July 2002

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Western Daily Press 31.7.02 COUNTRYSIDE OUT IN FORCE FOR 'FAIR DEAL' - Thousands of rural communities are joining forces in preparation for the largest peacetime protest ever held in Western Europe…. The Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood march on September 22 has won the backing of the pro-hunting lobby and also the support of thousands of people who feel the Government has turned its back on the countryside… quotes from Peter Hendrie, manager of the White Horse Inn at Exford, Annie Champion and her husband Gary, Mal Treharne, Southwest spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, John Dansie, spokesman for the National Farmers' Union (story)
Shropshire Star 31.7.02 Hunting fans are to march on city - Organisers of the Ludlow Hunt today urged people from across Shropshire and Mid Wales to support a countryside demonstration in London in September… (story)
Horncastle News 31.7.02 Help us in the fight for liberty - EDITOR - On September 22 I will be taking my children to London for the Countryside Alliance, Liberty and Livelihood march. Why? Because we choose to do so! Just like we choose to hunt!... Freedom of choice, come to London and give us your support, it might be you next! SALLY FINNEY, Garth House, Baumber (letter)

Southern Daily Echo 31.7.02 It may be hi-de-hi, campers, but the show must go on by Peter East - A GOVERNMENT minister has promised that the future of the New Forest Show is safe, despite the prospect of a huge campsite on part of its land. With the government's conservation watchdog in the background, the Forestry Commission is looking at moving campers from Brockenhurst's Hollands Wood site across the A337 to New Park, where the show is held…. rural affairs minister Elliot Morley said no firm decision had yet been made… He was given a warm welcome by show bosses, although his opposition to hunting made that welcome as cloudy as the sky in some quarters… (story in archive)

Cambridge News 31.7.02 Truth about those dogs, From EH Vestey, Joint Master, The Thurlow Hunt, Little Thurlow, Haverhill - I think your article under the heading "Animal boss's fury over dog chaos" calls for some comment. It was unfortunate that on their way back into kennel from their regular morning exercise, a fox jumped up in front of the hounds and they took off across the A143… It is not correct that there were cars crashing into each other. The staff collected the pack very rapidly, with the exception of seven hounds… It was not until five o'clock in the afternoon that a telephone call from a complete stranger informed me the seven hounds were at the Jaybeth Animal Sanctuary. The staff and I immediately went to the sanctuary to be told they had no hounds there. We persevered and eventually one of their staff admitted they had some hounds and we found all seven… (letter)

Carmarthen Journal 31.7.02 GO FISHING AND REDUCE CRIME - Youngsters from across Carmarthenshire are invited to 'go fishing' at Cwmoernant Ponds this weekend. The project, at Cwmoernant Ponds, aims to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in under-16s by developing their interests in the gentle sport of angling. Organisers Carmarthenshire County Council, Dyfed Powys Police and The Fishfinder tackle shop, hope that this year's open day will improve on the success of last year's inaugural event…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 31.7.02 ANIMAL TESTING RESULTS MISLEAD - Re: Opinions on animal experimentation (July 24). Last week The Citizen questioned people on whether or not animal testing should be allowed… If people would take the time to read up on this topic, they would discover that the likes of professors, scientists and doctors, both pro and anti-vivisection, will agree that the data obtained from animal tests cannot be transferred to people… I would like to add that just because I am anti-vivisection does not mean I am anti-medical advancement… NICOLA STINCHCOMBE, Cashes Green, Stroud (letter)

Western Daily Press 31.7.02 NO EXCUSE FOR THIS CRUELTY - Sir - I was sickened by Chris Rundle's article on animal cruelty on a Greek island - just as I was about the story of a couple living near Bristol who were banned from keeping horses… Murder is murder, whether it is an animal's life or a human being… Name and address supplied (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 31.7.02 Stop cruelty by stopping racing - SO Vinnie Jones is supporting the Retired Greyhound Trust (Evening Advertiser July 26)… the only way to prevent the massive amount of unwanted dogs and the suffering and slaughter of these beautiful animals, is for people to avoid attending or betting on greyhound racing so that the exploitation of greyhounds will end. (Mrs) MARILYN HARRISON, Swindon Animal Concern, Beaulieu Close, Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)

Sandbach Chronicle 31.7.02 RSPCA denies hospital closure - THE RSPCA has denied that the South Cheshire Wildlife Hospital at Stapeley near Nantwich will be closed down to help offset the cost of a plush new national headquarters. A story which appeared in two national newspapers, naming the animal hospital as a site under threat because of RSPCA cutbacks, were dismissed yesterday as 'unfounded rumour and speculation'… (story)
West Sussex County Times 26.7.02 CRISIS CUTS FACED BY RSPCA - THE crisis hit RSPCA is preparing to make cuts amid revelations that it spent £16 million on new headquarters at Southwater after selling the Horsham site for £5.2 million… According to a document leaked to the Daily Telegraph, savings of £2 million must be made and proposals for cuts will be finalised at a full council meeting in September, however the RSPCA's head of press disclaimed the figure, saying it had been "plucked out of the sky"…. The anonymous council member revealed that staff have complained about the new building, as the open plan offices are noisy… Ms Grain remarked: "If they don't like it they can go somewhere else…." Campaigns, including the drive against hunting, cost the charity a reported £4,415,000 last year and Freedom Food cost £1,632,000 in direct grant aid…. (story in archive)
Telegraph 26.7.02 Staff should not be unsettled - The article "RSPCA seeks cuts amid spending row" (report, July 24) will unsettle dedicated staff. The society has made no secret of the fact that it is reviewing the budgets, which is intended to streamline the organisation…. Peter Davies, Director General, RSPCA, Southwater, West Sussex (letter)
Northern Echo 25.7.02 Animal centre plan may be axed …Due to recent falls in the stock market and controversial spending decisions, the RSPCA has found itself in financial crisis. It could jeopardise the charity's plans to build a £3m kennels and visitor centre at Felledge, in Chester Moor, County Durham… (story in archive)
Ananova 24.7.02 RSPCA's animal care will not suffer in cutbacks - The RSPCA has insisted no decisions have been made on where cuts will have to be within the animal charity. Staff were told last month that a reported £2 million in savings would have to be made to reduce growing losses…. (story)
Telegraph 23.7.02 RSPCA seeks cuts amid spending row By Thomas Penny - The RSPCA could be forced to cut back animal welfare services and close one of its wild animal hospitals in the face of a financial crisis caused by stock market falls and controversial spending decisions. Critics within the organisation claim too much money has been spent on political campaigns, a food labelling scheme and the new £16 million headquarters…. (story)
Telegraph 23.7.02 RSPCA millions go on politics and HQ - Critics fear charity is losing sight of its role to help animals, writes Thomas Penny …Half of the £70 million it spent last year was on the 328-strong inspectorate and on prosecutions. But it is the way that money is spent elsewhere that has raised concerns… "Last year the AGM was in Newport and all the staff and council members stayed in the Hilton Hotel. At the end of the day it's a bed for the night and it's an animal charity."… There has been criticism of the society's new £16 million headquarters, built to replace its old HQ in central Horsham…. Last year, the society spent £40,000 pursuing an inquiry into the activities of David Mawson, a vegetarian chef and member of the council. The cost of the failed attempt to suspend him from the council is reported to have included £3,560 to track his e-mails…. The society spent £4.2 million on campaigning last year, including taking out full-page advertisements about hunting in national newspapers… One critic from the Left of the society said:… "You've got to have members who agree with the objects but they don't have to agree with the policies. The objects are to promote kindness and prevent cruelty to animals. There are more important issues in animal welfare than hunting." (story)

Times 30.7.02 Pro-hunt runners backed by National Trust BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - TWO prominent hunt supporters — Clarissa Dickson Wright, the television cook, and Nicholas Soames, the Conservative MP — are favourites to be elected to the National Trust council this autumn… their names are to be included on a list of candidates who will benefit from the chairman’s proxy votes… Friends of the National Trust… are to campaign hard and to publish names of other pro-hunt candidates… The slate includes Robin Page, former presenter of the BBC’s One Man and His Dog, Henry Keswick, chairman of Jardine Matheson and Professor Roger Scruton, the academic… (story)

Western Morning News 30.7.02 HARES HAVE NEVER BEEN SEEN AS PESTS - What a churlish defence of hare coursing Stephen Dobie of Manchester makes… For many years in the 1970s I was a very keen beagler… But that was then. Now I feel it is high time that the hunting of hares with dogs is banned and hares granted legal protection. Michael H Black, Exmouth (letter)
Western Morning News 16.7.02 COUNTRYSIDE PEOPLE KNOW WHAT IS BEST I write in response to the well-meaning but ill-informed readers who have taken the opportunity to condemn Joanna Russell's hare coursing article. The facts of hare coursing are quite simple. Hare coursing, under National Coursing Club rules, is a perfectly legal and legitimate country pursuit which occurs on estates which promote large numbers of hares for the purpose of hare coursing… Leave the countryside to those who know best. Stephen Dobie, Manchester (letter)
Western Morning News 25.6.02 FACTS ON HARES DON'T FIT WITH HORRIFIC TALES - There seems little point in answering the hysterical abuse about hare coursing, following my article. Most of your correspondents could not have even read the first two paragraphs before writing in protest. Had they done so, they would not have claimed that hares are transported, caged, in vans for coursing meeting. Or maybe they choose to ignore the facts because they don't suit the horrific stories they wish us to believe… Stephen Lancaster states that the National Coursing Club records clearly log the procedure of trapping and movement of hares for coursing. This is not true…I agree wholeheartedly with Lena Holgate that it is disgraceful when a roar of delight goes up when a hare is killed. Having attended coursing meetings all over the country, this only happens at the Waterloo Cup, which attracts non-coursing spectators who never attend other events. True coursing people find this behaviour totally repugnant… "Points", in the plural are not allotted for the kill, which, normally does not get even one, as I explained. Maybe she should read the article again if it doesn't enrage her too much! Joanna Russell, Devon (letter)
Western Morning News 4.6.02 TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR HARE COURSING - In your article on hare coursing by Joanna Russell on April 23, she refers to the Waterloo Cup, which is held annually in my constituency in West Lancashire. Ms Russell says that the aim of coursing is not to kill the hare. I'm sure that it is a great relief to those hares that are killed - and killed horribly. I have myself frequently seen the "living rope" death at Altcar. If coursers were serious in this claim, the dogs would be muzzled… Colin Pickthall MP, West Lancashire (letter)
Western Morning News 28.5.02 Some advantage - JOANNA Russell states in her article on hare coursing that "hares have all the advantages". The advantage that they are driven to their day out by van instead of having to walk, perhaps? Or maybe she means if they escape the dogs once ,they may have the advantage of trying it all over again and again… Caroline Ryan, Holsworthy (letter)
Western Morning News 21.5.02 Hare coursing indefensible - AFTER reading the article "Head start for hares" (WMN, April 23) by Joanna Russell, I was not surprised she was unable to justify the sport… Joanna Russell suggested the National Coursing Club did not endorse netting and transporting hares. This is blatantly untrue, as their own records clearly log this procedure… Stephen Lancaster, Boscastle (letter)
Western Morning News 23.4.02 HEAD START FOR HARES IN MISUNDERSTOOD SPORT - As the Government prepares to draw up a Bill to ban hunting, the main debate is over whether foxhunting might survive in some form. But many hare coursing enthusiasts fear that, whatever happens, their particular sport is now doomed… Coursing is the most misunderstood of all field sports. Ignorance on the subject, even from those committed to hunting or shooting, is astonishing. Many believe that hares are netted - brought to a meeting and released from boxes into an enclosed space under the noses of the dogs. Nothing could be further from the truth…(story)

Western Morning News 30.7.02 - R A GAGIE (WMN, July 2) is one of those democrats who do not understand their social station in life… Mr Gagie should join with me in expressing our gratitude to the Editor of the WMN, for publishing letters from humble commoners such as ourselves - John Phelps, Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 2.7.02 Cruel 'sport' …On the subject of hunting, democracy has spoken. It's cruelty to wild animals and every year people who are anti or neutral on the subject have domestic animals killed or injured, property trespassed on and damaged and their lives disrupted by a blood-thirsty pack… R A Gagie, Paignton (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.7.02 SIMPLE VIEW OF DEMOCRACY Sir - Pamela Dean has a very simplistic view of the freedom and democracy our forefathers fought and died for. Democracy does not mean that we take a view and hold a plebiscite on each and very issue, such as hunting, then ban, change or direct to a new activity any and all that don't meet with wishes of any majority… Andrew Banks Park Street Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 26.7.02 FREE VOTE IS A MISNOMER Sir - Doesn't a "free vote" mean just that?...This is not town versus country, but a promise given in the Labour manifesto. I for one would expect that to be honoured. Pamela Dean Field Road Whiteshill Nr Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Bolton Evening News 30.7.02 Good sports - THANK you to everyone who signed the RSPCA and League Against Cruel Sports petition calling for a total ban on the cruel and unnecessary practice of hunting wild mammals with dogs… over a thousand names were signed in just a few hours. The Lancashire League Against Cruel Sports support group would especially like to thank both David Crausby MP and Brian Iddon MP… Greg Metcalfe, Bamber Bridge, Preston (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 20.7.02 MPs join fox hunting protest - MPs were due to join a demonstration against fox hunting in the town centre today. David Crausby and Brian Iddon were supporting calls for a total ban on hunting wild animals with dogs at a rally in Victoria Square… Jeanne Young, of the Lancashire League Against Cruel Sports, said: "We are delighted to have the full support of Bolton MPs to finally have bloodsports banned."… (story in archive)

Shropshire Star 30.7.02 Make hunting humane, like Frank - When I was a child there was a character called Frank 'bring 'em back alive' Buck. Frank would go into jungles hunting savage beasts, capture them and bring them back alive. If Frank Buck could capture ferocious lions it is clearly possible to cage foxes… there can be no excuse to hound the stag or fox so cruelly. Dick Perkins, Leegomery (letter may be in archive)

Western Daily Press 30.7.02 VARSITY TESTS ON ANIMALS GROWING - Animal rights campaigners yesterday warned that academic freedom was at risk after it emerged that vivisection at universities was rising…. A spokeswoman for the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) said the Government no longer published lists of universities with licences to experiment on animals… Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker said: "It does concern me because I think animal experimentation as a concept is outdated and in the 21st century we should not be relying on what people did hundreds of years ago"… (story)

Western Daily Press 30.7.02 ALTERNATIVE TO ANIMAL TESTING - I read with interest your article about Animal Testing (Thursday, July 25). The five people mentioned in the article said they supported animal testing only because there was no other alternative…. What about people who are a menace to society? So why not use those people instead of defenceless creatures who have done nothing to anyone? Name and address supplied (letter)

Manchester Evening News 29.7.02 Appalling - 'I AM appalled by the decision of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire to be prepared to break the law to fight against a ban on fox hunting (MEN, July 22)…. Jack, Gorton (letter)
Times 22.7.02 Duke and Duchess of Devonshire aim to defy hunt ban BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR AND PATRICK BARKHAM - THE Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, one of Britain’s leading aristocratic couples, have vowed to risk imprisonment by promoting a campaign of civil disobedience against a ban on foxhunting… In an interview with The Times, the couple — who are the largest landowners in the Peak District — said that they would defy any anti-hunt law introduced by the Government and allow the sport to continue on their 12,000-acre Chatsworth estate… Lord and Lady Peel said that they would allow the West of Yure Hunt to use the family farm at Ripon in North Yorkshire only if landowners did not risk prosecution. “We are hunt supporters and if it was not illegal to allow the hunt on to the land we would continue to allow them access,” she said… Her husband, the 3rd Earl Peel is president of the Game Conservancy Trust… (story)

Cambridge News 29.7.02 Pro-hunt lobby wrong From Katherine Watson, Rushton Drive, Bramhall, Stockport - WHEN the pro-hunting "Countryside Action" groups and the fox, deer, hare and suchlike hunts they represent have a reputation for disruptive and objectionable behaviour and are losing support and face universal public opposition, can they expect to attract support and sympathy by deliberately obstructing main public roads and holiday routes in defence of "civil liberties"?... the Cambridgeshire and Enfield Chase foxhound packs have to amalgamate due to lack of support and problems in today’s environment, and the 12 per cent drop in the number of live animal hunts since 1965, clearly indicate that that idea of sport is no longer acceptable…(letter)

Argus 29.7.02 The real agenda - There was some recent confusion among correspondents as to the exact targets of the Countryside Alliance… readers can refer back to the lead letter of August 13, 2001 - "Watch out - they'll ban angling next" - for a precise definition… It has the mission to defend all country sports, including angling, with determination."… They must really hate the compassionate culture of Brighton… -William Fraser, Summerheath Road, Hailsham (letter in archive)

Lewisham News Shopper 2.8.02 Mindless savagery of fox sports - Once again the issue of hunting defenceless wild animals with a pack of savage dogs is in the limelight (He Says/She Says, July 10)… Being torn apart and having your blood smeared on someone's face cannot by any stretch of the imagination be described as dignified. B Embleton, Greenwich (letter)

Lewisham News Shopper 2.8.02 Not outfoxed - I work on Temple Hill in one of the schools and leave home at 3.45am every morning. I always see a number of foxes both on the way and in the school grounds and I can honestly say every one I see never comes anywhere near when it sees me… I say leave the poor animals alone… Name and address supplied (letter)

Lewisham News Shopper 29.7.02 We don’t need a pigeon hunter - IAM more than pleased Gravesham Council has turned down James Higginson's offer to rid the town centre of pigeons (News Shopper, July 17)…. Some six years ago, my organisation, which knew nothing about pigeon management, called on the expert help of the Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PICAS)…. Mark Johnson, North Kent Animal Welfare, Singlewell, Gravesend (letter)

Essex Evening Gazette 29.7.02 Essex: Don't badger the animals …Ken Fitzgerald, of the north east Essex Badger Group, was so concerned about the amount of badgers being killed that he petitioned Essex County Council to put up road signs… (story in archive)

Telegraph 29.7.02 Huntingdon about to step back from brink By Alex Jackson-Proes - Brian Cass, the managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences, is expected to show on Wednesday that the company is trading profitability… Shac held a rally in Cambridge on Saturday… There had been talk of up to 1,000 protestors turning up but in the end only 200 people gathered… A defiant Shac spokesman Joseth Dawson said: "We will keep up the pressure until they close." (story)
Telegraph 28.7.02 How Cass brought Huntingdon back to life - Brian Cass has braved violent attacks from animal rights campaigners to drag his drug testing company into the black, writes Lauren Mills… (story)

Argus 29.7.02 Cruel truth - Judy Way has seen all the cruelty of the animal-testing films and is quite right in what she writes about the side-effects some medicines have… -M Frankel, Brighton (letter in archive)
Argus 23.7.02 Humans test drugs as well as animals - Judy Way (Letters, July 5) misleadingly blames the use of animals in medical research for the rare occasions when some medicines cause unwanted side-effects. All drugs have to go through three phases of clinical trials on human volunteers before they are licensed for general release… Animal rights is an ideology which proposes animals should be given the same rights as humans. This Disneyland ideal runs counter to all human-animal relationships… -Thomas Bromley, SIMR Executive Secretary (letter in archive)
Argus 10.7.02 Another way - Once again, Tom Bromley rushes to the defence of animal research (Letters, July 5)… Perhaps Mr Bromley would enlighten us as to the cures brought about by animal research? The Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research is forging ahead with alternative methods to animal testing… -Judy Way, Overhill, Southwick (letter in archive)
Argus 10.7.02 No sacrifice - Predictably, rather than trying to justify animal experimentation, Tom Bromley - spokesman for Seriously Ill for Medical Research (SIMS), the organisation whose sole purpose is to support and promote the use of animals for research purposes - attempts to denigrate all anti-vivisectionists by referring to the physical assault upon Brian Cass. This violent act, although inexcusable, could be seen as rough justice served upon the man whose company inflicts violence upon thousands of hapless animals every year… -Peter Allen, Chute Avenue, Worthing (letter in archive)
Argus 5.10.02 A weak case stoops easily to violence - I noticed that Judy Way (Letters, June 28) was too upset about Huntingdon Life Sciences managing director Brian Cass being given a CBE for services to medical research to mention that he was physically attacked by an animal extremist last year and required stitches… The fact these people constantly feel a need to resort to using violence and intimidation indicates they must have quite a weak case. I was saddened by the death of our founder member, Andrew Blake… Andrew had been confined to a wheelchair since the age of 15 by a rare genetic disorder called Friedreich's ataxia. This did not stop the extremists sending him death threats and hate mail… -Thomas Bromley, Executive Secretary, SIMR, PO Box 3126, Littlehampton (letter)
Argus 28.6.02 Phoney war - How hypocritical of the Government to make Brian Cass, the managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences, a CBE for services to medical research… Awarding Mr Cass an honour is an outright statement of the Government's support for the UK vivisection industry and a distasteful exploitation of the honours list. -Judy Way, Overhill, Southwick (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 29.7.02 WILDLIFE RESCUE EVENT IS CANCELLED …The summer funday sees a number of charities setting up stalls along with events and shows for all the family at the Gloucestershire Wildlife Rescue Centre's Hartpury base. But a spokesman for the rescue centre said that due to a lack of sponsorship this year's event would have to be cancelled… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 28.7.02 Dunston hound is top dog - MICHAEL POLLITT, EDP AGRICULTURAL EDITOR … The Dunston Harriers won the supreme championship at the National Hound Show – five years after the hound's mother achieved the same feat. Huntsman Michael Karayan was delighted by this remarkable achievement… The latest supreme champion, Dunston Clover, who was born in 1999, is the daughter of Dunston Liberty – winner at Peterborough in 1997… The lemon-coloured bitch, Clover, becomes the latest supreme champion. Her mother, who is nine years old, is still hunting… (story)
Telegraph 27.7.02 Country diary: hounds RWF Poole visits the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show and reminisces - The 114th show of the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society is the blue riband of hound shows… (story)

Observer 28.7.02 Magazine's revamp trots into trouble - First woman editor will spice up bible of huntin', shootin' and fishin' set - Amelia Hill - The most quintessentially British of publishing institutions and the bible of the huntin', shootin' and fishin' set, Horse and Hound, is to turn its back on 118 years of tradition to win more readers… (story)
Telegraph 26.4.02 A woman takes over the reins By Tom Leonard ... Horse & Hound - that old school bible of the hunting and riding world - may finally be trotting into the 21st century. Yesterday, it appointed the first female editor in its 118 years of existence. Amazingly, Lucy Higginson, who is 32, believes she is only its fifth editor.... (interview)

Sunday Times 28.7.02 Jonathan Miller: Mean fields: It’s official: I was right all along …I have unfinished business in Britain. The most immediately pressing is to plough through the latest “lessons to be learnt” inquiry on foot and mouth.Scathing though it is, it is still a cover-up and contains no information diligent readers will not know from my dispatches at the time… So, since nobody official will point a finger, allow me... the disgraceful Nick Brown, still a member of this government, ludicrously as minister for work. A chum of the chancellor, he was worse than useless as agriculture minister. He was a disgrace… Next Jim Scudamore, the incompetent chief vet… Lessons learnt? Ha! I wouldn’t let him touch my cat… Elliot Morley, a Maff minister then and still at Defra, another shameless political hack… The NFU is about as democratic as Stalinist Russia...Don’t forget the awful RSPCA, lackeys of Labour, useless in the face of the greatest animal cruelty the country has ever seen... (story)

Independent on Sunday 28.7.02 Farmers paid extra for 'cruel' exports By Robert Mendick - Britain's farmers are being paid 10p extra a kilo to send live lambs thousands of miles across Europe for slaughter… Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) wants the trade banned on grounds of cruelty… Peter Stevenson, CIWF's policy director, said the enforcement of the law is "extremely poor", adding: "There is no excuse for the live export trade. It is immensely cruel…" Yvonne Burchill of Kent Action Against Live Exports, which monitors and tries to prevent shipments at Dover, said: "The long-distance transportation of animals should be looked at and stopped." (story)

Telegraph 27.7.02 Captain Charlie Barclay - Captain Charlie Barclay, who has died aged 82, was for 54 seasons a Master of the Puckeridge Foxhounds…(obituary)

Telegraph 27.7.02 Country notebook: culling - It's absurd to suggest that fox-hunting can control foxes, says Germaine Greer … The notion that ritual fox-hunting can control the fox population has always been absurd… The fox population is now so dense that foxes are suffering stress. The proof is that so many of them are succumbing to sarcoptic mange… Although treating the animal may seem kinder, and is certainly preferable to setting off after it with a cry of hounds, it exposes the wild creature to agonies of stress and terror, only to release it afterwards into the same intolerable situation without correcting the underlying problem. I'd shoot it. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 27.7.02 KILLING FOR FUN IS EVIL - For once, and probably the only time, I agree with Tim Mickleburgh… I find the idea that people get pleasure from hunting and killing them disgusting… Carole Dalton, Cleethorpes (full address supplied). (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 22.7.02 EURO MARCH 'AN INSULT' …when you look at the reason for the protest, I find that it is an insult to the millions who have marched in previous civil rights protests. The Autumn march is simply an attempt by the pro-hunting lobby to defend its immoral practice of killing animals in the name of sport… I note that they hope to "attract hundreds of thousands from all over the world". So what? They haven't a vote here and shouldn't be listened to…. Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby. (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 15.7.02 PRO-HUNTERS VOW TO KEEP UP LOBBY VIGIL - Officials in Downing Street and Westminster have been shown the level of support for hunting by members of Louth's South Wold Hunt…. The Lincolnshire men, women and children, presented a petition at number 10 after they had completed a 24-hour stint at the Countryside Alliance's around the clock vigil outside the Houses of Parliament… It forms part of the Countryside Alliance's Summer of Discontent campaign, which precedes the Liberty and Livelihood march on September 22. The march is widely expected to be Europe's largest ever civil rights demonstration and will attract hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world… (story)

Woking News & Mail 25.7.02 WHEELIE BINS NOT THE ANSWER TO RAIDING FOXES — CLAIM By DANIEL KIRK - A BYFLEET resident has said the wheelie-bin system is fundamentally flawed and damages the environment. Rupert Devereux was responding to last week’s News and Mail article which raised the question of whether wheelie-bins were needed in West Byfleet to combat foxes…. (story)
Woking News & Mail 18.7.03 HEALTH RISK FEARS OVER FOX PLAGUE By DANIEL KIRK - FOXES are being encouraged into Byfleet centre and are causing health and hygiene hazards in the village. Parish council chairman Sue Kittelsen blames the absence of wheelie-bins as the main reason for this animal invasion…. “Hopefully wheelie-bins would keep the foxes in their natural habitat. I do not want to scaremonger but the safety of our children has to be paramount after what happened with that little girl. Similarly I am an animal lover and do not want to see the foxes hunted, gassed or shot.”… (story)

Cambridge News 27.7.02 End this cruelty From Rosemary Faupel, St John's Road, Coton - I agree with Mrs. Sue Jiggins, "Dog cruelty is horrifying" (News, July 13)… However, when that same level of cruelty (and worse) is inflicted upon thousands of animals, legally and under government licence, in the name of "modern science", what is our response then? We are more likely to find the perpetrators in the honours list than in prison (letter)

North West Evening Mail 26.7.02 HUNTING WITH DOGS: MINISTERS have announced a three-day public hearing on controversial plans which could ban hunting with dogs in Cumbria… (story)

Western Daily Press 26.7.02 BECKETT IS SIMPLY OUT OF TOUCH Sir - Mrs Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, apparently "accepts there is a lot of social life around hunting, " but says that nobody has ever made it plain to her "why that social life would disappear if you stopped killing foxes." Such a remark is crass to say the least, and in my opinion displays a total lack of understanding of social life in our country… With little trust in the countryside for the phoney "consultation process" on the future of hunting where, whatever the outcome, her junior minister, Mr Alun Michael, has promised back-bench Labour MPs the Government will invoke the Parliament Act… Name and address supplied (letter)

North Devon Journal 26.7.02 DOUBLE STANDARDS OVER ANIMALS - I agree the people who broke into the Medical Centre and killed fish (as described on the front page of the Journal last week) were sadistic thugs. However, surely the killing of thousands of fish each day for human consumption is no less cruel… Similarly, I would mention the suffering endured by fish through the hugely popular "sport" of angling… What a way to enjoy your recreation, by inflicting pain, for fun!... The live export of animals has begun again with all the suffering that goes with this evil trade… Angela Hogan, West Croyde, Croyde (letter)

Manchester Evening News 26.7.02 Spare a thought - HUNDREDS of thousands of animals will be gassed, poisoned, burnt, electrocuted and tortured to death in animal testing and experimentation this year in this country alone… A Meek, Manchester (letter)

Leicester Mercury 26.7.02 RACE FOR LIFE, BUT WHOSE? - Race for Life? Whose life? Certainly not the millions of animals killed every year in the name of medical research… Karen Fletcher, Tugby (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 26.7.02 WHY THE OBSESSION TO KILL? - We feel we must write to you yet again - The Citizen, July 20… Soon the gulls will be away again, so why not tolerate them just for a short while and be glad to be healthy with hearing and sight to be able to appreciate nature. C. SMITH, L. WOODHAM H. KNICKENBORG, V. WHITE G. FRENCH, M. ROSATTO P. GUNNELL, H. HEWER C. HAYWARD, G. EWER A. WHITEHEAD, M. JOYNER D. PHELPS, J. BRAIN, A.TURNER C. JOYNER Birdwatch Gloucestershire (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 26.7.02 SORRY FOR THE PUN BUT NOT MESSAGE - With reference to my recent letter about the seagulls in the city centre, may I apologise for the feeble pun (ring/wring) which so obviously did not amuse the gaggle of Birdwatch Gloucestershire members who signed the letter of complaint…. I do not apologise for expressing the view that there are too many seagulls in the city centre. As an active member of three wildlife conservation groups and spending a considerable amount of my time enhancing and restoring local wildlife areas, this may sound odd, but that's the way I feel about this matter… GLADYS ALLEN, Well Cross Road, Gloucester (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 26.7.02 HUMANS MESSY - I'm fed up with complaints about getting rid of seagulls. But my point of view is for keeping the birds…. After all, they are part of nature too. DAWN RIACH, 11, Brook Street, Gloucester (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 19.7.02 GET A LIFE AND LEAVE OUR WILDLIFE ALONE - May we say how nice it was to read Audrey Hucknell's letter (July 11) "People should live and let live"… But may we say how disgusted we were with the letter by Gladys Allen. She should be totally ashamed of herself…. No wonder there is so much cruelty with comments like that printed. Alan Brockbank spoke out against this cruelty only last week… L. WOODHAM, M. JOYNER V. WHITE, A. WHITEMAN M. ROSATTO, P. GUNNELL G. FRENCH, C. HAYWARD H. HEWER, G. EWER, Members of Birdwatch, Gloucestershire (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 11.7.02 PEOPLE SHOULD LIVE AND LET LIVE - I refer to the letter from David Phelps and Birdwatch (The Citizen, Saturday, June 29). I would like to congratulate all these young people on their sympathetic attitude towards the much-maligned seagulls… AUDREY W. HUCKNALL, Cliffords Mesne, Newent (letter)
Gloucester Citizen/Gloucestershire Echo 29.6.02 WE'RE WORSE THAN GULLS - In reply to your article of June 20, "Live in Peace with the gulls urges RSPCA", I would like to say it's about time we left them alone… people of Gloucester, do as the RSPCA ask. Try and live with them; we are all God's creatures… DAVID PHELPS (14) and Bird Watch (letter)

Northampton Evening Telegraph 26.7.02 Meat mouthful that upset boy - A WOMAN who brought a packet of cheese and onion pasties only to discover they contained meat has spoken of the upset it caused. Nicola Stacey, of St Mary’s Road, Kettering, bought the Freshbake pasties at Iceland in Kettering in January and cooked them for her son Reuben, who has never eaten meat… Nicola, 32, a vegetarian since the age of 13, said: "… It’s a big deal to us because Reuben’s never eaten meat…." (story)

Western Mail 26.7.02 Protest over resumption of live animal exports to continent - Steve DubÉ Steve.Dube@Wme.Co.Uk, The Western Mail - ANIMAL welfare campaigners staged a token demonstration outside the main gates of the showground yesterday to protest against the resumption of live exports to the continent by Welsh farmers… "The trade is one of the most horrific forms of animal suffering and the public have declared their abhorrence of it time and again," said Gary Reese of Compassion in World Farming, who was among 30 people displaying banners and placards in a peaceful demonstration… (story)

West Cumberland Times & Star 26.7.02 Circus ponies - SIR - I am still concerned over the treatment of the horses and ponies at Bobby Roberts Circus which recently came to Workington. I did report my concerns to the RSPCA, who were initially reluctant to attend… a lady officer told me Bobby Roberts had said the old, new and healing wounds were caused by bites, she believed him… I asked her if she had checked the horses hooves, etc. The officer from the RSPCA then admitted she had no equine knowledge…. KAREN BRILEY, Hillcrest, Northside, Workington (letter may be in archive)
West Cumberland Times & Star 12.7.02 CIRCUS FEARS DISMISSED - THREE complaints about a circus which performed in Workington last week have been dismissed by the animal welfare group, the RSPCA. After investigating allegations of mistreatment at the Bobby Roberts Circus the society decided there was nothing to prompt legal action. One complainant, Karen Briley, of Hillcrest, Northside, Workington, wrote to the Times & Star about what she described as cruel treatment…. An RSPCA spokeswoman said three complaints were investigated. "Nothing was found which would prompt legal action," she said… (story)

Cambridge News 26.7.02 Prison for dog fight organizer - Andrew Crowe was sentenced to six months in prison for his part in the vicious sport. He had turned the garage of his home in Brampton Road, Cambridge, into a blood-soaked ring. Friends and family burst into tears as Crowe, 36, who has been sacked from his job as a learning support assistant with Cambridgeshire County Council, was led away. Crowe's cousin Glenn Brown, 28, was sentenced to the maximum 240 hours' community punishment order… Mark Willis, of Chesterton High Street, was fined £400 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs after the 32-year-old was found guilty of being present at a dog fight and admitting possession of a pit bull-type dog at the end of the trial earlier this month. (story)
Ananova 26.7.02 Man jailed for dog fighting offences - A former school classroom assistant has been jailed for six months after being convicted of dog fighting offences. Andrew Crowe, 36, of Cambridge, was sentenced by a district judge at Cambridge Magistrates Court… (story)
Cambridge News 12.12.01 Four deny dog fight charges - Andrew Crowe, of Brampton Road, Cambridge, Mark Willis, of High Street, Chesterton, Glenn Brown, of Stourbridge Grove, Cambridge, and a 14-year-old boy who cannot be named denied 16 charges relating to dog fight at house in Brampton Road (story in archive)

Royston Crow 25.7.02 Growing concern for hunt puppies - A KENNEL huntsman is "extremely concerned" about the safety of three puppies after they were stolen. The 13-week-old pups, two bitches and a dog, belong to the Puckeridge Hunt, based in Brent Pelham near Buntingford… Gerald Sumner, kennel huntsman, said he was "extremely concerned" for the welfare of the pups… (story)

Telegraph 25.7.02 Huntsmen hold fete outside Parliament By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - Pro-hunt demonstrators turfed over the road in Parliament Square and held a village fete, complete with hound show, in front of the Palace of Westminster yesterday… The pickup containing the turf was emblazoned "We'll keep our cows*** in the countryside if you keep your bulls*** in the city"…. quotes from John Bycroft, OSB&WK, Andrew German, S & W Wilts… Major Jonathan Seed, of the Avon Vale, and Graham Elliot, of the Oakley, both in bowler hats, got on with the business of judging the South West Wiltshire hounds… (story)

Western Daily Press 25.7.02 WILDE DID NOT HIT OUT AT HUNTING - In the letter headlined Hunting Is No Way A Sport, E G Staddon attempts to dignify some rather original comments against hunting, criticising former League Against Cruel Sports executive Mr Cooper, who now opposes a hunting ban… "the unspeakable in pursuit (not chasing) of the uneatable"… was a light-hearted observation made over dinner about the English country gentleman… but was certainly not a criticism of hunting. Mal Treharne Countryside Alliance Aley Somerset (letter)

Shropshire Star 25.7.02 Buy your promotion space like rest of us I can not be the only person dismayed by the numerous placards erected in and around Newport (and presumably far beyond) advertising the forthcoming Liberty and Livelihood March in London and other banners by countryside pressure groups… To my mind this is every bit an act of vandalism as the actions of people in the opposite camp who have subsequently gone around spraying paint over the very same signs and as many legitimate road signs as they can… Richard Swift, Newport (letter may be in archive)

Hereford Times 25.7.02 Time to end the prevaricating - MADAM, Hunters are becoming increasingly desperate it seems, three letters from them in last week's issue!... It's time to end this cruel and unnecessary activity… BETTY COTTON, Bank Cottage, Roddhurst, Presteigne. (letter in archive)
Hereford Times 25.7.02 Why working people give their time to campaign I write in reply to James Connells' letter, as one directly affected by the hunting issue. I am the only farrier resident in the Dilwyn and Weobley area, and the secretary of the Hereford Farrier Club. Shoeing hunters is a vital part of our income… Banning it would cause grave unemployment and lack of rural revenue with all the hardship it would mean… if everybody who does not like hunting would simply shut up and not hunt, we would then not have to put up posters, waste time and money on marches and try to educate people to reality. If it isn't broken don't try to fix it. ROB LOWE, Weobley Marsh, Herefordshire. (letter in archive)
Hereford Times 18.7.02 Support for the hunt widespread - MADAM, There is a great deal of support for the North Hereford Hunt not only from people who ride to hounds but from the farming community as a recent fox hunting survey showed… On Saturday, I helped with the Liberty and Livelihood stand in Hereford High Town. It was a rewarding day with a great deal of support for countryside sports from the majority of people who called at the stand and enjoyed the display of working dogs and hounds… B PHILIPS (chairman, North Herefordshire Hunt), Lower Eggleton, Ledbury. (letter in archive)
Hereford Times 18.7.02 No protests at election time - Madam, Methinks Mr. Cannell of Dilwyn doth protest too much! To take such exception to the signs erected in the North Herefordshire hunt country that he feels obliged to write to his local newspaper in such offensive terms illustrates how desperately out of touch he is with the feeling in the local community… A decent, law-abiding minority that feels it is being victimised for party political advantage and excluded from the democratic process find their efforts to raise the issue locally vilified by a whingeing letter in the local paper!.. Graham Langer, Belpha Farm, Dulas, Pontrilas (letter in archive)
Hereford Times 11.7.02 Signs an affront to the wider opinion - MADAM, I have noticed over the last few days a proliferation of signs and placards along the highways and byways of Herefordshire around the Leominster area. They all proclaim that passers-by are `now in North Hereford Hunt country'… I chanced to speak to a number of people in the Leominster, Dilwyn, and Weobley area… Without my voicing my own opinion (which is that hunting is a disgusting and uncivilized practice), they unanimously stated that they regarded the appearance of the signs as, at best, an affront… James Cannell, Stanhope, Dilwyn, Hereford (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 25.7.02 FOXES HAVE TO FORAGE - It comes as no real surprise that foxes have started to congregate in an aggressive manner outside urban areas… it is of no surprise that they are just a little angry and hungry when they have to make their way into the enemy's back yard looking for food and somewhere to stay - only to be chased out with an offensive weapon! Joe Coleman, ewkesbury Crescent, Derby (letter)

Argus 25.7.02 Animal protest stuns students …Five members of the East Sussex branch of Stop Hunting and Animal Cruelty invaded a University of Brighton lecture hall as students prepared to take part in a young scientist conference. The group was protesting at the presence of a representative of Huntingdon Life Sciences due to speak at the conference… quote from Protester Maz Smith, 39, from Brighton "We talked to the organiser of the conference and we agreed that we would leave if we got a letter saying HLS was not welcome." A university spokesman said: "The speaker from HLS has now withdrawn from our young scientist conference and the rest of the conference is now continuing smoothly."… (story in archive)

Guardian 25.7.02 Animal tests secrecy must end, say peers - Tim Radford, science editor Animal experiments are necessary to protect humans, animals and the environment - but scientists should also be looking for alternative ways of ensuring safe medicines, a House of Lords committee said yesterday… The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection described the report as "broadly pro-industry and conservative"… (story)
Times 25.7.02 Red tape causes animals needless suffering in labs BY MARK HENDERSON, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT (story)
Cambridge News 25.7.02 Lords support alternative research methods - AS UP TO 1,000 animal rights demonstrators prepare to converge on Cambridge for a mass protest, live experiments were being debated in the House of Lords. Members of the Upper House heard that 2.6m tests were carried out at labs including the Huntingdon Life Sciences based in Cambridgeshire… (story)
Telegraph 25.7.02 Lords blame red tape for lab animal suffering By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent - Laboratory animals are put through unnecessary suffering because of excessive bureaucracy, an influential House of Lords report said yesterday… (story)
Scotsman 25.7.02 Animal experiment call MORE should be done to reduce the number of animals used in scientific experiments, a Lords committee claimed yesterday. (story)
Ananova 24.7.02 Scientists and experts welcome animal experiments report - Scientists are welcoming a Government report on animal experiments. It backs "alternative" methods of developing human and veterinary medicine. But many scientists stress animal testing will never be replaced altogether… Dr Mark Matfield, executive director, Research Defence Association: "The scientific community should welcome this report with open arms…." (story)

Chingford Guardian 25.7.02 Animal abuse - I READ with interest the letter printed on July 18 regarding the welfare of racing greyhounds… The general public are at last starting to ask questions about greyhound racing and I and many others are confident that this so-called sport is about to be exposed for what it is animal abuse T. KELLY, Peterborough Road, Leyton (letter)

Western Morning News 24.7.02 BACKED INTO A HOLE IN DEBATE OVER FOXHUNTING - Richard Burge, the Labour Party member and chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, declared last weekend that the Government was in an utter mess over the issue of hunting… quotes from Geoff Mannell, Cornwall chairman of the Countryside Alliance, Anthony Steen, Conservative MP for Totnes, Mal Treharne of the Countryside Alliance in the Westcountry… Yesterday in Cumbria, Richard Burge said: "We welcome the three-day hearing because it starts with the evidence of the Burns Inquiry and is intended to be an open and transparent debate on the facts, leaving aside all the rhetoric and prejudice which has consistently blighted this issue…"

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 24.7.02 JOIN THE MARCH TO RESTORE HOPE - Regarding D. Perks' letter "Meet the real people, Mr D!"… I suggest he arranges to go on the March for Liberty and Livelihood in London on September 22. It will be enough to restore anyone's faith in human nature… BOB JACK, Abbeymead (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.7.02 NOT JUST TOWN ISSUE - Sir - You say on the front page, in LabourHunt Fiasco, hunting is town versus countryside. This is not so!... P Busson Woolavington Somerset (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 24.7.02 YOU'RE WRONG - I disagree with Thomas Bromley (Letters, July 20) when he accuses his opponents of hypocrisy… Incidentally, is membership of Seriously Ill for Medical Research (SIMR) open to all those who favour medical research, regardless of their views on vivisection? Christopher W Fox, St Andrews Close, Middleton-on-the-Wolds. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 23.7.02 TAKE UP MY CHALLENGE - Thomas Bromley should check his facts (Mail July 20). He may lose his well paid job with the Seriously Ill for Medical Research (SIMR) if he does not… Maybe he would care to join thousands of people in London on September 7, who will be calling for an impartial enquiry into animal tests including fair media coverage… Steve Broom, Apollo Walk, Ings Road Estate, Hull (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 20.7.02 HUMANE RESEARCH IS VITAL - Steve Broom of the originally titled "Seriously ill against vivisection" (Mail, July 1) forgets to mention that even their founder member accepts animal-tested medication for her arthritis - so their stance is rather hypocritical… Michelle Thew of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) might also like to try to explain why any devoted animal lover who had witnessed "appalling suffering" at Cambridge University kept quiet and did nothing during the 10-month undercover "investigation"…. Thomas Bromley, SIMR executive secretary. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 9.7.02 VIVISECTION VIEWS - I notice Mr Bromley's letter, (Mail, July 5), does not use the word "morality", neither in his condemnation of the millions opposed to the use of live animals for medical research, who he describes as "suffering muddled priorities", nor in its defence… Bert Greaves, Chester Avenue, Minstergate, Beverley
Hull Daily Mail 9.7.02 Testing times - Why is the pro-vivisection group SIMR allowed to have constant re-runs of the same old rubbish regarding animal experiments?... S Broom, Apollo Walk, Ings Road Estate, Hull (letters)
Hull Daily Mail 29.6.02 FOR ALL THOSE WHO SUFFER - Mr BROMLEY'S letter (Mail, June 24), charges me with using "emotional propaganda" to support my defence against animals used for medical research… I sincerely offer to his organisation empathy in dealing with his ideas, but I point out that laudable as his concerns for his members might be, he should be aware a similar organisation exists: The Victims of Medical Negligence… I truly regret the need to focus the well-meant attention of Mr Bromley's members on the fact they are able to exercise a free will of choice between fighting their condition or not. A choice denied to animals! Bert Greaves, Chester Avenue, Minstergate, Beverley (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 17.6.02 IT'S TIME TO STOP TESTING … It is a fact that humans and animals are different. Therefore, the results of chemicals tested on animals are not valid for humans… The time is long overdue for this barbaric practice to be outlawed. Not only does it kill the animals but also humans. Ann Garton, Tennyson Avenue, Hull. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 7.6.02 ANIMALS ARE BEING ILL-USED … The letter about the use of animals for medical research (Mail, June 4), invites a response defending animals of all kinds from being ill-used for medical research. Animals are part of the creative force, and left alone, they will regulate their numbers, notwithstanding the fetishistic hunting of foxes, deer etc., on the pretence of keeping down their numbers. I claim medical research will not add one jot to people's lives…. Bert Greaves, Chester avenue, Minstergate, Beverley (letter)

Essex Evening Echo 24.7.02 Rochford: Circus rejects cruelty claims …Essex Animal Concern is urging the public not to visit the Great British Circus until it agrees to stop performing with captive animals…. (story in archive)

Shropshire Star 24.7.02 War-torn zoo not fit to take in animals - An article in the Shropshire Star 'friendship gesture for city's zoo' refers to China preparing to send animals for the zoo in Kabul… WSPA, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, is completely opposed to the moving of any animals into Kabul Zoo and believe instead that any funding raised by the zoo community should be focused on the animals already at the zoo and training for the staff… Philip George, Welshpool (letter may be in archive)

Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph 23.7.02 MILITANTS' RAIDS 'LIKE DAD'S ARMY' - Bungling fox hunt supporters have been branded as acting like the soldiers from Dad's Army after attacking the wrong buildings in raids on the offices of regional MPs. Both Brigg and Goole MP Ian Cawsey and Scunthorpe MP Elliot Morley were targeted by the poster-pasting radicals… Pauline Carlile, Mr Morley's secretary, said she had seen the damage for herself at the front of the Kinsley Labour Club on Cole Street, which was covered in posters. She said: "It was really annoying. They just wouldn't come off at all with soap and water."… (story)
Guardian 22.7.02 Pro-hunt militants target Labour MPs - Woman in balaclava leads three men in office attacks - David Hencke, Westminster correspondent - Four Labour MPs, including the junior agriculture minister, Elliot Morley, have had their constituency offices attacked by a group of militant pro-hunt supporters led by a balaclava-clad woman. Over the past month the group, which belongs to the Real Countryside Alliance - a militant organisation denounced by the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance - has targeted Mr Morley, MP for Scunthorpe, Hugh Bayley, MP for York, Ian Cawsey, parliamentary private secretary to David Miliband and MP for Brigg and Goole, and Lawrie Quinn, parliamentary private secretary to Douglas Alexander, Cabinet Office minister, and MP for Scarborough and Whitby… The group was caught on high definition CCTV installed as an experiment by Jack Straw, the former home secretary, in Goole when it launched an attack aimed at Mr Cawsey at his office in the town… they mistakenly attacked the offices and vehicles owned by the charities Age Concern and Mind next door and plastered pro-hunting stickers over a van owned by a charity that clears the gardens of disabled people… A Humberside police spokeswoman said yesterday: "A woman from North Yorkshire was arrested and cautioned by police over the incidents but later released. We are not naming the person as she will not be appearing in court."… Mr Quinn said: "The whole thing is very worrying, particularly when combined with the damage to road signs - the police need to stop this before someone is killed."… (story)
Yorkshire Post 22.7.02 Row over pro-hunt extremist - PRO-HUNTING extremists who set out to plaster a Labour MP's office with pro-hunt posters were caught red-handed on surveillance cameras, it emerged last night… Using the registration number of the vehicle, police 10 days later tracked down and arrested an 18-year-old woman from North Yorkshire. Humberside Police said the woman had refused to co-operate and identify the three men… The 18-year-old woman was released with a caution for causing criminal damage… Mr Bayley said that the pro-hunt posters were deliberately designed to be extremely sticky and cleaning up the first attack on his office had cost £75… (story)
York Evening Press 22.7.02 MP lashes decision to caution fly-poster - THE decision to caution an 18-year-old North Yorkshire woman for plastering offices with pro-hunting stickers was criticised today by York MP Hugh Bayley… (story in archive)

Yorkshire Post 23.7.02 Owner of virus-hit estate to lead farm society - Brian Dooks - THE owner of an 1,800-acre estate near Skipton, which was badly affected by foot and mouth, is the new president of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. One of John Henderson's first duties will be to attend the society's Harvest Thanksgiving Service, which this year is being held in Ripon Cathedral on Sunday, October 6… Mr Henderson was born and bred in Yorkshire. His family has long associations with the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt. (story)

Western Morning News 23.7.02 NATURE'S WAY IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY - Kate Rogers of Bodmin in her letter to the WMN conveniently manages to see the world through her own rose coloured glasses. First of all she says that people who hunt are not cruel to animals!... W Bache, Bodmin Western Morning News 16.7.02 Certain fate - I MUST reply to Mrs Jennifer Cook who wrote (WMN June 12) accusing me of "delight in tormenting foxes"…. Mrs Cook has certainly formed an opinion about me, but I would like to inform her that I care deeply about the countryside and wildlife animals… Mrs K Rogers, Bodmin (story)
Western Morning News 12.6.02 Unfair pursuit - SO KATE Rogers (WMN, June 1) brags about hunting, and takes a further delight in tormenting and chasing the old, frail and unhealthy foxes…. Mrs Jennifer Cook, Honiton (letter)
Western Morning News 1.6.02 HELPING WILDLIFE STAY HEALTHY - Well DONE! Mark Daniel has just written everything I have tried to say to anyone who accuses me of being cruel by going hunting occasionally ("Nothing wiser or finer than nature in the raw", WMN, May 22)… A healthy fox is not one to cause trouble to domestic animals (easy prey). Hunting can only help the fox population stay healthy by naturally killing the unfit and unhealthy. Kate Rogers Devon (letter)

Manchester Evening News 23.7.02 Lovely animals - RE your article (MEN, July 16) about the man who killed the fox which he said was attacking him in his kitchen. These poor animals have enough to contend with without all this bad publicity, which will incite people to think they are vicious… (letter)
Manchester Evening News 23.7.02 THE five-legged fox which a man killed with a yard brush was probably scared stiff of him… Foxes are persecuted enough by hunters. It's about time more people joined the hunt protesters instead of the hunters. S W Heron, Stockport (letter)
Ananova 17.7.02 Man kills five-legged fox house invader - A man has killed a five-legged fox with a brush after it came into his house in Greater Manchester and fought with his dog… (story)
Manchester Evening News 16.7.02 Dad kills fox with five legs - DAD Jason Lloyd killed a FIVE-legged fox after it attacked him in his kitchen… He said: "I'd opened the back door to let some air in when suddenly this fox pounced. It tried to attack me, but I managed to push it away. Then it ran into the garden and my Jack Russell, Pip, started fighting with it… I hit the fox with a yard brush and when I looked it was dead. But then I got the shock of my life when I realised it had five legs. I've never seen anything like it. It has three legs at the front."… Wildlife experts say it is highly unusual for foxes to go near people and virtually unknown for them to attack anyone (story)

Telegraph 23.7.02 Peterborough: Alun Michael on target to woo rural Britain - A new weapon has been unveiled in New Labour's battle to win wary rural folk over to the Third Way. Alun Michael - as rural affairs minister the man charged with thrashing out the future of hunting - has just taken up the sport of shooting… (story)

Western Mail 23.7.02 Game Fair at Broadlands - THIS weekend sees one of the world's largest and most prestigious events take place - the CLA Game Fair… The CLA Game Fair is always held in the grounds of a historic stately home, and this year is being staged at the Broadlands Estate in Hampshire (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 23.7.02 Being badgered by a maze of tunnels - MARAUDING badgers are devastating a quiet Swindon cul-de-sac, threatening to cause subsidence to houses and an electrical substation… John Short, director of Swindon Services the council's contracting arm said the council was powerless to deal with the badgers. "They are a protected species, so the council is not allowed to touch them," he explained. (story in archive)

Times 23.7.02 Animal rights activists change tactics BY HELEN STUDD - ANIMAL rights activists protesting against Huntingdon Life Sciences set up their banners on a village green after claiming to have found a way around legislation introduced to restrict their campaigns… By staging their protest half a mile from the target’s home, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty has circumvented legislation brought in last year granting police the power to arrest demonstrators refusing to stop picketing someone’s home… Greg Avery, spokesman for the activists, said: “These people hate their neighbours to know they are supporting Huntingdon Life Sciences.” (story)

Western Morning News 23.7.02 FUR ONLY LOOKS GOOD ON ITS OWNER - THE ANIMAL - Princess Michael of Kent has just splashed out almost £30,000 for a luxurious sable wrap… I am also appalled at the decision to award animal research laboratory boss Brian Cass a CBE… F Cleaves, Par (letter)

Argus 23.7.02 Gallant gulls - Our local seagull, the herring gull, must be high up in the "top ten best parents in the world" list… Rena Collins is quite right when she says it is man's fault… -Gloria Wheatcroft, The Drive, Hove (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 23.7.02 PLEASE BACK THE CAMPAIGN TO HALT TORTURE IN BEAR FARMS - We HAVE recently been shocked to hear about the health risks associated with the illegal import of meat products from China and other parts of the world… there is nothing to compare to the suffering of over 7,000 bears in the Chinese bear farms where they are cruelly milked for their bile…. The running of these bear farms has been investigated by the World Society for the Protection of Animals… We should do what we can for these poor creatures by writing to the Chinese Ambassador in London and the Chinese President to urge them to close these barbaric torture chambers and promote the herbal and synthetic solutions instead…. Barbara Gardner, Ivybridge (letter)

Western Morning News 23.7.02 WE MUST RESPECT ALL CREATURES - I am finding it difficult to comprehend and be patient with people these days. It is overwhelmingly ignorant to assume we have the right to treat any living creature contemptuously. It is no greater wrong to starve, beat, abuse a human being than it is an animal… I believe God meant it when he said "Love they neighbour as thyself" and "Thou shall not kill" - I don't recall any codicil that said "but it's all right to abuse those neighbours you don't give birthday cards to or kill animals and eat them"…. Debra Salvoni Teignmouth (letter)

Telegraph 22.7.02 Hunt supporters sign up to break the law By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - Thousands of hunt supporters have signed a declaration that, if a ban comes into force, they will disobey the law and continue to hunt, risking a criminal conviction. The declaration, on the website www.huntingdeclaration.org, commits those signing it to participate in a hunt on the first day of the season after any ban, in the belief that their arrest and conviction in large numbers would demonstrate the injustice of such a law… (story)

Telegraph 22.7.02 Ban 'is party prejudice' By Robert Uhlig - Labour has got itself into "a complete and utter mess" over the future of foxhunting, delegates were told. Richard Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, condemned the Government's focus on hunting at the expense of other rural issues. Earlier, 150 pro-hunt supporters staged a demonstration outside the conference… He told a Leave Country Sports Alone meeting that he had come to the conference to discuss rural issues. "I cannot believe we have got ourselves into this complete and utter mess on hunting. This is not a rural issue."…(story)
Shropshire Star 22.7.02 Labour conference hailed a big success By Peter Johnson and Craig MacFarlane - Government officials today hailed the Labour Party's first-ever rural conference, held at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire, a major success… Fox hunting also reared its head, with more than 100 hunt supporters staging a noisy protest as ministers and more than 200 delegates arrived at the college near Newport… Countryside Alliance chief executive Mr Burge, a Labour Party member, told the Leave Country Sports Alone fringe meeting at the conference: "I cannot believe we have got ourselves into this complete and utter mess on hunting…" (story)
Western Daily Press 22.7.02 LABOUR IN A 'COMPLETE MESS' OVER BAN ON HUNTING - The Government was last night facing a political crisis as fox hunting again threatened to throw the Labour Party into chaos… Richard Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, described the fiasco as "a piece of regular party prejudice egged on by middle class do-gooders who simply haven't looked at the facts"… Mr Burge, a senior Labour Party member, told the fringe meeting: "I cannot believe we have got ourselves into this complete and utter mess on hunting… It is an issue that has been bandied around as basically a piece of regular party prejudice egged on by middle-class do-gooders who simply have not looked at the facts." … (story)
Western Daily Press 22.7.02 LABOUR HUNT FIASCO (story)
Yorkshire Post 22.7.02 Labour 'in a mess' over fox-hunt debate - The Labour Party is in "a complete and utter mess" over the future of fox hunting, a leading pro-hunting campaigner said yesterday… Mr Burge, a Labour Party member who is leading the alliance's attempt to save hunting, praised the move by Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael to hold three days of special hearings at Westminster in September as part as a consultation on hunting with hounds… (story)
Western Mail 21.7.02 Labour 'in utter mess' on hunting - By Amanda Brown …Richard Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said the row was "a piece of regular party prejudice egged on by middle class do-gooders who simply haven't looked at the facts"…. "It's absolutely right and the only way of getting the substance behind this debate addressed, rather than the rhetoric and emotion," he told a fringe meeting at Labour's Rural Conference at Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire….Mr Burge told the Leave Country Sports Alone meeting he had come to the weekend conference to discuss rural issues: "I've come here as a delegate and as a member of a party… (story)
Ananova 21.7.02 Pro-hunt protesters damage rural conference posters - Breakaway militant hunting supporters have damaged official Countryside Alliance posters at Labour's rural conference… Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael, who is in charge of the Government's hunting consultation, told a news conference at the close of the meeting today "… there's a process which allows people to make their point and in fairness to the leadership of the Countryside Alliance, they've engaged with that process and are putting their views forward…" Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett and Mr Michael were greeted with jeers and hunting horns on their arrival at the college (story)
Western Morning News 20.7.02 'LABOUR IS PARTY OF RURAL PEOPLE' - Rural Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett last night claimed that Labour was now the "party of the countryside" as she opened the party's first ever rural conference… Hunt protesters from the Countryside Alliance made their presence felt last night with a peaceful demonstration outside the conference venue. But there were fears that the self-styled "Real Countryside Alliance", which has threatened to take direct action to save hunting, could disrupt the conference this weekend. A number of roads and signs leading up to the conference centre had been daubed with pro-hunting messages… Paul Tyler, Lib-Dem MP for North Cornwall, said: "What people in the countryside want to know is when Mrs Beckett is going to get some muck on her boots. She does not seem to have any understanding of how rural areas operate, or any interest in finding out." (story)
Birmingham Post 19.7.02 Farmers in protest for their future By Sarah Probert, Birmingham Post - The Government will today be urged to help to turn round the fortunes of rural communities during a peaceful protest at the start of a three-day Labour Party conference in the Midlands. Farmers, farriers, huntsmen and other people who rely on the rural economy will urge Ministers to provide them with a sustainable future as Labour holds its first rural conference out-side London… (story)
Shropshire Star 19.7.02 Country matters for Labour top brass By Craig MacFarlane - Top Government ministers were this afternoon due to converge on Shropshire for the Labour Party's first ever national conference on rural affairs… Countryside campaigners were due to stage a protest at the college this afternoon over the Government's proposed ban on hunting with hounds…(story)
Shropshire Star 19.7.02 MPs flock to county - Comment … The conference at Harper Adams near Newport will inevitably be to some extent a talking shop with politicians spouting platitudes which have more to do with presenting Labour as a party which understands agriculture than offering anything specific. But the fact that the conference is taking place at all is a positive step as it represents a commitment, or at least a desire to have a commitment, to help, and to talk about and take an interest in, the issues…. (story)

Telegraph 22.7.02 Peterborough - Lucinda on her high horse - We must all, in these troubled times, do what we can for rural Britain. To that end, the former Olympic medallist Lucinda Green has christened her newest horse Cry Freedom, in order to highlight the threat to hunting… (story)

Telegraph 22.7.02 Pro-hunt summer picnic comes to a watery end By Peterborough - A boat trip on the Thames ended in near-disaster for a party of pro-hunting campaigners when their pleasure cruiser capsized and they had to swim to safety. The group of Countryside Alliance supporters, all attached to the Old Berkshire hunt, were enjoying their annual summer picnic on the river near Lechlade, Glos. But after a chicken supper and several glasses of wine, the ship's captain Michael Caulfield, chief executive of the Jockey Association, lost control of the boat and was thrown overboard with all 11 members of his crew… "One rather eminent member of the party - a senior figure in the alliance - drove home in her bra and knickers. She was rather disappointed when she wasn't stopped by the police." (story)

Western Daily Press 22.7.02 CAUTIONARY TALE AFTER LONE PROTEST - Sir - A cautionary tale.On January 26 this year I went as a lone anti -hunt protestor to a meeting of the Mendip Farmers'Hunt. After a successful protest where I did not frighten the horses, used neither violence, obscenities, nor personal insults, I returned to my car where I was attacked by a swearing, spitting mob of hunt supporters. My glasses were broken and my face was cut and bruised and the rear lights of my car were kicked in… Wells Magistrates didn't take kindly to being used as a tool of vendetta by four followers of the hunt, and found me not guilty and ordered my accusers to pay my legal bill, loss of earnings and travelling fees… (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.7.02 PEOPLE MUST SURELY COME FIRST - Sir - So, Mr J Marshall wants viable arguments re hunting… Suffice it to say that anyone who thinks wild vermin are more important than humans needs to reassess his place in life… (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.7.02 THIS DEBATE NEEDS VIABLE ARGUMENTS - Julian Brown flatters himself if he really believes that he has put forward any viable arguments against hunting. What we have seen has simply been the reiteration of a grotesquely distorted view of hunting itself, backed up by nothing more than Mr Brown's own preconceptions and his quite unshakeable belief that he is "morally correct" and a seething litany of abuse directed at those who support hunting… Jonathan Marshall Lydeard St Lawrence Taunton Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 15.7.02 NO EXCUSE FOR THIS CRUELTY - Sir - I have to reply to Jonathan Marshall's letter to point out that all of my arguments are based on ethics and morality. It is not ethical or moral to cause fear, pain, suffering and eventually death in any living creature in the name of "sport"… I am sorry if it upsets Mr Marshall but I bracket hunters and hunt supporters in the band of bullies who are making civilised life in Britain today virtually impossible. Julian Brown Hunters Way Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 6.7.02 FREE TO ROAM - AND SLAUGHTER Sir - In response to Julian Brown, I cannot say I share his "deeply rewarding experience" seeing roaming foxes. I've just found the bloody remains of our beautiful cockerel strewn across the grass - barbaric? M Phillips Hardington Mandeville Yeovil Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.7.02 NO NEED TO BE RUDE - I am very sorry Julian Brown met with rudeness from a hunt follower, as well as damage to his car… It is very difficult to ensure that every supporter behaves impeccably, particularly if they are regularly threatened and abused, both in print and by hunt saboteurs in person.(letter)
Western Daily Press 3.7.02 IN NEED OF A DRESSING DOWN - Sir - Having just read Julian Brown's latest letter, Foxes Aren't Animals, may I be allowed to educate him a little. He referred to individuals who dress up in scarlet and other colours, wear jackboots and funny hats… Mr Brown is free to demonstrate and remonstrate against those who choose to hunt, but he reduces the impact of his argument by using such silly language… (letter)
Western Daily Press 2.7.02 WE'RE WILDLIFE GUARDIANS - Sir - Julian Brown's view of fox hunting is clearly fixed - and we are all entitled to our own opinions… Farmers who support the hunt will be tolerant of some depredations, involved landowners will plant coppices and leave wild places to provide cover, so the countryside gains. If hunting is banned, no fox lives will be saved. Instead, more will be shot, snared, trapped or poisoned, and all of these can involve a lingering and unpleasant end. (letter)
Western Daily Press 28.6.02 WHY SANCTION ANY KIND OF SUFFERING? - What an odd person Jonathan Marshall must be. Why is my carefully-considered argument, based on ethics and morality, dismissed by him as hysterical abuse?.. I would also tell Mr Marshall, in response to his penultimate paragraph, that I do not merely "claim" to have been a hunt follower in my youth…." (letter)
Western Daily Press 28.6.02 I CALL WRITERS 'DREGS' - Julian Brown says that he regards those people who go hunting to be the very dregs of rural society. My mother had a very serious hunting accident… She was sent letters in hospital saying that if she didn't die of her hunting injuries, they hoped she would die of cancer… Does Julian Brown condone such people? (letter)
Western Daily Press 26.6.02 FOXES AREN'T THE ANIMALS IN THIS CASE - Sir - With regard to J Mitchell's letter, I can inform him that I do not support any organisation which causes physical harm or suffering, whether it be to humans or animals. I do, however, support any form of legitimate legal demonstration, but certainly not violence. I leave that to the hunting fraternity… would he condemn the behaviour of the hunt which I encountered near Hillesley not that long ago? I was driving very slowly in my Land-Rover past a group of riders in fancy dress when some of them spotted the League Against Cruel Sports sticker in my window. I was immediately subjected to a barrage of very unpleasant abuse and the door of my vehicle was kicked and dented by a jackbooted lady… (letter)
Western Daily Press 22.6.02 ANTI-HUNT VIEW BEYOND BELIEF Sir - With friends like Julian Brown, the antihunting brigade does not need many enemies. Mr Brown's recent letter, short on facts but long on hysterical abuse, really does not merit a detailed reply… Jonathan Marshall Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 21.6.02 CONDEMN THIS CRUEL ATTACK - Sir - In Julian Brown's letter he says he supports organisations that combat animal cruelty.Does he therefore support the people who attacked the Three Counties Minkhounds, putting one member of the hunt in hospital, attacking two others and also some of the hounds?... (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.6.02 DON'T CONDEMN US TOTALLY OUT OF HAND - I wonder if Julian Brown has ever spoken to many hunting people, let alone been to a meet and watched a day's hunting? I have been foxhunting since I was child, and have only once witnessed the death of a fox in the open.When a 70lb hound lands, at speed, on the neck of a 20lb fox the end is swift and sure… Please take the time to talk to some one who understands hunting. Talk to a professional huntsman before condemning hunting on a cursory glance. Dr Leone Martin Exford Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.6.02 COMBAT CRUELTY IN ANY FORM - I WISH to respond to Don Tinsey's letter in which he takes on the role of apologist for the hunting fraternity… Yes, Mr Tinsey, I can assure you that I do live in the real world and I deplore all kinds of cruelty to animals (and human beings)… How many decent people can honestly believe that it is normal to enjoy watching the suffering of a living creature, whether it be animal or human? The word 'perverted' immediately springs to my mind. Julian Brown Hunters Way Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 14.6.02 PET OWNERS CAN BE CRUEL - Your article Making a Barbaric Choice to Hunt begs the question: are these people such as Julian Brown living in the real world?.. The RSPCA receives thousands of calls each year to investigate cruelty among private householders…. If you took a pack of hounds into the country and loosed them, without a horse in sight, the first thing they would do would be to start hunting.But because people choose to ride with them, according to Julian Brown, this is cruelty… (letter)
Western Daily Press 31.05.02 MY DAYS WITH THE HUNT - May I reply to C Weir's letter in which he asks if I have any firsthand experience of hunting with hounds? Firstly, I was regularly taken to follow the Beaufort Hunt, by car and on foot, when I was a youngster between 13 and 16. Secondly, I have on several occasions visited the Berkeley Hunt kennels… I also have the first-hand experience of being verbally abused and having my Land Rover kicked by horse-mounted members of the Beaufort Hunt near Hillesley in recent years.My crime was to display a League Against Cruel Sports sticker in my car window… (letter)
Western Daily Press 29.5.02 YET MORE ARROGANCE - Julianbrown's letter against hunting prompts me to ask him how many times he has been hunting or visited hunt kennels and what is his first-hand experience of the sport?... (letter)
Western Daily Press 25.5.02 MAKING A BARBARIC CHOICE TO HUNT - I cannot believe that I have read a letter of such astonishing arrogance as that from Mr P Fry who stated his belief that he and his family should be allowed to carry on the evil practice of hunting simply because it is their choice… Hunting will be outlawed - I have no doubt of that.When that day comes, as it will soon, I fervently hope that anyone who defies the legal ban will be dealt with most severely by the law and thrown into prison where they belong, segregated from decent society. Julian Brown Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 22.5.02 HUNTING SHOULD BE OUR DECISION - I have hunted with hounds, as has my wife, for many years. I am also a farmer… We have worked hard, not claimed unemployment benefit, and chosen our recreation to be hunting. How dare this Government try to take this choice away from my family?... Mr P Fry Almondsbury Bristol (letter)

Bolton Evening News 22.7.02 Killing spree proves laws must change - I WAS most appalled by the article in the Bolton Evening News on June 27, regarding "Gun mad children's wildlife slaughter", whereby four young geese and other animals were shot dead in a killing spree on land off Squirrel Lane, Horwich. It beggars belief as to what kind of mindless children senselessly kill wildlife for fun, and the irresponsible parents who buy the guns in the first place?... L Every, Deane, Bolton (letter in archive)

Scotsman 22.7.02 'Ill-Treated' Monkeys May Be Bound for UK Laboratories By John von Radowitz, Science Correspondent, PA News - Monkeys shipped to European labs for experiments are suffering appalling treatment, the RSPCA said today. A dossier on the trade compiled by the charity is to be sent to the Home Office. The report,Caged and Cruel, follows an undercover operation in which RSPCA investigators took secret footage of a breeding centre in Mauritius. Macaque monkeys at the Centre de Recherches Primatologiques (CRP) are among thousands exported to European research labs every year… Trapping was set to be extremely stressful for the animals, sometimes resulting in injury and death. (story)
Ananova 22.7.02 'Ill-treated' monkeys may be bound for UK laboratories - The RSPCA says monkeys shipped to European labs for experiments are suffering appalling treatment… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 22.7.02 HEDGEHOG GENOCIDE - More than 5,000 hedgehogs on the Western Isles of Scotland will be killed under plans being put forward by scientists at Scottish Natural Heritage… If like me you think this is appalling then please write today - there is no time to waste - to your MP and to Scottish Natural Heritage.Geoff Powell. A POWELL Flete Close, Newton Abbot (letter)

Telegraph 21.7.02 Hop aboard for Tony's rural tour By Adam Lusher and Colin Brown - Citizens of rural Britain: fetch the best china, clean your cottages and roll out the red carpet - Tony Blair is to embark on a "morale-boosting" tour of the Great British Countryside… Mr Blair could drop by Exmoor, and the beautiful village of Exford, where the community of 377 anxiously waits to see whether the Government will devastate the community by banning foxhunting, a cornerstone of the economy… Pam Jeune, the owner of the Crown Hotel, said "… Last year, when there was no hunting we lost £300,000, and three hotels on the moor shut down because of foot and mouth and the lack of hunting. I don't think Mr Blair has a clue."… (story)

Essex Evening Echo 21.7.02 Basildon: Fox Hunting by Kate Batson - Basildon MP Angela Smith was in the town raising awareness against fox hunting with dogs. The Banner for a Ban Roadshow featured a bus covered in celebrity signatures and a giant size fox… (story in archive)

Telegraph 20.7.02 The campaign fires burn brightly in the shires - Not content to sit and wait for a decision, protests are being staged by hunt supporters, while the Countryside Alliance urges caution. Peter Foster reports … Why, then, are they embarking on an illegal - if mild - form of protest that the Countryside Alliance hierarchy in London has expressly forbidden and condemned as "counter-productive"? Kevin Lamacraft, a familiar face among pro-hunting protesters, and an active member of the more militant breakaway group, the Countryside Action Network, provides the answer. "The Countryside Alliance is letting us all down desperately," he said. "They sit up in London trying to 'win the argument' with a Labour government that wants to ban hunting for vindictive political reasons…" Janet George, a former Countryside Alliance chief press officer who now runs the Countryside Action Network, which organised the "go-slow", is one of many who believes the alliance is being hoodwinked…. (feature)

Telegraph 20.7.02 'People may sneer but caravanning is cool!' - In an interview with Rachel Sylvester, Margaret Beckett, the great survivor of politics, talks about spin… In Shropshire yesterday, she came face to face with angry farmers and pro-hunting protesters as she addressed Labour's first rural affairs conference… The minister is on record as being a staunch opponent of the sport…. But she says the Government would be willing to compromise. "We are trying - through focusing on the tests of cruelty and utility - to see whether there is a way through some of those genuine practical concerns, rather than just having a blanket ban."… (interview)

Cambridge News 20.7.02 A strange claim indeed From Mr M Michalak, Swaffham Road, Burwell - THE Countryside Alliance were quick to distance themselves from the recent motorway protests by prohunt supporters… They are currently organising a march through London they claim will bring the centre of the capital to a standstill. We have heard their members at these marches claiming they will poison waterways and conduct a campaign of civil disorder the likes of which will be frightening to behold… (letter)

Northern Echo 20.7.02 SNARES - I WAS pleased to read (Echo, July 8) that the National Federation of Badger Groups is calling for a ban on all snares… Brenda Scragg, Frosterley.
Northern Echo 20.7.02 THE National Federation of Badger Groups as well as the RSPCA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the League Against Cruel Sports and other organisations, is campaigning for a ban on all snares… John Gill, Consett (letters in archive)

Telegraph 19.7.02 Three days set aside for hunt law public hearings - Campaigners for and against hunting will be able to put their case during public hearings in September. Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, said the evidence sessions would take place at Westminster for three days, beginning on Sept 9… (story)
Yorkshire Post 19.7.02 Public hearings on future of hunting with dogs - The Government is to hold public hearings as part of its consultation on the future of hunting with dogs… An overwhelming majority of British sheep farmers are opposed to a ban on hunting with dogs, according to a survey commissioned by the Countryside Alliance… The study confirms the findings of research commissioned by Lord Burns and the Farmers' Union of Wales that foxes are a pest and farmers are in favour of hunting with dogs to control their numbers. This view was expressed by farming organisations including the National Farmers' Union in their formal submissions to the Burns inquiry…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 19.7.02 Debate over hunting to be played out in public - The Government is to hold public hearings as part of its consultation on the future of hunting with dogs… An overwhelming majority of British sheep farmers are opposed to a ban on hunting with dogs, according to a major new survey commissioned by the Countryside Alliance… Before February 2002, loss of livestock due to foxes was reported on 82pc of sheep farms and 25,300 farmers (65pc) said that there were more foxes now than in February 2001 when hunting was suspended due to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease…. (story)

Daily Post 19.7.02 Assembly report on fox hunting shelved By Andrew Forgrave Rural Affairs Editor, Daily Post - A TWO-year Welsh Assembly report into fox hunting, which included evidence from almost 900 groups, has been scrapped…Farming unions blasted the decision last night as a "complete waste of time"… Committee chairman Glyn Davies said: "I was given an impossible job trying to find some sort of agreement between AMs who want a ban on hunting with dogs and those who do not… I have had to accept defeat. It has not been possible to find any basis for agreement whatsoever…. Although I'm disappointed that so much work has achieved nothing I am also relieved that I no longer have to compromise - I am not in favour of any ban or even the ideas of the rather silly Middle Way Group. Hunting with dogs is an entirely popular country pursuit and I have today joined the Union f Country Sports Workers as a celebration of my freedom."… It is believed that of the 885 submissions made by interested groups, 861 were from pro-hunt supporters and just 24 from those against… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 19.7.02 FOX HUNTING MISSION WAS IMPOSSIBLE The man who chairs the Assembly's rural affairs committee said his quest to get agreement on fox hunting was a mission impossible. Mid and West Wales AM Glyn Davies and his committee have spent many months reviewing the practice of hunting with dogs… He added: "Hunting with dogs is an entirely popular country pursuit and I have today joined the Union of Country Sports Workers as a celebration of my freedom." (story)

Bury Times 19.7.02 MPs support fox-hunt ban - MP David Chaytor… put his name to a petition which came to Kay Gardens in Bury on Saturday (July 13), demanding that hunting with dogs is outlawed. The petition was organised by the Lancashire League Against Cruel Sports, which is visiting towns across the region this summer… which aims to collect one million signatures on a picture of a hunted animal, to be fixed on to a banner and presented to Tony Blair later this year… junior education minister Ivan Lewis, also signed the petition (story in archive)

Hexham Courant 19.7.02 HUNT RIDES IN WITH £2,000 CHARITY GIFT - THE Tynedale Hunt has donated £2,000 to the Charlotte Straker Project in Corbridge from the proceeds of its recent, highly successful pantomime. The hunt raised the cash by staging a sell-out production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Stamfordham Village Hall in March… (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 19.7.02 The young top dogs are put to the test - YOUNG dogs and bitches of Colne Valley Beagles were put through their paces at a puppy show… (story)

Cambridge News 19.7.02 Hit MPs, not the public From Mike Rose, Broad Piece, Soham - WHEN will protesters learn that inconveniencing the general public harms their cause? The latest group to frustrate the travelling public is the prohunt lobby. Do the protesters really think that any politician cares that number of members of the public have suffered delay and frustration? I would suggest to Mr Baddeley he should be targeting politicians – they will take notice only if their lives are disrupted… Further action against innocent travellers risks tipping fencesitters against his cause (letter)

Guardian 19.7.02 Country diary - Humane hunting - Northumberland - Veronica Heath - This week I was at Sewingshields on the Roman Wall for an International Hound Trail, a bracing day on the fells cheering on tall, rangy, handsome dogs with evocative names like Ransom, Highwayman and Border Lad…. (story)

Cambridge News 19.7.02 Claims hard to swallow From Anthony Robertson, Address withheld THE indefatigable Joan Court, MA, MSW, is to be applauded for her declaration of support for nonviolent action in support of animal rights… Has it occurred to Joan that most of us fully understand why there is this need for experimentation using animals and just do not agree with her emotive and spurious scientific claims… She describes the police’s presence as "an over-reaction and intimidating"… I think that is rather rich when the entire cowardly Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty SHAC) campaign is based on the assault and intimidation of companies, research scientists, doctors and surgeons at their places of work and where they live… (letter)
Cambridge News 15.7.02 Overreaction to protesters From Joan Court, X-CAPE (Cambridge Against Primate Experiments) Sturton Street, Cambridge - CAROLINE Hillman criticised the News for describing our demonstration on June 23 as "chaotic" (News, June 27) and she commented on the "unbelievable" high police presence. There is, in my view, a hysterical reaction to any animal rights protest; it is as if the uninformed public feel guilty about cruelty to animals and so get aggressive and defensive when indifference is challenged… (letter)
Cambridge News 2.7.02 From Caroline Hillman - I TAKE great exception to your headline of June 24, "City Demo Chaos". I took part in the demonstration against the proposed Cambridge University monkey research laboratory… This march, which included children and elderly and middle- aged people like myself, was peaceful and obedient… Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge (letter)
Cambridge News 26.6.02 No meeting of minds From Diane Gracey, Carrick Close, Cambridge - I SPENT an interesting hour and a bit on Saturday at the animal rights demonstration at 307 Huntingdon Road… I got myself ready in advance with a handsome notice announcing myself and my purpose: "MS sufferer (black) Diane Gracey (blue) quietly protesting for (blue) the Seriously Ill and the Doctors and Scientists who help them and against (red) those making nuisances of themselves in Cambridge today"… We stationed ourselves in a suitable place, off the road and near, but separate from, the main demonstration. We couldn't hear much, but there were quite a few speeches, some drum banging, and oh well, that was it, really… Some demonstrators read our notices one or two became confrontational, others seemed confused, thinking we were supporting the cause for which they were demonstrating. No-one disputed my right to demonstrate against them, though some people told Jim he had no right to be there even though, at the time, he was holding up his notice and explained to them that he was my carer. A man politely introduced himself to me as the Chairman of Animal Aid…. (letter may be in archive)
Cambridge News 24.6.02 City demo chaos - DEMONSTRATORS clashed with police in a day of protests which saw parts of Cambridge city centre brought to a standstill… The day began with a peaceful protest by more than 100 animal rights activists outside the proposed site of a Cambridge University monkey research laboratory in Girton. Campaigners from groups such as Animal Aid and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) joined members of Cambridge Against Primate Experiments (X-CAPE) at the site in Huntingdon Road… The protest moved back to the junction of St Andrew's Street and Downing Street when around 50 Reclaim the Streets protesters joined the crowd, some of whom were wrestled to the floor by officers after attempting to break their line… quotes from Joan Court, X-Cape & Kathy Archibald, Animal Aid. (story in archive)

Edinburgh Evening News 19.7.02 Plea for aid over animal cruelty fight …Organisers of West Lothian Animal Rights want more people to come forward to fight against experimental animal testing and factory farming… Lynda Johnston, founder of the group, said: "Our main purpose is to highlight the unnecessary harm and hurt animals suffer in the name of science…" (story)

Gloucester Citizen 19.7.02 SORRY PEOPLE HAVE SUCH HATRED - I read the article about the gull horror outrage… Please, if anyone knows the taxi driver, pass the name on to the RSPCA… PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 15.7.02 OUTRAGE AT GULL HORROR - A callous cabbie mowed down a confused baby sea gull, spraying horrified onlookers with blood… "We would be very concerned and would like to find out more," said Kate Geary, RSPCA spokeswoman… Louise Brockbank of Gloucestershire Wildlife Rescue Centre at Hartpury explained that there are a lot of fledgling gulls around the city now which cannot fly properly… (story)

Telegraph 18.7.02 Dog hunting - Please could Nathan Brown explain his moral logic (letter, July 17) in connection with the Wye College Beagles?. Aside from the one beagle that made it back from whatever hell he went through, both emotionally and physically, we have heard nothing about the welfare or the whereabouts of the rest of the pack… Damian Goodburn, London W14 (letter)
Telegraph 17.7.02 Regular practice - Sir - The claimed "threat to 15,000 horses and 20,000 dogs" (report, July 11) highlights attempts by opponents of the foxhunting ban to blackmail the country… How crass to use the killing of hounds as a moral argument against a ban on hunting… Regardless of how long it takes before the Government bans hunting, hunt saboteurs will still maintain a presence to prevent the hunt from catching its quarry. Nathan Brown, Hunt Saboteurs Association, Northampton (letter)
Telegraph 11.7.02 Hunt ban 'threat to 15,000 horses and 20,000 dogs' By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent - A ban on hunting would have "severe welfare implications" for 15,000 horses and lead to the destruction of more than 20,000 hunting dogs, according to a study. It would "result in a glut of unwanted, low-value animals that are likely to become welfare cases", James Cretney, chairman of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC), told the Middle Way Group… Miles Cooper, a former researcher and undercover operative for the League Against Cruel Sports, said that "the prospects for hunting dogs following a ban looks bleak to say the least". Mr Cooper is one of at least six former senior League Against Cruel Sports members, including two former chief executives, a director and a treasurer, who have left the League because they now believe a hunting ban would inflict cruelty on a greater number of animals than a continuation of hunting… (story)
Western Mail 9.7.02 Middle Way group to put its case in Commons - THE fate of horses and hounds after any future ban on hunting is to be raised with MPs and peers tomorrow. A presentation by the Middle Way group - pushing for licensed hunting - will focus attention on some of the consequences that a ban would have on animal welfare… Around 60,000 horses are kept solely for hunting across the UK, the group, chaired by Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Opik, estimates…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.7.02 RURAL MARCHERS SIGN UP - The Countryside Alliance is expecting half a million of its supporters to march through London to protest against the Government's rural policy. Interest in the event, which is being billed as the largest peacetime demonstration in Europe, has been so great that organisers have decided to split the march in two… Mal Treharne, spokesman for the Alliance in the South West, said the number of protestors travelling from the region would be greater than the 40,000 who attended the last march in December 2000 (story)
Times 16.7.02 Hunt lobby is to hold Europe's biggest demo BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE Countryside Alliance says that weight of numbers has forced it to organise two routes for its march in London on September 22 to save foxhunting. As many as 500,000 people are expected to turn up for the event, which is being billed as the largest peacetime demonstration in Europe. Both marches are to begin at about 10am. Route Liberty will start from Hyde Park and pass along Piccadilly, St James’s and Pall Mall, while Route Livelihood will start from Blackfriars Bridge and proceed along the Embankment past Somerset House and Cleopatra’s Needle towards Westminster… Already some 45,000 people have signed up for the march — equivalent to the populations of Canterbury, Wrexham or Lancaster — and more than 1,000 coaches have been booked to transport marchers from throughout the country… (story)
Western Mail 16.7.02 `Follow the routes to liberty and livelihood' - THE Countryside Alliance has announced the routes it will use through central London for its Liberty and Livelihood March. The march on September 22 will follow two routes, aptly named Route Liberty and Route Livelihood… James Stanford, director of the march, said, "We need two routes for the sheer number of people anticipated. We hope that when all supporters meet at the top of Whitehall they will walk together in silence past the Cenotaph towards Big Ben." (story)

Western Daily Press 17.7.02 WILDLIFE SHOW GIVES INSIGHT AS TO WHY FOX IS OFTEN DOWN IN THE DUMPS - Having missed Wildlife On One about foxes living on a landfill site in Essex, we made sure that when it was repeated we recorded it… I know I shall get shot down, but you have to admire Mr D and foxes in general. Long may we continue to live with them. Pamela Dean. Whiteshill Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 17.7.02 BADGERS CULLED IN NAME OF RESEARCH - Animal rights campaigners have condemned a programme to cull badgers in an effort to discover more about the spread of bovine tuberculosis in cattle… According to the Coalition of Badger Action Groups, the culling started yesterday morning around Leek, a hot spot for bovine TB in the past decade… Debbie Vincent, of the Coalition of Badger Action Groups, said: "We are incensed by the total waste of money and life…" (story)

Western Daily Press 17.7.02 VEGGIE DIET HASN'T HARMED MY FAMILY - Sir - I have taken the Western Daily Press for years and I find it very amusing to read, but not when I read that article on your front page against vegetarians… Name and address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.7.02 VEGETARIANS ARE HEALTHY - Sir - The headline Birth Defect Link To Veggie Mums could have come straight from the advertisers of the Meat and Livestock Commission. Why do Professors Ieuan Hughes and Jean Golding not go to truly vegetarian countries such as India to carry out their research?... (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.7.02 VEGGIE FOOD IS NEXT TO BE HIT …it was pretty shocking that yesterday's front-page story was all about veggie mums giving birth to babies with various deformities. We've had it rammed down our throats - literally - that a meat-free diet was better for us… But so-called healthy soya containing chemicals that mimic oestrogen, which can damage baby boys, was news to me.What's next? (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.7.02 IS BIRTH DEFECT ORGANIC FAULT? - Sir - Regarding your headline Birth Defect Link To Veggie Mums, it would be interesting to know how many veggie mums, who have given birth to deformed babies, ate only organic fruit and veg…(letter)
Western Daily Press 8.7.02 BIRTH DEFECT LINK TO VEGGIE MUMS - Vegetarian women are more likely to have deformed babies, West researchers revealed yesterday… A statistical study of 8,000 babies by Bristol academics showed those whose mothers had a meat-free diet when they were pregnant were far more likely to be born with serious defects… The Bristol study, to be published later this month, found vegetarian mothers were more likely to produce boys suffering from a condition called hypospadia, a painful deformity of the penis which is linked to cancer… Alongside the pesticide link, scientists are also looking at soya. Soya could be a possible cause because it contains chemicals that mimic the female hormone oestrogen, which would have a severe effect on baby boys… (story)
Bristol Evening Post 8.7.02 VEGETARIAN DIET RAISES CHANCE OF DEFORMITY - Vegetarian mothers are five times more likely to give birth to babies with deformities, according to a shock study by Bristol experts… Lead researcher Professor Jean Golding, of Bristol University, said: "These findings are very worrying and potentially disastrous for the human race. It is important they are addressed."… A spokesman for the Vegetarian Society said: "We are concerned about this research and the possible effect of soya, but not overly so." (story)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 17.7.02 Give veggies due respect - JAMIE Diffley's column (LET, July 12) was cynical about National Vegetarian Week and had complete disregard for people whose concern is for animal welfare… SHEILA BRENNAN (Mrs), Bombay Street, Blackburn. (letter in archive)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 17.7.02 END ALL ANIMAL KILLINGS - I feel strongly about killing animals for skin, ivory and meat in other countries… These activities need to be stopped to save the animals. William Fowler of Seabridge Junior School (letter)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 ARE SHOW DOGS ALSO VICTIMS OF CRUELTY? Your correspondent Mr Phelps (WMN June 4) asks the Director for the Campaign for Hunting why foxhounds need training. He then implies that this is not natural as both dogs and foxes are members of the canidae family, and dogs (pace the RSPCA) should be allowed the freedom of their natural behaviour… Perhaps Mr Phelps should approach the Kennel Club to get them to cease the cruel sport of show breeding. John Kelly, Portwrinkle Torpoint (letter)

Irish Independent 16.7.02 Please stop fox-hunting - Sir In this age of bio-security when the ever-present threat of Foot and Mouth and BSE threatens the economic survival of farming, landowners would be well advised to refuse access to fox-hunts during the next hunting season… foxhounds are known to be carriers of infectious parasites that can prove fatal if passed on to livestock… Those who wish to find out more are invited to contact us for a free copy of our Troubled by the Hunt leaflet or visit the farming section of our website at www.banbloodsports.com. Philip Kiernan, Mullingar, Co Westmeath (letter)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 Try common sense - IT HAS been a relief for me to think that over the past month or so, hunts have finished hunting their quarry; let's hope that this gives the quarry's offspring a chance. But then I learn that the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs are trapping and shooting badgers in Cornwall… Dan Sidley, Youth MP for Cornwall North East and Cornwall Hunt Saboteurs, Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 'FIGHTS TO THE DEATH' ARE MYTH - Jean Turner (WMN, July 9) paints a grotesquely distorted picture of the role of terrier-work in hunting, and invidiously seeks to equate illegal badger-baiting with the legitimate pest control aspects of foxhunting… If a hunted fox goes to ground, what happens next is solely at the discretion of the owner or occupier of the land concerned… The terrier's barking enables the terriermen to locate the fox; if possible, it is then dug out and immediately despatched with a humane killer. And that's it. Terriers employed in foxhunting are not used to fight foxes, nor are their owners, the terriermen, engaged to do so…. Jonathan Marshall, Lydeard St Lawrence Somerset (letter)
Western Morning News 9.7.02 WHY IS SUCH HUNTING STILL ALLOWED? - I am sure most of your readers were horrified to read of the dog-fighting defendant sentenced to six months imprisonment (half suspended) for appalling cruelty. But how ludicrous that similar practices go on in the hunting world and are still perfectly legal. I am referring of course, to the terrier men employed by the hunt, who set their terriers onto the trapped fox when it has gone to earth… No doubt all these dregs of humanity will be joining their hunting chums in their "Grand March" later this year… Jean Turner, Plympton Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 WHAT THE EYE DOESN'T SEE... Please when will the anti- hunting brigade tell the truth - instead of a lot of codswallop as told by F Cleaves of Par. About the hunting demonstration march in London, he states the intention is to cause as much chaos as possible. Not true Mr Cleaves, on a working weekday yes, Sunday no… Mr T G Truscott, St Austell (letter)
Western Morning News 2.7.02 GET THE FACTS RIGHT BEFORE USING VITRIOL - F cleaves really should muster a few facts before dipping his or her pen in the standard anti-hunting vitriol (WMN, April 30). The Countryside March is due to take place on September 22. A glance at the calendar will reveal that this is a Sunday, the same day of the week on which the Rally in 1997 and the march in 1998 took place, and on which last year's march, cancelled because of FMD, was to have happened. "Causing as much chaos as possible"? I think not… Jonathan Marshall, Lydeard St Lawrence (letter)
Western Morning News 4.6.02 March in peace - AS usual the antis, and in particular F Cleaves, have shown an ability to misunderstand the truth. The Liberty and Livelihood March is to be held on September 22, a Sunday, to ensure that minimum disruption is caused… The only arrogance that has been shown is that of the antis who wish to impose their opinions and morals on the freedoms and rights of others. J Rumble, Ashburton (letter)
Western Morning News 28.5.02 SUPPORTERS OF HUNTING SINK TO NEW DEPTHS OF BEHAVIOUR - It has been reported that hunt supporters in the Westcountry are being recruited to join a new "rapid reaction force", designed to target anti-hunting MPs and Ministers whenever they make a public appearance in the region… This loutish behaviour, together with the incident when a hunt protester's car was smashed by a pick axe, should not be tolerated under any circumstances… F Cleaves, Par, Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 People aren't fools - I WAS pleased to read Simon Hart of the Countryside Alliance condemning the huntsman who allowed his hounds to starve to death. However, I was surprised to find out that the organisation that claims to speak for all hunting people now appears to be disowning all unregistered hunt packs… Paul Tillsley, Sanctuaries Manager, League Against Cruel Sports, Dulverton (letter)
Western Morning News 21.6.02 HUNTING BODY OUTRAGED AT CASE OF CRUELTY TO HOUNDS - Hunting organisations have condemned Cornishman Stephen Heard, whose right to keep animals was revoked by magistrates on Monday after the RSPCA found two hounds dead of starvation in his kennels…Simon Hart, director of the campaign for hunting for the Countryside Alliance, said: "The law has done its work. This man did not run a properly registered pack, or he would have been accountable to the standards that must be maintained by any registered pack."… (story)
Western Morning News 18.6.02 HUNTSMAN ALLOWED HOUNDS TO STARVE - A CORNISH huntsman who admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to his hounds said yesterday that foot and mouth restrictions had contributed to his inability to feed them properly. Stephen Heard, of Padstow, was banned from keeping animals for ten years after magistrates at Launceston heard how two pregnant beagles were found dead at his kennels with no food or water in October and January…. Solicitor Chris Spencer, for Heard, said his client kept the hounds on an informal basis for a group of "interested parties" who were supposed to contribute to their upkeep… (story)
ThisIsCornwall (Cornishman/Cornish Guardian/West Briton/Cornwall Today, Western Morning News) 7.3.02 CRUELTY CASE ADJOURNED …Stephen Heard, 44, of Allen Road, Padstow, denies five charges of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide reasonable care and attention to beagles and foxhounds at his hunt kennel at Tregonetha on various dates between September 2001 and January 2002… (story)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 LOOK AT REALITY, NOT MYTHOLOGY, OF HUNTING - I write in response to Anne Leng's reply to my recent letter. I understand all too well the reality of the countryside, which has little to do with the myths and hearsay of hunting folklore which obviously she and many others have been indoctrinated with… Marion Short, Upton, Torquay (letter)
Western Morning News 11.7.02 Know the countryside - IN answer to Marion Short's letter, it is very obvious that she does not understand the country way of life. First, farmers would never permit drag-hunting on their land - why should they, it would not benefit them at all… Anne Leng, Bovey Tracey (letter)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 BULLET WOULD BE MUCH LESS CRUEL THAN DIGGING OUT …It might be an idea if Lords who had not taken part in a hunt were required to attend the end of such an event, incognito of course, and their vote not accepted until they had… It is dragged out, loose earth falling on its body and head. Its teeth are bared in a grimace of fear and futile defiance. A clumsy swipe of the spade, and then, cruelly hurt and half dead, the animal is thrown to the dog pack… If the brave red soldier and his mate have to die, they should be accorded the swift mercy of a bullet and not subjected to the protracted ritual slaughter of the hunting field. G R Cook Okehampton (letter)

Shropshire Star 16.7.02 All species have right to be here …In reply to the extremely stupid letter, from the pathological 'cat hater' from Whitchurch (July 4)…. Usually it is the much-maligned fox or some other poor unfortunate beast, that for one ridiculous reason of another certain people dislike. All animal species have just as much right to live on this earth as humans… The only species on this planet capable of truly perpetrating evil is man himself. Julie Young, Sundorne, Shrewsbury (letter may be in archive)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 Suspect badgers - I HAVE a closed herd of suckler cattle, which have had no cows brought in from outside for at least 15 years. Nor have we ever had a case of TB. Until now, when we have four confirmed cases. All the cows have to be killed… Could the dear darling badgers, with their sweet faces, of which we have many, have introduced the TB?... Will the badger societies suggest to us, through your paper, any possible alternatives? G Lomas, Bideford (letter)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 THIS BADGER CULLING HAS GONE ON LONG ENOUGH …I think P Stimpson in her letter makes many valid points regarding husbandry. (Innocent Badgers, WMN June 14)….We have now had over 25 years of badger killing by MAFF, now Defra. Isn't that enough time? Pamela Dean, Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 Species needs help - I RECENTLY came across a dying badger in the barn. The RSPCA lady who came to put it to sleep said "Isn't it a shame when they have to die like this."… The badger, like the fox, doesn't have a natural predator, therefore will always die of starvation in the end - unless managed by man, as with controlled fox hunting, where the species is kept healthy until it an animal is too old or ill to fend for itself. Kate Rogers, Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 16.7.02 OUTMODED PRACTICES MUST END - Action has been urged to fight bovine TB. It does appear that farmers have a tendency to rely on "killing and culling" as a cure for all ills. It never occurs to them to look in their own backyard for the cause of many of the problems… The time is fast approaching when farming will have to take a more considered approach to animal welfare and not just slaughter everything they consider to be a threat to their dirty traditional methods. John Lury, Tavistock (letter)

Manchester Evening News 16.7.02 Terrible legacy - THE majority of animal testing is carried out on worthless lifestyle items and household products, ie chemicals, not medical research, as the public are led to believe… Kay Mawson, Hulme (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 16.7.02 FACE FACTS ABOUT FOOD - As a vegetarian I was interested to see your item on this subject (July 11)… There are many reasons why people quit eating meat, one of the most compelling being the treatment of animals destined for the table. This was expressed poignantly by a sticker affixed to a wrapped chicken in a supermarket: Beware! This is the decomposing corpse of a small, tortured animal. Anne Jesper, by e-mail. (letter)

Northern Echo 16.7.02 BULL RUN - I AM intrigued as to what sort of fun can be derived from tormenting innocent dumb animals at the San Fermin bull run in Pamplona, Spain… Andrew Fowler, Ferryhill. (letter in archive)

East Anglian Daily Times 15.7.02 Identity of campaign group is a mystery - MYSTERY deepened at the weekend over the identity of people behind a pro-hunting group calling itself the Real CA – believed to be disaffected members of the Countryside Alliance – responsible for stickers beside the A140 and A11 roads in East Anglia. The stickers have appeared at locations including Scole and Long Stratton and slogans, set against a background of a green and white Union Flag, include Civil Rights or Civil War, Hunting is Freedom and Down with Bigotry… (story)

Shropshire Star 15.7.02 Hunt backers attacked - Fox hunting supporters were condemned for "loutish" behaviour today after road signs along a Shropshire trunk road between Albrighton and Newport were daubed with graffiti… Virtually every roundabout and most of the road signs were vandalised in an apparent attempt to put pressure on the Labour Party's national rural conference being held this weekend at Harper Adams University College, Newport… The action by the protesters, a shadowy breakaway group from the Countryside Alliance, was attacked as counter-productive by prominent Shropshire hunt campaigner Janet George… (story)

Telegraph 15.7.02 Notebook By W F Deedes - A hunting ban could be bad news for your cat - After foxhunting, fishing? Signs point that way. The Countryside Alliance declares that the RSPCA is a whisker away from declaring the sport "cruel". People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) is already campaigning for a ban on angling… as someone in the animal science division at the University of Cambridge puts it in his submission to the minister: "If hunting is banned what possible justification can there be for allowing cats unfettered access to the 'outdoors'?" (story)

Liverpool Daily Post 15.7.02 …I recently stepped onto my balcony after hearing shouting directly below and what I saw next left me feeling quite bewildered. Three young lads, aged 13-15, were walking along our back path brandishing some sort of rifle… Doesn't it make you wonder what sort of sick society we are living in? First it's pigeons, then they move on to the foxes… Charlie Ballymakeery, Stockbridge (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 15.7.02 WORTHY CAUSE FOR SISTERS - First Anthea on the subject of battered wives, now Wendy trying to inflict vegetarianism on us all…If Wendy and her sister want a good cause to embrace, I've heard the Flat-Earth Society is looking for two patrons… DEREK ROBERTS Bentilee (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 14.7.02 THE HYPOCRISY OF THE MEAT-EATERS - To mark National Vegetarian Week Potteries-born TV presenter Wendy Turner-Webster explains why she believes eating meat is morally wrong. Wendy is patron of Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (Viva!)… New-born calves, separated from their grieving mothers at a day or two-old to be reared as orphans, shot in the head or, pre -BSE, despatched in continental veal crates… I realised that if you give up meat for moral reasons, you really have to become vegan…(story)

Ananova 15.7.02 TV star dresses in lettuce to promote vegetarian campaign - MTV presenter Traci Bingham wore a lettuce bikini to launch a new vegetarian campaign. The former Baywatch actress is backing the initiative by Peta, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals…(story)

Gloucester Citizen 15.7.02 WE CAN LEARN FROM THE GULLS - Paula Smith's column 'Gulls are turning into a real menace' (The Citizen, July 9) reveals why there is so much cruelty to them… Why can't we be a bit more tolerant to other creatures?.. V. WHITE, Victoria Street, Gloucester (letter)

Sunday Times 14.7.02 Jeremy Clarkson: A murderous fox has made me shoot David Beckham - Let’s be perfectly clear, shall we. The fox is not a little orange puppy dog with doe eyes and a waggly tail. It’s a disease-ridden wolf with the morals of a psychopath and the teeth of a great white shark. Only last month a foxy-woxy broke into someone’s council house and tried to eat a baby… I woke up last Tuesday to find a fox had pulled Michael Owen’s head off. For fun. Perhaps I should explain at this point that Michael Owen is one of our new chickens… I can’t put poison down because the dogs will eat it. And I can’t use the dogs to get the fox because Mr Blair will be angry… This is what the metropolitan elite don’t understand: that the countryside is a complicated place and that pretty soon they won’t be able to buy organic nut loaf because a bunch of foxes will have held up the delivery truck and eaten its contents long before it reaches Hoxton… (story)

Sunday Independent 14.7.02 Thousands of seals face lin gering death - Sir - whatever his other failings, Charles Haughey was a great friend of Ireland's seal population… - John Fitzgerald, Campaign against Cruel Sports (letter)
Fermanagh Herald 10.7.02 Friend of the seal - Whatever his other failings, Charles Haughey was a great friend of Ireland's seal population… The same, alas, cannot be said of his chosen successor. The present Taoiseach and his government have turned their backs on the seals, reneging on a commitment to provide funding of 1.8 million Euro to the Irish Seal Sanctuary… The European Commission has reprimanded the Government twice over its failure to upgrade conditions for laboratory animals. The Government still allows the widespread snaring of badgers-a supposedly protected species-and it has failed to act over the export of greyhounds to Spain… Thanking you, John Fitzgerald, (Campaign against Cruel Sports (letter may be in archive)

Guardian 13.7.02 Country rebels block roads - Falling-out over action by breakaway group - Peter Hetherington, regional affairs editor - A series of "rolling roadblocks" along three sections of the motorway network early yesterday exposed divisions in the once-united pro-hunting lobby with moderates accusing militants of inconveniencing motorists and sending out the wrong message to urban Britain. Angry words were exchanged between the Countryside Alliance, once seen as the vanguard of rural protest, and the breakaway Countryside Action Network… Richard Burge, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, disassociated his organisation from the protests… Janet George, the former PR of the alliance, was unimpressed. "There is not a hard enough edge to their campaign. Their approach of 'go softly softly with nice New Labour in the hope they listen to us' just isn't working…" (story)
Independent 13.7.02 Alliance attacks go-slow by hunting campaigners By David Brown The countryside Alliance condemned a group of renegade pro-hunting activists who tried to recreate the chaos caused by fuel-price protesters with a rush-hour "go-slow'' on motorways yesterday. Protesters from the Countryside Action Network abandoned several actions around Birmingham because the M42, M6 and M5 motorways were too congested for their protest to make any impact…. (story)
Telegraph 13.7.02 We'll shut the M25, say hunt protesters By Nick Britten and Paul Stokes - Countryside protesters are threatening to close the M25 for an entire day after clogging motorways and main roads yesterday over proposals to ban hunting… John Baddeley, 51, a farmer, who organised that protest, said: "I think it went very well… Unless serious talks take place, we will close down the M25 in the autumn. We have to do things that make the Government take notice. It is no good going on a walk around London on a Sunday afternoon; ministers just laugh at that. Closing down the M25 for a whole day will let them know we are serious."… The demonstration was criticised by the Countryside Alliance, which said it did not support such direct action. (story)
Telegraph 13.7.02 A new breed of militant country protester takes to the road By Peter Foster - With their flat caps, wax jackets and a retinue of terriers and collie dogs the new breed of militant hunt protesters drew wary glances from the suited salesmen who had stopped for coffee on their way to work… The nationwide protest was organised by the Countryside Action Network, a small group with just over 1,000 members which is run by Janet George, a former chief press officer at the Alliance…. (story)
Times 13.7.02 Hunt protests 'just a taster' BY HANNAH HENNESSY - PRO-HUNTING activists who disrupted traffic with “go slow” protests have claimed that they were just a taster of what they could do if the Government refused to listen to them…. Mrs George, a former Countryside Alliance spokesman, said that the network now planned a series of actions at the Labour Party Rural Conference in Shropshire next weekend. (story)
Scotsman 13.7.02 Congested roads defeat pro-hunt protest - Gethin Chamberlain - ONLY someone who spends most of their time in the countryside could have hit on the idea of staging an pro-hunt protest by bringing the traffic around Birmingham to a standstill during morning rush hour…. According to the police, attempts to cause chaos in Cambridge, south Wales and Manchester also had little effect. Only in South Yorkshire did a protest on the A1(M) motorway near Doncaster succeed in causing "considerable" tailbacks on both that road and the M18 during rush hour, although congestion later cleared…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 13.7.02 Go slow M-way demo by hunt supporters - Lyn Barton - RUSH-hour traffic in South Yorkshire was brought to a standstill yesterday when pro-hunting demonstrators staged a "go-slow" protest on a busy motorway. The Countryside Action Network (CAN), a more extreme brand of the Countryside Alliance who are dedicated to direct action, took to the roads in a convoy of four-wheel-drive cars and tractors… "We are looking to be more activist, although we intend to stay within the law. Activism has tended to be associated with anti-hunt groups. We will not be armed with baseball bats and wear masks but we can cause far more chaos than them because we can do it more intelligently. What we've done today is just a taster of what we can do in the future if people don't listen."… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 13.7.02 More action on the way - farmer BY DAVID GREEN - A FARMER who led a "go-slow" protest on an East Anglian motorway during the morning rush hour vowed last night to take part in other disruptive action to try to persuade the Government not to go ahead with a ban on hunting with hounds. John Baddeley, 51, of Botesdale in north Suffolk, said yesterday's protest – one of several on UK motorways – should send a clear warning to ministers to "get off our back"… Mr Baddeley, who hunts on foot with the Suffolk Hunt, claimed ministers had been "riding roughshod" over all the evidence that hunting did not involve cruelty… Liz Mort, regional spokeswoman for the Alliance, said: "We are completely in the dark over who has put them up. It is not us.".. (story)
Eastern Daily Press 13.7.02 Pro-hunt motorway 'go slows' row - Norfolk's pro-hunting lobby last night rounded on a group of activists who organised motorway 'go slows' across the country to raise the stakes in the field sports battle… the switch by pro-hunt campaigners to direct action was roundly condemned by Roger Lyles, joint master of the West Norfolk Fox Hounds… Richard Burge, chief executive, said: "We understand protests have been organised by the Countryside Action Network and are nothing to do with the Countryside Alliance…" (story)
BBC News Online Friday, 12 July, 2002, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK - Pro-hunting protesters threaten further action - Protesters who blocked roads around the UK in support of fox hunting are threatening further action. The Countryside Action Network (CAN) say they will stage "a number of protests over the next couple of months". And spokeswoman Janet George has revealed the organisation is planning to cause a stir at next weekend's Labour Party rural conference…. " we are not going to roll over quietly while they destroy a way of life. Hunting people are not natural protesters - but we are getting a taste for it." (story)
Cambridge News 12.7.02 Pro-hunt group's protest brings M11 to standstill - PRO-HUNTING protesters caused chaos on the M11 this morning… (story)
Western Mail 12.7.02 Pro-hunting protestors blockade M4 By Brian Farmer - A pro-hunting group blockaded motorways including the M4 between Cardiff and Newport during rush hour this morning in a protest against the government's indifference to their views. Campaigners from the Countryside Action Network staged a go-slow protest by driving small groups of 4x4 vehicles in a convoy at 10mph eastbound and westbound between Junctions 24 and 29… (story)
South Wales Argus 12.7.02 Pro-hunt group in M4 go-slow protest - A PRO-HUNTING group brought motorway chaos to Gwent with a go-slow protest on the M4 this morning. Several groups of Countryside Action Network protesters in 4WD vehicles drove at 10mph along the east- and westbound carriageways between Junction 24, at the Coldra roundabout, and Junction 29… (story in archive)
Evening Standard 12.7.02 Hunt supporters stage M-way protest - Pro-hunting demonstrators have staged "go-slow" protests on motorways to highlight their opposition to Government plans to ban blood sports… (story)
Ananova 12.7.02 Pro-hunting demo near an end - Pro-hunting demonstrations taking place across some of Britain's motorways appear to be coming to an end… South Yorkshire police and South Wales police both say the protests have ended but traffic problems are expected to continue for some time… The protesters were also members of the Countryside Alliance, a group in the vanguard of the fight for hunting rights which also campaigns for people living in rural areas (story)
BBC News Online Pro-hunting protests block roads - Pro-hunting activists brought rush hour disruption to motorways in England and Wales with a series of "go-slow" protests. Convoys of slow moving vehicles were sent along sections of the M11 in Cambridgeshire, the M4 in South Wales and the A1M in South Yorkshire… The League Against Cruel Sports said the protest showed a "contempt for ordinary people and the democratic process". Chief executive Douglas Batchelor added: "…We fear these protests will continue to grow as Parliament moves ever closer to implementing the clear wish of the public - to bring an end to the cruelty of hunting with dogs." (story)
BBC News Online Friday, 12 July, 2002, 07:21 GMT 08:21 UK 'Pro-hunting' protests block roads - Protests on major roads around the UK are being reported on Friday morning. Disturbances in south Wales, south Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire appear to follow a threat by pro-hunting supporters to blockade motorways… (story)
Ananova 12.7.02 Pro-hunting group threatens 'm-ways blockade' … The Countryside Action Network said it planned protests in Cambridge, Doncaster, Birmingham, south Wales and Manchester. John Baddeley, 51, organiser of the Cambridge protest, said the aim was to tell the Government to "get off our backs"… (story)
Scotsman 12.7.02 Pro-Hunting Group Threatens 'M-Ways Blockade' By Brian Farmer, PA News… (story)

Western Gazette 13.7.02 HUNT LOBBIES MPS ON PROPOSED BAN - Members of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt marched on London to petition the Government and hand over a £10,000 cheque to the Countryside Alliance. The hunt joined a 24-hour vigil outside the Houses of Parliament, hoping to persuade MPs to reject the proposed ban on hunting… (story)

Telegraph 13.7.02 Robin Page's farmyard has had some very unwelcome visitors - Some years we get good fox years, when the foxes leave our free-range hens alone. This is a bad fox year, with at least five earths within three quarters of a mile of the farm. The land is not hunted because it is too near the M11 and there is no full-time gamekeeper to help us… Critics such as Tony Banks might say: "It's the farmer's fault. The shed should have been fox-proof." Well, thank you very much, Mr Banks - I thought it was… A gamekeeper in Essex had a shock the other day. He saw two foxes behaving strangely so, fearing disease, he shot them. On checking them for signs of injury or abnormality, he smelt something odd and noticed that their coats looked strange… Somebody had shampooed captive foxes and released them into the wild… (story)

Western Daily Press 13.7.02 HUNT JACKET IS COAT OF ARMS - Sir - Regarding Nicholas Bucknall's letter In Need Of Dressing Down, it is common knowledge that gaudy, aggressive colours are adopted by most mammals and passerines to display aggression and to try to dominate other members of its own kind…. this basic threat paraphernalia is still used by the more dominant males and females of the hunting fraternity to suppress their underlings and show authority even today… M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Times 13.7.02 Feeling for animals - Sir, Jonathan Meades (Comment, July 6) suggests that by the process of “soppy empathy” towards animals we “reduce ourselves to their level”. On the contrary. The ability to empathise with — and to feel pity and compassion for — other living creatures is precisely one of the characteristics that elevates humanity above other species… ANTONY CROOKSTON, Finchdean House, near Horndean, Waterlooville PO8 0AU (letter)

Telegraph 12.7.02 The only way to save hunting is to inflict pain on Labour By Nigel Burke - The protest-riders from the Union of Country Sports Workers set a cracking pace down Regent Street on Wednesday, leaving me and other foot-followers far behind to debate the union's slogan: "Action not words." The other pro-hunting protesters who plan to bring motorway traffic to a slower pace today have their own view of what action means. Where they seem to agree is that the Countryside Alliance's official campaign badly needs stiffening…. A lacerating communications strategy is only half the story. The other half is civil resistance. The time for that is after the march, when we see which way Mr Blair and his ministers twist… We wasted our breath saying: "Listen to us." We must try: "Listen to us - or else." The author was the head of policy at the Countryside Alliance, 1999-2001 (story)

Times 12.7.02 Exmoor needs hunting, says park authority BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - A BAN on hunting on Exmoor would have the same impact as a ban on football in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, the Government has been told by the area’s National Park Authority. Its 26 members unanimously backed a report giving warning of the devastating impact of a hunting ban. A ban could also prevent it from carrying out its legal duty to foster the social and economic needs of the area, the authority said….

Yorkshire Post 12.7.02 'No compromise' say hunt supporters - NO section of the hunting fraternity would be sacrificed in a deal to ensure the survival of the rest, the Countryside Alliance's chief executive, Richard Burge, vowed yesterday. No secret negotiations to save hunting were taking place with the Government or anyone else, he emphasised on a campaign visit to the Great Yorkshire Show… But he warned that followers of country sports could not afford to be complacent because they must put more supporters on the streets of London for the Countryside March on September 22 than the 280,000 who were there last time… However, he condemned self-styled ''Real Countryside Alliance' militants, who have painted slogans on road signs across Britain – causing tens of thousands of pounds damage in North Yorkshire alone – as arrogant, selfish and stupid… (story)

Wiltshire Gazette 12.7.02 Hunting fan, 7, hands over petition - SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Sherston schoolboy Roddy Seymour-Williams presented a pro-hunting petition to 10 Downing Street on Monday, collected during a 24-hour vigil in London by the Beaufort Hunt. Roddy, of Farleaze Farm, handed over the petition to a policeman at 10.30am on Monday, after his father Jonathan, 47, spent 12 hours camping outside Number 10… (story in archive)

Hexham Courant 12.7.02 NORTH TYNE HUNT ANNUAL SHOW - ALTHOUGH rain threatened, it stayed away from the North Tyne Hunt annual show at Simonburn, when the cups were presented by Veronica Allgood. The judge in the open hound show Henry Vickery, from The Staintondale in Yorkshire, gave the G.M. Robson Challenge Cup to Haydon "Trimmer" an entered dog, reserve going to Jedforest "Wagtail'"… (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 12.7.02 FOXES ARE CAUSING HEALTH FEARS - The recent attack in Dartford on a baby by a fox is quite possibly a long overdue wake-up call… Since this baby was bitten around the head, a number of local residents have said they or people they know have also been bitten. They had all previously been told by "experts" that foxes don't bite people…It is a fact that some urban councils, either directly or by use of a sub-contractor, catch foxes and transport them into the countryside where they are released, or take them to a "sanctuary", in effect a zoo. Both of these cause unnecessary suffering to the foxes, a matter which seems to be overlooked… Hunting with hounds helps to maintain a healthy and balanced fox population in rural areas. It is also the most humane method of control with either a quick kill or a complete escape for the fox…. Unfortunately, double standards are being maintained in the way current attempts to ban hunting with dogs are being pursued on the grounds of cruelty, and yet nobody is mentioning the suffering caused to foxes when they are trapped, put in boxes or sacks for several hours, then driven into the countryside and released where they are unable to feed… Graeme Worsley, Effingham Lane, Copthorne (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 12.7.02 'DISEASE' GOOD REASON FOR BAN - I suppose we've gone through every reason to continue hunting foxes. It was only a matter of time before we got on to 'disease.' You do wonder how the hunt can even want hounds to come into contact with them… PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill (letter)

Shropshire Star 12.7.02 Foxes are no myth - Re: 'Town fox is a rural myth', Letters, July 3. In reply to the letter of J Cunningham, RSPCA… on one occasion a large, closed van from a university nearly one hundred miles away was parked on an isolated road for the early part of a night in late spring and released foxes, some of which obviously did not survive the journey… GH Hand, Church Stretton (letter may be in archive)
Shropshire Star 3.7.02 Town fox claim is a rural myth - In reply to D G Morris (Letters, June 22) the claim that foxes are being rounded up in towns and transported to the countryside in their hundreds is becoming quite an urban myth… Any sick and injured adult foxes treated by the RSPCA are released at the exact location they were found… As for foxes killing poultry and lambs, the Burns Inquiry concluded that foxes are not the pest they are culturally perceived to be and that while individual foxes may cause damage, fox predation is not a significant cause of lamb mortality in the UK… Jo Cunningham, RSPCA (letter may be in archive)

Western Daily Press 12.7.02 BADGERS LINKED TO DISEASE Sir - The frequency and content of the letters from M Hancox on the subject of TB is quite amazing. With people like this advising the Government, it is not at all surprising that we have such a massive bovine TB problem… (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 12.7.02 Badgers are a scapegoat for bovine tB - A COUNTRYMAN Looks Back, published in 1973 by Taylor & Sons, Minety, Wiltshire, gives a vivid account of life in a Wiltshire village… for many years a disease, bovine tuberculosis, had been rife among milking herds. Having held an accredited milk producer's licence since 1937, Mr Manners decided to have his herd privately tuberculin tested in 1951… The point is that in 1951, Mr Manners and two other local farmers managed with logic, hygiene and careful management to eradicate TB from their dairy herds. Since then, over 20,000 badgers have been killed, ancient setts have been decimated, and badgers have been held up as a scapegoat for a problem that as Mr Manners' account proved had nothing to do with them… JANET HALL, North Home Road, Cirencester (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 12.7.02 Crudités for the conscious - Tracey Lawson …as the 35th World Vegetarian Congress convenes in Edinburgh this week, delegates can celebrate the fact that the image of those who choose to eliminate meat and fish from their diet has been revolutionised in recent years… (story)
Scotland on Sunday 7.7.02 Where’s the beef? - Sheena Miller … Tomorrow sees the start of National Vegetarian Week, and the Vegetarian Society is bringing the 35th World Vegetarian Congress, ‘Food for all our Futures’, to Edinburgh…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 5.7.02 Veggies to meat for city conference HUNDREDS of vegetarians from the UK and abroad will be in Edinburgh next week to take part in a bi-annual conference organised by the Vegetarian Society… It will be hosted at Edinburgh’s conference centre at Heriot-Watt University from Monday until Saturday… (story)

Telegraph 11.7.02 Hunt supporters ride on Parliament in spirit of '49 By Catherine Elsworth - Hunting horns and car hooters blared as 80 riders in tweeds and hunting pink rode through London yesterday in a re-enactment of the 1949 farmers' protest against moves to end their sport… Kate Hoey, the pro-hunting Labour MP joined the marchers in Parliament Square… (story)
Times 11.7.02 Woman is hurt in pro-hunt protest … The riders, all in hunting dress, converged on Parliament Square and handed over petitions opposing the abolition of hunting to two Conservative MPs, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswold) and James Gray (North Wiltshire). Lindsay Hill, of the union, said they had huge public support for the event. “We’ll go on fighting,” she said. (story)
Western Morning News 11.7.02 HUNTING LOBBY RE-CREATES 1949 PROTEST - JASON GROVES - Westcountry hunt supporters yesterday joined in a re-creation of a 1949 ride through central London in protest at Government plans that could lead to a total ban on hunting with dogs. Members of the East Devon and Cotley hunts were among those taking part in the event… (story)
Ananova 10.7.02 Pro-hunting demonstrator hurt by RSPCA van …Scotland Yard says the vehicle collided with a woman saddler as it followed up to 80 riders protesting against plans to end field sports… The Union of Country Sports Workers (UCSW), which organised the event, said it was the only incident in an otherwise peaceful and good-natured demonstration. A UCSW spokeswoman said they would be following up the matter with the RSPCA… The riders, all in hunting dress, converged on Parliament Square and handed over petitions opposing the abolition of hunting to two MPs (story)
Evening Standard 10.7.02 Hunt supporter hurt by RSPCA van A pro-hunting demonstrator has been injured after being struck by a van belonging to the RSPCA in London's Haymarket… The RSPCA had been asked by police to monitor the welfare of horses which were being ridden to Parliament square by protesters in full hunting costume. (story)
Worcester Evening News 10.7.02 Pro-hunt protest goes to capital - MANY of Worcestershire's hunting supporters were taking to the streets of London on horseback today to protest against proposals to ban the sport. The Union of Country Sports Workers gathered at Hyde Park Corner to ride through Piccadilly, the Haymarket, Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross and Whitehall before finishing at Parliament Square… Michael Allfrey, the vice-chairman of the Piccadilly Hunt Club, said campaigners were fighting against opponents who did not know the facts and did not want to know them… (story in archive)
Gloucestershire Echo 10.7.02 HUNT BACKERS JOIN PROTEST - Hunt supporters from Gloucestershire were in London today taking part in a re-enactment of the 1949 Piccadilly Hunt protest, which started in their home county. A party of 10 from the North Cotswold Hunt, the Cotswold Hunt and Vale of White Horse Hunt were marching to the Houses of Parliament… (story)
Telegraph 8.7.02 Hunt campaign hits Piccadilly By Becky Barrow - Fifty riders dressed in hunting pink or tweeds will parade down Piccadilly on Wednesday afternoon in a re-enactment of the 1949 farmers' protest against plans to ban hunting… The original march, which was the first trip to London for many of the 60 farmers involved in the protest, gave rise to the Piccadilly Hunt Club, which still meets each year for a dinner attended by up to 300 people… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 11.7.02 Fury over hunt ban in Forest - A SUMMMER of discontent has erupted in the New Forest over a 31-day ban on foxhunting at the start of the new season… Hunt spokesman Nick Smith said that as the land involved was not owned by the Forestry Commission but by the National Trust, it was not realised that the ban was effective because the land was leased to the Commission. He added: "The National Trust keeper was there and so were the people who have the sporting rights on the land and we were told we could dig… " (story in archive)
Meridian TV 11.7.02 New Forest hunting banned for a month - Fox hunting has been banned on Forestry Commission land in the New Forest after a hunt breached the terms of its licence... The Commission found that the New Forest Hounds dug out a fox without permission during a hunt near Ringwood. (story in archive)
Bournemouth Daily Echo 10.7.02 Hunt banned by Rachel Read - FOX hunting has been banned on Forestry Commission land in the New Forest for 31 days from September 1… During a hunt on the Newlands Plantation, near Ringwood, on March 19 the hunt dug out a fox without the permission of the Forestry Commission - a breach of its licence. The New Forest Hounds maintains this was the result of a misunderstanding as it believed it did not require the permission… Ken James of the New Forest Animal Protection Group, said: "The hunt has been punished for not seeking permission to dig a fox that they had hunted to ground. They have not been punished for digging into a badger sett. This is unacceptable."… (story in archive)

Times 11.7.02 Captain Charles Barclay Master of the Puckeridge who thought like a fox - for more than fifty years (obituary)

Scotsman 11.7.02 Is the love-in with furry critters over? - THE anti-hunting lobby has become so unfashionable that no A-list celebrity can be tempted to champion its cause. The League Against Cruel Sports has approached Stella McCartney, the bunny-hugging daughter of Sir Paul and legendary veggie Linda, to no avail, and Joanna Lumley - not an obvious choice, I would have thought - who has also turned them down flat… (story)
Telegraph 9.7.02 Peterborough, edited by Charlie Methven Anti-hunting league fails in celebrity stakes … the League Against Cruel Sports, which is leading the campaign against hunting, has been humiliatingly unable to find a high-profile celebrity willing to act as its president the League Against Cruel Sports, which is leading the campaign against hunting, has been humiliatingly unable to find a high-profile celebrity willing to act as its president. "They asked Stella McCartney, but she said that she had too many commitments," says my source. "They then approached Joanna Lumley, but she also turned them down flat. As a result, the league is now in a hole. They've sent out letters to any number of B-list celebrities, and none of them has accepted, either."… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 11.7.02 Elaine signs off... HOW commendable that Mark Richardson (Letters, July 2), does not want anyone to impose their will and personal morals on others but he is doing just that by defending a cruel minority who delight in the abuse of wild animals for entertainment purposes… ELAINE MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigto (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 9.7.02 Keep writing, Elaine - ELAINE Milbourn knows what it is to have two fingers shown to her - and they are not a gesture of Churchillian achievement! She has endured sneers, heckling and unkindnesses too numerous to mention from hunt followers… Keep those letters coming Elaine and never mind the wailings of James Bainbridge, Joy Lister (Letters, June 26, June 22) and Mark Richardson (Letters June 25)… SYD EMMERSON, Penrit (story)
Cumberland News & Star 22.6.02 Enough, Mrs Milbourn - WITH respect, do you not think by now we all know and have got the message quite clearly that Mrs Elaine Milbourn is anti-hunt?... JOY LISTER, Park Road, Aspatri (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 12.6.02 Hunters and hunted - MRS Milbourn (Letters, June 8) is mistaken when she says that a wolf pack I saw on a TV documentary killed a fox for essential food. This was most certainly not the case. The carcass was left once the wolves had done the evil deed, They had no interest whatever in eating it… Mrs Milbourn also says that if domestic pets were treated in the same way as working animals, the hunts would be prosecuted. If this is true, why does this not happen? Working animals may well be put down if they are no longer able to perform their tasks. While this is unpalatable to most of us, I'm not convinced that it is of itself a cruel act… The process of an animal being chased and killed by other animals is entirely natural, and the presence of toffs in fancy jackets or ordinary folk in Barbours has no bearing on that… MARK RICHARDSON, Great Broughton, Cockermouth (letter)

Northern Scot 11.7.02 Reality of protected vermin - Madam, – I refer to the article in the June 21 edition of “The Northern Scot” in which the destruction of a buzzard’s nest is described. I am concerned that this account, as with so many misrepresentations revolving round the subject of fox hunting, will mislead those who know little of the ways of the countryside into believing the crass claims of the “ornithologise”… I do not condone the destruction of a protected bird any more than I support the publication of misleading propaganda, and I welcome the opportunity to correct such drivel through your otherwise excellent columns. – Yours etc, RICHARD MURRAY, Lochs Farmhouse, Muir of Lochs, Garmouth, Fochabers (letter)

Ipswich Evening Star 11.7.02 Cunning fox outfoxes expert … The fox stole into the lounge of Ipswich cabbie John Bell in Maybury Road and made himself quite at home - not budging for nearly an hour and even dozing off…. The only time the fox bared its teeth was when the RSPCA handler snared it in a net before releasing it in the Ravenswood area… (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 11.7.02 A meaty issue - I MUST take issue with Geoff Elliott (EA, June 25). He calls me ignorant in respect of a letter I wrote concerning whingeing farmers… If Mr Elliott had read any of my contributions to your newspaper he would understand that I, like millions of others, eat no dead animals or by-products of dead animals… PHILIP BEAVEN, Merton Avenue, Swindon (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 10.7.02 SUPPORTERS PLAY PART IN VIGIL TO STOP HUNTING BAN - Hunting supporters from the Cotswolds have protested against a possible ban on the sport in a round-the-clock vigil outside Parliament and presented a petition to the Government. A dozen members of the Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt took part in the demonstration as part of a succession of vigils in London by pro-hunting groups from all over Britain. Members of the Cotswold Hunt were there from 10am on Sunday, June 23 until the same time on Monday, June 24… (story)

Daily Record 10.7.02 Animal tragic - IT really is hard to believe that S. Kelly is serious when he writes that hunting foxes with dogs is a humane way of killing them… Robert Rennie, Motherwell (letter)
Daily Record 8.7.02 Fox blight - AS an avid foxhunter, I sincerely hope that the Government and anti-foxhunt protesters realise what they have done. The recent attack on a 14-week old baby proves what an adult fox is capable of and obviously their numbers are getting out of control… S. Kelly, Glasgow (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 10.7.02 Violent displays - I WRITE regarding Phil Beaven's letter regarding police response to incidents… Of course officers in numbers would arrive at an animal rights activists participation because they would know that in all probability the activists would be clad in balaclavas and wielding baseball bats… goes to show that when they cannot win faced with facts and opinions, they resort to violence. J CURTIS, Kingsley Avenue, Wootton Bassett (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 1.7.02 Try this trick - I REFER to the letter from Michelle Ingram (Adver June 25) concerning the poor response to her call for assistance from the police… Just ring up and say that animal rights activists are handing out leaflets outside her office. She could guarantee at least one car and two officers. If she said that there were more than three protesters she could expect at least a riot van - PHIL BEAVEN, Merton Avenue, Swindon (letter)

Daily Post 11.7.02 Scare as fox trots in to use the toilet By Andrew Forgrave Rural Affairs Editor - A COUPLE got the shock of their lives when they discovered a fox in their downstairs toilet…. After alerting North Wales Police, the RSPCA and a local vet, the Colwyn Bay couple were advised to open all doors and let the fox leave of its own accord…. (story)

Argus 10.7.02 Streaker's moving experience … Matthew Wilson, 25, ran naked through the streets of Pamplona to protest about the annual Running Of The Bulls fiesta. Matthew was one of 25 activists from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) who stripped off in a bid to draw attention to what they say is the mistreatment of the animals. Matthew, of Seven Dials, Brighton, said: "A few onlookers were quite amazed and looked at us a bit strangely… (story in archive) (photo)
Ananova 7.7.02 Nude runners highlight plight of Pamplona bulls - Naked animal rights campaigners have been running through the streets of Pamplona to raise awareness about the annual running of the bulls. Members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have written to the mayor of Pamplona and the House of Mercy, which organises the bull run, asking them to replace it with a human race. Londoner Umberto Pena joined 30 other Peta activists from around the world as they ran through the streets the day before the running of the bulls… (story) (photo)

Scotsman 10.7.02 Subsidy junkies - Prince Charles finds it surprising that "our most basic industry", ie farming, is in such a parlous state… Modern farming is based on the untenable assumption that we have to kill animals to feed ourselves… Human beings can survive and prosper on a diet devoid of animals and animal products… JAMES BOYLE, Eastwoodmains Road, Clarkston, Glasgow (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 10.7.02 BATTERY CAGE BAN WELCOMED - I refer to the letter from Mr G. Bursnaly (The Citizen, Monday, July 1). I too am very pleased that these awful battery cages are to be banned, but why have the poor birds got to go on suffering until the year 2012?... AUDREY W. HUCKNALL, Cliffords Mesne, Newent (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 1.7.02 BAN CRUEL CAGE PRACTICE NOW - Good news about the banning of battery cages for hens. But bad news for the many thousands of hens which will be subjected to this cruel, barbaric practice… Like fox hunting, this immeasurable cruelty has gone on far too long… G. BURSNALY, Kingscroft Road, Hucclecote (letter)

Shropshire Star 9.7.02 Fox hunt group to take part in vigil - A north Shropshire fox hunting group is to travel to London to play its part in a continuous 24-hour a day vigil at Westminster. Members of the North Shropshire Foxhounds will be sharing a 25-hour stint at Speakers Corner between them this weekend… (story)

Independent 9.7.02 Activists find new targets in fight against animal tests By Paul Peachey - The target of the latest campaign against animal testing laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences said yesterday he was considering suing because animal rights activists have set up camp near his home. Members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac) pitched their tents on a recreation ground and draped banners from trees that included the man's name and address. One was was painted with the words "murderer in your village''… quote from Joseph Dawson, a spokesman for the protesters (story)

Western Morning News 9.7.02 Research cash wasted - THE claim that "mice paved the way for trials" (cannabis) is based on the idea that mice are like little people - it's not scientific and it's certainly not valid… What do they imply about extrapolating test results on animals to humans? After all, vivisectors wouldn't need to test on humans, if animal testing was valid, would they?... Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Liverpool Echo 9.7.02 Paul's call to veggies - BRITAIN'S most famous veggie, Sir Paul McCartney, is appearing in a new video to mark national vegetarian week… (story)
Ananova 8.7.02 Stars join fight against factory farming Sir Paul McCartney, Joanna Lumley and Martin Shaw are appearing in a new video to mark national vegetarian week. The short film has been produced by Viva!, which is campaigning against factory farm practices… Others who appear in the film are Chrissie Hynde, Michael Mansfield, QC, Jerome Flynn and Wendy Turner-Webster. (story)
Western Mail 8.7.02 Stars join fight against factory farms - Graham Hiscott, The Western Mail - STARS such as Sir Paul McCartney, Joanna Lumley and Martin Shaw appear in a new video to mark national vegetarian week, which starts today. The short film has been produced by Viva!, which is campaigning against factory farm practices… (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 8.7.02 Stars in factory farming battle (story)

Western Morning News 9.7.02 'CRUEL' TRADE CONTINUES DESPITE THE CAMPAIGNING - I would like to respond to Nicholas Marshall's letter (WMN, June 17) regarding live animal exports. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Marshall's comments. It is high time that this barbaric, vile trade was stopped… I myself belong to Compassion In World Farming, a wonderful organisation, and seven years ago, when I lived in West Sussex, I witnessed the most terrible scenes with these big wagons of animals being transported from Shoreham Harbour… Mrs J Ruddick, Holsworthy (letter)

Western Morning News 9.7.02 Elephant fight - FOOTBALL fever pushed some continuing news stories from our papers and surely the most pathetic is Rhanee, the elderly female former circus elephant with a terrible history of cruelty in this country who has ended up in a Spanish zoo… Animal defenders need help in the campaign. Adrian Cooper, Lostwithiel (letter)

Western Morning News 9.7.02 Battery cages - WERE I to keep my four pet budgies in battery-type cages that battery hens are kept in (WMN, June 26), I would be up in court, and no doubt banned from keeping pets!... Miss J V Whiting, Exeter (letter)

Daily Record 9.7.02 Festival is just not sporting - EVERY year at this time, newspapers carry pictures of the annual running of the bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain - and every year, dozens of unfortunate tourists or locals end up injured. Well, good, I say, because anyone who supports this barbaric event deserves all they get… T. McGregor, Glasgow (letter)

Western Mail 8.7.02 Man shooting rabbits sparks gun alert - ARMED police surrounded a gunman in a West Wales village yesterday - then discovered he was going rabbit shooting… The latest incident comes just a week after Dyfed-Powys Police paid £24,000 compensation to 12 people who were wrongfully arrested while feeding ducks… The incident occurred on the morning of May 1, 1999, when 12 friends, on a country outing, stopped to feed ducks and swans on a lake near Crickhowell. Several police officers were patrolling the area and arrested the group, saying it was to prevent a breach of the peace because a hunt was taking place nearby… One of the group, Paul Stone of Newport, said, "I hope the outcome of this case serves as a lesson to the police." Last year seven people were falsely arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police while eating lunch near Sennybridge Hunt… (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 8.7.02 ALL THE FUN OF THE COUNTRY FAIR AT SCONE - MORRIS dancers and a Royal Marine unarmed combat team joined forces to pull in the crowds at this year's Game Conservancy Scottish Fair at Scone… Additions to the well-loved features of the fair included a 15-strong troupe of horn-blowing French huntsmen and women. The members of Cercle St Hubert Bourbon Vendome Trompes de Chasse, an organisation which dates back to the time of Louis XIV, thrilled the crowds with their performances… (story)
Dundee Courier 6.7.02 HUNTING HORNS TO FEATURE AT FAIR - THE TONES of French hunting horns sounded across Scone Estate yesterday as a 15-strong troupe of huntsmen and women played traditional hunting calls. Le Cercle St Hubert Bourbon Vendome Trompes de Chasse, in their traditional hunting gear, were visiting from the Loire Valley. After seeing them at the French Game Fair two years ago, Mr Ron Smith of Fife Land Rover invited them to perform at the Scottish equivalent with his company sponsoring their visit... (story probably only on website for a day)

Western Mail 8.7.02 Bomb-threat woman sent hate text messages - Tom Bedford, The Western Mail - A WOMAN apologised yesterday for sending bomb threats to staff at a laboratory linked to experiments on animals. Sharon Hazelden, 35, was caught because she sent the threatening text messages through her mobile phone and police traced the number… After the case, Hazelden, a volunteer environmental worker, said, "I'm sorry. I'm very regretful and the less said the better." She obtained the mobile phone numbers from a pamphlet handed out by animal rights group SHAC - Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty… Police traced Hazelden to her home in Waunborfa Road, Blackwood, because her mobile number was displayed on the workers' phones… (story)
South Wales Argus 6.7.02 AN ANIMAL rights activist left ten men terrified when she sent them text message bomb threats. Sharon Hazelden (pictured) threatened employees of a company she believed was connected to Huntington Life Sciences, which carried out experiments on animals... She was sentenced to a community punishment order for 180 hours. At an earlier hearing at Blackwood magistrates court, Hazelden admitted ten charges of threatening to commit criminal damage and was sent to crown court for sentence... (story in archive) (photo)

Burton Daily Mail 8.7.02 Bogus letters sent to police by CHRIS WATSON - STAFFORDSHIRE Police are investigating "bogus" complaints made by animal rights campaigners about its officers after it emerged that false names and addresses were being used. Members of the Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs campaign have been encouraging people to send letters complaining about the conduct of individual officers who have been policing demonstrations… However, it has now emerged that supporters of the campaign have been filling out letters using the personal details of people unrelated to the campaign and without their knowledge in a bid to increase pressure on the force… SNGP spokesman Amanda Richards admitted that a protestor was handing out copies of the letter at the demonstration in Lichfield, and a sample copy is also posted on the group’s website… (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 8.7.02 MOVEMENT BAN ONLY GUARANTEE - Cattle TB is now out of control. Two measures are needed to bring TB under control. Annual testing removes cases before they get to the more infectious stage, but since the test is only 80% accurate, repeat tests may be needed to weed out carriers…. M HANCOX, Nouncells Cross Stroud (letter)

Northern Echo 8.7.02 Badger toll leads to snare ban call by John Dean … Dr Elaine King, executive officer of the National Federation of Badger Groups, told a meeting at Houghton-le-Spring, on Wearside, that snares and illegal badger baiters were taking an awful toll on the animals. Addressing Durham Badger Group at Rainton Meadows, the headquarters of Durham Wildlife Trust, she called for snares to be banned… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 8.7.02 WINNING THE WAR ON CATTLE TB - Sir - I write in reply to Don Tinsey's letter in which he said: "Martin Hancox if he is so clever, it's a wonder that by now someone has not listened, it's a wonder he had not found a cure himself". Well, that is the trouble, Defra is more deaf than MAFF used to be… M Hancox, Stroud, Gloucestershire (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 8.7.02 The real cost of your breakfast egg - Sir, – It is good to see that the government are, at last, going to stop the use of hen battery cages, but why is it over ten years?... JOHN FULCHER, Queen's Close, Combs (letter)

Bury Times 8.7.02 Save the sharks - NOW that the ivory trade has finished, dealers have turned their "attentions" to the basking shark… Sara Lee (letter in archive)
Manchester Evening Post 5.7.02 Stop this trade - NOW that the ivory trade has finished, dealers have turned their "attentions" to the basking shark… I urge readers who are outraged by this situation to write to their MEP, urging a change in EU law to protect this endangered species before it is too late, and/or send a donation to: The Born Free Foundation, 3 Grove House, Foundry Lane, Horsham, Sussex RH13 5PL, who are campaigning to save them. Sara Lee, Whitefield (letter)

Sunday Times 7.7.02 Mean fields: Jonathan Miller: Cuddly foxes are for killing - JONATHAN MILLER - Richard Burge, the Countryside Alliance supremo, came to lunch and I liked him well enough but we disagree pretty fundamentally on the main issue. He thinks a ban on hunting should be opposed using arguments over civil liberties and the livelihood of country sport workers. I have suggested, more cold bloodedly, that the real issue is that no version of the hunting restriction will advance the welfare of a single fox…. Last week one of the growing population of urban foxes entered a home in Dartford, Kent, and attacked a baby. The furious father has vowed to kill the fox if he sees it again. The RSPCA has warned him not to and advised him to call the police (ha!) while, of course, washing its own hands of any duty in the matter. Mind you, last time I saw an RSPCA inspector try to catch a fox it was a farce and I had to do it myself…. As I have previously noted, the RSPCA is mad and bad — unaccountable, riddled with conflicting interests, self-righteous beyond belief and staffed with bullies. They are activists and maintain the law with their own private enforcement agency, of which there are many complaints. The RSPCA audits itself…. Harry is a good shot so our foxes should not have as good a chance as those hunted by the Chiddingfold and Leconfield, which the RSPCA plans to put out of business…. Since the fox will no longer be of use even for sport, I should imagine that there will be plenty of bullets whizzing around. Townies should stay out of the woods…. (story)

Observer 7.7.02 Why the British love a spot of heavy petting - Phil Hogan - We've always had a bit of a soft spot in this country for animals, unlike, say, the Spanish, whose enthusiasm for bullfighting and throwing live goats out of the windows of high buildings during religious festivals has contributed so much to the making of their colourful and vibrant culture. Yes, I know we've still got fox-hunting, but it's not the national sport, is it? Well, not any more. And those of us who live in metropolitan areas and run the government and newspapers will continue to frown on people who ride horses or keep ferrets until such time as they have all died off and everyone owns a desirable riverside converted former snuff warehouse with views of the Millennium Wheel… The French and Spanish have a more robust view of food because most of them still live in the middle of nowhere and have pigs rootling in and out of the house. Our problem is that we have retreated too far from the blood and guts of it all… We want our food to be cut up into barbecued fillets and breaded goujons. We don't want to see sheep's heads in shop windows, thank you. We don't want our fish staring at us while we're trying to eat it. And if we really must have tongue we certainly don't want it serving up actually looking like a tongue… (story)

Sunday Independent (West Country) (3.7.02) Vile bile trade: the bear facts by Kirsty Turner - HUNDREDS of people in South Devon have signed a petition to be handed to the Chinese Ambassador in London demanding that the Chinese Government close its country's bear farms… already 300 signatures have been added to RSPCA petitions in their shops in Totnes, Newton Abbot and Brixham… quote from Barbara Gardner, the RSPCA's Torquay and SE Devon branch publicity and campaigns officer… (story)

Sunday Herald (Glasgow) 7.7.02 Scotland rejects call to ban battery farming across UK By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor … The Sunday Herald has discovered that Finnie has rejected a move by his counterpart at the Westminster parliament, the animal welfare minister Elliot Morley, to ban all battery hens . Instead, hens north of the Border will carry on living out their miserable lives crammed into dark, tiny boxes to boost farmers' profit margins…. 'The animals will suffer terribly,' said Ross Minett, the campaign's director of Advocates for Animals in Edinburgh… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 6.7.02 MP ERIC CALLS FOR AN OUTRIGHT BAN ON ALL SNARES - CARLISLE MP Eric Martlew is campaigning to ban the manufacture and use of brutal animal snares. The Labour backbencher acted in the wake of a report by the National Federation of Badger Groups... Mr Martlew, a fervent anti-bloodsport supporter, is now calling for the production of all snares to be prohibited... (story)

Newcastle Journal 6.7.02 Badger groups in the North East are backing a national drive to ban the use of all snares. The National Federation of Badger Groups, supported by a cross-party group of MPs, has already delivered a 60,000-signature petition to Downing Street calling for a total ban.... Graham Tenby, chairman of the Durham Badger Group, says: "It is a problem and there is no doubt about it... Free running snares can still do a lot of damage to an animal, which will panic when it is caught..." Mervyn Anthony, chairman of the Northumberland Badger Group, says: "There is a problem with snares. They have been found to be set indiscriminately and at the wrong height for target species like foxes..." (story)
Newcastle Journal 6.7.02 Gamekeeper jailed - The federation highlights the case of Cumbrian gamekeeper John Drummond who was jailed in 1999 for three months for using illegal snares to kill badgers on the Holker Hall Estate... (story)
Newcastle Journal 6.7.02 Legal devices a humane means of control - The National Gamekeepers Organisation issued a statement which is also the position of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Game Conservancy Trust, Countryside Alliance and National Farmers' Union. "Snares are a vital tool of wildlife management. Legal snares, properly set, are a humane means of control which is not only used for pests but also by scientific researchers who need animals to be captured alive with minimum stress for radio tagging and release..." (story)

Newcastle Journal 6.7.02 Meg's words win for wildlife - Schoolgirl Meg Burn's campaign on behalf of badgers and the threats they face was a major factor in her winning a national accolade. Meg, 13, who lives at Lowick in Northumberland, has been awarded the Young Environment Champion of the Year title by BBC Wildlife magazine, the Wildlife Trusts and Severn Trent Water... she set out to raise public awareness over snaring, digging and baiting, lamping and also looked at the bovine TB issue... (story)

York Evening Press 6.7.02 Halt experiments - I question the unending litany of celebration from the local press and City of York Council regarding the expansion of the university biology department (July 3). My main concern is with the amount of animal experimentation that these facilities are encouraging, and the associated cruelty and the pointlessness of these experiments... Alan Robertshaw, Towthorpe Road, Haxby, York. (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 6.7.02 ...I REGULARLY read articles in the Evening Press about people who have raised money for a charity. While I commend their efforts, I find it upsetting that a number of the charities nominated still experiment on animals... To find out more about this subject contact: Doctors and Lawyers For Responsible Medicine (DLRM)... Helen Whitehead, STAVE, (Society for the Total Abolition of Vivisection and Exploitation), Scarborough (letter in archive)

Western Mail 6.7.02 Plans to ban battery cages for hens put off - PLANS to ban conventional battery cages for hens have been delayed by the National Assembly... Welsh producers lobbied the Assembly, saying such a move would simply kill off the Welsh industry, and perhaps all its 450 jobs, by driving it into England... (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 23.7.02 Historic hunt pays tribute to legendary sportsman MEMBERS of the Bilsdale hunt gathered recently to mark a poignant landmark in their history. They commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of Bobbie Dawson, for 60 years whipper-in and living legend in the local hunting community… (story)

Daily Record 5.7.02 Out-foxed I AM following with interest the current legal challenge to Scottish legislation banning the cruel and immoral activity of hunting foxes with hounds… I was most surprised to see that all those who claim to be facing hardship as a result of this new legislation sounded distinctly English… David Boyd, by e-mail. (letter)

Malvern Gazette 5.7.02 We are not idle toffs - IN reply to the letter from Jan Mountford (Your Letters, June 28) on the subject of hunting and animal rights in which she made several claims against hunting but then failed totally to substantiate any of them, the extraordinary obsession with `class', that seems central to the anti hunting argument, rears it's ugly head again. As a manual worker I can assure her that the majority who support hunting and country sports are very ordinary working people… Jon Burgess, Worcester Road, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 28.6.02 Meaty problem - YOUR correspondent Pauline Burgess (Your Letters, June 7) has pointed to the nub of the problem of fox hunting. Fox hunting is supposed to reduce the number of foxes. Why? Because they kill farm animals; and what are farm animals for? Mainly to eat… SHEILAH FIELDING, Kempley Green, Dymock. (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 28.6.02 The last straw - THE letter from Pauline Burgess (Your Letters, June 7) made a lot of contradictory and unfounded remarks about hunting and countryside, matters of which she obviously knows little. If so many people are against hunting then why are there crowds of 2,000 or more in Ledbury on Boxing Day to support John Holliday, his hounds and the Ledbury Hunt… The possibility of being made a criminal just for following a pack of hounds is the last straw and is not going to be accepted, never mind how loud Pauline Burgess shouts or how many times a few bigoted MP's vote. ALAN COOK, Bishop's Frome. (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 28.6.02 A first step - I READ with interest Chris Ridley's letter (Your Letters, June 14) about the plight of abandoned greyhounds, since I too am involved in their rescue, but I think, with regard to the comments on fox hunting, we should be looking at the wider issue of animal rights and welfare as a whole… Banning hunting with hounds will be a step up the long ladder and I can see no reason for it to continue. John Holliday, in his interview on May 24, seems to think that because foxes are not a protected species that gives him the right to kill them for pleasure, to disrupt traffic, to trespass on private property and to frighten grazing horses… JAN MOUNTFORD, Fruitlands, Malvern Wells (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 21.6.02 Warning bells - WITH reference to cruel cats (M G Jackson, Your Letters, June 14)… the majority of people have the intelligence to understand that it is unnecessary to hunt beautiful British wildlife which is a heritage to be proud of. G SCOTT, Malvern Wells (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 21.6.02 Put prejudice in the dustbin … Claiming the Malvern Gazette was "coerced" into publishing the article about huntsman John Holliday was an extraordinary attack on the principle of free speech and a free press…. Jon Burgess, Worcester Road Malvern. (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 14.6.02 Cruel cats - IN Your Letters (June 7) two correspondents expressed the hope that hunting would be banned… One of the cruellest animals around is the domestic cat, I would suggest that owners of such animals ought to muzzle their feline friends to prevent the indiscriminate torture and slaughter of birds and small animals… M G JACKSON, Alexandra Road, Malvern (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 7.6.02 `Outdated and often elite but soon it will be obsolete' - I WAS surprised to see that the bloodthirsty lot of the hunting fraternity had coerced you into advertising their hunt… Hunting is outdated, hunting is often elite - bar the terrier men of course - but one day soon hunting will be obsolete!... MRS TURNER, Colwall. (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 7.6.02 `No basis for a ban' - THE article about the Ledbury Hunt (Malvern Gazette & Ledbury Reporter, May 24) was an excellent explanation of why it would be completely wrong to ban traditional hunting… As for being idle and rich, the majority who hunt are ordinary working people who don't ride a horse but follow on foot or in a car to see hounds working… Well over five million people are involved in country sports, well recognised as the biggest force for conservation in Britain today… J Burgess, Worcester Road, Malvern Link. (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 7.6.02 `You're not so hard done by' - WHY does huntsman John Holliday think he's hard done by because he might lose his job. I was made redundant last October, I also live in rented accommodation, but I just had to go and find a new job… As a vegan I am against livestock farming… PAULINE BURGESS, Richmond Road, Malvern Link (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 24.5.02 `Bill is not about protecting foxes' THE attraction of galloping across fields, flying over hedgerows, straining every muscle to hold onto and manoeuvre a supremely athletic animal is easy to understand. It's not surprising this passion should be one that grips people from every walk of life - doctors, dentists, nurses, accountants, lawyers, butchers, teachers and vets, to name but a few, are among the members of Ledbury Hunt…. (story in archive)

Leicester Mercury 5.7.02 DEMOCRATIC? - In their recent letters both representatives from the RSPCA referred to hunting as "barbaric". A very emotive word used in an attempt to justify the large amount of money the "honorary" council of the RSPCA are spending on anti-hunting adverts and petitions… There is some concern that the "honorary" council of the RSPCA has been taken over by individuals with more extreme views on animal welfare. The fact that they have formed a partnership with the League Against Cruel Sports would support this view… Ian Kilgour, Thurcaston. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 3.7.02 EXTREMIST CONNECTIONS? - In reply to the letters from the RSPCA my concern is not with the full-time professionals at branch level… My concern is with their central management council, who have £71 million of benefactors' money at their disposal annually. They have chosen to spend large amounts of this on anti-hunting adverts and petitions… On the point of whether the RSPCA has been influenced by extremists, I see from their website that they have a formal working alliance with The League Against Cruel Sports, surely an organisation with extremist connections?.. Ian Kilgour, Thurcaston (letter)
Leicester Mercury 25.6.02 FOXHOUNDS WILL BECOME ENDANGERED SPECIES - A W Dakin's letter (Postbag, June 13) headed: "Hunting ban would infringe hounds' rights" referred to their instinct to hunt. A hunting ban would be the death warrant for about 2,000 fit animals… they cannot be re-homed - I had difficulty finding homes for four Jack Russell pups. Who is going to home thousands of large dogs who need lots of food, lots of exercise and are not house-trained (and would be miserable without all their mates)?... Mrs C E Saint, Ashby Magna. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 17.6.02 PRINCIPLES? - Jo Marlow, RSPCA regional press officer stated that the RSPCA has "strong animal welfare principles"… I would bring to Jo Marlow's attention the culture of Halal meat. Where are the RSPCA's "strong animal welfare principles" here? Ted Humphreys, Blaby. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 13.6.02 HUNTING BAN WOULD INFRINGE HOUNDS' RIGHTS - Yet again we read another letter from Ken Schofield of the Leicester branch of the once respected RSPCA defending his support for a ban on hunting with dogs. He does not mention that the RSPCA also proposes to grant animals a Bill of Rights. I would ask him will this proposed Bill allow my dogs their "freedom to express normal behaviour"?... A W Dakin, Chairman, The Leicestershire Wildfowlers' Association. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 5.6.02 STRONG ANIMAL WELFARE PRINCIPLES - I wish to set the record straight following fears that the RSPCA is becoming an extremist organisation: "Sad use of RSPCA by the extremists" (Postbag, May 24)… If Mr Kilgour takes a look, he will find that - contrary to his beliefs - a campaign to outlaw fishing or shooting is most certainly not on the RSPCA agenda… Jo Marlow, RSPCA regional press officer. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 3.6.02 DEDICATED TO PREVENT CRUELTY TO ANIMALS - Ian Kilgour wrote (Postbag, May 24) that he was saddened, but not surprised, to see my letter rallying support for our petition in support of a ban on hunting with dogs… Unlike those who participate in hunting with dogs the RSPCA is dedicated to promoting kindness and preventing cruelty to animals. Ken Schofield, (Hon Branch Secretary), RSPCA, Leicester Branch. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 24.5.02 SAD USE OF RSPCA BY THE EXTREMISTS - I was saddened, but not surprised, to see the recent letters concerning the RSPCA. The first letter was from the local secretary, rallying support for the possible ban on hunting with dogs... I was saddened that such a previously respected organisation had allowed itself to support the targets of the animal rights extremists, whose real aim is anarchy rather than animal welfare… Ian Kilgour Thurcaston (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 5.7.02 SNARED FOX PUT DOWN - A young fox was put down by a vet after spending days trapped in a snare… RSPCA Inspector Ian Callingham collected the frightened animal and took it to a vet where the decision was made to put it down… "This young male fox appears to have become trapped in a snare a few days ago." (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 5.7.02 Free veggie recipe book - NATIONAL Vegetarian Week runs from July 8-14… The Vegetarian Society have produced a new veggie recipe booklet called A Whole World of Taste… (Mrs) M HARRISON, Beaulieu Close, Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)

Gloucestershire Echo/Gloucester Citizen 5.7.02 SO SICKENED BY CRUELTY TO CHICK - I felt I must reply to the Wildlife Patrol article (June 27). Firstly, may I say how sickened I was to read about the gull chick used as a football by young thugs?... may I say how much I admire the work of Alan and Louise Brockbank and also Louise Timms and the rest of the staff at the rescue centre… GWEN FRENCH, Victoria Street, Gloucester (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.7.02 SHEDS NO BETTER FOR OVERFED BROILERS - Sir - Heather Pickett is right to highlight the suffering of battery hens.But broiler chickens, raised for meat, also suffer from the way that they are reared… (letter)

Scotsman 5.7.02 Marksmen forced to kill deer freed by intruders - MARKSMEN had to shoot four runaway deer after they were deliberately set loose from a popular visitor attraction. A fifth, which was heavily pregnant, died from shock after intruders burst into an enclosure and freed 45 animals from Beecraigs Country Park, West Lothian…

Harborough Mail 5.7.02 Disgraceful slaughter of innocents - I WOULD like to appeal to readers to join our campaign against the annual killing of our native forest and moorland ponies. Do you realise when you see these pretty ponies wandering free that most of the foals are destined for European dinner plates?... We believe farmers should take responsibility for their ponies and not allow them to breed every year. The only achievable way of doing this is by making farmers keep their stallions away from moors and forests…. Jean Bird, Cedar Close, Kibworth Beauchamp. (letter)

West Cumberland Times & Star 5.7.02 ACTIVISTS CALL FOR BAN AS CIRCUS OPENS - ANIMAL rights activists marked the visit of the Bobby Roberts circus to Workington by calling for a ban on animal circuses. Four members of Newcastle-based Northern Animal Rights Alliance picketed Tuesday's opening evening performance in a bid to persuade the public not to support the circus… Louise Stevenson said: "A travelling circus is no life for animals and because they constantly move from one site to the next, the needs of the animals cannot be met…" (story)

Leicester Mercury 5.7.02 RESPECT CREATURES - AND LEARN How I agree with Graham Danton that we should learn far more from nature… Compassion towards all living things should be the hallmark of a truly civilised person…. Mrs Evelyn Scott Brown Liskeard (letter)

Cumberland News 5.7.02 Nest destroyer's prison warning … A woman, aged 73, who lives in her own flat near Warwick Bridge and who has had a by- pass heart operation, received two visitors from the RSPCA… They had a bird's nest which they accused the old lady of destroying. She admitted doing this because the birds were making a mess of the wall and paths. (There were no eggs or youngsters in the nest.) They informed her that she could be prosecuted and fined, or even be imprisoned... Before they left they insisted she signed a document with all the relevant information on it. She duly signed. I would like to say to these officers of the RSPCA that they were extremely fortunate it wasn't my mother. I JAMES, Brampto
RSPCA spokeswoman Sari Eldridge replies: "As an animal welfare charity the RSPCA is obliged to investigate all complaints of cruelty. Under the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981 birds nests, birds and the eggs are protected...(letter)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 4.7.02 It's good to be back by James Kilner - THE Ryedale countryside took another step towards normality last week. The return of the Malton Show brought with it huge crowds and warm sunshine… However, the legacy of the foot and mouth disease outbreak was still very much in evidence. Cows and sheep were conspicuous by their absence, thanks to the rigorous restrictions enforced by DEFRA. And with that came a drop in the number of farmers visiting and taking part in the show, meaning a fall on previous years in business at the trade stalls… One of the highlights of the day was the parade of the Middleton Hunt foxhounds, led by hunt master Frank Houghton-Brown, who sounded a horn as the hunt rode around the parade ring. Members of the public, especially children, were invited in to the ring to meet the hounds and some of the children were given the chance to sound the hunting horn themselves… (story in archive)

Argus 4.7.02 Think of the fish! - The fisherman who nearly lost an arm while fishing (The Argus, July 1) should think himself lucky. When a fish is caught, it loses its whole life, poor thing. -Mary Frankel, Hove (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 4.7.02 Don't use animals for sports Some people may think that horseracing is fun to watch but perhaps they should think about how the racehorses feel… many suffer from broken legs and backs and have to be killed… And I agree with the majority of people that fox hunting is cruel because it is wrong to view animal hunting as fun… Real sport involves amazing human skills and agility - like football, or running. I think grown-ups should bet on these instead - Natalie James, Wellington (letter may be in archive)

Liverpool Daily Post 4.7.02 Animal rights group's anger at zoo pet shop By Andy Kelly, Daily Post Staff - SOUTHPORT Zoo has come under fire after becoming one of the first zoos in the country to apply for a pet shop licence… Craig Armstong, from the Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS), said: "Conservation, education and research are named as the three key elements of zoos in the European Union directive. This goes against the whole spirit of that."… (story)

Bolton Evening News 3.7.02 Promise should be kept on banning bloodsports - IT appears that the self importance of Countryside Alliance Regional Director, Tom Fell (Letters, June 27), knows no bounds. He forgets that he is simply an apologist for a small bloodsport group and not a representative of rural people… Greg Metcalfe, Moorhey, Crescent, Bamber Bridge, Preston (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 27.6.02 Countryside Alliance abd 'attack' THE recent story on the "attack" on the offices of Bolton South-east MP Dr Brian Iddon by pro-hunting protesters implied that they were somehow connected with the Countryside Alliance. They were not. The Alliance disassociates itself completely from any action which stains the well-merited reputation for decency and forbearance of rural people… Nevertheless, we are only too aware of the justified rural anger and disaffection which has been generated by Labour backbenchers' obsession with a hunting ban… Our "Liberty & Livelihood March" in London on Sunday, September 22, will be a massive but orderly demonstration of solidarity in favour of rural lives, jobs, values and customs… Tom Fell, Regional Director, Countryside Alliance, NW England (Cumbria, Lancs, Cheshire) (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 20.6.02 Pro-hunt activists blamed for poster attack at MP's office …The "Alternative CA", who claim to be a splinter group of the Countryside Alliance, are believed to be responsible for the incident… Green British flags with Alternative CA logos were stuck to doors and windows of Brian Iddon's office on St George's Road. "Hunting is Freedom" was written across the outside of the building and some paint work was damaged… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 3.7.02 HARANGUING IS POINTLESS - Sir - In awarding a CBE to Brian Cases, the head of Enchanting Life Sciences… the Government is guilty of the most blatant hypocrisy. At the same time, it is determined to prevent farmers controlling the predator of sheep and cattle - Mr Fox - and punishing them financially because the majority support hunting and vote Tory… I am surprised the Countryside Alliance and pro-hunting bodies do not pick up on the hypocrisy of this government in their arguments, rather than trotting out the same old Charles Mann-influenced spiel that goes in one ear and out the other… (letter)

Crewe & Nantwich Guardian 3.7.02 Stamp seekers - NON-ANIMAL Medical Research is appealing to people in the borough for unwanted postal items to raise funds… Send your postal items to Non-Animal Medical Research, Parcel Reception/Security, 81 Beresford Avenue, Skegness, PE25 3JQ (story in archive)

Western Morning News 3.7.02 Cosmetic success (letter)
(Exeter Express & Echo) 28.6.02 GOVERNMENT LEADING ON ANIMAL WELFARE ISSUES - The director of the National Anti-Vivisection Society implies that members of the European Parliament are ahead of the British Government when it comes to the welfare of animals, Points of view, June 12… We have banned fur farming, secured an agreement to ban cosmetic testing on animals in Britain, outlawed sow stalls and persuaded the EU to abolish close confinement veal crates… Ben Bradshaw MP, House of Commons, London (letter)
Sunderland Echo 20.6.02 Testing on animals - Jan Creamer, Director NAVS (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 18.6.02 CONSCIENCES CAME FIRST - Jan Creamer, director, National Anti-Vivisection Society, Goldhawk Road, London (story)
Bolton Evening News 17.6.02 Praise for MEPs opposing tests - Jan Creamer, Director, National Anti-Vivisection Society , Goldhawk Road, London (letter in archive)
Manchester Evening News 17.6.02 Well done - Jan Creamer, Director, National Anti-Vivisection Society (letter)
Daily Record 12.6.02 CONGRATULATIONS to the UK's MEPs… Jan Creamer, Director National Anti-Vivisection Society Ltd. (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo or Plymouth Evening Herald) 15.6.02 MEPS STANDING UP TO OUR MPS OVER ANIMAL RIGHTS - Jan Creamer Director, National Anti-Vivisection Society, Goldhawk Road, London (letter)
Northern Echo 15.6.02 ANIMAL TESTING - Jan Creamer, Director, NAVS Society. (letter in archive)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 14.6.02 MEPS PRAISED ON TESTS VOTE - Congratulations to the UK's MEPs for standing up to the Government over the issue of testing cosmetics on animals… JAN CREAMER Director of National Anti-Vivisection Society (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 14.6.02 No animal tests - CONGRATULATIONS to the UK's MEPs for standing up to the UK government over the issue of testing cosmetics on animals… JAN CREAMER, Director, NAVS, Goldhawk Road, London (letter in archive)

Louth Leader 3.7.02 Leave pigeons aloneand tackle the cause - Oh dear! It’s the pigeon bashing season again. Headline - “To Cull or not to Cull”, Louth Leader June 26 page 13… I for one like the pigeons and consider them part of the townscape and street scene. I do not think they are a major problem here. Perhaps with more cleanliness we could live in peace with them. PATRICIA METCALFE, Bridge Street, Louth
Louth Leader 3.7.02 Culling ‘increases pigeon numbers’ - I’ve spoken to Mr Guy Merchant of PICAS (Pigeon Control Advisory Service.)… He states culling has been scientifically proven (in Sweden) to increase pigeon numbers… MRS D M MONCASTER, The Old Rectory, Saltfleetby (letters)

Carmarthen Journal 3.7.02 TWO REASONS WHY THE FOX KILLS - in reply to Mrs McGill's letter about fox hunting. I am neither pro or anti fox hunting because I believe both sides have good arguments… Foxes are larder animals … If Mrs McGill had left the "bodies" of her hens where they lay, the fox would have kept returning to them, thus ensuring a full larder. A Kent, Ferryside (letter)

Worcester Evening News 2.7.02 I hope she will accept my offer - IN reply to the letter from Mrs M J Large (You Say, June 22), may I offer her my sincere apologies if I have ever appeared patronising in our long correspondence about hunting… I am at a loss to understand how Mrs Large can describe the Burns report into hunting as `'ambiguous'' when she has admitted to not reading this Government-sponsored report which cost more than £600,000 to research in great detail… If Mrs Large is serious about making hunting and other country sports illegal it is essential that she first fully understands all the facts. To this end I can arrange for her to follow hounds, see coursing, visit a hunt kennels and talk to a huntsman… I hope Mrs Large will accept my invitation along with a copy of the Burns report in the spirit it is offered. JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 26.6.02 Hunt ban would not help the animals - I WRITE in reply to the letter from John Phelps… Mrs M J Large was not prepared to debate in a rational manner… Mr Phelps claims that `'most people, including MPs, object to hunting for sport on moral and ethical grounds''. He has no factual basis to substantiate this claim… perhaps they will listen to Miles Cooper who, until recently, was an investigator for the League Against Cruel Sports, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and had a role in the Hunt Saboteurs Association. After 13 years fighting for a ban, Mr Cooper came to the inevitable conclusion that to ban hunting with dogs would cause a great deal of cruelty to the fox… JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 22.6.02 Foxes and hares killed in a brutal manner - JON Burgess's reading matter is his own affair. If he chooses to read ambiguous reports, that is his business… He admits that followers enjoy watching the hounds at work, so they must enjoy cruelty. What an admission… MARION LARGE, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 17.6.02 Most are anti-hunt on moral, ethical grounds I HAVE been following the correspondence about fox hunting between Jon Burgess and Mrs Marion J Large (You Say, June 6)… Most people, including MPs, object to hunting for sport on moral and ethical grounds. It is, therefore, disingenuous of Mr Burgess to claim that the Lord Burns report should be the arbiter. JOHN PHELPS, Exeter. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 15.6.02 It's time she learnt the facts - MRS M J Large accuses me of producing `'twisted facts'' and then admits to not reading the Burns report into hunting. It seems quite extraordinary to accuse me of twisting anything before she has studied the latest independent and probably most definitive work on the subject of hunting… JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 6.6.02 The facts speak for themselves - JON Burgess may produce as many twisted facts as he likes… the Burns report to which he refers, is ambiguous in some respects, and can be interpreted in different ways according to the beliefs of the reader… I prefer to believe the evidence of my own eyes when I witnessed 70-odd riders on massive horses, plus a pack of hounds, riding out to destroy one poor fox… MRS MARION J LARGE, Worcester (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 17.5.02 The Burns Report on hunting should be the arbiter - I AM delighted that Mrs M J Large (You Say, May 7) wishes to continue our interesting if somewhat lengthy debate on conservation, animal welfare and country sports… The Lord Burns report into hunting with dogs was totally independent and examined all aspect of hunting and related country sports in fine detail. It concluded there was no case for a ban… This leads to the not unreasonable conclusion that those seeking a ban are using the so-called `'cruelty aspect'' as a smokescreen to hide their real agenda which is the class war. JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 7.5.02 He doesn't address cruelty issue - FOR once, John Burgess and I are in complete agreement. Yes, it would indeed be a miracle if we agreed on the degrading practice of hare coursing… How can people be so vile? Have they no compassion? A warm, living wild animal is so much more interesting than a mangled, pathetic carcase. MRS MARION J LARGE, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 20.4.02 Coursing, conservation and the rural way of life - I READ with some interest the latest correspondence about hare coursing from Mrs M J Large (You Say, April 12)... Mrs Large is right. A tiny number once involved in country sports have changed their ideas and no longer take part. However, far more telling is that the UK's leading anti-hunt group, the League Against Cruel Sports Ltd, has seen two chief executives and at least six senior officials totally change their views.... The main difference between us is that I have no desire to force Mrs Large to go coursing, but she would have our Government make me, along with many others, a criminal overnight... JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 12.4.02 My views are entirely my own - MAY I correct Mr J Burgess. In his latest outburst, he once again implies that I belong to an animal rights organisation. I do not - my views are entirely my own... It's highly significant that the most ardent protesters against hunting in all its forms are those who previously participated in the so-called "sport" and have now seen the error of their ways. MRS MARION J LARGE, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Gloucestershire Echo 1.7.02 RSPCA SNUBS FOX HUNT SUPPORTERS - Three fox hunting supporters from Gloucestershire have failed in their bid to win seats on the RSPCA's ruling council… at the RSPCA's annual meeting on Saturday they came bottom in the poll. The charity issued voting forms to 44,000 members. The hunt supporters attracted an average of 3,500 votes each…. The five new council members were Eileen Chamberlain who was re-elected, Jean Reed who was elected for a second term and three brand new members … (story)
Sunday Telegraph 9.6.02 RSPCA acts to keep out pro-hunt lobby By Adam Lusher - The RSPCA has set up a secret committee to vet its members in an attempt to stop pro-hunting campaigners being elected to its governing body, prompting accusations that the charity has adopted "police state" tactics… The attempt to purge those in favour of hunting was condemned last night by Sir John Mortimer, the QC and author of the Rumpole novels, who is a member of the RSPCA… Simon Tomlinson, an RSPCA member, said that the attempt to bar pro-hunt campaigners was "pretty sinister". "It is totally undemocratic. It smacks almost of a police state."… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 8.6.02 COUNTRY FOLK WILL BALANCE MEMBERSHIP - Madam - Yes, the RSPCA has been infiltrated (Echo, May 27). Of the 12 members seeking election to the charity's council, there are three declared members of the League Against Cruel Sports…. There is also a candidate who lists cat-watching as his main leisure activity. How many millions of birds and small animals do cats kill each year purely for pleasure?... Name supplied, Stroud. (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 30.5.02 'PRO-HUNT ATTEMPT TO HIJACK RSPCA' HUNT supporters from Gloucestershire are trying to "hijack" animal welfare charity the RSPCA, it has been claimed… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 27.5.02 THREE ACCUSED IN RSPCA 'PLOT' - THREE Gloucestershire fox hunting supporters have been named in an alleged plot to infiltrate the RSPCA's top brass… One of the three alleged plotters is Alex Mason (pictured), from Bibury, a neighbour and friend of BBC game show host Anne Robinson… Another is farmer and financial adviser Charles Llewellen Palmer, of Ham Road, Cheltenham. His nomination to the council was supported by the Andoversford-based Cotswold Hunt… The third candidate was organic farmer Simon Tomlinson, from Tetbury, near Cirencester, who has called for "controls" on fox numbers… (story)
Observer 26.5.02 Pro-hunt lobby is plotting to 'hijack' RSPCA - Mark Townsend - Pro-hunt activists are trying to to 'hijack' the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the largest animal charity in the world. A group of candidates with close links to the fox-hunting fraternity have been put forward as candidates for the society's ruling council. Senior sources at the charity believe that the move is part of a strategy by the pro-hunt lobby to overturn the society's opposition to hunting, which it condemns as 'horrific'… The voting papers contain the details of 12 candidates, none of whom declares an interest in fox-hunting. However, inquiries by The Observer reveal that four of these candidates are keen pro-hunt supporters - one belongs to a hunt. All are farmers and all joined the RSPCA in 1996… (story)
Times 25.5.02 'Hunt hijack' at RSPCA elections BY ANDREW PIERCE - MEMBERS of the RSPCA, the world’s oldest animal welfare charity, were warned yesterday that extremists had infiltrated next week’s elections to the ruling council. The hardliners identified in a letter from the charity leadership are supporters of fox-hunting with hounds… A man on the helpline, who called himself Stewart, said: …“We are not allowed to comment on candidates’ manifestos but read them carefully. Hobbies will be listed where it might say if they hunt.” The RSPCA has infuriated leading members such as Sir John Mortimer, the playwright, who is a keen huntsman. “We know who they mean by infiltrators,” he said. “They mean us. They have stolen the soul of the society.” (story)

Hull Daily Mail 1.7.02 ANIMAL PROBE WAS JUSTIFIED - Once again, the animal research community, faced with another expos?? of the dreadful suffering and questionable science involved in animal experiments in the UK, opts to shoot the messenger rather than deal in an open and mature manner with the serious issues raised (Letters, June 4)… This is a typically pathetic smear attempt by a secretive, defensive industry aware that it is losing the battle for public opinion…. Michelle Thew, Chief executive of BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection). (letter)

York Evening Press 1.7.02 Firebomb threat to farmer - by Adam Nichols - ANIMAL rights extremists have threatened a North Yorkshire farmer who shot dogs he had seen attacking his sheep. Raymond Flintoft, 42, of Bransdale, Fadmoor, received a telephone call on Saturday warning him that his house was going to be firebombed... The anonymous caller was immediately criticised by a North Yorkshire animal rights campaigner. Annabel Holt, who lives in Stearsby, near Easingwold, said: "I am disgusted at Mr Flintoft for shooting the dogs...but I deplore any threat of firebombing or any kind of violence. People love dogs and I know the animal rights supporters are angry, but somebody has let their dogs roam unattended and because of that sheep have suffered. Any threats will only create a very negative attitude towards animal rights."… (story in archive)