June 2008

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Scotsman 30.6.08 Shooting grouse - It is clear Louise Robertson (Letters, 26 June) objects to the fact red grouse are shot and who they are shot by, rather than the fact they are killed at all. Does she have the same disdain for abattoir workers and livestock handlers?... We may have a difference of opinion on this matter, but we at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust are also in whole-hearted support of stamping out wildlife crime. KATRINA CANDY, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Newtyle, Perthshire (letter)
Scotsman 26.6.08 Saddened though I was to read your report about the shooting of a red kite (24 June), it highlights a worrying attitude towards animals in this country. Throughout the grouse shooting season, thousands of birds will be left to die a slow, agonising death because inexperienced shooters have been let loose to take pot shots at game birds, all in the name of sport…. LOUISE ROBERTSON, League Against Cruel Sports, Rosyth, Fife (letter)

Express 30.6.08 14P A LITRE OFF PETROL: IT CAN BE DONE By Louise Barnett Consumer Editor - FUEL prices could be slashed by 14p a litre under ground-breaking plans to help hard-pressed motorists. The Daily Express has come up with a mechanism that would cut fuel duty as the price of crude oil rises. Our system, the opposite of the controversial fuel price escalator which is set to put another 2p on a litre in October, would be funded by the Government’s £6billion windfall from higher taxes on North Sea oil… Daily Express proposal appears robust and realistic.” With crude oil now trading at over 142 dollars a barrel, the plan was welcomed by the Countryside Alliance. Spokesman Tim Bonner said: “It would give businesses in the countryside and elsewhere an opportunity to properly plan future expenditure and also give rural people a degree of certainty about the cost of living and working in remote areas.”… (letter)

Newcastle Journal 30.6.08 Post offices braced for closure list by Ben Guy, The Journal - MORE than 100 of the region’s post offices will tomorrow find out if they are on a shortlist that could see them closed within months… Regional director of the Countryside Alliance Richard Dodd said that the proposed closures were bad news for those living in the countryside…. (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 30.6.08 Greyhounds are going missing - IN his reply to my letter, Lord Lipsey (Your Say, June 10) states that fewer than 10,000 greyhounds are coming into licensed racing each year and 8,000 are found homes by the Retired Greyhound Trust and rehoming charities and a few are homed privately. The fact is a minimum of 13,478 greyhounds are bred for racing each year and considered "surplus" to the industry in England and Wales; 2,478 puppies never even make it to the track and are unaccounted for… Lord Lipsey is looking at the industry through rose-tinted glasses. Sharon Marriott, Roosevelt Drive, Tile Hill.
...AT his level (as chairman of the British Greyhound Racing Board), Lord Lipsey sees and hears (or chooses to) only the positive side of the greyhound world. As a member of a greyhound rescue charity I see the other side and it is not nice and nor as wonderful as Lord Lipsey makes it sound… Jan Coward, greyhound rescue volunteer and owner (letters)

Western Daily Press 30.6.08 A HEALTHY WAY TO CONTAIN TB - With the bovine TB problem still unsolved, RICHARD GARD says the way to keep cattle fit and well is for farms to have a healthy badger population, as they will keep the diseased ones out - In recent months I have been taken to areas where there are badgers and shown their signs of activity. I refer to these rural guides as the "badger men". What the badger men have learned, over many years, could be of major benefit to badgers and to cattle….. For cattle farmers, the badger men recognise that the way to keep cattle healthy is for the farm to have a strong population of healthy badgers. These badgers will patrol their boundaries and keep out unhealthy badgers… (story)


Independent on Sunday 29.6.08 Animal rights group turns its fire on celebrity meat-eaters - After helping to make fur coats taboo, campaigners at Peta are using hardline tactics on A-list carnivores By Rachel Shields - Animal rights protesters have launched a series of angry campaigns against A-list carnivores. They are shifting their focus from celebrities who wear fur to others who encourage the "exploitation" of animals by eating them. In its latest campaign, Peta – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which became infamous for dousing fur-wearers in red paint – has launched an attack on the singer Jessica Simpson…. (story)


Aberdeen Press & Journal 28.6.08 Pregnant hinds and population management - Peter Fraser is right to highlight the exploitation of that loophole in the deer legislation which allows an occupier to kill out-of-season, heavily pregnant and recently calved hinds found on land enclosed merely by a stock-proof fence…. Andrew Yool, Croy, Pluscarden, Elgin (letter)

Guardian 28.6.08 It used to be deer poaching, now rural gangs move into the oil business - Steven Morris - It may not be quite like the film Mad Max out there, with violent gangs roaming Britain in search of the few remaining drops of fuel, but for farmers like Eddie Cowpe it feels a little bit like it. He returned to his farm shop in Lancashire recently to find that thieves had emptied his 10,000-litre diesel tank… Richard Dodd, a Northumberland farmer and north-east director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "Three years ago red diesel was 11p a litre and now it's 70p. It has become worthwhile for criminals to target farmers' diesel tanks. There are rich pickings to be had."… (story)

Western Mail 28.6.08 300 protest over badger cull - About 300 people gathered today to protest against a proposed cull of badgers. Members of animal rights group Viva!, some dressed as badgers, held a rally outside the Welsh Assembly’s debating chamber, the Senedd, in Cardiff Bay…. (story)
Daily Post 26.6.08 Protest at badger cull by Andrew Forgrave - MEMBERS of campaign group Viva! plan to dress up as badgers and lobby AMs at the Senedd, Cardiff, on Saturday… (story)
South Wales Echo 23.6.08 Rally to oppose badger cull - ELIN JONES, Minister for Rural Affairs, recently made a statement regarding the Bovine TB Eradication Programme to take place in Wales… A rally for badgers will take place outside the Welsh Assembly building at 1pm in Cardiff on Saturday, June 28, and will be followed by talks, stalls and teas and coffee from 2pm to 4pm at the nearby Future Inn, Cardiff Bay hotel… Lorraine ParkerWhitchurch Road, Cardiff (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 28.6.08 Reds no more native than greys - I was interested to read your article, “Give us Cash for Squirrel Cull – MP” (News & Star, June 25) and the comments of Penrith and the Border MP David Maclean. He says that red squirrels are a native British species. This is simply not the case. All red squirrels in the UK are a mixed breed. Thousands of Eurasian Red Squirrels were imported to the UK when reds almost became extinct in the UK due to hunting… NEIL MACMILLAN, Meikle Boturich, near Balloch, Dunbartonshire (story)

South London Press 28.6.08 PETA hunt for louts who killed cat By Ben Clover - AN animal charity is offering a reward for the capture of thugs who drowned a ship's cat. Two women and one man crept up on Kilo as he made his way home to the HMS Belfast and threw him overboard.... Now charity People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are offering a £1,000 reward for information. Spokesman Bruce Friedrich said: "There can be no excuse for abusing animals… (story)

28.6.08 MAILBOX: COUNTERING THIS EVIL ACT - Words cannot adequately describe my contempt for the perpetrators of the recent despicable slaughter of innocent animals at Thistly Meadow Primary School in Blaby… Linda J Bodicoat, Earl Shilton (letter)


Exeter Express & Echo 27.6.08 HUNTER REPORTS HIS CRIMES TO POLICE - Police are refusing to enforce the ban on hunting with dogs, according to a Devon landowner. Giles Bradshaw, of Rose Ash, near South Molton, says the police will not prosecute him despite him writing several letters to Chief Constable Stephen Otter, detailing his crimes… "The current situation is that everybody knows the law is an ass. I will not obey it, the police will not enforce it and the MPs responsible for the mess will not admit it." Nobody from the police was available for comment. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 27.6.08 Gamekeepers helping to keep school open By Neil MacPhail - The men who look after wildlife on about 100,000 acres of Scotland’s hill land are also responsible for keeping the tiny local school alive in the village of Dalwhinnie in Badenoch. All six children attending Dalwhinnie Primary School have gamekeepers as fathers and live in an environment where feeding red deer stags and getting paid to help out on grouse and pheasant shoot days are a part of daily life. Their class teacher, Moira Webster, said this lifestyle and closeness to nature has given them an advantage over other children…. (letter)

Independent 27.6.08 Shooting pigeons at Wimbledon is legal - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims that the Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it illegal to kill pigeons ("Wimbledon 'breaking the law by killing pigeons' ", 25 June). This is not the case as the Act does not apply "to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner"… Ian Danby, Head of Biodiversity Projects British Association for Shooting and Conservation Wrexham (letter)
BBC News Online 26.6.08 Is it legal to shoot pigeons? - Animal welfare activists have complained to Wimbledon organisers and the police over the culling of pigeons. Is it against the law for marksmen to take out the feral birds?... Although the act protects the pigeon as it is "of a kind which is commonly domesticated in the British Islands", legitimate pest control is not regarded as causing unnecessary suffering, says a spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). And the Metropolitan Police plans to take no further action…. Picas director Emma Haskall says that killing adult pigeons favours younger birds in the feeding flock that would otherwise have a poorer chance of survival, so numbers are back to pre-cull figures within six to eight weeks… (story)
Independent 25.6.08 Wimbledon 'breaking law by killing pigeons' By Nick Harris at Wimbledon - There were ruffled feathers and no small amount of flapping at the world's most genteel tennis tournament yesterday after a threat of legal action from animal rights lobbyists over the culling of pigeons that had the temerity to bother some players. As The Independent revealed on Monday, marksmen armed with rifles and employed by The All England Club spent part of Sunday evening stalking the grounds. Several birds were killed…. Yesterday, the club was reported to the Metropolitan Police wildlife crime unit for alleged infringement of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. In a letter to the club's chairman, Tim Phillips, from Bruce Friedrich, the vice- president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), which bills itself as "the world's largest animal rights organisation", the club was warned it could face court action for shooting pigeons…. (letter)
Metro 25.6.08 Wimbledon under fire for 'shooting at pigeons' by DAVE FILMER - The All England Club has come under fire from animal rights campaigners amid reports of pigeons being shot at the club. In an open letter to chairman Tim Phillips, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said: 'The Animal Welfare Act 2006 states lethal control can only be used as a last resort…. (story)

Western Morning News 27.6.08 AUTHORISE BADGER CULL – NFU - MATT CHORLEY LONDON EDITOR - Farming leaders have launched a direct appeal to the Government to sanction a cull of badgers as the spread of TB in cattle reached record levels. The Council of the National Farmers' Union demanded a comprehensive strategy to reduce the prevalence of the disease, which it said "must include" taking action against infected wildlife. Rumours have persisted in recent weeks that Environment Secretary Hilary Benn is close to making a final decision on a cull, after years of research and debate between farmers, scientists and animal charities… (story)

Andover Advertiser 27.6.08 'Anne would die without the circus' By Dick Bellringer - CIRCUS owners have defended keeping an elderly elephant after an animal rights group called on Andover to boycott the show next week. The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) said it was concerned about the health of Anne, a 55-year-old elephant transported with the Bobby Roberts Circus and thought to be the last circus elephant in Britain… (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 27.6.08 A sorry situation - Kate Fowler-Reeves, head of campaigns, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent (letter)
Bromley Times 26.6.08 British pig farms stink (letter)
Southern Daily Echo 26.6.08 Sickened by pig farms' standards - In recent weeks, Animal Aid has visited ten English pig farms in five counties to see whether the pig industry's claims of high welfare were borne out in reality. Instead of the idyllic images of straw-filled pens amidst leafy trees and bathed in sunlight, we found squalor, filth, death and disease…. KATE FOWLER-REEVES, head of campaigns, Animal Aid. (letter)

Telegraph 27.6.08 Eco-towns: Britain's brave new worlds? By Neil Tweedie - On Monday, the initial public consultation on 'eco-towns' ends. However, opposition to them is just getting started, reports Neil Tweedie… The Countryside Alliance believes that eco-towns are being pushed on to rural communities with little opportunity for debate. "In a year, the Government has gone from announcing the proposal to build 10 eco-towns, to shortlisting 15 schemes," says Sarah Lee, the Alliance's head of policy… (story)

Sutton Coldfield 27.6.08 People of Sutton were generous - Animal Aid would like to thank the people of Sutton Coldfield for their generosity in raising £145 at our street collection on Saturday, June 21… Sam Phipps (Mrs), Animal Aid collection co-ordinator (story)


Horse & Hound 26.6.08 Search on in Kent for missing bloodhound Humbug - Nick West - A two-year-old black and tan bloodhound called Humbug is still missing after taking fright during the Ashford Valley Hunt Country Fair at Charing Racecourse, Kent, on May 26. Sue Wheeler, whose husband Nicholas is huntsman and joint-master of the hunt, said when he was let out of the pen with the other hounds he took off in fright at the sound of the public address system… The Wheelers who own Coakham Bloodhounds at Ashburnham in East Sussex are appealing for any news of Humbug (story)

Eastern Daily Press 26.6.08 Children have fun at Norfolk Show - EMMA KNIGHTS - Youngsters across the county today gave a big thumbs up to the Royal Norfolk Show… “10 out of 10 for the Norfolk Show. It's brilliant,” said eight-year-old James Sibley… James, who was having fun pretending to drive an ambulance, said: “Everything is great. I have enjoyed looking at the ambulance and going on the tractors, and watching the horses and hounds.”… (story)

Western Daily Press 26.6.08 SNUB FOR THE REAL HEROES - I notice that the Countryside Alliance recently held its AGM and gave out a range of awards. All of the awards were given to pro-bloodsports campaigners and yet this is an organisation that claims to speak for rural communities. No awards for the people setting up co-operatives to run post offices, the meals-on-wheels volunteers, the village school or pub… Chris Gale, Chippenham (letter)

Scotsman 26.6.08 Keeping an eye on saving birds of prey By Emily Pykett - LANDOWNERS and huntsmen are being persuaded to work with conservationists to reduce the number of birds of prey illegally killed on Scotland's private estates. The RSPB is trying to orchestrate a change in attitudes among people who previously regarded the need to protect raptors as a "distraction" rather than a priority… Now, in an unprecedented show of public unity, 12 bodies that play major roles in estate management and bird conservation have signed a pledge saying there should be no place in Scotland's future for the illegal killing of such birds… The pledge was signed by the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association, National Farmers' Union Scotland, Edinburgh City Council, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Scottish Agricultural Science Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Ornithologists' Club, Raptor Study Groups, Tayside Police, the Heather Trust, Scottish Raptor Study Group and the Countryside Ranger Service… (story)

Carlisle News & Star 26.6.08 Thanks to all who saved post office - As chairman of Botcherby Residents’ Action Group (BRAG), I would like to thank the people of Botcherby estate, Durranhill estate, Victoria Road, Eden Park Crescent, Willow Park, Warwick Road, Kingfisher Park and surrounding areas who use Botcherby Post Office, for their efforts if they contributed towards saving it… BRAG wrote and sent letters to Carlisle City Council, the Countryside Alliance, Post Office Limited, CHA, and the Prime Minister on behalf of concerned locals, backed up with copies of a petition, which it compiled… ROBERT BETTON, Chairman of Botcherby Residents Action Group (BRAG) (letter)

Wharfedale Observer 26.6.08 Circus shrugs off call for a boycott of Otley performances By Jim Jack - A CIRCUS featuring performing zebras, llamas and camels has begun its five day run in Otley - but animal rights campaigners are urging people to boycott the event. Circus Mondao, which also has clowns, acrobats and illusionists, put on its first show on a field opposite Stephen H Smith's Garden and Leisure last night. But the Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS), which claims the cruelty of transporting, training and keeping circus animals is "obvious", has called on the public to shun the attraction…. (story)

Western Daily Press 26.6.08 LEON'S HELPING HAND FOR BEARS - I would like to congratulate Leon Moore of Swindon who ran a half- marathon, cycled 50 miles and swam two and a half miles to raise money for, and to get people to be aware of, the disgusting treatment of bears by the Chinese… I think the Chinese have a very cruel culture anyway… Mrs M E Bradshaw, Stroud (letter)

Derry Journal 26.6.08 Animals lovers picket circus - Animal rights activists last night began a series of peaceful protests outside the Circus Sydney at Drumahoe. The group who are part of the Animal Rights Action Network held placards reading ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ and carried posters of a caged tiger with the tagline ‘Please Help Me, Boycott The Circus.’… (story)


Bournemouth Echo 25.6.08 Council learns costly lesson over sacking By Timothy John - CIVIC chiefs in Shaftesbury have pledged to learn the lessons of the town council's unfair dismissal of its head groundsman and move on. Councillors at full council this week voted for recommendations made from the findings of a report into the sacking of Joe Hashman … The former groundsman won separate claims against the council for injury in the workplace and unfair dismissal. The total amount awarded to Mr Hashman is thought to be around £20,000…. (story)
Western Gazette 12.6.08 HUNT IS ON FOR SOURCE OF REPORT LEAK - Investigations are underway to trace who leaked a confidential report into the sacking of Shaftesbury Town Council groundsman Joe Hashman. Mayor of Shaftesbury Win Harvey voiced disappointment at the leak, saying it had created mistrust among councillors…. (story)
Western Gazette 12.6.08 CIVIC LEADERS VOW TO 'GET ACT TOGETHER' - Town councillors in Shaftesbury must demonstrate they are getting their acts together to avoid a costly parish poll for a public verdict on their performance. The council, through mayor Win Harvey, made the pledge following a vote of no confidence in the council at a heated public meeting on Thursday… At the meeting Cllr Harvey, who took the chair, made a public apology to the family of former head groundsman Joe Hashman, who last year won an unfair dismissal claim against the council… (story)
Western Gazette 5.6.08 REPORT TO BE RELEASED - A Summary of an official report into Shaftesbury Town Council's conduct over the sacking of former head groundsman Joe Hashman should be released to the public soon… (story)
Western Gazette 3.6.08 MEETING 'IS FIRST STEP IN REFORM PROCESS' - A Concerned resident of Shaftesbury has explained why she called a public meeting to air problems following the resignation of four town councillors. The quartet quit following a turbulent few months for the council, which has been dogged by wrangling over the dismissal of former groundsman Joe Hashman… Last week, councillors Ruth Hughes, Dennis Hughes, Barry Freeman and Jenni Dearing tendered their resignations after only a year in office. Disillusioned by the events, Pat Roberts of Salisbury Road has organised a public meeting for next Thursday … "As with other issues, the injury and unfair dismissal of the council's employee, Joe Hashman, is now an indelible event in the Hashman family, Shaftesbury's history and legal records. It is never going to go away. It cannot be ignored, side-stepped or forgotten, but it could be used to good effect … (story)
Western Gazette 3.6.08 SACKING CASE - SUMMARY DELAY - People in Shaftesbury are still awaiting a summary of a solicitor's report into the town council's conduct in the former head groundsman's sacking.Weymouth-based solicitor Gill Fribbance has presented her report into the way the authority handled the sacking of Joe Hashman… (story)
Western Gazette 21.5.08 COUNCIL IS QUIET ON SACKING SAGA - Shaftesbury residents calling for publication of a report into their town council's dismissal of a groundsman face disappointment after it was revealed it would stay under wraps. And it has been revealed that the council's insurers have not yet determined whether they will meet the cost of compensation payable to former head groundsman Joe Hashman… Mr Hashman, who has been seeking answers about why his dismissal was handled as it was for more than two years, said: "It is unfortunate that Shaftesbury Town Council feels unable to allow the full report from Ms Fribbance to be published... Salisbury Street resident Pat Roberts was one of the town taxpayers at last week's meeting keen for the report to be made public…. (story)
Western Gazette 1.5.08 REPORT ON CONDUCT 'MAY REMAIN SECRET' - Doubt has been cast on whether the public will ever see the findings of a report into a council's conduct surrounding the dismissal of a member of staff… It was commissioned from Gill Fribbance after the council lost an unfair-dismissal case last year brought by former head groundsman Joe Hashman. At the annual town meeting on Tuesday, several residents asked when the report would enter the public domain and when Mr Hashman, his family and the people of Shaftesbury would receive a public apology over the issue…. (story)
Western Gazette 17.4.08 NO ACTION ON ALLEGED BREACH OF RULES - Shaftesbury Town Council will not take action on allegations that a member breached rules.Councillors on Tuesday studied a report by deputy mayor Win Harvey after Cllr Nigel Cook in February asked what action the council would take against Cllr Richard Thomas after he admitted discussing a confidential possible financial settlement with former groundsman Joe Hashman. Cllr Cook claimed that Cllr Thomas breached a standing order relating to confidentiality by asking Mr Hashman if he would consider an £8,000 settlement, less 30 per cent in accordance with the employment tribunal's ruling… (story)
Western Gazette 21.2.08 ACTIVIST WINS HIS FIGHT FOR PAY OUT - A Former head groundsman and animal rights activist who did not want pigeons nesting on Shaftesbury Town Hall to be harmed has settled out of court with the authority which dismissed him. After a two-year legal battle Shaftesbury Town Council accepted a compensation settlement put forward by Joe Hashman just days before a figure was due to be reached in court. Although he is bound not to reveal the precise figure of the settlement, Mr Hashman, aged 39, of St James Street, said he will be able to make donations of £2,000 each to the Westminster Memorial Hospital and the Rainbow Animal Sanctuary at Gutch Common, with some money left over for him and his family.... (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 14.12.07 Council must pay costs and compensation for groundsman's back injury By Gay Pirrie-Weir - SHAFTESBURY Town Council is £35,000 worse off this Christmas, thanks to a decision not to give an injured employee £60 to cover the cost of treatment after an accident in the course of his work.County Court judge Robert Naylor this week awarded more than £10,000 in damages to Joe Hashman, who was Shaftesbury Town Council’s head groundsman at the time of the accident. He also ordered the town council to pay the costs of the defence, amounting to just over £19,000.... Mr Hashman has already won an employment tribunal against his former bosses, who were told by the chairman that their procedure in investigating a complaint against their groundsman was "grotesquely unfair."... (story)
Western Gazette 29.11.07 COUNCIL RESPONDS TO TRIBUNAL RULING - Shaftesbury Town Council has committed itself to assessing the findings of an employment tribunal against it and identifying any implications.Council members held an extraordinary meeting on Monday evening to consider the findings of an employment tribunal brought by and won by former head groundsman Joe Hashman following his sacking in March 2006… (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 23.11.07 Council was "grotesquely unfair" to its groundsman By Gay Pirrie-Weir - SHAFTESBURY Town Councillors have been told that their actions in dismissing groundsman Joe Hashman from his employment on 30th March 2006 were unfair…. Employment tribunals are now obliged to look at the claimant’s "contribution" to the events that led to his or her dismissal, and in this case they found that without Mr Hashman’s abrupt behaviour to Christopher Ashurst and his conversation with Mr Hargrave, he would not have been dismissed. They have therefore ordered that any basic or compensatory award decided at the remedy hearing will be reduced by 30 percent…. (story)
Western Gazette 22.11.07 COUNCIL SACKING 'FATALLY FLAWED' - An Employment tribunal has slammed Shaftesbury Town Council for a "fatally flawed" disciplinary procedure that led to the sacking of head groundsman Joe Hashman.... Animal rights activist Mr Hashman was initially suspended by the town council following a row with external contractor Christopher Ashurst over pigeons nesting on the town hall balcony... (story)
Western Gazette 13.9.07 TRIBUNAL WIN FOR BIRD ROW WORKER - An animal rights campaigner has won an employment tribunal after he lost his job as a groundsman following a row over pigeons nesting on a town hall balcony. Joe Hashman of St James Street, Shaftsbury, was sacked by Shaftesbury Town Council in March 2006 after he told pest controller Christopher Ashurst not to do anything nasty to the birds. Following suspension over that incident, it was alleged Mr Hashman, aged 39, spoke to assistant groundsman Christopher Hargrave, breaching a condition of the suspension which forbade him from discussing the matter with staff. Tribunal hearings in April and June heard Mr Hashman, who worked for the council from March 2002, felt his dismissal was unfair and denied the second allegation... As he awaited confirmation of the reasons for the decision and the final settlement, Mr Hashman announced he would use some of the money for a gift to thank friend Mike Oram, who represented him at the hearings, and split the rest between the Westminster Memorial Hospital and the Rainbow Animal Rescue Centre at Gutch Common... But, while he is seeking assistance from the Transport and General Workers' Union for the remedies hearing, the payout will be 30 per cent smaller than it could have been as the tribunal panel ruled his actions contributed to his dismissal. Mr Hashman is keen to express his gratitude to all who have supported him, especially his wife, Zara.... (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 13.9.07 Hashman v Shaftesbury Town Council - SHAFTESBURY Town Council made an "insulting" offer of £2,000 to former employee Joe Hashman during the early stages of an employment tribunal at Southampton on Tuesday. But in spite of Tribunal chairman Mr SJW Scott’s efforts to achieve a compromise between Mr Hashman, who was dismissed from his post as the council’s head groundsman /caretaker, and his former employers, no agreement could be reached.... On 23rd September 2005, at a Shaftesbury Town Council staff meeting, Mrs Merefield reported that she had been directed by the Town Hall Committee to investigate the situation of nesting pigeons in the town hall, as they represented a health and safety issue... On 27th September 2005 Mr Hashman went to return keys to his line manager, Mrs Merefield, and found Christopher Ashurst in her office. Mr Ashurst is a pest controller who had known Mr Hashman for many years, through their opposing views on the animal rights issue... Throughout the 1990s I had many dealings with Mr Ashurst on account of my being a very active hunt saboteur and concentrating a lot of my energies on disrupting the Portman Hunt...." In the town clerk’s office, Mr Hashman claims that Mr Ashurst commented on the (then) recent banning of hunting with dogs, and that he responded: "Don’t do anything nasty to our pigeons, you know what I mean," – and then to have left the office... (story)
icWessex 13.9.07 Did Shaftesbury Town Council act reasonably? - BOTH Joe Hashman and the clerk and members of Shaftesbury Town Council must wait to hear what an employment tribunal decides in Mr Hashman’s claim of wrongful dismissal. After a second long day in a Southampton tower block, the decision over whether the town council was right and reasonable to dismiss their groundsman was deferred, while the two remaining members of the tribunal, chairman Mr SJW Scott and his colleague Mr J Pearson, consider the evidence.... – Mrs Merefield told the hearing that the council had been concerned about the detrimental effect of pigeons on the Town Hall... she had already contacted three contractors, and arranged for one to come in and assess the problem. He was Christopher Ashurst, a man known to Mr Hashman over many years when Mr Hashman was a hunt saboteur and Mr Ashurst a terrier man for the Portman Hunt.... (story)

Essex Chronicle or Brentwood Gazette 25.6.08 Celebrities refuse rural panel posts - NATIONAL celebrities have declined offers to take up posts on a special rural commission for Essex… Scrutiny chairman Cllr John Aldridge said: “We don't just want rural types, or the pro-hunting lobby or even people with party political intent… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 25.6.08 Protect our hares - While Dr Neil Reid is correct to highlight the importance of suitable habitat for the Irish hare population, he appears to dismiss the case for giving these vulnerable animals legal protection (Write Back, June 20). Coursing may not have been responsible for the drastic reduction of Irish hare numbers, but it does pose a real threat to the remaining fragmented populations across the island… Mike Rendle, Irish Hare Initiative (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 20.6.08 Coursing no threat to Irish hare - There is no scientific data to support the claim that observed declines in Irish hare abundance have been associated with coursing activity (Write Back, June 16).A recent scientific study suggested that mortality during coursing removes less than 0.1% of the total hare population annually…. Dr Neil Reid, Queen's University, Belfast (letter)
Belfast Telegraph 16.6.08 Hare today, gone tomorrow? - The Northern Ireland Assembly is facing an opportunity to safeguard the future of the Irish hare, a species endemic to Ireland, which is in serious decline…. Sadly, much of this decline is due to human cruelty, namely hare coursing, a cruel sport which causes considerable suffering and stress to the hare… The League Against Cruel Sports is urging the Assembly to move into line with the rest of the UK which has already implemented legislation to stamp out this form of animal cruelty and protect the future of the Irish hare. Louise Robertson, League Against Cruel SportsScotland (letter)

Inthenews 25.6.08 Final arguments against planning bill as vote looms - Environment campaigners and rural groups are making a last-ditch attempt to convince MPs to stop the government's planning bill turning into law…."The current proposals mean undermining democracy in favour of an increasingly centralised and authoritarian government," the Green party's principle speaker Caroline Lucas told politics.co.uk…. The Countryside Alliance agrees with her, with the group seizing on the role of the newly created quango – the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC)…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 25.6.08 Plight of greyhounds - Lorelei Reddin described an evening out at Poole Greyhound racing in Friday's Scene South. Please, please listen to the other side, what happens that the public don't see… Many racers end their career after two years, and what happens then? Many are exported abroad to live in appalling conditions while others are disposed of and not always humanely. And all for money!... J FRY, Blackfield (letter)

Carmarthen Journal 25.6.08 BADGER CULLING DEBATE REVIVED - GRAEME WILKINSON - After a spate of opposition attacks, GRAEME WILKINSON examines both sides of the ongoing badger culling debate. The bitter debate about a possible badger cull has been revived following recent attacks of vandalism and graffiti in Carmarthen…. (story)
Carmarthen Journal 25.6.08 FEARS OVER KILLING - The news of a possible badger cull has raised fears that landowners could kill the animals themselves…. (story)
Carmarthen Journal 25.6.08 GROUPS CONDEMN PLAN - Conservation groups have rubbished claims a cull of badgers would stop the spread of the disease…. Trevor Lawson, representing a group of conservation organisations called Badger Trust, said: "Elin Jones gave every impression a decision had been made and badger-culling was a 'most effective' measure… Llanybydder's Gordon Lumby, secretary of Badger Watch and Rescue Dyfed, said any cull would face huge problems… (story)

Cornishman/Cornish Guardian or West Briton 25.6.08 Day for badgers made £960 - Mrs ANNE SHAW Nancledra - MANY thanks to everyone who attended the fun day show at Marazion on May 15 in aid of Cornwall Badger Rescue…. (letter)

Whitehaven News 25.6.08 MP calls for massive grey squirrel cull - CUMBRIAN MP David Maclean has called for a mass cull of grey squirrels in Cumbria to safeguard the reds. Inspired by a Northumberland-based pilot scheme, he plans to lobby the government’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for funding… (story)
Carlisle News & Star 24.6.08 Give us cash for squirrel cull – MP By Megan Jorsh - Cumbrian MP David Maclean has called for a mass cull of grey squirrels in Cumbria safeguard the reds. Inspired by a Northumberland-based pilot scheme, he plans to lobby the government’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for funding… the RSPCA has questioned whether culling is a long-term solution… animal rights organization PETA have spoken out against his proposals. Spokesman Bruce Freidrich said: “Mr Maclean is offering an expensive and cruel solution to a non-existent problem…. The Penrith-based Save Our Squirrels campaign – part of the Red Alert North England organisation – has welcomed Mr Maclean’s proposals…. (story)


South Wales Evening Post 24.6.08 GUN LAWS A LOADED ISSUE - It is praiseworthy that councillors Olga Jones and John Warman care for their communities (June 16). But may I suggest that their concern might be more productive if it was redirected?... One of the main reasons why we have so much violent crime committed with guns of all types is that the public, fewer and fewer of whom have had military service or rural experience, have been taught by the media to have what you can only call a superstitious fear of guns. The excessive fear of guns makes the criminal or the inadequate into a big man if he can get a gun. Giving youngsters familiarity with guns and teaching them habits of safety and responsible attitudes has the opposite effect… D C Sage, Waun y Felin, Penclawdd, Swansea (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 19.6.08 GUN SAFETY IS VERY SERIOUS - There is no relationship between the world of illegal gun crime - as made prominent by inner-city shootings - and the legal and responsible sporting use of guns. (Worry over shotgun licences for teens? Post, June 16).The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) holds many Young Shots days where youngsters can try airguns and clay pigeon shooting, and we see them developing a remarkable degree of maturity.... Glynn Cook, Director, BASC Wales (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 16.6.08 WORRY OVER SHOTGUN LICENCES FOR TEENS - EMMA DENHOLM - A Child from Neath Port Talbot is the official holder of a shotgun licence, police have confirmed. Following a request for figures by the Post, it was discovered four youngsters aged 16 and under have been granted shotgun licences in the past two years… Children and young people's champion councillor Olga Jones said she was amazed to hear of the findings…. Councillor Jones added while youngsters having knives was a major concern across the country, she didn't think it was common knowledge just how young some shotgun licence holders were… (story)

Cambridge News 24.6.08 Returning home on a wing and a prayer - FALCONRY displays are a common sight at the Raptor Foundation near St Ives as experts put hawks, falcons and owls through their aerial paces. But now the centre is in the process of training more exotic species to be flown by their falconers…. (story)

Oxford Mail 24.6.08 Brothers count cost of hare coursing - Two brothers have been ordered to pay more than £1,000 each in fines and costs for hare coursing. Craig Richards, 33, and his younger brother Scott, 20, from Rowley Regis, in the West Midlands, admitted three charges of hunting hares with dogs… (story)

Guardian 24.6.08 Woman dies during red diesel raid on farm - Alex Berry - Farmers' leaders called for action last night over fuel theft after a woman died following a raid by diesel thieves. Rosemary Dove, 68, collapsed shortly after dialling 999 when she and her husband came across an intruder at their farmhouse in Bishop Middleham, Co Durham… Richard Dodd, a Northumberland farmer and the north-east director of the Countryside Alliance, said the theft of red diesel had been rising at an "alarming level" over the last six months… (story)
Scotsman 24.6.08 Death sparks call for action on fuel thefts By Rod Minchin - FARMING leaders last night called for action to tackle fuel thefts after a woman died following a diesel raid on her farm. Rosemary Dove, 68, collapsed in her farmhouse shortly after dialling 999 when disturbing diesel raiders on Sunday… Richard Dodd, north-east England director of the Countryside Alliance, said the theft of red diesel had been rising at an "alarming level". (story)
BBC News Online 24.6.08 Action call after fuel raid death - Farmers leaders have called for action to tackle rising fuel thefts after a woman died during a raid on her County Durham farm. Rosemary Dove, 68, collapsed while she was phoning police after spotting a man taking red diesel at East House Farm in Bishop Middleham, near Sedgefield… Northumberland farmer Richard Dodd, the North East director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "Diesel fuel has a value far more than it ever used to. It was 11p a litre three years ago - now it's 70p…. (story)
Northern Echo 24.6.08 Wife dies as thieves raid farm for diesel By Catherine Priestley - TRIBUTES have been paid to a hard-working farmer's wife who died as her husband and son confronted thieves raiding their premises for diesel. Frank and Rosemary Dove saw a man taking red diesel from their farm in Bishop Middleham, County Durham, on Sunday night…. Northumberland farmer Richard Dodd, the North-East director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "The trend probably started up six months ago. The criminals have come out and found rich pickings in the countryside. These gangs realise this is a commodity and they can also sell it readily…. (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 24.6.08 Farmer’s wife dies after diesel raid By Rod Minchin and Rachel O’Brien - Farming leaders last night highlighted the “alarming level” of fuel theft after a woman died following a diesel raid on her farm. Rosemary Dove, 68, collapsed in her farmhouse shortly after dialling 999 when disturbing diesel raiders on Sunday…. Northumberland farmer Richard Dodd, the English north-east director of the Countryside Alliance, said the theft of red diesel had been rising at an alarming level over the last six months … Mrs Dove and her husband, William Frank Dove, known as Frank, were returning to their home at East House Farm shortly after 8.30pm, from The Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh… (story)

Daily Post 24.6.08 Garden event - LANDOWNERS Tom and Janie Smith are to open their walled garden for an evening event at Gwaenynog, Denbigh. The open evening, on July 9, is on behalf of the Countryside Alliance Foundation… (story)

Western Daily Press 24.6.08 BENN 'SET TO VETO CULL OF BADGERS' - The Nfu has been told it must walk away from any idea of co-operating with the Gvernment over disease control if Defra fails to order a badger cull. The demand has come from farmers in the South West's bovine TB hotspots as the department prepares to unveil its long-overdue proposals for tackling the epidemic.Despite figures showing TB cases for the last three months doubling against the same period last year Defra Secretary Hilary Benn, pictured, is expected to appease animal rights lobbyists by ruling out a cull… (story)

Western Mail 24.6.08 There are better ways to curb TB says founder of badger cull trial by Steve Dube, Western Mail - A BADGER cull across the UK to control bovine TB could kill at least 170,000 animals – more than half the UK population – according to the man whose report led to the first trial culls. Lord Krebs says improved cattle testing and incentives to keep badgers away from livestock would cost less than a cull and are as likely to work. In an article in the journal Science in Parliament, Lord Krebs, who as Sir John Krebs produced the report that led to 10 years of badger culling trials in England that ended last year, also disputed the claim of former UK Government chief scientist Professor David King last October that badger culling could be effective…. (story)

Western Daily Press 24.6.08 CONCLUSIVE CASE AGAINST BADGER CULL - I continue to be baffled why farmers, politicians and indeed yourselves continue to call for a badger cull when the recent research programme by the Independent Research Group into Cattle TB, commissioned by the Government, came to clear and unambiguous conclusion against such a cull… Keith Baud, Stoke Gabriel (story)

Somerset County Gazette 24.6.08 Re: RSPCA centre pioneers bird song treatment - I HAVE been a wild bird rehabilitator for 45 years and have never read so much rubbish (RSPCA play bird song to fledglings) in all my life. One media source states the RSPCA handle thousands another hundreds of wild birds. Yet the RSPCA consider "ALL damaged birds are better off dead " and tell everyone to leave baby birds alone…. How can an animal charity that advises to feed a little owl "Weetabix "and Swallows " bread " be taken seriously?... ANDREW MEADS Safewings Wildlife Conservation Projects South Street, Isham, Northants (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 24.6.08 CALVES DO NOT GET EASY RIDE - Gcb Davis, Calves are not made to suffer, Gazette postbag, June 17, admits that, in order to produce milk for human consumption, calves are separated from their mothers 18 hours after birth… On December 13 2007, Gwyn Prosser MP tabled an Early Day Motion part of which states: "That this House is firmly opposed to the export of live calves to be reared for veal…" A very different picture from what GCB Davis describes. YVONNE NICOLA Park Terrace, Tiverton (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 17.6.08 CALVES ARE NOT MADE TO SUFFER - I would like to take this opportunity to reply to the article in last week's paper entitled Live calf trade is inhumane, Gazette postbag, June 3. I write as a committed and professional dairy farmer and livestock dealer, producing milk for liquid consumption and selling pedigree and commercial dairy cattle to dairy farmers in the South West.I am somewhat shocked at the ignorance displayed in the letter published and would like to put forward a true account of what actually happens in our industry… The housing of calves in crates and other cruel practices was outlawed in Europe many years ago. Today calves see out their days well cared for and happy, something that many human beings can never aspire to. If I were a Hindu, bring me back as a cow or calf any day…. G C B DAVIS Westcott Farm Westcott (letter)
Mid Devon Gazette 3.6.08 LIVE CALF TRADE IS INHUMANE - I read in your paper last week that Lord Bach has reassured Mid Devon farmers involved in the export of live veal calves that they will be fully protected by law and that the Government will not tolerate any opposition. What Lord Bach fails to understand is that the campaigners - people with a sense of right and wrong - can no longer tolerate the cruel practices of modern-day farming, and that includes live exports… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Bolton News 24.6.08 Halal process is cruel and unnecessary - I AM writing to say how disgusted I feel having read the article about Halal meat being sold in sandwiches at a Subway outlet in Bolton. Your letter writer of June 13 has said it all. I would just like to add that I think the Halal meat process is shameful, barbaric and unnecessary…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 24.6.08 Keep breeding for natural habitat - PAT MORRIS makes a cogent argument against keeping giant pandas in zoos, particularly here in Edinburgh, under the guise of a breeding programme… Jim Taylor, The Murrays Brae, Edinburgh (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 20.6.08 Don't pander to zoo's scheme to generate money - I AM most certainly NOT in favour of Giant pandas being given a home at Edinburgh zoo…. Edinburgh Zoo has neither the space nor the expertise to cope with such a rare and endangered species and there is absolutely no doubt that this is primarily a money-making scheme…. Mrs Pat Morris, Veterinary surgeon (Retired), Hopetoun Terrace, Gullane, East Lothian (letter)


Wolverhampton Express & Star 23.6.08 Anglers reeled in for protest on ban - Anglers from across the country descended on a Midlands town to protest against plans for a fishing ban. Nearly 200 fishermen flocked to Bewdley, dubbed the ‘capital of angling’ because of it’s historical link to the sport. They came from Liverpool, Manchester, Devon, Norwich and Croydon after an article in the Angling Times advertised the protest yesterday… A campaign to ban fishing along Severn Side South could be introduced if a swan sanctuary is created there. Owner Jan Harrigan has been holding talks with the Environment Agency and Wyre Forest District Council about creating the sanctuary for swans. But the move would mean banning fishing along the river… protest organiser Tom Rigby, of Bewdley, said that fishermen were treated as second class citizens and there was a lot of lies spread about the sport. He added: “We haven’t used lead shot for 15 years…. >(story)

Independent 23.6.08 Balanced vegan diet benefits all children - Scare stories about the so-called dangers of a vegan diet are dangerous and misleading. Your article on how a mother feeding her daughter a vegan raw diet realised her child wasn't getting enough nutrients is typical sensationalism… Dr Justine Butler, Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation, Bristol (letter)

Halifax Evening Courier 23.6.08 Circus super show - I READ your report headlined "Boycott the circus, says group" (Courier, June 19) and totally disagree with what the animal rights do-gooders are saying. I took my family to the show on June 18 and I remember saying to my wife how well the animals looked…. My family and I loved the circus. It was worth every penny, a great do! Our kids thought it was great. I would urge people to go and make up their own minds…. Graham Fusco, Wheatley Road, Halifax (letter)
Halifax Evening Courier 19.6.08 'We love our animals': Circus boss hits back at call for big top boycott By Colin Drury - AN animal-rights group has called on Halifax families to boycott a visiting circus. The Captive Animals' Protection Society, which campaigns against creatures being used in entertainment, has asked the public to shun Circus Mondao, which features zebra, horses, camels and dogs. But the circus urged families to ignore the "spiteful" campaign… (story)


Independent 21.6.08 Shami Chakrabarti: Heart of the matter By Paul Vallely - How the world turns. Once upon a time it would have been safe to assume that the head of a civil rights organisation such as Liberty would be on the side of a Labour government… But that was before 9/11 when the political establishment decided that the rules had changed. Not for Shami Chakrabarti, it is now clear… What is undoubtedly the case is that Shami Chakrabarti has never been an entirely predictable political figure…. She spoke up for the police after they shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes. She said the billions which are to be wasted on ID cards would be better spent on massively increasing policing and recruiting Asians to infiltrate terror networks. She has even sympathised with the pro-hunting lobby in the Countryside Alliance… (story)


Western Daily Press 20.6.08 OLDEST HUNT'S ANNUAL OPEN DAY - Berkeley Hunt kennels, which date back to the early 18th century, are open to the public next Sunday from 2pm. This once-a-year opportunity to meet the hounds will include two talks by joint Master Henry Berkeley at 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Entrance is free and cream teas will be available in the Coach House…. (story)

Northern Echo 20.6.08 Ladies and gamekeepers pose for charity calendar By Ian Noble - A SAUCY novel is the inspiration for a charity calendar with a difference. Fans of DH Lawrence's classic Lady Chatterley's Lover will identify with the calendar, which features ladies with their gamekeepers. But unlike Lady Chatterley and Oliver Mellors in the 1928 novel, the models all keep their clothes on. The calendar is the work of Helen Benson, of West Tanfield, near Ripon… The end result of 15 shots is being sold to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Research and the Gamekeepers' Welfare Trust…. (story)

Western Daily Press 20.6.08 SHOOTING GAME-BIRDS IS AS CRUEL AS HUNTING WITH DOGS - Hunting issues have been well debated in your paper over many years. Having read Chris Rundle's articles on the subject over this period, I think his one-man crusade is against the well-heeled, as he calls them, that pursue this pastime, rather than the hunting issue…. I worked for a number of years for a master of hounds who also held shooting parties, so I feel well qualified to comment. As Chris said with shooting, the majority of birds are shot dead. This means the minority are not, and it's this minority that suffer immensely… My view is that hunting has an element of cruelty, while shooting can be very cruel. W Worth, Castle Cary (letter)

South London Press 20.6.08 Cat attacked by pack of foxes - A WORRIED resident believes pets are under threat after her cat was attacked by a pack of foxes. Seven-year-old Cleo had to be rescued by her owner Kim Ropek after the foxes set upon her in the garden of the Ropek’s home in Lee High Road, Lewisham, on Saturday… (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 20.6.08 VILLAGERS QUESTION POLICE OPERATION - TOM RUBASHOW - The need for a large police presence at a gathering of animal rights campaigners in East Peckham has been questioned by both organisers and local people. The organiser of the gathering, at Friend Farmed Animal Rescue, Marion Eaton branded the police presence at the event "absurd"…. (story)
Indymedia 17.6.08 Operation Overkill as 11 Police Forces Snoop on Animal Rights Gathering - No doubt supremely jealous of animal rights folk meeting together, socialising , drinking lots of tea, helping on the sanctuary and of course workshops the police decided to get their own national gathering together… Kent police were joined by Essex, City, the Met’, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, South Yorkshire, Central Scotland, Hampshire and Thames Valley a fifth of all forces in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland…(story)
Kent & Sussex Courier 13.6.08 ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNERS GATHER IN EAST PECKHAM - The Organiser of a gathering of animal rights campaigners at an East Peckham farm has branded the police presence "absurd". More than 10 police officers were at the annual gathering at Friend Farmed Animal Rescue this afternoon. Owner of the 10 acre Bush Road farm Marion Eaton said: "It is a social gathering. I am surprised so many policemen are here. It is absurd really. It is a waste of the tax payers money. "It is completely peaceful and it is just a group of us meeting here for the weekend."… (story)
Kent Messenger 13.6.08 Police "overkill" at animal rights meeting by Mary Graham - An animal rights campaigner has branded a large police presence outside her home as "Operation Overkill." Every year, Marion Eaton, who owns the Friend Animal Rescue Centre, Bush Road, East Peckham, hosts an annual gathering for animal rights campaigners…. Police from several forces around the country also began arriving earlier today…. (story)


Western Daily Press 19.6.08 FAILINGS LIE IN CIVIL SERVICE - With reference to Helen Capel's letter, (Your Say, June 17) regarding the Government's so-called waste of money by mothballing Chinook helicopters… Another point for Helen to consider, as she lives in the countryside, is that the Baileys Hunting Directory is no longer to be published, the reason being that the chap who edited it, Major General Barney White- Spunner, is now far to busy serving as a senior officer in Iraq. You have to look deep to find the truth and perhaps Helen Capel had another less honourable motive for slagging off this Government…. Graham Forsyth, Chard (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 19.6.08 Horse death takes Sedgefield Racecourse toll to 14 by Ron Livingstone - ANOTHER horse has died at Sedgefield Racecourse - in the wake of a major report declaring the venue safe. The mare Imps Way, which broke a leg and was destroyed at a meeting on Monday, takes to 14 the number of horse fatalities on the course since March 2007… Animal Aid horse specialist Dene Stanshall said: “The British Horseracing Authority have failed horses that race at Sedgefield yet again…. (story)

Daily Post 19.6.08 Badgers ‘would be reintroduced after cull’ by Andrew Forgrave - BADGERS will be reintroduced to areas where they are culled as part of Wales’ bovine TB eradication programme, Elin Jones has revealed. The rural affairs minister assured FWAG Cymru’s inaugural annual conference there were no plans to wipe out the mammal as well as the disease. “In instigating the badger cull in any area the intention would be to reintroduce disease-free badgers so that Wales would have a disease-free wildlife population, just as we replace cattle that have been removed because of the disease,” said Ms Jones… (story)

Guardian 19.6.08 The new vegetarianism: meat is more murderous than ever - I gave up flesh-eating in 1984. But for the new wave of herbivores, the agenda is more about human, than animal - John Harris … As the Alcoholics Anonymous mantra would have it: my name is John Harris and I am a vegetarian. I haven't eaten meat or fish since Christmas 1984, when I had my share of the Christmas turkey, and then quit…. In the midst of such progress, there has only been one drawback: the ongoing and inevitable association of vegetarianism with a very British piety (with the onset of age, one begins to understand Orwell's very reasonable distaste for the people he described as "vegetarians and communists"), and the mixed-up morals of the hardcore animal rights lobby… (story)

Guardian 19.6.08 Why exotic pets are a prickly issue - African pygmy hedgehogs are just the latest in a long line of trendy pets. But the history of crazes for animals that suddenly become fashionable points to a tragic ending. Hugh Warwick reports… As an ecologist specialising in hedgehogs, I have spent a lot of time with these creatures out in the wild…. But until recently I had not met anyone who kept them as pets. Then I attended the Hedgehog Welfare Society's biennial gathering in Denver, Colorado, and met some of America's hedgehog pet keepers. All I can say is, if we are to follow where they lead, some strange things are on the way…. . "We are concerned," says Dr Ros Clubb, of the RSPCA's wildlife science department… "Cynical marketing by greedy breeders and pet shops results in animal sanctuaries having to pick up the pieces," says Fiona Pereira, senior campaigns officer at Animal Aid… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 19.6.08 FARMER CASTS DOUBTS OVER PIG DEATH PICTURES - The director of a farm under fire over the welfare of pigs has hit back at photographs depicting pigs living in inhumane conditions. Charity Animal Aid published the images on its website alleging they were taken at Sandhouse Farm, run by Ermine Farms Ltd in Appleby, North Lincolnshire… director of Ermine Farms Ltd, based in Gainsborough, Meryl Ward, doubts whether the images are even from Sandhouse Farm… (story)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 19.6.08 PIG FARMER HITS OUT AT ANIMAL ACTIVISTS - The owner of a farm targeted by animal rights activists has hit out at the organisation. An investigation into pig welfare by Animal Aid took it to the 700 breeding sows Appleby operation of Emine Farms, run by Meryl Ward and husband Steve.Mrs Ward is also a member of a Government advisory panel on animal welfare, but Animal Aid is now calling for her to step down… She said: "Apart from being very upset at the way they tried to portray the farm, we are very angry at the way they got in, and broke our bio-security procedures… Mrs Ward said many of the farming practices highlighted are for the pigs' own good. Farrowing pens, which keep a sow in a confined space she said are used to keep her from crushing her suckling young. And tail docking is done by the firm's 22 employees to prevent pigs 'nibbling' and causing infected bit wounds… (story)
Western Daily Press 19.6.08 CALL FOR PROBE INTO 'CRUEL SQUALOR OF UK PIG FARMS' BY MARCUS DENBY - An animal rights group has called for an investigation into the pig farming industry after it claimed to have discovered dead and diseased animals in squalid conditions on West Country farms…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 18.6.08 Animal charity demands pig farm welfare inquiry - AN animal rights group has called for an investigation into the pig farming industry after it claimed to have discovered dead and diseased animals in squalid conditions in North and East Yorkshire. Animal Aid said it had visited 10 farms in the two counties along with Lincolnshire, Cornwall and Somerset and took photographs and film footage of pigs it said were living and dying in overcrowded, filthy pens… (story)
Telegraph 18.6.08 Pig farm conditions: Campaigners call for an investigation - An animal rights group called for an investigation into the pig farming industry after it claimed to have discovered dead and diseased animals in squalid conditions on farms across the country. Animal Aid visited 10 farms in Cornwall, Somerset, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire and East Yorkshire and took photographs and film footage of pigs, which it said were living and dying in overcrowded, filthy pens…. (story)
Independent 18.6.08 Inquiry into pigs at British farms covered in excrement and sores By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent - Government vets have launched an investigation into Britain's pig farming industry after disturbing images showing dead and diseased animals were passed to The Independent…. Activists from the welfare group Animal Aid entered 10 farms in March and April. Two of the farms were operated by companies run by members of the industry's governing body the British Pig Executive (BPEX), while others were linked to other senior figures in the industry….. Shot in Cornwall, Somerset, Lincolnshire, North and East Yorkshire, the footage shows pigs with sores where they have rubbed against metal bars; farrowing crates that prevent sows from moving; pigs with bite marks; collapsed and convulsing animals; pigs covered in excrement; dirty pens; and routine tail-docking….. (story)

Western Daily Press 19.6.08 A LITTLE FOOD FOR THOUGHT - I'm sorry to spoil Norah Pounds' fairytale, and I am quite sure she must have been speaking to the good Lord about this, but I feel sure the reason God made things like venison and bush-meat taste so good was so people like Robin Hood and his merry men, and those in the jungles of Africa, all had enough stimulation to hunt some down for supper…. Charles Henry (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.6.08 IT'S WRONG TO KILL WILD ANIMALS - When this world was created, the beauty of the countryside was made for everyone, rich or poor. The intention was for animals and birds to live beside the human race, wild animals mainly living in the countryside - not for man to seek them out and kill them… Norah Pound, Wroughton, Wiltshire (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 19.6.08 LETTER: SAY NO TO LEATHER - I have read that potentially cancer- causing chemicals such as cyanide-based oils are used by tanneries for delaying the decomposition of leather… Even leather stores sell leather alternatives. Do we really need to keep supporting this product of animal abuse? ROBERT MASSEY Willoughby Court, Lenton (letter)

Swindon Advertiser 19.6.08 Animal Aid would like to thank the people of Swindon for their generosity in raising £142.89 at a street collection on June 14…. Marilyn Harrison Animal Aid Collection Co-ordinator Beaulieu Close, Toothill, Swindon (letter)

Shoreham Herald 19.6.08 CIRCUS: One against - I WAS appalled to see a circus featuring live animals is taking place just outside Worthing…. Margaret Perrett, Findon Valley (letter)
Shoreham Herald 19.6.08 CIRCUS: One for - I HAVEN'T been to a circus for years, but, on Sunday, I went to see the Great British Circus with real, live animals. It was a great show and the animals looked so healthy and cared for… A. Charles, Goring Road, Worthing (letter)


Crewe Chronicle 18.6.08 It’s on with the show by James A. Oliver, Crewe Chronicle - TENS of thousands of visitors poured into the largest county event in the North West for day one of the Cheshire Show yesterday…. Attractions for all the family continue today and include a variety of craft and business stalls, food and refreshments, archery, a fair, an eagle and vulture show, a parade of hounds, Cheshire Polo Club demonstrations, and a vintage machinery parade (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 18.6.08 MINK HUNTING IS AN ABUSE OF RIVERSIDE - When 29 people have to date been convicted under the Hunting Act, and the Wildlife Trust and Environmental Agency have long been concerned about the effect of mink hunting on breeding otters, is it not time for the mink-hound packs to re-train for proper drag hunting, as beagles do in Germany, or disband?... The thriving Mid Devon Support Group of the League Against Cruel Sports should make it clear that local residents do not tolerate this abuse of our riverside environment and wildlife… Miss Katherine Watson, Bramhall, Stockport (story)

Bolton News 18.6.08 Robust rules help protect greyhounds - I write in response to Christine Holder's letter of May 29, entitled "Don't back cruel greyhound races." It attempted to promote a minority group of animal rights activists called Greyhound Action and included a series of misleading and highly offensive claims. The fact is that, when their racing career is over, most greyhounds will live out a happy retirement… Lord David Lipsey, Chairman British Greyhound Racing Association (story)

Daily Post 18.6.08 If you find a grey squirrel, kill it By Andrew Forgrave, Rural Affairs Editor - A WILDLIFE conference heard there could be no let-in the war against the “world’s most destructive animal”. Welsh members of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG Cymru) were told that anyone catching a grey squirrel is legally obliged to kill it… Craig Shuttleworth, of the Anglesey Red Squirrel Project, outlined the ecological impact of the fiercely destructive and rapidly multiplying invader from North America… Robin Marshall-Ball, BASC’s Somerset Levels project officer, emphasised that intervention is necessary for conservation, while Liz Howe, of the Countryside Council for Wales, stressed that habitat fragmentation must be reversed if wildlife was to survive changing climates…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 18.6.08 Out-of-season deer cull is defended - GAMEKEEPERS on the neighbouring estate to Balmoral have been forced to shoot pregnant deer as part of an out-of-season cull. The incident happened when a number of red deer wandered off the estate on to agricultural land… The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) has asked for a meeting with Environment Minister Mike Russell to discuss the issue of out-of-season culls. SGA vice-chairman Dave Thomson said: “Being forced to slaughter heavily-pregnant hinds at this time of year goes against a stalker’s every natural instinct. The men who had to obey their employer’s orders and carry out this killing will be absolutely sickened by what they had to do.”… (story)

Carmarthen Journal 18.6.08 CULL PROTESTERS TARGET UNIONS - GRAEME WILKINSON - Anti-badger cull campaigners daubed red paint across the front of farmers' union buildings in Carmarthen last week. Graffiti was sprayed on the walls, door and windows of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) offices in Cambrian Place and the Farmer's Union of Wales (FUW) building in Barn Road… (story)
South Wales Evening Post 13.6.08 GRAFFITI ATTACKS ON FARMING UNION OFFICES - Anti-badger cull protesters daubed slogans on five farming union offices overnight, police have confirmed.The graffiti, on buildings in Gorseinon and Carmarthen, included the words "cull farmers not badgers". Staff at NFU offices in Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, Gorseinon and Bridgend, and an FUW office in Carmarthen, discovered the vandalism when they went into work this morning…. (story)
Western Telegraph 12.6.08 Badger cull decison remains right, says AM - Despite protests that saw NFU buildings across Wales targeted by animal liberation activists, AM Paul Davies remains convinced that a badger cull is the right way to tackle bovine TB…. (story)
Western Telegraph 12.6.08 BREAKING NEWS: NFU targeted by badger cull protest - The NFU office in Haverfordwest was among several across Wales daubed with graffiti protesting against the proposed badger cull in Wales…. (story)
South Wales Evening Post 12.6.08 BADGER CULL PROTESTERS ATTACK FARMERS' OFFICES - Five farming union offices, including one in Gorseinon, have been daubed overnight with slogans by protesters against a badger cull. The graffiti included the words "Cull farmers not badgers". It also appeared on NFU offices in Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, and Bridgend, and on an FUW office in Carmarthen…. (story)
Western Mail 12.6.08 Badger cull protesters attack union offices - FIVE farming union offices were daubed overnight with slogans by protesters against a badger cull, police said today. The graffiti, on buildings across south and west Wales, included the words “cull farmers not badgers”. Staff at NFU offices in Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, Gorseinon and Bridgend, and an FUW office in Carmarthen, discovered the vandalism when they went into work this morning…. (story)

Burton Mail 18.6.08 Farming compassion collection - from Hayley Warner, Supporter Services Officer, Compassion in World Farming - ENTHUSIASTIC collectors took to the streets of Burton on May 3 to raise money for Compassion in World Farming, Britain's leading farm animal welfare organisation…. (letter)


Exeter Express & Echo 17.6.08 HUNTING COULD HAUNT TORIES AT THE POLLS - I hope by now that Hannah Foster has been left with little doubt that the hunting debate will run and run… One thing is clear. If the Tories do not resolve this problem before the next election it will come back to haunt them… G R Holwill, Stoke Hill Crescent, Exeter (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 16.6.08 HUNTING LAW AND ADVICE INCORRECT - John Phelps gives an erroneous account of both the Hunting Act and Government advice regarding it in his recent letter Farmer mistaken on hunting advice…. Rather than quoting Government literature out of context I will quote directly from the law itself.Firstly, the law clearly states that flushing out wild mammals with dogs is illegal hunting albeit exempt if certain conditions are met… These conditions include: "the stalking or flushing out does not involve the use of more than two dogs ..." and ... "reasonable steps are taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being found or flushed out the wild mammal is shot dead by a competent person"… I am a claimant in the Human Rights claim against the Government, which has been heard by courts up to the House of Lords and is shortly going to Strasbourg. The Defra letters advising me of my criminality as the Government's own court testimony that my activities are now illegal is a matter of public record. Mr Phelps seeks to misrepresent the law because he knows it to be absurd. Giles Bradshaw, Rose Ash, North Devon (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 14.6.08 FARMER MISTAKEN ON HUNTING ADVICE - Giles Bradshaw tells readers that Defra patiently explained to him that he could only disperse wild deer on his land if he shot the animals when he flushed them out of his woods. Defra didn't want me to let deer live… .If Mr Bradshaw refers to the Defra website (Hunting with Dogs - Question and Answers) he will see the following question: "Doesn't the Act require that any mammal flushed out must be shot?" The answer reads: "The Act does not require that any wild mammal flushed out by a human being must be shot… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter, (by email) (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 13.6.08 DEFRA DIDN'T WANT ME TO LET DEER LIVE - I wholeheartedly support Hannah Foster's call for the unworkable Hunting Act to be replaced by legislation aimed at improving animal welfare, rather than the current mess, which is based on ignorance and prejudice… Giles Bradshaw, Rose Ash, North Devon (by email) (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 10.6.08 FOXES DO NOT HAVE TO BE 'CONTROLLED' - Hannah Foster, Conservative parliamentary spokesman for Exeter, appears to have little understanding of the Hunting Act 2004, My view is Hunting Act is unworkable, Points of view, June 6. And she fails to make any recommendations as to how the Act may be strengthened if she is dissatisfied with the way in which it is drafted.The Act does not ban hunting, but only hunting wild mammals with dogs for sport… I am unable to reconcile David Cameron's vision of the "modern, compassionate" Conservative Party with the fact that he has no objection to the medieval sport of killing animals for fun… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 10.6.08 ANIMAL-LOVERS' VOTE WILL BE WON BY BEN - Hannah Foster, Parliamentary spokesperson for the Conservative Party, is confused in her thinking… The confusion arises from her failing to recognise that setting a packs of dogs on to a wild animal is done solely to provide a day's entertainment… Ivor Annetts, League Against Cruel Sports Tiverton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 10.6.08 MOST WANT HUNTING A THING OF THE PAST - Hannah Foster, a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Conservatives, wishes to assist her party in turning the clock back to a time when it was legal to set dogs onto wild animals for sport, My view is Hunting Act is unworkable… Yvonne Nicola, Address withheld on request (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 6.6.08 MY VIEW IS HUNTING ACT IS UNWORKABLE - Mr G W Holwill asks What is Hannah's stance on hunting? Points of view, June 2, and he deserves a response. I have never hunted and I do not support any field sport where the animal is not eaten or used and where the sport is simply killing an animal without purpose… Generally I am a supporter of animal welfare legislation - however, I feel the Hunting with Dogs Act is unworkable and badly drafted. It lost its way as a piece of legislation to protect animals and was about restricting rural people… Hannah Foster Parliamentary spokesman for Exeter (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 2.6.08 WHAT IS HANNAH'S STANCE ON HUNTING? - For 11 years now, Exeter has had an MP totally opposed to hunting with hounds. Much of his support is a result of his courageous stand on the issue. Hannah Foster, for all her merits, has yet to tell us where she stands on this… Frankly, I wouldn't vote for Mother Teresa if she wanted to legalise this barbaric sport… G R Holwill, Stoke Hill Crescent, Exeter (letter)

Scotsman 17.6.08 Agricultural rites on - THIS year looks set to be a difficult period for agricultural shows, but certainly not the event staged by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland which can trace its history back to a meeting in the autumn of 1783 in the Royal Exchange of Edinburgh… The majority of farming visitors associate Ingliston solely with the Royal Highland Show, but the reality is that the site hosts a wide range of events throughout the rest of the year including specialist trade shows and rock and pop concerts. In addition a large number of organisations have their headquarters at Ingliston. These include NFU Scotland, Quality Meat Scotland, the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society, the Institute of Auctioneers and the Scottish Countryside Alliance… (story)

Northern Echo 17.6.08 Racecourse to cut number of runners By Chris Fay - OFFICIALS have ordered a reduction in the number of runners at a racecourse that was branded the UK's most lethal. The British Horseracing Authority's (BHA) report on Sedgefield Racecourse came after 12 horses died there in the 12 months to March 25. It found no common factor and said the course was not unsafe, but observed that seven deaths were novices and eight were on good to firm ground… Dene Stanshall, a horseracing consultant for the charity Animal Aid, whose campaigning prompted the investigation, welcomed the move… (story)
Horse & Hound 17.6.08 Sedgefield Racecourse is not unsafe says horseracing authority - Amy Mathieson, H&H news writer - Sedgefield racecourse is not unsafe despite the deaths of 12 horses in 12 months, says a report by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). But despite no correlation in the deaths being found, the BHA has produced a number of recommendations to help reduce the racecourse's fatality rate including upgrading their watering system and considering the ratio of novice races…. (story)

Western Morning News 17.6.08 HYPOCRISY ABOUT CRUELTY TO ANIMALS - Information sent to me recently, made me wonder why is it that only racehorses can be whipped in full public view (in the UK anyway) and jockeys can get away with it… How do we stop cruelty? Well, why not join Animal Aid?... Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Indymedia 16.6.08 Breaking News // Animal Rights Activists Being Held by Security MRC Harwell - We received a phone call only minutes ago from a group of activists who have been locked inside a dog unit at MRC Harwell after they entered onto the site for a look around. They were then spotted by security when they tried to leave and have been locked inside a building and they were told the "atomic police" had been called…
All activists released… We have just heard that all activists have been released after having details taken by police… (story)

Independent 17.6.08 How our vegan diet made us ill - Holly Paige thought her family's food regime would boost their health – but stick-thin legs and rotten teeth made her think again By Natasha Mann - One morning over breakfast, Holly Paige looked at her daughter and realised things weren't right. Lizzie should have been flourishing. Instead, her cheeks were pinched, she was small for her age, and although she had skinny arms and legs, her belly was big and swollen… They had been raw vegans for three years, and ate plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, soya and pulses, but no meat, fish or dairy…. Finally, Paige stumbled across the answer in an old vitamin book. Although she has no medical confirmation, she believes the family had symptoms of vitamin D- and protein-deficiency….. The discovery brought a swift end to her experience of veganism….. Last week, strict diets for children were questioned after a 12-year-old vegan girl was admitted to a Scottish hospital with rickets. Her spine was said to resemble that of an 80-year-old woman…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 17.6.08 CHARITY SO GRATEFUL FOR CASH DONATIONS - I would like to say thank you to the people of Honiton for their generosity in raising £90 on June 7 in aid of the charity Compassion in World Farming… B Blaxland, Brixington Drive, Exmouth (letter)

Leicester Mercury 17.6.08 VEGAN'S REPLY - In response to Ray Watson ("Meat-eater is standing firm", Mailbox, June 13), who has obviously has his sore spot hit by my letter (Mailbox, June 7) - I find it interesting that he did not come to the conclusion that any animal can be allowed to live in the wild himself… I can assure Ray I am no part-time vegan; in fact the number of people shunning animal products continues to increase in the UK… VH Sheppard, Leicester (letter)
Leicester Mercury 13.6.08 MAILBOX: GOOD REASONS TO BE VEGAN - No, we as humans do not have the capacity to effectively consume meat ("Good Reasons for eating meat", Mailbox June 5). This is why meat and dairy are responsible for 95 per cent of food poisoning cases…. Amber Duffin, Leicester. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 13.6.08 MAILBOX: MEAT-EATER IS STANDING FIRM - Vh Sheppard (Mailbox, June 7) needs to learn to read correctly and not add her own interpretation to a comment that was correct. I did not state that there would be no cows! I asked what Caroline Butterwick would do with them if they were not required… Ray Watson, Leicester. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 7.6.08 MERCURY MAILBOX: MEAT-EATERS ARE SO SELFISH - I despair when I read such misinformed letters as Ray Watson's ("Made to eat meat", Mailbox, May 31). It is not simply Caroline Butterwick (First Person, May 28) who is highlighting the problems of the global livestock industry; it is the UN that recognises that the increased demand for meat and dairy is one of the largest factors affecting food shortages and food sustainability…. VH Sheppard, Leicester. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 31.5.08 MERCURY MAILBOX: MAN WAS MADE TO EAT MEAT - Caroline Butterwick (First Person, May 28) believes that she could solve all our problems with views that are out of context with the food supply we currently utilise. She blames the livestock for all of our problems with a sustainable food supply and the only conclusion that I can draw from that is that she would prefer that all livestock was done away with!... Ray Watson, Leicester (letter)


Western Morning News 16.6.08 THE QUINTESSENTIAL COUNTRYMAN - Today we begin a groundbreaking new occasional series in which we'll be profiling fascinating Westcountry people from all walks of life… Here Martin Hesp is in conversation with Gerald Beaver, rabbit catcher and quintessential countryman… (story)


Scotland on Sunday 15.6.08 Dog owners seek twist in tail of docking ban By Jeremy Watson - COUNTRYSIDE campaigners are launching a new bid to overturn a ban on the tail-docking of working dogs introduced by the Scottish Parliament… But an alliance of countryside groups now wants the ban rescinded to bring Scotland into line with England, which exempted working dogs when similar legislation was passed at Westminster… A survey carried out among more than 1,000 gundogs by Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire revealed that around one in three undocked animals suffered tail injuries compared with around one in 20 docked animals…. The pro-docking group is made up of the Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA), the British Association for Shooting and Conservation Scotland, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association and the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association, which will be collecting signatures for a petition to overturn the ban at the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston this week…. (story)


Western Morning News 14.6.08 COUNTRYMAN'S COLOURFUL TRAIL - T he majority of huntsmen and women tend to stick to their own country, learn it well and seldom stray. Not Rory Knight Bruce. Although now settled as master of the Silverton in Devon, following in the footsteps of his father, the list of packs with which he has hunted reads like a gazetteer of the English shires, with forays into Scotland, Ireland and even France thrown in for good measure. And he has managed it all in pretty short order, having taken up riding at the relatively late age of 30 and been appointed to his first hunting job as master of The United on the Welsh border in Shropshire soon afterwards… Anyone interested in the countryside, country sports and the traditions of rural life will be grateful to Knight Bruce for producing this volume. There is surprisingly little material produced today which celebrates rural pastimes in a non-patronising way, with knowledge gained from the inside. Red Letter Days does just that (story)

Horse & Hound 14.6.08 New hunt kennels for Bicester with Whaddon Chase - A determination to keep hunting has seen the Oxfordshire-based Bicester hunt with Whaddon Chase opening new kennels three years after the Hunting Act. More than 600 people gathered at the new complex at Stratton Audley on Friday, 30 May and cheered as Countryside Alliance (CA) president, Baroness Mallalieu QC, opened the new kennels… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 14.6.08 Badger is a TB victim, not villain - THE great badgers and bovine TB debate has rumbled on for 37 years and has now come to a head with the current cattle TB crisis. Farmers and vets are certain badgers are the main reservoir of TB so insist a cull is essential. But everyone has forgotten how TB works in cows and why badgers got the blame in the first place. TB spreads within and between herds if unchecked… Alas, the second impact of intensive testing is that cases are found so early that they are unconfirmed being without lesions or M.bovis on culture … but at least 80 per cent of such cases do have TB. In addition tests completely miss early and late TB cases so there is a huge 'undisclosed' reservoir of cattle TB. And that is why Old Brock got the blame by default…. Innocent bystander, victim not villain. M Hancox, via email (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.6.08 GYM EPIC FOR BEARS - A fitness fanatic pushed himself to the limit yesterday in aid of the horrific plight of bile bears in China. Leon Moore, of Swindon, ran a half marathon, cycled 50 miles and swam two-and-a-half miles, all in a gym. If that wasn't enough, he then did 300 sit-ups. He was raising money and awareness for Animals Asia, a charity set up by West conservationist Jill Robinson to rescue bears caged in China and farmed for bile… (story)


Western Daily Press 13.6.08 NO TO A PRO-HUNT PRIME MINISTER - I see on the Countryside Alliance website that the greatest gathering of hounds in the country is set to take place in July in Peterborough. All this activity when hunting with hounds has been banned…. With poor Gordon Brown injured and weak, we see the true hunter in Cameron, cruel and with no mercy, toying with his prey before going in for the kill. Perhaps his vision, of a brave new world with stags, otters along with mink, hares and foxes, being hunted by the privileged and cruel, may just stop us going down this road… Graham Forsyth, Chard, Somerset (letter)

Waltham Forest Guardian 13.6.08 LOUGHTON: Vixen and cubs move into garden - A FOX lover was delighted to find that her garden has become home to ten cubs. Carol Davies, of Colebrook Gardens, in Loughton, is used to seeing the odd fox in her suburban garden but the latest litter took her by surprise…. Some people regard the animals as vermin but not Mrs Davies, a Loughton town councillor. She added: "I think we're very lucky to be able to see nature right outside our door…. (story)

(Derby Evening Telegraph) 13.6.08 Please don't be cruel to animals - I FEED the foxes in the district as I love animals, especially now when they are looking for food to feed their young. I have a neighbour who hates all wildlife, which is why I am writing. She spreads long branches across her garden with thorns on them at least half-an-inch long. I have just looked out of my window to see a mother fox limping badly… Barbara Dilks, Derby (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.6.08 PHEASANTS - END IS NIGH - I was pleased to read Tristan Cork's article, "Shot across the bows" (Western Daily Press, June 9). The bravery of the saboteurs, who put themselves between the guns and the birds, was of the highest order… Rev H W Jones, Swindon (letter)

Fish & Fly 13.6.08 From the Countryside Alliance - Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland, the unique outdoor-based programme specifically designed for women who have, or have had, breast cancer, was delighted to be the beneficiary of funds well in excess of £15,000 thanks to London-based recruitment company Prima Principia’s recent annual charity fishing day at Dever Springs in Hampshire…. (story)


East Grinstead Courier 12.6.08 HORSE DESTROYED AFTER SHOW ACCIDENT - Top vets fought for nearly an hour but failed to save a horse badly hurt in one of the last events in the main ring at the South of England Show. Rider and owner Rupert Harvey of the Surrey Union, escaped with a broken shoulder after a fall following a jump in the inter hunt relay at the Ardingly event on Saturday. But the horse, Bob The Cob, broke its neck and was destroyed…. (story)

Independent 12.6.08 The black grouse's strange mating ritual could be coming to a field near you By Rob Sharp - The rain is blowing horizontally in Teesdale, Yorkshire, above a scrub-felted valley floor… Several hundred metres away from the group, a team of 35 male black grouse are indulging in one of the wackier products of natural selection… This peculiar trip has been organised by an alliance of charities. The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, working with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, has seen a huge success in a project aimed at extending the range of the animal across the North Pennines. The partnership has allied itself with landowners, farmers, grouse moor managers and gamekeepers to promote the grouse's favoured habitats, including providing suitable nesting and feeding sites, as well as trapping predators. As a result, the animals are now more abundant than ever – and lekking away happily…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 12.6.08 MP deliver fight on post office axe - Ian Craig - THE proposed closure of up to 67 post offices in the region has sparked a Commons' protest. Withington MP John Leech said the post office has failed to justify why specific branches were selected for closure and urges people to campaign against the cuts… Countryside Alliance spokesman Richard Dodd said: "We feel that the government has missed the point on post offices which are at the social heart of many communities…. (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 12.6.08 Protesters were in the right - RE: The article on May 27 "Activists stage greyhound protest". I live near the greyhound stadium and I spoke to the protesters and took their leaflets…. I applaud them for what they are doing and wish them great success…. Linda Holmer, Waterloo Road, Peterborough (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 12.6.08 REJECT BADGER CULL - For those who value Britain's wildlife, it is deeply concerning that, in spite of official protection, badgers still face persecution from some elements in society…. Campaigning group Viva! will be encouraging everyone to reject milk and dairy products as the surest, long-term way of protecting badgers, cows, their calves and the environment… Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 12.6.08 KILLING DEER FOR EATING TOO MANY FLOWERS IS MADNESS - I Am writing to register my support for the muntjac deer of Lincolnshire. As a keen runner, I like to make regular use of the county's comprehensive network of footpaths and cycle tracks and it is on such odysseys that I have been known to catch sight of these most majestic of creatures… They eat flowers. That is why they are being slaughtered en masse… Haven't these people seen Bambi? Didn't they see how upset she was when her mum got shot?... DAVID OLIVER Lincoln. (letter)

Western Daily Press 12.6.08 SO MUCH FOR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION BY TOM MORRIST - An art student has criticised her tutors after they deemed her work too controversial for an end-of-year exhibition. Alana Ward-Craner has spent all year working towards the exhibition at Stroud College in Gloucestershire. Her photographs are designed to highlight the cruelty of the food industry and what she sees as a disregard for animal welfare… Tutors admit Alana's work is of a high standard, but fear the graphically staged photographs could offend the public…. Having them under lock and key has made 19-year-old vegan Alana furious because she feels that all her hard work has been in vain… (story)


Western Daily Press 11.6.08 FAIR GAME BRINGS IN REAL WEALTH - I Make no secret of the fact that I have little time for the Countryside Alliance - which many people will still remember as the British Field Sports Society. I experienced too many of its quaint customs when the hunting debate was at its height to want, now, to have anything to do with it. In fact, if I ended up sharing a desert island with any of its officials I'd probably decide to take my chances with the sharks and swim away.But I do wish it luck in combating the continuing campaign against game shooting by hunt saboteurs who, it seems, may now try to exploit health and safety regulations. I do not have, and never have had, any time for hunting: a barbarous activity for the well-heeled dressed up in the guise of pest control … (story)

Scotsman 11.6.08 Wildlife crime: Landowners face prosecution whether they knew of offence or not By Jenny Haworth - LANDOWNERS could be prosecuted for crimes committed on their estates even if they were unaware the offences had taken place, under plans being considered by Scotland's environment minister. Addressing a wildlife-crime conference yesterday, MSP Mike Russell called for "zero tolerance" to offences such as illegal poisoning or trapping birds of prey and other animals… His comments led animal-rights groups to demand landowners be prosecuted if their staff – such as gamekeepers – committed crimes, even if it was without the employers' knowledge… (story)

Argus 11.6.08 Cat protection - In response to the article "Pet fears after cat is shot" (The Argus, June 4), the couple from Hove are the just the latest victims of airgun attacks on cats…. David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks (story)

Western Daily Press 11.6.08 ROLF SUPPORTS ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNERS - Entertainer Rolf Harris has spoken out in support of animal rights campaigners who protested before one of his concerts in Bath…. The Animal Hospital presenter was targeted by the Bath Animal Action Group at an Aussie-themed race meeting attended by thousands of people at the Lansdown course… (story)
BBC News Online 7.6.08 Rolf heckled by animal activists - A small number of animal rights activists have protested against the appearance of entertainer Rolf Harris at a Bath racecourse event…. Seven members of Bath Animal Action heckled Mr Harris as he arrived and handed out leaflets to race-goers... (story)
Bath Chronicle 7.6.08 EXCLUSIVE: ROLF SAYS RACING IS 'SAFE' - Singer Rolf Harris last night praised animals rights campaigners who protested before one of his concerts in Bath. But the Australian star - who was performing at the city's racecourse - backed the safety record of the flat racing industry…. (story)
BBC News Online 6.6.08 Rolf faces animal rights protest - Animal rights activists plan to protest against the appearance of entertainer Rolf Harris at a Bath racecourse event…. Animal Aid claims the host of the BBC's Animal Hospital show should not be endorsing horse racing, which they described as "ruthless and exploitive"…. (story)
Western Daily Press 4.6.08 ACTIVISTS TARGET ROLF FOR PROTEST - BY POLLY MARCH - Animal rights activists in Bath are planning to protest at an event at Bath Racecourse starring singer Rolf Harris. The Bath Activist Network (BAN) group plans to demonstrate at Friday night's Aussie Beach Party at which the entertainer will be performing his best-known hits. The group say the TV presenter, who has featured on shows such as BBC1's Animal Hospital, should not be endorsing horse-racing… (story)


Northern Echo 10.6.08 Protected birds - YOUR anonymous correspondent (HAS, June 4) cannot understand why gamekeepers kill crows and ends by asking that "wild bird crimes" be reported to the RSPB. Presumably, the correspondent doesn't know that the RSPB itself kills crows (and foxes) on nature reserves…. A Mitchell, National Gamekeepers' Organisation, Bishop Auckland (letter)
Northern Echo 4.6.08 Protected birds - WHILE having lunch on a recent walk in the North Yorkshire dales, I heard the sound of a crow in distress and, having gone to investigate, found a gamekeeper hidden behind a boulder using tape recordings of crows to attract other birds into the area. A gun was close at hand.… But this is the tip of a much bigger iceberg - when was the last time you saw a hen harrier, kite, peregrine, buzzard or raven in the hills of the North? These are all birds protected by law, but regularly persecuted by gamekeepers…. Name supplied, Darlington (story)

Western Mail 10.6.08 National Trust explains its position in badger cull row by Iwan Huws, Western Mail - Plans for a cull of badgers in Wales to eradicate bovine tuberculosis prompted the National Trust to declare it could not co-operate unless forced to by law. Here Iwan Huws, the National Trust’s director for Wales, sets out the charity’s position - BOVINE tuberculosis in cattle is undeniably one of the most difficult animal health problems facing the farming industry in the UK today. As a major landholder with more than 50,000 hectares of land in Wales – including more than 200 farm tenancies – the National Trust recognises both the scale of the bovine TB problem and the urgent need for an effective solution… the reason we raised our concerns was not because we are opposed to culling badgers per se (in fact some of the original trials of badger culling as a way of controlling the spread of bovine TB took place on National Trust land). It was because the best science that is available on this subject indicates that unless challenging practical criteria are met, there is a significant risk that a cull of badgers would make the TB situation worse…. (story)

Western Daily Press 10.6.08 WAS BADGER TIP A JOKE? - It is hard to know whether Sir Ben Slade has been pulling Chris Rundle's leg. Mr Rundle reported - no doubt in good faith but with perhaps some credulity - Sir Ben's remarks about a method of getting rid of badgers by tipping a couple of pints of human urine down a "sett"…. he should give your readers the basis for his assertion about killing by carbon monoxide. In particular, he should advise them how carbon monoxide could be administered efficiently enough, cost- effectively enough, widely enough and quickly enough . Then he should advise them how they could defend themselves in court… Dave Williams, Chairman, Badger Trust (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.6.08 BADGER CULL WILL NOT WIPE OUT BOVINE TB - I Was shocked to see what looked, for all intents and purposes, like a handbook for illegal badger slaughter in Chris Rundle's recent Farm Talk… Justin Kerswell Campaigns manager Viva! (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.6.08 AGAINST THE LAW TO DISTURB SETTS - I Was appalled to read your front- page article in which you promote interference with badger setts. This was then followed up by Chris Rundle who listed two additional methods of sett interference…. Malcolm Clark Wiltshire Badger Group (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.6.08 SHOCKING READING - I Am absolutely disgusted that you should print Mr Rundle's recent article regarding badgers…. S M Boyes Korkis By email (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.6.08 COUNTRY TRICK IS NOT A NEW IDEA - I Always find Chris Rundle's Farm Talk column amusing, and especially so this week. The "new idea" he mentions, of using urine to deter badgers, has been used by farmers and country people for many, many generations…. And as regards the current food crisis, we all know it takes seven tonnes of grain to produce one tonne of meat, so it is only common sense to reduce our consumption of meat and use the grain for human consumption…. M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 7.6.08 AS DEFRA DITHERS, HERE'S A NEW IDEA - Interesting to hear from Somerset's resident eccentric Sir Ben Slade, expounding his Method of Getting Rid of Badgers at one of the Country Land- owners' breakfast debates at the Royal Bath & West Show last week. It is based, quite simply, on human urine, a couple of pints of which tipped into the sett are enough, apparently, to force Mr and Mrs Badger to pack up their belongings and move out. And I can't say I blame them…. (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 10.6.08 NATURAL WORLD CAREFUL BALANCE - I have developed my own religious beliefs over the past 30 years. I have great faith in much of the Bible. But I have little faith in the practising Christians of today…. David Disney has written a very interesting letter about ragwort. The death of animals from this plant is no different from men dying of too much alcohol, smoking and drugs…. The state of our population is driving us to breed even more animals in an effort to feed ourselves… TONY PARSONS Haymans Close, Cullompton (letter)


Guardian 9.6.08 Country diary - Lake District - Tony Greenbank - When I accepted an invitation to a Spring bank holiday manhunt in the Lakes, I admit to having misgivings. Would I be the quarry? Surely not a good idea with two artificial hips? Sir Geoffrey Trevelyan, ex-master of the Trevelyan hunt, allayed my fears. No, his family and friends provided the sport of "hounds" chasing "hares" - and they have done so since 1898… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 9.6.08 ACTION ON HUNT SUSPECT IS GOOD - Louise Robertson, League Against Cruel Sports, Fife, Scotland (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.5.08 GETTING TOUGH ON ILLEGAL HUNTING - I wish to commend Gloucester-shire Constabulary for taking action against alleged illegal hunting. In charging Julian Barnfield, of the Heythrop Hunt, a favourite of Tory leader David Cameron, it has shown signs of a new, tougher approach by police against these types of crimes… Louise Robertson, League Against Cruel Sports, Scotland (letter)

Irish Examiner 9.6.08 As hare confirmed an endangered species, the time has come to finally ban coursing AFTER its abandonment of the infamous tent at the Galway Races, Fianna Fáil may soon find the courage, and the human decency, to drop its support for the practice of live hare coursing. It has an official policy of backing a so-called sport in which the gentlest and most inoffensive creature in the Irish countryside is baited and abused for fun… John Fitzgerald, Lower Coyne St, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Western Daily Press 9.6.08 SHOT ACROSS THE BOWS BY TRISTAN CORK - Shoots may soon be in the sights of hunt saboteurs exploiting health and safety rules to disrupt the activity. That is the fear of pro-field sports campaigners after seven saboteurs were cleared by a court of disrupting a shoot. The activists put themselves between the guns and the birds at an organised shoot in November 2006, and were arrested and prosecuted for disrupting a legal activity under the laws governing aggravated trespass. But they were cleared on a technicality because the shoot, near Brindle in Lancashire, did not have a health and safety policy and had not undertaken suitable risk assessments… (story)

BBC News Online 9.6.08 Dog owner fined for tail docking - A Pembrokeshire woman fined £600 after taking three Rottweiler puppies to the Republic of Ireland to have their tails docked has defended the practice. On returning to Llangwm, Caroline Terry put them up for sale claiming the tails had been legally removed…. Speaking to BBC Wales she also said there was little demand for Rottweiler puppies that had their tails…. (story)
Milford Mercury 6.6.08 Dogs' tail case a legal first - Dogs' tails were the unlikely subject of a legal 'first' in Haverfordwest magistrates court this week as Pembrokeshire County Council brought a test case to clarify the law banning the docking of puppy tails in the UK. Caroline Terry of Badger's Break, Foxhall, Llangwm, had taken her three rottweiler pups to the Irish Republic to have their tails docked by a vet…. Wyn Rees, defending Terry, maintained that because the deed was done in the Republic of Ireland, it was outside UK law. However, magistrates decided that taking the pups abroad with the intention of having the tails removed was an illegal act…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 9.6.08 THE REAL CAUSE OF CATTLE TB - According to a leaked source, Environment and Rural Affairs Secretary Hillary Benn told colleagues that he "was not persuaded by the science behind badger culling", hence his delay in responding to the EFRA Committee report and any decision on a cull.Quite right too… M. HANCOX, Nouncells Cross, Stroud (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 9.6.08 PEACEFUL PROTEST - More than 20 protestors raised placards and voiced their anger outside Cheltenham Science Festival… Chris Dowdeswell, a web developer and member of the Western Animal Rights Network, said: "We are a group of different campaigners who have come together to protest at the huge impact of big companies on previously independent events… (story)

Daily Mail 9.6.08 The days when tiger cubs could be condemned to misery in British circuses were meant to be over By Danny Penman - The two boisterous young tiger cubs leapt onto my lap and started pawing playfully at my face… But as soon as the cubs strayed from the circus ring, where they were being rented out for £100 a time to pose with the public, a sinister look came over their trainer's face, and she would grab them roughly by the scruff of the neck… The plight of Meena and Dehra would be tragic enough were it in a Third World zoo, but I discovered these tigers at the Great British Circus in East London….. 'The Government has abandoned wild animals to a life of boredom, cruelty and depression,' says Tim Phillips, of Animal Defenders International…. (story)

Daily Record 9.6.08 Shock as vegan diet girl, 12, diagnosed with rickets - A GIRL of 12 has RICKETS after being brought up on a strict vegan diet…. Doctors are under pressure to report her parents to social workers for neglecting the child by denying her meat and dairy from birth… The couple are well-known figures in the vegan community. Yorkhill's Dr Faisal Ahmed insisted it was important to highlight the dangers of a vegan diet to children. He said: "Something like this needs publicity. But we shouldn't name and shame. Mum feels guilty about the whole thing and feels bad about it."… (story)
Sunday Times 8.6.08 Parents of ill vegan girl may face police - MARK MACASKILL - A 12-YEAR-OLD girl in Scotland brought up by her parents on a strict vegan diet has been admitted to hospital with a degenerative bone condition said to have left her with the spine of an 80-year-old woman. Doctors are under pressure to report the couple to police and social workers amid concerns that her health and welfare may have been neglected in pursuit of their dietary beliefs. The girl, who has been fed on a strict meat and dairy-free diet from birth, is said to have a severe form of rickets and to have suffered a number of fractured bones… (story)


Observer 8.6.08 Conservation groups are branded 'wildlife criminals' by gamekeeper - Paul Kelbie - Britain's leading conservation organisations have been branded 'wildlife criminals' by gamekeepers who accuse them of damaging rather than protecting the countryside. The editor of the official magazine of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association has launched a stinging attack on the policies, agendas and protectionist attitudes of groups such as Scottish Natural Heritage . Bert Burnett said that, while members of the land management community were often accused of wildlife crimes, in his view it was conservation groups with policies which allow predators to breed and spread that are the bigger culprits…. (story)

Sunday Times 8.6.08 Fury at seal slaughter for sporrans - Sporrans are being made from seals bludgeoned to death with ice picks in “barbaric” culls, according to an undercover investigation by animal-rights activists. Kilt accessory shops in Scotland have been accused of misleading the public by claiming that their sporrans are sourced from “ethical” hunts by Eskimos in Greenland. However, secret filming by the campaign group International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has established that they were made using the pelts of seals killed in mass culls in Canada…. (story)


Guardian 7.6.08 Fox - Vulpes vulpes - In the olden days a fox was a red streak tearing across a hillside with a pack of baying hounds snapping at its heels and a pack of braying toffs on horses and in redcoats trying to keep up. If they managed to, which wasn't very often, the wild animal was torn to pieces by the dogs, while the toffs cracked open a bottle of cherry brandy…. Sam Fox on foxes!... Were you pro the hunting ban? Yes, of course I was. I think it's very inhumane, very cruel, just ridiculous really. I remember being on Oxford Street once, signing a petition, and they asked me to be like their spokeswoman. But then you start getting into the politics of it all, then you get the farmers, and I thought: no, I can't get involved that much, but I will sign this…. (story)

Telegraph 7.6.08 Newspeak won't save the countryside By Vicki Woods - I caught a bloke on the Today programme yesterday, burbling along in the slot of ten to eight-ish… Dr Stuart Burgess, who is called the Rural Advocate because he chairs the Commission for Rural Communities (the Countryside Agency as was), came on to discuss an upbeat report that he has just delivered to Gordon Brown about the rural economy… I don't know why they changed the title. Oh, but I do - Countryside Agency sounds a little bit like Countryside Alliance, maybe? And the Countryside Alliance got up the nose of our townie Government somewhat… (story)

Western Morning News 7.6.08 Monkey's ordeal - How far man will go yet again with his cruelty towards animals beggars belief. How long was that poor monkey subjected to this ordeal?... A Maskell, Bude (letter)


Western Morning News 6.6.08 CLARISSA IS THE CHAMPION OF RURAL ISSUES - Passionate countrywoman Clarissa Dickson Wright has told how taking a stand on rural issues cost her a lucrative TV career…. Miss Dickson Wright was a guest at the Countryside Alliance tent in the Royal Cornwall Show, where she was promoting her book, Spilling the Beans, and talking to fans. "I knew when I started making Clarissa and the Countryman that it would destroy my TV career," she told the WMN…. (story)
Western Morning News 4.6.08 FAT LADY SIGNS BOOKS - Author and cook Clarissa Dickson Wright will be a guest on the Countryside Alliance Stand at the show signing copies of her autobiography, Spilling the Beans, as well as other books she has written… (story)

Northumberland Gazette 6.6.08 Part-time model is big brother housemate - A Durham model is spending her first full day in the Big Brother house after being revealed as one of this year's 16 housemates. Jennifer Clark, 22, said she wants to appear on Big Brother to make her 22-month-old daughter and loved ones proud…. Jennifer is a vegetarian and passionate about animal welfare. She is anti-foxhunting, anti-abortion, anti-smoking, anti-fur and dislikes ladettes and people who spit…. (story)
Sunderland Echo 6.6.08 Big Brother stunner is from Durham - A single-mum from Durham has been unveiled as one of latest Big Brother housemates. Jennifer Clark, of Chester-le-Street, was among the 15 contestants… A vegetarian, she is passionate about animal welfare. She says she'd like to free all animals so that no cows, pigs or chickens could be killed inhumanely. Jennifer's also anti-fox hunting, anti-abortion, anti-smoking, anti-fur, and dislikes ladettes and people who spit…. (story)

Western Daily Press 6.6.08 UNCONVINCED BY CAMERON - As a betrayed Conservative voter - especially over the referendum - it was the best possible result for Labour to be trounced in the recent elections. Yet I remain unconvinced by call-me-Dave Cameron as a class candidate… Does he have a cruel streak from his days of frequently riding with the Heythrop Hunt? Regardless of his aversion to the new legislation, can I vote for someone who believes it is ethical and morally right to kill animals for fun?... Name and address supplied (letter)

Kent Messenger 6.6.08 Poacher shooting pair locked up by Keith Hunt - A former gamekeeper and a man who shot a teenage poacher, leaving him paralysed and confined to a wheelchair for life, have been jailed at Maidstone Crown Court. Paul Jeffrey, 38, of Keats Road, Aylesford, fired the shot that grievously injured 18-year-old John Smith on April 17, 2006. He was sentenced to two years eight months. The other man, 56-year-old Jonathan Cannon, then of Oxenhoath Road, Hadlow, now of Tunbridge Wells, was locked up for three year… (story)
Kent & Sussex Courier 6.6.08 TWO JAILED OVER POACHER SHOOTING - Two men involved in a horror shooting incident in Hadlow which left a teenage poacher paralysed were jailed today… (story)
Kent Messenger 17.4.08 'Poacher' paralysed by gamekeeper's bullet, court told - A teenager confined to a wheelchair for life after shots were fired at poachers from a gamekeeper’s car, a court heard. John Smith and four others were making their escape in a Subaru car from private land in Hadlow, near Tonbridge, when a bullet lodged in his spine…. Maidstone Crown Court heard how, two years ago, Mr Smith, then 16, was with the others and Lurcher dogs “lamping” for rabbits. Gamekeeper Jonathan Cannon, 56, was also out late the same evening with Paul Jeffrey, 38, and another man, controlling vermin….(story)

Newcastle Journal 6.6.08 Countryside Day gives a taste of food and farming to youngsters by Brian Daniel, The Journal - by Brian Daniel, The Journal - AROUND 1,500 schoolchildren from across the region descended on north Northumberland yesterday to learn about farming and rural life. Pupils from schools across the county and Tyneside were at Glendale Agricultural Society’s Children’s Countryside Day… In attendance were the Moorland Mousie Trust, Blagdon Farm Shop, estate agent George F White, the Countryside Alliance, Northumberland National Park, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, the Barn at Beal, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, Sure Start and Tesco. Youngsters were told about gamekeeping, flyfishing, ponies, pigs and highland cattle…. (story)

South Wales Echo 6.6.08 Joking Prezza proves a hit by Matt Aplin, South Wales Echo - FORMER Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, entertained more than 40 people at a book signing in the capital. The Welsh-born MP was quizzed by fans and foes at a signing of his new book Prezza: My Story – Pulling No Punches at Borders, The Hayes, Cardiff. One animal rights protester stood up in the crowd and criticised Mr Prescott for his views on vivisection while also suggesting New Labour was a totalitarian regime. In a typical forthright style, Mr Prescott replied: “I don’t accept that business about dictatorship or any of that rubbish you have just pushed out. There is a very strong argument about vivisection. I’ve got to accept that there will be experiments on animals and that’s the difference between us and I will never ever change my view.”… (story)

Western Daily Press 6.6.08 ANIMAL RIGHTS SEEN AS A THREAT - The Government gave the police huge extra resources and cash to set up special units to fight so-called animal rights activists. Not a whisper from the politically correct liberal elite, yet the 42-day holding suggestion for special cases dealing with terrorists, because it affects mostly Muslims, becomes daily headline news… It seems so-called animal rights activists, who do not hurt people but affect the profits of pharmaceutical/agrochemical industries and others, do not have human rights… Name and address supplied (story)

Cumberland News 6.6.08 Are red squirrels vulnerable because of habitat or an imported disease? Are red squirrels vulnerable because of habitat or an imported disease? THE ongoing campaign against grey squirrels is grossly unfair and doesn’t stack up factually…. To rightly expect tolerance for our own population but condemn wildlife on the basis of its ancestral background is extremely hypocritical… ANGUS MACMILLAN, Meikle Boturich, near Balloch, Dunbartonshire
Elaine Milbourn’s justification of her claim that red squirrels were hunted in “recent decades” (The Cumberland News, May 9) is less than factual when it transpires that, in her own words red squirrels were killed in the “early part of the last century”. There is quite a difference between tens of years and hundreds… Her denial of the accepted link between grey squirrels and SQPV is astonishing in the light of research by respected academics who rely on present-day study and fact, not 100-year-old history. However, Elaine Milbourn’s maths are accurate. If we don’t do something about grey squirrels, then the deaths of reds in the numbers we are witnessing in our area will be repeated in other areas too…. ASHLEY BOON, Castle Carrock (letters)
Cumberland News 30.5.08 Reds and greys share an identical history - I was interested and surprised to read Ashley Boon’s letter “Protectors of grey squirrels endangering reds” (May 16). As the chairman of Castle Carrock & Talkin Red Squirrel Group, it is surprising he is so unaware not only of the history of the red squirrels in this country but also of the current government funds being allotted to red squirrel groups… The Red Squirrel Protection Partnership has so far been allotted £150,000 of government grants, and in Scotland, £140,000 is being provided to pay for four grey squirrel officers to co-ordinate culls. Nearly £300,000 of wasted taxpayers’ money!... ELAINE MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)
Cumberland News 16.5.08 Protectors of grey squirrels endangering reds - IN YOUR article about the campaign group supporting grey squirrels in Cumbria (The Cumberland News, May 9), Elaine Milbourn made some statements which I invite her to support with hard evidence… She says there is “hysteria” about the numbers of reds dying, implying that the disease is not a serious issue… In the past few months we have lost five from the seven or eight reds visiting feeders outside our house to squirrel-pox… We have the habitat, we have the reds. What we haven’t had, until last year, is the greys. The disease arrived with the greys, a situation observed and acted upon by many people in other parts of the county…. ASHLEY BOONChairman, Castle Carrock & Talkin Red Squirrel Group (letter)
Cumberland News 8.5.08 Campaigners slam groups who support culling of grey squirrels By Linzi Watson - A CAMPAIGN group have hit back at the culling of grey squirrels in Cumbria and have branded those who support it as irresponsible…. Campaign group member Elaine Milbourn, from Torpenhow near Wigton, said the falling number of reds was due to hunting and lack of habitat… She added that the theory of reds being infected by pox from greys was “irresponsible” and said she was concerned about the amount of people to belive this … Fellow campaign group member Michelle Ruddock, who lives in the Brampton area, said she believes the destruction of their habitat is to blame for the falling numbers of reds… (story)

Ross-shire Journal 6.6.08 Store protest on 'caged hens' - A LONE protester turned heads in Dingwall yesterday as he made his views on the sale of eggs from caged hens clear to all. Andrew Kirk took up position outside the town's Tesco store as part of a "public awareness" campaign to highlight his concerns over the issue. The 49-year-old, of Bishop's Park, Inverness, said it was "outrageous" that eggs from battery hens were still being sold… (story)


Economist 5.6.08 Green and unrepresented land - Country-dwellers feel aggrieved and ignored. But they have reasons for optimism - EIGHTY per cent of England's people live in towns and cities. Yet it is the green and pleasant countryside that evokes the place to foreigners and residents alike… Despite their hold on the national psyche England's small band of genuine country-dwellers are feeling ignored…. The government's determination to ban fox-hunting provoked the second-biggest protest in living memory, with 400,000 people marching through central London in 2002 (a figure later eclipsed only by anti-war protests on the eve of the invasion of Iraq)…. Less memorable, but equally unpopular, has been the steady drumbeat of post-office closures, disappearing village shops and, more recently, the threat of shutting schools in the name of administrative efficiency…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 5.6.08 HUNTING POLICY FEAR - I note much of the press is saying that Cameron has 'detoxified the Tory brand'. If elected to power he would re-legalise setting dogs on to wild mammals for so called 'sport'…. CHRIS GALE, Dover Street, Chippenham (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 5.6.08 ELECTION A LONG WAY OFF - I Can understand why people are disillusioned with New Labour and Prime Minister Gordon Brown… .Yet I can't understand why: Ordinary voters would consider backing Cameron's Tories at a General Election…. all the Tories have pledged is to take estates of less than £1-million out of paying inheritance tax and make changes to stamp duty. Oh, and a wish to bring back fox hunting… Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby. (letter)

Daily Post 5.6.08 Shoot visits highlight wildlife benefits By Andrew Forgrave, Rural Affairs Editor - TWO farm walks are taking place next week to showcase the contribution of country sports to conservation. North Wales Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group has teamed up with BASC to organise the events. The first, on Tuesday, June 10, is an evening stroll on a shoot on the Llyn Peninsula… (story)

Hastings Observer 5.6.08 The dogs - I WAS disappointed to read about William Parker Sports College choosing to hold a Greyhound racing night to raise funds. I feel that they could have chosen another way of raising funds that did not promote animal cruelty!... MIKE TILBROOK, Priory Road (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 5.6.08 Welfare issues around dog racing industry - I read with interest the article Freedom Of Speech Has Gone To The Dogs by Kev Lawrence (ET, May 27) who, to be offended by protesters shouting "shame on you" must have a very sensitive disposition. Personally speaking, I don't think he was offended in anyway at all, but rather, as someone who enjoys greyhound racing, simply saw an opportunity to support the industry's propaganda machine… Wendy Mitchell, Sallows Road, Peterborough (letter)

News Shopper 5.6.08 Don’t buy goods tested on animals - MANY people are concerned about the number of animals used in painful experiments but may not realise they could help to decrease this by being careful about their everyday purchases… The animal welfare organisation Naturewatch publishes a compassionate shopping guide listing companies which it endorses… Mrs P E Stevens, Eversley Avenue, Bexleyheath (letter)

Blackpool Gazette 5.6.08 Charity faces Blackpool ban over shocking pictures By Shelagh Parkinson - AN animal charity could be banned from having a stall in Blackpool town centre because pictures depicting animal experiments are considered too distressing to the general public. The shock images are used by Animal Aid as part of its anti-vivisection campaigns aimed at preventing experiments on living creatures… the town centre Business Improvement District (BID) is objecting to the application after receiving a number of complaints last year… (story)

New Statesman 5.6.08 Cut the bullfighting - Green MEP Caroline Lucas explains why she thinks that, despite its ancient history, the cruelty of bullfighting can never be justified and calls on the EU to cut its subsidy… (story)

Guardian 5.6.08 Who's being caged? - A group of animal rights activists are on hunger strike following police raids in Austria - Victor Schonfeld … Today in Austria a group of animal rights campaigners are in their third week in prison on hunger strike after unprecedented nationwide police raids. At dawn on May 21, Austrian police broke down doors of homes and offices across the country and seized campaigners at gunpoint…… Yet Austria is the most progressive country in the world on animal rights…. These successes are credited especially to the leadership of one of the four hunger strikers - z and legislative change. Balluch has a double PhD in physics and philosophy and is a former colleague of Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University…. (story)

Ilkley Gazette 5.6.08 Brave protesters - The production of foie gras, with its intensive force-feeding of ducks and geese, is one of farming's most brutal and abject practices. I hope that the customers of the one or two places in the town who still sell it will show some sensitiviy and imagination and take their custom to more animal welfare-conscious eating places. I fully support the thoughtful letters from Heather Parry and Mark Sutcliffe… Audrey Hargreaves – Addingham
understand what Animal Rights is saying about foie gras. But there's another point here. If I run a business and what I am selling is not against the law, why should I have to put up with people with placards trying to affect my trade? Whatever Heather Parry says, the protesters pictured in the Gazette will be intimidating to some people…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letters)
Ilkley Gazette 29.5.08 Ban on foie gras - In your editorial Comment about the Box Tree's taking pate de foie gras off the menu, you said that in a democracy it should be up to the elected Government to decide through the legislature what is right and what is wrong'. The Government has already made its decision on the matter clear by banning the production of foie gras in this country on cruelty grounds… Mark Sutcliffe - 14 St. John's Avenue, Addingham (letter)

Ilford Recorder 5.6.08 Animal circus shames council - SHAME on Redbridge Council which, despite public opposition, has allowed the Great British Circus to operate in Barkingside. Shame also on the Recorder for advertising this show, knowing beautiful animals are kept in cages and transported up and down the country to perform degrading tricks for ignorant people… IRIS ANDERSON, Caterham Avenue, Clayhall (story)


Plymouth Herald 4.6.08 DIVIDE AND RULE IS KILLING THE COUNTRY - "IT seems, from every quarter, the great British way of life as we know it is coming under attack" said The Herald ('Pubs must adapt to survive', Our Say, May 28). Whichever way we turn, traditional ways are being threatened and institutions which have defined our nation are in danger of disappearing…. We are told, for example, that the majority of the public are in favour of the smoking ban: but that still leaves a significant minority (about 30 per cent) against it. This is the politics of the persecution of minorities, and we see it in operation throughout the country, from the ban on fox hunting to the forced closures of post offices… (story)

Irish Examiner 4.6.08 Wildlife needs urgent protection - A REPORT issued recently by Environment Minister John Gormley revealed shocking news about the state of our wildlife and their habitats… The Irish hare is designated a highly protected species under the 1976 Wildlife Act. Yet it is persecuted, legally, by hare-hunters, including harrier and beagle packs…. Aideen Yourell, Irish Council Against, Bloodsports, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath (story)

Bromley Times 4.6.08 Tales of a Fisherman: Time for a freeze on licence fees - COUNTRYSIDE Alliance (CA) chief executive Simon Hart has challenged Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) minister Jonathan Shaw to freeze concessionary rod licences for the next five years…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 4.6.08 PROTESTERS STAMP THEIR DISAPPROVAL ON PLANS TO SHUT VILLAGE POST OFFICE - BY JOHN FLETCHER - Demonstrators took to their cars to protest against the threatened closure of a village post office. They drove to Crediton and Sandford in protest at the proposal to shut Kennerleigh's branch.It is one of 45 in Devon facing the axe under cost-cutting measures. Support for the village branch came from more than 30 people, including politicians, Age Concern and the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Shropshire Star 4.6.08 Evidence on badgers not conclusive - It has been brought to our attention that the Welsh Assembly has taken a decision to organise the mass culling of badgers as a means of dealing with bovine TB in cattle... Hopefully, the many wildlife organisations in the UK and people who share concerns about this policy will make clear their objection to the proposed cull... Diana Clarke, Little Wenlock (story)

Times 4.6.08 The joyless bureaucrats of the RSPCA - The organisation may look after animals, but its record on people looks pretty weak - ALICE MILES - The lady looked up at me sourly. “You're ten minutes too late”. They said it would be OK, I pleaded; ten past three - I did ring to check. You see, it's quite hard to find the time and I don't know when... “3pm”, she said sharply. “There's no one available to speak to you now.”… I gave up. This was the second RSPCA animal shelter that I had tried to adopt from - the first being unwilling even to let us look around. And three three-hour trips to this joyless centre of bureaucracy, where animals might be tended, but humans are treated with disdain, without the promise of so much as a hamster at the end of it, was more than I could bear….. It's funny how many RSPCA refuseniks you come across once you become one yourself. There was the man who was told that he could have a cat only if he built platforms under the skylights in his London flat - in case the cat climbed across the roof and fell through the window. Or the woman in a rural area who was advised to heighten her fence to 20ft, because some cats like to jump high. And a mother (the owner of two happy dogs) in Norfolk who simply screamed: “RSPCA? Forget it!”… But now the RSPCA, in its joylessness, is telling schools that they can no longer have pets…. In the end, we bought a puppy. Please don't tell the RSPCA. (story)

Liverpool Echo 4.6.08 Great time for city - WHAT Liverpudlian could fail to be excited about what is happening in this city at the moment?... What made this event more appealing was the reception afterwards where Linda McCartney vegetarian foods were served. I made the decision not to eat dead animals about 10 years ago… Michael O’Keefe, Anfield (story)


Western Mail 3.6.08 Cavalry in action at country fair - THIS year’s British Association for Shooting and Conservation Wales and Borders Game and Country Fair at Usk, Monmouthshire, on June 7 and 8 will feature the Light Cavalry of the Honourable Artillery Company… BASC director for Wales, Glynn Cook, said the main and mini arenas will also feature continuous displays of falconry, gun dogs, ferreting, hounds and fly-casting… (story)

Western Mail 3.6.08 bred - The Countryside Alliance’s new regional director for South, Mid and West Wales, Carmarthenshire-born Rachel Evans, talks about her upbringing and her qualifications for the job… (story)

Western Morning News 3.6.08 100% BADGER CULL WOULD BE HEINOUS - When i last wrote regarding the badger cull, back in March, I fully intended not to write any further letters on the subject and, despite getting hot under the collar on several occasions since then, have managed to keep to my intent, until now…. Having read W T Sweet's letter of May 21 headed "100% cull needed" I felt so provoked by his comments I had no option but to write this letter… Badger setts are protected by law, and to suggest they should be annihilated with follow-up patrols to prevent recolonisation shows a blatant disregard of our judicial offices, not to mention an abhorrent act of cruelty…. Jenny Wren, Holne (letter)
Western Morning News 27.5.08 KILLING BADGERS WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION - Regarding the letter (May 21) from W T Sweet about killing badgers en masse, I seem to recall his rants on hunting with hounds; about how we would be overrun with foxes etc., and how illogical his reasoning was then… TB in cattle is found in the Isle of Man, for example, where there are no badgers - how so, if he is adamant that badgers are the cause?... Jennie Cook, Minehead (letter)

Western Morning News 3.6.08 Innocent badgers - As a vegetarian, I have to say we do NOT need cattle, though we do seem to be addicted to eating them and benefiting from their dairy products. But if I had to nominate the "uncontrolled vermin" on the planet, my vote wouldn't go to the badgers… if there's any culling to be done it's the human race that needs it, not innocent badgers. Peter Russell, Plymouth (letter)

Guardian 3.6.08 Animal research and second division Nobel prizes - Your report (May 28) on calls for a Nobel prize for advancing medical knowledge without experimentation on animals omitted an important detail. Of the 98 Nobel prizes awarded for physiology or medicine, at least 70 were for research requiring animal use, including eight of those awarded in the past decade, while several more depended on earlier animal research… The awarding of so many Nobel prizes for animal research is testament to the enormous contribution it has made, and continues to make, to medical breakthroughs… Paul Browne, Cambridge
It is disappointing that the president of the Nobel commission has said that a Nobel prize for developing alternatives to animal experiments is "out of the question". With the number of animals used in the UK rising each year, something needs to be done to persuade researchers to stop using unreliable, misleading and cruel animal experiments… Richard Mountford, Development manager, Animal Aid (letters)

Guardian 3.6.08 When James Randerson was shown around a primate laboratory (Report, May 31) did he ask why he was being shown this particular laboratory - and whether his "unfettered" access was the same as seeing what goes on in his absence? Undercover investigations into primate laboratories consistently reveal animal suffering far in excess of what he saw on this official tour… Alistair Currie, Campaigns coordinator, Peta Europe (letter)
Guardian 31.5.08 Caring or cruel? Inside the primate laboratory - The Guardian, given rare access to an animal research facility, talks to scientists about their experiments on monkeys - James Randerson, science correspondent (story)

Norwich Evening News 3.6.08 Schools urged not to keep animals - TRACEY GRAY - The RSPCA is urging schools across the county not to keep pets on their premises but to look at other alternatives of teaching pupils about animals…. (story)
Times 31.5.08 Cuddling the class pet is cruel, RSCPA tells schools - NICOLA WOOLCOCK - Clutching the school guinea-pig or charting the growth of tadpoles in a jar has, for generations, been many children’s first encounter with the natural world. But the practice of keeping animals in school is endangered and may even become extinct if RSPCA guidance is enforced. Allowing small children, and even smaller creatures, to interact during lessons can be cruel, according to the animal welfare charity…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 3.6.08 FOCUS ON WILDLIFE - The founder of the Animals Asia Foundation will be visiting Nottingham. Jill Robinson will be talking about the charity's work… The evening on June 23 at Opium restaurant, Warser Gate in the Lace Market, costs £25 and includes a vegetarian Chinese dinner… (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 27.5.08 BEAR ACTIVIST TO TALK IN LACE MARKET - The founder of a charity tackling animal cruelty in Asia will visit Nottingham to talk about her work. Animals Asia Foundation - set up by Jill Robinson from Newark in 1998 - works on projects including rescuing bears from Chinese bile farms…. She will speak at the Opium restaurant in Warser Gate on June 23 as part of her UK tour…. (story)


Telegraph 2.6.08 Labour crisis: Gordon Brown 'diverts rural aid to bribe voters' By Andrew Pierce and James Kirkup - Gordon Brown has been accused of attempting to bribe voters as new research shows that billions of pounds of public money is being diverted from rural areas to traditional Labour heartlands… (story)
Telegraph 2.6.08 Labour traps towns and starves the country - Times are hard in the countryside. Post offices are closing, village schools emptying, rural bus routes folding. Bills are rising, too… many rural communities have still not recovered from the calamities that befell them during the past decade: floods, BSE, foot and mouth, the hunting ban, the loss of Continental markets, more foot and mouth… (story)

Bath Chronicle 2.6.08 PROTEST PLANNED AT ROLF EVENT - Animal rights activists in Bath are planning to disrupt an event at Bath Racecourse starring singer Rolf Harris. The Bath Activist Network (BAN) group plans to demonstrate at Friday night's Aussie Beach Party meeting at which the entertainer will be performing his best-known hits. The group say the TV presenter, who has featured on shows such as BBC1's Animal Hospital should not be endorsing horse-racing… (story)

Telegraph 2.6.08 Finger on the Pulse - After signing a petition against experiments on animals, Max Pemberton has second thoughts - Walking out of the supermarket, I was confronted by a woman. She smiled at me, then pointed to a table that had been set up on the pavement. "Will you sign our petition?" she said….The petition was calling for an end to vivisection - experiments on live animals. It would take a particularly callous person to look at those images and not be horrified and repelled. I signed the petition… On the same day Dr Goodall presented her petition, a study published in the journal Nature revealed that scientists had managed to fit monkeys' brains with electrical implants that accurately controlled artificial limbs, offering hope to soldiers who have lost theirs…. I thought back to the image of the monkey with part of its skull missing. There is no doubt that it is a gruesome one, and I wholeheartedly support the call to reduce the need for non-human primates to be used in medical experiments. But can I really condemn research that has the potential to help so many people?... (story)

Southern Daily Echo 2.6.08 Protest at animal shelter open day By Clare Kennedy - PROTESTORS, banners, placards and even two police officers - it is not what you would normally expect to see at a charity's summer open day. But this was the latest twist in an internal dispute over the running of St Francis Animal Welfare shelter in Fair Oak. A small group of demonstrators armed with banners assembled on the grass verge outside the shelter in Mortimers Lane during yesterday's (SUN) fundraising afternoon… One of the demonstrators Mary Windebank, whose father set up the charity, said people should still support the work of the shelter which looks after unwanted and abandoned animals… (story)
Southern Daily Echo 24.5.08 Strange that issues are raised now - Shelter closed after visit by RSPCA following complaints AS A lifetime member of St Francis Animal Welfare and an ex-long standing committee member, I was most surprised to read the report that the RSPCA had found breaches of animal welfare laws at the shelter. I have known the lady concerned since she was employed by the committee nearly 30 years ago and to my knowledge, she has never neglected or been cruel to any animal…. MARY WINDEBANK, Bitterne Park, Southampton (letter)
Southern Daily Echo 13.5.08 Cat sanctuary takeover - I HAVE known St Francis Animal Welfare Sanctuary for man years and obtained my latest cat from there…. I therefore cannot understand the reasoning behind the takeover by the new management committee. MRS POOLEY, Ropley, Alresford (letter)
Southern Daily Echo 10.5.08 Welfare breaches found at animal shelter By Jon Reeve - RSPCA inspectors found breaches of animal welfare laws at a crisis-hit charity sanctuary just days before it closed its doors to the public, the Daily Echo can reveal. Officers issued eight notices to the management at St Francis Animal Welfare in Fair Oak relating to conditions some of the rescued pets were being kept in…. (story)
Southern Daily Echo 26.4.08 Animal shelter shut down amid turmoil By Jon Reeve - A POPULAR Hampshire animal shelter has closed to the public amid turmoil at the charity that runs it. Two members of staff at St Francis Animal Welfare were yesterday suspended and security staff brought in to guard the Fair Oak site around the clock. The dramatic move comes just a month after stormy scenes when about 50 apparently paid-up members were refused entry to the charity's annual meeting… (story)
Southern Daily Echo 21.3.08 Police called to animal charity AGM By Jon Reeve - THE Charity Commission is investigating complaints about a Hampshire animal shelter. It comes after stormy scenes at St Francis Animal Welfare's annual meeting when police and bouncers helped keep more than 50 apparently paid-up members from attending... (story)

Southern Daily Echo 2.6.08 Success of animal charities' bazaar - ON behalf of all the participating charities, may I thank all the animal-concerned people who came to our animal charities bazaar on April 26?... SHEILA CLAYTON, Southampton. (letter)

South Wales Echo 2.6.08 Caring people like humans and animals - ONCE more the embittered Dan O’Neill exudes a load of vitriolic garbage in his hatred of animals, quoting the fact that the British public donates more to animals than to human charities… In fact, all the animal lovers I know are very caring people. A person who has viciously attacked a cat, as Dan O’Neill once threatened to do, is far more likely to indulge in human cruelty than the animal lover he so despises…. Rosemary WilsonThornhill Place, Canton, Cardiff (letter)

Lancashire Evening Post 2.6.08 Veggies angry over buses' leather seats - A new fleet of luxury 'green' buses in Preston has come under fire - from veggies. The Vegetarian Society has blasted Preston Bus for using leather seats on its new park and ride fleet. The group says bus companies should not be equipping their vehicles with the seats in a bid to entice more people to use them, saying it causes suffering to animals and there are plenty of synthetic alternatives available… (story)


Scotland on Sunday 1.6.08 Inside story: Saving graces By PETER ROSS - WHETHER it's the fight to save their home or the future of the grey squirrel, there are people all over Scotland standing up for what they believe in… the passions explored here are not about achievement or personal fulfilment; they are about fighting against loss. These are people who refuse to lose. In some cases, the loss they are resisting is very personal…. GEVA BLACKETT's nickname, Attila the Hen, speaks of a certain clucky, plucky personality, at once nurturing and bellicose, which should serve her well when lobbying Holyrood on behalf of the rural communities she loves. "My mother would tell you that I've been bolshy from the moment I popped out," says the new chief executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance. "My father hated injustice and I've inherited that."… (story)
Aberdeen Press & Journal 24.5.08 Just the job for rural campaigner - The new Scottish Countryside Alliance chief executive is set to stand up for rural communities. Bill Howatson spoke to Geva Blackett about her ideal job… (story)

Scotland on Sunday 1.6.08 Inside story: Saving graces By PETER ROSS - WHETHER it's the fight to save their home or the future of the grey squirrel, there are people all over Scotland standing up for what they believe in… the passions explored here are not about achievement or personal fulfilment; they are about fighting against loss. These are people who refuse to lose. In some cases, the loss they are resisting is very personal…. ANGUS MACMILLAN, also known as Professor Acorn, has for the last 27 years lived with his wife Davina, also known as Debbie, on a smallholding beside Loch Lomond, near Balloch. Now in their 60s, the pair look after 29 ducks, one goose, one hamster, one toddler-sized rabbit, one goldfish, one grass snake and a wee dog with skin problems – all rescued from situations of neglect and cruelty. At Christmas, Angus receives no gifts from his wife; she sponsors four injured fox cubs each year instead…. They are fighting to save the grey squirrel. The UK has arrived at a consensus that the declining population of native red squirrels ought to be protected by exterminating greys, a more numerous species introduced from America in the 19th century. The Macmillans, together with their son Neil, have set up a website, www.grey-squirrel.org.uk, as the hub of their campaign… (story)

Scotland on Sunday 1.6.08 Hardeep Singh Kohli - Vegetarians get slim pickings at my table - Joni came round for dinner the other evening. I've known Joni for years… Joni's great in every way; in every way but one. She is a vegetarian. I don't mean to be rude or controversial, but cooking for vegetarians is an utter waste of time and energy and dinner party music…. (story)

Wales on Sunday 1.6.08 THE Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation have concerns about the latest claims made in the Press for organic milk, as we believe going dairy-free is the healthiest option… Dr Justine Butler, Senior Health Campaigner Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation, Bristol (letter)