1.05 Hunting Ban: Police Chief Confused - A police chief has sought advice from a hunt body on how to tell the difference between fox hunting with hounds and drag hunting, which will still be legal once the ban is imposed. By Jeremy Lott (story)
Sunday Telegraph 9.1.05 Police chief admits officers won't know if hunts are breaking the law By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - A police chief has admitted that his officers will struggle to identify an illegal fox hunt when the Government's ban comes into force next month. Nigel Yeo, the assistant chief constable of Sussex Police, expressed his concerns about enforcing the ban on hunting with hounds in a letter to Alastair Jackson, the director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association…. Mr Jackson replied: "With respect, I would consider it almost impossible for anyone to know if a pack of hounds was hunting a fox or a drag. I do not envy you your job." Mr Jackson added that from February 18 his organisation would no longer have "disciplinary powers" and "hunts will not be regulated"…. A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said that Mr Yeo's letter showed that legislation to ban hunting was flawed and "practically unenforceable". "How on earth is a village bobby going to be able to tell if a hunt is acting legally or illegally," he said. (story)

Cornish Guardian 20.1.05 FEAST WEEK AT ST HILARY - True TO an age old tradition the Christmas decorations remained up in St Hilary as the village celebrates its annual feast week. With particular significance attached to this year's festivities, the Western Hunt was led out for what could be the last time ahead of the imminent ban on fox hunting… (story)

Leicester Mercury 20.1.05 OPPORTUNITY TO SEE LOCAL HUNTS IN ACTION The following hunting meets are due to take place around the county. Atherstone, Belvoir, Cottesmore, Fernie… (story)

Western Daily Press 20.1.05 HUNTING FOXES IS A NECESSARY JOB - I find it difficult to understand how some people seem to find that watching lions, tigers or hyenas slowly tormenting and then eating their prey alive, to be an acceptable form of family entertainment in a wildlife television programme, but then start to get hysterical about hounds swiftly disposing of a fox… Andrew Banks Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.1.05 WHY ENJOY KILLING? - Can anyone explain to me the difference between man's enjoyment of cruelty by dogs and cats? I refer to the current production Big Cat Diary. I am fully aware that one form of hunting is essential for survival, while the other is for man's "enjoyment". However, what I do not understand is why one is abhorrent and therefore banned, while the other is lauded and condoned and given prime time on TV, where it's watched by millions… R W Russell Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

West Briton 20.1.05 MOST HUMANE WAY OF CONTROL? - So the hunting fraternity now consider themselves above the law? May we remind them that this is a democratically elected government and one of its manifesto promises was to ban hunting with hounds. This has now been done, and any non-compliance is unlawful… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Whitehaven News 20.1.05 The deaths of foxhounds could be averted, contrary to the forecast of many hunt members, when the ban on foxhunting with dogs becomes law. There could be no need to put attractive, healthy dogs “down” if a new sport was launched and courts were given powers to sanction hunts on application under oath that proven destruction of livestock by a fox or foxes has taken place in that particular area. Foxhound racing, where the dogs would follow an imitation fox on a wire going round a pitch, similar to greyhounds chasing an imitation hare round a track, could be an attraction at shows and at special meetings…. Gordon BROWN, Monkwray Cottages, Whitehaven (letter)

Tamworth Herald 20.1.05 WHAT a shame that Mrs James of the the Atherstone Hunt can find it to be overwhelming and very emotional to see a lot of support at the Boxing Day meet, but does not get upset or emotional when a living creature is torn apart before her eyes… Meanwhile out of 4,000 hunt supporters they managed to raise a measly £300 for the tsunami disaster…. you will have to find something else to do with your time now and accept that HUNTING IS GONE FOREVER…. Paula Atkins (Full email details supplied). (letter)

Barry Gem 20.1.05 ‘Drag hunting is best compromise solution, but...’ The hunting with hounds debate is never far from the spotlight and in recent weeks your newspaper has published some interesting letters… Drag hunting without involving the killing of a fox, sounds the perfect solution, except for one problem. Farmers allow the hunt to ride across their land, in return for eradicating foxes that prey on livestock. Would the farmers allow possibly 100 horses to gallop across their land, churning it up – with not so competent jumpers demolishing fences, causing inconvenience and expense?... It really is time to accept that hunting with hounds should be confined to the history books…. With drag hunting, the tradition could continue withoutany cruelty. If an increased fox population needed to be controlled, that would be a separate issue for debate. T G Jones, Wick (letter in archive)

North Devon Journal 20.1.05 OUR hunt recently had a cap collection at one of our meets last week for the tsunami disaster fund and we raised £700. We are sending this money to the Shelter Box trust. TIM LAMAN, Secretary, Tiverton Staghounds, Brewin Road, Tiverton. (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 20.1.05 VET'S DUTY IS TO PREVENT SUFFERING - What an appalling letter from E Shillabeer, and how immensely sad that a member of the veterinary profession, supposedly committed to the welfare of all animals, should uphold the cruelties of bloodsports. One presumes this particular vet's compassion only extends to domestic animals… Whatever is natural about hordes of riders, hounds and hangers-on rampaging across our beautiful countryside, chasing one small terrified animal which, even if it goes to earth, will be set upon by terriers, dug out and thrown to the hounds?... J TURNER, Plympton (letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 14.1.05 HUNT BAN MEANS MORE FOXES WILL DIE - 'Baying for the demise of a way of life' (Herald, December 31) was an interesting article by Phil Stoneham and William Telford which prompts me to make a couple of observations. On the one side was the openness of the Dartmoor Hunt; on the other side a rare glimpse of the detailed thinking of the normally totally anonymous Plymouth Hunt Saboteurs. The latter claim their cause to be one of saving foxes and I am sure they are sincere in that: unfortunately a ban on hunting could have the opposite effect… EDMUND H SHILLABEER BVSc MRCVS, Peverell (letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 31.12.04 BAYING FOR THE DEMISE OF A WAY OF LIFE - A hunt which has been operating on Dartmoor for more than 150 years is facing an uncertain future for the next 12 months…. The prospect of a reprieve is providing little comfort for members of the Dartmoor Hunt, based on the outskirts of Ivybridge. Around 80 dogs at the hunt could be humanely destroyed if the hunting ban does go ahead. Three full-time staff and one part-timer at the hunt, which has roamed across Dartmoor since the 1840s, face a future on the dole….(story)

South Wales Evening Post 20.1.05 HOW TO BE A TRUE BRIT - I Have just seen Heather Davies's letter concerning fox hunting and the hypocrisy of people who oppose it (Have Your Say, January 10)…. How's this for consistency, Heather? I oppose fox hunting and all blood sports which surely belong to a bygone age and have no place in an enlightened 21st century. I do not go to Spain - simply because that country's government allows the obscenity called bull-fighting. I am a vegetarian (total vegan, actually) because I'm aware of the enormous amount of cruelty within the meat industry, as well as dairy farming and egg production… G Barwick, Woodcote, Killay (letter)


Telegraph 19.1.05 Hunt lobby targets MPs - Pro-hunting campaigners will work as activists in more than 100 constituencies at the general election in the hope of unseating anti-hunting MPs. Charles Mann, a former Countryside Alliance activist, will oversee the campaign, supporting candidates with the best chance of defeating MPs who voted for the ban on hunting... (story)

BBC News Online 19.1.05 Pro-hunt group's signs 'mislead' - A group has claimed responsibility for unofficial notices warning dog owners their pets could be destroyed if they allow them to chase wild mammals… The Countryside Action Network (CAN) said the signs came from them and said they sent 4,000 to members asking them to place them strategically. The League Against Cruel Sports branded the action "unacceptable"… The British Association for Shooting and Conservation told the BBC the notices were "misleading and inaccurate" and designed to cause distress and alarm…. (story)

Western Morning News 19.1.05 LEAGUE ALLOWED TO TAKE PART IN HUNT COURT BATTLE - The League Against Cruel Sports has won permission to join in next week's High Court battle over the Government's hunting ban - but pro-hunt supporters in the region say its presence will have no impact on their chance of success…. Gregg Johnson, joint master of the Modbury Harriers in South Devon, said the LACS' presence would be insignificant, adding: "It will not make one iota of difference - they [LACS] cannot possibly interfere with the legal process."… (story)

Western Daily Press 19.1.05 ARE WEST HUNTS IN DENIAL OVER BAN? - A Major row has enveloped the hunting community over whether it should prepare now for a ban or not - according to the huntsman's bible. Under the heading "Are hunts ready, or in denial?", Horse & Hound magazine this week revealed a major split between hunts on how, when or even if, hunts switch to legal forms of hunting after the February 18 ban…. In the West, hunts are split over what to do. Because of that split, the exact method of legal hunting is now expected to vary from hunt to hunt, making the police's job of proving intent in a possibly illegal kill more difficult… Other hunts, including the Tiverton in Devon, are waiting until the result of the Countryside Alliance's legal challenge is known before deciding which option to go for. But Cotswold huntsman Julian Barnfield said leaving the retraining of hounds until the summer was too late…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 19.1.05 Fox hunters told not to jeopardise cause - HUNTING enthusiasts in the New Forest have been told to toe the line as the ancient bloodsport fights for its survival. The New Forest Hounds (NFH) has ordered its members to be on their best behaviour during the run-up to the ban on hunting…. (story in archive)

Taunton Times 19.1.05 HUNT MASTER DIED IN TRAGIC ACCIDENT - Mystery surrounds the reason a hunt master fell from his horse, resulting in his death while out hunting, a Taunton inquest has been told. John Maxwell A'Brook, known as Max, lived at Venne Cottage Farm, in Upton, near Wellington, and was joint master of the Quantock Staghounds… Recording a verdict of accidental death West Somerset Coroner, Michael Rose said Mr A'Brook died from head injuries…. (story)
Western Mail 18.1.05 Coroner urges riders to secure helmets - A CORONER urged horse riders to wear protective headgear at all times when riding after a huntsman died after falling from his horse. John A'Brook, joint master of the Quantock stag hounds in Somerset died of head injuries on October 14. The 54-year-old farmer from Upton, Somerset, was leading the hunt when he fell from his mount…. (story)
Western Morning News 14.1.05 HUNT MASTER'S DEATH BRINGS SAFETY WARNING FROM CORONER - A coroner yesterday urged horse riders to wear protective headgear at all times when riding after a member of a prestigious hunt died after falling from his horse. John A'Brook, joint master of the Quantock Staghounds in Somerset, died of head injuries sustained during the fall on October 14 last year…. (story)
Western Daily Press 14.1.05 HEAD INJURIES KILLED HUNT RIDER WHO FELL - A Coroner yesterday urged horse riders to wear protective headgear at all times when riding, after a member of a prestigious hunt died after falling from his horse. John A'Brook, joint master of the Quantock stag hounds in Somerset, died of head injuries sustained on October 14 last year… (story)
BBC News Online 13.1.05 Rider died after stag hunt fall - A coroner has recorded a verdict of accidental death on a man who fell from his horse during a stag hunt. John A'Brook, joint master of the Quantock Stag Hounds, died from head injuries after the fall in October…. Recording a verdict of accidental death Coroner Michael Rose said: "This is a sad case. He was an experienced rider." (story)

Belfast Telegraph 19.1.05 I resolve not to be a shameful smoker By Tom Utley - On the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, tens of thousands of my fellow smokers stubbed out their cigarettes and resolved never to light up again. I was not among them, because I know my weaknesses too well…. If we want to give up, let us do so by our own will-power, or not at all. It is no part of a government's job to use the power of the state to save us from our own weaknesses - still less to ban any activity, whether it be foxhunting or smoking, simply because some people disapprove of it…. (story)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 19.1.05 Splash of the titans! - TWO East Lancashire MPs have clashed over a Government U-turn on plans to ban fairground stalls giving goldfish as prizes… Ribble Valley Tory MP Nigel Evans has welcomed the move but said the Government should go further and ditch the ridiculous proposal altogether. But Hyndburn Labour backbencher Greg Pope believes the Government should have stuck to its guns and outlaw what amounted to a form of "animal abuse"…. in the wake of the row over Government plans to ban fox hunting and with a General Election expected in less than four months, some ministers felt the move was a vote loser… (story in archive)
Guardian 15.1.05 Labour gets cold feet over ban on fairground goldfish - Martin Wainwright - One of Britain's oldest fairground traditions, the goldfish-in-a-bag prize for hoopla or deft ping-pong ball lobbing, is set to be saved by a pre-election bout of government nerves… The environment secretary, Margaret Beckett, is now understood to have accepted colleagues' arguments that the ban risked too much ridicule when Labour goes for a third term. The threat was heightened, they said, by the likely high profile ofanimal issues during the campaign, especially from the foxhunting lobby… (story)
Scotsman 15.1.05 New Labour doubt goldfish ruling would be vote winner - EDWARD BLACK - LEGISLATION that would outlaw the practice of giving fish away as fairground prizes has been abandoned by New Labour amid fears that the party might be accused of running a nanny state… (story)
Western Morning News 15.1.05 GOVERNMENT BACKS DOWN ON GOLDFISH BAN - It lives and breathes - and its supporters say it feels pain just like the rest of us. But last night it appeared the humble goldfish was just not cuddly enough to attract the protective arm of the Government's animal-loving ministers…. Gary Streeter, Tory MP for South West Devon, welcomed the decision to abandon the goldfish ban, and urged ministers to look again at the hunting ban…. Tim Bonner, of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, said this highlighted the inconsistency of the Government's attitude towards animals …(story)
Edinburgh Evening News 14.1.05 Fairground goldfish ban goes on hold - THE government is to shelf plans to ban fairground stalls giving goldfish as prizes for fear of being seen as running an interfering "nanny state"…. There was also concern that banning goldfish as fairground prizes could open the way for the Tories to claim that following this and the Hunting Bill, angling would be the next sport to face prohibition. (story)

Leicester Mercury 19.1.05 HUNTING 'RANT' OUT OF ORDER - Congratulations to the Cottesmore Hunt for raising over £300 for tsunami relief (Mercury, January 11). However, I was astonished that the Mercury allowed a two-paragraph story congratulating them on this to be extended to an extra three-paragraph rant on the hunting issue in the UK…. Helen Murphy, Leicester (letter)

Bath Chronicle 19.1.05 KILLING ANIMALS FOR FUN IS WAY PAST ITS SELL-BY DATE - It strikes me as very sad that at this, the beginning of a new year, several of your correspondents have seemingly chosen to live in the past. Fox hunting supporters Mr Rushton (Letters, January 6) and Mr Davison (Letters, January 12) spectacularly fail to understand that the catching and tearing apart of live animals for human entertainment is way past its sell-by date…. KEITH DAVIS, Broad Street Place, Bath (letter)
Bath Chronicle 17.1.05 BMALPRACTICES - It strikes me as very sad that, at this, the beginning of a new year, several of your correspondents have seemingly chosen to live in the past. Fox hunting supporters Mr Rushton (Letters, January 6) and Mr Davison (Letters, January 12) spectacularly fail to understand that the catching and tearing apart of live animals for human entertainment is way past its sell-by date… KEITH DAVIS, Broad Street Place, Bath (letter)

Bath Chronicle 19.1.05 BETTER TO NURSE PET BACK TO HEALTH - I Never cease to be amazed and saddened at the fatuous arguments those who are pro hunting with dogs put forward. (Letters, January 12). Andrew Davison thinks that by introducing children to hunting he is doing them a favour. They might well be honing their riding skills and meeting other children, but surely there are many, many more constructive and less cruel ways of doing this?... MAUREEN HOLTUM, Bath (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 19.1.05 MAKE HUNT HUMANE - Howard Moss (Have Your Say, January 15) is right. As far as most people are concerned, the hunting crowd can ride their horses as much as they want. It sounds quite enjoyable riding in a group with family and friends. But to deliberately ride and hunt down other animals and then watch them being ripped to pieces is appalling…. K Thompson, Derwlas, Tircoed Forest Village, Swansea (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 14.1.05 WRONG IDEA ON HUNTING - One of your correspondents, Heather Davies, says that people who are opposed to fox hunting but eat meat or go on holiday to Spain are hypocrites (Have Your Say, January 10). Wilfully or not, she is missing the point. People cannot stand fox hunting not out of great principle (or class envy or nanny statism, or any of the other reasons often stated) but purely and simply because they are revolted by the idea of fellow humans actually taking enjoyment from inflicting pain and misery on weaker beings…. Howard Moss, Trafalgar Place, Brynmill, Swansea (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 10.1.05 HYPOCRITES MUST RETHINK - I Would expect that most people who oppose foxhunting are vegetarian and do not holiday in Spain… But no, the hypocrites who oppose hunting will still holiday in Spain (they will ignore the barbaric way in which animals are treated), they will enjoy their Sunday roast and will not have the intelligence to understand that if anything is barbaric then it is the meat trade… Heather Davies, Devon Place, Mumbles, Swansea (letter)

Horncastle News 19.1.05 Animal rights tactics result in animosity - With regards to the ongoing discussion of animal testing… I do feel that animal testing is unnecessarily cruel... However, I do feel that in this day and age also there are far more important things for us to be concerning ourselves with…. I would also like to point out that I strongly object to the manner in which many anti-hunt people and anti-vivisectionists conduct themselves when raising their points. Surely it would make more sense for the people concerned to campaign to get around a table and discuss their issues like adults, rather than turning up at hunts and spoiling an age old tradition or by pushing offensive images of tortured animals under our noses or through our letterboxes… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)


Ryedale Gazette & Herald 18.1.05 Force the issue by Victoria Young - POLICE say difficult questions still surround the enforcement of the hunting ban in North Yorkshire. Inspector Neil Burnett, Ryedale area commander, said the future of the ban was still very unclear, with officers at a very senior level nationally currently discussing how it would be policed…. Catherine Webster, secretary of the Glaisdale Hunt, said: "I quite agree. At first sight it will be very difficult to distinguish between what is legal and what isn't…" (story in archive)

Western Mail 18.1.05 MISSION IMPOSSIBLE - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE difficulty in enforcing a ban on hunting has been exposed by UK Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael and a top police officer. The Cardiff MP whose efforts to pilot compromise legislation to licence hunts was wrecked by his own backbench colleagues refused to clarify exactly what would be legal and what would be illegal when the Hunting Act 2004 eventually comes into force…. (story)

Birmingham Post 18.1.05 Counting countryside cost of banning hunt - A ban on hunting with hounds may signal the end of an age old tradition. But the financial implications are likely to be severe. The Birmingham Post's Rural Affairs Reporter Sarah Probert looks at the consequences... In a few weeks Warwickshire huntsman William Deakin could lose his job and his house. Meanwhile, the local feed merchant faces the prospect of laying off staff and losing 60 per cent of her business, and farmers in the area are looking at costs running into thousands to get rid of their dead stock… A report compiled by PJE Consultants for the Countryside Alliance says those expected to suffer if the hunt disbands include farriers, vets, livery stables, and farmers. Vets associated with the Warwickshire Hunt could claim up to £54,000 for loss of profit… (story)
Birmingham Post 18.1.05 'My foxes will be gassed or starved' - The Huntsman - William Deakin looks after the 104 hounds used by the Warwickshire Hunt. He also helps to manage the nine woodlands owned by the group. He will lose his job and his home in Little Kineton if the hunt packs up and will have to retrain for a new job… (story)
Birmingham Post 18.1.05 Carcass disposal costs will soar - The Farmer - Antony Spencer, a sheep farmer from Lower Quinton, Warwickshire, is already weighing up the cost of a ban on hunting with hounds. For him, the Warwickshire Hunt not only controls the fox population, and therefore helps protect his sheep, but also saves costs of up to £1,000 a year for getting rid of animal carcasses…. The Warwickshire Hunt collects thousands of carcasses a year. One man is employed by the hunt to take care of the fallen stock… (story)

Kentish Gazette 18.1.05 Fox hunters with 'no intention of disbanding' -MEMBERS of the East Kent Hunt have vowed to ride out again just hours after the hunting ban comes into force next month. The pledge follows their latest gathering on the Common at Stelling Minnis, near Canterbury, last weekend. Up to 50 riders of all ages assembled at the Rose and Crown pub, cheered on by more than 200 supporters… (story)

Western Daily Press 18.1.05 PRINCESS AT FOX HUNT - The Princess Royal was pictured fox hunting yesterday just four weeks before the ban comes into effect. She was seen riding with the Beaufort Hunt, based in Tetbury, Gloucestershire… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 18.1.05 PRINCESS SEEN AT HUNT - The Princess Royal was pictured fox hunting yesterday just four weeks before the ban on hunting comes into effect. She was pictured riding with the Beaufort Hunt, based in Tetbury, near the Prince of Wales' Highgrove home… (story)
Scotsman 17.1.05 Princess Royal Joins Prestigious Hunt - "PA" - The Princess Royal was pictured fox hunting Gloucester today just four weeks before the ban on hunting comes into effect. She was riding with the prestigious Beaufort Hunt which is based in Tetbury, close to the Prince of Wales’ Highgrove home…. (story)

Western Mail 18.1.05 Hunt followers forsake thrill of the chase to hold annual ball - GLITZY and glamorous - wow, what a night! The Pembrokeshire Hunt held its annual Hunt Ball at the Pavilion, Haverfordwest, at the weekend and, with more than 1,000 tickets sold, the evening was a huge success…. (story)

Western Mail 18.1.05 Brecon's hunting society became guiding light in for rural poor - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE men who made Breconshire what it is today, the founding fathers of modern agriculture, are celebrated in a new book published in time for Christmas. Leslie Williams of Brecon has written The Guiding Light to mark the 250th anniversary of the oldest UK agricultural society, the Brecknockshire Agricultural Society…. The aim was to stem the fearful poverty that stalked the countryside and spilled over into drunkenness and disruption in the town of Brecon. Leslie Williams' research has uncovered evidence that this prompted landowners to turn their "hunting club" into a society with the aim doing good for the county…. (story)

Western Mail 18.1.05 Fallen stock system branded 'a complete and utter shambles' - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE new Fallen Stock Scheme has been described as "a complete and utter shambles". The verdict was delivered by National Farmers' Union President Tim Bennett in his address to the union's Montgomeryshire county conference and annual meeting in Welshpool last week…. His comments came after members told him of dead animals left for days on their farms waiting to be picked up… (story)

Driffield Post 18.1.05 Hunt encouraged by crowd's enthusiasm - Mrs Jane Legard, secretary of the Middleton Hunt, writes . . . AS secretary to the Middleton Hunt, I would like to thank all your readers and the people of Driffield for the wonderful support we received at the Middleton Hunt meet, Driffield Showground on Boxing Day…. (letter)

Telegraph 18.1.05 I was following the hunt – not the Conservative Party - You report (News, Jan 17) that I "was campaigning with Conservative activists in my constituency on Saturday" - all the while knowing that I would join Labour the next day. The truth is simply that, having voted against the hunting ban at every opportunity, I attended Saturday morning's meet of the Old Berkshire Hunt on Goosey Green, in my constituency, with the intention of showing my solidarity with the hunt… Robert Jackson MP (Lab), London SW1 (letter)

Times 18.1.05 Hunting Act I found Anthony Howard’s piece about hunting being “a parable of the politics of our time” (T2, January 11) quite extraordinary. There is nothing odd about the Government saying it will not oppose an application by the Countryside Alliance for an injunction to delay the implementation of the Hunting Act. If the court rejects the alliance’s claim and subsequently gives it leave to appeal, the alliance says it would ask for the commencement of the Act to be suspended until the appeal has been heard, which we expect to happen quite quickly…. ALUN MICHAEL, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, SW1P 3JR. (letter)

Argus 18.1.05 Letter: Take him off the civil list - In the light of the disgraceful act by Prince Harry, who only seems capable at our vast expense of killing animals and insulting most of the public who pay for his hedonistic lifestyle, isn't it about time to remove him from the civil list?... -Sylvia Harwood, Hove (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 18.1.05 THIS IS NOT TO PROTECT CHICKENS - Recently Otis Ferry - he who invaded the chamber of the House of Commons during the hunting debate - was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on the Newsnight programme. As a 24-year-old master of a hunt he gave the best interview I have yet seen in support of hunting with hounds, and one of great maturity…. I'm equivocal myself about hunting with hounds, but one of the things that annoys me about the pro-hunting advocates is the specious arguments they deploy, and that they then expect me to swallow….. Theo Hopkins, Lifton, West Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 18.1.05 RSPCA SILENT ABOUT HOUNDS - I am involved with our local hunt, and since the hunting ban was announced we have received a letter from the employment service offering re-employment opportunities and details on how to claim unemployment benefits. However, we have heard nothing from the RSPCA. This is a caring organisation that campaigned to ban hunting, telling us it would rehome all the hounds…. R Young, Tavistock
No response on drag hunting - AT last, common sense has prevailed and a hunt ban has been enforced. The toffs and forelock tuggers will have to switch to drag hunting - no blood or cruelty, but I'm sure they will adapt. Also, could any of the so-called "hunters" please explain why they never seem to answer any of the many letters asking why they won't switch to drag hunting?... Ken Simpson, Plymouth
Look at cruelty in racing - WITH all this hue and cry about foxhunting, why do we not see the same protest at horse race meetings?... R Helson, Bodmin
Let them chase each other - I READ with interest your article about a local hunt chasing a pro-hunting vicar. What a great idea. Instead of hunting and killing our wildlife the hunts should chase their members. Let's hope they go the whole hog and rip each other to bits. Lis Wallace, Newton Abbot (letters)

Western Morning News 18.1.05 POLICING 'ILLEGAL' HUNTING WILL BE HUGE TASK - So the Government says there will be no problem in controlling "illegal" hunting after February 18 - but it seems unable to control hunt saboteurs, so how will it cope with vastly more people? I used to go mink hunting, and one evening we hunted a large farm when some 15 saboteurs turned up and proceeded to trespass… The two policemen (in shirt sleeves as it was a lovely summer's evening) did nothing about the trespass or language, obviously feeling that a pleasant evening stroll was preferable to "aggro" with saboteurs…. J Pratt, Weare Giffard, Bideford
Misconception about hounds - ONE of the most frequent misconceptions that appears in your columns with monotonous regularity pertaining to the hunting issue is that foxes and deer are chased by hounds… They hunt the line, in most instances, half an hour or so after the quarry has passed by…. W T Sweet, Mawgan, Helston
Thank you for the clarification, Mr Sweet - Editor (letters)

Manchester Evening News 18.1.05 A charade - TONY Blair and the Labour Party came to power in 1997 with the help of many people who voted for them because they appeared to say that if Labour was elected, hunting with hounds would be banned…. By the time a legal decision is reached, Tony Blair will have moved on to something offering higher rewards…. I would have expected the Prime Minister to have advised his ministers of any weaknesses in the new law and, in the seven years between the promise and the introduction of it, to have made sure it could not be challenged if he really meant what he said in 1997…. BAW, Lymm (letter)


Horse & Hound 17.1.05 Fox wounding study passes scrutiny process - Research by the Middle Way Group has shown that the number of foxes wounded, rather than killed, when shot is higher than previously thought - Research into wounding rates associated with shooting foxes, commissioned by the All-Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group, has passed its peer-review process and is due to be published this year in a respected scientific journal…. Meanwhile, a study commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which supposedly countered the Middle Way Group's findings, has still not been published or peer-reviewed. (story)

Western Morning News 17.1.05 ASTONISHING REFUSAL TO HELP DAIRYING - New Labour never has much trouble in intervening in all sorts of aspects of our lives when it suits them. From the ban on hunting with hounds to the imposition of rules and red tape which drive our fishing industry close to bankruptcy, the capacity of ministers to meddle in a way that damages rural traditions and the economy apparently knows no bounds. Yet when it comes to stepping in to help a beleaguered rural business they prefer to stand back and let "market forces" dictate the outcome…. It looks as if New Labour is content to let that continue until virtually all our dairy farmers have been wrung dry. And still the party claims it governs for the benefit of the whole of the country. Down here, we know that's just a sick joke (story)

Henley Standard 17.1.05 What a load of rubbish! - I have read some tosh during the course of the foxhunting debate, but that produced by Mark Hatt in your letters page recently deserves a special award of its own. It’s a very good job for him that foxes can’t sue, or else he could be in for a hefty damages bill!... Foxes savaging and killing pigs and heifers? A pair of foxes menacing a heifer while several people stood close by, apparently ignored by the crazed foxes?... . Decent people must continue to oppose the bloodsports lobby — that is how the Hunting Act 2004 came about, and that is how it will be enforced. — Yours faithfully, Penny Little, Back Way, Great Haseley.
These foxes are welcome - I’ve just read Mark Hatt’s letter in the Standard describing his accounts of the behaviour of the fox and all I can say is goodness gracious me! I’m sure that a genetically modifed giant fox must have been introduced to Oxfordshire… There’s many a farmer who’s watched their best working dog be driven away by a plain old ewe protecting her lambs, so Mark’s foxes must be fearsome indeed… Gill Purser, Clapton on the Hill, Cheltenham. (letters may be in archive)

Western Morning News 17.1.05 HUNTING ACT WILL BE LEGAL MINEFIELD - As one who neither shoots, hunts or fishes, I am nevertheless a keen student from the legal and constitutional point of view on the hunting issue… The Hunting Act contains no definition of hunting, which is somewhat surprising. In seeking to ban any activity, one would have thought that a well-drafted Act would have at least defined in adequate terms what was intended to be banned…. As an old retired lawyer, it seems to me that we have a legal minefield here; a proverbial paradise for the lawyers - who, as usual, will receive all the blame and odium for what appears to be a very bad law. David C Allen, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset (letter)

Northern Echo 17.1.05 - PRINCE WILLIAM: I WAS not surprised to read that the young royal, Prince William, had been foxhunting during the recent holidays. Humility has never been a characteristic of the Windsors, apart from maybe the Queen… Hugh Pender, Darlington (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 17.1.05 THUMBS DOWN - Was it really necessary to waste newsprint to tell your readers that Prince Charles had a sore right thumb… I think the fox would be very amused. Roy Brown Ston Easton Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 17.1.05 HUNTING IS NOT THE COUNTRY WAY - As an ex-teacher of rural science, I must take issue with your correspondent V S Hilton, of Malmesbury. This person appears to believe - or to be at pains to persuade others to believe - that hunting wild mammals is an excellent way to educate young children about the countryside. I find this extraordinary - not to say hypocritical…. Phil Senior Crowborough East Sussex (letter)

Shropshire Star 17.1.05 Group should kill dogs - Now that the animal rights groups have won their campaign to ban hunting with dogs, can we be told when they are going to start their visits to kennels and farms in order to slaughter all the hounds? Having, with the help of many MPs, got the bill passed through parliament, I feel they must see it through to the very bitter end and do the killing themselves… Vivienne Humphreys, Oswestry (letter)

The Sentinel 17.1.05 UKIP - A PARTY OF MANY HUES - It is a pity that C Williams is only interested in scoring political points against UKIP, rather than listening to what UKIP supporters are saying about animal treatment… . We are a freedom party and that is why we do not want to take away people's rights to hunt vermin… We don't want to ban fishing either, and we believe that there are indeed more important issues to debate, such as the ill-treatment of humans by humans…. . I do not think that UKIP is totally against using animals for testing purposes - millions of human lives have been saved by the drug companies with new drugs… R LIST Hanley (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 17.1.05 THROWN OFF THE SCENT - A G SANDER'S letter on the Hunting Act (Have Your Say, January 11) is not quite accurate. The problems start with the fact that what is meant by hunting is not defined in the act… As the Government department responsible for the act is unable to give guidance, the only winners will be the lawyers. It is certainly not the fox population, but does anyone really believe that the act had anything to do with foxes? Geoff Davies, Highfield Road, Twyn, Ammanford (letter)


Sunday Mail 16.1.05 PRINCES SET TO HUNT ABROAD By Mike Merritt - PRINCE Charles and his sons could travel to Ireland or France to beat the English fox-hunting ban. If the Government pushes the ban through, the princes and Camilla Parker Bowles could take advantage of friends' estates abroad to carry on hunting… (story)

Observer 16.1.05 Harry's crew - They're the Glossie posse, the H Club, members of the gilded set from birth. Jamie Doward meets 'the elite' - It was, to quote Cole Porter, a swelegant party. Ever since the invitations dropped through their letterboxes shortly before Christmas, the 20-something members of the Cotswold hunting set had been eagerly awaiting Harry Meade's 22nd birthday party…. (story)
Independent on Sunday 16.1.05 Focus: Poor belittled rich kids - Prince Harry and his fancy-dress set - Harry's people love huntin', drinkin' and fallin' over. Cole Moreton reveals who they are and why they don't have to care what people think…. Hunting is a favoured activity among his circle. Last week's party was to celebrate the 22nd birthday of Harry Meade, the son of the Olympic gold medallist equestrian Richard Meade. The birthday boy was one of the protesters ejected from the Labour party conference in Brighton in September after heckling Tony Blair inside the hall… (story)
Guardian 14.1.05 The Highgrove, horses and hunting set - Laura Barton - Those who constitute Prince Harry's closest circle are, for the most part, a wealthy, well-educated crowd with a devotion to Highgrove, horses and hunting…. (story)
Guardian 14.1.05 The party that caused a king-size hangover - How Nazi gear, a popular society choice, put Harry in the doghouse - Sandra Laville and Laura Barton - In a marquee pitched in the grounds of a country mansion owned by the Olympic triple gold medallist rider Richard Meade, the young and expensively educated drank, danced and flirted until 5am on Sunday. The following day, when the Beaufort hunt met to gallop across the vales and fields of the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire borders, the hangover of the majority of its young followers who attended the party thrown by Mr Meade for his three children had no doubt subsided…. (story)
Western Daily Press 14.1.05 IT WAS INSENSITIVE, BUT DOES ANYONE SERIOUSLY THINK HARRY IS A NAZI? - A PAL OF THE PRINCE YESTERDAY - Prince Harry's pals defended the young royal last night after he came in for fierce criticism for wearing a Nazi uniform at a West party… Harry Meade is no stranger to controversy - he was one of a group of Beaufort Hunt members thrown out of the Labour Party Conference last autumn for interrupting Tony Blair's speech…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 16.1.05 'I asked myself do I want Michael Howard or Tony Blair to be Prime Minister?' By Melissa Kite - Robert Jackson, who will sit on the Labour benches tomorrow, had decided to 'go quietly' after 45 years in the Tory Party. He explains why it was necessary to make public his concern at what he saw as its dangerous new direction… Is there anything on which he disagrees with Labour? "I think the hunting ban is quite wrong. It was deplorable that the Parliament Act was used."… (story)


Scotsman 15.1.05 Out-foxing the ban abroad - SHOOTING & FISHING - ALASTAIR ROBERTSON - You have to hand it to Vlad Gribovsky; he’s either desperate or reckons, with some reason, that anyone who hunts in Scotland is in the same state. Vlad has taken out an advert in the property pages of this newspaper under the heading "Fox Hunting Allowed!", in the belief that the hunting fraternity here will become so fed up that they will want to buy his rural building plots in North Carolina hunting country and get back to some proper hunting in a place where chasing foxes is considered good fun and a thoroughly sociable activity…. The only way we in Scotland can take advantage of the forthcoming hunting ban in England is to vote for Mr McLetchie, as long as he promises to reverse the Scottish anti-hunting legislation. I cannot really see the reintroduction of hunting as a serious vote catcher - it’s hardly a burning issue in the letters pages of the Maryhill Clarion and Bugle, but if it can be dressed up as a chance to gub the English and fleece them of huge sums of money for stabling their horses in the Borders for a weekend’s proper hunting, there is no telling which way the Braveheart Brigade will vote (story)

Times 15.1.05 You can eat me as long as you care for me - GILES COREN - MODERN THINKING about Man’s status as Earth’s dominant carnivore centres on the notion of a “contract” of good husbandry between man and beast… And that is why I was so sickened by the episode of Celebrity Big Brother in which the housemates were made to pluck pheasants to earn their daily treats. Had they been invited also to cook and eat them, fine. But they were not. After the flying feathers and the eeeuuughs and urrrrrrghs, the 14 devastated corpses were left to rot on a table as the cast went off to enjoy their veggie noodle supper…. Are we really going to ban foxhunting? No hunter ever plucked the body of a fox on television in the hope of winning a cash prize… (story)

Telegraph 15.1.05 Country notebook: hunger, pain and fear - Germaine Greer sasy we should spare a thought for our unfortunate lambs, whose brief lives are likely to be punctuated by hunger, pain and fear - It is odd that though so many appear concerned to reduce the short-lived suffering of relatively few hunted foxes, nobody seems to give a damn about the lifelong ordeals endured by millions of sheep…. (story)

Burnham & Highbridge Times 15.1.05 ANIMAL CRACKERS - If 'the real animal lover' would permit his or her name to be published, at the very least it would show courage of conviction. The draconian penalties proposed by your correspondent for illegal hunting betray a deep-seated hatred which permits us no rational debate. Those who hunt are by no means all possessed of great wealth, as your correspondent seems to believe. They come form all walks of life… As one who neither hunts, shoots nor fishes, the writer grows ever more concerned for the preservation of our civic liberties in our democratic state. D Allen Poplar Road Burnham (letter)

Western Morning News 15.1.05 OUR VOTING SYSTEM DISTORTS DEMOCRACY - Your correspondent N Cornish suggests that the vote by MPs to ban hunting was an example of democracy at work since the Government was returned in 2001 with a "massive majority". That might well have been arguable if that majority (of MPs) had been supported by anything approaching a majority of the electorate… . Labour received only 41 per cent of the votes cast (i.e. 24 per cent of the total electorate) with other parties receiving the remaining 59 per cent…. This itself is a clear distortion of the principle of democracy, but has been further compounded by the bizarre result of devolution in Scotland - which has become known as the West Lothian Question - where the 72 MPs (mostly Labour) who represent Scottish constituencies are able to vote on matters such as the Hunting Act which are not applicable in their constituencies…. G Mannell, Truro (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 15.1.05 PETS CONTRIBUTE TO WILDLIFE CARNAGE - I Wonder how many of the anti-hunting and fishing brigade keep cats and dogs in high-rise flats or in situations where their pets kill every bit of wildlife within a large radius of their homes. Michael Marsden, Clifton (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 15.1.05 DAY THE HOUNDS INVADED MY FOOTBALL MATCH - The question of tradition and hunting (January 11) reminded me of an incident during the early part of my more than 20 years of official soccer refereeing. I was in control of an important amateur football match in Devon when a number of hounds and riders invaded our official field of play…. instead of apologising for interfering with our game one comedian - typical of the hunting fraternity - turned his horse around and, Charge of the Light Brigade style, attempted to insult me by waving his stick and galloping his horse as near me as possible… H. D. WEBBER Mourne Terrace, Lincoln. (letter)


Leicester Mercury 14.1.05 HUNTS PREPARE TO 'TEST' THE LAW - Hunts across the county say they are preparing to "test" the law the day after a ban on hunting with dogs comes into force… More than 250 hunts from around the country will meet on February 19… The Cottesmore hunt, based in Oakham, is one of those taking part in next month's event… (story)

Isle of Wight County Press 14.1.05 BAN COULD SPOIL BEAGLES' CENTURY By Jon Moreno - PASSIONATE hunt supporters hope the government ban — due to come into effect next month — will be staved off long enough to ensure the IW Foot Beagles can celebrate its centenary next year…. Chris Waddington, hunt master of the IW Foot Beagles, said the group, which has more than 40 hounds and a membership of more than 100 beaglers, would abide by the legislation. We've agreed not to hunt illegally," said Mr Waddington, "but we intend to keep the hounds going until October because things can change…" Mr Waddington, 63, was a member of the Meon Valley Beagles for two decades before moving to Yarmouth and taking over the IW pack from former hunt master Mary Chapman two years ago…. (story)

Western Morning News 14.1.05 HARRIERS WITH A STRONG SENSE OF LOCAL SPIRIT - As our series examining the future of Westcountry hunts continues, Rebecca Short looks at one of the most popular hunts in South Devon, and talks to some of the people who feel their livelihoods could be ruined by the decision which is expected to come into force on February 18 A DAY'S hunting with Richard Newton, huntsman for the Modbury Harriers, begins at 6am. Here it seems, you sing for your supper, your breakfast and your hunting… (story)

Western Morning News 14.1.05 READY FOR THE OFF AS NEW SEASON BEGINS - A hunt ban may be looming but 27 point-to-point meetings are set to go ahead in the Devon and Cornwall area from January 23, and 209 meetings will take place across the country. Some 3,500 horses are being readied, each having hunted in order to gain qualification, although this year certificates will be awarded at the Masters' discretion after February 18, the date a hunting ban was due to come into place… This season is set to be the longest ever. It started on January 3 and will continue until June 18 when the Torrington Farmers stage their meetings at Umberleigh… (story)

Driffield Post 14.1.05 Leave poor fox alone - Dennis Bowtell (aged 58 and a bit), of Victoria Road, Driffield, writes . . . I do not think the people of Driffield will be taken in by Seth Crosswaite's silly letter. You do not need a high IQ to see that one does not need to chase a fox to go riding… (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 14.1.05 HUNT ROW - CALL FOR RESPECT FOR TRUTH - I once took the trouble to explain to hunt saboteurs, like Roger from Derby Animal Rights and the Derby Hunt Saboteurs, why their actions directly cause foxhounds to become unstable. I explained that huntsmen train the hounds to respond to specific commands… However, when hunt saboteurs use similar commands to tell hounds that they are wrong when they are right, and use horns to draw hounds away from the huntsman and frequently towards non-quarry species, the hounds become confused and unstable…. When I explained this to some hunt saboteurs, after they had destroyed a pack's confidence and they had started to hunt and kill deer instead of foxes, the saboteurs split into two groups. One group turned to peaceful legitimate campaigning against hunting and the other group said: "The end justifies the means and, if a few deer die in order to discredit the hunt, then that is unfortunate but necessary."… Jeremy Whaley, Reedy Loch, Duns, Scottish Borders (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.1.05 FARMS MUST STOP THESE ATROCITIES - I was delighted to read that farmer John Mastrangelo bans hunting on his land, but equally appalled that he allows deer to be shot. Along with an ever-increasing number of the public, I strongly oppose the killing or harming of any wild creature, regardless of the motive, method or personnel carrying out these disgusting acts… D Barnes Swindon Wiltshire (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 14.1.05 PITY THE POOR FOX - Mrs M K McColm, Ash Grove, Beverley Road, Hull. (letter)

Bath Chronicle 14.1.05 ISN'T THIS REALLY PREJUDICE? - "WHAT is important is to fight prejudice" says Chris Stillman… What rubbish he utters: "A dog used to disembowel lives foxes or a dog that is shot when it is no good for disembowelling live foxes any more." This is an old chestnut used by anti-hunt supporters which I feel sure Mr Stillman supports…. Having hunted with hounds, both as a hunt employee and later, as a car follower (on retirement due to ill health), I personally, in more than 55 years have never witnessed this happen… Regarding his point on opinion polls, the one he refers to was not carried out by the pro hunt lobby, but by the local press. So don't claim this was asking the right people…. DUNCAN WARRINER, Neston Road, Corsham (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 14.1.05 NOT FREE WILL IN GERMANY - Robin Downs raised some interesting points about letters I have penned, concerning Britain's involvement with the European Union… but then Robin Downs is a person who calls hunting foxes bloodthirsty, yet supports the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq, and recently wrote how two women scientists should be executed to promote peace. Strange views indeed, Mr Downs. Paul Potter, Glanville Avenue, Scunthorpe, (letter)

Malvern Gazette 14.1.05 Organisation was unfair on those not interested in hunt - I would like to express that the organisation of the hunt in Ledbury was appalling. Trying to get out of Ledbury was almost impossible…. I believe more organisation is required next year as this is unfair for those who are not interested in the Ledbury hunt. Emma Hill, Bronte Drive, Ledbury (letter in archive)

Post & Times 14.1.05 BULLY BOY BOASTERS - I note in last week's Post and Times yet another gloating letter boasting that the bloodsports lobby is able to ignore the rule of the law and cause disruption and distress to the general public. These arrogant thugs and bully boys are identical to Arthur Scargill's Renta Mob from the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1980s… The recent letter is, in fact, from a spokesman for a prominent pro-hunt group - kill all wildlife except for game birds organisation - representing mostly major landowners…. COUNTRYMAN Name and address supplied (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 14.1.05 ‘It’s no wonder there’s no trust’ - One sad feature of politics in Peterborough and in Britain today is that people say they no longer trust the ministers, MPs and councillors elected to represent them…. A government which voted through a ban on fox hunting, but now says it doesn’t mind if it is not implemented just yet…. Nick Sandford - Liberal Democrat Group leader, Peterborough City Council, Odecroft, Peterborough (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 14.1.05 Why did He let disaster happen? - THOSE foam-flecked Christians whom we saw on TV protesting against the decision to screen, late on Saturday on BBC2, the highly successful, two-year-old West End musical, Jerry Springer, The Opera, might have been far better employed in the cause of their religion… I have never, however, felt so close to threatened by them as I was by the venomously hollering young middle-class women who invaded my TV screen last Friday, rivalling in their fury the posh yobboes and yobbettes of the Countryside Alliance, ranting over the likelihood of being banned from killing wildlife for fun. MIKE BIRD, Maryport (letter)


Daily Post 13.1.05 Hunting bill is 'in disarray' - THE Government was yesterday accused of being in disarray over what types of hunting would be allowed after the ban comes into forces on February 18. Montgomery MP Lembit Öpik, co-chair of the Middle Way Group, said rural affairs minister Alun Michael refused to clarify the situation in a series of Parliamentary questions this week…. (story)

Daily Post 13.1.05 Point-to-point has to fight for its life By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - THE new point-to-point racing season has got under way with a black cloud hanging over the sport. Pessimists predict that up to half the UK's regular point-to-point meets will be lost once the hunting ban starts to bite…. Arthur Shone, spokesman for the North West area point-to-point, said: "The Jockey Club's decision to award each meeting £3,000 should buffer the immediate effects of the ban. "The only downside I can see is the possible loss of one or two smaller meetings. However I can also see some of the more profitable hunts, like the Cheshire Forest, staging two or three meets a year to fill the fixture list…. (story)

Telegraph 13.1.05 Hunting takes on biggest hurdle By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor - The Government "confidently" expects the courts to uphold the validity of the Hunting Act 2004, Alun Michael, the minister for rural affairs, told Parliament on Tuesday. Yet the Countryside Alliance is equally confident that its forthcoming challenge will succeed…. (story)

Northumberland Gazette 13.1.05 Legal fight could scupper hunt ban - MORE than 300 people gathered outside Alnwick Castle to show their support for the Percy Hunt as they set off on what could be their last New Year's Day meet… members of the Percy Hunt remain positive and believe this was not their final New Year meet… (story)

Cornishman/Cornish Guardian or West Briton 13.1.05 TORY'S OPPOSITION TO 'SPITEFUL' HUNT POLICY - Conservative spokesman for North Cornwall Cllr Mark Formosa has declared his opposition to the government's new law to ban hunting with hounds. The Restormel Borough Councillor, who is a member of the Countryside Alliance, has described the government's plans as "a spiteful policy based on prejudice and hate"… (story)

Leicester Mercury 13.1.05 WHERE THE HUNTS MEET - Atherstone, Belvoir, Cottesmore, Fernie, Quorn (story)

Sussex Express 13.1.05 - I have rarely been moved to write but this past Saturday, whilst hunting with the Southdown and Eridge Hunt on the Downs, I was verbally insulted by a gang of countryside terrorists. Let us make no mistake that this is what they are. If I were walking down the street in Lewes or any other town centre, and a group dressed in black with their faces obscured by balaclavas approached me, tried to take my picture saying they now knew me and would find me, called me a pervert, a whore and many other unprintable names, threatened to pull children off their horses, then we would class them as criminals … Name and address supplied (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 13.1.05 Hunting solution - While fox-hunting with hounds is indeed a barbaric anachronism, the scale of opposition to its prohibition should have been anticipated but could easily have been neutralised… By introducing a personal `licence to hunt' and then ceasing to issue any more of these from, say, February 2005, all current hunters would be permitted to continue but, as they die out, the whole unpleasant hunting scene and its associated support trades would also die with them… Graham Hoyle, Kirkbourne Grove, Baildon (letter in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 13.1.05 LET TRADITION CARRY ON - Laura Anne Jones, AM for South Wales East (letter)
Western Mail 13.1.05 Hope for hunting - It was fantastic to hear that one of the biggest crowds ever turned up to watch the Monmouthshire Hunt on New Year's Day. This was a similar story to Boxing Day when determined crowds turned out to support hunts all across Wales. I was one of the many present at the Curre hunt and was pleased to see such a brilliant turnout… LAURA ANNE JONES, Assembly Member for South Wales East, The National Assembly for Wales (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.1.05 ALARM AT URGING INNOCENTS TO KILL - Nothing the hunt fraternity does should surprise or disgust us anymore, but I thought the article showing children as young as three being encouraged to hunt a wild animal to its death most alarming… Lena Holgate Newton Abbot Devon (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.1.05 SPARE THE YOUNG FROM THIS CRUELTY - It is most bizarre that the Beaufort Hunt defends children's fox hunts because they believe that it gives children a natural and realistic view of wildlife. Where will the hunt arrange the next outing for children - the abattoir or a pathology autopsy perhaps?... C Egan Fishponds Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.1.05 CHILDREN SHOULD NOT SEE THE HUNT - So, hundreds of people turned out to watch the Beaufort Hunt parading through the village of Tetbury. Some of them said it was a wonderful sight to see. Unfortunately, those people do not get to see what happens at the end of the hunt when a fox is savagely torn to pieces by a pack of hounds…. Norah Pound Wroughton Wiltshire (letter)

York Evening Press 12.1.05 Cruelly muddled - IN this new year, I wish New Labour would clarify its policies on issues of so-called cruelty. Tony The Tiresome was like a Jack Russell with a rat in his teeth over banning fox hunting… now we are told that, due to mild winters, the deer have been at it far too much of late, and their numbers are out of control. So the powers that be, New Labour, have deemed they will be culled, i.e. shot. Does this mean that in a year or two when Foxy Woxy is enjoying mass production and raking around everyone's back garden that New Labour, if still around, will order a mass cull of them also?... Bob Waite, Windmill Rise, Holgate, York. (letter in archive)

Banbury Guardian 13.1.05 FIGHT FOR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE - HAVING read the letter sent in by Anne Wylie, (Your View, January 6), I do wonder which animals she has to contain when the hunt approaches. I have dogs and horses that I keep in when the hunt is around - not because they are terrified but because they would like to join in. I have hunted with the Warwickshire Hunt and have always found them careful with livestock. I live on a farm and have found no problem with the hunt… Mrs LM Dudfield, North Newington (letter)

The Sentinel 13.1.05 TALLY-HO MOB IS SELF-SERVING - Let us stop awhile and reflect on those both in favour of hunting with hounds and those who go hunting with hounds. Let us try to see things from their side for a change rather than constantly attacking them with our 'anti-hunting with hounds' points of view… They're brave and good and do their job - where would we be without such mob? Where indeed? Alas I can't continue spilling all this utter bilge out of my Biro. The only 'wonderful service' that they are doing is for themselves and their kind… PETER T RIDGWAY Bradwell (letter)

The Sentinel 13.1.05 DON'T BE BLINKERED ABOUT HUNTING - JWB (Letters, January 5) misses the point as far as the political process which led to the forcing through of a ban on hunting with dogs is concerned. To clarify points made by both JWB and R Brassington (Letters, January 5) in response to my comments, it was quite clear from the attitude of several Labour backbenchers, as well as some of those on the front bench, that their motivations for pushing for a ban had nothing to do with representing the public, but all to do with personal prejudice and bigotry… RICHARD DE PREZ Joint master of the Cheshire Forest Hunt (letter)

Tamworth Herald 13.1.05 ATHERSTONE'S DISASTER RESPONSE - IT was heartening to see the rapid response of the good folk of Atherstone when the horrific extent of the Asian tsunami disaster became truly apparent… So, it was in complete contrast that I found myself disgusted by the section of our community known as the Atherstone Hunt, and its followers, who felt that the season of goodwill - goodwill that was needed so much more during this time of global sadness - was clearly the time to go on a killing spree. How so full of self-importance these people are, that in their destructive and hedonistic lives they could not even think of doing one compassionate deed like cancelling one of their hunt meetings over the holiday period as a sign of respect…. Hyperion ( details supplied). (letter)

Barry Gem 13.1.05 Hunting: ‘the law is the law’ - I AM glad to hear that the Glamorgan Hunt will continue after the ban… Richard Bertin, Barry (letter in archive)
Penarth Times 6.1.05 Accept ban - Richard Bertin, Barry. (letter in archive)
Western Mail 6.1.05 Cruelty-free sport - SIR - I am glad to hear that the Glamorgan Hunt will continue after the fox-hunting ban, which is due to come into force in February. Hopefully they will continue by using the cruelty-free drag method!... Hunting can survive, and yes, it can continue, but only as long as it is cruelty free. RICHARD BERTIN Barry, Vale of Glamorgan (letter)

Evesham Journal 13.1.05 Valid part of the animal world - IN answer to Sandra Loder's wish to show respect to animals and Lewis Potter's, misleading, vociferous, minority view, that he should be able to enjoy the spectacle of hounds violently tearing apart hares and foxes (Journal letters, December 30). It would be helpful if we identified these animals for what they are, not vermin but valid competitors in the struggle to survive… MICHAEL PARKER, Main Street, Sedgeberrow. (letter in archive)

Evesham Journal 13.1.05 A question of ethics for a ban - I WRITE with regard to foxhunting and the government's attempt to ban this long time rural pursuit. I question the ethics of this ban, and suggest that if the government wish to continue down this line, they must also take into account the shooting of foxes, poisoning, and snaring them with wires… DAVID A LEADBEATER, Meon Road, Mickleton. (letter in archive)

Hereford Journal 13.1.05 Priorities are all at fault - IT is a disgrace that so much valuable Parliamentary time has been wasted on hunting… The profile for vulnerable people needs to be very high on the agenda at national level and I know we shall be banging on the door but what chance with all this work to do with Mr Fox!... OLWYN BARNETT, Kinsham, Presteigne. (letter in archive)

Western Gazette 13.1.05 IMMEDIATE RESPONSE - On 26 December when the news broke of the terrible tsunami disaster in South East Asia, the Rotary Club of Crewkerne and Crewkerne Round Table decided to make a joint appeal and collection in the Market Square, Crewkerne, at the meeting of the Seavington Hunt and Round Table Pram Race on Boxing Day. I am pleased to report that £524.25 was raised…. Tony Cooper BEM, Rotary Club of Crewkerne, Hermitage Street, Crewkerne. (letter)

West Briton 13.1.05 HUNTING BAN WILL DO NOTHING FOR THE DISABLED - I drove to The Moor at Falmouth, intending to visit a particular store, which had been advertising in the West Briton. There were only three disabled parking spaces allowed… Then I read in the Western Morning News, that Candy Atherton MP had "turned up to support the campaign" against the transfer of the Post Office at The Moor to the Costcutter store… Banning hunting will not save rural post offices or provide proper education for disabled children, or ensure a full life for the disabled or the elderly. Ms Atherton needs to put the cameras away and spend a lot of time sitting down and thinking. TESS NASH, Venton Vean, Mawgan, Helston (letter)

Frome & Somerset Standard 13.1.05 SOUR GRAPES AT THE ALLIANCE - What wisdom the Frome & Somerset Standard showed to confine the news of the Countryside Alliance's challenge on the hunting ban to page 13, January 6, with all that number's connotations. Richard Standing, of the Mendip Farmer's Hunt, says he believes the ban has nothing to do with cruelty because the government will not contest their legal challenge…. It seems to me that the alliance suffers from a severe case of sour grapes. I also seem to remember that miners and steelworkers were roundly condemned for threatening to flout the law by the self same people now proposing the same action. Talk about the kettle calling the pot black. MIKE G WELLS, Alexandra Road, Frome (letter)


Ormskirk Advertiser 12.1.05 A hare's-breadth from being illegal - THE Waterloo Cup, the UK's largest greyhound coursing event, takes place at Altcar, Lancashire on February 14, 15 and 16 - just days before the new Hunting Bill makes the sport illegal…. (story)

Telegraph 12.1.05 MP attacks hunt ban 'conniving' By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent - Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, insisted yesterday that he was "confident" the legal challenges to the Hunting Act would fail. He spoke in the Commons as he defended the Government's decision not to challenge the Countryside Alliance's proposed application for an injunction stopping the Act banning hunting from coming into force…. (story)
Western Daily Press 12.1.05 MINISTERS URGED NOT TO ALLOW HUNT BAN DELAY - Vote-hungry Ministers were yesterday warned against plotting with the Countryside Alliance to delay the hunting ban until after the General Election in May. But in stormy scenes in the Commons, senior Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman failed to persuade the Government to take on the hunt supporters in court…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 12.1.05 MINISTERS DENY MAKING SECRET DEALS TO DELAY BAN ON HUNTING - Simon McGee - MINISTERS have rejected accusations that they are "conniving" with the Countryside Alliance to agree a face-saving delay over the hunting ban, but confirmed that they will neither "support nor oppose" any such attempts…. (story)
Western Morning News 12.1.05 OUTRAGE OVER HUNT BAN DELAY - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael came under attack from MPs on all sides of the hunting debate yesterday after he confirmed that the Government would not oppose legal moves to delay the start of the hunting ban…. (story)
Worcester Evening News 12.1.05 Ministers `relaxed' on hunt ban delay - THE Government is "relaxed" about any delays to the implementation of the hunting ban caused by the Countryside Alliance's legal challenge, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael said yesterday…. (story in archive)
BBC News Online 11.1.05 'Let courts decide on hunt ban' - It is up to the courts to decide whether the ban on hunting with the dogs should be delayed, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael told MPs…. He was responding to Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, who warned ministers not to connive with anti-hunt groups…. (story)
Politics.co.uk 11.1.05 Courts will decide on fox hunting delay - The Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has said the Government would neither "oppose nor support" an application from the Countryside Alliance to delay the implementation of the ban on fox hunting. Responding to an urgent question in the House of Commons Mr Michael said that he believed it was for the courts to decide any questions on the legality of the act… (story)
ePolitix.com 11.1.05 Michael 'clarifies' fox ban legal challenge - Alun Michael has said the government will "neither oppose nor support" a legal bid to delay the implementation of the controversial ban on fox hunting. Having been compelled to make a Commons statement explaining the government's position, the rural affairs minister added that he wanted to "clarify things"… (story)

York Evening Press 12.1.05 Cruelly muddled - IN this new year, I wish New Labour would clarify its policies on issues of so-called cruelty. Tony The Tiresome was like a Jack Russell with a rat in his teeth over banning fox hunting… now we are told that, due to mild winters, the deer have been at it far too much of late, and their numbers are out of control. So the powers that be, New Labour, have deemed they will be culled, i.e. shot. Does this mean that in a year or two when Foxy Woxy is enjoying mass production and raking around everyone's back garden that New Labour, if still around, will order a mass cull of them also?... Bob Waite, Windmill Rise, Holgate, York. (letter in archive)

Louth Leader 12.1.05 - South Wold supporters club bowled over by hunt crowds - On behalf of the South Wold Hunt Supporters Club Committee, I would like to thank all of you that gave us such generous support at our recent (belated) Boxing Day meet… Chris Wilkinson, South Wold Hunt Supporters Club Committee (letter)

Knutsford Guardian 12.1.05 Class distinction - THE perception that all people who hunt are toffs is just not true… SHIRLEY OULTRAM (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 12.1.05 WHY DOES WILLIAM BACK THE HUNTERS? - I think the recent picture of Prince William out hunting both ugly and degrading. What a shame he seems to have acquired his father's nature. His mother hated hunting… Name and address supplied (letter)

The Sentinel 12.1.05 MY BRUSH WITH FOXY AND MIS-DIRECTED HUNTSMAN - Reading your front page story about farmer Neil Seaton reminded me of my first day of delivering at Marston Bank. Stopping at the junction at the top of the hill to check my map for the next call on my delivery, there was a rustle beside me and a fox came out of the hedge next to me… few seconds later a horse galloped towards me with a red-suited chap on it. "Which way did it go?" said the chap with a posh accent. Without saying anything I just pointed in the opposite direction, and the foxhunter galloped off…. Postie Des Lightfoot Road Uttoxeter (letter)

The Sentinel 12.1.05 THIS PASTIME REALLY IS VILE - I must reply to the letter of December 30, Right of Choice, sent by one Julie James, and I must say if I hadn't read it for myself I couldn't have believed that anyone could write such an ignorant, arrogant, pile of insulting garbage. If she can't make a distinction between watching a football match and hunting a small, innocent creature to exhaustion and then watching it being ripped to pieces, I would suggest she needs help…. A DICKENS Burslem (letter)

The Sentinel 12.1.05 I OPPOSE HUNTING, SO I DON'T HUNT - - I have made my personal views quite clear on the subject of hunting with hounds; however, I feel obliged to respond to the letter from Julie James of Alsager… Julie James stated that if Mr Stone doesn't like hunting he should consider a pastime that would take his 'little' mind off hunting. Surely, isn't that what those who hunt need to do? PETER RIDGWAY Bradwell (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 12.1.05 STOP THE BULLY-BOY HUNTERS … These bullies are riding rough-shod over this Government. The lies they tell over this saga are outrageous. They claim people would lose their jobs and dogs would be destroyed - rubbish. Why can't they drag hunt?... Foxes are bred by many huntsmen to satisfy their cause… Name and address supplied (letter)


Telegraph 11.1.05 Lobby group will name and shame lying MPs By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - A lobbying group that will "name and shame" MPs who say one thing and vote for another was launched in London yesterday. The non-party political campaign group, Active Citizens Transform, is chaired by John Jackson, chairman of the Countryside Alliance, and includes Charles Secrett, former director of Friends of the Earth. It has already, in combination with Greenpeace, earned Labour's wrath by "naming and shaming" 123 Labour MPs who signed up to saving energy to tackle global warming but voted against measures under pressure from Government whips…. (story)

Telegraph 11.1.05 Sir Stephen Hastings - Sir Stephen Hastings, who died yesterday aged 83, had a good war in the SAS and SOE and later joined MI6; but he was better known as the Conservative MP whose trenchant support for white minority rule in Rhodesia brought him the hostility of Socialists and the polite disapproval of his own party…. Outside his parliamentary duties, Hastings continued to ride, hunting regularly with the Quorn. In 1982 he was elected chairman of the British Field Sports Society in succession to Sir Marcus Kimball…. He married secondly, in 1975, Elizabeth, Lady Naylor-Leyland, younger daughter of Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent and of Countess Fitzwilliam, whose family founded the Fitzwilliam Hunt … (story)

Times 11.1.05 A fitting parable of the politics of our time - IS THERE such a thing as a parable of the politics of our time? If so, It must surely lie in the story of the way the Government has handled the hunting issue ever since it reached what appeared to be its natural end with the use of the Parliament Act to enforce the will of the Commons… This is an extraordinary state of affairs; an Act of Parliament is barely on the statute book before the Government brazenly connives at preventing it from taking effect… >(story)

Western Mail 11.1.05 'End the subsidies' - The 59th Oxford Farming Conference last week looked at an industry facing some of its biggest ever changes. Two leading politicians used their speeches to deliver some tough, if different, messages… On his arrival at the conference Lord Whitty was cornered by protesters angry at Parliament's decision to ban hunting. One of the protesters, George Juer, 23, kennel hunt man of the Radley Beagles in Oxfordshire, said a ban would destroy "what we live and breathe for"…. (story)
Daily Post 6.1.05 The CAP must fit if you want cash - LORD Whitty was involved in a pro-hunt scuffle yesterday as he urged farmers not be "wrongheaded" over CAP reform…. (story)
Times 6.1.05 Hunt ban protesters corner Lord Whitty - THE Farming Minister, Lord Whitty, was cornered yesterday by protesters opposed to the hunting ban as he arrived to address a conference. Police had to intervene as demonstrators brandishing Countryside Alliance placards surrounded him outside the Examination Schools in Oxford. The confrontation lasted about a minute. One of the protesters, George Juer, 23, kennel huntsman of the Radley Beagles in Oxfordshire, said that the hunting ban would destroy “what we live and breathe for”…. (story)
Western Daily Press 6.1.05 MINISTER IN HUNT SCUFFLE - Farming Minister Lord Whitty was involved in a scuffle with pro-hunt demonstrators yesterday as he arrived to address a conference…. One of the protesters, George Juer, 23, said the hunting ban would destroy "what we live and breathe for". "We were trying to ask him if he had any reason for the ban. All the reports say that there's no reason for banning hunting on the grounds of cruelty," he said. "The only thing I heard him say is, 'It's cruel, it's cruel', but I'm willing to bet he's never done a day's hunting in his life."… (story)
Western Morning News 6.1.05 FARMERS MUST ACT AS RURAL 'PROTECTORS' - Farming minister Lord Whitty was involved in a scuffle with anti-hunt ban protesters as he arrived to address a national farming conference yesterday. Police had to intervene as several demonstrators brandishing Countryside Alliance placards cornered the minister outside the Examination Schools in Oxford, where the annual Oxford farming conference is held…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 6.1.05 Subsidies protect countryside By Anna Lognonne, The Journal - Farming Minister Lord Whitty told farmers at yesterday's Oxford conference that the reason they continued to receive subsidies from Europe was to enable them to act as protectors of the countryside. He said he had no sympathy with farmers opposed to cross-compliance regulations, such as care for land, soil and water…. The minister was involved in a scuffle with anti-hunt ban protesters as he arrived at the conference. Police had to intervene as several demonstrators brandishing Countryside Alliance placards cornered the minister. The confrontation lasted for around a minute… (story)

Leicester Mercury 11.1.05 £360 FROM HUNT - Members of the Cottesmore Hunt raised hundreds of pounds to help the survivors of the tsunami disaster at their New Year's hunt. More than £360 was raised at the meet, which started in the Market Square, Uppingham, on January 3… (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 11.1.05 APOLOGIES AFTER TWO HUNTS STRAY ON LAND - A poughill couple have been compensated after hunts strayed on to their land and caused havoc among their animals. Kathryn and Martin Henton, of Cleaves Farm, were left fuming when, during the same week in December, the Silverton Foxhounds and then the Tiverton Foxhounds both went across their property…. James Harris, from the Tiverton Foxhounds, said he went to Cleaves Farm the next day to apologise in person. But the couple say they had to wait another three weeks before they heard from the Silverton Foxhounds… Robert Chanin, joint master of Silverton Foxhounds, blamed a 'mess-up in communications' between his hunt and the Tiverton Foxhounds for the delay. Mr Chanin said that once he was made aware of the problem he immediately apologised and offered a compensation package. Martin Henton described the offer as 'generous'…. (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 11.1.05 DULVERTON DATES - The Dulverton Farmers Hunt has unveiled its meets for January and February… (story)

Western Morning News 11.1.05 Hard-to-find hunt - IN response to your correspondent F Cleaves, the police will not need to infiltrate hunts - they will just need to obtain sufficient sound evidence of an "illegal activity" to convince a court. As one who has spent countless hours trying to find out where the hunt has "disappeared to" on days out following the hunt, I wish them luck. Riding a horse, wearing a red coat and blowing a horn, accompanied by hounds, is not an illegal activity. J Rushton, Chippenham (letter)

Western Morning News 11.1.05 EYES OPEN TO MANIPULATIVE POLITICS - Was it coincidence that the article by Britain's only black farmer Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones was published in the same issue as the speech to the Terra Madre conference by the Prince of Wales (WMN, December 3)?... . Mr Emmanuel-Jones quite rightly points out that the hunting debate has served as a flag around which other countryside issues have grouped, because hunting arouses more passion and media interest, for or against, than the price of milk or spuds… J Ward-Hayne, Modbury, South Devon
Beef scheme has raised standards - I WAS interested to read your article on the brighter future that farmers can look forward to as the subsidy system draws to a close (WMN, December 20). However I would take issue with the comments contained therein about the Over Thirty Months Scheme… The real reason for the change, is, that if hunting is banned, then over 50 per cent of the carcass disposal capacity in this country will disappear and Defra has no idea as to how this old meat can be disposed of. S J Horner, Chard
It's a funny old world - 2005 is going to be very busy for our local police - what with trying to decide if a group of riders are out drag hunting, exercising hounds, or up to no good. Or if game shooters with their dogs are actually shooting game or 'shooting' foxes away - or perhaps they'll be out early on the moors seeing who's gathering magic mushrooms… Sylvia Crocker, Bridestowe, Okehampton (letters)

Western Morning News 11.1.05 FACE UP TO REALITY OF POLICING HUNTERS - Robert Cornish's vacuous and hysterical reply (WMN, December 14) to Anthony Steen's observations on some of the problems the authorities will encounter in attempting to police the hunt ban is indeed equivocal in the extreme. His "thousands of abused rural dwellers" simply do not exist. Some hunts do have a police presence specifically to deal with the unlawful antics of hunt saboteurs. These are the very people he advocates help the police gather evidence of wrongdoing by themselves trespassing on to private land… W T Sweet, Mawgan, Cornwall
Law is a mess SINCE hunting with hounds is set to continue indefinitely in Northern Ireland and Scotland has cooked up its own dog's breakfast on the subject, the citizens of England and Wales have suffered unfair discrimination from the House of Commons. Scottish and Northern Irish MPs, each with fewer constituents than English or Welsh MPs, should have been excluded from the hunting vote that had nothing to do with them. Pretending that the Parliament Act was used legally doesn't mean that it was, any more than the Emperor who paraded in the nude was correct in believing he was properly dressed…. Tony Maskell, Newton Ferrers (letters)

Western Morning News 11.1.05 BAN WILL MEAN END OF RED DEER ON EXMOOR - We all know that when hunting ends, it will be the end of the red deer on Exmoor. It came to an end in 1850 when the last six deer were taken off the moor after years of no hunting. It was the hunt who put them back. Tony Blair refuses to listen to the experts. He is, of course always right. What a mess he has made of everything he has laid his hands on. C E Sweet, Wellington (letter)

Western Morning News 11.1.05 WE MUST FIND HUMANE WAY TO CONTROL DEER POPULATION - As you claim to be "The Voice of the Westcountry" I feel confident that you will allow dissenting voices to be heard too. Your leader "Flawed animal welfare policy" (WMN, January 3) quotes the slightly obscure statement from the Devon and Somerset Staghounds that once the hunting ban is in place healthy red deer will "cease to be quarry and become a pest"….
It wasn't the Devon and Somerset Staghounds who warned deer would "cease to be a quarry and become a pest" if hunting is banned, Mr Bentley, it was the Exmoor and District Deer Management Society. Our comment was making the point that even independent organisations now fear for the future of deer - and other quarry species - when the hunt ban comes into force - Editor (letter)

Western Morning News 11.1.05 ANIMALS SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE - It does my heart good to know that the hunting ban has gone through. Hunting with dogs is evil. It amazes me how people can see the terrible slaughter of foxes as a part of life… Mandy Tregaskes, Fowey
Fishing just as unfair - NOW that the Commons has voted again to ban hunting, the antis are after shooting to get that banned next. But why not fishing? Fishing is just as unfair to fish as hunting is to foxes or shooting to pheasants…. Robert Beard, Kingsbridge (letter)

Western Morning News 11.1.05 HYPOCRISY HERALDS THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME - I see a number of people have brought up the point that it is hypocritical of Parliament to ban hunting but not halal or kosher meat. They are quite right about the hypocrisy, but to play the game according to the rules of this increasingly authoritarian Government is a mistake. As I understand it the actual slaughter, under proper halal or kosher rules, results in the animal losing consciousness within a couple of seconds as the blood pressure to the brain goes… Those of us who are opposed to this vindictive legislation and fear for the liberties of this nation should not be criticizing Muslim or Jewish communities but warning them. Governments that do this kind of thing get a taste for it. They could (and eventually will) be next…. John Kelly, Torpoint (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.1.05 HUNT SPARKED CHAOS ON ROAD - - I have always tried to see both sides of the fox hunting argument having its disagreements with my family as they are strongly against all blood sports. But, to me, shooting defenceless, confused pheasants is more shameful than fox hunting, but having said all that, I do not much care for the attitude of the fox-hunting brigade while they are on a public highway…. Would these same hunters mind if I walked my out of control dogs down their road next time they are trying to go about their daily business? J Jones (Mrs) Tuffley Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.1.05 MORE IMPORTANT THINGS FOR CHARLES - Norah Pound Wroughton Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 10.1.05 MORE IMPORTANT THINGS FOR CHARLES - If D Goodman had read my letter carefully, he/she would have seen that I wrote that Prince Charles should be dealing with more important issues rather than giving obvious backing to pro-hunt supporters… I would hardly call Countryside Alliance members law-abiding citizens, given all the havoc they have caused since the ban was announced…. Norah Pound Wroughton Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 3.1.05 A RIGHT ROYAL CONTRIBUTION - What right has Nora Pound to criticise the Royal Family, when they do so much for the community? The Princess Royal does so much, particularly for the elderly… My daughter followed the hunt when she was in the Pony Club and has now followed the Severn Vale Hunt for five years. As she is old enough to know her own mind, I cannot criticise… Good luck to all of them, I say. They are getting rid of vermin which cause chaos to the farmers and small-holders… J E Tily Stonehouse Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 31.12.04 FORGET HUNTING - THE ISSUE IS IRAQ - Sir - I must reply to the letter from Norah Pound, of Wiltshire. Her comments seem typical of the nanny state in which we now live, created by a government with too much power. So, Princess Anne has been photographed riding with a hunt. So has Prince Charles. Are they breaking any present law? No. However, there seems to be a minority of people intent on criminalising law-abiding citizens. As for saying that pro-hunt supporters have little regard for animals, I have never heard such rubbish in my life…. (letter)
Western Daily Press 23.12.04 PRINCESS ANNE IS A HUNT SUPPORTER - Sir - We are aware the ban on fox- hunting doesn't come into force until February next year. The fact that Princess Anne was photographed hunting with hounds shows what she thinks of a hunt- ing ban…. Behaving in this manner, they are giving their support to the pro-hunt campaigners. A ban has been passed by Parliament. Also, the majority of people living in this country abhor this so-called sport…. Norah Pound Wroughton Wiltshire (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 11.1.05 NO SURPRISE AT HEIR'S SILENCE - In response to Pamela Dean (January 4), I trust that the following is in line with the thoughts of Prince Charles, had he allowed himself to respond. After the removal of King James II by the British Government in the 17th Century, the Succession has been chosen by the Government… Considering the above history to be accurate, and the fact that this Government has passed a Bill banning fox-hunting, is it any surprise that the heir to the throne can only sit back and act dumb? ALAN KULTSCHAR, Tuffley (letter)

Post & Times 11.1.05 LET DOG PACK CHASE THE HUNTERS - I have read in the Leek Post about foxhunting. It is appalling that this cruel sport continues… G Carter Macclesfield (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 11.1.05 CRUELTY BEHIND WORD 'TRADITION' - Regarding the Boxing Day Hunt "Crowds show huge support", Echo December 28), of course, hunting with dogs should be banned. The object has never been to control foxes; it is purely to give hunt members a good day's chase, which is why they use dogs bred for stamina and not speed…. MRS W. CORSER Gate Burton, Gainsborough (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 11.1.05 'DOMESTIC DOGS ARE THE REAL CULPRITS' … If, however, foxes were such a threat to livestock, as their detractors would have us believe, then the Department For Environment Food And Rural Affairs (Defra) would keep precise records of fox predation on lambs, which it describes as being as little as two per cent of all lamb mortality and therefore negligible…. Foxes are wrongly blamed when it is domestic dogs which are the real culprits and more significantly sheep farmers themselves, whose bad husbandry accounts for 42 per cent of lamb mortality, through hypothermia and malnutrition…. Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 11.1.05 DANGERS OF HUNTING ACT - One wonders if the average law-abiding dog owner is yet aware of the implications of the Hunting with Dogs Act. Walking a pet dog after the hunting ban will be fraught with danger. If the dog chases any mammal other than a rat or a rabbit, its handler could be liable to a fine of £5,000…. The owners of the land where the "offence" occurs will also commit an offence if they allow dog owners to enter and/or use the land for the offending activities. So we taxpayers could pick up the bill if a pet dog pursues a grey squirrel, or its trail, in Singleton Park… C A G Sander, Gower Road, Killay, Swansea (letter)


Northern Echo 10.1.05 Landowners' go-ahead is sought for hunting - HUNT organisers are writing to North Yorkshire landowners to ask their permission to continue legal activities on their land when hunting with dogs is banned. Masters of the Derwent Hunt and Sinnington Hunt have written to landowners and the Middleton Hunt is in the process of doing so. Bridget Till, a joint master of the Sinnington Hunt, said: "We need to obtain farmers' and landowners' permission in writing in order to give the strongest possible defence in case there is a prosecution for illegal hunting…" (story in archive)

Guardian 10.1.05 Lovers of freedom should fear for Britain, not the US - From hunting to religion, the signs are ominous for our tradition of dissent - Paul Barker … Again, there's the grotesque illiberalism of the foxhunting vote. I don't hunt, nor have I any wish to. But in reading Sassoon, Surtees or Trollope, I recognise that it's a long, not dishonourable thread through the fabric of English culture. Admittedly, this law was driven through not by Blair, but by Labour backbenchers - so keen to show their own transient freedom, for once, that they forgot about other people's…. (story)

Argus 10.1.05 Letter: Foxes and famine - we can care about both - For the life of me, I cannot understand what Louise Ramsay is going on about in her piece about fox hunting (The Argus, December 30, 2004). Is she somehow suggesting that since there are other, far worse outrages to protest about, we should all ignore fox hunting?... Ms Ramsay has truly lost the plot if she thinks it is hypocritical to care about the suffering of the fox (or other injustices further down her "graduated measure of concern") when there are more important issues to reserve our compassion for… -Peter Dawson, Heathfield (letter in archive)

Argus 10.1.05 Letter: Superior thinking - I am writing in response to Louise Ramsay's article "Forget Hunting Foxes, Think Of The Turkeys" (The Argus, December 30, 2004)…. Who decides which animal (human or non-human) is morally more important than the other and why? Is it not better to have no scale at all and to respect all living creatures?... -David Hammond, Hassocks (letter in archive)

Independent 10.1.05 Passionate hunters - Sir: It's good to know that hunting folk show "passion and commitment" (Letters, 8 January). That makes it OK for them to abuse wild animals for fun. It also explains the violent intimidation… CHRISTOPHER CLAYTON, Waverton, Cheshire
On Friday I saw to my astonishment a young fox cross Carey Street and make rapidly towards the rear entrance of the Law Courts. Could it be that he or she wished to intervene in the pending proceedings about the hunting ban and, if so, in support of which party? RODNEY STEWART SMITH, London NW1 (letters)

Western Daily Press 10.1.05 NO NEED FOR THIS FINE SIGHT TO END - Like many people, we appreciate the beauty of The Prom at Cheltenham and memories of horse and hound as they made their way to the Queen's Hotel… Back to basics for the chase shows there would be no shortage of people to "drag" a trail. It's a pity the hunts seem unwilling to give ground… Pamela Dean Whiteshill Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.1.05 MAGNA CARTA AND BILL OF RIGHTS ARE RED HERRINGS - I cannot agree with C A Currie that "the primacy of Parliament is a fiction". If this is true, Parliamentary democracy, being the freely expressed wishes of the majority of the British people, does not exist…. The case as it relates to hunting will be decided on legal precedents over the last few hundred years… Lionel Hutt Keynsham North East Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.1.05 SPORT THAT GAVE ME SKILLS FOR LIFE - I live in the country and have no particular axe to grind with regard to the hunting debate. However, I have been prompted by the question of whether it is right for children to be encouraged to hunt. Now in my sixth decade, I have followed hunting since I was a child. I was fortunate to have drilled into me the importance of good manners and respect for others… Should children be encouraged to hunt? Of course they should. Michael Lees Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.1.05 'STORM' IS MORE LIKE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR - The article, "Child riders spark storm" trots out the same old, widely discredited, anti-hunting tosh, when it should celebrate the fact that the children's meet is a rare example of children spending happy and exhilarating hours together in the countryside, rather than huddled round some electronic game… Importantly, the children's meet bridges the generation gap and brings parents and children together in an unprecedented way in the present age… V S Hilton Malmesbury Wiltshire (letter)

Yorkshire Post 10.1.05 Thank heavens for independent think-tanks. From: MG Snowden, Amotherby, Malton. The think tank Civitas produced statistics that prove Britain has one of the worst police forces in the world…. In the normally constabulary-deserted Malton, on the Boxing Day hunt meet, there were about six police vehicles and perhaps a dozen officers, to deal with the only anti-hunter, quietly waving her banner… (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 10.1.05 HUNTERS NEED HELP OF HELICOPTER - It is always heartwarming to see reports of the community rallying round in support of charities, whether it be a local issue or the tremendous generosity towards the people in the tsumani disaster. However, I have felt prompted to respond to your article (January 4), 'Hunt splashes out for Air Ambulance', referring to a sizable donation from the Dartmoor Hunt to Devon Air Ambulance…. but I am afraid I cannot help but feel they did so to cover their own backs, as it seems this fine charity is called to help their hunting colleagues far too often… Name and address supplied (letter)
Plymouth Evening Herald 4.1.05 HUNT SPLASHES OUT FOR AIR AMBULANCE - A sponsored swim by members of Dartmoor Hunt raised more than £1,400 for Devon Air Ambulance… (story)


Sunday Times 9.1.05 SAS men led hunt raid on Commons - THE STORMING of the House of Commons last September in protest over the Hunting Bill was planned and carried out by rogue SAS soldiers, writes Robert Winnett. Several of the pro-hunt supporters who broke into parliament during the debate on the bill were former members of the special forces regiment…. One friend of the men said: “It just shows how passionately people feel about this issue that men who were prepared to sacrifice everything for their country, and have put themselves in very difficult situations, are prepared to go to these lengths.”… (story)

Observer 9.1.05 Ill-will hunting - Roger Scruton accords hunt enthusiasts a dignity and delicacy of feeling that they scarcely deserve… do the things they do because they enjoy inflicting pain and misery on weaker beings… Matthew Withey, Saltaire, Yorkshire
Scruton scrutinised On what grounds does Jason Cowley justify publishing an article by Roger Scruton on foxhunting? As he must be aware, most people in this country do not regard this activity as a 'sport'… Mary Clarke, Seaford, East Sussex
To suggest, as Roger Scruton does, that hunting promotes chivalry is bizarre. Chivalry is defined as a combination of qualities including courage, honour, courtesy and a readiness to help the weak. I don't see how hunting fits into that ideal, as a pack of humans and a score of dogs attack one terrified animal… Phil Rowson, Blackpool (letters)


Southern Daily Echo 8.1.05 MP's battle to get secret hunt files published - A HAMPSHIRE MP is leading the fight to force the government to publish secret files revealing its views on a hunting ban. Julian Lewis, pictured, wants to see papers relating to Prime Minister Tony Blair's efforts to scupper an outright ban and reach a compromise allowing hunting with hounds to continue under licence… (story in archive)

Independent 8.1.05 Hunting people are working hard when toffs are off to the sun - A J Smerdon (letter, 30 December) and Mark Blackman (letter, 31 December) are both wrong. It is neither wealth nor class that marks hunting people out from the crowd. It is passion and commitment. The packs I hunt with in the West Country are predominantly local farmers' hunts which subsist on shoestring budgets. The hunt followers are local people.… By contrast the only toffs I know of are not much interested in foxhunting. At this time of year they are mostly on their yachts or in their exclusive villas in Cannes, Antibes or Nassau. Not for them the rigours of our notorious winter climate, and like the swallows they will be back in the late spring. EDMUND BAILHACHE, Chard, Somerset
Colin Burke is completely wrong to argue that it is illogical to kill weakened foxes in the interests of protecting livestock (letter, 6 January). Over the years we have been raising free-range chickens and ducks, major losses have almost always been to old or sick foxes, or to those injured by such cruel and ineffectual methods of control as lamping, poison, snares or shotguns. We know this because, when the unfortunate animal has been tracked down and put out of its misery, our losses have stopped… WILLIAM DOUGLAS-MANN, Petrockstowe, Devon (letters)
Independent 4.1.05 Hunting draws supporters from all class backgrounds - Mark Blackman (letter, 31 December) is wrong to suggest that all forms of foxhunting require a large financial outlay; in the Lake District, for example, due to the mountainous terrain, hunters are obliged to follow the hounds on foot over the fells…. While foxes may not mourn hunting's demise, as a species they will in no way benefit, and many people will have an enjoyable pastime taken away from them, for no real purpose except appeasing Labour backbenchers. WILLIAM KELLEY, London NW3
: After Mark Steel has accepted A J Smerdon's invitation to ride with him at one of the splendid Essex hunt meets (letter, 30 December) perhaps he'd like to join me in the spring at the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain's annual Terrier and Lurcher Show at Cowdray Castle, Midhurst in East Sussex… MICHAEL W COOK, London W14
Mark Blackman suggests that hunting is an elite activity because it is expensive. No more expensive, however, than spending our money on fashionable clothes, mobile gadgets, evenings out or an abundance of Christmas lights… . Anyway, for beagling you don't even need a horse. PAUL WILLCOX Ipswich, Suffolk (letters)
Independent 31.12.04 Victory for the fox - Mark Steel hasn't given much thought to the lifestyle of foxes otherwise he wouldn't ask such an obvious question as whether the fox ever wins (article, 28 December). The fox wins its many life-and-death contests most of the time. It hunts down and tears limb from limb smaller and less aggressive animals than itself. That is how it lives, always has and no doubt always will, so there is really no need for any misplaced sympathy on your part or by anti-hunt advocates…. J A RUSSELL , Cheshunt, Hertfordshire
A J Smerdon (letter, 30 December) invites Mark Steel to Essex, to meet "working-class" fox-hunters. I think he's missed the point: it's not class that makes hunting an elite activity, but wealth. Leaving aside the price of buying a hunter, the ongoing costs are way beyond the means of most people…. MARK BLACKMAN, London SE14 (story)
Independent 30.12.04 The hunting classes - Mark Steel ("So if this a sport why doesn't the fox ever win?", 28 December) decided to follow one of the more upper-class hunts in the country; nothing wrong, you understand, with that in itself. I was with the duke and duchess a few weeks ago as it happens. If he would like to come out with me and my friends in the Essex area hunts then he would indeed find the "working-class" type of hunters. I am a truck driver, and was out with a mobile home salesman, a housewife or two, and about three dozen children all enjoying the bracing countryside on Boxing Day… A J SMERDON, Chelmsford, Essex (letters)

Yorkshire Post 8.1.05 Hunting for a rationale. From: John Warden, Cherry Burton, East Yorkshire. THE recently-passed Act will make it a criminal offence to hunt wild mammals, except rats and rabbits. There is nothing, however, which makes hunting domesticated animals an offence. This should enable all hunts to carry on almost as normal with a little extra effort. Staghounds can hunt "carted" stags, as they already do in Ireland. Foxhounds, harriers and beagles would need to take some additional steps to remain legal. Foxes and hares could be raised in special enclosures and fed, thus becoming "farmed" rather than wild mammals… (letter)


Maidenhead Advertiser 7.1.05 Seasonal meets attract hunt enthusiasts - A huntsman said hundreds of Maidonians gathered for traditional Boxing Day meets in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire on Monday last week. The hunting meets at Mortimer Common and Cholesbury Common, near Chesham, took place a day late because Boxing Day fell on a Sunday, traditionally a non-hunting day…. (story)

Shropshire Star 7.1.05 Hunt protesters target MP BY NATALIE GREENWAY - More than 50 protesters waving banners interrupted Wrekin MP Peter Bradley's surgery in Albrighton today to protest against the ban on hunting. The large group of protesters believe the ban on hunting is a class war which is threatening to ruin their way of life…. Stephen Burton, a professional huntsmen from the Albrighton Hunt, said he would lose his job because of the ban. Four protesters went into the library to speak to Mr Bradley for some time on the issue…. (story)

Telegraph 7.1.05 Campaign to ban hunting will take up the challenge in High Court By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor - Anti-hunting campaigners are seeking to fight a planned legal challenge to the Government's ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales, it emerged yesterday. The League Against Cruel Sports, which has campaigned for 80 years for such a ban, will ask the High Court for permission to intervene in a High Court challenge to the Hunting Act 2004, launched last year by the Countryside Alliance.... The chairman of the Countryside Alliance said yesterday: "The league is perfectly entitled to ask the court to listen to relevant views that it might wish to express."... (story)
Western Morning News 7.1.05 LEAGUE TO CHALLENGE DELAY ON HUNTING BAN - Prime Minister Tony Blair faced the renewed threat of election chaos last night after anti-hunt campaigners pledged to mount a legal battle to bring the ban in on time…. the League Against Cruel Sports will mount its own challenge to the injunction being lodged by the Countryside Alliance which would delay the hunting ban due to come into force on February 18…. Mid Devon huntmaster George Lyon-Smith said in reaction to the League Against Cruel Sports challenge: "I think it will be tested in the courts and those people with the best argument will win…." (story)
BBC News Online 6.1.05 Protesters fight hunt ban delay - Anti-hunt protesters say they will fight to ensure a ban comes into force on 18 February as planned. Pro-hunt campaigners had asked for an injunction to delay the ban while they challenge it at the High Court. The government, which said it would not oppose a delay, was accused of trying to avoid protests so close to a likely May election. Now the League Against Cruel Sports is to ask to make legal representations against an injunction on 25 January…. (story)

Western Morning News 7.1.05 HISTORIC HUNT IS A FAMILY AFFAIR - On a bitter, grey winter day when the rain lashed down on Devon, the 30 or so followers of the Britannia Beagles who convened on a South Hams farm were a varied bunch. Among them was ten-year-old Alex Walton. Like many before him, he discovered hunting with dogs when his family moved on to the naval college grounds earlier this year…. (story)
Western Morning News 7.1.05 THE 'BRITANNIA' BEAGLES - A POEM - In the "Britannia" of the beagles we oft hear tell, And many around here know them full well, With their noses so keen and their bodies so slight… An extract from the Britannia magazine, reprinted in Admiral Sir James Eberle's book on the Britannia Beagles entitled Jim, First of the Pack, no longer in publication. The poem was reprinted anonymously. (story)

Western Morning News 7.1.05 HORSE PEOPLE DIG DEEP FOR THE TSUNAMI APPEAL - The equestrian world has been the source of an extraordinary response to the appeal for help on behalf of the victims of the Asian tsunamis, reports… "We also had a bucket collection (on Monday) with the South Devon Hunt and raised over £200."… Hunts across the country have been collecting for the appeal. On New Year's Day the Mid Devon Hunt collected £1,062… (story)

Post & Times 7.1.05 PACK OF HOUNDS RUN AMOK ON LAND - GRAHAM PHOENIX - An Elderly farmer told of his shock this week after a pack of foxhounds ran amok over his land. Neil Seaton, who farms at Marston Bank, near Rocester, claims it is the latest incident he has suffered after criticising the activities of the exclusive Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt. It happened last Friday as Mr Seaton, a pensioner, had just finished feeding his herd of beef cattle…. (story)

West Sussex County Times 7.1.05 Horror of 4am fireball in drive - AN ANTI-HUNT campaigner awoke to the sound of his van exploding after a suspected arson attack in Pulborough. Protester Simon Wright and his partner rushed outside to see it engulfed in flames at 4am on Monday…. Mr Wright was woken up by partner Linda Monk who first heard the explosion… A Sussex Police spokesperson said: "The fire is believed to have been started deliberately and is being investigated as arson. Anti-hunt campaign group West Sussex Wildlife Protection met with Sussex Police on Tuesday…. WSWP Spokesman Simon Wild said: "At the end of if we did not come away with a structured response. They did say that if we inform them when we are going to hunts that they would consider sending one police vehicleAt this stage the possibility of the offence being motivated by the hunting issue is a clear line of investigation, as the car belonged to a hunt opponent, albeit no positive evidence of such a link has been confirmed."… On Christmas Eve 17-year-old protester Christopher Black found a disembowelled fox dumped in his car in Pulborough. Mr Black and his mother Carol Tibbits made the grisly discovery after they returned from the Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt's meeting at Coombelands Farm…. A spokesman for the Crawley and Horsham hunt said: "It is something we would not do. These people have been coming out with us for 15 years. I am not saying I like them. Going around burning each other's properties is just something civilised people do not do."… (story)

Herts & Essex Observer 7.1.05 Pregnant hunt saboteur hurt during protest - THE first Essex Hunt of the new year was mired in controversy after a pregnant saboteur was taken to hospital. A war of words has erupted since the event as hunt followers in Hatfield Broad Oak claimed their first meet was marred by the saboteurs who sprayed irritants into the eyes of hounds and horses. And the Hunt Saboteurs Association has made a counterclaim that one of its female activists, who was nine weeks’ pregnant, was “whipped and ridden over twice” by a member of the hunt… (story)
Western Daily Press 3.1.05 HUNT SAB HURT - A Pregnant hunt saboteur was taken to hospital with head injuries after allegedly being knocked over by a huntsman, it emerged last night. The 28-year-old, who is nine weeks pregnant, was part of a 12-strong group of hunt saboteurs who were trying to disrupt the Essex Hunt… (story)
Scotsman 1.1.05 Pregnant Hunt Saboteur Injured By Alison Purdy, PA - A pregnant hunt saboteur was today taken to hospital with head injuries after allegedly being knocked over by a huntsman. The 28-year-old, who is nine weeks pregnant, was part of a 12-strong group of hunt saboteurs who were trying to disrupt the Essex Hunt. Nathan Brown, of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said the woman had been calling hounds at Woodlards Ash, Hatfield Broadoak, Essex, when a rider with the hunt moved towards her. She tried to get out of the way but was knocked over as the huntsman lashed out with a hunting whip, Mr Brown said…. (story)

Cumberland News 7.1.05 J LAWRIE of Carlisle (Letters, December 31) looks forward to the hunting “ban” so he or she can resume walking their dog peacefully. Fortunately, this nanny government has not, so far, banned dogs (or hounds) from barking or people from shouting, but if it continues its interference in people’s lives I’m sure this will be mentioned in its forthcoming election manifesto…. E ELLISThursbyCarlisle
Yet another? I have not found a hunt that goes out in summer at all; in the spring they only go out at the request of specific individual farmers; and even in winter each hunt goes out only two or three days a week, each in a different part of their area…. So I’d love to know where Mr Lawrie walks his dog among all that exciting non-stop hunting. Unless of course, like so many critics of hunting he lives in fantasy land. JANET FARRELLRoweltownCarlisle (letter)

Post & Times 7.1.05 SO SAD TO SEE HUNT STILL GOING ON - How sad to see those people pictured in your paper in pursuit of a defenseless wild animal on Christmas Monday… Reynard's Friend Leek Name and address supplied (letter)

Post & Times 7.1.05 CHARLOTTE - STAY PUT - Following my attendance at an incredibly large and successful Boxing Day hunt meet in Bakewell market - the first time I have witnessed spontaneous applause for the mounted followers - I see that our Charlotte has again been running away from pro-foxhunting supporters. This time it was in Leicestershire - in Quorn hunting country - where she was to open a bypass…. my two personal requests have yet to be resolved despite a recent (and pleasant) visit to her surgery. So - did you hear the one about the Transport Minister who couldn't open a bypass? Peter Brady Flash (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.1.05 MUZZLE THE HOUNDS - Apologies for resurrecting the hunting debate yet again but my 81-year-old father may have come up with the perfect answer. Muzzle the hounds…. If deemed necessary the fox may later be dispatched with one clean shot. Mary Harrold (Mrs) Melksham Wiltshire (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 7.1.05 DON'T LET HUNTING CARRY ON - I cannot believe the Government is proposing to allow the bloodthirsty hunters to carry on with their vile activities for what could be another whole year… BRIAN TOR Barnfield Wilford (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 7.1.05 DISEASES FROM PIGEONS? NAME JUST ONE VICTIM - I'm writing as one of those 'old dearies' or 'boobies' described by Jeremy Lewis (Post, December 23) who continues to feed the pigeons… Not only is he insulting to me and to others who are compassionate towards our feathered friends, but he is also, apparently, against banning hunting…. JANET WENSKE Gardenia Grove Mapperley (letter)

The Sentinel UKIP IS SHOWING ITS TRUE COLOURS 7.1.05 - We are finally seeing UKIP's true colours. We have Mark Heath (The Sentinel, January 1: '12.8m animals for EU'), but didn't that other UKIP stalwart Dave Wilshaw tell us not more than a month ago that animals don't matter? In his letter ('We need a vote on wars first,' The Sentinel, November 24) Mr Wilshaw says that fox hunting is not an important issue… C WILLIAMS Newcastle (letter)
The Sentinel 6.1.05 POLICY MADE ON THE HOOF - If ever we sought proof that UKIP is a ragbag of political rejects, Mark Heath provides it (Animals for EU tests, Letters, New Year's Day). So UKIP cares about animals? Why does its manifesto state they "deplore the attack on animal blood sports by illiberal politicians and pressure groups"?... DIANE NIXON Sneyd Green (letter)
The Sentinel 6.1.05 PAGE IS NOT ACCEPTABLE - Mark Heath (January 1) advocates UKIP as the salvation of animals. I wonder if he can tell me, if that is true, why former One Man And His Dog presenter Robin Page, will be standing for UKIP? Surely a man, who supports hunting would not be acceptable? Kath Burton Newcastle (letter)
The Sentinel 1.1.05 12.8M ANIMALS FOR EU TESTS - If Peter Condliff, of Wolstanton (letters, December 24) is concerned about cruelty to animals, perhaps he should join UKIP and campaign to come out of the European Union…. the EU is forcing Britain to test all these proven safe chemicals and metals on animals. The official statistic given by a British civil servant is that the maximum number of animals needed for this directive is 12,800,000…. MARK R HEATH Chesterton (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 7.1.05 PETS ARE CAUGHT UP IN CHASE - Anne Jepson, secretary of the South Notts Hunt, was quoted as saying "it would be unusual for hounds to target a cat because they were trained to chase only foxes", following the unfortunate incident of another cat being attacked during a hunt. I suggest that Anne actually goes out with her hunt. She will then witness how many hares and other animals are also chased and killed in the average foxhunt.... Roger, Derby Animal Rights and Derby Hunt Saboteurs (letter)

Manchester Evening News 7.1.05 The end of a barbaric blood sport - HOPEFULLY, this will be the last year that the Cheshire Hunt will be “out in force” (MEN, Dec 28), chasing a single animal to exhaustion and final, violent death for entertainment… Against Cruelty, Cheshire (letter)

West Cumberland Times & Star 7.1.05 PRIOR to the 1997 General Election, the Labour Party pledged that, if elected, it would introduce legislation to ban hunting with dogs… much to the Prime Minister’s dismay, legislation was introduced to ban hunting with dogs in England and Wales in February 2005. Sadly, this ban will not now take place on that date, owing to a legal injunction which the pro-hunting people have managed to obtain…. BILL MacCREADY, Newlands Gardens, Moorclose (letter)

Gloucestershire Gazette 7.1.05 Hunt ban nurtures madness - It is with concern that I feel obliged to write to your paper. The letter by League Against Cruel Sports (Gazette, December 24) just goes to show what we have to expect following the ban on hunting with hounds. No sooner than the ink has dried on the Hunting Bill the league have put their full force and pressure into banning shooting. Fishermen beware - you will be next… Barry Oakhill Severn Drive Berkeley (letter in archive)


Gorey Guardian 6.1.05 Spontaneous collection at hunt raised €3,500 - A spontaneous collection last Sunday at the Wicklow Hunt raised €3,500 for the Red Cross Asian Disaster appeal. The Wicklow Hunt held a meet at Nolan's of Annagh on Sunday. A spur of the moment decision was made to give the proceeds of the regular collection to the tsunami disaster…. (story)

Daily Post 6.1.05 Hunting Act dog loophole - A POTENTIAL access problem stems from the new Hunting Act. According to the Countryside Alliance, in its new Hunting Handbook, landowners and farmers could in theory restrict access to their properties unless walkers have obtained written permission pledging their dogs will not hunt wild mammals…. (story)

North Devon Journal 6.1.05 DID YOU KNOW? - Nthere are now more bureaucrats in DEFRA than there are dairy farms in England, according to Tim Yeo, Shadow Environment Secretary. nBritish taxpayers have been 'fined' almost £600 million by the European Commission over the Government's handling of the 2001 Foot and Mouth crisis. nIt has been calculated that businesses in Devon would lose £17 million a year if the hunting ban comes into force…. (story)

Horse & Hound 6.1.05 Confusion surrounds hunting's future - Yolanda Carslaw - A court order delaying the ban will not save hunting — and may not be granted anyway, warns Horse & Hound News of a so-called “secret deal” between Downing Street and the Countryside Alliance (CA) that could postpone the hunting ban beyond 18 February has prompted widespread confusion in the hunting world. Many people believe, erroneously, that the ban is not now starting on 18 February…. (story)

Western Daily Press 6.1.05 LEADER KEEPS TORIES IN HUNT - Michael Howard pledged the Conservatives would provide Parliamentary time for another vote on banning hunting with dogs. The Tory leader said: "We would provide a Government Bill in Government time to repeal the ban on hunting."… (story)

Leicester Mercury 6.1.05 WHERE THE HUNTS WILL MEET - Atherstone… Belvoir… Cottesmore… Fernie… Quorn… (story)

Tamworth Herald 6.1.05 HUGE SUPPORT FOR TOWN HUNT - Members of Atherstone's historic hunt received 'overwhelming' support when they met for their traditional Boxing Day hunt. Up to 4,000 supporters packed into the square at Market Bosworth when they met at 11am on Monday, December 27. … (story)

Tamworth Herald 6.1.05 HUNT MEMBERS DONATE MONEY - Members of Atherstone Hunt have donated £300 to help victims of the tsunami disaster. The money was raised from supporters of the hunt when they met in the town's market square before the News Year's Day hunt (story)

Wstern Gazette 6.1.05 PRAM PRANKS PROVE PERFECT CROWD-PLEASER - The annual Crewkerne pram race saw the "winners" disqualified shortly after their apparent victory. Crowds, who had arrived to watch the Seavington Hunt get under way moments previously, stayed on to watch teams from in and around the town take part in the fancy-dress race…. (story)

Wstern Gazette 6.1.05 'HUNTERS SHOULD ABIDE BY NEW LAW' - Seventy-two per cent of the British public believes that "people who support hunting would be wrong to carry on hunting in view of the new law", according to a MORI poll commissioned by The League Against Cruel Sports… (story)

Worcester Standard 6.1.05 Hunt supporters claim ban will be beaten - DEFIANT county hunters turned up in their droves to pledge their support to the traditional Boxing Day hunt, which is set to be axed under the newly-passed Hunting Act…. (story)

Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald/North Wales Weekly News 6.1.05 Assembly call over fox hunts by Sarah Marion Jones, North Wales Weekly Newspapers series - A FARMING union wants the decision over hunting foxes with dogs to be made by the Assembly. The Countryside Alliance is seeking an injunction which could delay the introduction of the ban next month. The government will not oppose such an injunction…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 6.1.05 NATURAL APPROACH REAPS TOP REWARDS - Hall Farm, situated on the Lincolnshire Wolds, has recently won two top awards, from the Farming And Wildlife Advisory Group, for its outstanding efforts in caring for and conserving wildlife. Grimsby Telegraph editor MICHELLE LALOR discovers what makes the farm tick… It is here that farm manager, Chris Dowse, leads a small team who are committed to combining modern farming methods with traditional values to create a quite special agricultural business… It may seem strange to some that a person with Chris' values is happy to accept hunters on the land…. (story)

Northumberland Gazette 6.1.05 Asian disaster touches the hearts of the district - THE plight of the victims of the disaster in Asia has touched the hearts of the people of north Northumberland…. West Percy Hunt followers united on New Year's Day to raise more than £1,000 to help the tsunami disaster in South East Asia…. Brian Wood, secretary of the hunt, said: "It was a spur of the moment thing to have the cap on that day. There's not usually nearly as much money as that, but all of the hunt supporters donated and there was about 150 people there…" (letter)

Henley Standard 6.1.05 Drag hunting will save jobs - I see that some of your correspondents have been upset by my recent article regarding hunting and the rule of law. Apparently, they want me to address their arguments in favour of hunting, so here goes…. The Burns Inquiry showed that only 800 people are directly employed by hunts and the N.F.U. estimated only a one per cent contribution to the rural economy… In respect of mink, Burns found that live trapping or shooting was the most efficient and humane method and that ‘hunting does not have any significant effect on the mink population’…. All the main political parties, apart from the Greens, are strongly in support of fishing and shooting… Martin Salter, Labour MP for Reading West (letter in archive)

Independent 6.1.05 Fox-hunting ritualises the ancient thrill of the kill - Mark Steel was spot on when he wrote "The real motivation [of foxhunters] of course is the the thrill of the chase and the kill" (28 December). He might have added the ritual as a third crucial ingredient. Hunting is a profoundly primitive, atavistic, instinctual, ritualistic activity, tapping deep into the human psyche to connect with our hunter-gatherer past and the profound relationship with the natural world, particularly the animal kingdom, experienced by our forebears…. SIMON WILSON, London SW18
J A Russell (letter, 31 December) claims that fox-hunting started as a "retaliatory act on the part of farmers to preserve their farm animals from the savage attentions of foxes". In the old hunting books hunters were far less PR-conscious than they are today. The following quotes come from Fox Hunting in the Twentieth Century by William Scarth Dixon (1925.) In the chapter "Farmers and Fox-hunting" he says in respect of hunters' indebtedness to farmers: "The the farmer does more than let foxes alone. He helps in more ways than one to keep the stock of foxes up"… PENNY LITTLE, Great Haseley, Oxfordshire
William Kelley's assertion that hunting keeps the fox population healthy because "the older and less healthy are more likely to be caught" (Letters, 4 January) exposes a contradiction in the pro-hunting argument. If hunting is essential to keep down a pest that kills lambs and chickens, it makes no sense at all to eliminate merely the aged and infirm foxes which, presumably, would struggle to clamber into a farm animal enclosure… COLIN BURKE, Manchester (letters)

Bath Chronicle 6.1.05 FOX HUNTING IS HERE TO STAY - Traditional post- Christmas hunt meets at Lacock, Chippenham and Worcester Lodge, Badminton attracted many thousands of supporters - more than ever before… Supporters are, in fact, very welcome at all meets throughout the hunting year. JOHN RUSHTON, Chippenham (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.1.05 HUNT LEGISLATION COULD BE VOID - In reply to Mr Hutt, I understand that the primacy of Parliament has always been a fiction in that the existence of the 13 provisions of the 1686 Bill of Rights and Magna Carta, constrains all Government legislation. Only the law as expressed in these constitutional documents is supreme, not Parliament…. If the hunting lobby proves the Hunting Bill breaches the Bill of Rights, the legislation is void…. C A Currie Radstock Bath (letter)

Northern Echo 6.1.05 FOXHOUNDS - I AGREE with M Embling (HAS, Dec 28) about the re-homing of foxhounds, which are dogs after all, but I doubt if the average hunt supporter could care less. Many country people regard animals as chattels to be used or abused and then dispensed with…. R Brown, Newton Aycliffe. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 6.1.05 Bad comparison - NO REALLY, Mr Blunkett, the hunting ban is not akin to "seatbelts" or "mobile phones in cars". Each hunt is a legal entity; a better analogy would be with a medium-sized, cricket club… Mr B, the problems created are rather greater than you suggested. Anyone for cricket? Sonia Lindsay, Hatherleigh (letter)

Western Mail 6.1.05 Hunting still strong - Several hundred people turned out on New Year's Day to welcome the Curre and Llangibby hunts to a meet at the Coach and Horses Inn in Chepstow town centre thanks to the generosity of landlord Ian Meyrick and his son Nick. A collection was made by the hunt for the victims of the tsunami disaster and £709 will be passed to the Master of Foxhounds Association to add to other collections made by hunts all over the country… PAM DAVIDSON The Garstons, Rosemary Lane, Stroat, Chepstow (letter)

Barry Gem 6.1.05 ‘Not enough to ban hunting with dogs’ - AS an animal lover, I should be pleased that MPs are to ban foxhunting by dogs. Foxes will now be able to meet their partners, breed their cubs, which will grow up and every fox will walk off into the sunset....somehow I know this will not be so… I don’t condone hunting, but at least foxes are left alone to breed their young. MPs should not just think about banning foxhunting with dogs, they should actually ban foxhunting by people. This would be the only way to stop foxes being massacred. (Name and address supplied) (letter in archive)

East Grinstead Courier 6.1.05 SMUG REVELLING IN INCREASED NUMBERS - Karen Styan??s excellent report of the Boxing Day exploits of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt clearly revealed the unconsciously smug attitude of the hunt master revelling in the increased support shown by some members of the general public. I don??t feel angry about it. I just feel sorry for them all. It is only when those involved in barbaric behaviour come to realise they are harming themselves, that a personal rebirth can take place… TM Wise, Crawley Down Road, Felbridge (letter)

East Grinstead Courier 6.1.05 SOME OF US FELT THE NEED TO OBJECT - Your reportage of the Boxing Day meet of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt at Penshurst highlighted the need of the hunting fraternity to over exaggerate its case. The hunt claimed 150 riders, 2,750 supporters and four antis (they told the police that the supporters numbered 1,500). The more realistic figures were 50 riders, 500 supporters and seven antis…. Dave Wetton, Castle View, Hadlow (letter)

East Grinstead Courier 6.1.05 FOXY COINCIDENCE - I??ve just got my hunt mug out to use and lo and behold Reynard appeared outside the window. How??s this for timing, co-incidence and a phone call to the hunt. JS Clarke, Plawhatch Lane, Sharpthorne (letter)

Western Gazette 6.1.05 LETTER WAS ACCURATE - I Write in response to Mrs Crawley-Boevy who criticised my letter about hunting. All animal life has to die, including the human animal, but, in a lot of cases, animals know when their time to die has come and do not suffer long as she says…. I don't care how long man has been hunting with dogs, the evil has to stop… Chris Hull, Coles Lane, Yetminster (letter)

Western Gazette 6.1.05 TYPICAL BEHAVIOUR - While out and about in Somerset on Monday 27 December I witnessed two extremes of public behaviour, so typical of our country today. Firstly, at Crewkerne I saw many hundreds of happy, good tempered people from all walks of life, gathered to support and cheer on the meeting of the Seavington Hunt… Then, later in the lovely little cathedral city of Wells, I saw three teenaged girls, apparently the worse for drink, foul mouthed and dropping litter in the street. What then is this Government's response to such situations? Why, to ban the former and extend 24-hour facilities to the latter!... Richard English, Broadmead Lane, Norton-sub-Hamdon (letter)

Wells Journal 6.1.05 TWO SIDES OF HUNTING - Report headlined "Crowds gather at hunt's 'last' meet", December 30. Understanding the importance of the media influencing public opinion, part of our battle as anti-hunt campaigners is to ensure impartial coverage is provided within any hunting debate… A false claim that I was a "sole" protestor was totally inaccurate. I most certainly was not… Maggie Purchase, Wells (letter)

Banbury Guardian 6.1.05 HUNT BAN BASED ON THE FACTS - TONY Jervis can rest assured that I entirely understand the point of his previous letter (Banbury Guardian, December 16). However, he makes no reference to the fact that the fox is protected despite his nuisance value, so that the hunt may continue. If the hunt is not blood thirsty, where did the tradition of ‘blooding’ come from and why such jubilation at the kill?... Anne Wylie, Queens Road, Banbury
I AM absolutely appalled and angry when all I hear is the hunters’ threats to put down thousands of hounds when fox hunting is banned. So many people have successfully re-homed hounds, and there is no reason whatsoever why the hunts cannot convert to drag hunting… Rod Prewer, Co-ordinator, Oxfordshire League Against Cruel Sports
NEED TO HALT THIS KILLER - THE fox is a devastating killer and maiming animal. I have first hand experience from childhood and through the years. I have seen complete hen houses wiped out and have been mauled by the fox. Any hunting deserves support to help rid us of the fox… F M Pratley, Bodicote
DEFORMED QUOTATION I write with reference to your quote from a supporter of the Warwickshire Hunt at the recent Boxing Day meet (Banbury Guardian, December 30): "The weak, the old and the informed are the ones that are killed" If the foxes are ‘informed" why are they not cunning enough to evade capture?... Diana Spitzley, Coombe Slade Far, Brailes (letter)

Cheddar Valley Gazette 6.1.05 SOMERSET WOULD CONTINUE HUNTING - I have been an avid follower of the Mendip Farmers' Hunt for a few years now, having spent some of that time on horseback, on foot, when a horse hasn't been available, marching the streets of London, or even at the point-to-point which is held at Ston Easton every year…. the picture last week of the Boxing Day meet at Priddy next to an unrelated headline stating "Police defuse hunt protest confrontation" was at best misleading and I feel that this is an unfair representation of a meet that held all the splendour and goodwill that it has for many years…. Name and full address supplied Cheddar .
The report made it clear that the disturbance between pro and anti-hunt protestors was at Cheddar, not Priddy - Editor. (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 6.1.05 INCENSED AT STATEMENT - I Was so incensed reading the recent statement by the Master of the South Wold Hunt, Nick Ashcroft, as reported in the Telegraph (December 28): "We only killed 37 this year. The strong and healthy ones get away… If that is not cruel then what is? He appears to be saying because the fox is ill/injured then tearing it apart by the hounds is justified… Patricia Bunce, Hunsley Crescent, Grimsby (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 6.1.05 YOU CAN'T COMPARE SKIING AND HUNTING - Give me strength! A ban on skiing would have absolutely no relevance to the hunting ban ("Hunters should be compensated", Open Lines, December 24). What would be relevant would be if those countries that still permit bear-baiting, cock-fighting and other such "amusements" were to impose bans… Incidentally, didn't Prince Charles say he would go and live in Switzerland if the hunting ban was made law? We live in hope. M Clarke, Devon (letter)
Western Daily Press 3.1.05 HUNTING FOR COMPENSATION - I was pleased to read Bobby Nicolle's letter of December 28 in the Western Daily Press. We run a business selling hunting boots. If a complete ban on fox hunting is implemented, we will lose a large proportion of our turnover and this would result in a loss of jobs…. Mrs Alex Connors Bestboots Ltd Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 3.1.05 YOU CAN'T COMPARE SKIING AND HUNTING - I Can only assume the recent letter demanding that hunters be recompensed for the abolition of hunting with hounds is a wind-up ("Hunters should be compensated", Open Lines, December 24). Bobby Nicolle, who wrote the letter, compares hunting with skiing… It would be interesting if Bobby could enlighten us as to the identity of the millions who fly to the UK to spend seven or 14 days watching hunting. Chris Stephens, Yate. (letter)
Western Daily Press 28.12.04 PAY OUT ON BAN - Bobby Nicolle, Address supplied (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 24.12.04 HUNTERS SHOULD BE COMPENSATED - If the Swiss Government was to suddenly ban skiing, I think it would automatically be assumed that it would pay compensation to all those adversely affected financially… Is there any reason why our Government should not pay compensation to all those adversely affected by the ban on hunting?... Bobby Nicolle, by e-mail.(letter)


Crawley News 5.1.05 The hunt vows to ride again - OLD Surrey and Burstow red coats were defiant after their Boxing Day hunt - vowing to return in 2005. Huntmaster, Graeme Worsley, from Copthorne, said: "We were all very upbeat. We have already said we will be there next year. The landlady of the Leicester Arms has invited us and we have accepted… Seven protesters braved the frosty morning and Dave Wetton, member of Surrey's Anti Hunt Campaign, was not convinced by Mr Worsley's fighting talk… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 5.1.05 Cumbria falls silent for wave victims - By Chris Storyand Mark Hughes …. A “cap” collected from Blencathra Foxhounds supporters has also been donated to the appeal. The money, normally given towards hunt funds, was gathered at the New Year’s Day holiday meet in Mungrisdale on Saturday…. (story)

Hereford Times 5.1.05 A-huntin' we shall go! - CROWDS turned out in their thousands to support Herefordshire's Boxing Day hunts. The biggest attendance was at Ledbury, where around 6,000 people packed the town centre and waved off 200 riders. To rousing cheers, Paul Smith, joint-master of the Ledbury Hunt, told the crowd outside the Feathers Hotel that he was sure they would all be back next year and "for many more years to come". Around 1,000 braved icy conditions to ensure a warm welcome for the North Herefordshireshire Hunt in Corn Square, Leominster. Similar crowds and receptions awaited the 79 riders of the South Herefordshire Hunt at The Tump Inn, Wormelow, and the 80 riders of the Golden Valley Hunt at Hay-on-Wye. In Kington, where around 2,000 gathered outside The Burton Hotel, Robert Jones, Master of the Radnorshire and West Herefordshire Hunt, made reference to the unfolding tragedy in the Indian Ocean saying that was where the "millions" put aside to police a hunting ban should now go…. (story in archive)

BBC News Online 5.1.05 Children 'learn from hunt' claim - A spokeswoman has defended her group's decision to allow children as young as three to take part in a fox hunt. Monday's "Children's Meet" at Chavenage, Gloucestershire, followed a series of meetings held over the Christmas holiday period…. Jo Aldridge, spokeswoman for the Beaufort Hunt, said: "I think it makes them have a completely natural and realistic view of wildlife."… The decision to allow children to be present at the hunt, however, angered the League Against Cruel Sports…. (story)
Western Daily Press 5.1.05 CHILD RIDERS SPARK STORM OF PROTEST AT FOXHUNT TRADITION - Children as young as three rode out on a foxhunt yesterday - and, like Prince William the day before, rode into a storm of controversy. Anti-hunt groups both nationally and in the West lined up to slam the region's hunts for organising special children's meets over Christmas. The biggest happened yesterday, when as many as 140 young riders joined another 50 adults on horseback with the Beaufort Hunt at Chavenage, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire. The huge mounted field - bigger than the previous day's in Tetbury itself - braved strong winds and driving rain…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 5.1.05 NEXT GENERATION OF HUNTERS IN SADDLE - Youngsters who hope to be the huntsmen and women of the future rode out in large numbers at the Beaufort Hunt children's meet… "We do children's meets all the time, particularly in the school holidays," said Beaufort spokeswoman Jo Aldridge… (story)
Scotsman 5.1.05 Hunt Slammed for 'Children's Meet' - One of the country’s most prestigious hunts, based in Gloucestershire has been criticised today by anti-hunt groups for allowing children as young as three to participate in a fox hunt. More than 100 hundred youngsters, some aged three and four, yesterday rode out with the Beaufort Hunt,in Tetbury, as part of a ’children’s meet’…. (story)

Western Telegraph 5.1.05 Hunt supporters in defiant mood by Debbie James Pembrokeshire's two fox hunts reported record turnouts for what could be the last legal Boxing Day meet…. Among the gathering of more than 1,000 supporters was Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance… Mr Hart, a previous joint master of the South Pembrokeshire Hunt, watched the hunt on foot as more than 100 horses galloped across the countryside… At least 115 riders took part in the meet at Castle Square, Haverfordwest, the Pembrokeshire Hunt's biggest-ever turnout… (story in archive)

Northwich Guardian 5.1.05 Weather proves ultimate winner at last legal hunt - ICY weather stalled a traditional hunt gathering in Lach Dennis - but a leading official says supporters will continue to hold meetings -in the future. Cheshire Forest Hunt joint master Richard De Prez was speaking after the annual post-Christmas meeting -- set to be the last before hunting with hounds becomes illegal on February 18 - went ahead as a display of horses and hounds only…. (story in archive)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 5.1.05 COUNTRYSIDE: Riders and protesters join up for appeal - RIDERS and protesters at a new year's hunt, who buried their differences to help raise money for the thousands killed in the Boxing Day tsunami in south-east Asia, have collected more that £1,000 for the appeal…. George Bowyer, joint master of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, said: "There are some things in life that are more important than hunting… (story)

Burton Mail 5.1.05 It's tally oh no! to charity cash by KIM BRISCOE - HUNT supporters have warned that charities in the Burton area will lose out on thousands of pounds a year when the bloodsport is banned next month. The Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt Supporters’ Group raises more than £10,000 each year for good causes, something the chairman is warning will be lost when the ban goes ahead… (story)

Reading Chronicle 5.1.05 Supporters determined to carry on hunting - DEFIANT hunt supporters turned out in Mortimer for the traditional Boxing Day meet - and vowed to continue the sport they love. David Fleming, joint master of the The Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt, climbed into a tree on Mortimer Common and shouted: "We will go on." To clapping and cheering from the growing crowd, he said: "It is clear from the turnout today that there is massive support for hunting from the general public. This is not the last Boxing Day meet, hunting will survive and we will continue to meet on Boxing Day."…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 5.1.05 HUNT BOOSTS APPEAL TOTAL - Hunt supporters in Stow-on- the-Wold raised almost £2,000 for the appeal. Fundraisers rattled buckets at the Heythrop Hounds meet on New Year's Day. Four hundred hunt supporters dug deep to collect £1,912… (story)

South Wales Guardian 5.1.05 Fox hunt U-turn urged - TOWY Valley huntsmen have urged the Government to re-think its stance on hunting with dogs in the wake of one of the most successful Boxing Day hunts ever. Record crowds turned out in Llandeilo in what was an overwhelming public show of support. Hundreds of people lined the streets in a warming display of solidarity… (story in archive)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 5.1.05 Boxing Day hunts - is it the end of an era? - HUNT supporters are confident they are winning the battle for public support after record numbers heeded their call to turn out to watch the area's two Boxing Day meets…. Officials from the Worcestershire and Albrighton Woodland (AWH) hunts reported large increases in the numbers of mounted followers and spectators…. (story in archive)

Carmarthen Journal 5.1.05 HUNTERS VOW TO BE BACK IN 2006 - Carmarthen Hunt, facing the threat of a ban, have pledged to return for the 2006 New Year's Day meet. Defiant huntsmen delighted huge crowds at this year's Guildhall gathering when they predicted a comeback…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 5.1.05 WHY DID BLAIR TAKE SO LONG? - Michelle Hurst … OFF they trotted for the annual Boxing Day hunt - let's hope it's the last. Of course, it should definitely have been were it not for the Government's astonishing announcement that it would not oppose an injunction being sought by the Countryside Alliance…. how naive to think that, because there were no anti-hunting demonstrators at the South Wold and Brocklesby Hunt, we have changed our minds. We have not…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 5.1.05 Kill vermin - From Rowland H Crane, Victoria Park, Cambridge - I CERTAINLY agree with the letter by Mr S P Wilson of Little Wilbraham (Letters, December 16) about the ban on fox hunting. Hunting with dogs is the most humane way of controlling the fox. The fox is vermin. It needs to be killed, otherwise it will destroy farm life such as chickens, etc…. (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 5.1.05 Rabid drivel - From Michael Michalak, Swaffham Road, Burwell - ALTHOUGH I can never agree with his views on hunting, I admire Mr S P Wilson for having the guts to give his name and address. However, when I read some of the rabid drivel posted on your message board it makes me shudder…. (letter)

Market Rasen Mail 5.1.05 Support for MP - Re local hunts hounding Ann Widdecombe. I think Anne Widdecombe is the best thing the Conservative Party has got…. Roy Campsall By e-mail (letter)

Louth Leader 5.1.05 Hunts exist to control fox population? It’s a big myth - EDITOR - I would like to challenge the hunting myths being promulgated by S B Wroe (Leader December 15). The fox is generally not a pest to farmers. The Burns report found that lamb predation by foxes was extremely rare… Julia Holliday, Horncastle
Adolf Hitler also banned hunting - The letter of December 15 from your anonymous correspondent is typical of the irrational nonsense masquerading as argument churned out by supporters of the squalid bill to ban foxhunting that discredits parliamentary democracy, genuine animal welfare concerns and civilisation…. Alan Beaven, Alvingham (letters)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 5.1.05 Hunting is for upper classes’ - I have noticed of late the much publicised comments of Mrs Jane Thorpe-Codman about fox hunting in the local press… Prior to the First World War, country folk below the status of land owning gentlemen farmers were not welcome among the hunt… The real tradition being that those born with the silver spoon hunted, those that were not skivvied, and the only horses they got near were between the shafts of the local milk float Derek Jarvis West Street, Helpston, near Peterborough (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.1.05 WILDLIFE IS BEING ENCOURAGED HERE - I must complain about the defamatory remarks in Mr D Moore's letter regarding hunting and shooting on my family's land…. This is the second time in less than a month that erroneous information about my family and hunting has been published. We thank the Western Daily Press for correcting the claim from the Beaufort Hunt representative published on December 2… We do not allow hunting with dogs on our land because we do not agree with this sport and believe the damage done by the hunts outweighs any potential damage from either the fox or hare… John Mastrangelo South Gloucestershire (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 5.1.05 LET'S MAKE IT AN ANIMAL CRUELTY FREE ZONE AT LAST - I agree with J E Knock (HE, December 27) that cruelty to all animals should be our main concern; and with Animal Voices it is, as it is with hundreds of animal welfare and rights groups. There is the institutionalised cruelty of livestock farming, especially the intensive methods, live exports, normal ("humane") and ritual slaughter, most of which are supported or condoned by the farming industry. As for foxes, I repeat: they do not kill for lust, this is a rural or hunting myth… The Master of the Britannia Beagles stated (HE, December 24, 1994) that "... we rarely catch anything (hares). It is more a social than sporting occasion"… LEN SHORT, For Animal Voices, St James' Road, Upton, Torquay (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 5.1.05 FOXES' PREY ISN'T MAINLY LAMBS AND CHICKENS - J e Knock doesn't relate where she acquired her "first-hand knowledge" of fox behaviour. She does however appear to be under a few misapprehensions. For starters, foxes' prey isn't "mainly lambs and chickens"… It's logical that if a fox can get into a pen it isn't "well constructed". Once in, the fox, when faced with a large amount of prey in a confined place (an unnatural condition brought about by man), the fox will continue killing not out of lust but because of the instinct to store food… ROBERT A GAGIE, All Hallows Road, Paignton (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 5.1.05 'NO PLACE HERE FOR SUCH CRUELTY' - I Have read all the recent readers' letters on the subject of foxhunting. I come from a large family and was taught from an early age to be kind to all animals, birds and everything the good Lord put on this earth for us to enjoy. I can't imagine what kind of brain 13-year-old Rachael Chapman (Letters, December 4) has, if one of her pleasures in life is to see a poor, exhausted animal torn to pieces…. B Bennett, Address supplied. (letter)

Shropshire Star 5.1.05 Pleasure to see supporters gathering - This morning, my family and I together with several thousands of others attended the famous Newport hunt. It was a pleasure to see so many supporters for the hunt which passed off with no trouble and minimum disruption…. Robert Williams, Telford (letter)

Shropshire Star 5.1.05 Humanity shown to hunt dogs - Yet again, followers of the hunt are trying to attract the sympathy vote on the basis that their beloved foxhounds will have to be put down - ironic, really, when they admit to doing this every year when they are deemed no longer quick enough to keep up… Anthony Foxe, Bridgnorth (letter)

South Wales Echo 5.1.05 Law has to earn respect - IN Tuesday's editorial the Echo asked us to have respect for the law. Respect for a law that wants to compel us to carry Stalinesque ID cards? Respect for a law that bans hunting, threatening many thousands of jobs and traditions?... If the law had respect for the people it was supposed to serve, it would automatically receive respect back. John Phillips, Park Street, Abercynon (letter)

The Sentinel 5.1.05 HUNTING ANSWERS BEG STILL MORE QUESTIONS - - I read with some incredulity Richard de Prez's pro-hunting comment (Sentinel, December 28). This was the same lop-sided, tired argument we have come to expect from the hunting fraternity…. So, why not leave out the fox in both word and deed from their future activities? They can happily continue to gallop and stumble over the clod and display their speed and skills in pursuit of a hidden scent or lure, without the necessity of tearing a small red native dog to bits. I mean, if greyhounds can manage it at Walthamstow every week, then surely their hounds can do it?... JWB Baddeley Green (letter)

The Sentinel 5.1.05 RICHARD'S ARROGANCE IS NOTHING BUT STAGGERING - I refer to the article by Mr de Prez, master of the Cheshire Hunt, published on October 28. His arrogance is staggering. He says hunting is "a method of keeping fox numbers at acceptable levels". Who is he to say if numbers need to be controlled?... (letter)


Leicester Mercury 4.1.05 EURO MP SPEAKS OUT FOR HUNTING - A Leicestershire Euro MP has added his support to fox hunters. Tory MEP Roger Helmer is a member of the European Parliament's hunting group, which is staging an exhibition about hunting at the parliament's Strasbourg building. The group is part of Face - the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation - which includes Britain's Countryside Alliance… (story)

Telegraph 4.1.05 Diary: Chasers are the toast in Luke's pub By Marcus Armytage - The annual jockeys' meet of the Old Berks Hunt, allegedly the last of its kind, at former jockey Luke Harvey's Blowing Stone Inn in Kingston Lisle, Oxon, attracted a mounted following of 185, a large number of them jockeys and trainers. That is about double the normal number for this fixture, but entirely consistent with field sizes with all hunts since the Parliament Act was invoked. In banning foxhunting, the Government have done an exceptional job at popularising it as a participation sport…. In a performance you might expect at McCarthy's in Co Tipperary but less so in Oxfordshire, jockeys Jim Culloty and Barry Fenton, because of a shortage of bar stools after hunting, rode their mud-covered horses into the pub owned by their former colleague… (story)

The Sentinel 4.1.05 VILLAGERS RIDE WAVES OF SUPPORT FOR HUNTING - Hunt supporters turned out in force to watch the New Year's meet of the Staffordshire Moorlands Hunt. People gather at Swainsley Hall in the scenic Manifold Valley close to the Peak District village of Warslow…. (story)

Uttoxeter Advertiser 4.1.05 Hunt supporters in a show of defiance by AIMEE PARKER - HUNDREDS of hunt supporters have met in fields around Uttoxeter in a show of opposition against a future ban of the sport, organisers have said. Around 1000 people turned out to support the annual Boxing Day Meynell and South Staffordshire hunt on Monday, December 27, for what could be the final legal fox hunt at Christmas time. Many more were also expected to show their support of the hunt in Boylestone on Wednesday, Roston on Thursday and in Tutbury on New Year’s Day…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 4.1.05 Racegoers admit fears over hunting ban - A BAN on fox hunting would change the face of a popular country sport, according to Bank Holiday racegoers. Punters and officials at the point-to-point races in Cottenham saw changes on the horizon for the sport that attracted thousands of spectators on Monday…. Simon Marriage, chairman of East Anglian Point-to-Point and Joint Master of the Essex Hunt, said: "Point-to-point people would like to think it will continue after any ban on hunting came into force, and no doubt it will, but it will have to change…." (story)

Western Morning News 4.1.05 COMPANY ENDS BAN ON ACCESS TO FAMOUS BEAUTY SPOT - A ban prohibiting access to a popular tourist attraction in time for visitors to witness its namesake blanket of snowdrops, has been lifted after fears about the economic repercussions on local businesses… The company's chairman is Tom Yandle, who also chairs the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, and is an outspoken pro-hunt activist. The valley attracts thousands of visitors every year, and local businesses were alarmed at the thought of the number of tourists who might not come to Exmoor because of the closure. However their concerns were allayed by the news last week that the company had dropped the ban… (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 4.1.05 MPS IN FIGHT FOR AID FOR EXMOOR - Three West Country MPs are to meet Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael to fight for financial support for the Exmoor area in the wake of a hunt ban. In their private meeting with Mr Michael, the MPs will also be raising the issue of the closure of popular tourist spot Snowdrop Valley by the landowners as a protest over the hunt ban…. Speaking at the time the closure of Snowdrop Valley was announced, the company's chairman, Tom Yandle, who is also chairman of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said: "When our countryside is faced by the devious chicanery of this Government, I am sure that most visitors to Exmoor will accept that a very strong point has to be made….(story)
Western Daily Press 3.1.05 U-TURN LETS VISITORS INTO WEST WINTER WONDERLAND - Hunt leaders have dropped a ban on tourists visiting one of Exmoor's biggest attractions, the Western Daily Press can reveal today. Pro-hunters had slapped a 'no entry' on thousands of visitors to Snowdrop Valley in protest at the ban on their sport…. The BLC chairman, Tom Yandle, who is also chairman of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, had said the ban would mirror similar protests in which access arrangements have been cancelled, including the farmers' ban on Army exercises on vast swathes of Salisbury Plain. But after an outcry by local tourism businesses, and an expected delay on implementing the hunting ban, the BLC has told the Exmoor National Park Authority its measures have been lifted. The Daily Press has learned the U-turn was made because the ban on the sport is expected to be delayed while challenges are made in the courts…. (story)
Western Morning News 29.12.04 MPS IN DEMAND FOR FINANCIAL AID TO OFFSET HUNT BAN - Three Westcountry MPs are to meet Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael to fight for financial support for the Exmoor area in the wake of a hunt ban. In their private meeting with Mr Michael, the MPs will also be raising the issue of the closure of popular tourist spot Snowdrop Valley by the landowners as a protest over the hunt ban… (story)
Sunday Times 26.12.04 Comment: Rod Liddle: I’d rather hunt a snowdrop than a fox … on a personal level it doesn’t bother me overmuch that in 2005 the so-called Snowdrop Valley will be shut to the public and the dismal mass-traipsing will have to be done elsewhere… Snowdrop Valley is privately owned, by a consortium of local farmers and very rich people — and they don’t want people on their land in 2005. There’s no real reason to justify their decision. It’s not to keep safe the delicate nest of a rare breeding bird or to halt erosion of the footpaths. It’s because the people who own the land don’t agree with parliament’s decision to ban hunting with dogs. So, out of spite, they’ve shut Snowdrop Valley to the public… Tom Yandle is the group’s chairman and spokesman. Coincidentally, he’s also master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds. I quite liked him, for a fox and stag-murdering toff. He was deliciously unapologetic. Isn’t it a bit mean to deprive the public of their chance to see the snowdrops in bloom, I asked him. “Yes, it’s mean, but sometimes you have to be mean to make a point,” he said, cheerfully and candidly enough. … (story)
BBC News Online 22.12.04 Beauty spot ban in hunt protest - The owners of Exmoor beauty spot Snowdrop Valley are turning away walkers in protest at the Government's fox hunting ban. The Badgworthy Land Company says a study shows that banning hunting with dogs will cost Exmoor's economy £9.5m…. Tom Yandle, chairman of the land company, said he was sorry local people may have to suffer financially…. Roger Webber, of West Somerset District Council, said there was still some time before snowdrops came out in the valley in February. He said: "Of course there's disappointment the company's taken this action, but I think if we've got a real grumble it's not with the Badgworthy Land Company." (story)
Somerset County Gazette 21.12.04 MPs to see minister CLOSURE of Exmoor beauty spot Snowdrop Valley by a pro-hunt land company will be top of the agenda when three MPs meet the agriculture minister Alun Michael to discuss the ban on hunting… (story in archive)
Telegraph 20.12.04 Exmoor footpaths shut in protest at hunt ban By Richard Savill - The owner of 7,000 acres on Exmoor has withdrawn access to footpaths on the land in a protest against the Government's impending ban on hunting with dogs. The move by the Badgworthy Land Company (BLC) prevents access to an area known locally as "Snowdrop Valley"… Tom Yandle, the company chairman, who also chairs the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said: "I'm sorry for any local people who are going to lose money. But we feel we have to make a point."… (story)
Western Morning News 17.12.04 VALLEY OF SNOWDROPS 'CLOSED' IN HUNT ROW - Public access to a Westcountry beauty spot has been halted by one of Exmoor's major landowners, as a protest against the ban on hunting which comes into force in two months' time. The decision will prevent access to an Exmoor valley renowned for its display of snowdrops each spring. The Badgworthy Land Company, which owns about 7,000 acres, has told the Exmoor National Park Authority that all permissive access arrangements have been "terminated". A letter from the Badgworthy Land Company, which was set up in 1926, to the National Park chief officer Dr Nigel Stone said the decision had been taken because of the Act banning hunting…. One of the major impacts of the company's decision will be to prevent access to Draper's Way near Wheddon Cross, which is popularly known as Snowdrop Valley… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 4.1.05 It's tally-ho for the foxhunt cubs - NICKI WALKER - For some, their legs barely reach past the saddle and their mounts are small enough to walk underneath the legs of the towering Hunters. But these youngsters are the next generation of huntsman and they aim to keep the tradition alive, despite the threats of the impending ban by the government to stop foxhunting altogether. Dozens of young riders gathered for a special children's meet of the West Norfolk Foxhounds at Pentney Abbey near King's Lynn yesterday …. (story)

Daily Record 4.1.05 LAST-MINUTE HUNT FOR WILLS - DEFIANT Prince William went fox-hunting yesterday - just six weeks before the ban in England. The prince joined the Beaufort Hunt, based near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, close to the Highgrove home of his father Prince Charles… (story)
Scotsman 4.1.05 Prince William gets his hunting in - RUSSELL JACKSON - PRINCE William went fox hunting yesterday, just six weeks before the ban on hunting with hounds comes into effect in England and Wales. The prince joined the Beaufort Hunt, which is based near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, close to the Highgrove home of his father, the Prince of Wales…. (story)
Western Daily Press 4.1.05 WILLS RIDES INTO A HUNTING STORM - Prince William joined one of the biggest hunt meets the West has seen for years yesterday, and rode into a storm of controversy. The second in line to the throne rode out with the Beaufort Hunt at its traditional New Year's meet in Tetbury - just a mile from his Highgrove home… Mike Hobday, from the League Against Cruel Sports, said the Prince had shown remarkable insensitivity…. (story)
Telegraph 3.1.05 William goes hunting ahead of ban - Prince William has been pictured fox hunting, just six weeks before the ban on hunting with hounds comes into effect. The prince joined the Beaufort Hunt, which is based near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, close to the Highgrove home of his father the Prince of Wales… (story)
BBC News Online 3.1.05 Royal Prince at Beaufort hunt - Prince William was out fox hunting on Monday, six weeks before the ban on hunting with hounds comes into effect. The Prince joined the Beaufort Hunt, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, close to the Highgrove home of his father, Prince Charles…. (story)

Western Morning News 4.1.05 HUNTING TEACHES LOVE OF THE COUNTRY - Thank heavens Mr Carroll wrote in with his comments on hunting, entitled "Please grow up, people of distinction". This sort of the letter just shows how ignorant a lot of people against hunting are. Why does he think that people who hunt are "well-to-do-folk" who can "afford all the gear"? I wonder if Mr Carroll has ever attended a hunt in Cornwall or a Miner's Hunt in Wales… Liz Freeman, St Kew Cornwall (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 4.1.05 DOESN'T QUEEN'S SIGNATURE COUNT? - The hunting fraternity have made their view known with regards to the recent bill. I appreciate they have every right to object. I am, however, puzzled by the signature, or rather what it stands for regarding "assent." Is it not "Her Majesty, the Queen"? Doesn't that count for something? Are the various hunts about to challenge our sovereign?... PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill (letter)

Western Morning News 4.1.05 Encouraging trespass - MICHAEL Ashton (WMN, November 16) says he was beginning to think his was a lone voice opposing the Right to Roam Act. I'm cut to the quick!... It is an Act to encourage trespass, obviously brought about by spite and envy, similar to those who dreamed up a foxhunting ban. Roy Williams, Callington (letter)

Western Morning News 4.1.05 Is fishing cruel too? THE only logical reason for the Government to ban hunting is that in the opinion of certain people, hunting a fox is "cruel". Catching a fish with a barbed hook, however, is not cruel - five million anglers say so…. Peter Wyatt, Totnes (letter)

Western Morning News 4.1.05 DON'T LET BULLY GROUPS DESTROY OUR DEMOCRACY - Never, as the General Election at last approaches, has there been so much interest in politics and government as there is today and it is the enforcement, through "Parliament", of an Act so out of tune with the general attitudes and beliefs of most of the people, namely the infamous Hunting Act, that has done it. One might very fairly rename it the "Anti-British People Act"… Tess Nash, Helston (letter)

Western Morning News 4.1.05 OUTLAW INTENSIVE FARMING METHODS - In your special report (WMN, October 15) you published an article from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on the animals badly used in intensive farming. He mentions the pig and the poor battery hens and other kinds of malpractice. I think these methods should be banned and a more humane way or method of farming be used… The fox is only one of many, whatever one's views about hunting. Hunting is as old as time, as is the right to fish with rod and line. Even the game birds have a much better quality of life than the battery hens… Hazel Curnow, St Austell (letter)

Western Morning News 4.1.05 MOST OF US DON'T CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE - Once again it's Tuesday, and to my horror there are two pages of letters devoted to the pros and antis, raving about the hunting bill about to become law in February. The majority of people living in the Peninsula could not care one way or the other and I am one. This tiny minority of people making all this fuss about how their lives will be changed forever. Well poor souls, we've all had our lives changed… H Cameron, Saltash
It's not that important - WITH all that is going on in the world today I would think that the "battle" between the House of Commons and the House of Lords over the future of hunting should be well down the list of their priorities…. It certainly is not - as perceived by some - a class thing. I know many people in my little part of the Westcountry who hunt and who are certainly not from a privileged background. It is a fallacy to think all hunting people are… Colin Richey, Tiverton (letters)

Western Morning News 4.1.05 Western Morning News 4.1.05 Confidence ebbs - WE live under a massive terrorist threat. Our prime defence should be a self-confident nation, reasonably at peace with itself… Fox hunting is outlawed by bitter weeds, to revenge the inevitable replacement of coal by oil and gas. The last vestiges of domestic peace destroyed; self-confidence demolished… Louis Le Bailly, St Tudy Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 4.1.05 DELIVER US FROM THE NANNY STATE - Just what gives Health Secretary Dr John Reid the right to tell us how to live our lives in respect to eating drinking and smoking? This man is a former heavy drinker and smoker (self confessed) and being in Government probably a big eater as well!... I have never ridden a horse in my life but I don't want hunting banned. I do drink occasionally but I don't expect everyone to do it. I just hope (and am almost praying) for, that the electorate will deliver us from this interfering nanny state Government before the whole fabric of our society, as we know it, is lost forever. Peter Hancock, Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 4.1.05 MY SUPPORT - I would like to send my support to all those who are all for the February hunting ban. Having been on the League of Cruel Sports' website, I was most upset to see video footage of animals, including stags and foxes, being subjected to the worst inhumane and barbaric torture imaginable… GIULIA FORTE, St Kitts Close, Torquay (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 4.1.05 POLITE MESSAGES PLEASE! - I may give more support to the hunting fraternity if they were more polite in their messages. Seeing the Tiverton Foxhounds at the Half Moon I was dismayed at the crudity and impoliteness of the messages on the backs of some of the riders… Bill Stubbs, 6 Rippon Close, Tiverton. (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 4.1.05 Methods of 'research' questioned. TOM Yandle, chairman of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said (Gazette, December 28) that he intends to use 'hounds to flush out deer or for purposes of research and observation'. How bizarre! Most people who want to study wildlife use binoculars and/or cameras, leaving animals undisturbed in their natural habitat. Yvonne Nicola Address supplied. (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 4.1.05 HUNT MEET NOT A SNOOTY EVENT - What a wonderful Boxing Day meet for the Cotswold Hunt at the Frogmill, Shipton. One couple said it was their first time. They were worried people would be a bit snooty - I could see they enjoyed it. David Drew is being very vocal when it comes to animal welfare. It is a pity he was not more vocal and more supportive when workers at Transtec, in Brimscombe, Stroud, were being made redundant…. BOB JACK, Abbeymead (letter)


Ryedale Gazette & Herald/York Evening Press 3.1.05 Hunt out in force for New Year's Day meet by Evening Press reporter - HUNTERS and their supporters turned out for a traditional meet with almost two centuries of history behind it, determined not to let the looming ban dampen their mood. About 40 riders took part in the traditional New Year's Day Derwent Hunt meet at The Hall, Thornton-le-Dale, on Saturday… (story in archive)

Western Morning News 3.1.05 BISHOP SEEKS GOVERNMENT ASSURANCE OVER LOST LIVELIHOODS OF HUNT WORKERS - A bishop from one of the Church of England's most rural dioceses has asked the Government for reassurances about workers who risk losing their livelihoods when the hunting ban comes into effect. The Bishop of Hereford, Anthony Priddis, wrote to the minister for rural affairs, Alun Michael, to point out that kennel workers face losing their jobs and their homes because of the legislation… (story)

Newcastle Journal 3.1.05 Hunters refuse to lay down and die By Daniel Thomson, The Journal - Hunters took to the North's countryside for what could be their last legal traditional New Year gallop. Although hunting with hounds is to be banned from February, Alnwick's Percy Hunt saw hundreds of huntsmen and women ride out on January 1 in support of the bloodsport…. Huntsmen from the West Percy Hunt met at the Rose and Thistle pub in Alwinton in the Coquet Valley and raised £1,100 for victims of the Asian disaster… (story)

Independent 3.1.05 Counting chickens Sir: Ann Stewart's account of the mass killing of her daughter's chickens by a fox (letters, 30 December) is the same tired old argument used by supporters of hunting… The fact is that chicken enclosures are unnatural environments for a fox, who will normally hunt in open fields, picking off an opportunity. When faced with a small space packed with abundant food, the fox's natural behaviour is to slaughter everything, take what it needs, and return repeatedly to remove the other corpses for larder storage…. ANTONY S THOMAS, Port Talbot (letter)
Independent 30.12.04
The point about hunting with hounds as a sport is that the fox has a real chance and often escapes. This contrasts with and is less cruel than most other methods of hunting and the rearing and killing of farm animals for food… In his article Mark Steel displays a total ignorance of what hunting is all about and provides a perfect example of hunting prejudice…. ROGER N CARTWRIGHT, Carnforth, Lancashire
Please assure Mark Steel that foxes do win. Hunts don't always kill, and then there are those innocent lambs and birds awaiting the fox's pleasure. My daughter recently lost 20 of her flock of 25 chickens to a fox. Not one was eaten or taken away… ANN STEWART, Bovingdon, Hertfordshire (letters)
Independent 28.12.04 So if this is a sport, why doesn't the fox ever win? It's classless, it's humane and it's a glorious tradition. Yeah, right, says Mark Steel as he joins the Beaufort Hunt for what may turn out to be the last-ever Boxing Day meet - Whether dwellers of town or country, we all agreed the scene at Badminton was spectacular. The two halves of the forest were parted like an avenue by a vast field that stretched into the mist, oozing with a green the colour of that felt stuff used by greengrocers. Each tree glistened as if individually sprinkled with the glitter people put around mirrors at Christmas, and the air was so crisp you felt each breath would turn into crystals before it passed through your nose. The only point of disagreement was that, unlike everyone else gathered for the Beaufort Hunt's Boxing Day meet, I wasn't thinking: "This needs just one more item to make it perfect - a pack of dogs ripping out a fox's intestines.''… (letters)

Northern Echo 3.1.05 MS Embling (HAS, Dec 28) should take the trouble to find out more about the history, and nature, of hounds. I have "walked" hound puppies for the last 28 years, and enjoyed following their progress in the hunting field… When they get to seven or eight months old, their hunting instinct kicks in, and off they go wherever their noses take them, which can cause problems to neighbours. At this stage they go back into kennels where they can be kept under proper control. To take older hounds out of the pack situation and try to re-train and re-home them would, in my opinion, be very traumatic for the animal, and impossible to achieve safely…. Margaret Hedley, Crook (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 28.12.04 HUNTING - FOX hunts insist their dogs are unsuitable as domestic pets, but a dog is a dog is a dog, and I think foxhounds have a lot going for them…. Experienced animal charities are more than willing to help, and foxhounds re-homed by the RSPCA and others have settled well. - M Embling, Crook. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 3.1.05 - Prejudice and hunting - I SEEM to recall that some time ago, Tim Pinney went to great lengths to insist that the Countryside Alliance and the hunting fraternity were composed of people from all walks of life and did not consist only of the upper class bracket. That being so, I find it rather strange that he now seems to be claiming class distinction and prejudice against an "unjust law" as he puts it… MARION J LARGE, Worcester (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 3.1.05 BACK TO BASICS FOR THE CHASE - - I keep trying to bring the pro and anti-hunting brigades back to the basics. Many people with my views object to humans getting pleasure out of inflicting fear, stress, and more, to dumb animals… As I have said before, hunting deer and hares for pleasure is beyond the pale. When the decent huntsmen see the light and adopt drag hunting, I will happily drag the first aniseed rag across the countryside, so that everyone can have real fun. Bob Andrews Taunton Somerset (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 3.1.05 Hunt worries - FOR the first time in a number of years my family did not attend a Boxing Day hunt. As members of the League Against Cruel Sports, we have peacefully protested against the hunt at Lacock, despite provocation and aggression from hunt supporters… This Boxing Day we were advised not to attend the hunt, and with my daughter expecting a baby, could not afford to take a chance… PHILIP BEAVEN, Merton Avenue (letter in archive


Sunday Telegraph 2.1.05 Your right to know (what they'll tell us) … I am hoping we will come across a stockingfiller I have lost – a small book. I'm pretty sure it was called 101 Things To Do Before You Die… I want to find out if "go fox hunting" is on the list. I suspect it won't be. I never did go, on vaguely conscientious grounds, and now I never will. But I have watched plenty of hunts and always found them to be stirring spectacles. Such vicarious pleasures will be denied my children, it seems, so I thought it would be well to take them to see their first and last hunt on New Year's Day. We are staying with my parents in Yorkshire where the local hunt is the Zetland but, for some reason, it was meeting on foot this year, which was not quite the visual feast I had in mind. Ah well, perhaps for my children's generation there will be a new country spectator sport: watching the police trying and failing to catch errant huntsmen…. (story)

Sunday Times 2.1.05 The French Mistress: Helena Frith Powell: Running with the pack - The French are welcoming an influx of hunting enthusiasts from England with open arms - When the police appear at a hunt in France, they are there to help the huntsmen and the hounds, not to arrest them. Henri d’Origny, a designer for Hermès and a regular at the Rallye Trois Fôrets hunt north of Paris, says the gendarmes queue up to attend. “Their job is to escort the hounds across the roads. They hunt three times a week and get paid for it. It is one of the best jobs going.”… “Hunting is part of my life and I am not prepared to give it up,” says Simon Wright, who hunts twice a week with the Southdown and Eridge hunt. “I am a Sussex man, born and bred, but this is enough to make me leave the country. My 14-year-old son, Marcus, loves it and I don’t see why he should have to give it up.”… Jeffrey Quirk, who runs riding and hunting holidays at Château de Sombrun near Pau, is planning to take a pack of hounds over from Hertfordshire: “We are going to create a truly English fox hunt here.” Quirk predicts more packs will move to France…. .” Quirk is in talks with Diana Pyper, joint master of the Puckeridge hunt in Hertfordshire… Stephen Sherwood, an equestrian property consultant and former joint master of the New Forest Hounds, moved to France three years ago to escape the ban on hunting… (story)


Southern Daily Echo 1.1.05 The hunt goes on, but for how long? by Sarah Jones - ONE of the most important dates on the hunting calendar attracted record crowds of more than 300,000 people up and down the country earlier this week, according to the Countryside Alliance. The New Forest, the heart of Hampshire's hunt scene, was no exception and its Boxing Day meet drew its largest audience of the last 20 years…. Although their future seems doomed to many outsiders looking in, the New Forest Hounds are determined to keep the hunt infrastructure alive. "We shall be keeping two out of three permanent staff positions at the hunt kennels," said secretary Graham Ferris. "We will be maintaining a limited emergency service for the collection of fallen stock on the Forest. We will be keeping our hunt horses fit, exercising our hounds and continuing a breeding programme so as to preserve the bloodlines of New Forest hounds which go back centuries." … (story in archive)

BBC News Online 1.1.05 Fox hunting to fore 30 years ago - Scottish ministers considered ditching a ban on "extremely cruel" fox traps 30 years ago, it has emerged. The countryside lobby complained to the Scottish Office in 1969 that attacks on lambs were soaring due to the ban on gin traps which have serrated jaws…. However, ministers later told the Scottish Landowners Federation and the National Farmers Union (NFU) of Scotland they would not lift the ban because such a move would spark outcry from animal welfare groups. Instead they advised landowners to use more "humane" methods of culling foxes such as hunting with dogs, shooting, snaring, poisoning or gassing…. (story)

Times 1.1.05 Huntsmen's attitudes to imposed ban - , Not being a member of the hunting, shooting and fishing fraternity I follow the hunting debate with a degree of equanimity. I was, however, dismayed to read (report, December 28) that in a foreword to the Hunting Handbook 2005 the Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance and the Chairman of the Council for Hunting Association wish to “remind the pessimists that hunting was severely tested during both world wars…" I believe that such animosity as generally exists is less against hunting per se than against those who practise it. The Hunting Handbook does little to dispel this view. Yours faithfully, THOMAS S. MUIRHEAD, 17 The Butts, Gloucester GL4 6NY.
Lord Scott of Foscote, QC, a law lord, says he will decline to sit in cases where the legality of his hobby, hunting, is an issue (report, December 27). As we are all equal before the law, will I be able to pick my judge if I have to appear in court?.... P. D. DOHERTY, 5 Tancred Road, Luton, Bedfordshire LU2 7XA (letters)

Western Daily Press 1.1.05 AN OPPORTUNITY FOR HUMANITY? - Never have the recent squabblings over hunting, identity cards, regional assemblies, etc, looked so pitiful in the wake of the Asian tsunami disaster… Our leaders at least now have the opportunity to earn a modicum of our respect in the way they react to this crisis….. P Ambrose, Tuffley, Gloucester (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.1.05 LET THE FOXES LIVE - - As I write this, I am looking at the colourful picture of the Boxing Day Hunt. Many people who go along to watch soon depart and do not see what it is all about - the chasing and killing of one small animal - the fox…. My message to hunters for the New Year is - enjoy your days out but please stop killing. P Dean, Stroud, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.1.05 A JOLLY DAY OUT ON THE TAXPAYER - On Christmas Monday, I heard on the radio that the traditional Boxing Day hunt at Lacock could be the last. Having read much of your correspondence on hunting, I felt I should attend and make my own judgment on the matter… Departing from Lacock, I noticed numerous cars and 4x4s parked on junctions, banks, corners and verges. I also saw a Land Rover being driven at about 20mph along the verge of the A350. I wonder what the Highways Department feels about its verges being torn up in this way? Then, about 500 yards to the north, there were probably a dozen hounds running back and forth across the railway line! … A jolly day out for all concerned, except the taxpayer. Name and address supplied (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 1.1.05 MPS LACKING RESOLUTION - I Was astounded to hear that the Government has decided not to contest any legal action that could allow a delay in the implementation of the parliamentary act to ban hunting with dogs. My concern is not the rights or wrongs of hunting but the lack of motivation shown by the Government in particular and the House of Commons in general, to implement an act that has gone through due process to reach the statute book…. S J Hyman, Maes Ty Canol, Baglan (letter)

Burnham Times 1.1.05 LOST VOTE - I am writing in response to Tessa Munt's letter in last week's paper. Well, my wife and I were going to vote for her, but now I call on all animal lovers to abstain from voting for her and the Tories…. In answer to: 'They can't make the ban work' - oh yes they can. How about: First offence - the owner of the hounds gets fined a quarter of everything he or she owns. Second offence - the owner is not allowed to pass hounds around and is fined one half of everything he or she owns. Third offence - everything is taken from the owner and a minimum of 14 years in jail is imposed… Because these owners have had all their wealth passed down to them, the first time they are summoned, they probably will not miss the quarter of all their wealth being taken from them, but after the second offence, they will realise and the next time, they will have nothing… A real animal lover Burnham Name and address supplied (letter)