March 2005 - hunting

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Whitehaven News 31.3.05 POLICE WARN ANTI- HUNT VIGILANTES - CUMBRIA Police chiefs say they will not tolerate vigilante action from anti-hunt protesters. Officers also claim animal welfare groups have no cause for concern as hunts have toed the line since the ban on hunting with dogs came into effect… (story)

Barry Gem 31.3.05 Glamorgan Hunt set for a take-over? - A disgraced Dutch businessman is set to drop a bombshell in the Vale this week, with plans for an alternative ‘Drag Hunt’ – which he claims will end the bitter hunting controversy “at a stroke.” Amsterdam-based Pieter van Bleuw heads a notorious movie empire on the Continent, and was recently released from a four-year jail sentence… In an exclusive telephone interview with The GEM yesterday, he revealed that he was planning a “take-over” of the Glamorgan Hunt, that would not only solve its financial worries following the new hunting ban, but would satisfy animal rights campaigners… (story in archive)

Western Gazette 31.3.05 'MORALE BOOST' HUNTS PRAISED - Hunts around the country have continued hunting following the implementation of the Hunting Act on 18 February, according to the Countryside Alliance. Leaders of the alliance say hunts have taken part in more than 1,000 days of hunting and approximately 800 foxes have been killed since the ban came into force…. (story)
Western Mail 29.3.05 Hunts kill 800 foxes since ban imposed - Steve Dube, Western Mail - HUNTS across Britain have taken part in more than 1,000 days of hunting and killed around 800 foxes since the ban came into force last month. The Countryside Alliance says the hunts have used a variety of methods including flushing foxes to guns, and terrier work to protect game birds…. (story)
Birmingham Post 29.3.05 800 foxes killed since ban on hunting - Up to 800 foxes have been killed since the ban on hunting with dogs came into force last month…. (story)
Telegraph 25.3.05 800 foxes killed since the ban on hunting By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - Hunts have killed around 800 foxes and taken part in more than 1,000 days of hunting since the Act banning hunting with dogs came into force on Feb 18, the Countryside Alliance said yesterday. Hunts have used a variety of methods to kill foxes legally under exemptions to the Hunting Act. Unconfirmed reports say some hunts have hunted illegally when they found police were not available to enforce the ban…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 25.3.05 Hunters kill 800 foxes - ABOUT 800 foxes have been killed since the law banning hunting with hounds came into force five weeks ago…. (story)

Telegraph 31.3.05 Brief encounters - Francis Bennion, the former Parliamentary counsel and law lecturer, is one of those rare oracles who carries the unwritten British constitution in his head. Writing in next week’s Justice of the Peace¸ he has a go at the Attorney General for suggesting that the Court of Appeal could stop the Hunting Act from coming into force and that Lord Goldsmith could introduce a blanket policy of non-enforcement…. (story)

Western Daily Press 31.3.05 A BARBARIC ACT ON A DEFENCELESS ANIMAL - Vicious yobs on a West travellers camp yesterday strung up a dog in a tree and stoned it to death with bricks before dumping it in a shallow grave. Appalled motorists witnessed the 'barbaric' beating as they drove past the Over Lane travellers site between Almondsbury and Easter Compton in South Gloucestershire…. Jan Lake, trustee of the Greyhound Rescue West of England… said the charity had been inundated with calls from people finding animals dumped since the hunting ban came into force… (story)

Daily Post 31.3.05 We've got no choice: we'll bury fallen stock By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - SCORES of farmers in North Wales have been left with little option but to break the law and bury their dead animals. Many privately admit they have been forced into drastic action because of health and safety risks posed by the collapse of the National Fallen Stock Collection (NFSC) scheme. Industry analysts say there is now an undeclared consensus that farmers must bury rotting carcasses rather than leave them lying around…. (story)

Western Daily Press 31.3.05 CULLING FIELDS - A recent correspondent to the Western Daily Press claimed foxes are vermin and need to be culled. So perhaps he can explain why hunts do not hunt during the breeding season allowing numbers to increase?... Marlene Thompson Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 31.3.05 REAL THREAT TO FOX POPULATION - It was always going to happen, but like Johnny Kingdom I was taken aback by it happening so soon. I am referring to the sad stories in Mr Kingdom's recent writings concerning the increase in shootings (and woundings) of deer on Exmoor… A wildlife enthusiast friend of mine informs me that in his area of the Cotswolds, after wondering why he had seen only one fox there in the past month, he learned that due to lambs, and with no hunting, a mass cull of them had taken place… Ray Bird Acton Turville Gloucestershire (letter)

Kingston Guardian 31.3.05 Drag hunting gives hunters the thrill of the chase, not the kill - Hunting, with all its pageantry and ritual, could continue uninterrupted following the February 17 ban and with virtually no diminishment of its thrills, if the hunting fraternity simply switched from the hunting of animals to drag hunting… Leonard G Appleby Tolworth (letter)

Barry Gem 31.3.05 What fox-hounds and Wild Dogs have in common... I HAVE a friend who is trying to conserve the African Wild Dog – tourists will pay money to see lions, elephants and giraffe, but won’t pay money to see African Wild Dogs. Apparently, this is because many people consider the way African Wild Dogs hunt is cruel…. Foxhunting, as a sport, provided an effective method of vermin control, free of charge to the British farming industry and countryside. So, well done ‘animal lovers’ on sticking another knife in the side of countryside management…. Ed Lucas Llantwit Major (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 31.3.05 New act important for animal welfare - Further to the letter from Adrian Simpson of the Countryside Alliance (Star, March 10), I would like to respond with the following comments: 1. If Countryside Alliance members are the only ones who "understand" the countryside (as they often state), then they should surely know that foxes self-regulate their populations…. 4. In response to Mr Simpson's comment that they are "culling foxes within the law" - I would suggest that each reader of this letter looks at the League Against Cruel Sports internet site to see the true face of hunting… Mrs AMC, Shrewsbury (letter)

Banbury Guardian 31.3.05 HOW DO DOGS SMELL DIFFERENCE? With reference to your news item Hounds Rampage in Garden (Banbury Guardian, April 17) Heather Taylor, senior master of Bicester and Whaddon Hunt Chase, mentioned that a ‘fox-based scent’ was used during the training exercise. How would the hounds distinguish between that and the scent of a real fox? This may be a naive question but couldn’t another scent be used for training, ideally one that doesn’t smell like any wildlife or domestic pets?... Ffiona J Welford-Winton, Boulderdyke Farm, Clifton (letter)

North Devon Journal 31.3.05 NO NEED TO SHOW THE BLOOD - A few weeks ago a reader complained about some of the hunting photos featured in the Journal. Well I would rather see that than the horrid spectacle of two people brawling with graphic descriptions of bloodied noses. Some may call this sport. I call it legalised brawling…. WENDY ROGERS, Meshaw, South Molton (letter)

Somerset Guardian 31.3.05 BAD BEHAVIOUR BY PRO-HUNTERS - I would like the readers to know about the despicable behaviour of some pro-hunt supporters I witnessed last week. Dan Norris MP was at a private house in East Harptree meeting informally with local people… RODGER MARTIN, Middle Street, East Harptree (letter)
Bath Chronicle 29.3.05 A FEW ROTTEN EGGS - I Would like readers of the Chronicle to know about the despicable behaviour of some pro-hunt supporters which I witnessed last night. Dan Norris was at a private house in East Harptree, meeting informally with local people. It was an enjoyable evening of healthy debate, covering a range of subjects from the war in Iraq to bus passes for the elderly. At the end of the evening as people were leaving, a hunting horn was sounded outside the house. This was the signal for a pack of 20 to 30 angry thugs (no, not hounds) to switch on a powerful spotlight and charge down the drive hurling eggs and verbal abuse at Dan… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 23.3.05 MP PELTED BY PRO-HUNT PROTESTERS BY JULIE HARDING - Wansdyke Mp Dan Norris was pelted with eggs after being ambushed by pro-hunt protesters. He was leaving a constituent's home in East Harptree when a powerful searchlight was shone in his face and he was bombarded with eggs by around 25 people. Police were called but the attackers fled before they arrived. Mr Norris said he would not be intimidated by the protesters and it was "business as usual" yesterday as he opened a new science block at Broadlands School in Keynsham…. The Countryside Alliance denied any knowledge of the incident. Spokesman Tim Bonner said: "I can't comment on this specific incident but it shows, once again, the strength of feeling on this issue. People are extremely angry that they have been treated with utter contempt. They have been ignored and treated like muck and if you keep kicking people they are going to react."… (story)
Bath Chronicle 23.3.05 MP NORRIS AMBUSHED AGAIN BY EGG THROWERS - Mp Dan Norris labelled hunt supporters "childish and obsessed" yesterday after he was ambushed by egg throwers once again - this time at a private function. The Wansdyke Labour MP, who was hounded out of Badminton in February, was pelted with missiles as he emerged from a constituent's house in East Harptree, on Monday night…. (story)
Western Daily Press 23.3.05 MP SHELL-SHOCKED BY EGG ATTACK NO.2 - West Mp Dan Norris labelled hunt supporters "childish and obsessed" yesterday after he was ambushed by eggthrowers once again - this time at a private function. The Wansdyke Labour MP, who was hounded out of Badminton in February, was pelted with missiles as he emerged from a supporter's house in East Harptree, Somerset, on Monday night…. (story)

Cornwall Packet 31.3.05 Hunting ban was the right decision - HAVING lived in the heart of rural Cornwall for a number of years we were able to observe life in the countryside and contrary to the views of hunt supporters, there were far more against the disturbance which the hunt caused than were in favour of it… (letter in archive)


Independent 30.3.05 PANDORA - Hoon's costly dilemma: how to pay for training exercises By Guy Adams - After being given one of last year's least enviable tasks - disbanding several army regiments in order to save money - the Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, is to be left counting the cost of another political hot potato: the Government's recent ban on fox hunting. As a result of the new legislation, dozens of landowners intend to withdraw permission for the army to carry out training exercises on their land… Currently, the army pays £610,000 each year to carry out such exercises. Should they be forced to enter into a commercial arrangement, the cost could run to tens of millions of pounds… (story)

Western Daily Press 30.3.05 COULD THIS FARMER TOPPLE LABOUR FROM HIS ATTIC HQ IN THE WEST? - It is the attic of a converted barn in leafy south-east Gloucestershire. But could this unassuming hive of activity be the place from which Tony Blair is toppled at this year's election?... The Countryside March did not work, engaging public opinion did not work, and violent scenes in Parliament Square did not work - but Charles Mann believes stuffing thousands of envelopes will…. The Avon Vale Hunt in deepest Wiltshire recently spent a weekend delivering 30,000 leaflets in Hammersmith, supporting a candidate against Labour MP Iain Coleman…. (story)
Times 29.3.05 Campaigners take fight to anti-hunt MPs in marginals BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - HUNTING activists have joined forces to try to unseat anti-hunt MPs in key marginal constituencies. Activists have delivered 250,000 leaflets, stuffed 86,500 envelopes and hand-addressed 75,000 envelopes in 30 constituencies…. The military-style operation, named VoteOK, is run by Charles Mann, 54, a former officer with The 14th/20th King’s Hussars, now a farmer…. the campaign is also supporting a number of Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru candidates. This week VoteOK will extend its campaign to Scotland and Mr Mann will inform the Electoral Commission that he intends to register VoteOK as a third party at the election…. A coachload of Avon Vale hunt supporters have delivered 30,000 leaflets in Hammersmith and Fulham in an attempt to unseat Iain Coleman, the Labour MP. Members of the Barlow hunt and Ecclesford Beagles in Derbyshire have addressed 9,000 envelopes in High Peak and are in the middle of addressing 15,000 in Sheffield Hallam to support Richard Allan, the Liberal Democrat. Last weekend 40 members of the Quorn, Oakley Foot and Belvoir hunts in Leicestershire delivered 10,000 leaflets in Loughborough on behalf of Nicky Morgan, the Tory candidate. By the end of this week the hunts will have delivered 35,000 leaflets…. (story)
Bath Chronicle 29.3.05 CAMPAIGN TO OUST ANTI-HUNT MPS - Hunting activists have begun their campaign to oust anti-hunt politicians including Wansdyke MP Dan Norris at the next General Election…. (story)
Torquay Herald Express 7.3.05 PRO-HUNT SUPPORTERS TARGET MPS - Hunters in South Devon are taking the fight for their sport into the next general election. They are seeking supporters to try to swing elections in Torbay and Teignbridge in favour of pro-hunting candidates. Leaflets in support of the pro-hunt organisation Vote-OK were circulated at last day hunts and protest meetings asking for help in fighting the coming election…. (story)
Horse & Hound 3.3.05 Hunt supporters target the ballot box - Yolanda Carslaw - Work is beginning in earnest to put to work many thousands of hunt supporters determined to oust anti-hunt MPs from marginal seats in the forthcoming general election - Furious at the introduction of the hunting ban, hunt supporters in their thousands are joining a nationwide campaign to unseat those MPs who backed the legislation… Directing the energy from this minority into effective tactical activity in the run-up to the election are the dynamic Charles Mann and his wife, Chipps, both long-standing pro-hunt campaigners. The pair, together with seasoned lobbyist Jeremy Sweeney, have set up an office called Vote-OK… (story)

Guardian 30.3.05 The limits of human dominion - Our treatment of animals shows us not at our most civilised or compassionate, but at our most squeamish - Alison Hills - At a time when our ancient civil liberties are under threat, it's comforting to think that, at least in one way, our nation is becoming more civilised. No one goes bear-baiting or cockfighting these days, and even foxhunting is a thing of the past…. On the other hand, the debate on animal rights is noted not for its civility, but rather for a potent combination of bitter hostility and mutual incomprehension… Too many people hold strong views about animal welfare, uncontaminated by any commitment to consistency, argument or evidence… Most people who tuck in to their Sunday roast do not take pleasure in the suffering of their factory-farmed food; in fact, they put such thoughts as far away as possible. Hunters, by contrast, may enjoy the kill and chase. But this on its own does not justify the focus on hunting. Anyone concerned for animal welfare should put the reform of farming right at the top of their priorities… Alison Hills is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Bristol. Her book Do Animals Have Rights? is published by Icon (story)

Bangor & Holyhead Mail 30.3.05 Meeting as 'stench of death' grows from animals in fields by Ffion Jackson, North Wales Weekly Newspapers series - A MEETING between the Assembly, the collection companies, trading standards and NFU Cymru on March 18 acknowledged the problem farmers were facing over fallen stock…. Local farmer Will Evans, said: "It's a right mess. I haven't spoken to a single person who's had their dead stock picked up on time. It's a disgrace, we need to go back to the old system where you can bury your animals yourself…." (story)

Western Daily Press 30.3.05 LAMB SLAUGHTER A PRO-HUNT MYTH - I am sure I cannot be the only one to question the old cruel sports lobby, that up to 10 times more lambs were lost when fox-hunting was stopped because of foot and mouth. Or the assumption that foxes kill lambs at all, rather they take the dead ones. Even a BBC documentary filmed over a year on Mendip revealed that foxes did not show any interest in the flocks… David Thomas Westbury Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.3.05 TIME WASTED ON NEW LEGISLATION - I am getting a little tired reading about the differences between people on fox hunting. I have never been to a fox hunt, even having lived in the country all my life. My opinion is that the fox has a chance to get away (usually nine times out of 10), but what about the tens of thousands of animals caged in laboratories that have to spend their whole lives experimented on with no chance to live a natural life?.... And what of domestic cats killing birds, which they do in my garden at least once a week?... Mrs B K Druce Highbridge Somerset (letter)

Louth Leader 30.3.05 Hunting will return - Mike Mason (letters March 16) is honest in his choice of the word ‘class’ when describing the motives behind the act. Around 400,000 well behaved hunt supporters from all walks of life marched through London, all of them better role models than the dishonest, untrustworthy, self-serving party stooges now in control of parliament. The sooner this gang can be replaced by trustworthy MPs who put their constituency interests before party dogma, the better… Alan Beaven, Alvingham (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 30.3.05 BAN ON FOX HUNTING IS A LESSON IN COMPASSION - In response to Janet Measham's comments concerning the fox hunting ban (Letters, March 5), I would like to reaffirm her statement that she is "probably talking out of the top of her head". Because any letter written from the heart would have contained acknowledgment and compassion for the moral importance retained by enforcement of the hunting ban…. to clarify how important the hunting ban is - simply it is leading the way and giving people the opportunity to treat animals with more respect and in doing so we are learning the most valuable lesson, straight from the heart - compassion! ALISON WILLIAMS Vernon Road Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Fantastic fox cubs sight - I feel I must say something about Janet Measham's comments regarding the demise of hunting… this is just typical of the agricultural industry's track record of inventing ludicrous excuses for slaughtering any form of life it cannot exploit for profit…. JOHN TRUSCOTT Kent Road Mapperley (letters)
Nottingham Evening Post 5.3.05 WHAT NEXT FOR BAN... SHOOTING AND FISHING? ….Do these 'stop hunting' lot really know what happens when a fox gets into a hen house or even a small pen where probably children have kept chickens as pets and the devastation they can cause? They don't take the chickens away to eat they just leave them there… I would have dearly loved to have gone out with one of the local hunts before the ban took place but didn't purely for the simple fact I don't think I would have stopped on very long. My horse loves jumping and is always up for a good chase but we don't necessarily go together…. What are the fishermen and the people who go shooting going to say and do when they become the next target for a ban…. JANET MEASHAM Brinkhill Crescent Clifton (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 30.3.05 GET TOUGH ON HUNTING SIGNS - Like Adie Fletcher (Letters, March 25) I too observed the desecration of the road signs, lamp posts, bus shelters and lighting poles in Cheltenham's Evesham Road by the pro-hunting lobby in Gold Cup week… This is vandalism of a high order and although the posters were not on the floor they must surely contravene the litter acts… R M Rear, Cheltenham. (letter)
Gloucestershire Echo 30.3.05 TAKE THESE POSTERS DOWN - Are the fox-hunting fraternity trying to upset as many members of the public as possible? I ask this because I was driving over Cleeve Hill and my vision was bombarded with garish black and yellow flyposters and stickers promoting their sport. Adie Fletcher, Cheltenham. (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 30.3.05 SOAPBOX: Horse and hounds showpiece - 'Hunting is now a historic spectacle' - FURTHER to the article referring to the forthcoming Peterborough Festival of Hunting ('Hunt fans' stage show of support', ET, March 24), I was surprised to note the apparently sparse group of Spectators in your accompanying photograph…. First, I would suggest that the event be moved from the East of England Showground to a venue more in keeping with the now historical nature of hunting with hounds. Could Flag Fen be made available? Then, to further bolster the morale of the hunting dinosaurs, I think large screens projecting videos of foxes being savaged by hounds should be located around the venue accompanied by amplified recordings of hares screaming as they are ripped in half on the coursing field…. Derek Jarvis, West Street, Helpston, near Peterborough (letter)

Brentwood Gazette 30.3.05 FOXES HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE - Miss King of Wickford is angry at the policing at the hunt at Steeple… I speak for the animals that have no voice. They have a right to live in this world, otherwise why were they created in the first place?... Mrs B Thompson, Lorne Road, Brentwood (letter)


Bath Chronicle 29.3.05 PRO-HUNT TOMATO THROWER PLEDGES MORE PROTESTS BY TOM BRADSHAW - A Pro-hunt campaigner who was arrested after throwing tomatoes at Tony Blair says he plans more protests in the next few months. Showjumper Harry Meade, a friend of Prince Harry, was fined after his attack on the Prime Minister last week…. Mr Meade, a professional event rider, who rides with the Beaufort Hunt, was joined on last Tuesday's protest by Ed Akerman, 21, a farmer from the nearby village of West Kington, and entrepreneur Jamie Murray Wells, 22, from Shipton Moyne in Gloucestershire. Mr Wells and Mr Akerman received formal cautions for possessing tomatoes with intent to cause criminal damage… (story)
Western Daily Press 29.3.05 HARRY'S PAL FINED FOR BID TO PELT BLAIR - The young man in whose honour the party was held at which Prince Harry dressed as a Nazi, has been arrested and fined for throwing a tomato at the Prime Minister, it emerged yesterday. Harry Meade, a pro-hunt supporter from Wiltshire, was detained by police following the incident last Tuesday, when Tony Blair visited the Christian social action group, Faithworks, in Lambeth, south London….. (story)
Times 28.3.05 Prince's party host threw a tomato at Blair BY DOMINIC KENNEDY - THE host of the birthday party where Prince Harry dressed as a Nazi was one of three men arrested last week for throwing tomatoes at Tony Blair, it has emerged. Harry Meade, an ardent pro-hunt protester and the son of Richard Meade, the equestrian and Olympic triple gold medal-winner, admitted joining in an ambush as the Prime Minister entered an evangelical church. He accepted an ill-spelt Public Order Act fixed penalty notice from the Metropolitan Police stating: “You threw a tomato at the Priminister (sic)”, but yesterday he accused Mr Blair of making “decent, hard-working people” into criminals. Meade rides with the Beaufort Hunt, as do the Princes Harry and William, the Prince of Wales, Camilla Parker Bowles and the Princess Royal… (story)
Mirror 28.3.05 PAL OF PRINCES SPLATS THE PM By Richard Smith - A FRIEND of William and Harry has been fined for hurling tomatoes at Tony Blair in a pro-hunting stunt. Harry Meade spent six hours in police cells after Tuesday's attack at a church - which only became public yesterday…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 29.3.05 CHAPLAIN SAYS A PRAYER FOR HUNTSMEN - A Controversial prayer was said for huntsmen over the Easter weekend. Lincolnshire agricultural chaplain Canon Alan Robson admitted he knew the words he uttered at Market Rasen racecourse on Easter Sunday would be interpreted as "throwing his hat into a parade ring full of controversy". He said: "Throughout the past year, in particular, the hunting debate has generated much passion. Indeed, very few pronouncements have been more than half-truths, and misleading slogans have helped fuel a sorry and inadequate law…." His comments came at the Burton Hunt Point to Point staged at the racecourse…. Canon Robson declared himself neither pro nor anti-hunting. He added: "I feel a small group of people were targeted unreasonably…." (story)

Western Mail 29.3.05 'Reimburse fallen stock cash' - Steve Dube, Western Mail - ANGRY Welsh farmers are being forced to bury their casualty animals illegally as the row over the new fallen stock scheme rumbles on. At the height of the lambing season, when most farms suffer casualties, carcasses are being left to rot for up to five weeks while farmers wait for the collector to call. Now the Farmers' Union of Wales is demanding that they should have their member-ship fees reimbursed…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 29.3.05 CHASING VOTES - In his letter to Mercury Mailbox (March 21) headed "We're not foxed by MP's record", Mr David Davidson seems concerned that David Taylor MP may lose a few votes because of his support of the Hunting Bill. He need not worry. If all the anti-hunters vote Labour and pro-hunters vote otherwise, Labour will have a bigger majority…. G A Wright, Leicester. (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 29.3.05 SPORTING ATTITUDE - Yes, Mary Sanderson, of Barton Street, I quote you: "The old, sick and the slowest are usually taken by the hounds." Madam, that's what Hitler did, only it was human beings he hounded. You also say in your letter that hunting ends in March. March is the month when the vixen is either heavily pregnant or nursing her cubs…. This dogmatic attitude hunters have in defence of their so-called sport is only one of their stupid fantasies. If you think what you are doing is right, why do you make so many excuses for doing it?... A Real Animal Lover and A Hunt Spy. (Name and address supplied) (letter)

Western Morning News 29.3.05 Nouveau riche sport - I GET a bit tired of hearing the pro-hunters argue that the revulsion with foxhunting "is a class thing…" As a descendant of a long line of country squires, none of whom ever hunted, can I point out that until relatively recently, the country gentry looked down on hunting as a nouveau riche sport…. J de V Walker, Bovey Tracey
Kill this vermin - IN response to the strident and emotional letter from C Crook (WMN, March 14), I don't have "the blood of defenceless animals on my hands" but I did have the blood of defenceless birds on them when I went into my chicken run on the morning of June 8, 2003. Five of my hens had been hacked to death and the sixth was still just alive with part of its neck torn out. A fox had broken in during the night and caused utter mayhem…. Mike Fenton, Churchstow Kingsbridge
Whips no more? NOW hunting is banned, does this mean that the whips' office at the House of Commons is going to be disbanded?... Jane Steer, Bideford (letters)

Western Morning News 29.3.05 FOX NUMBERS DOWN TO THE FOOD SUPPLY - Am i prejudiced? The Countryside Alliance fights under the slogan "Fight Prejudice, Fight the Ban". I have read the Burns Report, and the relevant expert evidence put before Burns by the Game Conservancy Trust, the wildlife trusts and the Mammal Society…. Fox hunting is not cruel compared with shooting. However, the expert evidence is that foxhunting - and shooting by farmers and gamekeepers, and road kill - does not reduce numbers… I own a 50-acre woodland near Exmoor. When I first bought my land 15 years ago, as a "townie", I banned the staghounds, but having seen the evidence, I now welcome them there…. Theo Hopkins, Lifton
No old age in the wild - JOHN Cooper from the League Against Cruel Sports recently issued the following statement: "The hunting ban is a massive leap forwards to the creation of a decent and humane society. Our children and grandchildren will grow up into a better and kinder world as a result of the hunting ban." In fact, the exact opposite will happen. This poor deluded man along with his cohorts, continue to ignore the stark basic fact that no wild animal dies of old age…. W T Sweet, Mawgan Helston (letters)

Western Morning News 29.3.05 DIFFERING VERSIONS OF HUNT VISIT - I am amazed at the letter from Sir Teddy Taylor in reply to my letter about his comments on a recent TV programme. I believe his memory is at fault. I, too, have a recording of the programme and, to quote, Sir Teddy Taylor, during the interview said: "They stupidly invited me to go and see both a fox hunt and a deer hunt on Exmoor." He then went on to say it was the most disgusting thing he had ever seen and "basically the animals are torn to bits by the hounds". In his letter to your paper, he says the video made it clear that there was no question whatsoever of his seeking to mislead people that a deer had been torn apart by hounds on Exmoor. Come on, Sir Teddy, I would suggest you go and look at that interview again…. Diana Scott, Joint Master Devon & Somerset Staghounds (letter)
Western Morning News 8.3.05 TRUTH WILL OUT IN THE END - IT ALWAYS DOES - I too saw the same BBC Spotlight programme referred to by Diane M Scott, joint master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, during which Sir Teddy Taylor MP said that he had seen a deer torn to pieces by hounds on Exmoor. "They must have been some giant hounds," I thought… In fact, it seems that although he stayed locally, and was taken to the meet, he didn't stay long enough to actually go on the hunt itself before leaving to catch the afternoon train, and couldn't possibly have actually seen any kill, had it occurred… Tess Nash, Helston (letter)
Western Morning News 1.3.05
Vivid imagination - DURING a programme on BBC Spotlight, I was astounded to hear Sir Teddy Taylor MP claim he had seen a deer torn to pieces by hounds on Exmoor. I was involved in his visit, which was in conjunction with the British Field Sports Society… I recall no deer was killed that day. What a vivid imagination this man has. Diana M Scott, Joint Master, Devon & Somerset Staghounds (letter)

Western Morning News 29.3.05 Long campaign - LEFT-WING campaigning against hunting seems to go back a long way. In Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man, Siegfried Sassoon, writing of hunting in the Midlands in 1913, remarks on "those damned socialists who want to stop us hunting"… D P Blight, St Austell (letter)

The Times 29.3.05 Where there's life - Is abortion an election issue? And should the time limit be cut? The debate continues - HOW can a Government which spent so many hours on the Hunting Bill say that abortion should be left to an individual’s conscience? It would have been far better if hunting were left as a matter of conscience and abortion banned…. David Ramsbotham, Norwich (letter)


Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 28.3.05 KILLINGS BLOW FOR PROTESTERS - Recent developments in the fox hunting debate have dealt a double blow to anti-hunt protesters. Statistics on the number of foxes killed since the ban came into force have left campaigners feeling deflated. And coupled with the news that police will not act on evidence collected by vigilantes meant it was not a "Good" Friday for the passionate non-hunting community…. (story)

BBC News Online 28.3.05 Young jockeys at dressage event - Young jockeys competed over the flat for the first time in the history of the Old Berkshire Hunt's (OBH) Point to Point, organisers said. Thousands of people attended the countryside event featuring dressage and side saddle riders at Lockinge, near Wantage in Oxfordshire…. The OBH is determined to keep up the fabric of the hunt, a spokeswoman said…. (story)

BBC News Online 28.3.05 Interview: Alun Michael By Nick Assinder - You could forgive Countryside Minister Alun Michael if he appeared worn out, even jaded. He has, after all, spent much of the past four years battling to find a way through the extraordinary row over the government's plans to ban hunting with dogs. But far from it. While clearly relieved the hunting controversy is, to a large extent, behind him, Mr Michael could not be more enthusiastic when it comes to the other parts of his brief… But, inevitably, his attempts to find a way through the fox hunting row still cast a long shadow… he goes on to call for some clear statements from the Countryside Alliance and anti-hunting groups about their intentions. "The danger is, if there is not a balanced approach taken to it you end up not enforcing the Hunting Act but dealing with public order issues which are a lot more serious," he says…. (story)

Western Morning News 28.3.05 POLICIES FOR A RURAL REVIVAL - In today's world of polarised party politics, any group seeking to promote a consensus with carefully thought-out policies and no party axe to grind is a rarity. Most lobbying groups focus on the party they believe best represents their views and sets out to win over its leadership, hoping they've backed a winner. So it is refreshing to learn that later this week the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) will launch its own manifesto for the countryside, with no one political party in mind… they want a sensible attitude towards country sports, like shooting. Now hunting with dogs has been banned there are understandable concerns that shooting might be next to face a threat. The CLA is calling on all politicians standing at the next election to recognise the significant benefits that game shooting brings to the rural economy and countryside management…. (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 28.3.05 Read closely - HAVING read the letter from Philip Beaven (EA, March 23), I am confused. Where did I say we fought in the last war to allow people to kill animals for fun? What I did say was we fought the last war to give him a country he is allowed to protest in. Yes, Philip, I served in the last war as well, to keep this country's freedom. Had we lost you would not now be able to protest at all…. H FITCHETT, Wroughton (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 23.3.05 Fighting talk - IN response to Harry Fitchett's letter, I have every sympathy with anyone who has suffered due to poor policing and low crime detection rates. What I find hard to understand is the argument that people fought in the war in order to allow people the freedom to kill animals for fun or torture animals in the name of vivisection… P BEAVEN, Swindon (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 15.3.05 People should be the priority - The last burglary experienced by one of my relatives resulted in him deciding that it was no longer the country he wanted to be in, no longer the world he wanted to live in, and in anger and frustration decided to end his life…. I am asking for priority to be given to the things that really matter, where a caring ex serviceman is given priority over the killing of animals. I am not a member of the hunting group, but neither am I against fox hunting… if the anti brigade stopped their demos maybe we should have enough police on the streets to deal with the human vermin. HARRY FITCHETT, Perrys Lane, Wroughton (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 5.3.05 The boot is on the other foot - IN Monday's Evening Advertiser Harry Fitchett used the local crime situation to have a go at the ban on fox hunting…. As an animal rights activist myself I can vouch for over policing at any event that I attend concerning animal welfare. Now the boot is on the other foot, I expect the police to act accordingly… The real vermin are the likes of Mr Fitchett and the animals in red coats who ride the horses, not the poor animal they are chasing. P Beaven, Swindon (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 28.2.05 Tackle the yobs not the hunters - FOR eight years this government has promised a crackdown on crime, and with a forthcoming election the promises start again. A word of advice Tony, had this government spent as much time on beating crime as they spent on fox hunting (700 hours and still counting) our streets and homes would be safer…. In my mind fox hunting is not a criminal offence, mugging and robbing elderly people who can no longer defend themselves is, so don't let's see police using valuable time to police fox hunts, put them on the street to combat today's criminals… H FITCHETT, Wroughton (letter)

Western Mail 28.3.05 Alun Michael sends his 2004 newsletter - For the first time in 18 years I have seen correspondence pushed through my letterbox from my MP, Alun Michael. Dated 2004-05, it is his "newsletter"… Under the column headed "Your spokesman at the heart of government", he states, "I have also spent time enabling Parliament to resolve the issue of hunting" Spent time indeed: well, for the readers' advice, this amounts to 700 hours debating fatuous issues about foxes… your time should have been spent here in your constituency dealing with the issues that matter and you have failed to represent your people. ROGER DILLON Melville Avenue, St Mellons, Cardiff. (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 28.3.05 WORKING TO REPEAL ACT - George Barwick (Have Your Say, March 7 ) is long on propaganda and misinformation and totally devoid of facts…. If Mr Barwick had spoken to farmers about drag-hunting he would realise that few of them in Wales would tolerate it because if it is of no purpose, it doesn't control foxes or provide a vital fallen stock collection service…. Mr Barwick's fantasy that 100,000 hounds are shot every year is ludicrous! There are only 25,000 hounds in the country and this gross misinformation is indicative of just how lacking in fact Mr Barwick's letter is… Adrian Simpson, Director for Wales for the Countryside Alliance, Napier House, Spilman Street, Carmarthen (letter)

Western Morning News 28.3.05 Anti-rural bias - DOES anyone know why so much of the legislation introduced by the Government can be put in the anti-countryside box?... Alan Richards, Hornchurch, London
Hunt inconsistency - WHEN Mr Hobday from the League Against Cruel Sports is quoted (WMN, March 23) as saying the chasing of foxes is the cruellest part of hunting, it gives the lie to their constant claim that foxes are killed by being torn apart by the dogs…. Does he really believe it is better for an animal to be shot dead rather than be chased by dogs which it can easily outrun?... Giles Bradshaw, Rose Ash, Devon (letters)

Western Daily Press 28.3.05 NO HALF-WAY HOUSE ON CRUELTY - Once again we witness the disturbing sight of a stag being pursued by hounds (WDP, March 19), though it may just as well have been a pack of wolves. One can only imagine the terror and distress this poor animal was going through. The joint Master of the Quantock Staghounds, Brian Palmer, stated they were not hunting illegally. Surely your picture and other evidence supplied by the League Against Cruel Sports paints a different picture and this should be dealt with by the full force of the law… S R Grimes Sharpness Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.3.05 I'M FOXED BY THIS STRANGE AGENDA - It amazes me that we have animal rights activists campaigning against hunting foxes when there are 600 abortions each day in this country. So, it is fine for us all to kill babies up to 24 weeks of age, but we must not kill a fox…. Charlie Wilkinson Wedmore Somerset (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 28.3.05 Giving a fox a bad name - Further to a recent letter pertaining to foxes, these animals have a very important ecological niche to fill. They are seldom, if ever, a problem. It is the vermin that hounded them that is the problem…. A fox will kill a lamb, if it is very weak, but only when also very small. The ewe is quite capable of defending her lamb. A P KIRK, Middlesbrough (letter)

The Sentinel 28.3.05 FOX IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION - I Am very concerned about fox hunting and that fox hunters kill them for sport. If this carries on, foxes will become extinct, and foxes are rather attractive animals. If there is any fox hunting at all, they should be killed for a reason, not only because it is fun. I feel that we should have some fox hunting, but not enough to make them extinct…. HANNAH McCALLUM Aged 10 Ryecroft Middle School Rocester (letter)


Observer 27.3.05 This much I know - Yun Hilder, forager, 37, south Wales - Interview by James Aufenast - People laugh at morris dancers, but they're carrying on a tradition. As a hunter-gatherer I'm part of something that's been going on for thousands of years - I feel privileged…. I'm completely pro-hunting if I need food for myself, but I don't agree with going after one fox with 20-plus dogs, five guys running ahead, and 40 people on horseback. It's a wonderful day out; you get pissed beforehand, canter on a big horse and then something gets chopped up and the blood is poured over your face if it's your first time. But the animal is suffering and I'd rather it was shot dead immediately…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 27.3.05 Christopher Booker's notebook - A law that stinks to high heaven - Graham Morris, a farmer near Builth Wells in mid-Wales, is an angry man. Like thousands of other sheep farmers, as the lambing season approaches its height, he is confronting for the first time the horrendous implications of one of the greatest regulatory shambles Brussels has ever created. Large numbers of lambs inevitably die or are stillborn on the hills, but farmers are no longer permitted to bury them or leave them to be eaten by foxes and birds. Under the EC's Animal By-Products Regulation, 1774/2002, all "fallen stock" must be gathered up and placed in sealed containers, to be collected by contractors, at a cost of up to £50 an animal, then transported, sometimes hundreds of miles, to be rendered down or incinerated in a licensed plant…. Farmers must thus wait up to five weeks to have carcases collected, often by vehicles so filthy that they make a mockery of hygiene or "biosecurity". As Mr Morris says, this "not only risks spreading infection among farms, but could be a hazard to human health; for instance by exposing pregnant women to the risk of infectious abortion"…. (story)


Western Morning News 26.3.05 Most malicious - SO ALISON Hawes believes that anti-hunt organisations and hunt saboteurs should stop their "malicious prejudiced attacks on the hunting community". What planet is she from? Maybe she should have watched the Tonight programme last week when we were treated to a display of sheer hooligan behaviour from the huntsmen and their cronies from the Crawley and Horsham Hunt…. F Cleaves, Par (letter)

Northern Echo 26.3.05 IN the run up to the hunting ban, pro-hunters declared their "concern" for the plight of their hounds should their "sport" be denied them. They emotively paraded their children, on horseback, apparently distraught at such a prospect of having the hounds destroyed. It is high time people realise that Marjorie Embling's (HAS, Mar 16) experience of the treatment of dogs bred for hunting is all too common…. D Anklam, Durham. (letter in archive)


Horse & Hound 25.3.05 Charges dropped in Parliament Square case - A pro-hunting supporter who complained to the IPCC about the behaviour of the police during the demonstration last September has had the case against her dropped… Kate Lovelace, 28, attended a hearing last week at Bow Street Magistrates' Court to be told the charge of threatening behaviour under section four of the Public Order Act had been withdrawn. She had already appeared in court two weeks earlier to find that the prosecution asked for an adjournment because it did not have the necessary papers. “It's a relief,” said Kate, who hunts with the South Dorset and works in racehorse insurance. “But I really didn't think they had any sort of case. I'm not out of pocket — I was granted legal aid — but it was a nuisance because I wasted two days' holiday to go to court.”… A police officer accused of assaulting a pro-hunting protestor during the demonstration in Parliament Square last September appeared in court yesterday… (story)
Western Morning News 25.3.05 POLICEMAN DENIES ASSAULT IN PRO-HUNT PROTESTS - A police officer denied assaulting a protester during last September's pro-hunting demonstration in Parliament Square when he appeared in court yesterday. Neil Latteman, 43, a serving Metropolitan Police constable, appeared before Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London accused of assaulting the demonstrator on September 15 last year… (story)
BBC News Online 24.3.05 PC denies pro-hunt demo assault - A police officer has denied assaulting a protester during last September's pro-hunting demo in Parliament Square. Neil Latteman, 43, a Metropolitan Police constable, appeared at Bow Street Magistrates' Court on Thursday accused of assaulting the demonstrator. He is alleged to have thrown two unprovoked and unnecessary punches at the complainant, Mark Faulkner…. (story)
Sunday Mirror 13.3.05 RIOT COPS HUNTED - Pro-hunt clash sparks biggest ever police force prosecution By Andy Gardner Crime Correspondent - UP TO 22 riot police face criminal prosecution over clashes with fox-hunting supporters in London. It will be the biggest-ever prosecution of officers and has sparked fury amongst rank-and-file coppers…. (story)
Scotsman 10.3.05 Court date - A POLICE officer is to appear in court on 24 March accused of assaulting a protester during last September’s pro-hunting demonstration in London. … (story)
BBC News Online 10.3.05 Met officer facing assault charge - A Metropolitan Police officer will appear in court accused of assaulting a protester during the pro-hunt demonstrations, it has emerged. The 43-year-old will face a common assault charge at Bow Street Magistrates' Court on 24 March…. (story)
Western Morning News 10.3.05 PROTEST POLICE OFFICER CHARGED - Assault on hunt demonstrator is alleged - A police officer is to appear in court accused of assaulting a protester during last September's massive pro-hunting demonstration in Parliament Square….(story)
Western Daily Press 10.3.05 DEMO OFFICER ACCUSED - A Police officer is to appear in court accused of assaulting a protester during last September's pro-hunting demonstration in Parliament Square, it emerged yesterday. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has served a summons on the 43-year-old Metropolitan Police officer for alleged common assault… (story)
Horse & Hound 10.3.05 New arrests of Parliament Square protestors - Abigail Butcher - Hunt supporters who made complaints against the police officers' behaviour in Parliament Square last September are now being arrested for public order offences - The Metropolitan Police have begun a fresh spate of arrests following the hunting demonstration in Parliament Square on 15 September last year, the day the Hunting Bill was passed. Twenty-one hunt supporters were arrested that day. In the past month eight more have been arrested, and unconfirmed reports indicate that as many as 50 further arrests are being considered…. Mal Williams, huntsman and master of the South Herefordshire, complained to the IPCC five weeks before he received a letter asking him to go to his local police station to be arrested. “Two senior police officers came up [from London] to meet me at Hereford police station,” said Williams. “I couldn't work out why I was being arrested. Then it dawned on me; I made a complaint after my kennel huntsman, Steven Lenton, was bashed and had to have 24 stitches in his head. Four or five weeks later, I'm having my collar felt by the Met.”… (story)
Sunday Telegraph 20.2.05 I'm a Prime Minister, get me out there By Quentin Letts - Last week's buzz term was "the politics of engagement". Innocents might immediately think of the happy, though in some quarters sourly received, news of the Prince of Wales's betrothal to Camilla Parker Bowles. Or was it something to do with the engaging of battle between fox hunters and the police?... allow me to tell you about Mal Williams, a 47-year-old hunt servant and joint master of the South Herefordshire. Last week he had to forgo one of his last legal days in the field to appear before the Bow Street beaks following last autumn's argy-bargy in Parliament Square. His experiences suggest that the Government is not going to be as relaxed about Hunting Act infringements as has been suggested. Mr Williams, like some other hunting men, was arrested only after contacting the Police Complaints Commission… While Mr Williams was having his fingerprints taken one of the Met heavies told him: "We'd rather not prat around with this sort of thing. Far worse things happen at football grounds every week. But you have to realise things have become political."…(story)
Western Gazette 20.1.05 LONDON RALLY PROTEST COSTS FARMER £100 - A West Pennard farmer who attended the Countryside Rally at Parliament Square on 15 September appeared before Wells magistrates, sitting in Frome on Monday, after he admitted threatening behaviour. Brett George Parsons, aged 45, of Sticklynch initially appeared at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court 14 days later when he was made the subject of a 75-hour community punishment order… Parsons said: "I was involved in the countryside rally and, while being moved on, the police got aggressive with my younger brother and I tried to help him. He is only 16 but the police took no notice of what I was saying. I was only asking what was happening to my brother as I felt responsible."… (story)
Western Morning News 11.1.05 CRIMES BY HUNT DEMO POLICE? - Investigators looking at complaints of brutality by police at September's pro-hunt demonstration in Parliament Square believe officers may have committed serious offences. The offences the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) believes may have been committed by police officers include violent disorder, affray and grievous bodily harm… A court application is being made to get the WMN and other media to release photographs and film which the IPCC believes raise "serious public concerns" about the conduct of certain police officers, which in turn "have serious implications for the reputation of the Metropolitan Police Service"… (story)

Dudley News 25.3.05 What has the fox hunting ban really done? - I wonder if the so-called animal lovers really know what they have helped to create when the Hunting Bill becomes law on February 18. It will be a sad day for foxes after that date as they will become enemy number one on any sporting estate, as the damage they cause to game birds and other wildlife will no longer be tolerated… Mike Williams, Sedgley (letter in archive)

Waterford News & Star 25.3.05 Airing other side of the argument - Mindful of how valuable space is in a newspaper, it was strange to see one page of the Waterford News & Star given over to photographs taken at the recent Waterford Foxhounds Hunt Ball. One wonders what internal strings were pulled to get a minority event such valuable public exposure as an element of public relations for the Waterford Foxhounds… From: John Tierney, Campaigns Director-Association of Hunt Saboteurs, PO Box 4734, Dublin 1 (letter)

Shropshire Star 25.3.05 Save the tortured killer bugs - I watched the BBC TV programme filmed at Kew Gardens… Small insects that feed on the chlorophyll of some of the palm leaves are sprayed with a dilute solution of fungus which immediately proceeds to gobble up the poor little blighters. I expect to see the animal rights activists lined up outside Kew… The Society for the Prevention of Veal, and Fox Hunting; promoters of the release of killer ermine into the wild, not to mention their awesome activities to protect the guinea pig. If protection of aphids is not a matter for animal rights groups around the country then I don't know what is…. Peter Sharman Arddleen (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 25.3.05 'HUNTING ACT IS ABOUT POLITICAL PREJUDICES' - Kay Chapman, Countryside Alliance regional director. (letter)
Western Gazette 24.3.05 WE WANT THIS LAW - In response to Alison Hawes re the Hunting Act 2004. The British people do want this legislation - where does she get the idea that the out-dated hunting of wild creatures is acceptable in modern society?... One elderly lady with a long memory, (name supplied) Clarence Road, Dorchester (letter)
Western Daily Press 12.3.05 ALLIANCE IGNORES DEMOCRATIC LAWS - Am I the only one to be amazed at the ludicrous level of self-importance displayed by the Countryside Alliance? Delly Everard of the Wessex Countryside Alliance says the hunting act is 'ridiculous and unenforceable legislation, which seeks to make criminals of law-abiding citizens'. But if she and other members of the hunting lobby defy the act, there is no doubt that they are not 'law-abiding' but are 'criminals'…. Charlie Bolton, Parliamentary candidate, Bristol South Green Party (letter)
Cheddar Valley Gazette 11.3.05 HUNT SABOTEURS SHOULD STOP CAUSING UNNECESSARY TROUBLE - Alison Hawes, Countryside Alliance regional director (letter)
Shropshire Star 10.3.05 Bill nothing to do with animal welfare - Adrian Simpson, Countryside Alliance, Regional Director (letter)
Western Gazette 10.3.05 HUNTERS WILL NOT KILL WITH IMPUNITY - Alison Hawes, the regional director of the Countryside Alliance, suggests in her letter to the Western Gazette that Dorset Police has little interest in enforcing the law against hunting with dogs. Some readers may now, mistakenly, believe that if any Dorset hunt decides to break the law in the future it can do so with impunity and it can be sure that Dorset Police will do little or nothing to stop them. This is not the case, Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Whiting has clearly stated that "allegations of any offences against the Hunting Act will be investigated using the protocols already in existence for wildlife crimes"…As for malicious attacks, I would suggest that any interested reader visits the hunt saboteurs' own website - I was appalled by the long list of extremely violent physical attacks by hunters and hunt supporters on hunt saboteurs and monitors which have been carried out nationally in recent months… One is reminded of the memorable comment made by a master of the Essex Hunt: "Horsewhipping a saboteur is rather like beating a wife. Both are personal matters." Peter Irvine, Blandford, full address supplied. (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 7.3.05 'The law is the law, hunters' - I was amazed to read the letter from Liz Mort "Stop wasting police time" in the ET on March 3. How ignorant of the facts can she be? She claims that it has nothing to do with animal welfare. Try asking the fox for his opinion…. No! Ms Mort, if you beak the law you are a criminal and should be dealt with accordingly. It is you who should stop wasting police time…. Gordon Burkinshaw, Icklingham, Bury St Edmunds (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 7.3.05 IF YOU DON'T HUNT, YOU WON'T WASTE POLICE CASH - The letter by Alison Hawes, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, Points of view, March 3, made me very angry. How dare she complain about the cost of the police enforcing the Hunting Act and then, at the same time, object to monitors of the League Against Cruel Sports doing the same job for nothing? Police, in the past, have incurred considerable costs on account of the hunting fraternity… Provided Alison Hawes, and her former hunting friends, respect the new law, there will be no need for police to become involved…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Bath Chronicle 5.3.05 HOW IS THIS ACTING WITHIN THE LAW? On March 1 you published a letter from a regional director of the Countryside Alliance in which the writer… accused hunt monitors of already "wasting valuable police resources" with unsubstantiated accusations. She assured readers that hunters would continue to "act within the law". On the day the Act came into force, an MP and his female assistant were physically assaulted by local hunt supporters…. Would the previous writer firstly explain how such incidents, witnessed by millions on TV, can be described as "nothing more than malicious accusations", how such behaviour is "acting within the law"? LEN LIECHTI, Newbridge Road, Bath (letter)
West Cumberland Times & Star 4.3.05 - THE Hunting Act 2004 has nothing to do with animal welfare and everything to do with political prejudice, as last weekend has shown…. TOM FELL, Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)
Western Morning News 4.3.05 PREJUDICED ATTACKS ON HUNT - Alison Hawes, Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)
Warminster & Westbury Standard 3.3.05 WELFARE IS NOT PART OF NEW ACT - DELLY EVERARD Regional director Countryside Alliance (letter)
Ilkley Gazette 3.3.05 Prejudice - John Haigh Regional Director, Countryside Alliance (letter in archive)
Glamorgan Gem 3.3.05 ‘Hunting is a low priority for police ’ - Adrian Simpson, Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter in archive)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 3.3.05 'Stop wasting police time' - Liz Mort Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)
North East Evening Gazette 3.3.05 Hunting's a low priority - RICHARD DODD, Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)
Worcester Evening News 3.3.05 Political prejudice that masquerades as welfare CLARE ROWSON, Countryside Alliance Regional Director. (letter in archive)
Exeter Express & Echo 3.3.05 HUNTS WILL ACT WITHIN THE LAW UNTIL IT IS OVERTURNED - Alison Hawes, Regional Director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Western Gazette 3.3.05 HUNT BAN BORN OF POLITICAL PREJUDICE - Alison Hawes Regional Director, Countryside Alliance, address supplied. (letter)
West Briton 3.3.05 ACT IS ABOUT PREJUDICE, NOT ANIMAL WELFARE - ALISON HAWES, Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)
Glamorgan Gem 2.3.05 Hunting ban: who is wasting police time? - Adrian Simpson, Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter in archive)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 1.3.05 Police time is being wasted - TOM FELL, Countryside Alliance Regional Director. (letter in archive)
Bath Chronicle 1.3.05 WE DON'T WANT IT - ALISON HAWES Countryside Alliance Regional director (letter)
Western Morning News 1.3.05 Wasting resources - Alison Hawes, Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 1.3.05 HUNT BAN TO DO WITH PREJUDICE - CLARE ROWSON, Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 26.2.05 HUNTS DON'T INTEND TO BREAK THE LAW - The Hunting Act 2004 has nothing to do with animal welfare and everything to do with political prejudice, last weekend demonstrated that. Politicians have created a situation that has resulted in police officers being diverted from frontline policing activities and refocused on ensuring rural people are culling foxes within the law…. Kay Chapman, Regional Director,Countryside Alliance. (letter)


Horse & Hound 24.3.05 First pack accused of illegal hunting - The League Against Cruel Sports hands film of the Quantock Staghounds to police but staghounds master says the pack was flushing legally - Video footage of the Quantock Staghounds supposedly flouting the hunting ban on Exmoor last Thursday has been handed to police by League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) “monitors”…. LACS claimed on 25 February to be preparing six complaints, using film and eyewitness accounts. But none of these seems to have materialised. A LACS spokesman would not confirm whether the Quantock footage was the first film to be handed in…. (story)
Western Daily Press 19.3.05 IS THIS PROOF THAT A WEST HUNT IS BREAKING THE LAW? - Are these the pictures that prove illegal hunting is taking place in the West? Yesterday, the League Against Cruel Sports handed a package of photographs and film to police, claiming it was evidence of hunters breaking the law. However, Brian Palmer, joint master of the Quantock Staghounds, strongly refuted the allegations, saying: "We were not hunting illegally." LACS claim that at least six hounds from the Quantock Staghounds were seen chasing a stag in the heart of Exmoor on Thursday. The animal was seen being pursued across two fields by up to seven dogs before disappearing from view. A single shot was heard a few minutes later, they claim…. Sanctuary manager Paul Tillsley, who was among the League's staff following the early stages of the hunt, said: "We believe this shows the hunt is ignoring the ban. In our view, this is hunting in that the stag can be clearly seen being chased by a pack of hounds." Mr Palmer, of the Quantock Staghounds, yesterday denied the claims but declined to be drawn on the details of the hunt…. Three LACS staff based at the Baron's Down sanctuary in Dulverton - Mr Tillsley, Mr Palmer and Ed Shephard - were monitoring the Quantock Staghounds when they met for their regular Thursday foray into Exmoor…. (story)

Guardian 24.3.05 Farmer held for offal attack - A 37-year-old farmer was arrested and cautioned yesterday for throwing offal at the fisheries minister, Ben Bradshaw, during a pro-hunting protest… (story)
Western Morning News 24.3.05 POLICE CAUTION FARMER OVER BRADSHAW ATTACK - A farmer was yesterday arrested and cautioned for pelting the Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw, with offal during a pro-hunting demonstration. Mr Bradshaw received a cut near his right eye after the protester threw a piece of hollowed-out fruit containing entrails at him. He was attending a conference on fishing at Devon County Hall in Exeter on January 17, when he was met by about 70 angry Countryside Alliance pro hunt protestors…. (story)
(probably Torquay Herald Express) 24.3.05 ENTRAILS THROWER CAUTIONED BY POLICE - A South Devon protester has admitted throwing entrails at Cabinet Minister Ben Bradshaw. The 37-year-old man, from Ashburton, threw a piece of hollowed out fruit containing animal parts at the Exeter MP at a South West Regional Fisheries conference at County Hall, Exeter, earlier this year… (story)
BBC News Online 23.3.05 Offal thrower receives a caution - A 37-year-old farmer has been cautioned for throwing offal at Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw during a pro-hunting demonstration. Mr Bradshaw received a cut near his right eye after the protester threw a piece of hollowed-out fruit containing entrails at him in Exeter in January…. The man cautioned for throwing the offal made a full apology to Mr Bradshaw and gave a donation to the Fishermen's Mission…. (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 24.3.05 EVENT: Hunt fans' stage show of support PEOPLE opposed to the ban on fox hunting are set to meet in Peterborough to celebrate the now illegal rural tradition. The Peterborough Festival of Hunting will be held this summer at the East of England Showground, Alwalton, and will feature displays of different breeds of hunting dogs, and horse-riding competitions. However, George Bowyer, joint master of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, which rides near Peterborough, said it would also give pro-hunting protesters a chance to discuss ways of taking their fight to the Houses of Parliament…. (story)

Daily Post 24.3.05 I'll risk jail to bury my lambs By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - REBEL farmer Peter Rogers could face up to two years in jail after openly defying regulations banning the on-farm burial of dead farm animals. Yesterday he took on the authorities by burying five sheep and a sack of lambs which had remained uncollected on his Anglesey farm for five weeks… Mr Rogers had wanted to clear Anglesey of rotting carcasses before thousands of holidaymakers arrived for the Easter break. However an open invitation to other island farmers to bury their stock at his Cefn Dderwen farm, Brynsiencyn, was abandoned after unions advised they too could be prosecuted…. Mr Rogers says he does not blame the official collectors, Wrexhambased Cluttons, who were doing their best, but said the National Fallen Stock Scheme was fatally flawed…. (story)

Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald 24.3.05 Protest over dead animals By Lee Roberts, Caernarfon Herald - A FARMER has spoken out about his concerns after dead sheep are left to rot on farms across Gwynedd for weeks at a time. W D Williams, of Aberdaron, has slammed the recent introduction of an EU directive on fallen stock… He himself had to wait a week and a half for dead animals to be removed from his farm and he claimed that in one case, a farmer had to wait five weeks… (story)

Ulster Herald 24.3.05 Farmer furious at financial faux pas by Fallen Animals company By Tommy Nethery - A WEST Tyrone farmer has said he was horrified to learn that details of his bank account appear to have been sent to someone else following what amounts to an administrative cock-up by officials of the National Fallen Animals Stock Company (nfSCo). The farmer, who didn‘t wish to be identified, told the UHthat he registered for the National Fallen Animals Scheme over the telephone at the end of February…. Explained the shocked beef and sheep producer: ‘As I flicked through the pages it soon became apparent it belonged to another farmer from Co Antrim. The documentation contained the farmer‘s trading name, bank account number and sort code…." (story may be in archive)

Times 24.3.05 Where there's life - HOW can a Government which spent so many hours on the Hunting Bill say that abortion should be left to an individual’s conscience? It would have been far better if hunting were left as a matter of conscience and abortion banned…. David Ramsbotham, Norwich (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 24.3.05 URBAN FOX - I reside in Arbour Valley… I thought the ban on hunting/Would improve your countryside… But I was wrong, they tell me, "Cos they"ll shoot you now instead/And feed you to the foxhounds/Who will tear you shred from shred…. (letter)

Banbury Guardian 24.3.05 MORE FOXES WILL DIE UNDER THE ALTERNATIVE - IN response to Ann Wylie’s letter (Your View, March 10) I have to say that she displays breathtaking ignorance of the people who live and work in the countryside. If she believes that we are either feudal landlords or downtrodden serfs, then she really is living in cloud cuckoo land…. The point which Ms Wylie clearly missed, by the huntsmen displaying dead foxes which had been legally killed by alternative methods, was that more foxes will be killed (and injured) than by traditional fox hunting. A M Jervis, Winderton, Banbury (letter)
Banbury Guardian 10.3.05
VIDEOS EXPOSE REAL CRUELTY - THE excellent anonymous letter "Fox hunting out of date" (Your View, February 24) confirms my view that many who live and work in rural areas are afraid to speak out against those who may be their employers or landlords…. It will be a sad day for democracy if the Government, having had this ban on their manifesto for decades, gives in to these feudal throwbacks whose activities have been exposed by the invention of the video camera. Anne Wylie, Queen’s Road, Banbury (letter)

Sunderland Echo 24.3.05 Cruelty not class issue - WHY do people like Kathleen Surtees and the like insist on degrading the cause and the work of all people with a genuine interest in animal welfare by turning it in to a class war? Today some working people and many of the better-off sons of working people participate in fox hunting, fly fishing and shooting. All these sports are regarded as the pursuits of the rich and privileged… Fox hunters (and research establishments) are the soft targets. No doubt fishing and horse racing are also on the agenda… Anti-cruelty (letter)
Sunderland Echo 17.3.05 Bill is long overdue - NOW that the Hunting with Dogs Bill has been passed, there is a sign that means justice for animals in our world. This Bill has taken a long time to come into force and, it seems, had become a big issue and a fight between working class and the upper classes. Those who have gone hunting with the sole intention of murdering foxes, deer and hares or rabbits have been warned…. Kathleen Surtees, Hylton Castle, Sunderland (letter)

Western Gazette 24.3.05 CITY FOLK AND THE COUNTRY SCENE - So hunting with dogs is banned. Well it could not have been very efficient as the fox is still with us. An experienced healthy fox could usually lose a pack of hounds, either by leading them on to a scent of another fox, or into thick undergrowth which would slow a pack down considerably… I have no doubt that soon farm machinery will be banned from using the country roads, all footpaths paved and street lights installed in all villages so that we will no longer be overawed by the dominating panorama of the stars on a moonless night. Once we've got rid of the odorous farms and grubby industry the countryside will be like a well cared for park, with the grass and hedges trimmed, the trees lollypopped and not a patch of unsightly natural wild land in sight. R. H. Smart, Napier Close, Puncknowle. (letter)

The Sentinel 24.3.05 APRIL FOOL'S DAY COMES EARLY - Read all about it, read all about it, fox savages and kills fully grown alsatian dog. Read all about it, read all about it, fox savages and kills fully grown sheep. Read all about it, fox chases off entire hunting party and hounds. Read all about it. Oops, there goes a pink elephant and my great-grandfather was a leprechaun…. If anything is found torn to pieces in the countryside it's more than likely to be the victim of a pack of ravenous hounds in pursuit of a 'normal' terrified fox. PETER T RIDGWAY Bradwell (letter)

The Comet 24.3.05 Hunt farce It's right to monitor hunt. Having read the two letters in the March 17 edition of The Comet from the same family responding to the hunt monitoring issue. It is not the fact that local hunts are now being monitored that is objectionable, they have been monitored for many years by the animal rights organisations, it is the waste of police resources that is the main problem. Before the ban if you were lucky you would encounter only one or possibly two police officers in attendance but often none at all. At a recent meet near Kimpton there were six officers in three patrol cars who lost the hunt as it crossed the country. They then called up the police helicopter to help to try and find the hunt so that they could continue to monitor their activities…. I am sure the chief constable would be only too grateful to have his six officers back patrolling the streets of Hitchin and Letchworth where they are most sorely needed, rather than spending their shift pottering around the country lanes of North Herts looking over the hedgerows trying to find a bunch of horse riders and their dogs. Name and address withheld (letter)


Carlisle News & Star 23.3.05 ‘WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ANTI-HUNT VIGILANTES’ By Nick Griffiths - CUMBRIA Police chiefs say they will not tolerate vigilante action from anti-hunt protesters. Officers also claim animal welfare groups have no cause for concern as hunts have toed the line since the ban on hunting with dogs came into effect. Superintendent Steve Turnbull said everything had gone according to plan following the introduction of the controversial new legislation on February 18… But Elaine Milbourn, Cumbrian spokeswoman for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Nobody has said that there is going to be vigilante action… If the hunts can’t bear to be filmed they’ve got something to hide.” (story)
Western Morning News 21.3.05 POLICE WARN HUNTING 'VIGILANTE' GROUPS - Police chiefs sought to distance themselves from the row over the hunting ban yesterday when they warned they would not act on evidence collected by "vigilante" animal rights groups.bIn a letter to hunt supporters Alastair McWhirter, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, made it clear that police were not interested in following up allegations of illegal hunting activity made by self-appointed hunt monitors…. (story)
Horse & Hound 18.3.05 Police chief denounces “vigilantes” - Despite claims by a prominent chief constable that police will not use “vigilantes” to help enforce the hunting ban, saboteurs remain as active as ever, particularly in the south… Nigel Yeo, public order working group lead and assistant chief constable for Sussex Police, issued an internal pre-ban memo to all police forces in mid-January. He said: “[Anti-hunting] groups are committed to working with police to secure prosecutions relevant to anything they identify. Their hunt monitors may become witnesses. We should be mindful of their safety.” But in a reply to a letter from a Wiltshire hunt supporter, Alastair McWhirter, spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on hunting with dogs, appears to contradict Yeo's instructions. In his more recent letter McWhirter said: “The Police Service recognises that there will be some... groups, who… will wish to disrupt legal hunting and inform police about any illegal activities. The Police Service actively discourages this and does not wish to use, or have any part, in such activities… we will not be using vigilantes.”… Around 40 “monitors”, many in black balaclavas, followed the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray the previous weekend. As a consequence, joint-master Nick Bamber wrote to his local chief constable to ask: “Should a number of saboteurs over, say, six, be allowed to 'monitor' when more than this is intimidating? When [they] walk over the scent line, is this disruptive — as hounds may cast off the line, with possible difficult results as far as the law is concerned?”… (story)

Northern Echo 23.3.05 There's no excuse for this savagery by Harry Mead - IT HAS emerged that down in East Yorkshire, the Holderness Hunt chased a fox for four miles. The hunt says it was unable to stop the hounds, which finally killed the fox with the usual savagery: no flushing out and shooting. If allowing a pack of dogs to crash uncontrolled around the countryside for four miles isn't criminal behaviour then it ought to be…. (story in archive)

Western Morning News 23.3.05 TORIES WILL GRANT BADGER CULL LICENCES - JASON GROVES LONDON EDITOR - WESTCOUNTRY farmers will be granted licences to kill diseased badgers, under new Conservative proposals to halt the spread of bovine TB. Speaking at the launch of the Tories' manifesto for farming yesterday, the shadow animal health minister, Owen Paterson, said a future Tory government would issue badger culling licences in severely infected areas like the Westcountry…. The TB announcement was one of a package of measures unveiled by the Tories yesterday to attract rural voters. Other measures included:… New legislation to allow Parliament to reverse the hunting ban…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 23.3.05 Help animal charity call to huntsmen By Debra Douglas - Hunt organisers in Lurgan have been asked to make a donation to an animal welfare charity after their hounds mauled an eight-year-old girl's cat to death. Audrey Spence, whose daughter's cat Misty was killed by hounds during the Iveagh Hunt on St Patrick's Day, said she felt such a donation was "the least the hunt could do" to make amends for what happened… Mrs Spence said she was now opposed to hunting… (story)
Belfast Telegraph 21.3.05 St Patrick's Day hunting hounds savage pet cat By Debra Douglas - Hounds taking part in a St Patrick's Day hunt in Lurgan viciously mauled an eight-year-old girl's beloved cat to death, it emerged today. Audrey Spence returned from holiday yesterday to learn that hounds from the Iveagh Hunt got into the garden of her Connaught Park home and killed her daughter's cat Misty…. A spokesman for the hunt apologised and said organisers planned to make restitution… (story)

Reading Chronicle 23.3.05 Newbury audience warms to Widdecombe - SHE may be used to fielding tough questions in front of a hostile audience, but politician and author Ann Widdecombe enjoyed a warm reception when she came to Newbury…. And Miss Widdecombe - a staunch anti-hunting activist - even had time to chat to a group of hunt supporters, which awaited her arrival outside the Market Place theatre… (story)

Western Morning News 23.3.05 MP WILLING TO TAKE CONTROVERSIAL STAND - As the first beneficiary of Labour's controversial all-women shortlist policy, Candy Atherton was always going to ruffle a few feathers when she arrived in Cornwall in the mid 1990s…. She has been best known, until now, for her advocacy of the controversial hunting ban. Despite living close to a hunt kennels in one of the most heavily hunted regions of the country, Ms Atherton has been a high profile supporter of the ban. Hunt supporters claim she brought urban values to a largely rural constituency, and have vowed to campaign for her opponents at the coming election… (story)

Guardian 23.3.05 Rich land owners scoop up crock of gold from EU - Biggest operators gather up most of state cash at expense of small farmers - Rob Evans and David Hencke … The Blankney Estate, a large cereal holding in Metheringham, Lincolnshire, owned by the Parker family, received £986,000 last year. The estate hosts the Blankney hunt and one member of the family, Ruth Parker, is reported in Horse and Hound as being keen on keeping meets going on in defiance of the hunting ban…. (story)

Glasgow Herald 23.3.05 Must we be so modest as we show England the way? - Iain MacWhirter - Conventional wisdom has it that the Scottish Parliament is a waste of space, a costly irrelevance, which spends its time talking social work jargon, passing pointless politically-correct legislation and handing anything controversial to Westminster under Sewell motions…. Truth be told, since the days of Section 28 (2A, here) – abolished first in Scotland – Scotland has been used, consciously or unconsciously, as a kind of proving ground for UK legislation which was already in the pipeline. The abolition of fox hunting happened first in Scotland, in Mike Watson's Protection of Wild Mammals bill. This has been widely panned for failing to stop the slaughter of foxes – but that was never the objective. It was to stop a particularly barbaric death being inflicted on these animals. The compromise seems to have worked…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express 23.3.05 FOXES WILL THRIVE WITHOUT HUNTING - David Ahearn (Your View, Mar 15) claims that those who supported a hunting ban have misunderstood the reasons behind the hunt. He's wrong - it is precisely because of their knowledge of why hunting takes place that caused them, and the majority in Parliament of cross-party members, to fight for a ban…. LEN SHORT, St James Road, Upton, Torquay. (letter)

Western Mail 23.3.05 Let them shoot and fish if they wish - In reply to Mandy Pasket's letter (March 10), it would seem that all the country way of life is at stake. Does she think that pheasants and game birds are all wild?... To go on to children playing computer games etc, it is a well-known fact children are overweight now and if we take away the outdoor pastimes health troubles will follow. They should be allowed to follow hounds and go fishing and shooting if they wish. D WILLIAMS, Bryncae, Llanharan (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 23.3.05 MORALLY INDEFENSIBLE - S Witty informs us that "huntspeople of this country do a good job looking after the countryside and the wildlife, it is a way of life and has been for centuries", (Viewpoint, March 16). It is of course in the interest of hunters to protect the environment that provides their sport, but wild animals should not have to pay for conservation with their lives… To say that hunting animals for sport is "a way of life", is pure nonsense. It is a hobby, a cruel pastime rooted in medieval times, which has been blown out of all proportion in order to justify it…. Pat Wickham, North Street, Caistor. (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 23.3.05 Let fox rest in peace - In reply to the letter about the hunting ban (Put Fox To Sleep, 5.3.05): T J Waters of Saltburn suggested that all hounds be muzzled to allow the hunters and hounds to fulfil all their functions… This so-called sport was banned because of the cruelty these poor creatures had to endure…. Fox hunting was banned for a reason. It was barbaric. There can be no loophole. Yes, let the fox sleep, but peacefully. The only one who should wear a muzzle is T J Waters. L OLVANHILL, Eston (letter)


Western Daily Press 22.3.05 FELIX HAS A RUDE REPLY TO ANTI-HUNT MOVES - Felix, a silhouetted cartoon fox whose image has appeared on thousands of road signs throughout the West over the weekend, represents the latest bizarre twist in the pro-hunting campaign. The distinctive yellow and black image shows Felix giving a V-sign - apparently to the Government…. The campaign is promoting a mysterious website called fighttheban. com but, last night, anti-hunt groups dismissed the move as nothing more than a joke . And the Countryside Alliance said the website and campaign had nothing to do with its members after it emerged one of Felix's stunts is a mass "drag squirrel hunt" in one of London's upmarket squares… (story)

Western Mail 22.3.05 Fallen stock 'shambles' row - Steve Dube, Western Mail - DEFRA has admitted that it does not know how much it is costing farmers and there have been dozens of cases where dead animals have been left to rot for 48 hours or more. NFU Cymru says some corpses have lain around decomposing for three weeks on Anglesey before being collected…. The Government signed up to the EU ban, designed to prevent environmental pollution and reduce potential health hazards, before any alternative was in place. Farmers found themselves at risk of breaking the law at the same time as the only alternative disposal method - hunt kennels - were threatened by the hunting ban…. (story)
Western Mail 22.3.05 'Farmers have been badly let down' - Steve Dube, Western Mail - NFU Cymru Anglesey county chairman Trevor Lloyd said farmers had joined the Fallen Stock scheme in good faith and had been badly let down. "We have numerous examples of carcasses left on farms for three weeks whilst awaiting pick-up," said Mr Lloyd. "And there is a total lack of bio-security on the collection vehicles as they travel from farm to farm…." (story)

Western Morning News 22.3.05 THE SILENT MAJORITY MUST STOP THE BULLIES - I write in reply to C Crook of Plymouth and F Cleaves of Par, both of whose recent letters on the subject of the hunt ban have been given, by their publication, the right of free speech, by the WMN - which I applaud. However, neither of these people seems to be able to understand that the UK is a democratic monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. This means that the agreement of both Houses of Parliament, the Commons and the Lords, must be obtained before any law going through that system can, in reality, be acceptable to most people, and therefore worth the paper they are written on. Where absolute agreement cannot be arrived at, as in this case, then it is the duty of both Houses to reach a compromise - and it is this which is missing from the "Anti-Hunting Act" of which these people write, making it untenable… Tess Nash, Helston (letter)

Western Mail 22.3.05 Don't be fooled - I feel I must respond to the most vitriolic and untrue rhetoric coming from the extremist element of the pro-hunt brigade. I suppose it suits them to fool people into believing foxes behave like jackals. The very idea that any fox would attack a powerful calf is also completely ludicrous. Foxes do not hunt in packs, though they do sometimes hunt for food in pairs, but it's usually when a vixen "aunt" takes her charge out on a foraging trip. Plus foxes are only about the size of a corgi dog and very timid, certainly no match for a ewe defending her young…. It's such a pity that a tiny minority prefer to write to your newspaper with untruths in support of those pro hunt extremists who beat up teenage kids, instead of condemning them, as any decent person would. JUDI HEWITT, LACS Contact & Hunt Monitor, Rhyl, Denbighshire (letter)


Northern Echo 21.3.05 'Hunting ban will be hard to enforce' - A SENIOR North-East policeman has warned that the ban on hunting will be difficult to enforce. The outgoing chief constable of Northumbria Police, Crispian Strachan, admits to having adopted a softly-softly approach to dealing with the banned sport. In a television interview, he said: "It is not a high priority because it is not a recordable offence. There are no human victims and -I'm sorry, there will be people watching this who feel very strongly -but I am bound to put human victims before animal victims and then deal accordingly with resources…." (story in archive)
Sunday Sun 20.3.05 Top cop's hunt ban fear - Top cop Crispian Strachan says he doesn't give a fox about fully enforcing the new hunting ban. The outgoing chief constable of Northumbria Police says the ban is difficult to enforce and says calls from witnesses who claim to have seen foxes ripped to shreds by hounds might not be enough to secure prosecutions…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 21.3.05 FARMING CHANGES FOR BETTER - Arguments over fox hunting must not damage the countryside. Many millions of pounds and hundreds of hours of parliamentary time have been spent on the hunting debate over the past few years. This has come at a time when the countryside is changing fast and I would argue that there are broader issues that must be addressed if we are to have a wildlife rich environment and a healthy population…. (story)

Western Morning News 21.3.05 NATION REPRESSED BY NEEDLESS LAWS - The Government has banned the use of handguns and hunting with dogs, on or off leads. Has armed crime reduced? I doubt it. Shooting and angling must be high on the "banning list" for this knee-jerk Government…. The time may be near when we should stand up to bad government, poor policing and take the country back for its inhabitants, by legal means or not. John Hagger, Barnstaple (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.3.05 ANIMAL ACTIVISTS ALSO BREAK LAWS - Now that we have a law that bans hunting, the animal welfare groups are asking the public to report any breach of the law. As a gesture of goodwill I expect these same groups to hand over all those who have placed bombs in scientists' cars…. T J Gardiner Paulton Bristol (letter)

Worcester Evening News 21.3.05 I object to the killing - TIM Pinney is quite entitled to campaign against Michael Foster (Letters, Saturday, March 12). I think Mr Foster's done a splendid job to try and get rid of this evil sport called fox hunting… JOHN SHEARON, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Northern Echo 21.3.05 FOX HUNTING: I UNDERSTAND why Simon Robinson (HAS, Mar 3) enjoys riding out over the countryside…. What I cannot understand is why Mr Robinson needs to hunt down wild animals… - Hugh Pender, Darlington.
MR Robinson (HAS, Mar 3) contradicts himself. He says more often than not the fox gets away, and then he says hunting is the best method of controlling them…. Hunting is an odious form of entertainment and brutalises all involved, especially youngsters who are encouraged to watch…. D Howe, Newton Aycliffe
SO hunting and killing is in people's blood (HAS, Mar 3)? It is also in some people's blood to defend the defenceless from cowardly bloodsports…. M Johnson, Crook (letters in archive)

North East Evening Gazette 21.3.05 Cubs on the move - In reply to N Cook of Stokesley (Lambs To Slaughter, 11.3.05) I am also opposed to hunting foxes. By all means control foxes but shoot them, at least it's a humane end…. F PREST, Eston (letter)

Leicester Mercury 21.3.05 WE'RE NOT FOXED BY MP'S RECORD - Mp David Taylor has always voted against hunting… Those many of us who have had extensive dialogue with him over the years know that maintaining he favoured a "middle way" all along is as absurd as claiming that he voted against the Bill…. He and his fellow travellers will be judged at the polls by those thousands of honest folk whose wishes he ignored and whose lives he has helped to impoverish. David Davidson, Osgathorpe, (letter)


Luton on Sunday 20.3.05 Local hunts are set to continue despite the ban - HUNTING is now against the law, but the fear of being arrested has not stopped hunts up and down the country from carrying on with their hobby and livelihood. Last weekend members of the Aylesbury Vale Hunt, which is made up predominantly of Bedfordshire-based hunters, rode unto the breach once more. Martin Buhagiar joined them and found out how they felt about being branded 'law-breakers'… The general feeling among hunters and their supporters is that those who jumped on the bandwagon and demanded it be banned do not know enough about the subject…. (story)


Portsmouth News 19.3.05 Protests over pro-hunt stand at show - PRO-HUNT campaigners cast a shadow over a busy countryside event yesterday by promoting fox-hunting to children as young as four. Parents and community leaders have said they were shocked to find the Countryside Alliance handing out pro-hunting leaflets to hundreds of children at the Countryside Live roadshow in Staunton Country Park. The stall also had a leaflet about the importance of guns and game-keeping to the rural community. Children flocked to the CA stall to stroke gun dogs…. (story)

Western Morning News 19.3.05 STOP PLODDING ON OUR MANOR … OPS, eh! There's never one there when you want one then they all turn up at once to bust up a demo or chaperone some Government minister. I was there at Devon County Hall for a reception before the climate conference in February when Margaret Beckett arrived like a visiting monarch to be greeted by around 30 police and one disgruntled hunt protester…. This week we learn that Mrs Beckett's minders have multiplied from double digits to the thousands. Two thousand of them formed a ring of steel around the Derbyshire village of Breadsall so that environment and development ministers from 20 countries could chew the cud - the biggest operation the county's police had mounted since the miners' strike of 1984. The reason for this? "Intelligence reports", apparently. But the only rogue element turned out to be around 150 environmental protesters outside Derby Town Hall. Not exactly enemies of the state. Maybe these were the same school of "intelligence reports" that gave us Tony Blair's claim that we were 45 minutes from destruction by Saddam. Has Alastair Campbell been moonlighting for the police?... (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.3.05 ATTACKING PREY IS DOGS' NATURE - I would like to state how disgusted I am at the actions of some mindless morons who think it is in good taste to display corpses of animals on fences. What will this achieve, other than retribution? Typical that the culprit is hiding away from public view! Secondly, a letter written by an anonymous author angered me somewhat and is a typical reaction of allowing emotions, rather than commonsense and understanding, to get in the way of judgement. I am referring to the person who had apparently witnessed their rabbit being killed by a dog which strayed into their garden…. This dog was attacking a prey animal and was not a risk to the public. Dogs kill. They are hunters. The implications that the dog will do it again and is vicious is typical of the uneducated and over-emotional response to such an act!... A Williams, Frogmore Road, East Budleigh (letter)

Western Mail 19.3.05 Mair Hughes (letters, March 7) asks how many jobs will be lost in my constituency by the bloodsports ban. It's none, the same as every other constituency, even though there is a foxhunt located in the heart of Newport West. The self-defeating bloody triumphalism by 184 hunts proved that the ban does not destroy jobs or traditional pageantry, nor result in the destruction of horses, nor hounds. All that has gone is the gratuitous cruelty of the protracted chase of a small mammal bred for that purpose… PAUL FLYNN MP, House of Commons, London (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 19.3.05 DOWN TO EARTH - Oh Look! They can't get their own way They are crying in their port No more hunting with the dogs No more so called sport…. But I say well done Mr Blair, You took the risk and made us glad After all, it's nice to see These people looking sad…. IAN GUY, Cashes Green, Stroud (letter)


Cumberland News 18.3.05 Huntswoman’s portrait of the sport that was a way of life for so many - The Art of the Chase by Amanda Lockhart, Adelphi, £17.99 … Amanda Lockhart, a distinguished photographer and enthusiastic hunter, has spent four years hunting with her camera…. Her pictures record scenes that may now be disappearing from the British countryside. These are atmospheric pictures that show something of the romance, drama and excitement of hunting… High up on the side of Blencathra beneath a heavy sky a hound is poised and alert… On the Welsh border a member of the Wynnstay hunt sits on his horse as the mist rises from the early morning fields… at the show, the hounds strain on their leashes while they are assessed by a thoughtful Walter Jeffrey, one-time master of the Jedforest Hunt. Edmund Porter from Eskdale and Barry Todhunter of the Blencathra, clad in full hunting gear and clasping their whips look on as fellow huntsmen stand at ease in a circle awaiting judgement of the best-dressed huntsman…. A magnificent array of horsemen gallop across the fields of the Duke of Buccleuch… The Border Foxhounds spread out across the rocky fellside… members of the Quorn Hunt, well mounted on finely groomed horses, leap over fences and barriers in their pursuit of the fox… The Art of the Chase is available from Bookends, 56 Castle Street, Carlisle, and 66 Main Street, Keswick, and from (story)

Newport Advertiser 18.3.05 Pupil penalised for 'political' stance - A 14 year old Burton Borough schoolboy was pulled out of lessons and forced to work in isolation after standing up for his pro-hunting beliefs. Hunting fanatic, George Taylor proudly wore his home-made T-shirt bearing the slogans, ‘Keep Hunting, Keep Fighting’, ‘Fight the Ban’ and ‘Say NO to Unjust Law’ for the non-uniform day in aid of Comic Relief last Friday. The teenage activist was told by his head of year to remove the shirt during registration. But George refused and was sent to work outside deputy head Mary Osbourne’s office until he agreed to wear his PE jumper on top of the outfit…. George also received a lecture from his head of year Ian Berryman, who described his T-shirt as ‘offensive’… (story)

Ledbury Reporter 18.3.05 Ban fails to prevent death of three foxes - Ledbury Hunt killed three foxes in four days before the traditional season came to a close on Friday, March 4. All the foxes died after the ban on hunting with dogs came into effect on February 18. Hunt spokesman Donald Haden said that two were shot and the other was killed by the hounds in the traditional manner. "That was accidentally, I do not hesitate to say. The hounds do what they do," said Mr Haden…. (story in archive)

West Cumberland Times & Star 18.3.05 Fox horror shocks mum and son - A WEST Cumbrian mum said that her three-year-old son was distraught at the sight of a dead fox tied to a roadside fence. Fiona Paden drove past the fox at the Camerton crossroads, between Seaton and Broughton Moor on Monday…. Mrs Paden said: “Whoever did this is sick. I know people are against the hunting ban and foxes kill sheep and chickens, but to do this is barbaric…" (story)

Newcastle Journal 18.3.05 Concerns raised on fallen stock - Pig producers have expressed a number of concerns about the National Fallen Stock Scheme but their biggest worry is biosecurity…. The information will be used in BPEX and NPA discussions with the National Fallen Stock Scheme Company on how the scheme may be improved. (story)

North Wales Chronicle 18.3.05 ANIMALS ROTTING ´FOR WEEKS´ - ANIMAL carcasses are being left to rot on Anglesey farms for weeks, due to an "inadequate" collection scheme. The national fallen stock collection initiative was introduced to help farmers dispose of dead animals, which they are no longer allowed to burn or bury themselves. But farmers on Anglesey say that that a promise of collection within 48 hours is not being adhered to… (story)

The Sentinel 18.3.05 BEING BLUNT ABOUT THE HUNT - Many of your readers will have seen Molly Arnold's letter (March 14) re fox hunting. Molly is to be congratulated for taking the time to write, and for caring so deeply about the animals she sees in her garden. However, Molly is aged nine. The idea that her cat romps outdoors to play with her friend the local fox every night might well be the story she has been told but it is clearly not the truth. National newspapers recently carried the latest story of a fox attack (often on young children or babies) this time of a cornered fox killing an adult Alsatian! Too many farmers suffer significant losses of lambs at this time of year from fox predation; and the recent ban on fox hunting that Molly is so pleased about has simply forced farmers to kill foxes by other, less humane and selective methods… ANDREW TRIM King Edward's School Bath (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 18.3.05 TIME TO BE CIVILISED - Ifeel I must answer the letter, Hunts Protect The Fox (Viewpoint, March 16). If there is any protection at all it is not for the benefit of the fox, but the benefit of the hunt. They have to make sure of a plentiful supply in order that they can continue hunting and killing them for their sport… Clive Tappin, Ashley Court, Thorgam Court, Grimsby (letter)

Shropshire Star 18.3.05 No place in law for personal prejudice - Reference: "JP quits over hunting ban" (Shropshire Star, February 28). I find your editorial stance on the whole fox hunting debate has lacked any sense of balance and you have turned Susan Foster's resignation into a "cause celebre". If a magistrate wishes to resign because she refuses to administer a law then good riddance. I have worked in the criminal justice field for 18 years and find Mrs Fosters comments facile and narrow in their view…. Glen Robson, Telford (letter)

Shropshire Star 18.3.05 Hunt band is just the tip - Mr Lewis is quite right in his view regarding Government attitudes. I personally have no time for the cruel fox, but cannot accept hare coursing or badger baiting. But does Mr Lewis not appreciate that this Government control is only the tip of the iceberg? We have a socialist government in control - in other words communists hiding behind another title…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Morning News 18.3.05 Wrong priorities -HOW strange that something as important as the Anti-Terrorist Bill is rushed through Parliament and given very little time while something as unimportant as the Hunting with Dogs Bill was given hundreds of hours… J & P Cooke-Hurle, Yelverton (letter)

Westmorland Gazette 18.3.05 Send the hounds after rogue lake users - We are told that rogue water skiers are to invade the lakes in our area. At the same time, the ban on hunting foxes has come into force. Why don't we put these two ideas together and have the hounds trained to hunt the roguewater skiers?... Tony Hunt Grasmere (letter)


Vine & Craven 17.3.05 HUNT MEMBERS TAKE A BEATING - Hunt staff carrying out legal hunting activities were attacked by balaclava-clad hunt protesters who had trespassed onto private property on Saturday. Followers of the Vine and Craven Hunt were dragged from their horses and brutally beaten during the attack near Marlborough. Hunt Master Daemon Edwards sustained several broken ribs when he and his horse were pulled to the ground, and whipper-in Duncan Cinnamond was pulled from his horse and hit on the back of the head with a piece of timber…. (story)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 10.3.05 Huntsmen injured in clash with saboteurs - POLICE are looking into claims that huntsmen were injured in a violent clash with hunt saboteurs at Manton on Saturday. Three members of the Newbury-based Vine and Craven Hunt required medical attention for injuries including suspected broken ribs…. However members of the Reading hunt saboteurs say they were attacked by members of the hunt while tying to video the hounds in pursuit of a fox… (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 8.3.05 WAR OF WORDS AS HUNT MARRED BY VIOLENT CLASHES - A West hunt meet erupted into violence after saboteurs clashed with huntsmen in some of the ugliest scenes since the hunting ban came into effect last month. And as the hunting debate descended into civil war in the countryside, one of the architects of the hunting ban revealed he'd been the subject of death threats from pro-hunters. Three huntsmen with the Vine and Craven Hunt required medical attention for broken ribs and other injuries after they claimed they were beaten by hunt saboteurs, one of them disguised by a black balaclava. But the saboteurs claimed they were attacked when they caught the hunt on Saturday attempting to chase a fox in east Wiltshire, and began trying to video the scenes…. Tim Staines said: "No foxes have been killed by the Vine and Craven since the ban, so I can only assume that the saboteurs just wanted a fight. This is terrorism here in the middle of the countryside."… (story)
Country Life 7.3.05 Hunting Latest: Death Threats and Violence - Two recent alleged incidents involving death threats and violence illustrate how the row over hunting is only escalating as the hunt ban continues to seriously overstretch the police By Holly Kirkwood and Jeremy Lott… (story)
Horse & Hound 7.3.05 Violence escalates following hunting ban - Holly Kirkwood and Jeremy Lott - Recent alleged incidents involving death threats and violence illustrate how the hunt ban continues to seriously overstretch the police - More chaos has emerged as a result of the ban on hunting. Last weekend allegedly saw serious incidents of assault by anti-hunt campaigners, while Minister Ben Bradshaw says he has received a death threat from a pro-hunt campaigner, and is being targeted because he is gay. The Countryside Alliance (CA) today released details of a violent incident near Marlborough at the weekend involving members of the Vine and Craven Hunt and a group of balaclava-clad anti-hunt protesters… According to the CA, Hunt Master, Daemon Edwards, sustained several broken ribs when he and his horse were pulled to the ground, and Whipper-in, Duncan Cinnamond, was pulled from his horse and hit on the back of the head with a piece of timber…. (story)

Tamworth Herald 17.3.05 LOCAL HUNT WELCOMES NEWS OF NEW LEGAL CHALLENGE - Members of the area's local hunt have welcomed news of a fresh legal challenge to the ban on hunting. The news comes as the historic Atherstone hunt prepares for its last meeting of the current season this Saturday… (story)

Burton Mail 17.3.05 Hunt in bid to alter use of kennels by KIM BRISCOE - A LONG hunting tradition will end if members of a hunt get the go-ahead to turn their stables and kennels into home and office units. The Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt has applied for planning permission to convert its premises in Ashbourne Road, Sudbury, into six residential and office units. Members of the hunt say the proposed move, which would see them quitting what has been their home since the late 19th century, is mainly due to safety concerns. They say the decision to move is unrelated to the recent ban on hunting with dogs and that it had been in the pipeline for almost a year…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.3.05 FUN OF THE FAIR - Dogs, ferrets and birds of prey will all play a major role in this weekend's West Country Game Fair at the Bath & West showground, Shepton Mallet. BASC (British Association for Shooting and Conservation) will host the gun dog scurries and, to mark the game fair's 10th anniversary, there will be even more exciting events for novice and experienced handlers. There is the chance to meet the Purbeck & Bovington beagles, South & West Wilts Hunt, Taw Vale beagles, Culmstock mink hounds, Taunton Vale harriers, Wiltshire & Infantry beagles and the Ilminster beagles… (story)

Daily Post 17.3.05 Crisis meeting called on fallen stock - A CRISIS summit has been arranged in Caernarfon to thrash out possible solutions to the fallen stock fiasco in North Wales. Senior Assembly officials will today meet representatives of the Farmers' Union of Wales, NFU Cymru, National Fallen Stock Company (NFSC) and trading standards officials. "The most common complaint from our members, particularly in North Wales, is that carcasses are left lying around for far too long," said FUW policy officer Dr Nick Fenwick…. (story)

Western Morning News 17.3.05 Michael's meetings NOT for the first time, Alun Michael's memory seems to be giving him trouble… Last summer speculation was rife about what, if any, Hunting Bill would be returned to Parliament. What meetings did he then have during that time? How often did he meet representatives of the League Against Cruel Sports and others? What quiet assurances were given about timing and content? It is that period we are interested in, not the reasonably straightforward build-up to the "Bill before last" that Mr Michael now uses as a smokescreen…. Simon Hart, Chief Executive Countryside Alliance London (letter)
Western Morning News 10.3.05 ALLIANCE WAS PART OF HUNT TALKS SECRECY - It is duplicitous of the Countryside Alliance to complain at Defra withholding from the media details of its discussions about hunting with the alliance and animal welfare organisations ("Hunt ban meetings kept under wraps", February 23). The Countryside Alliance itself wanted these meetings kept confidential, so I invited the pro and anti-hunt lobby groups to meet under "Chatham House Rules" (i.e. confidentially) and "without prejudice" to any public position they might take…. For the alliance retrospectively to ask for greater transparency is both disingenuous and discourteous. Alun Michael MP, Rural Affairs Minister (letter)

Yorkshire Post 17.3.05 Hunting vote From: Thomas Woodward, Westgate, Pickering. IVAN Holmes, who placed his horse as well as the train's crew and passengers in danger earlier this month, claimed that MP Lawrie Quinn had "failed to listen to the views of his constituents". In fact, Mr Quinn has time and again said that his vote on the hunting bill would reflect the majority view of his constituency postbag….
Caring for others From: G Fletcher, Wakefield. Thank you for publishing the heart-warming letter from Lynn Johnson ("Compassion is the key", March 5). People who would like to see an end to all cruel sport, who care about animals, wildlife and nature, also care for and respect their fellow humans… (letters)

The Comet 17.3.05 It's right to monitor hunt - With reference to the letter headed Are they right to monitor us? in the March 10 edition of The Comet. I have never been so nauseated by the writer's comments about being monitored whilst out with the local hunt and objecting to being filmed by the police and other interested parties. To suggest that they should not be monitored or filmed because 'many children go hunting' is a pathetic attempt to continue their illegal sport but without witnesses…. LESLIE LAIRD, Matthew Gate, Hitchin
eply to (Are they right to monitor us?) Well not so long ago when hunting was legal, these huntsmen and women were more than happy for the police to stop hunt saboteurs from getting in the hunt's way, and arrest them if necessary. Now all of a sudden hunting is illegal 'the police are not being fair, and made their minds up about them already!'…. So, no, it is not harassment, or vigilante type behaviour, filming these events, nor are the police being harassing, like they monitor the hunt sabs, now they monitor the hunters. ANDREW LAIRD, Via e-mail (letters)

Llanelli Star 17.3.05 INSANITY OF OUR TIMES - I Find it astonishing that so many people have been moved to voice an opinion on the fox hunting ban. The really sad thing is that many assert this is the first political issue that they have felt genuinely passionate about…. as long as people can dress up in silly costumes and kill foxes at great expense, everything is all right. What an insane society we live in. Steve Trott, Ffordd yr Eglwys, Bridgend (letter)

Llanelli Star 17.3.05 LOVERS OF DARKNESS - Now that fox-hunting has been stopped, I would like to bring to your attention a family of five foxes which live quite close to me, so close that I can feed them without frightening them away…. G K Baker, Llys y Felin, Manselton, Swansea (letter)

Bolton Evening News 17.3.05 Hunting not sport - RE the letter "Let hunters hunt" by E Emmerson (March 5). She would not ask her husband to stop hunting because he has been doing it for years and is a tradition…. Hitler made a tradition from the gas chambers, it was done for years. It doesn't make it right. Hunting isn't a sport. Its murder. A Merchant, Aintree Road, Bolton (letter in archive)

Somerset Guardian 17.3.05 MY HUNTING VIEWS ARE MY OWN, NOT PARENTS' - In response to Stephen Porter's letter, March 10, he displays prejudice to me on grounds of my age and is patronising, too. It's odd that despite the "obvious impact of parental propaganda" on my letter, both my parents are not totally for hunting…. My letter demonstrated my own personal views. I had researched the ecology surrounding the issue of fox hunting…. I was drawing attention to examples of what I consider to be cruel farming methods such as battery farming, which I feel is totally different from the average dairy farm. I too, choose organic products over conventional produce. Hunt on. HARRIET FORMBY, Carlingcott, Bath (letter)
Warminster & Westbury Standard 17.3.05 HUNTERS HAVE SHOWN IGNORANCE OF WILDLIFE - The Honest and well informed know that the only people affected by the ban on cruel pastimes like fox hunting are those who legally enjoyed setting dogs on to our wildlife and baiting foxes with terriers…. The fact that Harriet Formby, March 3, either chose to or was prevented from seeing what really goes on is further proof how people are kept in ignorance or a state of apathy… DAVID THOMAS, Hillview, Hisomley, Westbury (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.3.05 ELECTORS WON'T FORGET THIS BAN - Harriet Formby Bath (letter)
Bath Chronicle 7.3.05 HUNTING WITH HOUNDS IS AN HUMANE WAY TO KILL FOXES - HARRIET FORMBY, Carlingcott, Bath (letter)
Warminster & Westbury Standard 3.3.05 BAN WILL BE IN MEMORY WHEN I VOTE - HARRIET FORMBY, Carlingcott, Bath (letter)
Somerset Guardian 3.3.05 I WON'T LET BAN MEMORIES FADE - I am writing as a 15-year-old as, without the right to vote for another three years, this is one of the few ways I can publicly express my views on political issues. I am against the ways cruelty is inflicted on animals such as battery farming or the live exportation of horses for slaughter. However, I don't feel that hunting foxes with hounds, in a necessary and humane way, is cruel…. If not these elections then the next ones, Mr Norris and Mr Blair, I am sorry but three years is too soon for me to forget your actions. Hunt on. HARRIET FORMBY, Carlingcott (letter)

Ealing Times 17.3.05 Ban may not be end - Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Western Morning News 8.3.05 CALL US IF YOU SEE ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS - Douglas Batchelor, Chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
North East Evening Gazette 26.2.05 - The Hunting Act has come into force and the League Against Cruel Sports and its supporters are delighted that finally the cruel sports of hunting with dogs and hare coursing are banned….. DOUGLAS BATCHELOR, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Hillingdon Times 17.2.05 Ban will not mean the end - Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Nottingham Evening Post 17.2.05 Ensuring law is obeyed - DOUGLAS BATCHELOR Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Chester Chronicle 17.2.05 We'll keep close watch on the hunts - DOUGLAS BATCHELOR, Chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports. (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 16.2.05 New hunts must be monitored - DOUGLAS BATCHELOR, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports, London. (letter in archive)
Taunton Times 16.2.05 'WE'LL BE WATCHING' Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 15.2.05 Welcome end to hunting with dogs - THE Hunting Act is coming into force on February 18, and the League Against Cruel Sports and its supporters are delighted that finally the cruel sports of hunting with dogs and hare coursing will be banned… It is clear that our supporters and our wide network of monitors will still have much work to do. We are in talks with local police forces to inform them of a range of clear signs of illegal hunting, which they can look out for…. Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports. (letter)


Reading Chronicle 16.3.05 'Iron bar clash' between hunt and protesters By Shaun Worth - HUNTERS are demanding tighter protection after claiming they were threatened by iron bar-wielding saboteurs at Padworth. Members of the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt were drag hunting on Monday last week when they found four protesters from Reading Hunt Saboteurs blocking their path at 1.30pm. A group of four hunt supporters, who were following on foot, forcefully told the protesters to leave. The hunters claim that, after returning to their Land Rover, the saboteurs reap-peared, brandishing a two-foot scaffolding pole and yelling threats…. But Reading Hunt Saboteurs spokesman Dafydd Williams, who confirmed his members were present, claimed they were attacked earlier in the day by a rider who tried to smash the wind-screen of their vehicle…. (story)

Northern Echo 16.3.05 Angry pro-hunt campaigner's ban on hounds - THE region's top pro-hunting campaigner has banned the hunt from her land during lambing time after hounds chased a fox through fields. Angela Vaux, North-East chairman of the Countryside Alliance, was understood to be furious after hounds from the Zetland Hunt crossed her farm at Barton, between Richmond and Darlington, on Saturday…. (story in archive)

Hunts Post 16.3.05 Fox savages dog to death Report by Natalie Bowyer - A BELOVED family dog was brutally attacked and killed by a fox in the quiet village of Hilton. Villagers are said to be shocked and farmers are now moving their lambs away from danger. A marksman has been asked to shoot the fox on sight…. (story)
Cambridge Evening News 14.3.05 Hunt for fox which killed dog - A FOX ripped out an alsatian's stomach on a village street and there are fears a child could be attacked next. Beth, a three-year-old German Shepherd, was killed after chasing the fox along Chequers Croft, Hilton…. (story)
Sunday Mail 13.3.05 KILLER FOX IN RABIES SCARE - VILLAGERS fear a fox which tore a pet Alsation to bits has rabies…. Locals blame the incident on the fox-hunting ban… (story)
Telegraph 12.3.05 Village in fear after fox savages Alsatian By David Sapsted - A rogue fox that ripped apart a fit, adult alsatian has brought fear to a tranquil village. Frightened pet owners are keeping their animals locked inside and dog walkers are not allowing their charges off their leads until the fox is destroyed. Some mothers are even worried for the safety of their children, fearing that the fox might be rabid…. Rob Bowes, 38, was cleaning his car at about 5pm while Beth, a docile, friendly, three-year-old german shepherd dog, slumbered on the front lawn nearby…. "Suddenly this fox appeared and Beth went chasing after it. When they got to the corner, the fox stopped and the next thing I knew, Beth was on the ground. Her insides had literally been ripped out by the fox."… Dreda Randall runs Monach Farm on the edge of the village… "My own concern is that, now that hunting is abolished, we are going to get more and more foxes competing for food and territory. When that happens, you can only see incidents like this increasing."… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 16.3.05 HUNTS PROTECT THE FOX - If the fox hunters had told the simple truth from the start I think the outcome may have been different. The fact is, the hunts protect the fox. Without them the fox will be extinct in 10 years. Foxes are looked after by the hunt. They often move vixens and their cubs from areas near to main roads and railways etc to safer areas so that the cubs are reared to adult foxes… Country folk are entitled to country pastimes, and if we want to keep our foxes, fish and all other wildlife, we should remember this. S Witty, Brigg, (address supplied). (letter)

Northern Echo 16.3.05 HUNTING - WHATEVER the rights and wrongs about the hunting ban, we mustn't lose sight of what the future holds for hounds if some become redundant…. Many years ago a little hound called Venus used to sneak off when hunting and come to my house. She then curled up by the fire… Eventually I was told she had been shot because she was "no good"! My offer of a good home fell on deaf ears. - Marjorie Embling, Crook (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 16.3.05 RENOUNCE CRUELTY - Most of us are thoroughly pleased with the prospect of fox hunting following bear baiting and other cruel sports into history. Our MPs in the House of Commons at Westminster are our elected representatives. The overwhelming majority have voted to end hunting with dogs. Chasing wild animals for fun can no longer be tolerated by a civilised society… John Bowley Warminster (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.3.05 BIGGER ISSUES ON POLITICAL AGENDA - The last European Govern-ment to ban hunting with hounds was the Nazi party in Germany. The Labour party has now banned fox hunting in England and Wales. Are we all hypocrites, as we sit down to enjoy our Sunday lunch of battery-fed chicken, stroke our cat when he returns through the flap with a half-alive bird from next door and support the Olympic bid by providing a lavish banquet of hallal (meat from an animal bled to death) for the IOC committee?... D C J Skinner Tockington Bristol (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 16.3.05 TAKE A LOOK AT THE FACTS - Ralph Jones (Hunting Is totally cruel, Have Your Say, March 4) displays monumental ignorance in both meanings of that word. His ignorance of the facts surrounding fox hunting is astounding given the findings of the Burns Enquiry, which found that fox hunting with hounds was no more cruel than any other means of control…. Can I assure Mr Jones that whatever laws this Government has passed, the effect will not be to get rid of the red jacket brigade since drag hunting is carried on in similar uniform with similar hounds. Speaking as a Master of Bloodhounds, whose hounds kill nothing at all but hunt a human runner, can he explain why he and others like him hurl abuse at us, just as they hurl it against fox hunters?... Clive Rees, Alexandra Road, Swansea (letter)

(West Wiltshire Advertiser) 16.3.05 HUNTING IS SIMPLY WRONG - Alison Hawes' letter regarding the Hunting Act (Wiltshire Advertiser, March 2) left me exasperated (as do all letters from pro-hunters). How the lie of 'prejudice against the upper classes' continues to be used as a smokescreen in an attempt to appeal to the public's heart astounds me… So let's get it straight, once and for all: this is not a class war (pro-hunters' words, not mine). It has nothing to do with prejudice or bigotry and everything to do with the fact that most people (especially those who attend anti-hunt demos, etc) share a common belief that causing terrible suffering in living, feeling creatures is just wrong. ROBERT FRIEND, Southmead, Chippenham (letter)

Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 16.3.05 Hunting not a class thing - I REALLY am at a loss to understand how Michael Bowker can say that it is a class war issue for anyone to be anti-hunting (Citizen letters last week). For all my 71 years I have hated cruelty of any kind…. I would be delighted to take up this method of exercising their horses and hounds without killing one of God's creatures. Mary Dodd, Lancaster. (letter)

Brentwood Gazette 16.3.05 TAXPAYERS PAYING THE COST- On Saturday, March 5 in the area of Steeple, I noticed the foxhunt was out, with nine police vehicles and a police helicopter. The weekend before I saw a foxhunt with nine vehicles in attendance. To me it looked like the huntsmen were only exercising the hounds, which is within the law. I was angry to think of the cost of all this policing and who's paying for it? The taxpayers! Miss K King, Appletree Way, Wickford (letter)


Western Mail 15.3.05 Lords to hear law challenge - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE ban on hunting is facing further challenges. The House of Lords has agreed to hear the Countryside Alliance's final appeal against the hunting ban this summer…. (story)

Guardian 15.3.05 Rise of the press-protest axis - From pro-hunt rallies to fuel blockades, media-backed direct action campaigns have repeatedly captured the political agenda in the Blair years - Kirsty Milne … Direct action tends to be bracketed with the left. But the Countryside Alliance, fuel protesters and section 28 campaigners championed causes associated with the right. Protest has been reclaimed by anyone who feels their identity under threat, be they foxhunting polo-players or villagers with Gypsies on their doorstep…. Kirsty Milne is the author of Manufacturing Dissent: Single-Issue Protest, the Public and the Press, published by Demos on Thursday (story)

Scotsman 15.3.05 Hunt law 'may ruin bid to get rid of hedgehogs' - JAMES REYNOLDS - ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT - SCOTLAND’S government conservation agency is calling for a relaxation of the law that bans hunting with dogs because it could frustrate efforts to eradicate hedgehogs from the Western Isles. Officers with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) believe that the project to rid North Uist and Benbecula of the animals will soon have to resort to locating and flushing them out with hunting dogs… (story)
Guardian 12.3.05 Hedgehog cull dogged by anti-hunt law - Kirsty Scott - A fresh row is brewing over a hedgehog cull in the Hebrides because anti-hunting legislation means some may have to be shot or killed by hawks instead of being put to sleep… Restrictions in Scotland's anti-hunting bill mean some of the hedgehogs would have to be flushed to guns if dogs are used to locate them. At the moment, all captured hedgehogs are given an anaesthetic gas and then a lethal injection. The agency behind the cull, Scottish Natural Heritage, is lobbying the Scottish executive to see if there is any way round the strictures of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act…. SNH, which has a legal requirement to protect the bird species, has argued that relocation of the hedgehogs would cause them unnecessary suffering… Gay Christie, of the Hessilhead wildlife refuge in Ayrshire, which has helped relocate many of the Uist hedgehogs, says spotters had confirmed that some of the animals were thriving….(story)

Torquay Herald Express 15.3.05 'FLUFFY BUNNY' BRIGADE HAVE MISSED THE POINT - My wife's family live in a rural location near Crediton and have a friend of the family, John, who is a farmer. John recently told them he has had to shoot more foxes in the past month than he shot throughout the last year, before the ban on fox hunting came into force. I feel the "fluffy bunny" brigade has misunderstood the reasons behind the hunt…. the hunt was not used to control fox numbers by killing them, but to keep the numbers in check by discouraging them from feeling safe in certain areas. The fox is a clever animal and will not settle to breed in areas that are made unsafe by the hunt… DAVID AHEARN, Lichfield Avenue, Torquay (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 15.3.05 'GOOD TIME' INVOLVES INFLICTING PAIN - Sally Hamilton states in her letter (Your View, Mar 4) that the 'good time' referred to by Mr Hart was about riding or walking cross-country and watching the 'superb sight' of the hounds at work; it was nothing to so with killing foxes. The object of the exercise, however, is to kill foxes, whether the hunt followers see the death or not….. It would seem that the price of the 'good time' enjoyed by the hunt and its followers involves disobedience and threats, as well as causing much pain and suffering and death to many animals -many more than those taken by the fox. ANGELA CORKERY, Seymour Drive, Watcombe Park, Torquay (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 15.3.05 Double standards - Now the foxhunting ban has been implemented, it strikes me its introduction has little or nothing to do with animal cruelty. If the government was really concerned about animal cruelty, why has it done nothing about a practice which causes a thousand times more needless suffering to animals - the slitting of livestock's throats in slaughterhouses and letting them bleed to death?... Paul Parkinson, Brantwood Oval, Bradford (letter in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 15.3.05 THE LION'S ROAR WILL RESTORE OUR PRIDE … I myself personally believe Tony Blair and most of his Government, consider hunting a sport that only the posh, stuck up, rich gentry can enjoy and this makes them feel inferior. They ignore the fact that ordinary working class men and women also, for decades have joined the hunt and the matter of class doesn't come into it…. Mrs Josephine Gibney, Manchester Street, Cleethorpes. (letter)

Western Morning News 15.3.05 Compromise needed - AS THE new hunting law allows two hounds to flush out the fox, may I suggest the whole aspect of hunting be focused on a diminished concentration of numbers partaking in the so-called sport instead of large packs of hounds accompanying huge numbers of riders. Why not limit the hunters to two hounds and ten or 12 riders. Groups of such numbers could then be formed in different areas well spread apart on different days across numerous farms without the cruelty of hordes of hounds engulfing one poor fox…. Ben Henderson Smith, Liskeard (letter)

Western Morning News 15.3.05 MAN HAS A DUTY OF KINDNESS TO ANIMALS - I enjoyed reading the letter of L J Dell ("Tolstoy essay took hunting to task", WMN, January 9). The correspondent might have gone further and quoted Tolstoy's most famous "animal" quotes: "If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from cruelty to animals" and in a veiled reference to the prophecy of Isaiah "The vegetarian movement ought to fill with gladness the souls of those who have at heart the realisation of God's kingdom upon earth."… H Lancre, St Austell (letter)

Western Morning News 15.3.05 DIFFERENCE OF OPINION IS BECOMING PERSONAL - I was surprised to read Margaret Ellis's childish and inaccurate remarks about myself and my family (WMN, February 18) which do little to further the hunting debate… Ms Ellis states that without hunting the deer will be shot…. The truth is that the deer were brought to Exmoor to be hunted but the hunts cannot kill enough because of their own inefficiency or incompetence, that is why 85 per cent are shot and probably by some of the hunt's own employees - "expert" marksmen not by my "urban mates", Ms Ellis…. Len Short, Torquay (letter)


Cambridge Evening News 14.3.05 Hunt is reported for 'intimidation' - FOX-hunters surrounded a van to intimidate a man who followed them to see if they were breaking the law, it has been claimed. Melvin Kitchener spotted the Thurlow Hunt in action and followed them because he was suspicious they were breaking the law. He claims that riders surrounded his vehicle to intimidate him and he has reported their behaviour to police, who are investigating. The hunt denies his claim and says riders were out exercising their hounds and acted within the law…. Joint hunt master Robin Vestey says they were only exercising their hounds and Mr Kitchener misunderstood what they were doing. He said: "He put two and two together and came up with 98. It appears he thinks that putting a red coat on, getting on a horse and taking the hounds for some exercise is illegal…" (story)

Scotsman 14.3.05 Concerns raised over illegal livestock burials - FORDYCE MAXWELL AND JIM BUCHAN - SCOTLAND’S livestock seem to have become much healthier in the past few months. Unfortunately, that has less to do with the Executive’s attempts to make animal health and welfare a priority and more to do with the introduction of the National Fallen Stock Scheme…. several of the knackery operators which tendered for contracts with the national company and expected to be busy have reported that business is remarkably slow. So much so that it seems increasingly probable that thousands of dead sheep are still being buried on farms in the traditional way…. There are no prizes for guessing why farmers are breaking the law and risking prosecution - a typical charge for collecting a dead sheep is about £9 and for cattle under two £35…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 14.3.05 WE WILL FIGHT THIS ILLOGICAL AND UNJUST LAW From: Ivan Holmes, Old Byland, Helmsley. LIZ Lord (Letters, March 9) tells hunting people to grow up and shut up. She will be disappointed. We are subject to an unjust law made by people who have abused the power entrusted to them… Ms Lord accuses us of putting our innocent horses in danger. I must inform her that my horse is not innocent. Her love of hunting is every bit as great as mine….
From: Philip Clay, Brownhill Lane, Uppermill, Saddleworth. Liz Lord refers to the "crass stupidity and arrogance" of the hunting fraternity. Has she just arrived from Never Never Land and is unaware of the build-up to the hunting fiasco?... Hunt supporters attempted to halt the train but I do not recollect anyone being injured or hurt. On the other hand, think of the hunt worker who had his cottage burned out, huntsmen and women being pulled from their horses, kennel workers being spat upon, mink being freed causing mayhem and death to wild animals, damage to farm property and university laboratories etc…. (letters)

Western Daily Press 14.3.05 BETTER TO STOP ALL TESTING - Once again the badger is depicted as the culprit for TB in cattle. Like everyone else, the vets don't know, and are willing to blame an animal that can't answer for itself…. I certainly go along with the RSPCA in defence of the badger, but they were wrong to support a ban on hunting. Foxes, deer, mink will still be killed by much more cruel methods. What's more, when deer are killed, the huntsman takes a sample of blood to be tested to be sure they do not carry bovine TB or any other harmful germs… Robert Hastings Harford Castle Cary Somerset (letter)

Western Mail 14.3.05 The hazards of a fox hunting ban - In the foot-and-mouth outbreak when fox control measures ceased and the fox population were left undisturbed and their numbers unchecked, there was literally carnage in the countryside. Some upland shepherds who had sheep grazing areas surrounded by large tracts of forestry were speaking of three-figure losses of lambs due to foxes and these were known losses…. GARETH JONES, Old Radnor, Presteigne, Powys (letter)

Shropshire Star 14.3.05 Be honest on hunting - What a load of hypocrisy. I'm a vegetarian and live to hunt (by car) three times-a-week. Unless you are a vegan how you can possibly think that hunting is wrong?... N Weaver, Cound Moor (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 14.3.05 HOW WILL POLICE CATCH HUNTERS? - The police are unable to do anything about cyclists brazenly riding on city pavements, so how do they intend to deal with fox hunters riding horses through open countryside? W Ellis, Gloucester Road, Bristol. (letter)

The Sentinel 14.3.05 HUNTING MAKES LIFE TERRIBLE - Please stop fox hunting. My cat plays with a fox every night; foxes always visit my garden. It is terrible to hear of dogs ripping a fox apart…. MOLLY ARNOLD Aged 9 Porthill (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 14.3.05 SURELY A FORCE FOR GOOD - Is Anyone else sick of people moaning about wind turbines, condemning them as ugly, bird-killing, pointless structures?... If you want to save wildlife from the clumsy and destructive hand of man, why not help the wolves that are hunted in the Baltic states; the foxes that die, and will still die despite the ban, because of fox-hunting; or indeed the polar bears in the Arctic, who have to survive longer and longer without the ice they hunt on because of, yes global warming…. Danielle Furneaux (15), Wybers Wood, Grimsby. (letter)

Irish Independent 14.3.05 Hunters keep out! - In reply to a letter from Philip Donnelly in Hertfordshire, England, titled 'Don't Ban Hunting', I would like to make two points. First, I think it is a disgrace that following the ban on hunting in England, the English have decided that they can all come over to Ireland and hunt in here instead. It was only a few weeks ago that I met a group on horseback with beagles on the road and they wouldn't even keep in out of your way. I was late for work over them…. Chris O'Connor, Kilmallock, Co Limerick (letter)
Irish Independent 10.3.05 Don't ban hunting - As someone with experience of hunting in both England and Ireland, may I be permitted to bring the debate back to planet earth following the pro-ban correspondence in your newspaper last week? In their tendentious rantings against field-sports, they paint a picture of hunting that is completely at odds with the reality… As a newcomer to hunting, I have followed two packs of beagles (hunting hare) on foot, here in Hertfordshire and in my native Kildare, once a week since last November. During that time I can honestly say I have not seen one animal killed… The current ban in Britain was introduced not out of concern for animal welfare but to placate a Labour backbench in revolt over Tony Blair's leadership… Fortunately, many people in Ireland still have a close connection to the land and will not swallow the bigoted propaganda of narrow-minded fanatics who care more about imagined crimes against animals than they do about people. Philip Donnelly, St Albans, Hertfordshire, England (letter)


Sunday Independent (Ireland) 13.3.05 Fox road kill greater than hunt The tendentious rantings of John Fitzgerald and Vic McKeever (Letters, SI, 6/2/05) against hunting is completely at odds with reality. I have followed beagles (hunting hare) on foot, here in Hertfordshire and in my native Kildare. I can honestly say I have not seen one animal killed. For €5 the participant gets a day out in the country, some exercise, fresh air and tea and sandwiches afterwards. It sure beats vegetating in front of the TV…. Philip Donnelly, Rowan Close, Hertfordshire (story)


Western Daily Press 12.3.05 HUNT'S GANG OF FIVE GO TO COURT - These are the five West hunt supporters who last night pledged to take the Government all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. They together make up half the 10 named challengers to the hunting ban, who claim the new law breaches their human rights…. Leading the West contingent is farmer Giles Bradshaw from North Devon…. Another challenger is livery business owner Lesley Drage, from Stow, Gloucestershire…. Huntsman Donald Summerskill stands to lose his home, job and social life if hunts pack up. He has ridden with the Devon and Somerset Staghounds for 20 years, and been in charge for 14…. Dorset dairy farmer Jason Vickery, from near Mere, follows the South and West Wiltshire Hunt, is one of the challengers who will argue his rights to manage his land have been breached…. The fifth challenger is Devon farrier Colin Dayment….(story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 12.3.05 Love of the kill - The Government finally got the Hunting Act 2004 passed after being thwarted by the House of Lords for a number of years. The general public backed this act by an overwhelming majority. It is the end of the hunt when the animal is torn to pieces that the majority of people do not like…. Brian Shackleton, Holme Mill Lane, Fell Lane, Keighley. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 12.3.05 I will campaign until I see the back of Foster - HAVING just read Saturday's edition of the Worcester News (Letters, March 5) I am wondering what point both A Reece and Reg Price are really trying to make? I went hunting on February 19, 2005. I hunted in accordance with the new Hunting Act 2004. No laws were broken…. A Reece also goes on to chastise me because he says that this dreadful Bill was brought on the grounds of animal welfare! Not according to Peter Bradley, MP for Wrekin and Secretary to Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael, who categorically stated that this was their revenge for the miners…. I do not live in Foster's constituency - however, I will campaign until I have seen the back of him. TIM PINNEY, Pershore. (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 12.3.05 THE HUNT IS OVER - I See the evil hounds, the flash of red coat, The fear I dread sticks in my throat…. Goodbye murderers, goodbye foe. Never again will I fear man and his hound,… PG, Gloucester (letter)


Times 11.3.05 Hunt ban to Lords - The House of Lords has agreed to hear a last-ditch appeal over the ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
Western Morning News 11.3.05 LAW LORDS TO HEAR LAST DITCH HUNTING BAN APPEAL - The House of Lords has agreed to hear a last ditch appeal over the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales, the Countryside Alliance said yesterday. The pro-hunt campaigners are challenging a Court of Appeal decision upholding the ban as lawful…. (story)

Western Morning News 11.3.05 THIS CAMPAIGNING IS JUST SO PREDICTABLE …. This week South Devon's hunt supporters revealed they would seek to swing elections in Torbay and Teignbridge in favour of pro-hunting candidates, which I took to mean Tory candidates…. There has certainly been some evidence of hunters being mobilised behind Tory candidates. The party's rural affairs spokesman James Gray told me recently how scores of hunters from the Avon Vale hunt headed to London to campaign in a key marginal. It is highly questionable whether flooding the terraced streets of Hammersmith with flat caps and tweed jackets will really help oust the sitting Labour MP…(story)

Westmorland Gazette 11.3.05 Hunting ban could end jumping events By Andy Bloxham - A HORSE race organiser fears the recently imposed hunting ban could eventually mean the end of point-to-point fence-jumping events. Christopher Hodgson, clerk of the course at Whittington Races, near Kirkby Lonsdale, said that if hunt members dropped their hobby, crucial support in organising and sponsoring the traditional horse jumping events would disappear…. Mr Hodgson voiced his fears as final preparations were being made for the Holcombe Hunt's point-to-point tomorrow, Saturday (March 12), at Whittington, near Kirkby Lonsdale…. The other event is the Vale of Lune Hunt-organised meeting held on March 26, which includes a hunt ride' with members in full regalia riding a single lap of the course… (story)

Somerset County Gazette 11.3.05 Dead foxes protest - TWO dead foxes and a rabbit were found hanging from a farm gate near Burlescombe. The carcasses were strung up with a placard saying 'Say No to Unjust Law' last week…. (story in archive)

Darlington & Stockton Times 11.3.05 Reflections on an emotional day for supporters of a rural tradition - FOR the first time in my life, I attended a hunt meet. It was on the first Saturday following the now notorious ban on fox hunting, February 19. The venue was the market place in Easingwold, the hunt was the York and Ainsty and the day was bitterly cold, but dry. We arrived to find the small market town absolutely packed with cars and people, the market place itself being free from parked vehicles in favour of the foxhounds, which were on view in a small corral…. Throughout the meet, I was not aware of any anti-hunt demonstrators, nor was there any kind of antagonism or threatening atmosphere. Indeed, there was a feeling of cheerful optimism coupled with deep emotion. The entire event was conducted with good humour, while laced with a determination to overcome, in a civilised and lawful manner, the ban on hunting with hounds… (story in archive)

Hexham Courant 11.3.05 WEATHER TAKES ITS TOLL ON HUNTING - BAD weather has done more to curb the activities of local hunts than the ban, according to local hunt supporters…. Chairman and master of the Braes of Derwent Alan Chapman said that bad weather in the fortnight since the ban had caused major disruption for local hunts, and that the Braes had not killed a fox since the ban but had continued meeting and operating within the new law…. (story)

York Evening Press 11.3.05 Hunters' shame - MONDAY'S Evening Press showed a picture of a gang of lawbreakers trespassing on a railway line trying to stop a moving train… Trespassing on the railway is punishable by prison, and I believe that current anti-terror legislation encompasses forcible stopping or interfering with a train. Let's identify the culprits and pack them off to Belmarsh, then they will see what a privilege liberty really is. Andy Scaife, Suffolk House, Lowther Terrace, York. (letter in archive)

North East Evening Gazette 11.3.05 Lambs to slaughter - Your correspondents White, Kirk and Batchelor are opposed to hunting. Fair enough, but they cannot be of country stock. I have farmed for 50 years and if these three had ever seen small lambs torn to shreds at lambing time they would be more sympathetic…. Blair will lose many votes from us country folk. N COOK, Stokesley (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.3.05 HUNTING FOLK ARE DECENT CITIZENS - Jo Barr says that the reason for the ban on hunting is simple - to bring an end to a uniquely cruel and unnecessary sport. But there is no evidence to show that hunting is unnecessarily cruel…. Is there any evidence that hunting people are any less decent or humane than others? And how do we decide who to legislate against? Are fox hunters any more cruel than people who eat chickens raised in cramped conditions so they can be sold for just a few pounds?... Diana Deal Bradford-on-Avon Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.3.05 EACH ANIMAL HAS A PLACE IN GREAT SCHEME OF THINGS - Why, oh why, is the grubby organisation known as the Countryside Alliance so proud of the fact that hunts have killed 157 foxes 'legally' last week as reported on March 8? What is it in the nature of these neanderthals that makes them compelled to go out and take the lives of our native wild animals when their evil sport of hunting with hounds has been made illegal?... The Countryside Alliance, its aims and its supporters, disgust me. We shall be so much more civilised when this nasty little organisation withers and dies. Julian Brown Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Post & Times 11.3.05 PUT UP A CANDIDATE - Be it true or false, if it sounds good, say it. This old adage could well be applied to the Countryside Alliance and its members' ideas. Five days each year they go out to kill foxes which are hiding in pain after being wounded by cruel shooters. Yet they asked the shooting fraternity to join the Alliance. Is that a case of if we go down, we will take you all with us?... Neil Seaton Clowneholme Marston Bank Rocester (letter)

Bury Times 11.3.05 Don't let them get away with it - I AM writing this letter with my blood boiling to think that there are still barbarians hunting and killing foxes, and believing that they are above the law. What are the Government going to do about it? Nothing as far as I can see… J. BARRETT, Lichfield Road, Radcliffe. (letter in archive)

Western Mail 11.3.05 'Motive behind ban' - Alun Michael may be justified in claiming no one could have spent more time listening, brokering compro-mises or finding a less divisive way to resolve the hunting issue than he (Letters, February 23). What he and his fellow prohibitionists fail to mention is the motivation behind the introduction of a vindictive piece of legislation [the hunt ban], namely donations to the coffers of the Labour Party of about £1m by the animal rights lobby…. JOHN HARRIS JONES, Beech Tree Close, Radyr, Cardiff (letter)

Western Mail 11.3.05 Pro-ban terror - Without wishing to portray myself as an apologist for the aggressive behaviour of certain individuals in the hunting fraternity, I feel I must take issue with Sion Williams's conclusions drawn from recent television reports on confrontations between huntsmen and their opponents (Letters, March 2). While he cites the evidence of violence towards "teenage boys and girls - who were merely monitoring the proceedings" he clearly fails to understand the motivation which lies behind this fledgling vigilante brigade, specifically the masked, club-wielding thugs of the Animal Liberation Front who will stop at nothing to advance their belief in animals' rights… R WILLIAMS, Pontcanna, Cardiff
Law divides nation - I was ambivalent on the issue of hunting, and like Sion Williams (Letters, March 2), I also watched the TV programme - but have come to a differing viewpoint. What I witnessed was obsessive animal rights activists who were obstructing police, attacking police, resisting arrest, committing aggravated trespass. They were pushing and abusing horses and also showing and using whips on the hunting dogs…. SIMON MITCHELL, Wenvoe, Cardiff (letter)

Leicester Mercury 11.3.05 HUNT CAUSING TOTAL MAYHEM - It's strange that in all the mileage given to hunting, other country issues which surround hunting people are not highlighted. Just a few weeks ago, travelling from Willoughby Waterleys to Peatling Parva, it was clear the hunt was meeting at Peatling Magna crossroads. We counted more than 70 vehicles churning up the grass verges, followers doing a three-point turn in front of us and total mayhem on the roads… I look forward to hearing the hunt's point of view. Rachel Root, North Kilworth (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 11.3.05 FOX ISSUE WILL NOT GO AWAY - We are responding to Louisa Allcock's letter ( February 24). As much as you "townies" hate fox-hunting and are pleased with the ban, there are about 1,000 times more hunt supporters than anti-hunt protesters. It is not just about our enjoyment, it is about keeping the population of foxes down, so we don't kill them all. We don't catch one every time anyway…. Cordelia Cudworth (12) and Gregory Edge (23), Kirk Langley. (letter)

Wells Journal 11.3.05 ATTENTION CARNIVORES - To the meat eaters of the world: I am writing this because I am so saddened by the way you treat animals…. And fox hunting - perhaps if you saw an animal being fed to a dog you would cry or try to help it, but they enjoy it every time it squeals or struggles. Every time one of its limbs is ripped the sight of it would be as sweet as sugar to them…. A Glastonbury resident, aged 10, Full name and address supplied (letter)

Cheddar Valley Gazette 11.3.05 FED UP WITH BLEATING - Name and address supplied (letter)
Somerset Guardian 10.3.05 HUNTS' CLAIMS ARE NONSENSE - I am sick of the bleating of the ill-informed pro-hunting lobby. I grew up in the Blackdown Hills of Devon where hunts regularly took place and saw for myself the damage they caused. Before a hunt every hole a fox could use for escape was blocked up with plastic sacks filled with sand. After the hunters went home these were left behind like litter…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)


Northumberland Gazette 10.3.05 Time for hunt to look to alternatives - ALNWICK Castle is an outstanding heritage site in it's own right. With it's art and Meissen china collections, regimental museum and inspiring medieval keep and towers, not to mention the Alnwick Fair, music festival and horticultural show. Can the Percy Hunt devotees really expect the non hunting public to show interest in their futile anti hunting act campaign? The recent dangerous assembly of 500 riders in Alnwick town centre, with 14 riders galloping through it, and up Bondgate in heavy traffic, sending shoppers rushing for cover, definitely did not encourage sympathy for their cause…. Name and address supplied. (letter)
Northumberland Gazette 3.3.05 Gazette report 'flies in the face' of facts - HAVING read the article on Hunt breakaway group in the Gazette of February 24, I wondered if I was in the same town at the same time as your reporter's anonymous eyewitnesses claim. I was having a coffee in a well known brasserie in Alnwick, on the Saturday morning referred to. It was clear that many in the brasserie were expecting horses to appear, from their conversation… When the horsemen and women came in sight, they were on the correct side of the road, and the description of “cantering’’ could hardly be described to the progress of their horses. The crowds acknowledged their presence and the riders thanked the crowds as they rode by…. C I Rycroft, Doxford. (letter)
Northumberland Gazette 3.3.05 Wife witnessed rodeo-style stunts - READING last week's Gazette and opinions of shoppers who were in town and saw, as my wife did, the rodeo riders' supercilious behaviour in this tiresome hunting law protest and, after invading Parliament, they seem to believe everywhere else is their stage. Anyone with the smallest brain must realise how dangerous it is to behave in such a way in towns today, with so much traffic, and not least to the horse… Stan Thompson, West Acres, Alnwick (letter)
Northern Echo 25.2.05 Hunt riders are facing prosecution over protest - A GROUP of hunters could be facing prosecution. The 14 mounted supporters broke away from more than 500 members of Northumberland's Percy Hunt during a protest in Alnwick, Northumberland, against the ban on hunting with dogs…. (story in archive)
Northumberland Gazette 24.2.05 Hunt issues sincere apology for conduct of breakaway riders - FOLLOWING our meet on the Pastures, and our procession past the castle and down Bailiffgate to the kennels, on Saturday, I would like to write to thank the people of Alnwick for their support and forbearance on this very emotive day. We had a fantastic gathering, with over 500 supporters on foot and 150 mounted followers and, with the help of the police, our procession went well and I hope did not cause too much inconvenience to people. However, I am aware of a small group of mounted followers who broke away from the main body and went through the centre of Alnwick. As I have said, emotions were running high and I hope that people were not upset or inconvenienced by this group. If they were, please accept the sincere apologies of the hunt, as this was most definitely not our aim…. Charles Bucknall, Chairman, Percy Hunt. (letter)
Northumberland Gazette 24.2.05 500 meet in hunt ban protest - MORE than 500 hunt supporters gathered at Alnwick's Pastures on Saturday in a show of defiance against the hunting ban. On the day after the enactment of the controversial Hunting Act, a turnout of more than 150 mounted followers and 350 foot followers met beneath Alnwick Castle as the Percy Hunt showed they were far from ready to give up their fight….(story)
Northumberland Gazette 24.2.05 Hunt breakaway group'reckless and dangerous' - POLICE have launched an appeal to hunt down 14 mounted supporters who broke away from the Percy Hunt's procession on Saturday and wreaked havoc through Alnwick town centre…. As a procession of 150 or more mounted followers made their way past Alnwick Castle and down Bailiffgate to the Kennels, 14 mounted supporters broke away and made their way through the town centre to the astonishment of many Saturday shoppers. According to police, the riders galloped up Narrowgate into Bondgate Withinwithout stopping to check for on-coming traffic, causing petrified shoppers to seek safety in many town centre shops…. (story)

BBC News Online 10.3.05 Out with the anti-hunt monitors by Paula Dear - Hunting may have been banned last month but there are still plenty of people who are determined not to let the issue drop. The pro-hunting fraternity is still trying to have the ban overturned, as well as to continue hunting within the new law, and those opposed to the activity are remaining as vigilant as ever. Only now, they see their job as helping to uphold the law… Judy Gilbert, 58, a League Against Cruel Sports activist and veteran anti-hunting campaigner, swills down a coffee and pulls on her boots before heading off for a day monitoring the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt, better known simply as the Aylesbury Vale…. As we approach the meet point in the village of Cuxham, Judy makes CB radio contact with fellow volunteer Penny Little, who runs a charity for orphaned foxes and other animals. Soon two more monitors, Bea Bradley and Peter Bunce, come into range and the four chat about the day ahead…. Judy hopes the lack of numbers is not just an unusually quiet day: "Their membership will wither away. Who's going to want to come out and do this?..." (story)

BBC News Online 10.3.05 Fresh legal challenge to hunt ban - The House Of Lords is to hear a further appeal by the Countryside Alliance against the hunting with dogs ban… (story)
Ananova 10.3.05 Law lords to hear hunt ban appeal - The House of Lords has agreed to hear a last-ditch appeal over the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales, the Countryside Alliance has said…. (story)
10.3.05 Alliance Takes Case to Lords, and Europe - The Countryside Alliance has been granted hearings in both the House of Lords, and in the European Court of Human Rights in its attempt to overturn the hunting ban. By Holly Kirkwood (story)
Western Daily Press 10.3.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS TAKE BATTLE TO EUROPE - Hunt supporters throughout the West last night backed five of their number who are taking their case against the ban to the European Court of Human Rights. Ten members of the Countryside Alliance - including five in the West - have been named as the complainants in the Alliance's legal battle to overturn the hunt ban. The five are livery owner Lesley Drage, from Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire, dairy farmer Jason Vickery from Dorset, huntsman Donald Summerskill from the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, and farrier Colin Dayment and farmer Giles Bradshaw, both from North Devon…. Mr Vickery has followed the South and West Wiltshire Hunt for more than 20 years… (story)
Reading Chronicle 10.3.05 Law lords to hear hunt ban appeal - The House of Lords has agreed to hear a last-ditch appeal over the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales, the Countryside Alliance has said… (story)
Western Gazette 10.3.05 COURT 'YES' TO HUNT CHALLENGE - The High Court has granted permission for the legal challenge to the Hunting Act 2004 under the Human Rights Act 1998 to go ahead. Permission was granted to individual claimants for application for judicial review of the Hunting Act 2004 on human rights grounds…. (story)

News Post Leader 10.3.05 Scots Gap store braced for the impact of the foxhunting ban - A COUNTRY store that has served the rural community for decades fears trade will suffer due to the hunting ban. Owners of Robson and Cowan at Scots Gap, near Morpeth, say the long term impact of the ban is a ‘big worry.’ The store is a supplier to a number of local hunts, but since the hugely controversial law came into effect there is growing concern that takings will decline, a dire prospect that could even force job cuts on the owners…. (story)
Morpeth 9.3.05 Store braced for the impact of hunting ban - A COUNTRY store that has served the rural community for decades fears trade will suffer due to the hunting ban. Owners of Robson and Cowan at Scots Gap, near Morpeth, say the long term impact of the ban is a 'big worry'…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 10.3.05 HUNT MORECONFIDENTOF A FUTURE - Local hunt members say they are more confident about their future than at any time since the ban on hunting with animals was introduced. Grove and Rufford Hunt's Roderick Duncan says he can now see a future beyond a ban whereas before hunt followers were not so sure. His comments follow the High Court's decision to grant permission for the Hunting Act to be challenged legally under the Human Rights Act…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 10.3.05 BIG EVENTPULLS INTHE CROWDS - Punters turned out in their thousands to witness point-to-point racing at Welbeck at the weekend. Lady Anne Bentinck's land was again the venue after the success of last year's event… And organisers Grove and Rufford Hunt said they were thrilled with the outcome. "It was a tremendous event with a great turn out and everyone who was there said it was excellent," said Huntsman Roderick Duncan…. (story)

North Devon Journal 10.3.05 NFU HUNTING ADVICE - The NFU in the South West has issued guidance to its members on how to protect themselves if they decide, as the vast majority of landowners will, that they want to allow legal hunting-related activity to continue on their land…. (story)

Daily Post 10.3.05 Fallen stock scheme 'shambolic' - WALES' growing fallen stock crisis was high on the agenda at farm meetings this week. Countryside minister Carwyn Jones was told the scheme was failing farmers when he visited the Llangadog hill farm of Nick Somerfield, chairman of the FUW's parliamentary and land use committee. Mr Somerfield said: "Farmers, having paid into the scheme, are having to wait up to three weeks for carcass collection…." (story)

South London Press 10.3.05 Appalled at hunt respect - Open letter to Kate Hoey I AM the chairman of Peckham Stop The War… I recently went to monitor a fox hunt and was subjected to verbal racial abuse from many of the hunt supporters, followed by a physical attack from behind by a mounted huntsman, who galloped off, leaving me with a fractured rib and other injuries. I am appalled to see you are currently giving a veneer of respectability, and indeed encouragement, to these vile types… Lalu Hanuman, Northfield House, Peckham (letter)

Times 10.3.05 Hunters engaging in a legal pursuit - David Thomas (“The Hunting Act is enforceable — so let the police get on with it", Law, March 1) writes that “some have suggested” that the accidental killing of a fox by a pack of hounds chasing a dead fox being dragged in front of them falls outside the Act…. As a master and huntsman of bloodhounds, which follow the scent of a human runner, I can assure David Thomas that there are huge difficulties in drawing a distinction in the public mind between hunting an animal with a view to killing it and hunting the line of a human volunteer — witness the large amount of abuse we regularly receive from other countryside users, despite the fact that our hounds, the colours of our coats and the day of the week hunted (a Sunday) are different from those used by foxhunters… I suggest that this Act will prove impossible to police, impossible to enforce and such an almighty mess that its only effect will be to bring the law into disrepute… CLIVE REES, (Solicitor Advocate), Talycopa House, Old Farm Court, Llansamlet, Swansea SA7 9XE. (letter)

Western Mail 10.3.05 Protect the wild - How proud I am to be a supporter of the political party that finally brought an end to fox hunting… And now that hunting has gone, it is shooting that should go next and then fishing. If some people have to eat pheasants then why not breed them the same way as chickens. That way they are well fed and watered, kept warm and disease free and given a quick and humane death…. Not only is sticking a hook in a fish's mouth cruel but children can also catch diseases from ponds and rivers… MANDY PASKETT Blagdon Close, Llanrumney, Cardiff (letter)

Western Mail 10.3.05 Threat to countryside - Dai Jones's TV programme on the Eryri Hunt in Beddgelert was a truly moving programme, especially coming two days after the controversial ban on hunting with dogs. It was inspiring to watch the young huntsman Dylan with all his dogs, together with his wife and child with her horses and small flock of sheep…. PETER S ROGERS Brynsiencyn, Ynys Mon (letter)

Northern Echo 10.3.05 HUNTING - I TOTALLY agree with Ruth Parker (HAS, Feb 22) and Christopher Wardell (HAS, Mar 3). I have hunted since I was young. It's in my blood. Depriving us of hunting is like removing a limb - it's a fundamental part of who we are… Shooting a fox and dragging the carcass around the countryside is not the way forward. Instead, many fox-hounds may now have to be shot as there is not enough work for them. This Government is ruining our countryside! - Simon J Robinson, member of Zetland and South Durham hunts and amateur jockey, Darlington.
CAN your correspondents inform me of the difference in pleasure and satisfaction between a man riding a horse watching a pack of hounds pursuing then killing their prey and a man sitting in a comfortable chair at home watching on television a pack of wild African dogs doing the same?... If hunting, which is a countryside pursuit and not a sport, is cruel and barbaric, then certain wild birds will have to be stopped from dragging worms out of the ground for food, cats and owls should not kill mice, stoats should not kill rabbits or spiders kill insects which would mean the elimination of all predators that hunt and kill…. - Thomas Conlon, Spennymoor (letters in archive)

Cornwall Packet 10.3.05 Loophole has led to spiteful shooting of foxes - I GUESS huntsmen do not have to work for a living. Members of the Countryside Alliance talk of putting up candidates against Labour MPs, in particular Candy Atherton. Why should those redcoats with hunting horns do such a thing when all MPs were allowed a free-vote according to their consciences?... If one or more of a pack of hounds is unable to keep pace with the rest they are shot. I saw it on a TV programme. George Williams, Fords Row, Redruth (letter in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 10.3.05 WHY DO THEY EXPECT SUPPORT? - Councillors Steve Swift and Allan Smith should be congratulated on their respective letters regarding fox hunting and Lord Yarborough… I fail to understand why the hunting fraternity expect the rest of the country to support them. I cannot recall seeing many red-coated huntsmen in the picket lines supporting the coal miners during their dispute with Thatcher. WR Prestwood, Middleton Road, Bottesford. (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 10.3.05 MOTIVE IS CLASS HATRED - George Barwick urges us to believe that hunting is so obviously cruel that it barely deserves comment….The question should be: "Why make a criminal of someone who carries out an activity which causes no harm whatever to your fellow citizens?" The answer to that question is, of course, the mad idea that hunting is the preserve of the idle rich. It is not and never was, but Labour MPs have admitted that their motive was class hatred… Clive Rees, Alexandra Road, Swansea (letter)

Glamorgan Gem 10.3.05 Eroding the rural way of life’ - I WAS privileged to have been born and bred in a small mid-Wales village, which played host to the local hunt for as long as I remember – and I am well past 85 years of age…. Any amount of loftily-worded law just cannot erode the rural way of life. Our hard-pressed police have enough to occupy their time, without trying to prevent people, such as myself, from enjoying our age-old customs. Syd Egerton Dinas Powys (letter in archive)

Glamorgan Gem 10.3.05 Foxed by a footnote? ON March 3, you posed the question ‘who is responsible for wasting police resources – the pro or the anti hunting camps?’… The GEM is, of course, pro-hunting. Methinks you make mischief with a red herring. Nick Canever, Ogmore-by-Sea Editor’s note: The question asked in a footnote to the letter concerned was an open one. It does not follow that The GEM is “pro-hunting”. (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 10.3.05 MP has no rights on planning - Following the fox hunting farrago, Peter Bradley was keen "not to be misrepresented". His own letter that has been circulated widely about Centrex and its future overstates his influence…. Cllr D Blackwell, Plans board member, Wrockwardine (letter)

Western Gazette 10.3.05 I APPLAUD THE HUNTERS - I Was conscripted in 1940 and served in the Desert Campaign and Italy until 1946, assisting the defence of our country and way of life, against a numerically-superior Nazi war machine. Once again I am in the minority, this time by a misguided, brainwashed majority with a theoretical belief that a fox is disembowelled by dogs whilst still alive…. A 90-year-old pensioner, name and address supplied. (letter)

Western Gazette 10.3.05 OUR GOOD KNIGHT - As the dust settles on the "bloodsports" saga, cast a thought for those elected Dorset representatives and prospective ones, I mean those safe, "sit on the fence . . . I do not hunt but I respect . . . yadyda, yadyda, yadyda". Among those ditherers, one person stands apart, and whose unwavering compassion for his fellow creatures is matched by his dedicated and total commitment for the betterment of his fellow man: The MP for South Dorset….. Thank you, Jim Knight. Kevan Sheehan, League Against Cruel Sports representative, Osmington Mills, full address supplied. (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 10.3.05 Shooters must pass a test - CHRISTOPHER Graffius, of the shooting organisation BASC claimed in The Daily Telegraph “of the 2,020 foxes taken into RSPCA hospitals over the past decade, only three had gunshot wounds”… Post-mortem evidence dismisses the myth that foxes die from a nip to the back of the neck, so how can anyone suggest the death of a fox is more acceptable if it is pursued by hounds until it is terrified and exhausted and finally ripped apart?... ELAINE MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)

The Comet 10.3.05 Are they right to monitor us? - Police keep tight rein on hunts It sounds as if the police have made up their minds that the local hunts are going to break the law come what may. In any other walk of life to have the police constantly monitor your movements, just in case you commit a wrong doing, would be classed as harassment. As for the vigilante type behaviour of the animal rights activists, following people and filming them and not making themselves visible whilst doing so would most certainly be called 'stalking'… Name and address withheld (letter)

Manchester Evening News 10.3.05 Hunt backers - THE anti-hunting fanatics always spout on about democracy when it suits them. Democracy? Don’t make me laugh. What about hanging, immigration and a host of other issues we are never asked about? There is democracy all right, for the 600 plus MPs…. Pro-Hunting, Levenshulme (letter)

Kidderminster Shuttle 10.3.05 Impose ban on animal testing and hunting - I AM writing in response to two letters on your letters pages on February 24 entitled "Hunting is victim of an unjust law" and "Guilty of hypocrisy over cruelty". While I am pleased with the concerns for the countryside and over animal testing I must admit I fail to see the link with the pro-hunting argument. Yes, animal testing is wrong, yes it should be banned. All animal cruelty should be banned in my view… EMILY GEORGE, Belvedere Crescent, Bewdley (letter in archive)

Wharfedale Observer 10.3.05 Waste of time - Instead of wasting time on the election charade, the public should demand democratic reform and boycott the election… Acts like the Freedom of Information, Abolition of Fox Hunting and Disability Discrimination are scams. Don't believe anything a politician promises…. Malcolm Naylor, 21 Grange View, Otley. (letter in archive)

Banbury Guardian 10.3.05 NANNY STATE GOES TO THE DOGS - Under new government legislation, it is now an offence for owners of dogs to allow them to chase any wild mammal (other than a rat or rabbit) on farmland. It is also be an offence to allow dogs (whether on a lead or not) to sniff along the scent trail left by any wild mammal (except as above) on property…. We must stand up now for our freedom of choice not only in the countryside but in every other walk of life in this nanny state which we are increasingly having to put up with. Oliver Langdale, Hook Norton Road, Swerford
AS ONE of the organisers of the ride to Banbury Cross on Saturday, I apologise for any disruption or delay that we may have caused. Now hunting has been banned we are trying to find the best alternative, by laying a line to simulate hunting or cross country exercises so that we can save our hounds, 100 in number, 24,000 nationally. Victor Lay, Rectory Farm, Broughton (letter)

Somerset Guardian 10.3.05 FARMING INDUSTRY HAS DECIMATED OUR WILDLIFE - It is curious that C A Currie, March 3, thinks that the banning of hunting with dogs is somehow revenge for the unjust closing of the mines under Margaret Thatcher. If the situation were similar then the vast subsidy which the farming industry receives would be removed and farms closed down as uneconomic. Far from this being the case, the selfish, ignorant and intolerant farmers who own and run the bulk of our countryside are paid generously for existing and require extra payment to act in a way that partially protects wildlife from their activities… STEPHEN PORTER, Lower Whitelands, Radstock (letter)

Somerset Guardian 10.3.05 VIOLENT WAYS ARE EXPOSED - I note that the pro hunters seem to be in some kind of denial over the outlawing of their foul activity, blaming more and more bizarre reasons for its demise. I am very happy at the outcome and glad that the nonsense over the validity of the Parliament Act has been settled in the High Court…. ALUN PERSON, Green Street, Ston Easton (letter)


Wellington Weekly News 9.3.05 DRIVER SICKENED BY 'COPYCAT' SLAUGHTER - Devon border residents have been confronted with a second macabre spectacle of slaughtered wildlife following the Holcombe Rogus fox horror. Lorry driver Fred Knight saw a dead male fox and vixen, along with a rabbit, strung up on a farm gate at Burlescombe last week… Alison Hawes, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "It is typical that whenever anyone sees a dead fox they think of hunt supporters. It is just as likely to have been an angry gamekeeper." (story)

Western Morning News 9.3.05 BLAIR'S HUNTING COMPROMISE 'WORKS' - Tony Blair yesterday appeared to welcome the confusion produced by the Government's controversial Hunting Act as he suggested it had produced a "compromise of sorts"…. Yesterday Mr Blair appeared to suggest that he was happy with the situation… (story)
Western Daily Press 9.3.05 WE WANT TO STOP GYPSIES' UNLAWFUL CAMPS' NOT MAKE IT EASIER FOR THEM … Asked if issues such as illegal traveller sites, the hunting ban and the farming crisis mean Labour is seen as an urban party, with little support in the countryside, Mr Blair said: "We represent many rural constituencies and mine is one." He believed the hunting ban introduced last month would work in time, despite threats of civil disobedience by blood-sports supporters during the election campaign…. (story)

Redditch Advertiser/Alcester Chronicle 9.3.05 Rural graffiti hits region - POLICE have appealed for information following a series of attacks which have been linked to animal rights protesters. The attacks have been on rural properties in Alcester and Temple Grafton where graffiti has been sprayed on walls, signs and vehicles. The first attack was at the home of local actress Helen Wingate Marsh, which is close to a favourite meeting point for the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt… (story in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 9.3.05 SECURITY ADVICE FOR BECKETT AFTER HUNT BAN - Derby South MP Margaret Beckett has taken security advice to protect herself from protesters in the wake of the hunting ban. The Environment Secretary regarded a recent death threat issued to her Junior Animal Welfare Minister, Ben Bradshaw, as "very serious", her spokeswoman said…. (story)

Carlisle News & Star 9.3.05 Take the role of the fox! - CHAMPION fell runner Kenny Stuart could find himself handed a new role with his local hunt now that they have been banned from hunting foxes with dogs. Kenny, who lives in Threlkeld village, just a few hundred yards from the Blencathra Foxhounds’ kennels, is an angry man now that the ban has come into force…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 9.3.05 HUNTING CHALLENGE CAN BE LAUNCHED - Hunt supporters have welcomed news that they can launch a legal challenge to the hunting ban. They believe the ban, which outlaws hunting with dogs, infringes their human rights… (story)

Leicester Mercury 9.3.05 FOXES KILLED BY HUNTS 'WITHIN THE LAW' - BY NICK RENNIE - A fox a day has been killed by a Leicestershire hunt in the fortnight since hunting was banned, it was claimed today. The Countryside Alliance says hunts have taken care to operate within the law in killing more than 300 foxes nationwide, and estimate at least 10 animals were killed in the county since the start of the ban…. (story)

Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 9.3.05 Class war the real issue - HOW clearly Mary Dodd's letter headed Hunt should chase its own' (Citizen, last week) illustrates the fact that the issue for many of the anti hunt lobby was not animal welfare but a warped idea of class warfare…. The telling comment that she and her friends would go along just this once' is an indication that they never bothered to discover what hunting was all about, preferring not to open their firmly closed minds. Michael Bowker, Arkholme. (letter)

Wellington Weekly News 9.3.05 THUGS AND BULLIES - As a country-born Devonian, I feel the hung foxes (WWN, March 2) show everyone what the hunters are really like. That level of unnecessary violence and intimidation is typical of what many of us have to live with in the country…. Y. Street, Okehampton (letter)

Wellington Weekly News 9.3.05 SILENT KILLERS ARE TO BLAME - I am writing in reply to your story titled Hunt condemns fox horror (March 2). You describe the incident as "clearly a protest from hunt supporters outraged by the Government's decision to ban all hunting with dogs". Did you actually see the person(s) doing it? One should not assume . . . (Name, address supplied) (letter)

Wellington Weekly News 9.3.05 SILENT KILLERS ARE TO BLAME - I refer to your article Hunt condemns fox horror (March 2). I am appalled at the thought of anyone wishing to hunt any animal with dogs, let alone kill them and string them up for all to see… Margaret Liddel, Dobree Park, Rockwell Green (letter)

Wellington Weekly News 9.3.05 SILENT KILLERS ARE TO BLAME - I thought the hunt only killed the sick and old foxes. The four lovely animals strung up at Holcombe Rogus appeared to be fine specimens. Is this evidence that someone has had to get rid of the foxes they have been breeding for their sick so-called "sport"?.... Mrs Jones, Beech Hill, Wellington (letter)

Wellington Weekly News 9.3.05 SILENT KILLERS ARE TO BLAME - I write with reference to the four dead foxes being strung up from a tree at Holcombe Rogus (WWN, March 2). It is not the hunts which are responsible for this terrible deed. The hunts are governed by the Masters of Foxhounds Association and would be banned for life if they perpetrated this vile act. Those responsible, I suspect, are the people who go out lamping and kill about a dozen foxes most nights - this is what Tony Blair should ban…. C. Sweet, Tone, Wellington (letter)

Yorkshire Post 9.3.05 CLASS WAR AIMS OF THE ANTI-HUNT BRIGADE From: Martin Vallance, River Lane, Brompton-on-Swale, Richmond. IN response to your request for readers' thoughts on hunting, I would suggest that while those who have sought to ban hunting allege that it is cruel, the fox itself is a hunter par excellence… Lord Burns's report, commissioned by the Government at huge expense, broadly supported fox hunting, but was ignored by those who sought to achieve their class war aims rather than follow the truth… I have never hunted to hounds nor even attended a meet until February 19 when I went to the Bedale meet at West Tanfield in order to show my support in the best English tradition for an oppressed minority. I shall now continue to attend until this battle is won…
From: Dr and Mrs JR Turner, Cropton, Pickering. HUNTING has been banned: this is a victory for a vicious class war. But perhaps the animal welfare folk, like Patricia Tricker (Country Week, February 26) really do love their fellow creatures. So will we be seeing them on the canal banks "sabbing" the rod and line fishermen? Don't hold your breath.
From: Ella Whitham, Hebden, near Skipton. A LOT of time is given on TV to the anti-hunting brigade, but surely those who believe in the country way of life and support hunting should be allowed to air their opinions…. Will the anti-hunt brigade continue to break the law by photographing and filming people without their permission? Why don't they grow up?
From: Liz Lord, Adel, Leeds. "HUNTERS who targeted MP's train" (February 7): doesn't that just sum up the crass stupidity and arrogance of these hunting people?... The majority of the British public are sick to death of them. (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 9.3.05 ARE WE REALLY LIVING IN A DEMOCRACY? … Princess Michael of Kent is quite right to support Prince Harry's choice of fancy dress costume. As for her idea that hunting should not be banned whether or not most people support a ban, surely the aristocracy (literally "the best people") know best and that's the end of it…. Anybody would think we were living in a democracy! Philip Smith, Copandale Road, Beverley. (letter)

Western Morning News 9.3.05 BLAME TOWN PEOPLE FOR HUNTING BAN - It was a sad day when the Government banned hunting. It's a sad day when the Government bans shooting. It'll be another sad day when they ban fishing. There seems no end to the interference of townies on country life…. G Newman, Bristol (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 9.3.05 ANTI-HUNT CAMPAIGNERS THE REAL THREAT TO FOXES - A member of the so-called League Against Cruel Sports appeared gleefully on our TV screens recently, welcoming the Government's ban on hunting and stating that they would pursue other forms of (perceived) cruelty. So what is their next target? Shooting, perhaps? It cannot be angling, as Ben Bradshaw, Exeter's present MP, has reassured anglers about their sport…. Be warned, you anti-hunt letter writers, it could soon be farewell Brer Fox, goodbye Reynard. You were a handsome animal and it has been nice knowing you. And everyone will know who was responsible for the animal's extinction. No longer will the hunts lift a finger to protect it. M Lewis, Rackenford, Tiverton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 9.3.05 WILL HUNTERS BE SEEN AS LATTER-DAY MORRIS MEN? - Just imagine 20 years from now, as the hunt rides out for another day's drag-hunting, the spectacle has now changed from disgust to pride. Hunt members are viewed rather in the way the local town crier or the Morris men are seen…. They are eager and ready to resume the cruelty, as soon as the law permits, while the younger generation wonders why anyone would want to do that? GR Holwill, Stoke Hill Crescent, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 9.3.05 ANTI-HUNT PROTESTERS ARE PROUD OF THEIR EFFORTS - G padden, Points of view, March 2, asks if the anti-hunt protestors are proud and pleased with themselves. Yes, we are! Name and address withheld on request (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 9.3.05 PEOPLE WHO WANT THIS KIND OF THING MUST BE DEPRAVED - If it had been left to me, hunting deer, foxes and badgers would have been outlawed a long time ago. People who want this kind of thing must be depraved…. R WARD, Eugene Road, Paignton (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 9.3.05 TOO MANY LURED BY SAVAGE BLOODBATH … Although I did not see the letter she was replying to, "Still Undecided About Foxhunting?" (Viewpoint, Feb 11), I believe I am still in a position to comment as Ms Gardner's letter really made my blood boil. OK then, perhaps there was no fox present, exhausted, terrified or otherwise, or a kill made, but surely this was just coincidence and the hunters' misfortune (although for- tune for the foxes). Otherwise, what was the point of you being there?... Miss RA Broughton, Emfield Road, Scartho (letter)

Louth Leader 9.3.05 Fox-hunters should get a new hobby - P TAYLOR, Lincoln (letter)
Horncastle News 9.3.05 Fox-hunters should get a new hobby - The fox-hunting hierarchy are influential establishment figures, so they would be expected to obey a law passed by a huge majority…. To the people on horseback, fox-hunting was a hobby, not a career (and not a ‘sport’). So find a new hobby, joining your local dramatic society would satisfy the dressing-up urge. P TAYLOR, Lincoln (letter)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 9.3.05 Animals are secondary - REGARDING the recent sob story from a hunting supporter it's always sad when people lose their jobs, but sadder knowing jobs are being done with little or no regards to animals who have no voices to object, just to satisfy the urge to hunt… Mrs D Humpries, Hanbury Rd, Stoke Heath (letter in archive)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 9.3.05 No sympathy - VERY rarely does Your View raise more than a modicum of concern with me but the pathetic epistle from `Huntslady of Clent' has prompted a response. Her poetic ramblings `as dusk fell I got off my horse for the last time,' are laughingly ludicrous. Her example of a `broad church of people' who take part in the appalling activity of hunting ranges from bricklayers to High Court judges. Wow - she actually socialises with bricklayers. What a fine lady!... Bruce Thompson, Wildmoor Lane, Catshill (letter in archive)

Driffield Times 9.3.05 Primal instincts - Graham Shields of Market Place, Driffield, writes . . . I WOULD like to make a few comments about hunting…. Chasing, tormenting and ripping foxes to pieces does not get rid of society's primal instincts, it fuels them, and perhaps leads to the baser aspects of human nature being manifested in our social dealings. (letter)


Exeter Express & Echo 8.3.05 MP'S DEATH THREAT - Exeter mp Ben Bradshaw has spoken about a death threat he received from hunt extremists. Mr Bradshaw said a menacing message had been left on the answerphone of the Labour office in Exeter warning his life was in danger. The threat came last September, but Mr Bradshaw, the Animal Welfare Minister, has only now spoken about the threat…. (story)
Western Morning News 8.3.05 HUNT LOBBY DENY DEATH THREAT TO MINISTER - DUNCAN SANDES - Members of the pro-hunt lobby have strenuously denied claims by Westcountry MP Ben Bradshaw that hunt extremists issued him with a death threat. Following the announcement that police will review protection measures for anti-hunt ministers and MPs for the General Election campaign, the Animal Welfare Minister revealed that a "menacing" message had been left on the answerphone at his Exeter constituency office. The incident took place in September, but Mr Bradshaw said he had now decided to make it public because of his concern for the welfare of his civil servants and political aides - even if the disclosure risked "upping the ante". He also said he believed some of the motivation against him shown by the hunting community was purely homophobic… However Alison Hawes, South West spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance, yesterday refuted Mr Bradshaw's claims that hunt supporters were responsible for the message. She said: "There is no evidence I am aware of which suggests hunt supporters were behind this, it could as easily have been anti-hunt groups trying to stir up trouble. I do not condone what has happened, and I do not like it, but it unfortunately goes with the territory. "Some of the messages left on my answerphone, notably on February 18 when the ban came in to force, were disgusting. It works both ways…. (story)
Times 7.3.05 Pro-hunting extremists issue death threat to MP BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - A DEATH threat by hunt extremists to Ben Bradshaw, the Animal Welfare Minister, has prompted police to review protection of anti-hunt ministers and MPs for the General Election campaign. Mr Bradshaw told The Times that a menacing message warning him that his life was in danger was left on his Exeter constituency office answerphone. The threat by an intimidating male voice frightened his assistants and left them distraught… (story)

Western Mail 8.3.05 Hunting ban will be enforced, says top law officer - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE Government's top legal officer has insisted that the law banning hunting with dogs in England and Wales will be enforced "in the usual way" by police and prosecutors. As the Countryside Alliance asked the House of Lords, as the highest court in the land, to make a final judgment on the controversial legislation, Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith told Parliament that enforcement would not be put on hold pending a decision by the peers… Simon Hart, former Master of the South Pembrokeshire Hunt, and now chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said hunts were adapting to the new legislation and were determined to continue to provide a fox management service until the Hunting Act is repealed…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 8.3.05 CALL FOR TIGHTER HUNTING LAWS - A mid Devon woman is pressing for more involvement from the police against pro-hunt supporters over fears that their shock tactics could get worse. The Cullompton resident, who does not want to be named because she fears reprisals, is disappointed at the way police have handled the sickening stunt of four fox carcasses being strung up in Holcombe Rogus, near Tiverton, two weeks ago…. (story)

Birmingham Post 8.3.05 Rural funding may be given to some cities By Sarah Probert, Birmingham Post - Vital funding earmarked for the countryside could be reallocated to urban areas as part of controversial Government reforms, the head of the Countryside Agency has warned…. The fall out from a ban on hunting with dogs would also be an issue, he added. "The knock-on effect will be in certain pockets of the countryside and it will be pockets. The ban on hunting will create problems economically. We need to address that because it is all part of helping the disadvantaged…." (story)

Yorkshire Post 8.3.05 Upholding rule of law From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley. Figures just released show an increase in new police numbers of 140,000. Now I may be missing something here listening to pro-hunt campaigners and certain chief constables telling us that they cannot police a few hundred people… The police had far less manpower during the year 1984-5 but managed to police thousands of miners who were fighting for the right to work….
Cruelty to animals From: Richard Linkogel, Greenburn Laithe, Cowling Hill. THE Government, flying in the face of the evidence, has decided that it is better to kill foxes by shooting them. In what way can a law that was supposed to prevent animal cruelty make any sense when it results in an increase in the death and wounding of animals? If the Government can't be trusted to make a sensible judgment on a straightforward issue which effects only a tiny minority in this country, how can we trust it with more important issues that may have dramatic effects on all of us? (letters)

Argus 8.3.05 Letter: Don't forget, the fox doesn't go free - I am writing in response to the letter entitled "Instead of hunting, the young can drink more" (The Argus, February 28). It omitted to mention the deliberate killing of a feeling creature which Ms Johnson's nieces would have had to witness… The real heroes of the day are those committed, brave individuals who, for the past 20 years or more, have never wavered in the face of adversity in saving animals from torment…. -David Hammond, Hassocks (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 8.3.05 HUNTING ACT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE FOR EVER - So, the hunting ban is now law. Let us not forget the centuries of thought, effort and the spirit of co-operation in rural communities which have allowed sustainable pest control at little or no cost to others….Just as bad, the lead up to the ban has resulted in a spirit of intolerance, chaos in Parliament because backbenchers do not trust frontbenchers, the real possibility of civil disobedience, more publicity for hunt saboteurs and a general movement away from compromise and co-operation. And spare a thought for the police who have been put in an unbelievably difficult position because the Government did not have the will to think through the consequences of the Act in its current form… Kay Taplin, Broadwoodwidge (letter)

Western Morning News 8.3.05 I'M GLAD I'LL NEVER HEAR HUNTSMAN'S HORN AGAIN - I am writing to register my utter disgust at the article which covered some seven pages of your newspaper (February 18). I find it very sad that in this day and age there are people who believe it is acceptable to chase animals until they are exhausted and then rip them to pieces, all in the name of "sport"…. Janine Hesp, Widewell (letter)

Western Morning News 8.3.05 CARCASS MOUNTAIN WILL FOLLOW HUNT BAN -Concern for the environment and climate change is supposed to be a priority for Government, or so we are told. At present the 30,000 or so hounds living in hunt kennels eat some 2.5kg of flesh every day each, or 75 tons, rounding up to 27,375 tons a year… Recently a load of 700 dead sheep - three truckfuls or about 70 tons - arrived at an incinerator in Gloucestershire which was out of service for some technical hitch. This load was diverted all the way down to Devon, where it took six days, 24 hours a day burning to dispose of it, and that represented less than one day's hound food. When hunt kennels start to close down one by one as an inevitable result of the Hunting Act, where does the Government plan to build the new incinerators to take care of the shortfall in capacity?... J Ward-Hayne, Modbury
CONGRATULATIONS on Mr Hickmont's correct appraisal on death of the hunted fox (WMN, January 28). In some old family papers I came across the following, written by my grandfather… "The hunted fox dies fighting and quickly, not one man in ten who dies in his bed has so easy an end." Why, oh why, does the anti-hunting lobby not accept the truth? It can only be politics. Gordon Robinson, Okehampton (letters)

Western Morning News 8.3.05 Hurrah for Greenpeace - After reading your article about dolphins WMN, February 28) I say hurrah for the two Greenpeace activists. Dolphins do no harm to man nor beast. Why don't the hunt saboteurs go out to sea to save the dolphins instead of trying to save pests?... Janet Daniels, Bittaford (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 8.3.05 FOX HUNTING - I DO not like fox hunting any more than I like bear baiting, cock-fighting, hare-coursing or any other country "tradition", but I believe it was a mistake to ban it. There are more important things for the Government and the Police to spend their time on. However, now that the ban is in force the fox-hunting fraternity should obey the law and not seek to frustrate the democratically-expressed decision made in Parliament…. Jim Allan, Hartlepool (letter in archive)


Hereford Times 7.3.05 Landowners are backing hunts - LANDOWNERS are supporting hunts across the county in the face of advice from the Country Land and Business Association… "If anything, farmers and landowners have been far more supportive, because they are against this biased government and because we aren't doing anything illegal," said Mal Williams, from the South Herefordshire Hounds. Richard Larfell, of the Radnorshire and West Herefordshire Hunt, said: "Landowners have not been a problem…" (story in archive)

Times 7.3.05 New law fails to save foxes BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - THE ban on hunting with dogs appears to be having little effect on the number of foxes killed, according to figures from the first week after the legislation took effect. A total of 157 foxes were killed by 156 hunts on 206 hunting days. The figure is about the same as that of foxes caught by hounds. The Countryside Alliance acknowledged that there had been 37 accidents, when hounds inadvertently picked up the scent of a real fox while on a scent trail, but added that there had been no intent to do so and that all hunts had operated within the law. … (story)

Isle of Wight County Press 7.3.05 FOUR FOXES SHOT SINCE BAN BEGAN - By Gavin Foster - THE DAYS after the fox hunting ban have proved bloody ones for the animals the legislation was designed to protect. The IW Hunt this week said that four foxes had been shot, legally, since the ban was introduced on February 18…. Huntmaster Andrew Sallis said foxes had been killed at the request of landowners… He said that while a hunt would kill one out of every two or three foxes pursued, driving to guns accounted for four out of five… Meanwhile the hunt is not to face criminal charges after horses and hounds were taken on to Newport's Coppins Bridge recently…. (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 7.3.05 First job loss after ban on foxhunting - BELT-TIGHTENING brought on by the controversial ban on bloodsports has claimed its first job victim in Northamptonshire. A stable hand with the Grafton Hunt will be made redundant on April 30 as a result of a decreased need for people working with horses following the hunting ban…. (letter)

Carlisle News & Star 7.3.05 Majority want hunting ban - MARGARET Cameron says the Government has ‘rushed through the Hunting Act’ with ‘more haste and no thought’ (News & Star, February 23). Where has she been for the last decade?... ELAINE MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 7.3.05 BAN BACKLASH IS 'NOT LIKELY' - Gower Mp Martin Caton, who voted to ban fox hunting, is likely to survive the next General Election despite an anticipated backlash against Labour MPs from the countryside. According to analysis of polling data, issues surrounding fox hunting will make no difference to the re-election chances of rural Labour MPs - because most hunt supporters vote Tory anyway…. (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 7.3.05 MP 'NOT WORRIED' BY HUNT THREATS - Brigg and Goole MP Ian Cawsey has said he is 'not worried' about a threatened campaign by hunt supporters to unseat him at the next general election. It is thought Labour MPs who voted to ban fox hunting are likely to be targeted by some in favour of hunting, who have threatened to plough resources into fighting seats held by anti-fox hunting MPs. But according to analysis of polling data, the issue will make no difference to the re-election chances of rural Labour MPs, Mr Cawsey and Barton-upon-Humber's MP Shona McIsaac, because most hunt supporters vote Tory anyway… (story)

Western Mail 7.3.05 Selective hearing? SIR - I was interested to read Alun Michael's letter in response to your coverage of the Meets of Hunts. How reassuring to know that Mr Michael has taken on board all the feelings of "animal welfare organisations" that donate so generously to the Labour Party coffers. What about the hard working farmers of this country whose unions and associations have been ignored across the board in their support of the necessary services provided by hunts across the UK? Terriers cannot be used against a fox preying on their lambs this spring, but can be used against a fox taking birds. How many Welsh hill farmers make a living breeding birds?... MAIR HUGHES, Alfred Street, Gilfach Goch Porth, Mid Glamorgan (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 7.3.05 NOT CRUEL? COME ON! - Some of your readers probably feel the fox hunting issue has been comprehensively covered so that there is little left to be said. However, as the pro-hunting mob is so determined to fight the law that bans hunting with hounds, the debate is going to continue, for some time…. The claim that hunting isn't cruel is so ludicrous that it barely deserves comment. Does any intelligent person believe that chasing a fox until it is exhausted to be then torn apart by the hounds, is not cruel? George Barwick, Woodcote, Killay (letter)

York Evening Press 7.3.05 Give up, it's just barbaric - I FIND D Wardell's letter about hunting typical of the desperate attempts which the pro-hunting lobby are making to try to justify their barbaric pastime (March 3). His point about it not being illegal to hunt with a hawk is entirely spurious because there are, to the best of my knowledge, no organised groups which habitually hunt wild animals on horseback using hawks…. David Bryant, Yarburgh Way, York. (letter in archive)

North East Evening Gazette 7.3.05 Pull the other one - A couple of points on the hunting debate... Are we supposed to shed a tear at job losses? Older folks remember the hunting brigade baying for blood - blue collar workers' blood - as Thatcher launched her attacks to de-industrialise the UK…. G B BUTLER, Stockton (letter)

Irish Examiner 7.3.05 Abortion is legal, but chasing a hare is not - LIKE many opponents of abortion, I would have reservations about showing graphic video images to unsuspecting women (Irish Examiner February 23)…. Since it has now reached the point in Britain where women can have the lives of their unborn terminated with impunity, while using their dogs to threaten a hare or fox may land them in court, it shouldn’t be long before a reversal of the relative levels of protection afforded to the unborn and the wild animal takes place here. If this comes about, it may well be due to those who have used photographic images to highlight the cruel side of country sports…. Rory O’Donovan, 111 Sundays Well Road, Cork (letter)


Sunday Independent (Ireland) 6.3.05 Hunt ban welcome boost to wildlife preservation - John Fitzgerald, Lower Coyne St, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)
Ulster Herald 3.3.05 Spared from slaughter on state-owned land - The government‘s decision not to allow hunting or shooting on state lands is a welcome boost to our persecuted wildlife heritage. Coming hot on the heels of Britain‘s abolition of fox, stag and hare hunting, I view it as a well-timed rebuff to an increasingly arrogant and bloodthirsty Irish hunt lobby… John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co. Kilkenny (letter may be in archive)

Sunday Independent (Ireland) 6.3.05 Charles Moore (Sunday Independent, 20/02/05), is so certain of his point of view on what is best for our countryside. However, he turns logic on its head. There is no mention of the terror and suffering that foxes must endure during the hunting season's so-called entertainment. How dare Mr Moore say that we on the anti-hunt side are telling untruths about what happens on the 'killing fields'. … Vic McKeever, Irish Council Against Blood Sports, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath (letter)


Northampton Evening Telegraph 5.3.05 Hunters stay on right side of the law - COUNTY hunts have kept within the law since hunting with hounds was banned on February 18. During that time five foxes have been killed in the county, but hunters say none of the killings breached the new legislation. Master of the Woodland Pytchley Hunt David Reynolds said: "It is basically working out as we expected. We are experimenting with various types of line hunting. "Foxes have been killed, but that has all been within the law. We have not had any inadvertent ones."… Foxwatch, a body set up by anti-hunt campaigners to provide a confidential means to report hunt crimes, has not received any information. County animal welfare spokesman for the Green Party Ernie Parsons said: "As regards specific information there has not been anything come in to Foxwatch…" (story)

Western Morning News 5.3.05 HUNTERS LAUNCH HUMAN RIGHTS BID - Hunt supporters were last night given a glimmer of hope after a top judge said there was "an arguable case" to challenge the hunting ban on human rights grounds…. Countryside Alliance president and Somerset-based Labour peer, Baroness Ann Mallalieu, said the Countryside Alliance itself had not been given leave to appeal but individual members would be, and would be backed by the organisation. Among these individual members was Devon and Somerset Staghound huntsman Donald Summersgill and Westcountry farrier Colin Daiment…. Rory Knight Bruce, former master and huntsman of the Torrington Farmers', Tedworth and United Pack foxhounds, said the ruling was a major victory…. (story)
Western Daily Press 5.3.05 HOPE FOR PRO-HUNT LOBBY - Hunt campaigners last night won permission for their second legal challenge to the ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales. Members of the Countryside Alliance were ruled to have "an arguable case" on human rights grounds by Mr Justice Collins at the High Court in London… (story)
BBC News Online 4.3.05 Fresh legal challenge to hunt ban - Campaigners have won permission to mount a second legal challenge to the ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales. Countryside Alliance members were ruled to have "an arguable case" on human rights grounds by Mr Justice Collins at the High Court in London…. A full judicial review application is expected to take place within months…. The case also raises the question of whether compensation should be paid to those people losing money and their livelihoods as a result of the ban, such as farriers, saddlers and feed merchants… (story)
Ananova 4.3.05 Fresh hunt ban challenge cleared - Pro-hunt campaigners have won permission for their second legal challenge to the ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales. Members of the Countryside Alliance were ruled to have "an arguable case" on human rights grounds by Mr Justice Collins at the High Court in London. A question mark hangs over whether the Alliance itself can join the challenge, or whether it can only be brought in the names of members who say their individual rights have been infringed…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 5.3.05 RURAL ANTI-HUNT LABOUR MPS NEED NOT FEAR OUSTING, POLLSTERS FIND - Simon McGee Political Editor - RURAL Labour MPs who voted to ban hunting with hounds claimed last night that the issue will make no difference to their re-election chances because most hunt supporters vote Tory anyway. A MORI analysis, commissioned by the Rural Group of Labour MPs, of polling data from the last quarter of 2004, when the Hunting Bill was making its way through Parliament, said there had been no noticeable change in support for rural anti-hunt MPs as a result of the Bill…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 5.3.05 HUNTING BAN 'WON'T AFFECT' RE-ELECTION - Rural Labour MPs who voted to ban hunting claimed last night that the issue will make no difference to their re-election chances - because most hunt supporters vote Tory anyway. A Mori analysis of polling data, commissioned by the Rural Group of Labour MPs, said that despite raising passions and the spectacular protests in and around Westminster last year, there was no noticeable change in support for rural anti-hunt MPs as a result of the Hunting Bill…. (story)

North East Evening Gazette 5.3.05 Put fox to sleep - With regard to the hunting ban, surely it is possible to design a muzzle that would allow the hounds to fulfil all their functions except that of tearing the fox to pieces? One official police observer armed with a tranquilliser gun could ride with the hunt to ensure that the fox is only put to sleep. The emotive question of what is then to be done with it would be removed from the hunt and be decided by some veterinary body, according to the requirements of the countryside…. T J WATERS, Saltburn (letter)

Yorkshire Post 5.3.05 Compassion is the key From: Lynn Johnson, Skipton on Swale, Thirsk. MY son became a vegetarian at six years old. He thought it out for himself. His argument was simply: "I don't want anything to die for me." Those were his words nearly 20 years ago, and have now become the creed by which my family lives. I would be absolutely heartbroken if he (or my daughter) was a foxhunter. I would feel I had gone wrong somewhere in their upbringing, that I had failed as a mother, failed my children and failed society…. (letter)

Shropshire Star 5.3.05 Chasing dragons - All that parliamentary time, effort and expense to protect foxes. What about people? There's no fox hunting in Telford, but there is heroin addiction…. Robert Jenkins Telford (letter)

Shropshire Star 5.3.05 Let Welsh decide on fox hunting for Wales Hunting with dogs is now banned after the London-centred New Labour government forced the issue through Parliament. This was against the advice and will of the farming community. It is clear that New Labour does not care for the needs of our farming communities…. It is clear that decisions on fox hunting in Wales should be made by the people of Wales, and devolved to the National Assembly. Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru Parliamentary Candidate, Brecon and Radnor (letter)

Western Mail 5.3.05 Pommie foxes - I was interested to note in today's edition that one of the hunters interviewed in your feature article of February 18, stated that a hunting ban would never have happened in her native Australia where they have a live-and-let-live attitude. Except towards pommie foxes, presumably. CAROL GUNTER, Newport Road, Cwmbran. (letter)

Northern Echo 5.3.05 HUNTING - TONY Blair, the listening Prime Minister, did not listen when tens of thousands of country people marched on London to fight for their way of life not to be changed by the Hunting Bill. The time and money that has been spent on banning hunting is shameful. All it now means is Mr Fox is going to die a lot slower that when the hounds get hold of him…. K Heslop, Crook
I DO not have any connections with either hunting or angling, but logically I feel that if hunting of foxes with dogs as a sport is banned because it is cruel then so should angling for fish with barbed hook since it must be equally as cruel… J Routledge, Witton Gilbert.
I WAS stunned to see (Echo, Feb 28) Judge Michael Spencer approving of fox hunting with dogs. In the past, cock fighting and bear baiting were regarded as entertainment and human lives counted for little…. J Gray, Bishop Auckland.
I READ with interest Mrs Smith's letter (HAS, Feb 24) in which she says council tax goes towards the police and in the next sentence she alludes that police attend football matches…. Is she saying the animal rights people should pay towards the policing of their demonstrations against hunting? - Jim S Hamer, Darlington. (letters in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 5.3.05 Palmer's eye on voters - I read Matthew Towers' letter (Post, March 2) concerning the voting record of Nick Palmer MP and his obvious pursuit of what suits him…. On the subject of angling he said that 'in the real world it was not prudent to ban it'. What he actually means, is that banning fox hunting, badger baiting etc won't lose him too many, if any, votes at the General Election but the wrath of the fisherman in his constituency would cost him dearly. P. B. GREGG Langdale Road, Bakersfield (letter)

Bolton Evening News 5.3.05 Let the hunters hunt - ON the subject of the ban on hunting. My husband has been coursing with dogs for over 20 years, and although I myself am against cruelty to animals I would never ask my husband to give up something he has done for most of his adult life…. Why can't people leave well alone something that has been a part of life and tradition for centuries?... M Emmerson, Farnworth (letter in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 5.3.05 FOXES WILL GET PM It's incredible the country set challenged the hunting ban by claiming the elected chamber unlawfully over-ruled an unelected chamber. What's astonishing is the Blair Government made no legal representation in court to defend this democratic decision…. Mike Gilbert, Abbey Drive West, Grimsby. (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 5.3.05 GRIN AND BLAIR IT - Now that fox hunting has been banned - what's next on the banning agenda - angling? I doubt it, not until after the next General Election is over anyway. Our Vanity Blair won't want to upset the fishing fraternity, not with over four-million possible New Labour voters… Ronny Jillings, Petchell Way, Grimsby. (letter)

The Sentinel 5.3.05 WHY ARE WE AN INFERIOR RACE? I was totally outraged by a letter written by a child of just 10-years-old, describing the horrific moments when a fox tears chickens to pieces and then goes on to describe what should happen to the fox for its actions. We are supposed to be a superior race. So why are we behaving like an inferior species? V QUINN Bradwell (letter)


Cumberland News 4.3.05 Was I a witness to the very last time the humble Blencathra hunt would head off into the Northern fells to rid the bleak uplands of raiding foxes? THE Government has outlawed hunting with dogs, and hunts across the county last month met to pursue their sport in the age-old fashion for the last time. I could not let this moment pass without observing a traditional scene possibly about to disappear from the Lakeland landscape…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 4.3.05 Hunt supporters greet minister with eggs by Chris Yandell - RURAL affairs minister Alun Michael ran the gauntlet of furious hunt supporters last night as he arrived for a meeting in the New Forest. More than 100 people angry at the ban on hunting gathered outside the district council offices in Lyndhurst an hour before Mr Michael was due. The minister was smuggled into the council's car park in the back of a police van. Demon-strators surged forward, banging on the side of the vehicle and pelting it with eggs…. The crowd included Mike Squibb, chairman of the New Forest Hounds, who accused the government of persecuting a minority… (story in archive)

Westmorland Gazette 4.3.05 Pro-hunting protesters greet minister - To shouts of "coward" and the hoot of the hunting horn, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael arrived at Kendal on Friday to deliver a keynote speech on rural services. The now familiar crowd of heckling hunters lay in wait for the minister whose department is responsible for the ban on hunting with hounds. Around 40 placard-waving protesters from Cumbria's hunt packs made their point with hounds wearing signs reading death sentence' and a notice branding him A Lying Untrustworthy Nobody'. They jeered as Alison Bolt, of the North Londsdale hunt, broke the news before the assembled media that Mr Michael had refused to come outside and speak with protesters or accept a meeting with a delegation of two hunt supporters… "It's extremely cowardly that a member of Parliament won't come out and talk to the people," complained Mike Nicholson, of the Coniston Fox Hounds…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 4.3.05 Tradition thwarted by new ban - MORE than 100 people joined Coniston Fox Hounds for the Troutbeck Mayor's Hunt last Saturday. The event has been a tradition in the village for more than 200 years and followed the ceremony to appoint Troutbeck's new mayor, Trish Wilson, the previous day. Mrs Wilson joined the hunt and its supporters as they made their way around the Troutbeck Tongue before presenting the prizes for the champion terrier and walking stick after the hunt… (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 4.3.05 Ban fails to stop fox killing - HUNTS in North Yorkshire have continued to kill foxes in the second week since the hunting ban came into force - but the Countryside Alliance said they had not broken the law. A total of 156 hunts registered with the Masters of Foxhounds Association met on 206 occasions and killed 157 foxes in the week ending February 26, the Alliance said. Throughout Yorkshire 14 hunts killed 15 foxes, said John Haigh, Countryside Alliance regional director…. Animal rights campaigner Annabel Holt, of Dalby, herself a former huntswoman with the Sinnington and Middleton Hunts, believes foxes are "genetic treasures" that should be revered, not killed…. (story in archive)

Western Morning News 4.3.05 STRONG SUPPORT FOR NORTH CORNWALL - The North Cornwall Hunt enjoyed a huge turnout on February 19 on Davidstow airdrome with upwards of 1500 supporters and 100 on horseback, from small children to old timers. Point-to-pointers in the middle of their season also joined the field… (story)

Western Morning News 4.3.05 SOUTH DORSET TO HOLD ITS FIRST HUNT SCURRY - The South Dorset Hunt are running their first hunt ride sponsored by Symonds & Sampson, at South Farm, Piddletrenthide, on Saturday March 5. Like the famous Melton Hunt Ride, the South Dorset Hunt Scurry will be a cross-country race over two and a half miles over 17 fences…. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 4.3.05 Anti hunt link to pub bomb call - Exclusive by Lee Perry - Police believe anti-hunt protesters could be behind a bomb threat to a South Staffordshire pub. Staff at The Pigot Arms in Pattingham received a call from a woman threatening to plant a bomb at the pub. Police believe the threat may have come because the pub is a popular meeting place for hunt supporters… Hundreds of protesters, young and old, gathered at the pub on Saturday February 19 in defiance at legislation to ban hunting. Members of the Albrighton Hunt brought the village to a standstill and they carried placards to get their message across…. (story)

Telegraph 4.3.05 Schoolboy who stabbed man in pizza row convicted of murder By Sue Clough, Courts Correspondent - A schoolboy who stabbed a restaurant worker in the heart during an argument over a bargain offer pizza was convicted of murder yesterday…. Launching a "Knives Destroy Lives" campaign, relatives of several murder victims urged ministers to do more to ban the sale of knives and to allow teachers to search pupils for weapons. One, Richard Taylor, the father of the murdered schoolboy, Damilola Taylor, accused politicians of being more interested in banning hunting than saving lives. "The Government took the issue of foxhunting to Parliament, but what about human life? Human life is more valuable. I do not see why they cannot look at saving lives on the street."…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 4.3.05 Fallen stock pricing link denied By Jennie Dennett - THE National Fallen Stock Company's boss has categ-orically denied accusations that the organisation is dictating prices. NFSCo Chairman Michael Seals was responding to a Cumbria National Farmers' Union meeting where members said the county's three collectors were now offering collection on identical pricing scales for different livestock and categories…. (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 4.3.05 Please visit me - I WAS very interested to read that hunt supporters will be knocking on doors in the South Swindon Constituency to try to encourage people to vote Conservative. I feel very put out that they will not be visiting North Swindon constituency houses. I have my hose pipe already attached to my outside tap and was looking forward to giving these morons what they deserve. PHILIP BEAVEN, Merton Avenue, Swindon (letter)

South London Press 4.3.05 Fury at MP's hunt support - I WAS extremely angry to hear Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey rode with the Duke of Beaufort's hunt over the first weekend of the hunting ban coming into force… As a member of the League of Cruel Sports, I was really ecstatic when this bill was passed, and the league and its supporters will not let years of dedication to the cause be beaten by what is now a criminal act (it always was in most people's eyes). Bob Oliver, Cardinal Bourne Street, Southwark (letter)

Surrey Mirror 4.3.05 Masked protesters were intimidating - WHEN the law is enforced by men in masks, like the self-styled anti hunt "monitors" were wearing at the entirely legal meet of hounds at Woldingham, what does it tell us about the law they are trying to enforce? Would these "monitors" like to explain what they were doing sabotaging a trail hunt by spraying and interfering with the human runner's scent?... Sophie Hill, West Hoathly, West Sussex (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 4.3.05 Hunt ban is a joke - So foxhunting with dogs is now against the law. What a laugh! Ninety-one foxes killed the day after the law was passed, some by dogs, some shot…. how come the masters of the hounds are allowed to keep so many dogs in appalling conditions in one pen, overcrowded, when there is a law that states only a certain number of dogs can be kept at a premises without planning approval?... Jenny Sampson, Rossmore Drive, Allerton. (letter in archive)

Yorkshire Post 4.3.05 Out foxed From: M Gaunt, Granny Hall Lane, Brighouse. THE hunting fraternity has nothing to fear. No point in flushing foxes out with only two dogs, or laying a trail for the hunt to follow. Just hand in a couple of decrepit hounds at any police station. Then carry on as normal. The present Government believes this method works for ridding the country of guns and knives. Doesn't it? (letter)

Bath Chronicle 4.3.05 ANIMAL WELFARE IS NOT THE ISSUE - I'm writing in response to the ludicrous hunting ban that came into force last month. Without a doubt, the numbers of supporters on Saturday, February 19, mounted or not, clearly showed the defiance of such hypercritical legislation… I will continue to support hunting with the belief that sense will prevail and the bill reprieved. The welfare of wild mammals has never been more threatened… RT STURGIS, The Coach House, West Kington, Chippenham (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 4.3.05 END TO HUNTS' 'PERVERTED PLEASURE' - Question: What do fox hunters, deer hunters and hare coursers have in common? Answer: They all get a perverted pleasure in seeing animals chased, terrified and finally ripped apart limb by limb. If the animal is extremely lucky it may - just may - die quickly, although research on the matter suggests otherwise… May I thank each and every one of you who stood up to be counted when it mattered, and supported this long overdue ban on hunting with dogs. A bigger thank you to all the MPs who supported it in Parliament, for their unwavering support and for having the courage to stand their ground against people who acted like bullies. Miss S Chapman MBE c/o RSPCA Centre, Frances Street, Scunthorpe. (letter)

Keighley News 4.3.05 All around the world (thank goodness) there are lots of caring people who give their time, money and some even risk their lives trying to save animals from terrible cruelty. On the other hand there are cowardly scum who think it's fun to put fear into small animals and hunt them down to a cruel death…."Master of the Hounds", more like pathetic, sadistic coward. S MOSS 2003 Supporter International Fund for Animal Welfare, Thornhill Avenue, Oakworth (letter in archive)

Torquay Herald Express 4.3.05 'GOOD TIME' NOTHING TO DO WITH KILLING FOXES - Angela Corkery completely misunderstood what Simon Hart of the Countryside Alliance meant by "having a good time" out hunting (HE Feb 22). It has absolutely nothing to do with watching foxes being torn apart. Our four daughters have hunted regularly for six years and only one of them has ever seen a fox killed. Normally the hunt followers do not see the fox killed…. The majority of the MPs who voted for the ban did not even have the good manners to listen to the debates on the subject. What has happened to tolerance? SALLY HAMILTON, Ivybridge (letter)

Argus 4.3.05 Letter: So when is Charles leaving? Last year Prince Charles said if hunting was to be banned in this country, he might as well go and live in Switzerland…. Peter Allen, High Salvington, Worthing (letter in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 4.3.05 Dr Fowles (February 24) is right, Lincoln is a solid Labour seat and I touch my cap to him for acknowledging this….Of course, the dissension over fox hunting will go on and on and on. A class thing? Of course it's a class thing. The middle, upper and toff classes have been riding roughshod over the lower ranks, the country fields and any degree of decency for centuries, and you know what - we didn't like it then and we don't like it now… WALLY CROFT Birchwood Estate, Lincoln.
This Government has been obsessed with banning fox hunting and has wasted a fortune in its pursuit of what it perceives as a Tory pastime. Speaking as a long-time vegetarian, I will bet a pound to a pinch of salt that the majority of animal rights protesters hypocritically preach their cause while devouring the flesh of animals or fish or indulge in products containing animal derivatives…. GRAHAM WOOLSEY Holywell Road, Lowfields, Lincoln
The first weekend of the hunting ban was to be a watershed in British political history. And what actually happened? Well, blink and you'd have missed it…. A smaller number of hunt-supporters than expected turned out and made their protest peacefully, and I feel quite proud of them all…. STEPHEN BAILEY Lincolnshire BNP (letters)

Shropshire Star 4.3.05 War on rural life will be end of Labour - At no time in English history has the Government declared war on the English countryside and stayed in power. Nanny Blair's intolerant and misinformed Act makes thousands of law abiding people criminals. Chief constables, magistrates, local councillors, even The Prince of Wales. And good ordinary people are now criminals should they not be able to restrain the exercising hunting pack of fox hounds from doing what they do naturally…. Robert Fisk-Moore, Chairman Ludlow UKIP Constituency Branch (letter)

Shropshire Star 4.3.05 It's time to pay up on foxes story - Wildlife expert John Bryant should put his money where his mouth is - because I can prove claims that urban foxes are being collected from city streets and dumped in the countryside. I would like to claim the £1,000 Mr Bryant has offered to anyone giving hard evidence that this is happening. He calls it an urban myth, but tell that to Bromley Council. I have unearthed a story from the Kentish Times of September 10, 1987. It reports that the League Against Cruel Sports had offered to help move foxes from where they were causing a nuisance in the town to open spaces…. J Turley, Ludlow (letter)

Shropshire Star 4.3.05 Damage done to respect of law - Your spread on hunting in your edition of Friday, February 18 gives clear evidence of the tragedy that has been inflicted on this country by the vicious piece of class warfare which is the Hunting Act 2004… M A Zuckerman, UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Ludlow (letter)

Shropshire Star 4.3.05 Put end to bias in the newspaper - Well done The Shropshire Star. Its Editor has certainly showed where her sympathies lie…. Hunting, we've all had enough of your front page, full page, full colour articles in favour of hunting, let's see you balance your biased views with a little sympathy for the animal caught in the centre of all this controversy. Yes, the fox…. In the past you have shown your support for bull fighting, the rearing of pheasant chicks for the enjoyment of the shooting fraternity and the Pamplona Bull run to name a few, now, before you go the whole hog and put these SPORTS on the back pages with the football, rugby and cricket, let's see an end to the bias. R J Edwards, Shrewsbury (letter)

Western Mail 4.3.05 - It is amazing that Alun Michael should chose to continue to hammer home his lack of principle in his dealings in the hunting debate (February 23)…. Contrary to the Minister's comments, the Countryside Alliance was wholly prepared to compromise when a licensing Bill was introduced by Alun Michael himself, in December 2002….The passions Mr Michael refers to are of his own making - they have been aroused by his willful determination to ignore the feelings of the rural majority and his inability to consider the issue with broadminded logic… ADRIAN SIMPSON, Countryside Alliance Regional Director (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 4.3.05 HUNTING IS TOTALLY CRUEL - S Lloyd Davies (Is it a 'class' problem, Have Your Say, February 25) obviously hasn't listened to the main arguments for the hunting ban. If I meet a hunt, I will hurl abuse at it. I don't consider their backgrounds because it makes no difference. Anyone who causes suffering to animals, in my reckoning, is a pervert on a par with paedophiles and their like…. Ralph Jones, Twyn y Gored, Cwmavon, Port Talbot (letter)

Hexham Courant 4.3.05 NANNY STATE - WILL our ‘nanny state’ now have to re-name the “Fox and Hounds”? KEN NORTON, St Cuthbert’s Terrace, Hexham (letter)

Richmond & Twickenham Times 4.3.05 What lessons are we setting the young? I am so glad that democracy has prevailed and that the laws against hunting have been upheld. I am against hunting because I am very concerned that any act of torturing and killing a creature for sport is a terrible lesson for the young… Charmian Goldwyn retired Twickenham GP Elm Bank Gardens SW 13 (letter)


Telegraph 3.3.05 Hunts press on despite ban - Hunts killed 157 foxes in the week ending last Saturday, the first after the hunting ban. Of these, 37 were killed "unintentionally", according to the Countryside Alliance. Frosty conditions reduced activity, but hunts reported strong local support… (story)

Western Gazette 3.3.05 HUNT PROTESTER FINDS ALL HIS CAR TYRES FLAT - A Dorchester father, who actively campaigns against blood sports, says his family is living in fear after being targeted by drunken pro-hunters. Carpenter Neil Buckoke, aged 38, woke for work on Monday morning to find the four brand-new tyres on his car were flat… Mr Buckoke blames rogue supporters of the South Dorset Hunt, one of whom he says approached him at its meet on 19 February and said: "How're your tyres? I am surprised you got here."… Mr Buckoke, who was last monitoring hunters at the Cattistock Hunt's meet on Saturday 19 February, said he has previously had his car windows smashed and the brakes tampered with, as well as countless verbal attacks…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 3.3.05 BACKLASH - Villagers disgusted by dead foxes protest - A sick stunt in which four dead foxes were strung up by the neck from a tree looks to have seriously backfired on hunt supporters…. No one has claimed responsibility for the outrage, but residents of Holcombe Rogus, near Tiverton, are furious at whoever organised the grisly demonstration in what is an idyllic part of the Grand Western Canal country park, around two miles from the village…. (story)
Wellington Weekly News 2.3.05 HUNT CONDEMNS FOX HORROR - Pro and anti-hunt factions united this week in condemning a sickening stunt which saw four dead foxes strung up by their necks on a road near Wellington. Holcombe Rogus villagers on their way to work were greeted by the macabre sight at Beacon Hill, just off the main road. Underneath the foxes was a sign reading "Tally Ho Mr Blair". Locals felt "sick to their stomach" when they passed the Grand Western Canal car park at Beacon Hill and saw the foxes - clearly a protest from hunt supporters outraged by the Government's decision to ban all hunting with dogs…. Tiverton Foxhounds chairman Roland Notely said the demonstration was in "very bad taste"… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 2.3.05 SICK FOX STUNT CONDEMNED - Police powerless over gruesome animal protest - Police said today they were powerless to investigate the death of four foxes found strung up on a tree in Mid Devon because they did not know where the carcasses were…. A member of the public first spotted the gruesome sight beside the Grand Western Canal country park on Friday and informed the police but by the time they arrived the carcasses had been removed. Police spokesman Sergeant Alan Mobbs said: "We were told about the incident at 8.45am, but unfortunately by the time that we arrived, they had been taken down…." Tiverton Foxhounds chairman Roland Notley said it was in very bad taste…. (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 1.3.05 FOXES STRUNG UP IN TREE NEAR CANAL CAR PARK - Both sides of the hunting debate have roundly condemned the actions of the person who hung these dead foxes from a tree near a public car park. The Gazette was alerted by a concerned member of the public who had spotted the animals at the Grand Western Canal country park car park at Beacon Hill near Holcombe Rogus. There were four carcasses, along with a sign reading 'Tally Ho! Mr Blair'. The foxes appear to have been shot…. Tiverton Foxhounds chairman Roland Notley said the person's actions had been in 'very bad taste'…. Ivor Annetts of the League Against Cruel Sports' Mid Devon branch, said: "This is typical of the way the lower end of the hunting community behaves."… (story)

St Albans Observer 3.3.05 Hunts meeting for 'exercise' despite ban - TWO fox-hunts have met near St Albans since the ban against the practice came into force two weeks ago. On Saturday, February 19, the second day of the ban, the Aldenham Harriers met in the Kimpton area, and the Cambridgeshire and Enfield Chase met in Hatfield Park. Police attended both events, and a third at Puckeridge in the east of the county, but there were no disturbances or reports of illegal activity… (story)

North Devon Journal 3.3.05 HUNTS: WHY WE'RE ALL FOXED - Who would have guessed that in the early years of the 21st century the hapless Reynard would take centre-stage in the nation's news bulletins, surrounded by so much passion - and even hate… There is practically nothing the two sides can agree upon in the wake of the ban on hunting, except perhaps one point. And that is that it is a right old mess. It is generally accepted that the new act is riddled with confused legal language. But why should this be? For the Government have had ample time to produce a better effort than this…. the chairman of Torrington Farmers' Hunt Ted Marchman says he does not see it as permanent. That may be, but because of the big majority of Labour MPs in the Commons, it will seem like it…. if anyone tries to persuade you that all this fuss is nothing to do with politics, don't you believe it. Why, I've even heard it suggested that today's situation is 'pay-back time' for the miners!... Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Torridge and West Devon Geoffrey Cox at the South Tetcott Hunt last week with master Paul Martin. Picture: Dawn Bewes (story)

Newcastle Journal 3.3.05 Move to dispel fallen stock myths - The NFU in Cumbria is trying to dispel myths within the farming community that the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) dictates the prices that collectors are now charging. In Cumbria, members have raised concerns regarding the price being charged for collection. Three collectors are offering a service in Cumbria on identical pricing scales for the different species and categories….(story)

East Grinstead Courier 3.3.05 WHAT WERE HUNT MONITORS DOING? - When the law is enforced by men in masks like the self-styled anti-hunt monitors were wearing at the entirely legal meet of hounds at Warlingham, what does it tell us about the law they??re trying to enforce? Would these monitors like to explain what they were doing sabotaging a trail hunt by spraying and interfering with the human runner??s scent?... Sophie Hill, Selsfield Road, West Hoathly (letter)

Halesowen News 3.3.05 Alternatives to fox hunting - Reading through the Halesowen News I get the feeling of Déjà vu as each week one person or other is griping about the pros and cons of whether there should be a Tesco in Quinton. The same issues keep appearing. I therefore thought I should add my own spin on a topical issue - the ban on fox hunting….. Why not use undesirable humans (not me before anyone suggests it). Maybe sex offenders and the like? Strip them naked (we don't want the poor hounds gagging on material) and strategically attach a couple of lamb chops, bathe in Eau de Fox, maim slightly and Bob's your uncle! Everyone's happy... Chops away .... Tally Ho!! Coxy, via email (letter in archive)

East Grinstead Courier 3.3.05 NO LEGAL RIGHT TO KILL WILD ANIMALS - Graeme Worsley??s feeble atempt to seek support for his cruel ??sport?? by comparing Tony Blair with Hitler is highly dangerous propaganda. There is simply no comparison… Hunting people object because they feel their civil liberties are being eroded, but those of us in favour of a ban do not believe people should have a legal right to chase and kill wild animals for sport. Mrs B Kobylarek, Furnace Wood, Felbridge (letter)

West Briton 3.3.05 ATTACK ON MP 'UNCALLED FOR' - What a sad spectacle Charles Williams of Caerhayes brought to our screens. He did nothing to endear the hunting fraternity, nor did he represent the majority of the Cornish people, and his attack on Candy Atherton MP was totally uncalled for…. CHRIS and MARY ALICE POLLARD, Representing Cornwall's Voice for Animals, 3 Gerrans Square, Gerrans, Truro (letter)

Northern Echo 3.3.05 HUNTING: MICHAEL Spencer QC has resigned from the bench because he says the Government's ban on fox-hunting "parallels closely the conduct in government in Nazi Germany in the 1930s"… The sooner more of the Michael Spencers of the world are given their marching orders the better. - John Young, Crook
MICHAEL Spencer QC, a bastion of the judiciary, loves to hunt wild creatures to death for pleasure. I was delighted that he had resigned as a recorder and a deputy High Court judge…. As for Mr Spencer, he should apologise to Tony Blair and the Government for making such a ridiculous accusation…. Hugh Pender, Darlington.
WHILE Tony Blair and his fellow guardians of morality in the Labour Party have wasted seven years in achieving the ban on fox-hunting because of its barbaric cruelty, over one million children have been legally butchered in this country in abortions… J Moffatt, Chilton.
THE Countryside Alliance and pro-hunters: who do they think they are (HAS, Feb 26)? The Hunting Act is valid and was brought on by themselves. Many hunts broke their own rules and we're grateful to the media for revealing this… Mrs Smith, Darlington.
SO Ruth Parker would take great pleasure hunting down Tony Blair (HAS, Feb 22). Firstly, the York and Ainsty Hunt drag an effigy of Tony Blair (labelled vermin) across Easingwold market place pursued by hounds. The only vermin I ever see are the ones on horseback…. N Staff, Durham.
… I just cannot get to grips on why the Government has banned fox-hunting. It was no doubt ordered by the red tie wearing, anti-war backbenchers. It is Mr Blair's way of holding out an olive branch to his party so that he can jump back on board the ship that will lead Great Britain to destruction. - Christopher Wardell, Darlington. (letters in archive)

The Sentinel 3.3.05 GREAT TO READ OF HUNT ALTERNATIVES - Isn't it incredible how fox hunters do not feel ashamed or embarrassed by placing a rude message to Tony Blair on a young child's head (Sentinel, February 21)? It is, however, great to see that many hunters declined from chasing wild, live quarry - instead giving their hounds a run or taking part in drag racing… MATT WHITE Biddulph Moor (letter)

Shropshire Star 3.3.05 Losing in class war - Eric Firth, Bradford (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 25.2.05 HUNT SUPPORTERS HAVE LOST THE LONG CLASS WAR - The hunting mob are baying: "Class war!" Well, the truth is we have had a class war in this country for 1,000 years and they have never moaned before… Stop whimpering and blubbering, you are embarrassing. You make me ashamed to be English, but then you always did. Eric Firth, Wilsden, Bradford (letter)

Bath Chronicle 3.3.05 SORRY, MR BLAIR BUT NEW LABOUR STINKS - This is part of an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair. For years, I have supported you and your party, even changing from being a member of the Conservatives to joining Labour, simply because I believed in you…. My wife has potential skin cancer, and to even get a consultation she has to wait 15 weeks to see anyone who knows what they are talking about. It could be too late by then… Your party is too concerned with fox hunting, wars and other things that do not touch people. But life and death does. Forget Iraq, forget the foxes, let's talk about humans for once, shall we?... PETER STRELCZAK, Combe Royal, Bath (letter)

Bath Chronicle 3.3.05 DAN SPEAKS OUT FOR THE VOTERS - Your paper's publication of the letter from M McLaren praising straight-talking MP Dan Norris was very timely. It drew attention to the personal attacks made on Dan Norris by political rivals, and the way in which he never responds in kind but rightly remains calm and courteous throughout. The same day that you published the letter, your paper also reported how Dan Norris was the subject of some shocking scenes as pro-hunters attacked him, hurling eggs and punching a woman member of his staff… DAVID SMITH, Midsomer Norton (letter)

Yorkshire Post 3.3.05 From: C Horsman, Coppergate, Nafferton, Driffield, East Yorkshire. ALL the hullabaloo, especially by the media, on the subject of the Hunting Bill will all be forgotten in a few years' time. May I remind readers of that most brutal and obnoxious of sports – bear-baiting… (letter)

Leicester Mercury 3.3.05 BAD COMPANY - We went to Melton Mowbray last Saturday to the market and were disgusted to witness the parade of hunts and the support they received…. S J Thorpe, Leicester. (letter)

Western Gazette 3.3.05 MINORITY TRAMPLED UPON - So, the law has been enacted to trample over a minority. Why? Seemingly, because their actions are allegedly cruel? I do not buy the cruelty argument in hunting but let us assume one does. Then, of course, our Liberal Democrat representatives, David Laws and David Heath, having supported/condoned this legislation are now surely going to demonstrate their "liberal" principles by promoting bills in parliament to outlaw the much crueller practises of fishing, shooting, factory farming and transport of live animals?... Dickie Bird, Trent, near Sherborne, full address supplied (letter)

Western Gazette 3.3.05 NEVER MORE POPULAR - Last week every letter you published on the hunting ban was against hunting. This was not reflected in the outcome of the poll on your website which showed that seven per cent were in favour of the ban while around 90 per cent were opposed to its introduction. Furthermore the huge crowds at the meets which took place on 19 February confirm this view… John Rawlins, address supplied (letter)

Western Gazette 3.3.05 MUST BELONG TO HUNT - Great picture of all those hunters in this week's paper. Next week can we have a group picture of some burglars or muggers, or some other group that disregards the law in this country….. Our family for one will not be buying the Western Gazette again and I know quite a few of my friends who feel the same way. The editorial staff must be members of a local hunt. Philip Cadwell, Trusthams, Broadwindsor. (letter)

York Evening Press 3.3.05 Hare-brained hunt law - WHAT you need to know about hunting within the law. If I wanted to kill a hare for the pot, I could use only two dogs to flush out the hare from cover, then I must shoot it - the dogs could not take part in the actual killing of the hare - and I must also have a game licence. However, if I got myself a bird of prey and went after the same hare I could use as many dogs as I wished to flush out the hare, so my hawk could catch it and rip it to bits - and I would not need a game licence…. If you don't believe me get yourself a copy of the Hunting Handbook 2005 from the Countryside Alliance. D Wardell, Malton Road. York (letter in archive)

Banbury Guardian 3.3.05 BAN ON HUNTING IS THE BIGGEST THREAT TO FOX - In reply to your correspondent (Your View, February 24), the Countryside Alliance is an organisation which represents the countryside, not just fox hunting. Its membership is (I believe) currently half that of the paid-up membership of the sainted Labour party and growing. If your anonymous letter-writer really is a country person, then they are in serious dereliction of their duty to protect the country way of life by claiming not to know what the Countryside Alliance is…. Unless we get our voices heard, our entire way of life is under threat. Simon Saunders Address supplied (letter)

Glamorgan Gem 3.3.05 Silent protests - WHERE were all the anti-hunt protesters when the Abortion Bill was passed? They evidently rate a fox’s life above that of a human being. J Harrhy, Barry (letter in archive)

Ilkley Gazette 3.3.05 Our local MP tells us she is proud of her part and her Government's part in the banning of hunting. I wonder if she realises what else she has achieved. The Crown Prosecution Service has stated, and I quote: "Dog owners who let their pets chase squirrels, mice or any one of some 4,000 other wild mammals, could face prosecution under the Act - if convicted, the person who owns the dog can be fined up to £5,000 and the dog may be destroyed."… W JACQUES, 30, Copy Road, Addingham. (letter in archive)

Cheddar Valley Gazette 3.3.05 TEST CASES WILL OVERTURN HUNT BAN - Having written to you before the hunting ban came into force, I stated the countryside would stand up to this ridiculous law. I'm sure many of your readers will agree this was proved last Sat u rday. Two days earlier I was hunting legally on the so-called "last day of hunting" and saw the hurt that this law has caused… Test cases will soon demonstrate the ban is essentially unenfo rceable. This will be demonstrated on the hunting field and hunting in one form or another will continue for many years to come. Richard Taylor Cheddar (letter)

Warminster & Westbury Standard 3.3.05 HUNTS' CLAIMS ARE NONSENSE - I Am sick of the bleating of the ill-informed pro-hunting lobby. I grew up in the Blackdown Hills of Devon where hunts regularly took place and saw for myself the damage they caused…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Somerset Guardian 3.3.05 WHERE WAS THE LOGIC TO MP'S VISIT? - Mary Bowers likens the throwing of an egg at MP Dan Norris by pro-hunt supporters to the action of Nazis in Germany in the '30s. She may like to reflect on the fact that it was Hitler himself who first banned hunting in 1934… Labour is following an old pattern. CAROLINE CLAYDEN Holcombe (letter)

Somerset Guardian 3.3.05 WHERE WAS THE LOGIC TO MP'S VISIT? - The violence at Badminton involving MP Dan Norris cannot be condoned. However, it is understandable, given the strong suspicion this venue was deliberately chosen to provoke this reaction. To bait people who could be losing both their jobs and their homes, simply to provide a good TV story and Mr Norris some election publicity was both irresponsible and contemptible…. C A CURRIE Frome Old Road Radstock (letter)

Somerset Guardian 3.3.05 SHOW PICTURE OF HUNT'S END - The Somerset Guardian is fond of publishing photographs depicting the hunt as a "jolly day out". Why not publish a picture of the fox emerging from the undergrowth having been "flushed out with a terrier", and then being "legally killed"… KATHRYN JONES, Underhill Avenue, Midsomer Norton (letter)

Frome & Somerset Standard 3.3.05 COMMENT IS BASED ON A FALSE IMPRESSION - I take great exception to the Comment column, February 17, and believe the writer has misunderstood the motivations of people involved in hunting. I am not involved in fox hunting in any way, but I believe very firmly that the ban is wrong and I have huge sympathy for those involved. I do not believe that anyone involved in hunting is killing for fun, as you conclude in your column… I heard on the radio an interview with a member of the Green Party in France concerning hunting. My expectation was that such a person would be against the activity. Far from it: the attitude was very much pro-hunting, regarding it as entirely natural and in keeping with the values of the ecology movement…. R LUSCOMBE, Town Barton, Norton St Philip (letter)

Frome & Somerset Standard 3.3.05 HUNTERS KILL FOR SAKE OF KILLING - BRUCE COOMBES, Mells (letter)
Somerset Guardian 3.3.05 HUNTERS KILL FOR SAKE OF KILLING - Supposedly intelligent men who claim riding with the hounds gives them pleasure must be of unsound mind. In fact they have no idea why they hunt. Ride the horse by all means, but it would be more sensible to reduce the pack of hounds to one or perhaps three, but this would not satisfy the blood lust in their spiritless soul to kill for the sake of killing… BRUCE COOMBES, Mells (letter)

Wells Journal 3.3.05 BLATANT LAW-BREAKING - On Saturday, February 19, I watched the Mendip Farmers' Hunt, their foot followers and hounds ride through Wells High Street. It was an interesting spectacle. On the way home I crossed Priory Road in front of a few foot followers and dogs… A "gentleman" wearing very distinctive headgear, with two dogs, was walking on the bus station side. One of his dogs squatted and deposited a large pile of excrement… There was no attempt to pick it up, or to look apologetic at the policeman and others who must have seen this blatant disregard for the law and pedestrians… A Morgan Burcott Road Wells (letter)

The Forester 3.3.05 HUNTING - 'WE toffs love this hunting lark, dashing madly across the park! Let us feel whatnot superior - especially when the fox gets wearier. We know better for a start… In heaven they'll kiss the saboteurs feet,… Julian Horsfield, Coleford (letter)

North Devon Journal 3.3.05 HORRIFIED AT PEOPLE'S BELIEF THEY CAN STILL GO HUNTING -Thank goodness for Victor Winstone and his wonderful letters to the Journal. Having discovered two whole pages of photos and editorial which appeared to be in support of hunting, headlined 'Determination triumphed over emotion' and 'thousands write to fight hunt ban' I had fast decided to give up enjoying the Journal altogether when I came across his comments on the letters page… FIONA CREIGHTON-BALFOUR, High Street, Bideford
I COMPLETELY and absolutely support the hunting ban. How anyone can say it is humane is beyond belief…. MS SHEEHAN, Beach Road, Woolacombe
AMONG the many valiant acts of defiance by the hunting fraternity reported in last week's Journal one picture stands out as a shining example of sheer indomitable spirit, the heroic Geoff Cox holding aloft a brace of extremely dead rabbits. Triumphant in the face of impossible odds of two-to-one. Everyone knows how dangerous a cornered rabbit can be… DAVE WALDEN, Lee Road, Lynton.
NOW that it would appear that the pro-hunt lobby will exploit all the loopholes in the new law banning hunting, a law which they consider unjust and an encroachment on their liberties, perhaps it's time for the motorists in the country to examine the rules relating to parking (or not parking) on yellow lines and similar strictures…. CHRIS TURNER, South Park, Braunton (letters)

North Devon Journal 3.3.05 DON'T GIVE THESE YOBBOS ANY PUBLICITY - Does the Journal think it appropriate to devote a two-page spread to an illegal and barbarous activity? Surely there are plenty of other illegal activities it can report on with a few graphic pictures thrown in for good measure?... KAREN SEARLE, Beards Road, Fremington. (letter)


Ryedale Gazette & Herald 2.3.05 `I can't wait to get back on a horse' by Claire Metcalfe - A TEENAGER who nearly died when she was crushed by her horse while out hunting in Ryedale has made an almost complete recovery. Sarah Beal, 17, from Yedingham, has even returned to work - as a secretary in Scarborough. Sarah was following the Derwent Hunt on her family's land at Yedingham just before Christmas when her horse suddenly reared up and fell on top of her… Despite her accident, Sarah is fiercely opposed to the ban on hunting and can't wait to get back in the saddle… Her parents, Chris and Helen, are holding an ox-roast and disco in Yedingham on Friday, May 27, along with an auction and raffle, to raise funds for the charity…. Both the Derwent and Middleton Hunts, and Snainton Young Farmers Club have also held recent fundraisers for the air ambulance…. (story in archive)

Birmingham Post 2.3.05 Magistrate quits over hunting ban By Sarah Probert, Birmingham Post - A magistrate has stepped down from the bench after 28 years in protest at the Government's controversial ban on hunting with dogs. Susan Foster, the daughter of a former Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, said she could no longer administer justice now the law had come into force. Mrs Foster, who hunted with the South Shropshire hunt 20 years ago, said she had stood down with full support from her colleagues… (story)
Birmingham Post 2.3.05 Magistrate quits in hunt ban protest By Sarah Probert, Birmingham Post - A magistrate has stepped down from the bench after 28 years in protest at the Government's controversial ban on hunting with dogs. Susan Foster, the daughter of a former Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, said she could no longer administer justice now the law had come into force … "Rather more than 28 years ago I took an oath to do right by all manner of people and and since justice cannot be administered a la carte now the Hunting Act is in force I find it difficult in all conscience to continue to fulfil that oath."… She was given a send-off by fellow magistrates, police and the Crown Prosecution Service at the court on Monday … (story)
Western Daily Press 2.3.05 HUNTING ACT - JP QUITS - A Magistrate with 30 years' experience has resigned from the bench in opposition to the Hunting Act, it emerged yesterday. Susan Foster stepped down from her post at Telford Magistrates' Court, Shropshire, last month…. (story)
Country Life 2.3.05 JP Resigns Over Hunt Ban - A Justice of the Peace who does not hunt has taken a stand against the injustice of the Hunting Act by resigning from her position. By Jeremy Lott - Another magistrate has tendered their resignation because of the unenforceability of the Hunting Ban. Susan Foster, who does not hunt, stepped down from her position as a member of the bench at Telford Magistrate's Court after nearly 30 years of service. Ms Foster's decision follows the resignation of Derek Pearce from North Avon Magistrates Court at the end of last year…. (story)
BBC News Online 1.3.05 - JP steps down over hunting laws - A magistrate has resigned her position in protest at the Hunting Act - Susan Foster, who has been a JP for 30 years, said she stepped down from the bench in Telford, Shropshire, because the new law was "driven by prejudice". Ms Foster, 69, of Ludlow, said the ban meant she could not fulfil her oath to "do right by all manner of people"…. "My decision has absolutely nothing to do with the single issue of the rights or wrongs of hunting with dogs but it has everything to do with the principles of freedom, justice and minority rights, which this country has always stood for. I cannot see any justice in destroying the livelihoods of thousands of hard-working, law-abiding people by legislation which was not supported by the findings of two independent inquiries." (story)
Shropshire Star 28.2.05 JP quits over hunting ban By CRAIG MACFARLANE - A long-serving justice of the peace from Shropshire was set to resign today in protest over the Government's controversial fox hunting ban. Mrs Susan Foster, 69, is quitting after 28 years at Telford Magistrates' Court because she refuses to administer the new law banning people from hunting with hounds…. She said: "I feel the fox hunting bill is contrary to the oath I took 28 years ago to do right to all manner of people…." (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 2.3.05 Judge quits over ban on hunting - A top barrister who supports a long-established Ryedale hunt has sacrificed his judicial career to protest at the hunting ban. Michael Spencer QC, chairman of the Ampleforth Beagles, resigned as a part-time judge. In a letter to the Attorney General, he explained that he could not be part of the system which introduced the Hunting Act, likening it to 1930s Nazi Germany…. (story in archive)
North Yorkshire Advertiser 1.3.05 Judge resigns over hunting ban - A HIGH Court judge with a love of hunting has quit the judiciary in disgust, accusing the Government of acting like the Nazi party. Michael Spencer QC said the hunting ban was the first step along the same path that eventually led to Auschwitz… Mr Spencer is the chairman of the Ampleforth Beagles, a foot pack that hunts hares across North Yorkshire. He is also the head of the largest civil and common law chambers in London…. (story in archive)
BBC News Online 25.2.05 Judge quits bench over hunt ban - A recorder and deputy high court judge has resigned from the bench in protest at the ban on hunting. Michael Spencer QC is head of a large barristers' chambers in London and is chairman of the Ampleforth Beagles which hunts hares in North Yorkshire. Mr Spencer, 57, says he is not prepared to be part of a legal system that makes criminals out of hunters… (story)
Northern Echo 25.2.05 'Government is on a path to Auschwitz' by Mark Foster - A HIGH Court judge with a love of hunting has quit the judiciary in disgust, accusing the Government of acting like the Nazi party. Michael Spencer QC angrily said the hunting ban was the first step along the same path that eventually led to Auschwitz…. Mr Spencer is the chairman of the Ampleforth Beagles, a foot pack that hunts hares across North Yorkshire, and is also the head of the largest civil and common law chambers in London…. (story in archive)
Yorkshire Post 25.2.05 JUDGE RESIGNS IN PROTEST AT BAN ON HUNTING - Brian Dooks - A RECORDER and Deputy High Court judge who is chairman of the Ampleforth Beagles which hunts hares in North Yorkshire, has resigned from his legal duties in protest at the Hunting Act. In his letter to the Lord Chancellor, Michael Spencer QC says its enforcement will persecute a law- abiding minority and he draws parallels with the conduct of Nazi Germany which led to the atrocities at Auschwitz… (story)
Telegraph 24.2.05 QC refuses to judge Hunt Act - Michael Spencer, QC, head of the largest civil and common law chambers in London, announced yesterday that he had resigned as a Recorder and deputy High Court judge because of the Hunting Act…. As chairman of the Ampleforth Beagles, a foot pack, Mr Spencer, 57, of Crown Office Chambers, hunts hares in North Yorkshire…. (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 2.3.05 SCRAMBLE AND EGGS FOR DEPUTY PM'S VISIT - Eggs were thrown at Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott while he was visiting Derby by protesters angry at the ban on fox-hunting…. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 1.3.05 PRESCOTT GETS A PELTING IN CITY - MARIO CACCIOTTOLO - Eggs were thrown at Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott while he was in Derby yesterday by protesters angry at the ban on fox-hunting. Mr Prescott was at a private pre-election meeting for Labour Party members at Pride Park Stadium last night where he met members from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. About 100 protesters, believed to be from the Countryside Alliance, gathered outside the stadium for the arrival of Mr Prescott and used a megaphone to shout slogans as he walked towards the entrance. Police were called as a result of the protest, but according to a police spokesman there were no reports of any incidents apart from some "jostling" from the crowd… (story)

Birmingham Post 2.3.05 Dechra shrugs off hunt-ban setback - The hunting ban should have should have an "absolutely negligible" impact on the fortunes of the veterinary pharma company Dechrya Pharmaceuticals, even though its biggest selling product ' Equipalazone' is nonsteroidal treatment for bumps and bruises on horses and has some 90 per cent of its market…. (story)

Horse & Hound 2.3.05 Ban prompts Pau hunt to reform - The ban on hunting in England and Wales has breathed new life into the Pau hunt in south-west France - Tony Blair may be responsible for the ban on hunting in England and Wales, but in a corner of south-west France he's going to help rejuvenate the sport. The Pau hunt is planning to re-form as a fox hunt, and one of its hounds is named Tony Blair… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 16.2.05 Fox-hunters may head for France By Jonathan Barnes - A HUNTING enthusiast is planning to overcome the ban on the country sport by setting up a hunt for Britons in France. Ian Finch, secretary of the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds, said he hoped to see people from all over the UK travelling across the Channel to go fox-hunting once the pursuit is banned in England and Wales on Friday…. Mr Finch, from Hadleigh, said his plan to form the Pau UK Hunt Club was at “an advanced stage” and added: “It's quite a challenge, but it's hugely exciting - lots of people are interested.”… (story)
Telegraph 14.2.05 Refugees ride out with pack in the Pyrenees - Twice-weekly hunt in south-west France is welcoming enthusiasts from Britain, reports Colin Randall in Pau - As country dwellers in Britain prepare for the outlawing of hunting on Friday, members of the Pau Hunt in the foothills of the French Pyrenees are about to welcome refugees from across the Channel… The Pau Hunt is negotiating with the Puckeridge in Herts and the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds about the possibility of providing kennels for their packs. And word is spreading…. (story)
Times 12.2.05 Duke of Wellington's pastures lure hunters given the boot by Britain FROM CHARLES BREMNER IN PAU - IT HAS been about 190 years since the Duke of Wellington’s men galloped with their hounds through the rolling Gascony countryside beneath the Pyrenees. But the English spirit has never really left Pau, the Iron Duke’s garrison town which later became an elegant Victorian resort. Now, thanks to Britain’s imminent foxhunting ban and low-cost airlines, les anglais are about to return to pursue the local renard. Jeffrey Quirk, a retired English accountant living in a chateau near Pau, is working with two historic English hunts — the Puckeridge and East Suffolk — to have outlawed English huntsmen stable their horses with the Pau chasse and ride with it next season…. (story)
BBC News Online 9.2.05 Ban boost for historic French hunt By Hugh Schofield - A curious side-effect of the ban on hunting with hounds which comes into effect next week will be the new lease of life it gives to a unique and historic fox hunt on the other side of the Channel…. since World War II the Pau-Hunt has dwindled into obscurity. It retains its old clubhouse with kennel yard and stables - but today there are only 20 active members, nearly all French… A link-up is being arranged with two English hunts whose activities are about to be curtailed: a second pack of hounds is to be accommodated in the kennels and authorisations are being obtained from the powers that be…. "Our idea is to revitalise the Pau-Hunt by bringing back the English tradition which we have nearly lost. And it is also a way of returning a favour. The English did us a great service," says master of hounds Georges Moutet… Mr Quirk, who runs a hotel-cum-stables at the Chateau de Sombrun, has just employed a 31-year-old former whipper-in from the Cottesmore hunt, Anthony Reed, and hopes to finalise an agreement with the Puckeridge and the East Sussex hunts once the ban is in place…. (story)

Rhyl, Prestatyn & Abergele Journal 2.3.05 HUNT´S ´PICNIC IN THE PARK - LEADING ANIMAL rights campaigner and vegetarian Judi Hewitt has scornfully dismissed last week´s controversial meeting of the Flint and Denbighshire Hunt as a "picnic in the park." She accuses hunt members of lying and says their claims that 1000 attended the meet are ridiculous. When acting as hunt monitor on the day, Judi made a video of the event that she says proves that just 300 people attended…. Her figures have also been verified by Mr Mike Bird, of Llandudno Junction who said: "I observed the hunt throughout the day, and counted no more than 100 supporters, including a maximum of 50 on horseback."… (story)
Rhyl & Abergele Visitor 2.3.05 Hunt claims by Dave Jones, North Wales Weekly Newspapers series - CLAIMS that around 700 people attended a rally in support of the Flint and Denbigh Hunt on February 19 have been rubbished by protesters…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 2.3.05 NEWBORN LAMB LOSSES SET TO RISE - Farmers could lose up to 10 times more newborn lambs by foxes as a result of the ban on hunting with dogs, it has been claimed. The prediction is based on evidence collected when hunting was suspended during the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001. Four major agricultural organisations have now called for an urgent meeting with senior politicians at the Welsh Assembly to discuss how to deal with predators now that the ban on hunting has become law. The organisations seeking a meeting with First Minister Rhodri Morgan, and Countryside Minister, Carwyn Jones, are the Farmers' Union of Wales, National Farmers Union of England and Wales, Country Land and Business Association, and the National Sheep Association…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 2.3.05 MR CYRIL BRYAN PHILLIPS - The death occurred peacefully on Christmas Eve at Glangwili Hospital of Mr Cyril Bryan Phillips of Maesyfro, Llanboidy at the age of 77. He was a kind and loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and brother…. A keen gardener, faithful member of St Bryant Church, past president of Llanboidy and District Social Club, and a keen supporter of the Tivyside Hunt. A large gathering attended the funeral at St Brynach Church followed by cremation at Parcgwyn Narberth on Wednesday, January 5… As the coffin left the church the sound of "Gone Away" was blown on the hunting horn by The Master of the Tivyside Hunt Mr David Barber… (story)

Carmarthen Journal 2.3.05 OFF AND RUNNING - After a delayed start, brought about by three cancellations of the Vale of Clettwr Hunt event at Erw Lon, the new point to point season in West Wales should get under way at Cilwendeg, Boncath, on Saturday. The Tivyside Hunt have an extended race card -the Maiden's Race now being split -and an exciting afternoon's action over the right hand course is in prospect…. The next fixture in west Wales after Cilwendeg is the South Pembrokeshire Point to Point at Lydstep, near Tenby on Easter Monday. (story)

Western Mail 2.3.05 LIFE FROM FOX LEVEL - The fox is a great opportunist, born survivor, and most successful European carnivore. His kind are shot, snared, poisoned, and until recently, were hunted with hounds…. Personally I'm not sentimental where the animal is concerned. I've seen the bloody aftermath when one has got among the chickens on a farm or smallholding. There are prejudices on both sides of the fence. But during the research and writing of my first novel what I learnt was to see life from fox level… A creature branded killer, the enemy of 'game', and vermin, by the hunt and their supporters was well on the way to oblivion as soon as it drew its first breath. Meanwhile we'll see how the hunt reacts to the ban after the initial and inevitable contempt for the law. (story)

Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 2.3.05 Hunt should chase its own - SO the Vale of Lune Harriers are looking for a fell runner to act as their `quarry'. But surely the answer lies within the hunt fraternity, who are largely fairly fir outdoor types. What's to prevent hunt members from putting their names in a hat and drawing out the lucky `hare' the night before…. They could run and run until, lungs gasping and heart bursting, they could sit down for a quick kill. Oh yes, I can't see any problem at all with that… Mary Dodd, Lancaster. (letter)

Cambrian News 2.3.05 How does fox hunting differ from angling? - In reply to the anonymous letter “you’ve lost the argument – move on” (Cambrian News, last week), I should like to reply with some comments of my own and to which I am quite happy to put my name…. The fact that you may not like something is not sufficient justification for depriving other people of that activity, unless it is believed to be a threat to public order or that it is evil. Fox hunting has never been considered a threat to public order, so what of the argument that it is evil because it causes an animal to suffer for human pleasure and that the killing of animals is wrong. The human pleasure argument is a difficult one to sustain unless you are a vegetarian…. Although I have never hunted with hounds I shall give my support from now on. It is the moral responsibility of all citizens to oppose unjust laws. That is how I shall be moving on! Yours etc, Garth Hughes Brynawelon, Capel Bangor Ceredigion (letter in archive)

Cambridge Evening News 2.3.05 Save hares From Rodney Hale, Founder/Chairman British Brown Hare Preservation Society PO Box 70 CREDITON EX17 4ZQ - I AM surprised Sir Mark Prescott states that as a result of the ban on hare coursing, 10,000 hares will be shot on farmland (News, February 26). Most farmers wish to be seen as guardians of the countryside and its wildlife… (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 2.3.05 Carry on hunting - In response to the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004, I would like to give my support to the hundreds of thousands of supporters who turned out at meets across the country for the first day of hunting under Labour's ban. Although I am not a huntswoman myself, I cannot help but feel outraged at the recent decision to ban the hunting and killing of foxes with hounds… Fran Askew, Box Tree Grove, Long Lee, Keighley (letter in archive)

Salisbury Journal/Avon Advertiser 2.3.05 The hunting debate - Arguments similar to bull-baiting - IT is quite obvious that hunters are determined to continue killing foxes by one means or another, in spite of the hunting ban - as shown by your pictures of hunters and their supporters in last week's Journal. Your readers might be interested to learn that many of the justifications for hunting are similar to those made 200 years ago to defend bull-baiting…. ANN LANDER, West Street, Wilton
`Trail-hunting' is not `drag-hunting' - WITH regard to the report of the hunt meets in the Journal last week, I would point out that neither the RA Hunt nor the Wilton Hunt was drag-hunting. They were, in fact, carrying out trail-hunting. Whereas drag-hunting operates under strict rules laid down by the Masters of Draghounds and Bloodhounds Association, in trail-hunting, there are no such rules. It is ironic that the Countryside Alliance, which campaigned so vigorously for fox-hunting to be allowed to continue under a new licensing system, is now advocating that hunts turn their backs on regulation in favour of a chaotic free-for-all…. D TIBBLES, Meadow Court, Fordingbridge
We are united in search of ban reversal - MEMBERS of the Wilton Hunt were tremendously heartened by the enormous show of support they received from local people when they met, entirely legally, on Saturday, February 19…. ANNE MACKENZIE, Salisbury Street, Cranborne, Wimborne (letters in archive)

Hull Daily Mail 2.3.05 TIME TO CUT OUT YOUR HYPOCRISY - While never a rabid anti-hunt campaigner, I once went hunt-sabbing in the 1980s near Pocklington. I was a student and I went mainly out of curiosity and because my natural feeling was hunting was archaic and stupid… They angrily told us if we didn't like the fact fox-hunting was legal we should write to our MP or elect a government that banned it, but as it was a perfectly legal "hobby" (this was the mid-1980s, the Conservatives were in power) we should just clear off and leave them alone… now we have a Government that has banned it, a population that wanted to see it banned, a Parliamentary majority that was pro-ban, it seems the hunting fraternity simply say they don't care about what the law is and will carry on regardless. This is the height of hypocrisy and sends a message it's one law for the rich and another for the rest of us. E Bewsher, Park Grove, Hull. (letter)

Driffield Post 2.3.05 I look forward to Boxing Day meet and trail hunt - Peter Cartwright, of The Mount, Driffield, writes . . . I was very interested to read your article about the demise of hunting with dogs in last week's Driffield Times. So the Holderness Hunt will survive, according to Chris Richardson, joint master of the hunt. I am really glad to hear that they will now consider trail hunting instead of hunting a live fox because of the ban which has come into force. I have always believed that hunts should change to trail hunting and while I was on Driffield Town Council, it wrote every year to the Middleton Hunt who met in Driffield on Boxing Day and asked them to conduct a trail hunt rather than hunting a live fox. They always refused…. (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 2.3.05 HUNT DEBATE IS ABOUT CRUELTY NOT CLASS WAR - Should fox hunting have been banned? Yes, yes, yes - many years ago. How can we, in a civilised society, still be debating this issue?.... LORNA LEWINTON High Street, Harmston
Little do our friends of the ruling classes realise the truth in the writings of their old mate Karl Marx; that within their own philosophy and lifestyle lie the seeds of their own destruction… V. SHIP Pine Close, Waddington
We townies and everybody else who are opposed to fox hunting (February 21) do so on the grounds that hunting a living creature to a death involving being torn apart by dogs is socially unacceptable…. WALLY CROFT Birchwood Estate, Lincoln (letters)

Nottingham Evening Post 2.3.05 HERITAGE IS ALL ABOUT PRESERVATION, NOT KILLING - I am amazed that L. Caxton (Letters, February 23) considers the senseless and sadistic ritual slaughter of what's left of our indigenous wildlife to be part of our national heritage…. JOHN TRUSCOTT Kent Road Mapperley
Are his priorities right? Before voting for Broxtowe's Labour MP again, I checked the House of Commons website to look at the motions supported by Mr Palmer. People in Broxtowe may like to know that the MP has signed motions on the euro, badger-baiting, hunting (several times), smoking, praising the Government and various other issues. As far as I know, he has never signed a motion on schools, hospitals, crime, education or immigration…. MATTHEW TOWERS City Road Beeston (letters)

Shropshire Star 2.3.05 Strangling personal freedoms - Hunting with hounds has now been outlawed. This is being hailed as a triumph of democracy by MPs with a class-war agenda…. This Government is dedicated to the destruction of our national identity and to turning us into a colourless, joyless, all-compliant society. B R Lewis, Shrewsbury (letter)

Shropshire Star 2.3.05 Vigilante ramifications of ban on hunting - Like it or loathe it, the hunting ban is law and in force. However, has anybody considered the further ramifications of the act? We hear that organisations such as the League Against Cruel Sports are holding workshops on how to follow hunts, obtain evidence of any alleged wrongdoing and pass this on to the police for action. … Is this not legalising vigilante actions? What is to be next? Perhaps vigilante mobs patrolling our streets? Andrew May, Church Stretton (letter)

Shropshire Star 2.3.05 Difference in attitude of officers - Cath Ens, Hereford (letter)
Independent 26.2.05 Enforce the hunt ban - CATH ENS, Hereford (letter)
Malvern Gazette 25.2.05 Job to enforce the law - AS a hunt monitor for the past 10 years, I have witnessed the cruelty involved in hunting foxes with packs of dogs. However, what shocks me now is the police attitude as voiced on newscasts leading up to the ban. Quite unashamedly they have stated that policing the ban will be a low-level priority. Why has this not been the case while the hunt has been legal?... CATH ENS, Widemarsh Street, Hereford. (letter in archive)

Western Mail 2.3.05 Hunts' cruel colours - As someone who has remained undecided on the hunting with dogs issue, my mind has been finely made up, following the disgusting scenes of violence shown on the evening of Thursday February 17, ITV news….. Hunt supporters were shown on camera, blatantly punching and beating teenage boys and girls - who were merely monitoring the proceedings… SION WILLIAMS, Bethesda, Gwynedd
Urban unease - Whatever your views about fox-hunting with dogs, it's apparent to the astute observer that bigger issues are unfolding, of which fox-hunting is part of a much greater ground-swell of social and cultural change… Banning fox-hunting is the catalyst, symptomatic of demographic pressure points affecting the status quo in Britain between urban and countryside communities - over-populated cities, urban stress, crime, fear of terrorist attack and pollution, exacerbated by immigration factors and a political system favouring metropolitan population density muscle demanding a better quality of life, because city life is increasingly detrimental to health and safety… DAVID LLOYD-HOWELLS, Maindiff Court Farm, Abergavenny (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 2.3.05 FOX - My Oxford English dictionary makes no mention of foxes, but does list owls and hawks as vermin - and these are protected species. What does that make the fox? DAVE MANLEY, New Exeter Street, Chudleigh (letter)

Runcorn World 2.3.05 Horse racing could be next... TAKING Phil Webster's point about fishing a bit further, I'd like to point out that it's not just fishing that will now take up the time of the now redundant bleeding hearts of the anti-hunt protestors, but anything they can twist their now empty lives and that may affect any kind of animal. This obviously includes horse racing (the animal may be inured), greyhound racing (unfair treatment to greyhounds), keeping caged birds, the list goes on and on… Mr P Foster, Widnes (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 2.3.05 URBAN BAITERS - Yet again, a totally misconceived connection between field sports - in this instance hunting - and animal baiting is repeated ("Hunters quizzed", Leicester Mercury, February 23). Animal baiting is an urban activity. From the days of the Romans, animal baiting was an urban pastime… Travelling promoters were a feature of town life in medieval England which is why, as in Spain and much of the world, bull-rings and cock-pits are seldom found in rural areas. It was the field-sports fraternity, who only hunt totally free animals, for whom death must be quick and virtually painless, who engineered the end of baiting… Bryan Roberts, Syston. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 2.3.05 ACCEPT IT: YOU'RE HISTORY Congratulations to all those who supported the full hunting ban. Regardless of what anyone might say, democracy has prevailed. The people have spoken. To disregard the law would intimate that we are able to choose which laws we wish to obey - this is called anarchy. No one is stopping you riding your horses or exercising your dogs but a 21st century Britain has told you unanimously: don't chase live quarry. Your businesses can survive on drag hunting and tourism…. CA Moors (Mr) Troedyrhiw, Llanfynydd (story)


Times 1.3.05 The Hunting Act is enforceable – so let the police get on with it BY DAVID THOMAS - NOW that their Parliament Act challenge has failed, hunt supporters are adopting a threefold strategy to undermine the Hunting Act — civil (or, more accurately, criminal) disobedience, searching for ways of legally circumventing the law and a propaganda campaign that the Act is unenforceable and that the police should not waste their time on it…. The Act is controversial legislation but it is perfectly enforceable. Indeed, the Countryside Alliance has implicitly recognised as much by launching a human rights challenge — if nothing were really going to change, how could any human rights be infringed? It is the police’s job to enforce the law, sensitively but firmly. Otherwise the overwhelming will of elected parliamentarians, and of the population at large, will be thwarted. The author is a director of the Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare ( and a consultant to Bindman & Partners (story)

The Sentinel 1.3.05 EGG MAN CAUTIONED - A Hunt supporter has been verbally cautioned by police for throwing an egg at Chancellor Gordon Brown's car. Mr Brown was in Leek to visit a SureStart session at Haregate Community Centre. As he left the centre his car was pelted with eggs by people in a crowd of hunt supporters…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 1.3.05 OPINION REMAINS DIVIDED ON HUNT BAN - KATIE NORMAN - The emotions of people for and against foxhunting remain fired up. As previously reported, Lord Yarborough issued a rallying cry to more than 1,000 supporters, urging them not to give up fighting against the Government-imposed and now legally-binding ban. The Telegraph asked readers to text their views in, and responses were passionate but divided, with the pro-hunt lobby winning by a tiny margin. A total of 53 per cent supported the red coats while 47 per cent expressed distaste and anger towards hunting…. Brocklesby hunt campaigner Kay Gardner vowed to protest the ban until it is overturned. She thanked hunting supporters who texted the Telegraph and said: "We have been overwhelmed with support…" (story)
Grimsby Telegraph 1.3.05 YOU GIVE YOUR VIEWS IN TEXT MESSAGES SENT TO THE GRIMSBY TELEGRAPH - Messages against the ban: Cheryl Holmes (22), of Grimsby Road, Cleethorpes, said: "Hunting should not be banned…." Messages supporting the ban: Maggie Philo said: "Lord Yarborough is wrong! Killing animals for sport is morally wrong."… (story)

Leicester Mercury 1.3.05 HUNTING EXHIBITION SET FOR EXPANSION BY NICK RENNIE - Plans are under way to expand the nation's biggest museum exhibition of hunting - despite the field sport being banned. Visitors are flocking to the display at the Carnegie Museum in Melton, where both sides of the debate are illustrated…. The Melton Museum of Hunting Trust is busy raising money to develop the exhibition further to help preserve the history of hunting for future generations…. It was packed the day of the hunting parade two weekends ago, when hundreds of members of the Quorn, Belvoir and Cottesmore hunts marched through Melton to protest at the ban coming into force… (story)

Newcastle Journal 1.3.05 A 'first-class service' By Anna Lognonne, The Journal - As farmers prepare for the busy lambing season, attention has been turned to how a new scheme will help North-East farmers adhere to the on-farm burial ban… Darlington farmer David Maughan, who is a member of the NFU's regional livestock board, said: "We are fortunate in Northumberland and Durham in that we have a first-class service operated by John Warren, although I understand this isn't the case in other parts of the country. A number of farmers have already registered for the Fallen Stock Scheme, which does give them a discount on the disposal of fallen stock, but of course they don't have to go down this route. They can contact the collectors directly, be it Warren's or any of the hunts that are still offering this service…. (story)

Western Mail 1.3.05 Carwyn challenged again on fallen stock - NFU Cymru has again written to Wales Countryside Minister Carwyn Jones over failures in the new National Fallen Stock Company. Union president Peredur Hughes has called for an urgent meeting with the minister after further complaints from NFU Cymru's 15,000 membership…. (story)

Tivyside Advertiser 1.3.05 Keep dogs on leads by M Newton, Crymych In view of the ban on the use of natural predators to control pest species in the countryside, it might be as well if those who live close to, or walk their dogs in the open countryside were aware of the "other methods" that may now be used. As well as shooting, these methods include poisoning, snaring and trapping. Sadly all the above methods, including shooting, occur all year round, and do not allow foxes to breed in peace, saddest of all is when nursing vixens are killed leaving cubs to starve to death in their earth. New evidence is emerging that unskilled shooters wound 13 times more foxes than they kill… (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 1.3.05 CLASS WAR STILL VERY MUCH ALIVE - Things never change - ban grammar schools, ban hunting, ban 4x4 vehicles. The politics of envy and the class war are very much still alive and kicking. P. C. DAVIES Belgrave Road Gloucester (letter)

Western Morning News 1.3.05 LABOUR MAY SOON BE THE ONE BANNED - It is Friday, February 18, 2005, and I am angry: bitterly, furiously, incandescently angry, angrier than I've been since the grotesque national hysteria at the time of the funeral of Princess Diana, when I felt that this was no longer my country. I feel that way again now. I don't want to be part of a society which is capable of imposing the spiteful, vindictive and totally evil ban on hunting with dogs. I've never hunted, nor wanted to, but I respect the rights of those who do… Denis McCallum, Plymouth
Suffering starts here - WHY is it that this Government is allowed to push a law through Parliament that rides roughshod over the beliefs and traditions of thousands of people with such complete and utter disregard of the effect on the rural community - the backbone of which has been shattered because of this ban?... Karen Pattinson, Newton Abbot (letters)

Western Morning News 1.3.05 WE DEFEND THE SPIRIT OF ENGLAND - The Axe Vale is a small English hunt consisting of ordinary people from all walks of life. We are a cross-section of East Devon. On February 19, 2005, we held a large and well attended meet at Wiscombe, near Colyton, and we would like to tell the wider community why. We met at Wiscombe in sadness and in anger to witness the great wrongs that have been done in our country by this Government's passing of the Hunting Act…. For centuries, the balance of nature in the countryside, including the health of the foxes of England, has depended on the hunts of England. From today we are prevented by a law that flies in the face of evidence from fulfilling our responsibilities to the fox. So the foxes of England will die cruel deaths from wounding, gassing, trapping, and the blood-lines will weaken, as has happened on the Continent…. When you see our green or black coats, hear the music of the Axe Vale hounds, the hoof-beats of horses and the huntsman's horn, know that we stand for and defend the spirit of an England which Napoleon and Hitler could not vanquish and which will, we know in our hearts, survive this flyblown and dangerous Government. The Axe Vale Hunt invites you to come and join us! The Committee, Axe Vale Hunt (letter)

Western Morning News 1.3.05 DELIBERATE CRUELTY IS AN UNFORGIVABLE THING - For me and a host of friends born in the countryside, the "countryside" has been almost intolerable. Some have moved to towns for peace of mind, enjoying nature undisturbed in parks. It is utterly absurd that, for the short time we have on earth, we can't benefit from its necessary healing energies, everybody's birthright, because an oppressive minority has got away with claiming that nature is just for them, to do as they want: that they can put our wildlife through any amount of suffering at will…. To witness years of actual discussion of whether deliberate cruelty for entertainment is acceptable, has profoundly disgusted me. "Deliberate cruelty" said the playwright, "is the one unforgivable thing." R Dalziel, Tavistock (letter)

Western Morning News 1.3.05 HUNTING CELEBRATES A PRECIOUS CONNECTION - The Hunting Bill is a disaster for both man and the environment. Through the centuries man has celebrated his custodianship of the countryside by rearing, hunting and killing, and enjoying the fruits of all three… Hunting is a celebration of this precious connection between man and our environment - take this away and both will decline. In the meantime, we will retreat to the comfort of our houses and workplaces, protected from vermin by the use of poison and full of fast food, having no idea of what misery is happening behind the scenes as it is out of sight and out of mind and therefore very comfortable…. The Hon George Lopes, Yealmpton
Still saboteurs - WHY are they still at it? As a keen foot follower of the South Devon Hunt. I was disgusted this Saturday with the conduct of regular anti-hunt saboteurs in attendance following the hunts meet at Powderham Castle…. Surely these saboteurs have achieved their objective - hunting has now been outlawed. Why is their disruption continued? James Lawson, Chudleigh (letter)

Northern Echo 1.3.05 HUNTERS are demanding their cruelty 'rights' (HAS, Feb 26). Then better start campaigning to re-start cock-fighting, badger-baiting etc. Incredibly, these people believe hunted animals have a sporting chance. Decent people wouldn't want to indulge in such violence and savagery… L Edwards, Shildon (letter in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 1.3.05 DO THESE HUNTERS THINK WE'RE STUPID? - As a so-called "townie" I must be completely ignorant of the issues involved in hunting and should, therefore, keep out of the debate…. Fox hunts generally only catch older/weaker foxes (A R Jackson February 21). A more blatant lie I have never heard. Just who are these people trying to kid?... If healthy foxes can escape, what is the purpose of the terrier men whose role it seems is to catch the animal once it has gone to earth?... The real issue to make a judgement upon was very simple in the end and was this. Do I want people killing an animal in a cruel way for fun? COLIN BERRY Greetwell Road, Lincoln (letter)

Yorkshire Post 1.3.05 Evening the hunting odds From: Barrie Frost, Watsons Lane, Reighton, Filey. IN my early life, many of the films shown at the local cinema were cowboy and Indian films… If only the hunted fox could receive similar support and salvation. If facing colossal unfavourable odds at a time when all seemed lost and his disembowelment imminent, 100 other creatures would come to his aid, to even the odds and provide a sporting contest. If his saviours gobbled up the hounds, forced the terrier-men to dig their own bolt-holes and chased those so-called sportsmen on horseback for hours until their own total exhaustion preceded their despatch – that's what I'd call a sport…. (letter)

South Wales Echo 1.3.05 Straight to the point - SO there will be a few tears over the ban of hunting. What about the tears and torture that the fox has had to endure over the years? J Smith, Grovefield Terrace, Penygraig, Rhondda (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 1.3.05 No imposition of fox hunting ban but are schools fair game? - Paul Murphy, when asked as a panellist on BBC Question Time if he would extend the ban on hunting to the province, replied: "We are not about imposition." He could have fooled me. His Education Minister is doing exactly that… MARGARET GREGG, Bangor, Co Down (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 1.3.05 Need for hunting balance - I HAVE been a countryside dweller for all of my life but I never wanted to follow any hunting pursuits, not fishing, shooting or more traditional hunting. I am one of those assumed to be against hunting - not true. I believe we should all be allowed to follow the recreation of our choice. Hunts in my area have always had permission to use my farm, and I have known nothing but courtesy from them. I believe the anti-hunt lobby to be nothing but a tilt at what is perceived to be the upper class…. The present balance of animals in the wild will end with the new legislation, and all the species will suffer. P Blight, Upcott Squire, Rackenford
Still some hunting confusion - IN the Letters column, Tim Laman of Tiverton Staghounds put some words regarding animal welfare and increased wounding rates from shooting inside quotes and stated that they came from the Burns report. No such set of words exists within that document…. Fact: live quarry hunting is now illegal. May we all now move on! Ivor Annetts, League Against Cruel Sports, Tiverton.
Criticised for actions of a few - With reference to Nell Curran's letter (February 22) and an earlier letter from Ivor Annetts: It is very easy to criticise an organisation or a group of people by the action of a few, as done so by the above. Using their line of thought, should we not be criticising all football fans because of the behaviour of a few hooligans. Heavens above, no. Better still let us criticise the behaviour of the hunt saboteurs - after all, they are all fervently against hunting…. Clive Russell, Potters Heron, Brook Street, Bampton. (letters)