January 2006

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(*)- added since last update


BBC News Online 31.1.06 Moves to restore Boxing Day hunt - A councillor in Leicestershire is facing strong opposition from animal rights protesters in his bid to bring back an historic hunt. Charnwood Borough councillor John Moore wants to revive the Quorn Hunt in Loughborough after a 15-year break…. (story)

Irish Independent 31.1.06 Harin' to go: UK hunt fans all set for Tipperary meet - Senan Hogan - TIPPERARY became the Mecca for hare coursing fans from around the world yesterday, as the 81st annual Irish meeting got under way… Over 8,000 seasoned fans attended the opening day and studied race cards in the brilliant sunshine at Powerstown Park, which has hosted the meeting since 1925… An expected protest by Animal Rights activists against the sport did not materialize (story)
Clonmel Nationalist 26.1.06 British coursing visitors up as UK hunt ban bites - A large increase in the number of visitors from Britain is expected at next week's National Coursing Meeting in Clonmel. And The Nationalist understands that those visitors will include former soccer player turned film star Vinnie Jones. Last week The League Against Cruel Sports accused Vinnie Jones of glamorising hare coursing, and told him to stay away from the event. However the Mayor of Clonmel, Cllr. Niall Dennehy, and Jerry Desmond, Chief Executive and Secretary of the Irish Coursing Club told him that he would be very welcome at the Meeting…. Meanwhile Jerry Desmond has stated that the withdrawal of sponsors Irish Dog Foods will have "no effect whatsoever" on the meeting. Mr. Desmond claimed that the company had withdrawn its sponsorship from two of the support stakes because of threats made against it by anti-blood sports activists, a claim that has been refuted by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports… (story)
Midweek Advertiser 18.1.06 Animal cruelty is 'being exported' - ANIMAL rights campaigners say the Waterloo Cup has been "exported" to Ireland.. The controversial harecoursing event, previously held on the Altcar estate, was outlawed due to the recent Hunting Act. But the League Against Cruel Sports says the event has been moved to Sevenhouses Coursing Ground in Kilkenny. League spokeswoman Dr Jane Evans said: "A total of 16 places have been reserved for greyhounds - which would have participated in the Waterloo Cup - to run in the Seamus Hughes Cup instead….’ A Countryside Alliance spokesman said the League was to blame for the Waterloo Cup's export to Ireland. Mr Tom Sell, regional director in the North West, said: "The Waterloo Cup was one of the most prestigious sporting events in the British sporting calendar and brought a great deal of income into the area." …(story)
Daily Ireland 16.1.06 Vinnie Jones told to avoid coursing event - Animal rights activists have accused hard man Vinnie Jones of glamourising hare coursing and have ordered him to stay away from the National Coursing Meeting in Clonmel later this month…. (story)
Irish Independent 16.1.06 Hardman Vinnie warned on coursing - ANIMAL rights activists have accused screen hard man Vinnie Jones of glamorising hare coursing and have told him to stay away from the National Coursing Meeting in Clonmel later this month. The 40-year-old film star and former footballer confirmed last week that he will attending the three-day event, where a greyhound he co-owns ran last year…. (story)
Ireland Online 15.1.06 Vinnie Jones told to stay away from coursing event - Animal rights activists have accused hard man Vinnie Jones of glamorising hare coursing and have ordered him to stay away from the National Coursing Meeting in Clonmel later this month…. Spokesperson Dr Jane Evans said today: "It’s deplorable that somebody like Vinnie Jones in the public eye should be supporting animal cruelty….” (story)
UTV 14.1.06 Activists picket hare-coursing event - Animal rights activists crossed the Irish Sea today to picket a major hare-coursing event. By:Press Association - The League Against Cruel Sports held a demonstration against the Seamus Hughes Cup being held at Sevenhouses, Kilkenny. Supporters were backed by the Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE) and the Irish Council Against Bloodsports (ICABS)…. (story)
BBC News Online 14.1.06 English hunt dogs at Irish race - Greyhounds no longer able to participate in hare coursing in England due to a ban have been invited to an event in the Republic of Ireland. The organisers of the Seamus Hughes International have invited dogs which would have taken part in England's main hare coursing event - the Waterloo Cup…. (story)
Evening Echo (Ireland) 14.1.06 Protest to be held outside Kilkenny hare-coursing event - Animal welfare groups are holding a protest against bloodsports today outside a hare-coursing event in Kilkenny. The event, in Sevenhouses near Danesfort, is a new hunting competition, with half of the places taken up by British participants….(story)
Formby Times 12.1.06 Protest against Irish hare coursing event By David Sudworth, Formby Times - ANTI-Waterloo Cup campaigners will make their voices heard in southern Ireland this weekend. They are to protest against hare coursers who are in County Kilkenny for a similar three-day event…. Protesters are now gearing up for what they say will be a peaceful protest at the Seamus Hughes International tournament in Seven-houses this Saturday. Veteran Waterloo Cup protester, Tony Moore, is also chairman of Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe…. (story)
Sunday Times 1.1.06 War against hare coursing crosses the water to Ireland - MARK TIGHE - DOGS banned from coursing in Britain are to compete in Kilkenny on January 14, but animal rights activists will be in hot pursuit and are planning a demonstration at the event…. Irish animal rights activists are planning a peaceful protest at the Seamus Hughes International tournament in Sevenhouses, Co Kilkenny, demonstrating against what they call a "sinister and worrying trend of cruelty tourism”…. Jerry Desmond, chief executive of the Irish Coursing Club, said this is not the case. "This event may include people from England but I can guarantee it is not the Waterloo Cup,” he said… Aideen Yourell of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS), is organising the protest against the coursing event…(story)
Manchester Evening News 28.12.05 Race is on to beat coursing ban - Paul Britton - THE Waterloo Cup could be staged in Ireland next year to beat the ban on hunting with dogs. The four-day event, where greyhounds chase - and often kill - released hares, has been held at Great Altcar near Southport in Lancashire since 1836… It is understood that talks are underway to merge the event with the Republic of Ireland's largest hare coursing meet, the Seamus Hughes International event in County Kilkenny, also in February…. (story)
Formby Times 15.12.05 Anti-hunting fight goes on - HUNDREDS of Waterloo Cup campaigners are vowing to take their anti-blood sports battle overseas. They will travel to Ireland for the largest hare coursing meeting, the Seamus Hughes International in County Kilkenny, since the sport was banned in the UK… Local animal rights campaigner Tony Moore said: "It's a dis-grace this kind of torture should be exported elsewhere after we have worked so hard to secure a ban on it in the UK." (story)
Midweek Visiter 14.12.05 All set for new battle By Sophie Corless, Midweek Visiter - HUNDREDS of Waterloo Cup supporters are vowing to take their anti-blood sports battle overseas. They will travel to Ireland for the largest hare coursing meeting, the Seamus Hughes International in County Kilkenny, since the sport was banned in the UK. Half of the 32 places reserved for greyhounds will go to those who would have been in training for the Waterloo Cup…. Now, campaigners for the League Against Cruel Sports have vowed to travel to the Irish Republic to protest at the "cruel and immoral" competition…. (story)
Guardian 12.12.05 Hare coursing followers head for Ireland - Owen Bowcott - Hundreds of British hare coursing supporters will go to Ireland next month for their largest meeting since the blood sport was banned. Half of the 32 places at the two-day event in Sevenhouses, Co Kilkenny, have been reserved for greyhounds that would have been in training for the Waterloo Cup…. (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 31.1.06 VANDALS SMASH WINDOWS AND SLASH TYRES ON HUNT VEHICLES - Tiverton Staghounds has been targeted by vandals who smashed car windows and slashed the tyres of cars parked up for a hunt near Nomansland… Tim Laman, secretary of the Tiverton Staghounds, said he was disgusted by what had happened… "They showed no concern for the animals - we had horses with us and we had to wait for hours in the freezing cold to get them home."... (story)
Western Morning News or Torquay Herald Express 30.1.06 HUNT SUPPORTERS' CARS VANDALISED - Nine cars belonging to hunt supporters have been damaged in Mid Devon. The vehicles' tyres were slashed and one of the car's windscreens was smashed on Thursday. It is thought that the car owners were attending a hunt by Tiverton Staghounds at Nomansland, near Tiverton, when the vehicles were damaged… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 28.1.06 PRO-HUNTERS' CARS DAMAGED - Nine cars belonging to hunt supporters have been damaged in Mid Devon. The vehicles' tyres were slashed and one of the car's windscreens was smashed on Thursday. It is thought that the car owners were attending a hunt by Tiverton Staghounds at Nomansland, near Tiverton, when the vehicles were damaged…. (story)

Western Morning News 31.1.06 IT'S FARMERS WHO LOOK AFTER COUNTRYSIDE - The farming community has suffered at the hands of this government, which pays scant regard to the country way of life. I would point out to recent correspondent Mr Bell that it is the farmer who looks after the countryside and keeps it tidy and free from pests…The farming community has suffered at the hands of this government, which pays scant regard to the country way of life. I would point out to recent correspondent Mr Bell that it is the farmer who looks after the countryside and keeps it tidy and free from pests. But of course from time to time there is always the bigger pest that is very stubborn to remove. In this case it has no regard for its victim, it is cruel, likes to see its prey suffer and leaves it to bleed to death. It offers no escape and no hope, and this particular creature is very elusive, rarely showing its face, just like the fox. It is, of course, Margaret Beckett…. Phil Russell, Plymouth (letter)

Western Daily Press 31.1.06 OUTRAGEOUS ACTIONS OF THE TRAIL-HUNTERS - It is just not good enough for Cattistock Hunt master Lucy Pinney to say that hounds were legally following an artificially laid trail when some of them caught a real fox's scent and broke away, (Western Daily Press, January 23). When the so-called trail-hunts are using a scent made from foxes' urine which attracts foxes to it for obvious reasons, it is no wonder that hounds run after real foxes… Surely, by their reckless use of fox urine, they are bound to know that incidents like this, and the killing of foxes by hounds will continue to happen. Helen Weeks West Coker Somerset (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 31.1.06 MURDERING DEFENCELESS ANIMALS IS NOT SPORT - I Write in response to the comments from Andrew Ogg. How this man purports to know anything about animal charities or indeed my work on behalf of any of these charities is completely beyond me… He cites millions of charitable funds being wasted on the hunt ban. It is not a waste to prevent those who enjoy tearing a fox to death in the name of sport from doing so. It was not only worthwhile, but also resulted in a ban… Sport is where parties take part from a willing standpoint. Murdering animals is not, nor ever will be a sport… RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITHLincoln. (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 31.1.06 'OPEN EYES TO HUNT SITUATION' - So, Coun Allan Smith thinks foxhunting has come to an end and everything is all tickety-boo does he? (Viewpoint, January 25). If he opened his ears and eyes he would know in the case of many hunts they start off drag hunting, the hounds scent a fox and off they go! If this Government had been genuine in its desire to stop hunting with hounds they would have made the law enforceable…. Sue Cannon, High Street, Flixborough. (letter)

Western Morning News 31.1.06 VAST MAJORITY OF PHEASANTS ARE BRED FOR COMMERCE - While i do not want to stir up a raft of emotion, as a country person I would like to add some balance to the letter from Adrian Cooper regarding "wild birds" (WMN, January 17). Pheasants, like all our country fauna, are delightful to see. It is however important that everyone understands that 99 per cent of all those we see are not "wild birds", but domesticated fowl bred for commerce. They create revenue for the countryside in two ways; commercial shooting and the sale of the shot birds to the game industry, which is a huge food industry little recognised by the public in general…. Chris Drewitt, Cornwood (letter)
Western Morning News 17.1.06 WILD BIRDS ARE A JOY AND PRIVILEGE TO OBSERVE - My wife and I have fed the wild birds outside our town every morning at the same time for the last four years. As soon as the car pulls up in the country lay-by glorious male and female pheasants hurry across the field… We never cease to wonder why anyone would want to harm or kill them. Adrian Cooper, Lostwithiel (letter)

Reuters 31.1.06 Drug firms say animal rights attacks in decline - The number of attacks by activists campaigning against the use of animals in medical research fell sharply last year, as the government took a stronger line against often violent protests. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said on Tuesday that damage to company, personal and public property by animal extremists nearly halved compared with 2004, while abusive or threatening messages dropped by a third… (story)

Guardian 31.1.06 Good lives - The people making a difference - Joss Garman - Environmental activist - London - My childhood was influenced by Gerald Durrell. I had a bit of a menagerie, but as I got older I moved from wanting to keep animals to wanting to protect them. When I was 14 I volunteered for Greenpeace, handing out anti-GM leaflets outside Sainsbury's and writing to MPs… (story)

Telegraph 31.1.06 Animal law will give pets their own 'bill of rights' By Sally Pook - Pets are to be given five "freedoms" under new legislation before Parliament that aims to raise the standards of welfare by fining or jailing owners who neglect their animals. The freedoms include appropriate diet, suitable living conditions, companionship or solitude as appropriate, monitoring for abnormal behaviour and protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease. They are contained in the Animal Welfare Bill, which is expected to clear Parliament in the next few months and creates a new offence of deliberately neglecting the welfare of a pet…. (story)

Scotsman 31.1.06 Executive uses public money to promote rights for cats and dogs - PETER MACMAHON SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT EDITOR - CATS, dogs and other domestic pets are to be granted a five-point animal rights "charter" which the Scottish Executive will publicise in leaflets paid for out of the public purse. Pets will have five "freedoms" enshrined in law when the bill - which animal rights campaigners recently failed to change to outlaw the boiling of lobsters - passes though parliament later this year. Last night the Executive said that ministers would be following the example of Westminster, which is passing similar legislation, in putting out leaflets explaining the new animal rights…. (story)

Western Morning News 31.1.06 DOUBLE STANDARDS ON ANIMAL PROTECTION - He's not cute and cuddly; his eyes are too small and close together for any kind of charm. He's hard and he's grey and hairy, and he's reputed to have tusks and sharp teeth - and be very, very fierce indeed. In short, he just doesn't have the sort of emotive appeal that poor old Brock, with his striped face and his comical waddly gait has, and so the Animal Cult Brigade are quite happy just to let him out into the community…Animal activists are criminals. They break into other people's properties, usually causing damage on the way, and steal their possessions - which is what "releasing into the community" actually is - and threaten the safety of the community because of WHAT they release… Tess Nash, Helston (letter)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 31.1.06 EVENT AIDS ELEPHANTS - Dozens of people were pampered at an Indian evening in Hucclecote in aid of endangered animals. The event, organised by Mandy Walden of Brockworth, raised money for International Animal Rescue and Captive Animal Protection Society… (story)

Worcester Evening News 31.1.06 Your recent story about animal abuse was so upsetting - yet more incidents of sheer neglect and abuse to animals. Why, if you don't want, or can't look after an animal, have it in the first place?... MEGGY JAMES, Worcester. (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 31.1.06 Shame on those who condemn whale lovers - I was dismayed to read the article by Mike Bentley in which he criticised the amount of media attention given to the unfortunate bottlenose whale which strayed into the River Thames… The day that the media ignores situations such as the plight of the whale will be the day that I will no longer wish to read about, listen to or watch what is going on… Heather Causnett, Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York. (letter in archive)


Western Daily Press 30.1.06 MORE OUT ON HUNTS - Despite the anti-hunt legislation which came into effect almost a year ago, it seems the sport is more popular than ever with many more newcomers turning out to the meet. In a recent poll by a national equestrian magazine, more than a quarter of respondents said they have been hunting for the first time this season. This is in addition to the 40 per cent who claimed they would be hunting as usual, while only three per cent said the new legislation had put them off. A number of hunts, including the Avon Vale in Wiltshire, are using birds of prey to allow hunting within the law…. (story)

Western Daily Press 30.1.06 OUT ON THE TRAIL SPORT IS EXCITING AS EVER - On a Tuesday morning in late November, I took to the fields on a freezing winter morning, and what seemed to be the coldest of the year, for a day following the Cattistock Hunt…. Fortunately, today we are not joined by any obvious protesters, but there is a local hunt monitor, funded by the IFAW, who just appears to be a normal hunt supporter…. When the ban was first initiated, it was the hope of many an anti, and politician, that it would kill the spirit of the supporters, and deter them from participating in any variations on the traditions. However, my day with the Cattistock cemented by initial predictions that the ban would increase both determination and morale… (story)

Telegraph 30.1.06 New laws, less sense - Do you feel safer as a result of the 30,000 pages of new law passed each year by this Government? Or freer? Or clearer about your rights as a citizen?... The answer, sadly, is that statutes are no longer passed to remedy specific grievances. Rather, they are passed for two main reasons. First, to comply with Brussels rulings. Second, to indicate ministerial approval or disapproval of something. Thus, for example, the 700 hours of parliamentary time dedicated to the hunting ban (as against the seven spent on the decision to invade Iraq) produced a law that has not closed down a single hunt, but that has made life slightly harder for thousands of people….. (story)

Guardian 30.1.06 Death in the night: prowling the city with the urban fox hunter - Marksman and trapper describes his controversial work - Mark Honigsbaum - Holding his rifle in one hand and his night vision glasses in the other, Bruce Lindsay-Smith peers through the darkened window into the garden behind the house in Kensington, west London… In the past four weeks, Mr Lindsay-Smith, a qualified fox "wildlife manager", has conducted more than 50 night shoots and trapped more than 70 foxes in the London area….(story)

Western Daily Press 30.1.06 CARERS MUST BE COMPASSIONATE - Jean Stafford, conservation officer of the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles, advocates the killing of hares for sport… It saddens me to read or see females - who are the mothers and carers in our society - advocating the killing of any animal or bird for sport, especially a harmless hare. Rev H W Jones Wroughton Wiltshire (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 30.1.06 A case of tail wagging dog in docking debate - Michael McHugh (Belfast Telegraph, January 21) wrote that the Animal Welfare Minister at Westminster, Ben Bradshaw, wants to make the docking of animal tails illegal as part of the Animal Welfare Bill which is passing through Parliament and that there have been calls for matching legislation in Northern Ireland. What has made UK Docked Dog Owners and Breeders furious is the lack of impartiality and ignorance displayed by Westminster MPs debating the tail docking issue… Mr Bradshaw didn't even so much as set out the case for freedom of choice, let alone argue in favour of it. He has capitulated to ignorance and prejudice…. PETER SQUIRES, President, Council of Docked Breeds, Wisbech (letter)

Telegraph 30.1.06 Painful memories for goldfish By Roger Highfield, Science Editor - Popular mythology holds that goldfish have three-second memories. Now it seems that they can remember pain for at least a day, according to research that will reopen the debate about whether angling is a cruel sport…. The new study was conducted by Rebecca Dunlop, Sarah Millsopp and Peter Laming at the Queen's University of Belfast and is published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science…. (story)

Western Daily Press 30.1.06 TIME TO STOP RURAL HOUSING ROT - Lack of affordable housing is threatening to turn vibrant communities into ghost villages, rural watchdogs warned yesterd ay. Somerset alone faces a 40 per cent shortfall in affordable homes in the next decade, strategic planners revealed. Last week the Countryside Alliance told a Government Commission that the problem is one of the biggest threats to a sustainable countryside…. (story)

Guardian 30.1.06 Oxford lab protesters target staff and students - Liz Ford - Animal rights activists this month reiterated their warnings that staff and students at Oxford University could become targets for attack over the construction of its animal research laboratory. A posting on the Bite Back website said the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) was calling on supporters to "fight against the university on a maximum impact scale" to stop the construction of the £18m building attached to the department of psychiatry…. (story)
Oxford Mail 30.1.06 Students join ALF's targets by Andrew Ffrench - Students at Oxford University have now been named as targets for a campaign of "maximum impact" by animal rights protesters. Anyone connected to the university -- academics, staff, students, businesses and supporters -- were dubbed legitimate targets by an activist claiming to be an Animal Liberation Front member in a threat on a website…. (story in archive)
Sunday Times 29.1.06 ALF threatens all out war against Oxford students - JON UNGOED-THOMAS AND NICK FIELDING - ANIMAL activists have for the first time threatened violence against all staff and students at Oxford university over its plans for a £20m animal research laboratory. In a posting on an internet site, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) has told its supporters that any academic, student or company connected to Oxford is a legitimate target, irrespective of whether they are involved in animal research…. (story)

The Shields Gazette 30.1.06 Report holds cruel truth - Is it not time that the Home Office was made accountable for failing to regulate animal research in this country? In a newly-published report, Animal Aid has documented examples of painful and gruesome animal experiments that were conducted recently in British laboratories… Andre Menache, scientific consultant to Animal Aid (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.1.06 NO NEED FOR THIS CRUELTY TO GO ON - The Chinese government should be ashamed of its country's treatment of the Moon Bears… Mrs Brenda Bridgman Hambrook Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.1.06 KEEP WILDLIFE IN NATURAL HABITATS - Have the people who run Bristol Zoo gone mad? While I agree that caging wild or captive-bred animals is appalling, I cannot see the need for any zoos or animal theme parks at all…. Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 30.1.06 SELECTIVE WILDLIFE PROTECTION - On January 10, a report appeared in the WMN headed "Thug jailed for killing hedgehog" - the understatement of the year… Yet only a week later we were treated to a letter ("Wildlife cull is no solution") from Linda Weir, of St Ives, who has nothing to say about the unmitigated cruelty meted out to this poor hedgehog, but instead is ranting on, yet again, about not "culling" badgers…. I am sure many will join me in condemning these selective wildlife "protectors", who seem to think animals' rights are far more important than those of people…. Tess Nash Helston (letter)

The Sentinel 30.1.06 ANIMALS HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE - The focus of my letter is animal cruelty. Animals should be treated fairly so that they can live as a family and happily…. HAYLEY BATES Langdale Junior School, Clayton (letter)


Scotland on Sunday 29.1.06 Whale plea - Ross Minett, Director Advocates for Animals, Edinburgh (letter)
Sunday Telegraph 29.1.06 Ambassador for whales - While the world watched the sad demise of "Willy", the bottlenose whale that got lost up the Thames and ended up in the middle of London (News, January 22), Japanese whaling vessels continued pursuing 1,000 whales in the southern oceans under the pretext of "scientific research"… Ross Minett, Director, Advocates for Animals, Edinburgh (letter)


Western Daily Press 28.1.06 BATTLING FLAT OUT! - The phrase which is more usually associated with football, "they think it's all over" has now been adopted by hunt supporters who have continued to oppose the hunting ban with a series of initiatives since new laws were passed last February. In a tongue-in-cheek move, supporters have formed a Fight The Ban Partnership which offers 500 shares in four racehorses to run during the 2006 flat-racing season, for a subscription of £275… (story)

Weymouth Echo 28.1.06 Hunt horror sparks painful memories by Richard Hogg - A PENSIONER has had painful memories re-awakened after reading about a fox hunt spilling into a private garden. Nina Wellman, 67, from Spa Road in Weymouth, read the front page of an Echo from last week which carried a story about hounds from the Cattistock Hunt chasing and killing a fox in Bradford Peverell. In January 1972, Mrs Wellman had a similar experience in her mother's back garden in Broadwey…. In the latest incident, a fox was killed in the back garden of Deborah Carrington. Mrs Wellman has since been in touch with her to talk about their shared experience…. (story in archive)
Western Gazette 26.1.06 HOUNDS 'PICK UP FOX SCENT' AND WREAK HAVOC - A Huntmaster has apologised for the distress caused to residents of Bradford Peverell when hounds rampaged through the village. The Cattistock Hunt set a trail but it is thought the hounds picked up the scent of a fox and diverted off their course and through the village… (story)
BBC News Online 23.1.06 Probe held into village fox death - The killing of a fox by a pack of huntsmen's hounds, which a woman claims ran amok in a village's gardens, is being investigated by police. Residents in Bradford Peverell, Dorset, saw hounds from the Cattistock Hunt run wild for 20 minutes on Thursday before a huntsman arrived to take control…. Ch Insp Nick Maton, Dorset Police's hunt liaison officer, said: "If during the course of the hunt the hounds leave the artificial scent and start hunting the scent of a wild mammal that doesn't mean they are committing an offence under the Hunting Act. However, what we are interested in is the actions of the huntsmen as soon as they became aware that the hounds weren't following the artificial scent and were hunting a wild mammal. We want to be sure they did everything they could to recall the hounds."… (story)
Western Daily Press 23.1.06 HOUNDS RUN AMOK - Villagers have received an apology after a West hunt's hounds ran amok in gardens and even houses… Police are investigating claims hounds from the Cattistock Hunt chased and killed a fox in the centre of Bradford Peverell, Dorset. Villagers alleged hounds terrorised pets and killed a fox in a 20-minute rampage before a member of the hunt arrived on foot in a bid to round them up…. (story)
Weymouth Echo 21.1.06 VILLAGE SHOCK AT HUNT'S RAMPAGE by Dee Adcock - ANGRY villagers watched in horror as hounds tore through gardens and killed a fox while huntsmen struggled to catch up with their pack. The Cattistock Hunt hounds ran free in Bradford Peverell for 20 minutes before a huntsman appeared on foot to try to call them away. Deborah Carrington claimed that one hound ran into her house after her terrified cat and tried to follow it upstairs… Lucy Pinney, joint master of the Cattistock Hunt, said she was laying a trail for the hounds when they came across a real fox. She said: "I can understand people's distress but it was an unfortunate accident. The hounds switched and went after the fox."… (story in archive)

Western Morning News 28.1.06 Birds matter too - WITH reference to your article of January 20, "In the Dock", opposing the universal ban on docking dogs' tails, especially working dogs, perhaps shooting group leader Simon Clarke and his kind could focus some of his supposed welfare concerns over the state of working dogs' tails on to the innocent beautiful birds that are bred and reared purely to be blasted from the skies… Elizabeth Gabriel, Avonwick (letter)

Daily Record 28.1.06 PEER'S APPEAL - JAILED Labour peer Mike Watson has been given a date to appeal against his 16-month sentence for fireraising…. (story)

Oxford Mail 28.1.06 Such hypocrites - Animal rights demonstrators -- they are hypocrites. If one of them can say that no family member has been saved by modern medicine that has come about by experimentation on animals, they may demonstrate. Otherwise they should not…. Christine Taylor, Harwood Road, East Hagbourne (letter in archive)

Aberdeen Evening Express 28.1.06 ANIMAL AID GROUP CALLS FOR SUPPORT - People across the North-east are being urged to back a campaign to stop abuse of animals in travelling circuses. A poll by Animal Defenders International last autumn revealed that 80% of the public agree that the use of wild animals in circuses should be banned…. (story)

Independent 28.1.06 No nights at the circus - Of course the use of wild animals in circuses is wrong. The use of domestic animals as a form of entertainment (letter, 25 January) is also questionable… It is an abuse, even if not cruelly meant, to use animals for fun. FRANKIE JAMES, RINGWOOD, HAMPSHIRE (letter)


Beverley Guardian 27.1.06 Huntsmen say sorry to angry residents - HUNTSMEN have apologised to angry residents after a pack of hounds rampaged through private gardens in a village near Beverley. Villagers in Aike say up to 30 hounds ran amok in their gardens, frightening residents who feared for the safety of their pets….Leaders of the Holderness Hunt, which owns the hounds, have apologised to villagers. They say they lost control of the hounds for about 10 minutes while attending to two horses which were stuck in a ditch… (story)
Yorkshire Post 26.1.06 HUNTSMEN APOLOGISE FOR HOUNDS RUNNING AMOK THROUGH VILLAGE - Dave Mark - HUNTSMEN have apologised to East Yorkshire residents who feared their pets would be torn to pieces when a pack of hounds rampaged through private gardens in a village near Driffield. Villagers in Aike say up to 30 hounds ran amok in their gardens, sparking phone calls to police and leaving many residents fear for their own safety… Leaders of the Holderness Hunt, which owns the hounds, have apologised to villagers. They say they lost control of the hounds for about 10 minutes while attending to two horses stuck in a ditch…. (story)

Western Morning News 27.1.06 Getting it right - I AM sorry to see that letters from myself and Giles Bradshaw regarding the Hunting Act are irritating David White. If it wasn't for our letters, some people would not be aware of the stupidities of that Act and possibly Mr White would not realise that he was also breaking the law…. Michael Ashton, Torrington (letter)
Western Morning News 17.1.06 TWISTING HUNTING LAW'S MEANING IS NOT CLEVER - I have grown increasingly irritated of late, reading letters from Michael Ashton, Giles Bradshaw and their ilk with tales of their dogs, lifting deer, fox and other wildlife and their child-like approach to the legal consequences…. The sooner a total ban is imposed, the better. David White, Eggesford >(letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 27.1.06 HOUNDS DIED IN THE ROAD - While out for an afternoon ride between Winchcombe and Broadway, we noticed a very long line of beagle dogs running along the top of a field. Suddenly they all ran through the hedge and were all on the road in the middle of several cars! Sadly, two of them were run over right under our noses… Mrs B Denman, Cheltenham. (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.1.06 LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES OF RACING - With reference to your story, "Promise to ban greyhound trainer", (Western Daily Press, December 31), it is great news that Mr Sealey is prepared to take action against these two trainers. If he would look at what goes on in the industry as a whole he might realise that the races have to stop…. C Morgan Yeovil Somerset (letter)

Oldham Chronicle 27.1.06 Davies praised - Oldham Euro-MP Chris Davies has been praised by the RSPCA for his work to cut animal testing throughout Europe… (story probably only on website for a day)

Argus 27.1.06 Protest at 'retrograde' sea life pool - Animal rights activists are planning a second protest against proposed seal and penguin pools. On Saturday, the campaigners stood at the entrance to the Palace Pier, Brighton, and urged the public to sign a petition against the Sea Life Centre plans. They are staging a similar demonstration tomorrow… (story in archive)

Argus 27.1.06 Letter: City centre is no place for penguins - Green Party national spokeswoman on animal rights Sue Baumgardt is right when she says the Sea Life Centre's plans to build two pools at the entrance to its aquarium to enclose two seals or penguins is purely a money-making endeavour… Nature did not intend them to be entrapped in a busy and noisy site in the middle of Brighton. -David Hammond, Hassocks (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 27.1.06 MAYBE DOGS ARE SPREADING TB - Culling badgers will increase TB's spread. In 1951 I was bitten by a cow-dog when I was running to school… It was only a short time before my knee swelled up because of the dog. It caused me to spend three years of my childhood in hospital due to TB. I have seen on many occasions dogs nipping the cow's legs, so is it not possible for the farmers to have the culprits right under their noses?... P R Stoodley Shepton Mallet Somerset (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 27.1.06 YOU CAN'T CULL THE BADGERS - Let me get this straight - it's called Bovine TB so how do badgers infect cows then? Surely it is the other way round…. PHILIPPA SAMPSON, Borough Park Road, Paignton (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.1.06 PLAYING FOR THE BEARS - Football supporters can help champion the cause for China's tormented moon bears tomorrow, - the animals at the heart of a Western Daily Press campaign. Somerset fundraisers from Moon Bear Rescue Support Group will be raising money for the bears at the Bristol City and Swansea match at Ashton Gate…. (story)

Shropshire Star 27.1.06 Friends of animals Tony will be missed - Tony Banks will be mourned by many, but one particular constituency — animals — have lost one of their greatest champions. In the last decade, Mr Banks worked with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) many times and we were always struck by his unswerving and passionate devotion to ending cruelty wherever it occurred…. Will Wright, PETA Europe Ltd (letter)


Dunmow Broadcast 26.1.06 Campaigners 'rescue' fox from hunt dogs - MEMBERS of East Anglia Hunt Watch, a group dedicated to making sure hunts comply with the new laws, claim to have saved a fox from being killed by the Essex Hunt on Saturday…. Billy Moore of the Essex hunt Watch to say: "I believe if we had not been present today the fox would be dead right now. We'd like to thank the RSPCA for their help."… Sara Green of the EAHW said: "We feel that the Essex police are not particularly interested in breaches of the hunting ban. They are just concerned to be there to keep the peace….(story)
Herts & Essex Observer 26.1.06 'Hunters try to kill fox' - MEMBERS of Essex Hunt have been condemned for allegedly trying to kill a cornered fox in Good Easter. Monitors from East Anglia Hunt Watch reported the illegal activity during a 25-strong hunt on Saturday on the land of farmer Richard Matthews. The joint master of Essex Hunt denied on Tuesday that the meet had deviated from legal trail hunting - where artificial scent is laid and followed… Billy Moore, a Hunt Watch monitor, said: "I believe if we weren't present, the fox would be dead right now."… (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 26.1.06 Hunt cash for the hospital - THE Malmesbury Hospital League of Friends has thanked the Beaufort Hunt after more than £800 was raised at an annual fundraiser last week… (story)

Western Telegraph 26.1.06 What ban? - When the hunting ban came into force, many feared the loss of the hunt's traditional social gatherings… he master of the South Pembrokeshire Hunt, Hugh Harrison-Allen, and the kennel master, Simon Jones, are pictured chatting to the crowds outside the Cresselly Arms before setting off for the Boxing Day trail hunt (story in archive)

North Devon Journal 26.1.06 SOUTH MOLTON HARRIERS: INFO AND IMAGES - I am writing a book on the South Molton Harriers. If anyone has information photographs, etc, I would be pleased to hear from them… RICHARD LETHBRIDGE, Chittlehamholt, Umberleigh. (letter)

Cornishman 26.1.06 Fox hunting - Name and address supplied - I HAD to write to you as I have just been outside and heard the most awful noises coming from an animal which I can only presume was an injured fox…. Next I heard gunfire and lights flashing across the field and then more crying. Surely hunting with hounds cannot be more harmful to the fox than what seems to be awful maiming which could be happening to so many beautiful foxes all over the country. I am not blaming the farmers, because the hunts have been told they cannot hunt the foxes but which is the worse evil? A long slow painful death from a gun wound or a quick kill… (letter)

Kidderminster Shuttle 26.1.06 Doing our best to chase a smelly sock - I WOULD like to respond to Mr Marshall-James letter (Shuttle/Times & News, January 12) regarding his views of the hunt near the A449. It is important when we are hunting false trails to cover all possibilities. It would be naïve and foolish to assume hounds would not chase a fox if one were to get up in front of them. It is also our responsibility to try and keep hounds off roads. Therefore it is good practice to position officials so that they can react quickly should the need arise - the whips were there to prevent either situation from occurring… Mr Marshall-James is under the impression that the air ambulance is tax-payer-funded. I believe it is funded by voluntary donations and, yes, the hunt does donate to the air ambulance from time to time. Does this gentleman really suggest we should deny a vital service because someone chooses to ride a horse?... He also stated that he would not let his dog chase an animal near a main road. Is he suggesting that he would let his dog chase an animal away from a main road? I hope not because that would be illegal under the Hunting Act 2004… PETER SWANN, Master, Albrighton Woodland Hunt, Hurcott, Kidderminster (letter in archive)
Kidderminster Shuttle 12.1.06 Should hunt be on busy road? - WHILE walking my dog along a public footpath, I was horrified to see several horse riders galloping along the A449 grass verge. This was an accident waiting to happen, as HGV and other vehicles were hurtling past…. why was an artificial scent laid so closely to these busy roads?... GEOFFEREY MARSHALL-JAMES, New Lane, Caunsall (letter in archive)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 26.1.06 SHOOTING CATS WITH AIRGUNS - I read with utter disgust Trevor Moore's letter (the Press and Journal, January 20) on the shooting of cats with air weapons…. It is exactly this irresponsible and dangerous attitude towards airguns that the Scottish SPCA is seeking to discourage, and I am sorely disappointed that there are still people living in our society with such a barbaric attitude. Leonora Merry, parliamentary officer, Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Braehead Mains, 603 Queensferry Road, Edinburgh.
Cats 'protected by law' - In response to Trevor Moore's letter headed "Attacks on domestic cats" (the Press and Journal, January 20), I would like to make it clear that cats are protected by law as free-roaming animals and that it is a serious offence for anyone to use weapons such as airguns to maim or injure them… Tracy Shiells, regional development manager, Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath.
No 'purrfect' answer - Like your correspondent Trevor Moore (Letters, January 20), having discovered the odd "cat trophy" in my garden I have often been tempted to reach for the "cat-a-pult", risking a cat-call from Ewan Mowatt (Letters, January 23)…. Duncan Shaw, Maybank, Conon Bridge (letters)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 23.1.06 AIRGUN ATTACKS ON CATS - Reading the letter (the Press and Journal, January 20) from Trevor Moore responding to the story of a cat blinded by an airgun attack, I was shocked to find that, instead of condemning this criminal attack on a defenceless animal, your correspondent gave an intemperate rant, applauding the action and also advocating that a bounty be paid for evidence of successful cat shootings…. Ewan Mowatt, 75 Woodend Crescent, Aberdeen. (letters)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 20.1.06 Attacks on domestic cats - I refer to your piece (January 17) on the increased number of air-rifle attacks on animals in Scotland. While I would never condone harming animals for fun, I was interested to note that the majority of the attacks were on domestic cats, which leads me to suspect that many of these attacks were not unprovoked. Domestic cats cause unnecessary carnage among the wild bird population, scaring birds away from tables and nesting boxes. They damage flower beds and foul gardens and doormats, leaving an unpleasant smell and a health hazard in their wake… Rather than prosecuting people for shooting marauding cats in their garden, why don't we give out a £5 reward for people handing a dead cat in at a police station. This would do much to alleviate the problem. Trevor Moore, Station Square, Lumphanan. (letters)

Northumberland Gazette 26.1.06 Docking of tails is animal mutilation - MOST people would agree that the docking of dog's tails in unnecessary. According to your item is the Gazette, January 12, breeders think otherwise… Dogs are born with tails. Removing them for cosmetic reasons is unjustifiable. Mrs Moyra Poole, Lesbury, Alnwick (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 26.1.06 Dogs and car seized from hare coursers - TWO illegal hare coursers who led the police on a cross-county chase have had their dogs and vehicle confiscated…. TWO illegal hare coursers who led the police on a cross-county chase have had their dogs and vehicle confiscated…. (story)
Ely Standard 26.1.06 Hare coursers arrested after helicopter chase - HARE coursers led police on a chase through two counties after they were seen releasing their dogs on a Littleport farm. The traveller cousins, both called Patrick Connors, led officers in a patrol car and the force helicopter along farm tracks from Hale Fen, a court heard…. The cousins, aged 25 and 46, who live on a caravan site in Carshalton Road, Banstead, Surrey, admitted poaching on December 8. Connors, senior, also admitted failing to stop for police…. Magistrates fined both men £450 with £35 costs and disqualified them for driving for three months. Connors, senior, was also fined £150 for failing to stop for police…. (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 26.1.06 No need for animal testing to improve health - T BROMLEY (Letters, January 13) writes that the public needs a better understanding of why animal research needs to continue, but there is every reason why the public should be sceptical about claims that animal testing benefits human health – in fact it has never been scientifically evaluated…. BRENDA BLAIR, Stoneleigh Way, Leeds
The positive news is that we already have much safer ways to test new medicine – such as DNA chips to identify who will benefit and who will suffer side effects… N STEELE, Woodside View, Leeds (letters)
Yorkshire Evening Post 13.1.06 Patients must defend 'hope' - I think it is very important that a new voice enters the arena in the debate over the use of animals in medical research. It is vital that patients unite to defend their right to hope…. The general public need a better understanding of why animal research needs to continue. Those who attack medical research might just as well be attacking patients. Thomas Bromley, e-mail (story)

Western Daily Press 26.1.06 URBAN WILDLIFE - I read with interest the new plans for Bristol Zoo, where rhinos and tigers will roam the outskirts of Bristol in a recreated African savannah and central American swamp. I just wonder whether this is not another man-made tragedy in the making? M Stoneman Suffolk (letter)

Western Morning News 26.1.06 Cull ineffective - I AM surprised at the continuous and strident demand for a badger cull which will cause further rural strife… W J B Eliasson, Calstock (story)

Torquay Herald Express 26.1.06 EVENT TO SUPPORT BEAR RESCUE - Bear-lovers are invited to a St Valentine's Day barn dance next month. The evening, in aid of the China Bear Rescue Group, will consist of barn dancing to the accompaniment of local ceilidh band Rumpus… (story)

Argus 26.1.06 Letter: Whale slaughter - It was moving to witness the attempts to rescue the whale stranded in the River Thames over the weekend. How sad I felt knowing that while the rescuers worked tirelessly around the clock and the country united behind their efforts, whalers from the Japanese fleet were in the process of killing about 950 whales under the guise of "scientific research"…. -C Niall, Goring (letter in archive)

Liverpool Echo 26.1.06 Tough on Tufty - I AM disgusted at the government's decision to slaughter thousands of grey squirrels in order to protect the endangered red of the species… Emma Tweedle, Liverpool 25 (letter)

Salisbury Journal 26.1.06 To cull or not to cull? The great badger debate By Karen Bate - BADGERS could be culled across Hampshire from as early as May in a bid to protect cattle herds from bovine tuberculosis…. The National Farmers' Union has urgently called for clear guidelines from the government to help eradicate bovine TB in herds… Hampshire Wildlife Trust echoes the views of the RSPCA, claiming that a badger cull will not reduce the disease. "We must not allow a situation to develop where our native wildlife is sacrificed for political expediency," said Stephanie Hilborne, chief executive of The Wildlife Trust. Chairman of the Dorset and Hampshire Badger Society Elizabeth Boxall said the society was "completely against a cull"…. (story)

Somerset County Gazette 26.1.06 Fight to save badgers - THE Somerset branch of a wildlife charity is calling for the Government to think a bit more before it starts culling badgers to stop the spread of bovine TB. Somerset Wildlife Trust wants to see an end to badgers being killed unnecessarily… (story in archive)
Western Gazette 26.1.06 TRUST TAKES A STAND TO STOP BADGER SLAUGHTER - Somerset Wildlife Trust says it is taking a stand to stop badgers being killed unnecessarily. The county's biggest conservation charity wants the Government to stop and think again, before it goes ahead and culls badgers to try and halt the spread of tuberculosis in cattle… Trust chief executive Simon Nash and his colleagues are deeply concerned that consultations are going ahead before full results of the Government's culling trials have been assessed…. (story)

The Forester 26.1.06 THIS ABATTOIR SHOULD BE CLOSED - As has been mentioned in the local papers recently, Lyes H & Son abattoir went into administration last summer when plans were submitted to build some houses on the land but were turned down. Now I have been told the abattoir has been bought and will still run as a slaughterhouse specialising in ritual slaughter. I am absolutely horrified to think that we are going to allow this sort of establishment to open. It is legalised cruelty…. If these animals are to be killed at least let it be done humanely! Let's fight to stop this business happening please. Name and address supplied (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 26.1.06 Absurd triviality From Joan Court, Animals, People & The Environment, Sturton Street, Cambridge - I DO NOT understand Mr Jeevar's intemperate letter ("Shameful incident", January 9). He asks where were the animal rights activists "when the poor defenceless animal was so humiliated". Readers may be aware that we campaign tirelessly to stop cruelty and exploitation of horses (see Animal Aid web site) but this trivial incident is not one we intend to pursue…. (letter)


Eastern Daily Press 25.1.06 Hunt escapes charges - SARAH BREALEY - Waveney Harriers have escaped charges after prosecutors decided a video shot by anti-hunt protesters did not show huntsmen breaking the law…. Anti-hunt group Huntwatch said it showed hares being chased, in defiance of the new Hunting Act. But the CPS is believed to have decided the hares filmed were not being intentionally chased, and huntsmen were heard calling the hounds off as the law requires…. (story)
Eastern Daily Press 14.1.06 Hunters under investigation - SARAH BREALEY - An East Anglian hunt is being investigated after evidence was supplied by an anti-hunting group apparently showing its members failing to call off its hounds as they chased hares. Huntwatch claims that its video - taken on Boxing Day - shows members of the Waveney Harriers chasing the hares on countryside near Bungay, in defiance of the new Hunting Act. Last night, Suffolk police confirmed they had handed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will review the evidence against and decide whether to bring a prosecution. But the Waveney Harriers insisted that its members always kept within the law, and no-one had so far been arrested or charged…. Andrea Hill, a Huntwatch spokesman who was at the Boxing Day hunt, said that Waveney Harriers was filmed chasing three hares at Ilketshall St John, near Bungay…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 25.1.06 IS THE BAN WORKING? - Anti-hunt campaigners in Carmarthenshire are adamant that the hunting ban is proving a success and say fewer foxes are suffering unnecessarily. Hunt monitor Michael Sharratt, from Whitland, said the hunting ban has not had the negative impact the Countryside Alliance predicted it would on local communities. He said that, because there is less suffering, more people are supporting the hunt…. Mr Sharratt is also a member of the League Against Cruel Sports and is an adviser to the Welsh Assembly in the All Party Group for Animal Welfare as an expert on badgers…. Mr Sharratt has been observing the Carmarthenshire and south Pembrokeshire hunts since the first day of the season and has not seen a pursuit or any illegal action by huntsmen. However, he is concerned that hunts are laying drag trails through dense thickets that are inaccessible to horses and still employ terrier men to send dogs below ground…. Adrian Simpson, the Carmarthen- based south Wales regional director of the Countryside Alliance said: "The hunting ban is totally unjust and members of the public are turning out to support the hunt in order to show their opposition to the bill….” (story)

Telegraph 25.1.06 Ferry quiet - When it comes to being collared by the law, Otis Ferry has never been one to go quietly. Bryan Ferry's "revolutionary" son - who was given 18 months' conditional discharge for storming the Commons over hunting - pleaded not guilty to a drink-driving charge last October… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 21.1.06 PROTESTER OTIS DENIES DRINK CASE - Pro-hunt campaigner Otis Ferry will be tried for drink driving charges by magistrates in Cirencester in June. The 23-year-old son of rock star Bryan Ferry is alleged to have been driving a Volkswagen Golf while over the limit in Somerford Road, Cirencester, on October 11… (story)
Western Daily Press 21.1.06 COURT DATE SET FOR FERRY'S TRIAL - A Date was set yesterday for the trial of pro-hunting campaigner Otis Ferry for alleged drink-driving…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 16.11.05 CAMPAIGNER ON DRIVE CHARGE - Pro-hunting campaigner Otis Ferry denied a drink-driving charge when he appeared in court in Gloucestershire… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 16.11.05 FERRY SAYS 'I DIDN'T DRINK AND DRIVE' - Rock Star Bryan Ferry's son Otis has denied a charge of drink driving. The 23-year-old hunt master (pictured) appeared before Cirencester magistrates yesterday facing an allegation that he had 55mg of alcohol in his breath when he drove his VW Golf in Somerford Road on October 11… (story)
Western Daily Press 16.11.05 OTIS FIGHTS DRINK CASE - Hunt protester Otis Ferry yesterday told a court he was not guilty of drink-driving… (story)
Guardian 16.11.05 Otis Ferry accused of drink-driving - Steven Morris - Otis Ferry, the pro-hunting campaigner and son of rock star Bryan, appeared in court yesterday accused of drink-driving… Mr Ferry, who is master of the South Shropshire Hunt, was granted unconditional bail. (story)
Shropshire Star 15.11.05 Ferry denies drink-driving - Shropshire pro-hunting campaigner Otis Ferry today denied a drink-driving charge when he appeared in court. The son of rock star Bryan Ferry is accused of being over the legal limit when he was stopped in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, on October 11… (story)
15.11.05 - OTIS FERRY DENIES DRINK-DRIVE CHARGE - Pro-hunting campaigner Otis Ferry today denied a drink-driving charge when he appeared in court…. (story)

Galway Independent 25.1.06 Coursing reports don’t tell of cruelty - A disturbing feature of the continued legality of hare coursing in Ireland is the way provincial newspapers still accord favourable publicity to this sickening abuse of wildlife…. In years to come, after it has been consigned to history, those journalists who today promote and glamorise this cruelty will be seen for what they were: men and women who disgraced their profession, who prostituted their talents in defence of a lost cause. Thanking you, John Fitzgerald, Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 25.1.06 Hunters must not break the law - THERE is a famous poem entitled ‘Mr Facing-Both-Ways’ describing the sheer hypocrisy of bloodsport apologists. If the author was alive to read the recent letters by Margaret Cameron perhaps he would have called it ‘Mrs Facing-Both-Ways’…. She whinges that the police have more important criminals to deal with than illegal hunters yet does not comment on the drain on police resources caused by the pro-hunt demos…. PETER STRATTON, Northwest Animal Welfare, Chorley
Elaine Milbourn says hunters must obey the law (News & Star, January 9). She also claimed that the hunting act reflects the view of the people in the UK. That’s might be the case in left wing town areas, but what do these people know about hunting?... TOM GLENNEN Morton Park Carlisle (letters)

Bromsgrove Advertiser 25.1.06 Monitors - REPORTS on the Boxing Day hunts - `Hunts are riding a wave of support' saw quotes from the Countryside Alliance Opinion Poll used which reportedly found that two thirds of the public felt that the Hunting Act, which came into effect in February 2005, was not working… I have written to you paper several times in the past with the suggestion that, those individuals who are interested in becoming hunt monitors, can contact the League Against Cruel Sports… Joanne Fone, Bromsgrove (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 25.1.06 ARE LAWS OPTIONAL? - Mr Williams' letter "Activists help save animals" (Your Say, January 19) gives me the courage to break the hunting law as I believe doing so results in better animal welfare than obeying it would. The truth about most of the modern laws introduced by Labour is that they are optional… Giles Bradshaw Rose Ash Devon (letter)

Bath Chronicle 25.1.06 ALLOW HARES TO BREED IN SAFETY - Your report, Keep an eye out for hares, included a timely mention that hares do not have a shooting close season (This is Bath January 11). As the pheasant shooting season ends on January 31, large hare shoots during February and March will kill many thousands of hares - leaving orphaned leverets to die of starvation…. The British Brown Hare Preservation Society is campaigning for a shooting close season from February to September inclusive. This would provide hares with adequate protection during the time of year when they are most likely to have dependent young. RODNEY HALE Chairman, British Brown Hare Preservation Society Crediton, Devon (letter)

Equestrian Today (Yorkshire Post) 25.1.06 Greyhounds and horses back in union - Greyhounds and horses have long gone together. The "Fancy" used to ride to watch greyhound coursing on Salisbury Plain. And the instigator of the famous Waterloo Cup coursing event set up a steeplechase as a novelty to extend the three day event on Altcar plain. That novelty grew into the Grand National we know today…. This year greyhounds sanctioned by the National Greyhound Racing Club are going to the Cheltenham Festival… (story)

Western Daily Press 25.1.06 BARBARIC PRACTICES - I quite agree with Margot Willcox (Western Daily Press, January 19), that they are being very cruel in the brutal method of culling chickens in Turkey…. Mrs M Harris Glastonbury Somerset (story)

Stockport Express 25.1.06 Ex-mayor in a fury over fur - A STOCKPORT councillor has struck a blow for animal rights, after finding a rack of fur coats in a charity shop. Ken Holt, of Bramhall, was disgusted to see the items in the Home Farm Trust shop at Bramhall Lane South. Following his complaint, the charity withdrew the rack and vowed to ban fur from its 13 North West outlets – including one at Hazel Grove – instead of leaving it to the discretion of managers…. Dave Brock, of Stockport Animal Defenders, said: "You would imagine a charity would have had a firm anti-fur policy. But we are grateful they have seen sense…" (story)

Halifax Courier 25.1.06 HELPING THE WHALES - THE sad story of the northern bottlenose whale that found its way into the River Thames and died before it could be returned to the open sea captured the hearts of many people. We at the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society have had many calls from people who want to know what they can do to help whales and ensure another animal does not end up in such unfortunate circumstances…. Mark Simmonds International Director of Science, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society) (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.1.06 ACTIVISTS DRIVEN BY COMPASSION - After reading the article, "We Started Boar War" (Western Daily Press, January 13), it is obvious from the comments made by Inspector Nevin Hunter and boar farmer Mr Dedarme that they have, and never will have, any understanding of the reasons and goals of the ALF and other animal rights activists. I have written many times before to try to explain that animal rights people are driven by compassion for all animals to take direct action in their efforts to put an end to the abuse they suffer for the profit of greedy, uncaring people, whether it is livestock farming, hunting, shooting, fishing or the drug industry…. Perhaps it might help him to understand to know that animal rights activists are vegans and will never agree to animals being born to face the horrors of a slaughterhouse and then have their dead flesh eaten for profit…. P Richardson Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Independent 25.1.06 Circus animals - I agree that the use in circuses of truly wild animals such as big cats, bears and zebras causes them undue stress and should cease… It is surely absurd to ban domesticated animals like horses, elephants and camels in this way, and some animals such as seals and dogs clearly enjoy performing. BOB HEYS, HALIFAX (story)


Birmingham Post 24.1.06 Rebel MP's passion for countryside - After announcing plans to encourage inner-city children to take up shooting in the countryside, Kate Hoey MP talks to Rural Affairs reporter Sarah Probert about her passion for a prosperous countryside... Mention the word hunting and Kate Hoey launches into a tirade which would make her fellow backbenchers seethe…. But her passions go far beyond hunting, with desires including the prevention of huge development in the countryside, changing current laws on shooting, and easing the pressure supermarkets place on farmers…. (story)
Birmingham Post 23.1.06 Anger at pupils' gun lessons By Sarah Probert, Rural Affairs Reporter - Inner city children will be encouraged to take up shooting in the countryside as part of a new education initiative drawn up by a pro-hunting group. The Countryside Alliance is setting up a charitable educational wing, inviting city children to rural areas to learn about shooting, fishing and farming…. Ms Hoey said she wanted to bridge the divide between inner cities and rural areas, but the plan was dismissed by anti-gun campaigner and Birmingham Labour MP Steve McCabe as a gimmick….(story)
Worcester Evening News 19.1.06 People who dress in balaclavas must be challenged by law - BALACLAVA-clad protesters who attempt to disrupt hunts ought to be attracting the attention of the police, Kate Hoey, the new chairman of the Countryside Alliance told a meeting in Worcester…. Anti-hunt protestor Lynn Sawyer, of Evesham, arg-ued that balaclavas were often used as a means of protecting their identity for safety reasons…. "There is a small, violent, element to some people in the hunt, and that is why some people use disguise. I don't wear them because my glasses get steamed up…." (story in archive)
Yorkshire Post 18.1.06 'UNLESS PEOPLE SPEAK OUT, FUTURE GENERATIONS WON'T HAVE THE KIND OF COUNTRYSIDE THAT WE HAVE LOVED' - It is nearly a year since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force. It's a stupid law that will be repealed, according to the new head of the Countryside Alliance, Kate Hoey. She talks to Jill Armstrong…. Kate and her sister used to ride bareback, vying with each other for the chance to ride the three-and-a-half miles to the local blacksmith when the horse needed re-shoeing – and returning at a much faster pace than on their outward journey. She experienced the treat of riding with a proper saddle only when she came to England years later. Imagine the feeling last February, the weekend after the hunting ban, when she was invited to ride out with the poshest of posh hunts, the Beaufort, riding the beautifully turned-out horse they had loaned her for the day…. The Countryside Alliance has chosen a leader with a stubborn streak and one who is not afraid to speak her mind. Perhaps that comes from her country roots. She can't have endeared herself to many of her colleagues in the Labour Party over her opposition to the hunting ban, but that didn't stop her and now she is determined to rally even more people to her cause. (story)
Western Morning News 19.12.05 NEW ALLIANCE CHAIRMAN THANKS MEMBERS - New Countryside Alliance chairman Kate Hoey visited the Westcountry at the weekend for her first regional tour since taking up the post. Ms Hoey, who voted against a ban on fox hunting, said an informal meeting was an opportunity for her to say thank you to members of the alliance in the South West for all the work they had done… (story)

Leicester Mercury 24.1.06 'PRO-HUNT TACTICS NEARLY RUINED US' - Pro-hunting campaigners in Leicestershire have been blamed for trying to bankrupt an animal welfare group through a postal campaign. The League Against Cruel Sports claims opponents in the county were among those who almost caused their financial collapse…. Paul Davenport, chairman of the Atherstone Hunt, in South Leicestershire, said county hunts had not got involved in the stunt… (story)
Western Morning News 24.1.06 FREEPOST 'ATTEMPT TO BANKRUPT LACS' FAILS - Some say the League Against Cruel Sports was perhaps a little naive when it released a Freepost address shortly before Christmas. The hope was that generous people would send in donations. But instead, thousands of hunt supporters, many from the Westcountry, sent a barrage of junk, ranging from Christmas cards to, at worse, a dead squirrel and animal excrement…. (story)
Times 23.1.06 Anti-hunt group survives postal attack BY HELEN NUGENT - THE Royal Mail has saved an animal rights group from bankruptcy after hunt supporters cost it £500,000 by bombarding its Freepost address with junk mail and heavy parcels. The League Against Cruel Sports has agreed a rescue package with Royal Mail after a fund-raising drive was hijacked by hunters and left the association with a crippling bill…. (story)
BBC News Online 23.1.06 Anti-hunt group survives campaign - An animal welfare group whose freepost was targeted with bulky packages and empty envelopes will pay just £2,000 of the £500,000 postal cost, it has said. The League Against Cruel Sports said Royal Mail had agreed it would be liable only for the cost of mail sent before it cancelled the address… (story)
Western Daily Press 21.1.06 HUNT FREEPOST FIASCO MAIL SCAM BLOCKED - Britain's biggest anti-hunt group has managed to save itself from a potentially bankrupting bill for thousands of unwanted Christmas cards from hunt supporters…. Until now, the league has had at least two juggernauts' worth of mail, much of which has been sent to the Royal Mail's investigation unit in Belfast. But faced with a bill which would almost certainly have bankrupted the league, it got together with the Royal Mail to salvage a rescue package. The league will have to pay for those letters it received before it notified the Royal Mail there was a problem and cancelled the freepost address - a bill of about £2,000 only. But it won't have to pay for the rest and has been saved from a bill which sources said could have topped half a million pounds….(story)
Guardian 13.1.06 Post hate - As police investigate an orchestrated postal campaign targeting the League Against Cruel Sports, Mike Hobday wonders whether other voluntary groups could fall victim to similar attacks - Late last year, the League Against Cruel Sports sent out an appeal to supporters for donations of cash to buy equipment - video cameras, walkie-talkies, handheld GPS units, binoculars - to help equip our Hunt Crimewatch programme… Some bright spark within the pro-hunting movement (we have our suspicions about whom - suffice it to say that we have evidence pointing to the upper echelon of a national hunting organisation) estimated that there was potential here to cause the league real damage, and circulated an email suggesting that worthless - or worse - contributions could be made to the Freepost address, leaving the league to pick up a potentially huge bill…. (story)
South London Press 10.1.06 Slaughtered squirrel sent to animal welfare group By Paul Rhys - A SQUIRREL was shot in the head and mailed to an animal welfare group. Staff were horrified when they opened an envelope containing the bloodied squirrel entombed in a vacuum pack. Southwark-based League Against Cruel Sports was sent the carcass in one of its own pre-paid envelopes as part of an alleged scam that has cost it thousands…. Post room worker Cathy Liddiard, 25, was horrified when she opened the package at the group's offices in Union Street, Borough, on Friday…. It had not been decided as we went to press who would foot the bill for the packages, so far estimated at more than £10,000. The league was yesterday still in negotiations with the Royal Mail over costs… (story)
Mirror 7.1.06 HORROR OF SQUIRREL IN THE POST By Victoria Ward - ANIMAL activists were horrified when a dead squirrel arrived in the post. The League Against Cruel Sports was sent the animal in one of its own pre-paid envelopes â€" the final straw in a scam which has cost them thousands…. (story)
UK Press Gazette 5.1.06 Clarkson blamed for attack on anti-hunt group By Dominic Ponsford - An animal rights group is holding Sun columnist Jeremy Clarkson responsible after it was sent more than 20 sacks of excrement, rubble and old copies of Horse and Hound. The League Against Cruel Sports told Press Gazette it is considering legal action and a PCC complaint against The Sun and the Evening Standard after they published stories encouraging readers to misuse an appeal launched by the charity…. League spokeswoman Wanda Wyporska said: "We've received old copies of Horse and Hound, bricks, excrement and scrap metal. We've been absolutely inundated, it could cost us more than £10,000."… According to Wyporska, police are investigating possible criminal charges stemming from "abuse of the postal system and malicious communications"…. (story)
Mirror 22.12.05 HORSE & HOUNDED - EXCLUSIVE Animal rights group's £10k bill for pro-hunt hate mail By Louise Male - AN animal rights group has been bombarded with abusive mail from hunt supporters in a scam that has cost it thousands of pounds. The League Against Cruel Sports was targeted after it launched an appeal for donations using a Freepost address…. Van loads of bricks, telephone directories, heavy books, abusive letters and animal excrement were sent to the League's offices. So far the cost is more than £10,000…. Actress and model Lisa B, an animal welfare supporter, was outraged when she received the email…. (story)
Scotsman 19.12.05 Not much good will in Christmas cards from hunt lobby - HAMISH MACDONELL SCOTTISH POLITICAL EDITOR -... The League Against Cruel Sports is currently running a money-raising drive for its Hunt Crimewatch Programme…The anti-hunt group purchased a Freepost address to make it easier for donors to send in the money…So some figures in the Countryside Alliance sent out a message to hunt supporters suggesting they send a Christmas card in an envelope, minus a stamp, to the League Against Cruel Sports Freepost address - leaving the league to pick up the postage…A spokeswoman for the league said last night that the police were investigating and the anti-hunt body was confident that it would not have to pick up the bill for the mischief caused by the Countryside Alliance… The league spokeswoman said it was an offence to abuse the Freepost system and an offence to incite abuse of the system, both of which were being investigated…. (story)
Western Daily Press 17.12.05 CHRISTMAS CARD BID TO SINK ANTI-HUNT GROUP - A Bizarre row has erupted over a cheeky bid to try to bankrupt a leading anti-hunt group by sending it Christmas cards, the Western Daily Press can reveal. A move by the League Against Cruel Sports to raise funds to pay for more equipment to monitor hunts almost backfired yesterday, after it set up a Freepost system to accept donations from its supporters. But pro-hunt campaigners fired off emails to tens of thousands of hunt supporters urging them to use the League's Freepost address to send an empty envelope or a Christmas card instead. The League would have to pay the Royal Mail for them all…. Yesterday, the League said it had called in the police and Royal Mail bosses to investigate the sabotage attempt - and accused the Countryside Alliance of being behind the scam…. The Alliance, however, has said it categorically "in no way endorses or supports the campaign"…..(story)
Times 15.12.05 City diary BY MARTIN WALLER - THE League Against Cruel Sports has launched an emergency appeal to raise money for its Hunt Crimewatch Programme. The appeal uses a Freepost address, which means for every envelope the organisation has to pay a charge to Royal Mail. There is an e-mail whizzing around the City organised by the Countryside Alliance urging its supporters to send an empty envelope or Christmas card to the Freepost address "to make your Christmas a little better”… (story)

Bucks Free Press 24.1.06 Try humane drags - NOW that the Animal Welfare Bill has passed its second reading, clearly the advice to keep up hunt monitoring and police involvement makes sound sense… The Bill gives RSPCA inspectors extra power to enter private property where suspected animal abuse is taking place, and the Association of Chief Police Officers is calling for similar powers to stage illegal live animal hunting…. Miss Katherine Watson , Stockport (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 24.1.06 NOTHING TO DO WITH HUNTING - Iwould like the chance to reply to recent letters in the Grimsby Telegraph regarding hunting. Firstly, in no way should the amount of Parliamentary time have been given to the hunting debate… A certain "inverted class snob" wanted to see this stopped. But "toffs" still ride, so the 'inverted class snob' still doesn't like it and is now claiming the law is being broken… Full name and address supplied. (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 24.1.06 hunting - NORTHWEST Animal Welfare says that Black Combe Beagles chased a fox for more than a hour during a meeting at Coniston on December 27 (News & Star, January 10). Perhaps the Master, Mr Ellwood, should admit that the beagles were obviously not under control…. Hunts must obey the law like everyone else, otherwise anarchy in the countryside will eventually see the law strengthened. ELAINE MILBOURN Torpenhow Wigton (letter)

Western Morning News 24.1.06 SHOOTING FINDING WAS REJECTED - Dr John Harradine appears to support claims by the RSPCA and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) that the Journal of Animal Welfare wilfully published flawed research about the wounding rates involved in shooting foxes (WMN, December 20. He states that one of the referees, Prof Stephen Harris, rejected the paper as being "scientifically not worthy of publication"… When judging the merits of this research into the wounding rates of shot foxes, I find it incredible that BASC is relying on a well-known supporter of a hunting ban while dismissing the views of the other five independent referees involved in its peer review process. What exactly is BASC's agenda? Andy Poole, House of Commons London (letter)
Western Morning News 20.12.05 Shooting study flaws - JAMES Barrington of the Middle Way Group criticises both the RSPCA and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) for disagreeing with their seriously flawed fox shooting study (WMN, December 6). He refers to its publication in a peer-reviewed journal. What he does not say is that one of the journal's invited scientific referees, Professor Stephen Harris, of Bristol University, rejected the paper as being scientifically not worthy of publication,… Dr John Harradine, Director of Research British Association for Shooting and Conservation (letter)

Western Mail 24.1.06 U-turn on tail docking - Sarah Manners, Western Mail - DEFRA minister Ben Bradshaw has indicated a govern- ment U-turn on the ban on docking the tails of working dogs… Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said the outright ban would compromise animal welfare and increase suffering, as it did when docking was banned in Sweden… (story)

Independent 24.1.06 Lesson of the London whale - The "London whale" has captured the imaginations of millions of Britons over the last few days, showing just how charismatic cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are… as well as the almost 1,500 "great" whales that Japan will kill in the name of scientific research in 2006, it is also responsible for the deaths of over 20,000 small cetaceans annually…. CLAIRE BASS, ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY (UK) LONDON N1 (story)

Dundee Courier 24.1.06 The plight of whales - Millions of people watched the plight of the poor whale in the Thames. What a pity the TV cameras do not watch, at close quarters, the hundreds of whales harpooned so cruelly by the Japanese…. Christine Craig. Freeland, Gateside, Fife. (story)

Western Morning News 24.1.06 BADGER CULL WON'T SOLVE FARMERS' PROBLEMS - Once again I read articles on the proposed badger cull as a way to rid our already suffering farmers of bovine TB. Scientific evidence has proved that this is not an effective remedy. Why does the Government intend to carry this terrible so-called policy through, when it already knows it won't work?... C Savage, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 24.1.06 FORGOTTEN CATTLE TB SCHEME WORKED - Martin Hancox, Stroud (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 6.1.06 NONSENSE OVER TB IS BEYOND THE MAD HATTER - Having been on the old Badgers and Bovine Tuberculosis Panel, might I congratulate you on your recent coverage of the proposed mass badger cull with snares or gassing as part of the Government's "consultation" over the cattle TB crisis. Everyone seems to have forgotten, but Britain had a textbook cattle TB scheme which brought the disease down from countrywide to tiny South West hotspots by the early 1970s. This was purely by curbing cattle-to-cattle spread by annual cattle testing and movement restriction, without any badger culling at all…. M. HANCOX, Nouncells Cross, Stroud (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.1.06 WILDLIFE GROUPS CLAIM SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE IS AGAINST BADGER CULL - Wildlife organisations say Defra's proposals for a badger cull to control TB have already been wrecked by its own scientific advisers. Animal health Minister Ben Bradshaw has launched a consultation on a possible cull to start later this year to eradicate badger populations in known TB hotspots… Badger Trust chairman David Williams said the letter blew a hole in Defra's claims to be basing its policies on sound science…. (story)

Western Mail 24.1.06 Badget setts badly damaged - GWENT Badger Group has discovered two badly damaged badger setts on the outskirts of Chepstow. GBG chairman Steve Clark said the crime was particularly disturbing. Six holes were dug to a depth of 5ft over a wide area, five of them back-filled in an effort to disguise the offence… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 24.1.06 IT'S CATTLE THAT INFECT BADGERS - A total of £1.3 billion a year of taxpayers' money is used to bail out the farming industry, yet the insanity of killing badgers continues, wasting yet more millions. By spring the Government and National Farmers' Union are proposing a complete annihilation of these animals from the whole west of England, despite contrary scientific evidence…. MISS STONE, Address supplied (letter)

Bath Chronicle 24.1.06 CHARITY ON STAND-BY FOR RESCUE - When a whale swam up the River Thames last week, a Wiltshire conservation organisation was one of the first called on for advice. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), based in Chippenham, was on standby throughout the 36-hour attempted rescue that began on Friday morning when the 18ft northern bottlenose whale was spotted swimming down the Thames through central London…. (story)

Worcester Evening News 24.1.06 Why I'm horrified by plan for this pig farm - I was horrified to read that Malvern Hills planners have approved plans for a pig farm at Broadwas. Not only is the intensive factory farming of animals abhorrent to any civilised person with an ounce of compassion, but pig farms are renowned for the devastation and destruction that they wreak on the environment…. MISS L BONOMINI, Malvern (letter in archive)

The Argus 24.1.06 Letter: Let's campaign - Watching the attempted rescue of the Thames whale did something to restore my faith in human nature… Sylvia Harwood, Hove (letter in archive)


Western Daily Press 23.1.06 I AM CONFIDENT THAT SHOOTING WILL BE SAFE - BUT THEN I WAS CONFIDENT ABOUT HUNTING AS WELL - Defiant shooters insist there is 'no chance' the Government will ban their sport despite a new campaign being launched to get it outlawed. Leading figures said they would fight tooth and nail to protect the industry, which ploughs millions of pounds into the rural economy of the West each year…. AMONG those involved is Wiltshire farmer Josh Stratton, who runs shoots on Salisbury Plain. He said: "I don't think there is any will among people generally and among the politicians to start legislating against shooting. There's lots of people who are against hunting, but nowhere near the same sort of feeling about shooting…" (story)

BBC News Online 23.1.06 A noble fight for animal rights By Catherine Lyst - The landed gentry are often associated with pursuits such as fox hunting and grouse shooting. But the 15th Duke of Hamilton and his duchess are not ones to conform to such a stereotype. … Come the Glorious 12th, you will not see them pulling on their wax jackets and loading their shotguns. They are more likely to be seen on a protest against blood sports…. Much of Kay's passion for animals is channelled into Edinburgh-based Advocates for Animals…. (story)

Northern Echo 23.1.06 Trust's efforts help endangered black grouse to make comeback by Jim McTaggart - Efforts to protect one of Britain's most endangered birds, the black grouse, are proving a major success in three North-East valleys, a survey shows…. Another count being organised this spring is expected to show that the numbers have risen again, to at least 1,000, thanks to the efforts of the Game Conservancy Trust. The trust set up a black grouse recovery project in 1996 in partnership with several other bodies, including English Nature and the RSPB, and this has stemmed a decline which had gone on for years…. (story in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 23.1.06 MP wins battle to ban docking - MP ANNE Snelgrove is celebrating after ministers agreed to ban docking the tails of dogs. The South Swindon MP has spent the last week intensively lobbying the Government to include the ban in its Animal Welfare Bill. She claims the practice of amputating the tails of puppies is cruel and serves no useful purpose…. (story)

Oxford Mail 23.1.06 Fears pet dog Charlie was taken by animal rights militants' - A dog owner whose pet has gone missing from her Oxford garden claims animal rights protesters may have stolen it. Caroline Howkins said Black Labrador Charlie was dognapped on Wednesday from the shed he was kept in at their South Hinksey home. She had previously received three letters claiming to be from animal rights activists, demanding the pet was allowed out of its pen or they would "take action"…. His owners have denied accusations that the dog was mistreated, and said he was not kept inside the pen all the time, but was taken on daily walks and allowed to roam free in the back garden… Four weeks ago, Mr Howkins saw two women, one dressed with a white coat pulled up around her face and a second dressed in black, trying to break into the pen, but they disappeared when Charlie started barking… (story in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 23.1.06 MEP PHILLIP WAS A CARING MAN - I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the family of Phillip Whitehead. Only a few days before his death, I received a letter from him, as my concern about animal cruelty in the European Union had been reported to him by South Derbyshire MP Mark Todd…. Beryl Stevens, Grange Road, Alvaston. (story)

Western Daily Press 23.1.06 BRING SANCTIONS IN TO CURB CHINA - It comes as no surprise to hear that the Chinese Government has back-pedalled on the promise they made to close down these disgusting bear farms. They cannot be trusted - it is as simple as that…. Raymond Williams Ross-on-Wye Herefordshire (letter)

Argus 23.1.06 Campaigners give enclosure seal of disapproval - Animal rights activists and Green Party members staged a protest against a proposed seal enclosure…. Green councillor Georgia Wrighton said: "The site is completely inappropriate for keeping seals…" Alison Plaumer, 49, of Old Shoreham Road, Hove, said: "We are concerned about these plans and will fight to stop them." Elizabeth Wakefield, 44, of Grange Road, Hove, said: "We fought against the dolphinarium at the Sea Life Centre about 15 years ago and were successful…" Green Party national spokeswoman on animal rights Sue Baumgardt, 60, of Stoneham Road, Hove, said: "If this goes ahead, it could be a slippery slope…." (story in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 23.1.06 APPEAL TO HALT SLAUGHTER OF BADGERS - An animal welfare charity is calling on people in Lincolnshire to join a campaign to stop the slaughter of badgers. The RSPCA wants the public to respond to a consultation process on the culling of badgers. RSPCA East Midlands regional manager John Atter said: "Badgers are protected by law, but the Government is now consulting on whether they should be trapped and killed…." (story)

Daily Record 23.1.06 LEGACY OF THE THAMES WHALE - THE story of the Thames whale and its sad death touched many people. The rescue teams deserve huge praise for their skill, dedication and compassion in such difficult circumstances. However, we must not forget the plight of these mammals as countries such as Japan and Norway continue to hunt them in large numbers for no obvious reason…. Scott Reid, Glasgow (letter)


Observer 22.1.06 The cat's whiskers - Her journey from cardboard city to Lady McCartney won her as many enemies as admirers. Now, as she prepares to take on the fur trade by buying 100,000 dogs, Heather Mills-McCartney talks to Tim Adams about land mines, life with Paul and why she prefers Linda to the Beatles… (story)

Sunday Herald 22.1.06 Animal rights extremists wage new terror war By Liam McDougall, Home Affairs Editor - ANIMAL rights extremists are turning to terrorist tactics – including planting car bombs – in a violent escalation of their campaign against medical researchers. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has rep orted a "worrying” increase in the number of incendiary devices found under the vehicles of its members and in the level of personal attacks on staff. … (story)

Sunday Times 22.1.06 Animal testing prevents suffering - IT IS very sad to see Morrissey encouraging people to use violence against scientists engaged in vital medical research (News, Last week). Vaccines to prevent infections and viruses, such as flu, insulin for diabetics, pain relief during operations, kidney dialysis and open heart surgery are all treatments tested on animals so they can be used safely to help millions of people… Professor Colin Blakemore, Medical Research Council (story)
Cambridge Evening News 18.1.06 Animal test centre slams singer Morrissey - AN outspoken pop singer who publicly backed violent attacks on scientists and companies involved in animal testing has been condemned by Huntingdon Life Sciences. Morrissey, the former frontman of iconic 1980s group The Smiths, said he believed terror tactics were justified against those who conducted animal experiments because they had brought it on themselves. But a spokesman for HLS told the News: "People can have whatever opinions they want, but to condone and encourage acts of violence is entirely wrong and should not be allowed in democracy."… (story)
Sunday Times 15.1.06 Morrissey supports animal rights violence - JASON ALLARDYCE - MORRISSEY, the pop singer and outspoken vegan, has been branded irresponsible for publicly backing violent attacks by extremists against scientists and companies involved in medical research using animals. The former frontman of the 1980s group the Smiths said he believed terror tactics were justified against those who conducted animal experiments because they had brought it on themselves. Morrissey also singled out proudly carnivorous television chefs Jamie Oliver and Clarissa Dickson Wright as enemies of the animal rights movement… Morrissey said he approved of such tactics because "you reach a point where you cannot reason with people” who carry out animal experiments…. (story)


Western Daily Press 21.1.06 CHASING BOAR - Johnny Kingdom joins the search for some wild animals after they were freed from a farm - They decided to have a meet with hounds here in Devon two weeks ago, to catch the 60 or so wild boar that were still missing after animal rights people cut the wire and set them free. It was the Dulverton East Foxhounds who were to lead the round-up… (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 17.1.06 THERE'LL BE ANOTHER HUNT - BUT 'QUIETER' - The owner of the 25 wild boar still roaming free in the Exmoor border country has said there will be a second hunt to find them, - but in 'a quieter way' than before. There was worldwide media interest two weeks ago in the 'first boar hunt for 300 years', when huntsmen on foot and quad bikes, accompanied by 10 fox hounds, tried to round up 60 wild boar still at large after 100 escaped from Al Dedames' West Anstey boar farm before Christmas…. (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 17.1.06 'I WAS AMAZED AT THE FIASCO' SAYS EXPERT ROD - There has been much sensational writing in the press over the past couple of weeks about the danger of wild boar .... Boar are really smart cookies and when we are stalking boar, stealth is of the absolute essence. These people were blowing hunting horns and using noisy quad bikes, they were shouting and talking freely among themselves, so they had no chance of catching a cold, let alone a boar. It is, I think, so sad that so many people who live in the countryside have absolutely no idea about the way nature works…. Most of all we should welcome back a wonderful creature which is an important part of our heritage and ecology. While I definitely do not condone the indiscriminate release of animals into the countryside, I am in favour of the controlled reintroduction of our native species including boar… (story)
Western Morning News 14.1.06 BOAR FARMER VOWS TO REBUILD HIS BUSINESS - The farmer whose herd of wild boar was released just before Christmas has vowed to rebuild his business despite losing just under half of his stock…. A spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) said activists declaring themselves part of the organisation had carried out the attack… (story)
Western Daily Press 13.1.06 WE STARTED BOAR WAR, SAY ANIMAL MILITANTS - The militant Animal Liberation Front has claimed responsibility for the release of more than 100 wild boar into the West countryside - and warned that more acts of sabotage could be on the way… London-based Robin Webb said that he did not know who was responsible, but that an anonymous email posted on one of the group's secret email lists had confirmed many people's suspicions….(story)
North Devon Journal 12.1.06 SUMMIT TO DISCUSS THE WILD BOAR PROBLEM - The wild boar problem is top of the agenda at an emergency meeting to deal with the 60 animals which escaped from their pens last month. North Devon and West Somerset district councils, the police, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) were due to discuss action over the wild boar which escaped from a farm in West Anstey…. (story)
Western Daily Press 12.1.06 WILD BOAR 'NOT FAIR GAME FOR ANYONE' - A public warning that the dozens of wild boar illegally released into the Exmoor countryside three weeks ago cannot be shot by "just anyone" was made yesterday. The warning followed a summit meeting between police, officials from the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and council officers to consider what could be done about the animals roaming the countryside near Alan Dedames' boar farm at West Anstey, near South Molton…. (story)
North Devon Gazette & Advertiser 11.1.06 Boar hunt sparks media frenzy - THERE was a media scrum when attempts were made to recapture 40 boar still on the loose near West Anstey last week. Animal activists were blamed for releasing the boar from a farm. ANDY KEEBLE reports on the first boar hunt in England for 300 years - and asks if the animals are likely to survive in the wild. ALTHOUGH members of the Dulverton Farmer's Hunt and Taw Vale Beagles managed to re-capture one of the 40 wild boar still on the run in North Devon last week, it is the boar themselves that have managed to capture the attention of the nation's media…. (story)
BBC News Online 11.1.06 Authorities holding boar meeting - The authorities in north Devon are meeting on Wednesday to decide what to do about wild boar who were released almost three weeks ago…. (story)
Western Daily Press 11.1.06 HUNTS FAILED TO CATCH BOAR OR TO PROMOTE THEIR CAUSE - Chris Rundle - The recent much-trumpeted operation to round up farmer Alan Dedames' escaped wild boar on Exmoor turned out to be the fiasco many of us had predicted. And for a very good reason. For this was not so much about the recovery of Mr Dedames' porcine escapees as a clumsily staged public relations operation for the local hunts, intended to convince the public of the need to retain packs of dogs for the purposes of tearing apart innocent foxes…. (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 10.1.06 NEW ZEALAND EXPERT OFFERS TO HELP ROUND UP WILD BOAR - A wild-boar expert from New Zealand has offered to fly to England to help round up the animals which were let out from their woodland pens at West Anstey by animal rights activists…. The hunt ended in failure when huntsmen succeeded in capturing only one young boar…. (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 10.1.06 GOTCHA! - What was widely - if misleadingly - billed as the first wild-boar hunt in Britain for 300 years, drew national attention to the rolling countryside of the Exmoor borders. What had started off as a 'quiet effort' by local hunts to recover 60 wild boar still at large after 100 escaped from a West Anstey boar farm before Christmas snowballed into a media circus… The day's search, led by Anthony 'Bones' Allibone, huntsman to the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt, only turned up ... one young lonely boar in a wood called Cuckoo Mountain… The 77-year-old Donald Bawden, from Brayford in north Devon, has hunted for 60 years and was present at the boar search as a keen supporter of all forms of hunting. "Most of the people out today come from surrounding hunts, including the Devon & Somerset Staghounds, the Exmoor Foxhounds,. the Dulverton West Foxhounds as well as the Dulverton Farmers," he said… (story)
Western Morning News 10.1.06 DEFRA TO DECIDE FATE OF ESCAPED WILD BOAR - Officials from the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will meet police and council officers tomorrow to review the case of the escaped wild boar, which have been on the loose on Exmoor for almost three weeks…. Officials from the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will meet police and council officers tomorrow to review the case of the escaped wild boar, which have been on the loose on Exmoor for almost three weeks…. Last week, members of the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt used foxhounds to try to drive some of the boar still at large back towards their pens but only one was recaptured…. (story)
Western Daily Press 9.1.06 READER SAVES BOAR'S BACON - A Kind-hearted Western Daily Press reader in Dorset has stepped in to save the bacon of one of Exmoor's notorious escaped wild boar. He was so moved by our story of how one of the animals trotted back home to Woodland Wild Boar Farm after being flushed out of undergrowth by huntsmen that he has decided to buy the beast and pay for its transport to Hillside Animal Sanctuary near Frettensham, Norfolk. Farmer Alan Dedames was delighted to accept - and admitted that otherwise the 18-month-old boar, Hercules, would be destined for the dinner table…. (story)
Western Morning News 7.1.06 WILD BOAR PIGLETS ARE SIGHTED ON EDGE OF MOOR - Two wild boar piglets have been spotted on the edge of Dartmoor, fuelling suggestions that a herd of wild boar set loose by animal rights protesters are now breeding….(story)
BBC News Online 7.1.06 Motorists warned over freed boars - Devon and Cornwall police are warning drivers near Exmoor to take extra care after a motorist collided with one of the wild boar on the run in the area…. The Animal Liberation Front has said it was responsible for freeing the animals. Members of the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt said they would launch another search for the animals if farmers requested it…. (story)
BBC News Online 5.1.06 Farmers fear further boar damage - Farmers fear more damage will be caused after an unsuccessful attempt to round up 60 wild boar in Devon…. About 100 people, including members of the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt and others, spent three-and-a-half hours on Wednesday scouring the area for the missing boar using hounds and quad bikes. Only one animal was retrieved…. The Animal Liberation Front said it was responsible for freeing the animals… (story)
Guardian 5.1.06 Enemy lies low in boar war - Farmer receives limited help from local hunt to find wild pigs freed by activists - Steven Morris … Welcome to the weekly Wednesday meeting of the Dulverton Farmers Hunt. The hunt has been operating on the edge of Exmoor in north Devon for 130 years. But never like this… The chairman of the hunt, Denis Woollacote, gave his people final instructions and sent them off with a Hill Street Blues-like "Be careful out there." Led by the professional huntsman Anthony "Bones" Allibone and followed by around 50 journalists, photographers and cameramen in various types of unsuitable clothing and footwear, the hunt set off shortly before noon…. (story)
Telegraph 5.1.06 By dog and by quad they hunted them down, but the boar got away, all except one By Richard Savill - The sound of horns echoed across the fields as huntsmen set off on the first wild boar hunt in Britain for centuries yesterday. But there was a problem: the quarry was nowhere to be seen…. The members of the Dulverton farmers' hunt, and others spent nearly four hours scouring 12 farms for the missing boar…. Geoffrey Cox, master of the Taw Vale beagles, who also took part, said: "There was evidence of where the pigs had been. Two had been seen feeding from a sheep trough at 7.45pm on Tuesday night…. (story)
Telegraph 5.1.06 Boar war - A glass will be raised in the Boar's Head tonight, to the unintended consequences of a foolish act by animal activist criminals. They have caused creatures suffering by loosing them, unprovided for, into the wild. But the release of 100 wild boar into the countryside around Anstey in Devon served only to revive boar-hunting after centuries of disuse…. (story)
Independent 5.1.06 What a boar: just one little piggy is found By Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter - Ultimately, it was more of a wild goose chase than a wild boar hunt. After almost four hours of combing the fields and woods for the "Missing Wild Boar of East Anstey" yesterday, the local hunt was forced to admit failure…. "We know they are there but we've absolutely no idea where," Denis Woollacott, the chairman of the Dulverton Farmers Hunt, admitted. "Still, we've all had a lovely day out in the country, haven't we?"he added, grinning at the assembled mud-splattered media representatives…. (story)
Times 5.1.06 Huntsmen on quad bikes fail to catch missing boar BY SIMON DE BRUXELLES - THE first wild boar hunt in Britain for 300 years turned into a wild goose chase yesterday when more than 60 runaways eluded their pursuers. Local hunts joined farmers on quad bikes in an attempt to track down the boar, on the loose since two days before Christmas. Robbed of their old quarry by the ban on hunting with hounds, the Dulverton Farmers Hunt and Taw Vale Beagle Hunt were handed a golden opportunity by the animal rights’ activists who had freed the boar… (story)
Western Daily Press 5.1.06 GREAT BOAR HUNT FAILS TO BRING THE BACON . . . In the wind-chilled valleys of Exmoor a hunt was out in force yesterday. But this time wild boar was the quarry rather than fox or stag. Reporter MARK FORD joined the ranks of the Great Boar Hunt, with mixed results IT began with a mixture of optimism, amusement and just a slight hint of trepidation. But yesterday the first wild boar hunt to take place in the British Isles for more than 300 years ended in an uneasy truce between man and beast…. (story)
Western Morning News 5.1.06 TALLY HO FOR THE GREAT ...BORE HUNT - A large posse of anxious farmers, hunt supporters and the world's media descended on a little-visited corner of the Devon-Somerset border yesterday to witness Britain's first wild boar hunt in centuries. Martin Hesp came across the hounds on Cuckoo Mountain… (story)
Western Morning News 5.1.06 'YOU CAN ONLY TRAP SO MANY' - Wild boar last roamed free in Britain three centuries ago, but incidents such as the release at West Anstey a fortnight ago have resulted in the restoration of a native population…. (story)
Somerset County Gazette 5.1.06 Hunt for wild boar by Chris Alder - DULVERTON Farmers Hunt was hot on the trail of wild boar yesterday (Wednesday) for the first time in 300 years in England…. (story in archive)
BBC News Online 4.1.06 Boar hunters retrieve one animal - Britain's first wild boar hunt for centuries ended with just one of 60 fugitive animals safely making it back in its pen in Devon…. About 100 people, including members of the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt and others spent three-and-a-half hours on Wednesday scouring the area for the missing boar using hounds and quad bikes…. The Animal Liberation Front said it was responsible for freeing the animals. Mr Dedames called in the hunters after complaints from local people that they were scared of going outdoors and from farmers who said the boars were destroying crops and disrupting livestock…. (story)
BBC News Online 4.1.06 Wild boar hunt 'mayhem' warning - A wild boar expert has warned of "mayhem" as hunters attempt to round up 60 escaped animals in Devon…. Dr Martin Goulding, a former Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) scientist, warned that the animals could fight back…. (story)
Independent 4.1.06 Hunters to seek freed wild boar - Hunters on horseback and quad bikes will set out today to try to round up wild boar which have been on the run since being released from a farm in Devon shortly before Christmas…. Hounds will be used to try to locate the animals and flush them out of cover. Susie Maund, senior master of the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt, which will join the hunt, said it was going to be difficult to find the boar… (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 4.1.06 Owner of 60 stray boar asks hunters to save his bacon - A BOAR hunt was under way today to round up scores of beasts set free by animal activists… Susie Maund, senior master of the Dulverton Farmers Hunt who are trying to track down the animals, said it was going to be difficult even to find the boar…. (story)
Scotsman 4.1.06 Hunt aiming to recapture wild boar - MEMBERS of a hunt will today try to round up wild boar which have been on the run since being released from a farm just before Christmas… (story)
Western Daily Press 4.1.06 TALLY-HO FOR THE WILD BOAR HUNT - A Mass hunt will today try to round up wild boar which have been on the run since being released from a farm just before Christmas… The senior master of the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt, Susie Maund, said it was going to be difficult even to find the boar…. (story)
Western Daily Press 4.1.06 SAFARI TIME ON EXMOOR - Boar farmer Alan Dedames may have suffered a grievous blow to his business as a result of animal activists liberating his livestock, but there could be a positive spin-off for Exmoor, where at least 60 of the animals are now settling in to life in the wild. I will be surprised if all survive: Exmoor farmers are notorious for hunting anything that gets up, and a spot of pig-sticking could provide a refreshing alternative to the pursuit of deer and fox, which continue weekly in defiance of the Hunting Act…. (story)
Western Daily Press 3.1.06 RAIDERS RUINING ME, SAYS FARMER - Exmoor farmer Alan Dedames says that he may be forced out of business following his herd of boars being released to the wild… (story)
BBC News Online 3.1.06 Hunt helps find 60 missing boar - A Devon farmer has enlisted the support of a local hunt to round up more than 60 wild boar which have been set free from his farm…. Mr Dedames stressed that the hunt group would not harm the creatures when they saddle up on Wednesday morning…. The senior master of the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt, Mrs Susie Maund, said it was going to be difficult even to find the boar, adding: "We are going to need all the luck we can get."… (story)
Western Daily Press 3.1.06 THE BOAR WAR - Wild boars became extinct in England more than 300 years ago, but the animals are now making a comeback, especially in the West. Should they be eradicated, culled, fenced in or left to roam free? The public has until the end of the week to tell the Government its views. TINA ROWE and RUTH WOOD report (story)
Western Morning News 3.1.06 BOAR ON THE LOOSE ARE SPOTTED ON MOOR - Wild boar have been spotted more than 40 miles away from the farm where they were released by animal rights activists just before Christmas. Two of the 100-strong herd of boar farmed in North Devon, have been spotted roaming free on the edge of Dartmoor near Plymouth…. The animals were set loose from Alan Dedames' farm near South Molton on December 22. Mr Dedames claims his efforts to retrieve the animals have been hampered by government bureaucracy and red tape…. "I think it will take me that long again to rebuild my business and I don't think I can do that. I can't be positive the same thing won't happen again. I'm devastated. I think I'll sell the remaining animals and close it all down." (letter)
Sunday Telegraph 1.1.06 Villagers under siege in the Exmoor boar war - Adam Lusher - In the shadow of Exmoor, the tiny village of West Anstey (pop: 100) is besieged. By the beasts. They escaped - 100 of them, hairy, weighing up to 440lb, males with razor-sharp tusks, most of the females heavily pregnant - after a raid on the Woodland Wild Boar farm which has been blamed on animal rights extremists…. Mr Dedames, whose farm is two miles south of Exmoor, claimed he had been hamstrung by confusion over livestock movement regulations introduced after the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak… He struggled all night to retrieve boar, before someone claiming to be from Devon trading standards telephoned about livestock movement rules on December 23. "He told me: 'If your animals stray onto another farm, that farm is on standstill, and nothing can move off it.' It meant a £5,000 fine for every animal I retrieved…. Mr Dedames was left planning to enlist the local hunts for a boar round-up. He was not optimistic…. (story)
North Devon Journal 29.12.05 SABOTAGE SEES 100 WILD BOAR ESCAPE - A West Anstey farmer who has just got back on his feet after foot and mouth has had his business sabotaged. Al Dedames, owner of Wildwood Farm Shop, Woodland Farm, kept 100 wild boar on the farm until the night of Wednesday, December 21, when the chain link fence around the animals' pens was cut. Mr Dedames, who has kept wild boar for 12 years, said 500m of fencing was ruined…. (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 27.12.05 VANDALS PUT BOAR ON RUN - A West Anstey farmer had his business sabotaged on Wednesday night after fencing was deliberately cut to allow up to 100 wild boar to escape… Mr Dedames said: "It must have been a team of people to do so much damage. At first I thought it was just the two end pens but they have cut a panel out of every pen."… (story)
Western Morning News 24.12.05 ESCAPED WILD BOAR CONTINUE TO ELUDE FARMER - A Devon farmer was yesterday still on the trail of his herd of wild boar that were let loose by animal rights activists… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 24.12.05 BOAR SUSPECTS CONDEMNED - A government minister has condemned those responsible for releasing a herd of 100 wild boar. Biodiversity Minister Jim Knight said the actions of those responsible were "frankly reprehensible" and the matter could cause problems for agriculture and other wildlife… (story)
BBC News Online 23.12.05 Hunt goes on to find missing boar - Efforts to round up more of the wild boar which were set loose from a north Devon farm are continuing. Police believe animal rights activists may have cut the chain link fence enclosing the 100 animals at the Woodland Wild Boar Farm in West Anstey. Four have been recovered, but residents said the boar, which are not thought to be dangerous, have caused havoc digging up gardens and terrorising pets… (story)
Scotsman 23.12.05 Wild boars on rampage after herd freed - A herd of wild boar was on the loose last night after 100 of the animals were freed, possibly by animal rights activists…. (story)
Western Daily Press 23.12.05 CHARGE OF 100 WILD BOAR TERRIFIES VILLAGE - Residents fled in terror as 100 wild boar released from a farm by animal rights activists rampaged through a sleepy hamlet. The herd escaped from an enclosure on the edge of Exmoor yesterday after 500 metres of fence was cut during the night…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.12.05 DANGER AS WILD BOAR ARE SET FREE - A woman told of her terror last night after she was surrounded by a pack of wild boar released from a Westcountry farm by animal rights activists. A herd of 100 boar were freed when hundreds of metres of fences were torn down at Woodland Wild Boar near West Anstey on the edge of Exmoor. Police warned the animals could be dangerous if approached. They also said motorists should be very careful in case any of the wild boar ran into the road…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.12.05 WRECKED FENCE LETS BOARS OUT - A herd of 100 wild boar escaped from a farm in North Devon when 500 metres of chain link fence was pulled down overnight between Wednesday and Thursday. A police spokesman said: "We are classifying this as criminal damage but we do not know if it was an animal activist group or an individual working on their own."… (story)
Times 23.12.05 Activists accused as 100 wild boar break free BY DAVID SANDERSON - A HERD of 100 wild boar was on the loose last night after apparently being released by animal rights activists. Police warned residents and motorists in North Devon to be careful after reports that the animals were trying to get into gardens and terrorising pets… (story)
Sky News 22.12.05 Wild Boar Set Loose - Around 100 wild boar are on the loose in north Devon and animal rights activists are thought to be responsible… The animals' owner, Alan Dedames, of Woodland Wild Boar, said: "There's a concern with them all being out on the road, and the ones that we can't get back in will get shot…” (story)
BBC News Online 22.12.05 Herd of 100 boar freed from farm A herd of 100 boar have been released from a farm in Devon. Police said they suspected animal rights extremists broke down the fence enclosing the boar at the farm at West Anstey in north Devon… (story)

Western Daily Press 21.1.06 SOME COMPASSION! - I find it laughable that the Tories are trying to sell their new leader David Cameron to the electorate as a "compassionate Conservative." His vow to re-introduce the barbaric and horribly cruel practice of hunting our wildlife with dogs and tearing them to bits puts his "compassion" in true perspective. Rosemary Davies Godminster Somerset (letter)

Worcester Evening News 21.1.06 Hunts upholding law of the land - I am so pleased that since the democratically-achieved ban on hunting with dogs is now law, everyone is happy. The hunts and their followers can still parade and display themselves, but not now at the expense of a fox that has been pursued to the point of exhaustion and finally killed in an unequal contest…. HELEN SMART, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Scotsman 21.1.06 A grouse about missing pheasants - ALASTAIR ROBERTSON - WE WENT TO YOUNG ALF'S THE other day for his first shoot. Alf arrived aged 23 from the London building trade and has taken to country sports. He has been threatening to have a shoot for several years now, on the basis that there seem to be a reasonable number of wild pheasants strutting about the place, which is always a good start…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 21.1.06 Dog fight over move to halt tail docking By Michael McHugh - There were fresh calls for an end to the docking of dogs' tails last night after moves in England to outlaw the practice sparked controversy… Ronan Gorman, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance in Ireland, believes a ban would endanger the health of working dogs… (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 21.1.06 THEY HELPED IN RESCUING FOX - On Tuesday, January 17, at 6.40am I came across an injured fox lying on Burton Road, who was obviously still alive. Having pulled my car across the road, facing oncoming traffic I was surprised at how many motorists gave me filthy looks just because they had to wait to pass…. I would just like to thank Scarsdale, the RSPCA and also two friends who came to the rescue with blankets. Melanie Clarke, Derby. (story)

Birmingham Post 21.1.06 Controversial guinea pig farm closes By Jonathan Walker, Political Editor - Animal rights activists claimed victory yesterday after the owners of a guinea pig breeding farm announced they had closed the business following a six-year hate campaign…. Last nightfri the Hall family again appealed for the return of Mrs Hammond's body…. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 21.1.06 FAMILY PLEA FOR RETURN OF REMAINS - The Owners of a farm that bred guinea pigs for medical research are hoping that the body of Gladys Hammond will be returned now that the farm has been shut down… (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 21.1.06 FORCES OF EVIL WILL BE SATISFIED - The decision by the Hall family to call time on their guinea pig-breeding business in Newchurch will inevitably be seen as a victory for the powerful forces of protest which were mobilised against them for many years. Too often those forces stepped way outside the law, resulting in intolerable intimidation, not just of the family but of their employees and the businesses which supplied the farm…. The monsters who raided the churchyard may grant the Halls' wish and return the remains. But the family will never be able to forget such a traumatic event. And how long will it be before some other perverted protester decides to carry out a similar act to further his or her ends? (story)
BBC News Online 20.1.06 Body theft appeal as farm closes - A family who have shut a guinea pig breeding farm targeted by animal rights activists say they hope a relative's stolen remains will now be returned. The Hall family, who ran Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, were subjected to a six-year campaign. The remains of Gladys Hammond, mother-in-law of the farm's part-owner, Christopher Hall, were taken from a graveyard in Yoxall in 2004….(story)
Guardian 20.1.06 Guinea pig farm targeted by anti-vivisectionists closes - A guinea pig breeding farm at the centre of a long-running campaign by animal rights activists closed today, its owners announced. The Hall family, who were subjected to a six-year campaign by anti-vivisectionists, had announced the closure in August last year when they said they hoped the decision would prompt the return of the body of a relative that they suspected was stolen from her grave by the activists….(story)
Burton Mail 20.1.06 Final day for guinea pig farm by Tom Sloan - THE owners of a controversial guinea pig farm were today due to officially announce its closure…. (story)
BBC News Online 18.1.06 Guinea pig farm officially closes - A farm that has been breeding guinea pigs for medical research and has been targeted by animal rights activists is to officially close. The family-run Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, has been hit by a campaign of abuse…. (story)
Lichfield Mercury 12.1.06 GUINEA PIG BREEDING 'NEARLY OVER' AT FARM - A Controversial Newchurch guinea pig farm is in the final stages of closing down, its owners have confirmed. Darley Oaks Farm, which bred guinea pigs for medical research, will soon close following a six year battle with animal rights extremists. The Hall family told the Mercury they would be closing the operation in the coming weeks and were currently finalising their future plans…. (story)
Burton Mail 3.1.06 FINAL STAGES FOR GUINEA PIG CLOSURE by David Powles - THE OWNERS of a controversial guinea pig farm are in the final stages of closing down the business, the Mail can reveal. The Hall family, who have owned the Darley Oaks Farm, in Newchurch, for 30 years, had intended to close the guinea pig breeding operation by the end of the year and return to dairy farming following a long-running hate campaign by animal rights protesters…. Mr Hall confirmed that protesters were still gathering outside the farm every Sunday, as they are allowed to do under the terms of the part of injunction granted at the court case…. (story)

Oxford Mail 21.1.06 Protest turns to Oxford lab - Protesters who opposed a Midlands guinea pig breeding farm say they will join the campaign against Oxford University's £18m animal lab now the farm is out of business. It was confirmed yesterday that Darley Oaks guinea pig breeding farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, was closing, after a long saga during which the grave of a relative of the farm's owners was dug up and her remains stolen. Campaigners from the Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs group, which has protested peacefully for six years, will now turn their attention to the animal laboratory in South Parks Road, said spokesman Amanda Richards. … (story in archive)

Oxford Mail 21.1.06 Protest sabotaged - The lawful protest against the Oxford University animal research laboratory, which was organised with the police, appeared to have been sabotaged by them. The planned route was deliberately altered without warning which understandably made people angry… . J Thomspon, Cambridge (letter in archive)
Oxford Mail 21.1.06 Lunatic fringe - How sad to see the lunatic fringe again battling the police and giving the animal rights' movement a bad name. Although the majority protested peacefully within the law, the vocally-led yob element could always be relied upon to ignore their spokesman's earlier assertion that they "will behave in an orderly fashion"…. David Francis Hadrill, Alice Smith Square, Littlemore, Oxford (letter in archive)
Oxford University 19.1.06 Activists vow: ‘we will fight’ By Caroline Cohen - The threat of violent action over the new animal laboratory further intensified last Saturday, as animal rights protesters vowed they would step up their action and continue to attack the university on every front, whether legal or not. Speaking at the "Freedom March” held by Animal Rights group SPEAK, Campaign Coordinator, Mel Broughton said "the time has come for fighting, not talking. In a long address to the 400- strong crowd Broughton said, "I am inciting you, openly and publicly, to fight these people. I am inciting you to fight every second of every day, and if that’s illegal, so be it.”… (story)
Oxford University 19.1.06 Fighting for Rights By Karen Yossman - As the clouds opened and drizzle began to soak the 100 or so people gathered outside Balliol on Saturday, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’d stumbled upon a scene from Glastonbury… But the silly costumes were a bit too macabre (lab coats smattered with blood), the banners too serious (pictures of animals being tortured) and the police presence too great: SPEAK had arrived in Oxford…. There was a palatable sense of anger, with various effective orators spurring the crowd on. When the march eventually came to a premature halt on South Parks Road, approximately 100 metres from where the empty shell of the laboratory remains half built, there was a scrum as a small number of protestors surged forward to push down a metal barricade that had been erected across the road…. Today’s protest seems to have signalled a turning point in the campaign. While no explicit mention was made of violence the very defi nite message was that the time for talk is over and the time for action had come… (story)
Oxford Mail 19.1.06 A disservice to the cause - As much as I am outraged by the use of animals in testing human medications, I am even more saddened to see a minority of people use a supposedly 'peaceful' demonstration in Oxford on Saturday as an excuse to battle authority (Oxford Mail, January 16). Fifty police officers were involved in the demonstrations against the animal laboratory on South Parks Road, and most of them were scuffled with, hit, and insulted by protesters…. The threats from Mel Broughton, spokesman for a supposedly respectable animal rights' group, who told protesters that "now is the time to fight", would be laughable if it was not such a serious topic, due to the sheer irony of it…. DAN ABREY, Marston Road, Oxford (letter in archive)
Oxford Mail 18.1.06 Police stifled animal protest - As a medical translator who has worked for many years with German doctors opposed to animal experimentation, I felt compelled to join Saturday's rally against the new laboratory compound misguidedly planned by Oxford University. I was shocked by the unnecessarily large police presence and the intimidatory tactics employed to stifle protest against the barbaric misuse of animals and the scientific fallacy of animal "research"…. Dennis Stuart, Marine Parade, Brighton (letter in archive)
Oxford Mail 16.1.06 Protest hit by violence - Violent clashes at an animal rights demonstration in Oxford saw protesters break through metal barricades and hurl missiles at riot police. Five people were arrested during the protest on Saturday near the controversial £18m animal laboratory in South Parks Road…. Mel Broughton, spokesman for animal rights group Speak, told the crowd: "Now it is time to fight. We must take this chance, we must do what is necessary -- and if that means some of us being arrested, then so be it…." Mr Broughton told police: "Everybody who works at this university has made a fundamental mistake and you really are going to regret what you have done today…." The five arrested for breaches of public order were released on bail until Thursday, January 26. They are barred from entering Oxford. Two are from Essex and others from Northampton, London and Kent. (story in archive)
Evening Standard 15.1.06 Five held over animal rights demo (story)
Sky News 14.1.06 Violence At Animal Rights Protest - Five people are in custody tonight following an animal rights demonstration. They were among 350 activists protesting against the building of Oxford University's controversial research facility. Protesters at the rally, near to the South Parks Road building site, pushed down fencing and threw missiles at police officers…. (story)

Western Daily Press 21.1.06 CRACKING THE WHIP TO OUTLAW BIG TOP ANIMALS - Campaigners have launched a last-ditch bid to end the suffering of animals in circuses. West MP David Drew will try next week to amend a new law which would lead to a total ban. The Stroud Labour-Co-op MP has tabled amendments to the Animal Welfare Bill, and it is the first time MPs have had a chance to bring in a ban… (story)

Guardian 21.1.06 - Nitin Mehta's call for a "return" to vegetarianism is misguided (Letters, January 14). Huge areas of the earth's land surface are unsuitable for food crops but will support grazing animals…. Steve Shaw, Bude, Cornwall (letter)
Guardian 14.1.06 Apart from the health benefits of a plant-based vegetarian and vegan diet (Super Green Me, January 7), the ecological and environmental benefits are great, too… To safeguard the planet for future generations, a return to vegetarian and vegan diet is imperative. Nitin Mehta, Croydon (letter)


Cambridge Evening News 20.1.06 Kennels worker sentenced - A KENNELMAN convicted of cruelty to two hunting dogs has been sentenced to 180 hours community service. Philip Simmonds, who runs The Kennels in Cambridge Road, Barton, was also ordered to pay £750 of £26,569 RSPCA costs in bringing the case…. Simmonds, who has worked with animals all his life and has been a kennelman for decades, refuted the allegations and claimed his accusers were liars and wanted him sacked from his job. At his sentencing hearing yesterday (Thursday, 19 January), a sheaf of references was submitted in praise of Simmonds' care and dedication to his job and the animals in his charge. The magistrates decided it was not necessary to ban Simmonds from keeping animals. (story)
Cambridge Evening News 22.12.05 Kennel huntsman is found guilty of cruelty - A KENNEL huntsman responsible for more than 100 dogs has been found guilty of animal cruelty. Philip Simmonds, who is in charge of the welfare of hunting dogs at The Kennels in Cambridge Road, Barton, denied six charges involving unnecessary suffering to three pack dogs in his care…. A statement from Simmonds' employers at the kennels said: "As his employers we are very disappointed with the outcome of the trial. We are confident that at all times Philip acted in what he believed to be the best interests of the welfare of the animals involved. We have to wait for the probationers' report but are considering an appeal." (story)
Cambridge Evening News 21.12.05 Animal cruelty is denied - A KENNELMAN charged with cruelty to three dogs has told a court that his accusers are liars and that they reported him to the RSPCA in a bid to get him sacked. Philip Simmonds, a kennel huntsman at The Kennels, in Cambridge Road, Barton, for the past three years, denies six charges involving causing unnecessary suffering to three pack dogs. At Cambridge Magistrates' Court, Simmonds said a kennel helper and her partner, who claim they saw him peform an illegal stitching procedure on a beagle without giving it pain relief, had an axe to grind…. (story)
Cambridge Evening News 20.12.05 Hunt dog carer accused of cruelty - A KENNEL huntsman in charge of more than 100 dogs is on trial accused of animal cruelty. Philip Simmonds, who is responsible for the welfare of hunting dogs at The Kennels in Cambridge Road, Barton, is alleged to have stitched a gaping wound on a beagle's leg without giving the dog a local anaesthetic…. A sixth allegation relates to a third dog - a mink hound - which he is said to have caused to suffer by failing to have it treated for chronic ear problems…. Cambridge magistrates were told Simmonds was charged with the animal cruelty offences after he was reported to the RSPCA by Fiona Wolstenholme… Ms Wolstenholme is involved in Cambridge University Drag Hounds, whose dogs are kept at the kennels… (story)

Hexham Courant 20.1.06 Point-to-points flourish - TWELVE months ago a ban on hunting in England and Wales threatened to undermine point-to-pointing. Yet it continues, apparently stronger than ever, with 210 British meetings scheduled for 2006 and first time op portunities for four-year-old horses in two and a half maid en races…. (story)

Hexham Courant 20.1.06 Ill-construed - I REFER to the report on correspondence sent by an organisation named "Hunt Watch” to the owner of the Percy Arms Hotel in Otter burn (Courant, January 13). It is tempting to dismiss such pernicious organisa tions as merely obnoxious anoraks and busybodies… The mere fact that the ban is so badly drafted as to be unworkable does not render its imposition any less oppressive…Such examples of bad gov ernance, by their very exis tence, undermine the rule of law by bringing it into dis repute but this remains is a fundamental pillar of any free and democratic society, as is freedom of speech which Hunt Watch appears to be trying to stifle… JOHN SADLER, Belsay (letter)
Hexham Courant 20.1.06 Discredited - MUST reasonable attempts to implement the Hunting Act be considered out of hand as "terrorism”? A minority of extremists do exploit the animal "rights” and anti-hunting cause in a vicious way for political ends, but most ani mal protection groups gen uinely care about wild ani mals suffering in the interests of "sport” and behave reasonably. Hunt Watch are concerned with maintaining and perusing any evidence of illegal hunt ing to the police and simply asked the Percy Arms Hotel to make sure that the Boxing Day Meet only went ahead on their promised if it con formed to legal require ments. This would be no problem if the Border Hunt genuinely and responsibly operated a drag hunt, as did the Morpeth Hunt…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)
Hexham Courant 6.1.06 Anti-hunt group branded ‘terrorists’ By WILL GREEN - "ANIMAL terrorists” have targeted a local pub for supporting a Boxing Day hunt meet. The Percy Arms Hotel at Otterburn was targeted by Hunt Watch – a national group set up to make sure that people hunt within the law – before a meet of the Border Hunt at the pub on December 26. Hunt Watch wrote to the Percy Arms before the Boxing Day meet, arguing that no discussions about the hunting ban should be allowed and that a member of the group would be at the meet to make sure. But regional Countryside Alliance director Richard Dodd, from Belsay, countered: "My stance is that these are animal terrorists, putting pressure on this pub….” The letter, from Hunt Watch’s Thomas Taylor, said that the organisation wanted the pub to make sure that the Border Hunt would not be embarking on any illegal activities…. "It would, we believe, be good practice for a business like yours to insist that only hunts who have stated that they will uphold the law should be allowed to set off from your premises this Boxing Day. Nor should any activity or speeches, which set out to publicly ridicule the law of the land, be tolerated on your property….” (story)

Western Daily Press 20.1.06 'BOARED' WITH THE MOCKERY - In response to the comments by Chris Rundle (January 12) and Graham Fishpool (January 16) regarding the wild boar hunt, while it is easy to be critical of failure, I notice neither of the above were forthcoming with their help or suggestions for recapture. At least the hunt tried to help. Instead of engaging in childish mockery and personal vindictiveness, it would have been far more sensible and responsible of Messrs Rundle and Fishpool to condemn those who set the boar loose in the first place…. R Bird, Acton Turville, Gloucestershire (letter)

Worcester Evening News 20.1.06 Only cruelty was stopped by ban - The hunting with dogs Act has not set about to ban hunting, only to stop hounds chasing its quarry to death. This is entirely why support for the hunts have increased…. JOHN NORWOOD, Kidderminster. letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 20.1.06 Monitors are not the same as saboteurs - Mr D Evans (Letters, January 10) makes some very serious accusations against the League Against Cruel Sports. As a result, we are currently considering legal action…. Our trained hunt crimewatch monitors are not hunt saboteurs. They do not wear balaclavas and do not attack hunts or their followers… Ben Hardingm, Press Officer, League Against Cruel Sports Ltd (letter)

Shropshire Star 20.1.06 Confused over MP’s hunt view - In a recent debate on the Animal Welfare Bill, the Wrekin MP called on the Government to introduce a national animal welfare day. This is a very sensible suggestion and I applaud Mr Pritchard for his work in this area. What puzzles me however is how he can square this, undoubtedly sincere, commitment to the safety and welfare of animals with his passionate support for hunting with dogs?... Will he be seeking to get his new leader to reverse his party’s commitment to reintroduce hunting should the Tories ever return to power? Mike Ion, Telford (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 20.1.06 'HUNTING LAW IS FLAWED' - I Would like the opportunity to reply to some of the recent letters in the Grimsby Telegraph. Why is it hypocritical for a compassionate man to want to reinstate fox hunting which, by all expert accounts, is beneficial, not only to foxes by weeding out the weakest, but to the countryside population in general? This hunting act will soon fall by the wayside anyway, because all flawed legislation does sooner or later, so why not give it a push…. Hunts around the country are now reporting large increases of not only new followers, but also of donations. The animal rights extremists must be hopping mad. That is one outcome they did not envisage!... hat Fork Truck Driver. Name and Address Supplied. (letter)

Worcester Evening News 20.1.06 Shooting does not improve welfare - No matter how much people try to define and defend their support for bloodsports, there is no animal welfare in shooting and wounding game birds or chasing a nocturnal animal, such as a fox, on horseback with hounds to exhaustion for sport…. L SPITERI, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Telegraph 20.1.06 Snips, wails and puppy dogs' tails - Dog handlers are furious at plans to ban tail docking and say that it's best for the animals' welfare. Daniel Butler reports - With the acute insensitivity to country dwellers for which it has become renowned, the Government has done it again. Environment minister Ben Bradshaw may have thought that it was a small matter. If that's the case, he must now be blinking - face blackened by the explosion of public rage - with surprise…. "We need to separate emotive language from the practicalities," says Countryside Alliance spokesman Jill Grieve. "Docking has been called 'mutilation' and compared to taking away the dog's smile - but that's a crazy way of thinking about things….” (story)
Western Morning News 20.1.06 ROW OVER BAN ON TAIL DOCKING OF WORKING DOGS - Animal Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw was accused of breaching Government pledges to protect the sport of shooting last night, after it emerged he had cleared the way for a ban on the tail docking of working dogs. Shooting organisations reacted with alarm yesterday after Mr Bradshaw told MPs he would bring forward measures to allow a total ban on tail docking, despite evidence that working dogs will suffer if their tails are not docked as puppies. The Countryside Alliance said the Government was "failing the first test" of its manifesto commitment to the sport of shooting….(story)
Telegraph 19.1.06 Fury over move to ban docking of dogs' tails By Charles Clover Environment Editor - Countryside groups and dog breeders were in uproar last night after the Government announced in a U-turn that it would now support a full ban on docking the tails of dogs. The ban will affect 58 traditionally docked breeds listed by the Kennel Club in England, including the Queen's Pembroke Welsh Corgis, whose tails are docked… Simon Clarke of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation said: "This has dreadful animal welfare implications for upwards of 100,000 working gun dogs…. (story)
Times 19.1.06 Working-dog owners outraged at complete ban on tail docking BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE world of country sports is furious at a U-turn by the Government to bring in a total ban on the tail docking of dogs. Ben Bradshaw, the Animal Welfare Minister, announced the decision yesterday during the committee stage in Parliament of the Animal Welfare Bill. He offered no exemptions for working dogs, such as gun dogs or police and Customs dogs, or for a vet to authorise tail docking under certain conditions…. (story)
Birmingham Post 12.1.06 Call for ban on dog tail docking By Lee Kenny, Birmingham Mail - BIRMINGHAM animal rights campaigners are calling on the Government to outlaw dog tail docking, claiming 75 per cent of the public would support a ban….(story)
Independent 10.1.06 Vets urge MPs to outlaw docking of puppies' tails By Jonathan Brown - Vets and animal welfare groups want MPs to ban the "outdated and brutal" practice of docking dogs' tails…. (story)
Manchester Evening News 9.1.06 Docking dogs' tails 'is mutilation' - VETS and animal welfare campaigners called on MPs today to ban the practice of docking dogs’ tails… (story)
BBC News Online 9.1.06 Vets call for tail docking 'ban' - Vets and the RSPCA are calling for the government to ban docking dogs' tails for cosmetic reasons. The British Veterinary Association says 90% of vets are against what it calls a painful procedure which should only be carried out for medical reasons. And the RSPCA says three out of four people in Britain want cosmetic docking banned, as it says it is unnecessary and unethical…. (story)

Telegraph 20.1.06 Ban on tail docking divides dog lovers - It is time that the hypocrisy over docking dogs' tails was exposed (News, January 19). The main reason breeders fear the ban is because they have, over the years, paid no attention to the quality and conformation of the tails of traditionally docked breeds…. If the Kennel Club were frank about the true reason for docking, it might ask for the ban to be phased in to give breeders time to include tail conformation in their breeding selection. As it is, Parliament should ignore its spurious arguments and ban the barbaric practice as soon as possible. N. J. Dawes, Burley, Hants
Thousands of working dogs face unnecessary suffering if Parliament adopts a blanket ban on tail docking…. The Government has repeatedly promised not to damage shooting sports, and in 2003 Ben Bradshaw assured the British Association for Shooting and Conservation that he saw the welfare argument for selective docking, yet he is now proposing to do away with the option of docking…. John Swift, Chief Executive, The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Wrexham
So Ben Bradshaw, the "expert" animal welfare minister, wants to ban vets from painlessly docking certain newborn puppies' tails, while happily allowing hundreds of thousands of newborn lambs to have their tails clamped, by farmers, to restrict the blood flow, until such time as they wither and fall off. Is it not time that he contemplated a job change? D. J. Robinson, Newton Tracey, Devon (letters)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 20.1.06 An overdue ban - How happy I was to read that the docking of dogs tails may be finally banned in Britain… Jenny Sampson, Rossmore Drive, Allerton (letter in archive)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 20.1.06 Gruesome cruelty - Is it not time that the Home Office was made accountable for failing to regulate animal research in this country? Animal Aid, in a newly-published report, has documented examples of painful and gruesome animal experiments that were conducted recently in British laboratories… Andre Menache MRCVS, Scientific Consultant to Animal Aid, The Old Chapel Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 20.1.06 COMEDIAN BACKS BEAR CAMPAIGN - Keynsham Tv comedian and actor Bill Bailey has backed a campaign to help to create a second sanctuary to rescue dancing bears in India. He became involved in the campaign launched by International Animal Rescue (IAR) following a visit to the Agra sanctuary where he saw dancing bears on the streets…. (story)
Western Morning News 12.12.05 FILM SHOWS PLIGHT OF DANCING BEARS - The plight of India's dancing bears and a new method of tackling the horrific practice have been highlighted in a new documentary made by a Westcountry production company, which airs on TV today. The film crew from Oscha Productions, based in Falmouth, has returned from visiting the country with comedian and animal rights activist Bill Bailey and a veterinary team, where they helped with a new project aiming to combat the underlying social problems which support the barbaric act, which targets the endangered sloth bear…. (story)

Waltham Forest Guardian 20.1.06 Animal rights protestors will mount anti-circus campaign By Sarah Cosgrove - ANIMAL rights campaigners will stage a protest if a controversial animal circus returns to Chingford Plain. The Great British Circus has got the go-ahead from the City of London Corporation, which owns the plain, for a two-week run pencilled in for the autumn. But the circus which features performances by exotic animals including lions, tigers, llamas and reindeer caused an uproar when it came to the area in November. Garry Sheen of Essex Animal Rights, which protested against the circus last year, said: "We will absolutely stage a protest if it comes back….” (story)

Western Daily Press 20.1.06 CAN WE TRUST CHINA TO TELL US THE TRUTH? - How can we believe Mr Wang Wei when he says China has introduced painless practices for extracting bear bile (Daily Press, January 13)? This is a ludicrous statement. Animals Asia Foundation is the only "hands-on" charity working in China rescuing the bears… Mrs Lee Gibbins, Holford, Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.1.06 SHOW ME PROOF OF BADGERS' GUILT - Despite asking, through your columns, for an explanation as to how badgers pass TB to cattle, there has been no answer for thcoming…. You see, I have this awful thought that owners of cattle are terrified that they will lose compensation if it is found that they themselves are responsible for the spread of the disease…. Richard Osborne, Swindon, Wiltshire (letter)

Argus 20.1.06 Letter: Rena the paragon - The tributes to Rena Collins are well justified because she represented a rare breed of people who allow their hearts to rule their heads…. We should all try to act more like Rena and, in her honour, bring about a more caring society. Doing so would go a considerable way to achieving a peaceful future for humans and animals alike. -David Hammond, Hassocks (letter in archive)
Argus 17.1.06 Woman gave her life to all creation by Karen Hoy - Former MP Sir Andrew Bowden paid tribute to animal rights campaigner Rena Collins at her funeral. Sir Andrew told mourners at the service at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Dorset Gardens, Kemp Town, Brighton: "Rena Elizabeth Collins was a lady of great courage, determination and compassion. She devoted her life to the service of all Godís creation."… Her friend Mike Britton read out a prayer written by Mrs Collins called Too Soon, Elizabeth Taylor gave a reading from the Bible and another friend Gloria McCarey played classical guitar and sang God Gave Life To The Animals…. Mrs Collins' wicker coffin was carried out of the church to Elvis's Are You Lonesome Tonight for a private service at Woodingdean Cemetery. (story in archive)
Argus 13.1.06 Letter: Rena spoke up for those who couldn't - It was with much sadness I read of the death of the animal rights campaigner Rena Collins (The Argus, December 31). It was my privilege to have known Rena for many years and I was aware of her work for animal rights….-Angela Walder, Minster Sheppey (letter in archive)
Argus 9.1.06 Date set for funeral of animal activist - People who knew animal rights campaigner Rena Collins have been invited to her funeral. Rena died on Boxing Day at the age of 79 after dedicating more than 30 years of her life to good causes…. She was an organiser of the Brighton Animal Aid group and was involved in demonstrations against Brighton's Dolphinarium, a farm breeding calves for veal in Storrington and a monkey farm in Small Dole, near Henfield…. The funeral service is being held at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Dorset Gardens, Kemp Town, Brighton, on January 16, at 9am, followed by a private burial (story in archive)
Argus 5.1.06 Letter: Rena was one of life's spirited campaigners - In all the years I knew Rena Collins, both during the live export protests and after, I don't recall ever seeing her smiling easily or laughing… The picture which accompanied her obituary (The Argus, December 31) was taken on the seafront by the Aquarium Terraces where she had been desperate to protect the area from developers who would ruin her sea view and the integrity of Brighton…. Rena Collins was never without her slap on, her head high and "ready for my close-up, Mr de Mille". She was of the Brighton of old, which incomers today will never have known and she had truly spirited style. -Valerie Paynter, Hove (letter in archive)
Argus 5.1.06 Letter: She made you stop and think - Rena Collins was someone who many of us believed would go on forever - the fire in her belly was so strong, especially about the ill treatment of animals. I didn't agree with her all the time - I don't know anyone who did - but she certainly made you stop and think…. Councillor Simon Burgess, Brighton and Hove City Council (letter in archive)
Argus 5.1.06 Letter: Principled lady with a heart of gold - I am deeply saddened by the passing of animal rights campaigner and friend Rena Collins…. I came to know Rena through the campaign against live animal exports and through The Argus…. We also shared the view that God would not approve and Rena directed me to the many places in the Bible where this is demonstrated and, therefore, we both became vegans….. -Elizabeth Taylor, High Salvington (letter in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 20.1.06 TWO REASONS TO BE CHEERFULLY ANARCHIC - A Pair of comedians with a difference kick off the new year at Swansea Grand Theatre's comedy club next week. Andrew O'Neill, for example, is proud to be an anarchist ("It's all about freedom of association and fighting repressive power systems"), a vegan ("It's all about the unnecessary use and exploitation of animals") and a transvestite ("It's down to the wiring in my brain")…. (story)


Horse & Hound 19.1.06 Ex-Mirror journalist brands hunt ban "stupid” - Abigail Butcher - Former Mirror political editor David Seymour criticises the paper’s anti-hunt line as he speaks exclusively to Horse & Hound - David Seymour "parted company” with the Mirror Group last Friday after 12 years as political editor. On Saturday, he went hunting for the first time with the North Cotswold in protest at the Daily Mirror's anti-hunting reporting — and the "stupid” hunting ban…. (story)

Daily Post 19.1.06 Gun pack hunting 'just isn't working' By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - SMALL gun packs and their hounds, seen as the backbone of hunting in Wales, have little impact on fox numbers, according to a new scientific study. Researchers at Bristol University concluded that last year's ban on hunting with hounds is unlikely to fuel a rise in Welsh fox numbers. The study, funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), examined fox droppings at 44 Forestry Commission sites in Wales between autumn 2003 and spring 2004…. (story)

Frome & Somerset Standard 19.1.06 CONFUSION REIGNS OVER DISPOSAL OF HORSES - Horse owners in mid-Somerset are receiving conflicting advice on the disposal of carcasses…. When questioned in the House of Commons about Best Mate, Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said: "Regulation 1774/2002 bans burial as a disposal route for animal by-products. In our view a racehorse is clearly a working commercial animal and not a pet."… DEFRA says on its website that the average cost of transporting and incinerating a horse carcass is £275 but this is variable depending on where the horse owner lives…. They also advise that horse owners can join the 2003 National Fallen Stock Scheme (NFSS) and pay an annual fee of £28 for a hunt to dispose of a carcass but it emerged that these costs could be lowered if horse owners have links to the Mendip Farmers' Hunt and other local hunts…. A spokesman for the Mendip Bridleways and Byways Association said:… "However others who own horses say they are pets and therefore can be buried on the land."… A spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance said: "It is a dog's dinner…” (story)

News Letter 19.1.06 More Must Be Done To Protect Irish Hare - I refer to an extract in the News Letter (January 11) by Mike Rendle on the "Irish hare initiative Co Tyrone" and an extract "Hares 'paying price for political impasse'" by reporter Simon Hunter (January 16)…. Over a period of 40 years I have been involved in wildlife, having raised pheasants and maintained a local gun club…. I have seen the remains of the hares when the buzzard was feeding its young. Yet these birds are a protected species. Has research been carried out to note their increase as to the depreciation of the hare?... Charles McAleese, Ballymoney. (letter)

Western Morning News 19.1.06 POLICE HAVE FAILED TO UPHOLD HUNT LAW - So now we have Chief Constable Maria Wallis boasting that her force has met the challenge of the hunting ban. Really? I don't recall reading or hearing of any police presence at any of the recent staghunts, which would have been well advertised as to the dates and location. I have nothing but contempt for a police force which has shown an unwillingness to acknowledge law-breaking by the hunting brigade… police forces everywhere should do what they are paid to do - enforce the law. And this certainly includes all those upper class among the hunting mob who seem to think they are above the law being brought to justice if any offences have been committed. F Cleaves, Par (letter)

Halifax Courier 19.1.06 HUNTING IS CRUEL - ONCE again we are told by C. J. Horsman of the joys of hunting with dogs ("Hunters are out in droves," Mailbag, January 11). If chasing a fox with dogs until it is too exhausted to run any more is not cruelty in C. J. Horsman's view then he is, indeed, a very sad individual. J. B. Thwaite, Skircoat Green, Halifax (letter)
Halifax Courier 11.1.06 HUNTERS ARE OUT IN DROVES - C. J. Horsman - HUNTERS ARE OUT IN DROVES, Rochdale Road, Halifax. HUNTS around the country have reported large turnouts in support of Boxing Day meets…. The local meet at Scammonden was well attended, not only by members of Colne Valley Beagles but also by members of the public showing their support and a good few who came along out of curiosity. All were made welcome… The snide comments by Wanda Wyporska and Mike Hobday, of the League Against Cruel Sports, only serve to indicate their ignorance on the subject of beagling. As beaglers follow our sport on foot "having a good ride" does not come into it…. So-called hunt monitors have no status or legal powers and, indeed, may be committing offences by filming people without permission. They may also be found to be guilty of aggravated trespass if on private property, even if on a public right of way…(letter)

Western Gazette 19.1.06 THIS IDIOT PIECE OF LEGISLATION - Mr Bean (Letters 5 January) should be under no illusions as to the reason that hunts are continuing to operate following the passing of the Hunting Act it is to maintain the packs of hounds and the hunt infrastructures until this idiot piece of legislation is repealed…. If Mr Bean truly has animal welfare at heart, he should also be delighted that the hunting community will fight back until reason vanquishes blind prejudice. Richard Thompson, full address supplied. (letter)
Western Gazette 5.1.06 OUR PREDICTIONS WERE SPOT ON - Bill Bean, Connaught Crescent, Poole. (letter)
Independent 2.1.06 What a wonderful Christmas it was for those of us who have campaigned against foxhunting for decades…. BILL BEAN, POOLE, DORSET (letter)
Times 31.12.05 Opposing views, with the fox in the middle - What a wonderful Christmas it was for those of us who have campaigned against foxhunting for decades — it was also of course fantastic for the foxes, many of which would have been torn to pieces by hounds on Boxing Day last year…. Another of our predictions is now being proved. Because drag hunting is controlled, there will be no hounds killed on the railways, no hold-ups on the roads, no horses lamed or killed traversing dangerous ground or jumps, no trespassing in gardens and playgrounds, no pets or livestock terrified and no wildlife threatened… I think everyone should appreciate just what the sabs did in the campaign. They were out in all weathers; being ridden at, horse-whipped, their cars were smashed and they were attacked by the hunt heavies. They were the most dedicated people I have ever known…. BILL BEAN, Poole, Dorset (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.1.06 YOU HAVE RIGHT TO STATE A CASE - D Hoyle's letter (Your Say, January 11) claims he supports country life, but in the next breath he states young men and their families should be given their right to hunt… D Hoyle must remember hunting animals the way he knows is no longer lawful, the will of the nation must be upheld. He must consider that those servicemen may have given their lives for "English" rights, but the hunting of animals in modern times is not a God-given right…. L G Barnett, Chippenham, Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.1.06 FREEDOM FIGHTERS - D Hoyle's letter says men died for English rights and their right to hunt. What rubbish. My brother fought in the war and saw men die. The last thing any of those men thought about was coming home to hunt animals…. Norah Pound Wroughton Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.1.06 MEN FOUGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO HUNT - - I am not a country man, but I support country life. All over the world, there are country men who gave their lives for "English" rights. These young men were huntsmen, or followed the hunt…. D Hoyle Mangotsfield Bristol (letter)

Times 19.1.06 Game birds 'are dumped instead of eaten' BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - GAME birds shot from the sky for sport are being discarded in dumps, animal welfare campaigners said yesterday. Video footage and photographs compiled by the League Against Cruel Sports appear to show that birds are frequently dumped after shoots, despite the insistence of shooting organisations that birds are killed for food. Activists infiltrated several shooting venues to expose the existence of the dumps, which are highlighted in a report on the sport by the league…. But a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance challenged the evidence. "What you are seeing is a couple of dozen birds that are rejected for human consumption. Every bird shot has to be inspected under EU hygiene rules and if the carcasses are damaged they cannot go to processors for use in the food chain.” (story)
Western Morning News 19.1.06 ROW OVER LEAGUE'S DEAD BIRDS CLAIM - The shooting lobby in the Westcountry reacted angrily yesterday to what it said was the latest move in a campaign to an end to the sport. It condemned a report from the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) claiming to expose the "excesses" of the commercial shooting industry, which included allegations of dumping of dead birds…. (story)
Western Daily Press 19.1.06 ANTI-HUNT GROUP SETS ITS SIGHTS ON A SHOOTING BAN - The prospect of a ban on shooting moved a step nearer yesterday as the architects of the ban on hunting confirmed that shooting is next. The League Against Cruel Sports launched its campaign against the shooting industry in the West last night, and said it wanted the killing of millions of gamebirds for sport banned…. (story)
Daily Post 19.1.06 League says shot birds are dumped By Amanda Brown, Daily Post - MASS dumping of dead gamebirds is taking place following commercial shoots, animal welfare campaigners claimed yesterday. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) produced video and photo-graphic evidence of the practice, claiming it finally nailed what it called "the lies of the shooting lobby" which says dumping does not happen…. (story)

Herts Advertiser 19.1.06 Fox bites off pet cat's leg - A PET cat was savagely attacked by a fox on Saturday morning as it sat soaking up the winter sun in its owner's back garden. Mrs Jane Scaysbrook, the pet's owner, said: "The fox bit her back leg right off."… At first the vet dismissed the notion of it being a fox which had injured the cat but he confirmed it when he saw the tooth marks… (story)

Buckingham Advertiser 19.1.06 VOLE POPULATION UNDER THREAT, ONE of Britain's most elusive mammals is under severe threat from foreign intruders in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, it was revealed this week…. (story)
Luton on Sunday 15.1.06 Minks stare a cull in the face if they kill our voles - MINK may be facing a cull in the Ouse and Ivel valleys if they threaten endangered voles. Thousands of mink have been released into the countryside over the years both by animal welfare activists, protesting at their use for the fur trade, and also when mink farms have gone out of business…. (story)
Bedfordshire on Sunday 8.1.06 Minks stare a cull in the face if they kill our voles MINK may be facing a cull in the Ouse and Ivel valleys if they threaten endangered voles. Thousands of mink have been released into the countryside over the years both by animal welfare activists, protesting at their use for the fur trade, and also when mink farms have gone out of business… Their main competition is the native otter which hunting had made extremely rare, but these are now returning to parts of the Ouse and Ivel rivers…. Should they threaten the water voles, which are protected by law, the countryside project may consider humanely culling them… (story)

Scotsman 19.1.06 Whaling and fishing - The debate in your columns on the cruelty of whaling and opinions reminds me of a description of anglers in the pursuit of salmon. The gist of it is that if you can impale a salmon by the mouth on a barbed hook and then drag it in agony through the water for ages, then, when it is exhausted, pull it to the bank and bash its brains in with a club, you will be toasted to the rafters and possibly even awarded a trophy. If, however, you were to dispatch it with one clean shot from a rifle, no-one would speak to you ever again. WALTER J ALLAN, Colinton Mains Drive, Edinburgh (story)

Western Daily Press 19.1.06 ACTIVISTS HELP SAVE ANIMALS - I am writing this letter in defence of all animal rights supporters. I think that these people get a raw deal from newspapers and the media. They are the only people who actually stand up for what they believe in, sometimes having to take extreme measures to get their point over… R Williams, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.1.06 CULLING METHODS UNACCEPTABLE - After the recent outbreaks of bird flu in Turkey, I would like to express my shock and distress at the methods involved in culling birds there. News reports repeatedly showed the birds being thrown into sacks or wheely bins while still alive…. Margot Willcox, Bath, Somerset (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 19.1.06 UNACCEPTABLE CRUELTY - Regarding the bird flu now apparent in Turkey, and latterly in the Far East. It is not surprising this terrible thing has occurred, taking into account the often ways these poor birds are treated and the appalling conditions they live in…. Where are the animal rights people, when all this is happening? It's totally unacceptable and wrong. B M JONES, Barcombe Road, Preston, Paignton (story)

Daily Record 19.1.06 FLU MEASURES - IT'S a disgrace the way birds in Turkey are being treated after the outbreak of bird flu. The birds are being dragged from their pens and thrown into bins without any concern for the creature. It's cruelty…. B.D., Inverness (letter)

Guardian 19.1.06 Why I'm a foxy lady - Want to look beautiful, feel great and make friends in the process? Just slip on your fur coat - Mary Kenny - There is no garment quite as beautiful as a fur coat. Or, indeed, as warm…. (story)

Independent 19.1.06 Ban on circus animals urged by welfare groups By Jonathan Brown - Welfare groups are demanding a ban on the use of wild animals in British circuses. Campaigners say they have the overwhelming support of the public in their quest to outlaw performing big cats, elephants, camels, zebras and snakes from the Big Top…. (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 19.1.06 MP BACKS CIRCUS CAMPAIGN - Shona McIsaac, MP for Barton-Upon-Humber, is backing a campaign to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. The Labour MP joined celebrities and activists from the Born Free Foundation and the RSPCA yesterday for the launch of a campaign, calling for the 'big top exploitation' to be banned in the Animal Welfare Bill…. (story)
Belfast Telegraph 19.1.06 Ban on circus animals urged by welfare groups - Welfare groups are demanding a ban on the use of wild animals in British circuses. Campaigners say they have the overwhelming support of the public in their quest to outlaw performing big cats, elephants, camels, zebras and snakes from the Big Top…. (story)
BBC News Online 18.1.06 Call for wild animals circus ban - Two leading animal welfare charities are calling for the government to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. The RSPCA and Born Free Foundation want the ban included in the Animal Welfare Bill which is currently in the committee stage in Parliament…. (story)

Times 19.1.06 End circus cruelty - Dea Birkett (Comment, Jan 16; letter, Jan 18) quite wrongly attempted to characterise the Born Free Foundation as an extreme animal-rights organisation, given to making nonsensical statements and which supports, or even takes part in, bully-boy tactics… WILL TRAVERS Chief Executive Born Free Foundation Horsham, W Sussex (story)
Times 16.1.06 Stop this cruelty to circuses - DEA BIRKETT - Animal rights extremists are threatening the unique world of the big top - WHEN WERE you so close to an elephant that you could touch its trunk? Where did you see a horse racing around just inches away, mane and tail flying? Where have you patted the tufty hair of a camel? The only place you could have done all these things is at a circus… But, if passed, it would also be a powerful weapon in the hands of the anti-circus lobby that wants to ban all animal acts, whether dogs, donkeys or big cats. It portrays cruel animal trainers ambushing lions in the African bush and carrying them back in a cage. In fact, all circus animals are born in captivity…. (story)

Western Gazette 19.1.06 Consultation was a sham - BEFORE Christmas, Elizabeth James of the Dorset Badger Group, wrote an excellent letter to the Western Gazette warning readers of Government proposals to cull badgers… For months, Defra Minister Ben Bradshaw, has been saying that there would be no mass cull unless it could be scientifically shown to be valid. Now Mr Bradshaw has apparently bowed to the pressure of the farming lobby (and reportedly the Prince of Wales) to give farmers permission to kill badgers - after the usual sham "consultation" period of course!... Helen Weeks, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) (letter)

Western Gazette 19.1.06 Why continue this madness? HOW many more crisis do we have to face before we realise that the livestock industry has had its day. BSE, e.coli, salmonella, bird flu, listeria, swine fever, foot and mouth, antibiotic resistance, bovine TB . . . It has been proven beyond doubt that we can live a healthy life without any animal products so why continue this madness… John Willis, Horn Hill View, Beaminster (letter)

Daily Post 19.1.06 Protests likely as live exports set to resume By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - ANIMAL campaigners will target Dover for protests if live exports of livestock to the Continent are resumed. Secret Welsh plans have been hatched to dispatch chartered ferries of calves and sheep from April…. Compassion in World Farming said it would prefer to work with farm-ers to find long-term solutions to the price problems that have blighted Britain's dairy industry… Ross Minett, director of Advocates For Animals, said: "Many people remain disgusted at the prospect of young calves being exported to countries where welfare standards are inferior to our own. I'd be surprised if renewed exports were not met by public protests."… (story)

East Grinstead Courier 19.1.06 NO NEED TO FEAR BADGERS SAYS ANIMAL CHARITY - A Farmer has called for a cull of badgers in the area due to fears of a disease outbreak despite reassurances from an animal charity that no risk is posed to West Kent… a spokesman for West Kent Badger Group said: "bTB infections are cattle-to-cattle and it very rarely affects humans…" (story)


Morpeth Herald 18.1.06 First hunt of the year looks to future after difficult year - THE Morpeth Hunt rode out on its first ride of the New Year looking to the future after 12 months to forget. A crowd of over 40 riders and 100 followers gathered at Morpeth Rugby Club for the ceremonial meet. The mood remained defiant nearly one year on from the start of the controversial ban on hunting with hounds, introduced on February 18 last year…. (story)

Western Morning News 18.1.06 GOVERNMENT 'SATISFIED' WITH BAN - The Government has declared itself "satisfied" with the implementation of the hunting ban - despite the fact that every hunt in the Westcountry is still operating and many are still killing foxes. In the first assessment of the controversial legislation since it was introduced in February last year the Rural Affairs Minister Jim Knight said he was "satisfied with the operation of the Hunting Act"…. (story)

Western Daily Press 18.1.06 BLAIR'S HUNTSMAN - One of Tony Blair's most important advisers has come out against him over the fox hunting ban and joined the board of the Countryside Alliance. Richard Bowker is the chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, a Government quango aimed at building new schools with private finance…. (story)

Louth Leader 18.1.06 Hunt got lots of support - On behalf of the South Wold Hunt Supporters Club Committee sincere thanks to the people of Louth and surrounding area that gave us such generous support at our Boxing Day meet…. Little Chris, South Wold Hunt Supporters Club Committee (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 18.1.06 HUNT SUPPORTERS CAN BE VIOLENT - May i remind J Ragless Points of view, January 10, that some of the most violent and ugliest protests I have seen have been by hunt supporters. Who can forget the scenes outside Exeter Central station barracking Alun Michael MP, throwing eggs and attacking his car?... Mrs Jennie Cook, Honiton (letter)

Western Daily Press 18.1.06 DEER ARE STILL BEING KILLED ON EXMOOR DESPITE HUNTING BAN - Johnny Kingdom is misleading readers when he states that deer are no longer hunted on Exmoor. Unfortunately, deer are still being chased and killed by the staghunts. If Johnny wants to know why stag numbers have decreased on Exmoor, he really need look no further than the staghunters who claim to have killed a record number during autumn hunting…. Paul Tillsley League Against Cruel Sports St Nicholas Priory Dulverton (letter)

Dundee Courier 18.1.06 Out of touch - Scottish Natural Heritage’s opposition to culling cormorants on Loch Leven shows just how out of touch they are with reality…. Loch Leven historically was important as a trout fishery of world renown and a duck breeding site of European significance. Under SNH’s custody the loch is now a cesspool supporting predatory black-backed gulls (3000+) and cormorants. The stifling bureaucracy created by the Scottish Executive is killing our countryside and the rural economy…. Michael C. Smith. Threapmuir Farm, Cleish, Kinross. (letter)

Galway Independent 18.1.06 Where is protestors’ outrage over bird flu experimentation? - It is interesting how animal rights protestors express themselves. They will oppose, and sometimes commit terrorist acts against scientists who experiment on animals in the hope of curing diseases afflicting humans and other animals, but publicly demonstrate about issues that readily elicit public sympathy, such as the existence of circuses and the wearing of fur coats. Has anyone noticed their profound silence concerning medical experimentation on animals involving avian influenza… Peter R. Kramer, Ph. D. 15 Dalysfort Rd Salthill Galway, (letter)

Galway Independent 18.1.06 Animal circuses are not welcome - Congratulations to your newspaper for covering student Janine Foley who had the courage to make such a visual impact last week in Galway highlighting the cruelty to circus animals… A Herbert, Ballybrit Heights, Galway (letter)

Guardian 18.1.06 Unnatural selection - The list of animals in Britain under threat from culling is extensive and growing. But environmentalists are divided over whether the controls are necessary or even effective. Paul Evans on the war against wildlife - In the next few months, the government will decide whether to embark on a massive cull of badgers in an attempt to halt the spread of tuberculosis (TB) in cattle. But badgers are not the only wild animals in the firing line. The list of creatures being culled, or being considered for culling, in Britain is long, and growing. It includes the wild boar, the grey squirrel, the ruddy duck, the Canada goose, the cormorant, the goosander, the grey seal, the red deer, the sika deer, the mink, the hedgehog, the fox and the rat… (story)

Scotsman 18.1.06 Farewell to foie gras, hello oysters, truffles - FOOD FOR THOUGHT - JO EWART MacKENZIE - JANUARY is not traditionally the time to be feasting on gourmet foods such as foie gras, but in the wake of a particularly brisk season, in which kilos of the costly stuff have been served up in upmarket restaurants around the globe, the animal rights activists are out in force…. Americans seem particularly fired up about the cruelty of foie gras production, which strikes me as a little odd: have they not made a connection between their fast-food culture and intensive meat production?... (story)

Northern Echo 18.1.06 POOR DONKEYS - Aled Jones, Bridlington. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 16.1.06 Beasts of burden - THE World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) does a wonderful job in helping stop the suffering for overworked animals. Its latest campaign is especially praiseworthy - to bring to public attention the scandalous needs of donkeys working in brick factories in Surkhrod, Afghanistan…. Aled Jones, Mount Crescent, Bridlington. (letter in archive)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 18.1.06 Judges working against RSPCA - ONCE again the so-called fair judges of this country have let cruel men go free and awarded them compensation for cruelty to our innocent wild animals… How long can the RSPCA continue its excellent work when all its efforts are thwarted by our so-called fair judges? DIANE E LAWSON, Clitheroe Road, Sabden. (letter in archive)


Guardian 17.1.06 Hunt closes kennels and blames urbanisation - Owen Bowcott - The first hunt to disband since the hunting ban was introduced last year is letting go of its dogs and closing its kennels. The Aldenham Harriers, who have pursued hares across south Hertfordshire since the 1880s, have abandoned regular meetings, although Christopher Austin, director of the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles, said the decision had been taken because of creeping urbanisation…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 17.1.06 MASTER HITS BACK AT CLAIMS OVER HUNT - Huntsmen have hit back at claims their hounds chased a fox near Stroud, despite the hunting ban. Master of the Berkeley Hunt, Henry Berkeley, spoke out after a complainant contacted the media when she saw two dogs chasing a fox at Slimbridge recently. The Berkeley was following a fox's scent, and not a live animal, at the time, Mr Berkeley said. But then unfortunately the scent trail was crossed by a live fox and the hounds briefly followed the wrong line. Mr Berkeley said the hounds were stopped as soon as was possible…. (story)
Gloucestershire Gazette 13.1.06 Hunt accused of chasing live foxes by Liza-Jane Gillespie - THE Berkeley Hunt has this week been accused of illegally hunting foxes a year after a new law was passed banning the sport. The illegal hunting took place last Wednesday near Slimbridge and although Berkeley Hunt members have admitted that at one point during the hunt they were chasing a live fox, they have stressed it was a one-off accident…. one eyewitness, who asked to be refereed to only as Helen, said how the hunt did not appear to hide what they were doing…. (story in archive)

News Letter 17.1.06 Hares 'Paying Price For Political Impasse' By Simon Hunter - Irish hares are paying the ultimate price for Northern Ireland's political deadlock, according to the League Against Cruel Sports. Fionna Smyth has recently-been appointed the first Northern Ireland campaigner in the organisation and her role began yesterday with the launch of a campaign to stop the "cruel and barbaric sport" of hare coursing. The launch was held in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings, Stormont and was hosted by SDLP MLA Tommy Gallagher. The campaign has a great deal of cross-party support and DUP MLA Jim Wells and Alliance leader David Ford also attended…. (story)

Western Morning News 17.1.06 HUNT LAW CAN'T BE ENFORCED - I was telephoned recently by a wildlife crime officer from Devon and Cornwall Police who demanded several times that I should stop breaking the Hunting Act by illegally hunting mammals with my dogs. I told him in no uncertain terms that I would not, and enquired as to what he was going to do about it. The short answer was "nothing". Why? Well at first he claimed that he could not prove I was hunting as he could not enter my land to investigate. This is, of course, rubbish…. The truth is that he can take no action because the law is ridiculous. Ridiculous laws make people tasked to enforce them look like idiots and the Hunting Act does exactly that to the police… Giles Bradshaw, Rose Ash (letter)

Western Morning News 17.1.06 Unworkable law - HUNDREDS of hours of precious parliamentary time have been squandered on the Hunting Bill. Now senior police officers want to waste even more legislative time to permit them access to private land while policing the Act. Boxing Day's massive turnout of hunts and their supporters suggests that it would require literally thousands of valuable police hours (and higher council taxes) for this proposed new snoop on the countryside… Christopher Maycock, Crediton (letter)

Western Morning News 17.1.06 MAKE BAN ON BIRD IMPORTS PERMANENT - The temporary ban on importing exotic wild birds, brought about by the avian flu scare, should be made permanent… The various animal rights organisations would do well to spend more time and effort in addressing this real problem than persecuting foxhunters who know and care more about conservation and ecology than most of their urban supporters do…. J Ward-Hayne, Modbury (letter)

Northern Echo 17.1.06 BLOOD SPORTS - IN reply to Stuart Hill (Echo, Jan 11), I have long since stopped caring about what people say about me, but I would give more credence to his opinions if he did not make such ludicrous comments. We who oppose blood sports know perfectly well that the fox hunters are pursuing and killing foxes out of the sight of the public and the police, who have an impossible task trying to bring these law breakers to justice…. - Hugh Pender, Darlington (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 12.1.06 HUNTING - I FEEL I must write in response to H Pender's letter on hunting (HAS, Jan 4). He must watch an awful lot of old B movies to come up with some of his opinions, the latest being that people following hunts on horseback are "the upper crust of rural Britain". Maybe so in the rip-roaring twenties or thereabouts, but not in this day and age. Since the hunting ban was introduced, the numbers of followers has hardly changed, with some hunts having an increase in membership…. Patrick Blewitt, Darlington (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 11.1.06 HUNTING - WHAT a crusty old reactionary Hugh Pender is becoming (HAS Jan 4). Before long he will be advocating criminalising walking a dog or riding a horse. There is nothing wrong, or indeed illegal, with hounds, horses and riders following a drag trail for sport…. I am afraid Hugh Pender has shifted from a principled position of opposing blood sports to spitefully having a swipe at people he clearly does not like…. Stuart Hill, Darlington (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 4.1.06 HUNTING - SENIOR police officers have called for a strengthening of the law banning hunting with dogs. The solution is very simple: a gathering of people on horses following a pack of hounds should be made against the law… The people on the horses are the upper crust of rural Britain and they are steeped in cruelty to wild animals and birds… Hugh Pender, Darlington. (letter in archive)

Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 18.1.06 Query on deer numbers - Sir, - Further to his letter in the 'Strathspey and Badenoch Herald' on deer policy on Scottish Natural Heritage's Inshriach and Invereshie reserves, could Mr George Hogg, SNH manager, either confirm or deny the rumour that is rife in Kincraig, namely that deer numbers there, according to the last official account, are now zero? - Yours etc, D.W. ROSS Leault, Kincraig (story)

Dundee Courier 17.1.06 Shock figures on animal shootings By Steven Bell - DISTURBING NUMBERS of airgun attacks on animals across Tayside and Fife have been uncovered by researchers from the Scottish SPCA… (story)
Scotsman 16.1.06 Animal welfare workers seek stiffer airgun laws - LAURA ROBERTS - ANIMAL welfare campaigners are today launching a campaign for tighter controls on airguns, as a new report revealed the scale of their use in attacks on animals in Scotland. The report, compiled by the Scottish SPCA, found that three-quarters of vets and animal inspectors had responded to an airgun attack at least once during their careers, and that attacks were becoming more frequent and vicious… (story)
Glasgow Herald 16.1.06 Three airgun attacks on animals each week - JAMES MORGAN - Three animals are shot by airguns every week, according to a report released today. Cats and birds are the most common targets, and Glasgow and Aberdeen are Scotland's worst airgun hotspots, according to the study by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals… (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 16.1.06 Call for crackdown as airgun attacks hit 200 pets in a year - GARETH EDWARDS - ANIMAL welfare campaigners today called for tighter controls on airguns as they revealed 200 pets had been injured or killed by the weapons in the last year. The Scottish SPCA warned that the figures, which included more than 20 attacks in the Lothians over the last year, represent just a fraction of the true number of airgun attacks on pets. The charity's Airgun Agony report is the most comprehensive report into airgun violence against animals ever carried out in Scotland…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 16.1.06 Humans are all too often the targets of reckless individuals - SHOCKING statistics issued today by the Scottish SPCA will add weight to the argument for tougher controls over air guns…. Following the killing of Glasgow toddler Andrew Morton last year in Glasgow and the shooting in the head of six-year-old Edinburgh boy Tyler Scott, Scottish Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson rejected calls for Scotland to establish its own gun laws saying that she believed controls established in Westminster were adequate. It is clear from today's evidence this is not the case and these weapons are still finding their way into the wrong hands and being misused. That has to be stopped at all costs. (story)
Glasgow Evening Times 16.1.06 Horror increase in gun attacks on animals by Wendy Miller - MORE than 20 animals have been shot by airgun thugs in the past year in Glasgow. The cruel attacks are highlighted in a report published today by the Scottish SPCA. Its report, Airgun Agony, reveals more than three animals are injured every week by airguns… (story)
Aberdeen Evening Express 16.1.06 ANGER OVER PET AIRGUN SHOOTINGS - Aberdeen has the worst record in Scotland for airgun attacks on animals. New figures reveal there were 22 incidents in the past year…. (story)

Dundee Evening Telegraph 17.1.06 Torture - Fiona Duthie, Harestane Road, Dundee. (story)
Daily Record 14.1.06 YOUR VIEW – ANIMALISTIC - AFTER watching Animals on Channel 4 on Thursday I was sickened and very upset to see images of what goes on in laboratories which test on animals…. Fiona Duthie, Dundee (letter)

Argus 17.1.06 Protest against seal pool plans - Animal lovers are holding a protest against a proposal to open penguin and seal pools at the entrance to an aquarium. The Brighton Sea Life Centre has lodged a planning application with Brighton and Hove City Council for permission to build the pools at the entrance area of the aquarium in Marine Parade, Brighton…. The protest takes place on Saturday at 2pm on the promenade opposite the centre… (story in archive)

Western Morning News 17.1.06 BUTTER BOYCOTT 'SILLY' - Farming leaders in the Westcountry yesterday hit out at plans for a "butter boycott" if farmers get the go-ahead to cull badgers as part of a drive to halt the spread of bovine TB. One idea being floated by some animal welfare groups is that shoppers would be urged to boycott British butter as a protest…. (letter)
Western Daily Press 16.1.06 WE'LL BREAK LAW TO SAVE BADGERS FROM DEFRA CULL - Animal rights extremists warned last night they would break the law to save badgers from a cull. It is the first time radical action has been threatened following last month's announcement that the Department for Food and Rural Affairs is considering a cull to tackle bovine TB…. Last night a group calling itself the West Country Badger Action Group said it would trespass and break the law to prevent the animals being gassed, shot or trapped…. But other badger groups are refusing to condone such actions. The Badger Trust, formerly the National Federation of Badger Groups, said its policy was never to take direct action, but only to present logical, scientific arguments. Louise Hamilton, of the Herefordshire Badger Group, said: "I can't speak for any other group but our principles are we abide by the law…" Meanwhile a coalition of animal welfare groups yesterday revealed it was about to launch a campaign calling on shoppers to boycott British butter in protest at the proposed cull. The coalition is expected to consist of badger groups, wildlife organisations and animal welfare charities. Penny Little, from Cotswold-based Protect Our Wild Animals, confirmed her organisation would take part, but declined to say which other groups would join it at this stage…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.1.06 BARBARIC PRACTICES - While sympathising with the Turkish authorities on the outbreak of bird flu, their method of disposing of poultry by burying them alive is just as horrifying, and will generate much anger… Leonard Sainsbury Hereford (letter)

Western Morning News 17.1.06 Inevitable fate - MARTIN Paine's grief over the compulsory slaughter of one of his cows (January 3) would be laughable if it were not so serious. That poor cow's fate was sealed from the moment she was conceived. Whether a cow is prematurely killed on the order of Defra, or a few months later on the order of the farmer, is of little consolation to the animal… A Murfitt, St Austell (letter)
Western Morning News 3.1.06 BADGER POPULATION IS OUT OF CONTROL - I'm writing this at 5.30 am with tears in my eyes, much to my surprise. Why? Perhaps it's down to pathos, because "Granny" has just been parted from her six-day old suckler calf and walked quietly into the lorry for compulsory slaughter… For the sake of a long-term sustainable badger population they need thinning out, which on its own would reduce TB. Around here, overcrowding leads to badgers fighting in the setts until the weak, sick or injured get evicted, probably already carrying TB. Most of those evicted have an open wound in the rear (ask an RSPCA vet) because the standard parting shot is a bite in the backside of the loser. You then have an injured, wandering, TB-ridden badger. This poor creature will be seeping mycobacteria from an open wound, urinating and defecating TB over the grass that cattle graze and looking for another sett to infect…. So why do badgers need protecting from the pro-badger lobby? Simply because these people think that what matters is increasing badger numbers, whereas what's needed is a smaller number of fit and healthy badgers. Martin Paine, Tiverton (story)

Western Morning News 17.1.06 Wildlife cull is no solution - CULLING wildlife to obliterate a problem is part of the disastrous short-term thinking that has resulted in the loss of species and the increased incidence of disease in people. We must live in harmony with nature, using its resources, not manipulating it…. Linda Weir, St Ives (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 17.1.06 VICIOUS CULLING SO INHUMANE - It Was distressing to hear of more children's deaths from bird flu in Turkey. Yet why is their poultry being handled so viciously?... JOAN NEININGER, Hartpury (letter)


East Anglian Daily Times 16.1.06 Hunt uses eagle owl in bid to cull foxes - Hunt uses eagle owl in bid to cull foxes - THE Suffolk Hunt has enlisted the services of an eagle owl in its bid to continue culling the fox population. Master of the foxhounds James Aldous confirmed that a Eurasian eagle owl is currently being trained to kill foxes after they have been flushed from cover by hounds…. Despite opposition from the League Against Cruel Sports(LACS), the employment of owls in a hunting capacity is within the law, according to a Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) spokeswoman…. (story)

Guardian 16.1.06 Review - Elisabeth Mahoney - I fully expected to loathe Hibernia Hunting (Radio 4, Friday), with its tales of fox-hunting fanatics who have moved to Ireland, where the sport remains legal. And while there were the inevitable blood pressure-raising comments ("I've killed two [foxes] so I'm more than happy," says one relocated hunter), there was nevertheless something charming about the clash of two hunting cultures captured in the programme. This was mainly due to the unstuffy world of Irish hunting: less to do with class and status, and more a sport of farmers and those who live close to the land…. (story)
Guardian 13.1.06 Pick of the day - Hunting - there's nothing like it! The hound's teeth closing on the fox's neck; the splatter of blood; the ripping flesh. How dare Blair tell us it's wrong?... Thank God for Ireland! A country where you can still kill vermin… And look - here's a chap from the BBC, come to make a programme about us. What's he going to call it? Hibernia Hunting (11am, Radio 4)? Jolly good, tally-ho, here comes the red mist ... (story)

Gloucester Citizen 16.1.06 HOUNDS MUST BE CONTROLLED - Your report "Hound died chasing fox over road" (January 6) would seem to indicate gross irresponsibility by the Cotswold Hunt…. The law is clear that if hounds come off a trail and start chasing a fox, the master must call them off immediately… If the Cotswold cannot control its hounds, it should not be taking them out. BEN HARDING, League Against Cruel Sports Ltd (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.1.06 HUNT FOR MISSING WILD BOAR COMPROMISED PUBLIC SAFETY - Your article (WDP January 5) about the failed 'piggy' hunt that rampaged over Exmoor National Park on January 4 appalled me. By what right, and on whose authority, did this motley collection of hooray Henrys and Henriettas have to charge booted, spurred and armed to the teeth, in areas where the public have roaming rights?... Your photograph shows a youth, looking about 12 carrying a slung, cased weapon. Is this legal in a public place? I doubt it…. Graham Fishpool Yeovil Somerset (letter)

Times 16.1.06 Gun ban 'damaging Olympic hopes' BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - Campaigners are seeking a change in the law to boost Britain’s medal chances - MINISTERS are under growing pressure to relax a ban on handguns to allow Britain’s champion shooters to train for the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. At present about 100 competitors spend up to £10,000 a year travelling to Switzerland, where their guns are kept locked in an armoury at a shooting range in Zurich…. The Countryside Alliance is mounting a campaign for the Government to make a special case for competition shooters. A poll conducted by the alliance indicated that 73 per cent of people opposed the ban…. (story)

Argus 16.1.06 Letter: Leave off gulls - I am tired of people who live in this beautiful coastal county, continually complaining about seagulls…. -Sylvia Harwood, Hove (letter in archive)

Chichester Observer 16.1.06 (12.1.06) Animal rights protest outside city boutique - Members of the Southern Animal Rights Coalition picketed outside a Chichester boutique last week to protest against the sale of rabbit fur items in the shop. However the boutique's owner, Lynne Waller, said that the fur was legitimately bought and certificated as being part of the food chain… Sarah Whitehead, one of the protesters and a member of the coalition, said that a shop assistant had confirmed that scarves trimmed with rabbit fur were being sold…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 16.1.06 PRAYER FOR ANIMALS - Animal-lovers in the city are being invited to pray for their friends. The first-ever meeting of Gloucester's Animal Welfare Prayer Group is taking place on Saturday March 4… (story)

The Sentinel 16.1.06 ANIMAL CRUELTY IS AN OUTRAGE - I am writing to express my concern about cruelty to animals. It is outrageous… NATHAN FALAT Gladstone Primary School (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 16.1.06 wildlife - Lay off Sammy - SAMMY the Seal, which has been eating fish along the River Annan, could be killed by officials from the Fishery Board. I represent the Save Our Seals Fund and we have just been made aware of the threat. This highlights just how little protection seals have in the UK… JOHN F ROBINS, Save Our Seals Fund, Dumbarton (letter)


Sunday Sun (Newcastle) 15.1.06 Hounded by hunt By Sarah Robertson, The Sunday Sun - Furious residents on an estate dubbed Millionaires' Row, whose neighbours include football star Alan Shearer, have slammed hunt bosses after a pack of hounds chasing a fox rampaged through their gardens… Glynnis Hind, 59, is seething after the Tynedale Hunt hounds descended on her Darras Road home last Monday and is deciding whether to report the incident to police…. A spokesman for the Tynedale Hunt said the smell of a fox had diverted the hounds from a laid scent… (story)

Bedfordshire on Sunday 15.1.06 Mayor in clear over 'fascism' comments - THE Standards Board of England has rejected an animal rights organisation's complaint that Bedford's Mayor was disrespectful. The EAARC had written to Mr Branston complaining that the new Nirah project will allow experiments on fish and animals. The group also claimed that vivisection would be taking place. He replied to their complaints by saying: "It is so factually incorrect as to be ludicrous. There is no vivisection, only freshwater habitats are involved, hence no dolphins or sea creatures. Your arrogance is unbelievable. I suppose you believe you have terrorised everybody into quiescent acceptance of your view, however perverse and inaccurate it may be. This is fascism and I despise fascists.”… After an investigation the Standards Board has written to the Mayor saying its Ethical Standards Officer considers Mr Branston exercised his right to freedom of expression in his letter…. (story)
Bedfordshire on Sunday 2.10.05 Nirah protesters score £50 victory - ANIMAL rights activists have been 'tossed a bone' by a local government watchdog. A complaint made earlier this year by Bedford Animal Action against Bedford Borough Council, has been upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman. Specifically aimed at the Mayor, Frank Branston, the complaint centred on an invitation to attend a public meeting to discuss the Nirah project that was ignored… The ombudsman found that these actions had caused Bedford Animal Action inconvenience and amounted to maladministration on the part of the council. The council has now issued a written apology and paid the group £50 as compensation for the inconvenience caused….Justina Mclennan from Bedford Animal Action said, "The Mayor chose to ignore all correspondence from the group, including our complaint, just because he doesn't happen to share the same view as us regarding the Nirah project…" Mayor Branston said: "The complaint is unjustified because they had declared the date and time of the meeting before they wrote to me - £50 is the least the ombudsman can give. They have been tossed a bone which, as vegetarians, they probably will not take."… (story)
Bedford Times 10.9.05 "That's your ballot!",fumes mayor - Anti Nirah protesters challenged over voting - UNBOWED borough boss Mayor Frank Branston has challenged critics of the Nirah Project to test their popularity at the ballot box. Mr Branston is under investigation by a local government watchdog after he dubbed campaigners against the plan for a giant aquarium at Stewartby "fascists". The Standards Board for England has launched an inquiry into this possible "failure to treat others with respect", following a complaint over his choice of language by the East Anglia Animal Rights Coalition (EAARC)… Echoing Nirah's assurances vivisection will not be conducted, Mr Branston replied that EAARC's claims were "ludicrous", adding: "I suppose you believe you have terrorised everybody into quiescent acceptance of your view, however perverse and inaccurate it may be. This is fascism and I despise fascists."… (story)
Bedfordshire on Sunday 27.3.05 Branston in a pickle - I am the letter writer for East Anglia Animal Rights regarding the Mayor. We are not small minded enough nor do we have the time to report him to the police for inflammatory remarks…. The reason I did not sign my letter to the Mayor is because I wrote it on behalf of EAARC it has nothing to do with being 'arrogant' or anything else. Why doesn't Nirah come out and put its plans on the table for everyone to see?... John Taylor, Church End, Bedford
Free speech - Re: the Mayor's comments about East Anglia Animal Rights and the proposed aquarium issue, I emailed him about his comments and received this reply: 'But people making threats based on their assumption that we will be fearful because of violent activities as well, and doing so anonymously, are worthy of contempt….' Surely to accuse people of threats and violence needs some evidence, in my view this group were exercising their human right to protest. If the Mayor does not respect freedom of speech then he is a poor representative of a democratic country. K Musker, St Austel Close Moreton, Wirrall
Grim truth - Those who claim that the lives of animals are of little or no importance reflect deep-seated speciesism, which is a form of fascism towards non-human animals…. S Edwards, Dubai, UAE
I would like to make two points about the reader's letter 'Nazi tactics' and your article about the sayings of Mr Branston, Mayor of Bedford Borough. Mayor Branston, if people aren't allowed to voice their opinion by writing a letter to the authorities without being called names by the Mayor and if, in the Mayor's opinion, writing a letter of protest is equal to trying to get one's way by force or treat of force - then England isn't a democracy anymore… Maria Borremans, Belgium (letters)
Bedfordshire on Sunday 27.3.05 Nazi tactics - In the 1930s the Nazis attacked Jews, burned their properties and eventually murdered them. They were called fascists. Nowadays some animal rights activists terrorise research scientists, burn their cars and damage their properties. Are they not also fascists? Excess of political correctness is ruining this country and it is high time that somebody stood up and called a spade a bloody shovel…. Vivian F Suter, St Mary's Close, Elstow (letter)
Bedfordshire on Sunday 13.3.05 Fascist label lands Mayor in deep water - FISH protesters have reported the Mayor to the police for calling them fascists. The East Anglia Animal Rights Coalition (EEARC) wrote to Frank Branston, Mayor of Bedford Borough, complaining that the new Eden-style project, which looks like being built in Bedfordshire, will allow experiments on fish and animals…. It has been stressed by Nirah, the organisation behind the plans, that no invasive experiments will be carried out…. Mr Branston replied to their complaints by saying: "It is so factually incorrect as to be ludicrous. There is no vivisection; only freshwater habitats are involved, hence no dolphins or sea creatures. Your arrogance is unbelieavable. I suppose you believe you have terrorised everybody into quiescent acceptance of your view, however perverse and inaccurate it may be. This is fascism and I despise fascists."… An EAARC spokesman said:… "We have written to the council's chief executive demanding the mayor make a public apology for his outrageous behaviour." The Mayor responded:… "People who try to get their way by force or threat of force are fascists in my book and they won't get an apology from me." (story)


Guardian 14.1.06 On the frontline in war over Oxford animal laboratory - Mark Honigsbaum and Alok Jha - Two construction workers emerge from behind a sheet of aluminium siding, their faces concealed beneath balaclavas. It is a crisp January afternoon in Oxford and the razor wire surrounding the university's planned new animal research laboratory in South Parks Road glistens with frost. However, the protesters corralled by police on the opposite pavement do not believe the balaclavas are for warmth alone. "They don't want us to see their faces," said Mel Broughton, a spokesman for Speak, a campaign group opposed to the new biomedical facility. "Perhaps it's because they're ashamed."… (story)

Bath Chronicle 14.1.06 COWS' MILK IS BAD FOR KIDS - As a leading health charity, the Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation backs DEFRA's proposal to scrap subsidies for school milk - not because they are inefficient and ineffective but because cows' milk is bad for children… DR JUSTINE BUTLER, Health campaigner (letter)

Western Morning News 14.1.06 WILD BOAR ARE NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH - By coincidence, on my first day back after a fortnight in France I read your report of the Great Wild Boar Hunt (WMN, January 5). While I was over there I had watched a TV documentary which dealt with a wild boar hunt in the woodlands of Burgundy, where the sanglier never went extinct. Their result on that particular day was similar, one sighting but no kill. However all concerned had enjoyed a fine day with much horn blowing and general ritual, finishing off with a good dinner amongst friends…. If it is true that a large number of these animals have been deliberately released into the countryside by members of the animal rights faction, that only confirms my opinion of their preternatural stupidity and ignorance… J Ward-Hayne, Modbury South Devon (letter)


Independent 13.1.06 Racing: Pointers on the rise despite hunting ban By Mick Connaughton - This year point-to-point season kicked off to its earliest ever start at Cottenham on 2 January and has managed to continue with virtually the same fixture list as last season until the finale on 17 June despite fears over the consequences of the hunting ban. The question "What affect has the hunting ban had on point-to-pointing?" is best answered by Mao Tse-Tung's reply when asked in the 1960s what he thought the consequences of the French Revolution had been - "It's too early to tell"…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 13.1.06 DEBATE ON WHO SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRYSIDE - Who should run the countryside is the question to be debated at the Scottish Countryside Alliance's annual conference in April. Delivering the keynote address is former sports minister Kate Hoey, who is chairwoman of the Countryside Alliance nationally and was one of the few Labour MPs to vote against the ban on hunting… Who should run the countryside is the question to be debated at the Scottish Countryside Alliance's annual conference in April. Delivering the keynote address is former sports minister Kate Hoey, who is chairwoman of the Countryside Alliance nationally and was one of the few Labour MPs to vote against the ban on hunting… (story)

Western Daily Press 13.1.06 GOOGLE IS OUTFOXED - They might be the biggest company on the internet, but search engine giant Google was last night summarily sacked by a pro-hunting website who sparked controversy by being linked to big game hunting in Africa. The fox-hunters at FighttheBan. com have ditched Google and distanced themselves from links shown on their website advertising trips to shoot giraffe and leopard in Namibia…. (story)
Wilts & Glos Standard 10.1.06 Big game link to Cotswold hunting website by Tom Shepherd - A PRO-HUNT website is in the firing line this week after promoting big game hunting in Africa where giraffes, cheetahs and leopards can be shot for the right price. Hunt campaigners behind Felix the Fox, who have organised high profile stunts to demonstrate against the hunting ban, have been attacked for allowing a link from the Fight the Ban site… Nonetheless, Cirencester pro-hunt campaigner Rupert Sturgis told the Standard this week he was unaware about the big game company's links with the site…. He said the Cotswold-based site had adverts arranged by web giant Google, which fits adverts based on linked words, in this case 'hunting'…. (story in archive)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 6.1.06 AFRICA HUNTING LINK IS PULLED - A Price list for shooting African wildlife has been pulled from a pro-fox hunting website amid criticism. Hunt campaigners behind Felix the Fox had removed the link to a website advertising hunting for southern African wild animals including cheetah, oryx, baboon, leopard and zebra… A spokesman for the Cotswolds-based website said the link had been put there after being matched up by an external internet company…. (story)
Western Daily Press 4.1.06 YOUR CHANCE TO SHOOT A CHEETAH - ONE CLICK FROM FOX-HUNT WEBSITE - The commercial shooting of everything from baboons and cheetahs to zebra and giraffe was on offer yesterday by visiting a West-based profox-hunting website. Hunt campaigners behind Felix the Fox, who have become notorious for stunts against the hunting ban, were attacked yesterday for allowing a link for the slaughter of wildlife in southern Africa on their Fight the Ban website…. Back in July, when the Daily Press revealed the links between Fight the Ban and trophy hunting in southern Africa, a spokesman for the website distanced it from trophy hunting, and the link was quickly pulled from Felix the Fox's home page. But just after Christmas, the link reappeared, with a new price list for 2006… (story)

Bury Free Press 13.1.06 Owl's about that? - An eagle owl named Maggie is the latest tactic being used by the Suffolk Hunt to get around the the law which bans hunting with dogs. The Suffolk Hunt said it is planning to use an exemption in the law to continue fox hunting, albeit with the owl making the kill instead of dogs…. (story)

Carlisle News & Star 13.1.06 HUNTING - Police should target all our criminals - BECAUSE of the new Countryside Act banning fox and hare hunting with dogs, does this mean that the Northwest Animal Welfare would like to have a mass cull of all dogs with current packs?... As many dog owners will understand, it is not always possible to train a dog not to chase another animal, so it would be difficult to train a pack of dogs not to chase a fleeing deer…. MARGARET CAMERON, Melbreak Avenue, Cockermouth (letter)

Gloucestershire Gazette 13.1.06 Hunters have no recourse - WHEN the first successful prosecutions are inevitably made and the Hunting Act is shown to have teeth, perhaps those disingenuously bleating on about it being 'unworkable' will shut up and take notice…. it was an expression of the democratic will of Parliament and, as such, a reflection of the majority. And boy, it was a long time coming, wiping out disgusting activity which is totally at odds with any compassionate society…. Simon Hacker Hillesley (letter in archive)

Daily Record 13.1.06 YOURVIEW - ROYALS RUMBLED - THE Royals don't care what we think of them murdering birds or animals. Edward is unconcerned what we thought about him battering a pigeon to death with a stick…. George Drummond, Glasgow (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 13.1.06 PAIR IN HARE COURSING OUTING ARE FINED - RAYMOND SHEWAN - Two men who admitted being involved in hare coursing were fined at Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday. Alec Reid, 17, and 23-year-old Stephen Stewart pleaded guilty to deliberately hunting hares with dogs in a field at Alves, near Forres, on May 1 last year… Reid and Stewart were each fined £250 when they admitted contravening the 2002 Protection of Wild Mammals Act. (story)

The Sentinel 13.1.06 WHO ARE THE ANIMALS? - I Was thankful to have Animals on DVD. To have sat through the laboratory scenes - monkeys dragged from cages and experimented on - at real time would just have been too awful. Despite a disclaimer at the beginning, Animals was clearly based on the long-running furore surrounding Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS)….(story)

BBC News Online 13.1.06 Badger group plans cull response - A South West badger group has said it will do "whatever it takes" to save animals if a cull is introduced…. The West Country Badger Action Group said it would trespass and break the law. But other badger groups are refusing to condone such actions…. (story)

Argus 13.1.06 Wave of outrage at seal pool bid by Karen Hoy - An aquarium's plans for penguin and seal pools has prompted angry protests from animal lovers. The Brighton Sea Life Centre, one of the busiest tourist attractions on the South Coast, wants permission to build the pools at its entrance…. Green councillor Georgia Wrighton has called in the application. This means it would have to be decided by the planning committee rather than council officers deciding the outcome…. Sue Baumgardt, spokeswoman for Brighton Animal Action, said: "It's not the place for seals or penguins. There's something instinctive in me that feels that animals for entertainment isn't right."…(story in archive)


Whitehaven News 12.1.06 Reader of the pack - WHEN the hunting with dogs ban came into force last February, it dramatically altered the history of Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds…. In a new glossy, comprehensively-written book The Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds: The History of a Lakeland Pack author Jill Mason looks back over the development of the pack, owned for over 90 years by the Porter family…. (story)

BBC News Online 12.1.06 Man not guilty of hunt assaults - A man has been cleared of assaulting a group of female anti-hunt protesters. Martin Eccleston, 53, of Coolham Road, Thakeham, West Sussex, clashed with them at a hunt meeting in January 2005. He was convicted of causing criminal damage to the women's Land Rover, but cleared of charges of common assault and inflicting actual bodily harm. A jury at Lewes Crown Court failed to reach verdicts on two other actual bodily harm charges. Eccleston was given a 12-month conditional discharge. He was also ordered to pay £60 compensation after being found guilty of smashing the rear windscreen of the protesters' vehicle….The confrontation happened at a meeting of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt near Thakeham. (story)
Telegraph 6.1.06 Hunt supporter 'beat saboteur with a pole' By Stewart Payne - A member of the Countryside Alliance attacked a female hunt saboteur with a pole during a protest at one of the last meets before the ban on fox hunting, a court was told yesterday. Martin Eccleston, 53, was said to have been "looking for trouble" when he allegedly confronted Jaine Wild and another woman at a meeting of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt in Thakeham, West Sussex, last January… Eccleston claims he was acting in self-defence as the women were "in a frenzy". He denies actual bodily harm, common assault, carrying a knife and criminal damage…. (story)

Horse & Hound 12.1.06 Hunt groom wins BEF Award - A dedicated hunt groom from Lincolnshire has been voted groom of the year 2005- Julie Barker, groom to the Burton Hunt, Lincolnshire has been voted groom of the year 2005. Judges Carl Hester and Chris Saunders both chose Barker out of the seven finalists for the Kuster BEF Groom Award… (story)

Tavistock Times Gazette 12.1.06 Hunting viewed through the eyes of the horses, hounds and foxes . . . MUCH energy and column inches have been expended in the feverish debate about the Hunting Act since it was passed by Parliament eleven months ago. But established Westcountry artist Virginia Pope who is well known for her paintings of horses and other countryside subjects has written a new book tackling the issue not from the human point of view, but by imagining it through the eyes of the horses, hounds and foxes involved. Huntin? Bill is a mix of verse and prose, paintings and sketches and reflects on the implications of banning hunting from the point of view of the animals… (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 12.1.06 Stick up for farmers instead - IN response to A Martyn's letter "keep your hands off our rural tradition" (The Evening Telegraph, January 5), this is, in my deep belief, one more self-pitying whinge by the hunting fraternity in defence of a "sport" that seems to be a waste of time in its stated purpose of controlling the fox population…. It is funny that the Countryside Alliance and the hunting fraternity never seem to put their heads above the parapet and stand up for the small dairy and arable farmers… G SKIPPON, Elizabeth Road, Stamford (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 9.1.06 Jolly good hunt letter, what? I must congratulate Anthony Martyn on his letter ("Keep your hands off rural tradition", ET Letters, January 5) in support of bloodsports. For who could argue with the idyllic image he paints… But wait! Hasn't he forgotten something? It's the victims, of course! You know – the stag posing to have his photo taken with his pals in jolly red coats…. John Johnson, Deerleap, Bretton, Peterborough (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 5.1.06 Keep your hands off rural tradition - I HOPE everybody has had a really good Christmas, and that 2006 is happy and prosperous for all. Today, many lovers of the outdoors, and those willing to be counted as possible law-breakers, went out on their horses to enjoy a fine winter's day, and to follow hounds and men in red coats. Clearly, the Labour Party, who planned to spoil a traditional pastime has failed miserably…. ANTHONY MARTYN, Elton Road, Wansford, Peterborough (letter)

Evesham Journal 12.1.06 Supporters were out in numbers - AS a committee member of the Croome and West Warwickshire Supporters Club, may on behalf of the club committee say a big thank you to all the people and visitors who came into Pershore on Boxing Day to see the hunt and the Golden Eagle Boss which was very good…. MRS SALLY ROBINSON, Committee member, Bransford Road, St John's, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Evesham Journal 12.1.06 Law makes no hunt exceptions - A joint-master of the Warwickshire hunt is quoted in the Journal as saying that their hounds have killed foxes by 'mistake' ('Hunts maintain festive tradition', December 23rd) but the Hunting Act makes no exemption for accidents…. The hunts have a duty to restrain their hounds or else they will build a case for their own prosecution. Gill Purser, Clapton-on-the-Hill, Cheltenham, Glos (letter in archive)

Daily Ireland 12.1.06 Hare coursing clubs help outsource cruelty - The old adage that "England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity" comes to mind in relation to the decision by British hare coursing fans to stage their marathon hare baiting event in Ireland. They have been formally invited to do so by our own blood-sport fraternity… The cap-tipping Paddywhack brigade were only too happy to oblige the hare killers, just as sections of our tourist industry extend a warm and hearty welcome to killers of songbirds and to red-coated clowns who hound or terrorise foxes… John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Worcester Evening News 12.1.06 No reason for a rise in shooting - Jon Burgess (Letters, December 29) goes into detail about the possible wounding of foxes by shooting since the ban on hunting. His argument is based on the false premise that more foxes will be shot and wounded, the increase in suffering being worse than the removal of chasing them to their death, often involving prolonged digging out by hunt terriermen. However, there is no reason for shooting to increase as a consequence of the hunting ban and no evidence that it has…. PETER BUNCE, Haddenham, Bucks (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 29.12.05 Hunting looked after the welfare of the fox - L Spiteri spreads a deal of confusion regarding the shooting of game and foxes. Game birds such as pheasant are easily brought down by just three or four pellets from the many fired from a shotgun cartridge… Shooting a fox poses a number of problems which L Spiteri fails to understand. To begin with, the fox is nocturnal, which places the shooter at great disadvantage. Using a high-powered rifle is effective but requires a large area free from public access to be safe. The shotgun avoids this problem because it has a short range but can be off target by a few centimetres. Consequently, a fox can escape carrying three or four pellets wounds from which it will later die…. JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 17.12.05 Wounded game birds suffer badly - "Once again, he is showing ignorance", read the headline to Alan Cure's letter (December 1). Be that as it may, in his defence of foxhunting, Mr Cure claimed that wounded foxes could take 10 days to die of lead poisoning. Well, if the hunting fraternity cannot shoot and cleanly kill a large moving target such as a fox, what are their chances of shooting and killing smaller flying targets such as game birds?... L SPITERI, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 1.12.05 Once again, he is showing ignorance - Once again, L Spiteri shows his ignorance of the subject when he attacks foxhunting. May I remind him that a little knowledge is dangerous. When there are too many foxes in a particular area there is not enough natural food to go round. At that point, the fox starts to raid the chicken houses and even new-born lambs…. With foxhunting, the fox is either killed within a second or gets away. The present law banning foxhunting is certainly not in the best interests of the fox. ALAN CURE, Dormston, Worcestershire (letter in archive)

Northern Echo 12.1.06 Top grouse moor sold for £5.25m - ONE of the country's premium grouse moors changed hands for the first time in more than 440 years. Wemmergill Moor, in Upper Teesdale, County Durham, has been bought by pub and fast-food tycoon Michael Cannon. The entrepreneur, who is originally from Bristol, last night pledged to bring money and jobs to the area….. (story in archive)
Daily Post 12.1.06 Top grouse moor sells for £5.25m - THE world's premier grouse moor has changed hands after 444 years of ownership by the Bowes-Lyon family, of Glamis Castle, Scotland. Wemmergill Moor in County Durham has been bought by entrepreneur Michael Cannon from the Earl of Strathmore in a deal costing £5.25m (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 12.1.06 Gamekeepers' Course by Jon Butler - The Game Conservancy Trust are about to run their gamekeepers' course in the north of England for the first time this year. The two-day course at Harewood Estate, Harrogate will take place from March 14-16 and will include training on trapping legislation, habitat, agri-environment schemes, gamebird releasing, densities and health…. (story in archive)

Glasgow Herald 12.1.06 Twist in the tale of how dogs are docked - DOUGLAS FRASER, Scottish Political Editor - Puppies could soon be taken to England to have their tails docked under less stringent animal welfare law, as Scotland moves towards a near-total ban on the practice. Ross Finnie, the environment and rural development minister, yesterday said he was concerned that the laws on either side of the border may not mirror each other, as had been expected when the Scottish Executive drew up its animal welfare bill…. (story)

Daily Post 12.1.06 Fire alarm - MORE catastrophic wild fires are likely on Welsh hillsides as a result of global warming and changing farming practices…. New curbs on heather burning are proposed in consultation by the Welsh Assembly, due to conclude on March 10… But the Countryside Alliance says the proposals, including plans for "no-burn areas", are not based on good science. In its response to the consultation, it said: "With climate change and greater public access, the risk of catastrophic wildfires is increasing….” (story)

Western Daily Press 12.1.06 COUNCIL IGNORED ANIMAL WELFARE - The people who go to the vigils at the Glastonbury Greyhound Stadium have first and foremost the welfare of the dogs that are raced there in mind, as was shown clearly at the last meeting of 2005…. V T Andrew Somerset (letter)

Bromley Express 12.1.06 Badgers should be protected - BADGERS are beautiful creatures that desperately need to be protected by all of us…. But now badgers face a new threat to their lives - a threat from greedy farmers purely interested in protecting their investment in cattle… Barbara Smith, Biggin Hill. (letter)

Dartford Times 12.1.06 Turkey treatment hard to swallow - Chris Pope, Vegetarian Society (letter)
Bromley Express 12.1.06 Turkey treatment hard to swallow - Many readers may have watched the Dispatches programme on Channel 4 on December 19 and will have been shocked and horrified by the scenes of suffering endured by turkey and pigs being reared in modern factory farms, and by the subsequent sickening images in the slaughter houses… Free advice on going veggie and sample recipes are available from The Vegetarian Society… Chris Pope, Vegetarian Society (letter)

Bromley Express 12.1.06 Thank you to singers - Animals in Distress would like to thank all the singers who turned out 'in the bleak midwinter' to sing at Chelsfield, Petts Wood and Orpington station - Shirley Baxter, Ted Burke, am Rieden, Joyce Marrison and Edward Ward… J Marrison, Bruce Grove, Orpington (letter)

Independent 12.1.06 Battle On High Seas: Japan's target is to kill 935 whales By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor - Greenpeace activists confronted the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean yet again yesterday as part of their continuing protest against Japan's annual whale hunt….(story)

Glasgow Herald 12.1.06 Lobsters can still be boiled alive - DAMIEN HENDERSON - Ministers have rejected a ban on boiling lobsters alive, claiming the scientific evidence does not prove they can feel pain…. His comments dismayed animal rights campaigners, who called for lobsters, crabs, octopus, and squid to be included in animal protection bills passing through Westminster and the Scottish Parliament. Advocates for Animals, an Edinburgh-based charity, said the executive's stance contradicted the EU's Food Safety Authority… (story)

Daily Record 12.1.06 YOURVIEW - END THE PAIN - THE bird flu outbreak in Turkey and South East Asia has rightly been highlighted in the news. What has not been highlighted however is the appalling methods used to cull the unfortunate birds. Many are killed by burning, suffocation and burying alive… Scott Reid, Glasgow (story)

Western Daily Press 12.1.06 HELP CHANGE LIVES - With reference to your story of the naming of Chi and Ki, the rescued moon bear cubs, this is a wonderful story. This is charitable giving with the best possible results… Anna Harrison South Devon (letter)

Western Daily Press 12.1.06 RAID NO.2 ON WEST BOAR FARM IS FOILED - A second attempt to free a herd of boar has been made only weeks after more than 100 of the animals were let out from an Exmoor farm. The latest attempt is said to have taken place on Tuesday night near the East Anstey farm where the animals were released to rampage across the countryside just before Christmas. Animal rights extremists are being blamed for both attempts…. (story)


Glamorgan Gem 11.1.06 Hunt holds its annual meeting - THE Glamorgan Hunt held its Christmas meeting on Boxing Day. Cowbridge High Street saw spectators cheering on the hounds and more than 80 riders as they left Arthur John’s car park, and the Vale of Glamorgan Inn… (story)

Leicester Mercury 11.1.06 TONY 'AN INSPIRATION TO ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP' - Animal welfare supporters have paid tribute to former sports minister Tony Banks, who died this weekend. Mr Banks, formerly a Labour MP for West Ham, who became Lord Stratford last year, was vice-president of the League Against Cruel Sports. Dr Jane Evans, the league's Leicestershire representative said: "Tony was a truly outstanding human being, generous of heart, energetic, compassionate and, more importantly, someone that inspired others…. (story)
Worcester Evening News 10.1.06 MP Foster's tribute to Labour peer Tony Banks - WORCESTER MP Mike Foster has paid a warm tribute to Tony Banks, his co-architect of the hunting ban, who died on Sunday evening… (story in archive)
Times 9.1.06 Tony Banks … Unlike many of the anti-hunters, as it happened, he had a consistent record on animal welfare. Whales, badgers, imported parrots, the tortoises of the Galapagos islands and the merits of vegetarianism all featured in the Banks portfolio, and he advocated a "properly funded dog warden scheme paid for by the licence fees of responsible dog owners”…. (story)
BBC News Online 9.1.06 Tributes paid to ex-MP Tony Banks - Many friends and colleagues have paid tribute to the former sports minister Tony Banks who died after suffering a massive stroke, aged 62…. From the backbenches he pursued his passion for animal welfare, contributing to the Hunting Bill debate. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) director Phyllis Campbell-McRae said he had worked with the charity for many years…. (story)
Independent 9.1.06 Tony Banks, minister and maverick, dies aged 62 after massive stroke By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent - With an acerbic wit and a readiness to throw comic jibes at his political opponents, Tony Banks was one of the most colourful figures in British politics… On the backbenches, he was a passionate supporter of animal rights, served as vice president of the League Against Cruel Sports and tirelessly pushed for a full ban on hunting with hounds…. (story)
Telegraph 9.1.06 Tony Banks - The Lord Stratford, formerly Tony Banks MP, who has died aged 62, was the controversial and outspoken Minister of Sport and Heritage in Tony Blair's first government after Labour's victory in the General Election of 1997… Banks, who was vice-president of the League Against Cruel Sports, was angered by accusations from pro-hunting campaigners that he did not understand the countryside ("Bloody nonsense! I feel a huge affinity with nature,") yet his rabid vegetarianism did little for his cause…. (story)
Scotsman 9.1.06 Tributes pour in as ex-sports minister dies after stroke - TONY Banks, a former Labour sports minister, died last night after suffering a massive stroke while on holiday in Florida…. Lord Stratford, a passionate defender of animal rights and a vegetarian, was a vocal campaigner for the hunting ban and was vice-president of the League Against Cruel Sports…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 8.1.06 Tributes paid to Banks as he suffers massive stroke By Melissa Kite - Tony Banks, the former sports minister, was close to death last night after suffering a massive stroke while on holiday in the United States…. Animal rights were a passion and the vegetarian peer was a vocal campaigner for the hunting ban. He was vice-president of the League Against Cruel Sports. John Cooper, the league's chairman, said: "In his firm belief that people have a moral responsibility in respect of how they treat animals, Tony Banks is not just a figurehead for millions of animal welfare supporters across Britain but a determined street-fighter in the corridors of Westminster….” (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 11.1.06 Fall in fox numbers - Is anyone in this government that imposed the unpopular fox hunting law monitoring the effect it has had on the fox population?... There has been in my opinion a massive reduction in the fox population. I have a caravan on the Clee Hills and have not seen a road killed fox for six months, nor have I heard the scream of a vixen at night. There are five earths within walking distance of my van and every one is empty. I stopped the hunt master two weeks ago when they were hunting near Cookley at 11.30am. No fox had been sighted. He was of the same opinion as myself, too many foxes are now being shot because farmers won't risk losing livestock… Robin Walker, Brettell Lane, Stourbridge (letter)

Yorkshire Post 11.1.06 No thanks from the countryside From: JW Buckley, Aketon, Pontefract. Duncan Anderson (Yorkshire Post, January 4) suggests that a vote of thanks be given to the Government. Ignoring his swipe against hunting and farmers, he bases this on his statement that socialism has always better protected rural communities… The exact opposite of a vote of thanks would better reflect the impact of the present Government on rural communities. (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 9.1.06 LABOUR'S RURAL BRITANNIA - Duncan Anderson, Mill Lane, East Halton (letter)
Yorkshire Post 4.1.06 Vote of thanks needed From: Duncan Anderson, Mill Lane, East Halton, Immingham. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 31.12.05 COMMUNITIES PROTECTED BY SOCIALISM - (letter)
Guardian 28.12.05 I'm sure that Kate Hoey will be writing to thank Tony Blair and Labour MPs for taking the cruelty out of hunting, thereby making the countryside more accessible to those who considered the actions of a minority to be on a par with cock fighting and badger baiting…. Duncan Anderson, Immingham, N Lincs (letter)

Cornwall Packet 11.1.06 Hunting OK if animals aren't mauled to death - I thought your headline, "Ban? What Ban?" was silly. Of course the hunting ban is being enforced, no matter what the huntspeople might say…. Denis Raymond, Ravenhill Road, Bristol (letter in archive)

News Letter 11.1.06 Hare Needs To Be Better Protected - The Countryside Alliance's welcome for the 2005 Irish hare survey is a thinlydisguised excuse to defend hare coursing…. It is a matter of record that pregnant hares are caught for coursing, along with nursing mothers whose leverets are left to die from starvation in the wild… Mike Rendle, Irish Hare Initiative, Co Tyrone (letter)

Banbury Guardian 11.1.06 Saddened that killing goes on - I WAS sad to see in the article about the Boxing Day Hunt from Chipping Norton that nothing had changed… Why do they have to kill something? It is surely not reasonable to suggest that this is a way of protecting farmers' livestock from foxes. Elizabeth Gatliff, Wroxton Lane, Horley (letter)

Worcester Evening News 11.1.06 Gunmen are riding the Clifton range - Your front page "We're Coming Back with Guns" read like the lines of a spaghetti Western script. It had me on the edge of my seat! But it barely reads like the methodical reality of how hunt monitors operate out in the winter countryside…. Octavia Pollock from the Clifton hunt should relax! I doubt that the Worcestershire countryside will be resonating with the ricocheting bullets of the anti hunt posse. No self-respecting "anti" would make the kind of threats claimed, and no "anti" would try to disrupt a trail hunt…. ANDREW BROWN, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 3.1.06 Gun claim from hunt is rubbish - A FORMER huntswoman who turned saboteur has rubbished claims that a Worcestershire hunt was threatened by protesters who vowed to come back with guns and to burn down kennels. Lynn Sawyer, of Boat Lane, Evesham, said she had experienced the bloodsport from both sides and was shocked when she read the claims by Clifton upon Teme hunt in Saturday's Worcester News. The animal rights activist believes hunts are the more violent of the battling sides and she had witnessed physical violence and even threats to break legs from some hunts…. (story in archive)

Gloucestershire Echo 11.1.06 HUNT GROUPS SHOULD KEEP WITHIN LAW - Madam - Two stories caught my eye in the Echo (January 6). They both involved a layer of society that seems to believe that it's above the law of the land. The first told how motorists travelling at 70mph had to swerve to avoid hitting a pack of hounds streaming across the A41… How can we hold our heads up and teach our children to stay within the law when some people flout it?... Mr Stanton, Cheltenham (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 11.1.06 POLICE MUST BE CONSISTENT - Madam - I refer to the death of a dog (Echo, January 6) after motorists had to dodge hunting hounds when they ran across a dual carriageway near Cirencester. The response of the Joint Master of the Cotswold Hunt, Bob Cooper, that "there's nothing we can do" is shameful…. Let's hope we see the police take action against this hunt in just the same way as they would an ordinary dog owner in this situation…. Gill Purser, Cheltenham (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 11.1.06 CANINE TALKS - Gundogs will be the subject of a national conference being held at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester next month. Experts from across the UK will be speaking at the third National Gundog Conference on February 26. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) event will also feature talks first aid in the field, tail-docking, canine health and training methods… (story)

Western Morning News 11.1.06 GAMEKEEPERS TO GET ADVICE ON BIRD FLU OUTBREAKS - Shoots and gamekeepers and in the Westcountry are to be given advice about new measures designed to combat any outbreak of bird flu. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) will be running a series of national and regional roadshows from next week to advise gamekeepers and shoots about the new Great Britain Poultry Register…. (story)

Scotsman 11.1.06 Capercaillie thrive after Highland conservation efforts - JOHN ROSS - CONSERVATION on a Highland estate is helping the threatened capercaillie to thrive. For the fourth year in succession the Rothiemurchus estate in the Cairngorms has the best breeding success of all capercaillie populations in Scotland monitored by the Game Conservancy Trust…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 11.1.06 Former gamekeeper jailed for child sex abuse - A FORMER Dalmeny Estate gamekeeper who indecently assaulted three children over a decade has been jailed and placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely. Donald Peter Bennie Smith, 57, who worked at the South Queensferry estate in the 1970s, indecently touched the teenagers between 1978 and 1989…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 11.1.06 KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR HARES - Wiltshire: Landowners and wildlife enthusiasts are being urged to keep their eyes peeled as part of a county-wide survey. The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is surveying the number of brown hares…. (story)

Galway Independent 11.1.06 Animal rights protestor strips off - Gráinne McMahon - Crowds gathered on Williamsgate Street yesterday as an animal rights activist stripped down to her underwear in an effort to highlight the way circus animals are treated. As part of the hour-long protest organised by Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), a shackled Janine Foley lay in front of the Oscar Wilde monument in the city centre under a banner that read, ‘Shackled, Beaten and Lonely’. Demonstration organiser John Dermody handed out leaflets to the public, asking the crowd to "boycott animal act circuses and stop animal suffering” and to "speak out against animal acts”…. (story)

York Evening Press 11.1.06 Cruelty stopped - A COUPLE of months ago, a correspondent, Sir John Ebbs, wrote to lament the fact that EU subsidies were being used to fund a trade in live cattle to the Middle East, where they would then be slaughtered… As a member of the all-party animal welfare intergroup in the European Parliament, I am working towards the replacement of all live animal trade with a trade in meat. Richard Corbett, Labour MEP for Yorkshire & the Humber, Blenheim Terrace, Leeds. (letter in archive)

Edinburgh Evening News 11.1.06 Executive accused of watering down new animal cruelty laws - IAN SWANSON - ANIMAL welfare campaigners today accused the Scottish Executive of watering down new laws against animal cruelty…. in written evidence to the committee, animal welfare consultant Libby Anderson highlighted the changes and said it would be "regrettable" if the ability to impose higher penalties in more serious cruelty cases was lost…" (story)

icScotland 11.1.06 Animal welfare laws ignore lobsters - Proposed new animal welfare laws will not cover creatures such as lobsters despite calls from campaigners, environment minister Ross Finnie has said…. A spokesman for Advocates for Animals said previously many lobsters were boiled alive and complained: "This is totally unacceptable in today's world." (story)

Western Daily Press 11.1.06 DAILY PRESS HAS DONE IT AGAIN - The Western Daily Press has done it again. What wonderful coverage of a huge step forward in Animals Asia Foundation's campaign to free the Moon bears from their lives of torture and misery on the bear bile farms in China ("MPs back bile bears campaign", December 22)…. Lee Gibbins Holford Somerset (story)

The Sentinel 11.1.06 PROTEST AND SAVE OUR BADGERS - On December 15 the Government announced a 'public consultation period' to consider whether and how to kill badgers. Many people consider this consultation a sham to soften our response to what has already been decided - a mass slaughter of a protected native wildlife species…. On December 15 the Government announced a 'public consultation period' to consider whether and how to kill badgers. Many people consider this consultation a sham to soften our response to what has already been decided - a mass slaughter of a protected native wildlife species. (letter)

Independent 11.1.06 Compassion for all - Ellie Levenson laments in her article (9 January ) that people seem to prefer giving to animal charities than to those involved in tackling "human" dilemmas such as child poverty. I regularly donate to several charities dealing with animal cruelty and welfare, and took the decision years ago to become a vegan. Together with my husband, I also sponsor a child in India, and support charities such as Crisis… KAREN WEST, TUNBRIDGE WELLS, KENT (letter)

Kingsbridge Gazette 11.1.06 Stardust is saved - STARDUST the moon bear has completed his own long march to freedom after campaigners hit their £5,000 liberation target. And organisers of the campaign have given a huge vote of thanks to big-hearted South Hams Newspaper readers who lent their support to the cause. Ivybridge-based spokesman for the group Barbara Gardner said: ‘We are extremely grateful for the tremendous support of the readers of South Hams Newspapers in helping to raise the funds to free Stardust…." (story)


Carlisle News & Star 10.1.06 Beagle pack accused of illegal hunt - POLICE are appealing for information after Waberthwaite-based Black Combe Beagles were accused of illegal hunting. Northwest Animal Welfare (NAW) claim the beagles chased a fox for more than an hour during a meeting in Coniston on December 27…. Master of the hunt Stan Ellwood, 79, denied the allegations… I was interviewed by police and explained that we had been exercising the dogs on a dragged trail when they scared a deer and started after it…." (story)
Cumberland News 30.12.05 Illegal hunt claim By Chris Story - POLICE are probing a complaint of illegal hunting in Cumbria. Members of the North West Animal Welfare group claim the Ravenglass-based Black Combe and District Beagles chased a fox for more than an hour during a meeting at Coniston on Tuesday…. (story)
Whitehaven News 29.12.05 Police probe illegal hunting complaints - POLICE are investigating a complaint of illegal hunting by Waberthwaite based Black Combe Beagles. Hunt monitors belonging to the Northwest Animal Welfare group claim that the Black Combe & District Beagles chased a fox for over an hour during a meet in Coniston on Tuesday, December 27…. But master of the hunt, Stan Ellwood told the News: "I was interviewed by police and explained that we had been excercising the dogs on a dragged trail when they scared a deer and started after it….” Peter Stratton of the Northwest Animal Welfare group had said: "We could hear the beagles in full cry for 10 minutes before we saw them but the reaction of the hunt supporters told us they were onto a live quarry rather than an artificial trail….” (story)

Western Mail 10.1.06 Fox took 20 lambs out of 80, leaving farm 'a battlefield' - Steve Dube, Western Mail - ONE example of the importance of the hunt to the countryside is illustrated in an incident filmed on a small farm above New Quay. A farmer whose ewes had produced 80 lambs had lost 20 of them to the fox. "He was almost in tears," said Neil Davies. "He phoned the local hunt and they had to try to tackle the problem with just two hounds…." (story)

Telegraph 10.1.06 Market news: old Harrovians and nude calendars - Colin Gleadell rounds up the latest news from the fine art and antiques market - A group of young women who work in the art business have stripped off for a calendar, which is being sold to raise funds for the Countryside Alliance. "It started as a dare on a skiing holiday," says Caroline Gibbons, who works for Old Master dealer Anthony Speelman, "and has taken a year of persuasion and cajoling to produce."… (story)

Western Morning News 10.1.06 HUNTING BAN BRINGS LAW INTO DISREPUTE - Richard E Gore-Lloyd, Tiverton (letter)
Mid Devon Gazette 3.1.06 HUNTING BAN AND 'BAD LAW' - Pliny the younger said, nearly 2,000 years ago that 'it is the duty of a citizen to disobey an unjust law'…. The ban on hunting is an excellent example of bad law, liable to bring The Law into disrepute… The spite was to be seen in the speeches by anti-hunting MPs during the debates on the ban. They repeated, like a chorus, the lie told by the anti-hunting lobby. Perhaps they actually believed it after it had been told so often for so long; but the impression given during the debate and in comments afterwards was that their guiding principle had nothing to do with animal welfare and everything to do with getting even in the class war…. Richard E Gore-Lloyd, The Master's House, St Peter Street, Tiverton. (letter)

Western Morning News 10.1.06 Clothing argument - WHEN anti-hunters criticise our clothes I know they are scraping the bottom of the barrel of argument and lazily reclining on prejudice… And as for the planet Class War, is not its chief citizen John Prescott? A Flors (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 10.1.06 HUNT FRATERNITY IS NOT TO BLAME - Regarding the letter I'm fed up with hunt fraternity, Points of view, January 4, it is not the hunting fraternity that causes all the protesting and cost but all the protesters and the so-called animal welfare brigade who are to blame… J Ragless, Gordon Road, Topsham (letter)

Shropshire Star 10.1.06 The league should get facts right - Why is it that the League Against Cruel Sports can’t get their facts right before writing to the Star? I sent an e-mail about the RSPCA not finding homes for 11 foxhounds in Kendal (which was true) as they promised if hunting was banned. That is what I am complaining about, Mr P Taffs. Nothing to do with cruelty…. The LACS begged for money on the internet for donations using a freepost address but were sent van loads of bricks, telephone directories, heavy books and animal excrement to the league’s offices — fine by me…. D Evans Telford (letter)

Shropshire Star 10.1.06 No decent feelings for foxhounds - Oh dear, BR Lewis, of Shrewsbury, really has no idea about compassion for animals, does he? (”Hunt dogs the victims of animal protesters” — December 9). Otherwise he would refrain from making such ridiculous claims about those of us in the business of trying to stop the killing of animals for fun… BR Lewis went on to say the hounds have an enviable lifestyle. I don’t think so. They are locked up in sheds a lot of the time, eat fallen stock and are killed long before they reach middle age. There is no gentle needle toÊeuthanase them — only a bullet or two…. Judi Hewitt League Against Cruel Sports, Rhyl (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.1.06 THIS ACT MUST BE ENFORCED - How out of touch North Wiltshire MP James Gray must be to say: "People want to see an end to this stupid Act" (Western Daily Press, December 27). The Hunting Act is not a stupid Act, but one of the most hardfought-for, and popular, laws ever to reach the statute book… Helen Weeks West Coker Somerset (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 10.1.06 PM is from outer limit - Is our PM the real space cadet?... Our present PM thought he was in charge of the country when he banned fox hunting, yet there is still the same number of hunts roaming the countryside with nobody ever convicted for hunting with dogs. So was the ban on hunting meant for our England or an England in a parallel universe somewhere in outer space?... G E Fanthom, Hinksford Gardens, Swindon. (letter)

Guardian 10.1.06 Raise a mug of tea to Tony Banks - Thank you for your report on Tony Banks (Tributes paid after Tony Banks dies from brain haemorrhage, January 9). Everyone at Animal Aid was very upset to hear of his death. He was a vegetarian and an outspoken supporter of animal welfare and animal rights…is animal campaigning included banning animal circuses from council land, and as an MP he continued his animal work, notably helping to ensure that the hunting ban was not dropped by the government… Richard Mountford, Animal Aid (letter)

Western Morning News 10.1.06 WHAT RIGHT HAVE WE TO INFLICT PAIN ON ANIMALS? - Anna Neemus's defence of animal experimentation (WMN, November 23) appears to be based on her experience of working in laboratories with animals and observation of their (presumably pre-operative) contentment. By contrast, I have met a former director of a large research establishment who became a convinced anti-vivisectionist after retirement…. Adrian Cooper, Lostwithiel (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 10.1.06 Boar-dom, as Animal Rights get it all wrong - WHAT a boar it's all turning out to be. Every time I turn on the television or open a newspaper, there's a picture of a boar staring at me. But, on a serious note, how on earth do the Animal Rights people think they are contributing one jot to the lessening of animal suffering by releasing the boar from their woodland home?... Please don't print my address as I don't want any Animal Rights people turning their attentions to this poor human who opposes them. Name and address supplied (story)

BBC News Online 10.1.06 Animal bill 'won't kill circuses' - New animal welfare laws will not destroy circuses, Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett has insisted. The Animal Welfare Bill, debated in the Commons on Tuesday, includes harsher fines of up to £20,000 and jail terms of up to 51 weeks for cruelty… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 10.1.06 ANIMALS TO AFRICA CRUEL AND NOT NEEDED - Suddenly dumping any animals into Africa from the northern hemisphere is damn cruel ('Goats to Africa', Your View, December 30). The creatures won't survive in the totally different environment…. Like anyone else in the world, people in Africa could live perfectly well on a vegetarian diet. TERENCE MacMANUS, Priory Road, London (letter)

Western Morning News 10.1.06 PET OWNERSHIP IS HUGE RESPONSIBILITY AND NOT A WHIM - How sad to see the picture (WMN, December 9) and learn that Gables Farm dogs and cats home has 90 animals. These rejected animals deserve none of this. If only people would think before buying pets… Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.1.06 BOAR ISSUE HAS TO BE EXPLORED - Coverage in the press of the release of the wild boar in Devon has neglected one fascinating aspect - who are the "animal rights" activists, and what is the reasoning behind their behaviour? Given that the damage done to the environment by previous releases, ie, mink, is well known and documented, what were they thinking of ?... R Humphreys Taunton Somerset (letter)


Worcester Evening News 9.1.06 Huntsmen hold antis in Wild West stand-off HUNTSMEN rounded up a group of masked anti-fox hunters and held them for more than an hour in a Wild West-style stand off. In a scene more reminiscent of Rawhide than Rushock, near to where the incident took place, around 10 riders from the Worcestershire Hunt encircled the balaclava-clad group until the police arrived. They did this after one of the riders was allegedly pulled from his horse. However, animal rights activist Kate Gardener, who was monitoring the hunt but was not one of those held, denied that anyone was pulled off their mount…. (story in archive)

Bucks Free Press 9.1.06 A muddled law - IT is indeed a pleasure to find out that Bea Bradley and I can resume our friendly and well reasoned discussion about hunting of a few months back, courtesy of the letters page of the Bucks Free Press. Yes, you were nave to think the Blair government would give you what you wanted, in fact you were duped… I suspect the fanatical outpourings in Bea Bradley's letter are out of sheer frustration. Is the law against hunting effective? Not in its current form. The antis have fallen into the old trap they have won the battle but lost the war. Jim Danbury, Loudwater (letter)
Bucks Free Press 3.1.06 Keep hounding the hunters - THIS time last year those of us who have campaigned over past decades for an end to the abomination of bloodsports were looking forward to the Hunting Act coming into force… The tally-ho brigade are exploiting every loophole and in many instances seemingly carrying on as before, apparently believing, with every hunting day that passes without arrests, that they are getting away with it and that no one dares to call them to book. They are wrong…. If members of the public see any hunt activity which they think might be in breach of the law, would they please contact Hunt Crimewatch… Bea Bradley,Watlington (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 9.1.06 Hunters must obey the law - BEFORE the ban, all we heard from the hunters were callous threats that should there be a ban, their hounds and horses would be shot, thousands of people would be out of work and life in the countryside destroyed. Yet, life goes on as normal. The Hunting Act reflects the view of the people of Britain and their elected representatives, that setting dogs onto wild animals for entertainment is an act of cruelty and barbarism and must be regarded as a crime…. In many areas, anti-hunt monitors filming hunts are regularly intimidated and threatened, suffering both verbal and physical abuse, yet the hunts claim they have nothing to hide…. ELAINE MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 9.1.06 HUNTING PLAN - So the pro-hunters consider themselves above the law. Ok, no problem. I'm thinking of forming a hunting group of my own which will go something like this: Meet at The Trawl. After two or three pints, move out to the car park and put on red coats so the police know it's all right and get our dogs out of the back of our cars…. (letter)

Liverpool Echo 9.1.06 THE really sad thing about the Boxing Day foxhunts is that only the day before many of these cruel, sick sadists would have been in church, where they would perhaps sing about creatures great and small…. Eric Firth, address supplied (letter)

Southport Visiter 9.1.06 The angriest angel - ON her death, she became an angel to the animal rights' movement. Now Vicki Moore's biography is being written by her husband's new partner. David Charters report - SOME people say Vicki Moore was a saint. Well, that may be so. After all, saints fly high and this was a woman who saw beyond the stars…. "She certainly wasn't a saint," says Tony Moore, as he cups his mug of coffee and he should know. He was married to Vicki for 27 years. Now, in one of those crazy twists of fate, her biography is being written by Tony's new partner, Matilda Mench, 44, with whom he runs the charity Fight Against Animal Cruelty (FAACE) from their home in Shakespeare Street, Southport… (story)

Lancashre Evening Telegraph 9.1.06 We must act to stop bear-baiting - ANYONE viewing a recent television broadcast on bear-baiting would have been appalled and sickened by the cruelty… ROSEMARY SPEDDING (Mrs), Oswald Street, Accrington (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 9.1.06 CAMPAIGNERS ALL PUT ANIMALS FIRST - I agree with J Hudson (Your Say, December 29) that pressure should be put on China regarding its horrific treatment of humans and animals, especially the horrendous cruelty meted out to bears raised for bile and animals destined for its £7billion fur trade… S Edwards Dubai (letter)

BBC News Online 9.1.06 TV chefs cleared on animal deaths - TV chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver have been cleared by the television regulator for featuring the slaughter of animals on their shows. Viewers had complained to Ofcom about an episode of Jamie's Kitchen in which he killed a lamb. On the F Word, six turkeys reared by Ramsay were killed by a slaughterman…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 9.1.06 Save the whales From Joan Court, Crew Member, Farley Mowat, Sturton Street, Cambridge …However, readers may not be aware that it is not all paradise in the Antartic. In the Antartic Whale Sanctuary, Sea Shepherd's flag ship Farley Mowat, and two Greenpeace vessels are searching the waters, negotiating icebergs and frozen waters to challenge six Japanese ships which, even now, are slaughtering Antartic piked whales and endangered Fin whales… For further information, contact Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (letter)


Observer 8.1.06 Laws have never made people good - Tristram Hunt - Can governments change behaviour? Tony Blair must hope so as he rolls out the 'respect' agenda to tackle antisocial behaviour and with it, in Lynne Truss's words, 'the utter bloody rudeness' of modern British life… governments can change behaviour through direct legislation and moral sanction. The 1980s campaigns against Aids and drink-driving significantly shifted public attitudes. Less successful is today's jihad against foxhunting; indeed, this ill-conceived law is currently revealing the very limits of government authority…. (story)

Sunday Independent 8.1.06 Fox's brush with the hunt - I am writing to compliment you on the wonderful, well written, deeply felt and honest article on hunting by Antonia Leslie (Sunday Independent, 1/01/06). I have always known that hunting is cruel and the usual drivel about tradition and country life cuts no ice…. Marie Dunne, Drumcondra, D9
Surely it is a case of reverse snobbery for Antonia Leslie, to declare that those who take up hunting are little better than social climbers…On any given day's hunting it would be hard to find a more diverse and varied group of people, in age, gender and profession. What draws such a diverse group together? Certainly not to get 'cliquey' with what is left of the old Anglos. Rather it is a love of the countryside, horses and hounds… Antonia's lurid recollections of the hunt, which may in any case be altered by time, are probably as relevant to the modern hunting scene as pictures of evictions in the era of the land league are to modern Ireland…. Dick Power, Kilmallock, Co Limerick
I commend Antonia Leslie for telling us the shocking unvarnished truth about fox-hunting…. John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letters)
Sunday Independent 1.1.06 The rise of the ghastly nouveau chasseur - 'WHY are people who hunt all arse and no brain?" my wise old stepfather once remarked. I take great umbrage with the Anglo-Irish who use terms like 'tradition' as an excuse to hunt. The only tradition they know or understand is that of a cliquey, show-off snobbery…. I'm not some naive city dweller who doesn't understand the country or the countryside's supposed traditions. I grew up a part of it all in an Anglo-Irish family who had all the credentials to which the Noveau Chasseur aspires. My aunt was joint master of the Galway Blazers, other members of my family hunted in England as well as here. I grew up on horseback… Then when I was a little girl I saw a vixen run into her lair. The terriers were sent down to drag her out. They pulled out her cubs instead - in pieces…. I was blooded on my second hunt. I couldn't speak for a week. I just went home and lay down with the dogs, cuddled them and wept…. Antonia Leslie (story)

Sunday Times 8.1.06 Importing cruelty - THE old adage that England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity comes to mind in relation to the decision by British coursing fans to stage their marathon hare-baiting event in Ireland…So the Waterloo Cup — aptly named considering that Britain has officially banned it — will now be held in Kilkenny. Not only are coursing clubs here engaging in the organised abuse of our dwindling hare population, they are aiding and abetting their outlaw pals in Britain to "outsource” cruelty to Ireland… John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (story)

Observer 8.1.06 Spanish practices - There is something wrong with the EU constitution if member states cannot enforce legislation to prevent the sort of animal cruelty in which Spain seems to specialise… Tracy Austin-Brydon, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (story)

Sunday Mirror 8.1.06 ANNIE IS BETRAYED By Susie Boniface - ANNIE the elephant faces a future of suffering in chains - after the Government ignored a plea by Sunday Mirror readers to set her free. It has refused to ban circus animals so Annie, who is 52 and has arthritis, must go on being shipped around the country with the Bobby Roberts Circus and kept chained up in a tent…. (story)


Western Morning News 7.1.06 Hyperbole of hunts - Your story "Hunts in show of defiance" (WMN, December 27) is deeply puzzling. The hunts all claim to be obeying the law. In what sense, then, did their Boxing Day meets constitute "defiance" - rather than "compliance"?... We are confident the British public will never allow the manifest barbarism of hunting wild animals with dogs for fun to be reintroduced. Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals Hayle (letter)

The Sentinel 7.1.06 HOW WOULD THE HUNTERS LIKE TO BE TORN APART? - In reply to S Johnson's letter (December 31) on fox hunting. I support him or her all the way. I have always said I would like someone to suffer the way a fox does…. BA BOYDON Meir Heath (letter)
The Sentinel 31.12.05 LET'S ALL HUNT A HUMAN BEING - n the subject of hunting I would just like to say one thing. I would love to get on the back of a horse and chase a human being around fields with nowhere to hide until he or she was exhausted, then I would watch with great delight while the pack of hounds tore their flesh to pieces… S JOHNSON Meir Hay (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 7.1.06 Choose a mongrel - LIKE S Broom (Letters, January 3), I too have lost respect for the Mail's biased views. The latest being the huge amount of pro-hunt reporting, while anti-hunt letters rarely get printed…. Eileen Girling, Sigston Road, Beverley. (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.1.06 WELL, HERE IS THE EVIDENCE NEEDED - In the Western Daily Press of December 30, 2005, the headline, "A year of horrific cruelty and shameful treatment of animals"… Down in North Bovey, Devon, there are two eyewitnesses prepared to make written statements to the Devon and Cornwall Police and hand over the remains of a fox they saw ripped to pieces by about 12 dogs whose owners were present, but, of course, denied any wrongdoing… D Roberts, Bridgwater, Somerset (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 7.1.06 Animals are safe at last HAPPY New Year to the foxes, deer and hares of the West Pennine Moors. No more being pursued under the banner of sport, they can live in relative peace and quiet. Anne Barlow is reported as saying "We had more people watching than we have had before and they were supporting us. There were no protesters or none that I saw." No hunting -- no protesters, if the hunters stay within the law and animals are not being killed or pursued why would we need to protest -- we've won!... The ban, I hope, will not be lifted, the police will enforce the law and the Holcombe will pursue a false trail for ever. IAN RICHARDS, Preston Action For Animals, PO Box 359, Preston (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 7.1.06 SCANDAL OVER GREYHOUNDS - With reference to your story, "Jenny the greyhound is dumped as day at the Races turns ugly" (December 29), the threats to shoot dogs and the fact an unwanted animal was dumped onto the protesters says it all… This "sport" is the biggest dog welfare scandal in the UK at the moment. Fiona Chalk, Wiltshire (letter)

Independent 7.1.06 Badger link to cattle TB not proven - Olaf Swaarbrick (letter, 31 December) says that in order to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) "we have to destroy the infected animals of all species"….. I reckon that could mean up to 60,000 badgers and 150,000 deer. What for? To protect the tiny minority of humans who Mr Swaarbrick admits are "unwise" (some might say "stupid") enough, to consume unpasteurised dairy products…. Several wildlife groups are now discussing mounting a campaign to persuade the public to boycott British butter and other dairy products until the extermination plan is dropped… JOHN BRYANT, LONDON SE18 (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 7.1.06 Catalogue of abusers By Michael McHugh - MANY of the UK's most notorious murderers were also animal abusers. Dunblane killer Thomas Hamilton and Moors murderer Ian Brady were among those guilty of cruelty to animals… Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler said some people saw animals as an easy target… In contrast, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was said to be one of many mass killers who actually loved animals. (story)


Newark Advertiser 6.1.06 Hunt keen for town comeback By Lucy Millard - The South Notts Hunt held its New Year meet at East Stoke on Monday but members are keen to return to Newark Market Place. The secretary of the hunt, Miss Anne Jepson, said it was a shame they had to meet outside the town centre, particularly as the Market Place was now clear of stalls. She said she doubted they would ever be allowed to return but said if they were invited back they would like to do so…. (story on website for a week)

Cumberland News 6.1.06 Peaceful start to the New Year despite claims of illegal hunting By Nick Griffiths - POLICE say Cumbria’s New Year hunt meetings took place without any obvious problems – but admit they are investigating two claims of illegal foxhunting in the county… Claims were made over Christmas that illegal hunting was carried out by the Waberthwaite-based Black Combe Beagles in west Cumbria, which has denied the allegation, and another hunt in the south of the county. Superintendent Steve Turnbull said these were being investigated but added: "By and large it went extremely well. The hunts were well attended. Apart from the allegations, we’ve had no suspicion of law breaking that I’m aware of…” All the local hunts – the Bewcastle, Blencathra, Cumberland Farmers, Cumberland Foxhounds, Eskdale and Ennerdale, Melbreak and Ullswater – met over Christmas and New Year…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 6.1.06 IT'S BUSINESS AS USUAL AT HUNT - Members of the Heythrop Hunt say business is booming - despite the ban on hunting with hounds. Joint master Richard Sumner rallied 60 riders and a 600- strong crowd of staunch supporters when they met in Stow-on-the-Wold…. (story)

Mrpeth Herald 6.1.06 Big turn-out for Meet - THE hunt rode out on Monday looking to the future after a year to forget. A crowd of over 40 riders and 100 followers gathered at Morpeth Rugby Club for the ceremonial New Year meet. The mood remained defiant nearly 12 months on from the start of the controversial ban on hunting with hounds, introduced on February 18 last year… (story)

Western Morning News 6.1.06 POINT-TO-POINT MEETS THRIVE AS HUNTS SURVIVE - The hunting ban has failed to affect Devon and Cornwall's point-to-point meets which shows a full fixture list for this season as Annabel Groom reports - The 2006 point-to-point season in Devon and Cornwall will remain as full as last year's despite the ban on hunting which became law last February and led to fears that it would severely undermine the present scale of the sport… This season will see two new courses with the South Devon Foxhounds Easter Monday races on April 17 breaking new ground at Ideford Arch near Newton Abbot while Eggesford and South Tetcott share a new track at Upcott Cross near Okehampton…. South Pool Harriers have been granted the only qualifier in the region at their February meet for the nationally sponsored Panacur/Thoroughbred Breeders Association Point-to-Point Owners and Riders Association club members maiden race for mares only… (story)

Western Morning News 6.1.06 NEW PASTURES FOR HUNT'S POINT-TO-POINT MEETS - The South Devon Hunt moves its point-to-point this season, which takes place on Monday, April 17, to a new course at Ideford Arch, located between Exeter and Newton Abbot racecourses…. The Eggesford and Tetcott Hunts are also on the move with a new course at Upton Cross which is about two miles from Halwill Junction…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 6.1.06 HOUND DIED CHASING FOX OVER ROAD - Motorists travelling at 70mph were forced to dodge hunting hounds when they ran across a dual carriageway near Cirencester. A dog were knocked over and killed. The Cotswold Hunt was a mile away from the A417 at Daglingworth at 2.20pm on Tuesday when the hounds picked up the scent of a fox and went after it… Joint Master Bob Cooper said: "This is the first incident we've had since the dual carriageway was built in 1995. We hunt a trail but the hounds come off it if they smell a fox. There's nothing we can do…” (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 6.1.06 TRAIL RIDING UNDER THREAT - Fox hunting is controversial and so was the legislation that made it illegal. At the stroke of a pen, a pastime, or some may say a sport, was banned and a way of life consigned to the history books…. With the effect of the fox hunting ban still simmering, the Government is now working hard on its next rural Bill, one that will, almost by accident, have a similar effect on another countryside pastime - trail riding…. The legislation, currently being discussed in the House of Lords, is the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill. Section six of this will remove vehicular rights of way from all rights of way except byways…. (story)

Times 6.1.06 Gentleman's sport - As any English gentleman will tell you, there are only three sports — hunting, shooting and fishing; the rest are just games (leader, Jan 4). WALTER WIGILMAST, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey (letter)

Independent 6.1.06 Take pity on our Hunting Bores - Deborah Orr (31 December) complains that her hunting acquaintances have become boringly vocal about their "nasty little secret". I can't think what she means: the Hunting Bore has always been a staple of English life and since he spends every possible moment discoursing upon the subject anyway, nothing has changed in this respect. Those of us who hunt have nothing to hide - we never have had - but the refusal of many MPs to lay prejudice aside and learn about the reality of fox control forces us upon an unwilling audience…. LOUISE GUINNESS, MARLBOROUGH, WILTSHIRE (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.1.06 KILLING FOXES IS NO ACCIDENT - With reference to the hunting fraternities' Boxing Day meets and their comments on the accidental chasing and killing of foxes and deer. For many, many years we, their opposition, have exposed numerous hunts for killing domestic pets, other wild mammals, invading private gardens and running out of control on main roads. On almost every occasion we were told by the hunts this never happened as their hounds were always under control. I now ask if this was true…. M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 6.1.06 Act of protest - YOUR correspondent Lena Holgate completely misquotes the Hunting Act (WMN, December 20). She refers to a heading in the Act called "Unrestricted hunting". There is no such heading. She goes on to claim that the law contains the words "that as soon as possible after being flushed out, the animal either escapes or is shot dead". It does not contain these words…. Mr Batchelor tells me he has written to the police demanding I be prosecuted for breaking this absurd law. Giles Bradshaw, Rose Ash Devon (letter)

Cumberland News 6.1.06 WHAT a wonderful turnout in support of local hospitals but what a pity the photograph was of the Blencathra hunt and not the people who were there purely for the hospitals (The Cumberland News, December 30)… ELAINE MILBOURNTorpenhowWigton (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 6.1.06 GOOD DAY AT HUNTING MEETS - Much has been said about the increased numbers of people at the Boxing Day hunting meets. Isn't this a good thing, and is proof that not using a live prey can work?... PAMEAL DEAN, Whiteshill (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 6.1.06 HUNTING LAW A MASTER STROKE - The Prime Minister created a win-win situation for all three parties concerned with the hunting of foxes. A Bill was drafted in such a way as to allow hunting to continue, so the hunts were happy. The Bill passed through Parliament as promised to the animal rights campaigners, so they were happy, and the Labour Party received their one million pounds towards their '97 election fund, so they were happy… P. C. DAVIES, Belgrave Road, Gloucester (letter)

Leicester Mercury 6.1.06 HUNTS FAVOURED - Why is it hunts are allowed to block roads by parking anywhere they like? The police at Market Bosworth could have had a field day. Every road into and out of Market Bosworth was blocked by horse vans and 4x4s just parked everywhere… And where were the animal rights people? A Hurst, Newbold Verdon. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 6.1.06 LET'S ABOLISH THESE HONOURS - So the New Year Honours lists have been published yet again. I think it's about time this grossly out-dated snobby farce was completely abolished…. I wonder if next year's lists might consist of Masters of Hunts who are blatantly breaking the law…. J A Heighton, Wigston. (letter)

Sutton Coldfield Observer 6.1.06 BE KIND TO WILD ANIMALS - I work for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) which campaigned for a ban on the cruel sport of hunting with dogs. I couldn't have wished for a better present last Christmas when the ban was finally passed and hunting with dogs became a wildlife crime…. Sadly, some hunters seem to think they can ignore the new law. This means that our wildlife crime investigators were working on New Year's Day, keeping an eye on any hunts acting suspiciously,… Clare Sterling, address supplied. (letter)

West Cumberland Times & Star 6.1.06 ISITFAIR - YOUR editorial (Times & Star, December 23) may have been correct in describing the ham-fisted way the Blair regime set about ending the practice of cruelly torturing wild animals to death by having them torn to death by hounds as "a dog’s breakfast.”… So much for specious propaganda about threats to "liberty and livelihood.” They are at liberty to enjoy the exhilaration without unnecessary cruelty to foxes, which can be exterminated by more humane means if really necessary… DONALD LEIGHTON, Sycamore Road, Maryport (letter)

Derry Journal 6.1.06 Animal Friendly - Here's a pint to Vivienne Woods for her letter of sugestions for animalfriendly Christmas! I recently made the commitment to live that lifestyle, after years of knowing better… BRIAN GANDT, via e-mail (letter)

Yorkshire Post 6.1.06 Human superiority questioned From: B Frost, Watson's Lane, Reighton, Filey. HUMANS claim to be superior to all the world's other creatures, a claim which seems to rely on the belief that brain power is the major qualification for such a view….Since creation humans have slaughtered each other in countless conflicts; fought in many horrific wars; inflicted appalling torture and suffering on millions of fellow people and even sadistically and cruelly abused and killed their own children… But animals do not behave like this. This is human behaviour and until this is recognised as such we will never improve…. (story)

Kingsbridge Gazette 6.1.06 Don’t make badgers a scapegoat for TB - LIZ TURNER of Buckyette, Littlehempston, Totnes, writes: The article blaming badgers for spreading TB among cattle was one-sided and Mr Haddock’s and Mr Johnson’s comments were unscientific and based on vested interests. There is no conclusive evidence that badgers pass TB to cattle… (letter in archive)

Argus 6.1.06 Letter: Horse cruelty - I was appalled yesterday morning to see a jockey beating a horse because it had got nervous at the traffic…. -Janet Stanford, Peacehaven (letter in archive)


Tavistock Times Gazette 5.1.06 Plenty of support for Boxing Day hunts - A ?HUGE? crowd of supporters filled Tavistock?s Bedford Square on Boxing Day, to watch the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt set off on their traditional meet. Despite confusion caused by a lack of traffic diversion, organisers were delighted with the success of the meet, the first since the hunting ban was introduced ten months ago… There was also good support at Okehampton for the Eggesford Hunt?s Boxing Day meet…. (story)

Southern Reporter 5.1.06 It's nose to tail in Kelso - THE Duke of Buccleuch's Foxhounds were in Kelso on Monday morning for their New Year's Day meet, writes Sally Gillespie. More than 60 mounted supporters attended and an estimated 1,000 well-wishers lined the Square. Provost Margaret Riddell said: "There were crowds of supporters of all ages and the atmosphere was wonderful. "I'm so pleased we keep the tradition going. This is one of the things that's 'aye been'. I'm a great traditionalist; I like to see these things continue."… (story)

Milford Mercury 5.1.06 Hunters out in force - ANYONE who thought the introduction of the Hunting Bill in February would mean the end of hunting would have been shocked by the show of support for the local hunts at their traditional Boxing Day meets…. Chairman of the Pembrokeshire Hunt, Richard Wilson, says that trail hunting is just a stopgap until the law can be changed…. (story in archive)

Hereford Journal 5.1.06 Hunting tradition to carry on - The Boxing Day Hunt will continue in Ledbury "for many more years to come”, vowed the hunt master at the traditional festive meet in the town last week. Addressing the near-record number of spectators, joint master Tom Leeke said he was confident that the current ban would soon be overturned and emphasised that two world wars, plus changes in the countryside had not stopped hunting…. (story)

Tamworth Herald 5.1.06 HUNT DRUMS UP SUPPORT - More than 1,000 people packed into Atherstone's Market Square in support of the town's historic hunt when horses and hounds gathered for the New Year meeting on Monday. Support for the Atherstone hunt is continuing to grow in spite of the hunting ban which came into force last year… (story)

Western Gazette 5.1.06 I've never seen so many foxes - I AM 81 years old and have been a livestock farmer in East Coker all my life. In all that time I have never known such a high population of foxes. This has become a really big problem especially at lambing time, becoming a bigger menace than ever since the hunting ban came into effect…. H. J. Dening, Westfield Farm, East Coker (letter)

Northumberland Gazette 5.1.06 Do hunts have something to hide? - RE Hunt sabateurs should clear off, by Richard Dodd of the Countryside Alliance, Gazette Letters, November 17. MUST the Countryside Alliance subject us to old, nauseous excuses for perpetuating ordeals inflicted on wild animals? Hunting within the law is reasonable if the hunts stick strictly to drag lines as do the Percy and Morpeth Hunts. League Against Cruel Sports monitors have submitted evidence indicating that as many as 40 per cent of hunts may be going beyond the accepted limit…. Animal rights extremists with ulterior motives exist, but are greatly out numbered by peaceful protesters and monitors, who respect the law and are simply concerned about the abuse and deliberate killing of animals for sport. They work with the police using hand videos, photographic and eyewitness evidence…. Katherine Watson, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire (letter)

Ulster Herald 5.1.06 Don‘t support cruel point-to-point races - January 1st sees the opening meeting of the six-month Irish point-to-point horse racing season. Point-to-point fixtures are organised by local hunt committees to raise funds to keep the hunt functioning…. Each point-to-point season sees a large amount of horse casualties as races attract so called moderate horses and racecourse rejects. Horses that should be retired are sent out on the point-to-point racecourse in an effort to squeeze the last remaining profit from them… Point-to-points are another aspect of hunting that fool people into thinking that it has no link with animal abuse. They are integral part of the killing operation of a local hunt. Any person who cares about animal welfare should not support them. John Tierney, Campaigns Director, Association of Hunt Saboteurs, PO Box 4734, Dublin 1 (letter may be in archive)

Cotswold Journal 5.1.06 Make a mockery of the hunt law? - THE hearts of some of our misguided local teenage tearaways, who get peculiar pleasure from tying tin cans to cat's tails for a bit of fun, must have leapt for joy seeing the Journal's front page… All those seriously respectable adults, with their pack of dogs, taking over our streets desperately seeking to enjoy the pleasure of harassing hares, deer and foxes, before inflicting a traditionally sporting, glorious death on the cutting edge of fine fearless fangs…. MICHAEL T PARKER, Main Street, Sedgeberrow. (letter in archive)

Belfast Telegraph 5.1.06 New hygiene legislation to ensure food safety of game By Michael Drake - People who sell game to registered dealers now have to conform to new food hygiene laws. But they still have time to sign up to training courses run by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation to help them meet the requirements of the legislation which has just come into force…. (story)

Daily Post 5.1.06 Hare today - but gone tomorrow By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - ACCORDING TO Celtic folklore, the hare was a sacred animal associated with springtime and fertility. They even named the May moon after it…. A century ago Britain had four million brown hares. Indeed, they were so common that they were found within the City of London. A steady decline began with the Ground Game Act of 1880, which allowed tenant farmers to control them as pests. Since 1945 their numbers have fallen by 75%.... Now, in an effort to recover their numbers, wildlife watchers are being asked to report sightings. A plea for help has been sent to all members of North Wales Wildlife Trust, along with a simple guide to help the unfamiliar identify a hare from a rabbit…. (story)

Central Somerset Gazette 5.1.06 APPALLED BY GREYHOUND RACING LICENCE RENEWAL - As the horrors of the greyhound racing industry have been revealed over recent years, 13 tracks in Britain have closed. I am appalled that Glastonbury Town Council has renewed a licence for racing greyhounds at Abbey Moor Stadium…. Rachel Nelson, North Wootton (letter)

North Devon Journal 5.1.06 CULL IS WRONG - ENDYMION BEER, Park Avenue, Barnstaple. (letter)
Western Morning News 3.1.06 Not the culprits - I AM extremely disappointed at the Government even giving thought any further to a badger cull to alleviate bovine TB in cattle when they know full well it will not rectify the problem…. Endymion Beer, Barnstaple (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.12.05 BADGERS NOT TO BLAME FOR TB - I am extremely disappointed at our Government even giving thought to any further badger culls to alleviate Bovine TB in cattle. They know full well it will not rectify the problem…. Endymion Beer, Park Avenue, Barnstaple (story)

Argus 5.1.06 Animal centre needs rescue as owner forced to sell by Siobhan Ryan - The owner of an animal rescue centre has stopped taking in abandoned creatures as she prepares to close it. Debbie Campain said Cat Rescue will shut at the end of the month unless she gets a significant injection of cash…. (story in archive)

Irish Independent 5.1.06 Help wildlife living in zoo - What pitiful scenes your photographer, Niall Carson, recently captured at Dublin Zoo?... Instead of visiting a zoo, people keen to help these creatures should consider donating to the animal protection societies which are working to save habitats, stop hunting and promote greater respect for wildlife. Philip Kiernan, Ballinderry, Mullingar, Co Westmeath (story)

BBC News Online 5.1.06 Animal shelter faces cash crisis - A drop in donations over the past year has forced an animal rescue centre in Derby to launch an appeal to raise £100,000 in the next six months. The Derby and District branch of the RSPCA faces increasing running costs but declining funding, managers said. Trustee Sue Stevens said: "We are totally self-funded and if we cannot raise the money ourselves in the next six months we will not be bailed out."… (story)

BBC News Online 6.1.06 Public pressure saves soap pigs - Two celebrity pigs due to be sent to an abattoir have had a reprieve after their owners had a change of heart. Porky and Bess, who starred in Coronation Street, have been living at Umberslade Children's Farm in Tanworth-in-Arden, Warwickshire. But when their owners said they were sending them for slaughter, animal lovers were upset and several sanctuaries offered to take them in. … Animal Aid in Solihull was one of the sanctuaries which offered help. Ursula Bates, from the organisation, said although she is happy the pigs have been saved, she is still concerned for their future…. (story)


Ryedale Gazette & Herald 4.1.06 The hunt rides again - but no foxes are killed by Haydn Lewis - HOUNDS and horses were out in force to mark the traditional New Year's Day hunt at Thornton-le-Dale. About 30 riders and 32 dogs took part in the Derwent Hunt meet at The Hall, Thornton-le-Dale, on Monday…. (story in archive)
Malton & Pickering Mercury 3.1.06 Hunters keep up New Year tradition (story)
Scarborough Evening News 3.1.06 Hunters keep up New Year tradition - A DRAG hunt was set up in the countryside round Thornton-le-Dale so members of the Derwent Hunt could still take part in their traditional New Year meet – despite the ban on hunting with hounds…. (story)

Matlock Mercury 4.1.06 Harriers on the trail of a good day's sport - THE HIGH Peak Harriers gathered for their New Year meet, at Middleton Hall in Middleton-by-Youlgreave, on Monday… (story)

Western Daily Press 4.1.06 FARMER HITS AT 'PRETENCE' OVER LAW - A West farmer and huntsman who signed up to a legal challenge to the hunting ban claimed last night hunts across the region were "pretending" to obey the law, and police were "pretending" to enforce it. North Devon farmer Giles Bradshaw, one of the Countryside Alliance's ten human rights challengers, has consistently questioned both Defra and the police over the ban… (story)

Carmarthen Journal 4.1.06 HUNTS ARE BACK IN THE SADDLE - The debate about hunting has reared its head again in Carmarthenshire as riders saddle up at the height of the season… Hundreds of people turned out in support of the new year hunt in Carmarthen on Monday. The bank holiday event saw people packed into Guildhall Square to see more than a dozen members of the Carmarthenshire Hunt set off with around 50 hounds…. There are four main hunts that hold horse meets in the county - Carmarthenshire hunt, Tywi Cothi hunt, Llandeilo Farmers hunt and Vale of Clettwr hunt. A further 12 packs hunt on foot in the area. But while they practice their sport, the hunters are hunted themselves - saboteurs are preying on the horses and hounds with knives and barbed-wire…. (story)

Bromsgrove Advertiser 4.1.06 Hunts are riding a wave of support - AFTER a year which saw hunt supporters across the area fearing for their way of life with the introduction of the Hunting Act, many saw in 2006 on a more positive note following an end of year act of defiance. Hundreds of supporters lined the streets outside Droitwich Spa's Raven Hotel to cheer on riders from the Worcestershire Hunt who had saddled up for the first Boxing Day hunt since the ban came into force… A large number of onlookers and around 100 riders turned out for the traditional Albrighton Woodland Hunt meet. Prior to moving off the Master Peter Swann, in a short speech in which he thanked followers for their continued support, declared the legislation was class driven and riddled with inconsistencies… However, the meet at The Raven was also attended by around half a dozen anti-hunt supporters making themselves heard by blowing whistles each time riders passed. One of them, Luke Lamb, aged 20, added: "If a farmer sees a fox killing his chickens, then he's got every reason to kill it. This is nothing to do with pest control - it's fun for them. It's just sick."… (story in archive)

Northwich Chronicle 4.1.06 Easy ride for hunt By Anthony Harvison, Northwich Chronicle - ANIMAL rights campaigners claim police did little to ensure new laws controlling hunting were being adhered to at traditional Boxing Day hunts. A single police officer was allocated to observe the Cheshire Forest Hunt meet at Lach Dennis, said Dr Jane Evans of the North West League against Cruel Sports…. At the Cheshire Forest Hunt's gathering and the Cheshire Hunt's meet at Tarporley, riders turned out for their first seasonal hunt since the ban… (story)
Northwich Guardian 4.1.06 Protesters demand bigger police presence at hunts - ANIMAL cruelty campaigners who criticised low-key police attendance at Boxing Day hunts are calling for a greater presence at future meets. Both the Cheshire Forest Hunt and Cheshire Hunt rode out on Monday, December 26 - the first Boxing Day hunt since the hunting laws changed in February…. But Dr Jane Evans, spokesman for the North West League Against Cruel Sports, claims only one police officer was allocated to the Cheshire Forest Hunt meet… (story in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 4.1.06 I'M FED UP WITH HUNT FRATERNITY - I am absolutely sick and fed up with the hunting fraternity claiming that their leisure pursuit is a part of country life… Why don't these people who dress up in fancy clothes just admit to the fact they love killing?... What percentage of the population who reside in the countryside lost their lives in the world wars?.... We townies have as much a right to decide what is acceptable in the countryside as those who reside there have - don't forget it…. Malcolm Trist, Exe Vale Road, Exeter (letter)

Northwich Guardian 4.1.06 We will keep up hunt monitoring - ANDREA HILL, Hunt Watch (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 2.1.06 HUNT WATCH - HOW typical of someone like Dave Wright to consider that I lack a sense of public duty and responsibility simply because I do not share his views and consider it wrong to spy on my fellow human beings… For instance, who is monitoring the people from Hunt Watch to ensure that they stay within the law?... J Routledge, Witton Gilbert, Durham (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 16.12.05 HUNT WATCH: RE J Routledge (HAS, Dec 8).There is nothing illegal about the monitoring of hunts, indeed the RSPCA is conducting monitoring of hunting along with other highly respected animal welfare organisations. Hunt Watch undertakes its activities wholly and totally within the parameters of the law to ensure that wildlife is not chased and killed by hunters, who in their thousands, pledged to break the law…. Dave Wright, Hunt Watch, Norwich (letter in archive)
Northern Echo 8.12.05 HUNT WATCH - I WAS not aware that this country tolerated unofficial, unauthorised organisations which consider it their role to be monitoring (ie spying on) the activities of other people to ensure that they were acting within the law. I am referring to bodies such as Hunt Watch… I am not against hunting, but I am certainly not an extremist. However, I am afraid that Andrea Hill sounds like one. - J Routledge, Witton Gilbert (letter in archive)
The Sentinel 3.12.05 WE HOPE YOU GET CONVICTED - We must enlighten your readers with regards to Mr Giles Bradshaw's letter, relating to our organisation Hunt Watch, 'Where are the anti-hunt brigade?'… THOMAS TAYLOR Hunt Watch Norfolk (letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 1.12.05 In reply to Richard Dodd's attempt to discredit hunt monitors and animal welfare campaigners (T&A, November 16), have the Countryside Alliance and pro-hunt extremists forgotten 50,000 of them signed a declaration pledging to break the law?... Andrea Hill, Hunt Watch, PO Box 3089, Norwich. (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 29.11.05 MONITORING CONTINUES TO ENSURE HUNTS ABIDE BY LAW - Andrea Hill, Hunt Watch Norwich (letter)
Northern Echo 26.11.05 HUNTING - Andrea Hill, Hunt Watch, PO Box 3089, Norwich, Norfolk. (letter in archive)
Derby Evening Telegraph 24.11.05 HUNTERS HAVE TO BE WATCHED - Andrea Hill, Hunt Watch, PO Box 3089, Norwich, NR3 2YP (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 24.11.05 HUNTING IS ILLEGAL, LIKE IT OR NOT - We really must enlighten your readers with regards to Mr Bradshaw's letter, I'm justified in breaking the law (Your View, November 22) relating to our organisation, Hunt Watch. Why is it this man feels HE has justification for breaking the law just because he does not think it is cruel to chase and kill a wild animal with dogs? Whether Mr Bradshaw considers it is cruel or not, isn't the point, the fact is, it's now illegal. Mr Bradshaw also seems to have a short memory. It was he who actually contacted us saying he could send us further information on his illegal hunting activities, in the form of video evidence, signed statements etc, which we accepted…. THOMAS TAYLOR, Hunt Watch, PO Box 3089, Norwich, Norfolk (letter)
The Sentinel 23.11.05 WHERE ARE THE ANTI-HUNT BRIGADE? - GILES BRADSHAW Devon (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 22.11.05 I'M JUSTIFIED IN BREAKING THE LAW - You recently carried a letter headlined "Hunt monitors are not time wasters" (November 15) from an organisation called Hunt Watch based in Norfolk…. I wrote to the Hunt Watch organisation telling them what I do and inviting them to monitor my deliberate and regular breeches of the law. It turns out that they want me to video myself hunting and then send the video to them.… It seems these people are what one might call armchair hunt monitors. I know Devon is a long way from Norfolk but I wonder if they even show their local hunts the courtesy of actually turning up. GILES BRADSHAW Rose Ash Devon (letter)
Bath Chronicle 21.11.05 WE'RE KEEPING A WATCH ON HUNTS (letter)
Shropshire Star 18.11.05 Watch needed on hunting activities - Andrea Hill, Hunt Watch, Norfolk (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 17.11.05 RESPONSE TO HUNTERS - Andrea Hill, Hunt Watch, PO Box 3089, Norwich, Norfolk (letter)
Bury Times 17.11.05 Hunting ban: yes we will continue to monitor groups - ANDREA HILL, Hunt Watch, PO Box 3089, Norwich, Norfolk (letter in archive)
The Sentinel 17.11.05 WE'LL HUNT FOR THE HUNTERS WHO DON'T FOLLOW LAW - This letter is in response to the latest attempt of the regional directors of the Countryside Alliance to discredit hunt monitors and animal welfare campaigners…. ANDREA HILL Hunt Watch Norwich (letter)
Manchester Evening News 15.11.05 Why we watch - Andrea Hill, Hunt Watch, Norwich (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 15.11.05 HUNT MONITORS ARE NOT TIME WASTERS - Regarding the regional directors of the Countryside Alliance's latest attempt to discredit hunt monitors and animal welfare campaigners. Have the Country Alliance and pro-hunt extremists forgotten that 50,000 of them signed a declaration and openly pledged to break the law? What are we to do, stand back and let them continue to kill our wildlife in the name of the pest control? Animal welfare campaigners have worked for 80 years to get hunting banned so, yes, we will continue to monitor hunt activities. We have no intention of sabotaging hunts and are not there to do so… ANDREA HILL, Hunt Watch, PO Box 3089, Norwich, Norfolk (letter)

Burton Mail 4.1.06 Arson probe at guinea pig farm by Gareth Butterfield - A BUILDING belonging to a Newchurch farmer plagued by animal rights activists has been torched. Just hours after The Mail reported that the Hall family, owners of the controversial Darley Oaks Guinea Pig Farm, were in the final stages of closing their business, a barn owned by the family at nearby Forest Farm was damaged by fire last night…. A police spokesman said: "The incident is being investigated by Burton CID, and while we are treating it as suspicious, we believe it to be a mindless act of vandalism. As yet, we have found no evidence to suggest it is linked with protesters that have targeted the family in the past."… (story)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 4.1.06 Bird chief hits back as market reopens - A BIRD market manager has slammed an animal welfare group for claiming his event could help spread the avian flu virus. Clitheroe Auction Mart will tonight host the UK's first pet bird market since a Government ban aimed at halting the spread of bird flu and its transfer to humans was lifted on December 12…. The Animal Protection Agency, which is based in Brighton, accused the Government of side-stepping a European-ordered ban on bird markets, designed to protect against the spread of the avian influenza virus… (story in archive)

Banbury Guardian 4.1.06 Resolve to live a healthier new year - Kelly Slade, Campaigner, Animal Aid, Tonbridge (story)
The Shields Gazette 3.1.06 Vegetarian a healthy option - Kelly Slade, Campaigner, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent. (letter)
South London Press 30.12.05 Save lives - be a veggie - Kelly Slade Animal Aid (letter)
Swindon Advertiser 30.12.05 Turn over a veggie new leaf - IF you've taken every opportunity to eat, drink and be merry over the festive season and you've had your fill of Christmas indulgence, you are probably considering making some New Year's resolutions. Why not put going vegetarian top of the list?.... Going veggie is much easier than you think. Send for a free Go Veggie pack… KELLY SLADE Animal Aid Tonbridge Kent (letter)

Leicester Mercury 4.1.06 SHOCKING CRUELTY TO BEARS, SAYS MEP - A Euro MEP is leading a campaign to help end "shocking and unnecessary cruelty" to bears in China. Leicestershire MEP Roger Helmer has been urging the European Parliament to call on the Chinese Government to ban the practice of extracting bile from bears to use in traditional medicine…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 4.1.06 BOYCOTT CHINESE GOODS PLEA OVER ANIMAL CRUELTY From: DJ Sharpe, Alma Street, Woodlesford, Leeds. I AM writing in support of the comments by Diane Darlington (Yorkshire Post, December 26) under the heading "Stop this cruelty". She mentions the skinning alive of dogs (and cats) in China for the fur trade. I watched the news report recently on one of the national television programmes concerning this appalling cruelty. Paul and Heather Mills-McCartney are supporting the campaign to end this evil trade…(story)

Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 4.1.06 There are far more important issues - I FEAR that one of the bees in Citizen Smith's bonnet went out of control on December 21, causing him to hope that the expose of the terrible cruelty in the turkey industry would result in fewer birds being sold enabling conscience-free customers to buy at a knockdown price… Pat Salkeld, Morecambe (letter)


Kent on Sunday 3.1.06 Police call for more powers to monitor hunting on private land - THE move to give police greater powers to enter private land while upholding the law on fox hunting should be resisted, a rural campaigner in Kent has said. The call comes after a senior police officer claimed that a lack of powers permitting police to enter private land to see whether the law is being observed is an "impediment” to law enforcement. Richard Middleton, chairman of the Ashford Valley Hunt and director of the Countryside Alliance in Kent, said: "It doesn’t surprise me. The police have shown themselves more than willing to request powers that you and I might consider to be above and beyond what are necessary… The Ashford Valley Hunt estimated that between 2,000 and 5,000 were in Tenterden to see the festive hunt get underway and in Elham, around 700 people packed the village square to see the East Kent Hunt set off…. (story)

Essex Evening Gazette 3.1.06 Maldon: Hunters return to a warm reception - Cheers and clapping from crowds of supporters greeted the return, after a five-year absence, of the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt's post-Christmas meet in Maldon. Not a hoot of dissent was heard as more than 40 riders clattered into the yard of the Swan Hotel in the High Street with the hounds at 11am yesterday, followed by scores of supporters on quad bikes and on foot… (story in archive)

Bromley News Shopper 3.1.06 Ex-poacher calls for hunting ban By Chris Johnson - A FORMER poacher turned animal activist has blasted new hunting laws as "ridiculous" and is calling for a blanket ban on fox hunting. Terry Woods of the Hunt Saboteurs' Association, has branded the Hunting Act 2004 as an "unenforceable" and "unworkable" law which has done nothing to prevent the torture of thousands of foxes… He became an animal activist more than 20 years ago after he shot at a bird and then watched as it lay in agony…. (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 3.1.06 BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR THE HUNT - Tiverton Foxhounds gathered for their first Boxing Day meet since the 2004 Hunting Act became law last February. And senior master Kelvin Thomas said the turnout was 'exceptional,' with 100 horses gathering in Market Square for the annual event…. (story)

Basingstoke Gazette 3.1.06 Hunt with a difference attracts huge support by John Boyman - HUNDREDS of people turned out to watch the Hampshire Hunt embark on its traditional Boxing Day meeting. Despite the ban on hunting with dogs, between 60 and 70 riders took part in the event, which began at the Fur and Feathers pub in Herriard…. (story in archive)

York Evening Press 3.1.06 Hunts carry on despite new law by Haydn Lewis - HOUNDS and horses were out in force to mark the traditional New Year's Day hunt at Thornton-le-Dale. About 30 riders and 32 dogs took part in the Derwent Hunt meet at The Hall, Thornton-le-Dale, on Monday…. At Howden, crowds gathered in the Market Place to see the York and Ainsty South Hunt set off. (story in archive)

News Letter 3.1.06 New Year Toast To Hunt By Lesley Walsh - The village of Crawfordsburn came to a standstill yesterday as the hounds and horses of the North Down Hunt turned out for their annual New Year drag hunt. A few hundred spectators lined the village main street to watch the spectacle, sipping hot toddies served by waiters from the historic Crawfordsburn Inn, the traditional starting and finishing point of the annual event…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 3.1.06 HUNTERS RIDE ON IN FACE OF BAN - A big crowd turned out yesterday to see a hunt meet in a Devon town centre for the first time since it was banned from chasing foxes. More than 300 people gathered in The Square at Ottery St Mary, the traditional venue for the East Devon Hunt's first meet of the new year…. (story)

Horse & Hound 3.1.06 Boxing Day meet numbers swell again - The first Boxing Day meets since the Hunting Act came into force showed that support for hunting only grows - On 26 December hundreds of towns and villages up and down the country were flooded by record crowds out to support their local hunts at their traditional Boxing Day meets. More than 250 hunts met across England and Wales as the Countryside Alliance announced that there had been 10,000 days of legal hunting, and no prosecutions of huntsmen, since the ban came into force…. One attendee at the Worcestershire Hunt meet in Droitwich explained that she had thought that with the hunt ban in place, the Boxing Day meet would never happen again…. (story)

Carlisle News & Star 3.1.06 Traditional hunts go on – minus the foxes By Julian Whittle - HUNT supporters turned out in force for the traditional New Year meets, despite the ban on fox hunting with hounds. First to get underway were the Cumberland Foxhounds, who met at Torpenhow on Saturday in steady drizzle…. The Cumberland Foxhounds now meet only twice weekly. Before the ban, they met three times a week…. All the local hunts – the Bewcastle, Blencathra, Cumberland Farmers, Cumberland Foxhounds, Eskdale and Ennerdale, Melbreak, and Ullswater – met over Christmas and New Year. There was a healthy turnout at Aikton yesterday when the Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds gathered…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 3.1.06 HUNT GOES ON AS USUAL – ALMOST - The law may have changed but it seems some traditions never will. Fox hunting was banned last February despite massive opposition. Yet that did not stop members of the Banwen Miners' Hunt from riding out yesterday morning just as they have done every year for 43 years…. (story)

Newcastle Evening Chronicle 3.1.06 Master blast By Peter Taylor, The Evening Chronicle - A huntmaster blasted a defiant message to Tony Blair before launching a fake hunt of around 40 riders. Master of the Morpeth Hunt James Cookson believes the hunting ban imposed by the Prime Minister's Government will have to be lifted as support has only increased. He told a crowd assembled at Morpeth Rugby Club to see the Bank Holiday hunt set off he had Blair to thank for an increase in the numbers of people following fox hunting…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 3.1.06 MAIL MISLEADS WITH PRO-HUNT REPORTING - My Respect for the Mail is diminishing because of the biased pro-hunt reporting regarding fox hunting…. There were about four hundred on the Westwood, but at least the picture of the poor young lad hanging round the hound's neck (Mail, December 24) nails another lie, that these poor animals are unsuitable family pets…. S Broom, Apollo Walk, Ings Road Estate, Hull. (letter)

Western Morning News 3.1.06 HUNT BAN LEGISLATION WILL BE REVOKED -I can well imagine Simon Gray's bemusement over the intricacies of the invidious hunt ban (WMN, November 25), and can assure him he is not in a minority. Technically he and thousands of the pet-owning public are breaking the law if they allow their charges to chase a wild mammal, but they need have no fear for it was never intended they be persecuted or prosecuted by the law. The police have no time to indulge in such trivia when there is much more important crime to address… W T Sweet, Mawgan Helston
Tighten the law - IS there anyone who is silly enough to believe that hunts have control of their hounds? Yet again we have to read of the trespassing into private land - this time by the East Cornwall Hunt, and of dogs running amok and killing a goat en route… F Cleaves, Par (letters)

Western Morning News 3.1.06 Hunt watchdog - EVERY Friday the WMN publishes a Westcountry Horses supplement giving a list of about ten hunts under the heading "Exempt Hunting Dates"… It seems to me that the hunts, employing a full pack of hounds, may be contravening the Act. I am referring this matter to the police and asking them to prosecute if the law is not being respected. John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 3.1.06 LEAVE THE COUNTRYSIDE TO THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND - My letter regarding my dogs breaking the law by persuading some deer to leave our farm seems to have received a few answers. Julia Westgate seems to think that the dogs I walk are likely to attack children. Grandchildren living on the farm and the school groups who visit and camp on the farm seem to have survived!... All those who know nothing about life in the country, should stop inflicting bad regulations on those who love and understand how to manage it. Michael Ashton, Torrington (letter)

Western Morning News 3.1.06 RIDING ROUGHSHOD OVER LAW - The tragic case of Flopsy, the pet goat ripped apart by a pack of foxhounds in Cornwall last week, and the real-time eyewitness account on Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show of a pack savaging a fox in a farm driveway in Kent illustrates the kind of "hunt havoc" that we hear about every day…. The hunts must learn that they cannot simply ride roughshod over the law of the land and the wishes of the people. Their brutal "sport" is now illegal, and they must recognise the fact, keep their hounds under control and start listening. Mike Hobday, Head of Public Affairs League Against Cruel Sports (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 3.1.06 HUNT ASSERTION IS JUST PREJUDICE - K Watson's assertion, Life goes on after the ban, Points of view, December 29, that I enjoy the chase and the kill is pure prejudice. How does he pretend to know this?... If K Watson really believes that shooting a deer is a humane alternative, has he considered to what?... K Watson wants me to shoot the deer as a "humane alternative" to simply driving them away. That is ridiculous. It's perfectly within a deer's normal experience to run away from dogs…. Giles Bradshaw, Rose Ash (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 3.1.06 HUNT FOLLOWERS BREAKING LAWS - Points of view, December 29 2005 is full of letters about the ban on hunting. It is banned, so why are they meeting in such numbers? On Boxing Day, I drove my mother to Exeter and we took a drive ending up in Thorverton, where the road was found to be blocked…. Tony Parsons, Haymans Close, Cullompton (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 3.1.06 A CRUEL WAY TO TREAT WILD FOXES - I live in Littleover, where foxes roam. I am an animal lover, but my neighbours are obviously not. They lay long-thorned branches across their gardens…hence the foxes that call on me are often limping badly. The people that do this must take delight in the agony they cause - they don't actually deter foxes, they just want to cause suffering to these animals… Barbara Dilks, Address supplied. (letter)

Guardian 3.1.06 Across Britain, a clandestine world of cruelty lives on - Richard Cookson - The hidden world of dogfighting in Britain has been exposed in a three-year undercover investigation which has revealed that the practice is still thriving, 170 years after it was banned. Specialist officers from the RSPCA infiltrated criminal gangs… The investigation, codenamed Operation Gazpacho, culminated last month with the sentencing of John Parker, a 40-year-old dog breeder from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, for possession of a dangerous dog. He received a community penalty…. Mike Butcher, an RSPCA investigator from the special operations unit… said that up to 100 "hardcore" dogfighters, many of them career criminals, regularly organised bouts. "They are split into groups across the country," he said. "There are several in London, about five in Birmingham, and others in most UK cities…” (story)

Western Morning News 3.1.06 PROPOSED WIDESCALE CULL WOULD BE BARBARIC - Dorset Badger Group is appalled to learn of Government proposals to cull badgers… Elizabeth James, Chairman Dorset Badger Group Bridport
Government cop-out - I WONDER if anybody has considered this Government cop-out carefully. I have been part of the team that has carried out the Krebs Trial (the largest of its kind). The recent announcement not only astounded the farming community, amazed badger groups but also made redundant 200 wildlife unit civil servants… Name and address supplied (letters)

Western Morning News 3.1.06 COULD THESE CREATURES BE VICTIMS NOT VILLAINS? - One of the most curious facts about the 30-year-old badgers and Bovine TB debate is that while farmers, vets, the Country Landowners' Association and others have recently issued policy documents calling for a mass badger cull, it remains the case that no one has shown how badgers might give cattle TB!... Martin Hancox, Stroud (letter)


Western Morning News 2.1.06 HUNT DENIES FOX KILLING ALLEGATION - A Devon hunt has denied an allegation that its hounds ripped apart a fox during a trail hunt on Christmas Eve. Michael Mosforth and his sister Paula McAlindon claim they witnessed a fox being killed by "at least" seven or eight hounds on their parents' land on the edge of Dartmoor. The incident is alleged to have happened at North Bovey, near Moretonhampstead, during a meet of the South Devon Hunt…. (story)
Torquay Herald Express 31.12.05 INQUIRY AFTER HUNTING INCIDENT - The Master of South Devon Hunt has vigorously denied allegations his hunt broke the law and allowed hounds to rip apart a fox. South Devon Hunt's Master Ian Pearse said the hounds did nothing wrong and all its activities were "within the law" despite allegations by a 45-year-old woman that hounds tore apart the fox in the grounds of her parents' North Bovey home. Police have launched a probe after Paula McAlindon, 45, lodged the complaint…. (story)
BBC News Online 30.12.05 Hunt denies claim over 'fox kill' - A family have accused a South West hunt of breaking the law by allowing a pack of hounds to kill a fox. Paula McAlindon and Michael Mosforth claim huntsmen pursued a fox and let the pack rip it to pieces on their land near Moretonhampstead on Christmas Eve. The South Devon Hunt said it was acting within the law and there was no kill…. (story)
Mirror 30.12.05 BOAST BY COP CHIEF IN FOX ROW - POLICE chief boasted yesterday her force has met the challenge of the hunting ban - while her officers have yet to interview a witness who saw a fox ripped to pieces. Paula McAlindon was still waiting for police to visit after she reported seeing the fox killed by a hunt - and officers told her to keep the remains as evidence…. (story)
Mirror 29.12.05 EXCLUSIVE: I SAW HUNT HOUNDS RIP A FOX TO PIECES By Geoffrey Lakeman - AN animal lover yesterday told of her horror at seeing huntsmen let dogs tear apart a fox - in apparent open defiance of the law. Paula McAlindon, 45, said of the bloodbath just yards from her parents' home: "The hounds literally ripped the fox to bits in seconds. It was barbaric." But she is dismayed police have not even bothered to see her to probe the incident, with officers admitting that stopping illegal hunting is "not a top priority"…. Paula, of High Wycombe, Bucks, was visiting her parents in North Bovey, Devon, when she witnessed the carnage on Christmas Eve morning. South Devon Foxhounds huntsmen had met on the grounds of a nearby hotel run by tycoon Peter de Savary…. (story)

Mirror 2.1.06 EXCLUSIVE: JUST THE SAME OLD GORY - Tory leader David Cameron is trying to be Mr Nice Guy but his first priority is to bring back fox-hunting By Bob Roberts Deputy Political Editor - TORY toff David Cameron has pledged to bring back hunting as a top priority of a future Conservative government…. The revelation comes as Mr Cameron, a keen hunter, tries to reposition himself as king of the centre ground to tempt disillusioned Labour voters…. The Tories have desperately tried to play down Mr Cameron's posh background and his love of hunting. But he has ridden with the hounds with the Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire at least six times. And in an article written three years ago Mr Cameron boasted about his love for blood sports and how he enjoyed the thrill of the hunt…. (story)

Horse & Hound 2.1.06 Run the London Marathon for charity - Carol Phillips - If you feel inspired to raise money for an equestrian cause by running the London Marathon, don't miss our guide to the spaces still available… The Countryside Alliance has a six strong team of runners for the Flora London Marathon Team who are looking for your sponsorship. The team comprises British Deer Society member Charles Bromage; trainee teacher and passionate countrywoman Gail Lees; CA campaigns director Rob Gray; master and huntsman of the Spooner's and West Dartmoor Hunt Guy Morlock; Lincolnshire farmer Phil Burtt and Lincolnshire-based business accountant Tom Hindmarch… (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 2.1.06 HUNT TO MEET - Horses and riders will gather for a meet of the Beaufort Hunt on January 9. The field will collect at Cherington, near Minchinhampton, to move off at 10.45am (story)

Independent 2.1.06 Letters: Hunting: both sides claim victory after the Boxing Day meets - Penny Little (letter, 28 December) writes that the police "must" take matters seriously, and MPs "must" accept that they should have listened when told not to underestimate the likely resistance of the hunting fraternity to a law which she declaims "urgently needs enforcement". Maybe they should rather have listened when told even by those with no interest in hunting that this law would be unenforcable. Ms Little "must" accept that the enforcement of this unnecessary law is always and quite rightly going to be of a priority below "urgent" status in the allocation of police time and resources…. PETER KELLETT, KINLOCHEWE, ROSS-SHIRE (letter)
Independent 30.12.05 Defiance of the law by some fox-hunting supporters has led correspondents in this and other papers to suggest a need for greater powers for the police and atightening of the law. Penny Little, a hunt monitor (letter, 28 December), mentions routinely being threatened, physical and verbal harassment, equipment vandalised and car tyres cut. Does this really need new laws?... COLIN HARDY, BASILDON, ESSEX (letter)

Western Daily Press 2.1.06 HUNT ACT IS CLEAR AND ENFORCEABLE - The recent pronouncements by the hunting fraternity (Western Daily Press, December 26) are farcical and illogical. Firstly, they claim the Hunting Act is not working but are still spending huge amounts of money trying to get it repealed…. The Hunting Act is clear and enforceable no matter what the Countryside Alliance may say. Mike Jeffries Wiltshire League Against Cruel Sports Chippenham (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 2.1.06 HUNTING CLAIM WAS RUBBISH - I refer to the story on fox hunting (Echo, December 27). It shows that the Countryside Alliance's claims that some hunt people would lose their jobs, and that there would be wholesale destruction of the hounds, was rubbish. Alan Carpenter, Benhall. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 2.1.06 HUNTS ARE PART OF COUNTRY LIFE - I am writing in reply to a letter by Mary Moyle, December 23, 2005, in which she states volunteers of the League Against Cruel Sports will be monitoring hunts throughout Devon and Cornwall. She insists hunts are breaking the law, but she forgets anti-hunt protesters and monitors are also breaking the law by trespassing on private land and taking illegal photos on this property without farmers' permission…. Mr G G Padden, Tedburn St Mary, Exeter (letter)
Yorkshire Post 24.12.05 When victory is a defeat From: Richard Linkogel, Cowling Hill, North Yorkshire. THE letter from Eric Beechey, the Yorkshire representative of the League Against Cruel Sports (Yorkshire Post, December 21) had something of a crowing ring to it. How sad to see an idealist celebrating a victory he is too ignorant to realise is a defeat. Put simply, the hunting ban has resulted in the wounding of foxes as a result of shooting and snaring, and is at odds with his requirement for a cruelty-free Christmas…. (letter)
Northern Echo 24.12.05 HUNTING - Name and address supplied (letter in archive)
Surrey Advertiser 23.12.05 Enjoy the hunt but don't be cruel - As Boxing Day approaches, the League Against Cruel Sports is calling upon hunts up and down the land to have a cruelty-free Christmas…. So get your red coats on, enjoy the crisp country air and toe the line. JULIE ROXBURGH, East Horsley. (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.12.05 VOLUNTEERS WILL MONITOR HUNTS - As a member of the League Against Cruel Sports, we will not be arranging Boxing Day protests this year and hope supporters will enjoy Boxing Day safe in the knowledge that if hunts are breaking the law, they will be prosecuted. League Hunt Crimewatch volunteers will be out gathering evidence if hunts are in breach of the Hunting Act…. Kathy Moyle Collins Park, East Budleigh (by post) (letter)
Yorkshire Post 21.12.05 Cruelty-free Christmas call to hunts From: Eric Beechey, Yorkshire Representative of the League Against Cruel Sports, Eastfield Lane, Kellington, Goole. AS Boxing Day approaches, the League Against Cruel Sports is calling upon hunts up and down the land to have a cruelty-free Christmas….(letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 2.1.06 IT'S TIME MINORITY ACCEPTED THE BAN - With regard to your story Life goes on after the ban, Points of View, December 29, if they are just 'flushing out or driving away', why do we keep getting reports of sustained harassment - including a fox being chased for an hour by a beagle pack in Cumbria and a fox actually being killed in Devon?... K Watson, Cheshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 2.1.06 WELCOME PUBLICITY - May I through your letters page thank the animal rights campaigners who gather at the Glastonbury dog track for helping to publicise the racing…. I hope the fact that a couple got arrested this week won't put them off coming. M Dunford Shepton Mallet Somerset (letter)

Guardian 2.1.06 Greenpeace fights sea battle with rival anti-whaling ship - John Vidal, environment editor - A battle for what is being called "the high moral wave" was last night being fought off the wild coast of Antarctica as the world's two leading international marine protection groups fought each other over which would stop the Japanese whaling fleet. With an international crew of volunteers, a helicopter and a deep warchest, Greenpeace International has sent two boats… The animal rights protector Captain Paul Watson, who co-founded Greenpeace in the 1970s and later set up the more radical Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, was also in pursuit of the fleet yesterday in his ship, the Farley Mowat. Capt Watson, who accuses Greenpeace of being "the Avon ladies of the environment" and of being more interested in publicity than in enforcing international law, intercepted the Nisshin Maru factory ship on Christmas Day. Each environmental group now accuses the other of endangering lives by trying to ram its vessels…. "Greenpeace has misled Sea Shepherd and betrayed us. The Japanese fleet does not give a damn about protests. [Greenpeace] just take pictures and hang banners. We are down here to enforce international conservation law and to stop the illegal whaling operations." Greenpeace retorted: "Greenpeace distance themselves from Sea Shepherd because of their inability to commit to non-violent tactics…” (story)

Daily Record 2.1.06 EVIL TRADE - IWAS disgusted to read in the Record about dog haggis.This evil practice of killing dogs for meat and food must stop… Chris Arthur,Larkhall,Lanarkshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 2.1.06 LETTER CAMPAIGN TO STOP CRUELTY - J Hudson's letter (Your Say, December 29) has prompted me to write on the same subject, namely the unbelievable cruelty inflicted on animals in China, particularly in this instance, cats and dogs. I ask readers to please write to the Chinese Embassy to protest in a non-abusive way… Ann Richardson Warminster Wiltshire (letter)


Observer 1.1.06 David Cameron is now in a position, whatever his personal views, where he should consider reappraising his public stance on foxhunting. It is not just in 'urban Britain' that 'the majority of people are overwhelmingly in favour of outlawing the blood sport'…. Douglas Batchelor, Chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports London SE1 (story)

Sunday Mail 1.1.06 DOO DUNNIT (PRINCE EDDIE .. EVENTUALLY) - Royal numpty Prince Edward sparked fury by battering a pigeon to death with his walking stick yesterday. He only went to watch a shooting party - but still ended up with blood on his hands. Edward tried to put a pigeon out of its misery after it was caught in the crossfire as Prince Philip murdered pheasants for fun at Sandringham…. (story)
Sunday Times 1.1.06 Edward under fire for ‘messy’ killing of pigeon - LOIS ROGERS - THE Earl of Wessex’s inability to achieve the "clean death” of an injured pigeon drew criticism from animal rights activists yesterday…. Edward, who did not have a gun with him, was picking up the dead pheasants when he noticed the injured pigeon. Unlike the Queen, who carries a small gamekeeper’s cudgel for dispatching wounded birds, the prince used his walking stick. "The bird was flapping around in his hand as he tried to hit it,” said an onlooker. "He had to whack it on the head three times with his walking stick before it died…. The episode drew an immediate complaint from the League Against Cruel Sports, which argues that clay pigeon shooting should replace the killing of live birds… (story)

Sunday Mail 1.1.06 THE LAST PATROL FOR HAMISH MACBETH - POLICE chiefs are secretly closing Scotland's rural police stations - threatening the end of the village bobby…. Tony Andrews, chief executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: "We fear these closures are only the tip of the iceberg. This is all about cost cutting."… (story)